Friday, September 28, 2007

Vessel Boy

Today (the 28th) is Vessel's 11 month birthday! I can't believe he's almost a year old!

On The Brain Tonight

     I’ve been really delving in some controversial ideas lately. I guess it all started with Oprah. Last week while I was nursing Vessel I began flipping through the channels and saw that she was doing a show on intersexed individuals. (intersexed being the preferred term over hermaphrodite.) Those who appeared on the show were born with both male and female genitals and when they were born their parents were encouraged to assign a gender to their child and the doctors performed the required surgery depending on the situation. One individual’s parents didn’t allow the doctor to perform surgery at all and the child grew up basically between genders. Those on the show faced some real issues later in life, especially when they hit adolescence. The majority of the guests felt like their parents had made the wrong decision, and they were actually a boy living in a girl’s body, or vice-versa. It was a really interesting show. 

     And then today, I was flipping through the channels again and Oprah was doing a show on transgender individuals, or people who are born with normal functioning male or female bodies but feel like they are the opposite gender inside. One guest, a boy who was born a girl, said he knew he was a boy at the age of 6. Anyway, it got me thinking a lot about what Mike and I would do if any of our children had these kinds of feelings or if any of our future children are born with parts belonging to both male and female. We agreed that we probably wouldn’t do anything unless an operation was necessary (like if they couldn’t excrete waste or something like that.) I would feel pretty bad if we said “make our child a girl” and raised the baby as a girl, only to find out later that “she” was spiritually a boy. At least for me, I think I would wait until the child was old enough to know what he or she felt like, and if the decision came up to have surgery as an adult, I would be totally supportive of their choice. 

     But then it got me thinking on a more spiritual level. I started questioning why Heavenly Father would allow a person to be born with something like that if one of the main points of this earth life is to have a family, multiply and replenish the earth. The whole scenario got me thinking about gay people (I realize gay is not the same as transgender or intersexed) and wondered if gay people are similar to these other folks to some degree. Is it possible that their spirits were put into the wrong body? Then I thought, no, gay people feel like they have the right body, they just have an attraction to the opposite sex. Then I started thinking “are gay people born gay or is it a choice?” This is an ongoing debate for a majority of homosexuals. I have had several gay friends throughout my adolescence and adulthood. Several times my best friend (who I’ll call “D” and who, by the way, was raised LDS) and I would talk about whether he chose to be gay or if he felt he was born gay. His constant reply was that he was born that way. I would argue back that Heavenly Father wouldn’t make someone gay because it goes against His entire plan. D would shoot back with “Why would I choose this lifestyle? It’s one of the hardest lifestyles to live in this society.” So back and forth we’d go. I finally came to accept that D was set in his ways and beliefs and why should I try to change him? Whether he was born gay or chose that lifestyle, it isn’t my duty to convert him to heterosexuality. And it isn’t my place to judge him or determine his fate. Heavenly Father knows his heart and knows his circumstances just as He does everyone else.  So from then on I never really thought about it anymore because, to be honest, it didn’t affect me personally, so why worry myself with it? I’ll live my life and gay people can live theirs and we can still be friends. 

     But deep down I continued to believe that it was a choice. I rationalized that it was easier for gay people to say it was a choice because it somehow took the blame off them. I thought, maybe gay people feel like society (and perhaps bitter parents and other family members) would look on it more tolerantly if they thought it was something that couldn’t be helped or something that couldn’t be chosen. A scapegoat…wouldn’t that be easier? They don’t want to be held accountable so it’s easier to assume they “can’t help it.” My personal belief is that an attraction towards the opposite sex is just a trial to overcome, just like someone else’s trial in life might be addiction, or a family member’s death or any other number of hardships people face. I thought it was something that could be conquered with help through the proper channels and with the right amount of faith and strength and will power. 

     During a conversation one night with some relatives, my sister- in-law brought up the possibility that homosexuality is genetic. She made several persuasive and convincing comments, although, my convictions weren’t so strong at the time. This is mostly due in part of my apathetic nature. Like I said earlier, if something doesn’t pertain to me directly, then I feel no need to diligently seek out answers regarding the subject. I basically leave it in God’s hands. Like if something isn’t relevant to my own salvation (or someone close to me) then why should I dwell on the matter, research it, or try to find points and information in compliance with my views? 

     Anyway, my sister-on-law made a comment that straight people can’t choose to like the same sex so why could gay people choose to like the opposite sex? I said because it goes against God’s plan and we are made in his image. They said who we’re attracted to could be genetic or something inborn that we can’t control. But I couldn’t see how God would make someone gay. Sure, not everyone who comes to earth has a perfect body or mind. Sometimes people are born with physical handicaps or mental diseases that they can’t control and God allows that. Yet, those types of things (i.e. Downs Syndrome, autism, etc.) wouldn't affect a person’s eternal salvation. It’s not like Heavenly Father pre-ordains people to be murderers or molesters, so why would he create someone to be gay? That would take away free agency. Heavenly Father wants us all to return to Him so it doesn’t make sense that He would make someone in a way that goes entirely against His plan. I know everyone has urges and desires (that’s part of mortality), but it’s whether or not we act upon those sinful urges that determines a person’s faithfulness and righteousness. So if homosexuality is genetic, that’s not anyone’s fault but God’s? I don’t think so. There has also been research that shows there is an alcoholic gene. So if I was born with this gene, then there’s no hope for me? That just doesn’t make sense. If this alcoholic gene really exists and I’m pre-disposed to becoming an alcoholic, the possibility of me becoming such is very low if I avoid situations where I could drink. It’s my choice whether to stay away from alcohol or to give in, drink, and let the substance become a part of who I am. So in the case of homosexuality, if it is genetic, wouldn't it make sense that those who have the supposed gene could choose to act upon those urges, or choose to stay away from homosexual behavior all together? I believe everyone has weaknesses and how we overcome them or try to become more like Christ is what our judgment is based on. Everyone has different weaknesses…some of us have urges to be hateful, urges to do mean things, urges to do drugs, to lie, to pursue instant gratification, etc. but if we act on those urges or encourage those thoughts then there’s no one else to blame but ourselves.

      But now I find myself completely inundated with this information I recently watched on T.V. The transgender people who absolutely feel they were given the wrong bodies or the intersexed folks with bodies that aren’t exactly one gender or the other…do they have a choice? I talked to Mike about this and he suggested that when they become resurrected beings, their bodies will match their spirit, whether male or female. This makes sense to me. But gay people don’t necessarily feel like they were given the wrong gender body, they are just attracted to the same sex. So I feel like it’s totally different.

      I’ve been thinking a lot about choice and free agency lately because last week’s young women lesson was about making wise choices. We covered basic things like when we make a choice, there is always a consequence. If you smoke you put yourself at risk for health problems, if you disobey your parents you may have a privilege taken away, if you dress immodestly you could give the wrong impression to boys, if you cheat on a test you could lose the trust of your teacher and never learn the subject material, etc. etc. We have the right to choose. Free agency is one of the greatest gifts given to man. Neither God nor Satan can force us to do anything. But there are guidelines to follow. And I just feel like perhaps there are some things that can’t be chosen. For instance, a mother who chooses to do drugs while she’s pregnant may have a child born with birth defects or learning disabilities. That mother made the choice, but did the child get to choose its body? Or a mother who aborts her child has a choice, but does that child? The choice a person makes to drive recklessly may cause another person to get into an accident causing serious injury or death. Did that injured person have a choice? Or if there was a way to genetically enhance an unborn child or a way to "fix" a defect while in the womb, would the choice to use man’s technology to do these things affect the whole “plan,” or is it already laid out the way it’s supposed to be? I know everyone has a purpose and everything has meaning…but I guess right now I am just having a hard time understanding how much (if anything) is determined by us and how much is determined by Heavenly Father. 

     I understand that the people who have handicapped bodies or who are born intersexed have a purpose, even if that purpose is to only receive a body. I suppose I don’t need to mull over these ideas too much. I may never receive all the answers to my questions while here on earth. And some things are not necessary to know at this time anyway. I guess the only thing I need to do is trust that God knows what He’s doing. And I suppose I already feel in my heart the answers to some of my questions anyway. I just read this over and realized that it’s pretty random and I jump around a lot. Sorry about that. I think it just makes it easier for me to understand if I can write it out.

p.s. I don’t mind getting other people’s ideas or opinions, but please nothing hateful

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Recent Photos of Vessie Ves

The Witching Hour

     So this day is finally catching up with me. Tuesdays and Fridays seem to be the worst days of the week for our family. Mike is gone from morning until night on those days, and so I am with Vessel by myself all day. Normally, it’s not a big deal, but Vessel has been so cranky today. He’s been non-stop screeching and whining. I think it’s a combo of teething and being sick.  

     I babysat for a friend of mine last week and for some reason she thought it would be okay to drop her kid off even though he was terribly sick. (Like green mucus dripping from his nose.) I didn’t know he was sick until they were at my door, so I couldn’t really get out of it. I have real issues letting sick people into my house and getting their germs everywhere. Even after disinfecting EVERYTHING in the apartment when they left, Vessel still got a cold and has given it to me as well.  

     It started last Friday night and he was up every hour unable to breathe so he spent most of the night in our bed or in our arms. At his age there aren’t a lot of medicines out there we can give him so we’ve been using saline drops for his nose, putting him in the steamy bathroom and using a humidifier at nights to clear his sinus passages. It’s so heartbreaking when he’s sick. This morning when he woke up his little feet and hands were like ice cubes so I put him in bed with me and we snuggled and got warm together. He buried himself next to me and it was really tender and sweet. We ended up falling asleep for a bit longer. But after we both got up for the day things kind of went downhill.  

     Today was just a hard day emotionally. Maybe it’s partly because I’ve had to care for an irritable, sick baby or because Mike and I haven’t seen each other all day. It might possibly have to do with the fact that I haven’t been able to take my thyroid medicine since my prescription ran out and my doctor didn’t write me a refill in time. Maybe part of it has to do with the full moon. Or maybe I’ve just had a lot of depressing stuff on my mind today.
     Well, I guess I could tell you about our weekend and at least try to end on a semi-positive note, right? Saturday Mike and I hung out with a new couple in our building, Conor and Jessica. The plan was to have a picnic in the park and then they were going to teach us how to play tennis. But unfortunately it rained all afternoon, so we ended up going to “The Pie” for lunch and then called it a day with them.
      That evening I totally cleaned the house. Not just de-cluttered the place, but actually detail cleaned (vacuumed, dusted, swept, mopped, scrubbed the toilet, tub, and sinks…etc.) It feels so good to have a clean home. It’s like I can completely relax when the house is spotless. I am a little anal about cleanliness and having order. Our poor kids… I also rearranged the furniture again. It’s nice to do that every couple of months. 

     I want to get more green plants around our house, but we can never keep them alive. We only have one bamboo stalk left out of the six we had when we first got married. I guess I’m not keen on the needs of houseplants, or maybe I’m just neglectful of them. 
     That night we were going to go to the Epic Summer Film Festival that our friends Casey and Helen are apart of, but since it was raining and Vessel wasn’t feeling well we opted not to go. Bummer. It sounded like lots of fun. On Sunday I gave the YW lesson on wise choices, which I’ll have to go into more detail later. 
     After church Mike’s brother, Danny and his very nice friend, Karen met us at our apartment and then we went to the institute building on the U of U campus for a fireside where Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke. We got there about an hour and a half early but we still didn’t get seats in the chapel or even in the mile long overflow. We sat in the alternate chapel on the opposite side of the building and watched it on a screen instead. But the presence of an apostle could be felt throughout the building. The fireside was so uplifting and spiritual, and even funny at times. I never knew Elder Holland had such a sense of humor! Again, I’ll have to go into more detail about his talk in another post. 

     Afterwards we came back to our apartment and Mike and I made dinner for everyone (spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, green beans, juice, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.) To complete the night we played a game and then Danny and Karen had to get back home. It was so nice to visit with them. I think that about covers it.:-)

To Zach

I got this from Sophie's blog. She's a fifth grade teacher and apparently found a love note from a student of hers. Oh,young love. click on the image to make it larger so you can read all about it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


     Today I had my first crossing job. It was pretty fun. I got to watch lots of cars go by. I tried counting how many people were on their cell phones while driving. I lost count. 

     The other crossing guard was an older lady who enjoyed motioning wildly with her arms to "slow down" to the drivers that completely ignored the flashing lights indicating a 20 mph school zone. In the words of Brian Nelson, "I go out there and put my life on the line everyday." I now have a much deeper respect for crossing guards. :)   But seriously, if Vessel was walking to school and had to cross that busy street, I'd be thankful for a crossing guard to make sure he got to the other side of the road safely.
     Today I saw at least 5 stupid people dressed up in costumes jumping around with signs promoting the company they work for. T-mobile, Jamba Juice, Little Ceasars, some guys in blue wigs and blue shirts advertising their moving company, and something else I don't remember. Man, I hate those jerks. They get paid to act like a bunch of idiots while distracting drivers, making them more prone to accidents. No offense if you are one of those people. I especially dislike the guy who waves at the cars while he holds his "ALPINE HOMES" sign as we drive to Mike's parents' house. Do you think some douchebag waving his sign around and doing a little dance is going to make people flip a U-ey and go check out houses for sale? I doubt it. Sorry if that's anyone's dad I'm talking about. I guess you gotta get paid somehow.

     Today Vessel has been really cranky. He has a runny nose and his gums are really tender. He must be getting more teeth. Poor kid. I had to leave Mardene's house early because he was in such misery.

     Today we ate at Zupa's. Tracy and Gavin introduced us to it. It was Zuptacular! By the way, thanks for the fondue you guys. Oh and, don't forget the bowling champion.

     Our friends Sheldon and Michelle are moving tomorrow. I hope they enjoy their new house!  It will be a sad day. They have been such good friends to us. It's hard to see them go. Dang, nobody else better move.   Psh. Honestly, we can't afford to lose any more friends. So if you are our friends, and you're reading this, you better not even think about moving away. If you do, I'll have no other choice but to slit my wrists and dry heave in a corner. Ta ta.

Friday, September 21, 2007


I don't know how many of you have been following the Phil Spector murder trial, but Mike and I have sure enjoyed the vast amount of coverage online. It's like the guy changes his 'do every day. I have to be honest, this Spector guy frightens me beyond all reason.

I wonder if he thought this disco bush afro would win the jury over.

Blondes have more fun.

Holy freakin' crap. Don't tell me this guy isn't a murderer. Mike thought it would be funny to set this picture as our desktop wallpaper. Yah, I soil myself every time I turn on the computer. You have to admit, this guy is a nut job.
Do you see the evil-osity as he looks back at the camera?
Subtly flipping the bird

Zoinks! This is one of Spector's ex-girlfriends testifying against him at his trial. This is one instance where I'd support plastic surgery. It looks like Spector bit off her nose and then tried to reattach it with Krazy Glue.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Thanks to Chris, my husband has developed a sort of man-crush on Rick Astley and has been Rickrolling everyone on our contact list. Psh. Get that song out of my head!!!!

Rick Roll

Ok, I found one of Rick Astley's videos on Chris Rasmussen's blog, and I have to admit the guy is sweet. It's like Buzz from Home Alone meets Barry White. Click here to get Rick Roll'd!.

P.S. If you can survive the whole video, I owe you a Coke.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Nothing's Safe

Vessel uses the shelf as a jungle gym and manages to push our heavy Buddha statue to its demise. This is an ongoing occurrence. I hope he doesn't get hurt one of these days.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


This week Mike and I went out to the dollar theater with Scott and Shanna to watch the supernatural, horror, suspense, thriller 1408. I heard that it was incredibly frightening so I was a little hesitant to see it. I used to really enjoy a good horror movie, especially if it was disturbing and left me thinking. But for the past year or so, I haven't been able to stomach too many horror flicks. The movie is based on a short story by Stephen King from the book Everything's Eventual. However, I didn't know that until after the movie, and if I would've known before hand, I probably wouldn't have watched it since I'm not that into King's work. The movie starts out pretty slow as you get to know Michael Enslin (John Cusack), a washed up author who writes about hauntings, yet doesn't believe in the supernatural. He's been to several hotels claiming to be haunted, but he's never actually seen a ghost or witnessed any paranormal activity. He gets a postcard from an anonymous somebody telling him not to stay in room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel located in NYC. Obviously, he doesn't take the advice and ends up determined to reserve that particular room at all costs. Despite strict orders to stay away from room 1408 by the hotel manager (played by Samuel L. Jackson) he finally retrieves the key and stays in the room. The first little while everything seems normal, but then weird things start to happen. Granted, there were some scary images, and even a few cool scenes, but for the most part, I wasn't a big fan of the movie. I suppose I was so tense anticipating something really creepy, that when I finally realized the movie was more trippy than scary, I was a little disappointed. One thing that I didn't like about the movie is that it never explained why room 1408 is the way it is. Is it haunted by a ghost or just an evil entity of some kind? How much of it is in the imagination and how much of it is real? What happened there? A lot of people died, but why? Who or what did it? The questions were never fully answered. The movie was worth the buck fifty we paid for it, if only to get out of the house and spend some time with friends. Overall I just felt like it was one never ending bad dream sequence, and I wasn't too broken up when the credits finally rolled.

State Fair

I LOVE carnivals, fairs, and amusement parks. I couldn't go everyday, but I like them in moderation. The noise, the food, the rides, the music, the "carnies," the animals, the art, the all makes for a pretty fun night.

Here we are on our "date" night. Mike has a tendency to look like he's squinting in most pictures, but he's still a pretty good lookin' fella anyway.

We splurged and bought tickets for several rides. When I went to the fair with my friend Margrena last year, I wasn't able to go on any of the rides since I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. I was a little bummed because I think they are the best part! Well, that and the extreme sugar intake that I somehow justify as "necessary."

While we were there we ran into our friends Tracy and Gavin who live in our building. We basically spent the rest of the night with them going on various rides and acting like kids again. They were nice enough to get us tickets for the BIG YELLOW slide. Thanks guys!

This is a ride that Tracy, her niece, and I went on while the boys just watched. It was a blast, but not nearly as fun as going on the "Zipper" with Mike. You have to understand that Mike has a very real fear of heights, so going on a ride like that with me was terrifying for him. I've never heard him yell the way he did on that ride. Not a girly scream, but a full on yell, like he was about to lose his life. I laughed so hard I thought my gut was going to explode!

I can't leave without getting a caramel apple. When I go to the fair I pretty much blow all my money on food. Scones, fudge, kettle corn, sugared almonds, candied/caramel apples, you name it. Then I'm on a sugar high for...some amount of time. What could be better for you than fried bread and corn syrup? Okay, so I know it's not good for me, but I like to splurge now and then.

Under one of the tents were a lot of little oddities. I don't know what it is about me, but I have a fascination with creepy, bizarre things like 2 headed babies. Also under the tent were live animals with birth defects, mutations, and the like. A 5 legged sheep, a cow with 2 snouts, a cyclops pig. Towards the end was a man showing off his fire eating skills and with the audiences encouragement, he hammered a long, thick nail into his face. If that doesn't bring you to the fair, I don't know what will.

Besides all this, we saw a sculpture made out of 700 pounds of pure butter, the fruit and vegetables that people entered, and lots of flowers.  It was a fun night!

P.S. Although this post says it's by Mike, it was actually posted by Jamie, if you couldn't already tell from reading it.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Most Beautiful Sky I've Ever Seen

Friday evening Mike and I witnessed something like we'd never seen before. Although we tried to capture the amazing colors of the sky, our camera simply was unable to do justice to the absolute awe-inspiring scene right outside our window. So you're probably thinking, "What, you've never seen a sunset before?" Well, kiddies, this was not just an ordinary sunset. I'm not exaggerating when I say that my jaw had literally dropped because I was so filled up with incredulity as I watched the moving clouds and colors and rain and lightning. To the east of us, thunder was booming every couple of seconds followed by a splat of blue lightning. You could feel the electricity in the air. The entire eastern sky was enveloped in deep clouds that became a rich red-orange from the western sun. The clouds were moving and swirling so quickly it looked as if the sky was a body of crimson water. I can't even describe the color. The whole earth was cast red as if I was all of a sudden on the planet Mars. The storm came and left in a matter of minutes. I wish that my camera could've taken a truthful representation of what we saw. It was so enlivening to see such beauty. It's times like these that I cannot deny that God exists and that he has created this remarkably beautiful world for us to enjoy.

These were the clouds to the west of our apartment.

The sky in the background appeared so blue contrasted by the orange tinted clouds.

More pictures to the west

I tried so hard to get a picture of the sky to the east because it was incredible but the red color I described never seemed to show up on our camera. Here you can see the rain falling and the bright blue sky underneath it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"If you want to be comfortable, take an easy job"

So, I have a job now, if you can call it that. I'm a substitute crossing guard. That means I go out and help the little children cross the street in my bright orange vest holding up my big, reflective stop sign. Basically, I'm there when someone takes a vacation, has maternity leave, or gets ill. I hope to aspire to a permanent position. The money is good...about $500 a month for working 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon. I can even take Vessel. But I'll probably just have my neighbor watch him for those 30 minutes. It will be an easy way to bring in some extra money every month. I can't believe I actually have a job again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Do You Believe in Miracles?

I do. Vessel sleeps like an angel now. We still do our nightly pre-bedtime routine with him, and once it comes time to lay him down he doesn't scream, cry, fuss, or make so much as a sigh. He just lays there quietly (and I'd even venture to say happily) with his little stuffed dog and Spongebob pillow. Five minutes later he's out like a light. The best part is that he's started sleeping longer too. It's now 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning! Still early, but MUCH better than the 4:30 or 5:30 we'd been dealing with night after night. In fact, on Sunday after he woke up and I fed him, Mike and I closed our bedroom door and made him a little fenced off area in our room so he could play with his toys while we slept a bit longer, and he did so contently for 2 more hours! I mean, can it get any better than that?

This is me, you can take it or leave it....

Vessel likes:

*To carry toys around. In the morning when he wakes up, he'll find one specific toy that he decides will be his favorite for the day, and he'll carry it around with him everywhere he goes. Favorites of this week include a blue plastic tube that's a part to my old play doctor kit, a laminated bookmark, a seashell, and the baby monitor we've used like twice since he was born. He will crawl around the house with the "toy of the day" in one hand, never letting it go, not even to nurse, to get his diaper changed, to get dressed, to go to the car, etc.

*To climb stairs. Actually he likes to climb just about anything. He also enjoys crawling into super small places only a baby could fit into and army crawling under anything he can't crawl over, like chairs, step stools, the armoire, the living room shelf, the end tables, etc.

*To jump and dance. His face absolutely lights up when he hears these two songs by Mika: "Love Today" and "Big Girl."  He bops around to the beat which Mike and I can't help but laugh at. He also enjoys exercising with me in the mornings when I crank up my favorite workout mix.

*To play tag. He absolutely LOVES to chase and be chased around the house. It is a sure fire way to get some explosive giggles out of him.

*To be sung to before bed. He'd rather have a song sung to him than a story book read to him at nights. The kid is into music, what can I say? Maybe we should start singing the words to the books from now on.

*Anything with buttons. This includes anything that looks like it has a button. He loves every remote we have in our house, the cd player, the t.v., the computer towers, the camera, our phones, the fan, and any toy that has a button to push.

Vessel dislikes:

*Wearing a bib. The bibs with the velcro fasteners in the back just aren't cutting it anymore. He'll rip those things off in a matter of seconds. And then once the bib is off, he must think he's still wearing it because he'll tug and tug at his shirt until the neck is stretched out so far you can see his nipples.

*Getting his face and hands washed after meals. My sweet baby will all of a sudden scream bloody murder once I try wiping off his food caked cheeks and fingers after he's eaten.

*Getting his teeth brushed. Now that he's got teeth we make a real effort to keep them clean.  Yeah, but good luck getting his baby toothbrush anywhere near his mouth.

*The vacuum. It's gotten a little better lately, but for awhile there he seemed to be terrified of that big, loud, green, sucking machine.

*Getting dressed and getting his diaper changed. A task that was never a problem before has now become a nightmare. He's such a squirmy booger these days, (not to mention lightning speed fast) that getting him into a new diaper or dressed for the day ends up being quite the ordeal. He won't sit still for anything because that would just take away too many precious minutes of exploration and trouble making time.

Here he is making his get away before I have a chance to slap a diaper on his naked bottom. He seems pleased with himself, the little booger.

Tasty for Mom and Dad...Not So Much For Baby

     We're still doing pretty good at making meals at home and not eating out as much. Sometimes its hard when it's been a busy day and we get home late. But you'll have that. 

     Anyway, we made some delicious sushi and gyoza last Saturday. They weren't the most perfect looking sushi rolls, but they sure tasted good. I wanted to make miso soup, but we didn't have any vegetable stock on hand, and I personally like it with vegetable stock. We didn't have tofu either. Too bad. 

     We drank cold mugicha (wheat tea) with our food. In a land where green tea is a staple, it was nice to find a tea we could actually drink. I think it's an acquired taste, but once I started drinking it a lot I actually craved it. I've been chugging it down all summer. Living in Japan made me a lover of Japanese food, which I know wouldn't have happened otherwise.

Every time we've tried to give Vessel rice, he makes it known he just doesn't like it. Something about the texture I think...

Not a big fan of avocados either. Gag.

Kaminari, The Bike

Jamie and Vessel

Mike and Vessel

Practicing in a vacant parking lot.

 Vessel watching his Daddy.

See, I can ride it....

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Labor Day Weekend

     Saturday was our last day of the motorcycle safety class. It was from 8am to 5pm. We spent the first half of the day riding the motorcycles on the range and practicing exercises for the riding exam. Then we took the exam which consisted of 3 exercises. The last part of the day we watched some videos, went over the safety manual, and took the written test. It was a long, hot day. But overall it was a good class. The MSF courses teach you EVERYTHING and they let you use their bikes and helmets. I didn't know even the most basic things when I started. Like where the clutch was, the brakes, the gears, and all the other parts.  That seems pretty crucial, right? So, I really learned a lot and I can actually ride a motorcycle without laying it down! I wish I could've gotten a picture of me riding the motorcycle. 

     Sunday was a relaxing day. After church we had an early dinner and both Mike and Vessel went to bed early. I was able to get some things accomplished that needed to get done. 

     Monday (Labor Day) we spent a relaxing morning together as a family. Mike made waffles and we were able to leisurely read our books, play with Vessel, and and just sit around talking. That evening we went to Cottonwood Park with our good friends Michelle and Sheldon. They made the BEST shishkabobs! Everytime we eat dinner with them, they make the tastiest food in America! Scrumptdiddly! 

     We also had pasta salad, chips, lemonade, banana boats, and s'mores. It was such a nice evening. The temperature was perfect. It made me realize that I'm not ready for autumn to be here. The summer went by too quickly and I don't feel like I made the most of it this year! Monday night was a reminder to me why I love summer nights so much. 

     Mike and I felt kind of nostalgic watching a group of teenager's chase each other around the playground equipment. Ah, the days of being single without a child. No responsibility. Just having fun. Not that things aren't fun anymore. It's just different now.   Anyway, all in all, it was a good weekend, but it sure could've been longer.

Michelle just happened to capture a fantastic photo of Vessel picking his nose.

The mountains seen from Cottonwood Park.

Delicious kabobs.

Michelle agrees they're tasty.

Sheldon gets a little camera happy.

Jamie and Sheldon

The crew that we roll with. 

All photos on this post courtesy of our peeps Sheldon and Michelle.