Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Science Fair

This is our first year dealing with Science Fair. It's not my favorite. I'm not a big fan. I'm a lazy parent and I don't understand how choosing a random project or experiment enriches or reinforces what is being taught in the class room. If there was an assigned subject that related to one of the units being taught at school, and the supplies were provided, I might be a little more inclined to think Science Fair is a valid part of learning. And why make it mandatory? Let the kids and parents who are interested go for it and have a great time, I'm happy for you.  As it is, I feel like it's homework for parents. And I'm not talking about doing the project for the kid. I know this is the wrong attitude to have but, WHY DO I HAVE TO BE THE ONE TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN? Besides Sam's other homework, that we do and take seriously, but which plagues our life, WE HAVE A LIFE AND OTHER THINGS GOING ON BESIDES ACADEMICS. And I only have one school aged child. I don't know how other parents do it.
So, Sam came home with a packet that had all the rules and what not to do and a list of projects to avoid (because the judges are sick of those ones... Who cares? Get some new judges, or even better, cancel the science fair.) There was also a list of websites that had project suggestions. Not included in this packet: any dates, dead lines, or any other type of specifics like when the actual fair was or where. Seriously aggravating for this mother who needs it all layed out for her. I'm sure they were telling Sam the dates and what not but he cannot be relied upon to remember and relay this type of information. Especially since he was really concerned that he didn't have a partner. That's all he could say was that he didn't have a partner and he needed one. After a few weeks of waiting for the rest of the info to come home I finally started calling around. Found out that no more info would be coming home and that the Science Fair was in three weeks and the project was due in the day of the Fair. And he didn't need a partner.
We got on one of the Websites with project suggestions and decided on a simple project involving starch and water. Not too complicated. We were going to find four starches and see if they took the same amount of water to become a colloid.Sam came up with his hypothesis. We added some color and took pictures of the experiment, which Sam really loved doing even though he was just using a medicine dropper and dropping water into starch and stirring. Then we got the pictures developed and typed everything for the board up. Then he set everything out in a few different arrangements on the board and eventually taped it all down. Hallelujah! I just had to go to the Fair the next day and we would be done.
 This part was surprisingly fun. I liked seeing him take pride in his project and he was enjoying being with his friends and I liked walking around and looking at the other projects. And what a relief to be done.
 And then Sam's project was one of 13 from his school to go onto the district level science fair... UGG!
So we saved the project for a few weeks and then last night we spent four hours at a high school while his project got judged. It was a long night and again I was feeling relieved to know this was it.
 And then his project advanced to the Regional level and he was invited to participate at the Science Fair at BYU next month... UGG! Again...

 Of course Sam is thrilled. And after sleeping on it, I decided that I am excited for him too, even though this Science Fair ordeal is never ending.

 Sam got a medal, which he loves and he stared at it all through a very late dinner. He commented more than once that it had some weight to it, which I think legitimized it for him. And he got a packet for registering for the next level. And, of course, he wore the medal to school today.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The rare tag. (It's a doozy!)

I done got tagged by my sister Becky at Farmer Freitas' Wife, who got tagged by our friend 

1. My husband thinks I look orange like a tater tot, so every so often he calls me a tater tot and for years I thought this was hilarious and clever. Then I watched Some Kind of Wonderful and found out he learned such antics from that movie. It's really not that funny anymore.

2. I sing Patty Cake (pat-a-cake?) 19 times a day. Lola says, "Bah." which translates to,"Mommy, it would make me so happy if you would sing Patty Cake to me." And then I do and she immediately says, "Bah." again and we do this about five times in a row and then she goes back about her business. We do this about five times a day. I also sing, "I love Lola, she loves me. We love daddy, yes sir ee. He loves us and so you see, we are a happy family." 85 times with all different name combinations. She loves it.

3. My Love Language is OBEDIENCE. I read the book about The 5 Love Languages and they totally left mine out. Anyway, the reason I obey the "Bah" command is because I love Lola and I want to show her. When my family obeys me I feel more loved than any other time... Is that wrong?

4. I am extremely opinionated and I can get pretty passionate about my opinions. Sometimes if my sister Becky doesn't know how she feels about something, she calls me and I tell her how she feels about it. I'm that opinionated.

5. I wish had bike. I would really like a bike like this:

But I would settle for one like this:

6. One of my favorite places on earth is Pebble Beach in Carmel, California. We were lucky enough to go twice last year and I miss it so much! What a wonderful place.

7. When I was 19 my friend, Maria encouraged me to go to the East Coast to be a nanny and my BIL, Jason got me a flight with his miles out to New York to be a nanny. I worked for a great family and had a wonderful experience. I would be a totally different person with a totally different life if I had not gone. So glad I did.

8. I love bread. I love making it, and eating it, and I really love sourdough bread from San Francisco. I wish I had some right now.

9. I still have glass in my feet from a car accident I was in 13 years ago. When my feet swell up the glass moves a tiny bit and when the swelling goes down, the glass kind of pokes where it moved to. Kinda weird. 

10. My feet are swollen.
11. I'm 7 weeks pregnant.

Becky's Questions to me:

1. What is the funniest joke you know?
It's a Knock,Knock joke... You start it...

2. Who is your favorite Disney Princess?
In the past my favorite princess was Belle. I feel an extra special connection to her because in my freshman year of high school we played Belle's Prologue in Marching band. And I like that movie. But now it's Rapunzel all the way! And not just because the movie and music are awesome. Mostly because there are so many parallels between her and  Lola. 
For example: Her parents waited a long time for her. We waited over seven years for Lola. Her mother was sick during her pregnancy. Lola's mamma was sick too. Both were born with a full head of hair. Lola's mother knows best.  I'm going to trap Lola in a tower when she gets a little older. And finally, both are princesses worth waiting for. 

3. If you had the money and time, would you come visit me in Michigan? Honestly. 
Every month. Honestly.

4. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go, who would go with you and how long would you like to stay?
I have two whole trips planned that will probably never happen. 
The first is to take a month off, fly out to New York, spend a week and do the usual touristy stuff with tons of Broadway. Then go up to Boston and Niagara. Then on our way back down go to  Palmyra, and Harmony, PA and other Church History sites along the way. Then to end the trip we would rent a huge and awesome Winnebago and then drive across the country and hit places of interest and church history sites. I think that would be so fun.
The second is to, again take off a month or two, fly to England, spend some time there and in Ireland and Scotland. Then into Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. Then into France and eventually pick up a Mediterranean Cruise and hit Italy, Greece, Egypt and Spain, among others.  I want to see all the sights and eat all the food and take tons of pictures. I would take Matt and Sam with me and Lola if she were old enough.  I'll keep dreaming. 

5. What piece of furniture in your house is your favorite or that you are most happy with? (picture?)
I love my book shelves, though they give me a bit of stress. I want them to be full of books and personal  tokens of who we are as a family. But I really don't want them to look like they are cluttered up with junk. This is a fine line to walk. For me anyway.

6. What is your favorite season? Why?
I like the weather of spring, but I love the fall and winter holidays. So, I guess what I'm saying is, I should move back to California where the weather is always mild.

7. If you could pick any calling in the church, what would you choose? (not aspire to, choose)
I think leading a youth choir would be really fun as long as the youth didn't act like punks. I have great memories of being in youth choir so I would love it if Sam could have a similar experience. I have also thought it would be cool to team teach with Matt, a Sunday School Class to teens (again, as long as they aren't punks). I would like to do this because it would give me a good reason to really search the gospel with Matt, which, we don't choose to do on our own, unfortunately. And because it would be a Sunday calling and I really like those.... Is that messed up? Am I aloud to say that? 
I would like to say here though, I have enjoyed all the callings I've had. I enjoy contributing to the ward so wherever I am asked to serve I do it, and most of the time happily.

8. Do you believe there is one right person for us to marry (promises in heaven and such) or do you think that any two people willing to put forth the effort could make any marriage work? 
Matt and I have talked about this because he seems to be made for me. But we think we both could have been just as happy with other people. What I truly believe is You get attracted to someone, and fall in love. Those feelings of initial love and infatuation can be temporary if not nurtured and sometimes they come and go. But they are necessary to make the plunge and get married. You choose that person and they choose you and you make them your one and only. You say, this is it, they are the one and you stick to it and you make it work. Sometimes it's easier than others to keep it working. But I personally think the hard times can make the good times that much more sweet. Of course there are choices people make that are just deal breakers, but that is a whole other story.... I could write a whole post about this. Remember how opinionated I am from above.

9. What is included in your vision of "The Perfect Day?"
Being with people I love, the sun on my face, yummy food and a good book to read.

10. Which would you rather, sweat moderately but constantly 24 hours a day all over your body or have a metal pin in your jaw that constantly picks up talk radio stations? 
The sweaty-ness for sure. I can only take so much talk radio and if they are talking politics, FOR GET IT!

11. If you could get your hair to look anyway you wanted, style, color, length, etc. what would it look like? (picture?)
Ugg! I have serious hair issues. Six months after Lola was born I started growing all these little baby hairs all over my head, but they are extra obvious right around my face and on my forehead. They are about two inches long by now and I feel like I should get some bangs to blend them into, but I don't really like bangs on me so like I said, I have serious hair issues. 
Right now I am trying to grow out my hair just so it will be long enough to try to curl it with a sock bun. If you don't know about this you need to go to youtube and search for sock bun curls and there is a video of how to do it and it looks good.
My Questions to you: (I did not make all these up... I borrowed them.)
1. What is the best (or your favorite) book you have ever read and why?
2. What is your favorite meal to cook?
3. If you could have lived in any other era which would it have been?  
4.Who have you been told you look like? 
5. Favorite TV Show?
6. What brings you inner peace?
7.  Tell me something you're good at.  C'mon, brag! 
8. Ever chopped your hair super short?  Pictures?
9. What is included in your vision of "The Perfect Day?
10. What piece of furniture in your house is your favorite or that you are most happy with? (picture?)
11. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go, who would go with you and how long would you like to stay?
These are the people I tag: (I enjoy reading tags but I feel bad tagging people, because I don't like doing here goes.)
Holley at Wild Berry Punch, who is our cousin and who's blogging I miss and I love to read anything she writes.
Andrea at  My BYU College Life who is my cousin and who's life is in limbo, so she just might have a little extra time to participate.
Jeanna at WW Queen, who is my sister-in-law and who's blogging I also miss.
Kim at Kim's Corner and Good Clean Reads, who is a friend of mine and who just plain needs to blog more often.
Megan at So Buttons who is my cousin and who just had a cute little baby and if I were her I would not participate because I would be too busy smoochin' on my little babykins.
Brittany at El Guapon and La Flaca, who is my sister-in-laws, husbands, sister and who I blog stalk. She also doesn't blog enough for my liking but when she does I really enjoy her posts.
Lili at The Wright Stuff who is my cousin and who I only get to see on especially special occasions and who I would love to get to know better.
Heather at Me & My Boys who is my friend and Sam's second mom.
Emily at My Three Sons, though it's soon to be four, who is my friend from my growing up in San Jose days and who is just waiting for the next to weeks to pass, so this can keep her mind busy for a while.
Jenna at The Anderson Family, who is a friend from my neighborhood and who needs to be distracted from cleaning her house (though I'm sure it's not dirty) because I don't want anyone to buy it causing her to move away.

Rules For Bloggers: (you must repost these) Obviously rules can be broken.  

1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about ‘you are tagged if you are reading this.’ blah blah blah, you legitimately have to tag 11 people.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Cage - January

 I have a little bird cage sitting on my book shelf. It's actually an owl cage. I'm a Harry Potter nut, remember.
I have a goal to put something different in the cage for each month this year. This is what I put in it in January. It's a monogrammed block of wood that we got for Christmas from Becky, Nathan and Marley Parley Pants. I think it looks good in the cage, but now I need to think of something else to put in there for February. I'm thinking something with a Valentine theme... Stay tuned...

Monday, February 6, 2012

I love this girl!

Lola in morning with snot Nov 2011.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

R.I.P. Toby

 Prince Tobias Lee of the House of Wells (Toby) passed away today at the age of 13 years old (a.k.a. 91 dog years). His health had been declining for some time. He is survived by the Wells family, who brought him home from Singapore as a puppy and loved him dearly. He then moved in with Grandpa & Grandma Alger, who treated him like a son. Grandma will be able to eat her own chocolate now. Grandpa may need to visit grandsons to give bedtime treats. He was too noble to play fetch, but was not picky about the movies he watched. His midnight adventures with invisible intruders will now be replaced by new adventures as "all dogs go to heaven"

I stole that from Liz's facebook page...
Last night we had a memorial for Toby. It was sad and hilarious.
First we sang Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?

Then we each gave a tribute in one form or another. Here is our tribute:
Toby by Sam and Julie Johnson

I loved Toby so much
Though he loved us all
He did not do much

He barked at the neighbors dogs
He loved his blanket like no regular dog.

Toby thought he was tough
He’d bark at big dogs with might
Once, they got through the fence
And gave him a fight

Toby liked me
With his blanket we would race
But if I got near Grandma
He tried to bite off my face

When Grandma and Grandpa left
To a far off land
Toby came over
And pooped in our sand

Toby loved Camping
He rode in the truck
When he ran around
His fur filled with muck

He went to the groomer
Leela loved him, we know
She thought he was a girl
He always came home with a bow

At the end of the day
He wanted his treat
He would dance around
At Grandpa's feet

As Toby got old
There wasn’t much for him to do
When he went in the backyard
He liked to eat poo

Toby was fluffy
Toby was soft
But in the end
He peed on the floor oft

At age 91
The time had to come
Toby was put to sleep
His kidneys were done

Toby is gone
He will be missed
Grandma gets new carpet
She is pumping her fist

After the tributes we sang How Much Is That Doggie In The Window.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Christmas Cards

 I love getting Christmas Cards. I love hearing from my friends and family, and getting updates on their lives. I love seeing pictures of the children or from trips they took during that year. I love that they thought of me and took the time to put my address on the envelope! I like to display our Christmas Cards on the closet door, which is just as you walk into our house. Today is February and I still haven't taken our Christmas Cards down, and I still wander over there and look at the cards and read the notes and letters. So fun!
Can you guess who sent us this one?

Yeah, that really happened! In-N-Out Burger totally sent us a Christmas Card!
 I have  a bit of guilt though. Which is strange for me because in general I don't feel guilt... Something is wrong with me, maybe I'm a sociopath? But I am feeling a bit guilty because I enjoy Christmas Cards so much but I haven't sent one out in five or six years now. Isn't that terrible? So, in an effort to prove I'm not a sociopath who feels entitled to Christmas Cards with out any type of reciprocity, I now vow to send out Christmas Cards in December of 2012. If you would like one then you need to email your address to me.