Monday, January 31, 2011

Doing what He does best

Quotable quotes from our Orchard Stake conference we had a few weeks ago: As a young girl looked up at the golden Moroni atop the temple she exclaimed," There's Moroni doing what he does best. Standing alone."

This is what I think every time I go to the temple now and look up at the Moroni statue. I'm sure it could be expanded into a great youth lesson or FHE.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Do You-ba Zumba?

Last night I went to my first ever Zumba class. It was held at a local LDS meeting house in our "region." The building was all of half a mile away and its not even in our stake, but thats a different story. For those of you not familiar with Zumba it is a Latin-inspired dance-exercise thing. Just imagine a cross between Jane Fonda and and Enrique Iglesias. It is supposed to provide a great work out and now I can say from first hand experience that it certainly does! My legs were on fire during some of the routines. Like most of the other exercise fads, this is mostly a chick thing. For some odd reason there weren't any guys that showed up to beat their imaginary drums and shake their caboose. I hear there are a few Latino men that will do it though. Being an all female class was probably for the best. I'm sure it would have made the ladies a little self conscious to be doing this in front of men-folk. There were plenty of "silver sneakers" there though which pleasantly surprised me. Dance on ladies. I hope I'm up to it when I'm "that age." Joining this Zumba class made me think of my friend Cora who would have loved it and made Zumba look good instead of just work. The class would have been all the more fun to go to as well. Cora, are you out there somewhere Zumba-ing? Ditch the workout, join the party!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Marshmallow Test

The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a study on deferred gratification. The experiment was conducted in 1972 by psychologist Walter Mischel of Stanford University.The experiment has been repeated many times since, and the original study at Stanford has been "regarded as one of the most successful behavioural experiments". In the study, a marshmallow was offered to each child. If the child could resist eating the marshmallow, he was promised two instead of one. The scientists analyzed how long each child resisted the temptation of eating the marshmallow, and whether or not doing so had an effect on their future success.The results provided researchers with great insight on the psychology of self control.The original experiment took place at the Bing Nursery School using children around the age of four to six as subjects. The children were led into a room, empty of distractions, where a treat of their choice (Oreo cookie, marshmallow, or pretzel stick) was placed on a table, by a chair.The children could eat the marshmallow, the researchers said, but if they waited for fifteen minutes without giving in to the temptation, they would be rewarded with a second marshmallow. Mischel observed as some would "cover their eyes with their hands or turn around so that they can't see the tray, others start kicking the desk, or tug on their pigtails, or stroke the marshmallow as if it were a tiny stuffed animal", while a few would simply eat the marshmallow as soon as the researchers left.


While a few children would eat the marshmallow immediately, of the over 600 who took part in the experiment, one third could defer gratification long enough to get the second marshmallow. The experiment confirmed the hypothesis that age does determine the development of deferred gratification.It was the results of the follow-up study, that would take place many years later, which surprised Mischel. Since Mischel's daughters knew and grew up with many of the original test subjects, through casual conversation, Mischel discovered there existed an unexpected correlation between the results of the marshmallow test, and the success of the children many years later.The first follow-up study, in 1988, showed that "preschool children who delayed gratification longer in the self-imposed delay paradigm, were described more than 10 years later by their parents as adolescents who were significantly more competent". A second follow-up study, in 1990, showed that the ability to delay gratification also correlated with higher SAT scores.

(See summary on Wikipedia)

Zach and I had read about the Marshmallow study previously and decided to perform our own

little experiment with Gabe last night. We called it the "Marshmallow game" and explained the

rules to Gabe as we sat him down at the kitchen table by himself. He emphatically declared that

he was NOT going to eat the marshmallow; he was going to wait so he could get another one. We

left him there for 15 minutes with the camera rolling and all went into the back room so he could

be alone with his marshmallow. After the time was up we came out to discover that Gabe had

not eaten the marshmallow. We were pleased that he was able to hold out. Since this was

no Stanford experiment, he got more than just one marshmallow as a reward for being patient.Later that night

we watched the film of Gabe at the table and can I say, I was tired of just watching it after

5minutes. I feel as though Gabe may have gotten this propensity to delay gratification from his

father instead of me. There'snot too much to do besides sing "Itsy bitsy Spider" to yourself and stare into

the camera. Zach made the comment that it would be interesting to track these kids down to inspect

their religiosity, since religion is the ultimate test of delayed gratification. The big reward isn't

even promised in this life time,but the next. We'll see if Gabe's current ability translates into

future success. I suspect that it might, but who knows. He's a special kid. We plan on repeating

this experiment with our other two children when they get to be four years old. If any of you

decide to do this with your children I'd be interested in seeing how it turns out.

Friday, January 21, 2011

3rd Shower

Brrrr... If you are the lucky one, you know all about the "third shower." How there's not a drop of hot water left for your pleasant morning wake-up. Instead your morning washing turns into a rather hurried affair, cleaning one body part at a time and getting barely wet enough to count as clean.
There are only two adults in this family, so you ask, how can I take the third shower? We'll its very simple, the girl upstairs is an early riser and often beats me to the punch. Zach's alarm goes off at 6:00 so thats when I usually get up too. The first thing he does is shower and I often hop in after he's all done. I know I'm in for it if I hear her running her shower the same time as he does because our water system really isn't designed for three in a row. At 6:20 I'm crossing my fingers and steeling myself for the likelihood of another brisk speed-shower. Its the kind they like you to take if there is a drought. It doesn't happen every morning, but its happened enough times that its going on the list of "Things I'll enjoy about having my own house some day." It makes me think of Zach's nephew Roger on his mission in Panama where he enjoys the same cold-shower pleasure. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise- a better wake up for my day and a few extra minutes built into the beginning of it. Blessing or curse, all's I know is that its chilly!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ice Cream "Sunday"

FHE Lesson, brought to you by the Orem Hutchins:

Do Sprinkles belong on a Sundae?

Does whip cream belong on a Sundae?

Does Chocolate sauce belong on a Sundae?

Does ketchup belong on a Sundae?

Some things belong on a Sunday and Some things don't, even if they are good on other foods like hot dogs. Its just like the Day Sunday- some things belong on Sundays and some things don't even if they are OK on the other days of the week.

(We did actually make Sundaes but this isn't it, currently I'm in transition between cameras. I'm excitedly waiting for the new one arrive.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Visit From Gran'pa

A fun filled week of fort building, sledding, the Bean museum (taxidermy museum at BYU)
hugs, going out to eat, and legos in the shape of the "Arc de triomphe"

The modest beginnings Fort Knox

Blissfully ruining lunch with a pretzel and soda.

(T-rex has nothing on my little monster-RRRRRrrrr)

Grandpa might need a vacation now.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Scriptures

I heard a great quote on NPR yesterday by Karen Armstrong who wrote a book called 12 Steps to a Compassionate life:
"The scriptures are not a text, they are an activity"

It reminded me of another nugget by Elder Eyring from this past conference:

"Reading, studying, and pondering are not the same. We read words and we may get ideas. We study and we may discover patterns and connections in scripture. But when we ponder, we invite revelation by the Spirit. Pondering, to me , is thinking and the praying I do after reading and studying in the scriptures carefully."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Off to save the world

On Friday Zach wore one of his Christmas bow ties and I teased him about being dressed up to go save the world. On reflection though, I said, "You're not going off to save the world, thats what I do every day. And I don't even have to leave the comfort of my own home to do it." My attire is much more casual than Zach's however. Its a must in the event of the drips and mush that somehow land on my clothing. My super-suit consists of an apron and blue jeans.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Once there was a snow man...

Tall, Tall, Tall

I would say this one is about 10 feet tall judging from the house. Its arms are a rake and snow shovel, the buttons are pot lids.

And this monster is a good 12-footer. It looks more like a giant Winnie the Pooh honey pot to me than a snow man. WE did not make these things, I hardly think I would be capable of lifting that much snow and ice. The kidos are just in there to add some perspective. There's no cave entrance so its not an igloo, but it is about the size of one. I honestly don't know how our neighbors did it- or why. Perhaps it is part of a friendly competition. Maybe just a "Utah thing"

Took me till 27

As previously mentioned, I live in the magical world Boy-land. Its almost like Disneyland, only instead of princesses we have superheros. I have little use for things like bows and ribbons. When I was a little girl my mom always used to do my hair in the mornings. Since that ceased about 17 years ago, the standard has been a ponytail. I've experimented with a few other basics but never before have I attempted the FRENCH braid. Anything that is French must be fancy so here it is, my first French braid. I now feel completely ready to have to have little girls. (Ha, ha, ha) Only took me 27 years to learn how to do it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Brrrrrrrr Chilly

Its officially winter. No white Christmas but we got some powdery white stuff like the rest of the country shortly thereafter. Last week the highs were in the teens. Not too cold for a little romp outside however to test out the boys new Christmas sled. (I was lamenting the electric boots Zach chose not to get me this year. You plug them in for 4 hours of battery-charged toasty toes. Neat hu? Only problem is they cost 300$ )

If you are from anywhere that gets a lot of snow you will recognize that there are all different types of frozen water. You have your traditional powder that is beautiful to watch swirl around, but not good for much else. You have your almost-melting snow that is very wet and good for snow balls, snow men, and shoveling hernias. And you have your crusty ice snow that is good for slipping and sliding down hills. Its almost impossible to shovel if you've left it to the last minute. We have the last of the three different types of snow right now because it has never gotten above freezing this past week. I made many a run down the slope on just my bum. Good to see it come, but I suspect it will also be good to see it go.

quadruple decker, I think David is squashed in there some where

(My fingers were in the process of getting frost bite as I took these pictures)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Racing Gabe

Gabe and I had a mother-son date shopping this afternoon ( I know, tons of fun) and I asked him if he wanted to race to the car.

Gabe: Yeah!
Mom: Ready, set, Go!
(as we run) Gabe: Mom, you can't win, you weigh too much.
Mom: Oh yeah, we'll see about that. ( I probably would have let him win if he hadn't said that)
Gabe: How come you won mom if you weigh so much?
Mom: Sometimes you have longer legs when you weigh a lot
Gabe: Ooooooooooooh, then dad can beat you hu?
Mom: Yep, he weighs a lot