Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Tonight was the Academic Awards banquet at the high school.  First of all, I would like to thank whoever came up with the idea of combining awards night with dinner.  Also, I am very proud of all of my students who were honored tonight.

The teachers had reserved seating up front, but I decided to sit next to my friend/aunt whose son was being inducted into the National Honor Society tonight also.

And it's getting late now, so I'll have to post more later.  Night, y'all.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Though your sins be as scarlet

Today I taught the primary lesson for Sharing Time.  We talked about repentance and how the Savior takes away our sins.  I had a glass of water that they could all see.  I added a drop of food coloring, and they watched it swirl until the water was blue.

When you sin, your soul is stained.  As one of the kids said, "It's blue because you're sad."

Then, I added bleach to the water.  The water got lighter, but it was still kind of blue.  So then I talked about the steps of repentance.  When we sin, we feel sorry.  Then we ask for forgiveness and try to make it right.  Finally, we don't do that sin anymore.

I let the kids come up with some examples. "It's like if you accidentally break something your mom really needs, and she comes in and asks, 'who broke this?' And you say, 'not me,' that's lying.  And you should repent.  Because lying makes you sad.  So then you say sorry to your mom and pray 'please forgive me' and then you have to tell your mom the truth.  Because if you lie, then you have to tell the truth.  And don't lie next time."

And Pea offered this insight:  "And if you break the counter on purpose, you should be sorry.  And you'll have to fix it, because that's how you make it right."  I'll remember that next time I feel the desire to break the counter.

By the time the kids were done talking, the water was totally clear.  I held it up and said, "That's right.  Our water was blue from when we sinned, but then we added the bleach, which is like Jesus.  Now, there's no blue left in our water.  It's just like we never put any blue in at all.  When we repent, it's like we never sinned."

And I got an uproar of "that's so cool!"  That's right.  Jesus IS cool.

And when we got home from church, Pea told daddy all about the "Spirit-mint" (experiment) we did today at church.  "Mom put some blue in the water, because when you sin you get sad, and then when you add  (aside to me--what was Jesus again? ) when you add bleach, it goes away!"

I'll take that.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Don't Want to Kill You

I Don't Want to Kill You
by Dan Wells

9.5 out of 10
YA Fantasy/Horror

From my recent book reviews, you may get the idea that I read a lot of horror.  I don't.  As a matter of fact, these series represent almost the sum total of my horror genre reading, with the notable exceptions of classics such as Frankenstein and Dracula, only one of which I have read in the recent past.

You may also get the idea that I read a lot of fantasy.  That one is true.  I do read other books, but I prefer fantasy.  Young adult, middle grade, adult, military, or post-apocalyptic; if it has fantasy, I'm drawn to it.

This series, of which IDWTKY is book 3, falls in the young adult category.  It's intense, though; not for readers with delicate constitutions.  I remember reading book 1 alone late at night...I had to crawl in bed with my three-year-old.

Amazingly enough, the series gets better with each installment.  By the end of book 3, which is, as far as I understand, the end of the series, I'm ready to read the next twenty books.  It had twists and turns I never saw coming.  John has some real stand-up-and-cheer moments, and as a reader, you just ache for him.

It's an amazing, horrific fantasy full of adventure, psychology, and drama.  Now that all three are out, don't wait.  If you haven't read any, start with I Don't Want to Be a Serial Killer and go on John's journey with him. You'll want to have all three...the wait was a killer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mmmm...smells good

I decided to try making my own line of Aromatherapy products.  I ordered some essential oils and bath/body bases.  They came when I got home from school today.  Very excited.  After all the other things we had to do today, I opened that box and got started.  I got five different oils, which I tried in various mixes until I had a few recipes I liked.  Then, I got busy making stuff.

The shower gel is in my first scent, which is a fresh, earthy, invigorating blend of citrus and mint.  I'm not spilling my secret recipes on here.  I'm planning on selling my products as I get better at blending them.  So far, so good.

The hand soap is in my second scent, which I'm calling my 'kids' scent.  It's brighter, with a higher ratio of citrus to the other scents.  I think it's a little mintier than I would like for hand soap, but Rebecca likes it.  Next time, less mint.

The shampoo is actually a men's shampoo, with lower notes and only a tiny, tiny hint of the mint.  We'll see tonight if Kevin likes it.

I dabbed on a bit of the oil mixture from the first one to see how I liked the scent, and I really love it.  I think it's very promising as a perfume, but I'm not so sure about it as a soap.  I'm trying it tonight, and I'll report back later.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Okay, so we talked about principles at church today.   The lead-in example was about scuba diving and the principle of buoyancy.  Some things that affect buoyancy are the type of water, your weight, and the weight of your equipment.  How much weight you put on based on your circumstance will affect your dive.  If you have too much weight, you go down too fast, but if you don't have enough, you will not go down at all.

An important principle in the gospel is faith.  When Jesus heals people, it is through faith.  "Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole." Faith has great power.  We talked about a lot of aspects of faith for a long time.

The thing that struck me, though, was this.  You can know everything there is to know about a principle, but if you don't apply it, it doesn't do you any good.  You can be able to calculate the buoyancy of your suit and weights precisely, but if you don't put it on your dive suit before you jump in, you're not diving.

It's the same with faith.  You can know about other people who have faith.  You can read about the miracles Jesus performed.  If you don't have faith yourself or don't know what to do with it, it's not doing you any good.  Do you know that Jesus is the Christ?  The very Son of God?  That He lives?  That's something you should have faith in.  If you do, what do you do with that faith?  Live like Him.  If you have faith, your life will show it.  You will want to do as Christ taught, which was to be like Him.  Love others, serve others.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Monster Hunter Vendetta

Monster Hunter Vendetta
by Larry Correia

9.5 out of 10

Still not suitable for young persons.  I have recommended this book to some of my seniors, but not to any freshmen.  The violence is a little graphic, though I'm sure they see worse on their video games.  Language and sex are pretty clean, but I wouldn't read this book sitting in a church pew.

Now, if violence scares you off, let me preface this by saying I hate violent movies.  I don't watch horror shows or war movies.  I don't enjoy watching people get hurt.  That being said, the violence in books doesn't bother me as much.  I used to skip battle scenes when I started reading mil SF, but I've come to realize that reading about blood and guns and whatnot just isn't as graphic.  Though props to Larry, it's very well described.

I bought this book recently when I went to a conference in Phoenix.  I wanted to get this book since before it came out, but (if you followed my blog previously, you know this) we were pretty broke.  So I put a hold on book buying, online ordering, and any non-necessities.  Now that we're jobful again (that obviously being the opposite of jobless), it was one of the things on my immediate to-do list.  There was a Borders bookstore right by the restaurant (which as an aside, I am very sad that they are going out of business, but very happy at store-wide clearance), and I told my colleagues as they pulled the car up--"I'll be RIGHT back.  I know exactly what I'm getting."  That was the fastest I've ever been in and out of a bookstore.  Ever.

Anyway, the book was totally worth it.  Larry Correia is my third-favorite author, the first two being John Ringo and Brandon Sanderson, and the order switches around depending on whose book I'm currently reading.

This is a follow-up on my review of Monster Hunters International, the first in this series.

Owen Pitt has become more butt-kicking than ever.  After pissing off a majorly evil multi-dimensional being in book 1, Pitt is now the target of a fanatical cult led by an evil necromancer.  Agent Franks has been assigned to 'keep him safe,' and, as you can probably imagine, nothing remotely safe actually occurs in the course of the book.

My favorite parts:  the zombies and gnomes.  But, as far as I know, no zombie gnomes.  But the best part, most definitely, was the penguin.  I still pick my book up and turn it upside-down every so often just to get a smile.
Least favorite: the troll.  It was a little over the top.  But then, I suppose that trolls are.

I love this book.  There are so many things about it I absolutely loved.  I could go on and on.

I hate telling too much and giving away spoilers.  So, rather than have me tell you the plot, just let me tell you this:  you should read it.  But read book 1 first.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What a Wonderful Weekend

Wonderfully, we went westward where we welcomed warm weather without wandering waifs.

I was just feeling randomly alliterative.  At any rate, we went to San Diego for the weekend sans children.

Friday we went to Seaport Village, which is a collection of shops on the shoreline that are ridiculously overpriced but very fun to go to.  They have a couple of art galleries, and one of them had the artist painting while we watched.  I particularly liked the paintings there by Walfrido Garcia, but it was neat to get to watch an artist painting.  He was really nice and introduced himself to everyone and stopped to answer questions.   I liked his style, but he does a lot of paintings of buildings, and I prefer landscapes.

Anyway, after the Village, we went to Coronado Beach, which is located on an "island" in the center of the bay. I say "island" because there's a road out to it that they keep build up (and it's not a bridge), so technically it's a peninsula.  With a very skinny isthmus.  The cool part was that on the north side of the island is the Coronado Naval Air Station, and the flight path lines up right over the beach.  It was like going to an air show.  Very cool.

Our hotel was the Sheraton, and it had a really nice pool.  It had lots of other nice things, too, like tennis courts, a gym, and probably lots of other stuff, but we only used the pool.  Also, it was technically a marina, so it did have a walking path right on the edge of the bay where you could rent boats or sign up for a whale-watching tour.

Saturday we went to Balboa park, which is where the San Diego Zoo is.  We did not go to the zoo.  Instead, we went to the Fleet Science Center, which has tons of hands-on science exhibits.  It was one of those places that you go on a field trip, but it was really fun going as an adult, too.  Pea would have enjoyed it, and I couldn't help thinking about that as we were there, but the twinge was only momentary.  Fleeting, as it were.

The best part was the Hubble IMAX show.  Ostensibly, the show was about repairing the Hubble telescope, but it was really an excuse to watch AWESOME images of space on a GIANT screen.  This here is the Orion Nebula, which the Hubble took.  The movie took us inside the cloud, navigating around it and viewing deep inside.

Then, we lazed around the park, going through the gardens and exhibits, watching street musicians and various other entertainers.  We passed three Tarot card readers, one of whom was a very non-mysterious-looking guy, which in and of itself was very mysterious.

Saturday was rather uneventful, but I will say driving in San Diego is  miserable.  The roads go up and down hills, turn suddenly into one-way streets, and are an all-around pain to navigate.  We tried to go to a nearby stake center for the Priesthood session of Conference, but rather than being 5 minutes late, we drove around in circles and were half an hour late.  Oh, well.  It's not like anyone there knew who we were or is ever going to see us again.

We made it home by 1am.  Sunday we went to Grandma's farm to watch the rest of Conference on the TV.  Pea and Strawberry were very good and neither wanted to come home.  Due to a babysitting glitch, Pea is staying with Grandma for the rest of the week.  Strawberry was very upset that she had to go home but Pea got to stay.  She did seem to enjoy the one-on-one attention yesterday, though.