Thursday, March 03, 2016

Mr. Trump is not a Republican. I invite him to leave my party and start his own party. And take his supporters with him.

I usually avoid starting political conversations. I don't want a debate! I just want to express my opinion. Other people can calmly express their opinions.

I have always thought that the Republican Party supported life, liberty, and justice. Literally. People have the right to live as they choose, as long as they obey the laws and respect the rights of others. Republicans tend to favor small national government and strong local governments. The great Republican leaders of the past include Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. These leaders granted citizenship to emancipated slaves (Lincoln) and immigrants (Reagan). The United States has always been a nation of new opportunities! But individuals have to work and earn what they want. Republicans tend to be conservative and religious, supporting traditional family values. This is the party that I support.

Mr. Trump is not a Republican. I invite him to leave my party and start his own party. And take his supporters with him.

He supports racism, violence, fear, and selfishness. He supports rounding up the outsiders (Muslims, Hispanics, Mormons, homosexuals) and either killing them, sterilizing them, or deporting them. He is openly supported by the KKK! He says horrible things, and his supporters cheer!

To the Republican Convention: Don't make Trump the Republican nominee. He isn't Republican.

And if he is a Republican, then this isn't my party.

Friday, February 20, 2015

260 Days without a Tailbone

I figured that I had something good to report. I still have pain from sitting in hard chairs or from sitting for a long time, but I can ride my bike!

Out of the last 19 work days, I've ridden to work 15.5 of those days! It's great to be back in the saddle again. Cycling makes me happy!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

164 Days tailboneless

I was hoping I wouldn't post another update. Keep in mind, I'm doing this to help others who may go through a coccygectomy. I couldn't find a lot or information on the subject.

The healing process slowed down dramatically. It's hard to see improvement week to week or even month to month.

I did start riding my bike again. It was great. It causes little to no pain. However, about 3 weeks ago, I started having more pain and I stopped the bike riding. I didn't stop because the riding was causing problems, but because by the end of the day the pain was so bad that riding home become painful. I think that if i didn't sit all day, I might be able to ride to and from work with little pain.

Having said that, my standing desk arrived last week. Initial use is proving to be very beneficial. I go home with less pain that I used to.

I have a sneaky suspicion that the cold weather is having a negative effect, but we should see.

I'm hopeful for a full recovery, but it may take another 6 months.

Friday, September 05, 2014

90 Days without a tailbone

This may be the last post for a while about my recent coccygectomy. I might give a 6 month and a 1 year report, but I may not.

A few weeks ago I was moving boxes from my old office to my new one (UVU --> BYU). After lifting two boxes, I felt some muscle pain in my lower back. I stopped lifting the boxes, but have been feeling sore on and off ever since.

At 90 days, the surgeon said I would be able to resume riding my bike. I decided to talk to the doctor one last time before I did that. He had also indicated that if I still had pain in 90 days that I should make an appointment.

My feeling is that my months of a rather sedentary lifestyle have caused some muscle atrophy and stiffness. The surgeon's PA with whom I spoke today seemed to say the same thing. He told me I could gradually return to more strenuous activities including bike riding. He seemed optimistic that the pain would eventually go away.

So, I went on a nice 10 minute bike ride around the neighborhood. I found that my sit bones were a little sore since I lost the habit of regular cycling. I had no pain in the area of the removed coccyx until I peddled faster or stood up. By the end of the ride, I didn't feel any worse than I do after sitting.

At this point, I think that the surgery was a success. I can ride a bike again where I couldn't really do so 4 months ago. My hope is that the pain will continue to decrease, but I am prepared to be among the many who have had back surgeries and live with mild pain throughout their life. I'm realistically optimistic.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

10 Weeks without a tailbone

Well, I think that an update is way past due, but life is busy!

I can officially say that the pain I originally felt with my dislocated tailbone is gone. I don't feel pain in the incision site very often either.

There are two issues that I continue to deal with, but I still think the surgery was worth it. First, I have been sick at my stomach because of the broad spectrum antibiotics. Ten weeks with a disagreeable stomach isn't fun. I'm on my second round of medication to kill the bad bacteria that's growing so that the good bacteria can restore balance. Second, I've got a lot of sore muscles in my lower back and by bum. I think this is due in part to my increase in activity. I'm also being less careful to not use those muscles.

Overall, I'm happy with my recovery. I'm a little less optimistic that I can get on my bike on September 5th, but at least I will be able to ride a bike again!

Thanks for everyones prayers and wishes. I want to make it clear that I'm not complaining. I just want to make sure that when someone is presented with the choice to have a coccygectomy that they will have some account that might help them make a decision.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Barking Dog and the LoveSac

I thought that this would be an interesting story to share with anyone who reads this blog.

It was one of those rare summer evenings. Recent rainfall made the evening cooler than normal. The temperature was in the upper 70s instead of the lower 90s. There was a sweet summer breeze from the south. It wasn’t a cool breeze or a warm breeze—it was just right. The western sky glowed orange as the sun began descending behind the mountains. Purple clouds polk-a-dotted the sky from east to west.

I decided to go deliver flyers at an apartment complex nearby. As I walked toward the apartments I enjoyed the beautiful evening. The apartments looked a little different to me. The recent rainfall wasn’t the kind that made everything look clean again. Each drop passed through layers of pollution and dust in the air. Each drop made its target look dirty.

I’m not sure how many flyers I had delivered when I came to the top apartment of one of the buildings. A petite woman in her mid twenties opened her door before I reached the top of the stairs. She was wearing a white t-shirt and plaid pants—she was wearing pajamas. She had strawberry blond hair that was put up in a bun. She had freckles all over her face—the kind of freckles that only strawberry blonds can have. She reminded me of my 10 year old niece, or at least what she would look like in 10 years.

“I’m sorry, I don’t go to your church!” she yelled. She had one leg between the doorjamb and the door and one hand clearly holding the door shut. She occasionally tilted her head back toward the inside of the house. There was lots of noise coming from inside. She seemed tired and worn out. “This isn’t about church, it’s about a neighborhood BBQ!” I had hoped that my reply would keep her from shutting the door. She only paused to make sure she heard the entire sentence. Then the door slammed shut. I could still hear crying and talking coming through the nearby window trying to be heard over the TV.

“Don’t you want free hamburgers and hot dogs?”

Who wouldn’t? While it may take a few more seconds to read this and a few more minutes, this all happened in a few seconds. I realized and made the connection that this was a struggling single mother with lots of kids. This was someone who needed help. She never opened the door again, but I left a flyer at the door and hoped that she had heard about the free food.

Thinking about this, I walked pensively down the stairs and to the next building. The bottom floor apartments were half-basement. I walked down the half a flight of stairs to get to the door. I knocked. No one answered. I waited. No one answered. I left the flyer at the door and turned to go up the stairs. There was a problem.

At the top of the stairs there were two obstacles. On the right was a large dog. I hadn’t noticed its barking until I saw it. I hadn’t even heard it approach me.  It seemed like this dog was as skinny as a greyhound racing dog, but as large as an elephant. When it wasn’t barking, it was growling—showing what looked like more teeth than you would find on any shark. On the left was a giant bean bag or lovesac. It was black and had an indentation in it as if someone had been sitting there and recently gotten up.

This was another instance, much like the one above, where a million thoughts seemed to go through my mind within only half a second. How did these things get here so fast without me seeing them? Was someone moving? Why do dogs look like they are smiling when they growl? Was the dog sitting in the lovesac? What should I do?

I had three options. I could stay and wait for assistance and hope that the dog wouldn’t be brave enough to approach me. I could charge past the dog and get a scratch or two and later be chased by a dog who could run much faster than I could. Lastly, I could attempt to leap over the giant black bean bag in hopes that it would buy me a few seconds to get ahead of the hound. Just as quickly as these thoughts ran through my mind, I made my decision. I would try to clear the bean bag and run as fast as I could toward the first safe place I saw.

I really didn’t know what I was doing. I charged up the stairs and made a giant leap. “I cleared the lovesac!” I said to myself triumphantly. But, I was wrong. My right foot grazed the top and put me off balance. I rotated and began falling. My eyes were now looking back at the dog who didn’t seem so threatening this time around. I closed my eyes and hoped for the best.

I came crashing down and landed on my left side. I could feel a pounding in my left calf where it hit the ground. My left knee also hurt. I had a small pain in my back as if I had scraped it on something during the fall. What seemed like an eternity was only seconds. I no longer heard the dog barking or growling and I slowly opened my eyes. My heart was pounding and I thought it would leave my chest. I couldn’t see! Everything was black!

Through the darkness I heard a familiar voice say in a very worried tone, “Are you ok? What happened?”

A pink glow of light began to envelope me. Was I seeing light from the sunset? No. That wasn’t it. The light was very familiar.

Again, I heard the voice ask if I was ok. I recognized the voice! It was Alison! I looked in front of me to see my bed. My dresser was at my back.

Finally, it struck me—I fell out of my bed!

Seriously, who has such vivid dreams?

Even more seriously, what adult in his mid-thirties falls out of bed in the middle of the night?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Two weeks without a Tailbone

It's been two weeks since the procedure. I've had some good days and some bad days, but overall things are getting better. I generally don't feel any pain when I lay down on my stomach or side (with or without pain medication). I can sit for about 30-40 minutes. After 15 minutes, the pain starts and then it gets unbearable by about 40 minutes. Standing is about the same. I can walk for a lot longer though.

Yesterday, someone asked me if it was worth it. I don't know yet. Ask me again in September. If I can ride my bike pain free, then it was definitely worth it.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Life without a Tailbone

This isn't the best picture, but it was easy to find on the Internet. :)

Due to trauma to my coccyx over the past year, an orthopedic surgeon suggested that I have my tailbone removed. The procedure is called a coccygectomy. On Thursday, June 5, I had my coccyx removed.

Before I continue with my story, there are two important things that you should know. First, I can't sit down and type. This entire blog post is being dictated using Siri on my iPad. Second, while I'm not heavily medicated, I am medicated. So if some of the things I say sound strange, you can blame it on that.

The Injury

A little bit over a year ago, I went on a 44 mile bike ride. The bike ride was great. I went on the Murdoch Canal Trail. It was a beautiful day and my bike was pretty new. I pushed myself hard because I thought I could ride my bike for ever. I finally decided to turn around at mile 22. The following five or 6 miles were not too bad but I quickly became very tired. I also started feeling pains all over my body including my hips, my knees, my elbows, my hands and just about every other part of my body. I barely made it home, but I did make it home. My body felt exhausted. In fact, it felt more exhausted and more traumatized than I thought it should have felt.

The next day most of the pains were gone. But there were a few pains that still remained. For example, my tailbone hurt quite a bit. I also had some pains in my upper back. I went to my doctor and he suggested that I might have bruised my coccyx. He prescribed muscle relaxants. He said that these relaxants would help my tailbone fit back into the correct place and heal on its own. Sure enough, my tailbone pain went away after about two months. I hopped back on my bike and started riding to and from work once again during the fall semester.

By this time, I had learned two important things. First, cushioned bicycle seats are not good. You want most of your wait to be on your sit bones. If you have a cushioned seat, your sit bones will sink into the seat and the cushion will put pressure on your tailbone. Apparently, this is a common cause of tailbone pain in cyclists. Second, upon careful examination of my seat post and my seat, I recognized that the connection between the seat and the seatpost was wrong. It was slightly bent. The right side was a few millimeters shorter than the left side. I believe that this contributed to a repeated action that disturbed my coccyx and resulted in trauma. I do not know if this broke or bruised my tailbone. One thing that I do know, is that it greatly weakened the strength of my coccyx.

Now, let's fast-forward to January 2014. Remember, I had been riding my bike to and from work from September to December. I had replaced both my seatpost and my saddle. I really liked the new saddle that I bought. It was hard and my sit bones took most of the weight. One day during my commute, I must've hit a bump. I remember feeling excruciating pain that lasted all day long while at work. I figured I had just bruised my tailbone once again. I continued to ride my bike and didn't make any changes to my lifestyle. By March, the pain was too much. My doctor suggested that I get an X-ray to find out if there were any fractures. I postponed doing this as well. I was afraid that the x-rays would show a problem. I was even more afraid at the x-rays which show nothing. I really wanted to be pain-free. I wanted to ride my bike to and from work.

I had the x-rays made in April. My tailbone had been dislocated. The joint between two of the bones was completely gone. An orthopedic surgeon said that I could live with the pain, or have the tailbone surgically removed. I figured that if I'm going to live to be 137 years old, I should try to make sure that the next 103 years are relatively pain-free. I decided to have the procedure done.

The Surgery

I quickly began reading everything I could find about coccygectomies. The actual procedure is completed in 30 minutes. It's an outpatient surgery. But, the recovery time is estimated to be three months to a year long. I quickly realized that there were more horror stories of coccygectomies then there were upbeat positive reviews. Granted, about 90% of all those people who had the procedure done were happy with the procedure and had good results from the surgery.

I was very confused by one thing, though. The surgeon who did the procedure really did not have that much to say to me about the procedure. If I had only talked to him, I would've thought that this procedure was very simple and very successful. I later learned that he simply is a good surgeon. Many of the complications and problems that others had would not be an issue with him. He's a good surgeon. He has a lot of experience doing surgeries on the spine and removing tailbones. 

I had two major concerns going into the surgery. First, for some reason IVs make me sick. I was so lucky to have such a nice nurse. Cherrelle talk to me about the IV and explained that there would not be a needle left in my arm. Instead it would just be the plastic catheter that was inserted into the vein. She did such a good job and I did not feel any pain and my arm did not become irritated following the insertion of the IV. Second, I really have a hard time waking up from anesthesia. I was lucky to have such a good anesthesiologist. I told him my concern, and at first he seemed like he didn't listen to it, or care about it, or think that it was important. Later, I found out that he gave me just enough anesthesia to do the procedure. Waking up was quite easy. I was quickly able to walk around and do everything that I needed to following the procedure.

The doctors and nurses had told me that the next few weeks weeks would be filled with pain similar to the pain that I had with the broken tailbone. I didn't really believe them. It turns out that it is similar pain. It wasn't until about a day later than I began to feel pain from the incision site. I also started having pains in the muscles in my lower and upper back.

The Recovery

So far, the recovery process has not been what I expected. I really thought I would feel miserable for the first two days after the surgery and up to the first three weeks following the surgery. To be fair, I think I was comparing it to the sickness I got in March. I was so sick for two weeks and was so miserable. For the most part, I feel happy. I'm really glad that I got the procedure done. Even though I still have the pain right now, I know that in the long term I'll be pain-free and able to ride my bike to and from work and for recreation.

There are a few things that I didn't expect. First of all, I thought I would be on pain medications for two or three days. The doctor said that it might be 2 to 3 weeks. Now, you have to remember, that much of the information I received was from personal accounts on the Internet. Even my doctor did not tell me very much before going into the procedure. I imagined that I wouldn't be able to sit for the first few days and that I would have difficulty sitting and standing for prolonged periods of time for the next three weeks. I did not anticipate difficulty in standing and walking during the first few days and weeks following the surgery. I can stand up for about 10 minutes before I start having intense lower back pain. Note, this is not pain from the incision site or where the tailbone used to be. It's actual pain in my lower back. I can walk for a little bit longer than I can stand. But once again the pain comes in the form of lower back cramping. 

I'm always hesitant about taking opiates. I know that they can be addictive and I also know that they can impair thinking and judgment. I was very concerned about what medication the doctor would prescribe for me. I did not like the way the medication made me feel the first time that I had opiates. This was a few years ago when I had a kidney stone. The medication was great for dealing with the pain but I did not like the way it made my head feel. This time around, the doctor gave me some opiates that don't seem as strong as the previous ones. While I do feel a little bit more relaxed I don't feel like my thinking or judgment is impaired. I also still have just a little bit of pain. I think the medication just takes the edge off. At first, I tried to take as little medication as possible. Even though I could take it every four hours, I tried to see if I could go 5, 6, 7, or eight hours without taking it. That ended yesterday morning. When I woke up at 6 AM to take my antibiotic I was in severe pain. To be honest, I felt like I was having kidney stones in both sides of my back. Plus my incision point hurt as well. Since then, I've been trying to take the pain medication every four hours. I'm not going to wake up in the middle of the night to take it though. So this morning, I was in quite a bit of pain before I took the pain medicine.

Today is the third day following the procedure. I'm really getting tired of laying in bed. I wish I could sit for a little bit longer, I wish I could walk a little longer, I wish I could stand a little longer. I don't have to teach until June 30. This is good news, because I believe I will probably have to be in bed up until June 30. I will try to sit occasionally. I'll try to stand occasionally. And I hope to go for walks every day. But, I think that minima lysing the pressure on the incision site will help it heal quickly.

The Conclusion

I know this has been a relatively boring blog post, but I'm glad I could get it written down.  I think my personality and attitude make it difficult to evaluate how hard or easy the recovery process will be. I'm still optimistic and am a very happy person. If you saw me, you'd see a smile on my face. But, I think that the road to recovery is going to be long and boring and painful.I appreciate all the help and all the prayers that have been offered for me.

Friday, February 07, 2014

A Reaction to UVU's Student Newspaper 2/7/2014

Today the student newspaper ran four (4) stories. If they had only published one of these stories, I might not have reacted to it. But they published all four at the same time. I see a pattern. It is a pattern I don't like.

1. "UVU students conduct research on depression among LDS men." The results suggest that "Mormon theology and culture can cause distress."

Well, yes. Yes, it does. So does every other subculture. We are people with many various sources of stress. Driving a bus can cause depression.  Working at a desk all day can cause depression. Genetics can influence depression. The season of the year can influence depression.

First of all, it bothers me that news outlets write stuff like this. The UVU student newspaper is just following the herd in this case. This isn't really news. Even so, articles should have sources listed.Or show the statistical models used to evaluate the data. Or something to try to show validity.

Second of all, UVU is an undergraduate school, and the professors usually don't have to publish any research. I don't think of the majority of the professors at UVU as doing rigorous research. I don't think that many professors could teach the students to do quality research. I doubt their study can really isolate that Mormonism is a cause of depression. I wonder if another "study" could prove that Mormon theology can help alleviate depression. Homer Simpson once said, "You can prove anything with facts." Did the research group set out with the goal in mind to prove that Mormonism causes depression? Or was it a legitimate finding of their study?

Third of all, it bothers me more that people believe things like this without thinking. Even if sources were listed, we should evaluate the credibility of the sources and the credibility of the research study. Scientists and researchers who do real studies have to be so careful about their variables and test groups and statistical data. They then write a report and try to publish in peer-reviewed academic journals. If something is published, it means that the research group took enough care of all the test variables that a group of their research peers approved of it enough to print it. That still doesn't mean that it is true or false. Other researchers then read and criticize and try to duplicate or disprove the findings. Again, "You can prove anything with facts."

UVU should be embarrassed by this research study and the way it was reported. They should aim for better research and better reporting.

2. An opinion article got a full page to itself (unusual when space is limited) titled "Waking up from Zion." The author states, "My life has become a balancing act between what I can accept in my church and what I can’t. I’ll probably never leave. For good or bad, the church has affected my childhood and grown into too much of my life for me to uproot it. It’s possible I’ll eventually be excommunicated, kicked out like my grandfather. A bishop will worry about my “extreme views” and criticisms of the prophet, and I’ll be told to leave. Until then, I keep walking in an ever-widening spiral, a white motherf***er waking up from Zion."

This is an opinion article. People can say whatever they want in opinion articles. I am not upset because of his opinion. I am not upset with his swearing.

I am concerned with why this article was given a full page. The article took up half a page, and the picture accompanying the article was half a page. Really? The picture got half a page? I thought it was important to balance cost of publishing with advertising. Or important to balance differing viewpoints to avoid appearing biased. The newspaper business IS changing. Maybe they couldn't find any real news or other opinions to publish. 

I feel like you can see the personal bias of the editor. I think it would have been better to publish two different viewpoints, each taking half a page, thus making the overall effect of the newspaper unbiased.

UVU should be embarrassed that the way the newspaper printed this shows bias and prejudice. They should aim for balance in the opinions.

 3. Behind the Zion Curtain. Calling for a change in Utah's liquor laws. The author writes, "Here’s how illogical these argument sound to everyone else, “I am on a gluten free diet. I do not eat gluten, my children do not eat gluten, and we should not be subjected to watching others eat gluten when we are at a restaurant. Also, we should not have to walk into a grocery store where gluten is brazenly sold to those who do eat gluten. Ban private gluten sales, ban gluten sales at the grocery store, and ban gluten from being served in front of my children.”

This is another opinion article. This one only got half a page--well, the article took up one quarter of a page, and the picture took up one quarter. This article is better. It is a reaction to current legislative debates going on in Utah. It is a well thought out, well written opinion article. This author makes good use of rhetoric to advance her opinion. I really like the gluten free diet analogy. I don't have any problems with this article. 

Except it is one of four similarly themed articles published on the same day.

4. Professor Phil Gordon--On a Mission. A UVU professor talks about how he is waging a war on conservativism and Mormonism, and he is winning.
He says, “I’m on a mission from God to teach the Mormons to be liberal, and I’m succeeding!" and “I always was a political-progressive, radical liberal. Even as a kid, I didn’t like saying the Pledge of Allegiance. There’s something ugly about it to me. It feels like Fascism.”

I don't understand why this is news. They don't interview a different professor every week. It isn't in the opinion section. What is the point of this article? Why was it included? 

If the newspaper ran a story about how a professor on campus claimed to be on a mission to convince homosexuals that they are wrong, it would be in so much trouble. Or about a professor out to persuade Muslims to leave their religion. Or a professor waging a war on liberalism. Why is it ok to show prejudice toward conservative Christians? 

UVU should be embarrassed by this professor waging his personal war. It wouldn't be appropriate for a professor to wage his personal war against homosexuals. It wouldn't be appropriate for a professor to wage his personal war against blacks. Why is it ok for him to wage his personal war against conservative Christians? And why publish it in the newspaper?

Taken individually, these articles might not be so alarming. But published as a group, these articles are presented with a clear bias on the part of the newspaper editor.  If these articles were printed about any other group (like maybe Muslims or Jews or homosexuals) the newspaper would be criticized for prejudice. If you wouldn't say it about one group, don't make it ok to say about another group. This kind of rhetoric is not appropriate, especially not en masse. At least try to publish opposing viewpoints so that the overall effect of the newspaper is unbiased.

 So, in conclusion, my point:  
1. Report real news, not rhetorical spin on non-news.
2. Avoid bias. Avoid prejudice.
3. Treat all people with equal respect. 

And as a post script, am I becoming a weirdo? Like Great Uncle Reid with his Accuracy In Media vigilante group?

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Trip to Visit the Gassers


 Painting with Claire

 Tye-Dyeing with Carolyn

 Beautiful rhodedendrons. I forgot how everything just grows and grows in the Northwest.


 Doing chalk with Claire. Notice her bead necklace. And bike helmet.


 Riding bikes. Notice the knee pads.

 Me and Claire taking silly pictures in the car while we waited for Carolyn.

 Waiting with Claire at the doctor's office while Carolyn had a check up. See the fish tank behind her.

 Claire making silly faces with her new Brobee doll that she got for her birthday, and rattle teddy bear she got for baby brother.


 Claire in her pink cowgirl hat. Howdy, friends!

 Doing a puzzle with the big girls.

Then Carolyn and Curtis went to the hospital!!!

 Being silly at bathtime.


 Visiting mama and baby brother in the hospital. Brobee came too.

Meeting Reed!!
 Drinking milk at the hospital.

Claire was more interested in eating goldfish crackers than meeting baby Reed.

 Going for a walk. Love the strawberry sunglasses Claire has on. And Megan's sunglasses. Brobee came on the walk too.


 Wearing the new tye-die shirts. Brobee didn't have one to wear, but he was ok with sharing Claire's.

 I went to a Mother's Day brunch at Megan's kindergarten class, since Carolyn was in the hospital.

Then Mama and Reed came home from the hospital!!!

Audrey and Reed

 Megan and Reed

Tuesday through Saturday

Just hanging out, trying to let mama and Reed recuperate. Breakfast, school bus, Yo Gabba Gabba with Claire, Megan home from Kindergarten, lunch, nap time, play time, Audrey home from school, dinner, bath time, bed time. We went to the store. We did coloring. We did chalk and bike riding. Just normal stuff.

 Me and Audrey

 Me and Megan


In Sacrament meeting, Claire was the prayer police. Twice she caught Curtis folding his arms wrong during prayer. Twice! Shame on him.

Then, there was the closing prayer. I think the person who said the prayer must be a new convert. Instead of giving a prayer, he just talked: Dear Heavenly Father, we live in a great neighborhood, our bishopric is great, they are so helpful, we had a problem with our roof and they came and helped us...he went on and on. During the middle, Claire said, "This is not a prayer." I didn't react, so she tapped me until I opened my eyes. "THIS IS NOT A PRAYER!" She said, very loudly.

When he finished saying the prayer, he said, "I'm done....(then pause pause pause)...oh! Amen." 

I was surprised that no one laughed. Maybe Clarie was the only one really paying attention.

There was no legroom in Relief Society because of that huge grand piano! I'd rather have the small upright piano and some leg room. Carolyn says someone left it to the ward RS in their will, so I guess they are stuck with it.


We made sun catchers.

Claire and her sun catcher.

Megan and hers.

Audrey and hers.


Little Reedy Boy

We finished making the felt car town. We worked on it for a week and a half. The girls helped design and sew it.

Pajama Day at school


Claire wore hers too, even though she doesn't go to school.

I don't have one of Audrey for some reason.

I flew home on Wednesday.

I had a great time!