31 August 2008

All Quiet on the Western Front

Pretty quiet here w/o Eva and Ingrid. Cec and Lu are fairly settled in their new digs, although one of them usually manages to migrate upstairs during the night. Too cold or too scary or something down there. Moses is fun and funny as always, very upbeat for the most part. Mom is, I think, enjoying her new schedule. I am looking forward to seeing her new writing, although we are both keeping our work kind of under wraps for awhile. I am amazed at how creative and literary you all are. You all have a gift with words. Speaking of which, have you written any limericks or odes late, Ingrid? How is German coming along?

Sunday Highlights

Brother Williams' opening prayer in sacrament meeting: "We thank the for the bounteous plums and apricots and apples and the generous neighbors who share them."

Bishop Holland's story about finding his wedding ring in Holland Park in London when he was on his knees praying that he would find it. The idea that the ring could only be seen from knee level reminded me of yoga and of the practical aspect of our religion, as in the physical acts of going to a special place to pray, take sacrament, to sing with a group, etc., has spiritual implications. Practice.

Sister Manchun Dodge's story about a severe depression she recently came out of told in testimony meeting today with a candor that is often lacking in such meetings. She said the two things that kept her from committing suicide were the thought that her husband would be burdened with funeral expenses and her son would have to tell people that her business went sour. I also appreciated her joke about Cymbalta.

Homemade rice pudding, cranberry walnut bread, Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia.

Sunday Lowlight:

Sitting in church on the first official day as a family of five. :'(

Primary kids make all their "s's" sound like snake sounds in singing time.

Other Highlights of the Week:

Cecily cleaning up her sorting teddy bears in kindegarten while Mrs. Whitaker played the clean-up tune on her keyboard.

Momo starting and maintaining a brief conversation in Spanish with Latino farmers at the Farmer's Market.

Daddy attends ska movies with the boys.

Mommy, Lula and Cecily watch starring Raven for Saturday night movie night.

Mommy finishes volume one of Emily Dickinson-inspired poems, tentatively called .

Lula and Meri create a line of homemade perfumes.

Grandma Beth has the kids up to her house not once, but twice this week. Grandma rocks.

Bonnie babysits for the Casplunds--Daddy and Mommy sit outside at Sammy's for a long, long time watching the sky.

Festival Latino Americano--tiny carnival rides, masked wrestlers, weeping mariachi singers, tons of Latin American food.

Hand stretched flour tortillas, handmade chicken tamales with green salsa, honey lavendar lemonade, shortbread chocolate chip cookies, yellow cherry tomatoes, and the first, best small apples of the season. Love the farmers' market. Love downtown Provo.

Lula does flag corp at Wasatch. Gets up and ready on her own. Makes her own lunch.

Sunday dinner tonight with Emily and Eliza. :'( No Eva, Ingy or Bam.:'(

Mommy gets a lot done.

29 August 2008

I am using my limited internet time to post here, because exoskeleto is the bomb.

Germany!!! I am here, finally. It is absolutely wonderful, and I am staying in a 700-yr-old nunnery with a group of really awesome, motivated, smart kids (the sort of kids who would go through the very arduous application process.) Hedersleben is exceedingly small, and full of mossy cobblestone. My favorite thing is sitting at my windowsill and reading/being harassed by 12-yr-old German boys. I have written a page a day in my journal, and am very proud of myself. The people who feed as are lovely and make us vegetarian food. 25% of the participants in this program are a vegetarian, and one of them is a vegan. We all eat a lot of potatoes and bread at big Hogwarts-style tables, and I have been teaching yoga classes in the boys dorms (you all should tell me your favorite pose, because I am at a bit of a loss). I also do a lot of sleeping/daisy chain weaving beneath or perched on one of the branches of the willow tree (huge, huge willow tree) and strolling through the streets of Hedersleben, or visiting one of the four stores in the city. I have been going to Catholic mass and watching conference talks on my computer, which is fun, except that I don't get sacrament (there are other Mormon girls, but no preisthood holders).
My roommate is awesome though. Her name is Emily, and she is fron San Diego, and is going to Princeton. She nudges me every ten minutes in the mornings until breakfast, and has lots of movies to watch on her laptop (we watched Casablanca last night).
Learning a new language is exhausting. But I love it.

26 August 2008

Orientation blorientation

It is obviously amazing here. My roommate is the sweetest (and, lucky for me, most on-top-of-it) girl, and we've been rushing around all day getting hangers, bank accounts, and egg rolls. She also makes me attend all of the orientation events, no matter how boring. I have to admit I fell asleep during some dean or another's "enlightening" orientation-role-play-skit. I was in the back, though, and there are hundreds of us, so she didn't notice.
Don't worry, though, I'm definitely far from jaded right now.
I spent a few hours on the Columbia campus last night and was completely blown away by the beautiful architecture and the beautiful people walking through it (people here really are beautiful). I'm looking forward to our after-hours trip to the Met tonight (jealous yet?), but I've almost run out of cash, so I need to hurry up and deposit a check into my brand spankin' new Chase bank account (I was going to go with shitibank, but the Chase man accosted me and gave me twenty dollars. At the end, I was trying to convince him that Citibank wasn't all that bad and he took his sunglasses off and looked me in the eye and said "Yeah it's cute and all. But if you want STRENGTH you go with Chase." People here are crazy.)
They'll mail me my debit card in 5 days, which I am nervous about, but which I think I can finally handle. There actually isn't much reason to spend money around here--meals are taken care of, and other than transportation, that's about the only thing you need to pay for. Window shopping and walking around ends up being just as fun as anything you could think of to spend money on.
I did go through a lot, though, on the first day buying hangers, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, etc., and I'll have to spend a little more on laundry supplies sometime (although the last people to live in our room kindly left us their remaining detergent--hidden in a little corner of my closet).
Most of my clothes are dirty by now. It is incredibly sweaty around here, and the sweat isn't even effective because it's far too humid for any sort of evaporation to take place.
No matter, though.
I'm getting used to the whole damp feeling, and Rian says that it's all very crisp and clean feeling come fall, so maybe I'll just be able to appreciate that even more when it comes.
I'm trying to meet people. It's intimidating, but not as much as I thought it would be.
I've gotta go to my "security forum" now (we have a lot of forums) but I love you all.
If any of you are in contact with Ing, tell her that if she doesn't post on this blog I will not buy her a christmas present.

25 August 2008

Monday Highlights

Eva Snow arrives at Barnard.

Ingy posts on facebook, but doesn't send a message to Mom.

Cecily tells Mrs. Whitaker that she is interested in, "Nothing. Actually, in evil things." She doesn't think the kitchen in Mrs. W's classroom will be fun because it's princess, and "All princesses like to do is cook and be pretty." Also, she wishes the girl's bathroom was on the left instead of the right because, "Left is my favorite direction."

Moses wonders if Eliza Campbell is big or little.

Mom makes a decent veggie stir fry with brown rice.

Eva buys a new toothbrush.

Lula decides that stray cat Mandarin is pregnant.

Eliza makes delicious vegan brownies.

Where is Ingrid?

Jesse Jackson, jr. gives a fantastic speech at the DNC. Mom cries.

Momo's highs and lows at dinner include, "I like spiderman briefs but he's really cool."

Lula discovers Netflix instant view movies.

Dad takes a walk to the Creamery with Mo and Cec.

Michelle Obama rocks the DNC in a really great-fitting dress. Thank you for not wearing a red suit.