Monday, November 24, 2008


On Sunday I home taught in a double-wide trailer.

My students had to write in their journals about what super power they would choose if they could. One of them said would choose to be "heck of fast."

My blog has looked the same for quite some time, so I'm going to experiment with some new themes just for fun.

My home teaching companion is one day going to be a Jr. High history teacher.  I fear for any kid who has to take his class.  Partly because he'll rely heavily on auditory learning though only about 13% of people are auditory learners, but mostly because he's awkward.

My junk email inbox currently contains 2,006 messages.

During a spelling test I said, "Alright, challenge word number 1..."  and one of my students said, "Dun dun dun..."

My food storage contains 3 bags of rice, 4 cans of apricots, 1.5 bottles of oil, and 10 boxes of brownies...among other things

I just bought these on ebay in three different colors:

And this made me laugh:

Saturday, November 22, 2008


My report cards from elementary school:

"Sometimes Greg is a little too social."

Report cards I filled out this week:

"Sometimes he/she is a little too social."

And people say God doesn't have a sense of humor.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Block

6:15 - Arrive at Misti's house and put on my shirt with a large black "B" on the front, and "Joey '08" on the back.

6:30 - Leave Misti's house.

6:37 - Arrive at Training Table and join Sara in a booth.

6:45 - Order mushroom burger.

6:47 - Run across the street to see if cameras are aloud inside. (They are)

7:15 - Receive and enjoy mushroom burger.

7:32 - Leave Training Table and head for the E-Center.  (This process involves getting pictures and shimmying at passing traffic)

6:37 - 7:32  - Receive mildly amused looks and stares from the abundant patrons of the Training Table.

7:38 - Find seats in the second row of the second box on the floor.

7:40 - Discover oversight in seating arrangements and inform logistics crew.

7:46 - Seating oversight is, in fact, a seating misunderstanding.  All is right with the world.

8:00 - Cue Lady Gaga.

8:23 - Lady Gaga bestows mercy on the assembled guests by leaving the stage.

8:30 - Enter Natasha Bedingfield

8:37 - David Archuletta enters the box next to ours.  Everyone stops paying attention to Natasha and starts flashing pictures of David.

9:00 ish - Natasha Bedingfield leaves the stage.  David Archuletta and Co. leave their box.

A little after 9:00 ish - Lights up, screen flashing, music playing

Moments later - A deafening cheer.

Moments later still - Enter New Kids On The Block. (More deafening cheers)

A little after 9:00 ish until 11:00 ish - An almost sad display of washed-up, has-been, middle-aged men trying to recapture their youth.  Though I'll admit I did rock out to some of their old-school stuff.  Joey and Donnie were having fun.  Jordan seemed to be hating every minute of it.  Danny did some dancing, and Jonathan remained obscure through the whole show.

11:00 - The official show ends, the stage goes dark, deafening cheers.  

Moments later - NKOTB comes back to the stage for an encore.

11:04 and a few moments - Encore 1 ends.

11:05 - Cue encore 2.

11:05-11:18 - Encore 2 followed by acknowledgments of dancers, band members, warmer-uppers, and the middle aged men milking the applause for as long as they possibly can.

11:19 - Exit E-Center while wondering when my hearing will return.

It was a rockin' good time, don't get me wrong, but I think I've discovered I don't really like big concerts like that.  They're loud, long, filled with drunk people, and my ears ring for at least one entire day following the event.  Nevertheless, being the "B" in NKOTB was pretty much the best moment of my week.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


As is frequently the case, in my jubilation over the awesomeness of the sticker chart, I forgot to mention my inspiration for even starting one in the first place.  Her name is Erin, she's a friend's roommate, a scholar, and an inspiration to people the world over.  Thank you Erin for sharing this with us!

As a side-note, though the sticker chart would understandably involve stickers, for young mothers with mischievous little hands to worry about, people on a budget (stickers can be pricey *insert eye roll*) or anyone with an odd aversion to stickers for whatever reason, a marker (washable for the mothers) can be used to indicate progress where a sticker would be impractical.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


In my many adventures around the world I've encountered quite the array of supposed life-changing aparati (though it may actually be aparatuses, I'm not sure to which latin declension the word "aparatus" belongs).  Things that will enhance your quality of life, give you more money, more friends...more hair.  I've been skeptical of most things, but recently I've discovered something that could, in very point of fact, change the world. 

 "What is this modern marvel?" you ask? "What amazing discovery has he made?"  you query?  "Will it give me more hair?*"  You wonder?  Well wonder no longer good people.  I present to you that most amazing of futuristic marvels...the sticker chart.  Yes, the sticker chart.  I am a firm believer in their power.  In the course of one short month I went from being a lazy hedonistic oral-hygienically neglected wart on society to developing a habit of daily scripture study, near daily journal writing, and regular flossing.  There's more bounce in my step, more writing for future generations, and less plaque on my teeth. 

I know what you're thinking, "A sticker chart?!  That's it?!  That's kid stuff!"  Perhaps, oh doubting Thomi (Again, it could be Thomases...) but then again, sticker charts have been known to change behavior, establish routines, break habits, and even save relationships.  

Here's how it works:

1 - Set a goal.  Anything you'd like to accomplish.  Start small.  Something you'd like to change that is attainable, but things always "get in the way."  Something like daily flossing, daily reading, weekly calls to family, daily practice of something.

2 - Set a prize.  Something you'll give yourself for accomplishing your goal (this is the motivation factor.  Having a full sticker chart - while definitely a worthwhile endeavor - doesn't get even the most motivated person off their duff.).  Something you'd like, but wouldn't necessarily buy for yourself just because.   A new t-shirt, jeans, new shoes, decor for the home, that special dessert that you only allow yourself to have occasionally.  You pick, after all it's whatever will motivate you.

2 - Make a sticker chart for the number of days you'd like to try - 10, 15, 30 etc.

3 - Every day you accomplish you're goal, add a sticker. (For you die hard tow-the-line kind of people, you have to get 100% to get the prize.  If you miss a day, start over.  For others you may want to set your goal for a lesser percentage to start off.)**

4 - When your sticker chart is full, you buy the prize - without guilt.  You've earned it!

Here are the sticker charts I used:

I taped them close to wherever the desired activity occurred. i.e. the flossing chart was on the bathroom mirror, the journal chart was close to where I keep my computer etc.  The result was nothing short of miraculous.  I use them for everything now.  

So don't delay!  Start today!  Make your own sticker chart and watch your life start to change!

*No significant hair re-growth can be attributed either directly or indirectly to the use of sticker charts.

**Another variation on the sticker chart is instead of having a "get a sticker every day" chart have a "get a sticker every time" chart.  i.e. every time you do the dishes, every time you compliment your spouse, or every time you exercise.  That way it doesn't necessarily have to be every day, but you're still motivated to make it a frequent occurrence.

Friday, November 7, 2008


From "The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig" by Eugene Trivzas and Helen Oxenbury:

"We shall build an even stronger house," they said, because they were determined. Just then they saw a truck coming along the road carrying barbed wire, iron bars, armor plates, and heavy metal padlocks.
"Please, will you give us some of your barbed wire, a few iron bars and armor plates, and some heavy metal padlocks?" they said to the rhinoceros who was driving the truck.
"Sure," said the rhinoceros, and he gave them plenty of barbed wire, iron bars, armor plates, and heavy metal padlocks. He also gave them some Plexiglas and some reinforced steel chains, because he was a generous and kindhearted rhinoceros."
I love when kid's books can make me laugh.

Monday, November 3, 2008

No soup for you.

I made soup for dinner this evening as I'm feeling a tad under the weather.  Soup is a comfort food for me.  Though I'm fairly certain soup does not actually contain any hyper-healing powers, or introduce microscopic superheroes to fight viral villains, soup makes one feel better when one is feeling blue.  Or in my case, a bit sniffly.  And this particular variety was a winner.  As I was making it I thought of my friend through whose circulatory system soup courses, and wondered if her chewable-food-loving husband would approve. Even if not, I enjoyed it immensely.  It's easy, quick, and entirely delicious:

Greek Lemon-Rice Soup

3 c. chicken broth
2 to 3 oz. uncooked regular rice
2 eggs
3 tbsp. lemon juice
Dash of salt
Dash of white pepper

In 2-quart saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat, add rice, cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. In small bowl, beat eggs and lemon juice. Stirring constantly, add 1 cup of hot soup, a little at a time. Stir mixture into soup in pan and heat. Do not boil! Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

I am only one and thus reduced the recipe.  I also don't have chicken broth sitting around so I ended up using about a cup and a half of water mixed with chicken flavored ramen seasoning.  I went with 1/4 of a cup of rice and halved everything else.  It was perfect for one.  I added some yeastless wheat bread I made for Sunday dinner and had a perfectly pleasing, and healing-power-packed meal. :)  With any luck I'll awaken tomorrow not only feeling better, but positively glowing with healthy radiance. Keep your fingers crossed.