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Deseret News linked to me!

29 November 2011
I just about peed my pants the other day. I checked my blog stats just for fun. I usually get about 5 hits a day at max - but last week the traffic went up to 5,000 hits in a day.

"HOLY CRAP," I yelled. Hawk had a mild heart attack, as we had previously been sitting quietly on the couch doing our novel writing.

Where did all those hits come from? Well, Blogger has this fantastic thing that TELLS you. Shock! So I clicked on the little incoming link and BAM. A 3 year old recites Articles of Faith and Elder Christofferson visits Argentina.

Did you see that? My little Sparrow just shared a headline with Elder Christofferson (an Apostle/leader in the LDS Church.)

Holy cannoli.

I told my grandma, who is technologically challenged, that Sparrow was "famous on the Internet!" So now Sparrow is running around saying "I'm famous on the Internet!" And I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty cute. And cool.

So thanks, Emily Jensen, for writing about Sparrow Toby and making my week - heck, my whole month! Wow!

Thankful List

24 November 2011
25 Things I Am Thankful For:
  1. Indoor plumbing.
  2. This is the first Thanksgiving in 3 years I haven't been in pain - yay hysterectomy!
  3. Hawk, who puts up with all my crap through thick and thin.
  4. My wonderful grandma.
  5. My practically perfect in every way mother.
  6. That I have been able to get to know my dad's side of the family.
  7. My brothers and sisters.
  8. Pie.
  9. My ability to read and write.
  10. Medicine.
  11. My best friends, Owly and Dove, who also put up with me through thick and thin.
  12. My cats - if nothing else, they are good entertainment.
  13. My Church family.
  14. The gospel.
  15. Music and a family who loves it.
  16. Air conditioning and heat.
  17. The Internet and all I learn from the people on it.
  18. My memories of England.
  19. Sparrow - although is a challenge, he is a wonderful little boy and a great example and motivator for me to do what is right.
  20. Hawk's amazing job and all the opportunities that lie ahead of us because of it.
  21. Health insurance.
  22. My Savior.
  23. That my family are all relatively healthy.
  24. Indoor plumbing again. Seriously.
  25. My home, my body, my life. And also, pie.

A Shark Story, by Sparrow

22 November 2011
Editors note: This child amuses me every day. "Sharks like chocolate chip and sprinkle cookies, and M&M cookies. They can eat pancakes all day. They are so so very tasty. Sharks taste some skunks. Sharks break your bed. And they break your sunglasses off. Sharks don't like sunglasses. Sharks don't like blankets and they don't want to sleep in the beds. They were touching the fireplace and they burned their tail! And they break the blinds and they push the other kids and they pushed you. Then the sharks ranned away! Wow! The sharks were pretend. They were pretend. Sharks like waterbottles. They drink it all day. They keep drinking it all gone and they ate it and then it went down to their tummy. They are so delicious. And they eat crackers. And they eat chips, and they eat spicy cheese. And good cheese, and potatoes, and broccoli trees. They ate it all up. And they were hunting for cheese sauce. They were cooking it. The little tiny wee sharks want to watch Phineas and Ferb. No, they don't like Phineas and Ferb. Maybe they can watch Balto, or Clifford. You're a nice mommy."

The Articles of Faith as told by a 3 year old.

11 November 2011
Sparrow has a ridiculous memory. We tell him a story once, and he knows it for life. He could walk to my grandma's house, which we visit about once a month because it's 75 miles away. In fact, the other day we were driving there and I took a different way than I usually use. He FREAKED out. "Mommy, TURN LEFT. YOU DID NOT TURN LEFT. MOMMY GO BACK AND TURN LEFT." Holy cow.

My point is, since he has such a great memory, why not have him learn things that are actually important and not just... well... lame? I'm all for fairy tales, but really, what life value does The Itsy Bitsy Spider or Little Miss Muffet have? None. (And before anyone freaks out, we do tell him Aesop's Fables as bedtime stories, since those actually have a point.)

So earlier this year, I started teaching Sparrow The Articles of Faith. These are 13 short, short tenets penned by Joseph Smith Jr. about what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believes. To learn more about them, visit Mormon.org or this page has the actual Articles of Faith all listed out. It'll only take a second to read them.

Sparrow is so cute when he recites them that I decided to record him and put him on YouTube. He truly is already a little missionary, because he has taught and inspired me so much. I am so proud of him. We have Articles 1-6 and then 8 on YouTube and will upload the rest as soon as he learns them (I forgot to have him do #7 while we were recording, oops!) Number 4 is the longest, and I am really impressed that he has it down so well. If you only watch one, watch the sixth one. I just can't stand how cute it is.

This one is my favorite. He's just so stinkin' cute!

Quarter of a century

06 November 2011
Happy birthday to me! I am now 25. That seems very old.

022 There was cake. It was lemon flavored.

024

Birthday: Success! I think I'll do this birthday thing every year. Maybe not the aging part though.

National Novel Writing Month

02 November 2011
The time has come again. It is November, which means it is National Novel Writing Month.

I am indebted to the people at Chris Baty and The Office of Letters and Light for inventing this fantastic ... thing. And especially for sticking it in the month of November. Because the more focused I am on writing a novel, the less time I have to moan and groan about my upcoming birthday. Before I know it, November 6th has passed and I am a year older, but I am unable to whine about it because I'm in the throes of writer's block. Awesome.

I have only attempted NaNoWriMo three times. Once in 2004, when I kicked noveling BUTT; last year, when I killed myself to finish the stupid thing and I did, but I hate the story and I will never look at it again so long as I live, and this year. Thus far, this is shaping up to be a lot like last year. I'm already behind on my word count and it's only day two. And obviously I am looking for any distraction I can find to avoid staring at the crap on my word processor.

I like my story idea for this year. I just wish it was easy to barf out onto the page. Remind me to write someday about how fixing my mental illnesses killed my creativity. It's worth the sacrifice, but it still sucks.

November 6th. Quarter of a century. Gulp. Let's not think about it - back to noveling!