Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The 23rd of June we celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary by going on a wild flower hike.  We were passed by about 40 men on mountain bikes as we climbed the Colorado trail by Kenosha Pass.  It was a beautiful day and I'm very thankful to be married to Mark who really wanted to be on a mountain bike but waited patiently for me to shoot my camera.
 Orange Paintbrush
Colorado Blue columbine
 Shooting star
 Purple Fringe
 Tall Fringed Blue Bells
Prickly Rose

 Tall Penstemon
Shrubby Cinquefoil
But the most plentiful flower of the day was this happy yellow flower.  Here is mark standing in a whole mountainside of them.

Yellow pea sea.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

My 46th Birthday Party

Danica threw me a birthday party.  There was an amazing pirate ship which had flaming sails.  There was a huge delicious meal followed by (this was truly incredible) a chocolate Godiva cheesecake.  mmmmm  I ate way too much and got sick.  Considering that Danica is sick most the week, I am very impressed at the sacrifice.  Actually Dave does make great whipped mashed potatoes in the Kitchenaide mixer  :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gender Stereotyping - Opposite of mom?

Have you ever noticed that at Halloween most little girls are princesses and most boys dress as super heroes? My human growth and development textbook lists age 5 as the time when children tend to categorize themselves into male or female. In the social learning model they model their behavior after either their mom or their dad. So will someone please explain this to me???? My daughter Danica is tomboy, she played rugby in high school. As a mother she MIGHT put on makeup and a skirt for church, but it's sweatpants and jeans the rest of the week.

But her Lily. Oh my. Last Sunday Lily put on the sleeping beauty costume at my house and danced and lept around the room as Danica and I sang "I know you, I know what you'll do, you'll love me at once". Then she put on the Ariel costume and flipped her fish tail as we sang "Part of your world" then she thrust her little arms up into the air for the finale of the song. Where didthis feminine creature come from??????
Contrast that to this: Celeste is a little more of a girly mom, especially when it comes to acting and theatre. But her 5 year old daughter Brooklyn......well, she doesn't exactly fit the gender stereotype of princess. Brooklyn was invited to a sleeping beauty birthday party and was supposed to dress as either a princess or a knight. Brooklyn wanted to be a knight with a sword and "because knights rescue people". When the father of the birthday girl jumped out at a dragon, the little princesses ran away. Not Brooklyn. She and the boys fought the dragon with their swords. After a few minutes the boys lost interest, but not Brooklyn. she fought for another half hour. She asked for a pirate coat for her birthday. (sigh) I just don't get this.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Christmas 2012

It started with the ward Christmas Party on the 5th and ended today when I took Aussie to the airport at 0'dark thirty. What a wonderful season full of family and happiness. Here is the px that Brad photoshopped for us. It was so great to have Tiana and Preston come for a few days and Aussie come for 10 days. Highlights:
1) The Home Pagent where we dressed Lily up as Mary and JJ as Joseph. Danica's Chinese exchange students were wisemen. Charley couldn't get over her costume and kept saying "I an angel!"
2) Making table runners. Watching Danica's kids so she could make gifts. (still so sick with her pregnancy, this was a huge effort for her)
3) "dates" with JJ and Lily were we make a gingerbread tree and played in the dollhouse respectively.

4) the beautiful snow, and boys to ski and board on it at copper mountain
5) We were in charge of The ward Christmas party (as the newest members of the ward) and we got to know some great people. Kyle Ankerman did the food and the chicken Marsala was the best we've ever tasted at a church building. Mark did the entertainment and people told their experience with a Christmas Hymn and then we sang it....all the while there was a beautiful slide show of px of Christ.
6) Family, Family, Family. Preston can be so friendly and interested in everyone. Tiana was so excited to be pregnant and fun to shop with, fun to show the things she decorated in my house., Aussie hung with Dave, helped alot and acts older and mature, having a career does wonders for the self-esteem. Our trainer was really impressed with his bulk and chiseledness since she last saw him. The grand kids squealing with delight at their new toys. We all rode the lightrail downtown to visit Dave at work and eat lunch downtown.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Psychology in Boot Camp (Fear, Duty and Love)

We spent a day in San Diego with Austin at the end of boot camp. I can’t help but notice the many many Skinnerian learning principles employed to motivate the recruits to be obedient to their drill instructors by instilling an overabundance of fear.

Screaming: The Receiving drill instructors can’t touch you but start screaming at you for moving slow, not holding still, looking around, having things you aren’t supposed to have. They got yelled at if they didn’t take a salad and 2 fruits for dinner. They had to put each item of clothing on “by the numbers” and all shave at the same time. Imagine each tiny thing you do each day is by an order.

Homogenize the appearance: They shave off your hair. They take away your civilian clothes, give you a glow strap, and then and camies (a camouflage shirt and pants). They give those who wear glasses a pair of dorky square glasses so those are all the same.

They instilled a desire to fit in and look like the other, seasoned marines which where there by giving the, newbies the glow strap, making you keep your camies buttoned up to your neck, shaving your head. (observational learning and social pressure) They wait for a week before they will give you your boots. The new recruits are excited to earn the right to unbutton their top button and get their hair cut high and tight to look like the marines that have been at boot camp longer.

Humility and breaking down: The instructors make you yell “yes sir, or aye, aye sir at least 3 times each sentence. You are not allowed to say “I think we should ….” To your Instructor. It’s “this recruit thinks we should…..”

Austin learned to get the most rewards by yelling back a quick loud answer and acting quickly. He was made a squad leader over 13 recruits and a prayer leader. Austin shined at this leadership he had to drag a delirious marine up the “reaper” hill on the crucible hike. So, using lots of consequences like yelling, push-ups, cleaning, the young men were conditioned to fear the drill instructors every second and they became extremely disciplined. Obedience is what a well-disciplined machine like the marine corps needs. Eventually obeying out of fear of the drill instructor turns to obeying out of duty to self, the platoon and country. Eventually the final motivation is love or you are doing it for the marin to the left and right of you.

Austin and Don enjoyed the competition and the physicality of this Boot camp challenge. ( 5 years ago) said the crucible was like scout camp on steroids. They both lost a lot of weight, gained muscle and were at the peak of physical fitness.

As prayer leader Austin had 9 people come to his prayer meeting. After he taught the first discussion there was only him, Dyer, Garcia and one other. Dyer is a guy from Gilbert AZ who didn’t believe in organized religion but had many LDS friends and had taken the discussions before. His mom told us that Austin really made an impression on him and the Elders taught him, he read the Book of Mormon, prayed and was baptized on the 19th after Marine Graduation. Austin did the baptism, the confirmation and conferring the Priesthood. These were things done out of love for the Lord and for the recruit.

New Baby Ethan

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Grand Canyon

‘There is no sight on earth which matches Grand Canyon. There are other canyons, other mountains and other rivers, but this Canyon excels all in scenic grandeur. Can any visitor, upon viewing Grand Canyon, grasp and appreciate the spectacle spread before him? The ornate sculpture work and the wealth of color are like no other landscape. They suggest an alien world. The scale is too outrageous. The sheer size and majesty engulf the intruder, surpassing his ability to take it in.’ JD Morris

Friday July 16th

We meet my Brother Eric and his family at Lees Ferry "The put in" and are told that Eric is "The Real River guide". His friend Mark Lineback who also ran rivers for many years is there as well. Dave McDonald gives us lectures on the layers of rock strata. It’s so great to have his explanations. I thought I understood and appreciated the rock layers the first trip, 15 years ago. But, this is a new appreciation. Once we donned out life jackets and were in our pontoon boat, we stopped in this huge amphitheater to play volleyball. KC (Keith) was the star running down the hill to rescue the ball from the river. His P90X has paid off. Vacey’s Paradise is a spot where a spring shoots out of the top of the cliff resulting in lots of green foliage and clean sweet drinking water. My newphews Andrew and Beau are interested in Mark Lineback's daughter Aimee.......for her umm...... river knowledge. This promises to be an interesting river trip on many levels, the geology, the spiritually, the rapids and the PSYCHOLOGY of four teenagers .

Saturday July 17th

Unkar ‘Delta. We saw remnants of Indian homes and McKenna found these “real” arrowheads. (which Eric bought and had her hide there) We camp on the sandbars at night and put together some pretty excellent meals from the supplies we bought from the ceiba adventure company. The rapids are noisy but the stars are really bright.

July 18th Sunday

We saw Elves Chasm. Stopped the boats at Phantom Ranch. The only sign of civilization for many miles. Got this cool t-shirt and got to use a real toilet instead of the big ammo can with a toilet seat we have to use in camp.

July 19 Monday

We went up a narrow slot canyon for lunch. McKenna was worried about flash flooding. While we explored we heard a loud booming sound and decided to exit quickly.

July 20th Tuesday

Lovely waterfall, the others continued up to Deer Creek, but the fath ws too narrow and sloping for me. Dave did fall and scrape up his leg, but they made it up safely.

July 21st Wednesday

Lake Havasu Day. 4 hour hike. Beautiful canyon and milky blue water, this is the gem of the Grand Canyon. It was hot and my wet pants chaffed my legs. We camped at a place called Fern Gully, a narrow slot canyon with enough water that ferns grow on the rocks.

July 22nd Thursday

Got up and did Lava- the most famous rapid. It has a ledge that makes it technical, so you park the boat above the rive and climb the hill above it to "scout" out the rapid. It gives you a little bit of a scare to think you are going to take your boat through a class 10 rapid on purpose! It was my duty to sit in the front like I did 15 years ago. Danica sat with me. It was such a wild ride, the strap broke where KC was holding onto the pontoon. Afterwards Mark talked me into going through 3 rapids in the inflatable canoe. It was exciting. Crystal rapid was the other exciting and very wet rapid that came close to Lava.

July 23rd Friday

Stopped at a beautiful waterfall. It was so hot and the water so flat, we kept shooting each other with the water canon. Kassidy and Mark Lineback were canoeing in the inflatable canoe and got too close to the front of the boat, stuck in an eddy and then run over by the boat. It was really tense. Kassidy was drug underneath the boat. We thought she would be a goner. We cut the motor and screamed her name helplessly. After what seemed like minutes she popped up with a look of terror on her face. It's just so hot, maybe 110 degrees F that it just doesn't feel that bad when someone named Danica drags you into a beautiful waterfall. Did awards on everyone in the camp. Andrew told me his dramatic and tragic love life and we looked at the stars with the star chart.

July 24

Saw a boiling rapid past the Pierce Ferry. Heard that a boat got stuck in the 90 degree angle and couldn’t get out. Stopped and bought a handmade necklace of Turquoise from a Navaho named Sally. It is so sad to leave the beautiful Grand Canyon.....but glorious to take a hot bath in the motel after 9 days of sleeping in the sand.