Friday, May 30, 2008

Erik's Going To BootCamp! - Glitter Graphics

Erik is going to Orson Scott Card's writing boot camp! We just found out today that he got accepted! He is so excited. And we are so proud of him. (He has wanted to attend a boot camp for as long as I have known him.)

He will be attending the boot camp in July in San Diego. He will be attending the writing class the first couple of days and then he gets to stay through the next four days for the boot camp!

For those of you who don't know, Orson Scott Card is Erik's most favorite author, he even has the girls able to recognize his picture.

He LOVES to write, he has been writing since he was in 5th grade. Writing is a life long dream of his, and he actually had to put that dream on the back burner with everything going on in our lives. I am hoping that this will give him the motivation to write again! It's great to see him reaching for his dreams and being excited again!

(Congratulations in Chinese!)

Go Daddy! We love you and know that you can do anything!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Budding Muscians

Today when we were homeschooling, Emma asked if they could learn how to play the recorder. Lucky for her I had already bought a couple of cheap recorders from the dollar store and I had ordered the First Book Of The Recorder from Usborne Books. Talk about being prepared, or maybe lucky is the better word!

After we did our schoolwork we went ahead and busted out the recorders and the book. They enjoyed it so much and were so excited! I think that I will buy them the complete Usborne Recorder Kid Kit here in the next couple of months, the recorder looks to be much better quality and it comes with the cleaning tools, carrying case, and I think it looks like a couple of charts.

And if they still enjoy playing it in a few months I will get them the Recorder Tunes For Children.

Don't they look like they are having a blast?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Team Hoyt - Dick and Rick Hoyt

Most of you know that I've been reading a lot of the books by the Arbinger Institute, books about the importance of seeing other people as people, and improving our relationships through being sensitive to their needs and responding to them with sensitivity and love.

This video was posted in the forums of the Arbinger website. Some of you may have already seen it, but those who haven't--here you go.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Downtown Disney

We are like any other family with young kids, we LOVE Disney! Anything Disney, movies, toys, clothes, stores, and of course Disneyland. Luckily we live in close proximity to Disneyland, though we don't get to go all the time, it's pretty expensive!

But there is a strip just outside Disneyland called Downtown Disney that we do visit more often. It has stores, restaurants, sidewalk entertainers, and the hotels. We will stop for a couple of hours whenever we are in the area and get out and walk around. The girls love it!

Well, Greg's graduation was just a couple of blocks away from Downtown Disney. So, we headed out early and went and visited Downtown Disney for a couple of hours before the graduation.

The girls by the fountain

Emma playing with legos at the lego store

Mia playing with the legos a t the lego store

The girls with the R2D2 made completely out legos

The girls at the Disney Store

Mia dressed as Minnie Mouse

Congratulations Greg!

Congratulations to Greg in graduating from Law School! We are so proud of him and all the work, sweat, time, and energy that he has invested in reaching his dream.

He has even given Erik the extra push to go finally go back to school and get done with it, once and for all. Thanks Greg!

Erik likes to leave all his options open for as long as possible. Something that drives me a little crazy. He has so many things that he wants to do that he never wanted to pick just one and do it. But he has finally picked--he is going to get his degree from Cal State San Bernardino in Business, Entrepreneurship. And then he's going for his MBA.

Anyway, after Greg's graduation we walked around campus and Erik pointed out different things to the girls and I. Erik had met up with Greg on campus before for lectures and to give Greg a ride home if he was in the area, so he ended up being a great tour guide!

Emma with the panther mascot!
The girls loved the panther!

Mia trying to kiss the panther!

(Let's not think about the germs, instead let's all think how cute!)

The girls while we were waiting for Greg.

The girls in front of the fountain.

The fountain had different colored lights in it that made it look different colors.

The girls with Grandma Carole and Ferd!

What a great day and evening! Thanks for graduating Greg so we could all have an excuse to get together!

Budding Photographists!

On one of our many trips to the park, the girls wanted to take the digital camera and take pictures themselves! So, while I walked they snapped away. Here are their pics:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Free LDS Books Online

I first heard about the book Bonds That Make Us Free from my dad. Apparently, it started as a manuscript by C Terry Warner that was floating around Utah but had never been published. Called "Bonds of Anguish, Bonds of Love," it became so popular that copy shops would keep copies on hand to let people photocopy.

He finally published it under the name Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming To Ourselves.

Dad had found the whole book online, formatted it for the PDA, and shared it with me. So I first read the book on my Palm Pilot a couple years after I was married.

Who should read this book? Anyone who has ever had feelings like those described int he first chapter:

We have felt hurt or provoked or upset by the people around us-angry, for instance. Or resentful. Or envious. Or intimidated. Or fearful. Or humiliated. Or disgusted by something done to us. We feel helpless to rid ourselves of these feelings.

We don't rid ourselves of this sense of helplessness by trying to ignore the supposed offenses of others or attempting to distract ourselves from our feelings. The unfairness, indifference, disrespect, rudeness, or cruelty troubles us through and through-sometimes only faintly but always unmistakably. The pain, which is real, seeps into and taints every sector of life. Unclouded happiness seems impossible.

Everyone who has ever been stuck in such troubled thoughts and feelings knows how they make a shambles of our inner lives. A "gas law" of emotional disturbance operates here, which might be formulated as follows: "Any inner space, no matter how large, will be filled by any agitation, no matter how small." The feelings that we blame on others, and that seem to ruin everything, rudely refuse to be evicted once they take up residence in us. Even though we retreat to the bedroom and lock the door, figuratively speaking, we sleep in terror, knowing those feelings are somewhere wandering about in the house. Families who live on strained terms discover that their impatience and frustration contaminate every project they undertake, whatever the setting- cooking in the kitchen, repairing something in the workshop, reading in the bedroom, even trying to play a game together. It is difficult to overestimate the corrosive power of agitated feelings.

The book deals with these issues in beautiful and unexpected ways. I think it's vital reading.

The book is still online. You can start reading it here at Chapter One.

It's not the only book that deals with these issues. They're also discussed in the book The Anatomy of Peace, a book Marci likes even better than Bonds That Make Us Free.

The Anatomy of Peace is also online: Here's the Prologue and Chapter One.

There's also Leadership and Self Deception, a business book based on the same ideas, which is online here.

Now one of the men who worked on those books, James Ferrell, started publishing books for the LDS audience. His first book was called The Peacegiver, about how the Savior can bring peace into our lives. Chapter One and the Prologue are here.

After publishing that book, he's come out with another one about the love we need to have for holy things. It's called The Holy Secret, and is serializing it over the next few weeks. So far, they're up to chapter 5, but you can start reading from Chapter One here.

And while Stephen R Covey's Six Events is not online, they do have a printable version of the calender at the Deseret Book website.

Anyways, all of that ought to give you something to do online for a while.

(Note: If the pages I linked to at Meridian Magazine don't link to the other chapters of the book, you can find the other chapters on Meridian Magazine's Book Archive page.)

Thursday, May 8, 2008


The girls' picture was posted over at
Comic Book Resources in thier blog about Free Comic Book Day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Free Comic Book Day 2008

This was us at Four Color Fantasies in Rancho Cucamunga, CA, checking out the action for Free Comic Book Day. These boys go all out.

The last time my phone rang with work calling me, the girls asked, "Can't you just tell them you need the day off to celebrate comic books?"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

FREE Comic Book Day

We went to FREE Comic Book Day on Saturday. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, select comic book stores across the nation on the first Saturday in May giveaway a few select FREE comic books! Well, for those of you who know us, you know that Erik is a BIG comic book fan, and Mia and Emma are too.

Anyway, last year on of the local comic book stores had this big celebration that the girls, Erik and my dad went to. (My mom and I stayed home--I had just been released from the hospital the day before from my open heart surgery) Well, the same store had another celebration that we had to go to.

They have a bounce house, face painting, demonstrations, FREE hot dogs, and people dressed up as different superheros and villains that you can get your pictures taken with. They also have a couple of the people from the show Who Wants To Be A Superhero?, Feedback and Hygena. Yes, we watched every single episode both seasons. Did you really expect anything less?

The girls and Erik think that FREE comic book day should be made a national holiday!

This year the girls wanted to dress up as superheros, too! Last Halloween Mia was Supergirl--thanks Mammy for the costume--Emma ended up wanting to go as Batgirl. So, guess what Mommy spent Friday night and early Saturday morning doing, you guessed it, making the Batgirl costume. It was definitely worth it!

Here are some pictures from our fun-filled super hero day! Erik will be posting some videos later!

Last year the bounce house got unplugged and started to collapse, and this is the guy that saved our little Emma from total destruction. His name is Kirk Kushin, and he's the creator of Super Teen*Topia. She had to get her picture taken with her own hero!

At the first comic book store we went to, yes we do go to more than one, they had two girls dressed up as Supergirl and Batgirl. So, we had to get a picture taken with our Supergirl and Batgirl.

Darth Vader and the girls!

The girls with the Stormtrooper, another bad guy!

R2D2 and the girls! R2D2 was remote controlled and even beeped and whirled like he does in the movies!

The girls with Princess Leia, from Star Wars and Ironman. Erik and I will be seeing the Ironman movie soon!

Huntress and the girls!

Wolverine, Joker, and Mia. Emma was too scared of Joker to get in the picture. I think she knows about the bad blood between Batgirl and the Joker!

We had a great time! Greg, Veronica, Chase, and Savannah met up with us there as well. Maybe next year we'll see you there!