Wednesday, March 31, 2010

mormons and meat

This is pretty funny:


The vice president of PETA is coming to BYU on Friday to debate whether or not BYU students should eat meat. Go if you can! In my opinion, just by pulling the religion card/Word of Wisdom, BYU has the debate in the bag (as long as some students don't make fools of themselves and claim we should eat meat all the time, every day, every meal...).

Anyway, I will be at UVU teaching until about the time it starts and then I have my monthly Costco grocery excursion (which I never miss), so I won't be attending... but I would love to hear how it went from someone!


Monday, March 29, 2010

one of my fears

Ever since going on a cruise with my parents, one of my great fears has been:

obesity.

Really. On this cruise there were many obese individuals, and it scared and depressed me. Since that point, I have been afraid to be seriously obese. I am usually not super overweight, although I have been closer to that end of the scale rather than the other most of my life.

This is also why pregnancy is stressful for me—to be gaining weight pretty much constantly even though I am exercising is frustrating, despite knowing why and that it must happen.

I hate how one becomes obese—eating and not exercising—because I enjoy both of those things. I also really don't like seeing obesity stereotypes—mainly (1) obese people in a drive-thru of a fast food restaurant AND (2) obese people eating fast food in general. It makes me so sad.

Don't get me wrong, I do not have anything against people who are obese, just the idea of obesity in general.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Expensive Tastes

So, if I had a $1,000 hanging around, here are the two things I would buy:

1. A Lendrum double treadle spinning wheel (roughly $622).

I have been using one of these for approximately 1.5 hours the last 2 Thursdays. Lovely. I was trying to figure how long or how many balls of yarn it would take to make up the cost of the wheel when I realized that I could probably never make up the cost of the wheel. Having to buy the roving (wool) or the actual fleece and then make it into yarn via the wheel will likely always cost more than buying yarn (especially if you're going for acrylic, which is so cheap).

Basically, it is an expensive hobby (which is quite relaxing, though). Until we have an alpaca farm, I might have to put my spinning wheel dream on hold.


2. A used European baby pram (current classified price: $175).

I had no desire to get a pram until this morning, when I was browsing classifieds looking for cheap strollers. Then I found a more expensive and less-practical-in-the-long-run pram! Sign me up!

But really, most strollers aren't supposed to be used for infants until they are about 2-4 months old (unless they work with the infant car seat, but we are planning to get a convertible car seat, thus spoiling that plan). Baby comes in July, so we would miss the prime "going on walks with a stroller" months waiting for baby to get big enough to fit in a normal stroller.

The pram solves this problem. Plus, it is so dang cute and European.

Now where is my spare $1,000?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Green

Jamund is proud to announce that he passed his LEED test today, making him a "LEED Green Associate." No one is quite sure what that means, but it will help him if he ever tries to apply to an environmental job. Also, it satisfied his desire to go back to grad school. Congrats Jamund!

To celebrate, we went to Art City Trolley where I ate far too many chips with and without dip and a mediocre quesadilla.

Also, I made this yesterday:


My favorite holiday is Easter, and I thought I ought to have an Easter wreath with the little fake eggs on it. So I made it for a mere $11.07.

Also, Heather requested a baby wish list. Here is our baby registry link if anyone is interested: Target Registry

Thanks friends!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pregnant photos

We decided to take week by week pregnant photos starting back around week 17. So far, we have taken photos of about 3 of the last 8 weeks... not such a good average, but I thought I would at least post the ones we've taken so far....

Week 17:

Week 18:



And then the jump...Week 24:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This is our lives everybody. T

We had a really nice day yesterday doing baptisms at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple and eating nice marzipan treats we purchased later at Ikea. I've been working on my computer nerd blog at www.jamund.com and said yesterday that "facebook is dead-book to me" now after mainly giving up the service primarily in favor of Twitter and / or not using the Internet. But blogging is still nice. Our house is still nice. The weather was acceptable for two days and I used them mostly to study for my LEED test, which is coming up this next Tuesday. If all goes well I'll be doing super fun environmental consulting and walk away from the world of computer stuff in no time. We'll see how that goes. Mainly I have been listening to a lot of Mates of State, Hey Marseilles, and Set Your Goals lately. Oh Kari is going to publish a book soon. Still trying to help get that pushed along. I'm really proud of her! Yeah, it's Sunday and I may or may not have been working on business plans with James during elder quorum also I did eat (nearly) all of baby's crackers during our family history class (see previous post). On Sunday's we usually call our family. I already called mine, but it's Kari's turn to call hers. Also, Lauren and Collin are coming over for dinner. I think they're engaged or something, though they've been that way before. Either way though it's cool they're fun!

Here's to hoping for more friends and pop-punk and babies this summer!

-- Jamund X. Ferguson

baby food

Sometimes I will buy or make food specifically for "the baby" (crackers, oatmeal bars, etc.). Jamund must be confused that I do not mean him because often this "baby" food ends up mysteriously missing... except for juice. He must not want the juice. Good to know.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Week in Hindsight

It's "spring break" at UVU right now, which means that I didn't have to teach on Wednesday and Friday (today). Luckily, the weather has also been lovely—resulting in my doing yard work the past two days. I have been raking, weeding, pulling up dead plants, and even trying to prune some gnarly and out of control pear trees. A little ambitious for a pregnant woman.

I also got to go to my wool spinning class last night, where I spent roughly 2 hours listening to ladies talk and spinning wheels hum. It was actually lovely, even though I just kept thinking about how much I wanted to buy juice after the class ended. I blame pregnancy.

This photo is of Jamund attempting to use a drop spindle to spin wool (rather than a spinning wheel):
Yesterday also involved a trip to the library. I got a baby French CD and a French tape set. We want our babies to learn French, which is really silly since neither one of us speaks French. I am secretly terrified of the language, ever since discovering that you can't really pronounce anything by the way it is spelled. Now I must overcome that fear. Any tips?

The plan today is to go to the Mount Timpanogos temple (near Jamund's work) and then meet him for dinner at DP cheesesteaks in American Fork. Date night has never been classier...


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring in Springville

 March 16th has been an exciting and interesting day! At work today I interviewed 3 people with mixed results, played soccer outside with my co-workers, and eventually got smashed into by a car on the way home. Luckily it was a pretty small smashing and no one, that we know of, got hurt. After we got home Kari had made delicious enchiladas and then we went for a nice walk. We've recorded some of our nice finds. These pictures illustrate how silly and fun it is to live in Springville.

-- Jamund!


  
All around our house flowers and beginning to bloom!

Horses in our neighborhood!

Zoom-in on the horses.





Monday, March 15, 2010

School. At Home.

I have been researching quite a bit on homeschooling over the last three or so weeks. It is an exciting and wonderful research topic, and so far I am pro the classical method and the Charlotte Mason method. I am planning a marriage of the two with summer holidays of unit study/project method.

When I say that I am strongly considering homeschooling (basically, I am going to do it unless something drastic changes my mind), most people are very opposed. I have many reasons for my enthusiasm towards homeschooling, while the opposition basically says, "But homeschooled kids are weird."

This is often historically true. However, let's remember that public school kids are not completely awesome and normal 100% of the time either. Also, when you think of kids you know who were home schooled, it is often true that they would've been weird no matter where they were educated.

I think it all depends on the parents too. I like to think that I am not too weird or crazy and that I wouldn't make my kids wear sweat pant suits or not take showers each day or segregate them from the neighborhood children. I don't think our kids will be weirder than any other kids.

I feel like I have good reasons to oppose public schools (in addition to being in favor of home schooling). I worked at a public school in Provo, and I currently teach at Utah Valley University. It is appalling to see how little the "adults" in my upper level communications course know.

So, when I say I want to home school, it is not a rash, spur of the moment decision. No, I want to home school because I want my children:
  • to know what La Pieta is when it is mentioned by name.
  • to not only have heard of James Joyce but to have read James Joyce.
  • to have a vocabulary that includes words like "inherent" and "vernacular."
  • to know not just concepts but also the people who came up with those concepts.
  • to write coherently and know the difference between "their," "they're," and "there" and "too," "to," and "two."
  • to memorize poems and know great literature from the book itself, not just the movie.
  • to have hands-on learning experiences and take nature walks.
  • to be educated for its own sake rather than to pass a standardized test.
  • to learn from original sources instead of crappy text books.
  • to go at their own speed and not be pushed or held back because of what "the class" is doing.
  • to talk about what they are learning at dinner rather than saying "I don't remember what I learned in school."
  • to not differentiate between "school" and "home" and to realize and understand that they need to be constantly learning—your brain doesn't turn off at a certain time of the day.
  • to learn self-sufficiency, cleaning, cooking, art, and music alongside and in conjunction with math, reading, science, languages, history, etc.
  • to be well-rounded and intelligent.
I just don't see these things happening in public schools. Also, I love the fact that home schooling will keep me involved and constantly having to learn as well. I think a lot of home schoolers use it as an excuse to be lazy, to let themselves and their kids sleep in until whenever and then do whatever they want all day.

However, if done properly (which I think it unfortunately isn't much of the time), the home schooling parent cannot be lazy-- in fact, it is just the opposite. This is exciting to me. I look forward to reading (or rereading) Beowulf, the Chronicles of Narnia, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Ben Hur, George Eliot, Jane Austen, Euclid, etc. with my children. I think it will be a crazy adventure to teach my children Latin and Greek when they are younger than 10—but they will better understand grammar and the words we use in English. I can't wait to discuss connections and have theological and scientific conversations with them. It will be frustrating and wonderful to relearn calculus and try to figure out how to teach it to someone else. (Luckily I have a long time before that day arrives).

I think our society is too laissez-faire and that parents let other institutions take over raising and educating their children. We might have advanced technology and consider ourselves collectively "smarter" than past generations, but are we really? Are we educated or just trained to pass tests and get grades?

Hopefully more families will take greater responsibility for their children. My plan is to make home schooling part of how I do that. I encourage anyone else with the motivation and ability to do the same!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Welcome Jep!

Today we made it up to Salt Lake for some good friends, fine art, and tasty Japanese Food.

We started off in a snow storm through the foggy freeway and finally found our way to the Church History Museum. It closed at 6:30, we arrived at 6:25 and Kari used her charm to keep them open long enough to purchase a Glice print of Christ in the Red Robe by Minerva Teichert while I was driving around the block and making illegal U-turns. The painting is lovely. Our babies will like it.

So finally we headed over to Koko Kitchen on 700 S and 300 E for some tasty Japanese food. I had tofu curry and Kari had the Teriyaki chicken plate. Once it was in my tummy I was very content. It was the best meal I have ever eaten there. It was so delicious.

Afterward we headed over to the airport where we intercepted our good friend Paul Jepsen on his way to California (reportedly, to propose to his lovely girlfriend). It was very good to see Paul! When he first saw me he was so shocked that he couldn't speak for moments. After said moments he did speak and I welcomed him into the United States of America. He was very grateful and we quickly chatted about all things. He was shocked that we had to pay to have a baby, but did say his tax bill is about the same as our insurance bill. Paul is from Denmark and we were buddies from the old mission days of England. I love him, he is a good friend! You know the kind where you see them after 2 or whatever years and it's the same as before. 

Here is a picture of when we built a robot for a zone meeting presentation:



-- Jamund

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ups

So...

Although I haven't been in the best of spirits the last two days, I have had some interesting and lovely experiences, including:
  • Girl Scout Cookies! The little girls were wearing cookie costumes-- it was adorable.
  • Fresh Market on University Parkway having the most friendly staff ever. Really. It was almost weird.
  • Receiving a handmade baby sling in the mail from my sister-in-law Brittany. It is the cutest thing ever, but I have no idea whatsoever how to wear it and put a baby in it. Hmm. When I figure it out, I will have to post photos.
  • 1 Gallon of cherry limeade. This morning when I opened the fridge, I thought "Who put the dishwashing liquid in the refrigerator?!" No, it was just a giant green container of deliciously flavored high fructose corn syrup (likely).
So yes, some good things have happened lately. How can things be so bad when you have Girl Scout Cookies and cherry limeade at your disposal?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

...and baby means no $


This photo has nothing to do with anything, really, but it is one of my favorite photos from Christmas 2009 in Seattle. Jamund's dad made Nancy, their cat, a Christmas stocking.

Needless to say, Nancy could've cared less. She did look at it for about 10 seconds before walking away.

The real subject of today's post is finances. I am trying to surreptitiously procure "extra" funds from our budget each month to buy necessary baby items, such as a car seat, eco-diapers (gdiapers.com), baby slings for me, etc. Jamund, however, keeps thwarting my plans by buying computer books and taking his LEED green associate exam this month!

It is all very frustrating to me that our "allowance" budget is used up by books and exams, especially since I would also like to buy some new clothes so I don't look ridiculous while pregnant. Jamund thinks we should rearrange the budget to include an allotment for baby. Good idea, except that our budget is pretty solid with set bills and proven expenses from month to month, and adding another budget category would either mean significant downshifts in set categories or going slightly over what we earn (bad).

We do have a good savings, though. Maybe having a baby is one of those things for which you really should use your savings... Either that or Mom and Dad need to visit us before baby arrives!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

pregnancy

So, I am on imposed (not quite sure by who: me, jamund, my mom, a nurse) bed rest after having some bleeding on Sunday. Not a good thing if you are pregnant, though not altogether abnormal.

I've been exercising mostly every day (yoga and pilates), so it is sort of sad and weird to not be exercising. It was nice, however, to let jamund do the vacuuming yesterday!