Friday, December 11, 2009

Final Week before Finals

I noticed that I haven't updated in some time. Sorry about that, life has been a bit busy this week I had 3 papers due, 2 Quizzes, and 1 Exam, and that is just school life. This week we also had Enrichment (or whatever it is technically called) for Relief Society it went well no major problems except the one major task I had fell through, well only one of my five people showed up mostly because of illness, but it still worked out. Phil had to wake up at 5am everyday this week to finish papers for school and scholarships. Oh also look for Phil to be on the Ball State Website soon.(That is where he thinks it is going to be, he doesn't remember what the guy said and he didn't ask) He has been interviewed that last few weeks for a class that he is in to the point where he had to go to photo services for a photo shoot. What a smart cookie I have...Speaking of cookies... I baked 385 on Thursday. I just wonder how many calories that is, sick. I baked them for the Ward Christmas Party. It has been a fairly relaxing process since I love baking. The cleanup wasn't very fun, but it is nice to have a clean kitchen again. It is really helping with limiting cookie intake, I have eaten 2 cookies so far and after today I don't think I will want to look at a cookie for some time! Phil on the other hand ate a whole plate full! I told him he wasn't allowed to eat any until the party (insert big pout here), and then I made quite a few mistakes, dropping them, breaking them while clearing off the sheet and then the chocolate chip cookies from the bottom of the mixer where there are no chocolate chips. He enjoyed it, maybe if we keep up this trend we will balance the weight difference between us...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Some Nifty Nice Things I Like:

Having a husband who is way into Philanthropy makes it so that you find out different fun things that you can do to help out different organizations and people. I have a few favorites, mostly websites that are easy to use and if I don't put up Phil's favorite he might cry (and we don't want that).
1. GoodSearch
This wonderful website lets you pick your favorite charity (or school) and they make money for searching for things you would search for anyway. It is powered by yahoo so they are decent searches and unlike google they don't store all of your searches for forever. I always use my searches for Free the Slaves which is an organization that we have a campus chapter of so we like them (in case you are looking for someone to help out).
2. Kiva
This is Phil's favorite website and his favorite Christmas present (in case anyone was wondering). They give out micro-loans to people in 3rd world countries that are trying to improve themselves. You make donations in 25 dollar increments and then you choose who it goes to and once that person pays back your loan you get to give it to someone else. Right now Phil is loaning money to a lady in Guatemala who is starting a weaving business. It is really fun to choose who to help out and keep giving the money out without actually giving your own money again. Here is some more information about microloans in general, click here.
3. Plus 3 Network
This is one that I really like because it helps me out as well as others. This one my mom found in Prevention Magazine for me. It is a free social networking site that hooks sponsors up with organizations. The sponsors give money to the organizations based on how much to walk, bike, run, swim, lift weights, even yoga! They get money for the miles or for the time involved. It also helps you track your workouts. There is a calendar that lists how many miles you did every day of the month or week. I started the other day and have so far raised $1.75, not much but hey it is something. I am working out for World Bicycle Relief and being sponsored by Sram. There are a load of sponsors and organizations to choose from but I thought the relief fund sounded pretty cool and I like the idea behind it because it helps in so many different ways. Phil chose to workout for Project Rwanda and being sponsored by Syncros. I know a lot of you out there workout a ton so go workout to help someone else out too.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Forget Handy Manny...

For the past few weeks the light switch has been acting up and randomly turning off when it is supposed to be on. Well we finally got a chance to go to the store and buy a new one. Then Phil put it in while I was making dinner one night, I did help I told him when the power was off in the bathroom so he could put it in without getting shocked. Well this is what he looked at while we was working on it. Personally the one with the hat looks like he should be painting not working with electricity.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Day at the Park

This actually took place a few weeks ago, but I just now took the pictures off of my camera so they are only now getting onto the blog. A few Sundays ago Phil asked me what I wanted to do, so I said that I wanted to go play in the park. So we did, for a few hours, we also walked around on the Cardinal Greenway too, but mostly played (much to Phil's dismay). I also brought along the camera to take fun pictures of Phil playing, in case you're wondering for some strange reason commonly people over the age of 20 don't play if little kids aren't around; very strange personally. Oh and I learned that people over 20 don't normally dress up and go trick-or-treating expecting candy either, sorry that is one thing I won't give up---ever, I mean really dressing up in weird clothes (and not sticking out like a sore thumb) and getting free candy-I was not going to pass that up so we went up at my parents' neighborhood. (Mom has the pictures of us though so I have to get them from her.) A few picture explanations the fish face is right after I failed climbing up the slide and Phil came and took a picture, the one on the merry-go-round I don't know what I was doing but it looked funny and Phil's are pretty easy to tell what is going on and don't really need explaining.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Whine Flu

Today when we woke up I told Phil I was sick and needed to stay in bed and skip class. (Don't worry I'm not really I just wanted to stay home from school) He responded with, "Oh no, it must be a case of the Whine Flu!" Grumble Grumble... Well then I informed him that he must have caught it from me and have it too and he seemed to be having more of the symptoms of it than me. So we laid in bed and whined for about 5 more minutes before getting ready for the day. So be warned we both have cases of the Whine Flu and might be contagious!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Starting to Feel like Schultz...

At work lately something has been going on, I really know nothing. It started a few weeks ago with me suddenly covering the front office because one secretary was having a meeting with the head of the department and the other decided not to come in. Once she got back from lunch after the meeting and I went back to my office across the building I talked to my boss, she doesn't even know anything about what is going on but knows that whatever it is, isn't pretty.

Yesterday the same thing happened and the other two secretaries in the department skipped out of the office for a few hours while she went into a meeting with the department head and had me cover the office again. They have a few reasons to like me:
1. I play dumb very well.
2. I don't care what is going on.
3. Even if I knew what was going on, who am I going to tell? I'm just a student.
4. All of the secretaries like me.

It has been interesting covering the main office. Normally I just clean stuff that even the janitors won't do, copy tests and quizzes, feed fish, and listen to a smaller office phone to ring (which never does). The main office though is the one for the whole department! Their phone rings and has to transfer calls (I found the manual online and downloaded it for reference), students come in to take tests, mail is delivered, visitors come in with questions. I feel bad for anyone doing anything with the department while I am working there-they normally get the response of "they'll be back in an hour" or "truthfully I don't know how to transfer calls, here is his direct number" (hence the manual on the computer now) or "I'm just a student worker, I don't have access to that", or "its somewhere in the supply closet".

Hopefully everyone will be getting along better now. Though it is nice to get paid to just sit there when no one is in the office, nothing like blogging and getting paid for it!

Oh. Just in case you were wondering where I came up the quote from Hogan's Heros. This is one of my favorite tv shows of all-time. I watched it all the time growing up on TV Land and some other network during the day, even in high school I watched it (does that say something about my social life as a kid, if I watched shows that started out in black and white?)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Case of the Blue Toothbrush

Last Night at Bedtime:

I walk into bathroom while Phil is brushing his teeth.

"What color is that toothbrush?"
Phil, "...Blue..."(said with a mouthful of toothpaste bubbles)
Me, "What color of blue though, (knowing her toothbrush is light blue and his is dark blue)?
Phil, "Light blue, Why?" (while he is rinsing off the tooth brush)
Me, "My toothbrush is light blue your is the dark blue one! Nasty..."
Phil, "Oh I'll wash it off for you, I guess I didn't think about it."
Me, "Um...wash it off?...Do you think I am going to use it now that you have used it?"
Phil, "Yeah, Why not? We kiss, what's different about me using your toothbrush?"
Me, "It's Gross, I'll just get a new one out, we have a ton of them... Now mine is PINK, and yours is BLUE either of the BLUE ones you can use."
Phil, "nice now I have two toothbrushes..."

Uggh. So gross. I couldn't believe it we have had these toothbrushes for 2 months now and he just now realized that the light one was mine! Yuck! How many times has he used my toothbrush?

I have a big thing about teeth if my teeth aren't perfectly clean I will freak out and if they aren't white there is a major problem that once I realize will be corrected once I get back up to Warsaw and my Crest Whitening Strips. I was never really that bad about it until after I got my braces off, that is when I became obsessed with my teeth.

Maybe the toothbrush thing runs in the family? My mom has nightmares about green toothbrushes, literally, so no one ever get green toothbrushes, especially her. When we were in the old house with one bathroom we would brush our teeth (with our toothbrush), dry ours off all the way until you couldn't tell and then get hers wet. She would get so freaked out. Always a good time...I love you Mommy...

I do have a new toothbrush, so I'm happy.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall with the Calls

Today in our free time we went on a walk on the Cardinal Greenway (yes be jealous) and Minnetrista to take some pictures for family, so be prepared you grandparents who actually check my blog you will be getting one of these in the mail within the next few weeks with a happy fall card. We really like taking pictures in the fall because that is when we started dating and for all of our early dates we walked around Muncie and looked at leaves and trees. I also like taking pictures in the fall because everything looks pretty, and colorful and I can start wearing sweaters! Here are the ones that we took this afternoon. I would also like to point out that these aren't just the few good ones out of hundreds but the majority of the ones we took.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gag Me with a Nobel Peace Prize

I wonder if I can get the Nobel Peace Prize, I mean really I donated $5 at a bake sale yesterday, doesn't that count now that they are just giving it away to anybody...Oh wait... I need to make a movie with bad science (Al Gore 2007) or give some fancy speeches filled with political promises (Obama 2009). Personally I think that the bake sale money will go to promote more world peace (see here) than either of those two things will.

I have a slight feeling Mr. Nobel is rolling over in his grave...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Douglas and Kitty

Wondering who these fine two people are? Well their not people at all! We just got some pets, don't worry nothing furry and four legged, but fish! Every time we go to Meijer I always have to look at the fish (which are conviently located right next to the dairy aisle) and after having a really cruddy week of school I talked Phil into letting us invest in our first pets. A whole 4 dollars later, 36 cents for the fish, 3 dollars for the bowl (actually we got a glass canister with lid from the home/kitchen aisle for cheaper than a fish bowl, about 1/2 price) , and goldfish food for 1 dollar. I am super excited about them. My fish is Kitty, she is orange and white; Douglas (Not Doug, or Dougie Boy) is Phil's fish and he is orange with a black stripe on his back. They are really cute and live on our kitchen counter next to the sink, not where food is kept. I don't think they would make a good fillet anyway...

***edit note***
Man, these pictures stink, I guess that is what you get for taking pictures at 7am, I wouldn't look good if someone took my picture then either.

Furniture Revisited...

I realized the other day that I didn't post any pictures of the completed furniture, or our couch! Silly me...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Here, Fishy Fishy...

A few weeks ago we went to the Living Lightly Fair at Minnetrista in Muncie. A gathering of the birkenstocks (as my boss called it before she realized I was going and wearing birks) was a fair about all the different organizations in the area that support environmental issues. It was a fun time for us, free stuff that we like and can use. One of the booths there was one from the clay guild at Ball State, they were making fish to create a community sculture for the day. We made some fish and she took some pictures and emailed them to us. We also did some other fun activities like pedaling a bike to power a lightbulb to show how different flourescents are from incandesants and we got some free cloth grocery bags from the recycling part of the city dump. We ended up with some really good chocolate from a group selling it and two of the expensive twisty light-bulbs from the power company. We also found our favorite orange chapstick from a beekeeper for only a dollar and there are only 3 ingredients in it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Farmers Market

Another thing that we have been up to lately is going to farmers market. This is my favorite time of year for veggies, it is when corn is going crazy and winter squash is super cheap and filling. We always buy apples, various winter squash, corn, tomatoes (if ours aren't producing), peppers for freezing, and a new veggie of the week! One week we bought a pie pumpkin, some weird tomatoes another time, and our most recent veggie was a cushaw squash (here for more info) this thing weighs in at a hefty 20 pounds and doesn't fit in my bike basket but does fit into a backpack. We often ride our bikes to farmers market and happened to ride them the day we bought our beast of a squash. It is still sitting in our kitchen waiting to be chopped, roasted, pureed and frozen in some cases.


Okay it has been a long time since I last updated one thing we have been working on a lot lately has been furniture. We realized this summer that wow we don't have any of our own furniture. So we went out and got some so when we finally get our own place we don't have to go out and buy furniture . We spent one day searching for a new couch, which we found we got a very comfortable brown and beige leather and microfiber couch. We love it and with the owners' couch (that couldn't be moved into another room) we covered it with brown sheets and a cream throw. We also found a coffee table at Muncie Mission with some cool scroll work in the sides so we bought it for a whopping $9, we bought our first power tool (a sander) and went to work on the thing now it is a nice Bombay Mahogany. Next on our list of furniture splurges were our living room lamps, we found some guy in town who sells wine bottles with holes in the back for cords so we bought some lamp kits, marbles, and lampshade and made some really cool lamps with kangaroos on them. After finishing with the living room we noticed that we didn't own any of our bedroom furniture either (only a small problem) so we went to Salvation Army (much better than goodwill any day- better prices, less crowded) while there we found an old desk that was much to short to work as a real desk but just so happened to be the right height for nightstands. We ripped apart the desk into three pieces-2 nightstands that are old wooden filing cabinets, and 1 soon-to-be end table. The nightstands are finished and in the room with some awesome lamps we actually paid full price for (but the cheapest available ones). But believe it or not we are not yet finished. We were out at a garage sale, (yeah you can tell we get in trouble at these things) and we found an old desk that was really cool and had some interesting qualities. But I will write about it once we actually finish putting it back together and looking nice.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I know what you are thinking, Are you ever home? Aren't you always on vacation? It may seem like it but really we aren't! In my family the entire summer was vacation meaning the Horn's would not be home the entire month of July so don't bother looking for them in town or at church because they won't be there. It looks like it has carried over to me as well and the vacation bug struck again. The two of us went down to Brown County State Park in southern Indiana to camp in a non-electric campsite it even had only pit toilets by us (but flushing and showers at the end of the loop). I cooked all of our meals while camping even when it was raining or just horribly muggy over the fire in the dutch oven. Go here to see our menu for the vacation with recipes. Also in Brown County we went to the town of Nashville Indiana, mostly it is not my favorite place and I find these towns really annoying because people spend their ti
me in the shops with junk you can find at any hallmark store instead of going 2 miles down the road to one of the best nature sites in the state! It really bugs me, but not nearly as much as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in Tennessee. (okay sorry about the ranting) We didn't buy much from any of the shops while there because other than the fact it was mostly junk it was way over priced. But three stores did get our business the first purchase was for the car it was an air freshener because it smelled like a mixture of smoke and musty, not fun. The second was a music shop the was selling everything for 60% off so we bought cookie cutters and buttons for our hiking backpacks. Finally we purchased some paintings...Okay we're really cheap and don't own anything for a house except one chair, a kitchen table and an organ, that's it. So we found (right next to a really fancy art gallery where our favorite was a mere thousand bucks of our single digit savings account) a wonderful place Affordable Art where they sell rip offs of your favorites. They were having a sell for 50% off everything including frames so we decided that our splurge for vacation would be a painting. First we bought a nice painting of sunflowers with a pretty white frame then while walking back to the car we decided to go and get our second choice as well because we wouldn't have a chance to come back for sometime and that way we would have something of ours to hang up on the walls of our house, so we picked up Starry Night too. While we were at the state park we did a hike and a scenic drive through the park and spent a lot of time inside the tent hiding from the thunderstorms that were sending water into our tent despite our tarps. We got a decent amount of reading done, I had to steal Phil's Philanthropy books before we left the house and make him take fun books for vacation-if you bring books for school/work it makes it less of a vacation. Right? He ended up reading Bridge to Terebithia and I read Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story, check it out here. After packing up and leaving the park we stopped by the Indiana State Fair got lots of free stuff and yummy grilled cheese sandwiches and crazy straws from the dairy barn. If you couldn't tell we had a great time and hope to head back south again sometime soon, hopefully when it isn't raining.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A bragging moment...

I just need to brag a little bit here. I now have my entire life in scrap books! I have from baby through age 21! How amazing is that, I mean how many other people have that much stuff all in little books with pictures and notes. (Okay I don't really want to know and have my moment ruined.) Most of the credit goes to Mom who did from baby to senior in high school, though I did help. But today I finished off the rest of it, for now because sadly enough it will never be finished until I'm dead and somebody decides to put my obituary in it. I was talking to Phil about it the other day (scrapbooking, not death) and how it just makes a big mess and doesn't do much then he told me it is just a blingin' journal with pictures and junk. Now here is the dilemma: What do I do with everything that didn't make it into the scrap book, it might work in a page down the road or it might just be junk I hold onto for a year, What do I do?!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

To My Adoring Fans...

Okay so I know that there are probably like 5 people who will read this but still I can pretend that I am really popular. (right?) It is so nice to have July over and done with. I have been counting down for it to finish up since about my birthday, the beginning of the month. With Phil being busy working about 50 hours a week and me working about 10 I get really bored with being around the house and July means its going to be hot and sunny, two things I don't really like well I like the sun when it isn't super bright and blinding. My favorite season is winter, I mean really lots of cute thick clothes (that hide everything!), cute winter coats and warm hats, snow, ice skating, the dreams of school cancellations (which I still listen to every morning), no swim suits, sunburns, or any nasty type thing, oh yeah and No Yard Work! Except scraping the sidewalk only to the car, because they haven't heard of a thing called sidewalks next to the street. Some exciting news for the month though, I have officially changed my major! I am now a general studies major with minors in Elementary/educational studies, geography, educational technology, and human psychology, and maybe one more in biology but I haven't really decided. Textbooks are going to be expensive this semester but last semester neither of us had any so it will equal out. My schedule is so much easier than it was going to be with a practicum and all methods classes. I am taking Geography 101, Math 125 (I tested into a calculus class, but it has been 4 years since my last math class, so algebra will be good enough thanks), Educational Psychology 270, Some class on marriage, edtech 360-this is a class I am super excited about because the university provides us with a kindle for the class to decide if it is useful in a classroom setting! I am going to throw in one more class for good measure but I haven't decided which one it was yoga but they dropped the time that fit in my schedule. Well also this month our weekends were packed full of family and traveling all around Indiana. All of the pictures are from some of our random trips this month. The first one is of us on a boat ride on the Dixie in North Webster, the next one is a cake I baked for the anniversary of the moon walk (the yellow thing is the moon), The Dixie again, and a trip to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I promise...(no my fingers aren't crossed)...

I will update the blog with pictures and writing this weekend. I will finally go somewhere that has reliable internet access and does not involve getting onto the neighbors wireless.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Birthday Bash

So as you all know Saturday was my birthday and my brother's who is 7 years older than me.  As you can guess July 4th is a pretty big deal in the family since its the only two kids birthdays.  I turned 21 (not that it really mattered one bit) and Matt is now 28.  We had the party at Matt's new house in Plainfield because on Sunday my nephew Benson was blessed (along with 2 others from the ward).  Lots of family came including Aunt Kate, Grandmas Lich and Horn, (Tashina's Mom and siblings) Julie, Trent, Travis, and Phil's Mom Joann, James and Sarah and of course the immediate family.  We had fried chicken and sloppy jo's, and sides galore.  Then the main treat of the event homemade ice cream and cakes (we each get a cake of our choice)  this year's selections were Black Forest (mine) and Tres Leches (Matt's).  Then presents we both got lots of wonderful gifts from everyone.  But the biggest presents received were Matt's new barbecue grill and my pasta maker for my kitchen-aid!  I actually used it already, and it was wonderful!  It made so much pasta that we had to dry it and freeze it for later.  We are really excited about it because it is really cheap, healthy, wonderful pasta!  We are already planning events to have people come eat some pasta with us.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend Warriors

Well since summer has started so have our weekends off!  This weekend we drove up to Warsaw to work in my parents yard with Phil's landscaping skills.  We got everyone gift certificates for one free job as long as they provided room and board.  Well they choose to knock off one hard project off their list.  A fire ring. This isn't just any plain old car rim fire pit mind you.  Now it is lined with hand selected bricks (That was my job)  with field stone around where the fire is actually going to be.   We (okay Phil) dug out the pit a few inches in a donut shape and leveled it all out and then filled it with paver base stuff, tamped it down level and laid the bricks on top and filled the whole thing up with play sand to keep it in place.  I didn't do much to help but I was there for moral support and drinks and snacks!  I planned on going garage selling with Mom while the boys worked in the yard but instead we made muffins for the men at church the next day for father's day.   We took pictures of the whole process (of the ring, not the muffins) but my parents have those. We also went to Dunkirk to visit a friend that just got back from his mission to Japan.  I never had met him but I know his younger brother and his older brother from school and church. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


It has been one whole year since we got married!  Lots of wonderful time has been spent together since last June 10th.  I love being married to Phil and couldn't really imagine it any other way.  It is so nice to always know someone will be home with me and always say my cooking is wonderful. The one bad thing about our anniversary though is that it is the day we went back to work!  Or actually the day Phil went back to work.  I am kind of employed but I only get a few hours a week. It was nice just to spend the evening at home after vacation though.  Here are some pictures of us through our first year.  Blogger wouldn't let me add anymore so this is most of our first year of marriage.


We went on Vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains with my family a while ago.  I was super fun and a very classic vacation.  My family went at least once every year as a kid and we decided to go this year since it was Phil's first time going.  However I'm not going to put up pictures because Tashina (My wonderful Sister-in-law) did a great job to doing that for me on her blog  I did take some of the pictures though, so I wasn't completely neglecting my blogging duty, I just have too many other things to write about!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Prophet said to Plant a Garden...

Today we managed to finishing planting our garden that we started a long time ago when it was still snowing.  Today our peas have flowers, have broken through one of the strings holding them up and are taller than our fence.  The purple beans have random holes in the leaves (I don't know why but I don't see bugs) and have either more leaves coming on or buds, the garlic is tall and thick, the onions are beginning to look like green onions instead of grass in the garden, the cabbage looks like it might start becoming cabbage.  The squash plants are big and we planted eggplants
and banana peppers, and we now have a grand total of 19 tomato plants!  I don't even eat tomatoes!  Phil better like them a lot with the amount we willhopefully have from the plants.   

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back Home Again...

Good news I am back in Muncie during the week now!  I have been working up in Warsaw administering AIMSweb Tests.  The tests are in the elementary school to monitor the students progress the take the same test three time a school year.  I enjoyed the work because it was easy with kids, and paid really well.  Phil joined me in Warsaw on Friday to spend the weekend with the family and celebrate Matt's graduation from grad school at IUPUI.  Friday night for dinner I had the only batch of Morel Mushrooms of the season, thanks to Monica's generosity and hunting skills. (If you don't know what Morels are I suggest checking them out here) Saturday was quite the day for us, we went with the whole family to garage sells, okay this required the use of two mini-vans and a trip back with a van and the jeep.  We snagged lots of good deals Tashina got a steal on a set of dishes while I got the pitcher.  Matt got a new computer chair, but we got the best of all.  Here is the list of our bounty (in order of the purchase): Box of neck ties, purse, velcro catch set with tennis ball, blank journals (Phil), Sun Shaped clock for the kitchen, Pitcher, Platter, books, Masterpiece, White Dress Shirt, and an Organ!  We didn't even break 30 dollars!  The organ actually works and works really well.  Ally really enjoyed it while Phil was playing.  It is really old-school but everything works and has pedals and the whole nine yards even the funky built in beats.  Right now it is at my parents house while we figure out where to put it in the house since the Lyons already have the piano at the house.  The rest of the weekend was fun and filled with lots of family and friends, just the way we like it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Night...

Well this is what I woke up to in the morning so you can kind of guess what the night was like.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Driving Miss Daisy ...(oops, Indiana)

I think that we are a bit too into driving around Indiana. We started in Muncie drove to Warsaw, back to Muncie, to Plainfield, back to Muncie, to Batesville and finally finished in Muncie.  Check out the cool map I made to show it.  The bell peppers are our stops and the lines make up the trips we took. (thanks to gimp)  We had a very successful weekend though.  I had a training session for a job.  The training session was similar to a torture session, I think they might have had a typo in the pamphlet, no it was just really boring and I would have rather been doing other things than having a paper read to me.  When we were in Plainfield we bought some cheap food storage a family was getting rid of because of a development of gluten allergies.  So more wheat and pasta for us!  Though we might run into a problem once it is time to go back to an apartment...oh well.  While in Batesville we got to see Robert who Phil has only seen about 4 days in the past 4 years before he was off for a crazy summer of work.  All in all a fun time.

The happy ending of the semester

So the paper I turned in the other day (see below post) was graded and returned in my princess folder yesterday.  And the verdict was 275/300 so an A-!  So thanks for letting me read your blogs for an ethnography and quoting you about random things.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Another (hopefully) Happy Ending for the semester!

Okay so today is the day that my big paper is due!  I just finished it so as promised I am now posting it on the blog.  (If I can figure it out without typing it again)  Okay first there are rules.  No fixing mistakes, or making changes.  Don't tell me if something is wrong.  Okay other than that I just hope it is okay.

Birth, crazy girls, death, and vacationing at the beach. How do all of these things come together in one common medium?  Blogging.  Blogs can look like anything from a white background with black font to a colorful background with music, videos, pictures, and colorful text.  Common sights on blogs are headers with pictures of family members, especially with stay-at-home Mormon mom bloggers.  This group of bloggers blog about their life experiences raising kids and general family life.  The header is the first part of the blog that is seen by readers; this group of bloggers often makes a collage behind the title of the blog in order to show off the family.  Mormon mom bloggers are significantly different from other bloggers because of the unique worldview that they possess.  In order to understand the worldview of Mormon mom bloggers and see how they are different from other bloggers, we must look at some details of the Mormon mom blogs: the ways Mormon mom bloggers are unique, reasons Mormon moms blog, safety concerns with the internet, the ways blogging affects daily life, and how blogging may influence the future of their children.

Why They Are Unique

All of the blogs that I am following have at least two things in common: religion and occupation.   All of the blogs’ writers are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The members of this religion are Christian and are often referred to as “Mormon.”  These “Mormon” bloggers have many things in common when it comes to beliefs because they all belong to a church that is the same throughout the world, due to a central governing head. There is also a culture that connects the members of the church together because of the vast differences from protestant Christianity, including an abstinence from alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, pre-marital sex and other potentially harmful behaviors.  The Mormons are also different from other churches’ members by having volunteer assignments commonly called “callings.” The author of The Inman Clan describes it in “a call to compassion”, “… I have been released from being 2nd counselor in the primary to being called as the compassionate service leader. This is my first time with a calling in the Relief Society” (Inman, par. 1).  The author is picking up an entirely new challenge to help those in her church the way that they need it the most.  

Another way to see how Mormon mom bloggers are unique is to look at the article “What was virtual becomes personal.” In this article by Alex Williams, he follows a group of stay-at-home Mormon mom bloggers that raise money to help a fellow blogger they have never met after a plane crash left her close to death.  These bloggers used their own money and talents to raise funds to cover the medical and general costs during her recovery. This means that they are stepping outside of the Internet world and entering hers at a personal level.  They are doing something that would normally be expected from family and friends and doing it themselves when in reality they never met her.

The writers of the blogs also share the same occupation: they are all staying home to raise families instead of working on their careers linked with their college degrees. The blogger, Queen, relates this in an interview: “We decided before we had children that I would stay home with them.  We felt it was important for the kids to have me be the one to teach and guide them, and not miss anything when they were little.  I quit working when we moved two months before our first was born” (1).  Each one of these families now lives off of the one salary from the husband and as a result sometimes struggles with financial problems. 

After looking at the Mormon mom bloggers and how they are unique because they stay at home and are Mormons, it is possible to see how these attributes contribute to their worldview.  A portion of their worldview includes the values of being religious, giving services, and raising children.  In order to discover other aspects of their worldview, it is important to look at why they blog.

Why They Blog

Mormon mom bloggers blog for several reasons: they are stuck at home; they want to keep in contact with friends, family and the real world; and they want to receive and give support. The Mormon stay-at-home mom bloggers often have their hands full of cleaning, kids, and general family business. Though sometimes the bloggers admit to not having much to do or being lazy, other times the way that blogs are written reveals the truth of thousands of diapers and tears that can cause anyone some level of insanity and a need for a release somewhere.  Many of these women seem to use blogs for just that: a way to get out of the house without ever getting a babysitter for the kids. They use the monitor as a portal to talk to other moms and people with common ties to find out how many kids can really live in one room and get ideas to keep the children quiet during church. For example, in the post “Oh Baby the author of Past, Present, and the Unknown announces the pregnancy of her third child and how all three will be in the same room for some time.  A reader, Kristie, responds with, “It's amazing how many kids you can fit into one room...we did 5 for awhile:-) [It's] just the mess they leave is much more concentrated!” (A, par. 1). This comment helps the author know that it is all right to have three children in the same room for a while.  It also adds a bit of humor and a release into her life that may not exist with two and soon to be three children in the home.

            Another reason for blogging is to keep in contact with family and friends that no longer live nearby.  Queen describes why she continues to blog, “My extended family likes to keep up with our family, and comments and feedback on my blog (and theirs) keep us connected” (5).  In the article “Mom's online blog shares quads' stories” the author Josh Duke quotes a blogger, Jen: ‘“I love it,’ [she] said. ‘It just provides a good social path to interact with people and keep them updated on our family's journey’”(2).  The article and the interview both show examples of why this blogging community blogs.  The first reason of both blogs was to keep in touch with family and friends.  The blog from the article, “Mom’s online blog shares quads’ stories,” also explains that the blog has now led her to meet with other parents with quads (quadruplets) and with people around the world interested in how the children are growing. “While the blog initially started as a way for family and friends to follow the progress of the boys, it now has about 1,000 subscribers and about 2,000 individual readers a day” (Duke, 3).  The amount of people checking the blog shows that it is not only family that checks it anymore and that others around the world are interested in the family.

            The last main reason stay-at-home Mormon mom blogger blog is to give and receive support during trying times of raising a family.  An example of this is from the blog Terrors in Tiaras. In the post “Unfit” she discusses how one of her daughters is complaining about how unfair her mother is with ballet class and school requirements.  The reader, James 1:5, responds with this comment, “Well, I've been trying to think of a way to broach this sensitive subject with you for awhile now...whew...pressures off!:)

Thanks for being an encouragement to all of us who consistently(sic) fall short of our children's expectations” (Queen, n. pag.).  This shows that she understands what the other mother is going through now with children not agreeing with rules and decisions that she has made.  This comment was helpful not only to the original author but also to others who read and commented on the post. 

            Another way that readers provide support for the author is by offering tips that they have tried when problems arouse, such as lice treatments.  In the blog, The Inman Clan, in the post “lice” the author is writing about how her youngest daughter has head lice and the chemicals to kill the pests could be considered dangerous and is looking for other possible options.  The reader, Family, offered this suggestion,

I have a great concauction (sic) that worked. Totally natural. Tea tree oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil, Rosemary oil, olive oil and water. I put 2 drops each in a spray bottle and spray it in am and pm. In hair, on beds, on coats, carpet, EVERYWHERE! We use it as a rinse after every bath. It worked For us. Good luck and death to lice! (Inman, n.pag.). 


This post helped the author find a safer and better smelling option than the chemicals.  Other parents that read the blog also were able to view the comment and try it out if they too were experiencing an infestation. 

            The Mormon mom bloggers also write about the hard days that they may experience. One blogger explains this in the article, “Parents use blogs as journal to share with friends, family.” “For instance, Owen ‘was not an easy baby’ for the first six months. On a rough day, Maxwell might post about her crummy experience. Receiving encouraging comments from friends and family helped. She sees the blog as a record of things, and tries to be real.” (Johnson, 2).  The comments that these bloggers give and receive help with the big trials such as lice but also everyday things that build up over time. 

After looking at why Mormon mom bloggers blog it is because they need a release from the daily trials of raising children, they want to keep in touch with family and friends, and to give and receive support and encouragement.  These reasons for blogging attribute to their worldview and includes caring for themselves, their family and friends, and others around the world that also blog.  Safety concerns are another area of analysis to explore in order to discover more of the worldview of the Mormon mom bloggers.

Safety Concerns

            It is easy to see the safety concerns that are present while blogging about family online. A few of the possible problems are home burglary, child abduction, identity theft, and stalking. Everything that is posted online can be seen from anyone around the world and used for good reasons or some very bad ones that could harm the family. has one safety feature that anyone with a blog can decide to use; this feature is a private blog. It makes it so that the author of the blog has to invite others to view the blog instead of an open web address.  The second popular safety feature is to change the names of those mentioned in the blog and not mention where they live.  This is one that can allow all family members access to family happenings without risking the safety as well.  

            The private blog feature opens to a page that requires a login to view the website and explains the blog is only open to invited readers.  After logging in, all of the normal blog parts are present.  The text, background, and layout are the same as it would be with a public blog, but the blog is not allowed to be viewed by others.  One downfall of this type of safety feature is that less computer literate reader have problems viewing the blog as the blogger Queen explained, “The first one I started was private, and then I began a public one that was easier for my less computer savvy family members to view” (2).   The blogger wanted to keep in touch with all of her family but also wanted to keep everyone in the family safe so she decided to try another solution as well, fake names.

            The fake names used on a public blog allows anyone to view the blog and get the same information out of it.  The only difference is the name associated with the faces of family members and the location name, while the blogger queen is very thorough with blotting out names and information other bloggers are not quite as careful with the system of changing names.  The blog, Terrors in Tiaras, changes the names of the family to princess names.  The children (all girls) are called Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella, while the mom and dad are Queen and King.  The children’s pictures are posted on the side of the blog with the fake names underneath so readers can see what each on looks like and possibly leave a comment about or to one of the girls.  Another blogger that is very popular online also uses the fake names in order to protect the children not only from predators but also from embarrassment from friends, “Elizabeth Thielke… cloaks the identity of her children by referring to them as ‘Busy Boy’ and ‘Busy Girl.’ "I take reasonable precautions…”(Johnson, 3).  This keeps their feelings and their family safe from those that could try to harm them. 

After looking at the safety concerns of the internet and how the Mormon mom bloggers deal with those concerns with private blogs and fake names.  This shows the worldview of the Mormon mom bloggers includes safety for their family and friends because the world could be a dangerous place. In order to see more of the worldview of the Mormon mom bloggers it is necessary to look at how blogging affects daily life.

Blogging and Daily Life

Blogging affects daily life with the amount of time in writing and reading blogs and in the way the blogger views her job as a mom.  Time is an issue because it takes time away from what would be time with children and family, but when tied in with the way events are viewed it begins to seem funnier and the anger is worn away. 

The amount of time it takes to blog about a day or an event varies by the author and so does the time spent reading blogs.  The time that is used for blog related activities is time that is normally not spent with children.  The blogger, Queen, described her blogging habits, “I spend maybe two to five hours a week writing and way too much time reading.  Maybe five or so hours, sometimes more if I have the time.  Kind of scary when you add up all that time” (16).  As the blogger describes she did not realize how much time she was really spending reading blogs.  She is like another blogger in an article by Bonna Johnson entitled, “Technology tempts mom bloggers.” “I do the majority of the work when my older children are at school and my young sons nap” (3).  Another blogger from the article “Mom's online blog shares quads' stories” talks about how she finds time to blog, “Despite trying to keep up with the boys, Jen still finds time to update her blog at least every other day. She usually has to do it while the boys are down for their afternoon nap or late at night after they fall asleep” (Duke 3).  This shows that the moms do not take time away from their children to pursue their own fun.  The mothers that blog use their free time during the day to do what they want to in order to communicate with family and friends and get back a bit of their sanity.  During the time that they are online some bloggers read other blogs as well as Queen points out, “I follow about 70 blogs on blogger —some of them more closely than others, as well as about fifteen that are private and don’t update on blogger.  Blogger says I have 34 followers, and I have at least 10 family members that read my blog every day but wouldn’t have a clue how to subscribe on blogger!” (9).  This shows that she uses most of her free time on blogging while her children are at school.  The blogging mom still focuses on the family while they are awake and around the house, but once they get the chance they do the things they want and need to do. 

            Blogging also affects daily life of Mom bloggers by allowing them to think back on the experiences of the day and write about what happened.  The blogger Queen explains her feelings: “I think my blog also helps me to think about my parenting in a more positive light” (6).  When Mormon mom bloggers blog about the family they do not want to complain about everything that happened during the day so it allows the mothers to look at things from a different perspective in order to write about it in a humorous manner.   Bloggers also sometimes need to get another angle on the event by asking other about details of the day.  Queen gets some of her information for the blog from her husband while talking about things together.  She describes how her husband feels about the blog: “He’s fine with it and usually likes it.  He only reads it occasionally, though.  Most of the time I tell him the stories I post or ask him for specifics on things that I don’t remember, so he knows what’s on there even if he doesn’t read” (15).  This means that even though he does not read the blog and she does not spend time with him while writing it she still makes time to discuss the day with her husband though indulging in some personal time.

While looking at how blogging affects the daily lives of the Mormon mom bloggers it is evident that they care about their alone time and spending time with family as well as how the blog makes them feel about their job as a mother.  This shows that the worldview of the Mormon mom bloggers includes not only the ideas of quality time with family and the importance of being a stay at home mom, but also the significance of having time alone to reflect and relax. In order to see more of the worldview of the Mormon mom bloggers it is necessary to look at how blogging affects the future of the children involved.

Influencing the Children’s future

The stay-at-home Mormon mom bloggers blog about their families, including the children and what happens to them on a regular basis.  The children mistakes and triumphs are all posted online for the world to see, which could mean problems when they get older. 

While interviewing Queen for about the blogging community that she belongs to I asked her about what her kids would think about the blog in the upcoming years of teenage life, “I suppose that they will be a little bugged I told people about their temper tantrums or dumb things they did, but hopefully not too much. I do worry a little bit that some of my readers will not realize how much I love being with my kids since I tend to complain about their behavior more than praise the good things they do”  (14).  This shows that she is still going to post their happenings but hopes that they will be able to see the humor involved that they probably did not see at the time it happened.  The bloggers tend to use the blogs as a journal to share with family and friends but it will also allow the children to be able to see what they were like before they could actually remember.  She also points out in the quote that she posts more about the mistakes than the successes.  This is probably due to the fact that her children are normally succeeding in the things they do and it is not quite as funny or entertaining to write or read about.  Another blog responds about how she handles blogging with children and how it will affect them in the future. In the article, “Technology Tempts Mom Bloggers,” by Bonna Johnson, she states that, “Now that her oldest daughter is 6, Reeves says she thinks twice about what she writes: ‘If I start to write something about her and think it might embarrass her, I don't’" (3).   This shows that the Mormon mom bloggers care about how their children will react to the stories that are shared online.  With oldest being only six years old the mother is already worrying about what she will think of it now and in the future trying to preserve not only her daughter’s feelings but also their relationship in the future. 

While looking at how blogging affects the children involved in the stay-at-home Mormon mom blogs it is evident that it affects their worldview.  The sense of caring for the children’s feeling and relationships now and in the future is a part of the worldview of the Mormon mom bloggers.

Worldview of Mormon Mom Bloggers

The worldview of the stay-at-home Mormon mom bloggers is unique among the average blogger online.  Their worldview consists of the values of being religious, giving services, a sense of caring for the children’s feelings, relationships (now and in the future) and caring for themselves, and their family and friends and those around the world that blog; it includes quality time with family, the importance of being a stay at home mom and raising children, safety for their family and friends. Religion is a major part of the culture of the Mormon Mom bloggers because it is a vital part of their life; for them it is not just a Sunday morning trip to a sacred building - it is a way of life that they live each day.  It molds the way that they raise their children, their careers as stay-at-home moms, and every part of daily life.

Service is also an integral part of their culture because it also has to do with their religion because it is strongly emphasized within the church.  It is also something that is considered normal among the group because it is expected that if someone can help, they will.  This changes their view of the world from other bloggers because someone else’s problem suddenly becomes their own, because they are trying to help fix it. 

Caring is part of their worldview because they care about many things that are happening or that did happen.  They care about feelings, bonds that link them to others, and those that just share the Internet with them.  The caring nature of this group of bloggers changes their view of the world because it changes how they respond to others and makes them think twice before doing anything in order to keep as many people happy as possible. 

The time that the bloggers share with their families is very important to their worldview because without the time with the family there would not be anything to blog about.  The family is the reason that they blog which means that they must love to be around the family to write about it on a blog.  It is also the reason that raising children and being a stay-at-home mom is important to them.  It means that they get to be around the thing they love most: family and their children. The safety that is involved with creating a blog is also in this part of their worldview because it is the reason they try hard to keep it safe because if they lost something in the family it would be the greatest lost imaginable.

After looking at how the worldview of Mormon mom bloggers involves so many detailed ideas related to faith and family, it is evident that their worldview is essentially stated in their title. They have a unique niche in the blogging world, but even though they are different from many other bloggers and occasionally wary of them, they still reach out of their homes in much the same way as they reach in: with love. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Homecoming

Phil's home!  It was a very long and personally scary week without him home.  I noticed during this week that we don't have any night lights anywhere in the house so I would get up in the middle of the night to a completely dark house, alone.  I ended up finding Phil's lava lamp and put it in the hallway outside the bedroom to have some sort of light when I woke up.  Over the weekend I was at Mom and Dad's house.  I helped plant some strawberries, cabbage, and garlic in the garden, now I just have to do that in my garden (if it ever gets dry enough).  Monday I spent the day with Grandmas.  I went out to breakfast and shopping.  My new coat from Grandma Lich is wonderful and I have gotten tons of compliments on it, and our food storage is doing wonderfully from Grandma Horn's contribution.  It was so nice to just spend some time relaxing with family without worrying about classes (since the exhibit is now opened).  This week has been really easy so far.  I have finished two books this week; Twilight and New Moon.  I have a friend that is loaning me the third one so I don't have to wait for the library to get for me on hold.  I have really enjoyed the books.  It really makes me think of high school since I spent most of my free time reading books.  Except the books I read weren't quite as popular as these ones, though they were vampire and werewolf books.  I am so glad that Phil is back in town even though now it makes me wake up earlier than I was without him around. I think I can handle it since I now have someone to eat with and talk to after 3 in the afternoon.   I hope to get some pictures up here soon.  Sorry it has been so picture free lately...

..Oh and Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's Over!

The exhibit is finally finished! The grand opening was the other night and it went really well. There were about 240 people that showed up, only 125 RSVPd, but oh well. It is so nice to have this thing finished. It was a great experience, but also a very hectic and stressful one as well. The exhibit has also made me think of other things I could do with my degree in Elementary Education and since Phil is looking into grad school at IUPUI I thought to do a bit of looking as well and they have a graduate program in Muesum studies, so maybe the whole exhibit thing could be in my future. I thought it was fun and something that could be done with a family and an education degree since it is becoming more of a focus for museums now, because of standardized testing and field trip opportunities. I will post some pictures later on, but right now I have Almond En-joy ice cream calling my name so I might have to finish this post a little later on.