Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I Feel Smart Today

For those who know me, it's no surprise that I'm a total geek and love puzzles. Not jigsaw, but word and logic puzzles. I subscribe to not one, but two uber-nerdy puzzle magazines — Games and Games World of Puzzles. Each month I get happy when the very nice postlady brings me a new puzzle magazine.

Games has monthly contests which are always incredibly difficult. There's no answer key, and if you can solve the puzzle you can submit a postcard with the solution to be entered into a drawing for $500. I feel smart today because I actually solved the monthly contest BY MYSELF and a little help from my American Heritage dictionary. I'd tell you the answer, but that would lessen my odds for winning.

Like I said, I'm a geek. But if I win, I'll be a geek with an extra $500.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Yoga Free Verse

open the chest open the mind
try not to giggle at panpipe music
forward bend feel the stretch
down dog feel the headrush
chaturanga fancy name for pushup
can't do a pushup fall to the ground
up dog or cobra what's the difference?
warrior pose balance on weak ankles
arms are numbing tingling
like an endurance challenge on survivor
warrior two more like ballet
angle the arms pretend it's drill team
20 minutes later finally getting the rhythm
grab a towel stretch your legs
discover that legs are freakishly long
can't balance can't focus try not to giggle
instructor says lie down amen! amen!
stretch out hamstrings feel the burn
tilt leg left stranger's foot is near face
resist the urge to tickle stranger's bare feet
lotus position are we supposed to meditate?
straighten spine feel taller
next day feel pain

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


This is just for sheer fun. At Thanksgiving my brother-in-law showed me some of these Invisibles on his laptop. Here's the idea: These are scenes from films, but the people's faces and other body parts have been digitally removed. You have to figure out which movie the scene is from. Highly entertaining, even if you aren't the biggest filmgoer.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Kendra, my little Holy Spirit

The scenario: It's after dinner and the kids and I are playing a round of Disney Candy Land. Everyone is happy, we're all taking turns, and even David is enjoying the action. Then Kendra picks the card that sends her back to Cinderella's Glass Slipper, which is at the beginning of the board. She throws a fit saying she's going to lose and she's quitting, and then she crawls off and hides behind the rocking chair.

My reponse: I thoroughly raise my voice and chastise her. I tell her that you don't quit just because you're losing, and the whole point is just to have fun spending time with your family. (The irony meter was inching higher at that statement.) I tell her that she's not quitting, she will come back and finish the game, and I threaten her with a loss of priveleges if she doesn't obey. Kendra returns and sullenly plays with us.

A few minutes later, Kendra asks this: "Mama, how come you're nicer to everyone else than you are to your own family?"


Thankfully, I didn't react in anger, which would have only emphasized her point. But it's true, I am nicer to my friends, to strangers, and sometimes to random solicitors on the phone than I am to my own kids and Kevin. I tried to explain to Kendra that I get frustrated because I expect my kids to obey, to treat each other kindly, etc. When you don't act the way I expect, I said, I sometimes (often) get upset and angry and shrill. I pointed out that she's often nicer to her friends than to her sister and brother, too.

The sad thing is, we were having a much better day today than the last few weeks! We laughed more, baked a batch of Easy Bake Oven cookies, played outside in the sunshine, and I didn't lose it and scream like a banshee once. There was a lot of correcting, but apparently Kendra wants me to be a whole lot nicer about it. Honestly, I'm not sure I can be a full-time nice mom and train my kids well. Something to think on/pray about.

Monday, January 02, 2006

My New Year's Philosophy

Here we go . . . I've officially succumbed to peer pressure and have become a blogger. Paul Soupiset's been pestering me for some time now to blog, and my main argument was that I didn't want people to be privy to what goes on inside my head. But as my dear friend Christi Grooters once told me, people already know that I'm crazy.

I'm not a big proponent of New Year's resolutions, but this is what I've been thinking about lately. I spent December doing things that people expected me to. Did I really want to write a Christmas newsletter and send out cards? Not so much, but certain people would be upset if they didn't get a card. Did I really want to sew four donkey costumes for Caelyn's Christmas pageant? Again, no, but I did it because I want her teacher to think I'm a good mom and because I was the only mom with a sewing machine. Instead of enjoying the celebration of my Savior's birth, I spent December trying to fulfill an imaginary quota of good deeds.

As a result, I've decided that I'm only going to do what I really want to do this year. I may falter, but I'm not going to let guilt or unrealistic expectations force me into making the same poor decisions that I did last year. The key question is: How do I want to spend my time this year? Writing more? Probably. Reading more? Always. Shopping more? Ew.

One thing's for sure: I definitely want to focus more on eternal things and not foolishly waste my time. Which means no more Pengapop on Oh, and I want to have an ongoing book review section.

By the way, this wasn't my first choice for a blog name. Typography was taken, as was CaivanoFamily. That really surprised me, as there aren't that many Caivanos around. So I settled on CraftyCassie, which is my eBay name. My college nickname was Cassie (based on my maiden name initials), and I'm crafty, so there you have it. Not too original, but I didn't feel like spending hours trying to think of the perfect name. Perfection is overrated.

Happy New Year to my friends and family. I love you all!