Monday, April 28, 2008

What Do You Think?

I am reading a book that I wish I had read before I had kids. Not that I can't benefit from it now, but I believe it would have been more beneficial for me while raising young children. You know what I mean.

It is not one of those books that tells you how to raise your kids, how to motivate them or even how to potty train them. It is called, "Why Gender Matters" by Leonard Sax. Laurel took an Educational Psychology class last semester and this book was one of the assigned readings and after reading only half of the book I can see why.
It discusses how male and female brains differ and what areas of the brains each use. The areas of the brain involving language and fine motor skills mature about 6 years earlier in gilrs than in boys, and the area in the brain involved with targeting and spatial memory matures about 4 years earlier in boys than girls. A two year old boy is more likely to be able to build a bridge out of blocks than a 2 year old girl. A 3 year old girl will better be able to distinguish facial expressions as well as or better than a 5 year old boy. Girls will mature faster in some areas, where boys will mature faster in other areas. I liked this point as well. By thirty years of age, both females and males have reached full maturity of all areas of the brain. Yea...it all evens out! I love that.

Did you know that girls hear better than boys? If a teacher is speaking firmly with a slightly raised voice, girls say that the teacher is yelling where boys would not even notice a thing. In fact, it can motivate them. Boys need to sit in the front of the class.

How about this one. Boys and girls are divided into groups with a project or assignment. The group of girls will work together to get the assignment finished even if it means asking for help. You get a group of boys together and they start out alright, but when it gets hard they will not ask for help. They start fooling around. This books says that small groups don't work for boys and why.

The book talks about risk, aggression, school, sex, drugs, discipline and more. I think we have all seen the title of the book titled, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, and after reading this book you will know why that statement is true. We use different parts of our brains for the exact same thing so why wouldn't males and females come up with a different way of doing things and learning?

It is a softback book that sells for around $15 and good for us all to read, even dads. There is also a second book written by Leonard Sax titled, Boys Adrift, which discusses under achieving young men and unmotivated boys. I think this book will be very interesting as well.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Better Picture

Our cabinets are covered in plastic now because of the sanding going on downstairs, but I did take this quick picture beforehand. I couldn't resist putting something in my glass cabinet. I am picturing all white ceramic dishware in this cabinet. And I love the contrast and the "tropical-ness" of my pineapple. I just love the word, tropical-ness!

Cahoon Family Update..

Laurel is home from school and just completed her second year at BYU-I. Her summer theater job starts in early May so she is just hanging out and quite bored at times. "Yah, I know Laurel. Soon you can paint your new room. Mustard color".


Brad drove home on Monday from BYU with the red truck which we left on the US side so we could get paperwork lined up in order to import it. Yesterday Mark and Brad drove to the border to pick it up. Since we had the red truck on our list of things to follow when we moved here 20 months 9 days and 17 hours ago, we didn't have to pay to bring it across the border. Brad was also a very lucky dog(dawg). There was about 2T of oil left in the engine after his quick 8 1/2 hour drive from PROVO to CANADA! Let's not even think about it.And... Brad has left his mother once again. For the summer. His cousin Kyle has started his own pest control business in Virginia and Brad is going to sell for him, make $60,000.00 and buy a Mazda with deep silver paint and black rims/wheels. Sounds good to me except for the black rims/wheels. He will be back during the summer months to see Laurel in her plays.



Last night we all piled in the truck(not the red one) and drove to Lethbridge and got a start on our food storage. With the gas prices up and some food item prices rising daily,we thought we better get going. We went to the Storehouse and bought in bulk quite a few items like rice,carrots,oats,beans,apple slices,and most important. Hot chocolate mix. They were out of wheat,potato pearls/flakes,and flour. We will have to go back next month and finish up. Did you know that you don't have to can or ouch your food from the Storehouse? If the food is for long storage like 20-30 years then it is much easier and economical if you buy items in bulk. You just have to make sure you have no mice problems and a cool area to store them in.
We then went to Costco and pick up some Travertine for our house and then we went to Dennys for dinner. We really don't mind Dennys once in awhile. Where else can you get breakfast whenever you want? We then dropped Brad off at his cousin's house so they could get an early start with their drive(not the red truck)back east.

Clark is toying with the idea of attending BYU Provo this spring and summer. He just finished up his finals at BYU-H and is wanting to spend time with some friends, save money on rent, and be closer to us. So we will see what he figures out. And I suppose the next time our WHOLE family will be together again will be the end of the summer before the kids start back at school. Ho Hum!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Autism Awareness Month


Thanks to my friend Susan I found out about this. I just finished reading her blog entry and I thought about my own sister. Her name is Susie and she is autistic.

I don't remember a lot about Susie while growing up. One reason was because I have a twin and we were always together and really didn't pay much attention to others, but another reason why I don't remember Susie much was because she has lived in a special home since I was 6 years old. It wasn't an easy decision for my parents but her behavior was unpredictable and when she pushed my sister down the stairs they felt like they had to protect others in the family. She was 10 years old and my brother 13 years old. Our family lived in California at that time and there were, and still are, homes for the handicap. We were lucky we found a home for her that was a perfect fit for her. Her care takers, Shirley and Al did so well with her and she loved them. She was able to live with them for many many years. I think that she is now in her third home in her 50 years. If you think back to the year 1966, that was a long time ago with no resources like there are now. Back then they put kids and adults in sane asylums. Isn't that awful? Times have changed and improved and there are so many programs out there for parents with autistic children. My parents feel that we were very lucky that Susie has been taken care of so well. She is happy and relatively healthy.

When she was very little she would go over to the end of the curtain and ping with her finger the curtain cord so my father built her a contraption for her to play with but she was only interested in the curtain cord. She taught herself to read by age 5. She loved reading the TV Guide. She has a super memory too. She has had a crush on Arnold Schwarzenegger for years. We don't know why she is so focused on him, but if you ask her about Arnold she will tell whatever you want to know. She calls her brother her boyfriend which is so cute. She knows who we all are and even the spouses. When my mother passed away my father and I drove up to Santa Rosa to tell Susie. Susie acted like she already knew, she wasn't upset and she said she had even talked on the phone to her mom. We were pretty surprised how well she took the news but then that is Susie for you, you just never know what she will say or do. The Saturday before my mother died I had a long and wonderful conversation with her. At the time she was in the hospital waiting for a stent procedure. She was on oxygen and feeling good. It didn't make sense to us that she would even call Susie on that day. She wouldn't have called Susie to tell her she was in the hospital because that would have bothered Susie and didn't seem necessary . Maybe my mother did call Susie, but we have all talked this out with time frames and happenings and it just didn't fit. We will probably never know, but because Susie is special we believe that in her own way she knows and understands it.
Her pink shirt says, "I(heart)my Governator"

Our family has always lived far apart with each other. Different countries and states and kept us far from Susie. Since the early 80's my parents have lived in either Montana or Utah so they would visit her quite a few times a year. There was always the same routine. Call beforehand to let the home know that family was visiting. Pick her up and visit for a few minutes then take her on a drive and get a root beer. Cassettes tapes of her favorite music would be playing and Susie would sing every word. She especially loved the old Christmas album of Patti Page. It is still one of my favorite Christmas songs. Lou and I would put that album on the record player and sing all the songs over and over. My parents would then tell her all about the family. Let her know what each of us were doing, where we were living, what our kids were up too. Sometimes though, my parents would drive all that way, visit with her at home and then wouldn't want to go for a drive. She was "all done". Telephone conversations can be long or very very short. When Susie is done, Susie is done.

Susie is a character, she is smart, she has the prettiest hands, she loves her family, she loves Arnold and Pinocchio, she loves to sing and hold things and she is blessed. She doesn't need to experience this life in the way that we need to in order to progress. She has it made in the shade! And won't it be great when we can all be together again?

So thank you again Susan for your interest in autistic children. You are the perfect person for the job and I know those kids love you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Clark!


I can hardly believe that my oldest child is 25. Where did the time go? Clark has always been an easy child to raise because he has always wanted to do what was right. He might have missed his curfew a few times, but we always knew he was with great friends so we didn't worry too much. We just had to make sure he was on top of things so that Brad would have a good example and then Laurel and so on. He set a good standard for sure. Clark loves to have a good time with friends and boy does he have a ton! No lie! He is a very organized person and pretty much kept up his room while living at home and you rarely saw any of his things laying around the house. He takes good care of his things. Maybe that was because he didn't want anybody touching his stuff. No, I think it was because he just plain old takes cares of his things. He is at BYU-Hawaii taking bussiness classes and gearing up for spring and summer term and then straight into fall semester. You go Clark! We love you.

Isn't it nice that Russ and Brad are doing the finger/hand stuff for Clark in this picture? Happy 25th Birthday Clark!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Coming

Every Sunday we get the same question, "how is the house coming"?. It's very nice of them to ask, but all we can say is, "it's coming". Well, this Sunday I have something else to say... "The painting is finished and the kitchen cabinets are in". That statement might knock everyone's socks off and then they will need to cancel church because of all the smelly feet.

But before I show you some pictures of the cabinets so far there is something else that is coming. Pussy willows, yea!

See this tall bonsai plant? My mother had this in Montana when they lived there in the mid eighties and then it moved with them to St.George in the mid nineties. About 6 or 7 years ago she gave it to me and boy was I happy. It loved my living room and then we moved.

When we moved to Alberta 1 year, 9 months, 24 days and some odd hours ago my bonsai sat behind my seat for days while traveling. It was happy there too, but when I put my bonsai in our room in the basement it was very clear that it was not happy. So I drove it to Saskatchewan to have Lou Lou babysit it until we moved in our home. Well, her family was here a few weeks ago looking at homes and she brought it back to me. So nice, and my has it grown. It now has a permanent home.....in MY home!!!Take a look. This is what my nook/niche was built for. Honest engine. When I find the perfect fountain it will sit right next to that bonsai. I even have a plug in there and a puck light on top to shine down on my "tropicalness". Oh and around the corner in the dining room is a switch only for that light and plug. Yah....I know.


Look at this. My kitchen. We are so happy with the way it is turing out. These cabinets have been packed away for 5 months. Don, a proffesional cabinet installer who, by the way, has been here two days in a row, is doing a great job. He is working on the island now. Guess what is happening? Uh, the paint is changing colors again....to it's original color pallette. Whew! With all the brown in the cabinets the walls are soaking up all that color and making Mark and I very happy.
See that looooong counter? Oh my goodness, I love it. I see potluck parties galore!

On to the granite and knobs and handles and carpet and......

Monday, April 7, 2008

Do You Want To Come?

Nothing has changed on the house activity. Painting is still not finished, plumbing is getting there, and sorry to say that the flooring is not ordered yet. I know I said that last week it was going to be taken care of, but I am with mark on this. Trying to get prices down at the place closest to us which hinges on those certain places talking with supervisors, blah blah blah.

I thought it would be fun to take you down Memory Lane.


We took this picture about a week before Brad left on his mission. We discovered this beach 16 years too late, but better late than never. It is El Matador Beach in Malibu. We have only been there a few times but each time we go there is always a photo shoot going on. This was our photo shoot day.
Yep, Mark is asking me to marry him...again...after 25 years. Our house was on the market and a realtor was bringing an interested buyer over so we had to skidattle for awhile. I needed to get my watch fixed so off we went to the jeweler and when we walked out of there 30 minutes later Mark had bought me the prettiest ring ever.
Joette made me wear these reindeer ears and I am not sure why Bev isn't wearing any. We were the hired help for the ward Christmas party. When Danece was the activities chairman she came up with the best idea, making it a breakfast and that way nobody has to give up a weekend. The tradition continues to this very day. Try it in your ward and you too will be a hero.
OOh how I love to watch Laurel sing. She was in a high school quartet for three years, and called themselves The Red Notes. This picture was taken at a competition in Valencia. They took home 1st place that night and a nice little check to split. Ooh how I love to watch Laurel sing. I know, I know, I already said that.....I just wanted to make sure you understood how I feel about watching Laurel sing.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Major Accomplishment

We have the oddest thing going on in our house. It is the paint. The paint color changes all the time. In this one picture of the kitchen area you might say it looks peach. But it is not, it is a beige. And the thing is,is that the picture below which is our bedroom is the same color as this kitchen area picture. Weird huh? The house has so many windows and angles and shapes and ups and downs and ins and outs and then add the sunset and sun up, I think the paint is confused too. Cabinets are suppose to be installed, or should I say, started late this week, which really means sometime next week..... hopefully.
The big accomplishment? We (Mark) has decided on flooring and we are ordering it today. No, really we are. Mark promised. We are doing the Kahrs Walnut 3 strip. We know that the wider planks are in these days and we do like it, but we think with the overall look and feel we think, no, we know, that the three srtip will look super great. It has lots of grain and some color variation so it will have some character.

Wow, now that I am looking at this post I can hardly belive the paint color myself. The paint you see in both pictures is really not indicative of what it really looks lkie. I will keep the post up anyhow so you can see the progress, if that is what you call it. Just so you know, in real life the colors do match and we like them.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

They Keep the Drifting Snow Out!

So these are the windows in the front of the house. We love our windows. Same ones we had in California except these are triple pane. See the "marginal grid" or "prairie grille" as it is called here. We love it so we matched our garage doors to them.
Doesn't the grid look nice? It better because we waited over 8 weeks for these custome made R100 or whatever rating they are. Maybe they are an R40 rating. I don't really know and don't care too much for that knowledge like Mark does. Our garage door guy who put them in said they are a nice garage door though. Whatever, as long as they match my windows.
Ta Da! The light you see behind them are the windows in the garage that will have a beautiful sunset through them why I drive in and park at dusk.

PS. Just a reminder......we can't stucco the house until the temperature stays ABOVE freezing for 3 or more days. I think it will be awhile.