Jul 23, 2009

Love: The International Language*

Ming Ming and Dimitri met one balmy Sunday on Facebook, love's playground. They speak two very different languages, but when 2 people find out they are BOTH fans of breathing, they won't let anything keep them apart. Here is Volume 1 of their story.

*A long distance, translingual romance, made possible by Babel Fish.

Expensive Ming Ming,

Hey. What's upward? It was so cold in order to have a talk with you to Skype another day. I'm you are sufficiently certain as my girl or something of dream. Your hair so of by the length. I love that. My last girl friend had actually short of hair and I was as "You must grow your out" hair; and it was as "It the doll of wig A.S. I do have no bulbs of hair on my head, I do recall?" So I was as "Whatever."

But since then I met you to Facebook my life is actually good. Thanks for to always be there for me and message me the images of your tomcat. But you must send by me the complete survey of body. That of what girl friend they make. And I want you to be my.

love, Dimitri

Most nice Dimitri,

The kindest greeting. Is your nice oneself vigorous in mind? I receiving your most recent agreement, was very delightful. However, I must correct one mistake. The image which I send the image which does not have my cat, but the sibling of my baby, was image of Li and was not. He is hairy very. But I still him dearly, enjoy the fact that of he is taken care. That is my obligation. I doing that, am very happy.

I inquiring about that is cool there am regrettable. The weather here is splendid very, feeling is good. I maintain my hair always. As for me it is not possible to cut that. My parent does not permit that.

The eulogy whose everything which you pay to me is splendid that you. I me am the girl simple, you that to my your note has many happiness in me. I laughed I hiding in my shoes, after recieving your photograph which is always put between many times. If I send that to me, entering in investigation, it is happy. I have enjoyed listening for the second time from you.

many love, Ming Ming

Jul 22, 2009

You're a Robe and Walking Stick

(This post is brought to you by Lance, who did it first. Thanks Lance!)

Folks, it is time to address an issue that plagues every single one of us, every single day. Some of us even face it multiple times a day. It is so easy to pretend that it isn't a problem as we go about our business, but then all the sudden we get an email from a French Dignitary and it is written in French! How will we read it? And worse than that, how will we ever respond? Back in the day you had to pull out your highschool French Textbook and spend hours translating and retranslating, but no more! Now, through the miracle of technology, you can translate anything online

This truly is a miracle and a time saving one at that (the best kind) but the question you might be asking now is, "Which translator should I use?" With that question in mind I have tested out a few of the most popular translator programs so that you don't have to. Just review the results below and pick which one you like the best!

Here is the text we will be translating:
Mindless rambling. Though you could argue that this sentence feels more like a prison term than a line of text. Why are you torturing me? Just make me a root beer float so that I can go and put on my wizard costume. I look amazing in my robe and wand. Goodbye.

Freetranslation.com - English to Italian to English
Unreasonable wanderer. Although she could discuss that this sentence hears more loving a limit of prison of a line a text. Why does she torture me? The right mark me one floating soft drink flavored with summaries of root in manner that I can go and I can put on my magical custom. I have a bell' appearance in my bathrobe and in the stick. Goodbye.

Yahoo! Babel Fish - English to Chinese to English
Unconsciousness strolls. Although you possibly argued, this sentence compared to the line likely felt more imprisoned than text. Why do you torture me? Please make my American elegant ice cream, so that you may go to put on my witchcraft teacher clothing. I look astonishingly in mine long gown and the whip. Goodbye.

Google Translate - English to Japanese to Spanish to Japanese to English
Demolition nonsense. However, this court, rather than lines of text, you may claim to feel like a prison. Or harass me? Yo, I like root beer floats, and wearing a wizard costume. I can not go. Call me a robe and walking stick. Bye-bye.

Translatify.com - English to Klingon to English
Being meaningless, the fast movement. This assertion can prove the fact that the text you feel may like appointment of the prison from the line of the ceremony of burial. But why am I tormented? Only do me the navigation of the Blood Wine in such a way that I could go and honor my enchanting suit. I look at my clothing and d'k tahg strangley. Success!

There you have it. I daresay all your problems are solved. Don't thank me. My work is its own reward. Have a great Pioneer Day, and as they say in Sweden "You look fantastic in your bathrobe and trollspa." Bye-bye!

Jul 18, 2009

Jennifer's Side of the Story

"My name is Jennifer. When I found out I was pregnant I went to LDS Family Services and met with my counselor Lori, she was so cool! She gave me two options, I can single parent or I could place the baby for adoption. I went with the only option I had, placing the baby for adoption.

The day I looked at profiles I prayed earlier that day to find the perfect couple. I looked at a couple of profiles and I thought 'those couples are nice but they are not the perfect couple.' Then I got the profile of Richard and Elesa. As soon as I touched their profile I liked them. They were the perfect couple!

The next step in the adoption process was the face to face meeting with Richard and Elesa. On the evening of the meeting I was nervous but luckily my mom and dad and Lori were there for support. When Richard and Elesa walked in with their counselor I was nervous and excited all at the same time. My nerves were soon calmed because Richard and Elesa were the most neat couple ever! A couple of weeks later we met up at Mimi’s CafĂ© with some of my siblings to meet Richard and Elesa. That was so much fun and Richard and Elesa fit in perfectly with my family!

December 21, 2006 rolled around and that is the day I gave birth to the most beautiful baby in the world! On December 22, 2006 Richard and Elesa came to visit me and Harrison in the hospital. It was a fun filled day. It was nice to see how Richard and Elesa interacted with Harrison! December 23, 2006 is the most sad day in my life. That is the day I placed Harrison in Elesa’s arms and said see you later. Today I am so glad I placed Harrison with Richard and Elesa, they are the best of the best.

I love you

We love Harrison's birth mother, Jennifer. We loved her from the start, and it still hurts that something that has brought us more joy than anything else was so difficult and painful for her. We are grateful for her everyday, and are so glad we have a relationship with her. We love you, Jennifer!

Jul 10, 2009

6 Tips to Taking Great Pictures

You may not know this, but I took a photography class my senior year of High School, which pretty much fully qualifies me to teach it. Now, you might think that one semester of Basic Photography would be sufficient for me to learn everything there is to know about photography, wouldn't you? But it isn't! There is loads of stuff they never told me, so I would like to pass on to you not only what I learned in school, but also the stuff I learned in the school of hard knocks they call "The Real World". No, not the TV show. Just, you know, the actual world that we all live in and stuff.

So here are 6 things to keep in mind whenever you step behind a camera.

Never under estimate the power of the element of surprise. Besides that it is just good fun to jump out at unsuspecting people with a camera, it might also be the only way to catch your subject. If they have warning, you might have photos that end up looking like this:

Timing really is everything and this applies to nothing more than to photography. You can hold your camera at the ready every minute of the day (and I strongly suggest that you do) but it will all be for naught if you don't push the button at the right moment. Don't take the picture and then tell people to smile. Don't wait until the candles are already blown out and the party is plunged into darkness and then snap your birthday photo. Stuff like that. It was impeccable timing that allowed me to get this shot:

If I had waited another second to snap this photo, I would have ended up with Richard and Harrison's faces actually IN the photo, which really would have ruined it.

I don't really know what this means actually. It always makes me think of pie. So I think it must mean that when you have a banana cream pie (or chocolate cupcakes), and there are three of you in the family, you need to divide it into three equal parts so that everyone gets a fair share. And make sure you take a picture to document your fairness so that no one can accuse you later of being a pig. See the picture below: He ate his daddy's third of the cupcakes and was caught on film, thus breaking the Rule of Thirds.

Takes Lots of pictures. The best way to insure that you get that perfect shot is through the law of averages; so the more pictures you take, the better chance you have of getting a good one. And if the little boy in the picture has lost his will to live by the end of the photo shoot, then you can rest easy knowing you have done a thorough job.

Lens not to putting your finger in front of must you.

And lastly, the best way to get good pictures is to take pictures of good things:


Oh, and this is really more of a parenting tip than a photography tip. If your child has their head stuck in a whipped cream tub, stop taking pictures for a minute and help them out.

Ok! Now get out there and snap some good ones!

Jul 9, 2009

Adoption Pass Along Cards

There are so many resources available to couples seeking to adopt these days, and it would be crazy for us not to use them. So here is the latest one. I have finally made up some designs for our Adoption Pass Along cards. I am having them printed by SpacesForFaces.com (who has lots of premade designs ready to order) and should probably get them in about a week. And then we can start handing them out like crazy!

Jul 8, 2009

Our May Vacation

Yes, you read that right. We took a vacation WAY back in May. And since I like to write about things when they are nice and fresh in my mind, I had to sit down and write about our vacation right away. I'm good like that. Hold on to your hats cuz this is gonna be a long one!!

So this year, the plan was to keep our vacation simple. Harrison is only two. He doesn't need to travel miles and miles to go somewhere exotic. He doesn't need it, and probably wouldn't appreciate it all that much, so where did we go for our Fancy Summer Vacation?
Salt Lake City! Woohoo! Exciting, right?

Ok, so let me break it down for you:

DAY ONE: Hogle Zoo

Harrison is crazy about animals, so we knew he would love seeing them up close at the zoo. Here is a picture of Harrison and Elesa enjoying the Elephant Show. Um, each of us enjoy it in our own way.

Here is Harrison and his Daddy by the Zebras. As you can see, by this time we had given Harrison an icecream cone, so he really couldn't have cared less what we were looking at.

He did think the giraffes were pretty cool. Probably because they came right up to us. We got closer to them than any other animals in the park.

Looking at what may or may not be Turtles.

Not sure what animal Harrison is looking at here. Probably none of them. We were there in the afternoon, and most of the animals seemed to be asleep.

Here are the 3 of us on the train, looking really, really outstanding.

The Playground!

Here is Richard and Harrison taking a trip down the slide. Good thing Elesa is such a gifted photographer or this picture might not have turned out so well.

We really did have a great day at the zoo. Ate lots of icecream and popcorn (Harrison's Favorite Food) and we all had a great time seeing the animals. Next time though, we are going in the morning so that maybe we can catch them awake!

We stayed in a little hotel somewhere in the vicinity of down-town Salt Lake. It had an indoor pool and hot tub, and free cookies in the lobby. Which is all we could ever ask for.

DAY TWO: Discovery Gateway

Day two we headed for The Gateway in downtown Salt Lake. But first, we stopped by the Salt Lake City Public Library. Would you believe it is one of the top tourist attractions in the city? With good reason too. It was very cool. We didn't get any pictures inside, cuz, ya know, we didn't want to look like idiots taking pictures of a library. You'll just have to trust that it really was very neat.

But here are some in front of the water structure out front and from the roof.

Then on to the Discovery Gateway. We didn't have any idea what to expect from this, but it was perfect. A hands on, full-sized playland for kids of all ages. Harrison LOVED it.

First off was the ball center. And not some dinky ball pit like they used to have at Hardees. This was Ball Heaven! One short flight of stairs up from where Harrison was in this picture, kids would send balls down ramps and slides and they would run down all these different tubes and pop out right in front of Harrison. Yea!

Harrison spent a lot of time putting balls into this tube. Richard would slide open the door, Harrison would push the ball inside, and a strong wind would carry the ball off through tubes lining the ceiling, to pop out and hit into gongs and whatnot. So fun!

Further on they had a miniature town, complete with a house, a grocery store, mailboxes and letters to be mailed, construction site and a farm. Harrison's favorite was the house. Because he likes to eat.

And then, to top it all off, was the water zone. Water ran down mini water falls and into pipes and pans and spoons and was equipped with tiny little balls that could run down the pipes with it. That is some serious, wet, fun.
We will definitely go back. A lot. We liked it just as much as Harrison did!

DAY THREE: The Living Planet Aquarium

Having never been to the Aquarium in Sandy before, we didn't know what to expect. But we weren't disappointed. First off, Harrison got to drive a boat!
whereupon he ran us into a sandbank (he could barely reach the steering wheel after all.) After only panicking a little, we realized that it was a FAKE boat, and that we weren't really movingl. Phew! What a relief!

Then we looked at the Marine Life. I think this is an octopus.

Ooh, Jelly Fish. So cool.

More Fish.

Then they fed the sting rays. We all stood around this pool and the fish feeders and a few lucky guests had the sting rays eating right out of their hands. I think they were feeding them like candy bars and stuff.

More Fish.

We had a great time and learned a lot (like the fact that sting rays eat candy bars. See, I am so smart now!) and then, after stopping for milkshakes, we headed home.
Vacation 2009 status: SUCCESSFUL.

Jul 7, 2009

Feedback on your feedback

Wow! Very good feedback everyone! (You can see that I am a fan of praise as a form of positive reinforcement) You had a bunch of good ideas and made lots of points that I hadn't even considered. I'm so glad I asked you. Course I had to scrap my card and start all over, but that isn't the point!

For those who are curious, I am ordering my cards though SpacesForFaces.com (and I forbid you to go look at their website and then come back to me and tell me how cute their pass along cards are and I really should have just ordered one of their designs. I know they are cute. I wanted to do my own. Can you please just LET IT GO?) I tried to print them myself, but my printer has made it clear that while it loves me and lives to serve me, it does still have limitations, and when I yell at it for not doing something that it is incapable of doing, it hurts its feelings.

So, now comes the uncomfortable part where I ask if any of you are interested in taking some of these cards to hand out as you see fit. (Thanks to those who have already volunteered!) And I know it is kind of a weird thing to do, so only take them if you want them. (Though, if you don't want to hand them out, you could always carry one in your wallet to pull out at parties to show people that you really do have friends, even if those friends suffer from some basic reproductive malfunctions).

Let me make it clear that I DO NOT want you to accost pregnant strangers. They get enough of that what with old ladies rubbing their bellies all the time. But please do hand them out when it seems appropriate and you feel impressed to do so.

And then just don't be offended when you see the cards and realize I didn't use any of your ideas. Hee hee hee! (Hmm. That laugh was supposed to be maniacal. But I think it came off sounding more like a little Japanese girl. Though I guess that works too.)

And, once again, Thank You All Very Much!

The Search for Baby #2 Continues.

Ok my smart, clever, and stylish readers, I need your opinions (all the rest of you can go). You have good taste and I need you to sprinkle some of it over here.

Ok, so I have been inspired to finish the Adoption Pass Along cards that I started MONTHS ago. (I would include a link to the story of how Pass Along cards helped one birth mother find the couple she chose to place her baby with, but that would require lots and lots of extra clicking. Geez, how much work do you want me to do here? I'm not a clicking machine you know........................ Oh, drat, now I feel guilty. OK! Here is the story. It is a pretty good one. And I had to click like 5 extra times to get it for you. And I am feeling it! Woo! I didn't expect to be working out today!)

Um, where was I? Oh! Pass Along Cards! Ok, so I finally finished mine, but I need some feedback. And I don't want you to be nice, I want you to be critical. A person could be deciding whether to give us their child or not based on this card! So keep in mind as you review it that your suggestions could directly affect my future happiness. No biggie, right? Ok.


Ok. Trying to decide which of the above is better. Is the LOVE behind the words on the right too distracting? Is it too plain without it? Other thoughts?


Are the fonts too big? Too small? Hard to read? And is it too much to have a picture on the front and the back? Does it seem way too busy? Will it be annoying to have the orientation different on the back than the front? Is the punctuation necessary? Other thoughts? Yes, I am obsessing, but we've already been over how important it is. I don't think I need to go over THAT again.

And thanks. I think you guys are special and pretty and nice.

Jul 6, 2009

It's Hard to Cook When You Are An Idiot.

I still do it though. And am STILL continually amazed at the boundlessness of my incompetence.

So, here is the latest thing I tried to make: Star-Studded Mini Pies! Click HERE to see the recipe on OurBestBites.com.

Aren't they cute? And so incredibly easy. Refrigerated pie crust and canned pie filling. What could be easier? I didn't end up making them yesterday, though, because it just seemed like so much work at the time.

So I made them today instead. And things were going just great until I got to this very simple and basic step: "Gently roll the edge down with your fingers and then crimp it so it looks pretty." Sounds easy, but it seemed to be completely beyond me. I TRIED to roll the edges. but this is about the best I could do.

And my crimping looked more like I had sort of mushed it with my toes, or maybe beat at it with my elbows (which I did try, but it didn't help.) Look how pretty hers looks!

Yeah, that wasn't happening for me, so I gave up. Some can and some can't and there it is.

So then I got to the part that said to "dredge in sugar" I wasn't really sure what "dredge" meant in this context, but I figured it implied something like "increase mass by 100%" so, using sugar, that is what I did.

Mmmm. Is it even possible to use too much sugar? And, no, I didn't do a star. Because I didn't have one and since the 4th was yesterday I decided I was too late to be patriotic anyway, so I just did little circles. Not nearly as cute, but they served my purpose.

So, here is the finished product:

Looks like a jar of preserves sneezed all over my pancakes. Or like a battlefield from the Jelly Wars. Not quite as pretty as they should be. But that didn't stop us from eating them. Ha. Not in the least. The following picture was taken approximately 2.3 seconds after I took them out of the oven.

So, it is true! Looks aren't everything! You can be totally deformed and weird looking as long as you still taste good!

Jul 4, 2009


I sure hope that everyone who reads Pride and Prejudice based on my recommendation likes it. If you don't, then I suggest you read something like.......................................................... Hmm. I was going to suggest some really dumb book for you dummies who don't like Pride and Prejudice, but I can't think of one. Maybe because I don't read dumb books. Does that mean that a book is good because I read it? Yeah. I guess so.

The dumbest one I can think of is one I cannot remember the name of. About a girl who pretends to have amnesia and this weird old man says that she is his daughter and she goes along with it because I guess she doesn't want to break character and there is something about some valuable necklace and I don't know, but that girl was an idiot. I almost wish she had died in the end, just to teach her a lesson. And I know that at least one of you will be saying to yourself "Hey! That is my favorite book!" And for that I am sorry. To each his own.

So, I'm curious? What is the dumbest book you have ever read? A book you got to the end of and said to yourself "Why did I even finish that thing? Why did I devote any time to so much stupidness? Why? WHY?"