Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hooray for the brave firemen!

I am not above complaining, and if you've talked to me lately, you've probably already heard my repetitive regrets that human hibernation research is so underfunded. But these days I'm afraid our library visits are confined to personal collection and the overdue books we got four weeks ago that I refuse to return until I can go outside without the air hurting my face. (thanks Carl for passing that one on).
So this week's Cranney Classic is the book I can get Simeon to read, even when the only other thing he wants to do is watch piano guys and Christian has had memorized for over a year and still comes to snuggle up and read beside me:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Those Mormons

Per request of Hosander and Lindsay.
When I first read that the LDS Church was building a 32 story building in Philadelphia it was a splash in the face. Philadelphia is corrupt, dysfunctional, and just plain old. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized if they could pull this off, it might just beat building Nauvoo out of the swamps of Illinois.
In the church's defense: I recently was reading On the Make with statistics of Philadelphia's center city being one of the richest, youngest, and most educated in America. Something like 80 percent of the area is in their late 20's or early 30's--in other words, a bunch of young professionals with no family obligations and plenty of disposable income--I have no qualms with their enormous rental payments going to the church. Despite Philadelphia's white flight to the suburbs (or Southwestern United States), there are a few other economies that aren't likely to leave Philadelphia soon. Philly's a medical Mecca, an artist and bohemian paradise, tourist treasure,and has some of the best food around. Yet despite these attractions, there is no place to live. Everything is old, and as romantic and quaint as that is for a time, few people enjoy living long term in a home laced with lead paint, crawling with mice (or worse), and dark. I'm glad the church is using it's enormous investing power to rescue what has been abandoned and then transform it, perhaps a little like it's doctrine, eh?
Perhaps the idea for the building must have come when they realized how ridiculous the housing prices are when they were looking for housing for the temple president. Also, despite the growing LDS population in the area eager to attend the temple, most capable of manning a full fledged temple are doing everything they can to simply support their family and their local congregations. An apartment this size and location would be ideal for housing temple missionaries much like D.C.'s.
I agree, it sounds risky at first glance, and maybe even the second glance for anyone familiar with the grunge and grime of Philly. I wouldn't mind if they considered this part of the church's humanitarian efforts since the building will be paying bucket loads in taxes that will support the rest of Philadelphia's not quite so privileged demographics. I think they would be wise to do a green roof, not just for economic and environmental reasons, but as a nod towards the liberals and/or loyal Phillies who though not knowing much about Mormons, will appreciate an investment in the beautification of their city. Personally I'm sorry it is coming after our time here. I'm proud of the church's trend to invest in the inner city as Mauss discusses at the end of the article, and I'm excited to see the waves from such a splash. As far as the temple? It's "on schedule" from reports, but for a temple announced in 2008, this seems far from on schedule unless the point is to make the temple available right after the Cranneys leave.

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Be Mine"

Back in college I was in a book club on campus.  I still remember packing up at the end of a meeting and everyone talking about their Valentine's Day plans.  One of the new guys spoke up about attending his brother's Anti-Valentine's Day Horror Film Party.  Honestly my first thought was: "Sheesh, he must come from a weird family."  

Six years later:

I've married into that family. I'm cutting out hearts with Christian to put up in our window (this is my annual attempt at crafts).  Christian wanted to help and soon we were both cutting away.  When Christian finished his first heart he thought it looked more like a helmet.  Soon he was asking me for swords, spears, and axes.   Now we have a window of hearts . . . and weapons.  

If you could hie to Kolob

Christian gave the family night lesson on 'reverence at church.'  After clearly demonstrating that he is well versed in exactly how to behave (and is thus a knowing hellion at church) he decided to ask some questions that must have been on his mind a long time:

C:"Why was God in heaven when Jesus was his son?"

R: "Jesus had to live by faith like the rest of us couldn't have Heavenly Father right there, but made sure that Joseph was there to watch over him and make sure he was okay."

C: "Well who is Jesus' mother?"  ["Mary"]

R: Mary.

C: "Well what about Heavenly Mother?"

R: Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are married and they are the parent's of Jesus' spirit

C:"Well where did they get married?"

R:"[Glance over to Stephen] Hmm.  Good question.  Probably a temple.

C: "Well, how did they get there?"

R: "Do you mean how did they get to Heaven?"

C: "Yeah"

R: "God use to be a man like us and followed the commandments and became God."

I'm not sure I satisfied all his questions, but I'm proud he's asking them.

Simeon is now saying prayers and it is cute as cute.  He's always been quite the faithful praying man around our house and use to insist that we say two or three prayers at meal times.  We've been limiting "Piano Guys" as it has become a full fledged obsession.  It was hard to resist yesterday, however, when in his prayers he prayed to "watch nano guys."   Fine, you win.  C

Christian asked me to day to "keep me in your prayers because I have lots of dangerous adventures."

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I haven't been up to much lately, between breastfeeding and the cold we have been doing a lot of sitting.  I've saved each child's life half a dozen times, of course it was endangered from another sibling that I gave life to, but I'll be sure to leave that detail out when I'm explaining why they should call me every day when they are in college.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Christian was on google+ chatting away with his cousin Nathan earlier tonight.  The two have become great friends since Christmas break when they realized they both had a soft spot for spontaneous ambushes.  The two showed each other their nifty knight toys, swords, and armor (Nathan's was Costco Halloween Costume Century--Christian's pertained to the Beanbag Era--both were throughly impressed).  Nathan told his mom that he wanted to go to Christian's house.  After his mom explained how financially impractical it was, Christian replied "Oh I have an idea!  We have lots and lots and lots of money and we can come to your house--- tomorrow!"   

This may be a good turn around since earlier this week he started crying uncontrollably when Stephen told him that we had run out of our allotment for food and so we couldn't buy whatever item he had just demanded we go buy.  It was several minutes before we realized that he thought we had no money at all and reassured him we had enough and would have more in just a couple days.  He was actually really sweet about it because when I was about to buy something else the next day he said "wait, but we don't have any money!"   Oh he'll be such great budgeter. 

Speaking of money, I happened to get some earlier this week.  I was browsing through some children's books and toys that had been left on the side of the street for the taking when a middle aged black woman came up and handed me some cash folded up.  I said "oh you don't need to" but she held it out and I felt rude not taking it.  I'm not sure if we were looking especially ragged that day (Simeon may or may not have been in his pajamas with boots on) or if she just wanted to help a young mama out, but it was given with compassion and I respect her for it.  And well, we may need the money for that flight to Seattle tomorrow! :)

Follow up

I enjoyed this clip my father-in-law shared with me after that last blog post: