Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Greatest Inventions of Our Time- Volume 1

Okay, so I am trying to not point out the obvious in this list. I mean, I could put air conditioning on here, or indoor plumbing or electricity, but I am going for the more subtle inventions that really are pure genius. And I am definitely going to have more than one list because there are already things I am overlooking. Plus this post would end up being a novel. I can see myself really getting carried away on this one if I am not careful.

So here is Volume 1 of some of what I feel to be the Greatest Inventions of Our Time:

1. Spray butter. How could we call ourselves the greatest nation in the world before this came along? It is the BEST! I mean, the tub of butter or sticks? Well, the butter is rock hard, too messy, and there is much too much needed equipment to use it (a knife, seriously? you expect me to get that out?) And have you ever tried to butter individual fresh green beans or stalks of asparagus? Next to impossible! Spray butter is inspiring.

2. The "scan" button the radio. I don't actually have this feature on my own car stereo, but Jacob does, and that always makes me a little excited to drive Jacob's truck. How great is it to have the radio do the channel surfing for you?! All you have to do is decide between all the great stuff you hear!

3. Sky caps. Those guys at the airport are always the best money that I ever spend. Okay, I am talking like I am some sort of travel aficionado-which I am not- but in the handfuls of time I have flown, I ALWAYS pay the sky cap guy and head straight to my gate. Awesome. No waiting, no lines, no worries.....

4. Snow Caps. What kind of heaven-sent candy is this? I mean, essentially it is just a giant box of chocolate chips! Who in their right mind sits down and eats half a bag of chocolate chips while watching a movie? No one. But add some SPRINKLES to the chips and call them "Snow Caps" and voila! World's BEST movie treat. My favorite. Mmmmmm

5. The light under my over-the-oven microwave. Such a small thing, but I cannot cook a meal without having that little light on right above the stove. SO helpful! I can see everything so much better and I really think my mad cooking skillz can be attributed in part to that little bulb. Genius.

So whatta you think? Am I right, or am I right? And never fear, I am already writing Volume 2 for your reading pleasure :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Experience #10- Run a 5K with Jacob

I knew eventually that I could convince Jacob to run a 5K with me. It was only a matter of time, especially because doing a triathlon together is so NOT happening. So anyway, I finally found the perfect race for us- only $12 and you get a shirt! The perfect situation. So Saturday evening we ran the FCA Night Run at Lake Hollingsworth here in town. It was not without some drama, of course. Right as we were getting ready for our 6:30 pm start time, the clouds gathered, the ominous blackness appeared and the very demons of hell seemed as though they were going to unleash on us. Lightning, thunder- the whole package. They delayed the race til 7:10 to wait out the storm, but finally they just made the decision to get on with it and let the chips fall where they may. So we got to run this 5K in an absolute DOWNPOUR. No kidding, it was coming down so hard I could barely see! However, there was this part of me that absolutely LOVED it. I mean, I like to run in the rain, but when you aren't in a race with a pack of people, everyone thinks you are a crazy weirdo for doing that. But when there are 200 other people out there with you, can you all be wrong? No, you just get to enjoy it. By the end of the race I think I picked up about 11 pounds of water weight in my clothes and shoes, and my MP3 headphones were slipping out of my ears and completely water-logged, but I made it in a time of 27:24! I was thrilled at that time. AND, even better- I got a medal! 3rd place in the 26-30 age group. I think I see a pattern here... And my friend, Davina (who has been totally hustling me concerning her running abilities) got 2nd place (beating me handily by 3 minutes). Also, my friend, Michelle, came out and watched her husband, Nick run the race. Nick clocked in at 29 minutes or so- a personal best- good job, Nick. Thanks Michelle for still being pregnant and letting me get a medal:) Ultimately, I am glad that Jacob played along and did this with me. He is a good sport. He actually came in at a time of 27:43- so I didn't beat him by much at all. Which really stinks because I feel like I kill myself to train for these things and yet his training plan consists of running now and then and, of course, eating mass quantities of pancakes 4 hours before the race. So not fair.

Oh, and also for my efforts, I got my name in the paper! Yay!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Poor Cindy

Jacob's brother, Nathan, got engaged Saturday night. So on Saturday morning, DeAnne and Karl broke it to Cindy that Nathan was going to propose to Linnley. Cindy was devastated! She thought this was just horrible news, because she "was going to marry him!" Then later on Saturday night as we were all waiting for a phone call or text from Nathan after everything was official- Cindy asked when we were going to talk to Nathan. We told her that at any minute Nathan would call and tell us what Linnley had said. So she just kept saying over and over, "I hope she said No!" "I hope she said No!" Awhh, poor kid :) But eventually she came to grips with what happened and had to concede that now she was "just going to have to marry Daddy". Jacob and I think that, for the next few years, anyway, this is a great plan.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Experience #9- Watch Casablanca

Every few months or so there are always tons of those lists that come out all over the internet about the top 100 movies or books of all-time. As I have perused those lists, I realize that there are, apparently, a lot of classic movies I have never seen. So I decided it was time to finally watch one. I chose Casablanca. And it must have been fate to do so, because as I went into my Netflix account to add it to the top of my queue, I realized that I could just watch it instantly on the computer. Cha-ching! Rainy Thursday you have met your match!

First of all, I realized very quickly that this movie had to do with World War II- something I absolutely did not know beforehand. (But when I made this observation Jacob smartly said, "Aren't all old movies about the War? Duh?" Yes, apparently, they are...) I also knew that there was supposedly some famous scene at the end- with fog, the trench coat and hat, the plane- so pretty much I was waiting the whole movie to find out how the movie exactly ends up there. And it didn't disappoint me! I was totally engrossed in it the whole time. Great acting, great dialogue, all those classic movie lines (Play it again Sam, Here's lookin' at you kid, etc.) and of course a love triangle! Then you had Nazis, intrigue, more fog, tons of smoking and dinner jackets, (Oh! The smoking! Hollywood was so great back then...) This also marks the first Humphrey Bogart movie I have ever seen. Didn't really know that is what that guy looked like. Ingred Bergman was quite lovely- but I think most of us would benefit from the black and white, soft-edged filtered camera lense. It was like they were filming in a cloud the whole time. And despite never having seen the movie before, I saw the ending coming a mile away. I just knew what he was going to do in the end!

So, most importantly, what do we learn from Casablanca? I will tell you.
1. Songs from the 40's, where the bandleader yells out a question and the band answers back, need to come back into style. Awesome.
2. When trying to hide something important, put it in a piano. People never look there (especially Nazis).
3. We all need to start wearing fedoras. If you are wearing one of those, people don't question you.

"If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life."

Ahhhh, so on to the next classic! Harry and The Hendersons!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's a Sign!

My Dad told me a while ago about something miraculous that had happened; a sign had appeared in his bathroom sink! Was it the Virgin Mary? The face of God? A message from from himself 20 years in the future? No, much better than that- it was Mr. Bill!!! Take a look and see what you think....

I have to admit, that is pretty good, but does it compete with this!? A vulture pancake!!! I was making some the other morning and the drips just came out perfectly to make this thing. I was a little freaked out by it, but of course, it was just as delicious as the boring circles that came before.

So what does this all mean? Probably just that the digital camera is the greatest invention there ever was :) Actually, I am working on my personal list of The Greatest Inventions of Our Time. Stay tuned for that one...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Yeah, I cried, So what?

Yesterday was Cindy's preschool Graduation from College Heights United Methodist Preschool. It was the usual fare of Worship songs (Jesus is My Superhero, Open My Heart to His Love, etc.) and show-off songs ("The Florida Alphabet" song was very cute) and then all the kids got their Diplomas. I definitely was not expecting to cry, I mean, it is just Cindy walking up and getting a little scroll but at the very end they did a slideshow of all the grads with their graduation picture next to their baby picture. As a stoic, part-Vulcan rock, I hate to admit it, but there are a couple of non-church songs that make me cry and they played one of them during the slideshow; Let Them Be Little . That one absolutely slays me every time. My mom was a little shocked I think by my reaction because the tears started in like .025 seconds, but I recovered quickly, thank goodness. I really am so proud of Cindy and how much she has learned this year from Miss Kristie and Miss Amanda. They are THE BEST teachers in the whole world! And thankfully, Miss Kristie will be teaching 3rd grade at Cindy's school this fall, so they can keep in touch and have a friend on the first day.

Miss Amanda and Miss Kristie- heaven sent!

Cindy and her bestest friends, Charlotte and Maddie- AND her goofiest smile. Yup, she's definitely one of mine :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's Summer, Baby!

I don't say this just because it is hotter than the devil's windshield down here in Central Florida and the fact that my kids are now made of 40% popsicle juice, but also because as of this week, I think we have finally hit our rainy season! Whoo-hoo! (Florida rainy season= thunderstorms every afternoon) My father-in-law is the Stake President down here and for the past 2 months has been asking us all to pray for rain. The drought situation really is getting quite desperate. Anyway, our prayers have been answered! (although, I would like him to know that everyone I talk to credits the rain to him personally :) And for the past two days we have been inundated with water- yesterday it rained for about 5 HOURS- a miracle the Vatican definitely needs to look into. Anyway, Cindy graduates from Pre-school today, so let the Summer begin!!! Now, I just have to figure out what to do with these monkeys all day...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cindy and the Fortune Cookies

Let me just say that Cindy LOVES fortune cookies. Every time we have Chinese food, she is waiting the entire meal just to open those cookies and have me read her "fortunes." Of course, I can't just read the actual fortune on there- that would be totally boring and not take advantage of her in any way. So usually when I read her fortune, I tailor it just to her and watch her look of absolute bewilderment when she realizes just how magic the cookie is. Last summer sometime I remember reading her a fortune that said "You will make the most beautiful Rapunzel" (for Halloween) and she was AWESTRUCK that the cookie could know that!! It was hilarious. She talked about it for weeks. So we again had Chinese food about two weeks ago and, again, she waiting so anxiously for the moment when we could open the cookies. Finally, it was time. Cindy opened the cookie and handed me the little paper. I cleared my throat importantly and read it, It said: "Quit using up all the band-aids." Cindy's mouth flew open and she was utterly insulted by this fortune! She got a little red and huffed loudly, Hmmmpfff! Priceless. Then she subjected herself yet again to another fortune. This one said, "You really, really, REALLY need to sleep in your own bed all night long." This one made her forehead crinkle up and she gave me a giant look of worried disappointment. She hates being told to sleep in her bed all night. Anyway, Cindy and her belief in those cookies will be something from her childhood I won't soon forget.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Experience #8- Wear matching clothes on Mother's Day

My latest sewing adventures gave me an idea to make matching skirts for Cindy and I to wear to church on Mother's Day. I figured that if I could just find the right fabric pattern, we could pull it off and we could both wear our black high heels- an idea Cindy would really get behind. After renumerating the oh-so-many reasons why Hannah Montana fabric or Strawberry Shortcake fleece would not make good skirts, I finally convinced Cindy that the small circle pattern would do the trick. That was the longest trip to the fabric store I have had in quite some time. Anyway, I actually started about a week out and gave myself plenty of time to finish them, which really is the most miraculous part of all. Cindy's skirt was not a problem- it was the same style I had already made a few months back. Mine wasn't necessarily hard either (I mean, I made it, right?), but I am not a good wasitband maker when it doesn't use elastic. And the outfit went strikingly well with the necklace that Cindy made me. It was multi-colored beads, some with letters, that Spelled out "Mom You Rock." (actually it spelled "Wom, You Rock") but either way I thought, "Dang straight, I do!"
(What? There's nothing wrong with a healthy does of confidence, right??!)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Here's to you, Moms!

In honor of Mother's Day, I thought I would just share a little bit more about two of the best Moms on the whole planet.

NAME: Linda Bingham
HOMETOWN: Granada Hills, CA
AGE: Forever Young
SIGNATURE MOVE: Flying Clothesline
UNKNOWN SUPERHERO POWERS: Anti-gravity hair and the ability to always know when there are wet clothes in the washer that need to be put in the dryer.
NEVER WITHOUT: Chapstick, gummy snacks, any book by Mary Higgins Clark
HOLDS THE RECORD FOR: Being inadvertedly scared half-to-death 3 times a day for 2 years and continuing to live.
WHY WE LOVE HER: Always helpful, never critical, content, steady, great sympathizer, hard working, organized, strong testimony and seriously, you can scare her pretty much anytime you want and always get a good laugh. (and she does laugh with you)

NAME: DeAnne Sweeney
HOMETOWN: Salt Lake City, UT
AGE: 29
NICKNAME: Sparkles
UNKNOWN SUPERHERO POWERS: The ability to always be painting something and can "open" mini corn-dogs like nobody's business!
(Luke insists on them being "opened")
NEVER WITHOUT: Gum, "surprises", any food or drink item that includes pomegranate
HOLDS THE RECORD FOR: Consecutive days of feeding her grandchildren a diet of nothing but chocolate.
WHY WE LOVE HER: Absolutely selfless, great listener, kind in every sense of the word, light-hearted, sunny disposition, super smart, gospel guru, excellent organ player, home improvement wizard, and really, I think I have only ever seen her grumpy, like, twice in my life.

Am I the luckiest girl in the world, or what??! Anyway, I love both these ladies so much. Thanks to them for all they do :) Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

So that new Star Trek movie was....

TREKTASTIC!!! Wow, after so much waiting, speculation, wishing, hoping, waiting, praying, excavating, renumerating- wait, where was I?? Oh, I was just really hoping this movie could deliver and it definitely exceeded my expectations. I loved it! I won't spoil it for everyone out there, because I know you are all going to be seeing it in the coming week, but whether you are a fan already or know nothing about it- you will enjoy yourself (Two Words: Dr. McCoy). Jacob and I hit the 4pm showing yesterday afternoon and by the start time we had a pretty good group in the theater (mostly male or old people, just FYI). I would also like to point out that this movie now has a 95% Fresh Rating on the website (the end all be all site for movie reviews)- making it the highest rated movie of the year thus far. So we are definitely anxious to see the box office numbers come Monday morning-sure hoping that it will be that pansy Wolverine movie....

And on a completely unrelated note, Cindy just came to ask me to help get Luke off of the living room couch because Dad promised that if he jumped on it again "he was gonna cut his legs off and I don't want that to happen." This is my life :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Finally Here!!!!

I can't believe that the waiting is over! Jacob and I are hitting the movie at 4pm today. Can't wait to finally see it! Of course I will have a sweet review for you tomorrow, so in the meantime, I proudly present: (drumroll please...)

Top Ten Ways to Mispronounce USS Enterprise

10. Do your best, Minute Rice!
9. You just ate two dragonflies
8. Using less can't be wise
7. Toys R Us is selling lies!
6. Who doesn't like apple pie?!
5. Eat your crust, four eyes!
4. Luke is up, he swallowed dice
3. Show me the money!
2. The Sassafras! It hurts my eyes!
1. Where's my floss, oh great and wise?

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Seriously, I am not sure if these even qualify as 'jokes' or not. But read on because I know you can't not read them now :)

Question: Where do Star Trek fans go to lift weights?
Answer: The "He's dead, Gym"!

Question: How many ears does Captain Kirk have?
Answer: Three. A right ear. A left ear. And a final front ear.

Question: Did you hear about the singing contest for young men at Starfleet Academy?
Answer: It's called the Kirk Tenor Prize.

Question: How many landing party members does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Answer: Only one, but the extra red-shirt will die in the attempt.

And just for fun, some interesting Star Trek trivia...

In 2000, the show was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the largest number of spin-off productions, including the feature film series and the numerous TV series.

Contrary to popular belief, Captain Kirk never said, "Beam me up, Scotty," in any episode

In the hallways of the Enterprise there are tubes marked "GNDN", these initials stand for "goes nowhere does nothing".

When NBC was promoting "Star Trek" (1966) in magazines, all shots of Spock's pointed eyebrows and ears where airbrushed out of the pictures because NBC thought that no one would watch the show due to Spock's resemblance to the Devil.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Now THIS is a profile picture!

Good ol' Cheez-its is sponsoring a widget that lets you Trek yourself-

Much better than my previous homemade pic!

And since you know you want to do it too here is the link...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When I start to get worried....

A few months back Jacob and I watched a documentary called "Trekkies"- which is all about the Star Trek wackos out there. It covered everything from weird fan mail, homemade costumes and the conventions to merchandise, characters and, of course, the Ken Starr jury member who wore her Star Trek uniform every day to the trial. So when I start to get a little worried that maybe I like Star Trek a little too much, I remember this movie and think, Wow, I am no where NEAR crossing the line. This video is a clip from that movie. It is the scene where I almost wet my pants because I was laughing so hard. Anyway, check out this guy and his love affair with Trek. The best part is Radio Shack and watching him go home after. Priceless. (Even more priceless if you have seen the episode with Captain Pike- which I have because we have all three seasons on DVD. No, that was not a typo :)

Monday, May 4, 2009


As further evidence of how Jacob has turned me into a gigantic nerd, I give you Exhibit A: changing my blog for the week to celebrate the new Star Trek movie that opens this Friday. Whoo-hoo! So to start out, today I give a top ten, written by my dad, myself and even Jacob pitched in for one of them. (I'm so proud of him!)


10. Klingons serve on the bridge, but not allowed to hold the Priesthood
9. Federation presided over by First Quorom of Romulons
8. When faced with a difficult decision, Dr. McCoy would say "Darnit, Jim! I'm a Doctor, not a High Councilor!"
7. On-board computer voiced by Lloyd K. Knewel
6. No beaming up allowed on the Sabbath
5. Chekov would get all the lines about Joseph Smith so he could say "First Wision"
4. Instead of stun, the crew would set their fazers to "Peace, be still"
3. Kirk and Scotty almost come to blows when Scotty replaces dilithium crystals in warp drive with Urim and Thummim
2. President of the Federation is sustained as prophet, seer, revelator and the only person on earth authorized to use the cloaking device
1. Kirk constantly referred to as "Menace to Society"

Now back to your stations.....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Name Game

Yesterday's post about The Curse sparked my thought about the tradition in my family to name some of our cars. My family has had a TON of different cars over the years- seriously I should make a list- but here is a run down of some of the more memorable names we gave those cars...

1. Jean Claude Grand Am- My first car. We really called it Jean Claude, never anything else.
2. Pepe Le Prelude- The little college car of my brother Chris.
3. Gluteus Maxima- The white Nissan Maxima my family had years ago and it really did go by that name. Only my Dad could come up with something like that.
4. Brian's Crappy Saturn- Ha! I asked my mom what she called my brother Brian's white little saturn and she looked at me kinda confused and said "Brian's Crappy Saturn??" I am still laughing!
5. Rocket- Cindy named our Honda his after the red spaceship in Little Einsteins, we used to floor the gas pedal and "take off" in it. She loved that. She actually loves Rocket, she thinks he has feelings and cried when we got into an accident in him.
6. Superman- That is Jacob's silver Toyota Tacoma, again Cindy named it.
7. Boss Hog- Grandma Sweeney's Red Truck, I fought for this one with Cindy, she hates that name, but it stuck.
8. The Smokin' Arab- This was a nickname for my brother Dave's Mitsubishi Galant that developed a big exhaust problem. Arab? I have no idea.

And I wanted to name our little Geo Prizm 'Tergat' after a famous Kenyan distance runner, but it never stuck. That Geo is probably still running out there somewhere...

So anyone else ever name their cars? Give me your best!!

The Curse

Friday I had a little adventure with our Honda Accord. The radiator hose burst, the car overheated and I spent a good few hours trying to remedy the situation and get the car home. It wasn't really that big of a deal to handle- thanks to good friends and family that help out in a pinch :) I think just a radiator fan is really the culprit and that is any easy enough fix. But the events of Friday have reminded me to blog about something in our family that I believe is a real force of nature; something that Harvard should study and document; something that I am sure can be proven with the right tests and studies. In the Bingham family we simply refer to it as "The Curse." (When I told Jacob I was writing about this he begged me to clarify it as The 'Bingham' Curse, because he wants no part of it ;) The Curse in question has to do with car trouble and how each of us is doomed to have car trouble follow us throughout life. While my family has seemingly escaped major trials when it comes to health problems, family drama, unemployement, inactivity in the church, or being born without senses of humor- the Curse seems to be our alotted trial in life. It all started with my Mom and Dad. I am convinced that with the union of my parents, the planets aligned, mountains were moved and there was the creation of the Curse- the vexing power of car trouble upon the Bingham Family. Over the years we have had just about any kind of car trouble imaginable it seems (and I do mean all of us- Mom, Dad, Dave, Chris, Me and Brian). Flat tires, fender benders, drooping headliners, dead batteries, missing mirrors, windows that don't roll up, windows that don't roll down, smoking engines, check engine lights that never go off, seatbelt latches that don't buckle, cracked engine blocks, accidents with each other (oh yes, my friend), lost hubcaps, overheating radiators, electrical failures, broken headlights, cracked windshields, faulty starters, defective transmissions, leaky sunroofs, horrible radios, faulty gagues, ripping upholstery- and that was all just last week! Ok, not really, but serioulsy, every single one of those items has been experienced. (The fact that we all have owned weird, used, cheap cars is not lost on me, by the way...) Another example of the curse in action is that several times when one of us has had car trouble and called someone else to come help, the rescue vehicle then breaks down on the way! Classic Curse. I had thought that by marrying into a non-curse family I could break this pattern, but days like Friday remind me that it may be too powerful to overcome. But I guess when faced with the alternative trials in life I could have had, I will take this one any day. I just have to be reminded of that fact once in a while.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Two nights ago the kids were in the bath and Jacob was getting them all set up with the new Elmo bubble bath I got Luke for his birthday. About 5 minutes later I hear hysterical laughing- from Luke, from Cindy and also from Jacob. I went in to see what all the hubbub was and I guess those bubbles work pretty darn good because the kids were totally covered in them, including Luke who had not only a bubble hat, but sideburnds, beard and matching jacket. And he was LOVING life! A total tub maniac, we just watched and laughed ourselves silly. Here are a few pics of the moments...

This also reminded me of being a little kid and taking baths. One thing in particular I thought about was how my Dad would let us make the bath water different colors (using the little kitchen food coloring sets). We would get to make the water red, or blue or orange and we thought that was so awesome. I have consequently carried on that tradition with Cindy. She loves to choose purple, but it always ends up looking like grey mop water. Red is best because pink water is sooo beautiful :)