Saturday, January 22, 2011

Maggie pies

Maggie is growing fast and I keep forgetting to write down some of the little developments in her life. She still doesn't really talk. Her preferred method of communication is crying, unfortunately it gets the best response times. She has a few words and does a lot of pointing and signing to manage her world. She has started to develop as sense of where everything goes. I occasionally place my keys in the front closet. The other day while we were going out I told her I needed to find my keys. So she immediately went and opened the closet, where my keys were hanging.

She knows were all her favorite foods are hidden. She loves to help in the kitchen. I always let her pour the ingredients into the bowl. She will even stir the pot for awhile. But her favorite thing to do is watch Dad cook while she eats raisins. This week I set her up at the kitchen sink where she scrubbed the dishes for a half hour. I also got her to vacuum the floor. My goal is to have her doing all the cleaning and cooking by the time she is three.

But despite all the time we spend together... her favorite time is still with Mom, go figure.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Damn those box of crayons.  I guess we knew this day was coming.  Maggie's artist side hit with full force.  She tagged two walls.  As it turns out baking soda works wonders on crayon.  I put her to work the second time and she dutifully scrubbed it all off.   But that didn't stop her.  At least the third time we turned it into a photo opp. She didn't seem to feel too guilty.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Musical chairs

I am amazed when one shot turns into several without moving an inch. It is fun to watch pictures grow and shrink.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The boys

Current score: boys 4 and girls 2... and boys are about to score another point.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Meet Virginia

Maggie's first girl cousin on the Torgerson side.

Bad behaviors

As of lately, one of favorite quotes comes from President Boyd K. Packer:

“The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel” (Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 20)

I like to study behavior.  It is easy to get preoccupied with changing behavior and setting new goals. Sometimes I think I can offset my bad behaviors by performing kind deeds but rarely does this result in changed behavior.

For example: my plan to lower my cholesterol started by eating healthy meals.  But a growing craving for sugar, sausages, bacon and eggs was working against me.  It is an ironic game.  I might cut out eggs but I justifying eating 5lbs of peanut M&Ms...  or vice-versa after eating a cake I might cook a vegan meal.

Another interesting behavioral phenomenon happens whenever I travel.  I stop doing all my daily healthy routines.  I stop praying.  I stop studying the scriptures.  I stop eating healthy food.  I stop exercising.  It is like all of the rules of the universe that I normally follow no longer apply.

So... something strange happened while we were away visiting family for Christmas.  I picked up a little book, "Choosing Glory".  The author helped me clarified the different laws of behavior (D&C 88:22-24).  It really helped clarify some key doctrines.  My studying of doctrine was unintentional but I noticed something.  I felt this strange inner strength.

There is also something about raising a child.  Routines become a life safety.  When I don't have routines everything feels like it is falling apart.  Traveling especially unravels daily routines... and so whenever we return home I am grateful to regain my routines and recharge my spiritual batteries.  But on this trip I somehow maintain a small charge and... I noticed.

It got me thinking about President Packer's quote.  If every time I found myself writing goals, I would study gospel doctrine, more of my goals might meet fruition.  The last few weeks of study scriptures have been empowering.  I started to wonder about what real change is.  It seems hard to change especially as I age.  Despite gaining a knowledge of the negative impact my behaviors have, it is strange how often I act against my beliefs and better judgment.  I definitely can see how I exchange long term happiness for the immediacy of the moment.

On the other hand, even when we remove addictions and bad behaviors from our lives, we still may feel empty.  Real change results in a positive behavior.  The ultimate goal result is increased acts of kindness.  Ideally the new changes would become second nature, result unknowingly in good acts.  Change never seems to include going from negative to neutral, it always goes from one opposite to the other... unless you are talking politics.  But honestly, when I thinking of change, I think of the things I want to become NOT the things I don't want to become.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Thank you cards have yet to be sent out... and I am still working on getting Christmas pictures up before the snow melts on Mt. Charleston.  This was the first year Maggie could unwrap her presents.  She was genuinely surprised and happy with everything her aunts, uncles, grandparents and santa parents gave her.

Presents from Aunt Leslie & Uncle Clarke

who doesn't love a doll
out of the package

more presents

Grandma Richins music toy set

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maggie's facination with nativities

I wish I had picture of Maggie's face when she awoke to see the house decorated with nativities. Maggie intently studied each of them.  She played with this one everyday for hours, until she had broken the entire set of figures.  The other nativities were off limit but she still manage to break a few of those too.  I always enjoy the Christmas decorations but Maggie took it to a new level for all of us this year.

Sunday, January 9, 2011