Tuesday, October 23, 2007

2 Hours and 45 Minutes

Southern California is burning. The sun and sky is red. The clouds overhead spew ash. Schools and freeways are closed...this is the LEAST opportune time to have to take someone to the airport. Typically an hour, ONE WAY took me 2 hours and 45 minutes. Freeways all over were closed...and I had a choice to make - get freaked out about it and stressed...or let it be. I chose the latter.

Freeway time, actually, serves me as a thinking moment. There are a number of issues at hand to consider...not only in my personal life, but in the world...and with fires raging all around me and natural displays which are very prophetic-like I had a chance to really delve into where I stand. I didn't have to fish for dropped cups or some processed snack in a travel bag. I didn't have to flip through cd's to find "My Songs, Mom". I didn't have to do anything but focus on the car ahead of me...and I wasn't mad about it, so I could gain some insight and perspective there on the 405 with my cruise control set at 11 miles per hour.

I don't want to go into what I thought about or what realizations I've made, just that there needs to be time to consider, or ponder. I hear parents talk all the time about "teaching" moments; that you must watch for the opportunities to do so. And we ask people around us to THINK about things...okay, so FINE - THINK. But this was different...this was consideration as NPR discussed political, diplomatic and foreign policy issues in addition to the issues regarding California's own state of emergency. There don't seem to be enough hours in a day to have time to ponder and consider...in a quiet place for more than 20 or 30 minutes where a thought can construct a pattern and really take the route of a process...and perhaps arrive at a conclusion. It's brilliant.

So I lied, I will tell you a smidge of what I thought about...the non-offensive ME things that I thought about - the elements of necessary change within my own life. I don't want to discuss my deliberation on political affiliation right now.

I thought about where I was a year ago - attending CLU and working 2 jobs, falling in love, and coming to the end of my rope with a disenchanting work situation. People just kinda left me alone during those times. I've had more people ask me in the last month about my singing...and (embarrassingly enough) I was taken aback...oh right, I sing. I remember that. I think my last real performance was at the Christmas Program up in Ojai last December. I need to sing more. ALOT more. But then there's the flip side of it...the opportunity. There's a matter of making it happen...a matter that I've not taken into my own hands...that may need to change. I've had people ask me about photography...oh right, I'm a freelance photographer...dang, I almost forgot that one, too! Somebody came to me for watercolor painting techniques...it was STRANGE to sit at a table and try to explain value and painting mechanics...it was like I had forgotten I was a painter. It's true that the once strong muscles of skill that we don't use will atrophy and wain. My change has to do with remembering the many aspects of talent and agency that exist within us. A very surprising discovery.

It's amazing what traffic can do for you, huh?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

4 Months Later

Yes, I realize that I've not blogged in 4 months. I'm not sitting in a classroom 3 nights a week anymore, so my blog time has been reduced significantly. I'm suddenly stripped of those hours where I waltz in and out of attention to theories of special education, technology in the classroom, biology and methods. I found during those frequent hours that I could wander between conceptual rhetoric and practical life...considering those elements of both that were relevant and absurd. Now that work is in full swing and kids are getting back to school I am without doodle-time, if you will. But there is much to be said in terms of progress and for that, I can offer a few glimpses of the moment.

Justus is starting 2nd grade tomorrow. He's lost a whole lot of teeth...they're starting to fill in and he can eat corn on the cob again...which is kinda funny. He's tall. He's smart. He's mine.

She's a talker. Smart as a whip and engaging. She's certainly not shy...but she has this innate practicality when she talks to new people...and then she likes them and wants to play...even in dentists offices...it's kinda funny. She begins her second year of preschool on Friday...big beautiful girl. And yes, her hair is short...because she cut it herself and it had to be fixed...

He's quite the conversationalist...and rather observant. He's huge and darling. He has this high pitched voice...and you can't help but melt when he says he loves you too, or misses you too...little pumpkin.

So the short of it is that all is well. Children are getting bigger every day. Work and love and life are better than could ever be expected. Happy. Healthy. Just without doodle time.

Love you all. Be Well. Keep in Touch! xo - j.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I did it.

I walked the line on May 12. Despite the fact that I have 2 classes to finish this summer, CLU considers me a graduate. I've decided NOT to go into School of Education for my Masters as of yet. I'll be able to use my degree within the capacity of my job - that's a good thing.

It was a beautiful ceremony. I was a bit emotional - I certainly didn't expect that. We were lined up in alphabetical order and our families were given maps to know our whereabouts. It was cool. Before we were seated we had to walk through a gauntlet of faculty who applauded us. It's crazy to think that I started this journey 2 years ago and now it's done. It's crazy to think...I did it.

Monday, April 30, 2007


I'm feeling crunchy. I'm 2 weeks away from graduation. I'm sitting in a classroom with a handful of 1st years who are FLIPPING OUT over the final...A final which will allow notes AND the textbook. I've got a serious case of angst. I'm talking theory with a man who has no concept of Piaget, Dewey, the basic educational theorists...and a completely (he's admitted) jaded perspective. It's like scripture chase on crack. 15 women between 21 and 55 flipping through pages frantically to answer questions on pedagogy, curriculum, policy, etc...grrr. enough.

All is well. Kids, life, work, school...it's all beautiful - promise. It's just busy. I had a woman call me the other day about student loan consolidation. She went on for 20 minutes asking me questions about this and that...she asked me at the end about providing her with specific amounts from specific lenders...at that point I told her that the timing was less than desirable. I'm in the process of finals, I work full-time, go to school full-time and I'm a single mother of 3. The woman stammered and said, "Wow. You sound so calm." enough. It's all good.

Love you all. Be happy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

5 days of music

Robin. Robin. Robin. Have you ever had a friend so connected to music that you felt like you could never catch up? I sent Robin 3 cds of cool tunes I've found over the last year or so...Kate Havnevik, Cut Chemist, The Reconteurs, Beck, Bitter:Sweet, Imogene Heap, Si*Se, Sia, and a few others.

Dear boy, he sent me some music in return...oh sorry, he sent me 5 days worth of music...if I were to play everything he sent me without stopping it would take 5 days to get through it all...and it turns out he KNOWS Kate Havnevik. Despite that I feel like a completely unqualified contributor, (which is all me, I'm sure he takes my measly cds fondly) I am amazed by what he's exposed me to...in that breath, I am grateful...

How does he FIND this stuff? The kind of music that makes you close your eyes to feel the depth of the message. The point: Regardless of what you know, there is always more. There is beauty in differences.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Kids These Days


Justus is getting big. He's smart...and doing his best to take on more "grown up" tasks...like taking the garbage cans out on trash day. Granted, they're bigger than him and it takes him considerable effort, but he's getting the hang of it. He's reading Magic Tree House books now and getting ready to start on the Juney B. Jones series. We got him and Emry each a fish. I asked him what he wanted to name his blue beta..."Fast...because he's fast." Fast it is. He had a tooth pulled a few weeks ago. It was tramatic...but he (funny) was most upset at the fact that he didn't get to keep the molar. He, too has discovered the various photo features of my new computer...and contributes the following:

Other than that, he's a great boy. I look at him and think of the days when he was tiny...even those first few days with him. I reflect on the stages he's come through and I marvel...he's amazing, remarkable, beautiful...mine.


Mimi got her hair cut several weeks ago. It was long...and to the point where it was causing her more grief than joy. She got food in it almost every meal, grass, toys...and now that Winter has learned how to grab, her hair had become a prime target. In brushing her hair that final morning, she kept saying "I don't WANT long hair." I asked her if she wanted me to cut it and she said she did...so I did. She's cute - dang cute. She's got this cute little bob and I pull her bangs up in a little half pony in the front...she's precious...and a spit-fire; the combination can be exausting. But you've got to love her fierce independence and her sweetness. She usually climbs into my bed in the middle of the night. We wake up and talk about her day. She's loved being in school and ballet. She picks things up very quickly. She constantly asks me to "test" her, meaning to giver her ballet words to perform, like plie and arabesque...to which she quickly moves into position with this darling little smile on her face. She's still into spelling random things and chomping at the bit to have the components of reading come together so that she can. Still very enthusiastic about art - she made a shark last week in preschool. She's growing beautifully. I adore her and she knows it...I'm blessed she is my daugter.


Is a little peanut. I don't keep anything in the cabinets under the sinks...Winter hides out in there. If I'm doing my make-up in the morning in my bathroom, he'll come in and crawl in there...occasionally opening the door to peek out and see what I'm doing. He's talking more now and he's more aggressive in terms of what he'll take from his brother and sister. He's more apt to object if they take something away from him or vocalize his refusal when it's time to go to bed. He's still dear, still precious...He's very curious by nature. He LOVES to be with his brother and sister and he's presenting characteristics that show he will be independent, too. I can't image where that comes from. He's a giggler, that's for sure. I love him.


I'm graduating May 12. I'm starting a new job April 2. I'm working on the crew of the Diary of Anne Frank at the Rubicon Theatre. My ward probably thinks I'm inactive due to school and work, but I'm not. I have one free day a week...it's Tuesday...All of those surveys that ask what your favorite day of the week is...it's TUESDAY because I don't have school that night and I get to remind myself what it feels like to go to work and then go straight home when the sun is still out. Do not wish this upon yourself. Scott Springer and I talked a few months ago about what it was like for him to finish his degree at Pepperdine...we share the same sentiments in terms of coming to the finish line and feeling completely broken. I carry 5 classes this term - 4 with CLU and 1 with BYU. Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely worth it and the learning experience is truly valuable...it's just a lot to keep organized. I'm thinking about taking a year off after I finish...but then there's a side of me that says to just keep plugging another year or two to finish my masters, seeing as some of the classes I'm taking to finish my credential apply toward that program. We'll see...it depends on what happens with this new job and whether my promptings lead me to pursue Human Resources the way the company proposes...or if I use my degree to pursue Guidance Counselling in High School and then at a Collegiate Level. There are many options...but I won't be sure until I'm IN the moment. Lots of prayers. The Mike aspect is good...really good. I'm very lucky...it's like we're cut from the same cloth. I'm very excited about him in my life in terms of the return of my friend and the unique and profound nature of our relationship. We've talked a little about how things were between us so many years ago...we only ever wanted to be friends...things don't happen on accident. Everything is going remarkably well.

So, hurray for graduation. Hurray for work. Hurray for kids. Hurray.
Love to you all - J.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


12 years ago a beautiful blue eyed boy sat behind me in a spanish class at ventura college. he became one of my closest, dearest friends. our lives went in different directions, but we thought of each other. last april we managed to track each other down to catch up...the rest is history. he is amazing. he seems to see into my very heart. he understands who i am like no other...i am moved. exstatic. blessed. humbled. happy.

The Diary of Anne Frank

My latest project (I so needed another one) is with the Rubicon Theatre. Their head hair/make-up artist is a principle actor in another show, so I'm covering for him on the dates he has performances. I've found a fun way for the actors to pass the time while they're in THE CHAIR...see for yourself.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Gotta Love the Mac

I got a MacBook this week...and I love it. I can never go back to PC...there's just too many things about it that completely surpass my experience with other computers...With school and work, I've not had much time to just mess around with the thing and see what it can do. Last night I came home early from work because I felt like hud. After a lenghty nap I felt a little better and seized the perfect 45 minutes to give this baby a test whirl...and I discovered fun things...like photo booth!! See the many pictures attached...I thought the warped ones were so dang funny that I had to share them. She may not be a pretty girl, but she sure has a GREAT personality! Mike and I thought perhaps I should post these to a match.com site and see how it goes (hee hee!). Love you all!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Poetry Exercises from Last Term: Teaching Writing

Exercise 1 - Number your paper 1 to 15. Open any book or magazine. Choose a starting point on any page in your selection. From that point, choose one word that you like out of every consecutive sentence for 15 sentences. After your words have been chosen, write words around those chosen to create a poem.

from page 1 - by Jasmine
violently SNATCHED from some
FOUND place
the ruby SQUARES giving direction to chaos
you're SCARY, she whispers
that's not FUNNY you reply...because it's not

PUDGY appendages smear grace over a white page
a concrete CATHEDRAL looming above
DEAF ears and broken perspective
colors REFLECTED on grey murals...inspected
like GERMS on glass

his voice SOUNDED gravelly, but riveting
NICKEL-COLORED pennies and dollars at his feet
i wish, SOMETIMES, to be like him but he's empty
an impenetrable FROST suffocating his heart...
the place LEAST recognized

Exercise 2 - Consider where you are from. Interpret it how you will and explain in a few lines.

i am from - by jasmine

i am from a young mother betrayed, cheated-on & abandoned
i am from culture exposed & embraced
i am from simple thoughts & complicated theories
i am from ashes...burnt, humiliated - but salvaged
i am from survivors
i am from blue and green eyes that have my shape, my mouth and my undivided attention
i am from small hands that seek me out in the dark to be warmed and comforted
i am from some far off place where a father watches over me and offers me passage by blood spilt and grace administered
i am from harsh stumbling, blatant error and dumb luck
i am from tender hopes and belief in the power of love
i am from joy & laughter, tears & hiccups
i am from no season...but from every weather

I am more from inside.
I've internalized everywhere I've been - everything I've done.
I've seen things & made decisions about what I want to take from them & become, but it seems despite my choices, the residue of the remnants surface occasionally.
I am influenced by all around me to become a greater i am.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Likes that Make Me...well, ME

- The Vegan Cake at Real Food Daily in Santa Monica
- Fredrick Fekkai Glossy Shampoo & Conditioner (Green Bottles)
- New Fragrance: Euphoria Blossom by Calvin Klein (this changes frequently)
- Aveda Moisturizer

- Earth Shoes (give that negative heel a whirl, you'll never go back)

- mac

- M.A.C.

- Catalina Island on a beautiful clear day/night in July
- Molokai

- Michael Christian and his passion for architecture, travel, agaves, antique european cars...

- Cafe Zack's in Ventura

- The Taj in Ventura

- Salzer's

- Imogene Heap, Damian Marley, Bitter:Sweet, Massive Attack, Coldplay, The Police, oh, too many

- Photographs

- The Getty

- Tuberose

- The low dive

- bare feet

- red toe nail polish

- cardigans or v-neck sweaters

- black t-shirts

- long skirts and dresses

- 3/4 sleeve shirts

- giving Potato Boy a new dialogue

- lola

- aminals...

Kid Update


2! I'm 2! My burthay was really fun! My Mom got all kinds of heart balloons because I was born on Valentimesday and I'm her valentime. We ate spaghetti because I love spaghetti and my uncles and aunties came over and got me a firetruck to ride on and puh-jammas. My Pua and Poppa got me close because I always need close. The only thing that wasn't fun was that I had to get shots because I'm 2...I didn't like that very much and I made sure the nurse-lady knew it. I yelled at her really loud and a lot. My brother and sister came, too...they watched...well, kinda...Jussy covered his eyes and Emry covered her ears when I yelled...but my mom knew what to do and she gave me a cup and I was kinda happy for a while...then she fed me and I was fine. But my burthay was really fun. I ate cake and ice cream, too. And some valentimes candy and Mike gave me yummy bears. I like those a lot. I took a bath after my party because I was really dirty and then I went to sleep. Burthays are fun!


I'm Emry. I'm 4...at least, I THINK I'm 4. Everytime I say that, my Mom says I'm 3. But just you wait, in May I WILL be 4...and then I'll say I'm 5 because I HAVE to catch up with Justus! My latest news is that I'm in ballet! Mom takes me every Saturday morning. I like to spin around and run and jump across the floor! I'm starting preschool in a couple of weeks and that'll be good because then I'll be as smart as Justus! I'm in Sunbeams now! I like it alot. I like going to church because I get to see my friends and my teacher. My Pua is in primary with me and Justus and my uncle. I can count and I'm trying really hard to learn how to spell even though I don't what all of my letters sound like. You never know when someone is going to ask you how to spell NUGGET, so I ask my Mom every day how to do it. I love to color and do puzzles. I LOVE Bob the Builder. I'm a happy girl!


I really like school. I'm in first grade and I like to read. I've read over 100 AR books and going strong. I also like math and computers...oh, and recess - I have 4 of them everyday (Can you believe it!!). I'm a big helper with my Mom. I like to make my lunch in the mornings - peanut butter sandwiches (the best). I'm learning how to bring the trash cans in so that I can get an allowance and pay tithing. I started reading the Book of Mormon this year. My primary leader gave me a copy of my own. When I get baptized I'll get a set with my name on it (only a year and a half to go! woo hoo!)! My Grampa has started to teach me how to play basketball and Mike got me a golf club to play with in our back yard. I've been anxious to learn how to ride a skateboard, but Mom says I have to learn how to ride a 2-wheeled bike first - something about learning how to balance and taking steps. I sure love to ride my scooter, though and if skateboarding is half as fun, I'm ALL OVER IT! Umm, eating isn't my favorite thing unless it's candy or peanut butter sandwiches...but I do like carrots and hamburgers...ooh, and pancakes...and cucumbers. I guess I do like to eat. My Mom and I dance a lot in the kitchen on Saturdays when we're cleaning up after breakfast. I'm turning 7 this year. I've told my Mom that I want to learn how to play tennis and swim. Yeah. That'll be good.


You can't stop progress. Growth rolls on whether you're prepared or not. Walking, talking...remember when they were just trying to figure that out? And now they're eloquent and insightful. They consider what events and phrases really mean within a personal application. I look at them and I see the true fruition of a patriarchal promise. They are a reflection of everything they see and hear. I am taken aback by their physical growth - their development and change. I am moved by their acts of kindness and consideration. I am, then, infuriated by their thoughtless cruelty and occasional disdain...but they learn. By example, they establish order and reason. To bring up a child in the world is a tremendous responsibility...it is in NO way an easy task. There is a real amount of pain. Contrastly, there is an equal, if not more abundant realization of joy in that mix.
2 years. Almost 4 years. and Nearly 7 years. I know exactly where the time has gone...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Lists. Lists can be comical...while stumbling across the "Create Profile" of this whole blog machine, I noticed the "Add Wish List" entry. Curious, I clicked and clicked until I reached the "suggestions for wish list." Apparently, this is what America has been looking for:
I can't say that any of these options are relevant to me personally, but perhaps in the future I shall create a list where fuel injectors and space pen occupy the same page; however, for now I appreciate the fact that my needs are a bit more simplistic: paper towels, organic veggies, and some tea tree shampoo...oh, and conditioner...I'm always in the market for a good conditioner (Fredrick Fekkai Olive Oil will give you killer shiney hair).
I suppose what this list brings to the forefront is what we really NEED. Has our society merged the word WANT and NEED? Are the two concepts now synonimous? Will I die withouta huffy green machine? And isn't a space pen a pen that can write upside down??? Can't we just use a pencil if we really need to write upside down? Maybe it's just me. I'm weird for getting frustrated with the amount of STUFF we collect to define ourselves. Yes, we need things, don't get me wrong, but it seems like we can go overboard and STUFF ourselves silly. I'm NOT saying that I'm looking down on people who make this their life's ambition. And I'm NOT going to step over the line to rant and rave about consumption and how that will effect our environment...you can go there if you want, but that's not my real purpose...it's simply to point out that there is some humor in the froogle list, don't you think? And independently they might not be so obvious it's just together they seem silly. To each his own, I suppose...but for now I'll just focus on finishing my profile...and creating my list: paper towels, organic veggies and tea tree shampoo...Oh, and conditioner...I'm always in the market for a good conditioner (Frederick Fekkai Olive Oil will give you killer shiney hair)...

Thursday, February 8, 2007


It's interesting to look back on progress made from birthday to birthday. It's even more amazing and (somewhat) melancholy (depending on the day) when it's reflection on the growth of your children. Winter will be 2 this month...my valentine. He's walking, talking, teeth-brushing, exploring, car-driving-pantomiming sweet pea. The latest doctor's visit affirmed CLEAR lungs - a very good sign after some scary episodes last year.

It's crazy to think what 2 years means...what it brings...how much a person can change. Last year he still seemed so small and now he's on the brink of being a BOY...not a baby any longer. There are days when I wish they all were still small...and there are instances when I can still share tender moments with them like I did when they were tiny...but I am astounded at how quickly they adapt and how intensely they comprehend and retain upon which to build other skills and thoughts.

He's a precious boy...I admit it, I'm biased. But you should see him...you should hear him say "keess" and pucker up his tiny little lips. You should hear him make the smooch sound as he holds your cheeks and kisses you. You should see his green eyes light up when you walk into the room. You are lucky when he runs to hug your knee caps. Your heart melts when he says "bye" to his brother when he leaves for school. You can't help but love him when he follows you around with a muffin in one hand and your pant leg in the other. He's a precious boy.

2 years has brought me to see remarkable similarities between him and his brother. Almost identical...but distinctly different. 2 years has brought me to feel so blessed to have 3 little ones in my life...who help me to keep focused...who help me to realize the greater picture...who help me to giggle and play. As crazy as things can be at times...there is nothing like being mother to them. I wouldn't change it for anything!

Pictures to come after Winter's birthday!