Friday, November 14, 2008

Cool Stuff my sister has been doing

I am number two in a family with five girls and a boy at the end. Number three has been doing various cool things, which I wanted to report on.

I must mention that this sister is the person I would, hands down, vote most likely to receive an honorary PhD in ornithology.

Specializing in Penguins.

On her (relatively) recent family trip to California, they went to both Disneyland and Sea World. She was in seventh heaven listening to the penguin show, even though she has learned so much about penguins on her own that the only new thing she learned was that a penguin body was called a "fusiform". At the end of the presentation, they asked a "quiz" question, and whoever in the audience who got it right would receive the privilege of going to the back and getting to actually meet the penguins and their keepers. The question they happened to ask was, "What is the name of a penguin body?"

Her mind went blank.

[Wait.... wait....]

Her husband's hand shot up in the air! He remembered right away! And they let the whole family go back to see them. (She has worried in the past that her children are sort of being brainwashed into liking penguins, just because she likes them so much, but I pointed out that there are worse things than being brainwashed into liking penguins.) Her husband didn't even do any petting; he just took pictures of my sister and the kids having the time of their lives with real, live penguins.

On the way home from California, they accomplished a feat which she had never thought possible with her eight- and five- year old children. They got through all of Jacob 5 in one day of family scripture study. This is how it happened: they had scriptures in digital-audio format, and the kids were strapped in their car seats. They were a captive audience. (Not recommended for an every-day sort of activity, but what else are you really going to do when you're crossing Death Valley?)

About a week after they got home, she was talking to me and telling me these stories, and she mentioned that she had changed her car's oil filter. Because they have switched to synthetic oil, it's the filter that needs to be changed more often than the oil itself, and she proudly told me about how she did it all by herself in only five hours, including procrastination time, and that was with her five-year-old watching. He may not have thought it was all impressive, but she felt like a pretty cool mom, and I agreed. I think that the ramps you drive up to get the car off the ground may have a lot to do with the coolness factor, but just doing anything to maintain or fix a car is pretty cool to start with.

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