Saturday, May 2, 2020

2019 Year in Books

Books since March 2019

Major events since the last entry-
  • 16-year-old outing with Oak to Boston and BYU, 
  • moving out of dear 12a Horne Street to Marina Grove, 
  • fieldwork in Fiji,
  • travelling to London/Ireland/Utah for 50th wedding anniversaries, 
  • moving to 1849 Mangorei Rd, 
  • MA in Religious Studies,
  • Oak and Noah home for Christmas, visits from Declan, Kevin, and the Huillets
  • Mercy's foot injury, 
  • temple trip to Samoa, 
  • Covid-19, 
  • Oak starts at the MTC.

Tie-dying for my birthday

Oak learning Mandarin Chinese, online MTC

Candlelight dinner for our anniversary, thanks to Mercy, Oak, Sage and Joyce

The new view

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

2019 Year in Quotes

A summary of 2019 in Quotes...

JOYCE, age 8

“I want to lick your braces.” 
-Joyce to Mercy. Unfiltered.

“We are not going to need any meditation tonight. We will go right to sleep.”
-Joyce, after summiting Mt Taranaki with Sage and Mike.

“My rule is going to be that I can ONLY have two mints per day. . .
unless I really, really, really, really want three.” - April 12, 2019. 
-this is how I think about treats, too.  

“She DOUBLED all the money that she has!  On her birthday!”  
- Sage rejoicing about Joyce finding a twenty-dollar bill on her birthday.
Joyce found the money downtown by the library. April 15, 2019. I wonder how I’d feel if I
doubled my money on my birthday?

“They should have a baby on here!” 
- Joyce, pointing to the sign with pictures of all the items disallowed in your luggage.

“I don’t have words for how fun this is!” 
-Joyce, August 1. Noah guided the girls and me down the Provo River. 

“When I was little, I thought there was a little Jesus inside me sitting at his table”
(Joyce makes a square shape with her hands and places it on her chest.) “He was signing
everyone’s reports, to forgive them.” 
-Joyce, dinner conversation, August 12, 2019.

“What happened to talking about matters of common interest?” 
-Joyce, demanding that her interests be taken into account at the dinner table, quoted 
“Cheaper By the Dozen.” August 19, 2019. 

"I’ve always wanted to eat my breakfast in my tummy button. ... like 5 rice pops and some
-Joyce imagines lying on her back and using her tummy button as a little breakfast bowl.

      -Joyce, examining her potential brekkie-belly-button

“When I get temptated, I just need to say my prayers.”
-Joyce has a realisation during family church. Sept 1. 2019. 

“Aw, I didn’t get to wave - that’s my favorite part.” 
-The goodbye wave on a Skype call is the best part? Joyce made this comment after a
Skype call with Danny failed because his iPod was out of batteries.

“I like the word ‘finance’. Fi-Nance. It sounds nice.” 
-Joyce. She was born on US tax day, and she likes the way “finance” rolls off her tongue...
I think Joyce’s future career is shaping up.

“I want to be the last one to touch you.” 
-Joyce to Sage, earnestly offering her best encouragement before Sage left the car for her
dance exams. 

Mike: (reads scripture about the ‘natural man’ as an enemy to God)
Joyce: Who is the natural man? 
Mike: (answers) 
Joyce- Is he alive?
-One of those parenting moments when you realize your explanations might not clear things up.

“Now I’m not a luggage!” 
-Joyce, excited, weighs in at 23.4kg on the luggage scale at the airport. 23kg is the
limit for a piece of luggage.

“I actually am still a luggage, because I took off my jacket, and now I’m 22.9.”
-Joyce, disappointed, a few moments later. 24 November 2019. 

“Master, my temper is raging…”
-Joyce, cheerfully singing to the tune of “Master, the tempest is raging.”

Sage, age 11

Mercy, with enthusiasm:  “We’re making dinner tomorrow, Hage!”
Sage, flatly:  “So I guess I’m cracking the eggs and setting the table.”  
-Making crepes is the domain of the older kids, and Sage resents not quite making the cut.
It’s not quite as bad as being told to read the entire instructions booklet before being allowed to
play Settlers with the big kids, right, Sage?  January 2019.

“Was Shakespeare from California?” 
-Sage during a game of Codenames. 

 “I so love my watch.  I forget about it, and then I look down and see it, and it gives me a
burst of joy.” 
- Nothing like starting a new school year with a new watch. Feb 2019.

“There’s a kid named Lucius in my class, and he has blonde hair!”
-Another bonus at the beginning of the school year.  (Harry Potter tie-in)

“My feet are so wrinkly that it hurts to walk.” 
-Sage, not too old for a play in the bath. This comment was made after a 2-hour bath with
Joyce. Feb 9.

“In America, there were a lot of sprinklers. Some people EVEN had sprinklers in their YARDS!” 
-Sage, reminiscing about cultural knowledge gained on her trip to Utah in July 2018. 

“If I leave then I won’t have any INFLUENCE.”  
-Sage, not wanting to leave the dinner table even for a few moments as we are deciding what
game to play. She got what she wanted (again). This time she wanted family soccer. 

“It’s like pukekos learned to fly by watching other birds but weren’t really meant to fly at all.”
-Clever observation.

“The mountain has been clear for three days. It’s really strange.” 
-The elusiveness of our mountain is part of the appeal.
-Miss Rowena (Suthon) and Sage-

“I just want to squeeeeze something.”
-Sage while working on a difficult math problem. Stress ball for her bday? The Devon maths
quiz team, which won regionals, was a 2019 highlight for Sage.

“Sometimes I read the ending five times because it’s sooo niii-ice.” 
-Sage comments on what she does when she comes to the end of a book. March 15.

“You’re joking, right?”  
-When Grandma and Grandpa mentioned that they climbed the pyramids that morning. 
No joke. March 28, 2019. 

“I just want to go back to primary school.” 
-Sage, having a cry about transitioning to Devon Intermediate 

“I’ve officially changed my favorite color. That’s quite a big deal, don’t you think?”  
-Mercy was pink, and Sage was purple, for years and years. This pronouncement basically
marked the beginning of the end of Sage’s childhood. 

“There were so many times I wanted to just freeze and always have that moment.”
-Sage, July 17, Ireland family reunion

“So it’s morning, not night?’ 
-Sage. Sunrise could be sunset after flying from London to NZ, a 12-hour layover. Auckland
airport arrival, 4 August 2019. 

“I like bare feet better. Bare feet help me understand the place better.”
-Sage, at the Three Sisters beach. 

“Pois-ze-don. It sounds better, don’t you think? Like ‘poison-son’”
-Sage, arguing for her pronunciation of 'Poseidon.' We discovered during one hilarious dinner conversation that the girls all had alternative pronunciations for Greek gods, having read about the names in Percy Jackson but never having heard anyone saying them out loud. For example, Mercy didn’t like finding out how to pronounce “Aphrodite” (“Aphrrodit-ee? LIke a little baby Aphrodite?”), and Athena(“‘Athen-a’ should be pronounced like the city”). Sept. 1

“It’s okay if I can’t go to my jazz class anymore. I’m glad I got to go as long as I did.”
-Sage, graciously dealing with disappointment as she continues to transition from one dance studio
to another. 

“It’s going to be so much faster! It almost feels like we’re cheating.”
-Sage, referring to the DRYING MACHINE that was in our temporary home on Mangorei Rd.
We actually used the drying machine for only one month because the electricity bill was so high. 

Mike: “What does it mean to forgive, if someone has done something to hurt you?”
Sage: “You feel equal to them.” 

-Thanks to Sage’s streetsmart classmates at Devon Intermediate, we now know this is a gang
greeting and best avoided.

Sage: [told me she couldn’t get her work done at school]
Me: “What if you asked your teacher what you should do when you can’t get
your own work done because so many of the other kids are asking you to 
help with their assignments?”
Sage: “She’d probably say, ‘Welcome to my life!’”

“What’s a ‘siesta’? I assumed it was the opposite of ‘keeping-on-going,’ so I voted for it.”
-When I presented everyone with a few options during a family workday, Sage used her influence
to push hard for a siesta, only later wondering what it was. 

Mercy, age 14

“I’m pretty bad at that - I’m not very flexible.” 
- Mercy’s response when I pointed out that once she got something in her head, like summiting,
she didn’t like to let it go. Mercy and Bree got part way up, Bree got sick, so they both came
down. Mercy summited alone later that same day. No socks. 

“Tell Mercy not to overtrain.”
-Nick, watching Mercy on Strava. (Nick?!)

“Do you have a plan for dinner?”
- Mercy kindly probes my level of organisation. Sometimes Mercy thinks even further out than
I do.

“This concerto is soooooo cool. I think I would LOVE playing it.”  
-Undaunted. Mercy, listening to Rachmaninoff 2nd before starting a year-long process of
learning to play it. 

Noah, asking about Mercy about a biking trip: “Did you crash?”
Mercy: “Well, kind of.  I ran into a ponga . . . and got some ponga stuck in my braces.”
-That sounds like a crash to me.


“Orienteering. It’s a sport where you read a map and run around.” 
-Sounds brilliant, right? Mercy explains orienteering to Esther at group class. 

“She grabbed the [tree]trunk like a koala and said, ‘I didn’t want to get splashed!’” 
-Mercy, describing the funny reaction of a lady on the muddy trail when she, Bree, and Cliff ran
by at full speed on the way to the Pouakai trig. When you are Mercy, it’s easy to forget that
some people try to keep their feet dry and mud off their socks and legs. 

Mike- “When will you be done practicing?”
Mercy- “I could practice as long as I’m allowed to ...but I have to stop sometime.” 
-Mercy, coming to grips with the human condition. On NPGHS workday. 

“I think I like finishing things last minute too much. All day I’ve been looking forward to coming
home and finishing this up.”
-Mercy, comments on an English research project which she has procrastinated. 

Oak: “It makes me want to be excellent in everything that I do.”
-Oak, reacting to Mercy’s run-through of her performance pieces, Sept. 26.

“When I took off this morning, I couldn’t quite imagine getting back.”
-Mercy, after a 7-hour solo run around the Pouakai circuit plus the leg to and from our house.
I went an hour up the track to meet Mercy as she was coming down. She was pretty emotional
both when she saw me on the trail and when we ran back down to the house. Nov. 2019

“I love it when you get chord inversions stuck in your head.”
-Mercy, sarcastically, as she catches herself whistling major triad inversions at a slow,
regulated tempo after she had been practicing her technique chart. 

“If Oak’s having trouble making decisions I’m going to be so stuck! He’s better than I am!”
-Mercy overhearing Oak trying to make a decision about whether to go to another semester of
school and when to leave on a mission.

Oak, 18yo

“Respect for the guy that did it.” 
- Oak, December, after trying to break around the mountain record and failing by 20 minutes
after approximately 6 hours. 

Mike- “I miss him.” 
Me- “Me too. Everything we’ve done the last few days would have been more fun with him
-when Oak first moved out, our house seemed unnatural and somber.

Oak: “I just finished listening to Jane Eyre on my drive. Have you read it?”
Noah: “I was going to say, you’re so sophisticated recently.” 
Oak:  “It’s an old version of ‘The Sound of Music’.” 
-Oak listened and read some epic literature this year, including books like Anna Karenina,
East of Eden, Grapes of Wrath, and Siddhartha, to name a few.

Mike- “Is that poo or mud?”
Oak- “What’s the difference again?”
-Working on a dairy farm for 5 months changed Oak’s perspective on a few things in life.
March 26, 2019

Sophie Gaastra: “I just walked into your toilet. . . And it was like SCHOOL!”
-I put this comment in Oak’s category because he was responsible for the majority of the
bathroom reading that was tacked on to the wall and the back of the door.

“I’ve grown a beanie.” 
-Oak, on the topic of not getting a haircut all summer. April 21, 2019. He had to get it cut to
start BYU on May 1.

“He pulls Marmite out of his Sunday shoes.” 
-Noah comments on how Oak will appear to his roommates as he unpacks at BYU. 

“I have to put on some more weight so I can wear pants. 32 x 34 is too loose around the
waist and too short in the legs.” 
-Even after drinking all that whole milk on the farm. 19 May 2019. 

“I think I’m pretty fit right now.” 
-Oak, in a typically understated way, explaining how he could place 2nd in the Altitude Trail
Run two weeks after landing in the USA and drastically changing altitude. Oak went on to win
a bunch of gear at various trail races and marathons and even placed 10th overall at the US
trail marathon championship. He was amazed at the gear, after racing in New Zealand where
the winners get a hat or a buff or a pair of socks.

“I’ve kept track of some expressions to call people, such as..: ‘avaricious old skeleton’ (Fagin),
‘irresistible duck’ (Mr Bumble), and ‘soft hearted psalm singer.’ Oak.
-Benefits of reading Oliver Twist. 

“I think I could dress pretty stylishly if I cared enough.” Oak. July 28. 
-Is this confidence justified? 

“I won the prize for most colorful costume, and I was just wearing my regular clothes.”
-Oak, after BYU ward Halloween party

Noah- “Peace out. All of my money is in New Zealand.”
Oak- “Peace out. I don’t have any money.”
- when they heard about an impending US recession.

“I guess I could see why it was called ‘Pigeon Milk Spring.’ I just went up higher where it
wasn’t so coloured.”
-Oak runs low on water, detours off track in Uintas to a spring of questionable quality, and
hydrates himself.

“I walked in and the tuba was just sitting on the floor, right next to a pull-up bar. So that’s
pretty cool.”  Oak.
-when you haven’t met your new BYU roommate and are looking for clues to the future. 

Me: “Oak, your YouTube channel has one subscriber, and it’s your mom.” 
Oak, completely unphased:  “That’s as it should be.” 

“It’s been crazy here, and I don’t know how to curb it.” 
-Oak, feeling busy at school. 

“I was working through my to-do list, got down to dropping off my phone. Did it. Then he
noticed that the next item on my to-do list was to call about the farming scholarship.”
-Oak, explaining why he hadn’t called about a potential scholarship. Also, phone
problems contribute to the above-mentioned stress.

“You haven’t really biked until you’ve biked downhill on a full sus bike.” 
-Oak’s advice to Mercy about buying a new bike.  

“There’s always breakfast to be found.  As long as you don’t limit yourself to food, y’know?”
-Oak, videos himself gulping at sunrise from a mountaintop. “It fills you up. Nothing quite
like it.”

“I didn’t really think past 3 months because that was far away.” 
-Oak, about signing up for three months of Spotify for three cents, but then forgetting that
he’d signed up.

“It’s hard to get a whole concept of someone’s life from Strava.” 
-Not that he doesn’t try. Nov 10. 

“Everyone else read Pride and Prejudice in high school and hated it. I read it on my own and
loved it.”
- Oak, thankful for NPBHS

“I feel like I search out experiences that stretch myself more than anyone else I know.”
-Oak doesn’t often opt for the easy way out.

Me: “I think you’re fascinated by a lot these days.”
Oak: “Nobody else is! It’s strange.”
-Oak, sometimes felt like one-of-a-kind at BYU

“Most other parents are a bigger part of kids’ lives in a physical sense, less big in emotional
health, or whatever you’d call what we’re talking about.”
-Oak, feeling grateful during a phone call home.

Danny - Russia, Moscow Mission

I think that is one of the things that really define who I am. I want to make a difference.
Maybe that is super universal but it was a cool moment for me to put into words something
that I hadn't ever really understood about myself so clearly. 
-Danny, email 11 March 2019. I have loved Danny’s missionary letters.

“He’s turned into a real adult, it sounds like.” 
-Sage’s wistful response to my reading Danny’s letter from August 12, 2019. 

“There’s not any boring missionaries in my mission. Some are doctrinally excited. Some talk
sports all the time. Some talk about home.”
-Danny, offering a unique glimpse into his fellow missionaries. He lived with fellow
missionaries from around the world. 


“It reminds me of Bulgaria. I like it.” 
-Noah, completely sincere, regarding the Soviet-era-style architecture of his new house,
Mather. April 29, 2019

“I did ten hours of math yesterday, my brain was fried. No wonder my laptop disappeared and
I didn’t even notice.”  
-Noah. May 15, 2019. 

“I think I’m going to miss the feeling of jumping out of an airplane for the rest of my life.” 
-Noah, after the first two jumps of the military Free Fall program. June 23, 2019

“I learned two new ways to rip someone’s arm off today.” 
-Noah, after a Jiu-Jitsu class during BYU summer term 

“We’re both quite persuaded to live in trailers.” 
-Noah and Oak, after working at Stirling’s ranch (and living in a trailer) for a couple of weeks,
August 19, 2019

“She was impressed that I didn’t care.” 
-Noah telling about why he didn’t need to buy flip flops to impress a girl he liked because he
could wear slides with shorts and a button-up shirt. Like Oak, Noah has boundless, possibly
unfounded, confidence in his style. 

“We had quite a mountain dinner last night. Oak cooked pancakes on a rock while I cooked
squirrel...the hide was drying on the side of the fire. 
-Noah, August 26. 

“It seems like there are more corners than there need to be.” 
-Noah, back in Boston after a summer in Utah, describing his sophomore room. The east coast can
seem cramped after you’ve been out west. It reminds me of when we moved to TX and he rejoiced
that the walls didn’t come so fast when he ran.

Noah and Oak came home for Christmas, and so they shared an ‘allendar-calendar’ with Mercy. 

Mike, 47 yo

“That’s okay - it’s a face. You’re MEANT to lick faces.” 
-Mike’s gives evidence about why it’s okay to lick little kids’ faces to clean them, but it’s not okay to
lick a plate clean, which is one of Mercy’s sneaky habits.

“He eats like 10 boxes all by himself!”
-Aunt Amy, re Mike’s habit of eating cold cereal when he stays at her home. She’s thankful he
eats all the expired stuff and replaces it with new.

“Nailed it.”
-Oak, after one of Mike’s prayers. 

“I can’t believe you were alive in the 1900s!”  
-Sage to Mike after he talked about how the movie, Somewhere In Time, might seem dated
now because it was made in the ’80s. March 2019. 

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with all my shoes.”  
-Mike. May 6, 2019. Moving into a new house. Mike and I have swapped a few of the
common gender stereotypes.


“I realised after I got all the way over here that you guys weren’t coming.”
-Mike at Silver Glance Lake. July 24, 2019. Sometimes he’s the lone wolf, and I’m the
shepherd dog. 

“I knew I was going over a hundred, but how else do you pass four cars?”
- Mike, explaining his speeding ticket. I wasn’t impressed.

“Dad! Sometimes you get a bit serious with games.”
-Sage, as Mike played his last turn of a Sagrada game. She continued by saying, “I’ll admit
the music doesn’t help.”. (Batman music)

“I think meso has something to do with the spleen.”
-Mike, defending a Boggle word.

“I think it should be ‘Mum’ and ‘Dud.’”  “We can call him ‘Dudders.’”
-Most of the kids call me ‘Mum’ instead of ‘Mom,’ but, symmetry notwithstanding, ‘Dud’ hasn’t
caught on in our family for obvious reasons. 

“This already feels luxurious.” 
- Mike rejoices to be sitting on a stool instead of on the ground, as he often does when playing games with the girls. Playing games with Dad - one of the girls’ favorite things in the world.

Holly, 47yo

“I like it when you are in the kitchen.” 
-Joyce, disappointed to find me in the piano studio one morning instead of the kitchen.
Lots of happy times in the kitchen. April 19, 2019. 

“I just heard a patter-patter-patter . . .  and some soft little squeaks . . . and a poor little
BABY PUKEKO ran into the piano studio where I was studying!”  “So surprising!”
-Message from me to Jones Whanau. A moment to remember. March 14, 2019  

Text from Noah: “It’s like we have a Harry Potter car now.”
My reply: “Like a soldier returning home from war, the keys are beloved even if broken.” 
-I dropped the only key remote for our van into the lake just a few hours before our flight from
SLC to NZ. Such a relief when Oak found them by diving into murky water.  August 3, 2019.

“Mom saved me.” 
-Joyce, describing her experience on the exposed trail just below Powell Hut in the Tararuas
with winds that literally picked her up off her feet while holding my hand. October 8.
2013 quotes-search-for-trends