What Is That? – The Saga Continues

Last week I posted about our glorious relics found while cleaning out my parents house.  You can read about it here.  This week is Part II of that story.  Last week was mostly from the “Great Room” above the garage.  This week is mostly from the basement.

“What is that?” is the most common question the kids have asked while cleaning?  So far, the answers have included the following:

What Is That?

tithing slips from 1993

4 decorative clocks

an old water heater

the Ark of the Covenant

cooking gadgets galore

the framed Christmas Card we gave my parents to announce our first pregnancy – Caitlin

a picture of my parents on their wedding day

a stuffed Tiger Fish

a tablet that nobody knew existed


enough MRE’s to feed the 101st Airborne

Christmas lights… again

coupon for .50cents off a 12 pack of Coke… expired 2002

the Kusanagi sword that was supposedly lost as sea

rocking chair my mother had as a child

2 unopened attic fans

a glass jar my mother says is older than she is

Llywelyn’s Coronet

3 unopened things of Dominos

a jar of Mango strips

a bouncy ball hidden under a floor for 30 years

spiderwebs… lots and lots of spiderwebs

Peking Man

a racquetball that I had thought was a pile of cobwebs until I picked it up

a big rock …x3000

4 (or more) drills that don’t work

an unused 125,000 BTU furnace

a large wooden turkey

The Jules Rimet Trophy missing from Brazil since the a970’s

30 year old fiberglass HVAC ducts (duct board) x 40

enough glass jars to make Ball and Kerr jealous

and finally…

Old Milk
Jars of old chocolate and dehydrated milk… apparently from April, 1978. Yummy!


Update: Weight Loss Attempt

The weight loss attempt continues.  Despite my sense of foreboding that nothing good would come to pass, I have endured… so far.  And how has that turned out?

Weight Lost

Not a single pound!  Actually the first five days found me several pounds heavier (and wanting to give up) but I’ve lost them these last five days.  So I have a net loss of Zero… but I kind of lost some. In a way… I’ll count that as a victory.


The swimming is going… well… swimmingly!  I’ve missed a few days because of how much I hurt when we got home from my parents, but not many.  Most days we come home and get some dinner and have about an hour of pool time left.

The mask and snorkel make all the difference in the world.  Whether or not swimming  contributes to any weight loss, the swimming without pain has been fantastic.  It is all attributable to being able to do it without arching my back.  It seems silly, but the little arch needed to breath makes swimming unbearable.  But with the snorkel I can go for quite a while.

The first few times I wasn’t able to do many laps.  My ankles tired easily and my body wasn’t accustomed to the actions.   I probably only did 3 laps (there and back) the first day.

As my activity continues my endurance increases.  I’ve done more laps with each passing day.  I think I was between 12-15 yesterday.   Those were broken into two swim periods separated by a time playing with the kids in the shallows.

Emotional Well-being

I feel fine.  Not really any better than normal, but no worse.   Everything is just … bland.   I’m hoping that persistence over a longer period of time will net some positive results.  (or is it negative results since I’m looking to lose weight?).

Overall my hopefulness isn’t really changed, largely because my weight hasn’t changed.  I’ve been better at the late hour calories, but not perfect.  I’ve really enjoyed the time in the pool.  The feeling of weightlessness is nice.   Carrying around all this weight makes gravity a nemesis, and so the buoyancy water provides is awesome!

Hopefully next time I give an update I’ll have some positive (or negative?) results to report.


Book Review: Three Against Hitler

Three Against Hitler by Rudi Wobbe and Jerry Borrowman

I don’t usually read non-fiction books but this one makes three in a row.  I always liked historical fiction books, because I could learn the history while being entertained.  In fiction the satire used as social commentary is often much more enjoyable than reality.  But Jax suggested Josh read Three Against Hitler, so I thought I would try it after he was done.  The hardest part about reading this book was knowing that it really happened just the way it said.


Three Against Hitler follows your basic autobiography or even a memoirs format.  With the help of Jerry Borrowman, Rudi Wobbe tells the story of his life.  The title felt a little deceiving to me though.  If you are a history buff you may know the name Helmuth Huebener.  Although Helmuth plays a vital role in the events of the book, it is not his story.  I wanted the book to follow all three of the boys more closely (in fact there was a fourth boy who is mentioned throughout and I wonder why it was not Four Against Hitler).  A third party documentary would have been able to do that better.  But this is Rudi’s story and he tells of things from his own first hand knowledge.


Brief history lesson.  Helmuth Huebener, Rudi Wobbe, and Karl-Heinz Schuibbe were three LDS teenagers at the start of WWII.  They witnessed the atrocities committed by the Nazi’s on a very personal level, as friends and church members were attacked for various reasons.  But unlike many who accepted the propaganda or suffered in silence, these three spoke out against the regime.

Helmuth and Rudi listened to BBC News Reports and distributed flyers contradicting Nazi propaganda.  Helmuth’s contempt for Hitler was blatant as he wrote flyers entitled, “Hitler the Murderer” and “Only Hitler is the Guilty One.”  Helmuth and Rudi recruited others to help spread their anti-Nazi flyers.  Unfortunately, they were ultimately caught and that was just the beginning.  Four young men, three under the age of 17, were charged with “Preparation to High Treason and Aiding and Abetting the Enemy.”  All four were found guilty to one degree or another, and sentenced as adults.

“In the movies the story always ends at a dramatic moment like this.  But time goes on for the living.  So it did for me.”
–Rudi Woobe

The rest of the book follows Rudi’s imprisonment, liberation by the allies, and life after the war.  Rudi showed great faith and gratitude amid his trials.  He lived a life dedicated to truth and personal freedom.  I cried as he recounted reentering one of the prisons 40 years later.  It is because of people like Rudi that evil is kept at bay.


10 out of 12 Buttered Rolls

I give this book 10 out of 12 buttered rolls.  My only real criticism is that I wanted more detail, more history, more facts about each of the individuals involved.  However, it is a wonderful account of young men who are willing to think and act for themselves.  These are the type of young men I want my boys to look up to.

School Registrations

Anticipating a move from Pleasant Grove to Bluffdale this summer, we went ahead and registered the kids for school up in the Jordan School District.   They are still registered for PG next year too in case we don’t get moved like we have planned on.


Caitlin completed 9th grade this year, which in Utah is at the middle school.  So she is now ready to move onto the higher education I suppose.

PGJH had a fairly well run routine for getting kids registered.  Caitlin wasn’t thrilled with her registration at PG High however.  There were a number of classes she wanted to get into that were unavailable by the time she was allowed to register.   She got into the core classes she needed, but the electives she wanted were filled.

I went over to Riverton High School a few weeks before the year ended to get her registered.  After handling the paperwork they gave me the login info to get her into classes for next year.

Surprisingly Riverton had all of her desired classes available except for photography.  She got into Physics, Digital Media, and Sign Language as well as her core classes.   I’m not sure if Riverton just has more teachers for those electives and that is why they were open, or if she lucked out that not as many people at RHS wanted those classes.

I think she is looking forward to the new year and moving into High School.   She turns 15 this summer, so personally I’m not ready for her to be a High School student.


Joshua had an interesting year.   He started the year in 8th grade in MO and ended it in 7th grade at PGJH.   At his request, he’ll be going through 7th grade again next year.

His birthday is in late July.  That means that by Utah deadlines next year he should be one of the youngest 8th graders.  He doesn’t particularly like being one of the youngest, and so holding him back a year would make him one of the oldest 7th graders.  But because his birthday is so close to the deadline he the age gap isn’t any different.  By that I mean he is just as close to the 7th graders in age as he is to the 8th graders.   So socially it isn’t a big deal.

Academically he is plenty smart enough to have stayed in 8th grade all last year and move into 9th this year.   But because of the homeschooling time, and the time lost to fires, he does have some gaps in his knowledge.  He’s smart enough to move ahead, but he’d rather not.

So next year Josh will be in 7th grade, again, at South Hills Middle.  Because it is 7th grade there isn’t a lot of variability in his schedule like there is in Caitlin’s.  He’ll be where ever the 7th grade puts him.


A portion of his decision making in that regard was athletics.  He loves sports.  And while he is intelligent enough to move ahead, physically he knows he couldn’t compete athletically that way.  Being smart doesn’t make your body mature or grow any faster than anybody else.   That takes time, and he’s willing to spend that time (an additional school year) letting his body mature so that he has a chance to compete and play on sports teams.

Julie and I were torn on this.  We both value academic education very highly.  If he’d stayed ahead he could have graduated High School at 16.  If he moved up with this class he’d finish at 17.  By moving back he’ll finish at 18.   But that isn’t HIS goal.  And it is HIS life, so we will support his decision on how he wants to spend it and what goals he wants to chase after, even if it isn’t what we would choose.

We’ll compensate by getting him into concurrent enrollment, summer college courses, or other alternate education options.  There is no reason that he can’t excel at both academics and athletics as so many others have done.

Elementary School

All of the other kids are moving up a year as expected.  We’ll even be having a new one enter the system.  One of them did express some hope of doing homeschooling again.  So it is possible that we’ll have at least one at home with us.

I’d love to keep them all of the elementary kids home as I really, really don’t like public schooling.  At all!   But that might need to wait until we are more settled in.  As soon as we are I’d love to keep the kids at home around us.


And so that is what we have planned for next year’s schooling.  With 6 of 8 going to school the house will feel very empty I’m afraid.  Wish us luck!