Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Our favorite cellist (Megan) will be playing with the Zion Youth Symphony Orchestra at Abravanel Hall on Monday, February 28th, at 1:30pm. It's part of the Youth Symphony Festival of Utah,... performances are every half-hour from 8:00am to 4:00pm. ADMISSION IS FREE, and spectators can come and go as they wish between groups.
Most of the groups playing are audition-based, so the music is usually really good! It's great for an inexpensive date or an early FHE!
Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Baby Monkey!

Doesn't this totally look like it was filmed in Mexico?
Brings back memories of Monkey Beach... sigh!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Q & A With Seth

Q- Hey Seth, how are you and what have you been up to?
I’m “good”.  I am going to school at BYU taking some really fun classes such as cell biology, physiology, and Chinese. I quit my job this semester so that I could focus on schoolwork since last semester I never had enough time to get everything done. I’m doing mentored research with Dr. Stark in the PDBIO department, the project is to try and come up with a better way to introduce specific mutations into the chicken genome, it is a lot of fun!  I’m also volunteering at the hospital as a Spanish interpreter and at an elementary school teaching first graders Chinese. Other than that I’m getting ready to take the MCAT this summer and go live in China for a year starting in the fall.
Q- So, let’s just get this out of the way…Are there any wedding bells ringing in your ears lately? Just kidding, you can reserve the right not to answer that if you don’twant to. I’m sure we’d all be interested to know though : )
Uh, not that I’m aware of? Don’t worry though, like any good Chinese I’ve got a five year plan and marriage is probably on it somewhere.
Q-Seth, do you remember when you used to press your extra-tough forehead against my rather soft head until you gave me a migraine? It was when you were about 3 years old. I think you should recall… Why do you think you liked to do that so much? It must have been painful for you too. What is your pain tolerance anyways?
You are making that up. No, but really. I have no idea what you are talking about. I have a pretty high pain tolerance though since you brought up the subject. Have you ever seen the movie Lawrence of Arabia? There is a scene near the beginning where an officer lights a cigarette and Lawrence takes the still burning match out of his hand and then just holds it as the flame burns up to his fingertips and then goes out. It’s really hard, but I’ve done it.
Q- How is school going? What are you studying? Do you find you have had anylong-term effects from pressing your head against things as a toddler?
School is going well, I’m double majoring in Chinese and neuroscience. I’m planning on going to medical school and earning a PhD at the same time. But I probably won’t apply until 2012. I was a very conscientious toddler and would never press my head up against things.
Q-How was your trip to China? Tell us what your favorite part was please?
China was absolutely fantastic. Picking a favorite part is going to be hard, there was the time that we hiked yellow mountain and did Taiqi moves on top of big rocks in the fog, there was our trip to the world expo in Shanghai, there was running at night with my roommate at the outdoor track, there was salsa dancing outside in the rain. I don’t know, I can’t pick a favorite.
Q- Tell us a favorite memory of Mexico would you please?
Favorite Mexico memory: catching frogs in the showers.
Q-How are you liking living on your own? Do you miss all the kids at your home?
It’s nice, but having to cook for myself is somewhat less than ideal. If you saw the enormous collection of empty pop tarts boxes that we have in our kitchen you would agree that my eating habits could use some help. It’s not that I mind cooking, it’s just so dreadfully inconvenient. I get to go home a lot so I wouldn’t say I really miss all the kids yet.
Q-Do you still rock out to Keane? What are some of your other favorite bands?
Keane fell into disfavor after their latest album, but I still like listening to their older stuff for sure. My new favorite bands are include: Feist, The Innocence Mission, Missy Higgins, Passion Pit, Phoenix, Sufjan Stevens, The Temper Trap, Two Door Cinema Club, The Weepies.
Q-You just had a birthday. Don’t you think November is the best month for a birthday and especially the 11th day of the 11th month? What did you do to celebrate it?
Well, my birthday was now a while ago, but it was sure good. We went to Pirate Island Pizza which was just incredible. I got to wear a pirate hat, Adam got to wear a pirate hat, the pizza had a piratey taste to it… basically everything was ideal. And then we played at the arcade and thanks to Adam’s luck, skill, whatever you want to call it, we amassed enough tickets to buy an enormous pirate flag that says “surrender the booty” on it. Classic. It is now hanging in our apartment. 11/11/11 is going to be such a big party this year. I can’t wait.
Q- I will be interviewing other relatives of yours in the future. Do you have any interviewing advice for me?
Hmm… nah.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Winn (or just Ed)

The name Edwin actually means "rich friend."  I just looked it up.  Other meanings are "blessed" and "wine friend."  I think we'll just ignore that last one.  One thing I do know is that Ed is everyone's friend.  Maybe it's because he got some teasing as a kid and he knows what it's like to be in need of a friend.  He's a friend even to those who are not kind to him.  This I have seen.  He is a defender of his loved ones.  I seem to recall an incident where he was willing to bend apart my car door in defense of his little sister's honor.  

Ed has a sense of humor.  Oh yes he does.  Does anyone remember this classic joke created by our brother Ed (back then known as Winn)?  Here is the joke: knock knock... who's there?... Parrot.  Parrot who?  Parrot on you!  Then laugh hysterically for effect.  My kids totally get this joke but it didn't come overnight.  I suggest telling it often enough and laughing loud enough at the end that there is a 'band-wagon' effect.

Remember the time we were in Mazatlan and Ed almost drown?  It took 3 grown men to pull him out of the undertow.  He was in the middle of barfing up sea water back at the motor home when he begged Mom to give him swimming lessons again so that he could swim better next time.  That was a scary day indeed.  But the big point here is that even just moments after the incident, Ed was not quitting.  Ed was trying to figure out a way to succeed.  Say what you want about Ed, but he does posess what one could call the "Whatcott Bounce."  I don't know how many jobs Ed has had over the years, but it is a lot of jobs.  This doesn't seem to get him down for long.  He just gets back on the horse over and over and over.  Even when his chips are down (which is often-lets be honest) he manages to stay up and stay happy.

I hope that Ed gets a chance to read this on his birthday.  I love him.  Ed is a good reminder to me that "nobody's perfik" but that is okay.  Happy Birthday Ed!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just Shauna

It's Shauna's birthday!  Hooray!  Aren't we all glad that Shauna came our way?!  Remember when she was a cute little bald toddler who'd roar to scare you until you just couldn't stand it anymore?  Then she'd relieve us with her famous catch phrase of "I just Shauna."  What a relief indeed.  When I was in the throws of preparing for a visit from Shauna Juana last October I texted her that I had just purchased a new (overdue) bath mat for the guest bathroom for her.  She texted back "don't worry about getting ready for me Kelly, remember 'I just Shauna.'"  She is one funny gal indeed!  I love laughing with her, and I am lucky to have her as my sister. She is first in command on Team Cougar.  For those who don't know what Team Cougar is.... basically it's: Kelly, Ed, Shauna & Marcy.  The last 'set' of kids- if you will.  Not knowing what would be the best way to refer to the second set of Whatcotts, I believe it was Shauna who made up that nick name for us.  Sometimes Team Cougar isn't doing so well.  Sometimes we are having a good season.  Overall it's been a good year for Team Cougar, and most of the credit for that would have to go to our head cheerleader -Shauna.  She takes care of Ed which is a huge undertaking.  She makes sure Dad is doing well and stocked in medications that she can provide for him.  Basically she saved Dad's life a few years ago when he needed his heart looked at and she picked up on it.

Shauna was recently introduced at a family get-together before Dad's wedding as 'the smartest Whatcott' and I would have to agree that she is one smart cookie.  I don't think she ever slacked off in school for as long as I've known her.  She has always excelled.  She is also a caring kind person who looks out for the underdog.  She has impeccable taste (have you seen her house?!) and loves to search out a good deal calling herself a "freegan." She enjoys reading self-help or do-it-yourself books and then plunging into a project like building a deck or planting a garden.  I really admire her for that.  She recently took on the brave project of finding a husband for herself.  She put herself out there and found love with her new husband Greg and we are all so happy for her in her new life as a wife and chosen mother to Douglas and Zoe.  I have especially enjoyed seeing her step into motherhood with such grace.  Those are some very lucky kids!  Shauna has always been great with children and now she gets to use those talents in a very real way.

Some of my childhood memories of Shauna are making pretend hair for our hands out of yarn.  We'd make elaborate yarn hairdos and then loop them over our hands.  'Henrietta Hand' was what we'd dubbed our hands when they were in action with their hairdo's on.  I'm still not happy with that name choice.  Oh well.  We used to watch "Gone with the Wind" over and over until we pretty much had all the dialog memorized.  We both had great ability to memorize lines.  Other movies we tackled in this way were Cinder Rabbit, and Bugsy Malone.

Shauna had a great talent for torturing people.  She and I would sometimes sleep in the same bed on vacations together, and she would lie on her stomach and thump the mattress we were both on with her foot, keeping me awake.  Try as I might to get her to stop she enjoyed bugging me so much she just couldn't bring herself to do it.  She once managed to get Marcy to walk across rocky terrain up in the hills across the street from our house barefooted.  I'm not sure about the details, but it seems to me that broken glass may have been involved.  She had the lovely habit of starting to tell you something and then stopping herself quickly and suddenly remembering that she wasn't supposed to tell you that.  "Never mind" she'd say with a sly grin.  Oh she was a clever one.  We had our fair share of fights and I may or may not still have the scratching scars on my arms (and emotional scars on my psyche) to prove it.

But through it all I am super glad to say that Shauna is my sister.  She has turned out to be a fine upstanding woman who I am proud to be related to.  And to show her how much I love her I am going to post a very flattering photo of her here on the blog.  This picture proves once and for all just what my 7 yr old pointed out to us a couple years back.... That "Mom looks a lot like Aunt Shauna but Mom has a bigger tummy."  Blast those 5 babies!
Happy Birthday Sis!