In Default

In church several weeks ago, someone said something that pricked my little brain so sharply that I couldn't stop thinking about it for days. Probably because I grew up with a computer in our home and later a phone in my hand.

Everyone has a default.

We're familiar with default settings. We've all adjusted the default settings on device after device to make it function the way we want it to. Because the default settings, if we're honest, are crap.

They are the most basic of the basic. The default settings do allow your device to function. However,  until you start adjusting the settings, your device won't fit your needs or function efficiently for you.

If you never adjusted your device from its default, eventually you may not even notice that everything is still on default. You sit in and eventually sink into those settings and they don't seem that bad to you.

Until you see someone else's device that has been adjusted and then you realize you didn't change your settings.

Okay enough with the device metaphor.


"I've got the runs."

Students tend to tell a lot of little white lies in order to get what they want out of school and out of their teacher. They want to do what they want to do, when they want to do it. And sometimes they think the best way to do what they want is to lie about the reason why they want what they want. Here is a list I’ve compiled of actual lies* students have told me. Some of them were told to other teachers and then shared with me. Seriously, these are things students actually said. I’m serious.
  • I left my textbook in my other class. (Meanwhile, said textbook is under the student’s desk)
  • I left my textbook in my other class. (said at a time when we weren’t even using the textbook.
For some reason not having everything you own, makes you incapable of doing any work whatsoever)
  • I left my pencil in my other class
  • I left everything I own in my other class, including my honesty
  • I need to go to my locker.
  • I need a drink
  • I need another drink
  • I’m hungry
  • Can I go to the bathroom?
  • I have to go take a picture of the clouds for my science class
  • I don't have any tissues
  • My hands are sticky
  • My friend needs me to bring them a pencil
  • I have to go practice my (musical instrument) during this period
  • I have to go practice my (sport) during this period
  • My mom is here
  • My sister/brother/cousin/brother’s wife’s aunt is here
  • Mr./Mrs. Other Teacher asked me to see them during this period
*I understand some of these may have been true at some point. Actually, probably not. Most of these can be remedied while staying in my classroom, because most of these are lies. What the student is really saying is “Dear lord, get me out of here, even if it’s only for a few minutes!”

But there was one time, when I believe the student may have been telling the truth. Which makes this story mortifying. At least, if he wasn’t telling the truth, he couldn’t come up with anything better, and that makes this story hilarious.


A book I read

I finished two books in January. Which will probably be two more than I finish the rest of the year. I've shared books before on here and I know no one actually cares what I've read but just in case someone wants to talk about it with me or wants a recommendation/warning, here we go again. The first one is The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson.

I followed Rainn on twitter and Instagram for several years and he almost never posted about The Office or Dwight. He was always posting about his wife, son, Zonkey, his faith or his charity Lidé Haiti. I found out he had written a book a few years after it was published and put it on my to-read list and just recently got around to it. 

Rainn has one of the strongest senses of self that seeps out of his words. He talks a lot about life events of course, but he talks more about how the things he has done and chosen have shaped him as a person. He discusses, life, God, religion, death and purpose in a way that doesn't close you off but rather makes you feel more open and hopeful and more understood.

A few favorite quotes because he says it better than I could paraphrase.
When you see a lifeless form, you realize so clearly that we are not our bodies. 
Stories not only entertain us but tell us who and why we are, and what we believe collectively and individually.
 I don't know anything.
I've read several books written by actors, comedians, or other creatives and Rainn's has been my favorite so far. 10/10 would recommend.



There are little things that happen each day (sometimes few and far between, but they still happen) that make my insides feel like someone stuck a little flame in there. I guess “warms my heart” would be the phrase I hear most people use but that sounds superficial compared to what I feel. 

It’s as if actual heat pumps out of my heart and spreads to my extremities.

It happens when Alice leans in to kiss Tyler. 
It happens when Tyler hugs me just a little longer, because he feels what I need.
It happens when Tyler kisses me and that makes Alice laugh.
Her laugh, every time she laughs. 
Tyler and Alice have this thing he calls cheek time. She lays her cheek on his and rests there for a while, calm as can be.
It happens when one of us hides and she looks for us. 
It also happens when she's super whiney and pulls on my pants until I pick her up. 
And it happens when either of them rest their head on me. 


Halfway How-To January 2018

I decided to call this a halfway how-to. Partly because I'm not really going to give you instructions for how to do it, mostly because writing instructions doesn't appeal to me. And partly because the way I do DIY projects is not exactly the most correct or efficient way to do them and may actually be the lazy way, and the method of least resistance. Therefore this information is not reliable nor is it detailed and complete. And you probably just asked yourself why you are still here. So see ya!

For those of you that stuck around, here are some photos of the most recent projects we've been working on in the Larsen home.

I've made ornaments for every Christmas since we've been married. I originally just wrote the year on the back with a sharpie and that looked okay. And there was the unfortunate year of 2015 when I thought it would be a good idea to use glitter ModPodge. PSA for anyone thinking they should use glitter ModPodge it is MOSTLY glitter.

But I think I've got it down now. I burn whatever I want onto the back of the slice. Then I ModPodge the picture onto the other side.

*Fun Fact: these wood slices are our wedding vases. Tyler cut them up for me and I've been putting them to good use ever since.
Then I put the hook into the top, cut that string and tie it on. These are my very favorite ornaments because they are memories. And I love that I get to make them all different and unique.

Over Tyler's last school break he built us a TV stand/media console/bookshelf. We'd talked about needing something with doors to keep Alice from her favorite game of pulling stuff off shelves (if you've watched my Instagram Stories then you know).

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