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Too Many To Count Two

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Personal Progress

J finished all her requirements for Personal Progress this weekend!! I am so proud of her, she's been working on her projects for a while now and just finished the last one.

She had to do 7 10-hour projects, one for each of the young women's values which are:

Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works and Integrity.

This is what she did:

Faith~J decided to baby sit for free for parents who wanted to go to the temple. She actually ended up with a lot more than 10 hours.

Divine Nature~ J learned a skill she can use for her future home. She painted and redecorated her bed room.

Individual Worth~ One of J's loves is running. For her project she decided to share that with her friend Emma. She taught her about running and they ran together for more than 10 hours.

Knowledge~ Learn how to cook. J helped plan meals and cook food for the family. She even made shrimp scampi!

Choice and Accountability~ Jenna took two BYU online courses and completed them. She had to make choices about how to spend her time while she was doing that and was accountable for that. One of her classes was swimming, the other was Government and Politics where she learned a lot about how our government works and the importance of each person's choices when it comes to electing people, making laws and upholding them.

Good Works~ For good works J wanted to learn how to play the piano so she could play for YW, FHE and for her own pleasure. She went from not playing at all to being able to play simple hymns and other pieces and is continuing to work on that long past her 10 hours.

Integrity~ For this final project J decided to take part in the leadership of an all girls Venturing Crew. She was the VP for a year and helped to plan and participated in the crews activities. She learned a lot about personal integrity and the importance of that characteristic her life and in leadership.

Yeah J!!!

Happy Birthday Dani!!

Today my little Dani turns 21 years old!! Happy Birthday!
This is her at 18 months old. Ready to go to nursery, only she never went. She was happy to go to Sunbeams a year and a half later but she would have nothing to do with nursery, ever.
So, 21 random memories of Dani growing up.
1. Dani cried a lot as a baby. We have pictures of her crying at every major function. Here is Dani screaming at Halloween. Here is Dani with her cousins under the Christmas tree, crying. Here is Dani crying in the backyard. I still loved her, fiercely, deeply, passionately, more than I could have imagined. I loved to put bows in her hair. Before she really had any hair I would take elmers school glue (water soluble) and put a little ribbon bow on her head with the glue (it washed out) every day. When she got bigger we'd drive to Santa Barbara from time to time to their street fair just to buy these cute bows for her head. I loved to hold her and sing to her and read to her. Even then she liked to listen to stories. She learned to walk when she was 8 months old and started talking at 10 months. She was a talker :) At about one year old she stopped crying, thanks goodness and was pretty much a happy girl after that.
2. When Dani was 1 I started watching her cousins while their mom taught school . Brittan was just 6 weeks older than her and Becky was almost 4. Every where we went people thought that Dani and Brittan were twins. We walked to the library every week and went to the park often. Dani loved to watch Sing Along videos and to have the cousins and Andrea over to play. For her second Christmas, when Dani was 16 months old she got a baby doll. She was so excited and happy to get that doll that she refused to open any other presents and just played with that. It was soo cute.
3. Dani went to Disneyland for the first time when she was 2 and half. It was a great trip. By that time she had seen and LOVED the Little Mermaid and we were familiar with all things Disney. We went with some friends and made the first of many happy Disneyland visits. Dani had a wonderful doll that was a signing Mermaid about this same time, maybe a little later. It sang all the time. So did she. We had a noisy house :) The Little Mermaid was the first movie Dani saw in a movie theater.
4. Just a couple months before Dani turned 3 we went to Hawaii. It was so fun. She loved going with her dad into the jungle to pick fruit and loved the beach and playing with her friends. Our good friends were going to BYU-H and we went to visit them. We had also just gone to the temple to be sealed so it was a celebratory trip as well.
5. Dani took ballet lessons when she was 3. They had a Christmas recital that was sooo cute.
6. When S was born Dani came to the hospital with Grandma Natalie and Anna and V to meet her. She was so excited and wanted to hold her, mostly she wanted to eat my yummy hospital lunch :)
7. On the first day of Kindergarten Dani wore hot pink tights and a cute little dress. We stuck S in the stroller and walked down to the school where she had the nicest teacher ever, Mrs.Brady. I volunteered in her class once a week until J was born later that year and I was always so proud to see how smart and well behaved she was.
8. Dani loved to camp. We went often when she was small. One year all the kids got bags of marbles and they spent hours playing with them at the campsite. She was always happy out doors.
9. In 2nd grade Dani was in a Lion King play at school. In third grade she started soccer. She always liked to keep busy and try different things. I think in HS she ended up taking one year of a ton of stuff because everything sounded like fun and she'd give it a try :) Some of the lessons she's taken are: dance, piano, violin, soccer, gymnastics, swimming, fencing, and a few others. In third grade she started coloring her took many years for us to figure out what her natural color was after that.
10. Dani always liked hanging out with my younger sisters and their friends. She was always really good at sitting quietly and being cute so they didn't mind her hanging out with them. I'm sure she learned a lot of good stuff that way.

11. We lived with my parents for awhile and D shared a room with her sisters. My two littlest sisters would often sneak in there too and all five little girls would sleep together. I think they had a lot of fun playing and laughing together. They sometimes laughed too much. I remember one time they got in trouble from Papa for laughing during the prayer. I wasn't home and when I got home she very indigently told me what happened, then she was very surprised to find that I was on Papa's side. If he was mad you can bet they deserved it!
12. Dani was in GATE in California and they had the neatest program for the gifted kids. One year they studied Egyptians and then took a field trip, by airplane, to Northern Ca to a museum . They were gone for several days and she had so much fun.
13. Poor Dani got whooping cough when she was 11. She was sick for months and sounded like a seal. I felt so bad for her. When she was a baby she had febrile seizures. Other than those two things and a bout of chicken pox when she was small she was never sickly and always on the go!
14. When we moved to Texas Dani was nervous about going to middle school and meeting new people, however I was not nervous for her. She was always the friendliest kid and sure enough she soon had friends and liked it here. The first good friend she made when we moved was Amanda Davis. They were friends for all of middle school.
15. Dani was 11 when Beloved and I got married. It was a huge adjustment for her, probably the biggest. She remembered her dad and living with him. Also she was used to being the "big girl" and my helper. She was far from thrilled but she was always a good daughter and eventually came to like DH. Especially now that's she is grown and married. That's a hard thing and I am grateful that she did as well as she did and was willing to open her heart.
16. Dani ran cross country for awhile. Because she liked the shoes. She's always liked fashion.
17. Dani's first job was at Washington Mutual as a high school intern. She stayed there for two years, mostly I think because she loved working with Rachel, although I don't think she loved the job that much. It was a good job. She's always been a good worker. She was not always a good chore doer however and her room was nicknamed "the abyss" by some of her friends, but she was a good mopper (a skill that served her well at Jamba Juice)
18. As a teen Dani was a lot of fun. She had some good friends, Meridith and Allie and Nazli and Megan and Amanda and others. She shared her sweet 16 with her best friend Meridith who turned 17. We had a swim party and Robin rented the girls a jumpy house. Everyone slept over and we had pizza and movies and games. She loved to go to football games and baseball games at the high school and to dances. She loved to hang out and have fun. She went to EFY several times which was awesome. It was always so fun for me when she came home and would tell about her outings.
19. Her first date was with a boy named Daniel and her first boyfriend was a boy named Spencer. Her first car was named Sasha and she still drives her, although she is some what worse for wear. She graduated from HS when she was 17 and moved to Provo shortly after turning 18.
20. In December 2006 Dani married her eternal Sweetheart in the Mt Timpanogos Temple. It was an awesome day! She and Greg are so cute together and I am so happy to see them living their lives and making good choices and planning for a wonderful future.
21. This summer we got to spend a week together in FL, which was sooo oo fun. Dani cut every one's hair and we spent lots of time laying on the beach. and in a couple months she's coming to visit again!! Yeah! And cut hair again :)
I could write much more but will stop here. A few memories through the years. If you have any Dani memories you'd like to share leave a comment :)
Happy Birthday Sweetie, Love you!

bullet point weekend

Friday night we had the missionaries over for dinner.

Don't you think my new cups would looks nice with brown plates?

J went to the first football game of the High school season.

Saturday morning we had soccer practice in our backyard.

DH painted lines on the grass so now we have a "real field"

After the practice we had a pool party /BBQ with the team. It was a lot of fun.

We had Emmie and Kenna over and the kids played great.

We went to Hannah and Heather's baptism, H said the prayer. It was a nice meeting.

Went to CiCis

J went to the stake back to school swim party.

Sunday, church day :)

summer reading

Today is the last day of summer, oh sure, we'll have hot weather for some time to come and the kids will be wearing flip flops until Thanksgiving but September always marks the beginning of Fall to me.

This summer I kept track of the books I read, which was fun.

So, here they are:
The Host
The Poinsonwood Bible
Cancer Schmancer
Bringing Up Boys
All Rain, No Mud
*West With The Night
Peace Mom
A Benjamin Franklin Reader
The Watermelon King
Mermaids in the Basement
The Child That Books Built
*John Adams
The Sugar Queen
Home Across Road
The Things They Carried
Baby Catcher
Sense and Sensibility
The Wedding Machine
Breaking Dawn
Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!
Rise of the Evening Star
Two in the Field
Grace in Thine Eyes
Sisters Grimm

*didn't finish yet

The End. Not of reading but of keeping track. It was fun to see my list grow. I liked some a lot. Some a little. A couple I still need to wade through.

Friday, August 29, 2008

and the nominee is...

Sarah Palin from Alaska.

I have to say I am excited. Up until a couple hours ago I thought I was choosing the candidate that I disliked the least. But I actually like her, so far, hope it sticks.

I first heard of Sarah shortly after the birth of her 5th baby this last spring. He has Downs Syndrome and she went to a March of Dimes walk (I think) and met with other mom's who had similar challenges. A mom whose blog I read is the mother of twin girls with CP and she wrote about her so I went to Alaska's Website and read about their Governor. At that time I was impressed but never thought I'd hear more about her.

So, some things I like about her, in no particular order, and just for my own fun and entertainment.

1. She is about my age, 44, and is strong and healthy and in touch with what families are facing today.

2. She has 5 kids. Her oldest is serving in the Army, then three daughters, including an 8 year old (I have an 8 year old, well now she's 9 but still) and a newborn.

3. When she was a girl she used to get up early and go moose hunting with her dad before school.

4. She is pro life, anti gay marriage and fiscally conservative.

5. She has a record of standing up for what she feels is right, when she was the Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission she resigned her post in protest over what she perceived as ethics violations by fellow Alaskan Republican leaders.

6. She's outdoorsy, hunts and fishes and runs marathons (I don't do that but I admire people who do).

7. She seems like the mom next door, someone I would be friends with, who's kids would be friends with mine, someone who will care about the things I care about.

8. She thinks education is important.

She's some one I feel I have things in common with, you know, if I was a cool, hip, politically active, marathon running, moose killing, mom of 5 who was married to a snowmobiling champion, fisherman hottie husband. It's like we're twins :)

I think this is going to change the flavor of the election and the political arena in Washington if she does get to be VP.

bunch of random stuff

Last night I dreamed again. Weird. But you know since I write about what we eat and what we wear and what I read...why not.

I woke up around 4am cuz brother came hopping into bed. Then I was hot and I was trapped between my boys, Beloved on one side and Brother on the other, and couldn't fall asleep right away. Finally I did and dreamed this:

I was shopping at Wal mart and in the pet aisle I saw cages with monkeys. Crazy (note: when I was a girl I always wanted a pet monkey)! Then I looked down and under that was an aquarium with a sea monster in it. He swam up and looked at me, and I reached out to pet him. So we looked and then moved on.
Suddenly, you know how it is in dreams, I was upstairs and Julia was running a sandwich shop and I was trying to decide what to eat and then decided to swim instead and while I was swimming the sea monster came and got in the large hot tub that I was swimming in. He was much bigger and scared me so I hopped out.
Then I was trying to get away and realized that because I had touched him somehow he was imprinted on me or something.
Then all this weird magic stuff happened and I was flying and trying to find a safe place for the children and trying to get away from these people who wanted to use the dragon for evil.

Lu and I were running on a path and hopped in our suburban and drove it. The path turned into this roller coaster thing and we were going up and down and I was scared to run off the side and suddenly there was a HUGE drop and Lu went flying out and so did I. Lu landed in the water, my sea monster had grown huge and was in the water and I landed on it's head. Then I agreed to help it if Lu was saved.

that's all.

Strange. So a) I guess I do have a somewhat imaginative subconscious, good to know. b) maybe I read too much children fiction c) what does that mean anyway?

Then, back to real life, when I was in brother's room getting his clothes for the day I looked down and saw pink death by his bed and realized that my sea monster looked just like pink death only with flippers. Funny.

This morning H did a lot of crying. She forgot to bring home her text book from school and couldn't do her homework. Of course she didn't tell me this until after dance and after she went to activity days and it was too late to try and get a copy. She didn't want to go to school this morning. Hopefully her teacher will be helpful and gentle. I don't mind if she gets in a little trouble but I hope it matches the seriousness of the offense. 4th grade is a big year for learning to be organized and remember stuff without the teacher reminding you.

Conversation had here this morning: We are speculating about who McCain will choose as a running mate. This morning DH was saying he thought it might be Mitt (now an hour later he thinks it will be Sarah Palin, I guess we'll see at noon). ANYWAY, as we were discussing he was saying that he hopes that people wouldn't not vote for him because he's Mormon, and that there are religious bigots out there who don't think Mormons are Christan and so forth. I also hope that someone wouldn't do that. I hope that voters take time to look at the candidates and see what they believe and learn the facts about religions, and issues, and people before making a decision but, unlike my sweet husband, who is much more interested in politics than I am and is much more informed about things, I do not fault people for voting against someone because of their religion. He thinks it's a travesty and anti American and practically against the Constitution. I think everyone has a vote to spend anyway they want and that they can discriminate any way they want. If I think someone is too old, or I don't like their hair, or I don't agree with them on just one teeny tiny issue, or I don't agree with their religion, I can vote against them. The reason I say this is because I wouldn't vote for a person who had certain religious views that are devoutly religious because I know this colors your whole world view. Being Mormon is not a Sunday thing for me, it's part of the very fiber of my being and I think and act a certain way because of that. I happen to think that's a good way to think and act but I know not everyone agrees. Someone who was devoutly Wiccan, or devoutly Muslim or devoutly a Pacifist, or anything that I knew was really opposed to my world view and my hopes for the future I would not vote for, just because. And I wouldn't think I was being prejudice, I would think I was making a choice that matched my beliefs. I would, on the other hand be happy to be neighbors with anyone, to be friends with them, to be kind to them, to have them as my doctor or my lawyer or my grocery clerk. I would treat them kindly and with respect and want them in clubs I join or on the PTA. I would not want them discriminated against in the work place or any where else. I whole heartedly believe that everyone has the privilege of worshiping how, when and what they may, or not, as they choose. But to lead our nation and to make decisions that affect me and my family and the whole world we have to choose someone we can trust and someone we think will act like we want them to act. It's an individual choice. If the majority of the individuals thought differently than I and we did elect someone who believed the opposite of me,well, that would really stink and I guess I'd have to actively try and promote my POV. I don't think it's any different than basing my vote on their pro life or pro choice stance, their off shore drilling feelings, their anti war or pro military perspective, their thoughts on the dollar or our relationship with China or anything else. How a person believes is how they act. That is one thing I have liked about Pres. Bush, I don't agree with everything he has done and the poor guy has given Letterman more pearls in the form of sound bites for his "famous presidential speeches" pieces than anyone but I feel like he really does what he thinks is right. He has a strong moral compass and follows it. I don't want someone who is swayed by the tides and popular opinion I want someone who will do what is right and stand up for what they believe and who tells what they believe so we can pick.

Light, front porch waiting for the bus conversation. The kids listen and nod. It was not antagonistic at all. Just political.

Is that prejudice? I really don't know. I don't think so but I can see how someone could argue that it was. That's often my problem, I can see both sides of an issue and even if I don't agree with one side I can see how someone might. DH isn't like that, he is black and white.

okay enough, I am not really that much of a political creature...I guess this is what happens when the kids go to school and I don't have pictures of swimming kids to post about.

I hope I represented DH well enough. He happens to agree with all the rambling I did on the bottom I think, he just doesn't think a person should be discriminated against because of their religion (or color, or _____ ) It's all about the issues for him.

SO what is the difference between discriminated and choosing based on something that is important to you?

one last thing, don't think DH and I are politically polar. We're not. We don't always think the exact same thing but that's mostly because he is very interested and passionate about politics and I, frankly, am not. I am moderately interested and sometimes have no opinion because I don't know enough to have decided anything but we both like Sarah Palin, and Mitt (although he more than me). We'll both vote McCain (he likes him a lot more than I do, but I like him a lot more than Barrack). We both don't like Obama. I did at first, when he just stood there and looked pretty and he seemed passionate and bright. Now that I have heard him talk, and every time I do, my opinion just gets lower. I wanted to like him but his views don't match mine at all.

off my soap box, if you can even call it that, it's more like a sudsy spot on the kitchen tile that I happened to notice when I looked up from making a PB&J sandwich and realized "oh it's a political year"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

13 early memories for Thursday 13

My good friend Joy did this on her blog and it was fun to read and got me thinking so I decided to do it too.

Thirteen Early Memories.

1. The first thing I remember, ever, is sitting the kitchen floor in our little apartment in North Edwards, CA and feeding Alec OJ from a little bowl with a tiny spoon. He was in his plastic baby seat and had the cutest little mouth. (3years old)

2. I also remember "fishing" in the tire tracks that got left in the mud at the same apartment. (3)

3. One time we were at the beach with the Anderson Family. I want to say this was my first time going but I am not sure that's true. It was night and we were taking a walk. I remember the flash light beams making lines across the waves. Then I fell in and got tumbled around. It was very scary and cold. I was fully clothed and my clothes got cold and stiff with salt water. I came up crying and Brother Anderson gave me some first piece ever. I guess I was 4-5 years old.

4. I remember going to Kindergarten and riding the trikes around the painted line track in the kindergarten play ground. One day I remember in particular was the day before our Thanksgiving break. We were going to San Fransisco, as usual and mom came to pick me up before our class party. I had to take my little pilgrim hat and leave. I was sad. Eventually I hated going to SF for every holiday and summer, but not then. I was happy to go, just sad to miss the party. That happened a lot over the elementary years.

5. In 2nd grade I had a friend named Dusty. She and I loved horses and we would go out in the field during recess with some other girls who were also our friends but who's names I don't remember and we'd play horses, sometimes we ate the grass.

6. I was a Brownie scout in 2 or 3rd grade. We meet at the rec center at Mariposa Park, which shared a lot with our school. It was fun. When we had our Christmas party and book exchange I brought "Rudolph" but no one wanted it so that was sad. I don't remember what book I got.

7. When we travelled to SF it seemed like the Longest drive, but really it was only about 7-8 hours, which now I laugh at. It was so exciting to get to the Golden Gate Bridge because that meant we were almost there. Alec was afraid of the bridge, he thought the sword fish could saw the legs down. When we would finally arrive at Baba and Deda's house I would run in and go to Deda's study where Makaka (my mom's stuffed monkey from when she was a girl) was waiting for me. I loved that monkey and would play with it while we were there.

8. Also in SF Baba Olya would pay us a penny a snail to get them out of her garden and into a bucket. And Baba Katya would let us have sips of her coffee. She also sat on the couch at the bottom of the steps and "faint" when she saw us coming down the stairs, she was so struck by our beauty :)

9. Often, maybe every day, we'd go to Golden Gate park and walk around with Dad. It was beautiful. My favorite parts were the Japanese Tea Gardens and this little lake that had steep side and trees all around. You could see a lot of the roots of the trees reaching down to you while you walked . It was way cool. We'd scramble around up there and laugh and talk.

10. I also had a bike with a banana seat. and I had roller skates that I loved. Alec was a fast biker, but I was better on skates.

11. My first personal pet was a blue parakeet named Sunny. This is sad, I was in 3rd grade, Sunny stayed in a cage in my room. She was a good bird and sat on my finger nicely. One day our cat Heidi got in my room and swiped at Sunny through he bars of the cage. She got her belly and legs. I thought Sunny would die but some how she didn't. She did become crippled though and would only lay on the bottom of her cage. Then when I opened the door she would pull herself with her little beak to the toward me. She slept on my pillow. Sadly she didn't live long, and I missed her. Sad story.

12. We had rabbits in a big rabbit hutch when I was in 2nd-3rd grade. Mom would sometimes send us outside to weed the garden and watch Michael. Alec and I would lock Michael in the hutch, so we didn't have to keep track of him, and then set the rabbits out in the garden to "weed" for us while we lay around in the grass our climbed the tree. This only happened a couple of times. Michael, for the record, didn't mind. Nor did the rabbits. I don't think dad was very pleased however.

13. My favorite restaurant when I was 8 was called Camelot. It was a buffet and the building looked like a castle. I chose to go there after I was baptized for dinner. I chose it because I liked the chocolate pudding they had for dessert.

Dani, you should do this, I would love to read what you remembered :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

tiny dancer

seriously does it get any cuter?

it begins

literally 8:01 on the 3rd morning of school. I get a phone call from H.

"I think Lu took my lines."
"in the orange folder"
quickly glance to the table where she was running lines with her dad last night. There sits the folder.
"Lu didn't take them, you left them on the table"
"Oh. Can you bring them to me?"

Last night I told her at least 3 times to put stuff in her back pack and this morning I found her "flight" folder on the couch after she insisted that everything was in the back pack. Yet she still forgot something.

This is, sadly, not unique to this morning or this child. And then I am always torn. I want them to be responsible and careful and organized and to remember what they need when they walk out the door. And I want to always be there for them. So I want to bring them, and I don't want to. In elementary I usually take the missing item up and lecture after school, again, to remember everything.
By middle school and up it costs them. Okay I'll bring it but you have to __________. Or some times I don't bring it and they have to turn in stuff late. Even writing this causes me to sigh, what to do, what to do?

8:19 the phone rings again, it's J.
Mom can you pick up me and Sophie after school?
You ride the bus.
But mom...
No, and Lu has dance so I couldn't anyway.
Okay, have a good day.
You too baby.

Life was a little simpler before people could get a hold of each other any time any where.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

day one~ check

The first day of school went well. J came home with homework already and she had some classes with some friends. She doesn't want to ride the bus but such is the sad fate of a 15 year old with no car or license and a mother who doesn't want to fight the crowds or use the gas.

S had a good day. She came home excited and happy about seeing her friends and the classes she has. Hopefully it will be a great year for her, for them all, of course!

E and H seemed fine as well. H was happy to have Meagan Ngyuen in her class who also lives on our street and Gracie who lives around the corner. E and his favorite friend Caleb sit right next to each other.

Picking up the kids was a nightmare. The traffic flow is a real problem. We left our home at 20 til 3. Drove around to the school and got in line and sat there for the next 35 minutes until we actually had children in the car, I could see the school the whole time but no one was moving. Lu fell asleep so we zipped over to McD for Ice Creams instead of getting her out, putting down our stuff and getting back in the car, then went to wait in J's line, a mere 17 minutes. We got home at 4:10.

This morning I sat on the porch, in my nightgown, and happily waved as they hopped on the bus and I will even more happily wave at the end of the day, not in my nightgown, when they come home!

Lu and I spent the day cleaning up and reading books and doing laundry. She made a paper bag monster and cut Styrofoam for literally 2 hours. Both those ideas were hers, and they were good ones :) Today we are getting together with our friends that we are switching daycareing with and figuring out how that is going to work. I am excited. I am waiting on my transcripts and then I'll be ready to go.
Last night for the first soccer practice of the season and FHE and another run for school supplies, all we have left now is graph paper (they were out) and some fancy calculator S needs for Calculus, which I am hoping to put off buying until the weekend.
Meanwhile on a completely unrelated note I had the oddest dream last night. I normally don't remember my dreams. In fact for probably 15 years, all of my 20's and part of my 30's I never remembered a single one. Then about 5 years ago I woke up one morning and I remembered one (that I have since forgotten), I was shocked. Since then, occasionally, I will remember one and frankly they are always a disappointment. This one was strange. We were having a ward party at our house and Emma was here but her parents weren't and then they came and they had a little baby boy and Tori was wearing a night gown and they said surprise we had a baby! I, and everyone, was shocked. I didn't even know she was pregnant! Then she said when you are really tall it's hard to tell and we wanted to surprise everyone. The baby was cute and kind of big. How unfair, even in my dreams she is tall and lovely while I am a butterball!!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Dani tagged me!

All About My DH

1- Where did you meet? On a blind date. I was teaching 1st grade and I had an awesome friend that was also teaching 1st grade named Ellen. She was soo much fun to work with, if there is anything I miss about working it's talking to her every day. Anyway her husband was an AF Pilot (F-22 at that time) and DH's Uncle Tom (now retired and working as a civilian) was also a pilot and they knew each other from flying stuff. Tom was coming to Edwards TDY and he had dinner with Al and Ellen. DH also went (killing two birds with one stone?) Ellen loved my DH. She came back to school the next day just raving about him. How he was tall and handsome and smart and worked with kids and just wonderful. She told him we meet for dinner at The Great Wall on Fridays and invited him to join us that week. So, Kim, who taught 3rd grade, Ellen&Al, Tina (3rd and her loser fiance) and I went and DH and his dad came and met us. We had dinner at a big round table and it was fun. And he was cute and smart :) After dinner he asked Ellen for my number and we talked on the phone over Christmas vacation (this was obviously in Dec) and when he got back from Ohio we went on our first date.
2- How long did you date before you were married? 5 1/2 month
3- How long have you been married for? 10 years
4- What does he do that surprises you? well, on Friday when I picked him up at the airport we had planned to go to dinner on the way home but he wasn't hungry yet so we stopped at the mall to walk around and he suggested we get massages at those chair stations they have set up now. We'd never done that, it was great. I was surprised.
5- What's your favorite feature about him? His mind, he's really smart.
6- What's your favorite quality about him? He does what he thinks is right.
7- Does he have a nickname for you? What is it? sometimes he calls me "mom" maybe to get my attention. Sometimes sweet cheeks. Funny story (have I told this before?) When we were dating we hung out with Al and Ellen a lot. Al called her Slim. Well, in the spring after Open House we were all in Ellen's room and DH mentioned that I needed a term of endearment so he decided to try on some westerny ones...cause Al called Ellen Slim which I guess DH thought was a cowboy name and not a reference to her slimness. So he called me Bubba, meanwhile Al was frantically, silently, signaling him to stop. It was funny. Bubba never stuck, thank goodness.
8- What's his favorite color? Blue? I don't know.
9- What's his favorite food? anything fruity.
10-What is his favorite sport? Softball or swimming
11- Who said I love you first? He did
12- When and where was your fist kiss? After I went to watch him play softball one night he came back to my apartment and we were watching TV (ER) When the show was over he asked if he could kiss me and I said yes.
13-What's your favorite thing to do as a couple? Go out to eat
14-Do you have kids? Six
15- What's a hidden talent that he has? He plays the trumpet
16- How old is he? 38
17- What's his favorite type of music? I don't know
18- What do you admire most about him? The way he does what he thinks is right, even when it's hard.
19-What's his favorite past time? karate
20- Do you think he is going to read this? yes

I tag, Sarah and Allison and Rachel (I know you don't have a DH but you have a Michael) and Marcia


new shoes, new jewelry, new pencils, summer essay tucked into the new book bag...the start of a new year!! I hope it's a great one :)
On the Long Long drive to school (3 minutes) she called Emma, Sophie (where are you?), Amy (k' I'll meet you there) She LOVES her phone!

First Day of School

Whoo Hoo!!

Everyone got up and ready this morning with a minimum of moaning. J said she didn't want to go and wanted to be home schooled with Emma. So did E. I think, however that their days will be good.

This year we have a Senior!! a Sophomore, a 4th grader and 1st grader and poor Lu who cried and wished it was Wednesday so she could go to "baa way"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

a sweet post

ice pops are a favorite summer time treat. At $2.00 for 200 at Wal mart they are a great value as well.

Brother is so sweet. When I cute the tip off of his he always gives me the small end for "a taste" and often gives me a kiss of thanks.

What a sweetie pie!

a poop post

Gentle Reader, if you are one with delicate sensibilities and a sense of decorum that is refined please enjoy this lovely flower. I took this picture while we were at the zoo and my children were running wildly around the rock ring :) Fortunately in this still shot you can neither see their clothes getting mud splattered on them, or hear their loud laughter and the sounds of splat as they jump into the nearby puddles. And read no further.

For the rest of you, who are wallowing in the trenches of motherhood and are not offended by bodily functions, no matter how inappropriate they are, welcome to my life.
As a mom I have run into many situations that I never would have previously imagined. I have also said many things I would never have considered having the need for utterance.
For example:
Poop. It gets a fair amount of conversational attention around here. In it's many forms. Gaseous being a favorite. We even have family nicknames relating to certain members fondness for the passing of. Stinkbomb, and stinkbomb jr, being two of them.
This morning Lu was on the potty and I was showering and getting dried off when she announced she wanted to go finish her business in the lighthouse bathroom. I then had to decree a new rule, whipped out of thin air, but apparently much needed. It goes as follows: once you pick a bathroom to poop in you must finish your business there and not switch in the middle. Who knew I needed that rule?
Yesterday morning Lu and brother were in the cowboy bathroom and the lighthouse bathroom respectively, both doing the deed, and we were running late to H's horse show which I did not want to miss. So I had to call out. Hurry and poop, don't sing, don't read, don't yell at each other across the house talk to each other during, just pay attention to what you are doing and get it done.
Again, who would have thought.

Bathroom usage is a very social thing around here. Which I understand. When I was growing up it was not at all uncommon to recruit a sibling or two to sit in the shower, with the door closed to keep you company in the "library". But sometimes you have to pay attention and meet a deadline.
One last thing. For a long time, when ever brother went to the bathroom I'd have to go in after and often check the wall and the seat and all around for smears. How did that happen I wondered? Are you wondering? It's because he squats on the seat and then waves his buns around the air from time to time, in what I can only assume is a chance to stretch out his legs...I don't know. And from time to time he'd make contact with the wall or the seat or whatever.
I expected diapers and poopy adventures with blow outs, and taking the diaper off by toddlers and potty training mishaps but I foolishly thought that when that stage was over we'd be done and never had to discuss it again.
Anyway, just thought I'd share.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Central Aquatics Center

Today is the last day of summer vacation. My friend Good Life and I took our kiddos to the water park for some summer splashing fun. They had a fabulous time and we had a fun visit!
Lu loved the water slides and spent at least an hour going down the biggest one over and over again.

horse camp

This week was camp for H. She had a great time. It rained the beginning of the week but that didnt' seem to put a damper on the fun.
Today was their end of camp show. Her horse was named Honey. Sadly my camera took very dark photos but here they are. Isn't she cute?

running barrels

Thursday, August 21, 2008

an award.

My sweet on line friend Yvonne gave me an award a couple days ago. Thank you. It's always nice to know that someone likes you :)

I love the beautiful picture on this. The symbol of light is widely used and always uplifting to me. It brings me a feeling of peace. I remember hearing a talk by Elder Holland many years ago. He came to speak at our stake and was wonderful. One of the things he talked about was his friend Eli Wiesel. At that time I hadn't heard of him and he told his story of being in a German concentration camp and losing his family and the horrible conditions that they lived in. As Elder Holland recounted Eli Wiesel's story he talked about the long dark, cold, bitter nights that were filled with despair and agony. And how he would pray to his God to sustain him and how miraculously each morning the sun would rise and bring a new day and a new hope. Eventually he survived the ordeal and went on to live a life that was rich and faithful and good.

I went home and read "Night" and "Dawn" two of Mr Wiesel's books.

At that time I was really struck with the profoundness of that metaphor. Just like the sun rises each day to bring us light and a fresh chance and new hope so did the Son of God rise, ending forever the darkness of sin and ignorance and offering us a hope for a future that is more wonderful than we can even imagine.

Since that time I have loved images of light.

So on to the rules of being awarded:

1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award that are inspirational, uplifting, and leave you with a feeling of hope or cheer that contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2. Link them on your blog.

3. Link to the person you received the award from.

4. Leave a comment on the blogs you nominated.

5. Add this link Beacon of Hope as the origin of this award.

6. Post these rules.

This is a funny thing to do. Of course it's always such an honor and you feel good to be chosen and recognized...and it's a little embarrassing at the same time. Then I have to think of someone else to award and that's where the hard part comes in. Blogging has been an interesting experience. I have gotten to know people on line that I never would have met in real life. Some I just visit once and enjoy taking a peek into their lives. Some I have gone back to many times and have become "friends" with them and some I stalk and never comment but read from time to time. Then there are real life friends that blog and I love that because I get a peek at their hearts and their creativity and see things that I might not have otherwise seen. And there are my families blogs, which I love most of all. I have some cousins that blog now and we don't live close to each other but I can still know what they are doing and see their kids grow. I love that. Who would have thought that blogging would be so fun or so meaningful (or so dysfunctional if you ask my sweet therapist friend who says it replaces real life :) : which I totally see how it could but our real life is busy too so I am not too worried).


I nominate Caroline Thinking. I have known her, in real life, since she was 12 and our families became friends. She baby sat for us, I was her YW leader. And I love her. She is so awesome and talented and fun and is a wonderful example to others around her. Now she is married and has a darling boy and it's fun to read about her young mom days.

I also nominate my cousin Sarah, who is clever and fun and sweet and funny and writes every day, I love that.

The Morton Clan is next on my list. I only stalk them but every time I peek in I am delighted to see their family and what they are up to. This is interesting. They are home school, courting, dress wearing Christians who are friends with another family named the Smiths (of similar minds). Well Grandma Smith and Grandpa Morton (who were both widowed) married each other several years ago. Since then the two families have had three more weddings as the fathers have matched up some of the couples. First Alan and Katie, then Michael and Kressent and finally Rachel and Wesley. (it's like watching a long running TV show) Now the younger three couples are having babies and they get together and have a most merry time. It's most fun to watch.

NieNie is fourth on my list. I have also been visiting her blog for a couple years from time to time. She's so pretty and dresses so nicely and her home is creatively decorated and her cooking looks yummy. Most of all I love to read her because she is so in love with her husband and devoted to her four children and it really shows in her writing. Sadly last weekend she and her husband were in a small airplane, he just got his pilots license, and they crashed. The third person in the plane died and they are both severely burned and in the hospital fighting for their lives. The children are being taken care of by their large and loving families. I chose her because her careful attention to making life and her home beautiful have always touched me and now I am praying for her recovery and her family.

Last I choose Livesay in Haiti. They are a missionary family living and serving in Haiti. I read a couple missionary blogs and I love when someone dedicates their lives to doing what they think is right. This family is not from the same church as I am but they are doing wonderful work and making a difference and I love that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

a little mud, and a little mud slinging

It's been raining, for days. On and off but every day and the ground is pretty wet. This morning we took H to camp and while I was making the turn to get back out (the whole thing is a dirt road) I got stuck. Great. I hopped out in my flip flops and sunk to my ankles. I guess it was pretty funny watching me try and figure out how to get out because E was jumping around in the car so excited. Hopping from window to window and shouting out suggestions. (right, you're 6 and you can get my suburban unstuck? :) ) The camp girls and I tried for a while, with no luck. Finally a dad came by to drop off his daughter and he had a pulling something, not a rope but like a thick/flat rope and we tugged us out. E feels we should have one of those "cool thingys" in all our cars. What a muddy mess. But we're out and some of us enjoyed it so that's good.

Phone bill drama still on going. I have called no fewer than 7-8 times talking to different people and trying to get this sorted out. This morning, with "customer service specialist" #9 I think I made some progress. It still has to be approved and isn't all we hoped for but if it works out (which I am so not holding my breath on at this point) we got the bill down to $423 for the summer instead of $1800+ Still ouch but less of one. We'll see. Stupid S-----.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Feed Me


Today it rained on and off most of the day again. H seems to be doing fine at camp, although coming home a little soggy. This afternoon they were able to go out in the canoes, which she thought was fun and of course the horses are great come rain or shine.
I decided to take E and Lu to the zoo. We are back to school next week and I wanted them to do something fun too. It was raining most of the night but I hoped that would discourage many people from going and give us free run of the place. It worked. There were very few people there and although we were caught in a shower or two no one melted and we had a lot of fun.
The kids were able to spend a lot of time looking at things that interested them. Birds seemed to be the theme of the day. First we fed the ducks/fish by the giraffe habitat. I gave them each a quarter and they fed them one piece of fish food at a time. Then they looked around on the floor for more food and fed them that. Then they waited for other people to buy food and when they left the dispenser E and G would run over and pick up the pieces that fell and feed that to the fish and ducks. It took a long time but they really enjoyed it.
We went in the parakeet house with our little sticks of food and the kids were literally swarmed by birds. It was the craziest thing. There must have been 12-15 birds flying around them and trying to get the food. (For some reason my computer won't let me rotate my photos and this was the only one that was facing the right direction, if I get them turned I will put another on). The kids laughed and got a little freaked out but mostly liked it.

Third we saw this darling little baby flamingo. How sweet is that.
We got to see lots of animals and the weather was nice and we had a fun time.
S and J didn't want to come. They stayed home and J went to a venturing meeting and S went to work. They missed out though, I even would have bought them ice cream if they came along ;)

Monday, August 18, 2008

what do you do on a rainy summer day?

go swimming of course. It was chilly but no one seemed to care. H had her first day of camp, she had a most excellent time :)
Brother had his friend C over to play. They played the usual: Star Wars, Ninjas, and Wii. They added a new game today. Olympic swimming. They raced laps back and forth many times. Their favorite was to play relay team where the two of them took turns swimming and cheering each other on to victory against many imaginary foes, who were all slower than them.

under Lucy's pillow

This morning I went to make Lu's bed and found this under her pillow. E's magic beans, a much coveted and hugely adored toy in this house. I guess she wanted them for herself.

E got these when we went to Young's Dairy. UB bought them for him and he LOVES them. They have great ice cream there, great ice cream that also makes great big messes. So on my many trips into the bathroom to wash melted ice cream off of which ever child had finished eating Uncle Brian was left to corral the remain littles. During one such venture E scored the beans and they've been a hit ever since.

(We store them on the fridge where they magically (magnetically) stick when not in use)

What Lu's bed is supposed to look like, minus the hidden beans. She loves elephants :) Sadly two of these belong on the bed next to hers (H's). She hops over and reassigns them whenever she gets a chance.

faithful canine companion

Millie is our beloved yellow lab. She's such a good dog. She is so patient and good with the kids and no longer eats our walls and furniture. She's perfect. She has many funny traits. If she is hungry and we are late in providing her supper she will pick up her metal bowl and throw it down on the tile, repeatedly, until we go feed her. I think this shows her innate intelligence, and our slowness in being properly trained to fetch her food:)
The funniest thing she does is in her relationship with J. J loves to run (I know that's crazy). If she ever comes into a room carrying her running shoes Millie goes nuts. She runs up to her and runs around in circles and looks for her leash. It is sooo funny. If J happens to not be going running but is just randomly wearing tennis shoes for another event and she puts them on and leaves without Millie poor Millie has a heart attack. She runs to the window and paces and whines and keeps it up for a long time.

dance = $$$

It's a good thing I am going to sub this year, I just went and signed up three of the girls for dance, two of whom have been begging for it. And it's going to be very spendy.

...and we haven't even talked about costumes yet but I have several months to think that one through.

Lu is very excited. She wants to dance ballet and she will look sooo cute in her little pink leotard and fluffly skirt. I know because she is my 5th 3 year old dancer and they always look so cute you can hardly stand to look at them without laughing at the joy of it. She'll also take tap because tap/ballet always go together when you are three.

H is going to take ballet as well. She is into karate now but always liked dance before and when she found out J and G were going she wanted to as well and at that point what was one more class? This will be the first year she's old enough for just ballet, which I think she'll like. She's very graceful.

J has been begging for dance ever since the disastrous audition for drill team in the late spring. She loves to dance and she is really the reason why the whole venture back to the dance studio is happening for us this year. She is taking hip hop, lyrical and jazz. I hope she loves it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

ready for camp

Tomorrow H starts equestrian camp. She is so excited and has all her stuff laid out tonight.
I know she'll have a great time!


also happy birthday to Allison. She and Anna have the same birthday! She is actually my cousin's daughter but our ages are weird so I always thought she was my cousin too. Marie Jeanne is my dad's oldest sister. She is maybe 17 years older than him(ish) and so her two sons were not all that much younger than my dad. When I was little I thought she was my grandmother. I didn't actually ever meet my dad's parent. All the years I was growing up we always went to San Fransisco for holidays and for a long visit in the summer. We stayed at Baba Olya's and Deda's, who were my mom's parents. And we'd go visit MJ and Arno, who I thought, until I was 11ish were my other grandparents. They were so great and Alec and I liked going to their house and playing with the dogs and walking in the yard and eating her most delicious (and sometimes unusual) food. When my cousins got married and started having kids they were the ages of my younger brother and sisters and it was even more fun. I loved to play with them, especially Allison who was so cute and sweet.

Anyway, cousin or second cousin, they are dear to me and I am happy to be family. Albert and Suzanne (Allison's parents and my cousins) are the only members of our family who ever joined the church so that has always given our two families a special bond as well.

All that to say: Happy Birthday!!! I hope to meet your little ones some day and to spend some time all together. Maybe we should plan something after Mom and Dad return home from their mission.

photo borrowed from her blog, Allison and her sweet hubby Aaron.

happy birthday Sister!

Anna is my baby sister. She was born when I was 12. I remember being excited to have another sister. I don't know that I wanted another baby, I remember really wanting MSV to be a girl and to have a baby in the family. I don't remember feeling that way about Anna but when she was born I loved her right away. She was little and had a round little face and white skin. She was a plump happy baby and such a cute little girl and she was smart, right away. She's still so smart, I love that about her.
By the time she was in middle school we started to be friends. (before that she was little and I was the older, wiser, know it all sister and somewhat benevolent dictator of the youngers) I loved helping her with homework, she had the most interesting assignments and was so cleaver at doing them that it was like playing a game to help her. One of my favorites was when she was assigned to read "Like Water For Chocolate" and I read it too, then she had to write about her own family and assign them each a food that represented them. We laughed over that one ;)
Anna went to BYU-H where she graduated as valedictorian (it's my blog, I'll remember it as I please~ actually due to a clerical error she didn't get it but she should have). I was so excited for her to go there and loved to hear about how school life was.

She met her true love there and is now happily married to Amadeo. A wonderful man who is perfect for her (his birthday is in May but I didn't write anything so I'll spend a moment now saying how wonderful and funny and bright and wise he is)
I love you sister and hope you have a wonderful year..and that you make me an aunt again this year, and if you don't that okay too but you really should come visit :) It's your turn.

The top pictures is me and Anna at the San Diego Wild Animal park this past January. We had such a fun time there. I always have so much fun with Anna.
Next is taken in Utah at Bridal Veil park in 06. She's walking with Dani and Greg, they weren't engaged yet. She still had her colon in this picture. Did I mention how brave she is and how well she handles adversity? You are my hero, little 'honey'.
Ana and Ama in front of the Mt Timpanogos Temple.
MSV, me (pregnant with Lucy~ but I looked better than I do now, pretty sad, time to actually diet I guess), my brother Michael and Anna the night before her wedding.
Lastly Anna and H on her wedding day. She was such a beautiful bride. It matches how beautiful she is on the inside.
Anna is so talented and smart and fun and wonderful. She really swam in the deep end of the gene pool! The only problem with her is she lives so far away I wish we lived on the same street...come on the beach and balmy weather isn't that great is it? Move East. Move East!

17 is my least favorite age.

you know how every minute after curfew that your child has missed ticks by like a excruciatingly slow lifetime? First you're just mad, because there are rules that have to be followed for their safety and for your own peace of mind. Then, after a while, you worry. Were they in an accident?, did something horrible happen? that's where I am right now...waiting.

She answered a text around midnight. Where are you? In the middle of a movie, it didn't start until 10:30. Why didn't you call? sorry, I forgot. (not okay, but we'll deal with it when she gets home)

I woke up an hour later.

Did I miss her coming in?

Get up to check. Nope.

Text, no answer.

Call. No answer

Repeat every 2 minutes.

Now it's almost 2am. Is she dead on the road somewhere? ...probably not. Will she be once she walks through the door? You can bet on it.

but Please let her walk through that door, and keep her safe until she does.

(parts of being a mom that I don't love.)

I wrote this last night, and posted it, then took it down (didn't want it to be famous last words) but now she's home, and she's fine and she's grounded for a really long time, so I'm putting it back.
So I'll remember it isn't all swim parties and midnight giggles. but it's still worth it. And I am soooo grateful. and I love her but she's still grounded, maybe forever.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

water and water and water

This morning we had a primary activity. They did a service project and then did water games. The kids had fun, got soaked and were cold. We are having surprisingly mild weather, maybe in the 80s and it's been raining on and off all day .
Tonight we had a ward swim party. It was from 7:30-9:30 which was kind of on the late side for little kids but lots of people came and I think everyone had a blast.
The park was fun and the kids always love water and hanging out with friends.
It was cold though and in fact started raining on us not too long after we arrived. No one seemed to mind though and just swam in the rain.
For the record I did not actually get in, I did take a turn chasing Lucy around the pool but we made her wear her vest so it wasn't too hard to do and stay dry.

I went around visiting and got to talk to lots of people.

Friday, August 15, 2008

couple more random birthday shots

*i think i might need a new camera, mine is often fuzzy for some reason

just like one of the big girls :)