Monday, April 30, 2012


Ethan's toe is doing well.  He goes tomorrow to the doctor again but I think all is well and he was able to play soccer and run around all weekend with no pain.

Baby bunny is back in the nest and momma bunny is nursing him, all is well.

Jenna sold her car.  I hope she will be able to find a good one for the same $ in Utah, and I hope hope hope she will quickly find a job. 

Sierra comes home next week! Yeah! I can't wait, it's been a long time and I always enjoy her peaceful presence.  It will be a fun visit.  She'll work, we'll play, it will be warm!  Good times.

Our Sabbath day was lovely.  It was the last day we had Alissa with us, the two girls had a lot of fun together and I am happy she could come.  We went to church and after I had a YCL meeting but everyone else stayed for a linger longer...which reminds me I need to check if R brought my crock pot home.

Two of my friends had daughters receive mission calls this weekend.  Kitty's daughter Julia is going to Sacramento on  an ASL mission and Ruth's daughter Giaonna is going to Russia.  So exciting.  I am very excited to find out where mom and dad are going.  I expect we won't know for another couple of months but still it's exciting. 

With summer fast approaching I've been beach looking.  I didn't know but Ocean City, which is about 3 hours from us not only has a wonderful boardwalk and lots of sandy beachy fun to be had but it is also very near the home of the wild Assateague ponies.  I am hoping to take a quick trip up there while Sierra is home and spend a beach day and a pony day.  So fun. 

I can't believe school is almost over for the year.  Hannah will be in 8th grade, crazy!  She is doing really well.  Her biggest dilemma right now is what language to take next year.  She wants to take French but the middle school only offers Spanish and Chinese.  Odd isn't it.  The  high school has French and Latin as well. 
Ethan has enjoyed STEM.  This week they have a trip to the base, and at the end of the month they have their Elms camp out.  He's learned to write in cursive, a task he did not relish.  His big challenge right now is soccer.  He loves it and is probably ready to move up to the next level, sadly they play only on Sunday and travel to weekend tournaments.  It really makes me sad that there is so little, really next to no regard for the Sabbath.   Right now we have one travel team in our area that is for his age and it is full of stand out players, the bad news it the decision has been made to form a second team.  If that happens a lot of the strong players that E now enjoys playing with will be drafted and he is afraid he'll be left with boys that aren't as good.  He may be right. 
I guess we'll see what happens.  I hope he'll be able to continue to play and enjoy it and if he wants even play in high school but the bottom line is we are not raising a soccer star, we are raising a boy who will be a man that loves and serves God.  We will honor the Sabbath day and even if we feel sad about it will sacrifice moving up the soccer ladder.
Lu is almost done with 1st grade.  She has done very well.  I have been very pleased with her teacher and she has lots of friends and is a great reader.  Her challenge is learning to obey.  She is a Sassy Pants! with a capital SP.  Good thing she is sooo cute. 

Our garden is planted (thanks R!)

That's it. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Freedom Fighters

Bub also had soccer pictures today and he also tied his game.  This boy loves soccer.

same 24 hours, but it went a lot faster.

 Picture day at soccer.  We got up and went straight to Lu's game.  It was pretty fun.  They took pictures, then played a game.  We tied, 2 all. 

 After soccer we went to the mall for Lu's Daisy build a bear party.  They made really cute girl scout bears with daisy uniforms.  We also had time to walk around and enjoy the mall.  Hannah and Alissa ran around, found stuff to buy and ate fancy cupcakes.  J and I walked with Lu and while she was at her party we went and found a pretty new dress for her. 
As soon as I got home R and I went to a dinner at Wheel's house.  It was a lot of fun.  It was for some of his coworkers and their wives.  We made our own foil pockets and cooked them on the fire outside, it was raining but the trees kept the rain off us.  For dessert we made our own dessert pockets.  There were strawberries, bananas, apples, pie filling, hot fudge, marshmallows, honey, cranberries, granola, nuts, cinnamon, and other yummy things to put in the packet.  We cooked them and then dumped the toppings on pound cake or angle food cake.  It was a hit and we had a lot of fun.

long day

(long exhale)  some days are long.  Friday was one of those days.  I subbed, which is normally fine and dandy.  This day was long, mind numbingly, tortuously, long where every minute felt like an hour.  I will not take that assignment again. 

When R got home he wanted to go on a bike ride with me.  I wasn't too excited but I know he's really wanted to take me so I agreed.  It was okay, I wanted to like it.  But I didn't.  A lot of wind blew in my face, it was uncomfortable and also felt like it took a long time although we only rode for 20 minutes.  Jenna said I sat on the bike wrong, I am not sure how one sits wrong but I am going to give it another try.

Hannah's friend Alissa is spending the weekend with us.  I wanted to do something fun with the girls so R kept E and G (who has spent the last two days crying about the bunny being returned to the nest) and Jenna, Hannah, Alissa and I went to the movies.  We went to see Lucky One, I thought it started at 7 but it really started at 8 so we ended up with time to go eat burgers first, which was fun.  Then we went to the theater and it was okay.  After seeing Dear John and really liking it I thought I'd give Nicolas Sparks another chance, I have found him annoying in the past.  He still is.  I guess DJ is an exception.  Lucky One was okay and  today thinking back on it I was fond of some parts but over all I'd say nope. 

The girls had fun.  I was happy to have the day over and to lay down in my bed at the end of it.

Friday, April 27, 2012


rainy morning reading stories under the umbrella at the bus stop
feeding Teo
Lu picked some lovely flowers for me.
Thursday was a good day.  It started out with a great Wednesday night.  We had a skype party.  Jenna, Hannah and I here in MD, Tate, Sierra and Dani in Utah.  We laughed for over an hour.  I loved it.  Thank goodness for technology.

Lu and I walked to the bus stop in the rain.  She read me jokes from her joke book.  Very funny and fun!

I took E to the doctor.  His foot is still infected but doing so much better.  He is 20% for weight and 30% for height and needs glasses but is smart and awesome.  Official diagnosis :)

J and I went out to lunch and hung out together. 

We returned Teo to his nest.  After some researching and a lot of unsuccessful feedings yesterday we decided it was his best chance at survival.  This morning I heard the report that he was nursing and doing well.  So yeah!

In the evening I went to a camp meeting.  Camp is coming together.  yeah!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

it's a....

 baby bunny.  Tammy came to the bus stop this morning and said that Adam, her son, was mowing the lawn and accidentally ran over a rabbit nest.  This little guy "popped" out.  Adam picked it up to see if it was dead and that was all she wrote, mother reject. 

We are fostering it with the hopes of it surviving.  Although Jen, the neighborhood vet, said the chances are very very slim.  He's eating kitten replacement formula but we can't get him to eat much.  He is vigorous and hops about ish even though his eyes are still closed.  Jenna named him Teo.  I have a feeling this is going to end badly.

It's turning out to be a pretty great day for Lu.  She came home to a bunny surprise.  She and Ethan and John found a turtle in Millie's mouth while they were playing outside and got permission to go down to the pond to relocate it.  She has soccer practice today, had toaster strudels for breakfast (her fav food thanks to Aunt Andrea) and today Brett threw up on Mrs. Gray's shoes, so Mrs. Fox (the counselor) took her class out for extra recess while Mrs. Gray changed her shoes (she carried a spare in her car- the sign of a seasoned teacher) and while Mr. Charles cleaned out their classroom.  So many good things in one day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

it's a...


Yesterday Dani had her ultrasound and we found out it was a baby girl! I am so excited.  There is nothing sweeter than a little pink bundle of baby.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Ethan has been home with his toe all week.  It's been a mess.  Today R and I took him back to the doctor to have it lanced and to get a stronger antibiotic.  Hopefully this will do the trick.  It's been pretty gross.

Yesterday we went to check out the youth conference site for this summer.  I was so impressed it is going to be awesome.  Can't wait!

We had a good day today.  After the doctor this morning we went to Lu's soccer game.  Then we went to Chipotle for some delicous lunch.  After that we had a couple errands, we got some plants for the garden, some zyrtec for the gardeners, a couple big bouncing balls for the children, a new swim suit for Han and some new shoes for E.  It was raining this afternoon but still warm and the air smelled good, like spring.

Tomorrow Jenna comes home!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

way laid

I had planned to spend my day getting a pedi and then meeting some friends for lunch.  BUT this boy needed a trip to urgent care.  He has a staph infection in his toe, of mysterious origins, that needed meds so he wouldn't die.  It's okay, I like this boy a lot.

44th part 1

Another birthday.  Yea! Everything this side of the dirt is good right ;)
Not that it's all about the gifts but I was pretty spoiled this year.  I got some cute shoes! Stocked up my reading material for the next while! Went shopping with some fun gift cards and bought a couple new outfits and R bought my a beautiful picture that I wanted.  Sweet!  Saturday we are going out to celebrate.  We're going to see "Chimpanzee" after all the soccer games. 

So here are 44 random stories from my life, that no one should feel obliged to read.  The kids love my stories so this is for them.

1. When I was in middle school we went on a very fun field trip to the zoo.  I remember walking around with Adam and John and a few other kids.  Particularly I remember hanging out in the aviary and enjoying the birds and riding an elephant.  However I question if I really did that.  I can't imagine having $ to ride one, although I am sure I would have wanted to so maybe I did.  It's an elephant mystery.  I do love elephants and I love Lu's herd.  And I want to see one in the wild some day, which would require a trip to Africa, or ancient South America, neither of which are on the agenda for any time soon.

2. When Sierra was a baby we went camping to Yosemite with the Dopps.  It was gorgeous there.  We did a lot of hiking, some swimming in frigid water (brrr!).  We had to put all our food in bear boxes and there were all these warnings about not having food in your tents etc.  So Si was my bottle baby and in the middle of the night when she was hungry I would grab my flashlight, grab a crying baby, find my shoes in the dark on the tent floor, "sneak" out of the tent and hike to the car (scared the whole time that she and I would be eaten) and then sit in the car and make her bottle and feed her.  It was creepy.  Then when she was done we'd walk back, in the scary dark, and slide back into the sleeping bag.  Not so restful but it was a good trip.  The kids panned for gold, made smores, threw rocks.

3.  Another summer we went camping at Pinecrest.  That year the little Dopplets and my little girlies got marbles and played marble games in the dirt.  That year Jenna was the baby and she was not impressed with the whole lets go camping thing.  The first night we were there she cried a lot.  I felt bad for the other campers so I took my camp chair down the hill to the bathroom and she and I hung out in there while she fussed.  I watched the bugs fly into the little light in the corner of the bathroom and listened for bears and wished she would sleep.  The second night she was finally tired ( me too ).  After dinner everyone gathered around the camp fire to sing and play instruments.  J had finally finally gone to sleep so I announced that I was going to bed.  I left S & D at the campfire with Grandma Joyce and Mark and the Dopps.  They were having a great time.  I gratefully put baby J to sleep and lay down in my sleeping bag when all of a sudden I heard rustling behind the tent.  I figured I was imagining...but it didn't stop.  Then I knew it was a bear.  So I bravely unzipped the window on the campfire side of the tent and quietly yelled ( you know the whisper yell used when facing a bear, or burglar or other peril that you don't want to hear you) out "Mark! Mark! there's a bear".  He and Durk came running up and bravely charged behind the tent.  There they discovered a pack of ferocious raccoons working as a team  to unload our ice box.  One was in the chest, the other outside.  The one inside was handing food out to the other, I kid you not.

4.  One more bear story, well two more.  A few years later we went camping to the Sequoias.  Amazing trees! We had so much fun.  Anyway there were bear warnings everywhere.  As you are likely to find camping.  One night we heard growling and Val, Anna and I really hoped for an actual bear sighting so we grabbed our flashlights, zipped the girls safely into the tent (they were asleep) and Papa and Grandma were in the next tent so they were protected, and we headed out to see what we could see.  We followed the sound to a tent a couple of sites down from ours.  It was a fellow camper snoring. 

5.  So I actually had a bear sighting.  My friend Tracey and I went to a singles conference at Big Bear where we stayed in tents and had a horrible time.  A bear went into our tent while we were gone.  Which was the highlight of the trip. 

6.  Summer 2004 Anna and Ama got married, theirs was the loveliest wedding.  The reception was outside and I remember dancing under the stars with Bub who loves to dance even now.  So great!  Now they have their own cute little bub and I am very excited to find out if baby #2 is a boy or girl later this week.  I think it's a boy.  I think Dani's is too.  We shall see.

7.  When I was a little girl I walked to school.  I would complain about how far it was.  Then when I was in 6th grade my family spent the summer in France.  We met dad's family, he did genealogy, we had some great experiences there.  One thing I will never forget is visiting dad's childhood home.  We drove to the middle of nowhere, parked the cars and then began to walk.  We walked through a little field, crossed a stream, walked up up up a hill on a little rocky path and then finally got to his "house".  Really it was little more than a shack homestead.  We walked in and I remember the dirt floor, the fireplace where they cooked, the dark room off to the side where dad slept (and where he said rats would run over his blanket in the night).  In the middle of the room hung a bare wire with a light bulb on it.  Dad said "oh look they made some improvements".  He was referring to the nice new light.  On our walk back I said to Dad "I will never complain about walking again." And I did not.  After that I walked a lot.  Lana and I would walk to piano lessons every week.  We walked to the movies, the library, to candy stripe at the hospital, to the stables to take care of Goldie and Velvet.

8.  Going to the beach was the highlight of my life growing up.  We went every summer for a week.  I LOVED it.  We went with the same group of families, to the same campground and it was so fun.  I loved walking to the peacock store for ice cream.  I loved walking down the windy path to the beach, it always smelled like black licorice, I don't know why.  I loved laying in the sun, playing in the water, hunting snipe, wandering around with Julie, making smores, eating outside.  It was great great great.

9.  Little known fact, I never took the ACT or the SAT.  I was scared I wouldn't do well so I didn't.  As a result I went to community college first.  Also as a result I insisted my girls took it.  Better to try and fail than not to try at all.

10.  Other little known fact I have always been a very bad speller.  Spell checker has made me a better speller and I am very proud that I now know the difference between to two and too, also between than and then. 

11. The day I got baptized Marlis Morgan gave me a hymn book.  I treasured it.  Also we went out to eat, I got to choose the restaurant and I choose a lovely buffet called "Camelot". I choose it because they served chocolate pudding.  I also remember having a headache.  We played the drop backwards and I will catch you game before and my friends didn't catch me. 

12. I cried when I took swimming lessons.  I still cry if I have to put my face under water.  I think this might have something to do with the night I had my first piece of gum.  We were at the beach with the Andersons and we were walking along, it was dark and I was skipping closer and closer to the edge.  Then the edge overwhelmed me and the ocean swooped me up and under. I tumbled around unable to find my way up.  It was very scary.  Peter Anderson pulled me out.  I was crying and he gave me some gum to cheer me up (or quiet me down)

13.  In middle school my favorite day was "touch of class" day.  We got to wear lovely gowns to school.  In 8th grade I wore a long yellow dress with little flowers on it. 

14. The first house I ever bought had lots of pretty plants and trees in the yard.  In the backyard there was a nice covered porch with wisteria growing all over it.  I love the way that smells. There was also a cherry tree.  I wanted to pull it out and get a swing set for the girls.  Mark agreed and we bought one, then he attached a rope to his jeep and the other end to the tree and pulled it out.  We loved that swing set!

15. Dani's first day of kindergarten she wore pink tights and a little flowered dress.   Sierra and I walked her to school.  I can not believe that was 20 years ago. 

16.  We used to spend a lot of time in San Fransisco with our Grandparents.  Dad painted houses in the summer and we also went on holidays.  Alec and I slept in Baba Olya's room.  Later Michael also slept in there with us.  We used to lay in bed and watch the lights from the cars cast their lights on the ceiling as they drove by.  I would tell Alec stories.  Often they were about the Justice League, to which we belonged, and they good deeds we would do.

17.  We used to play Star Trek all the time.  We'd use my barrettes as "communicators" never in a million years thinking that some day I would own a cell phone that does all that the science fiction communicators did and more.  Technology is crazy.

18.  One morning in Feb 1991 I stood in the shower crying.  I was bleeding because I had just had a baby, and spraying milk all over because I had to wean her but my body didn't get the message so it was still making tons and crying because I had cancer and was having surgery the next day.  It was a long messy shower and it was the only time I cried because I thought it wasn't fair and why me.  That moment sticks out in my memory.  There were other tears, but they were of gratitude for the gift of life, no matter how long or short it would be; out of great love for my babies and my God; in amazement for the kindness of others, the skill of my doctors, the evidence of God's hand in my life.  There are lots of reasons to cry but the not fair one only happened that once.

19.  I remember one 4th of July when we went to Tehachapi for a stake picnic and fireworks watching.  We lay on the grass by the church and waited for the show.  Jon and I lay next to each other.  He was handsome and liked to listen to me talk and thought I was cute.  The grass was cool under my legs and the fireworks were spectacular that night. 

20.  On our honeymoon Rob and I went to Kauai.  It was delightful.  We rented a canoe (kayak?) and paddled up a river past a secret grotto (that wasn't really that secret because you could pay to tour it : ) ) and then hiked up to a beautiful waterfall.  There were a lot of wild chickens around.  That was a fun trip. 

21. The hottest summer I ever endured was a tie summer 1987 and summer 1999.  Both summers I was pregnant and had August babies.  In 87 I remember coming home from work and laying down in the hallway under the swamp cooler and thinking I was going to melt.  It was hot in the desert that year.  Summer of 99 we had just moved to Texas and it was over a 100 degrees for 100 days or something insane like that.  Mom and Dad came to visit and they walked out of the airport and literally sucked in their breath at the heat of it. 

22. My favorite dance recital was the one where Anna was the teacher and Sierra was a little ballerina in a blue tutu.  She danced to "Animal Crackers in my Soup" and was so cute!

23. Oct 05 I took my three little kids to the pumpkin patch.  They had a little hay bale maze that Ethan and Hannah wanted to go thru.  It had one entrance/exit.  I told them to hold hands and go through together and I would wait for them at the exit with Lu.  We waited a little while watching all the little kids swarming around and then H popped out.  "Where is Bub?" I asked.  She didn't know.  So I looked over the top.  Couldn't see him.  Looked around the sides. Nope.  Called his name.  Nothing.  Sent her in to look.  Nope.  Finally in a panic I was running back and forth dragging her along and holding Lu while yelling his name.  Another mom, a stranger really, offered to hold the girls so I could look.  I gratefully and fearfully accepted then climbed on top of the bales and ran across looking for him.  The workers were upset at me and told me to get down.  Which I refused.  Eventually I looked up and saw him running toward the parking lot.  Somehow he had slid through a crack in the bales.  I leaped off and ran after him.  Scooped him up and ran back to get the girls, very much relieved that they were still there.  Once I had everyone we all cried.  Me because I was so relieved and grateful, them because our trip was over and we hauled it to the car and drove home exhausted. 

24.  Moms have super human strength when needed.  One day the little girls and I were invited to the Musgraves home for swimming and dinner.  We had swam awhile and were eating dinner outside.  Jenna had little arm floaties on.  She took them off to eat, then was playing on the grass.  While we were watching her she actually stepped off the grass and into the water.  Just like that and so quickly.  I bounded from my chair and raced across the yard, jumped in and pulled her out.  I beat Bro. Musgrave who was a big strong police officer.  He said mom's move fast and are strong.  It's true.    Mom's have many super powers.

25.  Something I unexpectedly enjoyed was Jenna's goat Renaldo.  She really wanted to raise a goat.  This required us driving over to the Ag Annex twice a day for many month.  I wasn't too excited but agreed and it was a lot of fun. He was cute and we all enjoyed getting to know the pigs and goats there.  Eventually he did very well at auction and J got a ribbon and made some $$.

26. Ethan's first soccer season was so funny.  He was three and a bunch of little boys from our ward joined the same team.  R was the assistant coach and Warren was the coach.  The rest of the parents sat on the bleachers and tried not to die of laughter.  Their team color was pink salmon, and their shirts came to their knees so all these cute little boys looked like they were wearing dresses as they ran around after the ball.  Some of them sat and picked flowers during the game.  Some paused during the game to wrestle with each other.  One boy, who was the goalie, was hanging from the goal and somehow got his little foot caught in the net behind him so his dad had to run over and detangle him before he face planted in the dirt.  Every game was so stinkin cute!

27.  When I was a Mia Maid we had a class activity out at the Larsen's farm.  We made cakes from scratch then went and goofed around the property.  We decided to swim and dove in their reservoir fully clothed.  Oh the fun of youth.

28.  Another time we had a slumber party at Becky Lewis' house.  They lived way out in the country.  It was late and dark and we watched Poltergeist.  Scary!! I am not a lover of scary.

29.  I was at a RS meeting not too long ago where we all brought family history/personal history stuff to share.  One cute sister, Carolee, brought a scrap book.  I was looking through it and saw a dance festival that looked so familiar.  Turns out it was the same one I was in!  We grew up not far from each other and are the same age.  Somehow two CA girls ended up in the East in the same ward.  It's a small world.

30.  I used to help Anna with her homework from time to time.  One time she had to read a book, maybe it was "like water for chocolate" and then write about what food she was and what food different people would be, if she or they were food.  It was so fun to help her with that and to laugh together over what people would be.  I do not remember what we chose for anyone but if I was to be a food now I would want to be a pineapple because that is the colonial symbol of hospitality and I strive to be hospitable, also it's tropical and sweet and I want to go somewhere tropical and like to think of myself as sweet.

31.  Alec and I both had cavities in our teeth one day.  We went to the dentist and decided we didn't want Novocaine.  I remember gripping the chair arms and getting that cavity filled.  It hurt but was better than being numb for the next 12 hours.  I always react to meds strongly and it's annoying. 

32.  Mall music.  The Palmdale mall used to put on musicals in the food court.  They were really great.  Ellen Kohn and I sometimes took the girls and we'd eat food and listen to the productions.  It was unexpectedly wonderful.

33.  Cow sitting.  Good times.  Our friends, the Blacks, had the most interesting stuff going on at their house.  At one point they had cows and they went on vacation so they hired Dani to cow sit.  We drove down in the morning and at night and she'd bottle feed Ace (the calf) and well, they had other cows but I don't remember if she did anything else with them.  So we went over one time and the big bull Ben had gotten out of the fence.  I called Bishop Eckenrode and our friend Quinn and they came over and rounded him up and put him back.  They fixed the fence so I figured we were good to go.  The next morning we got up early.  We didn't change into clothes but instead hopped into the car in our jams and drove to their house.  I pulled up and found two sheriffs rounding up Ben.  Embarrassing.  I was in a giant nightgown, one that barely covered my enormous belly 8 1/2 months full of baby Hannah and flip flops.  The girls were in nightgowns.  We traipsed over to talk to the officers.  We explained that we were cow sitting...and from CA (with an apologetic shrug).  They kindly fixed the fence and wished us well.  After that Ben stayed put.

34.  One summer day a couple years ago we were at the pool when Dani called.  She said she was in labor.  We couldn't believe it!  So exciting!  We swam, and waited, went home and wondered, ate dinner and hoped, did baths and books and speculated, put the children to bed and paced and fretted and wondered and waited some more.  Finally we went to bed.  I held my phone.  I checked it.  It was working.  I called Val.  Yep, it worked.  I lay there.  The children slept.  Rob slept.  My phone glowed brightly in my hands...then it rang!  Yeah!! I ran outside and paced back and forth in front of the house talking with Dani, hearing the news, sharing the joy!!  My Dani was a momma, I was a mimi, baby Tatum was here!!! I had to wait another week to meet her but still that was an exciting night!

35.  I went to an AA meeting once.  I felt like an impostor.  It was a school assignment.  We were to go and observe and report for a psych class.

36.  Christmas 2001 R got tickets to see the Nutcracker.  He bought one for little Hannah, which I thought was a horrible idea.  Everyone got dressed up and we went.  Our seats were in the front role of the balcony where the girls could see perfectly.  Hannah was mesmerized.  She did great.  The big girls loved it too, that was a fun fun Christmas memory. 

37.  Another fun Christmas memory was Christmas 98.  We went to Ohio and it snowed.  Our first white Christmas ever.  The girls got American Girl dolls and beautiful outfits from Nana and Abba.  They were super spoiled that year between the snow and the gifts and the lovely holiday cheer.  I love Christmas. Love it.

38.  One summer we went to Destin.  We took Andrea and met Nana and Abba.  It rained.  The whole time. The sun did clear up one afternoon for about 3 hours.  The rest of the time it rained. And rained. We had a good vacation but the beach is more fun when it doesn't rain.

39.  When our boy was one year old we decided he needed a dog.  Boys and dogs seem to go together.  We had some discussion about what breed to get.  We had labs when my brothers were little.  They were good dogs so I lobbied for that.  I wanted a chocolate.  R wanted a yellow.  He wanted a boy.  I insisted on a girl.  So it was agreed and we went to the puppy patch.  The batch of puppies were saw  had ring worm and were discounted.  Millie was a cute little yellow girl with a bald circle on her forehead from her ringworm.   We got her for $150.  A bargain for a papered dog, and we brought her home.  She was so cute.  Our bargain dog ended up costing a lot.  We had to put in a fence to the tune of several thousand $$, which our boy and our dog learned to scale in a few short days.  We had to go to puppy training.  $$.  She ate a couch, a bed, some baseboards, a stairway, 9 fruit trees and countless shoes, crayons and Barbies.  She eats poop and trash.  One summer Val came to visit with her kids. (the best summer evah) and Lu had diarrhea in her high chair.  Val and I took her to the bathroom to clean her up and when we returned to the kitchen her chair had been cleaned by good ol Millie.  Val did the sick dance and told her kids not to touch the dog ever again.   One day she brought home a deer leg.  Yuck.  Mostly she's been a great girl though.  We love her.

40.  One very buggy, Texas, 4th of July Warren and R got fireworks.  We swam and grilled and when it got dark we went in the front yard to set them off and to watch the neighbors displays.  Peter was a new baby.  Shelia and I dragged our double rocker into the yard and set up a circle of citronella candles around the perimeter, like a circle of salt, to keep the mosquitoes away.  We rocked and talked and watched the kids (big and little) play.  It was a good day.

41. Happy day, Dani turned 12.  What was the celebration...well selfishly I now had a baby sitter in house.  Thus began our evening "errands".  We'd put the kids to bed and then go to Sonic.  Love Sonic.  Dani caught on to us and then we'd have to bring her home a payment.  A blast or whatever. So worth it!  Since that day we have always had someone old enough to baby sit at home.  It's been great.  Now R and I like to go to Salsas after the little ones are tucked into their beds.  Sweet.

42.  One night I was outside watering the lawn when I felt something tickle my leg.  I flashed my flashlight on it and saw a black widow on my leg.  Scream.  Jump around.  Cry a little.  After that I let the lawn die.

43.  On our first date R and I went to Olive Garden and to see Titanic in the theater. 

44. My best bday ever was my 16th.  I had two dates and got my liscense that day.  My 30th was fun too, we went to Riverdance.  Also one year we went camping with friends and Tori brought ice cream out to the camp site, she kept it cold with dry ice.  Super thoughtful and fun.


Tonight is Barcelona vs Chelsea and E's soccer team is watching with pizza :) It is also cubs, YW and Lu's practice so the bday festivities are postponed for Saturday(after soccer).  Last night R and I went to Salsas after daisys and  I got sung to.  A small embarrasement in exchange for some great fajitas.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


My little Lucy loves daisys.  A lot.  She is always anxious to go, always has a great time, does her homework and looks forward to everything about it.  Today they earned their gardening patch, and she finished up her cherry blossom patch and earned her dark green petal.  We only have a few more meetings and then she will bridge to brownies.  Maybe I will have a life long scouter on my hands.  They are pretty cute it their little blue vests.  In her nicely decorated pot she planted daisy seeds.  We are looking forward to seeing them grow.


Papa and Grandma drove to Oregon after visiting us here in MD.  Dad's oldest sister Marie Jeanne lives there with her children, grandchildren and great grands.  Mado and Laurent who both still live in France came to visit.  I love this picture of the four of them.

Family is special, it's a gift.  I am glad they had that time together.  I wish I had more time with my sibs, and with my kids, and with pretty  much all of  my family.  I am so grateful that Families are Forever and that we can have relationships that will endure beyond this life, that our Father in Heaven loves us and made it possible for us to be with Him and them always.

Monday, April 16, 2012

it's getting hot

Today is our warmest day so far this year.  I think it got near 90. We have been waiting to plant our garden until after the last freeze date, but I think it might be past.

Subbed today. 

Lu's been practicing and doing Daisy stuff.
E had soccer.
H spread out a blanket in the backyard and read. 

I love the warm weather.  Welcome Spring!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

State Competition

silly girls in Baltimore

I've been having a hard time getting to blog. It's been busy around here.  Wednesday we got up ear-ly (4:30am) and headed out to the airport to take Papa and Grandma home.  We had a great visit, it went by too quickly.  I always appreciate the time we can have together and the time they get to spend with the children.
Thursday I subbed.  
Friday was busy with laundry and shopping.  In the evening I had a stake dance to go to and R kept the children and held down the fort.  (when he eventually got home from work, H had them first)
Saturday was the D.I. stake competition.  Again we had to get up early early and head to Baltimore.  I am our team's appraiser so I was busy judging a different challenge for a lot of the day.  My challenge to appraise was Project Outreach which is a service challenge and I really enjoyed seeing what the kids came up with and the good they did.
I did have time off in the afternoon so Hannah and Alissa and I went in search of a Barnes and Noble.  We found one, eventually and had fun wandering around looking for it.
R spent his day working.
E had a soccer game, which they won 5-0 and where he made his first left footed goal!
Lu spent the day with the Martines'.  
Hannah's group didn't place so no globals for us :(  but it was still a great experience.  We were there until 9pm and got home around 11:30 so I was very happy we got to sleep in this morning.
Today we had the best sacrament meeting.  We had Bro Kirkham from the high council speak and he was very powerful.  His speaking companion was a priest from the Capital Ward who did a remarkable job.  I really enjoyed both talks.  I brought a thank you poster for everyone from the fundraiser for the orphanage.  Everyone was really touched.  Jenna and the other kids were able to buy soooooo many books and everyone was really touched.
Tonight we ate dinner on the deck, which was pleasant.  
Tomorrow starts a new busy week.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

last day

Yesterday was the last day of spring break.  We went to the movies and saw Mirror Mirror, which I loved.  It was fun and clean and everyone liked it.  Hannah brought Chelsea with us and then the two girls came here to make messes  :)  Not really, but they accidentally made a few.  We had dinner that was delish, and FHE by Ethan.

Today is mom and dad's last day here.  Their visit has flown by.  We cleaned up this morning.  Dad helped me vacuum and Mom folded clothes, we put some split pea soup in the crock pot and made chicken for the youth dinner tonight. 
Soon we will go out to lunch.
Tonight they will keep E and G and hold down the fort then in the morning, bright and early (not so bright pre sun rise so it will be dark, but def early ) we will head to the airport.  Bumm.

I wish all my family lived on the same street.  For always.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Babies

Tal and Jakob, Tate and Reggie.  Such cute little babies all dresses up to celebrate!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

2 Hills

Happy Easter!  Today was such a lovely day.  We got home late last night, luckily the Easter Bunny had done her work and baskets were filled and hiding in my closet so I she the bunny was able to hide them in the children's rooms ready to be found this morning. 

Bright and early this morning Lu found her's and woke everyone else.  We did some cooking and getting ready and headed off to church.  Sacrament meeting was especially especially good today.  I loved the talks and the music and felt the spirit so strongly.  We are so blessed to have a Saviour who died for us.  We are sooo blessed to have the blessings of the atonement and resurrection.  It is truly a miracle.

After church we went to the Martines' and enjoyed a lovely dinner with some great friends.  Then tonight I went and picked up a check from the YW fundraiser for the orphanage.  They raised over $800!! I can not believe it!  Jenna and the other cute interns will be able to buy so many books and things the orphanage needs.  Amazing!

So I was thinking about our trip, and the sites we saw and the places we went.  We visited 2 hills that could not be more different from each other.  Our first hill was the Hill Cumorah.  It was quiet and peaceful, the things that happened there were sacred and special.  The feelings we had there were strengthening to testimony, building to family ties, and will be forever etched in my heart and memory.  The children ran and played and laughed but it was the sweet wholesome laughter of youth.  We enjoyed nature and each other and felt such joy that the Book of Mormon was brought forth, that the gospel was restored, that a boy prophet gave his life to the building of the kingdom of God on earth.
The second hill was Clifton Hill, Niagra Falls "fun street".  We drove onto the street and it was lined with wax museums, haunted houses, cosmic golf, unusual sights and thrilling rides, oddities and opportunities to spend $$$, eat too much, gamble and make merry.  We stayed there and the streets were full of the whole time, they were crowded with families dropping money, squeezing their way from event to event looking for fun and there was fun to be found, but it was noisey  and hectic and in stark contrast to the peace and joy that is found in the gospel. 

It was so interesting to me.  Not that fun is bad, it's not and we enjoyed our visit but there is a difference between the joy the gospel offers and the fun the world offers and to see them side by side was an interesting comparison.

Lucy's lucky day

Last night on the way back to the hotel our car broke.  Actually we were already in the parking lot, which was very fortunate. 
This morning we learned that we needed a new alternator (cha ching).   Lu was so happy because a) she had been wanting a plastic tube of pucker powder all day long, all two days long actually.  Last night after our show we actually went to the welcome center to try and buy one but it was 9:30pm and the stores were closed.  We did get a nice view of the night falls.  She was very sad though.   This happy turn of events, it's all about perspective, meant we could go to the store again.  and b) we could go to the pool again.
$600, a trip to Mr. Canadian Tire, eh, and many hours later we were on the road and safely made it home at 1am.  The last couple hours we were all very, very tired.  R was driving and felt like he was going to fall asleep so we sang.  For two hours.  Hymns.  It was actually fun, except my throat hurts when I sing, ever since my vocal chords were dissected years ago.  It's okay though, it's gotten better over the years. Singing the hymns of the gospel is always a special experience. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

last day of vaca

 This morning we went back to the falls.  They are gorgeous.  I can not believe how huge and powerful they are.  We spent some time in the gift shops.  Stink bomb, and stink bomb jr found these perfect skunk walking sticks (which we did not buy).

 Then we went to the Butterfly Conservatory at the Botanical Gardens.  It was a lot of fun.  They had 4000 butterflies there and they landed on us and fluttered around.  It was fun to see them.  They also had other critters that we enjoyed looking at.  When we finished there we went to play galaxy golf (the kids choice).  It was pretty fun.  We laughed at how bad we were and at our glowy clothes.
Our last event was a special dinner/show called Oh Canada Eh!

It was wonderful.  We had so much fun and the performers were awesome!! 

Then we came back home after a long day and our car broke and needs a new that will be fun to figure out tomorrow before driving home.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Niagra Falls

 Today we drove to the Canadian Falls.  They are so majestic.  I can not believe how beautiful and powerful they are.  We walked along and looked at them and then went to the visitors center.
 At the center we enjoyed an animated movie about how the falls came to be, and then a 4D interactive experience where we got to feel how it came.  There was snow, rain, shaking, lightning and lots of awesome video. Fun!!
 My favorite part was going under ground in these cool tunnels that had openings behind the falls.  We walked out and saw the water and felt the spray and it was AMAZING!

It was a lot of walking, but perfect.  Not crowded at all (again because of the weather) and so fun!

Now the kids are swimming with R and then we will go to dinner.  We are very impressed with our day in Canada :)


Joseph Smith seeing God the Father and the Son
 On Tuesday we drove up to Palmyra.  The drive was long but the kids did a good job and it was pleasant.  We woke up early and had breakfast and then started off on a full day of sight seeing.  Our first stop was the Hill Cumorah.  We went to the visitors center and had a very nice time seeing all that they had there.  It was a uplifting and touching visit.    Then we climbed the hill to the memorial.  The kids loved rolling down the hill.  The climb was steep but worth it.  It was really neat to think about young Joseph meeting with Moroni here and being schooled and prepared by him.
the bricks in Alvin Smith's home where they hid the plates from the mobs
 Next we visited the temple, my one disappointment was that it was closed for cleaning so we couldn't take turns going inside like we had planned.  None the less it was beautiful and we enjoyed walking around it.  After that we went to the Sacred Grove.  Again it was so beautiful and peaceful.  We were so lucky because the cold windy weather kept the crowds away and everywhere we went we were about the only people there.  It was great for the kids because their "reverent" behavior didn't disturb anyone and they could ask lots of questions.  All the missionaries that were at the sites were so interesting and told wonderful stories.
A cute sister missionary telling Ethan how David Whitmer, even after he left the church never denied his witness of the Book of Mormon, even when he was at gun point.
 Next we went to the Joseph Smith farm and then finally had lunch (it was like 3:00 then!).  After lunch we went to the Grandin Building where the Book of Mormon was first published.
 We finished our trip with a stop at David Whitmer's farm where the church was organized.  Every stop was so awesome.  Everyone loved it and learned so much!
The Sacred Grove

flying his own title of liberty on the Hill Cumorah

Dad shares his testimony.
We had lots of opportunities to share our thoughts and feelings with each other.  It was a really special day.