Saturday, August 31, 2013


I woke up this morning, Saturday, and Lu was in bed with me and Z and she said that dad had gone fishing.  Then I looked at my phone and saw a text saying the weather is perfect for sailing so I called him and said come back and we'll go.
None of the children wanted to come, I don't know what that's all about.
I got my swim suit on and told Grace she had to come because she's 8 and can't just hang out at home on a Saturday morning by herself so when R got home she begrudgingly joined us and we had a good time.
The wind was great and we flew across the water.  It was a wet fun time.
We were out on the water a long time.   I really enjoyed the first 3 hours.  It's so fun to be right there~ one with the waves and the wind.  Unfortunately we were out there about 5 hours, which is about 2 hours shorter than R would like.  Therein lies our problem.
Ethan never wants to go because he "doesn't want to get trapped out there on a boat".  A feeling I can relate to, LOL.  I try and stay pleasant but my leg was sore because with all the wind Lu was nervous on the trampoline and she wanted to sit on my lap...for a long time and it was cramped there on one seat with two of us.
After our great time on the water we stopped by Big Larry's for ice cream.  Then we went home and R went to meet Pete for some evening fishing and the rest of us did some grocery shopping and picking up.
On our drive home from the grocery store Bub and I had a little conversation that went a little like this:

Me: Bub would you rather spend Christmas on a cruise, or in UTAH!! ?
Him: Hmmm, a cruise I guess.
Me: Really? But you might get cold.
Him: When you were advocating for the cruise you said it would be warm and now that you want to go to Utah you are saying it will be cold.
Me: oh, well, it might not be that cold.
Me: wouldn't you like to ski? you could ski in Utah.
Him: Mom, when you ask a question you are not supposed to offer a rebuttal. And we could ski in Ohio.  I'd actually rather go to Ohio.  
Me: Ohio? that wasn't even a choice.
Him: Why? we like Ohio, that's my vote.
Me: sigh, never mind.

Friday, August 30, 2013

A dogs's not so bad

Ziva has a lot of important work to do in our family.
She is our watch dog. Millie, who's size makes her more suited to the task is useless, Z however is always on the alert.
She reminds mom to read the scriptures in the morning and helps her wake up the children one by one.

She makes sure the kids go to their practices and get picked up from school.
She watches us do chores.
Chases balls.
Cleans the floors of any spilled food, abandoned sunglasses or other debris.
Jumps through hoops and spreads love and good will.
She helps the children with their homework.
Scares away bad dreams and keeps our toes warm at night.
She's a good dog.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

first week update

This week Ethan started baseball practice. It's a lot slower paced than soccer and he spent a lot of time looking longingly across to the adjoining field where there was a team practicing soccer.  His first  game is in two weeks and hopefully he'll find it more fun.  Other than that school is going okay for him.  We have one huge glitch, we bought mac book airs and he has work on a disk every day.  The electronics interface is proving challenging.
Hannah has had a lot of homework, she likes her classes mostly and is looking forward to the first football game tomorrow. One not so bright spot is her health class, she sits by a sophomore who is really mean and rude. I'm thinking of calling that girls mother...but I know that is not a real solution.
Grace is liking 3rd grade.  She is in class with several of her friends and is looking forward to starting cello lessons next week as well as horseback riding and brownies.  She is working on piano and working on behaving.  It's a big order.

Rob is working.

TTR (tri training report) I have been walking fast and then picking a point and running, running several times per hour long walk.  The problem is my knee hurts while I am running.  I don't know if it's a matter of losing 10 or 20 lbs and then adding the running element.  I don't want to hurt it and not be able to do anything.  Although I am not enjoying it I do want to do it and reach my goal.  

I have been cleaning and straightening and organizing.  I have made the house into "zones" and am doing a deep clean/ organize in an area or two a day. It's weird being home alone all day.  I don't want to waste the time.  

Got a text from Clayna the other day, they were snorkeling in Hanuama Bay and having a great time!  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

wishes/goals/pet peeves

This is my brother, the iron man Alec
One of my pet peeves is when I meet lovely young women, in their early 20's, or 20 and they are waiting for their lives to start.  By that I suppose they are waiting to marry, which is a righteous goal and should be accomplished.  I am not anti the getting married part, I am anti the attitude of "waiting".  The ones that bug me, that make me sad are the ones that aren't really doing anything good.  They may work at a job but not work towards a career.  Schooling is a half hearted endeavor.  They hang out, have friends, go on dates but real life hasn't started for them.  I see this as such a waste of time and opportunity.  Maybe I feel particularly strongly about this because I missed this time in life.  I was married and expecting a baby at 18 years old.  I am wistful about what could have been different.   I would like them to pursue an education and a career that is fulfilling to them.  I would like them to travel, to serve a mission, or volunteer in an elephant orphanage or at their neighborhood school.  I would like them to learn to speak French, or cook Thai food or become hatha yoga masters.  This should be a time of learning and accomplishing a time  of doing.  Never again will they have the freedom from responsibilities, never will their time be more their own than now.  Young adulthood should not be squandered in selfish pursuits they should be making the world and themselves better.

That said I totally get the path of least resistance.  The easy to think up obstacles and deterrents, the fears that hold you back.  And the obstacles of not having enough $ or skills or confidence.  It seems to me, who was admittedly never there, an ideal time to try and to do.

So now I am a couple decades from that time and I have in my life done some things and not done a lot more.  I managed to get through college, with a lot of help and support from the awesome grandma baby-sitting brigade and a sprinkle of miracle dust. I've managed to raise half of my brood of little chicks to adulthood and they are amazing. This is is large part despite my parenting.  I can honestly say I wanted to be a great mom, and I tried, but I was tired and flawed and distracted and the years flew by so quickly.  Ive read some books, been a few places, served in a few callings, can cook well enough and am pretty friendly but the list of accomplishments is not as long as I'd like and I recently realized that I am that girl who is waiting.  I was waiting for the kids to grow up, I've since discovered that that wait is never ending;) I was waiting to feel good, to have free time, to be driven to do something great.  And now I am 45, half way through life by most reckoning and I am still not who I want to be.  I still fall into the path of least resistance.  I still wait.  The adversary doesn't have to worry about tempting me to do bad, he can just let me wait to do good.

So I have a goal, and I have time.  And I announce it or it's just a wish, which will never happen:  I want to run a triathlon.  Crazy I know.  Not a long one.  And I don't want to be competitive in my imaginings I don't see myself winning, or frankly doing "well" but I do see myself doing it.  I have some obstacles to over come.  Like I don't own a bike, like to put my face in the water and can't run more than the length of one house without feeling like CPR is needed.  But what am I waiting for?  Kriste, my amazing friend, became a runner and she was just a not thin as I.  She is younger, which is helpful.  Today I am younger than I will be next year though and if I am not careful instead of turning 50 and feeling like "50 is the new 35", I will be like "50 is the new dead."

During general conference Elder Richard G Scott gave an excellent talk about receiving personal revelation.  One thing really spoke to me at the time, he said:

On the other hand, spiritual communication can be enhanced by good health practices. Exercise, reasonable amounts of sleep, and good eating habits increase our capacity to receive and understand revelation. We will live for our appointed life span. However, we can improve both the quality of our service and our well-being by making careful, appropriate choices.
Even though it's been a while now I still want to take that council and make myself more useful.  Able to survive TREK next summer, able to go on "on point" this fall, able to walk and not be weary, run and not faint.

So yesterday I bought a sports bra (they come in different support ratings? did you know that? I didn't. I got full support, want to keep the girls in step.)  And I will run.  I don't know how I will do.  Honestly I am a quitter, and a fatty, and would rather take a nap/read a book/bake some cookies/clean the bathroom...go to the not that ...but pretty much anything else than run.  Kriste said it took her two years before she "loved" running. I don't know if I have the character to do something I hate for two years on the off change that I might learn to love it and I might live an extra 2 productive years. But I 'm going to give it a go..and the surprise silver lining, R doesn't mind me not working.  I LOVE not working.  LOVE IT. Love being home with no kids.  Have big plans to organize the house, memorize the scriptures, be a super star visiting teacher, teach Z some circus tricks and figure out how to motive Grace to be nice.  Big, lofty, perhaps unattainable goals.  However if I make the effort we should end up better off than where I am right now.  One room organized is better than zero.  6 dog tricks is better than the 2 she knows now.  One race ran and I can stick that stupid sticker on my car and feel good about myself for the next couple of decades.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beauty Shop

Ziva had her first professional grooming today. She did so well, the groomer loved her and she looks

While she was there I hung out at Target, very fun w/o children...spent some time reading "conversations about diabetes with owls". Funny. Then went to lunch w/  Johnna to say thank you for puppy sitting and then we happened upon Michelle and Shirlene meeting for visiting teaching/lunch so the four of us ate together. Very fun!

Monday, August 26, 2013

You know you live in Maryland when...

It's the night after the first day of school and its time to cover your text books and all you have is crab paper to do it with.

First day of school

Today was the first day of school for these three.  School actually started last week on Wednesday.  This was the cause of some not little concern.  We debated a long time what to do about the timing of school and the wedding.  Finally I pressed to take them.  I really wanted everyone to be there.  I often miss my brothers and sisters and I want these guys to have a relationship with their older sisters even though they live far away.  
Yesterday we were all so tired from the trip, we did get stuff together in the evening there were some nerves evidenced.  
I got up at 5 to make home made banana chocolate chip muffins for the first day of school.  Not one of the children ate one.  I'm back to sleeping in until 5:30! 
Hannah starts seminary at 6:10 and Ethan leaves to catch his STEM bus as 6:15.  EARLY for both of them.
Grace doesn't catch the bus until 8:15.  That makes for a long morning of getting kids out the door! 
I had big plans for what I was going to do today...and every day.  Unfortunately I am a little under the weather~ achy and headachy so I have done some laundry and got some groceries but for the most part haven't got much done.  I am anxious for the kids to get home and to hear about their day.

Also, somehow, the early morning pictures were all bad.  Crazy.  Hannah is in 9th grade.  Ethan 6th and Grace 3rd.  

update: Ethan came home and said he had a good day. His favorite teacher was his social studies teacher.  He had classes with lots of his friends, he was not far behind and we need to send in $5 for a locker fee, $5 for a agenda and $50 for a deposit on space camp.
Hannah came home excited about her day.  She had lots of friends in classes, everyone liked her hair and for the spring musical they are doing "footloose".  She needs to go to target for a list of supplies. $$
Grace has Mrs. Elwell, she is class with Julia, Madison, Ximena, Carly and Fiona as well as other kids, she needs $5 for the recorder and $ to rent a cello.

So, to sum up, everyone had a good day, everyone needs money.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


We flew all day yesterday, had a couple of delays, landed at one ish, got home after 3.  It was a long day. Our flight was turbulent but we landed at the end safely and weren't too scared.

This morning we were exhausted.  We all slept until 11am.  I was shocked.  We slept right through church.

The rest of the day was spent quietly with the family.  We ate together, watched a movie, got ready for school to start, gathered supplies and wrote the kids names on things.  Ethan was pretty stressed about school, fortunately John came over and they found out they have all but first period together.  I think that made him feel better.  Dad gave back to school blessings, which is always a sweet experience.

Dani sent me this cute picture.  The rest of the family is still together for one day.  It was really hard to leave yesterday.  I really appreciate the time we have together, the hugs, laughs, baby watching, the feeling of family.  I wish we lived close enough to take each other for granted.  When this text came it made me tear up.  Courage take.
Cute Papa

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Last day:(

Jenna and Clayton Johnson. Such a cute couple! Now they are off to Hawaii on a fun honeymoon adventure. They will have many adventures together I am sure.
Today was our last day in sad. I felt really bad because we left Dani with a tornado to clean up :( Other than that our trip was amazing! I loved seeing everyone!

This morning we went to Noah's baby blessing. He is so handsome. Then we went to the distribution center, to In and Out and the airport. It's almost 3am and we are almost home. Sheesh! Long day
On our flight was the secretary of the V.A. And his suit clad crew so that was fun in a celebrity sighting kind of way. Grace and I saw fireworks from the airplane flying into Chicago. That was also kind of fun.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Today was the first time in 9 years that all our family has been together at the same time.  No one missing.  It was pretty special.  I am excited for Jenna and Clayton to start their own family and to add to it, in due time.  I am happy to add to mine as well and am so happy my daughters have married wonderful men.  Being here is such a treat, it's wonderful to spend time together.  To watch cousins play, babies bounced, hugs shared.  I wish wish wish we lived close enough to see each other regularly.  I am extremely grateful that we can look forward to familial associations that will last into the eternities thanks to our Heavenly Father's great plan of happiness, and His great love for us.

from left to right:
Yoho, Andrea, Noah and Reggie (hiding behind Hannah), Hannah, Greg, Dani holding Penny, Amadeo holding Deo, Anna, Mackenzie, Clayton, Jose, Jenna, Joneaux, Emily and Jakob, Tate, Grandma and Natalia, me and Rob, Grace, Papa and Tanner, Ryan, Val, Spencer, Michael, Sierra, Jordyn, JaNee, Ethan, Katie, Kelly, and Alec


"Going to the temple, and we're gonna get married"

Today was Jenna and Clayton's wedding day.  It was beautiful.  We had a long drive there made a bit longer by a wrong turn but we made it in time and Jenna looked beautiful.

Their sealing was very nice.  The sealer gave great council and insights and Jenna and Clayton just glowed.  They were a handsome couple.  (side note: can't wait to see the pro pictures)

When we came out of the temple it was pouring rain.  It didn't matter, everyone was happy and excited and we took some photos that got us drenched :)
After the sealing we went across the street for a luncheon.  It was fun.  Clayna had asked their parents and Emma and Jacob (the best man) to say a few words.  We ate and then everyone piled into the cars to drive back to Orem for the reception.
Mimi and Penny at the luncheon.
Sierra, Hannah and Dani were cute bridesmaids.
The beautiful Manti Temple.
Our cute family.  Love this picture!
Me and J.
Tate and Pen with Grandpa and Mimi.
Lu loves Penny and was happy to have a turn holding her.
Papa and Grandma with all their grandchildren.  They are getting quite a crew!
Saying good bye.

After everyone had gone we stood around outside and caught up with the Howards and the Butterfields.  It was great to see everyone.  There was another wedding at the site and they had fireworks, that was super fun to watch.  All the children ran around in the dark playing and we chatted until too late.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


We've been having lots of random fun.  We've gone to Zupas 3 times. Delicious!  I love their lobster bisque.
We've hung out a lot with the family.
Me and all my babies :)
Today we got pedicures and did last minute getting ready for the wedding stuff.

Dani has given a lot of hair cuts.
R has been fishing a few times and taken the children with him a couple times too.
Tomorrow is the big day! Can't believe it!!