Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Our days are so weird right now. They drag on oddly. We have no callings. We are between. I don't like it. I have some summer rules for the kids and myself. They are not ambitious goals and really help us barely maintain some semblance of good character. Everyone does chores every day. Everyone must read, an hour or so at minimum although they often read longer. Everyone must spend time outside. At least an hour. Everyone must leave the house every day. Family scriptures and prayers. That's it.
Today it rained shortly after we got to the pool.
Hannah and I went to the school and practices driving. It went well.
Ethan and I went birthday shopping, which meant we stood around in best buy and game stop for a long long time while he thought and compared and contemplated. 
I went to lunch for a few of my favorite sisters. I will miss the many good, smart, helpful, supportive, funny, wise friends we have here so much:(. We got to lunch at 11:30. A little after 2 someone looked at their watch and we were surprised and sad the time had flown by so quickly.

Hannah got a cruise dress in the mail. 5 more days until we embark! So exciting!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

New driver

Hannah got her permit today! As one would expect it took a couple hours and some drama but in the end she got it! 

Then she drove for be first time. Man oh man! It's going to take some practice, to be expected.
We took a load of stuff to the dump, did some laundry and spent some time at the pool.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


We have the best next door neighbors ever. I love living next to the Streeters. Today Grace went with them after church to the temple. Arden has been a great friend to Lu. While she was in Ohio she talked UB into buying cute matching stuffed animals for the two of them.
After church Han took pictures with some of her friends. This is Asa, our built in next door tech support. They are good friends.
Ethan and I spoke in church today. We said lots of good byes. Sad:(

Saturday, June 27, 2015

home sweet home

Friday I flew home.  The west coast is suffering from a drought, the rest of the country is getting more rain than it can stand.  Poor TX is flooding and there has been nothing but rain in the east.  I left LA and flew to Chicago, it was a long and somewhat bumpy flight.  I landed in time to run between terminals and catch the next flight to Ohio.  That flight was so bumpy the flight attendants stayed in their seats and the passengers exclaimed "whah!" Several times.  I survived both flights though and was happy to see the kids and grands again.

Everyone had a great stay.  Ethan did a lot of golfing and the girls some shopping.  Everyone was happy and smiling when I got home so that's a good sign :)

Today we drove home.  It went well.  We drove through rain the whole way.  The kids were good except for a little fighting over where to put their feet.
driving companions
We stopped at Cafe Rio and met Becky for dinner and the passing of the keys.  She picked up a lot of stuff a couple of weeks ago, including but not limited to: the Eiffel tower, PLDD silverware, rolls of blue table cloths, a bubble machine, a snow cone machine, a Paris backdrop, silver stars, a box of flip flops and I don't know what else.  She is the new Stake YW pres and she will be AWESOME! I am only sad I won't be here to work with her!

When we came home we unpacked and put everything away.  Cleaned and got the house ready and wrote our talks for tomorrow.
We had some disappointing news on the home buying/selling front.  Our buyers backed out after almost a month.  This was a big blow and I am having a hard time not having hard feelings.  I understand changing your mind but I think they knew for some time and didn't tell us.  It's very annoying. 
We found out yesterday morning and Cindy, our realtor, quickly got our house back on the market.  Someone looked at it yesterday and someone is coming tomorrow so hopefully things will move quickly.

By the time I landed last night I found out that the seller of the CA house was also having some issues. That one's not officially closed but it's on it's way.  I think it's a blessing, as I certainly don't want to have two houses.  I LOVED the backyard in the Cobblestone house, and the schools! Loved the schools.  The house was very nice, but not perfect and the price is less than nice, although doable.  I don't know what to think, or to hope except I really hope and pray the Belmar house sells quickly, like in the next two weeks and we can get the kids out to CA before school starts.  Time for some serious prayer! 

It was good to drive through all the beautiful green and rain, we just soaked it in.  Maryland is a beautiful state. Already I feel that weird sense of not really belonging.  I don't want to leave but our roots are coming up and we are anxious to get settled and start living our new CA lives.  Flux is a hard state to be in. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Birthday Boy

Today Bub is 13.  Wow! So crazy.  I was pretty excited because the last few years I have been at girls camp and he's been at scout camp so we haven't been together on his birthday.  I thought this year I would be with him, but then our house hunting trip came about and I missed it again.  Hannah stayed up all night and made him his favorite: cinnamon rolls.  I love the candles (4+9=13)

They went golfing and we called and wished him a happy birthday.  He has been such a joy and such a blessing to us.  I have loved being a mom to a boy much more than I ever thought I would!
blowing out the candles
Thirteen things about Ethan
1.  He is smart
2. He is kind
3. He is good with babies and little kids
4. He is a gentleman
5. He likes to read funny books and scifi
6. He is a good soccer player
7. He's a good scout
8. He is a leader
9. He is taller than his mom
10. He is good at mowing the lawn
11. He is funny
12. He is always hungry
13. He has lot of friends

new high school
Today I drove around and found the kids schools and our church building.  I also went to the movies and saw "Aloha", which was funny. 
Tonight we met up with Wes and Nellie again, which was fun.

Ziva celebrated her birthday the other day too

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Santa Monica

We timed it, 65 minutes to the temple!! That's going to be awesome!

We had a nice time together.
Then we changed our clothes and drove down Santa Monica Blvd to the pier and had a fun time there. Dinner was yumm! The water was warm and even though we accidentally dressed alike:) it was great!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Old friends

Soon after I found out we were moving back to CA I got a call from my friend Julia.  She had moved back with her family 3 years ago.  We commiserated together and quickly agreed to get together asap.  Julie and I were best friends growing up, then we lived in the same ward in TX for a couple of years.  Now we will be in the same area once more.  Yay for life long friendships!

Today we went out to lunch, which took 3 hours! There was a lot of catch up on.  I'm looking forward to renewing a close friendship.  

I drove around and reacquainted myself with the area. It's built up a lot since we moved away 17 years ago.  

Sales and purchases on houses are having the usual hiccups. Little things. I'm pretty sure things will work out but it's still the stressful up and down and worry and $$$. I'll be happy to be bought and sold and moved and settled.

Meanwhile the kids are having a great time. They've been swimming, bowling, golfing, shopping, to the air show and a dragons game. They've gone out for ice cream and watched movies and gotten hair cuts. Fun stuff!

Monday, June 22, 2015

house hunters~ desert addition

I had a list of houses to look at.  I do not even know how many hours we have spent looking on line at every house for sale in the valley.  We had a lot of requirements.  First the school.  There was only one that was acceptable so that narrowed down the search.  I wanted at least 4 bedrooms, Rob really wanted a pool.  I wanted a certain price point, he wanted a neighborhood that felt safe (which is nebulous but still an important discriminator) He spent last week looking.  I spent today.  I saw our top 10-12 homes.  We narrowed it down to two and finally put an offer on one of them.  We'll see how it goes.

It meets most of our requirements and is very pretty.  It costs more than I wanted to spend but feels safe and the pool and back yard are dreamy.  So we'll see.
After we put in the offer we drove by my old house.  It looks the same.  

Then we went to surprise Wes and Nellie!  So fun to see them! They joined us for a fun dinner out.  It was great to see them.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

the longest day of the year, the summer solstice

It really felt long today.  We left Utah and headed toward CA. We only got to Beaver when the lights on the rental car started flashing and the car slowed considerably.  We made some phone calls to Avis, found a place to pull off the road, and waited for the tow truck.  We then drove to St George and got a new car.  No sooner did we get back on the freeway when it started to make horrible noises, that got worse.  Eventually and many phone calls later we ended up in Vegas and traded it again.

Then we kept driving.  It should have been less than a 9 hour drive.  It took 12.

I forgot how desolate and dreary it is out here. Brown rocks and brown dirt punctuated with the sparkle of the 109degree sun bouncing off the broken glass along the road and the wind blowing trash and dust and tumbleweeds around.

I can't believe we are moving back.  The children will be in shock.  They've always lived where it's green and beautiful and rural.  This is urban ghetto.  

House hunting tomorrow.  WIsh us luck.

Fathers day

Here's our auditioning " for the cover of the ensign" family photo circa 1985 (ish)
It's been so fun to see old family photos and to reflect on the wonderful parents and wonderful life we have had as a family. 

I am grateful for a good dad who I love very much. 

Also this Father's Day I am grateful for Rob and that he is a good father who loves his family and presides and provides so wonderfully.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Anniversary Party

party time!
Tonight was the party.  It was a ton of fun.  It was so fun to decorate and be with everyone!  Andrea did a great job planning everything.
our little family

Grotto hike

Friday, June 19, 2015


Due to some very fortunate timing our house hunting trip coincided with mom and dad's 50th anniversary weekend. We were going to be the only ones who couldn't come but...
Some fancy travel plans came into play and a good co-conspirator, Dani, to help us pull it off and we were able to surprise the family!

Thursday, June 18, 2015


We got up early this morning and finished our chores.  Our house is getting inspected while I am off house hunting so I wanted to leave it nice and looking it's best.

We got on the road by 8:15 and made good time until we ran into some bad weather.  It was so rainy and windy and we had to drive 25mph.  The temperature dropped 20 degrees in literally about 15 minutes. The kids were great travelers and the trip was pleasant.  We listened to Disney songs and show tunes the whole way and sang along.
Grace checking out the marquee outside the theater room door
When we got to Abba's the kids were super impressed with the new home theater!  I think I'll have to carry them to the car kicking and screaming at the end of the week! LOL
showing off the size of the screen
here Sam is teaching us about making buckskin
 Kelly sent me some "we are so sad you are gone" photos from my training days at beautiful historic St Mary's City.
learning how to make medicine from herbs

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

2nd to last pool party

Today was the official last day of school! Hip Hip Hooray!!

Hannah and Ethan took an early out and had their last days on Monday. Today Hannah went out with friends, they went to the movies and the pool and to go fishing. 
The rest of us spent the morning cleaning and doing getting ready to travel stuff and then spent the afternoon closing down the pool!
Laura, Darlaina, me, Colleen and Michelle

Ethan was a big help. He mowed and edged the lawn and carried out trash and  changed all the burnt out light bulbs.
He barely complained when I perched him precariously upon the tower of our own making. He said if he died I would surely be nominated for the Darwin award of motherhood. Funny boy. 
No boys were hurt in the endeavor.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Farewell tour

Hannah's been suffering through a very sad and tearful tour of goodbyes. Every day she's gone with different friends to hike or swim or bake and watch movies.  Everyone is sad to see us go, which is very nice.  It would be way worse if no one cared, it means we set our roots deep and were good friends and neighbors to people.

Tonight after dinner we went on a quick errand.  Which turned into a Brusters run (we brought home a quart to E&G) and some new shoes from Target.  Target is always good for some cheering up.  As are new shoes.
Hannah wouldn't put her feet in the shoe picture because her toes are scrappy.  She volunteered Ziva's toes instead.
House hunting is being a little stressful and I am not even there yet.  A couple houses we really liked got offers on them today.  Rob is looking and likes one I don't, at least on line.  Plus none of them are as nice as the house we already have had.  I don't want to be worldly and hung up on brick and mortar still I have spent far too much time looking and fretting and feeling discontented.  I've gotten spoiled. 

Summer story

It was a sunny summer afternoon. So we went to the pool.
Maggie and Grace
We swam and played and splashed until it started to....
Rain. Which was okay. We were wet anyway:)
swimming in the rain
Then the lifeguard saw lightning and our fun was over :(

The End

Monday, June 15, 2015


The speakers at church were so good yesterday. I love our little ward. Tiny since the realignment but hanging in there.

After church we came home and had lunch. Then we took off for the airport. Rob moved to California. Unfortunately he had some flight delays and got there quite late. He starts work today and I hope it goes really well. After we dropped him off we had about two and half hours before seminary graduation. Not enough time to drive home and back. What do you do? We wanted to observe the Sabbath still so I decided we would go to the tidal basin and look at the monuments. It's right by the airport and I thought it would be fun. I was wrong. It was pretty hot and sweaty out, and Grace's feet hurt so she was busy crying. Ethan was busy complaining that he wanted to go home and mourn the fact that dad moved.  Which really translates to I want to get back to the Xbox. Neither of the little kids wanted to go to the graduation either. Hannah did want to go and was pleasant at the monuments but our good cheer didn't outweigh the crying and grumping.

After about an hour I decided to cut our losses and we headed over to the stake center to hang out. This turned out to be a good choice. It was cool, Grace found some friends to wait with and Ethan had my phone. We listened to the seminary choir practice and by the time graduation started all was well.

The graduation was very nice. After there was a nice reception and the kids were happy to have some treats. I was glad to have a chance to say some goodbyes. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Coming together

This morning Grace and Rob and Arden took the grand puubah kayak out for one last sail. They had a blast. When they got back someone was waiting in the driveway to see her and paid cash to drive her home to his kids. This was a big weight off Rob's mind as he was worried about leaving it behind for me to sell. He got more than he paid plus years of enjoyment. Pretty sweet!
The series of blessings we had received in this process so far have been nothing short of miraculous.  Some ward in Palmdale is praying really hard for a new nursery leader is all I can figure.
To recap: Rob applies in August. On a whim and as a long shot and I had no worries that we would actually have to move back to the desert. We hear nothing until February when he does a phone interview that bombs. I'm sorry for him but thrilled to put that behind us and give it not one more thought, which is only 3-4 thoughts less than the past few months anyway.
Then a few weeks ago he gets a phone call and a second interview and a job offer for more $ than he hoped for and its done. 
We begin to prepare the house when my friend Dixie is out working in her yard late one night and feels the whisper of the Spirit telling her to tell her neighbor about our house. She does the next morning and they come over and she loves it. We declutter and paint and she visits the house a couple more times and the day we get a realtor she makes an offer, which we accept.

All things are unfolding in such a smooth, stress free manner that there is no doubt this is what we are supposed to do. 

Do I want to go? Still no. But I will go and we will be happy and find work to do and friends and will be close to family.

Why do we have to? I don't know. I do believe it's the right move for us.  Hopefully whatever we are supposed to do we can do quickly:)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Concert on the green

Tonight was our long awaited concert on the green. It was quite nice. Lots of neighbors out in lawn chairs. Lots of kids running around the edges. We brought a picnic and enjoyed the setting sun and the brass band.


After we got everyone out the door Ziva and I enjoyed our morning walk at the little beach by us. We were joined by some osprey and a lone crabbing boat out checking his traps. 

It was lovely, restorative. Very sad though because I got a call from Anthony about an awesome awesome young man who's on our youth committee and now can't help with youth conference. The adversary is so strong and vigilant and ever mindful. We have to be even more so because even when he temporarily wins a battle we can not let him win the war. Nor will we lose one of our precious ones. Christ already paid that price and we must help Him win the Victory. 
And this boy, he'll be fine. He's on the path and is strong. The atonement is real. Bottom line. I know He is.
Pep talk over, we were still saddened by the news.

When I got home we took a garden stroll and enjoyed the flowers growing in our yard. 
Ready for a good Friday!