Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Happy Birthday Dani!!!

Dani is 29 years old today!! Happy happy birthday!!!
swimming in our apartment pool in Palm Desert with Emily
2nd grade
I love this girl so much! There aren't words to describe it. To the moon and back barely begins, but that's what eternity is for: the the wonderful blessing of family relationships and friendships and will never end. Of all God's blessings that might be the best one.
a special treat at Burger King, we had just watched Esmerelda.
I don't remember why Sierra was sad.
I tried to pick some different pictures this year. I wanted to show Dani's fun side because she is the most fun person I know, by nature she is cheerful and easy to please and gregarious. She makes friends that are true and everyone wants to be her friend because she adds a sparkle and a joy to every situation.
our backyard swing at the fountain house.  I loved the wisteria.  Alison and Amanda were good friends of ours!
Dani is also kind and thoughtful. She has a good heart. She is creative, although I don't know if she realizes it.
pinata at Dani's 7th Birthday Bash!
She is coordinated and strong and adventurous.
2nd Halloween at the church! So much fun!
Dani is very smart. When she puts her mind to something she accomplishes it.
Dani's 8th birthday with her favorite Anna!
She is a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, leader, teacher.
8th grade graduation awards night
Dani is all that I wish I was. I couldn't be happier with the person that she is. I couldn't have had a better daughter. She's a wonderful example to her younger siblings.
Orange Crush! The award winning soccer team!! Dani was a great forward
I hope your day is magical and special and full of love! ~just like you!!!
Hanging out at Amanda's house (different Amanda) in TX!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

back at the pool

After taking a summer break we headed back to the pool.  Grace was a little hesitant to go but I think she enjoyed it once we were there.  She is a good swimmer and I really want her to pursue this.  She said she doesn't ever want to go to a meet, which is fine.  I just want her to enjoy being strong and active.

Hannah drove herself and Ethan to mutual tonight.  This was a happy first!

I made a yummy dinner tonight.  It's called zesty lemon chicken.  I saw it on facebook and gave it a try.  It's super easy too.  You take chicken breast and salt and pepper them and fry them 10 min per side in olive oil.
Meanwhile make angel hair pasta.

When the chicken is done let it rest and saute red onions, garlic, red pepper flakes in your pan, add lemon juice and sliced lemons.  Return chicken to the pan and spinach and cook together.  Serve over pasta.  Yumm.  Grace didn't like it, she said she doesn't like "flavor".  Everyone else did.
Also here is the cute quilt.  I am really happy with how it came out.  The turtles took like 10 tries but now they look turtleish!

Monday, August 29, 2016


Rob is working somewhere today. He left last night and got to stay in a fancy schmancy hotel. He'll be back late tonight.
This morning I went to the adult institute class. It was great. I'm excited to go back next week.

I also finished crocheting a cute baby blanket. Next grandkid that comes along will be the lucky recipient!

Ethan had soccer practice tonight. The park is such a busy place in the evening! It's actually pretty awesome to go and see so many people out and about enjoying the evening and playing outside. 

For FHE treat we had shave ice.

I would like to move to Alaska. Anchorage specifically. They have a temple. The schools get great scores. They have a zoo. The weather is comparable to Chicago's, which is pretty darn cold in the winter but livable. They have sunlight year round, 22 hrs a day in June and 6 in December.  If we ever moved there, which is only a possibility in my mind so not to worry, I would get a labradoodle and name her Yankee. Yankee Doodle! Ha!

That's it.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sabbath day

Everyone is tired today. 

The jeep wasn't working and that was a whole stress thing, this morning finally Rob figured it out.

Ethan and Hannah and Rob all had to give lessons in their respective classes. A little stressful for them. I subbed in nursery, fun and no stress.
The kids looked so cute so I wanted to take their picture. They were uncooperative. 
Yesterday Hannah and I went to goodwill to buy a tie for Sawyer. She sends him cute ties with hearts and scripture verses on the back. We found a cool Mickey one for Bub and an awesome science teacher one for Bro Chronis. That plus a luau shirt for Ethan and we walked away paying $4.28. Bargain.
Missionaries are joining us for dinner and then it's early to bed for us:)

Saturday, August 27, 2016


This morning was Daniel's funeral. It was also a soccer tournament. Ethan literally had enough time to shower, put on his church clothes and drive to the church, walk in and shake Daniel's mom's hand and say how sorry he was and then walk out and leave with Rob to go change and head off to the games. I was proud of him that he thought it was important to do that. 
I stayed for the funeral and it was sad and beautiful. There were tons of people there. All of his siblings and his dad spoke as did his Uncle John Slafter. The siblings shared memories and things they loved about him. Several said for a guy with a broken heart he had the biggest heart they knew and that he loved a lot. The flowers were beautiful. John did a great job on his talk, it was very much a plan of salvation talk. 
Beth's mom passed away on Friday so Mary, Erica and I had flowers and a card for her too. We were going to go to her home after but she was at the funeral so we visited there instead, after others had left. Life is fleeting.

Hannah took Grace to a stake primary activity and after Grace went to play at Makayla's.
Most of the rest of the day was spent st soccer. The boys played two games and scored 4 goals total. Each game ended with a tied score of 1-1. Meaning they scored on their own goal not just once but twice! Yikes!
I always enjoy watching boy play.
In larger family news Tanner got his eagle today, has his farewell tomorrow and leaves for the MTC on Wednesday! So proud of him and so can't believe he is all grown up! 

Friday, August 26, 2016


All the seniors met at the football field at 6am to watch the sunrise and eat donuts. Followed by a ditch day.  Hannah didn't ditch but she did have this super cute shirt :)

Also she loves driving to school. And after school.  Today she picked up Ethan and they went to Chick-fila.  Perks of having a teen driver. I may send her to the grocery store later :)
senior sunrise
Rob had an off friday.  We had a good day together.  First we went to get the jeep smogged.  Then to transfer the title to us.  Then to get Rob a hair cut.  Super fun.  We also spent some time jeeping in the desert and looking for wood.  It was actually pretty nice.  The weather was perfect, we didn't get stuck, fun was had by all. We finished our day date with a trip to Cafe Rio and a stop at Walmart for kitty litter and cat food.
It's nice just to have time alone together, doing chores and talking.

wood hunting

I started working on Halloween costumes today. 
Dad and Grace went jeeping after school. 
Hannah went to the Blvd with her girls.
In the evening Ethan had soccer practice so we brought the dog in the jeep and walked the park and played in the playground while he was busy.
Hannah went to the first football game of the season to root for her school.

We ended the night with shave ice and hot tubbing.


Thursday, August 25, 2016


This week has been very full of errands.  Car stuff mostly.  It's been kind of time consuming but it has to be done.  

Grace joined the robotics team at school.  She opted for vex robotics instead of lego robotics.  She'll stay after school twice a week thru about January to work on things and prepare for the different competitions. Next week she also starts back with swim team.  Middle school is really going well for her so far.  She is enjoying it a lot and has really grown in maturity and pleasantness.  

Madi and Sarah came over after school to work on their shirts for senior sunrise.  They stayed for dinner and it was fun to have them here.  They are all three in the school play and have lots of fun with that and other things.

We've been teasing Ethan because he has a B+ (an Asian F) in Algebra 2/Trig.  He has a test tomorrow and is happy mostly so he can bring it back in the A range and get us off his back.  He's so smart and has gotten such good grades his whole life (like this is the first B we have EVER seen) that we are both surprised and enjoying giving him a  little ribbing.  He is taking it very well, he is quite easy going and doesn't get ruffled. Plus it's week 3 and hardly a tragedy.  He's been enjoying soccer but his hamstrings are bothering him. Hopefully this will be a quickly passing problem. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A day

Tatum started 1st grade today!! I got to FaceTime her after school and hear about her adventures. She loved it.
Sometimes I like to recount the minutia of my day, for my own entertainment really.

5am alarm goes off. Every day I hate that. Got up. Let dog out. Got boy up. Made lunches. Got boy out of shower and out the door (we have a carpool and I don't drive on Monday and Tuesday). As soon as he left I got Hannah up. While she got ready I swapped laundry. Once she got out the door I got Grace up. Same routine only add make breakfast, sign last minute papers and braid hair. I drove her to school and now it was 7:45.

I called the exterminator because we have ants in our bathroom. We had him out last week because we had ants in our bathroom but I guess they were pretty resilient because they're back. I was surprised to be told that he could come in an hour and a half or less! So I took a quick shower, made beds and then talked on the phone with mom as I cleaned the kitchen and waited for him to arrive. 
Percy likes to inspect my work.
This is during the morning phone call:)

He came at 10. 2 hrs later than the phone call but still not too bad. The extra time let me fold some clothes, clean a bathroom, have personal devotion time and talk to Jenna on the phone. 

After the bug guy left I went to Costco to get my newly ordered tires put on the flex. 
They ordered the wrong ones. 
Some discussion and debate later we were able to get tired up after all. This took 3 hrs. I got a lot of reading done.

Luckily I brought an interesting enough book and I was waiting without any toddlers so it wasn't all bad. I did miss my lunch date with Ramona:( but did get done in time to pick up Grace from school. 
When the tires were done I went to Walmart real quick for a picture frame and then waited outside the school for Lu. While I waited I visited with Val. 

We got home and Lu and I talked for awhile, hung up the new frame with picture in it, and folded the clothes from earlier. Then I went to get Ethan.

Then I talked to Tatum and Dani and fixed dinner for the kids and cleaned up in the backyard a little and in the house a little.

Hannah got home and brought some friends with her. They tie dyed shirts in the backyard and I painted my nails. Grace helped the big girls and Ethan did homework. 

When Rob got home we drove to Santa Clarita to meet Rob and Tori and Emma for dinner. We had a nice visit then drove home.

Meanwhile Josh picked up E for ym and Hannah drove herself to the Alveys for a presidency meeting (the girls have an activity on Saturday).

Got home. Checked on everyone. Hannah was still awake, E and G were sleeping.

Prayers and bedtime. 5am comes annoyingly early!

Monday, August 22, 2016

AV Fair

Grace and I went to the fair after school. We had a fun time looking at the table settings, quilts, art, animals and other cool things they had.
We saw our friends and little Caroline was going to dance so we sat with them and watched her do the crocodile rock.
this sculpture was made out of plastic spoons!
The fair has tons of yummy food. Grace got a lemonade and a slice of pizza. I got a Navajo taco and a Diet Coke.
The animals were our favorite. These baby quails were so tiny and cute!
baby quails
Grace won a stuffed lobster.
here she is spending $8 to win a 50 cent stuffed lobster
We had a really fun time together.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Hannah was awarded her young women's medallion today. She did a great job on all her experiences and projects.

Our sacrament meeting today was especially wonderful. Not only did Hannah get her recognition but we had a beautiful musical number by Aimoku and two really good talks. I especially enjoyed it.
The Mackeys are moving to St George and since he was in the bishopric we got a new counsellor today. Dan Chronis was called. I am excited for this new chapter. He is a wonderful man and a very good speaker and leader.
I subbed in primary today and Rob had a meeting tonight. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016


I woke up this morning to see that I had missed a text from Denise, Daniel's mom.  He had passed away in the night.  I am sad for her and for his family and friends, but so happy for him.  Can you imagine the joy he is having now? I am sure he is tall and strong and full of energy and with the Savior. Ethan and I went to visit him at his home on Thursday.  He was on hospice care and was not doing well at all.  He did open his eyes for a minute at the end of the hour(ish) that we spent there and Ethan was able to say hi.  I don't really think Daniel knew but who knows?  The visit was sad.  He was really suffering. I am glad we went though.

After that start to the day the rest was surprisingly nice.  Hannah and I went to Sara's shower (Sawyer's sister).  It was very beautiful.  The decorations and food and everything she got were really really darling.  It was in the backyard and it was kind of hot but I enjoyed visiting and seeing the cute little pink outfits that she got :)
Grace and Makayla
When we got home Hannah turned around and left right away.  She picked up Shelby and they went out to lunch and to the mall.  Even though Han can't drive any minors (except her siblings) until she has her license for a year to their great delight she can take Shelby because she is already 18. They had lots of a good time.

Meanwhile Grace had Makayla over for the afternoon and the two girls spent 3 hours in the pool.  Good thing I had a new book to read.  It's called Delicious by Ruth Reichl and it kept me occupied and entertained even in the afternoon heat as I "life guarded", ran inside for drinks and snacks and judged their diving contests.

Rob took Ethan to his first soccer game of the fall season.  They had a good game, tied.  I was sorry I couldnt't be there to watch.
soccer captain
After dinner Hannah went out again, this time with Madi and Sarah, they went to the tri stake priest laurel activity.  That girl is busy!

Rob and I took the new jeep on a date night.  We went to the movies and saw Florence Foster Jenkins, which I thought was a very sweet story.  Riding in the jeep was a little like driving in a monster truck on an Indiana Jones ride.  It was a bit wild.  Rob likes it though so that's great.

And that's it for us.  Busy day full of friends and fun.  

Friday, August 19, 2016


Hannah got a part in the school play!!! Helena from mid summer nights dream. I'm very happy for her and excited to see it performed.
Dad finally bought a jeep. He's been wanting one and Hans been wanting him to get anything so she can drive to school. Everyone is happy. Hopefully.
Tonight Hannah went to the fair with her friends. She has many friends now I am happy to report. It's been rough but we've turned the corner.

Nellie and I went out to lunch, always fun. 

Yesterday was Tatum's birthday! She is 7, so big. She is an awesome girl, helpful and funny and smart. I love her so much!, grandkids are the best❤️

Thursday, August 18, 2016

behind the hero

I love this picture of my friend Sandy (she's mom #3 in the orangey shirt) hugging her son Duncan as he honorably returns from serving a 2 year mission in Leeds England.  What a thrilling, happy day.  These young men, and young women go off to lands foreign to them (even if it's Tennessee, USA) and faithfully give all their time and energy and resources and talents to God.  Full time. 24 months.  They are heroes in the Lord's cause.  I can't help but think of the mom who just a short 18 years earlier held a tiny baby in her arms and loved him and cared for him and nurtured him and thought about the day when he would go off and be a missionary with hope in her heart and a little trepidation at the daunting task that was hers to teach and prepare and then to let go. 
Missionaries come back with great stories and tremendous personal growth and strong testimonies and it's wonderful.   The mom, she does something similar but it's more quiet.  She prays, and worries and sends care packages and prays some more.  She grows and changes but there are no heroic stories to share or inspiring lessons learned.  It's a behind the scenes kind of heroism.

Yesterday in my personal reading I was in Matthew, Chapter 8 and I read:

14¶And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.

15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.

Of course Jesus is the hero in this and every story.  And Peter is his faithful disciple, his rock and a great, admirable, heroic man.  My thoughts though turned to his wife.  She's almost a footnote, we know her mother is sick, and then she gets well.  But what else? What about the young bride that met and married Peter, started a family with him? Worked by his side to raise a family...and then one day her hard working, fisherman husband comes home and says he's putting aside his nets and following Jesus.  This must be okay with her because later in the story they still share a home.  I like to think that she too loved Jesus.  That she too learned of His doctrine and listened at His knee.  Maybe she fixed dinner for her husband and for the Savior.  Maybe she had to work to support her family after Peter was off saving souls. Did she stand by Peter when he later lead the church? Did she lovingly comfort him after he betrayed the Savior, while secretly thinking that he was a big dumby?  I don't know but she has a story, and even though we don't know her name, or anything about her except what we can infer from the few sentences that we read I like to think that she was a woman with faith to match her husbands, equally yoked in the work, a worthy help meet.

Life is interesting.  Not too many people are the stars and in the spot light, there are lots of behind the scenes heroes and helpers.  I hope my small role will be played faithfully and well. I do know that each person, and each life is important to the Savior and that His grace and atonement are for us all.  For the bold leader, great orator, faithful missionary, stalwart home teacher, humble Bishop and for the lowly fixer of the hymnals, shy introvert, quiet supporter, worried doubter, the lonely, scared & depressed. It doesn't matter if we are a footnote or a main character He died for us.

Love that!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Yesterday was Sierra Wards YWIE, they are the first of the season. One of the laurels, Sam, planned the whole thing and it was really nice. 

Yesterday was also play try outs for the HS. They are doing mid summer nights dream this year. Hannah got a call back today and Friday we find out her part.

Ethan invited Sam (a different Sam) to go to ym with him, they played rugby.
Today I invited Sprice and her kiddos over to swim. Grace and I had a fun visit and swim with them.

I finally started the new HP book.
Percy is enjoying it a lot:)

Monday, August 15, 2016


Most likely next year this time Hannah will be off at college somewhere and I will be sad. This could be the last birthday she spends at home:( 
Being Monday it was a day spent at school. This evening however we went out for sushi, her pick, and target, her pick and Nadia's cupcakes, also her pick.  Then we went to sonic for a cherry limeade for Bub to have after practice and we came home.

Dad and I got her tickets to see two shows. One this month and one in the spring. Newsies and Finding Neverland. She was very excited!!

Happy birthday Hannakin. I 🐙 you!!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Birthday Eve

Writing this ahead of time.  It real time it's the very end of July, hot and sweaty.  Lots of good thing to look forward to and plans to make.  Last year we moved here just before Hannah's birthday so she didn't get a Sweet 16. This year I planned an extra special 17th B-day bash.  It will be done by now but as of the writing I am still preparing.  I will assume it went great!  We have a cute theme and I am excited. As I was getting ready I looked back at other birthday celebrations.  Here's some photos from Hannah as she grew from year to year and as we celebrated! Lots of fun times!