Saturday, August 19, 2017


We had two games in Apple Valley.  It was HOT.  In the 90's.  And sunny.  Really sunny.  The boys played  well.  This is a new team, and a new season, so it was the first time we'd watched them play together.
They lost the first game 2-4.  Which was disappointing.  Then we won the second game 4-3.  Which was exciting.  Ethan scored! Super exciting and played really well.  He is tired and sore now.  He had some trouble with leg cramps during the second game, which is unusual for him.  I guess we're going to have to get some supplements of some kind and pay more attention to hydration.  He did drink a lot of water, although clearly not enough since he still had an issue.
The last few days have been crazy busy.  Friday I subbed for Ethan's seminary class.  Then I went to school and subbed for 5th grade.  Then I picked kids up from school and Grace and I left for the fair.  That's a 5am start time and a 9:30pm end time with only 15 minutes at home squeezed in.  I'm not used to that kind of a day!

Today we had to get up at 6 for the soccer games and now that we are home we have to go back out and go grocery shopping.  

Tomorrow I am leading teacher council, and we have a fireside, and Monday morning it's back to seminary.  It's good to be busy.

Grace's weekend

 After school on Friday Audrey and I took the girls to the fair.  The first hour it's open, for the season, parking and entrance is free so we made sure to get there promptly.  It was hot but really fun.  We enjoyed looking at the animals and the exhibits.
 The girls rode rides and played games.
 After we  spent 4 hours or so playing we were hungry and thirsty so we found some fair food to end our day with!  It was, in the words of Templeton, a most wonderful fair.
 Today Ethan had a soccer game so Rob and I went with him but, and here's a shocker, Grace didn't want to come.  Also it was the ward beach party so she got to go with the Sherwoods and she enjoyed a very nice beach day.
 Now all the playing is done and she has to do homework.  Last week her Algebra teacher called me and said she wanted to move her to the advanced algebra class.  Grace is a smarty.  She's one of 4 7th graders in adv. Alg.  She's also one of 3 7th graders in concert band.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

temple marriage

 last night for YW we had an activity about temple marriage.  Ramona, owner/operator of Sweet Brittle Baking Co & fabulous beehive advisor, made us a gorgeous and delicious wedding cake.

For decorations we (the leaders) had photos from our weddings, we invited 3 newlywed couples to come talk to the girls and they also brought their photos.  Sister Tilden had her great grandmother's handmade wedding dress to display.

Our handout was a mirror with vinyl stick-ons of a temple with the words "See yourself in the temple" and also a pretty ring and ribbon.
 The first thing we did was play some games.  We had a bunch of Disney love songs and their movies to match up. Sister Sweeney won that one!  She knew them all!

Then the girls divided into teams.  Each team got a bride and 3 rolls of TP.  They had 7 minutes to make a paper wedding gown.  Sara Swenson's team won with their modern, fitted design.  It was a lot of fun to watch.

Lastly the girls were given a tube of lipstick and using only their mouths they had to draw a temple.  Charlotte won and her temple looked amazing! A lot of the girls did surprisingly well with that task.
 After the games we gathered and read a couple of paragraphs about what marriage is, then we had our panel discussion.
The couples did a great job and I think the girls really enjoyed it and could relate to them, more importantly I think they heard some really great advice.
We ended with cake and some time to visit.  I was happy with how everything went and consider it a success!

One of the temple drawings.

Today was my first day subbing for the new school year.  I was supposed to be a rover but when I got there I found out I was assigned to PE.  It was me and another sub.  She was great, very energetic and fun.  Very talkative. We had a good day.  PE is generally easy.  It was all outside though and it was SUPER hot so I came home so sweaty and a little sunburned.  I would have dressed differently if I had known. I hopped in the shower and changed first thing after school, even before I picked up E from high school.

So this picture doesn't really have anything to do with anything except it's our cute Sierra, making a face her dad always did when he was sitting on a rock.  Her new hobby is rock climbing so she lives in the perfect place for that and is having a lot of fun with that.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Happy Happy 18th Birthday Hannah dear!!!!!

After a great and fun weekend in SLC with Chelsea Hannah went back to school and then Chelsea went to Idaho!!  What fun!  She posted this picture after Hannah went to the mailbox.  Thanks Chels!!

So today Hannah is 18.  It's been a wonderful almost 2 decades and boy do I love that girl! What a blessing she is to me.

After I got divorced I figured that I would be the mother to 3 beautiful daughters and that was it.  Then Rob and I met and fell in love and got married and the door opened up for a big family.  Rob could hardly wait.  He wanted to make babies right away.  I wanted to wait a little while, I thought maybe a year, but we were only married a couple months when I joined the "right away" train.  We found out we were expecting her at mom and dad's house.  It was a whirlwind time.  I was teaching and R was working and the kids were in school and out of the blue we learned that we were moving to Texas.  In December we closed the sale of our house.  We were staying with my parents for a few weeks until it was time for us to move and I thought maybe we had a wonderful Christmas surprise for everyone.  One afternoon I took a pregnancy test and left it with R then went to the living room to visit with the family.  He stayed to watch the lines.  When he came walking into the room where we were I could tell it was positive! He was beaming and SO excited!! He told my parents and then called his and everyone was delighted.  The girls were VERY excited.  They had wanted a baby too.

Being pregnant with Hannah was great.  Her birth day was great. And being her mom has been great!

As a baby Hannah spent a lot of time crying. That was a tough time for everyone.  She was always in pain and while we all did everything we could to help her really there was little that could be done.  It was exhausting and heart breaking to have a little baby that was constantly suffering.  Thankfully as she grew her hemangioma, which was huge, did start to get smaller and the ulcers and painful lesions went away.

Then we had some really fun years.  Hannah was the cutest little girl and sweet and spunky.  She was also super willful and stubborn so while we had some great times we also had some tough times.  She didn't like to be obedient and was prone to tantrums.  Raising kids is a JOY and also it's hard.  Luckily Hannah's hard times were all when she was young (which is WAY better than hard times with a teenager!)
Slowly Hannah grew (I say slowly because while the days were slow, the years were too fast!) and by the time she was 11 she was just a complete delight.  Cheerful, obedient, bright and kind are all words that totally describe our Han. We moved to MD right about then and that was an awesome move for Hannah.

Middle school and the first years of high school were great for Hannah.  She loved to be in plays, had A LOT of great, fun, friends.  Her love of cooking really became apparent to us and she is a fun kitchen companion.  She was/is a good student.  She enjoyed many neat trips and experiences during those years. She took horse back riding and sailing and piano and voice lessons. Her testimony has always been solid and she loves to go to church.  She is a great example to those around her.  Hannah is a great aunt and great with little kids.  She loves adventures and watching movies and is always up for fun!  She is a girl of many many talents!

Moving to CA the summer before her junior year was a challenge and trial but she was up to the task and grew a lot. Hannah made friends again, continued to do well in school, was a comfort and delight to her mom and a great example to her siblings and friends.  That once stubborn little girl now is resolute in her convictions and is empathetic and goal oriented and obedient.  I could not be happier with the woman she grew up to be.

I am so excited to see what the future holds for our Hannakin.  She is LOVING BYU-I and so excited about life.  I love that.  Heavenly Father has really blessed her and blessed me. I am ever grateful for the opportunity to be a mother and that our family relationships will continue to be a joy and blessing to us forever.

Happy Happy Birthday Hannah!!! Hope it's a good one!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

over the edge and into crazy town

 I, and we, have always liked animals and have had a variety of different pets, but we are officially a little on the nutty side is evidenced by the company we keep.

Grace's bird, Nigella (a.k.a. El Diablo) went back to the breeder yesterday.  This guy was the nicest nicest man.  Over spring break Grace and I drove to Orange (by way of San Diego) and picked up her bird, that she had been longing for and saving up for.  We brought her home and she began what turned out to be the rather arduous process of socializing her to our family.  It never went well.  This was a mean, mean, bird.  She hissed like a little velociraptor, and bit everyone who came near her.  A couple weeks ago I reached out to Octavio to see if he had any advice and he said he had babies and we could trade her in.  We kept in touched and followed Luis' growth until yesterday when we could go get him.  This is not a quick trip.  It was about 2.5 hours each way.

We traded birds, and learned how to feed him (as he is still being hand fed) and Octavio even gave us food and a syringe.  He lives in a low income area of town, in a tiny two bedroom apartment with his wife, 3 daughters, and abuelita.  His home is very humble but he is warm and kind and generous.  He wouldn't take money for the food or the trade and just wants to do fair work.  He showed us his birds, he has several breeding pairs, and his plants that he grows in his "backyard" ( a 9 x3 cement slab), and took a long time teaching us and visiting with us.  We appreciated his instructions and his sharing with us.  Rob left him a pass along card.  A wonderful family like that would be so blessed by the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

It was late when we left Octavio's,  but not late enough for the traffic to be settled down, so we decided to stop and eat dinner before getting on the road. This is where we met our second character of the night.  The place we went was Miguel's taco shop.  When we were walking up I saw two guys and a parrot sitting at one of the tables outside.  I said "that's a beautiful dinner companion you have" to which they replied "he's not ours.  He just flew down here, stole a taco and has been siting with us ever since."  It was some what unbelievable but they insisted it was true and told us about all the wild parrots in Orange county. They said we should go down to the jail where they (not the men but the birds) congregate at sundown and enjoy a squawky bird fest.  Rob and Grace and I listened to them for awhile (as we were not in a hurry and the bird was lovely) and at one point I asked if he was pulling our leg, but they insisted no.   

Then Grace decided she wanted to feed the bird some spray millet that she had in the car. It was at that point that Brad (the bird guy) asked us what we were doing there and we told him we had just come from Palmdale for a baby bird.  He was impressed and then told us that he was pulling our leg, Maverick was his.  He has 32 birds in total and is a Jesus lover and a story teller.  We had an interesting conversation with him that was a combination of bird advice, testimony bearing, and tall tales.  Eventually we had to go in and eat so we took some pictures, gave him and his friend a pass along card each, and went on with our evening. 

 This is Grace and Maverick.  You meet the most interesting people out and about.  Brad being more crazy interesting than most.
So I guess this pushes us clearly on the side of a little crazy ourselves.  Grace took this picture this morning.  Rob and I always sleep with Steve and Ziva.  

 We hand feed baby birds (an mice) and consider our pets family.  Grace has 2 hamsters, 4 fish and now 1 bird.  We are at maximum capacity but our max is probably 8 animals more than typical!
So far Luis has spent every second in contact with Grace.  He's quite happy to do so.  I hope he won't be too distressed come Monday morning when she goes to school.

In other news we had a family weeding day this morning.  Way overdue.  One thing I learned from my dad was working with your kids gives you great opportunities to talk to them.  The kids are trapped, and also more likely to open up because there you are.  It's easier to talk when there is a task at hand.  Dad always helped in the kitchen after dinner and I think some of our best talks were while washing dishes, or while taking walks together.  Anyway I had some things on my mind that we (Rob and I ) wanted to talk to the kids about so it turned out to be a good time for it. We had a good morning.  The front yard is now squared away and our talk was a good one.  Parenting win!!
This afternoon Grace has Brynn over and tonight E is going to a dance. We have a blessed life.  (despite the broken gate, pool heater, sprinkler, ....)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

about the day

Hannah is having such an amazing time at college already.  She LOVES it in Idaho and is learning lots and I am just so happy for her.
They have a bus that goes from BYU-I down to different places in Utah and this week Chelsea is in Utah visiting her family so Hannah hopped on the bus and rode down to spend a couple days with her.  I love these two girls together.  They are such good friends and such good girls.  Chelsea has her mission call waiting for her to open when she gets home! Yikes how can she stand the wait??!?  I am a little jealous that I am not there with them!
I did call Colleen today and we had a wonderful talk.  Before I knew it almost 2 hours had passed and we hadn't run out of things to talk about.  I miss that lady and spending time together.  I miss all of our MD life.

Tonight Grace and I took a little swim, the water was cool and refreshing.

Ziva had a bath, and she smells very nice and looks like a fluffy lamb.

Ethan went to the dentist, he has no cavities.

So good day all around :)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

7th grade

 This morning was the first day of school for Grace.  She was up and ready early, as is typical for her.  Our girl is an early riser!  Yesterday she got her schedule and was disappointed with some of the teachers she got.  Hopefully it will be much better than she fears.
 Here she is on the first day of Pre-K.  She was excited then and is now.  Grace is a gifted learner and does very well at school.  It will be exciting to see what she does with that big brain of hers!
Steve is always ready for a good morning snuggle and he wished her well on her first day!

I had a little brunch this morning.  I invited some friends who also sent their kids off to school today.  I only invited friends who didn't have little kids left at home, and also who were not empty nesters, and of course they couldn't have full time jobs because brunch on a Wednesday morning.  So there were 5 of us and we had a nice morning.

I made overnight french toast and sausage and had these cute oui yogurts. Audrey brought a fruit tray and Kim brought juice and we visited and ate.  It was a nice morning and a good start to the school year.  It's always nice to have time to chat with other moms in the same place in life. 

I'm excited to hear about Grace's day after school.

update: The day went well.  Grace has a lot of friends in her classes.  She thinks her Algebra teacher will be her favorite.  She was sad about her advisory teacher and her science teacher but will try to make the best of it.  She is one of 4 7th graders in the honor band and will be marching in parades this year.  Lunch was fine, she had lots of friends to eat with but her ramen was soggy.  Also she and Rylynn, Aubrey and Brynn want to be in the lip sync competition.  So overall I think that's a success!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

First day

 Sunday night we went to seminary kick off.  Ethan looked very handsome and it was a good meeting.  Pres. Silva spoke and did a very good job.  The sophomore class does not have a teacher yet so Sister Alius is going to be subbing for awhile. This year the kids are studying the Book of Mormon. Hopefully it will be an amazing year!

Monday morning I drove the seminary/school carpool but I forgot to take a first day of school picture of Bub.  Instead I got this one in the car.   He had a good first day.  He has Ms Beinvietes for math again and he likes her. He's taking Calc A/B.  He also has chemistry, history, honors English, Spanish 2 and PE.  He said his Spanish teacher taught the whole class in Spanish the whole time, which was hard for him.  

Last night he had practice with his new soccer team.  It was fun, the team is young, which is one of the drawbacks to playing AYSO, but he had a good time and I think he might be one of the stronger players on the team which would be okay.

So lots of new things.  Grace still has one day of summer left and then everyone's back to it.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

home again, home again

 Saturday Rob flew in at noon(ish) to Burbank.  I went to pick him up and then we had 6 hours to kill until the kids flew in to LAX.

First stop was lunch and second was two camp chairs on the beach.  The water was warm and we had a relaxing afternoon together.
We picked the kids up and came home and all is back to normal!

So I love social media.  I love to have a peek at my big girls lives.  
For example this weekend:

Sierra hung out with some friends!  

Jenna and Clayton went laser tagging and got first and second place!

Dani went to NieNie's garage sale and bought some cool stuff!

And Hannah made banana pancakes at midnight with her roommate Emma!

Friday, August 4, 2017

summer is drawing down

 Rob is in Park City working.  It looks pretty miserable there doesn't it?  He said it's been very productive, which is great, and he's coming home tomorrow, which is even better.
The kids are also coming home tomorrow.  They've been having a great time.  They went to COSI.  They've been golfing and to the movies and shopping and out to dinner.  Ethan's been working on his summer reading and Grace has been thinking about painting her room.  I am really glad that they get to spend time with their Grandparents.  Nana and Abba are the best :)

I'm looking forward to everyone coming home.  It's been a quiet few days around here.  I've watched a few movies, read a couple of books, did 3-4 loads of laundry, walked Ziva, did some planning for YW....

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


R took this picture after I left this morning.  Z often waits for me at the window when I am out
 Our house is quiet.  Yesterday I cleaned the kids bedrooms and did some laundry.   When R got home from work we went to dinner.  We had no time constraints so we rejected a couple spots before actually eating.  First we went to the park for food truck day.  After checking them all we decided not to eat there and went to Red Robin, we sat down and then changed our minds.  Finally we went to Chili's which was yummy.  When we got home we watched a movie.
This morning I had my annual substitute training.  I actually did the online part yesterday and the in person part today.  I learned I get paid sick time! and it's accrued for the last two years while I didn't know I had it!  Sweet!!

This evening was our ward's turn to serve at the homeless shelter.  I was able to go and help out.  The shelter is closing next week, which is really sad.  Tonight we fed 90+ folks, where are they all going to go?   

It was super hot in the kitchen, as they had no AC, and it was 104 out.  When I got home I showered then R and I went out for Thai food. It's hard to see the huge disparity between what I get to enjoy and what those homeless folks have.  Cool house, private shower, dinner out with my employed husband for starters.  I am blessed.

I spent my afternoon reading, cleaning a few things, talking to different kids on the phone, and watching this crazy quail who was perched outside the window on our fence for a long time.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Saturday morning we took the kids to LAX and they hopped on a plane and flew to Ohio to spend a week with Nana and Abba.  They have both been looking forward to this week all summer.  Abba likes to golf and watch movies and swim and play video games, so does E & G (except Lu not the golf & video games).  Nana spoils the kids with fun shopping trips and Grace finally likes to shop and cares about what she wears.  They love to visit with Uncle Brian and spend time together.  It's a perfect end to a nice summer.  

While we were there I texted Tori, I knew she was in CA, and she said come visit so we drove to her sister in laws beautiful beach home and spent several hours catching up.  It was really nice.  It's been a while since we lived near each other but the time doesn't matter when we are together again and the conversation flows and the friendship is strong. We missed seeing Rob, which was the only bummer.  

Today we got up and went to ward council and then to church.  Our pew was a little lonely and strange.  Then we came home and napped and cleaned up, cooked dinner together.  After dinner we went returning.  We went to Shannon's first and returned the coolers we borrowed, we stayed for a fun visit.  Then we returned a jack to Pat (left it on the door).  On our way home we saw the Dunn's walking and they said they had just been to our house to say hi and bring us some jam so we invited them back to make donuts.  They said yes and we had a nice visit and frying time together.  I was Spud's teacher when he was a boy and now he's my neighbor so that's pretty fun!

Friday, July 28, 2017

the end of the week

 Wednesday night Val and I went to Zupas, my favorite.  While I was waiting for her to get off work I visited with Spencer and also looked at Kenzie's room where I saw this darling picture of Hannah and Kenz! So excited for fall and these two girls being roommates!

During the day I was at Dani's.  I got to do bath time and read stories and Dani and I took the kids, and the 3 she was babysitting, to the park.  We had a fun afternoon on the boardwalk and playing on the playground.  The kids spent a lot of time looking for bugs and were very successful!

Me and Tatum!

After dinner I went to mom's and spent the night.  Sierra is staying there while she is between apartments so I got to visit with her some more too.  The next day we stayed at mom's until it was time to get Ethan.  We talked and played Phase 10.  Sierra won! She's a good game player.
Sierra and I went to BYU and picked up Ethan.  We got to watch him play a game.  
He had a really fun time!

Besides soccer all day they had evening activities with the other sports camps.  They had a dance, devotionals, a field day and a trip to 7 peaks.  

After camp we made him shower then the 3 of us went to Tacano's for dinner.  E was starving so we got our $'s worth.  He wore his fitbit and they ran over 50 miles at camp.  When I went to wash his clothes I about got knocked out by the smell.  He said every day he and his room mate would just throw their dirty clothes in a bag and into the closet and then they slammed the door as if they were trapping a wild animal...even they noticed the smell!

After dinner E and I went back to Dani's.  Tatum had earned the privilege of having a betta fish so soon after we arrived we all went to the pet store and watched her pick one.  She named him Bubbles.

After all the kids were asleep we decided to put together a puzzle.  It was a summer bucket list item for Dani.  It took us until almost 1am! yikes.  I usually don't like doing puzzles and am pretty bad at them, but I had a really fun time and did my fair share.  I LOVE being close enough to visit often and to have these nice moments together. 

This morning we woke up early and drove home.  It doesn't feel close while you are on the drive and we got stuck sitting on the 15 behind a huge accident for close to an hour.  Everyone was out of their cars and walking around and looky looing.  We stayed in our car with the windows down and played a game together.  Most of the trip E slept.  

It's good to be home.  Now we are doing laundry and packing the kids stuff because they are going on an Ohio trip tomorrow.  Summer is busy! I was a little frustrated to come home to a messy house, not surprised but a little annoyed.  I need to be a better trainer I guess.