Friday, October 26, 2012

Still Missing You

This week I have been searching for words.  A poem, a hymn, a scripture that would express my grief on the second anniversary of Allison's death.  And I have found that there are no words. 

So I would like to share two memories.  These are not big events- just small images in my mind.

The first memory is visiting Allison as a baby in the hospital.  She was the sweetest little baby and I was amazed by her beautiful color.  I will always remember holding and loving our little china doll.

The next memory is a short visit Allison's family made a month or so before her death.  I was waiting- excited for a family visit- and so when the doorbell rang I was right at the door.  Allison walked in first and said "Hello, Aunt Becky."  I can remember how tall she looked and the sound of her voice. 

I know that someday I will be able to see Allison again and I look forward to hearing her say "Hello, Aunt Becky." 

But for now there are no words.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ode to the new IKEA plate

Oh new IKEA plate
I do love you

Your untippyness
       the rice stays on
       the shredded cheese stays on
       the syrup stays on (unless you are sitting almost sideways on a stack of piano books- don't ask because I don't want to talk about it)

Your six bright colors

Your $1.99 price because I can totally justify retiring all the old plates- who am I kidding- most of the old plates are in the sandbox

Just like your cousin the oval IKEA plate, you will shortly take over the world (see last month's Ensign for evidence)

Your round shape because somehow the food fits better

And in a pinch I think you could be used as a Frisbee

Monday, October 1, 2012

FHE isn't fun without you

Does anyone love auto correct?  I actually greatly dislike it (we don't use the H word in our home).  It takes over and if you don't watch closely it sabotages simple messages. 

However, tonight I sent Paul (working in Portland for a few days) a quick note to say we missed him at FHE tonight.  Right before I sent the message, I saw what auto correct had done for me:

Me: Ghetto isn't fun without you.

And for once auto correct was right. 

PS the donuts were our fhe treat and were the only non ghetto part of our night.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One step forward, a thousand steps back

First of all, I need to apologize if you have talked to me in the last 3.5 weeks.  I have undoubtedly thrilled you with the blow by blow account of how potty training was going for the day.  Which is riveting conversation, I know. 

25 days ago we started potty training Nathan for the millionth time.  I would say that he had the system down in January with the small problem that he does not take himself to the bathroom.  We didn't sweat it too much and tried again after we ran out of the next box of diapers and the next box of diapers and the next.  OK so the box of diapers in August was the last and we decided that we would keep going no matter what. 

The picture above shows Nathan's potty sticker charts.  We are making progress but here is the clincher.  He has never taken himself to the bathroom once.  Which means that for every sticker, I remind him or physically walk him to the bathroom so that he will go.  If I don't remind him it is like he has never seen a toilet if you catch my drift.  Without warning he will go the bathroom.  Even if he is sitting on my lap in the middle of Sacrament meeting and has gone 20 minutes before.  Sigh. 

And now I have dedicated a whole blog post to potty training.  But it is rather on my mind. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Because it was easy and looks Awesome

I made this simple cake for Paul's Birthday this year (hello, old man;-)  Do you remember when the cake mix companies made an orange flavor cake?  It was my favorite flavor when I was little and one day during a random discussion I discovered it was Paul's favorite flavor too!  We both are quite a bit sad that it has been years since you could buy an orange cake.  Then I decided to use my little gray cells (Poirot on the brain) and added orange extract to a yellow cake.  Hello orange cake.  I loved this birthday cake because it took me .4 seconds to make and looked pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Still the Party Girl

Yesterday Adrie was watching our digital picture frame and was pretty concerned with the pictures that were Pre-A.  She finally turned to me and said

"And when do I come on to the stage?!"

Yes, sweet A, you are still the life of our party.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Push Bike

During a trip to our local bike shop I noticed these funny little bikes without pedals.  I thought they were stunt bikes or something.  I asked the salesperson and he said they were push bikes for little kids.  I remember thinking "What? Why would you ever buy that for your child."  A few months later I saw a good friend out for a walk with her children.  Her little boy (about 3 at the time) was riding one of these bikes and had amazing balance.  He was so fast you couldn't even tell he was pushing himself.  After seeing him ride the bike and talking to my friend, we decided to get Nathan this bike for Christmas.  Until spring, we let Nathan (and Katie) ride the bike up and down our halls.  This summer we have enjoyed watching Nathan zoom around on his bike.  I think it is a brilliant idea to take the pedals out of the mix.  When I take him on a walk, I run to keep up.  We love this bike and are a little sad that we only figured it out for our last child!

Another benefit was that Katie (and several neighborhood children) all learned to ride bikes quickly after riding this bike for a few weeks.  When I went out to teach Katie to ride a bike I was all set with my running shoes to do the grueling run up and down the street.  I put her on the bike, said "balance," gave her a push and she was off riding.  It was amazing! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oh how I love him

After years of hair and dolls and hair and drama (which I love- I am not complaining- just stating a fact), the change to little boy is so fun.  Maybe because he is our baby and maybe because of his eyes (have you seen them?), but this little man is a delight every day.  He is very high energy, very much in love with dinosaurs, very much in love with tractors.  Frequently, he has his Hi-Yah (sword built out of legos) stuck down the back of his shirt.  Last Sunday he obviously needed a wrench also.  Because you never know when you might need a wrench. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

When Paul was little

He had nightmares that the mountains just east of his house were volcanic.  We joke that he should have been more worried that they would crumble in an earthquake.  Today as I watch this out my window, I am wondering if perhaps his dreams are coming true.

I watched the first drift of smoke and thought "oh, no- not our beautiful American Fork canyon" * (Paul proposed to me up that canyon!).  Now the drift is a scary plume and it doesn't look good.  Cross your fingers that there are some trees left when this fire is done!

This picture was taken 5 minutes after the one above- the change in the smoke plume gives you an idea how fast the fire is growing.
*PS Paul just got home and informed me I had my canyons wrong- the fire is burning up the canyon behind alpine- so American Fork is safe for now!

Saturday, June 30, 2012


 I will be the first to admit that I am terrible at taking pictures- not that I take poor quality pictures, but that I forget to actually take pictures! 

So for your viewing pleasure here is one of the three pictures I took on our recent trip to Zions:

Playing in the dirt.  Why else do we drive several hours and camp?
I guess it is a good thing that I actually keep a journal since our pictures are hit and miss!  Our trip was lovely.  It was an adventure: Paul went backpacking with Joseph and Rachel along the West Rim ending up with a climb to Angel's Landing and I camped solo with four kids.  We met up after the backpacking requirement was fulfilled (15 miles, 2 nights, etc) and enjoyed a perfect week hiking the Narrows,visiting weeping rock, kayaking at Posey Lake and camping in Capitol Reef. 

In no particular order, here are my top eleven favorite memories from this vacation:
1) Listening to Bananaphone by Raffi about 50 million times
2) Picking apricots in the beautiful orchards in Capitol Reef
3) Kids loving the dirt and gravel so much that they literally rolled in it
4) Discovering the Zion movie playing in the old visitor center which had AIR CONDITIONING, as opposed to the new visitor center which has environmentally friendly "air cooling towers."  We watched the movie twice and considered bringing our sleeping bags down and sleeping there
5) Katie, on her back, hands behind her head and her legs crossed, floating down the green pools of the Narrows
6) Rachel telling me that the first part of their backpacking trip was more spectacular than Angel's Landing
7) Naughty squirrels in Zions that chewed holes in our tent twice.  grrr.  The animals in the national parks have no fear of humans ps we caught them in the tent once which was rather hilarious except now we have to disinfect everything for hantavirus;-)
8) Eating fresh fruit pies and homemade ice cream from the pioneer home in Capitol Reef- for breakfast! (will the kids remember that? I hope)
9) Perfectly beautiful restrooms in all the campgrounds, need I say more?
10) A rock that weeps despite the lack of rain and terrible fires
11) A peaceful ride on the Zion bus after we hiked the narrows.  Everyone was exhausted and 6/6 kids were asleep.  Small sweaty heads leaning against me and beautiful Zion out the window= Zion indeed
Only two children would smile for this picture.  Three were too cross to even get in the picture and one would not look at the camera.  And what had we done to deserve such joy? Forced the children to hike (less than a mile) through a totally flat wash to see the pioneer names inscribed on the wall of the canyon!
Two happy kids!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


We are enjoying a bumper crop of cherries (thanks to a neighbor who trains falcons- we find that having a falcon live next door keeps the birds from stripping our tree)! 

Katie loves cherries as her shirt certainly testifies!

How is your summer going?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Sometimes a little idea makes a nice difference in your life.  Every Tuesday I face the laundry.  It is a like a marathon- most weeks I am just hoping to finish.  Some weeks I pull out the all the stops and get all the socks sorted, shirts and skirts ironed and everything PUT AWAY (or my kids do;-) in one day (is this the equivalent to running a 2 hour marathon?!).  I have heard many different theories of laundry (do one load a day- make your kids do it) but for me right now it works to do it all in one day.  I chose Tuesday because my Mom did laundry on Tuesday.  Also, I can't seem to face laundry on Monday and by Wednesday I feel like I am losing momentum in my week!  So Tuesday it is. 

This week I was admiring my sister's beautiful new red washing machine and dryer.  She was showing me all the whistles and bells and mentioned that she could set her washer to start the next morning.  This way, she throws a load in at night, delays the start for 7 hours and when she gets up in the morning she is already a load ahead in her day.  Brilliant.  As soon as I got home I went and looked at my washer and lo and behold, it has a delay button!!  

I vaguely remember when I got my washer I saw the Delay button and thought "Why in the world would I ever delay a load of laundry?!"  However, if you don't think of it as a delay- but as getting ahead- the button makes sense.  Maybe the manufactures should rename the button!

So last night I loaded my first batch of laundry and set the delay button.  I crossed my fingers and went to bed.  When I woke up, my first load was just finishing!  It was fabulous. 

PS  I know it may seem like I have a small life when I get excited about laundry- however, I prefer to see it as finding joy in the everyday;-)
PPS I actually enjoy doing laundry- it is strangely satisfying to take a whole lot of chaos and turn it into order (for a few hours at least!).
PPPS A big apology to Paul who woke up in a panic when he heard water turn on in the middle of the night!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Happy Spring

Spring is my favorite season.  OK, summer and spring are tied for first place, but when spring finally comes after a long winter, I always think it is my favorite.  This year our winter was so mild (understatement of the year) that I was almost shocked when we slid into spring without much change.  It almost feels like we don't deserve spring because we didn't suffer enough during the winter;-)  Not that I am complaining!  I think despite my shock that spring is here, my kids can definitely feel the change in the weather:

A little note of explanation: Due to a certain girl suddenly opposed to pink Easter baskets (she claimed Joseph's green basket), Joseph was thrilled to carry a fuzzy pink Easter basket this year.  I was trying to get a nice picture of him and said something like "show me how happy you are and how much you love your pink Easter basket."  This is what I got. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

We Call Her Kate the Great

Five reasons I love this sunshine:
1) She calls giraffes: bjraffes.
2) She plays quiet creative games by herself for hours (which usually includes using tissue to make dresses for her little figurines).
3) She can burp the alphabet (which is not something we generally do in our family, but one day at dinner she said "I can burp the alphabet" and then she did and then we sat there in stunned silence and then we started laughing).
4) She has the best laugh in the world- a deep belly chuckle!
5) She learned to ride a bike in 30 seconds.  She definitely holds the family record (and she saved my back hours of running behind a bike bent over). 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And Where Was the Mother You Ask?

Have you ever wondered what happens when you put bottles of food coloring in the microwave?

Katie and Nathan discovered exactly what happens. 

What possessed them to get a chair, get on the counter, get into the deepest farthest reaches on the spice cabinet, get the food coloring, put it in the microwave and actually start the microwave, I can only wonder.  In amazement. 
PS I was using the restroom. 

PPS I wasn't even reading a book or anything.

PPPS This all happened before 8:15 in the morning.  Sigh.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012



They are nice and kind
They care for me

They have a smile
They laugh at jokes
and are lots of fun

They love me so
and you should hear them
say good night

Skye Marie Seamons

Skye left us a little paper with a Hiqu (Haiku) that she had written.  She didn't get the form totally correct but I thought they were sweet.  The poems were also a much needed boost to my parenting confidence!  Although I am left wondering why our good night is so memorable!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I May be Biased

But I think Rachel is stunning.  She is quickly growing into a beautiful young lady.  I love my Rachel Bug (and I am so excited that she did her own hair one day last week!  Hurrah!)!

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Hope You Don't End Up In

It is always interesting to watch the creative games my children play.  They love to play bank, store, library, church, and many other amazing games.  One child in particular is the leader in these creative games.  She frequently will label rooms "Rabbit Hill School" and "Preschool"  (one time my parents got to stay in the preschool- I had forgotten to take down the sign).  The other day I came across this sign and couldn't stop laughing as I imagined her sending someone to the: