Thursday, December 19, 2013

Our Big Winter Storm

We are experiencing a big winter storm.  OK, so maybe SLC is getting a big storm and we are getting a few snowflakes.  However, I thought it was interesting that this was the picture that KSL chose to illustrate the big storm:
Scary storm, man on unicycle?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Currently Reading






Three notes:
Nathan is on a Dr. Suess kick.  All I have to say is "do you know how LONG Dr. Suess books are?"

Do you see a theme to Rachel's reading selections?  We are so different (I lean towards historical fiction and realistic fiction).  One day Paul mentioned Legolas and Rachel blushed and giggled.  Sigh. 

Joseph is slowly working his way through Les Miserables.  He complained that the book was hard to hold because it is just so big. 
I said "at least that is the abridged version." 
Joseph "That is not abridged."
Me, pointing to the word abridged.
Joseph "Oh." 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

And there was that time that I scheduled some blog posts

And forgot to write them before they posted:-)  Ha.  Sorry for the random posts today (all three of you!)!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

And then Summer Happened or that time we went camping with 400 of our dearest neighbors

This was the summer of trek.  (and Jamboree and driving to AZ twice and many other things!)  But mainly it was the summer of trek.  After two years of meetings, all the plans and work came together in a spectacular four day trek experience. 

However, when I watched this trek video, I thought "Oh, that is what happened on trek!"  Our trek experience was very different.  Paul was in charge of logistics (and maps and web site and whatever else!) which translated into being in charge of moving toilets all over the mountain. 

Not to go into too much detail, but imagine dragging these toilets over very bumpy dirt roads and then imagine the result (we tried wrapping the toilets in plastic wrap and it didn't help much).  Let's just say that I have cleaned my share of toilets for the next three years!  It was an adventure. 

Toilets aside, trek was amazing, wonderful, and a treasured memory.  I would go again in a heartbeat. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Don't we all practice the piano this way?

Even though she has to wait until she is fifteen, she can still dream:-)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy Father's Day to the Best

They are a handful and a joy. 

They couldn't ask for a better Dad.

Happy Father's Day!

All of us

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Happy Picture, Just Because

Life doesn't get much better than this. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I don't think I gave too much credence to the whole color personality type until a friend was describing a yellow personality. It suddenly hit me that Adrie is yellow!     In fact, Adrie could be the poster child for a yellow personality.  It answered so many questions about how she functions. 

Here is what wikipedia (the source of all knowledge) states about a yellow personality:

Yellows are motivated by Fun. They are here to have a great time.

Adrie helps me see the joy part of life almost everyday.

On our way out of Walmart:
Adrie: (snort) I always knew he would go bad.
Me: What?
Adrie: I always knew Superman would go bad.
Me: WHAT?!
Adrie: (pointing to a movie poster) See? Superman, Man of STEEL.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sunrise, Sunset

Do you ever feel like you are turning your calendar pages at an alarming rate?

First Day
Last Day
I am not sad to see Kindergarten end but I wouldn't mind if Kate could stay 6 for quite awhile longer.  She is all sweetness and love. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Prairie Fire

So many pioneer stories make reference to the much dreaded prairie fire.  In Nauvoo, there is a one acre lot of prairie grass right in the middle of Old Nauvoo.  The lot is planted with the grass to show the size of each property. Once a year the fire department burns the grass.  We happened to be in Nauvoo on the day!  
It is hard to describe the speed, the heat, and the intensity of the fire.  Now I finally understand the panic that pioneers would feel when they saw the flames on the prairie. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pretend you are Pioneers

 We knew visiting Nauvoo in April might be cold.  It was cold.  Very, very cold and the wind blew 99% of the time.  However, as long as you are not a pioneer heading across the Mississippi river, cold is perfect for Nauvoo.  We would run from house to house and enjoy our time inside.  However, we were excited when we found out that there were quilts to use on the wagon ride.  The cute missionaries kept telling us "Take more quilts!  Wrap up in six quilts!" and so we did.  We stayed warm and some of us even enjoyed a nap during the ride!
We were so well wrapped, it reminded me of a passage from Little House in the Big Woods:
"Ma and Aunt Eliza wrapped up the cousins.  They pulled heavy woolen stockings over the woolen stockings and the shoes they were already wearing.  They put on mittens and coats and warm hoods and shawls, and wrapped mufflers around their necks and thick woolen veils over their faces.  Ma slipped pipping hot baked potatoes into their pockets to keep their fingers warm, and Aunt Eliza's flatirons were hot on the stove, ready to put at their feet in the sled.  The blankets and the quilts and the buffalo robes were warmed, too."

Monday, April 22, 2013

3000 miles

A few weeks ago we jumped in the car and drove 3000 miles in 8 days.  OK, so we didn't quite jump in the car.  Packing for 8 requires a little more time than that:-)  Our destination: Nauvoo, IL and everything within 400 miles of the planned route. 
The trip was amazing.  There will be more to come about my favorite parts.  For now, a memory I will treasure is an early morning run I took down Parley Street to the Mississippi River.  It was quite, peaceful, and cold.  Cold enough that I could very well imagine the pioneers lining that street. 

On my last visit to Nauvoo I was about the start my second year of college.  I had no idea where my life would lead in the next year, let alone the next 15 years.  On my last visit to Nauvoo, there was no temple- just a big grassy lot- waiting. 

When I turned to run back up the hill I saw what that grassy lot had waited for all those years.  And it took my breath away. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

First Flowers of Spring

Although I am an Arizona girl at heart, I do love the seasons in the frozen north (as my family calls anything north of Phoenix!)  The first flowers are the best part of spring.  Paul's sister Suzanne gave me this flower last year and I was so excited to see it bloom this spring. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Little Things

At our Relief Society Birthday celebration last month, we were encouraged to look for the little things we are doing well.  I think it has been helpful for my attitude about life.

This morning when I saw this:

I did not waste time wondering if I had failed as a mother teaching my children to clean up their breakfast (or me clean up my own rice cooker for that matter!).  Or wonder why my kitchen doesn't look perfect.

Instead, I thought to myself "I am perfecting the lived in look." 

PS When I actually looked at this picture, I realized that it doesn't look that bad. I don't think the picture does justice to the full scope of the mess. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

And Then There Were None

Nathan got his tonsils out, or more correctly, Nathan had a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.  I felt so bad taking a healthy little man into the hospital knowing that he would come out pretty miserable.

We kept him on pain medication and pretty sedate the first day (thank you Nexus (tablet) sedative. Nathan is now a 100 floors, Freddi Fish, Pitfall expert).

The instructions from the hospital said he shouldn't lift more than 20 pounds and take it easy for two weeks.  Yeah.  Tell that to a 3 year old.

By day two he looked like this:

Two little monkeys
Unfortunately day three and four were pretty rough.  I think we are through the worst part. 

At the hospital they warned me that he might develop really bad breath until his throat healed.  After the 5th person warned me about the halitosis (take that ACT vocab) I wondered what the big deal was.  How bad could it be?  They did not kid.  It is bad.  As in we didn't take him to church bad. As in three feet away bad. 

I bought 563 popsicles in preparation for the surgery.  Apparently Nathan doesn't like popsicles.  Is it summer yet?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Little Friend

This year it is just Nathan and I in the mornings.  So what do you do on laundry day when Mom is folding a bunch of laundry and you don't feel so well?  Curl up on a pile of towels and take a nap of course.  He is a sweetheart.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Oh Happy Day

Yes, he did chip his front tooth the day before his Eagle Court of Honor.

Now we just need to finish those pesky merit badges;-)

PS For once, this doesn't qualify for a small and simple thing!  This night definitely felt like a great thing!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Eating and Sleeping

Joseph has been eating and sleeping a ton.  Like he could probably sleep in until 10 or 11 if he wasn't going to school.  We may have discovered the reason:

As a side note, I love out growth chart.  It is one of the few things I ever made at a RS super sat that I have really, really enjoyed.  The kids look forward to our yearly marking.  I just have to remind them that there is not much glory in passing me up!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Trick

Soon after Paul and I got engaged, our ward had a talent show.  For his talent, Paul got up and started to juggle.  I started to hyperventilate because I had NO CLUE that Paul could juggle.  I remember sitting there thinking, "He can juggle.  I am going to marry him and he can juggle, what else don't I know?!!!"  I am happy to say that everything I have ever learned about Paul has been a delightful surprise: "oh you can juggle? oh you can pull apart a dishwasher and tell me that yes it is really broken and then put it all back together?"  And now you ask why this story?  Because I always have to tell the back story- right Mom? :-)

I have watched Paul juggle many times since that fun day 16 years ago.  Have you ever watched someone juggle?  It can be pretty complex.  The last month or so I have started to imagine myself juggling.  I imagine it this way: on any given day I am juggling a minimum of 6 balls, sometimes more.  Most of the time, I am doing a great job keeping the balls moving consistently and well balanced.  Sometimes I have to reach further for a ball that may start to move outside the path.  I am doing a pretty basic pattern to keep everything moving, but many times I am throwing some pretty spectacular moves to keep things going.  You catch my drift.

About a month ago I realized that it felt like all of my balls were in the air at the same time.  We are waiting to see where things will land.  Here is a short list: we don't know where 4 of our children will attend school next year, I need to find a piano teacher/s for 5 of the kids, Nathan's tonsils are severely enlarged and we need to figure that out, etc.  There is nothing big, just a lot of unknowns.  I am not especially worried about where things will fall- it is just an interesting sensation to be watching all these different parts of our life and wonder what my juggling act will look like a few months from now.

For some reason I keep thinking of this quote:

Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts  don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .
Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.
-President Gordon B. Hinckley (quoting Jenkin Lloyd Jones).   

Despite the unknown, despite the energy it takes to juggle, I am grateful everyday that this is my life. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

And now I'm found

OK, this shape-o-ball key chain is really the cutest thing ever.  Ever.  It even has little shapes inside.  I don't usually think things are really, really cute, but this is really cute.  I got it years ago and it disappeared in our last house- a victim of two very busy little kids.  Now those two are teenagers (Rachel is close enough to count!).  We were cleaning house and rearranging furniture and Paul decided to open up the bottom of the couch and get the things out that rattle around when you move a couch.  Ta da.  There it was.  10 years later.  How is it possible that we have lived in our house for 10 years?!

Time flies on wings of lightning;
We cannot call it back.
It comes, then passes forward
Along its onward track.
And if we are not mindful,
The chance will fade away,
For life is quick in passing.
'Tis as a single day.
 Improve the Shining Moments, Robert Baird

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I know it is hard to read this sign, but it reads:
Trucks Entering Higway

Then someone noticed their mistake and put a little carrot mark with the "H."

It makes me laugh every time we drive by. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

High Heels

The other day Adrie was helping me put the finishing touches on my Sunday outfit. Translation: Adrie was going through my small collection of shoes trying to pick the right pair.  She has been asking for high heels since she was three.  For the millionth time she asked when she could get high heels and I said "OK, A, you can probably get high heels when you are 15." 

She said "Oh!  Lucky Joseph!  He only has a year to wait!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Washing Dishes

Katie was on dish duty this week.  I left her for a few minutes to finish up the last dish.  When I came back she had figured out a better way to wash dishes.