March 28, 2009

"Who Are You?"

That is the question that the caterpillar asks Alice in the play (musical), Alice in Wonderland. Brennen was part of the cast in the Intermediate school production. My husband and I were very impressed with these 6th and 7th grade performers. Who knew there was so much talent at these young ages! It was fun and well done. Brennen did well and looked like he was enjoying himself. He was a starfish in the caucus race and part of the chorus. (I didn't know there were starfish in Alice in Wonderland either). The version performed was actually Disney's Alice in Wonderland Junior, adapted for younger ages. The music was fun. The song "Zippity Doo Da" is in it and my little kids have been singing it all week.

Back to the question, "Who are you?" Alice is having a hard time figuring out who she is and who she wants to be in the strange imaginary world she is in. The caterpillar advises her to just be herself. (I wish I could remember the exact line). And that is the message of the play. Be yourself.

In our lives there are many roles we play. For me, Wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, relief society sister, school volunteer, household CEO. All of those titles really are about others. But there are some roles that we need to remember are for us. For me some of those include athlete--any sport but especially volleyball--musician, cross stitcher, writer. It is important during the years of parenting that you don't lose your individual identity to motherhood. It is true that you are needed and demanded very much by your children and spouse, but make sure you take time to remember the individual that you are and the talents and likes and hobbies that make you YOU. And of course, don't forget the most important title you have: A child of God.

March 25, 2009

Just Wondering...

Why is it that hours after you mop your floor, someone spills orange juice on it? It hasn't been mopped for, say 3 days or even a week, and during the interim no one spilled anything. Yet the day you wash it, it gets spilled on.


The day you wash the bathroom rugs (which only happens once in a blue moon or when guests are coming) someone drops a glob of toothpaste on it?

or worse yet

The day after you put fresh clean sheets on your bed (and I admit I don't change sheets regularly) a child napping in your bed wets it? I won't name the child but it wasn't my two-year old, it was another child that stayed home from school sick.

March 23, 2009


Tonight for family night treats I made donuts from biscuits. You know, the canned biscuits you put a hole in and fry in hot oil and then cover in cinnamon. Apparently I haven't made those in ages. My family was very impressed. In fact Brennen asked me where I got the idea. "On the internet?" He asked. Sheesh. This is a treat I grew up with, and have a very fun memory making them with my grandpa on a rainy day.

Speaking of Brennen, he is growing up. I realize that all my kids are growing and they can't stay small forever, but it is funny how it sneaks up on you sometimes. He is 11, soon to be 12. It won't be long until he grows taller, catching up with his ever growing feet and lanky arms and legs. A new trimester of school started a few weeks ago. (I don't understand why we don't have semesters like the rest of the country...) So he is in 6th grade PE this trimester. He came home and told me all the things he needs for PE, besides his uniform. Towel, soap, deodorant. Deodorant? He's too little. You would think this changing into an adolescent thing wouldn't bother so much since I have already been through it before. I have gotten used to Dustin's deep voice and that fact that he is taller than me, and has "man" muscles that are useful to me when unloading 25 lb bags of sugar from the car. But I am not ready for that to happen to Brennen.
But it will. Soon.

March 18, 2009

Green Feet

St. Patrick's day held fun surprises for Andy after all. He came home from school so excited to tell me that his teacher had green feet! She drank green leprachun juice and it turned her feet green. But only if grown-ups drink it. Kids can drink it and nothing will happen. Apparently all the first grade teachers had green feet after drinking the juice with the kids! So a warning to all parents and grown-ups: DON'T DRINK THE GREEN JUICE OR YOU WILL HAVE GREEN FEET.

March 17, 2009

Green Pancakes and Cleaning

I tried to be a fun mom this morning but it didn't work out too well. I made green pancakes for St. Patricks Day. It was actually my 11 year old's idea. However, I forgot that my 7 year old has a hard time with change, as do many children with ADHD. He would not eat them even though I tried to convince him that I just put food coloring in them, just like on his birthday cake when I made green frosting. He would have none of it, convinced that they would taste bad. During all this I remembered that last year the same thing happened--I made green pancakes and Andy had a fit. (I will make a mental note of this and try really hard to remember NOT to make green pancakes next St. Patrick's Day). His dad made him eggs--but not green ones with ham.

The funny thing is that this kid usually eats anything! He loves his vegatables and anything else we give him--except cold cereal. He eats and eats like you wouldn't believe. You couldn't tell by looking at his skinny body, because he burns it well with all the energy he uses.

On another topic, Spring Cleaning is in full swing at our house. I am starting to get overwhelmed with all that needs to get cleaned so our house looks tip-top for perspective buyers. We have thrown lots of away and make several donation trips to the thrift store. When did we get all this stuff? I have cleaned closets, scrubbed walls, boxed up toys and clothes and junk, and am takling the bathrooms. I don't think the house has been cleaned like this since we moved in. Of course after we moved in we added three children to our family. At this point I am thinking, if someone doesn't want to buy my house without it sparkling, than tough!

My daughter is bugging me to exercise. She likes to exercise with me so I better get going. What good movitation she is! (Then we are going to eat chocolate muffins for our snack).

March 16, 2009

Hard News

A friend of mine found out a few weeks ago that she has breast cancer. We're not close friends, but she is in my church ward. We used to work in the nursery together and got to know and love each other. But since then, and after our boys got out of cub scouts our paths really don't cross that much. We still talk, and say hello in passing.

I can't imagine what she is thinking, what goes through her mind everyday. It's not happening to me, yet the news is hard for me to take. I want to cry for her. I suppose I have never known personally anyone who had cancer or a serious illness. (okay, I take that back. As I write this I realize that my sister has had Lupus since she was 9 years old).

The news was a shock for her as she found out after her yearly mammogram. I know that the last week or two have been spent waiting and wondering--waiting for tests and results and doctor appointments. Her surgery is schedule for next week.

I know through experience that hard times bring you closer to your family and to the Lord, so I do know that she will have plenty of support on her side and she won't be alone in her battle. I think of her often and wish I knew what I could say to her, or do for her. Yet I know the kind of person she is and do not doubt that she will find the strength and courage and faith inside herself to get through this challenge.

Sherrie, I'm praying for you and want to thank you for the example you are to me. May the Lord carry you if the journey gets difficult.

March 11, 2009

Ready and Willing to Serve

I received a calling in my ward to teach the 15/16 year old Sunday School class. Not a big deal, you might think, or even "oh dear!" However, this calling is significant for me. I have been playing the piano in Relief Society for about two and a half years, and will continue to do so. This 'Sunday only' calling has been perfect for me. Not much prep time and I don't really even have to think about it during the week. But it's also representative of my illness. It was the only calling I had been capable of, so to say, for a while.

It was in February two years ago when I met with the stake president. I had a stake calling at the time which was fairly demanding of my time, and required decision making and me being "in charge." With three kids age 4 and under and my husband's calling as the scout master, it would have been hard anyway, but add what I was dealing with fighting depression, I was struggling. So I met with the stake president to talk with him about what was going on in my life so he could be aware. We talked and had a prayer, and I left his office released. Not what I was expecting, but he felt that taking care of me and my family was most important. I had very mixed feelings. I was relieved, yet in a way felt like a failure, though I know I wasn't. Since then, other than being a visiting teacher, I have had an "easy calling" as the Relief Society pianist.

After a while though, I started feeling bad because I wasn't asked to serve in any other way. Did the Lord not think I could handle anything else? Could I handle it? The primary, young women, and Relief Society presidencies were all changed in time which mean callings have to shuffle, yet none came my way. Some of my friends in the ward had two callings.

Last fall I met with my Bishop and had a great talk. He explained that my name had come up for callings at times, but it just never seemed to be right. Of course last summer was so challenging for me and my family as we got the business going, that I felt he was right. But the bishop gave me great counsel: "You can serve in so many other ways. You don't have to have a title." So I have been trying to heed that advice.

In January I was called to be the young women basketball coach. Yay! Something right up my alley. And then just as basketball was ending I was called to teach Sunday School. It has only been three lessons, but I think it is going to be a good challenge. I am very excited, and maybe humbled, that I am finally ready for a challenge!

March 10, 2009

Snow, Snow Go Away

Last week I wore sandals! I took my kids to the park twice. I went on several walks. And the grass was visible all over town. I even had three crocuses showing their heads--two lavendars and a yellow.

But spring is in hiding again. There is maybe 2 feet of snow hiding the grass and spring sprouts once again. Bummer. I am sooo ready for winter to be over.

March 9, 2009

New Mexico, Here We Come!

We are moving. Not just to a new house or a new neighborhood, but to a new state. We are going foreign--to NEW MEXICO! kidding--I know that New Mexico is one of the 50. It amazes me however that some people don't seem to understand that. I have had comments like "You sure speak really good English", "I couldn't tell by looking at you that you are from New Mexico" and "Do you eat chips and salsa at every meal?" when people find out I grew up in New Mexico.

Anyway, I am taking my hubby and my kids to the Land of Enchantment so I can live by my family. Which means taking them away from Scott's family. Which I feel bad about. But it's not like we are leaving them to go to no family at all. We've been married almost 17 years now livining Utah, so I convinced my husband it's time to move to the other family. And honestly, I think it's meant to be. (stay with me, this might be a long story...)

I started thinking seriously about moving a few years ago after my parents got back from their mission. Cameron is my last baby, after all, and I want to share my kids with my parents. When I first brought up the idea, Scott was reluctant because he didn't want to leave his job. However, he has always wanted his own business and is constantly checking out opportunities. After years of looking, it just so happens that he found one! And he can do it at home anywhere where there is internet connections! So guess what I said after we got the business up and going? Time to move to NM.

The next thing that seemed to fall into place was a search for a house. We need at least 5 bedrooms, or 4 bedrooms and an office. And it can't be too pricey because as it is, it may be hard to get a loan while self-employed. It isn't too easy finding a house that big in our price range. But my brother, who lives in the town we are moving too, was remarried last spring. It just so happens that his wife has a five bedroom house that she would like to sell. They had been renting it but now the renters left. It needs some work, but the price is right, it is in a nice neighborhood, and only about 5 minutes from my parents!

This weekend we are making a quick trip down to see the house again as our new house and see what needs to be done before we move in. Then the two little kids and I are staying a few more days and coming back with my parents the middle of next week. Maybe my sister and I can find time to slap some paint on the walls while I am there!

We are planning to move after school is out. Our house will go up for sale in a week or two.

It's really happening . . .

and a side note: Scott's parents are leaving on a mission this fall so the timing of the move is good for everyone!

March 7, 2009

Mom Is Taking a Bath

Scott found this a few years ago when he gave a talk on Mother's Day. He knows how much I treasure hot baths! I found it again at

Dear Kids,
Don't be alarmed; the world isn't coming to an end. I am simply taking a bath. It will take about 30 minutes and will involve soap and water.
Yes, I know how to swim. Even if I didn't, forcing myself to drown in a half-inch of lukewarm water is more work than I've got energy for. (Which reminds me, I'm all for science projects, but the next time you want to see if Play-Doh floats, use cold water.)
Don't panic if I'm not out right on time. I've heard that people don't dissolve in water, and I'd like to test the theory.
While I'm in the tub, I'd like you to remember a few things:
The large slab of wood between us is called a door. Do not bang to hear my voice. I promise that even though you can't see me, I am on the other side. I'm not digging an escape tunnel and running for the border, no matter what I said a while ago. I didn't mean it. Honest.
There will be plenty of time later to tell me about your day. "Later" means at a time when I am no longer naked, wet and contemplating the bubble gum in the blow dryer. I know you have important things to tell me. (Please let one of them be that you have invented a new way to blow bubbles, not a new way to add gum to your hair...)
Believe it or not, shouting, "TELEPHONE!" through the closed bathroom door will not make the phone stop ringing. Answer it and take a message. Since Amazing Mind-Reading Mom has the day off, you'll need to write that message down. Use paper and a pencil. Do not use your brother and the laundry marker. We can't send him to school with telephone-number tattoos.
Water makes me wet, not deaf. I can still tell the difference between the sound of "nothing" and the sound of a child playing the piano with a basketball. I can also hear you tattling at the top of your lungs. I'm choosing not to answer you.
Don't call your dad at work and tell him I am unconscious in the bathroom.
No matter how much I would like it, water does not make me forgetful. I remember who you are and why you are grounded. No, you can't go to Shelby's house to play. No, you can't go to Shelby's house to use the bathroom. If someone is in our other bathroom, you will just have to think dry thoughts and wait. Unless you have four feet and a tail, do not think of going outside to "water" the lawn. I know the dog does it. The neighbors don't feel the need to call me when the dog does it.
Unless the house catches fire, stay inside and keep the doors locked.
Do not go outside and throw rocks at the bathroom window to get my attention. I know it works in the movies, but this is reality, a place where people don't like to sit in a tub while rocks and broken glass rain down on them.
Do not set the house on fire. Call me if there is an emergency.
Emergencies are:
Dad has fallen off the roof.
Your brother and/or sister is bleeding.
There's a red fire truck in front of our house.
Emergencies are not:
Dad has fallen asleep.
Someone on TV is bleeding.
There's a red pickup truck in front of our house.
By the way, all Play-Doh experiments are hereby canceled.
Be good. Entertain yourselves. (Yes, you can do both at the same time.)
Try coloring, playing a game or paying that stack of bills on the coffee table.
I'll be out soon. Maybe.
Love, Mom

March 5, 2009

How Not to go Grocery Shopping

Invite someone over for lunch on the morning you are planning to grocery shop. You know you will have plenty of time. However, before you know it is 10:30. Gotta go. Dress Cameron all the way and have him go potty first. Find out the toilet is plugged up. That's okay. Tell Scott to take care of that. Get ready to leave and remember that you haven't cut your coupons yet. Search for the coupons on your list. Is it really worth it, cutting out these 50 cent things? Finally get the kids buckled in the car while realizing they still have grape juice on their face from last night and Janessa's hair didn't get combed. Luckily there is wet wipes in the car. Hand them one as you are driving out of the driveway. Of couse Janessa refuses to wash her face because she doesn't want to wipe off her lip gloss.
Stop at the bank to get something notorized and mailed because your husband is moving his 401K somewhere else and asked you to. Wait while the person you need is on the phone. Cameron acts like he wants to go potty. He is babbling something and pointing to his pants. Find the bathrooms locked. Oh well. Hopefully he won't wet his pants. He just went 1/2 hour ago after all. Finally leave the bank. Get almost to the grocery store and remember you didn't stop by your ward member's house to get the prepaid grocery cards you are using to support the scout fund-raiser. Go back and pick up cards. Get to the store realizing you didn't bring your new insurance card to get your prescription refill. Cameron wants the car shopping cart. It is stuck behind other carts and so put Cameron in another cart under protest. He starts screaming and trying to climb out as you push your way to the back of the store. Janessa is pointing out that Cameron might fall and is getting very worried and continues to talk loudly over Cameron. Cameron continues to scream. Leave the store with the 3 items you need most plus a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Vow to go shopping this afternoon by yourself during Brennen's guitar lesson.

Notes to Myself

--Don't let Janessa wake up before 6:30.
That is too much time before Andy and the other boys go to school for her to not get most of my attention.

--Don't talk out loud to myself when preparing my shopping list.
I commented about a "pint" of ice cream (from the ad) saying that isn't very much ice cream. Of course she heard me and asked what is a pint. I gave a short answer like "a little jar". Then she proceeded to ask me if it was "this much?" showing me her fingers width apart. As I wasn't really paying attention to her, she got upset and kept asking me. Finally I told her that a little jar under the sink is a pint (I keep my empty bottles under there until it's too full and then take then down to the store room). She came back to me with a small jam jar. "This?" "No. A bigger small one." "Well you said the smallest one." I know but I didn't know there were little ones like that under there." etc. etc. She was eventually satisfied and now she is educated on how much a pint is. I even got a quart jar out and explained that if she filled up the pint two times and dumped it into the bigger jar, it would fill it up.

--Don't ask Janessa to wake up Andy.
Janessa ran down to tell Andy is was time to get up. A few seconds later I hear yelling and arguing. She is doing most of the yelling. I call her back upstairs and explain she doesn't have to argue with him, just tell him it's time to wake up. She mad because he is not getting out of bed and coming upstairs. I tell her it isn't her job to get him upstairs, just to tell him. Whatever . . .

--A half and a half don't necessarily make a whole.
I gave Andy half a peanut butter sandwich this morning for breakfast to go with his chocolate Slimfast protein shake. He wanted a whole one. "I can eat a whole you know." I tell him I will make him another one when he is almost done with that one--I'm not sure if today is a big breakfast day for him or not. You know, you don't want to waste that piece of bread. He tells me when he needs another sandwich--a WHOLE one. I remind him that he already had half so I will make him another half, and that will make a whole. Not good enough. He said that I said he could have a whole sandwich after he ate that one. Fine. He ate one and a half peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast and drank some of his chocolate milk/shake. (if you are wondering, he doesn't like cold cereal and PB&J is a quick breakfast on those days when I don't make hot breakfasts).

--Don't try to understand Janessa's logic when finding her a website to play on.
"Just because I say the coloring one doesn't mean I want to color."

March 3, 2009

Where Did My Baby Go?

He can’t talk, but he can use the toilet. Hooray! Cameron is a BIG boy! I am almost through with diapers forever! (I guess I am afraid to say that I am through—this has been too easy!) When he has to go, he just goes into the bathroom and goes. Then he comes and gets me to show me. But lately, he hasn’t shown me, I just see it in his little potty. However, there is a catch. He has to be bare-bummed. So for the past week he has been running around the house mooning us. I do put long shirts on him so he’s covered a little. When he has underwear or pull-ups on, he forgets to use the potty. We will be working on that this week, as I realize he does have to wear pants in public.

About his speech. He is talking more and more. Even putting words together and all. We just can’t understand him. I can only understand if I know what he is talking about. He says “thank you” but you would never know that’s what he said if you hadn’t just helped him or given him something. And we understand all our names, but besides Mama and Dada, Janessa’s is the only one that is close—“Sessa.” Dustin is “Ga-ga.” ?? Brennen’s “Bubbu” at least had a B sound in it. Andy is just “Ah-h”. Though it is frustrating for now, I know it will all come in good time.

Oh, if you are wondering, he knows the sign for potty and does say “pa-pa” (not sure if that is potty or pee-pee) so hopefully the communication there will be okay. Or he just pulls me to the bathroom. (That is his main mode of communicating—pulling me).