December 15, 2010

Feel Good Moments

One morning as I was returning home from taking Brennen to school, I happened upon a some geese flying into the park.  The sun was just coming up and  I was looking at them from behind and it was beautiful how the sun was shining illuminating the geese so they were almost silhouettes.  Well, I really can't describe it.  But it reminded me of a painting or something where bird's bodies are more like an outline, (you know, how you draw like an "m" for a bird in the sky).  okay...words aren't working here but for a moment, it was beautiful watching the geese fly into the park and land on the grass and I felt warm fuzzies.

moving on...

Brennen is 13 and he looks 13 or maybe 11. He is a pretty quiet fellow and though he assures me he has friends at school, there are never any at our house, nor does he 'hang' with anyone on a regular basis--just occasionally with the boys in the neighborhood.  He is a very talented musician.  He decided to play the piano and sing for the school talent show.  He downloaded the sheet music for "Over My Head" by the Fray and learned it the accompaniment but decided to have someone else sing.  He asked one girl and before he knew it 4 girls wanted to sing.  So one night three girls showed up at our house for rehearsal (don't know what happened to the 4th one). And you know how girls look when they are in middle school--older than the 13 year old boys.  It was so cute to see Brennen and these girls.  (only a mom would say that).  They call him Starfish because he was in "Alice in Wonderland" as a starfish and still wears the t-shirt/jersey occasionally that says "starfish" on it. so cute.  Made me feel good to see Brennen being social.


I have recently had the privilege of being around a newly returned missionary.  He is still glowing.  I always feel that baby's eyes shine with the light of Christ and Jacob fits that description too.  He is shining with the light of Christ.

My nephew arrived home late Saturday nighte after two years of teaching the gospel in Columbia. My family and I heard him speak in church and then went to my brother's house on Monday night for a welcome home party. Jacob sat with us and answered questions about his experience.  It was lovely.  Kind of a funny word but I can't think of a better one.  He is so happy and fills the room with his happiness.  He shared how his went on his mission just because he knew since he was young that he would, but messed around before hand and really didn't prepare very well. Yet while he was out serving a great change came over him and he now has such a marvelous love for the Savior, and feels that love from Him, and a has an incredible testimony of prayer.  Andy even told me after church that he "felt so happy when Jacob was speaking that he cried a couple times."  

It is interesting how we send our knuckle-head (as my brother often referred to him) 19 year-olds on missions and they come back so different.  It just felt so good to be around him and look at his happy face, and into those bright eyes.  

December 14, 2010

Stocking Stuff

This morning my youngest came to me in the kitchen so sad.  "I can't find a stocking for me." he said.

We put the Christmas tree up late last week but I haven't finished decorating the house, and though decorations and most of the stockings are still in the Christmas boxes, there are some stockings floating around, and he couldn't find one with his name on it (for he can read his name now). I can say that yes, Cameron has a stocking with his name on it, but sadly, it doesn't match the rest of the families'.

Last time we made stockings (or rather bought some and wrote names on them with glitter glue/paint stuff) was Andy's first Christmas.  It was a few months later that we excitedly and surprisingly found out I was pregnant after almost 6 years.  Janessa's first Christmas I found a matching stocking and she actually fit into it! and we took a picture of her int it.  Funny, but at the time I had the idea to buy 2 stockings "just in case" but I didn't imagine I would get pregnant again, plus I had my hands full with two babies already, so I only bought one.  Needless to say when Cameron's first Christmas came along 2 years later, I couldn't find a matching stocking.  And every year since I have been meaning to do new stockings...

There are many advantages to being the youngest, and sometimes there are not.  I did find Cameron a stocking with his name on it.  I don't know yet if he noticed it doesn't look like everyone else's.

November 18, 2010

Home Improvements

There is a light switch in my room that does nothing.  There is no ceiling light and none of the outlets are connected to the switch.  Even though I have lived in this house for over a year, I still flip the switch most times when I walk in my room expecting a light to come on.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I came home from shopping the other day and my husband was installing a ceiling light in our room!  We could tell from the 'uneveness' or whathaveyou of the texture of the ceiling that there must have at one time been a fixture there.  So Scott climbed into the attic, found the (what's that technical jargon...?) thing and wires to connect a light to, and cut a hole in the ceiling to get to it, and hooked up a new light fixture.  Awesome.  Now when I turn on the light switch I have light!  I had no idea it was even on his to do list.

And last week ago Scott and Brennen built me a food storage shelf.  We have no pantry or storeroom to speak of. So I have food in the laundry room and Scott's office, which are both off of the kitchen.  I decided I needed a shelf to put all those bottles of grape juice I did.  And applesauce and next year's peaches (I didn't do any of those this year).  I designed a shelf for the laundry room deep enough to hold 3 quart-sized bottles, and 2 #10 cans (the kind we Mormons get from the dry pack cannery), and just tall enough to maximize space. If you are curious, each shelf is 12 and 3/4 inches deep and 7 and 1/2 inches apart (high).   And the shelves had to fit between the garage door and the door to the backyard.  I designed them and my boys put them up.  Aren't they beautiful?!?

(note on the right side my genius husband put nails to hold our tape!)
and I really don't have that many bottles of juice -- I mean they are not "3 deep"-- a lot are just at the front so it looks like more, you know, for a better picture...

November 11, 2010

Why oh Why

These are my oldest boys enjoying the use of laptop computers courtesy of the school.
Every student in the Farmington district from 6-12 grade is issued a laptop.  In a time when art programs and music programs, positions and teachers' pay are being cut, let's put a computer in the hands of every student.  Why?!? Of course the computers come from grant money so it is different from the budget.  whatever.

Do you think these boys (in the picture) are doing homework?  no no no.  Games.  The computers come with wireless internet. And of course it is 'filtered' so they can't access everything on the internet.  yeah right.  filters only do so much and any kid who wants to can find ways around the filter.  It just makes me upset and frustrated as a parent that in today's world with all the technology, challenges, and temptations that exist for our kids today that the public education system would provide them with a tool to make it easier for kids access harmful things.  Yes, parents should monitor their kids and communicate and be open and all that.  As a parent I can limit the technology my kid has, such as smart phones and itouches with browsers, etc., and put my home computer in the dining room, but what do I do when the school gives them laptops?  Kids can go anywhere there is free wi-fi and do whatever they want on their computers.  I can teach my kids, but I can't hold their hands and be with them everywhere.

Yes, this picture of my boys is in their bedroom, and we have since made a rule that they can only use their computers in the living room and dining room.

Why do the laptops need wireless internet?  Supposedly the textbooks are on the computers.  (my junior says that his teachers don't even use the computers).  Can't they access textbooks without a wireless internet?  I am not a computer tech so I don't know much about how that works, but I am sure I could figure out a way to use the computers without wireless access away from school.  I am mad and that my kids have something in their hands that opens up danger and temptation that they don't need at this young age.  And also something that gives them less personal interaction with family and peers.  I know that one day my kids will be on their own and have to make choices then, but they will be older, more mature and able to handle things better.  Right now they are teenagers with teenage brains trying to figure out the world.  They don't need help of laptops and the internet at their fingertips!!

November 10, 2010

Love and Marriage

Scott and I celebrated 18 years of marriage this past weekend.  

Our life together has included . . .

2 Bachelor's degrees (his: accounting,  mine: business education) 

5 children 

4 apartments

4 houses

5 cities (Logan, Salt Lake, West Valley, Brigham City UT, and Farmington NM)

Lots of memories and adventures, up and downs, trials and triumphs, love for the gospel and each other.   

We found out quickly enough that we got married the wrong time of year--the winding down of volleyball season. because I am such a volleyball nut.  Whether I was coaching and it was state tournament (way back in my 'other' life), or whether I was/am playing for city leagues or church, or we were both playing church co-ed, there always seems to be some type of volleyball during the first weekend of November!  So appropriately, we watched the high school district title volleyball game together Saturday night as part of our long date that involved the whole afternoon and evening.  I guess he knew marrying me included volleyball...

October 19, 2010

Say What?

A conversation with Cameron while working on speech homework.

Me:  "That was great! Miss Jodi will be so proud!"
Cam:  "My school is far far away."
Me: "Yes, it kind of is."
Cam:  "Miss Jodi can't even hear me!"

October 12, 2010

Girl Talk

When I was driving home from Wal-mart with Janessa yesterday, I got a glimpse into her first grade world:
"I don't think Kelsey and Lola even know what is means to have a boy friend.  They just keep breaking up and then make a new boy friend with someone else."

I didn't have the insight to ask her what she thinks it means to have a boy friend.  But I am glad she thinks it means more than that.

Oh dear! What am I going to do in 10 years (or less)?  And too bad she is so darn cute.

October 8, 2010

The Collection

What do little boys do at their big brother's soccer game?  Collect things.  There are all kinds of cool things in and around the high school bleachers collect.  Lids from water bottles and Gatorade, pop can tabs, broken balloons, pieces of metal, zip ties, feathers, candy wrappers, ticket stubs, pens and pencils...

Andy's collection

Andy had a great time at the game last night.  Janessa and Cameron followed his lead but soon found other things to do so their collections were pretty meager.

By the way, Dustin won his game.  It was great weather, and we also got a lightening show out east (far enough away from the game) and a beautiful sunset.  Fall is awesome! 

October 5, 2010


Don't you just love it (not) when your kid leaves her lunch box at school and when she does bring it home it has a squishy black banana inside that has leaked in her backpack and on her homework folder?

October 3, 2010

Glamour Girl

Here is link to a Janessa's photo shoot at Lydia Jane Images.  My baby girl is going to be 7 next month!

September 30, 2010


What a CUTE baby!!! 

Sometime during all our summer fun, Cameron turned 4!  He wanted a Spiderman cake.  

And we took him to dinner at "Chinese" per his request.   My baby is growing up.  He is so fun.  Loves Honeynut Cheerios and would eat them for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner if he could.  He loves to dress up--reminds me of his older brother Dustin.   

 The bouncy toy he got as a gift.
Being silly one day 'dressing up' with a hat and beard and necklace.  I had some great shots of him and his dress-ups but they are on my lost phone.  He particularly likes hats.  He wore his wizard hat to the store and the library one day.  He put smiles on lots of peoples faces with that.

This fall he started laser treatments for the port wine stain on his face and neck.  He will have one every two or three months for a year or so.  Kind of a wait and see thing as to how many treatments.  We go to Albuquerque to the UNM Children's Hospital.   He is put under anesthesia.  From the time he went back to the OR and when they came and got me while he was waking up was an hour.  Not very long.  He looks very bruised at first but the bruising goes away pretty quickly and should all be gone after two weeks.
being silly at the hospital before the procedure
He seemed okay with everything.  His face seemed to hurt when I had to put the vaseline and sunscreen on and when he took his shirts off, but other than that it didn't seem to bother him.  The day after I asked him if he wanted to go to school (preschool) and he said "Well, I can't go to school with dots all over my face!"  Very cute.  

One day after  

One week after

The goal of the laser is to lighten it up, (make it less noticeable), but also to prevent further complications and tissue growth later in life. 

September 24, 2010

A New Backyard


This isn't a great picture, but it shows the fence just behind the pool and behind that is gravel that goes out to the side walk/road.  To the right where you can't see is a patch of weeds and a carport.  

(there is a gate at the end of the driveway so we can use the carport if we so desire--like when we get a camper trailer??) 

I had some other pictures I wanted to post of the progress of the yard:  fence building, the family working together to move all the gravel, my brother using his tractor thing to pull out metal fence posts, bringing dirt, getting sprinklers in, laying sod...But alas, I lost my phone where all the pictures are.  I know I need to use a real camera, but a phone is just so much handier!  I am so sad that I didn't get all my pictures off my phone from the last year of my life.  soo soo sad.

Anyway, I am soo soo happy to have a backyard with grass and a fence!  What a great hubby and family I have to work so hard to make it happen! 

September 23, 2010

A Story About Bread, sort of

It's funny how things seemingly unrelated affect each other, or somehow become intertwined.  Like an episode of Seinfeld.  (you know, by the end of the show all the little story lines seemed to come together...)

A few days ago the window on the driver's side of the van got stuck in the open position--all the way down. Little did I know it was going to hinder breakfast this morning.

We have a one car garage that is filled with bikes, motorbikes, and all kinds of stuff besides a car.  My honey decided to make room for the van in the garage until the window gets fixed.  For safety and keeping the rain out. And it did rain last night.

This morning I decided to make french toast for breakfast.  But halfway through I realize that I will need more bread which is in the freezer in the garage.  I manage my way through the laundry room, which is piled with stuff from the garage, without falling and get to the garage door.  I realize however after I open the door there is no way to get the freezer open with the van there.  Scott notices what I am doing and inquires.  He said he will move the van.  He did but I still couldn't open the freezer because one of the motorcycles was barely in the way and not worth the effort.

He inquires again if I got the bread.  I say no but don't explain.  He said "I made the effort to move the van so I will get the bread."  He came back in a few minutes laughing.  I am very grateful he was laughing.  He said "There is no bread in the freezer!"

I told the kids who hadn't had french toast yet to have frozen waffles. (which of course was okay with J because she doesn't like french toast anyway).

Let me ask you, how many of your husbands would have been laughing?  I can just imagine some saying something like "All that and there isn't even bread in the freezer?"  Why can't you keep it stocked up?  How can we run out of bread?  It is the main staple for our kids and some of them will be malnourished without their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."  I have a great husband who has a great sense of humor and can see the funny in situations instead of always getting upset.  And he picked a great day to roll with the punches because I didn't wake up in a "Ready For a Brand New Day!" mood.  I love him.

For the record, I haven't run out of bread for a long time.  butter, eggs, bananas, yogurt, peanut butter, yes-- but not bread.

September 8, 2010

Lots Happening

One of these days I want to get back to posting regularly.  And not just family updates, but for now...

After 5 doctors' appointments, 3 x-rays, 2 different antibiotics and 11 days of missed school, Brennen is all better.  Anxious mommy here for a while, but really no need to have been. And like the doctor said, he was lucky to have stayed out of the hospital.

I am headed to New York!  To the Village of Palmyra.  My parents are there on a mission and my sisters and I going for a visit.  So amazing hubby and the kids will be on their own


for Dustin who is getting on a Greyhound bus and heading to Brigham City for Peach Days to hang out with his buddies he left behind when we moved.  Ah, to be a teenager again and live for the social scene and not much else.  Well actually I would never want to be a teenager again and I am not really thrilled that he chose to miss two soccer games and spend his money on a bus ticket so he could go 'hang out' and really do nothing.  But of course I live for sports and not much could have pulled me away from games when I was in high school (yet my kids just didn't inherit my competitiveness) and my husband reminded me that I am sometimes too frugal with my money.  different strokes for different folks.

We had a great time camping in the beautiful Colorado mountains.  We tried to hike a trail that we used to hike when I was a kid that went to a waterfall.  I think the last time I did it was at least 10 years ago.  I got my family together and two of my nephews and discovered that the trail sort of disappeared.  It was great at first but then it split to go up and we were supposed to stay down near the river and there wasn't really a trail anymore so we had rough terrain until we got back to the river.  Long story, but the river has changed over the years and we never made it to the waterfall.  Just played in the river and climbed on the HUGE rocks.  It was still fun, but the moral of the story is scout it out before you are the leader of a hike that you haven't been on for many many years.  I have pictures of the big rocks.

And back to my trip...I was getting Sunday clothes ready for the kids before I leave.  I did most ALL the laundry in the house which is a great accomplishment.  Anyway, I open Janessa's drawer to look for some white lacey socks and what I find a bunch of dirty church socks in her drawer.  Some aren't that dirty depending on how soon she took them off after church, but still.  How many times has she worn them to church without them being washed?  Of course I should be proud that she put them away and they weren't under her bed.  I am sure nobody will notice that her socks are a little dingy on Sunday.  Because apparently I haven't noticed it, or that her socks haven't been coming through the wash.

Sadly, I am leaving a sick child.  Andy has missed school all week because of a sinus infection.  He has been on antibiotics for two days but hasn't improved yet.  I am sure he will be just fine and the meds will start kicking in tomorrow.  Overall, he is probably my healthiest child.  He rarely gets sick.  We all get the stomach bug, and it will miss him.  When the kids pass a cold around, he doesn't usually get it.  However, when he was a baby he was sick all the time for about the first two years of his life.  His immunity wasn't great, but now it is built up wonderfully and most of the time he is as healthy as a horse.  I think it might be because the germs can't keep up with him.

And now, most wonderful news!  We have a backyard!! A beautiful wood fence and grass.  We laid the sod the week before Labor Day.

August 24, 2010

A Rough Start for 8th Grade

I could tell it was time for school to start because my supply of Ramen noodles, Mac & Cheese, and peanut butter dwindled considerably.  I actually ran out of creamy peanut butter this week--something I am usually abundantly stocked up on (though there are still 3 or 4 jars of crunchy on the shelf...).

Things were off to a good start last Monday.  Lots of papers to read and sign and the like.  Figuring out teacher's homework systems and such.  Dustin is playing on the high school soccer team so had to change his schedule to add soccer for the last class of the day, which meant dropping another class.  His coach voted for seminary (religion class), but we said no to that and instead he dropped pre-calculus (it's okay--he isn't going into engineering).  Brennen changed from percussion to saxophone in the band so we 'enjoyed' hearing the sounds of his first practice sessions.  ("What is that sound Mom?") 

But then Brennen was home sick on Wednesday.  Had a fever.  Tried to go back to school on Thursday but the nurse called me at 11:00 to come and get him.  Fever was back.  A visit to the doctor revealed pneumonia.  Took me by surprise, but okay, we can deal with that.  Got him on antibiotics and scheduled another appointment for Monday. 

However, I didn't know that pneumonia is so hard to fight off.  I assumed he would take antibiotics and be back to school by the begining of the week.  Wrong.  Had a fever Monday (though it was gone most of Saturday and Sunday).  He had developed a pretty bad cough over the weekend.  X-ray showed no improvement.  Oxygen level was down from Friday.  Doctor said he won't be going to school this week.  Drink lots of fluids, if he has trouble breathing, go to the ER.  We have to keep an eye on this.  Come back in two days.  Little more serious this time.

So today I am a little unfocused.  Brennen doesn't seem too sick.  I mean he is tired and laying around but still up and doing stuff too.  And coughing A LOT.  But I am anxious all day.  Not just about his illness but about all the school he is missing--the first two weeks of 8th grade.  And how do you 'take care' of a sick 13 year old? I mean what does he need from me?  (Its not like a little kid who you rock and hold all day).  A lot on my mind.  Just stuff.


Andy's progress report for the first week comes home yesterday.  Needs improvement on:  listening to the teacher, focusing, and a bunch of other stuff.  We already know that!  And that he needs to practice his handwriting every night at home.  Yes.  We know he can barely write.  But you see, the teachers love Andy and it will be alright.  It is only the first week.  Yet they say third grade is a hard transition.  Hmmm.  And the homework required is 40 minutes:  10 min math facts, 10 minutes spelling, 20 reading.  And she wants us to do handwriting too?  I realize that doesn't sound like too much for 3rd grade but for Andy and me, it is.
I am anxious about all that too.  (I meant to work on handwriting this summer and I did to some extent.  We did a lot of coloring and story writing at the beginning of the summer, and all through the summer we did crafts that focused on his fine motor skills like making bead animals, and cutting and tearing paper, painting).

I couldn't focus on anything today.  Sort of wondering aimlessly.  I did wash and fold two loads of laundry and I could have folded the third in the dryer, but...
I could have cleaned up the lunch dishes but the dishwasher wasn't unloaded.  I could do a lot of things but I don't really know what those things are...because I couldn't focus.  I was just like in a daze all day.
I played with Cameron.  We built a marble run and did some puzzles.  We read.  Finally I gave in and layed on my bed and fell asleep for about an hour.  Until Cam came in because he was hungry.  And then it was about time for the kids to come home.

But--Hooray Hooray--it is date night!  We are going for an early dinner because there is a band meeting at 6:00 at the high school.  My wonderful hubby and I leave at 4:30 with Brennen in charge (who has a fever of about 100) of the three younger ones knowing Dustin will be home soon from soccer practice.  We enjoy a great dinner at Olive Garden and true to their commercials witness lots of "we are family" in the form of other diners coming in and hugging each other--seriously.  (whatever their slogan is--I don't watch a lot of TV but I know it's something like that)

After dinner, Scott stays home to feed the kids and get them ready for bed and I take Dustin to the band meeting which we find out was rescheduled for next week.  We didn't get that email.  I drop Dustin off at home and head to the preschool open house for Cameron (which I wasn't planning on going to because of the band meeting).  It was nice to get out and meet his teacher who said she loves having him and she actually picked him for her class (ooh, how sweet).  And I talk to the speech pathologist who says he is wonderful and that he is gifted. (ahh).  One day we will be able to understand all his 'gifted' talk. I know I shouldn't look to the future and need to focus on the present, but I just can't believe he is going to leave me next year and go to kindergarten all day! (sniff sniff)

On my way home I stop at the grocery store for a few things, like peanut butter.  Skippy is on sale for $1 if you buy 4.  I was planning on buying 8.  They were all out.  I got a great deal on Kraft ranch dressing though.

After being unfocused all day, it was nice to finally get my head back and enjoy the evening.  And when I got home the little kids were in bed!  Thank you sweet hubby. 

I don't know the moral of this post.  I just keep typing.  But I couldn't sleep so you all get to read this very long post. 

I am most interested and anxious to see what the doctor says tomorrow.

August 13, 2010

Someone once said...

"School days are the best days of your life--provided your kids are old enough to go"

3 more days . . .

July 14, 2010


I love the Colorado Mountains.  I grew up camping in them.  It is so great to be back close to them again. 

A few weeks ago we headed north for an hour to Colorado up La Plata Canyon for the day.  We played in the La Plata River, ate lunch, hiked a little bit, and played in the water some more. 

There was a little spring coming out of the ground near the campground that ran down the hill a little bit in a stream and then kind of spread out just soaked up in the ground in a mud hole.  Brennen decided to make the path for the water more defined, and cleaned out the leaves and sticks to make the water run faster.  Basically building a longer stream.  I was playing in the water and mud helping him, because it is fun and relaxing. We made the little 'river' about 10 feet longer. Cameron wanted me for something and I said "Just a minute.  I like playing in the mud".  He replied: "Pigs like to play in mud!"

Andy and Janessa brought their goggles.  (I guess they haven't played in a river enough to know that you don't need goggles).  Andy would put his face in the water to look for fish with his googles.  It was too funny.

Cameron is at an age where everything new is fun.  He wanted to go on a hike.  So he and I set off on a little trail by the campground, went maybe 200 yards, then he happily turned around and started back.  That was such a great hike to him!  He was happy and proud.

It was fun watching my kids have fun.  Throwing rocks into the river, moving rocks around to build 'dams', splashing each other with rocks, wading in the cold water.  Building little streams. 

Scott took a few pictures on his phone, but of course I did not bring a camera.

It is times like these that make all the other days worth it.

The following are pictures I took with my phone (so they aren' that great) last Labor Weekend when we were camping near Pagosa Springs by the Piedra River.  Colorado is just beautiful.

July 6, 2010

One Sunday Morning . . .

Getting ready for church one Sunday --

Andy comes out of his room with his shirt on inside out.  I don't know how he got it buttoned.  I un-buttoned and it, turned it the right way and in the process of buttoning it again and tucking it in his pants, I realized he did not have underwear on.  I sent him to his room to get some on.  Scott is coming down the hall with Andy's shoes and socks ready to help him get them on.  I mention Andy needs to put on underwear, so he goes in with Andy. 

Meantime I am in the bathroom combing Janessa's hair and I hear Scott say "I am going to get a lot of blessings in heaven for helping you so much."  Of course Andy wants to know what blessings in heaven are so Scott gives an explantion of immediate rewards and rewards and blessings you don't see right away.

Later, as we are getting out of the van at church, I notice Andy has red all around his mouth.  He apparently had been eating strawberries.  And there is a bit on his clothes too.  Hmmm. 

Sunday mornings. 

July 4, 2010

My First Born

I need to give some blog time to my oldest son.  He is a bit of a character.  He is out-going and fun-loving.  Defined as: loves to have fun. Pretty easy going and very confident in many ways.  I will give you an example.  He wore this to the youth church dance.  It was NOT a theme dance, just casual dress.

When he was tie dying his pants and shirt he decided to tie dye the dog too.

He has a great tan line on his chest.

He recently went on a 4 day, 3 night pioneer handcart trek with youth from our church stake and surrounding areas.  This was a great experience for him.  He really enjoyed it and when he came home he was so happy and in such a good mood he actually seemed to be glowing (though it might have been the sunburned face).   
He had the most noticeable pants on the trek, I think. 

He just turned 16 and will be getting his driver's license soon.  I think that will be great because he can run errands for me and run kids around!  Driving with him these past few months as he has been learning has been a good experience as we have spent a lot of one on one time in the car together. 

He was ordained a priest a few weeks ago and has been blessing the sacrament in sacrament meeting.  I have to admit I was a little emotional the first time he did it.  I am proud of the choices he is making (except maybe his long hair) and that he is the type of person everyone likes to be around.  Of course he is a teenager so sometimes it seems like his brain is missing, and there are frustrating moments as a parent, but for the most part, I think he is turning out okay.

It is hard for me to think that my job of guiding, nurturing, and teaching him is almost done.  Only two more short years and he will be on his own.  It seems like only yesterday he was dressing up as Batman, Peter Pan, and Superman and playing with pokemon figures and cards.  (Okay-- so he is still "dressing up" as Superman...)

June 25, 2010

A Week Without Dad (and Brennen)

It is Friday evening.  Scott has been at Boy Scout camp since early Monday morning.  I am tired.  I know, he is the one camping, but I am tired.  Maybe he is tired too.  He will get back sometime between 12 and 5 tomorrow. 

I guess this time around it is a little easier.  After all, I am not home alone 8 months pregnant with a 2 year old, 4 year old and 9 year old.  Or home with an 11 month old, and kids ages 3, 5 and 10.  This year Brennen is at camp with Dad, and Dustin is home to help me (when he is home).  And the little kids are older now (8, 6, and almost 4). 

But they still wear me out.  I don't know how single parents do it . . .

(By the way, Scott's arm is pretty much back to normal.  He has almost has full range of motion and is back to his active lifestyle, which includes scouting).

June 10, 2010

Oh What Do You Do in the Summertime?

My kids have already had some sumer adventures, and school has not even been out for three weeks.  In fact, these adventures happened last week all in a two or three day period.

1) Scott was trimming our tree and Andy got the idea to make a jungle.  We have a cement pad (we have lots of cement in our yard...) at the side of our house with a clothes line.  Put the branches atop the clothes line and viola:  
Not a bad little jungle . . .
2) Andy was found in the garage spray painting his bike with his brother's spray paint.  Purple and green if you are wondering. 

3)Research.  Cups of water and dirt and rocks and grass and bits of cheese and some crackers . . . and who knows what else. . . Research. 
(I did say no to the food coloring and they don't know where it is...ha ha ha). (we have had food coloring adventures before.  In fact there is still green food coloring in my deep freezer and garage floor.  Hey, I just realized it matches the spray paint!)

4) What do you have when you get a big bowl, a hose with water, and a big bottle (all of it) of Dawn dishwasher soap?  Lots of bubble fun in the front yard. 

No, I wasn't supervising my children.  I was watching TV, which I rarely do, and hubby wasn't home.  Who knows where the big brothers were.  I should have had a hint about something when Janessa did tell me at one point to come and see their bubble cakes, but I sort of ignored her with something like "okay, in a minute." 

4) I got out some chalk for them to use on the sidewalk.  But it was hot outside.  So naturally they decided to get wet probably by the sprinkler or the little pool.  And the chalk got wet.  And one thing led to another and they decided to have a chalk 'fight' and smear wet chalk all over each other.  Only it wasn't sidewalk chalk, it was regular colored chalkboard chalk from probably the 1970's or something before things were washable that I picked up at an estate sale.  A big box of it.  I didn't know that it wouldn't wash off of them!  I didn't know that they would go to church with their arms and necks and legs looking bruised like they had gotten a good beating!  (Good thing the boys wear long pants). Janessa was the worst because she had been wearing her swimming suit.  They had a shower on Saturday and another good scrubbing on Sunday morning but were still stained).  Unfortunately, I did not get pictures. And for the record--Dustin was babysitting.

Good thing Andy had cub scout day camp most of this week.

June 9, 2010

Out of the Loop

So my son texted me on Sunday while he was on his way to Utah with his dad : "Oh i guess i forgot to tell you but me and sarah broke up yesterday."

Of course we have been discouraging this relationship because they are too young and only wanted them to be friends anyway.  So I am happy that something or someone is getting through to him about steady dating.  (The issue of the New Era, church leaders, maybe parents...) Not that he was actually going on dates with her but they were a "couple". 

Anyway, I mention it to my neighbor, who also has teenage boys, on Monday and she says "Oh.  That is old news. It has been all over facebook for days now." 

Okay, so I am out of the facebook loop because I haven't been on there for ages.  Guess I better log in now and then to keep track of the latest news about my kids...

June 8, 2010

Biggest Berkley Boys' Birthday Bashes

I am now the mom of two teenagers.  When did my babies grow up? 

Dustin turned 16.  I can't believe it was 16 years ago that I welcomed my first baby into this world.  He was the happiest baby and so quick to smile and laugh.  He loved cars and knew the types of car everyone in the neighborhood drove when he was three years old.  (He would point them out to us as we were driving on the freeway or something: "That is the car that so and so has.")  He loved playing pretend and dressing up as superheros.  I learned to let him go to the grocery store or wherever in his costumes.  If you called his name he would say "I am not Dustin, I am Batman."  He has never seemed shy and always been quick to make friends.  He is patient and loving to his siblings who are so much younger than he is.  He is a great young man. 
That is about the same smile he used on his driver's permit picture, also.

Brennen turned 13.  He came into the world with big eyes that almost startled you. Brennen has always been a doer, never content to sit back and watch others do it.  He has great drive and ambition.  He was unscrewing lids and opening doors before he was a year and a half.  And he was a climber.  He is always wondering how things work and pays attention to detail.  He has always been somewhat independent and sometimes too smart for his own good!  He is  a wonderful fun loving kid, who is sensitive to others' needs, helpful and respectful.
(notice he is lighting his own candles)

May 26, 2010

What Kind of Mother Am I...

Yesterday was not a great morning getting kids out the door to school.  The kids were not very cooperative and they picked a bad day for that because Scott was working so not able to help with the morning mayhem as usual.

Anyway, Janessa put on jeans with holes in the knees.  And I let it go because at least she was finally dressed.  However, it was time to go and her hair wasn't combed.  It is hard enough on normal days to comb through her curls, but it had been windy the day before and she spent most of the day at the park on kindergarten field trip which meant her hair was a tangled mess. So I was in no mood to brush through her hair.  I raked my hands through her hair and put in a messy ponytail. 

Yet as she walked out the door I remembered that it was the day for the Kindergarten Completion assembly.

Janessa received two awards and got to go up on the stage twice--once for perfect attendance for the last quarter and an award for OUTSTANDING WRITER in her class.  Then she also got her certificate for completing kindergarten and went on stage again with her class.  All with her messy ponytail (with some hair falling out by then) and holey jeans.  But she didn't care one bit and I don't either really.  I am happy with a child who does well in school and is going to be a great writer someday.  And she is pretty cute, too!

May 21, 2010


It's May.  The month for end of the year band concerts, programs, class field trips, awards assemblies, band banquets, field days--and two soccer parties thrown in there too. . . Did I miss anything?

And don't forget the usual stuff like scout activities and camp-outs, cub scouts, piano lessons.  And this year lots of baseball games (this is a baseball town and it has been in full swing since the middle of April). 

Cameron did very well and was oh so cute in his little pre-school program.  He stood up on the 'stage' and sang songs with the rest of the pre-school.   

The band concerts for both Dustin and Brennen were on the same night at the same time in different places.  (You would think there would be better planning there). I took the little boys with me to Dustin's and Scott took Janessa with him to Brennen's.  Divide and conquer.

During the band banquet, Dustin was named section leader next year for what he refers to as "pit"--or the percussion ensemble of the marching band that doesn't march.  The marimba and xylophone and a bunch of other instruments that I don't know the names of. 
Janessa and Andy had a great time at field day.  And so did Cameron and I. 

rope climbing...

Cup Stacking

Cameron and the BIG ball

May 5, 2010

The End of a Season

Andy and Janessa finished their spring soccer leagues last Saturday.
Funny that we moved 400 miles from Brigham City to Farmington NM and we still have blue/red reversible jerseys!
Andy going for the goal!

Janessa schoolin' the boys.  Her league was boys and girls.

And the medals!