Sunday, December 13, 2009

Grab the popcorn - it's movie time.....

A few weeks ago, "P" and "B" asked me if we could watch home movies. I have to admit that I was reluctant mostly out of guilt; I have been one of those people who has bunches of 8mm tapes and they are completely unorganized. So, yesterday when they asked again, I marched into my closet, pulled out a box of tapes and not only proceeded to watch them but we even organized some of them by downloading them onto the computer. We had a great time and found ourselves laughing ourselves silly. "P" is sure that I dressed her with the intention to humiliate her. I on the other hand, didn't realize that I was so fashion challenged; I completely deserve to be nominated for "What Not To Wear". It made for a wonderful afternoon and I can hardly wait to do it again!

This Year For Christmas....

This Year for Christmas

I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving.

The thrill just wasn't there.

No pictures taken with Santa Claus,

My decorating lost it's flare.

His presents are shoes, shirts, and ties,

two suits and fun.

I've bought him all white clothes because...

This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I've spent more time in the temple,

Felt strength come from His words.

I've reread November's Ensign,

and my testimony stirred.

Our family prays more frequently

My tears are quick to run.

Abraham seems closer because,

This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I wonder how those Lamanite mothers,

gave their sons to war?

Or how the pioneers chose Zion ,

their sacrifice was so much more.

My loss will be his presence,

I'll miss his smile a ton

For two years we will pray for him,

I'm giving Christ my son.

I stare at his face when he's not looking.

I memorize his eyes, their shine.

He's always hungered for the part of him,

that makes his soul divine.

The stories and lessons he always heard,

His choice and mine are one.

I'll put my faith in God's hand,

This year, I'm giving Him my son.

Past gifts have lost their glitter,

I think I finally understand

Christ's birth should be celebrated

by giving Him a hand.

It's because I know Christ lives and reigns

that all his packing's done.

My gift has taken years to make,

This year... I'm giving Christ my son.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Life In Argentina!

Yesterday we got a memory card from "R" in the mail. It was great to see him in pictures and video. "P" said she thought he looked taller and thinner and wondered whether or not he has an accent. He looks so good to all of us. It's so great to hear him talk about where he lives and get a little peek into his life in Argentina. Just a couple of months and we'll be able to talk to him - it will be the best Christmas present by far!

That brings back great memories of when "S" was in Nicaragua and we'd all wait anxiously for the telephone to ring and as soon as it did, we'd all race into the kitchen. I remember about a year into his mission hearing his accent and having a huge lump in my throat realizing how hard he had worked to get that accent and how long it had been since I'd seen my beautiful blonde boy.

Great times for sure - and more to come! Love and miss you, big man....

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Camping We Will Go....

I doubt anybody was as excited as I was to go camping - I guess it had just been so long that I couldn't wait to go. I was also really excited to take our newest family member and she didn't disappoint me a bit. She rode in the car like a champ. It makes me laugh because that's one of her favorite things now and I've turned into one of those weird people who take their dog wherever they can. Mark and the girls went fishing and doggie and I hit the trails around the lake and through the forest. She did get a little unruly when she saw a bunch of wild turkey and tried to chase them - I didn't realize how strong she was until I almost had my arm yanked out of its socket. We had a BLAST!! The last day there, it got really windy so we just hunkered down and played games and drank hot chocolate. Good times.....

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Cost Of Welcoming A New Member Of The Family....

Pound fees and licensing


New Leash, dog food, dog treats, chew treats


Constant slobber on my once spotless floors


Being woken in the night like I haven't since I had a newborn


Walks, walks, and more walks

Doggie bed in girls bedroom - only to find out doggie is sleeping in the non-doggie bed

Lots of love (aka: licks)
Visits to the doggie doctor for checkup (also haven't done that since I had a newborn...I'm sensing there are some similarities)


extreme happiness of two darling girls

Monday, August 31, 2009

And Then There Were Two.....

Well, we're back to two at home - our numbers have once again dwindled. It was a wonderful summer having everybody here for a short period of time and then having "S" stay the entire summer. Mark took him back to school last week and they turned the trip into a Father/Son fishing trip. They had an amazing time and ended up catching over 60 fish. Mark is really the ultimate fisherman.

The girls and I had a completely different kind of week. It was the total opposite of a camping/fisherman trip. We had "girls week" and we did everything girlie - think "What Not To Wear" meets "Gilmore Girls". It was FUN. On Friday, we ended up in Fallbrook going to the Hot Summer Nights on Mainstreet and their Chili Cook-off. Now, the irony that they're having a Chili Cook-off on the hottest night of the year was not lost on us, but it was a fun night anyway.
Saturday was "fantasy day" and involved each girl choosing something around town that was her "fantasy". They had to be simple, not based on money and we had to be able to fit them into an afternoon. I was impressed with how creative these girls were when it came to choosing something that they thought was "fun". This was probably my favorite time of the whole week.
If you look at the pictures at the top, you'll probably get a pretty good idea about one of the fantasies! It might have come to be a reality if I hadn't almost choked when I saw the price tag. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Favorite Things....

Lately, I've found a few new favorite things. I love finding new favorites, so I thought I'd post a few to share with my friends:

  • My first favorite is the pictures that Stefanie Zeltner took of "P". Stefanie is a extraordinary photographer who has amazing talent and a great eye. Want to see for yourself? Check out her website at:
  • My love of cooking always sends me searching for new recipes. I found a terrific website that has a lot of great ''family'' recipes as well as low-calorie and gluten-free. If you find yourself in a cooking rut, check out (thanks Meaghan for putting the link on your blog). I think I may even add a new feature to my blog: favorite new recipes. Stay tuned to see what my family has enjoyed!
  • I love There are the most amazing talks that you can download very easily to put on your IPOD. You can turn your workout into a great morning devotional and feel inspired the rest of the day.
  • Have you tried the new Mary Kay tinted lip balm with sunscreen? It give you great sheer color and moisturizes your lips at the same time. I'm not a huge fan of lip gloss, but this gives just enough shine. I'm a fan of the Apricot shade, but the Natural looks great over lipstick. Thanks, Pam - I never would have tried it if it wasn't for you!
  • A few years ago, I read Gary Chapman's book "The Five Languages of Love". I became a big fan of his as I gained some valuable insight into some of the most important relationships in my life. I just started "The Five Love Languages of Teenagers" and I'm having another great experience as I find new ways I can be a better and more loving mom to my teenagers.
  • If you want to feel like you're at a spa, try Bath and Body Works "Foam Bursts". It comes in yummy scents and you only need a teeny bit and you'll have foam everywhere. It's so much fun and a great change from shower gel...and it lasts a long time too!
  • When we were growing up and reading The Book of Mormon as a family, the book of Alma was always my least favorite part - only because it was so long and we read so slowly (unbelievably slowly). Now I love it and I find wisdom and guidance in every chapter. Today I've been thinking about Alma 44:10; the last sentence is so profound. I think that if we lived by this statement alone we could all be a lot happier..."Behold, we will end the conflict." It's up to us whether we move on and resolve conflict or if we learn the hard way- like Zerahemnah!

I think that's it for now...but I may add a few more later. I'm enjoying the last few days of summer with "P" and "B" before they head back to school. One last thing: kudos to the RMS administration for taking what is usually the horrific, time-consuming experience of back-to-school registration and making it a breeze - job well done!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Watch Out For The Rocks!

Well, the girls and I just got back from a little summer trip. I have to say, it was great and exactly what I hoped that it would be. We were able to spend a lot of time with relatives and there were several high points for me; one was getting a picture taken with my mom and my sisters (we haven't done that since before my dad died) and the other was spending a day river rafting. My mom has always wanted us to do that as a family and I'm sad that we waited until it was too hard for her to participate in, but it was great.

The water was FREEZING and you had to paddle really hard to stay in the middle, otherwise you'd drift over to the side where there was a bunch of rocks and limbs hanging out. The water was going really fast, so we were moving at quite a fast pace. A lot of us took our own tubes instead of getting in a raft together. I was proud of "P" and "B" because they were very adventrous and jumped right in and started paddling! I paddled hard at first and then when we were almost at the end, I got a little lazy and the next thing I knew, I was drifting quickly to the side towards a huge rock and some big tree branches. "B" told me later that she saw me going towards it and screamed to her cousin, "My mom is going towards the rocks, she's going to crash - let's watch!!!" I laughed my head off when she was telling me. Well, sure enough she was right. I crashed and it flipped me out of the tube and I spent the next quarter mile on the outside of my tube, hanging on for dear life, crashing into rocks and branches along the way while traveling down the river at a pretty good speed.

It made for a good analogy about life, which I shared at FHE last night. Anyway, it was great and I think I might actually be addicted to river rafting now.

I'm one of the biggest wanna-be photographers I know - maybe next to "P" - we both are addicted to taking photographs. When we were at the photographers, there was a photography workshop advertised in Tuscany - I'm dying to go in the biggest way. While we were waiting for the photographer, I took this fun picture of all our purses. I thought it was cute and sort of symbolizes how different, yet compatible we all are.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Yesterday we got an email and pics from "R" - it was so great to hear from him and seeing him was just the best. He couldn't look happier. The girls think he looks taller and thinner - I guess that's what good, clean living will do for you. Seeing him made my 'mommy heart' miss him all the more. I posted a couple of his pics on facebook and a friend we haven't seen for years said, " He used to be just a little boy. What happened?" That's what I'd like to know.
Love you, big man...
I'm getting ready to take the girls on a little summer trip. I'm looking forward to a change of scenery and seeing family. As always, I feel like I've got a million things to do before I leave.
We have family staying with us right now - it's a rare luxury, so we are enjoying every minute of having them here. Today we are planning on heading to the beach. I'm excited about that because I think that will be the first time I've gone this summer. I love the beach.
"S" is on a little trip of his own. He called last night to say he's having a great time. I couldn't talk long because we were trying to move some furniture, but I'll call him later today and have him tell me more. I'm so glad he's so happy.
I heard a great quote the other day: "When one candle lights another, it loses nothing of itself." It makes me think how we should all do a little more to help each other. I'm grateful for the many people who help me burn brighter!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer Daze...

Okay, this is going to sound overly dramatic, but I honestly can't believe it's summer - it's already going by so fast and the next few weeks are going to be even busier. It's all good, but what happened to the thought of those lazy summer days?

We got a package from "R" the other day and it had some photos in it - he looks go great and so happy. Then we got a telephone call from somebody who had actually seen him in Provo (I have to say, I had a big lump in my throat) and they kept saying how happy he looked. Whenever I start to miss him like crazy I think of that. Who could ask for more!! The other day, I found this little note...I guess I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dance, Dance, Dance...

Well, "B" has been practicing for the dance recital for the past 4+ months and this weekend all her hard work paid off. She did a great job and she nailed her moonwalk!! It was fun to go as a family to watch her and some other little girls in the ward - they all have such great stage presence. She looked like such a little lady in the "fairy" dance, very grown up in "Pennsylvania" and tough as nails in "hip-hop" - at least as tough as you can look with all that makeup on! It was a great night....

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho It's Off To Camp They Go!

Tomorrow is the day "P" and "B" head off to Girl's Camp for 4 days. I think they'll have a lot of fun and let's face it, it's always nice to have a change of scenery. It's "B's" first year at camp and I think it will be really great for both girls to be together. This picture is one of my all-time favorite pictures of "P" - I LOVE IT! As weird as it sounds, I'm looking forward to going to Camp Buckhorn next year with both my girls. I might even try to twist my darling husband's arm and come up - I've got a whole year to work on him! It's going to be weird just have "S" home this week; I think he'll be happier than anybody when the girls are back - no 23 year old in their right mind wants that much parental attention!
The day after they get back, it's "B's" dance recital so we're all going to that. They had picture day on Saturday and she really did look darling. It's going to be a fun, busy couple of weeks

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I spent a fun (but cold) day at Roosevelt watching "B" run at her track and field day. I always love these days - I think I've gone every year and I have taken some of my favorite pictures on track and field day. It was a lot of fun to meet some of her school friends as well as seeing kids from the ward. When I watch "B" participate in athletics, it reminds me a little of "R"; they have the same kind of intensity and commitment. It was really nice that "S" came - it was his day off and "B" was extra excited that he was coming to watch her.

Tomorrow is letter day; I can hardly wait to hear from "R". I'm going to write to him as soon as I finish writing this...which I guess is now.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm usually an early-bird, but I have to admit that today I had to throw myself out of bed. I stayed up late thinking about a family who used to live in our ward and I could not turn off my brain!

Thank heavens for a group of girls who have started exercising together in the wee-hours of the morning; we talk about each other's lives and solve all the world's problems. Okay, that might be a little be of an exaggeration, but I always find their insight amazing. Remember that great character that Mike Myers played on Saturday Night Live - the lady with the beehive hairdo - and he would say, "Let me give you a topic" and then he'd name something completely absurd.. and then say, "Discuss" well, that's me with my friends. They can discuss anything and always give me the most amazing insight.

I got home and got "P" and "B" off to school and then settled down to work on some YW things and then made a post office run to mail something for "R". He hasn't said anything about the package I mailed last week, but I'm thinking that he probably got it right after he wrote us. It was one of those days when I did a bunch of stuff, but you can't tell just by looking around. I hope I'm more on top of my game tomorrow.

I also made an icky dinner. I won't go into it, but I owe my family a big huge apology. Let's just say, I won't even save it for leftovers.

I better get with it tomorrow.....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's A New Day....

Well, I've been determined to keep a family journal for years and after a million starts and stops, I've decided that I'm going to try a blog. I'm a big believer in writing down what happens in life - so I'm going to start again. I'm also excited to add pictures - because I've turned into quite a photography buff.

Our family is starting a new chapter: one child in college, one serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one in high school and one in middle school. We have also recently become more of a girl's household than boys - which is another new change. Thank heavens we have Mark around to keep us well-balanced.

I'm really looking forward to this summer - we've got a lot of fun, family things planned and there is really nothing I like more than spending time with my family.

I've got to get going - I'm going to bake some Friendship Bread for two friends that are having birthdays this week.