i've been counting down since last Dec 26 ... are you ready? me neither!!

Monday, May 31, 2010

shaw-wright memorial day miracle

the day began with the pitter-patter of rain on the skylight in our bathroom ... we lazily enjoyed the music of memorial day morning and then realized we were late for breakfast with my parents!  we sprang into action getting dressed, reading scriptures, saying prayers and loading in the car the things we'd possibly need for the day ... umbrellas, coats, blankets, extra clothes, extra socks, etc.  breakfast was yummy (thanks papa!) and afterward we played a little hungry hungry hippo and catch phrase.  then it was time to head on our way.
we stopped in at Old Navy and got ourselves some flag shirts (bogo prices are the best!) and then headed to the wrights to begin this year's shaw-wright memorial day ... as we pulled into their driveway it was coming straight down and we hustled inside out of the torrential downpour. 
the kids played upstairs and down, watching a movie and playing with toys ... the rain didn't seem to bother them, nor the fact that they were trapped inside with the rest of us ... somehow that was only a problem for the grown ups ...
"if we go anywhere outside we're going to get wet, and anything to do inside is going to be crowded ... "
"let's go on the boat!!  it can't be that bad ... we can bring our own blue sky (a tarp) it'll be fun!!" 
"look up the weather ... "

and will wonder's never cease!?  it's like a little Memorial Day Miracle for us!!

Somebody knew it wouldn't be 'shaw-wright' memorial day if we couldn't have an adventure!

 we loaded up the kidlets, the babiest boys with the dads went to get the boat ... and the rest went with the moms to get dinner at safeway.  we took the boat out on Lake Washington and made our way past Mr. Gates home and under 520 ... past UW Stadium thru the Montlake Cut and under the Ship Canal Bridge into Lake Union.  We could see Gas Works Park and the sun was shining it was LOVELY, Magical even!!
our time was running short so we didn't make it to the Locks but decided that we should definitely do that if we get another sunny weekend before the wrights leave ...
Shaw-Wright Memorial Day 2010
all in all it was a wonderful day with wonderful friends and a wonderful tradition that we'll have to continue for many years to come ... just gotta relocate ourselves i guess!

our kids are getting so big!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Watching with All Perseverance"

I sure love it when there is a 5th Sunday in the month!  We meet  for the 3rd hour as a united Priesthood and Relief Society ... and I get to sit next to my honey and listen to a member of the Bishopric teach us.

Today we discussed Elder Bednar's talk from the Saturday Session of General Conference.  I remember hearing this while I sat in the Conference Center with my Mission friends!  I wrote 2 whole pages of notes then and today jotted down a few reminders:

~ Let them do the talking - LISTEN!!

~ 'It's no coincidence we have 2 ears and 1 mouth' ... we should listen twice as much as we talk!

~ Teach individually ... all of our children are individuals and we need to listen and learn how to teach them on a personal level for them.

~ Provide a sounding board for them.  Sometimes they just need to talk things thru for themselves and don't need us to tell them what to do ... just be a sounding board for them.

~ Bear spontaneous testimony ... "I bear you my testimony" and "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." is not always necessary.

~ Their reaction is very telling as to where they are spiritually. 

~ Invite them to act ... be 'doers of the word' (James 1:22)

~ Teach them to seek opportunities to do, to help, to act.  On their own, they can see what needs to be done ... help them understand that it's a great thing to be anxiously engaged ... and to not wait for instructions all the time... but then let them.

~ "Turn 'em loose" - and encourage them, even if they fail let them do it their way!  There's something to be said for independant learning ... they will learn so much more by doing things by themselves!

READ & STUDY this talk.

I think I'll take my own advise and take a minute today to read this talk.  It's a good one!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

how do you do that fondue that you do so well??

like this!
it's a whole lot of what we do best ... talk, eat, spend a lot of time together ...
and chocolate.

Friday Night Party Plus Fondue ... So. so. so. fun. FUN!
(if i use the word more than once it means even more ... right?)
thanks for the great collage, Nicki!

Friday, May 28, 2010

inspiringly flexible.

For the last nearly 5 years I have been attending a yoga/pilates class at the Y.  I'm a front-and-center kinda girl ... not because i want to be an example ... but because i want to be able to see the teacher and myself in the mirror ... so i can get it right.  as you may know, when one practices yoga they are upside down a lot, looking thru their own legs at the other people behind them doing the same poses.  almost every class i have been to Shirley has been quietly stretching, inspiring, encouraging in the back corner of the room.  she became a fast friend and a kind of mentor.  she's darling, kind and the sweetest yogini i know!  she is moving away now and will be missed.  i only hope that i can be like her when i'm 60ish.

I'm going to miss you, Shirley!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

on your marks, get set, GO!

thanks to my neighbor Luiza and her iphone ... she snapped this shot of us and emailed it to me last night!
yup ... we raced ... and as you can tell by that blur passing me up - he won -
even though he gave me a HUGE head start!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

learned something new today ...

i googled (such a funny word isn't it? ... but i use it all the time - i google everything, if i need an answer to how many tablespoons are in a cup, what's the temperature on the moon or where can i find hamster wheels that don't squeak ... i google it! if i need a pic of flowers, President Monson, or the New York skyline ... i google it! if i need a word that rhymes with purple or a poem about sisters ... i google it!! - anyway ... what was i was saying?) o right ... i googled 'lactic acid muscle soreness' and found out that:
"Lactic Acid is not the culprit for this muscle soreness."

what i'm experiencing from my 3 consecutive days working out is:

"Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Lactic acid is responsible for the burning muscles during and after exercise and this is why many suspect it to be responsible for soreness 24-36 hours after intense exercise. However, lactic acid is completely flushed out of muscles within 30-60 minutes of finishing intense exercise. There is no abnormal levels of lactic acid in the tissues or blood when the dreaded DOMS strikes.

Research indicates that DOMS is more likely caused by localised damage to the muscle fibres membranes, the connective tissue and the contractile elements - namely microtrauma to the muscle fibres. Over the 24 hours after intense exercise, the damaged muscles become sore and inflammed. Chemical irritants are released from damaged tissue, triggering pain receptors. In addition to the injured muscle fibres, there is an increase in blood flow causing a swelling of the muscle tissues which again may stimulate pain receptors. In the morning following the exercise, the muscle fibres are fatigued, have microscopic tears and are inflammed. The muscle nerve supply perceives this as an abnormal state and sends pain messages to the pain.

Typical recommendations for dealing with DOMS include light stretching and exercise, massage (of course!), submersion in a hot bath, etc. All these are aimed at lightly increasing blood flow to the muscles and damaged tissues to facilitate repair (and not flushing out non-existing lactic acid buildup)."

looks like i need a massage and a hot bath tonight so i don't want to die when my teacher kicks my bum tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

update: doin' pretty good

Easton loves to mark his Book of Mormon ...
he is learning what we mark ...
sometimes it's hard to tell 'Lemuel' and 'Lord' apart ...
they both start with L
Our scripture reading and marking coupled with family morning prayers is the bright spot in the beginning of each day ... we gather in the living room on the floor with our copies of the Book of Mormon and our 4 colored pencils and we each read a verse ... after each verse is read we see if there is anything to mark and at the end of the 6 verses we talk about what we learned ... today Nephi was telling his brothers to have faith. We are trying to be more like Nephi ... go and do, follow the Lord's commandments and be faithful - "[the Lord] is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban..." Then all the pencils are collected, books stacked ("i want mine on bottom!" "i want mine on top!" "just put it on the stack!!") we kneel for morning prayers and we're off and running again!

Monday, May 24, 2010

the rest of the fantasy ...

our first pic in paradise

our first pic in front of the ocean.
a wave came up behind us just after we had the pic taken and soaked andy's shoes
not. happy.

Pearl Harbor Memorial
what a sacred and emotionally moving place

we spent the whole day at the Polynesian Cultural Center
Luau, show, dinner, tour of the temple grounds ...
it was magical!

Andy got to join the Samoan man on stage
to drink some of the coconut water!

the International Market Place
the best place to barter for good stuff!!

our ocean view balcony

our last sunset
so beautiful!

we sat on the beach and watched the sunset ...

the parrot man put the birds on us, took our picture
and then asked for some money ...
sorry dude, i only have coins!
and he DIDN'T want them!!

beautiful and fragrant plumeria tree right outside our hotel!

Hanauma Bay

we snorkeled in the salty water at Hanauma Bay

we saw a turtle!!
and took some underwater pictures ...
that didn't do the colors justice!

one last touch from the warm Hawaiian ocean
I honestly still can not believe that in reality, not just my fantasy world, we went to Hawaii!!  Our short stay in paradise was fantastic ... dreamy ... out of this world!  I have so many more pictures ... mostly as proof that it actually happened.  Andy promised that he would take me back again someday
and for now, that promise seems far away, but someday we'll get back there. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Porcupine Meatballs


6 lbs           •1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
3 cups        •1/2 cup long grain rice
3 tsp           •1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2tsp    •1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup       •2 Tbsp. minced onion
depending on how many meatballs you end up using you may have to use 2 cans and a cup of water or 3 cans and 1 1/2 cups of water ... and so on ... so long as you have enough sauce to cover the meatballs.
                         •10 oz. can condensed tomato soup
                         •1/2 cup water


In large bowl, combine meat, rice, salt, pepper and onion (i did this part with my hands - cuz that's how my mom does it). Shape into small balls (using a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop). Heat tomato soup and water in cooker, using brown function or not closing lid (or don't and pour the soup and water mixture over the meatballs when you get them in the cooker ... ). Drop meat balls in soup mixture. Close cover securely, then bring up to high pressure (that's when the rocker is making a steady/rhythmic sound) and cook for 10 minutes. Let pressure drop of its own accord (natural pressure release - in other words: don't take the rocker off or you'll spray your ceiling with the entire contents of the cooker). Serve over hot cooked noodles boiled diced potatoes. Serves 6

(if you go ahead and quadrupal the recipe, since Costco sells 6lb packages of hamburger, you can make some and freeze them on a cookie sheet and then put the frozen meatballs in a ziplock ... several meals done!! i should mention here that i did the 6lbs of meat in 2 - 3lb batches ... my biggest bowl wasn't big enough to mix all 6 at the same time... )

Total time needed: 35ish minutes (if you've got pre-made frozen meatballs). It took me about an hour to make 62 meatballs (ice cream scoop size, there would have been more if i had used my cookie scoop) with 6lbs. of meat, and then 25ish minutes to cook them up (cuz they weren't frozen).
If you're going to have the meatballs over diced, boiled potatoes: use the little red ones (that way you don't have to peel them ...) cover the potatoes with water and start them cooking when you close the pressure cooker lid ... they take about the same amount of time.

These tasty meaty spheres can be prepared for my Birthday dinner and Mother's Day dinner ... or for when you need to hurry and cook up something for impending guests, cuz you took a nap on sunday afternoon and didn't get anything else ready - especially if you had someone do the quadruple thing for their Birthday/Mother's Day dinner and have a bunch in your freezer.

I'm pretty much an expert at this recipe {wink wink}...


Saturday, May 22, 2010

fact or fantasy??

I haven't yet posted about my wonderful, amazing, can't-believe-it's-come-and-gone trip to Hawaii, I think I need to today ... it's been sunny around here lately (it's trying to be spring) but the warm is missing ... maybe these pictures will help warm me up!

It all started last June-ish ... a friend of mine called to ask me a 'strange and huge favor'.  She and her family were heading off to Hawaii for what may be the last time in for a while (dang economy!) and so this time they were taking their whole family - 4 kids; 12, 10, 8 and 5.  The dad was going to have to work for a portion of the time and she, my friend, was worried about being alone with 4 kids with so much water and people in a place where she couldn't control the environment like at home.  So 'would I like to come with them and be a kind of second mom/helper/friend?'  Would I be willing to ditch my own 4 crazies to spend a week in Hawaii??  Stay in the Hilton Hawaiian Village with them for free ... swim in the warm ocean, walk on the beach, hang out by the pool, play with the kids ... Oh and maybe Andy would maybe want to come and meet me after they leave and the 2 of us stay for a few more days!? 
This is a 'favor'!?  My kinda favor!!

I jumped at the chance!  Sept 2009 marked 10 years married and it had been my pie-in-the-sky dream to go to Hawaii for my 10 year anniversary - now things were falling into place for it to actually happen!

SO ... I left Nov. 1st, rode Hawaiian Air to Honolulu...

swam in the pool
played in the sand
I arrived to find that the hotel was magical, the pools (there were 3) and waterslides were fun and fantastic, we were practically on the beach, the salt water was blue and warm!! ... I had died and gone to paradise!!

we ...

climbed trees at a nearby park by the beach
rode the elevator several times a day ...
just for the fun of it

played cards while the warm rain fell.

and said goodbye all too soon!!  it's true that the time flies when you're having fun!!
stay tuned  ...
i'll be back with the shorter but more romantic part of my dream trip soon!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Late-Over ... the sensible alternative to 'sleep'-over

10 girls + 1 boy + 2 brothers + 3 moms = super sensational smash hit birthday party late-over!!

Girls started arriving at 6pm and we partied, opened gifts, ate pizza, watched movies, had popcorn, candy, chocolate covered pretzels, cake and ice cream!!  We were sugared up and playing everywhere ... some girls had their hair done, some painted nails and then the fun was over at 10pm!  We had a GREAT time, and we'll definitely do this again!  (no need to wait for a birthday to party!!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


we have a neighbor that has a daughter that loves to play with Easton, and he is always up for playing with her. they ride scooters together, draw on the sidewalk, run cars down the driveway, race back and forth from their house to our's, climb on the 'big rock' over in the grassy common area and occasionally play inside each other's houses. they also like to go to the park together ...

today was a perfect day for a picnic at the park ... i had a bunch of things i needed to take care of and so my nice neighbor offered to take Easton and go to the park. WONDERFUL! i packed him a lunch, strapped on his helmet, handed the lunch to my super fantastic neighbor and sent them on their merry way.

i came back inside to start (i never really know where to start when it comes to the house ... ) the kitchen needed to be wiped and counters needed to be decluttered and andy needed a lunch prepared. i made his lunch and sent him off to work and just as i was headed back inside Easton crashed in our driveway. he was back early and i was surprised, but i kissed him better and rubbed his owie ... andy asked where our neighbor was and i told him she must be at the top of the neighborhood ... since Easton was on his bike, he likes to zoom down to our house.

then a frantic looking woman (whom i know from taking exercise classes at the Y) drove up and asked if i knew who that little boy belonged to ...

and the story began to unfold:

she was acting frantic and worried because she had seen that little boy ("how old is he by the way?" "um he's 3 ... will be 4 in august ... " "i thought he was about 4 ... ") on his bike WAY up the busy road all. by. him. self. ...

she had seen him and felt worried that she hadn't seen an adult with him and had turned around to follow him and discovered another hysterical woman doing the same. they spoke to each other and decided to call 9-1-1 and report that this little boy looks determined but is all alone. and by the time they found their cell phones and made the call the little boy was gone! and they couldn't find him! the hysterical one went to safeway and my Y acquaintance came down into our neighborhood ... (they didn't confront that little boy for fear that he would be afraid of them and make matters worse)

the park that they had gone to was about a mile away ... on the opposite side of the busy road. which means that little boy had crossed the busy road all. by. him. self. and had ridden his bike down the sidewalk crossed 2 side streets and come down the sidewalk to our house all. by. him. self.

i took his bike, loaded him in the van and drove up the road to find my wonderful, and now fretful neighbor. she was ... worried and a little upset and more than a little apologetic. i reassured her that it was not her fault and that I was so sorry. she said that she was really worried because he always stayed with them before ... they had arrived at the park and it was too cold and windy and they decided not to stay. Easton had picked up his bike and taken off without looking back and since my neighbor and her daughter were on foot she couldn't catch up to him!!

Easton apologized as well and we had a big talk about staying together when we go to the park ...

the strangest thing: he has never done something like this. he is my momma's boy, stays right by me, waits for me at every corner, asks if he can cross now ... i asked him why he hadn't waited for our neighbor and his answer was simple... 'when i dot to the torner my heel holed off and so i tossed the hoad' {translation: when i got to the corner by wheel rolled off and so i crossed the road} so it was the bikes fault ... hmmm ...

on the bright side: he knows where we live, he didn't get lost, he didn't get stolen, he didn't get run over, and he had 2 angels following him.

consequences: this is my first grounded child ... i have not yet need to bring out the big guns and ground anyone ... but this did it. he had to stay inside the rest of the day and when i did let him outside he was within my reach. later that day i was sitting on the stairs with him ... i told him that he scared me today. "why?" "i could have lost you today ... " "why?" "you rode your bike a long far way all by yourself, you could have gotten lost, or someone could have taken you away from me." "i tame home." "i know and i'm happy you know where we live but please don't do that again." "o tay. tan i hide {ride} my bike now?" "um, sorry buddy, you're grounded from your bike for a few days..."

and there it will hang for the next few days!

poor, grounded baby ... sure am glad he made it home ...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cleaning the house is ... fun to do?!

when it's somebody else's!!  why is that??  my whole life - it's always been that way.  i much prefer to clean for someone, than to clean up after myself.  i remember my mom being very annoyed with that fact... i would go babysitting and after the kids were down to bed, i would set to work cleaning the house.  (maybe i didn't know how to watch the tv, since we didn't have one at home ...)  the parents would come home to a nice clean house, dishes washed a put away (or dishwasher emptied or washing), toys picked up, books organized, laundry folded, etc...  they would make comments to my mom about how wonderful it was to come home to a clean house - and my mom would roll her eyes and reply, "now if i could just get her to clean her own room!!" 

in all fairness i will try to describe my bedroom vividly enough since i don't have a picture to share ...

imagine, if you will, the basement bedroom, 10ft by 12ft (maybe?!), just big enough for a twin size bed, a desk (3'x4'), a book shelf, a dresser and an open closet insert ... no doors on the closet.  now imagine, there are many hangers and a few with clothes on them ... but there are more clothes than hangers strewn about the room ... not hung up, or folded in the drawers ... mostly on the floor so that if one were to stand in my room they would be ankle-deep in a flood of fabric.  in your mind's eye look around ... every surface has either dust or clothes on it especially the bed ... when i wasn't sleeping in it, there was a thick layer of clothes covering it ... that pile would then be scooped off onto the floor when i needed to sleep in the bed and when morning came that pile would be heaved back to it's daily resting place.  the book shelf and desk are also disaters but mostly laden with 'keepsake' things like trinkets, papers, pictures, books, painted rocks, and mini statues.  when i was sentenced to clean it up ... i would spend more time looking at my priceless junk souvenirs and never actually get around to cleaning/organizing/washing/putting away/folding/picking up any of it.  my dad often warned my friends that 'they better tie a rope to their leg and the other end to the door knob, in case they couldn't find their way out of the mess' ...

even now as i type this out ... i am amazed that my mom never nailed my things to the floor ... like her own dad did to her sister's bedroom. (another story for another time)

today, and forever, i believe that "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:17)

and so i sing:
Cleaning the house is fun to do, fun to do, to do, to do!
Cleaning the house is fun to do, when it's not a chore to do!!

maybe someday i'll trick myself into thinking this isn't my house ...
and these poor people need my help ...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

5 boys is easier than 2 ... phew ... but it's true!

at the library!
Tuesdays are fun days ... I so look forward to them! I swap with a friend of mine every Tuesday ... either she takes my 2 or I get her 3 ... she is brave and takes them to the library ... I'm not so brave and have them play here at our house. It works out quite nicely ... when I have all 5 of them here, we watch a show (diego or backyardigans), play with cars, run up and down the stairs, shoot guns (nerf or pop - nothing lethal), have a snack, and generally entertain/occupying/assassinate each other! What do they need me for? Oh that's right, I make the snack!!

It's awesome!

and these boys are honestly the easiest kids to have around!
Yeah for good friends!

Monday, May 17, 2010


They might want to wear something
a little more comfortable in the weight room.
Ya think?

"It's fun to stay at the Y M C A ... "

It's also fun to swim, workout, play in the adventure zone and do yoga
"at the Y-M-C-A-ay"!

I have been going the last few months fairly regularly and really liking the classes. I do a few different ones and they all 'kick my bum'!!

Lately especially I have been sore, tired and generally hurting all over - the good kind (as if there could be a 'good' kind of hurt). I have been doing a class called Peak Performance which is code for weights, cardio, and bum-kicking fun! Today we did a pyramid work out with 3 sets of weights ... light, medium and heavy. 12 reps with the light weights, 10 with the medium, 5 with the heavy, 10 with the medium, and 12 with the light weights. We worked shoulders, pecs, lats, biceps and triceps ... and my arms and back are pretty much jelly at this point. I surprised myself alittle in class ... I didn't wuss out of any of the exercises and between the pyramids we did some cardio that was fun!

Wednesdays I like to do the Cardio Blast class which is a fancy name for step aerobics! It took me a while to not feel totally uncoordinated and I still mess up a LOT ... but I have fun and the teacher is great!

Fridays is another Peak Performance with the same teacher that does step and she's fun! I like her and she keeps the workout fun ... kinda don't feel like I'm really working all that much until the next day when I realize I have worked muscles in places I didn't know I had!

Ideally I would be doing cardio (ie: the eliptical that is in my bedroom) daily ... babysteps!!

I am telling you all this for a reason ...

I need to lose weight ... I want to lose more weight than I have already lost (I used to be fatt-er - it's hard to believe, I know!) I want to be in a size that makes me want to buy clothes!

I'm working on it ... I need to work on it more ... but for the time being - I'm trying. Someday, sooner than later, I'll look in the mirror and wonder who that beautiful babe is staring back at me?!!

So, if you see me there, cheer me on and I'll do the same for you! Go Team!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet!

this song and this lesson (taught in Relief Society today - Amy: you did an awesome job!!) got me to thinking about just how thankful i am for a living prophet on the earth today. what a blessing it is.

what a wonderful man!
and he loves his wife!
so darling!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

a squeak under the hood?

Andy and I went on a date tonight and the car battery was not doing well ... mind you it's the stock battery on a 2005 van and everything is electric ... the doors, windows, locks, DVD player, sunroof, radio, 6 CD disk changer, backup camera, GPS ... all electric ... battery powered ... battery sucking functions. So we made it home and he went to Walmart and got a new battery and brought it home to swap out the old for the new ... no big deal. It's not a coincidence that Andy rhymes with 'handy' ... really what would I do without him?

So he unscrews, unlatches, un-does whatever to get the battery off (i didn't watch - i have no real idea what he did ... but the old battery was removed) and it's really heavy so he uses his big burly muscles (swoon) to lift it out and lo and behold ...

tucked under the battery ... (we think it fell there) near the tranny (that's shop talk for transmission) we found this:

go ahead ... say it ... GROOOSSSSS!!
That's what I said! Does that mean there is a dead mouse somewhere inside my car!?!?!?!?

We hope not ... Andy's pretty sure that there would be a terrible stink if there was a dead something in my car ... at least he assumes ...

pray for me.

Friday, May 14, 2010

what's better than beautiful weather and best friends with a boat?

enjoying the sunset at the end of a great day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

somehow i feel content ...

the kitchen sink is clean ...
while i don't follow all the steps ... flylady is right about the way it makes me feel!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

if only the internet would have worked at the church building where i was supposed to teach a class about using the church website ...

I would have shown them all of this!!
Points that I tried to cover:

www.lds.org front page is very comprehensive … many things that you might need and news/recent information … regularly changed. (bread crumbs are at the top left to show you where you've been and are links to click back too!)

Stake and Ward Websites (right sidebar) – (need information to log on) Ward webpage
Calendar, Membership Directory, Stake Home (other ward websites are available - only within our stake)
About the Church – Humanitarian Service – How can I help? – Make humanitarian aid kits
Gospel Library – Search Gospel Library
Gospel Library – General Conference – English – 180th Annual … April 2010
Family History and Temples – Temples around the world
Home and Family – Family Home Evening
Serving in the Church – Relief Society
News and Events – Calendar or Newsroom …

These were my notes ... I hope everybody was curious enough to go home and look at it for real! there really is a LOT of really good/helpful/wonderful/amazing stuff there!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


My parents have been married 37 years today ...
(8 years longer than my mom has been alive ...)

Monday, May 10, 2010

the master of disguise

he takes self portraits with my camera

and i caught him in my room near to the laundry basket...
no doubt looking for a clean shirt to complete his covert costume

you didn't see anything at all ...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Elder Marvin J. Ashton said:
"Some mothers seem to have the capacity and energy to make their children’s clothes, bake, give piano lessons, go to Relief Society, teach Sunday School, attend parent-teacher association meetings, and so on. Other mothers look upon such women as models and feel inadequate, depressed, and think they are failures when they make comparisons.

We should not allow ourselves to be trapped into such damaging inferiority feelings. This is another tool of Satan. Many seem to put too much pressure on themselves to be a ‘supermom’ or ‘superwoman.’

Sisters, do not allow yourselves to be made to feel inadequate or frustrated because you cannot do everything others seem to be accomplishing. Rather, each should assess her own situation, her own energy, and her own talents, and then choose the best way to mold her family into a team, a unit that works together and supports each other. Only you and your Father in Heaven know your needs, strengths, and desires. Around this knowledge your personal course must be charted and your choices made." (in Conference Report, Apr. 1984, 11; or Ensign, May 1984, 9–10 ).

Neal A. Maxwell said:

"We salute you, sisters, for the joy that is yours as you rejoice in a baby’s first smile and as you listen with eager ear to a child’s first day at school which bespeaks a special selflessness. Women, more quickly than others, will understand the possible dangers when the word self is militantly placed before other words like fulfillment. You rock a sobbing child without wondering if today’s world is passing you by, because you know you hold tomorrow tightly in your arms." ("The Women of God," Ensign, May 1978, 10)


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thoughts on being 'mom'

Today i spent most of the day alone ... a rarity it feels like in my line of work ... I took myself to the store, all by myself, i got out of the car, closed the door, walked alone across the parking lot, waited for a car to back out of a spot and made it into the store ... all by myself. I walked into the jewelry section and kept my hands to myself, i didn't touch the glass or spin the displays ... just looked and then i walked over to the shoe section ... i tried on a few pairs and found the perfect ones ... just what i was looking for ... all by myself. I went to the clothing section and found a darling skirt and picked up a few different shirts to try on, i went to the dressing room and tried them on and chose one to buy ... i went to the register and paid for my items and turned and walked out of the store ... across the parking lot and got back into my car, put on my seat belt and said to myself, "wow it's quiet in here ..." there wasn't any fighting, no whining, no "i want to sit there" or "stop touching that" or "keep your hands to yourself" ... there was also no "thanks mom for taking me" or "mom, where are we going next?" or "what time is it?" ... no little voices singing along with the music ... no laughter. I was reminded that sometimes it's not that great to be alone. (don't get me wrong, i love me some me-time ... but i thought to myself "that is why i wanted to be the mom!")

Then i watched this youtube video and it changed me a little ... being the mom isn't glamorous ... but i sure love it ... and i need to start telling my kids how much i LOVE being their mom ... it's always been my #1 - when my friends were hoping to be astronauts and the first woman president ... i wanted to be a mom (my big plan was to go to beauty school and be a hair dresser in my own home so that i'd be home but able to work ... maybe someday i'll add on that extra part).

i read this for the first time on my mission ... true ... so true!

What is a Mother?

A Mother is a wonderful creature constructed almost entirely of love and this she can express in a million ways from hugs and kisses and good cooking and patient listening, to stern lectures and strict rules and repeated use of the word "no".

Like snowflakes, no two Mothers are alike but they have a number of things in common. Name anything a Mother can be found washing it, roasting it, polishing it, getting rid of it, repairing it, packing it, teaching it, redecorating it, loving it, or talking it over at PTA.

A Mother cares about, and for most everything; gardens, pets, the state of the nation, the worn spot in the rug, hungry people, and most of all, Father and her children. For these, she can do anything, dare anything, and fight for anything necessary for their happiness.

A Mother is not always an angel. She will often disagree with you, expect too much of you, criticize your choice of friends, and bring up the subject of work when you feel least energetic. But she's always ready to help when you need her.

You don't always tell a Mother how much you love her or how much you wish the most wonderful things in the world will come to her because there are no words to express feelings so deep and sincere. Somehow, though, you feel she understands what's in your heart. Mothers always do.

Friday, May 7, 2010

no better way to spend a birthday ... (round 3 or maybe 4 ... who's counting?!)

when you get older it's your own prerogative how you want to spend your birthday ... as well as how many times you can celebrate/how long you can stretch out the celebration.

this year i chose to celebrate with my family on the actual day ... we had alfy's pizza and went to the skatedeck! earlier that day Andy and i went to lunch and later that night i went to a late night movie with some girlfriends!!

then a few nights later i went out to dinner with my 2 best girlfriends (and when i say 'dinner' ... we ate a little and talked a LOT ... we solve the world's problems on a regular basis! (dinner was at 8 we talked until midnight))

to top off my week + birthday celebration, the Party got together tonight for the premier of Iron Man 2 and dinner at Maggiano's. we made a reservation and it is a good thing we did ... when we arrived 20 minutes early the place was PACKED!! our table was ready right on time and we went in and sat down. excellent service, delicious food (i tried everyone's dish ... all were spectacular!! - i even tried calamari - not terrible but not yummy ... in a word: 'myeah ...' ) and GREAT conversation.

the conversation is always easy with us ... we seem to move effortlessly, flawlessly (naturally even?!) from poop and boogies with our collective 9 kids to work and computers to leisure time and vacation plans to how to talk to our kids about sex and everything in between! we share laughs and fears and trade hilarous stories about kids and everything ... there isn't anything off limits with this crowd. we talk feelings and memories and hopes as well as bathroom humor, TMI, and 'really did you just say that out LOUD?!'

these people are truly my BFFs ... they know far too much!

as we were leaving the restaurant, i said, "i love to sit and eat and then talk for hours with you guys! it's my favorite ... what a great birthday! thanks!" and i meant it ... every word.

memorial day campout 2008

we were at maggiano's for 2 1/2 hours!!

i love us!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

my favorite time of day ...

mom, tan i see hor phone while hor pushing da buttons?
Easton loves it when i text his name to Andy at night time ... He recognizes the 'E' and says that every word that starts with 'E' is his name - except when it's my name! (he knows that my name starts with an 'E' too because i write it when i sign him into the Y's adventure zone!) this picture is taken with my phone and the flash was SO bright we couldn't keep our eyes open!

He loves to sing at bedtime (or in the bathroom, or when it's just the 2 of us in the car, or when he's playing by himself ... never performing ... but he loves to sing!) and he has his favorite songs ... this one is one of my favorites!!

"i'm so dad when mommy tums home,
dad as i tan be!
tap my hans and shout for joy
and time up on her knee.
put my arms ahound her neck,
hud her tight hike dat,
pat her cheek and dive her what?
a date bid kiss!!"

i need to post the video ... his face is the best part!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo! ... it's already been a week since i turned 34?

We started this morning by reading the first 5 verses in 1st Nephi ... it is our first day since we committed to be a part of this:

As part of our September 2009 Everett Stake Conference, President Duce extended the following invitation to the stake membership with regards to studying The Book of Mormon as a family:

1. Get a paperback copy of The Book of Mormon for each member of the family and write your name in it
2. Meet as a family and decide what time of day you will read from The Book of Mormon as a family
3. Get four different colored marking pencils for each family member
4. As you read, highlight in different colors:
a. Each reference to Jesus Christ (any of His names or pronouns referring to Him)
b. His words (spoken by Him or by prophets when they say “thus saith the Lord” or similar)
c. His attributes
d. The doctrines and principles contained in The Book of Mormon
During the General Session of Stake Conference this morning (April 18th), President Duce again extended this invitation in support of the stake focus - Increasing Faith in Jesus Christ through Daily Scripture Study and Praying with Real Intent. We join with President Duce in inviting each of you to accept this challenge of reading and marking The Book of Mormon with your families as outlined above. We know that doing so will be a blessing to your families and will bring you closer to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

We raised our hands in Sacrament Meeting just last Sunday and committed to do it!

Then I dropped kids off at school and headed to my hard core step class ... (and yes ... my teacher kicked my bum today ... if you were wondering!)
I hurried home to shower and get ready for Visiting Teaching and then hurried to get Ammon from school!
We dropped off our friend that we carpool with and headed to lunch!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Hooray for Taco del Mar!
34 is a little young to be having actual heart attacks ...
But this kind i could have everyday!!
My friends are so nice!!
The booger one was one of the funniest! I also liked the one that said "get out your lawn chair and pretend you're in Hawaii! Thanks friends! You're the best!