Sunday, September 29, 2013

Homeward Bound

Tomorrow my eternal companion and the father of my 5 children will make his way back to the USA.  To say that he has been missed would be a gross understatement.  We have missed Ryan's stories. We have missed his computer savvy.  We have missed his baritone.  We have missed all of the little things, the details, that when combined together, make up the man of my dreams, the dad my kids cherish, and the architect of our home.  Come home, baby...  Lest any of you suppose we will immediately skip into eternal bliss, Ryan actually heads out again Sunday morning for another 2 weeks of business adventures, but at least he will remain on this continent. I will try my very best to ignore that departure and focus all my energies on tomorrow's arrival.  It has been a looooooooonnnnnnnnggggggg 34 days without Ryan. It's like Christmas is tomorrow, and I might not even be able to sleep tonight!

I found this pic on google images.  Who took this?  Where are you at?  What was so funny?... I will ask you in person tomorrow night!

Saturday, September 28, 2013


I've been home now for over a month, and I still sometimes have to remind my self to stay on the right side of the road.  Scary, I know.  I really do enjoy driving though, and tonight I got to shuttle a few of my friends to the general Relief Society meeting in SLC at the Conference Center.  We were blessed to be able to hear from the Relief Society Presidency, and from the prophet, Thomas S. Monson.  It was wonderful.  All of the talks focused on the imporatnce of keeping temple covenants and we went out to eat afterward, which was delicious,

Simon and Calvin during Annie's soccer game.  Why cheer when you can pretend to be a camel?

Annie scored two goals today. It is so fun to watch her take care of the biz...

We celebrated with ice-cream again.

Simon got bubblegum flavor.  He decided to spit out all of the bubblegum, so that he could eat it all together at the end in one big wad. Smart boy.

Some ward friends and I that attended the RS meeting together.  From Left to right:  Wendy, me,  Mahea, Randi, Kristi and Stephanie.  I gave the night with the girls, and hearing the prophet 10 points.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fun Run into Ca$h

So, just to give you some perspective, when I was the PTA president for our elementary school we did a few fundraisers.  The first was a service project fun run, the proceeds going to have each child in our school put together a school kit for a child in need.  That grossed around $2500.  I also headed the school carnival committee right before we left for Scotland last year, and that made about $5500 (average for our school carnivals.) I got to help out at a fundraiser today that can only be called "epic" in the elementary school category.  Today, under the direction of a Mrs. Shelley McKenna, our school did it's first ever "Fun Run" called Laps for Lions (our mascot being Leo the Lion.)  Parents were promised that this would be the only fundraiser for the year, and were informed that to reach the hoped for fundraising total, the price per head would be (gulp) $40 per kid.  Yikes.  But here's the deal. The event was incredibly organized.  The kids had a blast, and boy did parents pony up... Over $34,000. Which was %50 more than the goal, and %150 more than the committee thought we would make.  Let's take a moment of silence for the success of this event, and really hope that those funds are spent so incredibly well that parents want to repeat their generosity year after year, for years to come.

Shelley on the far right.  7:00am, flippin cold, setting up the race markers.

Owen taking on the course.

Annie giving it all she's got.

Calvin and Simon after the race.  The popsicles seemed like a good idea two days ago when the weather was warm.  It was simply silly, giving the fact that it was sprinkling rain for a great deal of the run, and the the temps were frigid.  But kids are kids and they seemed pretty pleased to get their end of race popsicle.  I really enjoyed helping out in with PTO today.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Return to the Groove

Today I actually felt like canning. That may not seem like that big a deal, but I haven't yet felt settled enough/moved in/ energetic/etc to attempt any sort of project of this nature.  A project that isn't necessary to life or death, like bathing or dinner.  Yesterday a friend and I went to a not so close grocery store (affectionately referred to as Ghetto Mart in my home - it sells out dated products) and we found a killer deal on strawberries.  I bought loads and decided to make some tasty strawberry freezer jam today. Rest assured, I still have my upstairs hall closet to organize, and I have no response to the state of the laundry, but by golly, I HAVE STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM! That has to count as some success, right?

I always worry that my jams are going to be too firm or too runny, but then I remember, who cares?! They always taste great! (But I still really hope that this batch isn't too runny or firm...)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Porcelain Throne

Let us reason together.  Every time a girl uses the toilet, the seat needs to be down %100 of the time.  Every time a boy goes #2, the seat needs to be down as well.  So the only time the seat should be up is when a boy is going pee.  Really. If you are going pee, the seat needs to be up.  This isn't like basketball with your dirty socks, "Hey, do I think I can make a clean shot into the hamper?" So if my math isn't wrong, and I don't think it is, it is far more likely in a co-ed house that the seat will need to be down (and clean!) than in any other position.  Boys, my boys, boys of the world: You may pee standing up, only if the seat is up.  Wipe the rim of the bowl after.  You don't think you got some drops there, but give it a wipe anyway and Wahlah: The t.p will have a tinge of yellow on it every time!  That is not lemonade.  That is pee. Your pee. Flush the tissue and then put the seat back down. IF you want to get all fancy, you can even close the lid. But I would be pleased with a clean seat to sit on.   The world is your urinal. I am happy for you.  But for the love of all good things, know that us girls use (and prefer) an indoors, bathroom with a lock, formal, bowl shaped toilet for %100 percent of our business, and keeping the shared toilet clean will always count as doing your Boy Scout "good turn" for the day.

Every girl in the world that shares a toilet room with you.

I think it is hysterical that a lover's toilet was ever invented. How unromantic. My favorite part of this pic is the candelabra in the corner.  It is most assuredly not there for romance, but to help with the stink. "Light a match!"

ANnie Joy was sent this beautiful hand made book by her Grandma Linda.  It is a book that documents all of her cousins and their baptisms, with her cousins testimonies included about their special baptism day.  Annie loved looking through it and is very excited for her upcoming birthday.  Grandma Linda Rocks!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Defeat Followed by Victory!

The clear defeat of the day was the migraine that suddenly attacked me just after I had breakfast out on the table.  FYI: a migraine is not a really bad headache.  A really bad headache is a really bad headache.  For me a migraine looks like this:  splotchy, blurred vision. Severe pain in my head, sensitivity to light, sound and smells. Nausea.  Basically a whole lot of not fun, rolled into 4.5 solid hours today.  Thankfully, I had migraine medicine in my medicine cabinet.  Thankfully, everyone was dressed and ready to go to school already.  Thankfully, now that all the kids are in school, I was able to head straight to bed.  And thankfully, I haven't had a migraine since Owen was born.  I would willingly submit to having 1 migraine every 5 years, if that is the pattern that I will now follow. So this morning was a bust.  However, I got some wonderful news this afternoon, which brought the day from a one to a ten.  Ms. Jade Herriot (our darling Scottish friend) is officially coming to visit us and it was certified today by the purchase of real plane tickets.  She will enter Zion on October 23rd, at 7:50 pm, and doesn't head back home till January, after her 18th birthday.  We will play together and sing together and drink warm cocoa together.  Yeah today!

This is a shot taken with Jade on her baptism day (which was July 14th.)  Incidentally, Jade will be here for Annie's baptism, which is just really exciting for all involved!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

I will be eternally indebted to my friend, Tami, who introduced me to the phrase "Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner." In fact, a couple of years ago when my neighborhood cooking group was featured on a local t.v. show, my friend used the phrase the night they taped us, and it was included in their final segment.  It has been a family favorite ever since. So, when my Grandpa Stander, at the ripe age of 93 won a local golf tournament, and beat out many younger (but certainly less handsome) players, we knew we needed to help him celebrate. For family night tonight, we hit KFC and threw him a "Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner" party.  It was fab.  After dinner, Preston gave a lesson on gratitude and it was wonderful. I always love learning about the things that my kids are truly grateful for, and it was so lovely to spend some time with Grandpa again.  Before we left for Scotland, we got to stay with him for 3 weeks as our renters wanted in sooner than expected and we still had obligations in Utah that required us to stay.  We loved our alone time with Grandpa tonight.  In short, it was one of the most delightful family night's we've had in a long time.

Opa with his brand new Scottish golf hat (which we got for him in... Scotland), his medal which Annie found for him, and the "Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner" sign.

Simon and Owen golfing in Grandpa's picture hallway.

Preston doing a demo of how when we are grateful for our blessings, our Father in heaven will bless us even more than we are able to hold.  We all love water object lessons.

Owen playing his Styrofoam guitar, with a tortilla chip as a pic.  That's just cool.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Dear Ryan (who has been in Scotland for the last 26 days),
Your sweet daughter has once again snuggled her way into my heart, and into our bed.  When your girls have a sleep over, we read picture books and I sing songs.  We play with each other's hair and she likes to hold my hand when she's falling asleep.  It is wonderful. I try to restrict the sleepovers to just weekends (as I usually have many things to do once the kids are down, and I don't want her to get used to bunking with mom) but my resolve is fading.  Girlie time is fun.  Annie Joy is a nut and if I can't snuggle into your arms at night, I might as well have a pillow fight with our daughter.  Maybe we should do some pillow fights when you get home.

Sleeping Beauty.  She's on your side of the bed.  You can tell by your panda you leave on your night stand.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Soccer Saturday!

Annie Joy scored her first goal of the season today, which was super exciting.  In celebration, we got ice cream at Baskin Robbins.  Owen didn't make any goals today, but he sure had fun running around, and looks very handsome in his uniform.  Today his team had their pictures taken: physical proof that I am a good parent and involved him in an extra curricular activity (the only reason any of us ever sign up our kids for anything anyways:~).

Annie with some of her team mates. Go Pink Lightening! 

Owen with the Sabertooth Tigers. His coach's name is Brick, so that's cool.

Ice cream for everyone!

Annie and I went shopping for a baptism dress today.  We didn't find one, but she found some lovely red heels! What a diva!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Church Party

There is nothing I like better than a Friday night church potluck party.  Especially when the party is at the park, and when it means I only need to bring a side dish instead of having to throw together an entire meal at home.  I so cherish the friendships that I have made in my ward (congregation.) The weather was perfect, the company was fantastic, the kids were... well behaved! Really, they were! My hope and prayer is that when Ryan returns from Scotland (in just 10 days, but who's counting) that instead of chaos he will find his family running like a well oiled happy family machine. A girl can dream.

You know you are at an awesome church party when there is a dessert contest with hand crafted shark trophies for the winners. Too bad I brought 7 layer dip instead, I could have been a contender!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Saga del Coche

So this morning, when my van wouldn't start again, I got it jumped and headed on over to the dealership.  I was like, this car is new and it should run, and they were like yeah, lets look at the battery.  And they said that it tested low or failing so they asked if I wanted them to readjust the bits that connect to the battery and add more battery fluid and then charge it for several hours, or if I wanted to just replace it... for $110.  I'm like, I want it replaced... for freeeeeeeeee, since it's been with me for less than a month and it's nutsy that a car I bought a month ago should have problems starting, and if the battery was bad, it should have been replaced before making it's way to the lot. He says the battery is probably fine.  I'm all, why did the test just say it was failing... And dealer dude said that charging it would probably work, so I left the premises for 4 hours.  Was assured that it was just fine.  Drove home, went to drive Simon to swimming lessons, and of course, the car wouldn't start.  Sooo, I got it jumped, dropped Simon off at swim, and went to an auto store and ponied up cash for a new battery, which they installed in about 5 minutes.  To all of you out there that can negotiate junk like this, my hat goes off to you.  I simply HATE dealing with scheisters (basically 99% of car people), and hopefully, won't have any more car issues for a very long time.  Lame.

Killing time this morning with a pal in SLC.  Brunch at a waffle/french fry house. Low calorie no, happy tummy yes.

Is the flavor of gourmet Balsamic vinegar actaully superior to the cheap stuff?
In a blind taste test at dinner, we discovered... why yes, yes it is.

Calvin wanted to ride his bike around during Owen's soccer practice.  When practice ended, Owen hopped on for a free ride.  Cal's bike has stunt pegs, which just makes for an even funner ride.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Car Crazy

What the what?!? We bought our van 3 1/2 weeks ago. This morning I hopped into the car to run some errands and was met with that all too familiar sound of a car that refuses to start.  An engine coughing. It also sounds a little bit like hopes and dreams being flushed down an automotive toilet.  In truth, the car has crazy low miles, is a 2010, got a full third party inspection prior to purchase... and yet it was dead!  A dear friend (who is all too familiar with jumping Smith minivans) hopped over and took care of the biz.  I headed off to run errand, making sure to leave the car running.  I had an appointment in Farmington so I headed up there, and made sure to park in a spot where getting jumped wouldn't pose a problem (yep, I know the routine.) And my efforts were rewarded with the need arising for the second jump start of the day. I am hoping against hope that today's temperamental car has to do with leaving the indoor lights on ( a family problem), and not with a terminal illness that needs to be diagnosed.  Let today end.

While my friend and I jumped my new, dead minivan, we both commented on how shiny and modern my engine looks. Oh, the irony!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

If I Were President

If I were President of the US, I would make several changes, but this is the first. #1 Name tags. I am admittadley horrible with names.  And faces. Names and Faces sometimes allude me.  I think the face thing stems from having horrible vision as a child, which landed me in a habit of simply being visually unaware.  No idea about why I can't remember names.  But If I were President, everyone would be required to wear a name tag, and everyone would be reqired to look at it before speaking, that way you would never feel awkward about trying to read the name tag before saying the person's name.  What if you don't like your first given name?  Who cares. Use an alias on your name tag, just be sure it's a name you like and will willingly respond to. I also would like people to dance more, but I wouldn't want the power of being president to go to my head.

Owen after school playing air hockey with some friends, Camden and Cedric.

The kids had an assembly today.  I came to support the PTO but they had it covered. Owen is right in the front corner, Annie is third row, nay shirt, blond hair, center of the pic. It warmed my hear to see the entire school there, hands on hearts saying the Pledge of Allegiance. If only I were the president... name tags.

Simon says he would love to be on swim team.  So he's taking a refresher course to make sure that he knows all of the strokes well enough.  He loved it.  And I love him.

Simon led the pledge at the Court of Honor tonight.  Hey!  That's two pledges in one day! How patriotic!... name tags.

I had a women's service project meeting (Relief Society.) I made a cake for dessert: chocolate hazelnut with raspberries, mmmmm.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake

For the second family night in a row, our dessert has been a delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake.  This was made with chocolate peanut butter ice cream, a generous scoop of peanut butter, another generous scoop of Nuttella, and some half and half, to make it a little bit creamier, tastier, and more calorie packed.  FHE can be difficult when several children, different personalities, ages, temperaments, desires, comprehension skills, and hygiene are combined.  One particular topic might be necessary and important for one child, but won't mean diddle bean squat to another. Some might think that the game is lame, and others complain that a sibling is breathing their air. FHE is not for the faint of heart. The unifying factor, therefore, on any given family night is not that we are all family, but that we can all enjoy a tasty dessert.  So many desserts to choose from, so little time.

Shake, shake, shake senora, shake your body line!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hidden Coins

The following is one of my favorite stories told by Gordon B. Hinckley, a prophet in our church who now resides in heaven.  It is a story of how small acts of love can yield great blessing, both to the giver and the receiver.  An epic video clip of this can be seen at the link below. Enjoy, and happy Sunday. 

“An older boy and his young companion were walking along a road which led through a field. They saw an old coat and a badly worn pair of men’s shoes by the roadside, and in the distance they saw the owner working in the field.
“The younger boy suggested that they hide the shoes, conceal themselves, and watch the perplexity on the owner’s face when he returned.
“The older boy … thought that would not be so good. He said the owner must be a very poor man. So, after talking the matter over, at his suggestion, they concluded to try another experiment. Instead of hiding the shoes, they would put a silver dollar in each one and … see what the owner did when he discovered the money. So they did that.
“Pretty soon the man returned from the field, put on his coat, slipped one foot into a shoe, felt something hard, took it out and found a silver dollar. Wonder and surprise [shone] upon his face. He looked at the dollar again and again, turned around and could see nobody, then proceeded to put on the other shoe; when to his great surprise he found another dollar. His feelings overcame him. … He knelt down and offered aloud a prayer of thanksgiving, in which he spoke of his wife being sick and helpless and his children without bread. … He fervently thanked the Lord for this bounty from unknown hands and evoked the blessing of heaven upon those who gave him this needed help.
“The boys remained [hidden] until he had gone.” They had been touched by his prayer and felt something warm within their hearts. As they left to walk down the road, one said to the other, “Don’t you have a good feeling?”

Annie let me do her hair today for church.  This is taken minutes before bed, but she still looks fab!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

To Turtle or Not

My dear children really want a pet.  I think having a family pet is also a great idea in theory, but in real life, some things need to be considered. Dogs are hard because they need to be walked regularly, can make your house smell funny, and make it difficult to leave town (kennels are pricey and we have no family in town desperate to dog sit.) Cats are sometimes mean, and can turn on you, or don't want to be bothered (unlike dogs.) Hamsters are just tooo close to mice/rats... I have no idea how my mom ever let us have them growing up.  Fish are easy to care for, but you don't get to hold them, or cuddle them.  FInally, there is the turtle. Hard shell.  Easy and cheap to feed.  We even have a name picked out for our potential pet " Tatiana Rose Simon James Alexander Ragfield III Hanna Montana Superstar Ninja Turtle." But turtles don't cuddle, can be easily forgotten, and have the potential of causing salmonella. All I want is a pet that is easy to care for, lovable, cheap, loyal, doesn't make messes, and knows a few tricks. I want my kids to do all of that stuff too. Is that too much to ask? I think not.

When I was about 5 we had a dessert tortoise that was named Haggis.  How funny to think that 30 years later I would live in Scotland and would eat haggis!  It didn't taste much like dessert tortoise.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Welcome Joyce Holman

Stop the press! This just in: JOYCE HOLMAN IS NOW ON FACEBOOK! Welcome my mother! Welcome to this century! Welcome to this decade!  Oh the time that you will be a able to waste away now that you can read about how 537 of your closest friends are doing.  Speaking of online friends, my twin has more FB friends then I do. How is that possible?! I have lived in 3 more states then her, and an entire other country! Anyway, welcome to my mom.  I never thought this day would come, and here it is!  FB better watch out; it's newest member is a firecracker, a breath of fresh air, a light at the end of a dark tunnel, and voice of wisdom and clarity.  I love you Mom! Now you are not just my mother, but also my friend (made official today when I clicked "confirm.") Go Mom!

I made Bolognese Sauce today, form absolute scratch, as in fresh garden tomatoes, etc.  It took about 3 years off my life as removing the skins from 30 tomatoes is a truly vexing task, but in the end, really tasty food is almost always worth the effort extended to prepare it... or the price at that amazing restaurant you just bought it from:~) Much thanks to Amy E. for the recipe.

Owen almost made it to his bedroom, but then tuckered out right near the front door.  We watched The Emperor's New Groove tonight, which was wonderful, and I'm sure the laughter and joy of the show just wiped Owen out.  "Boom Baby."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

From vs. Form

Calvin has been working on typing homework all day today.  He's not doing that bad, considering that Scotland didn't focus on developing that skill at all.  I remember taking a typing course in high school.  I think I got a "B" because I was too scared to type without looking at the keys, and the looking slowed me down, which meant my wpm weren't nearly as speedy as they should/could have been.  And while we're on that most interesting topic of typing, for all of you that regularly read my blog, I want to let all of you know that I know that my biggest typing error is typing "form" when I mean to type "from." When proofreading, those two words are just similar enough that my eye rarely catches it, until loads of people have read it, and then I feel silly.  There. Know that I know. Now we can both know that I know together.

Annie Joy saw a typewriter the other day and asked me what it was.  I remember with great clarity my mother typing out final drafts of homework assignments. 10 points for Mom!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Day Remembered

12 years ago Ryan and I were living in a small apartment in Tucson, Arizona.  We were at Holly Avenue, Apartment I.  Ryan was working part-time in an architecture firm, going to school full time at U of A.  I was the full time mom of our then 2 year old son, Preston, and was making Calvin (about 5 1/2 months pregnant.)  Ryan had left the house early for work.  Preston and I were hanging out in the family room when I switched on the television and saw the news of the twin towers in New York being attacked. Later the pentagon would also become a target. It was insane. Just shocking. And terribly sad. I remember sobbing at the senseless tragedy, along with many Americans across the nation.   Also, like many other Americans today, I spent a few minutes reflecting on the events of September 11, 2001. For too many, this date reflects that 12 years have passed since they lost their dad, mom, husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or dear friend.  Those of you who lost a loved one because of 911 have been in my thoughts and prayers today.  You and yours are not forgotten.  I know that you will see them again someday.

Flags up all over Bountiful today in memory of 9 11.

Owen and his pal Preston dipping around at the park while Annie had soccer practice.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

5 years of Deliciousness!

Tonight a group of gals from our neighborhood went out to dinner to celebrate our 5th anniversary of Iron Chef Bountiful.  5 years ago I started a neighborhood cooking group that has met once a month ever since.  The hostess gets to pick the theme ingredient.  We have a gourmet, anonymous potluck and then winners are selected from the feast. If your dish is awesome, you can return home with a full belly, and either the gold, silver or bronze trophy.  A year later the "presentation trophy" was created to honor that special dish that looks just amazing.  It really has been loads of fun, and I missed ICB very much last year whilst in Scotland. Here's to another 5 years of tastiness!

Pretty ladies dining at Red Rock.  It was a lovely night!

Monday, September 9, 2013

FHE Baptism Night

Two churchy posts in a row! Can you handle it?! Tonight for Family Home Evening (FHE) I gave a little lesson on baptism, with the help of my boys.  Annie Joy will be turning eight in 52 days, which means that she will be able to become an official member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by entering into the covenant of baptism.  For some, the idea of getting baptized at eight might seem really late, as their religion might do infant baptism.  Mormons wont do it until you are eight.  But with such a huge commitment, I sometimes think that eight is a little young to be making such an important choice.  But here is why it's great to be eight in our church.  When one gets baptized they are immediately blessed with the gift of the Holy Ghost.   This you can have with you always,  to be your  guide,  to direct, warn, encourage, inspire, teach, and help you.  What I like about eight is that at this age, you know right from wrong, but most likely haven't been around long enough to have totally messed up your life.  The gift of the Holy Ghost is like being handed an umbrella as you walk out into the rain.  WIthout it, you would eventually figure out that you were getting rained on, and that you wanted an umbrella, but by then you would be wet. Now picture the rain as sin, and the umbrella the Holy Ghost, which makes baptism at 8 a real winner winner chicken dinner.

This is the paper chain that we made tonight for Annie's countdown to baptism.  She is holding the white one paper ring, which she can tear off on the last day.  She found the crown somewhere around the house right before I took the picture.  She has a flair for the dramatic, like her father.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

1:00pm Church

How is it possible to run late for church that starts at 1:00pm?!? Simply ridiculous.  We caught the whole meeting, but had to enjoy the services from the cheap seats (the hard metal chairs located in  overflow at the back of the room.) Even in cold chairs, I love attending church every Sunday.  Here are some reasons why, in no particular order.

- I like to dress up. It's basically the one time a week I bother to do my hair.  I especially love wearing tights as they make me feel like a leprechaun.

- It's a wholesome family tradition.  We do it every week.  Rain or shine. Scotland or Utah or Arizona.  If we can find a meeting house, even on vacation, we will attend.

- I love the hymns.  One of my favorite bits about our ward (congregation) in Edinburgh is that they put their whole hearts and souls into belting out the hymns of praise.

- Church is a wonderful way to re-inforce the core values I want my kids to learn: honesty, charity, respect, faith, obedience, cheerfulness, etc.

- The women.  I know of no other location where so many awesome, unique, caring, interesting and attractive women congregate.  I learn so much from them every Sunday.  They are an inspiration to me, a gentle reminder to improve, a breath of fresh air, and the source of the greatest friendship I will ever have on this earth. I love my sisters in the gospel!

- I love the doctrines found in my church:  Prophets, apostles, The Bible and Book of Mormon, Relief Society, Visiting Teaching, Baptism, Commandments, Blessings, Healings,... Miracles!

In short, church rocks.  If you haven't been in a while, the Devil will try to persuade you that church is lame.  Ignore him and give it a shot again.  Trust me, Lindsey Joy Smith.  What have you got to lose?

This little gem was all over the buses and signs in Edinburgh.  I simply love it!  Too often when I am faced with a problem, I will research it on the internet, ask my mother about it, whine to my twin about, then fret over it whilst making dinner. Silliness when the power of prayer is always there.

Nighttime Song

I remember when Calvin was around 5 years old and Ryan and I were putting him to bed.  We said prayers with him, tucked him in, and then started to sing a well known children's hymn, I Am A Child of God.  Our kids all know this song by heart, and they generally love it.  On this particular night, however, Calvin wanted to hear a "real song." "What do you want us to sing?" we asked. Eye of the Tiger. So... Ryan and I launched into "Risin up, back on the street, did my time took my chances..." We sounded ridiculous, Calvin loved it, and he went straight to sleep.

I still sing my kids a song almost every time I put them to bed.  It's usually a children's hymn like "Teach me to Walk in the Light," "As I Have Loved You" or the ever popular "I Am A Child of God"... but sometimes, like tonight, the words get stuck in my throat. My voice starts to crack, and I am met with irony.  As I sing a lullaby about God's love for this little person, I know that I failed several times today to show that love.  I lacked patience, humor, tenderness, and charity.  I could have been a worse Mom today, but I also could have been so much better. It's nights like these when I listen to Andy Grammer's "Keep Your Head Up"...  only rainbows after rain, the sun will always come again...

Owen played his first game of the season.  Attendance for his team was low so the boys ended up playing the entire hour.  To say they lost would be an understatement, but they are all too young to really care about the score, and they got an after after game treat, so what evs.

Annie Joy had a game today as well.  She did great, and even got a stab at being goalie.  No goals scored under her watch!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dear Ikea

Dear Ikea,

I thought you should know that yesterday I bought a 6 drawer dresser from your store.  When I got home, I realized that I accidentally purchased the wrong color and that it didn't match the Ikea bed that we purchased a few years ago.  I drove back to your store again this morning (which is an hour round trip) to exchange the dresser for the right color.  Incidentally, why don't you open until 10:00am? You're a kid friendly store.  Who has kids and gets to sleep in? Anywho,  The return was quick and easy, and I opted for the gift card as it was the fastest and easiest way to get the right dresser and get out.  Imagine my disappointment, however, when I discovered that you simply no longer make the finish I am looking for.  I hate to do this to you, but I need to let you know that I am very disappointed in you tonight.  And I doubt that even a Swedish meatball platter with lingonberry sauce, gravy and mash will make me feel better. Ikea, if I could put you in timeout, I would. But don't worry, now I have a stinkin gift card, so I will return.  Well played, you.

Lindsey Joy Smith

Look at that yellow and blue, just luring us in.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Social Geography

Preston has spent the last three nights working on an information packet for his geography class.  I have actually never seen him study this hard or long for anything, ever.  The plus side is that he is learning many new things.  The downside is that every once in awhile, my sweet kids will ask me a question about the world in which we dwell.  I always answer their questions; sometimes with hard facts and at other times I offer my official opinion.  I make no distinction about the source of my answers... Over the last three days my oldest child has begun the disillusionment process of discovering that I really don't know everything about the world around me, and that some of my theories are warped, misinformed and sometimes even illogical (albeit entertaining.) Oh, to return to the good old days where the questions were easy, and I really did have all the answers!

Late night cram session. What a good guy!

Lunch at Ikea with a pal.  I'm like "15 meatballs?!? How the heck am I going to eat all of that?"... and then I did.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Shew fly, don't bother me. Every once in a while, when I'm ready to go to bed, and I'm in my covers, all snuggly and warm, a fly starts buzzing around the room.  As if I'm just going to be able to fall asleep with a stinkin fly pestering me. Unacceptable.  This has happened more than once.

I helped out in Owen's CHinese kinder class. He's a champion.

Simon had some homework but Annie had a soccer practice.  Homework at the park!

Annie getting some instruction from her coach, Jill.

The following is just a progression of Owen on a slide.  I just thought it looked cool.