Monday, August 31, 2015

Magical laundry

I remember when I was much younger, one summer, writing a song with my siblings about dirty laundry. Both my parents worked full time (three cheers for food and electricity!) Laundry day came no one wanted to do it, but we all still wanted clean underwear.  I recall thinking that laundry was so difficult to do, almost like a complicated magic trick. I no longer feel this way, and recognize that the magic isn't in the actual doing of the laundry, but in the magic of finding the motivation to do the laundry. Profound. Either way, I really wish I knew some magic.

And for the curious:

Dirty Laundry
By the Holman 4 
(not to be confused with the Jackson 5)

Dirty Laundry... hanging on a line
Dirty laundry... smelling up a storm
No one wants to wash you
No one wants to wear you
The washing machine is broke
Let's take you to the dump
and get new clothes
But for now
We'll just have to wear
Clothes pins on our nose.

What are big sister's for?

To place darling little brother's in laundry baskets.

These two are bound to be BFF's.

Best advice I have ever heard at a couples bridal shower.  
"Always make sure you have more underwear than your spouse. Then you will never have to instigate doing the laundry." Wise words.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


On this sabbath day, my heart is literally overflowing with gratitude for my Savior, for my Heavenly parents, for my children, siblings, parents, friends, and especially for my spouse/soul-mate/eternal companion/best friend/ lover/husband. It's not our anniversary or his birthday.  It's simply the fact that every once in awhile, God grants me with a brief glimpse of clarity regarding how truly blessed I am.  Almost one year ago, my husband was diagnosed with cancer.  Tonight, he's resting in bed next to me, cancer free, and preparing to take on Monday at the office.  There's no place in the world I'de rather be.

Dad and Norman

Dinners with missionaries from our church (the Mormons.) What great men, and the one on the left is and absolute whiz at the piano.

At the farm to pick raspberries on Saturday.
Love the wagon rides.

We barely found enough for two small containers, but what we did eat was amazing.

Those are our bag of fresh picked peaches just to the left.

I just love spending time with these people in the great outdoors.

Found this toy in the clearance section of Walmart.
Only $2, what a gonga!

Attended my cousin's homecoming sacrament service. He served in Mexico.  Pictured here with the mother of the missionary, my Aunt.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Day # 1

On this first day of school my sweet little Norman woke up around 4am and wanted some milk. I woke up to him, and a raging migraine. I fed him, tried to read the migraine medicine dosage through blurred vision, and proceeded to go back to bed.  It's hard to sleep when my head is throbbing, every noise sounds 30x louder, and the whole blurred vision thing still happens when my eyes are closed. Weird.  So I did not get to wish Calvin (8th grade) and Preston (11th grade) well on their first day of school.  No pics of them either; lame. I did not get to make a crazy awesome good luck at school breakfast. Ryan made pancakes, though, which is still pretty good.  By the time my younger three needed to leave, I was able to get up and walk them. Despite this lame send off, every one still had a really fabulous first day. I'm so glad this day has finally arrived. Long live school day #1! Down with migraines forever!

It didn't even occur to me to get individual pictures of them.
They are excited and eager for this school year, and I'm super happy with their teacher assignments.

****This post is for Monday, August 24th, 2015****
My computer is no longer buffed, so I'm back to posting. It only took 1.5 hours at the apple store. Worth every minute.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Pox on my House

Dear Everyone,
I exist to make all others feel good about their ability to use technology. Nothing technological works for me.  My computer, my phone, the brand new external harddrive that was intended to save up some space so that all the other toys would work better.  A pox on me, on my house, on my tech.  I just want to post some pics of the first day of school. Is that so wrong?! I guess I get to go back to the Apple store. Boooo.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Speedy Zucchini

Every year my church congregation has a lovely potluck barbecue at a favorite close-by park. We also race zucchini that has been strapped to any thing that rolls down a track. It's ridiculous. It's fun.  It's a tradition.  It was tonight.

The zucchini track is pretty impressive.  The racers are divided into their weight category. Two races go at a time. There are semifinals and finals for each weight class.  It's so fun!

Simon's wasn't going very fast, but there's still smile on his face because the whole event is silliness.

Simon, Annie and Owen celebrating (even though there was no win) at the finish line.

My leprechaun.

Open House

Finally!!!! School starts in just a few days. My dear sweet elementary school kids met their new teachers and checked out their new classrooms. I am eager for the school year to start, and am already gearing up for the ridiculous amount of time homework will take.  If the school gets my kid for 7 hours, I vote that they just finish all the worksheets there. Preemptive rant over.

I donated blood today. No graphic pics of me giving blood, just a lovely shot of the snack table.  Here's the deal. I HATE giving blood, but there's simply no substitution for blood when you need blood. It's not like a recipe that calls for ground beef, but you're out so you use ground turkey instead...It's so important, even more so then not littering.  I went a little white, I got leaned back for a few minutes, but I did not pass out...this time:~)

Doesn't Owen look thrilled?!

Annie checking in to her new Chinese class.

**** This post is for Thursday, August 20th, 2015.****

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Getting Prepared

Some thoughts on Preparedness that I was working on today, for a preparedness potluck that was poorly attended (which wasn't a big deal since I didn't really want to to go either.)

Getting spiritually prepared…

“So, the great test of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God’s commands in the midst of the storms of life. It is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage.” … Henry B Eyring

-          say meaningful prayers
-       read scriptures daily
-       do service
-       read your patriarchal blessing
-       attend the temple
-       forgive others
-       forgive yourselves
-       write in a gratitude journal
-       apologize promptly
-       spend time with family
-       work towards a goal
-       encourage others
-       attend church meetings
-       keep the Sabbath day holy
-       cultivate your talents
-       practice listening to the Holy Ghost 
-       follow promptings from the Holy Ghost
-       learn Hymns
-       memorize favorite scriptures, hymns, thoughts
-       Keep your commitments
-       Ask for a blessing

The best time to start is twenty years ago.  The next best time to start is today.
  ----Ancient Proverb from Atlantis

Back to school cool. Calvin met all of his teachers and he's going to have a really fab year.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Why I love Tennessee

Harry T Burn was a member of the Tennessee Legislature when women's suffrage was to be voted upon.  The vote was deadlocked with 48 - 48 on each side, and Harry initially voted not to pass women's suffrage. With the initial vote a tie, the legislature decided to have a re-vote the next day. Harry was only 24 at the time, and on that very eve of the re-vote, he received a letter from a very special woman. His mother. She encouraged him to vote for women's suffrage, and so he did.  His vote tipped the scales in the Tennessee legislature, which tipped the scales in the US, helping to pass the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote.  When reflecting on his vote, Harry said "I believe in full suffrage as a right... I believe we had a moral and legal right to ratify. I know a mother's advice is always safest for her boy to follow, and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification."  How grateful I am for Phoebe Ensminger Burn (Harry's mom) and that God made sure the mail was delivered on time, before the final vote. Good things to think about on this historic anniversary of our right to vote.

I will forever be a feminist; I believe that women and men are equal and should have equal rights and opportunities.  

A poster during the suffrage movement.  

The only redeeming thing about this picture is that because we can't see their faces, we don't know who they are, and they won't be immortalized as being on the wrong side of freedom, justice and equality... and maybe they were at the booth to argue that women should be able to vote?... maybe?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Our last Monday of the summer

Special delivery from Owen and Annie:
 a clay decoration thing, a chocolate  covered strawberry, and the last bits of a lip balm tube.
I had to sign for the items.

For FHE, we planted some flowers for a friend.


SO much fun. Annie swung about 20 times before she made contact.  She was laughing so hard. 

Annie is pet sitting this week.  The kitten is darling; Shark Bait.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

300 Feet

My oldest son had the good fortune to head out this weekend (Thurs- Sat) to Zion's National Park in Southern Utah. He had an amazing time hiking, camping and repelling... repelling 300 feet in a total free fall.  Insane, but apparently loads of fun.  Just to make sure he enjoyed himself, he did it twice.  How grateful I am for his church leaders who took the time to venture out with these boys and make wonderful memories.  How grateful I am for the families that they left behind in order to serve the youth whom they look after.

I wanna glide down over Mulholland
I wanna write her name in the sky
I wanna free fall out into nothin'
Gonna leave this world for awhile

And I'm free, free fallen'

Norman at church wearing this darling bow tie made by my lovely niece.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

5 Months

How on earth have five months already passed since this little man joined our family?!  He is certainly the baby of the family, because everything Norman does is art.  All of his siblings have fallen in love with him.  He still has no teeth, rolls over only occasionally, loves chewing on his little hands, likes playing with his feet, can now sit up in his highchair, and brings me joy.  What a fabulous person. We love Norman the Mormon, or Stormin Norman, or our little Normanator.

*** This post is for Friday, August 14th, 2015***
My Mother is in town to help do some end of summer cleaning at my Grandpas' with her siblings.

A Ghost Story

When my mother was about fifteen she lived in the basement bedroom of her parents home with her 12 year old sister. The house was large and one night her parents where away for the evening.  The dark had finally come. They were settling into their beds when they heard what sounded like an animal had fallen in their window well.  They both agreed that it would be too creepy to peek through their window blinds to see what was stuck in the window well so they ran upstairs to their parents bedroom.  Their room was directly above my mothers room. They opened up the window in their parents room and looked down into their window well... and saw a man, crouching down, peering into their bedroom down below. They both started screaming....

My Mother and her sister... in the room... with the window.

My Opa, Aunt JoAn, and fab mother.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

One More Thursday to Go!

Eventually, summer is going to end and the school year will start up.  my kids have been begging to go to a trampoline place, and I finally consented. We know of two locations. One is a bit pricier and more fabulous than the other, but the firs place has a height requirement that puts my wonderful seven year old-soon to be second grader- in the kiddie area, which is Sandi Lame-O Zoo, so we headed to Sky Walker Trampoline park, and park we did... for about 3 hours. Boom, baby. Only one more Thursday to go until school starts.

Norman just hung out on his blanket. What a guy.

Owen jumping high into the sky.

Annie wanted so badly to jump with her little brother, but settled on holding him while sitting on a tramp.

Owen about to get to the top of the rock wall.

Owen was too light for the safety chord to let him go down, so the worker had to go get a hook to pull him back to the ground.

Simon just about to hit the buzzer that celebrates your victory reach of the top.

Annie could climb this thing all day.

Calvin wan't such a fan.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Just eat It

I recall as young child truly enjoying the Weird Al Yankovic.  One of my favorites was his play on Michael Jackson's "Just Beat it" with his ridiculous version "Just Eat It." I love to cook, and I love to eat, which is why days like today are so much fun.  I did a cooking demo on the tv show, Studio 5.  I go on monthly and it's always fun trying to figure out what to demo.  Typically, I end up doing a demo on something that I'm craving, so Greek food was the winner of the day: Greek Stuffed tomatoes.  Tasty and pretty. It airs tomorrow at 11:00am, Utah time.

Tasty, and not even that hard to make.

Knock off of Cafe Rio Mint Limeade

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Winner Dish and Winner Playdate

First up: carryout an epic playdate for about 30 neighborhood friends in a rotating neighborhood playdate.  I had the first of the four 45 minute time slots. We did an obstacle course with 7 different stations: run through the tires, crab walk across a ladder, climb through a tunnel, rope swing, tetherball, summersault on the mat, and lastly jumping jacks (according to your age: one for each year.) It was super fun! The kids went on to other houses for water games, lunch, popsicles and jumping castles.  Super fun.  The day ended with a dryer that is now working (ten points to Ryan for checking to see if the breaker needed to be tripped) and with a tasty night spent with my favorite culinary friends at our neighborhood cooking group, Iron Chef Bountiful. I won the Gold trophy to boot.

Puff pastry with "ICB" on top. Cheesy.
The theme ingredient was Mango, so I made a Mango Brie Bliss with a Mango Curry Chutney.  The Chutney was to die for.

A picture of some of the other delightful dishes I got to eat.

Mango Curry Chutney.

A group picture.  The hostess tossed her head back for the photo. Super fun!

The playdate began with a rousing game of duck, duck, goose.

Playing on the rope that my fab twin's family gave us.

A group shot.

Walking the group to the next house.

Owen running to have a go on the slip and slide.