June 30, 2009


There are moments. And you can feel it.

I made a run to the Post Office not too long ago to mail off a drawing. I'm sure we make quite the spectacle. The kids like to hide behind the display cases that hold stamps which seem to require a second mortgage on your house in order to purchase them.

The kids know they aren't suppose to play with or touch anything. But still, they are just kids and every once in a while I have to remind them that the mailing tubes aren't swords, the Express labels aren't coloring paper, and they can't take the boxes with the brightly printed flowers home with them.

I was waiting my turn in line. Savannah starts laughing rather loudly as she exclaimed,"Help! I'm stuck! I'm stuck!"

She couldn't fit her head between two display cases and she thought it was just SO funny. While she was doing that, I turned to look at her. She was just as happy as could be. But she was looking at an older lady who was probably in her late 60's to early 70's, fully expecting to receive a smile from this "grandma" looking person.

I looked at the lady who was watching Savannah.

She didn't smile back. In fact, her mouth didn't do anything but pull down a bit in the corners as her eyebrows lifted up in obvious disapproval.

That's when I felt it.

This overwhelming desire to protect my daughter from this lady's disapproving glare. I didn't want Savannah to feel hurt, or sad or even have that memory there. It was the strangest moment. I just wanted to glare back at this little old lady and ask her what right she has to disapprove of my sweet little girl's happiness!

Perhaps it was because I feared disapproval so much myself as a child, I don't know.

Its been several days and I still can't stop thinking about this lady.

Was she the "children should be seen and not heard" type?
Did she have a bad childhood?
Did she have a bad child-raising experience?
Had her life been hard and is she lonely?
I just can't help but wonder what it was about this lady's life that turned her out as it did.

Its silly really. Something so small and fleeting should leave such a lasting impression in my mind.

So I just want to take this moment to say, thanks to anyone who has ever smiled at a struggling parent, or at that screaming child. For even that happy little girl seeking the smiles and attention of others.

It makes a difference.

Well, it does to me anyway.

June 29, 2009

Smile! Its Monday.

Savannah ran into the house all in a tizzy.

"Mom!" she exclaimed, "Mom, there's a swamp on our house!"

I knew immediately what she was talking about because she can never remember the right word.

"A swamp? On our house?"
I tried to sound shocked.

she gasped, " A bee swamp!"

She meant a wasp.

Savannah: "Help! I'm stuck like a giant!"

Jacob talks a little too well sometimes. When I wouldn't give him something he wanted the other day he looked up at me with his pouty face.

"No! You in bi fwouble mommy! I go tell Vannah!"

He marches off. Next thing I see is Jacob with his head on Savannah's lap looking all weepy. Savannah pets his head and comforts him.

"Its okay Jacob. We'll go ask daddy!"

Tell me. What do I do with a four-year old girl who's new favorite phrase is,

"That's totally awesome!"

June 25, 2009

You Did What? Weird.

The strangest things can make me do the strangest things.

Tuesdays is garbage day. I did a quick check around the house for any and all garbage, and as I placed my last bag into the garbage can, I realized it was only half full.

And it just rubbed me wrong.

Like seeing a guy wearing skinny jeans.

I was irked.

Not that I wanted it to be full of household trash or anything. Its just that, well, if we have to pay a monthly fee to have the garbage picked up then I want it to be worth it!

I wanted my trash can to be full.

So I did the strangest thing. I started pulling the weeds out of our front yard. Why is that strange? Because weeds ARE our front yard. We have no grass, just tall weeds. I filled up three large garbage bags full of weeds. This filled our can to full and then some, before the truck came around to pick it up.

And I felt quite satisfied, accomplished, cavalier.

Cavalier? What in the world am I talking about....

So then I spent all afternoon pulling thistles and weeds out of our garden. Now I have a pretty sweet glove line. It actually looks much worse in person.

I would have shown a picture of the tops of my knees, since they are a nice red color and just a bit crispy, as well as my awesome sock line around my ankles, except that I am, well, just a bit... er, you know, prickly.

Like a 5'o clock shadow on a man. Not that I mind a 5'o clock shadow on a man. Scruffy can be nice, scruffy can be sexy. But I've never heard of anyone saying, "Oh wow! Look at the prickles on that girls legs! Oh ya, now that looks nice!"

And if I did, I would walk away as quickly as possible.

Then yesterday, I decided I would just finish the job. We have no lawn mower, not that it would help. Most of the weeds were too tall for it anyway. We need to spray them and kill them, but they are too big for that. We need to cut them first. We were even told that a weed whacker wouldn't do much against the monster weeds. I suppose we could pay someone to come in and mow it down but that's just more money we don't want spend. So there was nothing left to do but pull.

It looks so much better! Sorry, no "before" picture. But you'll get the idea when you see the backyard.

Anyway, Luke came home for lunch when I was about half-way done with the front. He looked at me and the weeds then walked around to the back and said, "Ya, we'll pretty much have to do that back here too."

Oh man! What have I done! Anyone free for the next couple days? I could use a few extra hands!

And yes, our property line is BEHIND the trees.

When I first tried to get the kids to help me Savannah replied, "But mom, kids aren't suppose to work!"

Well, at least I got about 10 minutes out of her today.

And I need a whole lot of aloe vera.
And a back rub.
A foot rub would be nice too.
Maybe even a bag of chocolate for energy.
Perhaps a session with a therapist.

Then I'd be set.

Okay, I've changed my mind after looking at the pictures again. I suddenly like the idea of hiring someone.

June 24, 2009

Better Late Than Never

So, I'm never really sure when I'm suppose to use "then" or "than". My writing style might make it painfully obvious that I was not an English major... of any sort.

Well, I have a whole slew of pictures to show. This is a family reunion we went to the weekend before last in Paris!

Huh? Oh... no, not Paris, France.
Paris, Idaho. And believe me, they aren't anything alike.
And yes, I would know because I've been to both places.

It was suppose to be a camping trip but with all the rain, camping in mud didn't sound too thrilling to me, especially since Alayna had just got over a cold.

Of course, I suppose there was always the option of doing mud angels and making a slip n' sludge. But I didn't really think to come up with those activities at the time. So we just drove up Saturday and met up with everyone else who had camped that night. After lunch we went down to the Minnetonka Caves.

There was a bit of a wait so the kids kept themselves entertained with the water fountain...

...yelling at the squirrels...

... and food, of course. And yes. Frosting covered animal cookies are indeed a food group.
If you don't believe me you can look it up.

But it really was quite gorgeous there. Here we are walking down to the cave entrance.

And here it is.
Ugh! Just looking at this next picture makes my heart beat a bit faster. My stomach is feeling a bit funny and I suddenly feel cold.

I have a slight case of claustrophobia. Not real bad, but enough. Actually, the caves weren't TOO crushingly, painfully bad but there were a few areas I REALLY didn't want to walk down and I was ready to turn around and run back to the light. But I made it, I'm still here today, mind in tact.

And no, that is not open to comment or speculation.

Savannah loved it. And since Luke and I were in the back of the group dealing with grouchy toddler boys who wanted to be carried, then wanted to walk the stairs all by themselves, then wanted to be carried, etc., she just stayed right up in the front with the tour guide.

I don't think we heard a word the guide said. We were too busy trying to keep the boys from plunging off and edge to certain pain and agony. But of course, they just thought we were trying to spoil all their fun.

At least Luke was able to get a good workout in!

This girl just cracks me up!

Savannah wanted to take some pictures. So these next ones are her handiwork... that is the only reason you guys are privy to a picture of my backside.

Click on the family picture below. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Joseph and Savannah's faces in this. And there's poor Alayna, wondering what in the world is going on!

Once we FINALLY made it back out, it was POURING rain. And we were all cold and wet.

Can you tell that the roads were a bit muddy? No? Hmm... perhaps I should point out that we did not paint our car part silver part gold. That's dirt from the road that leads to the campsite.

Poor Luke got to load up all the kids.

When we finally got back it was just so wet and muddy I fed Alayna in the car, then Jacob and I just hung out for a while.

What a stud muffin.

A very chattery stud muffin...

..who wants a set of wheels already. Actually, he's a little obsessed with motercycles.

The rain finally stopped and we broke camp. The kids had one last romp in the mud and managed to find some of the most ENORMOUS earth worms! I mean, I've seen snakes smaller than these guys! Too bad I didn't take a picture of one.

Of course we had to do a little strip action with the kids since they were covered in mud.

It was fun.

June 23, 2009

Topical Tuesday

The pressure can be intense sometimes, really intense. People joke about it, but I have seen for myself just how true it is. "If moms not happy, no one is happy."

In my humble opinion, I think its a bit unfair that things work out that way. Does this mean we aren't entitled to our "bad" days? What happens if we have a bad week? Or a bad month?

At some point, everyone feels a bit frustrated. And I was just thinking about this when I came across this by Lavina Fielding.

Women who are bored, frustrated, lonely, and unhappy are terribly handicapped in also trying to be righteous. For some, the answer is changing their circumstances. For others, the answer is changing their character to meet those circumstances.

She also quoted another woman:

"And I also knew that my Heavenly Father wouldn’t set me on a course of life that would make me constantly miserable. So my job was to find happiness in that course of life. Once I started looking for the Lord’s kind of happiness instead of my own, I found it.”

So, at the risk of sounding cheesy, but I suppose cheese is better than whine, and since I was in such a good mood yesterday, I'm going to take a moment and share some incredibly GREAT accomplishments that I have done in the last couple of days.

-For the first time EVER, I bought and cooked with Leeks.

Leeks, sometimes called "the gourmet's onion" are related to onions and garlic, but have flat leaves instead of tubular and relatively little bulb development. The thick leaf bases and slightly developed bulb look like a giant green onion, and are eaten as a cooked vegetable. Leeks are not as popular in the United States as they are in Europe, where they are known as "poor man's asparagus."

Who knew? Well, not me. I had no idea what type of vegetable it was, and I was so nervous about it. But the "Ginger Sesame Chicken" turned out SO GOOD!

I will admit, I was immensely proud of myself. Especially since the recipe called for "fish sauce" and that just sounds downright nasty cause I don't like seafood. But I was true to the recipe and bought it anyway. So, there you go. I stepped out of my comfort zone.

-I finally unpacked the last two boxes that have been sitting by my bed since we moved into our house about, what two months ago now?
It was completely exciting, like getting a bag of chocolate!... well, almost that good.

-I was feeling quite upbeat yesterday and I was actually singing in the kitchen... while I was cooking! And believe me, I don't sing at all... unless you call the sound of a barking seal singing. Even Luke came home for lunch and looked at me a bit funny while I was humming over his turkey and cheese sandwich.

-I haven't shown any art work lately, mostly cause I haven't done too much, but these are my three latest pieces.

June's Primary Poster for LDV

The granddaughter of a couple my dad baptized on his mission

A friend of mine had this done as a Father's day gift for her husband

Sometimes its hard to get yourself out of a rut, at least it is for me. So I find greatness in the little things.
So in the name of all that is cheesy, tell me, what great thing have you accomplished lately?

I hope everyone has something to say.

And I confess, I covet comments.

Just don't tell my Bishop.

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