My inspiration for this record of my days:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen

Monday, August 8, 2016

Back to school 2016

At the beginning of the summer we had some simple rules:

Keep your "zone" clean all day
"Brain work" before play
Healthy food before treats
One hour of video game time

Nothing too grandiose there.  I know from experience not to aim too high in the summer.

But by the end of the summer we had sunk so. very. low.  Here was our one goal:

Try to make it one hour, at some point during the day, without media.  That's it.  And oh! the anguish!  The weeping and wailing during that one hour of torture!

Needless to say, I was READY for school to start again!  We always stagger school start dates, so here they are in order of when they started back.

These two head off at 6:10 every morning for "A hour." Usually at 6:09 Savannah is telling Caleb she's going to leave without him if he doesn't hurry, and Caleb is finishing packing up his 5 PB&J sandwiches.   I like to get myself up at 6:00 so I can at least send them off with a "Have a great day!"

Eli has been counting down for MONTHS until he could start preschool with Miss Becky!  His cousin Emmett is in his class, as well as a couple of neighbors.  There was not one ounce of hesitation or nervousness as he charged off to his first day of school!  That boy is ready to take on the world!

Jonah is a sixth grader this year, but we're doing school online.  I kept him at home second semester of last year, and he really thrived.  This year we are stepping up our structure by doing online school, but it still feels nice and relaxed.  AND he can take breaks to play basketball between every lesson!

JOSH IS IN HIGH SCHOOL THIS YEAR!!!  It seems impossible to me, but it's true.  He is at ALA, so he doesn't get to be with Savannah and Caleb, but I love ALA so much more than the public high school.  Josh has some great friends there, and great teachers.  I think it's going to be a good year!

My little Simon is in second grade.  He couldn't figure out why I was walking him up to the school this morning. He said he could probably find where his new class lines up by himself.  So I snapped a quick picture, and he headed off to the playground, happy and confident!

And I can't stand to leave Becca out of this post, even if she hasn't gone back to school yet!  She has been home with us off and on this summer.  Working full days in Thatcher for a couple of weeks, then home for a couple of weeks.  Happily, she was home to celebrate her birthday yesterday.  This girl is such a ray of sunshine! She is thoughtful, kind, inclusive, and happy.  I could't possibly be happier or more proud of who she has become in these 19 years!  We have to move her back into her apartment in Thatcher this week, but we sure have loved having her here! (Even if we had to clear out a little space for her "bedroom" in our storage room)

My days are busy.  My brain is scattered in a million directions.  My body is always tired. My wallet is stretched (a little) thin.  But my heart is filled to overflowing!  I can't get over how good life is right now!  I'm in the middle of one of those little "bubbles" where everything feels so perfect and so fulfilling.  I know that life is like a roller coaster, and there will be hard times coming again, but right now Jeff and I keep talking about how wonderful this moment in time is for us.

I am grateful for moments.

Monday, June 27, 2016


This guy makes me laugh so many times a day!

He has some serious opinions about his clothing, and he likes to dress himself.  Obviously.

He won't wear shorts unless he's swimming.  His first choice to wear is the high-water gray jeans that were great on him last year.  If he can't find those, he'll wear any other pair of long pants, but NO SHORTS.  Even in the 115 degree weather!  Crazy kid.

He's also obsessed with tank tops.  He has two that he alternates, and it's a sad day if they both happen to be in the laundry.  

He likes them because they show off his muscles, which he's super proud of!  He will gladly flex for anyone who asks, and he can't understand why others don't feel the same.  He follows Caleb in particular around,  begging him to "pull up your sleeves and show me your muscles!  Please Caleb! Please!"

A couple other random Eli-isms:

"Mom if I get stomped on by an elephant, then my dreams will be crushed.  Because my dreams are inside of me.  Do you know dat?"

The other day he was trying to call his friend Cayden a hypocrite, but he couldn't quite get the insult right.  He kept accusing him of being a hippy quick.  Cayden was duly offended.  "I don't know what a hippy quick is, but I know it's mean!"  Later in the afternoon hippy quick had morphed into cricket hop.  HA! Even meaner!

I don't know what I would do without my silly little Eli!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Another driver

This happened today:

Caleb got his drivers permit!  We were both pretty pleasantly surprised that he passed the test the first time- since he had never actually read the manual.  He drove us home and did a great job!

He also started working for my brother in law Doug this summer.  He rides along with the AC technicians and helps where he's needed.  Hopefully he is paying close attention so that someday he will have the skills to be a tech himself.  The long hours in the heat have been taking a toll on him though.  After his second day of work he came home and fell asleep at 3:00 in the afternoon.  I could NOT get him to wake up until 9:00 the next morning!  Poor guy!

In other news:
Eli has started including this phrase in all of his prayers:  "Please bless dat nothing may accidentally fall upon us."  I'm pretty sure it's taken from the more popular "Please bless that no harm or accident may fall upon us."  Ha!  What will I do when I don't have silly little ones around anymore? 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

For me to remember

Just some random things I don't want to forget:

Eli got mad at me the other day when we were out in the back yard.  He stormed into the house and locked the door.  Savannah sent me this picture from behind enemy lines.  He built a barricade and said "I'm mad at Mom, so I'm never letting her in!"  Ha!

Speaking of Eli... he has been OBSESSED lately with "crapping" (trapping) birds.  He really wants to "eat some bird meat."   He has spent literally hours trying to figure out how to lure and trap birds so he can kill them.  These are two of his carefully thought out traps:

A nest, complete with play-dough eggs, so a bird will want to come sit on them.

He waited all morning for a bird to wander in there.

He has been stuck on this bird hunting kick for months.  But the other day we were driving somewhere, and I guess the wheels in his head were turning.  He said, very slowly, "Mom, if I crap a bird and it's a mommy, den it won't go back to his nest to take care of da baby birds."  I confirmed that he was right.  "Mom, I'm not going to crap birds anymore.  I'm going to hunt BUNNIES!"

Side note:  Simon was pretty happy to lose his two front teeth.  Especially since Nettie paid him $10 to let her pull one of them out.  That's WAY more than he gets from the tooth fairy!

Simon has gotten up to share his testimony in church for the last two months.  He wanted to get up again this month, but I wanted to make sure his reasons were sincere. (As opposed to... just wanting to get up there so he could hear himself in the microphone.)  I asked him why he wanted to bear his testimony.  His response: "I know that when we bear our testimony, it gets stronger.  And that's one of my goals."  So sweet and mature.  He got up there and said "I like to bear my testimony.  I know the Church is true.  I know that if we never set goals, then we won't get any better."

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And a Jonah story:

Today he was talking about being one of the best basketball players at school.  I was assuming it was going to be a story about how great he was, but it took a really sweet turn.    He said one of the best things about being really good at basketball is that it makes you one of the cool guys.  And then you can use that to help other kids.  "Like, the ones that nobody ever pays much attention to.  If you start to be friends with them, then other people will think they're cool too."  He named several kids that he had done that with, "and now they all have plenty of friends."  What a kind hearted boy he is!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Eli. And his imagination.

I love my little Eli and his HUGE imagination!

Lately one of his favorite games has been playing "Going to da beach."  He takes his chair outside, along with a blanket and umbrella.  He always brings a cup of water with a straw, and packs himself a snack.

He's usually content to go to the beach by himself, but the other day he decided to take some (imaginary) animals with him.  He had a giraffe, a cow, a horse, and a whole herd of goats!  He kept coming in to get bowls for water and grass to feed them.

After a while, though, he came in really upset.  "Mom! The daddy goat stepped on my toe, and now it really hurts!"  His mind had made it real enough to bring tears to his eyes!

In HEAVEN!  Holding puppies at Aunt Kami's house

He has a little stuffed "baby puppy" named Fubsy that goes everywhere with him.  Sadly, Fubsy had been missing for about two weeks.  I found him recently while folding laundry, and called Eli in excitedly to show him.  He was, as predicted, SUPER excited.  He hugged Fubsy and spun around and around saying "I can't believe it!"  After a minute, he started to worry that it was too good to be true.  "Wait, Mom.  Are we in a gweam? (translation dream)?"  When I told him that no, this wasn't a dream, he turned back to Fubsy.  "Fubsy!  It's not a gweam!!"

This packing job really struck my funny bone.  He packed his own suitcase to go to Thatcher.  These are, apparently,  all the most important things to take along.  Fubsy is the little black dog on the right.

One of our favorite pastimes- cuddling on the hammock after the kids leave for school

I keep trying to get Eli to promise that he will stay 4 forever.  He just laughs and says that he's going to grow up and be a dad.   I can't imagine life without a little one around the house!  I guess it is bound to happen at some point.  Heaven knows I don't have the energy that I used to.

But in the meantime, I'm enjoying every day that I have with this loving, enthusiastic, imaginative boy.  I'm so grateful that he's mine!

Monday, December 14, 2015

My Simon

 I want to write down a few special things about Simon before I forget them.

Simon is a really special kid.  He is smart and spunky.  Fun-loving and dependable.  Sweet, but with a tough exterior.  And always with a twinkle of mischief in his eye!  And the older he gets, the more I see kindness and an unusual spiritual maturity in him.

He loves singing.  Every night he pulls up his shirt so I can scratch his back while I sing him a song.  And every night he sings along with me.  Last week I had lost my voice, so he sang the lullaby while I scratched his back.

He likes to sit by me in church so we can sing the hymns together.  He can read well enough now that he follows along, and sings every word of every hymn.  A couple of weeks ago at the Sunday dinner table, we were doing "highs."  Simon said his high was singing the songs in sacrament meeting.  Way to melt his mother's heart!

Over Thanksgiving the cousins were all sleeping in Grandma and Grandpa's "rumpus room."  The movie had ended (it was like 11:00pm) and most of the kids were asleep. Grandpa walked through to turn off the TV and saw Simon upside down on the couch.  Thinking he had crashed in an uncomfortable position, he went to help Simon lay down in his bed.  But Simon wasn't asleep. Grandpa had accidentally interrupted his personal prayers.  All on his own, late at night, this sweet boy was praying to his Heavenly Father.

Tonight Jeff was trying to coax the kids into cleaning up the family room, and Simon was the only one cooperating.  After several failed attempts to get the older kids helping,  Jeff went and got a stack of fifty one dollar bills and handed them to Simon as a reward!  (Perhaps a bit over dramatic, but that's not the point.)  Now, to understand the rest of the story, you have to know how much Simon loves money!  He is always trying to get people to pay him for things he has done, or sweet talk them into donating to him.  So fifty dollars was a dream come true for him!!  He had a great time waving it around in front of his incredulous siblings!

But a couple of hours later, he heard Josh lamenting that he didn't have enough money to pay for Christmas presents because he owed money for a broken window.  He quietly went and got his whole stack of money and handed it to Josh.  "Here Josh.  You need this more than I do."  I couldn't believe it!  Just like that, he was willing to part with that money for his brother.  Josh didn't accept the money, but I was so moved by that gesture.  What a pure little heart- to give, without hesitation, everything he had.

As I type this, he keeps getting out of his bed to get "one more drink" or to try to explain why Eli deserves the spit on his bed.  So I guess he's a pretty typical almost-seven-year-old.  Not always an angel.

The scriptures say that Mary "kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."  I want to do the same thing with these sweet experiences I have with my children.  The best way I know of to "keep" these things, is to write them down.  And as I ponder them in my heart, I feel that heart swell with gratitude to my Heavenly Father. What a humbling, joyful privilege it is to be the mother of such an amazing little boy.  I can't wait to see the man he will become.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Something about boys

Boys are their own species for sure.  I should know.  I live in a house full of them!

Growing up in a family of mostly girls, I was not prepared for this life.  I have really come to love and embrace their strange world, for the most part.

The super heros and the ninjas; the bugs and lizards; the fireworks; the sound effects; the dirt and the constant food.  It really is quite charming and endearing when you stop trying to understand, and just roll with it.

But there is one thing about boy-ness that I am struggling to embrace.  The never-ending, constant, unrelenting, continual motion!  It's really making me crazy! I know there is a scientific law that says that an object in motion tends to stay in motion.  Boys are proof of that law!

It is really rare to find a moment in my house when all objects and people are at rest.  There are always balls being bounced against the wall.  There are balls and/or NERF bullets flying through the air.  There are rip-sticks or hover boards zipping around corners.  There are hands and feet flashing out to "barely touch" a brother as he walks by.  There are sock skaters and blanket magic carpets.  There are people leaping over couches or jumping to touch every door jam as they pass through... just to see if they can do it.

It's exhausting.  But only for me, apparently.