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

Sunday, November 29, 2009



I don’t feel jealous of other people, because that would be petty and immature.   But if I did ever feel tempted…

I might feel a slight twinge of envy when I see one of those people at the grocery store in cute, well put together outfits.  You know… the ones that are leisurely browsing the aisles with a little basket dangling from their arm.  The basket usually contains a sampling of several fresh fruits and veggies, some expensive health-conscious cereal, and a very small but luxurious treat.

I try not to glare at them when they smile at me over my heaping basket of bulk items.  I, too have something dangling from my arm.  It’s Simon, who has grown tired of riding in the cart, and is busy throwing up crackers into my shoe.  While I smear that around with a rag, Jonah manages to get the cart moving, and is off down the aisle, trailing items that have fallen off the top of the pile.  The only way for him to stop it is to ram it into something. 

I’m really not jealous when we get to the checkout counter.  “You saved $50 today!”  I’m quite sure that is the lady in the cute outfit’s grocery bill for a week.  My total is usually closer to one million dollars.   The clerk will usually ask me something along the lines of “are you stocking up?”

Unfortunately I will be back in a few days…

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Traditions


 Every year, as Jeff grudgingly helps me roll out hundreds of homemade potato rolls, he tries to tempt me into skipping the hard work this year and just getting my rolls from Costco.  It took me a couple of years to put into words the reason why I will never do that.

Making everything from scratch on Thanksgiving is a tradition that makes me feel connected to my family.  I'm making the same recipes that I remember from my childhood.  I plan on teaching my children those same recipes, and hope they will teach them to their children.  Making homemade rolls and pies is a skill that could easily be lost and forgotten in a generation, but it won't be my generation.

 At least once a year I will spend time cooking with my mom, my sisters, and my children.  I will hand down those skills along with the recipes.  And hopefully, in that process, I will hand down the wonderful, secure feeling that I associate with our Thanksgiving feast.


Grandma and Grandpa Webb, daughters Andrea and Virginia (Mom)


Thanksgiving 2005 – Descendants of Grandma and Grandpa Webb

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Life is rough


Life is rough when you’re a baby.  Sometimes after you finish eating, you turn your head with your eyes still closed and milk dripping off your cheek, and it takes your mom WAY too long to put your binkie in your mouth.  The best thing to do in that case is to squawk your disapproval and then open your mouth again.  She’ll get it right eventually.

Life is rough when you’re 4.  Sometimes your mom tells you that you have to turn off your video games after an hour of playing.  The best thing to do in that case is yell “YOU’RE RUDE!” or “IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!”  Or maybe both.

Life is rough when you’re 7 and you have scabs on your elbows and knees from bike wrecks.  And then brothers and sisters keep on bumping into your scabs “on purpose!” and your mom fails to punish them as severely as they deserve.  The best thing to do in that case is let out a giant roar and throw something at them.

Life is rough when you’re almost 9, and your mom is always trying to take control of your life by insisting that you brush your teeth and do your homework.  The best thing to do in that case is to yell at her to let you live your own life!

Life is rough when you’re a pre-teenage girl, and you’re like, the ONLY ONE you know whose mom won’t let them have sleep-overs or a cell phone.  The best thing to do in that case is to bring it up as often as you can, adding an occasional eye-roll for emphasis.

BUT… Life is good when you’re the mom.  Then all you have to do is boss everyone around and try to think of ways to ruin your children’s lives.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Duct Tape


We have had many uses for duct tape around here.   It’s been used to tape forts together, to turn an ordinary tupperware container into a top secret treasure chest, to tape mouths closed that can’t seem to say nice things, and make a screen for a bedroom window.

Jonah recently came up with a new idea.  Because of his expressions and animated gestures, we were suggesting that he could be an actor someday.  Jeff asked him “Would you like to be in a movie someday?”  Jonah responded with characteristic enthusiasm:

“Yeah!  So could you ‘duck’ tape me to the TV?”  When he saw us chuckling he thought about it some more.  “Or… how does that work?”

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Happy Place


desert rainbow

Tucson is a magical place for us.   It’s the land of dress-ups and Nintendo; of Ranger rides and kitties all year round.  It’s the place where kids can run free with cousins all day, without having to do chores first; where those tired, dirty kids can fall asleep late, watching movies on the projector screen.  It’s the place where a day could include a trip to Circle K with Grandpa to pick out candy, or a baseball game with Uncle Brandon and Aunt Alicia.


A few days ago, Caleb was having a rough morning.  We didn’t have any good snacks to pack in his lunch, he couldn’t find his homework  folder,  and his socks just didn’t feel right.  He turned to me on his way out the door, and with tears of frustration in his eyes asked “When is the next time we’ll be going to Tucson?”  I told him I didn’t know, why?  His response was, “That’s just the place where I remember feeling the happiest.”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Mind

Back in the day… if you asked me, “Did you pay that bill?”  or “Will you be at the meeting?”  I could answer you with a definite yes or no.  Yes, I have a library book checked out.  Yes, I can bring cookies to the party.  No, I won’t be able to make it to volunteer on that day.  I have another commitment. 

But lately I just don’t trust myself.   A couple of days ago I told a friend that I was on my way to her house to return something, then I promptly hung up the phone and went shopping!  Almost every week I make some commitment for Friday afternoon, and then have to call and reschedule because I had forgotten about piano lessons.  Last week I forgot to pick up Rebecca from school.  Just forgot!  I was clipping roses.

Last week the treasurer for Savannah’s synchro team asked me… “Did you pay your bill for this month? I can’t find it.”  I had a fairly specific memory of sending a check with Savannah, but I didn’t trust it.  Luckily I found proof online that it had been cleared.  Only then did I feel confident enough to say “Yes, I’m sure I paid that.”

I swear that I haven’t always been this confused.  I swear I used to be an organized, responsible person.  At least that’s how I remember it…

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The perfect body


I was so surprised during church today to look down and see, folded neatly in my lap, my mother’s hands! I remember sitting next to her in church, looking at her hands and thinking how old they looked. Now those old hands are mine… complete with club thumb!

I feel some pressure from society to feel horrified by the fact that I don’t look as young as I used to, but today I don’t. As I sat looking at my hands, I thought of all that they accomplish. Just like my mother, and her mother, and her mother before that…these hands have done a lot of work. They have washed dishes, scrubbed floors, changed MANY diapers, wiped away tears, applied band-aids, and the list goes on and on. It’s only right that they are looking older and well worn. They have earned that!

I thought about the rest of me, too. The slowly deepening creases on my face have their own stories to tell. Those lines mean that I have smiled much, and cared enough to worry sometimes. There are marks left behind by the sunshine, and some left behind by times of stress. I have a scar that will always remind me of a trip down the river. And I have…ahem… “saggy-ness” and stretch marks that are a constant reminder that I have born and nurtured many children.

In spite of the aesthetic imperfections, I am in awe of what a gift my body is to me. It is strong enough to work hard, to love and to serve and to care for my family. It has enough flaws to provide me with trials and opportunities for growth. It somehow knows how to create beautiful little bodies for my children. What a miracle is the gift of life! I can honestly say that, for me, I have the perfect body. And I am grateful.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Life lessons from a 4 year old



In general, I believe in letting my children make as many of their own choices as possible.  So Jonah was a little confused the other day when I tried to choose what he would wear to preschool.  I was trying to convince him to wear his new “family picture clothes” to school.

“But you looked so handsome for pictures!  Wouldn’t you like me to do your hair spikey and you can wear your new clothes and look so cool for school?”

Finally he asked very sincerely, “Why, Mom?  Is there gonna be a contest about who can wear the nicest clothes?

Point well taken, Jonah.  Life is not a contest about who can wear the nicest clothes.  Wear whatever you feel like wearing!  Maybe I will, too.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Family Fun

I don’t know why I have been dreading and putting it off for 3 years.  It wasn’t that bad.  In fact, I think everyone enjoyed it!  Last night my fabulous and oh-so-entertaining sister in law Leah came over and took our family pictures.  The kids couldn’t help but smile at all of her antics, and she got some great shots!  Here are some sneak peaks…







Thanks Leah!  Now the next big chore for me is to make sure they actually make it onto my wall!

PS.  This morning as I was trying to get everyone ready for school, lunches packed, breakfast cleared, etc.,  Josh said to me,  “Mom, you’re lucky.  ‘Cuz all YOU have to do is boss everyone around!”

That made my day!

Sunday, November 1, 2009



Halloween is not my favorite Holiday.  I could get excited about it once a year… maybe.  But we had to do it 3 times this year!  Anyway… that is not the point of this post.  The part that I do love about Halloween is the sorting and bartering.  After trick-or-treating, my kids all sort and re-sort their candy into piles.  It gets organized by colors, size, ingredients or how much they like each piece. 


Then the bartering begins.  “I’ll give you 2 tootsie rolls for that Reeses.”  “No way!  Reeses are worth at least 4 tootsie rolls!”  “How about 2 tootsie rolls for a gumball?”  Some of the kids drive a super hard bargain, others just like to make others happy, so they give up their favorites.   As much as I dislike the fact that we have so much candy,  I can’t help but smile.

Here are our costumes this year:


Simon was a mummy


Jonah was a ghost


Josh was a phantom


Caleb was a vampire that does card tricks


Savannah was a cowgirl


Rebecca was a vampire girl