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

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Caleb and his friends (the other boys that roam the neighborhood) have spent the last several days digging.  Every day they race to get their chores and schoolwork done so they can hurry outside to work on the hole.

They have grand visions… it’s going to be a giant underground fort, with tunnels leading from room to room.  It will be completely hidden, with wood re-enforcing the whole thing so it won’t cave in on them.  It’s even going to have a bathroom and “booby traps” at the entrance!

Yesterday, a bunch of dirty, sweaty boys came in for a drink, and then headed into Caleb’s room to count his money.  They had figured out that the work would go much faster if they could afford to pay for some help.  They decided they’d  try to recruit Nathan, the biggest, strongest boy they know.  (He’s a 15 year old that lives nearby.) 

I heard Sam say “Dude!  He’s gonna want to dig, just so he can have a room in the hole!”

“Yeah, probably.  But we better take the money just in case,” somebody reasoned.  “First we’ll ask him for free.  If he doesn’t want to, then we’ll offer him $5.  If that doesn’t work, we might have to pay him all$9.”

I was surprised to see that Nathan didn’t accept the job offer.  But they did bring home Jesse, a 13 year old who would help dig - just to be nice.

I’ve heard so much about this hole that yesterday I made the trek to the back acre to check it out.  So far, it is about 2 feet deep and 3 feet wide.  This ought to keep them busy for quite a while!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Dirty House

There are some very real advantages to having a house as messy as mine is.

I can wake up every morning and think, “What do I feel like doing today?” And my options are endless.

Am I in a floor-mopping mood? Those results would be very satisfying. Feel like doing some laundry? I can find an endless supply. Does dusting peak my interest? That could keep me occupied ALL day! AND it would be ready to do again tomorrow!

Straightening, scouring, organizing… it’s all there at my fingertips.

Plus… if ever I choose to take the day off to read an entire book, (which I admittedly do, on occasion,) no worries. All of those chores will be waiting right where I left them. They can’t really get much worse, and they certainly won’t get any better while I’m gone!

Surely you can see the genius in my housekeeping strategy!

Now, what to do with my day tomorrow… scour the bathroom? Clean out the fridge? Re-organize the pantry? I’ll have to wait to see which mood strikes me in the morning!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Taken Care Of

It was a year ago on Valentine’s Day that we moved into this house.

The few months leading up to the big event were a bit chaotic.  In November  2008 we decided to take our house off the market.  We had a baby coming and the holidays to deal with.  The sale of the house is a pretty good story, too, but it’s not a part of this story.

During the already hectic holiday season, we were trying to find a new house to move into while getting ready for Simon to be born.  I knew that I should be totally stressed out, but all I could feel was an overwhelming peace and joy.

I get all teary-eyed remembering those weeks.  Every time I started to worry, I was blessed with a deep-down calm and a feeling that everything would work out.

My visiting teacher, bless her heart, was more worried than I was.  Debbie kept asking what the plan was for moving, and what she could do to help. I kept telling her that I wasn’t sure yet, but I would let her know.

Eventually, she could not wait any longer and took matters into her own hands.  She arranged for people to bring meals to me every day for a week after Simon was born.  And she orchestrated the whole move.

Ladies from church began collecting and dropping off empty boxes at my house.  Debbie called to tell me that she had ladies lined up in 2 hour shifts the week before moving day.  And sure enough… right on schedule they showed up ready to pack me. 

Day after day I sat there and held my baby while these wonderful, cheerful ladies packed my entire house.  They even loaded up their cars with the things they considered to fragile to trust to the men, and took them to the new house.

When I got to the new house, I found that Debbie had been here cleaning my kitchen and putting a fresh liner in my old cupboards.  There were even people to bring us meals for a few days in the new house, which was great since we didn’t have the gas for the range hooked up yet.

I’m still in awe of how much people helped us.  I have never felt more cared for.  A couple of my kids even got choked up when we talked about all the service that had been done for our family.

I understand why Heavenly Father was able to bless me with peace, and to tell me not to worry- everything would work out.  He knew that He had Debbie Haggard “on duty” as my visiting teacher, and that she would be willing and able to take care of me and my family.  He knew that she would understand when His spirit whispered to  her that she needed to help.

I think that is the perfect application of Christianity-  to look after and care for one another.  The Savior said that “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”  Debbie was just doing what she knew needed to be done, and has probably not thought much about it since.  But her example has touched me profoundly.

I want to be the type of person that sees a need, and then just fills it.  I want to be the one who understands when the spirit is whispering to me, and acts on it.  I want to be the one that Heavenly Father knows He can count on when one of His children needs help.

I pray that I will be that person.

Sunday, February 14, 2010




I loved our first house.  We lived in a neighborhood full of young families.  The kids, all really young at the time, would play in the cul-de-sac while moms sat and talked in the shade.

Our back yard was perfect, too.  We had wall-to-wall grass, with a sandbox/playhouse in one corner and grapevines hanging from the back porch.



I remember one day that we were all playing out in the back yard.  The water to the grapevines came on and started filling up the well around it.  One of the kids stooped down for a closer look, and called us all over to see.  The little bugs that lived at the base of the vine were all climbing up to escape the water.

We all lay there on the grass, on our stomachs, observing the bugs and cheering for their safety.  I remember thinking that I never wanted to forget that moment.  I was surrounded by my little ones, with nothing more important to do than lie in the grass together and watch the bugs.  Those moments are what makes life wonderful.

I wish things could always be that simple.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let me count the ways…

 wedding 1

There are lots and lots of reasons why I love Jeff.  Here are just a few:

He understands me.  Or at least he does a good job of being  empathetic even when he doesn’t really understand.

He is thoughtful.

He’s easy to please, and has lots of different interests.

He speaks with lots of different accents.  Without even knowing he’s doing it.

He can fix anything.

He appreciates the little things.

He is tenderhearted.

He shaved his beard.

He is dependable.

He’s game to try new things.

He is strong.

He takes care of all of us.

Happy Valentines Day to my best friend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

‘Tis the season

I used to feel bitter during the winter, because winter should be cold.  A beautiful, warm winter can only mean a torturously hot summer is on the way.  This year, I have been able to just relax and enjoy the beautiful sunshine… even if it comes at an unconventional time of year.

Here is how we are spending our days:


Juicing lemons for lemonade


Playing ball outside on the grass


And smelling the roses!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What they meant to say…

I couldn’t leave that last post up for too long.  Wallowing in paralyzing frustration is only allowed for one day!

So on the brighter side…


This is how Simon says “Thank you, dear Mother, for changing another messy diaper.  And for faithfully applying rash protection.  I know it can’t be much fun for you.”  The more violent the tantrum, the more sincere he is in his gratitude.

When my kids whine about having to put away their clean clothes, what they’re trying to say is “Thanks Mom, for buying our clothes, and then washing them and folding them neatly.”

The gagging noises at the dinner table were a special way of saying “Thank you for making sure we never go hungry, and that we eat healthy meals together as a family.”

And when someone, who did not want to re-do his chores until they were done right, yelled “This is the worst day of my life!”  I heard “I’ve had a pretty great life so far!  Thanks, Mom.”

It’s a good thing I speak their language.

Friday, February 5, 2010




This post is in memory of Waddle, our duck.  This is all that’s left of him.IMG_2970It’s been a pretty traumatic and frustrating day around here.  Waddle had a mate named Wiggle who misses him very much.  The two were inseparable. She’s been wandering around alone today, quacking  for him.

We used to have 13 chickens and 2 ducks.  We’re down to 3 chickens and 1 duck.  They have fallen victim to random escaped neighborhood dogs.  I know we need a fence around our property, but that is going to be expensive and labor intensive. 

So here is the frustration that I’m feeling today:  Life seems to unravel so much faster than I am capable of re-raveling! 

Yesterday I mopped the floors… today someone walked all around the house with dog poo on their shoe.

Simon finished his antibiotics, and this morning the eye goo is back.

The drinking fountain is not draining, the kitchen needs to be taped and textured, and the laundry and dishes are multiplying and replenishing the earth.  The trees are blossoming before we could get to trimming them, and it’s time to plant a garden.

And then… another family pet gets killed before we can get to putting up a fence.

I have tried to find comfort in the scripture from the Book of Mormon that says “… it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.”   But it seems to me that the real life version should read “Run like the wind or you will be buried alive!”

I wonder… will there ever come a time in my life where doing my best is enough?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Heart Attack

For FHE last night we “heart attacked” our kitchen. I got the idea from Shawni, a girl who has no idea who I am, or that I stalk her blog.


Here’s the idea: everybody make a heart for each member of the family. You write something that you love about that person, and then we hang them all over the kitchen to enjoy until Valentine’s day. Here are some of the great ones:



IMG_2947 IMG_2950




And then we have these:

IMG_2943Translation: “I heart Savannah because she’s very nice. Sometimes. Maybe. Sort of.” (Caleb)


Translation: “I don’t know if I like Caleb, but anyways…” (Josh)

Feel the love!