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, June 20, 2010

World’s Best Joshua

Every Sunday we watch family videos.  It always makes me feel warm and fuzzy to see how cute the kids were, and reminds me how fast they grow up.

Today we watched Josh’s fourth birthday.  He had been feeling bad because all the kids in the family had a trophy but him.  So, for his birthday, we ordered a special golden cup trophy that said “World’s Best Joshua.”


He has since added trophies and medals for several sports, and he now has a respectable collection.

I can’t help but love his first one the best.

Friday, June 18, 2010


A couple of days ago Jonah came out of his room, walking purposefully toward the pantry.

“I just prayed to Heavenly Father and told Him that my tummy doesn’t feel good.  He told me that I should make myself a peanut butter and honey sandwich.”

I asked “How did he tell you that?”

“I just hear(ed)  His voice in my mind.”

Today Caleb was distraught over a new card game that he had spent his own money on.  It got lost somewhere between his friend’s house and home.  He searched for quite a while, and finally came home happy.

“You must have found it,” I observed.

“Yep,” he said matter-of-factly. “I said a prayer, and then I found it on Wyatt’s bed.”

I love that my kids think to turn to prayer when they have a problem, and that they are learning to recognize the answers.  I love that Heavenly Father is so quick to answer them in a way they will understand.  I guess when a child prays with such perfect faith, how could He resist?

Today brought a repeat of Jonah’s prayer about his tummy.  He got the same answer… peanut butter and honey.

As he was munching on his sandwich he said to me, thoughtfully, “I don’t think I need to pray about this problem again.  Now I just know what to do.”

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taking charge of the situation

On Friday Jonah went to play at his friend Grant’s house.  You know Grant… the friend he loves enough to name a chicken after him.


Grant’s sister, Rachel, was watching the boys so that I could get some work done around the house.  It was a much appreciated favor, but it turns out that Jonah ended up pulling his own weight.

The report I received goes something like this:

Grant: crying hysterically

Rachel: Grant, please stop crying.  (crying continues) Please? (crying continues)

Jonah:  I’ll take care of this.  Grant, (pause) if you stop crying, I will teach you how to beat the bad guy on Lego Batman at my house.

Grant stops crying immediately.

Moments later crying resumes.

Jonah, looking at Grant authoritatively: Grant, remember what we talked about.

Grant stops crying, and all is well.

I guess we better have Grant over for his Lego Batman instruction!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Two Roads

You’ve probably heard the poem by Robert Frost:

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

I thought of that poem today in church.

During the sacrament, which is the most reverent part of the service, I looked up at the priesthood leaders sitting on the stand. There they sat, heads bowed, pondering the significance of the atonement and their own personal efforts at worthiness.

At least I presume that is what they were pondering. That is what I wished I was doing. That is what I felt like I should be doing.

Instead, I was whispering in Simon’s ear in an effort to keep him quiet. At the same time I was fishing in my Sunday bag for something to entertain him when he lost interest in what I was saying. Jonah was whispering questions in my ear, and I was trying to make him understand that we can talk about all of those things later, without hurting his feelings.

I looked ahead two rows to see my friend Jamie, also mother of six, trying to whisper something to her six year old while the baby tried to climb on top of her head.

I bet she would rather be pondering quietly, too.

That’s when I thought of the poem.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Jamie was walking one road, Brother Anderson was walking another. And yet… they were both good roads. Both were doing their best, in their own circumstances, to draw closer to the Savior. Both would emerge from this day, having done what the Lord would have them do.

I may have chosen a road that is wild and overgrown, noisy and unpredictable. But it is a beautiful road, and it is leading me closer to my Savior.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happy Housewife

If you would have told me, 15 years ago, that one day in the future I would be collecting eggs, making butter and homemade pies, I would have laughed really hard.

Jeff probably would have been laughing harder!

But today that is just what I did.

Several weeks ago, when things were feeling a bit less hectic, I ordered strawberries for making jam.  Unfortunately, some storm or something delayed the order until TODAY of all days!

Today was my turn to cook dinner group.  I had planned a chef salad with rolls.  I happened to drive by a roadside stand selling sweet corn this morning, so I added that to our menu.

Plus… Friday is Lindsey’s wedding, and I volunteered my backyard for the after-the-temple dinner.  Turns out there will be 135 people at my house in 2 days!  I have some getting ready to do.

So of course the strawberries would choose today to show up and demand to be dealt with.

I had 3 flats of strawberries sitting on the counter pressuring me to hurry as I chopped veggies, boiled eggs and waited for the rolls to rise.

Enter Caleb and his friend Robin, who roam the neighborhood together looking for adventure.  They saw the strawberries sitting there, and after eating several, asked if I would help them make a strawberry pie.

Well how many times in your life does your son, who is all about spying and exploring, ask if you will help him make a pie???  Of course I will help them!

We started in on the pie crust, which called for butter and buttermilk, neither of which I had handy.  BUT, I did have a big jar of cream in my fridge.  We decided to just make some butter, and then we could use the buttermilk, too.

Long story short… I had Caleb and Robin, plus Josh and Savannah in the kitchen with me all afternoon.  Making strawberry glaze, making butter, rolling out pie crust, shucking corn, peeling the hard boiled eggs, etc. etc.  We all just worked together and enjoyed it.

It ended up being a really great afternoon.  I felt like someone should be taking a video of this happy family (and friend) in the kitchen, working together and bonding!  I wish I had thought to take a picture earlier.


And here is what I have waiting for me tomorrow:


Sunday, June 6, 2010


A couple of months ago the kids had their first real performance opportunity. Well… they’ve sung in church several times, but I mean real entertaining!

The gig was a fundraiser for child abuse prevention. Perfect, right? They were scheduled for a 20 min show. No problem. It was for a good cause.

To make sure we were ready, (they performed with the Allen cousins) we scheduled a “practice run” performance at the Pima County Fair the week before. Here are the kids all waiting to go on stage. (Most of the time they were performing I was too busy helping to get pictures!)


I can’t even tell you how many tears of frustration were shed during practices! Tears from the kids, tears from the moms trying to teach the songs, tears from aunts that were innocent observers, trying to help where they could. It was a real battle trying to get 10 kids to cooperate all at the same time.

To be fair,I have to say that the girls were willing. They worked hard. But even they got tired and worn out. The boys… well my boys anyway… almost drove us all to the point of insanity! Never again will I attempt something like that with them.

That being said… they did such a good job! I was so impressed that a group of young kids could sound so amazing. They sang in 3 part harmony, with even the youngest ones holding their own parts. The four oldest girls even did a quartet, and nailed it. Impressive! (This picture was taken at the fair.)IMG_3159

The best part about the fundraiser experience was the way they felt after they performed. They felt so accomplished and proud. And rightly so! The crowd (over 400 people) was thrilled with them. They were nervous at first, but once they got up there they overcame the nerves and enjoyed performing.

For our last song we brought the kids’ moms, dads and aunts up to sing “Can you feel the love tonight” all together. I had goosebumps as I sang. It sounded so full and beautiful. Standing up there with my family, I felt grateful. Grateful that I can provide a loving, happy (and maybe a little chaotic) home for these sweet children. Grateful that I have such an amazing extended family that makes my kids feel like a part of something big. Grateful for the gift of music that has been a part of my family for generations. And grateful to have a way that I, and my kids, can serve and lift others.

And the scars from practicing will heal.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Today is the last day of school.  Boy am I ready to have a break from getting up early!

These flyers went up around my house this morning.

summertime meeting

It looks fun, right?   You would want to come, right?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jonah’s journal

A couple of weeks ago, the primary kids all got to sing to Jonah for his birthday. The primary presidency had a special gift for him- a little notebook with a pen.

On the front it says “I feel my Savior’s love.”

Jonah loves it! For several days he carried it around with him, drawing or writing in it. At night he had to make sure he had his “journal” with him so he could write in it before going to sleep.

The other day I picked it up to see what deep, insightful things were tumbling around in that head.

This is what I found: