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, July 28, 2010

The blind leading the blind

That is what it’s called when I try to teach my girls how to sew.

For our first project we chose pajama pants.  Easy enough, right?

I’m still not exactly sure what went wrong, but here is the result:



My sister Sarah pointed out that they are just right if you have a very long bottom!

We all had a really good time laughing about the little mix-up, and it was fairly easy to fix.  No harm done!

Saturday, July 24, 2010



Jeff was in Pennsylvania all last week.  Apparently, being a single mom takes a noticeable toll on me.

One evening Rebecca volunteered, out of the blue, to give me a pedicure.  Of course I took her up on the offer!

As my feet were soaking she put out her disclaimer.  “Actually, I have no idea how to do a pedicure.  I was just trying to think of a way to help you relax.”

I am  thankful for such a  sweet daughter!  And the gesture did, in fact, help me to relax.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Last week we spent 3 days at the beach.   And I mean at the beach!  We would hit the sand at 9 in the morning and have to drag the kids in around 5.  I was amazed at how busy they all stayed!  Everyone was working hard at something.

Josh and Caleb rarely stopped digging, but they managed to squeeze in a bit of boogie boarding and playing with Uncle Brandon.



Jonah spent some of his time throwing sand into the ocean.  He also took on the job of warning people of big waves.  He would stand on the shore yelling to the boogie boarders.  “Watch out!  Big wave comin’ up behind ya!”


Cousins, of course, make everything more fun.


The girls were riding waves the whole time.  Seriously.  They would come out every now and then for a snack, or to warm up on a rock, then head back out.

This picture is Rebecca, Grandpa, Savannah and Lorraine.



How many Grandpas do you know that are the first ones in the water boogie boarding?  My dad is the best!


Here is Grandma hanging out in the giant hole with Jonah.


One of our highlights this year was dragging ashore a huge piece of kelp that was a home to a bunch of starfish and baby octopi!  I wish I had gotten pictures of that.

Thanks Mom and Dad!  This was the best beach trip yet!

Monday, July 19, 2010


We just got back from San Diego.  Jonah spent a lot of his time digging.


At one point he called Grandpa over to see his hole.

“I’m digging to China!”   He announced.

Grandpa peered into the 8 inch hole and said “I don’t see China down there, do you?”

Jonah looked in again, getting worried.  “Do you think I passed it?”

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Around the house

Here are just a few random things that I’ve seen around the house this week:


Simon was so happy to have his family back from vacation.  Here he was just hanging out with dad.


This is what I pulled out of the dryer… after I got all the clothes: A magnet, some fool’s gold, a cub scout belt loop, and a handful of beads.


For the last few months we have had a change jar sitting in this exact spot.  It was for everyone to save up for the family vacation.  We all put in our loose change, plus any donations we felt we could make.  Now that we moved that jar, Caleb decided to capitalize on the location.  Since we are all in the habit of putting change there….

It says “Caleb’s change box.  Put in any change you don’t want thanks.”

Loving Mom

Jonah is at the note-writing stage… now that he knows how to write.  This is a note he gave to Rebecca while she was babysitting.

I’ll translate:  I don’t like you, but I like mom.

I’m pretty sure the only reason he liked me was because I wasn’t around.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Grand Finale

We took our time getting home.  We stopped at the Grand Canyon, which apparently has a pretty lame gift shop, for being one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.

There were no cool toys for Josh.  There were no snow globes for Savannah. (She had been collecting them at each stop.)  There were no stuffed animals under $7 for Rebecca.  Caleb was saving his remaining souvenir money to try and buy the leftover fireworks off of Dad.

But it was a lovely view.



Just north of Flagstaff, we stopped at the lava tubes.  It is a really neat underground cave that used to be a river of lava.  We hiked about 3/4 mile in, and then back out.   It is 42 degrees year round, so it’s a great summer activity.  It turned out to be one of the kids’ favorite things that we did!


Jeff had the kids turn off their flashlights to see how dark it was.  He was going to make a great analogy about the light of Christ that guides us, but Savannah cut him off and said she had already heard that lesson twice.  Oh well.


All in all a great vacation!  And Jeff has this week off as his “vacation from a vacation.”  We should be well rested!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

part 5 – Provo

The main point of including Utah in our trip was to be in town for the 4th of July.   I want my kids to understand why they are so blessed to live here, and to love the principles on which America was founded.  I took along lots of good books that would help, and I think it was successful.

Anyway… I was excited for the big parade and fireworks show.  And for weather that was cool enough to enjoy the day.

We rolled into town Friday night, expecting the parade to be on Saturday.   It was scheduled for Monday.  Doggonit.  We did not get to see a parade, but we had lots of fun anyway.

We walked around BYU and showed the kids where we had classes.  We shopped in the over-priced BYU bookstore.  We showed them the MTC and a bunch of nostalgic sights that they tried to pretend they were interested in.


We took a little scenic train ride on the historic Heber Creeper.

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Friday night we took all the kids to a Korean restaurant, which turned out to be a big hit!  Everyone loved the food!  Then we went back to our campground and played with fireworks that are illegal in AZ. 




Jonah didn’t love the smell.

Caleb loved lighting fireworks!  He was excited to light our own the next night while we waited for the real show to start.  There were lots of people gathered around, and he was feeling pretty cool.  He grabbed his bag and said “Come on.  Let’s go show ‘em what we’ve got.”

To be continued…

Friday, July 9, 2010

part 4 – Salt Lake City

Bear with me on the vacation log.  It’s for posterity.

Next stop was Salt Lake City.  We looked around Temple Square, and took a tour of the Conference Center – the place where General Conference is held.  I was impressed with how long the kids paid attention.  The tour took an hour and a half, and they seemed interested the whole time!



The kids were looking up into the huge skylight several stories up.  The skylights made cool rainbows.



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We went to the Lion House to eat, and took a tour of Brigham Young’s home (the Beehive House, next door.)  While we were eating Jonah asked me “Mom, is Brigham Young sad because people are here eating all of his food?”

Also during dinner, he thought his pants smelled funny.  He told me to “smell my pants.  Is that the smell of Brigham Young?”

Apparently, he was having a hard time figuring out just what we were here to see.  He kept asking if this is where Paul Revere lives.  I had read a book about Paul Revere in the RV, so I guess I can understand the confusion.

Another highlight for me was getting to sit in on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsal.  Sigh… how I would love to sing in that choir.  They were rehearsing patriotic music.

The next day was the Great Salt Lake.  The kids were really looking forward to this one, because I had told them that you wouldn’t sink due to the amount of salt in it.

The floating part was true… but we found out that it was not really worth it.  The lake was stinky and windy, and the salt really stings your eyes, and any scabs or scratches in your skin.  But we persevered.






Now they can all tell their friends they have floated in the Great Salt Lake.  After they dried off, there was salt left all over their skin.


To be continued…

part 3 – the cold day

The second day in Yosemite was spent driving the road that goes all the way across the park- up in the mountains.  We were surprised and so excited to find snow in the middle of the summer!


Jonah is wearing his Yosemite souvenir… a compass/whistle/match storage case.




We stopped for a picnic by the lake.  It looked lovely from the road, but it was so cold and windy that we ate as fast as we could to get back to the RV.



To be continued…

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

part 2 – Yosemite

After a mere 18 hours of driving (thanks to an accident closing down the freeway) we made it to Yosemite.

Our first stop was to see the giant Sequoia trees.




For some reason, I had pictured an entire giant forest.  Turns out, the giants are few and far between.  But still very impressive!



We  had to take an ice cream break to beat the heat.



Some of us were exhausted after our little hike.


After lunch we drove through the Yosemite Valley, which was my favorite part of the whole trip.  I could have used another day or two there to take in all of the beauty.


The thing that Jonah had been looking most forward to was seeing some waterfalls.  He was so excited… we even got to hike to the bottom of one, and stand in the mist.  Caleb said afterword, “that was one of the best feelings of my life!”




We stopped whenever we saw something that needed a closer look.  These rocks just needed to be climbed.



We paused for the lovely meadow with a deer in it.  (Rebecca is trying to eat it in this picture.)  We paid for that stop with mosquito bites!


To be continued…