Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I asked Jacob this evening if he missed his old school.  He told me he did, and he had five reasons why:

1.  He misses his old friends and is pretty sure it won't be long before he forgets all about them.
2.  He misses getting rewarded with Dependable Dolphins
3.  He says the school lunch is just not as good at the new school.
4.  The new school doesn't have ketchup (he swears)
5.  He says for some reason he toots a lot more at the new school.

At least the kids has priorities.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Scripture Study

We recently started studying the scriptures as a family.  
It may be slow going, and not all of us "get it" all the time, 
but this picture

makes it all worth it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Such a cute little witch! 

Venom and Iron Man 

Handsomest Villain I've ever seen

Cousins and Best Friends

Wait a second........

Much better!

  Don't touch my candy.......

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Belated Birthday

For Austin's birthday, we gave him a gift certificate for a date with Mom at Create A Memory.  So last weekend, I finally got around to taking him down.  What a great place!  He had such a super time.  For $15 he got to pick a piece of pottery, paint it, and then they kilned it for us.  (You can pay up to $75 for some of the pieces, but the price is all inclusive for "sitting time", paint and the firing process).  Austin painted the whole thing himself, with only a little help from me on the dots.  The people there were totally kid friendly and I plan on taking Jake there as well.

So proud of himself


love the way he holds his brush

the finished product

Probably the best part of the whole thing was spending one on one time with Austin.  Sometimes he gets lost in the shuffle as the middle child, and I loved having the chance to just sit and talk to him, and actually be able to listen to everything he had to say without interruption.  He is so smart and sweet, and I promised myself I will do this more often, for both our sakes.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I have a new found respect for my mother and her food storage.  My little sister and I attempted canning today, for the first time, for both of us.  First of all, let me say, don't ever attempt to can with another novice.  After 4 hours, two exploded jars, one emergency trip to Safeway and some creative input from my hubby,  we have 33 jars of pears, to split between the two of us.  My mother canned every kind of fruit and vegetable imaginable, by herself, for years (still does) and has shelves of fruit and veges for food storage.  Val and I are quite certain that we may leave all future canning attempts to the good people at Dole.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Priesthood Power

Leah has been sick for almost a week. For the first few days she ran a temper pushing 103 unless we had her doped up on Tylenol. No stomach bug, no respiratory problems, just this horrid fever and body aches. Yesterday we thought she was better, and even took her on our family outing for Austin's birthday party with the cousins. But today she was warm and fussy again all day, and when she woke up from her post-church nap, she was once again on-fire, so hot to the touch and running over 101. On top of it all, the poor thing hasn't eaten since Thursday afternoon. Brian decided it was time to giver her a blessing. With the help of our good friend Gabe, Brian blessed her that the fever would be taken from her body and that she would feel relief from her aches. About 10 minutes after the blessing, I put her back down for a nap.

When she woke up from her nap, the fever was totally gone. She was soaked from a full body sweat and her skin was actually cool to the touch, even after sleeping under a blanket. She promptly sat down and ate half a bowl of ice cream with me, a handful of Bac O's (she asked for them!) and headed straight outside to play with her brothers. She stayed out there for over an hour, only coming in to down a Gogurt.

I have always had a testimony of the power of the priesthood, but this is the first time since receiving the priesthood that Brian has given a blessing. To witness the miracle of the healing power of the priesthood in my home, with my husband and daughter, was more amazing than I can put into words. The emotion that came over Brian as he blessed her little body, and the peace I felt afterwards were so strong and so wonderful. I am so thankful for the changes Brian has made over the last 3 years that have brought us to this point - to have a priesthood holder in my home, and to witness him exercise that power worthily is a gift I am more grateful for than I can express.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I used to be an athlete. Not an All-Star or an MVP, but I was an athlete. I ran track - hurdles, sprints, and relays - but most of all, I played basketball. I loved basketball. I had a shirt at the time that said: "My dream house has hard wood floors..... and two hoops". (I actually think I still have it somewhere). My junior and senior years of high-school, I pretty much lived basketball. We played all year round - school ball in the fall and winter, summer camps and summer leagues in the off season - and sometimes just shooting around with my dad or my friend Tina. But I PLAYED. I practiced for 2-3 hours a day in season - practices filled with scrimmages and liners, the dreaded "pressure cooker", wall sits and weight training, stadium circuits, and laps if you were screwing around. My coach was often compared to Bobby Knight, and she pushed us every day. My senior year, after I had hurt my back and missed practices recuperating, I even had a few personal practice sessions with my coach and my dad, to make up for what I had missed.

I've blogged before about wanting to lose weight, needing to get fit, needing to find time to work out, and of course the dreaded wedding-dress-vs-my elbows- debacle. But Monday afternoon, I had an epiphany of sorts. We were at a park with my sisters and brother and their families, letting the kids play and enjoying what was left of the 4th of July weekend. During an uncharacteristic lull in Leah-Watch (she actually just wanted to sit in her stroller!), I grabbed my brother's basketball and started shooting around. Now, keep in mind, I haven't done this since Jake was about one. The first couple of shots, my knees creaked, I felt heavy footed and slow, and I started to think to myself, "Who are you kidding!" But for some reason - I kept going. I shot around out there by myself for half an hour, and it was WONDERFUL! I missed more than I made, but also made some pretty nice shots, and by the time I had to stop, I was loose and moving and feeling pretty good about the whole thing. And it got me thinking.........

For so many years I have been caught up in the numbers game, wanting to lose weight, but focused solely on the numbers on the scale or the size on a tag. And it dawned on me Monday - while all of that is great and fine, what I truly miss, and what I very desperately want to get back to, is the body that I could push and push, and IT RESPONDED!! I used to ask so much of my body, and with rare exception, it never let me down. I exercised and built muscle and cardio strength, and I could count on my body to do what I needed it to. Whether it was O.T. in a game, or a hike on a family camp-out, I could keep up. Now I push my body, but in far different ways, none of them healthy, and most of them resulting in large amounts of Advil. I run on too little sleep, eat too much crappy food, and attempt to do things like balance a baby and a laundry basket after 8 hours at work - none of which is pushing my body in a good way.

So the epiphany here, isn't necessarily in the end result, but in the motivation. Which is a huge thing for me, and something I am usually sorely lacking. Wanting to drop a certain number of pounds, or get back to a certain dress or pant size, is vague motivation at best as far as I'm concerned. Who remembers what it felt like to wear a particular size of pants, or what it felt like to see a number on the scale? I can't say that I do. But for whatever reason, I still remember what it feels like to play my butt off through 4 quarters, or run liners till I wanted to puke (because I couldn't make a stinking free throw to save my life!). And I remember what it feels like to push myself to run one block or one lap farther than I had planned to, to be red-faced, dripping with sweat and loving every minute of it because MY BODY COULD DO IT!

So I have started working out and making conscious decisions to eat better this week, and it has been EASY! Easier than ever before in my post-baby life, and I know it is because I have a totally different mind-set than ever before. I am excited just thinking about what my body (hopefully) will one day be able to do for me again, and all the possibilities that holds. I even worked out in 100 degree weather this week, while my husband and kids all sat in front of the air conditioner "critiquing" my moves as they ate ice cream. And I didn't care! (To be honest, I told them all to get up or shut up, but I wasn't tempted by the ice cream.) I have found again that part of me that was alive and well when I was 17 and loved to play ball, to push myself just for the sake of seeing how far I could go, and it feels pretty darn good.

Oh, and my dream house still has hard wood floors..... and two hoops.

Monday, June 28, 2010

15 Months

What does 15 months look like?? Well around here, it looks like plenty of this.....

and a lot of this......

with plenty of smiles.....

and a whole lot of trouble!

My mischievous little Petunia is almost 16 months old, believe it or not, and pretty much rules the roost around here. She is
  • a handful
  • strong-willed
  • determined
  • persistent
  • bull-headed
  • stubborn... starting to get the picture?
But she also
  • is quick to give kisses
  • adores her brothers
  • can't nap without her green silkie
  • loves my 35 year old Raggedy Anne doll
  • hates to be in a room alone (unless she is being naughty)
  • can climb on pretty much everything, and does
  • is SUCH a daddy's girl
  • loves to be outside
  • can say Jacob's name clearer than any other word in her vocabulary

She is a sweetheart and a diva, a terror and a love-bug. She has been nicknamed the "winged-hair-howler-monkey" by her aunt, and nearly convinced her baby-hungry cousin not to have kids. In an instant she can light up my day and make me want to tear my hair out. But I love my little girl and wouldn't have her any other way!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Six 1st Graders, Wild Animals and Rain

Yesterday I volunteered to be a chaperon on Jacob's field trip to the Oregon Zoo. I figured if I survived 75 kindergarten kids at the Butterfly House last year, this would be a walk in the park!

Of course, being Memorial Day weekend in Oregon, it was raining. Not a big deal, it wasn't terribly cold and of course the kids didn't mind. There were three 1st grade classes on the trip, and someone had the brilliant idea to split the kids up into smaller more manageable groups instead of trying to navigate the zoo with a herd of 75 six year olds. I will attribute this genius to Mrs. Beckley, who we LOVE! Mrs. Beckley also split the kids into groups of friends as much as possible, which made things much easier. We had 6 kids in our group - Jacob, Nico, Samson, Alex, Ramon and Adrian.

What a fabulous experience! I loved seeing Jacob interact with his friends in a way I don't usually get to see. It gave me visions of a house full of the kids and their friends as they grow up. I usually have such a hard time realizing how fast my kids are growing up but this time, it was just exciting to see Jacob in a whole new setting, running with his friends and not caring if I was around. He was so happy!

One of the boys in our group has a learning disability and for the most part likes to be off lost in his own world, singing a song or immersed in his own thoughts. It was very heart warming to see the boys treat him no differently than any of the rest of the kids. They were so great with him! I truly enjoyed getting to know some more of Jake's buddies, and reconnecting with the parents of others, planning summer play dates and sleep overs for the boys.

The boys in a polar bear den. Not sure who the random kid in the hat in front is - he jumped in when I yelled "Yoshikai Dolphins smile!"

The real wild animals are in front. Of course, Jake is a head taller than most of his friends.

They were so excited to see this elephant! Due to the rain, there weren't a whole lot of animals outside to be seen.

Lunch - one of the only times they stopped moving and were halfway quiet.

Back Row - Jake, Samson, Adrian
Front Row - Alex, Ramon, Nico

Friday, May 7, 2010

Women's Conference

Last week I went to BYU Women's Conference in Provo with two of my good friends, Chelsea and Holly. What an amazing experience! I came home rejuvenated and excited to set new goals and be a better person, wife and mom.
We were able to stay with our good friend Jeneal, who moved back to Provo from Salem last summer. It was so great to see her and her adorable family!
It was a crazy, fast weekend, but we packed in alot... Conference on Thursday and Friday, and then Temple Square on Saturday. It was 3 wonderful days of being mentally, spiritually and emotionally uplifted and motivated.

I took about 80 pictures Saturday at Temple Square. It's been so long since I've been there and I don't know when I will be back. This is one of my favorites.

The Salt Lake Temple from the observation deck on the 26th floor of the Church Administration Building

The girls with Janice Kapp Perry, one of Chelsea's "idols". So neat to meet her!

Me with Sister Barbra Thompson of the Relief Society General Presidency

Waiting for a session to start

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go! I am also very grateful to my husband for flying solo with the kids for 4 days (with the flu no less) so that I could go, to my babies for being "champions" (as their dad called them) while I was away, and for my girlfriends for taking me with them!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Vacation

The kids and I spent the last few days of spring break visiting my parents in Medford. The weather was beautiful and the kids had a fabulous time. Austin decided he was going to live there forever and started calling my parents Mom and Dad and referred to me as Grandma. Jacob spent the better part of his time riding his bike, and Leah loved just being outdoors. She left with a pretty big crush on Grandpa - who wouldn't after he pushed her around the playground for 2 hours!

Our weekend was finished perfectly when we came home to find that Dad had spent the weekend without us painting the house! Goodbye blah baby blue! Unfortunately, the rain hampered his plans, so finished pics on that to come...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The 3 Rules of Throw-Up

1. It always happens in the middle of the night

2. It almost always happens in my bed

3. By morning, I am exhausted and my kids are miraculously cured

I am starting to think my kids have started a conspiracy against me......

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Petunia!

One year ago today, I had a little baby girl.
We named her Leah Rae, after mine and my maternal grandma's middle names.
These days, though, she rarely is called that. Usually it's something like

Sweet Pea
(but not Princess Leah, for obvious reasons)
Sunshine Girl

This little darling girl very quickly has become the center of our lives and our family. It has been amazing to see her brothers take care of her, love her, protect her and play with her. The last year has been a blessing in so many ways and I am so grateful that Heavenly Father sent this little angel to be the final piece in our family puzzle!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mom, my hair is HILARIOUS

Austin decided last night that he wanted to try and trim his own hair. I wish I had thought to capture what his snipping resulted in, but here is what he looks like now, after his dad had to shave the rest of his head to match the shortest part:

Luckily this kid has a face that is gorgeous no matter what his hair looks like!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This one is for my mother

I had asked the boys on Sunday night to clean their room, so I could at least get to their beds to tuck them in. When I checked on their progress, it looked fabulous. Apparently when I was not looking, Austin had shoved everything he didn't feel like picking up into any nook and cranny he could find, because last night when I was in their room down on all four trying to find his wallet, this is what I found:

All of this stuff had been shoved under their dresser and in their tool chest drawers, all by my darling Austin Destroyer ( who quite proudly owned up to it).

This post is for my mother because I used to do the same thing when I was young. What goes around comes around, I guess.....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Going Private

Due to some weird stuff lately, I am going private with my blog. Please let me know if you are interested in following and I will add you email to my list of "approved viewers".