Saturday, December 13, 2008

One more thought...

My kids need to get home, I have too much time to write on my blog!

Just this quick post -

Ernie is on his first official date tonight!


He is only 16 years old and 4 days!
(Thanks to a cool Brother-in-law for winter dating ideas - they went ice skating. I hope he doesn't break anything!)

Am I ready for this? (NO)


Where has time gone? (???????)


Do you have the dating etiquette down? (Yes, Mom!)

(I will have to post a fun dating idea that I saved from one of the boys that Ky dated in HS. It is like the babysitting info sheet - just info for the date like cell number, license plate number, parent's name, itinerary, etc. I thought it was nice.)

Do you have any money? (No, can I borrow some?)


Ernie is the rule follower to a T. He is not to have friends in the car with him for the first 6 months after getting his license - and he won't. I don't even have to ask. So, as far as dates go, what to do? Ah, just have the parents drive! Really - it was too cute tonight (and I wasn't driving - read my next post).

No more details - Ernie sometimes reads my blog.






Christmas Cookies with Patch


Patch and I had a late night baking session - we were the only one's home tonight. I put some Amy Grant Christmas music on my computer to help us get in the mood of the season and then pulled out a new recipe for spice cookies - very yummy - (like a ginger snap, but soft and chewy). Let's get busy!

And then... my beautiful music was interrupted with Ashley Tisdale singing "last Christmas I gave you my heart, the very next day you gave it awwwway..."

WHAT?!!
Patch was laughing and singing for all she was worth. There was nothing else to do but join in and we were loud. The cat looked scared.

Thanks Patch for still singing with me. Thanks for holding hands with me when we walk together outside. Thanks for all your hugs and telling me you will miss me while you are at school. I enjoyed lunch with you last week, you are the cutest lunch worker who ever scraped food... (big smile here!)

Love you. Love you. Love you.


Ky, glad you are coming to visit and that you guys want to make sugar cookies - maybe we will crank up the music and sing some... Back Street Boys Christmas or Neil Diamond Christmas (as long as Dad isn't around!) "I I I I I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." Join in, you know the words - ha ha.


Murmur Not

I am teaching Relief Society in January and have been thinking on and off of topics to teach. I came across this talk, Murmur Not, by Neal A. Maxwell (Ensign, Nov. 1989, 82). This is a very pointed and direct talk, not one of the feel good kind of talks. But where I am, it is needed. What I really wish I could do is just make some copies and paste it on a door or two or three - maybe all our doors need this talk - just in case.

Note to self: Remember (I forget at times) that we each have our own custom path to walk in this life with perfectly planned experiences and trials to tutor us and while I can't understand what makes some people do the things they do, there IS a plan.

The answer to dealing with all kinds of people is this - love them and pray for them when there is nothing else you can do.
Here it that answer in the scriptures: Mormon 3:12 "...and had loved them, according to the love of God which was in me, with all my heart; and my soul had been poured out in prayer unto my God all the day long for them; nevertheless, it was without faith, because of the hardness of their hearts."

Not always so easy. I need an increase in my own faith.


Back to the talk.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from Elder Maxwell's talk:

"...too many of us seem to expect that life will flow ever smoothly, featuring an unbroken chain of green lights with empty parking places just in front of our destinations!"


"Cutting truth does hurt, but its lancing can drain off pride."


Characteristics of a murmurer:

-"The murmurer often lacks the courage to express openly his concerns."


-"While a murmurer insists on venting his own feelings, he regards any response thereto as hostile."



-"Murmurers have short memories. Israel arrived in Sinai, then journeyed on to the Holy Land though they were sometimes hungry and thirsty. But the Lord rescued them, whether by the miraculous appearance by quail or by water struck from a rock. (See Num. 11:31; Ex. 17:6.) Strange, isn’t it, brothers and sisters, how those with the shortest memories have the longest lists of demands! However, with no remembrance of past blessings, there is no perspective about what is really going on.


-Murmurers spend all their time in looking for the evil."Perspective makes such an enormous and constant difference in our lives."



"The goodness of the Lord is attested to in so many ways - mansions await! - yet we ungrateful guests still complain about the present accommodations."Murmuring is contagious, but "being of good cheer is equally contagious."

"Letting off steam always produces more heat than light."

"Murmuring can be another form of mocking God's plan of salvation."

"Murmuring can also be noise enough that it drowns out the various spiritual signals to us... Murmuring over the weight of our crosses not only takes energy otherwise needed to carry them but might cause another to put down his cross altogether."

God accomplishes things, brothers and sisters, “in process of time.” This calls for our patience. Moreover, doing things in process of time is often His way of either preserving our agency or of providing us with needed opportunity. In fact, certain experiences, over which we might understandably murmur, can actually be for our good. (See D&C 105:10; D&C 122:7; Gen. 30:27.) Thus you and I may think God is merely marking time, when He is actually marking openings for us, openings which are sorely needed. Even then, we are so slow to use those openings in order to escape from the familiar cell of selfishness.

"Nonmurmurers are permitted to see so much more."

"Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them." - 2 Kings 6:16

"If our lips are closed to murmuring, then our eyes can be opened."

Friday, December 12, 2008

I am not surprised

Friday night, and I am home alone. It is a wierd feeling.
I just had to put this thought down so not to forget it in the passing of time...

Ernie had a very special opportunity tonight. He was one of a couple young men and their dads or youth leaders to go and clean inside the brand new Draper LDS temple! WOW. I was so excited for him to have this awesome experience. I told him to take a lot of mental pictures so he could tell me all about it.

Besides the fact that he was inside the temple tonight (just in case you are not aware: the temple has not been dedicated yet, so anyone can be inside and soon the open house for the temple will begin with 1-1.5 MILLION people expected to walk through it during the two month time period) which is just a really great opportunity in and of itself, I was amazed at his own thought process in going there and what he gave up to do this.

It is a Friday night - he was asked to clean from 5 -8 pm

He had to leave wrestling practice early with an explanation of why to his coach

He missed the first two hours of a friends birthday party

And the sweetest by far...

He runs up from the basement to leave to clean the temple and he is dressed in his suit!
I said, "Ernie you are going to clean things in the temple, why are you in your suit?"
He said, "Mom I am going to the temple. Don't worry, I have clothes to change into."

That was a lesson for me and a glimpse of who's son this awesome kid really is.
It is the Lord's house and he is helping to prepare it, he understands. I am not surprised.

Bah Humbug!

Don't get excited, this picture was taken 3/08 in NYC.
Ky and I went on a prewedding trip together.


The cold, hard facts of my morning...
I have been trying to get a few tickets to Wicked... what a waste of time. The Arttix website is down, the phone has been busy for 1 hour! BUT, not to worry, I can go to any of those online ticket scalpers and pay DOUBLE or MORE for tickets. One site I checked at 10:30 this morning had 32 different days/times to already choose from some tickets at $283 a ticket! Whatever!

What ever happened to ordinary people being able to just get tickets without the big mark up?

I have seen the musical twice in NYC, I just wanted to take my youngest daughter to see it. Maybe a road trip in the spring. If I have to pay a hefty mark up, I might as well be in NYC or LA - anywhere but here!!


I AM BUMMED BIG TIME!


(Okay, now that is out of my system, I am much calmer - well, alittle calmer.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Florida Vacation Pictures

We went on vacation over Thanksgiving again this year. As you will see, we had as much fun as you can possibly have in the six days we were gone. We brought our newlyweds along and they were grateful for EVERYTHING. As they liked to say, we could always be ________! (Fill in the blank with Logan, in snow, in school, doing homework, working, freezing!)
I don't think any of us will be able to ride a roller coaster again without clapping and chanting, "Tanner in the front, Tanner in the front!" Remember his answer - "Not happening! Not happening!" Good times.
Funny, with all we did we still managed to watch Santa Clause 1,2, and 3 at night. A Clegg family favorite.



Ky, EJ and Patch waiting for a ride (we got good at waiting).







Ernie at Epcot in France. We had to find this tasty French dessert, Mille Feuille, to sample!




Patch had to visit Germany for some authentic German chocolate at Epcot. Thanks to her 1st grade teacher, Miss Benson, for developing this love of all things German.








This is actually the last picture of the trip... bye bye Flordia fun.



Tbone turned 13 on our trip. This picture was taken on his birthday and this is his favorite ride of the day - The Mummy - very intense!


This is where we ate breakfast on T bone's birthday. The McDonalds Bistro (could it really be?)


This McDonalds sported an elevator, a bistro menu with waffles, breakfast burritos and a 2nd floor full of all kinds of electronic games to play. Unreal.


After the dinasour ride - 1st wet ride of the day!




Splashing down on the dinasour ride!




THE HULK!! No one told me the ride shoots you out about 3/4 the way up! Scary!
Ky, EJ, Lax boy and I rode this one. Going over water upside down is not for me (more than one time!!)


Thanksgiving dinner delivered to our condo after a fun play day. Dad carved the turkey and we enjoyed sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans almondine, cranberry sauce, rolls, butter and apple pie. It was tasty and the cheapest dinner of our trip!
Happy Turkey Day!

Ernie rode the Rock'n'Roller Coaster! This was his very first roller coaster and probably his last. Way to give it a try.


Family favorite by far!! This time I am glad to know where to hold on...


Disney World had Magic Moments abounding! Lax boy and T bone got theirs with an ultimate fast pass to all the rides for the day! Sweet! Thanks T bone for giving up your fast pass to Toy Story for Patch to go.



Patch's most magical moment! She was choosen to meet Belle and the Prince at the end of the Beauty and the Beast show! We sat in the VIP Rose seats and then a worker took Patch up to the stage and got to meet Belle and the Prince and talk with them. They gave her the rose and a cute certificate to commerate the moment. You know that certificate is hanging up in her room.


This picture still makes me laugh! Lax wanted to meet Sleeping Beauty so he stood in line with all the LITTLE girls until it was his turn. Sleeping Beauty showed him how to stand like a prince. This was funny!




Another wet ride! Patch loved this one - she went on it 3 times!




Patch in front of Cinderella's castle.




The castle lit up with Christmas lights. The lighting would keep changing so the castle would darken to other colors. It was beautiful.




Turkey legs - yum! Tbone was the all time master at eating these. He could clean his down to the turkey bone the fastest! He ate 3 of these during our trip. EJ said his limit on turkey legs is 1 per year!


Thanks for a great trip... next year ??









Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Yes, it is finally feeling like winter here - and my car is not in our garage! Yuck. I am way past the car window scraping phase (remember apartment living?). Don't worry though because the Alta Lacrosse goals are nice and dry, snow and ice free in MY garage. They are big and heavy otherwise I would have dragged them outside myself. There they will be until after the 2nd and last tryouts this Friday night(10:30 -midnight for varsity tryouts - you just have to be young to do that!). Thank goodness the garage will be free for my car just in time to beat the new snow storm coming Saturday, Sunday AND Monday. I hope the weather people are lying.

Another One Drives Away

It has happened again! Another child in this family has reached the age of sixteen... and driven away by themselves. Yikes. It should get easier...it should get easier... it should get easier...


Here are parts of the conversations from yesterday and today that have been flying around this house and between cell phones...

"Did you show him where the registration is? Does he know that is what the police will ask for when/if he gets pulled over?"

"DO NOT TALK ON YOUR CELL PHONE, TEXT ON YOUR CELL PHONE, ANSWER YOUR CELL PHONE WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING THIS CAR!"

"Text me when you get to school. Text me when you are leaving school."

"Be alert, there are crazy people in cars all around you."

"You are driving a killing machine."

"You don't get do overs in car accidents!"

"It is snowing, do you want me to drive you to school instead? " (NO)

"Remember, they are braking for a reason..." (Mom's famous line when driving with a pre-licensed driver)

"Slow and easy, give yourself time to respond to the traffic around you."

"Insurance is expensive!"

"Randy, he doesn't know how to drive on slick roads - there is going to be an accident!!" (This was my freakish chant this morning - 6:00 am - so my dear, dear husband secretly followed our new 16 year old to school. He had to be there by 6:30 for a band concert practice. XOXO to you!) He thought he was driving undetected by our son until I got a text message (after he was at school) telling me that HE had been driving for SIX months and didn't need us (DAD) to follow him to school. So sorry Ernie. We just love you and you probably won't understand our crazy obsession of love and safety until your 16 year old son drives away for the first, second, fiftieth time!

How did my parents survive my driving around town at 14?!!? Yes, it was in Kansas, but not too rural. I did drive to early morning seminary, the grocery store and Hardee's to retreave the necessary diet Pepsi's for Mom.

Happy 16th birthday Ernie. You are dependable, always on time, responsible, helpful - you have always been an adult in a child's body. I can't wait to see what you accomplish in the next 16 years. You have learned to go after what you want to do and this usually demands hard work on your part. Way to go for doing your own thing at JHS - band, soccer, wrestling, PTSA and all A's your first quarter. Congrats on the no tardies or absences award for the first quarter. It is a big deal because IT IS A BIG DEAL. Being where you need to be when you need to be there is something that is hard to do day in and day out. You earned the privileged right to an on campus parking spot as a sophomore, just beware the juniors and seniors. No BFE (beyond fetching Egypt) parking for you!! You are a good friend and a great son. I will miss driving you to and from school and our Friday stops at Sonic during happy hour. Always drive safe. I love you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Go Utah!

Heading off to THE game!
Some yelling, some cheering, a few hotdogs and cokes
and a WIN!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wedding reception video

Here (click on video blog) is Kylea and Eric's wedding reception video. I can't believe that 6 months has already passed since the BIG day in May. I love you both!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Being a mom is a great excuse...

I saw this on a blog - lightrefreshmentsserved.com and I laughed because these statements are OH SO TRUE!

1. Being a mom is a great excuse. You can buy treats, make treats, have treats on hand “for the kids.” No one will question your pantry stocked with Cocoa-Puffs. (Hmmm - the ding dong 24 pack from Costco?!!? Frozen cookie dough "just in case"!)

2. Kids are a good hobby (? strange word to use, but you understand the idea) because they strip you of pride and make you seem more patient than you really are. You aren’t cool, and your kids remind you of that. You might get a big head if you weren’t constantly told “you talk to me too much” or “your bum’s too big to sit on that chair!” (hypothetically speaking, of course) The more kids you have, the more patient you seem to strangers, when the exact opposite is probably true. It’s just a funny assumption we all make, and I’m okay with it.

Seriously, people do sometimes think that the more kids you have, the more patient you MUST be, not so.
There are times when what I think is funny and "hip" and "with it" and then I go ahead and talk about it with my teens. This action can be met with heads turned in embarrassment and a groaning "Wooowww Mom!" (Ernie does this best and it has become a trademark of his that we all long to copy but never will -according to him!)



Being a mom is where I know I need to be - come what may in this crazy world we live in. Whether it is the tedious job that is done over and over again for these little people, or a once in a lifetime experience that I know was a "you had to be there" thing, I am happy and fulfilled as I watch them grow and begin to take their places as good people in society. I am grateful to have a small part in helping them become their best. Ahh, the perfect thoughts for a perfect day... now back to reality and the HARD, EXHAUSTING job of being MOM.
Yes, I figured this one out by myself. The beach is always the right choice no matter the season. Stay tuned.

Blah background

Please send me info about where everyone is getting their very cute blog backgrounds. I am in need...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Too Many Thoughts...

I find myself thinking about things and that I should blog them, but I always (lately) seem to lack the time to sit down and get that accomplished... here I go...


Last week while lying in bed and talking quietly in the night, R told me about an experience he had just that evening. He helps coach Tbone's football team and another coach said to him that he would not be there for the next two practices. He then proceeded to tell R why. He talked about the stress they had been having with their teenage daughter for along time. Nothing was working and she was set to move out and live with her 21 year old boyfriend in 3 weeks once she turned 18. With no other options, they contacted one of the wilderness groups for wayward teens and the next morning at 5 am they were coming to take her. No notice, no warning for the daughter. Handcuffs if necessary. My heart went out to the mother, wondering did anyone know her struggles? I woke up 3 times through the night thinking about this mother and praying she would be okay. I cannot imagine getting to this last resort in dealing with an out of control child.


She continued to stay on my mind and in my heart for the next 3 days - until after sacrament meeting yesterday. I saw a lady who I needed to visit with and I went up to her and asked how she was doing. We began to talk and she told me she had been watching some friend's children over the weekend while they dealt with their daughter out of town. Amazingly, I asked if she was referring to this family and she was. She knows them quite well and I immediately felt such comfort, and recognized a tender mercy in my life reminding me again that our Heavenly Father knows everything about us and how best to help us. I felt comforted that their needs were known by a few others who loved them. I asked my friend at church to give this woman an extra hug the next time she saw her. She did and called me today to share more of this event. After we had talked about this, this woman then began to tell me of the struggles she was having with her own daughter. I never knew what burdens she was carrying around and I never would have guessed. I listened as she talked and then cried. It is not easy to open up and admit things are not going perfectly. I am glad she did for a moment and I hope that I was able to lift up a small part of her burden for a moment.

Needless to say, this has been on my mind. When that happens, I know there is a reason. I have been making calls, seeking others who may be suffering in silence. I write this down only so that I will be accountable for this decision. I don't talk about it to be prideful but to wonder how many of us are in need of understanding and compassion without judgement? I know I have needed it. I am trying to put my own small struggles to the side and concentrate on helping others. Doing this is not easy as opening this Pandora's box identifies a lot of need.


I have added some personal notes from a stake Relief Society leadership meeting that I went to last week (the same day that R told me about his conversation) that would benefit all women. I have also added my favorite quote from President Uchtdorf from the General Relief Society meeting in September:

"In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers" (President Uchtdorf, General Relief Society Meeting, September 2008).


From the Leadership meeting:
A. We have to be there for each other
· Remember covenants that we made at baptism (mourn with those that mourn, etc)
· We need to talk to each other rather than suffer in silence
· We have to get real and be approachable – we are not perfect, we all have difficult times in our marriages, some have wayward children, many struggles for all of us
· Let go of the "Hi, how are you? Fine! Great, see you later", we all need more

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Grandma Kola is dying...

It has been a sad few days around here. Patch's very old - well she has lived at our house for almost 3 years - and very loved hamster Kola is slowly (very) dying. I wanted Spice man to check this morning to see if she had passed, but no, when gently jiggled, she is still breathing. This has been hard for Patch to watch and she has shed many, many tears during this death watch. We have also had many good conversations about a loving Heavenly Father and his creations for us to love and enjoy. There is a place in heaven for beloved pets. Many tender prayers have been given during this week by my daughter. I am strengthened by her simple faith in a Father who hears and answers ALL prayers.

I can't imagine a more loved hamster than Grandma Kola. She grew happpily plump on the many treats that were left for her in her cage. She took many mini vacations around our house in her ball. She has a fun cage and was able to reside in Spice man's office (that is love!) where she was able to be loved more frequently by Patch and her friends. With the death of her first hamster and now the pending death of Grandma Kola, Patch has decided that she is moving out of the hamster pet business. She said it is too hard to have them die so quickly.

I fear an era is coming to a close and my youngest is growing up in an almost indiscernable way. Who else loves to skip through Pet Smart and lovingly gaze and wish for every kind of creature they house there?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thoughts on Family

I copied and pasted these quotes from my friend's blog (thanks Pedaling, I hope you don't mind). They bear repeating as each week there seems to be something else demanding our time and efforts that could take us away from the most important thing - family.

“But whatever the era, whatever the times, one thing will never change: Fathers and mothers, if you have children, they must come first. You must read to your children and you must hug your children and you must love your children. Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside your house.” Barbara Bush

“To have successful homes, values must be taught, and there must be rules, there must be standards, and there must be absolutes. Many societies give parents very little support in teaching and honoring moral values. A number of cultures are becoming essentially valueless, and many of our younger people in those societies are becoming moral cynics.” James E. Faust
“We should not let their choices weaken our faith. Our worthiness will not be measured according to their righteousness. Lehi did not lose the blessing of feasting at the tree of life because Laman and Lemuel refused to partake of its fruit.” Robert D. Hales


“Each family has its own special circumstances. But the gospel of Jesus Christ addresses every challenge –which is why we must teach it to our children.” Robert D. Hales

“One of the greatest tests for parents and leaders is to love the one who seems to be unlovable. This is tough duty. It stretches the heartstrings and wrenches the soul. When heartbroken parents pray for help, the help often comes in the form of angel aunts or uncles, grandmas or grandpas, good friends and leaders surrounding our loved one. They can reinforce our very message that may put our child on the track we’ve been praying for.” James E. Faust


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Time Flies

The reason for my blog is simply to have a place to record things that are important and not so important to my kids and our family which if not recorded, would most likely be forgotten in the years to come.


So catching up alittle...





Before going to his Eagle board of review. I had to go buy a new scout shirt because his last shirt was like the hulk, straining the buttons and ripping the seams! We are very proud of this son.




Tbone is learning to play the French horn at school. He enjoys it and is glad his teacher is finally not calling him Aaron anymore! When he brings this horn home we marvel at his strength of his lungs and the LOUDNESS of his music.


Walking to school on the first day! We have some new neighbors and friends that Patch and I walk with in the mornings.


Our mountain behind our home on fire in August! Another small reminder that I need to always keep working on being prepared...



Patch and her friend Boo decided to clean Spice man's truck for his birthday gift. They had a great time getting ready with just the right fashion and supplies. Spice man got a chuckle when he drove home and saw these two girls singing and washing away on top of the hood and roof!




The infamous peach pie that I make each year for Spice man's birthday at his request. The crust recipe is my mom's and the peach pie recipe is my Grandma's. It is SO good. Only the shell is baked, so the peaches stay tasting like they were just picked.




Patch and her piano recital. She was not confident in her memorized piece and couldn't get through it without her teacher bringing up her music. Through the remainder of the piece you could hear big gulps of air as she tried to hold back her tears. When she stood up at the end, she covered her face and just stood there and cried. My eyes welled up as I gathered her into my arms and led her from the room. I snuggled her and let her cry. Sometimes that is all you can do. And it is okay. Eventually, she dried her eyes and went back into the recital room. I am thankful for my youngest, resilent daughter.





Out of order, but happy to be going to 4th grade! I am happy that school is a delight and not a struggle for her.

Wish I had something to put on for Ky and EJ. Missing them in Logan, but so glad they are happy, happy, HAPPY! Ky is busy with school - she is in a middle school 6th grade class 3 days a week (8 am to 3:30 pm) and then regular classes fit around this. After 5 weeks with the 6th grade, she will go to a 1st grade class. Keep up the good work!
I wonder when I will stop missing her so much?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Double Eagles



I am back from blogging vacation...


Hurray! We are celebrating around here. Lax boy passed his Eagle board of review last night, so he is now officially an Eagle Scout. Ernie passed his in August which also was a big occasion to celebrate. The funny thing is that they both completed their projects a year ago, but with the start of school, then an engagement and wedding, I dropped (or stashed away) the eagle ball.


We are planning for the Eagle Court of Honor in October with their cousin Max joining them to receive his Eagle also.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mom, I got it.



Today was another first, T bone's first day of seventh grade. I woke him up at 6:10 (ouch!). French toast and the big decision of what to wear behind him, I asked if I could walk with him to the bus stop. He looked at me and said "Mom, I got it."

I looked at him for a long moment and said "Ok, have a great day." In my mind I asked - please, can I just hug you once and sniff your smell - searching for, but knowing I won't find that fresh baby scent or the playful little boy dirt smell, but the current one of cologne (!) and deodorant! Another little man out the door and I am praying like crazy that the world will be kind, he will remember to CTR and will always want to talk with me.

Another bandaid to the heart until it heals, again.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

S.S. Gourmet

I served dinner tonight (8:40 pm) to my football boys after practice. Knowing that T bone has his "sevie" orientation at middle school tomorrow, I thought brain strengthening salmon was in order (mmm, salmon with lime dressing, fresh steamed green beans, red grapes, applesauce and chocolate milk). His response to dinner on the table was "WOW, this looks like S.S. Gourmet!"

I am not sure what that says about the rest of the food we eat since I have never had this title to any other dinner I have made, but I was glad he was so excited to eat. It makes this sometimes drudgery of cooking yet another meal worthwhile when there is so much excitement to dig into what is set out on the table.

It seems like my cooking enjoyment comes and goes in waves... luckily we are riding high on the cooking wave right now. Last night was a "strong 10" which is as perfect as any food will ever get around here - thanks T bone. I made the kids a strawberry watermelon smoothie. Trust me it tastes as good as the name sounds.

2 cups strawberries, cut in half
2 cups watermelon, no seeds
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 cups ice (I used more, I like a thicker, icy drink)

Blend and serve. I froze the leftover for a slushie today for Patch after school.
That easy and that good!


I am looking to try an oriental beef and broccoli in my crock pot this weekend...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cache County

Ky and EJ have a incredible view of the Logan Temple from their apartment.

(can't remember how to delete photos, so this one stays)

Patch and I traveled up north to Logan to spend a fun day with Ky on her day off. For the first half of the drive, we listened to a book on tape, The Magic Treehouse "Pirates Past Noon". This was a Wendy's Kids Meal prize - finally something worthwhile. Patch was anxious to see Ky and download some of her good music to her new ipod. Being the animal lover that she is, Patch hoped to see "Miss Kitty", the very friendly black cat that lives two houses down from Ky and EJ (luckily we saw her and petted and petted her!). I enjoy getting these two sisters together, the relationship that they have is so close regardless of the 11 year age difference.

We arrived in time to go to lunch at Chilis with the newly weds before EJ had to go to work. There is a new Hobby Lobby in Logan and so we shopped around that very BIG store. It seemed to me that everything was 50% off, so we had to take advantage of the good sales and purchase some cute picture frames. I walked quickly by the Christmas section, that is so wrong in July.
Ky took us to the Logan "mall" and we had a fun time poking around the stores there. We enjoyed sampling the smells at Bath and Body Works, ohhing and ahhing over the webkinz at Hallmark and checking out the latest back to school fashions at AE. A haircut was in order for Ky so we chatted with her while her hair was washed and cut - 4 inches came off!

While she was gone to take some dinner to EJ on his break, I washed up her dishes. Alas, no dishwasher. (When Patch first heard they didn't have a dishwasher she very seriously asked how they were going to be able to wash their dishes. Hmmm. My bad.) Ky said not to worry about doing the dishes, but, hey! their dirty dishes are FUN! Two cute spoons, two cute forks, two cute cups and plates. My dirty dishes are not fun. Too many and too many wander through the house.
Time flew by with watching some of the olympics, getting a Sonic drink, figuring out what wedding pics to choose for her wedding album, grocery shopping, chinese take out for dinner... by this time it was close to 10 pm and I decided to get a hotel room instead of driving home late. I didn't think too much about this but as it turned out, a hotel room, a motel room, any available room in and around Logan was not to be. The international satellite convention at USU was in town (I didn't know!) and all the rooms were taken.

We cozied down on the couch - unplanned sleepover for Patch, she was so excited - in Ky and EJ's apartment and slept the night away. Waking up, I skimmed the Rachel Ray magazine and saw the recipe for Apple scones... sounded good... something Ky had wanted to try... just needed some half and half from the store (and a toothbrush). Ky and I made scones and enjoyed quietly visiting over breakfast. Soon it was time to go... we loved our Logan adventure and can't wait to go visit again.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Glad for family

I dropped in to pick up some apricots (jam time!) from sister last Thursday. It was one of those days where the wrongs of the world lay heavily on my shoulders. Physically, my feet were dragging and my heart was heavy. So glad I stopped by... she had Five 5 gallon buckets of apricots to can herself and she was with out help. I sat and began to help pop them open and soon became calm with that repetitive movement. I could sit quietly, nice when conversation is not required and you don't feel wierd about the silence, and think and ponder and deal with the stuff churning through my mind. She had her wok out and cooked me up a delicious stir fry with garden fresh veggies that were very tasty.
It was a good ending to the day and I am so glad she lives close by.
Thanks.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Glad the day is over

Whew, finished teaching a Relief Society lesson today. I feel drained now and mentally 10 lbs. lighter. Tomorrow I will be able to pick up my life where I dropped it in preparation for this lesson (although Saturday evening I was making a batch of apricot jam knowing those apricots were no going to stay good until Monday).


The lesson was called "Living a Christ-Centered Life". This is something that I think about a lot, those refining points of the gospel that can, at times, be tough to hold onto during the week when life is coming at you with both guns blazing. Isn't it true how the teacher always seems to gain the most from the lesson? I did.



Some of my favorite thoughts and quotes...



For most of us, trying to be Christlike is a lifelong process and comes "line upon line, precept upon precept"

At any point in time the changes are almost imperceptible; indeed, many of us worry we are not becoming more Christlike even though we are.


2 Nephi 31:18-21


"Christ knows us and is the source of the Spirit’s promptings. He knows how to help us become Christlike. He knows if the lesson needs to be on faith or love or patience or diligence. The Savior’s power is also sufficient to help us grow from grace to grace and to receive grace for grace until we become perfect in Him." (Elder Bateman, 99)


"To follow Christ is to become more like Him. It is to learn from His character. As spirit children of our Heavenly Father, we do have the potential to incorporate Christlike attributes into our life and character. The Savior invites us to learn His gospel by living His teachings. To follow Him is to apply correct principles and then witness for ourselves the blessings that follow. This process is very complex and very simple at the same time. Ancient and modern prophets described it with three words: "Keep the commandments"—nothing more, nothing less." (Elder Uchtdorf, 95)


The test comes in practicing what we proclaim. The reality check comes when Christlike attributes need to become visible in our lives—as husband or wife, as father or mother, as son or daughter, in our friendships, in our employment, in our business, and in our recreation.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Last Lecture




If you get the chance, read this book. The author, Professor Randy Pausch, died last Friday of pancreatic cancer. I have been following his story since I watched his last lecture that he gave a year ago after he received his diagnosis of cancer and was given 3-6 months to live. This book takes from that lecture plus more that he wanted to leave for his 3 young children to be a sort of "message in the bottle" that would come ashore in time to help them know who he was.


Tonight, ABC had a special about him and his life and family. It was wonderful and he talked (taped in April) about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, especially our children (I really liked how he said to let your kids paint their rooms as they want to and not to worry about resale value), and of seizing every moment.

At times I was overcome listening to him express his love for his wife and knowing now that he is gone and she is left to raise those young children without him. That has always been one of those experiences I hope I never signed on for (as if we could choose what they will be!), I don't know if I would have the strength to bear it with such acceptance and grace as she has. At one point he told Diane Sawyer that Hollywood couldn't make a movie of his life because there is not a Hollywood actress pretty enough to play the part of his wife.


Click here to view his last lecture.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

The days are long and hot with plenty of coming and going around here. About this time every year I remember to pull out and read the following to help me remember to enjoy this age and stage because too soon it will be over. (Grab a kleenex, you will need one).


Precious Moments Slip By
By: Ann Cannon, Deseret News


You fold another blanket left in the middle of the floor after last night's TV watch-a-thon.

Wipe up a puddle of melted popsicle from the kitchen counter.

Answer the telephone at midnight because someone is calling for one of your kids.

Survey the skateboards and scooters and bikes and other wheeled objects strewn throughout the entryway.

Search (dripping wet) for a clean towel in the linen closet, then remember that one by one, day after day, they've all been left at the swimming pool.

Look at your youngest son and wonder when the last time was that he changed his shirt. Begin to wonder the same scary thing about his underwear.

Glance at the pile of Baseball weeklies by your favorite chair, stacked there in hope that you'll eventually read them and realize nobody (including you) has read anything except the back of a Cap'n Crunch cereal box since school ended.

Walk outside where you feel defeated, depleted, demoralized and done in by the heat.

And then the moment comes - like it always does - where you say to yourself that even though summer is by far your favorite season, it's time for it to end. You start looking forward to the things you won't have to do again until next year - pulling slivers out of tough bare feet, picking up junior high kids from friend's houses night after night, going to the grocery store a dozen times a day because food you thought you had in the fridge (surprise!) isn't there anymore. Swatting houseflies the size of hummingbirds in your kitchen.

Yes, you'll say to yourself the night before school starts, no more sleepovers in the middle of the week! Then you'll remember the scene in the novel "Open House" by Elizabeth Berg where a mother looks at her 11 year old son, wondering how she will break the news that his father has left them and remembering the days of innocence when he was small enough to sit in her lap.

"I don't hold Travis anymore," she says, "not to read to him, or for any other reason, either. I wish I'd known that the last time was going to be the last time. But of course that information would have been as painful as this moment."

Life is full of last times. If you sit on your porch tonight with the moon rising and the night air shot through with the scent of honeysuckle, just like it was those summer nights when you and your girlfriend Gigi slept in her grandmother's backyard, you can try to list them in your head.

The last night before you became your husband's wife.

The last haircut you gave your son before his light fine hair began to darken and turn coarse. The last time he asked you to play "Candyland" with him, and the last time he wasn't embarrassed to be seen eating hamburgers at Hires with you.

The last family vacation you all took to the beach before the oldest cousins began leaving for college.

The last conversation you had on a hot morning in Liberty Park with your girlfriend before learning about her husband's illness.

The last time you walked across a grassy field while the scent of the game that was just played there still lingered.

The last time you nursed your last baby.

Some of these things we prepare for. We take pictures. Write in journals. Mark their passing. Some of them we don't. They end so quietly we hardly notice them slip away until one day something happens and we are suddenly reminded of the thing we no longer have in our lives.


The trick, of course, is to notice. And to love it while it's there.


My goal for today was to deal with the growing piles of stuff on the kitchen counter, but not right now. Now I am off to enjoy a walk around the block with my youngest who wants to become more confident on her bike. I am glad she wants me to come along.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Waiting and Remembering

I am sitting here waiting for the phone to ring and I can't believe that I just mindlessly ate a DING DONG! I don't even like them, but it was sitting there on the counter and with emotions flaring, I snarfed it down. I am waiting for the phone to ring, Lax boy to a hard hit to his head in a lacrosse game today and on top of the first hard hit on Saturday, he isn't doing well at this time. His counselor is taking him to the ER in Provo and I am waiting. Now I am feeling a bit sick to my stomach, that ding dong was not worth it and just thinking of what it is made of makes me feel worse.

I am sitting here remembering a small blond boy, always going somewhere fast, with the always present scab in the center of his forhead. Driving little trucks complete with sound effects, building tall towers out of blocks, swinging high in the backyard. Pockets full of the day's favorite treasures...

I finally hear from him and he ended up with a mild concussion and needs me to drive down to get him as he can't drive for 24 hours. I am glad to be needed, most of the time 17 year old boys don't really need their moms, except when they are hungry and that is almost always! So I guess I am needed a lot!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Girls Week



This week is a first for me! Early Monday morning - 6:30 am - I said a cheerful good-bye to all my men and sent them off into the world for the week. Lax boy is at a lacrosse camp (lax=lacrosse in case you don't know that abbreviation), Ernie is at EFY and Tbone and Spice man are together at scout camp. Even better, the drive to scout camp at Bear Lake went right by USU, so the scouters dropped off Ernie and saved me a three hour round trip drive. Sweet and thank you guys! Just when I thought everyone was on their way, the phone rings and a man said that he had found two bags on the main street by our home... those scouter men had driven off with the tail gate down on the truck! I still am laughing at that.

Patch and I are home alone and enjoying ourselves. She told me yesterday "Mom, it is summer, you don't need to clean."

Don't I wish...
I have become slightly obsessed with organizing and gutting kids rooms, finding and washing every piece of dirty laundry in our home, and YES matching all those unmatched socks in a very big laundry basket!

Keep up if you can... still moving Ky out and getting stuff to her married life (watch out, I will be bringing a LOAD this weekend!), Patch is moving from her old room to Ky's bigger room, Tbone is moving out of his shared room to Patch's old room and Ernie is celebrating his own space, finally! Whew! I carted out 3 garbage bags of junk from Patch's room (well, 4 really, but she didn't see that last one... plus a big DI box of old treasures she no longer needs). I feel like I am moving out of this house as most of the accumulated stuff in our home is in those rooms! It is a BIG job, but this week I am up for the task.

I can say (and I don't think I can remember a time when I could say this with many children) that my laundry is completely done. WOW. I wish I had my camera (gone to scout camp) to document this occasion. Not only done, but also folded and put away!

In case you doubt, we are having fun together too! We got our hair cut on Monday and then I took Patch to get a little pedi and mani. FUN! Yesterday, we learned how to make friendship bracelets and played Patch's original game. This is her game... with your toes you have to pick up marbles out of a big bowl of water and drop them into a cup. We tied with 31 marbles each! Today is a picnic at the park and then off to Clairs with a friend to find a fun friendship necklace. Tomorrow, the library and a movie. Not sure when, but we also have on the calendar a High School Musical movie marathon!

Although the house is unusually quiet and stays picked up and I am able to read to my hearts content late at night, I will be glad to soon welcome home, dirty laundry and all, all my guys.


















Sunday, July 13, 2008

Raspberry Days!

Look at the lovely raspberries that Ernie and I picked from our patch this evening! This is our first real raspberry season and it is very exciting for me as I don't have a very green thumb when it comes to growing things that can be eaten. Don't they look so sweet and tasty? It is only about 3 cups, but there is wonderful potential as these are the first "pickins" of the season. I am delighted to get this many away from the birds. I am anxiously awaiting apricots on our trees, maybe some apples (again, those birds!) and our grapes are looking very plentiful. My gardening trend for now is plant it once and reap the harvest for years to come. Mmm, maybe raspberry shakes for a late night treat tonight...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

All Aboard!

Welcome to a good friend of mine, Cami. She just entered the blogging world on July 5th. Mother of four and runner extraordinaire! One of the many things I like and admire about Cami is her weekly (without fail) dinner menus. She is such a pro of planning this. For me, I cycle in and out of having a firm plan on this evening ritual of eating. I am so glad you guys moved from Arizona.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Welcome!


Hello and welcome to Bryn - a new friend in the neighborhood and a fellow blogger! Yeah! I am glad you moved in to our area and hope you soon feel that this neck of the woods is home. Bryn has a very sweet pineapple door knocker... in the South the pineapple is a sign of hospitality (did I get that right? It is late.).




Yawn...

For me to be awake at this time of night (11:27 pm) you know that:

A. there must be a GOOD reason to need to be awake
B. there are teenagers in the house (or in this case, who need to come home to the house!)



I Love To See The Temple

Patch, Tbone and I watched today as the statue of Angel Moroni was placed on the Draper Temple! I always assumed that this part was done towards the end, but maybe they are close to being finished on the outside. The grounds are being planted with trees and ground cover. It looks so beautiful even now with scaffolding around the top. When we got home we went on our deck and were glad to see the golden glow on the top of the temple.

Patch in front of the temple. They are building the fountain behind her.
Notice the little basket to the right of Angel Moroni. There were two men inside of it who were working on small details of the statue. I don't think I would care for that job!


Monday, July 7, 2008

Older = Cooler?

This morning I dropped Ernie off for an intensely fun week at soccer camp. He was excited to go and play soccer 3 times a day. I waited for him to get all the dorm info and then drove him to his dorm for the week. I thought that would be that, BUT, he asked if I could carry his dress clothes (big dance on Thursday!) for him. Hmm, last year it was a quick goodbye at the car. This year, we walked in, found the correct room and I got a hug and "love you". Unexpected. Nice!

It is a funny cycle, this teenage life. When I think I understand the rules, the next one comes along and the rules change. But, maybe this is true. The older I get, the cooler I get. (I know, not really, but it sounds nice anyway.)
Glad I wasn't too embarrassing today, but all bets are off for tomorrow!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dent Free No Longer

Alas, my car is no longer dent free. Ernie was backing out the car to go to church today... and you know the rest of the story. All of a sudden I hear, "Dad, Ernie needs you"! Oh no, that didn't sound good. No one calls for Dad for ordinary run of the mill things, that is my job. Calling for dad is saved for the REAL emergencies. My front side met with Lax Boy's bumper and my car lost.

A few scratches on a car is not a big deal to me, but you have to know the rest of the story as to why we were taking a few private, hyperventilating breaths.
Once upon a time, there was a new car...

I had parked it in the driveway for a RS meeting. My counselor's husband backed out of his garage into the front side of my car (ouch - same side as the newest dents of today). Okay, not my fault, but in a car only 6 weeks from the dealer, not too fun.

Winter comes, and I go to Wal-Mart to shop. Someone side swipes the OTHER front side of my new car - bad enough that the door creaks when it is opened and closed. White paint on red, my husband was seeing red. What can you do? It was a hit and run in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Dear Spice man reminded me about defensive parking at the very back of the parking stalls. I know, I KNOW! Sometimes you just gotta get in and get out.

Fast forward to May. The dents didn't bother me, I KNEW I didn't cause them, but somehow they really got on Spice man's nerves. Something about washing the car, being spring, I don't know, but we decided to belly up and put the money down to get both sides fixed. When it was all said and done, my car looked good, looked new again. I was happy, Spice man was happier.


Until today. Oh dear. Another dent with scratches.


When I heard the news of what had happened, I took a breath and walked out into the garage. I watched my son, head bent over the bumper of his brother's truck slam down his hand on that bumper and shake his head back and forth. I knew he felt as bad as could be. Nothing I could say would make it any worse.

Then I remembered my dad.


I had just backed out my yellow rabbit from the garage and plowed into the green rain gutter on the side of the stairs going up to the front door. Green paint on yellow, some scratches in the paint of the car. I was crying. I was 14 (crazy Kansas driving!)... scary enough as that was. My dad just smiled and said "it's okay, it's only a car and you are okay".

So Ernie, it IS okay, it IS only a car and you are okay.





Keeping with the subject of dented cars...

I highly recommend the book "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. He initially gave this "last lecture" while a professor at Carnegie Mellon. The thoughts he expressed became so popular that he appeared on Oprah and in the Parade magazine. If you don't know, this man is dying from pancreatic cancer and has written this book to help his 3 young children remember him. There is a chapter (the chapters are small - 18) in it where he talks about the time his wife crashed one of their cars into the other one. She was worried about what his reaction would be. After he didn't get upset, she promised to get estimates for the repairs. This is his response.

"I told her that wasn't necessary. The dents would be OK. My parents raised me to recognize that automobiles are there to get you from point A to point B. They are utilitarian devices, not expressions of social status. And so I told Jai (his wife) we didn't need to do cosmetic repairs. We'd just lived with the dents and gashes."

She was somewhat shocked at this explanation. He goes on to say,

"Well, you can't have just some of me, Jai. You appreciate the part of me that didn't get angry because two 'things' we own got hurt. But the flip side of that is my belief that you don't repair things if they still do what they're supposed to do. The cars still work. Let's just drive 'em.

Okay, maybe this makes me quirky. But if your trashcan or wheelbarrow has a dent in it, you don't buy a new one. Maybe that's because we don't use trashcans and wheelbarrows to communicate our social status or identity to others. For Jai and me, our dented cars became a statement in our marriage. Not everything needs to be fixed."


Interesting thoughts. I hope that Ernie understands a car is just a thing. It still runs and not everything needs to be fixed (again). Now if I can convince my husband...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Newlywed blog


Ky and EJ have their very own blog! Congrats and sorry if I bugged you too much about getting around to it. Think how fun to be able to keep track of your life together as it unfolds each week. Memories of things like having no AC and dates on the married student budget will be priceless in years to come. Love you both, still miss you tons.

Welcome and spread the word to the other fam - get on board.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lavender Days

I love this flower garden! Everything in it (except for the lavender) started from randomly cast seeds.

Daisies in our yard - these starts came from my grandma's yard, I love them! This is my favorite lavender, it grows next to my lilac bush off of my back porch. It is a beautiful place.
My raspberry patch - it is getting a bit wild. I didn't get it cleaned up this spring (wedding), so it is more "a la naturel"!
The grape arbor - don't pay attention to those weeds, that is our project this coming week. I have visions of a little stone patio with a bench someday with grapes hanging down from the top...



More lavender...
Love my roses and snap dragons, those snap dragons reseed themselves each year to look better and better.




Another view of my favorite flower bed, isn't it pretty? It makes me happy each time I come up the driveway.
Yes, more lavender!

I could have my own lavender days!


AND...


I didn't know that Utah had their own Lavender Days! It was this weekend (I will plan better for this next year) in Mona, Utah. They have 140 acres of lavender with classes, demonstrations, yummy things to eat made with lavender, even a 5K race through the lavender - that makes it almost doable.
Lavender is one thing that I can grow well because there is not a lot that I have to do to have it turn out big and beautiful. I have the perfect conditions, hot, dry sandy soil!
My yard is in full bloom and it smells GOOD!