My Family

My Family

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Hour Long Wrestling Match

As I was walking my youngest into the nursery today, a friend made the comment that she hadn't heard anything in church today, due to her children being noisy during sacrament meeting.
That has been the story of my life for the past 11 years.

It's a well known fact that most of us tend to ignore until it is thrust upon us.
I saw young mothers walking the halls with the children for years before it ever dawned on me that once I had children that would become my fate.

I count my blessings right now that Pat can sit with me during sacrament meeting.
It means that I actually can catch snippets of spirituality.

It makes me laugh, (mostly because it's either that or cry) when people talk about how spiritual the talks were on a particular day.
It has literally been ages since I have heard an entire talk, and been allowed to have the "quiet" that allows the spirit to fill my heart.

So, in my pondering over this today, my question to myself is this....
Why do I still go?
Why would anyone subject themselves to an hour and a half long wrestling match on a weekly basis?

I certainly am not receiving the spiritual depth and variety that I desire from my meetings.

It's easy to say that I am going to set an example for my children, which I believe is true...
but ultimately, that's not what drives me to get ready each Sunday.
I really believe, after some degree of self-introspection today, that the reason why I go to church on a weekly basis is twofold:
1. It is pure and simply, a way that I can show obedience (although some may argue at the simplicity of taking 6 children to church).
2. It is one way I can show I am that I am willing to submit my will to the Lord's will. It is Neal A. Maxwell, a former Apostle who said "Brethren (and Sisters too!), as you submit your wills to God, you are giving Him the only thing you can actually give Him that is really yours to give. Don’t wait too long to find the altar or to begin to place the gift of your wills upon it!"(3 April 2004, Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been).

I know the importance of choosing to do the things that God has asked us to do...with a willing heart.
I also have recommitted myself to a more careful and focused personal I realize how much I need that spiritual food.
I hope you can do the same.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cookbook Craze

I got 3 new cookbooks for Christmas.
1. Better Homes and Gardens NEW Cookbook (My first of their kind...I've always been a Betty Crocker girl)
2. Simple Slow Cooker Recipes (also by BH&G)
3. Cheap. Fast. Good. (by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross)

It's a little humorous though, while cookbooks make very interesting reading material for me, it seems a bit difficult for me to actually make something new.
I feel wasteful putting good ingredients into an untried recipe.
I guess ultimately, I lack a bit of courage.

So, instead of salivating over the pages and then never coming back to try that particular recipe, as I peruse my new cookbooks, I'll do it with post-its or paper in hand, and mark the recipes that appeal to me on first glance.
I'll be sharing any fabulous finds with you!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Lucky #7

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Eve Eve

This was always the hardest day of the Christmas season for me as a child and teenager.
Christmas is so close, but there is a whole, uneventful day to get through before it is officially Christmas Eve.
Pure torture, I tell you.

I wonder if it is as hard for my kids as it was for me.
Is it hard for you?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It's Beginning

to look a lot like Christmas.

It's official.
Christmastime is here.

It never feels like Christmas until there is snow. finally feels like Christmas in New Mexico!

Monday, December 18, 2006

True 24 Hour Flu

It's gone.

There are only 2 more of our kids who may or may not come down with it, Bekah and Sam-sam.
I'm glad.
I hope they don't get it.

Counting down to Christmas.
Most of the major grocery shopping is done at this point, *whew*...2 hours at Wal-Mart today, with the two little ones to get that accomplished.

Our letters should go out tomorrow.
And after that, it's just a wrap fest waiting to begin.

I'll be back around.
Thanks for your sweet notes.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Isn't there a Rule?

That mom and dad can't be sick at the same time?
Sneaky, nasty flu pretended to be gone for 3 whole days...and whammo!
down for the count in one fell swoop.

That leaves Nathan (unless his hooky day was the real thing, and it was just more mild than the rest of us), Samuel (I'm not looking forward to a 2 year olds reaction to the stomach flu), and Rebekah to be hit...
but it also means we will more than likely miss a ward party tomorrow night,
and a fun activity planned for Sunday evening.

C'est la vie.
I just want to feel better.
Anyone want to come help?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Better Already

Well, both Stephen and Thomas are back at school today...with lots of energy.
Here's hoping the rest of us don't get it too.
Nice to have "just" a 24 hour stomach flu.

Book club tonight.
I'd like to make little bookmarks for each of the ladies.
We'll see if I can move through my 6 loads of unfolded laundry...and get to the paper-crafting point.

On my to-do list:
Finish the Christmas newsletter and get photos printed to send out with it!
Get the laundry caught up....(ha ha)
Finish a shopping trip that was cut short by a dance performance on Saturday (if the kids nap early)
Go to book club and have a smashing good time!

Oh, and I just got a sweet phone call about some peanut butter fudge I dropped off yesterday to my ladies I visit teach.
It made my day!!

Today, take the time to call someone and let them know they are important to you!

Monday, December 11, 2006

We're Hit!

It's official.
The first "bazooka barf" of the season hit our family last night.
Stephen went to bed with a bowl and a towel, complaining of a stomachache.
About 11:30pm, he threw up...everywhere but the bed.
We've run that load of laundry...and are anticipating this hitting everyone.
At least it is a couple of weeks BEFORE Christmas!
Oh, and Thomas is home for the day too, complaining of a headache and stomachache.
We'll see what happens there.

I'll see you around, peering through loads of laundry with a bottle of Febreze in one hand and a box of baking soda in the other.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Family pictures

You get the sneak preview of our family pictures for this year.
And just for the record, it was COLD!
Samuel - 22 months
Rebekah - 4 years old

Thomas - 6 years old Nathan - 7 years old

Emily - 9 years old Stephen - 11 years old

Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas Makes Me Feel....


Slowly but surely, we are readying our home for that most wonderful time of the year.
The tree is up, decorations to follow later this evening.
My table has a new centerpiece that I love.
(I picked it up at a craft fair for a most excellent price!)
The nativities are out, Baby Jesus has been lost, and the Christmas books are readily available.

Shopping is all but done, and Pat informed me that he has decided on MY gift!!!
(Not to be selfish, but it is nice to have at least one surprise under the tree...and that hasn't always happened!)

Baking will come next, but for now, I am just enjoying the season...with very little stress.
How are your Christmas plans coming?
Oh, and my sweet visiting teacher dropped this off with popcorn balls inside. As you can see, the children made short work of the treats, but I LOVE the bowl!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hooky and a Stowaway

Nathan thought he was sick this morning.
He didn't touch his breakfast.
I even convinced myself that he was looking a little pale.
Even though I am quite the nazi-school attendance mama, I decided he needed to stay home today...just because Pat and I have had a little bit of a stomach bug over the past couple of weeks.

By 10:30am, he decided the whole being confined to the couch and/or bed was just not working for him, and he was chasing his sister, Bekah and brother, Samuel all around the living room.
About 10 minutes later he told me he wanted to go to school.
It was obvious he really wasn't sick, so we got ready to go drop him off...

After buckling the last kid into the van, and hanging up the phone after a phone call with a friend, I needed to go put the phone back inside.
I happened to leave the side van door open, and ran back inside to hang the phone up.
Pat called right then to see if I was going to head out to his work for a "lunch date" after dropping Nathan off.
We ended up talking for a few minutes, and then I told him all of the kids were already buckled in and I needed to go.

I shut the van door before heading over to the driver's side, and headed for the school.
About 3/4 of the way to the school, I heard one of my kids say in a surprised tone, "Fee-nah!" (Translation: Athena, our cat).
Then I heard it again, from another child, and heard a forlorn "Meow" as our stowaway cat tried to figure out what was going on.
She was extremely restless while we were driving, and it was a trick to get in and out of the car without her escaping.
There is a reason that they make cat carriers for transporting felines...especially since she decided her favorite spot in the car was right next to the gas and brake pedals.
Thankfully, we all made it home in one piece, even if my legs had some claw marks on them.

Definitely an interesting twist to a slightly abnormal day.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pedicure Pictures...

Purple toenails, what other color is there for me?
Those other feet belong to my sister.
She was over for the weekend to spend some time with us after the news that her annulment was granted.
She's officially single now...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sunday, Sunday

La la, la la la....

It is so much easier being in Primary in some ways than Relief Society ever was.
The children have such a pure love and acceptance for everyone...and their expectations are simply to be taught about Christ and to have someone love them.
It is a very refreshing place to be.

I wish it always felt that way at Church...but it doesn't.
We need to strive more to become like the little child, for such is the kingdom of heaven.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

'Tis the Season...

to ignore the blog...

Sorry I've been MIA.

We now know:
My sister is officially single again (annulment granted yesterday).
I am allergy-ridden by some unknown dizziness-inducing allergen.
My Thomas can only see 20/100, EVEN with his glasses.
And he is FULLY color-blind too.
I have a Primary Activity day to pull off on Saturday (time for some finishing touches!).
DirectTV has a screaming deal on Broadband Internet and TV programming (basic package +10 dollars...way better deal than what we pay now just for broadband)...IF you live within a specific area (otherwise it's EXPENSIVE!!).
It costs a lot to fill a full-sized van's gas tank...but MAN, am I grateful to have a vehicle and money for that gas.
I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping...YIPPEE!!

Just thought you would like to know.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Health Update

I went in for an ENG today...essentially it is a test that measures my eye movements in different situations to evaluate how my inner ear is working.

I threw up because it made me so dizzy and nauseous.
I got out of 2 more tests because throw up=end of test.
I was relieved.
And I hadn't eaten anything because I knew they were trying to make me dizzy...

I didn't have to wait for results, which was a relief.
My MRI came back clear (which is a GOOD thing).
No tumor, chance of upcoming stroke, or disease that effects the inner ear.
All good news.

The diagnosis is that I have allergies that have caused swelling in my inner ear, and essentially the dizziness is a type of migraine-like reaction that occurs as a result of the swelling.
I'll go in for extensive allergy tests, and see if we can narrow down what I am allergic to.
At that point, if possible, I will eliminate that allergen from my life and see if I can function without a daily antihistamine.
Otherwise, I'll be taking a Claritin every day of my life just to function.
I am grateful for it, even though I don't like the thought of taking it EVERY day for the rest of my life.
And, I am grateful for the things we now know the dizziness is not caused by.

More fun blogging to come...

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Weekend

The sight that awaited me when I got home. My kids were jumping off the anxious to tell me about the surprise that they and their Dad had been working on all weekend (while I was out of state)! That is a new bathroom floor (see below for a shot at the dark green carpet that used to cover the entire master bathroom floor)! Whoever thinks that carpet makes a good bathroom floor covering should be SHOT!
The brand new commode. (Woo HOO! No more stuck flapper and drained well from this toilet any more...just two more to fix!!)
That would be the carpet that is now...HISTORY in the bathroom!
And, last, but not least, the reason I was gone this weekend. 5K on Saturday. It felt good...and much easier than last year. Curves must be paying off...
I loved spending the time with Susan and my sister...and got to finish most of my final Christmas shopping. YES!

I am grateful for a husband who not only took on 6 kids for the weekend with no complaint, but chose to surprise my GUTS out when I got home!!


Have you taken the time this season to compile your list of things you are grateful for?
I thought I would today.
This is only a partial list...done in 10 minutes....(I set a time limit so that I don't keep going on...)

My husband
My children
My relatively good health
Good friends (online and off)
Functioning vehicles
An adequate (if somewhat messy) home
My own washer and dryer to clean those clothes
My testimony
My ability to read
My love of writing
Good examples in my life
A computer
A refrigerator
A television
A Wal-Mart in our town
A hospital near-by
Amazon (thanks to that site, I've just about completed my Christmas shopping)
A testimony of Christ and His Atonement
Knowledge of where I was before I came to Earth
Knowledge of where I am going after I die
Good Mail
A mother who stood for the right
A sister who is one of my best friends
Extended family whom we love (Hyrum, Lorin, Keith, Diana, Coleen, Dave, Oliver, Perry and families)
Random Acts of Kindness
A kind word
A smile from someone I know
Answers to prayers
Trials that make me stronger
Crocs for my feet
Susan surviving breast cancer
My husband's poems
Kisses (especially from my kids)
Foot rubs
Back rubs
Audio books
A sincere compliment
Days at home, not so busy
The ability to make cards and other things
Remote controls
Vacuum cleaners
New paint
New floor in my bathroom
Secondhand clothing shops
Pierced ears
My education
Running water
Heat in winter
Air conditioning in the summer
The ability to travel quickly compared to our ancestors

Compile your own list in 10 minutes, and link me in so I can read it!

MRI Update

Over and done with.
Results on Monday.

I hope they find something that can be linked to the dizziness and FIXED.

It is nice to have a medical center in town that can do most procedures.
And, most importantly, I am glad it is over with.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


You'd be surprised how many times a day I think of you.
You influence me today, much more than I ever thought you would.

Growing up near you as a child was full of warm and loving memories and you were a much needed stabilizer in my life.

Do you remember:
*Sleeping outside on warm summer nights, on the outside bedsprings, watching the stars until we fell asleep?
*Teaching me to cook, first cookies, then cakes, and later, your delicious bread? I lost the recipe and kick myself every time I make bread that I didn't plan better and hang on to your recipe.
*Cooking so many meals for our family? I know you were a godsend to my mother...who struggled to have the sanity and the energy to do much after working all day to provide for her kids. Every meal was delicious...(you always said you had put "love" into it...and I believe it still!)
*Telling us stories at "naptime"? I was far too old for naps, but I would come and lay down just to hear your stories. I think I even fell asleep sometimes too.
*Picking up our mail every day? It was so fun to come check the piano top for our saved Mom an errand, and you and Grandpa were always so excited when I got letters from my penpals.
*Hanging clothes on the clothesline?
*Your swing?
*Your home? It became my second home too. It always was full of love and laughter. You welcomed everyone...and sent them away a little better.

It was hard to watch you as your memory faded...but you didn't forget Mom until shortly before you passed away.
I knew that you would know that we loved you and cared for you, even if you couldn't remember my name.
I wish my children could have had the chance to know you as I did.
It is one of the things I am anxious to see in the children, with you...learning so many of the Christlike skills you possess.

I named my daughter after you, Grandma.
Her middle name is Olivia.
I hope she chooses the paths you did, leading her to righteousness.

I want to know that I know you are watching me and my family.
I think of you often.
As I do dishes, fold laundry, and the other chores that seem mudane.
When I remember you...your smile still warms my heart, and I resolve again to be with you someday.

Thank you, for all you are to me.
Your granddaughter,

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


There it is...a picture of what my house looks like on most Mondays.
That is the day I have set aside to get as much laundry done as humanly possible.
I average about 12 loads a a HUGE washing machine.
If I keep going from 7 am, until 11pm, I can get it all done in one day.
I have to admit though, most weeks I just do laundry both Monday and Tuesday, and breathe something besides dryer lint between loads.
This week, I'm still doing laundry today...but enjoying other things as well.
And, for the first time in 6 weeks (which have been truly wracked with insanity), I WANT to clean my house and get things in order.
Things have finally settled...whew!

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Miracle

It really was supposed to publish the other day...
I hit publish, and when the "story" came up on my blog, the only thing left was the title.
I didn't mean to leave you all dangling...
but I did.

So here is the rest of the story.

The past 9 months, our finances have been incredibly tight.
Thanks to Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, we have learned to work within our budget and (although there was considerable complaining on my part) even save a tiny bit on Pat's salary.
It was to the point that I was babysitting and doing other things I didn't necessarily WANT to do, simply because that extra $10, was necessary for groceries or gas or the like.
We had prayed about me substituting, or even (gasp), going back to teaching full-time.
I had been submitting writing pieces to contests and publishers in hopes of "making money", but ultimately, we were just barely making it every month.

We have felt compelled by the spirit that I am to be in our home, and not to seek more profitable employment elsewhere, but it is hard to do that (happily) when you see no real way to move forward out of debt, and the options are much more lucrative elsewhere.

So our prayers of late have been specific in asking the Lord to help us accept His will as our own... and we have been diligent in our budgeting and very careful in what we choose to spend.

Wednesday, Pat got a call from his boss, asking to meet with him.
Since Pat's job is in environmental compliance, and a mistake can mean fines or jail time, he was a little nervous to be called into his bosses' office out of the blue.
Then came the "official looking document" out onto the desk, and his boss cleared his throat.
Pat was seriously concerned at this point, and racking his brain for any issues or concerns could have warranted a personal reprimand.

His boss began...
"In order to maintain a competitive salary in today's market, and based on your education, experience and performance, we are happy to inform you that you are receiving a raise..."
He went on to explain that this will not affect the yearly raises given out in March, so we'll get another increase in just a few months.

Pat was speechless...and knew immediately that this was a miracle.
Completely, and totally unexpected... but a honest to goodness miracle that makes our path to debt freedom shorter and more realistic.
A miracle that allows me to spend time with my children, and in my home, instead of worrying about where our grocery "extras" are going to come from .
A miracle that we did not ask for, but in being obedient to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, my husband was granted after 3 long, hard years at a job that has had its share of difficulties.

Some might say that it was coming, that my husband deserved it, and that God had no hand in this.

He and I both know better.
It is a day still of miracles.
We know, because one happened to us.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


They still happen.
To people just like you and me.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Monday, October 30, 2006


So tell me it gets better.

I was just called to be a counselor in the Primary Presidency 3 weeks ago.
The first of those weeks, I was on vacation.
I attended Primary (the children's organization at our church) last Sunday and laughed A LOT.
I thought the kids were funny and adorable, and found humor in seeing them enjoy learning about...well, church things.

Fast forward to this week.
The other counselor has moved,
and the president was sick and needed to be at home.
That left me, and the secretary (who is also the pianist) there to "run the show".

I did this once before, 7 years ago.
I thought it would be simple this time around.

The Lord has a nice way of reminding me that I need to be humble.

I FLAT OUT don't have the first clue what the expectations are for the children at church.
I know what MY expectations are for MY children for the one hour we are together every week during sacrament meeting, but I realize that I can't hold those expectations for a full 3 hours for the kids (even mine), even if they do have songs, activities and age-appropriate lessons.
So, I have to adjust my expectations so that I don't leave church frustrated every week.

And I need to have a long talk with the Primary president so that I know what her mindset is, and I need to have lots of patience, and I need to realize that even if they don't express it, maybe the kids are understanding and "getting" something from the time they spend in Primary.

And mostly, I need to be ok with the fact that working with Primary children is WAY different than working with Relief Society sisters, and that I really wanted a change after serving the mothers and wives of our congregation for 3 years.

I'd like to think it's just nerves, but I also know that God heard my prayer when I asked for change.
I definitely got what I asked for.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ten Words

Alexandra Stoddard, in her book Feeling At Home, said "...write down the ten word symbols that tell who you truly are. Don't think. Your subconscious does all the work. Be there to record what emerges from the deepest recesses of your heart. This may be one of the sweetest moments of your entire life. Try it, and see for yourself how you feel."

So I tried it.
Ten words that define who I am:


What are your ten?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My Very Own Snowman

An illustration of why powdered sugar should be put up after having crepes for breakfast.
Head to toe.
Inch and a half piles on the table, under the lazy Susan, and all over and around the chair.
At least I knew what to do...take a picture and blog about it! (Samuel - 20 months)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006



Beginning in darkness,
stealing into our sky space,
filling nooks and crannies as you make
in the early morning hours
before sunrise.

Drizzling daytime hours away,
washing highways clean.

Funny how you cleanse my soul,
help me see things more clearly.
Differently than I have for a season.

I flatter you, Rain...
For I long to imitate you,
and help others see things
with new eyes.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Vacation Day 3

We spent Saturday night in a KOA cabin in Santa Fe.
It was very pretty, and quite chilly.
We cooked out over a campfire, and spent the evening with our good friends.

As the next day was Sunday, we planned on going to the local ward there in Santa Fe.
We got up, got ready, checked out of our cabin, and headed to the church.
I tucked my purse into a little nook, and didn't think about it again.

Fast forward 3 hours, when we finished church (typically we would have not stayed for all three hours as visitors in a ward, but I knew it was my last time to attend Relief Society as I was being sustained as the Primary 1st Counselor in my home ward on this same Sunday, so I pushed to stay).
We gathered our children and headed out to the parking lot, debated who was going to drive back to Albuquerque, and Pat handed me the keys so that he could nap for an hour.
When I got to the driver's side, I saw that the lock had been ripped open, and then, realized that someone had broken into our van WHILE WE WERE AT CHURCH!!
It took a minute for the reality to sink in that we had been robbed.
My purse was gone, and we quickly went down the list of the other valuables we had in our van.
The work laptop?
The travel DVD player?
The digital camera?
All there.
It seemed the thief had just wanted quick cash (which they got...we were on vacation...which is about the only time I carry cash).

I headed back inside the church to call the police...and then we proceeded to wait 2 1/2 hours for an officer to respond to take a report.
The report taking took about 3 minutes.
But it makes it so that my insurance can cover the repair that has to happen to the driver's side door on the van.

We decided quickly that we had numerous reasons to be grateful, in spite of the robbery.
Our van was still intact and they had not taken anything else.
We had really budgeted for this trip, so when our credit card had to be cancelled, we didn't have to head home, we could access our money via my husband's debit cards (did you know they only cancel the stolen debit card? Not so with a credit card...both get cancelled.).
We had spent almost half of our cash already, so our loss, while big to us, was less than we could have lost.
We were all safe.

It was a good chance for us to talk to our kids about bad things happening and how we can act instead of react.
We really did not let this ruin the rest of our vacation.

It has been a bit of a pain changing everything and waiting for new information to come, but hey, if it keeps my information safe down the road, I'll do it.

Some things I learned:
*Don't carry your SS cards in your wallet (I had taken mine and my SIX kid's cards out about 3 months ago...whew!!) In the future I won't even put their initials in front of their SS # on an index card like I had this time, I'll just number the numbers.
*The debit card thing from above. We thought we wouldn't be able to access any money...but not so.
*When you are traveling, it's a smart idea to separate your assets. It would have been nice if I had taken out my checkbook and kept it somewhere else...I wasn't planning on using it!
*Take out any cards you are not planning on using and leave them at home.

I hope you never have the need for these, but they will help minimize the loss if you have theft.

Overall, we had a very good day...and I am glad we are all ok.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Vacation Day 4 (I'll write about 3 tomorrow!)

Becca, this picture is for you....they are called "cosmos". I can still see them all over Grandma's these same colors!
Since I can't type above the pictures, I'll do this in reverse order...describe these pictures of day 4 and then go back to day 3. That picture is at the Albuquerque Aquarium...and that is a sting ray getting lunch. Very interesting to watch...the sting rays would swim right up and eat the squid from her hand...she shoved it all the way down their mouth. I have better pictures of the whole sting rays, but this one was more interesting.

This was at the Botanical Garden adjacent to the Aquarium. Huge pumpkins and carrots and mazes made this VERY fun for the kids. The stroller we borrowed broke in the process of walking through the mazes though. That was sad.
A picture of a sea turtle in the largest aquarium.

One of my favorite pictures of the vacation. My kids were entranched by the aquarium action.
A picture in the gardens.
This is on the porch swing of the KOA cabin that we stayed in on Sunday night and Monday. We did not take any pictures in Santa Fe at our KOA cabin there on Saturday night...or on the plaza Saturday afternoon.
A fishing trawler outside the of the few pictures of all 6 kids.

And below, a picture as we headed back from the farm back into the gardens.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Vacation Day 2

This is the group we planned the trip with! There were 19 of us...13 kids and 6 adults. It's the first time we've done a trip with friends....('re family!!). It was a really fun experience! I was taking this picture and so the other missing mom.
When we got to the field, the mass ascension was delayed due to wind and upper-level rain. We were really disappointed to think we wouldn't get to see the balloons go up. We spent some time in the "Discovery center"--getting warm--I mean learning about hot air balloons. This "gondola" was set up with fake fire and all...very popular among picture takers!
A picture shortly after they made the decision to go ahead and launch the balloons.
Our first view as we came out of the warmth of the "Discovery Zone". Yes!! They were going to launch some balloons.
A good shot of the (partial) Mass Ascension.

As you can see by the flags in the lower part of the picture, it was still very windy. Shortly after I took this picture, they stopped sending the balloons up due to rain, wind and lightning. We still got to see enough that we got the effect we desired. It was a beautiful sight.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


It's official.
I've blogged enough to hit the 100 posts mark.
That's a lot of posting.

Little did I know when I started how much I needed this...
I needed to write.
I needed to see things differently.
I needed dear readers.

I feel so much more connected to...well, everyone that reads my blog on a regular basis.
It's nice to have "things" to talk about when people call because they already know the reality of my daily life.
I love that I have reconnected with friends this way...and that they know me on a little bit more of an intimate level.
I love you, my lurking readers that have yet to make yourself known.
Have no fear, I would love to know who you are and why you read my blog.
Take a minute today to let me know why you come back...why you'll be here for post 150, and post 200.

Take a minute today to think of what it is you need to be doing with your talents, with what the Lord has given you to touch the lives of others.
He can and will use you to change and strengthen others.
Then make a goal to act in sharing that gift with others...and in the words of Spencer W. Kimball, DO IT....right now!

Vacation Day 1

The honest to goodness expression on Nathan's face as he watched the first balloons being filled at the "glowdeo" on Friday night. Most of the kids had the same expression for the first 30-45 minutes.
An "all-glow" during the glowdeo...each ballon would light up at the same time. Very fun to see the whole park lit up in fun hot air balloon shapes. Stephen was a little bothered that these balloons never went up into the air. He thought it was kind of a pointless effort to fill the balloons just to look at and not fly.
A shot of a few of the balloons being filled at the same time before it got dark. Amazing.
The official family picture at the balloon festival. Samuel is just visible on Pat's back.

We had arrived in Albuquerque and made our first stop a session in the temple. (Thanks Peterson's for watching our kids!!) From there, we checked into the hotel, headed to the park and ride facility and were at the "Balloon Fiesta Park" before the glowdeo started. We ate dinner there, and finished up just a little while before the first balloons were filled. It was truly a beautiful sight.

More to come...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Checking In

I'm running around getting ready for our trip.
I will be back on Wednesday, unless I have wireless service in Albuquerque.
In that case, I'm sure I'll blog at least once over the next few days.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Have you ever smelled skunk musk?
I'm sure the answer is yes...and it STINKS.

Multiply that smell to a highly concentrated level, and you'll know what my bedroom smells like right now.
Stronger skunkliness than I have ever experienced fills every corner of that room and now permeates my whole home.

I'll be leaving in a little while to run some errands, but if you smell a slight skunk odor on someone as you walk by them today, think of me.
And feel a little bit sorry for them.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fairy Party

Bekah had a birthday party to attend today.
This particular family (the Gough family) always has very fun themed birthday parties.
Today it was the "Fairy Party".
Bekah could not stop talking about it ALL day.
Thank goodness we had this dress-up costume from our local Wal-Mart clearance section!!

She had a wonderful time and made a very pretty 4 year old fairy.

The Art Fair

The art fair was rained out.

Don't be too sad though, because it was a VERY FUNNY experience.
All in all, I would rate it one of the silliest days I have had in a really long time.
On an everyday scale, it rocked!

Let it just be known that I stayed up until 1:40 am finishing my precious cards for the fair.

I was up at 7:15am, packed and ready to go by 7:45am.
My friend, Dawn Peterson, picked me up about 8am, and we headed about 15 minutes up the road to the historic fort and town where the fair was being held.
We did our initial unloading and setup before realizing we did not have the awning Dawn's husband had so willing purchased the night before to keep up from getting our skin fried off by the sun.
Luckily, Holly Cook, our other card-making compadre, was still in town, and was able to pick the awning and bring it up before the actual art fair started at 10am.

The set-up was easy, and our cards were nicely displayed.
About 10:15am, the first perusers were eyeing our wares.
All of the reaction was very positive.
It was nice to see people actually be interested...and very good for our (fragile) card-selling egos.
We were even asked for a business card for someone to sell the cards in a shop (which we can't do using copyrighted stamps from Stampin' Up), but it was still a nice compliment.
All 3 of us sold a card, which was nice.

About 11:15, it started to rain.
It was a light drizzle, and we moved a few things and covered some others so that our cards wouldn't get wet in the short sprinkle that was surely going to finish soon.
Within about 10 minutes, we had praised Jeff (the awning buyer) profusely, multiple times.
And then, the true downpour began.
And the awning started to leak.
And the rain was blowing in sideways on our long-labored over cards.
We were shocked and frustrated that the weather report had not prepared us for THIS!

Dawn ran for her van, got DRENCHED in the process, and brought it close enought we could put all of the cards inside to save them from the rain.
It was a very good plan.
By the time we were done transferring them all, all 3 of us were soaked, pretty much all the way through.
But the cards were safe.

We started talking about when we would feel good about leaving the actual art fair, rather than trying to wait it out.
It didn't take too long for us to make the decision that it probably wasn't going to stop raining any time soon.
It was raining and hailing at home...15 minutes away, and the storm was headed into the mountains we were in.
And the rain would lessen for a couple of minutes and then intensify again.

We started packing the remaining soaked items (our lunches and chairs) into Dawn's van and Holly's car.
As we were huddled under the lowered awning, getting ready to fold it up, we heard the rain intensify yet again.
We were all laughing at that point, not wanting to duck out of the shelter the awning provided, yet getting dripped on nonetheless by the leaky seams that had now been drenched for over an hour.
We finally did a countdown, ducked out at the same time, and yanked the awning cover off, folded the awning legs up, and jumped into the waiting cars.

All the way down the highway, on our way back home, we laughed.
The road was running with rain run-off deeper than I had ever seen it.
There were large rocks and lots of dirt being washed onto the road all the way home.
And we were wet and cold.
2 3/4 inches of rain fell in the 3 hours that it rained.
The 3 hours that we were outside, at an art fair, unprepared for the most part, for that rain.

We decided to go to lunch...had a great time, then went back to get our product sorted and check to see what had been lost to the rain.
A couple of envelopes were casualties, but other than that, everything was ok.

We did decide an outside venue wasn't the best idea when your product could be wholly ruined by a change in the weather.
We also decided we were all game for a second go-round.
Although next time we'll have a little more warning.

I did get 43 cards made in 3 days.
That alone is amazing.
And a wee bit crazy.

I'll be recovering most of the week.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Last Card (EVAH!!)

There it is, the last card for this weekend.

I don't plan on repeating that hole in the pink cardstock, but other than that...I'm DONE!!!
Well, actually, I'm not DONE, I need to cut and put together the rest of the cards in these last two designs, but that's the easy part.


Thanks for sticking with me.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

There's the next card. I'll move the two brads to the white side, and produce as many as I can. One more to design, and then....whew...I'll breathe a little easier.

This was crazy to commit to in a week's time.
Although I wonder if I actually work better under pressure.
I'm definitely feeling the pressure.
My kids have WAY overdone their movie quota this week.
And I'm tired 'cause I went and worked out again this morning.
And that 9:00 o'clock bedtime?
It hasn't happened.
11:00pm, to bed, up at 5:30am...I feel it taking it's toll.
It was really nice to "sleep in" until 7am yesterday, and I really did feel self-indulgent not getting up earlier.

Have I ever mentioned that I am not a morning person?
Truly a self-declared , complete and total night owl.
I guess one of the amazing things about us, as adaptive creatures, is that even our tendencies can be changed...if the pay-off is strong enough.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens at this art fair tomorrow.
If nothing else, it will be a joy to hang out with my awesome friends.

See ya...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

This and That

The 4th card...I'll make 12 of these, bringing my total to 24. I hope to create 2 more designs, one a birthday card, and the other an all occasion card. I'll post pictures of them too. I thought you'd like to see my injured Thomas as of yesterday morning. He had a run in with his 11 year old brother on the trampoline on Friday night. Those brusies were turning beautiful colors yesterday, and are even more yellow today.
Yesterday afternoon, we were at a friend's house for about 20 minutes. Thomas decided to jump on their trampoline. He fell or slipped and hit the metal frame, as he was getting off. That cut (scroll down to see it) under his eye was gaping about 2mm open. Definitely something that needed to be treated. It doesn't look bad in the picture, but that's because it got glued shut. He's home from school today so I can keep an eye on it. He's been a trooper...but I have yet to decide if the benefit of the glasses outweigh the liability it presents to the soft tissue surrounding them. This makes the 4th or 5th cut Tiny has sustained by falling with glasses on. (Although this was the first that needed medical attention.)

Needless to say, yesterday afternoon was not spent making cards.
This is funny. It makes me smile. This is my family watching a video about pancakes.
They all sing along, and shout what is happening next...very funny, and I couldn't resist capturing it on camera. We have our own little video of the family sing along too.

I miss all of my daily blogs I if I haven't commented this week, it's just because of my choice to walk the line between sanity/insanity a little more than usual.
I'm hoping next week will be back to "normal" (whatever that may be!)