My Family

My Family

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fried Phone

This will be quick as I have company.

My phone has been dead for 3 days.
On one hand it has been really nice not to have the phone ringing.
On the other hand, it is a huge nuisance to not have the access to the phone when you need it.
The Qwest guy came and did the troubleshooting today.
Our cordless phone base has been fried by lightning.
It will be thrown away and I will use a corded phone for a while.
As much as that stinks, (it won't work for long), I'm glad to have my phone service back.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


There they are, all 6 of them.
Did you know I wasn't supposed to be able to have children?
What does medical science know anyway?
When I had been married for about 8 months, I had a miscarriage. I was about 12 weeks along, and I ended up in the ER, bleeding A LOT. At that point I was diagnosed with endometreosis, "the worst case I have ever seen", my doctor said. Two weeks later, I had a laporotomy (serious surgery similar to a c-section without slicing the uterus open), and then started on Lupron, a hormone (should that be AN hormone?) that stops your body from producing hormones and allows you to experience menopause (because it really does stop your cycle and creates the same issues menopausal women go through!). When I had taken Lupron for 3 months, and waited for 3 months for it to clear my system, my doctor said, "IF you EVER do get pregnant, have your children quickly and close together". (he we needed permission to try!)
That was in 1994.
Stephen was born in 1995.
Emily in 1997.
Nathan in 1999.
Thomas in 2000.
Rebekah in 2002.
Samuel in 2005.
I think we listened to my doctor! I know that this isn't the "normal" outcome for a woman who has faced infertility, but I remember the devastation of being told I would never have kids. I am so grateful for these 6 miracles in my life.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


This is my first princess. She turned 9 yesterday.
On one hand, I love the fact that she is growing up and we can bond on a different level.
One the other hand, I really dread the reality of her growing up.
Reality is, her time in our home is half over at this point.
Where did the time go?
Emily was born on a Friday night, at 7:23 pm.
The labor I experienced with her was not overly painful.
(I had a really good epidural for her labor.)
She is named after Pat's grandmother.
His first thought was that Emily's eyes looked like his grandma's eyes.
I thought she looked like her older brother, Stephen.
Her spirit didn't feel like Stephen's though...she was feminine, through and through from the minute she was born.
She's proud to call herself a tomboy now.
I'm proud to call her mine, even if it is just for a season.
You are a joy in our lives, Emily!
Thanks for joining our family!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Biting the bullet

So, I did it.
Today, I entered a writing contest.
The last time I did that, I was in high school.
The topic was "some aspect of life in Southwest New Mexico."
(Note: New Mexico's motto is "The Land of Enchantment").

Here is my entry:

It’s not the residence,
Or the physical trappings surrounding me,
It’s deeper,
More complete.

It’s found in sincere smiles,
In warm embraces,
In simple sincerity,
In open hearts.

It’s in star-studded skies above,
In juniper and pine after the rain.
In summer monsoons and
In winter snow.

This feeling,
the feeling that this is home,
permeates everything.

Southwestern New Mexico.
The home of my heart.
Truly, unequivocally,
The land of enchantment.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Spiritual Heritage

Relief Society today was pretty profound. The lesson was focused on some events in Church History that left a spiritual heritage for us. It helped that our High Council speaker talked about heritage I was already in a good mindset for the lesson. (Samuel was really quiet on my lap today in sacrament meeting, so I got to hear most of the talks.) I was really touched by the reality that what we do, regardless of what it is, leaves a mark, an influence, an heritage for those who will follow after us. As silly as it is, I actually counted my blessing for this blog, for giving me a forum for to record some of the basics of my life, and my feelings regarding those things. Although it is not a specific spiritual heritage in the making, there are small spiritual things that find there way here, and hopefully, looking back in a few years, I will be able to track my spiritual growth and talk with my children about the importance of the gospel in my life. I also thought a lot about the spiritual heritage that my father in law has passed on to his family due to this experience when he was a young boy! It's an amazing story, but even more profound when you realize that the lives of his 8 children and all of their families were directly influenced by this one experience.

Our Potato-Crop Prayer

Edward C. John, “Our Potato-Crop Prayer,” Ensign, Oct. 1989, 40
Those potatoes changed everything. Early in the spring of 1947, my dad took a week off from his job in the coal mines so he could plant the crops on our small farm in southwestern Colorado. Generally we planted only enough potatoes to get us through the year and used the rest of the ground to raise vegetables for our family—consisting of Dad, Mom, two brothers, and a sister at home—and feed for the cows, pigs, and chickens. Our land was plowed and ready to plant when the missionaries stopped at our house for their weekly meal and visit. Seeing our family, even though we were only partially active in the Church, boosted their spirits as well as ours.
When Dad mentioned his plan to plant the potatoes, the missionaries were eager to help. Dad was nervous about nonfarm men helping, but they were persistent, and he finally agreed. The next morning, the elders arrived just as we kids were getting ready for school. We listened as Dad explained to them how to prepare the seed potatoes for planting. “It’s easy. This is the eye of the potato,” he said, pointing to a small, round bump. “Cut each potato into small pieces and make sure there is at least one eye in each piece. Understand?”
“Oh, yes,” the missionaries replied, and they enthusiastically started working.
Dad left to borrow a team of horses and a potato planter, and we went off to school.
At noon, we arrived home for lunch just in time to view the disaster—the expensive seed potatoes had been ruined! The elders, unaware that each eye needed some of the fleshy part of the potato to nourish its growth, had decided that they would help us by leaving less potato around the eye and more potato for our family to eat. So instead of cutting each potato into seedling cubes with an eye in each cube, they had peeled each potato into very thin circles with an eye in each circle. The rest of the potato was put into a tub so it could be cooked and fed to the family.
Dad was furious when he returned home and saw what had happened. But he did not want to offend the elders, so he dipped the peelings into a solution that protected them from disease and loaded them into the planter. The missionaries, feeling guilty for the serious mistake they had made, waited to help with the planting.
Just before we kids returned to school, we watched our dad drive the potato planter into the field with the elders perched on the back. I knew it would be their job to make sure that only one seedling dropped into the ground at a time. This would be a difficult and time-consuming job, since the planter was designed for a potato cube and not a thin peeling.
The planting was nearly done when we came home from school. Unfortunately, because each peeling had only one eye, not the usual four or five, the potatoes had taken up nearly all of the plowed ground. Where would we plant the corn and wheat we needed for stock feed? Seeing our consternation, one of the missionaries said, “Brother John, may we offer a blessing on your potato crop?”
Dad shrugged his shoulders and said yes. I can still remember the promises of an abundant harvest and great blessings that the missionary pronounced upon our fields. Dad thanked the elders for helping him and invited them inside to share our supper of fried potatoes. After dinner, Mom bottled the remaining seed potato cores for us to eat later, and Dad left to take the horses back.
Dad was discouraged as he returned to his job at the coal mine. He was sure we would have no crops that year. But to our surprise, all the potato plants came up! Our family was flabbergasted, and the elders were elated.
A short time later, the elders were transferred and never knew the outcome of our potato crop. On the Fourth of July, Mom needed something to cook for supper, so I dug the first hill. We were shocked—the potatoes were nearly full-size! Mom said that if the rest of the hills were like this one, we would be able to sell some of them. As we continued to dig up the potatoes, we found about ten pounds per hill! When our neighbors and the general stores found out about our early crop, they bought our potatoes all through July, August, and September. It hardly made a dent in our supply. Not only that, but the potatoes’ taste and quality were superior.
At harvesttime, we dug the rest. What potatoes! Some weighed five pounds each, and none of them were hollow or pithy. I remember one that was eleven inches long and four inches in diameter. We harvested five times the normal amount per acre, and since we had planted five acres instead of the planned one acre, our harvest was twenty-five times what we had originally planned. Word got out, and we sold all of our harvest. Dad had lost his job, but the proceeds from our potato patch paid for school clothes and supplies, feed for the cows and chickens, and our food and fuel the following winter.
But the greatest blessing was to our spirits. To us, those potatoes were a miracle, a testimony that God hears and answers the prayers of his servants. Our family’s faith grew, and we became much more active in the Church. (pulished in Ensign, October 1989, Mormon Journal)

Thanks, Dad John for sharing this story with all of us, and more importantly, for letting it change your life!

Saturday, July 15, 2006


You know, when we moved here, we had gone through 3 or 4 vacuums during the course of our married life. We were disgusted. We would buy what we thought was a quality vacuum, spend somewhere between $200-300, and end up with a pile of trash within 2 years. (We did go almost 2 years not needing a vacuum because we lived in an all tile house, but was disgusting to realize our "investment" was not holding its own.) Downtown in this little town where we now live, there is a place that rebuilds and refurbishes vacuum cleaners. We checked there first when we moved here and found a Kirby vacuum cleaner. Granted, it's pretty old, and not as fancy as a newer model, but we got it for around $300. For 3 years, it has done a really good job, especially considering the fact that my whole house is carpeted now and NEEDS vacuumed daily (not that it gets done that often, but it does need it!) Lately, (since I took it in to be serviced), it's sounded like it was dying. Thoughts of past dead and dying vacuums flashed through my mind as I considered that regardless of whether or not we had bought quality this time, in the end the result was the same...another metal heap of junk.
Wanna know something? I was WRONG! P took a look at the clanker and pronounced the bearings had gone out on the brush. So, I called Dave at Vacuum Cleaner Specialists (VCS) and asked if there was a repair that could be done. While the answer to a repair was "No", the option was given to REPLACE the brush was given, and I jumped at that offer. I ordered Tuesday, the brush was in yesterday, and today, I put that new brush into the vacuum. Guess what? IT WORKS BETTER THAN EVER! (well, maybe not ever, but better than lately!) was only $30 to replace! Way better than buying a new vacuum! So, Dave is still on my good list, he didn't really sabotage my vacuum...and he provided a way cheap option for optimum productivity. Pat, utimately and finally, is my hero. I'm glad he's my honey, and that he knows a bearing problem when he hears it.

Diggin' for a topic

When do you pick your nose?
In your car?
When you think you are alone?
'Cause everybody does it...even if they say they don't.
It really helps if you blow your nose every morning, and blowing it really does a pretty effective job most of the time. But, realistically speaking, sometimes the residual snot really needs to go. So, especially if you have nose hairs, check your nose regularly. Mostly because it's just not pretty to see a hanging booger.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Do you think it hurts more when you get hurt as an adult? I tripped last week outside and along with a couple of deep brusies on my legs, that cut up there on my hand was the result. It hurt so bad for a couple of minutes that I had to just sit and refrain from screaming. Now it just itches...A LOT! Sam, on the other hand, fell onto the same kind of rocks...and had multiple cuts and scrapes on his face. (That was at the end of June though, and all of his wounds have healed nicely. And yes, that is birthday cake from his sister's b-day on his chin!) The funny thing about my cut is that it made me really grateful for running water...and the ability to clean it out well. No wonder our ancestors died from infection. A simple cut like that one up there, full of dirt, would have almost certainly become a serious infection without proper cleansing and covering. Can you imagine washing an injury in week old bathwater you had saved because your water was so rationed you didn't have any other to use? I honestly counted my blessings that I could take care of my injury properly.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I love this absolute joy. And it comes from being able to get messy...without getting in trouble. We had huge puddles all over outside...and as you can see, we live on a dirt any jumping means mud splatters up the wazoo. But look at those faces...they make me smile just seeing them again! (Nathan in orange...and Thomas in blue).

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

You can do that?

A scheduled outage?
On my blogger dashboard, it lists this notice: Scheduled outage at 4:00pm.
I may take my cue from this.
The sign for my door will read:
Mom's scheduled outage
Effective Immediately.
The only problem I forsee?
Only 2 of my kids could read it.
And neither one of them would know what it meant.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Yesterday was not fun. Pat went to help someone pour the foundation from 6:30Am-1pm, and I had a houseful of grouchy kids. Driven mostly by Stephen (11 almost), who was ticked off 'cause Pat had left him here instead of taking him to help with the job (the future homeowner said it would have been too hard for Stephen, and Pat left him here). Add to that equation t-ball closing ceremonies which Nathan (7) did not want to attend, and a 15 minute tantrum from Thomas (5) because he was woken up, and the morning did not start out well. We did make it to the closing ceremonies, about 15 minutes late, (just late enough that Nate would NOT join his team already on the field). So I spent the next 30 minutes trying to keep 3 kids from screaming and hitting each other (Sam, Bekah and Thomas), and convincing myself it was important to return those t-ball pants to the coach. (Nathan did get a cool USSSA medal out of the whole thing, though!) When we left, I decided we would go see Pat at the worksite and see if he had eaten and/or had something to drink. He was happy to see us, but was well stocked, so we headed on our way. My kids started begging for Sonic, or some other "treat". Unbeknownst to them, I had been planning a rare treat of doughnuts from our local mom and pop doughnut shop, Daylight Donuts. After grabbing some cash from the ATM (they only take cash), I drove into the parking lot just in time to see the SOLD OUT sign be placed in the window. At that point, I was set on doughnuts enough that I volunteered to take my 6 cranky kids to the closest grocery store to pick out a doughnut. Things actually went okay in there until we had to wait for 15 minutes in the checkout line. We made it to the car and I got Sam and Bekah buckled in. Happy to be on our way home, I went to the driver's side door and pulled it open to the sounds of Sam crying, really crying, a hurt cry. When I asked what happpened, Stephen hung his head, and admitted he had hit Sam on the head, hard. (Sam is hitting people periodically, and thinks it's funny--he had hit Stephen, and Stephen reacted by hitting him back. Never mind that there is a 10 year difference there!) I came home, grouchier now than before, and resigned myself to just a little while longer before Pat got home. Two more issues with siblings came up with Stephen before he admitted he was really upset about Pat leaving him home that morning, and made me really hopeful that puberty is a ways off for this kid. (I can't deal with the emotional rollercoaster!) Pat finally made it home about 1 and I headed out to do my major, bi-weekly grocery shopping. Not necessarily a bad trip, (I stayed in budget!), but with no extra to play with, it was a very uneventful trip (no surprise purchases to spice things up a bit). Home to unload some, then give up, tired, and sit in the chair while my family finished the job of putting groceries away. From there, the kids went a little wild...not listening well, etc...until I was way frustrated. My dear friend Susan Ludwig called about bedtime and just laughed that it was so crazy. Finally, a little peace at the end of the day, 3 loads of laundry to fold, a visit with a dear friend on the phone, and a nudge to remember that this isn't the norm here, and everyone has a bad day now and then. What a good way to end a hectic, harried, abnormal day! Thanks Susan!

Friday, July 07, 2006


My vacuum is dying. It was fine until I took it in to be repaired. Now it sounds like it's going to lose a part, it's clanking so loudly. There is a vacuum store in town, but I'm a little nervous to take it back to the same guy. Do you think he sabotaged it? It sucks to have dark green carpet that shows every speck of dirt or food. What did our ancestors use before vacuums were invented?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy 4th and farewell to the cousins!

What a happy, fun time we have had over the past 4 days...
*Scones Friday night (always a reason for a celebration here!)
*Geocaching Saturday and a great birthday party with pizza (Thanks Grandpa!) for Angel Face
*A calm, enjoyable Sunday with a talent show, given by all the kids and parents
*Girls' day out Monday (shopping and lunch included!)
*Boys shot the BB gun while we were gone
*Parade (2 hours in the sun made everyone a little sick, but...), Silver City Museum, ice cream, Ward Party, Karaoke, and fireworks...what a wonderful Fourth of July!

The cousins (Hyrum Lunt family) left today...we were sad to see them go. It was a wonderful visit all the way around. Drive safely...and quickly!

Sunday's sacrament meeting was powerful, due to the fact that everyone focused on the upcoming 4th. We truly are blessed to have so many freedoms. I love this country, and the fact that it is sustained by God.

(side note...I had a friend visiting Silver this was nice to see and visit her...she even came to see us head into church Sunday morning...Hi Susan Ludwig!)