My Family

My Family

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!)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I did Curves for the first time this morning.
At 6am.
Which meant I left my house about 5:45am.
It was VERY dark.

I was a little nervous, but I found the whole thing to be enjoyable.
Very doable.
I'm excited.
Not too much...and only about a minute or two on each machine, and on the aerobic stations in between, so no time to get bored with the whole routine.
Twice around the circuit = a 30 minute workout.
And the best part, because it is a wellness option, Pat's work pays for half of the membership, and the rest of the fee is taken from the next 6 months of paychecks.
Really about the most painless way to join a fitness program there is.
And I felt good all day, and had energy to do a lot of things.

Oh, and that 40 inches is combined from all over my body.
So, 3 inches from my arm + 5 inches from my bust, what I am looking to lose.
And the pound equivalent is rather high, so we'll just leave it at the inches for now.

I got 12 cards finished.
They actually look a little off color-wise in the picture below, but you get the general idea.
I am happy with what I have accomplished.
Now I just need to repeat it for 3 more days, and I'll be very pleased.

The hardest part is coming up with new designs...that's what I'm working on now.
And being exclusive in my brand usage as I make an individual card.
When you sell them, you can only use one brand at a time...and I usually mix my Stampin' Up and Close To My Heart stuff.

So, a busy day...
and I've got to turn in.
It's 9:10pm for crying out loud.
I'm never ready for bed this early.
I guess all things must change.
Bedtime is the first in this new routine to jump forward 2 hours.

See you tomorrow.
After my 2nd workout.
At Curves.
Just in case you didn't catch that earlier.


This one (blue and green) is my favorite.

This actually has a Christmas tree on that white square in the center.
I really like the way this one turned out too.

Too simple??

Monday, October 02, 2006

Busy, Busy, Terribly Busy

I'll blog quickly...because I haven't forgotten you, but I'm so BUSY!

Last night at FHE (we have it Sunday night due to Pat's college class on Mon. night), we discussed plans for the week.
It looked like a relatively calm week.

In talking with a friend of mine last week, we had discussed making cards for an art fair this weekend.
We have no idea what the response will be...but we are going for it!
That means EVERY SPARE moment will be dedicated to making cards to sell on Saturday.

I'm both excited and scared...I'll post some pictures of the cards here when I am finished with them...wish me luck.

I also signed up for Curves for Women this morning.
I'm commited to 3 days a week, 30 minutes at a time...with a goal of losing a total of 40 some odd inches.
I need to do this for my health and stamina.

My house is fairly clean, but I want to finish up some clutter spots...

So I've got lots to do...and I will miss the "extra" time I usually spend here, but hope the end result is positive!!