Friday, May 30, 2008

She did it!

Well, it's over. 13 years of school. My Jillian has made us so proud! We had a few "moments" yesterday, Andrew and I. We were remembering when she was a few weeks old, and we did the math to determine what year she would graduate high school...the date "2008" seemed light years away....we imagined the world being like a Star Trek episode! Hee.
As I reflected on the past 13 years, the images were all of her always doing her best. The speaking parts in elementary school programs, our excitement of her being accepted to the gifted and talented program in 5th and 6th grade. Accompanying the choir in Jr. High...trying out for and making honor choir. The year she got her name on the wall of the Jr. High for having a perfect 4.0 all year. Choosing to take college classes last year, and earning A's in them! Our joy over being able to give her a car for her 16th birthday. Trying out for Encore show choir last year...and making it! Graduating from Seminary. She has been very blessed with her experiences, but has earned every one of them. We couldn't be prouder of her accomplishments. But most of all, we love who she is and who she is becoming.

Thank you, Jillian, for being such a joy to raise. We are so proud of your efforts. We love you more than we can express. We have such optimism and hope for your future. I can't wait to watch as you begin writing the next chapter of your life!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Riding bikes - innocence scraped and bruised

So Grace learned to ride her bike on 2 wheels a couple of weeks ago. All has been well.

Until Saturday night. She fell for the first time.

Of course, since she's the miracle baby of the family with eleventy million pictures depicting every minute of her beautiful little life, I had to take yet another picture of this sad loss of innocence. Bad things just don't happen in her world. Really. The funny thing is: she cried harder that I was taking a picture than when she fell. ???

Saturday, May 24, 2008

2 Graduations

This week Grace graduated from Kindergarten. She had a speaking part in the program..."we learned the seven continents and all the animals there...the cultures and the people we studied with much care." She had it memorized and got to hold the globe for her prop.

Ryan also graduated from 8th Grade (the last grade taught at Renaissance Academy.) He is the Academic Vice President on Student Council, so had to MC the event. He did a great job, and of course, got an Academic Excellence Award from the teachers. He is amazing!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Singin' and Dancin'

This is Jillian in her last Encore Show Choir performance of the year. It has been an amazing experience for her to be a part of this group. Her Senior year of High School has totally rocked! Click on the photo and see if you can identify the person in the trench coat behind her!Seminary Graduation. Of course, Jill was asked to accompany the hymns, but she also performed a beautiful arrangement of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" with two other girls who played the violin and viola. She did a great job. Jill was recently called as an organist for our ward...and that combined with 4 years of playing in every seminary class she's ever had has made her an expert on the hymns. She knows all of the page numbers by heart. Ask her. Any hymn. She could probably tell you where it is : )

Friday, May 16, 2008


So Every May 15th I spend time planting flowers in my yard. It's my way of acknowledging the day, grieving, and some of that "days of plenty" mentality. Why not choose to plant, grow, spread some beauty?
This year I planted my boxes, and my dear friend Kristen Moyes brought over this beautiful stone for me. Thank you Kristen, for "mourning with those who mourn", for being so unconditional and for understanding that comfort can take many different forms. I love are truly a gift and blessing for anyone lucky enough to know you.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Days of Plenty

I never dreamed of this sorrow,
I never thought I'd have reason to lament,
I hoped I'd never know heartbreak,
How I wish I could change the way things went!
I wanted nothing but goodness,
I wanted reason to prevail,
Not this bare emptyness.
I wanted Days of Plenty.

But I refused to feel tragic,
I am aching for more than pain and grief.
There has got to be meaning,
Most of all when a life has been so brief.
I have got to learn something,
How can I give her any less?
I want life to go on.
I want Days of Plenty

You have to Believe,
There is reason for Hope.
You have to Believe
That the answers will come.
You can't let this defeat you.
I won't less this defeat you.
You must fight to keep her there,
Within you!

So Believe that she matters!
And Believe that she always will!
She will always be with you!
She'll be part of the days you've yet to fill!
She will live in your bounty!
She will live as you carry on your life!

So carry on,
Full of Hope,
She'll be there,

For all your Days of Plenty

(from the Broadway musical "Little Women")

10 Years

Ten years ago today my mom left us. We had it all. Now we don't.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ryan on Channel 4 News

Some of the 8th graders at Renaissance went on the ABC early morning news to talk about the World Language Program...and to speak a little Chinese.
Ryan was also just accepted to a 3 week Chinese Summer Camp at BYU...and even got a small scholarship to attend! He had to write an essay, submit his grades and 2 teacher recommendations in order to qualify to even attend. He seriously rocks. He's blessed with a photographic memory...
He knows all of Jill and Ty's locker combos, regular and PE, from Jr. High. He knows our library card number. He remembers the birthdays of everyone he's ever met. I'm guessing that he has my debit and credit card #'s in his brain too, but I'd rather not know that for sure...He just knows stuff. It's in there.
Whenever he shops with me...WalMart, Costco...he usually has the total bill calculated before we check out. And he's generally correct within a few cents. Last Saturday, I grab the phone and say "Ry, what's the phone number at Papa Murphys?" (We haven't ordered from there in about a year...see the "low-carb" post) but he says without hesitating "766-9900".
My boy. However, my brain capacity has been shrinking 'cause I rely on him to do and remember everything for me. I'm going to be a vegetable those 3 weeks he's in Provo this summer... : )

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day

1969. One of 3 of pictures I have with me and my mother together. Three pictures....I was 30 when she died, and I only have 3 pictures of us together.

1971. 3 years old.
So here is my plea to all you mothers out there. It doesn't matter what you look like right now. Take some pictures with you and your kids together. Hug them. Smile at the camera. They will treasure them someday when you are gone.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Jillian's Senior Pictures


Grace takes a tap/ballet class on Wednesday mornings. The big recital is next week...but here she is in her tap costume. She's so yummy.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


How to play this game of tag. Post these rules on your blog. List 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 current obsessions/collections, 3 random surprising facts about yourself. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

3 Joys
1. my kids
2. my lilacs are blooming
3. Jillian's recent academic scholarship to college. Whew. Relief.

3 fears
1. Oompa Loompas. I know. If my kids want to freak me out all they have to do is hum the song.
2. Ants in my house. I'm freakish about spraying for these. If I see ONE I lose it.
3. Our cars breaking down. Every time I get in my stupid van I say a prayer. We seriously cannot handle ONE. MORE. UNEXPECTED. BILL.

3 goals
1. lose 20 more lbs. Sigh.
2. Finish getting all my siblings pictures scanned and preserved
3. Quit swearing. Again.

3 current obsessions/collections
1. Duh. SHOES. It's an obsession AND (if you ask my husband) a collection! He walked in on Grace surfing the Payless shoe website the other day. By herself. I'm not kidding. She's six. Perhaps me and my screwed up psyche shouldn't have bred children.....
2. I'm obsessed with Kashi Dark Chocolate Chunk cookies. Honestly, when you haven't had sugar or flour for almost a year, and finally break down and have one of these little gems of deliciousness, time stops. The earth literally stops rotating for a second. It's a beautiful thing, but also the reason goal #1 seems very far away....
3. I can also, if not reigned in, become obsessed with checking Powerschool. I've been known to log on every hour to check for tardies, unexcused absences, or to see if an assignment has been turned in. This has served me well a couple of times with Tyler. HOWEVER, I'm currently in recovery and am employing Love and Logic with him and haven't looked at his stuff for a couple of months. He may not graduate High School, but my ulcer is gone : )

3 Random Surprising Facts about Me
1. When I get a charlie-horse, I laugh and cannot stop laughing until it goes away.
2. I am addicted to the stupid, time-wasting computer game "Zuma"
3. I still have to take sleeping pills to sleep through the night. Started exactly 10 years ago. You do the math.

I'm tagging: Jana, Joy, Angie

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Feeling the Spirit

My Baby. My Gracie. So we had family night last night...remind me to discuss how hard it is to have lessons geared to TEENAGERS as well as a SIX YEAR OLD. Hard. Anyway, I hadn't prepared like I usually do, and pulled out an old lesson on the Holy Ghost. I had the older kids look it up in the "True To The Faith" Book, which is awesome, and then we spent time explaining the basics to Grace. She has her own scriptures and read one of the scripture references. I have a deal with the kids that family night lessons will not last longer than 1/2 hour (usually 15 minutes) we usually play a game after. OR we go our separate ways and watch one of the shows that we love that have evilly moved to Monday night....yeah. We're not perfect. Oh well.
ANYWAY. Today before school Grace and I were playing and she suddenly stopped and said "Mom, I feel that warm feeling in my heart."
I love her so much. Someday I'll post the miracle of how she came to our family.....


So my friend Joy put this post on her blog...apparently "bag-tag" is the new rage. Never heard of it before, but ok, I'll play! Here's what is in my cool "Dolce & Gabana" bag that Jillian bought me in NEW YORK : )
1. Target Picture coupons (just had Jill's Senior pics done on Saturday)
2. grocery list
3. 2 sugar-free jolly ranchers
4. dental floss
5. Cafe Rio receipt (HAVE to have a chicken tostada salad every few days)
6. receipt from getting drinks after school yesterday
7. keys, wallet, sunglasses (I have sunglasses for the purse, car, living room, kitchen...etc. but still sometimes cannot find a pair when I need them!)
8. napkin
9. playbill from the Lehi High musical last weekend
10. sugar-free tic-tacs and york mints
11. And of course, 3 neutral, one pink, one red. That way I'll always match my toenails. This is very important.... : )

Monday, May 5, 2008

Going to the Park

It was FINALLY a nice day outside this morning! So yippee we went to the park. Gracie loves having Brynlie, her best friend, over to play before school. They were born two weeks apart, and have spent most of their 6 years on this earth together in some way...either at our house or hers. Kaydee is 11 months old, and stays with us 4 days a week. Grace loves her so much and loves playing with her! I love having my "baby" needs met but then get to send her home and actually sleep all night long. It's the best of both worlds really : )

Friday, May 2, 2008

Prom 2008

My beautiful Jillian waiting for her Prom date. We found this dress in only ONE NIGHT of shopping. Honest. Small snafu with the shoes we ordered online not showing up on time....but we managed to go out the night before and (miracle) found a pair of flat silver shoes that worked. One hour of barrel rolling her 2 feet of hair, and voila! Princess goes to the ball.
Oh. And you can click on the picture to see up close and personal the details of our hours w/hair and makeup.

Easter 2008

Tyler is missing from the picture cause he was with the Priests at a farewell. This picture made me realize 2 things: that it is going to be seriously harder to get all 4 kids together for a picture from now on, and that I have a real illness. It began the minute Tyler was born, and I bought matching jammies for he and Jillian. From that moment on, my kids have endured matching every Easter, 4th of July, Christmas. And don't even get my boys started on the apparently emotionally damaging matching every day clothes I put them in until they finally got old enough to just. say. no. I've compromised the past few years by buying them different COLORS of the same shirts, but they won't even go for that anymore. They sat me down, reminded me that they're bigger than me now, and that it has to stop. Ok. But even as I write this, I'm thinking about perhaps shopping around for complimentary outfits for me and Grace. She's too young to be embarrassed by yet?

Tyler's rendition of the Hanukah Song

So my boy decides to re-write the Hanukah Song...and performs it for the whole family at our annual Christmas Eve party. It was totally funny. He managed to include each member of our extended family in the song...kept it nice AND clean which is a feat for him....and entertained the whole bunch. I love him so much. He makes me laugh every day.

Turning 40!

Seriously. 40. I decided to embrace the new decade. I informed my husband that I wished for a week's worth of presents, and a big party. I got what I asked for, as well as a "podcast" dedication on the Geoff Show in the UK. So pretty much every geek who listens to Virgin Radio Podcasts around the world heard that I am now 40. He was so proud. My whole family totally came through and celebrated with me. My forties are going to totally rock. Nothing could be worse than what we went through the previous decade. Uh oh....don't tempt fate : )

Gardner Village

Here are 3 of my kids at Gardner Village last October. We love going there during the fall...they have huge paper mache witches by each shop, and the whole place is decked out with leaves and hay bales and everything autumn.... my boys were trying to be all "GQ" and serious for the pictures, but Ty couldn't hold the pose. Hah.