Thursday, December 31, 2009

old pictures...

I recently spent hours and hours and hours scanning pictures for my oldest brother's 50th birthday. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures of the 5 of us! I can only assume the bouffant hair-do a la Tracy Turnblad was cutting edge fashion at the time :P
This Christmas was a bittersweet one for us. The first one without my dad....but we still gathered and kept up all of the traditions that add to the "glue" that holds us together. We're all transitioning into the grown-ups that we, as orphans, have to be now. I will say unequivocally that the best gift our parents ever gave the 5 of us; each other.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Other December Stuff

Christmas choir concert...complete with Tyler singing and dancing his way into my heart...he's front and center and the first boy to be chosen by a girl to dance with :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

And a partridge on a new Wii....

I realize that we're probably the last family on the planet to acquire a Wii...but we finally got one this year!
Ty and Jill got new iPods to replace the ones that have been broken for months. Ry already has a perfect iPod, so he got a camera.
Gracie got the pink DS she's been pining for....
Here she is doing Yoga on the Wii Fit. When Grace steps on the Wii balance board it chirps "great!" Imagine my chagrin when every time I get on it and it sighs and grunts "oh!" Are you serious? Why did I even bother putting a password on my Mii so no one can see my weight and BMI...the dumb board gives me away every time I get on it by complaining loudly!

I highly recommend the Wii though. It's mega-fun. I, surprisingly, am a Yoga Master. Incredible balance apparently. I cannot, however, play any of the sports to save my life. Hit a tennis ball or a baseball? Umm no.
We have laughed and laughed together and at each other. It's fantastic.

Christmas Eve

They were cute. Don't judge.
Cousins watching each other sit on Santa's lap...Ty is getting ready to perform his annual re-make of the Hanukkah song...
Ty molesting "Sam-ta" Claus...
Home at last for the yearly jammie picture.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2 Decades

20 years ago today at 11:58am this wonderful girl came into my life. I heard those 3 little words "It's a girl!" and my life changed forever.
Two decades of learning, loving, growing, and changing
Two decades of joy, happiness, heartache, and loss
Two decades of fun, laughter, diet coke, and shopping
Two decades of music, singing, piano, and friendship
Forever will not be enough time to be able to spend with her...she is everything I ever dreamed and hoped and wanted her to be. I love you Jillian!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Trees. Should. Not. Be. Inside. The. House.

Remember our new puppy, Snickers? She's 4 months old. She has been pretty-mostly-basically-potty trained for about a month now. We still have to remind her regularly, but have not had accidents of the pee variety for over a month...poo here or there but usually because we forget to take her outside. She still sits quietly next to the back door when she needs to go out. I'm desperately trying to teach her to SCRATCH on the door, because accidents do happen when we don't notice her sitting there quietly like a little princess.
Enter one Christmas Tree. SHE THINKS SHE IS OUTSIDE WHEN SHE IS NEAR IT. We've had the evergreen standing in our house for 3 days now, and she has consistently left lovely presents of BOTH varieties near it every day.
Perhaps if she bothered to wrap them in brightly colored paper and add a bow it would be less offensive.
How can you get angry with her? Her perception is logical, if a little skewed. It is a fake tree, after all. Clearly she's not the sharpest knife in the family drawer.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Star Spangled Solo

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Ryan and Grace. Eight years separate them, but he has consistently done his best to include her in everything he does. He plays games with her, talks to her, tucks her into bed, drills her on Chinese tones and words, loves and accepts her sensitive nature, and has always been her champion. (Right now they're in the kitchen cutting up a pineapple and translating things into Chinese.) Ryan was baptized on December 1, 2001. Just 4 days before Grace was born.
Isn't he fine? My boy. He was ordained to the office of a Priest 2 weeks ago...just in time to baptize his baby sister. I know that I have her birthday/baptism to discuss. And I will, at length, in a few days....
But first (and yes, tears are rolling down my cheeks right now...) I have to inadequately decribe my joy at this picture. Dressed in white, my babies doing their best to be obedient; to follow the plan our Father in Heaven has outlined for us; to stay on the straight and narrow path that will lead them back to Him. Words cannot describe my gratitude for my son. He is a good boy. No. He is a good man.
President Hinckley said: "The priesthood is here. It has been conferred upon us. We act in that authority. We speak as sons of God in the name of Jesus Christ and as holders of this divinely given endowment.... There is no power on the earth like it. Its authority extends beyond life, through the veil of death, to the eternities ahead. It is everlasting in its consequences."

What joy for him to do this for his beloved baby sister... by being worthy to use his Priesthood power to baptize her. I am confident that they knew each other before this life. I imagine him promising her to be patient until she could come. Promising to stay worthy; promising to be here for her when she needed him. They have a bond that will never be broken...and has been strengthened by the things they share. Like the song says, "God gave us help us become what He wants us to be...this is how He shares His love...for the family is of God!"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hoping for a Wrecked Cake?

Grace and I were at Costco tonight ordering her birthday cake. Order form in hand, I'm asking her what she would like. She picked out music notes. I gently tried to suggest the BEAUTIFUL COMPLETELY WHITE CAKE WITH WHITE ROSES ALL OVER IT (Hello? Baptism + Birthday= white??) But alas, she wanted the colorful grand staff with notes. Ok :)
ANYWAY. I started writing "Happy 8th birthday Grace" when she chimes in with this little gem:
"HEY! Maybe they'll mess up the writing and we could send it to Cake! That would be SO funny...!"
I love her so much....

Monday, November 30, 2009

6 days from today... baby will be baptized. The last one. And to make things even more interesting, it will occur on her ACTUAL 8th birthday. I've spent the last couple of days being very bugged at the bureaucracy of the church and basically "things I cannot control" in relation to her baptism. I want to make things just how I want them, and am not being allowed to do it.

It was brought to my attention, however, that it really isn't about creating a production. It's only about the ordinance. Very simple. And we all know that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."

My Amazing Grace will have an amazing I hope she will remember for the love and support of family and the knowledge that she's taken that first small and simple step....that will pave the way for great things in her life.

But darned if I'm still not going to try to organize the heck out of the day and do my best to facilitate the greatness. I can't help it :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More Singing & Dancing...

Tyler has spent the last month deep into "Aida" practices. They've been performing it the past week. Tonight is the last night, thank goodness! I feel like I haven't seen or had a really good conversation with him for a long time 'cause he's been gone and busy...
This is him trying to be all Egyptian and surly...
This is the real boy :)
It's been such a great experience for him and he has loved it! I'm so proud of him for sticking with it and choosing to have fun. (for those of you who haven't heard the story: his choir teacher last year informed him at the end of the year that he WAS taking the musical theatre class..she had already signed him up for it, didn't make him try out, and begged him to stay in it because they needed his voice...)
We've had tons of fun calling him "Adam Lambert" due to the heavy black eye-liner. I must say I never thought I'd be sharing make-up tips and product with my 17 year old son...but he's been a good sport about it!
In a shameless plug I'm going to publish his "blurb" from the program:
"This is Tyler's first time acting, but is a second bass and a Jedi-Master in the vocal arts. Thanks to friends and family, Gwen and Ms. Nudd. Also thanks to his wonderful mother for eternal love and support."


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Sweet Boy

My boy is 16 today. He is a gift. I love him more every day.

He is hard-working, intelligent, kind, loving, and thoughtful. I cannot wait to sit back and watch what he does with his life! Happy Birthday son!
Here is the letter Grace wrote him for his birthday:

"Dear Ryan, thank you for helping me with my homework. And for hanging out with me. And you are the awesomest, coolest, and most honest most sweetest loving brother in the whole white world!!! Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you!!!
Love Grace

(She made sure to put 16 exclamation points :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Look Who's Talking

I love her dearly. I do. But she's making me so tired. She never stops talking.
"I had this dream...there was an egg, and it had HUGE buggy eyes...and it couldn't talk, but it just looked at me..and then it fell down and it couldn't get up and then, it was weird, 'cause it walked around and went over to a wall and then it started chasing me and then...."

This was 20 minutes of my life last night:
"First, we came in and sat down. Then we sang the song...I think we sang it three times. No probably 4 times. Then we went into the kitchen and sat down and then we wrote letters to someone. Most girls wrote them to Sister Tucker do you know why? 'Cause they're MOVING. Did you know that I didn't but I wrote this for you instead. Then we made these wands and we're supposed to do something nice and leave it. Then I walked home with Ashley. Did you know her mom will only eat in restaurants that have hot chocolate? She said she was hungry and asked me what we're having for dinner and said "cafe" and she asked what that was. And I said "Cafe Rio it's mexican food" and she had NEVER HAD THAT before! And she said that her mom would only eat at restaurants that had hot you see this on my arm? I pinched my arm in the swing at recess today. Marin and I ran and got the swings first and then I...."

I realize that I'm lucky she.talks to me. I love her so much. But she has to give details of EVERY MINUTE of her life. I'm still trying super hard to maintain eye contact and actually LISTEN when she talks...but I'm old and extremely busy and I don't know how much longer I can keep it up :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Snickers Part II

I can't summon up the energy to blog about all of the busyness/chaos going on around here daily...but Andrew managed to catch the dog being still long enough for a couple of pictures...
This pic was taken on Halloween after her bath. She's still slightly damp. But adorable, yes? She's doing much better about potty-ing outside. She has lost most of her baby teeth, and new ones are in. She's as needy as a toddler and must be on or near a lap as much as possible. The teenagers have learned the hard way that all snacks must be out of reach or the canine will devour them the minute an unwary back is turned. In the past 2 days she's indulged in a chicken sandwich, a bacon sandwich AND a pepperoni pizza! It's a good thing that she didn't get sick and/or require another trip to the vet.... (and if you're going to comment on the unhealthy eats, remember that TWO teenage boys live in this house!?)
All in all we're pretty pleased with our newest family member.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tricks and Treats

My beautiful brown eyed kitty cat...

Trick-or-treating with best friends...
Our beloved Kaydee/Minnie Mouse came to visit! Yet another Halloween crossed off...4 more to go until the baby will STOP dressing up and trick-or-treating!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The finished product...
Apparently we're THOSE people now...the dog has her own pumpkin. It's her 1st Halloween...awwwwww.

The boy's least favorite part of the night...he hates having his hands dirty!
For the first time in years, Ry is satisfied with his pumpkin. He did his name in least that's what he SAYS it is. How would the rest of us know? Ty went with an emoticon again this year, and Grace drew her own little face that Andrew helped carve out. Good times.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Boys and Music

Ryan's piano duet with his teacher...
Both boys singing a Mary Poppins Medley (hence the fake soot on Ry!)
Ty's show choir debut with a rousing "Jekyll and Hyde" medley. (I got in big trouble with Jillian for snapping this picture during the performance...apparently that is a huge faux pas....oh well!) Points if you can see him in the back!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that all of my kids adore music. They all play an instrument. They all sing. They all have a HUGE assortment of music on their iPods...from Frank Sinatra to Queen to Billy Joel to Bach. From Ella Fitzgerald to Metallica to anything Broadway. It's a beautiful thing. It was the happiest thing for me to see both of my boys on stage next to each other singing and dancing away! My fondest wish is to hear them sing something together...perhaps a duet in Sacrament meeting??? Wouldn't that be delightful!?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Girls Night

Traditionally, the girls do something fun together during the Priesthood Session of Conference...this year we went to Gardner Village, went to dinner, then home to light candles and paint our toe-nails! Good times :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

No Rest For The Wicked?

Clearly, I have not been attending the blog as I should.
Too busy.
I get up at 6. Put laundry in. Start whatever is going to be for dinner. Make the baby's lunch. Make her breakfast. Wake her up. Drink my protein shake on the way to work....get home and hit the ground running...changing laundry... doing my best to listen attentively to the teenagers tell about their day....watching my youngest homework...finish folding to the store...finish and clean up dinner...present family night....jump online to do PTA stuff and get in at least one batch of extraction work....listen to the baby read....crash, hopefully to sleep (thought there is no guarantee there!?), and then it all begins again. I don't think my life is out of balance...except that I just noticed there was no EXERCISE in the above list....just every minute is packed. Add the dumb dog, music calling, time on the cell phone yada yada yada. You get the idea. Not that it's bad. Just BUSY.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Passing Tests


You have passed the College of Education’s Writing Exam. A memo will be sent to your advisor to notify him/her that you have passed. Your proficiency report will be held for one year in the Teacher Education office (EDUC 103). "

Jillian has clearly been too busy blogging about parallel parking to note this latest development in her life :)

Day by day, class by class, test by test...she's on her way!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If You Need A Laugh

I realize that most of you probably already know about this website. Any time I need a serious laugh, this place always comes through! Try it ;)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Somewhere Froze Over

I know. The impossible has happened. Pigs have flown, hot places are freezing.
I don't know if my oldest brother sat on him and wrestled this piece of fabric on his body...or if the seats were just so amazing that my husband voluntarily put it on?
When he arrived home, he immediately wrested it off and put on one of his many "U" t-shirts, wrapped up in one of his many "U" hoodies, and put his "U" hat on his head. Then curled up on the bed and tried to detox from the experience. He seems a little more normal this morning, but I believe is suffering from a touch of PTSD (Provo Traumatic Stress Disorder.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tooth Fairy Strikes Again

Tooth #4 came out last night. The baby now has an enormous hole where her top 2 teeth should be. And for those of you who've witnessed the incredible amount of DRAMA that accompanies each dental extraction; this time it only took about 3 minutes and 1/2 a box of tissues.
Progress has been made.
And yes, we've already begun with the "All I Want For Christmas" yada yada.......

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TOo BuSY tO BloG

Seriously. Too busy to blog. Can't even wrap my mind around any brain feels like it's been taken over by drunken bumble-bees. What was I thinking taking so much on this year?!?!?!?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Bedroom

Here is the inspiration. The bedspread that Grace picked out.

This is a picture my dad brought me from England in 1983. He said the little girl reminded him of me when I was little. I put it up with another picture that my mom bought for Jillian's nursery before she was born.
I couldn't believe that I found scrapbook paper that looks exactly like the quilt. For a month it said "grac" because it took me 3 weekend trips to 3 different craft stores to find the "e."
I'm still working on the curtains. Hopefully I'll get better pictures in the daylight tomorrow!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Tyler picked Grace up from school today. He said she got in the car and he could see that she had been crying. Hard. The whole front of her shirt was dotted with tears. She refused to speak to him. All the way home he tried to get out of her why she was crying. Finally, as they approached the house, she gave in and squeaked out "a plane flew into a tower and a lot of people died!"

Once he got her calmed down a little, he told her that it happened before she was even born. Imagine her quizzically cocking her head and blinking at him for a minute before saying, "ooohhhhh.....I thought it happened today."


Apparently, in her class they had a moment of silence and read a book about 9/11. And CLEARLY they DID NOT do a sufficient job of explaining it.

Add this to her ever-growing file of "we should have figured it out by now." It never crossed my mind to talk to a 7 year old about the significance of this day. I still so want to shelter her from sadness and uncertainty. As a result she gets blindsided continually. Sigh.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Puppy Love

Here is the newest member of our family. Last night we took her outside for about an hour and Ry and Grace literally ran around with her for an hour. She was at top speed chasing them around the yard. Then we came in and gave her a bath...we were laughing that it was just like having a baby...get them tired, give them a bath, a snack and hope they sleep through the night! The exercise and stress of the bath and blow drier wiped her out. Zzzzzz...
The biggest news is that Gracie will hold her now! Grace has always been terrified of pets in general. Not a big fan of the jumping, licking, growling etc that accompanies the furry friends. Right before this picture was taken Snickers (or as we affectionately call her, Snicker-poo, Snicks, Snickerdoodle, Snickerpoodle, or my personal favorite "Naughty!") was licking Grace's chin. Amazing progress, and one of the reasons we embarked upon this stinky-poopy-pet thing.
It is also quite the opportunity for personal growth for my youngest son, our resident germ-o-phobe. He is the one who filled her food and water dishes, gave her a bath, brushed, blow dried and held her to keep her warm until she dried off.
Of course, afterward his entire outfit went right in the laundry basket and he had to take a Silkwood Shower, but baby steps have been taken.....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Follicular Entertainment

Grace and I were outside last night waiting for the puppy to pee. We were sitting on the back porch, chatting about I don't know what when she suddenly gathers her hair into a side ponytail and with a completely straight face says, "Look! I'm from the 90's!"
Are you serious? How in the world did she come up with that? She wasn't even born until well after Y2K. I'm not even sure I WANT to know....
On a related note: during Family Night last night Ty somehow got Ry to agree to a cutting his hair into a mullet. You'll definitely want to be around the week before Ryan enters the MTC....that is when it will happen, and they even pinkie swore on it.