Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Well. Today, my baby officially finished her last class of her first year of COLleGe. I couldn't have asked for a better experience for her this year! She attended (most) of her classes, got along with (mostly) her roommates, had a wicked awesome ongoing prank war with the boys across the hall, attended (most) of her Sunday meetings, stayed up all night goofing around, ran out of money and had to scrimp and save AND I guess learned a few things while in class :) That is partly what she went for, right?
Yippee! She comes home in TWO days for the summer and we can't wait! I'm so proud of you Jillian!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I have been the PTA President at Grace's Charter School this year. (We actually are not affiliated with PTA..we call it the "Family Engagement Committee" or FEC...but it's basically the same idea only on steroids....much more involved than just "Reflections" etc.!)
I don't know how it happened. Really. I never wanted to do it. It wasn't something I sought out or ran for. Three years ago when Ryan got into the school via lottery, I jumped in with both feet (the whole family did, really!) We have put well over 1000 volunteer hours into helping the school get started. First, I was in charge of starting the Library. This involved collecting, purchasing, barcoding, labeling, dewy-decimal-ing and entering the first 8000 books into the library. The whole family spent an entire summer helping. It was an amazing experience, really. We all learned so much, read tons, and spent a lot of time together slapping barcodes and labels on the books. Then they asked me to be the PTA Secretary. Ok. This lead to being on the "Communications" committee, which led to my being in charge compiling and sending a weekly email to the entire school population. Which I've done for 3 years now...
I also have been the Book Fair Chairperson for all 3 years. Then last summer they asked me to take over the PTA. Ok. I just closed my eyes and did it. Knowing that I would have to run meetings (this I CAN do after being a Primary President and in the YW Presidency!), but being required to stand in front of an entire room of parents at "mandatory" Parent Meetings!? No way. This is SO FAR out of my comfort zone it's ridiculous. But I've done it 4 times this year now. These are pics of the last meeting of the school year. We presented our Principal and Vice-Principal with some gag-gifts.
Then I got to announce that I finally got our MARQUEE ordered and it is on the way! We have been saving for 3 years to fund some sort of marquee...they are seriously expensive. I finally, after hours of searching and bids, found a company and a type of marquee that we could afford. I'm so excited to have it installed in the next couple of weeks, and have tangible, visible proof of my hours of service this year.
I'm still hoping against hope that someone will take over for me next year....but it isn't looking good. My VP's want to stay where they are, and one might be moving (sob).
So there is truth to the old adage "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." It FEELS like it's going to kill me when I have to stand in front of crowds... but it hasn't yet and apparently I'm going to get more practice.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Joy of Eating an Apple

Here is my boy eating his first apple in 18 months! His braces were removed today. On the way home we stopped and got a chicken sandwich...whee! No gnarly bread mixture to pick off of metal. Then we came home and he dove headfirst into a box of ju ju fruit candy (which we had purchased on Saturday for this very occasion!) Then he bit into this delicious apple.

Serious milestone for our family. THREE teenagers, about FIVE years and FIVE THOUSAND OUT OF POCKET DOLLARS later we're DONE with the orthodontist for awhile.
Picture me doing an earth moving, hip swaying, feet stomping happy dance.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Making It Weird For The Ants

Grace and I were outside this afternoon. I noticed her hunched over the concrete, balancing on one leg. Her other leg was bent at the knee, and she was swinging it out and in, out and in; like she was kicking an imaginary ball.
She looked over at me, her little eyes twinkling, and said "I'm making it weird for the ants! See! Sunny, dark! Sunny, dark!"
She proceeded to giggle gleefully; pumped up with her god-like power.
I love her so much.

Gracie's Logan Adventure

We left Grace in Logan last Friday. She got to spend the whole day and overnight with her big sister in a college dorm!

Jill kept her busy...sightseeing at the Pepperidge Farm outlet...
Making brownies...
Going to the movies...She had a ball and felt so grown-up. Jill took such good care of her. Definitely a memory she'll never forget!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

Today was my Dad's 75th birthday. We all met at his house for a party. A lot of people were bugged, but I made us all pose for pics.
My sister-in-law had this cake made.
My sister and I with Dad.
Without getting too maudlin, I need to pay tribute to him.
Here are some items of interest (i.e. for posterity):
Things always in his bathroom/dresser: Rolaids (original flavor), menthol cough drops, Chapstick (original flavor), antihistamines.
Things always in his car: bucket buddy full of tools
Fondest memories: resting my head on his tummy, playing backgammon after dinner, watching BYU basketball
My dad worked for IBM my whole life. He was a 9-5er. He wore suits to work every day. Seriously. Jacket and all. He suffered from year-round allergies and heartburn. He always smelled like a Rolaid or cough drop. He always carried real handkerchiefs in his pocket. He almost always kept a big Hershey bar in the fridge. He'd chip away at it during the week....
He could fix and/or build anything. We figured out the other day that he's built 9 basements between his house and all of ours. Every night after dinner he and I would play a game of backgammon, and then he would work on some kind of project. He built a 3 ft high rock wall around most of the property. My little brother and I went out in the hills by the "B" and collected rocks for it with him. He smoothed the concrete between the rocks with the back of a spoon. I wish I remember how long it took him to complete it.
He was a voracious reader. There was always the latest paperback on his nightstand. He made sure that we learned how to snow ski and we always had a boat. He worked hard and then rested hard.
After he retired he spent about half a year writing his autobiography. It is a work of art. He is a gifted writer and had amazing recall for dates and events.
This miserable disease (Parkinson's with Lewy Body Dementia) has robbed him of so much. I am so grateful that he took the time to document his life as he saw it...
Now that I've started this post, it's just too hard to sum up a life in a few sound bites. It'll probably only be interesting to my kids or other family who reads it. We all know that this guy is a man of incredible integrity, strong work ethic and unselfishly, wholly loves his family above all else. I know that everything he ever did was for us.

Friday, April 17, 2009

All Things Easter

It was apparently breezy when we were trying to take pictures before church.
Our annual egg hunt in the back yard. My oldest brother made things even more exciting by secretly re-hiding the boys eggs after they had found them. HA!
It's Andrew's time to shine. He hides the eggs every year, and as the boys have gotten older it is his quest to make them work really hard at finding them. Hee.

Brother Hall of Fame

We went to the funnest Easter Egg Hunt Ever! Rocky Mountain Mortgage hosts a huge event every year. They really go all out. One of the employees was even dropping $1 bills on the field. The boys were good sports about going along.
Then we came home and colored our eggs. The boys, again, were good sports and sat with Grace to color eggs. Ty's were, of course, graffiti. Ry did some in Chinese.
Grace, sweetheart that she is, made an egg for everyone in the family. The one she made "for Jill" is still in the fridge. She got emotional on Sunday when it came time to devil them. She didn't want any of her eggs peeled. Yeah.
We compromised and I let her "save" 3 of her favorites. How long do I have to keep them in the fridge? Do I have to wait until they are officially a science experiment? Do I throw them out when she isn't looking and play dumb when she asks about them?
Someone should have written a parenting manual for times like this :)
I love my boys so much. They put up with all things girly, keep up with silly traditions even though they are "over" them, and are so patient with my sweet girl. They are going to be amazing husbands and fathers someday!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fear vs. Faith

This is from a talk by our newest Apostle, Elder Neil L. Anderson

"Faith is not only a feeling; it is a decision.

Challenges, difficulties, questions, doubts—these are part of our mortality. But we are not alone. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have enormous spiritual reservoirs of light and truth available to us. Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time. In our days of difficulty, we choose the road of faith. Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe.”

And from dear President Monson:
"There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us. My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Girls Night

When the boys go to the Priesthood session of Conference it's time for the girls to PLAY! Grace chose to go to a movie this time. We saw "Monsters vs. Aliens." When we stood up to leave the theater she said "I can't feel my legs!" It's hard to be short...
Then we came home, lit candles...
And painted our nails...
I love her so much.
She looks forward to General Conference weekends:)
Although, sadly, when I tucked her in this was our conversation:
"You can sleep in as long as you want in the morning!"
"No church! It's Conference again."
"Oh.....a whole 'nother day of waiting. Sigh"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Perhaps you've noticed the recent rash of Pinky and the Brain quotes on the sidebar here...there is a story behind it, of course.
Crank back to December, 2001. Grace was brand new. We had satellite tv thank heavens. This beloved cartoon came on every day at 2:30am. I spent at least the first 6 months of her life watching an hour of this show during the night each and every night. I had the theme song memorized. We would sing it at the dinner table. In the car.
You all remember what it's like to be sleep-deprived. And we all know that middle of the night tv is dismal, at best. Info-mercials abound. Blah. Then, behold, Pinky and the Brain! And even more funny because I was beside myself with exhaustion.

My wonderful friend gave me Netflix for Christmas (love it!) and I cued up some of these little P&tB DVD's...they came in the boys and I sat together and seriously. So. Funny.
Try it.