Tuesday, September 28, 2010


A little bit ago, Abigail and the kids put on a little play production of "Cinderella," written and directed by Abigail. She wrote out a script. She came up with costumes. They rehearsed. And they all did a pretty great job, if I do say so myself. :)

Elisabeth was Cinderella. Samuel was the dog (?). And also the prince.

Isaac was the evil step-brother, I think.

And Abigail was the evil step-mother. And anything else that was needed on stage. hahaha.
Anyway - there's just a little kid-bit for you. Hope you liked it. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

guess who else is allergic to cats?!

well, so Elisabeth was at a friend's house being babysat on Thurs and she loooooved their cat. Loved and squeezed and snuggled and hugged, apparently. And this is how she looked a couple hours later, even after Benadryl dosing.
So. It becomes more and more apparent that we will never - ever - have cats. Obviously. Isaac reacted this same way once when he was littler. And I start to wheeze and itch pretty quickly from them as well.
Anyway, Elisabeth's eye seems to have morphed into what might be pink eye, I guess, since it's started having some discharge. And she cried all morning today that her ears were hurting too so, who knows.
Samuel's ENT called on Fri and they switched him to a stronger antibiotic for his yucky draining ear infection (they had cultured the drainage and said the bacteria he has needs it). So, the 10 days of antibiotic course starts all over! Fun!
And today was our annual church Primary program where the kids age 3-11 sing the songs they've learned this year and give little talks and presentations. It was so sweet. This would have actually been the first and last time that all 4 kids would have been in the program together - but Elisabeth was home sick, so they weren't all there. Oh well!
I will say though, that today I felt remarkably blessed for being in the Primary teaching those little kids (I teach a class of 5-6 yr olds). I have to admit, I don't always love it. I miss being around grown-ups, frankly. I feel lonely and left out and sometimes stressed by preparing these lessons (although I only teach every other week and the kids are very good and patient and forgiving. I'm just easily stressed). But today, I felt grateful - really and truly. And I felt surprised and thankful that I felt thankful. I felt such an outpouring of love and appreciation for these precious little ones (including my own). It was so good to feel that.
And that's my news for the day.
(my laptop seems to finally be cooperating again, miraculously. Hooray!! so maybe I will have some more interesting posts coming soon . . . or not . . . ) :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three Rules

I think I've hit my facebook status update quota for today (as in, more than 2 - haha), so I'm posting this here today. I can never decide what to put here or there anyway. But anyway.

Tonight at Elisabeth's soccer game, her coach emphasized 3 important rules to her and her little friends:

1. Keep your eye on the ball.
2. No holding hands.
3. No hugging on the field.

Awesome. ;)

(I have pictures to post, too, but my laptop is still freezing every time I use it and the camera software is on it. And the computers are making me absolutely insane!! arrrggggh.)

(PS - I guess my posts have been kinda lame lately, but please leave me some comments anyway, ok? Anything at all. Because comments make me oh so happy. ok, thanks.) :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Hello all. I've had a rough few days of caring for a sick little Samuel (including coughing, vomiting, fever, double ear infection with perforated ear drum and lots of gross draining discharge), being sick myself, and just stuff. You know . . . stuff.
But I just wanted to check in real quick and say hi.

I love this post tonight from The Naked Soul. About how it is easier to wear your layers sometimes than it is to try to carry it as a burden (it makes more sense if you read it, really). I like the analogy. That is part of what I have been trying to do, just in general, over the last few years. And you, my dear blog readers, have been a part of that I think. A rather big part. I am learning to love all my layers. Even the ones I tried to pretend didn't exist. So, thank you for sharing in all my babbling, venting, ranting, and musing - it means a lot to me.

Anyway. On that note, I think I'm going to catch up on some podcasts while I fold a mountain of laundry (TV and computer are both having technical issues which are sort of driving me insane - so no mindless show-watching for me, unfortunately).

more later . . .

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reading Round-Up - June, July, Aug 2010

I know I have been dreadfully behind in my reading round-ups. Almost unforgivably behind. But see? I always catch up eventually. So you can always forgive me. Eventually. Whatever.

So, over the summer I started my journal re-reading project and it consumed a lot of my normal reading time, believe it or not. haha. (Yes, reading 40+ journals actually did affect how many books I churned through. Especially in Aug when I only read 2 complete books!) However! I've still read a good number of very good, interesting, thought-provoking, entertaining and all around enjoyable books. Hooray!

Here are my superlative awards for each of them.

1. Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art - Madeleine L'Engle

Most Marked up, Underlined and Read-With-A-Pen Book

2. A History of the Amish - Steven M. Nolt

Most Likely To Be Read After Visiting Amish Country ;)

3. The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved - Matthew

Best Book for Self-Examination and Evaluating All The Important Stuff

4. Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe - Gavin de Becker

Most Likely To Provoke Feelings of Anxiety and Mistrust - haha, just kidding (mostly)

Best Book for Learning to Trust Your Gut Instinct and Teaching Your Kids to Trust Theirs

5. Love - Leo Buscaglia

Most Likely to Induce Warm Fuzzies and Want You To Tell Everyone How Much You Love Them. I Love YOU!! :)

6. Book of a Thousand Days - Shannon Hale

Best Quick Fun Read to Pass Along to Your Adolescent Daughters

7. The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister

Most Likely to Leave You Scrounging Your Kitchen Looking for Something Good to Eat

8. Eldest - Christopher Paolini

Least Likely to Make Me Want to Read Any More From This Series

9. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation - Lynne Truss

Funniest Book About Grammar and Punctuation Ever. Ever! And - Most Likely to Make You Nervous and Self-Conscious About Every Comma, Semi-Colon, and Ellipses You Ever Used in Your Life. But you'll still laugh.

10. Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression -Brooke Shields

Best First -Hand Account of What Postpartum Depression Feels Like (on this list)

11. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella - Stephenie Meyer

Quickest Dumb Read for Every Twilight Fan

12. Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne -John Keats

Most Likely to Leave You Sighing and Longing for Your One True Love to Write You Letters Just Like This

13. The Adoration of Jenna Fox - Mary E Pearson

Best Futuristic "What in the World Would You Do" Make You Think Book

14. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress - Rhoda Janzen

Most Likely to Make Me Look at Something I Knew Nothing About a Little Differently
and Wonder What People Who Know Nothing About Me Think

15. Something Borrowed - Emily Giffin

Most Likely To Read and Kinda Wish I Hadn't

16. Born for Love: Reflections on Loving -Leo Buscaglia

Tied for Most Likely to Induce Feelings of Love and Well-Being

17. The Shack - William P. Young

Most Likely to Make Me Look at What I Believe From a Different Perspective


Whew!! That was harder to come up with than I thought it would be (and it shows). Oh well. Well, and I think I mentioned awhile back that I kinda sorta set a lofty goal to read 100 books this year. Only reading 2 books in August has put a little wrench in that gear, but I still think it's possible. (and yes the journal rereading project has been postponed until this goal is met)

Yesterday I counted up and realized I need to read 37 books before the end of Dec! I had already read 3 so far this month, so that puts it at 40 books in 4 months. I can do that. Right? Well, I am surely determined to try. So I made a list on my sidebar to show my progress and you can watch as my list grows and grows! Wohoo! And nothing like a little accountability to up the determination-factor a little. ;)

I figure, you know, Zac has his marathon running and crazy long training runs and pushing himself beyond any normal human limits. And I just have marathon reading, beyond any normal human limits. It's basically the same thing! We're both just crazy!! :)

Sooo, who wants to talk books?!?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

what I missed: first days

So while I was off in Baltimore, I missed the first days of school (big kids on Mon and little kids on Wed). These are pictures my mom took of them (thanks mom!).

Abigail's first day of 6th grade

Isaac's first day of 4th grade

Samuel's first day of 1st grade

And Elisabeth's first ever day of Preschool

I was very sad to miss these firsts but they all did great, as we knew they would. I left them notes to read before and after their big days and I hope they liked that. It made me feel better, at any rate. :)
It is still a struggle having Samuel at a different school and I am still a little lost with that. I need to get in touch with his teacher and find out a whole bunch of stuff. And he's gone from 8:15 in the morning until about 4:15 in the afternoon which is just a long time. But he's been doing pretty well with it, I think. Anyway.
Elisabeth is absolutely loving Preschool (as am I, I might add).
And Abigail and Isaac seem to be doing well so far. Isaac was pretty stressed out for a week or so - but I think he's learning to pace himself (although he did wake up at 5:30 AM (instead of usual 7) completely on his own yesterday eager to get everything done "early." Good grief, boy).
Anyway - things are going alright, I guess.
And there's that. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

summer recap 2010

Here are just a few snapshots from the summer that didn't make it into any other posts. They sum up our summer pretty well, I guess. We didn't "do" very much, but we did do a few things.

1. Thanksgiving Point - These pics are from one day when we went to the Farm Country. Fed some goats, rode the ponies, talked to some llamas, pet a baby lamb. All fun stuff.

2. This summer we bought a pool pass to an outdoor pool nearby. We loved it!! Part of our justification for the cost was that going often would be able to replace swim lessons (and swim lessons for 4 kids adds up pretty quickly, I tell you.) I'd have to say this was pretty successful.
The last swim lessons Isaac took, he would barely put his head underwater. Just by being at the pool more often and becoming more confident, he has made great strides. He'll even jump into water over his head and doggy-paddle to the side. Definite improvement.
Abigail also practiced her swimming a lot and continues to improve. (I had to zoom in across the pool to get these pics of them. I love that they played together in the deeper water.)
Samuel also met and exceeded my mental "swimming pool goals" for him. At first he would only get in with a life-jacket on. By the end of the summer, he would get in without one and even dunked his head under water (very briefly)!! For a child as anxious as he is, this was a huge accomplishment!!

And Elisabeth. Well, she's a little fish. Part of this, I think, comes naturally from being exposed to the water more at a younger age (huge advantage with a pool pass). She pretty much figured out how to swim all by herself. She can't yet lift her head to breathe, but she kicks and strokes and propels herself forward, which is amazing. She also figured out how to do front and back flips underwater! She just amazed me every time.

3. There was also some fun to be had in the sprinklers in the back yard (and with water guns). Wohoo!
4. And then, the last 3 weeks of summer, I'd finally had enough of all the laziness and nagging taking place and we decided to implement an incentive program. The reward? An ice cream sundae party. The plan? Earning points by doing normal chores, music practice, reading, etc etc. Every little thing they did earned points. We made an ice cream chart with something like 200 boxes to color in for each point. And, though it seemed for awhile as if they would never make it, they did!!
And boy, those were some yummy-licious ice cream sundaes!

5. These are just some pics from Labor Day, the last summer hoorah, when we went out to the Farmington Bird Refuge to take a peek. Uh, no birds, really, to be seen. But oh well.

Miss Elisabeth took off sprinting down this road all by herself and felt, I think, exhilerated by her display of independence.

And that's it, I guess.
Summer is over!
I love fall, though, and am not entirely sad to bid summer farewell. The cooler weather is invigorating, after feeling sluggish and hot for so long. And so, on we go . . . .

Thursday, September 9, 2010

morning has broken

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world

Sweet the rains new fall, sunlit from Heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day
-Cat Stevens
(just couldn't resist this one)
(note: I guess Cat Stevens didn't actually write this, but as it's his song running through my head, I'll leave it credited to him)

this one

this girl

these eyes

those eyelashes

I tell ya,
sometimes I just don't know what to do with her
she and I spend more of our days together now that the big kids are all at school all day
somedays, this is a really good thing
somedays, ohh . . . somedays are just not so good for the 2 of us

sometimes I'm just not sure how the 2 of us will survive each other
this girl
these eyes
those eyelashes . . . .
boy oh boy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

a little lost

(by me - 1992)

I've been losing things lately.
Picked up this piece of
paper intending to write
it storms through my mind
in torrents of rain
thunderclouds obscure
the sunlight
and in my mind
darkness prevails.
I sit down
and minutes later it is gone
No thoughts to speak of
Even the word
is beautiful
yet beauty is lost
when lightning strikes.
I feel nothing.
I've been losing things lately.
I've been losing my thoughts lately.
I've been losing my mind.


I've lost my watch. Again. I only take off my watch in 2 places, really. So it frustrates me to no end when I cannot find it in either of those 2 places, which happens far too frequently.

One, I take it off when I am on the computer, which means that it should be either on the couch where I use the computer, in between the cushions on the couch, on the floor next to the couch, under the couch, or on the desk next to the couch. It's not.

And two, I take it off when I go to bed or take a nap. Which means it should be on the bed, on the floor next to the bed, under the bed, or on my dresser next to the bed. It's not.

And not having my watch leaves me feeling unsettled, out of sorts, like I'm missing things, forgetting things, not really where I should be or doing what I should be doing. Funny how a simple watch can ground me to reality.

Maybe a day of forgetting and losing things isn't all bad sometimes, though. If only I could free myself from needing it so badly . . .

But it's just how I seem to be lately (with or without my watch). Not really here nor there. Not really in the groove. My brain is out floating around . . . someplace else (I wonder where?!?).

School started. I have about 3, 4, maybe 5 backlogged blog posts crammed in my brain, waiting impatiently to be released. It's soccer season for 2 or 3 of the kids. One child was signed up and now refuses to participate (guess who??). I am also feeling very lost with Samuel's new school. I missed the back to school night, and I think I missed a lot. I had to call the office and request a student handbook, but I am still unsure of how school lunch accounts, homework, etc etc are handled there. And having the school 20 min away makes it difficult to just drop over and make sure of things. Like I didn't want to spend 40 min of travel time just to go over and find his lost lunch box last week, and it took a week for someone to help him find it. Gross.

Last week I forgot about a piano lesson (thank you to the teacher who called me 5 min after it started to get him there). This week I have forgotten about a ballet lesson, a soccer game, and a church meeting. In 2 days' time. Yikes. What else am I forgetting?? I do not know.

So anyway. If you see me, just gently tug a little on my brain strings and pull me back to earth, if you could please. I'd appreciate it.

And if you happen to find my watch lying around somewhere, just get it back to me as quick as you can. Thanks. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

happy day

17 years ago today, Zac and I met.

This is us saying goodbye to our "special trashcan" at the end of the school year (not a very flattering shot of either of us - haha).

In case you've missed the story in past posts (which I'll repost sometime) it goes something like this:
(there may be some debate between us as to the exact sequence of events, but that notwithstanding . . . )

We met at an outdoor dance at our dorms, our first weekend as freshman at BYU. And somehow we ended up standing by this trashcan. And Zac was kind of nervously hitting the trashcan lid as we talked. Until I suggested that maybe we could dance, instead of stand around the trashcan.

And the rest is history . . . . :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

trippin' part 8: heading back west

What we're gonna do is
Go West
Life is peaceful there
Go West
there in the open air
Go West
Where the skies are blue
Go West
This is what we're gonna do

- Pet Shop Boys

So I said goodbye to the water, and the green trees, and the east, and headed back home again, west into the sunset (more or less). I was happy at least to have a window seat where I happily occupied myself taking pictures of every new landscape. You ready for this?

(These are the Appalachian Mountains)

(this is somewhere over Nebraska)

I was nervous about going home. Partly because I knew I would have to dive right into the school routine that I was nowhere near ready for. Partly because I knew I would miss the East Coast again - oh soo much. And partly because there was an expectation of sorts that this trip would be refreshing and rejuvenating for me - and I was afraid that the time would never be enough to fill me completely. I wondered if I could ever feel like I'd had enough. If I could be renewed and return feeling relaxed and restored. Was it even possible?? Ever??

(first views of the Rocky Mountains)

(crossing over the Wasatch Front)

During the flight, we were seated next to a nice woman - aged, ohh, somewhere between 20-40 - and she asked if we were married. When we said yes, she told us we made a "very handsome couple."

That made me smile to myself pretty much the whole rest of the flight. Sometimes it's nice to be complimented by a complete stranger. It really is.


(Hey I can see my house from here! Well, not really. But if we'd been seated on the other side of the plane, we might have been able to see our neighborhood)
Anyway - I think I really do feel better having taken this trip. Somehow the combination of being somewhere I really wanted to be, spending time alone contemplating and meditating, some time alone with Zac, so much quiet (it was so quiet!!!), visiting special places - including some nostalgic therapeutic time, a dose of confidence in managing all alone, all of it combined together really did something for me. Something I really really needed.
I don't know how often I would need to do something like this to keep recharging my batteries. How can you ever really know? And I don't know if I will ever really have the chance again - not in the same place, in the same way, at least.
But I am just so glad I did this time. I can't even express it all adequately.
Thank you, a hundred million thank you's, to everyone who made this possible for me in so many ways.
(sunset while landing over the marshes of the Great Salt Lake)
I feel ready to be home.
oh and one very last quote:
“Three things tell a man: his eyes, his friends and his favorite quotes.” (hehe) ;)
- Quotes Daddy

(Thanks for reading:))
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