Wednesday, December 16, 2015

So soon

I've never had a week so torturously and slowly drag by in my life. It is Wednesday. I feel like it should be Saturday. Uuuuuuuuuugggggghhhhhh.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

This week ends the long countdown to Jonathan's return. I have to say, I am not coming out of the experience as I expected. I'm not miraculously a better house-keeper, I am not gainfully employed, and I am an entirely inadequate mother. I can say with every certainty that Jonathan is the better half of our marriage whilst I.... I am a mess.

Yesterday, on the way to church, Andrea fell asleep. Unfortunately if there is even a tiny bit of pee in her bladder, the second her eyes shut she pees. And so we arrived to church and she was completely soaked. After several minutes of screaming followed by a few minutes of hushed whines and whimpers in our pew, I had to drag her from the chapel. I pack a bag with spare clothes every Saturday, but the spare clothes are for the little one that is still iffy on the potty-training front, not the one that never has an accident away from home.

My first stop was to go by the lost and found and dig around. Nothing much there, but in that closet there was a men's dress shirt left over from the clothing drive in October. One of thousands of items sent from DI to give out to the community, this particular striped shirt had a long run under one of the sleeves and was thus culled out and hung up in the closet, there to await a day when it would be thrown in with the other forgotten items from the Closet of Misfit things and thrown away. I grabbed a BSA neckerchief from the lost and found, then hauled Andi to the bathroom. As disagreeable as her sopping situation was, she really did not want to wear that shirt. Another screaming fit ensued which reached its peak when I told her, in a very angry fashion, that there was nothing else I could do and I was going into sacrament meeting, she could just stay and scream. Seeing no other agreeable options, she finally consented to wearing that shirt. I rolled up the sleeves and belted it with the neckerchief, and she looked darling. We were both tired, both had headaches, and both wanted to just go home. But we made it work. A little chaos to start the day.

Randomly another sister had a pair of underwear that would fit Andrea, and thus she was completely set and there were no further incidents during church.

And so we stayed, Jonathan called and I got to talk to him for 17 minutes, and then it was back to work. My calling this year has been arranging the musical numbers for sacrament meeting and leading the choir. Yesterday was our last chance to rehearse our music before this Sunday's Christmas services.

I had a nightmare last week that no one showed up for our last rehearsal and the bishop canceled the program. I was an absolute failure, and it was as bad as those terrible "naked giving a speech" or "teeth falling out" kind of dreams. I have been really nervous about this choir stuff.

We practiced over an hour. The poor choir was so cooperative with me. They worked so hard and I have every confidence that they will do a marvelous job on Sunday. My poor children accepted their lot and went to the gym, threw around some balls, and then tore apart the nursery. It was 4:25 before I called rehearsal, and we said a prayer, gathered our things, and left. Things were hastily picked up, food items cleaned, and we were out the door to take an investigator with a lovely voice home, and then on to our place. We had 30 minutes to do it before dark, and no working tail lights on our car. I walk on the wild side, what can I say? (Jonathan tried to repair those lights before he left, but no luck. Said car is currently in the shop.)

After dropping off Colby I went to check the time. No phone. A bored little girl 'fessed to taking said phone, watching a movie, and maybe forgetting to put it back but oh she swears she did. It was too late to turn back, so I made what contacts I could over email and facebook when we got home and hoped someone would find it.

This morning I went to the church and spent an hour looking for that phone. Poor Peter sweetly said, "I'm so sorry" the entire time because my phone was lost, and I was just so sad. As we drove home I went over all of my options. I still had my old phone, I could probably get a SIM card for that one. First I'd check Find-My-Phone and see if someone took it, but at least I had that backup.

As we were on the last leg home I saw a rainbow, a very vibrant one. Each color was quite distinct and defined. I pointed it out to Peter and he just gushed over that rainbow the rest of the way home. Something I grew up hearing was that for every year there is a rainbow that is a promise that Christ isn't coming back yet. I don't even remember where that came from, and I am not really sure you can make such predictions by rainbows, but whatever. As we were walking into the house I jokingly said to Peter, "Well, the world isn't ending, Pete." And then it hit me. Losing my phone wasn't the end of the world. A moment before I would have said something very different, but now... Not the end of the world.

What would be the end of the world?

I met a woman in Texas flying home to Utah after leaving her husband's BCT graduation. She'd been living with her sister-in-law (the crazy one she doesn't really get along with) while her husband was gone. She was hugely pregnant, due right after Christmas. Turns out, her husband's ten weeks at bootcamp turned into seven and a half months when he fell and broke his hip half-way through BCT. Now THAT would be the end of the world.

Peter was seriously ill last year. He was admitted to the hospital because half of his blood was missing. Jonathan and I were afraid he was going to die. Now THAT would be the end of the world.

And yet that young woman and her daughter had survived most of the year where they'd only been expecting ten weeks. So obviously that wasn't the end of the world. And I know other families that have grown and strengthened themselves after the loss of a child. So obviously while it is the worst kind of thing to experience and probably feels like the end of the world for a long time, that isn't the end of the world. I've actually lost a baby. It indeed felt like the end of the world. But here I am. ... So losing my phone, especially when I had options, was most definitely not the end of the world. Chaotic, yes. End of the world? No.

Turns out I didn't have Find-My-Phone activated, so I got the other phone charged, then said a prayer. "Thanks for the rainbow. Help me survive and not be vicious to myself. Help me be happy today." No, I didn't pray to find the phone because I felt like that was a lost cause (pun, yes).

On the drive to the AT&T store I had a feeling I should check the church again. So back we went.  I called myself stupid so many times on the way there because I had searched for an hour and that phone was not there. But I couldn't not go. And wouldn't you know, in a back corner of a room our ward never uses, there it was.

I turned on Find-My-Phone as soon as I got home.

Later today we took the car to the repair shop. I walked to get the kids, and we walked to my scout meeting this evening. They didn't complain, and no one really noticed the kids were there. Funny enough, our Cubmaster had to bring along HIS kids, so it was just the meeting of the kids this month. As I try to do every month, we kept the meeting brief and were finished an hour later. That NEVER happens. Tender mercies, guys. Seriously.

I got a call from the repair shop. There is a corroded wire on one side, and a corroded computer connection on the other. The one will be an easy fix, the other something more expensive. I hope they have the part in stock at their supplier's place. I'm hoping for an estimate tomorrow, and hopefully a street-legal vehicle by Wednesday.

And then Jonathan comes home. That's not going to magically fix everything, but it will give us the balance we've been so missing these last two months.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

My first car

Almost two months ago I entered a contest where I was supposed to write about my first car. I don't know if winners have been selected or not, but I wanted to share the story I wrote here for posterity's sake. It is, after all, a fun story. ;)

My dad was giddy when he picked out my car. Ever the vintage Volkswagen enthusiast, the prospect of his daughter driving a cherry 1976 Super Beetle made him glow with pride. As a beginner stick-shift driver I appreciated the cars forgiveness as I stuttered and stalled through my first few manual-driving lessons. Eventually I was a pro, and I would confidently zip around town in my eye-catching, brick red Beetle. After learning to surf I affixed a "toes-on-the-nose" surf girl decal on the back window, and placed my bobble-hipped hula girl on the dash.

The summer I was seventeen I approached my dad about a couple of things. The oil light was flickering, and there was a funny gasoline smell in the car every morning. My dad, a busy airline pilot, said he'd check it out, but I don't remember if that actually happened. After a few weeks the oil light stopped flickering. Fluke problem, I assumed. But the gas smell.... It didn't go away, and I knew I wasn't imagining things because my sisters and friends smelled it, and complained, too.

One day, on the way home from my history class at the local community college, the fuel gauge did something weird: it went from half tank to quarter tank in the two minutes it took me to make the drive home. Now I was worried, and I went to Dad and told him, again, that the smell was weird and I lost a quarter tank between class and home. That got his attention. I drove the family car the next few days, and Dad took the car to the airport for his next trip. First he had to make a stop at the gas station. The closest gas station was barely a mile away, but that quarter tank barely lasted him. He rolled into the station dead out of gas. He filled up, and then hopped onto the freeway. Not even a mile on the freeway and he watched the needle on the gas gauge go from full to empty. The Beetle ran out of gas before he got off the freeway. Fortunately, the exit ramp allowed him to roll downhill into another gas station. Before refilling, he popped the back open to check on the engine and watched as gasoline splashed all over the engine from the fuel line. It had come disconnected and needed a new ring to keep it attached to the intake valve. I'd been driving around all summer with a loose gas line.

Dad got back from that trip, told me how he'd fixed it, then handed me a small fire extinguisher. "Just in case" he said and he showed me how to use it. I looked it over and hoped I wouldn't need it.

The next night, on my way home from a friend's house late at night, a pokey driver was making me crazy and I went to pass him. But all of the sudden my Beetle wouldn't accelerate. At all. Slightly confused I glanced in my rearview mirror - and there were flames.

I still have no idea how I got out of the car, but somehow I pulled onto the side of the road, got out of the car, grabbed the fire extinguisher from my back seat, popped the ring, and was shooting CO2 through the vents over the engine within seconds.

I didn't have a phone on me (this was the age before all kids had cell phones by 12), so I flagged down a passing car and hitched a ride to home with a nice woman and her two boys. Dad went and picked up the car with our trailer, and we took it to a VW doctor. A loose wire in the engine caused the flickering oil light and that, coupled with the fuel leak, had triggered the flames. My Super Beetle was lucky. I'd acted so quickly that the engine was saved. A week or so later and I was back in my little red car, this time without any fuel line leaks and the oil light wire securely in place.

To this day weird car smells scare the tar out of me. I look for flames first.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Last Saturday Jonathan graduated from Red Phase into White Phase. He was supposed to get a call home. Apparently his unit lost those privileges because he didn't call. I was hoping for a call today.... EVERY time the phone buzzed in church I'd check it. My family had a series of funny texts and, while I usually don't check my phone during church, I saw them all today and had a hard time keeping a straight face through Relief Society.

I led choir practice again today. We've got five Sundays to our big performance. I'm feeling better about things, the two big choir pieces are shaping up nicely with little effort. Yay. The other two pieces have been turned into smaller ensemble pieces with hand-picked singers. Those I am worried about.

 I watched a friend's little girl on Tuesday and Friday. I've done that for a long time. She's always a lot of fun to have around. Andrea especially likes having K around because she likes doing girly things with her that she can't do with her brothers. She asked for a baby sister. She said she always wants a hand to hold. So cute. (-.-)  She asked again for a baby sister on Thursday. Let me tell you a little bit about Thursday...

I have a job interview on Monday, but it has been so long since I have had to go in for a job interview that I didn't really have any clothes appropriate for an interview. I had some things I was going to just make work, but then Mom told me to go get something, she'd help out. So Peter and I went Thursday morning and were as thrifty and careful as possible picking out some clothes. I felt like I was on "What Not to Wear". I tried on a ton of things, but was super picky because I was trying to follow all the fashion "rules" out there. After four hours I found some of what I needed, but Peter felt like it would be the perfect moment to exactly disobey everything I asked of him. "Peter, come hold my hand!" and he'd RUN and hide in the clothes. "Peter, stop spitting" and he'd drop to the floor and lick it. I had to haul him out of one store in the football hold. And he just got worse as the day went on. We had to pick up the kids. He spent twenty minutes kicking and hitting so I couldn't get his shoes on. For those of you think I just wasn't being tough enough... no. Peter is really strong, and really fast. It is a workout to physically force him to do something he doesn't want to do. And at that moment getting his shoes on was the last thing he wanted to do. And so it went, as we ran around trying to get the last of my errands finished he just raised a little hell everywhere we went. By bedtime I was so beyond exhausted. And driving home from practicing a special musical number I for today, Andrea asked, yet again, for a baby sister. Peter was in his carseat screaming, I was ready to cry, and David was terribly short and cranky. So I said, "You either get a sister or a puppy, which one do you want??" Peter and David jumped on board the puppy train. Andrea wanted both at first, but after a half hour decided on a puppy. I'm so down for that.

My birthday present from my parents came in early! I LOVE IT!!! The kids like it too. David wants to get back to piano lessons. And I'm just happy to have something to play after the kids go to bed to unwind. It fits perfectly in our tiny apartment. It makes me giddy how perfectly it fits.

So I have felt for a while that my hair was getting a little out of control. Kinda like this:

In preparation for my interview I wanted to get my hair trimmed. Mom had a few suggestions, and I asked Emma for some advice (Great Clips or no?). I got it trimmed up yesterday. I tried a nicer salon in town, but I was a short notice walk-in and only had a sitter for an hour. They couldn't take me, so off to Great Clips I went. The lady took an INCH off my hair. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but I've been growing my hair out for almost three years and every inch was hard won. I feel like my hair grows so slowly!! I told her to add more layers, and she worked quickly. It was a cheap, fast job. I didn't get it shampooed or styled, but it got the nasty, crusty, brittle ends off. I threw it back in a bun for the rest of the day and forgot about it until this morning. After I'd washed it and put my goop in it I realized that no layers were added. Because I didn't want to take off length the lady said she didn't want to shorten the layers too much because it would give my hair an odd shape. I guess that makes sense. But when I saw it this morning I realized absolutely nothing had changed and the layers ended up really odd and aren't blended like I thought they would be. I'm afraid to fix it I'd have to really shorten my hair, something I had really wanted to avoid. At least my hair isn't as ratty at the ends, but otherwise it didn't get any of the lift I'd hoped layers would give it. Oh well. Live and learn. I'll do the best with it that I can tomorrow for my interview. I'm sure in another eight months I'll go to another salon and get the right cut. Whatever that is. It is back in another bun with my hair stick. That seems to be the state of things as of late...

I miss Jonathan. I have no idea how he is doing, or what he is doing. We didn't get a letter at all this week. Last letter we got was on the 4th, dated the 1st. We'll see if we get anything this week.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Friends and Famil

Today I am grateful for friends and family. Without them I wouldn't be where I am today. I figured this would be a good time to get wedding pictures from last month posted because it contains a random sampling of the people in this world that have changed my life and brightened it in often unexpected ways.

There are so many other people I wish I could put up here, but I was horrible getting my phone out and taking pictures. I'll steal some off of Facebook soon and post them later.

Today was the Primary Program at church. The two big kids did very well. The songs were pretty, the message was great. Peter had an epic meltdown the last ten minutes of the program, so I missed the last songs and speakers. Then I walked him to nursery and walked out to my car, got in, and spent a while having a good cry.

I've not been letting myself fall apart (not that I do that often), but things have been so beyond stressful. I've not been sleeping, I've not been eating (I keep forgetting), and with the crazy stress and missing I've been feeling lately, in combination with the fatigue and lack of adequate fuel, I just had enough trying to get Peter to stop screaming. So I allowed myself a moment to crack, away from other people and my kids. After I'd settled down enough I grabbed a couple of tissues, put on a smile, and got back to work. And I felt much better, too. :)

I talked to almost everyone I needed to at church today, and I lead choir practice without too many mishaps. In fact, the choir sounds great! It was the first time we'd run Joy to the World and I would let them perform it next week because it sounded that good! Not so for "Once in Royal David's City", but it was a cold run after not having reviewed it for weeks, and just so I could hear the accompaniment for the first time. I have no doubts that it will be sounding amazing before long, too. I'm really looking forward to this Christmas program, I feel like it will be a good one. And if it doesn't touch a single other person's heart, it has touched mine so I am satisfied.

After dinner tonight I gathered the kids around me and we had an impromptu family council. I told them that we really needed three things in our family at the moment: routine, schedule, and cooperation. We defined those things, identified what is part of our routine, and then the kids created a schedule (with some input regarding specific times from me). Then we talked about the importance of cooperation in accomplishing our tasks and sticking to our schedule. I asked if they would be willing to make an extra effort at cooperating and sticking to the schedule. David was enthusiastic in his response, Andi was not. Peter was picking his nose the entire time, so I'm pretty sure he'll be eating glue while we work at a schedule. But after some discussion I think we are all on the same page, and I think having so much input from the kids in the creation of our routine and schedule will help them stay focused. I can always hope, right?

That done the only thing that remained in my day was to get the littles to bed before David and I sat down for a little while just the two of us and a couple of cups of herbal tea. He's getting to be so big, and I can hardly believe it but he's growing up from little boy to young man. He takes his school work very seriously, even if he doesn't like it, and he loves to tell me about what he's been working on, reading, and learning. He just learned the real story of Santa Claus, and thus the tooth fairy and Easter bunny... He's excited to be in on the surprise for the little kids. It wasn't the reaction I was expecting, but there we have it. ... Why did I have to blink?

41 days until Jonathan gets home.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bear outing

 We enjoyed a wonderful Indian Summer this week. We had highs in the upper 70's, and it was delightful. It just so happened that David's Bear den needed to have a campfire cookout. They roasted hotdogs and we had chili and potatoes followed up by smores.

 The boys learned how to set up and take down a tent. They also worked on some knots.

 Andi and Peter were stoked to spend time around the fire and then run and play around the yard.

 As we were leaving David found a leopard frog. He insisted on getting a picture for dad.

Speaking of Dad, I got this text from him early the next morning. Along with a call saying he was getting his bus ticket home later that morning. He will arrive December 19th. 42 days.

3. Something I see every day: My children. They are making my life so bright and light these last few weeks. They are my delight and joy.

4. Something I do every day: Cleaning. Usually I HATE cleaning, but I've been working on reframing my annoyance over cleaning. I've found fun in rearranging things, making our home better, weeding out more clutter... It is relieving and therapeutic.

5. Transportation: Airplanes. I grew up flying across the country to spend time with family. I have very vivid memories of being on an airplane, rather young, and sitting by kind strangers that kept my mind busy and distracted from nerves and worry. I have memories with extended family, grandparents, aunts, and uncles that came after flying out to see them. The longest flight I was on took me to England, and for my 16th birthday my mom and I took a trip to London. My most recent trip I took with all three of my kids to Texas where, I hope, they had an opportunity to begin forming life-long memories and relationships.

6. Hobbies: quilting. Another therapeutic activity, it helps me take funny little bits of fabric and turn them into beautiful pieces of art. They go to family and friends, warm hugs that I cannot always give in person but can be communicated via a happy quilt.

Speaking of quilts... I've got one I'm working on right now. My craft to Christmas countdown has begun in earnest. :)

Monday, November 2, 2015


Peter and I went on a run this morning. I got the big kids to school and then hit the trails. I needed it. It is most certainly a more healthy method of relieving stress than eating all of the kids' halloween candy. Ha!

Speaking of candy, there is no more in the house. Yay! Peter was far to clever and, no matter where I hid the stuff, he always managed to find a way to it and would chow down before I could stop him.

We found a dentist nearby that we could go in and trade in the candy for $1 per pound. Peter got $2, Andi $3, and David $4. They were each very pleased with their little trades, and I was happy to get rid of the candy. It was making us all far too grumpy.

We live in a beautiful part of the country. When we first moved here it was early September, and very quickly the leaves began to change. I'd never seen this kind of change, though. There were so many trees, and so many variations of the vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges. It was absolutely breathtaking.

As we drove out to our errands today the wind was blowing swiftly, whipping the leaves up off the trees and into the air. It looked like large confetti, fluttering around and raining into the street. It was so pretty, and I wished I had an extra moment to watch it.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

No tricks, all treats

 The kids were adorable, of course. And they stayed toasty warm in their little robes the entire time. I, on the other hand, froze. Ice cube. That was me. I wore my good winter coat, and would have been warm enough had the night stayed nice, but then it started to rain. Not drizzle. Rain. The kids stayed dry except around the hems of their robes and pants. When we got back and I had peeled their robes off they were totally dry, and then I was soaked through. And cold. Oh well. The kids had fun getting their candy, and I had fun walking them around. They were well behaved and happy.

We carved our pumpkins before dinner, and they happily glowed a welcome for us as we walked home. I wasn't sure if their little flames would survive the rain and wind but they did. We saw them, all lit, from down the street and we were all so glad to see them.

In an effort to help myself remain positive, I started specifically hunting for silver linings. As luck would have it, silver linings are shiny and easy to spot most of the time. A tradition I started a few years ago was to take November and have days of gratitude. It seemed just natural to incorporate it into my shiny silver hunt. I found a good list, different from last year, and I'll work from it this month.

So today I am thankful for my home. It is a happy, cosy place. I fall more and more in love with it all the time. I'm navigating the crooked corners in my sleep now, and I'm happy here. It will keep us warm during the winter, and is cool during the summer. But more importantly there are happy little ones who fill the home with laughter and love. And cranky whining, but I can't have perfection all the time now can I? :)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Costume Parade

This afternoon the kids' school had a costume parade. Peter and I bundled up and walked to the school to see it, and then we got to bring them home early. It made for a fun afternoon.

David and his good friend, Landon. These two are peas in a pod, and they have so much fun together. Of course they were walking next to each other in the parade. Well, less walking, more goofing.

We got home and I got dinner finished. It was a vegetable, chicken, tortellini soup. Of course the kids hated it. I thought it was perfect for such a cold day. Oh well. Can't win them all. After dinner my visiting teacher came over. It was good to spend some time with another adult. I really needed it this week. :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


The kids and I went to the church's Trunk-or-Treat last night. It was fun, the kids were admired. I threw together a Professor Sprout costume the night before and slapped a label on an IKEA plan. It worked. The label read: "Caution! Devil's Snare - DO NOT TOUCH!"

The event was also a chili cook-off. There was a lot of chili, but my favorites were a bacon chili and a seafood chili. SO yummy. The kids had hot dogs and were satisfied. They came home with even more candy, and now the big jar I have all of their candy in won't fit the lid on top. They are pretty possessive about that candy...

After the awards were handed out for costumes and chili they announced the start of the trick-or-treating. The two big kids disappeared. I just kinda figured they'd come and find me when all of the candy ran out or they got too cold. I was right, they did. I took Peter around once, then took him to the movie room to enjoy Charlie Brown while I helped clean up (I was on the planning committee for the night, so clean up was one of my duties). David and Andi wandered into the movie room after all of the candy was gone and all three devoured as much as they could. Made for a fantastic sugar crash at bedtime. Weeee! They also reported that they were totally warm. Good. Two layers of fleece had better have kept them warm! I got gloves for them for Saturday, it is supposed to be pretty chilly during trick-or-treat hours on Saturday. Oh, but next week we warm right back up to low 60's for our high. Definitely different from last year! A good kind of different, too. :)

Jonathan called tonight! He had exactly seven minutes to talk. It was so good to hear his voice. He has only been able to write one letter, which we received last week, but it isn't for lack of trying. Every evening he's supposed to get 45 minutes of personal time. Unfortunately others in his bay don't know how to pick up after themselves and get the whole gang in trouble at inspection. He and many others spend the 45 minutes of personal time trying to get things ready for that inspection. They are often "smoked" for their efforts anyway. He passed the practice test of the field test he's taking this Saturday, so he thinks he'll get it done on Saturday with flying colors (crossing fingers!!!!). If he does he'll be able to call us on Sunday for more than 7 minutes. That will be nice because Andrea was devastated that she couldn't talk to him longer. Boy are the kids going to be glad when he gets home. One month, nineteen days. We can do this.

But I could really use some prayers, guys. Tensions are high, there's been too much sugar and too little sleep.... Short tempers and sadness make miserable people, and even grumpier miniature people. We could use some good vibes here in our little corner of the world.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Farmer Pete

With the big kids in school, Peter and I have a lot of time to spend together. Today was gorgeous, and after a pitstop at Walmart I was itching to spend some time outside. We took a detour home and stopped at the farm center at Kensington. That is always a big hit. So me and my shadow spent a while pretending to be farmers and looking at all of the fun animals.

 That's my favorite shadow.... :)

 Peter told me all about what the chickens were doing while we were there. There was one laying an egg, that was fun.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Letter home

We got a letter from Jonathan today! He is very busy, and he's working hard. He told us to look up Victory Tower on youtube. He also said it is much taller in person than it appears in the video. We found him a few days ago on his battalion's Facebook page.

It was a nice thing to see him, we are really missing him. At least the kids haven't been asking that he come home tomorrow. We're all settling in to a good routine, and at least this last week we haven't had meltdowns from the kids (specifically Andi, who is very good at throwing them).

David was invited to a friend's home for a Halloween party. I worked way too hard yesterday to get his costume finished. Fortunately I figured out a good system and was able to whip through the littles' robes and have them finished for tonights Halloween event in the town.

The kids came home with so much candy. Halloween isn't here yet, and already we have more candy than the kids should consume for the rest of the year. I wonder if I can find any dentists in the area that do the candy-buy things. That always seemed to be a big hit with the kids in the past.

We have the trunk-or-treat at Church and then Halloween night. So much candy.

I have long had a dream of seeing my kids embrace Harry Potter and become big fans. I knew it was a special story that I wanted to share with them. So imagine my delight when, this summer, David started reading the books. And when you give a kid a Harry Potter book, they might ask you for a pet rat. And when they name their pet rat Scabbers, they might ask to be Ron Weasley for Halloween. And when they want to be Ron Weasley for Halloween, their little sister might determine she wants to know more about this Harry Potter thing, and then she will want to be Hermione because Hermione is an amazing role model. ;) Yeah, I'm really kinda happy my kids are loving Harry and his story and adventure as much as I did as a kid. It is like introducing them to a life-changing friend, and then watching that friend change their lives, too. It makes me happy.

That and David hates Umbridge too.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My baby turns 3!

Peter had his first ever family birthday party! While we were all in Texas for Kirsten's wedding we went ahead and had a big bash for him. It was also a great excuse to get together in a no-pressure, no-stress zone after the wedding. It was great to visit with everyone for a few hours and just relax. And Peter had a great birthday!

 And of course he had a Poopy Hat cake (Poopy Hat = Darth Vader. Hoarsly whisper "pooooo-peeeee" a few times and you'll see why Peter calls him Poopy Hat.).

 He was so excited about those candles he blew them out before we'd finished singing to him.

 I had promised Jonathan I would get as many pictures of myself and other people as possible. That was a HUGE promise, I HATE pictures of myself. But I did it. See! I do exist!

 Emma was our unofficial designated photographer. She took some AMAZING pictures of the night. Hopefully she'll share a bunch of them on her blog so I can steal them and post them here. Or maybe she'll just send them my way? *hint*hint*

 At the very last second I told the kids to hop on the couch for a cousin picture. That's all of them on the May side! Look how big they are getting. I can't handle how fast they are growing. Nor can I handle the cuteness. Could there be a more cutely crowded couch??

 These girls were best buds all weekend. At the reception the night before they found each other, grabbed plates of food, and sat at a table together and had giggly girly conversation all night. It was just adorable.

And the aftermath:

 Emma's going to kill me for that photo, but it accurately describes how tired we all were after the evening was over. Haha!

 I can hardly believe that my baby is such a big boy. Three is HUGE!! We've been through a lot over the last few years with him. I am so glad to have him in our family. He is such a happy, jolly little character. He makes me happy all the time, and makes me laugh just as much. He flashes his dimpled grin and I have a hard time saying no to him. I'm so incredibly grateful he is healthy and that we aren't spending so much time in hospitals and with doctors. He scared me so badly last summer. It was a terrifying time, and there are some moments and feelings I never want to repeat. I am so glad he is well! I am so glad he is growing, even if it is so fast! I am so glad he's climbing, and jumping from jungle gyms, and swinging so high, and showing me how strong he is all the time! I am so grateful he is here, my happy, dapper little dude.

Happy birthday, Peter Pumpkin! I love you!

Saturday, September 19, 2015


It is that time of year: picture time! I like to get good pictures of the kids once a year, and it is always fun to see how they've grown. I think I blinked a few more times this year than in years past because my babies are most definitely NOT babies. 

Just for kicks, I had to throw this one into the mix because there is a picture of me at this age making this exact face and we look practically identical:

Well.... They grew up fast... I love these munchkins of mine!

PS - HUGE shout out to my friend, Tina, for letting me borrow her awesome camera. These are the best pictures I've ever been able to take, I KNOW a lot of it was the camera! Thank you!!!