Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quick pics

I just realized I haven't posted some pictures in a while. (Probably because I haven't been taking them as I  lust after a new camera...) So here's a quick pic update.


The girls helped Daddy plant flowers in the front yard on Monday night. It was a long and arduous process as I'm sure Matt will attest to. But they had a blast. 

The new watering cans will get a lot of use I'm sure.

The only problem now is keeping them from picking all the flowers.







Star Wars

Here we have a great example of Kenna's Star Wars obsession. She actually sat down with the DVD case and copied it - hence the word  "WIDESCREEN" written at the top. From the way it was explained to me Obi Wan is at the bottom left, then Han Solo sort of sitting on his head. Leia, excuse me, PRINCESS Leia is next (with the bun shaped hair) then Luke and his lightsaber. (This particular movie is her favorite because Leia's hair is the prettiest.  Well of course! That's how I pick all my favorite movies!) The gray thing next to Luke is one of the ships...Matt will have to say which one, I don't know a Tie Fighter from an X-Wing. The gray circle is the Death Star. You can see a picture of what the real cover looks like here, on the top left.

She is starting to creep me out with this. I regularly hear her puttering around the house humming the Darth Vader theme.

Here are some of the pictures the girls have taken with their new little Bean camera.

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They have hundreds of pictures already - most of them of the carpet or the grass. I'll spare you.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Skimming the surface

When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by my dad's ability to skip rocks across the surface of the water. I remember him teaching me how to pick a smooth, flat rock from the many that littered the beach and showing me how to curl my finger around the edge. He taught me how throw it hard and low so it would have the right speed and angle to bounce across the water several times before finally losing its momentum and slowly descending to the bottom of the lake.

Lately I've felt a little bit like those I'm just skimming the surface. I know that I'm missing out on the depth, but at the same time, I'm not really sure how to change it.

I crave more in so many areas of my life - more depth to relationships, more spirituality, more knowledge and understanding, more compassion - but how does one go about adding all of this "more"? How do you find the time to really seek it when there's so much other junk that screams for your attention?

Life seems so busy. There are innumerable ways to use the time we have; so many options continually at our fingertips. It's easy to get caught up in all the day to day "to do's"; to sprint from task to task without ever really stopping to think about what we're doing and whether it's really important. Or sometimes we know what's important, but for whatever reason, we end up avoiding it or just putting it off.

This whole issue has been occupying an inordinate number of my thoughts lately...and I still haven't come up with any conclusions on how to remedy things, aside from learning how to live without sleep, that is. (Even with as as much practice as I've had, I'm not very good at that one.)

If you have any suggestions...I'm all ears.

In the meantime, I'll be skimming along the surface of things, trying to figure out how to slow down enough to finally get some depth.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Week in Review

Since I was a little preoccupied with other things this last week, writing everything down sort of fell by the wayside. I need to play a little catch up with the "goings on" before I get into the thoughts that have kept me so distracted.

Monday: Got the invitation to an old and very good friend's wedding. We were best friends when I lived in Hawaii back in 6th to 8th grade. I am so excited for her. She is an amazing person - I can only imagine that he is too. I wish I could go and be with her on her big day!

Tuesday: I got to go to chemo with dad and the rest of the "entourage". (Mom and 4 out of the 6 kids were there with him.) He has a little train of people that follow him through the office. I personally think it's SO cool that my sibs make the time to come with him to so many of his appointments. I am grateful for such a close knit family!

Kenna had tumbling so I got to hang out at my sister's house and contemplate a family history project with her. (My sister has a tumbling studio in her garage...)

While there I learned that my niece is expecting a baby!! She is the one that miscarried not to long ago so I am doubly excited for her and her hubby. What great news!

Wednesday: Some sad happenings with friends from work. I found out that a former co-worker and beloved grandpa type friend has been diagnosed with cancer. It breaks my heart to hear that yet another person in my life has been afflicted with this horrible disease.

Another sweet hearted person that is in my work group found out her 23 year old nephew was killed in a car/motorcycle accident. This also breaks my heart. I have some nieces and nephews around this age and couldn't bear to lose any of them, especially like that.

Thursday: Crazy busy day at work. So many things had to get done and it felt like I just couldn't find the time to do it all.

I found out a project that was scheduled to move forward this week didn't go because someone didn't get the submission packet turned in until today and it missed the approval committee meeting. It killed me to see the project get stalled after the person had known the urgency and had promised to move it forward. I was extremely disappointed, especially since the person responsible has not yet called to let me know - I had to find out from another source.

Got to go to lunch with a dear friend. She needed mashed potatoes and I needed some time out of the building. Being with her always cheers me up.

I was also able to spend some time with mom and dad, and review the family history project with them as well. I actually got some of my old junk cleaned out of their basement too. (I've only been married for 7 ½ years...and officially living on my own for 11. It's about time!) I found some old cards and letters which I'm thoroughly excited to read again...just as soon as I can catch a spare minute at home!

Matt had his last day of class for the semester. One more class and he's done!

Friday: Another busy busy work day. Deadlines were moved up, which always creates a special type of chaos. We finished the most important items though, and I was able to sneak out a half hour early to get a head start on a weekend with the whole family at home. I love Matt's weekends off - four days straight of having him home in the evenings goes a long way to improving my sanity levels.

Saturday: Matt took the girls shopping to get a few of the things we need to get the yard/garden in shape for the summer. As much as I really hate yard work, I'm excited to get things spruced up and looking nice. I know the girls will love having some flowers in the front yard that they can help take care of (they even have their own watering cans now thanks to daddy).

I was able to get a few things done around the house while they were gone, and I got a little one on one time with the boy.

Grandma and Grandpa T. took the kids later that evening so we could have a night out. They had the 4 other local grandkids over too so it ended up being a very fun evening for the kids...although I'm not so sure about poor grandma and grandpa.

Matt indulged me and took me to look at a camera I've been ogling for a while. It finally came out on the market this month and I've been anxious to get a look at it. Not that we can afford it right now, but it's nice to know what you want should you ever be the recipient of a large sum of money you can't figure out what to do with. (I must say I'm unimpressed with the staff of Best Buy and their knowledge of digital cameras.) We ended up getting a small (and cheap!) digital camera for the girls to play with.

We went for a late dinner and ended up running into Matt's brother Joe. Seems he was working the off-road show at the convention center up the street and was able to get us in for a peek after we finished eating. It was fun to look at all the tricked out Jeeps and other off-road vehicles.

It was even better to hear about all the progress that Angie (Joe's wife) is making though. The last few months have been amazing. She's almost rid of her cane and they are talking about moving forward with her transplant in August.

Sunday: Church was nice. The girls were pretty good and Liam slept most of the way through it. I had a dead arm, but it was worth it to get the chance to concentrate on the lessons. My visiting teacher still thinks I'm her project, but she's nice and helps with the baby when I need it. The Relief Society teacher did a great job and I had to hold back tears all the way through the lesson. (When did I get to be such a cry baby!?! I get choked up at everything these days...)

We had a pretty nice slow day at home. The girls were able to go outside and try out their new camera. Lyssa took a bzillion pictures of everything. Kenna's were a little less prolific and a little more interesting. I was able to press all the quilt blocks (finally!) and finish getting them arranged. Matt was able to work on a schedule readjustment for work in the hopes that they take his suggestions instead of what their current plan is.

If you actually read all that, I'm impressed. I barely had the attention span for it myself. Here's a little reward for your stick-to-it-iveness.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fountain of all Knowledge

I found it. The fountain of all knowledge. No, it's not the internet, silly. It's my MOM.

Can I just tell you that my mother is the most amazing woman on the planet? She's like my own personal, walking reference library. I can ask her anything and she springs to my rescue.

As in, yesterday morning:

"Mom, we want to plant a garden. Tell me everything you know."

I'm not sure if she told me everything she knows (well, because she knows A LOT) but man, with what she told me I could have my own farm.

I am seriously floored with the amount of knowledge this woman has in her head.

That and she's so amazingly generous with it.

As in, yesterday afternoon:

"I'm here to look at your garden."

That's right. She came over to my house to give me a personal consultation. How amazing is she!
She also gifted me with some stellar advice on putting together my quilt. I do not know what I would do without her.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend of AWESOME

You know those weekends where you get everything accomplished that you want to so on Sunday night you can sit back, relax and take a breather knowing that you did everything you possibly could to make the most of the time you had?

Yeah. Me either.

But this past weekend came about as close as I can get to that.

Matt had Friday night off work since he has been putting in so much extra time teaching training classes. We were able to go out and spend some time with friends that we haven't seen in like... forever, due to my AWESOME parents and their willingness to baby-sit even though they've already watched the kids twice this week while Matt was at school. We haven't had any nights out for a while so it was VERY VERY MUCH appreciated and needed.

Saturday I was able to spend some time working on the quilt. Due to Matt's EXTREME AWESOMEness, he took the girls to the grocery store and left me home with a sleeping baby and a load of material to cut. SWEET. I got all the pieces cut out that I needed to while they were gone. I was even able to get a bunch of blocks sewn up later that day due to AWESOME children keeping themselves entertained while mom was holed up in the basement.

Today was pretty good as well. The AWESOME kids behaved through Sacrament Meeting, the rest of the blocks are sewn because my AWESOME baby took a 3 hour nap (I'm positive it's because of the constant prayer running through my head "Please let Liam sleep long enough for me to finish this..."), the AWESOME kids actually ate dinner and my AWESOME laundry got folded and put away. (Okay, so the laundry is far from AWESOME, but I was on a roll with the theme there...)

So what if the bathrooms didn't get cleaned and the yard didn't get worked on and the garden didn't get planted...Or the kitchen floor still needs to be scrubbed, or the garage still has unpacked boxes, or the mirrors still have fingerprints. I had myself a weekend full of AWESOME.


And isn't that what's really important?

(Don't answer that...)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Medicine for an (already) rough day...

It's 7:30am and I'm already having one of "those" days.

Then I find this...

And I get me a good giggle.

Too bad I don't have a Hawaii Chair or I would REALLY be set.

Quote of the Day

"You have a choice. You can wring your hands and be consumed with concern for the future or choose to use the counsel the Lord has given to live with peace and happiness in a world awash with evil. If you choose to concentrate on the dark side, this is what you will see....Now the brighter side. Despite pockets of evil, the world overall is majestically beautiful, filled with many good and sincere people. God has provided a way to live in this world and not be contaminated by the degrading pressures evil agents spread throughout it. You can live a virtuous, productive, righteous life by following the plan of protection created by your Father in Heaven: His plan of happiness."

~~ Richard G. Scott, Ensign, May 2004
"How to Live Well amid Increasing Evil"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Say hello to Jack Daniel!

So, a friend and I went out to lunch for her birthday today. As we were chatting and perusing our menus, our server came by to introduce himself. He asked if we wanted anything to drink and then I noticed it.

His name tag said Jack Daniel.

It's just one of those in-jokes that he must have with the other servers, I thought. Like "Gumby" or "Jimbo" or something.

My friend noticed too and said, "Is that really your name, Jack Daniel?"

This was his reply:

"Yes, and I have a sister named Sherry and another named Brandy."


This is either a very interesting case of predestination for career by naming convention or a sad example of "theme names" gone wrong.

P.S. Don't get me started theme names.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The hottest thing since the little black dress...

Okay, so just after I hit the publish button yesterday, my little Lyssa decided she'd come to my rescue and give me something to blog about.

I was sitting on the floor, changing Liam's clothes before heading over to the big shindig when she walks down the stairs and stands in front of me with the 'innocent' look on her face. As I'm looking her over to see if her clothes are still passable enough to let her out in public, I notice little tiny white dots glistening in her hair. Then I notice her hands are shiny...and wet.

Since she had just been at the table finishing her dinner...alone...I became, how shall we say? Concerned.

Me: "Lyssa, why are your hands all wet?"

Her: "Iunknow." (her version of I don't know.)

Me: "Well, what happened?"

Her: "Iunknow."

Me: (using my amazing powers of deduction) "Were you playing in your milk?"

Her: "Ummm....*long pause*...YEAH!"

Me: "Why were you doing that?"

Her: "Because I wanted to be 'tylish"

Me: "You wanted...wait...what?

Her: "I wanted to be 'tylish."

Me: *fit of giggles*

Two comments:
1) Where did she come up with the word (and the desire) to be stylish? Heaven only knows she didn't get it from her fashion challenged mother. (Or maybe she did and that's why she chose something like milk...)
2) Everyone knows that milk is TOTALLY out right now. It's all about the carrot juice.

Monday, April 14, 2008



So I've totally had a bunch of stuff percolating in my brain that I wanted to write about. I get all these fabulous posts crafted in my head on the way to and from work, or in the shower, or lying awake in the middle of the night, but by the time I take a minute to sit down all the witty and funny stuff is gone (some would say it was never there...) and my mind goes blank.  Perhaps it has something to do with this:




Mr. Liam has entered the "I don't want to be happy unless you're holding me" phase. I love holding the little guy, but come on. He's 15 pounds already and I am not nearly buff enough to cook an entire dinner holding him in one arm. (Yes, I'm a weakling and need to go to the gym. Or, maybe I should just start bench pressing my kids...)




Or this:

Quilt I  dug out an old project that has been bugging me for like 2 years since I bought the material. Matt and I desperately need a not-so-wintry quilt for our bed so we don't roast to death in the summertime. I had most of the pieces cut out (or so I thought...) so I have been trying to finish up that part so I can start on the sewing. I'd better get going too, it's 80 degrees today! (I know it's just Utah weather playing tricks on me, but a girl can dream, can't she?)

Or these:

K & A



They're girls. Need I say more?  (Although, these two girls are outside playing "Star Wars" at this very moment. Lyssa is R2-D2 and Kenna is Princess Leia.) I guess we know who's the boss.




Or even this...




The humidifier we had to buy to fight the cold/croupy cough sickness the girls have had for the past few days that we are praying Liam doesn't get and which necessitated a trip to the doctor's office on Saturday (yay for Saturday clinics!) after spending a night in a steamy bathroom with Kenna.  The girls are still complaining about the gross medicine they got.



*(I was going to put a cute picture of Lyssa sitting on the potty with her legs crossed for that last one, but figured I wanted her to still talk to me when she gets older so I nixed that idea.)

In other news:

Kenna has now started telling me how to drive. Well, more accurately has started telling me how to drive again. We were on our way home the other day and she was asking me what some of the road signs meant.  As we pass the "Speed Limit 40" sign she says,

"I know what that means."

"Oh?" I reply.

"That's how fast you're supposed to go."

"That's right." I say proudly.

"Mommy, the orange line isn't on the 4. You're going too fast."


This child was sent to me for some very specific reasons, the most important of which is to test  my patience. The second (and the one I'm talking about here...) is to make me laugh. She does both with surprising frequency.

She demonstrated her "Princess Leia Run" for me today too. Priceless.  Who knew Princess Leia runs like an angry ogre? MY DAUGHTER, that's who.


See? I just ran out of steam when I realized what time it is. I need to go heft my 15 pound two month old, make dinner and get an FHE lesson ready for the big ol' family get together tonight. Perhaps I'll compose a coherent post on the way home from the party tonight and actually have something better to say tomorrow. 


Friday, April 11, 2008

Probable reasons for not blogging (much) this week...

  1. It was my dad's birthday and we were too busy partying.
  2. Two of my three children (ACK! THREE! Still getting used to that...sorry.) have coughs that have kept all of us awake at night.
  3. I'm lazy. (I know, crazy talk, right? RIGHT?)
  4. I may or may not have spent a day in bed and/or hugging a big porcelain bowl.
  5. Potty training is hard work.
  6. It has snowed four times this week and I'm protesting.

So I guess I have some catching up to do. We actually had some other stuff happen this week, like...good stuff too.

Matt got a phone call from his sergeant on Tuesday night asking him to come teach a Defensive Tactics Class on Wednesday morning. While this created a bit of a panic when it came to baby-sitting arrangements for the kidlets, it's a great opportunity for him career-wise. Especially given that the sergeant called him, not the other way around. My ever helpful sister (Hi Lori!) came to our rescue, as so many of our family members have had to do lately, and took all three (ACK! THREE!) of the little rugrats for the day. The sergeant also asked him to teach four more classes in the next two weeks. Hopefully this is a good sign that advancement might be a possibility when his eligibility date hits.

We got some good news about dad as well. Turns out his PSA numbers went from just about 700 down to just about 500 after the chemo. This is like, stupendously amazing! The chemo is slowing down the cancer cells and that my friends, is some of the best news you can get.

I know more stuff happened...but after that, it doesn't seem all that noteworthy. Plus see reasons numbered 2 and 3 above. Lack of sleep and laziness is a bad combo.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The adventure begins...

We started potty training Lyssa on Sunday.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike this stage? So much so that it's probably been ME that hasn't been ready for the last 6 months (though, to be fair I was huge, pregnant and VERY nauseous for part of that time).

Apparently she is incredibly motivated by sugar right now, so we're bribing her with jelly beans. Yes, processed sugar. And it's working (so far...please don't jinx me...) so we're going to keep doing it.

So far, it's going better than expected. We'll see if the trend continues...

In a semi-related note (on the bribing issue...), Kenna can now be bribed to do almost anything with her "Lego Star Wars" game on the XBox. Having something nearly foolproof for bribing a 4 year old has proved invaluable, even though I'm not a big fan of her plopping down in front of the TV. I suppose the poor thing can't help it. She has gaming coursing through her veins...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy 71st Birthday to the best dad ever!

We love you.

p.s. I have the best husband ever too. He brought me some beautiful flowers today for no apparent reason. I really really like him.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Liam - Month 2

Dear Little Liam,

My sweet boy. You have been such a wonderful blessing and addition to our family. You are a very good baby. The only time you really cry is if you are hungry. The rest of the time you are happy to watch your sisters run around the house or sit and play "fat dog" with daddy. You have been very alert and strong since the day you were born and continue to improve every day.

You are starting to recognize people and we have been treated with some of the cutest big baby grins I've ever seen. You are such an adorable baby with your big blue eyes, long eyelashes and cherub cheeks. The talking noises you make are starting to get more frequent too. I can't wait to hear your little voice say "mama" for the first time!

You have brought a special spirit with you that has made the whole house more peaceful. You are our little piece of heaven. Somehow snuggling with you can make everything seem right with the world. You have been a great comfort to me in the last couple of months and I have felt very strongly of your importance to our family and the timing of your birth.

Thank you for taking it easy on us. For having such an easy going personality and such a sweet disposition. I love you little Buddy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Say What?

I went to pick up the kids this afternoon from my wonderful Sister-in-Law and this is the exchange that followed between the kids and I:

Me: Lyssa, come get in the car sweetie.
Alyssa: *wanders around to the other side of the car where said SIL is putting her sister in the car*
Me: Lyssa, come here and get in the car. Brother is crying. We need to go.
Alyssa: *follows SIL to her car*
Alyssa: *starts crying*
Me: *walks over and picks up child to put her in the car*
Alyssa: I want her. *motions to SIL*
Me: *dies a little inside, but puts her in the car anyway*
Alyssa: *continues crying*
McKenna: My heart is breaking a little too, mom. I'll miss Jessica.

Where do these children come from and where do they pick up these phrases?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It begins...

Dad started chemo yesterday.

They hadn't gotten the biopsy results back yet, so we were all thinking they would put it off until next week. So imagine my surprise when I get a text from my sister J. in the middle of my meeting telling me that dad was starting chemo right then.

I didn't take it well.

I managed to hold it together for the rest of the meeting, then promptly came back to my cube, called my sis to get some of the details, hung up and started crying. (You know that whole "it hit me like a ton of bricks" thing? Yeah. That's what happened.)

We did the chemo thing with Matt's dad a couple of years ago so we're semi-familiar with how the whole thing goes. But I'm not sure whether that makes the whole idea easier or harder to deal with.

Talking to dad tonight made me feel better though. He sounded more like himself than he has for a month. He was so chipper and happy. I felt all my worry wash away just hearing him talk.

I know that he will have more bad days and the worry will all come back, but it's nice to know that there are also some really good days to balance those out a little.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Alyssa - Month 31

Dear LyssaLou,

You are my little firecracker. Everyone thinks that you are the quiet and shy one...until they get to know you. Inside that cute, tiny, sweet little girl is the heart of a lion with a set of lungs to match. You can out yell your sister any day of the week and are usually the one that wins in a fight over toys. You are fearless. But you are also so sweet. You love to snuggle and shower mom and dad with hugs and kisses.

You may be small, but you are tough - both physically and mentally. You are so smart. Saying words and putting together phrases that a two year old definitely shouldn't know. I am amazed at all you understand and how well you can communicate. You have figured out how to do so many things all by yourself. You are always trying to catch up to Sister and you want to be able to do everything she can do. Slow down a bit little Bug. You are wonderful for who YOU are. You don't have to be just like sister. We love you for you and for all your unique talents and abilities. Don't worry so much about keeping up. Just be you.

I love how helpful you are. You want to be involved in everything. You love to cook with mom and dad, or help with laundry or with loading the dishwasher. You are learning quickly how to keep things clean and are even good at reminding mom when I need it. I hope that I can help encourage this in you, so you will always be the type of person that loves to do things for others.

You are also a great actress. I have never seen a kid that can turn on the tears and the sad face like you. But you also know how to ham it up and be a cheese when you want to. You love to dance, especially when we're changing your clothes and you can run around dancing and singing "naked baby, naked baby" at the top of your lungs. You are always good at making us laugh.

I hope that we can teach you all the things that will help you be the best person that you can be. Your parents are not perfect, but we love you and we want you to be happy with who you are. We ask you also to have patience with us as we continue to try and figure out this parenting thing. Know that everything we do is motivated by our love for you and your siblings.

I am so grateful for you. For your kisses and hugs that make everything all better, for the happiness and laughter that you inspire, and most of all that we have the chance to be your parents and have you in our family.