Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sink Baby!

It had been quiet for a while and so I thought I should check to see what Baby was up to... This is what I saw when I first walked by the scene of the crime.
When I first walked in to see her in the bathroom sink reorganizing the toothbrushes so looked up at me and said, "sowy." I couldn't help but giggle. She knew she was doing something she shouldn't have been and tried to say sorry. I just couldn't help but grab the camera of her first, real, sneaky activity...

Look at that guilty face... oh, here comes the mischief...

Family Pictures 2011

So excited about these pictures. They captured our personalities so well and I love that Brother and Sister were so good to look at the camera, especially for there solo shots... that, in and of itself, was awesome!!!!

There were 33 proofs she sent me so I thought I would put them into a quick slideshow for your viewing pleasure. (smile)

the song is "All The Pennies" by Mindy Gledhill

photos by Pointe Digital

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hay Day

Man, today was awesome! A real hay day, but I didn't realize how much of an actual "hay day" it really was until the end of the day... I'll get to that.

First,  I went for a fun bike ride with Baby in tow with my friend so that we could ride around the neighborhood to visit a few other friends. It was a nice bike ride and good exercise since I didn't fit it in today...

Then, Baby's speech therapist came to work with her and gave me some new goals to work on. But, the best part of that was reminiscing about some of the things that Brother did when he was Baby's age. I love thinking back to when he was first learning how to walk, talk, point, express feelings... it was all later than typical but, maybe that was part of what makes it all so dear to my heart. Baby and Sister have hit many, if not all, of their milestones before Brother ever did. One of the things that Brother used to do, that I just loved, was when we were trying to teach him a new phrase and he would only say the last word. For example we would tell him to say ""I love you" and we would say it slowly hoping he would say it along with us and eventually say the whole thing together with us, or rather, to us.

This is how it went:

We: "I..."

Brother: ...

We: "love..."

Brother: ...

We: "you"

Brother: "you"

We: "OK, now say it all. I... Love...

Brother: "you"

We: "OK, say 'I love..."

Brother: "you"

We: "I..."

Brother (quick and proud interruption): "you!"

We: "OK..."

Brother (again, interrupting): "you!"

Oh, he made me laugh. He tried so hard but, echolalia sometimes got the best of him.

After speech was over I got me and the kids ready for family pictures.

I was so excited to be getting pictures done again. This time we had Point Digital come take our pictures and video. While we waited for re-enforcements to come help with the kids Rochelle took some individual pictures of the kids just in our back yard. We have a cool hay stack so why not take advantage of that, right? My kids were so excited to climb onto the hay stack because it is typically off limits so they thought it was exciting to be rebels. I couldn't get Baby down. I think she would have stayed up there all afternoon if I would let her.

Then we were off to our location for an adventure. My kids are always quite interesting when it comes to family pictures and today Brother wasn't going to disappoint. Let's just say that Rochelle and Doug did a LOT of running and Clifford Playing to get my kids (mostly Brother) to cooperate. But, honestly, I am happy if we got one good picture out of it all, seriously. I am so excited to see how it all turned out... they funny, bad and great of the whole afternoon. Doug was a trooper running around with the kids getting them on film, especially considering he hasn't really been in the best of health lately.

After pictures and video we all (Rochelle and Doug plus 5 kids, my aunt Rosanne plus 3 grandkids, my sister Jessie and her 3 kids and us) roasted hotdogs and marshmallows, ate (snarfed) cream cheese with raspberry chipotle sauce smothered over the top and then spread on RITZ crackers (thanks aunt Becky), chips and salsa, strawberries, s'mores... ah it was a smorgasbord of fun outdoor food.

Then we came inside for ice cream and banana splits and then sat around and talked for an hour.

It was a blast.

My kids were tired.

I figured I should change baby's diaper before I put her in bed since I hadn't changed her since before pictures.

Good thing, because her diaper was FULL of hay!

Yup, a hay day!

Oh and here is a preview of our new family pictures:
It was that much fun! More to come...

Monday, September 26, 2011

My New Attitude

I ran across this video and it just made my entire day.

I've decided that if Sara Bareilles can sing about trying to get over someone with such happy undertones then I can continue to have fun even when things aren't the funnest. Just watch this music video. It's so cute.

And then at the very end of the video, I laughed because it was totally me... really I think I may have made people feel uncomfortable at one point or another ...

Watch it here.

Let me know if it at least made you smile.

Table Top Coloring

 All 3 of my kids LOVE to color. They never get bored of it. I seriously think that I may be one of the only mothers that actually buys out the coloring books at the dollar store when they come in.

The favorites at our house are My Little Ponies, Littlest Pet Shop, Strawberry Shortcake, anything horses or trains, and definitely no crazy-hard-overdetailed coloring books, which usually leaves out the super heroes or anything like it. They like simple, happy, thick-lined, fun coloring books. I think I buy at least 5-10 each month... no kidding. We recycle a lot around here.

Here's Baby during some of her personal coloring time:
Yes, this is how my table looks pretty much everyday, including Baby... I guess she can't see the coloring book very well from the chair so she has to climb on top to get in full coloring position. I think she enjoys having Sister gone to school for a little bit so that she can have free reign of the coloring materials.

She colored to her heart's content. Now she is ready for nap time. Tee hee!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Forget-Me-Nots and Golden Tickets

I am so excited to write just a bit about the inspiring evening I experienced on Saturday night.

Not only did I get to enjoy a great dinner with friends but I got to hear uplifting words of hope and love.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk was my favorite.

Very much my favorite.

I know this will sound silly but, I have always LOVED forget-me-nots, the flower. Not because of their beauty or anything, and I have never had them in my flower beds, I just LOVE the name. What a sweet name.

Forget me not.

No one wants to be forgotten.

So as soon as President Uchtdorf referenced these sweet little flowers, I perked right up and was anxious to hear what he had to say. His comparison of forget-me-nots and their five petals was unforgettable and I have a feeling that many, many more people will forever love forget-me-nots. He reminds us to continue to treasure the small beauty of everyday moments, to understand that although some of the small pieces of the gospel may become overlooked that they are the things we should take the time to focus on.

He gave five beautiful and inspirational "forget-me-nots" to help us continue to move forward in life with a better outlook

Another thing that really stuck out to me was his reference to the children's book, Charlie and the Chocolate factory. He talked about the golden ticket and how many of us search our whole lives for the golden ticket and don't take the time to enjoy the candy bar.

I thought about that. I am constantly trying so hard to help my kids become as much as they can be, that sometimes, I forget to enjoy the moment I am in with them. To savor the words they say, the smiles and giggles, the funny reactions to things, their love for me and their father, and their love for so many others. I guess you could say that I have been spending their lives waiting for my golden ticket of having the same experiences that any other mom has with children who don't have Fragile X. But, last night I was reminded, as I have been so many times, that I am blessed to have these unique and rejoicing experiences that other mothers of children without Fragile X wish they could have.

So here is to being small and insignificant, yet beautiful and inspiring.

May we all, as women, remember and know our divine purpose in this life.

Take the time to watch this talk by President Uchtdorf. It is 20 minutes long so you will need the time, but you will walk away feeling better about yourself as a mother, wife, aunt, sister, daughter, neice, or grandmother.

P.S. I am so excited because we are getting new family pictures done this week!!! Yay, I will be able to post some new ones!
And if you are looking for more inspirational words, just wait for this weekend!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Mother's Day at the Dentist

I look forward to the to getting my cavities filled at the dentist...


It is about 1 - 2 hours of me laying in a comfy, reclining chair watching whatever I want to on TV.

I sit there and watch relaxed, waiting for the dentist to start the work thinking how much I need this break.

Then the dentist comes and I am reminded that this 2 hour visit isn't gonna be all TV and relaxation...


I'm trying to watch "I Love Lucy" and all I keep seeing is the dentist's face... Maybe he should have the TV screen on his head.

I was right back to having the feeling of watching TV with my kids... a BIG fat head in my view!!!

Plans for relaxation for two hours foiled.

And because I couldn't watch TV, the focus on the fact that my jaw was opened wide enough to swallow a hippo (I'm not joking)  became the only thing I could think about. The hippo could have fit in there along with all the dental tools. I am still trying to massage my jaw back to normal... just sayin'.

So, once the work is all done and my top right side of my face is numb and saggy I lay there in the chair for a few minutes even though I need to pee... really bad... because I refuse to leave before I have had enough time to relax. But the darn dental assistant has taken my headphones so now all I can do is read lips of "I Dream of Genie."

The nerve.

So I get up to use the restroom and find that with the stretched of my jaw, gravity now has an affect on how far my chin hangs down, not to mention the numb-hanging of my upper lip. I'm lookin' hot.

I come out of the bathroom and I have to pay my bill and the receptionist is all "sweetie" and everything and so I have to smile back at her so I don't look too rude... I can only imagine what my smile looked like...

wait, let me re-create for your enjoyment... just sec...


Notice how I even did the tired eyes for full affect? Actually, I am just tired.

But, that is pretty close to how I must have looked trying to be cheerful after my "relaxing" fillings.

Next time I post I get to tell you all about forget-me-nots. I'm excited.

Don't forget!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Things just keep looking up

Not only did I get to go to the dentist today for 2 hours all by myself (I will write more about that later) but we had some special visitors!

When Marc was in high school his family had a foreign exchange student, Achim, live with them for a year. They have always stayed in touch with him. I have met him once before and today I got to meet him for the second time.

This time he came with his good friend, Thomas. They are out on a "guy trip" and left their girlfriends at home. They came all the way over from Switzerland and Germany to see us (and Yellowstone too).

What amazing friends they are. I felt like I had known them for years. They were so fun and so laid back and just fit right into the groove of everything.

It's times like this, though, that I do wish my kids could make it past being so overwhelmed by meeting new people. I was so wishing I could see my kids say "hello" and help them feel welcome, but I guess they will just have to do with Brother's and Sister's  shoulder shrugs and a little attention from Baby.

Here are a few pictures of Marc and his friends together. And of course some with Marc's parents and their treasured foreign exchange student!

We love you guys!

Achim, Marc and Thomas

Walking to grandma and grandpa's for dinner with Achim and Thomas

Gathering in Marc's parents' backyard for the BBQ
Then we had to gather for more pictures before we said goodbye.
Thomas, Marc, Achim and Marc's best friend from High School, Eric

with Lynne and Gary

"Truly great friends are hard to find,
difficult to leave, and impossible to forget."
                                   ~ G. Randolf

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Paint Horse Pride

I love when my kids do something that I didn't think they would want to do or even could do.

My mom found a ceramic horse at a yard sale and bought it to paint and resale. Brother found it and asked to take it home so that he could paint it. I assumed I would be painting it for him.

I was wrong.

He got down the paints himself. (Granted, my counter was cover in paint, not to mention my could plates.)

Oh well, I was so proud of him for wanting to do it that I had to get a clip of it. As you will hear in the video that he really does NOT want me to put him on camera.

He painted it to look like our first horse, Golden. I thought it turned out to look just like her (smile).

No, our house isn't haunted. That is Sister whizzing by in the background.

It's times like this that I wish I would just get out the good camera instead of using my phone.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sink Hole

I have been contemplating for days whether I should post some of my true feelings on my blog. I know, it sounds so fake for me to even say that, but, I know that some people read my blog only because they want a laugh or some inspiration. Most readers don't want to hear how rotten I feel during bouts of depression.

See this sink hole?

My husband took this picture on a site he was working at one day. There was a big tractor in that spot. Once second the trusty road was holding it up and within the next second, BAM, down went the tractor! Crazy huh? This picture (of course) is after they used a crane to pull the tractor up and out of the sink hole.

Sometimes depression is like that.


...and you're down.

No warning. No hints.

There are those times when you can see it coming because of so many circumstances going on around you and you are able to brace yourself for the fall so that the fall is not so hard and abrupt.

I thought that's where I was, bracing mode.

But, I am finding I can only put so many "fake" braces in place before the final blow and...


So, here I am, in my sink hole.

One small thing that got me to this place is seeing just how far of a gap there is now between Brother and the friends he used to hang out with all the time. Now don't get me wrong. He still has some very special friends, it's just that these friends don't really hang out with him anymore because their interests have grown and matured and Brother is still happy to do "kid" stuff. It's tough to see the separation happening. I always knew this time would come but, I thought that it would be a small gap between him and his peers socially, but sometimes, I am seeing it more like a canyon.

On the other hand I am so incredibly grateful for the kids in his special class, especially one. They have been best friends for quite a while now and they want to be able to play with each other on the weekends, but there have been some circumstances that can't allow that to happen.

So here I am with a son, who has friends that love him but really don't want to hang out with him anymore because of the social differences and then he has a great best friend but they can't hang out outside of school.

It's hard to watch.

Then there is the frustration and constant guessing game as to what will help Sister today. She has so much anxiety and overstimulation issues it is hard to witness sometimes. You can just see when her little body has had just to much of life and all it's activities and requirements.

I panic every time Baby shows signs of acting like Sister. I feel bad that I think that way because I love Sister, I just don't know if I can handle two of her.

I have been facing some really tough situations with the children I raised for a time. I have completely lost my place in their lives. What place that was, I don't know. But, I do know that there is no place for me, Marc or our kids.


I tried for so long to break down the walls and let them know I would never give up.

But, I did.


My walls are now up.

I have never been so guarded, but here I am, holding back everything I have to offer just because I can't handle being shut down anymore.

I feel like I am a bad person.

Like I was a bad mother to them.

Where did I go wrong.

We were in a very awkward situation a few weeks ago when one of the kids was at the same place we were and Brother kept looking where this person was with hope in his eyes that notice would be taken of him.

No notice.

He was sad.

It's so hard on all of us.

I understand why their walls are up.

I do.

But, it still hurts...

a lot.

I know that some people really have no idea how much they are hurting a person.

But, it is really hard for me to understand why a person continues to hurt another knowing that they are.

I want to be a good mom, a good wife, a good aunt, a good person.

Lately I feel like I am not meeting up to any of those things.

I am really grateful for this coming up on Saturday. I know it will boost my spirit and give me the jump start I need.

I am also so thankful to know that my Heavenly Father is there for me... I just need to pick myself up out of my sink hole and really pray for help. I struggle with sincere prayer when I am really down, don't really know why, I just do.

I really don't like posting about depression if I don't have a way to help others resolve it. I guess that is why I am willing to put my heart on the line... I am hoping that I can help someone out there that may be facing the challenges of depression.

This is my song of inspiration this week. My sisters, mom and I sang it with my cousin, Travis. It was a lot of fun.

I know everything will get better. It may get worse before it gets better, but I can't wallow in sadness over all the things I have no control over. I just have to remind myself, "Don't forget to pray."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Long Bike Train or Best Dad Ever!

I couldn't decide which title I liked better.

One title reminds me of a song title and the other just tells you what a great dad Marc is.

Whichever title you like best...

Anyway, Marc got a new beach cruiser.

It wasn't even from a yard sale this time.

It was brand new! Wow!

He is pretty excited.

The same day he bought his bike I found a bike extension at a yard sale for $20. Coolest thing ever. You just hook it on to the bike seat and your passenger can "pedal" behind you.

Marc decided it would be cool if he hooked up the bike extension to his bike and hooked up the bike trailer (remember we got that for $5) to the bike extension. Hence, the long bike train, bike+extension+trailer=the coolest daddy-daughter train ever!!

The girls were pretty excited for the ride. They were just trying it out in front of the house before the rain hit.

Man, I love our life!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I know this post may seem corny once you get reading it, but there is definitely a good reason for it.

My mom called me up and told me to plan on coming to pick corn for free at the neighbors the next day so that we could freeze some. I wasn't too excited about this because last year, it seemed like a long, drawn out night mare freezing 12 bags. But, she said that Jessie and Kirsten were coming so I thought, if not for corn, at least for the conversation.

Jessie and my mom picked corn while I drove the van and parked it right next to the fence so they could just throw the corn in. My back was hurting so they let me off easy... I didn't complain, driving, parking, getting out, watching them pick, driving, parking, etc. was not a bad end of the deal.

Jessie and I got so excited, though, when we saw the milk weeds that were growing along the fence line next to the road.

Why were we so excited about the milk weeds?

It took me back to my childhood. We loved when the milkweeds came up and we would go out and pick the pods off. The ones that were cracked open were dry enough that we could just blow the seeds away (like a dandelion). The ones that were still young, were green and had to be pried open. We loved to peel away the seeds because it had silky hairs and when you pulled them and rubbed them together it felt like silk. They were also the special plants where the monarch caterpillars live so they could eat the plant. We would catch them and put them in a special cage my dad had built for us and we would feed it and watch it create its chrysalis. It was so amazing to watch and then to see the beautiful monarch butterfly emerge so that we could release it out into the fields and watch it fly.

Corny, I know. But, it is always a sweet memory when I look back on those simple activities with my family

After our reminiscence, we were able to get back on task and had the corn picked by the time Kirsten got there. She was so relieved that she would have to find some special place to put Melly while we picked.

So we all grabbed chairs and set them up in the shade. Pull the corn out of the van...

and then we got hungry.

Mom made us lunch and we had a great time eating and talking, but then it was time for work.

Us four girls sat out in the shade of the afternoon shucking corn.

We felt like pioneers.

Corny, I know, but, it was a good reminder that we need to slow down our pace of life a bit and enjoy the simple socialization that occurs during work. We were in a circle working, talking and laughing.

It was therapeutic.

It energized me for the rest of the day. (Even while I was boiling and cutting corn to freeze.)

Aw. Corny. That's me. And I am totally OK with that.

Oh, and if you have 3 minutes to watch this, it will help you understand how the small things can really add up. It's great inspiration (smile).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I think I can... I think I can...

It's a lost art...


I think I can because my mom did.

She cans because her mom did, etc.

Can I buy it cheaper, already canned and ready to eat off of the store shelves?


Does it taste as good?


Does bringing home already canned food encourage my kids to eat fresh fruit to their hearts' content when there are bushels of it waiting to be canned at home?


Are there treasured memories pictured in a scrapbook somewhere of your grandmother buying canned fruit at the store?

Probably not.

I have pictures of my grandma canning.

Look at all those peaches! She had 13 kids for Pete's sake! What a woman she was and still is.

I have pictures somewhere of my kids helping me, and my sister has pictures of us kids helping my mom.

So I thought for posterity I would take a picture of the canning I did today:

And the canning I will be doing tomorrow...

And the next day...

Can I take back all the sweet things I said about canning and give up now while I am ahead?


I think I can... I think I can... I think I can...

Monday, September 12, 2011

My new necklace

I love making jewelry out of other pieces of jewelry.

This necklace is made with old earrings, broaches, rings, bracelets, charms, beads, and necklace chains. This one was a work of art. Took me some time and planning so I just have to show it off...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Child's Prayer

You know, sometimes it is only in the frantic moments of our distress that we are able to see how truly faithful a child can be.

The bike we got for Sister ended up having some issues so I took it in to the store to return it and realized that the little backpack that was on the handlebars wasn't there... I had already been running all over that day and was frazzled to the core, so knowing that I had to, again, for the 4th time that day, make the same 15 minute drive home to find the backpack just wore me out even thinking about it.

When I get home I start searching for the backpack assuming that I would find it in the obvious places—on the counter, on the table, on her desk, on her bed, under her bed, on the floor under her clothes and toys, in my room, in Brother's room, in Baby's room, under the couches, under the chairs... but no.

I then recruit Marc to help me look for it under Brother's bed, in all the closets, the pantry, under the sinks, in the fridge, in all the dresser drawers throughout the entire house, in the bathtubs, in the storage room, in the garage, in the fridge in the garage, in the medicine cabinet, on top of the fridge... no.

Then we recruit Brother and Sister (I mean Sister should know where her bike pack is, right?) to come and find this lost treasure so that I can return the bike and get one that wasn't faulty. I had spent a fair amount of money that we didn't really have and I was getting stressed out that I was going to be stuck with a faulty bike.

Marc and I were getting a little more intense (you know how that goes) and nerves were getting short.

I was giving our room one last sweep and a little flustered I was briskly walking down the hall when I saw Brother sitting on the chair in the front room, eyes closed, arms folded, lips moving as he asked Heavenly Father for help.

It really touched my heart.

I hadn't once stopped to pray for help. It seemed too trivial a thing for prayer.

It was humbling to see the faith he had.

Well, I knew after that we just HAD to find the backpack. I didn't want his faith to wane.

I told Brother that I knew we would find it now. He smiled and sat in his chair watching Marc and I search the house over once again.

But, this time I felt prompted to check Sister's desk again. I had already checked it. But, I guess I'll check it again. This time I opened the little drawer in the front, the one I thought was too little for this little pack to fit in.

There it was!

In the desk drawer!

When I came out to show Brother that I had found it his face beamed.

Oh I loved it.

It just made me think, especially at this time when we are remembering the tragic day of 9/11 and all whom it affected, that if we could just have the faith of a child what a wonderful gift that would be.

I am sure that on that awful day when children were scared, had lost parents, friends or loved ones that God was there to comfort them. I am sure there were many prayers that day. To see the resilience and happiness in all the kids that  they have been showing all over the news... it is truly inspiring.

I love to hear the stories of the children talking about their heroic parents and how they take strides forward instead of letting it bring them down.


Children are amazing.

They are so strong.

They have a voice that deserves to be heard, by us and by God.

What a beautiful country we live in that we can worship as we want. An amazing freedom that in itself many have died for.

So many noble causes.

So many heroes in so many ways.

And yet, we forget that the same God who gave men and women the strength and will to fight for their rights and their country is also the same God who answers a child's prayer about something as small as a backpack.

While remembering the many tragedies of 9/11 let us not forget the many, many miracles—a united nation, service to our fellow man, love for our neighbor and the lives that were saved because of the sacrifices of many very brave men and women.

Harvest of Carrots and Messes

Here are my garden carrots. (I inserted my foot so you could get an idea of how big the carrots grew.)

Tee hee. So I guess you could say I have some carrots that are at least a "foot long." Ha!

And here is the mess Sister was able to make in the kitchen while I was digging, clipping, and washing said carrots.
I didn't even want to check the rest of the house...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Her First Bike

We are so proud of Sister.

We didn't even think she could do it.

I have never been able to get her to pedal a big wheel or a tricycle or anything that has pedals.

Well, I guess when she wants something bad enough, she'll take it.

Oh, and Brother wanted to show off his sweet bike that Daddy gave him.

Sister has never pedaled a tricycle before, let alone a bike. She didn't want Brother's hand-me-down red bike so we tried this one and it worked like a charm. Look at her go!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Reading Partners

I love stuff like this.

It makes the life of being Mom worth every second.

Watch Baby looking at Sister while she reads and Sister's narrative tones. Aw. And when Baby starts to join in on the reading... love kids, just love them.

My girls LOVE to read and here they are together. Something we actually see quite often.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In the Dog House and The Writing on the Wall

We went to a friends house for dinner on a Saturday night. It was so great to see them.

Baby was perfectly happy to sit in their dog's kennel... with the dog... thank goodness it was a good dog.

Sister was happy with our friends' daughters and seemed to be right in her element with them. I even felt somewhat of a comfort as I descended the stairs into the basement to check on the girls and saw dark, black "artwork" all over the walls of the stairway and all on the banister. I was "admiring" the artwork when one of my friend's daughters said, "Did you see what [Sister] did?"

"Hmm?" I questioned.

"She drew a snowman on the wall. Look," the little girl tells me.

Now instead of trying not to look too hard at the writing on the wall, I study it and see Sister's name written above all the artwork which is on both walls and the wood banister.

Cue stomach drop.


I am mortified.

Here I am thinking that someone else's kid has done this to their own house when in fact, it was my daughter doing it so someone else's house.

"Aaaaaaaaahhhhh. Oh no. Oh no," my head is frantic.

I decide (hesitantly) to go check the rest of the basement to see if any other damage had been done.

A door. Check.

A large desk. Check.

A square of floor. Check.

And a large piece of cardboard. Check.

I apologize profusely and then ask if she has a magic eraser or something to get permanent marker off the walls. I mean, this is Sister we are talking about, she doesn't just do a half job. She goes full bore.

Thankfully as I start to wipe away the writing it came off with ease...

Can I just give a shout out, right now, to the genius who invented dry erase crayons?!!!

You are so wonderful. I was able to clean off the walls, banister, door, desk and floor with ease. Time, but, ease.

I figured the cardboard would be OK with a little decoration.

Anyway, so that was that. Let's end on a good note and leave you with this little clip of Baby trying to fill her Brother's shoes:

Baby LOVES to wear everyone else's shoes...

Oh, and you want to know the other great thing to tell you about Baby. She said, "Momma," for the first time. Aaahhh. I thought I heard angels singing. She has even said "mommy," a few times. Oh, the joy of hearing your "name."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Best Family Reunion You'll Ever See!!

OK, so I may be a bit biased, but my mom's side of the family can throw one heck of a reunion/party!

I thought we had fun at the 4th of July get-together but this was above and beyond! Way to go Uncle Brad!

There was the socializing and the eating. (Always a plus for me!)

Aw, look at my mom and dad both dressed in red. (smile)

And of course for Baby there was the dirt... she rolled in it, poured it on herself,  and slid down it. Sister too. In fact this morning when I went to put her shoes on, I dumped out at least 1/4 cup of sand out of each shoe... "Sorry, Rachael," she said with a grin. (She has been calling me Rachael a lot lately. I wish she would call me mom, but, it is funny to hear her say my name.)

Baby also had fun on the playground with Daddy.

Don't forget the hayride.

Then the horse and pony rides. (The way my kids were acting you would think we didn't have a horse in our own back yard...)
Uncle Joel took Sister out on her little ride.

Baby didn't think this little thing was as fun as her horse at home... but, W did a good job leading.

Brother was so excited when he got to help lead pony rides with my cousin (and his too, he says) W.  She was so sweet to Brother and he really had a good time hanging out with her. They are the same age.

No matter how much I rubbed at the dirt on his face, his smile definitely wasn't leaving...

Then a pie-eating contest. (Which I wanted to do but, we were getting together at Kirsten's house after for Jessie's banana cream pie and I certainly wasn't going to ruin my appetite for that—wink, wink.)

Then the cotton candy.

Next the greased pig chase. I was so excited that Brother and Sister both participated!

My favorite part is when Brother takes a bow for everyone after one of the chases is over. I think he had more fun running around the pen than actually trying to catch the pigs.

And just before we left at 6pm there was the watermelon bust...

and we left early! It was scheduled to go until 10pm!

We had pie at Kirsten's and talked for a few minutes and then headed home.

I was so proud of my kids and how well they handled the crowds and the activities. Ultimately they had a blast, but lets face it... they were overstimulated and it showed getting them to bed last night and getting ready for school this morning.

But, the smiles on their faces and the experiences they had—I know they would want to do it all over again. Sometimes a hectic evening and morning are worth the growth in the other areas of their lives.

Friday, September 2, 2011


I love writing.

It may not seem like it lately because I have only had time to jot down a few short things to help keep my journal up-to-date.

I have so much to talk about and sometimes it is just easier to put on "paper."

Isn't that interesting how paper has almost become obsolete when it comes to writing.

How long has it been since you sat down with a paper and pen and wrote a letter, a good, long, heartfelt letter to someone?

Not an email.

Or a text.

Not even a voice message.

Just a good old fashioned pen to the paper letter.

If you haven't, you should.

It feels good. There's just something about it.

I mean, I like to hear the clicking of the keys as much as anyone, but what about the "scrape, scratch" of graphite against paper.

When you write something down it's like you leave part of yourself there on the paper.

Your emotions show in the slants and curves of your handwritten letters. The intensity of the pressure of pen to paper when you are really trying to get a point across. Or the barely legible sweetness of sincerity. Oh, and some of the best letters I have ever written, or read, were the ones with tear-stains smudging letters together.

I type here at my computer and the letters appear with no feeling or personality. Just black on white letters floating in space.

I try new ways of expressing my feeling in my blogging.

S p a c i n g.

Dot, dot, dots...




I remember reading heartfelt letters from my mom and dad when I was off to girl's camp for a week, or even when I had been having a rough time. I would hold onto those letters and sometimes even keep them under my pillow at night so that I could read them again and again before I went to sleep.

Now I sit in the glow of my computer and read emails and facebook posts.

Has the art of writing been lost?


Just changed.

But, I do hope that all of you have taken time, or will take time to send a hand-written letter to someone who needs to know how much you care about them or how much you have inspired by them. You'll be amazed at the emotions you are able to leave on the paper and how those emotions will be understood in the lost art of "writing."