"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just a bunch of pictures of Hyrum

Joy dancing with Hyrum

Hyrum after bath


Hyrum after Joy decided to play dress up!


I was changing Brigham's clothes this morning, when I looked up and noticed his nose was running profusely (again!) Before I had a chance to run for a Kleenex, his tounge came out, wiped the snot away (in windshield wiper fashion) and he said, "Mmm, yum!"

Sunday, January 27, 2008

President Gordon B. Hinckley

For those of you who do not know, Gordon B. Hinckely, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and prophet of the Lord, passed away this evening. (For more information, see http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/.) And, I cannot help but feel deeply about his passing. He was and is a great man.

Death is an interesting phenomenon, especially in our society and culture. As a whole, we do not know how to properly deal with death. As members of the church, we have great insight into the mystery of death. We understand the eternal nature of the soul; that we existed prior to this life and that we will continue after. There is great joy in knowing we can be with our loved ones for eternity. But, to imagine that there is not also terrible loss at the death of a loved one is ridiculous. We are now mortal, and our only memories are of mortality. Although we know we will be reunited in eternity, there is the here and now to live. And, I am sad to not have President Hinckley in this world for now. He was called as the president of the church when I was a senior in high school, so he has been the prophet for all of my adult life. (Those of you who are good at math and can look up dates now have a pretty good guess of how old I am!) His example of goodness and love have been hugely influential on me individually; he was a real person, not just the president of an enormous organization. I am so grateful for his willingness to serve. At the same time I feel sorrow for his departure, I rejoice to think of the reunion that must have so recently taken place between he and his wife. I would hate to be separated from my sweet husband for years, and I am sure that President and Sister Hinckley are jubilant to be together again.

I wish I could find words adequate to express my feelings about the loss of President Hinckley. I am grateful to know the loss is only temporary.

Joy's Quilt

For Christmas, Joy got a sewing machine from John and I and fabric from her Mema. The plan was that we would work on a quilt on Saturdays while the boys were down for their naps. Thus far, we have only gotten to cutting squares out. However, today we pulled out her machine and started sewing.
Well, we tried to start sewing. Somewhere between Christmas and now the instructions for her machine got lost, so we used mine instead. Joy arranged her fabric, pinned, and ran the foot pedal while I guided the fabric. We got a row and a bit done before Hyrum woke up and needed attention. I am not sure the last time I saw Joy so excited. She really did a good job and was very patient with the whole project. Maybe if we get lucky, we will finish before she turns seven!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


First, a disclaimer - I am not photogenic to begin with, and self-portraits are particularly horrific for me. However, when I looked in the mirror before washing my face this evening, I couldn't help pulling out the camera.
I decided that I wanted some more art for my bedroom, and I have the tendency to think I can do anything myself. About a year ago, I painted some canvases in blue abstracts to match my curtains. (I found this beautiful blue fabric and made curtains out of it, and although I am always on the lookout for other things that match, it is a unique color and I haven't found much.) I wanted some bigger canvases to go in my room, so I pulled out the paint, brushes, canvases and assorted paraphernalia and got started. I pulled back hair, donned an apron and covered my work area in paper for easier clean up. I must say, I got one great big canvas and two pretty good smaller ones. After putting them out in the garage to dry (it will be at least a week) I cleaned everything else up and came upstairs to get ready for bed. When I went in the bathroom and looked in the mirror, I laughed out loud! And, the paint is oil, so it doesn't come off skin too well; my hands are blue, but no one really notices that. I am just hoping that it comes off in a couple of days! When the paint dries on the canvases, I will try to photograph them, but the blue is such a deep shade I think it will probably just photograph as black. Oh well, such is life.

Oh! My, my

Today, Joy and I were getting her ready for her tour of the bank. We just opened savings accounts for all the kids, and Joy is going with her Uncle Charlie (who is a teller at Wells Fargo) for a tour of the bank to see how everything works. We filled out her deposit slip, and we were getting things all arranged and decided that she should really bring a purse to put everything in. She went to her room and came back with a faux crocodile skin pencil case that was just the right size to put her paperwork in. She opened it up, and when the Polly Pocket dolls were revealed, she said, "Oh! My my!" It was hilarious. Then, as she flounced out of the room to put the dolls back to make room for the checks, she looked back and said, "I was just being sarcastic!" Kids!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

don't eat and swim

Remember when they said you shouldn't eat right before swimming? And then they (whoever they are) said that it didn't really matter, you could eat and swim with no negative side effects. Well, I can tell you that you shouldn't eat right before doing tae bo. Yuck! The cardio part of my work-out is tae bo. And, my exercise time of the day is right after lunch. I put Joy and Paul on their buses, Brigham down for naps and turn on the video. Occasionally, I forget and eat lunch with the kids, and then I pay for it. So, take my friendly advice, and eat AFTER you work out. Also, a few people have asked what I am doing for toning (I really like the video) and it is Ten Minute Solutions, Target Toning. I am definitely a video at home person. And, when I did my measurements this week, I found that I had lost an inch each from the four places I measure, so I am pretty excited about the plan. Nothing like instant gratification to keep you going!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Stats

Hyrum turned 4 months yesterday, so today I took him in for his check up. He was, drum roll please, 17.25 lbs and 27.125 INCHES! He is officially really big. The nurse, who had never seen him before, kept saying, "He just doesn't look like a four-month-old!" He is in the 93 percentile for his weight, but he is off the chart for his height. I guess it helps that he started at 23", but he has gained over an inch a month since then. All I can say is that I am glad he wasn't full term!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I know full well that being addicted to anything is not good. And yet, I think I may be developing a blog addiction. In less than a week, I have posted far too many times, and I am constantly thinking about a new post. Then, while attending a playgroup for my ward, I found out that a bunch of the ladies also blogged and checked out their sites. Being new to blogging, I didn't realize how much you could do, but after seeing all the cute sites, I have decided I really need a day to just focus on blogging. By the way, where did the term "blog" come from? It is really unattractive, sounds like you are vomiting! Maybe that is where it came from, sometimes I think it sounds like I am just vomiting my thoughts all over the page. And, is it primarily moms who blog, or is that just who I know? At least for me, it is a great way to feel like I am a real person with some sort of contact with the world outside of Cheerios and diapers. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade what I am doing for the world (motherhood is one of my soapboxes) but it can get a little claustrophobic, and this seems a good way to push out the walls. Sadly, as I go throughout the day, I find myself composing in my mind. Ah well, I think it is therapeutic at the least. And, it is a great way to keep in touch with all of our extended friends and family. Thanks for reading my vomit, I mean, blog!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Duggar Pictures

I am trying to keep John updated on what our kids look like, so here are a few shots from the last couple of days - As you can tell, Hyrum continues to be massive, and he is really getting smiley and fun.

Brigham likes hats, and it doesn't matter the color or style.

Paul is, as ever, completely enraptured with Hyrum and can always be found where ever Hyrum is, even when it is someplace he shouldn't be. Hyrum is frequently on the table so he is more out of mauling range.

And, Joy decided she didn't really want the jello we had for dinner, just the leftover blackberries.

Trail Mix

As part of my getting-into-shape plan, I went through the cupboards and got rid of all of the candy. Charlie is now my new best friend. (Charlie is my 22-year-old brother who is living in a camping trailer in my garage. A fabulous arrangement for both parties.) However, as soon as I deposited the amazingly large supply on Charlie's bed, I started to crave chocolate. Now, chocolate is not a banned substance (that would be fatal to the plan) but it can't be in the form of candy. My desperately searching brain landed on a good solution, trail mix sandwiches. No one else in my house will touch them, but despite the odd sounding name, I really like them. They go like this:

8oz cream cheese, softened to room temp
1 carrot, grated
1Tbsp lemon juice
1tsp lemon zest
1/2c raisins
1/3c trail mix, chopped (I put in more like 2/3c)

Mix until blended and serve as a sandwich spread. I also like to spread it on a tortilla, roll up and eat as a wrap. Can I say, I love wraps? You can put almost any leftover in a tortilla with a little butter, sour cream or cream cheese and it tastes great! Except soup, but who has a problem eating leftover soup? Not me. And yes, I realize that with all that cream cheese, it probably isn't a great weight loss meal, but that wasn't the point. The original recipe recommended not using trail mix with M&Ms or chocolate chips, but it was only a recommendation, and I figured that a recipe is a guideline, not a rule. So mine obviously had both!

Suiting Up

So, I had a baby recently (in case you didn't know already) and I am now in the, "Okay, I really need to get rid of this extra weight" stage. For those of you who haven't had a baby recently, there are several stages that you go through after delivering:

  1. Right after the baby is born - "I thought I just delivered! Why do I look like I am six months pregnant!"
  2. The first six weeks after the baby is born - "I can't wait until I can start exercising, it will be such a relief to get this weight off. I want to fit into my clothes again. When will the six weeks be up?" (You aren't supposed to exercise during the first six weeks after the baby is born to give your body time to heal.)
  3. Seven weeks - "Now I can exercise, let's do it."
  4. Seven weeks and two days - "Exercise? Who has the time or energy to exercise?"
  5. Four months later - "Okay, I really need to get rid of this extra weight."
  6. Four months and one week - "What's a few extra pounds among friends?"

In my self-improvement kick that I am on, I decided to do more than the usual vague commitment to exercising. I consulted my personal trainer (John) who recommended that I come up with a plan. And, I have obviously been listening at least some of the time when John has talked about exercise, because he approved my plan on the first go-round. My favorite part about the plan is that it doesn't require a gym. I am not a gym person. I always feel like anyone could look at me and tell I have NO CLUE what i am doing, even when I do. Plans that involve a gym never work for me.

So, now I have a plan, and this is my third day in a row of exercise. In a month from now, follow up with me and I will tell you what an amazing plan it is, and that I have seen such dramatic improvements that I will be marketing it next fall. Of course, the real test will come the first week of June when my 19-pounds-in-19-weeks plan comes to the real test. June is 19 weeks away, right?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


For those of you who don't know, we are living just up the street from my family here in Washington. This is relevent to my thoughts today, because my brother Mike interviewed me for a paper he is doing for his English 101 class. His big question was, "How do you raise four kids with your husband gone?" Usually, I try not to think, especially about things like that, but the process got me thinking. Actually, a number of things have happened recently that have me moving along this train of thought. In October at General Conference, President Henry B. Erying gave a talk called, "Oh Remember, Remember" http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-775-24,00.html urging us to "find ways to recognize and remember God's kindnesses." (An interesting side note, the scripture the title is based on is actually part of the group that was inspiration for Hyrum's name! I digress.) If you haven't read the talk recently, I would definately recommend it. Anyway, since October I have been recording nightly the ways I have seen the Lord's kindnesses to myself and my family. And, I have noticed a marked difference in my life. I am happier, more positive, more peaceful and more content. And, amazingly, I am actually consistently getting done things I have been trying to be consistent in my whole life - family prayers, home evening and scripture study, personal prayer, journal writing and scripture study, managing the finances and keeping the house clean. All that with a new baby and no husband. Granted, my family down the street is HUGELY helpful in caring for my little ones and providing me with support. I am blessed to have a husband whom I can talk to several times a day and is full of encouragement and good ideas for the problems I am facing. But, I am amazed at these and the other blessings of the Lord in my life. When Mike asked, "How do you do it?" my immediate response was, "The Lord blesses us to be able to do the things he asks of us." It is as simple as that. When we try to do what he has asked, he blesses us with strength beyond our own. There are lots of tricks that help along the way, but it all boils down to the Lord.

Monday, January 14, 2008


This morning when I walked into the living room, I noticed that the cover was off the vent in the floor. Before I put it back on, I happened to glance into the vent and noticed there was something in there. On closer investigation, I found -
  • One plastic airplane (Brya's boys were missing it from their Christmas gifts!)
  • Three plastic sorting bears - yellow, blue and purple
  • Two trains from the Geotrax set
  • One little metal car
  • Four wooden blocks
  • One plastic cow
  • One plastic sheep
  • Two racket balls
  • One hacky sack and
  • Two sippy cups, one containing cheese and the other sour cream!

There may be more, but my arm is only so long. Needless to say, I am looking for a way to bolt the covers in place. I think maybe all the lessons on preparedness are starting to pay off. We have been working on getting some food storage in place, and apparently, if there is toy emergency and all the toys in the house mysteriously vanish, Paul and Brigham will be prepared. I did a quick check of the other vents downstairs, but they must not be quite as popular; I only found a few crayons and blocks. I guess I now know where to look for the small items that come up missing!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


The kids do a lot of artwork at school, so we have a spot in our entry-to-the-kitchen/laundryroom-hall where it is displayed. We thought you might enjoy seeing it.
Brigham has one to, but as his work is generally done in a notebook, it doesn't usually get hung. And, these spots are along our staircase, so Joy's is up high, Paul's a little lower, and Brigham down fairly low, so his stuff gets pulled down when it does get put up.

Saturday evening I made Jello and both Paul and Brigham wanted to help. I figured, if I want their help when they are bigger, it would be good to let them start now. They are both great stirrers.

And, lastly, we had a visit from Super Pickle. I was making dinner and Hyrum was looking normal. When I turned back from the stove, there was Super Pickle. I am not sure where he put the phone booth he changed in, but judging by the arms around his chest, I would say his partner in crime was my mom!
I do love a man in green. :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday Afternoon

I am constantly trying to find things to do that involve all three of the older kids. Today, after a moderate amount of hollering to get the paper taped down, we colored in the hall.

As you can see, we did start out with a clean page. After about 15 minutes of coloring, we decided it was snack time. While the kids were snacking, I snapped a few shots of the page-in-progress.

Unfortunately, the kids don't color very dark yet (or maybe it is fortunte, it comes off the walls more easily that way) but whatever the case may be, you can't really see the quality of the art. However, Joy did really great pretzel man that deserved a closer shot.

As I am typing, I can hear crayons being thrown, so I guess I am needed elsewhere!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Drive-In Drama

I decided for a fun thing for Joy tonight we would go to the drive-in and see The Water Horse (http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thewaterhorse/). I think it was probably a cute flick, but between the seat shifting and everything else, I didn't actually get to see a whole lot of the film. First, we decided to take Dallyn and Leith with us as a thank you for all of their help with the kids all the time. That was no big deal. We got to the drive-in and the seating arrangement began. I decided that having Leith in the back with the kids and me up front wasn't the best idea, so he went up with Dallyn and Joy, Paul and I went to work setting up the back. We took the back row of seats down and spread out blankets and pillows. That worked for about 10 minutes until Joy couldn't see and Paul wouldn't settle and lay down. Up came the seats and the blankets and pillows were redistirbuted. Then, I realized I couldn't see a darn thing. By this point the movie was starting. So, we shuffled several more times with the end result being that Paul was in the far back seat with Hyrum's car seat, Brigham and I were in the middle, and Joy was seated just behind the console in the middle of the two front seats. Paul and Brigham weren't remotely interested in the movie, so they put on headphones and watched Little Einsteins while the boys and Joy watched the movie and I tried to feed a crying Hyrum. I finally decided that the thrashing Hyrum wasn't really hungry, but tired, so I put him back in his seat next to Paul and he cried for a minute or so before dropping off to sleep for the remainder of the evening. I don't know if you remember Joy at movies, but she still asks questions every few seconds. So, the next little while consisted of Paul pointing out things in his movie, Joy asking about her movie, and adjusting the boys' headphones when they pulled them off. Not bad, I actually got to watch a bit of the movie here and there. Then, about 10 minutes before the movie was to end, at the climax of the movie, Little Einsteins went blank and I realized I had not cranked the car once during the movie. So, in a desperate attempt to possibly let the car rejuvinate, we turned everything off and sat in the dark for 10 minutes, explaining all the time to Joy what a battery was, and why we couldn't hear the movie anymore (the sound came through the radio) and why we weren't exactly sure what the water horse was doing, and everything else you could imagine. When the movie was over, I tried turning the car on. No luck. So, I buckled everyone in and left them with Dallyn in charge to walk to the snack stand to see about a jump. Fortunately, I caught the jumper guy just as he was heading out with some other woman with a dead battery. After she was done (her car wasn't in park, that is why it wouldn't start) the guy came over, hooked the little machine up, and the van cranked right up. Off we went home, and I let the van run for another half an hour in the driveway.

All in all, it was a memorable night. Did I mention that because it was so dark, we missed the turn on the way? Hmm, maybe we won't do the drive in again for another couple of weeks. On the bright side, all the kids get in free, so it would be a fairly cheap and fun thing for Joy and I to do. Just set a timer to crank the van, turn on Blue's Clues for the boys, and we would be set!