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

Friday, February 29, 2008


This is Brigham's way of saying "marshmalllow". To get the proper pronunciation, it is important that you stick your tounge down to your chin while saying the last syllable. What a cutie!

Brother in the garage

Some people have a brother-in-law, some people have a ghoul in the attic - I have a brother in the garage. Fortunately for me, this BITG is much more helpful than an in-law or a ghoul. I mean, without Charlie, I wouldn't have a live-in babysitter, or someone with whom to hone my Rock Band skills. Okay, so maybe that one isn't such a great thing.

However, I am really enjoying having this thoughtful, fun guy living with me. He is great with the kids, and if I could get him to stop trying to massage my neck when he is stressed, I think we would get along perfectly! Charlie is definately a touch person, and my personal space bubble extends far beyond the bounds of most normal people. (Yes, Charlie is modeling the fabulous Moby Wrap I made. How many guys do you know who would do that?)

And, Charlie has all sorts of spiffy -isms. He has worked hard to gain an I-don't-care-what-anyone-else-thinks attitude that is really a nice change. He just likes what he likes, or does what he does without regard to anyone else. Take for instance, this spiffy Nintendo belt buckle. Who cares that no one else ever sees it? As long has he has it on, he is in a splendiferous mood. And, he does have such an interesting vocabulary. Splendiferous, for expample, is his favorite word.
Charlie thinks I am a bit over the edge when it comes to blogging, so for my birthday he found me this really cool shirt. And, I think he is a little miffed that it took me this long to blog about it. But, really, it is nice to have someone who knows you (or at least one aspect of you) so well that he knows to get a shirt like this. And, I have decided to adopt his I-don't-care-what-anyone-else-thinks attitude and even wear it occassionally. I usually don't wear shirts that say things, but this one is so darn appropriate.
As my last little bit about Charlie, I have to advertise. Since I know he will never check my blog, I can mention that Charlie is single (no, he doesn't have a wife living in the camping trailer in my garage) and would be a fabulous catch for the right young woman. Please know, that you will have to pass my approval if you want to apply, though!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Catch Up

Sorry about the long pause in blog. We had family in town from the 15th to the 25th, and all our time, attention, and energy was spent visiting. I have to say, there is something magic about family. It was a great visit, if not exactly what we expected. Along with the family came a flu bug, so we had about two days total with everyone feeling well. I guess that is to be expected, Murphy's law, right? Still, we enjoyed each other's company immensly, and can't wait until we all live closer so the visits are more regular. And, of course, it seems like I missed a million things I wanted to blog about during the visit. I guess that too is to be expected. Even now, I don't actually have time to blog, but I have a German Chocolate Cheesecake cooling so I can refrigerate it, so I am using the excuse for a quick, catch-up blog. I promise to do more and better soon. Okay, soon-ish.
Can I tell you how much I love my kids? They are just too cute for words! Joy is really starting to enjoy Hyrum, he is getting far more interactive, and that is what Joy wants. She is always volunteering to play with him, and is definately his protector. Actually, the other day I had to run upstairs for something for just a second, and when I came down, Joy was sitting on the floor, with Hyrum in her lap, using her body as a shield to save him from the ravages of her brothers.
Hyrum is also starting to sit. I emphasize the word starting, because it doesn't happen for very long, but it is in the beginning phases. Another first for Hyrum is solid food. I had the flu for two days, so the milk situation got a little low. Usually I wait until six months for solids, but it seemed cruel not to feed a hungry baby. And, he took to it like a champ, much better than the othe kids have. Have I ever mentioned how much Brigham likes accessories? Glasses are one of his favorites, and he has no objections to wearing them in the tub, either! And, lastly, but oh so excitingly, Paul is just doing beautifully. He seems to have hit a point in life where he wants to communicate. He is signing far more than ever, and picked up four new signs today! That is truly phenomenal for a child who has been using only five or six signs for a year. Also, Paul has an appointment with the Child Psychiatry department of Children's Hospital on March 6th. We are hopeful we may actually find something out as far as a diagnosis. Keep your fingers crossed and pray for us! (Paul found this vest of John's one day, and refused absolutely to let John have it back. He wore it all day.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Was that the Holy Ghost?

I found out Friday morning just before I drove down to Seattle to pick up John that Joy gets to give a talk in Primary on Sunday. There are very few things Joy loves more than an audience, so I knew she would be thrilled, but I wish we had more time to prepare. We like to have Joy memorize her talks, and with such short notice, it wasn't going to happen. As it turns out, we didn't even sit down to write the talk until Saturday night at 6:30. Joy usually goes to bed at 7pm, so we were cutting it close anyway, and she was tired from a long fun day. So, we sat down at the computer to write the talk, which was on "The scriptures teach me about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ." I am a firm believer of kids writing their own talks from the beginning so that they learn as they grow. I asked Joy what the scriptures teach us about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and she told me about reading this morning about King Noah and Abinadi. She also told me a couple other scripture stories that teach about them. I was really impressed at what she came up with. So, we wrote about King Noah and Abinadi and the first vision. Then, at the end, we decided she should bear her testimony, so we talked about how she knew the things she was saying were true. This of course included a discussion about the Holy Ghost. She could tell me what it felt like, but wasn't sure she could remember feeling that "warm feeling in her heart" (as she put it). We talked some more and she stopped and looked down thoughtfully. "I think the Holy Ghost is whispering to my heart that it is time to stop writing my talk and go to bed." Talk about inspiration! Here I was congratulating myself on the great use of a teaching moment, and appearently it was bedtime!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I have a pair of black boots that I use for everywhere, unless I really want to look nice. They are kind of old and loved, and they look it. They are the type with the fuzzy insides and they are oh so comfy. Well, today we were running a little bit late for Joy's bus, so I threw them on without thinking to look in them. Alright, I almost never look in them first, but I wish I did. In went my foot, and when my toe hit the end, SQUISH! We had grapes today and some small helper decided that my boot was an ideal hiding place. I have removed the grape remains, but I think I may have to wait a day or two for the juice to dry out before I wear them again.

And, without going in to all the gory details, can I just say that I can't wait until the day comes when a major part of my life seems to revolve around the toileting habits of small children? Let's just say that squish doesn't just apply to the grape!


My kids have been on a letter kick lately. We have discovered that Brigham can correctly identify 85% of his alphabet. This comes as a bit of a shock for me, because I have not done any conscious work to teach them to him. Sure, Joy is in kindergarten and working on her letters, and we have more alphabet toys then food, but that is beside the point. We have really been enchanted with Brigham. Then, last night as I was putting the boys to bed, Paul held out a letter stencil to me, pointed to the D, and said, "D". (D is the one letter he can say.) I then realized that he might be able to identify even if he can't actually say the word. Sure enough, he identified A through F on the stencil - not in order and correctly the first time. This is HUGE! When a child can't talk, it is often difficult to gauge their comprehension, and this is a major step. Paul has just been doing beautifully lately. He is signing much more - thank you and please, bear, cereal, ice cream, cheese, milk, bear, and rainbow all come readily to mind, who knows what I am forgetting. We are SO excited!


There is nothing quite like hearing your name yelled at the top of a small child lungs. Even better, is hearing , "YA YOU!" equally loud immediately following. What does, "ya you" mean? Well, for Brigham, it is "love you" and it is one of his favorite things to yell, even if the yelled at person is no where around! What a sweetie!

Friday, February 8, 2008


So, I have been in discussion with several of my brothers lately about music on blog pages. After a couple of days of thinking about it, I decided that music on the page might be inconsiderate and not everyone would want to be subjected to my music. However, whenever I have looked at my blog lately, I have felt a loss at not hearing the music. Not quite as dramatic as if someone cut off my arm, but close. So, I decided that I would put it back on. If you are uncomfortable with my selection, please feel free to turn your volume down. I will never know, so it won't hurt my feelings!

Paint continued...

The canvases I painted a couple of weeks ago finally dried, so I tried to take pictures. As expected, they just mostly look blue. Use your imagination and you can see all sorts of cool stuff. They are just abstracts in blue, but I really enjoy them. There is a lot of texture that you can't see, but it adds a lot. This one is a 10"x8" canvas. One day I am going to take a digital photography course so that when I take pictures they will actually look like the thing I am taking a piture of. I know that lighting has a lot to do with it. For those who don't know, we are living on an island in northern Washington, and during the winter, the sun doesn't show much. And, of course, these look best in natural light, so you don't really get the best result with cloudy skies. Enough of my discussion. Here are the rest:



These are also 10"x8"s I did back in Minnesota. My cousin Emmie came over and showed me how to do the line ones after I ohhed and ahhed at some she had did in greens at her house. After the first two, I branched out and did the spirals. These really look much nicer in person.

Man Cold

For all those wives who have husbands who need a little extra care when they are sick, I thought you would enjoy the following clip. It is British, but worth enduring the British-ness. And, husbands with a sense of humor should enjoy it too!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


John got me flowers for my birthday, what a sweetie! I am the type of person who loves their birthday every time, and I don't think it will change as I get older. I have been having a fabulous day, and I am excited to get to celebrate again when all my family is together!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Joy's Birthday - Belated

Kid pictures

This blanket got left out, so I layed Hyrum down. When I came back, all the kids were rolled up in it.


The kids got rain boots and I wanted a picture with all three of them in their boots. Well, I got all three, and they are all wearing their boots, but I could not get them looking up at the same time. Brigham is just thrilled with the turtles on his, I couldn't get him to look up at all.

Hyrum just loves standing (if only we could get the balance down!) and I think we managed to cover anything explicit, so I couldn't resist showing off the fatness. He is such a bundle of cute!

Joy has really started to have fun with Hyrum now that he is more interactive. If I leave the room and those two are in it, when I come back, Joy is doing something with Hyrum. This was the most recent and amusing.

Emergency Preparedness

I have been working hard to hold regular Family Home Evenings every Monday, and for about two months now, I have been successful. I think one of the things that makes it happen is that I don't stress about it. One of the advantages of having such little kids is that you can't really have a lesson that lasts longer than five minutes or you loose their attention. (Okay, really, if it is longer than 30 seconds you loose them!) When the lesson is that short, it is easy enough to come up with spur-of-the-moment lessons. Tonight, we started preparing our 72-hour kits. After a rousing "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" and then a more reverent "Reverently, Quietly" we started our discussion on emergency prep. Brigham is now quite profficient at saying "emergency." We talked about what we would most need if we had to leave the house in five minutes, and Joy came up with food, water and clothes. Paul signed blanket, so I think he may have had a bit of an idea about what we were doing. We pulled out some extra backpacks and each of the kids loaded up a bottle of water, an MRE (the military training meals) and then went to their room to hunt for a pair of clothes that could go in the packs. Those were added to the boys along with three diapers fairly successfully. After discussing at length with Joy what clothes she needed, we finally pared the list down to shirt, pants, panties, socks and she insisted on shoes. She came down with the bulkiest pants, sweatshirt and boots she could have possibly come up with. When she tried to fit it all into her bag, it was a tight fit. When I asked what she would do for food the other two days (MREs are only good for one day of food) she decided that everyone else should share their food with her since her clothes took up all her room. After a little disucssion, she got rid of the bulk, put in a pair of stretch pants and a long sleeve t-shirt, and we compromised on the shoes by deciding to leave a pair in the shelf by the front door so she could get them on her way out. While all this was going on, Brigham and Paul ran around wearing their full backpacks. The packs were put in the closet by the front door with plans for me to finish packing them to their 72-hour need at a later date. All in all, I think it was one of our more successful FHEs. And, should there be an emergency in the next 24 hours, the kids can share their food and water with me!