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

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sorry to be so flaky!

I just realized that it is a holiday weekend, so I am holding off blueberry picking tomorrow. I will call on Monday or Tuesday to see about scheduling a day next week. If you have a preference, leave a note!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Competition in the blueberry market

John went to the Farmer's Market for me today, I was in the middle of making dinner when I remembered. And, Bonnie and her berries weren't locate-able. However, according to the competition, Bonnie's berries aren't ready anyway, but for the same $2/pound, we can set an appointment and come pick with them. So, I think I will still try for Saturday, around 10am?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Okay, after many weeks of waiting, the blueberries are ready! Unfortunately, they are only available on Saturday and Sunday. And, I haven't gotten a real person on the phone to find out times. However, Bonnie's Blueberries is supposed to be at the Farmers Market tomorrow, so I will find out times then. In the meantime, I am definitely going Saturday! Blueberries are $2/pound u-pick, but I have got to have some berries!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Peanut Butter Sandwhich Bar

One of the fun things we do occasionally is a peanut butter sandwich bar, akin to a potato bar. I put out peanut butter on a piece of bread for each kid, and they get to choose which toppings they want. Today, here were the finals:
  • Joy - PB and marshmallows, chocolate chips and strawberry/blueberry jelly on toast
  • Paul - PB and raisins and chocolate chips
  • Brigham - PB and chocolate chips
  • Hyrum - PBJ (he's too litte for chocolate)
  • Me - PB and chocolate chips and raisins
  • John - PBJ - weighed about a pound!

Lots of fun, and a nice change from the regular old PBJ!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Anne of Green Gables

Every night, I read to the kids. When all goes well, we put them in bed at 6:30pm and then I read for about a half an hour. First they get a chapter or two of some book they wouldn't have the patience to sit still for. We have done the Narnia books, the Ramona books, and assorted others. Right now, we are working on Anne of Green Gables. And, I have to say, Anne is my all-time, no-questions-asked, FAVORITE book in the whole world! I haven't read her for years, but I thoroughly enjoy it. And, we end up reading more than a chapter or two, because John and I are enjoying it so much. The cutest is when I find John in our room reading ahead! After their story book, I also read a chapter of the Book of Mormon to them. I figure, there is no time like the present to start. I have to say, I really think this is a great idea. It gets the kids settled down for bed (usually) and gives them a chance to be exposed at a younger age to good books. It is a treat for us all, and I like the idea that they will have the memories of me reading to them. I also record some of the books, so when the night is really busy or there is a babysitter, they can just put on a tape and the kids still get their book.

Middle Name

Brigham is obsessed with asking people their names and telling them his. So, the other day over lunch, John asked him what his middle name was. His response? "Fruit Snacks". (Of course, Brigham says it fruit thnacks) We thought it was a fluke, so John asked him again what his middle name was. "Fruit Thnacks". Funny, but not as funny as when he asked him again tonight. "Brigham, what's your middle name?" "Fruit Thnacks". Obviously, we mis-named that child!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


On Thursday afternoon Joy was invited by some friends from the ward to go crabbing, fishing, and miniature golfing. Needless to say, she had a blast. And, they came home with four crabs. The one in the bathtub is the one given to Joy, and John and Joy ate him. I have never cooked a crab before, and I have to say, that the way his eyes kept popping up above water level as he boiled (even though I knew he was dead) was really disturbing!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our Day

Yes, and I even parallel parked for the first time in my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE! With one real car in front and one in back (instead of just practice trash cans.)
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Things we have been doing in our spare time

Um, do we really have spare time? Not really. Actually, I had a revelation the other day. I was trying to figure out why I only seemed to have a fraction of the time I used to, and I realized that John is now home (which takes a lot of my free time) and Joy and Paul are not in school. And, Hyrum is now getting big enough that he requires more attention. So, we haven't been doing a whole lot.

However, we did end up going on the Elder's Quorum camp out, and that was fun. Paul ended up going home with me and Hyrum (he had bad bowel trouble), and then I woke up in the night to the sound of pouring rain. I had gotten to sleep late because, with my few minutes of spare time, I made a skirt for Joy. (See A Place For Crafts for more details.) After I heard the rain, the rest of the little sleep I got was very disturbed by stress-dreams of family wet in a tent and not getting the pound of bacon I brought home back in time to be cooked in the morning. Then, at 6:35am, John called and said, "Come get us, we are wet." I got the boys up and we were at the campsite by 7am. John went back later to get the gear, it was still raining at that point.

Later that afternoon, we went to the Highland Games south of us. It was a lot of fun. At the beginning, Joy was really scared by all the men with long hair and beards running around in skirts (kilts), but we explained things to her, and she got used to it. And, she loved the participatory dancing (I know, big surprise). Unfortunately, I can't find the pictures we took. We all had fun, though.

And, we did have a break and got a few nice days of weather. The kids and I went out and played in the sprinkler and I got a few cute pictures of Hyrum. He is standing on his own now, but I couldn't quite get far enough away so you could tell.
This? Hyrum with his mouth over the lens before I could snap a picture. If you look at the far outside left edge, you can see a little light - the edges of his mouth!

Brigham's 3rd Birthday!

Yes, Brigham is now 3 years old. Sometimes I can't believe it. He is as sweet as can be, and busier than that. He is talking like crazy, and favorite phrases include, "What's your favorite color?" and "What's your name, (fill in the name)." He loves to color and play with whatever Paul or Hyrum has. What a blessing he is in our lives. And, here are the pictures from his birthday party!

Friday, August 8, 2008


We are blessed to live in a great ward with great friends. Tonight is the Elder's Quorum family camp-out. From what I hear, 17 families have said they would be attending! I can't even guess who all those families might be. Of course, we are one of them. I have to say, although I am really excited, I am also a little anxious. In our almost 12 years of marriage, we have been camping only a few times, like less than five. First, I was a big wimp and wouldn't do much. Then, we always seemed to have a baby, and camping with a baby is a daunting thought. But, we are going tonight. And, at least John and the three oldest kids are planning on actually staying the night. Hyrum has a runny nose, so he and I may go home for the sleeping part of the night. But, camping in August shouldn't be that cold, you say? When we wake up in the morning, the thermometer reads low 50s. It may get up to 70 during the day, but it is 60s by dusk. So, with the cold night air, Hyrum and I might skip out. And, I am really sad. Our ward is great, and I would really like to stay all night. Oh well, we will see how it goes. I think the kids will enjoy it immensely. And, if I can't find the pump for the air mattress, I might not be too sad to be coming home!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Freezing Berries

One of my biggest gripes about freezing berries is that when you take them out, they are all stuck together in one big lump and so much harder to use. So, this time, I tried out a new idea. I laid the berries (raspberry) in a single layer on cookie sheets and froze them that way. Then, when they were frozen, I transferred them into baggies in the freezer. It worked great! We used them tonight, and they were nice and individual, and they thawed beautifully. I know, I am a genius!


Before I ramble on about Joy's day in charge, let me just take a moment to extol the virtues of intentional parenting. What is intentional parenting? It means that you plan and do things for a reason; you don't just react to what comes your way. It takes more work, but the results are well worth the investment.

Joy. When I got up this morning, I went down to find that Joy had already changed Brigham's diaper and got him dressed. Yes, he did have some play-clothes on, but those were over his normal clothes. Joy decided that she wanted pancakes for breakfast, so I sat at the counter and gave instructions while she cooked. And, even though it took her an hour from start to finish, she got it done. Although some were a little lumpy from not quite getting turned over all the way, none were burned and only a few were slightly underdone. She did a good job with setting the table, and got the boys' bibs on and brought them to the table. I must admit that I was concerned with how well she was doing. The point was for her to realize how much work it is, not to just breeze through things. After breakfast, she went to the planner and planned the day. We had quilt group, and she didn't argue about the necessity of going there. But, after naps, she had us at the park for three hours and then a picnic dinner before bed. After planning came the work. She was supposed to empty the dishwasher and load the breakfast dishes, but it took her about an hour of dawdling before it was time to go to quilt group. So, when we got home, she made lunch (bread with jelly and pieces of cheese), and while I put the boys to bed, she did the dishes. Joy is definitely old enough to start doing the dishes, I was really impressed with how well she did.

Okay, I guess you don't really need a blow-by-blow account of the day. She did choose to watch a movie during quiet time, something she doesn't usually get to do. And, when a friend came over to play, Joy told her what was going on. The friend thought it sounded great and thought Joy should do it every other day. "NO! It's too much work!" was Joy's immediate response. We did go to the park, but when we got home, Joy realized that we didn't have time to do a picnic dinner. So, waffles at home were her choice. Again, she made them herself while I sat at the counter and read. And, they were great waffles. All seemed to be going well. Although, at one point in the day, she asked me to help and I sassed back about it. She looked at me with defeated eyes at that point. Anyway, back to dinner. So, all was well until about halfway through dinner when John told Joy that four helpings of whipped cream with her waffles was too much. She just looked at him with sad eyes and her chin started to quiver. Behind my hand I reminded him that Joy was in charge. He apologized and told her he had forgotten and she could have what she wanted. Her chin still quivered, but she pulled it together. After dinner, I told her that, after the boys went to bed, she would be responsible for dinner dishes. I expected her to be excited about the chance to stay up later, but she wasn't. John asked what she needed us to do to help, and she asked him to clear the table. "Do you usually clear the dinner table?" (She is supposed to, but it doesn't usually happen.) "No, I usually argue." So, I suggested to John that he needed to argue. He said, "Um, do I have to do it? Um, maybe I could just, you know, go outside and play for a while." Joy looked at him, turned around, and walked out of the room. She went to the stairs and just cried, "It's just too much!" She was obviously worn out and couldn't handle the emotional strain anymore. So, John went and comforted her (since he did the teasing.) We told her to get her jammies on, and she said, "Dad, could I please be done being in charge?" We discussed it, and decided that she had done a good job, and could be done.

After jammies were on, we did a little debrief of the day. When we asked what Joy had learned, she said that she needed to help more and not argue; she needed to serve more, and that Mom really did a lot. Later, after I went to YW and John was laying down with her, he asked how the day had gone. "It was a lot harder than I thought." When John inquired what she meant, she said, "I thought I would be like a queen who could just sit around and tell people what to do, and they would bring me things and stuff." Ah, it was worth it. I would do this again in a heartbeat! In order to be successful, you really have to let them do EVERYTHING they feasibly can do. I took the stuff with the boys she really couldn't, but otherwise, she did everything. And, a little arguing like they do helps them to understand your frustration when they do it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Joy has become very concerned about the balance of power at our house. She feels like I have it all and she has none. She is constantly complaining about not getting to be in charge, so I have decided to let her be in charge. Of course, along with that comes responsibility. We talked, and tomorrow she is going to be responsible for meals, chores that I usually do, and the boys - and, she gets to be in charge. Although, for his safety, I am still responsible for Hyrum. Joy is quite excited at the prospect, and I hope it will be a great teaching opportunity. We talked a bit about what her responsibilities would include and came upon some things she didn't want to do. She decided that the things she couldn't do, she would just tell me to do, and I would have to do them. "What if I don't want to do them?" "Well, you will just have to sit on the stairs until you do!" (The usual punishment for disobedience or sassing.) I think tomorrow could be an interesting day. John thinks we need to give her the whole day, but I think I will have to see how things go.


Yes folks, the end is in sight. Charlie is doing so well that they are going to let him come home on Thursday! That is 7 August! We are SO excited!

Installing a Husband

Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed adistinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flowerand jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as NBA 5.0, NFL 3.0 and Golf Clubs 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.
Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix theseproblems, but to no avail. What can I do?

First, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.
Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.HTML and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 todefault to Grumpy Silence 2.5.
Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of allyour system resources.)
In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0-program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.
In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memoryand cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Cooking 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.
Best Wishes Babe!
Tech Support

- my sister sent me this and I couldn't resist not posting!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Charlie Update 4 Aug

I got to go down and visit Charlie yesterday! My family was going down and had a couple of extra seats, so Joy and I went. Let me first thank John for taking the three boys so I could go and actually enjoy the visit. He would have kept Joy too, but she was in tears at the prospect of not being able to go; she really misses Uncle Charlie. Charlie is doing great. He seems almost completely back to normal, only now he has a cast and a neck brace, and he gets a little tired. However, he was usually tired, so that isn't so unusual either. He is doing in-patient therapy every day except Sunday, and it sounds like they keep him pretty busy. When he was first admitted, one of the tests he did was to see if he could fry an egg and make coffee. As he doesn't drink coffee, it is my guess that he failed that one. The doctors told him that he would probably be released by the 14th of August, and we are all excited about that. Charlie is hoping to do really well in his therapy and get released even earlier. I think we could all handle that!