Monday, March 31, 2014

12 of 12 – July 2013


1 – My beautifully colorful flowers I got for my birthday 2 days ago.

2 – Big little man using his sippy cup and enjoying a leisurely breakfast, and probably being entertained by his brother and sister.

3 – I’m in charge of centerpieces for Girls’ Camp.  Yes, that’s right…centerpieces.  The theme is “Finding Hidden Gems” so these are plastic plant pots and Burger King cardboard crowns spray painted gold, soon to be embellished with plastic jewels.  These are for the tables at Head Shed and will be filled with candy.  It’s kind of fun now that I’m actually doing it and they’re turning out cute.  Yes, we decorate the wilderness for camp…it’s what we do.

4 – While I was spray painting and working away, Seth and Lydia were decorating our own “wilderness".”  They kept me company outside by drawing elaborate pictures and scenes on our driveway.  They’re quite the little artists!

5 – After his morning nap, Peter came out to join us.  He’s sporting his Johnny Cash onesie that says “Crawl the Line.”  Thanks, Gerilyn!

6 – This afternoon the 14-year-old neighbor kid Joseph came over for a little hangout time with Seth watching a Wild Kratts episode.  Sometimes you just need to come inside and have a little quiet break with your buddy.

7 – They’re tiny, but I managed to put a couple of braids in Lydia’s hair.  It was a fun departure from the usual hair-clip-on-the-side hairdo.

8 – After dinner, Matt brings out the “birthday bowl” for Peter.  He’s done it ever since Seth was a baby.  I don’t even remember why we call it that, since it didn’t originate on a birthday.  He fills up a bowl with warm water and carries it to the high chair to wash baby’s hands and face.  I think he carries it kind of slow so as to not spill it, and it looked like he was carrying a birthday cake, so we started singing “Happy Birthday” when it’s time to clean up.  Peter likes it (and I think Matt does too).

9 – Peter’s helping Matt fix some kind of little plastic toy that came apart or something.  Daddy’s little helper!

10 – For Family Home Evening, we played beach ball volleyball.  These kids would have stayed out past dark playing it if we had let them!

11 – After the kids were in bed, I finished binding another t-shirt quilt for one of my quilt customers.  Now it’s ready to deliver!

12 – Time for a little reading before bed.  Do I choose serious and inspiring non-fiction (“The Undaunted”), or will it be funny yet still non-fiction (“Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures”).  Yawwwwn…maybe it’s just lights out.  I’ll read something tomorrow.

Special Visitor

Just after July 4th, my very dear friend and kindred spirit Jana came to visit from Utah.  The kids were excited to see her, but not as excited as their mama was!  Wanna know one of the many things that makes her so great?  She’s always up for an adventure or two, but she’s also game to come along when we have to do normal stuff like running kids to/from birthday parties, making a quick trip to the local farm to get raspberries before they’re all gone, helping make jam with said raspberries before they get too ripe, and running all manner of errands that needed to get done but I didn’t have time to do them before she got here.

We did get out and do some fun things on a perfect Pacific Northwest sunny summer day.  We’d never visited the troll under the Fremont Bridge in all the years we’ve lived here, so we drove to north Seattle to see what it was all about.  I can check that off my list…that was the first and quite possibly the last time we go there.  It’s just kinda weird and cool in a creepy way, but SOO dusty and dirty.  The kids climbed up on it and had fun, but afterward I was looking for a hose to spray them off.


What’s a nice day in Seattle without visiting this fun place? 

IMG_0713 I was thinking it would be fun to go there more than we do, but with two kids on the loose and another in the backpack, that would be hard to manage on my own on a weekday.  Better save those trips for the weekend when the whole family’s together.  So glad Jana was there to have fun with and help wrangle easily-distracted little ones.

IMG_0711 Her last night here we went to dinner at one of our favorite places to take guess, the Newcastle Golf Club.  We sat outside, and here’s a phone pic of Matt, confident enough in his manhood to wear my huge girlie sunglasses since he was facing right into the sun.

IMG429 We were serenaded by a bagpiper (wasn’t quick enough with my phone to get a shot of that) at sunset, and after dinner we walked around the paths that wind around the golf course looking for deer and wayward golf balls.  Such a perfect night to spend with family and a lovely, lovely friend.


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Love you, Jana!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

4th of July

We spent our July 4th pretty much like we spend most of them, unless we’re out of town for something special.  First thing in the morning is the annual flag raising ceremony/cinnamon roll breakfast at the church.  Then we worked in the yard for a bit before packing our picnic dinner and heading to our favorite spot to play and watch the fireworks.  Up until now, Seth has not been a fan of fireworks.  This has always puzzled us since he’s not a shy or quiet person, not even kind of.  There has only been one year that he hasn’t spent the evening of July 4th either covered up with blankets or hiding in the van, and that one year was when he was 10 months old and didn’t know better.  Well, the spell has been broken!  The neighbors were shooting off bottle rockets and screaming cannonballs all day long, which I thought would send Seth racing into the house and under his bed.  But it didn’t bother him, and he had a great time that night…which meant we all enjoyed ourselves more too.

Baby’s first July 4th:


BFFs Lydia and Miriam:


Our family on the 4th:


(I’m thinking I want a permanent lipstick tattoo for my birthday – sheesh!)

Almost time for fireworks!  Cute Emma, Miriam, Lydia and Seth passing the time playing Uno.


All ready for bed, and yes it looks like he’s wincing because there’s an obnoxious camera flashing in his face.  He really was cutely fascinated by his pink glow stick.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Surprise Road Trip!

Be warned…lots of photos coming up!

Math story problem:

Matt was going on a Boy Scout high adventure trip to Idaho for a week at the end of June.


My sisters were going to be in Utah that same week for their 30-year high school reunion.


My mom’s 70th birthday was during that same week.


The kids hadn’t been to Loa to visit Grandma and Grandpa for too long.


Surprise road trip…me, by myself, driving to Utah, with three kids.  Only logical, right?

It was actually a really smooth trip and a pleasant drive.  The last day of school was June 18th, and on the 20th, we were on our way.  We stopped to stay in Boise the first night before driving the rest of the way the next day.  We spent the night in Bountiful with my awesome aunt and uncle, and stayed up WAY too late talking to my Aunt Nonnie.  So fun to catch up with one of my favorite people!  The next day on the way out of Salt Lake, we stopped at my friend’s wildly successful gourmet cookie shop before heading to Provo.  The kids were cute little good sports while we walked around BYU campus on a HOT day.


We pulled into Loa late that afternoon, and I regret not having my camera with me.  Mom and Dad weren’t home because I later found out they were cleaning the church.  Being small town USA, their doors were unlocked and we came in and waited, and waited, and waited.  The suspense was killing me, and I was constantly keeping the kids away from the big front window so as to not spoil the surprise.  Seth got the alphabet blocks from the toy box and started building something on the kitchen table.  I saw Mom and Dad’s truck pull into the yard and told Seth to run into the living room with me for our big surprise.  I didn’t think about the blocks on the kitchen table, and when they came in the kitchen door, the conversation went something like this:

Dad:  Um, well have you started playing with blocks now?

Mom:  What??

Dad:  How did these blocks get here?

Mom:  Well, I’m sure I don’t know.  What in the world??

Me and the kids yelling from the living room:  Surprise!

Boy, that would have been a priceless photo had I thought to have my camera.  They were SO surprised and had no idea, especially since I’d parked the van at the barn across the street.  I love surprising people, and they kept saying, “I can’t believe you’re here!”  And of course, Mom kept saying how she hadn’t cleaned the house yet, but those of you who know her, have you EVER seen her house dirty?

The next day was Saturday, so we helped them with some yard work.

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Terilyn and Gerilyn (with Cardon cousins) came a couple of days later to celebrate Mom’s birthday.  Here she is showing her baby book to her granddaughters.


Fun with cousins Hyatt and Hannah:

IMG_7649 IMG_7650

Time for birthday celebration!  I stitched this “Quilter’s Psalm” wallhanging for Mom, and I think she liked it!


Look at my pretty Mama!  Seventy years YOUNG.


Random snapshots of Peter with his favorite kitchen tool and his favorite time of day…bottle time with Grandpa:



That night was the great night crawler hunt.  Dad put the sprinkler on the lawn during the day so the ground would be nice and soft for those big suckers to break through to the surface.  With flashlights and plastic cups in hand and our quietest voices, we set out after sundown to find and grab enough to take fishing the next day.  I haven’t done that in a LONG time.  It’s cool and gross and fun all at the same time.  We were overzealous and caught more than the bait box could handle, so I think Dad ended up putting some back around the lawn.  Here’s Seth:  Look what we did!  Molly June the kitty:  What the???


We got up the next day and drove up to Cook Lake, the same one we fished at during our family reunion 3 years ago.  It’s so high up there that the air physically feels thinner, but it’s secluded, peaceful and so beautiful!  See what I mean?


Grandma made Lydia a homemade fishing pole out of a stick and some fishing line.  So cute!

IMG_7669 Here’s the one and ONLY fish caught the entire day, and Dad caught it. 

IMG_7674 It was only fitting since he spent most of the day changing bait, fixing lures, unhooking snagged lines from rocks, like this:


Peter was a champ, either hanging out in the backpack…


…and even took a good little nap out in the wilderness on the big camp quilt.


Grandma’s getting the little ones started early!

IMG_7683 These pretty little blue butterflies were all over the place.


We drove to Manti a couple of days later for some swimming and the Mormon Miracle Pageant, and then it was already time to make the trek back home.  One last photo with Grandma and Grandpa before heading out.


We drove from Loa to Bountiful and spent the night again with the Sannars after a late-night trip to Nielsen’s Frozen Custard with just Aunt Nonnie, Terilyn, Gerilyn, and me.  The next day, I planned on driving to Pendleton, Oregon, spending the night there and driving the rest of the way home the next day.  We rolled into Pendleton around 5:30.  Miraculously, I was still feeling pretty energetic, kids were OK and not melting down, and it was actually only about 4 more hours to home. Soooo, I decided to go for it and drove the whole way from Bountiful to our house in one day.  I’m glad I decided to do it because we not only saved money from not staying in a hotel, but I got to sleep in my own bed a day earlier than planned, and when I woke up the next morning, I was already home!  What a great trip and awesome start to the summer!

12 of 12 – June 2013


1 – The blossoms on our tree from last month have turned into little baby apples!

2 – Day one of the 30 Day Squat Challenge is done.  I added crunches to it, so I did 50 of each this morning.

3 – How perfect is this rose?  I love having roses in my garden!  And they’re not as difficult or temperamental as I thought they would be.  What a beautiful peach color.

4 – These are definitely my favorite.  Peonies remind me of my grandma and my mom.  Plus they smell sooo good.  Too bad they don’t stick around for too long.

5 – Look who’s learning to climb the stairs.  Those arms at the top of the picture are Seth’s, encouraging Peter to keep going.  You’re almost to the top!

6 – Eventually, lunchtime grapes end up in their stomachs, but they start out as a funny joke to make their cheeks “chubby.”  I think it actually makes them look like they just got their wisdom teeth pulled.

7 – One of Peter’s many expressions.  “Are you talkin’ to me?”

8 – Play time with Dad before he goes back to work after lunch.

9 – I’m participating in a quilters’ round robin.  There are 7 of us spread out all over the country, and each of us put together the center block.  Then it gets sent to the next person and they add some kind of border.  I received this quilt with the huge green border on 2 sides and had to figure out what to do with it.  Challenge?  Yes.  Impossible?  No.  I added the smaller border of “snowball” blocks to bring back a little whimsy, hoping they resemble some kind of Christmas confection to tie in with the gingerbread man.  Time to send it on!

10 – My other sewing project has an upcoming deadline.  I’m going to Girl’s Camp this summer, and I’m the designated apron maker.  I’m almost done sewing 6 aprons for all the cooks in Head Shed.  They’re gonna be cute!

11 – Seth and Lydia got to take a bath in the big tub in the master bathroom, and Peter watched the whole time, wishing he could be in there too!

12 – I’m going visiting teaching this week, and I decided to share the first presidency message from the Ensign instead of the visiting teaching message.  This is a great message from President Uchtdorf about having and using spiritual landmarks so we can move forward instead of aimlessly walking in circles.

How does your garden groove?


In May, the kindergarten classes at Seth’s school put on a musical play called “How Does Your Garden Groove?”  And Seth played the part of French Fry #2.  So, here he is in between a cabbage and corn on the cob, a sack of potatoes with a scarf and curly mustache.


Afterward, I wanted to get a picture with his friend and French Fry #1, Natalie, but they had already turned in their costumes.  Oh well.  They still had their cute mustaches, and Seth is even doing a weird pose that makes him look like he has no arms.


And here is my favorite photo…Seth with his amazing, energetic, super-organized and wonderful teacher, Miss Smith.  She loves Seth as much as he loves her, and we’ll miss her.  She has helped him thrive, exceed his goals, and love everything about school!  I love how it looks like he’s blushing, but I think his red face is the result of running around and chasing his friends.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

12 of 12 – May 2013

May 12th happened to fall on Mother’s Day.  Lucky me!

may 2013 1 – Beautiful flowers for Mother’s Day…all my favorites!

2 – Matt and the kids whipped up some Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  They’re the best I’ve tasted…probably because I didn’t have to make them!

3 – I get to smell my lilac bush every time I walk out the front door.  Mmmm.  Makes me think of my Granny.

4 – All ready for church.  He’s such a happy boy who’s never tired of smiling!

5 – Oh, this doesn’t make me happy…freshly-dug mole holes in the yard.  These things are getting more and more menacing.  Must do something about it SOON!

6 – Me and the cutie pies after church in front of our backyard.

7 – Seth and Matt working together to make some yummy brownies for dinner’s dessert.

8 – Grilled teriyaki chicken and pineapple kabobs, rice, and veggies for dinner.  Yummmm!

9 – He’s loving his new top teeth, and I love to look at them!  He’s pretty much weaned himself of nursing, which is always a bit of relief and sadness when my babies are done with mama milk.  I’m thankful I was able to make it to 10 months of nursing, and he’s thriving and growing.

10 – We have a budding musician, maybe.

11 – Seth made this Mother’s Day card today.  He wrote “I love you this much” on the arms.  I’m saving this forever. and. ever.

12 – Taking a look at the arrangement of the latest t-shirt quilt I’m making for a friend before I sew it together.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tulip Festival

We managed to find a nice day while my parents were here to make a trip up to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.  It’s been a LONG time since we’ve been there, and after visiting this time, I wonder why we don’t go every year?  Maybe we will!  I’m starting to get the hang of this camera, so I actually took some decent photos.  Here goes!






Lastly, my favorite view of the day:


12 of 12 – April 2013

april 2013

- Two things learned from this photo…1) 5:53 am is too early to be awake, but don’t tell that to Peter, aka Mr. Busy, and 2) I need to scrub my stove!

2 – This is a happy sight on the kitchen windowsill.  The kids got these little grass planter pots in their Easter baskets, and the plant in the cup is from a seed Lydia got in Nursery class at church a few weeks ago.

3 – Grandma and Grandpa came to visit today!  Here they are doing one of their favorite things…puzzles with grandkids.

4 – A sign that we planted our fruit trees correctly…leaves and hopefully soon – blossoms!

5 – Peter’s best friend is Grandma, or whomever will give him his bottle.

6 – Matt and Peter checking out something out the front window.

7 – I don’t know what this shrub is called, but it’s in our front yard, and it has the most beautiful spring blossoms in bright chartreuse green.

8 – Dinner was pulled pork sandwiches with homemade bread buns, Memphis-style coleslaw and fresh fruit.  Dad’s sense of taste isn’t what it used to be before he had chemo, so I wanted to cook and bake things that had lots of flavor.  Hopefully he’ll put on some weight!

9 – Happy Peter at dinnertime.  I can’t remember what we fed him, but it wasn’t a pork sandwich.  Those little teeth wouldn’t be able to chew it!

10 – These kids love to play together and especially to show off their silliness for Grandma and Grandpa.  They’re a patient and willing audience!

11 – We’ve helped Seth a little bit, but he’s pretty much taught himself to play “I Am a Child of God” and “Book of Mormon Stories” by ear on the piano.  We gotta get him into piano lessons!

12 – A little play time on the floor with Matt before bedtime.