Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mr. Peabody's Apples

Have you read this?  Surprisingly, it's written by Madonna.  Yes, that Madonna.  It's one of my favorites.  A great message. I got to read it to Soren's 2nd grade class this week.  I think they liked it, too.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All Things Scottish

I love Scotland and, as a result, I love all things Scottish.  I served as a Mormon Missionary in Scotland from July 1992 to January 1994 and I think I've thought about Scotland in some way everyday since.  That is why I drive a MINI.  That is why I have to catch my breath whenever I hear bagpipes.  So you can understand why I had to take a picture of this thistle that was randomly growing by the side of the trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.  The flower of Scotland.  Beautiful!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


We lived in Ohio for four years, the Buckeye state, where Jeff was an Ohio State University Buckeye.  So when Jeff found some buckeyes that had fallen from a tree on campus the other day, he brought them home thinking the kids would like them.  Soren thought they were great and proceeded to model them for us.  What a crazy kid!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

100 Tulips

When we got married, Jeff's mom used to do seasonal work in the tulip fields in Oregon. Our first Spring together, we received a box from Carol filled with 100 tulips just ready to burst. We filled every canning jar or old bottle we could find with tulips and delivered them to our neighbors and friends. A great memory!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Funny

Q:  Where do you find a dog with no legs?

A:  Right where you left him!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You'd never know

My friend Helen is amazing.  We met her when we lived in Columbus and we became friends over the last few years that we lived there, somewhere between 1997-2000.  She lives alone in the same house she's lived in for over 50 years.  She lost her husband only about 7 years into their marriage and raised three little girls by herself.  She is very independent and refined and she isn't afraid to try new things.  She and I correspond through e-mail (my Grandma didn't even e-mail) and she just dives in and handles whatever situation she finds herself in.  This may not sound all that extraordinary on the surface, but here's the amazing part:  Helen just turned 97 earlier this month!  Yep.  Ninety-Seven.  You'd never know.  She is a beautiful lady!

Helen and me, Nov. 2009 (I'm the one on the left)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Hooray!  It's finally Fall, one of my favorite seasons.  Spring and Fall.  Yep, they're the best!  It doesn't feel like Fall.  I mean, we're breaking heat records with over 90º temps this week, but I'm hopeful that we'll have plenty of 60º weather (my favorite temperature) before the snow.  (I wouldn't mind one night of frost to kill all the mosquitoes so I could actually enjoy the outdoors!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

www dot

Do you remember where you were the first time you heard of the internet?  I do.  I was working as a temp at the office building for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was doing various secretarial duties for several members of the Research Information Division.  One day in 1995, one of the men I worked for handed me a magazine and asked me to look through it and find addresses to websites for him.  He tried to explain what a website was and then said that I'd know when I found what I was looking for because each address would start with "www dot."   It didn't mean  much to me at the time, but boy howdy we've sure come a long way since then! 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Funny: 2 for 1

Have you heard about the new corduroy pillows?
They're making all the headlines.  

Have you seen the new movie about constipation?
Oh wait, it hasn't come out yet.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Welcome Dragonflies

The dragonflies have invaded; hundreds, if not thousands, of dragonflies. Sam was the first to notice them and it's a sight to see. This morning on the radio they said conditions were just right in this area for the hatching of their eggs so there are way more than usual. They are beautiful and they dine on mosquitoes so I say the more the merrier!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Finally, Savannah is 13!  She has been practicing for some time now and is thrilled to have officially reached the coveted age.  If you ask me, I could have waited a little longer...but no one asked me.  As you can see, Savannah has perfected one of the main skills of teenage girls: 

Savannah is a beautiful young lady.  It's not uncommon for people to tell us how impressed they are with the way she handles herself and deals with others.  Happy Birthday, Savannah!  We're looking forward to a great year!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Learning to Read

Sadie is learning to read.  She's definitely my most reluctant reader.  However, she now knows 40+ words and is starting to "get it".  She knows most of her letter sounds and is learning to be patient with those pesky vowels that keep changing the rules.  Besides reading together and learning the dolch words (the 220 most frequently occurring words in children's literature), she sometimes learns from  We discovered it when Soren was learning to read and we love it!!  It starts with letter sounds and then helps kids learn basic words, always a click away from reading (and sounding) any word the child doesn't know.  It also teaches them tricks such as, "When two vowels go a walkin', the first vowel does the talkin'."  Sadie has just gotten excited about it and was so happy when she read an entire "book" on the site last week.  I love how it's set up and am grateful for the help.  I love it when my kids know how to read because it really does open up their world.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Grandparents Breakfast

My dad has been here this past weekend.  He wasn't supposed to be.  He was planning to be here this coming Friday for a few days.  He's on a 25-day Midwestern tour of sorts, manning booths at state fairs and conventions and meeting with various people here and there from North Dakota to Oklahoma to Ohio and several places in between.  But when Sterling came home with information about the Grandparents Breakfast his class was hosting, Grandpa decided that he could make a little (900 mile or so) detour to be here for it.

Sterling was thrilled to have Grandpa there.  He loved hearing Grandpa tell the group about his own school days including how he was sent home from Kindergarten for shaving in the bathroom and how he was in love with his 4th grade teacher.  The event ended about an hour ago and Grandpa is already on the road to his next destination.  He'll still be back this weekend as he'd originally planned, but I'm sure this morning will long be remembered by one 8-year-old boy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Funny

A man and a woman who have never met before find themselves in the same sleeping carriage of a train. After the initial embarrassment, they both manage to get to sleep; the woman on the top bunk, the man on the lower.

In the middle of the night, the woman leans over and says, "I'm sorry to bother you, but I'm awfully cold and I was wondering if you could possibly pass me another blanket."

The man leans out and with a glint in his eye says "I've got a better idea ... let's pretend we're married."

"Why not," giggles the woman.

"Good," he replies. "Get your own blanket."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Values Bracelet

Savannah is in theYoung Women program at church.  There are eight values that the young women try to incorporate into their lives and each value has a corresponding color.  I have been wanting to try my hand at bead dangles (placing the bead on wire and wrapping it so it will hang) so I made Savannah this values bracelet. 

The values are:  Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, Integrity, and Virtue.  Faith is white (the clear bead) and they work their way around the bracelet ending up at gold for Virtue.  I'm not sure I love how far the beads hang so I may make another and attach the beads directly to the bracelet without the jump ring, but overall I like how it turned out.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dear Mom

I had to laugh when I came across this picture Savannah gave me several years ago.  I'm guessing she was about 6 or 7 at the time and apparently didn't think I was very nice when it came to her piano practicing.  It says, "Dear Mom, why do you have to be so mean to me?  Love, Savannah."  The speech bubble over my head says, "Do the LEFT hand!"   

Fortunately, I never have to worry about her practicing now.  She loves to play and is really quite good after 7 years of lessons.  I love to hear her practice and am always amazed at how well she can sight read. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I had to laugh when Soren brought this paper home from school: 

In case you were wondering, "butt wars" is a game the kids play on the trampoline.  Do you think I should explain that to his teacher?  :)

Monday, September 6, 2010


I'm loving these pendants made from old stamps and scrabble tiles.  Aren't they cool? (The pendants are much less blurry in real life...)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Singin' in the Rain

We watched "Singin' in the Rain" last night.  The kids had never seen it and it had been years since I had.  The kids especially liked "Make 'em Laugh" and "Fit as a Fiddle".  What a great show!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


This cracks me up!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Funny

A little boy returned from the grocery store with his mom. While his mom put away the groceries, the little boy opened his box of animal crackers and spread them all over the kitchen table.
"What are you doing?" asked his mom.
"The box says you shouldn't eat them if the seal is broken," said the little boy. "I'm looking for the seal."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Yes or No?

Sadie is so funny.  Whenever she asks a question like if she can go play with the neighbors or have a snack, she requires a yes or no answer.  Only yes or no will do.  If the answer is "I guess" or "It's okay with me," she will ask, "Yes or no?"  Sometimes she'll say, "What does I guess mean?"  It's cute.  This is something unique to Sadie - none of the other kids have done this - and it always makes me chuckle.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Summer Strings and SHIP

Each summer, our community has a program called Summer Strings.  It's in the basement of a church once a week and all string players in the surrounding areas are invited to participate.  Their music includes a wide range of favorites from "Sunrise, Sunset" and "Be Our Guest" to "Star Wars" and "Hamster Dance."  Some of the music is really challenging, but Sam and Sterling enjoy playing with the group.  The culmination of their efforts is an open-air concert in the amphitheater of a park. 

The boys before their concert
Tonight it's onto new adventures.  Sam has played with the University orchestra through a program called SHIP (Symphonic Honors Initiative Program) for three years now.  Sterling has been looking forward to the time when he could participate as well.  Several months ago his teacher told him what is required and he got to work.  Sterling has met each goal and has earned the privilege to play right along with the college students this year.  He's pretty nervous for his first rehearsal, but I know he's in good hands and this will be an awesome experience for him.  The first concert is always "Fright Night" where the entire orchestra is dressed in Halloween costumes.  It's a great time!