Monday, October 29, 2007

Young Mothers

Ever since Laura and Mary began their blogs I have loved reading about their lives as young mothers. As I expanded and started reading the blogs of their friends and sisters-in-law as well, my life has been enriched. I want to say to all of you young mothers that the feelings that you have as mothers are universal. When I was a young mother I didn't have the blog format to record my feelings, the joys and frustrations of being a stay-at-home mother of little ones. So when I read your blog posts my heart is full as I can relate to all of your thoughts and I am reminded of the truly great mission you are all fulfilling to fill little lives with love and training and fun. I just want all the young mothers out there to know that I think you're amazing. You're doing the most mportant thing you could be doing at this time of your life. It is thankless and exhausting and exhilarating and sweet all at the same time. Keep up the good work!


Logan and Mary have started a new company, Obuba. They make the "ultimate nursing cover-up." It's a great product and I'm really excited about it. Logan has worked incredibly hard getting it up and going. But I have a little pride, too, since I came up with the name! Obuba is the Korean word for "piggyback." It just seemed like a nice baby word. Check out!

My Layton Peeps

It's time for me to post about the fine Hammer family of Layton, Utah.

SOPHIE: At almost 17 months old she is a whirlwind of activity. She's constantly on a "search and destroy" mission. She has the cutest smile and dimples (thanks for that contribution, Logan) and just melts your heart when she smiles. Which is often because she's a happy girl. When she's excited she jumps up and down and squeals with delight.

AYDEN: Ayden is a sweet boy. He's affectionate and doesn't have to be coaxed much for a hug or kiss. He's smart and is learning new things quickly at his preschool. For example he can say the "pledge of allegiance," and it's the cutest thing you've ever heard. I love it whenever I get to see Ayden and he is always genuinely happy to see me!

MARY: Mary is so beautiful both inside and outside. She's always been beautiful outside, but somehow she's never recognized it or acted like she knew it - which makes her even more beautiful inside. Mary is a lot like her Dad, which makes her easy for me to love, since I love him so much. She's kind and considerate and she's a really great mother to Ayden and Sophie. I love to watch her dance, I kind of miss that - we need a "watch Mary's dance videos" date! I love you, Mary!

LOGAN, aka ELDER HAMMER: When I first met Logan it was in Daejeon on our mission, within the first week that I arrived. Logan stands out wherever he is because he's so outgoing and friendly, and pretty cute, as well. We loved Elder Hammer long before he and Mary even met and couldn't be happier to have him join our eternal family. He's a great husband and father - always full of energy whether it's helping in the kitchen, cleaning house, changing diapers, and now starting a great new business: Obuba

I love you, Hammer family!

Halloween Idea

I got this idea from a couple of my friends who do it as part of their Halloween decorations. They just have a frame with lots of pictures of their kids in past Halloween costumes. I have a separate Christmas scrapbook for Christmases, but I thought this was a fun to way to "scrapbook" and display past Halloweens. Since I'm home and sick today I took the time to go through my scrapbooks and color copy the Halloween pictures and then made this montage in a frame I bought. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wife of One

As mentioned in my profile, I am the wife of one. Richard Carlos Rife, to be exact. It is difficult to put into words my deep feelings about my husband. I fell in love with him because he is kind and understanding and truly cares about my happiness, and these are all the same reasons that "I love him more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow." Over the past 31 years (this November 19th) we have had so many happy and joyful times, and the difficult times really have been few and far between. He is a wonderful and generous provider. He's happy and cheerful and loves to make me laugh, which unfortunately for him has gotten harder through the years as I've become a more difficult audience. He has a gift with words, both written and spoken. I love to listen to him give a talk or read something he has written; it is always profound and elegantly worded. It is true that opposites attract: we don't really like the same food, the same movies or music, the same leisure time activities, but in the things that really matter we're on the same page. We love God and our family and want to follow Jesus. It is such a joy to share this adventure called life with a truly great man. I love you, Rich!

I Baked a Cake!

In spite of the fact that I really don't like cooking, I actually baked this Chocolate Pumpkin Cake from the October issue of Country Living magazine (which I bought for my NY trip) and surprisingly it turned out! Every once in a while I catch Rachael Ray on TV and she makes cooking look easy and fun and I get a little inspired to try. It was my turn for the extended family Sunday Dinner; so I made a roast with potatoes and carrots - which always reminds me of Sunday dinner in my childhood. And I decided to try this cake, I liked that it had pumpkin in the chocolate cake, two of my favorite flavors and it looked so Halloweeny and festive. Well, it turned out pretty well and I'm quite proud of myself.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Even though I've only been a blogger for 11 days, my brother mention in his blog after being "tagged" by his daughter that he was "tagging" anyone who read his blog so here I go with eight weird habits/things about me:

1. Everyday when I write in my journal I start with the date, written genealogy style: 9 Oct 2007, then I draw a box around it and color in the box according to what day it is:
Monday: Green for Go - it's always a busy get-going day
Tuesday: Blue because it's my favorite day and blue is my favorite color
Wednesday: Purple because it comes after blue in rainbow order
Thursday: Pink (same reason as purple)
Friday: Red because it's a happy - end of the week - day and I might get a date "put a red dress on"
Saturday: Orange (same reason as purple)
Sunday: Yellow because it's the Sabbath - a "Light" day
2. I like to write! Literally to write with a pen or pencil. My Mom says when I first learned to write I used up reams of paper. Now I just write words on my leg with my finger (weird, I know) just whatever words come into my head or I hear in the conversation. So if you see my finger moving, I'm writing words.
3. Whenever I'm listening to music, but especially sing hymns in church, I "conduct" the music with my toe.
4. I can only clean house seriously in my pajamas or exercise clothes, once I've showered for the day, I just don't want to do housework. So if you come by my house in the afternoon and I'm still in my pjs or walking clothes, you'll know that my house is really clean!
5. I make lists, I love lists, I think it's because once I've written something down then it's not in my head anymore and I can think about something else.
6. When I'm eating a full plate of food I take bites of each food so that always have the same ratio of the different foods on my plate, except if there's something I don't really like, then I eat it all first to be done with it.
7. I really like to make beds and do the ironing, I like making something go from disorder to order, contrary to the laws of nature.
8. I'd rather clean than cook; I've ruined more than one meal because I start cooking and then get sidetracked by laundry or some other "cleaning up" task and burned the food.
After reading Laura's I realized that I had to add one more:
9. I've always had a thing for even numbers, preferring them over odd numbers. For example always leaving the volume on the TV on an even number,etc. But recently I've noticed that the number three is everywhere in the scriptures and life and good design and so THREE is my favorite number, and yes, it is odd. Which has led to my newfound love of multiples of three. For example, I have three sons and three daughters and that makes SIX and three squared is NINE and the number NINE appears in my address, my home phone and my cell phone, so I had to have NINE weird things about me!

I'm tagging Laura, Mary, Jenny & Erica, and G & G. Let's hear what's weird about you!

My New York Peeps

Since I'm going home tomorrow I wanted to record my feelings for my "New York Peeps." Here I go in order of how long I've known each of them:

Laura: What can I say about my "firstborn in the Wymount?" I've always felt that the words from the poem "Mother to Child" by Carol Lynn Pearson apply to my relationship with Laura: I'm "merely an older equal doing her faltering best for a dear, small friend." Laura is an amazing person, competent, insightful and so pleasant to be around. Really, it's so easy to be with her because she is calm and happy and doesn't upset easily. It is a joy to watch her mothering; she is patient, loving, kind, always teaching. Where in the world did she learn all this? She has certainly surpassed me, but I'm glad I could be her friend and learn from her. I know having three little ones will be at times overwhelming, but I have complete confidence in her ability to not only survive, but to thrive in her new role as mother of THREE!

Alan: Alan is a hard-worker. He works hard to support his family and he works hard to play with them and take care of them and entertain them. He is a loving and gentle father. He teaches patiently, makes up silly songs (hey, hey b'dokoshay, anyone?) and makes newspaper hats on a whim. He is always interested in new places and new experiences ("there's an Indian lunch buffet on the corner!") He's a man of simple tastes; a good Macoun apple and freshly made peanut butter make him REALLY happy and he wants to share the joy. Mostly, Laura loves him and what could make a mother-in-law happier than that?

Connor: I love Connor's smile - it literally lights up his face! I love the kind way he kisses his baby brother and says "Oh Andrew, you're so cute," like he's in love. In the morning he climbs into Abby's crib and reads her a story and plays with her and then when they are really ready to get up, he climbs out and finds an adult and says, "Abby wants to get out now." The three words that Connor says the most are "play with me," but coming in for a close second are "I love you," and he says it sweetly and randomly throughout the day. I love you, Connor!

Abigail: Abby has a unique communication method using grunts, pointing her finger and nodding or shaking her head to each guess until you get it right. It's not too efficient, but it is quite effective, especially if she's surrounded with people who care enough to figure it out, which fortunately for her, is always. I love her giggle and "yah" when you guess it right! Actually just her giggle is enough to make your heart sing. She loves Connor and randomly through the day she gives him hugs and kisses, something she doesn't really do with anyone else. I'm amazed with her manual dexterity at just 21 months there really isn't anything she can't get into if she wants to: zippers, ziplock bags, pens & markers, make-up (think Nanajan's purse) She doesn't say too many words, but she's mastered Mama, Daddy, Andwoo and most importantly: NANA!

Andrew: Oh that wonderful, lovely smell! And the perfect roundness of his head, which by the way, he is holding up amazingly well for only three weeks. He lets me rock him to sleep with a binky, all wrapped up like a burrito. Laura says she thinks that I trained Abby with the binky when I was here for her birth, and I must be pretty good at it, because she still really likes her binky! There just isn't anything sweeter than a new baby in a family for bringing love and a bit of heaven to a home.

P.S. lest you think I'm really good at the blogging thing, Laura helped me with the pictures!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I Read, I'm a Reader, I'm Reading

Since August 10th I've read SIX books! I've always loved to read, but don't always make the time to when I'm in the regular routine of my life. But I've had several trips this fall and somehow this becomes my opportunity to get more reading in. I started with the "Twilight" series which Jenny read a couple of years ago and wanted me to read it. Since most of my Young Women have read them I thought it would be a good idea - well, I was hooked. I read all three in just two weeks, and that included time waiting for Jenny to finish Eclipse.

Next, I had a lovely trip to Hawaii with my one husband and I chose to read James Michener's epic novel, Hawaii. It was interesting to be in Hawaii while being immersed in its history and culture in the book at the same time. It was quite long and I kept finding myself thinking that James needed an editor!

On my way to New York I started reading The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and finished while rocking Andrew. It was a light reading and later I will finish the series, but I only brought the one book with me.

When I got to New York, Alan recommended a book to me, Blink, and I read it in a few days. It was nice to read non-fiction after all the fiction I'd been reading. It's very thought provoking and well-written.

I've now started a book I ordered online, recommended by Mary's sister-in-law, Chelle: Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. I'm reading it along with my scripture time as it is about spiritual disciplines. So far it is very good.

And finally, Laura, has recommended Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger. I just started it and hope to finish it while I am here.

Trips are good for my brain!

Nanajan in New York

I arrived in Tuckahoe, New York on Thursday, September 27 to spend some time with Laura and Alan and their three kiddies, including brand new Andrew Rife Buchanan born on September 18, 2007. Connor made me this lovely welcome sign! On Saturday we had quite an outing going to the Barton Farm to pick apples and then to Cold Spring, a charming town on the Hudson River across from West Point. We walked down to the river where there was a park with a big band playing in a gazebo. It was an idyllic setting with people sitting listening to the music and children running and dancing around. The sun was just setting into the mountains on the west side of the river. It was a delightful day enjoying nature and beauty with five of my favorite people.

P.S. I'm still having trouble with the two spaces after a period thing!

one of my favorite things: kiddies in pjs!