Sunday, June 28, 2009

Birthday Boys

We celebrated birthdays at Sunday dinner! Ryan Parsons' birthday is June 30 and Brian Rife's is July 1, so they've celebrated many a birthday together. Since they are now 23 and 26, we didn't go to Chuck E Cheese - but we had a nice dinner and they each got their own cake. (Although Ryan did make his own)

Ayden and Sophie helping with the candle blowing

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day

I'm grateful for fathers.

My own father who raised and supported me throughout my life and continues to set a good example for me and love me.

The father of my children. Wow, he's just amazing!

The fathers of my grandchildren. I feel so blessed that Alan and Logan are such wonderful fathers to their children.

And mostly my Heavenly Father for His great plan of happiness.

And now a picture record of the day:

Since Jenny and Trevor were going to Layton Sunday, we went to dinner with them on Saturday night

When the Hammers arrived this was the precious view of their backseat

Me and my Dad

Ayden brought this pinecone to me asked me to hold it, then he said, "it's pokey, huh?" So cute

And Rich's new campfire bowl for the back yard - s'mores and fun were had by all!
(except when Sophie grabbed the hot stick:( )

7 on 7

Rich wrote about Michael's 7 0n 7 football tournament at BYU on his blog. And here are the pictures to go with it; Michael is number 17.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Good Week

It's been a busy and good week:

MONDAY: Jenny and I went to Layton and tended to Ayden and Sophie while Mary was working at the dress rehearsal for her studio's concert. We had fun together. Then we took Ayden and Sophie in their costumes to their dress rehearsal and got to see them perform.

Ayden and Sophie posing with the Old Navy model

Sophie in her mermaid costume. I didn't get a picture of Ayden in his doctor costume, hopefully Mary will have one on her blog.

TUESDAY: I went to the temple in three sisters (two of whom were 90 and 80) from our ward in the morning and had lunch at the temple. I visited two homebound members of our ward.

WEDNESDAY: I help my Mom, took her to physical therapy and for lunch and some errands and did her ironing.

THURSDAY: I got my hair done, yeah! And did some Father's Day shopping.

In spite of my busy week, I walked for an hour every morning and one morning I saw this:

A bit of a rainbow peeking out of the clouds

I was really happy one morning to see a bird eating the bird seed I put in my birdfeeder in the backyard.

FRIDAY: I went on an awesome hike! (As a bonus, when I got my hiking boots out and put them on I realized that my $300 orthotics were in them. I've been looking for them for months ~ yeah!) Heather, Kathy and I drove up American Fork Canyon to Silver Lake Flats and then hiked to upper Silver Lake. It's only a four mile hike in distance, but with the 1000+ vertical feet, it took us three hours. The views were beautiful. I love a good hike! It's so amazing that I can be out in this kind of natural beauty in less than 30 minutes from home.

Timpanogos from Silver Lake

I thought the rock colors were so pretty on the trail

Annie loves a good hike!

Just gorgeous!

We were above 9000 feet at the upper lake

Upper Silver Lake

I understand that Alta ski resort is on the other side of this mountain.

We did it!

We crossed this stream on these logs - twice!

I found myself singing "Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning"
This area reminded us of Palmyra and the Sacred Grove

Oh, how lovely was the morning
Radiant beamed the sun above
Bees were humming
Sweet birds singing
Music ringing through the grove

It is, indeed, all good!

Michael Now

Michael and Andrew

Since Michael is my youngest child at home I thought I would do a post on him, like my daughters do on their little ones.

Michael is 17 and handsome and buff. He's a good boy and works hard at school and does Church without complaining. This summer he's started "7 on 7" football and will play football for THS in the fall. He's a natural athlete; in fact, the new football coach didn't have any idea that Michael hadn't played football before this summer. Michael is disciplined. He goes to the gym every day and works hard to take care of his body. Last Sunday he spoke in sacrament meeting. He chose to talk on the Word of Wisdom and prepared the talk himself and did a great job giving it. Michael has good friends: Drew and Kenton and Braden; they are great boys and I love having them in our home.

I caught some shots of Michael and Braden playing ping pong recently:

Michael learned to hold his ping pong paddle like this in Korea - it's his secret weapon

I love you, Michael. I'm glad you're our caboose.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

To Mothers of Young Children

Lately I've been thinking about how hard it is to be the mother of young children. Now that my "baby" is 17 and going to be a senior, I'm finally (knock on wood) feeling some freedom and autonomy in my life. It is wonderful!

I think I really thought this day would never come, when I can kind of plan my own days and have a relatively flexible schedule. I'm not sure I should be as giddy about this as I am.

So, I thought I'd just share some wisdom with my sisters who are still in the throes of not being able to go to the bathroom by yourself, or complete a thought, or find yourself in the car all day . . .

It really will end one day and you want to look back and have no regrets. You are doing right now the most important thing you will do with your life: nurturing young souls.

I remember that when I had six kids at home and was crazy busy, my Dad would tell me that I should just let some things go ~ like the house doesn't have to be perfect all the time, you don't have to have week-long celebrations for birthdays that border on wedding receptions (the family party, the friend party, the school party).

Less IS more.

I didn't believe him then, I didn't want to give up anything - I wanted to do it all. But, he was right ~ I should have let some things go. (Don't gloat, Dad)

I didn't think that this day - my life now - would EVER come. And it has been a long time coming ~ my oldest child is coming up on 31, so I have been doing the SAHM thing for over three decades.

So, I guess I just want to say, be patient ~ with yourself, with your children, with the season of your life. And enjoy it. Those little people, their hugs and sweetness and cute words and love are the payoff for the lack of autonomy you are now experiencing.

If you can find a few minutes to exercise, to pray and read the scriptures, if everyone is fed and happy and feels loved, well, the rest you can catch up on later - okay maybe a LOT later, but get the priorities right and it will all work out in the end. Really.

Russell M. Nelson said:

"When priorities are in place, one can more patiently tolerate unfinished business."

It's all good

Addie Landon's

A dear friend wrote me an email recently that reminded me of this story from my life.

A few years ago there was a cute little boutique in a beautiful white house on Main Street in American Fork. It was called Addie Landon's. I would stop there occasionally and sometimes buy something, but often just go to enjoy the store and the home it was located in.

One day when I was standing in Addie Landon's I said to myself, "I just want to live here." It was decorated beautifully with so many pretty things; it smelled good; there was lovely music playing (the theme from Anne of Green Gables)

Suddenly the thought popped into my mind:

You could make your home just like this if you wanted to, the only thing stopping you is ~ you.

I came home with a new perspective; a new "ownership" for my life. It is a lesson I need to learn (be reminded of) over and over again. I get caught up in just living and forget sometimes that I really have the agency to choose what I want my life to be and if it's not going the way I want ~ I can change it.

It is an empowering thought, but also a scary one ~ there's no one to blame.

We had Rex Kocherhans, a family therapist come to our Enrichment Thursday night. He said lots of good things, but this is my favorite:

Being healthy emotionally is two things:

~Being loving
~ Taking 100% responsibility for your life and choices

He also quoted Stephen Covey who said:

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do with it"

I saw a saying at a store the other day that also sums up this thought:

Live the life you imagine

I feel that this week I am being reminded to Live Life on Purpose.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


This afternoon Jenny came over and we scrapbooked! (well, she made cards) It is my goal for this summer to finish scrapbooking 2004-2007, after which I'm using my blog for our family record.

Today I did 10 pages; I'm into 2005 now! Yeah! It is an addicting sort of hobby, once I get started I don't want to stop!

Monday, June 8, 2009


I put "clean the storage room" on my to do list for today.

I procrastinated getting started for about 4 hours, during which time I:

gave myself a manicure and pedicure
tweezed my eyebrows
made an appointment to get my car inspected
cleaned Michael's room
worked on the laundry
switched out all the hangers between Michael and Todd's rooms
(don't ask; it's just sick and wrong)
email and blogging
switched out some burned-out light bulbs and empty wallflowers

Finally, I made myself go in here:

And guess what? It only took me one hour to get it like this:

There's still too much stuff, but I guess I'm not ready to part with it yet, (I did put a few things in my DI pile) so at least it is organized now, and you can actually walk into the room.

As a bonus, while I was down there I tricked myself into dusting and vacuuming all of downstairs.

It's all good

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Birthday and A Dedication

Today we had a lovely time in the Springville Cemetery where Rich dedicated the new graves of his parents. Rich gave beautiful prayers and it was nice to be there with my parents, Uncle Bill, cousin Adam and five of our children ~ Laura was there in spirit and on speaker phone so that she could hear the prayers.

{picture taken by Sophie}

Next on our agenda was:

Sophie Lynn's Third Birthday!

Sophie opened presents and we had pasta for dinner (her request) and of course, cake and ice cream. Sophie thought blowing out the candles was so much fun that we lit them again and sang a second time so she could blow them out again! (You will recall that she was quite helpful in the blowing out of candles at both Michael's and Jenny's birthdays)

After dinner the kids started an impromptu game of "toss the water balloon"

Logan to Michael

Michael to Jenny

Jenny to Michelle

Michelle to Trevor

Logan just barely caught that one!

And Jenny is the lucky recipient of the broken balloon!

It was a lovely and delightful day!

It's all good!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Blog and New Title

I have a new blog. I started it as a garden journal. I like playing in my dirt and I want to keep a record of the work I do and the progress I make. It probably won't be interesting to anyone, but I like that I will have a record. You can check it out here.

Note above the new "title" of my blog. While I still believe that "serenity is the gracious gift of peace we receive for living by the will of God," I really love the phrase:

it's all good

because it really is all good. Even when it's hard or sad, it's good because we know that God made us and He has a plan and His plan is to bring us back home to Him. And the most important part of His plan, the Atonement wrought by our Savior, has already happened.

It's all good!

Ayden's Preschool Graduation

We got to go to Ayden's preschool graduation ~ it's part of the Grandparent Gig

I love how when Sophie first sees me she shouts: NANA!