snowed in…or is it out?

Nov 28, 2010 by

Our home feels so empty. After having guests all week long, six people just doesn’t seem like very much at all.

Our home was built by someone who wasn’t thinking about winter. They put a metal roof on top of this home. A metal roof with a steep slope. A metal roof with a steep slope that ends over the entire front of our home. A metal roof with a steep slope that ends over the entire front of our home without any dormers or slants to redirect the sliding avalanche of snow that occurs whenever the temperature gets close to 30 degrees.


This is what we came home to today after church. Tell me, please, how are we supposed to get in our front door? How are we supposed to get in the garage?

Well, we did what any tough, northern-climed family would do and climbed that nearly four foot wall of snow in our heels and skirts. Now there is a shoveling party going on to clear a path before it completely freezes into a gargantuan mound of solid ice for the rest of the winter. We like people to visit us and right now it is nearly impossible for others to reach us without some pick axes and climbing boots.

Anyone have any brilliant solutions for our ridiculous roof?

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Nov 23, 2010 by

Winter is here…as evidenced by the piles and piles of snow outside my home and on my roof. I want to stay inside and enjoy my family, some yummy food, and some fabulous games.

My little brother, Cameron, made it here safely last night, my Mom, Mikelle, and Easton drove through a blizzard for hours to make it here late last night and now my brother, Scott, is trying to find a way to get here, but right now it looks like all the roads are closed from Wyoming.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone – hope your week is full of family, friends, and full hearts for the blessings God has given each of us.

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shifting gears

Oct 30, 2010 by

Life keeps throwing us curve balls.

The curve balls this week:

Annesley threw up all night long. This will most likely alter my cleaning plans for today…dramatically alter.

Fisher threw up at our Wednesday classes. Just once. Then he laid on the grass till it was time to go home and seemed just fine after that.

Richard went in to work at 3:30 a few days ago. Saturday he got home from work at 2 a.m.

His computer battery dies the minute it is unplugged from the wall causing all sorts of mishap.

This morning when he went out to drive off to work, his car wouldn’t shift into gear.


What does it mean?

Well, today it means, no car for us. For him it means, a long night of mechanic work trying to figure out what is wrong. It also means, the long awaited shelf in the garage is not going to be built tonight, which means I won’t be able to get all the totes of clothes out of my house, which means my vision of my house possibilities need to shift gears, which means I have no hope of having a spotlessly clean and organized home for my guests to stay in next week, which means I will try hard to put a smile on my face and welcome them in and hope my heartfelt thanks for their presence in my life is enough to help them look past the bins of clothing.

I hope it doesn’t mean that we are now a one-car family with a husband that is gone 80 hours a week. I hope it doesn’t mean he loses his mind over this. I hope it doesn’t mean…well, actually, I can’t put out there what I hope it doesn’t mean. I don’t know what it means and getting all worked up about it isn’t going to do me a bit of good when I need to focus on laundry and dishes and bathrooms and the final stages of the great bedroom rearrangement project.

On the flip side, yesterday a friend at gym asked if I knew anyone who wanted a mini-tramp with a handle.

“YES!!!” I screamed.

You see, I have been searching DI for months for one – you know, for the lymphatic systems benefits.

Five minutes later, I was the proud owner of a mini-tramp.

Thanks, Becca!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I need to chant this scripture all day long. I need to keep my faith. I need to trust.

Sometimes it is just so hard to do it.

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catching up

Oct 26, 2010 by

I am slowly catching up on my housework after the great-bedroom-rearrangement-project. Yesterday I cleaned the much neglected and overflowing-with-all-sorts-of-math-sewing-mail-and-messes-dining-room. It was a spur of the moment decision that hit me late afternoon. All of a sudden I decided I could not live another day with it being a federally declared disaster area. The little ones were gone and I was able to dig in and work quickly and efficiently. The big girls helped me and after many hours of work we finished! I still need to transfer books into the bookshelves, but for right now, I am declaring it finished…and spotless!



Wondering what that ginormous bin of golf balls is for? No, I don’t think they are cute decorations. That is the shelf I am going to keep my Math Alive! supplies on and those golf balls have been a big hit with my little mathematicians. We build pyramids with them and the kids all love it. Find yourself some golf balls and you will have kids (and adults) enthralled for hours!

Despite the freezing temperatures, we still have some remnants of fall in our yard. Here are the last of the leaves. They will all be coming down in the next day or so.

I am trying not to cry my eyes out about it. I love autumn. I am not ready for winter. I love my trees and how they surround our home and make us feel like we are in our own little secret world. Winter exposes us, freezes us, makes everything stark and bare. I am not ready to leave the coziness of fall for the rawness of winter.




Last night we had Dinner-In-a-Pumpkin!!! My favorite! The Lamoreaux family makes it for us the last week of October and we all love it. I have never made it and have no idea how, but if I can get the recipe from Tasha I will share it here.


Scrumptious looking, isn’t it? Trust me, it is!

Keziah let me braid her hair for the Primary Program on Sunday. She is a ponytail girl and hates me to even touch her thick tresses, so each time I get to braid it and make her look angelic, I have to snap a photo. Here she is all dolled up:




Today we are snuggling up under blankets and reading Rolf and the Viking Bow. We are on page fifty and need to finish by Tuesday, so we are hoping to read about 80 pages today. We will see how long my voice lasts!

I think that is all I need to catch you up on for now. Cleaning, freezing, eating, and braiding…these are the days of our lives…

p.s. Have you signed up for Make It For Maggie? It’s time to decide what classes you want and send in your check.

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hearing is not overrated

Oct 17, 2010 by

“What? What did you say?”

“I can’t hear you, please say it again a little louder.”

These are the words that have been coming out of my mouth for the last week. I am tired of saying them. I am tired of needing to say them. I am tired of my right ear popping every time I swallow and making crackling, broken speaker noises when I yawn. I am tired of turning my left ear towards people to catch the sounds coming my way instead of being able to face someone straight on. I am tired of being rendered essentially deaf when I curl up on Richard’s shoulder and have my left ear buried in his chest.

I have decided one thing…Hearing is not overrated. Not one bit.

I have been doing some investigating and it seems I am having some Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. The pressure in my inner ear is not balanced with the pressure in my outer ear and so it keeps popping and basically driving me bonkers.

Out there on the internet message boards I am reading of people who have been suffering with this for years. People who have tried hundreds of things to get it to stop and had success with zero of them. People who have seen numerous ENT doctors and been told there is nothing they can do.

I have now decided on a second thing…I can’t live with this (it makes reading out loud a painful, echoing, drive-me-insane experience, not to mention that I can’t hear a thing my soft-spoken husband says to me) and I am not going to give up till I solve this issue.

So, if any of you have experienced the constant popping and crackling in your ears, please tell me how you got rid of it.

The only person I have found on the internet that has successfully gotten rid of it used 3-in-1 machine oil. Anyone know anything about putting machine oil in your ear? It doesn’t sound that wise to me, in fact it sounds outright crazy, but I guess I am open to learning more about it if you have an experience to share.

In the meantime, if I say “What?” to you, please just repeat yourself a little louder and speak to my left ear, it will help us both to get through the conversation much quicker.

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Sep 21, 2010 by

Yep, that’s me…a one-armed woman…and I am even going to hen-peck out a short post.

I have awoke the last few weeks with pain in my neck and in my sciatic nerve…and if the truth be told have been tossing and turning with it all night as well. But, during the day it didn’t bother me too much, so I attributed to the fact that we need a new mattress.

Today was a different story. When I woke up the pain didn’t dissipate, it got worse. Each cleaning and cooking task brought more pain to my shoulder area. Finally I started babying it, hoping non-use would bring relief. Nope. As soon as I would move it at all, pain would shoot through the joint. I started thinking I had a pinched nerve and called my chiropractor to beg him to see me ASAP. He got me in this afternoon and it turns out I have a viral infection in my nerve endings, causing them to be inflamed, hence the pain.

So, until the infection heals, I am going to work on one-armed skill development! Anyone ever see a one-armed gymnastics teacher? I hope to be better by Friday, but it is not looking good, so I think I will need to be creative!

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shade? what is its price?

Jul 21, 2010 by

I have been searching for a shade shelter for our big annual camping trip…searching does not even begin to describe the lengths to which I have gone to find the perfect piece of polyester, poly-oxford, poly-coated, poly-nonsense to provide our group of five families shade, rain, and hail protection while eating, cooking, and most importantly, while playing Rook.

My mom has had me looking for weeks, but we have put off making a final decision until we were certain we were getting the best product for the best price. We have been using a 10 x 10 with slanted legs for the last five years or so, but it is on its last duct-taped, missing pegs, ripped velcro, bent legs and it is high time for a new one. We wanted something a little bigger, a little stronger, and something a little less likely to take a finger off when you pull the legs out without watching where your hand is placed.

Oh, what a gargantuan task that is!

So many of the shade canopies have reviews that are complete opposites…some people saying it is the best shelter they have ever had, others saying it should be thrown in the trash upon buying it as it will do you more good there than it will standing up over your picnic table. It is a difficult, overwhelming mess to try to sort out what canopy will actually survive a rainstorm and 20 mph winds without snapping in half.

And the warranties? They all say they are warrantied for 1-2 years, but the internet is full of warranty nightmares where the companies are either impossible to get a hold of or they insist that the broken canopy isn’t covered because it isn’t defective, the user used it inappropriately, so says the companies…oh my, we so did not want to deal with that whole fiasco.

We just wanted to find a shade shelter that would hold up for more than the first few weeks, preferably for several years, through a rainstorm, mild wind, and repeatedly putting it up and down. We also wanted it to not break the bank.

This is a seemingly impossible task. Shade shelters simply don’t exist that do all these things. Shade shelters only exist to put up for a few hours when there is no breeze to ruffle their feathers, not a single raindrop to put undue strain on top, and certainly not for a repeated use.

After a whirlwind packing weekend so I could get to Wyoming by Monday night and to the dentist in Salt Lake by Tuesday morning, I realized I needed to use my time in SLC to find my mom the shelter of her dreams.

Nine hours, multiple cross-valley trips, at least 30 stores, and who knows how many phone calls to my mother brought me nothing, but an exhausted Keziah, blurry eyes, and an encyclopedic knowledge of every shade shelter in existence.

I did make it home with a Kelty Canopy House that was on sale at Target. The thought of having a shade shelter that weighed only 7 lbs and could fit in my beach bag was so intriguing that I drove clear to Timbuktoo on the far side of the Salt Lake valley to snag the last remaining one within 20 miles. But, when Blythe and I set it up this morning we found it was sized perfectly for anyone under the age of eight. Adults would need to go elsewhere to find relief from the sun and rain.

This morning, I have spent hours searching the internet for the Coleman 12 x 12 Straight Leg Instant Shelter that mom decided she wanted. It is sold out pretty much everywhere, even on Amazon. Luckily for her, I am an internet detective and I found it at three stores. The cheapest is Sunny Sports where we picked it up for $169 with free shipping, a bargain since when it was available on Amazon it was $179!

Now she has decided she would also like the 10 x 10 in the same brand and style, so I have been calling Targets all over the country to find one (they are on sale for $125 this week). Most places are sold out, including the Target out in Timbucktoo where I found the Kelty Canopy. I, now have three on hold in Colorado and one on hold in Idaho and am trying to work out which family member I can beg to pick one up for my dear sweet mother who has the simple goal of playing rook without getting wet.

After we use them for two weeks in the Wind Rivers, we will let you know if we made the right choice or not. Then you can avoid the above mentioned mess.

p.s. This does not even include the fact that I DID buy a 12 x 12 Regency last week in Pocatello and miraculously got the 60 lb. monstrosity into my vehicle, but I had to take it back because it had such terrible reviews of collapsing on the first use during a mild rainstorm, or the fact that I had the Coleman 10 x 10 in my hands yesterday and walked out of the store without buying it when we hadn’t yet decided that was the one we wanted.

p.p.s. The price of shade? Apparently more than I could ever earn in this lifetime.

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Jun 26, 2010 by

We just got home from the Title of Liberty Walk that is held every year the Saturday before Independence Day and it was wonderful as usual (in spite of Fisher showing up for the 2 mile walk without shoes!)

There were quite a few people parked on the side of the road watching us and taking pictures of all of us walking with our flags. I kept noticing them and wondered why on earth they were watching and not walking with us. As I thought about it and my reaction to them I realized something about myself (this may be obvious to the rest of the world, but it was not obvious to me until today…when I mentioned my epiphany to Richard he started laughing and saying, isn’t that clear?)

Epiphany of the day:

I am not a spectator.

I am a participant.

I am a doer.

I want to be in on all the action, not watching other people be in on it.

I don’t understand spectating (is that a word?).

My questions for the world:

Why would anyone want to watch an event, when they could be part of the event?

What sort of pleasure do people get from simply watching?

This is pretty eye-opening to me because while I realize I am involved with a lot of things, I haven’t ever known why I am involved. Is it because I can’t say no? Is it because I am getting walked on and feel I have to pick up the slack for others? Nope. It is because I like it that way. It feels incomplete to attend an event without having put any work into it, without knowing the ins and outs, without having a vested interest in its success.

I like ushering for plays. I like selling concessions. I like bringing people together for a great event. I like playing the game and stealing the ball, not cheering from the stands. I like making the tackle. I like creating events that bring families, communities, and nations together. I like doing those things. They give me life.

Blythe and Richard said “If everyone was like you, there would be no one to put plays on for, no one to cheer for the homerun, no one to clap. There have to be spectators for events to exist.” I can somewhat see their point, but I can’t really grasp it. I don’t understand spectating, I only understand participating, growing, creating, nurturing, building, and finishing. I don’t understand standing by watching other people do things. Even if I was in a wheelchair or on my death bed, I think I would still be a doer. I think I would still have been out there today using an electric device to move me down the street with my flag or organizing a team to push me or something. Anything to be involved.

Maybe I am crazy…but its who I am.

Spectating is not for me.

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my thoughts exactly!

May 19, 2010 by

In response to the school bond defeat yesterday, Neal Larsen, a local radio host, wrote a letter to the public schools today. I like his approach and how he is trying to get his message out.


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crooked teeth

May 3, 2010 by

Let me tell you the problem with crooked teeth.

They get food stuck in them.

That so-called friends don’t tell you about.

And you walk around for hours talking to people with bright green stuff stuck in the crevices of your over-lapping teeth.




All the while you have green stuff stuck in your crooked teeth that have never seen the miracle of braces…and YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

Then you look in a mirror and see the green stuff.

Then the mortification sets in.

Then the disbelief that your so-called friend didn’t bother to tell you.

How do I know?

I have just lived it…and I thought she was my buddy, thought she could tell me anything, but nooooo, she’s not willing to save me from embarrassment, just lets me walk around with three big hunks of pesto stuck in my teeth.

Message to all my in-real-life friends:

If you see me with food in teeth, gunk on my face, make-up not rubbed in, zipper undone, slip hanging down, or any of a million other embarrassing things, PLEASE let me know. Please, please, please.

Otherwise, I may just have to spend the rest of my life in hiding.

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Apr 26, 2010 by

That post from my mom wasn’t supposed to up there long at all – it should have been replaced by my Thankful Thursdays post, but surprise to no one, I got behind again. I had a busy day Thursday because of a meeting with a last minute doula client. Friday brought gym, violin, and a long awaited appointment of reckoning with the library over three lost books. Saturday was H.O.P.E. and the symphony (magnificent by the way!). My doula client went into labor on Sunday with a beautiful birth just after midnight on Monday morning. So today was a slow day spent catching up on sleep, dishes, laundry, and a little bit of snuggling with my little ones.

Tomorrow is the beginning of three-day-a-week Shakespeare rehearsals, Wednesday is our homeschool group’s trip to The Three Musketeers, Friday is gym and Keziah and Blythe’s Grand Concert for violin. Then next week, my dear Tami will be here!!!!

So, yeah, dishes, laundry, being with my children need to take priority right now. We’ll see if I get any blogging done!

I would like to share some inspiring, insightful thoughts, but they are far from me at the moment. Maybe after a good night of rest they will come flying back into my heart so I can share them with you.

Chow for now.

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request from my mom

Apr 21, 2010 by

Dear all of Tracy’s friends: Please help me finish this group of phrases. Something fun and original please.

Something that ends in ‘ly’




deeply ?


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go check this out

Apr 13, 2010 by

I love reading cjane’s thoughts on life and this week her blog has guest writers…the men in her life! Today’s post from her brother-in-law about adoption is a must read.

Go ahead, it will brighten your day and restore your belief in the goodness of men.

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Apr 6, 2010 by

Yes, this is one of my weaknesses. Perhaps it has a good side to it as well, but today all I can see is the downside of being impulsive.

Remember the GHO? Well, it turns out the A/C condenser is broken and needs replaced. The radiator needs more work. The grill needs replaced, which means the whole front end of the suburban needs replaced. Today was the day to take it to the shop (actually, yesterday was, but I forgot all about it because of a funeral for a friend from our church) and because they will be working on it for 2-3 days we decided to get a rental car.

Mistake #1: Don’t have a policy that only pays $16.00 a day for rental coverage. Rental cars don’t cost $16 a day.

Okay, back to the story. So, I get the rental car and drive home. Right before my house, I see a hitch on the side of the road. I think “That is the hitch from my suburban, I need to get it.”

Now, is the hitch missing from my suburban? I don’t think so. Is it likely to be my hitch? I don’t think so. Hindsight is a beautiful (but painful) thing.

Mistake #2: Remove all logical thought processes from brain the second I see the hitch.

Sooo, I turn around and drive on the side of the road in my “compact rental car”. Compact is an understatement. It is tiny, low to the ground, and nothing like my suburban which can get out of pretty much anything.

Mistake #3: Drive through the 8 inches of snow we got last night to get Blythe as close as possible to the hitch. Don’t want my girlie to get her pants wet.

Blythe gets out and gets the hitch and then I try to pull on to the road, but there are a lot of cars coming, so I decide to back up. As soon as I start going backwards, the car starts sliding…and sliding…and sliding down the ditch. I am now stuck. Way stuck.

Mistake #4: Trying to solve the problem instead of just waiting till the snow melted, which it did approximately 4 hours later.

A farmer stops by with his big work truck full of tools and says “I’ll pull you out in a jiffy.” What could a stranded girl want more than a rugged, older gentleman with a heap of tools? He got out his chain, hooked it up to his beefy truck and dug out the snow enough to hook it onto the rental car. He says “I’ll just pull you up real gentle to the side of the road.” “Sure thing, buddy,” I think to myself. Next thing I know, the grill flies into the air and an awful tugging sound comes from the front of the car. My car hasn’t budged, but something on it most certainly has.

The support brace underneath the car is bent out at a 90 degree angle from the car and is twisted into some shape that will no longer allow it to fulfill its duty.

Mistake #5: Letting someone hook a chain to the car I am legally responsible for.

After a phone call to my trusty insurance agent who has heard more from me in the past six weeks than he has in the past six years, I learn that my deductible is $500 and I will need to pay it to the rental car company today. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS for an impulsive act to save the hitch that probably isn’t ours anyway!

What happened to my other life? The life that didn’t have a car accident, a collision with a GHO, and an imcompetent Good Samaritan all in the course of a few short weeks.

What happened to my other brain? The one that could think logically, assess a situation, and make a good decision?

I want those things back.


I can’t afford to be impulsive for another minute.

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Mar 28, 2010 by

How many things can break in my life? Richard says I shouldn’t ask that question, shouldn’t put those words out to the universe, shouldn’t give them life. He is probably right. And yet…I have to wonder?

Last night at Winco, I dropped my barely clinging to life cell phone and it broke into two pieces…complete with wires hanging out. I put it back together, but it didn’t work. It is officially toast. So, don’t call me on it – you won’t get me.

Right after I dropped the phone I felt something hanging around my legs. I thought it must be the completely-stretched-out-waistband-slip I was wearing and tried to hike it back up in some semblance of a ladylike manner while standing in the back corner of the bulk section. I kept pulling it up over and over and short story is, whatever was hanging around my legs was still there. Turns out it was my very stretched out pantyhose.

Something is terribly wrong with my suburban. More than one thing. I have been telling Richard this all week long, but he has been beset with his own car troubles and hasn’t been able to pay attention to mine. Well, last night he drove it and said, “What is that noise? That is just not right.” I think it is the U-joints and something with the air system. Who knows?

Richard’s car broke down in Idaho Falls on Friday night. I had to go rescue him right after I finally got home from gym.

When he went to go work on his car on Saturday he drove his little red project car and something blew. Hopefully a cheap gasket, but who knows.

We now have three barely running vehicles, one totaled vehicle that we are waiting for the measly insurance payment on, and one hasn’t-been-started-in-years vehicle that Richard is hoping to take apart and sell parts off of.

All I want are two dependable vehicles. I don’t care what they look like. I just want them to get me from here to there on a regular basis.

My round brush that I blow dry my hair with came completely apart. No surprise since my hair could win the contest for World’s Thickest Hair. Think it doesn’t look that thick? Well, it takes a LOT of work to make it not look thick. Once when I got a perm, it took 6 hours, three wrappers, three sets of rods and three bags on my head to cover up all the rods. Insanity I say.

My adorable green table that I love got broken yesterday when I dropped the couch on it (well, actually, I was in between the couch and the table quite concerned that I would by squished until I was bereft of all oxygen in my body. No one could help me because Blythe was on the other end of the couch and couldn’t get to me except by climbing on the couch and pushing it even further into my lungs and none of our other children are strong enough or tall enough to lift a couch that is 4 ft. in the air and slowing killing their mother). I had the couch above my head to try to get it out of the living room and into the dining room so we could make our Passover table when I tripped and dropped it on top of me. As the last gasps of air were escaping I mustered all my strength and heaved it up again.

My dishwasher is broken, my vacuum isn’t working so hot, my sewing machine is temperamental. My upstairs shower has been broken for over a year. My iron fell of the ironing board yesterday and broke a piece off of it – I think I fixed that though.

Surely, we have had enough! Surely we are going to start having things go right.


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so frustrated i could scream

Mar 10, 2010 by


That is my scream.

Can you hear it?

I am frustrated with so many things.

I am oh so frustrated with Viking Insurance of Wisconsin. That is the company of the guy who caused the car accident. They rate ZERO on customer service. Here is the timeline:

Tuesday – accident

Wednesday – Richard, in pain and needing to either be asleep or getting his body put back together, on the phone for TWO hours with them giving them information they could get off the accident report if they just picked it up and read it! They told him they can’t tell him anything about rental cars or discuss anything with him, the adjuster will have to do that and will be calling in 1-2 days.

Thursday – nothing

Friday – nothing

Saturday – nothing

Sunday – nothing

Monday afternoon – adjuster calls and says they don’t know if they will be paying anything, not sure if it is their guys fault or not…HELLOOOOOO! The guy fully admitted fault, the police report pins it on him 100% and on Richard 0%. Also says we need to get the car towed out of the storage place it is at and they will not pay for a rental car past Friday.

Tuesday – nothing

Wednesday – nothing

Thursday – The adjuster calls and says “Your car is totaled, I am no longer your adjuster. A total adjuster will call you in the next 1-2 days.

Friday – Adjuster leaves a message. Richard calls right back and can’t get her.

Saturday – nothing

Sunday – nothing

Monday – Richard calls several times, gets voice mail every dang time.

Tuesday – Richard calls every single hour all day long and gets voice mail again and again and again…then at 3:00 the voice mail is changed to say she will be out of the office until the 15th! He calls the office and is told they will reassign a different total adjuster to his case and s/he will be calling in the next 1-2 days!

It has been two weeks and we have yet to even have a conversation with our adjuster…how much sense does that make?????????? Then, they had the gall to say “We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.”

Ya think?!?!

The other thing I am frustrated about is Richard took time off yesterday to go to a job interview. This company was advertising $22/hour for an IBI professional, which is what Richard is. The owner told him on the phone that she had a part time position of 20 hours and a full time position.

She has NO hours…NONE! She doesn’t have a single child approved for IBI hours. She also doesn’t want to pay him $22/hour. She would rather start him at $18/hour and reward him each year with a $1/hour raise. She doesn’t want him to work more than 30 hours for her and not work for anyone else, it makes her uncomfortable to think he might do that. Then she says “30 hours a week at $22/hour, 52 weeks of the year is $34,000, what more could you want?”

Um, excuse me…$34,000????

Before taxes.

And only if he actually got his 30 hours a week and worked 52 weeks of the year…never gonna happen. Kids cancel all the time…they get sick, they have appointments, they forget.

How about enough money to support a family of six?

I am angry that she wasted his time by advertising for a position that doesn’t exist and that she doesn’t want to pay for even if it did exist. I am angry she didn’t value his time enough to be honest during their phone call. I am angry that he cancelled client hours and lost money to go to a completely worthless interview.

I am angry that our partners closed our business three years ago. I am angry that I get to see my husband for such a smidgeon of time each day.

I am angry that I am angry.

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and the winner is…

Feb 22, 2010 by

Joy pillow


I used (which is a great little tool!) to pick a number from all the sponsors of the children’s read-a-thon! She had numbers 323-383 and the number chosen was 345.

Woo-hoo for Tam!

Thank you to everyone who has donated to my children’s read-a-thon. They will be choosing their books for themselves and for F.A.I.T.H. today.

Also, thank you to all of my blog readers – you guys are fabulous!

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kidney infection, not stones

Jan 26, 2010 by

Yes, it seems I have an infection that is causing all this pain instead of my stones. This is good news, I think. I can treat an infection. My body can heal from an infection. I know how to kick an infection…not so much with the stones.

So, I am mounting an attack on the bacteria that has taken up residence and hoping to be pain free soon.

I’ll still welcome your stone advice as they are there and hanging out and I would LOVE to dissolve them.

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kidney stones

Jan 26, 2010 by

I need your input…I have some kidney stones. I have had them for 1 1/2 years. They have not caused me any problems for months, but now they are. I am hurting and frustrated. I am sure this has all flared up because of my rough week last week. I didn’t drink enough water for several days in a row and now my kidneys are calling out to me.

If you have any dissolve kidney stone tricks or any way of figuring out what type of stones they are, comfort measure advice, or anything else I might need to know, please send them my way!

Thanks in advance.

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what are these people thinking?

Jan 23, 2010 by

Richard took me on date tonight. What a wonderful way to end this hard week! I had a wonderful H.O.P.E. class this morning, spent the afternoon with my children and went on a date with my sweetheart tonight.

We went to Barnes and Noble to make a return. We love going to bookstores – all the different books, authors, smells, stuff…all of it…we love finding new books and sitting down and reading a wide variety of topics together for a little while and then walking out without buying a thing. It is a great date.

Well, tonight, we ventured out into the mall for a few moments. That was all we could handle before we had to escape back into the world of books because really, what are these people thinking??!!

In our few moments in the mall, we saw a group of girls around the age of eleven. They were no where near as old as Blythe as they were much smaller and didn’t have breasts to speak of. They were wearing make-up, skin tight jeans full of holes, shoes without laces, hoodies five sizes too small, and attitudes intended to keep adults a mile away. They were roaming the mall. All alone.

Another group of slightly older girls approached. One had huge, fluffy animal slippers and pajama shorts. Her friend had short, show-your-behind-if-you-bend-over shorts, a barely there tank top, flip-flops, and a beret. Mind you, it is the 23rd of January in the Northern Hemisphere, is below freezing and the ground is covered in ice and snow.

Where are their parents? Where is someone who cares about them? Where are their grandmothers? Why are they all alone at the mall on a Saturday evening?

This may be common American behavior, but I don’t approve. I don’t understand. I don’t agree.

I simply don’t get it and no amount of explaining it to me will convince me this is in any way shape or form good for these girls.

When we got home to our house, Blythe had Annesley asleep, Fisher was looking at books, Blythe was teaching Keziah how to crochet, and everyone was listening to Eragon.

What a welcome sight to these burned-by-teenage-culture-eyes. I really couldn’t take another minute of it and had to rush back into the world of books and out to the car to flee the city and all the accompanying bizarre behavior that goes with city life.

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why i like small towns

Jan 19, 2010 by

I live in a small town, but it is pretty darn big compared to the town I grew up in. I live near a “city” and I am continually amazed at the difference in attitudes between small towns and cities.

Case in point.

I called a small town library 20 miles away from me to find an audio book for Blythe. I am not a member of this library, just of the city library. I explained the dilemma I was having (needing this audio book right away and being on the waiting list for it at my library) and asked if there was any way I could check it out from their library. The cheerful woman on the other end of the phone said “What book are you looking for?” I told her the title and that I had found it in their online catalog and that it was due back today. She looked up who had it checked out and said “Oh, this woman normally comes in later in the day because she takes care of her mother during the day. As soon as she comes in we will save it for you and give you a call. I’ll also go check the drop box right now and see if perhaps she brought it in last night. Thank you for calling – I will do my best to help you get this book today!”

Jaw dropped.

Can you believe that? She actually behaves as if her job as a librarian is to help people find books and check them out!

So many librarians at the city library give off the vibe that they are far too busy to help anyone find a book, check them out, or answer questions in anything but a brusque German army type of manner…you know, with very clipped words with no extra information or a smile that would let you feel like you are actually speaking to a human being.

There is something different in your behavior when you live in a small town. It is as if since you know everyone that lives there and that you will run into them again and again and again for the rest of your life, you treat them as though they are person instead of a number, a being instead of an obstacle, a gift instead of a tool.

I want to be a small town person.

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Nov 22, 2009 by

Snow is falling all around!
On the housetops
On the ground!
Snow is falling on my nose
On my head
My hands and toes!

Yes, during church today it snowed…a lot. It is still coming down and I am not at all thrilled. See, I am not a skier, not a sledder, not a snowmobile-er, not a snowshoe-er, not an anything that has anything to do with snow. I like to see the mountains covered in it, but down here? Not so much. I wish it could fall in the fields, lakes, and rivers and somehow stay off the roads. I wish it could soak deep into the earth to replenish the aquifer without covering my sidewalks.

It’s not that I am afraid of driving on bad roads – I grew up in Wyoming at an elevation of 7,000 ft.+. It’s not even that I hate the cold, in fact, I rarely wear a coat. Its just a lot of work. All the shoveling, scraping, defrosting, bundling up, bundling down, dripping boots, lost mittens, missing gloves, hats that don’t fit, trails of muddy snow through the house, babies that want to go out, come in, go out, come in, loading up sleds, ice skates, coats, fleece, blankets, kick sleds, tubes, food, warming up the engine, sliding off the road, driving slowly, accidents that need cleared off the road so traffic can proceed, brown slushy junk in every parking lot, the skyrocketing heating bills, the runny noses, the piles of…its all too much.

Any of you moms know what I mean?

I am hoping this melts right quick and we can get back to enjoying fall.

(We also need to find Keziah’s shoes before they are permanently buried for the season. Yeah, the ones that she left at violin on Friday in her teacher’s backyard before her lesson started. How does a person walk out of the house, across the porch, down the driveway, and get into the car without noticing they don’t have shoes on? And yes, she went into ice skating without shoes. In fact, she ran across A Street, down 1/2 a block and into Great Harvest shoeless…that girl, she is a nut!)

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100 things

Nov 11, 2009 by

I have been blogging for a little over 6 months now and I have to say I love it. I love having a place to put my thoughts for the world to see. I need a place to process, create, and share and this has been the perfect answer to fill those needs. I love hearing from my readers on how things have touched them or how they relate to something I have written. It is a tad bit addicting for me, so I have tried to keep it in balance and will need to keep working on that one!

I have arrived at my 100th post and have been motivated by fellow bloggers to share 100 things about myself, in case you didn’t already know everything about me! These are in no particular order…just random thoughts off the top of my head.

  • 1. I love the number seven and even named one of my children the number seven in Hebrew. I was born on the 7th, at 7:00, weighed 7 lbs., and my mom pushed me out for seven minutes. Seven is the most holy and perfect number in Hebrew and I love that I started out with a string of them.
  • 2. I love cantaloupe.
  • 3. I cannot sew worth a darn. It is the most frustrating thing in the world to me…and yet, here I am doing a huge sewing project for children in Uganda!
  • 4. I love to read. I could spend my life reading if I didn’t have children. Thankfully God knew I needed to get my head out of the books and gave me some children that need fed, held, and loved on.
  • 5. I once cooked pancakes on a cookie sheet. On top of the stove. Of course, the flame burned right through. Lovely.
  • 6. I am 35 years old and can still do a back handspring. In fact I did one at gym this week.
  • 7. Our house burned down when we had been married just 8 weeks.
  • 8. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology. It took me a long time to get it…I was a senior when Blythe was born and it took me another four years to graduate.
  • 9. I love to sing at the top of my lungs. I spent my entire childhood singing and driving my family bonkers. I remember my brothers pleading with my mother to please. make. me. be. quiet. right. this. instant. This does not mean I am a good singer…just a passionate one.
  • 10. I used to be extremely competitive and am guilty of jumping over people and desks to hand in assignments first. I HAD to always have my papers in first AND get 100% on them or I would be devastated.
  • 11. On that same line of thinking, I scored an A++++ in outside reading in the fourth grade. There was this little chart for every 100 pages a child read. The teacher had to make a new chart because I filled mine up so fast. Nuts, truly, I was nuts.
  • 12. I have been breastfeeding for over 11 years of my life. Well, that doesn’t count the time my mom breastfed me as an infant, so over 12 years with that. I am hoping my chances for breast cancer are at 0% with all those months of estrogen reduction working for my benefit. If you throw in pregnancies, I have been either gestating or nursing for 170 months of my adult life, which is 14.16 years. We have been married 16 years.
  • 13. I have had four wonderful and very different home births.
  • 14. I love Hebrew and I cannot make the gutteral sounds that are critical to correct pronunciation.
  • 15. I use cloth diapers and love them.
  • 16. I also use cloth pads and a Keeper menstrual cup…love them too!
  • 17. I have a very weak set of Kegel muscles and cannot stop from peeing my pants if I laugh very hard. I have probably had over 1000 accidents in my life. When I was a teenager and packing for our family reunions, I would always bring about 15 outfits for the 3 day trip because Camille and Tami would make me laugh so hard I would go through lots of outfits every day.
  • 18. Speaking of Camille and Tami…they are my cousins and also my best friends. I have been blessed with their love, support, laughter, and encouragement for the last 30+ years. They have held me when I cried, driven hours and hours to visit me, loved my children, called me in the middle of the night, given me lots of massages, brought me delicious food, sang “Families Can Be Together Forever,” and been the best “women” friends anyone could ever ask for. I used to think this was normal, but now I realize how rare it is to have two such precious friends to walk this journey of life with. We will be friends forever and I can just see us when we are all 90…we will still be laughing and staying up all night playing games as we enjoy each other’s great-grandchildren.
  • 19. I am extremely spontaneous. I will do pretty much anything on the spur of the moment, including setting off on trips, completely rearranging my entire house, starting a huge Africa project, starting to play the cello, or an endless list of other adventures I have taken my family on. My husband is a planner and a list maker and I pretty much drive him bonkers. But he is used to me now…and he adores me.
  • 20. I hate schedules and plans…see #19 above.
  • 21. I can eat 1/2 gallon of ice cream in one sitting and have done it many times.
  • 22. I rarely make my bed.
  • 23. I love fabric and it is a problem because I can’t sew. See #3 above.
  • 24. I ride a recumbent high-racer.
  • 25. I hate putting laundry away and rarely do it.
  • 26. I love Keen, Chaco, and Dansko shoes.
  • 27. I have wide, ugly, very-high arched, hobbit feet. See #26 above.
  • 28. I have a uni-brow that needs continuous maintenance to adhere to the standards of feminine beauty.
  • 29. My favorite place in the world is Green River Lakes.
  • 30. My other favorite place is in my husband’s arms and if I had to choose between GRL and his arms, I would choose his arms.
  • 31. I am a doula and have helped families birth their babies for the last 13 years. I love it and know that God called me to this sacred work.
  • 32. I have caught one breech baby.
  • 33. I am loud and obnoxious. (However, I am not loud and obnoxious at births, but believe it is a holy experience that I am to nurture and help all to experience at whatever level they are ready for.)
  • 34. I believe agency is a foundational principle and is the defining factor between good and evil. We must choose who we are, what we are made of, and how we will treat others. Programs of compulsion, manipulation, and non-thinking do not develop the best that is within us and we do not progress as children of God when we are forced into anything, especially so called goodness. For it to truly be good, it must be chosen.
  • 35. I take my children to the library every week.
  • 36. I treasure my friends and I have a lot of them.
  • 37. I love the Old Testament, the Jewish culture, and everything about Hebrew.
  • 38. I am fairly obsessed with both the Revolutionary War and WWII.
  • 39. My parents divorced when I was 12. To say that it changed my life forever is a severe understatement. It completely altered my perceptions of who I was, what reality was, what was truth, and what family meant. I think I am recovered now, but sometimes things still come up.
  • 40. I cut or burn myself pretty much every time I am cooking. I have the scars to prove it. I think I could make money on America’s Funniest Home Videos if I just left a camera running all the time in my kitchen.
  • 41. I scream with joy, fear, excitement, and shock on a regular basis.
  • 42. I love old things.
  • 43. My grandmother taught me all I need to know to get to heaven.
  • 44. My mother is the most hilarious person ever.
  • 45. I use honey for my sweetener.
  • 46. I love honeycrisp apples.
  • 47. I used to have a lot of functioning brain cells and could remember what I needed to do each day. Now I have children and not a day goes by without me forgetting something important.
  • 48. I love quotes that stir my soul.
  • 49. I love sleeping in a tent.
  • 50. I could live outside, especially at Green River Lakes.
  • 51. I have not ridden in an airplane since I was 18 and that was only my 2nd trip.
  • 52. I have only been to California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, South Dakota, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Minnesota. All of those except CA and NV were before I was married.
  • 53. I can say all the states in alphabetical order…thanks mom for the songs and games growing up.
  • 54. I can say the alphabet backwards pretty darn fast. Ditto to mom.
  • 55. I have four living children and nine children who haven’t made it to our arms.
  • 56. I have a bad habit of thinking I am right.
  • 57. I cannot grow a garden, in fact, I can’t even keep a plant alive (although the peace lily Sommer gave me for my birthday is still, at this very minute, alive!). I do keep trying. I think it is something about schedules and structure being needed…
  • 58. I am willing to drive across the country to get things I need. Chickens, dogs, fresh air?
  • 59. I have driven home from Boise with 100 chickens in my suburban with the windows down the whole way so that my children and I could breathe.
  • 60. I have broken more dishes and glassware than should be humanly possible.
  • 61. I exploded a pyrex casserole dish by putting it on my flat ceramic stove top that was still turned on high. (Do you have any idea how much glass is in an 11 x 15 pyrex casserole dish? Months later we were still finding glass.)
  • 62. I hate flat ceramic stove tops. Give me gas and 20,000 BTU’s any day.
  • 63. When I am asleep I like to be straight with the room. I cannot be at an angle with the walls. Except right now our bed is at a perfect 45 degree angle, and that is okay, it is like I am the hypotenuse of the triangle.
  • 64. Even though I rarely make my bed, I like my covers to be perfectly orderly when I get into bed.
  • 65. Did I mention my husband adores me? Truly. I don’t know why and I certainly don’t deserve it, but he adores me clear down to his little toes and his love has changed my life forever.
  • 66. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister…all of them very different from one another.
  • 67. I frequently lock myself out of my car. I just did it for the fourth time in 2009 on Tuesday.
  • 68. I can still fit into my wedding dress.
  • 69. I cook from scratch and have no clue how to cook like a mainstream American woman. I have never used a cake mix, don’t do cream of chicken soup casseroles, and always use real ingredients. Chemicals don’t cut it for me.
  • 70. I use freshly ground whole wheat flour. I prefer white wheat. I also like spelt, kamut, oat, quinoa, and amaranth.
  • 71. I love Bruce’s Cereal from Kitchen Kneads in Ogden.
  • 72. I stick my foot in my mouth frequently, but I rarely mean offense.
  • 73. I love C.S. Lewis’ writing.
  • 74. I spend hours researching pretty much everything.
  • 75. I love 100% cotton handmade quilts. I wish I could quilt and create all the amazing ideas I have in my mind.
  • 76. I do not believe in compulsory schooling.
  • 77. I am passionate about the Constitution.
  • 78. I scored a 5 on the AP History test in High School.
  • 79. I really dislike running, but I have always wanted to like it.
  • 80. My children throw up profusely…which is why we have leather for our vehicle and our furniture.
  • 81. I love Thai food.
  • 82. I once punched Richard’s boss. Repeatedly.
  • 83. I have been given more love by family and friends than I deserve. Also, more money, food, gifts, and patience.
  • 84. There was a period of my life where I stopped crying. For years. I am so glad that part of me is turned back on and now I cry on regular basis.
  • 85. I could have easily been a bottle-propping, go to work, give the baby to someone else kind of mother because of my selfishness. Thankfully, I researched breastfeeding and attachment parenting ad nauseum so that my mind could overcome my character flaw.
  • 86. At one time I decided I was not going to get married or have children. I was going to get a PhD and do important things without a man telling me what to do. God intervened and patiently taught me where my joy would come from.
  • 87. I love the Arbinger Institute’s approach to human relations.
  • 88. I believe each person has a mission to accomplish here on earth and that God is helping us individually to prepare for and carry out that work.
  • 89. I have a hard time with restraint. In fact, I don’t really know how to restrain myself. I get an idea and I go with it without really stopping to assess how nonsensical, difficult, or inconvenient it might be.
  • 90. I am completely fed up with both the Democrat and the Republican parties. I don’t believe a word either of them say and wish a sinkhole would swallow Washington D.C. and all the other power centers of the world.
  • 91. I understand why people are drawn to the peace, love, and utopia worldviews. It sounds good…it just doesn’t work with human nature.
  • 92. I love eating popcorn while curling up with a good book.
  • 93. I love Sudoko puzzles. I actually love all sorts of puzzles.
  • 94. I am an “Anne with an E” girl.
  • 95. I try to drink 3-4 quarts of water a day.
  • 96. I love smoothies made with parsley and pineapple.
  • 97. I am a touching person and probably bother people who aren’t by invading their personal space.
  • 98. I love sweaters and funky socks and can’t wait for winter to wear them. (Though I hate nursing in sweaters and this is a problem!)
  • 99. I meet people and become friends with new people everywhere I go. My husband and children are used to this and aren’t even surprised anymore when I introduce them to someone “just like me” that I just met at the grocery store. I can see something in their eyes, connect with their soul, and know we are meant to be friends. Does that happen to you?
  • 100. I wish I lived up to all my ideals of who and what a daughter of God is, but I struggle everyday with the basics and don’t know if I will ever be who He created me to be. I hope so though.

Whew! That took some time! Did you make it all the way?

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the trouble with keys

Nov 10, 2009 by

The trouble with keys is that I lose them. I leave them in the car on a regular basis and hit that “thieves you can’t get in here and steal my water bottles, mismatched shoes, half-eaten apples, or dirty diaper bag” button. You know the lock button. Why do I think I need to lock my doors when anyone with more than two brain cells can see that my suburban is worthless. I know, it’s because there might be a thief with just one brain cell that will want to take it and then where would we be without a vehicle? Stuck at home!

It happened again tonight. I was talking on the phone and knew I had my keys because I had something in my hand, so I hit the magic button and then realized the something was not a set of keys, but was in fact the phone I was talking on! How could I have confused the two?

Really. I do not understand how a once well-functioning brain has turned into this, this, this what? Absolutely overloaded, forgetful, and misfiring clump of brain cells?

Thank goodness for Richard. He had another set and came and rescued me.

With a smile and a kiss.


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stay tuned

Nov 5, 2009 by

Thankful Thursdays is coming, but will be postponed till tomorrow…we are doing Passover for Keziah’s Liberty Girls group today and I don’t have a second to spare…so stay tuned till tomorrow night and I will let you in on the world’s most divine salad ever and all my gratitudes for the week.

Cha, cha!

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Nov 2, 2009 by

I love the fall. Love it. I love the colors, the weather with warmth in the day and crispness at night. I love the smells of harvest. I love taking walks and swinging my feet through piles of leaves. I love thinking about what I want to make as Christmas presents for loved ones.

One early fall day back in 2003, I was visiting with my friend Delinda and I said “This is a perfect day. It is a perfect day to have a baby. I would love to be giving birth on a day like today.” Now, when I said this I had just had my fifth miscarriage in a row and didn’t think I would ever be giving birth again. But as we walked around my yard, I kept telling her how perfect that September day was for giving birth.

And then by a miracle of God, I DID give birth the next September, on a perfect fall day to have a baby and Fisher joined my life and wrapped himself around my heart in a way that I can’t even explain.

I have had 3 of my children born in the fall, and although I have always said I want a springtime baby (You know, don’t you, that it is the ideal time to have baby, right? Have you heard my three summer plan for why springtime babies are best? See note below if you have somehow missed my lecture on this important aspect of childbearing, haha!) I think fall babies are pretty wonderful as well.

Now fall is almost over. We are into November! How did this happen? How did the glorious month of October get away from me without a single hike to the hills? How did I miss taking pictures of the leaves in my yard?

We had meal-in-a-pumpkin tonight for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Talk about a fabulous fall supper. It took me right outside into the leaves, smells, and beauty of fall.

Enjoy these last few weeks (please tell me there are weeks, not days left) of fall and I will try my darndest to get out on a nice fall hike!

***The Three Summer Plan For Why Springtime Babies Are Ideal***
If you get pregnant in July, you can still wear your bathing suit, shorts, and hiking clothes all summer long. You can even still go backpacking. When Christmas rolls around and it is time for all those holiday parties, you will be a nice 6 months pregnant and be looking adorably round without feeling like you are beached whale. You will still have enough energy to make and shop for Christmas presents. You will have a built in heater to keep you warm through those frigid days and nights. You can wear maternity sweaters, long sleeves to hide saggy upper arms, and there is no reason you need to don a swimming suit when you aren’t feeling your most svelte self. The holiday season always flies by and that will help your second trimester fly by as well. Then, you just get to hibernate and enjoy the rest of winter and the coming of spring without a lot of time commitments or parties to dress up for. Then, the days start getting warmer just in time for you to give birth in April. You have a glorious birth in the springtime sunshine along with the baby chicks, calves, ducklings, and sheep. You don’t have to bundle your baby up in 10 million layers to keep them warm when you go out, it is warm! You will have April and May to get back into your summer clothes and by the time summer is full blown, your baby will be a great nurser and you will have adjusted to motherhood. Your baby will be big enough to carry around in a mei-tai all summer long and they will not be scrambling to get out and crawl around in the dirt. They will be content to be carried. By the time Christmas rolls around, your baby will still be in the crawling stage and will not try to climb the Christmas tree (unless they take after Keziah!). They will not have hit the famous 9-12 month stranger anxiety stage and grandparents and aunts and uncles will love holding your adorable baby. By the time the next summer arrives, your baby will be a quite competent walker and you will not have to endure a summer camping season digging dirt, twigs, and rocks out of your baby’s mouth. They will be able to toddle around camp like a pro. They will be over stranger anxiety just in time for all the family reunions.

So there you go, the 48 reasons why I have always said spring is the ideal time to have a baby. For some reason, all my babies conceived in June-August haven’t made it into my arms. My babies like me to endure the heat of summer while I am hugely pregnant and to give birth in the fall. So I guess fall is the ideal time for me to have a baby.

And that is perfectly okay with me because I get to hold them in my arms everyday.

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fat rolls?

Sep 22, 2009 by

Yes, I have them. Even though I am a pretty small lady, my belly has not recovered well from the last several children I have had. My legs and bottom seem to bounce back quickly from their huge increases during pregnancy, but my belly is struggling. My waistband digs into me. My fitted shirts show a muffin top, and in my swimsuit – well, let’s just say, I was slightly mortified all summer long. I am proud of my stretch marks and am thrilled to have been able to grow and birth my babies, but I don’t need these fat rolls to stay with me forever to remind me of my beauties.

My mother over at Weighing Matters has lost 3 1/2″ from her stomach this month. Three and one-half inches!!! Isn’t that amazing! I am impressed. I am hereby announcing to the world that I am going to start an abdominal program to lose some inches. I don’t care what I weigh, but I would love this belly roll to be gone! I will post some initial measurements soon and then I will have a clear record of what, if anything, I manage to eliminate from my girth.

First up, I need to get better from this bout of diarrhea I am having. Then I need to attend another birth and let my life get back to its normal routine. Then I can add some awesome ab exercises in to my life. If you know of any fat-busting, size-eliminating, muscle-building miracles, send them my way!

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big enough to keep

Aug 28, 2009 by

I pray that I may live to fish
until my dying day
and when it comes to my last cast,
I then most humbly pray,
when in the Lord’s great landing net
and peacefully asleep,
that in His mercy I be judged
Big Enough to Keep.

Sidenote: I gave this quote to Richard on a pillow when he graduated from college clear back in 1995. It is a lovely quote and I always want to remember it…but the pillow? It is time for it to go to DI. We need to declutter desperately. I have been working on it slowly but surely over the summer and have gotten one big box of stuff to deliver to those wonderful folks over at DI. I actually need to deliver twenty at least one hundred big boxes of junk stuff to them. This pillow is going in the box. It is somewhat sad to say goodbye to it, but so freeing to have it gone from our home. We have moved 14, yes 14, times in our marriage, and I am not moving that pillow again. I am not having it on my shelf collecting dust anymore. Instead, I will just post about it here and have it on record for all posterity to read again and again…LOL!

My husband is a fisherman. He is an avid fisherman who does not get nearly enough time be in his beloved waters. He is not a fisherman who stands on the side of the river and casts again and again. He is a fisherman who hikes to the hidden streams, wades through the rapids, and walks miles up and down the river all in the course of a short fishing trip.

He is also insane. He is going night fishing tonight. Right now. At 11:28. He is leaving to go fishing all night long as his last hurrah for the summer before his life becomes an endless series of looooonnnnnggggg hours at work and not enough sleep at night. His soul is rejuvenated by fishing. Something about the water, the air, the fish, the suspense, and the thrill feeds him and gives him what he needs to go on.

Right now he needs that. So, even though he went fishing last night, I told him to go again tonight and to have a great time. I know what next week brings and it exhausts me just thinking about it. I can’t imagine what it does to him. He will be trying to work about 70 hours a week and stay sane, alert, and attentive to us.

Pray for that man – he needs it.

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gross stuff solution!

Aug 3, 2009 by

Okay, so once again this post is going to publicly humiliate me…but in the interest of saving someone else from smelling gross stuff I will allow myself to be humiliated!

I have a STRONG gag reflex. Really strong. When I was a teenager and had to change my baby brother’s or sister’s diapers, I had to wear nose plugs. If I didn’t, I would throw up on them as I was changing them. Let me tell you, it is really gross to have to clean up a poopy diaper and then also have to clean up your own throw up that is all over the child and the floor surrounding the child.

My gag reflex is always bad, but it is terrible when I am pregnant. I am not pregnant currently, so it is not in its super-heightened state, but its normal state is bad enough. I throw up when I have to clean out the fridge. I throw up when I inadvertently smell the diaper pail. I throw up when I find icky-lost-slime covered toys in the suburban. You get the picture?????

Are any of you like this?

Well, if you are, I have found the solution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippee!!!

I have been trying to grow and eat kefir for about a month. I know I should drink it everyday. I know it will help me. I know it will help Annesley, who is prone to getting yeast. I know it will do wonders for my digestive tract. I know, I know, I know AND STILL I can’t stomach it! I hate the smell of it even after 24 hours of it growing. I have let it go the last 10 days or so and it has gotten grosser and grosser by the day. Finally today I knew I had to deal with it. I just couldn’t even fathom letting it sit on my counter another minute. I knew the second I opened the jar I would be puking my guts out. Then, miraculously, an idea popped into my head! I love essential oils. I have LOTS of them. I opened my cupboard, pulled out my trusty Breathe-Ease oil and rubbed it all over my nose and on my tongue. Now, all I could smell or taste was Eucalyptus and Wintergreen oils! I opened the jars, dumped them out, and as long as I didn’t look at what I was doing, I was okay! I didn’t gag. I didn’t throw up. I was able to get through a gross job without losing my breakfast!

If any of you suffer with a strong gag reflex like me, get some essential oils and save yourself from a run to the toilet!

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Jul 12, 2009 by

I messed up something on my permalinks and so y’all haven’t been able to comment for the last few days. I didn’t fix it yet, (because I have no clue how to do so!) but I changed them back to the original form, so now you can comment to your hearts delight!

Sorry ’bout that!

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pasta insanity

Jul 1, 2009 by

I ordered some pasta in a moment of insanity. I thought it would be great to help people get some pasta into their food storage and I could earn a little money by driving down to Salt Lake and getting it for everyone. At first it was going to be 1,000 lbs. Then it grew to 2,000 lbs. Then 3,000. It ended up being 3,945 4,145 lbs. of pasta. We had to install trailer brakes on our suburban…$170. We had to borrow a trailer from our good friend, Ray. We had to spend a small fortune on fuel. We had to have Richard reschedule his week so he could come with me and drive because I decided Annesley and I pulling 6,000 lbs. in a suburban that is quite finicky and has 200,000 miles on it was more than I wanted to tackle. When the order grew to over 2 tons, it also changed from a “quick” run to SLC and back, to a drive to a warehouse in SLC, then down to Orem, then to American Fork, and then home. It took much longer than we thought and our muscles are ready to fall off (is that what muscles do when they have moved 4,000 lbs. of pasta 3 times????).

Three times you ask? Yes, three times.

First to load it.

Second, to unload it into perfectly organized piles in our driveway for each person who ordered.

Third, this is what happens when you have finally finished moving 4,000 lbs. of pasta by hand and it is perfectly organized waiting for people to come and pick it up. Storm clouds roll in looking dark and full of rain. Trees are blowing in the wind. Cottonwood seeds are nearly in a tornado in the yard. Panic hits and ALL the pasta must be moved inside very, very quickly.

We finished and fell asleep within minutes; muscles exhausted, stomachs empty, and minds full of this thought, “Tracy, you are completely insane!”

I do believe it is true…I am insane.

I think I will try for whole wheat pasta in October…join me then in the craziness.

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catching up

Jun 1, 2009 by

We have been gone to Green Canyon swim camp for the past week and it was wonderful! I was in charge of organizing it and for the most part, it went off without a hitch. We had beautiful weather with no wind, lots of sun, and lovely nights to snuggle into a sleeping bag with my baby. About 90 children had lessons and 33 families camped, played, laughed, and snacked for 5 whole days…what fun! I am abundantly blessed with wonderful friends and many of them were with us camping. I think I got more hugs, kisses, and “Hey, Miss Tracy, watch this!”, than I ever have before in my life. Many of the attendees are my gymnastics students and they were always excited to show me their new skills in the water. My cousins, Tami and Camille, came all the way from Colorado and Utah to join us and they did almost all of the cooking and cleaning for our camp! Talk about amazing friends!

My shy boy, Fisher, had our favorite teacher, David, who helped him to feel comfortable and love lessons! I really thought it was $45 down the drain to even sign him up, but David worked incredibly hard at making friends with Fisher and would come to our camp to play catch with him, bring him a treat, or just to say hi all throughout the week. David is our hero! Blythe and Keziah did wonderful in their lessons. Blythe’s strokes are strong and in correct form. Her teacher had her demonstrate the breast stroke because hers is so beautiful. She has always been a great swimmer, but I saw a lot of progress this year even though she graduated from the Level 6 Red Cross Swimming Program last year. Keziah kept up with her class in Level 5, but she was a lot younger than the other children and far smaller. All three of them improved in courage, strength, and skills…WAY TO GO!

Now that we are home, I have a ton of stuff to get done…here is a sampling:

Today, the long lost Solar Ovens arrived and I am busy getting them out to people. I can’t wait to cook a meal in it! I will post pictures of the whole process soon. If anyone else wants to order one, I can now get them shipped directly to you. You can get info about them at Solar Oven Society.

I am busy organizing The Children’s Parade, which is part of The Celebration of Liberty festivities for Independence Day. We are trying a new thing this year…activities at the park afterwards. If you have a great idea for an activity, let me know ASAP. If you would like to help in any way, also let me know!

Of course, I am also swamped with laundry and unpacking. Blythe and I have tackled eight batches today and got all the camping stuff put away. Now we need to do the dishes, get the gymnastics equipment out of the dining room, bring our lawn back to life, clean all the bedrooms, declutter the basement, clean out the garage, take a load of stuff to the dump, deliver some Hotslings, put in an order of Nutrimills, get the garden planted, and get ready for colloquia on Thursday. Pretty calm, eh?

Fisher and Keziah are down in Cache Valley with Camille picking Dire’s Wode to earn money. They will earn $10 a bag. I am hoping Keziah earns at least $20 and I am really hoping Fisher doesn’t burn every inch of skin on his body.

I will get some more interesting thoughts on here soon…hopefully.

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