Friday, September 30, 2011

"Senior Moment"

Wednesday night was our "Evening of Excellence" for Sadie and Sierra....and I had what I will call my first "senior moment".  I'm not talking about that "senior moment" involving memory loss, but rather the realization that my oldest child is a high school senior, and in a few short months, will be embarking on her own journey into adulthood.


So, I'm listening to this really sweet program...clapping....acknowledging all the girls....and admiring their dresses, when the girls come together to sing the song "Live like you believe" by Jenny Phillips. And suddenly, I'm in trouble, because that place in my heart, about six layers deep, has just been opened.  You know that hope to never accidentally stumble upon it in public.  It's really hard on the make-up and even harder to close once it's been opened.  It's that place where humans store those happy, sad, lonely, joyous, hurt, overwhelming emotions that are almost too much for the human heart to hold some times. Yeah, that place.  So, lucky for me, (post deviated septum surgery) I have lots of kleenex in my purse.  So I sit, and listen, and think about how my "senior" really has lived her life "like she believes".  And I think about her goodness and her really kind heart, and a thousand memories of our time together flood my mind (and my kleenex).  And how at that moment, I know,  being a mom is the single most important thing I will ever do....and I'm filled with gratitude toward my Heavenly Father that he let me have that privilege not once, but four times. 

Seventeen (and twelve)


Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Long day today ending with Sadie and Sierra's YW program, "Evening of Excellence"...more to come on that. But.... Just had to pass this I picked up a case of the yummiest (is that a word?) Utah peaches....seriously yum!  

              Here's the link... The Orange ahead,
                they get new shipments everyday.           

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

triple dog dare

So last night the kids and I were headed to Red Lobster to celebrate my nephew Clark's b-day (Happy Birthday Clark!).  I hop into the driver's seat, and the next two children to approach the vehicle are Gentry (youngest child) and Sierra.  Now recently Sierra has turned twelve, and in our family that qualifies you for "shot-gun".  However, there is an unwritten rule (in our family) that when we travel as a pack, the oldest child still retains "shot-gun" privileges.  So, as I mentioned earlier, Gentry and Sierra were the first to arrive and, according to protocol, both should have jumped in the back seat......have you met my third child?  Gentry climbs right into the back, and Sierra (with a sly smile) assumes the "shot-gun" position.  Our eyes meet, looks are exchanged, and I decide to see how the whole thing plays out.  The next to arrive is Drew.  He proceeds to the passenger side door (which is closed) and mouths some sort of protest.  When I don't respond, he proceeds to the next set of doors (think Suburban), opens one and continues with, "Mom, are you serious???? Mom, she can't sit there! Mom she's not even second in-line!" It's been a long day, so I just respond with a smile.  "Whatever!" as he climbs in the vehicle.  Last to arrive, the seventeen year old.  By this time I am trying not laugh as she repeats the same scene (almost verbatim) that occurred two seconds earlier.  Through out the exchanges Sierra "smiles" what has become a seriously devious smile, looks straight ahead, and refuses to  make eye contact with her siblings.  To my older two children's credit,  they both get in the back without any physical attempt to remove the third child.  So.....we are all now traveling to Red Lobster, and after a moment of silence Drew says, "Really, if anyone had shot-gun, it should have been Sadie and then me."  At this moment I verbalize something I've been thinking....."Yea, it's kind of like Schwartz in A Christmas Story when he has that breech of etiquette, skips the triple dare, and goes straight for the triple dog dare."  At this point we are all laughing at the absurdity of the situation.  Especially the older two, because although they don't want to admit it, they're still bugged.  We finally arrive at Red Lobster. FYI-"Endless Shrimp" deal going on right now through November.... Our family recommends the Coconut Bay shrimp..... After all, "All's well that ends with a good meal."

                                Disclaimer: (Advisory-there's a "donkey" reference in the vid clip)

The third child

Monday, September 26, 2011

Uninvited Guest

Last night I was making dinner (spaghetti) the sauce on the stove, when I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye.  Do you see it?

We have been co-habitating with scorpions for over 4 years now, but I still get a little adrenalin rush every time  I find one.  I can't blame the scorpions.  We built our home right on top of them, and apparently they're very territorial. After the "scorpion!!!" call was made, the kids and I gathered to discuss the best way to carry out the execution.  Through the years, we've developed several methods depending on the location/angle of the scorpion.  My kids personal favorite its "death by blow torch", but I've found that to be a little impractical in the house.  Last night the vote resulted in a good old fashioned burning....

We lit every burner, but the dancing scorpion was not a dead one.  Sierra then left the room and returned with a hammer.  I had concerns for the safety of my stove.  Drew got out a knife, but felt  he couldn't get the proper angle. In the end, we resorted to the most primitive method...."shoe".  It was a success,  and we continued on with our night.  Dinner, FHE, and Marie Callendar's apple pie...if you're not a big baker, I highly recommend this...very tasty and your home will smell like all the joys of fall. There were no more scorpion sightings that evening.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


 I remember when our oldest daughter was a little girl. I was a first time mom, and when she was sad, I was sad.  I would spend hours trying to think of ways to take her "sad" away.  I would make every effort to avoid putting her in a situation that might be hard.  I was a "helicopter mom" in every sense of the word,  always hovering just in case a rescue was needed.  I think, to some degree, this is something moms just do naturally...and of course, it has its place.  
Moving ahead seventeen years, and four kids later....I am reflecting today on how over this period of time, I've realized something amazing....that is... that it's o.k. for my kids to be sad. And,that it's o.k. if life is sometimes hard.  If my kids had never known sad, then how could they appreciate happy?  If things weren't difficult sometimes, how could they have grown into the amazing people that they've become? 
 As the years have passed, I've felt my role as mom evolve from one of complete protector to one of most dedicated sideline cheerleader.  I once heard a saying that has become somewhat of my mantra, "Children become what THEY think YOU think they can become." Through the years, I've realized the importance of  being able to put on a brave face for my kids, even when I was afraid. I've learned to  smile and tell them, "It will be o.k." even when my own courage wavered. I've gained appreciation for the words, "You can do it", even when the odds looked bad.  Last, I've realized that what's most important, is to express my faith in who they are and what they're capable of, no matter how insurmountable the situation may appear.  This goes hand in hand with helping them be able to accept failure sometimes,and then move forward with renewed confidence.  Kids are resilient, and how blessed we are as moms to share their journey with them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

to the rescue....

So yesterday I was feeling goooood! Last day to be "down" according to kind dr. G's instructions.  Then, wow, at 11:45 in the pm my nose starts bleeding like a sieve (again).  I'm having a really nice dream and suddenly wake-up, feeling like I'm drowning.  So, I start calling my teenagers, who are located on the other end of the house.   When I say "calling", I mean by way of cell. answer, answer....what to do....need ice.....going down......Sadie calls back.  Sadie to the rescue with an icepack and reassuring words.   I love teenagers. Sincerely, they are amazing people.  I am loving having two in our home right now (plus one tween).  They help me to remember not to take things so seriously.  They help remind me that I was once a teenager too.  They remind me of that time in my life when my biggest concern was what to wear the next day.  They remind me to laugh and enjoy life.  Remember that song "Jack and Diane"?  Of course you of the best of the 80's (in my opinion).  I heard it today in the car,  and it always makes me feel sentimental....makes me remember the big hair days when life was a little less complicated.  "Two american kids doin' the best that they can....." Every stage in my life has been good, but sometimes I wouldn't mind being 17 for just one more day.

Friday, September 23, 2011


OK-two days later, but not bad.  I have the best mother-in-law in the whole world.  Last night she brought our family tenderloin roast, funeral potatoes (lds favorite) and pumpkin pie.....AND today is the first day of fall. And....this is the last day kind Dr. G wants me to be down(can I get a whoo-hoo?).
        So, being a Wisconsin native, I'm always the most homesick this time of year...and did I mention my birthday is in October? Happy memories growing up in a small town with simple joys like raking leaves....these are pics from our trip to WI 3  years ago.

I wanted my kids to have the whole Wisconsin experience...and we did....rake leaves (check), visit dairy farm (check), eat "squeaky cheese" -aka cheese curds (check), do a corn maze (check), pick and carve a pumpkin (check)...I'll save the jack o'latern pics for halloween.

More on my kidos tomorrow....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Me in NYC

So, very kind Dr. G says I'm going to make it, but I have to stay "down" for 3 more days. Why is it so hard for moms to be "down"? Who replaces us?  The answer: there is no one to replace a mom. And that's the miracle and privilege of motherhood. But, since I don't want to visit those nice people in the ER again, I guess I'll make the best of it.  Check me out, two posts in two days.  This is me in NYC last fall....beautiful fall.....what we mostly have to create in AZ. 

 After living in the Valley of the Sun for 20 years, I've learned that basically my favorite fall candle (Yankee Candle Company -"Harvest") and getting to turn off the air conditioning = FALL.  All the decor to go along with it is fun too, but doesn't compare to Wisconsin, my home state....More pics tomorrow.

"No sirens or lights please"

If I had a picture of what I looked right now, it would not be pretty.  Last Thursday I had surgery to repair a "deviated septum".  There's a fancy name for that surgery, but I can't remember what it is.  Fast forward to today...Tuesday.....feeling better, doing laundry, manage a shower,  and then.....Blood, lots of it. Draining from my nose like a faucet.  Sadie comes in, gets me a wash cloth that is saturated in 30 seconds.  Ugh.  "Don't pass out", I tell myself.  My brave teenager says she's calling 911.  I tell her to tell them, "no sirens or lights please."  Nice paramedics come in, assess, take me for a drive in their ambulance.  Nice doctor, nice nurses...and now, here I am home again.  Praying that it doesn't start again, and trying not to move too much. Ugh! Can I just say that again? I guess I'm a bleeder.  Good natured, soft spoken Dr. G wants to see me again tomorrow.  It's midnight and I can't sleep, so here's my (quarterly?) check-in with my blog, to be continued....