Monday, December 15, 2008

LEGO Family Building Challenge

JUST INCASE we don't win the incredible Carribbean Sun family cruise from Norwegian Cruise Lines and get our winter scene published in Lego Magazine for all the world to see.. I thought I would post our cute creation here. The requirements were that we build a winter Holiday themed model using only lego pieces and accompany it with an essay of 50 words or less. Thanks Uncle Nick for taking the time to help us come up with a pretty nice entry.

Name of Model: Santa Visits Elf Village

After working all year building toys the elves are now ready to enjoy the holiday season themselves.
Sammy Elf picks out a tree for his family to decorate. Andy and William Elf race down their favorite hill. Santa brings gifts. For the grown-ups… yummy food. For the kids…LEGOS!

Ski slope & skier- Caroline
Sledder & Red house- William
Santa & Reindeer- Uncle Nick

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lovin' It

For the past few months every day after lunch Desi has scurried out to our mailbox, usually barefoot, to get the mail. She is usually barefoot and can barely see into the box while on tiptoes, but she really loves being the one to bring it in. All my kids do...

... So it was an exciting day in the kitchen last Thurs. when into our house was brought a big white envelope addressed to our family from the Utah State Capitol. The Governers Summer Reading challenge worked! (Have any of you ever done this?) I wasn't sure if the free happy meal tickets were ever really going to come through for us, but they did- along with a few other cupons and some official looking certificates of completion. I know my friend Steph F. would say rewarding kids with anything McDonalds is counterproductive to their overall well-being (sure they can read but what about their future cholestrol count?!?). Nevertheless, there we were at McD's Thursday evening, and the kids were "lovin' it."

P.S. I am going to be trying to figure out how make the blog private here soon so you can email me if you would like an invitation! Thanks a lot.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reasons to SMILE

*Figured out how to strap Nathan into the bike trailer (thanks Jana), and the weather has allowed me several refreshing mid-morning rides.
*Free ice cream, salad, and French bread w/ purchase of lasagna at Kohlers!
*Sand dunes Scout Camp this weekend.
*Discovered that mowing the lawn every 3 weeks looks just as good as mowing weekly in the fall!
*Convinced Mom to sign me up for the Lego club which means I get an AWESOME magazine in the mail
*Has earned 107 “Rindy bucks” so far since the last time the classroom store was open
*Came home with smarties because it was a classmate’s birthday. Today, another bday, but even better…M&Ms!
*Found 3 Dora books and Knuffle Bunny Too at the Library all in the same trip.
*Fire Station field trip, and they gave out big gold STICKERS.
*(This one happened over 3 months ago but she still reminds us every time we drive by) “I went to Liberty Land on my birthday and I didn’t have to do any chores, I just can play, play, play!”
*Good milk, enough sleep, a clean diaper, and a little company.
*That’s all it takes!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Angels Among Us

"Meet Brandon Mull, author of Fablehaven. Thursday, Sept. 18th at 7pm at the Pleasant Grove Library."
I saw the sign on the door of Sego Lily Elementary and promptly added the event to our family calendar. William has already devoured the book Fablehaven and is currently sinking his teeth into the sequel, Rise of the Evening Star. He comes home from school and begs to go lay on his bed and read more. At the park I have to require that he bike 5 laps before he can read another chapter. (we go to the park for a physically active time) In the van we have had to keep the lights on during long evening trips because he can't bear to put it down and rest. At this very moment I am sure that John is on the boat trying to get him to tube and he is saying "Hang on, I've got to finish this part." He took the book to the lake this afternoon. Needless to say, the creative characters of these books have captured this son of ours, and Mr. Mull is satisfying his NEED to READ!

I had planned a trip to Price the weekend of CHS Homecoming and figured that it would work perfectly to attend Will's 6pm soccer game, hit the book signing at 7pm and be off to my hometown by at least 8. WRONG! We pulled up to the library that evening and from the number of nonexistent parking stalls I could quickly see that this would not be as slick a stop as I had anticipated. We finally found a spot and walked toward the crowd. Brandon Mull had just finished his presentation (of which I was unaware) and there was a line formed of fans waiting to meet him. Many spectators were still seated, and I assumed that they were simply lingering after the speech or letting their kids go wait in line while they relaxed. Come to find out those seated were waiting to be called up for their turn to JOIN the line. It was THAT crowded. Amidst the running around of 2 rambunctious daughters and while hauling around a very inhibiting infant car seat I began to explain to Will that we would probably not be able to brave the crowds and stay to meet this hero of his. He first tried to come up with some solutions, then tried begging that we just wait. Next came the puppy dog eyes and his chin started to quiver. I had been the one to build this up for him so much- because of my own library junkieness, and now I was telling him that we would have to turn around and walk out when Brandon Mull was only one room and FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY patrons away!
"But I wanted to get a poster." Will explained to me as a final attempt at convincing me to stay. A nearby Mom suggested he go check with the library staff at the front desk to see if they had any extra. Because of my heavy car seat and buzzing entourage of children, and because we were in a hurry to get on the road, I directed Will to run up around the building and inquire about a poster or bookmark. By the time I gathered myself and made it to the circulation desk myself, I saw something that made my heart melt. A sweet, brown haired librarian was leaning over so as to be able to hear Will's shakey voice better as he recited to her his name and telephone number. Apparently her warmness and helpful sincerity dispelled any guidelines about stranger danger. Obviously there were no more unclaimed posters in the library. But she wasn't about to tell that to this little boy and leave him hanging, library book clutched to his chest and tears streaming down under his fogged up glasses. "I'll see if I can find one after the event is over. And if not, I have some friends at Deseret Book." She looked up at me and smiled as she uttered these hope filled sentences to my little boy. I thanked her, and we went on our way discussing how glad we were that all hope was not lost. On the way out Will asked if he could just SEE Brandon Mull- so I pointed to the door where those who had just met him were exiting and said, "Go peek in there." Will did more than just peek. He weaseled past the door guard and decided that he'd see if anyone told him he couldn't just join right in at the back of that room's line, only about 20 people long. When I noticed what he'd done, I apologetically squeezed myself through the door and right past Brandon Mull to go gather my desperate Fablehaven fan. This sent him over the top. Coming so close with no success had crushed him. On the way to the van he threw quite a fit. When we got in he opened his book and escaped the situation his well meaning but despicably disappointing mother had caused.
I got on the website the next morning and discovered that, after an appearance in Sandy, Brandon Mull was on his way to book signings in Texas for the rest of the month. Hmm. I thought. Maybe he'll at least end up with a poster. I wasn't going to bring it up again for fear that life may get in the way of this sweet librarian's intentions resulting in no memorabilia for Will. Boy was I wrong. When we got back home we heard the sweetest voice saying this on our answering machine. "This message is for William. This is Linda at the P.G. Library. I just wanted him to know that I did find a poster for him and if it's OK I could drop it by this weekend. " I still have the machine saved so that I can listen to it when I need my faith in humanity restored :)
She came, she delivered, and William now has this huge poster right above his favorite reading spot in his bedroom. It was addressed personally to him, by the author himself, at ten minutes after midnight.

In visiting with sweet Linda Bethers we learned that she is the author of the retelling of the story Christmas Oranges which was published as a picture book in 2002. She will actually be at the PG library presenting the story on Nov. 13th.

Today when Caroline wrecked during the Stake 5K I caught up to her and sat on the ground to comfort her. I wiped a few tears and wondered if I should encourage her to get back on her bike or offer her a spot in the double stroller. Not a minute later a woman on her bike came past and saw our predicament. Low and behold, she had put in her bike trailer that morning a box of band aids. Any Mom knows what kind of get up and go power that can give to a skinned 5 year old. "She rescued us!" I told Caroline. "We can finish the race!" We thanked our kind runningmate and continued on 'til we had passed the balloons marking the finish line and arrived at the monstrous chocolate chip muffin table. A happy ending indeed.

Thinking back on the redheaded woman I will call the "Band aid Biker" and on our friend "Linda the Librarian", I had the impression that there truly are angels among us. I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Spencer W. Kimball...
"God does notice us, and he watches over us. But usually it is through another person that he attends to our needs. Therefore it is vital that we serve one another."

Monday, September 15, 2008


The six week check-up, the 2 month immunizations, the blessing day have now all passed us by. I know I am just giving the gals who spoof Utah Valley Moms’ blogs more material when I say this- BUT- Nathan has made me understand the meaning of the phrase “bundle of joy.” His full nights of sleeping and open mouthed smiles really have added happiness to our lives and we feel seriously, so blessed.

Nevertheless, when I look at all of the women around me at the end of their pregnancies (5 in our ward) I remember. I remember the aching back, the insanely frequent bathroom breaks, the varicose veins, the contracting, then MORE afterbirth contracting, the owies associated with nursing at first, and all of the other painful details about pregnancy, labor, delivery, and brand new babies. I remember and I am glad that around here we are for the most part …RECOVERED.

So in honor of our recovery, I share the story of an atypical (for me) household project I completed this summer. The pink tea party table…RECOVERED.

It was the weekend of May 30-31st. I was thirty six weeks along and wearing the gray gouchos with the silver jewel studded crocs about every day. You ALL know crocs are PERFECT for pregnancy. John had embarked on the Stake Encampment and I was determined to have a good attitude about my week of waddling around after the kids without him. A new project was the perfect thing to pass the time. The girls’ tea party table was sagging and decomposing in the middle, the plastic covering sliced up in several different spots. Wouldn’t my husband be surprised to see what his skillful and handy wife had completed upon his return! I was so excited about taking this on alone, that I didn’t even ask his advice on any of it (mistake #1). If I did I knew he would tell me that he could just take care of it when he got back. He takes care of most things involving power tools at our house-

Not this time.

I hauled the table to a workable spot and turned it over.
“ Just put that drill in reverse, remove the screws, staple the new vinyl in place, and reattach the like new table top back onto the frame. Wa la!” I thought. (mistake #2) The table top was attached with more than just screws. There were some L shaped bracket thingeys binding the top to the frame. Didn’t know what to call them, but they looked like a pretty basic part. Still doable.
I also needed a sturdy top. Although I knew John probably could have located a piece of scrap lumber 2 by 2 feet, I was doing this on my own so I hauled all 3 (plus1- I really WAS also HAULING the fourth) to Home Depot, put the table frame in a cart, and walked in to the store. Every step hurt by evening time but this was a quest worth the pain!

The kids ran around the aisles while I talked to several orangely aproned employees about the L shaped bracket thingeys I needed. I also asked about fiberglass vs. wood. A kind Polynesian man was helpful but pointed out to me a big ol’ kink in my swift and slik one night project plan. Those brackets were secured with a special upholstery tool and it was unlikely they could be removed without mutilating them. Oh, and Home Depot didn’t carry anything that would work as a replacement for the brackets either. Humph.

I noted the price on the pre-cut OSB board, returned it to its spot, and walked out of there let down and frazzled. By the time I reached the van, I WAS SOBBING, AND SOBBING over my own incapabilities, and missing my burley, get-it-done, construction worker husband. I drove straight home and hit the sack without him.

I left the table in the van hoping that if I took the table to Price when I went I could find some help there. I asked my Dad, who gave me his ideas, asked John’s Mom, who gave me hers. But we spent our time together on outings and fun like McDonalds and DinoMine Park while the disassembled table sat and sat.

Then just before it was time for us to take off, my mother in law suggested we go visit Grandpa Echer . Maybe, she said, he would even be able to find a piece of wood or something to help me out. THIS is where experience and knowledge took over.

“ Those are set in with pop rivets. You’ll need a pop rivet tool to re-attatch them. I’ve got one out in the garage. Or better yet, why don’t we just take some flat headed bolts and put them in through the top so that they will go through the one side of the brackets and hold firm that way.”

I felt like little orphan Annie being clothed and entertained by the expert staff of Daddy Warbucks. A disabled widow watching a bunch of boy scouts mow and edge her lawn. I couldn’t do it, but Grandpa Echer could!!! And he was!!! Woo Hoo! First we drove around town shopping for a piece of wood the right size. I had to be careful about price as I knew that it would be silly to spend more that the fifteen dollars that the table was worth. The cost of time was of course not taken into consideration. I was already about three hours in, and we were just getting started!

We found some wood and some bolts, Grandpa got out his GRINDER which was what we used to remove the pop rivets from the original decaying particle board that we used for a pattern to draw dots on the new board showing where the bolts should go. My mother in law even got in on the grinder action. She grew up watching her Dad work in his cabinet shop. Next he used his table saw to round the edges of the table top. I stood there with a HUGE grin on my face very happy and very impressed at his skill and unselfishness.

Even though it was 8:00 pm by the time we hit JoAnnes in Orem and we hadn’t eaten dinner , I just HAD to stop with the kids and pick out our fabric. We found something from the discount rack ($15 project limit) with some plastic to go over it. We took a bathroom break, then I felt like we barely made it back out to the van without my water breaking but we returned home ok. I don’t remember whether I stayed up late that night finishing the project or whether I got up early the next morning to do so. But I am oh so happy that, thanks to support of family and friends, both the tea party table and I are now fully RECOVERED!

John was proud, he took my picture shortly after getting home. I think I made him.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Desiree, Oh Desirée

Here she is! Tell me you didn't smile and sigh "ohhhh" upon seeing this post :) This was the shot that convinced me to fully splurge on a bigger portrait package when Desi turned 3. Her little nails were painted, her dress pressed, and her hair complete with "curley curls."
If you know the Neil Diamond song written for a gal named Desiree, you'll understand why I have altered the lyrics to fit my pretty, delightful little girl. She excitedly jumps around and dances to the song whenever it is played. Yes, we like Neil. But no, we didn't name both of our girls after songs of his on purpose. By the way, William is feeling jipped- does anyone know a good William song- or Nathan for that matter??
I wish I could activate the character that puts an accent mark above the second to last E in her name. Anyway, here goes- It helps if you can hum the tune in your head while reading.
It was July the 6th
On that Summer's day
When I became a Mom
To a new little girl named Desiree
And she came to me
Just like the morning sun.
With her gentle touch
We were sure she was such an amazing one.
Oh, so much fun!
Desiree, Oh Desiree
In you I've found
Such a beautiful sound.
Oh, your loving song.
Keep singin' it your whole life long.
Remember Desiree, Oh Desiree
Holding you how I knew
That your sweet love would fill
My whole world with light.
In your eyes such a warming sight.
Oh Desiree you make it right.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Idols LIVE!

I WAS THERE! If you've read the papers, you know that we Jazz fans stayed true to our reputation of being LOUD. Several of the singers commented on Utah's beauty (mountains) and on how loud it was in the E-Center. David Archuleta could hardly get a word in because the energetic cheering went on and on. We all just couldn't believe it was really him! All that gifted talentedness wrapped up in such a cute kid singing to you in the same room is pretty energizing. He gave many thanks for all the support, and put all he had into the performance as usual. He was overwhelmingly wiping tears away on his jacket sleeve by the end of the last song.
"Stand By Me" is a classic that he does so well...

For a while during the concert, I focused on trying to snap some good shots of the stars, especially when they came closer to our side of the arena. I had taken a few of Brooke White and others but knew they were far enough away that the quality wouldn't be too awesome. I did get a smiling one of David Archuleta walking toward us.

Later I decided to just hold my camera out and start snapping while look at David Cook directly instead of through a lens so that I could feel the emotion of the moment better. I didn't realize that the camera was still in video mode, so I got a good little clip of him singing with some of the ceiling at the end (oops).

THANKS MOM!!! What a great and unforgettable birthday present!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I need to admit that I have been a little bit of a fruitcake concerning finances lately.
First of all, I let the Wal-Mart photographer convince me to settle for a portrait that I didn't love for my $7.99 package deal. This lead to me dishing out an unmentionable amount for the smallest package they offered (which, come to find out, is NOT as small as it was under the prior company's management). Plus I had to buy a six dollar black and white enhancement.
Justification: Desi looks BEAUTIFUL! And- I can't count how many sessions at Wal-Mart I have walked out of with plenty of great pictures for only 7.99, or less. But this splurge still had its bittersweet impact.

Next, I decided to try and preserve some of my youth after turning 30 by buying a pair of flip flops to replace the crocks that my cool younger siblings have deemed unfashionable. I had my sights set on a certain pair which didn't end up being as comfortable as I would have hoped. But there on the rack at Famous Footwear were hanging some brown "Rocket Dogs." I had never before heard of this brand but I am pretty sure it is hip. I tried them on and they felt SO COMFEY (for flip flops) So I CONSIDERED spending $39.99 for these things. No, I did not buy them- but I SERIOUSLY considered it. This is not like me.

Then yesterday, good old Petersen Produce knocked on my door with their delicious fresh crop of apples, oranges, and grapefruit. It was at a bit of a hectic point in the day as I was on the phone and in the middle of doing several other things. He kept handing me samples and assuming I was going to buy, and I did. FOURTY FOUR dollars for a three month supply. I like to try to eat healthy, and I like to encourage my kids to do the same. And I don't like yucky produce. This is YUMMY produce- which were my reasons for buying. When John got home and inquired about the overload of fugis in the front room, I was sheepishly quoting things to him like, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away, honey!" :) He was really nice about it, and said that he would take fruit for lunch more, but the conversation later that evening did turn to how our economy is shakey right now, and how things are costing so much more... I think he may have been throwing hints for his wife to turn back to her thrifty, financially prudent ways. So as I was FILLING my refrigerator drawer up with fruit and hauling the rest of the box down to cold storage I realized that it may be unrealistic for our family to use it all up before the peak of freshness has passed. I also realized that I think I must have convinced that good ol' salesman to sell me just half a box last year. Thus, if anyone is interested in splitting 10 or 20 dollars worth of this bounteous harvest with me, please call!
P.S. He said that the apples are $1.29 per lb. which is comprable to , or cheaper than supermarket price. I am not sure on the oranges, but overall it averages out to about a dollar per pound of fruit.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"You Can't Spoil a Newborn"

But can you spoil his mother? I have been so well taken care of for the past 11 days that I am starting to wonder! I would like to say a great big THANK YOU to everyone who has called, visited, brought dinner, given gifts, entertained kids, taken care of R.S. business, etc. etc, etc. I feel and see blessings being poured out upon us through you.

Here is my sweet Mom enjoying her fourth grandbaby. This was inbetween trips to the park, bathroom cleaning, dish washing, and reading stories with the kids.

My mother-in law just left without me being able to snap a photo of her with Nathan:( I guess I could take a shot of the full freezer, the sparkling tile floor, the empty hampers, the non-existent mending pile, the freshly baked banana bread, or the happy kids who are now playing with their Grandma toys. These are some of the ways she has shown us her love and support.

Maybe the best spoiling of all is this super snuggly, sleepy baby boy of mine! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Out of the House

At THREE DAYS! "What are you thinking?! You and that baby go back home and get some rest!" are comments that a shuffling new mother would hear at any place but one... the "jam packed at 9am", hospital phlebotomy lab.

You that have had to go through the heel pricking with your babies know exactly what I am talking about. This is my first time- and Nathan and I are not amused. What the heck is billyrubin anyway? I don't even know how to spell that word, but I will just give it FOUR LETTERS for short. "BILY" I know that it has to do with the liver and that brain damage can result from too much. And I am thankful for medical technology, but I don't want a big hard, plasticy, glassy, lighted piece of medical technology sitting here in my front room with a requirement to place my PINK little bundle of joy inside.

We'll see if my attitude does anything to help (or hurt) the results of today's testing. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nathan James

It has been a sweet 4 days of cuddling and caring for my new baby boy. We know that having this healthy little addition to our family is a real blessing. There are adjustments to be made and sleep to be lost, but we feel so much overriding joy. As helpful little Desi put it,
"He's ours, all ours :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"And She Danced Anyway"

KIMI, my seventeen year old sister, just returned from Disneyland! She had souvenir shopped for the nieces and nephews, snapped candids of herself and so many high school friends, and ridden every roller coaster at the park. That will be the last for some time.
Kimi performed a solo in her recent dance recital where she wore the perfect tutu, landed every turn, and shined brightly in front of the crowd. That is, after she got over the stress of almost missing her entrance because the music wasn't turned up loud enough for her to hear.
On June 9th my sister will undergo a procedure where a non-cancerous tumor will be removed from her inner ear. The doctors will have to drill through her skull to reach it. She will recover for a few weeks and then return to her normal life, minus the ability to hear from her left side.
She has experienced gradual hearing loss on that side over the past several months, and has known about her specific condition of acoustic neuroma for a while. This trial of mortality has shaken our family as any similar thing does. There have been many worries and prayers as Kimi has gone through the process of acceptance of a life with partial deafness. There have also been many jokes about Kimi not hearing her alarm, not responding to her prom date's questions, or how she'd have been so in style back in the 80's when chicks were shaving off the bottom half of their hair just to look cool. Kimi has laughed the loudest at these jokes. Although her condition must be constantly on her mind, she has managed to pull a screamin' GPA, waitress, have a paper route, be involved in Young Womens, FBLA, cheer leading etc etc etc. - which is why I titled the blog, "and she danced anyway." Her faith and strength are admirable to me. So is her positive energy!Her unselfishness is a quality that is developed far beyond her years. I don't know if it is myself or my little girls who look up to her more.
My first question to the neuro surgeon when I accompanied her to an appointment was "What about pirouettes and back handsprings?" I was worried that her balance would be thrown off. He explained that sensory input comes through her hands and feet and other sources that will surely compensate for loss of hearing. So she can do anything she puts her mind to. And she will.
The recent lessons I've learned, and that all of us can learn by watching Kimi, are summed up in the words of this Lianne Womack Song...
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance.
Never settle for the path of least resistance.
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance.
"And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance,

Monday, May 26, 2008

Here Fishy Fishy

The boys were out around 8 am in the thirty something weather. We girls chose to avoid the freezing tent camping and stay at the Nebekers for a sleepover Friday night.

After a picnic lunch the girls decided to brave the waters and Caroline's Barbie pole did it again!

John was content that the boat ran well, he rigged the mp3 player to blast eighties soft rock all day, and his family was having fun together.

Desiree had just finished about 1/4 bag of cheetos and several packages of princess fruit snacks. And now she was holding the pole. So many reasons to smile.

...And the grand finale...

I tell you my SHOULDER WAS SORE reeling this baby in. "Give it up for the mom!" We ate him that evening. All the kids tried a piece with lots of lemon pepper and John Nebekers special grilling touch.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Ultimate Career

I requested that for Mother's Day John take these pictures before church. My kids cooperated pretty well. One of Caroline's Mom's Day gifts to me was to let me curl her hair. It is Desi who is usually more interested in "curley curls." I admit that my plan made us late for church but I must say that the couch in the hall was a comfey place for such a pregnant lady as I. After church I used my chore cupons made by the kids. It was a beautiful day and I was treated with such love. Among the blessings I was counting on Sunday was a faithful and devoted husband who even surprised me this year with a new bike trailer! -Another one of those inventions that make mothering so much fun.

I always knew C.S. Lewis was a wise man. But recently I ran across some of his words that are a boosting compliment to all of the hard working women out there:

"The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only- and that is to support this ultimate career. "

Hope you all had a HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

5 Years of FUN!

Earlier this month (April 1st) was Caroline's 5th Birthday. You can see from the pictures how exciting this was! She has filled our family with life and fun since the day she was born.

The long anticipated trip to CHUCK E. CHEESE! She really wanted to hold her own cup of coins.

Some of Caroline's cutest comments:

May 8, 2005- Last week Mom was using the screwdriver to move my tricycle seat foreword. I was right along side helping her when mom realized we needed a wrench. I walked inside and said "O.K. Ranch in the fridge Mom."

Dec. 21, 2005- (age 2 1/2) "Mom, can I have some ketchup on my hot dogs... then a pause... Can I have some ketchup on my cold dogs? They are not hot."

Jan. 20, 2005- I was holding Dora's dog in the van and told Mom he was wearing a necklace. When Mom told me it was a collar I responded "He doesn't have a phone on his neck silly."

Mom overheard Will and I referring to one of my dollhouse furniture pieces with an amusing name, the "coughing table." So they can use it while they are sick.

Aug. 15, 2006- Will went to play at a friend's house so Cara was spending time with Mom helping clean the bathroom. She was happily humming as she worked. When Mom forgot to give quick acknowledgement to one of Caroline's successfully completed tasks, she said "Thanks for me helping you. I'M A PLEASURE."

Sept 5, 2006- (age 3 1/2)The other morning we were tidying up the house as a family. Dad asked Cara to get her bed made. She said, "We're playing house. Now, let's pretend this is YOUR bed."

Aug. 2007 (age 4)- Seeing our neighbors' home toilet papered (Decorations in their trees) she exclaimed "They think it's Christmas already!"

"Make each day your masterpiece."

-John Wooden

Friday, April 4, 2008

Quiet Down Cobwebs

One evening we were playing a round of Family Feud and the category dealt us was, "Spring _________." We thought of "Spring has Sprung!," "Spring in your step," "Spring Training," "Spring Fling" to name a few. And lingering at the bottom of the list was the beloved term "Spring Cleaning."

Now I don't know how many of you are wall washers out there, but I married into a family of them. They are Picassos at the art of homemaking and I love them for it :) My sister-in-law Sarah did things like wipe out each cabinet and organize closets while she lived with us. And Jessica was actually by my side (of her own free will) a few years ago washing every wall in the house until they sparkled! I did enjoy the fresh feeling upon completion.

Last year I did it again- and I began to formulate an opinion. I hauled in John's muddy work ladder, turned on lots of TV for the kids, and got to work. This was over the course of at least a week. I think I found like 2 cobwebs in HIGH corners and my rags weren't really even all that dirty otherwise. In my husbands economic terms it would be something about low return for high amount of effort. I don't know what Martha says, probably don't want to know, but I know what I say. Spot clean regularly and do a full wall wash...oh I don't know, MAYBE every other.

So this year I will vaccuum behind my beds, dust a few light fixtures, do something about the windows (I'm not promising blinds), and various other needed tasks. But to the walls I say...
Quiet down cobwebs.
Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby. (sitting mySELF down in the recliner also currently qualifies)
'Cause babies don't keep.

If anyone knows the author of this poem, please help me give them credit. As far as I know it's anonymous.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sugar and SPICE

And Everything Nice. That's what my little girls are made of!

Now that a baby boy is on the way (which thrills us), I am realizing that my baby girls are growing up so quickly. A friend told me that while raising young children the days may at times go slow but the years fly by. Every time I put a darling outfit in the "too small" bin I feel a little sad. Another friend of mine said that when you have a little girl you should always ACCESSORIZE. So I bought these Easter hats just for the sake of putting them on and taking some pics. (And for dress-ups later)

"Savor the moments that are warm and special, and giggly." Sammy Davis Jr.

"So quickly you grow with bounds and leaps but the sweetest memories are mine for keeps." Unknown

The day Will returned to school after Christmas vacation was hard for me. The neighbors saw me bawling on my walk home from the bus stop. So we came home and decided to get girly. We painted nails and baked in the EZ Bake oven. Caroline has always been my sidekick in the kitchen. Desi is now fully obsessed with nail polish and lip gloss. So I entertain the obsession. She is my little girl.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Just incase you missed this in the Lehi Free Press...(I am so proud :)

Dear Editor:

I am writing upon return from an enjoyable and impressive morning spent viewing the puppet show put on by the Lehi High Special Education class. The show exceeded the expectations of both myself and my children in many ways.

The set and the puppets were very high quality and visually engaging. Although we entered a moment late, my girls were immediately drawn to sit down and join in the fun! The music and other material were age appropriate and very familiar to the target audience of toddlers. Many of them were singing along to the “Mickey Mouse Club” theme song, the “Wheels on the Bus,” and others.

The show was very well rehearsed by the students and flowed easily from one song to the next with clever scripting in-between. The cast was happy to be on stage and interacted well with the children, encouraging them to “get up on their feet” and dance during the Dragon Tales segment.

Easy to see signs which read “B,I,N,G,O,” and “Yes We Can,” were a wonderful incorporation of literary elements such as letter recognition and decoding of shorter words. The helpful and informative posters made by Lehi High students to advertise the show were also a brilliant real world literacy application for them.

I commend the teachers at Lehi High for their efforts in creating such a fun avenue by which their students are developing organizational, social, literacy, and public presentation skills. I also commend the Lehi Library Staff for providing a venue and making arrangements necessary for this production to be seen by the story time crowd. Lastly, I congratulate the students who worked hard to add brightness and excitement to the lives of fellow citizens of Lehi through this puppet production.

Julia Lloyd Whitehead

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

American IDLE?

I am posting 2 days in a row and it is because Brooke White just made my list of most memorable American Idol performances :) Yes, I like her because she has never seen an R rated movie, but she also is a smooth alto (woo hoo) and just so sweet, especially tonight. I was tearing up right along with her. As for the rest of my list...
- Taylor Hicks- PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC!!! I was OFF THE COUCH dancing!!!!!
- Melinda Dolittle- W, O, M, A, N- When we got high speed internet and my sister introduced me
to You Tube, this music video was my first request. Talk about empowering :) And her skills
were consistently unbelievable.
- Blake Lewis- You Give Love A Bad Name- very creative- and yes, I do have a
PERSONALIZED (to Julia), autographed 8x10 of Blake, thanks to Vall
- Katherine McPhee- Somewhere Over the Rainbow- A favorite of my Dad's, it reminded me of
when he used to sing it to us. Too bad Kat went a little scary.
- Chris Daughtry- Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman? - very sincerely sung to his wife
- Carrie Underwood- Although I think she is a DOLL, she never really captivated me during the show, but I was smiling when she did "I'll Stand By You" in Africa.

Which brings me to reasons I can't deny I am a fan of this show. "Idol Gives Back" is one of them. Obviously it raised tremendous amounts of money for charity. Other than that I think I just like to watch and wish that I had powerhouse soloist vocals. I like that a regular Joe (like Elliot) can make it big. I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that I knew all the lyrics to Paula's songs in her day, and we still work out together (right Amber W?!) although that is true. It is a good conversation topic because it is so widely viewed. And it has been a tool to help my mind relax over the past few years. Nothing but fun. Sometimes I try to do things like vacuum, bathe the kids, etc. on the commercials so I don't feel so much like I'm watching Alisa's spelling: "American Idle," especially on the 2 hour nights. But other nights I put my feet up (Doctor's orders) and let myself be entertained. I like when it is down to 6 or less and it is just one night a week for an hour. I don't usually watch results except like the very last one. So now I must go vote for the first time this year. I don't want to see Brookie go. And I do of course have to support cute David A. Go Utah!
P.S. How do I make the lines single space on my other post???

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mushy Stuff

A post in celebration of our 8 year anniversary (today)...

To Jessica and Bart Jensen

By John Alden and Julia Whitehead

Written May 2, 2002 (after 2 yrs. of marriage)

Italics signify John speaking

In our years of marriage, we've learned a thing or two.

So tonight at your reception, we share these words with you.

No degree or title qualifies us to do so.

But even with our differences, romance is still aglow.

Like ebony and ivory, or pale white and bright red,

Our differences don't clash, they're complimentary instead.

"My Mom makes the best white bread." "But I prefer the wheat."

"So now that's what she usually buys," "Which makes white bread a treat!"

"I panic when he tailgates cars. He says he's saving time."

"I'm just being assertive. I assure her she'll be fine."

"When we exercise together, we go at different speeds."

"I think my pace is nice but he's 4 blocks in the lead."

"So now HE gets the baby when we jog or bike together."

"But tennis, lifting weights, or shooting hoops is even better."

"When I listen to music, I like to feel the beat!"

"I always turn it down so we can hear each other speak!"

"When he's by himself, he cranks it up, I'm sure."

"But when she's in the car all I listen to is HER!"

"She dreams of traveling to Spain or back to Mexico."

"Good thing I ski cuz Powell's about the only place he'll go."

"We're different in so many ways." "But share the same last name!"

We're both aiming for forever, and that's always the SAME.

Written to each other Sept. 25, 1999... (looking through rose colored glasses :)

"52 Reasons Why I love you (and counting)" by John Alden Whitehead

-Enjoys kids

- Looks on the bright side of things

- Doesn't judge

- We work out together

- Go biking together

-She goes fishing with me

- Wears her dress on Sunday

- Pays attention to peoples' needs

- Is a friend to those who need a friend

- Loves her family

- Helps her family to have FHE

- Smart, good common sense

- Never gets mad

- Puts up with me being an airhead

- Easy to talk to

- Friends with everyone

- Keeps the commandments

- Reads her scriptures

- We can talk about a lot of things (church, school, personal things)

- Open about her feelings

- Picks up cans and trash

- Doesn't tell me my ideas are stupid (except when I want to throw a rock at butterflies)

- She bares her testimony

- She's not an RG(rich girl) She can shop at DI

- Appreciates things people do for her

- She always laughs at her own jokes before she tells them

- She cries when I leave

- Hard worker

- Very huggable, kissable

- We enjoy sharing things (gummy life savers, mints, etc.)

- Makes good decisions, even if it's not always what she wants.

- She's beautiful

- Enjoys just being together

- Good self control

- Great singer

- Great dancer

- Patient with my dancing

-She likes the outdoors

-Comes skiing with me

-Cheers me up when I'm down

- Warms me up when I'm cold

- Sits close to me in the Buick

- Holds on tight on the motorbike

- Courage to stand up for the right

- Magnify your calling

- Enjoy nature

- Get along with my family

- Great cook

- Creative, writes poems, scrapbooks

-Loves holding my hand

- Perfect combination of being dependent and independent

"Things I Love about John Alden Whitehead by JML."

- He calls

-He works HARD

- He brings things up which need to be discussed

- He shops at DI

- He is inquisitive, doesn't feel dumb asking questions

- He prioritizes Home Teaching and his calling

- He treats his sisters nice

- He obeys his mother

- He is a builder

- He wrote me faithfully for 2 whole years!

- He never pushed me to do anything while we were dating

- He was kinda shy (admitted he got nervous calling)

- He is sporty (b-ball, ice hockey, water skiing, golf, weight lifting)

- He appreciates good music (country, gospel)& movies (clean ones)

- He can sing!

- He is studious of secular and spiritual books

- He makes conversation with strangers

- He is a safe driver

- He can fix bikes, tape players, etc.

- He likes to take KOOL pictures

- He remembers funny things and refers back to them

- He is always sincere

- He knows about loving people- how important it is in anything

- He attends the temple and shares his feelings with me

- He is clean cut and has a healthy physique

- He's not afraid to get dirty

- His teeth are straight, his eyes are brown, and his hair is soft

- He respects authority and his elders

- He knows about his ancestors

- He likes to study about other men of God

- He's a church history lover/ expert

- He's theatrical- does the best imitations (George McFly, Screech, Barney, Burt...)

- He likes my cooking, or will learn to

- He cares about my life, prays for me

- His future hopes and dreams match mine

- He is pure in heart

- He's what my Young Womens leaders described and emphasized and promised I would get if I kept myself temple worthy- my perfect- tall, dark and handsome R.M. And whether I deserve him or not, he's mine forever.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kawasaki Disease, One Year Ago

While in the middle of a 4 day hospital stay during Will’s case of Kawasaki Disease in Feb '07, I recorded the following thought: “This humble, grateful frame of mind is a good place to be. I’m hoping and praying for it to last in me.” My current gratitude for good health is intensified as I remember times less fortunate…

After 4 days of various symptoms including headaches, lethargy, & neck pain, Will woke up the day after Valentines day with a rash like I'd never EVER seen. I still regret not taking a picture of the geographic, beet colored pattern that covered most of his body. (If I had a pic I'd post it to demonstrate the severity!!) He tested positive for strep and was eventually given a steroid to fight the rash. For the next few days his head/ neck aches persisted as did his lack of energy but he ate and slept fine which caused us to try and wait out whatever was infecting him. On Sunday night (Feb. 18th) I gave him a rice bag and he was ready for bed at 7:00 pm. A few hours later we gave him tylenol and a blessing (his 2nd for this illness).

I now quote from my journal during that time:
"It was in the middle of that night that more alarming things began to occur within his body. Around 1:00 he awoke complaining of neck, elbow, back, ane even hand pain. I applied heat and waited to see if he’d fall back asleep which he did for about an hour. He then began to complain of a stomach ache which made me take him to the bathroom. In there John and I took his pants down and tried to make him sit but he couldn’t- his knees were too stiff and swollen.

This alarmed and confused us and we weren’t sure what to do. He limped to his room but couldn’t climb back up into his bed.

We gave him Tylenol and he fell back asleep until about 8:00 am when I tried to give him breakfast and got him dressed to head straight to Dr. Whiting’s office.
My younger sister Kimi was supposed to have been coming for a visit that day but had decided to catch a midnight ride up north with my brother because my mom told her it is fun to be there when the kids wake up. This is how I feel about her early arrival:

“And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I , the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.” (Mosiah 24:14)

I recorded more about the ensuing events in Wills journal but basically it became a diagnostic challenge. Dr. W. said rheumatic fever. Mom broke down- although I did already have that possibility in my mind due to what I’d read in the middle of the night prior. He said Will would need to go have a heart test at Primary Ch. And possibly stay a few days “with as sick as he’s acting.” …

Earlier that month when the family got sick, I'd had a selfish feeling that I have often before had- I was annoyed at having to “cancel my week.” Again. (Tending, volunteering at school, visits for RS, meetings, mid-morning aerobics, playing with friends etc.) Just making all the necessary calls and feeling like I was dropping the ball again and not reliable was the worst, I thought. I didn’t mind caring for my kids and having uninterrupted time with them and taking it slow with nowhere to go. As long as I got my exercise I was fine. It was just the initial inconvenience that was bothersome. But at that time their conditions were manageable and suppressed with things like Tylenol, cold medicine, chocolate milk, cartoons, naps and hugs.

Now nothing like that puts a dent in Will’s pain, swelling, or discomfort. I am so grateful for those who have chosen to go into the medical profession and learn what it takes to treat so many complicated diseases etc.

Some sad things:
- On Sunday Will said he just hopes he’s better before Saturday so he didn’t have to miss Hayden’s birthday party. He got the invite last Sat. the same day Michael Udink had his party which we had to miss.
- Watching the IV be put in in the ER- He’d say things like “No way. No way. We are NOT doing this. That’s enough!” But he had not even enough strength to pull his arm away- let alone fight to stop it.
- A volunteer came by offering William a Hospital BINGO card. Peggy and I were excited about it but Will, in his low spirits told the lady “I have a bad arm,” meaning he couldn’t function well enough to play. I ended up just marking the card for him.

Truthfully once we found out the illness was probably self-limited (going to end), and that his heart is OK, the emotional burdens began to lift. As hours and days have passed we have seen little bits of progress- today being the most marked day of improvement (mobility in left hand/ arm/ elbow, able to hold and drink from water bottle and push bed moving buttons, played with toys in “Forever Young” playroom)

At the beginning of it all he just wanted to go home but today he commented that he likes it here- MOVIES galore, large food selection, balloons and gifts from loved ones, Mom reading stories to him… I have to admit it has been enjoyable time in the way of bonding with my son.

The words of “Come Come Ye Saints” have found new meaning to me:
“Tis better far for us to strive, Our useless cares from us to drive.”
When you stop occupying yourself with hair styling, aerobics, TV shows, the cars, the yard etc., your mind is freed to think about what you believe in and where your faith lies- how you explain life’s events and take them as learning experiences.
Also the words “And should we die before our journey’s through… we then are free from toil and sorrow too.” The best part about dying – getting RID of the challenges of mortality and waiting for the day when spirit and body re-unite in a perfect form.

I have tried to let William know during this process that Jesus knows how he feels when he is in pain.

There comes a point where the arm of flesh and the finite mind are not enough to rid one of anguish. During times of uncertainty- like when Dr.s weren’t agreeing on the diagnosis and Will was laying here partially paralyzed- the only place to turn was to God. The constant giver of guidance, peace, and reassurance.

I know Heavenly Father’s hand supported us through this trial. First he sent us Kimi to tend Cara and Desi while I took Will to the Dr. and PCMC. God’s love has been manifested to us through the actions of other people. (Balloons, gifts, calls, visits) We exercised our faith by continuously praying that Will would get better and John blessing Him to do so.

The Dr.s were guided. First Dr. Bonsack was “luckily” on-call for President’s Day. Later- he came in just before going home to discover tat the IVIG dosage was 15 TIMES TOO LOW (saved us hours)

When Lindsay and I took Will on his outing we were passing by a mural and had to stop for a longer look. It was a white 3D depiction of Christ ministering to Children from all over the world. I bore my testimony to Will that he can heal you. Even when you think you’re not going to get better he knows how it feels and he can work miracles. He is healing William now.” ( Thurs. Feb.22nd, 2007)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thank You Saint Valentine

Valentines Day makes me happy. All of the hearts and treats and love spread around are a fun splash of warmth during the cold month of February. I just can't wait any longer to post my favorite Valentine Poem!! I admire this author, P.K. Hallinan, who generally publishes HIS (sorry P.K.) poetry into Childrens' Books with very cute illustrations. Most of them are about values or family. Worth reading!

By P.K. Hallinan

How many heartprints will you leave today?
Will you share with a friend? Will you give hugs away?
Will you listen with patience to what others say?
How many heartprints will you leave today?
A heartprint is formed when you do something kind.
Your love touches others…Leaving heartprints behind!

You can smile at people you pass on the street.
You can offer a handshake to someone you meet.
You can even pitch in for an hour or two
To help out a friend with too much to do.

Sometimes you’ll reach out to someone in strife
And do something thoughtful that changes a life.
Or sometimes you may say the quietest thing
And never quite know how you made a heart sing.

Yes, each little kindness leaves heartprints that say,
“A very nice person has been here today!”
So…will you cheer up a playmate in need of a smile?
Will you tend to a friend who’s been mending a while?

This much is certain, whatever we do,
The heartprints we give out make us happy too!
So offer your friendship to each girl and boy.
Then join in the music, the singing, the joy!
You can brighten the world as you go on your way…
How many heartprints will you leave today?

Here are the pics that are going on Valentine Cards for Grandparents this year:



Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tag I'm It

A: The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.B: Each player answers the questions about themselves.C: At the end of the post, the player then tags 3 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

10 years ago:
- I lived for weekend theme dances after CEU basketball games. (80's, 70's, etc.)
- I was not dating John... but I really was writing him every week.
- I spent my Valentines Day making and delivering jumbo sugar cookies with personalized messages as part of a Lambda Delt fund raiser.
- I worked at the S.U.N. center and fully enjoyed everything about it.

5 things on my to-do list today:
- Read scriptures and write in journal (fell asleep with them in my lap last night so had to do them first thing this morning)
- Make bon bons for a friends b-day party tonight.
- Go to 9:30 aerobics, my favorite teacher, Amanda.
- Finish putting away laundry and have kids do the same.
- Parent Teacher Conf. for Will and voting at the school afterwards.

Snacks I enjoy:
-Chips and salsa, especially fresh
- Ice Cream, esp. with brownie chunks in it and maybe some caramel too
- Popcorn, like microwave but usually go economical (and healthier) and pop my own
- Peas from garden
- Sun Chips, and a million other things.

What I would do if I were suddenly made a billionaire:
- Pay tithing first.
- Take my whole family to Florida and John's to Sweden (our Dads' missions)
- Go to Spain with John, and many other places.
- Take the kids to Lego Land
- Go see the Cox fam in Arkansas
- Buy a new Suburban and then a work vehicle for John that weighs more than 100 lbs. and has something more than car tires. Then John would probably want a new boat.
- Set up trust funds for kids
- Somehow share with people in other parts of the world who are without

5 places I have lived:
- Price, Utah
- Monterrey Mexico
- Logan, UT
- Provo, UT
- Lehi UT

5 jobs that I have had:
1. Dishwasher at CEU cafeteria, and server at banquets
2. Scorekeeper for CEU Basketball Camp
3. PAPER GIRL and proud of it
4. Teacher at an alternative high school (truancy school)
5. 1st Grade Teacher at Joaquin Elementary in Provo

1. 5 Things people don't know about me:
If you really want to know more things you can look at one of my first posts which was a whopping list of 100.

I tag Cara, Leah, and Sherstin

Friday, February 1, 2008

Trying to keep exercising

I had a couple videos that I lent out to different people but I can't remember where they may be. Did I lend these to you??
Denise Austin Pregnancy Exercise Video
Richard Simmons, Sweatin' to the Oldies 1 and 3

Friday, January 25, 2008

Hace frio!!

This year when our family each wrote letters to ourselves to begin the new year, one of Caroline's wishes was to go to the beach. I think this is a recurring dream for her. I guess the sentiments in the country song, "Some Beach Somewhere" ring true for working adults and four year old girls alike.

One day last spring, she shared the vision with me of sitting on a beach eating chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup wearing our flip flops, swimsuits, and sunglasses. We tried to recreate it as best we could in the backyard.

I post this knowing that in mid January (my husband doesn't like to say that word) she is not the only one imagining warm fresh afternoons out in the 75 degree weather.

We have, however, had our share of chills and thrills this winter...

Action shots at Pioneer Park in Price-

Another of Caroline's backyard plans-

A fun little hill at our
neighborhood park-


Monday, January 14, 2008

VAMPIRE love stories by Stephenie Meyer

I fully experienced catharsis with these books which impressed and entertained me. What a talented author.
Several times during the books I had to stop and nod, cry, or just re-read a certain line or passage because it was worded so well. Because I don't have the 3 books in front of me, I can't quote perfectly, but I will refer to those parts which struck (or should I say pierced/ punctured) me.


The way she described the physical pain of seperation in the first book was so easy to sympathize with. The hole in her heart was really there, and it ached around the edges. At one point, speaking of her time with Edward, she said something to the effect of being SCARED TO REMEMBER (because it hurt) but TERRIFIED TO FORGET (because the memories were a true dream world that she loved).

I loved the analogy of Bella comparing herself to an old fixer upper house. She knew she was broken down. Very broken down. She opened the door for Jacob and he could find a place to sit in the front room but the rest of the home needed way to much repair to even venture there.

New Moon-- in Italy-- I was disappointed with the inital reunion in the alley way. It took forever for them to finally meet again (although I did enjoy reading about Jacob and getting to know him as Bella's FRIEND). After speaking with the Volturi, Edward and Bella do a little more of a mushy reunite- which was what I was waiting for. She is in his arms when they are still underground in this eerie place and she thinks it is "heaven, right smack in the middle of hell." I thought that was accurate and clever.

New Moon--p. 495-- Bella talks more about her broken down state... "How many ways can one heart be mangled and still be expected to keep beating? I'd lived through a lot that should have finished me in the last few days, but it didn't make me feel strong. Instead I felt horibly fragile, like one word could shatter me. p. 495---I was thinking--Edward, you'd better not shatter her!!!
Then Edward doesn't disappoint. (You can tell this next part that I LOVE was written by a girl) It is on p. 514 of "New Moon" and I think maybe the most romantic passage in the whole series. It begins... "Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night... "

Eclipse- This is a heart wrenching, splitting book. I was crying crocidile tears for the whole last half pretty much (besides the planning about the Seattle battle and the action scenes which were not my favorite)
p. 529- Just after Jacob's second kiss to Bella (the way he says the first should have been) Bella says "And then, quite distinctly, I felt the splintering along the fissure line in my heart as the smaller part wrenched itself away from the whole." I was dying. Then I felt even worse when she said a few pages later that she didn't feel any anger at Jacob for maybe trying to trick her into it..."There wasn't enough room in my body to contain anything besides the hatred I felt for myself."
I guess that's how 2 timing or being unfaithful could feel to people. But I felt so bad for Bella.

Then she talks about Jacob after he was physically injured..."Huge as he was, he looked very breakable. Maybe that had just been my imagination, coupled with the knowledge that I was going to have to break him."
Then sweet Jacob tells her (refering to the Bible story ) "I'm not going to cut you in half anymore, Bella."
This must be the passage that convinces some to favor Jacob to Edward. Very nicely put by him.
I agree with Jacob when he says that Edward is like Bella's drug, and Jacob would have been her sunlight and air. That seems to really describe the 2 relationships...Not an all bad or harmful drug, though.

So Kudos to Miss Meyer. I looked on her website and saw covers of Twilight in about 12 different languages. Talk about profit! I hope she is sipping a lemonade right now pondering about what she will write next.

I had heard about these books at the gym, in others homes, on my family blog, from my mother-in-law's beauty shop customers, .... and wasn't sure if I wanted to take the 2,000 page plunge. But being in on a dinner conversation between two friends from high school where they disagreed on Jacob vs. Edward finally peaked my curiosity enough. I was surprised to find that Bella was a high schooler because most of the fans I knew of were my age, but it was a fun leap back in time to the days of first falling in love. My own heart was skipping beats every time Edward came around! It is surely true that Stephenie too loves the characters she (literally) dreamt up. I must admit later on there were a few physical lovey dovey scenes that crept outside my comfort zone. But the author was surely tasteful and respectful of her audiences.

For now I am back to my practical and spiritual reading which I enjoy as well but the journey through the forests of Forks was fun fun fun.

P.S. Please share comments if you have read these. I miss my book clubs :(

Thursday, January 10, 2008


It is always funny how your tastes change a little during pregnancy. This time around (during my first trimester):
I gagged at the thought of eating lettuce for several weeks.
I guess I made up for it by having brussel sprouts at least 3 times a week.
I ate oatmeal EVERY morning.
Lots of turkey sandwiches.
I wanted them on white bread. (not normal for me)
Quesedillas were ok on flour tortillas.
I bought grapefruit several times. That's something my grandma and mom eat.
I HAD to buy a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli one day for lunch. I've had it once since but it wasn't as good as that day.
Of course, sprite and saltines all afternoon and evening - tortilla chips too- or microwave popcorn. I see a sodium pattern here.
Now everything tastes good, all day every day. I want chocolate and candy. Can't really blame that on the pregnancy, though because it never changes, and I'm sure never will!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Update (a little late :)

Hello and Happy Winter! Dec. 2007

We love hearing from friends and family around the holidays. We hope this letter finds you full of the Christmas sprit! If you need some, our kids have plenty to share. Ever since we put up the tree Caroline has been hiding random gifts under it for various family members. William has completed several seasonal drawings and Desirée has smiled with excitement anytime a song on the radio contains the words “Santa”, or “Christmas.”

We have all learned from our experiences in the year 2007.
*We learned from Will’s hospitalization with Kawasaki disease how precious life and health are. *We also learned to appreciate knowledgeable, caring medical professionals- and supportive

family and friends.
*We learned from our springtime cruise how refreshing a getaway can be! (Thanks to all who
helped make it possible for us to go!)
*Caroline has learned how to write most of her letters, a skill useful in addressing invitations for
her fun “Dora” birthday party.
*We learned that Lagoon is still “what fun is” even though the line for Wicked was way too long.
*Desi learned how to use momentum to get the 2 person swing in our backyard going WAY to
high for a toddler.
*We learned about several new geocaching spots in Cache Valley and near Potter’s Pond.
*John learned how to avoid being eaten by a bear, and how to safely raft the Snake River with a
group of rowdy scouts.
*Julia has learned how beautiful it is to witness people helping their neighbors as she has
served in Relief Society.
*We learned how good fruit tastes out of your own backyard!
*William learned his lines for the musical production he took part in this summer.
*The girls have learned new moves from Caroline’s dance class, and made up some of their own.

We have learned that a warm home, a steady income, and having each other close are blessings we should count every day.

We appreciate having this season to focus on learning more about the birth of our Savior. May His Spirit dwell in the hearts of all of His children now and through the coming year.

The Whitehead Family
John Alden , Julia, William, Caroline, Desirée