Monthly Archives: November 2005


My dad made up limericks. Fun, corny limericks. I think he wrote one for each of us kids and made up a bunch of others too.

My limerick:

There once was a girl named Julia Ane
Who jumped into a frying pan
She found it hot
There on that spot
And so she called for a fan
My favorite non kid limerick:

There once was a great purple Lizard
Who had an oversized gizzard
Hungry for bones
He ate hail stones
And died of an internal blizzard
I think my dad has left me a legacy. I found my self the other night making up limericks for my kids. I got Dorothy’s and Emily’s done.


There once was a cute little dot
Who found herself in a tight spot
She gave a wiggle
And made a giggle
And found she was tied in a knot
-J.H. Schmidt

There once was a bright ray of sun
Who decided to go for a run
In Emmy it found
A place safe and sound
And stayed to play and have fun
-J.H. Schmidt
The others will be forthcoming. Limericks are just plain silly fun, isn’t it great?


Filed under Poetry, Writing

Duck Ponds and Buried Treasure

I grew up on a small farm in Pennsylvania. We had 15 acres which housed fields, woods, marsh, and ponds. There was a hill in the backyard which was perfect for sledding and at the bottom was our manmade duck pond, barn, chicken coop,and cornhutch. In on of our fields was a solitary hill which rightfully earned the name, “The Lump”, complete with trees. It wasn’t a farm for income but mainly for teaching us kids responsibility. I guess it has something to do with dragging your kids out of bed at 6:00 in the morning in the dead of winter to feed the animals and break the ice out of the water buckets before leaving for school. That farm holds a myriad of memories.

I was a swimmer, I dearly loved the water and any chance I had to take a plunge I did. I think I gave my mother grief by constantly diving into the nearest body of water, suited or not. One hot summer day, I believe I was around 4 or 5, shortly after my dad and brother had dug the duck pond (with some mechanical help I believe) I was dearly wishing I had a way to cool off.

My two older brothers sauntered up to me, “Why don’t you go for a swim in the pond, that’s what its there for.”

I eyed them warily, “I thought it was for the ducks. It’s awfully dirty.”

“It’s not that bad. If it’s good enough for the ducks, its good enough for you.”

Now that comment would typically set off warning bells, but to a five-year-old-water-lover it was a green light. It never occurred to me to ask, “Then why aren’t you swimming?” I just dove in clothes and all and swam happily for quite some time. This was not a clean pond, it was quite disgusting really. I was so proud of myself afterwards and so excited that I ran up the hill to the house calling for mom. She came out and seemed to look around for her youngest daughter but all she could see was a disgusting mud and duck poop ball.

“You didn’t! You did!” she gasped in horror.

I was not permitted to set one toe in the house and was immediately hosed down, for probably a good 10 minutes. I never swam in the pond again but it didn’t deter us from having the occasional barrel race. We had these big empty metal oil drums that we would float in the water and sit on then we would paddle across. I’m sure we fell in from time to time. We just changed and hosed off or bathed before mom could catch us. 🙂

I wasn’t always in trouble, and most of my trouble was innocent happenstance. Being the youngest though I was often underfoot. I had two older sisters and two older brothers and often found myself the oddball out and would attach myself to my mom.

It was fall, and I was 3 and we had just sent everyone off to school and I was moping because I didn’t get to go yet. My mom is a genius, taught school for a long time, and knows tons of things about bugs and animals that kids love to know about. She is very creative and is always ready to whip something out of her sleeve. To me it was nothing short of magical, and sure enough on this fall day she worked her magic. She pulled out the little red wagon, a lunchbox (which I was sure there was something yummy in there), and some shears. Then she put my hair in pigtails and I put on my red sweater and we headed off across our field to the woods. I insisted numerous times to know what we were doing, but she kept her secret locked away. The woods were ripe with color and I delighted in the numerous colors and leaves I found as we entered through our gate.

“We are going to make a path” my mom said. And we set to work. She cut branches and underbrush away and I piled it into the wagon. After sometime I was visibly wearing down.

“I think there is buried treasure here” Mom said.

My eyes glowed and I scanned the ground, “There! By the tree!” We walked off the path a little ways and mom provided a small shovel and we dug a hole big enough to line with rock and fit the lunch box in. We pretended we were pirates who had just found a secret treasure. I eagerly opened the lunchbox, “Chocolate!!” I was so excited I almost passed over the real treasure but my mother guided me back to it. There lying in the bottom of the lunch box was a Book of Mormon. We sat down on the side of the trail, and I ate my chocolate while my mom read to me. When we were done we boxed everything up and buried it, for another day.

I don’t know if that box is still there, or if I would even recognize the spot. We went back to it frequently, each time on some adventure or magical journey. The real magic is in the memory and the love. So don’t be surprised if you visit my house and find my back yard full of holes. 🙂


Filed under Farm Stories, Goofs, Humor, Personal History, Writing

Who are you named after?

I was teaching Dorothy’s Sunday school class yesterday – a batch of 5 year olds -7 of them actually, and we were learning about not taking the Lord’s name in vain. In an effort to stress the point that our names are special I explained that their Mom and Dad chose special names when they were born and some of them might be named after someone that meant a lot to their parents. I used Dorothy as an example explaining that she was named after her Grandma (my mom). I asked the other kids if any of them were named after someone special. I immediately got hands in the air and lots of answers.

“I was named after my big sister Reagan and Sydney, and after my mom and my dad.”

“I was named after my big brother.”

“I was named after my 3 brothers and sister”.

“My little sister was named after me!”

I ended up getting a family history from almost every child as they listed everyone born before them that they came “after”. I think I hid behind my manual, I was laughing so hard. I just love kids . . .


Filed under Humor, Religion, Things Kids Say


We have a lot to give thanks for this year. We do every year, but even more so this year. When Jacob was in the hospital we noticed signs on the walls for a homemade Easter dinner put on by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We didn’t know then that Jacob would be in surgery that day, we thought we would bring up the entire family and eat together, but as is the way with things, the plan changed. We enjoyed the dinner with Paul’s parents as we awaited word on Jacob’s surgery and progress. Having that support was huge. I don’t think they realized what a huge service they did. Since then we have talked with the Sister (Sandi) that headed up the dinner and found out that she organizes a dinner for each of the three major holidays, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

So this morning we boxed up cookies and goodies, bundled up our 4 children and went up to the hospital. It was tough at first, greeted with a flood of memories of doubt and worry, but we were soon wrapped up in the love of service. Jacob got to meet Sandi for the first time, and we even saw one of our ICU nurses and one of our respitory nurses too. It was an amazing thing being able to be there and offering a service that meant so much to us. A perfect Thanksgiving, offering thanks for the miracle of our son by serving others. I don’t write this to say hey look at me, I just want to express the grattitude in my heart. I have always had a lot to be thankful for, but this year is different, and gathering with my little family is a lot more meaningful. I love Thanksgiving, a time to be grateful, to love and to serve, to spend with family, and to joy in each other.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!


Filed under Family, Heart, Jacob, Religion

5 Year Old Wisdom

Dorothy was talking to her sisters this afternoon and got upset about something. I overheard her say either the word “stupid” or “hate”, both of which are unacceptable in our home. I looked at her surprised, and gently, but firmly, said, “We do not say that word in our home.”

With the quickness and wit of a five year old whose gears are always in motion she looked at me quizzicaly and asked, “So, can I say it somewhere else?”


Filed under Children, Dot, Humor, Parenting, Things Kids Say


There are moments in life when you feel like you just hit the jackpot. No matter how trivial it might seem to others you feel like you are holding a bar of gold. I felt that way when I got married, and when I held each of my kids for the first time. I felt that way when I got to hold Jacob for the first time after his heart surgery. It’s not always a huge moment that creates that special jackpot feeling though. This summer I found the most incredible deal at a garage sale and got that instant jackpot feeling. Now, where is this jackpot story leading you might ask?

Well, today is gold rush day. I went on a simple outing to Walmart in search for hamster bedding and pull-ups and I hit the jackpot. I was passing the cheap-o dump bin for DVDs and out of the corner of my eye I saw it, a bar of gold! A collection of 60 cartoons, not just any cartoons, but old, really old classics! We’re talking a two disk double sided collection of: Popeye, Superman, Felix the Cat, Woody Wood Pecker, Little LuLu, Mighty Mouse, Mutt and Jeff (I’m so excited to watch those Fourth Fret), Baby Huey, Little Audrey, Betty Boop, Casper, and some miscellaneous ones like The Big Bad Wolf and Humpty Dumpty. It even came with a bonus CD with 49 kids songs on it! The whole works cost me a whoppin’ $5.50. They are not restored and little lines and squiggles dance along the screen from time to time, but that makes is so much more authentic and fun.

So here I am in the middle of a gold rush with my 3 year old and baby watching Popeye. Can life possibly get any better than this? Well, yeah, when I have all the kids home from school then that will be the top!! Life is Great!!! 🙂


Filed under Children, Family, Love and Marriage, Opinion, Parenting, Philosophy


I have to take a moment tonight and praise my piano students. We had our piano recital this evening (we have two a year) and everyone did so well. I always get so nervous for all of them, wanting them to do their best. It feels so good to work hard for something and then have it turn out well. So I was so pleased when all my students did an outstanding job. No one was perfect (are we ever?) but the mistakes were minimal and they really sounded polished. I was really proud of them. I have had recitals that haven’t come out this good, but tonight was just awesome. We had everything from My daughter Dorothy plunking out a few simple notes to Scott Joplin and Aaron Coplin. The wide range made it especially fun. I know I am not supposed to have favorites as a teacher, but my two favorite kids (Lizard and Dot of course 🙂 ) did really well too. I could tell that Dot especially was nervous but she just plowed right through her little piece. You go girl. And Lizard held hers together really well too. It wasn’t Carnegie Hall, and we definitely aren’t concert pianists, but we love music and had a lot of fun. ( I must say, it is a big relief to have it over though)

One more thing . . in a strange twist of fates . . .

A lady from church came to visit yesterday and told me she was looking for a home for her two girl cockatiels and was wondering if we would like them. The strange part? She didn’t know that Pepe had just died. Of course I said yes and she will bring them tomorrow. I haven’t told the kids yet, they will be so excited. So, I am collecting name ideas. Some kind of dynamic girl duo. I’ll even post their pictures when they come, since you all never got to meet Pepe. *sniff* 🙂


Filed under Dot, Family, Lizy, Music


Emily is sick. She came out last Friday after her nap breathing like Darth Vader. I was tempted to have her go up to Paul and say “Dad, I am your daughter,” in her Darth Vadery voice. But I forgot. Lost the moment. Lost moments are a terrible thing. I was walking the girls to school the other day and it had been a hard morning. They were running ahead and I stopped to talk to the crossing guard for a moment. By the time we got to school they were way far ahead and there was no calling them back. No hugs, no kisses. Just cute little pigtails bouncing in the breaze and a lost moment. I try not to loose too many, but a few are inevitable.

So, Carpe Diem! Seize the day! Live life to the fullest and create lots of memories and fun moments. And laugh and giggle lots. 🙂


Filed under Children, Parenting, Philosophy

I am Goofy. Goofy I am.

Proud Mum, in answer to a plea, I give you:

My Goofy Moments (only a the good parts version, otherwise I’d have to write a novel) . . . Feel free to laugh freely, I do! 🙂

I think my gifted goofyness began on a dark and stormy night (cue thunder please) when I was locked up in my tower and a curse was beset upon me. Ok, ok. I was just walking down the hall in the dark and I thought my bedroom door was open. I didn’t realize it was closed until I tried to walk through it.

My gift for making people laugh (it sounds nicer that way than just saying klutziness) really began to show itself in my teen years. I blame it on weak ankles. At any given moment if I was stepping off a curve, or just plain walking, one would twist and I would end up on my face. It happened so often my ankles wouldn’t even swell anymore and I would just howl on the ground in laughter.

My first memorable good moment was on a back backing trip with a batch of girls from church. We had our leaders with us too, including the Stake President. We were up in the mountains, and being the fun loving mischievous sort that I am I started a snow ball fight with our Stake President. All was going well until I nailed him with a strategically placed snow ball. Oops! Hee Hee Hee! I was teased about that by my best friend, who was fortunate enough to be a witness, for ages, “Look out boys! She’s armed and dangerous! She’s got a snowball!”

My next very special moment was my senior year in high school. Myself and two of my friends decided to triple. In order to save on our budgets, which were nonexistent, we decided to have dinner at one of the friend’s houses. We had a very nice dinner set up. Except for the ginger ale. I think someone tossed it on as an after thought. “Oh yeah, the drink!” I was doomed from the first. Sitting at the end of the table just to my left was my very best of best friends. “Julia, can you pass the ginger ale please?” What possessed me to slide it rather than pick it up and pass it I shall never know. Maybe I just didn’t see the crack in the table. It tipped over, of course the lid wasn’t on, and instantly sprayed by best friend all over with ginger ale. Time froze for one horrible moment suspended with everyone holding their breath as she sat there in her ginger ale bath. Thankfully she began to laugh, so I knew I was allowed to. I felt terrible, but come on, it was dang funny. Luckily her dress was a simple black dress that could be tossed in the dryer and wasn’t ruined. While the girls were downstairs taking care of the dress and outfitting the unfortunate one in a very classy and stylish bathrobe, the boys were cleaning up the mess. When I arrived at the table I found a stack of napkins about 5 inches tall sitting by my plate. We all burst into gales of laughter.

There was another time when I was talking to someone in a dorm room. Their room was the first one in the hall and right by a double door with a metal post in the middle. I went to run to catch up with my friend afterwards. Yup. You guessed it! I body slammed that whole post! I hit it so hard I was staggering around trying to figure out where the angels were!! “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

My next two memories happened while I was serving a mission in Chile. All of my companions were Latin American so I learned Spanish really fast. On one particular day, our preparation day so we weren’t out pounding the streets, we were playing basketball. Now the sisters were permitted to play with the Elders as long as we were on opposing teams and guarded each other. I tend to get a little aggressive when I play, but this time it wasn’t my fault, honest! One of the Elders on my team had the ball. I was open. He threw the ball, I jumped. The problem? Another Elder on my team jumped at the same time and was rather close to me. We collided mid air and crashed to the ground. I landed on my back . . . On top of the Elder! (By the way this was about 10 minutes after getting smashed in the face by the ball and scrunching my glasses so I had to bend them back into shape) I was terribly embarrassed, and then I realized that I had landed on my district leader’s companion. My district leader offered me a hand up and said, “Now, sister, couldn’t you wait two years?” We all busted up laughing.

On this other particular day I let my companion convince me to use an Epilady. I had never used one, and I have very sensitive skin. Not to mention that thing hurt, my legs were bright red and all bumpy. But I had on a long skirt and didn’t think anymore about it. This day we were going to visit a family. Mom, Dad, two children. We were walking down the sidewalk (jumble of cracked concrete really) and we were about half a block away when I saw all of them, outside. I was happy to see them so I flung my hand in the air to give them a hearty hello, all that managed to come out was, “Holaaaaahhhhggggg!” as I twisted my ankle and fell on all fours. I fell with such force that my back pack, which is very aerodynamicly designed, launched itself off my back and flew in a graceful arc landing at the feet of the father. He came rushing forward to help me up and I was assuring him that I am just a klutz, and thus am fine, when he saw my legs. “Hermana! Your legs (of course in Spanish)!” “The epilady!” I remembered in horror. That cursed thing has betrayed me. I think I mumbled something about their being just fine, sensitive to crashes or something silly.

I could go on forever. I have fallen down stairs, (even in the Smith building guys), I have crashed into sliding glass doors, I have emerged in public with mismatched shoes (the curse of dressing in the dark, which is black and which is brown?). I was on crutches my last semester at Ricks (end Jan. through beg. March) because I bruised cartilage in my ankle when I was dog piling my roommate. (don’t ask, I don’t know) I’ve slipped on grapes in the grocery store when I was pregnant (scared them to death they’d have a law suit, but I’m a nice person), and cut the end of my toe off in a lawn mower (yes I had shoes on, I’m a klutz, not stupid 🙂 ). Just to name a few things. So now you know why I am rightly called goofy, and why he is my favorite character. I figured if he can be so inept and still happy about it so can I. So I have learned to laugh and realize that if I can bring a little humor into the lives of everyone else then my klutziness has not been in vain.


Filed under Goofs, Humor, Memory, Personal History, Youth

Catch a Falling Star

Ever wonder where that annoying song stuck in your head comes from? I had a roommate in college that was an absolute hoot. She was bubbly, cute, and fun, and she had a great sense of humor. The main thing I discovered about her was that she would always get this one song stuck in her head. “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, never let it fade away.” Come on, you know you are singing it too! 🙂

It would drive her crazy. It would be stuck there for weeks on end. Well, there was a little secret that she didn’t know about. I can’t pass up on a great joke or opportunity to tease for anything (unless I know they’ll get mad at me, then I’ll just dream about it and never do it, I try really hard not to alienate too many people). We would be in the kitchen, or at the vanity, or hanging in the living room and I would quietly, almost inaudibly, start humming. “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket.” With in minutes she would be singing the song out loud and cursing (cleanly) the obnoxious song that would not leave her head. I was silently giggling. It became a great game, trying to see how long I could get away with it, and wondering if I’d be beaten to a pulp when I got caught. 🙂

Finally we were in the kitchen cooking and I started to quietly hum. The dawning look of the terrible truth came into her eyes, “It was you!” “You did this to me!” Of course she wasn’t really mad just laughing, so I started singing obnoxiously at the top of my lungs, “Catch a falling star and put it in you pocket, never let it fade away!” as she chased me up the stairs snapping her wet dish towel at me.

Now Paul and I play music wars and we purposely try to hum the most obnoxious songs we can think of to get it stuck in each other’s heads. I just recently got the song from a Strawberry Shortcake movie stuck in Paul’s head and he was humming away at work. We try different musicals and any of the kids movies. It has become a great source of entertainment. It has been so much fun that I decided to see if I can get a song stuck into peoples heads by blog, so sing with me now, “Catch a falling star and put it in you pocket, never let it fade away!”

Have fun singing!! Let me know if it worked, wa ha ha ha. (Evil laugh)

Catch a falling star and put it in you pocket,never let it fade away . . .


Filed under Humor, Memory, Music, Youth