Monthly Archives: July 2006

DO NOT Push The Red Button

Found this on Awesome Mom’s site, it made me laugh, and I though Fourth Fret would find it particularly entertaining, and any of you who have kids who like to push buttons, with this, maybe they will get there fill! 🙂


Filed under Meme


Weekly Anamnesis #30

This one was hard (which is why I am late posting it), a lot of my posts have to do with being a mother or my mother, many of the stories that I would select have been written previously.

Though I must say when times are rough, and the children driving me crazy there is just one moment in time that I must remember to melt all the frustration away. That moment when the brand new baby is placed in your arms, and you wonder how you can love anything or anyone more than this. That moment of awe and wonder to realize you hold a tender spirit so fresh and new from Heavenly Father’s loving arms. That moment of amazement when you realize the awesome trust He must have in you to entrust one so dear to your tender, loving care. A heart so full you fear it might burst, as it spills over into your eyes, and courses down your cheeks. That moment, when I first became a mother.


Cradled against my breast
Our hearts beat as
A classical paragon of innocence
A glimpse of divinity
Arcadia in my arms

-J.H. Schmidt

(I posted this on the Poetry Reading blog, but I had to include it here)

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Filed under Anamnesis, Parenting, Poetry, Writing



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Hakone Shrine

Tenzuiki Juto Oido
built 1591
San Kie-en Gardens

I took these while I was in Japan 10 years ago (man, it sure doesn’t seem like it has been that long.) Looking back now the shots are kind of crooked, and I just wish I had had a better camera, one with at least a zoom lense on it. The carving on the wood door was just amazing to behold, and I fear it wasn’t captured to well. But hey, a poor starving college student can’t be picky. and at least I was in Japan, right? 🙂


Filed under Japan, Photography


Ok, so after that last post I had to post something positive. 🙂 Yes the day was tough, but we had some fun moments too, and I got to go on a fun date with my hubby. I think the kids and I just needed a break from each other. 🙂 I am extra excited for tomorrow. We are going to the Lion Heart Festival in Portland. It is a fundraiser put on by the Children’s Heart Foundation, all the funds the raise fun research for congenital heart defects. It is an amazing group and we are lucky to have a chapter here in Oregon. (If you would like a chapter in your state there are ways to form one, and it talks about how on their website, see the link in my sidebar.) The festival is for the whole family and includes a special parade lead by CHD survivors and their families. We were able to attend last year, and this year I get to volunteer.

So, even though there are tough days, where I get to feeling pretty rotten, I am so richly blessed I am amazed. A long time ago when I was going through a bit of a rough patch I started to make a list of all the blessings I could think of. My list is well over 200 items long now. I thought about that today after I blogged earlier and began to review that list. I was grinning from ear to ear in less than 10 minutes.

“When upon lifes billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done . . .” (from the LDS hymn book)


Filed under Heart, Philosophy, Religion

There are moments when . . . .

I want to rip my hair out in shear frustration, but then I realize I’d look really bad bald.

I think I was crazy to have children, let alone four of them, but then I realize how empty life would be without them.

I want to pound something really hard, and I am grateful for my piano and composers who wrote really loud, wild music.

I want to kick something, and then I realize that no ammount of pain in my foot will mask the pain in my heart.

I want to scream and yell and pound the floor, but I don’t think I could handle the humiliation of being hauled away to the looney bin.

I wonder if I am really flunking bad in the school called mommyhood, but then my kids do something wonderful to help me know I must be doing something good.

I wonder if my nature really is divine, and I feel rather worthless and frustrated and I realize it is time to go pray.

Sorry to vent . . . it is just one of those days when the kids are more than I can take. It’s not mischief, it’s out right temper tantrums (even my 7 year), screaming, and fighting . . . and it is only 10:30 a.m. I fear it is going to be a long day . . . So I am off to search for that silver lining, because there must be one there somewhere. 🙂


Filed under Parenting

Homeward Bound

Thursday, July 6, we headed off on our merry way. We stopped in Salt Lake City to visit Temple Square. It had been four years since we had the opportunity to visit, and it was a joy to take the children and teach them of their ancestors, the history, and remember childhood memories of vacation trips. We actually ran into two families, very good friends, from Oregon while we were there, the coincidences are amazing. I love the spirit and the feel and I wished so much that we could have more time, but it was the end of our trip, we needed to be on our way, and Dorothy was exhausted to the point of major meltdown. Next time we’ll remember to do it early on in the trip. 🙂 The drive home was long and arduous, even though the children slept a lot and were very well behaved. Paul and I were exhausted and we found it a struggle to drive, though we made it home safely by 2:00 in the morning and crashed into bed.

The next day, Friday, we drove out to the coast and spent a fun filled day with Paul’s parents, visiting from Montana, and his nephew and niece (also from Montana). It was one of Jacob’s first beach experiences and the children enjoyed playing in the waves and burying dad and cousins in the sand. We drove back home that night and were relieved to have our journeys come to an end. It’s good to be home and slowly working back into a routine. Some how finishing up these chronicles of the trip makes me feel that I have finally reached the end. I hope I didn’t bore you too much, but in a sense it was similar to writing in a journal, and I find it easier and less monotonous this way. 🙂 Thanks for bearing with me. 🙂


Filed under Every Day Life, Family, Religion


Already the sun was climbing high into the sky, the breeze doing little to lessen the stifling heat. My heart was beating, not just from the higher altitude, and my breathing was heavy. My facemask was fogging up, but to remove it would be murder. I shuddered. Out there, somewhere, lurking in the trees were two guns aimed at me, hunting my down. My three young bodyguards were of little comfort, knowing that at anytime someone could squeeze a shot off and take them down. The road stretched out before us, our destination was beyond our sight around the bend.

Even the ten shots in my hand were of little comfort as we cautiously crept along the dirt road, the dust lifting ever so slightly as it was stirred with our feet. A figure leapt our of the foliage, the POP! POP! POP! of a gun filled the air, one of my guards was hit in the leg! “Holy crud!” I screamed as I turned on my heals and lit out of there as fast as I could my guards chasing after me firing shots wildly back, hoping to take down the terrorist. Gasping for breath we noticed the guard was only slightly wounded and would remain in play. We hung back wary of what was hiding in the wood. I examined the paint spatter all over my pant legs. “Man, that was close!” I exclaimed pointing. We slowly began our walk back down the road; it was imperative that I reached my final destination. The guards walked at my sides and ahead of me spraying the woods with cover fire.

“We got him! We got him!” the message was relayed and I observed as the enemy was marched back to camp, hands held high, weapon confiscated. A little more at eases, knowing there was only one more in the woods we picked up the pace. Pain shot through my leg. I should have run, I should have dived, I should have done anything but go into shock, but there I stood as I took two more, one in each shoulder. It was done. I was out, but not before my bodyguards took down the assailant.

I was the first woman elected president. Well, actually, my nephew informed me there was one other. Paul and I had promised him that we would go paintballing with him months ago, long before the sunburn. Man, those things sting when they aren’t hitting sunburn, but boy oh boy do they hurt when they hit on the right spot! The game we were playing at this point was called “President.” Basically the president (me, I was the unlucky one who lost at rock-paper-scissors) has a few bodyguards and has to be marched down a road to a destination, while a few others lurk in the woods as terrorists. It was really rather eerie, and it was just a game. I could help imaging how the actual president must feel, yikes!

The first game we played was actually called “Bunker.” My nephew John and I defended a bunker while three others attacked us. I have never been paint balling before and didn’t last too long. I took a ball in the head; I had a mask on so no worries, and upon bursting the paint splattered inside the mask, onto my glasses and into my eyes. Definitely caught me by surprise, that one did! J I sat out on the third game, “Alien”, I wasn’t too sure how my ankles and Klutzability were going to hold out on me. I had already taken a tumble down the countryside, nearly rolling a small boulder on my leg. I didn’t want to press my luck. But I was coerced into the last round, which was “Civil War.” That game is just pure insanity. We were split evenly, 3 on 3. The gist of the game was that one side took a shot and then stepped forward, then the next side took shot and stepped forward, and so on and so forth. Players were out as they were hit 2 times. You’re not aloud to move, you just have to stand there and if you see a paint ball coming for ya you just take it. Thankfully I escaped the game rather quickly, it was just nuts! J We had a hoot though, playing with my 15 year old nephew and his three friends.

After we got home to my sister’s place we relaxed and had foosball wars and chatted with the family. We were getting ready to start back to Oregon the next day.

(oooh, by the way, I just noticed, this is my 200th post!)


Filed under Every Day Life, Family, Writing

Happy Birthday Emily!

I’m almost done with my trip (three more posts planned, and thanks for bearing with me on this, oh, and I added photos to the 4th of July post) but I had to take another break to wish my daughter a happy birthday. 🙂

Emily was smiling practically from the day she was born

It was almost uncanny how she would giggle at just a couple months old

Each child has a special place in our family, and brings something special with them

Emily’s gift is pure joy

So infectious, is bubbles and spills out over the edges

Her smile lightens the gloomiest day

We are so grateful for our smiling Emmy! 🙂


Filed under Children, Em

4th of July

We now return to our main story:

We were up Tuesday morning at 5:00 a.m. and out the door shortly with my sister Heidi and family, and my parents. We made 20 minute drive to Provo and quickly found parking. There was excitement in the air as we walked to the nearby field. Finding a spot quickly we through out our blankets and chairs and started on our picnic breakfast. Patriotic music blared from the nearby speakers as the kids slurped down their yogurt and watched as people began to roll out the balloons.

(More pictures posted on Flickr)

The first balloon up was called the “Stars and Stripes” in fitting red, white, and blue. The lead balloon. Just when all the balloons were ready to begin to fill the lead balloon fired up and rose slowly into the air, flying the flag. The National Anthem blasted in full regality across the field as the masses rose, hats whipped from heads, and hands placed over hearts. At the close of the anthem we all recited the “Pledge of Allegiance” as one massive body. I have never heard it recited by such a large number in unison before, and it was truly amazing. The words seem to echo off the surrounding mountains as the sun began to peep over the peaks, splaying it’s first rays across the field.

At the conclusion all the balloons slowly began to fill. The crowds were invited to walk among the balloons. It was like walking among a forest, an inflatable one with myriads of brilliant colors.

Elizabeth squealed at the sound of the firing balloons and shrank from the heat with her hands clamped over her ears. (She’s very sensitive to sound. It took us ages just to get her not to be afraid to flush a public toilet, and she still plugs her ears most of the time she does.) I have never had the opportunity to be so close to the balloons and to see them inflate beside me, feel the heat of the fire.

As two of the balloons inflated their sides touched forming a tunnel that we, and thousands of others, walked through. I felt like Alice going through the tunnel into a whole new world, bright and brilliant, surrounded by such color and sensations I had never before witnessed.
Balloons were beginning to rise and sail directly over our heads, I felt like they could just skim across my scalp feather soft.

The crowds were intense and I gathered children close as lost children were announced, and I counted heads time and time again. Finally we were asked to exit the field and to stay behind the painted perimeter. We began to exit the field and as I turned I realized I did not have Elizabeth. My heart pounded, my feet froze and I grabbed my sister. “Where’s Lizard?!” We looked frantically around and spotted her a few feet ahead obediently heading off the field toward the rest of our family. I breathed a sigh of relief, caught her arm and ordered her to stay by our sides.

From the sidelines we watched all the balloons sail into the sky, growing smaller on the horizon. Sometime later it was time to head over to the parade route. This is supposed to be THE 4th of July parade of the Utah Valley. My niece was marching in it as part of the Bagpipe band (don’t shoot me if it is called something other than band, heh) of Payson. I was excited to attend a ‘real’ parade on the 4th of July. Here in the Portland area there isn’t much in the way of a parade to celebrate the holiday. Portland has the big Rose Festival parade in June, which is amazing, all the floats made out of flowers, seeds, and plants. Our town has an Old Fashion Days parade at the end of July. Hillsboro has a very small parade on the 4th, but not much. I don’t know about Salem though. Anyway, I was excited; a parade to celebrate with just seems right, and exciting.

I wasn’t disappointed. Even with the hot sun boring into my back, it’s scorching heat driving through my shirt into my sunburn, it was amazing. Band after band (bands are the best, heh), floats, and giant balloons. I have never been to a parade with the giant balloons before, and what fun it was!

The crowd would begin to shout in a frenzied rhythm, “Spin! Spin! Spin!” and all the balloon holders would run in a circle spinning the balloon in a wide circle.

The kids loved it too and cheers arose as Sarah marched by puffing away on her pipes.

On our way home Paul and I took time to drive past the Provo Temple (at our children’s request). It was fun to see how the Missionary Training Center has changed, and the children, as well as us, were enthralled with the sight of the temple. As we drove back to my sister’s home we passed by the Brigham Young University Campus and I pointed out the kids my usual parking spot and route I walked to school. We found our little apartment that we lived in as newly weds and awaited the birth of Elizabeth, and scowled at the evil red poles in the parking lot (a story for another time). It was fun to drive the kids down memory lane.

The rest of the day was spent resting, playing and listening to old time and patriotic music. Paul has learned a new instrument, the spoons, and we had fun putting on an old time concert with his spoons and my piano. We ended the day with a cookout of hotdogs over a fire and s’mores, and fireworks popping and blazing in the streets.

I was so grateful for such a marvelous holiday, for family and the incredible freedoms that we enjoy. Wednesday however was looming ahead, along with the fear of assassination . . .


Filed under Every Day Life, Family, Photography

News Flash

We interrupt the vacation news cast to bring you this exciting news flash:

6 Year Old Found With Rock Up Nose!!!

Yup, folks, last night we were driving to the nearby family fun center. Paul had received two gift cards from work and we decided it would be a hoot to take the kids (despite their outrageous prices, no money out of our pocket, and fun for the kiddos.) Dinner was a hatchet job and so the adults in the family, namely my hubby and I, were starving so we stopped at Taco Bell. While waiting in the drive through to pick up our order, Dorothy becomes screaming bloody murder.

“There’s a rock stuck in my nose! It hurts! It hurts! There’s a rock in my nose!” Her eyes were wide and panicked and her breath was coming in short quick breaths. A squeal burst, “Mamaaaa!”

It took a second for what she was screaming about to sink in and then I was up and running to the side door of the van, handkerchief in hand (Paul uses hankies). I could envision our fun and exciting trip being shortened to a trip to the ER, depending how far she had stuck that rock up her nose. When I plowed into the back seat, I sighed in relief, I could see the large white pebble clearly. “It’ll be ok, calm down; we can get it out, hush honey.” I held up the hankie and told her to “blow hard, sweetie.” Out popped the stone, snot and all. I refrained from hollering, “What on earth possessed you to shove a rock up your nose!” while Dorothy lamented the loss of her pretty white stone, and I calmly said, “Now you see why we don’t stick things in our noses. Never, ever stick anything in your nose again!” She nodded as I climbed back into the front seat, stone infested handkerchief in hand. I took one look at Paul and fell sideways into his lap, dissolved in laughter.

Only Dot would stick a rock in her nose!


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