Monthly Archives: January 2009

Work in Progress

If I don’t seem to be around as much as when the new year first kicked off, it is because I have become immersed in a new book. I was hit with this spectacular idea and I just can’t let it go.

I have been a writing fiend the last while, and I have decided that writing this book is like chocolate – ADDICTING. Plot points and twists are always popping up in my head and I have to jot stray notes down on paper anytime my computer isn’t near. I’m calling my friends and gleefully giggling over things my characters decide to do.

Granted, I am still keeping things in balance with being a mom and wife, but I my fingers and brain itch for the quiet moments when the kids are in bed and chores accomplished that I can attack my book again.

I am even dreaming it.

It will be a YA novel, called the Forbidden Fairytale. I’m 13,000 words into it and counting – the fun has just begun!


Filed under Writing

The Marvel of Music

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I don’t know exactly how it started, though I think it may have originated with my brother who started attending Ricks College the summer before me. Every Sunday a small group of us would walk off campus, past numerous student housing apartments to a small nursing home on the hill.

I was recruited namely form my piano ability, the rest came to sing. There was a beautiful grand piano in a large lobby area where the residents would gather. I’d crack open my hymn book and we would sing until voices were hoarse. We started with only about five of us. The piano plus a quartet, and we gradually grew. Before long there were easily twenty to thirty of us on some Sundays.

Small groups would break off and roam the halls, singing as they went. It was wonderful to see the face of the residents. How music stirred and lifted them. Brought cheer into their lives. Often we woud visit afterwards, and they had such wonderful stories to tell.

It was the first time he held my hand, on our way home from one of those visits. One of the girls in the group had hinted upon our arrival at the nursing home that my hands were terribly cold, so as we walked back to campus he suavely scooped my hand into his and tucked into his pocket. I still remember the thrill and grin like a giggly teenager whenever I think of that moment.

Those were some of my favorite times, playing and singing at the nursing home, expecially when he was with me. We didn’t have the oportunity much after we were married. We had kids, and it seemed that making it to a nursing home to play music was too hard to juggle with the children.

Then a couple weeks ago someone supplied me with a brilliant idea to have our upcoming (not until May) piano recital at one of the nursing homes in our town. Of course! I thought. Why hadn’t I thought of that.

Arrangements were made, and then it got me to thinking. It’s a Friday night. We need to go on the best date ever. So, I packed up as much old time music as I could find quickly, fetched the babysitter, and Paul and I drove to the nursing home.

We had called ahead to tell them we were coming, and they were waiting. They chuckled when they asked why we came and we said it was our date. We played and played, and sang and played. Paul brought his spoons as well. The memories were grand, and we played for an hour and a half. The smiling faces, the joy – this is the marvel of music.

We wound things down to a finish, put on our coats and headed back to our car. Paul reached down, scooped my hand into his and slid it into his pocket, sending a giddy girlish thrill shivering through me.


Filed under Love and Marriage, Memory, Music

Why I Love Facebook

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This weekend a friend I haven’t seen in 10 years tracked me down – she’s living in Mongolia right now. We chatted for ages and had so much fun catching up!

Later that same day one of my companions from my mission that lives in Chile found me – we chatted for close to an hour last night while the kids played – it was amazing. I lost the addresses of most of my Chilean friends and I haven’t been able to contact the few that I have. I was so excited to hear from this very wonderful friend.

Since then I have found a bunch of very close friends in Chile that I haven’t been able to contact in years.

Facebook is awesome! And technology can be a huge blessing – to be able to simply sit and chat with someone half way around the world never ceases to blow my mind. 🙂


Filed under Every Day Life

Well, He’s Got the Idea at Least

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We are still working on potty training Jacob. He can go in the toilet and knows he should go in the toilet, but gets so busy or involved that he doesn’t want to go in the toilet. For him he only goes if he feels like it – which is more often not, unfortunately.

Yesterday I had just finished cleaning up a stinky when the phone rang. It was a woman I had talked with last week about starting piano lessons. She had called to schedule a lesson time with me (yay!). I sent Jacob off to use the toilet and get dressed and began to talk with the woman on the phone.

A few minutes into the conversation Jacob ran up to me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him triumphantly hold up a ziploc bag and declare, “I did it!”

Still trying to schedule the piano lessons I turned my attention on Jacob and saw that the ziploc bag had a fair quantity of yellow water in.

It suddenly hit me as I took the bag from him what I was holding – A ziploc baggy of pee!

Instead of running to the toilet he had peed in a baggy. I ended up spending the rest of my phone conversation holding a baggy of pee up over my head with Jacob jumping around me trying to get it back. I barely managed to finish my conversation in a dignified manner before hanging up and calling Paul.

“You’ll never believe what I am holding in my hand right now,” I told him and broke down in laughter.


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob

Remote Magic

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James is fascinated with remotes. On the off chance that one will land within his reach he will zero in on it like a homing beacon. He used to slobber on it until someone rescued it from his grip, but now he has discovered that something about the oblong treasure turns on the mighty picture box. (we don’t watch a ton of TV, but we do enjoy family movies together and cartoons once in a while, etc.) He will hold one end of the remote in the air and, while waving it, press random buttons waiting for something magic to happen.

He was doing this last night when I thought of the perfect game. I got down on the floor next to him and waited. After a short inspection of why his control was not working with the magic box he pointed it toward the tv and pushed a button. I suddenly flopped on the ground beside him and lay very still.

He gave a start and looked down at me as I secretly peeked at him through my eyelashes. He waved and pushed somemore. I bounced back up and grinned at him, which brought a little giggle. Again he waved and pushed, and again I flopped. This went on for quite a while.

Wave and push – flop down – giggle

Wave and push – bounce up -giggle

Wave and push – flop down – giggle

Wave and push – bounce up – belly laugh

wave and push – flop down – belly laugh

Then Paul walked up and handed him a different bigger remote control. James studied it curiously, and then, while looking at me, waved it and pushed its buttons. I sat still while Paul flopped to the ground. Which sent him into laughter all over again.

It was one of the most entertaining evenings ever. 🙂


Filed under Children, Humor, James


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We were finally able to turn off the sump pump Saturday evening.

The kids are back in school after a three week long Christmas break.

Dinner is made and cooking in the crock pot.

The little boys are taking a nap.

Life is GOOD.










…and now I need to go clean.


Filed under Every Day Life

Excuse Me, Ma’am, Your Hose was Left On

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That is what a well meaning citizen told me when I answered the door today just before noon.  I wasn’t surprised considering this is what he saw:

Pumping the Water out

“Actually,” I told him, “that is the water being pumped from under our house.”

“Oh my,” he said looking rather staggered. “So, that’s a good thing then.”

“Yes,” I reply, “a very good thing. Thanks so much for stopping by though, it was very considerate.”

And I meant it, because it really was.

So, that is the hose pumping the water out of our crawl space under a tree on our front lawn. It has been flowing that heavily since yesterday morning. At least the rain is holding off so we’re not adding to it.   🙂


Filed under Every Day Life

Looking for the North Pole

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There is a big decorated tree on the main road in and out of out town.  The kids have taken to calling it The North Pole – I think mainly because of the giant decorated tree in “Polar Express”. 

The other day we were headed back home from a neighboring town.  I had all five kids loaded into the car.  We were still at least 3-5 miles out when Elizabeth excitedly said, “We have to look for the North Pole guys.  Keep your eyes open!”

I chuckled, and didn’t bother to tell her it was quite a ways yet.  It was much more fun to listen to their speculations of when the North Pole would appear.  After a short while Dorothy, in a very excited voice piped up, “I see it! I see it!”

The tree was no where in sight.  Emily responded, “Where? I can’t see it.”

Dorothy very quickly responded, “I’m pretending I’m a giraffe.”


Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Humor, Lizy, Things Kids Say

Gurgle Gurgle Slosh

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Our snow has all melted and been washed away. It has been raining pretty steady for quite some time and we began to worry about water under the house again – what with 18 inches of snow melting and tons of rain since then.

As the rain continued through the  day yesterday Paul worked to make sure our ditch (or stream/river depending on the season) was cleaned out and cleaned out our problem gutters too.

Well last night it began to really rain. Not the light rain we have had all week but a steady downpour – it has been a LONG time since we have seen rain that heavy and steady.   It was midnight when Paul through on his coat and shuffled out to check under the house. What had been a measly two inches had risen shockingly to 18 inches of water.  We grabbed the sump pump and put it too work.  The street looked like a mini river.

After we had done all we could we headed inside to go to bed. It was 1:00 in the morning and we heard an odd dripping in the living room. It was raining so hard that we had water dripping down our chimney – not much at least.  We stuck a bucket under there, said a prayer and went to bed. Before we went we flipped the heat on as it was getting a bit chilly and the fire in our wood stove had gone out (we didn’t feel like trying to get it going again this late/early).

I think it took me at least half an hour to overcome my worries and fall asleep.  It was 2:00 in the morning when something woke me with a jolt.  In the dark I saw Paul’s shadow hunched over the heating vent as my sense zeroed in on a strange gurgling sound – like air trying to force itself through water.

There was water in our heating vents.  Paul shut off the heat and checked under the house.  It was up to two feet deep.  If it got much deeper we could have flooding and major damage.  We prayed and pled with the Lord to watch over my parent’s house as they were serving him on a mission. It took me a long time to fall asleep after that. Consequently I am exhausted today.

He did.  The rain stopped shortly.  There is still a ton of water under there, and we might have to replace the heating ducts, but it could have been so much worse.  Of course, I have no idea how we’ll manage to rip out and replace all the heating ducts if it comes to that, but I am confident that somehow that Heavenly Father will prepare the way.  The danger is, is that if they are a certain kind of duct, then they won’t dry properly and we’ll get mold. We’ve kinda been wondering about that anyway, because it seems that on the rare occasion we do turn the heat on, everyone in the house gets sick.  So, maybe we’ve had water in the vents in the past and just not known it because the heat wasn’t on. 

So, how do we get all this water under our house?  A few different reasons:

#1 We are on the down side of a hill – so when the ground is saturated and it has no where else to go water runs under our house.

#2 There is an easeway behind us that slopes toward our property and is not properly drained – the water pools at the end of it at the edge of  our back yard and runs onto our property.

#3 We have a lovely back yard neighbor – the kind that Karen writes about.  He is pumping the water out  from under his house/yard into our back yard (at least it doesn’t have clorine in it – that we know of anyway).  Isn’t that nice of him to share?  (be sure to read that last bit with a heavy load of sarcasm). The end of his hose butts up right against our wire fence.  Such a nice guy – like we needed more water.  Oh, and to add the icing on the cake he chopped off the limbs of trees and things that were hanging unto his property (that part is fine) and dumped them in our yard! (that part is not fine).  So all the debris he dumped in our yard clogged our ditch that we use for water run off. (of course Paul cleaned it out again, but that was just RUDE).   Paul said he was going to go talk to him, but I seriously doubt it will do an ounce of good. Of course I haven’t really met the guy yet and I may be jumping to conclusions, maybe his is just a nice clueless guy, but I really don’t see that as a possibility.  Ok, someone tell me to be nice and not judge…

Maybe the kids can accidently jam the end of his drainage tube with mud and gunk or…. cement?

Well, I shall turn my mean nasty thoughts aside and enjoy the gorgeous sunny day that God has blessed us with while I continue to call and compare heating and airconditioning guys.

Happy New Year. lol.


Filed under Every Day Life, Nature, Opinion

Ringing Out the Old Year, Ringing in the New

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I saw this meme on my friend’s, Trina, blog and thought it made a fun post.  It is followed by what I am looking forward to in 2009

My 2008 in Review

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? I finished editing my children’s novel and submitted a batch of queries.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  I kept some and broke some.  I will revamp some that I broke and make a few new ones.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes, I have an adorable new niece.  And a few friends had babies as well.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes, and they will be missed.

5. What countries did you visit? I didn’t even make it out of the northwest this year. 🙂

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? Time! ha ha!  This is a hard question, because I feel we were very blessed – but if I go on dreams that almost seem unreal – an acceptance to my book would be nice.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?  August 7th – we were blessed to escape a major hail storm without any major damage.  December 22 we had masses of snow and our first white Christmas. October 9-11 my first Writer’s retreat ever! January in general when my article was published in the Ensign.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Raising my 5 wonderful children.  I would also say that being published in the Ensign, and completing my children’s novel (as in getting it to the point where I can submit it) are pretty high on the list as well.

9. What was your biggest failure? I think I could have kept my patience better with my children and a better visiting teacher.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Definitely – my pride took a brutal beating on many occasions. 😀

11. What was the best thing you bought? We don’t focus much on buying things – but I would have to say that our video camera was broken and we were able to use part of Paul’s generous Christmas bonus to buy a new one to capture forever the memories of our kids.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?  I think each of my chidlren’s merited celebration. They have made excellent progress in so many areas, and while we have rough moments they are genuinely great people.  And Paul is always the most fabulous husband and person ever.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? At time, like any mom would say, my children’s.  While much of their behaviour merited celbration there were also moments when they appalled and depressed me.  Such is the joy of being a mom.

14. Where did most of your money go? Bills, bills, bills.  Oh, and did I mention bills?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Being published in a magazine, and especially seeing my parents this summer for the first time in two years!  Dorothy choosing to be baptized. And a myriad of other things –  there were a lot of great things this year.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? If the Saviour Stood Beside Me – Dorothy sang it at her baptism, and I love listening to Jacob trying to sing it.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Both – I feel this has been a wonderful and exciting year, and sad because I can’t believe my youngest is one already and does’t snuggle like he did this time last year.

b) thinner or fatter? Thinner! I’m not pregnant any more!! hee hee

c) richer or poorer?  Richer by far.  I have 5 wonderful children and an amazing husband that bring me blessings everyday. I have cherished friends and family who are always there for me and my family. I had a year’s worth of amazing experiences and funny moments.  Each day I am richer than the day before.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?  Laugh – I laughed a lot, but I think I was a tad bit too serious sometimes with my kids. I think I could have laughed more and stressed less.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Yell at the kids – I try hard not to be a yeller, really hard, but I lost more times than I would like.

20. How did you spend Christmas? At home with my wonderful family and snow all around.  It was magic.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008? Everyday, 6 times over – with my wonderful husband, and Elizabeth, Dorothy, Emily, Jacob, and James

22. What was your favorite TV program? Numb3rs

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I can honestly say I don’t hate anyone.

24. What was the best book you read? Well, the Book of Mormon of course, and aside from that – well that’s hard, because there were some really good ones…  I’d have to say A Book of a Thousand Days by Shanon Hale.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? That my music is important to the Lord – so much that he would grant me my Christmas miracle.

26. What did you want and get? An awesome vacation with my family – it wasn’t what we had anticipated, but it was incredibly fun!

27. What did you want and not get? To see my brother and his family who live in Vermont.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?  Hmmm, we saw some good ones.  I’d have to say Prince Caspian.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? My parents were here, which was a special treat. We had a fun little party here at the house and then my mom and I went to a Relief Society retreat and laughed A LOT. 🙂  I turned 33.

30. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying? I mentioned it before, but I think laughing more and stressing less – especially where the kids were concerned.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Catching a clue as to what fashion is…  seriously, I think I am actually rather stylish now.  Shocking!

32. What kept you sane?  Weekly (or as weekly as we could make them) dates with my hubby and faith. Lots and lots of faith.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? eh..blah I am not one to fancy clebrities and public figures

34. What political issue stirred you the most? The marriage issues.

35. Who did you miss? My parents and brothers and sisters – I wish I could see them more often.

36. Who was the best new person you met? Timber (I got to meet an amazing blog buddy in real life!), Christine (because she is just so awesome!), and all those marvelous ladies at the ANWA retreat in Washington.  And, of course, my new little niece. 🙂

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.  Not to grab hot pans with your bare hands…. and  to seek the Lord in all things big and small (I already knew this, but it was reinforced many times this year.)  Oh, and to focus on the blessings, and the hardships won’t seem as hard.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.   hah! And, I bet it you it will get it stuck in your heads: “It’s a world of laughter, a world of joy.”


My Outlook on 2009 – or a few resolutions and a few things I am looking forward too…

  • I have a great idea for a new book, and I look forward to writing it. I might, just might, go to a writer’s conference in Utah in the spring, and if I get really lucky it be cool to be accepted by an agent, or be published, but if not, that’s ok and I will have fun writing anyway.  I don’t write to be published, but wouldn’t it be cool if I was?
  • I want to laugh more with my children – you know that laugh more stress less thing I mentioned.
  • Break out of my reading slump
  • Catch-up a bit on the family and kid’s scrapbooks – at least do James’ baby book.
  • Meet up with my good blog friend Sariah in Washington – so close and we have yet to meet, shame on me. 🙂
  • And numerous other things – but lets start with a small list for now, shall we?




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