Thursday, October 30, 2008


It's a Girl
an Angel
a little Beauty
and I am madly
in Love with her

Maile made this for me. I love it. I love her. I love Nora. I love, love, love. Because it is true.

When Henry was two months old, I thought, I think there is another one. A little girl. Of course I told myself that this was the thought of a crazy woman who couldn't let go of her childbearing years. Maybe that's true. But the nagging little girl voice in my head would not go away. She kept reminding me that she was there. Even as I said "I can't be pregnant again. I refuse. Maybe if we adopt I could do it".

Even as I loved and smooched and doted on my little Henry, I felt this pink little presence at the back of my mind. So when the test gave me two lines, I knew it was a girl. How could it not be what with all her effort to warn me ahead of time?

And what a presence she is. Nora is 3 months old. And in 3 months I have learned once again our great capacity to love, and to love many at once. I have been reminded that a little baby crying, when she is your own, is the sweetest sound there is. Because it means she is here, and she is yours. Well, kind of on loan from Heavenly Father, (so I'd better do a dang good job), but mine nevertheless. I usually avoid being overly sentimental, but I am so in love with my little baby. And she is 3 months old.

And that is a reason to celebrate.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I don't like cats. Why? Several reasons.

First of all, when I was a child I liked cats a lot. Then I went thru puberty and became allergic. Instead of being angry at the betrayal of my body, I chose to despise cats.

Secondly, they always rub against your legs, and I'm not so good with the "animals rubbing themselves on me" thing. (Let that be a warning to all dogs out there as well)

Thirdly, even smart cats are dumb. Like the neighbor cat who I continually rescue from my garage that insists on trying to scratch me when all I'm doing is helping her find her way home.

Although I must say the occasional cat provides unbelievable comic relief. My sister's last cat, Hobbes, would randomly strike out at whoever was passing by. I giggle remembering him swiping at Maile as she walked into the house. I laugh out loud at her evasive maneuver to avoid said swiping which ended up looking more like she had some weird hitch in her git along. You might have had to be there, but hoowee, it was funny!

Because of this prejudice againsts cats, I tend to hate anything that even has cats on it. Subconciously I think it will make me sneeze. But on my monthly homage to Good Will, I found these babies!

Are they not the freakin-ist, coolest bookends you have ever seen? They remind of those clocks that keep time by having the cats eyes move left right, left right, left right. They will soon have a place of honor somewhere in this house. I love them, I love them, I love them! They are wicked cool.

1.wick·ed ; a term used primarily in New England. To add emphasis. ie: those pants are wicked cool, your hair is wicked awesome, I was wicked full.

Now, finding a smashingly good place for them. Somewhere my children can see them and love them, talk to them and place their favorite books in between. I want them to love the cats so much that they all will fight over who gets the cat bookends when I die.

Aaahh, such a lovely thought.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I was tagged.

8 Things I am passionate about
1.The Gospel of Jesus Christ
2.Teaching my children to make righteous decisions, to be strong in a world that values things of NO value.
3. Making Jeff happy
4.Getting skinny
5.Decorating my house.
6.Planning for the future
7. Conservative values
8. Finding the perfect shade of red lipstick.

8 Things I want to do before I die
1. Spend a week on a private island with Jeff.
2. Run a half marathon
3. Watch my sons and daughters go on missions and marry good people in the temple.
4. Be independently wealthy
5. Sky dive
6. Be completely organized.
7. Sing the national anthem at a professional sporting event.
8. Live on a farm.

8 Things I have learned from the past
1. Always listen to the spirit, no matter how difficult it seems.
2. Things change very quickly, enjoy life as it happens.
3. No matter how good it tastes, I will be mad I ate that second helping.
4. Most of the things that irritate me are not worth getting irritated over.
5. Buy shoes the right size.
6. Avoid people who gossip about other people, because they will inevitably gossip about me as well.
7. Be very careful of judgements based on first impressions, I have been wrong, both for good and bad.
8. Never compromise personal integrity, you will always regret it.

8 Places I want to see
1. New Zealand
2. Hawaii
3. Brazil-places Jeff served on his Mission
4. England-think jane austen
5. Prince Edward Island and Anne Shirley.
6. New york again.
7. Narragansett Beach
8. Scotland and Ireland, hopefully the Loch Ness

8 Things I currently want/need
1. A girls weekend/spa day
2. Enough money to pay off all our debt
3. A weekly date with Jeff
4. Smaller clothes
5. A $10,000 shopping spree at Home Depot
6. A new car for Jeff
7. Braces
8. A king size bed

Monday, October 27, 2008


"Hey Mom."
"Hey, Henry."
"What were you doing while I was doing...."


"Oh, I don't know Henry, a little of this, a little of that."
"Like what?"
"I was eating yummy homemade bread, do you want some?"

"I was cuddling Nora too. Do you want to cuddle Nora?"

"I love you Henry."
"I love you too, Mom."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I don't know Stephanie and Christian Nielsen personally, but I love them, and I pray for them everyday.

To read all about them and have a good cry,( I did), go here.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I need to vent, if I may, Wait, of course I may, it's my blog! Being an election year and living in the Northwest, I found that there are new things that irritate me.

So begins my rant.(shortened due to time constraints)

1. I eat red meat, and like it.

2. I forget to turn lights off.

3. I forget to turn my outside water off, sometimes it's on all night!

4. I think some of the new playground rules are dumb, like you can't run on the pavement, seriously?

5. I don't always Recycle. Sometimes my recyclables go right into the trash. Shocking, I know.

6. I feed my children sugar before bed, not always, but enough.

7. I hate Mean People Suck bumper stickers.

8. I occasionally throw things away that could probably be donated. (aren't I awful?)

9. I take my family to McDonalds, gross, I know.

10. I don't care that Anne Marie got in trouble for screaming in the bathroom at school. Echo's are the coolest and instead she should have gotten a reward for being so curious about resonant wave. Stupid no screaming in the bathroom rules.

11.I hate that I have no choice in the way my taxes are used to help others.

12. I am pretty sure that it's normal for kids to crowd around the birthday kid while they open presents. I can hardly restrain myself, how do you expect a 6 year old to do it?

13. I think getting your tongue pierced is DUMB. There, I said it!

14. I think homework before 5th grade stinks.

15. I wish more moms stayed home with their kids.

16. I'm a conservative talk radio junky, and proud of it.

17. I get angry that freedom of choice doesn't include unborn babies.

18. I really, really hate that one side of my hair curls better than the other.

19. I leave the water running while I do dishes and brush my teeth, and so far no cartoon fish has asked me to please conserve, so it must be ok.

20. I hate lying liars who lie.

21. I am smart enough to talk on my cell phone and drive without killing anyone. Believe me, I do waaay dumber things than that while I drive.

22. I hate that rhododendrons are only pretty for one month out of the year.

There, I think that about covers it. I should be good for another 6 months.

And besides, who can stay irritated on such a good hair day?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Whatever you do, Don't fall asleep!!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Haircut Day

It started with My little Ponies and Barbie Dolls. (yes, that is doll hair all over the floor)
Then it evolved to "what would happen if I cut my hair?" Aren't the bangs lovely?
Then came the realization that there would be no more ponytails for a while.
Luckily, my neighbor cuts hair, or in this case, fixes hair.
Pretty cute.
Then the happiness cuz she thinks her hair looks like her friend Ruby's.
Is it totally awful that I'm glad she did this? I think her hair is so cute!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Self portrait.

"I think this looks cool."" Or maybe this."

"Wait, this looks super cool."
"No, this is it, I got it, this is cool."

Monday, October 20, 2008

What's in your backyard?

When I was about 4 or 5 years old, my family moved into the house on the hill, as we still call it. I'm not sure how many acres were actually ours, but there was what seemed like a lot of woods to play in behind the house.

We would go tramping off down the trail pretending to be King Arthur. We had these big green metal fence posts that served as Exalibur for Keno, and I had some lesser sword, made of a stick I'm sure.

I vividly remember pretending to be Annie and singing Tomorrow at the top of my lungs with only the trees as my audience.

There was also what was probably an old garbage pit that served as a re-creation for basic training camp from Private Benjamin.

We also had a huge garden, about a quarter acre. I was responsible for weeding one row a day in the summertime, as were Keno and Maile. On days when we hadn't gotten anything done, Maile and I would cover ourselves in dirt just as my dad was getting home to "prove" that we had been working all day. Did we fool you dad?

There was a tall lamp post in the back yard (why was it in the back yard?) with a water spicket next to it (I know it's spelled spigot, but I don't care)and we built a FORT around it with leftover plywood. I remember playing in it one night and hearing the coyotes howl, so I went in. Wouldn't you?

The next house we lived in had fruit trees in the yard and a garden, of course. My mom made crab apple jelly from the crab apple tree and I think there was a plum tree as well, but I didn't like plums back then. Maile and our friends Tina and Jeannie would make up dances to popular songs at the time such as "We built this city on Rock and Roll" by Starship, who used to be Jefferson Starship, who used to be Jefferson Airplane. (They were popular in the drug laden 60's and 70's, ever heard the song White Rabbit?, then you know what I mean) I still remember some of the moves. I'm sure we were a sight to behold.

We just took whatever we had and made it into something entertaining. My kids have grown up differently. Their yards have been smaller and not wooded, but they have created their own adventures and stories.

This is our back yard here in Maple Valley. The trampoline gets a lot of use and I'm sure they will have their own stories to tell someday. But I imagine the TRAIN will stay permanently attached to our memories of this house. Personally, I will remember plugging my ears and singing to myself (something along the lines of la la la laaaaa really loud) in order to drown out the horrible noise. But I think we're all used to it now. And I can honestly say that we live on the right side of the tracks.

The view from my bedroom window. Jealous?


Jeff and I love Ellensburg. It is where we first met and fell in love. It is where our first child was born. It is where Jeff's parents and sister still live. Because of that we have a legitimate reason to go over whenever we can. This weekend we headed over for Trevor Easley's birthday party and for Jeff to show off his manly skills at fence fixing. The drive over was breathtaking. The leaves are starting to change to more exciting colors and we really have the prettiest mountains, dontcha think?

My fantastic sister in law wanted a pool party for her beautiful one year old. What an awesome idea. I have fond memories of the Ellensburg pool . In college, Maile and Teresa and I would spend a lot of time there. Unfortunately, so did one of my history professors. He was a man of exceptional girth and yet insisted on wearing a purple speedo. To this day I do not remember his actual name, he is forever Purple Speedo Man. Luckily for all, I do not have a picture of this man, but I'm sure you all can imagine. Anyway, so We all headed off to the Ellensburg pool to enjoy some play time. I of course stayed pool side with Nora and took loads of pictures. (It had nothing whatsoever to do with my post-baby body issues, I assure you)

Anne Marie and cousin Layla.

All of Jeff and his siblings are very comfortable in the water and were taught at a young age by Coach Don how to dive. So of course a diving "contest" ensued. I have determined a winner. This amazing chic, my sister in law Dawn, is 5 months pregnant!!! Can you believe that? She wins hands down.

Dawn, Matt, and Mr. Trevor, the birthday boy!

Happy Birthday little man!
My HOTTIE husband putting his skills to work with Delayna's AWESOME husband Ron. (I just put this in here so you could see how cute Jeff is!)

Friday, October 17, 2008


We live in a beautiful state. Everything is so green and it always smells like it just rained.
Oh wait, that's because it
usually has just rained. But you get used to it. (yeah right). We love to go on little hikes as a family. There are a ton of places to go and I'm never disappointed in the beauty that Heavenly Father has created for us. Kopachuck State Park was no exception.

It wasn't too cold, it wasn't raining, and there were only few wispy clouds in the sky. It was the perfect afternoon, marred only by my camera battery dying before I could snap all the pictures I wanted to. Oh and Jeff, Nora and I tumbling off a log as Jeff tried to help me down. Luckily we're all ok. But I will forever remember to listen to Julia's advice. She said "Mom, maybe you should take Nora off (she was in the front carrier) and hand her to dad and then get down." Both Jeff and I were like "it's fine" and then proceeded to trip on eachother somehow and the 3 off us tumbled to the ground. Out of the mouth of babes, I say. But it was still a great day.

Julia, the wise.

Nora-safe and sound.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Smells of childhood

What smells do you remember from childhood? It seems our memories are permeated with and entertwined with the smells of our childhood. Whether it was the roast slow cooking on Sunday afternoons, or your dad's aftershave, or the greasy, fried food smell from the fair, we all harbour secret desires to be transported back to childhood so we can relive cherished memories. The next best thing is having ready access to the smell that will help conjure up images of a fireplace crackling on a cold, rainy day, apple pies cooking on Thanksgiving, (why are so many memories about food?!!!), the smell of coffee on my 1st grade teacher's breath. You get my point. For me, one of the clearer smells I remember was the smell of freshly ironed, lightly starched clothes.

I decided this week that I wanted a cleaner, crisper look to my clothes. So, I went in search of the spray starch my mom used when she would iron. My mom is the champion ironer. Every week she would pull out a HUGE pile of wrinkly clothes. She would then spend the better part of an afternoon ironing all my dads shirts, pants, our dresses and I think even sheets. She would then meticulously fold or hang everything up in their proper place, put the iron and ironing board away and we would all have nice, crisply ironed clothes. As far as I can remember she always used Niagara Spray Starch. When she taught me to iron I decided I needed to use it on everything just like mom did. I loved the way the starch would flake a little as the iron passed over it and I would blow it off and watch it fall to the floor like snowflakes. With this memory in hand, I ran down to Safeway hoping they still made Niagara. I shamefully have fallen out of the habit of starching my clothes so I was unsure what products were still available. To my happy surprise they still make it in all varieties. Heavy Starch, professional starch, lemon starch, and regular ol' starch. I could barely wait to take the lid off and smell the mixture of starch and warm air from the iron. It was exactly as wonderful as I remembered. It almost made me want to gather up all the wrinkly clothes in the house, head into the living room with iron in hand as my mother once did, and iron my little heart out all day. Almost.
The wonderful woman who gave me a love of starch!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Risky Business!

I have not seen the movie Risky Business (it's Rated R you know).
But I think Charlie makes a fine replacement for Tom Cruise.
At least the pre -Katie Holmes, JUMPING
on the couch Tom Cruise.

He is C.U.T.E.!! (Charlie, not Tom Cruise, well...Tom Cruise ain't so bad either)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just a moment

Aaahh, motherhood. Sometimes all it takes is a quiet moment nursing your baby, and the next thing you know you're asleep. Thanks Mom for capturing this little moment.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ode to Maile

Shimmering, shining wavy brown hair.

Dimples, straight white teeth, infectious smile.

Love for family, home, her Savior Jesus Christ.

Friendly, funny, fantasticly fun, fabulous cook.

Adventurous, avid reader, personal pyschologist to many.

Laughter, opening her home to all, inspiring.

Beloved daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, friend.

Giggly, silly, goofy, smiley, great, supreme.

Lovely, happy, smoochy, huggy, chocolate, diet pepsi.

Smart, creative, determined, daring, supportive.

Late night chats, burping contests, New York City, food.

Best friend, thick and thin, laugh, cry, joy, sorrow.

I present my sister Maile Tana (Granger) Flanders

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wedding Rings are important

Wedding rings are important. Yes, they represent a sacred union, they symbolize eternity, but more importantly, they let other people know that you are married.

Example: Last Wednesday after having an ultrasound by a nice but ordinary young woman, I waited to have a CT Scan. When it was my turn, in walked a young man who I assume is very used to being treated as a hunka hunka burnin man love. Personally, he didn't do it for me. I prefer the tall, gangly type, kind of goofy with the perfect smile and thick auburny hair.
The first silly thing out of this tech's mouth was "Let's go back and I'll get you changed". What?! Now, not for a moment do I think he was at the beginning of a poorly planned pick up line. He just chose his words weirdly. But inwardly I was already laughing at Mr. Muscles.
We proceeded to "get me changed" and on into the room with the CT Scan. After what felt like hours of "take a deep breath and hold it" "now breathe", the whole time being in agony, we ended up waiting a little longer while the Doctor made his decision to "do one more" or not.
During this interim Hunky Tech Man comes over to deliver this news and the most rediculous thing came out of his mouth. "We've been in here so long I bet your boyfriend has wondered what happened to you".
My boyfriend? Is he nuts?
Did he forget that one of the screening questions he asked me was if there was a chance I could be pregnant and I said"Oh no, I just had a baby two months ago".
Does he normally insult women by assuming that they wouldn't be married to the father of their baby? Word of advice, assume their married first, shacking up second.
But what struck me the most was that he referred to Jeff, my darling husband, as a mere boyfriend. That is like calling Godiva chocolate Hershey's, RealWhipped cream Cool Whip, the Ocean a lake, The Ritz "quaint" or Disneyland "boring". It felt foreign and insulting and weird and my response? I just laughed and couldn't wait to tell Jeff because he would laugh too.
So I realized that this "misunderstanding" may have resulted from my wedding ring being in my jewelry box where I put it during my pregnancy as my fingers became too waterlogged to wear it any longer. And it still doesn't really fit without causing permanent nerve damage.
So in order to fend off any future overtures by Mr. Hunky CT Scanner techs, I'm sporting the little beauty pictured above. (It's amazing what $25 can buy).
As if anyone really could compete with HIM


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Where do you find inspiration?

I find it in color and the everyday things I love.

In February,

when it is dismal and gray outside...

I will look around at
the colors in my house
and I will be...


Monday, October 6, 2008


Has it really already been 11 years?

The Menu
consisted of Jeff's
famous homemade pizza, pineapple pork chops
(since Jeff cannot
eat his own famous pizza)
salad with veggies from
my moms garden and the
most delicious from
scratch chocolate cake
ever! (Recipe courtesy
of the lovely Teresa Tennis)

Kate's one and only birthday wish was for an American Girl Doll
. We happily obliged. She cares naught for things of the world and joys in things that are simple, lovely and wholesome. What a girl.

10 Reasons to love Kate
1. She is beautiful
2. She loves her Heavenly Father
3. She is talented and lovely
4. She loves her family
5. She is intelligent and well read
6. She is exceedingly kind
7. She wants to serve a mission
8. She is trustworthy
9. She lights up a room when she enters
10. She cares more for others than herself and she
adds a richness to our family that we couldn't live without.

Yes, she really is all those things, and yes she really is only 11. But knowing her is to know that it is all true and she is truly wonderful. Happy Birthday our Darling Kate!! We love you

Friday, October 3, 2008

True Love

There are many forms of true love. The one we think of most is between a guy and a girl. But I am enjoying the many ways that true love exists.

Most mornings I have to wake Anne Marie up. She's more of a late to bed late to rise kind of girl. But one day this last week someone did it for me. Henry had disappeared. And usually that means that he is up to something along the lines of "coloring" on one of the many canvases we like to call walls. Or he has found some lovely styrofoam to tear into little pieces or taken all of the used nursing pads out of the garbage. He's creative that way. However, on this particular day, he was up to more GOOD.

This is so much nicer than an alarm clock. Is this what it really means to be awakened by true loves kiss?
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