Monday, August 31, 2009

First love

I remember my first boyfriend.

Pepper. Yes, that was his real name.

Naptime in kindergarten meant finding a spot on the floor where my little towel, and Pepper's little towel, both would fit.

Can you believe they had us take naps in kindergarten? We also ate graham crackers and milk everyday and there was this wonderful little kitchen where I roped Pepper into playing house with me everyday.

After kindergarten,Pepper moved a half an hour away.

It might as well have been a million miles. But my sorrow was fleeting, and pretty soon, Eric Beedle was the new focus of my attention.

But I will always remember that first love.

And so will Anne Marie. His name is Zane he is in her Primary class at church, and he is a sweet, good little boy.

But there has been some lip-locking in the middle of church.

In front of EVERYONE!

This is getting serious.

So we had a talk.

Mom: Anne Marie-I heard you and Zane kissed at church.
Anne Marie: ummmm, yes.
Mom: Are you old enough to be kissing?
Anne Marie: No
Mom: How old do you think you should be before you kiss someone?
Anne Marie: 99?
Mom: yes, that is exactly right, don't kiss anyone until your 99.
Anne Marie: Ok mom.

Crisis averted.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Julia turned 10 on Wednesday.

Strange how time flies.

I was pregnant the longest with her.

She made me wait, bide my time, twiddle my thumbs, and pace the floor waiting for her to show up.

Time did not fly with that 9 pound 5 oz baby wriggling around inside of me.

But she arrived and I was in love.

So now, a decade has passed. We have learned the following about our second child.

1. Despite her patience to arrive into this world, now here, Julia has a drive to accomplish/get things done.

2. Creativity flows through her at a constant rate. There is always some new idea brewing inside of her.

3. She is passionate and focused when she sets her mind to something.

4. Her best friend is her sister, Kate. We hoped it would be that way, and we have been overjoyed to watch that friendship become what it is.

5. Julia is an avid reader. She has been known to finish a book in a day or two when allowed the time to do so. And I don't mean small books, I mean the 6th and 7 th Harry Potter, Eragon.

6. She is an independant child. She loves her family, loves to be around others, but she is content doing her own thing.

7. Julia has a tender spirit. Intermingled with flashes of emotion and a fire that can surprise you. She wants to please, hates to disappoint, but is comfortable letting you know when you're out of line.

8. Julia is comfortable with herself. She is not distracted by whims or trends or changes in social weather.

9. She is helpful, kind, and loving with her youngest siblings.

10. Julia has a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At 10, my daughter is strong, spiritual, fun, energetic, and values that which is good.

As you can tell, I am proud of her. I think she is marvelous in her unique-ness and she brings her whole family joy.

For her birthday this year, she wanted to camp in our own backyard.

On the menu:

Breakfast: Chocolate chip waffles with homemade syrup and heartshaped butter.

For Dinner:
Hobo Dinners
Dutch Oven Cake

And to finish the evening?
Cousins and sleeping in the tent.

Although, only half the night was spent in the tent.

Happy Birthday to our darling Julia!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oh me oh my

What were you doing at 9:30 last night?

Poor Jeffy was doing this:

It's hard to see, I know. But that is Jeff's head looking under the bottom of the toilet in the downstairs bathroom.

It has been clogged for several days. He finally faced the cold, gooey poop, I mean truth, and took the toilet apart.

The culprit keeping our commode from performing it's duties properly? A small, plastic magnifying glass. The kind picked up at birthday parties and the Dollar Store.

I will spare you the picture of the thing, as it was not fit for the public eye once removed.

Needless to say, there was a lot of handwashing and cleaning products with anti-bacterial properties used on hands and surfaces.

And the magnifying glass? It's using it's gifts of magnification on items such as last nights dinner, and the contents of the dustpan. And will soon be taking up space in a land fill near you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Anne Marie

Anne Marie turned six on Saturday.
We snuck in and woke her up by singing Happy Birthday, really loud.
Don't ask why she is asleep on my floor, it's just kind of routine around here now.
The day started out interesting. For whatever reason, in the middle of the blue sky, lovely weather summer, the power went out. No biggie if she wanted cereal for breakfast. But she wanted pancakes, which is probably her most favorite food.

So we improvised.
Looove the look on my face.

The pancakes turned out good, and Anne Marie didn't mind the inconsistency in browning produced by the bbque. She's is pretty flexible, I must say.

She has been a fun and interesting child since she joined our family.

She was my most painful birth experience. The two epidurals they gave me did not make it where they were supposed to go, and I felt every bit of her birth. Ouch.

But the Lord made up for it by making her the easiest baby out of all six kids, by a landslide.

She was and is my Boo Boo. Adored, loved, kissed, and cuddled.

Sassy by nature, and very independant in Spirit.

We love her.

For her birthday we took two of her friends and headed across the mountains to enjoy the day on the gigantic slip and slide at the Ensign ranch.
I know that is not a picture of a gigantic slip and slide. When we arrived, we were informed we need parental permission for the two friends. Which we did not have. Anne Marie didn't even blink and eye. No fits at missing out, no tantrums at not getting what she wanted. She just agreeable agreed to a change of venue and we headed to a lake instead.

Afterwards, we partied at Anne Marie's best friend/cousin's house, Layla, and had a rip roaring good time. (what is Henry DOING?)

She got a Kit doll. We discussed ahead of time that would be her only present from mom and dad. The number of presents not an issue. Just Happy to have an American Girl Doll so she can play with sisters and cousins who have them.
To add to the days funny twists and turns, the wind in Ellensburg decided to pick up as we attempted to light the candles on the cake.

After numberous (yes, numberous) attempts, we went inside where she used her own wind to blow them out.

And to give props where they are due, Jeff made the awesome kitty cake. Pretty talented, I must say

10 reasons we love Anne Marie:
1.She is a little sassy and a lot of sweet.
2.She is never more content then when cuddling with mommy or daddy. And she calls me momma. Melts my heart every time.
3.She LOVES to play with her younger brother and sister. I'm not sure what they will do when she is at school all day.
4.She is creative in her play, and can spend hours imagining and entertaining herself and others.
5.She has more energy then anyone I know. Anne Marie hardly walks anywhere, she runs almost everywhere she goes.
6.She loves her cousins. They are like siblings to her. If Layla and Aidan lived next door, she would be in seventh heaven.
7.She is eager to obey, to be helpful, to be kind and loving. Truly.
8.For how tiny she is, she is a really big presence.
9.She is learning and growing and beginning to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
10.She has an inner beauty that we love, and we are so grateful that she is part of our family.

We love you Anne Marie!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Shelf

Not really. It's just an old shelf. But I've repurposed, reused, relocated it, so it seems new.

The shelf was a Goodwill find. I painted it white and Anne Marie was using it as a bookshelf.

Then Delayna gave us a cool 50's style bookshelf for Charlie's room, so Anne Marie got his old one, , and Henry and Nora finally got a book shelf for their room. Confused? Me too.

I papered the back with some wrapping paper that my great-grandmother had lined her dresser drawers with.
I love the little astronauts. They make me happy.

I predict hours of reading enjoyment.

Coming soon:

More decorating on the cheap.

Your laundry solution.

Love through service.

First boyfriend.
Embarassing moments.
(This means that school is almost back in, so I will be back to more consistent blogging soon! I can almost hear your sigh of relief.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beachy Keen

We love the beach. I think I established that in this post.

One Saturday, we just needed to get away. So with children in hand, and cousins and their parents, we headed off to Lake Cle Elum.

Lake Cle Elum is about 10 minutes from where I grew up in Cle Elum, Wa.

It is a loverly lake with non-stinky, no slimy bottom, absence of leaches, blue water.

We spent all day there. A cookstove dinner, stop at the local Dairy Queen, before heading back over the mountains.

Even with what I thought was vast amounts of sunscreen, we all left with nice sunburns, happy, full hearts, and lots of sand in our hair, and um, other places.

"WHATever Mom!"
"All I did was eat. I have to keep the rolls on my legs, and my rubberband wrists in shape."
"It's tough that I'm missing my two front teeth, there is no filter for the sand! "

"I believe I can fly!"

"What up?"

"I love her! " "He's ok."

Pretty much the best Saturday ever!
Oh, except for maybe tomorrow, when we go to the beach again.
Did I mention we love the beach?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


We lived far away from family, for what seemed like forever.

We spent the first year of our marriage in Utah.

Moved back to Washington, had Kate, stayed 8 more months and then moved to Utah again.

Spent 2 more years in Utah while Jeff finished his degree, then moved back to Washington.

After just one year in Washington, we moved to Rhode Island.

We spent 4 1/2 wonderful, glorious, happy years in Rhode Island and then moved to Utah for more school.

We spent 2 years in grad school and then moved to Washington at the end of all that.

We have now been in Washington for 2 years.

Why am I telling you all of this?

When we lived "away" we would come home for visits about once a year. There would be big family get togethers where we would try and catch up with everybody. It was always fun and nice to see everyone and then we would pack up our 18 suitcases and fly back to wherever home was.

Now that we live here, a funny thing has happened.

I feel like I actually know everybody. It's not just playing catchup anymore.

My sister-in-laws and I call eachother to talk or with questions or what have you. And this is amazing for me. I have inherited a definite dislike for talking on the phone. I don't know why. I get nervous, I act weird, I sweat and then I try and think of an excuse to get off. Thank goodness for email or so many people I love would never think I love them.

It's a strange phobia, this fearofphone-ia. Jeff has gotten used to me saying "no, you call, I don't want to" or me just handing him the phone when it rings.

But I digress.

We don't see everyone on a daily basis obviously, since everyone has their own lives and managing that many schedules and finding a safe place for 1800 grandchildren to run around can be difficult.

But when we are together the only catch up is hearing what's happened since last week. It's knowing the dilemmas of starting kindergarten, or a new baby, of a child about to become a teenager, or babysitting for extra money, kitchen remodels, skunks trying to eat the chicks, color choices for little girl bedrooms, yard sale finds, gardening.

It's hearing how service projects for a backwoods gentleman are going, meeting adorable girlfriends (we all REALLY like her Dave) hoping to hear soon that there is a new baby on the way or watching grandma give all her grandchildren piano lessons.

It's talking and laughing and no weird silences. And I definitely have no problems talking in person. I could talk and talk and talk until everyone, including myself, is sick of hearing my voice. But don't tell me if you're sick of my voice, I'm sensitive.

So, this is my way of telling you all that I'm glad to be home. I'm glad to know you all and to not miss out on your daily life, your children's lives, or the little things that go on.

Thank you for being my family. Like you had a choice, but you know what I mean.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Now I may actually go in here

I DO NOT like laundry. Period.

With a family of 8, I could probably do laundry all day long if I wanted to stay caught up.

I want to stay caught up, but I DO NOT want to do laundry all day long.

But I'm sure that part of my problem is that my laundry room has looked like this:

And this:

And this: Notice the blah color on the walls, the rickety ironing board, the unorganized and limited shelving.

So I decided it was time for a change.

A change that might perhaps inspire me to actually go in this room.

And I think I may have achieved that.


How much did this cost me, you ask? Must have been a ton, right? Nope. It cost me exactly 30 dollars.

Let me explain, please.

The paint was half a gallon left over from Maile's daughter Megan's room.

I added the leftover lemony yellow I had already and the two made the wall color.

The new ironing board was purchased at my next door neighbors Kim's yard sale for $5. It used to belong to her mother. Thank you Terry!

I made a new cover for it out of fabric I already had.

The picture of the little children is to remind me why I am in here. Why I spend so much of my time here. Why I dream about laundry. :)

I then spray painted some old frames I owned with spray paint I already had and then put some of the same fabric I used on the ironing board in them to hang above the shelf.

I already owned the picture of the little laundry girl.
The Laundry sign was on clearance at Fred Meyer. As was the white tin that I now keep my detergent in.

The new "shelf" is my old ironing board. My Jeffy took the legs off, attached hinges, and then place brackets underneath for support.

I then gave it a skim coat of red paint, (which I had already) to give it a worn, distressed look.

So breakdown in cost: Paint-free
"New shelf"-free
Detergent tin and Laundry sign-$16
Ironing board-$5
Red tupperware bins-$8 at Walmart
Ironing board cover and
frames with sillouhette

My time of course, was donated, to myself. It took about 4 hours.

It is not perfect. But I love it, and I actually like walking into the laundry now.

I just believe strongly that you can change your surroundings to something you love with very little money, and some creativity.

Now I'm off.

To do laundry, of course.

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I went to Fred Meyer today, to grocery shop.

I told Kate and Julia and Charlie that they could stay home if they wanted and watch t.v.

They enthusiastically said yes and I took the youngest 3 with me.

As we shopped the aisles, I was frequently heard saying "Come on!, get over here!, I said now!"
All to Henry.

Normally he is in the cart, but when we arrived all the neat little carts that looked like cars, that hold two children, were taken.

I almost left right then and there.

But I didn't, I had shopping to do, dag nab it!

As I perused the goods, more than one person smiled at me sympathetically or said "Boy, you have 3! You have your hands full."

Which I did, but I refrained from mentioning the other 3 at home.

Finally, as we checked out, the kind woman working the register chatted with me about how we make our kids happy in the store, bribery, treats, that kind of thing.

She said to me"well, whatever you have to do to make it less stressful, I mean, you have 3!"

I occasionally try to refrain, like I said, but this time I let her know "well, these are just my younger 3, the older 3 are at home."

Now all of her exclamations of amazement and how young I look (thank you, thank you, thank you for making my day) got my little mind to thinking about how amazing it is.

Yes, there are days that I want to tear my hair out, where I feel that I will collapse from exhaustion or go crazy from being so overwhelmed, but when it comes right down to it, I am proud.

I am proud that I have 6 loverly children.
I am proud that my body housed, birthed, and recovered (sort of) from baring 6 children.
I am proud of the looks, both nice and nasty, that I get when we go out with all 6 of them.
I am proud that I don't care about the nasty looks.
I am proud that my house is chaotic, a little messy most of the time, but loud with happiness, fighting occasionally, and all that goes with a happy, normal childhood.
I am proud that my children love being part of a big family and wish I would have more babies.

As we drove home from the store, all this ran through my head. And it made me so happy that I turned the music up and we had a driving dance party.

Anne Marie's little head bobbing in the back seat.

Henry's one good arm shaking and waving to the beat.

Nora's chubby little legs lifting up and down in sync with the music, big grin to match.

And I thought:

I am proud to be a mother to so many.
I am proud of my husband who makes it possible for me to stay home with them.
I am proud that we have dance parties, driving and otherwise.

I am not proud that we danced to Save a horse, Ride a Cowboy by Big and Rich.
But man, what a beat!

Monday, August 3, 2009

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