Monday, May 27, 2013


This was our house on the last day.

I did in fact cry. More than once. While the men from church loaded the truck and our good friend Damon reminisced and made me cry. And then while we finished the last cleaning and my bestie Michele let me cry on her shoulder. Kate and Julia cried on each other's shoulders. The younger kids didn't cry because we wisely had them playing at their friends houses during this part.

And then Jeff had an allergic reaction to something in the garage and his face got so puffy that he looked like a lion for 3 days. But he didn't cry. He might have felt bad after Henry saw his eyes though and asked, "Dad, will you put your sunglasses back on?"  He was freaky looking, I gotta say.

So now we are officially homeless. Without a home. Without a permanent residence. Not without a place to stay thanks to family while we wait on our yellow house, WillowBrook at Bountiful Acres, to come through.

It is a strange feeling, not having a place to move our stuff into. Living out of suitcases and on air mattresses. Thankfully for two weeks we are staying in my brother's house until they get back from living half way across the country. There is a Balm in Gilead because my children know this house so well and have had no problems going to sleep. It has made this weird transition much nicer. Thank you Keno and Amy!

And then after that? Stay at my sisters for a little bit, stay with my loving in-laws for a bit. They kindly offered to let us stay there for as long as we need while we wait for our house.

And I know we are not really homeless. We are fortunate to have family to let us stay with them and the means to find somewhere else to live if our dream home doesn't pan out. (which it will). So know that I am not comparing myself to others who truly are homeless.

I told my children that as long as we are a family, we are never without a home. Home is where your family is-so your car, a hotel, a family members house-all home if we are together.

I also told them, which I know they hated, that happiness is a choice. That having stuff and things to entertain us is not what true happiness is. That we can choose to be happy over being miserable. And why would anyone choose misery over happiness? Maybe it's easier to let that feeling creep into your heart instead of showing faith and working hard to be grateful and joyous for all that we do have. I'm sure it is. But I wasn't raised to be lazy.

Plus, I like the adventure. It's a little disorienting, but at the same time exciting to not know what's going to happen. To just live,  in faith and trust that God knows us and has a perfect plan for us.

The Savior himself was homeless at one point. Born in a manger. Yet He lived with perfect joy, serving others, bringing about a righteous purpose and saving all mankind.

And all I have to do is keep my chin up and find joy in my  family and in the beautiful life that I have?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Turn that frown upside down

I'm reposting this from a few years ago. It still applies and especially today when we are about to leave our house. Enjoy:)

Turn that frown upside down

On days when you feel like this:

Or this:

What do you do to change it to this?

And this:

For me it helps when the sun is shining, and I have a splendid walk with kiddies in tow. And being able to enjoy the day at home without anywhere to go is helpful as well.

Other things that help:

 1. diet coke
 2. chocolate
 3. being down a few pounds
 4. date night
 5. other people's babies
 6. a clean kitchen
 7. all the laundry done
 8. money in the bank
 9. fresh homemade bread
10. sleeping in
11. new clothes
12. shopping
13. redecorating
14. warm chocolate chip cookies
15. a great book
16. a great church meeting
17. a bubble bath with candles and a good book...alone!
18. family movie parties
19. my kids telling me they love me
20. my husband's arms around me

What does your list look like?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Moving day

It's load the truck day around these parts.  Bittersweet. Seeing our lives and memories packed up. Thinking of all the hopes and dreams that came with buying this house.

I'm happy and optimistic for the future, but the past and present are haunting me at the moment. Just a little.
We have lived in this house for 5 years. That is a record for us. I potty trained two children in this house. Watched Nora take her first steps here.  Witnessed two girls become young women. Watched Henry learn to ride a bike here. Saw Charlie stand up for other people in this neighborhood. Watched Anne Marie start kindergarten.

It's been a whirlwind and a HUGE growing experience. But it is time to say goodbye.

The room that changed more than once (wait, EVERY room in my house is like that:)

The maze of boxes outside my bedroom door.

And the room where so much love was made. Not just that kind sillies. Children climbing into bed in the middle of the night. Late night talks with our older children. Scripture reading and prayer as a family. Locking the doors to wrap a pile of Christmas presents. That kind of love as well.

There is so much awaiting us with our next adventure. And the best part is that anywhere we live is just a house. The contents are what makes it our home. The love we share as a family is what makes it a soft place to land at the end of every kind of day you can imagine.

And that is something we can take with us.

Friday, May 17, 2013


We had a pretty amazing evening last night. For about a week I've been asking Henry if he wants to learn to ride without his training wheels. He needed some time to think about it.

Last night I asked him again, and he said, yes.

Honestly, we are sooo busy right now trying to pack our house and get ready for a final walk through today, but the second he said yes, none of that mattered.

Jeff came out, took off the training wheels, and I kid you not, in three passes Henry was riding all by himself!

We were so excited! Jeff ran in to tell the other kids that Henry was riding without training wheels. They all came running out immediately and watched him. And then clapped and clapped!

I love my family and how supportive they are of each other.

And we will get everything packed and it will be fine. Today was priceless.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Yes, I am THAT mom.

An old picture of Halloween you wonder?  No, just a trip to Costco.

You see, if you're going to get out all the costumes so that you can pack them up to move, either make sure your small children aren't around, or be prepared to let them wear their too small costumes out in public.

At least, that is my philosophy. So yes, it makes me THAT mom. The one you said you'd never be. The one we all looked at with the thought, "SOMEONE lost a battle over clothes today."  I used to think that. But now I know better. I didn't lose a battle, I just know how to pick them.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Each birthday only happens once. Which is why we celebrate and make a big deal out of it. But certain milestones deserve certain recognition. Usually the ones that add another full decade to your numerical value.

Well, my mom turned 70. And I don't think she would mind me telling you that's how old she is because she looks like this:

Yeah, she does not look like 70. So as is appropriate, we planned a family bash. Unbeknownst to her, Maile and I were feverishly working on a quilt that we had been planning for a while. My mom is an amazing quilter, and so for some reason we thought we should make her a quilt for her birthday. I've never made a quilt before. Just so you know.

We knew we had until Sunday to finish, so my sister came over on Thursday and we worked on it. Then my brother Keno calls. He currently lives in Colorado. "Hey", he says. "I have to come to Washington for business and I will be there tomorrow. Can we change Mom's party to Friday night so that I can be there?"

Maile and I looked at each other, looked at our as yet not sewn together quilt and said, "Sure!"

And my mom, in her easy going-ness didn't bat an eye when we asked if we could change it to Friday because we had "things to do" on Sunday now.

My mom had no idea Keno was coming. But he called her on her birthday, as he was driving up to my parents' house.

He stayed talking to her as he walked around the back to where we all were.

He's laughing at this point because he's standing right across from her and she hasn't realized yet he is there.

She sees him.

Yes, that is my son with a butterfly net over his head. *sigh*

Well done son, well done.

Then it's time for presents. Needless to say, Maile and I were just a tad nervous to give her this quilt. We knew she would love it no matter what, but you see your own mistakes so much easier than other people do.

We collected letters, drawings and pictures from all her children, grandchildren, my dad and my aunt-my mom's sister. Maile printed them onto transfer paper and then ironed them onto white fabric and cut them out.

I was in charge of the cutting of the color blocks. I screwed up royally, so instead of Maile arriving on Thursday to immediately start sewing blocks together, we had to go and buy more fabric.

Thursday afternoon, when we realized our sudden time crunch to get it done by Friday, I decided to go home with her and spend the night and the next day quilting. (Thanks Jeffy for making that possible!!!)

We were up late. Then got up the next day and worked our little tails off until an hour and a half before the party. There was no tagging home plate. This was a full on frantic face first slide into home. But we did it.

I'm happier about her response than I look. I just was REALLY tired by this point.

And here is my solid, reliable, good father who always, ALWAYS can be found in the kitchen cleaning up. No matter what. We  have to force him to sit down on Father's Day. Not that it works, but we try.

I love my family. And I am so grateful for a mother that has blessed my life in more ways than I can ever possibly list. Happy Birthday mom. You're the best.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

what the heck?!!

Do you know what this is?

It is a tragedy! That's what it is!

What is up with this little girl, the baby of the family, growing up? Huh? She is only 4!!! How dare she lose a tooth already?!!

I was really proud of myself and I didn't let her see me cry. She was sooo excited and happy for the tooth fairy to come. It was the sweetest thing. But that tooth, isn't that the tiniest tooth you've ever seen NOT still in someone's head?

None of my other children have been 4 when they've lost teeth. Most were kindergarten. So I wasn't expecting it, wasn't prepared mentally to pass this milestone.

Sheesh. What will I do when she starts kindergarten in the fall? Oh, I don't think any of us are prepared for that!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My house is a mess. There are boxes everywhere. But it doesn't seem to phase my children one little bit.

I came down the stairs to find Nora lounging in a big box.

"What are you doing?"

"It's a time machine."

Of course it is.

Boxes. Still the best toys ever.
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