Sunday, December 29, 2019

Christmas 2019


How was your 2019 Christmas celebration?!?! I feel like the late Thanksgiving caught me off-guard in trying to get Christmas prep underway. There were three whole days of Christmas bins and boxes starting to look like permanent furniture and features. BUT—I worked really hard, ignored my family a bit, didn’t cook, didn’t clean—and got the house decorated. My family helped a little [ahem, I relinquished a little bit of control and let them help a little 😬].

There are so many things to keep busy with at Christmas. Everyone says “simplify!” Well, I didn’t. But I did manage to not procrastinate so much. My Christmas cards were sent out before Dec. 10–which is a HUGE accomplishment for me!!! I bought all online purchases before Dec. 15! I found almost all the presents I hid (still missing a gift card 🙄).  I didn’t feel as stressed. It’s Jesus’s birthday—so I like to make a big deal out of it. I tried to keep him as my focus. 

(My mother-in-law with us this year!!)

(Night in Bethlehem Ward Christmas party. It was an enchanting night!)

Random December photos—-

Friday, December 13, 2019

2019 Family newsletter answers!

Newsletter results. Sorry if you didn't get one, I probably don't have your address or it still hasn't arrived at your house. If you really, really, really, want to get on my Christmas card snail mail list then feel free to email me!

Results~(just our initials)

S, 6 1/2 years old--
1. False--she wishes! Maybe next year I can squeeze dance lessons in :-/. Poor deprived youngest child.
2. True!
3. True!

R, 8 years old--
1. True!
2. False! When this blessed event happens I will let everyone know! Probably even strangers I meet!
3. True!

G, 13 years old--
1. True!
2. False, sadly. His design was pretty awesome though!!
3. True!

A, almost 16--
1. False! Not by a long shot!
2. True!
3. True!

E, 18 years old--
1. True!
2. True!
3. False! She hated that job and is now at Bath and Body Works and now a very happy (and smelling good) employee.

K, 20 years old--
Surprise!! All of hers are true. I couldn't tell lies about a missionary!!!

K (me)--
1. True!
2. True!
3. False! I wish. (My hubby wishes even more! :-P)

J (hubby)--
1. False! Some day we hope!!
2. True!
3. True!

Thanks for keeping in touch all these years! We hope your holidays are fun and, more importantly, full of the reverence and remembrance of our Savior's birth!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Some quick pics of November! 

#3’s Eagle project!!!

Made 4 potting benches for a local foundation’s upcoming silent auction fundraiser. (This foundation provides job and social opportunities for autistic adults).

#2’s homemade pies for church youth Friendsgiving 

#6’s first grade Thanksgiving presentation

#4’s mountain biking team. Season is over until spring :-(

#5 caught in a laughing-fit...

#1 with new washing machine. No more washing clothes by hand!!! She is working hard and loving her mission!

My hubby and #6 relaxing in the beautiful November weather we’ve enjoyed almost all month.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

October catch all!

October is sooo busy! Birthdays—mine and my oldest [she’s 20!?!?!] As well as five in our extended family. AND typical Halloween hubbub. And a family flu party, a quick trip for work, a scout Eagle project, two PG&E power outages, and an EEG just for funsies. 😯 (My Ragnar race was cancelled due to the fires. But this was a blessing in disguise—hubby had a kidney stone and I was home and therefore able to help him get to the doctor and take care of him).



Eagle project

(Me and hubby pretending to live the life of the rich and famous at Pebble Beach)...


Watching General Conference with one of my sick buddies...

Family Halloween costume minus our missionary and two sons who were dressing-up-Scrooges...

Our “American Gothic” costumes for grown-up Halloween party.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Retail therapy troubles

2019 has been a hard year for several retail stores. Online shopping is taking a lot of business from brick and mortar stores. And some of these stores I have been shopping at most or all of my adult life. Going to the mall and shopping was/is retail therapy!! I’m guilty of doing online shopping but it isn’t as fulfilling as walking into a store filled with colorful displays and the wonderful smell of new merchandise. I have happy memories associated with three stores in particular:

I’ve shopped at Payless since I was able to drive. Special purchases I will always remember from over the years: two pairs of blue suede shoes, black velvet t-strap chunky heels—that I always got compliments on and was wearing on my first date with my husband, getting satin heels dyed to match my bridesmaids’ dresses, knock-off Keens for my kids—which were cuter than Keens, first pairs of tennis shoes for my new-walkers, countless other adorable children’s shoes, several cute sandals and casual slip-ons, fun and sassy earrings and cute purses....

Been buying kids’ clothes for 20 years. I was always a bit sad as my kids outgrew Gymboree sizes :-(. But—I’ve been a steady shopper here for all this time and still have two kids who fit kids sizes for a good 4-6 more years. And now the cute, adorable, mix-and-matching outfits are no more. Gymboree made it so easy to find those matching sibling ensembles. I feel like I lost a part of my kids’ childhood :-(....

Honestly—this one closing is like all the candy stores in the world closing. Charming Charlie was/is one of my favorite stores!!! The color grouping layout?! GENUIS! So perfect for finding the accessories you need! I LOVE THIS STORE!!!!!! I tried not to cry when I went in during their final week. I’d say half of my jewelry is from Charming Charlie. My husband braved this wreaking-of-estrogen store, by himself, once a year at Christmastime. And my stocking was a bling fest. Charming Charlie—I will never forget you.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

I’ll Never Forget

#2 turns 18! This little 5 lb, 9 oz babe was 5 weeks premature and 4 days old when the 9-11 tragedy occurred. I find hope in knowing that this new young adult is of the highest caliber and a true force for good. She is highly intuitive, compassionate, fun, and a true shining star. It sounds braggy—but it’s true—she lifts others and leaves them better than they were before. We are so blessed to have this ray of heaven’s sunshine in our lives!

Monday, September 2, 2019

A Marvelous Work!

What a miracle the light of the gospel brings!!!! 

Five years ago, my oldest child was a freshman in high school. She ran cross-country. She met many new friends on the team and, just in general, from being new to the school and area. One girl did not stand out a lot to her and that same girl found my daughter slightly annoying. But they became friends and over the course of the high school—best friends! My daughter invited her to church dances and special music performances at church. 

Who can say exactly when her friend begin to search for more meaning in life. Perhaps the two of them can pinpoint something. But to me, I don’t know that exact moment. Her friend gradually began to come to every church meeting and meet with the missionaries in our home. This eventually led to her choosing to be baptized right after high school graduation. And now she is leaving to serve a full-time mission for the Lord! 

I have witnessed, am witnessing, a miracle! It is amazing the light that her friend is and knowing that the spark inside her was fueled by my daughter’s caring heart and her own light. Let it shine! What joy we feel as these two wonderful women are our serving the Lord and sharing that light with God’s children!!!!

Baptism June 2019...

My #2 daughter has also became close friends with her. While #1 has been away on her mission, our dear friend and #2 have had ample time to hang out and prepare for her mission. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Back to School!!!

Five four different three different school districts...with three different starts dates...blah...

...but yes! We made it! I’ve only had to sign about forty permission slips and pay about $300 in fees for various supplies.

The happy crew [mostly happy]:

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Late harvest

The spring rain lasted a long time this year so my garden went in about 2 months later than normal. (Truthfully—you can garden practically all year here because it gets below freezing maybe 5 days in a year). 

The harvest is finally coming! It’s been a good year, so far, for green beans, tomatoes, and peppers. It’s been a terrible year for carrots, peas, zucchini and summer squash. The season heated up so fast that the young squash plants haven’t done well. The cucumbers and eggplants are coming on now. Most of my herbs are happy too.

Gardening always brings me joy!! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Test drive! Sorta...

Last week we went to St. George, UT to visit my mother-in-law. Saint George is pretty cool and it is a few hours distance from so many wonderful places to visit: The Grand Canyon, Zions National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Lake Powell… even Arches National Park is four hours away. 

Done all of those except arches. Go to Zions like every time we visit her. But, none of us had ever ventured onto Lake Powell. So I rented us a boat and we had some fun.

Having a child with special needs means tweaking vacations so that we can best accommodate him. My mother-in-law is very tolerant of our switching locks around in her house and locking all the doors all the time to keep him safe. He loves water so we knew he would probably love boating. And he did! My husband and I test drove a boat a few summers ago. We still want to get one and now have only whetted our appetite more :-). One day...

Here are a few pictures of our fun times in the lake. 

Pure contentment.

Look at the scenery!!!!

(Me knee-boarding for the first time!)

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2019

Last week, and the week before, was the Hill Cumorah Pageant

I grew up in the east USA and we went almost every summer to see this amazing outdoor performance. Many of my brothers were on the work crews over the years, one was a cast member before his mission.

This summer, my parents were in the pageant, as well as one of my brothers. This same brother is also the stage fighting coordinator (and he was last year as well—and will be for next year!)

My mom was Ishmael’s wife, my dad was in the crowd throwing stones at Samuel the Lamanite. I forget what my brother’s role was. But—don’t they look cool?!

(My dad grew out his facial hair—we rarely saw him with any facial hair growing up—just a couple of pictures with a moustache).

(My brother and his family came from
Ohio to attend!)

Next summer (2020) will be the final year of the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I hope to be able to take my own family to see this same grand event that I have such fond childhood memories of.