Friday, December 26, 2008


Emily is back at the ER this morning. She is getting some tests done. We don't have any answers yet as to what the problem is. She is back at the U of U. She is in good hands, but all the prayers you can spare are appreciated.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Today had been a day and a half...

Branch called early telling me that he was going to take Emily over to the hospital. Jacob was going to watch their daughter so I went to help with Em. I honestly didn't think that she would be that bad. I was wrong. I am glad that Jacob made Branch leave before I got there. My dad and I met them at the U of U hospital. Emily was totally unresponsive. She even slid out of the wheel chair. They got her right in and she got an IV, a catheter, too many blood tests and a breathing tube. They have done CAT scans, MRI's, EEG's and about everything in between. They think that she has viral meningitis and that she has been having constant mini seizures. She has some swelling and a white platelet (???) count of over 200. She is being kept out so that she can do a better job of getting well. We don't know if there will be any damage to her brain when she wakes up. The good news is that she is doing more breathing on her own, though they will still keep the breathing tube in her probably until she is better and they can wake her up. Today is a good day for an extra prayer or two headed to heaven in her behalf. She is going to need them.

Thank you.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My favorite Christmas song

Little Drummer Boy by Rosie

This weeks question was to name my favorite Christmas song. I have a lot of favorites, I heard one last year and can't remember the name of it. I haven't heard it so far this year. My all time favorite would have to be "Little Drummer Boy." I don't know if I can explain exactly why, but I have always really liked that one.

I also like Mannheim steamroller's "Deck the Halls."


It is so lively. I think that that one is so fun for me because it is connected with so many wonderful college Christmas memories. Christy, do you remember that one?
I love the Forgotten Carols by Michael McLean.

I also love Cherie Call's Christmas CD Gifts.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of my favorites, just a few that stand out to me.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Moon Shines Down

The Moon Shines Down By Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Linda Bleck

My first impressions of this book were how beautiful it is. I love the bold colors and the bright yellow moon that appears each of the pages. I wasn't the first to read it though. I live in a house full of book lovers and as soon as I had opened it, glanced through it and then set it down, it was swept up by Aspen (8) who gathered Cedar (5) and Olive (4) around and started reading it to them. She was halfway through before I had finished going through the mail. So my first experience with this book was as a listener. Aspen struggled a little at first with the rhythm of the book, as did I the first time I read it. The second reading was smooth though. The story starts with a little Dutch boy sleeping "In his flat Dutch Land of cheese and creams." You then travel with the cute little koala bear around the world visiting Switzerland (beautiful Alps pictures.) The "Far, Far East," Mexico, France, Australia, England, Africa, "my neighborhood" at Christmas and the Ocean Deep. It ends with the koala asleep in his tree dreaming of all of the places that he has just "visited."

The book is a story "prayer" with a slight Christmas theme to it. I like the book. It is long enough and has enough depth to be instructive if I wanted to take it and turn it into a geography lesson, yet it's short enough and captivating enough to be a part of the bedtime routine. The story of how the book came about, found in a forgotten trunk of the late Margaret Wise Brown (of Goodnight Moon fame) is fun also. My personal thanks and applause go out to the illustrator, Linda Bleck (of The Pepper Dog fame.) I love the illustrations. I am in no way an artist and I can't comment on her technique or any other aspects of her work, but I know that she has made this book beautiful. Each page is bright and engaging, something that must be a bit hard since the story takes place at night.

If you want to find out more about this book, you can follow this link:

This is my first "book review" as a book review blogger. You can find out more about it here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Three cheers for OLIVE! Today is her day!Count them, 1, 2, 3, she's four years old today!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

This year for Christmas I wouldn't like for you to give me anything. I was hoping instead you would accept something from me. You see, I have something I've been trying to get rid of for a while. It's cumbersome and I just don't like it! I have tried to get rid of it on my own, but it seems to like to stick around. In fact, it's multiplying. So, I thought that maybe you could take it and use it however you like. It compliments you so much more than it does me. So, Santa, could you please take 20 lbs from me? I promise I will never ask for it back. It would be yours to keep forever! You can stop by anytime you want, before Christmas even, I know how busy you are on Christmas Day.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Sometimes my children stop me in my tracks and make my heart overflow. That happened today. Cute little Cedar who woke up with a bit of a fever and a sore throat (Uh oh, strep??) was laying on the couch watching instead of participating in the morning mayhem of getting ready. I was trying to get everyone else ready and put on clothes so that I didn't have to sign Olive in in my pj's, although I am not above that... Anyway, I had just come out of my room wearing yesterdays jeans and a green shirt when Cedar looked up and said, "Mommy, you look really cute in that shirt." He didn't notice that I still had bed head, that my jeans are from yesterday or that I'm probably a bit stinky from lack of a shower. Just a sweet little guy making his mom's morning.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


This morning we woke up to a one hour delay on school because of snow! The kids were so excited, they once again put on their snow gear over their PJ so as not to miss out on the fun before it melted. Here are their cute snowy dawn pictures.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Friday, November 21
Olive's cute Thanksgiving play at school. I'm glad we still got to be in it. It was going to be on Tuesday, but since so many of the kids, us included, would be gone, they changed it to Friday!

Saturday, November 22

We stopped at a Children's museum and played. It made the drive to Wisconsin so much more fun!

Sunday, November 23

We so rarely get to spend a Sunday with family, it was a lot of fun to be up here in Wisconsin with Seth and Julie and their kids. My kids are absolutely loving having cousins to play with.

Monday, November 24

Trains and snow. They would have closed school in Morristown for this much snow. My kids, however woke up absolutely enchanted with the blanket of white. Later in the day we took the train to Chicago.

Tuesday, November 25

The Jelly Belly factory. We got to try different kinds of jelly beans. Aspen and I tried skunk spray and spit it out before gagging. Olive wanted to try it too. She put it in her mouth and with the grossest expresssion said mmm, it's good. Then finished the entire thing.

Wednesday, November 26

Uncle Seth took us to the Kenosha museum. The museum was really great, especially considering that it is free. After that we rode the trolly to "Trolly Dogs" for lunch. It was this fun little hot dog place. The owner kept giving us stuff for free. That's him in the hat with I assume his little grandson.

Thursday, November 27


Friday, November 28

Special time with Grandma.

Saturday, November 29

Children's museums. If you have little kids and you are going to be driving across several states, I highly recomend getting a membership to ASTC museums and science centers. Membership to your local museum (I paid $50.00) gets you in to (almost) all of the museums around the world. It breaks up the drive and gives the kids a fun place to run around after being cooped up all day.

Sunday, November 30

Good memories of our cousins!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Monday, November 17
Jonathon put the shelves up in our room!!!
Tuesday, November 18
I don't have a picture, but the Visiting teaching lunch we did turned out really well.
Wednesday, November 19

Sleeping children
Thurdsay, November 20
It FINALLY came out!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Big Read

I found this on My cousin's blog, and thought I'd do it too.
The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. How do you do?

1) Look at the list and color those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Remark on the books you LOVE.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen Ohhh yea!
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte I keep starting this one too!
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling Everyone knows I love these books! And shouldn't this count as at Least 7 books!
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee This one was Jonathon's favorite of the list
6 The Bible. Jonathon and I spent about 2 1/2 years and read EVERY SINGLE WORD!
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte I keep starting this one and can't get past the first few chapters...
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare-I've read most of them.

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot .
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams This one was wierd, but it kept me reading.
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh.
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis I really do love this series!
34 Emma - Jane Austen My favorites!!!
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen My favorites!!!
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis I think this is wierd, because this is part of #33
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi -Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen More of my favorite!
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens I think I've read this, but I can't remember...
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas Jonathon wants to read this one
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville I think I've read 70 & 71 too, but again, I can't remember!
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce Someday.
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince- Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams.
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo I've seen the musical

So I got 29 out of 100. Now I can't say that I can't find anything to read.
ps One that I think they left off is The Yearling byMarjorie Kinnan Rawlings. If you want to experience the south, that is true, true, true! I read it a few years ago, when we'd been here for a few years and I couldn't believe how much the sayings, accents and mannerisms that I read about helped me understand the people who are from here. Not to mention that it is an incrediably touching story of life and growing up. Can you think of any other books that are missing? What is/are your favorites on this list?

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Sunday, November 9

Today I am thankful for Primary. Mostly I am thankful that the strength of this program doesn't lie in the strength of those that are asked to lead it, but that it is the kids and the Lord that make this a truly amazing place for children to go to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 10
I am thankful for fall and fall leaves

Tuesday, November 11

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the war to end all wars ended. Though I wish that it really did end all wars, I am thankful for the men and women and their families who give so much so that my family and I can enjoy a life of security and freedom.

Wednesday, November 12
I am thankful for my washer and drier. When I was on my mission in the Philippines we had to wash our underclothes by hand. All the way by hand. First we pumped the water. We had running water inside, but outside where we washed there was only a "pumba." You had to pour a little water down it to get it started and then pump. The harder and faster you pumped, the more water came out at once. (I must admit though, this picture we did have running water outside. It was not the norm though!) As soon as you had filled up two big round tubs, you put your clothes in to get wet. Then you used a bar of laundry detergent. It looked like a bar of regular shower soap, but grittier. You rub it all over one thing and then rub it and do some sort of twist and rub. Next you rinse that item out in the first tub then the second tub, then hang to dry. Then you start all over again with the next item. We only had 14 items to do a week, and it still took around 2 hours a week to do laundry. We paid someone from the branch to do our dresses and linens. I was thinking about this today when I went to do the mountain of laundry that has piled up. I would never do anything but laundry if I had to do it all by hand. According to WikiAnswers, I have James King to thank for his 1797 invention of the washing machine. Thank You Mr King!

Thursday, November 13
I am thankful for the new play room. After everyone left and I had it pretty much empty, waiting to be filled, I had a hard time putting the toys and food storage down there that I had made the room for. It looked so nice, so new, so pretty that it was hard for me to think of how ugly open shelves of food storage would look, or how I it would get messed up as a play room. I went back and forth with this for the entire week up until today. Then I just decided that the room IS beautiful, but I really did want it to be a play room. It's a guest room when we have guests, but the other 355 days of the year no one would notice what a nice shade the walls turned out to be, or how un-basement like it is. But those 355 days that we don't have guest, almost every one of them would find my kids enjoying their own little spot in the house. One that is dedicated to bringing them closer together as siblings, one that they want to invite their friends to and one that still feels like they are at the heart of our home. I don't think that I will have it quite how I like it for a year or so, that seems to be about how long it takes for me to figure it out, but Thursday was the first play date and the kids didn't get bored!

Friday, November 14
I am thankful for the rain. I actually wasn't that thankful today for the rain, but I am trying to convince myself that I am. It has been drizzly for the past few days. Overcast skies, and misty moisty rain. It doesn't get fully light until noon. (At least it seems like it to me.) I have to turn on every light in the house so I don't feel like it's the middle of the night. But, then there are the really beautiful things about the rain, aside from the obvious. Like driving the kids to school and them being in total awe at how blue the sky is in one little patch that has broken through the clouds.
Saturday, November 15

I am thankful for those few minutes of quiet after the kids go to bed that I get to sit and talk to Jonathon. Don't get me wrong, we talk constantly through the day, but there is something really nice about those few minutes of calm before the rest of the things that need to be done for the rest of the night are thought about and before the TV or computer grabs our attention.

Sunday, November 16
I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father.

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