Monday, December 22, 2014

Linden Drawing a Star

Look what Olive taught Linden to do!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Little Einstien

It's official! Laurel knows by sight 21 uppercase letters and 15 lowercase. Way to go!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Yesterday I finally got to watch "Mom's Night Out."  Since I live in a movie theater-less town, Redbox is the big go to for movies and it finally hit ours!  My review of the movie was that it was good.  A little overboard on packing as much stuff as possible into the 90+ minutes of movie, but an overall fun show.  (Obviously it inspired me to blog again..) It got me thinking about how my days as a mom flows.  I was talking with Jonathon tonight about the new Mormon message about moms (Excelent!!) and we decided that it's not just mom's that start off the day with a seemingly doable plan that changes sometimes minute by minute as life happens all around us, everyone's life is like that!

Some days my days flow just like I think they will.  Those are either the days that I am so productive that my head swells a little bit or the days that I am bored stiff!  On the productive days I find that no one usually showers on the praise, so at the end of the day my head goes back down to normal and I realize that MOST of what I do can't really be seen unless I DON'T do it.  The bored days, I just eat too much junk that I'm not really hungry for and have new and crazy career ideas pouring around in the back of my head. Using a list helps bring on the productive days, but sometimes I get bored of the lists so I top them off with exciting things like shower, put towels from shower away, clean up breakfast dishes, empty dishwasher, get kids dressed. After a few days of lists like that I am back to a week or two of no lists and less productive, more crazy career option days. Mom days are just like that sometimes.

Then there are the other days.  The days where there is a sense of what will happen during the day, then at some undetermined point of time the day takes on a life of its own and the best I can do is hang on and ride the roller coaster ride through to the end.  Unlike the movie I have yet to have a day or night where the police, biker gangs, missing children and husbands highlight my ride, but I do often sit back at the end of the day and just shake my head thinking. "That was an interesting day.."

Yesterday was one of those days.

It started off as one of those head swelling super productive days.  I had made bread the night before and so the kids had bread and raspberries for breakfast.  Lunches were made, kids were out the door and I don't think I yelled once!  It was great!  I loaded and started the dishwasher and the washer, I was even showered and dressed before we left at 9:00am for preschool.  I remember thinking, "I'm doing good today!"

I left Linden in tears at preschool.  He loves it when it's at our house, but he's still a big momma's boy at heart so staying at one of the other houses without me brings the tears.  Thankfully about 30 seconds after I leave he is just fine so we're going with the drop off and mom doesn't linger approach.
I brought Laurel back home and since I was already feeling productive and Laurel was in a good mood we decided to tackle Olive and Laurel's room.  Olive had rearranged things more to her liking a few weeks back.  I was holding my tongue on making suggestions until the end when there were a few safety issues I needed to work out with her.  We decided that her dresser needed to be moved to a place where I could bolt it to the wall.  Several weeks later I was finally going to get to moving the dresser.  (Though I still haven't bolted it..)

I think that Laurel was feeling super productive too because she would point out a toy she wanted, I would get it down and then she played with it for 20-30 minutes while I worked,  It was great!  After the first toy we got a snack then came back for a new toy and time for me to finish up the room.  Yep! It's a big head productive kind of day!

Then my phone rang.  It was Olive.  She wasn't feeling well.  She had a bad headache.  Would I bring her some medicine?  No, she didn't think she needed to come home.  Just the medicine please.  So Laurel and I found the medicine and buckled into the van.  When we got to the school Olive was feeling quite a bit better.  No fever, headache mostly gone. I gave her the medicine anyway and told her to call me if she started to feel bad again.  I figured if it was something I should worry about it would come back hard after the medicine wore off.

While I was at the school Aspen called  She told me she had walked home because she had a weird rash on her arm and she was worried it was contagious.  She had some sort of a rash from her weekend rafting that was responding really well to some high powered hydrocortizone but this was different.  I told her I would be back in a minute to look at it.

It definitely was a different rash.  I hadn't seen that one before.  It looked like tons of little pinpricks on her arm.  She could pick the little scab like things off but I told her not to since we decided that she should have it looked at since this rash was really behaving strangely and we wanted the Dr to see what it looked like.  We got an appointment at 4:00 and after lunch I had her go back to school since she really wasn't sick.

I picked up Linden who had had a wonderful day at school and after playing for a few minutes outside he got to get the chicken egg (one of them is laying!!!) and bring it in and wash it.  He of course dropped and cracked it so I hurried and cooked and froze it for my breakfast the next morning.  (YUM!)

Sometimes I think that Linden is the S L O W E S T eater on the planet.  (When I think about it though most of them went through a phase of really slow eating.)  It took him 45 minutes to eat 4 chicken nuggets.  In that time Laurel ate, I put her to bed, I made my lunch, ate it and cleaned up.  It was painful!  Finally he was finished and he went down for naps and actually fell asleep!  It was after 1:00, but he was down!

Then I remembered that I was working the book fair at 2:00.  Shoot! If I hadn't sent Aspen back to school she could have stayed with the kids, but now I've got to wake them up.  I am usually very religious about not waking napping babies.

Volunteering at book fair is fun for the first 10 minutes.  You get to chat with whoever's place you are taking and browse the books. Then my kids start doing what they do best.  Steadily taking the book fair down.  One book, pointer, eraser and pen at a time.  When I have finally whisper yelled more than a few times they change their game to chase and yell at the top of their lungs.  Towards the end of our time there were a few parents who came in to look at books and with the added looks from these strange adults Linden and Laurel reverted to sitting under a table and playing with the little sliding thing that locks the legs down.  At least they were mostly quiet and NOT running! We finished up with a short rush of kids (Thankfully on of them was Olive) who came in to look and buy and then we were done!  We got home just in time to change over some laundry and for me to give instructions to Olive whom I was leaving to babysit while I took Aspen to the doctor.

How bad is it that I left my 9 year old to babysit my 3 and 1 year old?  I'm trying not to think about that to much.  But I did leave her a phone, and the doctor's office is less than 2 blocks from my house.  I drove, so I could get home in 90 seconds or less and she had very strict directions.  The kids survived, I was gone 25 minutes and it seems that they had a kids bop dance party.

At the doctors we were brought right back.  I filled out the paperwork in the room and just 60 seconds after finishing it the doctor came in.  He hadn't seen that kind of a rash, he didn't think it was contagious and he thought it would clear up within a week.

We got home right as the piano teacher arrived at our house.  Olive was first and Cedar last since he has cross country practice.   Somewhere in here Aspen came up to me and said that she washed her arm and the rash was gone.  A little soap, water and an insurance co-pay was all that was needed to clear up her skin.  (I'll let you have a little chuckle break.)

When the piano teacher is at our house I try to stay out of the kitchen, especially when no one is around to play with Linden and Laurel.  They haven't learned to move or play quietly on demand so we spend the hour downstairs and outside.  Which meant that dinner didn't get started as soon as it needed to.  And since Jonathon, Cedar and Olive's last rec league soccer game was at 6:30, dinner needed to be on the table as close to 6:00 as I could get it.  It turned out to be 6:10, which wasn't bad, but when we cut into the meat and it was raw in the middle it kind of put a damper on things.

Jonathon, Cedar and Olive went off to their game.  Linden was super slow again so we didn't see the first half of the half but we did make it to cheer them on to victory.  Then it's back home and a late bed time for the littles and then I could start my laundry party.  I had picked up the movie on the way home from school and we told the kids that they could stay up and watch part of the movie as long as they were folding laundry the whole time.  We got 7 loads folded, the big kids sent off to bed grumbling that they couldn't watch more and I got to watch the end of it in peace!

And that brings me full circle.  The flow of my life is probably not too different than anyone else's. My "List" productivity ended at 10:15am.  I had to show Olive what I had done to her room since she didn't notice any of my work. My plans changed a half dozen or more times before my head hit the pillow at night.  I had successes and failures.  I made good decisions and ones that maybe should have had a second or third thought.  But this is my life.  It's predictable, boring, frantic, funny, crazy, busy, slow, fast, fun, aggravating and unexpected. And at the end of the day the text that Jonathon sent as I updated him on my day certainly rings true.  "Never a dull moment!"

Saturday, August 9, 2014

People's Choice Award

The votes are in! Aspen won people's choice award for her cookies!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Prize-winning Cookies

It official! Aspen makes prize winning cookies! (She wasn't so sure about being put in the kids category though! She's only a few months away from 14!)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Another Fair post

Another fair post! (Or as Linden says it. Another "fairy" post!)
Olive and Cedar got to join a friends mud volleyball team. They had a good time even though they didn't even get half as muddy as their team mates!

Family Game Night at the County Fair

We went to the family game night at the fair last night. It was super fun! Olive won $20 for competing, Cedar ended up with $10 and Linden ended up with $10 by getting the pennies out of the pantyhose! Jonathon, Aspen and I competed too but all we ended up with were some funny pictures, candy and a great video of Jonathon and Aspen shaking ping pong balls out of a tissue box tied around their waist!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pioneer Day

This is one o the very few pictures I took of this years 24th of July festivities. I think that from today on it will live on as the way to measure all future summer celebrations by. For my kids it was practically the perfect day!

Small town celebrations are so much fun! We started off this year with the kids parade. Jonathon took Laurel and Linden. Olive was there also but Cedar, after going to the line up decided he was too old. Next came the parade. Parades in small towns are not measured by the amazing-ness of the floats, bands or drill teams but by the willingness and amount of candy that is thrown out. This year the parade was pretty good!

Laurel was so cute! She had a sucker in each hand and she would find a piece of candy, yell out, "can-ee!" Go pick it up! Walk back to Jonathon who had her little bag then reach up for my hand to go get more! Linden quickly learned that if you wave at the people in the parade they throw you more candy . (Especially if you are a cute little kid!) he would run out to pick up the haul and drop some in Laurels bag. At one point he declared he had enough candy and went and sat down. After 90 seconds though he was back up. Cedar and Olive came with back packs for candy bags and by the time we were done they had them filled with candy and a full size bag of chips each!

After the parade we went home for lunch and naps. Thankfully Linden took a nice long nap, enabling him to stay up for the fire works! Cedar and Olive headed off to the park where all of the vendors and performances were. They met up with Cedars friend Cory and his little brother. They also found an unused fire work which led them back to our house to set it off. (It was a dud...) thankfully they had a few others saved that they let off. That then inspired them to head back to the fireworks booth and park. So off they went. (It was a great day to live in a small town! The freedom to wander can't be beat in a town of 2000!) I think I saw Cedar, Olive an their little group one more time at my house before they were off again to the park. I had to run some errands and found them on the side of the road. Cory's mom pulled up behind me and the boys decided to head up the mountain to his house.

After making sure Cedar wasn't intruding I invited them to watch the fire works in our back yard and told her to sen the boys back to my house when they got tired of them there.

Olive came home with me and we had a nice time watching some old you tube videos. Jonathon headed out to work on the Coopsicle, Aspen started making cookies and I started to think about packing.

Soon Olive and Aspen headed over to the ball fields to sell ice cream bars. They ended up making $26.50 to donate to uncle Branch who is heading out to Micronesia in a few weeks to teach doctors there how to make and fit PVC prosthetic legs!

Cedar had come back by now and they decided to eat with Cory's family. Before they headed up the mountain they were requited to pick up all of the flags that one of the Boy Scout groups put up.

I grilled some Chicken and during dinner Olive got a call from a friend to come play. This was exactly hat she had been hoping for and soon after dinner she was off.

Jonathon went back to the coopsicle, Aspen went off to her books, Linden played with the neighbor kids, Laurel went to bed and I packed.

Soon it was too dark to work or play outside and Linden was ready for the fireworks! We watched the neighbors light some and then we headed to the back yard where we can see the fire department light them over at the track.

We set out our chairs and wrapped Linden in a blanket. Aspen set up the hammock and soon we hear Cedar coming in the back yard announcing he brought 30 kids with him! He wasn't exaggerating! Cory's mom had had some HS friends get together. They were going to head to the ball fields to watch fireworks, then considered the 30 kids thy had between them and decided a fenced yard would be nice to keep track of everyone in the dark! She remembered my invitation and came!

We were glad they did! We have probably the BEST place in tow for watching the fireworks. And Aspen was in her element with all of the little kids. The fireworks started and the bigger boys went to the football field. But when the fireworks didn't make it very high in the sky and kept hitting the ground we called them back. For a small town the fireworks were great. We all kept expecting a fire from the low fireworks, one even went of on the ground! But although I don't know if anyone got singed, there wasn't a fire!

As our friends were leaving, the neighborhood fireworks got interesting! We all watched from the front yard for another 20 minutes as fireworks were set off in the street and the occasional car would try to maneuver around the fountains of flaming light. Our friends were finally able to find a lull in the action long enough to round up their kids and we got Linden inside and ready for bed. Another 15 minutes later and we could pull the big kids in. Prayers were said and as the kids fell into bed they thanked Heavenly Father for the best 24th of July ever!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fun at String Lake

We met some new friends at String Lake in the Tetons last week. One of them had a GoPro camera and he put this sweet video together for us! The water was a bit chilly, as you can see from the looks on our faces after we jumped in.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


So what do you do when you have a porch that looks like this?

Most contractors said to tear it out and start over from scratch, but Grandpa E. believed it could be repaired.

The first thing Grandpa did was give it a lot of thought over a period of many months. He spoke with a lot of knowledgeable people about it, and asked them about their thoughts and opinions. He watched a lot of YouTube videos, and researched concrete products. He would not have done all this unless he believed it could be repaired.

Eventually, we set up a date to attempt the repair. Since Grandpa lives several hours away, he had us take pictures and send measurements so he could begin preparing the forms for the concrete. He bought some special cement - the kind they use for airport runways.

When Grandpa arrived, he went straight to work. And we helped him. Forming, reinforcing, mixing, pouring, and finishing cement is not easy work, especially when it sets up so quickly. We worked hard for several days.
When we first took the forms off after the concrete had set up, it didn't look so pretty. But we kept working at it. We mixed up more cement and filled in the voids. Then we mixed up more concrete with a special polymer bonder and painted it over the surfaces to make them appear uniform.

The finished result looks amazing!
See that wood trim? Grandpa thought of that even before he came down to make the repair.

I think this is a good example of faith.
  • First, Grandpa believed it was possible to repair the porch.
  • Next, Grandpa did a lot of pondering, research, and homework to see how the repair could be made. During this process, he came to have a vision of how the finished result might look.
  • Then Grandpa prepared everything he needed and set a date to make the repair. He was not entirely sure how it would turn out, but he had hope enough to make the attempt.
  • Grandpa worked really hard on the project for several days. He didn't give up when he was tired, or his muscles ached, or when things weren't looking so good.
  • We seemed to be blessed with 'Help from Above', such as good weather, and being able to purchase just the right amount of material.
Thanks Grandpa!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Delicate Arch - Family Pilgrimage

A photo of our family hike to Delicate Arch in 2013:

And here's our photo from today a year later:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Grandpa Loveridge

I said good bye to my Grandpa today.  There have been a handful of times that I thought l was seeing him for the last time and then he rallied.  This time though…  Three weeks ago he was knocked over by the wind as he went to get the garbage can.  (The same wind that knocked down my basketball stand 300 miles away.) He was taken to the hospital and when he was stable enough they moved him to a skilled nursing center near his home.  Friday he pulled out his feeding tube for the 3rd time.  He is not able to swallow and none of the care takers believe that his throat muscles will ever get strong enough to swallow on his own.  He has a Do Not Resuscitate order and after heart wrenching talks my Grandma, mom and uncles decided not to put the tube back in.  So today, when I left his bedside, it will likely be the last time I see him alive.  He’s 90.  He has had a good life.  A very good life.

Grandpa was passionate about a few things.  One was THE war.  And by THE war, I mean WWII.  It’s always been a bit of a family joke.  DON’T ask grandpa about the war.  Especially if you are about to leave and need to be somewhere soon.  I believe there is something in every person’s life that impacts them so much that it sets the stage for the rest of their life.  I believe THE war was that thing for grandpa.  He arrived in Hawaii shortly after Pearl Harbor.  He worked in the office so he had a unique perspective about everything that happened.  Grandpa wouldn’t hesitate to tell you his perspective.  In lengthy detail.  He loved and respected everyone that he met there.  They became a family.  Grandpa would attend almost all of their reunions, and the way he talked about the people he met left no doubt that he considered them his brothers. Yesterday when I visited him with my sisters he was talking about a soldier friend he knew in the war.  Even now THE war is with him.

Because of his close connection to THE war, Grandpa became passionate about Hawaii too.  He is not in love with the sandy beaches that promise relaxation and tropical paradise like most of us are. He loves Hawaii, the place, the people, the culture, the flowers, the food.  Growing up I loved eating macadamia nuts at grandpa’s house.  They are salty and a little bit soft, and not as nutty tasting as other nuts.  When they were covered in chocolate, well, needless to say us kids had to be restrained from too many of those!  We listened to the ukulele and grandpa’s house.  And we all learned to pluck out Aloha Oh!  On the organ in the “home teachers room” using the color coded music books.  Hawaii was as much a part of Grandpa as if he had grown up there.  Which in many ways, he probably did.

The only other place that Grandpa would visit that might have come close to Hawaii for Grandpa was Disneyland.  Long before Disneyland was a world wide entertainment giant, long before Disney was even a Florida sensation, Grandpa was there.  I’ve seen pictures of my mom and her brothers as kids there.  I’ve heard the stories of them driving out  to California to go to Disneyland.  Grandma and Grandpa even took me and my older brother there when we were in our early teens.  They were taking a group of high school seniors on their senior class trip and we got to tag along.  They have shared their love of Disneyland with all of us grand kids.

A passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ has always been a part of Grandpa’s life.  I think though that one of the highlights of his life was when the Mt. Timpanogas temple was built.  Grandpa worked there for 17 years!  (I think that is the right number.)  He went twice a week until just a while ago.  A few years ago when Grandpa was in the hospital with cancer, he was worried, and mad because he was missing his shifts at the temple!  It frustrated everyone that he was more worried about getting back to the temple than he was about the little things like eating and working on walking!  Even today I was told that he was trying to get out of bed to say his prayers.  Grandpa knows what he believes.  He believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ!

More than Hawaii, or Disneyland or THE war even, Grandpa has a passion for Grandma.  I remember Grandma telling me that Grandpa planted all of the rose bushes at their house so that he could bring her roses every day.  Their house always had a vase of fresh roses.  It smelled so good!  Grandma and Grandpa have been married for 67 years!! (Pretty sure that’s right too.)  In so many ways their marriage has been an amazing example.  Not because it was the perfect marriage where they got along perfectly all the time, but because even through their struggles and imperfections they chose to stay together and they chose to love each other.  When they got married all those years ago Grandpa was on a short leave from the war and he had to go back.  He had to leave her home and go finish out his service.  It’s hard to think of Grandma without Grandpa.  But I think that in the same way that they started their life together, they will start the next chapter of their eternal life together.  He is going to go ahead and plant some roses so that when it’s her turn to come she will have the ever familiar scent of fresh home grown roses to welcome her home.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Homemade Brownies

Laurel's First Words

Laurel has been saying "mama" and "dada" for months now. She has also been saying "Shee-yah" for quite a while, meaning either "Cedar" or "See ya!" depending on the context. Last week, we saw her banging on the sliding glass door and saying "Aht sahd" ("Outside"). She will even go get her shoes. She has also started saying "Cooh" ("Cool!")

Click here to hear Laurel say "Aht sahd."

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Situation: Sarah and I took the kids for a walk after dinner yesterday without wiping their faces. On the way home, I'm carrying Linden (2) while Sarah pushes Laurel (1) in the stroller. Laurel sees me carrying Linden and starts fussing.

Sarah: "Somebody's jealous."
Me: "Yep."
Linden: "Laurel has jealous on her cheeks."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Laurel's Steps

These aren't her first steps, but it's the first time she's put more than two together! We were at the library for story time.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Through the Window

Can you spell annihilate?

Congratulations to Aspen! First place at her school and third place at district in the spelling bee! She'll be off to regionals in a few weeks!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What is happiness? Linden knows.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hi, sticky girl!

Hi, sticky girl! (Notice the ring pop)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The cereal! It's talkin'!

"The cereal! It's talkin'!"

Thursday, January 9, 2014

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