Posted in Bloopers and Highlights

Highlights and Bloopers: April 1, 2017 conference, house prep, hard times


“I just want Jesus to change his mind.” Simon breaking down for the first time about the move.  Tender little man with such faith.

I fell asleep with painters tape on my arm.

Back talk is workin’ my last nerve.

When pushed to tears my boys surrounded me remorseful.  On the way out the door Simon said, “it’s just your barking dog.” (a reference to Teaching: Amygdala – Amy for short)

Laundry- clean clothes aren’t there for me when I need them!

Kids feet keep growing and new shoes must happen.  Haircuts and church pants (tight floods) are waiting.

I took the kids rashes and speech problems personally – like “if only I…”  that’s not a good road to go down.


General Conference Check it out

Shoe shopping with Max and Jack – Jack running down the aisle because new shoes make you so fast!

Jack spent the morning in loud tears frustrated with new shoelaces.  By afternoon he was proud and OK with small successes.

pic – Simon chose to take a random picture on a day I got out of my workout clothes and did my hair (that was nice of you, Simon).  I especially like the pic because I’m with Jack and it looks like I’m doing something important – I mean it. Jack’s having  a rough patch so this moment and the picture he dew for me meant a lot. 

Math happened in a fun way by adding dots on Connect 4.

Just when I thought we were out of bread I found a loaf in the freezer.

pic – park time and saying goodbye to Trey and Cole

Ollie secretly made my bed, twice. Made me cry.

Grandpa took Jack on a train ride to Dave’s work where Jack spent the afternoon and then went skiing with Dad.

On Sunday Dave took the kids to the mountains so I could rest for the afternoon.


It’s hard but good things are happening.

Posted in Bloopers and Highlights

Highlights and Bloopers: March 19-25, rain, cousins, yoga and staples


We hung our sleeping bags over the fence and aired them out in the rain for about 5 days.

Simon saving all the worms sticking to the tarp.

Amazon’s 2-day shipping of an Escape the room game didn’t come on time…. ran to Walmart.

Dropped and shattered a light bulb during a quick trip to Smith’s.

A tramp wrestling match landed Max at Insta-Care with three head staples.



Yoga with the ducks and the fish before the sun and the busy day.

Trey and Cole here for the week.

Meeting a friend and her boys for an airsoft match.

Playing Pie Face with brackets and all (and Dave pulling off the greatest victory face ever)

Saw real Dr. not physicians assistant.  Still much mystery but maybe new light.

Kids helped with moving goals and ran through the cold water at the field.

Younger boys playing house out front with neighbors.  Each room is laid out with a different blanket.

Tent nights outside.

Happy kids and cousins.

Running in the rain.

Girls Night with my mom and sister and my niece who tried on the three favorite dresses from my past. So fun.

Listening to Motab choir, Consider the Lillies, and the timely song right after on a particularly stretching (not yoga) day.



Posted in Just Livin

Moab – My 26-Hour Pause

Pause.  Pretend for 26 hours that you’re not selling your house, you’re feeling great, and you’ve trained for the half-marathon that you registered for months ago. That’s what this weekend was for me and my best friend, Davie.

About 3:00 pm Saturday I drove the mighty white bison (nick-name for our Sequoia) through Comic Con traffic to Dave’s downtown office.  This would be the beginning of our adventure.  My sister graciously agreed to watch our kids overnight and met us in the underground parking to make the swap.  We took her blue Honda and she drove off with our treasures.

The Honda reminded us of our first car we bought together – a maroon Chevrolet Prism.  It was the car that we drove across the country packed with clothes and an inflatable mattress for our internship-turned-job.  It was the car with the close backseat where newborn car seats barely fit and the chatter of toddlers was intimate.

The drive was a gift. Not in a rush, Dave drove and I dozed for the first hour or so.  After that we talked comfortably – not in a rush.  Sometimes when we get a date at home, it takes me the first hour to relax and then the second trying to fit everything in.  When we were dating before we were married, I loved the okay-with-quietness that we had on a drive.  This 4-hour sedan drive was like that but interspersed with really great conversation.

When we arrived at the hotel, I was surprised at how easy it was to get in with just the two of us. We thought about and talked of our kids often and felt their absence.  The hotel had a pool and a free hot breakfast – the kids would have loved that.

Now, to gear up for why we were there.  We stopped by the race headquarters to pick up our racing bibs, t-shirts and some Gu then found a little place to buy a couple of smoothies.  After that it was back to the hotel to set out our clothes and hope for a good night’s rest.


Race day!  We enjoyed a beautiful bus ride up the canyon.  We met some new people and made jokes about everything being a sign of where we are moving to next.  That guy is from Egypt?  Sign. That jet is flying North?  Sign. You have a stomach ache?  Sign.

It was a little chilly at the race start where we waited for a couple of hours for all the runners to make it up.  We waited in the coffee and hot chocolate line to find out the hot chocolate was gone. Oh well, they gave us some Gatorade.  I wish I would have remembered that my bod doesn’t do Gatorade too well.  I started to not feel well but…it’s okay.

After checking out the Colorado River and sitting in the sand together, we walked up the road to the official race start.  We found the pacers and did some stretching.  At the front of the crowd we saw someone with a megaphone.  It looked like they were talking but we couldn’t hear anything and then the race gun fired.  We didn’t move for a while then mozied up to the starting line following the giant crowd in front of us, then began a slow trot as we passed the starting line.

It took a little while for the group to thin.  We were like a heard of cattle – some more odoriferous than others, even at the beginning! It was hotter than I expected and a lot of the race in full sun.  I guess now is a good time to mention I forgot my water belt (and some useful nail clipping – sorry toes!) and was dependent on the aid stations for fuel and water to cool down.  After about 6 uncomfortable and headachy miles I slowed down my pace and found a groove I could manage. Dave was awesome to try to stay with me but it was an awkward pace for him in between speed-walking and running.


We chatted a little, enjoyed the quiet, listened to tunes and commented on the power of one person cheering another on.  It makes a difference.  The mile-marker signs kept coming sometimes later than expected and sometimes sooner.  It’s a great feeling to realize every effort is getting you closer to your goal.  At one point we had 5 miles left.  I like to play mental games to keep going.  I told Dave it was like we just left our front door and we were going to run to the temple and back… and then around the lake.  The mental game wasn’t working for me and I decided to just keep running – one stride at a time.

3 Gu packs later and at least two cups of water per stop – one to drink and one to dump on myself and we were nearing the finish. Though we anxiously anticipate the finish line, we both feel a bit of disappointment when we leave the canyon of a race and are back into civilization.  That’s how this one was. The finish was 2 miles in the sun on the side of a busy road.  Dave was feeling good so ran up ahead to see what he could do.  I summoned a little Megan Trainor to bring me home.  I did have to stop to take a picture for the kids of a dog in an awesome red convertible watching the runners pass by.  Over my shoulder I saw the 2:30 pacer coming up behind me and I took off.  I could finish under 2:30.

Though feeling drained, I wondered if I could do a final push.  With the finish line in sight, and a DJ saying something audible but not understandable, I asked my legs to go a little faster.  They said okay if it wasn’t for long.  I eyed the digital timer at 2:29:49 and passed through the finish line 2 hours and 29 minutes and 50 seconds.  Dave finished at 2:29 flat.


We did it.  We just kept going and we did it.  I couldn’t really believe it – quite the opposite from the Euphoric feeling of my last race.  But one thing that was the same was the gratitude.  I felt so grateful to have the chance to keep trying.  My legs and my feet worked well.  I wasn’t feeling my best, but I was well enough and so grateful for the chance to live this life and to have Dave by my side while experiencing this beautiful world.

Forgoing the beer garden we gathered our post-race snacks and found a shady spot on the grass where we could eat and stretch and catch our breath. Before too long it was time to ask those legs to move one more time for the walk back to the car where we settled in for  the drive back home.

The drive back was much like the first, pleasant – a little dozing, a little chatting, a little singing and listening and a little quieting. We filled the tank and tried to wash the Honda before meeting my sister again but the car wash was broken – dirty water squeegees at the pump had to do.  Our 26-hour pause was almost over.  The mighty white bison pulled up bubbling with exuberant boys where one of the first questions I was asked was, “What’s for dinner?”

We drove home listening to the adventures and misadventures of our treasures and heated up some leftover oatmeal for dinner with a green smoothie on the side.  After tending to soap scrubbed little toes, a can of spilled paint on the carpet and a clogged tub drain, we tucked our kids into bed.  As I thought about the day (while the slightest touch of the bed sheets pained my post-race toes) I couldn’t help but be filled with gratitude for the chance to live this beautiful life.













Posted in Bloopers and Highlights

Highlights and Bloopers March 18, 2017 – St. Patricks Day + Moab


Ollie wants to use hair growing shampoo on his arm pits.

Eye twitching- consider it a friendly endless wink.

The power went out while we were trying to do school.

Can’t make my juice to perk me up when the power was out- Nutella it is.

Interviewing realtors- getting told to bland down our home- what!?

pic- “can we hit swords” – we have a couple of decoration swords that called for the thrill of the clank.


On a particularly overwhelming day, a sweet neighbor brought a meal for our large crew.

My parents served us nearly everyday with moving needs and room-mother needs=)

Max said, “like grandma and her parties” about how God will prepare a place for us.


Helping other homeschool moms

Yoga at the lake with the birds

Good run

Spring Blossoms

Simon, Jack and Max playing out front with neighbors

Saint Patrick’s Day Party and leprechaun traps

Half-marathon (Moab – My 26-Hour Pause) and the kids time at Aunt Jenny’s

Painting with kids

Playing store for school – kids had to do jumping jacks to earn their money.

It’s hard, but good things are happening through Christ who strengthens me – and through angels-on-earth who help.

Posted in faith, homeschool, ideas, Just Livin

Morning Musts: Developing Life-long Habits


Brusha, Brusha, Brusha your teeth, front and back and top and bottom, in between. These are the words to the “brush your teeth song” that plays shortly before the “read your scriptures” songs.  Struggling with morning routines we developed a playlist that we blast through the house.

There is a song for every aspect of getting up and getting ready: A wake up song, followed by a make your bed song, get dressed, fix hair, brush teeth and then most importantly the two songs that play for read your scriptures and say your prayers.



The entire list takes about 30 minutes and is known as our “Morning Musts.” The kids know that they can’t have breakfast or do anything else until their “musts” are done. The scripture-study varies.  For my youngest kids it’s looking through books of gospel art or watching short video clips from  A little bit older and they will work on programs like Faith in God or Duty to God.  My oldest kids sometimes prefer to listen to the scriptures rather than read. It is not uncommon to hear several different gospel messages playing through the house at the same time and it feels so good.


My kids have had their opinions about how much they like the “morning musts” but through consistency, scripture study is becoming a part of their daily morning habit. Hopefully it stays with them into adulthood as an absolute morning must.


Here is one of our morning-musts playlists.  We have a few.  Ollie created this one.


If this is good for you, kind of like brushing your teeth is good for you, please like, share and follow.  It’s hard, but good things are happening.

Posted in Bloopers and Highlights

Highlights and Bloopers 3-11-17, Moving and Mono


Jack:  Is it okay if I accilutely (accidentally) stepped on the pizza?

In my excitement to lock myself in the bathroom for a bath, I slammed my finger in the door.

Some poorly aimed rough-housing maneuvers brought tears and bruises.

Max brought me a plate of apples and Nutella. He noticed that I didn’t touch the apples.

Mouse Maker and 7-layer Bean dip.  The night we told the kids the news we made food with layers to emphasize that we try to follow Gods guidance “line upon line and precept upon precept.”

Someone absentmindedly poured a pile of honey on the counter instead of on the grape nuts.

Inspired by reading The Witches, Jack concocted mouse maker with water, food coloring and… spit.

Dave loaded and unloaded molding to return 5 times because Lowe’s systems were down.

I discovered the yo-yo last fall hanging from our rain-gutter.  I was thoroughly amused and have been wondering how long it could stay there (I’m sure my neighbors have been too). One fall, winter and spring later, it proved itself and one of the kids took it down. Yo-Yo, you inspire me.

Between girls camp being at JR properties and my library fine skyrocketing, we decided to sell the house- oh, and it just feels like the right thing to do (though we are a little sad about it).


After a cancer scare, I am totally thrilled to have mono and some sort of insulin/blood sugar problem. And, seeing validation in blood-work numbers felt kind of nice.

Sometimes you know you’ve made the right decision when things just start working out.  I was blessed to feel much better than I should have as we began the busyness of preparing to move.  I felt extra energy and peace – and I instantly had nice people giving me great boxes.  Also, the kids are being blessed with cheerful and helpful attitudes.  Though we are working through the emotions of moving, there is a spirit of peace and unity.

Everytime I passed the white board I saw new drawings and words.  I didn’t always have my phone with me to snap a pic – but these represent what I saw: We are moving, We are moving because we want to obey, and it is hard but good things are happening. – so sweet and trusting. 

Grateful for a favorite shirt when it’s time to do hard things.

I found  a dime on the sidewalk after a visit to an old friend that I felt impressed to talk to. Folklore says that that means something!  Whether angels drop dimes or not, I felt carried last week – so much so that I was inclined to believe they do.

Jack joined me on my morning run.  I kept one ear-bud in and he sang along with me to whatever song was on, “Shoulder Roll, Shoulder roll.”  We sat on a bench at the temple then took some trails back- without even popping a tire!

When asked by a friend why we are moving, Jack responded, “Because Jesus told my mom and dad.”

Burton went to work with Dave and got to see radio and satellite tv interviews behind-the-scenes. He also met Brandon Mull, the Fablehaven author. Then, up to the mountains for a little snowboarding with Dad.

The boys did yard work with skateboards, Green machines, ride on toys and neighbors.

It’s hard, but good things are happening through Christ who strengthens me. 

Posted in Bloopers and Highlights

Highlights and Bloopers 3-3-17


The boys fought over the leftover, rarely made jello, then I lost my cool at the stupidity of it all.  Sugar. It’s bad for families.

Mooooooodiness is in the house!

Glucose sugar test🤢 and weight gain😡

Tempted to feel like I’m not doing enough.  Trusting that my efforts will be blessed.


Phonetic Punctuation – SimonJack

I went out for recess and had a snowball fight. It was good for me on multiple levels.

Going to the Humane Society to love the animals.

Simon felt shy and didn’t want to talk to a new boy at scouts when I asked him to, then he felt bad incase he disappointed me.  I was so proud of him when later he decided on his own to go ask the new boy if he got a brownie then later waved goodbye to him.  We talked a little about that being part of the scout oath.  Again, on his own, he came home and highlighted that part in his scout book, “To help other people at all times.”

Writing in journals at night with kids

We went to the Dollar theatre to shake things up.

I was grateful for a lake to sit by and a Father in Heaven to pray to.