Sunday Best in Utah

Here’s a quick picture I took on Sunday while we were visiting Mammy and Pappy in Utah. If you look closely, you’ll count one extra member of the family. That’s Haven, our 9 year old cousin (and Kit Kittredge look-alike). She and Emma had a grand time together over our vacation. As did all of us with the whole bunch of cousins. More details to follow.

Read More

An Addition to Our Nest

We are proud to announce that there is a new member of our household. He doesn’t have an official name yet (partly because he’s so young that we’re not 100% sure he is a boy), but the front runner is Huckleberry. After hours of pleading and many months of saving up her money, Emma finally convinced us to let her get a parakeet. We all went to the pet store to pick him out today. Emma picked an aqua color cage that matches his feathers quite well. She has also done a lot of research on how to care for parakeets, and although he is a little shy today, she hopes to train Huckleberry to talk and to sit on her finger.  This is the first time we’ve had a bird in the family, so it’s all very exciting!



Read More

Summer Vacation Day One

  • The kids built blanket forts in the family room
  • We had a family meeting (except for Rob, he was at work) and wrote on the calendar the things we want to do this summer
  • Drove 27 miles each way to get a pair of glasses left at a water park on a field trip
  • Had a discussion about consequences with my son regarding why I was making him pay me gas money for the trip there
  • Stopped at Barnes & Noble to pick up their summer reading program for the kids
  • We looked around and wrote out titles of books we like in preparation for a trip to the library tomorrow. I could never afford to buy enough to keep them busy all summer.
  • Mailed back a Netflix DVD
  • Got my Mother’s Day present from The Vintage Pearl. I love it! I’ve been wanting a mother’s necklace for years and Rob gave me a card on Mother’s Day that told me I should order up the one I liked.
  • Ate lunch – pizza tortillas
  • We all read and rested
  • Washed three loads of  laundry
  • Brought Emma to a swim activity
  • Decided it must be allergies that are making Hannah’s eyes water and making her feel sick.
  • Gave Hannah some Benadryl
  • Made the kids clean up their forts and did chores
  • Listened to lots of fuss from a certain youngest child
  • Vowed that tomorrow we will work first, and play later
  • Hunter sent out emails for his “Bake Sale.”  He’s making, selling, and delivering yummy treats.
  • Made stroganoff for dinner
  • Welcomed home Daddy
  • Decided maybe it’s not allergies, because after a nap, Hannah still has a tummy ache
  • Watched some Veggie Tales with the kids

Bedtime now, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings

Read More

Mothers And Daughters

Today I went Visiting Teaching and was in charge of sharing a lesson. Since April was General Conference I got to choose the message. So in honor of Mother’s Day I chose the talk by Elder Ballard, Mothers and Daughters. After reading the talk and then presenting it three times this morning, I just had to share some of my favorite parts.

It’s hard to find our place as women in the world when so often we are berated for standing up for morals and values. Elder Ballard reminds us of the sacred role we play in Heavenly Father’s plan and of the respect the priesthood leaders of the church have for women: “It is, unfortunately, all too easy to illustrate the confusion and distortion of womanhood in contemporary society. Immodest, immoral, intemperate women jam the airwaves, monopolize magazines, and slink across movie screens—all while being celebrated by the world. The Apostle Paul spoke prophetically of “perilous times” that will come in the last days and specifically referenced something that may have seemed particularly perilous to him: “silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts” (2 Timothy 3:1, 6). Popular culture today often makes women look silly, inconsequential, mindless, and powerless. It objectifies them and disrespects them and then suggests that they are able to leave their mark on mankind only by seduction—easily the most pervasively dangerous message the adversary sends to women about themselves.”

My mom with her reunion committee last summer

Message I most want my daughters and nieces to hear, because it’s so true. I can see this clearly now about my own mother, but I wasn’t always so sure (love you mom!): “Love your mother, my young sisters. Respect her. Listen to her. Trust her. She has your best interests at heart. She cares about your eternal safety and happiness. So be kind to her. Be patient with her imperfections, for she has them. We all do.

For all mothers of daughters and sons this is crucial. Everything we say and do goes into their heads and is processed. As my dear friend recently reminded me, they may not seem to be listening or watching, but they are; So we should fill their heads with positive things: “Let me assure you that even when you think your daughter is not listening to a thing you say, she is still learning from you as she watches you to see if your actions match your words. As Ralph Waldo Emerson is believed to have said, “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”

With Sabrina and Hannah after The Three Bears

Some reminders of the things Mothers can do to raise daughters of faith:

  • …avoid the temptation to gossip or judge one another
  • A mother-daughter relationship is where a daughter learns how to nurture by being nurtured.
  • …(teach) the importance of making covenants, and then show them how to keep those covenants in such a way that they will desire to live worthy to go to the temple.
  • Immodest, unchaste women are glamorized and all too often celebrated and emulated….You need to have frequent, open discussions during which you teach your daughters the truth about these issues.
  • …learn how to recognize the presence and the voice of the Spirit.
  • Point them to the scriptures.
  • Give them experiences that will help them cherish the blessing of priesthood power in their lives.
  • God will truly hear and answer their prayers.
  • if needed, teach them how to repent and how to remain pure and worthy.

The thesis for Elder Ballard’s talk: “I hope you are listening and see a pattern and hear a steady, consistent message that in these last days it is essential—even critical—that parents and children listen to and learn from one another. These are not just ethereal concepts about which I have been speaking. They are the essence, the center, of God’s plan for our eternal happiness and peace.”

Me and the big kids on New Years

Hunter graduates from primary soon, and we enter the world of  “the youth.” I hope and pray that this is a time of learning and growth for him, and his parents, as he figures out the man he wants to become: “…the home is the most important place to prepare the youth of today to lead the families and the Church of tomorrow. It rests upon each one of us as mothers and fathers to do all we can to prepare our youth to be faithful, righteous men and women. It is in the home where we must teach the gospel by precept and by example.”

The Mutual theme for 2010 applies to our youth as well as to all of us: “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9).

My family

Our family at Cabrillo Tidepools

Elder Ballard closes with this beautiful quote from President Joseph F. Smith that reminds me why families and motherhood are so important: “…We form associations and relations for time and all eternity. . . . Who are there besides the Latter-day Saints who contemplate the thought that beyond the grave we will continue in the family organization? the father, the mother, the children recognizing each other..? this family organization being a unit in the great and perfect organization of God’s work, and all destined to continue throughout time and eternity?”

To listen to this talk click here.

Read More

Oh Deer!


On Thursday afternoon, the kids were all playing in the backyard after school. I heard Sabrina cry and didn’t think much of it because it seemed like an argument type of cry.  A couple minutes later Hannah came and told me I needed to see something outside. I walked outside to see Emma carrying Sabrina toward the door. Then after lots of questions from me I was told that the concrete statue of a deer (with antlers)  had fallen on Sabrina when she tried to climb onto it. I guess she wanted to ride on it’s back, and it fell over pinning her down at the shins. Emma had been able to move the deer off of Sabrina enough to pull her out from underneath it.

After holding Sabrina on my lap for a while, I went to go look at the fallen deer. I wondered if it had broken and how heavy it was. Nothing on it had broken and I could not move it at all!  The thing is solid; I’m guessing at least 200 pounds. Emma must have had a real adrenaline rush to have moved it at all. I came right back inside and Sabrina was still sitting very quiet and still with sort of a blank look on her face. I knew she had really been hurt because she seemed to just be in shock. I called Rob and he gave me the answer I was hoping for. He came right home. I then took Sabrina to the Urgent Care center, and Rob went with the other kids to Open House at the elementary school.

The doctors decided we should definitely take an x-ray. Sabrina was really nervous and did not want anything to do with the doctors or the big x-ray machine.  But she was a tough girl and didn’t fight it. She was just quiet and sad. When the results came back there was one bit of good news- only one of her legs had been effected. However, the left tibia was fractured in five places! So the nurses put a splint on it, and called the children’s hospital orthopedics to tell them that I would be calling to come in. By now it had been over 3 hours since we arrived, so Sabrina was very ready to come home and sleep.

That night Sabrina slept in our bed with us, and shortly after midnight Hannah came in crying saying she was worried about Sabrina’s leg. I told her she would be okay, but Hannah still climbed into bed with us too. I made up a little bed on the floor, and moved Hannah onto it twice during the night, but she kept waking up and wanting to be right there with Sabrina. It was very touching to see her concern for her little sister, but also heart wrenching to see her get so upset about it.

The next morning I called the children’s hospital and was told I couldn’t get in for a cast until Tuesday. I told them that the doctor at Urgent Care was very clear that she needed to be in a cast that day (Friday). After being transferred twice, I found an orthopedic nurse who had compassion and common sense and she found us an appointment for 10:00. Rob and I brought her to the hospital and the doctor there was nice and helpful. He looked at the x-rays and said that Sabrina could do a below the knee cast since the fractures were not spiral and the bone could take the movement. I was relieved because having a full leg cast would be really hard for her.


before the cast


prepping the leg


setting and wrapping the cast


the finished cast


Sabrina will wear her cast for 4-6 weeks. The doctor said if an adult had this same injury, it would be 4-6 months in a cast- Another example of how miraculous a growing body is! She cannot bear any weight on it for the first two weeks, but they gave her a little boot that she will use when she can walk with it. She chose light blue because she and Hannah love Silvermist and the other water fairies.


We celebrated being done with the doctors by going to get lunch and a happy meal. Sabrina would only let us get it for her if she could wait to eat it at home. Once we got home and she had her lunch she really perked up and has done very well since. I think this first week with be tough, but luckily it is our Spring break and we can stay home and the other kids will be here too to help entertain her. The toughest thing for me is when she says, “I’m sad because I want to be normal.” I keep telling her that she will be, and every day will get a little better.

Read More

An Historical Family Trip

The Mormon Battalion Museum in San Diego was upgraded and recently reopened. We made a family outing out of the opening day. It was very crowded, so we didn’t see much of the museum itself, we’ll have to go back another time and take a better look, but there were a lot of activities that we did enjoy. As a little background here are some passages from the article linked above:

About 500 men enlisted in the Mormon Battalion, and about 80 women and children traveled with them. They began their journey in the sweltering heat of Council Bluffs, Iowa, on 20 July 1846, leaving their loved ones behind. The battalion completed one of the longest infantry marches in American history—about 2,000 miles (3,220 km) through what are now seven states and into Mexico…

[In the museum]“They will find out about the major contributions by the pioneer Latter-day Saints in the settling of the West. They were instrumental in building part of the transportation corridor from San Diego to Salt Lake City where Interstate 15 now runs. In 1847 San Diego’s first courthouse was built by members of the Mormon Battalion from bricks they had fired.”

I showed Emma all I know about panning for gold. We did find a few gold specks!

I forget what this game is called, but Hunter could keep this thing going for hours if he wanted to.

The girls all made pioneer baby dolls that were authentic to how they would have been made by the pioneers.

We were all given some biscuit dough to wrap around a spool of wood on the end of a stick. Then we held it over the coals for a while to bake.

Sabrina thought they were pretty good! Too bad we found out after we ate them that there was also hand churned butter and homemade jam to put on them. Oh well.

Hannah took a turn at washing some laundry with a bucket and washboard.

The extra pioneer activities were part of the reopening and are not offered on a regular day, so it was a special treat to experience some history!

Read More