Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hit the Road

This is the (short) kick-off of our summer roadtrip season! We are off to Pocatello to visit Papa Jim & pick up my nephews, Cody & Ty (who are flying from Phoenix to Salt Lake City as I type, where they will be shuttled to Poky by Aunt Jill). Addie is especially excited to have them over--she's been asking about them for DAYS!! I hope that they'll have fun with us and that the drive to Missouri won't be too painful!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Get well, Aunt Party

Yesterday I wrote a post about my Auntie for my other blog. It was timely, as Aunt Marti had a horse accident on Saturday and broke her pelvis, then had to be air lifted into Tucson for emergency surgery for internal bleeding late last night. She is still in Intesnsive Care and we are all a little shook up. Aside from the worry, we have enjoyed a cold, rainy Memorial Day at home getting stuff done. The fence is done; flowers are planted; laundry is done. We just pray for Auntie M's recovery.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Rich went to see The DaVinci Code without me on Monday, but promised to take me on Thursday. We couldn't find a babysitter, so I just went by myself. I hated to do that to Rich, but I really needed a little break and wanted to see the movie.

I snuck some SmartFood popcorn into the theatre and I actually quite liked the movie (except for the general freakiness of the monk). I get a kick out of people getting so freaked out about the prospect of Christ being married. It wouldn't be so weird for "my Jesus." I know the story was fiction but I like the mixing of real symbology and art to create a plot/ mystery, and I love Audrey Tautou since I saw her in Amelie (I liked Amelie so much that I thought about naming Heidi Amelie). I thought maybe someone else would have been better in Tom Hanks' role, but it was good. And I was refreshed after a night out. I even drove home slowly and listened to a couple of songs on my "Best of the Cure" cd. Oh, that was fun. I don't think I will ever get tired of listening to "Boys Don't Cry" or "In Between Days." Cheap thrills.

Another good thing about going to the movies was that I saw the mom & grandma of the family I mentioned yesterday at the movie! I was so glad to see them out and about, and happy to hear that grandpa came home and all was well. Yay. And they loved the enchiladas--another yay. I am trying really hard to DO something when I feel moved to do it, instead of talking myself out of it, and this has been good motivation. When I thought of taking dinner to that family, I told myself that was a dumb idea, who needs enchiladas when people are sick ? , etc. etc. I always think my ideas are dumb, but I have to remember that it's the ACTION that really matters--the "thought that counts," as the saying goes. And I am learning that's really true, and hopefully I will just start moving when the prompting comes and stop THINKING too much. Heart over head.

Gotta go get the munchkins down for quiet time....

PS: I just noticed that my pregnancy counter says "111 Days to go." I'd just like to point out that, since I had both girls at 38 weeks (instead of 40), there is a very good chance that Little Man will come early, too. And that means I may have LESS THAN 100 DAYS LEFT in this pregnancy. Can I get a hallelujah?! Also, Rich's brother & his wife (Jess & Kelli) found out they are expecting a boy in October, so more twin cousins!

PPS: Congratulations to Cousin Scott on his graduation from Buena HS in Scary Vista, AZ

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Consolidate the Misery

Another busy week. Rich got home from Great Falls last night and we were all so tired, we just ate pizza and fruit and watched a movie with the girls. We got them to bed and watched the Idol finale (well, we fast-forwarded through most of it). I was truly surprised when Taylor won, but I think it was really close and both finalists are excellent singers. I think Taylor was my favorite, just because he's so entertaining and so different and he started out as an underdog. I feel really sorry for hom if he has to do that Idols Live tour because those musical numbers they have to do are SUPER GAY! I heard them described as "Brady Bunch numbers" and i think that's pretty right on! Katharine will be just fine--she's beautiful and talented and has had all the exposure she needs.

We are getting ready to go do Meals on Wheels. I have been delivering 14 lunches all week long--Heidi comes with me on my route and Addie goes with Grandma Rosalie. The old people love to see Heidi and she tried not to be too shy with them. She loves to carry the drinks.

I have also been watching out for this family in our ward--I visit teach the Grandma and the Grandpa got sick and had to go to the hospital Saturday. He came home Sunday, then had to go back because his gall bladder was failing. I hear he is doing better as of Wednesday afternoon--I hope that's true! Meanwhile, the mom (daughter of the sick grandpa) had a miscarriage last week and had to have a D&C Monday (and had her tubes tied, too). During the surgery, she was intubated and they cut hup her throat really bad, so she had to go back to the emergency room to get the swelling and the pain under control. I feel so bad for them--and the 4 kids at home-- all I could do was make big pans of enchiladas and bouquets of lilacs and wish them well. I hope Grandpa gets to come home today--that's just too much for one family! It reminds me of how Rich's grandpa died and I miscarried the same week last fall. We call it "Consolidate the Misery..." bad stuff comes in twos or threes. At least there is a stretch of peace afterward, right? Ideally, anyway.

Well, I'd better round up my posse and go deliver lunch. Hope all is well with yall...leave a comment!

Sunday, May 21, 2006


After a little nap this afternoon, Rich took Addie and went to take pictures of spring around the valley. I waited here for Heidi to wake up, and then we took a walk down our street and picked a few lilacs. They smell so good!!! I can't wait to grow some of our own!Heidi showing off her flowers (and diaper--oops!)
Oops! I shot this into the sun, but the shadow is still cute!
Here's Heidi smelling her flowers.


We have had a pretty sneezy/coughy week here. It's hard to tell if it's allergies or a cold, but the whole family has had it and we have all 3 humidifiers going, too. It has beena nice week, but busy, so no time for musing here on the blog (or even thinking straight, really). Rich just left for Helena AGAIN--hopefully this time there will really be an insurance conference! We will miss him, but I am feeling better physically and emotionally than last week! Today Addie & Heidi wore special dresses to church. Heidi's dress is from Gramma Jo Hite--she actually bought it for Addie when Addie was 2, but it was already too small for her (even though it's a 3T). Addie got to wear her favorite "play dress," which Nana made for her.
It was hard to get these little sillies to look at us at the same time...
...or smile at the same time!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hello, Summer

Well, this week our temperatures jumped from barely-60-degrees to well-into-the 80's. In fact, it looks like we set a record high yesterday because the record book says 84 and it was 86 in Livingston yesterday. That's usually as hot as it ever gets around here, so needless to say, my water babies were excited to break out the pool on Monday (there have been years where we only had a few days here and there that were warm enough to swim). We've pretty much been outside ever since! (The fence is not complete closed in yet--there are a couple of sections without pickets, which means I still have to police the yard vigilantly, especially since NOTHING keeps Heidi from eating dirt or getting in the water).
The girls got out to get dry for lunch the other day, and this is what they looked like. Addie tells me they were "playing dolphins." They crack me up!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Elliott is finally going home, by only 2 tenths of 1 percent! Which, out of 50 million is like 150K, but still, I like to think my redialing for Katharine helped. Now I kinda don't care who wins cuz life is good for both Taylor and Kat...besides, poor Taylor would probably much rather be playing wiht his band than going on that dumb "Idols Live" tour.

Only one more week of my yammering on and on about Idols! ;)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I forgot to tell you that Rich came home Monday morning because he got the dates for the conference mixed up. So he has to go BACK to Great Falls next week, but we are going to go with him as far as Helena and visit Matt , Amie, Jake, & Sam. Poor Rich drove about 4 hours Monday for nothing! (I was relieved, though--I would never make it as a single mom--I was having anxiety attacks at 4 am Monday).

I don't have much to write about because I am really super tired lately and can hardly form a complete sentence. I had a check up to day and still haven't gained any weight. Baby sounds and measures good and my BP is down to 130/80. I am DAWG TARD, though. I really enjoyed Taylor on American Idol tonight, but I fast-forwarded a lot of the show cuz I was too tired to suffer through all of Elliott's songs.

I had some funny kids' stories for you, but I'll have to jot them down and get back to you--Heidi and Addie are hilarious, though. I fear for the new baby sometimes. ;)

More later...

On This Date in History...

My super cutie cousin, Larkin, was born--May 16, 1985. He lived across the street from me while I was in high school and I used to take him every where with me. He loved my high school boyfriend Robert and called him Rabbit. He was the cutest little boy, and he;s a pretty cute big boy, too. Click on his link over to the right and wish him a happy 21st... ...Happy Birthday, Yarkin!!!...
We love and miss you! (these pix are form Sam's wedding in December)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Lovely Day

I had a nice, mellow Mother's Day. We are all a little under the weather--colds? Allergies?--so we took it easy. We are also a little broke, so Rich and the girls made my gifts this year (besides the awesome 20-tray dehydrator I got as an early gift from Rich off ebay). Rich made me wood planters for my deck off the dining room so I can keep my herb garden there with easy kitchen access. He also set up our composter, so we are ready to eat good this summer and fall!!!

We went to church )where Addie got up front with the Primary kids and sang to me) and had lunch with Rich's parents and Grandma Vivian, then just took naps. Rich is heading to Helena & Great Falls tonight for an insurance conference that lasts until Wednesday. BUMMER! I will miss him!!! I have to go say good bye to him now, but go read what I posted on my other blog! Hope your day was great, and have a good week!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mothers Day...

Mom & Me, 2001
Nana with my girls, 2004
...to my mom and all the other moms and grandma's in my life! Thanks for all that you do for me, my kids, and your own kids. Mamas make the world go round!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


CAUTION: This post contains NOTHING of significance AND an American Idol spoiler...

Um...I am kind of embarassed how much a TELEVISION show is affecting my mood, but I am really truly shocked that Chris got voted off American Idol tonight. He and Kat were my top 2! Even Simon chose Chris as a top2. I feel a little sick, actually. Seriously...HOW DID ELLIOT BEAT HIM!?? I really thought it was some kind of joke. Maybe he'll be the guy the gets a second chance this season cuz there is NO WAY that Elliot is a bigger pop star than Chris. Whatever.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Happy Sabbath

Our Fence from the Back: Admire Rich's handy work--he did most of the pickets yesterday, and now we just have to build the gates to keep the kiddies corraled.
Look how awesome our tulips are looking! I can't wait to plant even more this fall! The girls posed after church, but Heidi wouldn't sit still (as usual).
Addie is especially proud of the tulips because she remembers helping to plant the bulbs.
Heidi's a punk, but she's awful cute!
We had a nice weekend and got lots done. I updated my personal history blog, so I urge you, especially family, to go have a look and a laugh. Enjoy what's left of your Sunday and have a good week!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco de Mayo

We had tortilla soup for dinner tonight, but that was the extent of our celebration. I tried a new (made-up) recipe tonight and it was really good. Here's how it goes (these are all guesstimates--adjust to your taste):

3 cans chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup mild picante sauce
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
a little bit more picante sauce
about 10 corn tortillas cut into 1/2 inch strips
oil for frying tortilla strips
chopped fresh tomatoes, avocados, cilantro, lime wedges

Make a foil pocket and put the chicken breasts in there and cover with some picante sauce. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, pour all the broth, diced tomates, and picante sauce in a large saucepan.
Take out the chicken and chop it up and pour all the juices into the saucepan. Throw the foil away (one less dish to wash).
Stir and let it boil while you fry up the tortilla stips and drain them on paper towels (you should let them start to brown a little so they are good and crunchy).
Ladel soup into a big bowl and top with the tortilla strips, then the fresh chopped stuff, and even a dab of sour cream if you like. Then eat up--it's delicious!!

Stand Up, Sit Down

Slowest High Speed EVER! Our internet is being annoyingly slow the past few days--it feels like 1999 around here! Anyway, I have wanted to jot a few things down on the blog, but it has been taking way too long! I'll have to gather up thse randome thoughts soon. Today I just wanted to share this email I got from Stand Up and remind you to check out the web site if you haven't yet.

Dear Jamie,

Thank you for your participation in the
STAND UP campaign for excellent high schools that prepare all students for success in college, work, and citizenship.

This email is to confirm that your Governor has received the message you sent. We hope you will
tell others about your support for this important effort and encourage them to visit the website (www.standup.org) to find out how they can take action.

We are encouraged by the strong response from people like you who share a commitment to high schools that provide the academic rigor, relevant and challenging coursework, and teachers and other adults who know students and care about their success. We are also proud of the partnership in this effort with others who are working every day to improve our high schools, including organizations like National Governors Association, the Manhattan Institute, the Center for American Progress (who made your email communication with your Governor possible) and nearly 70 STAND UP coalition member organizations across the country.

Moving forward,
STAND UP will continue to provide you with updates on the progress of our campaign, including additional ways you can support the effort. Working together, we can achieve our goal of making sure that all of America's young people graduate high school ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

The entire


Also, the other day when we were driving over to the Smiths to visit their baby, we were talking to the girls about baby etiquette, how we ask if we can hold them, wash our hands, don't touch their faces, etc. We told them this would be good practice for when our baby comes, and Addie said, "But our baby is going to be a tiny baby BOY..."

"That's right," Rich answered.

It was quiet for a few seconds as Addie looked out the window then sighed to herself, "My wish came true!"

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Name of the Blog

A weird thing happens when I go to Utah. They have lots of "retro" radio stations that play "80s-90s-now-alternative" music, so there is always a time-warp quality to driving into Salt Lake or Utah Valley. Because invariably there is some old song, packed with late-teen memories, playing as I drive through this place where I spent my late teens and early twenties. And then, of course, it's freakier because I am driving a mini-van carrying my family, not a tiny Japanese car full of books and Big Gulp cups (and all the stuff THAT implies). One of the songs that came on around midnight as we drove into Salt Lake was "Life In A Northern Town" by the Dream Academy, the song from whence my blog title comes. Now, I own a bunch of Dream Academy and Kate St. John cds, but there is something strange and kind of melancholy about hearing the music when I'm caught off guard. I just can't stree how much I love that song (and the whole album) and the rush of memories that come when I hear it. Here are the lyrics:

A Salvation Army band played
And the children drank lemonade
And the morning lasted all day,
All day
And through an open window came
Like Sinatra in a younger day,
Pushing the town away
Ah hey ma ma ma
Life in a northern town.
They sat on the stoney ground
And he took a cigarette out
And everyone else came down
To listen.
He said "In winter 1963
It felt like the world would freeze
With John F. Kennedy
And the Beatles."
Ah hey ma ma ma
Life in a northern town.
All the work shut down...
The evening had turned to rain
Watch the water roll down the drain,
As we followed him down
To the station
And though he never would wave goodbye,
You could see it written in his eyes
As the train rolled out of sight
Ah hey ma ma ma
Life in a northern town.

The first time I heard that song was August 1985 and I was listening to Rock Over London on the radio while I was getting ready for church one Sunday morning. The song was so beautiful! When the DJ said the name of the band, I wrote it on a Baker's shoebox sitting next to me on the floor--isn't that funny? Thus began the obsession. I bought the self-titled debut album and was not disappointed--it was beautiful and it made me want to learn to play the cello and the oboe and wear my hair straight like Kate's.

So when I moved way up north here, the title just seemed appropriate. I suppose there are a lot of bands I can say sort of capture "me"--that I can use to describe my interests or background, and I have to say the the Dream Academy is definitely one of them, at least from "the early years."

Monday, May 01, 2006

In Utah

Our Utah trip was a bit of a whirlwind--we arrived at Jill's in Sandy about 1am and crashed soon thereafter. She had to work early so we got up and took our girls to the Gateway Center to Build-A-Bear and to watch the dancing waters, etc. They were so cranky that we skipped Temple Square and the new Joseph Smith movie (darn it) and took them to Jill's to nap. I had to take Rich to the wedding he was photographing at 3pm, then I headed down to Provo to visit Georgia and Jeanne Buchert. It was a lovely visit, but the traffic was terrible. It took me 90 minutes to drive 35 miles! Each way! The traffic jam cut into our time with the Post cousins and when we finally got to their house, there were babysitters there--mat, Amie, Will, & Audrey had gone to dinner. Not long after I got there, Rich was ready to be picked up at the wedding but my girls were not ready to get back in the car! Addie stayed with Melanie, but I bribed Heidi with a DVD and drove another 20 minutes across town to pick up Rich at Wheeler Farm. We didn't get back to Will's until 10pm, so we just went to bed, exhausted.

We went up to Sundance on Saturday to meet Rich's friend and former roommate, Matt and his family for some fun. We hadn't met Matt's new wife and daughter, so it was fun to hang with them for a while. The cabin where they were staying had a fun hot tub, so our girls got in in their undies. Then they warmed up by the fire and watched the Disney channel while the dads worked outside and the moms visited. We had to head for Pocatello to visit with my dad and our friends Johanna & Andy who have a new baby, Scout. We intended to leave by noon, but lost track of time and left at 2:30! We had to move our visit with the new baby to Sunday morning. Here are some pictures taken at Sundance... Addie, Heidi, and Ellie warming up after their dip in the hot tub.
Matt teaching the girls to gamble on the slot machine in the loft of the cabin.
Our family out in front of the cabin by the creek...we couldn't get the girls to sit still!
Me, Heidi, Ellie, and Addie
Matt & Andra goofing around by the creek.

In Idaho

We got to Dad's about dinner time and he cooked us up some delicious pork ribs, salad, and fresh guacamole! He is such a good cook! We hung out with him for a while, gave the girls baths, and got ready for bed. We made arrangements to visit Joh, Andy, & Scout in the morning, then go to Dad's church and head home at about 2:30pm. We had a good night's sleep and got up at about 7:30am. Dad made us pancakes, eggs, and sausage (we're spoiled) and we headed over to see baby Scout. This is Heidi with Andy and Duke the dog. Their yard is enormous and the girls had a great time playing with Andy--he's reserved, but great with the kids (probably because he's a pediatrician).
That's me with Scout, who is one week old in this picture, and showing off her tongue. I wish this were a picture of Scout with her mom, though--Johanna is a lovely mother.
Here's Addie checking out Scout. We like this picture because it shows off Joh's beautiful new kitchen.
Scout being super cute again.
We had a nice hour-and-a half visit with the Smiths, then headed north back to dad's. On the way Heidi fell asleep, so rather than wake her and suffer through church with her tantruming, we stopped at Dad's, picked up our stuff, and said good bye. Dad lent us his tent trailer for a few month this summer, so we hooked it up and headed home. After a few pit stops, we got home around 6pm. We cleaned out the car and the tent trailer and were so happy to sleep in our own beds!


Dear Loved Ones,                      This week has been a lot of work. Kids have been home sick with colds, Heidi was home on grievi...