Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day One of Spring Break: Friday

We left our house at 8am, heading west through Bozeman, then turning south through Ennis, Henry's Lake, Island Park, Rexburg, Poky, Ogden (where there was a blizzard!), and finally Utah Valley...

The BozemanPass was lightly dusted

...not looking too spring-ish!
We drove out to Eagle Mountain first thing to see my mom. We are still recovering from the RSV/cold virus from last week, so we wore masks and sanitizer and only stayed a few minutes.
My sisters Sara, Laura, and Jill were there, so they decided to come back to the hotel with us and let 12 kids swim. I picked up dinner at Panda Express (string bean chicken anyone?) and we all ate it in the dining room of the hotel. Then Jill's girls Ally & Belle stayed over at the hotel and the others went home. All the kids colored and did puzzles for an hour or so, then we played an UNO tournament (James fell asleep) and hit the hay at 11pm. It was genuinely fun--I love having kids this age. Even last year I couldn't have done this myself!

NERD ALERT: My nephew Gabe laying on my brother Marshall while nephew Jared looks on.
Jack & Heidi=cousin pals!!!!

Belle & Abby

Ally, Heidi and Addie doing puzzles

Belle and James coloring

My Slumber Party Crew--so much fun!
Now we are going on a Provo Photo Safari to all my old homes, then a picnic at Bridal Veil Falls!
I'll have to get some of Laura's great pool pix tonight!

Friday, March 19, 2010

This made me laugh so hard...

...I cried.
God help Speaker Pelosi
(and all those she is "speaking for").

Today, so far: a photo essay

We finally had our first real spring snow last night, and to be honest, I am glad to see the snow. I am in the mood to be cozy just a little longer (maybe because I have some sewing and a great book to finish). I like to call this photo "Wishful Thinking." I had Rich put our adirondack chairs out this week because DST gave me some after-dinner vitamin-D time (to read and watch the sunset). This morning they are dusted with snow!
Last week I made a mental note to take down the snowman window clings and clean the windows to let the sun shine in...looks like I've got a little more time for that!
This is just a shot down the street from the driveway, looking SE. You'll notice the peaks are shrouded in clouds and fog.
From the walkway, this is what the tulips look like today.

And finally, this is our living room table, featuring our brand-new Ensign magazine, which I will be reading today instead of doing yard work! ;)
Our thoughts and prayers are still will Nana and Carrie today, hoping the best for both of them. Nana/ my mom's surgery went well yesterday and as of 10:15am, all is well...she just needs to SLEEP (so don't call her today). Her white cell counts were good, her red cells count dropped slightly from 32 to 25, but they are hoping that will get better as she heals (the goal is a count of 35 or higher). No updates on Carrie yet, but our whole ward family is hopin' & prayin'!
It's time for me to go do some Z-sounds with my little pre-schoolers (they are playing Seasme Street online games on pbskids-dot-org right next to me and it's so very cute!).
James and Ashley playing "Diego in the jungle" (that's a quote).

Thursday, March 18, 2010


First of all, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear friend Jennifer Claar (Aunt Jenn)! Hope it's a good one, Jenn!

We've been saying more fervent prayers around here. Illness and addiction are running rampant in my family of origin, and lots of hearts are hurting. My dear cousin-like-a-brother-to-me was deployed to the middle east this week, just weeks after learning his first child is on the way next October. My Mom is having a spleenectomy at 2pm today in American Fork. She also has blood clots in her lungs, for which they installed some kind of filter yesterday. None of this is sounding very good to me, but we are praying it all goes well and everyone involved be inspired and comforted. And trying to say "Thy will be done."

Also today in Tampa our friend/piano teacher/neighbor/ former VT, Carrie Kling is beginning treatments to relieve debilitating back pain. She and her husband have scrimped and saved to make this trip, so we pray the doctors will be inspired to know what to do for her and she won't have to do many more big trips. For those of you who know Carrie and want to keep up with what is happening, you can click here (you'll need to register and then type in her name under "find friends") to go to her care page which Aaron (Carrie's husband, our home teacher) is keeping updated. I really enjoyed his last update, and hope he won't mind if I share his testimony here:

"I have had questions about my faith and if it is strong enough and a very good friend talked to me about faith. I know that it will be through the healing powers of Jesus Christ that this will work. But, just so we can be obedient and prove our faith and trust in Christ and Heavenly Father, we will be fasting Tuesday night through Wednesday evening and then giving Carrie a blessing. The Priesthood has been restored to this Earth and is real. It is the power of Christ to act in His name according to His will and Spirit. The Priesthood's purpose is to serve others through our humbleness and obedience to God's will. I pray that our faith will be sufficient and that healing is in God's plan for Carrie. May God's will be done. Thanks again everyone!"

I am trying to have the faith that Aaron has today. I do know with all my heart that Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to learn and grow. I know that families can be together forever and that "happiness is the object and design of our existence and will the end thereof if we pursue the path that leads to it" (J. Smith Jr.) and "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So Behind

I am losing my motivation to blog since (a) James has been sick so we haven't had any fun and (b) my Grandpa and Grandma don't have a working computer right now. But here are some fotos from last weekend anyway (from before James got sick with RSV/brochiolitis and an ear infection). My mama is in the hospital AGAIN with hemolytic anemia...pobrecita. She's supposed to have a spleenectomy tomorrow.

Saturday began with a Primary activity (breakfast and games in their pajamas), then Heidi had a bowling birthday party for her friend Gabe.
Heidi and Gabe at the bowling alley arcade.
Later that night we--Addie and I-- took Aunt Jenn out for a birthday dinner then to Kim Larson's bridal shower in Clyde Park.
There were lots of 10-13 year-old girls there, so when they played the "make a TP wedding dress game," guess who the mannequins were? Addie is modeling her TP dress, second from left.

The winner was Marissa on the right. I am sad I didn't take more pictures, especially with the bride in them, but here's a cute one...
YAY! Congratulations, Matthew & Kim!
Now, I am off to try, once again, to get some rest. I don't sleep well when James is coughing/has labored breathing, but he doesn't nap well when he has albuterol treatments, so we are caught in a cycle of poor immunity due to lack of sleep, and I can feel my hormones just going CRAZY. Mama needs to sleep, y'all!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I have missed a bunch of birthdays the past couple of weeks, so I wanted to catch up NOW because these birthday people are way too adorable to skip...

TODAY, March 10th, my nephew Jared Lehman turns nine!

Happy THIRD Birthday to my cute li'l Peeps (Penelope Mayberry, daughter of Cousin Dave)...her bday was March 7th

...and so was my sisterfriend, Melissa's--and I MISSED IT! :(
"Spencer Down Under"
On March 2nd, my nephew Spencer turned six!
Here is Spencer last Fathers' Day with his Dad (my bro Willy) and family.

On March 1st, my nephew Jake Post turned six! He is 6 weeks older than my Heidi and they are crazy cousin pals! (click to enlarge picture)
My niece Kennady turned six on February 25th (she lives in Utah with my sister, Erin)

And last, but not least, my nephew Owen Layton had his first birthday on February 23rd. He lives all the way down in Sierra Vista, AZ so we don't get to visit as often as we'd like, but his daddy skypes with us so we can watch Owen grow (James is a HUGE Owen fan...he always says, "I'll be Owen, you be Kristen"). Click to enlarge this series of pictures from the webcam.

Happy Belated Birthday, Cuties!

Last Friday

I've been freakishly busy, then under the weather yesterday, so I'm a little behind on blogging.

Happy Birthday, Candace!

(this is a xerox copy of a favortie photo of my cousins Larkin & Candace from one of my old photo albums)

Last Friday was Cousin Candace's 23rd birthday, the one-year anniversary of my thyroidectomy, and a no-school (grading) day. So the girls had some friends over for a Tea Party (at which they all split one cup of vanillaomile tea and mostly drank strawberry Crystal Light and cookies and cupcakes).This is Addie hugging her friend Elizabeth at their tea party table. Later, their friend Aurora came, and Heidi entertained Aunt Debbie and Haylee, too (but I didn't take pictures then...dang)

Addie & Elizabeth with actual tea.

[click to enlarge]

I made this lovely illustration of how much my scar has healed. I'd like to point out that there is no make up involved in any of these pictures, so I hope you enjoy the detailed terrain of my complexion while admiring how well my scar has healed (click here for the gnarley post-sugical ones). Seriously, props to Dr. Housinger...the endo told me if you're gonna have a scar that shows, you want to go to Dr. H because he leaves the tiniest possible scar but I just thought that was one doc selling the other. A year later, I am thankful for the referral--he did a nice job. Now if the rest of my hormones whould just settle down and balance out, I'd be thrilled.

Friday, March 05, 2010

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"

This one goes out to the one I love. He's the Stake Emergency Preparedness Leader and he puts his heart and soul into helping our stake be prepared for disaters of all sorts--personal, financial, governmental, natural, or all of the above. He is frying his brain studying for his hamm radio license exam this weekend because our area authority asked him to. I married a good ol' goat, as my brother would say.

So please won't you CLICK HERE and read about how God prepared the missionaries in Chile for the earthquake? [my friend Kim will love this one cuz her nephew is a missionary there; and thank you Debbie for sending it to me] And won't you remember, when you feel scared or worried, that He will do the same for you if you take time each day to "be still and know that [He] is God" and listen for the Spirit to tell you what you can do to be prepared and not fear?

You will? Thanks.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Are You Marching Forth?

It's March 4th, so we MARCH FORTH!

[click HERE to learn about this holiday,

and HERE to meet its founder (at least in MY world)]

I was thinking the other night at Dr. Seuss' Birthday Party that Oh, the Places You'll Go [click HERE for text] should be the official storybook of March Forth.

And THIS should be the official scripture.

On an entirely different note, here are some pictures from Tuesday night's Dr. Seuss Party/Green Eggs and Ham dinner...

This is Heidi's super awesome kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Thums, all dressed up and reading "Scrambled Eggs Super"...Heidi is there in the red shirt.

Mrs. Aun's book display

The event flyer

Rich serving Green Eggs!

Addie and James helping Rich set up

Mrs. Kost reading "On Beyond Zebra"

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Look What I Got for MARCH

As I mentioned before, Rich built me a new "craft locker" to hide all the stuff from in my craft corner (crap corner) so our family room could look TIDY! Sunday night Rich let the kids help him seal the wood...Heidi & Addie
Three Little Hard-Workers

They got done and let it dry all day Monday. then...
TA-DA! We moved it in and loaded it up, and mama is so happy!
THANK YOU, amazing, talented husband! You are such a great carpenter, and such a good patient daddy to let the kids help. You make all my dreams (not just the one about furniture) come true!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Love. Healing. Help. Hope.'s been a busy day of housekeeping and PTO stuff and thinking about JACOB POST, who turns six today (love, love, love you, Jakers! Happy Birthday). I was so glad to find that our family scripture study lent itself easily to a family home evening lesson (yes folks, we are just tearin' through the Book of Mormon, each reading a verse before dinner--we're on 1Nephi 8 on March 1st!).

As you may know, chapter 8 is Lehi's dream, and it's a symbolic and picturesque dream. So before dinner, we read through the dream, then after dinner, we helped the kids each draw their own picture of what Lehi described, then we read a little bit of chapters 11-13 to find out what the dream meant. I love so many things in these chapters that my kids aren't ready to hear about--like how Nephi says I don't understand everything God says, but I know He loves His children, or how the first thing the angel shows Nephi when he wants to know what "the Love of God" means is beautiful Mary and her baby. Love indeed.

(May I just say that my favorite things about this really beautiful rendition by Addie are (a) Sariah's pink frock and (b) Nephi's Vanilla Ice hair? Addie did a really great job and seems to grasp the symbols of the dream. I'm proud of her!)
(Heidi wanted to make sure that dogs could walk the straight and narrow path---she said "most dogs choose the right anyway, mom." )(James was over- tired most of the time and having a tantrum, so his mists of darkness are rather prominent)
And this FHE ties in so nicely with our Relief Society lesson yesterday, which was a review of THIS talk by Elder Holland (it's always about Holland, isn't it?). You should read it. Better yet, you should listen to it cause it's fierce (in the best sense of the word). And then sing hymn #274 to yourself, all 5 verses. Cuz then you will feel like I feel right now: so humbled and thankful for the plain and precious truth that will (I testify!) "safely guide us through!"

"And hand o'er hand the rod along, through each succeeding day
With earnest prayer and hopeful song, we'll still pursue our way...
"Afar we see the golden rest to which the rod will guide
Where with the angels bright and blest forever we'll abide!"

[Coincidentally, that song reminds me of THIS song, and for the record: I WANT IT SUNG JOYFULLY AT MY FUNERAL!!!! "In that far-off sweet forever, just beyond the shining river, when they ring the golden bells for you and me!"]

FROM ELDER HOLLAND: Love. Healing. Help. Hope. The power of Christ to counter all troubles in all times—including the end of times. That is the safe harbor God wants for us in personal or public days of despair. That is the message with which the Book of Mormon begins, and that is the message with which it ends, calling all to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.” That phrase—taken from Moroni’s final lines of testimony, written 1,000 years after Lehi’s vision—is a dying man’s testimony of the only true way.


Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                         1...