Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Happy Birthday, Karen Dear!

Today is my sister Karen's 32nd birthday. We called this morning and did our pathetic rendition of Happy Birthday over the phone ( you know the one- Alexa, Callie and I all singing in different keys and starting and ending at different times). We spent so much time with Karen while we were home that the girls have missed her and ask when she's coming to visit us. So Karen... when are you coming? :) Karen is the best Aunt. She is so attentive to all the nieces and nephews- you can actually see them get jealous when we are all together- each of them must think they are the favorite and the only one she is allowed to be with. Karen is kind, selfless, genuinely interested in what I have to say (which I love), and smart. (Seriously- she's really smart. She knows fun, cool facts about everything). We are so grateful for Karen... and can't wait to see her when she comes to visit... when are you coming again?

Saturday, April 26, 2008


So, the infamous In-N-Out Burger is officially open in St. George. (Washington, actually.) It has got to be the biggest thing here since the Olive Garden opened over a year ago. Crowds of people are insane enough to wait in line for 45 minutes or longer just to get a taste of the burger and fries. The line for drive-thru wraps around the neighboring strip mall, the end sometimes not even in sight. They've got three or four workers outside along that nutty line to help take orders. The line to eat inside is WAY out the door. People are sitting on the curb outside eating their precious meals. Every other fast food joint nearby is deserted. Even on my way home from the grocery store last night at 10:30PM the line was still just as long as it had been earlier in the day when we drove past. Now, I've been trying to figure this out. Anyone who can help me, please do. I've been to In-N-Out a few times. It's a good hamburger, but 45 minutes?! I don't think it's THAT good... I'd rather wait till the crowds die down than to face that mess. My kids would be hysterical in the car if we had to sit for that long. So, you die-hard In-N-Out fans: Am I missing something? Is there something on that menu that is really worth the wait?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grandma's Best Birthday Ever

Make an on-line slide show at

My Grandma turned 87 on Sunday. We had a family party in her honor on Saturday. My Mom and Dad, my Uncle (her only sibling) and his wife, my brothers, sisters and cousins and all their children were there. Ten grandchildren (out of 15), and their spouses and 21 great-grandchildren (out of 24). Not too bad! My Grandma told my Mom that it was her best birthday ever. Because of her poor health, we had pictures with her and then she went to rest... but, the rest of us had a great party. How can you go wrong with a BBQ and 21 kids under the age of 15 in one house?! It was cold outside, but the kids still ran around and had a great time. The girls, of course, were thrilled to spend so much time with so many cousins. I'm glad I was there to take part in such a fun and special time. My Grandma is a wonderful woman. My girls call her Candy Grandma (I'm sure you can guess why). She is always thrilled to see us and makes my girls feel loved. I have so many fond memories of her as a child- eating her frozen Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, sipping 7-Up from a mug out of her mug collection with a bendy straw, standing at her sink and washing dishes that didn't really need to be washed, even down to the way she would cut my sandwich when I ate lunch at her house. I love her so much and am grateful to be a part of her family. Happy Birthday, Grandma!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


We had the chance to drive down to Vancouver this week to visit my best friend from Puyallup, Elizabeth, and her kids. My Mom came with me. It's a beautiful drive down I-5. Alexa kept saying, " Can we take pictures of the trees to show Daddy?" They think all the trees here look like big Christmas trees. We stopped in Kalama on the way down- it's where some of the filming for the movie Twilight took place. Talk about small town. A really cute main street, the REALLY old school, and not much else. We had fun. It was great to see Liz- her boys are so cute and they played really well with Alexa and Callie. She's expecting her first girl in less than a month. Yay!! We are excited for her. And, she still makes the best cookies anywhere... well, except for maybe her Mom's. Thanks for letting us come- it was so great to see you!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

She can stand- it's a miracle!!

The girls just had to get in the picture too... you know how it is; you can't just take a picture of the baby.

So, this cute little girl of ours is nearly 11 months old. She is FINALLY showing a desire to do something more than just roll and sit up. It's about time!! The doctor did tell us because she was early and so tiny when she was born that her gross motor skills would be delayed. And actually, she's about a month ahead of where Callie was at this age. Yes, yes... Callie didn't crawl till she was a year old and didn't walk till she was sixteen months old. It's a good thing my kids talk so early so they at least have that going for them! I guess I'm lucky I get to go so long without having to babyproof my house- that's a plus to this situation. Leah has been a really pleasant baby. She's happy and smiley and waves to anyone who will look at her. We're so lucky to have her!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Parade

Saturday was the Daffodil Parade. My niece, Sierra, was marching her Junior High's band, so we went to see her. We also got to spend some time with my college roommate, Amie, and her family. We were so glad to see them!! It was pretty warm outside... you can see by the look on Alexa's face that she was slightly flushed and frequently not happy. Not even the clowns, the pirates or the cheerleaders could cheer her up. It was great to see my sister Amber and her family and my brother Roger and his family too. The parade made me laugh- it was very much the same as it was 15 years ago... even some of the uniforms from the schools looked vaguely familiar... Amber, Roger and I laughed at that. And, as each float or school would pass I would fill Ryan and Amie in on the dirt of where it was from. Ahh- the memories.

Mt. Rainier

Yesterday was a beautiful day- the best kind of day in Washington. It was mid 70's, sunny and clear. And, we all know when it is clear Mt. Rainier stands tall and beautiful in the sky. It is one of my most favorite things about living in Western Washington. I always hope to have one of those picture perfect days so I can stare at the mountain when I'm in the car driving around. Yesterday I actually drove around taking pictures of the mountain in all the best spots after the parade was over. Callie and Leah were asleep, luckily. I kept saying to Alexa, "Do you see it? Isn't it beautiful?" I think she got tired of it. And, if she would have let me, I probably would have stared at it all afternoon to try to catch a beautiful sunset at the end of the day. I hope someday when we come to visit again they will all be able to look at it and think it is as wonderful and magnificent as I do.

The Dolls

Leah had a good time with the dolls too. Callie would set them upright for her and Leah would push them down. She even cracked smile and laughed at them. I suppose it was a novelty to have something smaller than her to pick on.

Callie had fun dancing with the dolls, putting them to sleep, and sliding down the wheelchair ramp into the living room with them... I had to remind her that she actually did have to be careful with the dolls- she's not known to be gentle with anything.

We spent Friday afternoon visiting with Cheryl, a friend of my Mom's, who has a doll collection. The girls loved it! Cheryl was wonderful with them and even gave them each a new doll. Then, she sent us home with a bagful of cookies. YUM!! As we left the house Alexa said, "Cheryl's house rocks!" Thanks, Cheryl, for making our afternoon so much fun!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Day at the Beach

On Friday we went to Point Defiance with Karen, Honor and Matt and their girls. We had a great time! The weather was beautiful- the mountain looked gorgeous... the pictures don't do it justice AT ALL. The girls had a great time collecting shells and pretty rocks. Alexa even held a crab that was still alive. It was low tide so we saw starfish, mussels, barnacles, and all sorts of marine life my girls didn't even know existed. We had fun watching the waves hit the shore, the ferries and boats travelling across to the islands and all the other people who were also enjoying the great weather. We came home with bags (and pockets) full of fun stuff and lots of stories to tell Dad about. Thanks to Matt and Honor for inviting us to come. We loved it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

It's a Rainy Day, It's a Rainy Day... are you at all surprised?

Does anyone remember that Seasame Street song from too many years ago: "It's a rainy day, it's a rainy day. It's raining outside and I can't go out and play. Why do we need the rain anyway?" Well, my girls thought it would be fun to play in the rain today. My little St. George girls lasted all of five minutes before they had had enough. I think they had fun while they were out, though. I love watching the rain. It's so homey to me. I love when it is raining hard enough that I can hear it on the roof. I can remember as a kid falling asleep to the sound of the rain. I LOVE IT. I love that it makes everything green... the natural way. It is the reason Washington is so beautiful. I think that I am away for such long periods of time that I forget how much I love it here. I am grateful my kids have had a chance to play in the rain today.
That is a smile... I think she was saying "cheese". She walked right up to the puddle on the deck behind her, stomped in it as hard as she could, then turned around and said, "Mommy, I think my socks are wet. I need new ones." Funny little girl.

And we thought these raincoats that Grandma Louisa bought us over a year ago wouldn't get used... what were we thinking?!

Conference Weekend

We had a pretty good weekend. For the most part, the girls were good during Conference.

Alexa made a few funny comments during the course of the four sessions. "How many speakers are left" was the most common. We tried to keep them as entertained as possible. And, Aunt Karen spent some time with us on Sunday, which helped. They love Aunt Karen!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Love My Mom Because (Reasons 11-20)

So, today marks another birthday in our family. Happy Birthday, Mom! I'm so excited to be with you on this day. I can't even remember the last time I was here for one of your birthdays... I bet it was at least ten years ago! So, as a tribute to our mother, my siblings and I are giving 61 reasons why we love her. I have reasons 11-20. If you want to catch the rest, you'll need to check out the blogs of my brothers and sisters.

11. She listens to me complain, gripe, laugh, cry, and everything else on the phone whenever I need her to... even if it's everyday.
12. She taught me the value of hard work through her example. Whether it be at home, in a church calling, in school or anywhere else, my mom gives it her best and always has.
13. She has been to my house on more than one occasion just to watch my kids so I can leave for a few days. She even came just so I could go to Girls Camp one year. She has also come for each of the three births of my kids and has made it to every blessing as well. Thanks for planning your trips around my schedule! What mom does that?!
14. She has a love of the scriptures. I love that when I call and need advice, she can quote a scripture to me that perfectly fits my situation.
15. She loves to read. Growing up, I can always remember my mom fully engrossed in a book. I love that she showed us how wonderful books can be.
16. She has spent the majority of her life in the service of others; whether it be her children, other family members, or others. And, my mom continues to serve even when it is hard.
17. She made us memorize quotes and scriptures growing up. I still remember almost all of them and frequently use them in lessons, talks and with my own kids. And, when I do use them I always preface them by saying, "My mom is the most amazing woman I know. I wish you all could know her."
18. She's very computer savvy. I know so many moms who don't even bother trying. I love that my mom knows what she is doing on the computer... she's probably better at it than me.
19. My mom taught us to love music, art, old movies, astronomy, geology, nature, etc. Some of my best memories are of "vinca parties", camping, the ocean, petroglyph hunting, Doris Day movies, classical music... the list goes on. I am glad I have a knowledge of these things! It makes life so much more enjoyable.
20. One of the greatest compliments anyone could ever give me would be that I am like my mother. She is my hero. Someday, if I am even half the woman she is, I will be truly grateful.

*Any woman who raises ten kids as well as my mom did deserves an award. Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Today I am grateful for sisters. I have two exceptionally wonderful sisters who spent their evening at the airport waiting for the arrival of me and my three girls. They met us at the gate and promptly picked up Callie and Alexa (who were exhausted) and carried them to baggage claim. I am grateful they have a love of my girls and treat them as they would their girls. Thank you for being such wonderful aunts and sisters!

We did make it here in one piece. I am pleased to report that the flight was better than expected and I received several comments about how well behaved my kids are. We were FREEZING when we walked out to the car. I suppose we'll get used to that. However, today is beautiful- clear, sunny and about 60 degrees. We have played outside for the majority of the day with Honor's girls. We are glad to have cousins to play with! Edgewood is alive and well and we are grateful to be here.