Showing posts from December, 2015

Working Together

I was in charge of the family  Christmas party this year.  I'm happy to be able to say that in the past tense!  It's not that I don't like Christmas (I do), and it's not that I don't like to plan things (I do), and it's not that I don't like my family (I really, really do!).  It's just that it was a lot of work and I was on my feet all day yesterday and today I'm quite happy to hang out on the couch and recover.  Poor couch.  You missed me, didn't you?
We got home late from the party and didn't unload the vehicles, but went straight to bed.  Or as straight-ish to bed as we can, which isn't actually very straight, so I'm all the more tired.  Of course, my dad had an early - morning doctor's appointment I had to take him to today, but the vehicle was still full.  Who schedules these appointments so early, anyway??  Oh right, I do.  Gotta quit that.
And we still had boxes of table decorations and games and rolls of tape and a hot g…

Sharing Christ's Light

As we pause this Christmas Eve to remember the birth of a baby in a stable, we want to extend warmest wishes to you and your family.  I wish we would light a candle from the happiness in our hearts and hand it to you, to help you light your part of the world.
Merry Christmas.

Yule Log

David came home and said he needed to do some extra credit for his French class.  I gladly let him use the kitchen for his cooking project, and he whipped up this yule log.  It's a pretty impressive chocolate jelly roll cake with a whipped cream filling and thick chocolatey frosting.  He pulled leaves from the holly bush out front to dress it up and presented it under a silver cake cover.  
Well done, and  joyeux Noël!

Football Road Trip

I'm not sure how it all started, but my dad got it in his head that he needed to go to a football game.  The man hasn't been in a stadium attending a football game since... oh... I was in college and worked at the stadium and got him free tickets.  That's been a while.  But this year, he needed to go to a game.  It was a challenge, because the regular season games were over.  No worries.  My brothers jumped on the idea of a family road trip and we all went!  I'm still a little gobsmacked that it even happened.  The last time me and my brothers were on a road trip together was when we were headed to Disneyland in 1987 in a borrowed RV which gracefully broke down in the middle of  an LA freeway.  During rush hour.  What great memories!

We hope to have a little bit less adventure on this trip, so we took a more reliable minivan.  And shoehorned me and all of my very tall brothers in it.  We were... cozy. We ended up making some fun new memories.  It wouldn't have hap…

Mission Monday

So this week I get to see my missionary boys!  No, this Mama is not excited at all.  And that's a lie.

One will be skyping  Christmas morning, and the other on Christmas night.  Somehow I'm thinking Christmas will be a longer day than usual, but I'll take it!  I love that on the very day we celebrate Christ's birth, we can visit with two missionaries who are devoting their lives right now to serving Christ in the best ways they know.

I like how Ben put it in his letter today:

But now we'll just go to Malagasy Morsel time. It's Jesoa Kristy. Guess what that means. It means Jesus Christ. I'm sure that was a hard one. And that's what Christmas is all about. I love it.But I just kind of had a cool story from yesterday that I wanted to share with y'all. We got home from church and were watching Mormon Messages on Elder Snell's USB while we were making our delicious spaghetti. And there was this one video that had a little clip of Jesus walking…

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to my family!  This crazy, wonderful train ride officially started 23 years ago, with these two babies:

I look a lot different now.  My dad took this picture the day before Jay went into brain surgery.  Jay was joking that it would be his obituary shot, but it wasn't.  We were in my folks' backyard, in front of their apple tree.  Those little green apples remind me of my boys, so young then, but growing up quickly.

To celebrate our family birthday, we had spaghetti on china, with sparkling grape juice poured ever so carefully into crystal goblets.  It's a tradition to eat something regular on fancy dishes, because our family is a bunch of regular, common, everyday and nothing impressive things, made special by our enduring family ties.

Happy birthday to us, and many more.

Love Her. Period.

This little cutie has some good friends in our neighborhood.   She loves nothing more than skipping off to play with one - or a bunch! - of them.  Unfortunately,  one of them is moving this week.  It's a travesty, to be sure.  We went shopping to our swanky neighborhood dollar store to get some little gifts for her.  And since we were there, we needed to get presents for the other friends, too.  If you give a girl a gift, you know...
She is a girly girl, and loves to wear fluffy skirts and twirly dresses.  She is drawn to sparkly hairbows and anything pink.  Her brothers worry that she will be a princess, but I don't.  I was an only girl in the middle of a bunch of brothers, too.  I'm having a good time helping her grow up.  This is her favorite skirt, which I think pairs very nicely with the tomboy bruises on her shins.
She had to write a love to to her friend, with her very best handwriting and lots of crossing out of misspelled words.  She loves to write and draw.  As …


Trent got home from work late, and walked in while the twins were finishing up a bowl of tortilla chips.  Amidst cries of "Daddy's home!", he got clobbered by four little arms and two little boys who love their daddy fiercely and hug him tightly.  When he let them go, they returned to their chips.  Guiltily, they looked at the nearly- empty bowl and back at Trent.
After only a slight hesitation, they grabbed the last big chips in unison and offered the bowl of crumbs to their beloved father.  From their loving expressions, it was clear that the salty crumbs were the most delicious, but Freddie and Georgie were willing to part with them.
It was a tender moment with a side order of funny.  That's how we live in this family.


This week, we had some pretty hefty winds.  I saw a picture that someone had taken of the middle of the winds.  The current next to the ground was heading left, and the higher current is going right.  The clouds in the middle are being blown by both currents.
I am amazed at how beautiful this is.  The contrasting currents pull the clouds in opposite directions,  making graceful curves and swirls.  It couldn't be prettier if it had been sculpted.
Sometimes I feel like I am pulled in different directions.  10 different directions, to be exact.  Every child has needs.  The house has needs.  My husband has needs.  My church calling has needs.  My kitchen has needs.  Oh, and I need things too - how can I take care of everything?  And all at the same time?
I often feel stretched thin and buffeted about.  But maybe, from a different perspective, it makes lovely swirls and loops.  Maybe God is making beauty out of my chaos after all.

Date Night

We had a hot date.  At least, I was hoping it would be hot because I have been so cold.  It was his turn to plan, but it was late and I was tired and cold and didn't want to do anything but curl up on the couch with a big blanket.

So he bundled me up and took me to the bookstore.  We browsed a bit and then sat.  It was delightful to be out together.

How lucky am I to have this wonderful man in my life!

I Need a Nap

I am so tired.  So really, really tired.  That is a big reason why my writing has faltered over the past several months.  My health has been failing.  Failing.  I pause over that word.  It sounds so dreadful and dead-full.  I'm not dead, and I won't be for a long, long time.  I'm too stubborn to go ,I've too much work still to do, and God's not done with me yet.

But as I think of the word "failing," it works for me.  I often fail.  And I often get back up again.  Sometimes it takes me a while to get back on my feet, and sometimes I'm quicker.  But there should be no shame in failing - only in the refusal to try again. 

So yes, my health was failing.  My body was not functioning properly.  There is no shame in that.  I'm working on making better- and different - health choices, and am under the care of a few good health providers, so I'm getting better.  Slowly, but surely, I am healing.  But it all makes me so tired.

To my credit, nearly all t…

Mission Monday

We got our Christmas packages off a few weeks ago.  I'm afraid they aren't as interesting as they could have been.  I'm not a very good package-maker.  I can think of lots of fun things to put in a package AFTER I've sent it, but before...?  I draw a blank.  Besides, we don't have long until these boys come home, and I don't want to take up their luggage space with useless trinkets.

Not long until they come home?  Yes, it is true.  Only three months for the one, and six months for the other.  The one who comes home sooner, I think might like to come home even sooner.  Having a cute girl waiting anxiously for your return will do that to a guy.  Ironically enough, the missionary who comes home later is wanting to extend his mission and come home even later.  Why couldn't we have reversed these two, and the sooner would come home later and the later would come home sooner - and they would come home in the middle, at the same time!  Then I would jump on a plane…

In Search of a Good Marker

I love to write.  I have love to write - composing words - most of my life.  I'm not that great at it, but it doesn't matter.  I'm probably like that one kid at the dance who is blissfully unaware of how truly bad he is at dancing, but just closes his eyes and flails about to his version of the music and loves every moment.  
I'm trying to get back into writing, but I'm out of the habit so I just don't think about it most days.  Need to find ways to make it a new habit.
Even more happy for me than writing, though, is WRITING, making shapes with a pen.  I love to make a message beautiful.  Being the daughter of a printer, I was into fonts before fonts were a thing, and I begged my dad to give me his old font books.  I would pore over them for hours, like a Christmas catalog, highlighting my favorite ones.  Then I would spend all my junior high spare moments in writing the name of my latest crush.  Not with my name, mind you.  Just his name, over and over in eve…

Just Like Riding a Bike

I've been feeling like I needed to start writing again.  It's been a while, and I feel so rusty - like I've forgotten how.  Folks say it's like riding a bike...

I haven't ridden a bike for a while, either.  I used to bike often.  We would take our little family on a biking outing - me and Jay and three little boys on three little bikes.  Then we bought a bike trailer for the baby and Jay pulled it behind his bike.  He would go in the front and I would take the rear, making sure we didn't lose anyone.  At the time, we lived in a very small town, so the roads were safe.  When we moved to the Seattle area, the biking continued because there were so many beautiful bicyle trails.  Our favorite went along the banks of the Sammammish River and had frequent parks.  Jay would come home from dinner, announce that he wanted to go biking, and start rounding up the kids.  I'd take whatever I was making for dinner, attempt to fashion it into something we could take on a …