Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Our yearly Christmas letter, written by my son Dallin.  I always get one of my kids to write it because I love to see their take on the year and quite frankly it cracks me up!

Merry Christmas

So it’s that time of year again when people get all nosey about “how our family’s been doing…” well to you I say, “none of your business!” My mother, however, didn’t like that version of this letter so I guess I let you have some insight into the wonderful life of the Cole family.

Well Ken and Karen are doing well and are ever getting closer to 50.  Mom is having a great time with her full time job of being team mom for the Mountain View Wrestling Team. They love her and her cinnamon rolls! Dad has had a great time helping coach the freestyle and junior high teams or the East Valley Wrestling Club.

Brenn has been living both here at home and in Tempe with her friend Audrey. She has been taking a few classes at MCC. She also has been working as an office assistant at a life insurance company and is enjoying it. She is also doing very well with her photography you can see some of her awesome pictures on facebook.

Well I’m doing really well! I graduated from high school in May. Post high school life has been treating me pretty well! I work at Pizza Hut as a server and as a driver. I also have received my mission call to Birmingham England! I leave April 22! I am super excited to go!

Logan is a sophomore at Mountain View this year and loves high school. He has been doing very well in wrestling. He took second place at city for his freshman year, and is doing very well on the Mountain View team.

Well that is a look at the Cole family! Have a Merry Christmas and Cool Kwanzaa!!

Love Dallin and the Rest of the Family

I love that it's from Dallin and the rest of the Family, shows you who is important.

Merry Christmas my family and friends, I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and his willingness to be obedient to his Father.  For coming to earth to save us all.  That example of Love is what I want to fulfill in my life, as always I will follow Him.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Friend Katie, made me cry.

A Missionary Mom Christmas (author unknown)

I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving. The thrill just wasn't there.
No pictures taken with Santa Claus, My decorating has no flair.
His presents are shoes, shirts, and ties, two suits and fun.
I've bought him all white clothes because...

This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I've spent more time in the temple, my testimony stirred.
I've reread November's Ensign, Felt strength come from His words.
Our family prays more frequently. My tears are quick to run.
Abraham seems closer because,

This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I wonder how those Lamanite mothers gave their sons to war?
Or how the pioneers chose Zion; their sacrifice was so much more.
My loss will be his presence; I'll miss his smile a ton For two years we will pray for him,

I'm giving Christ my son.

I stare at his face when he's not looking. I memorize his eyes, their shine.
He's always hungered for the part of him, that makes his soul divine.
The stories and lessons he always heard, His choice and mine are one.
I'll put my faith in God's hand, This year,

I'm giving Him my son.

Past gifts have lost their glitter; I think I finally understand Christ's birth should be celebrated by giving Him a hand.
It's because I know Christ lives and reigns; that all his packing's done.
My gift has taken years to make, This year...

I'm giving Christ my son.

I know there's One who understands, the sacrifice I'm making.
Who knows the gift I willingly give, The toll it will be taking.
For He has done it all before... Greater love - there could be none.
For years ago God gave to me,

His only begotten son.

The hands I washed, the hands I held, The hands I taught to pray; Now knock on doors to find the ones Who will listen to what he'll say.

Because I know Christ needs him, Until all the gathering's done, My gift has taken years to make.

This year...I'm giving Christ my son.

My Friend Katie and I spent a lot of time with each other when our kids were little.  She and I and our double strollers walked everywhere!!  She told me after her second child, who cried ALOT, to slap her if she ever thought of having any more children.  But she really wanted a girl, so I let that one go, especially since her daughter was born on my birthday.  She has since had 5 more children!  She is extremely sick when she is pregnant and worked really hard to bring these kids into this world.  Her oldest, who when 3 came into our house crying because Brenn wouldn't agree to marry him in the temple, is on a mission in SLC, UT.  They, Brenn and Tres, did go to his Senior prom though.  Fun stuff.  But I do feel like this Christmas we are concentrating less on the stuff and more on the mission.  We are blessed.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Birmingham, England

Here is the link to see Dallin opening his call!!  I am so very proud of this boy!!  He leaves on April 22nd and goes directly to the MTC in Preston, England.  Needless to say I have been really busy!  I am sure there were at least 150 people in our home for this event.  I made 60 cinnamon rolls and they were gone in an instant.  I wish I would have taken pictures of the crowd but by 9pm I was so wound up!  I managed to keep busy from noon until about 7 when we attended an open house with our ward and they were all excited too, so that made me ready to hear but Dallin didn't get off until 8:30pm so.  By 9pm my house was full and no Dallin.  He did finally come home and honestly, I will count that night as one of the best ever!

On to traditions...

My bestie is having a linky party and up to now I have been a no show.  At our house we are all about traditions.  My husband is a big Christmas person and so we developed important rituals and up until this Christmas we have always done these things.  What is different about this year?  I am not sure.  We seem too busy.  Wrestling every weekend in December and putting on one wrestling tournament the Saturday before Christmas.  Planning my in-laws 50th anniversary party and reunion, plus the usual Christmas stuff.  But at least I will record our traditions.

First, we always try to put up the tree on my birthday the 7th, we are more flexible as our kids have gotten older because of busy schedules.  We always decorate the tree together.  A few years ago Ken complained about our ornaments, they are the kids creations from school, primary and various activities.  So I bought him his own tree with the white lights and red balls, he and Brenn decorate this tree and the boys and I decorate the other tree, we have blue and red lights added to the white and put lots of old ornaments.  Then we put on the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the cartoon one, and string popcorn for our tree, when the Grinch is done we watch The Year Without a Santa Claus.  This is something we all look forward too. 

Second, we spend one day, usually the 23rd or so baking and taking treats to all of those we love.  We are grateful to have such good people in our lives.  The best way we know how is to make them fat!  I will give out one of my most complimented recipes:

Bon, Bons

1 package of Oreos, either plain or mint but not double stuffed
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese

In a food processor grind up the Oreos, white stuff and all in to a fine powder.
Add  to a bowl the powder and the cream cheese.
Mix together well - you have to use your hands - that is just the way it is.

Take about a teaspoon of the mixture and roll into a ball, stick a toothpick 3/4 of the way down and put on a tray.  After all of the mixture is gone place tray in freezer for about an hour.

Melt Almond bark either in the microwave or on the stove according to the package.
Use toothpick to dip the bon bon and set on wax paper.  Let the chocolate set up.
Take out toothpick and dip the top, sometimes I dip the top in white chocolate to note the mint ones.

Store in an airtight container or ziplock in the fridge.  I recommend hiding them.

Last is Christmas morning.  We line up according to age and wait for Ken to turn on the lights.  Then we open our stockings and gather to open presents.  This is serious business for Ken.  We start either oldest to youngest or youngest to oldest depending on Christmas Eve.  Then you open one present on your turn while everyone else watches.  It usually takes us a couple of hours.  Mostly, we get to spend the morning together.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Made you look!!

I felt like I was getting a bit predictable by breaking in to my mom's blog on her birthday, so I'm doubly surprising her by doing it today instead!  SURPRISE!!  :D

Now you guys already know that my momma is the bee's knee's, but I'm gonna tell you a few more things that make her even more awesome.

She just finished making super awesome ward directories.  Which take up a bunch of time.  If you have ever made one of those bad boys, I salute you.  They take time.  And patience.  And persistence.  Three things my mom doesn't always have.  Mostly she's short on time.  The other two she's pretty much good with.  Did you know she hand printed each and every cover of the directories?  Kinko's couldn't do it the way she wanted without doubling her price, so she came home and printed them herself.  This gets even more impressive when you learn that our printer has a pretty serious inferiority complex, and that she had to pull each and ever piece of paper out of the printer at exactly the right time so the printer didn't mess it up.  Like I said, impressive.

She handed out those ward directories last night, and I woke up this morning to her printing a whole new directory that she had made on the side for the wrestling team.  I'm telling you, this woman in awesome.

She is also very selfless.  She gives up so much for our family.  This year, she convinced us that it was a good idea to give our Christmas to someone else.  She is such a good Christlike example to me; she is always thinking of others and how she can help.  I'm so excited for Christmas this year because I think our family will really be able to focus on the really reason for the season, without the worldly distractions.

I usually post a really flattering picture of the two of us together (remember last year??) but I don't really have one for this year, so instead I'm going to take a picture of the really super awesome birthday present Logan and I (Dad helped!) gave her.

Custom framing!  Woo!!  :D  Love you momma, hope your birthday was the bestest!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Have a laugh...

Things that made me laugh out loud this week!!

Home Protection

A must have in every home in America!
For everyone who would rather not have a gun in the house!
In view of the recent Supreme Court ruling, sales of this new product
may skyrocket. The dummies in Washington think they are going to take
away our guns, so check this out.
I like it!
They'd NEVER think of NAIL GUNS!
They're concentrating on doing away with the BULLET-TYPE of ammunition!
HAH! I think I'm gonna buy ME some NAIL GUNS and NAILS!!!!
AND, we don't even have to REGISTER them or have LICENSES for them!
AND, you don't have to worry about them being CONCEALED!
Just a LOT of good stuff to do with THIS!

New Nail Gun, made by DeWALT
It can drive a 16-D nail through a 2x4 at 200 yards.
This makes construction a breeze, you can sit in your lawn chair and build a fence.
Just get your wife to hold the fence boards in place while you sit
back, and relax and when she has the board in the right place, just
fire away. With the hundred round magazine,
you can build the fence with a minimum of reloading. After a day of
fence building with the new DeWalt Rapid fire nail gun, the wife will not ask you to build or fix anything else, probably, ever again.

This was a forward email from my Uncle.  I can just picture someone somewhere trying to put up a fence this way and being shocked when it doesn't work!

Last but not least is the link to "The Real Story -How Amish Friendship Bread Came to Be".  This made my day and has kept me chuckling for a couple of days!!  Love that boy!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Catching up....

Why have I been so busy?  Well, here are the before and after shots of all of the drywall repair due to the new hot water heater and other such fun things like roofing!

 Boys bathroom - I went ahead and just repainted the whole bathroom because they are pigs and the walls were so scraped up.

Down stairs family room ceiling.  It took many trips to many different paint stores to find the right color of white paint for the ceilings.  But worth the time because I didn't want to paint all 5 ceilings!
Logan's room didn't turn out so well - some how the drywall was thicker and we will need to work on it but for now it better than a hole in the ceiling.  It took lots of paint matching to pull it off, some didn't turn out so I had to paint all of Dallin's room, all of the bathroom, and one whole wall of the stairs.  If you ever come to my house the stairs have 2 different colored walls but they are close enough that most won't notice.

Have I mentioned I feel cursed?  Well on Saturday Ken noticed some water coming from under the dishwasher.  Now my dishwasher is not that great, it works OK but not nearly as good as my last one.  I figured I am not too happy to spend the money but won't miss the dishwasher.  Unfortunately, after laying on the floor for 7 minutes (a rinse cycle) we found it is not the dishwasher it is the drain.  More specifically, after calling my faithful plumber (Dirt Dog Plumbing 480-558-3190) he suggested it would be the pipe that runs from the kitchen sink drain to the clean out and under the house to the sewer.  So Ken carefully knocked out the slump block and found the leak.  Sadly, it has been leaking a while and the water has been going under the cabinet and then under my floor - UGHH!!

I feel cursed.
Some lady hit Dallin in the grocery store parking lot - her fault but still a pain
Had to get Dallin's car fixed ($1500) to pass emissions
a week later same lights on car dashboard!  This time only $20 to fix
Brenn hits Dallin's rental car on the way out of the driveway.

It seems like one thing after another!  I wonder if it is Satan trying to make it hard for us to afford Dallin on a mission? 

Good Things.
Dallin just has to interview with the Stake President and his papers are in.
He is getting anxious and excited and wants it to hurry.
His job is giving him between 30 and 40 hours a week.
He is very responsible about getting to work on time and being a good employee.
Brenn is feeling better.
Logan is kicking butt in wrestling and the first match is Wed the 1st.
Christmas is around the corner and I am mostly done with shopping.
Ken's parents are celebrating 50 years of marriage.
The gospel is true.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday!!

My horoscope for Black Friday:

You have many options, which can be quite distracting.  Therefore, you need to put stronger boundaries in place to keep you focused on your chosen track.


Did Jen and I stay focused?  Well we were a little rusty having missed last year due to Evie's birth and my being at Disneyland, but we were persistent and very successful.

Up at our earliest (2am) we froze!
Coldest Thanksgiving since 1933.
Yes, it is confirmed.  I wear Grandma bras!
Macy's has crappy service.
No one shopping at Toys R Us buys Ipod touches.
JoAnns clears out after noon.

Jen is the BEST to shop with! 

Strangest thing I saw on sale - a drinking game for $11.99 - UGH!!  Really for throw away glasses and a few ping pong balls.

Guess I should do a review of Thanksgiving too.  I had 40 for dinner.It was so much fun!  I always have everyone bring something so all I did was cook the turkey and make the gravy.  We had such a nice visit with the family.

Hosting is very satisfying.  I am grateful for a close family and that I can invite both sides and they all have a good time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Time running away with me!

Time is running and I am chasing and not keeping up with my blog!!  I do stop every few days and catch up with my favs but comments are few and far between!  I will catch up after BLACK FRIDAY!!!

Here is my newest Favorite:

I love this kid!  He is almost one of my own and I am enjoying his posts.


PS:  Just for kicks Shanty2Chic is having a giveaway.  I really don't know what it does but why should that matter? 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Mothering Story

I am linking in to my besties blog - it seems like she is the inspiration for my blog posts lately.  Thanks Jen for keeping me posting.

When I graduated high school my friends predicted I would be the first one married.  Since I hate to be predictable I decided I would NOT be the first one married.  So off to college, Georgia and the world I went secretly and not so secretly determined to stay unmarried until I was 25.  I really didn't like children - I am sure I was one of the worlds worst babysitters (all children were returned safe but they ALL went to bed early!)  During my 2nd year at Ricks (3rd year of college - I college hopped like crazy, but that is another post) I was attending a devotional with one of my good guy friends (Hi Troy) and it was on families and looking for your future and I felt impressed that I would have 7 children (laugh now Jenny).

Speed up a few years and I am married to Ken (at 21, and not first by any means) and I get that itch.  You know the one that makes you want a baby.  I was shocked and it took a few months for me to even admit it to myself let alone tell Ken.  We had been married about 18 months went it hit and Ken was starting his last year in school.  I am pretty sure it was a surprise for Ken since I had told him from day one that I did not want to be a stay at home mom and I wanted a career.  I wanted to get my Masters in Economics and teach at a Jr. College or Community College.  I wonder how he decided to marry me since he really wanted me to stay home with our children but we were young and in love, I guess.

So we decided we would stop birth control and go from there - we decided since we had good insurance (the good old days) that either we would have a baby before we left school or we would have to wait until he got a job and the insurance started, but that seemed too long.  Towards the end of November I had missed a period and since we lived in good old Provo, you could drop off a sample to the hospital and they would test it for free.  Success.  We were due the following August.  When I told Ken the color drained out of his face and he was a little weak in the knees but he recovered.  Then we told everyone.  What fun that was.  On Dec 7, 1989, my birthday, I started to bleed really heavily.  As we rushed to the Doctor I kept my legs squeezed together and prayed.  Unfortunately it wasn't enough and I had miscarried.  We decided that maybe it would be better to wait a bit and we went home for Christmas.  Ken's oldest brother and his wife just had their first baby and they were there as well.  It was a hard Christmas.  Sonja and I had the flu for the family picture and it shows.

I was sick the entire Christmas.  After going back to Provo I missed the next period and wondered but chalked it up to the miscarriage, but by February I was flummoxed and went to the Doctor.  Guess what?  I was expecting again.  Ken and I have often wondered when that happened.  I was grieving and then had the flu, not to mention we were staying at his parents house with is little brother Scott who didn't understand a closed door.  Still not sure where she came from!

September 13, 1990 out lovely Brenn came, she was so tiny and so perfect.  When I had to go back to work after six weeks it was hard.  Much harder than I anticipated.  After about a month I quit my job because I couldn't stand it anymore.  I felt like half of me was missing.  The Lord knew what I needed to do and He has a way of humbling you with a loving touch.  That is how I felt.  I was privileged to have this perfect little person depending on me for EVERYTHING!  I felt the tremendous responsibility to teach her what she needed to know and that I would do the teaching.  What a change of heart.  I never would have expected it.  I was not the maternal type, I did not want to be the maternal type, I did not want to bake bread (cinnamon rolls do not count).  But lots of that changed, not everything, but lots of things.

Ken graduated a month later, we moved and started our life in Arizona.  After our new insurance kicked in we discussed when we wanted another child.  No sooner than our discussion I found out I was expecting again.  Brenn was 6 months old.

A few months later Brenn was diagnosed with cancer, hereditary cancer.  Much transpired and all was well.  Dallin was born in 1992 and I struggled with having any more children.  As we had Dallin screened for cancer every few months, along with Brenn, it was stressful.  I knew my chances were good to have another child with cancer and I was worrying.  We attended stake conference (usually with 2 small children I didn't go because ya know but...) the speaker was a preacher from another church.  He spoke about a baby who was born with problems, who the Doctor did not expect to live and would not do anything to save and yet the baby grew in to the speaker.  He spoke about how the Lord sends us here to do His work and it wasn't up to us who could come or what problems we would have.  We just needed to trust in Him.  This speaker (whose church now persecutes the Mormon church in our area) changed my perspective.  I knew it wasn't up to me to choose the problems my children would have, just to help them navigate them.  I knew I would give life to the children I was supposed to bring into my family.

Funny it was just one more.  Logan joined our family in 1995 and I felt like I could deal with more children but I was done having them myself. 

The years 2000-2001 were tough years.  I am glad I didn't have really small children to deal with since I was pretty much comatose with migraines.  After gaining control of that, I kept having dreams of little girls wanting to come to our family.  I am sure I never prayed as hard to understand as I did then.  I knew my health and the medication I was taking would not be good for a fetus.  I was praying for direction.

I was visiting my parents when my sister and my niece Kirsten came and told us Kirsten was pregnant with twin girls.  Kirsten was 16.  I felt like I had been hit with a bolt of lightning.  It felt so right.  I offered to give them a good home.  What followed was one of the hardest times in my life.  I physically yearned for those babies.  Kirsten and my sister waffled back and forth on adoption.  I finally prayed my heart out for Heavenly Father to take the yearning away.  It was destroying my relationship with Kirsten and taking over my life.  This was a lesson I needed to learn.  Heavenly Father cannot make someone choose the right thing.  He gave us free agency.  After lots of babysitting, CPS, and other awful things the twins were taken from Kirsten and given to her Dad and Step mom.  A couple of times it looked like we would be getting these precious girls but it did not happen.  I mourned.  I still babysit (she now has 5 kids) but I have a hard time with the girls because I wanted them to be part of my family.  They will turn 8 in December, I have no idea if they will be baptized and it breaks my heart.  I have to say the Kirsten straightened up and is a better mother than I ever thought she would be and I a proud of how far she has come.

As I look over this really long, boring post I echo Jenny in saying that the Lord knew that my heart would change (so did Ken, I guess).  I wouldn't trade my stay at home status for a career.  When I was younger and went to social functions for Ken's work I was slightly embarrassed to say I didn't work.  As I got a little older I decided to change my perspective and I would say "I get to stay home" and that made a big difference.  I am the biggest influence on my children and that is the way it should be.

As I have gotten older and I was given the opportunity to quit having a period to help my migraines it meant no more children EVER.  I was a little sad, to have that time in my life over.  But I look forward to mothering as a GRANDMOTHER!  I am a little jealous of Jen who gets to go first but I truly look forward to being a Grandma and enjoying those little ones again.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Things that make you go hhmmmm....

I had a wonderful time in Ohio and Tennessee - Big thanks to my mom for taking me and making time to go to Tennessee to see the Stockingers!!

On the plane ride home - big plane and only 3 bathrooms :( - this gentleman and I were patiently waiting for the restroom.  About 15 minutes later (no kidding) this man comes out of the airplane bathroom with his laptop and a movie on pause!  Seriously, the other guy and I looked at each other and shrugged.  I guess to each his own.  Guess he isn't bothered by claustrophobia or the smell!

Makes you go hhmmmmm!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween in Ohio....

It's a good thing my mother knows me well.  She  needed a travel (wanted really) to go visit my Brother Ryan in Ohio for his youngest 2nd birthday and Halloween.  My dad came down with shingles (I hear there is a shot for that) and couldn't go so she called me up a few days before to see if I wanted to go.  Really there is no question.  I love to go.  Ryan has 4 of the cutest kids and it's fun to get away for a little bit.  Ken was excited for me to leave (should I be suspicious? or have I just been that grumpy?) so arrangements for Gma and off I go for a week.

Cutie Abbey is Minnie Mouse thanks to Grandma Judy

Makenna is Princess Leia

Notice the the buns on her head.

Garrison the Ninja

Alison is Alice in Wonderland
And what a fun week!!  Athens, Ohio celebrates Halloween for 4 days.  The sororities and frats have trick or treating on wed night and a little carnival at one of the bigger houses.  What a blast that was.  Then trick or treating is ALWAYS the last Thursday in Oct from 5:30 to 6:30pm - the cannon goes off to start and to stop.  Friday is reserved the school parties which start with a parade at 1:30 and then the parties in the classes.  Garrisons class made a lot of pumpkin things they then ate - pumpkin pie, bread, muffins, etc.  On Saturday it the big city Halloween party with everyone attends and families leave by 10 to avoid the college type of partying (OU was voted the best party school).  The branch  had a trunk or treat and then a fun party planned and excuted by the young women.  Sunday was church and movies.  Fun, Fun Fun!!!!

This is what it is all about!

Then we celebrated the birthday on Saturday!  Garrison has a Naughton mouth for sure!

 I know the cake looks a little dodgy but it IS chocolate frosting not......

Tomorrow I leave to go see SONYA!!!!  I am so excited! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Today - the unedited cut

OK Jen, I warn you that I have felt crappy for a month (can we say Mono?) and so my day is sorta sad and embarrassing.

5:09 - Logan stumbles into my room to tell me he is up - Should I explain? OK

          I set my alarm for 5:10am so he can get up for running (required for the wrestlers) but it's cold in the morning (Ken turns the A/C to 74 at night any yes, that's cold) so instead of my trying to text him awake (did I say I was lazy?) he sets his alarm for 5:05am and comes and tells me he is awake - that way I don't have to get up (or get Ken up to get him up) and I can reset my alarm for Ken at 6:30am.

6:30am - alarm goes off and I shake Ken and tell him it is time to rise - Explain again?

     Ken lost his alarm privileges many years ago when he would go to bed at 3am, set the alarm for 5:30am and proceed to snooze the alarm ever 5 minutes for 1 1/2 hours EVERY MORNING!!!  Oh, and he put the alarm in the bathroom so he had to get up to turn it off and he couldn't hear it very well and I had to wake him up to get up and snooze it.  In his defense he did turn out to have sleep apnea and that effected his behavior but I still maintain alarm privileges.

8:54 am - I wake up for the third time with a nasty headache - raining today. UGGHHH!!  Roll over and grab Catching fire (I borrowed you books Jenny) and finish the last 25 pages.

9:20am - Get up, take a pill, get the shower ready for Grandma, go downstairs and scare Dallin into getting out of bed.

9:25am - Shower Grandma, get her dressed, comb her hair and lead her to the kitchen, 'nuff said.

9:45am - Make Grandma breakfast and give her pills, take my pills, fix Dallin breakfast (honestly, I asked him what kind of cereal and poured him a bowl, milk and gave it to him, informing him I MADE him breakfast) eat my breakfast and read the paper.

10:15am - Dallin and I head downstairs to clean up the mess from drywalling.  Yell at the dogs because they are under my feet the whole time I am vacuuming and I keep tripping.

11:00am - Dallin abandons me and goes to the gym with Gabe.  Before he leaves he closes the gate to the downstairs and blocks the railing so Fritz cannot fit through either.  Thanks Dal.

11:55am - suck up Ken's MP3 player with the shop vac and have to go thru the bag and find it - can you say drywall dust?  GRRRRR!!!

Noon - I am now allowed my first PEPSI, only PEPSI of the day (I am trying to lose a little pudge)

1:00pm - Make Grandma lunch and give up downstairs - Logan can finish the rest.

1:15pm - SIL Kirsten comes over so we can plan a quilt for Maggie my cousin who is having a baby shower on Sat.

2:00pm - Put off going shopping - Need to go spend down Grandmas checking account so she qualifies for in home help. 

2:30pm - Walmart - Call Ken on the way and chat.
2:50pm - JcPenney's - Grandma gets a new wardrobe - she really needed it.
4:30pm - Head to Costco - Call my mother and confess to spending $400 on Grandmas new wardrobe.  Really, most of her clothes are worn out and my mother told me she was just going to suggest I do that very thing.  I love my Mom!

4:45pm - Costco - buy groceries, a down comforter ($25 dollar coupon and I have been wanting for a long time)

5:45pm - Home - yes I can spend $500 at Costco in less than an hour.  Put away groceries and start dinner.

6:15pm - Ken walks in and dinner is ready - that NEVER HAPPENS!!  Just made Chicken Quesadeas - quick, easy and everyone likes it.

7:00pm - show Grandma her new clothes to see if she likes them (pretty sure she would never tell me if she didn't)

7:30pm - Sit at computer and start reading my blog list - see Jen's challenge and VIOLA!!

Dogs at my feet as I write

My self portrait - cheesy smile!!

PS:  Jen - I want that People when you are done - I passed it up and was sorry.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel

This is what I am finally seeing!!  Dallin is perking up.  He is definitely not fully recovered but he is starting to tease Logan and want to go out with his friends instead of stay home and watching Netflix with this parents!

Brenn seems to be doing OK too.  She likes her new job and hopefully school is going well too. 

My computer is working OK but I STILL cannot connect to the Internet!!  I am using my netbook (which I love) but sometimes a teeny screen is a pain.  Hopefully I will figure out why the network connections say they are connected but none of my programs can connect.  I have spent four days so far and hopefully the things I picked up from my dad today will help!!  He has been in Big Lake for the last few weeks and I had to go it alone.  They didn't want to hang around for the 107 degree heat but when it threatened to snow they hotfooted it home!!  YEAH!!!  If the Malwarebytes finally eradicates the virus/Trojan than I vote it best ever!!  I will let you know if it works!  So far 3 more viruses and I already used AVG and Superantispyware.

Fall break starts on Friday and I am hoping for a couple of work days, a couple of lake days and some laying around watching Netflix!

Have you tried the Netflix thing?  For $9.00 per month you get one DVD in the mail to return and receive as many times in the month as possible and then the best is streaming movies on your laptop, Wii, or PS3 (XBOX too but we don't own one of those).  It's great, you can only watch one movie at a time (for the 9 bucks) but we all gather and watch some fun movies!  It was fun to introduce the boys to  "So I Married an Axe Murderer" and other Mike Myers movies that are right up their alleys (or alleies?)  I would recommend it.  We have watched and laughed like crazy this month and it hasn't been hard to engage the teenagers and spend some fun time together!

I feel I should have mentioned this a little sooner but wasn't conference the best?!!  I really enjoyed the talks and it seemed like the time flew by!  Each time I checked the clock we were only 20 minutes away from the end.  I particularly like the talk about not letting bad influences in your home (hello Netflix, I did set the parental controls) because you don't want to upset the already raging teens in your family.  My boys are going to stop playing Call of Duty for me.  I anxiously await my November Ensign so I can read and take notes while I study. 

PS:  The spell check want to replace Netflix with necrophiliacs.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My friday

First off I babysat Nick.  He is my cousin Andi's little boy and I have him 4 Fridays in a row while she does her student teaching.  He is such a cute and easy baby!  Please excuse the devil eyes as my phone is only a so-so camera!

While babysitting Brenn was hanging out and I thought it was funny what she uses for her mouse pad.

Yes that is what you think it is!  Too Funny!  She finally grew in that area and I  am glad it comes in useful.  Actually she was over because we  have been to Mayo twice this week.  She has been having problems with knowing if she is moving or not.  She will put her car in gear and she cannot tell if she is going forward or backward.  Or even sometimes when she is standing still it feels like she is moving.  I really thought it had something to do with her meds but the doctor was pretty concerned and ordered an MRI  and a tilt table test.  The MRI was normal (of course) but  the tilt table test showed some strange reactions of her heart.  So off to the cardiologist.  She was great and thinks Brenn might have POTS or

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

Often more simply referred to as postural tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, this disorder is characterized by the body's inability to make the necessary adjustments to counteract gravity when standing up.
So she went home with a monitor for 24 hours and then we will see.  She will need an echo cardiogram and then to see a special cardiologist.  Hmmm, not really sure what to think but hope it eventually helps with her head. 
Dallin is still bad with Mono!  He hardly moves and looks really pale and pitiful.  He had to withdraw from school, which I am really bummed about.  He was doing so very well with a job he liked and school he liked.  We have to wait to go to the doctor for his mission papers until he can get the shots he needs.  UGHH!  I hate this!  Pretty sure he hates it too!
Logan is doing really well.  He is tired, 3 mornings a week he gets up at 5 and runs 4 miles then goes to school and either lifts or practices after school.  He is a little grumpy but who blames him.  Some of his friends are getting their licenses and he is looking forward to his permit.  He also went to some obscure website and my big computer has a virus or a worm or both!!  I have spent all week trying to fix it and hopefully I have finally kicked its butt!!  Of course my usual computer guru is up at Big Lake fishing!!  Can I hear another UGHHH!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

TMI but.......

So tonight I am getting my grandmother ready for bed.  We walk across the hall in to the bathroom.  Now we have this routine where she turns away from me and I rip her depends off and tell her she can now sit (on the toilet).  And tonight she chants,

"I'm sitting not shitting.   I'm sitting not shitting."

Then she looks up at me and says,

"Aren't I witty?"

Sorry for the delicate nature of this post but really - it's to funny!!!  I am lucky to have her in my home where I get to enjoy her sense of humor.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thank You

My friend Jenny challenged us to write a thank You letter to someone who made a difference in your life.  I have been pondering this all week and the same name kept coming up. 

Sister George.

She was my first seminary teacher.  The George family had not lived in our ward for very long when she was called to be our teacher.  She seemed really unhip the first few days, after the first week we all loved her.  Well, most of us anyway.  She worked so hard to help us with our scripture mastery and to prepare for the Seminary bowl.  In the olden days, at the end of the school year, we had S day.  This was a day dedicated to Seminary.  Each class in our stake were in competition in 3 areas, scripture chase, seminary bowl and attendance then a dinner and a big dance.  We cleaned up that year even though we were only freshman.  I found her to be quiet and humble, she taught her children to take care of each other and I admired how nice they were to each other.  The oldest 4 were girls, starting a year younger than me.  I got to know the girls as well as Sister George.  After seminary was over for that year she became my Young Women's leader.  She remained my Young Women's leader for the remainder of my youth in some capacity or other.  I learned some of  the most important lessons from her.  She was very kind and always had a big smile for you.  She had gone on a mission, something I didn't know girls could do.  When I think of her I always get a warm fuzzy feeling.  She was not into big productions but small and effective teachings.  I always thought she was the most Christ like person I knew.

So I messaged her on Facebook - which I find really funny.  She and her husband have been mission presidents twice and are now temple presidents.  I say it like she is the president and her husband helps even though I know it is the other way around.  One interesting note is her sister was in my ward in Provo, on the first Sunday I couldn't place this lady but she looked so familiar.  Actually she is a semi famous LDS author and the sister of my Sister George. 

I know my testimony of the church was influenced by this great lady.  I have been blessed to have her and others in my life to teach me, including goodly parents who made sure I was there for these teachings.

Thanks for the prompt Jen.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DWTS Recap

I have to confess I only watched the last 5 minutes of the results show tonight because I cannot stand the results show but I did watch the whole thing last night and truly believe that

David Hasseloff needed to go home!!!!!

The host said he did not expect it and was surprised but I think he was by far the worst and showed no class or ability.  I did feel sorry for his partner Kim because she is great.

I always wonder when the pros get their assignments I wonder if they ever get mad.  I mean the pro who got Macy Gray had his work cut out for him and I believe he lucked out to go home so soon!!

I was surprised by Kyle Massey - he was fabulous.

I actually voted for Bristol Palin so she at least wouldn't go home first.  I felt really sorry for her since she is the only one who has never preformed in front of people.  Yes she was stiff and looked uncomfortable but she gave it a good try and I think once she gets used to it may surprise us.

Jennifer Gray was good of course and she lucked out with Derek, I wonder who she bribed. Also I wouldn't recognize her from her youth - got her nose fixed and a little other stuff I think.

Kurt Warner was passable (*snicker*)and I thought did a good job.

Rick Fox is sooo tall - I think that will be trouble for them

Lastly, I am a little ashamed to admit that The Situation has charm.  He started at least a week behind everyone else and was a little nervous and actually did a decent job.  I am interested to see if I continue to find him OK.

I am a lot more excited to watch this season.  Last season I was not too happy with the cast.

Still love GLEE!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

She has the forehead of a 20 yr old!!

My Brenn is 20!!!

How does this happen?  When did she grow up?  Where have I been?  It seems like the last 5 years have flown by at hyperspeed!!

I could not be more pleased with the person she is.  When people compliment her to me I just say,

"she came that way." 

And she did.  She has always show grace under duress, kindness in the most basic way and a loyality that cannot be faulted.  I have always felt priviledged to be her mom and wondered how in the worrld I was chosen to be the one to guide her in this life.

I love her and hope she has a great day today!! 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

You have WHAT!!??

Yep - that strep we thought Dallin got when his wisdom teeth were yanked is really MONO!!

Hopefully he hasn't shared with the rest of us but I wonder......

On the bright side it will cut down on the opportunity to gain a girlfriend before the mission!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tah-Dah!!!! (with rising music in the background)

My word


I thank you for your comments (and emails) and compliments, for sending me to the drawing board yet again.  I have thought about it quite a lot and I decided on willing.  It is an action word because I am usually in action somewhere. As I pondered this word and rolled it around in my head I thought:

I am willing to:
help with anything
follow God's plan for me
read my scriptures
take care of
have company
do what I want, not what your want

Sometimes I force my willingness on people because, of course, I know best!! 

I can see both sides of this the good and the bad.  It seems like there wouldn't be a bad but sometimes I take on to much, or force myself on someone because I  can clearly see they need something they don't see (roll your eyes now).  I am sometimes only listening to MY will instead of the will of my Father or have a hard time taking direction from others who are more wise. 

So that's it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Just one word???!!!

My bestie Jen has posted a challenge to come up with one word that describes you, as I read the blogs that have taken up her challenge I am awed, humbled and, well, entertained!  Since she is my bestie (aren't you glad I didn't misspell it as beastie?) I have been really pondering on what word I would choose.

My friend Sue used her post to write it out and peel back the layers to come up with a great post and a wonderful word.

My friend Jamie also rocked her word.

I am still blank.

I keep thinking of these words but they are not very flattering or require deep thought:


(I did attend 4 different colleges)


(sorry for prolonging the conversation for your birthday lunch, you should have kicked me under the table)

(I am blogging instead of cleaning)

What do you think?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Where is Smiley going?

In our ward they are starting a tradition with a world map and guesses as to where the missionary might serve.  Last week we were given the map and a charge to display it and when we are done to hand it to the next missionary going!  Dallin is planning on turning in his papers on the 24th of Sept so if you would like to guess either comment and I will put up your sticky arrow or come on over and do it yourself.  I am thinking the correct guess gets you cinnamon rolls!

WOW!!  Big things happening at our house!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Been a little busy...isn't that always my excuse?

I have had a very busy August.  My Brother Ryan Graduated From Purdue with His PhD in June (yes it requires the capitals because it is a big deal).  He got a job teaching at Ohio University in Athens Ohio.  He and his family (Risa, his wonderful wife, and 4 of the cutest kids ever - Makenna (11), Garrison(9), Alyson (8), and Abbey(almost 2)) have spent the summer here in AZ with the families, waiting patiently for a teaching position.  Here it is August and finally Ryan is offered a good Ohio.  Luckily they left all of their stuff in storage in Indiana.  But have no place to live in Ohio.  So a plan hatches.  Mom, Risa and the baby flew to Indiana, picked up Ryan's car and drove to Ohio to find a house in 2 days.  Ryan, Dad, Karen and 3 kids loaded in the mini van and DROVE 30 hours to Indiana. 

Actually it was a really fun trip.  Fun to spend time with Ryan and his kids and my Dad.  We drove lots of miles, listened to the Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters on the way.  Ryan has the best kids!  3 days in the car and not one fight.  I would say 'stepford' but they are just really great kids!

We get to Indiana and Ryan has some great friends who hosted us for dinner for 2 nights and Ry and the girls stayed with them.  Dad and I stayed in a hotel so he could get some good rest.  We helped another of his friends pack for their move to Oregon and loaded the Penske truck.  Seriously, I am a great packer the front of the truck was tight and organized, but then the humidity got to me and I had to rest.  Really, I can take 110 degrees easier than the 85% humidity!!  I looked like I had just gotten out of the swimming pool!

We go up the next morning and Dad and I drove the big truck (which is only slightly bigger than the one I drive normally), Ryan drove the van and we drove 6 hours to Athens Ohio.

Mom and Risa found a nice house (one of only 3 they could even find to rent at this late date)



We are blessed to belong to a church dedicated to helping people move!  The Elders quorum showed up in Indiana and again in Athens to help us unload the truck! 

We spent the next few days putting away and putting together furniture.

See this bed...Risa and I put it together.  It took forever!!  I can't believe how many pieces were involved.  It took us a good 3 hours.  It does have shelves in the headboard and drawers underneath!

Makenna's room

Abbey Ann - she loves shoes!

My cutie girl!!

I was not expecting to go on this trip, it was kind of a spur of the moment thing.  I also thought Brenn would be here to take care of Grandma but Brenn moved out while I was gone.  So a big


To my SIL Kirsten and My Aunt Linda for helping out with Grandma so I could go.

I was gone for a little more than a week and while I was gone Logan started High School.  I did check with him before I agreed to go to make sure he didn't need his mom and he just looked at me funny and said.

"Why would I need you to be here?"

So I don't really think they missed me at all.  I called and texted several times and was rarely answered by my boys.  Ken and I had nice talks though they were short due to the


But I did get a few 1st day of school pictures!

So far 10th grade has been good!

And just to catch up.....Brenn and Dallin both started school this week too.  Both are at MCC.  I signed them up for the same institute class.  Yes, I am sneeky.  Hopefully all will go well this semester (meaning Brenn will attend 98% of her classes and Dallin will do ALL of his homework and get good grades)

A mother can hope!

Dallin's first day of College!!