seen and heard: the glue song

"mom, i learned a new song today. do you want to hear it?"- abby
"sure" (not really paying attention)
and then the cutest little kindergarten voice starts singing oh so gently:

a little bit of glue holds a lot!
a little bit of glue holds a lot!
don't taste it, don't wear it
don't smear it, don't waste it,
a little bit of glue holds a lot.

does it get any sweeter than this?  i love our afternoons alone together. we have plenty of time to talk, do her homework and look at all that she made for the day cuz the other crazy monkeys are napping!  she loves her teacher (and so do we) and she loves her class and she LOVES SCHOOL!

 waiting for the bus
4 days old

but, she doesn't love the bus. and since i've never been able to tell abby no (how could you really?), i've arranged a carpool so she doesn't have to ride home for an HOUR EVERY DAY. are you kidding me? an hour and ten minutes was how long it took on monday and tuesday. bah.

*i just found this old video. the girls are so tiny, i can't believe it.


first day on an even year

i've always had this suspicion that my even years are much more pleasant than my odd years.  when i look back through the cobwebs in my head i can see stark examples. poor lucy, last years first day was awful. i was a tired, grumpy, frumpy mom with a newborn.

i'm still tired, grumpy and frumpy, but i don't have a newborn! WAHOOO!!!!!
and to celebrate the even year, we had 2 go to formal schooling this year. 
 abby leigh in kindergarten,
  and lucy in 2nd grade. (i remember 2nd grade quite vividly, HEADGEAR)
 look, someone dropped off these dirty, homeless children for me to watch all day. any takers?
lucy and her friend kayla

 joy school buds
abby and her friend are in the same kindergarten class, just like their dads. jara's dad is taller than ty, can you tell?


jet lag

it's kind of hard to recover from trips with your kids. friday we drove from the very top of nevada, to the very bottom. it took us 14 hours. no joke. we did see some beautiful things along the way.

*look at poor little wodney's wind chapped face. so sad.

you got to love this little hand made sign some farmer made.

we are home and trying to recover. but there is no time to catch up, daddy is back to work tomorrow . the first day of school is tomorrow. the outfits are lying on the beds. lunches packed. prayers asked. blessings given. the kids are finally asleep. i'm freaking out about starting another school year, and all i do is send them to class. those poor poor teachers. but alas, live goes on right?

i might be functioning again by next week. check in then.


we are alive

just returned from 5 nights and 5 days of roughing it on the nevada, oregon border.

i didn't kill any kids or my husband.

it was a succesful trip.

details later.

laundry first.


why do i care so much that my blog isn't popular?

i don't think much about this little blog here. i'm proud that i'm still pretty casual about it. if i want to write i will, and vice versa.  but i stumbled upon nat the fat rat again, and she mentioned she has 30,000 readers a day. i'm sorry, what? thirty thousand a DAY.

this little thing gets around 5,000 readers a month. ha!

i was so proud because over the last 3 years i made $300 dollars. i thought i was rolling in the dough, seriously. i bought rodney and phoebe new car seats with the money. do you have any idea how pathetic that sounds? i buy car seats with my extra cash flow. dur.

anyways, how could i become more popular? let me count the ways:

1. live in a large city, preferabbly nyc or a foreign country.
2. take 100 pictures of myself a day. preferabbly ones that are flattering and include food and pouty lips.
3. travel and go out a lot
4. take pictures of my clothes and things i like to buy.
5. review products that i buy all the time (seriously, these bloggers must be uber rich with all the shopping going on)
6. start swearing, a lot.
7. make fun of mormonism, byu and disneyland...a lot (yeah, i'm talking about you dooce)
8. share every minute detail of my life (wait a minute, don't i alredy do that?)
9. have at least 6 kids for wow factor.
10. have a teeny figure after said 6 kids.
11. confess of having an addiction or problem (wait, i did that too? does sugar count?)
12. be black, latina or other ethniticity.
13. have diy instructions for every household and beauty trend.
14. have an iphone and an expensive camera.
15.sell my soul to the devil.

just kidding on the last one.

but seriously, why do i care that my blog isn't that popular? why am i even writing about this? i don't want to sell myself or my kids or my husband. i don't want random strangers reading my blog and judging me. so why do i care?

because 30,000 people also sounds like a lot of $$$$.  and i'm petty and shallow like that.

for now, i think i can relax and be happy with my 100 readers per day.

love you all!


media mess: control your tv

one of the things ty and i tend to disagree on is what/when/how much tv the kids watch.

i'm way on the right side, PG movies tend to have either too much violence, potty humor or sexual messages.  so i'm safe with G. ty lets them watch cartoons that i think are way beyond their maturity level.  he thinks it doesn't make a big difference, i disagree 100%.

one of the tests to know if they are old enough to be watching something is ask them what is happening in the movie, if they can't explain it, they are in over their head. (from my experience)

that being said, i have to put a plug in on why we love our Direct TV sattelite (and no, i'm not getting paid for this).  the parental controls are top notch and much more precise than Dish satellite (those are the two options in our little town).  if we didn't watch so much baseball i would be happy with other options, but we are baseball fans so that is that.  i can choose what channels to be seen on our Guide, meaning, no one sees the x-rated and questionable stations...ever. i also cut out disney channel and disney family because their commercials and shows are horrific ( i told you i'm way anal about this stuff). but, with Direct tv there are no commercials! We record all of our shows ahead of time and the kids pick out what to watch from the list. (It's like a control freak's dream!)  The girls even know how to fast forward through the commercials, for example the olympics, we recorded all of them and watched them the next day, commercial free! They also chose to fast forward past such events as wrestling and discus.  Heavenly.  I can set the violence, sexuality and language limits on ALL tv shows, movies and payperview.  Each can be different and if they accidentally pick something weird, it is a blank screen that just says this show exceeds your limits and is blocked.

But wait, it gets better! You can put time limits on how much and what hours they can watch it. No one can sneak out in the middle of the night to watch. Ours starts at 9am and ends at midnight, but I have the hours set differently for weekends and sundays.  We had DISH before, but I am much happier with Direct Tv for both their parental controls and their customer service.

If you are interested in it, I can also get you $100 off you first year. Yup, 100 DOLLARS!

Just call 877-731-8456 to switch to DIRECTV. 
And give them:
 this account number (70548251).

(this is a little bit of a shameless plug because i get $100 off too if you sign up. But, for reals, if you watch sports, this is the way to go. Honestly.) 

*if you already have direct tv and are interested in upping your protection factor. call them! 

1 (866) 352 2106

they will gladly walk you through the steps of setting up parental locks. it's also on the menu...but you know, some people need hand holding. 


media mess: the P word

something you will hear often in our church meetings and conferences is the P word.

pornography |pôrˈnägrəfē|nounprinted or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.

i wonder if other Faith's talk about it as much as ours do? that would be interesting to know. before i had kids i would shudder when they mentioned it, "why do they talk about it so much?" i would moan.  i would squirm in my seat until it was over. but the curtain has been lifted from my eyes over the last few years and everyday i notice how much it is out there. IT IS OUT THERE. and it is EVERYWHERE.

i watched a show on BYUTV about pornography and young children. By the age they are in high school, they will recieve 93 sexual messages a day through media. Either by tv, movies, internet, social media or texting.   they also said to pick the age you are ready to talk to your kids about sex, subtract 3 years, and you are a year too late. seriously.

pornography is a sneaky little drug, the most addicting of them all and anyone can become addicted. how do we prevent this from happening? be aware of where it is and protect yourself.
"under no circumstances allow yourselves to become trapped in the viewing of pornography, one of the most effective of Satan’s enticements. And if you have allowed yourself to become involved in this behavior, cease now. Seek the help you need to overcome and to change the direction of your life. Take the steps necessary to get back on the strait and narrow, and then stay there.” (Until We Meet Again, President Thomas S. Monson, April 2009 General Conference)

now i'm not saying we should throw out all forms of media to protect ourselves. abstinence would keep your kids from ever seeing anything questionable, until they moved out of your house. and then what?  if that is what's right for your family then go for it. but i am saying that there are so many good and wholesome things in the media. but we as parents need to be much more vigilant on the defensive side.  i have a little trick that helps me, i treat pornography like cocaine.

would you ever let your kids go somewhere where you knew they were selling cocaine? or making it? or taking it?


would you ever let your kids just take a little cocaine, every once in a while?

obviously no.

Pornography is just as addicting as cocaine, but much more accessible, and much more devastating to your health. it ruins families and it is EVERYWHERE. can you tell i feel really strongly about this?

these days you can't ignore it anymore. i can guarantee that everyone knows someone that has a pornography problem. i think everyone should have a filter set on their computer and tablet and phones. everyone. you never know when something can pop up.

just the other day ty was watching bike jumps on the ipad. i came home and he said, "is there a filter on the ipad?"  "i think so", i said...why?". well during one of the bike jumps movie it just so happened to pop up some really graphic pornography. "Great" i said. i hadn't set the filter on our ipad, and immediately did it. ty and i have an open conversation about any form of pornography. nothing can get too out of hand if we are 100% honest with each other. did we see a billboard, a sign, a movie trailer, commerical, tv show, something that was too graphic? we tell each other. ty knows everything that i have seen and vice versa. there is no mystery, and without any mystery there can be no evasiveness from the other spouse. i don't think we are any "better" than any other married couple. i think we are just as vulnerable to a pornography addiction as anyone else is.  we just try really hard to protect our home and be honest with each other.

one of our favorite filters is NetNanny. you can put it on all your home computers, ipads and iphones. yes, your kids and grandkids can easily watch pornography on their phones. it's just sitting there in their pocket, all day long.

a FREE filter my friend told me about is K-9 protection.  she has used it and is happy with it.

i think on the flip side, as much protecting we need to do on our own part in our homes and on our media devices, the more we need to talk about sex at home. you'll notice the definition of pornography is to elicit "erotic" feelings, not emotional or aesthetic beauty of it.  it's personal when to choose to talk to your kids about it, but i have tried more to have everyday conversations about it. (it's really difficult to get over being weird about it).  our kids are at the age where it's more talk about animals around or property that are "mating" and the mommies and daddies and babies.

but seriously, sex is wonderful! it's the best part of  marriage, in my opinion. it's beautiful and emotionally bonding and can solve even the tiniest arguments (he he).

the media mess (as i like to call it) turns it into a carnal act, like animals in a jungle, instead of what it is and meant to be.sex is not just a physical reaction, a lust, a urge, it's an important ingredient in a healthy marriage and something that should be safely guarded and protected until marriage.  i think that the offensive (not offending, but offense like in sports. opposite of defense!) side to the pornography and media mess battle, is showing our affection for each other more often in front of the kids and having an open relationship and conversation about how great it can be in a loving and committed marital relationship.

how are you trying to protect yourself and your family? and how do you talk about sex at home?
*i have a few more posts about media mess coming in the next few days*


14 months

and we have a winner! rodney beat the leavitt walking record by a month. our earliest walkers were abby and phoebe coming in at 15 months. our latest walker was lucy at a whopping 17 months.  i admit, i like it when they don't walk. so no encouragement has been involved, unless you count grandparents. somehow they all want my kids to crawl and walk early. gagh!

anyways, rodney has been pretty cautious about the whole walking movement thing. if he even senses the slightest imbalance he sits down. he has zero tolerance for falling. yesterday and the day before he walked around with the broom, like a cane! it was hilarious. he did a lot of toddling today with and without the broom. our little man is a walker.

he also has been jib jabbering a lot lately. his new words are:

baball- baseball
sh*%- fish  (idk why, but that's what it sounds like)
babba- abby
cat- cat!
coko- cookie
boppa- grandma and grandpa (he called every white haired person in costco boppa! this week)

and more importantly, when he wakes up in the morning and from naps he looks like alfalfa. no joke. i did not touch his hair at all. *don't mind the saturday morning photos. i am being brave sharing these.


seen and heard

on the phone yesterday,

"hey! guess what?" - ty
"i don't know, what?"- me
"travis said they are making a new Red Dawn!"- ty
"whaaaahahahat? are you serious!" (i feign excitement to keep him happy)
"serious, look it up"- ty (we don't have smart phones)
"Red Dawn, November 2012 baby!"- me
"yeah! and it's got the Thor guy in it so you'll like it"-ty
"oh yes!"- me

we are so weird. ty couldn't believe i had never watched Red Dawn when we were married. so we bought it for $3 at walmart. OH MY GOODNESS. i don't feel like i missed out. but we just make fun of it and call each other Wolverines all the time from scrubs.

but Thor without the blonde long hair and accent? Doesn't sound too appealing anymore.


a funny story

summer of 1997 i hiked the pacific rim trail with my young women's group in church. 3 nights, 4 days, hike it in, hike it out.  it was bliss, and one of the things i look forward to doing once all the kids are doing algebra.

anyways, my group of friends and i liked to hike fast, because the sooner you got to the top, the longer you could rest. so we are awhile ahead of the group and hit a trailmarker. it was faded, but vertically it read,


"nobikus?" i asked, that's not our next stop.  so someone get's out the map. "Nobikus, nobikus, there is no nobikus on here."  oh crap, we are lost i thought. a few long minutes later someone brilliant stepped back and said,

"you guys, it says NO BIKES."

*this story is a lot funnier when you tell it in person.

another funny story is in 3rd grade i was walking home from school and feeling a little gassy. so i tooted, except it wasn't a toot.

longest walk home ever.

i can't believe i just wrote that on my blog. i hope you all are laughing now.

**in my defense this was before i discovered that dairy hates me.

***PS rodney is ALMOST walking. i mean, so close. he can totally do it but lacks inner confidence. i guess i need to up the pep talk around here.


the people around you

yesterday i taught a lesson in church about living good lives in times that are hard. while scanning all these pictures i realized that i have made a collection of small and good choices over my few years that have kept me safe and happy. i also realize that i was greatly influenced by my friends and family to make those good choices.  i once heard a saying that said,

"pick 5 people to spend your time with every day, and in 5 years you will be just like them".

i was lucky i had many friends and family to spend my days with, and lucky that they were kind and happy.

curtis kids with grandma and grandpa gold, Yellowstone 1985(?)
(i'm the little one on grandma's lap)
 sarah, danna and me- 1989
my brother put this picture on his fridge in college for 2 semesters. 
apparently every guy that saw it would bust out laughing. and every girl that saw it would say, "ohhhh" in a sad way. 

explanation: i had a huge underbite growing up. in second grade i wore this headgear 24 hrs a day.  nope, not just at night like all you other sissy headgear wearers, twenty-four hours a day. it took me a few weeks to take the rubberbands out at lunchtime without snapping my face with them. 
my parents and teachers were really nice to me that year.

ashleigh lynn, billy, me, sarah
camping 1991, juniper lake
i obviously was very heartfelt about those reptiles
baby me, 1981.
 mom! that dress is strangling me! 

 grandma gold's 95th birthday 2001

 annalise nelson and me, camping 1994

*can you find the two puffy paint shirts in these photos. i don't know what i liked more about those things, making them, or picking the paint off when i was bored in school.


oh my, look what i found

i finally cleaned out the living room from my "organizing attempt". yikes.
anyways, look at these beauties i found stuffed in  a box.
 girls camp '97. ashley rodriguez, me, amber mccombs, teresa challis
 freshman year of college.  helaman halls. what a doofus i was.
1994? mom, me, sarah
Brigham Young Home in St. George, UT  
in middle school i wore vans, high socks and diy cut-off jeans. i also listened to nirvana a lot and let my friends cut my hair (ahem, lauren cooper). don't let your friends cut your hair.

 january 11, 2007, abby leigh in the NICU
summer 2006, ty and baby lucy

there are so many more...especially of me with frizzy hair eating desserts. i know you can hardly wait.


thinking thursday

i never knew that i was wearing mom jeans.

i'm teaching the lesson on Sunday. it's a good one.

18 days till school starts. lucy is already nervous about her back to school outfit and a new backpack. they received their letters in the mail of whom their teachers are and the excitement has begun. poor lucy though, her best friends are all in a different class.

rodney and phoebe both had runny noses this week, which i completely dismissed. now i'm feeling the sickies and feel guilty for getting mad that they both were so needy. head cold in the summer? blah!

abby's stitches are healing nicely, but it's hard keeping them away from the sunlight when you live in h@#$.  so if you see a large bandaid on her head, it was my last resort.

phoebe started crawling out of her crib ages ago...remember this? but we fought the fight, and ty invented "phoebe's house". for naptime and bedtime we lay a quilt over the top of her crib. i think ty told her something about it because she said, "phoebe's howus makes me happy!"  it's like her own little cocoon. thank goodness it worked. she only crawls out when she wakes up in the morning and still is napping 2+ hrs a day. a fact for which i am eternally grateful.
phoebe's room

*i've requested from ty that i am ready for my little portable chicken coop and to plant a small fall starter garden. wish us luck.


Stinky and awesome

Things that stink:
Tile: I'm positive that a man with no children invented tile. Seriously, little grout lines that cn collect grime and gunk? And everything that falls will break, and I mean everything.  We've almost broken every dish we've ever owned. Rodney drops something daily, and last night my favorite serving dish shattered and sliced open my foot.

Stress: stress is awful and I know I need to relax more. Just thinking about how I need to avoid stress makes me stressed.

Injuries: phoebe slipped and fell after the tub with her towel on and split her chin right open ON OUR TILE.

Stitches: we've now had two kids in 4 weeks get them. I'd like a break, thank you.

Flour: you guys, I just can't stop eating flour. I cut out refined white sugar, and I know I have to cut out white flour, but but but but but, oh! I just cringe to think of letting it go.  Our friends the Bledsoe family grew their own wheat, and Laura is threshing it by hand. I read that after a week of threshing she still didn't have enough flour for a loaf of bread. Oh my, we eat way too much bread these days.

Things that are awesome:

Urgent cares that are open till 8pm.

GrEat grandma Joyce, she is my favorite neighbor and she knows why. Thanks Joyce! 

Jenni: our babysitter, poor girl. I use and abuse her. But thankfully she keeps loving my kids to pieces.

Going to bed: I love our bed, and I love that I can try and have a better day tomorrow.


life in a slump

rodney isn't a baby anymore, he's a little toddler. i have swapped late night nursing marathons with washing off his face, hands and feet one million times a day that are constantly covered in dirt, food and boogies. he is taking steps (but not quiet confident enough to walk), he feeds himself his food, he is starting to learn words like, "cokie" (cookie monster), "kiiiiiii" (kitty),  "UH OH!" his favorite, "nana" (banana) and "ni ni" (night night).  he blows kisses and sometimes gives kisses. he still loves daddy the most, but is connected to me 24/7.  he does have a sweet spot for his grandmas, all four of them. no wonder one of his first words is cookie. ha.

we are stir crazy in the house. it's hot, the kids are watching way too much tv, i can't get any of my projects done. even though i have so many blessings to be thankful for, things just feel hard right now. normal everyday tasks seem to take more out of me than normal. ty was gone for a week of scout camp, usually it's not that big of a deal. we will travel when he's gone or have friends come and visit. we had planned to go down to California, but Rodney woke up Monday morning with 101* fever and would not eat a thing.  we stayed home, and i fell into a deep black hole called netflix. i really just wanted to be alone. do you know how much i am alone?  never, ever, ever. and i know that i am very blessed with family, and children and friends and that's a great thing. but my depression seems to rear up when i'm locked inside from the heat, and i just want to be left alone. the poor kids, i just fed them and clothed them and let them do whatever they want. wednesday and thursday we went and helped  my mom recover from foot surgery (well, we didn't really "help" but we did keep her entertained!). ty got home saturday afternoon and the kids were ecstatic. i just wanted to get out of the house, and sadly, that's the last thing ty wanted to do. he really worked hard for Camp Kolob this year and wanted a hot shower and to watch some baseball.

i looked at my iphoto and realized i haven't taken pictures of the kids lately or the house lately or anything lately.  i've slowly slipped into a little slump and am realizing it for the first time. baby steps to climb out of it. tomorrow's goal? workout in the morning and finally get all the clothes and odd items put away into the attic that have been sitting in my living room for a week.

how do you get out of a slump?

*church was so great today. i so didn't want to go. i wanted to curl up in my soft sheets and sleep for a century. either that, or clean the house while everyone was gone. but i went anyways, and it was, like always, a great decision.
**i think i'm ready for ty to take the kids somewhere every saturday for 3 hours. can you even imagine how much i could get done? and be alone? plus, daddy would get that quality time with them to boot. i always wondered why we went skiing on saturdays without my mom, now i know! 8 hours of freedom sounds heavenly.
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