art found here
my first calling in our church after high school was as a relief society teacher. the relief society is the largest women's organization in the world. for an hour, once a month i taught girls (we were all 18/19) about principles and doctrines of our gospel. it was a fun calling, but i think mainly because it was so easy learning with women my own age and circumstances. i've been privileged to be taught in many relief society lessons and meetings over the last 14 years. 

during the hardest times of my adult life, women from the relief society have been there. they have shared in my trials and troubles and helped me help my family when i couldn't. in each area we live in we visit sisters in our relief society every month as friends and to learn a short lesson. we regularly make and serve meals at funerals and when babies are born. we drive each other to doctors appointments and sew blankets for the needy. we share our stories, our faith, our fears, our joys. i feel like i always learn something at relief society, especially from the older sisters in our ward.

some of my dearest friends are women i have met in relief society from different places we've lived. all of them are so different than me in many ways,  yet i can't imagine my life without them and their examples that guide me day by day.

this saturday is our annual women's conference where we hear from the leaders in our relief society and church. i look forward to it every year, and this year is the first year Lucy can come too, it's now 8years old and up. we are having friends over for dinner, so i will most likely be watching it later by myself here


small thoughts

Last night lying in bed next to my husband, everything seems perfect and complete and i can't imagine it getting any better. then in the morning i try to remember that feeling as i drag my sleepy body out of bed to get the two year old who is humming the star wars theme song so loudly it woke up his sister. I send her back to her room and take him into the fanily room. we talk about birthdays and woodpeckers and bouncy balls. he snuggles up and watches sesame street while i read my scriptures. The girls wake up. we eat breakfast, pack lunches, practice piano, argue about clothes and hairdo's, talk about the latest rainbow loom pattern and they get on the bus. their clothes are nicer than i ever had, their hair is cute and braided. they have pottery barn backpacks. i never had things like that. as i walk back to the house i worry i've spoiled them and they are ruined.

 i wrestle the two year into his room and changing table to change a stinky diaper. he hates it and thrashes his legs about. i wonder when he will potty train himself. as his scream reaches a new pitch i highly doubt it will be around 3years like his sisters (which is only a few months away). we drive to go work out, we decided to bring the bikes today. the two year old crashes 3 times just during my warm up. grandma comes out and saves the day. they count cactus blossoms and find ladybugs as i sweat and stumble trying to finish my exercises. i regret eating those cream cheese filled jalapeƱos last night.

as we run errands afterwards i watch my small toddlers running down the aisle at home hardware and variety. it's hard to imagine they are mine. their energy, height and volume levels almost are identical. most days i can't believe how happy they are. they embrace every morning with joy and hope. things like seeing the fish at the store complete their week.  eating lunch can have lots of laughs or tears and always, always, always a spilled drink. driving in the car is so much fun! or it is so very not fun! we pull over and watch construction sites for 10-15 minutes at a time. we collect ladybugs and ants and lizards. somedays we watch an incredible amount of too much tv. walks take a longer time than i ever desire and my pockets in the stroller are constantly filled of dirt filled shells from the ditch bank. we read a lot of books. they throw a lot of toys at each other. one of them bites...hard. they both loathe time out and love tickles. any music put on can produce a dance show. yelling is an acceptable form of arguing. any sharp instrument can be turned into a lethal light saber. any comment can hurt feelings. even the small burnt cookies i feed them can brighten an entire day.

every day with the two littles is physically exhausting, and every day with the two olders is emo tionally/mentally exhausting. after spending a day working on not spilling cheerios with the 2yr old and watching the 3 year old cheer him on, i'm positive they both are going to turn out just wonderful.

 if i try very hard to clear my  thoughts, i faintly remember feeling those same feelings when their older sisters were the same ages. they adored walks around the block, library trips and watercolors, reading and libraries and lots of laughter filled those days also. maybe cute backpacks and fighting over hairdo's can't ruin all of that after all. i sincerely hope not.


report cards

my first grade teacher was mrs. alt and i didn't like her. she was the first person to tell me that i talked too much. she was also pregnant that year with her first child, and i suspect that her husband was a dork. i gather this from her general crankiness every day, she didn't give me enough attention and she tried to send me to detention multiple times...for talking. as if.

despite the lack of leaves i contributed to the class "reading" tree, and that i was constantly named a "jabber box", i was still sure i would get an A in class. everyone in my family got A's in elementary school (or so i was told).  imagine my horror upon opening the first  report card for the first semester and inside was proof i was adopted:2 B's.


i'd like to think i got over that and applied myself in schoolwork for the rest of my life. but if you took American Sign Language 101 with me in college you would know that was not completely (or even close to) true. i am a jabber box, and it is hard for me to follow directions in many areas of life. and it is hard for me to sit still and not question authority figures. meh. 

i've made a cake and forgotten the flour, which turns into a bubbling soup in case you were wondering. i've done this twice. just a few weeks ago i added baking powder instead of cornstarch to the stir fry. it was fun to watch it bubble and froth for a few seconds, and ty didn't seem to notice the metallic aftertaste. i pronounced chic "chick" until after my second baby was born. i asked ty what baby lambs were called after the fair one year. i have issues people.

the point of this post? last week was report card week, and i had no idea. it just happened that that week ty and i sat down one of our children to discuss their handwriting on their schoolwork. to put it lightly, i've seen serial killers with better penmanship. anyways, the next day was report cards. of course! of course! and someone in our family got a B for her HANDWRITING! a few tears were shed, and we assured her that when she applies herself and tries her best she can see how well she writes, and if her best writing is a B then we would be very pleased. but you'd be amazed at her handwriting on her spelling list this week, heck, martha stewart would be proud.

i told the two girls the story that night that i was the first person to get a B in first grade, and i got two! i also told them i was the first person to graduate from college in our family, so don't let a rocky beginning determine your life choices. which i'm sure they just heard "blah blah blah, i got a b too, blah blah blah, everything turned out, blah blah blah, don't do drugs, blah blah blah, choose the right."

in other news, DJ got his mission call! Tuscon, Arizona May 14th!!!!!! we are so very excited!


seen and heard

life has been plugging along nicely around here. the older girls were in the Missoula Children's Theatre production of Alice in Wonderland. Every year for a week the touring company puts on a play in our community. The girls loved every minute of rehearsals! Abby loved performing on stage, Lucy, not so much. abby can't wait for next year, lucy said she's more interested in a "director" position next year. atta girl.

the two little ones have become best friends over night. i was just about to put phoebe in preschool two mornings a week, and held back (i'm still in denial she is growing up). i couldn't be more happy that i did that. they play all morning and afternoon long. phoebe, of course, is the alpha and directing rodney in all of their adventures. pirates in the tree house, playing mom and dad in the play house, searching for lost treasure, fishing in the sea. playing "puppy" and i'm sure that leash will strangle someone any minute. they also are loving running errands with me as long as it's before 10:30. Rodney has a magical "cannot be in public" button that goes off after 10:30am. After his nap he is good to go.
two of Ty's close friends and teammates on the high school baseball team both passed away suddenly when we were in our early twenties.
Ty and Shawn 2000
Our friend Shannon set up an annual alumni game where the money goes to a scholarship fund. Ty played in the  Robison Sandoval memorial game again this year and I unfortunately couldn't go. I enjoy seeing old friends and acquaintances and donating to a good cause.   Ty had a great time despite not playing as well as last year. He always enjoys playing baseball. Lori Sandoval gave this beautiful framed picture to Ty saturday and he was really touched. losing a friend that young changed ty into a different person, and i believe a better person. There hasn't been one morning since that day in 2007 that he doesn't wake me up, kiss me and tell me he loves me before he leaves for work. No matter what the hour, and I always appreciate it (yes, even at 3:30 am sometimes!)

our ward has been having babies, babies babies! and i love it! sometimes it makes me a little sad, but most of the time i'm happy our ward is growing. it's been fun having an excuse to buy baby outfits too . hehe

rodney differentiates people in two classes: GOOD or BAD. there are good guys and bad guys, and you better know what you are. he is constantly telling me i'm a "good guy", but "you're a girl, your the best mommy!"  swoon!  i motioned to the Del Parson portrait of Jesus and said, "Look, who's that?" and he said, "Oh Jesus! He's a good guy" and casually walked away.

i'm not exciting to write about, still can't do much with my foot other than walk, ty gave me an insufferable head cold which i in turn passed to Rodney. i had a small procedure friday to find out some stuff about the ectopic pregnancy that produced no answers. but! i am healthy as a horse in my guts and i am ever so grateful about that.

playing with uncle taylor

cheesing it at church
dancing to grandma's new piano


Better things ahead

 things since Thanksgiving have been difficult. I am proud that through it all it was easy to focus on the good and positive and keep my chin up.

But lately, seriously, things have not relented. One thing after another has me down in the pits. I still am having problems from the ectopic pregnancy (which Ty and I call quasi baby) and then I dropped this on my foot and we had a late night ER date:

For real. I can't point my foot yet, or run, jump or lift. Insert grumpy Annie.

 I'm trying to focus on my goals for the year (the ones I can control, which are few) and focusing on the happy parts of every day and week.  Right now the things I have control over that bring me happiness are things that used to seem insignificant.  Funny huh?

talking and reading with the kids. 
Talking to Ty at night after everyone's in bed
Making yummy dinners
Snuggling with Rodney and phoebe and enjoying their "littleness". 
Reading the scriptures 
Teaching my primary class 
Talking with friends
planning for the future. i've been busy making goals and plans for the future. i am really, really ready to put the past several months behind me and move ahead. i have plans to be stronger as a wife and mother, stronger physically, stronger spiritually and a stronger friend.

via pinterest


The Ford Museum

I didn't have anything on my agenda for the trip to Michigan except see family. Luckily Mel always finds out local things that are a "must" see and do for every area they live in. On Friday we saw the Henry Ford Museum.

It was awesome. It not only has all of the ford vehicles and history, but also furniture through the decades (centuries), pop culture and airplanes. We missed it by an hour, but every day they disassemble and reassemble a working model T with the help of visitors. How cool is that? For the kids a smaller assembly line version was neat too. I told Ty he has to come here and see it, so someday we will go back, we have to.

this retro kitchen is just my style

silly/zombie photo (Matthew, where are you?)

the most intricate of dollhouses
you know you're getting up there in age when these are the photos in your camera stream

for austrie
Tvs and sewing tables (oh my, I am old)
baby and kid furniture. look at that miniature secretary!

                       everyone taking turns in the combine

anyone else seeing lehi's vision in this billboard? haha

a chalkboard from the cold war era. my mom remembers these drills.

the Kennedy limousine. never thought i'd see that in person
mini assembly line
model A photo for Ty
em and me

i texted this to ty with the caption: "I found our retirement plan" boom
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