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Showing posts from December, 2011

My Un-Bucket List

"Carter and I saw the world together. Which is amazing. When you think that only 3 months ago, we were complete strangers.  I hope that it doesn't sound selfish of me, but... the last months of his life were the best months of mine.  He saved my life... and he knew it before I did." -The Bucket List

Love that movie. I don't have a bucket list, tho' I guess I do in my head.  There are things I hope to do.  But, as I was watching Tom Hanks on David Letterman last night, I realized I have a 'un-bucket' list. Tom was talking about being in Germany and driving the autobahn. I don't even like driving much. Driving fast? No thanks. There are other things I hear people talk about wanting to do that just don't appeal to me. Such as-

Sky diving. I don't know what would happen if you vomit while free-falling at 120mph, but I really don't want to find out.

Climbing Mount Everest. Thousands of dollars, months of preparation to make a climb that might kil…

One Word Wednesday- Delight

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December in our Den

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I lumbered into December heavily this year. A big, fat momma bear, burdened with the care and keeping of her cubs.

We moved slowly through the month, reveling in the light displays, the scents and sounds of the season. Talk of gifts and all the excitement kept the cubs rolling and wrestling with anticipation and each other.

Then, one day, I looked out to find our world wrapped in grey.  The mountains had mysteriously disappeared along with my cheer. I tried and tried to keep the inversion at bay.  This miserable lead stripe that colors our horizon and buries us in depressing fog.  The pollutant threatened to squeeze its way into our home.

Discouragement is as thick and gunky as they come, though it has the peculiar ability to slide into small, unprotected spaces.  I threw my hide to the doors, attempting to block it out. There is no room for you here, I explained.  The desire to protect my young from the cold that has nothing to do with Utah winters was overwhelming.  I do not expect…

A Christmas Gift

One Star
Millions of people, The heavens filled with stars. Multitudes of angels, Buildings near and far.
One silent stable,  One messenger so bright, One star is blazing, One baby born this night.
One manger holds him, One mother softly sings, All hearts enfold him, And the promise that he brings.
One night among many, When faithful knees would bend, For our one perfect Savior, One hope, without end. (-Jewels 2008)
Merry Christmas

The Gift of Music

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Happy Christmas Eve.

The Wonder of Friendship

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My kids have good friends. I love my them. For example, there's D. Now, to understand, D. has two parents and her Japanese mother is the least strict of the two.  Their house is orderly and always, always clean. They have 3 very well-behaved children, who play instruments and attend 'advanced' classes. So, when D. showed up at our front door, mere minutes ago,  I cringed a little.  Today is our 'cleaning-up-before-the-big-guy-in-red-arrives' day, but we're all a little slow on the get-go. I've been on my laptop and the wii is heating up. In other words, my house is a mess.
 I invited D.  up to the girls' room to wake them, kicking dirty clothes out of the way as I smiled.  "Don't look in the boy's room" I mentally encouraged.  She didn't flinch or look around in disgust.  She simply stepped over the chaos in the girls' room to rouse them from their wintery slumber.  She's such a good girl. (Plus, she calls me Mom, that ende…

One Word Wednesday- Vintage

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The Gift of Someone Looking Out for You

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Noah found it completely unacceptable that I didn't have a Christmas list. So, he made one for me. 
Slippers, because, as the Handy Man pointed out,  I wear mine everywhere, so they don't last long.
MP3, that one could also be a smart phone- because my phone is dumb.
Barbie? That was Sadie's idea. She thought Ms. frumpy might like a friend. But, since a new Barbie would be coiffed, and have store-bought clothes, I don't think Ms. frumpy would like her much.

The Gift of Parenthood

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I've been watching my dvr-ed episode of Parenthood. I have a love/hate relationship with this show. All the conflict gives me gas. No really.  I only watch it on my dvr so I can fast forward through the fights.  Why must you argue with each other? Can't we all just get along?
 I do love that there is an autistic boy, tho' he seems to have every single affect of the disorder, which is odd. This particular episode, Max (the autistic boy) goes off by himself and gets lost.  I had anxiety just watching it.  Honestly, I need to go get a Tums.

Often, when I tell someone how many kids I have, they get this look.  Like I've done something amazing. Hey, I'm fertile. That doesn't make me a good mom.  I don't think I have any more experience than other moms. I might have more experiences, but only because I have more kids. Parenthood is a learning process and we all have our own curriculum.  What helps me may not help you.  I recently saw an article on-line titled, &q…

The Gift of Hope

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"The things we hope in sustain us in our daily walk. They uphold us through trials, temptations and sorrow.  Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty.  Indeed there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable.  It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light." -Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Our house that year was underground. Not part of it, the whole thing.  Basement house.  (Whose bright idea was that?)  My dad had lost his job over the summer and we moved into the tiny home just before my sophomore year began. I won't go into all the details of the house, but suffice it to say it was dreadful.

School began and soon the holidays approached.  No amount of poverty could hold the season at bay.  I have no idea how my parents got through that time.  Now, as a 'grown-up'  myself,  I better understand the stresses they must have struggled to shoulder.  I was 15 s…

The Gift of Brothers

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Today,I went to pick up my oldest son, Adam, from Job Corps. It's only 5 minutes away, but miles and miles from the restrictions and schedules of life at home.  He's on his own, making decisions that I have no say in. (He keeps reminding me.)

I brought Noah with me to pick him up.  Of all my children, Noah misses him most. We drove into the parking lot, watching the line of 'grown-up' children loaded down with their belongings.  I saw Adam in line and walked toward him. He saw us and called to Noah.  "Look," I bent down and pointed to his brother.  Suddenly, his four-year-old legs took off running.  He ignored the snow on the ground, making a beeline for his brother.

"Adam! Adam!"  he yelled as he ran.  When he got close, Adam bent his 6 foot 4 inch frame to scoop him up in his arms.

I resisted the urge to sit in the snow and cry.

I never expected my children to always get along. I come from a family of 7 myself, so I know.  And, I also realize …

A Random Gift

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Wow. What a week. I was awarded the 'Most Versatile Blog' award-twice.  I'm honored. I'd like to thank the academy, wait, wrong award.  I do appreciate the two bloggers who gifted this to me.

First was Gillian at The Greener Bean.  I found her on last month's NaBloPoMo. She's young and cute and lives in New York City. Sort of my polar opposite.  I find her and her life completely fascinating.

Next came the award from Shelby at Every Little Blessing.  I first visited her blog because she was offering to answer photography questions. I keep visiting because she's an awesome writer.

The rules for the award are as follows-

Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog.Share 7 random things about yourself.Nominate 15 fellow bloggers for the award.Add the award badge to your post.Now, I have two small problems with these rules. First, I've shared a lot of random things about myself lately.  That, and the fact that I blog means I'm so…

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

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I'm glad I didn't grow up in the technological age that my kids are in. Oh, not that I wouldn't have loved facebook- being able to share all my teenage angst with the world- heaven. Or cell phones. Texting would've made my conversations so much quicker and easier.
'Did you see Ty today? He wore that velour sweater. He's totally  awesome!'
'Can I borrow your hairspray? My bangs are falling.'


No, the thing that would've made my life awful is the movies.  I was a big chicken.  Once, we saw a Halloween special that highlighted several horror movies. The shower clip from Psycho scared me for months. I literally showered while looking above me the whole time. Hard to shave your legs like that. I saw Jaws in jr. high and commenced to watch for sharks in every pool I swam in.  Chicken.  With all the cgi stuff they have these days, I probably wouldn't have gone to the movies, not the scary ones anyway. 


Nowdays, there are other things that scare me.  Rat…

The Gift of Faith

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"...I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." -John 8:12

A couple months ago, there was a bit of buzz when a preacher said on television that Momons weren't Christian. This isn't the first time I've heard this, of course.  But, today, in church, as we sang Christmas hymns, I wondered again-why?  It doesn't offend me. It comes from misunderstanding and maybe fear of the unknown. It does, however, hurt my feelings.

I believe in Christ.  I believe that He was born in humble circumstances.  That he lived a perfect life.  I believe that He atoned for my sins and died on the cross.  I believe that He rose on the third day, making it possible for all of us to, someday, do the same.
I have pictures of the Savior in almost every room in my home. On Sundays, I teach the 11 year-old kids.  This year, we are studying the New Testament, and while I'm not a scriptorian, and in many cases am learnin…

Six Word Fridays- Make

After two days of complete relaxation. No phone, no kids, no laundry. Enjoyed pool, hot tub and naps. Wish it was longer, but now... Making my way back to reality.

The Gift of a Break

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I was feeling sort of weird about all the posts about my anniversary, then I realized this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want. So there.  (I didn't mean it. Please don't stop reading!)
Today, in celebration of our 20th, we're leaving the children home and going on a fabulous trip. OK, not really.  We are leaving the children home.  We're going to a not-so-balmy-but-very-Mexico-sounding destination.
La Quinta.
Here's the thing.  When you've been married this long and have more than half a dozen kids, anyplace without kids is a vacation. Throw in a hot tub, and baby, it's a resort. As for posting everyday, you'll excuse me if I miss the next one or two.  Yesterday, my daughter said, 'So, you're going to a hotel to watch TV there?'  Um, yeah, that's what we're going to do. Watch tv. Take naps. Sit in the hot tub. That's all she needs to know.  I'll post all about it when we get back.

Just kidding.

The Gift of a Friend

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The night before our wedding, the Handy Man and I went out for pizza. He dropped me off at my parent's home and went back to our brand new apartment alone (for the last time).  I remember the nervous, happy anticipation.  How in the world would I sleep? It was like Christmas eve. I woke up the next day and found Santa had filled my  wish list a few weeks early.  He was all I ever wanted and everything I needed.

When I'd dreamed of who my husband would be, I never imagined that he would be my best friend. There is no one I would rather be with.  He loves me for who I am- faults, rolls and all.  He supports my goals and encourages me.  The days are not always easy, but there is laughter often.

I'm not one for giving advice, but I will tell you three things that have added to our success-
*pray together
*laugh every chance you can
*a lock on the bedroom door

The Gift of Commitment

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7304 days or  177390 hours.  That's how long the Handy Man will have been married on Wednesday.  Time has flown by.  I know we're blessed to still be together with the divorce rate so high.  I looked at some Hollywood marriages and the reasons for their demise. Here's a few examples-


Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries-  What does a $10 million dollar wedding get you? 10 weeks. That's a million a week. Probably a bargain compared to what she usually spends.Kenny Chesney and Renee Zellweger- 4 months. He wrote a song for her, how could that not be forever? They explained the reason for their split as the 'miscommunication of the object of their marriage'.  Don't most people know that marriage is for, you know, being married?  Kind of a no-brainer.Shannon Doherty and Chad Hamilton- 5 months.  She wore a silk bathrobe to the ceremony.  Then, he left her because she threatened him with a pistol. Good argument for not getting married after a 2 week courtship. Nicol…

The Gift of Service

The Christmas season is my favorite. The lights, the decorations, the music. This year, though, every time I began feeling all jolly, I found myself holding back.  Our children are all wrapped up in the excitement and thrill of a promised bounty on Christmas morning.  As a parent, the worry and stress over providing that bounty is sometimes overwhelming.  I know that Christmas isn't just about gifts.  And, I know that my children will survive if they don't get what they asked for.  But, still, you want that morning to be magical.  So, although, the season is in full swing, I was feeling hesitant to begin celebrating.

Last week, I had the opportunity to do some volunteer service.  Our church has a welfare program that helps people when they're having a hard time.  Part of that program is the Bishop's Storehouse, where those who've gone to the Bishop (leader of our congregation) and gotten a food order, can get their food.  I spent the day stocking shelves, cleaning …

The Gift of a Challenge

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After a month of posting daily, I was done.  Too many nights when I struggled to find something to write about before I could retire to my comfy, warm bed. When I heard that BlogHer is doing NaBloPoMo in December, I thought no way.  Then, I thought again. I'm kinda flaky like that.

Thing is, tho' this month has kicked my butt, (why couldn't it have trimmed my butt instead?)  I've learned a lot.  Two things in particular.

First-reading good writing makes me a better writer.  Something about reading quality writing gets my brain in writing mode.  Aside from loving all the blogs I've discovered and being wow-ed by these women everyday, they inspire me with their prose.

Second- the more I write, the better I write. We all know, practice makes perfect.  I'm not saying my writing is perfect, (so far from it!) but doing it every day has helped me develop my skill.  While I know some of my posts were, well, lame, I think some of them were pretty good. (ok, could I have…

Six Word Fridays- True

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A  blustery day left us powerless. One hundred mile an hour winds. Now, we pick up the pieces.