Friday, July 31, 2009

It's Like Christmas!

We got new toys at our house: cell phones!

We replaced the one we use as our home phone. I got a phone. Briana got a phone. Taylor got a phone. Ashtyn got a phone.

We have purchased our children Go Phones when they started high school. With as many directions as we are going, it has been nice to have a way to get hold of them. BUT they have to buy their minutes.

The rules are the same. But now they have a set monthly fee for their phones. For that reason, we did not originally get phones for Tay and Ashtyn. Then they came to us and asked if they could work off their monthly fees. We felt that that was fair, until they get jobs. We told them that the work we will have them do is going to be serious physical labor, and not the regular "stuff" that is expected of a family member. They agreed to our terms.

And we told them we'd rather they had a job. :)

This week Taylor sanded and stained the deck. It looks awesome! (And I didn't have to do it--heeheehee.)

It's like Christmas for all of us!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rude Awakening

At 1:00 this morning, Bella woke up and started barking. I looked out our window to see a whole bunch of girls toilet papering our yard. For those who knew me in high school, this is probably a prime example of "turnabout is fair play."
Spencer and I looked out the window for a moment, and I said, "Keep watching. This is going to be funny." I walked to the front door and switched on the light. When I came back to the bedroom, he was giggling. He said, "Did you see them scatter? There were two carloads of them!"
They came back later and honked. But they didn't finish the job. There are still rolls of TP on the driveway.

All I have to say is this: AMATEURS! They should talk to a real pro.

Tiff's in town!

My sister, Tiffany, is in town with her children. I love it! These kids are so good, and it's very fun having my sister around. The only problem is getting any sleep--we're too busy talking. :)
Friday we went to Cascade Springs. We hiked a bit and had a picnic lunch. Here's a picture of all of us along the trail (Spencer is in the lead--anyone surprised?).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Show & Tell

Last week my friend, Carol Westaway, asked me if some earrings just showed up for some reason, what color would I want them to be. I told her lavendar, to go with a fabulous pair of shoes that I have. I haven't been able to find any lovable lavendar clothes, but I could wear black and white and lavendar jewelry and shoes. These are the necklace, bracelet, and earrings she made for my birthday. Aren't they fun?
Carol and Tahnee also brought a big sign for my desk and cupcakes to share with everyone. So fun!
Spencer took the afternoon off work, so he came and took me to lunch at the Lion House. Yum. (But I didn't even TRY to log NutriMirror yesterday.)
After work, Spencer, Briana, Taylor, and I went to see Harry Potter again. :)
It was a lovely day.
(I'm 41.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Logging in to Fitness

I love the internet!

I am daily visiting a website called It is a place to log your food, water, and exercise. I am loving it, and it is helping me in my quest for fitness. I weighed in at the beginning; but I find that weighing in just discourages me. If I've gained I just feel down in the dumps; if I've lost then I get this "I don't have to do it any more!" mentality. So I've set a goal, and I will probably weigh in in 6 months and 12 months (my birthday). But this website keeps track of my daily calorie intake as well as my exercise, so it tells me how much more I can eat throughout the day. So helpful! My friend Karleen is the one who told me about it; Cathy sent me the link; I shared it with Spencer; we are sharing menus. Great stuff!

Spencer took me to Wasatch Running today. I got some good running shoes. Pricey, but worth it if I can avoid injury. It turns out that I have some serious pronation (my feet tilt in toward my arches), so the wonderful fitter, named Brad, was able to help me find some shoes that would help with that. I hope that helping to correct this will keep my knees healthier.

Spencer had asked for new running shoes for Father's Day, so he got shoes, too. Because we spent so much (yikes!) they gave us a free shirt. It's pink; it's mine! And Spence let me try his compression shorts, too, which I liked. Landon and I went to the Oval to run this evening, and it was good.

I'm feeling good. AND, 10 milk chocolate M&M's are only 34 calories, so I can still have a sweet treat every once in a while. It's amazing how far a little bit will go!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why I Am Going to Run a 5K

1. To get fit. Having a goal helps me get out the door to exercise every day.

2. Because Spencer can help me. I don't want to spend a lot of time researching an activity in order to get the most benefit, have the most fun, or stay away from injuries. Having a personal trainer (who has done all of that stuff) is my way of succeeding while STILL cutting corners. I'm just that kinda girl.

3. Because Spencer and I can do it together. My running is not as great or as fast or as strong as his, but we are together.

4. Because I can. This sounds like that old "Why Climb Mount Everest?" thing. But the truth is that nearly 15 years ago I was diagnosed with MS. At that time I seriously wondered what my quality of life would be when I was 40. I feel that every day is a gift (even though I don't always recognize them as such). So I'm going to take full advantage of the gift of my health for as long as I can.

5. Everyone is doing it. (I just had to throw that one in there.)

6. To lose weight. This is just the cherry on top. *See #1 above

See you in West Jordan on August 15!

Sick Daddy

My Dad had to have his gall bladder removed yesterday. He was one sick man! The surgery ended up being more involved than was expected, but we witnessed miracles and tender mercies.

He's feeling quite a bit better today, though sore from the surgery.

Get better, Daddy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We're Nuts!

This is us at midnight. In the movie theatre.
I went to bed at 9:45, and everyone got me up at 11:15 so we could go see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
For the record: I. LOVED. IT.
The end.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

GOOD NEWS! Ashtyn is sick!

I just heard back from the GI doc who did Ashie's biopsies. Everything looks normal and beautiful EXCEPT---

She has a lactase level of 2. A 24 means you're lactose-intolerant but could maybe have a little milk on your cereal. Most people have a lactase level of 50-60. Ashtyn's is 2.


No wonder she's been sick! Since she basically cannot digest milk products AT ALL, the sugars from the dairy ferment in her intestine, she feels sick, and she eventually either vomits or purges from the other end. (Sorry for the graphics.)

Really good news is that she doesn't have ciliac spru (sp?), which is in Spencer's family. Everything else is perfect--no allergies, etc.

We'll now be working to keep Ashie lactose-free. She doesn't like milk, so that won't be too big a problem. We'll keep lactaid on hand for any cooking things. Pancakes and waffles need to be made from scratch because there's dry milk in mixes. She'll have stay away from ice cream altogether (say "Hello" to sorbet!). She can have cheddar cheese in VERY small doses. No hot chocolate, no yogurt, no soft cheeses like mozarella or cottage cheese, no mac & cheese.

The doctor said that her lactase level is so low that Lactaid, etc. probably won't help much; but it's worth a try for the times when she's getting cheese and stuff.

This will be a challenge for Ash, but of all of our children (and really, of all people), Ashtyn is the best candidate for making it happen. She's just that kind of a great person. And I am seriously relieved that we can find something to help her.

Boooo... and hooray!

Monday, July 13, 2009

My favorite T-shirt

I personally keep M&M/Mars in business. Really.

A few years ago I saw a T-shirt in the mall that I still beat myself up for NOT buying. It said:

Wheat for Man.--D&C 89:17
Chocolate for Woman.--M&M 24:7

Today Spencer sent me this. He was in an extremely interesting WebEx meeting at the time:

M&M's, one of the most popular candies in the United States, were originally an import from England called Smarties. Forrest Mars Sr. saw soldiers during the Spanish Civil War eating chocolate pellets that were coated in sugar to prevent chocolate from sticking to their fingers.
After the rights were purchased by Americans Forrest Mars Sr. and R. Bruce Murrie in 1939, they had to reintroduce them to the domestic market with a different name because there was already a candy product sold in the U.S. under the name Smarties. To identify their new brand, they combined the first initials of their last names: M & M. M&M's were first sold in the United States in 1941. By World War II, American soldiers were given the candy by the United States Army because they were a convenient snack that traveled well in any climate; soon after this it was marketed to the public. M&M's soon became a hit because, in those times when air conditioning was not usually found in stores, homes, or the automobile, melting chocolate candy bars were a problem; but with M&M's, the candy's coating kept the chocolate from getting messy.

Bottom line: Who cares? Just keep 'em coming!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Check this out!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Happy Life

Here are the rules: Bold the things you’ve done and post on your blog!

Started your own blog
Slept under the stars

Played in a band
Visited Hawaii
Watched a meteor shower
Given more than you can afford to charity
Been to Disneyland
Climbed a mountain
Held a praying mantis
Sang a solo

Bungee jumped
Visited Paris
Watched a lightning storm at sea
Taught yourself an art from scratch
Adopted a child
Had food poisoning
Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
Grown your own vegetables
Seen the Mona Lisa in France
Slept on an overnight train
Had a pillow fight
Hitch hiked
Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
Built a snow fort
Held a lamb
Gone skinny dipping
Run a Marathon
Ridden in a gondola in Venice
Seen a total eclipse
Watched a sunrise or sunset

Hit a home run
Been on a cruise
Seen Niagara Falls in person
Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
Seen an Amish community
Taught yourself a new language
Had enough money to be truly satisfied
Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
Gone rock climbing
Seen Michelangelo’s David
Sung karaoke
Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
Visited Africa
Walked on a beach by moonlight
Been transported in an ambulance
Had your portrait painted
Gone deep sea fishing
Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
Kissed in the rain
Played in the mud
Gone to a drive-in theater

Been in a movie
Visited the Great Wall of China
Started a business
Taken a martial arts class
Visited Russia
Served at a soup kitchen
Sold Girl Scout Cookies
Gone whale watching
Got flowers for no reason
Donated blood, platelets or plasma

Gone sky diving
Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
Bounced a check
Flown in a helicopter
Saved a favorite childhood toy
Visited the Lincoln Memorial

Eaten Caviar
Pieced a quilt
Stood in Times Square
Toured the Everglades
Been fired from a job
Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
Broken a bone
Been a passenger on a motorcycle

Seen the Grand Canyon in person
Published a book
Visited the Redwoods
Bought a brand new car
Walked in Jerusalem
Had your picture in the newspaper
Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
Visited the White House
Killed and prepared an animal for eating
Had chickenpox

Saved someone’s life
Sat on a jury
Met someone famous
Joined a book club
Got a tattoo
Had a baby
Seen the Alamo in person
Swam in the Great Salt Lake
Been involved in a law suit
Owned a cell phone
Been stung by a bee

Now, go forth and prove your life is more exciting than mine...

Feeling Weepy

As I walked into work yesterday, I looked toward the west, where I saw the Angel Moroni sparkling atop the temple in the morning sun. It was beautiful, and it filled me with gratitude for what we have in the restored gospel.

As I read Kent and Kathy Wood's blog, I considered what a blessing for their stake and for their children that they have such a treasure as this.

A friend of mine at work came under attack yesterday, because he and his underlings were doing their job. It made me so angry!

Amy is in training for two days and will not be in the office.

Taylor went to a friend's yesterday afternoon without telling anyone where he was going. We did not hear from him till we had sent a mass text to his friends to see if anyone had seen him. He got the message that we were looking for him, so he came home. It was innocent, but it gave me quite a fright!

I had to spend more than I wanted to in order to stock up on things we needed at home.

I could not get to sleep last night, in spite of being dead tired.

All of these things make me want to weep.

Better get my prescription refilled. :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thoughts on an Empty Nest

Surprisingly, this time I am NOT talking about falcons!

I have never been afraid of being an empty-nester, because my best friend in the whole world is my husband. I figure as long as we have each other, it's OK to have our children grow up and face the world.

I want you to know that I LOVE BEING A MOM! It is the second best thing that has ever happened to me (can you guess the best thing?)! I not only love our children as their mother, but I really LIKE our children. They are talented, good people, and it is a blessing to get to associate with them daily. I have mentioned before that I was a pretty mean mom when they were little; but that has paid off because they are such good people now. I rarely have to be mean (though I'm still willing and very able when it's necessary).

When we were in the stage of having babies, it sure seemed like they came fast. Boom! We had one. Then boom! we had two. And so on. The same thing happened as they went to kindergarten. It was just one right after the other in quick succession. So I'm kinda figuring that having them graduate from high school is going to be like that.

Even though they all went really fast, they have also taken these steps in their own ways. Briana has been nervous for every new season she's entered. Taylor, on the other hand, went marching confidently through the doors. Ashtyn just flew along, as she always does, and Landon took the new world by storm.

So, as you might expect, Briana is a little bit hesitant about this adult world she's entering. She feels that she doesn't really fit in with the Young Women. But Relief Society doesn't quite fit, either. She likes her high school job a lot, but she also wants to find something that provides a bit better for her. She'd like to go to college, but she has to have the money to do that; but in order to get the better job, she has to go to college. This is not a new story, except for her.

And I find myself walking a line. There is something instinctive in me that knows that I'm going to have to do a certain amount of pushing for her to "leave the nest," so to speak. It's exciting and nerve-racking and wonderful. And there is something else in me that cries, "No! Let me keep my babies! They're too young! They're mine!"

Of course, a mother would never want to go to either extreme as she walks that line. I would never EVER want Briana to think or feel for an instant that I am trying to get rid of her--it simply isn't true! But it would be wrong for me to keep her under my wing when it really is her time to fly. And I know, as her mom, that it is going to take some amount of pushing to get her to go.


The funny part to me is that millions of parents have done this, and they and their children have survived. Briana--and each of the others in their turn--will be just fine. In fact, knowing our children, they will be WONDERFUL. Now if their mother can just survive (and I will!), everything will be good.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Fourth of July Is All About Family

I love Independence Day, and I love our country. I'm so grateful for the freedom we have, and for those who made this possible, including my grandpas, who are WWII veterans, and my dad, who is a Viet Nam era veteran. Hey, Jimmy! Thanks for covering our backs. We think you are fabulous!

I also love the 4th of July, which is something altogether different. The 4th of July is a day off of work and school. It is a day to play. This year it was fun because the 4th happened to land on a Saturday, so we were able to play long and hard and still get to sleep in the next day. :)

We got up at 7:00 a.m. and went to our ward breakfast. It was a nice way to spend a morning (even though we might have had a little bit of groaning about the early hour).

After breakfast we ran to Petsmart to get Bella food, and to Walmart to get water bottles and snacks so we could drive to Timpanogas Cave to have a fun family hike. We had a three hour wait before we could go on the trail, so we spent some time throwing rocks in the river (!, Daddy!).

The water is high and swift this year!

I wish Bri had caught the tree stump Taylor was standing on for this pic. It was about 5" in diameter and 30" tall, so it was actually pretty cool that he could balance up there. He looked a lot like the Karate Kid! :)

We went back down the hill into Alpine to have lunch. We also threw some rocks in the river down there (the irrigation portion). Then we went back to begin our hike. It had been cloudy and cool in the morning, but when we got hiking (1:30ish), it was sunny and WARM.

Taylor beat us to the top by about 20 minutes. That is quite a hike! The cave was fabulous, and we did lots of laughing, ooo-ing, and ahhhh-ing. Outside of the cave we stopped for drinks and snacks and more laughing. The temps had cooled a bit as we headed back down the trail.

After we got home (and showered!) we went to the dollar movie. By the time we got home some of us headed to bed and some of us went to watch the neighbors do fireworks. It was a long day. Some of us are a little bit sunburned. Some of us have sore muscles. All of us slept very well.
What a great family day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Great Literature!

This is the book that I first remember "reading." Maybe it was because my mom read it to me so many times that I just THOUGHT I was reading.

She read me this book so many times, in fact, that I can still, nearly 40 years later, quote most of this book verbatim.

I was so excited to be walking down the aisle at Walmart and see a Little Golden Book display, featuring my very own first book! I'd love to read it to you (or quote it to you) sometime. Give me a call!

I Am an Empty-Nester

Our falcons have flown away. Big Sister flew away on Monday morning. She made it to the Administration Building, where she perched for a little while. The next time she tried to fly, she crashed into the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. She fluttered a little and turned around to try to the Admin Building again. She crashed, there, too. After her crash landing, someone from the Division of Wildlife Services picked her up. They did a little exam and some rehab and then took her in a box to the top of the JSB, where her parents fed her and took care of her.

Little Brother flew away this morning. I would ground both of them because they didn't check out with me first, but birds weren't meant to be grounded.

For the next two to three weeks they will stay in the area, learning to fly and hunt and generally being helped by their parents. They have a 40% chance of survival. They are also being helped along by human volunteers who watch over them while they are here, rescuing them if they fall, and taking them to rehab, then back up to the top of the building to try again. (There's probably a life metaphor in there somewhere!)

After that, our falcons will fly to the foothills to be grown-ups.

Good-bye, Birds! Good luck!