Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our new family

Tonight we went to IHOP for dinner. 
With our only child.

We are not used to this family configuration--it feels odd. 

PS--I celebrated the new normal by trying something new instead of my favorite harvest grain and nut pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream I got chocolate chocolate chip pancakes topped with whipped cream.  Delish!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Funny Boy

One of my favorite things about Josh is his sense of humor.  We are all people who are appreciative of humor, but Josh has the gift of a quick wit most of us lack. Case in point:

The keyboard on my computer is definitely aging.  From time to time one or another of it’s keys inexplicably stops working and I am left to blow and pound and hope that it will somehow start working again. 

Most of my keys have started working again in this way, but my backspace key just would not.  Finally I asked Josh, who is quite good with computers, if he could take a look at it.

He slipped the key off of the keyboard then carefully brushed around it, checking that at each contact point the key was working like it ought to.  They he tried to put it back on—but no matter what he did, the key wouldn’t hook back into the keyboard.


I was working in the kitchen while he was trying to get the key back on.  Finally he came into the kitchen.

“Mom, you know how the keyboards of the future are just going to be plastic pads with little bumps for the letters?” he asked.

“Really?” I answered.

“Guess what.  You’re there already.”


Sunday, October 5, 2014


The morning started out like many other days.  I got up, wished I could sleep about 2 hours longer, staggered into the dining room, and sat down with my tablet thinking that I would look at my email and then facebook, and then read my scriptures.  When I checked facebook right away I saw a really beautiful quote I’d never seen before so I shared it onto my page.  I didn’t have anything to say about it (which is unusual for me, right?) but I wanted to share it.  Then I stumbled across a video of a man playing a trombone for his cows in a field and that made me forget all about the quote.

I had a date with my curves friend that morning and at the right time I got up, grabbed my phone and purse, and started walking towards the front door.  As I did I happened to glance at my phone and saw that the green light was blinking so I checked my texts.

Power went out so I’m only waking up now, will be there in about 20 minutes,

texted my curves friend.  Since I only live 8 minutes away from curves this meant I’d just gained 12 more minutes before I needed to leave.  Sweet, I thought, I’ll go back to my tablet and figure out how to wash those new fleece sheets I got Jenna.  I woke the tablet back up and it was still on facebook.  As I went to minimize it so I could go do my fleece sheet care search, I noticed a somewhat odd post at the top of the facebook page.  It was from someone I didn’t know to a friend of mine and it just said “I love you.”

I started wondering about my friend.  She & I have talked many times over the last 5 or 6 years because she has been going through something difficult that I have also experienced.  I wondered if she was all right so I pulled up a chat window and asked how she was.  It turned out that she wasn’t doing very well and so for the next 15 minutes (yes I was late to curves) we talked online.  I wasn’t able to make anything in her life or situation different—but hopefully it helped for her to be able to talk to someone she knew would understand.  It certainly helped me to be able to be supportive in a difficult time for her.

At the end of our chat she told me that she’d loved the thing I posted on facebook.  I was stymied.  The thing I’d posted?  I’d posted a funny video with a trombone and cows.  What could she mean?  Then in the very back of my mind I remembered that I’d shared something else before the trombone video.  For the life of me I couldn’t remember what it even was.  I clicked my page on facebook and then I saw it.  The quote I’d really liked and shared—well, it was about the situation she was going through.  In fact it was perfect for that moment.

As I drove to curves I couldn’t shake the awareness of how the day had played out.  Sharing the quote on Facebook—and then forgetting about it.  The time delay that allowed me to see the post on her wall.  Being able to talk to her exactly in the moment when she had time.  It all seemed to me to be such an orchestration by Heavenly Father so that he could use me in a critical moment to help my friend.

I tell people all of the time that I have a lot of issues with prayer.  I’m not good at it, my prayer aren’t powerful, I don’t hear answers.  At the same time though, I can’t deny that sometimes my prayers are answered…and that sometimes I get answers to things that are on my mind that I haven’t prayed about.  I also struggle with the concept of personal revelation/inspiration.  It is so hard for me to distinguish between the voice of the spirit and my own hyperactive brain.  And yet from time to time I see conclusively that even if I didn’t hear it in the moment, I have done something that must have been directed by the spirit because of it’s precise perfection.

This was one of those moments.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sights from the road

A few miscellaneous pictures from September’s trip:

Jared learned to pump gas.  (Can’t do that in Oregon!)


The girls always try on awesome hats.


What the floor of the passenger’s side looks like after a couple of days of driving.  Especially when we haven’t had access to any place that recycles.


By the new Adobe site in Utah County—great street names.


Harvest season in eastern Oregon and Washington:




I always appreciate a good sunset.


We passed two accidents between Wyoming and home.  This one, and one in which the car ended up upside down in the center of a very wide grassy median.  I couldn’t even tell which side that car had come from.  Both accidents made me say a little prayer of gratitude for all of the safety we’ve had while travelling.


A) What were these people thinking? and B) How on earth did they get up there to trim that thing? 


C) it was behind a Wendy’s somewhere in Montana.  D) of course I had to take a picture!

I’ve heard that Montana is a beautiful state.  It must have gotten dark before we got to that part.  Though this part wasn’t too bad.


Always one of my favorite sights as we get into the Colombia River Gorge.


The front of the van was COVERED in bugs by the end of the trip!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The back fence

Cindy Lynn requested a picture of the backyard today.  I thought I’d put it on here along with some pictures I’ve taken recently. 


This year we planted clematis all along the back fence but they’re all still small.  So the dahlias have definitely been the stars of the backyard show.  Especially these yellow dahlias.  The rest of the dahlias were just planted this year so they were slower to start blooming but the yellow plant bloomed earlier and often.


I also have some pinkish-purple dahlias. (Purplish-pink?)


But my favorites?  Definitely these—almost as tall as me, and flowers as big as my hand!  I don’t know enough about dahlias to know why there are such color variations.


My new policy is that any dahlia that blooms facing the fence or is otherwise not visible gets to come inside to beautify our kitchen.


We have two really tall dahlias that still haven’t bloomed.  (Good news—I’m told that dahlias will bloom till a hard frost.  So we still have time.)  One is now as tall as the fence and one almost a foot taller.  It finally has a bud on it—can’t wait to see what it looks like!


Of course the whole point of our trip was to take Josh to BYUI.  His decision to go this semester was relatively recent and I was excited to take the triplets with us so that they could see & experience a little bit of Rexburg.  (Although they didn’t want to go, and were only completely willing when I won tickets for them to go and see a taping of Studio C.)


Our first day in Rexburg we all had a great time shopping for the things Josh needed at DI.  Then we went over to Walmart to find the rest of what he needed.  After that we checked him in at his apartment.  (Here he is holding the blanket my dad made & that I took a whole year to sew the stars onto.  I finished them while we were driving…nothing like leaving it till the last minute!)


The next day we went back to Walmart for food and it was a ZOO.  I asked one of the workers and they said that in Rexburg, they do as much business on the Friday before school starts in the fall as they do on Black Friday.  Like I said, it was a madhouse and I was glad all we needed was food.


We took the groceries back to his apartment.  At that point he was pretty much ready to go on with his business and he said goodbye to us. 


I think that I was much sadder than he was…but at the same time I was excited for him to start this next part of his life!

Monday, September 29, 2014

One does not simply walk into Sheridan

(thanks Sam for the title!)

My brother Sam & his wife Emily have lived in Sheridan, Wyoming for several years now.  When they first moved there I looked at the map and was surprised to see that Sheridan was one of those rare places that are close to nothing.  At some point when I was planning the trip to take Josh to Rexburg I decided that since Rexburg was probably as close as I was ever going to be to Sam’s house, and since I probably wasn’t going to be back in Rexburg for several years, NOW was the time to go visit.  So on Saturday morning we left for Sheridan.

We left late enough that I was able to stop and get Neilson’s frozen custard one more time.  That stuff is the best!


I decided to take the long road to Sheridan.  Had I known just how LONG the long road would end up being, I might have changed my mind.  For a while I asked myself why I had wanted to drive that way.  Eventually I remembered.

We drove through Driggs where we had a great view of the back side of the Teton Mountains. 


Then over the pass to Jackson Hole—with some seriously steep grades!


(It was around this time that I became aware that there was something going on with the purse cam, a smudge on the lens that will not leave no matter what I do.  I am deeply saddened by this but do think that since I’ve had the purse cam since Christmas of ‘09 and it’s had almost daily use, it’s lived a very good life.  Sniff, sniff…)

We drove through Jackson and then up past the front of the Tetons, where we were stopped (as in zero movement) for 1 hour.  1 hour, folks!  I guess that’s a risk you take when you take the back roads. 


Just when I was feeling all frazzled about taking this more scenic route we drove past the Wind River Mountains & they were just as magnificent as I’d remembered.


Then after we were past those mountains we drove along some striped mountains for quite a while.


We got to Sam’s house very late and long after dark!

The next day we went to church with Sam & Emily and their 3 cute kids.  Sadly Abi and William didn’t want anything to do with us but Kayla was very excited to have cousins visit.  We had a great time visiting with them, Sam showed us the online video “Dr. Horrible’s sing along blog” which we’ve been singing ever since, and we played a fun new game.  Then Monday morning we loaded the car again and took off for home.