Thursday, August 26, 2010


We are home. Slept in our own beds last night- which meant new bunk beds for the girls. It was an awful flight, mostly due to a certain 18 month old, but I won't scare you with the gory details. Suffice to say that I was so exhausted that I fell asleep quickly in my husbands arms, and have started to erase the memories with 8 hours of sleep and lots of playtime today. It's fun to rediscover toys and clothes and rooms :).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Divided Nation

I love politics. I love being educated about issues in our country and trying to find the best solution for the problems that we face. I love our Founding Fathers and I appreciate their sacrifices made on our behalf.

And... I hate politics. I hate how politicians make promises while on the campaign but then get into office and do whatever it takes to stay in office, instead of keeping their word. I hate how every issue seems to break down party lines. Actually I hate the party system. I agree with our first president George Washington when he warned against them saying, "It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration... agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one... against the other... it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption... thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another." (For the full text visit ).

My beliefs are not contained within one party, though I'll admit I lean Republican, I wouldn't call myself one. I am conservative. I love the constitution. I love this country. I love my religion and my freedom to practice it. Most of all I feel that I am tolerant (no that does not contradict my religiousness). I understand that what I believe might be different than what others do. I might disagree with something that you do, but I wouldn't dislike you because of it unless it was something that hurt me or my family. I try to keep my discussions respectful and mature. I try to listen to the other side. But even I walk on eggshells, or maybe broken glass, as I try to engage in debate and discussion, since every issue is explosive and often hurtful.

So what is going on in the country today? A line has been drawn and everyone seems to be picking a side (myself included). Why is every issue argued until we hate each other a little more? Why is there no issue that the whole of America can agree on? Ok, that's asking a lot, let me rephrase: why is there no issue that we can discuss, vote on, and live with the outcome even if we lose? There is no finding the best solution- there is only 'MY' solution.

Has it always been this way and I'm just too young to remember, or has it in fact erupted as I have reached adulthood? Is this the new 1969? Or the new 1861? Are we so different that it will take civil war or a complete divide of the country to resolve the issues? Honestly I don't see it getting better. Both sides are entrenched in their ideas, and the rest are too apathetic to care. No one is backing down anytime soon. Looking at the cycles of history, I fear that violence is not far away.

Open and free debate is good- but when antagonism overrules tolerance and no verdict can be reached, doesn't it just become a heated, unresolvable argument?

T Minus One Week

Crazy how time flies. We have been here almost two months now. We have sold or packed most of mom's stuff. Piles of boxes sit in corners ready for my siblings to come collect them. We're trying to use up most of the food in the kitchen (it won't happen). And I've almost had my fill of Bahama Bucks shaved ice (almost, but not yet).

I'm getting excited to get back home- 1st to my husband whom I miss so much. 2nd to my own house where my kids have toys and a schedule. 3rd to my calling in the primary- I've really missed working with the kids on sundays! It helps to know that Mom will be coming to live with us in a month or two, but I will miss the access that I've had to my siblings while being here. I've gotten to know my nieces and nephews, and they've gotten to know me and my kids. I'm really going to miss that part. Maybe I'll be able to convince them all to move out east...

Anyways the next week will be hectic and we'll lose internet when we move to Stephen's this weekend, so don't expect many updates until we get home!

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Words

I can't believe how much Moira is talking now. Most people don't understand her, but in context I can usually figure it out. So far she says: Mama, Dada, Gracie, Liliana, Moira, Grandma, Dora, Map, SpongeBob, Drink, Eat, Hotdog, Kitty, Blankie, Baby, Uh oh, More, and Please. These are in addition to the dozens that she thinks she can say. She often comes up to us and starts babbling and I swear she thinks that we should be understanding everything she says. And if you don't respond fast enough she will kiss you on your arm or leg as an offering to better get your attention and get whatever she wants. She's my first talkative child- it's a lot of fun!

Sleep Talking

Liliana woke me up last night crying from a bad dream she was having. The only word I understood her saying was 'Grandma.' I was able to calm her down and get her to go back to sleep. A little while later she started talking again- she was signing "I like to move it, move it" over and over. It was pretty awesome.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm In Trouble

Moira is now 18 months old, which in our house means that she can go to nursery at church (woo hoo!) and she is now old enough for time outs!
The first time or two it went smoothly- a one minute time out followed by a kiss to the person that she hit (at this point that's the only reason she goes to time out).

Not anymore.

Twice now she has hit someone and refused to say she was sorry (kiss the person). The first time was her cousin Grayson. I would ask her to give him a kissie to say sorry and she would "humph" and turn back to the corner as if saying, "I'd rather stay in the corner than kiss him!" It took 15 minutes to get her to blow him a kiss. It happened again today when she hit her Uncle B. Again it took about 15 minutes with all the refusals to say sorry.
And I thought that I was stubborn.

Happy 9th Anniversary!!!!

Nine years ago I married my best friend in a church 5 minutes away from here. Ironic that I am near the wedding chapel and not near the best friend on our anniversary. Being apart has given us a new appreciation for each other- Kaylon has missed real conversation (Yoda doesn't really talk back much), dinner being ready when he gets home, and his laundry being 'magically' done. I've missed a shoulder to cry on, a daddy for my girls, and his abilty to make me laugh. We both have missed just laying in bed and talking about our days- comparing funny stoires and debating the days' news. It's just not the same on the phone or on Skype.

(I don't have all my pictures, so I chose this one from our anniversary 2 years ago that I got from this blog. You get the idea :) )

Happy Anniversary Kaylon!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reid Park Zoo in Tucson

We drove down to Tucson to visit the Reid Park Zoo yesterday. It was fun to spend some more time with my sister and her beautiful family.

Paytyn looking cute

Grace with the elephants

Liliana with the giraffes

Shane and the rhino


Moira looking at the fish

Liliana and Paytyn eating lunch

Liliana at the splash pad in the zoo

Grace and Paytyn


I was really looking forward to taking a picture of my kids on the peacock just outside the zoo because I have on of Grace there as a baby. Grace, of course, picked that moment to throw a fit because we told her no to the gift shop and no to the train. This is the result. Oh well, she's gonna have to live down that grimace for the rest of her life.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I get scared to write about personal topics; Personal thoughts and beliefs that I carry inside. But if you can't write about things close to your heart on your own blog, well, where can you write about them? (Plus I need to combat my greatest fear- rejection- by facing it head on.) Anyway that's my preface for writing about more contoversial things in the future. :)

I have a favorite blog that a friend of mine led me to (thanks Erin!). It's called "Women in the Scriptures" ( I just love this woman's insight and research about women and their roll in the gospel of Jesus Christ. She has put into words what I have always had in my heart, but hadn't taken the time to compose. Every entry is fascinating. I highly reccommend it! It has prompted me to write my own thoughts of womanhood and my role in society...

I am tired of a world where equality means "the same." I am tired of a world that says that in order for me to have worth I have to do the same thing as my husband. I'm tired of measuring up to a paycheck and struggling to be 'in charge.' I am a woman and I have infinate worth for being so. As a woman I can do something that no man can do: I can make human life. (I admit, my husband plays a part in this, but do you really need me to verify how much more of the work I do in this, or can we just start with the premise that my body does the majority? yes? thank you.)

And I know what some of you are going to say: So what. Every woman has the potential to bear children. Children are born every day- every second of every day. And then you are tied to those children and they restrict you and you can't go out and have a career. What is so special about having a uterus?

When did we as a society stop honoring motherhood? Not just marking it with a national holiday, but really honoring it? Get a perspective! Motherhood is the ability to MAKE LIFE! For each child we travel to the edge of life and stare death in the face in order to bring them into the world. How is that less noble than the playing with billions of dollars that my husband does every day? Which work will last into the eternities: the stock market or my children? I can make a vessel for a child of my Heavenly Father, so that that child can have a chance to come to earth and learn the needed lessons to progress in this life and the next. And then my Heavenly Father further asks me to stay home and to rear those children so that they will know about Him, know how to live a good life, know how to be a good person. He has asked ME to do that for His children. How can I not feel honored?

And there's a reason that He has asked women to do that. It's because (prepare yourselves!) He made us different than men. Yes, women are different than men. And not only is that ok, that's GOOD. There is so much work to do on this earth, that in His wisdom He made each of the sexes good at half of what needed to be done. He made men physically strong so that they could protect and work for their families. He made women sensitive so that they would be good at nurturing chidlren and those around them. He did this so that we can work together, equals in our separate duties, supporting each other in our work. It's quite beautiful how he designed it.

Now before you start in on my about women who aren't married or can't have children, and men that are good with children, trust me, I already know. My own husband is fantastic with children. Women should have an education or skills that she can use in the world. My own mother was a single mom for years and had a successful career as dental hygenist. There are circumstances in this imperfect, cruel world that require a woman to take on what is normally a man's role. My mother mourns the years that she was taken out of the home. She regrets how working in the office has hardened her. She wishes that she had had a man who could have protected her from that. I thank my own husband who takes his responsibilty seriously as he goes out into the world every week- at one point in our lives working two jobs- so that I can raise our children.

I'm don't think I'm unrealistic- although I probably am idealistic. I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us while we are here, and families are one of the most important parts of that plan. Another important part of that plan is choice. We have all been given the right to chose how we live our lives. And I am honestly not telling anyone to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. (I am totally against having babies just to have babies or reach some predetermined number of children, but that's another post.) The point I am trying to get across is that society is degrading the responsibilty that sets women apart from men. Soceity says that we need a paycheck or a title to be equal to the man next to us. I am saying that we are already equal. I am saying that creating life is important! I am saying that being a mother is a uniquely special title, ask any child! I am asking women to wake up and see ourselves as people of worth- just as we are. I am asking society to allow women to preform their duties without feeling inferior. Put womanhood back on the pedastal where it belongs- next to, not in front of or behind, the man and his role as provider and protector. See us as different again. See us as equals again.

Happy Belated Birthday Mom!

We were in Page for my mom's birthday, so we had a party for her at Stephen's house when we got back ino toown. We are all very blessed to have her here with us still. Noone quite realized at the time, but Mom was on her deathbed before she was hospitalized. Had her oncologist not made her go to the hospital, she very well could have died at home on her couch as her lungs filled with fluid. So this year we were especially grateful to have her here as we celebrated the day of her birth.

Mom with her coconut cream pie Pile up on Uncle Curti
Mom with her youngest grandchild Emma

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mom Update- August

It's been just shy of 3 months since Mom was hospitalized back in May. That was when she was started on the hormone treatment. We got the results of her most recent blood work today, as well as a bone scan. There was no evidence of cancer in the bones (one of the places that breast cancer most often moves to) AND her breast cancer marker went down and another cancer marker remained stable. We are estatic! This allows us to go forward as planned, which means that I and my kids will go home August 25th and get Grace ready to go to 1st grade. Mom and Brandon will drive to Minnestota shortly thereafter to visit with one of mom's friends for a month. Then they will drive to Virginia where Mom will start living with us and Brandon will get a ride to Quantico to join the Marines.

We feel extremely blessed by all the prayers, good thoughts, and helpful hands that we have received in our behalf. I know that Mom is sustained by the faith and love of all those around her. Thank you to all of you for everything!