Saturday, May 31, 2008

Emma Smith: My Story

Matt & Allyson Smith (great people and good friends from our ward) invited us to join them on a date to go to dinner and view the movie, Emma Smith: My Story. We left for dinner at 5:30 which meant we actually left Max AWAKE with a babysitter. After dinner I came home and put him to bed, then left again to watch the movie. It worked rather well, and the Max, amazingly enough, had a great time without us there. We really thought the movie was well done, (minus a few character castings). I am so glad to see Emma portrayed in such a good light-as I believe she was...courageous, faithful, strong, wise, charming, beautiful. She is one of my heros.

The movie ended with the words of a blessing she wrote out herself. She had requested Joseph to give her a blessing before he left to Carthage. He told her to write out on paper what she desired, and it would be hers. I remember first reading and memorizing this blessing years ago. The words have inspired me often--(I've kept them in my planner).

First of all that I would crave as the richest of heaven’s blessings would be wisdom from my Heavenly Father bestowed daily, so that whatever I might do or say, I could not look back at the close of the day with regret, nor neglect the performance of any act that would bring a blessing. I desire the Spirit of God to know and understand myself, that I may be able to comprehend the designs of God, when revealed through his servants without doubting. I desire a spirit of discernment, which is one of the promised blessings of the Holy Ghost.

I particularly desire wisdom to bring up all the children that are, or may be committed to my charge, in such a manner that they will be useful ornaments in the Kingdom of God, and in a coming day arise up and call me blessed.

I desire prudence that I may not through ambition, abuse my body and cause it to become prematurely old and care-worn, but that I may wear a cheerful countenance, live to perform all the work that I covenanted to perform in the spirit-world and be a blessing to all who may in any wise need aught at my hands.

I desire with all my heart to honor and respect my husband as my head, ever to live in his confidence and by acting in unison with him retain the place which God has given me by his side, and I ask my Heavenly Father that through humility, I may be enabled to overcome that curse which was pronounced upon the daughters of Eve.
I desire to see that I may rejoice with them in the blessings which God has in store for all who are willing to be obedient to his requirements. Finally I desire that whatever may be my lot through life I may be enabled to acknowledge the hand of God in all things.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Me and my sisters

For sisters week I commissioned a "professional" artist to do some caricatures of me and my sisters. She was going to make us into the Disney princesses. I had planned on using the caricatures for many things, but especially for a sister's quilt. The day before everyone came, the artist FINALLY gave me her drawings. I was STUNNED into speechlessness when she handed them to me. At the the time it was a horrible crisis--not exactly what I had in mind.

Now, I can look at the drawings and just laugh. Can you figure out which one is me? (I think it's the toad-looking gal on the bottom right, but who's to say???!!)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Scholastic Book Sale

Justin and I went with our home schooling group of mothers to the Scholastic Warehouse book sale where all there books are at least 50% off. It was so much fun to be with a group of well read moms who gave such good recommendations and reviews. Justin and I were in BOOK HEAVEN!!! It was a very exciting shopping event. At one point, Justin was all the way across the room from where I was- on the floor reading a book, when all of the sudden I hear him yell, "MOM! This book is AWESOME, we gotta get this one!" It made everyone smile. I love that Justin shares this love with me. (Thanks Carrie, for letting us know about the sale!)

I've not been a very good blogger lately as I forgot to take a picture! It was glorious!

In with the NEW out with the OLD

Well, we met the people who will be renting this home after we leave. In fact, the lady had lunch with us, then went to Enrichment with me tonight. She is LDS also, and now knows most of the ladies in the ward. Thus we must be gone by June 10th. If anyone wants to give me a birthday present, they can come help me pack!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Brooke Loves Justin

Justin received this fun picture via email from from American Idol contestant, Brooke White, with the message, "Brooke Loves Justin!"

I don't think I've ever seen Justin smile so BIG!

Thank goodness for food storage

Who needs the actual bridge supports anyway?

"Can you say____??"

At the breakfast table this morning:

Justin: Can you say "ba"?

Max: "ba"

Justin: Can you say "Ka"?

Max: "ka"
(pause), then Max adds something to the effect of "ba ka da"

Justin: Mom! Max just said PROCLAMATION! (to Max) Good Job Baby! Can you say "Styrofoam" ?

I laughed so hard! Justin has high expectations of his little brother going from "ba" to "styrofoam"! When Geoff asked Justin why he said "styrofoam" Justin told him that Max says it all the time. So there you have it...Max's vocab is Ba, Ka, Ma, Caca, bubu, proclamation and styrofoam! My children sure are brilliant!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What a Day!

This morning I drove to Camp Cascade about an hour north of our house to speak at the annual Stake Young Women "Legacy Lives" event. This is something the stake puts on for all the graduating seniors. They spend two days up at this beautiful camp/lodge and have speakers, workshops & special activities. They asked me to speak on motherhood. I love assignments like this, as I love to be with the older girls and I love opportunities to share my testimony. It was a special morning for me. And look at this scenery! Oh....It was so BEAUTIFUL!
After fixing and eating lunch, and taking care of Max, we loaded up and went to Lynelle King's home. Lynelle is an amazing person, and I LOVED spending time with her today. She home schools her 8 children and she reminds me a lot of Eddie Gallagher. She has been a great and important mentor for me since I've entered the home schooling circuit and has been a GREAT friend!
When we got home, someone came by to look at our desk that we put on Craig's list to sell late last night. They bought the desk.
Justin then went with Geoff to drive the big Green truck, and Max and I went for a bike ride. Before long, it started to sprinkle and I thought, "How refreshing!" Then it started to really come down hard. I was completely soaked to the bone. Max of course was loving the nice, cozy dry ride and the sound of the rain as it landed on the trailer. As I headed home, it began to hail and really pelted me GOOD! I was so tired when I finally made it home, I could hardly stand up. Still, it was a great way to end the evening...I LOVE being out in the rain.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!This is my Memorial Day Miracle. While at DeMordaunt's home yesterday, I told GayAnn her flowers were beautiful and that I was surprised that she was able to find Tulips so late in the season. (Mom had tried to find some for Jacob's grave today, but couldn't, so she got Oakley's flower--peruvian lilies, for the boys grave).

As we left, GayAnn gave me her beautiful bouquet of flowers. The miracle is that the bouquet includes a form of both of the boys flowers. So, although I cannot get them to their grave, they have really made a special Memorial Day for me! I LOVE them, and love having them here in my kitchen.

Thanks to you GayAnn! So continually you are so inspired in our behalf and bless us in beautiful ways! We all love you!

Fun in the Sun

This Morning is so beautiful! We started out helping Max on the scooter. He loves it, and I'm sure he will take to it on his own before long!

Then Geoff hooked up the trailer to my new bike, which I LOVE, and the boys and I went for a ride. Justin is such a good little rider, and very careful. I really don't have to worry about him. Max loves his trailer, and riding together is a fun time!

On our way home, we saw a family from our ward (The Falls) fishing in the pond with their 3 kids. They invited us to join them, and in only two tries, Justin caught a cute little fish!!! He was so excited, as was Max.

What a fun detour!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What are the odds?

Last week, when we found out that our Landlady had plans for us to be gone by July 1st, we began exploring our options. The following day, I went to Daisy McCauley's home an hour later than we had arranged, and her husband had come home for a late lunch (which he rarely is able to do) and we ended up talking about our housing situation. He laughed and said, "How ironic! My business is renting and leasing homes... what are you looking for?" It ends up, he had the perfect home for us at the perfect (and extremely generous) price. We will also do some trade work for him. So we will be moving to the Paramount Subdivision in Meridian in about 3 weeks. We hate to leave our ward and stake, but are so grateful for this immediate and wonderful and literally miraculous blessing! What are the odds that my coming late and his coming home would have provided such a perfect blessing?

Then Monday, we put our dining room table and hutch on Craig's list to sell, (No formal dining in this Meridian home) and 3 minutes later we received call from a lady who wanted to purchase it. It ends up that she is the wife of the Stake Counselor in our new Stake. What are the odds? So we met their whole family when they came to pick up the table.

Then tonight, we went over to the DeMordaunts for pie and Nertz. They had also invited some other friends of theirs to join in the festivities...The father happens to be the counselor in the Bishopric of our new ward. What are the odds? So we really got to know the Dean family, and they are fabulous. They live on the street just behind ours.

I love when things like this happen. It makes you feel like what you are doing is good and right, and that Heavenly Father is sending little miracles to help make the difficult transition a little bit easier.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Soggy Cheerios

Last Sunday in Sacrament Meeting, we gave Max some cheerios to try and keep him quiet (1 of 1,000 attempts to keep him entertained and quiet!). He shoved a handful into his mouth and got them nice and soggy, spit them into his hand, then chucked them into the nicely styled hair of the lady in front of us.

I was horrified, yet could hardly contain my laughter as I tried my best to retrieve the mushy cheerio remnants scattered in the lady's doo, without alarming her and attracting everyones attention on our little disaster.

Meanwhile, Max was onto his next disaster...he hucked his toy car (about 100mph) to the brother in the bench behind us so reverently listening to the speaker. If he were the suing type, we'd be in big trouble! Luckily for us, he had a great sense of humor, notwithstanding the lump on his head.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Homemade Too...our new Eagle art center

Today Justin and his friend Olivia Smith went to a new Art center here in Eagle called "Homemade, Too!" It's a really fun place tailored especially for kids. They give classes in painting and pottery making, and invite people in for individual creations. We did some ceramic painting today. Justin painted a truck and a turtle and Olivia painted a puppy and a fish. They both love art projects, so this was a very fun activity. I think it's a great place.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Family Night Discovery

For Family Night the lesson was on family prayer. We each wrote on a piece of paper 5 things that made us happy and 5 things that concerned us this past week. Top on ALL of our "Happy" lists was Max. There is something so special about Max. He brings such happiness into our home. We all love and adore him.

Things we love about Max at 15 months:
  • He is so perceptive and aware of EVERYTHING we do. Yesterday, for the first time when we were saying a prayer, he folded his arms and bowed his head (totally unsolicited by me). I was shocked! I've never tried to teach him reverence during prayer time...I've just tried to keep his destruction to a minimum. He just watches and acts.
  • He is especially snuggly. He loves his brown fuzzy max blanket, and of course his pacifier. But he loves most to be held and holds on so tightly when he snuggles back. Most of the time he will pat us on the back like you would to comfort a small cute. He is so generous with his hugs and kisses.
  • Max is an entertainer. He loves to laugh and to make us laugh. He'll do things like turn his pacifier sideways in his mouth so that it distorts his nose, and will look at us and just laugh. He is a ham, no doubt.
  • I predict that Max will be a little athlete. He LOVES anything to do with any type of ball. He throws and kicks a ball amazingly well for his age. He'll watch a ball sport with great fascination for a long time.
  • Max is very passionate (that's the positive word for temper :). He can and does scream at the top of his lungs when he doesn't get what he wants. Ie, when I put him down in his crib after feeding him in the middle of the night, he will SCREAM and hit his crib and throw his blanket and animals out to make his statement! He is very vocal about what he wants.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


This year, for 2nd grade, Justin and I are going to try home schooling with the K12 curriculum. It is what they call a virtual academy. It's basically public school at home. There are benefits such as they supply the families with all the curriculum. This is a wonderful savings. They have an amazing Co-op for Music, Science, Art and Foreign language. I have my reservations about it, but am hopeful it will be a positive experience.

Justin just finished testing to see where he should be placed. He answered all the questions for 1st and 2nd grade at 100%, and about 75% in 3rd Grade (WOW! Way to go Justin!). So he will start the year at 3rd grade for math and language arts. I was grateful to know that we've been able to teach him what he needs to know and them some. Justin is a great student. Most of the time it is pure pleasure to teach him.

My fun garage sale find

Here it is... my FIRST garage sale find. Justin found it this afternoon even though I had stashed it away for a special surprise later on. He has this little sensor that helps him find these things! He had it almost put together by the time I found out that he found it! As you can see, ALL my boys love it! Justin and I had an especially good laugh watching Geoff try to get through the maze.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Heart warming Report

Today, Justin went to Jake Majors birthday party. We've had many discussions about using moderation when eating outside of our home (especially when served things we don't normally eat, specifically in this setting...sugar.)

When I picked Justin up, Jake's mom, Tyla, told me that Justin asked her for just a small piece of chocolate cake (his favorite). He ate it with all the other kids. When the kids wanted seconds. Justin asked Tyla if there was something else he could eat, so she gave him trail mix. (Thanks Tyla!)

It's such a small thing in the way of sugar, and such a big thing in the way of self-discipline. I am glad Justin uses good judgment when he eats, but I am especially grateful that he is such a trustworthy boy. Even when it's hard, Justin always chooses to do what he knows is good and right. I am so grateful to have him as a son--he inspires me.

A Picnic in the Parking lot

We intended to go to the river and play this afternoon, but the river is so high and rapid right now that the authorities have asked for people to stay away until it settles a bit. So we went to the pet store instead and watched and played with the animals there.

As we were getting out of the car, Justin said, "I'm starving!" Having packed snacks for the river, I figured we may as well make the best of them there in the parking lot... So I just opened up the hatch, and we sat in the shade of the car eating apples, sugar snap peas and blueberries. It was fun and refreshing on this VERY HOT day.

It doesn't matter where you picnic with these boys, just so long as there is good food to eat!!

Beauty and THE BEAST

Here is "Beauty" my much loved Acura MDX that we've gratefully and happily driven for the last 5 years. We are selling her, and last Thursday bought her replacement...
THE BEAST... a 2000 Ford Excursion, diesel.
I've been mourning the idea of giving up my BEAUTY because I've really loved the MDX. But crazy as it is, I really like the BEAST. Why such a trade? Well, this truck, like Sophie, will run on Bio Diesel fuel that we make, and has the capacity to run on recycled veggie oil. No more gasoline for this family...yipee!!! The best part is, that since the market for diesel vehicles is so bad right now, we bought it for a GREAT price. The sale of the Acura will most likely pay for Sophie, this excursion and our investment in the Bio fuel machine. YEA! I can imagine this is what garage sale seekers feel when they make a great find.

We may not have a home, but at least we have a vehicle we can all sleep in!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Rock Eater

This afternoon Max got a rock stuck in his mouth. I wish so bad that I had a video camera to record it, but Justin and I, our neighbors and the landscape boy sure had a good laugh. It was so big, he couldn't close his mouth or move it at all. I had to twist and turn and finagle it to get it out. I have hopes that it will scare him away from future rock eating ventures, but I am doubtful. Geoff seems to think that he is now more ambitious to conquer bigger and rougher rocks. This is much more likely.

It just dawned on me that I may have inspired this incident. Each night before Max goes to sleep, I sing The Big Mouth Frog to him. Hmm. Maybe I will start singing about the Small Mouth Frog.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

McCauley Flower

Tonight for part of our dinner we had cauliflower. Max was having a hay day eating and throwing the cauliflower all over. Justin who is partial to peace and order cried out, "Mom! The McCauley Flower is going all over the place!"

When he realized what he said, we both had a good laugh. We have several wonderful McCauley friends in church and home school that we spend a lot of time with....maybe TOO much, as now our cauliflower has become McCauley flower!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cracked Up and Kicked Out!

A few weeks ago Geoff noticed a small crack in the front window of the house we are renting. Within a few days it grew to what you see in the picture. We called the Landlord to tell her about it. She was furious (to say the least) and wanted to know how it happened. We had no idea. The mystery became more complicated because the crack is on the inside of the window. All of our potted plants are there behind the table so we keep it barricaded so Max--the soil scavenger cannot get to them. The boys don't ever go back there...they can't. We don't ever spend time in this room unless we have guests. ???? We we're baffled.

So..., we had 3 different glass appraisers come and look at it, and all three told us that the crack was caused due to the tint on the window and the window facing directly at the sun--it simply got too hot and cracked.

Well our landlady didn't like the reports, and is still very upset, even though we have covered the entire expense to replace it. The Plot thickens....

A few days ago we received a call from our previous Bishop asking us why we are leaving this home and where we are going. "What????", we said. It ends up that our landlady has plans to re-rent the home to somebody else by July 1, and our Bishop's son is in the market looking and found our house listed for rent. No wonder we've been showing it so much lately!!!

Brother. Another move. We are so excited.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mother - A Mother's Day Tribute

As soon as I woke up, I wanted to talk to my "moms" both of whom I love dearly. Today I pay special tribute to the Mom that raised dear DEAR mother.

All my life growing up, I dreamed of being a mother and having children of my own. Not only was I taught that this is the most noble of all callings in life, but I felt it because my mother loved being a mom and dedicated her life to magnifying that calling. I had a happy and memorable childhood and have wonderful memories of my mother.

Simple, yet profound, one of my favorite memories is talking with my mom one afternoon, me sitting on top of the dryer while mom folded the clothes. I had concern. We talked for quite a while (there were a lot of dirty clothes, or maybe she just folded them a little slower this time) and how quickly my big concern was resolved as I sat near my mom encompassed in her love and wisdom.

My mom is so REAL. Every word she speaks is sincere. All of my friends growing up loved to spend time at my home. My mom was MOM to all. She loves everyone, and everyone loves her. To this day, throngs of people totally unrelated to me walk freely into her home with a hug and , "Hi mom!" Her love and friendship is unconditional and never ending.

How do I describe my mom now? Loyal, stalwart and unmovable to everything good and right, wise, true, tenacious, humble, understanding, sincere, encouraging, noble, beautiful, of my dearest and most cherished friends.

During my most difficult trials, my mom has been right by my side. She has had an amazing ability to understand the aches of my heart and to bring comfort to my soul. I KNOW the Lord gave me my mother so I could endure the passing of my two little boys. I couldn't have made it without her. My triumphs have been hers, and she continually encourages me toward heaven's end.

I know God loves me, because he delivered me into the arms of my beautiful mother.

Thank you, Mom. You gave me life. You showered me with love, and you have placed me firmly on my feet facing the SON. I couldn't be more grateful. I love you dearly.

Mother's Day Surprise!

What a FUN Mother's day! Geoff and Justin (and Max) made a gourmet breakfast for me with rose pedals and all. Then Justin gave me the first of several clues for a scavenger hunt that eventually lead to my "just something little" mother's day surprise...a bike!!! I loved the clues they gave me. Justin has been reading The Third Grade Detective series and has been learning a lot of codes. They made me work hard! I was VERY surprised and so excited. Now we can all go biking together as a family. I am so excited.

After church, the boys made one of my favorite Sunday dishes, veggie omelet. Only when Geoff cooks, he goes all out. I enjoyed a gourmet of gourmet omelets. It was so delicious!

I love Sundays and I love Mother's Day!

The Mourning Dove

Kris Horton, my kindred spirit and DEAR DEAR friend gave me this book for Christmas, The Mourning Dove. I just finished reading it this week. It's BEAUTIFUL! The author I can only assume is LDS, and teaches in a simple yet beautiful story the reality and power of the atonement of the Savior in our personal lives. The message has inspired in me a new desire to REMEMBER HIM and to HONOR HIM everyday and in every way. I want to read it with Justin.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Day of learning

I took Justin and his friend Coltin Wright to the Discovery Center of Idaho. They spent 3 hours learning about flight and had an absolute ball making helicopters, planes, and boomerangs.

Max and I spent 3 hours learning about Canadian geese (who happily came right up to us and ate our lunch with us), and about...
roadside assistance. Yep, I locked the keys in my car. It was all in all a very educational day.

Rocks and Dirt...that's all it takes

"Oh my! This is all so overwhelming! Which rock shall I eat first???"

While Justin played with his friend Alec Atkinson, Max and I found a BIG pile of rocks by the river in Two Rivers and played for a couple of hours. I've decided to invest my money in rocks and dirt for any future children who want toys. What fun they have!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Shannon Hale's new book

GayAnn DeMordaunt bought this book for me when she found out that our Sister's week was based on Shannon Hale's previous book, Princess Academy, hoping I could read it and recommend it to my sisters before they left. Well, I just finished this book last week, and I LOVED it! Book of a Thousand Days is definitely in my list of top 10 books. It is an AWESOME love story that teaches the beauty and importance of being TRUE to yourself, to others, and to your word. Her writing is so poetic, so creative...and captivating. I highly recommend it. I am continually thinking about the message it so powerfully instills.

Thank you GayAnn!!!!!

Hot Potato?

My little Einstein discovered a new way to cool his hot potato! When Justin saw steam rising from his baked potato, he ran out to the garage and lugged in the air pump. It worked all right. Geoff and I are thinking how we can add this appliance in our new home! Hmmm.

The Boise 500!

Now that summer sunshine is here, Justin takes his bike on our morning adventure expeditions. He and Max love to race... Justin loves it because he usually always wins, and Max loves to go fast and try to catch Justin. Mom loves to get in a few laps of exercise. I'm sure we provide our neighbors some funny morning entertainment!

Our little Ducklings

This is the little family of ducklings we look for each morning on our adventure walk. The mother made her nest under a bush by the pond where we live and her 8 ducklings just hatched this last week. We usually always spot them, and watch them for a while. Yesterday, they were all actually on the trail we were walking on, and we were able to get pretty close. They are SO cute!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Geoff and I went for our first time since living in Boise the the Cinema to see a movie. we saw Expelled. WOW! $18. I knew it was expensive, but I couldn't believe how much!

Even though we missed the 7:00 showing and ended up in Home Depot looking at home plan magazines for an hour, we were able to catch the late show and watch this VERY INTERESTING movie. Craig & Kris Horton highly recommended it, and we really liked it. It is a documentary about the struggle in today's science society between the theories of Darwinism, Creationism and Intelligent Design. The hypothesis is that we are indeed losing our freedom to believe in theories that don't jive with the masses. Very thought provoking, and well put together.

Stand N Deliver

Our group

Little Red Ridinghood

The Big Bad Wolf in w/Grandma's hair and in Grandma's bed

the Cast

Stand and Deliver was SO fun this morning, as are they all! This year we've had some great talents shared, including piano performance, violin, recorders, and singing; TiKwando (sp?) routine, inventions & creations, homemade movies, storytelling, "how-to" demonstrations, cooking, recitations of poetry and scripture, math tricks and so on..., and then this morning, this TOO CUTE play of Little Red Ridinghood.

Justin played 3 songs on the piano--Cuckoo, I know my Redeemer Lives, and Children Around the World. He did a really GREAT job!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Fort

Two days ago Justin, Max and I went exploring and discovered this VERY AWESOME fort. It has been our #1 find this summer so far--we love it here! Today we showed Tyla Majors and her kids and GayAnn DeMourdant and her boys the SECRET LOCATION. We were there for hours! It is right by the river in a forest of trees...gorgeous! The kids had a ball!

I honestly can't imagine a better time. Tyla and GayAnn are two of my favorite people and it was a treat to be able to spend so much time with them in a place so rejuvenating.