Monday, August 31, 2009

Eyelashes 101

Okay, if you know me really well, you know that I am a little obsessed with eyelashes. Heck, if you don't know me very well, you might stumble on this obsession as well. I think eyelashes are fabulous. I think they make a face look complete. Maybe I like eyelashes because I don't have any...really. I enjoyed my eyelash extensions for two glorious months...loving every minute of them. Eyelashes are the first thing I notice on a persons face. Funny side bar here...

Apparently I am not the only one that notices facial hair on others. I had literally just walked in the door for my sister's wedding. My sister-in-law, from a considerable distance, took one look at me and without batting an eye (pun totally intended there), exclaimed, "Hey, you got your eyebrows waxed!" Either Birgitta has an eye for finer facial hairs, or I had seriously been in need of a weed whacker running across my eyebrows.

Anyway, unbelievably, or not, we ended up on the subject of eyelashes at RS Enrichment a few weeks ago. I was complaining about my stiff, coarse, stinkin' unmanageable eyelashes. A gal in our ward said that if you heat up your eyelash curler before giving your lashes the old squeeze, they will curl better. So, I tried it. I laid my curler on the hair processing tool that I had chosen to tame my beastly hair with that day, and let it heat up. Whoa. Let me say, "BLING". My eyelashes were actually visible. It worked! I could actually still see them by bedtime that night.

So, if you have the same affliction with your lashes as I do mine, give it a try. Just be careful. It does get hot. It is a really weird sensation to burn your eyelid.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I have hesitated doing this post because of the personal nature of the content. In the same token, it seems sad not to since this has been preoccupying us for the past couple of days.
My sister-in-law, Cindy, (married to Jeff's older brother, Kallen) passed away suddenly on Wednesday night. The cause is still unknown. It has been a tragic event, obviously. It has made our own mortality hit us smack in the face. She was only in her 40's.
She was a nurse in Labor and Delivery at our hospital. She was apparently a great nurse that made an impression on a lot of people. All I have to do is mention her name and everyone seems to have known her. She had contact with a lot of people because of the nature of her job. One woman even told me that she felt compelled to write a letter to the hospital, thanking them for her kind manner and great care. What a tribute to her. They are sure feeling the loss, as is our family.
Her services are coming up this Wednesday and Thursday. Not my favorite type of family reunion.
We have had a lot of sadness this week. A 19 year old girl in our ward passed away Thursday morning. She also died suddenly of causes still unknown. I will be playing the organ at her funeral on Tuesday. I am really wondering if I am really going to be capable of doing two funerals this week. Not your average week, for sure.
At times like this, we really need our faith in place. I know that it is hard to submit to the will of our Heavenly Father and be okay with His decision to remove these loved ones from our earthly care and presence. It is my prayer that we will be able to fully trust in the Lord, now and always. I pray that we will know that we are loved and that the Lord is fully aware of us and our sadness. It is my hope that these sad events will draw us closer to Him!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Boys Toys

It has been said that if you could only choose two toys for your children, buy them a set of blocks, and a set of Legos. That way, when they are 40-something, they are capable of building:

the coolest outhouse ever.

Both of my boys completely impressed themselves.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fruit of my Labor

Literally. Fruit. Singular. One fruit. And let's all be honest here, really not that much labor. With the craziness of our summer, our poor little garden has taken a hit. We have had this one, lone melon out there for a while. I was waiting for it to give a little more umph. But it, too, gave up the ghost. So, we picked it. We ceremoniously cut it open, with very little expectations. If watermelons don't get enough water, they are bitter. All of our wee watermelons in the summer's past have been bitter. Seeing a trend here?

Needless to say, it was VERY sweet and VERY juicy... and very warm. Not a good idea to go from garden to cutting board. After a little fridge time, we snarfed it. It was GOOOOOD. We were all in shock. Chase has pronounced me the best gardener in the world. Wait until his world gets a little bigger. He is going to be sorely disappointed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Well, it has begun. School has started. We are now ranked among the masses who use the crossing guard. We have been stopping for this crossing guard for a couple of years. Unbeknownst to Chase, I have been dreading the use of this crossing guard, along with every other little thing that means he is in school...since the day he was born. When I mentioned this to Chase, he said,

"How can you be so sad about me going to school? I am so excited!"
I was lamenting kindergarten to a friend of my, several days ago. She could only belly laugh at how ridiculous I was sounding. She said that she had heard of mothers like me, but hadn't been one herself. I, uh, mmmm, well, ya, and, uh...I seem to have no reponse to that.

Much to my happiness, I handled yesterday like an old pro. I was nearly hyperventilating as we walked to school. The closer we got, the more my legs turned to Jell-o. Jeff showed up, just as we got to the crossing guard. A little symbolic?
Once we got there, I was fine. Chase crossed the threshold of his room and was gone. He didn't need any introduction or excuse to dive head first. He had arrived! I walked out of the school like I had been doing this for years. Until I hit the end of the sidewalk. It hit me that I had been distracted by talking to the teacher and other parents, AND I FORGOT TO KISS HIM GOODBYE! He was so busy being involved that we didn't even say goodbye to him. Jeff tried to convince me it was not a big deal and I would just make a scene. Knowing that I would somehow put a scar on today, a scar that could never be removed, I went running back in to the school. Chase threw his arms around me and told me he loved me. I gave him a big fat kiss, told him I loved him, too , and wished him the happiest first day of school ever. There. I felt better. I know. Drama. Just tell me where to pick up my crown for Drama Queen.
Just to remind everyone that this day really was about Chase, and not his mother, Chase did have a fabulous day. He loves kindergarten. He told me that his teacher is "the nicest girl in the whole wide world." He suffers from the same affliction that I do, however. I have recently been diagnosed with "spontaneous disclosure". We are now seeing that it is hereditary. Chase told the girl cutting his hair that his teacher was not the one that he requested, but he likes her anyway. He just hopes that she doesn't give him hard homework.
Oh, if this excitement could continue until the 12th grade. Won't Chase be devastated when he finds out there is no recess in high school. We will keep that a secret for now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Title of Liberty

Sorry about the blurry picture! My camera was on the wrong setting,
but I was in to big of a hurry to move to the next activity to notice
or to be able to do anything about it!!

I have been wanting to do a special Family Home Evening lesson as we are getting ready to enter the "school years". Things are going to change. Influences will increase. Agency will be tested. I know, it's only kindergarten. But, I need to make sure that I have taught Chase the things he needs to know to be the best kiddo while he is away from us. If you are making fun of me right now, let me assure you; you have no idea!

Anyway, I was looking for an FHE idea to start the school year off right, and the September issue of the Friend came. I took one look at the cover and got my idea. We made our own family's Title of Liberty, with toilet paper rolls, painters tape, and a paper bag. After reviewing Captain Moroni's account in Alma 46, we wrote down and discussed all of the choices that will can make that will help keep us free. I was both impressed and encouraged with Chase's knowlege and desire. Chase wanted to march around the room with the Title, just as Moroni. We topped the night off with a father's blessing for Chase to start the school year. It was a successful and fun Family Home Evening!

Monday, August 24, 2009

We Are Blessed!

I am not sure how many of you will be able to handle a serious post, but I need to take a quick break from the lighter side.

Yesterday, along with many other members of our church, we were able to attend the dedication of the Oquirrh temple. What I am thankful for is

A Prophet. How much does our Heavenly Father love us by giving us this vital connection to the heavens?! What a wonderful prophet he is. We are truly loved and lead by a worthy man who wants us to succeed.

The Sealing Power of the Temple. Our little family would be incomplete if not for this gift. We went over six months without being sealed to our boy. I feel I more fully understand the anxiousness of those who are waiting.

Our Ancestors. I have studied and learned so many of my names in so many of the lines of ancestors that I am beginning to KNOW that I KNOW them. They are real to me. Yesterday I was overcome with emotion for all of the valient spirits waiting for the blessings of the temple. I realized my part in their lives, hundreds of years later.

Such Access to the Temple. Seriously. We are surrounded by temples. I could literally hear the voices of those gone before, singing along with the anthems of Hosannas yesterday. Boy, do we have a lot expected of us.

The Gospel. I am so thankful to know that I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father. I am thankful for His instruction and His patience. I am thankful for the Savior. I know that I have not even come close to comprehending what the Savior can to for me. I am thankful for repentance. It helps me feel like I can catch my breath everyday.

Days Like Today! I am grateful for days like today, when the blessings in my life hit me square in the face. I need days like today.

We are indeed a blessed people!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Date

This handsome little man asked me out on a date the other day. I was putting on my make-up and Chase came in to my bathroom. He announced he had to go potty and thought that he would like to come use my bathroom so I could have some company. How thoughtful. How stinky, but how thoughtful.
During our "pot" chat, Chase made the observation that it has been a long time since we have been on a "mother-son" date. So, we planned that Friday, we would have our date. With our favorite food being Chinese, and our Dad not liking it, Chinese seemed the perfect date for the two of us.
We had a perfect date. He was a perfect gentleman. The cute waiter, who barely spoke English, but seemed to read in any language that this kid was starving, took Chase ahead and seated him while I finished paying. When I got to our table, this adorable date of mine invited me to sit down with him. I knew the date was going to go really well.
I can't remember the last time I was on a date with a more handsome gentleman. Oh, unless you count a couple of weeks ago when I sat at a different restaurant table across from the handsome adult version of this little boy.
Thanks for our date, buddy. I am pretty lucky to be the only girl you would be caught in public with. Now that you are getting ready to start school, you may start to realize there are more fish in the sea. Until then, I am happy to be your date!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Time Flies

While Jeff and I lived in Logan, I had the privilege of working with a group of Young Women for 6 years. I started with the Beehives and went up with them as Miamaids. I unbelivably went up with them as Laurels, as well. During these 6 years, I had what I consider to be the most amazing YW ever put on this planet. When my laurels started leaving, I was released. I have often referred to these girls as my prize during my years of infertility. It was not just these girls that were amazing. All of my YW that came in seemed to have a special aire about them. I truly think I was the luckiest woman ever to get to serve these girls at that time.

Last Friday, one of my former YW, Cassie, was married in the Logan Temple. She had just become a MiaMaid when I was released. Her older sister, Chalice, had been one of the girls that I had followed up the ladder. These girls were special in their own right, but I think even more so because I was also their piano teacher.

Anyway, they all live in Idaho now, so the fact that they came here for the wedding was a bonus. I was soooooooo excited to go! It felt like we had never been apart. Just the sounds of their voices made me nostalgic and a little teary. Sigh. They were all so grown up. Funny thing, though...I am still the same age. Crazy how that works, eh? Even more amazing, I am pretty sure I am still not any more mature. Maybe someday. Hopefully not.

Thanks for inviting me to be a part of your special day, Cassie! You are such a beautiful bride. Chalice, you are an amazing woman! Here's to the next generation of amazing Young Women!

Cassie and John

Cassie with former leaders (Karla came from Illinois)

Chalice, on the right, with her little sis and gma
A few of the former YW troop, battling the wind.
Is anyone surprised at the baby in my arms? This sweet baby belongs to Chalice, gulp. She jumped into my arms and did what all babies seem to do while in my arms...fell asleep.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What Did You Just Say?

The other day, I was downstairs for a quick second. I heard a scamper of feet, then a toilet flushing. Then I found myself, using my high-pitched, "I'm the Mother of the Year" voice, exclaiming,

"Did you just go pee IN the TOILET!? Thank you, buddy! Good job!

After Chase issued a very proud "yup" and a "you're welcome", I literally stopped in my tracks. Did I just thank my son for using a toilet? Did I really just have to praise my son for peeing INSIDE? Why am I thanking him for doing something that should have been the norm? And where does he get off with that sweet, innocent "You're welcome", sounding so triumphant?
Did he paint the Sistene Chapel, or finally heed my threatenings and choose to come inside to go pee, for what I think might be the first time all summer?

I finally busted up laughing. I laughed at the ridiculous things that I have found myself saying since talking on this job called "Mom". I have decided that it comes with the territory, especially where boys are concerned. I am sure it won't get better any time soon. I am sure it will even get worse. But for now, I will just file it away with the other crazy things I've heard myself say...things like,

"No, Chase, kidnappers don't know what you like to eat, nor do they care."


"If you are going to lick your feet, you might as well lick the floor."

Chase just met his kindergarten teacher at Back to School night. At the end of the year, we'll compare notes on the things we have found coming out of our mouths. I can't be sure, but I think she might win.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Little Boy with the Big Brown Nose

You have to love the sweet, innocent honesty of children...especially when it works out in your favor. When a child tells you that you stink, in public, okay, that's not so nice. But when a child throws a warm fuzzy your way, you can grab it with confidence. You know it's sincere. For the most part.

The other day, Chase sat at the island while I did dishes. We were chatting about this and that. I nonchalantly asked him what he would think if I would get smaller and smaller. He furrowed his brow. I could tell that the wheels were spinning in his head as he was trying to wrap his brain around what I had just asked him. After what felt like an eternity, he finally said,

"Well, then, you'd be a baby."

I said, "No, not this way (arms going from top to bottom), but this way (arms coming in from the side)."

Chase returned to that pensive look. Then, he scrunched up his nose and said,

"No, I wouldn't like that at all. I want you to stay the Mom you are now. I like the way you are now."

Oh, did I mention there would be a nice bonus in your allowance this week, kid? Thanks for the vote of confidence. You make me feel perfect!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Big Fish

Chase took his first ever swimming lessons that finished last week. I have to admit, I almost felt a little obligated to put him in these lessons. I felt like I was inflicting some sort of abuse on Chase by having him be the only child on the planet who had not taken swimming lessons at least once by the age of five. When I told Chase that he was going to get to have lessons, he acted like THAT was the abuse he was meant to take.

But, alas, after his first lesson, he skipped out to the car holding my hand, praising me for the smarts to sign him up for "such fun" lessons.

I had a bit of a gripe with where they had to place him. He has never had formal lessons before, but he was born with gills, as his mother was. But, since these were his first lessons, they put him in a preschool class. His teacher said that she kept forgetting that he was only five, saying that "he is quite mature for his age". I was thinking that maybe it was because he was such an excellent swimmer. Let's be honest. I think it's because when standing in the water with his classmates, while they bob to stay above the water, Chase stands exposed to nearly his navel.

Anyway, Chase has now graduated from the preschool level (humph) and has now been given permission to move up a level. Maybe in the "real" lessons, they will call the "windmill", the crawl stroke. As a former swimming teacher, that kind of rubbed me raw. After a particular lesson, Chase came back calling it the crawl stroke. I was excited that the teacher was finally calling it by the right name. Chase said that she was still saying it wrong...but he had tried to correct her. Gulp. Sorry. As I said, he is my son.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Invention of an Old Idea

You know you have made a good food when your child is too busy eating and making satisfied smacking sounds to even tell you how good it is.

The other day, we wanted grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. I was a little discouraged when I opened the fridge and realized that I had shredded and frozen all of my cheese. As I was shutting the door, my eye caught a couple of old pieces of Muenster cheese in desperate need of use or toss. Chase and I are quite the turophiles (big word for the day, means lover of cheese). Chase is, however, a little afraid of the orange stuff on the outside of Muenster, thinking it has to be hot. So, I slapped those Muenster slices on the bread, on the QT, ran it up the flag pole to see if Chase would salute. Chase took one bite and was GONE. This is what I saw for the next ten minutes:
Now that's some cheese. It was a tangled web of ooey, gooey cheese. Needless to say, there is now more Muenster cheese in our fridge. We are no longer afraid of the orange stuff. Since Thursday, we have had Muenster quesadillas three times (the fact that they are on homemade tortillas probably bumps up the already good factor!) My nephew Seth ate three. He says they are better than Costa Vida's. Hey, man, that's all the thanks I need.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Every Boys Dream

Jeff finished most of the roof on Chase's fort on Saturday evening at about 5 PM. Chase moved in at 5:02. Chase has been in heaven. What boy doesn't want his own fort? For some reason, however, and I just can't imagine where Chase gets these ideas, he thinks he is getting a fully stocked, fully operational Man Cave. I guess it could stem from the fact that his dad has one, one with which Chase enters with an air of reverence and awe. Chase has mapped out where he wants his microwave, for popcorn, and his fridge, for soda. Uh huh. Keep dreaming, kid.
I did, however, settle for the toy b-bque grill, basket of play food, play vacuum, car carpet, sleeping bag and camping chair, and an old phone set, which Jeff even mounted to the wall. What a cool dad. Our three neighbor kids helped Chase move in and played house for hours.
To put the icing on the cake, Jeff and Chase slept out there that night, until it rained. Leaky roof.
It is almost done. I am sure there will be a little more interior decorating. We will paint it and put tin on the roof. I am envisioning a "No Girls Allowed" sign plunked on the side, only because all boys forts have them, not because there will not actually be girls allowed. That rule has already been broken many times over.
Way to go, Dad. You sure know how to make a little boy's dreams come true!!

Friday, August 7, 2009


Just to let you know, all is well on the Future Missionary Front.

This afternoon, we had our neice's 81/2 year old son, Seth, over for the day. Chase and Seth were in Chase's room playing with Legos. I heard Seth, quite excitedly ask Chase how much money he had in his jar. Chase very calmly and matter-of-factly said,

"Well, that's not MY money. It's mission money."

Okay, good, so the FHE battering-ram worked.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


These are my boys. Their favorite color is dirt.

Gotta love a dirty 4-wheel ride.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Worth of a Puppy

We have fallen in love with German Shorthair dogs. Our neighbors had one that I was in love with, who has since died. I shed tears, REAL tears, for a week after he died. I have really missed him. Before Hunter died, however, our neighbors had brought home another German Shorthair puppy, a girl this time. I have since fallen in love with her, as well. She had puppies while we were in Nauvoo. They are the CUTEST puppies known to man. Jeff is holding firm to the "No Pets" rule (a rule which I actually agree with, but have more fun making him look like the bad guy) and is staying out of the vortex of cuteness that seems to suck you in and make you lose all will power.
Our neighbor is relentless, however. He has even "picked" ours for us. She is mellow and adorable, two must have's. He knocked on our door last week, during Family Home Evening, holding "our" puppy. I, course, immediatly break form and turn into a puddle, spewing inaudible baby talk while letting her lick my face. Chase jumps on my lap and begins doing the same thing. We are wimps against the power of this puppy.
Chase starts his round of begging, again, in hopes of wearing down his Pa. In my quick attempt to stand united with my husband, but forgetting that I am under the spell of this puppy, incapable of saying anything rational and mature, I blurt,
"You know, Chase, this puppy costs a lot of money. You would have to empty your whole mission account, and then some, to be able to buy her."
Did I mention that I wasn't thinking clearly? The gravity and stupidity of what I said hit me when Chase, who had disappeared a few minutes earlier, came around the corner with his mission jar. He very quietly and a little hesitantly said,
"Okay, I'll trade my mission money for the puppy."
Gulp. Uh, well, I, you, we, uh, that is, duh, um....Neighbor, you gotta go! We're having the Extended Version of Family Home Evening tonight! Mom's gotta eat her words and we have some s'plaining to do!
Needless to say, Chase now has two jars. One full one, for his mission, and one empty one...for a puppy.