Saturday, June 28, 2008


I was looking at our schedule and stressing out a bit over the lack of photo shoots, until this week that is. It seems Heavenly Father was giving us a break during the time we needed to work on our sprinkler system. The whole yard thing has been a little overwhelming but with all the help from family and tips from a neighbor, it's been a task worth conquering after all.

I have another page getting published - this time the Nov/Dec Issue of Simple Scrapbooks Magazine. I just received the call and I am so excited! They want to know all kinds of things about me and what inspired the page. I made every last bit of it, the paper, embellishments, illustrations, and took all of the photos. It's 100% digital - okay so 99% of my stuff is...what can I say?

I also have a birthday invitation and party favors being published in one of the fall issues of Digital Scrapbooking Magazine - look for Coleton's sweet face.

Also, be on the watch as I have a page with our family photo in it, the one on my purse, being published in the September Issue of Creating Keepsakes Magazine along with a free digital download, a first for me.

I met with a Bride on Tuesday to pick photos for her custom photo guestbook. Tyler photographed a bride on Wednesday. I photographed a baby last night and the photos are gorgeous and Tyler photographed a baby tonight and the photos are amazing! And tomorrow Tyler gets to photograph a family. In the morning though we are helping an older neighbor who needs some yard work done. I'm excited to teach my children (especially Haeley) more about kind acts of service.

There is a call for winter cover pages for a scrapbooking magazine and I am so excited. It was just the motivation that I needed to get these 5 favorite winter photos that I love, scrapbooked. I looked for ideas online, a jumping off point sort of thing and I found it! I am so excited I can hardly stand it! I wanted to make the pages for my family, but if they get published, then I will also be able to get the three copies of the 2008 family scrapbook that I want to have printed in January - I know thinking ahead, but I HAVE to! Besides, I got the idea that I needed for the month marker pages in those scrapbooks as well! YES! Anyway, I better go to bed or I will be singing the Sleepy Monster tune in the morning instead of being happy to be awake.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

it's officially summer around here

We went camping on Friday and that means that it is officially summer around here! Haeley really wanted to go. We took time off from working on the sprinkler system to have some FUN with the kids. After shopping, I needed new sunglasses and jeans and eye liner, we loaded up the Jeep and headed up into the mountains. We didn't have to go very far. We camped by R* Creek and enjoyed a secluded spot not far off the beaten path. We walked down to the creek and the kids had a blast watching the dandelions float down into the creek. Then we played frisbee.

And I got a few photos of the kids.

I am really grateful for a husband who takes the time to be with his children, and not just be next to them, but to interact with them. I've seen the joy that this has brought into his life and into the lives of my children. That, in and of itself, brings me joy. He is also a great husband. We work great together as a team. We are far from perfect but very in love and we are learning together.

Today was stake conference. Well, last night was the 18 and older session and today we went as a family. I took a few notes when I went last night. Tyler watched the kids and his brother and their kids came as well. I received many answers to my prayers last night. I went with a prayer in my heart that I would be able to know what to do next to help me to be a better mother. I learned just what I needed to hear right now. I wrote down my impressions as well, the little thoughts of things I could do. Really, there is so much to do, and I decided that I will keep a journal, loose leaf, that I can write down those impressions and then when I do something that pertains to those, then I will write down what I did and what occurred. I felt a little overwhelmed, but felt that by doing these things, I will be prepared when the more difficult problems come around and I will be able to keep track of my progress as a mother and a daughter of God. I learned from listening to another's experiences, my neighbor's actually, more about my own experience with severe illness.

Friday, June 20, 2008


last year, when I bought this plant I got 3 buds - this year we have plenty and it's beautiful. I spent $30 on plants last year so that I'd have something okay to look at as I sat and ate breakfast and looked out my kitchen window. The rest of the plants in the yard are starts from my mother in law's. In fact, she just ripped them out of the ground when we were getting the yard ready for her youngest's wedding. I asked if it was okay to try to get them to grow at my house. She was just going to throw them away. I got a bunch more this year and by next year, they'll be doing great. I found out you have to transplant them when it is cold and wet which we had a lot of this spring. They are all doing great and my front rocks around the driveway will look so much better come next spring. Needless to say, my yard is 95% dirt still so this photo of the few plants we have growing, really make is look great!

this is one of those rescued pieces from the over grow stuff at my MIL's house.

We actually got the garden planted. It is 15x35 feet. I think I planted way too many tomatoes but I want to learn to can this year, salsa and other such stuff. The funny thing is that we ran out of glue for the sprinkler system one night and still had 3 hours of good light left. Our neighbor let us borrow his tiller and Tyler worked for 2 hours on our solid hard ground. My mom gave me most of the seeds. I bought the tomato plants - the ones she gave me died because I planted them about 1 week too early. Sad! I think one might make it though. Anyway, I also bought the pumpkins seeds, corn seeds, and the onion starts. I spent just a few dollars on veggie seeds thanks to my mom's help. Most everything has sprouted, now we just have to see if we can keep it growing!

corn sprouts

pumpkin sprouts

bean sprouts:

Coleton sprout!

the one who brought it all together, my sweet husband.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

people, people, people

can we all just be a little less judgmental? Today Coleton was laying on the floor of the bleachers and kept fussing and crying. I did what I could to help him calm down, but I still struggle with my energy level and my blood sugar is whacky since the chemo days and today it was low. Besides that, I've given all of my energy the past 2 weeks to the sprinkler system installation and I am exhausted. This mom kept giving me 'the look' and I was ready to pop off and tell her that she can judge me after she has gone through what I have gone through, but I didn't have the energy. Sheesh, swim lessons are only half an hour and he wasn't hurting himself or anyone else. He was just laying there fussing and I tried to hold him and tried to get him interested in his toys and I tried to feed him a snack. Can you all do me a favor today? When someone is doing something obnoxious, will you just please look away, say a little prayer in your heart for them, and send good vibes their way INSTEAD of giving them 'the look' and passing judgment. Whether this is for a complete stranger or a family member, you just never know what is going on for sure and maybe all they need is a kind thought, a bit of concern, and a lot less judgment.

By the way, we installed wire last night so we are almost done with the sprinkler system!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

things in common

I met another mom today at swim lessons. Today is the first day of Session #2 - Level 3. We started talking because Coleton was being fussy after being up with allergies most of the night. Anyway, she has 3 kids - an older daughter and then boy/girl twins in the class next to Haeley. Her husband is from H*, my husband is from H*. They live in Prov, we used to live there a little over a year ago. She is from Tooele. I graduated from Dugway and used to drive to Tooele, the closest town with fast food, for real grocery shopping, walmart, and church dances. At the end we exchanged names finally. Her first name is my middle name. We'll at least get to be friends for the next two weeks. Session #3 and #4, we are going to go to a later time but still in the morning. The kids want to stay up late and I want us all to sleep in. Today I wanted to tell the teacher that he can let go of Haeley and let her swim by herself across the pool, but I think he'll figure it out in the next day or so. If not, then I'll let him know. Nothing like a bossy mother staring down at you from the bleachers upstairs. Years ago I taught swim lessons and out at Dugway, the parents had to leave completely while we were teaching, except on the last day. Anyway, I better get this house clean (beds made, dishes done, bathrooms done, still to go - counter tops, laundry) and get the sprinkler heads put together and in piles for which ever zone they'll go to. I promise to take photos of our yard - 3 zones completely done, pipe, drains, heads, and all. 3 out of 16 - not bad. I mean considering that we just have to put on a few drains and only have funny pipe and heads to install on the rest.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

dirt, dirt, and more dirt...

This morning Haeley had her final day of swim lessons for Level 2. She even got a nice Swim America Award of Advancement. I think she'll do well in level 3, which starts next week. Not sure on level 4 - it is pretty advanced for a 6 year in her first year of swim lessons. She has a really good kick and confidence in the water which really makes me happy. She really enjoys the water and it makes her happy.

As far as our yard goes, I think things are coming along and I feel like I can finally say that I think we are over half way done with the sprinkler system. We've been working our fannies off and we're tired but we are starting to see it all coming together. Today I realized that we have two zones that need to be completed - weird things like digging under the front steps and stuff - as well as two smaller zones that need to be started. That means that we have 12 zones totally completely piped. I marked where all the heads need to be cut in on 11 zones this afternoon while the kids watched a movie. They were helping me at first but spent the whole time complaining. I know, the dirt is starting to get to me too. It's a lot of work, but kiddos, we have to work now in order to be able to enjoy our yard later. Besides, doing it ourselves means saving thousands of dollars. That means we'll be able to put in grass this year. Now it is nap time and I am going to relax and enjoy some time by myself for a few moments.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

weather - do you see what I see?

If you squint really hard maybe you can see what came half way down the mountain side this morning. We are experiencing an unusually cold spring. Everyone said wait until June 1st to put your garden in. I waited until the 9th. We've had lots of rain the past few days which my garden is grateful for. But it will probably be grateful for the sunny weather at the end of the week too. I'll be grateful that it will allow Tyler to get the sprinkler system done - which you can see a little part of in the bottom of the photo. I, however, am enjoying the cooler weather as much as I can. Although it is June I had to turn the heat on this morning and warm us up a degree or two. The house was 64 degrees this morning.

Haeley loves swimming lessons. Aunt A* is there with her kids at the same time too and she said it sounds like Haeley is taking after her mom. She pushes off the wall and the teacher swims next to her all the way across the pool. He helps her turn around and she swims back. She doesn't like the side stroke - neither did I. I can't tell you how much I'd love to jump in and swim laps for an hour. It was such great therapy - both physically and mentally. I used to teach water aerobics at that pool oh let me see, about 12 years ago. Yikes, time flies! Have a great day and I hope that you enjoy your day and find all of the good in it.

Friday, June 06, 2008

there's a lot goin' on...

to start things out, my family arrived on Tuesday night for dinner and a movie. We grilled steak and shrimp and asparagus and had strawberries, oranges, apples, and bananas with fruit dip. (If you marinate petite sirloin in Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing for 24 hours it is as tender and yummy as any expensive steak you can buy). My mom brought the fruit and I made the fruit dip - 2 packages philadelphia cream cheese and one LARGE jar of marshmallow cream - tastes best cold. Then they watched Pirates 3 in our theater room. My mom had been waiting all this time because they missed it in the theater and couldn't bare to watch it on their tiny tv. My mom wanted the room to rumble and it did - thankfully that room is under the garage and the rest of the house stays quiet. My sister and I sat and talked while she gave her baby a bottle and Haeley and Coleton and their two cousins played down in the toy room. Our toys are suddenly more interesting when someone else likes them. Early the next morning after the rain backed down to a drizzle the Guys including my husband, my dad, my sister's husband, my husband's brother, and my husband's dad got to work in the mud. My sis and her husband just put in their sprinkler system last Saturday so it was fresh in their mind and they drove 2.5 hours each way to help us with ours. I wish I had taken more photos but I was busy cooking and washing dishes. I ran the dishwasher 7 times in 2.5 days and we even ate lunches on paper plates.

Since my family is small and my sister has 3 kids, Haeley and Coleton got to play with their baby cousin all by themselves and they loved it. Coleton loved her soft hair but he didn't like it when she grabbed his clothes. Haeley played patty cake with her feet. It was sweet to see them interact with her so well. L* does this cute thing where she reaches out with straight arms and grabs your cheeks with the flat of her hands. It is so cute and they gave her the cutest nickname because of it.

After taking their photo with the baby, I switched to the wide angle and Coleton was wondering why I got so close to him with the lens. The kids piled onto my tummy and tried to find my eye through the lens. I was laughing so hard I could barely breath.

And then last night after my sister's family left for home, we had the full time missionaries over for dinner. It was the first time since we've lived in Utah that we've had them over. Growing up in Alaska and Alabama we had them over quite often because my dad was usually the Ward mission leader. After they left we went out in the back yard and started working on the sprinkler system some more. Haeley was throwing a fit about her loose tooth but wouldn't pull it out. We knew at this point it wouldn't be long. While Tyler and I were in the middle of gluing some pipe together she starts yelling about her tooth which she had finally pulled out all by herself. Everything stopped so we could get photos of this special little moment in time. She made it the entire year of kindergarten with all her teeth and one week to the day later she lost her first tooth. She's growing up so fast now! I know, braces are right around the corner. Thankfully we are stashing money away for things like braces because it's very likely that she will need them.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Swim Lessons

This is Haeley's first summer doing swim lessons. She has no fear of water and as long as she keeps paying attention to the teacher, has confidence in her teacher, and keeps practicing, things will go well for her with swimming. I took these yesterday morning. The teacher used the noodle behind her back to teach her to keep her tummy up and her legs straight at the same time. Today she was able to swim half the width of the pool and back on her tummy and her back unassisted. Her teacher swam right next to her. That was just kicking and not using her arms. I am sure it will take some time to get the timing right for arms and legs at the same time. Then there is that whole turn the head to breath thing. But I am so pleased with her progress in only 4 days. The teacher told me today to put her in the next level for the next set of lessons. I was glad because I wanted to get signed up in time. We still have 4 more for this set. The last 5 minutes of the lesson they tie the noodles around the kids and let them have free time. They get to kick and move all over the pool. The whole time we sit in the bleachers upstairs and Coleton eats his sandwich and watches his sister. He is surprisingly quiet the whole time.