Thursday, January 31, 2013


We had some donuts in the house yesterday.

Kendall kept asking if he could have another one.


John came in, opened the box and grabbed a donut.

As he was eating it, Kendall chewed him out.

"You didn't ask permission."

"Can I have a donut?  Yes, I may.  There, I just asked and gave myself permission."

Needless to say, Kendall was NOT happy.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Polar Bear Club

This past weekend, John, Kerst and Kendall slept outside on our deck - under the stars.  It was 20 degrees.

I was worried they would freeze and wander into the house and hop into bed with me and warm up.

Nope!  They lasted all night.

Kendall asked to sleep outside every night with his Daddy.

Layering up ready to sleep outside in 20 degrees ... The Polar Bear Club

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

We were talking about cars with Kerst.  We told him that Dad (John) had a cool car when we were dating and first married.  An RX 7.

John's car.  In front of "The Green House" just south of BYU.  This house has since been demolished and turned into a parking lot.
"That wasn't a cool car."

"What?  Yes it was."

"The gold car was not cool."

"The car was silver."

Kerst must have been thinking of the Datsun that frequents many of my younger childhood pictures.

Pictures in 1977 of my older brother, Sean, me and younger brother, Richard pushing my Dad out of the driveway on the way to his church meetings - we also did this when he left for work.  

My other younger brother, Reed, joined us - he is wearing the light blue suit.

He then told us that cool cars were Mustangs, etc.

John informed them that he drove a Mustang (his parents owned one when he was off his mission).

"You were cool when you were younger."

Thanks Kerst!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I want to be when I grow up ...

The lesson in Relief Society today was from the talk by Elder Todd Christofferson in the Oct General Conference, Priesthood Session "Brethren, We Have Work To Do".  It was a wonderful talk and the lesson was amazing.  Lola M, the teacher, invited some of the Laurels (16-17 year old girls) in to share what they looked for in a Young Man.  It was touching to hear what these girls have been taught in their home and at church.

The most powerful comment by a Young Woman, Maddie W., was for the Young Men to compliment the girls who are dressing and acting as they should be.  She said it was sad to her last night (a quad-stake dance) that the girls who had short dresses on were being asked to dance more often than those who were modest.  "Compliment us like my Dad compliments me.  He makes me feel beautiful."

A father and his 2 sons were up next to explain what they do in their home to raise sons.   It was sweet to see the young men brought to tears as they talked of their mother and their father.  The first thing they shared was that their parents planned their activities/extra curricular around the church activities.  It is a priority.  The oldest son said that now he doesn't question the activity, he knows he should go and he does.

After they left, Lola asked what we can do in our homes.  One sister commented that when she was in 5th grade she was on the newspaper staff.  She interviewed her classmates and was stunned that the girls wanted to be singers and models, the boys wanted to be athletes.  She was amazed at how the outside influence had effected her classmates.  Have good role models in the home.

I raised my hand and said that I have seen the effect of the outside world on my own family.  I said that Kendall (my 1st grader) was "Star of the Week" last week and had a poster to fill out.  One portion was "What I want to be when I grow up."  He told me he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up but didn't want to write it down because the kids would laugh at him.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" I asked him.

"A doctor"

"What did you want to write down that you thought the kids would laugh at."

"I want to be a Daddy like my Dad."

Wow.  From the mouth of babes.  I'm so thankful that I have such a wonderful role model
in my home for my children.  My sons want to be like their Daddy.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

So Sweet! 16

I can't believe it has been 16 years since this sweet beauty entered our family.  She has been a blessing and a joy.  She has amazing fashion sense.  She is wonderful with children.  She is quiet and reserved.  She tries her best and strives to be who she knows she can be.  I don't know how we got so lucky to have her in our family.  We sure do love her!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Singing Singing All The Day

Although I haven't been Primary Chorister (music leader at church for ages 3-12) for several years, I LOVE hearing Kerst singing and humming Primary songs I taught the kids over the years.

Give Said the Little Stream is currently streaming live from Kerst.  

And yes, he does sing all the day - just as the song states.  And I love it!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Where did I get my ornaments?

My dear friend, Wendi, asked where I found my ornaments.  Some I make ... like Kerst's pinewood derby ornament.

I first go to Hobby Lobby and see what I can find in their ornaments on their 1/2 off sales.  I found Julia/Jared's mixer, cupcake and Kendall's dinosaurs there.  Hobby Lobby has their Christmas out in July.  I usually start looking in September.  Things are REALLY picked over in the store by November.  Nothing is left by December.

The clear ball ornaments I purchased at Michaels on their 1/2 off ornament sale - which happens frequently in November/December.  I usually keep a dozen on hand ... I never know when I will use them!  I used them to stuff the dried flowers Julia received when she was Sandy in the musical, Grease.  I used a clear ball to put the items my Dad used when he gave a talk on the Holy Ghost at Kerst's Baptism in 2009.  I used the clear ball to put shells from a family reunion inside to remind us of Bear Lake in 2001.  I also used a clear ball to fill with pieces of the car and tree from Jenna's accident (thanks Wendi for collecting those pieces!).

The Denver Temple hand spun ornament you can find here - I found a better deal, but it looks like they are revamping their website.  They have lots of different temples.  You can also have a bride and groom put next to the temple as well as painting the Angel Moroni gold - for an extra fee.

I purchased temple medallion ornaments for when we went to the open house of Oquirrh Mt Temple in 2009.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to go to my local St. Nick's store.  It is open year around.  I could spend hours in this store ... and I do!  They have ornaments for everything - almost.  It is nice to see that they have different ornaments year after year - especially when you are purchasing a swimming ornament each year for Jenna :). I have purchased graduation, driver's license, broken arm, musical instruments, scouting, etc.

The wheelchair for Jenna I googled.  I wanted something small that would fit on a tree.  I found a couple of options but discovered this site.  Wrestling action figures.

I search the internet for my ideas of what I could make into ornaments ... I enjoy doing this.  The memory ornaments are more for me ... but I know the kids love them too!  I love journaling about the ornaments and why I selected them.  I know I go overboard, but this is what this tradition means to me .... memories and preserving them!

I do need to go back and journal and take pictures of the ornaments from years that have passed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ornaments for 2012 - memories

Growing up my parents had a tradition of giving us a new ornament each year.  As we grew older, it became an activity we did during the month of December to go and pick out our ornament for the year.  When we left home when we got married, we were able to take our ornaments with us to decorate our own tree with our new family.

I have done the same tradition with my own kids.  At first I started letting them pick their own ornament.  One year Jaley picked a long dangley red jeweled ornament, Julia picked a pink high heeled shoe and Jenna a pink rose.  I decided that I needed to have a little more control.  I started picking ornaments that represented a "memory" from that year.  Now it ends up being "memories" because I can't settle on one.  I collect items throughout the year to turn into ornaments ... you will understand as you read the post.  Anything can be made into an ornament!  You just have to be creative sometimes!

Oh, and to this day, the red dangley ornament is a favorite of Jaley's!  She loves shiny things.  She be-dazzles everything she can!

I have been journaling about their yearly ornaments over the past several years.  I need to do the younger years.  It is fun to look back and see what happened during the year.

Here are the memory ornaments for this year

 Kendall's ornaments:
A ball ornament of Julia and Jared (not pictured), swimming ornament with "Most Improved Swimmer" written on it.  Four dinosaurs and one mammoth  (Kendall LOVES dinosaurs .... he can name them, give you interesting facts about them, etc).  Salt Lake City temple

 Kerst's ornaments:
  Scout (Tenderfoot ... May, Second Class Scout .... October).  Turtle (his favorite animal), temple, Piano (taking piano lessons) and a swimming ornament for summer swim team.

 Jaley's ornaments:
  Orange Marshmallow guy with gun (for going to a shooting range with Grandpa P ... SHE LOVED IT!).  Girl with braces (got them on in May).  Shoe .  Hiking girl (4th year girl's camp 5 day 25 mile backpacking trip).  Piano (taking piano lessons),   Lifeguard ornament (Jaley worked as a lifeguard full time this summer), Elephant (Jaley's favorite animal), temple.

Jenna's ornaments:
MY FAVORITE .... Ball ornament with pieces of the car and tree from her accident on March 23, 2012.  Thank you to my dear friend, Beautiful aka Wendi, for gathering these items for me!  Wheelchair (to represent the 3 months Jenna spent in a wheelchair because of the accident).  I still have screws to include in a different ball or this ball that came from Jenna's left foot).

 More Jenna ornaments:  Lifeguard (Jenna worked part of July and then had another surgery on her foot from the accident.  She also worked part of August).  Marshmallow guy dressed in orange with gun (for shooting with Grandpa P ... she loved it too!).  BMW - represents the car she was in when she was in her accident over Spring Break.  Guitar - loves to play it.  White shoe (I need to paint it purple to represent the color she wore at Julia's wedding as her bridesmaid).  Swimming - high school swimming.  Ambulance - accident (she didn't ride in one because I didn't think she was injured that badly, I went and picked her up and brought her to the hospital along with Mike, Julia, Jaley and Jadey.  Her friend Ty rode in one).  Accident ball and wheelchair (explained above), temple ornament.

Julia ornaments:
 Saxophone (she learned how to play it this year ... which resulted in major jaw issues ... which lead to jaw surgery on Jan 3, 2013),cupcake and a red mixer, Music Treble Clef sign (Julia is a music major for education), Giraffe and (Julia's favorite animal - giraffe), and temple ornament.  I also have a blown glass ornament of the Denver Temple on order (Julia attended the Denver Temple for the first time to receive her endowments on Nov 24, 2012).

 This is the blown/spun glass ornament of the Denver Temple.

 John and Corin's ornaments:

You will see some of my ornaments are repeats of the kids .... because their memories are mine too - and I am heavily involved in a lot of what they do!

BMW, ball with car pieces and tree pieces, wheelchair (Jenna's accident) .... thankfully a memory now!   , temple ornament, Sudoku ornament (John's favorite down time activity).  I am also waiting for the blow glass Denver temple ornament to represent Julia attending the temple for the first time on Nov 24, 2012.

 It was a very memorable year.  This is my FAVORITE gift to give to my kids each year.  I know they look forward to it too!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Jawful ...

We head out in less than an hour ... Julia is having jaw surgery.

She has had a terrible time with TMJ/TMD.  It really flared up this past fall when she had to learn and teach saxophone for one of her BYU music education classes.  The placement of your mouth on the mouthpiece to play this instrument caused her to force her jaw forward.  This caused the jaw to have even more problems.  She can barely open her mouth to fit two fingers high - lately it has been one finger    Try it ... how many fingers high can your jaw open?

It has made eating very difficult.  She has to squish her food flat and shove it into her mouth through the small opening - since September.  Her jaw gets really tired and sore after a short time eating.  It has been great portion control for her!  Not fun for sure.

She is having her jaw scoped and then irrigated - at least that is the plan.  She had an MRI done last Saturday to give the surgeon more information on what is going on with her.  He is very conservative with what he does surgically.  He will start with the least invasive treatment possible.  90% of his patients respond well to this and don't need anymore surgery.  Let's hope Julia breaks her trend of being the unique 10%!