Monday, November 21, 2011

A Legit Update, For Once

I meant to post this a while ago, and it will be a repeat for those who got the family email I sent out. It is a bit of an update on the funny and endearing things the kids have been saying. Also, a few of our first experimental photos with our new camera! When I say "our" photos, I must admit that these are all James. I love artistic expression, and it has been a bitter pill for me to swallow time and time again that I am not an exceptionally gifted artist. I have tried my hand just a little at photography, and I always always always get bad shots of everyone. Even if I take 10 shots in a row. I just don't have a natural knack for it. James, the left-brained, logical, unemotional, practical constitutional attorney, is a much much better natural photographer than I am. :-( But, that means there is still a chance of us having lots of great family pictures. :-) He is excited to get light room when we can afford it. As it is, the following are just straight out of the camera. Here are the pictures.

The first time James tried out the camera it was just at the neighborhood pool, and he got a few fun shots.

Then we played around with the camera a little bit on a little family walk/hike just up on the red hill. The skies were really neat that day, and the weather was perfect.

This one kind of looks like a commercial for Tom's shoes (maybe if they weren't so dirty):

I can't believe how old and cute our kids look!

Josh made an awesome clown for Halloween. Too bad you don't get the full body shot because I made him some sweet clown pants.

And here is the email I sent. If you already got the email, it will be a repeat from here on out.

Josh and Isaac are both really in a development phase. Their personalities are maturing and deepening. Isaac can pretty much speak fluidly now, in sentences and questions. I have tried to teach him the gospel more as he matures. This is sometimes rewarding and sometimes not. Here is an example of not: during the sacrament on Sunday I asked him, "what are you thinking about right now during the sacrament?" to which he responded "um.... poop." I tried not to laugh as I explained that the sacrament was a time to think about Jesus, who died for us so that we could live with Heavenly Father after we die. A few days after this discussion--or one like it--Isaac was in his car seat in the van, and asked me, "Why Jesus died?" (he still uses the wrong tense) I thought this was a deep and profound question for a 2 year old, and was preparing to give a response that was probably way more than he meant to receive, when he guessed, "did he eat too much bread at chooch (church)?" Why does he always make it hard not to laugh when we are talking about sacred things!? I gave a simple explanation of how Jesus said he wanted to be punished for our mistakes so that we wouldn't have to be punished if we would repent, and that's why he died. Isaac knit his brows and asked with feeling, "Why??" (This may seem like he understands gospel principles very deeply for a 2-year-old, but just to put it in perspective, he asks "why?" with the same tone, facial expression, and passion when I tell him things like, "I'm going to get on the computer for a minute," or, "you can't have Joshie's toy without asking," or, "please put away your slippers.") He makes me laugh so many times every day. James said this morning, "I wish I could just take Beets with me to work in my pocket and pull him out when I get bored." He is very entertaining. Yesterday he asked me to sing "the conker song." I thought I must have misunderstood, and he just kept saying "the conker song!!" Josh said, "He means, praise to the man." Ohhhhhh, the CONQUER song!!!! "....death shall not conquer the hero again!" He and Josh love playing and wrestling together, and I often have the instinct to separate them when it gets rough, only to see that they are both laughing hysterically as they jump on each other and smother each other. Then I just let it keep going until I hear the tears... they must think it's worth it because they usually keep going afterward.

Josh has also been hilarious lately, and is developing a very unique and contagious sense of humor. Our routine every day is that Beth goes to school leaving at 7:40 a.m. I spend the morning with the boys, and we usually have an early lunch so that we can begin quiet time around noon. I put Isaac down in his room, and then I go lay down in my room with Josh and we read stories and then take a nap. We have to leave here at 2:30 to go get Beth (and the Jensen boys) from school. I have really enjoyed that time I get to spend with Josh one-on-one every day when we read together. Yesterday when I came into my room with the stories, he pensively remarked, "It feels like an English afternoon." I burst out laughing and said, "what?!" to which he matter-of-factly repeated with a buried smirk, "It feels like an English afternoon." Then we both burst out laughing. (It happened to be cloudy outside... still... I'm not sure what an English afternoon is.) This past Sunday morning we were all eating breakfast (oatmeal), and Beth had one of her infrequent emotional episodes where she moped about what we were eating and wouldn't eat it. Her mood had dampened the general morale, and we were all quietly eating while she whined, when Josh burst forth grandly with, "todaaaaaaay, is a HAPPY day!" He held his arms out fully extended with palms up on both sides of him as he said it, and he sounded like an orator starting a speech. We all burst out laughing, even Beth, which dispelled the gloom and cheered us all up.

At the local library we have a little fountain where you can toss a penny in if you so desire. We have made it part of our library tradition to toss in a penny if we have time, and if behavior has been good at the library. Usually it is just the boys and me at the library, but on this particular occasion Beth was there too, and it was the 4 of us. Isaac recklessly threw his penny in without a second thought. Beth carefully tossed hers in and said, "I wish..... that I had WINGS!" Then Josh thought for a minute, carefully tossed in his own penny and said, "I wish..... that Beth had a headlamp!" (Josh has his own head lamp, which has been the envy of his siblings on occasion) I thought it was so sweet that he sacrificed his wish for his sister's happiness. On the way home Beth said shyly, "I hope my wish comes true!" Then Josh said, "I hope mine does too, then you'll be able to see in the dark while you're flying!" :) Our children are such a delight to us.

I hope you have a great week, and that you have at least one English afternoon.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Please only read this if you like anger.

This is a vent post.

I'm kind of surprised I still pretty much have it together right now. Today I (voluntarily) have the Jensen's 3 boys, in addition to my own 3. Things have gone reasonably well, considering. But 5 of them have gone with no naps, and I think I have heard someone burst into screaming tears of rage somewhere between 30 and 40 times today (probably 20 to 30 of those times were my kids).

This morning I ran to the store while I only had 3 with me, just before we went to pick up the other 3 from school. Right when we got in the store, the 3 boys started fighting over the 2 spots in the car grocery cart. I got that under control, and Josh and Brig (the 2 boys who are over 40 pounds, of course), agreed to sit in the double baby section in the front of the cart right by me. Have you ever lifted a portly 4 and a half year old above your head? It's not easy. [someone just burst into tears.... and, consoled.] I had Josh jump to help me heft the bulk up there. Then I put my hands under Brig's armpits expecting him to jump, but he didn't. So I said, "jump." In my experience, most kids bend their knees in preparation for a jump. Not this kid, bless his heart. He just blasts off like a rocket. So I took a bludgeon to the bottom of the chin, and saw some stars. I think a few people had gathered to watch the circus by this point, and heard me say, "DAMMIT," without restraint. I was beyond holding it under my breath. I think I have uttered that phrase about 10 times today. Of course, the requests, fighting, crying, and questions are no respecters of pain, so I was still fielding questions and consoling fighting children while I was holding back my own tears. (keep in mind that this whole time I am in a crazy hurry to pick up the kids from school on time, so that I don't have to have 6 kids with me at the store.) Still seeing stars, I captain the vessel they have the audacity to call a shopping cart around the corner, and we get about 10 feet before our cab driver, Isaac, starts freaking out. I checked in with him to find him shrinking to a corner of the cab and pointing to a huge rat's nest of hair, suspended in static electricity, where his feet should go. I managed to procure one of those papers that you grab a donut with, and just closed my eyes and reached in there, aiming for the bulk of the hair. At this point I am dry heaving, and can barely see through my tears. As luck would have it, the nearest garbage can was a thousand miles away, in the corner of the produce section. So on our way over there, hairball paper in tow, it sounds like someone is calling my name from behind me. I ignore it. Move on. I don't really care who it was. And I guess when you look like you are pushing a primary-colored clown car with little midget clowns laughing hysterically, shoving each other, getting in and out/on and off of the cart, and occasionally screaming, people either roll their eyes, or they like to smile and connect with me, sharing a bonding moment to communicate, hey, you're doing a good thing. Usually I appreciate this support, but I tell you, I almost wrung the employee's neck who cheerfully greeted the children and myself at this point in time. I was seeing red. This is a bad way to start off a shopping trip. Fortunately, it got better from there, and by the end I was congratulating myself for keeping my head above the water of rage.

Another time I uttered the aforementioned phrase was this morning when I was trying to fill up our little soap dispenser in the kitchen, that attaches under the sink. I spilled about a quarter cup of Dawn into the sink (I HATE waste, and I always take special care to use ONLY the amount of dish soap that I need), and had 2 boys right there asking me to explain in detail why I was upset. Then I about keeled over reaching an arm's length under the sink and trying to push up hard enough, while twisting, to get the thing to screw on, and failing repeatedly, with the cupboard digging into my neck and shoulder, and at least one child leaning on me. It was after I finally succeeded, and I was finally washing the dishes (at 10:00 a.m., still in my bath robe), with the wide, furry sleeves of my bath robe getting wet in the dish water, that I snapped. I ripped off that ridiculous bath robe, rolled it up in a ball, and threw it on the ground. I also had an audience for that, and they calmly asked me to explain my behavior.

Then I got to briefly visit with Suzy's lovely mother and her husband, whom I was meeting for the first time.... in my brown furry bath robe with my hair slicked into a bobby pin. Perfect.

Anyway, usually it's pretty hard for me to recover from a day that starts out that way. I think it is helping that I am just taking a few minutes to get it out of me and into a blog post. But I am pretty happy that I am not storming out of the house in a fit of rage right now.

But as it is I have 3 ornery children asking for dinner. So, over and out.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Ay-oh! I'm back from hiatus.Wow, that was a long time. I guess when a person gets out of the habit of blogging, it doesn't always occur to that person to blog anymore when time becomes available. But you'll never guess what JAMES said to me. These were his exact words, "I am formally requesting a blog post from you." I know, right? I was speechlessly flattered. So,

To James
Who always insists that I do cool stuff like take an oil painting class and get Lasik* and blog

So, what, 6 months? 8 months? Okay, BRIEF update:

We decided in about March that we would be moving to St. George because, well, we wanted to. We put our house up for short sale. We got an offer! (for $50,000 less than what we paid for it, oh yeah, and we put a painful widow's mite, and LOTS of time and sweat into it--you win some, you lose some). Then in July we were still waiting for the bank to respond to the offer, so we decided to just move on down to St. George and keep the basement rental rented out. Then the people who made an offer on the house said they would be willing to just move in and rent from us at a reduced rate if we were interested. Of course we were, so now our house is rented out. Meanwhile, we went ahead and found a rental house, which is a nice upgrade house-wise from the Cedar house. It is pretty nice, and we are loving it. The only downside is that our yard in Cedar was really great, and the yard here is, well, it would be a stretch to call it a "yard."

We have been here in St. George for the last 3 months. New town, new neighbors, new ward, new area. So far we have LOVED it down here. We live right at the mouth of Snow Canyon and it is just beautiful. We have already spoken in church and I have been called into the Young Women presidency. So far I have enjoyed the youth in our ward and have been glad to have the calling.

3 days before school was scheduled to start for Beth, we got a call from the charter school we had wait-listed her for (she was number 56 on the list when we signed her up) called to inform me that they had a spot for her! We were thrilled. Though I did have to buy school uniforms after I had already done her regular clothes shopping. And it is 20 minutes one way to the charter school. But we have been really happy with our experience there.

BORING. Okay, that brings us to now.

So, in the last 2 years I would say I have gone from seriously considering breezing through the hospital doors and politely asking the receptionist for a drug-induced coma, to feeling like life is really quite--dare I say it--manageable! I won't lie to you, hitting 3 was rough. For quiiiiite a while. Whoa, doggy.

This is always a tough message to accurately convey because these two truths seem to be contradictory:

1. I really love being a mother. It is something I always looked forward to when I was younger. I delight in my children so many times every day. They are so sweet, so funny, and just so delightfully unique. There is truly nothing I would rather be doing with my life right now than spending the majority of my time and energy nurturing my own sweet children, and running a household. It is the most deeply satisfying work I have ever done, and I really do feel most days like I am fulfilling my most important mission on this earth. I love my job.

2. Parenthood is a beast (I must confess I was a little tempted to use the B word there--sorry Mom and Dad).

Some people worry that their kids will feel like burdens if they know that raising children is hard work. Some children DO feel like burdens because of this. So maybe I am "going rogue" by admitting that fact referenced above in #2. But it's pretty hard to deny that it is true, at least sometimes. Am I right? So I haven't found the happy medium yet between making sure my kids know they are the most wonderful blessings, and, being honest about the experience of parenthood.

What other newsy things have happened... oh, Beth got a fat lip at school. When I picked her up and she got in the car, I was shocked at first and felt really bad for her. And then once the initial shock wore off, it became really hard not to laugh, because she seriously looked exactly like this:

When she got home and looked in the mirror, I was finally liberated to laugh, because she burst out laughing too. It was hilarious. HILARIOUS! Hilarious. (this is a phrase we adopted from viewing several episodes of Dylan's Couch on youtube)

Oh and, I laughed for a long time about this little cartoon I saw on facebook:

And how could I forget! This seems inconsequential to all of you I'm sure, but I've had these warts on my feet for over 10 years, and I finally had had enough. I have had them frozen off by a doctor several times. I have tried duct tape. I have tried nail polish. But since they are only a small annoyance I just gave up and hoped they would go away. But a small annoyance multiplied by ten years is a big annoyance. So I finally got serious and tried using medical tape to affix a slice of garlic to the warts, all night and every night for about 6 months. That is a long time to hear your husband complaining every time you get in bed at night. I wondered if it would be worth it. But the two plantars warts on the bottom of my feet are totally gone. And the ones on the top of my foot started to get really irritated from the garlic so I stopped using it and just used the Dr. Scholl's freezing stuff. I had to do it like 6 times and wait 2 weeks in between each time, but they are finally gone. And I probably have the joyful thought about 10 times a day that I am finally free from them. I can't believe it worked! I was beginning to think they were so ingrained in me that nothing short of amputation of my foot would rid me of them.

So, the reason that I don't have any pictures is because we have been without a functional camera for almost a year now. What a waste! But we just ordered a nice camera online a few days ago after months of deliberation. James is going to take a photography class and a lightroom class (photo-editing software) within the next few weeks. We are so excited!

But I will leave you with one really cute picture I took on my phone a while ago:

Oh, I love him.

*I am starting an oil painting class on Tuesday!! It is offered at Dixie as a community ed class. This has always been a closet dream of mine, so once and for all I am going to just hash it out and see if I'm any good, so that I can either become an amazing painter or let the dream die already. And the Lasik, I have been saving up here a little, there a little to go towards things that have been on "the list" for a long time now (we have been really poor for a long time, in case that isn't obvious, so now that the business is growing we are slightly less poor, but "the list" is really long because, like I said, we've been really poor for a long time). And James was the one who insisted that Lasik for me be moved to the top of the list, ahead of things like a new vacuum, bedroom furniture, etc. (eck, more parenthesis, maybe I should take a writing course at community ed instead- we have one thing in our bedroom right now. Our bed. No headboard. Nothing under the bed. No other furniture. Just the bed).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Party time, and a bare bum

This is a typical example of the good times had by all when James plays with the kids.

A couple Saturdays ago, when we were weary with winter (wow, nice alliteration), we packed up the kids, and the Jensens packed up their kids, and we headed out to Snow Canyon. It was about an hour of driving, and we couldn't believe how nice it was! We stopped in a place called the "sand dunes," and we never left, until it was time to go, because we all loved it so much.

I don't really feel like doing what it takes to figure out how to turn this picture the right way right now. But it's a peach.

The 5th was Beetsy boy's 2nd birthday. Hooray for birthdays!

Actually, the 6th was Matthew Jensen's birthday, and in lieu of having mounds of cake lying around, we just combined (or, we just leeched off of Suzy's cake-baking efforts), and had an informal, small get-together.

The other birthday boy:
This picture just makes me laugh. All the other kids looking at the birthday boy with raw envy.
Isaac's present (ignore our linoleum):
Then the capper for Isaac was when we got a package from Grandma and Grandpa Stott, which contained one of Grandma's masterpieces: a hand-knit sweater, in just the right shade of blue for this boy.

So, there's some pictures. Mmkay?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Bucket List

This morning I was doing some spinning at the gym, just listening to my headphones and trying to pass the time. I looked at the wall, and they have all these inspiring pictures of throngs of bikers doing the Tour de France, or other (European) biking events. I don't know how they all ride so closely together without people getting trampled to death. But the point is, I pictured myself doing something I have always dreamed of doing: taking a road bike tour through Holland in the spring, when all the tulips are in bloom. Tulips are my favorite flower, and seeing pictures of those vast tulip fields in Holland has always made me feel pretty dreamy.

I don't know if that's something people even do, but this fellow in the last picture seems to have made some kind of arrangement akin to my dreams.

And that got me thinking, what else do I want to do before I kick the bucket (figuratively speaking)? I would like to have a bucket list. So I will make one now, and then cross it off the bucket list:

The Bucket List.

-Ride a bike through the tulip fields of Holland or some other country with tulips.
-Ride in a hot-air balloon. And it doesn't even have to be that Noah's Ark one. Just a regular one will do.

-Work on Beethoven's Concerto in D Major for violin until I could perform it. Probably just the first movement. I worked on this in college for 2 years and it's probably only about 25% there. Maybe if I practiced 3 hours a day for a year or two....
-Perform it. Accompanied by piano.
-Get a bachelor's degree. Probably in something English-related.
-Take a college Art History class. Then, take a tour of Europe and appreciate all the magnificence and splendor. Especially probably the Sistine Chapel, and other cathedrals that just can't be appreciated from photos.
-This one is still a maybe: do an Olympic triathlon. I feel like I already crossed the triathlon off the bucket list last year with the Sprint, I am considering working up to an Olympic at some point in my life.
-Write a Children's book and have it published.
-Do the zip line in Costa Rica.
-Have a few more babies.
-Provide all of my children with a world-class education.
-Serve a mission for the church.
-Learn to be a seriously awesome embroiderer.
-Build and decorate a beautiful home that I love (which will include a nursery very much like this one--my next baby will NOT live in a closet for the first 2 years... this time I really feel it).
-Write a Bucket List

See? I'm making progress already. That's about all I've thought of for now. That, and, it's time to go get Beth from school.

What's on your bucket list?!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The latest

I am what some may have called a "fair-weather blogger." I don't deny it.

The problem is, I never think I have anything to say. So this will probably be another post about nothing.

So, I heard NieNie makes $600,000 a month from blogging. Seriously?! That's just crazy. I would feel totally awesome if I somehow made say, $100 a month from blogging.

Yesterday I got a paper cut on my eyeball. I felt that the situation was pretty serious for about 20 minutes, as the tears involuntarily streamed down the one cheek, and then when I checked it out in the mirror and could see a very fine cut right across my pupil. I thought about going to the eye doctor, but you know, being uninsured I have to really weigh the pros and cons of those decisions. Sometimes it is totally foolhardy not to go in, but lots of times people just panic and go. And if you are insured, that's okay. And you don't even think twice about it. But you do think twice if you are paying out of pocket (which, incidentally, is still way, way, WAY cheaper than paying for insurance out of pocket, even if I spent like 2 to 3 thousand dollars a year on doctor visits(our average per year is more like $200)--which is why we just have a sort of "catastrophe" insurance with a high deductible, which we have never had to use. Anyhow, I just closed my eyes and laid on the couch while Beth watched a movie for a couple hours after it happened, while the boys were sleeping. And it bothered me a little for the rest of the day, but when I woke up this morning it felt normal.

Right now Josh is in the "look, Mom!" stage. I bet I hear that phrase come out of his lips oh....... maybe one to two hundred times a day. It is my knee-jerk reaction when I hear "look, Mom!" to turn my head quickly and watch the throwing of the paper airplane, or the balancing of a quarter on a finger/toy train, or a jump, or a tower of blocks. It's almost as if the child is taking my head and turning it in the direction of the attraction (and away from whatever I am focusing on at the moment). The bear will be 4 years old next month. Oh, he is a good one. I think I got my easiest child and then my hardest child in rapid succession. And I won't name any names. And the "hard" child is loved ever so dearly, and is in probably the peak of childhood cuteness right now.

Beth is increasing in reading fluency. She is great at it. I think I will start shopping for a violin and (hopefully) start teaching her lessons. Anything I do will be better than nothing, for now.

So, James thinks I should start doing book reviews on the blog. I read some. I wouldn't say a lot (right now), but I do like to read, and I do like to write (usually about nothing, sometimes about something). But it seems like it might be boring to read book reviews, and maybe you all wouldn't care for that. I'm not sure I would care for it.

I am trying to do little things to be a better parent right now. I feel like I am probably an average mother right now, and I am trying to improve that. There is a scarcity of patience around here, especially in the mornings. And a few things that have been helping are as follows:

-Not serving breakfast until everyone is dressed and beds are made (with the exception of myself, of course. I get to wallow around in my pajamas with greasy hair until 11:00. I'm so lucky.)

-Trying really hard to truly prioritize the needs of the kids above my own. This is tricky. I know that my needs need to be met. I often feel that if I can just meet a few of my basic needs, I'm a much happier Mom and better able to fulfill the kids' needs. On the other hand, if I put off taking care of myself and first fulfill the kids' needs, they are happy to let me go take care of myself afterward. Somebody has to be an adult here, and it probably won't be them. So I try really hard not to think about anything I want to do in the morning (shower, read my scriptures, exercise, get on the computer, read, etc.) until after the kids are fed, dressed, dishes are done, house is tidy, and we have had family scriptures and story (or "school") time, which includes practicing reading with Beth). I have found that if I let the kids just coast on auto-pilot in the morning while I do what I want, I end up impatient with them while I am trying to focus on myself. They are crying and fighting. They are bored. And by the time I finish taking care of myself--not even feeling refreshed afterward, and feeling like my kids are a pain in the neck--the kids are unhappy, and I am unhappy. The new routine has been working pretty well, though it is still a challenge to totally put off my own needs for the first 3 hours of the day. And I do allow myself the liberty of using the bathroom.

(What's the deal with all the parenthesis? I can't spit out what I want to say without interrupting myself in the middle of every sentence?)

I am currently reading "City Boy" by Herman Wouk. So good. I laugh out loud on every page. It is about a 12-year old boy named Herbie Bookbinder. He is fat, he is Jewish, and he is in love with the beautiful Lucille Glass of class 7-3B. He loves to eat, he loves to read, and he hates Lenny Krieger the class bully. Sounds a little juvenile now that I write it out, but it is written with a greater perspective on youth, and the writer's wit and word choice is unparalleled.

I made these today. Whoa, doggy. They were good.

Oh. I probably never mentioned why I haven't been blogging much. And, although this shouldn't really seem like a valid reason, well, it is the reason.

In August, we had some new tenants move into our basement:
Oh, and um....


and last, but not least:

Our friends the Jensens. Could fate have smiled more brightly upon us (and frowned so sourly upon them)?!

We have been friends with Nels and Suzy since before we were married. Nels and James are business partners: they started Williamsburg Academy together. The Jensens have been in Austin, Texas for the last year while Nels was attending Acton School of Business. Then they decided to move back here so that James and Nels could continue to build Williamsburg. Since we didn't know, and indeed never know, what the finances for the business are going to look like until we know what enrollment looks like just before the beginning of the semester in the fall, we decided to play it safe and bunk up together for a while until Williamsburg can support us all a little bit better (we are seeing a fragment of light at the end of the tunnel, and things look hopeful for fall of this year). Our basement is a 2-bed 1-bath rental. Just like upstairs, except with no windows, and with wood paneling and popcorn ceilings. :)

So while there are definite drawbacks to the situation (mostly for the cramped Jensen family), there have been a multitude of movie/game nights, Ben & Jerry's, and sewing projects. And when James and Nels travel together for business, Suzy and I keep each other company. And it is soooo nice. In fact, they are traveling now, and Suzy and I are going to sew a skirt tonight. And get some frozen yogurt from the health food store.

So the reason I haven't been blogging as much is because I usually always have a friend around to talk to. To share my troubles and joys, laughter and tears..... well, usually just laughter.

And, looks like this is going to be another semi-coherent, disjointed blog post which will end abruptly because my baby is waking up from his nap and crying.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Close quarters

The tough thing about having tenants downstairs is that there is always someone listening when you accidentally shout obscenities at the top of your lungs.

Like the time Isaac was standing on top of the toilet while I was getting ready, holding a glass jar of hand cream; and he couldn't resist the temptation of throwing it. Out of the whole bathroom floor, it landed right on my toenail, of course. I grabbed that kid and gently-roughly threw him down on the changing pad on my bed and yanked his pants off--to find that they were full from ankle to hip with poop. The bands around the ankles of those sweatpants were holding on for dear life, but apparently let fly a few souvenirs. All up and down my hall rug. And in the bathroom. Add to this that I was still running around in my underwear at this point on a Sunday morning when we were late for church. Awesome. That one was the D word, if you were wondering. And it was when that glass jar hit my toenail, to be right honest. Turns out the sermon for that day just happened to be entitled "School Thy Feelings."

Or the time I was in the shower, had been in there a full 90 seconds already without interruption, when Isaac came in and opened the curtain. No big deal, I just closed it. Then he put his head under the outer curtain and started pulling the inner curtain outside the tub so the water was leaking onto the floor. I yanked it closed again and was trying to hold it to the wall with my foot while I lathered up some face wash. Got that taken care of, only to open my eyes and find him opening the other side. I was trying to extremely-cheerfully-on-the-border-of-furiously recommend that he go in the living room and play. Well, he let me close the curtain, at which point I quickly got some shampoo and scoured my scalp, then risked closing my eyes to wash out my hair, knowing the boy could still be nearby. Turns out he was nearby, and he took the opportunity while my eyes were closed of sticking just his little hand, silently into the shower and turning the knob for cold water completely off. I opened my eyes to see the tail end of what he was doing, and it was like slow motion. I was already halfway through the obscenity, and trying to jump out of the way while simultaneously turning the cold water back on with my foot, right before being scalded to the bone.

Well, I guess anyone who lives beneath us and still likes us are true friends.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Wow. I am a lot better at blogging about nothing than I am at blogging about something. Something like, say, the MAJOR-TIME AWESOME summer event of the YEAR. No, the decade, rather. Our trip to


which started with a long drive to the Las Vegas airport in our close to 20 year old, AC-less Toyota Camry (long, uninteresting story as to how that happened), which seemed bearable at the time but we were really kicking ourselves driving for 3 hours in the July noon-day sun on the way back. (Details include me going into a convenience store bathroom, taking my shirt off and soaking it in the sink, then putting it back on. My face was beet red the whole way back. [I just wanted to tell that part of the story now so that we can end on a good note]) followed by a long wait, a long flight, another long wait, a really long flight, a short drive, and crashing straight into bed in Maui.

Then we woke up early the next morning (and when I say early I mean 3:45, 4-ish) and lounged around for 5 hours, then headed to the

And we were pretty excited:

So after a short drive of this:

We ended up roughly, here:

Ahhhh, yeah.

And to be honest I don't remember the exact order we did things in after that, but here's a picture of me before we went to dinner one of those nights. Another reminder to stand up straight or I'll end up with a hunchback:

We went to a happenin' restaurant in Paia called the Paia Fish Market. Don't know if you heard about this big news a while ago, pretty crazy:

We drove and hiked a little bit in the Iao National Park. It was really pretty.

And we had heard tell that watching the sunrise on top of Mount Haleakala was an event not to be missed. So again, we got up early. Maybe 4:30 this time, and drove the hour long drive up the mountain. I can't remember the elevation and I usually embarrass myself when I try to guess by saying like 25,000 feet or something ridiculous. But it was high enough that we were just above the clouds. And it was COOOOLD. But we had fair warning from friends that it would be cold so we brought quilts. We saw many others who were not so fortunate in t=shirts and shorts. That's a shame. Here we are just before the sun peeked over the clouds.

Wow. A picture really doesn't do it justice, but you can imagine seeing this view in a much more panoramic and real-life view.

The road back down the mountain

One of my favorite events was the Old Lahaina Luau, it was so fun! They did dancing and told stories of their heritage, it was all-you-can-eat gourmet Hawaiian food and open bar, which you still pay for even if you don't drink :(, and it was just a good, good time. The Hawaiian people are so friendly and good at bringing others into their culture.

We took a 2-day trip to Hana, the other side of Maui. The side we stayed on was more dry and deserty, but the road to Hana was another world. We couldn't stop ourselves from taking a hundred pictures. I'll just give a few highlights.

Our sweet ride. Did I mention that we stayed in the home of a woman James baptized on his mission, and she was traveling on the mainland at the time? Well, we did. And we also used her nice car. She was so generous. We camped in the back of this car on our Hana road trip.

My personal quest on this trip was to get a cool picture of one of the beat-up curvy road signs with the green scenery flashing on the sides.

But as you can see, you rarely go above 15 miles an hour on this road because it is so curvy. Lots of people get sick so we brought a ginger root to suck on, which helped. There were waterfalls everywhere right next to the road, and lots of one-lane bridges where you have to yield to oncoming traffic. It was a real adventure!

More views stepping out of the car:

This part is out of order, but at the end of our Hana trip we visited the Seven Sacred Pools, which were so refreshing after swimming in salt water for a week. They are fresh and cold, and each pool empties into a lower one and then finally out into the ocean, seen here:

James cliff jumped where that man is standing. The water is pretty deep.

This was a crazy tree we saw where it would just send roots straight down out of the branches 10 or 20 feet down into the ground. Crazy tree.

This is Hamoa Beach, one of our favorites and very secluded because it's on the less-populated side of the island where Hana is.

Our spot:

We discovered a few games on the i-phone while there:

Enjoying a passion fruit from a local fruit stand:

Wish you could see where we are really parked in this picture. Here's the story and I'll try to make it short. The fruit stand where we got the passion fruit. The lady who runs the stand talked to us for a few minutes and found out we were LDS. So she sent us down the street for lunch at the home of one of the few LDS families in the area. They run a plate lunch business in their front yard. We went and ate lunch there, and they invited us to a ward potluck that night. That was fun! Then they found out we were camping, and called their friend who has property right on the ocean to see if we could camp in her yard. She agreed, and in this picture, our car is backed up against a cliff edge, maybe 15 feet away, and we slept in the back of the car listening to the sound of the ocean all night. And I mean all night, because I didn't get much sleep what with the bugs and all. But it was incredible.


Red sand beach! (We saw a nudist here, te hee hee!)

The plate lunch place I mentioned before at the home of the LDS family:

Black sand beach!

On the black sand beach there was this cool cave that you enter from the side I'm standing on to take the picture, and it opens up right where the ocean tumbles in. But mostly I just thought James looked so handsome in this picture, which was why I included it.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Paradise.

If you still check my blog these days, thanks for having faith in me. Hopefully now that I have this post off the to-do list I'll feel more excited about going back to blogging about nothing.