Tuesday, December 30, 2008


It was great being all together at Christmas! Rachel and I wanted to finish the Book of Mormon before the end of the year. Each night we would get different voices to read the last days of the Jaredites and Nephites. It is amazing how the actions of leaders can influence so many people - for good or ill. I've thought a lot about the great blessings or curse this land has and how we call down promises on our heads or reap the consequences of our actions.

Though we miss Andrew we have our ways of including him
Time can be measured sometimes by glancing at Sheila. She grows before our very eyes and is smarter, faster, and much more willing to please than her human counter parts. But she does have the adolescent "only me in the universe" attitude down pat.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rachel's December - Life is good!

Angel's singing
Rachel onstage, she and Jordon are the 1st clarinets.

Christmas Gingerbread houses!

Family is back together again - for a week.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tuesday night lots of things were going on and it was busy around the house. Michael went straight to a basketball game on the bus from school but forgot to tell us where he was playing. Jeffrey came home early but couldn’t go. The Relief Society had a progressive dinner and I was making a soup to be at the Craig’s house by 6:00. Rachel was in a Band concert and needed to be dressed up and at the school a little early. Then Michael called and said he’d be late, the noise was so loud we couldn’t get much other than he was safe. We brought the soup over, I went to the store to exchange some things and Jeffrey and Rachel went to the concert where I joined them before Rachel played. We came home and got the news from Michael that the bus had broken down and he would be even later getting home and he was in San Leandro (too far to just go and pick up). My big project this week has been turning the office back into a bedroom for Nate and Matt while they are here for the holidays and in case Nate stays over the winter. While supervising Rachel in her homework, I finished cleaning out and packaging up boxes to go to the garage and sent the others to bed till Michael showed up. He came home around 10:30-11 and was ravenous but of course all the fast food places were closed. I had his portion of supper set aside but he wanted hot food now. I heated up leftovers and made a sandwich and he was ready to crash but Shelia still needed care. I figured out she hadn’t been fed because everyone felt everyone else had done it. So we all get to sleep and Rachel gets up around one o’clock distressed because she can’t breathe right due to congestion. So I take care of her and go back to bed. Then I remember I need to take a shower because my day will be too busy tomorrow. Quick shower and go to bed. But for some reason I can’t fall back to sleep, I’m so tired and I’m not sure what is wrong. I can hear the dog turning. I really wanted to go back to sleep. So I asked the Lord to have her whimper and cry if there is a reason I should be up. Be careful what you ask for, you’ll always get an answer. Sure enough she is crying and I get up to see what she needs. The back door is open – ahh. So I let her out to do her thing and then patrol the house to make sure everyone is safe and I don’t hear anything until Jeff leaves for work early in the morning and seconds later Michael is asking for a ride to early morning seminary. Ok, we might have been safe all night anyway, there was no evidence of anything wrong but I still felt blessed and protected. Nothing dramatic just content. May the Lord watch over and bless and protect you always.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pavlo's Dog

There is something to be said about our brains that perceive lights, sounds, or smells that can take hold and cause us to act. Being a mom silence can mean terrible things could be happening, while a certain pitch in two children arguing can have us moving just as fast. But the light that makes my adrenaline soar is the 'service engine soon' light on the dashboard. It will send me into a frenzy. My family thinks I'm overreacting. They have never spent 4 hours each way on trips to and from Utah stuck in gas stations in Sparks or Wendover with children in the car waiting for mechanics or tow trucks. They haven't been in the car when it stops on the highway. They haven't pulled into a bank then have the motor die. Of course they didn't grow up with a dad and brothers who could fix anything and didn't mind cars they could coax home - which left the rest of us stranded when we went out. I really think I'm being responsible not to set foot into a vechicle which may or may not get me home again... ok the light went out maybe I'm safe for one more day - and maybe not.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Last night Jeffrey and Michael had gone to a meeting at the stake house after Rachel, Michael and I had gone ding dong ditching with chocolate chip and mint cookies. Rachel wanted to play a board game and we ended up playing 2 man Clue! The game goes much faster than normal and if I'd been able to get back to the ballroom I would have won the first time! Next time I'm going to drag her to the study so I can win in the dining room. Ahh Sunday evenings....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sunrise Sunset, Quickly

I unloaded a facebook picture of Matt and partner - so I conclude he is still dancing. Looks like fun!

I found this one on facebook of Jennie and Rebekah - good looking girls.

I couldn't find any current pictures of Nate - so I'll have to get one at Thanksgiving and get caught up on what's going on in their lives. It feels so odd to not be aware of them 24 hours a day. I remember as a young mother waking up from falling asleep for a few minutes trying to figure out where everyone was. Being conscious of your children's safety and well-being isn't an instinct that shuts off quickly, but I've realized lately I'm not counting to 6 anymore with quick rundowns going on in my mind. Weird. Now the only baby I listen for is a dog.

Andrew's District

I received Andrew's pictures and put them all on a disc. I couldn't help seeing the legendary picture among them and knew of course you would want to see it! I'm guessing this is his district.

Hey how did they get this light saber to work? It is actually light - or is it reflection? Trust the elders to figure it out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My life is wrapping around this baby

It is amazing how such a small puppy can bring so much joy and so much work. She is testing her new teeth out on everything within reach and still piddles anywhere. Shelia is smart and now only poops outside - I know I know just what you wanted to hear about - not. No fantastic tricks except getting the entire house up at 5 in the morning. Her howls are kinda cute and we are starting to figure out a little dog speak. My motive of helping the kids learn responsibility may be noble in thought but sure is making my days busy. And I have to admit my floors have never been cleaned so often since Rachel was a baby. Shelia had the entire house until I blocked off the carpets, and then she promptly got a dog pen for a much smaller portion of my wood floor and now I'm scheduled to get a kitty crate. Hopefully her area will get bigger as her education improves. It sure feels like I'm the one relearning responsibility, I'm wondering just what or if my kids are learning anything.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November 4, 2008 Election Day

I'm glad today is here and it can be yesterday. The prop 8 pros and cons have been everywhere today and last night. Rain and shine has seen both sides. When asked Jeffrey said he can't lose either way. If he wins he'll try to make a difference and if he loses there is 20 more hours a week he can use. We're getting ready for Thanksgiving and hope to see the family soon. Andrew seems to be doing well and Rebekah, Nate and Matthew haven't said anything was bad. I got a puppy pen as I am not going to wash all of my floors every day. Rachel is coming with a friend from school and they can't wait to play with the puppy - how am I going to get school work done?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Joy in our home!

Shelia - a black lab puppy has just come to live with us and Michael is overjoyed that he finally has a dog of his own. The mother didn't want to nurse her pups any more and the puppies are about 5 weeks old, so she doesn't eat very much and sleeps most of the time - well so far - we haven't had her for a night yet.

There is something very pleasant about having a baby in the house. Probably a few weeks in I'll be telling you the cons of dog ownership, but today is very nice.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The face

It's in the air - sweaters, the snap of leaves, a tease of cinnamon spice, costumes ideas, fall parties, plans to visit relatives, and we are getting into all of it.

Rachel is on her third Jack-o-lantern as the first two molded before Halloween.

Welcome to our home - Through a new door!

I believe John was here (not married to Amy or with Spencer and Ava) when I last got a screen door to temporarily hold the bugs out until I got my security door. Well the temporary wait is over! Last Saturday Anthony Durst put in the doors and on Monday he fixed the shower, tub and handle on the commode. Not to mention the locks on the back door. Very nice to have the house in working order. My to-do list came out ....

Check back later for new developments.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The four oldest

If you notice there are no pictures of my oldest kids. That's because they haven't sent me any. Rebekah is in Provo and will graduate this December. Nate is in Idaho working on his engineering degree, Andrew is in Pennsylvania on a mission, and Matthew is in Provo starting out the whole degree process. Matthew has mentioned that he is up late working on school work, though he has seen the games and gone on a few dates. Rebekah reports a good social life and Nate's life is complicated. Hopefully Andrew is meeting a lot of people and having success in his work. (3 sentences doesn't tell me very much) We are planning to go to Utah for Thanksgiving and get caught up on everybody there.

Setting up at the Football game

Michael in the band who before August started had never played a drum or any percussion instrument is now marching in parades and at half time and is in the drum line at competitions and Mr. Coartney put him in Wind Ensemble the top competing band in our school. They are competing this weekend and will play in the Homecoming show. Practices are intense and Michael wants to go to Jumba Juice every time he gets back.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Size is Relative

Is Grandmama getting shorter? We had such a great visit with Beverly when she came up for Kindra's shower and Jessica's birthday party!

It sure was nice to be with family for the weekend!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Campaign Rally for Jeff

Today Jeffrey had a bar-be-que with all those who are supporting him for the school board. It was held in a park that has soccer, swimming and tennis games. Nate called as I was walking over and said it was snowing in Rexburg. I told him it was a windy warm afternoon and the sun was shining. I could hear the wind whistling through his phone.
Several people have asked me why Jeff was running and the simple reason was he was asked to. 21/2 years ago, Bill Leal a member of the school board came over one night and told Jeffrey he thought that Jeff could do a good job and that he should run for the board. Jeffrey thought about it and decided with Bill's help he would go for it. Well Bill died of cancer about 2 months later. It left a vacancy on the board so Jeffrey applied but another man got the job. The same man ran that year and Jeffrey was asked not to run so this guy could get in, so Jeffrey didn't campaign.
He thought about it off and on and watched more what was going on in the schools, and listened to teachers and went to more school functions.
Last July he thought he'd see if the deadline to run was already over and it wasn't so he took the papers home. Not one hour after he left the election office, someone called and asked him not to run because there was someone else they had in mind for the job. So Jeffrey agreed to go to lunch with the person who was running, and talked to some others and felt he could do just as good and in a few instances a little better than the other person running, so he put his hat in the ring and decided to run.
I guess the campaign has run with drama, anxiety, ups and downs of any election process. As this is the first one I've seen behind the scene coverage, it is probably normal. I can't say I recommend it for everyone, but Jeffrey seems to be thriving.

Rachel likes one component of the election process! The lady on the right in red is Barbara Leal without her support, time and effort nothing would have happened. Same with Stephanie Lambertson the lady on the left. The two sign guys are Jim Mattson, and Dave Marquarcson, he has two others whom I don't have their pictures yet and without these six Jeff wouldn't be running.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fourth Watch

A few weeks ago Andrew wrote to us about struggling for awhile and then the success comes at the end, and I've noticed the same thing in quite a few areas of my life so here's a clip from his email:

"After some hours of tracting without success, many times "4th watch" happens.
I mentioned to Elder Lamb one day that we had experienced a strange phenomenon a number of times. After unsuccessful tracting for a few hours, right before we went in we would get into a door. Thinking that Elder Lamb would be either shocked or chuckle and say it was all coincidence, what was more to my surprise when he stated quite casually that it was no more than "4th watch." He then related the story of the Savior coming to the apostles on the water in the 4th watch of the night, to save them from the storm. At times on the mission, he explained, we must work and work and work, utilizing all of our faith, before the success appears- which comes in the 4th watch. Strange, but I've seen it happen over and over. "

So I guess the bottom line is keep your good work until you find your success. I just hope I'm not banging my head against a wall hoping something will happen. My curiosity was pricked wondering when the 4th watch time table is so I looked it up on line:

[3 AM - 6 AM]

1. THIS IS A SPECIAL TIME FOR DIVINE JUDGMENTS. This is the last watch of the night.

This fourth watch is always important because this is the last lap of the night race: this was when Israel was released from Egypt. This watch is the time that those satanic agents who went out to perform their activities are returning back to their bases. This is the time the devil and his cohorts are running back ‘home’ so that they are not caught. This is the time to release judgment on the wicked, who remain stiff-necked after many warnings and rebukes in line with Prov. 29:1. This is the time every enemy chariot would have their wheels removed (Exo. 14:24-28) and all their plans, programmes and policies would fail. This is the period to release the manifestation of the full intensity of the dayspring shaking out the wicked (Job 38:12, 13 cf. Isa. 17:14 – Proclaiming before morning).

Anyway if you are curious this is the website: http://www.nationalprayerwatch.net/the_8_prayer_watches/fourth_watch.html

The article goes on to say this is when Christ was released from the tomb and other very interesting things.
So are we in the 4th watch of the world time span and this is the last time to do missionary work? Well California is sure heating up on some serious issues this year. Should be an interesting election.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Once upon a time there lived....

Rachel is creative and a lot of fun to listen to. She makes stories and drawings and has lots of friends.
Right now she is in soccer and loves having her dad as the coach. They have won a few games and lost a few. She has a report on Utah coming up and is making a brochure about all the fun places you can play in the state. Skiing, dinosaur bone hunts, rafting, house boating, ATV riding, hiking and watching Bonneville salt flat races. She'll probably add a few pictures of herself riding 4 wheeler at Laura's house and playing at Grandma's house. Interestingly I always thought California was the place to play - beaches, Disneyland, San Diego zoo, climbing over cliffs, reunions, body surfing......

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Michael is marching and first he was on the bass drum while they were being judged for street marching...

Then he ended up on the snare drum while being judged in the percussion line.

It has been very interesting watching the new kid do his thing

When he is done the next kid will come along! Will she go on to band also?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Life is changing again. This time instead of emptying nest syndrome that I've been experiencing more and more, it is now political life. Jeffrey is gone almost every night meeting people, figuring out what they want/need, going to meetings about issues, or planning and figuring out what comes next in his campaign. Without the help of his good friends there would be nothing. They are amazing, smart, and have lots of ideas and ambition. I'm glad there are those who run for an office, it is much simpler to complain about how another person is doing the job. There is absolutely no way I would put myself out on the line like that, I much prefer helping out on the sidelines or in the back. So I admire and respect Jeffrey for following his convictions and riding the bumps and bruises that come with putting yourself out on the front page. Kinda like running first in a military charge. I'll keep you posted on how the battle goes.