Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jump for joy

We had to leave our trampoline in Gilbert so this is a treat
My shoes are bullhead magnets-- and yes I still wear flip flops when it's cold outside because I am a die hard valley girl.
Now we have something other than dirt and bullheads in the backyard. Last weekend a friend of ours gave us a trampoline. He gave it to us! How nice is that? But the reason I'm jumping for joy is that today after school the kids were jumping on the trampoline with no coats, short sleeves and sunshine! Sunshine! I'm so happy. Our super fit, super hot, hard bodied (well that's what we're striving for) "mom group" is even venturing out on morning walks again. I haven't joined them yet, but I'm hoping to tomorrow. Hooray for spring! Pretty soon we might even have beautiful trees and flowers again. I can't wait.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lessons from a fruit kabob...

My Jamie loves mealtime. She always considers very carefully what she would like for breakfast, lunch and her snack for school. Yesterday she was having trouble deciding what she wanted for breakfast, then I remembered fruit kabobs. Jamie loves, loves, loves fruit kabobs. I hadn't made them in a long time so I decided to make a surprise of it. As I was making them I felt joy in this simple act of service. Joy for the excitement Jamie would feel when she saw her favorite snack. At that moment I also began to feel sorrow. Sorrow that Satan will never know the joy of making fruit kabobs for someone he loves, that he in fact will never love. And greater sorrow that so many of us (if not all of us from time to time) buy into his lies that fruit kabobs and simple acts of love and service are not enough to fulfill our lives. He continually tries to distract us from the things of greatest worth. It is because of this that I have struggled so much with this move to a small town. I still feel a pull toward the distractions of the city, but my purpose on this earth has nothing to do with my favorite stores, my city routines, or my "treasure hunts". In fact those are the very things that keep me from fulfilling my mission here. So instead of mourning the loss of something of no value, I need to celebrate what I still have. My family, my friends, my faith, my blessings, health, joy--and fruit kabobs.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Chivalry is alive and well....

I’m happy to report that chivalry still exists. This morning before school, Landon went to the gas station and put air in my tire. Of course I am capable of doing that for myself, but I was very touched that a 16-year-old boy would take time to do that act of service for his mother. I am grateful for a husband who has taught our son how to treat women through his great example. Landon is going to be quite the catch someday. Rick was, and I’m the lucky one who won the prize.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Congratulations Laurann and Jeremy

My sister Laurann married her sweetheart, Jeremy yesterday. Unfortunately I didn't find out until after the fact so I couldn't be there to support her, but I'm happy for her and wish her and Jeremy a wonderful life together.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's Journal Time...

I was thinking about giving up on blogging because I don't know if anyone reads it anyway and I don't know if it's worth simply talking to myself, but then I remembered that I rather like talking to myself, in fact I do it all of the time. At the grocery store, for example, you might find me having a nice discussion with myself about what kind of bread to buy, openly objecting to the fact that most companies put high fructose corn syrup in their "healthy" whole grain breads. Also I mainly blog to journal what's going on in my life and since a journal is normally kept for the sake of the person writing it and their posterity, then I guess all is well and I can happily keep talking to myself. I know I have friends and family reading who can't post comments because they don't have accounts so let me say--Welcome. I'm glad you're here--now get an account or better yet a blog of your own. I would love to look at it. It's not hard. Of course I had Holly to help me get started. The funny thing is, when she set up my blog in October I didn't even know if I would ever do anything with it and it wasn't until December that I finally posted something. And now I'm posting all of the time. It's crazy how addicting this journaling business can become.
I started this post earlier today (it is now after 11) because I was feeling very depressed and thought writing might help. Yes I'm still having a hard time adjusting to my new home, but more than that I've been very weepy since I read my letters to my dad. They were a painful reminder of how much I used to confide in him and the void that is in my life now that he is gone. I'm not normally a crier. Well let's clarify that, I cry at all things spiritual and I cry for the pains and triumphs of others, but I rarely cry for myself especially in a "poor me" manner. So it's been hard for me today. But when Rick got home he took the kids upstairs and let me spend some alone time in my room and that helped me so much. I feel like there's enough oxygen in the world again. I know that eventually I will see this move as a good thing. I've been comfortable for a very long time and this opportunity will help me stretch and grow.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Snow...

We woke up to more snow today. It was beautiful, but poor Landon had to scrape his car before school because the door on the "Man Garage" isn't working. It reminded me of when I went to Ricks college in Idaho and had to scrape the windows on my Karmen Ghia every morning. Yuck! I hate the cold! My mom recently gave me some old letters that I had written during my college days and I just read some that I had written to my dad. It took me 'til now to read them because I didn't feel like crying. Anyway one of the things I talked about is how much I hated the cold and how I never wanted to live anywhere near the snow again. And here I am, living in the snow. But compared to Idaho, this isn't snow at all. I was so miserable there, weather wise, but it was a beautiful experience in many other ways. I loved reading those letters. It was kind of like being able to talk to my dad again. I loved our conversations. He was my rock and I miss him so much. I know he would have the perfect advice for me right now as I try to adjust to this new small town life of mine. If nothing else I could at least talk to him for hours like I used to, and in the end I'd be smiling and feeling like I could lasso the moon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Today is my sis-in-law Mary's birthday. I'm soooo happy to have her as part of my family. I'm telling you I couldn't have picked better sister-in-laws for myself if I would have tried. All of my brothers and brothers-in-law married so well. My sisters-in-law (and sisters) are my very best friends. I miss getting to live next to Jeff and Mary. We were in the same ward for awhile and had the fun of having babies within three weeks of each other. I loved getting to spend so much time with Seth and feel jipped that I don't get to see him or his brothers Porter and Jarom enough. I guess I need to work harder at getting over to see them more often. I wish I could be there now to celebrate with Mary, but since I can't I'll just have to say....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY!!! Hope it's a good one!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Please fence me in....

We had chain link put across the east side because there are no neighbors on that side and we like the openness and the view of the temple. Someday we'll cover it up with pretty hedges.

After forever and a day (it was literally forever and one day ago that we ordered it) our fence is done. It's not all that thrilling right now because it's just encasing a big old patch of dirt, bullheads, and ugly winter trees, but maybe someday we will have a beautiful backyard oasis to enjoy. At least it keeps Jack locked up like a respectable dog should be. Of course he hates it and misses running free with his buddies. They had quite the little dog gang going on there. I'm afraid we'll have to get another dog because he really is not used to being alone (don't tell Rick I said that). Getting a new dog here is as easy as going down to the Bashas parking lot and picking one up out of a cardboard box. They're usually free too. Jack was.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

In loving memory....

40 wonderful years together.
I love this picture because Rick is goosing his Dad's backside. They had so much fun together.

Today is the second anniversary of my father in-law's death. I can't believe he has been gone for two years. He was such a special part of my life. I was newly married when my own dad died and I remember at his viewing many people offered me their condolences. It was nice but I felt numb. Then I felt a small tap on my shoulder I turned around to find my father in-law standing behind me. As he wrapped me in his arms a sense of security returned to me. I realized that I still had a father on this earth and that he would love and care for me as much as my real father. And he did. He loved me so completely, so perfectly. I will always cherish our time together and can't wait until I am reunited with my two wonderful fathers again someday.
These pictures were taken at our last family get together. We had gotten together to celebrate my in-laws' 40th wedding anniversary. We feel so blessed that we were able to get family pictures taken while we were together because two short weeks later, Turk was called home. I am so grateful that we are an eternal family, and I know that we will be together again.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

18 years of wedded bliss....

In the fall of 1988 I took a Spanish class at MCC. One day during class a young man walked up to the chalkboard and as he passed my desk I heard a voice say, "You could marry him." Never before or since have I gotten better advice, and though it took another year and a half and wondrous miracles before I was able to act on that prompting I will forever be grateful I did! Being married to Rick these past 18 years has truly been wedded bliss. I promise that no other wife has been treated better or loved more than I have been.
To celebrate our anniversary today we took a little day trip to Flagstaff. We had the best time! We ate, went to a movie, shopped--I love shopping with Rick. He treats me like a princess and wants me to have anything and everything that my heart desires. Of course I don't buy anything and everything because we are on a budget, but it's fun that he offers. We also spent the day flirting, exchanging playful banter, and acting like newlyweds. It's great to still be so in love.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hair Day...

We had a hair day today. We put a copper color on Marlee (it's brighter than the picture shows) and put a light brown color wash on Paige (We're still trying to get her hair back to normal after her fun with platinum and purple). It was fun playing salon and a heck of a lot cheaper than what we paid last time they colored their hair! Ouch!

Thursday, February 14, 2008



5 things I was doing 10 years ago

1. Being happily married
2. Being a mom
3. Being a foster parent (was it really that long ago? Johnny is 18 now and Steban is 16. Try to wrap your brain around that one)
4. Living in Chandler
5. Ripping my hair out as a nursery leader while having 5 kids under 8 at home, two of them being foster children with issues.

5 things on my to do list today

1. Get out of getting a speeding ticket (I did that this morning and it wasn’t because of my good looks with my bed head, raccoon eyes and morning breath.)
2. Help kids go through their stash of valentine goodies and confiscate the good chocolate.
3. Go out to eat with the family
4. Buy a new washer and dryer (I’m actually bummed about this one, I hate to spend the money, but our washer is putting black marks on everything and our dryer is shredding our clothes)
5. Finish this tag

5 snacks that I enjoy

1. Anything with jalapenos
2. All pastries
3. Clam dip with Ruffles
4. Trail mix with m&ms
5. Chocolate

5 things I would do if I were a billionaire

1. Help my family and friends
2. Pay off all of our homes and businesses
3. Travel
4. Buy Rick a Harley
5. Fund a new town library (a really good town library)

3 bad habits

1. Throwing my clothes on my closet floor
2. Piling clean laundry up instead of folding it
3. Not thinking about dinner until it’s almost time to eat

5 jobs that I have had

1. Seamstress at Apache Banner
2. Very short run as a waitress at Waffle House
3. Sales at Wallet Works
4. More Apache Banner
5. Daycare provider

5 things you probably didn’t know about me

1. If I didn’t have a testimony of a living prophet, which I do, I would probably have a cute little tattoo in a discrete place.
2. I love to dance
3. I would love to travel the country on the back of my honey’s Harley (the one I’m going to buy with my billion dollars)
4. I crave adventure, but generally lean toward conservatism.
5. Someday I would love to do foster care again (even though the first time around broke my heart)


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm seeing red....

Nearly eleven years ago I fell in love. I knew it was wrong. I should have been satisfied with what I had, but I couldn't help myself and soon I was finding any excuse to go into town to visit my new love. It wasn't until months later that my husband Rick learned of my secret. He said he didn't care the cost, he just wanted me to be happy so together we went to confront this heart stealer of mine. Upon arrival I pointed out the object of my desire, Rick said that he could understand the attraction. So it was decided, my new love would come home with us. We lived happily together for six or so years, but after moving to a new home I found myself growing tired. The love had died, the attraction was lost. I was finished. My now old love found refuge at my in-laws' Snowflake home and I moved on with my life, opting to turn my living room into a playroom instead of rushing into another relationship. But as fate would have it, when I moved to Snowflake my once beloved moved back into my life to fill a void in my new home. At first I was glad to be reunited, which is the way with most reunions between lost loves until reality hits bringing to remembrance the reason the breakup happened in the first place. And oh how I remembered. I remembered how weary I had become of this lost love's patterns and style. How I longed to move on, to try new things, but it wasn't possible I was stuck. Until one day when I came up with an idea that brought me hope. I know we aren't supposed to try to change the ones we love, but I had to. If this relationship was ever to make me happy, a change had to take place. So I introduced something that has been a constant pleasure in my life--RED! My passion for red has never, and will never languish. I love red, and with its support I can look at my lost love and let out a sigh of gratification again. Thank you red. The camera has failed to capture your beauty, the photo does not do justice to how much you have improved the look of my once so dearly loved.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Easton's Baptism

Marlee made Easton a fun candy poster to celebrate her day.

Grandma Shumway made Easton a quilt (comforter) to illustrate how the Holy Ghost can be a comforter in her life
Easton was baptized on Saturday February 9th. She originally had been scheduled to be baptized on the 2nd, but it was postponed due to President Hinckley's funeral. Her baptism was beautiful. Paige and Jamie sang, Marlee played the piano and Landon gave a talk. Grandma also gave a talk and the bishop's words to Easton were very touching. Most of our family traveled to be with us, but unfortunately my sisters Jillene and Laurann couldn't make it. Afterward we all hung out at my house until late in the night, shared good food, great stories and laughed so hard that at one point I actually heard myself cackle (I even chuckled a little bit the next day during sacrament meeting when I thought about Lynn and the scary bum). Of course the cousins always love being together so it was a wonderful day for all. Easton is an angel and I love every moment I get to spend with her. (That's not a sappy exaggeration she honestly is always a joy!)

Monday, February 4, 2008


Rick hooked the sled up to the quad and gave us fun rides around the yard

Landon kicked it up a notch on his dismantled skateboard

Landon and Marlee took the quad for a spin down to the pond and nearly got stuck in the deep snow

Rick and the kids built a fort by packing an ice chest with snow to create blocks

The completed fort

Waylon inside the fort

Today was our first snow day of the year, and lucky for us Rick had a snow day too. Being from the valley of the sun we love it when we get to play in the snow, especially when it is in our own backyard. It's like being on a vacation at home. Days like this make small town living seem pretty good. The kids kept saying that they wished it could be a snow day everyday. Well at least for one day their wish will come true because we're having another snow day tomorrow! Hooray!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Got paint?

My Gilbert family room. That's not wallpaper it's paint. It took me forever, but I loved it.

The playroom! We had the best time in this room.
Jamie Kate's Cafe

Easton's Dress Shop

Waylon's Fire House

Now I'm more homesick than ever! Putting my personal touch on our homes has always been one of my favorite things to do. I painted the playroom while I was pregnant with Waylon. I'd wake up early every morning and stay up late everynight working on it. I knew I had to finish before he was born or it would never get done. It was an exciting, rewarding project. We had such wonderful times in that room. I miss it terribly. Reminiscing has made me realize that I am never going to be truly happy here until I make this new home my own. I have to buck up and get to painting.