November 28, 2008


Thanks for reading my blog today. It makes me feel connected. Thanks to the C family for having 6 kids for my 5 to hang out with over at their lovely home today. There's someone for everybody. The food was awesome and the kids played night games outside in the cul-de-sac until 7:30pm.

Thanks for the people who help me with things that I cannot do myself. For JL who gives my big boy a ride to seminary each morning. For the home teacher who looks under the hood of my van to check for the possibility of low steering fluid. For the couple who came and stayed with my kids so I could go to the movies with my girlfriends- thanks! For the family who came over and shared the most delicious brownies with us for family home evening. Those were really good-thanks!

We are truly blessed this season with all of our needs being met. The graciousness of others is very humbling. It is teaching me how to be when I am on the other side of this mess. I just had to take the photo of these turkey blow up lawn decorations that we passed on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner. I think that one turkey is injured and the other one is carrying it on it's back into the woods and to safety. Much like my many friends helping me out at this challenging time in my life. What did you think they were doing? I know I know- but I don't think that's how turkeys do it. I could be wrong. Maybe it's just the inflatable turkeys. Oh I am so off track with this post now....

I wish you the best of everything this Thanksgiving day. A shout out to my dearest T! Love you babe!

D is looking nervous in the tree at the C's.  He wouldn't come down and later fell asleep up there....

Eliza wants to swing, or as she would say "go Wee!" referring of coarse to what she would say not what she would do in her diaper if put in the swing. But maybe it's both.... hmmm.

November 26, 2008

I want to share with you

This touched me so much today....

November 25, 2008


As if I don't blog enough already right?  But I feel like I have been treating my blog like a writing contest and that gets lengthy.  Just something to snack on this time...

A list of updates:
1-A is grounded from markers- for life.  She leaves them out for Baby Girl to get and we currently have markers on bedspreads, markers on hardwoods, markers on babies.  It is bad.

2-Middle Boy may have an ulcer.  He complains of stomach pain a lot.  He may also be trying to dodge school because he is letting his grades slide.  Not good.

3-Little Boy has a snaggle tooth (pegged lateral for my dental friends) coming in.  It's tooth #7 (or the one right from center for my non-dental friends).  It looks funny, can we do a veneer on a 9 year old?  How about a flipper?

4-Baby Girl is talking in sentences and taking off her own diaper to sit on her potty.  She is still over a month from turning 2.  Time goes by too fast!

5-N has his appetite back.  We are letting the medications slide a bit since he is now a trained puppy getting himself up and out the door at the unGodly hour of 5:00am.  He comes home giddy and hungry.  His grades are seemingly okay so far, so we shall see.  I am anxious to see him put some weight back on.  He looks anorexic!

6-I thought it would be non-stressful to have a family over last night for FHE (family home evening for my non LDS friends; Latter Day Saints also also); but even though they did the thought and brought delicious brownies I spent the entire day cleaning house for them.  Too stressful!  The boys were made to help me quite a bit and N mentioned in front of this family that the house is clean due to Mom's henchmen.  Where is he picking up these things?

7-This was still lengthy.  Sorry english majors out there.  T says I need to say things without so many words.  I am going to end now and get kids off to school.

November 24, 2008

Middle Boy

Here you see my Middle Boy 'E'.  At the risk of sounding pompous in my blog I would like to devote this post to him and only him.  The other kids will come later on sometime.  This one is all about E.  Being a middle boy, sometimes it's easy to feel looked over.  I know E has felt this way before because he used to pull his baby brother's hair in an act of jealousy every time someone mentioned Little Boy's lovely red curly locks.  E wouldn't just pull it, he would twist it up around his finger a few times and give it a good yank upwards.  It was then when we (his parents) would look at each other and know that we needed to pay E a bit more attention.  

E likes sports.  He used to spot basketball hoops in people's front driveways as we drove around town.  "Hoops!" our 2 year old would verbalize almost before saying "Ma Ma and Da Da." E likes cars.  He is the best in our family at recognizing and defining moving vehicles from a distance.  We always know there is a nice sports car around when we hear Evan's voice from the back seat saying "sweeeet!"

E is sensitive.  He has taken his Dad's deployment the hardest.  E is my 'finder of things'.  He is serious.  He wants to achieve things.  He always has a good argument up his sleeve.  He loves money.  He loves having a goal and working for it (usually something he is saving his money for). Incidentally he has earned a lot of money finding things for me.  He loves animals, especially dogs.  E is handsome and has his great grandma Fronk's beautiful blue eyes.  He is shy around girls and they are not shy around him. (trouble!)  He has a mean jump shot but is unfortunately very short.  I love E's low giggly laugh.  He likes to goof around with his older brother.  Little boy wants to be just like E.  E is slow to anger but when his fuse finally runs out- you better watch out!  He is good to his baby sister.  He is good to his mother.  He misses his Father.

 I love E!

November 21, 2008

the Underdogs

The other day T treated a 5-6 year old girl with 2nd degree burns over 30-35 % of her body.  Her name is Bon, and she has been in our prayers constantly.  The girl was close to our daughter's age and he said thoughts of her have been with him every since the incident.  Not only was this girl a victim of accidental burning but then the following day a 2 year old boy came in with a similar wound from 'sitting in boiling milk' (?!)  Maybe over a low cooking spot I assume.  T was much more prepared for this one.   Both burnings were probably due to neglect.  Both within a day of each other.  Neither child was with a parent when brought to the gates of the base.  

I can't help but think of another burn victim who's story I have been following along with thousands of other bloggers like myself.  Stephanie Neileson's case is a different one though.  She has the support of her family and the support of the bloggosphere.  I read an article about her that related her waking up experiences with her husband by her side cheering her on.  He had also been in the plane crash that caused her injuries and suffered less severe burning. But he  could help her, comfort her, let her know that he knew how it felt to wake up to this new and overwhelming truth.  His mother had been there for him when it was his waking up time.  Stephanie is a wonderful person who I am moved to tears about almost every day.  But there are lots of wonderful people.  Lots of victims.  Lots...

Who will be there for these poor Iraqi children?  Will they even get the kind of care they need?  Will it be enough?  How is it that some are blessed with so much and others are seemingly left uncared for?  I know that life is unfair and that things have a way of working out for everyone.  I just am sometimes left to wonder, and then I wonder what I will do about it.  I, who have been given much...

I believe that God has a plan for each of us.  That he loves us each individually and the same.  I had a loving mother who taught me this truth through her example.  When there was a less lovely, less popular, less designer-clad woman sitting alone in church, it was my mother who would seek this woman out in relief society and sit with her.  

I was present at my mother's side no doubt listening in to what was going on, when she told a peddler at the door that God loves us all.  He had been going door to door asking people for any kind of work to put money in his pocket.  He was Tongan I believe and had said something about not being as good as us.  My mother hugged him, and told him it wasn't so.  I will never forget that.  

Sometimes I get angry at the populars of the world who seem to have everything handed to them.  It's a problem I sometimes think I need to work on.  When I was a teenager and was cute but shy and didn't get too many dates (due to shyness and I think being labeled as stuck-up... not due to uncuteness btw), I had the horrible experience of being lined up on a blind date for my Jr prom.  My best friend was also lined up and we doubled.  The dates were relatives of my Mia Maid advisor from church.  They were handsome and a bit grabby.  When they saw who had been announced prom queen they also had the wonderful quality of asking us "Why her? she's not that great..."  What they didn't know was that she was popular by association with her big-deal family.  She was also very nice, but the big deal that was made about her was pretty overdone.  And still continues to this day... Do I sound bitter?  I just don't understand why we don't get that everyone is special in their own way.  We should be reaching out to the less-haves and giving less praise and attention to those who already have a lot going for them.  

When I told T that I had bought some expensive purses from and online auction benefitting the Nielsons he was okay with that, but he also pointed out to me that there are lots of burn victims out there without blogs who weren't big-deals beforehand.  "Wonder where their online auctions are being held at?" was his comment.  I knew there was a reason I loved this man so much.  Like my mother- he gets it.

November 20, 2008

Want to waste some time?

Press Here  Don't press the image of the dot on my blog.  That will get you the image only.  I see not many of you have been doing this right instead press the link I have placed at the beginning of this paragraph.  Sillies!

November 19, 2008

Wink, blink, nod

Well the good Lord above must have known I needed a boost today because I got not one, not two but three compliments (of sorts) today lifting my ego considerably. Now I am no looker, but I had it when I needed it. Nothing to recoil at either mind you, just holding my own and still a bit vain, so you can see why these three things meant so much to me.

The first incident was when I was volunteering in A's class and a young 5 year old boy clearly winked at me. Directly.... with impact! I sometimes will wink at the kids and he must have picked up on it- winking at the winker. At the time of 'the wink', the class was participating in quite the congo-line of squirrels. I guess they are starting a new unit of squirrel study and they were pretending to be squirrels marching, eating nuts, and wagging their bushy tails around the two connecting classrooms. I thought it was funny how the teacher reminded them repeatedly that 'squirrels do NOT talk.' Apparently they do wink. I was touched.

The second flirtation (and it should be called such for it was nothing less than flirting) happened outside the school where there was a construction worker standing on the sidewalk. He saw me coming and I smiled and said "hello." I guess I was rather charming because the man who I shall describe as an African American male in his early 50s with a slight Caribbean accent then greeted me with a "look at dis beautiful woman walkin by, hello to you" I smiled and nodded and wondered a bit if I should be so friendly. Don't want to raise his hopes up too high. I thought about telling him I was taken mahn, but I was halfway to the car by then and didn't really think it wise to turn around. Still it made me feel sorta admired and nervous at the same time.

Then the last thing that happened was that while I was in line at the grocery store. A female store manager said when addressing the clerk checking out my groceries (or was that all he was checking out... hmm), "when you are finished helping this nice young woman you can take your break" Yes folks, she called me young woman. Did she know that I just turned 40? That probably would have surprised her. It wouldn't have been the first person to be surprised by the news.  Myself included.

So I was walking tall today with all these attentions. I must be doing something right!

November 18, 2008

What a Day!

We like to play a little game in my family called 'Tell me your goods bads and funnies of the day' I am not sure where we picked it up, but sometimes it helps to get the ball rolling in the conversation department. So to vent a bit on the blog tonight I will present to you my goods bads and if I have any, funnies of the day. Let's think positively and start with the goods. Hmm... Having a bit of a hard time with that one. We'll come back to it so as to end on a good note. Bads, where to start? How 'bout let's go in order of the events of the day- mm K? N forgot to take his ADD meds this morning so he forgot lunch money, forgot to tell me about it in the car on the way from seminary to school, and forgot his violin. He probably forgot more things, but fiddle dee dee I forget what... Plus, after school he was as goofy as a clown without ADD meds on board. Only this clown did not have any good material to work with and was hungry and grouchy as well.

Big Girl was feeling lonely at school so she decided to spend a good hour or more in the nurses office chatting away until I could get there. And I am learning a thing or two about this school nurse. She's not really a nurse at all and she likes to talk... A LOT. So maybe she was feeling a bit lonely and needed some practice taking temperatures on little girls who are pretending to be sick. Someone should tell her that 99.8 and 99.9 aren't really that high for a temp and if it goes up by .1 that doesn't mean "it's heading somewhere" it just means the thermometer isn't accurate each time you stick that thing in her ear. Audrey spent the rest of the day tormenting her little sister and running around the house. She would also get really grouchy when I called her a 'big fat faker.' (Touchy!)

My funnies where when I read my friend Eileen's blog about a place called Middlefart. That's a funny name for a place. I also thought it was a bit funny that when E's coveted, self purchased, gotta-have-it-please-mom sweatshirt arrived in the mail it was 2 sizes to big for him. That was also a bit sad since he was so let down. Oh another one of my bads (yes, back to the bads) was when we were writing letters to our dad in Iraq and N was outside the room and E confided to me that sometimes he doesn't like his brother N. I had to admit that sometimes N is hard to like. But I didn't say that one out loud. It was good (see now I'm on to the goods) that even though N was sassy and wouldn't do his laundry folding job that he was repentant enough to not argue about his punishment. It was good that for most of the day I was able to keep it together- why oh why did the missing band-aides have to push me over the side? It was actually that and the simultaneous recorded call from the high school that I only got to hear the last important words of (thanks E!) that pushed me 'over the side' (as we still say since 5 year old N coined that phrase for us long ago). More goods- I need more goods. I IM chatted and video conferenced with T today, that was good. Phone call from a good friend was good. I am looking at a 10:00 pm bedtime here so that is good. (about 2 hours earlier than usual) I am alive and kicking, and as Scarlett Ohara (my heroin) would say in her southern drawl "tomorrow... is another day!"
PS there's no milk in the house- I just couldn't end on a good note could I?

One of these things is not like the other...

Nathan gives me a birthday massage with my new gadget

A delicious birthday cake made by my new friend Lia

Lovely birthday flowers sent to me by my Plucky (they did last all week and were still in bloom on 11-11 despite the early delivery).

Some disturbingly long toenails on Little Boy that could put an eye out if we are not careful

November 14, 2008

Team Cougar

One thing that is sorta my Dad's mantra is that we are "_______s and they are tough" (maiden name removed for privacy purposes but imagine a tough sounding last name like the 'Gritts' the 'Moxys' or perhaps the 'Cougars'). I can remember him telling me this when I was away at school for the first time at Colorado Northwestern Community College. It was a whole 300 miles from home, and to console me before leaving he said something like, We are tough as nails and we have that Cougar Bounce! You'll be fine! Then when they left, I plopped my 18 year old self on the top bunk of the room I shared with the room mate I had yet to meet, and bawled my Cougar eyes out. But he was somewhat correct. After about 2 weeks, my Cougar bounce started to show and I was snarling at people and showing my Cougar claws. I had to bravely recruit patients to be my guinna pigs in the dental chair- that took courage! I had to turn down endless invitations to go to keggers. I had to fight of frisky boyfriends, go to church alone, and on and on. I invented a ritualistic thing to show myself I belonged to H hall (the only co-ed dorm btw). Every time I passed a certain spot in the dorm hallway I touched a red button that had some unknown purpose. It was more like a light than a button. It didn't trigger anything- just a habit like the Notre Dame football team touching their 4 leaf clover dude on their way out to the football field. (Didn't you see Rudy?) It seemed to give me power and soon my mealy-mouthed room mate Pam was touching the button too. A trend setter!

Months later when I would call home with a problem with my hard life my father would again mention my Cougarness and I started to believe him. We cougars were like invincible or something! The toughness truly came from my Father's side. So he was most proud of it. I recall my youngest sister actually having a dream of being chased by a tiger and instead of being afraid, she mounted the tiger and rode off into the sunset.... Cougar bounce my friends.

Some in my family are not Cougars. They come from a different blood line. My family is combined. Dad will often point out the differences. The 'Milkmaids' have a calmer disposition. Slow to anger, but sensitive and sometimes grudge holders. Never needed spanking. Not the Cougars. I was spanked plenty of times and even recall a time when Mrs Stansfield my kindergarten teacher one-handedly grabbed my cheeks and closed her grip on my face to stop me from sassing or something. Did I get nervous or sad? NO! My Cougar roared up and through those squished up cheeks I stuck my tongue out! Can you believe I did such a thing? Well I did. And I was sent to Principal Eddenfield for it. (Real names used- it was 35 years ago for heaven's sakes!)

When my husband talked to my dad about the idea of asking for my hand in marriage, he has a clear memory of something my Dad said to him about my capabilities as a wife and mother. "K is strong, and strong-willed. Treat her nicely and she will respond in kind, but one word of cation... Never pinch her cheeks, it's like unleashing an avalanche!" (kidding). He went on to give this great advise though "When you decide to start a family she will serve you well. She could probably handle like 6 or 7, maybe 8 kids.... but you two better talk that over and decide what you'd like to do" (gee thanks), Troy was a bit taken aback. We've settled for 5 but that is nothing to sneeze at and I am sure I could have handled more due to my Cougarness and all. But we have done okay I think.

Medical school, residency, being a military family, and living overseas have all been hard things. But once again, my Dad would say time and again "You are a Cougar and you can handle anything that comes your way."

So where am I going with this? I guess I am trying to screw up my Cougar courage since it was my first crybaby day today. I may have some Milkmaid moments, but deep down I am a Cougar, and just may be indestructible. So worry not for me people. I am sticking out my symbolic tongue at this deployment thingy. At least for today.

My Brave Man

I just got through chatting online with this handsome man in uniform. For the first time ever we were able to get the video up and running. This would be a day when I did not do my hair and make up. He said he still loved seeing me though, so I guess it's okay. I was worried because I had been sneaking onto his personal email account and heard that he had been 'outside the wire' being available as a medic in case they needed him while the troops were clearing some land. While he gets to stay inside the protected vehicle, this hardly calms me. I had not thought he would be subjected to this kind of danger. As it happened I also heard reports of injuries and bombings just last night on the radio as well. So this has been my first official scary frazzled day. I know he had not wanted me to be aware of these circumstances, and this makes me even more upset. I now will worry about what he isn't telling me. I just need to stay focused on the feeling of peace I received upon first hearing the news of his deployment. Occasionally I still feel these promptings that all will be well, and I am grateful for them. Yet one can't help but wonder if 'all will be well' would also include 'well in spite of tragic events.' Why do I doubt all the time? Why am I so human? It's a good thing the kids keep me busy day and night or I would have more time to dwell on these troublesome things. Troy says that he is being sustained by the spirit. Even though he is surrounded by corruptness in the actions of the men surrounding him. If F-bombs were really bombs he would be a dead man for sure he says. He is a good egg. I pray he will be safe.

November 13, 2008

Too Mush?

So I hope I haven't been gagging you all with a spoon (or as Baby Girl says it a 'boof'), with the mushy love notes back and forth from T and I. The lack of comments makes me think I am making folks uncomfortable. Sorry (or as she would say wawee). I will try and keep things lighter. I did have a wonderful birthday despite the fact that T was absent. Many friends really stepped up to the plate and showered me with breakfast out, shopping with my kids for presents that even T couldn't have topped, and a chocolate cake that was so rich we may take a while to get through it- which for me is a good thing since I am still (as always) trying to lose a few lbs. Today the house is a mess, and the calendar is full. A sure sign that I shouldn't be posting. I missed a chance to chat online with T though, so I am here at the computer waiting for him to give me a sign that he is out there... I just want to say a collective thanks to all of you who read my blog that wrote on my facebook wall to wish me happy B-day, or to those that called and wished me happy day. It was nice of you! Bless you for your efforts! And now I will go and have some leftover cake for lunch and then do 50 sit-ups.

November 12, 2008

Kelly Turns 40 (an email from T)

Dear Kelly,

Happy Birthday. I hope this email finds you well, happy, and still 39. But probably it won't because I'm sending it rather late (the 39 part that is). Actually, I just hope it finds you at all today. I remember when your sister Paula turned 40 and had some shin-dig in Provo. I seem to recall that we didn't go because the restaurant was too pricey. It seemed like we would never have to worry about turning 40. That was many years ago and now, you are 40. I also remember when my mom turned 40. I remember wondering why it was such a big deal (I was 11 years old). I think I get it a little better now. She was mourning the loss of her youth and her entry into the ranks of the elderly (just kidding . . . I know I'm next). Anyway, I want you to know how much I miss you and wish I could be there to throw you a big birthday bash. Will it mean as much if I throw you a 41 year old bash? Maybe not but I can still try. I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you. I wish I was there to buy you a cake from the store (you wouldn't want me to make one.) I wish I could buy really expensive maple syrup and really thick bread and make you the best french toast you ever had (since the last time I made you french toast). Maybe I'd even branch out and figure something new to make you for breakfast. Anyway, whatever it was it'd be with you still in bed, barely conscious and in a happy dream-like state. I'd then bring you presents. I'd let the kids bounce on the bed (after you finished your fresh-squeezed OJ) and we'd all be just as happy as could be. Then one of the kids would "accidentally" poke another in the eye and then that kid would accidentally pinch the eye-poker in the bottom. Then within 30 seconds it would all turn into a big melee and I'd be yelling "GET OFF THE BED. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'D POKE YOUR BROTHER IN THE EYE ON YOUR MOTHER'S BIRTHDAY." Then, in a final desperate move to save the day, I'd play "There is Beauty All Around" loudly for all to hear. Later on, I'd say that I had a headache and needed to go lay down. Maybe I would have a headache, but it would also be part of a larger plan. I would have called all your friends in and asked them to arrive simultaneously at our house at 7pm. We would have all synchronized our watches for maximum shock and awe. While you were outside picking up Drew's socks off the back lawn, we'd all sneak in the house and secret ourselves in hiding. Then, right as you were walking upstairs from the laundry room, we'd jump out and yell something like, oh I don't know . . . "SURPRISE!!! HAPPY 40th". But you wouldn't hear it because you forgot to put your hearing aid back in after tuning the kids out earlier in the morning. So instead, Eliza would sign "Happy Birthday - go get your hearing aid". And then we'd all jump around and hug you and laugh and eat the cake I bought from Shopper's. Then we'd leave all the kids (20 -25 or so) at our house and the adults would escape to a really nice restaurant like Outback Steakhouse or Chili's (because it's closer) for a civilized repast and refined conversation. Then, just as we finished our desert, the police would arrive at the restaurant and kindly inform us that we were all under arrest for mass child neglect. And Viaola (?sp), just like that you'd have a police rap by the age of 40. Then, after being bailed out from the clink, I'd take you home and treat you like a woman ;) I'd let you watch project runway or dancing with the stars and pretend to be interested just so I could occupy the place by your side. If you wanted, I'd get you a sugar cookie with extra frosting and a tall glass of milk with ice. We'd throw caution to the wind and share a pint of Ben & Jerry's Wavy Gravy (I know, they don't make it anymore, but just pretend). I'd rub your aching feet and tell you how nice your toes look. I hold your hand and we'd remember at the same time how you once told me "I think you'll find that I can't do this very long" referring to interdigitation. But we wouldn't care - we'd go right on interdigitating. I'd whisper in your ear something sweet and make you laugh. Then you'd whisper something back and make me blush.

Thank you Kelly, for being my friend, my wife, my companion, my help-meet, my support, my peeps, my hope, the mother of our children, my plucky. I love you for all these things and more. I again declare how much I love and adore you. I think about you and yearn for your continued welfare and happiness. I wish I could be there standing by your side.

Happy Birthday Kelly.

I Love you.


November 11, 2008

Dinner Conversation

Many years ago when T was in medical school at U of Iowa we had some new neighbors we wanted to befriend and so we invited them to our home for dinner. We hadn't been seated for long when our oldest son N (then about 5yrs old) stated quite matter of factly that "yeah... we have A LOT of problems at our house." Visions of me chasing him around our townhouse trying to get him to put his boots on before we were late for school swam through my head and it was quite the ice-breaker for our family and theirs. Of coarse we all laughed it off good-naturedly but I do recall feeling a bit of distancing on their part. No matter- their loss! I was reminded of this incident when last night our beloved N (always the center of attention- I call it the N show) chose to poke fun at our host during dinner at a friend's house last night. Here's how the conversation went. BTW we were at the lovely home of D and S (D is the husband who has been trying to get in shape lately but can't seem to keep up with his wife S who is a great runner and exercises daily). So the scene is at the dinner table (once again the usual stage for the N show).

D-"So N, I hear you ran cross country this year, how did you like it?"
N-"I really enjoyed it"
D-"How far did you run during your meets"
N-"3.5 miles-it's like a 5K"
D-"and how fast did you do that in?" (D is somewhat competitive)
N-"My fastest time at the end of the season was just over 24 minutes"
D-"Nice job"
D's Daughter M chimes in and tells us her fastest mile time- I don't remember what it was (I am not that competitive).
D-"I may not run as fast as M but I make the mile look pretty darn good just by the way I run it baby!"
N-"Yeah- it's like a mile-long cat walk for you eh?"
D-sorta offended "That wasn't funny"
Me-embarrassed... hoping they will still be our friends...

November 08, 2008

An afternoon with friends

We spent an afternoon with 2 friends over for the boys to play with. I made every attempt to not let them get glued to the wii. They did a bike ride (the afternoon was lovely!). I made a couple of them walk the dog. There was baking/decorating. There was a ping pong game that didn't last long. I had to smile at the kid who had 'wicked skills' (which he kept reminding everyone of in loud volume) at the mario game he brought over, but couldn't really hit the ping pong ball to save his life. I guess ping pong is old school. But whatever happened to video games being so good for the old hand/eye coordination?

Anyhoo (as my 21 yr old niece would and does say several times in each of her emails home from her mission), another old-school thing of me- it's anyhow HOW. Geez I must be cranky! It was, like I said an afternoon with friends. E had a friend and so did N. E's friend was a very cordial boy who we have been getting to know better and better, and each time he comes over I have to say I like him more each time. He really knows how to converse with the adults around him. He is polite and asks first before taking food out of the kitchen up to the playroom, which normally I don't let my kids do, but since it was St Nick, I found myself not even batting an eye before I agreed to his request. Did I mention I also let him make a giant sugar cookie and completely mess up the kitchen in the decorating process? Normally this would drive me a tinsie bit coo coo, but not with ole St Nick.

Now moving on to friend #2 who I will call "No" (short for his real name btw-and befitting of his personality). No rings the doorbell and I open it all friendly like thanking him for coming over and he's like 'sure- your welcome.' Kinda odd no? I mean "kinda odd No- what you should have said was thanks for having me- that is the standard polite response." Now this was only one of the many fairly odd bordering on rude things he said to me in the coarse of the 4 hours he spent at my house with no call whatsoever from his former homeschool mom mentioned in my blog previously here. So I can understand where he is getting his serious lack of human relation skills. I overlooked it when he was completely talking over everyone and asking N if his mom was going to feed them, and not thanking me when I did. But when he left I sorta felt like I'd been used by someone- probably his mother. I will continue to give No a chance because he is just a 14 year old kid, but the minute my kid starts acting like this something's gotta change. I found it interesting that when I mentioned the poor manners to my own son after his buddy had left (at our request btw), that he got very defensive. I could almost recall my own words to my mother about 28 years ago "you can't choose my friends for me!" This is very true, but I can certainly point out when friends behave badly, and "As long as you live under my roof...." (did I just say that!?)

Email from T

Baby Girl kissing her Daddy on the computer screen


It's now about 9:16 PM here (2:16 pm there). My internet connection is a bit finicky so I was not on right at 2pm. Instead, I'll write you a longer email. I appreciated the message you sent. You are a good writer and I'm proud of you for being such a good girl.

Today was a good day for me. I slept in until about 7am, showered and made it to the aid station by 8am. I took care of a few clinic notes from yesterday and saw a soldier with nausea & vomiting. I read some of my neuro-ophth textbook until about 11:30 when I went to lunch. I had beef stroganoff and a little treat of ice cream. Church was next at 12:30. It's a bit different here. There is no prelude music. The group leader started the meeting off by asking us to go out front for a picture. "Be sure to bring your weapons and no headgear" (we have to carry our weapon where-ever we go). After the group picture (which I'll send you if I get a copy), we had the sacrament. I don't think I've ever had the sacrament passed to me before by someone in shorts, a T-shirt, and a 9mm Baretta pistol strapped to their belt. This, however, is an approved Army uniform, so I guess it's ok. I think I would have preferred someone in cammo packing the 9 mil instead. We had a short testimony meeting in which I bore my testimony. I said that I was thankful for the guidance given to me by the Holy Spirit. I quoted D&C 84:88 which states that "my angels shall be round about you to bear you up". That scripture really speaks to me. I also told a short story which I'd like to tell you now:

Last week the commander told me I would accompany him to visit a powerful/influential Sheik in the area. He is quite old and as a gesture of goodwill, I was to give him a medical evaluation. I also found out that we'd be having lunch with this guy and some of his family. I've been told that the customs are to partake of tea and coffee quite regularly and so I was a little anxious about how to handle this. When we arrived, we were escorted into a large room with many comfy seats lining the walls. Everyone sat down and the Sheik's son put the commander on one side of him and me on the other. Almost as soon as we sat down, a servant brought a thingy of coffee and 2 cups. He poured the coffee and everyone was expected to drink from one of the 2 cups. I mouthed to the commander that I could not take coffee or tea and he told me to politely turn it down, which of course I did. I was grateful that coffee is against my religion, especially because I avoided drinking from the same cup as 20-30 other people. The tea came next and I also turned it down. The Sheik asked me why I would not drink coffee or tea and I explained (through an interpreter) that it was against my religion to take coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco. I further explained that a prophet had given us this direction in the 1830's, science knew of the ill-effects of these substances. He said "that is beautiful - I wish people of Islam would live their religion" and then he vowed not to drink coffee or tea again - I think this was mostly a gesture of courtesy to me because when the coffee and tea came around again, the drank heartily. In any case, it was a good experience. I'll have to tell you about the actual meal later.

I miss you Kelly. I think about you constantly. I think about our beautiful, if imperfect children constantly. I love everything about you. I'm so sad I can't be there when you turn 40 (8 months before I do) in a few very short days. I want to be there with you stayin up late to see who wins the election. To carve the thanksgiving turkey and eat your delicious pumpkin pie that you made just for me 'cause you dwon like pun'kin pie too moosh. All these things and more will return to us shortly. Well, I'm going to try to send you an instant message again but if not, I'll catch you later. I love you. Give the kids a great big hug for me.


November 04, 2008

Love email to T

Hi T
I am sitting here reading blogs and I thought I would shoot you a love note/email. Today was Saturday and I gotta say that I was kinda proud of myself for the way things went with our children today. It wasn't perfect and there were the usual hardships. D lost his temper a few times. N argued with me and was disrespectful. A was clingy and sometimes annoying. E loved on me a lot and that helped, but there were tantrums, esp during mealtimes- what gives?! Middle Boy goofed off and hurt people. He also deviled the dog. But the difference was that I kept my cool. I got frustrated-yes, but I didn't loose it as I sometimes can. This isn't turning into a love email at all is it? More like a vent-mail, but I am getting to the love. It reminded me of the blessing you gave me that said 'my capacity to do would increase.' The other thing that came to mind was that saying about 'the nature of the thing not changing but our ability to achieve'...yada yada. I was getting myself something to eat since I got no popcorn with the kids (we had popcorn for dinner-yes; it was a late lunch/popcorn dinner day). And as I heated up my cheesy corn chips with salsa I felt warm and fuzzy about how things went today and I could almost here my mom telling me to hang in there and I was doing good. It brought a tear to my eye, and I realized that this experience was giving me the opportunities to change the things I don't like about myself. Those things being my impatience and temper with my kids. What a great thing eh? Will it stick? I haven't a clue. Was I good today? Yes!

We got outside on this lovely day two times. Once to walk Abby and return something to JL, where Big GIrl whined the whole time, and then the better time was when everyone joined in on a family bike ride. The go-bug has a flat, but it stays pumped up long enough for a ride. We had a lovely time even though the hills were killing me! N had to get off his bike and help me push up the hill to the swimming pool. Even then we had A get out. It was rough. N said to me at the end "it will be easier next time Mom" I couldn't help but think of his X-country expertise coming out just then. Then in the evening I asked both N and D to play their violins and it was like a concert to hear N play. He just kept going and going too! I had to actually ask him to stop so we could read scriptures (we are in the middle of Alma 31). The kids listened well. Maybe the music set a good tone. Tomorrow is fast Sunday and daylight savings time. Yeah an extra hour- that I will probably need.

Now about our love. I wanted to kiss you today. Especially when A and E were giving me big long kisses. I wanted to make food for you today. Especially when I read on a blog how someone has a crush on someone and they make a good sandwich for that person and it gets appreciated. I can make good sandwiches for my plucky. I wanted to call you plucky today when I decided that I will start calling A plucky in your absence, because I want her to feel loved and like she can be plucky (and not cry) when she wants to be. E was a good boy today and he reminded me of another second boy in his family who tried to be good when his older brother wasn't being good. (it's you). I don't want to go to bed without you- and my dad's pillow trick doesn't work for me. They don't smell like you. I can't talk to my pillows, and there's no one to poke fun at me. I would get a haircut, but there's no plucky to notice me. I would buy new make up, but who am I dolling up for? I miss and love you so much! Please be safe and smart while you are there and take good care of my #1 plucky.

Lots of LOVE


PS remember when you didn't know me? And then you did? Yes, me too : )

November 01, 2008

Wanna see some family photos?

This is our latest family photo session. We were so lucky to get a session with Wendy while she visited DC. I just happened to book in time before Troy deployed. Go to this website and click 'clients' and submit the password, which is my name. If you don't know my name then you don't need to see my pictures... Okay it's Kelly. You can see... just don't stalk me and try to steal my identity. Promise? K.

Here is the website

PS you can leave a comment and let me know your pick for our Christmas card.

For This is Halloween

Tell me, what is more scary? The spiders or the thinning hair? hmm... someone is turning 40 soon-YIKES! That is scary!

For you T

What a poser! This was when she was convinced that Dorothy did actually have a french braid hairdo. There was a lot of controversy on the subject of how to do Big Girl's hair. Proof on the internet did not sway her, time of day doing her hair did :)

What a nice make up job if I do say so myself! He wasn't at the party 10 minutes though when he asked the young women to paint his face like batman.

This costume got rave reviews. I especially liked the bubble wrap trick or treat bag. He'd tell the people he was with Fed Ex. In case you can't tell he is Chuck Nolan from the movie Castaway.

Can you tell by this photo that D ate dinner after he had his face painted?

Here's what we were able to get photo wise of Eliza, who would not take off her coat...

And kept taking off her skirt-refused the hat and broomsick completely!!

And then pulled out her hairdo and just looked smugly at my like "so what are you gonna do? I'm coming up on 2 and you don't want to mess with me!!" And I don't...

She was an angel when given the job of passing out candy though. It was adorable. We had a nice night and now it's time for me to go to the school to decorate cookies and read scary stories that hopefully will not give anyone nightmares. Then I hope to clean the floors- or perhaps not! Ooooh Scary!!!