February 16, 2013

Random Things

We have been busy doing regular life kind of stuff. I like it that way. We are busy working, playing, and learning. Here are a few pictures taken of our activities. (I also threw in a much younger Orin photo just for fun.)

Cozy book reading
I found Adia all swirled up, in her blanket, with the dog, reading on the floor. Not my idea of a perfect place to read but it was working for her.

Orin pulled out the old scrapbooks and was enjoying looking at himself as a younger person. Those books bring back many fond memories.

Nice weather
The weather the past few days has been quite lovely. The boys took their activities out to the dead front lawn because the sunshine was calling to them. Orin jammed away on the guitar while Hams read for a minute then turned his attention to his iPod. I can't wait until the grass turns green again!

Kicking up dust
Tiller Hams
Tiller man
Hamilton just had to try his hand at rotor-tilling the garden. He thought he was pretty tough stuff pushing and directing that thing around and I have to say he did a pretty good job. Orin also took his turn but Hams let me know that he thought Orin was WAY wimpy-er than he. I, being the mother, had to remind Hamilton that there is no need to compete against each other.

Roller-blading basketball
The kids made sure to make time for roller-blading after their work was finished. They asked Jacob and I to move the cars off the driveway to make room for their little derby. They thought it was great fun to add a basketball to the mix. Had I been the referee, I would have had to call "traveling" on all of them.

Smiling Adia
Injured Hams
It was all fun and games until Hamilton missed a shot, fell while shooting, and crunched his knees. There was a bit of drama after that but we told him, "Life's hard. Move on." (See where we picked that up from here.) That seemed to do the trick and he was back on his blades without too many tears.

And just because I love looking at pictures from back in the day....

Orin showing his style at 4 years old
good things:
1. good books
2. blankets to lay with
3. nice weather

February 12, 2013

Wild Hams

I've been kinda freaking out the past few weeks because I feel like my life is going by in a flash. I'm afraid my kids will be all grown up and gone before I know it. And, as much as I want them to grow up and be responsible, respectable people, I will miss the days and years we've had together.

The Hamster is the baby of the family and he is growing up WAY too fast. Here are a few pictures of my Hams...

Harry Potter Hams
Harry...I mean Ham in 2004
5-25-06 Playing in water
Little swimmer 2005
Hams in door
Hams in 2010
Hams Grin
Wild Hams in the Fall of 2012

Good things:
1. time
2. goggles
3. imagination

February 7, 2013

Guitar Lessons

The family was given a guitar for Christmas way back in 2011. I have always wanted my children to learn how to play this magnificent instrument. I didn't want to force anyone though and so I have been patiently waiting for the day someone would get the desire to pick it up and start fiddling with it. That day has arrived.

For several months now Orin has been strapping on the guitar and picking at it. He printed off a few chord charts and went to work. Then he started asking to take lessons. I didn't call and set up lessons right away because I wanted to see just how serious he was. But every week or so he would ask me. I finally decided he was serious enough when he put it on his birthday wish list. After I told him I would hook him up with lessons he went ahead and crossed it off.

Birthday list
I got a recommendation for a guitar teacher from our town's very own expert musician, Mr. Flemming. He told me of a man who gives lessons and that this man would be excited to see a serious guitar student come his way. So, between Jacob and I, we set it up. Guitar lessons for Orin were really going to happen.

Anyone who knows Orin knows how serious his expressions are. He smiles only when HE wants to. He can be hard to read. When I took him to his first lesson, I sat in on it and watched closely. Orin wasn't really smiling but oh, his eyes were twinkling! I could tell he was loving it. He was happy.  Mr. Little (the teacher) was probably thinking, "This kid needs to liven up a bit." But I'm telling you, Orin was in 7th heaven. It won't take long for Mr. Little to figure out Orin.

Mr. Little taught him how to play "A Horse With No Name" by America. And, Orin asked him to help him learn some Jack Johnson so they got started on that too. I don't think Orin has missed a day practicing. I hope this new love of Orin's will continue on forever.

Orin Guitar Lesson
First guitar lesson

good things:
1. music
2. teachers
3. simple wishes

February 5, 2013

Family Photo

Gathering together for a family photo is something that always puts me in a bad mood. The sun is too shinny, to many shadows, everyone is squinting, the world around us is dead and ugly, we don't have anything to wear that matches, etc.

This time I was prepared, emotionally, for the ordeal. I was NOT going to get grumpy about it this time. I was going to be calm and collect the entire time. This is how it went down:

1. I warned everyone several days in advance. "On Saturday we are going to do a family photo."

2. Saturday morning I reminded everyone. "Don't forget today is the day for our photo shoot."

3. I made everyone shower, brush their teeth, and do their hair. (Tootsie was the exception to this one.)

4. I only required everyone to wear a solid colored shirt. I didn't care beyond that what they wore. (I let go of the control freak inside of me.)

5. I set up the camera on the tripod.

6. I decided to use the bench that normally sits on the front porch as a prop. So I had Jake move it around back against the fence.

7. I called for everyone to come. They came. A miracle.

8. I had them all sit down on the bench.

9. I pushed the little timer button....

10. I ran to my spot.

11. The camera went blink, blink, blink, blink. Then picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture, picture....

12. That was it. I excused everyone. I had not become ornery. Another miracle.

I didn't fuss. I didn't gripe. I didn't even worry if they turned out perfect. We aren't perfect. Why should our photo be? Besides, I only needed them to put on our family Valentines card. At least now we have something current just in case someone dies. (See my previous post HERE.)

The family
The kids
The dog
good things:

1. cloudy days
2. toothbrushes
3. self-timer option

January 30, 2013


This is the time of year I start to go through withdrawals. Here is a list of what I'm missing these days.

1. Warm weather: I don't really love freezing temperatures with bright sunny skies. I say if it's going to be cold, fine! But I don't want the sun shining. At least be cloudy or something. If the sun is going to shine then it should be warm. I'm ready to wear flip-flops.

2. Green grass: Drab nature is so blah. Nevada already struggles being green but winter is the worst! I can't wait for green leaves and lawn.

3. Free schedule: When school lets out for the summer it always feels like a relief. It is nice to be able to get up when we want, go to bed when we want, play with friends any evening of the week, etc.

4. Vacations: I really like to get away and play.

5. Utah: Of course I don't really want to go there right now because of all the storms and snow and such, but I love all the family that lives there. Sometimes I like to go home and get my "bucket" filled and be near the beautiful mountains.

6. These guys:

I think it has been way too long since I have been around my Grandma (Grammy) and Grandpa (Papa). Life has prevented me from visiting them. Hopefully soon. I love this picture. It captures them perfectly.

good things:
1. upcoming vacations
2. warm coats
3. grandmas and grandpas

January 28, 2013


This is a project I have been working on for years. Yes, years. To give myself credit, I used to only pull  it out on conference weekend. Twice a year? That was getting me no where. I got real sick of seeing it in the closet every time I opened it. The time had come when I had to finally do something about it. So... I cozied up to my fireplace and went to work. It feels good to have it finally finished. By the time the last yo-yo was sewn I thought I was going to go nuts. I started seeing this when I closed my eyes:


Bug-eyed yet?

Every stitch of this quilt is done by hand. And by hand I mean by hand; needle and thread. It's a quilt that can't really be used as a quilt. It's not practical. It won't keep someone warm. Too many holes. It's delicate. I discovered that while moving it around during the sewing process. There were several yo-yo's that fell apart and I had to go back and fix them while trying not to swear. I think it was because some of my square knots were "right over left, down through the hole, right over left, down through the hole." Every scout knows it's "right over left, down through the hole, left over right, down through the hole." It took me over 1073 yo-yo's to figure that out.

The last few days I worked at finishing this quilt I thought a lot about who I would give it to. It had to be someone special. Someone who would appreciate all the time and work put into it. Someone who would take care of it. Someone who deserved it. I figured it out and then got all giddy inside thinking about how I would send it in the mail to show up unexpectedly on their front porch. How fun.

Here are a few pictures:

I felt I needed to add a tag onto the back of the quilt. In keeping with the hand-sewn theme, I just lashed one on. I decided it was okay to put "2013" on it because I finished it in 2013. I think that no one needs to know, or even cares about, when I actually started it.

I think my finger tips and some of my finger joints/knuckle-wrinkles were bleeding by the time I tied the last square knot. Did you know that needles are pointy and thread can actually slice through a knuckle-wrinkle. (Do you know what a knuckle-wrinkle is? I just don't know what else to call that little area on my finger where the thread would rub over and over when I would pull it taught.) Ouch. I tried not to bleed on any of the actual yo-yo's.

I was glad to see this completed and became a bit mental staring at yo-yo's all day but, surprisingly, I loved it. It didn't take me long to look on Pinterest for some ideas on other yo-yo quilts. I found a picture of one that is made of only white yo-yo's and promptly pinned it. Some day, way in the future, when I've forgotten all about the poked, bleeding finger tips and knuckle-wrinkles I may just try and undertake another one of these. Maybe for myself.

good things:
1. fabric scraps
2. general conference
3. gifts for Moms

January 27, 2013

Happy Birthday to Jake

Today is Jacob's birthday. He is "one year older and wiser too." He just gets better with age!

We have church at 1:00 p.m. now so it seemed to cut his day down a bit. I admit I didn't want to go to my meetings this morning because he wasn't going with me. I really wanted to spend the entirety of the day with him but with meetings and church smack dab in the middle of the day I feel like he got a little gypped. We did get to celebrate some yesterday evening when we went shopping and out to dinner. I really like being with Jacob. It feels good.

At our house when it is your birthday you get to decide what we have for dinner. Jake was quick to put in his request. He chose roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green salad, and jello with bananas. Instead of birthday cake he wanted blackberry pie. I didn't argue. A slice of pie smothered in sweetened whipped cream is a great way to celebrate a birthday.

I made Jake pose for a picture or two this afternoon. I have been feeling like we need an updated photo of the two of us. Sometimes my imagination runs a bit wild and I start thinking about what would happen if one of us died. Would there be a current picture to put on the program? I know it's a bit morbid, but I really do think these kinds of things. Today's picture was taken by Adia. Not a professional photo shoot but it will do.

Happy Birthday!
p.s. Yesterday while everyone was gone except me and Hams the house was super quiet. I snuck up on him to see what he was up to and found him laying on his bed dressed in sweats watching Netflix on his Kindle. I probably should have been mad at him for not asking to watch Netflix but I just found him so adorable. Instead of getting upset I planted a kiss on his forehead and grabbed my camera. He is a doll. I just love his freckles and hair. And what about that little upturned nose?

good things:
1. sunday dinner
2. good health
3. new cameras