Saturday, December 19, 2009

I had forgotten

You would think I would know about this baby stuff by now, and yet there is so much I had forgotten.

Such as...
  • Typing is tricky with a baby on lap (and, thus, it is very easy to not email or update for weeks).
  • Somehow, this little one who sleeps so much still takes up most of my time.
  • 8 or 10 or 13 pounds gets very heavy after a few hours.
  • How quickly I can lose my heart to a stranger.
  • I think very slowly (and imperfectly) when I sleep like a baby.
  • How much my family needs me to be the mom, even when I don't want to.
  • How overwhelming it all can be.
  • The reality (and suddenness) of depression, even when it only lasts for a few hours or days at a time.
  • How kind the Professor is as he deals with an emotional rollercoaster of a wife.
  • There is never a good time to clean.
  • Little babies are divine right after a bath.
  • It is very hard to take only one picture of my boy (once I find and get out the camera, that is.)
Young T, back in October

Saturday, November 21, 2009

He's here

A few days before Halloween, we welcomed Young T into our family. I woke up about 6, we went to the hospital, and he was born just after 8. I like it when things are quick and uncomplicated. I learned a few things this time around.

Did you know they now have CPAP machines for newborns? This translates into less time in NICU for babies that just need to breathe a bit better. (3 hours rather than 48+)

And, since Miss M was born, they have discontinued having the annoying lady come around to take pictures of the babies and then try to sell them to you. Hooray! One less interruption for tired moms.

I also learned about cephalohematoma, a large bruise trapped under the bone membrane on the skull. Young T had two of them giving his head a heart shape. They have healed, but it took over three weeks.

I've learned that lots of rest really does help new moms heal faster. I've always had help, but this time I rested more and had more help at the beginning. It was wonderful. I'm thankful to both sets of parents for all they have done.

I've learned that the people in my new neighborhood are amazingly kind. We've had meals and playdates, rides and gifts, babysitting and phone calls to check on me. They have helped me get kids off to school and taught my Sunday School class and raked my leaves. I love my neighbors.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Fortune

While I am only a little bit past my due date, I have never gone past my due date before, and the doctor has been expecting me to have this baby any day for the past three weeks. So, while there is nothing to worry about, I feel like I've been waiting (along with everyone around me) a long time for this little one to come.

On Sunday, the choir sang "Be Still My Soul," and I was reminded to "with patience bear thy cross of grief or pain, leave to thy God to order and provide." (You mean I'm not in charge of this?!) And "The hour is hast'ning on... when sorrow (is) forgot, love's purest joys restored." (Some minutes it is easier to remember the sorrow to come more than the joys.) Much of that song seemed particularly well suited to calming a very tired woman who feels large with child and has no idea how soon the Lord will send a tender mercy and make her "mighty even unto the power of deliverance." (see 1 Nephi 1:20)

Apparently, I need multiple reminders that the Lord is in charge of this. Because they keep coming. My favorite happened yesterday.

Miss M came home with a fortune teller. Remember those papers with colors and numbers you folded in 2nd grade? Well she is in 2nd grade. Young A used it to tell my fortune. Here is what it said:

"Good things come to those who wait, you will be one of the waiting ones."

I found it terribly amusing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What a week!

Hmm... What should I tell you about the past week? Should I tell you about the awful cold/stomach flu that crept through the entire family leaving lots of laundry and croup and congestion in its wake? Or maybe you would rather hear about the leaking water heater that left a large puddle of rusty water on my basement carpet and no hot water in two thirds of the house? Should I mention that we had family visit in the middle of the fun? Or maybe about how I fell down the stairs as I went down to show the insurance guy the damage? Or how about the two times I thought I was beginning labor only to have everything stop once I told my husband?

I think I would rather talk about what a blessing it was to have my nesting energy hit just in time to be able to stay up at night with sick kids and still function during the day. I also found it amazing how my intermittent contractions stopped for days until the last child was finished with the majority of her bad night.

Did I mention how grateful I am for family that wanted to be shown around a new house, including the seldom ventured into basement, allowing us to find the puddle quickly and dry everything out? I am especially grateful that she then helped with the children while I made phone call after phone call and showed person after person the damage getting it cleaned up. I am very grateful for a hot water heater that runs only part of the house and continues to work.

I am also amazed at how quickly my arm that was wrenched trying to stop sliding down the stairs healed. (Last time it took much longer.) And, thanks to the fact that my baby decided to wait just a bit, I had a marvelous sleep last night and am feeling almost healthy again. What a blessing to have a rested, healthy body for labor rather than an exhausted, sick one.

I have been astounded at how abundantly the Lord has blessed me this week, turning a very difficult experience into another example of His careful care of me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I was awoken in the dark by Young A informing me that the trees fell over. He wasn't too pleased. I thought he had been dreaming. He insisted it was real. "The trees outside?" I asked. Nope. The trees in his room. And to add injury to insult, one of them was on his bed. Finally, my tired mind made sense of it all. The fake trees in his room fell over. And as he had chosen to sleep on the floor, they most likely landed on him. Once again, I had been certain one of my children wasn't making sense only to realize that he was being quite clear.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On a clear day, you can see forever.

Shortly after we moved in, the fog rolled into my brain. While I could meet the daily needs at home, planning, enjoying, and thriving were beyond me. I hate it when this happens. I hate not knowing why (pregnancy? moving? anemia?) I also struggle to think well enough to figure out how clearly (or not) I'm thinking.

A few weeks ago, the fog finally cleared. I can think. I can plan. I wake up and want to do something with the day. And I can recognize that whatever the reason, the fog was making life quite difficult. When I was five and six months pregnant, I didn't know how I would survive until October because everything (thinking, walking, surviving) was already so hard. Now that I'm eight months along, most days are much easier. And things that seemed so impossible then (like adding a new baby to this mix), seem quite doable.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tumble Dry...Bliss

Our dryer started making funny noises. I've spent the last week or two figuring out the best places in my home to hang wet laundry. This weekend, the Professor hooked up my new dryer. It's amazing how much easier laundry seems now. I am also amazed at how much space one load of laundry takes when spread out to dry.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

See a penny, pick it up...

But please, don't eat it.

Last week, Miss E was in her bed, supposedly going to sleep. Suddenly, she was crying. When asked why, we were told, "I ate some money." Apparently, swallowing a penny doesn't feel too nice, although once it hits the stomach things ease up. I hurried her to urgent care before they closed to make sure it didn't get stuck. It didn't.

Miss E thought it was quite nice to have some one-on-one time with me. She didn't mind the toy or the cookies she got from the doctor either. I'm hoping she doesn't think it was fun enough for a repeat performance.

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's been a peach of a day.

Today I managed to bottle the rest of the peaches that were waiting on my counter. Now I have 21 quarts cooling and waiting to be put away with the others that the Professor helped me with a week ago. I always find bottled peaches so satisfying. My next decision, do I buy more or call it good for this year?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Calming back to sanity

While I enjoy music, much of it starts to sound like noise when combined with the incessant demands of little ones and the necessity of thinking clearly, whether about dinner or the bills. But I've discovered a new CD that doesn't seem to compete the same way. I got it at church for Mother's Day. It's called Tis Sweet to Sing the Matchless Love. The songs are early American hymns performed on traditional instruments. I find that playing it gives my children a calmer, happier mother.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thirteenth Child

I've recently finished reading Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede. I enjoyed reading about an American frontier in which magic is real. It was nice to see the heroine grow and figure out a few things. And it was fun to read a whole book quickly. It's been awhile. Now I just need a sequel...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Peanut butter and chocolate bliss

The other night I needed a treat to make, and it needed to use up some whole wheat flour. I found this, Whole Wheat Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Chips:

They've been a hit. Even Young A, who has been begging me not to cook with whole grains, decided they have enough sugar to be acceptable. Instead he asks for more because, "they're sooo good."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Christmas in July

The Professor brought home a collection of Connie Willis short stories called Miracle and Other Christmas Stories. I like short stories right now. I like Connie Willis (although I've only read her short stories.) It was fun. I enjoyed them, even in July. Only, now I need to see Miracle on 34th Street sometime.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bedtime tips

Should you ever see your two year old toddling into the living room at bedtime, smelling of strawberry shampoo, you will know you have ignored him too long. You will also know that it's time to open a new bottle of shampoo. But be grateful he just put it on his hair instead of smearing it everywhere.

Should you smell nail polish instead, hurry to the bathroom to clean up the black nail polish he helped himself to in his quest to imitate his sisters' painted nails. And be grateful he was in his pajamas so the spots don't matter so much.

Should both of these happen within a month, know that it is time to stop ignoring your son at bedtime. Your hope that he will not disturb others will crash with the reality that he will disturb you. It is time to change what you are doing. It is not working.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

...and jam

The great prices on good strawberries and blueberries have inspired me to try a new kind of jam, strawberry-blueberry freezer jam. It didn't set quite as hard as some (which I blame on the pectin), but it seems tasty and adds a bit of variety to our current store of grape jelly, peach jam, and strawberry. Besides, it's pretty. And I think that is one of my favorite things about jam.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I love the idea of whole wheat bread. I don't always enjoy the actual product. The Professor puts up with it but wishes it were white. So I keep trying new recipes. I've finally found a promising one here:

It's the best whole wheat sandwich bread I've made yet. Even the Professor thinks so. He won't say it compares with white (for fear that I'll stop making it), but he eats it willingly. And having it in the house has reminded me how much I enjoy bread and milk with the right bread.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Domestic Days

Lately, I seem to be alternating between tired and domestic. I'm finding it is fun to take pictures of my domestic accomplishments. That way, even when they've disappeared, I have proof that I have accomplished something, such as freezing enough blueberries for this year's pies.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lest you be deceived...

I do not mean to create the image that either my mothering or my housekeeping is perfect. I just choose what to share (and what to push out of the picture.) My unpacking is not done, nor is it completely tucked away and forgotten. It is merely being ignored along with some dirty dishes and some clean clothes begging to be folded. They are all waiting with the toys and papers that seem to scatter when I'm not looking. They are waiting until I'm done with the children and my body doesn't hurt or beg to sleep and it's not dinner time. I'm getting to them--just slowly, very, very slowly. Thankfully, they are good at waiting.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Art fun

On Wednesday, we learned that we can make art lots of different ways. The children got to use the foam letters that have been hiding for months. (We had gotten tired of finding them stuck everywhere.) The children made pictures of people, a volcano, and chaos. I enjoyed happy, not fighting children.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


In an effort to not go crazy this summer, we are learning. Tuesday's topic was crystals. We made pink and green salt crystals and are waiting for the rock candy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For the Professor on Father's Day

Would you like blueberry or apple?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Through small and simple things...

I have been reminded this last week or two how very important little things are.

First, we must set the stage. A month ago I was exhausted, pregnant, and overwhelmed. I was facing a month during which the Professor had many work deadlines, a week long trip overseas, and work commitments that limited his available time and flexibility. His schedule would ease up just a few days before we had to move. I would be responsible for much of the preparation, packing, and details of the move. I just had to do them while taking care of the children, cleaning up messes, and, as my father-in-law says, making brains.

As we've moved, we've had more help than with any other move. Most people could only do a little bit, but all those little bits have added up to make something big and overwhelming become manageable. We've had help ranging from childcare to food to carrying heavy things to cleaning to emotional support to mowing lawns to lending ladders. Each time I knew it was too much, someone stepped in to lighten the load. Consequently, this move has been the smoothest yet. Of course, not having to travel across the country helps, as does being in the second trimester rather than either the first or postpartum. But the biggest difference has been sharing the load with so many friends, family, and neighbors. I'm extremely grateful to everyone who has blessed us. Thank you.

It has also been good to be reminded that sometimes, the little help that seems so tiny but is all I can give is enough. Even the people at church who took the time to introduce themselves and sincerely welcome us made a big difference in my week. I can do that much and, usually, a bit more.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We are here. We now only have one house to live in. The chaos is beginning to subside, although there are still many boxes in the living room. The rest of the house is beginning to look like we live here. Tomorrow seems like the first day of summer to me, for today was the last day of speech therapy and vision therapy. Nothing else is regularly scheduled until school begins. Both Young A and I are more than ready to be done.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Yesterday we got the keys to our new house.  I'm quite excited.  Since the Professor is busy being a professor, we won't do the big move for over a week.  In the meantime, we'll see how much I do.  I've got all sorts of things to say, but most of them will have to wait until we are established.  A good friend once described buying a house to me as riding an emotional rollercoaster.  She was right.  I can't wait to get off.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A prime year to be a mathematician

First, a confession.  I love math.  My special love is teaching calculus.  Although, as with children, there is plenty of love to go around.  Topology (especially negatively curved spaces) and analysis (calculus on steroids) get plenty.  Not algebra, but that is a different story.  Some day I hope to make peace with algebra.  

Next, a coincidence.  Number theory, another area of math, uses prime numbers a lot.  These are the numbers that you cannot get by multiplying two other numbers together (excluding itself and 1).  The first few primes are: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13...  Well, it just so happens that soon our children will be 2, 3, 5, and 7.  What an excellent year to love math.  (And, no, this was not planned.)

Finally, a choice.  The Professor would like me to give number theory a try.  Since my only class in the subject was the summer we were engaged, he has a point.  And so I have decided to humor him (and inject a bit of intellectual exercise into my currently mind-numbing life.)  I have begun to work through a fascinating book on number theory.  (It uses the Moore method, for those who care.)  I find that math hasn't changed during the years I've neglected it.  Whenever I don't understand a concept, I don't enjoy what I'm doing and get quite frustrated.  But the minute the pieces fall into place, the beauty is breathtaking.  And the pride of discovering the proper places in the puzzle leaves me both satisfied and hungry for more.  I suspect this endeavor will be an on-again, off-again one that may take a long time.  Yet, I hope to continue.  For I've been reminded, mathematics brings me joy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The Professor grew up with a lemon tree in his yard.  When we visit and the lemons are ripe, his mother often makes fresh lemonade.  This weekend, when he was gone and she was here, my children and I decided to make some fresh lemonade for the Memorial Day picnic.  (Did I mention lemons were on sale?)  It turned out quite nicely.

1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 part sugar (slightly less for more pucker)
7 parts water
Optional: a pinch of salt.  Courtesy of Miss M who is convinced it is the secret ingredient.
(Note: One lemon gives about 1/4 cup of juice.)

(1 cup juice makes 2 quarts lemonade)

Here is what we did.
We used 1/2 gallon apple juice bottles.  Put one cup juice, one cup sugar, a bit of salt, and a couple cups of warm/hot water in each bottle. Screw the lids on tight and let the kids shake until the sugar is dissolved.  Add some ice to cool it down.  Top off with water.  Shake again to mix. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Parched and dry I come to Thee,
Longing for relief,
Looking for the water clear
To wash away my grief.

Father, I am tired and worn,
Yet my path goes on.
It stretches to eternity,
Never to be done.

I gather with the other Saints,
Heavy, full of sin.
Through Thy children's words and deeds
Thy love trickles in.

As I drink, the calm begins.
My heart fills with peace.
Hope returns, I walk once more,
For now my fears have ceased.

Aches and pains replaced with joy,
Straight and tall I stand;
I can go another mile
With Thee, hand in hand.

Gratitude o'erflows my heart.
Savior, Thou art kind.
Thy grace leads me ever on
'Til one day I am thine.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Home from church

Some days, they don't make it very far into the house before they are stuck.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My heart

Scrolling through pictures recently, I realized how much of my heart goes with me from home to home.  While the pain created by goodbyes are real, the joy that travels with me continues to grow, slowly healing many of the holes left in my heart.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Great Lake

 My children like water, especially lots of it where it doesn't belong.  A few weeks ago, on the first day that was warm enough, they created a lake.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Today, I am focusing on two ideas...

1~ A reminder:  "What excuses do I cling to that keep me from being the kind of wife, mother, daughter, sister, and woman that I know I should and want to be?"  Adapted from here.

2~ A new goal:  To keep my house clean enough to bring myself and those around me joy.  (Note:  This implies neither the chaotic extreme nor the pristine extreme.  Neither brings me joy.)  (Note2: The answer to what this means changes daily.) 

...and enjoying the beauty blooming in my yard.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dinner Entertainment

Yesterday, I had one of those entertaining mom moments.  We seldom have jello, but decided to have some yesterday.  Watching Young M and Miss E try to figure out how to eat this stuff was delightful.  Forks didn't work.  Neither did knives.  Fingers seemed promising only to have victory slip straight through them.  Here was a pile of tastiness right in front of them, but how to eat it?  Finally, we suggested spoons.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Simple Reminders

First, a reminder that I can do hard things with help from the Lord.

"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall;
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."  Isaiah 40:28-31

Today, for me, this wasn't talking about physically weary, although that is often apt enough.  It was talking about emotionally weary.

Next, a reminder of the gentle understanding the Lord has of some of my current limitations.

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."  Isaiah 40:11

I suppose it is time to trust the Lord enough to keep moving forward.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I've moved my fair share of times in my life, most of them after I got married.  While there was a nice four year stint in one place, in the seven and a half years we've been married, we've lived in five different homes.  In the last year, we've been in three.  And soon we will add one more to those counts.  

I've loved getting to know different cultures and areas of our country.  I've learned to be more compassionate and understanding of those whose lives have been different than mine.  I've learned to appreciate the unique beauty of both the land and the people I've found in each place.  And today I am sick of it.  

I'm tired of feeling like I'm either saying goodbye or just getting to know the people and conventions around me.  I miss the friendships that develop over years, of having someone that will come over just because I call.  I've left a bit of my heart behind in each place I've been.  Today, I feel the holes that have been left.  

In a year I will be more settled.  I will know the names and faces of those around me.  My children will be excited to return to the same school for more than one grade.  We've never tried that.  I won't see every thing in my home as more work that must be packed, moved, unpacked, and decided about.  In a year we will have put down roots.  Hopefully, I will have friends that are closer than email and oftener than the phone.  But today, I am lonely and mourning the pulling up of my family and the new hole we are about to create in my heart.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The hope of spring

I slipped away from the noise and chaos.  As the front door shut behind me, the muffled sounds of the children continued in their play.  I sat on the front step, enjoying the calm and ignoring all that remained to be done behind me.  The flowers on the tree were bright in the warmth of the evening sun.  I thought of spring and renewal--of the glory and beauty of the earth's growth--of the exuberant joy of abundant life after simply survival.

And the Lord started to teach me.

In many ways, my life follows that of the trees and the flowers.  I have periods of simply survival.  Times when only that bare necessities matter, and, sometimes, even some of those don't get done.  These are the times that I drop the signs of abundant life.  Ponytails abound, dinners emerge from boxes, dishes and laundry erupt, and patience gets thin.  And then come the times when I shine.  I am put together, I invite others for dinner, and the children and I find adventures.  I am like that spring time tree.   Much of life is neither.  Much of life is the work of summer growing.  

I've known all of this before, only with different words.  But this time, I learned something new.  Each spring builds on the work of last summer and fall.  Each time I can go further, be more--more kind, more persistant, more full of faith, more orderly, more loving.  And those dormant times of survival, whether they come from moves or babies or trauma or doubt, are the reasons the spring is glorious and that I can grow.  And the times of plenty give me the reserves to weather the long winters that come.  This is how I grow.  This is how I become.  Each year adds another tiny bit that can add up to a beautiful tree that spreads beauty and shade to the weary nearby.   And each winter yields to the inevitable, if sometimes late, spring.

Somehow, the image of that ebb and flow of life was reassuring.  The hope of springs to come filled me with peace.  And as the muffled sounds of play became the muffled sounds of discord, I could return to face all that waited inside.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


This is the first year any of the children has caught on to the idea of April Fool's Day.  Miss M was enthralled.  It didn't help that her school teacher was helping her plan some of her deeds.  It all started the day before...

Miss M:  Young A, what is your favorite cereal?
Young A:  Oatmeal Squares.
Miss M:  Miss E, what is your favorite cereal?
Miss E:  Oatmeal Squares.
Miss M:  No, you have to choose something different.
Miss E:  Then Shredded Wheat.

Five minutes later, I catch Miss M in the kitchen switching the bags of cereal in the chosen boxes.  The idea was to have them discover her deed the next morning at breakfast.  Unfortunately, as we left to pick up the Professor from work, Young A decided to grab a handful of cereal to tide him over.  He stuck one in his mouth and was very confused.  It took a bit of explaining for him to understand why Shredded Wheat was in his Oatmeal Squares and where in the world his Oatmeal Squares were.

The next day, Miss M got home from school and very quickly asked for a glass of milk as she hurried past hiding something.  Later, I went into the kitchen to find a cup with "spilled milk" left on the table.  She had used glue and a plastic cup to imitate a spill.  She was quite proud of herself.

A bit later, Miss M came to me and asked, so I thought, "Mom, do you want a brownie?"  I figured something was up, but said yes.  I was handed a brown paper E.  How kind.

I must admit it's been fun.  When I realized that Miss M was conspiring before the day even came, I made sure to set a few expectations:  No mess and nothing mean.  She came through with flying colors.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spinach pizza

One of my favorite dinners is spinach pizza.  I find it delicious, pretty, and satisfying.  Here's my recipe.

Spinach Pizza

4 Tbs butter, softened
3 Tbs mayonnaise
2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley (1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp dried onion
3 cloves minced garlic

Preheat the oven to 425°.
Prepare the dough for the crust.  I often use bread dough.  Spread the dough onto the pan.
Mix the sauce together.
Spread the sauce on the crust.
Chop two cups of spinach.  Spread on the sauce.
Sprinkle chopped tomatoes on top, if desired.
Cover with cheese.  I usually use mozzerella.  Sometimes I add some cheddar or Parmesan.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is just starting to brown.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

The school of life.

The Professor's father recently asked what I've learned in the past four years.  Here is a non-inclusive list.
I have learned about crossed eyes.
I have learned about buying houses.
I have learned about financing such a purchase.
I have learned that true change is possible.  People can overcome years of bad habits and weakness and become more Christ-like.
I have learned that it is important to allow people to change and to stop treating them as if they hadn't.
I have learned about elementary schools and preschools.
I have learned to be brave about using my simple Spanish with those who don't speak English, and that it is enough.
I have learned that I am part of the problem in my relationships.  I need the forgiveness of others as much as they need mine.
I have learned that the best choices for each person are different.
I have learned about death and grief, abuse and pain.
I have learned that our choices affect those around us profoundly.
I have learned that Christ heals us, even from the worst of life and that healing takes time.
I have learned that we are surrounded by people who are suffering, more than we can imagine.
I have learned that the Lord can use us to ease others' burdens, even if we don't know there are burdens.
I have learned that I can do hard things.
I have learned that anxiety and depression and phobias make daily life difficult.
I have been reminded that there are friends waiting to be made wherever I go.  And that making friends takes time but is very important.

Some family conversations.

A few days ago, we were driving in the car.
Miss E:  Mom, sometime I want to go to Petsmart and buy a unicorn.
Me:  Petsmart doesn't sell unicorns.
Miss E:  Then another store that does.
Me:  We can't buy a unicorn.
Miss E:  Why not?
Me:  Unicorns aren't real.  They are pretend.
A while later...
Miss E:  Mom, are monkeys real?

Miss E:  Mom, when I grow up, I want to be a princess....when I grow up I want to be a princess that rides a unicorn.

A conversation that happens often at our house.
The Professor:  Miss M, what did you learn at school today?  Did you learn how to read?
Miss M:  Daad, I already know how to read.
The Professor:  Did you learn how to add?
Miss M:  Daad, I already know how.
The Professor:  Then what did you learn?

A few weeks ago...
The Professor:  Miss M, what did you learn at school today?  Did you learn how to read?
Miss M:  You never give up, do you?

A few weeks ago, after touring the Draper LDS temple.
Me:  Miss E, how did you feel in the Celestial room?
Miss E:  Good as new... and happy, and quiet.

A few days ago.  Note:  A year or two ago, Young A often insisted that he didn't love me.  Only the Professor.
Young A:  Mom, I love you.  I love Dad, too, but I love you more because I spend more time with you.

Saturday, during our Pi Day celebration we sat down to eat pie.  We've had quite a few birthdays lately, so Young M thought he knew what was happening.  He started singing "Happy Birthday to You."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring is here.

These have been growing by my front door for the past week.  They have been joined by their white and golden cousins.  We have finally arrived at the point where any snow that comes won't stay long.

Ah, the joy of spring.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A chance to sing.

When we moved into our new ward (congregation, if you will), we were given work to do.  The Professor became the choir accompanist.  I enjoyed the sudden increase in music in our home, but I was a bit disappointed.  I really enjoy being part of the choir.  And I have found it one of the fastest ways to become acquainted with those around us.  But I couldn't figure out a way to both join the choir and watch the little ones.  So I waited and enjoyed being in the audience.

Recently, though, things have changed.  The Professor now gets to help keep the ward's finances in shape.  Suddenly, choir is fair game.  Of course, few choirs are happy to lose a tenor, so a compromise was necessary.  We trade weeks.  I like it.  He likes it.  Even the choir director likes it.  (Two for the price of one.  What's not to like?)  And I finally get to sing again.  I've missed it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

For Miss M

Listen my daughter, I want you to know
of all that my Savior has done--
How He has blessed me whenever I kneel
and pray for the help of the Son.

How do I find the words to explain
things I'm just starting to know?
Dear, Mommy is not so different from you;
I learn and I grow, but it's slow.

Just as you long to help and to do,
to make and to be--so do I.
Just as you struggle with anger, with grief,
with pain and with you--so do I.

I want to be big, to do it myself.
I start, and I try...and I fail.
The pain I create is too big for me.
I yell, and I cry, and I rail.

Then comes my Savior, loving and kind,
ready to answer my plea.
He comforts. He calms. He cleans, and He heals.
He teaches and purifies me.

Through Him I become. I learn, and I grow.
I finally let myself go.
And as I let go, most wonderful thing,
He steps in and adds so much more.

Beauty for ashes He said He would give,
comfort for all those that mourn.
Truly His promise is worth all we have
For through Him we all are reborn

When life is too much, and you're not enough,
don't give up--fall to your knees.
Through Him we can learn to love and to trust,
for our Savior He always will be.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sewing again!

I now have enough space for my sewing machine.  It has been fun to think of things to use it for.  

I started with these as Miss M needed something appropriate to keep her covered for Sundays.  I made Miss E's jumper first.  I then modified the pattern for Miss M.  I'm pleased with how they turned out.

Maybe I'll even add those pockets I was planning on.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Go, Dog, Go.

This last week, we took the whole family to a play.  As plays are one of my favorite things (cue Julie Andrews), it was good to have a chance to go.  I got to share an experience I love with my little ones, but, probably more importantly, I got to remind myself that not everything I love is put on hold for the busy baby years.

Generally, young children aren't allowed at theater productions, but this one was different.  (Of course, it's Go, Dog, Go.  The audience would be rather sparse without little ones.)  Miss M and Young A seemed to think it was all great.  Miss E wasn't sure, but mostly liked it.  Young M seemed a bit scared.  I wish they had used more words.  Overall, the actors did quite well, especially when you realize that they are taking a picture book and turning it into 45 minutes of stuff.

The evening was fun.  And family fun is good.


Take a tolerant, but appropriate, English girl, add a curious native boy whose world just turned upside down, put them together on a small island, add a bit of humor and mix. 

Done well, the result is Nation, by Terry Pratchett, a quite enjoyable read.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I've recently reread Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn.  

I like this book.  

I'm especially intrigued by the format of it.  The story is told through a series of letters (epistles) in which, as the book progresses, more and more letters (alphabetic) are left out.  I like the story.  I like the made up words.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Last weekend, the Professor and I had a date.  

We put the children to bed and put in a show, the first episode of Jeeves and Wooster.  It was delightful.  I've enjoyed P. G. Wodehouse's books, and this captured their flavor for me.  Thoroughly fun and short enough to fit in after bedtime, I think I have a new favorite.

Monday, January 26, 2009


This is what we've woken up to the last two days.  You would think we would miss the sun and warmth of last year.  I hear they have beach weather now.  But the children are ecstatic.

Young A thinks there is nothing better than tromping through large "mountains" of snow.  Miss E asks each morning for a long-sleeved shirt and long-sleeved pants.  I enjoy the clean beauty of living in a Christmas card, as my mother says.

But the poor Professor.  He's the one who gets to shovel, and shovel, and shovel.



I'd like to introduce you to my companions.  

This is my husband, the professor.  We've been married for 7 years.  He encourages me in my various pursuits.

This is Miss M.  She is certain she is quite grown up at 6.  Currently, horses are the rage.

And over here we have Young A.  He is 4, soon to be 5.  He is a bit reserved, but he will warm up over time.  At the moment, the marble towers are vying with the trains for his affection.

I'd like you to meet Miss E.  She splits her time between caring for her baby and building with Young A.  She has recently turned 3.

This is Young M.  He has turned a bit mischievous as of late.  His favorite pastime is to imitate the elder three or to corner me with a book.  He will be 2 within the month.

And finally, there is myself.  My name is Rachel.  I enjoy a variety of things that I will share with you as time goes on.

I hope you enjoy your time here.