Dreary Winter

2 March 2013
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Our first winter in Ohio was terrible, our second winter bearable, this winter wins the dreary award. There hasn’t been a ton of snow, and what we did get quickly melted away with a rain storm. But the sun has been missing for a very long time. Monday we had a very nice day so Hallie and I went on a walk to the lake to bask in her glory.


We listened to the sound of the cracking ice and played with the thin shards as they moved up on shore. We haven’t see the sunshine since, and the kids are all sick. It’s been a miserable week, but I know Spring is just around the corner.

Hallie has been taking swim lessons

A picture from outside our living room window.

I’ve lost 17 pounds, but had a rough week sticking to my eating habits. Time to renew my commitment.

Emma is taking a sewing class and Tanner just started a class to be able to compete in swim team. Everyone is ready for Spring Break, and I wish I had somewhere amazing to take them, but I’m afraid a staycation is our future this year. Of course, last year we went to Great Wolf Lodge, and it was 80 degrees, and this year it’s dreary and miserable and I don’t have a us planned to go anywhere to get out of the muck. Pray for a heat wave that week.



Musical Mayhem

10 February 2013
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I am not musical. I have never had a piano lesson, don’t sing particularly well, can’t read music, but I am easily moved by music. Nothing touches my soul, confirms the feelings I have of the Savior, moves me to action like music. Playing music in my home changes the moods of my children, gets them shaking their little booties and motivates them to action as well. I love music!

I feel strongly about my kids having music skills, and I invest a great deal of time and money to this cause. I recently bought Alyssa a recorder and started her in recorder lessons with Emma and Aubrey’s flute teacher. She is the first person I have heard play a recorder and make it sound beautiful, beautiful enough for me to put down my book and listen to her. If anyone can teach Alyssa to make beautiful music out of a recorder it is her. She had Alyssa blow and blow and blow and make the ugliest sounds possible on her recorder, and then swore her to never do that again. It is a musical instrument and will from now on be treated as such. Alyssa has done a good job of following her rule.Wish I could say the same for Hallie.

Last weekend Emma competed in Solo and Ensemble. We traveled to a little town called Granville. What a charming and stunningly beautiful place. She had one flute quartet to play in and one solo to play. I have seen her practice the solo hundreds of times, she worked endlessly on it and it was perfect. She was up to perform and in walked her band teacher, who she has this strange fear of. Then her accompanist was late and her judge had to wait. Combine all of this together and she was found herself in a panic.

She played her piece, but later told me that the only way she got through it was because it was memorized she couldn’t even see the notes she was so nervous. She didn’t rock it, she rushed it, missed some big runs and overall gave a less than perfect performance. She knew it too. She was disappointed. Come to find the judge gave her a 1 on her ensemble and a 1 on her solo, so it must not have been as bad as she was thinking. Happy Ending.

The whole experience reminded me of an time in my life where I didn’t handle disappointment well. I was on the swim team, and swam everyday. I ended up getting sick, tonsillitis and was out of practice for almost 2 weeks. I showed up to my meet the following week, and had to swim a long swim. It should have taken me 15 minutes. I dove in and found myself out of breath and unable to compete, I kept swimming, but when I finished the race I realized that I was the last one in and people had been waiting on me to finish for 5 minutes. I was so embarrassed. I never returned. I quit. I don’t think I even ever told my parents, they didn’t usually attend the meets and wouldn’t have seen my catastrophe.

Emma’s experience reminded me to encourage her to continue even though she bombed it. Even though things looked bleak. She is braver than I am, and I am thankful to her flute teacher for telling her some of her own nightmare experiences with nerves and for providing Emma with her favorite book on dealing with nerves and performing.

Recently Danny and I dropped all television in the house. With the money I saved from what we were spending on TV, I have joined the YMCA and have started swimming again. They have an old folks swim team, and I plan on joining them this summer, after I have brought myself up to speed. I learned a valuable lesson from my daughter.

Birthday Princess

9 January 2013
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Alyssa loves her birthday more than anyone I know. She agonizes over every detail of the day and NEVER wants a birthday party because that would mean she would have to share her day. On the flip side, if it’s your birthday she is completely loyal and treats you like royalty.

Alyssa had school on her birthday, she requested that I come to lunch with her. We brought ice cream to her classmates at lunch. While I was signing in at the office, my cell phone rang. I answered it and there was my little 6 year old. She had gone to the nurses office and convinced her to call me, she was so worried that I was going to miss her birthday lunch. When I informed her that I was in the office at that very moment she was so relieved. I’m sure the nurse got a good chuckle out of her. If you know Alyssa, me missing her day, would have physically made her ill, so the nurse was probably the best place for her to go.

After lunch, Hallie and I came home to make her requested cake. It was German chocolate with peppermint whip cream and a chocolate ganache and topped with crushed candy canes. Alyssa LOVES that her birthday is near Christmas and even hand picked the Christmas paper that her gifts were to be wrapped in.

Alyssa wanted her ears pierced for her birthday. Right after school, Danny and I took her to get them pierced. She was super brave and didn’t even flinch, totally in Alyssa fashion. She did break down and cry afterward but quickly put herself together and picked out necklaces and bracelets for her sisters. We came home and opened a few more gifts. I sewed Alyssa a sleeping bag, pillow w/pillowcase and matching jammies for her American Girl Doll. She also picked out an outfit for her doll so she knew all about that gift as well. After dressing her doll we went to dinner at The Cracker Barrel. Aubrey and Alyssa put their dolls at a separate table and the manager came out and took their order. They really went all out for my princess. It was pretty cute. Home for cake and to put the tired birthday girl to bed.

You will notice in the pictures that Tanner has picked up a new hobby and that is photo bombing everyone’s photos. You will notice how unimpressed Alyssa is with his new talent.

Alyssa and her best friend Lizzie

Hand- picked wrapping paper

Tanner photo bombing the picture

Alyssa and her “perfect” cake

 Another photo bomb by Tanner, good thing Alyssa hasn’t spotted him

 Emma getting in on the action, Alyssa is getting annoyed

 Alyssa and her perfect birthday!


The Baker

3 December 2012
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This is all I’ve got, I’m hoping to get some video soon of his performance. I’m proud of my boy. I would not have been able to perform in front of my peers at that age. He didn’t even vomit–smile.

Tanner and two of his best friends

 Tanner and his Father

 Tanner and his wife


3 December 2012
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We recently celebrated Tanner’s 12th birthday.  His birthday was the day before Thanksgiving this year.


The kids didn’t have school on his birthday, he made us get up early anyway and open presents while we were still in our PJ’s. Because he’s in the school play, they wont let me cut his hair, looking at these pictures drives me nuts. Pretty sure he ate the entire package of Oreo’s for breakfast and played his new video game the rest of the day. Family arrived for Thanksgiving that night and we had cake with them.

Happy Birthday to a delightful young man who amazes me daily. He is smart, funny, obedient and everything I could wish for from my favorite son.


Thanksgiving 2012 Recap

1 December 2012
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We hosted Thanksgiving this year. The Freeman’s and Danny’s sister Nancy and her son Loei were able to come. Kids had a blast being together. I see a different side of Tanner when he gets around all of his boy cousins.Weather couldn’t have been nicer and the kids had a fun time fishing at the lake and playing in the yard.










O Christmas Tree

1 December 2012
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Today is our 2 year anniversary in Ohio. This is our 3rd Christmas here, and our 2nd house since living here. Right now as I am typing the kids are playing a very loud game of indoor tag. They just finished big mugs of hot chocolate after cutting down our Christmas tree this morning. The kids all wished me a happy anniversary this morning, and I can’t help but reflect a bit on our life.

Two years ago I was full of so much doubt and sadness. The relief society president at the time welcomed us with a warm meal and could see I was struggling to control my emotions and took me away from the house to show me how to find a grocery store. A few days later, she called us to go cut a Christmas Tree with her and her family. We became fast friends and this is our third year to cut trees with their family.

The kids are growing and thriving. Everyone is happy, and Ohio is a good fit for our family. My only regret is that we’ve been  unable to return to Utah to see family, buying a house, and trying to recover losses from Nevada have been the priority. This summer will be our first visit back since moving.

A few picture from this morning’s adventure!








Superstorm 2012

30 October 2012
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Fixing up Tanner’s room

6 October 2012
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Tanner’s room was in the most need of a make over. I fight the urge to fix things randomly around the house and try to focus on finishing one room completely before moving to another room. He already had navy and red bedding so I found some fabric with those colors to make some cornices for over his windows. New blinds and a fresh coat of paint. I had previously bought the stop sign at an antique store and we added a collection of license plates from our cars in different places that we have lived and added an Ohio plate to the collection. I will eventually replace his carpet when I get ready to re-carpet my room at the same time.



His bedding is in the wash, I was too impatient to wait. Now on to the little girls room.



Big Bug

28 September 2012
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Found this in the yard tonight. He’s been eating well all summer long! I thank him for his services and we released him to continue with his work.

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