Friday, August 31, 2007


So today we are off again for the weekend. We are going to the cabin for Labor Day and meeting Dan's brother, his wife and new baby. They will only be on the east coast for another 2 months and we want to work in all the visits we can. I love going to the cabin, I really do, but it is so much work to get ready to go. With 4 kids to pack up for 3 days including a Sunday (so we have to remember church clothes and shoes) plus myself. Then we have 3 days and nights of food and of course we need some entertainment for the little ones. And with a baby you have a different set of food, formula, diapers, blankets, portacrib etc...

I suddenly realized that I must really have a lot on my mind when this morning I got into the shower put shampoo in my hand and then realized I was rubbing shampoo into my DRY hair. Yes, I hadn't even gotten my hair wet but was going through the motions of showering while thinking of all the things I still needed to do today. After my shower I was getting ready in the bathroom when my eyes happened to glance at the trash can where I saw my underwear. I guess I had thrown my underwear in the trash instead of the hamper.

With so many children and other responsiblities, school stuff for each child, church callings...lessons, meetings, primary talks, household responsibilities... bills, chores, groceries, home maintenance, applications for insurances, loans, etc.. --- My mind is always racing! There are times that I suddenly stop what I'm doing and have no idea where my children are. I think, "When was the last time I saw the baby or Ainsley?" Sometimes the baby is actually in bed but sometimes Ainsley is outside at the neighbors and I never heard her leave. Sometimes I think I have way too much on my plate. I just hope I don't space something really important!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Piper has just started making this "Surprise" face. She does it when she is excited about something, like food or a new toy. If we are holding a bowl up and are ready with a spoon, she will give us this face to show us how happy she is about getting that next bite. If she is happy to see you or you give her the surprise look first, the eyebrows go up and the mouth opens wide. I don't know how long it will last (back in June she would stick her tongue out and suck her top lip but we never captured it on film or video :( - We did get the surprise look on video the other day when she was sooo excited about holding the phone (the real one). And I tried to catch it with the still camera but it was really hard. These are the best I could do.

** You may be able to see her two new little teeth

Party Party

At Little Caesars you get "Pizza Pizza", but on Saturday we had "Party Party".

It started a bit rough, Daniel went white water rafting with the 16-18 year old boys from church on Wednesday and Thursday. Well, I could NOT sleep at all Wednesday night. I kept tossing and turning and in the morning around 7:30 I ran to the bathroom and threw up. Then around 8 am I started having TERRIBLE diarrhea. I had it several times an hour until around 5 pm (and then sporadically until the next morning). I was completely wiped out!! It was hard on the kids too, cuz they were having to get their own meals and help watch the baby. Sometimes I look at Piper and think how fun and cute she is and for a very rapid milisecond I think about having another one, But OH what a reality check it was to be puking and sick and weak and pretty much helpless. And then I know that I really don't EVER want to be pregnant again. It is hard on me and really hard on the big kids.

That was a really long tangent - so Friday I was getting ready for MacGregor's rescheduled birthday party. We tried to have it on the 11th of August but only 1 of 5 kids could make it. This time 4 out 5 could come. Friday I was planning his party, cleaning the house, making a cake and food for the other party (my grandparents 60th anniversary) all the while my stomach was still off. Better but still off.

Here is the official balloon getter. She picked out each balloon and placed it into the towels.

Saturday was extremely warm and muggy and I was really happy. You make think that was odd but early in the week it had been rainy and cold - in the 60s. How was MacGregor going to have a water slide party, using hose water mind you, when it was only 65 degrees outside? We got lucky and it was around 90. Dan and I had to keep running in the house to cool off since we weren't swimming. The party was 2 and half hours and I thought it would be too long but we ended up running out of time and had to make the kids scarf their food down. MacGregor was blowing out his candles with the majority of a hot dog still in his hand. We did rocket balloons, the obstacle course, water balloon toss, towel toss with water balloons and just played on the water slide. All the kids had fun and didn't want to leave when their parents showed up.
But leave they did because we had to get to our other party.....
My Grandparents have been married 60 years this month. Amazing! What an accomplishment! My cousin got way better pictures then I did so check these out.

My parents hosted the a 60th wedding anniversary party and it was really fun. Half my cousins were there, my aunts and uncles, great aunts and great uncles, grandmother's cousins, my parents, brother and 3 of my nephews (one which I rarely see).

My broccoli salad was a big hit (raw broccoli, golden raisins, red onion, bacon and almonds with a mayo, sugar, vinegar sauce) as were the rice crispy treats Dan and the kids made. We used a few handfuls of the Micky Mouse rice crisps which are multicolored, so the treats looked really pretty.
But the biggest hit was the pony. See - as long as ANYONE can remember, when receiving a present (even a tiny box) , my grandfather has said, "Now what do think it could be? Maybe it's a pony!" So this year he really got a pony. OK maybe only for an hour, but still. My Dad rented a pony for an hour and we really wanted my grandpa to take a ride but he has bad knees and couldn't climb up on his own (he is 82) so they brought out a ladder, but the horse wouldn't go anywhere near it. Grandpa did get some great photo ops and got to feed "Coco" an apple.

The kids on the other hand had a blast! They all got to ride it several times. The horse trainers really got a workout on that hot muggy day. They would walk a big circle on my parents side yard which is a huge hill, great for sledding, but quite a work out to walk up. Ainsley would have stayed on it for the whole hour if we would have let her. All the babies got their picture taken on the horse as well.

Here's a handsome crowd waiting for their turns on the horse.

I sure was pooped by the end of the day, but "Party Party" was definitely worth it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Can it be 12 years?

After my last post, I feel almost guilty doing this one. But 10 days ago, my sweetheart and I celebrated our 12th anniversary. It's hard to believe that it has been that long.

We certainly have accomplished a lot in that time. The first 10 years Daniel was going to school and specialty training. We moved 5 times (in the first 10 years). We have lived in 4 different states. Bought 2 houses. Sold one. We had 4 children. We have owned 7 cars. We survived one deployment and solo birth. We have been on many vacations, mostly to see family, none very exotic. We have made many quilts and caught a lot of fish!

My sister gave us a sign that fits pretty much perfect. (I wanted to hang it on the front door.) It reads, "A fisherman lives here with the catch of his life."

One day Daniel and I will do something really special for our anniversary. Our 5th, we had just moved to Iowa for his internship and he got NO vacation time. Our 10th we had just moved to PA and bought a new house. This year we were going to do something big, but just ran out of time. Daniel wanted to take me to NYC to see a show and have some alone time, but our anniversary was on a Sunday and the weekend before we took the family that won the auction trip to the cabin. All our other weekends are booked in some way with work or church activities. My mom said she would take the kids on a Friday night in September and Dan and I can go to dinner and a movie. That's fine with me! I'll take dinner that I don't have to cook and clean up, or cut up and feed a baby or take a number to say something at the table. And I'll take a movie where I can sit next Dan and hold his hand without 2 or 3 more people climbing on top of us, and where I can actually hear the movie without answering questions. Yes that will be just fine!

Monday, August 27, 2007


The first weekend in August, Daniel interviewed (I say that loosely) a prospective partner for the practice. He had him come and look at the practice and answer questions etc... This prospect is currently in his last year of residency at Temple University and is a member of the church. The kids and I met Dan and this gentleman for lunch and as we discussed our histories we found out that we went to dental school and remain good friends with his wife's cousin. He told us that he really liked what he had seen but we would need to sell his wife, because she would have to be happy. She is very close to her family and was currently visiting them for several weeks in Utah. She was due back around the 20th of the month and we were hoping that Brandon would bring her out sometime in September.

Dan showed him around town and they came back to our house before he headed home. He found out that I like quilting and said that was PERFECT because his wife had roughly 25 quilt tops in progress. I was so excited to meet her and show her around this wonderful area with so many fabric stores etc...

He called Daniel about a week or so ago and metioned that he spoke to his wife about the practice and they had a really good feeling about it. They were both looking forward to their trip here in September. He also mentioned that his wife had found a small lump on her thyroid and was going to have it removed before she came home, delaying her trip a few days.

Daniel spent 8 hours at church yesterday with all his meetings. So last night he was checking his messages. He came to me a bit shaken up with his eyes a bit bleary and announced that Brandon's wife had died! I said, WHAT? It was routine minor surgery!! Daniel said that Brandon had left a message during church and just said that she had passed away due to complications of the surgery. He said, that of course changes everything. He now thought he needed to keep his girls close to family - which is completely understandable. I called our friend, his wife's cousin, to see if they had anymore details. Apparently she came out of surgery fine and went home to her moms. The next day she had some nasal bleeding. She went back in and got that cauterized. Then she went back to her moms. She didn't wake up the next morning.

And though I never met her or even spoke to her, I am devestated!! I am devestated for Brandon that he lost his eternal companion after only 10 years. I am devestated for his 2 little girls, ages 9 and 4, I think, that they will have to grow up without their mom. My heart aches for them! ! My heart aches with them. I am so sad that I will never meet her and show her fabric stores and take quilt classes with her. I am so sad that they will not be coming here. I am so SAD!! I pray he will be able to finish his residency while transitioning to a single parent.

Please pray for this family! Here's a link to see all that he will be missing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Girls, Girls, Girls

So this is going way back because I am so behind on posts. I told you there maybe some that are really out of date. So WAY back in May when Brielle was visiting, my cousin Michele and her daughter Quinn came to visit. We hadn't seen Quinn in person yet, she was born 2 months early back in October and wasn't allowed to leave her house until April. After Michele walked through the door and we all gave each other hugs, I realized that we were ALL girls. (my boys were at school). There was my mom, myself with Ainsley and Piper, Brielle with Kamden and Aspen, Brinn and Emma, and Michele with Quinn. 11 Girls. Ainsley loved having so many babies in the house.

We had so much fun catching up and visiting, reminiscing of times past, like when the Brielle, Michele and Brinn used to torture Michele's brother Richie in the swimming pool. We ate lunch together and baby swapped. And watch the babies fight over the same toys.

And here's Brielle's baby- not so little anymore but sure is ornery! She was sleeping when we got the group picture and we were all better off for NOT having woken her up!

I am so glad Michele braved the rainy weather and drove all the way up here.

Michele and Brinn had to leave before dinner, but the rest of us hit Rita's for dessert that night. It had been a cold rainy day and so ice cream wasn't the best idea, especially since it had to be eaten outside. Although we do have an icecreamaholic - I think she would fit in with the Ray Hens.

Do you see cute Kamden with her Giant cone in front of her - now look at her counterpart! We were absolutely astonished that little bitty Ainsley could eat that whole cone and eat it she did. The entire thing! We only threw away the napkin. I guess it was a good night for ice cream for her.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What are the Odds?

From the Field:The Lost Goat
Matthew B. Pearson
The Extra Smile
What Did the Golden Plates Look Like?
Kirk B. Henrichsen

I was searching for some material for my Sunday lesson when I happened upon this. This is a small excerpt for the Table of Contents for the July issue of The New Era. Pretty strange - What are the odds?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Quiet Baptism

MacGregor was baptized on July 21st, his 8th birthday. He was baptized in "Lake Redgate" at my parents cabin. It was a wonderful experience.

At first I thought maybe it would be too informal since there weren't many people there, we weren't in a chapel and there was no one representing the Primary or Bishopric. But to my surprise it was just perfect. It was attended by both sets of grandparents, Uncle Nathan, MacGregor's parents and siblings. We were surrounded by nature with all of its beauty and sounds. It was peaceful and although we sang two songs, we didn't even miss the piano.

An agenda was followed - Roy conducted, Chase gave the opening prayer, Reenie and Roy and I gave talks, Sharon and Jim shared their testimonies and Daniel performed the baptism and did the confirmation. After the confirmation MacGregor shared his feelings and his lip quivered as he spoke and we all felt the Spirit. He later said he didn't know why he was starting to cry and I pointed out that now he can understand why people cry at the pulpit when sharing their testimonies in church.

It was a day to be treasured and a memory to hold dear.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Pictures speak louder than words!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Frogs, Toads and Snapping Turtles

This summer we've spent several weekends up at the cabin. Ainsley loves animals of all kinds. She loves to go to the cabin and find worms and salamanders, crayfish and catapillers, frogs and toads, and fish.... lots of fish. This last visit she and MacGregor found a toad under the merry-go-round. Around the same time I found a frog in the creek but he was a quick little booger. I was chasing him to no avail. I called Daniel to help me and we each took one side of the creek. After hiding behind rocks and in little mud clouds, he was finally caught. The kids already had a bucket containing crayfish and minnows that they caught in the creek. We added our two new friends. We had fun looking at the differences between the frog and toad.... brown vs green, bumpy vs slimy etc... Ainsley was having a ball except that we were all worried she would squish them to death because she had such a death grip on the poor little things. Everyone was excited to get their pictures with them.

As we exited the cars after arriving to the cabin in May with Aaron and Christine, we saw a large snapping turtle sitting in the grass. I had heard rumors of snappers being in this pond but in the 7 years the family has owned the property, I had never seen one. Daniel was ready to go find a gun and kill it but I said "Honey just go get the shovel and we'll trap him and move him, He can't be very fast" You know you grow up learning how SLOW turtles are. Well as Daniel started moving toward the grass that turtle started shuffling toward the water - And as it turned out there were two turtles - one on top of the other - (and you know what that means, there will probably be more turtles soon) Those turtles totally beat Daniel to the water and I had no idea how fast snappers could move.
Well - Memorial Day weekend during our mini family reunion, my brother Brian caught one of those snappers by the tail. I couldn't believe it. He was a biggie! All the kids got to come take a look. They put him in an empty trash can for safe viewing. After we got pictures and everyone had a chance to see him the poor guy met his demise with a 22 rifle. You just don't mess with the fish population of Lake Redgate or you will be disposed of. Don't believe me? Ask the poor beaver, although I will not be showing any photos of him because I only have after pics.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

8 & almost 9 Months

We have had a lot of problems with our computer lately. It started after I had half the neighborhood playing computer games with my boys. They only did this a few times over a 2 week period but I guess it was enough to throw a bunch of kinks in our system. So no more neighborhood kids on our computers!!! We've been slowly working through the kinks and I think we are more or less up and running again. So here's a post I had hoped to have published several weeks ago.

Within days after turning 7 months old she started full on crawling!! This is way earlier than MacGregor or Ainsley who were well past 8 months. She gets everywhere and on all surfaces, carpet, hardwood, linoleum, grass, concrete. She's pretty much unstoppable. And today of all days she got from the first step to the second all by herself. I kept thinking I had time before I got out the gates. She cruises the furniture and fireplace. She pulls herself up on walls and cabinets and drawers. The latter two often open while she is pulling up and so we've had many spills. She loves cords and plugs and we do our best to keep her from them. She loves to crawl under tables and thru chairs but becomes very frustrated when she can't fit thru a space or can't find her way out of the maze. Our life has become very inturrupted. I said I think this might be worse than when she was a newborn and nursed every few hours and needed holding. We really have to keep our eyes on her at all times and she is constantly moving so anything I need done takes a back seat.

About the same time she started crawling she also stopped nursing. It's been just about a month now. She just didn't want me anymore. She stopped gradually - first she decided she only wanted to nurse with both of us lying down, I guess it was more relaxing and usually without other distractions in the room. Then it was lying down but only first thing in the morning and last thing at night and then it was NEVER. Daniel walked in our room one evening in early July to find me topless wrestling the baby on the bed. I was trying to get her to lay still and nurse and she was rolling away so I was on top of her, holding her down and trying to force my breast in her mouth. Daniel said gently (after he laughed at scene before him) "I think it's time to stop nursing." OK, guess she won that one.

She LOVES food however. She hardly ever eats babyfood anymore, only when we are having crunchy or spicy food. We chop up what ever we are eating and she feeds herself from her tray. Her hand eye coordination has really improved. She loves cut up fruit, although just this week she has started spitting out the bananas. She likes ham and cheese and buttered toast. She likes frozen peas slightly thawed and cereal soaked in formula. But her favorite of all favorites is ICE CREAM. She will yell and grunt for it and you can't get it in fast enough. And if you think, Oh I'll just share mine with Piper, you better ask for two scoops.

She has just started singing and dancing. Two weeks ago in church she began making long extended sounds as we were singing the closing hymn. The problem was that she would keep singing when the verses ended. Many people came up to me and commented on her singing. Last week while singing the last verse of "Spirit of God" right on cue with the singing and shouting part she started squealing very high pitched sounds. I had to cover her mouth because it was REALLY loud. She has just started dancing as well. When we turn on a CD or the radio . she will start bouncing her little knees if she is standing or if sitting she bobs her head and shoulders. She dances to all kinds of music and I really wish our video camera was digital and I'd show everyone cuz it really is cute.

And she cut her first two teeth today. They weren't there last night and this morning I thought I saw white so I put my fingers in her mouth and felt the rough edges of tiny little mammalons poking thru her gums. She is roughly 8 and a half months. Ainsley was 10 months before she cut her first two teeth but the boys were between 6 and 7 months. It took Ainsley 2 more months before she cut the top ones but I can see the white bulging in Pipers maxilla so I wonder if these next two are around the corner. Gone are the days of her cute gummers smile.

Piper has ceased to be even a little cooperative when getting dressed or changing her diaper. It is a wrestling match EVERY time. She twists and turns and rolls away, gets up and crawls... I try every distraction available - giving her toys, stuffed animals, wipes etc... Today she was up crawling away naked so I chased her down, sat her on my lap and put her diaper on backwards while she was sitting up. It was easier to fasten the tabs in the back then try to get around her gut while she is bending and pulling away. It worked just fine.

She is still the smiliest baby in the world and I love it! These are her almost 8 month photos. I missed 6 months and therefore will be skipping 9 months so I thought we'd just do 8 mos and hopefully 12. No problems in the studio getting her to smile, that's for sure.