Thursday, October 30, 2008

He's pure hillbilly!

My dad came for a visit, sat down in the chair and I noticed this. I just HAD to get a picture and of course I have to blog about it. I don't know if anybody will appreciate this as much as I do. I hope you can see the detail in the picture. He has wrapped his shoe laces around his ankles and tied them in the back. I think he wore it like this all day. The thing that is so funny is he doesn't know why it's funny.
I swear he is pure hillbilly! Thanks for the many laughs I still have over this one, dad!

Posted by Picasa


Her name is Emily Clarke. She's Ashlyn's best friend. Ashlyn and Emily both have a locket necklace. Emily's says "best", Ashlyn's says "friend". And.......that's how it all started. Everytime Ashlyn calls Emily on the phone she asks if "best" is home. Same for Emily only she asks for "friend".
Here are the more common nicknames I've heard from them. Ashlyn is taco, Em is burrito. Ash is salt, Em is pepper. Ash is chimi, Em is changa. Ash is root, Em is beer. You get it. The whole point is they are BEST FRIENDS and will be FOREVER!

Why I love "best":

She makes good choices
She's very outgoing
She loves life
She has a good self esteem
Best laugh I've ever heard and heard and heard and heard and heard........................
She calls me aunt beautiful although she's not family- may as well be!
Always looking for fun
Has a soft heart
Cries when it hurts
Did I mention her laugh? At everything!
Treats my best friend good- her mom
Smiles at the drop of a hat
Starts laughing at the thought of me poking her ribs
She loves Ashlyn
Posted by Picasa

My grandparents



So dang cute, aren't they!
Love you!
Posted by Picasa

Funny faces

This October over our fall break we headed over to San Diego for some camping on the beach with our friends and my parents. We went to see my grandparents who live about 2 hours from the beach. Here are a few snapshots I thought I'd share. Fun times!

Posted by Picasa

Birthday news

Read below for all the details. Here we all are right after the "big surprise"
Posted by Picasa

Birthday preparations

This is kindof a bad picture. Here's Ashlyn, Caleb and Tyler preparing for the birthday bash.
Posted by Picasa

13 years with Wesley!

This is what Wes woke up to last Friday. It was his 13th birthday! I think we all know who it was........ Wesley was the one to point out the fact that poppy uses red duct tape. Poppy is his grandpa who lives down the street. So when Wes walked out he said he knew it was Nonny and Poppy. One of those "perks" of having mom and dad just down the road.
I wish I could remember how the candy gram went. Mom, you'll have to fill us in please.

So the week before Wesley's birthday Geoff and I asked him what he wanted to do for his b-day. I listed off all kinds of fun ideas.....invite some friends over for a movie night, go to the movies with some friends, hang out at the mall, go shopping for new clothes, take some friends out to dinner. Guess what he said guys. "mom, I'd like to go out to dinner with my family". What a guy!

Here's how the night went down. We took the family to Wesley's favorite restaurant, Carrabbas. He got to pick anything he wanted.... steak, of course. We're all feeling fat and happy and at the end Wes said, "I hope they don't sing happy birthday to me here cuz that would be embarrasing". Well they didn't. They brought him a big plate of dessert the whole family shared. We had a great time.

In the mom and dad were at home decorating the house with his friends for a surprise party! He caught him completely off guard! He didn't have a clue! We pulled up to the driveway and told everybody to jump out, go in and start baths (the usual nightly routine) except for Wes because we were going to pick up his best friend, Nic. After everybody got out of the car Geoff came back outside and told me I had a phone call so I told Wes to go in the house with me for a few minutes.

He meanders down the hall singing some silly song to himself when out jumps all of his friends and Nonny and Poppy screaming, "SURPRISE"

It was a hit! All of his friends sat around just chatting and eating the food I had prepared. Wes got a pan of cinnamon rolls all to himself. I made a banana cream pie too and we had some chips and nacho sauce. Good combination, eh!

After sitting around for a bit we decided that we needed to have a good game of manhunt. I guess some people call it fugitive although it IS different from manhunt- slightly. It's an adult game of hide and seek, in the neighborhood. Here's how it goes..... the group is supposed to get from point A to point B without being spotted by the person in the car searching after you. Geoff and I were the drivers, of course and the rest of the group was running through the neighborhood dashing through the bushes, diving on the ground and running their hearts out. It was a blast! After 3 games of that everybody was wiped out. We came home and the kids watched a movie on the big screen in the movie room.

Posted by Picasa

A moment of pride...........

or should I just say well pleased? Anyway you want to say it...............THAT'S MY BOY!

It's called A/R reading at our school. It stands for accelerated reading. It's a program where the kids and teacher set reading goals. Tyler is supposed to read _____ amount of books and then take tests on the books. This chart records all of the tests he's taken and received 100%, as you can see. If I might just brag for a minute and say.... he's top in his class right now. But he better watch out! One of his very good friend's who happens to be a girl is right on his tail!

Way to go Ty!
Love, your proud mom
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yeah- you can borrow my kids- I know you like the hair!

Posted by Picasa

Eat your hearts out! One of my most favorite thing is to lie down on the family room floor. For some reason this has something to do with Pavlov. Whenever I lie down my kids either ask if I want my back rubbed, feet rubbed, hair done or we have a heated wrestle. Here you can see I'm getting the special treatment. Tyler is rubbing my feet, Ashlyn is doing my hair and Caleb is giving me a back rub.

And..................I bet you're wondering about the hair doooo............................
Posted by Picasa

Geoff and Caleb making breakfast the morning of General Conference. This is a tradition. Not sure where or when it started so here's my story and I'm sticking to it. Long, long ago in a land not so far away (wherever your imagination takes you) there was a father who loved cooking breakfast (Geoff's dad) and he made breakfast as often as he could (or was allowed, what with leaving a huge mess and all). His family loved his cooking which only increased his desire to cook. So it was...... a tradition started with a whole bunch of details missing. Now his son, my husband and Caleb's dad, loves cooking breakfast for the family on General Conference Sunday. Geoff is teaching his sons early...... we must continue tradition! We all love it too.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My date with Ashlyn, Tyler and Caleb

Friday is ALWAYS date night but this past Friday was an exception. Exceptional I should say! Geoff and Wes went to a scout overnighter so as you read in my previous post, Geoff and I had a lunch date.
We saw Geoff and Wes off at about 6pm. I'm sitting around being lonely for Geoff- I hate when he has to go. Afterall, he's my best friend. Me and the kids are sitting in front of the t.v. and I'm just not wanting to do a dang thing but decide I need to do something with the kids. I check the dollar show listings and we find a movie, "Kungfoo Panda". I grab some energy and my 3 hot dates and we all go see the movie and have a great time. Then we head off to Target to do some last minute shopping for Wesley's surprise party Saturday. I'm a sucker so I let Tyler and Caleb pick out a $2. toy that they are both pretty pleased with. It's about 9:30pm by this time and as I'm leaving the Target parking lot it hits me that I haven't fed my family anything for dinner!
I love breakfast for dinner, always have, but it's definately not something Geoff is fond of..... but he's not here with us. We head over to Denny's for some breakfast. I love all that greasy, cheesy goodness that comes with the Grand Slam. We all got what we wanted and topped it off with some hot chocolate.
We are driving home with Caleb sitting in the front next to me. He looks over at me and says, "mom, this has been the best day of my life" to which I reply, "really? Why?" He said "because we got to go to the movie, we got to shop at Target and get a balloon and we got to eat breakfast". Ashlyn in the backseat says, "NO! Disneyland should be the best day of your life" and Caleb clarifies his opinion by saying, "yeah- Disneyland is first and then today".
My last minute efforts to do something with the kids turned out to be one of the best days for my 6 year old son.
At the end of the night I walked my dates into the house, tucked them all in bed and kissed them all over. Then I thanked the Lord for my sweet angels.
It turned out to be one of the best days I've had too.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Good thing I got out of bed.....

Because Geoff just called me and asked me out on a lunch date! He asked me where I would like to go. I'm going to The Cheesecake Factory!
I wonder if he knew I needed something fun today!
Beside that.....IT'S WESLEY'S 13TH BIRTHDAY! I've got something more to blog about. I'll post that next. For now- everything can wait till tomorrow, I've been rescued by my night in shining armor!

Drops in the bucket

We came home Saturday from a much needed camping trip on the beach last week to find that I hadn't paid the water bill. Wooohooo- save some money! So the camping continued through the weekend- no water. Also discovered that the upstairs A/C is broken as well as the upstairs tv projector. TV isn't a necessity- that can wait.

Funny thing is last time we left for a few days we came home to find the house flooded with a broken toilet line upstairs! I guess at least this time the house didn't flood.

Another one of THOSE days.....

It's 6:15- my internal clock goes off and my head tells me to get out of bed but my body has other plans. The mattress monster has got me! I can't get out, no not even to check my stock options. Why? Just to see them lose value again?!!! Nahhh- so why get up? To do the mountain of laundry in the laundry room? Nahhh! To clean up from last night's dinner still sitting on the counter? Nahhh! To pay the bills? With what money? The garage needs cleaning, I can't get through the office with all the junk sitting around, the family room is a mess, the garden needs weeding and picking, the dishes done, mail to go through, insurance issues to deal with, tax issues to fix, NO, NO, NO!!! I'm not getting out of bed!
Alright- to see the kids off to school. I did it. Got out of bed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


On a serious note, I have to speak about angels. I'm usually a private person but I must tell you the feelings of my heart! It's been stored up for a while so it may get lengthy. I promise to lighten up next time!

This past year is one I never want to repeat! I have struggled with many troubles.

With the housing market as it is Geoff struggles to find work everyday. By January we may be completely out of the appraisal business. Our other real estate investments have completely gone sour. Most of my family is in the real estate business and many of us are struggling right now. We, like many of you, find ourselves wondering where we will be tomorrow. My two best friends are wondering how long they will be able to keep their homes. Just the financial issues is enough to drag anybody down!
For a while now I have struggled with fertility issues and had my last miscarriage this past summer. The decision to make it my last has been torture.
I'm struggling with some behavior issues from a couple of my kids and some extremely sad decisions of another family member.
We came home from working on the cabin a couple of weekends ago to find the downstairs dining room flooded and part of the ceiling falling in from a broken water line on the toilet.
The list goes on.......and on.......and on.....

One night this past summer I was thinking about all these issues I was trying to deal with all at once (isn't that how it always is!-- can't have one at a time!) I began to feel like big boulders had knocked me flat on my chest. It felt as though more and more boulders kept falling on me making sure I wasn't able to get up. I started thinking about the scriptures and how it is that angels appear to so many people. I thought of Nephi, Laman and Lemuel. If an angel could appear to Laman and Lemuel who were so disobedient why, then, couldn't the Lord send me an angel. Afterall, I'm a good person trying to make good choices. I don't think I'm quite as disobedient as Laman and Lemuel so I asked God to send me an angel.
The night of my last miscarriage my mom came up to my room to see how I was doing. She cried with me and offered me words of comfort. I told her my wish for an angel. She continued to help comfort me.

Life went on. Slowly, slowly I am more able to pull one boulder off at a time. I was really looking forward to General Conference hoping for some words of comfort and support.
That's exactly what I got! I was so moved and impressed with Elder Holland's talk on Saturday afternoon. Please, if you haven't, go listen to the talk. The written talk will be available tomorrow. Here are some of his words: (God speaking right to me!)

"From the beginning down through the dispensations God has used angels as his emissaries in conveying love and concern for his children".

"Angels are still sent to help us".

"When we speak of those who are instruments in the hands of God we're reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with here, now, everyday. Some of them live in our neighborhoods, some of them gave birth to us......."

"God never leaves us alone".

Let me tell you about my angels!

That night of my miscarriage, God sent me angels! There was my mom standing over me, crying with me, hugging me and helping me feel better, offering me merciful attention. As I went downstairs there was my dad. He gave me a big hug and told me he loved me. Then I had a visit from sister Martin ( I work with her in my calling) with a gift of love and a hug.

The next few days as I still cried I would walk into the room where Geoff was and he let me lay in his lap and cry some more. There was my angel husband trying his best to help me.

I can't tell you how many times Geoff and I have gone to my parents house asking for help and counsel on behalf of our kids and another family member who has made such sad choices. They have been angels! I know they pray for us and feel our pain also. They have given us inspired direction and counsel and continue to listen to our worries and offer comfort and support. My dad called Geoff the other day as Geoff was faced with a difficult task. My dad offered Geoff words of counsel and support and helped Geoff feel confident in what needed to be done. I have an angel dad!
Last week my mom took my kids for the week so I could go to the mountains with Geoff. We needed that break together so badly and oh how we appreciated their help! I have angel parents!

I have angel friends who come to kidnap me and take me to sonic and let me talk out some of my feelings. I love the trips to the store and I appreciate so much their patience when I don't want to talk about "it". My sweet friend let me come over at 10pm to cry on her shoulder and let me listen to her troubles so I could forget about mine for a bit. I have angel friends!

Bishop's wife is another of my angels! Sister Kempton teaches in Relief Society. One Sunday she brought a picture of Christ hugging a man. Tyler, my son, walked up to the picture after Relief Society and was quite moved by it. He just stood there and stared for about 5 minutes! The next day sister Kempton brought Tyler the same picture for him to keep. She'll never know how much that touched him!

Just yesterday my mom, again, took my kids so I could go with Geoff to Tucson to make a visit with a friend and do some business things. She took care of my kids all day long. Then when it looked as though I would be home really late she brought my kids to my house, got them in bed and cleaned my kitchen! Again, an angel sent to help me!

That same day, yesterday, my angel sister sent me a bouquet of flowers to brighten my day! Just completely out of the blue! She'll never know how much I appreciate her thoughtfulness and love!

I AM SURROUNDED BY ANGELS! I thank you all for your love, friendship and support! You'll never know how much I appreciate all you do for me!
I can tell you that God hears and answers prayers! He sent me angels. I am inspired to live a little better so I can be somebody's angel!