Saturday, October 27, 2012


Wednesday night stormed and thundered as we slept. Only; at some point during the night, the pattering of rain got softer and softer, quieter and quieter as it turned ever so silently into snow. Not a soul in our sleepy little home knew it had happened until the early and dark hours of the next morning when we yawned, rolled protestingly out of bed and thought, “Wait. The darkness outside looks different. It looks soft and gentle and . . . snowy!” The kids all met the sight with gasps and shouts of happy unbelief, and it was with disappointment that they put on backpacks rather than snow pants to head out into the day.

Luckily it was a short day. A neighbor usually brings the kids home from school, but on that day they all walked together instead – arriving home long after I expected them (with soaked pant legs and cold fingers) due to the delays brought about by snowball throwing. Their cheeks were rosy and flushed and aching from all the smiling they’d been doing.

I still hope to see some warm fall days; but, while there was an excess of grumbling from the local facebookers over snow in October and winter coming too soon, the first snowfall of the season was nothing but celebration around here -- and rather lovely to look at as well -- sneaking in with the fall leaves as it did.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Farm Day

Mike’s parents own a large chunk of rural land about 45 minutes from us. While it is called the “Pea Viner” land by some (yes, there used to be a machine there for separating peas from vines and pods), it is known by all of the grandkids simply as “Grandpa’s Farm”. Mike’s parents don’t actually live and “farm” on it, but it has become the place for most family outdoor adventuring – whether it be shooting bb guns, riding 4-wheelers, or paddling around canoes.

Saturday was looking to possibly be one of the last nice days of the year, so we met up with Mike’s dad, and Mike’s sister Lisa’s family and had ourselves a grand old farm day.

The combination of blue skies, purple mountains, brush and reeds, combined with kids having such great dirty fun makes taking pictures impossible to resist  – I generally come home with 200 or so. Thank goodness for living in the age of digital photos.

Monday, October 22, 2012

We Are All In Love . . .

With the same person.

I only ever loved growing up as one of many children. Truly, I can’t recall one time of feeling cheated or deprived – of feeling like I might have more attention or more . . . anything were my siblings fewer in number. I only ever felt lucky. However, I know of several who have grown up in large families and not felt that way. Several who, of course, love their siblings but didn’t love the experience and have sworn to not have a large family themselves because they simply felt they didn’t get enough . . . I don’t know . . . attention from their parents? Opportunity? Love? I don’t know in what ways my personality might have differed from theirs, or in what ways our families functioned differently, so I can’t absolutely guarantee my kids will feel the same as I felt. I can’t be certain they will think this “big family” idea was a good plan. However, watching little Anders crawl (and now walk) around this house – surround by cheering for his every accomplishment, a chorus of “goodnights” and “good mornings”, a sibling at his beck and call – ready to do his bidding -- nearly every moment of every day; makes me think that, how ever my kids might later view their growing up years, there are certainly worse things that could happen to a person than being stuck in a family with a troop of siblings who adore you.IMG_0556_edited-1IMG_0637_edited-1

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Late-Night Post That Wasn’t

I am sitting here, in the little open area at the top of our stairs, surrounded by bits of wire and nails, insulation debris and removed doorknobs, light bulbs and levels.

Above me, in the small crawl space of an attic into which I have never dared venture, are sounds that, were their source unknown, would be terrifying. Particularly if you’ve ever read Ray Bradbury’s “Trapdoor”. Giant rodents? Murderers crawling through the rafters seeking entry into my home? But no, it is Mike. I can’t tell you what he is doing up there exactly (because I don’t know), but every now and then more gray fluff floats out of the trap door above me; a light switch, that once dangled from a hole in our ceiling, now sits proudly flush with a wall; and a can light that once wasn’t . . . now is.

I don’t know for certain why I am up here – amidst all this detritus – when the couch downstairs would be so much cozier. Perhaps it is because I suspect that, at any moment, Mike will need this laptop to google some electrical question and I ought to keep it close by and at the ready. Or, perhaps, it is because I am feeling a bit guilty relaxing so happily as he slaves away amidst stifling insulation, and my being up here, closer to him, seems like . . . some small offering of support: I will be able to rush to get a light bulb to him should he need it. I will be able to compliment when it seems a compliment is in order. And since that is pretty much the depth and breadth of my abilities in a project like this, I am here, ready to hand out light bulbs and bestow compliments, with all the energy and conviction my little heart can muster.

However, my intent was not to write about house projects. In truth, I had no real intent at all; just typing away a little mindless drivel, admiring how my once slow-and-hesitant typing fingers (for which my high-school friends often teased me) now comfortably glide over the keyboard, and thinking of my dad and his type-writer days and feeling, proudly, just a little bit like him (though I can’t yet type with my head back and eyes closed -- looking, for all the world, like I am sound asleep with little sentient fingers).

. . . . . . . Later . . . . . . .

And while the above was turning out to be a lovely little night-time posting, and might, for all any of us know, have turned into something truly wonderous, Mike finished all he was going to finish for the night and the two of us made our way downstairs to find something suitable to watch on Netflix. Now it is 1:00 am and I don’t stay up that late. Midnight late? Yes. 1:00 am late? Noooo. So, goodnight to you all.

Friday, October 12, 2012

“Good Things Keep on Coming”

I think we must be careful, with others of course, but also with our own selves, that we don’t let one trait or word that occasionally describes us, completely define us. I’ve described myself in times past as a bit of a worrier.

In fact, as I started writing this post, the first sentence was something like, “I tend to be a worrier”. But I paused before continuing, then backspaced and started afresh. It felt a little unfair to myself -- to my growth, to the faith I have exercised, to how far I have come, to the help I constantly receive from our Heavenly Father; to simply continue with my own idea of myself placed squarely in the “worrier” category.

It is true that, from a very young age, my thought processes have tended to lean in the direction of worry. I’ve struggled often with the “what ifs”. I’ve mentioned the time, as a child, when I stubbed my toe; how terrified and overwhelmed I felt by the idea that I would have more injuries ahead – countless more moments of pain. I’ve probably also told of my dad’s concerns about how I would function in life when I could hardly enter school for fear that the other kids might have a pencil sharp and at the ready while mine might have a broken tip. Or how I couldn’t really contemplate the joy when taught of the wonder of the resurrection because I was busily worrying about all these resurrected folks wandering about – making it difficult for me to find my parents.

But I haven’t mentioned that I’ve come a long long way since then. While I do get anxious, while I suppose that bouts of major anxiety could loom in my future, while initial thoughts of mine might tend to be of the nervous nature, that is not where I stop and stay. It is not who I am. I have learned a great deal about hope and faith and trust. I’ve been able to, if not fully overcome, then, at least, grow and learn as I’ve dealt with my concerns; as I’ve managed, time and again, to place my little doubts and burdens at the Lord’s feet and climb upward past them rather than sit -- crippled by them.

The other day I was feeling some stress over several upcoming things. It is, I’ll admit, rather ridiculous, how quickly stress over a few details of a children’s Primary Program can somehow, in my hands, turn into: My feet will never heal well enough to run again! I will probably have lots of other church callings that will stress me out in my life! What if something happens to my Mike? What if Jesse’s asthma always stays this bad?

And yes, I can begin to feel, for a minute, like this whole “we are sent to this earth to be tested” business means nothing but long lonely roads of trouble and difficulty ahead.

BUT, then I reground myself – a little whispering from the Spirit reminds me that my self, my life, are more; are bigger than just a jumble of little problems and possible major catastrophes. Yesterday, it was a small article at the back of The Ensign that did it. It was just a page written by a fairly young girl who had been reminded, as she sadly watched happy times come to an end, that “Good Things Keep on Coming”.

Silly me. I already know that. I forgot though. . . . Again. For a little second. But that reminded me.

There is not just the stubbed toes -- that might keep happening for the rest of our lives -- that we have ahead of us. Why, who would even bother to think about how many of those there might be, when, instead, they could think about all the Christmas mornings with little kids ahead, and all the moments of their spouse saying things that make them burst out laughing ahead! There are more trips to Bear Lake, and Thanksgiving dinners, and sitting around in happy conversation with our siblings ahead. There are more moments of everyone erupting in cheers around here when Anders accomplishes some small new feat, more late summers of seeing my Zinnias in full bloom.

There are surely more days ahead where the weather will smell like happiness and I can be out running in it, more days of Christmas music on while it snows outside, more days of kids coming home from school to tell me something grand they accomplished. There will be more taking pictures in perfect lighting, and writing blog posts that make me and maybe even a reader or two happy. There are still people I haven’t even met who will become my close friends. Still times of kissing Mike when no one else is around. There are songs that haven’t been written yet that I will love to replay and replay. Why, there might even be a day when I have paid someone to come and wash all my windows perfectly for me so they will gleam and shine with out my having lifted a finger! Imagine!

And there are big things ahead! Tremendous things that I don’t yet even know anything about! There are huge things my kids will learn and become and do. There are happy marriages and homes they might make. There are unknown adventures and vacations and experiences and surprises in store. Goodness! I could go on and on thinking of all the things that will yet come – times of sleeping while it rains outsides, unexpected notes and compliments that will make my day, game nights with my older nieces and nephews, etc. Yes, there is plenty of struggling still to be done. I know it. My weaker self is always trying to bring that to the forefront of my thoughts. But truly: good things will keep coming. So so many good things will keep coming and keep happening!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Anders at One

Holding my new little car.                                           Oop. Dropped my new little car.

I love my little newborns. They are magic and fragile and their entire existence seems wholly impossible. I can’t even think of holding one of my tiny new ones with out feeling ridiculously strong emotions.

However . . . I am so happy and so content being here. A year later. With this little nothing-like-a-newborn fella.

I know, I know. We never want to wish any stage away. Waiting for tomorrow . . . there is probably some perfectly coined little statement about that . . . something about always waiting for tomorrow leaving us with nothing but a bunch of empty yesterdays. Or something.

But, I do think, even if we aren’t waiting for something exactly – even if we are enjoying the days as they come – we can still look back and be pretty happy over what time – all those cumulative tomorrows that have become our yesterdays – has gone and given us. I love that a year of living has produced a little independent soul who sleeps through the night, and feeds himself (albeit rather messily), and says a few tiny animal sounds and words, and tries to walk with wobbily little side steps that end in a fall, and zooms cars about the house.

It is impossible to celebrate that first birthday with out thinking back to that very day a year earlier – everything so new and unknown and life changing. And while there is inevitably some sadness over how quickly it has past, it is also a very happy thing to see how that moment of life-changing has worked its little change and settled itself so happily into your normal.

And now a few pics of the birthday boy:

“I see those cupcakes and if someone doesn’t give me one this instant I am going to have a breakdown!!”

“Wo. You’re not just giving me one . . . you’re giving me one with a fire on top of it!”

I can’t tell you how much I love love this round head and this fuzzy strawberry hair!

It is kind of fun celebrating with so many siblings to ooh and ahh over the little birthday boy.
If you look closely in the above picture you can see Goldie’s hand waving goodnight to Anders.

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