Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Adding Insult to Injury

I got a speeding ticket the other day. But let’s not all start casting stones. Who among you hasn’t, on occasion, found yourself to be driving 40 in a 30 mph zone? Hmm?

Anywho, as if the ticket itself wasn’t bad enough, he filled out the information on my vehicle as follows:

Make: Ford
Style: Bus

Did you see that? I thought I’d been driving a van around all this time. Sure it was a big van, and I was a little sheepish about that, still, it was just, you know, . . . a van. Anyone could see that, right?

Apparently not. Apparently some people think I am clearly driving a . . . BUS.

What Being Clever Gets You

Mike isn’t around much. So, mostly, our lawn just grows really really long in the summer. Sometimes Mike decides enough is enough and, despite the onset of late evening, heads out to get the rather long job done. Other times, I decide enough is enough and, with Anders napping, Jesse following on my heels with a small riding toy, Penny and the older kids wandering in and out calling about this kid pushing or that cup spilling (necessitating the constant stopping and restarting of the lawn mower), I, in pausing chunks based on what is happening with my six small kids, get the job done.

Today, however, after mowing all of the front sections, I have set Abe the task of mowing the entire back.

It won’t be easy. There is plenty of sheer area to mow, plus there are awkward obstacles – trampolines and swing sets, garden boxes and curbed flower beds. But I think he might be up to the task. I didn’t give him much direction. I was going to try to explain how to get around all the obstacles all while keeping some type of pattern to the mowing, but it seemed too exhausting, and I decided to just leave him be and let him slowly figure out his own method – even if it might mean a few patchy spots here and there.

I’m not sure what made me decide my 11 year old was ready to take on lawn mowing. It might have been necessity. It might have been that Mike has been saying I ought to. It might have been that he seems a responsible kid. Or, . . .  it might have been that he left me this note by my bedroom door this morning:

Surely any kid who is old enough to leave their mother a note this clever is old enough to mow the lawn.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Name Calling and Eyes

Jesse just came next to me here on the computer and, plopping on the chair next to me, proclaimed, “I just wanna be by my cute mamma!” Then, leaning over and wrapping himself around my arm he added, “And I’m not ginna call you stinky or bad.” In a burst or complete and heartfelt altruism he added, “And I’m not ginna call you poopy!”
Which is weird because it isn’t as if he ever really calls me those things . . .

And, look at Penny all wild haired and ragamuffiny (which is sometimes the very cutest way for a kid to be).

My favorite way to take pictures is shooting directly into morning or evening sunlight. “Correct” or not, I love the glow and don’t mind one bit some blown highlights. My very least favorite time to shoot is mid afternoon. Blech. However, would you look at these shots? Mid afternoon and quite lovely. Let me tell you what is so lovely. Her eyes. While I adjusted a few things on the overall picture after taking it,  I did absolutely no specific editing to her eyes. Nothing, and look at them! That bright afternoon sunlight was good for something after all.

Now I am sadly wondering how to have the best of both worlds. That dreamy glow from shooting with the sun behind my kids as well as non-photoshopped pretty eyes reflecting sunshine. Hmm. I know. I know what you are all thinking . . . I’ll just need to practice. I’ll just need to take MORE pictures of my kids. Yes, I am certain all of you were thinking that more pictures of my kids is exactly what I am lacking!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Significant Dates

I can’t remember what it was I had read awhile back, but it must have had something to do with significant dates and celebrating them. Only, it must have been the kind of significant dates that most people don’t actually usually remember because I recall saying something to Mike about it like, “How on earth do people know those dates?” However, that got me to thinking, and I wondered if I could actually figure out a few dates that might be worth remembering.

I wasn’t an amazing journal keeper in college. Meaning that I recorded very little by way of detail, etc. (I know that sounds odd when I am someone who clearly likes to toss words down on paper by armfuls and truckloads); but, details were indeed often lacking. Still I was pretty good at jotting down small paragraphs a few nights each week. By looking at those I was able to come up with the following list:

Aug. 8, 1998 – First time Mike and I met
Aug. 15, 1998 – First date
May 6, 1999 – First date . . . again
Sept. 12, 1999 – Engaged
Dec. 29, 1999 – Married

Well, OK, I did already know that last one, the others though, including our engagement, I could have only guessed roughly what month it might have been. Knowing those specific dates doesn’t mean anything exactly, but it made me happy getting them down all the same, and it was fun to remember the specifics of each date as I jotted it down.

The one I thought about the most was that top date – Aug. 8, 1998. I was actually on a date with the younger brother of Mike’s good friend. Mike was there as well as it was a group date of sorts. For some reason he arrived a little late. I am sure he was feeling badly to have us all waiting, and he brushed by rather quickly to go change (as the first event of the evening was to involve floating down a river on tubes). But for some reason, something about him as he rushed by struck me as a bit cocky. I had the same slight impression later when, having missed a few of the names when introductions were initially made, I asked Mike what his name was again. He was blowing up a tube at the time and had to pause and bite the air valve while he got his name out past his tightly clenched teeth. For all the world it felt like, “What does it matter to you? I’m not your date.”

If you know Mike or have ever even met him for one second, you will know how ridiculous it is that anyone could ever make such wrong assumptions about him. But it made me smile remembering my faulty first impression as well as recalling, somewhat blushingly, the things he later told me he remembered and the impressions he made about me from that first meeting.

With it being summer time and the anniversary of that first meeting drawing close, I have been smiling a little to think thoughts along the lines of: What if, after first seeing him rush past us all in his hurry to be ready for the waiting group; or, even later, when I’d asked his name; or when we were all back at his friend’s cabin starting a movie; what if, I’d suddenly seen a moment of life 14 years from then. What if I’d seen me hugging him goodbye for work as he left in the morning. What if I’d seen our house and our yard. What if, kind of like the opposite of a life-flashing-right-before-your-eyes near death experience, I’d seen our future life flash before my eyes? Our wedding day and not being able to stop smiling despite the freezing temperatures outside of the temple where we took pictures; our first tiny little apartment, or our second, with the baby crib in a closet with removed doors. What if I’d suddenly seen a flash of us buying our first real house and putting a horse in the pasture? Us driving away from family and friends to live for an unknown amount of time in an unknown state. What if, I’d suddenly seen THIS?:

Or any of these?

Ha! Can you imagine? Would I have headed for the hills as fast as I could have? No. Obviously I would have rushed us to the altar all the quicker to put all of that in motion! And here we are now. Nearly 14 years after that first official meeting day.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Let’s Play Ball

Abe hasn’t played baseball since leaving WA back in 2008, but after the 5th grade tournament at school this year he really wanted to play on a rec team, so we signed the fella up.

They have had a bit of a disappointing season, but it is pretty fun seeing kids be part of a team – calling out advice and encouragement: “You got this!” and “Watch for the steal on third!” and the like. It is a fun thing the whole “we’re a team” mentality.

Most of the games I’ve been alone with all the kids because Mike hasn’t been home,  or I’ve sent Mike alone so I could get kids to bed because the game was so late. That has meant little chance for taking photos, but, the other night Mike stayed and got kids to bed while I went to Abe’s late game alone. Sadly I don’t have a zoom lens, and they seem to frown on moms wandering about the field to get pictures. Still, here are a few moments from the game. I love the shots where Abe looks so happy. They had just gotten three outs fairly quickly during one inning, and there was much cheering and high-fiving for the boy who caught the ball for the last out. It was fun to watch.

Here are a few shots of Abe and his good friend Zach in the dugout.

And a few from out on the field.IMG_5284_edited-1IMG_5313_edited-2IMG_5321_edited-1IMG_5323_edited-1IMG_5324_edited-1IMG_5325_edited-2IMG_5326_edited-2IMG_5340_edited-1

Speaking of Abe. When we were at the cemetery after Mike’s grandma’s funeral a few weeks ago, we got to see the grave of Abe’s great great grandpa – the grandpa whose name he bears. I don’t know how it is that we haven’t been to visit it before.

And, unrelated to Abe, but related to the day of the funeral, here is a picture I liked of Mike with his dad and brother.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Daisy has been begging for a trim. Finally, yesterday, I made it happen. When we got there Goldie really wanted one as well. Fortunately hairstylist “Emilie” was able to fit her in too. They both wanted bangs, but I couldn’t allow it. Not because I don’t think they are lovely, but because I simply couldn’t bare to worry about upkeep. Considering that I take my girls for a trim about once a year (if that), I didn’t think I could manage something that would need regular trimmings . . . and you might think I could just do it myself . . . unless you’d ever seen what I’ve tried to “do myself” in the hair world. No good.

That evening I snapped a few pictures of them in the backyard so they could remember their haircuts. Only afterwards did I realize that these pictures don’t actually showcase their haircuts much at all. They just look really cute! (Poor Goldie didn’t last long. She’d been petting Jumpy  -- her best and most allergy inducing friend – and had to go get Benadryl in her.) So, one of the both of them, and then several of Daisy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Let’s Talk About . . . Him:


Yes, I know. We’ve already done that. A lot. Also, I know that he is eating a gross flip-flop in that picture. Sigh. BUT, I can’t NOT talk about him. I mean, could you? If he were yours? Maybe you think you could, but what if he was your very own and he had a slightly reddish tint to his hair and it always poked up a bit on either side?

And what if he made a little sad face like this?

AND, what if, when his sister played peek-a-boo with him, he laughed and his face looked like this?!

You see now, don’t you? You see that you couldn’t go more than a few moments with out talking about him. You see that you would almost go crazy because he wouldn’t necessarily want to be hugged and squeezed as tightly as possible during every waking moment of his life and that is all you would feel like doing?

I like all these pictures of Anders and I that Abe took the other day, but I MOSTLY love love this first one. I love it because I saw it and it felt like my face and smile could maybe, in this picture, almost convey to others how much I adore this sturdy little person; how happy he makes me.

Maybe this is too personal to share. I don’t know. I sometimes struggle knowing the difference between sharing my testimony through my experiences, and sharing things that are personal and sort of, sacred, I guess, to me. Anyway, this is just small. Maybe more just one of those “tender mercies” the Lord occasionally grants us, but, while I adored adored my precious little newborn Anders with all of my heart, that first month was very rough. I had worse post-partum depression than I’d experienced before, and it made everything feel . . . well, those of you who have experienced it know how it makes things feel.

I was lying on my bed trying to nurse him to sleep one afternoon so that I could get a few things done. I was rubbing his soft perfect downy head and just crying and crying as I thought, “I’m so depressed that I don’t even get to enjoy my tiny baby!” Then, very distinctly these words came into my head: “You will enjoy him.”

You often hear it described as: “The spirit spoke to my mind” – or “my heart” and that is because it is the perfect way to describe it. While I didn’t hear the words out loud, those were the definite exact words. I can even feel the way it came to me and the emphasis on “will”. It felt like, “Oh Nancy, you have no idea how much enjoyment is ahead for you with this little baby. There is so SO much joy to be had with him.”

My goodness. That seems to be more and more the case each day! I am so thankful for little number six being added to our family!

Neither Here nor There

What if I don’t want to try to have a theme or point for a post? What if I want to post some random things with absolutely no rhyme or reason? Pictures mostly. Random pictures. But maybe other things too. Is that allowed?

Ha! Of course it’s allowed! It’s my blog. I sometimes forget!

So. Here we go.

Doesn’t Penny look old here? Well, not old old. Just . . . older. I keep thinking she can’t be 5 and nearly ready for Kindergarten, but this little picture made me think, “Hmm. That could be a little kindergartner coloring at her desk.”

And what about Daisy. Isn’t she cute with little braids?

And isn’t she . . . pioneer-ish too?
(She was, in fact, a little pioneer girl for her part in her 4th grade history performance).

And here Penny is. Reading. Reading and me taking advantage of her stillness to take pictures with varying degrees of exposure, etc. There are like 50 more that look almost exactly the same! How do you like that? Ha.

And, remember yesterday, when I posted those pictures of Mike helping Goldie with the bow and arrow? Afterwards he was telling me how it was startling how very little the kids seemed to “get” how to handle a bow and arrow – they’d grab it below the handle, hold it all wrong, etc. He seemed to think that any normal person should have genetic survival instincts of some sort that would allow them to be a bit more natural about things like bows and arrows. I nodded my full agreement (knowing all the while that I could easily picture myself holding the bow completely backwards as I mumbled something about “how on earth does one work this crazy contraption?”). When disease, or,  advanced apes, or warfare or some such wipes out all of civilization but a few of us, I will be quite happy to have my wagon hitched to Mike’s.

Now, how about Jesse on grandpa’s tractor:

Wait a minute. That last one wasn’t Jesse at all. Just trying to keep you on your toes. May as well throw in a few of Daisy, Goldie and cousin Claire as long as we are still talking about Grandpa’s tractor.

And, I like this picture of my Goldie-locks.

Remember when she was born? How her hair was as dark as a baby produced by Mike and me could ever possibly be? Remember how everyone would look at that dark hair and questioningly say, “Goldie?”

But I knew. I knew there was nothing but pure yellow golden sunshine bursting from every ounce of her.

There. I said this was all neither here nor there, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe it was completely here AND there. Or maybe not. Either way, I’m ready to move along for now. Farewell.

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