Today was the day.  Spanky left for BYU—
off to college.  It is such a bitter sweet day, like when Slim left for Brazil.  There really isn’t any other place I would want them to be!  They are doing what they are supposed to be doing and going where they are supposed to be going.  They are becoming who they are supposed to become.

And yet, I know they will not be the same when they come home.  I will miss them.  All the things they do around the house, all of the things they do with and for me, those things will remind me that they are not here….  
not here for me to talk to every day, not here to hold and love and tease, not here to discuss and learn and grow with.  No one told me in the fine print of parenting that I would give my heart to these people and that even when they were doing everything they should be doing, all of those things that make parents proud, that my heart would be ripped out and writhing on the floor because they leave.  Such a paradox–totally happy and totally sad, all at the same time.

Spanky wasn’t the only one to leave today.  Scuff and Sport left for trek.  They will only be gone for a few days, instead of months or years.  But how quiet the house is with only half of our children here.  It is an omen of things to come.  Quiet, quiet, quiet…….  Those older sisters would tell me the day would come when the house would be quiet and I would long for these days again–all the hustle and bustle of family.  I knew they were right and at the same time, I really didn’t believe it would ever happen.  Yet, every once in a while, here it is.  It will be right in my face as school begins and everyone is away for a few hours every day.

I love being a mother….love my job… my people.  I just hope I can give the younger ones the time and attention the older ones have had, especially since I miss them so much!

We will miss you Spanky!
We are proud of you!!  
Love Mom and Dad!


Riddle #1:

YES!!  GLITTER TOES!!!  My favorite!  I’m hooked!  I love them more than I ever knew I would!!  Now that Linzy has moved away, I need a new glitter toe lady 🙂  I told Drew we would have to put money in the budget for them and he just gave me THAT look.

Riddle #2:

First a little explanation, the first photo on the last post under riddle #2 was a close up of the bathroom wallpaper in the master bathroom.  As you can see from the photo, it is orange and brown.  The cabinets were painted a deep orange rust color.  In the bathroom, it was so dark everything looked brown.  But when you got it into the light, it was obviously orange!  Nasty–and it was full of mold.  There is brown and pink tile in the bathroom that was going to be outrageous to replace.  Anyway, Spanky, Sport and I with some assistance from the little ones, changed it to look like this:

Yes, those are lighthouses on the shower curtains and dolphins on the toilet seat.  I didn’t take a picture, but there are also ‘nemo’ fish in the tub to keep you from slipping.

On this wall, Sport is going to paint a lighthouse mural.  He is a very talented artist and I thought this would be a great opportunity to help him explore on a larger surface.  He already has a rough pencil sketch with the lighthouse at the right, on a rocky shore with a turbulent ocean and skyline.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out.  (The master bedroom is the big boys’ room, so this is their bathroom.)   And I found this poster to go over the top of the vanity:

OK, Riddle #3:
Speedy and Sun were invited to a 50’s party, so I helped them figure out how they should dress.  I really wanted a poodle skirt for Sun, but didn’t get it together in time.  (Then come to find out, she didn’t want to wear a dress anyway, so I guess everything worked out for the best!)


What does THIS:                                                                      

 = ????
Riddle #2:
What does this: 
= ?????
And finally, what does this:
= ?????
Answers on Tuesday…….here’s a hint.  None of the above riddles end in: 

Kids N Puppies, Puppies N Kids!!

Almost two weeks ago, we went to the beach with our friends and their dog and puppies!!  There were six puppies and seven kids, three adults at the beginning, two at the end.  It was such a fun day!!  It was a big day for Shorty.  He doesn’t like dogs and is usually very afraid of them.  BUT…..he actually picked up a puppy a couple of times and became very comfortable, even holding one in the car on the drive home.

Our friends have moved away!!  We will and do miss them dearly but we know they will bring sunshine wherever they go!!  We love you Friends!!  Thanks for the GREAT day!

He has an incredible ability to help the children with their doctrinal understanding.  It is never a question of time or energy.  If they have a question, he is there.  And almost always the answer is, ‘Let’s look in the scriptures,’ or ‘Let’s see what the prophets have said about that.’  I just happened to be sitting next to Speedy with the camera when I got this photo.  (Trying more to capture relationships in my photography.  What a fun challenge 🙂


Don’t you just feel like this some times?  Here Shorty and Smiley are waiting for Spanky’s and Scuff’s party guests to arrive……

They are taking SOOOOO long!

Sometimes I feel like this when I am waiting for an answer from the Lord, or when I am expecting a life change, any minute, or waiting for a new baby to arrive, even just growing up.  Some things just take time and we have to wait for the process to unfold.

Here are Scuff and Spanky sporting some of their gifts……love the hips Spanky….really?

Spanky has been waiting for that magical number…..18.  He was waiting to finish high school.  Now he is just waiting until he leaves for college….right around the corner.

Scuff has been waiting for a different magical number…..16.  Congratulations guys!

I’m sure the time will fly and pretty soon, the two in the first picture will be the ones posing like the second picture.  In the mean time, I get to watch the process.  No waiting here.  Just trying to enjoy the scenery before it all passes me by…….  Then I’ll get to watch the grand kids…..

I Can’t WAIT!!

A Pirate says, "AAAARRRRRRR!!"

So, the other day, the kids decided they wanted to play pirates!  Speedy dressed them all in ‘pirate’ attire.  They put the PVC marshmellow shooters together for weapons, and taped several toilet paper rolls together for eye glasses.  They made Sun swab the deck!!  And then Scuff decided to have a little fun, dressed himself, and went out hunting pirates.  I heard everything explode when Scuff found them in the garage and I was sure someone had died!!  Turns out, he just scared them all half to death!  Another sweet story for a big brother!

Thoughts from Camp…….

What to say??  Girls’ camp holds a special place in my heart, now and forever.  For me, camp was a safe place where I felt whole.  The things that were wrong in my life weren’t at camp.  The Spirit was there, though at that age, I didn’t recognize what I was feeling.  Camp allowed me to learn and make friends, but more importantly, it developed my testimony.  I LOVED the way I felt at camp!!  It was something I didn’t believe could be duplicated.
Now, as an adult, I recognize that familiar Spirit.  It CAN be duplicated every time I read my scriptures, pray, attend the temple, or just enjoy any meeting where the Spirit is.  But, even as an adult, camp has a special place in my heart.  Mostly because I recognize there are probably several girls, who, like me at that age, are feeling that familiar Spirit but not quite recognizing what it is.  Camp is sacred space where testimonies are growing….some are just being planted, some are being nursed over in tender years, some are being solidified, all are being shared.
I love camp because for me, it is where those first few blossoms of testimony began!  As an adult, I desperately hope we create a fertile atmosphere for testimony development.  Luckily, the stake which I live in, also knows the importance and significance of girls’ camp.  The leaders plan months and months in advance.  Those who serve at camp are prayed about and called and released after camp is over.  Serving in camp is not a gift to be taken lightly and it doesn’t just happen because you want to go.  I feel so very, very blessed to have been able to attend for the last five years.  And, of course, I certified for all four years again as an adult.  That was fun.
Here are two of the adults I served with.  Teri (center) is the stake YW President.  Kris (right) is the YW Camp Director.  At one time, a couple of years ago, Teri was still the stake YW Pres, Kris was her first counselor, and I was her second counselor.  Good times then and now!!  Thanks for letting us serve, still together, just in different capacities… more gifts from camp!


“Defeats the purpose of having the cat outside!”
I have had a nasty case of poison oak.  I went outside to put a baking soda paste on my legs and took a sheet and a pillow from the couch to lay on while it was drying.  I think I went in the house to put my scriptures away. And our furry feline took the opportunity.
Here is another pose we just thought was too precious!!  Sun and Shorty went outside with all of their stuffed animals to play zoo or pet shop or whatever.  They all came in for dinner.  During the meal, one of the kids said, ‘Hey!!  Look at the cat!!’  As long as you are the king of the yard….who needs to be the king of the jungle?
Also, for those of you who are wondering….we have heard from Slim.  He is doing well and arrived safely and is loving every minute!  You can keep up with him by checking out his blog:
We’ll post his emails here and keep you up to date with his where-abouts and activities!!

The last few crazy weeks!!

In March Slim received his endowments at the Medford temple.

I got to take Slim to Oregon and visit my family.  Here is a picture of two of my very favorite people, my Uncle Ed and Auntie Nell.  I have stayed at their house many times.  The first time wasn’t long after I was born.  I got to be their little one because my father was away in Greece.  Their youngest child is nine years older than I am……so I got to be the baby!!  Drew and I got engaged at their house…several years later.  And I go back every once and a while to let them know I still love them and think about them often!

 I got to see my mother!!  Isn’t she cute?

And below is my brother, David and sister, Sara, with two of her five beautiful daughters, Elisia and Elora.

Slim was able to go with us and say goodbye to everyone before he left for Brazil.  It was fun for both of us!

The weekend after we returned…Spanky graduated with his Associate of Science in General Studies.  He also graduated from high school a week later.  Ya’, kinda weird..but it is where we live.  He heads off to college in the fall.  Here is Slim’s dress and attire for the graduation.  Notice the unkempt hair and unshaven face.  I thought it was particularly interesting considering that later that evening he was being set apart as a missionary.  Luckily he did shower and shave before that appointment!!!

Slim was set apart on Saturday evening.  Drew’s parents were able to come.  It was a wonderful experience.  We came home and took our very last family pictures where all of the children would be home.  The next time we will all be together won’t be until Sport returns home from his mission.  By then I’m sure we will have added spouses and maybe grandchildren to the group.  Slim gave his farewell address in the single’s branch.  We all drove up there to hear him.  His testimony has increased immensely.  He is ready to teach others and bear testimony.  What a wonderful parenting payday!!

Then…….it was time to pack.
It was an amazing process.  Slim packed, unpacked, repacked, decided he needed more luggage, repacked again, shoved, rearranged, sat on luggage to close it, removed a few items, and it was all over the family room for two days.

The Seminary class intended to fork our lawn the night before
Slim left.  It was raining, so they forked the flower bed instead!
Here are a few of our favorite signs:
Richard is Slim’s best friend!!
And Sister Craig is the seminary teacher.
What would the youth do without such fabulous seminary teachers??

Slim boarded the plane @ 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.  We haven’t heard from him, but my understanding is that that is normal.  We look forward to hearing from our missionary and figuring out when P (Preparation) day is so we can look for our letters.  He has become a permanent part of our family prayers, night and morning, and for all of our meals.   We love you!!  We are proud of you!!!  We are praying for you!!!