Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Round Rock Rag

Here's a slideshow of some highlights of our trip in March to Becky and Daniel's house. (Fifty points if you can figure out which three are from Douglas opening his mission call!)

I'm off to Women's Conference this week, and will be pretty quiet in the blogosphere for a while. Type to you when I get back! :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Darling Cutie

What is his name? Gras, Flocken, Darling, etc.

How long have we been married? Eleven years last Saturday!

How long did we date? Way too long. Of course, I was 17 when we met. We had to wait at least until parental consent was no longer required! ha. Just kidding. Actually we dated a year and a half before our wedding, and eleven years since.

How old is he? 34, and boy, do I rub it in!

Who said I love you first? Can't remember. Romantic, I know.

Who is taller? He is, by exactly 3 inches.

Who sings better? Well, you know, I hate to brag.

Who is smarter? DC is way smarter. He was actually an EE major before switching to violin performance. He has a doctorate. Need I say more?

Whose temper is worse? Definitely mine. :(

Who pays the bills? Moi.

Who does the laundry? Me again. Although my darling often helps put away the clothes, especially when I'm huge and pregnant and tired.

Who cooks dinner? Me. And since food is kind of a hobby for me, I really actually enjoy it.

Who drives when we are together? Usually DC. Especially on long trips. Which suits me perfectly.

Who is more stubborn? I think a lot of people would be surprised to find how stubborn my darling can be. But it's not very often. He almost always lets me have my way. :)

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Usually me, and because it's usually me that's wrong!

Whose parents do you see more? Mine.

Who has more friends? I seem to lean on my friends more than he leans on his, but we definitely are each other's Best Friend. :)

Who wears the pants in the family? My manly husband.

Who eats more sweets? It's a tie. We are a bad influence on each other, and both tend to cave in whenever the other is partaking of sugar.

Who mows the lawn? Darling Gras.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? He does.

Who asked who out first? Darling Gras asked me out first.

Who kissed whom first? Well, my goodness, that's kind of a personal question. :)

What is my favorite thing about him? His amazing Christ-like love for every person. I don't think I've ever heard him speak negatively about anyone. He has a celestial heart.

I tag Suzanne, Malauna, and Mom. . . .

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My soul's clock is ticking

I have a dear friend back in Tallahassee who is a very talented writer, even having recently published a children's book. We used to go to a writers' group together, and I will always be grateful to her for encouraging me in my creative verbal efforts! :) She sent me this poem a couple of months ago, and it fit so well how I feel. I have really good weeks where I feel almost normal, and then I have down weeks where I just want to stay in bed and cry and eat chocolate. (Not that I do, but that's how I feel). Thank you, Norma, not only for expressing beautifully what living with grief feels like, but especially for letting me "lean on you" through our emails!


Don’t expect too much of me

Of something I can’t give,

I’m still searching who I am

and how I want to live.

My mind and heart are wounded now

the scars are wide and deep,

but my soul’s clock is ticking

with time-washed healing sleep.

So if you care to wait around

on the periphery,

One day I’ll reach out again

in new maturity.

--Norma J. Sundberg--

copyrighted, permission given to post on this blog

(original title: A Death Called Divorce)

A Visit from SuzieQ - Fun at Home

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I interrupt this blogcast to bring you. . . .





A Visit from SuzieQ - FOOD

If only we had photographed each and every savory meal we created and partook of during the visit!. . . .But then you would all have puddles of drool on your keyboards. :)

A few highlights, however:

Glazed Kielbasa (above), with red potatoes on the side

Taco Soup

Crockpot Salsa Chicken Burritos Oh, yum. These are absolutely heavenly, and SO EASY!!

Spaghetti Casserole

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert (below)

Grasshopper Pie


Hamburger Cookies

DSCF1179An Evy-sized hamburger! :)

Oh, honey. We had some great food!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Visit from SuzieQ - Outings








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Monday, April 14, 2008

A Visit from SuzieQ

Time to do some catch up on my blogging!

My beloved friend SuzieQ and her two sweet little ones came to visit us for a week in March. She and I have been friends since Tallahassee days, where we lived in the same apartment complex. She is one of my favorite people on the planet because. . . .

She is a true friend. I know she really cares about me and thinks about me, even if we don't get a chance to talk for a while. Then when we do, we pick up where we left off as if we had just spoken the day before.

She is amazingly talented. Her voice is like liquid gold, and she sings with the Spirit. I have often wept while accompanying her because of the power she sings with.

She cooks like a pro, and is a self-confirmed foodie. We love talking about food, reading food magazines, trying new recipes, and of course, eating. (We really tried to be good during this visit, but it was SO HARD. Waah.)

She is generous. She's always giving wonderful gifts to family and friends. Even back in our student poverty days she was always sharing treats and giving little surprises that would just make my day.


She is 100% dedicated to the gospel and her family. I hope I don't embarrass her by sharing this story. When she was studying music at FSU (not a vocal performance major) she auditioned and won the leading role in one of their opera productions. She had beat out performance majors and graduate students and boy, were they upset! I was so proud of her. But then she read through the libretto and score and realized that she would be expected to portray a character who was adulterous. She promptly turned down the role. What a splash she made in the School of Music! First, no one could believe a non-performance major had won the part. Then, all were completely flummoxed by her turning down the part! It was awesome. To say I was proud of her then is an understatement. She had become my hero. :)

There are many other neat things about her, but I want to start posting pictures of her visit, which was very fun.


( P.S. Beloved friends and family, watch out! You may just get the spotlight on you sometime on this blog! :)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wisdom from Dickens

"If anything could soothe the first sharp pain of a heavy loss, it would be--with me--the reflection, that those I mourned, by being innocently happy here, and loving all about them, had prepared themselves for a purer and happier world. . . . "

"The recollection of past pleasure may become pain. . . .To remember happiness which cannot be restored is pain, but of a softened kind. . . .The good in this state of existence preponderates over the bad, let mis-called philosophers tell us what they will. If our affections be tried, our affections are our consolation and comfort; and memory, however sad, is the best and purest link between this world and a better." (Nicholas Nickleby, p. 65)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pictures of Flooding Damage

Here are pictures from our inclement weather. No spectacular twister pictures! I did think of taking some of the raging river at 1:30am, but it was too dark for them to turn out well. You'll just have to imagine it. :) Below are pictures taken the day or so after.

This is our neighbor's house across the street. See the water line on their fence? Yikes! (They are now replacing all the flooring in their house, which had about 3 inches of water in it at the peak of the flooding.)

This is what the flooding did to our back fence. BTW, Exacto was all set to leave for school, then we found out school was closed. His face reflects his feelings on this occasion. My face wore a slightly different expression that morning!

Below - the water line in our back yard. The damage to our front yard fence.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Tornado TOO CLOSE to home!

Maybe you heard on the news that a tornado (tornadoes?) touched down here in central AR last night. And major flooding. We are grateful to be okay! It got pretty scary last night. I was at home alone with the boys, and the first time the sirens went off was right after they had finally gone to sleep (which takes longer in thunderstorms, of course! arg). We had never had any tornadoes come close, so I ignored it. Then I turned on the news and saw what was really going on. When the sirens went off again, I woke them up and we went into our closet under the stairs. Poor Fluffy was so scared he was shaking. The other two were just cranky. When the siren stopped, Exacto said, "NOW can we go back to bed?"

By then it was on the news that a mobile home park was burning (about 1 mile and a half away) and 20-25 houses on a road about a mile from us had been seriously damaged. The sirens went off again and I woke them up again to go back to the closet! The Target near our house was damaged, as well as a car dealership. We luckily were untouched by the tornado, which turned out to be an F2. But the rain continued pouring, and now there was risk of flooding. I was panicked about DC on the road. (His quartet had played a concert in a town 3 hours away, and now were driving home in all this.) I kept calling to make sure they were okay. They had to pull over a couple of times, but finally made it to Little Rock by about 1:30am.

Meanwhile I had heard rushing water to the east of our house. I opened our front door and was horrified to see a raging river that ran from our neighbor's yard (and house!) across the cul-de-sac then down our side yard. It took out about half of our fence, and our poor neighbors are having to replace all their flooring, and maybe some of their cabinets. The Interstate just west of us was closed due to flooding, and also the main highway near our house, so there was no way for DC to get home from LR. He ended up sleeping in the car in his tux! Crazy. Anyway, I'm just glad he got safely home this morning!

The boys' school was closed today, and everyone was pretty tired. We're looking forward to a peaceful Conference weekend, and hopefully our ward elders quorum will be helping with cleanup, too.

I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow. . . .

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Five months since Benjamin joined our family

When Benjamin was born--and had already died, we received so many beautiful words and expressions of love from friends and family. Each one was like receiving a warm hug and a shoulder to cry on. Each one was a testimony that he was Real, that he had become part of our eternal family. I know I realized at the time that I now had a new son to call my own, but was so overpowered by the sadness of his already having passed on through the veil, it was hard to rejoice.

Last November

Today I look out the window and can see the beautiful blooms of the tulips our sweet friends planted when Benjamin was born. They give a feeling of celebration. Normally we say, "Welcome to the world" when a baby is born. We can't say that to Benjamin. . . .but we
can say to him, "Welcome to our family!"


The fresh exuberance of the blooms also give me a powerful reminder of the reality of resurrection. They make me think of growth and new life.

Joseph F. Smith said: "When [a] mother is deprived of the pleasure and joy of rearing her babe to manhood or to womanhood in this life, through the hand of death, that privilege will be renewed to her hereafter, and she will enjoy it to a fuller fruition than it would be possible for her to do here. When she does it there, it will be with the certain knowledge that the results will be without failure; whereas here, the results are unknown until after we have passed the test." Someday we will have all the joy of watching little Benjamin grow up! I can't wait!!