Friday, January 30, 2009

Little get-to-know-you-doo-hickey thing

My baby brother Jofus tagged me with this, and I thought it would be fun to include DC--it will be more impressive that way (he's protesting :). So we're on our date, doing this together.


Green = DC (aka Gras) did it

Purple = yours truly did it

Just plain bold = we both done that

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii (waaah!)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped 
12. Visited Paris (see #4)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (in elementary school he faked a sore throat--this is the first time he has revealed the dark secret)
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (with a girl)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community 

36. Learned a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (Does a caricature count?)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Ridden on a ferris wheel
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain (heck, yes)
53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China
(been to Taiwan, though)
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (just one, though! :)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (with my sweet mommy)
73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London (saw it in Ottawa!) 
77. Broken a bone (a couple of ribs)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person (on our honeymoon! :)
80. Published a book (in process of publication)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (M - OT, C - NT)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
(he doesn't want to talk about it)
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
101. Learned to play an instrument (ha! - just seeing if you're paying attention!)

Hey, this was fun! I tag . . . . . Mark and Manda to do it on one of their dates. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day 14 - { my winter baby }

2006 0117 Hyrum's first snow 2

We recently celebrated Hummer's 5th birthday.

Ouch. This one was harder for me than my own 30th! I hate thinking that this special time of having him at home with me every day is coming to an end in just a few months!

Some of my favorite pictures of our sweet little guy. . . .

2004 0111 Clyn combs Hyrum's hair, 2 2004 0111 Hyrum - bonding time with Daddy, 4

On January 9, 2004, in Tallahassee, FL, our beautiful 3rd son arrived.


2004 0115 Hyrum sleeping in bassinette

As with all of my other babies, I fell hopelessly in love at first sight.


2004 0218 Mommy and Hyrum 2

He's always been a bit of a mama's boy, and I've never minded at all! :)


2004 0205 Clyn loves his baby brother Hyrum 2004 0130 Russell and Hyrum

His brothers are crazy about him, too.


That year we moved to Arkansas, and there were big changes. Hummer tagged along while we went house-hunting, and by the time we moved in, he had just started crawling.


A few months later we celebrated his 1st birthday.

20050109-11 Hyrum with his birthday cake 20050109-18 Hyrum and Daddy agree on the merits of ice cream

You just have to love that personality already coming out. This kid is a Character (don't know where he gets it)! :)


2006 0109 Duck from A. Mandy and U. Tapa 2  2006 12 152 DSCF0546


And now he's FIVE.

He particularly wanted a specific Wal-mart cake this year, and his wish was granted by a sweet friend (thank you, Janice!).

DSCF4929 DSCF4932



Just a little note about today. We made that yearly visit to Dr. Weed's for his well check-up, and this time he had to get his booster shots for kindergarten. I was SO PROUD of him. It was hard for him but he made it through without crying (his own goal)!

I can't believe how grown up he is. (Is it normal to be sad when your child doesn't cry about shots? Does anyone out there know what I mean? :)

We came home and I gave him a big bowl of ice cream, and the rest of the afternoon we worked together on setting up the new desk. He would hand me the tools or screws I needed and sometimes I'd let him be the one with the screwdriver. It was just peaceful together time that I tried hard to SAVOR. I will miss him SO MUCH next year.

a few things I love about this boy:

his breathtaking ability to sing on pitch and remember scads of songs (right now his big thing is the Articles of Faith songs--even there at the doctor's office while we waited he belted out the 4th Article of Faith song -- pausing to comment on the word "principles" - "Mommy, I know who the principal at school is!")

his heart-melting smile


his generosity with kisses (if he thinks you're nice, you get a kiss on the hand! No matter who you are - the librarian, Dr. Weed, the cashier at Wal-mart, etc.)

his ticklishness and contagious giggle

his gorgeous chocolate-brown eyes

his brilliant mind (already reads fluently and likes to write, too!)

his quickness to share (spent most of his birthday money on buying 3 GIANT calculators - one for him and one each for Exacto and Fluffy!)

the beautiful and very-natural way he has taken on the big-brother role with Benjamin (he ALWAYS mentions him in his prayers, he includes him in his candy sharing! "Mommy, that one is for Benjamin. Let's save it for him." When he grows out of a shirt, he'll make sure I save it for Benjamin to wear. etc.)

his awe-inspiring faith

100 days of gratitude tag


I am so, so grateful for this beloved son of mine. Thank You, dear Father, for sending him to us!



Thursday, January 8, 2009

why my christmas cards are becoming groundhog's day cards. . .

DSCF4705 DSCF4708DSCF4711

Scraping popcorn off ceilings


DSCF4715 DSCF4712 DSCF4791

Texturing and painting ceilings  (thank you so much for your help, Mike!)


DSCF4732 DSCF4734 DSCF4760  

Priming and painting walls



Next stop. . . .

DSCF4785 DSCF4843 DSCF4845

Our neighbor Thelma was so awesome to let us borrow tools, and to explain to us how to lay the laminate. Exacto and Fluffy are back to school, so Hummer has been our main Helper Man!


The whole project has gone really well, up until now. It's really tricky getting it to fit the corners, and we have made several mistakes. We're starting to feel like we bit off more than we could chew! Wish us luck. . . .

Monday, January 5, 2009

Remember our family portraits?

Remember my post about getting our caricatures done by artist David Bowman?

Well, Becky just pointed me to this contest he's having. I hope I'm not too late, but even if I am, you will enjoy these three pictures by him. They are so beautiful!!

Art Giveaway

Here is all the information you need to know to get your free signed 8x10 print!
You can ALL win a FREE signed 8x10 print of your choice (out of the three prints), by copying and posting to your blog or website this whole post! After you post then send an e-mail to David ( with your website or blog address telling him you posted it and that you read about this offer on my blog. Also send him your name and mailing address and he will send your signed 8x10 print of your choice :) Hurry because...*This offer expires Monday Jan. 5th at noon!!* (I assume MST, since that's where he lives)

David Bowman: has had a passion for art ever since he could pick up a pencil. He loves creating images of the Savior that inspire and uplift. Along with his Christian fine art, David has also written and illustrated a series of scripture storybooks for children titled "Who's Your Hero". Check out his website at to see more of his precious art.


The Savior tells us we need to become as little children to inherit the kingdom of God. I've often wondered what it is about little children Jesus loves most, and I think its their innocence. They are clean slates, seeing the world and others through untarnished eyes. Their hearts are pure, without the baggage of cynicism and self-doubt. In this piece, I've tried to imagine how a child would act upon meeting the Master for the first time. Without reservation or inhibition, I think he would simply want to play with Him. He would be at complete ease, allowing his pure little heart to soak in the love and laughter of His pure, infinite heart. It's no wonder Christ delights in these little ones and sets them up to be our examples.


One of the greatest human needs is a sense of security. In all aspects of life, we naturally gravitate towards anything that makes us feel safe. In this piece, I wanted to convey a sense of complete peace and calm like only the Savior can provide. It's a security that allows us to rest assured, without fear or worry, when we put ourselves trustingly in His arms. Little children have that inherent kind of trust in their parents, so it's fitting that the man and girl who modeled for "Security" are actually father and daughter. They generated the exact feel I was looking for.

"My Child"

This piece conveys an intimate, up-close-and-personal feeling of the Savior's love. Notice how all the lines draw your attention and point towards Jesus' face in the center. I chose the name "My Child" because the only thing that could compare (even remotely) to Christ's compassion for us is the love of a parent for his/her child. This image is also intended to put things in perspective. Above all, we are God's children first. He allows us the privilege of experiencing parenthood for ourselves and we are entrusted to be the mothers and fathers of His children here on earth.   --David Bowman

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day 13 - { christmas }

100 days of gratitude tag

Another Christmas post - I don't want it to be over yet! :)

I am so grateful for the celebration of Christmas and for the joys it brings! I know I am a bit late with this, but I thought I could follow the tradition of celebrating Christmas until Epiphany. :)

I want to share with you my absolutely favorite scene from any Christmas movie is 17 minutes into "Mr Krueger's Christmas." It makes me cry every single time.

Meridian Magazine interviewed Director Kieth Merrill about the making of this movie a while back, and I loved reading what he said about filming that particular scene:

Following the rehearsal of the scene where Mr. Krueger visits the manger and pays homage to the Christ Child Jimmy pulled me aside and said, “I need to do this in one take.”

He had certainly proven his ability to nail a scene in one take, but on our low budget I only had one camera and I needed coverage to make the scene work. Cinema 101. Wide. Medium. Close Up. I tried to explain. Then, in that private moment, he shared his feelings for the Savior in a way that in our Mormon tradition was akin to bearing testimony:

image"For me this scene and these words are very personal and very real and I will  not be able to do it twice."

I am confident in telling you that Mr. Krueger’s emotions as he kneels and talks to the Babe in the manger reflect in reality the feelings of James Stewart toward the Lord, Jesus Christ. The reverence for the Savior of the World so beautifully manifested by Mr. Krueger was a genuine sentiment for this marvelous actor. . . .




Take 4 minutes and watch this--it is so uplifting! (drag the button over to start at 17:00').

Lo, I am with you always.

You promised that,

and when I realized it was true

my soul flared up.

Any unhappiness comes

from forgetting.




Blessed be the birth of our Truest Friend and Savior, Jesus Christ! He is always near us.

He came to earth not only to save us, but to understand us completely. When I can remember that, I feel peace.





Meridian Magazine

Joseph Brickey, "Journey to Bethlehem"

Liz Lemon Swindle, "Be It Unto Me"

Family Christmas Letter


           Click on the photo above to read our Christmas letter for this year.