Friday, June 23, 2017

Grateful Friday

Location, location, location.

Wednesday, I had lunch with Stephanie who was here bringing Paisley to BYU.  (Emma and Paisley grew up in the same neighborhood and coincidentally, they are going to live in the same dorm, Hinckley Hall, at BYU!)  We talked like no time has passed, the way forever friends do.  Since Paisley is playing basketball at BYU, we may see more of Stephanie and Brent.  I told Stephanie to bring Gavin next time!

Yesterday, Adam and I had lunch with Marianne and Robert, who were here for an appointment.  I love those two.  They are our very oldest "couple friends" from way back when we were all newlyweds in the same ward and people thought Adam and Robert were brothers, even though Marianne and I look so similar (just a tall and short version).

Today, I'm going to watch my nephew Isaiah play in a basketball tournament in Draper.

Sunday, Clarissa, taking a break from being an EFY counselor, is going to come for dinner and to sing with Emma.

There are definite perks living close to where people you love go.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

More than I bargained for

I didn't know what I was getting into with Emma making Snapfish books for me.  She was working on Braeden's for 2015.

She pointed out there were way more pictures of Braeden than her that year.  I said, "He graduated and went on a mission.  It was a big year for him."

She said, "Even after he left on his mission there are a lot of pictures of him."

I said, "I won't take the blame for pictures people texted to me."

She was scrolling through pictures and said, "This one looks like you're about to drop the hottest rap album of 2k15."

She showed me and I said, "Oh, don't use that picture."  (It was unflattering, like pictures of me are.  Maybe it's not the pictures and I'm just unflattering?)

She said, "OK, I will make an album cover out of it."

What else can you expect out of a girl who compiles lists of album and band names?

Incidentally, Snapfish progress is kind of slow....

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A day in the life

This happens every morning with Emma:

Also every morning, after we do yard work (which they would love not doing) I present them with lists for the day. They stoically accept the lists and complete the tasks and it frees up a lot of my time.  Recently one of Emma's tasks has been getting me caught up on Snapfish books.  (I do one a year for each kid and I am a few years behind.)  She is good at that sort of thing.

Mark went to get some soap under the sink in our bathroom and then got a screwdriver and tightened the cabinet door because it needed tightening.  Everybody needs someone like that, someone to go around attending to things.

Emma wondered if Mark wanted to go to the $5 Tuesday movie with her after his follow up doctor appointment and before she had to go to work.  She got on her phone and bought them tickets.

On the way home from the doctor, I decided to try the "back way" that Adam likes to go.  I figured I could remember it.  Sometimes my lack of self awareness is staggering.  I didn't remember Adam's route.  At all.  Luckily, with the mountains, I never get truly lost.  That didn't stop Mark from texting Emma a new album name, "Lost in Lindon."  Emma has a long running list of band names and album names that she's collecting.  Our kids have these implicit rules about what would be a better band name and which belongs on the album name list.  I don't understand the rules but I'm glad I could contribute by getting lost in Lindon.

In the evening, Adam and I went to Costco and bought an enormous amount of food for youth conference.  We were dropping it off at someone's house who is blessed with more refrigerator space than we have.  A crazy wind/thunderstorm happened suddenly and knocked over the trashcans on the street (today is garbage day).  Adam and I helped the neighborhood cleanup and he was chatting with the other leaders about youth conference and then he remembered Mark had an appointment with the bishop (semi annual interview).  Yikes!  He quickly texted the executive secretary that Mark would be there soon and we hurried home to take him to the church.  The executive secretary texted back "He's already done."


Our driveway was littered with twigs and branches and leaves and flower petals from the strong storm.  Mark wasn't home and we realized Emma had taken him to the church on her way to work.  We went and picked him up and he said, "Emma told me NOT to walk home.  She was worried about the weather."

This was in our family room when we got home.

They had gathered up all the cushions from the deck (the neighbors behind us have a lawn littered with all their pillows and cushions and deck furniture--the neighbors next to them have two trampolines that did cartwheels across their lawn).  They'd moved my plants into shelter and had moved the furniture so it wouldn't blow away.  They'd gotten Mark to his appointment.

I like having teenagers.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


I almost always fold the laundry myself because I sort of like doing it.  Also, I'm particular about it.

A while ago, I was having Emma help me fold.  She slapdash folded a towel into a shape that roughly resembled a limp octagon.

"Fold them like this," I told her and I showed her how I fold towels into thirds and then fourths so that no edges are showing and they are a compact little rectangle.

She looked at me with that delightful blend of scorn and disdain that is the prerogative of teenage daughters. (She is really good at it.)

She just folded socks instead.

When she returned from her trip with her friends last week, Emma told me all about all the things and she said she had done a quick load of laundry before coming home.  She said, "It made me feel really accomplished and like an adult to do my own laundry.  I even washed the towel I had used."

"Good girl," I said.

Then, she said, "And I folded it in that way you taught me."

Monday, June 19, 2017


Father's Day gift from our kids.  Years ago Adam started calling our kids Dreamer, Box and Dan.  Emma is Dreamer and the boys are Box and Dan.  No one knows which is which and it makes the boys a little crazy.  Why Box and Dan?!?  Who's Box and who is Dan?!?  Adam just shrugs.  Who knows the inner workings of his mind....

The highlights:

1) new (to America) season of The Great British Baking Show.  We love that show!

2) ice cream and fresh raspberries

3) the temple with Adam

4) lunch with my parents

5) dinner with new friends

6) Tarzan at the Hale Theater (Live theater!  I never get tired of it.)

7) reconvening after our various Saturday activities to hear about how much Emma loved Wonder Woman and the birthday party Mark attended

8) celebrating Adam on Father's Day--I lucked out tremendously in the father, father-in-law and father of our children departments

9) preparing breakfast for Adam with Emma and Mark was sort of a delight with Mark under the influence of his pain pills (Mark is having a harder recovery than his siblings--he has been so swollen and his jaw is bruised.  Three cheers for narcotics!)

10) we played Snake Oil--It Cures what Ails Ya!

Do multi level marketing companies know about this?  Because it seems like they'd want to get in on it.

It was a very fun game and everyone delighted in making me laugh until I cried and couldn't breathe and then they would laugh at me.  It felt traitorous.  But these people are funny.

11) Adam and I started watching Season 3 of Grantchester and then partway through the episode we realized we never watched Season 2.  It's hard to keep up.

12) Today I get to hear from my missionary. 

 Simple joys and happy times.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Grateful Friday

With Emma gone and Mark recuperating, this has been a rare and quiet week.  I have relished the Mark time.  He has not been hatching schemes with his friends or trying to convince me what car Adam and I should buy him when he turns 16 (to which all I can say is Oh Mark, you are a funny funny boy).  He has been playing on the computer and watching Netflix and going with me on excursions to buy milkshakes. (The peanut butter shake at JCW's is superior to The Purple Turtle's peanut butter shake.  Honorable mention goes to the Taco Amigo fresh strawberry shake--in recognition of the highly acclaimed Pleasant Grove Strawberry Days.)  Mark has been creating Lego masterpieces and beating me at Battleship and helping weed the garden a tiny bit.

Also he's been thanking me a hundred times a day for being so good to him.  He's a sweet patient.  I have learned about Mark that he is composed and charitable in adversity.  He has led the way in our family in that regard.  Getting his wisdom teeth out is just another example of his stoic acceptance of his fate.  He's texted funny pictures of his chubby cheeked self to Emma and he has subsisted on a diet of mainly pudding and applesauce and yogurt and milkshakes without complaint (and that is a marvel when you consider how much he loves to eat).

He has listed to me what he wants to eat when he can eat real food again.

Whenever I have one on one time with any of our children, I am grateful for it.  I just really really like these people and spending time with them.

As much as I have enjoyed having Quiet Mark and keeping him close, I will be glad when he is healthy again.  I look forward to him bounding up and down the stairs and adventuring with his friends and doing flips on the trampoline.  I look forward to him making a sandwich ten minutes after the dinner dishes are done.

He is already on the mend.  Last night, between telling us the news on the cars he read about in his Car and Driver magazine (which couldn't have arrived at a better time), he related a plan for a get together with his friends.

It will be good to have noisy hungry Mark back.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The why

It hasn't just been glad-I-didn't-have-to-go-to-Girls'-Camp around here.  I've been working on my new calling, family history.

As a Temple and Family History Consultant, my job is to teach lessons one on one to people in our ward.  I chose Adam as my first victim.

It didn't exactly go well.

He said it was fine and he learned things.

I felt sort of like a failure.

There's a reason I have a "Yale Wife" t-shirt and he is the one with the Yale diploma (that's in Latin, so I can't even read it).

I started showing him the ropes and he started asking hard questions that I didn't know the answers to.  (Part of the reason he's so smart is that he asks a lot of questions.)

I felt discouraged but in addition to being smart, he's also wise and he comforted me by telling me that of course I don't have all the answers. I have enthusiasm and I will learn the rest.

I guess that's true.  I do have enthusiasm.  Time seems to fly when my nose is buried in Family Search.  I write slightly incoherent notes in my notebook and dive deep into records of people I don't know and am minimally related to.

I went to a family history center and got Becky to help me.  She is something of an expert and could have answered all of Adam's questions and then some.  I had felt drawn to the Egbert side of my family and was getting her help.  She looked at it and observed all that had already been done over the years and said, "Let's work on a line of your family that doesn't have quite so it."


I don't have one.

She might as well have asked me to work on a line of my family that wasn't so white.

Her next suggestion was just to help Adam.

I still felt compelled to the Egbert line.

I started with my fifth great grandparents, John and Susannah.  They crossed the plains to the Salt Lake Valley with Brigham Young.  I started looking at their children and their children's children and so on.  I have found "cousins."  I have found the spouses and linked generations for these distant relatives.  I haven't found many and I'm still about 75% clueless about it all but I think if I can find Egbert relatives that are unaccounted for, anyone can find relatives.

When I attach sources to prove relations and prepare for spouses to be sealed in the temple, I wonder if these people that I'm so distantly related to will even care.  Does this matter?  It would be so much more fulfilling and exciting to find family members that I'm directly descended from.

One day I remembered John and Susannah though.  I thought about what they sacrificed for a faith they believed deeply in.  I have to believe it matters to them that their other fifth great grandchildren are connected to them too.

I appreciate what they endured to contribute to who I am and what I know.  I'm doing this for them.


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