Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Some of the books I've read

I sort of lost interest in these book report blog posts and that coincided with me not having a lot of good books to read.

Well, I'm back.

I have read several books that I can't remember.  At all.  I've also started and abandoned several books.

Here are some of the more recent ones that I actually finished:

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson**

I read Edenbrooke by the same author and I liked it more than this book.  The main character struck me as sort of pathetic.  I wanted to tell her several times to get some pride and a backbone.  Also, her mother was so villainous that she was more like a Disney stepmother character and less like a real person.  Finally, the end left me with questions as to how the author had made those leaps but that has been kind of a theme with books I've read lately.

Sea Change by Karen White*

I read (and endured) this book on the sole basis that I had completely enjoyed the other books I'd read by Karen White.  This book was mystifying.  Quite often characters in a book don't know what's going on, but the reader does.  This was not one of those books.  Up until the end I didn't know what was happening or why.  In a nutshell: a woman ended up being the reincarnated version of her husband's dead ancestor and the husband's first wife had been the reincarnated version of the dead ancestor's sister.

I know.

A Nearly Perfect Copy by Allison Amend *

The reviews I read of this book leave a more favorable impression of this book than I have.  It was compelling, but it was a disaster.  The whole thing.  It was full of unhappy characters who made bad choices and as I read I wondered how the author was going to possibly get them out of the problems they had created for themselves.  Spoiler alert: she didn't.  The characters with their bad and unethical decisions didn't end up in jail (which I guess was the good news) but they all ended up miserable.

The more I think about it, the less I liked this book.

So now, my new goal for reading is to read more books I actually enjoy.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, June 29, 2015


Weekends are my favorite.  They are always full of adventures of one kind or another.

Friday night Adam and I went on a date to the Water Garden Theater which is what you would call a dollar theater if that were still a thing.  I think the movies are $4 (but Adam paid so I could be wrong).

We watched Far From The Madding Crowd, which I loved.  Give me a good period drama any day.

Adam and I were by far the youngest people in the theater (and we're not all that young).  It felt like the old days when we used to be the juveniles at the Village Theater in Everett.

Here's the thing about the elderly.  They've lost the ability to whisper.

And apparently keep track of plots, characters, etc.

There was a lot of, "Now who is that?" and "Isn't that the beggar girl from before?" and "I can't understand a word. He's. Saying."

I wanted to ask if we could pause the movie and I could quickly get everyone caught up to speed.

We still loved the movie and it turns out Adam loved it all the more because of the crowd who was watching with us.

Also that night, Braeden went camping with his friend, Bridger.  Why anyone would do that on purpose is beyond me.  They drove up into the canyon and made a small fire and cooked some dinner and discovered that soda is superior to water in dousing fires. Braeden made another discovery too.  He took the mummy style sleeping bag he's favored for all his camp outs growing up and it seems the sleeping bag has not grown up with him.  It hit him about mid chest.

About 2:00 in the morning a truck rumbled by pulling a trailer with a couple dozen porta-potties on back.  (There was a 5K race on Saturday and presumably they were being transported for that purpose.) Awhile later, there was a ruckus with horns honking and the boys wondered if someone needed help but then all was quiet and they went back to sleep.

The next morning they loaded up and started to drive back down the canyon.  The road was impossibly blocked by the truck and trailer and porta-potties.  The driver had not maneuvered a corner well.  At all.

It was all part of the adventure for the intrepid campers though.  Besides being hungry (their breakfast plan had been to hit McDonald's), they happily picked their way through the mountain roads and came out on the other side of the mountain.

That afternoon, Braeden went with Ammon's family to buy a couch and loveseat.  Braeden's role was in the helping to lift and load.  If I've done anything it's taught my children how to move furniture.  The woman they bought the furniture from thought Braeden and Ammon were brothers which I think made Braeden's day.  I thought, is that even possible?  Then I realized Ammon is only 13 years older than Braeden.

He's just a little guy.

So young.

While Braeden was gone, we ran a few errands.  We were in pursuit of things like a new printer, a Southwest salad kit, Happy Hour at Sonic. Emma drove so it was even more exciting than you might think (pulling the van into the little spots at Sonic--not for the faint of heart).

We were walking into one store and Emma said to Mark, "I love you Mark and I like hugging you, but just not all the time." (Mark loves to hug and be hugged.  Emma...doesn't.)

Mark waited a beat then held his arms out to her and said, "OK.  Let's hug it out."

His wit is quickening at the same alarming rate as his legs are lengthening.

That evening Braeden was too tired from his previous nighttime adventure but the rest of us hit the Water Garden Theater again.  This time we saw Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 and the theater was full of families, not senior citizens.  It was still sort of a wild time.  There was a lot of audience participation, which reminded me of going to the midnight movie at the Varsity Theater when I was a student at BYU.

That movie though.  Cracked me up the second time every bit as much as the first time.

Adam and I read on the deck when we got home.  (Emma drew pictures/Mark jumped on the trampoline.) Summer evenings on the deck are one of the best things that have ever happened to me.  I finished the book I was reading.  All along it seemed like a train wreck and like it wasn't going to end well.

Then it didn't end well.

(I'll get back to the blog posts Adam and Braeden don't like--talking about books I've read.  Maybe tomorrow?)

It was hot hot hot on Sunday and I'm equally grateful for our central air conditioning and terrified to get the bill.  Ammon and Melanee and family came over for dinner and to hang out where it's cool.  (I mean the temperature was cool.  I am not under any misconception that we're the cool place to hang out.)

We visited and played cards (I lost) and ate ice cream cones.  Mark and Braeden played Star Wars a little with Cormac and they gifted him with one of their light sabers.  After they left, the boys kept talking about how great it was to play with Cormac.

Living near family makes me happy.  Movies and ice cream and summer and card games and not camping all make me happy.  It's a pretty good life.

Friday, June 26, 2015


It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We had a mini reunion.  Erin and Rachel (and Rachel's family.  Unfortunately, Erin's family wasn't there and I would have liked to have seen Brian again and meet her children.)  They are some of my oldest friends.  They're in that small group that I would call lifelong friends.  I hadn't seen Rachel for several years and I hadn't seen Erin for about 15 years and it didn't matter one little bit.  We could have talked all night.

We met when we were Braeden's age!  That's hard for me to wrap my mind around.

We looked at pictures from our freshman year at BYU.  Some of us would remember something that the others may or may not remember.  None of us remembered the name of the Multi Media Man who was admired from afar when he brought the video projector into our History of Civilization class we all took together and then Rachel ended up dating him.  And we couldn't think of his name.

not sure what I'm doing here...readying my necklace for a picture?

We laughed a lot.  We caught up on each others' families.  It was just wonderful.

I don't know if it's because we were such close friends at a pivotal time in our lives, when we were far from home or if it's because we have lived sort of parallel lives, but I am connected to them. The things that matter most to each of us matter most to all of us.

We have Big Things in common.  We want the same things.  I think if we all lived next door to each other, our children would be great friends, our husbands would chat around the BBQ (like Adam and Rachel's husband Nate did last night) and Erin and Rachel and I would never run out of things to talk about.

When everyone left, Adam said to our kids, "See?  That's why your mom wants you to go to BYU so much."

And it is completely true.  The friends I made at BYU are a gift in my life.  (And then there's the husband I met at BYU...he's pretty key to my happiness too.) 

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I think I was in seventh grade when I created an elaborate collage on my bedroom wall.  I used pictures from magazines and thumbtacks.   It was a masterpiece.

And I got in trouble.

(My dad didn't think sticking tacks all over the wooden walls was a good idea.) 

Having a garage has helped fill the chasm created by my dad trying to clip my creative wings. ;)

The other day I pulled out my stapler and went to town.

There's no rhyme or reason to any of it.  Some of it was hanging in our old garage, some of it is newer.  It's all meaningful to one or more of us.

When Braeden saw it, he said, "That makes me really happy."

Adam said, "That feels like home."

Those are two of the best compliments they could give me because making them happy and creating a home?  My life's work.

It's kind of a bonus for me when all it takes is a stapler and artifacts from our lives.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Removing BBQ sauce in the laundry room

If I could go back in time, I would tell the previous owners of our house to set down the paintbrush and back slowly away.

Some people shouldn't be allowed to pick colors.


It took me awhile to name the color that formerly graced our laundry room.  I finally decided:  Barbecue Sauce.

Someone saw this:

And decided the laundry room would look great in that shade.  (Unfortunately other parts of the basement were painted using the same bottle of sauce.)

Here's the laundry room, before:

I have some hand painted Italian tiles that my friend Apryl gave me when we lived in Connecticut.

I'm unaccountably attached to them so I was going to paint the room yellow to accommodate them.  Then I toyed with the idea of blue.

Then I remembered I had leftover paint from Adam's office.  I liked that color and it had the advantage of already being in my garage.  Here's the after picture:

I hung up the word laundry in case any of my children get lost and wonder about the purpose of the room.  I hung it up in a haphazard fashion because that is the only way I know how to live my life.

The colors only marginally work; it's sort of an unexpected combination but I'm OK with that.  In fact, I like it.

From now on, we'll keep the BBQ sauce on the pulled pork, where it belongs.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


1) Emma wanted to get a job.

2) I didn't want her to get a job before she had her license or access to a car.  Also, she had lots of online classes to take to make up for changing schools and all the electives she insists on.

3) She wanted to get a job anyway.

4) She and Braeden decided she could work where he does.

5) So she got the job.

6) She hated it.

7) Seriously. Hated. It.

8) That part of Braeden that loves to talk to people and adores the challenge of winning them over?  Emma doesn't have that part.

9) Emma wanted to quit.

10) She was done.

11) Adam and I thought she should stick it out.

12) After a few weeks her sticking it out seemed a little ridiculous because it was never my idea in the first place that she get a job.  She was completely miserable.  Besides, she needed to work on her online courses.

13) Perhaps the clincher was when my grandma confided she wouldn't like that job either.  (It was the same day my grandma told me over lunch that her milkshake was healthier than my Diet Coke.  She was probably right.)

14) We told Emma she could quit but she needed to give 2 weeks notice.

15) Her boss told her she didn't need to give notice.  She could be finished.  That made her REALLY happy.

16) Emma asked me if I could teach her some skills she would need to be a mother someday.  (I think she was trying to get on my good side.)

17) It worked.  I felt flattered and excited by the idea.

18) The MTA was born.  Mother Training Academy.

19) So far she has made dinner a few times, ironed a shirt of Braeden's (she thought it was an incredibly arduous task), she helped me prep the laundry room for painting and I showed her how to use the washing machine.

20) It occurs to me that I should have taught her all of this stuff already but there's no time like the present.

21) Also, I am enjoying spending time with my girl.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Whether he likes it or not

The other night, Adam told me that he thinks Father's Day is a silly tradition.  "It's just a tacked on holiday that is meaningless."  He said, "Dads don't need it."

I argued that it is good for their children.  It's good for them to stop and appreciate all their dads do.  I don't think it's silly and certainly not meaningless.  I said, "It's important for children.  Father's Day isn't always about you, Adam."

He said OK.

This whole conversation really sums up Adam though.  He deflects attention.  He doesn't particularly like getting gifts.  He really truly is an easy keeper.  He's the last one to dish up his plate at the table and if there's ever a line, he'll let all of us go before him.  He'll quickly change his plans to accommodate anyone.  He's the one our kids text late at night when they're out because they know I've gone to bed.  He works hard every day and freely gives everything he earns to his family.  He expects very little in return.  He wants kids who are kind and good and who consider all sides of arguments and he wants to spend time with them.

Besides that, he's fine.  He doesn't need to be acknowledged.

To which I say, too bad.  We're going to acknowledge him.

Adam is the stricter parent but he is also more fun.  He is smart (so smart) and wise and funny and reliable and unselfish and generous and everything that makes for a good dad and a good husband.

He is also fun to shop with.

I found this picture from awhile ago.  I think it was the first time we went to Fake Meyer (which is Smith's Marketplace here, we've named it Fake Meyer because it reminds us of Fred Meyer where we used to shop in Washington.)

Yesterday morning we got going early to make a pancake breakfast for Adam.  First I took this picture:

Then I told them to smile nicely.

Then I gave up.

The boys looked liked the America's Test Kitchen guy in their bow ties and aprons.

At church the primary kids sang to the dads and it was the first time in 15 years we have not had a kid up there singing.  Another first, they had all the men, 18 years and older stand up at the end and they gave them cookies.  Braeden was quite pleased with himself.

After church and lunch and short naps, Adam was put in charge of the activity.  He said he'd like to go for a drive but he didn't think the rest of us would be that interested.  (I'm historically not very interested in taking a drive because 1) where are we going? and 2) how will we know when we got there if we don't have a destination?  I'm truly a lot of fun.)

I told Adam that he needed to stop worrying about what anyone else wanted to do because it was Father's Day.  He said it was hard to go against his nature.

It's good for him every once in awhile though.

We drove to Cascade Springs in American Fork Canyon.  It was beautiful.

The air was warm and the water was cold and it reminded me of the hill behind my Grandma and Grandpa Dahl's house.

These two talked the entire time about a trip they're planning to Disneyland when Emma is 21 and Mark is 17.  Plan away children.  Write the plans in pencil...

Braeden was thoughtful and quiet and companionable.  I like that guy. (I have a pained expression in this picture but I wasn't in pain.  I'm just not photogenic.)

We drove over the mountain and went home through Midway and then back through Provo Canyon.

It was a lovely day.  I'm glad that Adam succumbed to us honoring him.  He's worth it.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Good things

Last night Adam surprised us with a trip to the movie.  We saw the new Pixar movie, Inside Out.  We loved it!  I can't sing its praises enough.  For one thing, the character moved to a new state.  We could relate.

All of us except Mark, who is still young enough to not be infected with our leaky eyes, cried.  There was a big burly man with a beard and multiple piercings on the other side of Braeden.  Braeden reported that guy cried too. 

It was that sort of movie.

After it, Emma asked Braeden, "Is my make-up smeared all over my face?"

He said, "Is my life smeared all over my face?"

That Pixar.  How can they make an animated movie that hits us all so close to home?

We hit Sonic for half price milkshakes on the way home.

This summer is turning out to be just about perfect. 

When we got home, Stephanie was here and we chatted on the deck for awhile and watched the moon set across the valley and speculated which planets we were seeing in the night sky.  Nights like that are about as lovely as my eyes can hold.

In other good news, Emma has broken the curse and passed her driver's test on the first try.  There are a lot of factors at play here:

I may get in trouble for this but 1/3 of my siblings are good drivers and the rest are not (I won't say which 2/6 but it's Enoch and Ammon if you must know).  Maybe Emma is the 1/3 of my children that is a good driver?

Maybe it's because she took the driver's test in Utah?  Just drive on the freeway here or the PGHS parking lot and you realize it must be really easy to get a driver's license.

Maybe she truly is a good driver?  She can parallel park.  I didn't even know that was a thing. Can people really parallel park? (Well, Adam can...)

So maybe that's it.  Maybe she gets it from Adam.

In any case, every mother dreams of having a daughter better than she is.

Nailed it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Adept with an allen wrench

First, I should note that a complaint was registered when Braeden read my last blog post.  For one thing, he is pretty much convinced he should be my favorite.  For another thing, he thought he had to clean up more of Mark's toddler messes than I did.

Yeah, that probably is(n't) true, Braeden.

Since Mark had more room in his bedroom, we stopped at IKEA for a new chair.  Adam and I bought a similar one several months ago.

Mark had an easier time assembling it than we did.  Give that kid instructions and parts and tools and he goes to town.

He spins an allen wrench like it's his job.

We may never get him out of his new chair.

I told him I am not getting him a mini fridge, otherwise he'll never leave his room.

Did I tell you?  Mark is finally, completely a reader.  It was a lot slower in coming for him than his siblings.   He has lots of other pulls on his time...there's the Legos, the money making schemes, Minecraft, the trampoline.  It makes me happy when I find him reading though.

In other Mark related news, Emma refuses to believe it, but he is passing her up in height.  I'll be next.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I won't say he's my favorite, but...

Every summer there is the dreaded ritual of deep cleaning the children's bedrooms.  I need to poke and prod and cajole and it takes time and patience and big garbage sacks.

But now, Mark.

When we moved here, I turned them loose on their own bedrooms.  I certainly had bigger fish to fry (like an entire house to organize).  Mark has his bedroom which ebbs and flows in organization and he has his toy room in the basement which is basically a shrine to Lego bricks.  He's tried several times to bring some order to the room because like his school desk, he uses it and wants it tidy and usable.  He came to me with the quandary that he needed more storage in there.  And then I realized that he really had no storage and I should have addressed the problem a long time ago.

But that's what summer is for.

Mark is enthusiastic about the undertaking.  Unlike his recalcitrant siblings, he wants to get it done.  Instead of me having to poke and prod and cajole, he feels like I am doing him a huge favor by helping him with the project.  He has thanked me profusely a few times.

While Braeden and Emma would have argued long ago that it was good enough and who cares anymore, Mark is careful and purposeful.  He contemplates how best to utilize the space and storage.  He went through a box and created a pile of things he wanted to get rid of.  Without me asking him to!

All the toddler messes that boy ever made are forgiven.  Throwing away stuff of his own accord!  Mark for president!

I hardly know what to do with myself.

We still have a ways to go but here is the behemoth that was in Mark's bedroom. (It looks deceptively small in the picture.  It is about as tall as I am.)  Adam and Braeden made short work of two flights of stairs.  Turns out marrying a strong husband pays dividends when you have strong sons.  Win win.  (Except for the feeding them part.)

the white box on top is chock full of toy guns, swords, light sabers, and wands...we're pretty much ready for anything
This table is for the in progress and completed creations he isn't ready to disassemble yet.  There are always plenty of those:

Not shown is the tremendous pile of stuff outside the room that we still need to sort through, contemplate and ultimately (hopefully) get rid of.  It's a good start.  I'm hoping Mark will help me clean Braeden's and Emma's rooms.  (Maybe while they're at work...)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Good old summertime

I don't have a lot to say this morning but I am too afraid of incurring the wrath of Desi if I don't blog.  (She got rather disgusted with me when I was at camp and not blogging.  Then she found out I was at camp and all was forgiven.  Then she gave me a hot tip on where to shop for a dress so I still and always have thought Desi is awesome-sauce.)


We've embraced summer full tilt around here.  The fridge is full of fresh fruit, we had corn on the cob last night, and Braeden smells like chlorine and sunscreen.

He got a job teaching swim lessons in the morning to supplement his insurance job. 

Another really happy summer thing is that Stephanie is here.  Her daughter is at basketball camp at BYU.  We have shopped a little (hence the need for a hot tip from Desi of where to buy a dress ).  Last night we sat on the deck and watched the sunset and then the lightening (and then I went inside because I am afraid of lightening.)  We played cards. We have chatted.  We took a walk this morning and then fruit smoothies on the deck. 

It's nice.  It's relaxing.  It's summer.

Monday, June 15, 2015


In all the Girls' Camp hullabaloo, I forgot to write about the drama that happened around here.  Two Saturdays ago, I came downstairs in the morning to see Braeden asleep on the couch on the main floor.  Every light in the house was on and Braeden was fully clothed in the previous day's clothes. 

When he woke up, he told me his sad and alarming tale.

We had a mouse.

Braeden had been watching TV in the basement the night before and he saw the mouse out of the corner of his eye.  He spent the rest of the night driving himself crazy trying to see if there really was a mouse or if it was a figment of his imagination.  He named the mouse Pat because he couldn't tell if it was a boy mouse or a girl mouse.  He finally realized that Pat was real.  He was armed with a broom and tried to smack it but Pat, in addition to being real, was illusive.  Finally he gave up at 6:00 a.m. and collapsed on the upstairs couch.

It turns out we are all, from the biggest to the littlest around here, terrified of mice.

Give me snakes, all manner of bugs, spiders, lizards, teenage mutant ninja turtles, I don't care.  I just don't want a mouse in my house.

Adam and I bought some traps, after consulting with my dad about the right kind of traps to buy.  We set six traps and Pat stayed hidden for the next 24 hours.  On Sunday at church, when I told my friends the sad and alarming tale, they said things like, "Well yeah, you live right by the mountain."  Like we should expect mice.

Oh nay, nay, nay.

Since we were about to leave for Girls' Camp, I told Braeden that if he by chance caught Pat, he could just throw away the mouse trap.  "Use a shovel," I told my squeamish boy who refuses to even squash a spider.  I said if you catch six mice, go buy more traps.

Braeden said, "If I catch six mice, I'm moving in with Ammon until you get home."

Sunday evening, Emma went to the Dungeon which is the name we've given our storage room in the basement.  She was after a sleeping bag for Girls' Camp.  She came upstairs with an apprehensive face.  "I think I just saw Pat."

We all hurried toward the basement but Adam stopped us at the top of the stairs.  He wanted to go down and see if he could catch Pat.  He didn't want the rest of us nervous giggling hooligans scaring Pat away.  We waited at the top of the stairs like it was Christmas morning and I grabbed a nearby plastic Harry Potter wand because I wanted to be armed in case Pat attacked.

Adam called up the stairs, "I don't see him."

We all thundered down the stairs to see if we could see him.  Emma peeked in the Dungeon.  "Right there!" she said.

And sure enough.  Pat.  In one of the six traps.  There is one more mouse angel in heaven. (Wait, tell me there aren't mice in heaven!)

Braeden went to his bedroom and shut the door.

Emma climbed up on the table.

Adam made Mark come and hold a garbage bag while he emptied the trap.  "You've got to," Adam said, "You're a man."

I don't know why Braeden was excused from his manly duties or why it's a man's job to dispose of the mice but I was glad to be considered too dainty and feminine for the task.  My skin was crawling at the very thought of it all.

If it hadn't been so horrible, it was terribly funny how freaked out we all were by a small little rodent.  We're a hopeless bunch.

I took on the task of carrying the garbage bag outside to the trash can.  You have to tag team in these trying times.  I was fine, keeping the garbage bag well away from my body.  When I walked outside, the light hit the bag and I could make out the outline of poor little Pat.

I may never recover.

Monday, while we were at camp, our pest control people (because apparently when you live by the mountain and are incredibly terrified of rodents, you need pest control people) came and sealed up a few possible entry points for mice.

We'd better not see any of Pat's friends.

Friday, June 12, 2015

I made it!

There I am in my smashing sun hat that made my children mock me.  I did not get sunburned.

Girls' Camp

Not for the faint of heart.

I experienced a wide range of emotions.  I had anxiety (but only before it started).  I was tired.  I got a little annoyed (because sometimes people can be annoying).  I got a little cranky (at 1:30 in the morning when I was freezing cold and I couldn't get my sleeping bag zipper to cooperate.  I woke Adam up and he settled me down and fixed my zipper.)  I would look around on occasion and think there was no place I would rather be.

I can't tell you how happy I was that Adam was there.  Here he is with the other brave man that accompanied us:

They were our go to helpers.

We hiked in Zion National Park, which is stunning.

half the girls are still wearing swimsuits because we hiked in the Narrows

In keeping with our theme of camp, which was "Unsinkable," the girls made boats out of milk jugs:

Then we floated them in a reservoir.  They turned out really well:

these are the darling little first years

The actual camping part wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be (mostly thanks to Adam).  One of the other leaders put this sign on our tent.  (She'd had Emma text her the pictures of us.)

Then I laughed out loud for awhile. 

I like all the women who are also YW leaders even more after our time together.  Their true colors shined.

Our last night, we abandoned ship (ha ha) and left our campsite and stayed one night in some condos.  The original plan with the previous leaders was to stay longer in the condos but I'm glad we only stayed one night.  It was harder to connect with everyone when we were spread out like that.  (Although taking a shower was a very positive mood altering experience.)

In the condos, we performed skits.  The leaders did a synchronized swimming number which was dazzling.  First we giggled for about 20 minutes while we practiced, then we tried really hard to keep it together while we performed.  It was SO funny but the girls didn't really laugh.  They sat in sort of stunned silence.  It's always a little sad when you think you're funnier than maybe you really are.

So. Very. Synchronized.

notice one of the girls is scratching her head...what is going on here?
I laughed so much that my face hurt.

The YCLs (Youth Camp Leaders) of which Emma was a part, did a lip sync of a Backstreet Boys song.  Some of these girls are so funny that they should be able to charge admission just to be able to hang around with them.  

I loved spending time with the girls.  There are some good ones. I felt closer to them as we shared spiritual experiences and I saw them step up to the plate to serve each other and be kind and helpful.

Also, I loved being there with this girl:

Friday, June 5, 2015

I don't camp

In Paul Blart: Mall Cop, (Have you seen that movie?  Go watch it.  And the sequel.) Paul Blart says a few times that he doesn't drink.

He's at a party and says, "This lemonade is insane!"

Then his friend tells him that it is because it is a margarita.  So poor Paul gets unwittingly drunk.

Later, when he ends up with a tattoo on his back, he says, "It's the Loch Ness monster.  I don't drink."

I keep thinking about that with Girls' Camp happening next week.  All the plans are moving forward.  It's taken over my life and I dream about Girls' Camp, but here's the thing:  I don't camp.

I have anxiety about leaving my boys behind.  (Don't forget to water the plants, Braeden.  Also, keep your brother alive.)  I have anxiety about it all going smoothly and everyone getting along and staying healthy and safe.  I have anxiety that I'm in charge.

And then that detail:  I don't camp.

I am I-can't-even-explain-the-extent grateful that Adam is going with me.  His very presence is a comfort.  He's funny and a good go with the flow type person.  He keeps a cool head and knows how to set up a tent and start a fire.

He may have to bar the door (tent flap?) to make sure I don't make a run for the nearest hotel.  He's up to the challenge.  I will go.  I will do my best.

But if I show up with a tattoo of the Loch Ness monster on my back, remember you heard it here first.

I don't camp.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Tabor and Hyrum stayed with us after the Eagle Court of Honor.  Hyrum is going to stay a week at Tabor's house.  Uncle Tabor Camp.  Cowboy Camp.  Hyrum's Dream Vacation.  Any title works.  (It would be like if Mark had an uncle that was a professional Lego builder and we sent him for the week.)  Hyrum took his guitar and his saddle.  What else do you need?

Tabor had some stuff to do yesterday morning so we got Hyrum for awhile (which we enjoyed).  At one point, I looked out the window and the three boys each had a sword and were jumping on the trampoline and talking about books they'd read and who knows what else.

It was a reminder that before you get too wistful about boys growing up, they don't do it all at once.  Occasionally they pull out their swords.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Last night, Braeden had his Eagle Court of Honor.  We planned it for when Marianne and Robert would be in town (they took Clarissa to the airport...the girl has gone to New Zealand!).  My parents were also around for it and then Tabor was passing through.  Combine that with Ammon and Melanee and we had a good family group.

I felt a little regret that so many of the people Braeden grew up with and that care about him couldn't be there, but I was very grateful so much family was there.

Here's Braeden, Mark and Adam with Robert, Hyrum and Morgan:

They're a good group.  Mark led the flag ceremony which consisted of his cousins.

Here is the big moment when Braeden pledged, on his honor. (He's pictured with Brother Walker, his young men's president who is a wonderful man.)

Here he is with our bishop, who we love.

Here's the scout commissioner with Braeden:

He complimented Braeden on his board of review.  Braeden said later, "I realized something about myself.  I love being the center of attention and have people laugh at me but I don't like standing in front of people and having them talk about how great I am."

I said, "Don't worry, that doesn't happen too much in life."

I decided to include the picture of Adam getting his parent pin.  He deserved the pin more than I did.  He put a lot into Braeden's scouting years.  Following the example of his own dad, Adam loved to be along on scout campouts.  It was a wonderful way for them to make memories and be together.

We had a slideshow with a bunch of scout pictures, like this:

My job, besides make mint brownies for the occasion, was to figure out how the scarf slide worked:

One really wonderful part of the night was that David was there.  He's at BYU still this summer and we've gotten smart and gone and claimed him a few times as our own.

He was the only one besides our immediate family that knew everyone in the slideshow:

I would love to see these people again...even though most of them are now man sized rather than this younger version of themselves.

Here's the Eagle Nest:

It was small, but meaningful to Braeden.  These men all matter a lot to him. 

I love seeing Braeden and David.  They have the easy relationship of two boys that grew up together.  Even though he's older than Braeden, David has only been kind and tolerant of Braeden in the ten plus years we've known him.  David has always been someone for Braeden to look up to (even though Braeden passed him in height).

We love David!

They were sitting by each other on the couch and realized their striped socks.  Braeden texted this picture to Janet.

She texted back that Leif had the same socks as Braeden.  Which made Braeden happy.  He misses Leif!

Actually we all do. 

And the rest of the Jorgensens.

I still have mint brownies.  Come and see us?


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