Friday, June 30, 2017

Books I read June 2017 (and the ones I forgot about in May)

Night Night, Sleep Tight by Hallie Ephron **

This was an OK book.  It was a murder mystery set in Hollywood, surrounded by past glamor and lore.  The ending wasn't very satisfying.

Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman ***

This book is part of my slowly growing Newbery collection.  Our kids gave it to me for Mother's Day.  I liked it.  It's about a toddler whose parents are murdered.  He escapes to a graveyard and is raised by the ghosts.  It's the kind of mind expanding fantasy books that are great for kids but it was also a little creepy and I know a certain unnamed daughter of mine that would have had nightmares if she'd read this when she was young.

The One and Only by Emily Giffin *

Why did I read it?!?  It was like not being able to look away from a horrific accident.  Let me just say if I die and one of Emma's friends falls in love with Adam, I will haunt them both.  And it won't be pretty.  Up until the end I was hoping the story would end differently.  It didn't.  Ick.

I read a review on Goodreads:  "Make this the 'one and only' Emily Giffen book you don't read."

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis ***

Another Newbery.  This was a good book with really likable characters.  The ending was a little far fetched but it also left me wanting more. 

Three Junes by Julia Glass *

I didn't finish this book.  I tried to, mostly because the cover was littered with critical acclaim and it won a National Book Award.  I didn't like any of the characters and decided life is too short for boring books full of unpleasant people.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George **

This was meant to be a love story but the relationships were lame and the characters were straight up broken.  It started in Paris though!  On the Seine!  I've been there!  Then they went up the Seine and to the Loire Valley.  I've been there!  Then they ended up in the south of France.  (Haven't been there.)

I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of the beautiful scenery and the food they ate.  It was a beautiful book.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The kids

Adam has moved to a different position at work so last night we invited over the people who used to be on his team.  They are all so young, I fondly call them "the kids".

(You know who aren't kids?  Adam and me.  I don't know if it's amnesia/dementia or which one of us has lost his/her marbles.  He said, "I want to have them over since I'm not their boss any more."  I asked why that mattered, why he couldn't invite them over even when he was the boss and he said that I was the one that told him he shouldn't do that.  I honestly don't remember that conversation at all and I don't know why I would tell him he shouldn't have them over.  Am I making up corporate etiquette now?)


We had the kids over.  I like the fatherly way Adam has with them.  They go to him for advice and help and I guess that makes them smart kids because he is good at advice and help.  Most of them are about 20 years younger than us.  They would have way more in common with Braeden than us, but we still had a nice time. 

As usual, I spent most of my energy on the decorations/table settings and it turned out to be misspent energy because it was so breezy my ideas didn't really work.

For example, I was going to float little candles in these jars on the tables and they just blew right out.

 I was also going to have brown kraft paper running down each table.  Never mind.  Too windy.

Things settled down so it wasn't so windy to be unpleasant. 

There were a few little kids here and they made use of our playset which is nice because that thing gets neglected.

It was fun to have people over.  It's something we don't do much of anymore but maybe this is the start of new things.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

More random stuff

As of yesterday and according to Facebook, Enoch and I have been friends for six years.  Here's to six more, little brother.

When I saw him/distracted him while he was in charge of the clock last Friday at Isaiah's game, I realized maybe we don't know each other as well as you would think (considering the whole six years thing).

We were going to go get dinner after the game and he had to drop some kids off at the hotel first.  He said, "Follow me there."

"Is that gray truck yours?" I asked, pointing across the parking lot.

"No," he said. "This white one."


"Is your car white?" he asked.

"No," I said.  "Green." (I was driving Adam's car because the van went to youth conference.)


Once we got to the hotel I said, "Didn't you used to have a gray/black truck?"

"Yeah," he said.  "Did you used to have a white car?"

"Our kids' car is white."

OK then. 


I used algebra the other day.  For real.  I was trying to figure out what size we needed the sail to be we were wanting to provide shade for the party we are having tonight. (3:4:5: triangle)

I feel like I should let all the algebra teachers know so they can tell their students, yep, you may use this someday.

On second thought, maybe that was geometry?  I don't know.  In my tiny school the same teacher taught all the math and it all blends.


Mark had a few friends over yesterday.  A winning formula for teenage boys:  1 pizza per boy.

I was driving them home and here was the conversation that made me smile.

Me:  So Cole, you went on trek last week?

Cole:  Yep

Me:  Did you have fun?

Cole:  Well, as much fun as you can expect.

I've never felt so understood by a 14 year old boy I very vaguely know.


Emma wanted to create blue makeup (which she did by mixing food coloring and real makeup) and then she wanted to paint her face sort of like a mermaid.

Why?  Because.  And also, there will only ever be one girl like her.  I'm glad she's mine.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Things that happened yesterday

Since it was Monday, we heard from Braeden.  He seems happy which makes me happy.  He also sent this picture of him with his new companions.  Apparently what's old is new again.  It's like the old days when people didn't smile for pictures.  The difference is, back then they didn't smile for pictures because they had bad teeth and we all spent a lot of money on braces for these kids who don't smile.

I want to curl that little swoop in the front of Braeden's hair around my fingers like I used to do when he was a toddler with blonde curls, sitting on my lap in church.  Maybe I miss him?  Maybe when he's at college I will use my trusty Find My Phone app (a.k.a. children stalking tool) and wait for him outside class.  Just because I can.

(I probably won't be holding him on my lap again though.)

Emma started a new job at BYU.  She works in the laundry and seems to like it.  She now has two jobs.  (Some people will go to great lengths to get out of weeding.)  Also, she gets lost on BYU campus every time she goes because she has to find where to get a student ID or find the French Department to find out about placement.  It would be possible to call me and ask for directions since know...went there, but Emma is still working under the assumption that I know nothing.

So she wanders.

I'm ever proud of her independent streak.  Like my mom said, "She's showing gumption."

And gumption is good.

Mark reminded me of my promise that we would go to a buffet when he could eat again.  (Don't make promises when your children are drugged.  You think they'll forget, because they're drugged, but they won't.)

So Golden Corral it was.  It is kind of trashy there but they make up for it by being kind of expensive.  Emma declined joining us which, I must say, was understandable.

Mark had been swimming all afternoon so that upped the already high threshold of his appetite.

I told him I was amazed, but not in a good way. 

We also swung by BYU to drop off some stuff Clarissa had left at our house (she is working as an EFY counselor this summer and spent part of the weekend with us).  We wended our way through the hordes of EFY people and I helpfully told Mark to look for someone in a blue shirt.  Since every EFYzian (I made that word up but it might take off) was wearing a blue shirt, we didn't see her.  We left the bag with a highly enthusiastic fellow EFY counselor who said "Perfect!" with a great deal of vigor and vim which seems to be the thing to say when you're young and enthusiastic.

It had been a hot day and we plugged in our new fan which was supposed to be "Ultra Quiet" because our bedroom is always hotter than the rest of the house in summer and we wanted to get some of the cooler hallway air inside.  (Our bedroom is colder than the rest of the house in winter so it really is awesome.)  The ultra quiet fan sounded like someone was flying a toy airplane and dive bombing us.  I don't mind constant white noise but an airplane dive bombing you noise was a non starter for me.

The temperature hadn't cooled off enough to open the windows even by early morning so I decided to go down to the basement and sleep in Braeden's bed.  The basement is a different USDA hardiness zone.  As in, you couldn't grow corn and tomatoes in that climate because it's always so cool down there.

It was glorious.

I thought, why don't I do this every night?  And the answer is because it's a long walk.

(And usually it's not so hot.)

Monday, June 26, 2017


Personalities fascinate me.  There are a lot of ways to be.  I think there's a certain arrogance in thinking that our way is normal and that everyone else is wrong.

But it is easy enough for me to think that way.

Marianne and I have talked about this.  There are ways our children are different than we are and as they get older and ever more independent, it's a little painful sometimes to see them go their own way. If they were like us would it ensure their happiness and success?  I don't think so but who ever said motherhood is rational.

Here's a good example:

Emma is now master of her own laundry domain.  She took the sheets off her bed and washed them the other day.  Before she left for work, I said, "You should put clean sheets on your bed before you go then you won't have to come home to that."

She said something noncommittal and didn't make her bed before work.

Every time I walked by her room, I felt a pull to go in and make her bed but I resisted the urge because then I would teach her (ha!) that I am wise and she should have listened to me and put the clean sheets on before work.

When she got home and it was late, I couldn't help myself (because I rarely can) and I asked, "Don't you wish you'd made your bed before work?"

"Nah," she said, "I was looking out for Past Emma.  Past Emma didn't want to do it and I've got her back."

It was stunning to me.  I realized I almost always look out for Future Thelma.  I do the things now that I don't want to do later.  It had never occurred to me to look out for Past Thelma.  Do the things now that I didn't want to do then.

Emma happily went to her room and made her bed.

Clean sheets on the bed before work or after work?  Doesn't matter.

I am a big proponent in honoring your truth, your personality.  I will make lists and plan and you make it up as you go along.  I'll sleep in a bed every night and you go on a week-long backpacking trip.  I'll start preparing for Christmas in October and ignore Halloween and you proclaim Halloween your favorite holiday.  We can all be friends.

Sometimes we have to do the awkward thing, even though it reaches us beyond our comfort zone.  For example, sometimes you have to be the YW president and be in charge and lead the group and feel like a fraud who will be found out in her incompetence any moment.  Other times, you only have to help your husband with youth conference.  You help plan and shop for the food, you make dozens of muffins to send and you help load the trailer, all delightfully behind the scenes.

Times and seasons.

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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Taking care of business

We are having a different sort of week around here.  Emma went on vacation with her friends' (Rose and Fiona's) family and Mark got his wisdom teeth out so he is laying low.

Before his surgery, I was filling out the ream of paperwork, like you do, and there was place where Mark needed to sign.  He looked around cautiously and said, "I have a feeling as soon as I sign this a carload of clowns are going to come out and break my knees."

And this was before he had any drugs.

He gave me his phone as a precautionary measure.  He didn't want to drunk dial his friends like Emma had done after she had her wisdom teeth out and was coming out of sedation.

He handled it all well and survived that first bit when you have to keep the gauze in your mouth.  For all three kids, that part was the worst.

Three kids, wisdom teeth out.  Tabor, who was in town so we had lunch together, told me that he couldn't believe I was that old, that my youngest child had his wisdom teeth out.

Some milestones are good ones to have in the rear view mirror.  I'll take it.

Siri and I have been kept busy with ice packs.  I give Mark the ice packs, tell Siri to set a timer for 20 minutes, then I take the ice packs away, tell Siri to set a timer for 20 minutes, repeat, repeat, repeat.

It's a lot of fun.

I am here to help my kids.  An exception is at night.  They know if they're out late to text Adam because I am in bed.

Emma must have forgotten that.  I didn't know she had texted me late the night before and let me tell you, confusion reigned.  This was our text conversation yesterday morning:

She and Fiona made breakfast for everyone and she had wanted to make bacon in the oven so she had texted me for directions.  Adam answered the text because he was awake and I wasn't.

Before Emma left, she figured out her BYU class schedule and helped us get Braeden's in order because they can register this week.  Before she left, it was clear she didn't think we were going to be able to handle it in case something went amiss.  I assured her I would have the "best mind of the Davis family on the case" meaning Adam.

Emma said, "Yeah he probably is the best mind.  Then me.  Then Mark."

That leaves Braeden and me out in the cold.  The upside is that you don't have to worry about Emma's self esteem.

Emma got waitlisted in some of her classes so Adam and I had to make some changes.  I true blue love BYU but their website is stupid.  Adam and I were a little lost and it's possible I had to call Emma for help.

The connection was terrible so we had to resort to just texting and also we figured it out in the meantime.  Score one point for Adam still being the best mind of the Davis family. 

We're a team when it comes to taking care of these kids, Adam and me (and of course Siri to tell me when it's time for new ice packs).

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Because I'm the mom, that's why

Moms are just cops who love you.

The vast majority of the time, I just get to enjoy these kids.  We roll along pleasantly, doing our thing.  Occasionally, I have to be the parent.

One day last week I told Adam, "Usually I'm not jealous that you get to go to work, but today I was."

He said, "Usually I'm not grateful that I get to go to work, but today I was."

It had been that sort of day.

It was a day of no you can't do that and yes you will do that and stop pouting and I'm sorry I lost my temper and no I'm not going to tell you what to do because you have to decide and a whole lot of thinking I don't get paid enough.

Sometimes a hard conversation has to happen and you look around and realize that you're the mother and you are the one who needs to have the hard conversation.  This is my circus and these are my monkeys.

It's not for the faint of heart.

Like a lot of hard things though, it's worth it.  Even when you punctuate a text message and your teenage daughter thinks you must be mad because you ended your sentence with a period, even when you're looking up (will I ever get used to that?) into the eyes of a teenage son who is looking back at you with incredulous angst because you are so unreasonable.  It's worth it.  Because eventually, you talk it out.  You know all along that you love each other and always will.  You apologize and hug and realize that even on the most frustrating days, it's a blessing to have these strong-willed irksome people belong to you.

Motherhood is tough.  If you just want a wonderful little creature to love you can get a puppy.
Barbara Walters

Monday, June 12, 2017

Going on an Explore

Saturday we decided to go to Little Sahara Recreation Area, in central(ish) Utah.  I wore sandals, because summer, and Adam was lacing up his hiking boots.

Referring to his footwear, Adam said, "We might do some hiking."

I said, "Hold up."

Mark said, "How much hiking?"

Then I said the first stop would be Maverik and Adam asked, "Do we need to stop at Maverik?"

I said, "It's adventure's first stop."

We finally got all our differences ironed out and ended up having a lovely time.

We poked around Eureka a little bit which was a quirky picturesque little town.

Across the street from the Elk's Lodge there was a trailer with a sign that read We Buy Antlers.  Mark said, "That's kind of spitting in the face of the benevolent protectors of elk, isn't it?"

Little Sahara was amazing.

I a tiny bit regretted the sandals when I occasionally sunk into the sand which was about 1000 degrees.
We took sand selfies:

(Emma was at work)

And we watched people traverse up a 700 foot sand dune with their ATVs and the like.  Adam said, "Doesn't that look like fun?"

Not to me.  It was fun to watch though.

We drove along on the nice paved road and then Adam decided to try a dirt path off into the sand and brush.

As we jostled along, I realized again why Adam bought a Subaru in the first place.  He loves to put it through its paces and I love nice paved roads.

We fared better than the ant hill Adam accidentally annihilated and beat a hasty retreat home because I couldn't remember if I'd closed the blinds before we left (and Felicia can't survive direct sunlight).

I had closed the blinds.  False alarm.

We're not sure who's more finicky, Felicia or me.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Grateful Friday

This summer is shaping up to be pretty great. 

The Mariners are even doing a bit better.  Boy Howdy is writing songs about Mike Zunino.  (If you had someone in your life who played you clips of Seattle sports radio podcasts you would know this kind of thing too.)

At night I love to sit on the deck in the dusky light.  It is my favorite time of day.

So far the squirrels have not ventured to the deck to eat the petunias.

Every night feels like the perfect summer night. 

Also, we've had some really good strawberries lately.  Sometimes life is just good.

Adam and I got this chandelier hung:

I made it months ago by stringing a ridiculous amount of wooden beads onto a plant holder (I got the idea online--don't give me credit).  It isn't a real chandelier, just pretend, but I like it and the texture it adds.  I also love that it's no longer hanging from it's temporary spot, the light fixture in my office (used to be school room but I'm finally coming to grips with the fact that I don't homeschool any more (sniff) so I'm calling it my office).

When I showed Emma our handiwork of finally getting it hung, she said,  "Now I can stop hitting my head on it."

We all hit our heads on it when it was in my office.  It was low and right in the way and everytime we ran into it, we would knock beads on the floor.

So this is progress!
Finally, I'm grateful that we are getting new across the street neighbors.  They are moving in in late July.  We've met part of the family so far and they seem like our sort of people.  Their kids are approximately the same ages as ours, their two oldest, a recently returned missionary son and an 18 year old daughter who likes Bob Ross (I'm not kidding) are going to BYU in the fall.  They chose PG for the performing arts at the high school.  I think we'll get along.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Not my email

Exciting things have been happening in my email inbox.

For example, a Thelma had a birthday!  Zendental was kind to remember it.

Another Thelma's order has shipped.  I'm guessing that's a part and not a new appliance.  Because if that's a new refrigerator, Thelma Pritchett got a screaming deal on it!

There's been mystery and intrigue.  Delancy Walker, Consultant.  Who is that?  What do they consult on?  Ways to remember your email address?

Things are afoot for Thelma Aniceto.  Potential errors.  Yikes.  (Could an error include wrong email address?  Because I can attest to that error.)

Also, Thelma-I-don't-know, Claire seems to be kicking you out of nature sketching class.  I'm pretty sure you could catch up missing the first 2 classes, but Claire's in charge, not me. 

 I'm happy to report there is a bi-partisan element to the Not My Emails.  We're keeping it balanced and fair over here.

I've started getting these Judicial Watch updates (thanks President Tom Fitton).  They are very right wing.

Not to be outdone by their Republican friends, I have been getting A LOT of these types of emails.

Mostly they are asking another Thelma to donate money.  Emails from Nancy Pelosi and the gang.  I'm sorry the other Thelma is missing out on them.  If she is indeed a proud Democrat, it seems an email from Nancy Pelosi would be the bees knees.

I feel guilty about this one:

mimietmoi's account has not been confirmed by a parent because I'm the one that got this email.  Sorry mimietmoi.  I would have approved if you were my child.  I hope you didn't lose all animals, pets, activity programs, items, achievements, and buddy connections related to your account.  Sounds harsh.  Safety first though, I guess.

Best for last, I've been signed up to unwittingly receive psychic predictions meant for another Thelma.

Exciting times, am I right?  It's going to exceed ANYTHING I EVER IMAGINED. 

Accuracy is key here so it's unfortunate that she has the wrong Thelma.

I'm starting to doubt Bethea's real prowess as a psychic.  As Adam pointed out, shouldn't she have written, "I know you are not the right Thelma, because I'm psychic"?  I know this isn't your correct birthday, because I'm psychic.  I know you are receiving this by mistake, because I'm psychic.

Maybe Bethea just didn't want to show off.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


I was under the weather and Emma and Mark volunteered to go to the grocery store for me.  (We needed Dimetapp among other things.  Colds in hot weather are not awesome.)

I made a list and they came home with everything on the list, my change, and this:

Yes, Fruit rings and Apple dapples.  They saw an opportunity and seized it.  Carpe Cereal!  Weird names and weird capitalization and more sugar than I usually allow for in cereal (unless you're a missionary home temporarily...I may have bought Reeses Puffs...that was the exception).

At least I didn't have to go to the grocery store.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What animal am I?

The other day at lunch (I love having my kids home for lunch!) we were chatting about who knows what and the conversation turned to Braeden, because we miss him.

Mark said, "He is really just a big puppy."

And it's true.  Braeden is lovable and adoring and curious and sweet and puppy-like.  Also, he's wise and compassionate and I'm not sure that's puppy-like but whatever.

"What animal am I?" Emma wondered.

A cat.  Definitely.  She loves to nap, she is disdainful of people when she doesn't want people and she can be sweet and purring sometimes too.  Also, have you ever seen a startled cat?


"What about me?" Mark asked.

We decided he's a goat.  He'll eat anything and he can be destructive (see: the Farmer's Insurance commercial about the "billy goat ruffians"?).  Also, I love goats.  They are cute and Horace is my favorite pet ever.

After deciding he was a goat, Mark did his best fainting goat impressions.

Adam, of course, is a bear.  We all know that.

No one can decide what animal I am.  Mark voted for Mama Bear (like he said, "You love the Papa Bear") and Emma thought I was a horse.  What?

She said, "You're reliable and steady and sometimes you freak out."  (Apparently this is Emma's opinion on horses.)

Later, when Adam was home, he thought maybe I was Piglet, as in Winnie the Pooh's friend.

That sort of works, if Adam's Winnie the Pooh.

That sort of sums up our marriage.

I think we'll need Braeden to weigh in with his opinion.

Adam and I are also trying to decide which Jane Austen character I am most like.

I've decided he's Colonel Brandon with maybe a little bit of Mr. Knightly.  I would like to be Anne Elliot because she is awesome.  Adam said I am Marianne Dashwood (first Piglet and now Marianne Dashwood?!?).  I protested that she is sort of ridiculous but like Adam pointed out, she gets Colonel Brandon in the end.

I guess this is all to say, we're not wasting our time over here.  We're figuring out important things.

Also, if you want to be happy for the rest of your life, marry someone who will discuss Jane Austen with you.

Monday, June 5, 2017


Saturday we celebrated my grandma's 90th birthday with a party.  It was a lovely day.  I went early to help set up and decorate.  My mom said I was being bossy and my cousins, Will and Homer, teased me about my bossiness.  (I was telling them to put things, there.) 

What can I say?  Decorating brings out the bossiness in me.  Ask my children who have moved 10 million pieces of furniture in their young tender lives.

It was fun though.

I took zero pictures but Emma took this picture of my grandma and me:

I posed for several other pictures and probably look terrible in them so I will look at Facebook in apprehension for the next little while.

I did find this on Facebook and it's pretty much perfect.

That's Morgan, Enoch and me, behind the flowers.  I should carry a bouquet of flowers around at all times for pictures.  It boosts my photogenic capacity.

At the party I enjoyed seeing cousins and aunts and uncles and catching up a little with them.  There were a lot of little kids running around and Marianne and I, the two oldest grandchildren, commented on how much we love not having little kids running around anymore.

It makes social gatherings more enjoyable.

I met my Grandpa Dahl's first cousin.  Apparently she grew up with my Grandma Jaynes.  (My family tree does not branch very much, geographically speaking.)  My siblings and I had lined up to meet her and later I heard her tell someone she had met "all the Dahls."  Not quite, but she had met several....

I saw some of my mom's cousins as well as one of her aunts.  I saw Nene and Andrew Knudsen.  I introduced Emma to them and pointed out to her that the Knudsen family were our Jorgensens.  "Ohhh," Emma said knowingly.

Nene asked, "Do you have a redhead?  I saw a tall kid walking around and I thought, he looks like he belongs to Thelma."

I love that there are people in the world that know me well enough to think Mark must belong to me.

When I was working in the kitchen, an elderly woman stopped by to ask about the lemon drink we were serving.  My mom hightailed it off to find out the recipe for her (my aunt Mary had made it) and I stayed to chat with the woman.  She leaned heavily on her cane and asked me how I was related.  I introduced myself as Thelma which always gives me street cred with my grandma's friends.  I said,  "I am her granddaughter."

She said, "Well you are very lucky."

I said, "Thank you and I know."

Being the granddaughter of Thelma Louise Wood Jaynes makes me about the luckiest person I know.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Grateful Friday

A few days ago I was outside weeding.  It was warm and sunny and I walked into the house sweaty and with dirt under my fingernails.  I stuck my watering can in the sink and turned on the water to fill it up and I went out on the deck to check on my plants.  When I came back in the house, the water was a trickle.

Just then, Emma called from upstairs, "Um...Mom?  We have no water."  She was just about to get in the shower.

Adam, of course, because this is always how these things happen, was unreachable (he and Mark were whitewater rafting).

So I googled it, like you do.

Google instructed me to check the PRV.  What now?  Just so you know, that's the Pressure Reducing Valve.  I know where the electricity, phone, cable, and gas go into the house.  Not the water.  (I know, I know.)

So I called my dad, like you do.

He told me about the green box in the yard, flush with the grass.  Yep, I have one of those.

He said, "Call the city though."

So I called the city, like you do (eventually).

The guy said nonchalantly, "Oh, that could be that water leak up near you.  I've got guys working on it.  Call me back in an hour if you don't have water."

So I waited, like you do.

I managed to wash my hands in the trickle which helped me feel a lot better about everything.

Emma's friends came over and she said, "I apologize for my mom and me and our appearance.  We don't have water."

And it's true.  We looked rough.

After awhile, we had water again!  Happy day!

So why am I telling you this mundane story that is really more of a non story?  I just want to remind myself of how grateful I am for water.

I don't even think about it.  I get drinks, I wash my hands, I bathe, I run the dishwasher and washing machine, I brush my teeth, I water my plants.  I turn the water on a million times a day and don't even appreciate the miracle.

On my worst days, I usually still have running water.  Amazing!  Wonderful!

There are only three things women need in life:  food, water and compliments.
Chris Rock

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A happy little cloud

Either boy could pull off the Bob Ross hairdo with enough time to grow their curls and a pick.

For example, the last Halloween Braeden was home:

Can you believe how little Mark was?!?  Me either.

Emma is the one who loves Bob Ross though.  She watches him on Netflix.  Quite a bit.

I told her that this summer, when she isn't working, I want her to do something creative.  I told her I would buy her supplies (within reason).

She got a gleam in her eye.  "Will you buy me paint?" she asked.  "Bob Ross paint?"

"OK," I said tentatively, not sure what I was getting into.

One trip to Hobby Lobby later, she had a start on what she needs.  (I say a start because she wants everything.)

Thankfully I could use my 40% off coupon for what I got (a Bob Ross starter kit--not cheap) and I made her buy the rest.

Yesterday afternoon she sat down to paint.  I was amazed by her painting; the first thing she's ever painted since she was a little girl with one of those messy strips of Crayola watercolors.  Now, it's oil paint (Bob Ross brand, the only kind she would imagine using.)

The girl who used to run to her room and slam the door because she couldn't write her letters perfectly, was of course not happy with it.  It was all wrong.  "Bob Ross makes it look so easy," she lamented.

"If it were easy, everyone could do it," I said.

I thought I would need to dust off the pep talk I used to give her (back when she was six and her g's were not as flawless as she liked--even though they were better than anything I could do) that only Jesus was perfect, but she kind of sighed and said, "Well, thank you for thinking it looks nice."

I am the queen of good enough but I like Emma just the way she is.  Someday her perfectionism may even spread to her wanting to keep her room clean....


Related Posts with Thumbnails