Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dear BYU,

I have to admit that I didn't enjoy attending your school as much as others seem to. I found you a bit on the snooty side. I was also pining for my dearest Ricks.

That said, I think when I take my 4 little kids to your Monte Bean Museum the least you could do is NOT give me a 30 dollar parking ticket for parking in the.....(gasp)....VISITOR SECTION.

Ahem. I was a visitor.

So, apparently there was a small sign five parking spaces down from mine stating that I would need to obtain a "visitor's parking permit" from the receptionist (also known as the Gift Ship cashier) and hang it in my window.

Lame lame lame.

So I marched my little ticket back in that museum and demanded to know what the heck is up with that. I got the feeling she was all too familiar with this scenario. I was then directed to drag my four kids to the Jesse Knight building, room 2120 to appeal the ticket.

Appeal I did. The ticket was forgiven and I was informed that I had just used up my "one visitor pardon per year". Seriously?


BYU? Maybe you and I need some counseling. I don't think our relationship is going so well.



Dear Brick Oven Pizza,

I used your restroom after dinner tonight and when I tried to wash my hands, I stood there with my hands under the faucet waiting for the water to come on. I was baffled. No water. I finally realized that I would have to TURN IT ON MYSELF.

The audacity!

Get with the times...



P.S. Your broccoli soup is still delish.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Letters from a traveling mother

Dear Utah,

A few things.

I like you because you are the place in which I find all my siblings and my mother. I really love them so that spills over to you and I feel a bit appreciative for you providing the habitat for my family.

I also like you because you have Mt. Timpanogos and I am itching to climb it again.

OH, and Cafe Rio. A delicious mark in your favor. (I used to look forward to a crispy beef burrito from Taco Time...haven't my tastes matured?)

And you make me feel like speeding isn't really against the law. How could it be? All us faithful mormons zipping along. We must be in a hurry to deliver a hot meal.
That's it.
It's called the "spirit of the law" people.

I always feel a bit of uncomfortable, unidentifiable angst when I'm within your borders. I think it's because I spent my teenage years here and those were uncomfortable, angst ridden times.

But I really had a good time this week, so I feel we are moving in the right direction. Don't you?

Oh, and also.....I really dig the giant letters on the mountains (pronounced 'mou-uhns').

See you next time,



Last night I had that dream where you are frantically trying on dozens of pairs of jeans. Every nasty, unflattering style I've ever owned is in that heaping pile of denim. My friends are out in the living room waiting for me so we can go to the dance. I'm sweating and wondering if they've left me yet. Where are those stupid jeans! I try some on and they are the ones that have pleats and accentuate the hips. I feel so "hippy". I absolutely cannot wear those. Off they come and I grab another pair. These are the ones that are sooooo tight that they suck to your backside and force you to pull down on the fabric every time you sit down and stand up so that you can "breathe" (if you catch my drift).

Fortunately, at this point the dream segued into a peaceful scene in the which I am sitting by my garden digging in the soil when I find a turtle corpse that begins wiggling and then splits right open to reveal a baby turtle that (of course) has a full set of human teeth and gives me a brilliant smile as he looks at me and says, "MAMA!". He jumps up and snuggles into my neck with his little turtle arms wrapped around and squeezing tight....he didn't have those scratchy turtle claws...just little turtle hands like in a cartoon. So then I took him in the house and taught him how to swim in the bathtub. He was a natural.

All in all, a pretty typical night.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Makes me laugh.

If you don't think this is funny, I'm afraid we can't be friends sorry.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It happened.

They played.
Nobody was "the attacker".

Nobody needed a bandaid or a time-out.

They made it! They're sisters!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The original aquadoodle.





Sponge brushes. (You know if you've ever served as Enrichment counselor you have plenty of these kicking around.)


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Feeling better.

We went out to the stables yesterday.

It was 77 degrees...perfect for riding horses.

The boys were saddling and brushing, clicking and whoah-ing and having the time of their lives.

Megan had found a new friend...Mary Claire. She brought a back pack full of princess things.

We brought the red wagon and I pulled the girls around and around while we listened to the wind and the horses.

After a while Megan and Mary Claire found a spot next to the arena where they could focus on their princesses and I found a flatish area covered in clover (horse poop free) where Laney could do what she does best. She walked away then turned around and came back. The next time she went further. Then further.

I just sat and enjoyed the sun as I watched my daughter come and go...moving faster than her legs could carry her. Every time she turned around it was like she was surprised to see me there waiting for her. I relished the opportunity to give her my attention, knowing that each of my other children were just as pleasantly engaged.


The absence of technology. No movies, no video games, no computer, no blog (please forgive me!), no phone.

I felt like I was healing from all the crazy that goes on in a day. I realize that it is my choice to do too much and allow too much into our lives. And maybe it's what I allow into our lives that is making me feel a bit scattered and incomplete.

When I slow down the way that I talk...take the time to look at them when they speak to me...and pause to think before I answer, I feel more like a human being. When I focus on one task at a time or one conversation at a time, I feel more like me and less like the aggravated, irritated, unapproachable version of myself that I become too easily.

I want to see more of myself this year...and less of her.

Do think a horse would be TOTALLY miserable in our backyard?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stick it in the dirt.

THIS is going to be lots and lots of delicious red potatoes in approximately 70 to 90 days.

Let me rephrase that...THIS had better be lots and lots of delicious red potatoes in approximately 70 to 90 days.

Let the gardening begin.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome Sun!

We are no longer living like hermits. We have emerged from our home...pale from underexposure and lack of Vitamin D.

When the temperature drops, so does the neighborly conversation. For 3 freezing months, we make due with waving to each other as we shuttle the little people about.

We have fantastic neighbors...the kind you can call and say, "hey, come out here and talk to me!" You know... in that bossy way that makes you feel included and liked.

So we dusted off the bikes, repaired a few flat tires, dug out the sidewalk chalk and retrieved the lawn chairs from the back yard.

I mostly just sit and talk while the others sort and label for their upcoming yard sale. I am always the benefactress of many cute little girl clothes and don't think I don't appreciate it.

We talk about school, teachers (good and bad), gardening, bills, vacations, husbands, housework (mostly undone) and what we are going to make for dinner once we finally make ourselves pack up and go in.

I love it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Opportunity to Help!

My friend, Jessica, just blogged about the opportunity to register to be a bone marrow donor. Apparently there are lots of misconceptions about the pain involved in this procedure (thank you House and ER). So I copied and pasted her post here so you can read what she had to say and follow the links for more info...I'm just to lazy to put it into my own words. Anyway, she convinced me!

Here she is:

"So, my sister sent me an email this morning about registering here:

I thought it must be spam. It wasn't.

Bone marrow donation is one of those things I always thought I would do if someone really needed me to, but I thought you had to go somewhere and let them take a blood sample to register. And it's not that I mind giving blood; it's just hard for me to go places. Not hard, exactly, it's just that I have a hard time doing stuff sometimes. Like getting anywhere on time. Or going to the post office. Ever. Sometimes even the mailbox is a challenge. And I only ever go to a doctor if I'm knocked up or think I might be dying. So, what I'm telling you is that I've never registered to be a bone marrow donor, even though it's always been one of those things I always thought I'd be willing to do. The fact (in my mind) that you have to go out of your way to even be registered and then go through a painful ordeal if you're ever needed made it seem like something only super do-gooders ever actually do, and something people like me only think they should do. You know what I mean?

Well, fast forward to today. I got this email and asked my sister if it was legit. She says yeah, she just got finished registering, and that I should check it out. I just got finished registering myself. So, if you're interested, click the link above. As is turns out, almost everything I thought about marrow donation was false. It's not painful, but it normally costs you $52 to get on the registry. The money covers tissue typing costs, but if you sign up today or tomorrow and enter this promo code ( unmsterling3 ), the fee will be waived. You won't even have to enter your credit or debit card info when prompted to.

If you're a maybe, here's a little more info that might help you make up your mind. It only takes about 10 minutes to register, and it's all online.

Hope this gives you something to think about. Have a great day!"

Also...I did discover that you do not need to provide your social security number or drivers license number, something I almost NEVER do. Just leave that part blank.

Good luck!

Leaving on a jet plane.

All my bags are packed. (Not even one is packed.)

I'm ready to go. (I do have enough snacks to sustain life on a small planet.)

I'm standin here outside your door. (Creepy.)

I hate to wake you up to say goodbye. (So let's all go...all SIX of us.)

But the dawn is breakin (On about hour 13 of this ridiculous drive)

Its early morn (How am I going to accommodate Laney's 3 am feeding?)

The taxis waitin (We don't have taxis in Arkansas)

Hes blowin his horn (That's the neighbor boy...he must've found the keys again)

Already Im so lonesome (Lonesome is not the word..desperate? claustrophobic?)

I could die (Possible. But unlikely)

Leaving on a jet plane. (We're leaving in a mini van.)

Don't know when I'll be back again. (We'll be back next Sunday)

Oh babe, I hate to go. (Not really.)

Happy Spring Break everybody!


Don't I have the coolest mom ever?

I got to be raised by her.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Maybe a little too green.

There is something a little disturbing about eggs this green.

1. Position fork over eggs.

2. Take a deep breath.

3. Close your eyes - or at least look away.

4. Spear an egg.

5. Take a bite. Pretend it's really yellow.

See? It does taste the same.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The festivities

A good time was had by all.

Uncle John and Aunt Shannon and the Allred Family joined us to celebrate Laney's 1 year mark.

There was homage to Laney's intense love for the berries of blue:
A little pre-song sampling:
A little help from Dad:
Sampling the cake:
Extra berries for the birthday girl...she careflly selects the fattest ones. (They're the sweetest.)
She "opened" the gifts..."assisted" by her siblings.Mathew read the cards aloud like a Herald at a jousting tournament (ever seen 'A Knight's Tale'?)
There was dancing on the table....
Then the party was over and we finished of the night with a quiet dinner of Meatball Soup (one of Laney's faves) and garlic artisan bread. You can see she loves it...she's giving me the "you rock, Mom!" sign I taught her.
Happy Birthday, baby girl.

**Thank you, Sarah, for all the great pictures. It made my day so much easier, not worrying about manning the camera. You did a fantastic job!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Laney at 1

Happy Birthday Laneybug.

1 year ago today they put you in my arms.

Since then you:

Grew the biggest teeth possible for a girl your size. They are real whoppers.

Learned how to ask for more by yelling "MUH!" at a very high pitch. Who could deny you what you're asking for?

Developed a hefty addiction to blueberries.

Walk here and walk there. You walk for the fun of walking.

Fine tuned your ability to gurgle. At times you sound like a dove, softly cooing. Segue into that seagull from "The Little Mermaid". Only to morph into a screeching pterodactyl. I'm proud to say that you got that skill from your mother.

You don't like to be sung to, but you appreciate a good John Mayer tune.

You love a good beat and have bonded well with your dad over the guitar.

You put up with me cloth diapering you...I know, I know. And because of it you have consistently appeared to have a large amount of junk in your trunk. Sorry. Just think how much $ we saved for blueberries!

You insist on sneaking over to the dog's water dish and treating it like a wash basin. yuck.

Your arrival increased our rate of dinnertime cereal consumption. What can I say?

You are our fourth. I was the fourth. I think we understand each other. Hang in there! And will probably always be this crazy.

I love you. Your dad loves you. Your brothers and sisters are infatuated with you. I hope today is a day that will bring a smile and an unconscious giggle when you dream about it at night.

I love you, Laney!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Megan at 3

Megan according to Megan:

What is your favorite:

Color? Brown and Pink
Food? Whales and scrambled eggs
Drink? brown chocolate milk
Thing to do? Dress ups
Movie? Diamond Castle
Song? Diamond Castle song...I love that one.
Word? about Jesus
Toy? My Diamond Castle Barbie
Treat? Tootsie wolls

Where were you born? rocks I was born....but I want to stay (I have no idea)

Who is your best friend? Addie is my best friend because Addie is my cousin.

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? He likes to play with me and watch Diamond Castle and I live to ride on horsie rides.

What is your favorite thing to do with Mom?
You like to twirl with me with you

What do you think about Ethan?
He love to play with me.
Mathew? He likes to play with me too.
Laney? I like to give her toys.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? to Sadie's party and go swimming.

**Mom footnotes: Things I love (and a few I don't) about Megan.

*She and I will be in the middle of a power struggle and suddenly she will just stop and say, "I want to be happy now" and it's over.

*She loves to say, "Mom! I talkin to you-uh!"

*Her scream is unnerving. It is one of the things we are "working on" (that means she gets in trouble for it). I have long since learned that when she screams, she isn't necessarily being picked on by one of the boys. (Sorry about the accusations, guys) she probably just needs help with the zipper on her jacket.

*She is very musical. She hears a song and she'll be singing the music but with new words that describe what she's doing....."I think I'll go outside and get me a flower then I'll come back in and color me a princess" and on and on. This is one of the reasons I can get her to go to time.

*She is down right princess crazy.

*She rolls all her r's, d's, and th's. She sounds like a little Latina. I'll cry the day she stops doing that.

* If I let her, she'd eat all morning long. Until about noon all I hear from here is, "Mom, I'm hungry for brektuhst" She loves anything that you can have for breakfast...eggs, toast, sausage, cereal...but good luck to you on getting her to eat her lunch and dinner.

*Just like the boys, she refuses to sleep with covers matter how cold it is.

*She absolutely insists on holding hands everywhere you go. Really. No matter what.

I love you, Megan!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mathew at 5

Mathew according to Mathew:

What is your favorite:

Color? Blue
Food? Basketti
Drink? chocolate milk or milk or water
Thing to do? Play the little games at our Grandma in California? no wait...Utah.
Movie? Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa
Song? I like to see the temple
Place? Hotels!
Word? I know that God came to the earth. (maybe he thought I was talking about "the word")

What makes you happy? Having fun by playing with you.

What do you think of school? good
because we play at recess.

Where were you born? I think it's at Arkansahn

Who is your best friend? There are two people at school. My 1st one is Chloe. My 2nd one is Olivia....that starts with an uppercase 'O'.
What do you like about them? Well today at school, Wednesday, she gave me my marker and all the big markers.

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Once he let me come with him and I got to do a secret job and they had a very tall fort and I got to peek at someone's other place - kind of a square. I gotta peek and he said it was my secret job.

What is your favorite thing to do with Mom?
Play wii with you.

What do you think about Ethan?
I like that he does good on horse riding lessons and wasn't afraid when he was going on the hill.
Megan? I like on Sunday when she did that big twirl. That was awesome.
Laney? That she's very very very VERY cute.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Easy peasy mommy squeezy! A cowboy!

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? In the Western.
Why? To all the horses in the whole wide world. It has green grass.

**Mom footnotes: A few extras about Mathew.

*Even mention the fact that he makes you laugh and he'll collapse in a giggle fit. It truly is infectious.

*He's an incredible reader. He rarely lets me read to him anymore because he wants to do it.

*He likes to make this clicking sound with his tongue on the side of his mouth and give you a thumbs up at the same time. It's hilarious.

*He can snap super loud and does it during the prayer at anyone who's peeking.

*He's crazy about a good backscratch.

* One time when we were in the grocery store, we were passing by a Latino family and he said "Hola, Ninos!".

I can't think about him without laughing.

I love you, Maf!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ethan at 7

Ethan according to Ethan:

What is your favorite:

Color? White..because it's the color of Yellow Wings
**Who is Yellow Wings? my horse...stuffed
Food? Carrots
Drink? soda, rootbeer
Thing to do? Ride horses
Movie? Spirit
Song? Get offa my back and into my gang
Place? Utah..because when we go to Moon Lake I hope to catch guppies with my Dad again.
Word? Horses

What do you think about school? Awesome.
Why? because I get to learn.
Le arn what?Science and magnets.

What makes you happy? Horses.
Why? Because it's my favorite animal.
Why? Because when they gallop it looks really cool in one motion

Where were you born? in Utah in the hospital

Who is your best friend? Bryce
What do you like about him? He's very inventive and can fix anything.

What does Daddy do for a living? He goes to work and gets money and buys food for us.
What does he do for Wachter? He does what his boss tells him.

What does Mom do for a living? You get money and put some in the bank for saving in case there's an emergency.

What do you think about Mathew? He's really good at soccer.
Megan? I love it when she dresses up.
Laney? She's very good at scratching people.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Either a horse riding teacher or a cowboy. Which one do you want to be the most? A cowboy. Because I can save the horses from wild animals.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Africa. Why? because if I be really quiet outside I could hear the animals or see the animals.

**Mom footnotes: Because I know that I think I'll never forget this stuff, but I already have forgotten so much, here are a few observations about Ethan.

*He HATES the tags on shirts. If I don't remove them, he'll find a pair of scissors and do it himself.

*He insists on everything being fair. Even steven.

*That kid would run free with the wild horses if he could.

*He is very concerned about every human, animal and insect not being separated from its family.

*One of his favorite things is to stay up later than the other kids and help me put the house back together. I enjoy this time too because we have an opportunity to talk and bond without anyone else getting in the mix...that's when the fights break out and I turn into the warden.

* He bought home his school journal yesterday. They are given a list of vocabulary words that they need to try and use throughout the journal. Ethan can turn any word into something about horses. Were you aware that Martin Luther King Jr. was a horse lover too? Anyway, last night I was reading through and this was my favorite entry:

"In black history I injoyed Harriet Tubman the most. Harriet Tubman led the underground railroad. Harriet Tubman was sneaky."

I love you, Ethan!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I know you know what I'm talking about

This morning I'm eating my cereal out of a very small silver mixing bowl. I need to do the dishes.

I had to open a new gallon of milk because I can't gag down warm milk on my cereal.

I'm dressed in a combination of clothing that makes me feel like an old teenager. I'm not sure if I have the energy to change.

Mathew had a fit this morning that will go down in the history books. He went to school hungry because he couldn't pull it together enough to eat. There's some natural consequences for ya!

Those under 4 are on two antibiotics and one steriod, twice a day. I need more syringes because I don't run my dishwasher enough to sterilize those suckers and I despise getting sweet-smelling medicine on my person. (gagging)

Laney's birthday is on Saturday (1 year old!)and I know the weather is going to be a little chilly and I want to invite all the family, but the park seems like it would be too cold and we don't have enough room for everyone here at the instead of deciding what to do I'm letting time pass by until it will literally BE Saturday and I'll feel terrible for not organizing anything for my sweet toothy little girl. Maybe I'll wait until the sun comes out and do a party then? hmmm....

A couple of days ago I put four frozen chicken breasts in the microwave to defrost and I forgot about them....I think we had scrambled eggs instead. We found the chicken breasts 2 days later. (gagging). I'm still a little afraid of the microwave....and I didn't even share the "smoking corndog" incident with you...a double wammy.

I need to get up into the attic and get all the clothes out and find summer things for everyone. I love to go through things and sort, but I HATE getting up in the attic. (I still have a small pile of leftover Christmas decorations in the garage. )

I feel a huge FUNK coming on.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Candy red Kitchenaid

My old white Kitchenaid mixer died an early death last week.

I used that thing almost daily, so before the day was out I had found a replacement in this baby:
Oh yes.

The 5 qt. Artisan series. A whole half quart more that the last one. Imagine what I can do with another half quart...a pint, if you will.

In its first 24 hours in my possession I made mashed potatoes, a chocolate lovers cake, and 4 loaves of bread.

It couldn't take the heat and it launched itself off the end of the countertop during the 10 minute kneading cycle (torture) of a double batch of wheat bread.

It committed suicide.

Do you see it's spirit floating away? Amazing what a camera can capture, huh?

Kitchenaid is sending its replacement via Fedex along with the advice that I stand by it while it mixes.

Stand there while it does a 10 MINUTE mixing cycle? Not happening.

Candy Red II will have a spot on a bigger countertop....with plenty of wiggle room.

Monday, March 2, 2009

First new old shoes.

One dollar.

Not sure how I feel about the very square toes.

Maybe "ugly-cute".

Maybe just ugly.

Me likey.

These babies can come with me to Treasure Hill anytime.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

When in Rome...


Strap the tree trunk to the back of the van and drag it down the street?

Ditch it on Treasure Hill?