Abigail turned two!

Now that June is almost over I guess I had better put a post in about Abigail's 2nd birthday earlier this month.

June 8th was a special day at our house and the children were so excited to wrap up Abigail's presents and get her cake ready. Abigail soon caught on to the excitement and went around the house singing "happy birthday to me!" During Sacrament meeting while the congregation was singing the opening hymn Abigail could be heard singing "Happy Birthday"

When it came time for Abigail to open her presents she soon caught on to all the attention and was posing and laughing and keeping us all laughing.

Abigail was trying to figure out how to get her new swimsuit on. Maybe she even thought it was a hat?

Of course, Trevor who loves cars wanted Abigail to have a car of her very own.
As you can tell, she was very happy with it!

We must need to take Abigail to the beach so she can use her bucket and shovel.
She thinks they are for making soup.

Our little girl who seemed to be a late bloomer has finally bloomed! Our doctor kept pushing for us to enroll her into Early Intervention but we really felt she would start doing things when she was ready. How nice it was to take Abigail to her two-year check-up and tell the doctor that she was walking, running, walking up and down the stairs, finally talking and singing up a storm!

There is never a dull moment at our house with this little one running around and Abigail loves to try to imitate what her older siblings say and do. How fun it has been to watch her learn and grow over the last two years!


Gandalf would be proud

We were just about to retire for the evening when...


The country club across the street started their annual fireworks display.

The older kids all really enjoyed the colors and sound.

Abigail did not.


A pen, a mirror, a camera, and a dark bathroom

You may be wondering what these objects have in common. They were all employed by Anthony and me to take a series of fun photographs yesterday evening. The pen has a laser pointer and a blue LED. The mirror is not the one you see in the photos, but a small one on a telescoping wand that I used to see the LCD on the camera as it was backed up against the wall of our rather cramped downstairs bathroom.

Here are some the better photographs:

I was trying to draw a baby on Tamara's belly.

Natalie's heart turned out fairly well.

Michaela's intent stare cracks me up...

...but I can see where she gets it!

Anthony had fun both manning the laser and posing for the camera.

Trevor was actually my first helper, but he got tired after a while.

The laser by itself made for some intriguing effects.

Changing the aperture gave things a nice red glow.


Peer pressure against my forehead

I should have slowly backed away...

[Not an actual representation of Jeremiah's forehead]


The seeds that were planted

On a visit to my home early last spring, my dad, unbeknownst to me, planted some bulbs in my small garden. The bulbs lay in the ground for several months. As the sprouts pushed up through the soil, Tamara actually plucked out a few, thinking they were weeds. The flowers grew, but no blossoms ever appeared. Just a few days ago, a beautiful lily opened up, dazzling me with its large pink petals.

As I stooped over the lily this morning, guarding my camera from a light spring drizzle, I thought that the history of the unexpected lily in my garden was quite like the character traits and traditions that my father planted in me--now cropping up here and there as the conditions in my life allow for such full and fragrant blossoms. What a patient gardener my father must be to have sown such precious seeds and wait to see them bloom. I hope the soil of my heart will prove to be fertile, and I will nurture the garden that my father started.

Thanks, Dad. Thank you for helping shape the person that I am today. Thanks for telling me that you're proud of me. Thanks for telling me and showing me that you love me.

I love you, too.

Happy Father's Day.

Your son forever,


What we teach our kids

Tamara walked out to the bus stop with me this morning. Trevor and Abigail walked along with us, enjoying a day much less humid than yesterday.

Trevor saw his friend, Vlad, at the playground flying a kite with his babushka. Vlad is from Belarus.

"My friend! My friend!"

"Trevor, would you like to learn something in Russian to say to Vlad?" I asked.


"Come on, big guy! Can you say molodjets?"

"Mmmmm," was followed by an indistinct growl.

"Mah," I offered.


"Lah," I continued to prompt him.


"Dyets," I pronounced.

"Jets," Trevor mimicked.

"Good job! Molodjets!" Molodjets means 'good job' in Russian.

"Mallow-jets!" echoed Trevor with an impish grin.

My bus pulled up. As we walked over, Abigail looked at me and said, "Maaaaaaah."

"Lah," I said expectantly.




Tamara and I both had a good laugh, and I got on the bus.

Later, Trevor sent me an instant message.


Tamara had told Trevor how to spell the word, and he had remembered the letters and pecked them out on the keyboard.


It wasn't too big a leap from 'truck,' and, partially thanks to Word World on PBS, Trevor can now spell his name and two words. Not bad for a pre-preschooler.


Fifth Grade Field Trip

Today was the day Michaela has been looking forward to for months and the day I was hoping I wouldn't regret volunteering. I don't know what I was thinking but I sure wasn't thinking about being 6 months pregnant when this event arrived. Luckily I'm still feeling really good and the day was great fun!

Wondering where we ventured to?

I was one of the chaperons on Michaela's field trip to Plymouth Plantation. Our weather didn't cooperate and we never saw the sun, were cold most of the time, and even got rained on a little. Our bus driver heard of a "short cut" and our 1 1/2 hour bus ride ended up taking us 2 1/2 hours. He promised not to go home that same way but he still didn't take a very direct route and it took us almost 2 hours to get back. Even with these few annoying mishaps we had a really good day and I survived being on the bus for 4 hours with 36 fifth graders!

I've never had the opportunity to go with any of my children on a field trip so it was lots of fun to be with Michaela and her classmates. The only way this was possible was because Jeremiah worked at home today. He was home with Trevor and Abigail and since Michaela and I didn't get back until 4:30 p.m. Jeremiah was home to greet Anthony and Natalie when they got off the bus this afternoon.

Here are a few pictures of our adventures.

This is the group I was in charge of on our tour. Michaela is pretty easy to spot. Isn't she?

Michaela sitting on a cannon in the fort just outside the village

A replica of the Mayflower.
This was my favorite part but unfortunately because of our tight schedule we didn't get to spend much time there.

Michaela on board the Mayflower.
It was so cold and windy! Didn't seem like June at all.


What a way to start the week

I was pushing back the covers this morning when I heard Trevor knock on the bathroom and announce to Mommy, "I smelled my underwear, and it's not stinky!"

I think I need a different wake up call service...


Sad Day! II

I was released from my calling as Primary chorister today. Honestly, I am a little down about it. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with wonderful children, including five of my own, these past few years. I cried a little as I did Singing Time for the last time, but we sang some songs to help me feel better.

And... I got this cool picture of all my little brothers and sisters, and some woman who wandered into the shot. ;)

A few, somewhat random, notes on this picture:
  1. My daughter is the blonde to my right, not the brunette to my left, who is my good friend Kelsey Herrera.
  2. Thank goodness I know how to use the cloning tool in Photoshop, otherwise you would now feel as if you had just stared straight into the gorgon's eyes.
  3. Yes, it was that bad.
  4. No she's not completely deleted from the picture--just about three feet shorter.
  5. Yes, thank goodness she's turning twelve soon. No, 'gorgon' is from the Greek gorgos, meaning 'terrible', and shares no etymology with 'gorgeous,' which is from the Old French gorgias, meaning 'fine, elegant.'
  6. Yes, I am enough of a nerd to have looked up the etymology of those words.
  7. No, I didn't have to look up 'gorgon' before I put it in this caption.
  8. (Not the gorgon now--just to clarify) Tamara didn't really wander in, and she does improve the shot quite a bit.

I have to say that it's probably about time that I moved on to a different calling. Tamara, who has been indispensable as a pianist and very helpful as a resource for helping me plan my Singing Time activities, is no longer in the Primary presidency (see Sad Day! part 1). Liz Johnson, whom I served under these past few years, is also out, as she and her family will be moving to Jackson Hole later this week.

On that subject--we had a very nice visit with Liz and Adam Johnson, who came with their children to have dinner with us last Sunday. I enjoyed learning more about their past and hearing about their plans for the future. An evening together doesn't make up for losing their companionship after they have gone, but it was nice to be able to express our appreciation for them and take another picture or two before they left.