Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Things Jane Has Done While Wearing a Cast



1.  Jumped ON a diving board, but not OFF the diving board (phew!)

2.  Jumped on the trampoline.

3.  Played in her piano recital (both hands!)

4.  Had the “best birthday of her whole life!”

5.  Ridden a scooter, one-handed, while a tow rope was attached to it.  What?

6.  Seen the play “Wicked” and only felt scared right before Fiyero turned into a scarecrow.

7.  Done the neighborhood slip-n-slide (Wet PLUS running PLUS falling?  You see a problem with that?)

(We’re so relieved it comes off on Thursday, because she’s obviously been REALLY hampered by it for the last couple of weeks.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jane is 8

(guest post by Jane's dad)

Dear Jane,

I am glad for the excuse to tell you what a great girl you are. Birthdays are a blessing because they remind me to pause and appreciate the good things that you have brought into our world. But they are also tinged with the realization that time does pass and that you won't always be something that I can scoop up. I want you to know that I just plain love who you are. You are a big joy in a little body. You laugh hard and play hard. You have the scrapes and scratches to prove it (and I guess a hot pink cast now too). You are brave enough to withstand the heckling that younger sisters are sometimes subjected to. You aren't intimidated by work. I love having a girl that stops me 5 times in a day to tell me about George Washington Carver; or one that comes downstairs after being put to bed saying how her inventor book is more interesting than the latest chapter book. I am glad that your "R's" aren't all the way grown up yet. You crack me up with your one-liner commentaries. I wish I could freeze time with you. I love soaking up the minutes I get with you. They will never be enough, but they are more than I could have ever hoped for. You - Are - Awesome!

Love, Dad

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Some people helped with dinner chores:

Some people didn't:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quick Quote



At a VERY involved Arrow of Light Ceremony, Faith noticed the man in the Indian headress:

"Hey!  Dat’s a coot tookey!”

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Join the club, Jane

After falling off of her scooter while riding home from piano last Wednesday, Jane was in a lot of pain, but seemed to recover quickly. We didn't think it was broken because a) she slept great b) she hasn't needed painkillers since Thursday c) she played in get soccer game yesterday.

Well, we were wrong!

We noticed a weird bump yesterday, called a doctor friend, and visited urgent care this morning. They are calling it a "green stick" fracture...meaning her bones are soft (like a new branch on a tree) and it mostly bent, with some minor fracturing on the edges. It's hard-splinted now and we'll take her in tomorrow for a real cast.

Our main worry? Jane turns 8 in 8 days. How does one get baptized by immersion when one has a cast on??

The only "non-broken" members of our family are Faith and Ryan now. While it's a tough, cool club to join, we are hoping to keep it pretty exclusive!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


April started with my kids’ Spring Break.  I had the same plan as last year:  one big activity/outing per day, and it worked out great. 

Jane was really sick on Day 1, so we made that Craft Day.  (This is evidence that I’m a good mom:  I hate crafts but do them once a year anyway.)  I picked the most perfect ones.  The kids made this lion,


which was great for ages 5-12 and then made their own marble maze.


They played and ran timed trials with their mazes 121 times in the next few days, so it was the activity that kept on giving.

The other Spring Break activities included…

Bowling with our friends/neighbors, the Fuhrimanns



Jumping at the super fun/super expensive trampoline place in town.  Seriously, it was the most active fun I’ve had with my kids in a long time. 


The last day was the best.  Ryan took the day off and we used this little kids magazine we found to be tourists in our own downtown. 


It had a little detective theme and we walked about 2 miles, checking out the different sights and learning about stuff like the most dangerous saloon in Spokane (cool!)



and hydroelectric power (snore…though it came in handy at a charades night a few days later).


The rest of the month was filled with…

Uh, this was the part where I look at my pictures so I can remember.  But there are none, just a few videos of Faith counting to 29 (yeah: Genius 2 year old) and bunch of self portraits of those silly kids. And this shot: April3

which represents this fantastically crappy spring we’ve been having here in Spokane.

I’ll actually have to rely on my memory for a little person by person recap:

 Emma spent a lot of time with us, as she is allowed to play with friends, talk on the phone and watch TV when her grades look like she can handle those distractions.  There is some slooow progress (both Emma and her parents are learning a lot).  Gabe spent April running 50 miles, total, in the school’s running program, getting a lot of migraines Sad smile and taking 5 pages of notes on General Conference.  Jane also ran (36 miles), played soccer (1 goal = big milkshake) and got one of the larger parts in her second grade play.  Seth talked a lot and played with his friends a lot and did his jobs really slow a lot and kept learning to read like a champ a lot.  Faith had an easy phase in April and continually amazes us with her vocabulary and memory.  She has lots of buddies in her older siblings; we think she’s a pretty lucky kid.  Ryan finished his MBA class with 100% and is really questioning the wisdom of being on the city council. I am training for a half marathon and have lost 29 lbs since January!

We ended April with another week of fun:  a trip to Women’s Conference for Mom and a long playdate with Grandma Dorrie for the kids.



I joined them the last two days for a much-anticipated-by-Seth trip to the Bean Museum, where they got to pet a snake.  Seth asked me to take a picture so it’s look like he’s fighting the animals:



plus the Market Room Buffet at Brick Oven.


After, we met up with cousins McKennah and Cecily


(between dance competitions) to bowl.

Jane won


and Gabe, um, didn’t:


We also had a SUPER fun dinner at Cade and Stacy’s, where this crowd: utahtrip1

just sat around being hilarious for a few hours. 


We even got Aunt Bekah to be our Easter Outfit photographer:


Man.  April sounds really fun, when you read about it like that!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

“I learn how to love them, dear Mother, from you…”


I watch my mother and I learn compassion and to value things that “lovely, of good report and praiseworthy.”

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I watch my mother in law and learn to keep a sense of humor no matter what and to serve unceasingly.

I watch my friend Brenda and learn to be a “mother bear” when it comes to defending my kids.

I watch my friend Rachel and learn to teach self-confidence to children simply by being self-confident yourself.

I watch my friend Laura and learn to say things nicely so the EVERY kid in the neighborhood wants to be around you all the time.

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I watch my friend Alison and learn to teach my kids to find causes and stand for them, no matter what.

I watch my friend Penny and learn to make my kids’ safety paramount in my decision making.

I watch my friend Daralee and learn to teach my kids self-reliance and to place value on what is really important.

I watch my friend Tessa and learn how to teach your kids optimism, service and friendship.

I watch my friend Randi and learn how to teach children to develop their talents and let them be who they are.


I watch my friend Jessica (Albrecht) and learn how to take charge and make sure the programs, relationships, lessons, etc. that are good for her kids are in place, organized and the best they can be.

I watch my friend Meghann and learn how to arrange my priorities so that I am giving my kids my time and attention.

I watch my friend Cami and learn how to cheer and encourage my kids in all that they do.

I watch my friend Jessica (Shenaman) and learn how to make every situation fun for my kids.

I watch my friend Melissa and learn how to be calm and how to say yes to my kids as much as possible.


I watch my friend Adrianne and learn how to work to continually progress in the skills of mothering.

I watch my friend Paige and learn how to make my kids the most important variable in the hard, hard things life throws at us.

I watch my friend Andrea and learn how to put my desires aside in order to do what is best for my children.

I watch my sister-in-law Heather and learn how to parent by the Spirit.

I watch my sister-in-law Betsy and learn how to go to any length to make a holiday, a birthday, an event, a playdate for my kids as fun as possible.

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I watch my sister-in-law Brooke and learn how to model overcoming change and challenges and grief by following the Savior.

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I watch my sister-in-law Meridith and learn how to calmly and carefully do Motherhood like it’s the only job worth doing.

I watch my sister-in-law Christy and learn how to enjoy my kids, without stressing and worrying.

I watch my sister-in-law Janelle and learn how to only do the things that really matter for the growth of my kids and the strengthening of the family unit.

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I watch my sister-in-law Kelsie and learn how to give my kids a happy home by supporting and loving their father.

There are many blogging friends out there, too, who teach me things like organization, perspective, applying the Gospel to parenting, how to celebrate, how to slow down so that I can be a better mother.  I have women in my life who aren’t mothers yet, who cheer me on and applaud my efforts and make me feel like I just might be doing something right.  I have men in my life who inspire me with their fathering and their examples, their praise and their support.

I don’t do this job in a vacuum.  I can only do this job because I have examples and friends and books and a husband who help me.  Mostly I can do this because I have a Savior who, through his Grace gives me power to do more than is humanly possible in mothering these sweet, good, challenging children. 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thoughts from Women’s Conference

I got to attend BYU’s Women’s Conference over the weekend.  Some observations follow:

--BYU is a beautiful campus:  the buildings, the blossoms, the huge so-close-you-could-touch mountains, the feelings that’s here.  I feel lucky all of the time that I got to attend all those years ago.  I have lots of fun memories.

--There is so much variety, even among a bunch of American Mormon women.  I loved the different clothing styles, ages, conversations I overheard, groupings.  Variety and difference are beautiful.  Sometimes I forget that I/we all don’t need to act the same.  It’s our differences that makes this life experience rich and meaningful and lovely.

--Sometimes, even for a Type-A, follow-the-rules girl, like myself, skipping a class and going to lunch my mother in law and sister in law can be WAY more enriching than any old class would be.  Plus:  Kneaders.

--I have a problem:  while in the first class, “Ideals are Stars to steer by, not Sticks to beat ourselves with”, I literally had a knot in my stomach while I tried to pick the Absolutely Perfect lecture list for the next two days.  I was all anxious that I would miss The One that would make me Perfect.  I had to talk myself off the ledge and remind myself that it would be great, no matter what I picked and what I heard.  Sheesh.

--Also funny:  In the Avoiding the Time Traps of Technology class, I observed 1 woman texting on her phone during the opening prayer (yeah, yeah, my eyes were open…), 1 woman get up and leave when she got a call on her cell phones, and 2 women having a discussion about Angry Birds.  One of the best classes I went to, regardless of anyone’s technology addictions.

--Having two days of almost total alone time is really really nice sometimes.  I spent one segment between classes reading EVERY SINGLE PLAQUE next to the Minerva Teichert (one of my faves) paintings that line the walls of the Joseph Smith building.  (Downside:  you have to take pictures of yourself and that doesn’t usually work out so well).

women's conference

--If you don’t have a friend at Women’s Conference…you better have a husband who doesn’t mind getting calls after every class, so that you can share all the brilliant things you are learning with SOMEBODY.

--It’s a good thing I’m a trained runner—getting into popular Women’s Conference classes requires it.  You should have seen me, literally, FULL-OUT 9 minute-mile running to get into NieNie and CJane’s class.  I kept ignoring the vision of my 36-year-old-tight-jean-leopard-print-flats self tearing through the campus with a bag bouncing across my back by telling myself a)You’ll never see these people you are passing again and b)when will you get a chance to see/hear those two in person again?  (TOTALLY worth it, btw—hilarious, interesting, spiritual).

--It was wonderful.  I really just spend the whole entire time feeling the abiding peace and joy of the Holy Ghost.  I felt personal promptings that including (mostly) affirmations that I’m doing just fine and (a little bit) ideas on how to improve.  I was reminded, through that Spirit, of the blessings that come from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and obedience to it.  It is thrilling to know what I know and have what I have and to be able to share it with my children and others. 

--I have returned home just a little bit better than when I left.