Monday, March 29, 2010


For 10 months now, I've been an almost-daily blogger. I've had inspirations of things to write about and ideas of how to write them.

A few weeks ago, my ideas ran out, my inspirations were gone, and I've been experiencing a bit of writer's block. And it wasn't until today, when I was pondering it all, that I realized why.

Last night I was watching "Will and Grace" (love that show, btw). The character Jack had just been dumped. He was so depressed that he started writing a novel as a way to release to his pain. After a little while, he was involved in a relationship again. He was happy, so he quit writing because he no longer had the ability to write because he wasn't feeling down. When I was searching my mind today for reasons why the change in my blogging had occurred, I thought of last night's show.

Ever since I first started this blog, I've been writing posts that focus on the positive aspects of my life to keep my negative inner self at bay. And it's been more than therapeutic for me. But for the past 2 months, I've been happy. Really, really happy. Something a bit traumatic happened to me at the end of January, and I had to dig deep within myself for any source of strength. It was an emotionally hard time for me, and I turned to my friends for help. I found the courage and the ability to heal my wounded heart from the pain of that incident. And then my heart healed from past hurts. And then my heart opened up to allow love into my life again. And then my heart felt pure happiness and joy. And I've been happy ever since. I've still had hard days, and have been momentarily upset, but I've easily gotten over it to feel that joy again. It's been wonderful. I have really loved and treasured the relationships I have with my husband, my children, my family, and my friends. I can't remember the last time I felt this good! I love this feeling! But, due to my happiness, my blogging has been affected. I currently don't have the need to emotionally write. For weeks now, I've been writing in a documentary-style to record the happenings of my family. But at the moment, I'm caught up-to-date with my photos (GASP! That's NEVER happened in all my blogging days!), and I have no inspirations or ideas of things to write about. I just don't feel the deep connection to my writing that I used to!

And now that I've pondered the situation, analyzed myself, and given a self-diagnosis, I'm pretty content with the reasons for my non-inspirational blogging! I'll gladly accept the diagnosis of "happiness" as the source of my lack of inspiration any day!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

100 + 100 = excessive

For the 100th day of school, the kindergartners were asked to each bring a collection of 100 items to school to show to their classmates. Many of the children bring candy or marshmallows or pretzels or other snack food items, because it's easy to come up with 100 of them. When Ammon was in kindergarten, he took 100 marbles. Jonah and Micah each took 100 cars. 100 cars x 2 boys = 200 cars absent from our home that day. And we still had over 50 left at home!
I seriously had no idea we owned that many toy cars!! Does anyone else get sucked into purchasing those 99 cent cars?! They're cheap and small and the boys are happy when they get to take one home after a shopping trip to a store. The photo is proof that those cheap gifts add up; I can't believe there's $200 worth of cars right there! Every year, I make the boys go through them and get rid of broken ones and ones they don't play with anymore. I think it's about time to do that again!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Adventures in...

...Potty Training!

The Christmas Break two weeks before Ammon turned 3, we taught him to go pee in a kiddy potty. He was easy to train, and he got it down within a week. He was even dry at night. It was awesome! Well, except for the fact that he refused to use a real toilet for 2 months. He ONLY wanted to go on his kiddy potty, so we had to take it with us if we went anywhere. That part wasn't so cool, but it was definitely doable, and Ammon surpassed any expectations we had at that point.

The Christmas Break three months after Jonah and Micah turned 3, we potty-trained them. It was an adventure of hitting and missing the mark dozens of times over the two-week winter vacation. Sometimes they used the kiddy potty, sometimes they used the toilet, sometimes they just went all over the floor. It was not a fun adventure AT ALL. But by the end of the break, they had the pee part down. The #2 part took a little longer; about 2 months longer. They just refused to do #2 in the toilet. I washed out so many pairs of underwear filled with brown yuck, it was gross. But, we lived through it and they learned in time to use the toilet and to stay dry at night.

We tried during the Christmas Break this past year to toilet-train Kanyon, just 6 weeks before he turned 3. But, he wasn't really interested, and he absolutely would not go in the kiddy potty because he saw his big brothers using the real toilet, so I threw away the kiddy potty! And I was happy to see it gone, because that truly meant this was the final time I would have to endure this awful adventure!
After a few weeks, he started hiding himself to soil his diaper and he wanted to be changed when he was wet or stinky, and we knew it was time to try again. For his 3rd birthday in February, he received 2 new sets of underwear, and he was so excited! For the first two weeks of toilet-training him, we used the incentive of He liked going potty, because that meant he got to play "dora" or "diego" on mommy's computer. He was going pee every half hour, then every hour. Then the coolness wore off. And he started having accidents all the time. He had to remove his pants and underwear and put them in the dirty clothes all by himself as a consequence for his accidents. He has 21 pairs of underwear, and he was going through all of them in about a week's time.
It seems to be that he'll have one good day--where an accident is rare or non-existent, and then the next day is horrible--with multiple accidents and messes to clean up. For 6 solid weeks, we've been on this trek of two steps forward, one step back. But he's finally getting to the point where he'll pull down his underwear and go without us asking him or helping him. And two nights ago, he was dry in the night. And for two days this week, he hasn't had an accident at all during the day. And he's used public bathrooms successfully. And he used the preschool potty on his own for the first time this week.

After successfully potty-training three older boys, teaching Kanyon to do the same should've been easy. But, Kanyon is a special child, and he's been much more challenging to teach and train. Even though it's taken him three times longer to catch on to it than the other boys, I couldn't be any happier about his progress!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Wheels on the Bike Go!

riding the 4-wheeled bikes they received for Christmas for the first time!

riding the 2-wheeled bikes after taking off the training wheels!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Question of the Day

If you eat lots of chocolate when you're angry, do the calories burn up faster?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Box Tops Top Boy

The elementary school has 3 Box Tops contests a year. Box Tops are those little pink squares that you can find attached to cereal boxes, cake boxes, diaper packages, tissue boxes, etc. Each Box Top is worth 10 cents, and after they are clipped and turned in, the school receives the money. One of the contests each year is an individual contest--the students who turn in the most Box Tops win and receive money for the book fair. For the past 4 years, Ammon has been one of the top 3 winners!!! It takes hundreds of Box Tops to win, and the only way it's been possible for him to get so many is by collecting them all year-long ourselves, have both grandparents collect them for us, and to ask relatives and babysitters to clip and save them for us, too. Box Tops are such an easy and fun way to earn money for the school. Ammon has truly enjoyed competing in the contests and being deemed as a winner and spending the prize money at the school's book fairs!

This year Ammon got 2nd place in the school with 243. The first place winner was Melissa (far right in the photo). She beat him in the class contest in Kindergarten, but every year since, Ammon has been one of the top winners in the entire school. Melissa was determined to beat Ammon this year, and she did for the first time since Kindergarten! This is Ammon's last year at the elementary school, because next year he will be attending the Middle School. So now the twins can start trying to earn the coveted title as winner of the Box Tops competition!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


It all started with the "mewing" impersonations.

Then Kanyon began crawling on all fours like a kitty.

Then he started eating cat food.

And he liked it.

Pretty soon, he was meowing, crawling around, and eating cat food simultaneously.Now we're just waiting for his whiskers and tail to grow to make the transformation complete!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Double the Dose of Seuss!

In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2nd, the kindergarteners had a party! Jonah and Micah were so excited about it!
The kindergarten celebrated by:

Wearing Pajamas to School

Reading his book "I am not going to get up today" as a class

Wearing their own hand-made "cat-in-the-hat" hats

Drawing pictures from their favorite Dr. Seuss book
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!! We love reading your books!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Read All About It: Kala's Quest

I enjoy reading, but when I find a good book, it takes up all my time and I get nothing else accomplished. So, I go through reading spurts: I'll read a lot, and then I won't read anything. During my last and latest reading spurt, I read "The Hourglass Door" (good book, can't wait for the second one), "The Lovely Bones" (creepy & realistic and left me feeling icky), "The Princess Academy" (a feel-good, easy read) and then I picked up Shannon Hale's "The Actor and the Housewife" and absolutely LOVED it!!! I just love a good book!!! It's now at the top of my favorite reads ever, alongside the "Harry Potter" series, the "Twilight" series, "The Secret Life of Bees", and "The Moonraker's Bride", just to name a few. I have a difficult time finding books that really satisfy me, but I'm so thrilled when I discover one that does! It's like finding treasure at the end of a scavenger hunt; the quest excites me, but I'm SO happy when I find that "one good book" that makes it all worthwhile!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Best Friends

definition of BEST:
1. of the highest quality, excellence, or standing.
2. most advantageous, suitable, or desirable.

definition of FRIEND:
1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; support.

I've had many "Best Friends" throughout my lifetime.

In the early years of my youth, my family moved around a lot due to my father's military job and the several universities he attended to earn his teaching degree. During those years, I had one 'Best Friend' a year, and each year it was a different person. When our family finally settled in Tremonton, I was in the 4th grade. Instead of moving and having to find a 'new' best friend, our family stayed, so I was forced to learn how to keep the friends I'd made, because we were no longer moving away from them. That was when I really started learning about what true "best friends" were, because after being friends with someone for longer than a year, you begin discovering personality flaws, you begin having disagreements, you begin to uncover the true being and nature of the person--and best friends love another, not for who they are, but in spite of who they are! It isn't until you've seen another's faults and you still love them and support them and remain friends, then the term "best friends" takes on its true value, with deeper feelings and greater understanding.

Since becoming an adult, I've had several 'best friends'. Each one still usually lasts only a year or two, just like in my early youth, mostly due to reasons of moving (either I move away, or my friend does). True best friends remain my friends for life, but the time spent with them becomes much less frequent because of the distance and contact with them unfortunately turns into the once a year meeting (if that). These best-friends-turned-distant-friends are dear to my heart, and always will be: Cindy Taylor, Becky Durrant, Kayleen Ball, Marie Hansen, Emily Higbee, Candise Gilbert, Amy Baldwin, Celyn Ganske. I think about them and reflect on memories I have with them and I miss them.

I'm a person who thrives on having many acquaintances, but I need one close, good, true 'best' friend. I am so lucky to have more than just that one right now. There are five local people who I feel I can call my 'best' friend for many different reasons. I have five friends who I can turn to, who I love and who care about me, who are important to me and will be for my lifetime:


Hailey Girl is my bestest Gal Pal. We've been friends for over 5 years, and we never run out of things to talk about, things to laugh about, things to cry about. Hailey knows all my "uglies" and she chooses to love me anyways. Hailey has the very best heart of anyone I know. She is full of optimism, she is very understanding, she is extremely loving and caring. She listens and shares, she laughs and enjoys, she is honest and open, she is giving and inviting. She is delightful and easy-going and fun. I enjoy every minute I spend with her, and I always come away feeling like a better person because of her.

John is my favorite guy friend. I've known him for over 3 years. He makes me laugh with his quick wit sense of humor, he causes me to think and ponder things using his knowledge and intelligence, he gets me to open up my mind and heart with his own honesty about life. John is so talented! We share a love for music and performing and the arts. His ears always are in tune with music, he has an eye for beauty and for detail, he has an amazing ability to lead others, his hands create inspirational art pieces. I just adore him and I love spending time with him!


Denise is my best older & wiser friend! I've known her for almost 6 years. Denise has so many real-life experiences and she always knows the right thing to say and do to help others enduring hardships. She is so crafty and creative! We've spent many hours together just creating and talking. Any time I spend with her is quality. We talk about real things, real feelings, real life. We think very similarly and have lived through similar life experiences, and I know that she always understands me. I admire her tremendously and I enjoy being with her!

Kimi is my best younger & carefree friend. She reminds me of myself when I was her age. She has babysat my children for years. And now that she's an older teen, I've found myself becoming quite attached to her as well. She knows who she is, and she values herself. She is so much fun to be around, and we spend a lot of time laughing and chatting. She has a wild streak in her like I do, and sometimes we do crazy things together. She feels like a younger sister to me, and we have an unexplained divine connection. Kimi brings out the smiles in me and I love that about her!


Josh is my BFF--best friend forever and ever. We were friends long before we were married. I don't keep any aspect of my life from him. He knows me better than anyone, and we're still together--which says a lot! I love him for listening to me, for being reliable, for taking care of me and our family, for being my rock. He's definitely the better half of our relationship because he's the solid one, the stable one, the strong one. He's got a rebellious streak that keeps him mysterious and interesting! He's quiet and reserved which balances out with my talkativeness and outgoing personality! I love being alone with him and spending time together with him and keeping our relationship alive!

I feel blessed to have each of these five people's presence in my life. My relationships with each of these individuals have connections that run deep to the core of my very being. These 'best' friendships make my heart happy, my soul content, and my life complete!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hair's to You, Mr. Tolman!

I love him with his long curly locks that extend beyond the cap during the winter.I love him with the short, stylish crop that is neatly tucked in the cap during the spring.I'm in love with Josh's nice, smooth, dark hair! Just love it!!!
[But even if he had none, I'd love him just the same!]

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bucket List: Item #2

From the time I began dating Josh, I wanted to go to England. I had a Humanities class in college that really instilled in me a love for the history of the arts, and I yearned to visit multiple places in Europe, especially England because of its historical richness. Josh served a mission in the Leeds England mission, and he always had a desire to return to that beautiful country, too.

So in 2008, after 10 years of marriage, we finally took a long-overdue honeymoon and went on a 10-day trip to England. We visited places all over England and it was absolutely wonderful! We spent time in the large cities of London and Manchester and Leeds, but the area we enjoyed the most was the northern end of the country, with all the countrysides and rolling hills and farms and rock walls and old towns.

Near the end of the trip, we spent one night and part of a day in Scotland. We stayed at a lovely bed & breakfast in Dumfries, on the southwest end of the country near the border. We visited a 100-year-old golf course and toured the gorgeous and historic Caerlaverock Castle. We enjoyed every single minute of being in Scotland. The time spent there was at the top of our favorite moments from the trip.

We both loved being in Scotland so much, that if we ever had the opportunity, we both swear we would move there! Josh and I both vowed that on our next European trip, we would spend more time in Scotland and visit Ireland as well.

The 2nd official item on my bucket list: Take a vacation across Scotland and Ireland with Josh!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

a Bear turned Webelo

The scouts' Blue & Gold Banquet was at the end of February. After the dinner, the boys demonstrated individual science projects for the program. Ammon's project was growing water jelly crystals, from a science kit that Grandma P. gave him last year.
He earned several awards that night, including his: Bear cub scout badge, Webelos ribbons, gold and silver arrowheads, pinewood derby section, soccer belt loop, and he got the new Grand Teton Council badge. He was one decorated boy!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Kanyon has been loving going to pre-school. He calls it his "pre-cool"! He started going two mornings a week at the end of February.

In preparation for the big first day, we used baby steps to get him ready by: weaning him from sucking on the binky during the day (still working on the night-time binky), potty-trained him using extra incentives for the first week (he still has multiple accidents each week, though), and introduced him to the preschool environment a few weeks before-hand (with his OT Gayle at her last visit).

He is so happy the mornings we tell him he's going to preschool! He's excited to get dressed and ready and go! He enjoys being there and has only had a few minor meltdowns and one potty accident since he started attending! His teachers are excellent and very knowledgable and caring and fun. I'm so grateful he loves it and I'm thankful he's doing so well and I'm appreciative of his wonderful teachers!




(he was so proud of it he carried it around everywhere for 24 hours!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

do you deja vu?

Have you ever had deja vu?
Deja vu is the sensation of experiencing a new situation but thinking and feeling that it has occurred before.
I've experienced this phenomenon since I was a young teenager.
In the past week, I've had it three times, which is a bit much. Much more than normal.
It's never in a larger-than-life situation; it usually happens during a mundane task.
Like last Sunday, Kanyon was bouncing on my lap at church as the congregation was singing a certain song and somebody leaned over and said a certain phrase to me. I knew in that moment I'd lived it before.
It's rather a strange sensation.
Do any of you have it as often as I do?
I've heard it said that experiencing deja vu means that you're living your life on track, that you've viewed your life before, and when you experience it, you're doing what you should be doing in this life.
Do you think that's true?
Is that even possible?
I'm never for certain if my deja vu is something I've experienced previously in a night-time dream, because my dreams are so vivid, or if it really is something that I remember from the pre-mortal life.
What do YOU think?

Friday, March 5, 2010

All Tuckered Out...

...and apparently prepared to sleep in an igloo!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy Valentines = Happy Boys

Step 1: Choose Valentines cards to give to classmates, then write names, attach candy, apply stickers.

Step 2: Make Valentines containers to hold all the received love notes and candy.

Step 3: Open Valentines from others, smile at fun notes, eat too many sweets, adhere all received tattoos and stickers to the body, laugh repeatedly from all the sugar in the blood system.
Seriously, what's not to LOVE about VALENTINES?!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Love at Home

At the beginning of February, I wanted to really foster the feeling of love within our home. At the first Family Home Evening of the month, we talked to the boys about sharing their love for their brothers in small ways. We asked them to each perform one small task every day to give service and show love for every member in the family. It was delightful to see the kindness and love abound in our home!

The boys also each worked on making homemade valentine cards for one another. It was a three day project: the first day they went through some old books and cut out pictures they would like to put on a card for each person in the family, the second day they glued the pictures to construction paper and wrote notes in them, and the third day they hid the cards in the house for the recipients to find! The boys loved finding the hidden cards and reading the sweet messages inside of them from their brothers!
After seeing how much they enjoyed that, Josh and I gave them our valentines in a similar way. We made some cards, wrote hand written messages on them, and fastened some chocolate to them before hiding them for the boys to find! We hid the valentines from Grandma P., too. They had such a great time searching for them and discovering their three cards (and eating the chocolates too)!
I just love Valentines Day! I've always loved receiving hand-written love notes, and being the recipient of affectionate service. Valentine's Day also happens to be the anniversary of the day Josh proposed to me. When we were first married, I asked him if we could please celebrate Valentine's each year with a simple hand-written card for each other. And he's honored that request ever since. It was so neat this year to start that tradition with my children too!
I had such a wonderful time observing as my home was filled with love, being given and received, from each member of our family! Because as the song truly states, "There is beauty all around, when there's love at home!"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

1 + 2 = 3

ONE birthday boy
TWO family parties
THREE years of life
Happy Birthday Kanyon! Having you in our family has been the grandest adventure! We love you and are so grateful you are growing into such a big boy! You bring our lives such happiness and joy, and we can't imagine what are our lives would be without you!

Special Thanks to Grandma P. for making the fun train cake, to Grandma T. for the cute train set, to Mick & Jen for the little tractors, and to everyone who remembered him on his special day! At age 3, Kanyon's favorites are:
TOYS--trains, cars, trucks, tractors, books, lego blocks, balls
ACTIVITIES--exploring outdoors, playing in the dirt pile, jumping in puddles, "helping" grandpa on the ranch, playing golf at dad's work, playing "Putt-Putt" computer games, bossing his brothers
TV SHOWS--Diego, Dora, Max & Ruby, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Thomas the Train
MOVIES--Cars, Polar Express
FOOD--cheese, hamburger, hot dogs, ketchup, pudding, ice cream
IMPERSONATIONS--growling like a bear, mewing like a cat, yipping like a puppy