Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I'm a Mormon, He's a Mormon, She's a Mormon, We're all Mormons!!  
Wouldn't you like to be a Mormon too?!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


When Marty was in 1st grade Annabelle was in his class.  She wore cute glasses and her hair was braided in pigtails with ribbons at the end. She was often caught whispering and giggling with her neighbor.  I'll never forget the morning she ran in two minutes late with a big smile and her teacher said she couldn't come in the class until she'd checked in the office for a tardy pass.  She looked so crestfallen. The teacher was following school rules, but Annabelle, who was only 6, looked so confused I wanted run after her and put my arm around her and walk with her and tell her I knew all about being late and it really was no big deal.

When Marty was in 4th grade he was excited to go to sleepaway camp with his whole class at Mill Hollow.  That night before camp we got a phone call. Annabelle had had a seizure and was in a coma. They didn't know what caused it.  I woke Marty up to tell him. That day as they headed off to Mill Hollow, Annabelle's classmates went fasting for her.  Most of the kids were 9 years old.  I told Marty it would still be fasting if he fasted for breakfast but ate at lunch.  Most of them fasted through lunch too.

Annabelle was diagnosed with Vanishing White Matter Disease.  It's rare.  It's a hereditary gene defect and there is no cure. There isn't any medicine.  There are only two doctors studying the disease -- one in Amsterdam and one in Israel. She was told she'd probably die within the year.  Her mom was told if she could keep her alive for 5 years, there might be a cure by then.  Annabelle lost her ability to walk and lost her ability to talk clearly.

It's been 5 years and Annabelle is still here.  She has a big beautiful smile and a fun sense of humor. She can text, gets around in her power wheelchair and she can swim.  But there's still no cure.

Her parents set up a foundation to bring patients and families together and to raise money to support the two research institutions working VWM.  Annabelle was excited to raise awareness about the foundation and set a goal to swim 300 meters on her own.  When she was diagnosed with VWM, her parents put a pool in their yard. At first she sank. But over the last 5 years, Annabelle has learned to swim with a coach. She loves the freedom the pool offers her!

Last Saturday we cheered Annabelle on as she swam 6 full laps! VWMfoundation.org to learn more.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bells Canyon

I went hiking with friends on Friday. Beautiful Colors!!  
The trees think Fall is here, but it hasn't really cooled down too much.
Doesn't quite feel like Fall yet...

Olympus's Homecoming Football game was Friday night as well.
Fit 13 of us in the car to get to the game. Seven 15-year-olds and four 11-year-olds plus Dan and me.
Good times!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dinner at the Mine

Dan recently joined YPO.  He's excited about the business camaraderie and forums providing opportunities to learn from other businessmen and women. Plus they do cool activities.  Several of their activities over the year are for the entire family.

This month was a tour and dinner at Kennecott Copper Mine. Several Rio Tinto/Kennecott employees were available to answer questions and teach us more about the mine.  It was super fascinating. A lot more than copper comes from Kennecott.

Gold and Silver bars mined from Kennecott

Gold was worth $80,000, silver was $30,000. Brought up that day.

Boys and toys! These trucks are 2-stories high.

See Christopher down there with the truck towering over him!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September In a Nutshell

Kids in tennis lessons, Nicholas loves school, New Testament class, Jon Schmidt outdoor concert (raining but still fun), Courtney ACT tutoring, roadshow practices, Marty got Eagle paperwork turned in, Oly High football game (feeling like a teen then brought back to reality when true teens walk by and say, "we don't want to sit here, it's the mom and dad section"), horseback riding with friends (hanging on for dear life), my Birthday (hiking with Dan in Park City), neighbors got robbed, Thursday vacation day for me (sat in bed and read a book ALL day #beenwaitingformetimeforalongtime), Courtney has more free time = less homework than last year,  Ryan Shupe Thanksgiving Point concert (perfect weather), Nick Flag football, my husband handled difficult parenting situation perfectly,  Nicholas got a fish (named "Little Nick. Or maybe, Nick Jr. Or maybe, Stevie.), Christopher is preparing to play a song in church. Exercise, Carpool, Laundry, Dishes, Rinse, Repeat.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Life is Good

I had a Fabulous birthday beginning with presents from my family in the morning and an afternoon lunch with Dan and then hike at Park City. We got back in time to watch Courtney's LAX game and then grab everyone for a quick dinner at Mikado before Roadshow practice. AND the best present of all is that all the kids actually like Sushi now!

But the best was yet to come: Thursday I laid in my bed all day and READ!  A Great Mystery (Jackson Brodie Series by Kate Atkinson: Case Histories)  Tried to think of how I could cancel my Personal Trainer and keep staying in bed. But I didn't! I got up and went and then came home exhausted and collapsed in bed and picked up my book again. Seriously, the most perfect vacation day ev-ah!

But the next morning I laid in bed wide awake at 5:30. Perhaps a little too rested from the previous day. NOT going to complain about that. Marvelous. Nick was up early too. He was dressed and laying in his bed playing his iPod (busted!). I said, "Hey, how about coming downstairs and we get your practicing done first thing?" He said, "We'll wake everyone up." I said, "They're already awake." He said, "O-K-A-Y" and jumped out of bed and we went downstairs and he practiced all his songs WITH A SMILE!

This was starting out to be the best day ever!!

After, he decided to make eggs while I made lunches.

We read scriptures. We had family prayer. Everyone was ready to go and out the door on time.  Nicholas and Christopher played Legos while Nick waited for his carpool.  After Nicholas left, Christopher did his practicing--he's super talented at memorizing new parts of his song.

While I was cleaning up the kitchen (yes, the kitchen was CLEAN before Chris even left for school), Chris opened up the Sports Illustrated. Then pointed out to me the article he was looking at -- A race car driver who lost both his legs in an accident.  Now he's an Olympic medalist in hand-cycling.  And with that inspiring message, Chris set out the door for school.

Could every week please have days like this in it?

Monday, September 10, 2012


I went horseback riding with friends (Can horses smell fear?) Having no experience with animals, pets or otherwise, I always feel so uncomfortable around them.  I know I'm supposed to talk to them, to feel love while I pet them, and to just-think-they're-so-darn-cute! But I don't. I just feel awkward.

However, I TRIED with the horse. Me and Oreo were really bonding. I was really feeling something for him. And then I was switched to Midnight because Oreo was limping.  So I brushed Midnight and felt a bit disloyal saying the same things to him as I'd just said to Oreo.  ("Oh, yeah. Yuk it up. I would have believed you thought I was beautiful if I hadn't JUST HEARD you say that to Oreo!")

And Midnight took me for quite a ride. The leaves had started turning and it had rained earlier that morning. Fall was in the air.  It was amazing.  Our friends chatted as we rode. We discussed family, children, goals, life. We crossed a river (stream). We traversed up a hill and down a cliff (hill).

We even ran the horses for a bit and I just Held On For Dear Life wishing I'd worn the riding helmet after all. 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Found in my bedside drawer:

Rubiks Cube instructions
2 receipts 
3 old Christmas letters 
1 thoughtful card received on a bad day
1 candy cane
1 can of Mace (purchased 15 years ago)
Abreva for cold sores 
(purchased years ago before I discovered Melissa Oil for cold sores)
4 Boondocks tokens
1 cub scout button (Hey, I was looking for that)
2 jedi braids clipped from my sons' hair last summer 
(which they wanted to save and I'm not quite sure where to save them) 
plus one jedi braid wrap
2 baby teeth

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Nick's First Day

It was a long wait for Nicholas who had to wait 8 more days to go back to school than the rest of the kids. He filled his time with a trip to Lagoon, a Meet Your Teacher activity, a swim party and an afternoon at Airborne. 

We also met some new classmates at the park one day, but Nicholas decided not to talk to any of them.  It was going to be a hard year if Nick was going to continue holding an "I don't want to switch schools" grudge.

One darling mom of a new student decided to invite the boys to her home for a swim party to break the ice. As it turned out, only Nick and 2 others could go. Small group, but ended up being the best thing ever for Nick.  You can't exactly ignore one other kid.  They found lots of things in common--they both love jumping off the diving board, sliding down the slide into the pool, Nick LOVED Chad's mom's guacamole, and Chad also loves video games--just like Nick.

On Fast Sunday I fasted and prayed that Nick would feel comfortable in his class, that he'd feel "at home" in his school and that he'd make good friends so he could look forward to each day.

Tuesday school started. He loved it. He loved his teacher.  He had fun playing with friends from his old class at recess. He had fun getting to know new friends.  When he came home and was asked, "How was school?" Instead of the mantra from last year, "I don't really like going to a new school!" He said, "Great!!" And meant it. 

(Here is where Mom breathes Deep, Cleansing, Sigh of Relief...)

He is happy. He feels at home. He talks about when he changes back to our neighborhood school at Jr. High. But he is happy where he is right now.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Shaeffers on a Boat

We rented a boat and spent Labor Day on the Lake with friends.  Perfect weather! So relaxing just sitting on the boat cheering everyone on.  Especially now that the motors are tucked safely under the boat and you don't have to worry as much about the propeller taking off an arm or a leg!

Also seems like there's more space on the lake even with lots of boats since everyone's surfing instead of water skiing and the ropes are so much shorter.

Courtney is an amazing photographer who got me looking good for the .05 second I was actually standing on the surfboard!

And so the old debate reopens...to buy a boat or not...

Sunday, September 02, 2012

First Day of School

What kind of blogger mom doesn't post photos of the first day of school? The one who still has one child that hasn't started back yet.  

But I am missing blogging and wanting to post something new.  It's hard for me to post... or write... or pay bills... or think... unless everything is in order around me -- a clean kitchen and a clean desk. And order doesn't come when children are home. I wouldn't have it any other way, but it just means I need TIME to get stuff organized. That time often comes at night when everyone (except Courtney, I've just learned to get used to that -- she's quiet, anyway) is in bed. But I've been reading a few good books lately, so I've been reading instead of blogging at night. And I SO love reading a good book!

My desk is still messy, but with no school tomorrow its easier to overlook.  I've plugged in my camera to download photos and found 145 more photos of the summer -- end of Space Camp, trip to Pagosa, summer night games... all things I would love to document. And all things that can distract me up from my original plan of posting SOMETHING.  So for now it's just the first day of school photos.

Courtney -- Senior.  Marty -- Freshman.
Christopher -- 6th grade
Courtney -- 6th grade. Marty -- 3rd grade.
Christopher -- Kindergarten