Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Goal Accomplished

I ran 35 minutes today and accomplished my goal of working up to a 5K! 
Yay me!
I actually looked forward to running each day because the app, my new headphones
and the beautiful scenery made it so fun. 

The App sent this to me -- I did not make myself my own certificate to commemorate.
That would be going too far, even for me!

Seriously, I just can't get enough of Fall when I'm surrounded by all these trees!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Dreams Coming True

We fell in love with our new property because of the trees, the forest behind it, the river and all the space to explore and let our imaginations roam.

Right now I can't get over how wonderful the streets covered in leaves are. I wouldn't let Dan sweep the driveway because I wanted the leaves there. 
Unfortunately the workers cleaned them up.
Fortunately 45 minutes after they were done, the driveway was covered again!
It's so beautiful!

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Did I ever mention that I got a "B" on my British Lit final and a B in the class? I feel really good about it! I decided not to sign up for another class yet because life is still pretty busy with house stuff.

And, with my new calling as Relief Society teacher, I have quite a bit of other studying to do... Studying for my lessons and also studying to learn to be a better teacher. So I made it a priority this week to spend all my extra time studying and reading the following: Teaching, No Greater Call cover-to-cover; Every Member a Missionary, by Clayton Christensen; "Teaching The Savior's Way"; the scriptures, of course; and beginning "Preach My Gospel." I also started "Sisters in My Gospel," but I didn't really love it.

Some things that jumped out at me specifically are to be more humble as I teach, (which, quite frankly, comes quite easily after a couple of lessons that I didn't feel that great about); initiate discussion so we can teach each other rather than me trying to "impart knowledge"; and be more prepared with a better closing and testimony.

One difficult obstacle is that I don't know the sisters that well since I'm new. But as I studied, I decided I needed to work harder to get to know everyone and even though it's a Relief Society class of many sisters, consider the class "my class" and do everything in my power to get to know everyone, learn about their strengths and gifts and love them. Fortunately Enrichment night was Tuesday, so I made it a priority to go to that and Saturday I hosted dinner group at our home, even though I considered taking a pass since we were new.

But I'm so glad I did both. It was a fun evening at enrichment getting to know some more people and enjoying the company of those I already know. And Saturday night dinner group was wonderful. Three married couples came, a single sister, an older woman who I met at Enrichment and invited, my friend whose husband was working that night, Aunt Marge and Dan and I. We had a lot of fun and several of us didn't know some of the others so we were all getting acquainted better.

The next day I taught and felt like my lesson was received much better. Lots of discussion and comments. I felt better about it and most of all felt like I'm making more friends in our ward.

Friday, October 13, 2017


Pots are planted 
and pumpkins are placed.
Spooks are hanging
and webs are spun.
Nick is happy
we set the porch.
It's time for Halloween!

Monday, October 09, 2017

Cornbelly's Tradition

Cornbelly's with the Rigby's is our ultimate October tradition! However, while their family keeps getting bigger, ours is shrinking! We're glad we have so much fun being together!

Chris and Adler invited dates this year! Parker was missing Marty but had fun hanging out with the parents. Abby is now married to Mikey who she was just beginning to date last year. And this year Millie brought a friend because last year she was a little bored with just the Moms and Dads.


Wednesday, October 04, 2017


Life around the house...

I poured a bowl of cereal but then soon after the doorbell rang. I answered and talked for a few minutes, but when I came back, I couldn't find my cereal anywhere. I looked around the kitchen and in the butler's pantry. I retraced my step to the door. Where had I put it down? 

I came back to the kitchen and looked around.
 Found my bowl on the floor licked completely clean.
Dang dog!

Kershaw also decimated his stuffed animal. 

Nick spent a Saturday helping at the diabetes walk and fair. He got to keep all the leftover slime prizes which made for a fun afternoon activity.

View from carpool. Beautiful light is full of spirituality for me.

 Morgan's diving meet -- BYU vs. Utah
It was so fun to get to watch her dive in person! She's beautiful!
Brent was in town and brought his Dad. Diane came with Dan and I. 
Then dinner at Litza's Pizza. A perfect evening.

Garden view from the window. Heidi at work in her garden hat.

Our sunroom. It's dreamy!

As you walk in from the garage. Or a place to wait for mom to drive you somewhere.


Sunday, October 01, 2017

Conference Soup

I love Conference Sunday. I love that we can watch in the Family Room where it's light rather than in our old dungeon basement.  I loved that after Elder Callister's talk on the proofs of the Book of Mormon, Nick said, "That was a great talk!" I loved Elder Hallstrom's talk. It shed light on a question I've been struggling with and keep receiving little bits of truth as I've continued pondering and searching for answers... "Do we have the Faith NOT to be healed?" I loved Elder Zwick's talk of looking at others with the eyes of the Savior. And reminding us to look at the whole picture before giving counsel or making judgments.

I love watching conference with my journal -- taking notes of statements that jump out at me. I star comments I want to look at later. I make a note on the side of ideas for FHE lessons. I don't always refer back. Sadly, it's true. But the information is recorded for me when I look for it. And if I didn't have all the FHE lessons I hoped for on the topics that jumped out at me, in 6 months I can try again.

Conference Soup is our tradition we copied from the Lunt family. Michelle invited us all over when we were just married and made her mom's conference soup. We've had it every conference every since! I've sort of cheated in past years and used a tortilla soup base. I think I'll try something different for a base next time.

This Sunday, in addition to Aunt Marge, we had Kay and Chuck, JD, Clark and JD's friend (girl...friend!) join us. It was fantastic to gather around the dining room table with room for everyone to gather and talk. Alas, no photos!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

My Weekend Alone. Or, "Thankfully I Didn't Get Murdered"

The weekend the boys went to Pagosa was a luxurious 3 days to myself. And when I say "to myself," it means "not in charge of people or dogs." I wasn't really by myself because I had a houseful on Thursday and Friday and half the day Saturday -- beginning at 8:00 a.m. Trent, the window shades guy; Will, the young kid who is a wiz at AV and the rest of his team; Radiant Heat repair guys; the house cleaners (yay!); the Furniture builders and I don't even remember all who else; and all the plants for our yard showed up on Thursday so it was major work happening outside as well and occasional requests for my consulting, advice and opinions.

Plants arriving!
The good thing about having so many people here, is after meeting with each of them, I stayed busy hanging pictures, cleaning up the guest room and getting projects done around the house all day. Also had parent-teacher conferences in the evening. But then... the evening was allllll mine!

Thursday after conferences I ate dinner at Rawtopia (fav raw food restaurant that just opened in a new location in Holladay with a more inviting and welcoming atmosphere than their smaller location in Sugarhouse.) I ate my vegan cream of mushroom soup and curried cauliflower while I caught up on e-mails. I stopped by the store for ice cream on the way home ready to catch up on all my favorite Netflix shows. But when I got home, I remembered I'd left in the daylight and hadn't thought to lock up behind me.

At the Wander Lane house, if I realized a door was unlocked at night, I'd start in the basement checking all the closets and under the beds and in the shower making sure the area was clear of murderers. However, there was no way I could effectively check the whole house here. Someone could easily hide in one space and move to another. And the hiding spots are virtually unlimited. (Hope no murderers are reading this!)

I had to accept that I couldn't check the whole place. And that I most likely wasn't going to be murdered. So I didn't even bother to check around. I just locked everything up and shut the curtains. And then I settled into the couch in the Family Room (so exciting to not have to be in the basement or in my bed to watch TV!) with my pint (of ice cream) and watched a few hours of Grace and Frankie. (I'm not sure why I love a show based on the frustrations of being late-70's, but Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin! Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston! Honestly, what's not to like?)

And then as it neared midnight, I decided if I was going to be murdered, I would have been by now. So I went to bed and slept pretty good. Only woke up a couple of times, sure I could hear someone walking around and another time dreaming I was awake and someone was about to get me. But then I really woke up and all was fine.

Dog Lake
Friday the house was full again, but I left and took a hike with KT up to Dog Lake. Matz warned us there would be snow but we didn't believe him. Turns out he was right. But it was still a great hike and a great catching-up talk.

Yep, there's snow.

KT likes animals
In the evening I remembered to lock up before I ran errands at Bed, Bath & Beyond and Target. Got all stocked up and then came home, sadly seeing that the garage door was open! I'd made myself a target again!! I was sure I had seen it closing, but that was no help to me now. I just closed all the curtains again, watched a few more hours of my show, was satisfied if I was going to be killed they would have done it by now, and went to bed.

Saturday, I had an appointment for a morning massage. So I just wore my sweats (not my cute ones). And then after, wanted to make a quick trip to Ikea, and had to go in my sweats. Looking like I'd literally rolled out of bed. Because I had. Except that my hair had been mussed with oil from the massage. So I looked worse than if I'd rolled out of bed. But I didn't see anyone I knew so it didn't matter.

When I arrived home, Keene the hardware installation guy, who likes to chat, was there. Slowly installing miscellaneous hardware that should have been installed months ago. Fortunately, to save me from conversation, the mattress delivery kids (they really seem so young) arrived. And I was able to use the "Keene, I'll show these guys where to go -- you can let yourself out" tactic.

And then I watched conference. Which I love. I went on a jog in the evening which has previously been unheard of in my life. And I'm pretty sure that night I ate more treats, finished Grace & Frankie and started this season's The Mindy Project.

Before I knew it, the boys were back and that was the end of my alone vacation.

Monday, September 25, 2017


Got my 72-hour kits updated. 
With all the natural disasters going on, it's a good reminder to be prepared. 
Thought it had been 2 years since I last updated, but the expirations on all the food were from 2015, (and all the kids pants were cargo pants), so it had actually been 3 years. 
Last time I made a spreadsheet of the food we needed and what was to go into the bags for each day, so it was really easy to go buy what I needed. Ready-to-eat meals would be easier, but I wanted our food to not be water-dependent, even though I do pack drinking water. 

Finished product. Ready to go in backpacks.

Loved getting Courtney's birthday gift in the mail last week! 
Air Supply records! My fav for singing along to!

Also our rock climbing holds were delivered. Nick has been working each day to get them installed! 
After he and his friend kept dropping their tools which would hit the person below, Nick had the brilliant idea to wear helmets.
Nick and Ryan hard at work!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Home I Grew Up In

I'm pretty amazing. No, seriously, I am. I'm not perfect -- I could quickly whip out a long list of things I need to work on. But who doesn't?  I have 5 siblings who are super amazing as well. And I think they all know it. A big part of our amazingness is because we grew up in a home where we were told we were amazing.

As proof, listen to my birthday voicemail from my mom.

(Made myself a little birthday video to go along with it... so I could upload the video to YouTube and download it to blogger. Didn't quite know how to do just a voicemail. Because like I said, I'm not perfect.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Greatest Hits

In the talk I'm reading for my lesson for Sunday, Elder Ballard asks "have we received Christ's image in our countenance?" That started the song with the same title going through my head. So I decided to use our new fancy AV system and listen to the song while I folded the laundry.

Wow! Talk about a cry fest! Have you listened to Janice Kapp Perry in the last 30 years? All those oldies but goodies that I listened to all through college (and even gave Dan a mix tape with my favs for his mission) are actually really good and the lyrics are every bit as moving now as they were back then. I felt a little cheesy about dialing in JKP's Greatest Hits on a Spotify playlist through the Sonos while I sat in my closet and folded clothes, but I was glad I did.

I would recommend Janice Kapp Perry for those times you need to feel like Jesus is sitting right beside you. I'm totally serious. The power of music is pretty incredible. I had been reading Job earlier and been touched by his plight and pondering the difficulties of so many others and why do some people receive answers and others don't and how do some people see blessings in the midst of their trials but others feel hopeless and forgotten. So listening to these sweet songs that touch on those subjects (and reminded me of those same questions and feelings I had back in college when first trying to figure out life and who I was and who I wanted to become spiritually) brought heightened emotions! But those kinds of cries are sometimes the best ones. Very cleansing.

Would have been even better if in the midst of tears the HVAC guy downstairs hadn't called for me, "Ma'am! I have a question!" Dry those tears, I've always got workers in the house!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Anne with an "e"

Marge has been taking a stack of books each Sunday to read during the week. I gave her Anne of Green Gables a few weeks ago and she is really enjoying them. So today we streamed the 1985 movie (with Megan Follows) and watched Part 1. Over three hours and we loved every minute!

I would love to watch chick flick, feel good movies every Sunday, but I usually get overruled by Cowboys Football or boy movies. (One Sunday we watched Fast and Furious. Anne of Green Gables doesn't have a chance.)

But Dan and Chris left this evening to Houston to help clean up for a few days. (I love that Dan's work is organizing a team to help and that they were willing to take Chris with them and that Chris wanted to go!) So tonight Marge, Nick and I watched Anne. They're my favorite books and favorite movies ever (at one time it's the movie I thought I'd watch while I was in labor, but I was way too distracted to want a movie). 

It's going to be hard to wait a week to watch the next one! (Anne of Avonlea) 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Someday Soon

I am documenting this dirt because someday we are going to have landscaping and we will say, "Remember when the whole yard was dirt and piles of rocks and heaps of sand? And remember how dirty the house would get? And how I mopped the floors three times the night Kershaw ran inside with muddy feet? And remember how it felt like we'd never have grass? And that when they raked the dirt we thought it was the most beautiful upgrade we'd ever seen?"

Because someday it will all be behind us.

But seriously, look how pretty raked dirt is! And here's the stream created from the irrigation overflow.
Cliff sandbagged the water once he got it turned back on so he could send the flow down the stream for a few minutes,
just so I could see how pretty it would turn out!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tip of the Iceberg

Kershaw and I finally got out on a hike -- somewhere different from Tanner Park -- where I could actually get some exercise too. I've recently heard a few people talk about Dog Lake up Millcreek Canyon so we gave it a try.

The trail begins at the top of Millcreek (only accessible when the snow gate is open July 1 - Nov. 1) and took over 20 min. to get there. (You know you're spoiled when driving 20 min. to hike seems like a long ways!)

Kershaw kept resting his head on my arm on the way up. So funny. But also a little annoying like when a boy you've just started dating wants to get too comfortable resting his head on your shoulder or putting his arm around you and by the middle of the date you realize you don't like him touching you and by the end of the date you break up because his neediness is driving you insane. But lucky for Kershaw he is already part of the family so I will keep liking him and try not to be annoyed at him.

This tree looked like it had its heart ripped out.

There were quite a few people hiking that day but it didn't feel crowded. Plenty of alone time.

It was about 6 miles round trip and at a comfortable incline -- far enough to be challenging, and steep enough that it felt like a hike and not a walk, but not so steep that you had to stop to catch your breath at all. I think I read you gain 1440 of elevation in the 3 miles up.

Some colors were just beginning to show. I took a bite of my apple on the way down and with that one juicy bite, all felt right with the world. Fall, apples, hiking, crisp air, and a happy dog.

On the way up Millcreek I passed dozens of hiking trails. KT and I have a few favorites, but there are so many. And that's just the one canyon. I'd like try a lot of different trails this fall. Dog Lake was just the tip of the iceberg.

Later in the evening I saw a baby deer and its mama walking through the yard. As I watched, I realized it was just the two. A whole herd of deer had stopped to graze in the yard. SIX! They happily walked about eating for probably 20 minutes. We're canceling our plans for tulips now and swapping out to daffodils!

Can you spot all six?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Change the Music

I sent the following letter after hearing shocking music in PacSun while shopping with Chris. I hesitate to use the word "shocking" because it sounds like I'm exaggerating or old. But it was SHOCKING to hear that music over the radio and in the mall! My friend told me she was proud of me for saying something. Believe me, the music was as bad as any music could possibly be!! ANYONE would have been compelled to say something. The lyrics were THAT bad! 

General Growth Management, Fashion Place Mall Management, PacSun Manager:

I was shopping with my family at Fashion Place Mall on Monday night. My 16-year-old teenager loves the fit and style of clothes at PacSun and I have always appreciated the great customer service from staff we receive there. 

However, on Monday night the music choice was very inappropriate for any public setting — especially a family-friendly one. The rap music seemed louder than when I’ve shopped there before so I could hear the lyrics especially well. During one song I thought I heard a swear word and chalked it up to me not hearing correctly. But the next song was as explicit as I could imagine a song being — in lyrics and subject matter. I’ll include the lyrics at the bottom of this e-mail so you can see I’m not exaggerating!

Two girls were working that evening and I nicely (motherly?) told them the music wasn’t appropriate and asked if they could change it. They explained that their music played in the store came from CD’s sent by PacSun Corporate but they said they would be happy to change CD’s and did so immediately.

(Later when checking out, I thanked the staff member for changing the music and she explained that PacSun is a California company so their standards for censoring aren’t as stringent as Utah’s. I politely told her that I had lived in California and I could assure her that most people in California would also take offense at that music being played in a mall. It just simply isn’t appropriate.)

If it was indeed a CD sent by PacSun, I’d like the manager of the store to make sure he’s aware of the music being played, and I ask that he not play the CD’s that include swearing or content inappropriate for the tweens and teens shopping at PacSun. I’ve read Fashion Place/General Growth’s Code of Content that gives “examples of specific activities that are prohibited…” “…Disruptive profanity, vulgar or threatening language” and suggest this includes the music being played in the stores. I expect Fashion Place Mall and General Growth to make sure their stores are following these guidelines in the music being played. And if you have access to PacSun’s management e-mail addresses, I would like to receive it so I can send them a copy of this e-mail as well.

Here is the chorus of the song being played while shopping at PacSun last Monday night (September 11, 2017).
The song was “Dump Dump” by A$AP Ferg: (And I can assure you it was NOT the clean version!)
It was after the first verse and into the following chorus that I was pretty sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing and asked the girls to change the music:

I’VE DELETED THE WORDS from this e-mail in case the first e-mail I sent was blocked by your filters because of content.
You can find the lyrics online.

And that’s just the chorus!
Thank you for looking into this and making changes.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Birthday Fun

My plan for my birthday began with a bike ride after getting the boys off to school. And then if timed perfectly, a temple session in the morning before visiting teaching in the afternoon! Dan had time to join me which made it that much more perfect.

I haven't ridden since May and it felt great to be out. We rode 3000 around to Butler Middle School, up to Wasatch and home along Mt. Olympus. It was a great ride and I'm glad we had time to get the extra "Butler" stretch in.

The Jordan River temple is closed so we went to Oquirrh Mountain. Unfortunately, even though we arrived 30 min. before the next session, it was already full. Disappointed, we had to skip doing a session together and do initiatory instead. I never like it when my plan gets changed. But it was my birthday and it's the temple so I needed to try to have a good attitude. The first good thing is I had two men's names that Dan needed to do initiatory for.

Next, as I was getting changed, I thought about the last time I did initiatory which was after my dad had died and I was hoping to have a chance to sit quietly in the temple. Unfortunately a woman wouldn't stop speaking to me the entire time. I tried to be patient and even wondered if she might have something inspirational to share that I should listen for. No. She was simply super disruptive. I was kind and was a good listener. But later, I wished I'd let her know I was hoping to sit quietly. So I thought this was a chance for a do-over as I waited.

I read my scriptures while I waited (Esther and Job). I prayed for the Spirit to help me not mind that my plan had changed and to feel good about the service I was doing that day. Soon I felt much more settled and accepting of the new plan.

During the initiatory, one temple worker had such a beautiful Spirit about her, I was completely moved. There was such a tender, loving feeling that permeated me that I became pretty teary. Afterwards I thanked her for her service and told her she had a wonderful spirit about her. She said she was feeling the Spirit so strong that day.

I met Dan in the waiting room. He'd finished about 20 min. before me, but was enjoying reading the scriptures while he waited. He also had a tender experience and had felt a sweet spirit while we were there. We were both really glad things worked out as they did.

And to top it off, initiatory is faster than an endowment session, so we had time for lunch at Slapfish, a new lobster roll restaurant. And that was right next door to my favorite cake place, "Nothing Bundt Cake" where we picked up cake for my birthday (actually 4 bundtinis so we could sample different kinds -- white chocolate raspberry, cinnamon, red velvet (for Nick) and carrot (because that reminds me of the cake my mom used to make us!))

I had time to change clothes and then enjoyed visiting teaching for the first time in our new ward. I've actually been assigned two people I know -- one has been a friend for a long time, but we don't cross paths too often so it's a treat to have an excuse to spend time with her each month. And another is a new friend I cross paths with often, but don't have too much time to talk. And my partner is so interesting and insightful. It was a really fun way to spend my birthday afternoon!

Nick and Chris had lacrosse in the evening, but Dan brought home Porcupine Grill for us for dinner. After dinner we took Kershaw on a walk around the neighborhood. Also, kind of a first to have time in the evening to go for a walk together!

When the boys got home they ate dinner while I opened presents. A whole box of Macarons all to myself! A couple of cute shirts. AND new wireless headphones! Just what I wanted -- and I hadn't even said anything! What a fun surprise!!! And Dan was equally as thrilled and surprised to have gotten me something I really wanted without me even knowing or suggesting! :-)

47 started out great... and I even got all the candles out in one breath!

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Little Care and Attention

Best thought of the day from Marge:

From Marge 9-11-2017
AND the Amaryllis you gave me for Christmas is a great trooper who is showing one leaf evidence that it is not willing to quit and go dormant any time soon!  So, if it wants to still be here, I'll keep on giving it water.  The other leaves couldn't keep hanging on and just dried up and withered away a long time ago.

So, I guess a moral could be: if you decide to NOT GIVE UP!, you can hold onto life a little longer if someone notices you and gives you a little care and attention.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Background Music

I've started running again and I'm loving my app "5K Runner" -- 8 weeks working-up to running a 5K. I started at 1.5 min run/walk alternating and 4 weeks in, I'm up to 5 min run/3 min walk. What I like most is I just follow directions and don't have to look at my watch to see how long I've run and talk myself into going farther. I just run when it dings and tells me to run and "slow down and walk" when it dings and tells me to. It's so great!

The newest bit for me is running with headphones. I've NEVER run to music before. I tried once before but my music kept fast-forwarding songs and I had to have my phone in the arm case which didn't fit right and the phone acted like it had a mind of its own. It turned out to be frustrating.

I've always liked walking or running and being able to think. Long walks are a good time to get a lot of thinking done. And I never run out of things to ponder.

But, surprisingly, I have LOVED having background music to my thoughts. I thought it would be a distraction. And it kind of is, but in a good way. I still can think and ponder (and even pray), and the music is just a subtle pick-me-up background music. It's great! With the added bonus that I can think better, because I'm not distracted by frequent watch-checking to see "how much longer." I can actually get more lost in my thoughts until I hear the DING!

I'm also loving that our neighborhood is more shady and I have a long stretch that's completely flat. A very supportive back-to-running-starting-from-scratch environment.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Final Exam

Here was the plan: I would prepare for my Relief Society lesson. Then after I taught on Sunday, I would study for my final exam in British Lit. And then I would go to Newport and all the trips throughout July with those two things behind me.

So I taught ("Come Follow Me ... through Service" by Elder Hales) and then I studied. And on Thursday night I logged into my account to take my test. I was confused at why when I "requested test" nothing happened. And after much searching around the site, I realized this test wasn't like the other two exams and 20 quizzes that I took online. This test had to be proctored. Ugh.

I thought I would take it while in Newport Beach at a University campus near there. But first I had to request the test and it had to be mailed to the proctoring site (why did I assume it would simply be electronically sent? Maybe because this is 2017?). And then once the university received it, I had to make an appointment. Now I know.

So I did all that after I got home from everywhere we've been. And once again the plan was: I'd teach my lesson ("How Does the Holy Ghost Help You?" by Elder Stevenson) and then I'd study and take my test. And then I'd prepare my talk for Sacrament Meeting on Sunday ("Just Serve"). And after that I'll plan my lesson in two weeks for Relief Society. (I've actually enjoyed this new calling. Teaching an adult class is a refreshing change for me. I'm looking forward to being challenged this way and getting better at teaching -- especially asking questions in a way that prompts people to participate and answer.)

I took the test at SLCC. It took 3 hours and was the fastest 3 hours of my life. All essay questions. I determined not to look at the clock until I finished the first section. That first section to 1 1/2 hours. I finished the long essay and another hour had whizzed by. (I was seriously shocked to look at my watch and see the minute hand in the exact same place as I'd looked before but that a whole hour had passed.) And the final 3 short essays took 45 min. So I answered all the questions well. Unfortunately the professor doesn't love my short answers from past exams. I felt like I answered really well but averaged a B. That's the hard part of online. No opportunity for discussion or enhanced learning or asking questions. And no way to ask what a better answer would be and learn from your mistakes.

I was kind of nervous and then I realized, actually I was kind of excited. It was actually pretty fun.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017


Nicholas asked me tonight what I do all day when I don't have meetings. (I can only assume he means house meetings which have been a part of his life for probably as long as he can remember.) Fortunately for me, when he asked that question, I had actually done a lot of things today including things that Nicholas could actually see -- I exercised; I did all the laundry and put it away; I made the beds; I made dinner; I played with Kershaw; I took you shopping for new shoes; I paid some bills and made phone calls to set up Visiting Teaching appointments and calls to fix the garbage can and get some things finished on the house. They are not very interesting things, but important things nonetheless.  Nicholas commented, "It sounds like you had a productive day."

It took me by surprise to hear him echo back to me how both Dan and I most often describe our days. "Productive" or "Not Very Productive." I guess I shouldn't be surprised that if that's what he hears all the time. But it was funny to hear his comment.

Sometimes I wonder if we would actually take the time to teach our kids skills if they weren't scouts requirements. Luckily, the Family Life merit badge gives us an excuse to have the kids learn new things. Dan taught Nick how to use the drill so he could hang 11 hooks in the basement storage room for hanging sleeping bags & pads. I think I'll also count Nick and Courtney working together to build his IKEA nightstand. Now for the second part of the requirement, I need a project for the whole family to work together on...

Below is just a sampling of the evidence of Friday-after-school friends over. Nick finally gets early day for the first time in his school career (not even Kindergarten, because he went to Discovery in the afternoons!)

We had about 15 boys over when Dan, Michelle, Brent and I got back from waterskiing. 
(Not a bad way to spend a Friday while the kids are all in school. Alas, no photo documentation of me skiing!)

They were running all over and I decided to ignore them since we don't have much furniture yet to worry about. Now is the time to run and play!

Sunday we had our first official "Family Dinner at the New House." Us, Marge, Wingers, Adairs, Michelle & Brent, Jay & Peggy. It's so great to have room to all eat together in the dining room!!

Where are Chris, Simone, Brook, Jacob and Gavin?
New CatStudio glasses. Makes me happy!

And last, but not least, Courtney started back to school today! 

1st Day!