Monday, February 22, 2010


Tonight we had a fun, simple family night.

(Even though its always our goal to have Family Home Evening on Mondays, we are not always awesome at pulling it together. So its lovely when it does come together!)

Cheeseburgers for dinner.

(Cooked by Ryan, poor guy, out in the freezing cold. I have designated him the grillmaster...I've never used the BBQ.)

Boys playing tractors on the floor with Daddy.

(I love watching Jacob play with his big brother...he's so interested in everything Tommy does and wants to do it too. So darling. Can't wait to watch them become even better buddies as Jacob grows older.)

Danced around the kitchen to some of our favorite tunes.

(Specifically, tunes from this album. Love it. I could write a whole post about it. I just might sometime.)

Sang a couple primary songs.

(Tommy requested the birthday song, the primary one. He's always talking about his birthday lately. Its not til July! He has informed us he wants a Transformers party. We also sang "I am a Child of God" for good measure.)

Had a short, simple lesson by Daddy. He chose the topic "Telling the truth." He made up a very cute story to keep Tommy interested.

(The story involved a piece of cake belonging to Ryan. I was the villain of the story. I ate the cake but then blamed it on Tommy. We talked about how its not okay to say things that aren't true. Tommy was pretty into the story. He kept saying, "But I didn't eat it!" We had to remind him it was just a story and that he wasn't in trouble!)

I put Jacob to bed to the soft sounds of his lullabies.

(These lullabies. Bought this album to listen to in the hospital after Jacob was born. My favorite album of lullabies ever. I particularly love "Goodnight My Angel"...its the most beautiful version that I've ever heard.)

Had brownies and ice cream.

(It was just a mix but they were gooood. We gobbled the whole pan in about 10 minutes.)

Then we watched "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

(Cute, but WHOA, a little weird, too. We have the storybook...Tommy loves it and I have fond memories of it from elementary school days. But the movie was sooooo different, it bugged me a bit. I'm sort of a purist I guess!)

Then Daddy and Tommy went to bed, and here I sit.

(I promised myself I would go to bed earlier tonight. I promise myself that every night. I just cannot conquer my inner nightowl...)

I come to learn more and more how much joy there is in the simple things. Having children especially has taught me that. They bring out the "Child at Heart" in me. Any little treat can make a day or an evening special or exciting now, like just making brownies or watching a movie together. A simple, easygoing night spent together with my three boys, just eating, playing, dancing, talking, giggling...its one of the greatest blessings of my life.

(And I'm trying to count that blessing more often lately.)

(I like writing in parentheses. Could ya tell?)


Okay, so...

...I don't know that Spring is really so much in the air just yet.

But boy, do I wanna believe it.

I don't know if I've ever been as desperate for spring as this year.

Spring in Utah is such a tease, though...

I don't know if spring in Utah even exists. The gross late winter seems to linger around forever, snow and slush and mud, coming and going, coming and going.

By the time it really goes for good, its practically summer.

This winter in particular just seems to keep going on, and on, and on...

Yesterday it was chilly and windy and in the late afternoon we had a freak blizzard that was quickly coating everything in white again.

Me = Not happy.

But after an hour or two it stopped and now its all melted away.

The sun is shining and I heard the delightful sounds of little birdies outside the window this morning.

So there is hope!!!


Friday, February 12, 2010


My two little sons are very different in one way...

that fluff atop their heads.

They're both blond like their daddy.

But man oh man, do their manes have different personalities!

My little Jake-boy inherited not only his Daddy's color but his daddy's curls too. They are becoming more curly and more unmanageable as they grow and he currently has little "wings" above each ear, but I love it! I have no plans to cut it soon. I am too afraid that once I cut them off, the curls may disappear forever! So I am enjoying seeing the crazy patterns his hair often ends up in.

In fact, the hairdo he was sporting when he woke from a nap this morning (see above and below) is what prompted this whole post.

Jacob, the mad scientist!

"Greetings, readers of Mommy's blog!"

Sooooooo, so so so cute. I almost love his hair messy better than I do combed! Its great fun to play with.

And seriously, I love those "wings..."

Tommy's hair, on the other hand, is stick straight and pretty much always has been. There was a time when it would lay down upon his noggin and could be combed nice and tidy, with a part.

(Tommy at about 9-10 months...same age Jacob is now.)

Now...not so much.

(As you can see, he's in dire need of a hair-snipping lately. And how 'bout that cheesy grin? He's all too talented at those.)

Thomas' hair just grows up. And up. And up and up and up...Its got this kind of stiff, course texture to it and it seems to be immune to the effects of gravity. His hair in the very front lays flat, but all the rest of it sticks up, especially in the back, at his crown...I always say the tuft in back (which grows up and up and up more than any of it) reminds me of a duck!

Trying to comb it down when its this long is pretty much out of the question. I could try to plaster it down, but I am not big on using large amounts of hair goo on my little ones. Some have suggested I just let it grow out and it would eventually lay down. Personally I think it would just end up being a fantastic fro! And also, despite the fad, I'm not a big fan of longer, shaggy hair for my boys. Partly because I'm lazy. I don't do a whole lot of combing. Especially with Tommy, I like his hair nice and short so I don't have to worry about it. I just leave it alone most days, and once in awhile for church or pictures or a special occasion I spike it with a little gel. Easy.

So I just have to get Tommy's hair cut all.the.time. It grows like wildfire. We go to "Cookie Cutters," one of those fun kid-specialty hair shops where they can sit on a car/train/plane and play a video game/watch a movie whilst getting their ends snipped. And they get a balloon and a sucker at the end. And they have a slide and video games for kids to play if they have to wait for their turn. Its great for those younger ones who are afraid of haircuts, but now Thomas is just utterly spoiled...he loves it there. He's always excited when its time for a haircut and then within days starts insisting that he needs a haircut again. Who knows if I'll ever be able to take him anywhere else again!

And as for me, I don't do haircuts, nope. I've never been one of those women with a talent or an eye for cutting hair, and I have absolutely no desire to learn. I don't enjoy being responsible for how good someone does or does not look when I'm done.

(For the record, I did try. Tommy's very first haircut as a baby was by me, and despite all my caution, I knicked his ear...he bled, I freaked out, I was done! Now I'm simply too nervous with a pair of scissors in my hand.)

I always say that I don't want to wish my boys' youth away, but I can't help but feel curious and excited to see what they'll look like and be like as the months and years pass, and to see the ways they'll differ from one another and how they'll be alike.

All I know is, they're both handsome!

(Have I mentioned I love these boys?)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Are You Looking for a House in Billings, Montana?

My brother Zane and lovely sister-in-law Amber are selling their house and I'm helping to spread the word!

5237 Sacagawea Dr.
Billings, MT 59101
* Built in 2007
* 2184 sq. ft. (fully finished basement)
* 4 Bedrooms (all with 4x5 walk-in-closets)
* 2 Full Bathrooms
* Beautiful Hickory Cabinets
* Large Walk-in Corner Pantry
* Large Family Room
* 2nd Family Room in Basement
* Central Air Conditioning
* Fully Landscaped
* Underground Sprinkler System
* 2 car garage

To read more details, see more photos or to get contact info, go to:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I have created my first ever, good ole' homemade header for this here blog!

It turned out purdy cute, if I do say so myself.

This is my first real attempt at digi-scrapping. I've never really all. I was never blessed with a talent for crafts, but I have long desired to become learn-ed in the ways of digital craftiness...I've proclaimed this for several years now. I have been tempted, oh have I, by those shelves and rows of touchable, lovely papers and all the fun scrapping goodies at Archiver's. But then I remember.... "Glue? Scissors? Glitter? Um, no thank you." I've been saving my energy and my sanity and my pennies for the digital scrapbooking world.

And gall-darn-it, I am finally (sorta) on my way.

Because a few days ago I finally downloaded the Photoshop Elements software my husband sweetly gave me.

For my birthday, in July.

In 2008.


(Procrastinate much? No, not me.)

Thanks honey!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In Memory

Yesterday I attended the funeral for my Great Uncle, Merrill Briggs.

Uncle Merrill was my mother's uncle, the youngest brother of my grandfather. He had down syndrome, and lived to the age of 61. How amazing is that? He lived a very full and very happy life. He loved life and he loved people. He was an incredible man.

I usually only saw Uncle Merrill once or twice a year at family reunions. He was always happy, always joking around and teasing everyone. He was always a big jokester. My mom's family is a ranching family, and Merrill was a cowboy through and through...he loved horses and riding, and for as long as I can remember he always wore cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. He wanted to get married someday and have his own ranch. He loved going to church and he went through the temple. He loved the Boy Scout program and got his Eagle Scout. He competed several times in the Special Olympics. He had a job and worked at the same company for almost 40 years. He loved to knit and crochet and was always making things...I have a several pot-holders that he made for me. He loved music and he loved to dance. I remember dancing with him at reunions many times over the years.

His funeral was practically a family reunion in and of itself. Many of my vast extended family came to his funeral service, and there were so many sweet and wonderful memories shared. Many were stories I'd never heard before, and it was a blessing to learn more about Merrill and his life. There were many many tears at the service of course, but a general feeling of happiness too...we all knew without a doubt that his life goes on, that his disability has been removed from him, and that he has been reunited with his beloved father and mother, my great-grandpa and great-grandma, who passed away many years ago. They loved him dearly and were such amazing parents to him.

My great uncles and great aunts told wonderful stories about my great-grandparents at the funeral. I never got to know them well...I was only a baby when my great-grandpa died, and my great-grandma died when I was still very young, though I do have vague memories of visiting her and Merrill in the years before she passed away. I imagine it was very different raising a child with down syndrome in the 1940's and 1950's, but my great-grandparents always loved and encouraged Merrill, and stood in defiance of doctors who told them there were things he would never be able to do, like walk or talk. He did so, so much more than that. I'm so grateful Merrill was blessed to come to a family with parents and siblings that loved and cherished him and encouraged him to do anything he wanted to do.

At his service they had a table filled with pictures of Merrill, things he owned and things he loved. I didn't bring my camera in to the funeral with me, but I wish so badly I had gotten a photo of this cool little tribute to him. They had displayed his little cowboy boots and cowboy hats, which gave a particular tug to my heartstrings. There were also many of the things he had knitted and crocheted, his Special Olympics medals, his Boy Scout sash, and also a bowl full of chocolate candy. I learned that Merrill always loved chocolate and particularly Reese's...he and I are kindred spirits there!

I will always miss Uncle family reunions it will always feel like an important part of us is missing. I will feel a tinge of sadness whenever I think about him. But I'm grateful for the wonderful life he lived, for the amazing example of hard work and happiness that he was, and for the knowledge that he lives on.

When I spoke to my mom on the phone after first hearing of Merrill's death, we both cried. But then we started talking about what he must be doing now, and what he must be like. My mom said she thought he'd be tall, just like his brothers, and handsome, and a "womanizer." We both laughed. He was and is a sweet, good man, and I have no doubt that he's a hit with the ladies.

And I have no doubt that he has returned to the presence of Our Father in Heaven, and is strolling happily through heaven at this very moment, with a big grin on his face.

*Uncle Merrill in the News: "Ogden Loses Its Favorite Cowboy"