Friday, December 18, 2009

Brooklynn meets Mickey

For Christmas this year we surprised the kids with a trip. I wanted nothing more than to spend time with my family. (spending time with my family in paradise isn't too bad either) We woke them up Wed. morning, and off we went to the airport. It was a long flight, and Brookie didn't sleep at all! But we made it. Yesterday we went to Hollywood Studio's. Brooklynn loves Mickey and was so excited to meet him.
We had dinner at the sci-fi diner. It was cool. You get to eat in car's like you are at a 50's drive in. There are old movie reels running.

This was at the Osborn Christmas light show. It was really cool. The lights were crazy.

We finished off the day with a fireworks show at Epcot

It was amazing and beautiful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

First Date

Twenty-one years ago today was our first date. I had big 80's hair. He had a mullet.
He said, "A group of us are going to see the lights at Temple Square and hear Viewmont's choir sing. Do ya wanna come?" I didn't even know if it was a date or not. I said, "Sure."
It was a date.
We saw the beautiful lights. Heard the fabulous choir. Threw a penny in the fountain and made a wish. (I still remember mine.)

We played boggle afterward at Gary's house. Had "green" pumpkin pie and hot cocoa.
He said, "Can you microwave milk?" (He didn't have a microwave yet.)
We all laughed.

Hmmm... I thought. I like this boy.
It's been a good Twenty-one years.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This is where a lot of my ancestors are from. Kent, England. It is nicknamed "The Garden of England." I can't wait to go there. SOMEDAY......

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Five Little Monsters

As I was getting ready for my date with Will last night, McKinley came upstairs and asked if the girls could make some cookies or brownies. I opted for brownies thinking they would use a mix, and it would be quick, easy, and less messy. Imagine my surprise when I went down stairs to discover five little monsters covered in cookie goo. Apparently they had started out with a recipe (from scratch) for brownies that turned into cookies. Not sure how that worked out, but the girls had fun.
We had a great time out with friends. We went to a fun Brazilian Grill restaurant and tried lots of yummy meat. My fave was the garlic sirloin. It was so fun to get away and not have to worry about the kids for a few hours. Arlyn and Joy, Cliff and Regina, thanks for a great night! (Thanks for taking me out too, sweetie.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This was the view from my rear view mirror. The nice Mr. Policeman let me off with a warning. First time that's ever happened!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sick Little Snow Bunny

My sweet little Brooklynn woke up this morning with a yucky cold! She is snuggled up in bed next to me as a write this. Her nose is all stuffy/runny, her eyes keep watering, and she has a little fever. I have Mickey Mouse Playhouse on the T.V. and she is trying to be excited about it, but just can't muster up the enthusiasm. It's so sad. This picture of her was taken snowmobiling last winter. We can't wait to get out and play in the snow this year.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Something's in the water!

Something is in the water and I am so not drinking it! Here is my sister, and two sister-in-laws (basically sisters) at Nicole's baby shower. Aren't they so cute! If I was going to have another little angel now would be the time. What fun that would be with lots of cousins to play with! But.... with five I feel like I'm maxed out most of the time, and I think it's time to move on to that "new" stage of life of simply raising our family now that we've got them all here. (I think)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Night of the Arts

Last week we went to Brennan and Conner's Choir Concert at the Jr. High School. It was fun, and the boys did a great job. Conner sings with the 8th Grade Boys Chorus and got to do a little solo. (Three lines :) Brennan is in Concert Choir which is really funny, considering he didn't
even try out! He just told the choir teacher last spring, "I want to be in concert choir, but I don't want to try out." Imagine my surprise when we got his schedule for school and he was in the choir. Too funny! The night was great, except for the insanely hot room, and Ashlyn's friend leaning over to me saying, "Your baby just puked." Yes, that's right. Brooklynn leaned over the seat of her chair, and tossed her cookies in the row behind us. Luckily she missed the guy's shoes! (and there was just one song left!) Parenthood is always an adventure!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A close game

Brennan had a hockey game tonight. It was an away game. We played a tough team, and it was a close game. They scored, we scored. They scored, we scored. They scored, we scored. At this point the game was tied 3 to 3. Is it wrong to pray over a hockey game? The boys had worked so hard this last week, and I really wanted them to taste the fruits of their labors. I prayed that they would play their best, and in the end feel good about their effort. Hopefully that's okay to pray for. :) Then we broke the pattern and the littlest guy on Bren's team scored! Awesome job Kenneth! Brennan thinks he weighs like 85 pounds and he goes up against these great big high school guys with no fear! The crowed erupted. It was so exciting.

There was a few minutes left in the game and all we had to do was keep them from scoring. With no penalties all game we get two in the last few minutes, and two of our players have to sit out. The other team pulled their goalie out so he could help them score so it was basically 6 against 3. I couldn't believe how slowly the clock was moving. Finally, time ran out, and we won 4 to 3. I was so happy for these boys. Things don't always work out the way they should, I'm glad they did tonight.

Making Mom Proud!

Being a mother is not for the weak of heart. I never knew this before I had kids. I thought you had your babies, taught them what was right and wrong and then just loved them and everything was perfect. Ya right! Now I know that parenting is TOUGH! Gut wrenching, back-breakingly tough. But.... every once in a while you get a reward, and think, "Hmm, maybe I am doing something right." That happen for me this past week. Last Saturday, (Halloween) Brennan's hockey team lost their game. I think it was their first loss of the season. The boy's and coaches were all completely bummed. Sunday night, Brennan hatched an idea. He started making phone calls to all of the junior varsity team. He planned workout's (off ice) for them every other day so they could get in better shape. The boys responded well, and had a couple of good workouts. Once they were gathered, the team captain's took over, which is how it should be. They also met on Tuesday night to get an extra skating session in. I was so proud of Bren for being willing to take charge and working to improve. He is just a 9th grader, but was calling 10th, 11th, even 12th graders to get together and workout. Hopefully this new workout schedule will pay off, although they are already pretty darn good. Either way, I'm proud of him.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Poor McKinley

McKinley called me to come and pick her up from school today. She wasn't feeling well and wanted to come home. She had a normal temp. when I picked her up, within and hour it was 101.6 and a few hours later 104.1. Poor baby. We are pretty sure it is the dreaded H1N1. She has all of the symptoms. :( I guess we will be camping out at home for a while.

Will is very worried that we will all catch it. I just want us all to get it, and be done with it. I know I'm a little crazy. Hopefully McKinley has a mild case of it, and is back on her feet soon.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hockey Halloween!

Brooklynn the Bumble Bee cheering her brother at his Hockey game. Brennan's team fought a tough battle, but lost in the end, 3 to 2. Last week Brennan scored his first goal. It was totally awesome. What I can't figure out is who on earth
scheduled a high school hockey game at 5:45 on Halloween night???

McKinley followed the Twilight craze and was a vampire. Ashlyn was an Egyptian Princess. They had a blast, although Ashlyn walked out without a jacket and everyone who came by told me she was freezing! Just give me the crumby mother award. :( I sent Will out looking for the girls and their group with a jacket for her.

Walk like an Egyptian!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Girls Night Out!

Tonight was "Girls Night Out!" The girls and I went out tonight and had a great time. We went to Conner's spook alley that he is putting on with some friends. They have been working all month to put it together, and it was really great! Here is Conner the pirate doing some plundering.

Then we went and saw "Evita." Our good friend Holly was in it along with her daughter, Piper. It was a wonderful show. My first time seeing it, and I really enjoyed it. It was a little over Ashlyn's head, but I think she enjoyed the music. Holly was insanely good. She is Conner's voice teacher and is so talented. The best part is, she is as sweet as she is talented and beautiful.
The night would have been perfect if it wasn't for arguing children and a dead car battery. :0

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's a GIRL!

I am so excited for my little brother Bryan and his wife Nicole. They had their very first baby yesterday! It sounds like everything went smoothly, and their sweet little angel is adorable! They are naming her Abigail. What a cute name. We are all dying to go see her, but have to wait because of the hospital's rule with this whole swine flu thing. Abigail we love you already!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I'm not sure how it happened, but some how I have become the mother of a fifteen year old. I swear I was just fifteen, counting down the days until I could date and drive. That was just a couple of years ago. Brennan is the hairy one on the first row, far right. He is really enjoying playing Hockey for the High School Team. I enjoy him getting hair cuts! This week we went to pick up his learners permit. AGH!!!! This can't be happening to me. He is still my little five year old running around in his soccer uniform, and falling asleep in a laundry basket. Now he is eating me out of house and home and I have to look up to talk to him. Four years from now he will be on his mission. Anyone know how to slow time down?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What do you mean you have Swine Flu?

My cute little (pregnant) sister called my yesterday to tell me that her daughter has Swine Flu. (The same daughter that spent a half hour sitting on my lap on Saturday afternoon, and playing with my daughters at our house all afternoon.) She is pretty miserable, but is doing okay. Today my mom called with the update...... My sister Joanna and her whole family have come down with the Swine Flu! Wow, that didn't take long! They are all doing alright, but Joanna was having a tough night tonight. She is due in about 10 weeks. Isn't the last trimester of pregnancy miserably enough without having the famous swine flu?? We are all doing fine here. I have a cold, but no fever, so I'm sure it's just the old fashioned flu. Joanna has always been more in style than me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A week for Jacob

It was a busy week this past week for us. With the passing of Jacob, we had lots to do. On Monday, the day after Jacob died, we had all the Young Men and Young Women over to our house, just to be together and remember good times with Jacob. It was a good time. The kids wrote notes to Jacob's family and also wrote on fabric squares that were to be made into a quilt for the family. Last night was the viewing. It made it so much more real to be at the Mortuary. It was a sad time.
Yesterday morning I had the awesome opportunity to go to the temple with the Parks while they did Jacob's Temple work. There was an amazing spirit there. It was a sweet experience. This is a picture of some of the people that attended the Temple.

Here is the finished quilt. I cried when I saw it. I feel so blessed to live in this ward, where we are so close, and everyone looks out for one another. I know how much work these quilts are, and the women who pieced and quilted this quilt are amazing. Everyone was reaching out to the Parks, and my heart was full just to see all the wonderful service.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


On Sunday night, October 4th our Sweet Jacob passed away. He had just too much brain damage for his body to survive on it's own. Our hearts are so saddened. We told the kids a little after 9:00 at night, and then sat on our bed crying for the next hour and a half. Cute little Ashlyn didn't want to be alone, so she slept on our floor. We love the Park family so much. They are an example of strength and faith to all around them. I can't imagine what they are going through. I pray I never know. Please remember them in your prayers. Below is a link to an article that ran in the Standard Examiner today about Jacob.

2 families mourn young bicyclist | StandardNET ? Ogden, Layton, Brigham, Weber, Davis, Top of Utah News

2 families mourn young bicyclist | StandardNET ? Ogden, Layton, Brigham, Weber, Davis, Top of Utah News

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Brooklynn's hospital visit

So our friends the Park's were up at that hospital with their son in the PICU, and we wanted to visit them. Brooklynn was so helpful in getting into her sisters medicine and eating some of it for us so we could go stay the night at Primary Children's. Ya right! Here are Cher and I sporting our fashionable "Pink Parent Bracelet's." You have to be part of a special club to get these. I know you're all jealous.

One of the few times Brooklynn slept during the night. She was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and wires which made her totally uncomfortable. It was a tough night for both of us, although she must not have eaten too much medication (between 1 and 2 pills) because she was only restless, and wouldn't sleep. That was good news. She could have ended up with seizures, so we were really happy.
Here is Brooklynn getting her EKG. Thirteen different wires hooked up to her.

These were some of the wires Brooklynn got to have attached to her for 24 hours. Always a fun thing for a 21 month old. I felt very lucky to only be a short term visitor at the hospital. We met some the friends of Jacob's family that also have a son in the PICU. He was shot during a hunting trip. I helped them with a blog, too. (I know I'm crazy.) You can see Andrew's info on his blog at

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Sunday of Blessings

On Sunday afternoon Will and I were able to go up to Primary's and see Jacob and his parents. It was a wonderful experience. His parents are both so strong, and full of faith. They know that they are being guided and watched over. Jacob is slowly improving. As his dad likes to say, "Two steps forward, no steps back." It was very exciting to be with Jacob today and be witness to some of those huge steps forward. While we were in his room his eye's opened a little. (He has been in a drug induced coma since the accident, and is just starting to be taken off the medicine that keeps him comatose.) The nurse asked him to wiggle his fingers if he could hear her, and he quickly wiggled his fingers on his right hand. She kept checking on him, and his dad walked around, took Jacob's hand and spoke to him. "Jacob, it's dad. Squeeze my hand." Jacob immediately tightened his grip on his dad's hand.
About that time, I went looking for Jacob's mom, so she could be witness to his great progress. Once I found her, we RAN all the way back to the picu. We were too late, they had already given him more meds to sedate him. His mom seemed disappointed to have missed the exciting event, but thrilled with his progress. Apparently he had squeezed his dad's hand again 4 or 5 times while I was gone. It is a huge step in the right direction! I am thankful for prayers being heard on this Fast Sunday of Blessings. I helped his parents set up a blog to keep family and friends updated. You can see more about Jacob at

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Prayers for Jacob

Last night as I was walking down the street to pick up Ashlyn from her friends house, I saw a helicopter flying very low. I didn't think about it very much, until Will got a phone call later that night. One of Will's Deacons, Jacob had been riding his bike, and was hit by a car. To make matters worse, Jacob was hit by a sweet woman who is also in our ward. She was so completely distraught. I can't imagine how she must be feeling. Jacob was life flighted to PCMC with severe head trauma. We don't have much more info than that. I think it is kind of a wait and see thing. I do know that he had a shunt placed in his head to help control the swelling. It just breaks my heart, both of these families involved have already had their share of pain and heartache.
Earlier this year Will and Jacob's dad took some of the kids including Jacob, and my McKinley and Ashlyn down to the Moab area. Needless to say, the girls took it very hard. My sweet little Ashlyn said she was going to pray all night for Jacob. Conner came racing into the house with the news just minutes after Will got the phone call. He had been up by the accident site, and saw the helicopter. Brennan, in his (new) mature style, waited for all the little kids to clear out, and then grilled me to see if I knew anything more we weren't telling the little kids.
Our hearts are heavy, and filled with prayers for Jacob, his family, and the woman who hit him.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stalking the mailbox!

Last week I received a very exciting phone call from the Chicago County Courthouse. When I was out there in June, I petitioned a Judge to unseal the adoption records of my Great, Great, Grandmothers son. (That is if the records even existed, and then if they could find them!) I didn't have his birthday, name or anything. Only his birth parents names. He was adopted away when my G.G. Grandmother died. Well...... Sweet Teresa did some digging on my behalf and found the records! She then took my info to the Judge and he approved giving me the info!! In Chicago, adoption records are sealed indefinitely. They usually don't open them. So now I am stalking the mailbox waiting for the information to come. I had to mail out a check for the certified copy of the records, so I have to wait for them to get my check, process the info, and then send me back the records. I know it can't possibly come yet, and I still keep checking the mailbox. How humbled I am at how an impossible situation has worked out just the way I needed it to. I know it is not a coincidence, but a blessing from my Heavenly Father.

Monday, September 14, 2009

EFY....Especially Flirting Youth!

In August, Brennan and his cousin Devon went to EFY down at BYU. Brennan had an awesome time, and loved every second of it. Here is one of the rare pictures of him with one of his "guy buddies."
I sent Brennan with the camera hoping that he might come home with a few pictures. He had such a blast and took a ton of pictures, much to my surprise! Of course there was a large majority of pictures with cute girls. :) Ha Ha! He had such a wonderful time and totally loved his counseler.

He met kids from all over the USA. He keeps asking me when we can go to Chicago! Too funny! One of the guys in his group is from Chicago, and he wants to go visit.

Anyway, to all of you with kids heading into those teenage years, watch out. It's a fun, crazy ride!

I wouldn't miss it for anything!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


In August we went to Yellowstone with most of the cousins and Grandma and Grandpa. (We missed you Justin and Jaden.) Ever since Ashlyn learned about Yellowstone from her school librarian, she has wanted to go. We went to the hot pots and saw lots of animals. Ashlyn was in heaven. She for sure is our "outdoor-nature girl". I thought she might burst from excitement at Old Faithful.
This picture was so funny to take. Everytime we would get ready to take a picture, the steam would kick up so we couldn't see anything!! One lady thought these were all my children. 10 kids! AGH!!! I've got my hands full with half of that!

We had a fun time with the cousins being able to hang out together. I would have liked to go on some hikes, but it was a quick trip, with lots of sightseeing.

This lake was right by the continental divide. It was so pretty, and had lily-like flowers floating everywhere on the lily pads.

Brennan looks like a tough guy here, but he really is a sweetheart. (And he got a haircut the day after we got home!)