Sunday, March 29, 2009

I just love it!

Does it get any better when your kids can read the scriptures THEMSELVES?
Granted, they were the kid version of the New Testament, but William read about the grateful healed leper. I only had to help him with knelt and knew (he still is in the dark about silent "K"s).

I am so grateful for reading. It opens new worlds each time they reach a milestone. William is so proud of himself when he can do something on behalf of the family. First it was playing "Silent Night" for the family to sing. Now it is contributing to the nightly scripture story reading.


Oh my goodness!

Last night my brother Mike was visiting (after spending the day sitting my kids) with Larry and myself. He mentioned that it was SO hot in our house that he could hardly stand it. It was a bit on the chilly side outside, so we opened the front door for a few minutes to cool off. And if you know me, I do NOT set my heater very warm (much to Larry's chagrin).

Fast forward to this morning. I got to sleep in a little, so I hadn't noticed the outdoors until about 30 minutes before we left for church. OH MY GOODNESS!!! Fierce wind, tons of snow falling, and the whole bit! What??! Didn't anyone let the weather people know that it will be April this week? Yikes!

I know what I want for my birthday (nope, you haven't missed it--it is in a week). I want sunshine. I want a picnic for General Conference. Is there anything wrong with a birthday wish?

I didn't think so.

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, March 27, 2009

A conundrum

So, how do you get things done AND take care of your kids?

I'm just not very good at that.

And I have a little bit of a temper.

All of those things put together does not make for a very happy Friday.

I just need to CHILL OUT! (and laugh--something I don't do often enough!)

On a happier note, I am going tomorrow to a seminar to train me how to be a Let's Play Music teacher. It is seriously the most amazing music program for kids I have ever seen. Check out the site. I can't even believe what they (I) teach the kids by singing, moving, and playing. Needless to say, I learned some of that stuff in my COLLEGE music classes. It is the first music program I have ever wanted to be a part of, so I am jumping in with both feet!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Geniuses! Geniuses, I tell you!

Whoever came up with the Backyardigans is a genius, I tell you! Every episode has a different musical style--disco, hip hop, 80s pop, etc. Personally, I think it is the most fun show out there (well, maybe a tie with Word Girl). And

when I see my little girl head-banging to some sweet disco tunes a la Backyardigans, it does my heart good. I love "Surf's Up!" and "The Quest to the Flying Rock" and so much more! If you want some awesome songs to get stuck in your head, find some Backyardigans to watch!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Not much to say

I am trying to be more regular in my posts, but I can't think of anything to say today. So maybe I'll post some pics and journal them.

Here goes!

See these cute girls? This is my lovely Lauren holding sweet Erika T. Since L is just two years older than her little sister, she didn't get a lot of "holding the baby" moments (protective mom's fault). Isn't she precious? Lauren is not bad, either! Lauren is my little mommy. She is always talking about what she'll do when she is a mommy. I was never ever like that as a kid, so it is so wild to see my own flesh and blood as such a girly-girl. So cute!

Then there is my handsome William. I sure love that blue-eyed boy. He is holding Erika as well. He was so excited to hold the baby. He was so gentle with her (so different than he is with his own sibs), and that just warmed my heart. What a happy boy!

This pic is Hadland playing basketball. He was so excited to play on a team. Some of his good friends were on the same team, and his coach (former NBA player and Larry's home teach-ee) was completely awesome, so although we moved mid-season, he LOVED it! He was always right on top of the score, making sure he knew if the team won or not (not that they were keeping score at all). Now if his dad could teach him some sweet moves...

This pic has a sweet/sad story behind it. We were attending Erika's baby blessing up in Draper at Grandma and Grandpa Thunell's house, and we couldn't find Sarah for a while. That may alarm some of you, but I just thought she was playing somewhere in that huge house. Then someone went to use the bathroom and found a little girl asleep on the rug. Our guess is that she went in and then couldn't get out. She may have even been crying, but I couldn't hear her (lots of talking, laughing, kids running around), so she just gave up and took a nap. Sad, isn't it? But it makes for a funny picture and story.

Well, Savannah, here are some pictures just for you!

(And for anyone else reading this crazy blog!)

Have a great night, and we'll be back tomorrow. Who knows, maybe with more pictures!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A dream as something to learn?

This is going to be a little on the personal side (but since I am kind of an open book, that shouldn't surprise anyone).

At 4 am I was awakened by the anxiety I felt in my dream. I've had this particular dream before, but this time I was so alarmed by its reality that when I awoke, I had to ask Larry for reassurance that it wasn't true.

"Larry, am I getting married to someone else?"

"What?" (remember, it is 4 am)

"Do I need to marry someone else?"

"No, honey, everything is okay."

I felt like weeping from relief. I don't think i can adequately express my turmoil. I do remember that, in my dream, I had cried for several hours because of my predicament.

As you can probably construe, my dream consisted of me making the decision to marry someone else while still married to my sweetheart. There were several things that I didn't like about the situation (completely apart from the marriage thing):

* why was everyone, including my husband, supporting me in this idiotic decision?

* why was I doing it? what was I thinking? why did I feel I needed to go through with it if it was causing me such pain?

* was i trying to "steady the ark" by confronting the loss of my husband? was i taking all of the burden into my own hands in advance?

* where is my faith? don't I know that if something were to happen to my husband, the Lord will see me through?

* why am I trapped in my own decisions? am I not able to change course mid-stream?

In my dream, I felt like I had no choices. But I know that isn't true. However, I sometimes limit my own choices and opportunities by what I think is possible. The overwhelming feeling I had was, I MUST TRUST IN THE LORD--HE WILL TAKE GOOD CARE OF ME!

When I awoke, I wanted to record not the unpleasant circumstances of my dream, but what I felt I was learning. Do those things have application in what is going on in my life now? One thing I know is that I adore and cherish my husband. I want him and none else. Nothing but my own stupidity and poor choices can ever change that. But what about other choices in my life? Am I an "ark-steady-er" in other areas? YIKES! Don't want the consequences of that! The Lord knows what is best. But is my stubborn-ness getting in His way? How can I feel and show my trust in Him more? How can I let go of control more? I know that the Lord doesn't want us to wait for Him to make all our decisions, but sometimes it is hard to know if I am on the right track. I try to study things out in my mind, but sometimes I want things to go a certain way so much that I "override" His approval without even realizing it.

Any thoughts? I'd appreciate some.

Monday, March 23, 2009


So, I must have jinxed myself last week by my knee-length skirt celebration of spring.

Why, do you ask?

I woke up to snow today.

I feel betrayed, like I been done wrong.

Oh well.
Goodbye, skirts.
Hello, thermals.

Hurry up and come for real, Spring!

What a magical weekend

I have to just boil it down to two things from this weekend:

Saturday: University Singers' concert at BYU
Sunday: Draper Temple Dedication with my hub and my #1 boy

I'll start with Sunday.

Larry and I were planning on going to the Draper temple dedication, and then we found out that our oldest boy was able to go, too. We were so excited for him to experience the joy of seeing a temple turned over to the work of the Lord. As a little background, we were up VERY late on Sat. nite (more on that later), so we were all a little tired. So Hadland basically slept through the entire dedication until Pres. Monson stood up to speak. We were FINALLY able to wake him up long enough for him to hear the prophet speak. It was a glorious occasion. There were many speakers, but they all took only a few minutes, so it didn't seem long at all when Pres. Monson spoke and then gave the dedicatory prayer. As we waited for the dedication to begin, they showed pictures of the different rooms of the temple. I loved explaining to Hadland what everything was--the murals, the bride's room, the celestial room, the sealing rooms, all of it. Temples are such as amazing blessing in our lives! I am so grateful to be sealed to my family, and I pray that there will never be any "empty seats" for any of us. Saturday, the whole family went down to Orem/Provo for the evening. The kids spent a fun evening at Delyle and Shauri's while Larry and I met the Livingstons for an amazing choral experience. A little background...when I was at BYU, I was blessed to be a part of Concert Choir under the direction of Mack Wilberg. Let's just say, "GLORY DAYS" for a singer, ok? I loved every single moment I spent in that choir. Yet Concert Choir wasn't the elite of the choral dept at my beloved alma mater. The University Singers, directed by Ron Staheli, was/is the cream of the crop. That group, made up of approximately 30 fantastic singers, is the pinnacle of choral singing at BYU. Unfortunately, I was a lot more immature then (I know, unbelievable, right?), and I consoled myself that I didn't really want to be a part of that bunch of snobs. Yikes! It hurts me to even say that now. Now, being so much more mature than then, I can see that I was just consoling myself that I was having the best experience to be had in the BYU choral department. I never tried out for Singers, but I don't think I was really a good fit (but, to be honest, I would have loved to be proven wrong).

Jeez, I didn't start this post to have a true confessions session! Anyway, since leaving BYU, I try to get my hands on any and all choral CDs that come out of BYU. Most of them happen to be by Singers. And I love them. I adore them. I could listen all day long to the AMAZINGLY talented people who collaborate on those recordings. Many of my friends were Singers at one point or another, and I am proud to say that I am one of their biggest fans (now that I am more humble about my experiences :). The funny thing is that Larry also had many friends in Singers. One of them contacted him on facebook a while back that he was traveling from Florida to attend a Singers reunion/concert. When Larry asked if I wanted to go, I was thrilled! Then I asked my good friend Liz to come along, and it was absolutely wonderful! Better than I had expected, far better. They even sang a piece by one of my favorite composers, Morten Lauridsen. I sighed with contenment, shed a few tears, and, in the end, gave them a standing ovation (by choice, not by peer pressure). I don't know what it is about choral music that finds such a deep place in my heart to touch, but I know I can't live without it. Let everyone else have their favorites, mine will always be choral music. My ipod proves it. I have even converted Larry (although he keeps his dance music close by).

Let's just say that this weekend I felt so blessed by the beauty in my life. Blessed by temples that dot the earth, and blessed by heavenly choirs singing what is in their hearts. How grateful I am!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring!

On the official first day of spring, I am SOOOOO excited for nice weather.

To commemorate, I am wearing a knee length skirt! Hip, hip, hooray!

I have also noticed that I use the exclamation point so very, very much! (hee, hee)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another book pick

So, after finishing The Count of Monte Cristo, I remembered a piece of advice from the comment section: keep you updated on the books I am reading.

Well, I have another one.

But, I didn't finish it. I had to return it to the library before i had to pay money.

Still, it was amazing. I plan to check it out again so I can finish it.

It is by the same author of The Five Love Languages. (i know I am supposed to underline book titles, but there is no underline that I can find on this program, so you'll just have to accept my bolding instead.)

It is called Love as a Way of Life. Basically, it is a handbook full of examples, anecdotes, and helpful suggestions of how to become more Christ-like. Some of the characteristics it focuses on are: humility, courtesy, forgiveness, patience, kindness, and so on. Amazing book. It also talks about the characteristics that are opposite to each Christ-like one so we know what we are trying to overcome. Very helpful, I must say!

I have really enjoyed it, and I am looking forward to enjoying it more.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Creative kids...

You gotta love 'em.

Our oldest boy has imagination oozing from every pore. Yesterday he spent all afternoon preparing some family fun for St. Patrick's Day. Unfortunately, Daddy took us for an outing, so we didn't get to take advantage of his creativity.

So after dinner tonight we went to the backyard for the festivities. We had a scavenger hunt, played shamrock tic-tac-toe, played tag (where "it" had to wear a green bowler hat), leap-leprechaun (aka leapfrog), and hide and go seek the leprechaun.

I love it when the kids come up with the fun. My boy was so happy to share his ideas with us. But, as usual, it ended with him in tears. His little sister tagged along when he wanted to hide with his dad. What a bummer when a younger sibling needs to take over. It is a hard thing to realize that you have to sacrifice for ones younger than yourself. It isn't always so easy for parents, either.

On a side note, our younger boy went to sleep about 9 p.m. (late you say? he usually can't go to sleep until about 11 p.m.) Tender mercies!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

I love green.

And potatoes.

But that is pretty much it when it comes to March 17.

Oh, I also love Ella M. and the fact that Mike married Kristin 20 years ago. (Is that really true--TWENTY years?!!!)

And gold. I like gold. But mostly the kind made of foil that has chocolate in it.

So I guess I am kind of an March 17th fan. A little bit, anyway. I wore a green shirt. Does that earn me any credit? (Probably not, since Larry did, too. He's not really one to decorate himself for any holiday.)

I guess everyone has to has at least one green-ish wardrobe item for this day. That seems a little weird. We don't really wear any other color on any other particular day.

But I do love green, so who am I to complain?

Monday, March 16, 2009


I did something abnormal today, and it was wonderful.

I actually took my kids to a park in the middle of the afternoon and played with them for a couple of hours.

Kinda sad that it is abnormal for me, but I really enjoyed it.

We fed the ducks, made super submarine/river rafts out of pinecones, climbed trees, poked ice on the pond, got dirty, ran and chased each other, played like airplanes, hiked, followed trails, met and petted friendly dogs, and even found a log that looked like a rhinoceros.

Good times.

I even took pictures (on my phone). But I have NO idea how to download the pics, so you'll just have to imagine our smiling, happy faces on a lovely early spring evening.

I actually like my kids. They are pretty fun to be around. Too bad we have responsibilities and I can't always play. But I can certainly play more. Simplify our lives--and maybe we'll have more time to play.

On a similar note, I like the TV, but sometimes I wish it were never invented. I have become too accustomed to gathering around it instead of being outside with my kids. I am going to try to live it up a little more. I still get so excited about changing seasons--CA doesn't really have stuff like that--and I don't want to miss a thing! I was in short sleeves all day...Yippee!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Cons: it can wreak havoc on relationships, clothing, food budgets, waistlines, and so much more.

Pros: makes me grateful for an understanding and perceptive husband, and a body that can prepare for a bear children (I had to think REALLY hard to find two things).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What I believe...

There was (is?) a program on NPR where people could give little audio-essays about what they believe. I would often think of what I would say if I were to do one of these pieces.

Then yesterday, I was at this site and saw a variation on this theme.

Only way, way better.

Rachel Esplin, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and a student at Harvard, is part of a panel discussion about her beliefs, representing the LDS church. She does an amazing job, especially for a 20-something. I was really impressed, and I recommend you watch the video. She speaks faithfully, articulately, respectfully, and intelligently. Would that all religious conversations took place like this one....

Sunday, March 08, 2009

So many blessings...

Larry and I spoke in church today (translation: we were the two main speakers in the general worship service of our church). I actually started pondering and writing down my thoughts a week ago, which is a completely new thing for me. It really worked! I was able to distill my thoughts sufficiently that I didn't feel like I would be babbling on or feeling generally unprepared. It was a wonderful experience to start to speak and know that I had been helped and guided in my preparation. I spoke on the importance of loving and supporting each other in our ward (congregation) family. I have very strong feelings about this because most of our married life has been away from any biological family; therefore, our need for a ward family was acute. We get so focused on our own families (not a wholly bad thing, I must add), that we aren't noticing others around us that might need help, love, acceptance, support, etc.

I can really improve in this area. I find that my insecurities hinder me in opening my heart at church. I think to myself, "So-and-so wouldn't want to be my friend. She's so together all the time. I'd drive her crazy." Or a look from someone might lead me to think, "Oh, they think my kids are awful. I need to stay away from them."

Who wins then? Who loses? So often I have been surprised by a unexpected friend.

Perhaps it is someone, like Liz W., who I want to be friends with, who I am so drawn to, but I don't think I'm cool enough to be her friend. Little did I know that she needed me as much as I needed her. I took a chance, introduced myself, and the rest, as they say, is history. She was a lifeline to me in a difficult time. My first real friend in Utah. What a blessing!

Perhaps it is someone, like Liz L., who I work with at church, who ends up being another amazing life line--someone I admire and want to emulate in SO many ways.

Perhaps it is someone, like Karen, who I was "forced" to work with, one with whom I never thought I would ever have anything in common. She taught me that appearances can be so deceiving and that true Christ-like love is all around us. Her experiences and testimony strengthened and lifted me regularly. I would have never reached toward her without "help" and yet, without that help, I never would have known that love I feel for her and her testimony.

Perhaps it is someone, like Laura, who is so physically stunning that it is sometimes hard to recognize that she may be even more stunning on the inside. I never would have thought I was "cool" enough to be her friend. Thank goodness she had more sense than I did. And she has and continues to bless me in so many ways. I think now I realize that outward appearances are just a tiny part of who we are. She has so much more to offer than just being "Sister Fancy-Clothes." She is an amazing example of unconditional love, and I love her for it. And she told me once that I rock a suit. How can I not love her for that? :)

Perhaps it is someone, like Alexis, who seems absolutely perfect, charming, fun, hilarious, and she is! She listened to the spirit one Stake Conference morning, and my life has been changed and blessed for the next 10 years (have I really known you for 10 years?). There are so many more years for us to lift, inspire, and make each other belly-laugh.

I have been so blessed by angels living among us.

Take a chance. Open your heart. Love.

Your life will never be the same.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The book club

So, I joined one.

No brainer for someone like me, right?

I read books ALL the time. I can't even eat breakfast without some reading material.

The first book is The Count of Monte Cristo.

I remember reading this OVER and OVER in jr high/high school. I must have LOVED it.

I went to the library to check it out yesterday, and I almost fell over when I saw it. It is probably 8 inches thick. I'm not even kidding. I must have read for a couple hours last night and only made it to 147. Not even an inch. Maybe a quarter of an inch. Ack!

I only have until the 24th of this month to finish. Did I really read this book over and over? That must have been in my other life--the one with no responsibilities.

Wish me luck!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Well-trained, If I do say so myself

Hadland said the funniest thing today.

He was drawing (of course) a superhero. When he had finished drawing the face, he brought it to me to show me what a good job he was doing. He pointed out the chin.

"See the double chin? To show he's strong, you know?"

He was serious as a heart attack.

I love that boy. When I get a double chin (Oh, I mean, if...), I know I'll just move up in his opinion. Then I'll really be strong.

Thanks, future double chin.

I must be doing something right with this boy! :)