"So Frequently we mistakenly believe that our children need more things, when in reality their silent pleadings are simply for more of our time."
***President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign May 1994)

Friday, September 28, 2007

It's just hangin' around....................

My friend sent me this cute email and I thought I'd answer it on my blog. It was fun, so whoever wants to try it is more than welcome. It'd love to see your answers. You're suppose to answer the questions with pictures...............

1)What is hanging in your living room that you love to look at?

Idaho Falls Temple

2)What's your favorite thing hanging in your bedroom? I made this cross stitch when Chad was gone on his very first deployment, about 12 years ago. It's hung in my bedroom every since. It's just sweet and innocent and Chad used to play baseball, so I like that connection, too.

3)What is hanging in your house that reminds you of a special time?Boy, do we look young!!!

4)What is your favorite picture of your family that hangs in your house?These are pictures of my kids when they were each around a year old. I just love it!

5)What's your favorite thing hanging in your hall?

This actually hangs on the wall up the stairs, but close enough. It's one of my favorite pictures in my house. It's of the Sacred Grove. We've actually been there and it's amazing! The spirit that is there is overwhelming. Truly, sacred ground! (The bottom says, "What happened here changed the world. Let it change your life.)

6)What's your favorite thing hanging in your kitchen?It's almost the only thing hangning in my kitchen.............

7)What's hanging in your house that doesn't really match the decor?This little sailor has been hanging in our house for years now. He doesn't really match anything, but I like him anyway. It came with a little poem:

Navy sailors dressed in blue
Serve and protect, always true.
Brave and fearless they must be
When in the air and on the sea.

8)What's hanging in your house that was a precious gift?This isn't hanging, but was definitely a precious gift.
9)What's hanging in your house that you made?

My sister actually made the house part for me a long time ago and then I repainted it and added the hanging word part. So, except for cutting out the wood, I made it.

10)What's the goofiest thing hanging in your house?

Well, they hang around my house.............

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gettin' some sewing done..............

I finally took my sewing machine out and finished some mending and a couple of other projects that I had started, uh, well, awhile ago.

First I finished Noah's dress shirt. Noah is very picky about what he wears and church clothes are not his favorite under any circumstances. I did, however, convince him to wear a dress shirt that I had made for Vance when he was Noah's age. It had 101 dalmatian puppies on it. Noah really liked this shirt, so...............brainstorm!!!!! I let Noah pick out some material to make some new church shirts. That way we could have a little variety each week. He picked out some spiderman material and Cars material. I finished the spiderman one yesterday. I was happy with it except that I had forgotten to line up the front, oh well, I guess. Noah likes the front pocket. (what would a little boy's shirt be without a pocket to hide things in????) I made Noah try it on for me. As you can see, he was a very unhappy participant and he told he wasn't going to wear it.....................Isn't he cute?!? I think I'll be able to convince him otherwise!

I also finished the curtains for my bedroom. This house has 7 huge sets of windows. I only had one set that would fit them and I hate to buy curtains for all these windows, 1--who knows what kind of windows we'll have in the next house, 2--they are too, dang expensive to buy! The result of that being, I have had curtains in my kitchen and no where else. We have mini-blinds, which I don't like very much. The back of our house, where the living room/dining room windows are, is hidden almost completely by the trees, so that helps. I can keep the blinds half open all the time and not feel like the entire neighbor is looking in. I'd like to make curtains for these 2 windows, but I want them to be the same material and that means that I'd need about 12 yards of material! Ouch, or I could make a valance and keep the mini blinds down, not ideal either.....................

any whooooo...............The other windows are in the bedrooms, the kids don't mind their blinds, so they are the last of my worries, but my bedroom was. It's also hidden by the trees, but I'm not as willing to keep the blinds half open in my bedroom. Chad said it would be rude to flash the people walking their dogs at night! ha ha So, a couple of weeks ago, I found some material that I liked. It was at Walmart in the $1/yard section! I love that section! So I finially got them made yesterday. I hung them last night and I think they look good. They are a light silk, and somewhat see-through, so I'll have to go out tonight when it's dark and see just how see-through they with the light behind them!

Now, it's on to the other sewing projects that are waiting.....................

You Make Me Smile...............

(A little note about my Wordless Wednesday, Noah is in the cage with Nutmeg and that happens a lot at our house. I'm sure she's just wishing he'd get out and leave her alone!)

Now, on to the award..................

I woke up late today, had to rush to get the kids off to school with all their lunches. I have a hundred things I feel like I need to do and another hundred things stressing me out right now. It hasn't been a pleasant morning, until I got online and found this award waiting for me on Laurie's blog. I've been getting to know Laurie through her blog and she is just an awesome, awesome lady. I love reading her blog and she always makes me smile and inspires me to hang in there. So, she definitely deserved to get this award. But, what made my day is that she passed it along to me and that just shows how sweet she is.

Here's what the creator of this award has to say about it-----"The thing that I love most about blogging is that I learn so much about a person just by reading their blog. I have met MANY wonderful people with wonderful stories to tell, and I am grateful every day for each person that I have the pleasure of crossing paths in life with. I wanted to create something special for the people who have inspired me through their blogging; the stories they tell, and the lives they lead with grace and dignity. I visit their blogs for inspiration and encouragement...

Please grab your badge and wear it (with a smile) proudly, and pass it on because you inspire and encourage me---thank you!"

I love the idea of that and have also found it to be very true, so I'm excited to pass it along. Here's who I think it should go do and why:
my sister, because I miss her so much and wish she was closer and she absolutely inspires me with everything she does and goes through and pity parties just aren't the same without her!
I love blogging because it has let me reconnect with a friend. I think Joey is so amazing, I always have and I'm sure I always will
I'm also getting to know Katy through her blog. Andy I just love her. She is just so upbeat and positive. She's just wonderful. I love reading her blog, it always makes me feel a little better about life
This is a lady who has 4 kids and is going back to school to get her degree. That's amazing to me and she is also so upbeat. I love it!
Candy hasn't been keeping up with her blog lately (tsk, tsk) but I just love, love , love her. She is easily the most amazing person I know and so inspiring to me. I don't know what I'd do without her!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007



Since blogger won't seem to let me post my wordless Wednesday right now, I'll guess I'll just complain a little................

I hate Wednesday mornings! The kids start school an hour later on Wednesdays. You would think this would be nice, a little more time to sleep, get things done, etc, but no, that's not how things work out. Myshel still has seminary at 6:15AM, so we still have to get up early and then we come home and everyone seems to think this is the time to do nothing, including get ready for school. In that one extra hour, they seem to be underfoot, frustrating and deaf! It makes me crazy! I'm not sure why it turns out like that, but it does and now, instead of hating Monday mornings, I hate Wednesday mornings!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Home is where the "Heart" is..............

My sister posted this picture on her blog. She took it when she went home to Wyoming this summer. It's a picture of Heart Mountain, just north of Cody, Wyoming.
I'm sure to most people this mountain doesn't seem all that pretty. It's not very green, there aren't a lot of trees, but to me it's beautiful. It's home.
When I was growing up, I probably saw this mountain everyday, whether I took the time to notice it or not. Chad grew up at the base of this mountain. He's climbed/biked to it's summit. This picture made me cry. It made me miss home so bad. It's been over two years since we've been home. That's been hard for us. It's hard to be so far away from the people and the things that we love. Will we ever live in Cody again???? Probably not, but it will always be so close to our hearts. It's where our roots are and it will always be home!
Just a little FYI..........Did you know that it is 8,123 ft. high? Did you know that scientists say that the top of the mountain is 350 million years old, but that the base is only 55 million years old? (that would make the top 300 million years older than it's base!) Did you know that Cody's sits 5,016 feet above sea level? And did you know that when you drive I80 through Wyoming that you are somewhere between 6,700-7,100 feet about sea level? Did you know that I knew that???This is a picture of the mountains west of Cody, Cedar and Rattlesnake Mountains. If you follow this highway it will take you through the canyon between these two moutains, past the resevoir behind them, and through the valley to Yellowstone Park. It's beautiful! There is also another mountain south of Cody, Carter Mountain.
So, to all those people out there that say "I've been through Wyoming............boring!" I say, "if all you've done is drive across Interstate 80, then you haven't seen Wyoming!

Home is Where the Navy Sends Us.................

We've been here in Maine for 3 months now. I decided it was time to add NAS Brunswick to my sign. I should only have to add one more tour to this sign, but you never know what will happen down the road. For now, here's the updated "Home is where the Navy sends us..............." sign.(If you click on it you should be able to read it better)

I Have No Idea.............Post #2

Last night Chad and I ran to the store together. While we were talking I told him about Noah saying "I told you so". He laughed and said that was pretty funny. But as we talked I realized something.................So, I asked Chad, "where do you think Myshel got that phrase, anyway?" His answer, "I have no idea". He caught himself saying it. We both laughed and I said, "I think I have an idea!"

I wonder what other things my kids are picking up from us that we don't even realize. Scary!

Monday, September 24, 2007

My Stick Family

Here's my stick family. I was reading this blog and found this website. It is very cute; too expensive for me to buy though, but cute. It was fun playing!

Mary Engelbreit Monday

Laughter is the language of the soul.

***Pablo Neruda

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Have No Idea.............

The other morning as we were waiting for McKaylie's bus Noah was going through the pockets of his jacket. He hadn't worn it since last spring. He found some torn up papers and I asked him what it was. His answer was, "I have no idea". That was the first time I'd ever heard him say that and it was just so cute, but I wondered where he'd heard it, since I don't say that. Talking with him over the next couple of days, I heard him say it several more times.

When Myshel came home from school yesterday, I asked her if she knew where he'd heard it. Without even thinking she answered, "I have no idea".

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Great State of Maine Air Show


Monday, September 17, 2007

Mary Engelbreit Monday

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Myshel's Little Surprises.....................

Surprise #1

Ok, let me give you a little background info before I share Myshel's comments..........

About 10 years ago I started collecting birdhouses. As all collections do, it's grown and grown over the years, to the point that I've stopped adding to the collection unless it's just too amazing to pass up. My in-laws made these great shelves for me to keep them all on. They barely fit...................Some of my birdhouses aren't even painted yet, but I just love them all!

I think that I've told you that the housing that we just moved into is small, I mean, it's SMALL! especially compared to what we got used to in Virginia. (Just to compare, we've had to take everything from 3 rooms in Virginia-the computer room, living room, and dining room-and put them into a space about the size of just our living room in Virginia. It's small and crowded, livable, but crowded)

Ok, I also have a much smaller collection of sand and seashells. Chad and my sisters have helped me collect sand and seashells from lots of different places (Virginia, North Carolina, Maine, Florida, California, Hawaii, Guam, Spain, Dubai, Greece, Croatia and a few more, I think) It's amazing to me that the sand is all different colors and shades and textures and even the sea shells have different looks and feel to them. It's a fun collection, that I also love and am not willing to part with.

I have all my shelves with the birdhouses up on the walls, but the sand/seashell collection has outgrown it's shelves and so I gave them to Vance. In Virginia I bought and stained a new shelf for them, but when we moved here it needed to be used for something else. (This is getting to be a lot of background I know, but hang in there, the point of my post is coming soon, I promise) So, my sand/seashell collection has an empty place on the walls for it, but no shelves to sit on.............................

Which brings me to the point of this post, I was sitting on the couch trying to decide what birdhouses I could/would take down and pack away for the next 3 years, so that I could use one of the set of shelves for the sand/seashells. I was having a hard time deciding, I just wanted them all to stay. Myshel came in and I decided to enlist her help. This is how the conversation went.

Myshel: "What are you doing?"

Me: "I'm trying to decide what birdhouses to take down and pack away so that I can use the shelves for my seashell bottles."

Myshel: "Why would you do that?"

Me: "The birdhouse collection is kind of big for this space and I need the shelves for the sand/seashells. So, help me decide what birdhouses to take down."

Myshel, most indignantly: "You can't take any of them down!"

Me, a little taken aback: "Why??"

Myshel: "You have to keep them up. That's what makes this home. They remind me of you and it makes it feel like home. You can't take them down!"

Me, completely surprised at what she said: "I'm just thinking about taking one set of shelves down, so it's only some of the birdhouses.........."

Myshel, interrupting me: "NO! they all have to stay! They make it home!"

I was completely surprised that she even cared at all about the birdhouses. Sometimes, the kids will sit at the table while they eat (the birdhouses are usually in the dining room) and play "if you were tiny and could live in any birdhouse, which one would you choose". And then they discuss which one they would want to live in and why. I always thought it was cute and enjoyed hearing their answers, but never really thought much about it. Maybe they really enjoy them as much as I do. Maybe they do remind them of me and it makes our house feel like home. I don't know, but I do know that I was also completely surprised that my teenager was willing to express her feelings about my collection to me! And it really made me feel so good and loved! Needless to say, ALL the birdhouses are still on the wall.............

Surprise #2
Ok, Myshel was very upset about moving. It was hard on her. She left some great friends and that's hard when you're a teenager. She blames the navy (which it really is their fault), but since she can't take out her frustration on the navy, she tends to take it out on her dad, since he's the one in the navy. Chad seems to understand this and takes it all pretty well most of the time. There have been times when we've had to tell her that her angry is misplaced and she needs to show more respect for her dad and what he does. She may not like it, but the navy puts food on her table and a roof over her head!

That being said, Myshel is a typical teenager and can get very moody and grumpy, especially with me, since I am the one that's around the most. When Chad was deployed there were times when I really wondered whether she liked me at all. On the other hand, I think that Myshel and I have a pretty good mother/teenage daughter relationship and actually I think she has a pretty good relationship with her dad all things considered.

Chad and Myshel and I were talking at the table the other day. I don't even remember what we were talking about, but Chad had joked something about how Myshel would just be lost without him. This was Myshel's answer to him.................

"No, you leave all the time. You're ok, but I'd be lost without mom! She is my rock. When I need some one to be there for me, it's her, not you. Mom is the one that's here when you leave. We've gotten used to you being gone. But mom is the one who has to be here, she's my rock! She's the one I'd be lost without!"

Chad and I were both speechless and Myshel left the room after she finished. We didn't even know what to say. Later I apologized to Chad that she had said that, because I felt like it probably hurt him for her to say that and I knew she didn't mean all of what she said. I also told him that I liked hearing her say that I was her rock, but that it's hard to believe it completely because she was just trying to be indignant to him. He said, "no, I don't think that's completely true, I think what she said about you is true. I think she really does feel that way. I think you are her rock and that's good". I'm not sure how much of what she said genuinely came from her heart and how much was teenage attitude, but I think that at least a little of what she said was heartfelt and again, that openness completely shocks me, but also fills my heart! Maybe my teenage daughter doesn't hate me after all!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

5 Senses Saturday

  • Sight:
  • Big puddles from the rain water
  • A messy house changed to a clean one
  • Grumpy children
  • A squirrel run out of Vance's tent set up in our backyard
  • Grey, cloudy skies


  • The rain hitting the ground and trees
  • cartoons on my TV while I was still trying to sleep
  • children wrestling and laughing with their dad
  • the dog's tennis ball bouncing down the stairs, over and over again
  • McKaylie saying, "I wish the rain would stop"


  • The dog laying on my legs
  • Chad's unshaven face on my cheek
  • Soapy suds on my hands while I washed dishes
  • Noah's "I love you, mom" hug
  • Cool breeze blowing in the window


  • Cleaners
  • Wet dirt from the rain (do you notice a theme, here??)
  • Blueberry bagels being toasted
  • Wet dog
  • BBQing from the neighbors


  • Blueberry bagels
  • leftover chicken
  • cold, cold water
  • icy cold milk
  • fruit snacks

Thursday, September 13, 2007

One Last Cook-out.........

At our "summer" house in Litchfield we could build a fire in our back yard. Vance dug us a fire pit and every so often we'd go out and enjoy a fire. It was a lot of fun and the kids loved it. It was good practice for Vance's fire building skills, too. We would usually just roast marshmellows but this was our last fire before we moved, though. So we decided to roast hot dogs and marshmellows and some apples, too. It was also our family home evening that night. We stayed out there until there was only glowing coals left. It was so dark that we had to turn the blazer's headlights on to put out the fire completely. It was a really fun night with our family. It was quiet except for our own voices and laughter.......no TV, no ipod, no computer, no fighting. It was so nice. We joked around with each other. We talked and told stories. We just enjoyed each others company. I hope that some day my kids will look back and remember moments like those and it will fill their hearts with love and happiness, like it does mine; and they'll know they were loved by the people who matter the most!

A Bit of Maine............

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

First day of school 2007

I think I'll start by posting back to school photos, since that is the newest "thing" we're dealing with right now. The first day of school was September 4 for Vance and McKaylie and September 5 for Myshel. Our easy going-laid back mornings are a thing of the past! Sniff, sniff, I'll miss them!Here's Myshel. She was , shall we say, extremely, nervous about her first day of high school. Myshel also started early morning seminary on September 6th. She has to be up at 5:30AM (it starts at 6:15AM). Yikes! That's early for her and me. Thankfully, her dad drops her off on his way to work and I just have to pick her up.

Vance on the other hand was extremely excited about his first day of 7th grade. I think it's because the middle schoolers get a laptop to use for the year. We also live close enough to the school for him to ride his bike, which he really likes. In Virginia we lived a long ways from his middle school.

McKaylie was excited and nervous about her first day of 2nd grade. Once she met her teacher and saw her classroom, though, she didn't seem too nervous and was more than willing to have me leave. She gets to ride the school bus for the first time this year and she thinks that is really great! In Virginia, she had to walk with mom!

Noah didn't want to be left out, of course. His birthday is in late October and he misses the deadline for kindergarten this year. I think that he needs the extra year, though. He'll be at home with me for one more year and we'll work on school stuff here. I think he likes the one-on-one time. I know I do.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I bet you're all thinking that I just dropped off the face of the earth, but not to worry, I'm still around. This move has been a little crazy and getting our internet hooked back up even crazier (I'll explain another time) I don't have time for much right now, but at least you know I will be updating soon. :)

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