Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Funny story, it all starts with a boy...  a boy that Sam met, became friends with, dated/ing and really likes.  You see, she is suppose to be driving home with Ryan on May 6th after her cousins wedding.  But now, she isn't sure she wants to be home for so long.  Her siblings are disappointed plans are changing and Sam is the one changing the plans.  There are a number of factors that come into play so I called her this morning.  I could tell she was pretty set on not coming home but she didn't want to be the one to cause disharmony, heaven forbid if her siblings were angry with her.  I have to admit I was a bit irritated.  She kept giving excuses why it would be a good idea for her to stay in Utah longer, to which I had a number formidable suggestions.  I kept telling her, "You are a grownup.  You have to make your own decisions."  She could tell in my voice something wasn't quite right.  But still, she didn't want to be the one to make the decision.  She wanted to have her way but not deal with any negative fallout.  "I don't want them to be mad at me."  I assured her they (her siblings) weren't mad at her, just disappointed.  Porter had planned on having a climbing buddy for 6 weeks!  He's going to be disappointed about missing out on that.  Izy wants her to see her race.  We both hung up not feeling super great with the conversation.  After accepting my own irritated feelings and processing them I came to the conclusion that it really is her call.  I should be happy for her that she has met someone she really cares for and that he is a really good man.  I called her back and suggested she really think about what she wants and why she wants it... I hinted (suggested) it had more to do with the boy than anything else, she sheepishly agreed.  Then we could have a real conversation about the options for this spring. She hung up happy & I bought an airline ticket for Ryan.  We will see how this spring shapes up...  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Today was a great day.  I've noticed a young man for a while now.  He seems lonely, a little lost.  Today I had the opportunity to talk with him.  I love when the Lord allows me to connect with another heart.  I complimented him on his mullet and suggested a mustache to go with it.  He's a sweet young man, one with an easy smile and good heart.  I asked about school and his future plans.   I asked what he wanted to do and he said I don't know.  That's when I said, "You can do anything, move to New York City..." He responded with, "There's too many people there."  I agreed and we both agreed it would be a great place to visit.  We talked about money and college expenses.  I asked if he was lonely and he let me into his heart a little bit.  We talked about a mission and how he wasn't sure it was for him.  My mom and dad had there struggles and as a family... dysfunction was our strong suit but amid that dysfunction they instilled in me the gift to love and accept people where they are.  As an adult I've learned more and more God really does have a plan for all of us but He will allow us our agency to choose.  The amazing part is that He loves us and is so very patient with us as we choose our paths, constantly there to guide, correct, comfort and always love.  Learning those truths has blessed me with a greater ability to trust Him and wait upon Him.  I don't freak out (as badly) when those I love use their agency differently than I would, when they go down roads I know will bring trial and heartache.  I hope that young man felt a little bit of his Heavenly Father's love today as we sat and talked.  I hope He will allow me more experiences like that.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

My emotions limit my ability to write.  I've struggled sending Casey meaningful letters on his mission.  I respond to his journal pages he sends and the emails but I've not been able to write him the way I thought I would.  I told him I would try and journal each night and then send those thoughts on to him.  So, here goes...

Right now life is...  I guess it's always been rough.  I live for emotional connection.  The thought of small talk makes me sick to my stomach.  I'm horrible at the pleasantries.  When I talk with someone I want it to be real.  I want to know their heart.  But I've found I am very guarded to share mine, even with those that should be closest to me.  It's a rare day I open up and bare my soul.  However, I've been blessed to have those experiences with my kids.  Casey has been the child most tied to my emotional state.  As a child he seemed to sense where I was and react to it.  So many times demanding my attention and fighting for me to fill his needs when I was so empty.  It would make me crazy at times but then I would always muster enough to attend to him often pulling me out of the mud I was stuck in.  As a teenager I learned that he needed me to laugh with him each day.  There were so many times I didn't have it in me to laugh yet once again, meeting his needs helped fill mine.  So I shouldn't be surprised that Casey's needs right now are an answer to my own.  I need to start writing, expressing my feelings in away that allows me to process them and not feel so empty.  

Last night we had the missionaries over for dinner.  We laughed, it felt so good to laugh.  Elder Curtis was telling us his favorite candy bars.  He mentioned Twix and it reminded me of a memory.  I told the kids how I would steal our paper route money and go to the laundry mat and buy Twix bars out of the vending machine.  Every time I eat a Twix I am taken back to that laundry mat.  Then I told them about buying a root beer at that same laundry mat with that same stolen money and hiding it out in our front yard during the winter.  It froze then exploded.  There was no way to thaw it because I wasn't suppose to have it.  Then came another memory, eating Julie and Tressa's ill gotten treats.  They couldn't tell on us, Jared & me, because they weren't suppose to have them.  I laughed as I retold the stories.  I love to laugh, really laugh.  Maybe that's why I have been blessed with Casey.... he always seems to make me laugh.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This boy is obsessed with picking me up and body slamming me into bean bags, mattresses and anything else that won't cause injury.  He loves wresting... unfortunately I have been getting my muscles back and can still beat him at arm wrestling.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Our kids... in a nutshell


Samantha has read Annie Between the States so many times we've lost count.  
I believe she took it back to school with her to read again.
Casey grabbed a Plump & Perky Turkey...
 I'm so glad he did, it describes his reading likes quite accurately.
Rebekah loves the Goose Girl series and all reading in general. 
 She often sets time aside just to catch up on "her reading".
Isabelle... a picture says a thousand words.
Porter hasn't met a book he hasn't liked.
Tori IS our Little Princess!  
One of my most cherished times is reading this book to her.
Oh, how I love these sweet crazies! 
They are my life.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Summer 2016 New York Trip

Zack... a boy from Georgia that has stolen our hearts!  He's a grown up Ty-Ty and Casey's best friend.  His family participated in the Hill Cumorah pageant. Leaving from Rochester, NY he flew to the Mexico MTC on July 12th.  Casey begged and pleaded to go see him in NY before he left on his mission.  We decided to make it a family vacation.  First stop: Nashport, Ohio.  We spent the 4th of July with the Furhiman's.  It's so peaceful watching them fall back into the relationships they built with cousins.  It's as if time stood still and they were never apart.  The boys shot each other with air soft guns and the girls created a number of shows.  It was a fast 2 days.  Next stop: Tonawanda, NY.  It was home from May 1997-May 2000.  We enjoyed stopping by our first home and driving around our old neighborhood.  Niagara Falls is only 20 min. from where we lived.  The kids loved the Falls.  A favorite was the Maid of the Mist.  We camped on Grand Island.  It was beautiful, the weather perfect.  Finally: Palmyra, NY.  We enjoyed the church sites.  Casey could hardly wait to meet up with Zack.  We spent an afternoon hanging out getting to know him a bit.  The next day we stole him away for ice cream at the Chill n Grill.  We loved it so much we went back that evening for more!  We decided to go to the Media showing of the Pageant so we could get Rebekah home in time for her tests and flight to UT.  Casey was able to spend another couple hours hanging with Zack before the pageant began and a little after the show.  Mission Accomplished!! A few of the highlights of the family trip....


  • The Furhiman's!
  • Opening fruit snacks and seriously almost crashing
  • Maid of the Mist
  • De Dee's Ice Cream: Porter's was as big as his head!
  • Hammocking
  • Cube - Casey's play by play was amazing
  • Camping
  • Playing Monopoly Deal in the park
  • Casey & Porter playing Ninja Warrior on the bridge
  • Cube - Izy and Casey are a formidable pair
  • Chill N' Grill: more Ice Cream!! Twice in 1 day
  • Smith Cabin
  • Smith Home & Barn
  • The Sacred Grove
  • Grandin Building
  • Hill Cumorah
  • The Pageant: We ran into the Klopfer's, it was fun visiting with them.
  • Zack - spike ball, ice cream, arm wrestling
  • Sumo Wrestling - laughing so hard was quite enjoyable


I need to look at life a lot more like a family trip.  Get over the bumps quickly so I can enjoy the adventure.

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