Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunshine and Rain

We live in the desert so rain is a rarity and a delight.  Yesterday the sun slanted below the clouds and we enjoyed the phenomenon of rain and sunshine at the same time.  The sun shone through each raindrop as it fell, lighting them up so it looked like it was raining lights.

Dallin soaked it in by jumping on the wet trampoline.

Adam tried to catch some raindrops in this pail.

Brandt wasn't so thrilled about the sun shining into his eyes and the rain pelting his face while he was trying to play with his truck.  But pretty soon, when the clouds converged and the rain started coming down in torrents, he loved watching the storm from the other side of our windows. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

When I Am a Grown-up

Dallin, picking at the food on his dinner plate, announced, "When I am a grown-up I'll tell my kids to eat ice cream for dinner every day."
We told him we'd check back with him when he was a dad and see how that was going for him.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Mom Who Loves Books

The other day after picking Caleb up from school I drove past our street.  Caleb asked where we were going.  I tossed a granola bar and hand sanitizer over my shoulder and informed him that we were heading to the library.
"Aw, man!" Caleb groaned.
"Why do I have to have a mom who loves books?"
 When we got to the library Caleb went to the shelves and promptly chose seven books to check out.  He read at bedtime for the next three nights without complaint.  
That's why he has a mom who loves books.
And for moments like this...

I have a mom who loves books.  She read aloud to us and took us to the bookmobile every two weeks.  I'm sure it rubbed off on me.  I have learned that reading together sparks the imagination (yes, even in grown-ups!), bridges generations and uplifts us.  It's a quiet snuggle time where our minds and our hearts are engaged together.  It's one of my favorite things to do with my kids and it's worth every late fee I incur at the library.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I love it when I see confidence and optimism in my children!  I struggled with confidence as a kid and I know how much a lack of confidence and fear can hold a person back.

At the beginning of the summer Adam was terrified of the water.  When "swimming" he splashed and played the entire time on the step.  If Mitch offered to give him a ride on his back Adam jumped out of the pool and cowered tearfully.  That all changed when he had swimming lessons.  After six lessons Adam's fear was gone and he had learned to swim (thanks to my amazing friend Shelly) and even jump off the diving board!  Since then he has learned to swim farther, with breaths, so he can swim across the pool.  He's been doing great!

Last week Mitch was swimming with the boys.  Caleb and Dallin were swimming down and retrieving toys from the bottom of the deep end.  Mitch took Adam for a ride on his back so he could go down and touch the bottom like his brothers.  After surfacing Mitch asked him if he would like to try to touch the bottom himself.  Adam said yes.  He plunged right in and kicked his way down, touched the bottom, turned, and swam to the surface.  His head cleared the water.
"Yes!" he exulted.  "Yes!  I knew I could do that!"

Monday, August 16, 2010


Caleb had a friend over to swim one day.  They were executing crazy jumps off the diving board.
"Did you see that one, Mom!?" Caleb asked me.
"Yeah, that was really cool!"  I told him.
"Did you see mine?" his friend asked.
"Yes.  You did a great jump too!"
"But which one did you like better?" asked the friend.
"They were both great." I smiled.
"Yeah, but which one did you like better?" Caleb pressed.
"You know, I don't think I could pick one.  I liked them both!" I replied.
The boys looked at each other.  The friend said, "Why do moms always say that?"
"I don't know, " Caleb replied.  "Probably so they don't hurt your feelings."

Friday, August 13, 2010

First Day of School 2010

Wednesday was Dallin's first day of Kindergarten and Caleb's first day of third grade.

We had happy monster mouths for an after-school snack and talked about the day.  Dallin's take on the first day of Kindergarten was that it was "good." At school he created a feelings-drawing with the prompt, "On the first day of school I feel..." he asked the teacher to write the word "weird" in the blank.  Caleb said school was good and that they didn't do much work the first day, just learned about rules and stuff.  However, he was excited about his new music teacher.

Adam's first day of preschool was yesterday and he was nothing short of delighted.  His teacher is very kind and loving, which makes it a great first separation from home. 

Being back in a routine is a good thing, and I think this year will be a good one.

Not to be outdone, Brandt is learning plenty too.  He can now open the lever door knobs and get out in the backyard and into the garage by himself (we have a new deadbolt policy).  He has learned to throw things in the trash.  And last night before drifting off to sleep, I heard him practice saying that dreaded word, "No." 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Falling with Style

Me: Why did you throw your Buzz down the stairs, Adam?
Adam: Because I thought he can fly!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

These are my children's absolute favorite muffins.  "Ooooohhh!  Those muffins!  Can we have muffins tomorrow too?" they ask.  Caleb sometimes eats four.  They call dibs on the leftovers.  And, hey, I'm getting vegetable matter down their throats.  Canned pumpkin has not been available at my grocery store for several months and, since desperate times call for desperate measures, I have found that boiled and mashed sweet potatoes work just as well.

Here is the recipe from

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
  2. Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Note: When I bake these I use brown sugar, a combo of white and whole wheat flours (1/2 and 1/2), 1 whole cup of pumpkin, a bit more cinnamon and mini chocolate chips.  Bake them eighteen minutes.  They're delicious.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


A few things from today:

Mitch left for work
I slept in until 7:00 am
I made crepes for breakfast
I read a fantastic talk
Brandt needed a bath after breakfast - he had syrup all over his hair
Brandt discovered how to climb on the kitchen chairs, and from there to the top of the table
I unlocked the pantry door to free Dallin's shorts, which were caught
The boys were very excited to play their new Wii game they earned with our summer point system
The kids did a good job on their "homework" and chores
Adam threw a bunch of gravel on the trampoline
Laundry -  I needed some clean unmentionables
I tried two new recipes: Strawberry Meringue Buttercream (too sweet) cupcakes, and my friend Sherri's yummy fruit salad
I made the kids chicken salad sandwiches for lunch
I tidied the house, registered Caleb for music classes, picked up a few groceries
Brandt napped
I fed my facebook addiction (got to do something about that)
I arranged a play date
There were a few fits and arguments between the boys - not too bad
I counted calories; didn't exercise
I plowed through a few pages of Les Miserables (will I ever finish!?)  Love this quote, by the way: "The onward march of the human race requires that the heights around it be ablaze with noble and enduring lessons of courage."   - Victor Hugo
I paid the water bill
I signed a petition
Mitch came home from work just in time for us to host a BBQ for 16
Most everyone went swimming
I shared a YouTube video with a couple of our guests
I ordered some clothes for the kids online, got a smokin' deal (Mitch sniffed it out, of course)
I gave Brandt another bath
Adam stayed clean and dry today.  Yay!
I watched some of the scorpion hunt going on in my backyard.
I read to, sang to, hugged, and prayed with my children and told each one that I love them.

Sometimes I think it's useful to record the happenings of the day so I can feel like I have accomplished something.  It helps to keep me from forgetting the daily details of life, as well as its pace and phases, and from feeling that all the days seem to blur together without much to distinguish them.  Each one is a little different, with its own share of the humdrum, joy, pain, and growth that is part of life.