Monday, March 30, 2015

Palm Sunday, Monticello, and the Canyonlands

Yesterday was Palm Sunday.  Usually, we color pictures of palm leaves and talk about why we are thankful for Jesus.  Most of the family did color palm leaves, and watch some videos portraying Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  I was really, really tired yesterday, and I never managed to color my palm leaf, or write down some things I'm thankful for. 

I am thankful for many things.  Two of those things are my family, and the beautiful world we live in. Here are some pictures of both -- though Tia is missing in the pictures, and I am thankful for her too. This is a trip we took a little over a week ago to see Trisa and Travis' new house in Monticello, and to hike in the Canyonlands.  It was a beautiful weekend!

Derek, Jake and Dan by Newspaper Rock

Dan by a bush of "Mormon Tea"

Jake, Derek, Trisa, and Connor (who is easiest to see)

Trisa, Jake, Derek

Derek, Kayli, and Trisa

Derek and Trisa


Connor, Chewy, and Kayli in Trisa and Travis' new house.  Too bad I forgot to take pictures of their nice house!

Travis.  I had to take a picture when he was busy playing Connect 4 with Dan so he wouldn't hide his face.
As always, Trisa and Travis were excellent hosts and we were taken care of very well!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Hawk Snacks

This is a picture of our bird feeder in the back yard.  It usually has a lot of little birds eating from it and we all enjoy watching them.  Big doves come and eat what falls from the feeder, and in winter we get some woodpeckers in the yard.  Three times in the past year or so I have seen a hawk sitting on a wire that is strung right by the bird feeder.

The last time he came was a couple of weeks ago.  Derek said, "What bird is that?  It's big!"  It was a hawk, and I told him that I had read that it is bad to have a hawk by a bird feeder because they eat the little birds as snacks.  The whole family happened to be in the room, and they decided they'd better scare off the hawk, even if he was fun to watch.  We like the little birds.  They banged on the window -- no response, Connor opened and slammed the back door to go along with the window pounding -- the hawk just turned to watch.  Connor went outside figuring maybe that would scare it.  The hawk took off toward Connor -- and swooped and grabbed a little bird from the bush by the porch.

Connor yelled, and Derek commented that it was like having the nature channel in our back yard. Thankfully, the hawk hasn't returned, at least when we were looking, and plenty of birds have eaten from our bird feeder since then without becoming hawk snacks.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dan's Visitors

A few weeks ago Dan had some visitors.  One was the Primary President in our ward and one was from the Stake Primary Presidency.  Dan is pretty new in our ward, and they thought they'd like to get to know him better.  He loved it!  That night at dinner when he was asked what his favorite part of the day was he said, "The weird visit with those ladies".

Dan played them a song on the piano, showed them some of his art work, and told them all about playing soccer with the 6th graders at recess -- along with the players names.  He absolutely loved the attention, and I thought it was really nice of them to come.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dan says ...

...a lot of things really.  This story happened one morning when Dan got up to eat breakfast.  I eat before he wakes up and was finishing up some reading while sitting by the fire.  Dan came over and said, "Mom can we put on some music -- since there isn't any conversation or anything."  Ha! Ha! I was not entertaining Dan properly during breakfast!  I put on some music.

I like that Dan has requests for specific songs.  One morning he wanted Don't Stop Believin'  by Journey. Another day it was Glorious sung by David Archuleta.  He doesn't usually know the name of the song he wants, and starts singing parts of them to me hoping I will recognize the words or the melody.  So far I have done pretty well at figuring out what he wants.  Yes, I'm impressed with myself -- and him.  He gives some pretty good clues!
Dan and me at scouts.  Isn't he cute?

Unplanned Adventures

Almost three weeks ago, Kayli was trying to quickly open a package for aerobics class. The plastic ties were thick, and the scissors didn't work.  She was in a hurry, and grabbed a knife.  She knew at the last moment that it was a bad idea, but it was too late to stop, and the damage was done.  She had cut her left pointy finger.

Poor Kayli was alone in her apartment and she couldn't get her parents to answer their phones (I was visiting teaching, and Derek was in a meeting).  Kayli prayed, and had the idea to call her roommate Abbie, who had just gotten out of class and was headed for her next one.  Abbie heard Kayli's voice and knew something was wrong.  She ran all the way home.  I love Abbie because she took really good care of Kayli, who was in shock.  She took her to the clinic, sent me multiple messages (which went to my email -- so I didn't see them!), and came up with the idea to call Trisa for insurance information.  When Kayli was done having the finger temporarily sewed up and her hand wrapped, she took her back to the apartment and stayed with her until I arrived.  It meant a lot to me that she helped Kayli when I could not -- and so well too!

Kayli cut through one tendon, half of another one, and half of a nerve.  I brought her home and took her to see a surgeon the next day (a Wednesday).  Because of the rules of our insurance, she had to wait until Monday to have surgery -- but it went well.  She started physical therapy that Friday.  That was hard for Kayli, and painful, and she fainted, but she has done well since then.  She got her stitches out and went to physical therapy again the next Friday.  Her finger is still swollen, and has its own Harry Potter type scar.  She has a lot of therapy ahead of her but they expect her to be better in three months -- hopefully with full use of her finger.

Kayli had to drop out of college for the semester, which wasn't a part of her plan.  We are happy to have her home, but I know she misses her roommates and her busy life.  Here is a picture of Kayli in the hospital.  She probably won't thank me for putting this on here, but you will see that she looks gorgeous even in a hospital gown!
I like the look she's giving her Dad in this picture.  The nurses had just said they wouldn't take her picture
and wouldn't let anyone else take it either.  I think that reminded Derek he had a camera on his phone!
I have had to smile at the nice things people have done for her.  Most involve chocolate!  Chocolate cookies, brownies, fudge, and a chocolate shake.  Pretty smart gifts for someone whose old email address included the words brownies, fudge, and chocolate!  She has been the recipient of prayers, cards, and a gift basket with a balloon.  Lots of people sympathize, and wish her well.  I am thankful for such kind and thoughtful friends and family.

Sometimes things just don't go like we plan, and sometimes the change of plan hurts!  Thankfully there are good things too -- at least for us.  Kayli's brothers are super happy that she is back, and so are her friends that live here.  I get to have another girl in the house.  YAY!  We love our Kayli and hope that her unplanned adventures will have a happy ending.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dan Makes Me Smile

This is obviously not today, but it is Dan -- and Chewy

Today my boys didn't have school so we decided to go to the theater and watch Big Hero 6.  When the movie was over Dan bounced over and stood in front of Jake and said, "Jake!  Did you like the movie?"  Jake said something like, "I guess it was pretty good".  Dan said, "I LOVED IT!" and then threw himself into Jake's lap to give him a big hug.  Jake was surprised.  According to Dan, that is the best movie he has ever seen.

Another day when we were having a harder morning than usual Derek asked Dan how he was doing and Dan said, "I'm pretty awesome so far!"

Yet another day I walked to the door with Dan when he was leaving for school and told him to have a good day.  He said, "Of course I will!  Why wouldn't I?"  I believe he went on to list a few great things he would get to do -- like Math.

Then the other morning Dan gave me a really big hug and said, "I really love you Mom.  I hope you have a really great day."

*As an aside, Jake's response was enthusiastic for him, and Connor "loved the movie" but not the boy behind him who kept hitting his chair and then dumped popcorn on Connor's head!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What Do You Need?

I was looking for a picture to go along with my quote and this one is as close a match as I could find.  Mrs. Potato head is trying to help -- even though she isn't sure what Mr. Potato head needed.

"...if we aren't clear on what we want and need, we can never expect others to support our efforts."
from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tai Chi and  QiGong Illustrated
by Bill and Angela Douglas

This quote reminds me of two things.  

1.  If we know what we want or need, hinting to get it is a bad plan.  It is also a bad plan to expect someone else to just know.  Even our closest friends and family aren't mind readers!  People like to help, and they even like to give us things that we want, but it is very hard for anyone to do that if we haven't clearly let them know what it is we want or need!

2.  People have a hard time helping us with a problem, or supporting us in an effort, we haven't identified.  Sometimes I have been out of sorts, and have found myself getting grumpy at Derek for not miraculously solving the problem.  This is totally unfair in any case, but especially when I don't even know why I'm grumpy or what I want or need to solve it.

*picture from but it's obviously really from Toy Story.