Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Holiday in August!

I wake up every year on August 1st and announce to anyone who will listen (thanks Joe-Joe!) that it is My Birthday Month! All my life I used to joke that August was the only month without a major holiday in it and that someday when I had fulfilled my destiny that my birthday would become the August holiday. Suffice it to say having my family and loved ones practice this eventuality wears thin on them! The young women were good sports though singing to me every week! (This month is such a special one. It's birthday time for you....) It was really only one. My husband gets a bit tired of doing all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, dishes and such but really it is my birthday month! Oh wait he does that every month! Ha-ha. Just kidding Mom. I help. Sometimes. Back to the holiday. I am not sure what to call it yet but already practice for this celebration has begun. School started on my birthday. The boys say that the best gift they can give me is to leave me alone for several hours. It sure didn't seem like several hours. My family has a tradition that they call each other on their birthdays to say "hi" and "glad you're around". Sometimes someone forgets (that's ok you guys, I only cried for a few minutes) but that is part of the fun. We get together every now and then and say "So, who forgot you?" It really helps with the family unity thing.
Don't read this next part if you think I only write about sad stuff.
I mean it Tricia!
This tradition also made for a sad few minutes on my birthday. My dad, you see, used to be the first to call. He would sometimes call at 5:00 in the morning in order to be the first. It was horrible. I remember telling him I was going to take my phone off the hook. Anyway when I finally sat down at about 10:30 am. I couldn't figure out why I was so sad. Then the realization hit me and I cried out "My dad didn't call me for my birthday!" I cried for a while over that one. I will miss him telling the story about my birth and the poor man who had been in the waiting room all night waiting for the birth of his child and how I came in a few hours. I will miss him telling me the story of Mom asking if he had seen me yet and when she commented about how beautiful I was he went back to the nursery because he was sure they had shown him the wrong baby. Aw, Dad. I missed your stupid early morning call.You may read again, free from emotion. Tricia don't say I didn't warn you.

The other tradition that we fight but secretly must like is that Mom makes us all go around the circle and tell each other why we love the birthday person. I told Dave that I wasn't going to let her do that this birthday. I didn't want it. I wasn't in a good place for it. (what in the world does that mean, anyway?) Despite my protests it happened anyway and thanks to my sweet family I did feel very loved. I really should have written them all down so I could read them whenever I needed a little pick me up. Let me see if I can remember them...
  • Mitch: I love Kelli because she makes a mean meatloaf.
  • Haley: I love Kelli because she gave me $5 for a movie. Once. A long time ago.
  • Alli: I love Kelli so much I put her on my Do Not Call List. Teasing Alli.
  • Sara: I love Kelli because she is the best kite maker. Ever.
  • Brad: I love Kelli because she has blue eyes.
  • Brandon: I love Kelli because she knows movie lines from Star Wars.
  • Tricia: I love Kelli because her legs don't look as good as mine.
  • Mom: I love Kelli because she does a good job keeping plants alive.

Aren't they wonderful! Can you see know why I love my birthday month so much! Andrew and Jenn were missing but don't worry I will hit them up later!Josh took this picture. Two questions. Can you tell I spent a good hour crying? Be honest. yeah. I thought so. Second question what is up with pointing my toes like that. I did it here also. Strange. Goodbye August! I will miss you! Dave won't.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Dudes!

The first boy I loved who wasn't related to me!

I love boys! Since I was a wee babe apparently. My mom tells stories of how I would always respond better to the mens voices and I always would climb up on their laps and smile and laugh with them. Is it any small wonder that I have 5 boys of my own? Don't get me wrong girls were great but with the boys I didn't have to worry about their crazy emotions in fact some claimed to not have any feelings at all! At good ole Viewmont High I had a few close girlfriends but I had a group of boys whom I adored. Probably too much. I think during the years I had a crush on every single one of them at one point or another. They have gone through some changes through the years. The name by which they were known has changed. They used to be the Stolen Hubs and then they became the Dudes. Some members of the group have come and gone but the core seems to remain the same.Did I mention that I loved them! I really did! Between them all they probably made the ideal man (granted it took all 5-7 of them to make the ideal but he was there) Most of them were funny, some were sensitive, all were smart, some could sing, some played baseball, some soccer, some football, some hockey, some played instruments, some could draw, some could dance, some could ski, some were sensitive, some were politically minded, some had fashion sense and they all made funny-only-for-a-few movies. Wow what a man! The Ideal Man

They were almost always fun to be with. I was the camera woman for filming some of their films, mainly because I had a camera! Many an hour was spent watching them plan a scene that took about 10 seconds of the final film! Later I became a source of free pizza. I remember encouraging them to "Be honest and open". Every once in a while they would open up but mainly they just teased me.
I used to mock them also for many reasons such as the time they let me come to their air band concert. Vastly amusing. I would give a lot to have that on film! I also would tease them about their idle threats. For years they used to threaten that someday they would beat me up, tie me up, drive me out to the desert and leave me for dead. Finally after years and years of this particular threat they made good on it. Granted there was no real beating and I had to hold the rope so they could tie me up and they didn't leave me for long in the desert because there was another car approaching but they did make good on their threat. You mocked my pain! Never do it again!
I blame them for my feelings of not ever wanting to graduate from high school. I just knew we would go our separate ways and lose contact. For the first few years I kept in touch with them through letters while they were serving missions for our church. Then they came home and we hung out for a while (free pizza) and then they started to get married and for quite a while I didn't see much of them. Then about 10 years ago they invited Dave and I to join a dinner group they started where every other month they would get together at someones house for dinner and games. It has become (sad to say) a highlight of my social life.

I love each of them even more now and I also love all their wives (they all married far above themselves). It is amazing how these boys have grown into fine fathers and husbands. They hold down jobs (none of which are in the movie making industry) and they are just good guys!

It gives me hope to think that my silly, crazy, thoughtless, teasing sometimes insensitive, and always full of fun sons will someday grow up to be like a Dude-like man.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

To do list:

I don't have a lot of time these days so I thought I would make my to do list and post on this here blog at the same time. If you would like to help with any of these items I am taking applications for a family assistant.

1. Wake up Josh and Aaron
2. Fix lunches for boys. Wonder how we went through 36 apples in 4 days.
3. Change laundry.
4. Feed Josh breakfast.
5. Family prayer (with Josh), kisses goodbye, chase him down to give him his viola, have him remind me that he has to have aerosol deodorant for gym not stick. Wow. random. Add Go to store to the To Do List.
6. Wake up Aaron
7. Wake up Jonathan
8. Clean out dishwasher. Wonder why it is leaving a white film on everything. Better not be breaking. Reminds me that the oven is on the fritz which reminds me that I need to figure out something for dinner that doesn't require oven. Reminds me that I need have a good meal because Dave is fasting. Better add some stuff on to the grocery list.
9. Yell at Aaron to get up now!
10. Get Joe out of bed. Morning mommy. Good nap. Feed Jonathan, Alex and Joe.
11. Threaten Aaron with missing breakfast. Have Aaron tell me that I am mean.
12. Scripture reading with boys. Feed Aaron also.
13. Hair and teeth brushing for boys. Notice how disgusting their bathroom is. Add clean bathroom to to do list.
14. Family prayer (again)
15. Kisses goodbye. Except for Jonathan who is mad at me because I made him make his bed.
16. Ask Alex to stop teasing Joe.
17. Again ask Alex to stop teasing Joe.
18. Put Alex in time out.
19. Tell Alex to stop kicking the door.
20. Eat Breakfast.
21. Read scriptures while listening to Alex yell how much he hates me from his room.
22. Change laundry.
23. Contemplate the fact that underwear is not supposed to have so many holes.
24. Remember Alex and finally let him out of his room.
25. Think about getting dressed. Get Joe dressed.
26. Do the dishes. Clean up floor under Joe's chair. Contemplate having a kitchen that can be hosed down.
27. Start PTA work on the computer. New Teacher highlights! Wonder why every year I say I am done volunteering and then end up helping with a few things anyway.
28. Check email. Realize if I quit PTA I would get very few emails. Grateful for PTA so I get lots of emails and feel so loved!
29. Update blog. Realize I have nothing fun to say. Wonder if life will ever be funny again.
30. Wonder at the fact that I have already accomplished my first 30 things and it is only 9:30!
31. Get dressed (probably at the last second because I am predicting I will forget that I am going visiting teaching this morning)
32. Hair, teeth, wipe mascara from under eyes.
33. Grab Ensign and peruse message while driving to appointment.
34. Have a nice visit with Tammy but get mildly frustrated with the boys running around her house!
35. Run to school to drop off library book from last year that we found when we deep cleaned boys rooms for back to school. Apologize to Mrs. Nelson the librarian. Ask her if her first name is Marion. Laugh to self.
36. Take the new teachers pictures for newsletter and give them questionnaire. Pick up volunteer forms from office.
37. Run pick up Jonathan's soccer uniform.
38. Run to store. Wander aimlessly trying to think of some good meal for dinner. Repeatedly tell boys they don't need a treat.
39. Buy treats for boys and groceries for dinner. go back for silly aerosol deodorant
40. Go home.
41. Change laundry.
42. Feed boys lunch. Clean up lunch that remains untouched because they filled up on their treat.
43. Put Joe down for nap.
44. Start a movie for Alex. Ask him to be very quiet for 30 minutes. Attempt to lay down for nap.
45. Answer phone.
46. Lie down.
47. Answer phone.
48. Turn ringer off on phone.
49. Lie down.
50. Explain to Alex that whispering is quiet but defeats the whole purpose if he is whispering TO ME to get him a drink.
51. Get Alex a drink. Turn the phone back on.
52. Check Sandra's email. Answer emails. Make a to do list for shop. Fax to shop. Call Alyssa to tell her about list.
53. Check blog to see if any of my favorite bloggers have posted anything. Read and laugh.
54. Change laundry.
55. Clean bathroom.
56. Post a notice that all boys are banned from using the toilet until further notice or until they can aim!
57. Water plants. Pluck dead leaves off and throw them away.
58. Notice the time. Look longingly at the couch where I tried to rest.
59. Greet Josh, Aaron and Jonathan when they come home.
60. Go through backpacks and sort through paperwork.
61. Tell boys to clean up snack mess in kitchen.
62. Tell Josh he needs to practice.
63. Homework with Aaron and Jonathan.
64. Gently remind Josh to practice.
65. Have the boys tell me how great it is to have clean rooms and how smart is was to do it the night before because now they can go play and how I am the smartest mom ever to have suggested it to them last night (under penalty of death or a least a later dinner)
66. Sit down and attempt to force Josh to practice.
67. Change laundry.
68. Beg and plead with Josh to practice.
69. Get Joe up from nap. Feed him leftover lunch because now he is hungry.
70. Jump in the car when I remember that I have to go pay for a ticket between the hours of 3 and 5 and it is due today or they will put a warrant out for my arrest! Stupid registration!
71. Come home and threaten Josh that he won't play football unless he practices.
72. Practice with Josh (10 minutes or work after 2 hours of pleading) Vow to get him up to practice before school. Tell Josh to get ready for football.
73. Tell Alex to get ready for soccer! His first game!
74. Take all the boys to the soccer game. Try to figure out how to watch Joe on the playground and Alex at his game at the same time. Thank heavens for Aaron.
75. Take Josh to football. Go back to soccer game. Cheer loud. Take pictures. Go home.
76. Call boys in from playing to babysit Joe. Call shop boys to make sure they got the to do list.
77. Go to YW. Call Dave to make sure he is on his way home. Remind him to get Josh for YM @ 7:00. Tell him dinner is ready. Wait a minute I didn't fix dinner. Dang it. I will have to add that somewhere.
78. YW-Humanitarian Center 6:30-8:30
79. Come home.
80. Say hi to Dave. Check to make Josh has showered and eaten.
81. Tell kids it is time for bed. Remind them to clean up their rooms so they won't have to tomorrow after school. Listen to them cry and whine about it for 20 minutes and tell me I am the meanest mom ever.
82. Get Joe ready for bed.
83. Yell at kids to get ready for bed.
84. Brush Joe's teeth.
85. Threaten kids to get ready for bed. Oh, and clean their rooms.
86. Say prayers with Joe.
87. YELL at everyone to come for family prayer.
88. Put Joe to bed with a sweet little hug and kiss. Tomorrow Mommy. Take nap now.
89. Physically take Alex into the bathroom and tell him to brush his teeth.
90. Go check on boys downstairs. Tell them to turn off music, stop dancing on the beds and clean up their room. Oh yeah and tomorrow is your laundry day, Josh. Go sort your clothes.
91. Change laundry.
92. Go back upstairs and tell Jonathan and Alex to stop playing with the fan and to go to sleep.
93. Say hi to Dave again. Ask him about his day. Thank him for doing the dishes (hint, hint)
94. Eat dinner. Put my dishes in the dishwasher.
95. Take Alex out of his room and put him on the couch.
96. Go downstairs and start working for Sandy. Make labels. Create invoices. Make delivery list for boys. Call Alyssa to find out how much they got done! Tell boys to be quiet and go to sleep.
97. Work on PTA newsletter. Work on PTA volunteer lists. Email principal and PTA president to remind them about newsletter. Tell boys to be quiet and go to sleep.
98. Take Aaron out of his room and put him in the office.
99. Pays some bills.
100. Carry Alex into bed. Turn off light.
101. Go downstairs check on boys. Wake up Aaron and walk him to bed.
102. Get a popsicle and see if there is anything on the TiVo now that the Olympics are over.
103. Get ready for bed.
104. Open the windows. Check the doors. Turn off the lights. Set my alarm.
105. Change the laundry.

Well I ave got to go. I have to visiting teaching in a few minutes and I'm not dressed yet.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My loves of August!

Some of my absolute favorite people were born in August! How do I love them? Let me count the ways. Or list them.Grandpa Lael Carter!
I love this man. As far as I am concerned he can do no wrong. I have been told that he is far from perfect but I don't believe it much! He can do anything and fix anything. He works harder than most men 50 years his junior! He loves all generations of his children and we all know it. He has this way of making you feel like you are his absolute favorite. I am pretty certain that I am the actual favorite however! I love the way he walks everyone to their cars though I don't know if he does it so he can wave goodbye or so he can see who runs over his sprinklers on the way out. I love how he loves my grandma. I love how he smart and sharp and involved in the times. I love how carefully he listens to me and although some might say it is because he can't hear very well I'm pretty certain it is because I am his favorite. I love the way he laughs and shakes his head like he is so amused or amazed at whatever you are telling him. I love how he still bosses me around as well as his grown children. I love how he can talk to anyone at any store for hours on end. I love how he is never to be hurried. I have known him for a long time so that is why this list is so long. I love my Grandpa! My father-in-law Gary Rollins! I love this man for man, many reasons! I love how he has learned to go with the flow. He doesn't get riled up very easily which makes it nice to be around him. I love how he takes care of his wife. I love how he cooks and does dishes! He has set a great example for his sons and I benefit from that example every day! I love how he is one of those guys who will give you everything including the shirt off his back if you need it! He is so generous. I love how he loves to travel. He always enjoys seeing the sights and sharing it with us all when he gets back. I love how he has taken a really hard childhood and made himself into a better man. He has been a fantastic father and has helped give his children the foundation and the security that he never had. That takes a strong man. I am thrilled to be a part of his family and I love him tremendously. My brother-in-law Bryan! Let's be open and honest here! When I first married in to the family Bryan scared me. He was big and burly and quiet and I didn't know how to deal with an older brother. Now I know better. He is kind and doesn't tease near as much as the younger boys do. He is a more subtle tease. He still likes to tease don't get me wrong. I love how he has inherited his parents generosity. He is so kind and generous to the boys on their birthdays and I appreciate that right up until he finds the biggest and loudest toy he can possibly find to get them. He is sensitive also. Although I am sure he would deny that. For example he brings the drinks to all the family parties. Well he heard me say once in passing that I loved red cream soda and the very next time we got together he had a few different varieties for me to choose from. He is a good guy with a soft heart and that is why I love Bryan! Another Brother-in-law Mark!
What can I say about Mark! I have known him a long time. Long before Dave and I even dated. I think I loved him (as a brother!) even before I knew I loved Dave. Mark makes me laugh. That is one reason why I love him. I have many memories of laughing with and at Mark for many years. I also love how he also has a serious side. I love to hear his many opinions on things. He has a few of those (opinions, I mean). I love to watch him play the devil's advocate. I love to watch what a fantastic father and husband he is. I love how he cares about his family both immediate and extended. He is always willing to help and is so generous to those he loves. Who would have thought that the silly boy who was too stubborn to wear a coat to a very snowy football game or who would wrestle and lose very graciously or who would insist on getting his revenge by dumping a cooler of water on someone who had spilled but a few drops on him or who could sing and imitate a slide show would become a brother-in-law whom I love lots and lots!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


What do you see?

Do you see the young lady first?
How about the man playing the saxophone?
Can you see both?
I love these types of drawings that show 2 things at the same time.
I am always curious as to which one people see first.

Looking at one picture and having 2 people seeing 2 different things is a lot more fun than experiencing one thing and having 2 people see 2 different things! What we "see" all depends on our experiences, our pasts, our perspectives and our beliefs and attitudes.

Nobody sees things exactly the way I do. There have been times in my life that I think that someone is wrong because they do not see things the same or "right" way. I have also had people tell me that I am wrong for the sole reason that I do not agree with them. It is only their opinion. It is only my opinion. Why are we not able to accept it and not have our feelings hurt.

You are so wrong to not see the girl first and the saxophone player second! That sounds so silly and yet... "You are so wrong that you don't see this the way I do!" That sounds rational. Right?

What is the difference between these two towers?

It looks like the one on the right is tilted at a higher angle. It is not. They are identical! Try covering one up and then the other. They are the same picture but because the one on the right is next to a more concrete border it looks like it tips further. Amazing isn't it. They are the same but according to our eyes they should be different. They look different because of where the picture is situated. Hmmm.
It all depends on the angle!
Age and experience has made me realize that all those things my parents said were true though at the time I could only see it from my perspective. It makes me wonder what the picture of my life will look like in another 30 years!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

This I Believe. The Plan of Salvation. Part I

I absolutely believe that God has a plan for His children. Not only as a group but for each of us individually. I believe that we existed before we came to earth. We lived with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I believe that we associated with one another and knew each other before we came to Earth. We were taught the principles of righteousness and we learned about our Fathers plan for us. We could not progress any further without receiving a physical body. We were to come here to grow and learn. To walk by faith and to prove that we would do whatsoever the Lord commands. It sounds so simple doesn't it? We are told that we shouted with joy when we heard the plan. We were so excited to get these bodies of ours and to show our Father that we would always choose Him! I sometimes try to imagine Our Fathers reaction to our joy. He knew that some of His precious children wouldn't return to Him. There was probably some sorrow amongst the joy in His eyes.
This world was created for us to fulfill the plan of salvation. I find as I see the marvels of this world, as I go into the woods or sit beside a stream or see the magnificent mountains or the vast oceans and I have a little quiet time (obviously without my kids!) I feel closer to my Heavenly Father. I feel Their love for us when I see all the beautiful things that they created for no other reason but to give us joy! "Whenever I hear the song of a bird, or look at the blue, blue, sky. Whenever I feel the rain on my face or the wind as it rushes by...." So true.I believe that not only did God and Jehovah create this Earth on which we live but that they also created man, Adam, and woman, Eve. I believe, as the scriptures say, that He created us in His own image. Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden and they were given some instruction. One of the most important gifts that our Heavenly Father has given them, me and everyone is free agency. We are free to choose. He will not force us to make wise choices.
I think as a parent that it is extremely difficult to do at times. How many times have I told my kids to do something because I know better, because I am the mom and that they just need to trust me. I have a difficult time watching them make silly mistakes when I know better. How much more difficult would it be for Him to watch us make not only silly mistakes but mistakes that will cause us and those we love such sorrow, pain or unhappiness? What a powerful gift we were given. He knows that whatever your choice, you are also choosing a consequence. Consequences may appear immediately or may come much later. But choosing good eventually leads to happiness, and wrong choices eventually lead to unhappiness. Heavenly Father allows you to make choices and experience their consequences so you may learn the difference between good and evil. Adam and Eve learned about free agency, choices and about consequences. Because of the choices they made they were cast out of the Garden of Eden, were cut off from the presence of their Father and of Jehovah and were now susceptible to pain and sorrow but also joy and peace. This Fall of Adam and Eve was part of our Fathers plan and He had a way for us to be saved from the Fall and from the poor choices we would make.
He would send His Son, Jesus Christ, to voluntarily suffer and pay for my sins, pains, sicknesses, and sorrows. Through the Atonement He can help me in my trials and relieve me of the guilt and shame that result from my sins. Though He paid for my sins, Jesus did not eliminate my agency or personal responsibility; He will not make me clean against my will. To make His Atonement fully effective in my life I have to exercise faith in Him, repent and choose to follow him continually.
The Plan of Salvation is also often called the Plan of Happiness. Our Father wants us to have joy. To have the freedom of making our own choices and experiencing the consequences. He wants us to learn and to grow and He loves us so much that He was willing to send His Beloved Son to pay for us to have these experiences! This Infinite Atonement is what makes this plan the Plan of Happiness for without it we would be cut off from our Father forever. No wonder when we heard of the Atonement we shouted for joy! How can I ever struggle in doing my small part?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I am alive and trying to survive!

Oh my stars! I am so tired! I haven't posted in a while because I have been so swamped. I honestly can't believe how much has been going on at our house. Here is a summary:
We went to the Bountiful parade for the 24th. We watched the parade with Sara and Jenn and some cousins. Josh pushed a handcart in the parade.

Later that night I had a wonderful chance to visit with some old and dear friends from Chi Theta Chi. Love these gals. We had a great 24th at my wonderful in-laws home. We watched fireworks both big and small. We watched Mark and Brittney destroy the bathroom, and we watched Aaron, Josh and Dave jump over things! We played with cousins and we had our yearly visit with the Hallman's and Erik! The tired demolition crew. He makes those Olympic hurdlers look so weak!

We started swimming lessons with some cousins and also did tennis lessons without cousins.We went to Lagoon. Josh went to Scout Camp. So did Dave for a few days. Just long enough to never ever want to be Scoutmaster! Josh and I also got to go to the Bountiful Temple for his first time doing Baptisms. It was fun to be there with him. Football has also started. sigh. Last week a huge portion of my time was spent planning for, getting ready for and actually attending the LDSBA Convention. It is quite the event! LDS Bookstores from all over the world (yes, there are LDS bookstores all over the world!) come for 3 days to see all the new stuff that is available to sell. Alyssa and I spent so much time together framing, packing, setting up, selling, framing some more and laughing hysterically! It is a good thing that I like that girl. We would literally be together until 1:00 in the morning to turn around and be together at 8:00 that same morning not to be apart until 6:30pm. Yea, I totally stole this from your blog!

We spent a few days up at East Canyon with Tricia and her kids. We had a great time swimming almost constantly! Every now and then we did other things like mini golf and playing at the beach with Andrew, Sam and Lauren. Thanks Mom for letting us use your condo!"Yea, I still look good. Did you see my legs?"Uncle Andrew methodically threw in Josh, Jacob, Kass and Sam into the lake. The thing that has most consumed our lives is that in the last 2 weeks we have completely remodeled 2 rooms. The amazing thing is that neither room was at our house. We did a bathroom at my in-laws house and a bedroom now office at my mothers house. Don't ask me how we manage to do both projects during the same weeks but that is how we roll! So I would literally go from painting one room, drive madly into Sugarhouse to paint another. What a joke! My in-laws have needed a new bathroom for a while so my crazy brother-in-law, Mark, took on the project. We were among the helpers until he left on vacation then we took over the mudding, taping and painting. It still isn't finished so no pictures yet! Then my Mom was cruising through the Greek Islands so we remodeled a bedroom and turned it into an office as a surprise for her. Alli was the instigator of this small project and I was the one that made it a huge project. Thank heavens Alli loves me. We did do a lot, but it turned out great!Alli has hidden decorating skills!My favorite thing is the missionary wall. These are the 6 missionaries from our family. Mom wanted a mission room so this wasn't just our idea. We stripped wallpaper, two toned the walls, put up crown moulding, put in a fan in the middle of a decorative, "recessed" square, put in a rug from Sara and Brad, decorated, and hung some pictures. It really did turn out nice.