Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas This Year

I wrote this post several days ago, but saved it as a draft and didn't post it. Perhaps I was too prideful. Perhaps I didn't think it was well enough written. Mostly, I think, I believed it divulged "too much information"...not the kind of thing people want to read about when reading a blog...and not the kind of think I usually would share with the entire world. It read more like a journal entry than a blog, and I am the kind of person who likes to keep the two quite separate.

However, the more time that passed, the more I felt compelled to "publish" this post. I think maybe that is because things I say in this post are things many people are feeling, but, like me, didn't feel it was "appropriate" to share on a blog.

So, for what it is worth, here is my most recent post.

Christmas is coming! Whether we are ready for it or not, it is coming.

Like everyone, the economy "issue" has changed Christmas for us the past few years, and this year we are again changing our Christmas up. I like the change this year is bringing, but it is still something to get used to. We are not buying gifts this year. I never did like the idea of Christmas being about presents, but because I have the most WONDERFUL parents in the WORLD (and I will fight that to the end! LOL!), Christmas never was "about" the gifts we received. It was, however, important that we GIVE a lot at Christmas.

A stocking hanger we bought when I was young. I remember one year when I was about 4 years old, we learned there was a family living nearby who was not having a Christmas. They had small children at home, but Santa was unable to visit them that year.

Taiger fell asleep waiting to put up the Christmas tree. As we opened our Christmas gifts, we placed many of them into a large box, and when the box was full to overflowing, we all piled in our Dodge Ram Charger and hauled the box to this family's house. We were so excited and tried to be sneaky about our gift drop-off. My sister and I lay down in the back seat so the family wouldn't see and recognize us. (We decided my brother, who was about 1 at the time, could remain sitting, as the children would think he was an elf! We were silly kids!). My Dad carried the box to the door, rang the doorbell and ran back to the car. We sped away so they would think the box was from Santa, but I remember peeking over the edge of the window and seeing two small faces peering out the front window of the house, wondering who was driving away after ringing the bell. I believed they would think our red Dodge was Santa's sleigh.

Taiger helping NaiNai put lights on the tree.

And that is what made Christmas un-incredible to me. I believed everything about Christmas. There was no reason, in my mind, that a red Ram would NOT look like a sleigh! If it was believed, it was real. If those children believed Santa had come, then why would what was driving away from their home be anything other than Santa's sleigh?

Yes, the giving has ALWAYS been important in our house...it is what Christmas has ALWAYS been about. And that is why this year is so hard. Not because we all WANT gifts, but because we want to GIVE gifts. We each HAVE enough...we wanted to GIVE. The last thing Taiger needs is ONE MORE TOY!...but I was so excited for Christmas to give him something! My Mom and Bryttan have been so wonderful all year to help me, to tend Taiger, to take me to school every day...I wanted to GIVE them gifts to show them my gratitude and love. My Dad, brother, little sister, friends, neighbors, people who have taught me, long-lost friends with whom I have been reunited...these people are IMPORTANT to me, and I want to give them something to show them how much I love and appreciate them.

The thing I am learning this year, is that there is more to give than physical gifts. I always knew it. I always believed it. But I never was in a situation where I had to use "those" kinds of gifts. Giving someone a nice, wrapped up gift IS easier than cleaning their room, doing dishes, or spending hours talking to them (when you would rather be doing something else). The gifts that come in boxes are WAY easier to give. SO...THIS year, I am trying out the other kind of gifts. It has been a LOT harder!

Taiger making Christmas cookies with Aunt Bryttan and Soon-To-Be Uncle Michael

It also has been harder to get in the spirit of Christmas. Something about shopping, hearing the Christmas music, seeing the decorations, gets me in the Christmas spirit! Even more than that, getting EXCITED when I buy a special present for someone, something I KNOW they will love, gets me excited for Christmas! It reminds me of how much God must have been "excited" at giving us the gift of His son, so we could return to live with Him in Heaven, so we could repent and overcome the bands of death. At the same time, I am learning even more the value of Christ's gift to us. It would have been easier for him to just hand out items to people. But the giving Christ did was in the way He lived His life, His service, His time, and then, ultimately, in giving His life, and then in being resurrected. Giving this way brings us even MORE in tune with the spirit of Christmas, and will, I am sure, help me even better realize the gift-giving we celebrate at Christmas time.

The person who has received my gift so far this year is Taiger. I will admit this here...spending time with Taiger is hard for me! I mean, we are ALWAYS together....always, so just BEING with him is no big deal. But actually putting down the homework, the computer, the phone...walking away from what I am doing to just BE with him is hard for me. So, that is what I am giving him this year. We have made Christmas tree ornaments, gone to see Santa and hung around the mall doing nothing for an hour afterward. We have watched Christmas movies and spent time doing NOTHING. It is hard for me, when I have work to do, ads to place, phones to answer...but it is my gift to him, and I don't half give gifts.

I am not quite sure how I will give everyone else their gifts from me this year. Will it be in time? Service? In doing something I REALLY don't want to do, like cleaning a room or washing dishes? When the situation presents itself, I will know that it is time for me to give my Christmas gift to them. In the mean time, I am trying to keep my heart open, my wallet closed and my spirit full of Christmas.

Mary, Joseph and Jesus figurines from Taiger's Nativity set.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Today, when I got home from school, I dressed Taiger in his new church suit and we went to see Santa. Taiger was SO excited! Who cares that I was on phones AND ads today? Who cares that finals are Monday and I have a PILE of studying to do? It is Christmas time and Taiger needed to go sit on Santa's lap and remind us both about the MAGIC of Christmas.

I have been talking a LOOOOOT about what Christmas is "all about". I am trying to focus on Christ's birth and less on the receiving of gifts (mostly because I am broke this year, and partly because I don't want that to be his focus every Christmas for the rest of his life....and that is hard, because, as a Mom, I want nothing more than to shower my son with presents. Not only because he "wants" them and would LOVE them, but also because of the joy it gives me to watch his eyes light up, to see him so happy and excited, to see the joy a glittering pile of presents in a room magic with Christmas morning can bring him). So, we have watched some short films put out by our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka: LDS), about the Nativity, the story of Jesus' birth AND His life. We watched "It's A Wonderful Life" (yes, the WHOLE THING...he LOVED it!) and talked about the good feeling it gave us. Anyway, so last night I told he we could go see Santa today, and asked Taiger if it would be okay if Santa brought Taiger just one or two gifts this year. "Two" he said softly. I chuckled, thinking "typical child". Then he added, "One for you and one for me."

So, I brought him today to see Santa.
Waiting at the door to get in to see Santa, who was away...eating cookies and drinking milk, we decided :)
Taiger, when the excitement of seeing Santa simply overwhelmed him...LOVE it when he gets like that!
Have you ever seen a child who looked LESS happy to see Santa? He really was happy...he just doesn't like to show excitement.

After his visit with Santa, we went to the food court and visited over fries and Orange Julious. We spent a long time just sitting there, sipping Raspberry Pina Colada and smiling and laughing and talking. It was so fun to spend time with Taiger with no computer, no ipod, no homework, no phone (okay, so I was SUPPOSED to be answering it...), no other people...just Taiger and me. It was SO nice.

When we got home, I held him while we watched, "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa".

It was a good day. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Taiger!!!!!

Today was Taiger's birthday! What a happy and exciting day!!!!!

Last night, he was so excited, he couldn't sleep...in fact, he started crying! Not crying because he was tantruming, or being rude...just because he really was THAT excited. So cute!

So, I lay down beside him on his bed and told him about what I was doing 4 years ago last night. I was laying in bed, thinking it was time for my little guy to be born. Then, I told him about the next day, his birthday, and the (edited) details of his birth (meaning, I went to the hospital, they gave me medicine, Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Bryndon, Aunt Bryttan and Aunt BeQin came, and a while later you were born!). I told him about how as soon as he was born, the doctors layed him on me and he reached RIGHT up and held my finger (of course, he thought that was so cute!). I told him about how, when I couldn't hold him any more in the night (because I was in pain, sick, blah blah blah...but I didn't tell him that part!) that NaiNai held him all night and slept with him. I told him about getting his picture taken by the hospital photographer the next day. I told him about how he and I lay in the bed and watched his first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and how that evening everyone came over for "Thanksgiving Diner" hospital-food-style. I told him how much I loved him the moment I saw him.

What I did not tell him was how his birth changed my life. How I never, ever could have imagined how fiercly and deeply I would love him. I didn't tell him how I dream of his future, or that I love to guess what he will be like as he grows older. I didn't tell him how the moment he was born I started worrying about him, and that that worry will never stop. I didn't tell him what it is like to see me, my soul, my skin, my blood, outside of me in him. I didn't tell him how proud I am of the littlest things he does, how his accomplishments bring me so much joy, how his every triumph leaves me bursting with pride. I didn't tell him how I worry about his testimony, how I pray for it and yearn for him to always grow in faith, and remain close to God. I didn't tell him how I miss him when we are apart. I didn't tell him any of that. Because I am a Mom, and things like that would be lost on his four year old mind.

But I DID tell him I love him.

And that sums it all up. That is enough.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?....

....To go to the celebration for William and Sarah, of course!
And that is where Taiger and I were trying to get to as well.
Unfortunately, we became very, very, very lost.

Late Friday night, I received notice from sweet Lois that there would be a celebration Saturday morning at 11:00 in Lehi with ALL of the families in the area who had adopted or were adopting from Lucky Hill gathering to celebrate the baptism of William and Sarah (Patience). I was so excited I almost couldn't sleep! Really. I stayed up and arranged work schedule and did laundry so we could get out of the house early and to the celebration by 11:00am.

The next morning, I told Taiger where we were going and why. Boy, was he excited! So much so, in fact, that he brushed his own teeth and fixed his own hair and got himself ready to go, wanting to look nice and to prove his maturity to go to such an exciting party.

On the drive there, we laughed and sang and talked about how much fun we would have!

We took the exit, and immediately we were lost.

We pulled into Lehi at 11:00, which was when the celebration was set to begin. I figured we would probably be there in 5-10 mins, so a little late, but not too bad. I was actually really impressed, seeing as how we are USUALLY late for EVERYTHING!!

First, we went up to Sun Crest (or something like that). What a beautiful drive! I kept wanting to snap some pictures, but at this point I still held out hope we would get to the celebration without being terribly late, so I was not willing to waste time with picture taking.

Then, we drove all the way south, into another town. There, we stopped at a gas station to ask directions. Neither person behind the counter, nor any of the customers, knew how to find where we were heading. In the end, the man behind the counter became rude and we left, embarrassed and still very lost.

We headed north again and after a long while, stopped to ask directions.

These people also had NO CLUE where it was we were trying to find, but looked up directions on google. They were so kind and helpful...but it took them a LONG time to get the directions.

Back outside, it had started to snow. My Mom had called many times to ask if we had found the gathering yet and to tell us to get on the road soon so we didn't get caught in the blizzard heading our way.
Taiger ate the falling snow...

Then, drew us a map on the etch-a-sketch, sure that would help us find our way.

Unfortunately, his map was also wrong, and we wandered lost some more.

By now, we were so late, I wasn't sure the celebration would still be taking place. I told Taiger we may have to give up. Choking back tears, he told me we couldn't give up yet, and begged for us to keep looking so he could see William.

It broke my heart, so I did what any Mom would do in that heart-strings-pulling situation...

I kept driving.
And as we drove, I snapped pictures of some of the things we saw....an old truck with Santa as the passanger....
A cool house that looked like a church...
Some odd looking people waiting to cross the street...
And a chicken crossing the road (nothing strange in that, people) (REALLY...a CHICKEN, well, rooster, CROSSING THE ROAD! Where WERE we? The TWILIGHT ZONE?!?!??!)

But, I kept driving...
In circles.

Looking for the right place...

that I am SURE didn't exist (at least NOT in The Twilight Zone, where we now were).

Finally, we said a prayer and I asked Heavenly Father to help Taiger not be too disappointed and to help him know that Mommy really wanted him to go to the party, we just could NOT find it.

The snow was getting worse, and after two hours of hunting, I gave up. Taiger tried to be brave and not cry as we entered the freeway, but from the back seat he asked in a voice soft with emotion if maybe we could have our own party and invite William and Adjoa (the only two names he could remember).

As we got on the freeway the blizzard was in full swing. Visibility was low, the roads were slick and the ice was heavy on the window wipers.

I was glad we left when we did, but poor Taiger was so disappointed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Two Dollars

RIGHT NOW, I want you to go get the two dollars you were going to spend today on soda pop. Go get it RIGHT NOW! And while you are up, grab a stamp, envelope and a pen/pencil. GO NOW...I will wait ;).......
Did you get them? If not, I'll keep waiting...........
Okay, now, on the envelope write this:
Sixteen Small Stones
C/O Breclyn Everett
1811 South 1800 East
Sugarhouse, Utah 84108
Put the two dollars in the envelope, lick the edge and seal it. Stick the stamp on. Now, walk it to your mail box....Now, don't start thinking of excuses! Your shoes aren't on? That's your best excuse? Grab them and put them on! No, don't stop to wash the dishes, or to brush your teeth...just run the envelope to the mail box and flip the little red flag up...........
YOU'RE BACK! That two dollars is on it's way to Africa (well, to me first, but then STRAIGHT to Africa). Yup, you did it! You helped someone in Africa! Was that so hard? And I promise you, you will NOT miss your two dollars.

That money is going to buy church supplies for a primary in Ghana (read my previous post entitled something like "Service Project for Primary in Ghana" for more info on that). What a great cause! Helping children learn about God? Bringing them closer to Heaven? I can think of nothing greater in the world. Think of the peace YOU feel because you know of Heavenly Father. Think of the joy you feel because you know of life after death. Think of the comfort you have felt when reading the Scriptures. Now look! You just gave that to someone else! Aren't you so, so happy?

So often, we say we want to do this service or that one. But we think we will do it "in a sec" or "later", and really we DO have EVERY intent to do it!!!!! Then, things come up...crying baby, dishes, dirty clothes, boiling water...and before you know it, it is two weeks later and you are thinking, "I really would have liked to have done that service. Darn it!" Well, congratulations, you did this one!I wish I could express how thankful I am. I wish I could tell you how appreciated your two dollars will be. I guess all I can do is say, "THANK YOU" and hope that will suffice.

Here is the list of things the primary really needs. (You will probably be surprised with how little they are willing to get by. Our primaries here are so well equipped!) It may also help you see just what is needed and why. THANK YOU!

This is a post from a sweet Mom who is adopting a little boy from Luckyhill Orphan Home. She is organizing the donations for the primary.
Childrens Songbook ($18.25, hardcover)
CDs of hymns and primary songs so teachers learn new ones (Children's hymns CDs: $650, Standard hymns: $11.50)
Cd player (no idea how much that costs in Ghana....ballpark $50?)
Starter library package. (They already have empty cabinets with locks. I'm waiting to find out if this means that they want, say, a Primary manual for each class for each year of curriculum, or what, so that I can post prices.)
Teaching aids like picture kit (simplified Gospel Art Book is $3.25; can't find the Gospel Art Kit listed - anyone have one to donate?)
3 sets scriptures for primary classes to read together. Triple plus bible. (1 regular quad is $35; a triple + Bible is $20 + $25)
*All of this is at the Accra temple bookstore if money can be wired or brought by one of the adopting families).I should have plenty of room in my suitcases when I go, so if anyone wants to donate those things, they can - or if anyone wants to donate $ for buying those things at the distribution center at the temple in Accra, that's good as well! :) (And if anyone has gently used items from that list, I'm sure they would be very happy to have them.)At this point my very tentative departure date is November 16th, so donations would need to get to me by then - or I could send them with the next person going over there. :)Isn't it kind of weird and amazing to think of a Primary without any of those things? (Well,maybe it won't be that way for long. :) :) )

Sunday, November 8, 2009


On of my best friends died several years ago. She died the end of October. Each year, as the end of the month draws near, I feel this deep sadness. I miss her so much, and it is often hard to think I will never again see her IN THIS LIFE. I often think about the things we would have done TOGETHER. When I went away to college the first time (to Southern Virginia College) I thought of how MAYBE she would have come with me, and I wouldn't have been so lonely there. When I went to China, I thought of how I would have made Chelsea come with me, and how much FUN we would have had. (While I was in China, I took one month and went backpacking. I was all alone, and although it was fun and a great adventure, I still, once in a while on the lonely, all night bus trips, or while sitting alone on the train, wondered if she would have been with me, and how we would have been having so much fun.)

Usually, the end of October hits me like a brick, and then the sorrow lifts with the coming of November. I usually can shake the sorrow. This year has been different.

Last year, I thought of Chelsea, but didn't feel that deep hurt when I thought of her. I thought that maybe, FINALLY, after so many years, the mourning was over. This year, I made up for last year's peace.

I wish I could tell all about Chelsea. Sometimes, I want to talk about her. Sometimes, I want to talk about her death. The day she died, I was so in shock. When I found out she had passed away, I fell to the ground and sobbed. Then, I bottled it all up and went on. I cried a little after that, but no one comforted me. Oh, I am sure my Mom did all she could. I remember her asking me if I was okay, and telling me it was going to be okay. But to me, it felt like no one hugged me. No one told me that I would see her again. No one put their arm around me and listened to me talk about my best friend and how much I missed her. I guess, in some ways, I wanted that. I wanted to share my pain with someone to make it more bearable. But there was no one. I had no one to talk to about my hurt.

So now, each year, it seeps out, a trickle at a time. A drop of sorrow each year. Sometimes, I want to just scream and cry and let out the pain and loss I feel in my heart.

I miss Chelsea so much.

No More Mute

Much to everyone's relief, my instant playing music on here is GONE. So, go ahead. Un-mute your computer. The music is gone. No more obnoxious-ness. Okay, I always muted it when I was coming to this blog because it is just so sudden and loud! I realized, if I don't like it, probably no one else does, either.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Great Eight

THIS IS SOOOO EXCITING! Big secret? I have been WANTING (yes, wanting) to be tagged in something like this! So, leave it to one of my BEST FRIENDS IN THE WORLD to fulfill one of my deepest dreams! THANK YOU, MEGAN for tagging be in this!

Okay, really, I would rather do this on a day when I have done something great and wonderful and exciting...but for the sake of the rules, I will post it today...and you will all see how boring my Saturdays are! LOL!

8 things I did today (not in order)

2. Got all worked up by an evil customer
3. Did laundry
4. Wrote my resume for ShangHai internship
5. Wrote letter of intent for ShangHai internship
6. Hugged my Dad, who is here visiting from Idaho...WOO HOO!
7. Snuggled Taiger. (Okay, so this HAS to be my favorite pass-time! My son is SO SNUGGLY! He LOVES to be held and huged and snuggled. I LOVE it!)
8. Sang to Taiger (more than once...LOVE singing to my son!)

Eight Things I am Looking Forward To:

1. Taiger's birthday (I have some AWESOME gifts picked out for him! I think he will LOVE them!)
2. Being DONE with my test on Wednesday
3. Opening my food program (Okay, so it isn't until a while in the future, but Megan wrote something that is for "in the future", so I figured I could, too! Besides, I think about it and get excited for it ALL THE TIME! LOL!)
4. The end of this semester! Not only will my Chinese be better...I will also be done with this semester! And that always feels SOOOOO great!!!!!!!!!!!!
5. Christmas for Taiger (he is going to LOVE it! I love it when he is happy and when he smiles and when he laughs and when he gets excited and...okay, everything about the combination of Christmas and Taiger I LOVE!)
6. Finding out if I get the internship job (ShangHai World Expo...would be AMAZING!)
7. Moving to Europe for a year or two to sing opera (SO EXCITED! Again...a couple of years from now, but I can get excited, can't I?!)
8. This is so pathetic. I have so little about which to be excited!

Eight Favorite Shows
Okay, so I rarely watch adult TV...my tv time envolves Super Why and Dino Squad...Neither of which is my "favorite" (although Dino Squad is on "instant play" on Net Flix and has SAVED my life...or at least my sleep...more than once when Taiger has awaken in the night and refused to go back to sleep! And Super Why is just plain amazing for kids. I love it! Really, only because Taiger loves it. Besides, it teaches reading, it teaches good morals...I do like it!). SO...I am going to write my favorite MOVIES. Here goes (in no order, okay?!)
1.) A Little Princess
2.) Pheobe in Wonderland
3.) The Lord Of The Rings (ALL THREE, but do I count them as three different movies?)
4.) (Do I admit this online, for the WORLD to see? Yes. Yes, I do) Twilight (Don't judge me)
5.) Garfield's Halloween ("Halloween is my middle name! Gar-Halloween-field!" Don't get better than that right there!)
6.) Just Married (OH MY HECK! SO FUNNY!)
7.) The Best Two Years (NEVER gets old. Seriously heartwarming!)
8.) The Power Of One (Everyone should see this movie! Even though it isn't the greatest movie I have ever seen, it carries a powerful punch and has a great message!)

Eight Favorite Restaurants
1.) Olive Garden (come on, was ANYONE surprised?? Anyone? No? Didn't think so! Can I just say I LOVE Zuppa Tuscana...even though I cannot spell it?!)
2.) Texas Roadhouse (YUM!)
3.) PeiWei (Ate there once and life will never be the same...mostly because I can't afford to ever go back, and I will always want to! LOL!)
4.) Subway (I said it, I can't UN-say it!)
5.) Mama Inez (even though they went out of business. That was a sad, sad day!)
6.) Tepinyaki's (HOW ON EARTH DO YOU SPELL THAT?! Again, CHANGED MY LIFE, not only because the food was SO GOOD, but because I will never again walk in that restaurant! TOO expensive! I can't even afford to say the name out loud!)
7.) Uhhhhh....hmmmmm....I don't usually eat out at restaurants. SO this is all I have! LOL!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Service Project for a Primary in Ghana!!

Okay, so EVERYONE check out sixteensmallstones.blogspot.com or 16smallstones.com. We are doing a cool service project for the church primary attended by the orphans at Luckyhill Orphan Home in Ghana, Africa! Let me know if you want to donate! It will be such a great way to serve kids who really (really) need it! (If this sounds confusing, just go to sixteensmallstones.blogspot.com and it will all be made clear! LOL!)


Friday, October 30, 2009


I love autumn. The bright colors of the leaves. Carving pumpkins. The smell of Jack-O-Lanterns. The cool weather. The sound of the heater kicking on in the house. Here are some pictures of my favorite season. (P.S. I am going out of town and won't have the internet for the next few days....So, HAPPY HALLOWEEN, everyone!)

Taiger wore his Jack-O-Lantern costume to the Pumpkin Patch. When I was puting our pumpkins into the back of the car, he said, "Wait! I have to get in, too! I am a pumpkin, too!" and climed in the back. SO CUTE!

We decorated the front of our house with some Halloween/Fall decorations. Taiger drew the faces on the two pumpkins to make the pumpkin kids. He did so well, I was really impressed! (Notice the Iron Man costume. No, he is NOT being Iron Man for Halloween...he just LOVES wearing costumes.)

Each year, I LOVE taking Taiger on a "leaf walk". It is something my Mom did with me as a child, too. We take a plastic back and walk around the neighborhood collecting beautiful leaves. Usually, we make some sort of craft with them, but didn't this year.

Okay, so my internet is REALLY slow and wouldn't load the rest of the pictures, so this Blog post is "TO BE CONTINUED..."! LOL!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Three Amazing Multimedia Musts!

I have experienced amazing multimedia as of late. Here are my three most beloved:

1.) As touching, real-life, imagination-set movies go, this one takes the cake! "Phoebe In Wonderland" is as real as it is full of imagination. This movie follows a young girl as she suffers every day with something undiagnosed in the first of the movie, so I won't say here and spoil it. The main character, Phoebe, spends much of her time drifting into her imagination, something that sooths the side-effects of her condition. This picture is from one of my favorite moments on the movie. Phoebe is in the throws of her illness, and you can really feel her suffering, when suddenly, her little sister comes to her side and goes through the motions of her suffering with her. This part made me want to cry. In that moment of pure lonliness and suffering, Phoebe wasn't alone.

2.) I am reading an inspiring and amazing book called, "Three Cups Of Tea". It follows a young mountaineer and climber as he attempts to build a school in Pakistan. I haven't finished the book yet, so I don't know the outcome for sure. This book is absolutely wonderful!! It inspires me on my quest to build my safe home and feeding program in China. ANYTHING is possible!

3.) Last night, Jeremy and I finished watching "Nosferatu", a silent horror film. I have seen several silent-films, and the acting is more entertaining than believeable. This one is no different, save for a couple of actors, one being the main character. It seems more like he really IS Nosferatu, rather than someone acting a part. Nosferatu is a vampire, and he is the scariest I have ever seen (and I have watched my fair-share of Vampire movies, and I am not talking about Edward Cullen). Nosferatu is a must-see for Halloween haunting!

Friday, October 9, 2009


I love to write. I carry a little notebook with me and while I am at the grocery store, or driving down the street (okay, just kidding about that last one), if I think of something I want to remember, I write it down. Sometimes, it is a complete thought, sometimes, just something I feel. Sometimes, I write something that doesn't "go anywhere" but is the entirety of what I am thinking.

A few months ago, I was thinking of my Best Friend, Shannon (cockadoodledooly.wordpress.com) and I wrote this about her in my notebook:

When we first moved from the big city in Colorado to as small town in Idaho, I thought my life was over. I was so sad and depressed. The styles were behind the times, the music was behind the times, even the people seemed socially "behind"...

Then, I met my best friend, Shannon. She was a REAL COWGIRL! I remember the way she looked. Not her physical appearance (although I DO remember that, too), but the WAY she LOOKED, with her eyes. When she looked out at the horizon, it was like she could see things I couldn't. When I looked at Shannon, I saw the world differently, and through different eyes.

At that point in my writing, I was getting hit with shopping carts because I was stopped in the middle of the aisle, and Taiger was screaming to go get bananas and I had to stop writing (for safety reasons).

But there is so much more to say.

I would look at Shannon while she looked ahead, and I wondered what greatness she saw. She saw greatness in people and in the world around her. I saw the greatness in her. I admired her so much! I wanted to be just like Shannon! And I still do. She really is my hero. I love her so much.

Shannon taught me about confidence, about being happy. She taught me how to be silly and how to love myself. She taught me how to speak up and to not look down in shame. She taught me how to set goals and to work hard for my dreams. She taught me to work hard in everything! She taught me to accept everyone. She taught me patience. She taught me trust. She taught me faith in God. She taught me how to compliment others, and how to find the goodness in myself. She taught me to love unconditionally.

How did she teach me all of these things? By DOING them!

Yes, she really is THAT amazing.

I hope someday I can LOOK like Shannon, look OUT at the world and see what Shannon did when we were younger. That I can look out at the horizon and see things that others can't, things like beauty and goodness, like fun and adventure and excitement, things like hope and possibility. She never saw the bad in the world, in other people, or in me. She filtered it and saw only the good. Her eyes were the most beautiful brown, and when I looked at her face as she looked out beyond here and now, her eyes sparkled.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


We have this new body wash that has little "beads" of Shea butter in it. SO COOL! Well, I just put Taiger in the tub and scrubbed him up. Then, I came in my room to do some work and let Taiger play in the tub (the bathroom is next to my room, so don't worry...and he is so loud in the tub...if it were quiet, I would go running in there!). A moment later, Taiger hollared out to me, "Mom, Lyman is my best friend."
"Lyman? Who is Lyman?"
"No, LYMAN" (s0mehow I had mispronounced his name. I tried several more times at a proper pronunciation befor letting it go.)
"Okay..." I answered without thinking much of it.

A moment later he asked, "Can you get me a cup to catch Lyman?"
"In a minuet..." I said.
A moment later, "Mom? Can you get me a water bottle to catch Lyman in?" Well, now I was curious! I got his cup to catch Lyman. Handing him the cup, I said, "Here's a cup. Now, who is Lyman?" He giggled in a funny way. "Come on, who's Lyman?" He layed down on his stomach in the wayer, his face close to the surface and said, "This is Lyman! He's my best friend!" Where he pointed was one of the little Shea Butter "beads", floating around in the water!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Fishies Sleep With The Fishies Now

When Taiger finished his "Ocean" unit in Homeschool, I had considered buying a goldfish for our classroom so he could see and identify on a live fish, the gils, fins, etc. Seeing as how i HATE animals, I took him to an aquarium instead.

Two days ago, chance had it that I came into owning seven fish; five in one jar, two in another. Taiger loved them! Without any prompting, he showed me the gils! (Mission accomplished for Teacher Mom!) When Bryttan asked what the fish's names were, he named two of the fish: The smallest one was Sushi, and another was Octapus Legs. Yes, he really did come up with those names himself.

The other day, one of the fish had died. It could have been that I hadn't fed them more than bread crumbs. It could have been that there were FIVE fish in a mason jar. Either way, I decided enough was too much. Upon my request, Jeremy took both jars into the bathroom and we dumped the contents of both into the toilet. All seven fish, six happily swimming in the new, clean water, and one dead one floating on top. And then, FLUSH. They were swept away to their new home.

The fishies sleep with the fishies now!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Photo Op with a Mantis


All bugs. ANY bugs. I hate them! People always think I am exaggerating and say things like, "You like ladybugs/butterflies/etc. don't you?!" Nope. The ONLY bugs I can ALMOST tolerate are bees, and I am so allergic to them i have to avoid them like the plague. I really, really HATE bugs.

This evening, I found TWO bugs on my bed. TWO. At different times. In my book on how to avoid bugs, one is a fluke...two is a trend, So, all night I have been paranoid. I keep thinking I am feeling little legs crawling on my skin. EW! Well, at one point I was SURE I felt one! I flipped it off, and turned to see if it was on my bed (it was on my back)...but nothing. As I was looking away, I saw two HUGE eyes...LONG legs...the SUPER bug. To my utter joy, it was on the OTHER side of my window.

What was it? A katydid (I think..I don't like to learn about bugs...the pictures freak me out! When Taiger was little, I tried to teach him about butterflies...the pictures were too much. That homeschool topic ended abruptly). Anyway, I saw this as a GREAT photo opportunity and grabbed Scott and snapped away. The creature held very, very still. Until I moved away to adjust my settings. Then, he cocked his head and seemed to be wondering where I had gone. I came back and snapped some more. I knew this would be the closest I would ever be to one of these bugs. If it weren't on the other side of thick glass, I would have been HYSTERICAL. First, I would have been surprised, probably even jumped. Then, I would have become VERY mad...even IRATE! How dare this disgusting thing intrude MY space! Then, I would have freaked! This thing is in MY ROOM! I would have wakened the WHOLE house and made someone dispose of the helpless creature. Lucky for him, and everyone, he was outside and there was nothing to be upset about.

Well, i LOVED taking pictures of this little guy. Very interesting. Very cool colors. Close enough to get some cool shots. And then, he moved. He had moved little bits already, and that was cool...good for pictures. He bit at his hand, and rubbed his head. Turned his head. Those kinds of things. Now, he began to walk. I clicked away. He moved his legs up onto the window. I almost threw up but I wanted to get some good pictures of his belly to show Taiger tomorrow. It was all pinkish and reddish...very cool to a three year old boy, I assumed. But after a moment, I realized he was staying like that...pawing at my window, trying to get in to the warmth of my lamp.

And that's when everything changed. That is when he grossed me out. No longer cool. Just disgusting and a bug. Yuck. Even as I type this, he is clamoring at the window, trying so hard to get warm. Trying to get through that invisible and mysterious barrier to the heat radiating from so close, but so far away. He knows it is there, he may even be able to feel it slightly through the glass. But there is more. Oh yes, there is heat indescribable. He knows it. But he can't get to it.

Seeing him now makes me want to vomit. Yuck.

I just hate bugs.

(Tried to upload pictures but internet is too slow. Just take my word for it...the little creature was revolting!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sun- Day

Today, in homeschool, Taiger learned about the sun. It was really fun! It was a SUPER short lesson (I have learned these are best for Taiger), but he learned SO MUCH! To make today's class shorter and more fun, I actually "taught" him a TON about the sun last night in the car. I told him today's class would be about the sun, and just went on to tell him about how the closer planets to the sun are warmer than those farther away, and I told him about Solar Flares.

Today, we looked in his book about space and saw pictures of the sun and talked a little about what the sun is made up of, and why it shines. In the picture was a satellite, and that caught his attention, so I briefly explained what a satellite does and he remembered it later today! Could not believe it! Anyway, then we pretended he was the sun. He stood on a chair way up high and I "orbited" around him. Then, I was the sun and as he was orbiting, I decided this would be a good way to review at least one planet without having to make it so formal. So, I asked him which planet he was. He said, "Let's look at our chart" and looked at the picture of the planets I have hanging on the wall. He chose the biggest one (surprised? He always wants to be bigger!) and I reminded him that that one is Jupiter, the biggest planet in the Solar System. After our "orbiting", we did our little poem about the planets, and he totally got into it! Then, we went upstairs and made the sun. I cut out squares of thick yellow craft cellophane and he glued them on the big circle of yellow poster board. I also had cut lengths of that curtly ribbon, and he glued those on for Solar Flares. As he was doing this, I had him tell NaiNai what we had learned today in school and was VERY impressed he remembered SO MUCH! He was excited to say that he had been the sun, way up high, AND that he had been Jupiter. He was excited to tell her about satellites, and even expounded some, saying they were made of gold (they looked gold because of the sun reflecting off the metal). I corrected him, but he went on to say they take pictures of space, and they make up his space book..."Right, Mom?" he asked to make sure his conclusion was correct. I was impressed he could rationalize through that without me having said anything about it. GO TAIGER! So smart!

Later today, it was raining. Taiger wanted to go out in the rain with me but he wasn't dressed, so I told him he couldn't because it would be too cold when he got wet. He ran in the house and came back a moment later with a pirate hat on, exclaiming, "This will keep the rain off me!" I was laughing so hard! Of course, he not only had the pirate hat, he also was waving a pirate gun and a pirate map...don't know how THOSE would help in the rain, but Heaven forbid he have the hat and not the entire ensemble. Funny part was, he got all that instead of just getting his clothes back on! LOL! Silly boy!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Sorry I haven't been up-to-date with blogging. Things have been a bit busy around here!

First of all, I was almost the first casualty of this semester. Really. We had a "quiz" that was more like a full on comprehensive final exam. I almost died, I was so scared and so worried! However, I lived through that battle. Only time will tell the damage done, but for now, I am just happy it is over. Another push boy our military (aka, another quiz) coming soon, so I am told.

By way of GREAT news!...I finally bought my camera!! It is the one I found about a month ago, but it hadn't been released for sale yet. However, I went to Inkley's to talk to them about it, and the sales man with whom I spoke must have been working on commission (DUH!) because he told me that would be a horrible camera. I left the store that day almost in tears. If the only "good" camera was the one over a thousand dollars, I, quite literally, would NEVER get my camera!! I searched online for one used, but there wasn't much offered, and the one I found was junk. Anyway, it was a long, sad month before I decided I would get the one I wanted, regardless of what others said! So...I bought it! And I LOVE it! I carry it with me everywhere! I have taken close to a thousand pictures in the three days since I bought it. It is the BEST camera...the perfect camera for me!!

One a side note...I always name my electronics, especially those that are VERY important to me! I didn't really TRY and come up with a name for my new camera, it just came to me.

For years, I have known I would marry someone with an "S" in his name. I could picture the man I would marry. I knew his hair and eye color, his disposition, that he wore glasses...I have "known" this man since I was about 19 years old. I always thought his name would be Scott. When I was little, I had a friend named Scott...not a best friend, or even a really close friend, just a friend. I thought maybe that is why the name sounded...familiar...comfortable. I knew the man I would marry would have the first letter of "S", and Scott seemed like it might be the name. I dated Simon, and wondered if he was my Mr. S. I haven't dated any other guys whose name began with "S", but I knew he was out there.

Then, I met Jeremy. Mr. No-S. And I fell in love with him. I could see myself marrying him, if I were open to that kind of thing.

So, reality circles like a vulture. It is possible that my Mr. Right is NOT Mr. S. Well, I had spent so many years dreaming of Scott that I couldn't just let this man go!

Aside from that, Scott was my DREAM man! In my mind, we travelled the world with our children. Always in my imagination, we were on an airplane heading somewhere. Scott is a little too serious for me, really, but he smiles easily. As our blond daughters bound excitedly around the airplane (I am sure driving other passengers CRAZY), their long curls a-bouncing, Scott looks at me over his glasses and smiles. I am a well put together Mother, living happily, and with a lot of love. In no ways am I fickle or giddy. I am not a business woman, nor am I a stay-at-home Mom. I am just the woman on the plane, with my husband, Scott, and my kids...and I am EXACTLY who I always dreamed I would be.

Sometimes, reality seems more cruel than at other times. I haven't yet accepted REALITY'S ideas for my life. I still cling to my dreams with childish abandon. I may even make them come true just to postpone having to let them go. I cling to my dreams, my visions of life, with bleeding nails. But the other day, as I thought of my camera, I realized something. He may be the only Scott I have, the only one I "end up" with.

So, Scott it is.

When I bought the camera, I wasn't sure about that name. It doesn't look much like a Scott. Besides, I don't really even like that name all that much. But there is no changing it. I couldn't bear to name him anything else. This is the only Scott I may ever have.

So....anyway! Back to the topic at hand!

Taiger was still in Idaho when I bought Scott, but he returned home just as Scott's battery was completing it's fist charge. I was so excited to start snapping pictures! BUT apparently, I have a miniature photographer on my hands! Taiger was almost more excited than I!!!!! He is the one who really too Scott on his maiden voyage! Taiger is quite the little photographer! He snapped many pictures that first night. I explained that he should take pictures of things that are important to him. So, he took pictures of his Binky, his play dough, and of Jeremy. He took pictures of Jeremy and I together, and after a few shots, said to us, "Okay, now make a funny face!" Continuous Shooting mode is the BEST, by the way! It made it really easy for Taiger to work! Taiger can also use the zoom, which, being as Scott is a rather professional type camera, and not just a "point-and-shoot" it requires more coordination that pushing a button with a plus symbol on it. Needless to say, I am one proud Mama! Watching Taiger handle and work with the camera warmed my heart. My Little Photographer!

So...I will post some pictures of our first days with Scott soon!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

To Grandmother's House We Go

My grandma Everett died. It was sad to hear, but happy, too. Ten years ago, she fought hard against Cancer, and she won! It took a lot out of her, but she survived. About a week and a half ago, she was re-diagnosed with Cancer, a different one! This one is very painful and swift-progressing. She had decided to forgo suffering through Chemo-Therapy again, and allow the cancer to take her life. She would have died quickly, but not after much pain. A few nights ago, she suddenly began having difficulty breathing, and passed away quickly and painlessly. Everyone was shocked, but i was actually happy for her. She was able to leave this life without suffering any more. I believe her finding out she had Cancer softened the blow, because we were all beginning to brace for her death anyway. We were preparing to let her go, and this way it could happen without much anguish. I will miss her, and I will always love her, but I am glad she was able to go before the Cancer attacked her any more and caused her any great suffering.

Grandma died in the middle of the night, and early the next morning my Mother left to go to Idaho to be with my Dad. She insisted on taking Taiger, and, of course, Taiger was THRILLED! He LOVES Idaho, seeing Grandpa, Uncle Bryndon and Aunt BeQin, who all live together in Grandpa's house. Grandpa's house is planted on an acre of land, where they take the dog for walks and ride on Grandpa's four-wheeler. Grandpa's house is also equipped with an array of fun toys for little boys, including a MOUNTAIN of Legos (Taiger's favorite)! While in Idaho, Taiger is spoiled ROTTEN! Bryndon and his girlfriend, April (who is SO SWEET with Taiger!), take him on outings to the zoo, the local mini-amusement park, out to McDonald's, etc. Aunt BeQin takes him outside to play with her and our next-door neighbors/cousins on their HUGE swing set and teeter-totter. Grandma and Grandpa, however, are the WORST (or BEST, if you are Taiger!)! You thought my Mom was bad normally, you should see her when she and my Dad get together!! The two of them go into Grandparent mode and Taiger is allowed EVERY luxury a child could wish, from staying up past bedtime, to eating peanut butter sandwiches at 11:00pm, to going out to dinner and ice cream! He usually comes home with a new toy, because, as Grandma says, "He was just such a good little boy, he NEEDED a special prize."

While he is away, however, I miss Taiger terribly. It is hard to be without him!! He is my little buddy, and I have missed him so much this week!

On the other hand, I really, really appreciate my family for allowing me this "break" (as bad as that may sound!), especially this week. With so much work and this HUGE exam that almost killed me, it was probably better for Taiger to be away and being spoiled rather than being ignored by his mother, who he would have been sure was there, but couldn't find her under the pile of books. Also, I have been awake a lot at night studying and getting ready for my test, and that would not have been good with Taiger here, as we share a bedroom. After expressing my appreciation to my Mom over this fact, she stated joyfully, "Well, I will just have to go to Idaho and take Taiger every time you have a big test to prepare for!" Of course, I am sure Taiger would be elated! But I don't know...if he gets any more spoiled, he may turn rotten! LOL! Just kidding. More than anything, I couldn't believe how sweet and selfless my Mother was to say that. Most people don't have the luxury of a "break" from their children, and especially not one where they can rest assured their kids are in such good hands, being so very loved and looked after and cared for. I never have to worry about Taiger's needs being met when he is in Idaho!!!!! They take such good care of him! Also, because I live with my Mom, she knows Taiger's routine and things he likes to eat and do, and all that...so really, when Taiger is in Idaho, he doesn't miss me AT ALL! When I call to check on him (aka, when I miss him and want to hear his voice) he NEVER wants to talk! He is TOO BUSY and having too much fun to talk! :D It makes me so happy to know HE is THAT HAPPY!

I am also so glad that Taiger has a special place away from home that he loves so much! I used to LOVE going to my Grandma Nalder's house...everything about her house was like a dream-land! The blankets she had seemed softer, the food better tasting, the sun sunnier, the night's dreamier, EVERYTHING was BETTER there! In fact, even though she died many years ago, I still remember her home with fondness...to the point that I often hope Heaven is JUST LIKE GRANDMA'S HOUSE! THAT happy, THAT inviting, THAT full of love and excitement! I am so glad that Taiger has those same warm, fond feelings towards HIS Grandparent's house!

Taiger in Idaho, wearing Grandpa's glasses, looking very seriously at something.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

On Death and Cracked Wheat Cereal

With the death of a person comes the death of other things: endless TROVES of knowledge, secrets, understanding. For example: As a child, when my Grandmother wasn’t serving Eggo waffles with homemade, frozen raspberry jam, or sugary cereal with buttery toast, she would make cracked wheat cereal. Given the choice, I would always turn down Lucky Charms or tangy raspberry jam for my Grandma’s cracked wheat cereal, complete with sweet whole cream. Since her death, I have not had one dish of cracked wheat cereal that tasted as good, that tasted the same. For years my mother has scoured the shelf of every store looking for the right kind of cracked wheat to make the cereal. Today again we held our breath in hopes of tasting Grandma’s Cracked Wheat Cereal, only to find it was nothing more than Bob’s Bulger Cracked Wheat, just exactly as stated on the bag. My Mother sighed and said, “Oh well.” I stood and walked away from the table and the dish of Bob’s Bulger Cracked Wheat, stating, “That’s life.” Then, under my breath, I muttered, “And that’s death.” The loss of great and small things.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

147 Million

Please, please read kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com. Her post this week almost made me cry! How are YOU going to help just ONE of the 147 million orphans that are in the world today? It is really, really easy. And if everyone helps ONE then they will all be taken care of!! If you don't know what to do to help there are some amazingly simple things you can do! 1) PRAY. It requires no long-term commitment nor any monitary investment. 2) Purchase a product from 147million.com. The products are made by local refugees, and ALL proceeds go to help the children Katie feeds. The necklaces are made by the women in one of Katie's villiages, so buying a necklace sends money right to those women PLUS provides food through Katie's program for the kids! Also, sometimes the money goes to help families who are adopting! WOW! What an easy way to help in many different ways PLUS you get something super cool (like a necklace or a saddle bag, both of which I am saving money to buy! LOVE 'EM!) 3) Sponser a child through Amazima or another orphan care organization. 4) Help with Sixteen Small Stones (my favourite, hee hee).

Of course, you could always ADOPT...... :D

Friday, August 28, 2009

First Day of School Pictures!!

Here are the pictures of Taiger's FIRST DAY of preschool!!!!

He was SO excited the night before that he hid his face when I told him we were starting school the next morning. :)

An eager little scholar

Here is Taiger practicing writing the letter "A"

The third orange one, Taiger did HIMSELF! Pretty good, I'd say!

Since we are learning about Space, we HAD to paint a GIANT picture of Space! As we learn about each planet, we are going to make that planet and hang it in front of our Space picture!

Taiger got carried away and had to use his foot. The mischievous smile on his face proves he knew what he was doing was NOT a good idea...but, since this is HOMESCHOOL, ANYTHING GOES! So, he didn't get in trouble for painting with his foot. In fact, I was really glad that he would use his whole body to learn! That is really good, actually!

Due to the foot painting, we had to have BATH TIME in the middle of school (the joys of homeschooling!). Here are Taiger's little foot prints leading into the bathroom

After bath time, Taiger had a snack! I cut different foods into "planets" (circles) and put them on his chart of the planets. Each planet was covered by a different food. As he ate them, I commented on him eating that planet ("Oh! You ate Mars!"..."Can you eat Earth?") By the end, he was saying, "Can I have another Jupiter?" LOL! (By the way, Jupiter was a slice of marshmallow!)

After snack, he built space ships with Legos. (GREAT for fine motor development!). He LOVES to build with Legos, so this was a fun part of school! (Notice he never re-dressed after bath time...the child HATES being dressed! Glad he is homeschooled! If he took off his clothes and ran around naked in public school, I would be IN TROUBLE! :D!!!!!!)

He had to stick his head right in to his Lego bucket to find the right pieces for his space ship. Silly boy!!