Monday, December 31, 2012

Good bye 2012, Welcome here 2013!


2012 was fantastic, and I look forward to 2013 being just as great. :)  I can't help but wonder what fun things will happen in 2013, what I might learn, what I might experience, what Taiger will learn, how Taiger will change, who I will meet, where I will go, what I will accomplish.  I wonder what will happen for Sixteen Small Stones in 2013? The BEST part is knowing that, through it all, I will have by best friend, Taiger, at my side. :)

I hope you all have a GREAT year in 2013.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Are you there?  Hello?

Oh hi!  There you are!  I thought I had lost you. :)

It would take a long, long (long) time to catch you up on every nitty gritty detail of life at the Grand Adventure Household (as much as I am sure you would loooooove to hear that...lol).  So, we are going to try and experiment.  I am going to just jump in with life as it is and pretend you know what is going on.  You are going to be lost for a while, flounder around and eventually catch on to the crazy that is run of the mill around here.

What do ya think?  Wanna give it a try?

So, to start, we are in Idaho.  Want to sing, "I'll be home for Christmas"?  No?  No, you don't?  Yeah, me either. ;)

OH!  And the BIG news?  I cut Taiger's hair!  YES!  Last night!  He suddenly (VERY suddenly!) decided he wanted it cut.  So, after a moment of panic that my boy's precious curls were about to go to the slaughter, I sucked it up and cut!  I was hyperventilating, and crying, most of the time, but I hid it from Taiger. ;)  He LOVES it! ...and wants it shorter. :S  Am I brave enough to pull out the buzzer?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Anyone Out There??!!

Hellooooooooo out there!!!! ... ?  Anyone here??

Probably not.

So, I STILL don't have a computer.  I know!  It is like I have been catapulted back in to the stone age...or at least the '80s.  WHAT?!  So I am on campus now and I have almost 9 mins online, so I am using it to post here.  ("What is this 'internet' of which you speak?!"  That is how I feel right now.)

Taiger and I have had some REALLY "Grand Adventures" lately, and I cannot wait to show you all the pictures and tell you stories of everything!  But for now, I will just say things have been crazy and fun and Taiger is getting used to life in Utah.

We are living in an apartment complex at an outdoor mall.  Sounds strange, right?  It is exciting and different and quite an adventure!  Life is different when you live downtown.  Just like the song says, "Everything's waiting for you." Everything is downtown!  It is so close...yet far away, because it takes a long time to get anywhere. :)  But I do love it!  It's all just so different! Even grocery shopping is different!  The grocery store is so big and you park in a parking garage instead of a parking lot.  I take public transportation instead of driving. I thought living in China was strange, but living downtown is just as full of little quirks.  Evem taking a walk is such a different experience!  Instead, of grass under foot there is concrete and a sidewalk.  Instead of the air full of the smells of dirt and freshly mowed lawns or wheat being harvested, there are smells of cafes and restaurants, perfumes wafting from clothing stores. Instead of seeing familiar neighbors driving slowly by or waving from their yards, or just as often seeing NO ONE on the street, here there are always always always people!  People I don't know with faces I want to stare in to and understand.  People everywhere! Instead of having an open, spacious view to the mountains I look around and see buildings, interesting and towering and close and cold and beautiful. But there is one thing I absolutely love above all else about taking a walk in the city versus the country: NO BUGS! I love it!  No gnats! :D  Anyway, I cannot say one is better than the other.  I certainly love living downtown in a city, but country living is charming.  They are so different, it is like comparing apples and oranges.  Both are fruit but you can't say one is better than the other at all!

So, we have been experiencing the adventure of living not only in a big city, but living right smack downtown, right in the middle of it all!

Living downtown has given me the chance at another adventure: volunteering at a homeless shelter.  There are homeless people "living" all around us downtown.  Our street behind our house is full of homeless people.  I could not simply sit in my fancy apartment, looking out my window at the suffering!  So, I called the nearest shelter and headed over to serve dinner.  I have gone twice and look forward to that experience more in the future.

Very near our home is a Children's Museum!  Mr. J surprised us with YEAR PASSES to the Children's Museum!!!!!!!!  We LOVE it!  It is a great and fun way to spend an afternoon, or just a few hours.  Since we don't have to pay each time we don't mind going in for a short while and then leaving.  There isn't the pressure of having to "get your money's worth" or to see EVERYTHING because this will be the only time we ever go.  It is so fun and nice and I am forever thankful to Mr. J for that kind and wonderful gift.

Now that we are in Utah, we are very near to my sister (although not near enough!).  We have had so much fun being with her, and she has had Mr. T over for "slumber parties" and he has had the best adventures with her!  (Think SUMO NIGHT.  Enough said...and can't wait to share pictures of that party!)

Mr. J also got season passes for us to a wonderful little place called Cornbelly's.  It is like a children's Halloween heaven!  It has a corn maze and pumpkins and bounce houses, it has pig races (seriously!), haunted houses (kid friendly...although too scarey for Taiger), games, music, a HUGE slide, and all sorts of imaginative play areas.  There are fire pits and the last time we went we made s'mores around the fire.  It is absolutely a fall heaven! 

My University had Fall Break last week, and Little T and I went with Mr. J to visit his family out of state.  Can't wait to show pictures of THAT adventure!

PHEW!  This has taken longer than 9 mins to write, so I better get going.  I am sure it has taken more than the free time you have had to read!  I will write again when I can.  Thank you for being faithful readers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Did you think maybe Utah doesn't have internet?

Or did you maybe think we had moved to Saturn and were unable to get internet out there?

I am happy to say neither of those situations is what happened.

Unfortunately, my computer is broken, and that is why  I have not blogged.

So sorry.

I am at a campus.  Not the U.  Using their computer.  Long story.

I am in Utah.  Taiger is in Idaho.  I have no house.  Yet.  But soon.

Write more when I can.  Gotta run!  I love you all and will post pictures as soon as my computer is working again.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


...We're moving to UTAH!

Are you surprised?

So are we!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Water, Water Everywhere...

So, Taiger is going to the most FUN Vacation Bible School this summer!!!!!  (More on that later.)  At this VBS, they are raising money to provide clean water to people who otherwise wouldn't have any.  SUCH a great cause!  So, to help us all appreciate how much water we actually use in a day, they handed out a little "worksheet" with statistics from the Franklin Institute website.  I uploaded a picture of the worksheet here so you can figure out how much water YOU use in a day.  The idea is to consider donating one cent (or more!) for each gallon of water you use each day.

                          If you click on the picture, it should open big enough to read!!

So, you fill in the number of times in a day you do each thing, and multiply that by the gallons of water per activity(ex. I brush my teeth twice a day, so I multiply the 2 gallons per brushing by 2 brushings, so I use four gallons a day on brushing my teeth.  Brush teeth x 2 = 4.)  Then, you add your total at the end to see how many gallons you use per day.

I will admit, the results for me were pretty depressing.  I hope yours are better so your day isn't kinda ruined...like mine was.

Good luck.

Sunday, July 29, 2012



I have something wrong with my neck.  Every few months, something insanely painful happens to my neck.  I have yet to find out what exactly happens that causes so much pain.  But I have a few guesses.  Anyway, two days ago this mysterious pain returned and as of today has not left.

As you all know, I am on a quest to find inner peace.  Yoga has been on my mind as a path to find that.  Well, this nasty neck issue got me thinking how much yoga could help me in other ways besides finding my inner peace, including helping my neck.  So, I searched around online for more information.  Google has failed to present to me a yoga class in Idaho Falls that looks professional enough for my tastes.  So, I am taking matters in to my own (palms pressed together) "hands".


I found THIS wonderful site, that looks good for a beginner like me.  It has different poses listed, complete with pictures and information about the pose.  You can also look up poses that help a specific ailment, as in "neck pain", and it brings up a list of poses that would help with relieving neck pain.

Other than taking a class (which doesn't seem to be an option in my life right now), I don't know how to go about studying the full art and practice of yoga.  So I have not done it.  But I have decided, it is better to do something than nothing!  Trying to teach myself a few poses probably (I HOPE!) won't do me any harm.  So, I am going for it.

In the meantime, if any of you dear friends and blog readers have any insight or information, please (PLEASE!) pass along your wisdom.


(I absolutely love that greeting, and I kind of just want to use it all the time.  I know this isn't what it literally means, but I have heard it expressed as, "The good in me greets the good in you."  Why would you not want to greet someone that way?  It is just beautiful!)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Send Me

My heart has been burdened for the past couple of week.  I have been weighed down with an aching that I must fight every day to overcome.  It is just an evil plot of Satan to keep me from reaching my full potential.  But even in the mist of the numbing hurt, I remember my God who has saved me time and time again, and I will not forget the divine calling in my life.

I am so thankful for the friends who are like waves of goodness, carrying me when I am sinking, lifting me and returning me to safe shores.

This is on my heart.  In the moments of clarity, I remember what I am meant to do, what I am here to do, and what I long to do, in God.

Isaiah 6:8  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Send me.

Fort Hall Native American Reservation

Here are pictures from our trip to Fort Hall Native American Reservation.

When we arrived, we pulled in to the museum, only to find out it was CLOSED!  Taiger said, "So we drove clear out here for NOTHING!"  Well, he doesn't know his Mom very well if he thinks that!  It just means we have to go off the beaten path and turn this leisurely trip in to an adventure!

Across the lot was a stand where people were selling something.  I walked over to ask them if the museum was closed for the day or only for a while (maybe for lunch??  It was a really small museum, so probably only one worker).  They said they thought it was closed for the day.  So, I thought, "Let the adventure begin!"  I asked them what they were selling and they answered Navajo Fry Bread.  Sounded like just the thing we needed to get this adventure started.  At two dollars it sounded a bit expensive, but I decided it was worth the experience.  I asked them if they were Native American, and they were!  So, I asked where they were from and what tribe, etc.  They themselves were Navajo.  I walked back to the car to get Taiger and we pulled out our nifty little picture dictionary we had brought along and looked up Navajo and quickly read about them.  Then, we went to pick up our bread that had been cooking.  I couldn't stop my "Homeschool Mom Mode" from kicking in, and had to use this as a learning experience.  I asked if the fry bread was a traditional food and asked where the Navajo are from.  Back in the car, Taiger devoured the fry bread, which was actually much like a large scone.  It was DELICIOUS!

I had asked the Navajo family if there were any interesting places around to visit and they directed me to the trading post.  Following the wife's directions, we headed out...and became completely lost!  Now it really WAS an adventure!  (Because everyone knows the BEST adventures include getting lost.)  So, of course we stopped in our wandering to take pictures.

We headed back in to town and decided to drive around and see what other wonders we could find before back tracking and going to the trading post.

We drove out a ways and found some old buildings.

Taiger spotted some beautiful birds.

After wandering around a bit, we retraced our steps and found our way to the trading post.  It was so interesting!  Many very old items for sale (which I thought was sad) that we got to look at and talk about.  Being still in Homeschool Mom Mode, I quizzed the poor kid working there for about an hour, asking him about all kinds of things.  He was SO kind to take the time to explain EVERYTHING to us!  What things mean, how things were made, etc.  It was quite the educational experience and I was so thankful to him for taking the time to talk with us.

In homeschool, we had read about quill work, and I had tried to find out more about it.  When I saw pictures online of quill work, I couldn't quite figure it out and tell what it was, what part was the quill, etc.  So, I asked the guy if they had any quill work and he was so kind to take out some items and show us.  It was so amazing and I was so impressed with the beauty of quill work!!

These are some tiny moccasins.  The edge is done in bead work, but the zig zags on the top are quill work!  Isn't it amazing and beautiful?!  I love it!  By the way, the zig zags represent thunder/lightening.

These two items are also made with quill work.  They are just beautiful, don't you think?

Taiger bought a pin for his pin collection.  The sales kid told us it was a thunderbird and he told us all about Thunderbird.

On our way home, we stopped and got a buffalo burger.  We have learned in homeschool the importance of buffalo to the Native Americans in this area, and I really wanted Taiger to try buffalo.  We shared a burger and he LOVED it!

On the drive home, the sky was so blue.

We had such a fun day, and learned so much!  A very successful homeschool fieldtrip, to be sure.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer Fun

The adventures and good times just keep on comin'!  And I don't even have time to catch up!  It has been such a fun, good summer.

Going to California was AMAZING, and we will be FOREVER in debt to M and V and baby E for giving us the gift of that trip.  It will be one we treasure in our hearts forever.  A memory is a gift you never lose, so giving someone the chance to make memories with their child is something they can never really pay you back or properly thank you for.

The day after we came home from California I had the amazing privileged of singing the National Anthem at the opening ceremonies for the Relay for Life.  What an experience!  I am so thankful to Shannon for giving me that opportunity.  I dedicated the song to the people I know who have died of Cancer, and to those of my friends who are still fighting.  Being a part of Relay for Life was so incredible and I got teary-eyed on several occasions as I saw people in their purple "Survivor" t-shirts.  Their logo this year was "I Am Hope".  Those survivors ARE hope!  Hope to those still fighting, and hope to all of us who have lost a loved on to Cancer.

This summer in home school, Taiger has done a Native American unit!  I can't wait to show you pictures of his hand-made totem pole and leather wrist band!  He has written reports on different tribes and learned SO much!  Well, today we are going on a field trip to the Native American Reservation near our home.  I am so excited!  We all know how much I LOOOOVE taking pictures, so you can rest assured there will be some posted here for your viewing pleasure. :)  You're welcome.

Okay, we better hit that dusty trail if we are going to make it to Fort Hall.

What fun things do you have planned for this weekend?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Open Up Those Golden Gates!


Taiger and I are going somewhere!

It's NOT Oregon.  (I'm over it....kinda)

Can you guess where we are going?


A HUGE THANK YOU to my friends M and V for this. :) :)

Well...it is 1:35 am, I have to be up in three hours to get to the airport, and my shoes are still in the wash.  Not even in the drier!  Still in the WASHER!  I'm not kidding!  I better get going.  Talk to you all after this amazing week (unless, of course, it is so wonderful I can't help but write from California!).

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Adopting...In Heaven??

I know you are probably all expecting a patriotic post.  Unfortunately, this is not one.

I know you are all DREADING another post about the BIG BREAK UP.  Fortunately for you, this is not one of those, either.  (I have bit my tounge, er, fingers?? and refrained for speaking of my woes here today.  You can thank me later.)

Instead, this is a soap box post.  Sorry.

On facebook, someone just posted a picture of themselves with an "aids orphan" in Africa.  After professing her love for this little girl, the person who posted this picture proclaimed, "When I get to Heaven, i will request to be her Mommy. How I love her."

Oh man, there is so much RIGHT about this post!  She was in Africa and helping people and she opened her heart to this little girl!  So, how can Miss Preachy Pants (that's me) find fault with this amazing person?

Ugh.  I suck, huh?  I am not finding fault with her! ... dang it...yes I am, huh?  But just hear me out, okay?

First of all, we are asked to care for the orphans HERE, NOW.  Not in Heaven when it is "easy", but here when we have to sacrifice and struggle and fight to adopt.  Okay, okay, so for all I know this person has adopted a million other kids but just couldn't adopt this ONE, but loves her and wants to be with her.  I get it.  I am being snobbish.  But here is where my REAL hurt over this comes in.

This child HAS a mother.

A mother who is already in Heaven WAITING FOR HER, LOVING HER, and I believe even WATCHING OVER HER.  I just do not think that we can put in a request to God to take someone else's child.

NOW...that being said, I know there are going to be a lot of people right now arguing that if you say that, then you would have to also say that when you adopt on earth you are often "taking" (EW!  What a HORRIBLE word to use for a child!  I HATE it!) someone else's child.

The thing is, she is an orphan ON THIS EARTH, BUT WILL NOT BE ONE IN HEAVEN!!!!!!  She NEEDS to be adopted here on Earth!  Once in Heaven, she will be with her mother.  AND...if she is adopted on Earth, I believe she will be with BOTH mama's in Heaven.  (After spending any time on earth as an orphan, I believe she should get the rest of eternity with TWO mommies to love on her FOREVER. :) )

So, DON'T stop adopting on Earth! :)  If you have adopted, you ROCK in my book. :)  And, of course your adopted child will be with you in Heaven!!  But I believe she will be with her birth mother, too, if her birth mother chooses to be. If  a mother has had to allow her child to be adopted, or she passed away and her child has been an orphan, I believe SHE WILL BE WITH HER CHILD IN HEAVEN!  And...if you have loved an orphan on Earth but have been unable to adopt that child, YOU ARE AMAAAAAZING for caring for that child and showing her love she maybe isn't feeling from elsewhere in her current situation.  BUT...I do NOT believe you will be able to take that child away from her mother when you get to Heaven.  There are orphans I have helped care for who I wished I could adopt, but was unable to.  And I hope that in Heaven I will get to be with them and love on them and see them happy and whole.  And I hope I will get to see them in the arms of their parents who love them.

What do YOU think?  Leave your thoughts in the comments. :)  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I am racing around getting the last of our things ready to leave for Oregon today.  I am so excited and SO HAPPY.  I will be spending the next five days with Taiger AND the man I love, who is going to be my husband if we ever get ring shopping so he knows my size. :)  The rings we have looked at are online and he knows just what I like. :)  This trip to Oregon is big, as I will be meeting the rest of his family and spending quality time with them getting to know them.  Jesse says he thinks his mom has pictures of him when he was younger, and I cannot even express how excited I am to see them!  What would "little Jesse" have looked like (and what will our kids look like?)?  Also, looking at pictures is a good way to hear all the old stories, about him and about his family.  I am so excited for that!  Taiger will be getting to know Jesse's family, too, and will be playing with kids who will someday (soon!) be his cousins.  

I am over-the-moon excited to have Taiger and Jesse both with me at the same time.  That doesn't happen often enough, and I am just so happy and excited.  It is so fun to see Jesse interact with Taiger, and I am excited to see if that bond between them strengthens during the next several days. I know Jesse loves Taiger so much.  Jesse always asks me how Taiger is doing and wants to know what he did that day.  Sometimes they get to talk on skype and it is so special. Taiger knows in his heart that Jesse is going to be his Lonely Daddy, and loves Jesse already.  This is going to be a wonderful time for all of us to be together.

I have been looking forward to this trip for months!  I based Taiger's homeschool curriculum for this summer around this trip.  We are learning about Native Americans and he has learned all about the Natives of the North West.  He has even made a totem pole he is bringing on the trip, and is excited to show it to Jesse and everyone in Jesse's family.  We are going to try and get to a museum while we are there that will have some Native American artifacts, and I have saved some money so if we get to a souvenir shop that sells Indian items he can get something.  I also hope to get him a pin to add to his collection.  

Jesse also things maybe we will get to go to the beach and maybe up to Portland while we are there.  I am so excited!!  This is going to be a WONDERFUL adventure, and one full of so much happiness and love I can't even imagine it.  

That is how today was supposed to be.  But we all know that is not what is happening.  Instead, I am sitting on my bed with a hollow, empty ache in my stomach and eyes swollen and puffy from crying late in to the night and I wonder how this all happened so suddenly and I feel like I am in shock.

Already today I have been "visited" by two angels.  One at 4:30 this morning and one at 8:30 this morning.  Somehow these women knew that I needed to hear their kind words, feel their love, and to be reassured that all is well.

Does the pain ever go away? 

Monday, July 2, 2012


When one is without anyone, one is "SINGLE".  But when one has someone one loves but cannot be with that person, one is "LONELY".  

I keep waiting for something to change, but it hasn't.

I realize now, he had let go long before yesterday.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


A terrible coldness has settled inside me.

I am trying to tell myself, "Don't be a dry leaf in the wind, Breclyn."

Saturday, June 30, 2012


It's true.  Some days just suck.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sad News


You know how back in the '90s it was WAY "in style" to do your hair "half up and half down"?  Like this:

Remember how, even though Stephanie was "so hip" to wear the scrunchie to pull off this 'do (and it matches her jumper?!  So hot!), the really cool thing was to wear a barrette in this style?

Remember those barrettes that clipped instead of sliding?

And furthermore, do you remember the AWFULLY ugly ones that you could pick up for, like, a dollar that had black and sometimes brown or green kind of swirled on them?  I am sure you ALL had one, or knew someone who wore one ALL time time, or maybe your mom tried to get one for you because they were cheaper than the metal ones with diamonds or bows on them.


I have some really, really BAD news.  I don't know WHAT this world has come to.  Nothing even makes SENSE any more.

Below, is a link to a very nice store carrying an item that is very in style now.  You will be shocked and cry.  You will want to hit this younger generation and say, "This is what we FOUGHT to change!  Why are you bringing it back?  WHY?!  After all we went through to protect you from this!  Now you seek it out and make it okay...NAY!  Even make it IN STYLE?!  Oh, how could you do this to us?!"

Click HERE...if you are brave...and have your kleen*ex at hand.

I am so sorry I had to be the bearer of this terrible news.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Leaving in The Morning: Bitter-Sweet.

I am leaving Utah in the morning.  It is bitter-sweet.  The past five days with Mr. J have been great (even though he had to work, go to school and study for finals.  BOOOO!).  But I am excited to get home to my Taiger (who, by the way, does NOT miss me, nor does he want me to come home, because, according to him during our phone conversation tonight, "NaiNai lets me watch Spongebob whenever I want!"  Grandmas are the BEST!  Darn moms ruin ALL the fun!).

I was able to go to Group tonight, too, and see some friends I haven't seen in a while, as well as my nutritionist I haven't seen in many, many months.  It was wonderful to reconnect with such an AMAZING group of women who I love.

Today was the first day of summer.  Some people did amazingly fun things today (water balloons, and the beach are two of my favourites I have heard so far).  What about you?  How did you spend this first day of Summer?

Here are some pictures of the past few days here in Utah.