Grammy Rules

Mother to Kathryn (Daring Young Mom), Heather (One Woman's World) and 3 kick-butt non-blogging kids, whose real identites are top-secret. Also Grammy to Laylee, The Bean, and Magoo. Most especially, wife to Papa.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pulling Up Stakes...

I have not blogged for a very long time. It's been a wild and crazy couple of months!

1st we traveled to the great North West to visit with Kathryn (of daringyoungmom) and her family. We worked hard and played hard and barely gave blogging a thought.

Then Heather (of onewomansworld) and her family and Adam (of notanotherblankblog) and his cute wife joined us there for our extended family reunion. And a good time was had by all!

We came home to discover that Clint (aka paparocks) had gotten the job transfer he had been hoping for. And thus began a whirlwind of frenzied activity.

We've done minor home repairs that never seemed like a high priority until now. I've cleaned like a crazed wild woman. (Every window, baseboard, light fixture, blind, closet and cupboard must GLEAM! Gleam, I tell you!) We have "showhome-itized" the whole joint. And filled the garage with the excess.

And it paid off --- BIG TIME! We listed this house on a Wednesday morning and had a signed contract for our full asking price that night.

We got on a plane the next morning and looked at houses all afternoon. We purchased beautiful new home the next day. I think it's my favorite house we've ever owned. We are now homeowners in Billings, Montana!

We are excited to be moving closer to our kids and grandkids and to Clint's family and to have a temple within a couple of miles of our home. But we are also sad to leave behind so many good friends and neighbors here in Houston. I will miss our ward and our active neighborhood and the tropical paradise that we've enjoyed in our own backyard. We never got into the swimming pool without one of us saying, "This is the best toy we ever bought!" And it's absolutely true. It has been wonderful!

At this moment, the packers are working away. First thing Saturday morning, we will be on the road to our new life. We will drive for 2 twelve hour days with the 85 pound lunatic dog in the backseat. (Actually, he has always been a sweetheart in the car, but we've never attempted a trip of this magnitude with him before. I've got a bottle of "doggie tranquilizers" in my purse - just in case.)

We get to spend a week in Utah with Heather & family, Megan (of nantiemeg) & Becky & Andrew and their puppy before heading north. So, I may not have access to a computer for a few weeks. But I'll be back. I promise. Don't forget about me. I miss you when you don't stop by.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It's already Friday again and time to leave your random observations, deep thoughts and epiphanies. (For a re-cap of the rules, just scroll down to last week's "Friday Free-For-All" - since I haven't figured out how to make the links work yet.)


After a few weeks of playing in the swimming pool with the grandkids, I've decided that: "Brown fat looks better than white fat!" And isn't that lucky, since it takes so much less effort to tan than it does to diet and exercise?

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Best Advice I Was Ever Given

Lately, as I've been reading your "Mommy Blogs", I've been thinking about how busy we all seem to be. Sometimes it appears that there is no end to the work that we need to do, or the service that we must give. And I am reminded of the advice my dear Mother gave me one time when I was completely overwhelmed.

I was a junior in college (about to turn 21), when I was asked to accept a postition at church that was very itimidating to me. So, like any young girl would do, I called my Mom. What she said has inspired and sustained me many times over the years.

After a few words of encouragement and re-assurance that I could do what had been asked of me, she gave me this timeless advice:

"A woman is like a pitcher. She spends her life pouring into everyone else's glasses - her friends, husband, children, parents, brothers, sisters, work associates and so many others. But sooner or later, she will come up empty unless she has done one very simple and yet important thing. She must re-fill at the source of "Living Water".


It is only through our reliance on Jesus Christ that we are able to become re-filled and re-freshed. As we immerse ourselves in the scriptures and prayer, we recieve the strength and direction we need to be of service in the world."

So just a reminder to any of you who are feeling stressed and just a little bit empty. Take time for yourself. Read. Pray. Meditate. Do whatever it takes to re-new your spirits. It isn't selfish. It's what we need to carry on!
The Lord will bless you as you try.

Friday, July 21, 2006

I'm trying something new this morning. I've often thought that instead of a whole post, I'd like somewhere to post a sentence or two...A random observation, a deep truth I've discovered or a happy thought.

Well here it is!

Every Friday feel free to post your insights here.

Here's how to play:

In 50 words or less write somethig you'd like to share in my "comments" section.

If it's something you've done a whole post about, either give a link to that post or if it's your most current one just add (see today's post) after your comment & we'll pop on over to see what you have to say. Feel free to use my header (created by Daring Young Mom) at the top if you want.

Remember that this is a family blog so keep your comments G-rated.

For my Friday Free-For-All today, see the comments below:

My History with...


In honor of the new Disney film (which I haven't seen yet) Here are 24 lessons I've learned about cars over the years:

1. If when you are driving in a torrential downpour, the road ahead of you floods out and the normally well-behaved 3 year old in the backseat starts screaming uncontrolably and will not be hushed; cut the kid some slack. She is not being a BRAT. She is genuinely TERRIFIED, believing that you are all going to drown!

2. Drive-in movies, with the whole family crammed in the car to watch Disney on the big screen on a summer evening were MAGIC!

3. When you are 8 years old and go car shopping with your best friend's family, if the car salesman gives beautiful stuffed "scottie dogs" to your friend and her sister - but not to you, you will feel as unwanted as "a red-headed stepchild".

4. Your new box of Crayolas will melt all over the back window shelf of your Dad's brand new Buick Wildcat in less time than it takes to tour Carlsbad Caverns. (That car will never really be new again.)

box of crayons

5. You and your 13 year old brother can ride all the way home from the New York World's Fair sitting on the back floor, while your sister-in-law lays on the back seat in labour. (This makes for a really exciting trip!)

6. 12 teens and 1 adult driver fit into a '68 classic mustang.

7. If you drive for the 1st time (at your brother's insistence) on rough roads through the piney woods, on the way home from your grandmother's funeral... If one brother is sitting in the front seat tensely asking, "Steer, can't you? Are you trying to hit every pothole in south Jersey?" while another brother in the back seat is firing off questions from the driver's ed manual and the 3rd is laughing hysterically at what a rotten driver you are.....
It will not be your very best performance.

8. If your boyfriend insists that he can do a better job of teaching you to drive than your brothers...and takes you out on the hilly country roads (the ones with all the stop signs) in his beloved standard to try.......that relationship is doomed!

9. It is possible to sleep and drive at the same time - although I don't recommend it! I know this because, one morning at around 5:30am on the way to seminary I was rudely awakened by a bunch of kids in the backseat yelling about how I'd just run a redlight, or some such nonsense. Thank Heaven for Guardian Angels!

10. It is important to know your equipment! If your brother lends you his classic Corvette (with the added bonus of having police license plates, so no officer would ever pick you up for speeding - Not that I would ever do that!) for a day at the shore with your ought to know how to make the hidden headlights flip up. (The service station attendant will be no help whatsoever!)

11. When driving on back roads in the pouring rain at 5:30 in the morning and confronted with flashing lights take the fork to the left. In this instance, "choosing the right" will get your car mired up to it's axles in mud! Tow trucks will not respond until full sunlight.

12. Any time a date suggests driving down by the river or up the canyon "to see the view", he's not really all that interested in the scenery!

13. The one time you take your Dad's car without permission, you will have an accident. A very slight bump will crease the door of a car (that has been off the showroom floor for aproximtely 20 minutes) to the tune of $250 (in 1972).

14. An entire twin-sized college comforter can be quilted in the back seat of a Chevy between New Jersey and the BYU campus.

15. A blue 2-door Comet is a SWEET wedding gift!

16. If you total the family car, while your husband is out of town studying for his HUGE post-graduate final and his only concern is for you and the kids and how he can be supportive, you will know once again that THIS man is a KEEPER!

17. After an accident that you caused while making a left-hand turn (see #16) your husband may need to teach you one of driving's great lessons. "Honey, you can't drive clockwise forever."

18. When camping in ground-squirrel infested territory. Do Not leave granola bars in your glove case! Those little critters will climb up through your engine block and gnaw trhough the back of your glove case, leaving a royal mess behind. Rodents! EEEWWW!!

19. After the '88 Olympics in Calgary practically new rental vans could be picked up for a song!

20. When you are between houses (1st one sold, 2nd one wasn't finished being built yet) a family of 7 can live for a month in a Chevy Windstar with a pop-up camper.

21. A woman with a blanket can do a complete change of clothes in the front passenger seat without anyone seeing a thing.

22. A bad case of poison ivy and a 24 hour road trip are a really bad combination!

23. There are many interesting and creative ways to get comfortable in the car, while still wearing a seatbelt!

mom's sleeping

24. Driving anywhere with my Sweetheart still feels like a Date!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

We live in Houston where a good gardener can grow two complete gardens a year. I am not a good gardener. In the past my plants have alternated between suffering from neglect or over-watering - But not any more!

Papa has set me up!

watermelon patch

I now have 5 raised beds, surrounded by gravel paths and equiped with automatic sprinklers that regulate the watering. They are back behind the garage where they are out of the way, but get plenty of sunlight all day. Note the chain link fence to keep the great galumpffing dog from digging in the mud.

Now all that's required is occasional weeding. That - I can handle!

The picture was taken this morning. Our spring garden is already finished (it being too hot for anything to thrive - including me!) So weeds have begun to take over the 1st 4 beds. Only the watermelons continue to grow - AND - Boy, do they ever! As you can see, they have overgrown their bed, the paths, the fence and have begun taking over the dog run. To tell you the truth, Caleb is terrified of "The Plant that Ate Milwaukee". (I had watermelon for breakfast and picked 2 more this morning.)

Since we have had the beds and sprinklers up and running, I am able to pass myself off as adequate. Due to a mild winter last year, our fall garden continued to produce until the end of January when we harvested about 40 lbs. of tomatoes. The right equipment makes all the difference!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

There is good news and bad news...

The good news is that we have a terrific family whom we love very much. The bad news is that we live very far away from them.

The good news is that they come for wonderful visits.
The bad news is that those visits are just too darn far apart and are always over much too soon.

It is hard to believe that it has already been 10 days since our little Bean Sprout and her entourage (Mommy & Alison) left us. I am just starting to get over it. Good-byes are always hard for documented by this extremely unflattering red-nosed photograph:
red-nosed good-bye

But, oh we had fun when they were here!

@ Chuck E'sWe were able to introduce her to Charles, the large dancing rodent. Although she had never before visited Chuck E's place, she could feel the excitement of it almost as soon as we walked in the door. There was jumping and dancing, clapping and uninhibited romping -and that was just Papa!

As for the Bean, the smiles were priceless! This is the kind we got while we were just sitting at the table waiting for our pizza:

We visited the Houston Aquarium with all of it's killer attractions! Miss Bean LOVED the merry-go-round and didn't even freak out on the drop of doom. And of course the "sishies" were a big hit. The Gorgeous, BIG parrot - who sqwaked right in her ear was no one's idea of a good time! But the dancing fountains were pure joy to run through!


Mommy & I were nearly devoured by a ferocious white tiger!

tiger attack

We attended a family-friendly concert presented by the Houston Symphony and discovered that; no matter how classily it is packaged, "Old McDonald" is still "Old McDonald" and will make a 2 year old clap and dance and yell "WOW!" - to the delight of everyone in the vicinity!

We watched movies and read storybooks and visited the ice cream shop and the playground. We played in the pool (which the Beanmeister was crazy about) and played with the dog (which she was not).

We have a LARGE, hairy hound. Caleb is an over-sized and over-enthusiastic golden retriever. Beanie is a smallish, blonde, baby human. This can be a very scary combination (especially since Magoo has just been here and Caleb now views short people as the source all things edible). But it didn't take long for the Bean to recognize him for the gentle giant that he is. I knew we had arrived one afternoon when she was dancing wildly to her french celtic rap and called for him to be her dance partner.

"K-Woof, K-Woof, c'mere. Shake it! Shake it!"

dancing Bean

I think life is just Grand when we can make new friends!