Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy to be RED

Laila is a true Ute fan....thanks to Brother Monson.
She wants everything red.....not hot pink any more, but RED

When we drive by the Christmas lights on houses, she cheers for the red lights and is sad if any other color is displayed, particulary the blue ones.....(sorry Grandpa Lyle).

Laila even wrote on her missionary cousin's pillowcase..."go Utes"
This cousin is a true BYU fan, so I'm sure he'll be thrilled when he sees it.

Laila even gets excited when she sees brake lights on cars.....hmmmm?

We have got to work on this fanaticism.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 in Review

Being the Famous person that I am, I'm being interviewed about this past year and ....well.....these are my answers.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Drive to Yellowstone 5 times in one summer. I did it to help and to see my Addison. I would do it 50 times, if he needed me to.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? My New Years resolutions last year were opposite too much, don't get enough sleep, watch more I kept them all, even though I wished I hadn't.
I'm going to do better this coming year.
I'm going to have a one word theme for the year. This year it is HARMONY.
A throw back to our family motto, but one we haven't talked about or worked on in a while. I'm excited!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Friend Erin.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Grandma Butters

5. What countries did you visit? Mexico, Dominican Republic

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A new, beautiful Kitchen/family room.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Nov. 13th the day we left on our family cruise and celebrated Gma Butters birthday posthumously.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting back on stage in "Thouroughly Modern Millie" after being off the stage for 5 years!

9. What was your biggest failure? Not teaching my kids to be more self sufficient

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No

11. What was the best thing you bought? Family Cruise Tickets!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Laila and her insistance that we do a Carnival to raise money for Primary children's hospital...."it saved my life."

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Truman and the terrorist boys on the Choir trip.....ay, ay , ay!

14. Where did most of your money go? Cars-- crashing, insurance, fixing up, keeping running, and new ones

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Truman's mission call to ENGLAND!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? "Apple bottom Jeans" that the brothers rapped to on the cruise.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier. Last year we were still recuperating from the China accident and Laila's head injury.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner!!!!
c) richer or poorer? about the same...

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Spend time playing games and hanging out with family and friends. Parties and get togethers.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Work/be on the computer

20. How did you spend Christmas? With a sleep over at my Mom and Dad's house. Sis Liz was there too. It was great. It felt like the boys were little all over again. Mom spoiled us with her great cooking and comfy home. We even had our dog there, much to my father's dismay.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009? yes, with Wayne, all over again, when he dropped to the ground and was break dancing in an effort to win "best Dad Dancer," and he did!

22. What was your favorite TV program? GLEE and Modern Family

23. Do you hate (dislike) anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Tiger Woods, Max Hall

24. What was the best book you read? Nothing really rocked my world but I did enjoy Undaunted by Gerald Lund

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? The brothers could sing 4 part harmony and hold their parts.

26. What did you want and get? Trip to New York

27. What did you want and not get? my remodel to be over end date is Jan. 6th.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? "The Blind Side." EXCELLENT flick. Really really good.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I spent it at Bear Lake with family on the Beach. I love this type of lazy b day. Sleeping in, no make up, lots of food and clean up that I don't have to do. Raspberry shakes. I turned 47

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
To have children with steady incomes.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Energy dressing/trendy -NO BLACK. I do wear the same green exercise outfit every single morning.

32. What kept you sane? Exercising with Si

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Currently I'm really intrigued with the siamese twins Reba (aka George) and Lori. Google will be interested as well.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? Health care.....aargh!

35. Who did you miss? Tom....Wayne's dad. I thought about him a lot.

36. Who was the best new person you met? Not a new person, but seen in a new light. My sister Liz. She has been invaluable in the care and helping out of Landon. She and Al have really stepped up in a difficult situation. LOVE and HUGS

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

Keep Calm and Carry On

38. What are you looking forward to in 2010? Being a better cook and wanting to cook for my family more. Parties in my new space. Truman going on a mission. Traveling with Wayne to places not yet planned. Working on my spirituality.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the Negative. Latch on to the affirmative, and don't mess with Mr. Inbetween.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


We all bundled up and went tubing at Soldier Hollow in 10 degree weather.
We meaning : Wayne, Melinda, Laila, Addison with friend Bree Briggs, Truman with friend, Lauren Nickl and Monson with girl friend Ashley Petersen.
We scheduled this and bought tickets for it weeks ago. We went to celebrate Monson's 17th b-day. (Tubing and dinner )
The day was sunny and great but it was so cold.
Did I say how cold it was?
This is a great, civilized way to tube. You sit on a tube and there is a little tram that pulls you and your tube to the top of the hill. There are 6 slick hills to choose for your fun screaming time all the way back down.
It was great fun, cold, but fun.
I knitted hats for everyone to wear to keep warm. It was beautiful to look up on the hill and see the pom-pom hats sliding down. The boys were all good sports, and wore them.
We got lots of snow in our faces and had to drag our feet at the end to stop or we would crash into a fence.
Because it was sooooooo cold, the runs were soooooo FAST...and terrifyingly fun!
We ran into the lodge to get warm.
We shared hot cocoa and tubing tales.
We wanted to cry when our toes were thawing out, that's how cold it was. (Laila did cry)
I don't know why, but I always think about pioneers when I'm cold like that.
A fabulous feast at the Breadstick Cafe in Heber was the perfect end to our celebration. Monson ordered a hamburger and fries and when he was finished and not full, he ordered another hamburger and fries for dessert. Hmmmmm......Oh, to have Monson's metabolism.

The funny part about using a tubing party to celebrate Monson's turning 17, is he hates snow, winter and to be cold, but he did get to cuddle in the back seat with Ashley all the way back home.

Fitting for a December birthday baby.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas is here, and I have eaten myself into a sugar stupor!! We have so much "crap" to eat that is being dropped off at our door. I hope a lot of it freezes, because I will really love it in a few days/weeks....but not now.
Parties since Dec. 19th, haven't helped with my crazy eating.
My Christmas gift to myself...... (drum roll please....)
I'm going to live in denial and not get on the scale until January 2nd!

I do love Christmas. I love being lazy with my family and just hanging out.
It's always a bit anti climactic....all of the build up and then, I just hope the kids are happy with what we decided to really get them for Christmas, when all of the wrapping is on the floor.

We were successful this year.

I know you are all breathless and wondering how we ended up handling the Magic Carpet situation of 2009.
After all of our talks with Laila and explanations, she was still insistent that she would get, or I would get a magic carpet. She transferred MY asking for it, when Grandma Sheri explained about being old enough to drive a magic carpet, like a car. So you would have to be 16. G-ma thought this would help Laila not want it, she just wanted it even more.
She wrote a new letter to Santa that got mailed on the 24th of December, explaining that she"knew she was too young to drive a magic carpet, so bring it for her mom instead"...and I would drive her around. And...thank you G-ma for only fueling this magic-carpet-fire .

Even this very Christmas morning, while she was snuggling under the covers with big brother Addison, waiting for the appropriate time of 8:00, to wake everyone up for present opening, she was giddy with excitement just thinking about the magic carpet, and how awesome it will be when everyone takes a turn flying it on Christmas.

So....what to do about this?????

Well, in the Santa letter, that is left every year, it was explained, that Magic Carpets AREN'T REAL, but it would be cool if they were, and Laila is definitely good enough to get one, if it was REAL...which it's NOT....but it's cool.. Laila was disappointed, but recovered quite quickly.

She got an easy bake oven and a rock tumbler. Two gifts that require time and patience. Two things that Laila does not have!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


"Pres. Monson is dating a college girl."
"President Monson is dating a college girl from UVU"
"I don't think so , he has a wife."
"Isn't she dead?"
Well.....Pres. Monson is dating a college girl. That's what my sunday school teacher told me."
"Who's your sunday school teacher?"
"Sister Welch."
" probably mean, Monson, her son, is dating a college girl."
Confused look
End of conversation.

My friend Barbara told me about this funny conversation said by one of my sunday school girls.
I teach the 12-13 years olds.....12 of them.....and it's definitely a challenge.
At the end of each lesson we go around and let the kids take turns saying what they did that week, or whatever they want to say. One week, the kids were asking about Monson and who was that girl with him in sacrament meeting. I told them, his girlfriend Ashley, a college girl from UVU.

This innocent statement morphed into.......the above conversation.
This is how the rumor mill starts..... Throw in matching names, add a dash of half listening sunday school students and you end up with......."Pres. Monson is dating a college student."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

4 days til Christmas

We are still struggling in "Magic Carpet" land.
Laila told us Friday night as we were driving home from Monson's basketball games, that she just really, really, really, really, really, really, really wants a magic carpet, or just nothing.
So I guess she made it easy.....for us...... she's getting just nothing.

I did find a Christmas list she made in school in her piles of papers she brought home for
Christmas break.

rock polisher
new bike
new scooter

ipod touch
real limo

an elf

I asked her why the magic carpet wasn't on the list, and she said she didn't want the other kids taking her idea.

So......wish me luck.


The Welch Men sang in our Christmas sacrament program today. That's how they were billed on the program. ( Addison, Landon, Truman and Monson--our wonderfully fun friend, Erin accompanied.)
They did a great job singing "Baby, what you goin to be?" I know I'm just the proud mama, but it was really lovely.
Before the meeting began, I was passing out music and getting things situated, when I looked up and there was Margaret Chapman. Margaret Chapman is a sweet, red-haired, 94 year old lady in our ward. She is always so gracious and fun to talk to. I wished her a Merry Christmas and as I did, she transformed into my Grandma Butters for a brief second. Tears sprang to my eyes, and I knew Grandma was at the meeting today. She always loved hearing my boys sing. She loved music--choir music especially, and she would have been to the meeting in person, if she could, and now she was there in spirit.
I couldn't stop the tears. The meeting hadn't even started and I was already on my second tissue.
I was so happy to be singing Christmas songs in my ward choir.
I knew the angels were listening.


I love Christmas music!!

I really enjoy listening to it in my car as I drive around running errands, and working on making my to-do Christmas list smaller.
I drive and sing at the top of my lungs.
I'm sure I'm quite the sight.
I have sung duets this year with Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Nat King Cole, Harry Connick Jr, Mariah Carey, Johnny Mathis.....oh the list goes on and on.
I am ready with some awesome harmonies if any of them call me up and need me to sing with them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Random thoughts on this Wednesday

Laila was ticked when her new pink jacket got taken from the high school.
She lost shoes there this past fall as well.

"The kids that took my stuff should go to kid jail." She proclaimed.
"Is there such a thing as kid jail?"

"It's called juvi jail, and it starts when you are a teen ager." I told her.

"OH.... well that's where they should go."
Laila sat in the back seat with a grim expression on her face.

"Laila do you know what they do in jail?"

She piped right up without hesitation.
"Smash hard rocks, eat gross food and sleep on hard surfaces."

Wow. I didn't know she had such a depth of knowledge.

I agree with Laila, stealers should go to jail, and have to do all of the above.....over and over.....

I got Laila some 2 inch black high heel church shoes.
She opened the box and was thrilled.
"Big Girl shoes!"
Her next response was priceless....."They are perfect for Lagoon."
She wants to ride the big kid rides so badly.

I cried watching Monson sing in his Christmas concert last night.
He sings with such joy.
This is my last boy to go through the choir program at BHS.
I've been going to these concerts, and enjoying them for the past 8 years.
I was taken back to watching Monson sing in his second grade program.
He proudly wore his little tuxedo. (The only thing he wanted for his 8th birthday....oh and a Monkey, which he didn't get.)
He smiled brightly at 8 and sang from his heart.
He smiled at almost 17 as well.
I was also remembering him in his 8th grade boy's choir group. They wore red vests, bow ties and white hats. Quite the costume. He drew all of the attention because he swayed and moved when he sang, and just exuded joy.
I love this boy.
I'm glad I get 1 1/2 years more of choir concerts to cry through.

My house is a wreck. Seriously. So many unforseen problems with remodeling.
When I begin to complain of our 6 week inconvenience so far, and eating microwave in the basement, and the DUST mess, and the extra money, etc......any ex-remodelers just roll their eyes. "Wait til 6 months and we'll talk."
It is starting to take shape though.
I love my floor.
I love my cabinets....what is in so far.
I love my color scheme.
It's going to be FABULOUS!

Addison is so talented in so many ways.
He just threw together a quick gift last night. It's amazing!!!
I've said before that he really is only RIGHT much so, that his head is probably mis-shapen.
He draws and scuplts and acts and sings and dances and paints.....he sees things differently than the rest of us not so right-brained people.
Now if he could start getting paid for this talent of his, we could get off his back about finding an hourly paid job.
OBTW (That means, Oh, by the way.... my dad uses it a lot) Addison got nominated for a College acting award...The Irene Ryan award, for his part as Icabod Crane, and the show "SLeepy Hollow" made it to the regional competitions in Feb.

I've given up on Christmas at my house this year. I would take a "pass" on the whole thing, but I do have children.
We are going to my mom's for Christmas eve and sleeping over for Christmas morn. It will be fun to be there with Mom and Dad and Liz and Al too.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Things I've learned in Punta Cana

---there are all shapes and sizes of people in this world, and most should stay fully clothed.
---the only ones going topless on the beach, are the ones that shouldn't be.
---soft, self serve, ice cream is awesome.
---going on two all inclusive, eat-til-you-puke trips in a month's time, equals weight gain.
---it can be sunny and hot one minute, and rainy the next, then sunny and hot again.
--- I love the tropics!
---humidity makes my sheets feel wet when I sleep at night.... hard to get used to.
---"coca light" is diet coke, in Spanish.
---we are spoiled by air conditioning.
---I love the sound of waves coming to shore.
---one little shop has the same island stuff to buy, as the next little shop, and the one after that.
---I can sit on the beach and read a book ALL DAY....thanks to my Bear Lake training.
---I am definitely NOT ready for Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Checking in with Laila

We called home last night to speak to Laila and check on things.
Me: Hey Laila, how was your day? What did you do?
Laila: Well... I ate some cocoa pebbles, and then I froze to death!
Me: Wow. SO it's cold there. How much snow do you have?
Laila: Times 6 ( X 6)
Me: That sounds like a lot
Laila: It is
Me: I love and miss you.
Laila: I just imagine you in my head then I don't have to cry.
Me: Ok, thanks.
Laila: Let me get this right, you have a pool and then it goes down and you have a beach and an ocean too.
Me: That's right Laila... you would love it here.
Laila: How come I couldn't just hide in your pillow case?
Me: That's a good idea. Maybe next time. Be good for Grandma.
Laila: Got it.

This is word for word, as well as Wayne and I could remember it. It was a hoot talking to her on the phone.
We miss Laila
We miss Home
We don't miss the snow.....times 6.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ahhhhh.....thankful Thursday

Just sitting on the beach counting my blessings....
1. I'm thankful for my mom and Wayne's mom who are taking care of things back home, while we are relaxing in the DR
2. I'm thankful for sunshine and's 85 here today, and 17 in Bountiful
3. I'm thankful for this beautiful world!
4. I'm thankful work is being done on my kitchen, while I'm here. ( I hope)
5. I'm thankful for Pina colada's, soft serve ice cream cones, and cabana beds at the beach
6. I'm thankful that Wayne has a job, and that his job has taken us to some awesome places around the globe.
7. I'm thankful for long walks on a soft, white sand beach.
8. I'm thankful that Wayne speaks fluent spanish. I get a kick out of listening and watching him talk to the natives and bargain for merchandise.
9. I'm thankful for the internet, computers, skype and staying in touch
10. I'm thankful for My sweet Wayne!!! It's always fun to vacation with him.

PS: What I've eaten order......
Pina colada (virgin, of course)
vanilla ice cream cone
hot grilled potato
nacho chips and salsa
chocolate ice cream cone
hot grilled potato
chocolate ice cream cone
strawberry daquiri

ah......we are living the barefoot, sleep in, nap, no worry life.
Now what am I going to have for dinner?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Punta Cana Dreams

We are staying in Punta Cana on the Dominican Republic at an all inclusive resort called...Dreams.

We have a swim out room, which means we open our patio doors and there is the pool.
It's long and spectacular and runs the length of the property all the way to the ocean.
It's a gorgeous paradise. Hot and humid and relaxing.

We got up early this morning and went to church in Higuey. It was an hour van ride to a little make shift church. The chapel for the saints here is being remodeled, so the meetings were held in a house and the garage area was filled with folding chairs and a sound system for sacrament meeting.
It was fun to go there with 3 other couples and feel of the spirit.
Dirt roads, brightly colored houses and many motorcycles filled the landscape.
Wayne is the only spanish speaker among us. We all just smiled a lot and shook hands. He interpreted softly in our ears a lot of what was being said. I can gather about 50% of what's going on, but I sound like a two year old when I try to put spanish sentences together. I was asked to say the opening prayer in Relief Society. I did it in English and got all choked up along the way. Tears came easily as I thought about this humble surrounding, and the strong saints who gather here. It would be hard to go to church ..... and they do it any way.
It was fun to hear the primary singing in the near by bedroom, as we met in the kitchen area. I love the singing the best. It's so great to pick your own pitch and just sing your heart out. That's what the spanish saints do here. We sang Christmas songs in Spanish, of course, and Secret Prayer
( Secreta Oracion) I cried through that as well.
I love feeling the spirit and seeing and meeting the people in sacrament meetings all over the globe.

Yes it is definitely paradise here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

....and we are off and running.....again.

I don't want this to sound like I'm complaining....because i'm not....I'm just stating the facts.

We just got back from one great trip 2 weeks ago...and we are off to another one. This is good and bad.
This is a work trip with Wayne to the Dominican Republic, so I get to sit in the sun and be on the beach while it's freezing in Utah.
That's good!
No that's bad...
.... I am barely catching up from being gone last time, and now I'm going again.
That's good
No that's bad...
I have had a list a mile long all week....crossing things off and procrastinating the rest til I return.
Oh that's bad
No that's good
...My house is a MESS...dust and craziness everywhere.
Oh that's bad
No that's good
I get to be away from the crazy and hopefully work will happen in the kitchen while I'm gone.
Oh that's good
No that's bad
... I hope I've made all of the right decisions on cabinets and trim there are no surprises when I get back.
Oh that's bad
No that's good
I don't have to be in the dusty mess and I get to be with Wayne -my- lover at an all inclusive tropical resort.
Oh that's good
You are right...that is good.

Anyway... adios!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

2 parts of Laila

Laila loves the thought of Black Friday.
She begged everyone she saw through out Thanksgiving weekend to take her shopping. When I explained to her it was the entire weekend, she was thrilled. Finally on Saturday eve, Addison went to some stores with her to check it out. Addison said she was "such a girl," and all about pink.

There was a tv show on Sunday night that had an orphanage and orphans in it. ( not Annie)
Laila watched with rapture. She then turned to Wayne and in all sincerity asked, "....on Black Friday are the kids in the orphanage cheaper?"

Wayne talked to her a bit about orphanages, and how they don't have those in our country any more, but they do all around the world. This made Laila so sad.

That night in her prayers Laila tearfully said, "Please help that there will never be any more kids in orphanages, and the kids that are there now, please bless that they can all find families to love them."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Magic carpet, anyone?

Actual Conversation

Me: Laila what do you want for Christmas?
Laila: A magic carpet!!
Me: Laila, Magic carpet's only exist in fairy tales and on cartoon movies. If you were Aladdin, or a wizard you could have it, but you're not. Think of something else.
Laila: Uh,huh. Magic carpets are real. It would be so great, then I wouldn't have to walk every where. I could whisper into the fringe where I want to go , and we would just go there. Or, I could think about going somewhere and My magic carpet would just show up to take me.
Me: Laila there are no such things as magic carpets.
Laila: That's why I'm asking Santa. If he can have a flying magic sleigh, he can surely make me a magic carpet.
Me: Laila, you find one in a magazine or at a store and we'll talk.
Laila: I'm not asking you for it, I'm asking Santa. He can do it...he's over 2,000 years old. He's magic!

Oh brother.
Laila is relentless about this.
She is sharing no other ideas.
I think this is the "test" year, to see if there really is a Santa or not.

My little girl is growing up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day is HERE!

I am so happy this Holy Holiday has arrived.
This is a no pressure holiday.
It's just all about family and food.
We went around the Holiday table today to say what we are thankful for... I tried to remember some of what people said.

Truman is thankful for the gospel, missions, and family.....and Team Jacob ( this is a Twilight allusion)
Monson is thankful for 3 plates of Mashed Potatoes and gravy, family and ....that's it.
Laila is thankful for the Girl Table. She sat on a table with all of the girl cousins...this was dubbed Team Edward.
Landon is thankful for cars to drive, and friends who are family. So thankful we came down in family units to love and support each other.
Addison is thankful that his mom makes everyone go around and say what they are thankful for. Family and Food were top on his list.
Wayne was thankful to be in Bountiful this year for Thanksgiving and not in China. We were in China over Thanksgiving last year. We ate Peking Duke and sang "For the Beauty of the Earth" to our Van driver.
I am thankful for the power of the priesthood. I know this is why Laila is still with us. I'm overwhelmed at this beautiful blessing. I'm thankful to have support and comfort from family and friends who bring so much into my life.

Laila wrote this for school. (She has great handwriting, by the way.)
I am thankful for my family because they love me.
I am thankful for Ms.Halverson because she loves me.
I am thankful for my friends because they are nice to me.
I am thankful for my food because it makes me wild.
I am thankful for the sun because it can make me see.

She read it to me then added, "I could have written more, but my hand hurt and it would have taken like a thousand pages."

Thanksgiving is over and we are on to the next Holy Holiday.....!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nov 25 Thanksgiving eve

Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through the house...we are sleeping over at Grandmas, feasting on more than a mouse.

Okay, so much for the rhyming.
I'm typing while in a sugar-induced coma...too much I'm not making much sense.

I'm thankful we are having a family sleepover at mom and dad's (Gma and Gpa Cole) for Thanksgiving this year. Our under construction house is a kitchen to cook in and dust we are pretending like we get to travel for Thanksgiving. We packed our bags and moved 10 blocks.

I'm thankful I could spend the day baking with mom. Fruit pies and cream pies, Date pudding and yams....are all ready to roll.

I'm thankful for a pie party at sis Marcie's house. She was in the pumpkin dessert making mood. The night before Thanksgiving dessert idea is a great one!
We had pies of all kinds, pumpkin tiramisu, pumpkin gooey cake, date pudding, pumpkin blondies, little cherry cheesecakes, pecan was so good. I went around trying to just have one bite of everything....but there was alot of things to bite.

I'm thankful for the beautiful, nippy fall weather. We'll have no driving hassles this holiday. Yeah!

Well...... I'm off to get my jammies on and snuggle into my old downstairs bedroom.

Life is good.
I'm thankful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful on the 24th

I'm thankful for things and stuff.
I got to go through some of Grandma's "stuff" to day with mom. It was weird, and good. It's weird to think that when someone returns to heaven what's tangibly left is just things and stuff. One man's trash is another man's treasure, I think that's how the saying goes.
But.......It was good to smell grandma again and be reminded of her by looking at an old bejeweled purse, a sweater, a necklace or a white glove from her Sweet Adeline days.
Tears came unexpectedly.
She doesn't really have ALL that much, because she got rid of a lot when Grandpa died 17 years ago, but there is still plenty to go through.

It's funny what Grandma kept in her closets and around her house.

The paraphernalia that makes up a life.

I drove by her home for the first time since her death.
It was a teary, difficult road.
The end of an era.
I know eventually the things and stuff won't mean so much, and the memories in my head and heart will carry me through. But, for now, I'm typing this wearing one of Grandma's green sweaters.
I'm so thankful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful #16-#23

I'm just a little off on my Thankful countdown--26 days of Thanksgiving-- because of the I'm catching up.
I promised myself a thankful thought a day.

I'm thankful, especially when it's cold outside....otherwise I'm a barefoot girl!

I'm thankful for...tissues. I tear up a lot and I'm always appreciative of a tissue being handed my way.

I'm thankful for... an electrician who is working away over my head, so my kitchen can get one step closer to being finished before Christmas.

I'm thankful for... texting. I used to be the Anti-text. But with 4 big boys, this is their favorite way to communicate. Wayne was getting all of the scoop, because he texted, and I was being left in the dark. Ain't no fun in the now I text. I keep informed and get little "I love yous" along the way.

I'm thankful .....that Wayne loves to cuddle and snuggle and spoon!

I'm thankful for....electric garage doors. As I pushed the little button and closed mine tonight, for some reason, my mind flashed back to the prehistoric days when I actually had to man handle the door closing myself.

I'm thankful for...laughter. Gut busting, belly shaking laughter.

I'm thankful for......friends who went to my grandmother's funeral and video taped it for me. Talk about an act of love. I watched it tonight, and laughed and cried.....and just loved it. It wasn't the same as being there, but it was good enough. I especially enjoyed the bloopers with S. and L. whispering and the camera going crazy with pics of an old, bald guys neck folds. It made me cry even harder thinking of my friends sacrifice for me.

I'm thankful

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful for Dancing

I won a trophy as the Best Mom the Family dance party for the Club Carnival kick off. I was just trying to make Laila smile and roll her eyes at me. It worked.
Then is was Wayne's turn. We thought for sure he wouldn't win a ship on a stick trophy, because I just had, but.....this was a competition and Wayne is VERY competitive.
Wayne was on the dance floor working it. While he was dancing, I turned away and spoke to the brothers. When I looked back, Wayne was on the floor. My first thought was, "Man Down.....Help him....He's dizzy!" Then I realized it was part of his dance routine. HE WAS BREAK DANCING!

He got to the middle of a flashy backwards somersault, when the boat shifted and Wayne went back over. I laughed til I cried and my stomach hurt. (Another reason why I love this man)
The boys were in hysterics. They had never seen their dad be so wild....and they laughed and shook their heads.
Wayne won the ship trophy for Best Dad Dancer.

Laila was so proud of her crazy parents.

We had a great time dancing on this cruise. I really loved dancing with my Addison and Landon...they do big monkey dancing like me. Truman and Monson are fun is Laila.....Wayne is just glad all of these kids came with us, so he doesn't have to much.

I'm thankful

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankful for Pie night

I know I talk about pie way too much....but I really love it.
I love the roundess of it.
The buttery crusts.
The sweet chocolate, creamy lemon or the tart apple cranberry.....I'm salivating as I type.

There has been pie night in my life since I was 10 years old---- My Sweet Grandma and mother began this night before Thanksgiving tradition and thankfully it has stuck! My mom makes GREAT pies!!!!

I was able to go to my good friend's pie night on Friday.   (Si makes great pies too!!!)
It's so fun to be with loving people and share sweet treats and just count your blessings.
 I get another Pie night on Wednesday!!!
Does it get any better than this?

It's especially nice to eat the lovely homemade pie because I'm without a kitchen.  We have a big  open space and walls torn down, and wafer board floors, and no electricity and no water and basically homemade nothing is coming out of this kitchen for while.

I'm thankful for 3.14

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankful for Karaoke

We totally karaoked it up on the family cruise and brought the house down!!
We rocked the Kazbah.... I couldn't have been more proud of the Welch crew.

There are a few things I really enjoy about cruising....karaoke is one of them. It's always interesting to see who has the guts to get up in front of a group of strangers, usually drunk strangers, and sing.
There's the old Elvis crooner guy...who shakes his head while he sings. There's the country western singer...who grunts it out. There's Neil Diamond man....we heard Sweet Caroline so many times, even Laila has it memorized. There's the skanky girl singer...totally thinking she sounds like Winona. The silly couple up there on a "dare."
Then there is....US.
Our first night to the karaoke bar was on Elegant night. So the boys were all dressed up in suits and ties, looking more like the Osmonds, or the Jonas Brothers, than the Rap singers they were soon to become. Truman went through the DJ's book to find the one song that might possibly work. IT's not a favorite...but it would do. "Apple Bottom Jeans....low, low, low low." When the DJ heard we were from Utah, he wasn't expecting much. He thought it would be just another act to make fun of.
Well.......... Tru and Mons did the rapping and Add and Lando did the dancing. It was amazing! The crowd went wild. (We have proof on video tape) They couldn't believe a bunch of white boys could do so well. 2 Sexy girls and The Cajun-grandma's in the crowd were dancing with them. The Philipino DJ was agog. I was busy taping it, laughing,screaming and loving it. Man those boys have all of the moves. The crowd burst into a standing ovation at the end.

Not to be out done by the Brothers.... I went back the next night and sang me some Barbra Streisand...."Don't Rain on My Parade." I belted it and got the standing O as well. It was sooooo much fun! A RIOT! I even got to sing a duet with the DJ he loved me so much.

We all sang solos and duets on another night....I loved singing Suddenly Seymour with Addison.

The rest of the trip we were the celebrities from Utah. So many people came up to talk to us and make sure we were going to go back and Karaoke some more. They didn't want to miss it.

Yep...I'm thankful for Karaoke....and guts to get up and SING!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful we put the FUN in Funeral

We flew out to Texas on Friday night. Grandma’s 94th birthday.
We brought a birthday cake with us and candles, thanks for my sweet friend, Si who gave us a beautiful Backer's Bakery Birthday cake for this occasion.
Once at the hotel, We sang Happy Birthday and Wayne went to the pop machine and got diet Pepsi and Pepsi – Grandma’s “sweet aloha” . We poured paper cups for everyone and raised a toast to Grandma. Monson read Gma’s obituary to all of us. Mom wrote it and it’s beautiful, and funny and just a perfect honor for a great lady. Then we went around while eating our birthday cake and shared memories and stories and feelings about Grandma.
Laila loved doing puzzles and dancing to the music box and having Gma give her humbugs. She also loves swimming at grandmas.
Monson said he was her automatic favorite because of his red hair. Plus she loved hearing him sing. So double favorite. He also liked that she loved sports….Jazz and football.
Truman loved all of the big family functions at grandma’s house…the Bash and Christmas Eve parties. She always had licorice to share.
Landon shared about Grandma’s crooked middle finger, and giving people “the bird” too much. He loved her funny sayings, and just talking to her when he gave her lunch. He remembered her jumping into the pool with all of her clothes on. She was very happy when Landon moved out of scary down town SLC.
Addison shared how she pretend strip teased to Steve playing his trumpet at the Bash, and shopping for “gourmet” shoes with her. She made him laugh and always felt like he was the most talented and THE star of the show. He loved to sing for her.
Wayne said he always felt welcome, from day one. She hated when he went to China and worried about him til he returned. (WE stopped telling her about his travels.) He learned Grandmas napkin trick—turning a napkin into a bra and telling a funny story along the way. He has used it all over, from his mission, where he got into trouble, to dinners around the globe. When he tells people his grandma taught it to him....they laugh even harder. LOVE it!
I tried to share some funny things that my kids didn’t already know. I loved when my mom had a baby so we could have sleep overs at Grandma’s house. We also had many cousin sleep overs in the summer time, swimming and skinny dipping in the pool at night, then sleeping on the back patio.
They think grandma never got mad…..well When I was a teenager, Marcie and Krystin and I had just finished painting the bath houses with turquoise paint. It was now sitting on the ledge of the breeze way waiting to be put away. The lid wasn’t on very tight, and Krystin accidentally tipped it over and it spilled all over the flagstone in the breezeway. Grandma came out and screamed and hollered….we were all shocked…. Within 5 minutes she was apologizing and laughing about having scared her grand kids so much and she kept repeating, “People are more important than things.” Over and over, like she was trying to remember it. SO funny. This is a legend in the family now.
Grandma and Grandpa took me and Marcie and Krystin on a trip to California to see cousin Cindy the summer I turned 16. It was a road trip and most of the way we had grandma trying to teach us all how to sing Barbershop. It was a nightmare. I survived, because I got to sing the Lead, but Krystin as an alto and Marcie as second soprano….it was not as fun. We got through the song, “We shall meet, but we shall miss him. There will be a vacant chair. We shall linger to caress him, while we kneel each hour in prayer. “ An old funeral dirge. The lyrics are still very vivid for all of us. Grandpa Butters was such a good sport about all of this…he really just wanted us to be quiet. We sang this over and over , hour after hour.

I remember being in Grandma’s ward choir, as we prepared for a Christmas program. No one was looking up at her as she directed a song. She was getting frustrated. When I glanced up she was doing a strip tease…taking off her jacket and twirling it, seeing if anyone was noticing. So funny.
Anytime we said, Grandma we can see your underwear, or you are untucked, thinking we were helping her. Grandma just went the opposite…she would become more untucked, or pull her pants down more, to show us her underwear. So funny. I was even “mooned” one time by her in the motor home on a family road trip to Disney land. Couldn’t stop laughing!
The kids were amazed and laughing over my tales…and we had a great time remembering her.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thankful #11

I'm so grateful to be leaving the cold of Utah and be heading to the sun of the Gulf of Mexico and Cozumel.
We are taking the brothers and Laila on a cruise!!!!
It's going to be awesome!!! 
We  planned it long ago, over this week, because it was the only "good" week.  It's between football and basketball for Monson.  It's between plays for Addison.  It's between jobs for Landon and Truman is just glad he doesn't have any tests this week at Utah State.
We wanted to do this before Truman goes on his mission. 
Every time Wayne and I have been on a cruise we always say and think about how much our kids would LOVE it. 
There are shows, activities, karaoke, swimming, games, sports, food 24 hours, and SUN!  IT's going to be a challenge to have all 4 big boys in a room together-- space wise and temperament wise....but it will be good for them.  It's a time of bonding and making memories.
It will be divine.
I'm so thankful we can do this.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful #10

I'm thankful for primary.
We had a wonderful primary program on Sunday.  All of the children dressed in white and sang and talked about forever families.
It was so beautiful to look up on the stand and see those angelic children.
I really liked when the blazer boys all wore their father's suit coats and talked about how they want to grow up to be like their dads.  LOVED IT!  It was a teary time.
All of the my boys came to watch their sis, Laila.  She sang her little heart out and gave her part.
How would you feel if Jesus was right here, praying with you?....."I would feel warm all over and smile a lot."  This is exactly right.
The spirit was strong.
The congregation always looks forward to the bloopers, it seems.
They love the noisy child, the energetic child, the crazy voiced child.....But I love the sweet one.
I'm thankful.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thankful for Sweet Grandma Butters

My Grandma Butters passed away yesterday.  She was just 3 days shy of turning 94 years old.
She lived a long and wonderful life.
  I will miss her terribly.
It's been amazing to always have her around to celebrate with and commiserate with.
She has ALWAYS been here for me.
  I don't know how to be without her.
I will miss her vibrant personality, her spitfire ways, her spunkiness and wit.

(Pic taken June 2009-  Mom, Me, Grandma, Laila)
It was great to be at her home yesterday and pay my last respects.  I petted her silky skin.  Laila knelt by her bed. We cried.   Grandma just looked like she was peacefully sleeping.  A neighbor friend came in and was crying over Eulala.  Laila piped up, indicating grandma, "You know I am named after her,  'cept without the Eu."  So even though Eulala is gone, we have our little Laila as a constant reminder.
It was really fitting to find a diet pepsi in grandma's fridge, pour 3 glasses, and raise a toast to her with my sisters and say, "Sweet Aloha" Grandma.  Then I came home and made some Ginger Cream cookies in her honor.
Grandma always asked if I would sing at her funeral. ( I sang at my Grandpa Butters funeral) I said of course I would.    Now I'm sad, because I won't even BE to the funeral.  We will be off with our family of 7 making memories on a, long ago planned, caribbean cruise.  We will have our own memorial to honor Grandma while we are away. I know she would want us to go and have fun.  "Kick up your heels" was her motto! But.....I'm still sad.

I posted this last year on her birthday, and would like to dedicate it to her again this  year as some of my memories at her passing.

My Grandma is 93 years old....93! I know I've been writing a lot about age lately, but people around me keep having birthdays....what's up with that?

Grandpa passed away 16 years ago and Grandma still lives alone in the home they built in the 1950's. It's a beautiful home with a swimming pool in the back yard that I have played in, all summer long, for my entire life! We always shared the greatest food around the swimming pool, especially at the 4 summer holidays: Memorial day, 4th of July, Pioneer day and Labor Day. These are the "Holy Holidays" for me, and they wouldn't be the same without Grandma and her pool.

A fond memory I have as a child, is swimming in the pool on a hot summer day and Grandma bringing out hot out of the oven, raisin oatmeal cookies. I recall eating as many of these as I wanted, standing in the pool with the chlorine water dripping into my mouth, mixed with the hot cookie. MMMM... it just makes me smile, even now.

My Grandma is an amazing woman. I know she had an entire life before I was born, but this is what I know about her.

Grandma has always been a great dresser! She sang in a quartet and had traveled all over the Mountain-West putting on shows. She wore sparkly, glamorous costumes. She always looked so put together with the perfect hair, makeup and jewelry. Grandma also danced with my Grandpa and did floor shows and put on dance festivals for the church. I loved watching them waltz around and laugh and gaze at each other. "Let me call you sweetheart," was their theme song.

I inherited these quartet/dance costumes about 20 years ago. For one of our cruises, we (Me, Karen and Christine) wore her 60 's outfits for the formal dinner time. -- it was so fun to pretend to be Eulala.

Grandma was choir director in her ward for over 40 years-- talk about a life time calling. She had a grand ward choir. Every seat was always filled and extra chairs added in. They would totally do productions at Easter and Christmas time. She had special lighting installed in the chapel, that was built while she was in charge, so they could do mood lighting for the programs. The choir even had individual lights that clipped on the choir music folders, so we could see to sing. I say we, because she invited me to sing in her ward choir for about 10 years. I loved singing under her. She was so expressive and a great musician. Grandma has always been a great support for my singing and drama endeavors. One of my biggest fans.

My grandma is a marvelous cook. She makes the best shredded roast beef and homemade rolls. Grandma has always loved roast beef, strawberries, ginger cream cookies and almonds-- oh, and "sweet aloha." ( Diet Pepsi) These are the foods that I relate with her. She cooked a lot when she was raising her 7 kids and 60 some odd grandkids. Now we take turns cooking for her. It really is an honor to do this. She is so appreciative and welcoming. She will even turn off her FOX news or Matlock and sit and visit.
Grandma will tell it like it is. She doesn't mince words and has an opinion about the world around her and what's happening with current events. She loves the Jazz and a good football game too.
I always wanted a daughter to name after my Grandma.... after 4 boys, I got my wish when Laila blessed our family. Laila is just as much a spitfire as the woman she is named after.

My Grandma has taught me to love-- always-- unconditionally.
People are more important than things.... and...
Gratitude is the key to a happy life.

I pray I can be as healthy and Happy as my sweet Grandma when I turn 93!

My sweet Mother in Law, Wanee, sent this to me the day my grandma passed away.  It really made me  realize how my Grandmother has shaped my life.

"LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,
things you must build upon in order to have a
solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person
and put what you have learned to use in all other
relationships and areas of your life. "

I had my Grandma in my life for 47 years....I feel so blessed to have lived so close by and to have felt so much love and acceptance from her.  She adored my children and my Wayne too. Last winter for a family night, we all went up and sang for Grandma.  Every one performed a solo while standing on her fireplace "stage."  It was a wonderful time.  She always made us all feel like we were the most talented.  We were the "star" of her show.

I know she is so happy to be with my Grandpa in heaven.
I'm sure they are dancing and eating strawberries and almonds and sipping sweet aloha!!!
I'm thankful.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thankful #8

I'm thankful for Visiting Teaching, and for visiting teachers.
I really love this "care for each other, one by one" principle. 
I didn't always feel this way.
I used to dread this calling.
Now, I look forward to being with other sisters.
Women need women, that's for sure.
I'm actually not really great at VT, but I'm getting better.  Many a time, it's the end of the month, and I'm just getting around to thinking of it....but...
I have had some wonderful VT's and I've had some wonderful people to visit.
I come away inspired by each sister and realize  how we need the Lord in all of our lives.
I'm always amazed at how alike we all are.  We all have struggles and challenges and good times and  tears.  We are more alike than different.
Our hearts match.
I'm thankful.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thankful #7

I'm thankful for Roses!
This weather has been knock-your-socks off gorgeous!
The leaves on the trees and the colors have been spectacular! 
I even have a few roses coming back into bloom.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thankful #6

I'm thankful for my sisters.
I had a great time at my Sisties Trip this weekend!
We have an annual girl's weekend we spend together in November each year.  It started the year Landon was born...and we haven't missed ( except last year when Laila hit her head).   It began when we had the Cole Collection singing group and we would use the weekend to practice our Christmas songs as we worked up a program to take around to church and office Christmas parties.
We don't sing around any more, but we still love getting together.  We have broadened our group to include the grand daughters once they hit 18 years old. We had 8 of us at the Park City condo this year. Me ( taking the pic) Christine, Liz, Angela, Marcie, Mom, Megan and Rachel.

It is always so fun to shop and shop and eat and shop some more.  We love our Baja Cantina trip and traipsing around the outlets and main street Park City.
It's great to just get away!
This year, like many past years, Mom gave each of us money that we have to spend on ourselves during the trip.  She always does her best to spoil us!  We try to make the money stretch and get bargains.  We love to share what we purchased and see who got the best deal.  This year it was my niece who got a shirt for all of $2.47.
The annual Sistie-trip is a good thing.
I'm Thankful.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thankful #5- Addison

I'm so thankful Addison is having a grand time playing Icabod Crane at Weber State.
He does a great job. 
This is an interesting tale.  It's a cross between "Into the Woods" and "The Secret Garden" and "The Salem Witch Trials."  So good.  Or maybe it's not like any of the above mentioned shows.....? I don't know.

Addison is singing beautifully and his acting is right on the mark.
I love watching him on stage.
He got great write ups in the local papers.
This is taken from the Deseret News Review of Sleepy Hollow:
"Addison Welch is an outstanding Ichabod Crane. His lean, lithe frame and elegantly long fingers and arms give him the perfect physicality for Crane. But Welch also creates the perfect mix needed for the character we love to hate."
I would agree!

I'm thankful for Addison!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful day #4: Mission

What a great night we had gathering as family and friends for the big opening of the envelope.  Our home was crowded with people, just how Truman wanted it.
When the time came he was shaking like a leaf and he was crying as he read....."You have  been called to serve in the Manchester, England March 24th."

The room erupted with congratulations and excitement.
This is the perfect spot for my Beatle-loving, Harry Potter-expert Boy.

I'm so thankful for missions and I'm thankful for Tru.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Days of Thankfulness

#3 Bountiful Sunsets

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nov. 3rd Thankfulness

#2    I'm thankful for a beautiful autumn.
We have such beautiful weather ahead of us this week....I can hardly stand it.
So,  I'll go out and walk in it instead.
I adore the sound of crunching leaves, and breathing in the crisp air.  It sure beats being in the gym.
I love seeing deer in my yard and running across the blvd.
They are really our friends at this point-- they just keep hanging around.
One of the best parts about living on the Wasatch front, is experiencing all four of the seasons.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thankful Month

The thankful month is here.
I love November.
I'm going to try and post a thankful thought a day between now and Thanksgiving.
I say try because some where in the middle of this month I may not be getting internet access.... so I'll try.
#1 I'm thankful Halloween is over. 
It's a love/hate relationship with Halloween, that's for sure.

I look forward to it each year, and really love the "cute" stuff associated with this holiday.  I love the elementary parties and the darling costumes on little kids and babies.   I love watching Wayne and the kids, this year only Laila,  carve pumpkins.  I love mom's homemade doughnuts on Halloween night.  I love dressing up. 

This year Wayne, Monson and I spent Halloween night at the UofU football black out game. The weather was great for football!  It was a good night because, thankfully, the Utes won!!!
We dished Laila off to a great neighbor for trick or treating. Then, we all met up at 9:30 for Gma Sheri's doughnuts. Laila and Preston got to help cut out the dough.  

I don't like the gory makeup, severed heads, smashed pumpkins,  rude teenager-ish kids trick or treating, or skanky costumes.

I do love the family time and fun we have being together and the CANDY!!!
This year we were missing Addison because of his Sleepy Hollow he was Icabod Crane for Halloween.   And we were missing Truman.  Tru was up at the big HOWL  party at Utah State.  His costume was a redneck dude with "stache" and mullet and short short levi cut offs. 
......  Any way, I'm thankful We are done with Halloween time and on to Thanksgiving time.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I had to go be a witch and present stories at Laila's school Halloween party....I had a riot, of course, dressing up.   I did my best to embarrass Laila....but she said it was funny and the kids liked it.  I'll try again next year.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Which witch?

Wayne is in China and I'm a witch!
These two statements don't really go together, except they do.
When he's gone....I'm lost.  I'm retrospective and anxious.
I tend to get in dark moods and cackle. My personal hygiene is less than stellar.  I even found a mole on my face with a long hair growing out of much for lazer hair removal!
I stay up too late watching dumb tv shows, which result in dark under eye circles.
I make potions food-- I like to stir things in big cauldrons, pots, and I eat children... a lot!
It's a good thing I don't own ANY black clothing or I would be wearing it night and day!

I fancy myself a very independent woman-- I tried to be a total feminist in college. I don't need men!
But I NEED me some Wayne.
I'm a witch!

Actual conversation with Laila:

Laila:  What are you being for Halloween?
Me: I'm being a witch
Laila:  You are always a witch
Me:  No I'm not
Laila:  Yes, even when you are not a witch, you are a witch
Me:  What does that mean?  What about last year when I had orange hair and green lips and looked like a pumpkin?
Laila:  yeah......A pumpkin witch
Me:  What if I don't dress up at all then?
Laila:  You would still be a witch in disguise.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Laila had a Halloween party on Friday night. 
I was out of town, so I left the costuming and hair and makeup to our friend Emilee.....she did a great job!
 I was scared and speechless when I got this picture on my phone.
Is that really my sweet little girl, or a zombie bride?
Laila loved it!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

One year Later...

Today is the one year anniversary of  Laila hitting her head at the Annie rehearsal.  
I've been thinking a lot about this today.
  When I think about what could have happened and what did truly was a miracle!
As a reminder:
Laila was an orphan in BHS's Annie musical.  She was at one of the first choreography rehearsals for "Hard Knock Life."  Cousin Megan was in charge.  Laila was walking on high school girl's backs, then getting to the top and acting like Ms. Hannigan, ordering everyone around.  The girls who should have been holding her up and helping her, slipped, and Laila fell from about 5 feet right onto a hard wood, stage floor.
She whacked the back of her head.
She cried, but wasn't bleeding.
There was no goose egg....she was just sad.
When rehearsal ended, Megan dropped her off and told me about the accident.
I gave Laila some tylenol and held her.
I was supposed to be flying off to China that night at 9-- for a 10 day trip with Wayne and two other couples, the Belnaps and Farleys.  Wayne was already in China.... ( just like he is in China as I recall this).
I tried to keep Laila awake.  It was difficult to see if her eyes were dilated.  (They are so black already.)   There was no place to indicate where we should hold ice.
  I held her and she stopped crying and fell asleep.
I was sure I would be leaving to China in the next 3 hours.
20 minutes into Laila's nap, she sat up and threw up everywhere, then I lifted her on to my lap and her bowels released...she was completely unresponsive. 
Landon and I raced her to the emergency room-- 2 minutes away-- thank goodness........
Then everything began to spiral out of control.
Xrays and Brain scans resulted in.....
Laila had a cracked skull.
Laila had bleeding on the brain.
Laila 's brain was swelling.
Laila had concussive symptoms.
Laila's breathing stopped.
Laila was given a quick blessing by Addison and Grandpa Lyle, then she was life flighted to Primary Children's Hospital.
It was a parent's nightmare.
We prayed and received blessings and had so much family and friend support during this time.  We called on angels to bless this sweet baby girl.
The first night at Primaries was a huge ordeal....if she made it through the night we would have hope.  She would be here for a month or two...but she would live.
It was a sleepless night, with me and my sweet sis Marcie keeping vigil.
More xrays and brain scans.
Laila's cracked skull was gone.
Laila's swelling was gone.
Laila's concussive symptoms were gone.
Laila's bleeding on the brain was gone.
Laila's breathing on her own.
Four days later, just as Wayne was getting off of the "Slow boat" from China, we were being released from Primary Children's Hospital.
I'm so glad to have this extra time/days/months and hopefully years with my baby girl.
My sweet Laila is such a blessing to me and this family of mine.
Thinking about what was happening a year ago, has been a good reminder of God's Love for me  and Laila.
This traumatic experience was a real testimony builder.  I know we are being watched over and blessed.  I'm a Believer in Miracles!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The story of My life

My friend Laura shared this with me.......and it's so true!
Now what was I supposed to be doing today?......

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Landon loves his new apartment on Capitol Hill....but there isn't a really close grocery store.... anywhere.
He has to trek his food in from blocks and blocks away.  He doesn't have a car since he totaled his last May.
Landon went to the grocery store and they had such great deals, that he bought way too much for him to carry.
He carried it anyway.
Bag after plastic bag on each arm.
He muscle-manned it block after block.
Finally, when he was in Temple Square, ready to begin his one last hill, the plastic bags broke...."all at the same time."  This wouldn't have been as bad, had his phone been working, but no charge.
No luck.
He was  sad, frantic, mad, crazy and didn't know quite what to do.
Landon started praying....for angels... for anybody....for somebody to help him.  After awhile, two sister missionaries approached Landon and asked what was up?  He told them his bag-breaking , no-phone experience and they said, " No problem."
  They offered to pick up his groceries and walk up the hill to his apartment with him.
He was shocked!
He couldn't believe how kind and generous they were being.
They were his "angels"!
The sisters helped Landon deliver his groceries to his front lawn.  They told him to get better bags for his next grocery trek or a hand cart, and they were off.
Landon reported,  "I knew that God loved me in that moment when those angel sisters came to my aid."

This experience reminded me of a great quote by Spencer W. Kimball.
I love this quote that my sweet friend Paula (Happy Bithday)  calligraphied for my home.

"God does notice us, and he watches over us.  But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs."

Friday, October 16, 2009


Addison's wolverine type mutton chops are growing on me.
Addison showed me his costume for Sleepy Hollow.  He makes a fine Icabod Crane, mutton chops and all.....or..........Scarlet Pimpernel.....or Jalvert......or.......any 19th century character.  I think he looks quite dashing!

He said when he didn't have his coat or hat on, he looked in the mirror and thought he was Joseph Smith.   Hmmmmm?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I haven't done Thankful Thursday for it's time once again to stop and count my blessings.
1. I'm thankful that my kitchen remodel is really underway.  I've been planning and talking about this for 8 years......  We went last Saturday and picked out granite for our island.....and we have made flooring decisions and cabinetry.  Now the wall tear out starts the first of November.
I can't believe by Christmas time our house/kitchen will feel like new.

2. I'm thankful the dismal rainy day  that was predicted for yesterday didn't happen.  We could have our school zoo day, and I could be outside with all the gorgeous leaves.   Lovely fall weather. I love sweater weather....almost as  much as I love swimsuit weather.   (I love summer, as long as I'm at a beach or pool, and not getting into a black interior car in Phoenix, Az., in July)

3.  I'm thankful for theatre.  Really.  Really?  I just love it.  If I could see a live show atleast once a week, then I would be Happy!  I've seen West Side Story and Evita this week.

4.  I'm thankful for my Wayne.  He is looking great..and feeling pretty good.....and he is just the perfect match for me.  He's the fudge on my ice cream .....the whipcream on my hot cocoa..... the frosting on my I'm making myself I need to stop.  You get it.... I LOVE HIM!

5.  I'm thankful for Laila's  testimony last Sunday.  It was priceless.  She wandered to the stand, all on her own.  Wayne actually whispered in my ear, "Uh-oh.  I wonder what she is going to say?"
She proceeded to say how thankful she was to be adopted and told her version of our adoption story.  How we were praying for a baby girl, because we had 4 boys.  How in the middle of our prayer we got a phone call from New Jersey asking if we wanted a baby.  We dropped the phone and ran to the airport, got on a plane and flew to see the baby.  She said how she took one look at me and knew I "would be the perferct mom for her."  She testified of the power of prayer.  She said, "So prayer works, if you need something, or are sad or want a daughter."  (At this point the audience chuckled and Laila got embarrassed. ) Laila quickly said Amen and ran off the stand and buried her head in Truman's lap.  It was the sweetest mom moment for me. 

6.  I'm thankful Truman almost has his mission papers in.  By the end of October we will know where Tru will be spending the next  two years!

7.  I'm thankful for modern day medicine and helpful doctors.

8.  I'm thankful.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

West Side Story

Angela found a picture of Laila as a Shark girl taking her bows......
She definitely looks Puerto Rican!
Laila goes to West Side Story every night and sits on the front row, whether anyone sits by her or not.
She loves West Side Story.  She cries at the end every time.
Laila loves the high school kids too.  She made them all her Good Luck mini cupcakes last night......
I definitely have a Musical Theatre Girl!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mission Accomplished

What started out as an idea last June and turned into reality in September, finally got completed in October.
We finally made it into Primary children's hospital to deliver the carnival money.
This turned out to be a great experience for Laila and really put a nice end to this service project.
The donation Lady-- Sharon Goodrich-- couldn't have been nicer and made Laila feel like her 800 dollars was like giving Primaries a million dollars.  She chatted with Laila and wanted to hear about her hospital stay last October, and her Carnival games, food, prizes  etc....that helped to raise the money.

We got our picture taken with Laila handing over the checks and then Laila was treated to a bubble gum ice cream cone!!!
  I know this will build on Laila's love of service that she already has.
It's like she was born with this.
Now, she wants to gather gloves and warm things for the homeless shelter this winter and food for the food bank.  I don't want to hold her back....but she is only  7 which means, I am doing most of the work on her ideas.

Maybe this daughter of mine will instill a greater Love of service in me?
Maybe that's been her goal all along.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Addison is playing Icabod Crane at the end of this month up at Weber State. He is the star in the new musical, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow--by Jim Christian.
He is very excited to do this spooky, creepy part.
The down side is he has had to grow out his facial hair, so it can be shaved off to long mutton chops.
He called this week and told me about these  "chops" -- and how nasty they are, much to his dismay.

Well... I told him, maybe they would be a "turn on" to the ladies if he put the right spin on them.

He came home yesterday so I could see him and the chops first hand.....
I think he looks like Wolverine- of XMen fame.
What do you think?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Shark girl....Laila

I couldn't believe my eyes last night!
I looked up onto Bountiful High School's stage and Laila was there, in costume, crying with the sharks as they mourned Tony's death in West Side Story. 
It was a final dress rehearsal.....and it was so sweet...and funny...I was laughing so hard, I was crying!

Earlier in the day, Laila  informed me that she wanted to be Puerto Rican tonight for the rehearsal.  I told her she is Puerto Rican every night.   SHe just shook her head.
What she meant was she wanted to dress like a shark girl:  Colorful, puffy skirt with lots of petticoats to shake.  Hair down and high heels.
We scrounged through her closet and  found an old ballet yellow tutu that we put under a black skirt and tied a sweater  on top. She put on red lipstick and she was ready.
She was so excited to go to rehearsal and show the Shark girls.
Little did I know that she had more plans than just these.

I dropped her off to watch the rehearsal of  West Side Story...her favorite musical.   ( This was also my favorite musical when I was a little girl)
When I went back to pick her up at the end of the night....she was on stage.
Evidently Angela ( the director)  said it as okay.
She looked like a Mini-me Shark girl.
I wish I had a picture, but I was smiling and chuckling too hard to think about that.
When Laila took her bow with all of the Shark girls and shook her yellow netted skirt....I lost it.

SHe has a great time at BHS, thanks to all of the high school kids who are so awesome with her.

OF course, Laila can't understand why she can't be on stage every night.
I told her she was seven, that's why.
This show is about high school age kids.
SHe then moaned in the car about wanting to grow up faster....!
I silently moaned in the car too, about wanting her to grow up slower.....!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Central Park

I walked through Central Park with my hubby today.  The air was crisp and the leaves were mostly green, just starting to turn yellow.  The sky was blue, and it was GORGEOUS.  I loved holding my Wayne's hand, just breathing in the autumn air and reminiscing.

I was taken back to my first walk through Central Park.
It wasn't like this one at all....but it was a first of many more to come.

1986.....I was a drama teacher at Bountiful High School.  I had just had  my first baby boy.  Wayne and I were working hard.  We were in our first home.  We had no extra money, but life was good.
I wanted to go to NYC in the worst way, but I couldn't see it happening any time soon, until I heard about teacher/student tours.  I offered to take a group of students to NYC after Christmas and over New Years through Educational Tours.  I had 7 students who wanted to go.  Enough to cover my trip-- but not Wayne's.  Instead of canceling, we decided I should go for it, because I might not have another chance.
There was me,  6 girls and 1 sophomore boy on this trip.
New York was crazy-scarey!
Times Square was dirty and filled with cheap strip joints so we always had to keep our eyes straight ahead and not take any handouts from anyone.....It was pretty sleazy.
It was also pretty cold.
The sophomore boy, Craig Casper, was a pianist  and his dad had brought him to NYC before, so he was really my guide.  Craig wanted to grow up and live in NYC.
The girls all went shopping and Craig and I went every place else.
We traipsed through freezing cold  scarey-Central Park on our walk up to the Metropolitan Museum, where we sipped hot chocolate and  stood in awe over the large George Washington crossing the Delaware painting.

I remember eating at the Howard Johnson's on Time's square and having the waiter ask us where we-- the one boy and 7 girls --were from.  We told him Utah and he immediately asked if we were polygamists, with Craig as the dad.  Craig blushed from the top of his head to his toes.  The girls giggled.  This same waiter even asked to see our horns.....?

We were in the crazy New Years Eve crowd.  We were pushed and pulled this way and that, squished in the mass of people waiting for the ball to drop.   It was amazing....and surreal.  I waved to any camera I could see hoping my Wayne back in Utah, holding my 7 month Addison would see me.  I cried when I talked to him on the  pay phone later that night and blew him a happy New Year's kiss.

We climbed to the top of the Statue of Liberty...went inside her hat.... We went to the top of the Empire State was  a LOOOONNNGGG wait and freezing...and I ate my first piece of Carnegie Deli all time favorite.

All of these thoughts came flooding back to me today as I walked through beautiful Central Park.
My how times have changed.
Times Square is cleaned up  and so is Central Park.
Broadway shows have been disney-ized and more families than ever can be seen on the streets of New York.
HoJo's is gone.
I have been back to the New Years eve ball drop with Wayne.

Little Sophomore Craig Casper grew up and moved to New York 15 years ago.  He was in charge of the pit orchestra of Les Miserables for 10 years.  He lives up on the west side on 73rd just off of Central park. We speak often.

I have been back many times since with family and friends, in the cold and the heat and I always come away with one feeling.....
I love New York!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mission Reunion

It was great to go to Wayne's  Argentina, Cordoba mission reunion and meet and talk with Pres. and sister Klein.
Pres. Klein was a great influence on Wayne.
Wayne had him as President for 18 months and served in the mission home with him  for 8 months as an Assistant.
It was fun to see Wayne interact with other old missionaries, share stories and remember beloved companions and Argentines. 
I waited for and wrote Wayne faithfully on his mission.  I recall his areas and people and stories as well as anyone.
It was so gratifying to sit there and be the fly on the wall as they all conversed.
Sis. Klein reminisced about the mission home and having 5 little girls running around. She recalled a time when the gas stove blew up and burned her.  Wayne was there, gave her a blessing and drove her to the hospital.  It was tragic, then it was a miracle of healing.
Pres. Klein shared a beautiful testimony.  He related a new "aha" moment he had this past week.  In 2nd Nephi it states, "Man is that he might have joy.."  It goes on to explain what that joy is... "God's love, which is the most joyous of all.-- so our true Joy is felt when we have God's love in our lives." He was so sweet and humble in relating this.
Pres. Klein wished he didn't have to be so strict as a mission pres. and that the missionaries could have felt of his love for them more. Wayne said he knew Pres. Klein loved him and Wayne loved Pres. Klein.

My friend Bob said, "A Mission President, to a missionary, is right under a father figure."
I would agree.
Much growth, many life lessons, spiritual highs and lows are all experienced on a mission.  These are all shared with a Mission Pres.

Wayne learned a lot as a missionary  in Argentina, and came home better because of it.  Better prepared to marry me and begin our family.  Better prepared to be a father and provider. Better prepared to love  and serve the Lord.

As we were leaving, Pres. Klein grabbed me, held my hand and looked into my eyes and said, "Make sure you tell your children what a great father they have."
I teared up, because I agee.

Yep, Mission Presidents are great!

I'm glad Addison was able to serve in Louisiana-- he speaks highly of his mission Pres. He says his mission improved and enlarged his gospel understanding and his life. He learned how to Love more.

Truman is working on his mission papers right now.    I can't wait for him to experience a mission, love a mission president  and serve the Lord.