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.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's a Sign!

Have I told you lately how much I love pie?

I look forward every year for the sign to go up advertising all Marie Callendar pies for $6.99.
I could rhapsodize about it.... but I already did that last year.
Did I tell you how much I love pie?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fly Bird, Fly

Landon is leaving his first apartment of the past 6 months....the scary one by the Gateway with Homeless people, drug dealers and indigents... and moving over to the west side of Capitol Hill with his friend Josh.
This is a big step for Landon and Josh....... and it's a big step for me.
Landon and Josh are making this apartment their home.

Landon is 21.
Landon can do what he wants.
Landon pretty much does what he wants.
I love this son of mine.
He is a joy to talk to and be with.  He is fun and funny.
Landon needs a better paying job.
Landon needs to finish his CNA test  to be able to work nursing part time.
Landon needs to get a car.
Landon needs to get back into College.

Why do I know what Landon needs, yet his is not my life to lead?

It's interesting and hard to have children grow up.
Free Agency stinks some times.
I have two adult sons, yet I still want to be in charge of them, telling them what to do  and bailing them out, even though I know I shouldn't be doing that anymore.

It's strange to move to this new level of parenting.
I really wanted to push these birds out of my nest; I looked forward to it.
But it's challenging when I see them fall and not fly.

I hope this apartment life change is one that will allow Landon to fly.
I want him to  find his way in this world and be happy.
I love this little bird