Sunday, January 31, 2010

Washington Online

I work with a wonderful group of women.  

I stand all amazed at what they accomplish for our school and their focus on children.  We have a great "fearless" leader too ....this helps a ton.

I'm heading down to St. george for my semi-annual teacher training. 

It's great to get away, be in the sun and feel the camaraderie of being on a team.  

It's amazing to me the ideas generated and the skills and talents we share between us.  Everyone of the teachers has so much to offer.  Computer skills, organization skills, writing skills, math skills, marketing, activities, communication...oh, the list is endless.

Confession:  many times I walk away from this group feeling quite inadequate....then I remember my calling of Comic relief, and I'm okay.

We just completed a state wide Poetry/Art festival.  We had over 250 participants either stand and deliver a memorized poem, or display a piece of art work on the theme of "Seasonology."  We held these in 8 different locations.  Every event turned out spectacular,with happy kids and happy parents.

I feel really blessed to have this online teaching job.  It allows me freedom to be in charge of my own hours. ( I love that.)   It keeps me home for my children. I get to work with close friends and my mom---so fun.   It gets me doing something in education and working with children/teens.......which keeps me sane. 
Yep-- I love my work.
St. I come!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Change Questions Book

I  just finished a book that has consumed me for days.  IT's not a novel...but I loved it like one.  
It's the new book from Wendy Watson Nelson (one of my girlfriend's stepmom).
 It's called, "Change your Questions, Change your Life." 
 It was a wonderful read for me.
It really made me think.
Sometimes, books like these just make me tired......and I only get half way through and the book goes on the shelf to be read at a later date. 
 This book was put together in an interesting manner which made it really accessible to me and my wee brain.  The graphics and type styles that changed kept my right brain happy, while the truth's expressed fed my soul.  

I really loved the 7 questions that can change your life part.  
One of these questions is "What is the One question I most need to have answered from the Scriptures today?"
I'm going to be working on this scripture experiment challenge. 
 I posted the page from the book so you can read it and maybe join me in it. 
 I would love to talk about it to someone..... 

I guess I really need a book like this right now. 
 It's always feels like a tiny miracle when a thought provoking book  comes my way.  I have had other experiences with books being handed to me by friends  and family that have really helped me to see life and light in new ways.  I feel the Lord's hand at these times. 

I'm going to keep this book by my bed side and return to it again and again.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thankful for Great Friends

 I have really great friends.
 I'm lucky enough to have old ones and new ones that I just love.
I have neighbor friends, ward friends, school friends, work friends, family friends........I'm surrounded by an amazing group of ladies!
The main reason I love my  dear friends  is because I know my name is safe with them.
I read this "name is safe" comment recently on another blog, and it really felt true for me.
 My friend's don't gossip.
 They are good and kind and humble.
They help me want to be a better person,  just by being with them.
  I know that they’d never say anything behind my back that they wouldn’t say to my face.

Now that, that right there is awesome.
 It is the sign of a quality individual.
Does this mean we always agree on everything...Cleanliness? Laundry how-to? Movies? Restaurants? Clothing? Child rearing?  Books? Cooking?  Germs? Vacations?
 Heavens no, where’s the fun in that?
But even when they disagrees with how I do something, or think I’m just plain whacko, or even if/when I accidentally offend them, I know they are going to tell me about it straight out......and love me anyway.

This is the kind of friend I hope to always be.

This is just a photo sampling of some of my great friends...I wish I could find pics of all of you,...but you know who you are.......

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Basketball makes me tired.

I woke up this morning at 5:30 to get ready for a BHS basketball team breakfast.

It was the first time we actually set up church tables and chairs in our new kitchen space.
We sat 22 guests and could have easily set up one more table.
I was so pleased....I should have taken a picture.

Wayne and I cooked up sausage, bacon, scrambles eggs and french toast.  We had juice and milk and all kinds of toppings for the french toast.  We even had chocolate brownies.

Monson being on the basketball team has been a good thing.  He loves the boys he is playing with, and he enjoys practicing and being a part of the team.  Even if he doesn't play much....which is true for some games, JV and varsity....he still likes the process and the camaraderie.

I'm glad Monson is a part of something, even if it means I have to wake up early and cook.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Laila is 8

Laila is 8 years old today.
I can't believe it.  She will be baptized on Feb. 6th.
Where does the time go?

She asked me to wake her up this morning at 2:24am  and sing to her " Happy Birthday", because that's when she was born.
I did.

If you can see the clock, it reads 2:24am......She was bleary eyed, but pleased.

Laila thinks her birth mother was probably mad at her for being born at such a crazy hour.
I assured her that her birth mother was excited and wasn't sleeping  much at that point anyway.

All Laila wanted for her big day was to get her ears pierced.
She can't wait to wear "hangy down" earrings.

We have made many  decisions in our married life.  Some good, some not so good.  One of the greatest choices we ever made was to adopt a child.
 Heavenly Father has blessed us greatly with this awesome spirit.

Happy Birthday Laila....I'm so glad you were born!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Truman was born 19 years ago on Martin Luther King's Day.
 It was on the 21st of that year. 
 We thought Truman was going to be a  girl....ultrasound mess we were not prepared in any way for the surprise baby boy.
 We didn't have a name.
We liked that he was born on this holiday so we thought about naming him after Martin Luther King.
 We  considered naming him Martin......liked it, call him was also a family name.   We even considered naming him King....but all of the boy's middle name is Cole, so King Cole Welch just didn't quite cut it.
 We settled on Truman after my grandpa Cole and Truman's Great Grandpa Truman Cole.  And it fit better because.......he wasn't  girl, he was Truly and Man.
Sorry Martin.

Laila's thoughts on Martin Luther King Day.
Laila:  I love him.  He saved my life.  Without him my life would be crappy and you wouldn't be my mom.
ME:  What do you mean by that Laila?

Laila:  Well he made it so skin color doesn't I love him.

Stripped Down Challenge

Because of the recent remodel and upcoming Shindigs ( Laila's Baptism and Truman's Farewell) I've been cleaning and trashing stuff and rearranging my house.
I saw a thing on Oprah that has really made me think.

Peter Walsh of Clean House ....had a challenge for families called the Stripped Down Challenge. The idea was to strip the unnecessary things out of your life and reconnect with your family.

Peter listed 6 rules for your family to follow for one week: (courtesy of

Rule 1: No Cell Phones or Texting
Technology allows us to keep in touch in 24 hours a day, but that doesn't guarantee meaningful connections. "That's the confusion," Peter says. "You could lock yourself in a room and send a thousand e-mails a day and 100,000 text messages, but you are not connected."

For one week, ban the use of cell phones, texting devices and PDAs in your home. The short texts you often receive from your kids may just turn into real conversations!

Rule 2: No Electronics
How many times have you found your family watching the same show in different rooms? Can you even count the number of fights your children have over who gets to use the computer next? "[Shift] the focus of the family, and particularly children, away from self-parenting, away from TV, away from passive entertainment," Peter says.

Give your family the gift of peace and quiet by banning all electronic devices for one week. Institute family game nights, nightly story time or a daily walk to the park. By the end of the week, your family will realize the greatest entertainment in life comes from spending time with one another.

Rule 3: Prepare and Eat Healthy Meals Together
For families, no room in the home is more important than the kitchen. "The kitchen nourishes your family in so many ways," Peter says. "If your children are not receiving that nourishment—and not just the stuff into their mouths, but the stuff into their beings—if they are not getting that around the table, where are they being nourished?"

Stripping away the junk food and make healthy meals together is an instant way to reconnect. Try it for a week and you'll find that everyone in your family will feel better about themselves mind, body and soul.

Rule 4: Clean and Organize the House
Your home should be your sanctuary, and clutter does nothing but create tension and unrest in families. "If you're not connected to your home, if you are not connected to where you live, if your home doesn't bring you peace and calm and focus and harmony, where are you getting that from?"

Organize your home by following these decluttering commandments:

1. Decide which rooms need the most help and talk about your visions for it.

2. Sort FAST:
F ix a time and stick to it. Haul out any item that fits in one of the following categories:
A nything you haven't used in a year
S tuff that doesn't belong
T rash

3. Organize the remaining items into zones. For example, in the living room, create separate areas for toys, DVDs or video game systems and don't let anything creep out from those dedicated spaces!

4. Create new rules to keep your space organized. For example, an item from the basement can never make it past the stairs to other levels in the house, or each time you get a new game, donate an old one.

Each room poses its own challenge, so 
use this room-by-room guide if you're feeling stuck.

Rule 5: You Must Hug and Say "I Love You" to Each Family Member at Least Once a Day
With so many other distractions in your life, you may be neglecting to do the one thing your family needs even more than the latest video game system or designer dress. Everyone needs love and affection, and here's your chance to let your family know how you really feel about them.

Under this rule, moms and dads have a special assignment—have a date night! "One night once a month is worth a hundred weeks of vacation at the end of the year," Peter says. "Once a month, reconnect."

Rule 6: Create 6 New Stripped Down Rules at the End of the Week
This week may have been difficult, but it's also been eye-opening. Look back at what worked and what didn't. Continue to build upon the positive things that came out of the challenge by creating six new rules as a group and follow them for years to come.

You could limit cell phone use between certain hours at night or allow everyone only an hour of television a night. Continue having family dinners together or institute a weekly Sunday brunch blowout. Make Saturday mornings the time every person picks up the clutter they've let build up during the week, then reward everyone with a trip to the playground. Whatever rules you decide on, make sure they're in the best interest of every person in your home. "It's not magic," Peter says. "Spend time together. Be more active. Eat healthy. Avoid unhealthy foods and drinks, and you will start to transform your life in every way."

It seems like an interesting challenge - for 
one week. I admit that it would be harder on me than it would on the kids. The thought of giving up my BlackBerry is a scary one. I can't imagine life without my computer or TV. Really?

I am thinking about getting Peter's book: 
It's All Too Much.

Friday, January 15, 2010

TA-DA.......New KITCHEN Before and Afters

I can't believe this is really in my house......
  After talking a new kitchen into existence for 8 LONG years....I finally got a new space.  
Presenting.............KITCHEN/Family Room Remodel 2010
We knocked down 3 walls, 2 of them load bearing.... we put in a beam and a post.  We retextured walls, got stainless appliances, granite and solid surface counter tops, knotty alder painted and stained cabinetry, canned lighting, and added new flooring.  
It only took  a little over 2 months ......and many sleepover nights at my mom's, but it was well worth it..  
 We have a new laundry/bathroom too which makes it a joy to do laundry...yeah, right. Who am I kidding. 
This is actually what started it all last January.  
The only bathroom that we didn't re-do in our bath remodel of 2007-2008 was the laundry one on the main floor.  The toilet began to leak into the ceiling of the new downstairs bathroom.  We turned off the water and didn't use the toilet for almost a year. 
" IF we are having to get a new bath, we might as well do a kitchen at the same time.....?"

It worked.
I'm ecstatic about our new space!!! Maybe even ecstatic enough to want to cook and feed my family glorious meals every night.....what?  I got a bit carried away.

 Enough of the blah--blah....let's have a look see.

This is a picture of the Family room before...............

And the family room with new paint.....and furniture arrangement. (and a dog wandering through)

Bathroom/Laundry room before.....

And After......







Kitchen before..........  










Painted the back door with chalk board paint...the kids are loving it.

I painted out my old dining set white and blue.....

AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER... Wouldn't it be great if a remodel really did solve all of life's problems?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday

It's the 14th of January and I'm just getting around to being, oh my...

1. I'm thankful for tweezers and a good mirror. Nuf said

2. I'm thankful Marcie scored me some Hale Center Orem tickets for 101 in the Shade this summer. Two Broadway theatre stars are performing. I'm so excited. Happy Birthday to me!

3. I'm thankful sis- Marcie and friend- Laura became first time Grandma's this week. I'm thankful all went well with the momma's and the babies.

4. I'm thankful for my new kitchen/family room space. This will probably be on every thankful post for the entire year. It's FABULOUS....yes, pics are coming.

5. I'm thankful for my puppy who begs to sit on my lap when I'm on the computer.

6. I'm thankful for hats. I need my hair colored desperately.

7. I'm thankful "All Shook Up" at BHS is going well. So much hub-bub for nothing. It's great to see the kids performing and having so much fun singing and dancing.

8. I'm thankful for my Wayne. He's been gone this week ( Vietnam) , and I'm really missing him. Can't wait for snuggling this weekend.

9. I'm thankful my dad was able to go to Monson's Basketball games with me. He is a great sports enthusiast. It was fun to cheer with him and just be with him. I'm thankful BHS beat WX.

9. I'm thankful

Monday, January 11, 2010

Random PIcs

This is what I always look like at my Monday School Online Staff Meeting:

This is what I always feel like when it's over.....

OH....and it is a sneak peak of my remodel.....


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Secret Agent Man

For Wayne's birthday, all he wanted was a place to sit down in his house.
After two months in the remodel...Wayne has had it!!
He is sick and tired of being banished to the bedroom with all of the family on top of all of the mess.
Well........................He got his wish.
Truman and I hauled the family room furniture out of the living room today, and set it up right before Wayne walked in the door.
He was thrilled.!!!!
No presents just a chair to sit in......the new kitchen is his present.....(It's good to start getting things back around, and I'm loving the new space. I'll post pics soon)

He did get some gifts .................
For Christmas we gave Wayne new license plates for his Jag.

AND.....a framed Baby Blues cartoon strip that typifies Wayne's life.

It reads:
Hammie: Hey dad, my teacher wants you to speak at our school's career day
Dad: Me???
Hammie: Yeah. She says your job sounds interesting.
Dad: Really? Wow! I'm flattered! Not many people think what I do is all that exciting.
Hammie: You are a CIA agent, right?

Dad: Why did you tell your teacher that I'm a CIA agent??
Hammie: I thought you were!
Dad: Hammie, I'm an Assistant Deputy Director of Nonessential Goods in the Purchasing Division! Does that sound like a CIA agent to you?
Hammie: No. It sounds like a cover for a CIA agent

My Undercover Agent leaves for VietNam soon.....he'll be in and out of that country in a very short amount of time. I'm just saying.....

Happy Birthday Boyfriend!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010


2010 is here.

We are a decade into the 2,000's and it feels good.

It's fun to remember the New Years Eve of ten years ago.

We all got food storage for Christmas because "the end" could be here.

We dressed up in sparkly outfits and tuxedos to share the one "last" dance.

We made "2000" glasses and put together a time capsule.

Our 4 boys and extended family all celebrated at sis Marcie's home. ( Laila was in heaven watching)

We feasted on Prime rib and bread pudding....

We didn't know if our bank's computers would be working the next day to keep track of our money.

We did fireworks in the fog. We couldn't even see across Davis Blvd. the fog was so thick.

We wondered what tomorrow would bring, or if it would come at all.

I was only young!

It was a fun New Year's Eve celebration and a little nerve wracking, all at the same time.

I know I'm not the only one who felt this way...

So..... it's good to be 10 years into this millenium.

In this decade......

I've gained and lost the same 35 pounds.

Added Laila to our family

Traveled to Scotland, England, Germany, China, Mexico, Belize, Dominican Republic, Carribean.....and New York many times.

Been in 4 shows.

Driven 4 different family cars

Went back to teaching school...first in the classroom at BHS, and now online.

Gotten better on the computer.

Started Emailing.

Became a Facebooker

I text

joined the blogging community

chaperoned on 5 choir trips

lost my Father in law and my Grandma.

visited my parents on their mission.

sent a son on a mission.

went to the winter Olympics.

remodeled our home.

Whew....I'm tired just thinking about it.

Now we are on to the next decade......Yippey!