Saturday, May 28, 2011


Butters Annual Summer Holiday

I am remembering this Memorial Weekend back to all of the fun times we had at the BASH.  We had a wonderful family reunion for  20 years.   My Aunt Lynette had an idea to do an extravaganza 3 day reunion. We didn't want any ol' eat-potato- salad at the park reunion....We voted on an together..swim together ..sleep together family reunion.  We all thought that would be great to really bond with each other and we had plenty of sleeping places in all of the out of towners from Colorado, Spanish Fork, Orem and Idaho would travel to Bountiful and we got to have visitors at our home.   

 After the first year we voted on a name...the BASH.... and we all made family banners that we would bring and hang in Grandma's breezeway year after year.

THE BASH was mostly on Memorial weekend, but moved around the summer calendar as well.

We always did some sort of service, whether it be cleaning grandma's yard up, or collecting stuff for another cause.  We assigned out food, crafts and games and activities.  We played soft ball and visited cemeteries.  We also tried to go to church together and would double Grandma Butters' ward attendance.  We even put on a sacrament program a couple of years with the Butters family choir singing Families Can Be Together Forever and Families to Match the Mountains.  We even provided the speakers.  It was truly an extravaganza.    Some years we gathered to share testimonies...and memories of Grandpa Butters.
 I loved every minute of it.  Yes, it was work.  Yes, it took planning.  Yes, it was worth it.
The kids were in cousin heaven.    On Sunday night we always put on a talent show.  Grandpa Butters and Grandma Butters were in the front row cheering us on.  We had a variety of acts.  We had Wayne and Gary dress as Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers one year and lip sync, Islands in the Stream.  We had arm pit fart music.  We had break dancing, singing, magic acts, jokes and baton twirling.  We made family videos....ours was Hakuna Matada.... we had treasure hunts and carnivals.
Always a show of some kind.  We even had Guy as Red Green one year with Adam as the side kick Lyle.  It was so funny.
We had BASH university in 1998, where we taught each other things and stuff that we were good at.  While we were having a genealogy type class, my cousins Krystin and Paisley were running the nursery for the under 5 and can't-sit-still set.  It was a great class, then as we went to collect the kids to have lunch...the nursery room was quiet as can be.  We opened the door and all of the kids were duct taped into chairs with tape over their mouths...eyes smiling.  They thought the joke was on us.

I love this pic of  my Grandpa Butters  and Grandma Butters in the front  row.  My mom is sitting by Grandpa with my dad on the ground in front of her, holding Truman.
 This was the last Bash for Grandpa Butters.   I miss Grandpa and Grandma both so much.
We did the BASH a few times down in Spanish Fork/Orem.  It was a good change.  We got to be the guests.  We always ended up back in Bountiful swimming though.  We always had so  many kids in the pool that it looked like people soup!

One memorable eating experience was in Uncle Steve's back yard.  We had just said the prayer and taken the lid off of the chicken gravy for the Hawaiian Haystacks.  We all started smelling poop.  We were checking little kids diapers and blaming the teenagers for "letting one."  It was the GRAVY.  Something happened between the making of it and the eating of it.....or the non eating of it.  This might have been what caused the end of the BASH come to think of it.  It was the stinky straw that broke the family reunion's back.  We all thought it was very Aunt Dar did not.

One Talent show year we dressed up all of the COLE kids, Marcie's kids and Adams kids to represent Grandma and Grandpa B. and their  children..... We had wigs and old clothing  galore.  It was a hoot. 
 Addison was Sir Grant and Megan played Sweet Mother. 
The  song sums up the BASH and who was involved....

(Sung to the Brady Bunch theme song...sort of)
Here’s a story of a great big family
Started by a guy with love light in his eyes
When he saw that redhead named Eulala
He said, “Baby, I think that we should marry
We can go off in the sunset hand in hand.”
She said, “Well, ok …let’s have some babies
A family would be grand.”
Here’s the children they had together
The girls are Darlene, Diane, Lynette and Sharolyn
The boys are Steve and Brad  and Bailey and Grant Michael
(He’s iiving now in Heaven)
Sweet Mother’s happy they all got married
And they all had many children of their own,
And those children had lots of children
We’re never all alone.
There’s an Ostlund, Sweeten, Poulter, Fulton, Morley
There’s a Callister, a Call, a Welch, a Brown
There’s Tarrant, Sweeten, Smith and  a Butters
An Ostlund and a Cole.
There’s a Butters, Ashworth, Butters, Black and Poulter
There’s the Hills, Poulter, Cole and VonLutzow
And it started with Sir Grant and sweet Mother
But that was years ago.
The Butters Bunch
The Butters Bunch
All hundred thirty seven—We’re the Butters Bunch
Every year we try our best to get together
It’s called the BASH—we eat and sleep and laugh and play
We swim and party,  love and learn and make memories
We go on night and day
We do the BASH
We do the BASH
When we’re together we have fun,
We have a BASH!

Change happens.  
We all grow and our families get bigger and family needs change too.
I am so grateful we had the BASH for as many years as we did.  
Now we do our Cole family reunion at  Bear Lake every July.... I hope that lasts forever!
I guess we could call it THE CASH!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Live Conspicuosly

Addison is in all sorts of shows and has all types of friends.  He comes home and tells me funny stories about this person  or that one...and occasionally I ask..."Do you think he is Mormon?'  or "Is she LDS?"  Sometimes he can answer without a doubt....yes or no....and sometimes he just doesn't know.  It's not as obvious how they talk or what they talk about or do.  He's not quite sure.

Could the same be said about me?
 I hope not.
 I hope I live as an example of the LDS church and wear my testimony on my sleeve...but maybe I don't.

Elder Holland in May 2003 said, "Live the gospel as conspicuously as you can.  Keep the covenants your children know you have made.  Give priesthood blessings.  And bear your testimony.  Don't just assume your children will somehow get the drift of your beliefs on their own.  The prophet Nephi said near the end of his life that they had written their record of Christ and preserved their convictions regarding His gospel in order 'to persuade our children...that our children may know...and believe the right way.' "

The same could be said not just about our children, but our friends, neighbors...extended they know?

Elder Holland continues:    Like Nephi we should ask ourselves what our children know from us, personally.  Do our children know that we love the scriptures?  Do they see us reading them and marking them and clinging to them in daily life?  Have our children ever unexpectedly opened a closed door and found us on our knees in prayer?  Have they heard us not only pray with them but also pray for them out of nothing more than sheer parental love?  Do our children know we believe in fasting as something more than an obligatory first Sunday of the month hardship?  Do they know that we have fasted for them and for their future on days about which they knew nothing?  Do they know we love being in the temple?  Do they know we love and sustain local and general leaders, imperfect as they are, for their willingness to accept callings they did not those children know that we love God with all our heart and that we long to see the face--and fall at the feet-- of His Only Begotten Son?"

I guess I have been thinking about this a lot lately since I heard  Huntsman's squirrelly comment when he was asked if he was a Mormon?

 I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I know God lives and loves me.  I know my prayers are heard and answered.  I know the Temple sealing power is extensive and inclusive and I look forward to a forever family.  I have a testimony of the priesthood.  It has blessed my life and saved my child's life.  I know Joseph Smith restored the Gospel and was the first Prophet of the Restoration.  I love the Book of Mormon and feel of it's power when I read it.  I know the gospel is true. I am a Mormon.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

So What's the LIe?

Well all my voters and non voters out there....who think you know me sooooo well.

 I foooled you ALLLLLLL!!!

The LIe is Number 6.... I didn't wear clogs til I was a junior in high clogs with a wooden bottom, very little Dutch girl-esque....but I loved these clogs and still have them in a shoe box at the top of my closet.  So that's the lie.   
I know you are thinking ....wait a minute I thought it was number have never jumped out of an Airplane....well I have.  I didn't say I had to use a parachute. I have jumped from plane to landing steps many times.  Jump, jump, jump.  Gotcha......

1. I have a litter box in my house that is used daily, but  I have no cat.  Truth.  My dog baby is a 90% inside Maltese who uses the liter box in the bathroom... or the tile by the liter box.... on a daily basis.   The latter part of that sentence drives me crazy but I clean it up and move forward.  Baby also meows like a cat and the boys have nicknamed her "kitty.'  This would account for a lot of her neurotic behavior.

2.  I have been Para Sailing... at Lake Powell and in Hawaii.  Truth.   My first time in Lake Powell was primitive Para sailing. We hooked up on dry land and the boat driver was waiting for us to yell" hit it"...then we ran as fast we could til we lifted up in the air.  Talk about dangerous!!!  Wayne and I both did it.   Dragging through sage brush?   Yes.  Fun and totally worth it once I was sailing over the water....OH, Yes.  In Hawaii, we took all of the boys up  in a very controlled para sailing environment.  2 in a harness.  Very fun....except for the bloody part, which I will have to talk about in private and only if you are female. 

3.  I have scuba dived at the Santa Rosa Shelf....90 feet down in the ocean.   Truth. This was my first open water diving experience.  Usually a beginner diver only goes about 45  feet down and comes up rather quickly.  Oh no..... we went for the gusto.  CLear blue water and amazing colorful fish and coral  everywhere.  I remember looking up and seeing the bottom of the boat and the round-sun-orb  in the sky.   INCREDIBLE.  IT was a drift really relaxing. I held Wayne's hand tight.  He is the best dive buddy.  I am truly a dive princess and only want pristine conditions to dive in.    I even have a pic of me all dressed up wearing a crown on my dive card.  
This is pretty funny to pull out and show the dive masters...... I am standing there in my boy face,  swim suit, swim hair, no get the idea.
4.  I have been up in a Hot Air Balloon.    Truth.  We did this on our first BASH reunion.  My  fav aunt and uncle      ( Lynn and Lynette)  had a friend with a balloon and it was fun for all of us to experience this.  One of my favorite hot air balloon memories was being in the chase vehicle at the ALbuquerque Balloon festival with Uncle Jerry and  Aunt Patty and their kids  27 years ago.  My Mom and Dad and all of us kids (including Gary and Wayne) Motor-homed down to New Mexico to experience hundreds of different shaped  balloons in the air all at the same time.  Really Beautiful!!!

5.  I have jumped out of an explained previously.  This says nothing about parachuting.   I have also walked off of an Airplane.......I may have even danced off one time.  I really think about parachuting from a plane though.  I keep trying to talk myself into it for my 50th birthday adventure. Maybe it's too much?  Maybe I should just do the I-plane experience and simulate falling and flying instead?  
( I have a 9 year old to think of. )

6.  I wore clogs all through High School-- False, Lie, Untruth.   The "all through"  is the untrue part.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Computer desk!

So you ask....."What have you been doing while Wayne is in Chicago?"

"Just hanging out at IKEA, getting a wild hair to switch out my broken computer armoire to something light, fresh and organized."

I was sick and tired of sitting with my legs to one side and twisting my torso to type all day long. 
 I was sick and tired of looking at the dark hole of unorganization.
I only closed this desk up  when company was coming maybe one time a month and the rest of the time we had to just avoid looking at it.  

It's always daunting buying things from IKEA..........the massive desk-bookshelf unit gets put into my  car in two little boxes.  
Now it's up to me to put it all together. 
 I knew I could do it! 
I love my new space.....come over and see it.
Get your Truth/Lie guesses in now.    I will reveal on Sunday night.
Hint: Most of you are guessing.....WRONG!

Friday, May 20, 2011

more 5 Truths and a Lie

I liked this segment so much last month.........and all of the guesses and comments it generated, that I'm bringing it back.... 

Which is the Lie?

1. I have a litter box in my house that is used daily, but  I have no cat.

2.  I have been Para Sailing... at Lake Powell and in Hawaii.

3.  I have scuba dived at the Santa Rosa Shelf....90 feet down in the ocean.

4.  I have been up in a Hot Air Balloon.

5.  I have jumped out of an Airplane.

6.  I wore clogs all through High School.

Take a guess............. please???!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hearts and Homes

Hurrah for Families!
Isn't living in a family great? 
 Such a wonderful idea, of our Heavenly Father's, to send us down in groups called families.  
I'm blessed to be a wife, daughter, mother, aunt, sister and cousin in my family....and it's awesome to be in a ward family too.  We are all here to help each other and lift each and love each other.
I have fond memories of the family home that I grew up in and now, my own family home which grows and changes daily.  
My dad was a Real Estate Agent and we talked about houses a lot through my growing up years.  Still do.  We go to home shows and see the grand and glorious homes and  we go to different parts of our world and see the humble huts.

 Homes are varied and interesting.  
I marvel that Wayne grew up with 9 siblings---11 people in a 4 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath house.  11 of them all struggling for space under one small roof.  Wayne slept on the family room couch or awhile, and we laugh that Mark, his youngest brother, slept in the closet.  
Houses are okay........
Homes are better
There are many sayings out today that decorate people's homes:

Fill a house with love and it becomes a home.
If only there were no houses only homes.
Home is where your story begins.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Home is where you belong.

The  extended-Welch family hymn is -- Love at Home. 
 "There is beauty all around when there's love at home. "
This was sung around Grandpa Israelsen's hospital bed when Wayne was a bitty boy.......he  has a clear memory of this............and again as Wayne's Dad, Tom, was passing...we sang it around his bed.  

H is for Happiness, Holiness, Honesty
O is for Obedience, Organized
M is for Mind your own business  
E is for Enthusiasm, Education, Example and Endure to the end

Laila experessed out of the blue, and very dramatically, "Don't ever sell our home!  I just love our home!"
"Really, Laila, what do you love about it?" I asked.
Laila paused, and after some thought she said, "You know, the sinks and the walls and just everything."

I hope that "just everything" is the love she feels, we all feel, when we go home and get to hang out with our families.  I love my home too......but it's the people and not the sinks and walls that are the  truly important parts.  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Laila Day........changing

Laila has been leaving her Hannah Montana lunch box at school lately. 
She is forgetting it on purpose. 
I asked her about it and she said…she is over Hannah Montana and it’s embarrassing to have to use that lunch box every day .  She leaves it in the lunch room hoping that  a  1st grader  will take it.
  Pretty funny. 
I asked her why a first grader would want it, if she doesn’t want it??
She is begging for a brown paper sack lunch between now and the end of school…and a new lunch box for the beginning of 4th grade.
I didn’t want her to buy the Hannah Montana Lunch box 2 years ago.  I was opting for the plain red one.   I warned her this would happen…..That Hannah Montana would lose her appeal just like Dora the Explorer had years before.
I was right.
(I 'm always right.)
Laila is changing.  
She is growing up.
I asked her if she remembered her old imaginary friend who lived in our cereal cupboard for years?  When we remodeled the kitchen he went away. 
She couldn’t think of his name.....I couldn't either. 
She tried to re-enact it and emptied out the stuff under our kitchen sink and climbed in to talk to "his mother" and ask her for the name…. 
 She then called out from the cabinet …”Was it Carlos?” 
None of this worked to jog our memories.  
We ended up pulling out her baby scrapbook and looking through it for a record of the imaginary friend's name.
The name is Jarret.
Laila used to spend hours with her friend: talking gibberish, laughing, serving tea, telling me how smart Jarret was.  For years the cold cereal spent more time out of the cupboard than in and Laila was like Harry Potter living in the dark cubby with her little friend. 
 Laila colored in the cupboard and decorated it with stickers.  
She would cry if her brothers would step on him or tease her that Jarret wasn't real.   
The only one with any real sympathy was Addison who had his own imaginary friend, Linka, for years.

Things continue to change at our house. 
 First no Dora, then no Jarret and now no Hannah..... I wonder what's next?  

Laila in the cereal cupboard, spending time with her imaginary friend...Jarret, 2006
I continue to be amazed that I get to be Laila's mom. 
 Today is  Laila day! 
 We brought out sweet, baby girl home 9 years ago  and  she certainly changed our family for the better!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Choir Sniffles

I have been looking forward to Monson's final A'Capella choir concert since traveling with this great group  of kids to Canada. 
 Actually I have been looking forward to it since he was 11.......because I  enjoyed Addison's, Landon's  and Truman's concerts so much, and knew this one wouldn't disappoint. 

 Libby Gardner Hall on the U of U campus is a beautiful and acoustical place to sing.  It can make any  choir sound full and lush.   I especially enjoyed the 3 State choir pieces....the kids sing blended and precise and all three selections are so different....Highland Mary, I Will Be  Earth and Ev'rytime I Feel the Spirit.  
The song I cried through though...( okay I weeped) was a Christmas song....If This child Were Born Today. 
 First of all, Monson has a great face when he sings.  I know I have said this before ..but it's true.  He is involved and happy and lifted and you can just feel that he loves to sing.  Even Larry Smith, the  director, would agree with this.  It's a pleasure to watch Monson sing.   (It's also fun to watch Larry direct.)  
 Second, I love the words to this song about Jesus' birth.  It is moving and it touches me when they add The First Noel part into it.   
Finally........... If my life were a movie, then at this point, the choir would be  singing and we would have flashbacks of Monson's life on the screen.
Monson at 3 in the Primary program with his squinty, popeye look singing big and loud.
Monson at 4 singing with all of the Welch family in Fiddler on the Roof.....sneaking on stage to hold my hand during Sunrise Sunset.
Monson at 8 in his tuxedo singing in the 2nd grade  Friend program.
Monson at 9 singing Luck Be a Lady Tonight in a fedora and Hawaiian shirt to all of the 3rd grade.
Monson at 11 as Galvrache in Les Mis.....he sang and died and brought me to tears every night.
Monson at 14 in Boys Choir at Mueller Park Jr. High....they wore red vests and white hats.  Quite the showman!

Monson at musicals and in choirs.  Always smiling.  Always enjoying the songs.  Always singing.  
Monson with singing cousins...Jenna, Hayden and Becca
Man............this movie montage goes on and on........but you get the idea. 
 This is what was floating through my brain while Monson was on stage last night. 
That's why I cried.
Change is hard.
 I can't believe I won't get any more of these concerts...hopefully when  Laila grows up. 
It is always happening.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Go Fish '93

Okay….  I am here to confess.  I love being a mom, but there are many times I don’t.
There are many, many Joys of Motherhood and many Not so joys of Motherhood.

I was blessed with great waves of PMS every 28 days. 
 It seemed to get worse with each child I bore.
 By the fourth boy I was  ready to strike like a cobra at the littlest infraction.  Like clockwork, my once adored and cherished children would become the thorns in my side  and  the bane of my existence.  Their joyful laughs and squeaky voices would then grate on my last nerve and send me  and them into “time out.”  
When I look back on their childhood it’s me screaming and them running out of the room protecting their back sides for fear that the side of my foot would connect with the cush of their tush.
But here’s what I remember and know they remember it  as well. 
The GO FISH incident of ‘93….. 
Bear Lake
Addison 7 yrs, Landon 5 yrs., Truman 2yrs ( and Monson 6 months)….along with 5 other little cousins, were playing Go Fish while on the extended famiy vacation at Bear Lake.  All was well until time and time again there was crying over the Pink Fish cards.  If they didn’t "end up" with the Pink fishes there was screaming and sadness…… well, I’ll show them screaming and sadness.   I entered the game, grabbed all of the pink fish cards out of their chubby little hands and with upturned, cherubic, sad faces looking on,  I took those cards and tore them into little pieces over  the garbage can…. “NO.  More.  Pink.  Fish!!!”  “Play and be happy”…and I put myself in “time out”  in the condo bedroom. 
I know how  to have fun on vacation. 

 I don’t know why my 4 boys got to have this mother.  So many times I relive and regret and fear that they will all end up on Dr. Phil’s couch and say how their Mother was CRAZY through their ENTIRE childhood......Or maybe crazy once, every 28 days.
 These are the types of memories I recall as Mother’s Day closes. 
No wonder I think this holiday is only about my mother, Sheri,  and my mother in Law…Wanee.   I know who should really be honored and It’s not the crazy-fish-card –tearing  mom. 

Being a mom is tough.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

5 things I have learned by being a Mother

1.  Baby boys will always be baby boys.
2.  Teach children the important lessons in life how to fold a napkin into a bra.  I was taught this by my Sweet Grandma Butters and I have passed this knowledge down to my kids.  It's important...and they can entertain their friends....and be the life of the dinner party.

3.  Make your kids take Mother's Day pics with you every year, whether they want to or not.

4.  Mother's day is never about's about my mom and Wayne's Mom.....wonderful Mothers who have totally perfected the art of Mothering.

5.  Dinner time is relentless, bland and daily....and I will get better at it, probably when all of my children are gone.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Awesome Things

I was browsing in the book store on board the giant-cruise-ship-type ferry that was taking the choir kids to Victoria, BC..... I came across a book.....1,000 Awesome Things.................LOVED IT!!!
It lists things like......................

The kids table
The smooth feeling on your teeth when you get your braces off

Pulling a weed and getting all the roots with it

That moment in the shower when you decide to make it a really long shower

Letting go of the gas pump perfectly so you end on a round number

Picking the fastest moving line at the grocery store checkout

Coming back to your own bed after a long trip

I would agree.............ALL AWESOME

Now for some of my own AWESOME THINGS....

Watching tv shows on the internet on my own time and when I feel like it

Weather in St. George in MAY

Dove Dark Chocolate bar..............slowly melting on my tongue.

Finding the perfect fitting pair of jeans................and finding out they are ON SALE!

Laila's voice over the telephone enthusiastically telling me about her day

Fresh flowers by my kitchen sink

Computers that work quickly and never crash


a diet coke with mexican food

Wayne texting me with emoticons...........

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May--Embrace Change

It's MAY, It's MAY...the lovely month of May.....and my goal for this month is to Embrace Change.  

 I just changed my hair style...cut off about 6 inches and I am wearing it chin length and curly.  I like it.  I am thinking of going blonde now.  I want to change and  rearrange my's been a year in the same spots. I need to change up my dinner routine which is next to nothing, so how can I even call it a routine?  The seasons are finally changing.....

 I am okay with change in my head....... I need to wrap my heart around it a bit more.  
My family is changing and growing.
Truman is still missioning it up in Liverpool, England.
Landon is trying to head to West Yellowstone for the summer work months.
Monson has a few months left at home then by Aug 1st....he is off to Dixie State and St. George
Add and Bre are in London til the end of June. 

I said a prayer for my boys." I prayed that no matter where they go, or what curves life throws at them, they'll know I'm here. I cannot shield them from pain, I cannot ensure that they make good choices, but I can make certain they know, no matter what happens to them, as long as I live on this earth, they can come to me."  I guess that doesn't change.

Laila is with me daily, but growing up and changing so quickly.
No more "cute" things said and cuddling but more eye rolls and "Really mom? Really?" exasperated statements instead.

May is filled with birthdays, Mother's Day ( Tru's phone call), end of school choir concerts and graduations, wrapping up of my online school year, yard work and who knows what else will fill up my days???

Change is inevitable, might as well embrace it!

 In April I set a spiritual goal of attending the Temple more....I'm still working on this.....always.