Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Please! Click on this link and go and vote for AHC. This is what Levi has. Today is the last day and we've slipped to third place for the Pepsi Refresh project. Voting ends at the end of today. Only first and second place get funds. We desperatly need to find a cure for our AHC babies. Please help. It will only take but a second of your time.

Thank you!!

The Best Christmas Ever

I want to tell you a story I'd written about a year ago. It is a story about the best Christmas ever. It didn't start out that way... and it's a long read... but it was a Christmas that I'll never forget and a spirit of Christmas that I have tried to keep going since.

The Best Christmas Ever

October 2008 found me in the hospital fighting for my life with what we would find out to be a chronic illness. A little over a week later I was able to come home to start the up hill road towards building my strength and immune system.

As the weeks went by and Christmas drew nearer I became more and more depressed. Christmas in the past had been such a magical time of year for our family of seven children ages 14 to 3. I would spend the entire month filling it with everything I could think of that would make it exciting for the children. Whispering behind closed doors, children giggling as they tried to keep the gifts they were working on a secret from each other, hours spent in the kitchen with flour dusting all surfaces while plates upon plates of goodies were delivered to friends and neighbors, and a cheery “Merry Christmas” sung out.

I lamented to my husband one evening, “How can I create magic for the children when I am stuck in bed and so weak? I can't decorate our house. I can't make plates of goodies for the neighbors, I can't even shop for presents for the children”! My husband was busy trying to manage the house being both dad and mom, plus work, and his church callings. He was doing everything he could and creating “magic” in my terms just wasn't possible. He assured me that he would do his best to take care of Christmas but me laying in bed fretting over something I had no control over wasn't helping me to get any stronger.

My husband was right. I was spending too much time focusing on everything I could no longer do rather than on what I can do. I decided then and there that it was time to focus on our blessings and that I was going to pull up my boot straps and this was going to be the best Christmas ever. I needed a theme. “A Christ Centered Christmas” came to my mind. Sitting in bed with my laptop, my excitement grew as I poured over ideas on I prayed asking Heavenly Father for inspiration. I wanted this Christmas to be the best Christmas ever!

Slowly things started to come together. The Saturday after Thanksgiving as was tradition, my husband took all of the kids into the mountains and found the most beautiful evergreen tree in the entire forest and brought it home. He and the kids set the tree up putting on the lights and garland as I had asked, leaving off the ornaments. The only decoration we put up was the nativity. I wasn't able to put up anything more. I also had the kids dig out a wooden box we'd used in the past when the kids would dress up acting out the nativity. A box one of the wise men would bring his gift in.

Sunday evening the family gathered around my bed as I explained what I had been working on. We sang some Christmas hymns and after a word of prayer I told the kids about the ultimate gift the Savior had given to us. For the entire month of December in His honor we would give gifts to the Savior and after each gift was given, we'd place an ornament on the tree. The gifts we would give would be acts of service that we would perform through out the month. Each evening we would gather around the nativity next to the Christmas tree, sing a Christmas hymn, have a word of prayer and with the help of the Gospel Art kit read scriptures about the life of the savior, and then draw a slip of paper out of the wooden box. Our gift of service that we'd give the following day.

Each evening we'd talk about the acts of service we'd given and then draw out a new slip of paper that would have something written on it. Things that the kids could do together that they could do on their own since I was in bed and my husband was busy trying to keep on top of everything. Things like, “Go and read to an elderly couple in the neighborhood the “Christmas Orange” story and give them an orange when you are finished. Or Donate something useful (toys) to those who are in need. Or Surprise someone you know with an act of service (shovel sidewalk, sweep floor, make his or her bed) Or Make a Christmas card for the Bishop Or Write your testimony in a “Book of Mormon” and give it to the missionaries to give away.

Other acts of service were also recognized as the children caught onto the vision and did things for each other on their own.

As each ornament was placed on the tree and the act of service recognized, the spirit grew stronger in our home and our love for each other and the season grew. On Christmas Eve when the “Christmas Story” was read aloud and the children once again acted it out in front of our Christmas Tree, covered in our gifts we'd brought to the Savior over the past month, my heart swelled inside of me and I rejoiced. Our Christ Centered Christmas was the best Christmas we'd ever had. An entire month had been spent in the act of giving and we received so much more because of it. This truly had been, the best Christmas ever.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Thanksgiving 2010 came and went. This is Thanksgiving gospel by Rachel: Thanksgiving should be spent with family and loved ones. Amen!
Photo credit

We ate a ton of this..........(sorry, no photo of us actually eating or of the food. The photographer was too busy stuffing her face.)

Photo credit

We played a bunch of these.......(sorry, no photos of the game playing. The photographer was too busy trash talking and trying to slide cards under her chair without being noticed...... WHAT?)

We went up in the mountains and played in the snow....... (I say "we" loosely. Somebody had to stay in the truck and make sure no one stole it! It's a rough job. I volunteered beings as I'm tough, nice, and sacrificing like that.)

We chopped down and carried one of these down the mountain.....

Hey! I could have cut/sawed it down if I'd wanted but being the unselfish mum that I am..... I let my boys! They need the experience and they can't get experience if I am always stepping in for them now can they? I learned that in parenting 101...

I even had my baby girl chop down a tree! That. Is how you become a ten cow wife. She's in training......

We taught ourselves how to crochet and made one of these......

We took several of these.....

And made one of these.....

Hope your Thanksgiving was just as fun, plentiful, and fattening.....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Not sure who to give photo credit to or who artist of painting is..

Truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Home and Hearth
Atonement, my Savior Jesus Christ
Kind neighbors and friends
Umbilical cords (telephones, cell phones, internet, skyping, web cams)
Loads of chocolate

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like......

Oh my gosh! I can't even believe you would think that word let alone say it! It's not even December yet!

I was going to say the other "C" word.... chaos!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Most Definetly A Monday.....A Levi Monday...

After a weekend of celebrating our Mr. M's 12th birthday, we fell into bed Sunday evening looking forward to a long uninterrupted night of beauty sleep. Heck, I didn't even need it to be beauty. I just wanted sleep.

Amazingly, we made it to bed at a decent hour and I soon found myself in a deep sleep. A deep sleep which I was violently wakened from. You know the kind. The kind where you have a fire alarm go off and even though it's just the idiot alarm screaming it's piercing head off, it has your heart going a hundred miles an hour and your eye balls are bouncing around trying to get the sleep out and focus on something.

A flood of light hit The SM and I. My squinty eyes tried to focus on the person standing next to our bed. Tears in his eyes Levi tried telling us that something was wrong. It was evident something was wrong but I couldn't understand what he was trying to tell me. He kept pointing to his tummy.

I got out of bed and told Levi to show me. As I followed him out into the hall that is when I was jerked into the reality of the situation as my eyes came into focus on the mess that was all down his side and clear up his back.

I yelled to Levi to STOP! Go in the bathroom and wait for me. I went into his room and as the smell assaulted me I confirmed one of my worst nightmares. Why oh why can't diapers be fool proof? Why oh why must they not contain that which should be contained?

It was vile. It was disgusting. I know. I'm his mother. I shouldn't say such things about a child who has special needs right? Well, guess what? I'm saying it. It's part of Levi. A not so pleasant part of him but it is part of loving and caring for Levi.

I put Levi in the tub after I stripped off his pajamas and diaper that under the circumstances, really did try to do it's job.... it was just too big of a job...

The washing machine was set into action as bedding and clothing were brought down. Meanwhile, another Native was awakened and needed the lou. Plugging his nose he dove downstairs to use that bathroom and asked what in the world that smell was. I started running around madly lighting candles. When I was finished it looked like I should start chanting and praying.

Top to bottom (literally) Levi was scrubbed up. A new diaper put on, bed re-made with fresh clean sheets, and child put back to bed as me, the mum, continued to clean up the mess.

What seemed like ages, I fell into bed and hoped for the best. That the few hours remaining of the night would find me in deep slumber.

Fast forward a tidge and once again replay only this time, it spewed forth from both ends...... This time, The SM took over the cleaning.

The washing machine and dryer continue to run as eruption follows eruption.

The tank is finally empty and there is nothing left to erupt. Thank heavens!

Levi is sitting on the couch, the throw up bucket (plastic mixing bowl) perched on his head, a big round hat, watching a movie about bears. Some National Geographic thing picked up from the library. I ask him how he is doing. He looks at me and says, "I love you momma".

I look at my bucket head baby who has exhausted me and drained me of all energy today and I say, "I love you too, Levi". My heart and soul renewed and filled to the brim.

I love that kid.

Save the Turkeys!

The local kindergartners are on a crusade. They read a story about some turkeys who disguised themselves in the hopes of escaping...... the..... guillotine!

Their mission should they accept it, to take their turkey and disguise it.

Mission accomplished.

Peace, Love, and Happiness,

The Force

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Photo by Backroads Photography

Mr. M turns 12 today!!

Me: You're 12 today! Do you feel any different?

Mr. M.: No, I'm still short.

Miss K.: You're growing shorter.

Mr. M.: Yeah. Basically. And it's not growing. It's shrinking! You can't GROW shorter.

Me: Matt! You are getting so wise in your old age. See? There is a difference!! Do you feel smarter?

Mr. M: (He shakes his head no). If I were smarter, I'd wish my birthday were before Wednesday cuz I took a test. But, since you don't get smarter, it doesn't matter. I'd have still gotten an 85%.

Me: Maybe the smart powers are in the birthday cake! You'll be smarter when you have your cake!

Mr. M: No, smart powers you get from going to school and paying attention in school!

Me: Who paid you to say that? The teachers? The principal?

Mr. M: (Grinning) Yeah.........

Me: Sucker! It's in the fudge sauce on the ice cream!

Mr. M: I don't like fudge sauce.

Me: Which is why you will never be smart OR GROW! Growth hormones are in fudge sauce.

Mr. M: I already AM smart!

Me: Oh! Well, happy birthday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


When the local fire and paramedics are doing their training and need volunteers to be the victims...... we are more than happy to fall to the occasion.

Quit smiling punk. You're supposed to be dead! Hey! Wait a second!! How come the blood is flowing down your face when you are upside down..... Somethin's not right with this picture! I want a second opinion! Now! Stat!!

Mr. C said it was a fun evening and he was glad he'd volunteered....that is..... until they left him for dead and went and worked on someone else. He felt that was rude but then got over it quick when they gave him donuts as consolation.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Look What I Just Bought!

I am in so much doo doo. My neighbor showed me these last night. I fell. I fell hard. I had to buy the pattern.

There's just one problem.

I knit. These are crochet.

I don't know how to crochet!!

But I don't care! I don't care that Christmas is only a little over a month away.

There's a reason I've been called a knit whit!

I don't care if it kills me!

I am going to figure out/learn how to crochet.

Because I think The Native's who are begging me to make them these....

Will just be tickled pink/purple/orange/green to find these on Christmas morning.

Hopefully The Native's won't notice that a certain character that they used to call me is missing. Crossing my fingers that they will be amply intoxicated on Christmas sugar and egg nog.

Love and peace out,

Jabba da Hut

Here is the link if you want to buy from this seller. Link

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Romeo and Juliet

Mr. B's English project. Romeo and Juliet 1930's style

There is another video that is hilarious that I can't get on here. The gal videoing this was a weeee bit fascinated with the half naked tennis player in the back and spent a good portion of the videoing time zooming in on him while the actors kept waiting and waiting and waiting for her to get back to the project.

Watch closely the end credits. :D Hormonal teenagers! Gotta love em!

Romeo: Played by Mr. B....... naturally........

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

School Marm



*Wash windows & clean classroom with soap and water once a week. I don't see a problem with that.

*Check outhouses daily. (Plenty of old catalogues are available at School Board office.) I can only imagine the sorts of catalogues a School Board office would have and I'm sure the students had absolutely no problem what so ever wiping their bums with them!

(Forbidden wear in Public at All Times)


(1) A bathing costume Did schools have pools back then?

(2) Bloomers for cycling Would bloomers for mountain climbing be appropriate?

(3) Skirts slit to expose ankles Because someone might see your bloomin' bloomers!

(4) bustle extension over 10 inches And what happens if you had an especially round bum that naturally stuck out further than ten inches?


(1) Detachable collar & necktie removed from shirt Indecent! Might see his neck!

(2) Shirt sleeves unlinked & rolled That! Would imply that he was hard at work!

(3) Hair closely cropped (unless bald or have disease of the scalp) Naturally.

(Cause for Immediate Dismissal)

*Smoking of cigarettes, use of spirits, frequenting of pool or public dance halls. Define "frequent" ing...

*Marriage or other unseemly behavior by women teachers. Marriage! Oh absolutely unseemly! Downright wicked of a woman!

*Joining of any Feminist Movement, such as the Suffragettes. Because she actually might 'educate' the uneducated males of the world! In her unseemly manner....

Signed by the Superintendent Sept. 15, 1886

No wonder female teachers back in the day were known to be old crotchety mean toads. The SM read this and while laughing said, "Knowing you, you'd show up with a 15 inch bustle in your bloomin' bathing costume in 'high spirits'!

I thought that downright indecent and unseemly of him! My bustle would have been 20 inches!

Monday, November 8, 2010


For those of you who live in the area, If you see me at the school dropping off the little Native's, I won't be offended if you walk on the other side of the hallway. In fact, I won't even be offended if you take an entirely different hallway!

Image shamelessly stolen from here

I am babysitting these guys this week!

Another image that I have no regret stealing from here.

Which means I'm walking around in these.

Because I'm stepping in and shoveling this stuff.

And no matter how many mud puddles I step in on the way back to the truck they still look and smell like..... chewed up grass!

And it is raining out so I'm wearing one of these because naturally curly hair that you've spent the morning straightening and rain do not get along.

But then again, neither do rain and hay. It tends to stick and get into everything. The hay. Add rain to it and you've got a hat covered in hay lint!

The end result! Me smelling rather odoriferous and looking a bit like Mrs. Indiana Jones! Better watch out! Not only do I know how to wield a manure rake! I can crack a whip too! Just ask The Native's!

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's All About How You Look At It!

Yesterday I spoke of my addiction.

As I filled up seven boxes and one grocery bag worth of books to be donated and two huge garbage bags for the trash, I looked around at all of the books piled on the floor around me. I looked at the shelves. The shelves I'd just dusted and were ready for the books to go back on.

Now, I'm no genius but..... even I could tell that my goal of having all of the shelves with one single row of books on them was not going to be met.

The shelves quickly filled and once again I was doubling up the shelves with all of my books I am not willing at this time to part with.

At first I was discouraged and then! I saw it! The light!

There are a few shelves that aren't doubled up!! Do you know what this means???

I've room for more books!

Some addictions are just not worth the effort of over coming.........

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Hi! My name is Rachel and I have an addiction to buying books. A bad one.

Up until now, I didn't think of it as a problem. I could quit. Sure! Anytime I wanted! Not buy a book...... pfft. Piece of cake.

I have several large and tall book cases in my house and through out my house. They are full. Most of the shelves are doubled up. You can't see the books in back because of the books in front. And the books laying across the tops of the books. And the books piled on the floor next to the shelves....

I'm okay with this! I like books. They are my friends. They keep me company. They make me happy. They make a room feel warm and cozy.

The SM has been trying to get me to down size for quite some time now. Admittedly, I have a few books that were bought and not loved to death but still made their way to the shelves. There are some books that have been so loved by little ones the only thing left is a middle page or two.

I told The SM the other day I was ready. I was ready to finally go through all of our books and get rid of those that could either be donated or thrown in the trash because they are missing most of the pages.

This morning, I got out boxes and was ready to impress The SM by the huge dent I'd make.

I started to pull the books off of the shelves going through them one by one. After a few hours I looked around me to assess how well I was doing! One little box full for donation, a garbage bag full for the trash, and heaps upon heaps of books ready to go right back up on the shelves........ Baby steps okay!!

I called The SM and told him what I was doing. I was finally addressing and doing something about my addiction to buying books! He'd be so proud of me when he came home and saw that I'd cleaned out some of my books.

Speaking of books, that reminded him that our baby girl wanted him to get her a book she wants to read from the library. I got all excited, "Oh honey! They have the WHOLE SERIES at Cost-Co! Hard bound! I'm going later to get groceries. I could pick up the whole set for her!!!"

Hi! My name is Rachel. I have an addiction to buying books. A bad one.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Flying High

Last Wednesday night was filled with anticipation as our truck was loaded up with Mr. T's eagle project that would be delivered the following day.

When we first started the project, we figured it would take about a month to complete. That was months ago...... before the car accident that took our summer and sent us spinning. Finally! After months and months, the project was completed with the help of many willing hands.

Thursday after school, Mr. T, Levi, and I drove up to the Primary Children's Hospital meeting The SM on the way. As we pulled up in front and met the lady in charge of service/eagle projects, we told her we'd need carts. Several carts to haul in his project.

I can not convey to you what took place as Mr. T brought in his project. I can tell you that Levi and I got several laughs as we jammed up the revolving doors trying to get our carts out!

People stopped and asked questions and when they found out that Mr. T had done this for his eagle project and that it was for the children at the hospital they were amazed.

Amazed isn't even the right word! Maybe you have to have a child that goes there to understand how we parents feel when others do even the tiniest thing to make our kids lives a little brighter. A little happier.

Levi was more than happy to show how the dollys and ramp worked. Over and over and over again. The security officers got a big kick out of watching Levi going down the ramp.

All of these items are in the neurology department. Mr. T wanted them to go specifically where his little brother goes. He knows that it is tough having to go here.

It's scary.

It can be painful. The waiting can be long.

Thanks to kids like Mr. T who do service projects for the Primary Children's Hospital,

it makes a difficult situation a little bit easier for both the children and the parents. And for a kid like Mr. T, it brought him great satisfaction that he was able to look through a catalog for special needs children, see the prices which angered him, and decided to do something about it by choosing some items he thought he could build, and then seeing to it that it was done.