Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dam Sunshine

April 27:  

It was a dark and dreary day and my sister texted to say she was having a bad morning.    

Another sister  and I texted her a few funny memes to her to try to get her to laugh, but ultimately I decided that the best way I could help her feel better was  by putting on our best "sunshine in my soul" shirts for her and singing her a song. 


Because a little dam sunshine in your soul is always a good thing!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sings Like An Angel

April 26:  
Here is a video of the song Emma sang in sacrament meeting on Sunday.    We loved hearing her practice it for the last several weeks and we were not surprised that we got many compliments that she sounded like "an angel." 

Although she actually performed it on Sunday, I'm putting this on for Tuesday's "picture", because it took me way too many hours on Tuesday trying to figure out how to actually capture it on video.  

I know well how to take a video, but trying to do it while even semi-preserving the clear sound quality of her voice was actually rather difficult.   We decided that the poor quality video was the trade-off, so you can hear her voice without too much of the tinniness that our electronics kept adding.   

Love my Emma girl! 


Monday, April 25, 2016

The Perfect Date

April 25  
4? years old. 
Cake made by Ellie. 
Way too many candles. 
Quintuple layer lemon cake. 
Flowers for the deck from Spence. 
Compassion Experience with kids.
Fridge cleaned out by Cami. 
Dinner made by Emma. 
I am blessed. 
April 25


April 24:  
On Sunday morning, we woke up refreshed with the woes of yesterday forgotten and so excited to just to be all together again!   

It was the first time we'd all been to church together in quite a while...
and I was a proud mama as I sat there with all my little ducklings lined up on the bench next to us. 

Emma also sang a solo and sounded like an angel, which made my mother heart swell even more!   I have an audio version of one of her practices, but I'm  still trying to figure out how to share it here on the blog.  

Happy early birthday to me! 


A Tale in NUMB3RS

April 23:   

After 6 weeks of painting, oodles of reorganizing, and having 2 kids displaced out of their bedroom, 
we got a 3 hour window on Saturday for getting  2 new beds and 1 desk delivered.
After the delivery we went to work and spent the next 10 hours moving kid #4 to his own room and kid #3 out of her own room to share with kid #5, after which kid #2 promptly came home from college and displaced kid #4 from the room he'd had for himself for all of 2 hours, so she could take it over for the next 3 months before she goes on her mission to France for 18 months.  It was a long day of being on task and I am a little embarrassed to admit that every single 1 of the 6 of us that were home most of the day were well past our threshold of being well functioning and happy by the end of the day.   In fact, at 1 point, we sneaked away from the work for a quick dinner at a local Italian place, and I may or may not have burst into tears in the middle of dinner when kid #? broached a subject about which I was very sensitive about.   That was the first time I've hard a good hard cry in public in like 43 years, which ironically is how old I turn on April 25

Ignore the lack of decorations,  poor quality of picture, sloppily made beds,  and the extra mattress in the middle of the floor.   That's just how we roll around here.   

Friday, April 22, 2016

My True Feelings

April 22: 

Something that made me happy:   I found a good deal on AirBnB for our upcoming trip. 

Something I am relieved about:   I am finally done teaching my 6-week Civic class at the Friday co-op!  While I had a lot of fun doing it, it did cause me a lot of stress to plan it each week.  It truly was a joy to teach a great group of students and somehow I think the students genuinely enjoyed learning about Civics as much as I did! 

Something that made me mad:  We had a five-mile hike planned to do with the young women this morning.   All the weather reports said it was going to rain and thunderstorm through most of the day, so we ended up cancelling it.    It barely rained a drop all day.  

Something that made me madder:    I ordered something back in February to support a friend, but after almost three months, I'm realizing that I've been scammed.  Not by the friend, but by the company, who likely scammed her as well.   

Something that made me smile:  Emma's on a super cool high adventure trip in Harper's Ferry, WV and Adam played in his first ever flag football practice and game tonight.  Adam made two "tackles" and really enjoyed his first time playing.   I haven't heard anything from Emma, but I'm sure she's having a great time too. 

Something that I was disappointed about:  I tried to plan something a tiny bit frivolous, but it morphed into something super convenient and boring. 

Something that perplexed me:   Adam and Glen were invited on a 10-mile hike that started at 10:00pm and they were both excited to go.   I will not be waiting up for them! 

Something I am looking forward to:   Cami's coming home on Saturday night!!!!!!    

Something I'm worried about:   (besides my kids having to get their repeat blood tests) Car and sleeping logistics when Cami gets home.    Actually I worry about a whole lot more than that, but most of it's too personal to publish in a public forum.  

Something I'm proud of:  After totally falling off the wagon during spring break, we're finally back to reading our scriptures consistently again.  

Something to brag about:  Cami got straight A's for her entire first year at BYU!  A straight 4.0!    And she took some very challenging pre-nursing courses (Organic Chemistry, Anatomy, etc).  Here's hoping it's enough to get her into the nursing program!   

My Civics students! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Recipe for Instant Panic

April 21:  

Recipe for Instant Panic
serves one

1 mom of a leukemia survivor 
1 phone call that starts off by saying "The lab just called about your daughter's blood test..."
1 nervous looking nurse who won't let you leave your son's well-child check-up without talking to the doctor about his abnormal blood test results

Serve it all up within 45 minutes of each other and VOILA!   Instant anxiety and panic.   Serves one.  


Alas, you can rest assured, though,  that I would not be sitting here calmly blogging about it  if there was anything serious going on.    

Ellie's blood test had been incorrectly processed and her neurologist was just calling to tell me that she needed to have it repeated.     And several of Adam's blood markers were low by only a tiny bit, so I strongly suspect that it has to do with the tiny amount of blood they were able to collect from his finger poke.     
Lucky for me, my anxiety level is now almost normal again.    
Unlucky for the kids, they both have to have repeat blood tests.  

Breathe, Lara, breathe.      


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Forbidden Riding

April 20:  
My kids think bike riding is the irresistible forbidden fruit.  We avoided it for so long because of Ellie's seizures, but they still beg to do it all the time.  Her seizures finally seem to be getting a little better lately, so today I took them to the park to practice riding their bikes in a safe place.   

It was awesome.     
They rode so long, they got tired and bored.  


Little Monkeys

April 19: 
We recently joined a gym and have enjoyed the opportunity to work out in all kinds of weather.  I also really like being able to lift weights.   The kids, however, are in love with the swimming pool and the rock climbing wall.  Unfortunately the rock climbing wall is only open in the evenings, so we don't get there very often.   

Whenever we have a clear spot in our schedule,  Ellie and Adam beg to be able to go.  Tonight we finally got there again.    

 Ellie really likes the challenge and will tackle the same wall again and again until she gets it.   These walls were a little tougher than they had been at the other location, but she was a trouper and got about 3/4 of the way up a few times!

Adam's injuries from his bear/pavement/leprosy attack were a bit of a hindrance to him this time, but he had fun and got  to the top on a couple of them.  

I even tried it for a while and was surprised at how good of a workout it actually was.   I don't think I'll be scaling any mountains anytime too soon, but I might join the kids again in the future! 


Monday, April 18, 2016


April 18:  
This actually happened a few days ago, but I finally got around to capturing the carnage for the blog.   

How did he sustain his injuries?    

You decide:   

1. Fending off a rabid grizzly attack and saving four people's lives in the process
2. Running through a parking lot with friends and tripping over the curb headlong onto the pavement
3.  By contracting leprosy

You'll never know, but you will now know that cakes are serious business around our house. 
Emma created this piece of art for Tim's birthday.   It's a funfetti cake with Cami's famous berry frosting.  We all really, really liked it, but I think next time we'll add more sprinkles.  


Sunday, April 17, 2016


April 17: 
I started the day confident and feeling like a bit like an attorney.
It didn't take long though, to realize that perhaps I should go to law school before endeavoring again to engage in semi-intelligent arguing.     I left the experience feeling disappointed and a bit stupid. 

Luckily I enjoyed the talks at church today and felt inspired by this story of the hidden wedges that one of the speakers shared.  

"Where do hidden wedges originate? Some come from unresolved disputes, which lead to ill feelings, followed by remorse and regret. Others find their beginnings in disappointments, jealousies, arguments, and imagined hurts. We must solve them—lay them to rest and not leave them to canker, fester, and ultimately destroy."  

The issue that I was arguing has been ongoing for a couple months now and I just need to realize that it's not going to be resolved the way I hoped it would.  One person still holds way too many cards in this situation (and it ain't me).  At least, though, concessions are finally being made.  I have to acknowledge that it is what it is and I need to make efforts to remove the wedge of bitterness (at feeling like this issue is being left only partially resolved) from my own life.  Me continuing to beat what has clearly become a dead horse is not hurting the horse a bit.  I'm the one needlessly expending energy and effort where it has ceased to be effective.   

And with that I will curse the stinking federal government one last time for robbing us blind this tax season and bid you a good {wedg(i)e free} night. 


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Almost Losing Diamonds

April 16:  
I'm not quite sure how this happened, but I was sitting at the computer today and randomly noticed that a diamond had fallen out of my wedding ring.   

The diamond was just sitting on the table right in front of me, so thankfully it's not lost.   

 We were supposed to have been going on a walk right then, but Glen was laboring over doing our taxes (yes, we're procrastinators) instead, which meant the diamond was at least not lying along a trail somewhere.   

Our taxes this year are extremely horrible and we spent the day venting our  bitter feelings towards the extortionist thieves that call themselves the US government. 

But at least I didn't lose a diamond too. 


The Birthdays

April 15:   
April is a big month for birthdays on my side of the family.    We've got Andrew (on the 5th), Tim and Tom (on the 15th), Lauren and McKenzie (on the 17th), Mika (on the 24th), Me (on the 25th), and Spencer (on the 30th).   So that means that there are four family members celebrating birthdays just this weekend and we got to celebrate with three of those four!   

The twins had a day off of school today, so Ellie went and spent the night at their house to help celebrate their birthday.  She excitedly bought presents with her own money and came home giddy and full of energy.  It was cute to see how much fun the girls genuinely have together.  

I took Ellie straight from the cousins' house to an evening of cake decorating at a friend's house.  She could barely contain her excitement when she got home and got to deliver her special creation directly to the birthday boy of the day....Uncle Tim!    
We also went out and tried a new ice cream shop tonight.   The ice cream was creamy and delicious. 
 Cake, ice cream, birthday goodies....I can't figure out why, but my quest for healthful eating is not going so well this month. 


Friday, April 15, 2016

Minions and Laurels

April 14:  
On Thursday, we went on a field trip to the minion power plant.   The odor there was rather unpleasant, but it was pretty cool to see the process of how they turned trash into energy (this video is made by the company we visited and the inside of the plant looked very similar to what is shown).   

We went there to fulfill a requirement for a merit badge for scouting, but we all left there a little more knowledgeable about where our trash goes and learned about ways that the waste to energy industry is looking to become even more efficient.    
Later that night we had mutual.  My Laurel class is huge right now and we had a great night together.  They're such an amazing group of girls and I love the time I get to spend with them! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Getting Back to the Swing of Things and An Accidental Offense

My iPhone camera is currently giving me issues, which is making keeping up with my Project 365 quite challenging.  I need a camera that's actually with me for me to be able to truly capture the moments that make up our day.  I think I may need to reset it back to the factory settings to get it to work again.    So here is a mostly picture-less summary of the last few days.  

April 13:   We had a sibling birthday dinner at Cheesecake Factory today.   We laughed a lot, made some plans, then accidentally offended all the rest of our siblings in a group text.   We're awesome like that.

April 12:  We finally made some progress on our trip planning!    We're down to less than a month before we leave and it was high time we actually started pulling some of the itinerary together!

April 11: We finally got back to our daily scripture study again this week.  We'd fallen off the wagon during spring break and it took until this week to get back into the swing of it.   We're in the throes of Alma right now and my kids are having giggling fits every time someone passes out when the spirit comes upon them.   We also had a great Family Home Evening taught by Adam and Glen.  

April 10:   It was Fast Sunday here, but Cami was giving a talk about the atonement in her ward at BYU, so I spent the morning going over her talk with her.  I was grateful to not have any church meetings that day, so that I could help her longer.   Emma made a chipotle salad for our break-the-fast dinner.

April 9:  I took the whole family to work out at the gym and got there to realize that the childcare center closes early on the weekends.   I took the kids to the pool (at the gym) instead, but had to stay there and watch them, so I didn't actually get to exercise.    I may or may not have been a bit grumpy by that fact.  We then rushed Emma home to a friend's house and ate dinner at the Olive Garden.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Rest of the Week

April 5:  
It was a long day with a lot of driving, a lot of socializing with people I don't know, Glen not getting home until 3am,  and me feeling a tad grumpy.   

April 6:  
This day probably deserves a blogpost all to itself, so here's the picture, and you can look for a separate blogpost about my trip to the FDA for an AML conference coming soon. 

April 7: 
The kids are still eating hard-boiled eggs from Easter and Ellie thought that this pear/lemon/garlic shaped yolk was so cool! 

April 8: 
Finally I had a day to breathe a bit!   After spinning my wheels all week long (especially with the AML conference taking up two of the days), I finally got to cross a few things off my list.   We ended with a night at the local middle school to watch five of my young women (and three young men from our ward) perform in Beauty and the Beast.   

Adam's long-time best friend, Logan, was an awesome Lumiere!

 I never did catch a picture with all of them at the same time, but here's Bella (cutlery), Maeve (a wolf), Martha (my next seat over neighbor in the audience), and Alyvia (cutlery).  

And here's Martha again, a random friend I don't know, Alyvia, Alyvia's brother, Everett, and Gianna (a member of the backstage crew)! 

It was a fun way to end the night and now we're just waiting until the wee hours of the morning again for Glen to come home! 

Monday, April 4, 2016

boring boring boring

April 4: 
No one wins the grand prize on the quiz from yesterday.   Winning requires guessing, which requires reading the quiz in the first place, which means that no one was ever going to win even if I waited 48 years.   So you'll never know what the right answer is.   Please don't cry.   Or cheer.   Or whatever.  

Today I saw a rainbow and wrote the most boring blogpost ever.  

Good night. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Super Hard Quiz

Long-time readers of this blog know that I love making random quizzes about our life and promising prizes of gazillions of dollars for those who answer it correctly.  Too bad for you I don't have gazillions of dollars to offer, so instead I'm offering something much awesomer that money.  Anyone who answers this quiz correctly will earn the privilege of choosing the subject for my next blogpost.   Any subject.   This is your chance!   Include your topic of choice along with your guess in the comments below.      


Over the course of the last three days....

a) I found a drowned mouse in a jug of water in our garage
b)  I finished reading my book for book group
c) the power went out for 10+ hours
d) I recorded an embarrassingly obnoxious video of myself 
e) we started renovating the kids' room
f) the missionaries watched conference  and played games with us 
g) I had over 100 text notifications on my cell phone at once 
h) Ellie made homemade pop tarts for a general conference snack
i) I published a super short general conference summary on my blog
j) all of the above
k) none of the above 
l) all but one of the above
m) three of the above

April 1:

April 2:  

April 3:   

Friday, April 1, 2016

Cooking It Up

March 31:
The best part about my calling at church is the opportunity that I have to spend with these amazing young women each week!     They're hard-working, fun to be with, and beacons of goodness in our community.  I absolutely love the time I get to spend with them.   

For this week's activity we worked on passing off our cooking requirements for YW camp.   

 It was a challenge to keep the fire going and make sure that all of the different levels of girls  passed off  their different requirements, 

but it was truly fun to see their sweet interactions with each other as they spent the evening on a beautiful night in the great outdoors.  

Even my Laurels, who didn't have any requirements to pass off for camp, had a great time! 

 I am grateful for each one of these wonderful young women...

and feel blessed to know them! 

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