Days 2017

Days 2017

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Making Lemonade

Our church schedule recently switched to afternoons, and while languishing (ha! you just got  glimpse of the real me.  I couldn't remember if it was "lying" or "laying", so I took the easy way out...) in bed last Sunday morning, Boston came in and announced that he was going to make pancakes, a first for him.  Great, I said, and rolled over.  He comes back after a few minutes, kind of talking fast and excited.  He had been reading the cook book.

"Mom, do we have any buttermilk?"

"mm hmm.  bottom shelf of the door.  big white carton."

"'Cause if we don't, I know what to do!  You just take two cups of lemon juice, and a little bit of milk, and add that instead.  I can't find the buttermilk."  He ran back out.

I rolled back over, opened my eyes, and made darn sure that he found the buttermilk.

We had another happy morning on Friday.  Mark's coworkers have gotten him to do this diet that they've been on, an he's been pretty happy with it.  He says it's been easy and he is now down to his wedding weight, having lost about 30 lbs since September.  It has been gradual but noticeable the whole time, or so I thought.

The kids, though, have not been paying much attention.  I guess because they usually see their Dad in his suitcoat on Sunday or in his baggy yardwork/football watching sweats.  Anyway, he bought some new jeans and came out wearing them on Friday morning.  (Mark calls them his midlife crisis jeans--he'll be turning 40 this spring.)  He looked great and no, I did not think it was appropriate to take a picture.

"Whoa, Dad!" says Cooper, eyes big.  "How did you get taller?"

Mark's luck continued to hold.   He had a cavity free checkup that morning, a life-insurance exam that gave him his best stats ever, and that night we went out to Ruby River steakhouse to celebrate his best-ever week at work (10 closings, 5 in one day) and his meeting his diet goal.  The waitress even complimented him on his jacket.  (Or so he thought, as he sheepishly confessed the next day.  She had been talking to me.)

Ruby River is not cheap, and we haven't been there for quite some time.  I remember going there with mom and dad to celebrate our BYU graduation, and going there with our friends the Rowleys when both my friend and I were 8 or so months pregnant with Boston and her son Easton.  That was a fun one.  We both were like, bring on the beef! and we could barely squeeze into the booth.  We miraculously ate more than the guys but I do remember taking multiple trips to the bathroom and laughing as we had to try to squeeze BACK into the booth, again.

To preface what happens next, let me just bring up a little trend I may have mentioned before.  Everywhere we go, usually when we are on a date, people come out of the woodwork that know Mark.  "Mark Day, Mark Day!  Hey, it's Mark!  Mark Day, wuzzup?  Hey Mark! Long time no see, man," etc.  I should have been warned when the one guy he knew in all of Canada, an old mission companion, spotted us as we were taking wedding pictures on the grounds of the Cardston Alberta Temple.  (Mark is also one of those annoying people who always win things at raffles and drawings.  I get him back when we go to church in smalltown Montana and everyone knows our business.  Ha.)  Well, it happened again, this time it was a co-worker from years ago.

When the ticket came (and Mark had ordered the prime rib) our bill had already been taken care of.  Thanks Albert!

Mark is on such a roll that this morning I informed him that he is even breaking into my subconscious.  Luke, at 6:45, had just woken me from a vivid dream where I had been examining the contents of my locker on the first day of high school.  I had been bewildered by a note on the inside of my locker door that just read, "Mark, XOXOX".  When I woke up I realized it was in my husband's handwriting.  Awwww, sweet!  Especially since (you see, our life is not completely perfect) I had been mad at him all afternoon yesterday for not patching a crucial bike tire.  He wanted to update the 72 hr emergency kits instead.  The nerve.

He is not the only hero around here, however.  When we carved pumpkins this year, we asked Luke what his jack o' lantern should be named.

He proudly answered, "Grandpa!"
I don't know if that was a compliment or not, since this "Grandpa" has neither hair nor teeth.
Luke was Buzz Lightyear for Halloween.  He is still tickled about the whole thing; every time I play Toy Story Memory with him, he flips over the Buzz card and yells, "It's me!"  Trick or treating, however, was a bit of a bust.  He had just woken up from a late nap and was super cranky and would only go to a few houses before Mark dumped him back off here.  I did like the way he ate his candy, though.  He'd choose one, I'd open it, he'd lick it or nibble it and declare, "I don't like this one", and ask for another.  Fine with me!

We were all rays of sunshine for Halloween.
 As you can see, we were missing one of our crew.  She has a life.
Here she is at her concert earlier that week.  All the kids were supposed to wear their costumes.  I thought her hair looked so beautiful under the lights and I just kept staring at her.  Can't you see her glow?  (I know, I'm biased, that may just be the spotlight...)

She was Alice in Wonderland, which was very appropriate for her trip to...Las Vegas.  I thought the playing cards in the pocket were a nice touch.  She had her last marching band competition there, on Halloween.  That night they wore their costumes and went to the Tournament of Kings at Ex Caliber.  She thought it was fun but I guess the dancers there were embarrassing.  Fie, Vegas.
We watched the movie Inside Out with the kids this week.  If you haven't seen it, it's about the emotions as characters inside your head.  There's a Joy, an Anger, Sadness, a Fear and Disgust, etc.  We loved it, especially the message that mixed emotions are a part of life--opposition in all things, you know?  No sweet without the bitter.  No lemonade without the lemons.  I am especially happy to have a new talking point for my particular child that struggles with a severe temper.  (She is the "Darcy" of the family.)  It was so cute.  I could here her pledging to herself that Anger was not going to take over!  And then the next day she cried after losing her temper because she had done just that.  Oh, sweet Sorrow.

Sometimes it takes the really bad to stir up the good.  We were sad to watch the coverage of the attacks on Paris this week.  Mark served his mission there and it is a special place.  I hope that some good comes of it and hearts are softened there.  What surprised me is that I kept thinking about the mothers of those terrorists--and their likely lack of influence.  It is so sad that there are so many cultures that take the men-children away while they are still young and impressionable and fill them with hate, programming them to do these terrible things.  I kept imagining, what if a hostile army came to my door and conscripted my tender young sons?  What would be my desperate parting words?  What lessons have I yet to teach?  Well, gladly, that won't happen to me, but shouldn't I take the hint and teach them those life or death things right now? What would you say to your children if they had to grow up, without you, right now?

You have the Holy Ghost.  Keep your heart pure so you can listen to those feelings--they are your lifeline.
Always pray.
Look for ways to make the ones around you less lonely and afraid.  This will help you find peace and courage yourself.
Don't give place to anger, it will destroy you.
Remember the truth about who you are.
Trust God, He will make all things right.  He is the "High Priest of Good Things Yet to Come".

I think I have some more teaching to do.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Green eyes, blue eyes! I love this picture.  Since this shot, Macy has lost her other top front tooth as well.

Macy was supposed to do a photo book for school of a several-step process (they are talking about sequence).  She built a fort for her project.
Luke also wanted to build a fort.  He made Leslie be the foundation.
Mark's favorite time of year came around twice this year because of our move.  Cooper was pretty happy since he wasn't yet old enough for the first derby.  His fire engine came in the middle of every race, so he never lost!  Boston's car was a veteran--no need to build two cars in one year.  Since it had not placed the first time around and in the months since had been through several flying trips down the stairs and into walls, been stepped on and thrown by little brothers, it was far from being the well-balanced, streamlined machine it had once been, so I felt a little sorry for him and his chances.

Surprise!  Boston's old beat up car came in second place.  He must be good at that silver medals, having won 2nd place in the Raingutter Regata when he was a brand new cub scout.

We spent a fun evening at Heehaws (a corn maze and all kinds of fun harvest/farm activities), courtesy of Leslie's orthodontist who has a pizza night there every year.  As you can see, she is no longer needing the services of the orthodontist.  Check out that gorgeous smile!  The kids loved this huge corn trough the best, it was a foot deep or so.  They didn't want to get out but the boys were wrestling rather violently (picture whitewashing in the snow, only with hard corn,) and I had to physically drag them out.  Mom spoiled all the fun but I think we were starting to alarm some of the younger kids' mothers.  I am still finding corn around my house, falling out of jacket pockets, etc.

Leslie helps tame the beasts.

We had a fun Saturday afternoon playing with our new niece Hallie.  Cute Cute Cute.  Macy is happy to get another girl cousin.

We took a fun trip over Fall Break to Capitol Reef National Park.  This old farmhouse in Lyman, Utah is on the way, and it was a onetime hideout of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  I had to stop. 

Here we are on a late afternoon hike to Hickman Natural Bridge.  (Our family is collecting Arch hikes.)  This was a fun one because it was just the right length and moderate ups and downs, with a lot of little "bear caves" along the cliff face for the kids to pop into.  Luke did 2/3 of the hike on his own, with Mark carrying him over the slippery parts or if he got tired.

This is Luke's standard camera face.

This is still a ways from the Bridge itself but it was a pretty good carved out area to tuck into for some shade

Boston was stomping on us while we were resting in the shade.

We made it!  The water directly underneath was dried up but there were several small pools along the way.

I had fun trying to take a wall-worthy picture.  There had been some framed at the deli we stopped at for lunch the day before and I was trying to see if I could do one like it.

Fall break was too short, but we managed this campout and to get a lot of projects done around our house.  We now have a front lawn, Mark has completely finished framing the basement, and our boys have a basketball hoop up.  Next project:  Leslie's bookshelves.

The kids pick out their pumpkins at our friend Aaron's annual pumpkin patch.
I will tackle Halloween next post.  In closing (and in celebration of Leslie's marching band season coming to a close--she'll be home twice as much now!) here is, finally, a clip of her full performance for all of my out-of-state family that I am sure is dying to see it. (It's almost 10 minutes long.)  She says she wants to to do it again next year.
It was funny to watch this with her, she was like, "Oh, I missed a step there, the horns are off there, we are kind of crooked here..."  This video was from a competition in Pleasant Grove.  She thought that the Las Vegas and BYU competition performances were better, but this is the one I've got a video of.  To keep track of her, at the beginning she is fourth from front on the left.  In the middle, when they make a heart shape around Tarzan and Jane dancing, she is the bottom tip of the heart.  She is one of only two flutes.