Thursday, December 23, 2010

called to serve...

Our not-so-little nephew, Kyle, who has been living with us for the past year or going on a mission. His call came in the mail yesterday, and it was so exciting!

He waited all day, without opening it, for his family to be with him.

He is off too....drum roll please...
The Germany Berlin Mission!
He was sure he was going state side because of the lower postage on the envelope. Ha!
I've never seen Steve so nervous...

Proud parents...

Calling Grandma and Grandpa...

We love him like the caucasian son who looks like Dave we never had. Our kids are going to miss him so much! He is such a good, big cousin to them. Jacob had guessed Kyle was headed to Japan and Eddie said..."how bout the wave pool?". They were both wrong. We are definitely proud of him...he will be a great missionary. Congratulations Kyle!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

in loving memory...

I couldn't let anymore time pass without a post in memory of my amazing Grandmother, Zelma (yes Zelma) Ann Lewis Pendleton. I love this lady! She died at the tender age of 97, and left her unmistakable impression on the world, and on me. I loved her BRUTAL honesty, her smiles, her raised eyebrows and her praise. As a child, she had a way of making me feel like the most beautiful, sweet, wonderful girl in the world. And as an adult, she assured me that I was the best Mom she had ever seen, and when she said it...I could believe it! At least for a minute or two. I don't know how so much love and concern could exist in one person, for so many people, but with Grandma, it did. Everything she ever did, said or wrote (she was known to write a scolding letter or two) was motivated by a HUGE love for her family. She was unconditionally loyal and unapologetic in her belief in those she loved. She knew what we are all capable of, and she expected everyone she loved to live up to that potential. She was a true matriarch to so many.

Grandma loved being alive. She looked for beauty all her life...and was never complacent or ungrateful when she found it. She found joy in people, in the outdoors, in cooking, in friends, in music, in sports, in laughing, in traveling, in her husband, in serving her family and in so many small things. She really cherished her life and lived it to the fullest. What a lesson she taught me through the way she approached her life.

Grandma loved to fish. She had a current fishing license that will expire months after she did. That is so typical of her, being ready to die...but not about to sit around and wait for it!

Grandma was a beautiful, graceful lady who carried herself with elegance and with pride. She was always groomed immaculately, standing with perfect posture, and a presence that couldn't be discounted but was still welcoming and kind. She expected strangers to prove themselves to her, and once they did...she was their fiercest friend. I admire her strength. She never changed, not for anyone. She was genuine and unabashed about who she was and what she believed. I always knew how much she loved me.

My two, sweet Grandma's knew each other as young girls. They used to walk home from school together in Kindergarten and loved each other. Somehow they ended up back in the same small town, later in their life, as young mothers. Somehow what started out as joking "What if my Lynda dated your son"...and so on and so on turned into my parents getting married. Somehow, they remained friends with shared grandchildren. And somehow, they both lost their husbands, later in life and remained close to one another. Somehow, they ended up with the same hospice nurse, who would pass messages between the two of school mates again. And somehow, they died within several weeks of one another, both with huge reunions waiting for them on the other side. How I was so blessed to have the heritage I have, I will never understand. But, I find myself increasingly thankful for these women and how their lives have formed mine. It is truly humbling to think of these beautiful ladies. I love you Grandma P!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

why I don't watch commercials...

Today Eddie saw a commercial for this... and said "Oh wow! I need to get one of those so I can get bigger! You wanna get bigger Mom?". Not like that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

thoughts on being a mommy

Tonight, I lied in bed...listening to the sound of tiny bubbles burst in a sippy cup as my baby girl drank her last bit of milk for the day. I watched her tiny chest rise and fall, and felt her mean, scratchy fingernails wriggle around my arm as she calmed herself. I smelled her baby lotion and her freshly shampooed hair. I felt her warm exhale on my cheek as she huddled in close. I listened as her tiny, sweet voice mumbled herself off to sleep. I stared at her tight, rosy cheeks and those long black lashes. I drank it in and sighed. One day, I will blink, and she will be grown.

What am I going to do when I don't have her on my hip as I walk around home, trying to get things done with one hand? When Eddie doesn't need my reassuring hugs, or try to rub noses with me? When I don't hear his squeaky whines and whimpers and sighs throughout the house? When I can't tickle Jacob awake every morning, and watch that always present grin creep onto his face for another day? When I can't welcome him home from school with a big hug, and feel our whole home brighten with his return?

This is it. This, right the best part of life. This is my life's greatest honor and reward.

Someday my house will stay clean, I won't make 7 meals a day. There will be no fingerprints on my cupboards and doors. The books will stay in the bookshelf. The toilet paper will stay on the roll. I'll sleep through the night without interruption, I'll read books in quiet solitude. I'll answer the phone and have a nice conversation. I'll make plans to run errands and maybe see a movie. I'll pay the bills and file things neatly away. I'll listen to music I like, or watch a TV show for me. And I will MISS this...more than anything. I'll wish for THIS back, more than anything. And I'll long for the sound of their cries and giggles, the messy evidence of their existence and the bountiful, overwhelming chaos that is my life today.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Eddie became upset when I switched up his usual routine while helping him to get dressed. He REALLY did not like having his socks put on before his pants.

"No! This is not right Mom! Socks don't live in pants!"

Along a similar vein, today Eddie took off all his clothes after getting his sleeves wet in the sink. When I discovered him naked, I tried to persuade him to follow me into his room to get some undies and get ready for bed. Apparently, all he heard was the bed part...and he got really mad.

"MOM! Bums can't just go in the bed!".

I can't say I disagree with that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

all about me...

Remember these....?

I think most Utah Mormons between the ages of 39 and 19 have one of these books from their childhood. Some are probably not finished, some like mine and much to my horror, are completely filled out, check mark descriptions of myself included.

I read this book and found my entries... (imagine check marks by each)

Supremely nerdy

Some things I noted in my book were as follows...

My favorite item of clothing was my Esprit green outfit.
My favorite book was "13 is Too Young to Die".
My favorite movie star was Michael J. Fox (I called him Mikey in the entry).
I was scared of murderers with stabbing knives.
I listed Spanish Fork under places I had visited.
Sometime in my life I hoped to.... "discover a cute, little creature". Gremlins anyone?
My favorite thing about being 9 was that 9 year old kids are "really cool".
By age 10, I was really sick of babysitting.
The one thing I wished I could change about my schedule was my paper route.
February 28th 1987 was the WORST day of my life. I have no idea why.
March 11th, 1987 was the BEST day of my life because Scott Ingrim invited me to ride bikes to the "Minute Man". (At least I rebounded quickly).
I once weighed 75-80 pounds.

A funny entry in my journal occurred when I described the death of my, as I called it, "darling" calico fish I unimaginatively named "Cally". The twins had gotten into the fish bowl while I was wasn't home and I returned home to a foggy bowl of water and a floating fish. And I quote, "This morning I called it a dumb fish for no particular reason. Now it is dead"!

At the time, my nice, big brother Jared, got a straw and blew bubbles into the water for five minutes trying to revive the fish. A fact that makes me feel guilty for describing Jared somewhere else in the book as having "weird teeth". But my fish was dead, and I dramatically flushed it down the toilet while crying and yelling "No...No....No!". All along my entry were areas where I had circled wet marks on the page and written "Tear" with arrows indicating where I had cried into the journal. Life was rough, back then.

Among other things, this entry got me thinking as to what would be a legitimate reason to call a pet fish a "dumb" one. Maybe, if it kept swimming into the walls of the bowl, or if it incessantly swam around with one of those attached pooh strings that just won't seem to fall away. Thoughts ???.

Basic lesson of my "All about Me" journey, I've changed. I'm glad I have a little more perspective now, and that life isn't such a roller coaster of self pity. I'm sorry to say I have yet to discover any adorable creatures, but I have visited a few more places. In interesting contrast to my "Cally" entry, I have an appointment at the Vet's office for Murray tomorrow to discuss whether or not it is humane to euthanize a dog for being "old and grumpy". In summary, I have evolved in the last 24 years, for better or worse.

Friday, November 5, 2010

the big bad world...

This week Jacob had an incident at school where he was "choked". I did the whole Mom-freak-out thing for a minute, but I could see that Jacob was OK and that he and the boy who he had been fighting with friendly with each other, so I tried not to worry too much. Jacob told me the boy who had choked him had gone to the Principal's office. Jacob also explained that he had been given a "golden ticket". When I asked him what the golden ticket was for he said, "I don't know, for being brave I think".

I knew Dave would do plenty of overreacting for the both of us, and I was right. Daddy panic began and phrases like "guarantee my child's safety" "expel that little..." and "plan of action" were thrown around, but Dave felt better (better about the incident....much worse about our educational system in general) after having lunch at the school a few days later.

I'm not trying to make light of a sketchily violent situation on the playground, but Jacob has been hilarious about the whole thing.

Names have been changed for the protection of those whose parents are screwing them up.

The next day, when Jacob came home from school, I met him at the bus stop and asked him how his day was...

"Good! Lamar didn't choke me or ANYTHING!" Well that was good.

The same day Jacob also brought home this assignment, which was beyond funny and a little sad too. Note the last sentence he wrote by himself.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Boo yah!

It is with shock and a little relief that I realize November is here. Where has the time gone? Halloween is a BUSY week with little ones and I am glad to say we survived all the maddness...and parties. What other time of year do I get to wash the same items seventeen times in one week?

As far as costume occassions go, my family had two school parties, a play group party, a trunk or treat, Dad's work party and, of course, trick or treating. It seems to be a given that if the kids have any item of clothing on for more than 10 minutes, it is going to need to be washed. So that was how I spent much of the holiday, but it is worth all the trouble to see the kids have so much fun.

This is how we partied at our house...

Jacob the VIKING...
A last minute change from "Ghostbuster" which relieved me because I didn't want the judgement that comes with people knowing he has seen that movie.

Eddie the MINJA...OK Ninja but it is so much cuter when he says it.

Saren the Ute Cheerleader...

or the monkey (depending on how cold it is outside).
She was pretty cute chasing her own tail.

David as JULIUS CEASAR... (he bailed on me).
Me the lonely CHILEAN MINER!

When Eddie saw me in my costume before our ward party he said,

"Mom you can't wear THAT!"
"Somebody will see you!"

I hate to tell him, I just don't care anymore. But I was sure to look as girly as possible on Sunday so people could rid their minds of me with a mustache.

Look at all these pumpkins! Our family is growing thanks to Kyle and Camila and Annie...every weekend is a party.

We had fun with the pumpkins, pigging out on yummy food, and trick or treating in the rain. Eddie couldn't stop smiling and kept telling everyone, "It keeps raining on me!" while laughing. And Saren learned how to say "Thank you" just in time for frickin' treating and she was so cute charming all the neighbors with her little voice.

Since Halloween, Saren has eaten an unholy amount of candy! Honestly! I keep thinking I have everything hidden high in the pantry but she brings me a Kit Kat or a Twix from some secret baby stash every ten minutes throughout the day. Saren has this cute little candy dance that kills me. I give in. I don't know how she is functioning on all the glucose. Here is Saren after demolishing the last of the cupcakes (PS: black frosting is an evil confection).

Happy Halloween everybody!

Monday, October 11, 2010

"...I don't buy green bananas anymore!"

Today was a celebration for the life of this beautiful lady!

Laura Louise Finch Bingham, my very sweet grandmother, who finally got to go home to her Heavenly Father after a 96 year long "buggy ride" on earth. Her funeral was a beautiful tribute to her life, her humor, her wit, her enthusiasm and her love of life and her family. I loved hearing memories of her today, and I even learned a few things that, somehow, I had never been told.

To me, she will always be Eddie, "Grandma Grape", but she was so much more. A daughter, a sister, a student, a lover of dancing, a doting aunt, a caretaker, a wife of a farmer, a hard worker, a crack-up, a mother, a friend, a servant of God and of others.

It's not very often you get to hear the word "sh%$" from the pulpit, but it was an appropriate memory shared between many of her grandchildren. I know Grandma would have loved to see the bishop squirm in his chair as much as I did. Somehow when Grandma called you a "cute, little sh%$!", it sounded as endearing as anything else she could say. I need to learn that trick.

I am so thankful to my sweet Aunt Nancy, Uncle Mike and my cousins who have taken care of her with such love and gentleness. I could never tell them thank you enough.

Grandma said she felt like the last leaf on the tree, and the wind was blowing. I am so thankful that she is at rest and happily reunited with her husband, parents, brother, sisters and friends that have waited for her anxiously for all these years. Grandma endured her old age with the grace, charm, tenderness, affection and gratitude that most of us are lacking in our prime. It's an honor to be her grand daughter, and to belong to her legacy in some small way. I hope that someday she will be as proud of me, as I am of her. Love you Grandma!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

eddie is in preschool...

Eddie has been waiting a long time for his turn to go to school. By the end of the last school year, it was torture for Eddie to come home with me after dropped Jacob off each day. He is going to love being a preschooler and his class and teachers are going to LOVE him. I can't wait to hear the crazy stuff he tells everyone, because he is cracking me up all the time, and I'm sure he will do the same at school.
Eddie was excited for his first day but not overly so. I tried to talk him into a haircut and he said "I don't need a haircut Mom, it gonna be just fine...don't worry!" So I left his hair alone.

Like most attempts at taking a picture of Eddie, I ended up with lots of awkward poses...

(Showing off his "robot teeth")

Lots of shots in perpetual motion...

And a few keepers.

I love this kid like crazy! His teachers have know idea what a little, wild man they have on their hands. In the meantime, for two hours twice a week, I'll be alone with this one...

Don't let her adorable face fool you, she is kicking my butt all over the house these days. And as I write this last sentence, I turn around and find her naked and singing on the kitchen table. Time to get off the computer Mom.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

there are no words...

To sum up how Jacob is feeling about his first day of a word, EXCITED!

To sum up how I am feeling...


What am I going to do without him?

How has the rest of the world gotten by without him for so long? They don't know how lucky they are!

Monday, August 23, 2010

fatties need not apply...

I love to mock my local paper! However, I can't really hold "The Sun Advocate" responsible for the crazies who take out strange personal ads. This one made me laugh. I'm sure his phone is ringing off the hook! Look out ladies!
I could have saved him some money with a shorter ad summarizing the basic points...

Desperate, old, unambitious and single LDS Dad seeking non-fat, 30 to 40-something year old woman who loves the outdoors, sappy music and doesn't mind poor spelling, indifference, the occassional use of words like "eldest" in everyday conversation, and loads of credit card debt in a BFF or possible husband who has a decent body but a face like a dropped pie. PS: I need a mom for my kids and don't mind if you have some too.
OK, I'm not sure if that ad was really any shorter than the original but it was a fun rewrite.