Friday, September 29, 2006


I heard from Nathan that I have some anonymous readers out there who are laughing at me and not even commenting here. And it makes me wonder how careful I have been in my writing. Did I say anything mean, say, about my Sister in Law? or about those crazy neighbor kids?

When I write this blog I write to the 3 people who I know read it - my mom, my sisters (they only count as one person, sorry girls), and my dad. Knowing that my mom reads this to my dad sometimes helps to keep me in line. I forget that other people might read it, too.

So I am going to be a little more careful and not complain about my neighbor who always borrows stuff like cinnamon - oh wait, that was me. And I promise not to make fun of my brother-in-law's habit of mowing the lawn in just his tiny little Army shorts -

Wait, that's a good story, and I can't think of a darn thing to write about, so I'll tell you about the shorts. Sorry Terry!

First I should mention that I need counseling. Seriously. I have 7 sister and no brothers. I got married right out of high school and haven't dated a boy since I was 17 years old. I've never had a real job with a real boy as a boss or co-worker. I am such a baby. I don't even really know how to talk to guys. I get easily embarrassed around guys - especially if they have their shirts off. Which seems to happen to me all the time - just kidding - I can only think of a couple embarrassing shirtless-man stories to tell.

So, back to the shorts. - I wonder if he still has those shorts? - Anywho, when we were first married we lived in the same town as Nathan's brother, Terry, and his family. They have a fun family, and at that time their 5 kids were ranging in age from about 10 years old down to a baby. We spent a lot of time over there.

I would often stop by their house on my way to Walmart to just hang out. Like I mentioned before I didn't really have a real job, so I had lots of time to kill.

One day as I pulled up to the curb in our '77 Toyota Corolla, Nathan's brother was out mowing the lawn in just his little green Army shorts. Oh the horror! How embarrasssing! I remember being in a bit of a panic, trying to figure out how to get out of there, quick!, without anyone noticing (could I just zoom away in the Corolla, hidden within the smoke-screen?)

But it was too late, the image was already burned in my eyeballs. So I looked away, unbuckled Hannah, and ran as fast as I could, past Terry and the lawn mower, into the house to visit with my sister-in-law, Lori. That may have scarred me for life! Sorry Terry.

I still have an aversion to half naked men. This summer we went waterskiing with our very cool Bishop and his family. Maybe he knew I was shy about that, because he kept his shirt on almost the whole time. But one time our other neighbors came waterskiing too, and I had to be careful to avert my eyes so as not to get an eye full of white, er, uh, I mean, strong manly chest.

Do other people get this embarrassed? This is normal, right? I am not crazy.

Ok, maybe I need help. So,to cure myself of this little problem, I think I am going to have to put myself on a strict beach-watching regimen in Hawaii!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Good home for 3 year old neutered male AKC Golden Retriever. Enjoys running, playing fetch, and lounging around the house. Has (mostly) good manners, and is great with kids.

Serious Enquiries Only

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


My neighbor, Sarah, brought over a bowl of tomatoes yesterday from her garden. They are so yummy. Eating tomatoes is a new thing for me. My mom always likes to eat tomatoes with a little salt, but I am the kind of person who would set the tomatoes aside and eat the rest of the salad and throw out the tomatoes - I mean you never know, those round things could explode in your mouth!

That all changed this summer when we were visiting Heather and Rick's farm. One evening Rick brought cherry tomatoes in from the garden and I decided to try one dipped in freshly ground sea salt. They were so good! And fresh! And tasted like summer-time!

I feel like a grown up - willing to try strange, previously yucky food! I may be willing to try green beans next. Um, actually, probably not...

Now, I don't have any sea salt, or a salt grinder, but I have found that the little cherry tomatoes taste nice with just shake or two of regular table-salt, too. And though the weather is cold and windy, those tomatoes have brought a little summer-time into my kitchen.

I have already eaten more than half of the tomatoes that Sarah brought over, and I think I am going to go have a couple for my afternoon snack, maybe with a few wheat thins...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Saturday was the General Relief Society Broadcast. I didn't really want to go to the church to watch it, I even told my friend Sarah that I wasn't going. I figured I could listen here at home, but at the last minute I decided to put on a dress and go! And I'm glad I did.

It was very refreshing to sit near good friends, listening to the words of our Prophet and Relief Society leaders. I don't often get a chance to just sit with the other ladies in our ward, so it was a special treat for me.

President Hinckely quoted a poem by Ann Campbell that I have been thinking about ever since Saturday. Yesterday I was driving like a crazy woman - picking up Hannah and Sydney from school, taking them to piano, getting Hannah to her volleyball practice, then back home with Sydney and back out to get Hannah...

And while I spent the afternoon in my car, this poem was running through my head. I don't generally get teary-eyed about the kids or church stuff or much of anything actually, but I got a little choked up between stop-lights yesterday. I was thinking about this poem, and my incredible mom, and my children who need me, even when I want a little space!

You are the trip I did not take;
You are the pearls I cannot buy;
You are my blue Italian lake.
You are my piece of foreign sky.

Better than pearls

I have a feeling that suddenly I am at that mom-stage that I used to look forward to and considered to be the "real-mom" thing. Where the kids play soccer and piano, and I bake cookies and help at school. I think I like it here, and it worries me how quickly the time goes.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday Feast

Each Friday Donna, over at Quiet Life hosts a Friday Feast - a list of 5 questions to answer. I thought I would answer them over here!

Measured in minutes or hours, how much exercise have you had in the last week?

90 minutes. I have been a slacker for the last month, averaging 3 days of running a week. I have gone running twice so far this week, so if I get out today and tomorrow I will be doing a little better. I think I need an early morning running buddy.

If you had to change your blog title to something else, what would it be?

This is something I have been thinking about. Obviously Rapid Life is connected to our Rapid City home, so I may have to change the name when we move to Hawaii. Maybe to Aloha Something or another...Any ideas?

Name one television show you watched when you were 9-12 years old.

Magnum PI, M.A.S.H., Inspector Gadget....

Main Course
If someone gave you $50 to spend with the one condition that it had to be educational, what would you purchase?

Paper. Lots of paper. Colored paper. Cardstock. Posterboard. Origami paper. We love paper.

Do you tend to prefer dark colors, neutral shades, or lighter/pastel hues?

Depends on the season, I think. Right now I am taken with brown.


I saw the sweetest thing this morning. Emily and John share a room (John has his own room upstairs, but he prefers to sleep in with Emily. And actually, it is Emily and Sydney's room, but Sydney likes to sleep in with Hannah) Anywho, Emily was up and getting ready for school while John was still snoozing in his bed.

I came downstairs to fix Emily's hair, and when I looked in on her, she was pulling a blanket up over John's little slumbering body. He had kicked off his blankets, and she wanted him to stay warm! When she had tucked him in, she bent over and gave his little cheek a kiss. What a sweet sister!

two little monkeys

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Internet Friends

Last week I had a bit of a dilema. I was reading my sister Mary's new blog, and decided to check out the links on her sidebar. While reading one of the links, I noticed a nice comment and decided to go read that person's blog. As soon as I got there, I could tell that the blog belonged to a good friend of mine from church.

Amanda's blog is so cute, and it was fun to read, but I felt like I was kind of spying on her. I couldn't decide if I should comment or if I should just wait and see if she said anything to me about her blog. Amanda and I work together in Primary, and she also runs the book club that I try to go to. She is someone I really look up to, and she has a terrific family - and I didn't want to scare her!

That was the first time I have found the blog of someone I actually know in real life - so what do you do if you find the blog of a friend or neighbor or coworker? I think I should have just commented - it's not a big deal, and I love-love-love to get comments on my blog, so she probaby wouldn't have thought I was a weird-o.

My problem was solved a few days later when she emailed me some info for Primary and included a link to her blog! Sorry Amanda - I hope you don't think I'm stalking you!

Around that same time I got an email from my mom saying that a childhood friend of mine had contacted her and was wanting to find me. Crazy! Nathan keeps in touch with friends from his childhood and from everywhere we have ever lived, but I don't. I send out Christmas cards to close friends from the past, but I am a slacker at keeping in touch.

So it was really a suprise to hear from Deanne. Deanne lived across the street from us in Modesto. We spent a lot of time together roller-skating and swimming. There was always a fresh jug of Koolaid in their refridgerator - I was always impressed by that, because in our family of 9, koolaid didn't stay around for long. There was a cross-stitched scripture near their front door - But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord - whenever I read that verse I think of her family.

It has been really fun to get to know Deanne again! She has just started a blog, too!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Our library is really great. I am going to miss it when we leave this town. We have been going to the library atleast once a week since the first week we moved here. I love this library. I also love the storytime and reading programs that they offer.

I have my library card number memorized and use it to reserve books online, renew my items, and search to see what's on-shelf. The library website is usually #1 on my favorites list on our computer.

Our library is also really attractive, with a nice open foyer and check-out area, a cool kids area with a fort to read on, and a new fancy coffee shop (I will have to see if they serve hot cocoa, too.)

Tonight the library is hosting a book-talk with Sue Grafton, the author of the ABC mysteries. She will be discussing her latest book "S is for Silence". I have never read any of her books before, so I checked out one of her books on Monday so that I could be part of the "in group", and so far it is good. Maybe I will get to go to the presentation tonight. Who knows, I could even win an autographed book!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Holy Double Chin

For Ward Conference the Bishop asked me if I would play my violin with the ward choir. I am always delighted to play at church, so I've been practicing my violin again, and I even trimmed my fingernails.

Tomorrow is the big day and I thought it would be wise to practice in my new dress, just to make sure I wouldn't make a fool of myself. You never can tell if what you are wearing will stay put when you lift your arms and wave them around, with the violin in one hand and the bow in the other. It would be so embarrassing to have any odd gaps or pulls while playing.

So I put on my new cute, cute, cute dress, and my brown heels, and tuned up my violin.

We don't have a full length mirror, so I pulled a chair from the table into our bedroom where we have a big mirror over the counter. I climbed up on my chair, lifted my violin, and - - - -

Oh! Holy Double Chin!


Where did that come from?!?

I tried readjusting my violin to give a more attractive neck view - moving the violin back on my shoulder, or out toward my arm. But short of holding the violin at my armpit - nothing worked! Even a black turtleneck sweater wouldn't hide that extra skin.

Then I started playing my song - hoping the double chin would be hidden by my enchanting music. Instead, I noticed the skin of my underarm flapping happily with each pull of the bow. (sob, sob, sniff, sob, sob, sob)

How blissfully unaware I was before tonight, imagining how smashing I would look while serenading the congregation.

I made the mistake of asking Hannah to come help me. I knew I could count on her honesty. She laughed at me. Then she tried to tuck in my double chin for me. It didn't work. And when I started playing she burst out laughing at my flappy under-arm. She observed me from all angles and mentioned that you could even see it flapping from the back. Great. Then she stepped back a few feet and told me no one would ever notice. Liar!

One a happy note: the cute dress did not pull or tug in any embarrassing ways.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Scary Noise

I am obviously out of practice in sleeping alone. Nathan is gone for the night - as I mentioned in the previous post. I went to bed around midnight and it is 1:45am, and I already had a bad dream involving a bad guy. In my dream I was trying to turn on the lights but they wouldn't work. And I was moving in slow motion. I hate that.

So I laid in bed listening and dozing for a while, and then I got a little creeped out, so I had to get up and check every room and closet in the house.

The house is all clear, and all the lights are on. I feel better. I have been reading some fun blogs out there in blog land - one made me laugh out loud for reals - which is something that rarely happens to be.

But I am still hearing a bit of a scary sound. Sam (our big, scary, mean, bloodthirsty dog) doesn't seem to be worried, so I'm trying not to be, but I don't want to get up and walk past the door to go to the bathroom. And I really gotta go.

I am such a loser.

I want to put on a movie (I rented Season 1 of Grey's Anatomy - not a show you would want to watch with my dad, but I love it) but my glasses are upstairs...

I heard the sound again. Cripes. Sam doesn't even care. He is asleep and actually having one of those doggy dreams where the dog starts twitching his legs as if running.

I wish Mary was here. I used to make her walk with me from our bedroom to the bathroom when I was in high school. I had to get up super early for Seminary and I hated to walk past the front windows when the house was still dark. Sometimes I would see the milk man and it would really scare me. So, I made my little sister, who didn't have to get up so stinkin' early, get up and walk me across the house to the bathroom with the shower. Sorry Mary.

I also used to have to ruuuunnnnn fast down the hallway from my parents bedroom, and I never liked to use their bathroom. I am noticing this same problem in Sydney - she doesn't like to go downstairs alone, even in the day time. And she will recruit John or Sam or anyone to go with her to find her shoes or a hairbrush or.... I am not encouraging this behavior, in fact I am ignoring it, but I wonder if we need a wee bit of counseling.

I heard the scary sound again, and typing is starting to freak me out because is covers up the sound. So I am going to sign off now, and go use the bathroom, and find my glasses, and watch a little tv. Good night!


I have been so grouchy this week. Sorry Nathan.

It is all because of the stinkin' camping trip that Nathan is doing this weekend. I don't know why I have been such a baby about it. I mean, I want to be the kind of wife who says "Camping? Oooo, go have fun with the guys, you big hunk of a man...!" But I'm not.

I think I don't usually make a big deal about Nathan having his own fun, but I have been really grouchy about this trip. I mean, how much Man time does a guy really need? And what about me? I had plans this weekend...don't they count?

So yeah, I have been grouchy. And I have kind of enjoyed keeping that bad mood going. But....

As he and the other guys got ready to leave this morning, I was talking to one of the other wives, Jill (who was, of course, happy about the camping trip.) She asked if I could help her with some knitting. I'm not a great knitter, but she just wanted to make a little buttonhole bag like mine. So I printed off a copy of the pattern, and sent her off to the store for yarn.

She came back at about lunch time, and we knitted until it was time for me to go pick up Sydney. She already knows what she is doing, but is a little timid about following a pattern. And since I have done that pattern before, I look like I actually know what I am doing!

I had a GREAT time just sitting at the table with all the yarn, talking about the move and schools and kids' names and cooking.... And that bad mood just went away.

I meant to be grouchy all day (and maybe all weekend) but darn it, I had too much fun! We are going to get together again tomorrow to knit a little more. And maybe one day next week at a little bagel shop.

I know you probably won't read this, Nathan, but I do hope you have a great time with the guys. And I didn't mean that about getting eaten by a bear. Really.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Time is Flying

I am suddenly realizing how very little time we have left here in South Dakota. Yesterday we met to talk about our Primary Program. It is just around the corner, and after the program is Halloween. And after Halloween is our move. Yikes! I am not ready.

I have been sorting sorting sorting through things and I don't know what to do with all of it. Do I load it up and take it to Goodwill? (Emily calls it Old Will, I think like Old Navy) or do I try to have a garage sale. If I have a garage sale should I go ahead and sell of the old couch set? and the TV stand that I hate? or just keep 'em and see what we have room for in Hawaii? I don't know.... And what do I do with our winter coats and boots?

Right after our move is Christmas. My sisters and I usually do a gift exchange, but I am afraid that I will miss out on all the fun with our move. And when exactly am I supposed to go Christmas shopping? Will the kids be mad if our Christmas tree is a little pinapple sitting on a table at the hotel? Not exactly the snow covered tree chopped down in the mountains....

Okay, relax. We have just over 2 months left, and it is not going to do me any good to get all crazy about not having a place to live. So instead I am going to start a list of things that I CAN do - such as buy a dog kennel and get Sam used to using it.

I am going to see if I can find a count down thing-a-ma-bob for my blog.

Monday, September 11, 2006

1st Day of School

7th grader

3rd and K

I'm finally posting up the photos from the first day of school. I took a few other pictures of Emily and Sydney at their school (next to the sign, and in line) but they are on a disk, and the computer says it cannot read the disk. waaaaa! There was a really cute one of Emily in line for her very first day of Kindergarden. You will just have to imagine her cuteness. She was sooooooo excited about school - dancing and skipping all the way in her pink high-tops!

Hannah's big bag hides her very cool 7th grade outfit. Aye. It was painful for me to let her wear the short skirt over the leggings along with the chuncky belt over the shirt and the dangly beads. I wanted to yank it off and put in her in a little brown corduroy jumper with some comfy Mary Janes. But I held back, and she was a cutie with her Superman lunch box.

Sydney forgot her lunch on the first day of school. She nearly died. We were able to get it for her so that she would not have to suffer through the deadly hot lunch on the very first day, but it was pretty tramatic (sorry lunch ladies, I know it is not deadly, she is just a picky eater.) I also deposited a little money in her lunch account so that if she forgets her lunch again she can solve the problem herself. She likes her new teacher and found that she did know some of the children in her class.

We survived the first week and we are settling back into our school pattern. The kids are ready to go to bed earlier, and are getting up and going on time in the morning. Sydney has even been able to get in piano practice before school.

John and I have been having fun with all the bigs gone off to school. We enjoy playing trains and Go Fish (or gold fish, as John calls it.)

Time to move the laundry and get ready to go get Emily!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


In Hood River, Oregon the pears are on and the apples are up next. We were lucky enough to be able to spend a day in August picking pears while we were visiting my sister's family farm. We weren't much help, but it was really fun!

John, Abby, and Em

I saw some pears at Walmart on Monday, and I thought I wonder if we picked those? It is easy to forget that fruit does not just magically appear on the shelves at the grocery store.

So many boxes to fill

In Utah, the berries are ripe and ready to pick.


My mom and dad have a you-pick berry patch with rasberries, strawberries, and blackberries. While we were visiting, the rasberries were just delicious.


We picked 'em, and ate 'em, and made a batch of jam.

Gram and Em

This time of year reminds me of Almonds. When we were kids my parents had an almond orchard, and just as school was starting, the almonds were ready to be harvested.


We spread out two big blue tarps under a tree, then my dad would hit the tree with a big rubber mallet, and the almonds would fall down from the tree. When dad hit the trees the almonds would rain down onto the tarps, but when one of us kids would take a turn, just a couple would get knocked loose. The almonds would fall down along with lots of dust and a preying mantis or two.

When one tree was done, would dump the almonds from the tarps into a pile in the middle of the rows, rake up any missed nuts, and move on to the next tree. Tree after tree, row after row. We would sing and pick wild flowers and play with the neighbor's dog, Big Red.

I was a grouchy worker. Sorry dad. Looking back I can see that I was about Hannah's age, when everything was embarrassing and working was sooooooo hard. I remember driving the big red van down the rows. And once, my sister was riding on the bumper, and I stomped on the brakes and it made her crash and get hurt. Sorry Mary.

I also remember my dad laying under the water jug and letting the water poor out of the spout right into his mouth. He could swallow and let it fill his mouth at the same time. Very cool.

We spent a lot of Saturdays and afternoons out working in the almonds. It was hot and sweaty and dusty. And the preying mantises would fall from the trees and land in my hair. But if we were lucky we would get to eat the best hamburgers at a grimy little diner in Waterford, CA.

When harvest was over my parents would take us on a Harvest Festival trip. My favorite was the trip up to Yosimite riding bikes along the trails. We must have been quite a sight - 7 girls, and 2 parents all in a row on bikes - Look out!

We seem to have an agricultural theme in our family, but I am growing nothing but potato sprouts. Maybe I can have a garden in Hawaii.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I want to...

write about the first day of school, but the pictures are all locked in the fancy new camera and I don't know how to get them out. Later you can check back for pictures of the kids in their first day of school duds.

Instead I will write an exciting note about babysitting.

I babysat a little 4 month old baby today for a couple hours and it was a good reminder of how much time a baby takes. She was a little fussy, so I rocked her, then I made a bottle, which she was completey uninterested in. So I burbed her.

Then she was happy, so John and Emily each wanted a turn to hold her, which made her fussy again. So I danced with her. Then I had to get the phone, and I remembered that talking on the phone with a fussy baby is impossible. So I wrapped her snuggly in her blankey and got her cozy on the couch, and she fussed for about 4.5 minutes before she went to sleep. Whew.

So I made lunch (tuna sandwiches) and sat down here to eat and read some blogs (sorry Mary, your blog won't let me comment.) And I meant to take a quick shower, but she woke up again and ate a little of her bottle, then drooled all over my arm. Then her mom came back and we talked for a while, and they went home. How fun!

So I still haven't showered and I haven't cleaned out the basement, and I haven't finished making reminder phone calls for Activity Days... It will be time to go round up the troops in an hour and then I really won't have time to get anything done. Waaa. Better get back to work!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Where did the Summer Go?

I had to write a check this morning and I was shocked to find that today is September 2nd! Can you believe it? The outdoor pool is closed. It is a little chilly today. School starts Tuesday. I think summer may be at an end.

So it is time to check my list of summer goals and see how I did. Back in July I made a list of 30 things to do the summer I turned 30. I will put a star by those goals I have accomplished, so here's the list:

*1. Get my teeth cleaned
*2. Try 10 new recipes
3. Send ducky towels to new neices and nephew (oh my gosh, I am such a slacker)
4. Run a 10 K race (not a race, but I did run a 10k length run)
*5. Knit a button-hole bag
6. Post 30 notes on my blog (This is post #25)
7. Climb Harney Peak (the highest peak east of the Rockies)
8. Go see Devil's Tower
*9. Canoe (at Girls Camp, plus also I have gone waterskiing!)
*10. Plant petunias (actually, mums)
*11. Go see Devil's Bathtub
*12. Get my eyes checked
*13. Go to the concert in the park
*14. Bike ride/jog all of the city trail
15. Do cooking school with Sydney
*16. Identify 10 local wildflowers
*17. Buy a new swim suit
*18. Track my miles run (july miles=67, aug miles=35.5, summer total 102.5)
19. Go to a rodeo
*20. Take Emily in for her Kindergarten immunizations
*21. Pan up a little gold (I tagged along with Nathan, he found the gold, does that count?)
22. Have a garage sale
*23. Renew my temple recommend
*24. Go to the Olympic National Park
25. Bike ride on the Mickelson Trail
26. Write the Primary Program
*27. Take in my neglected dry cleaning
*28. Keep a reading log
*29. Sleep under the stars
*30. Watch the sunset

I feel great about all I was able to do this summer, but there are still some things I still need to do, some things I can skip, a couple things I REALLY want to do here in Rapid City before we move to Hawaii:

#3 Next week will be a sewing week. I have a couple towel orders and I WILL send off towels to Rand and Kate and Iris.
#26 I also need to get that Primary Program written. I have to work on that this week before our presidency meeting. I'm sure it will be spectacular!
#7, #8, #25 - Mickelson Trail, Harney Peak, and Devils Tower. The Barrett Hiking club needs to get back out on the trail!

That leaves Have a Garage Sale(22), Go To a Rodeo(19), and Cooking School(15) I don't know that I'll get around to doing those things....

The summer has just slipped through my fingers. I don't know where it went, but I am getting excited about Autumn with potato soup and long-sleeved shirts and apples and pumpkin pie and socks and Kindergarten and leaves and....

Friday, September 01, 2006

Come Celebrate with John

Good Morning

Today is my birthday!

Come Celebrate with me

Sing Happy Birthday!

Blow out the candles

Eat Cake

I saved a piece for you!

Open a Gift

Come play!