Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Knee How

I got an email from the school principal.  Actually three emails.  Well.  One email three times.  I guess she really wanted us to see it.  It was for the parents of the Chinese Immersion kids.  She wanted to let us know we have an exciting opportunity to take a beginning Chinese class.  I wanted to write her back and tell her what a fabulous idea that was, but being that my three Chinese Immersion students have 473 hours of homework each week, it would be a really bad idea for me to rush off to Chinese class each Wednesday.  Also.  Dave and I each have about a hundred church callings so chances are I'm not free anyway. 

But I'm learning some Chinese.  I can count.  Which is awesome because when Kendall forgets how to count she looks to me and I assist her.  This is not something that happened with the other two, obviously. 

Kendall!  Is doing so awesome in Chinese.  As far as my children go, she was the least ready for kindergarten academically.  So I over prepared her socially.  Just kidding.  She did that all on her own.  She was born over prepared socially, which is awesome.  She's such a cute friend and loves everybody.  Anyway, she is doing amazing in Chinese.  I dare say she is learning the most the soonest, not that I compare my children.  She comes home almost everyday all prepared to tell me what she learned.  I couldn't pay Allie or Det to tell me Chinese until about half way through the first grade. 

Let's review.  Last year I was told by Detmer's Chinese teacher that he was the best in the class.  I will hear those words forever.  Like, if he never learns another Chinese word and graduates on the bottom of his class I'll be like "Remember in first grade??  BEST.  IN.  THE.  CLASS."  I can only tell that story here.  But I wish I could make an announcement over the intercom at school or better yet have it posted to ksl.com.  He had a program on Saturday where he and some classmates performed some Chinese songs.  We got there a lil early, cause that's how we roll.  His Chinese teacher brought him over and started asking him math questions and he answered like a boss (or maybe like THE BEST IN THE CLASS) and all the teachers were applauding for him and so impressed so tonight I asked Dave if he thinks maybe Detmer is a genius?  Probably.

Allie, wait did I already tell this about Allie?  If I did, oh well.  Allie is having a great year, socially.  Like, she's always had her tight-knit group but this year I feel like she has a larger social network and she really likes everyone in her class.  She still sticks with her two BFF's but she never has a bad word to say about anybody.  It's awesome. 

I've made a committment to never let my kids hear me talking bad about their teachers.  This can be especially challenging when one of your precious angels comes home from school in tears because they were emotionally abused by one of their teachers.  But then I have to be like, "oh, he was just having a bad day, tomorrow will be better."  In the meantime sending texts to Dave about what exactly should happen to anybody who messes with my special girl.  But it's working so far because she loves both of her teachers.  Not many of her classmates can say that.

I love having my little side kick Maci.  She is the coolest.  I just adore her.  I was very sick on Monday and um rested for a very large portion of the day.  SHE MADE HER OWN LUNCH.  She came and asked me, "Mom can I make peanut butter and jelly."  And I was not exactly with it so I was all, "sure".   And she did.  Who knows what else she did but she was all in one piece when I rolled out of bed around 1 pm.  Not my finest hour.  Oh and she loves doing "homework".  As long as I tell her what she is doing is "homework" she's all over it.  She's learning tons, soon I bet she'll be speaking Chinese as good as me. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014


My dad has read my blog probably once or twice ever but in the morning I'm going to text him so he can read the special post I just wrote all about him.  So I just have to say that I solemnly swear I know how to spell, punctuate, and differentiate between the too, to, two and their, there, they're (though I'm still, for the most part, utterly confused about than and then.  Tips?).  I feel like if I worry about spelling and punctuation, it takes away from the authenticity and sounds to stuffy.  So I try to type like I'm talking.  I always enjoy going back and reading it better when I can tell I did that rather than(!) trying to write a talk for general conference.  But oh man it's a little appalling.  I really couldn't careless about the punctuation but the spelling mistakes KILL me.  I can't believe how many I make, as I've always been a gifted speller*;)  Anywho, being that my dad is a professional writer (and thus speller and punctuater(by the way, spell check has told me "punctuater" is not a word, just as I suspected) I would like to make this disclaimer in advance that really for the most part I do know how to spell but I type too fast and can't proofread and I wouldn't dream of spell checking a blog post though maybe I should and I'm definitely spell checking this one after I just said when an epic speller I am.  What I'm doing now is purposefully not punctuating.  Cause then (than) it's like, well she remembered that random comma but she should have had six more there, there, there, there, there, and there.  But I can't be bothered.  (although sometimes I can't leave it out, even if that was the original plan, because sometimes it's sooo obvious my fingers go there without thinking). 

*I thought I was a gifted speller until I was 22 and Millie had to teach me how to spell "definitely".  I believe I was spelling it defanitely.  Funny thing is it drove me so crazy how Dave always spelled it wrong.  His was way more wrong, though.  It was like deffanitely.  So we'd email each other (Millie and I) and I'd be like "I defanitely think I'm dying.  I've got these horrible chest pains and I'm turning purple."  And Millie would be like, "um that it not how you spell definitely".  So I was forced to learn.  Once I accidentally put worn torn instead of war torn in an email to her and she was all "you do know it's war torn, right?  I don't want you to be embarrass yourself."  And I felt like that was obviously just a spelling error and of course I knew it was war torn.

**The spell check revealed I did not know how to spell "punctuate" though I knew it looked wrong when I spelled it "puncuate".  And also I put whan instead of when so I just want Millie to know that I'm aware it's when and not whan but these things happen when your thoughts flow at the speed of light and your fingers type even faster.

I know for sure I was loved

*I've been thinking of my dad a lot lately, and I want to record my thoughts.

The worst part about losing my baby?  The part where it was almost unbearable and suffocating?  That was when I realized that one of my children might have to do it someday.  They're so little and perfect and innocent and for the most part I can protect them from the harsh blows of life.  After our baby died, my friend gave me a book.  In it there was a poem a mom had written to her daughter.  The daughter had just had lost a baby.  It said:

I am powerless, I am helpless, I am frustrated, I sit here and cry with her. She cries for her daughter and I cry for mine. I cannot help her. I can't reach inside and take her broken heart. I must watch her suffer day after day and see her desolation...Why can't I join her in the aloneness of her grief? As tight as my arms wrap around her, I can't reach that aloneness.  (full letter here)

The night we lost our baby, we sent texts.  Neither of us could stop crying long enough for a conversation.  My dad responded and asked if he could come right over, "I just have to see you." 

He did and while he was here he cried for me while I cried for my baby.  He tried to express his frustration in not being able to comfort me.  He said it gives him insight to how Heavenly Father must feel, wanting to take our pain and not being able to do so.  The days after we lost him were some of the darkest of our lives.  I couldn't believe how sad and inconsolable I felt.  But I reflected on the conversation with my dad and it helped me get through some of the lowest times.  I've always knows I have a Heavenly Father who loves me but that conversation was the reminder I needed and I've, to this day, thought of it very often. 

*When my dad dropped my boys off from the BYU game (Detmer's rookie year of a being a BYU season ticket holder.  He so excitedly goes each week with Dave and my dad and sometimes Denny and I love that they're making these memories together) on Saturday, I could tell he was not feeling well.  He looked and sounded awful.  I told him he should just take some Nyquil and rest on Sunday but he diligently told me he was planning on attending the temple dedication.  He ward had been assigned the 10 session. 

On Sunday he text me around 10:30.  "What time's your session.  I'd like to go with you."  I jokingly commented, thinking that he had slept in, that he must've took too much Nyquil and he was welcome to join us for the 1:00 session we'd been assigned to.

He hadn't slept in.  He'd been sitting in his seat at 9:30 for the dedication.  At 10:15 they gave up on getting the satellite and sent everyone from his stake center home.  Now, had this happened to me there's a 99.9% chance I would've gone back home and gone back to bed saying, "I tried."  But he joined us at the 1:00 and it was fun having him there along with his hanky that has now attended, I think we counted 12, different dedicatory sessions.

*I was looking up a recipe the other day and the website I was taken to was a popular blog written by two LDS gals.  I've used their recipes plenty enough times (okay let's be honest, I've looked up their recipes enough times) to know they usually share a little side story with their recipe.  In this particular recipe the side story was about the author's dad and how (in the nicest most loving way she could put it) he was different and not that social and not that involved.  A lot of the readers comments said they could relate and one comment that struck me said, "you've just described 80-90% of dads".  And I wanted to be like, "No way not my dad."  My dad is awesome and the best part is that he always has been.  He was very much there for us when we were children.  He coached my softball team and when he didn't coach he was always there, 99% of the time in his suit.  He left to work before we woke up and several times left us love notes on the counter to find when we woke up.  He painstakingly took the bus to work each day so we (the kids) could have a car.  More often than not he would happen to need to run an errand right when the car needed gas, and I rarely ever got my own gas. 

The other day I was texting a dear friend...we were close in childhood but life has taken us in VERY different directions.  We started talking about our memories and my friend told me how she was always so jealous of me and [another friend] and our brand new Easter dresses because all she ever wore were hand-me-downs from her brother.  I admitted to her I was fortunate that I didn't wear Giff's hand-me-downs and I often had clothes that were new to me (though rarely new), but she was smoking somethin if she thought I ever owned a new Easter dress.  We were far too poor to afford such lavish items.  She was shocked.  She told me how she always thought my family was so rich.  It was interesting to hear her perspective and disillusionments of childhood.  I was rich, yes, richly blessed.  Cheesy,  I know.  But it coudn't be more true.  My mom was sick and we had no money (in the early years.  We were never wealthy but things were comfortable as I got older) so my parents took the energy and money they did have and "spent" them on things that mattered most.  On things we would remember.  When I look back, I see that my mom was sick and that we were poor, but these were things I was shielded from as a child because of all the happiess in our home.

*We had the dreaded Sunday school lesson about Job (I don't like that lesson).  And as the instructor listed all of Jobs trials on the board, I once again thought of my dad.  Loss of income.  Check.  Loss of health.  Check.  Loss of family and loved ones.  Check.  Loss of property.  Check. 

And yet he never wavered.  Sure, he's had times where he certainly didn't understand Heavenly Father's plan.  I'm sure the two of them had some major fights and their was plenty of pain and anguish.  But he stood firm and always had so much faith.  He carried on the very same legacy that we read about from our pioneer ancestors, burrying a wife and a child, along with other trials that consumed him.  Sometimes I can't believe how much faith he has.  In fact sometimes I have to tell him to stop having so much faith because right now I just want to pity and feel sorry for myself. 

I still mourn for the loss of my dad (as part of the momdad parental unit I had growing up), I mourn the loss of my childhood home, and my mom, and Ryan, and my baby, and my ability to get pregnant and carry a baby. 

Sometimes I mourn it all so much that I want to lock all my doors and not leave my house and not face the world.

But that's not who I am.  My parents gave me a good life and I have a responsibility to them.  So I will go and do the things the Lord commanded, even if I don't want to, because of their example.  What a great legacy.  It's one worth continuing and I hope I can pass half of the example of my parents onto my children.

But the best part about having such an amazing dad?  The best part is that I knew all the best qualities to look for in a husband. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


 I love that these two love each other so much but it didn't come in very handy when Kendall started saying she wants to stay home and be in Mommy preschool again instead of kindergarten.  Okay, okay so I may have enjoyed that a little bit.  Allie and Detmer ran out the door to kindergarten and never looked back, hardly believing their good fortune to spend each day at school.  I do want her to love school though so I reminded her of all the fun things she would be doing and it took very little to remind her that she did, in fact, want to go to kindergarten.

 60 degrees + 40 degree water = perfect day for getting in the lake.
 Allie really wanted a new skateboard for her birthday.  I really wanted to NOT get her a new skateboard.  I told her I would get her that if she was sure it's what she wanted, but that I had a better idea I thought she would like more.  She chose the better idea, but I still couldn't resist picking this up at a yard sale for $1. 
Kendall wanted to get her own Lucky Charms for breakfast.  This is what her bowl looked like before I intervened.  Dang FDA why can't it all be marshmallows. 
 This is what we got Allie for her birthday, and yes it was much more enjoyed than the skateboard.  Flowrider.  We did it for two hours and it was more fun than I ever would have thought.  Here's a tip:  where a one piece.  Then wear a shirt over the top of that.  You can never be too careful these days.  (PS let me know if you run into my topless photos on Youtube!)(that was in a one piece but pre learning my lesson the hard way and putting on a t-shirt). 


We all got matching shirts for this race.  I threw mine on two minutes before running out the door and realized it would not work out with my pink sports bra so I changed.  When Dave's friend from work took this picture he was all "where's your shirt?" 

 I'm so proud of my awesome Detmer.  He has run two 5k's this summer!!  Every other year he and Allie make it about one lap with Dave before slowing down to a walk, but this year, he was determined.  He ran this one in about thirty-three minutes.  I loved when he ran past me because I could see the determination in his eyes and I knew he wasn't going to quit.

He was so excited when it was time for our stake 5k.  He and Dave ran that one in 31 minutes.  Dave has been a great running coach for him, teaching him to not take off to fast at the beginning and to not get to droopy when he fatigues.  I hope he continues to love running.
Anna and Elsa came to the party and as soon as I saw them I grabbed Kendall and Maci and started following them.  We were the first ones in line.  I knew no matter how long the line was, we would have to wait, so it gave me extra motivation to drop everything and run when I saw them.  The girls were happy and it beats waiting three hours at Disneyland!


We were in school for 2 weeks and 3 days before we went off track for 3 weeks.  We were able to do a lot of fun things during break.  Our favorite was definitely our trip to Park City where we stayed at the Marriott Timeshare. 
The kids love to stay in a hotel for two main reasons 1) pool 2) cable TV and 2.5) being able to watch TV pretty much whenever they are not swimming. 
We were so disappointed when the forecast was predicting mid-sixties.  I kept telling Dave it will go up as it gets closer.  It did not.  It stayed the same, but never reached the mid sixties.  For the most part, it was high fifties.
It was the BEST thing that could have happened to our vacation.  The pool was heated but my kids were the only ones loony enough to want to swim.  And we swam all day.  It was awesome doing a back float in the pool with the rain hitting our faces.  And if anyone ever did get cold, there was a choice of four hot tubs. 
I love family getaways.

Kids in the News

It was an important time in the kids lives when they realized they were being filmed while we played at Living Planet Aquarium on Friday.

Detmer, Kendall, and Maci just played while Allie did the whole "act casual" routine, which paid off in the end.  I text Dave, "it looks like the news is here.  I think it's Budah from Fox 13." 

He texts a few minutes later, "Found it.  Rewinded the live stream and saw the three girls.  Thought I saw you for a sec but couldn't verify(editors note:  I did in fact make two appearances).  Allie had most face time, Maci on for a sec but mostly her back.  Great shot of Kendall at the very beginning picking her butt."  (Cue an uproar of laughter when I read that to the kids.) 

I knew Det would be disappointed so I reminded him about the fact the he had won a big bag of popcorn in a dance contest the night before.  And now it was the girls' turn to shine.

He handled it fine.  When we came home and pulled it up on the computer for all the kids to watch, Kendall spotted Detmer.  Probably for less than one second, but he was there. 

We hurried and called him up and showed him his .03 seconds of fame.

It was like Christmas and his birthday rolled into one. 

We watched it probably twenty times.  


I put my pictures onto the computer every few days, so when I did it tonight, I couldn't figure out why I had so many.

That's when I remembered Kendall grabbed my phone for about thirty seconds during Sacrament Meeting and managed to take 25 selfies and one video in that time.  I love her dearly, but I'm quite sure she was attempting to see her most unattractive face.  Spoiler alert:  None of these were the winner (the last one had us l'ing ol (laughing out loud) inappropriately during the meeting, though):

In other news, Kendall learned she has the ability to go cross-eyed.  She has shown off this talent many times in the days since the initial discovery.  She was the envy of sisters and brother everywhere.