Just when the smoke from the birthday candles had cleared,
we lit them up again!
This time for Chad...Mr. Wonderful himself.
He is now on the other side of 40 which is kind of nice.
No pressure.

Here are ten things you might not know about Chad:

  1. He speaks Trukese fluently.
  2. Training for an Ironman Triathlon is his latest "hobby."
  3. One of his legs is shorter than the other. He makes up for it in good looks!
  4. Preston is his first name.
  5. His graduation present from dental school was our sixth child.
  6. Alaska is the only state he hasn't visited.
  7. He has a police record for vandalizing a stop sign when he was a kid.
  8. He has a blog. (Go visit and wish him Happy Birthday!)
  9. He went to school for 27 years.
  10. He is the best husband and father anyone could ask for.

Happy birthday, Chad! I love you as big as the planet.


back to school

Hesitant is an understatement. Adam was extremely unsure about attending preschool And if you think he was a little sad, you should have seen me. But, like anything else in life, with time it got better. Try two days. He now can't wait until the days he has preschool. He has the best teacher in the world. Besides me, of course.

I chose this picture because I will be starting school today. Well, not actually school. It's a class. A community ed class. The last time I actually paid to learn was in college about 15 years ago. I can't tell you how excited I am. The class is an Intermediate Photography class. Hopefully you can watch my progress. If not, maybe I can get my money back.

Do you think I should go buy a cute backpack to celebrate?
Or at least a purse?


We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet

Our beloved prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley,
passed away tonight. He was 97 years old.
“Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike”

Gordon B. Hinckley 1995 April General Conference

His sweet wife was waiting for him on the other side. Can you imagine the joyful reunion? Of this picture of Sister Hinckley it was said, ""If people don't believe Mormons are Christians, just have them look at this picture of Sister Marjorie Hinckley."

Photos by Scot Facer Proctor


3, 2, 1...it's your birthday!

Kendall started her birthday countown a month ago. Her big day has finally arrived! Kendall turns nine years old today. Her birthday requests: crepes for breakfast, lasagna for dinner, and North Pole Toffee Cake...our family birthday favorite. Easy enough!

Can you guess what the first thing was that people noticed about Kendall when she was a baby?

This is my favorite picture of Kendall when she was a little girl. I'm not quite sure why...I've just always loved it.

I found a list of things that Kendall wrote about herself recently. I couldn't have described her any better myself. Introducing Kendall...in her own words:

  1. Blue eyes

  2. Brown hair

  3. Long eyelashes

  4. Happy smile

  5. Cute person

  6. Loves her dog Hazel

  7. Has one sister

  8. Has four brothers

  9. Loves her family

  10. Always chooses the right

  11. Gets really good grades

  12. Makes people happy

  13. Has a kind heart

  14. A good friend

  15. Has good friends

  16. Happy as can be

  17. Loves her parents

  18. Has a helping heart

  19. Has people who love her

  20. Finds everything happy

Kendall, you are a sweetheart. I hope you never ever change. Happy, happy birthday!


sixteen candles

It was a wonderful 16th birthday for Austin.

But as soon as the candles were out and the smoke had cleared...reality hit. Our auto insurance DOUBLES. Apparently teenage boys cost more to insure than teenage girls.

Our despair was shortlived when we found this:


never say never

I swore I would never be one of those mothers. You know the kind. They let their kids drag around those blankets. Tattered and torn. Loved beyond recognition. What color was it originally? No one quite remembers. And then it happened...over time. I became one of them.

I was sitting at the sewing machine last week hemming some pants for Austin and Clayton when Adam came up to me. "Mom," he asked, "Do you think you could fix my blanket?" Are you kidding? I would climb Mt. Everest for him. Backwards.

So the journey to repair the blanket began...

This was Adam's blanket. The picture doesn't do it justice. It was much worse than this. He started wearing it like a cape by hooking the loose edging around his neck. The front and back panel were attached only on one edge. Shame on me.

I started by trimming off all of the edges. Not one was spared.

I tried to be as minimally invasive as possible. Alas, there were casualties.

I pinned the edges. Okay, the corners aren't perfect. But Adam thinks I am.

Adam waited patiently...

on pins and needles.

"Will it smell the same?" I reassured him that it would. Is that a good thing?

The sewing began...

and was finished before lunchtime.

All is good and right in the world again.

And once again...I am NOT one of those mothers.



Look who showed up in Lynne's prize package from correctly answering my question. Let's go meet him...

Hi there!

Oh, are you shy?

Don't be nervous. It's just us. Do you have a name?

No name? No wonder you are sad!

I know. Let's think of one together. Think, think, think. Hmmm....nothing's coming to mind. I know...should we ask everyone for some help?


I bet they'll think of a really handsome name. One that shows off your wonderful qualities. Your toughness. Your rugged self. Or maybe your softer side...

Now don't get too excited. They might give you a silly name.

Alright now. That's better. Just hang tight while the suggestions come in. You'll have a name before you know it. Maybe before the sun sets. Who knows? Maybe even before I find the mates to all of my other socks.

Rumor has it that Lynne will be taking The UnNamed Sock on a few adventures. Be sure to check in with her...you just might be able to take him on a few adventures of your own. Now wouldn't that be fun?

Won't you please help us think of a name? Get those thinking caps on and those creative juices flowing. I know you can do it!

Sock on!


clear your social calendars...and the roads!

Austin turns 16 today {sigh}. He now has a license to drive...and to date. Applications for possible dates are now being accepted. Screening will be done by none other than yours truly. Me. Austin's mom.

Wasn't he a cute baby? He's still cute. And I'm not just saying that
because I'm his mother. It's the talk around town.

Austin gets good grades (straight A's) and is an Eagle Scout. Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. Can I add handsome? And hard working? He works at an assisted living center serving dinner to the residents and doing the dishes. I'm not even making that up. Add "athletic" to Austin's list of skills. Basketball is his first love, and tennis takes a close second. He still kisses me goodnight.

Do I sound like a proud mom? That's just what I am.

Oh...and about clearing the roads. Austin is an awesome driver. Extremely cautious...10 and 2 position at all times. Absolutely no fiddle diddling with ipods or cell phones while driving. It's not him that I don't trust...it's all of you out there.

Happy Birthday, Austin!



Of winter's lifeless world each tree
Now seems a perfect part;
Yet each one holds summer's secret
Deep down within its heart.

Charles G. Stater



Luckily for me Chad doesn't work on Fridays. At least not at the office. He is the one that finally announced today that it was time to take the tree down. It always makes me kind of sad, but when it's all said and done, it's nice to get back into the swing of things. I'll just quickly say my goodbyes and get on with it.

Goodbye, favorite nativity. You are my favorite Christmas decoration. Did I mention favorite? I'd keep you up all year if I could...but then again, it's my house so why not? Hmmm...

Goodbye, bright and sparkly Christmas ornaments. We didn't break any of you this year. I guess it helps that we don't have any toddlers toddling around anymore...that and the fact that half of you are plastic. Thank goodness for plastic.

Goodbye, rustic star stocking holders that I had welded in Texas. Not me, personally. It was a big, strong welder in Texas. You know, everything is bigger and stronger in Texas. Did I mention previously that we have a sweet spot in our hearts for Texas?

Goodbye, twinkly white lights. You were such a pain putting up and taking down, but no matter what, you'll always be a part of our festivities.

Goodbye, sparkly golden topiaries. You looked beautiful above our front door. I promise to dust before putting you up there again. I bet your allergies drove you crazy.

Goodbye, faux berry and evergreen wreath. But then again, I may just keep you up for a while longer until I can find a wreath to replace you. Don't worry, I'm not replacing you for good. You'll be back out front and center next year.

Goodbye, O Tannenbaum! You were majestic in our front window...all twelve feet of you. I'm sorry we had to trim your top, but you just wouldn't fit otherwise. We all need a good trim now and then.

Goodbye, jolly old St. Nick! You were good to us this year. Very, very good. And we promise to be good this next year. Very, very good.

Goodbye, crazy wanna-be photographer. As your husband says, "Don't you think you'd better put that camera down and get busy putting all of this away?"

See you next year!



Not only is Lynne a prolfic writer, she's also a prolific mathematician. She even did the math before I did. After completing my computations, I checked my answer against hers and lo and behold I was wrong. She even calculated in Leap Year. Now that's thinking ahead! The sheer number of socks makes me dizzy. Downright nauseous. Is there life after socks???

Now the Big Question is: Would Lynne like the five handmade cards for various occasions, or will she choose the "single socks" in my laundry room? Since these are "mateless" are they considered premarital socks?

this socks!

I love being a mom. I really do. I love that I "work" at home---teacher, chef, nurse, chauffeur, maid (what?? I am NOT the maid), planner, defender, referee, comforter, cheerleader (I promise I don't use my megaphone, although it might come in handy!)...but one job that I struggle with is being a laundress (if I make it sound fancy, will I like it more?)

The worst part for me is the socks. I know, I know, most of the socks in this picture are inside out. That's the way they give them to me; that's the way I give them back.

Just for fun, here's a little story problem:

Let's say that there are eight people in my family. Each person wears one clean pair of socks each day of the week (or at least I assume they do.) Two of these people also run/exercise five days each week which requires a pair of socks each time they exercise. Two of these people play basketball at least one day a week. This also requires a pair of socks each time they play. Two of these people are in gymnastics once a week which also requires a pair of socks each. Whew! This makes me tired just thinking about it. Throw in three more pairs just for fun (because you know when you're watching T.V. somehow the couch just sucks them right off your feet and they get stuck between the cushions so you have to go get a new pair.) Throw in an extra two pairs since it's winter and when you go out to play in the snow you swear you were wearing socks when you shoved your feet in your snowboots but when you pulled them out they were nowhere to be found...and chilly toes need a new pair of socks! Now for the big question:

How many socks do I wash in one year?

The first one with the correct answer gets 5 handmade greeting cards for various occasions. Either that or all of the unmatched socks in my laundry room. Take your pick.

The joy of socks...


it's a big, big world

Earth is estimated to weigh 6,585,600,000,000,000,000,000 tons.

The area of the earth is almost 200 million square miles.

It took four years, 21 million steps, and 22 pairs of leather shoes for Dave Kunst to complete his record-making 14,450 mile walk around the earth in 1974.

The equatorial circumference of the earth is about 24,900 miles, or 256,948,534 dollar bills laid end to end.

That being said, I probably tell our youngest son, Adam, that I love him at least five times a day. (I love our other children, too, but he's pretty much by my side all day long and responds well to my outpouring of emotion.) Being the mom that I am, I love to hear it in return and sometimes have to resort to asking for it. Sometimes it takes prodding; sometimes not.

Me: Adam, do you know that I love you so much?

Adam: Yup.

Me: Do you love me?

Adam: Yup.

Me: How much?

Adam: As big as the planet.


note to self

What do you want to do when you grow up?


houston, we have a winner!

She did it, folks! Maryanne is the new owner of a Sonicare toothbrush. Her canines, molars, lateral incisors, and husband will thank us!

The puzzle was finished in record time. By 10:00 a.m. New Year's Day the last piece was placed. Granted, we did this puzzle last year so maybe we don't earn bragging rights. It's much larger than the picture above (everything's bigger in Texas, right?), but this gives you the idea. For those of you who know us well, Texas has a sweet spot in our hearts.

Thanks to all (two) entries! Y'all missed out...


trial and error, error and trial

So I've been trying to figure out how to make my own header (the title of my blog.) I've been playing around on Photoshop much too long today and the header is still not fixed. But I did figure out how to do this:

One small step for me, one giant step in the world of blogging. The only other productive thing I did today was make sure that they all had clean underwear for their first day back to school from Christmas vacation.


through a child's eyes

Adam and I were driving down the road through a very industrial part of town. You know the areas...railroad tracks, dirty buildings, ugly sheet metal near and far. We drove by a row of smokestacks when he announced, "Look! There's a cloudmaker!"