Thursday, January 28, 2016

Happy Birthday Sport!!

Today is Bug Bug's 20th birthday!!  Happy Birthday Buddy!!  Drew has always called him Sport.  I on the other hand, used to call him Tootlely Bug.  It is from the days he looked like this:
This is my all time favorite little person photo.  You can't see it, but he has this blonde, blonde hair, with those bright blue eyes!  Mmmmm, yummy!!  Anyway, he used to suck his thumb and just kind of tootle around the house going from one thing to another.   He has two swirlys on the top of his head that go different directions.  His hair used to stand up in a mow-hawk down the middle of his head---just this fine wispy blonde mow-hawk.  Anyway, he doesn't tootle anymore and no more mow-hawk.  He is big.  So instead of Tootlely Bug, he is just Bug Bug.  He is an amazing bright spot in my life, and he always has been.

I am so proud of you Bug!  I am amazed at the young man you have become!  You are so sensitive, thoughtful, and talented!!  Your heart is so sincere and loyal!

I am so proud of you for the work you have done in preparing for your missionary service!!  Your papers are in and we are just waiting for that giant white envelope to arrive in the mail and tell us where you will serve!!  You are an amazing artist and super funny!!
One of Sport's works
When I was pregnant with you, I just cried. Not because I didn't want you, just because I was so overwhelmed with life and I didn't have any idea how I could possibly do another little person.  I told Heavenly Father that if He was serious about sending you, then I needed a happy baby, a fun baby, one who made me laugh, who wasn't allergic to every thing under the sun and one who slept at night!  You are that baby who I prayed for.  You always, still, make me laugh.  I know you are an answer to an overwhelmed mother's prayer!  Your spirit soothes my soul and you were so cute!!  Oh my gosh!  The cutest thing I ever saw!!!  Blue eyes and blonde hair are my favorite on little people!!

Thank you for coming to my house, for being a part of our family, for loving us!!  You are an amazing, talented person, who loves the Lord and does whatever He asks of you!  What a gift that is in today's day and age!!

I love you Sport!!  Happy Birthday!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

I Got Your Plate!

We attended my friend's memorial service on Friday!! It was such a beautiful celebration of life!!  It was wonderful to see friends from far away and to enjoy a few minutes of time together.  Truth be told, we really only had time to give our dear friends a quick hug.  Even though they had food and a gathering time, for more than an hour after the services, the church was so full and there were so many people who wanted to speak with my friend, she was thronged the entire night.  I didn't even see her sit down.  She was mingling in and out of the people.  She truly is a servant of Christ.  She wanted everyone to feel loved and cherished and she spent the time circling the room when she was the one who we were gathered there to support.

It was beautiful to watch, but I knew she would be wiped out at the end.  As I watched, I just decided that I would write her a little note to tell her of my love and support.  I couldn't find any paper so I just chose to write my note on a dessert plate.  Then I found her stuff and tucked it into it.  I just figured she would read it when she was about ready to go home and she could think and feel without worrying too much about everyone else.

I knew her plans were to leave the next morning and go to San Francisco and have another celebration of life with her friends there.  And then they would be travelling back to their new home in Michigan.  It was going to be a crazy week for her.

Anyway, after the celebration we went home.  I didn't bring everyone to the memorial because some of us are little and would have had difficulty sitting still and my van was in the shop, so we didn't have enough seat belts to take everyone.  So when I arrived home, I still had a house full of hungry people.  We started making dinner.

We had been home for about two hours when the doorbell rang.  "Who is that?" the kids asked.  I didn't have any idea.

As I opened the door, my dear friend who had just celebrated her dear companion's life, held out her arms and said, "I got your plate!" and then we hugged and she came in and just sat and visited with our family for an hour.  It was super sweet!!  I will forever remember that.....I got your plate!
NOT my note, just a web image.....
At the little gathering afterward, my pediatrician approached me to say hello.  We haven't been into his office for a few years because Spike Spike is getting old enough and his asthma is under control enough that we have not needed to see him.  It was wonderful to have him seek me out to visit with me outside of the office.  I love that part of small town living.  I really, really do!!  It was obvious that he takes his job seriously.  He is more about the whole person and less about his career and practice, though those things are important.

He actually expressed that he is postponing his retirement because he is the only one in his office that will take on-call time from the hospital!!  I was dumb-founded!  The younger docs won't do it and some of the older ones won't either.  'I understand' he said, 'They want family time too.  But I think our community expects that kind of service to be available.'  My heart melted!!

I was so grateful to him!  I expect it too, but had no idea that one man is holding down the fort in that department here in our community and is willing to make that much of a sacrifice because 'nobody else will do it.'

To be honest, that is who my friend is too.  He was that kind of a man--Brian Craig.

One night, we had company over for family home evening.  Things got a little wild with Spike.  He was about two, I think.  Anyway, he was spinning in circles in the family room like little kids do.  Then he lost his balance, because he was dizzy, hit his head on the fireplace and gashed his head open.  It was bleeding a lot!

We put on the pressure but I could tell he would need stitches.  It was in the evening (8 p.m.).  Urgent care was closed and I knew the emergency room would take about five hours before they would even see my baby.  Great!!  I called Dr. Craig's house.  His wife, my friend, answered the phone.  I told her what had happened.  She said bring him right over.

We got there and she opened up the door.  Dr. Craig met us in the kitchen---in his bathrobe!  They had cleaned off the kitchen table and told me to lay him on it.  Brian looked at Spike's head.  Yep, he needed a couple of stitches.  Dr. Craig fixed him up right there, in his bathrobe!  We were done in 15 minutes!  Yea for small towns and great friends!!

I will miss you my friend!!  Thank you for your service---you and the rest of your 'old guard'---the men and women who take their oath seriously and then practice the goodness and virtue that led them to that profession in the first place!!

I love my doctors!!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Family Photos

I feel like a super slacker!  I didn't even meet my goal of trying to post every Friday last year!  And here it is the second Friday of 2016 and this is only my first post!!  Oh well, that is where my life is right now.

Over the holidays, I also was able to print my family photos--thanks to my amazing mother-in-law!  I dearly, dearly love her!!  On her trip up here, she slipped in the car when Dad slammed on the brakes to avoid another vehicle.  Mom wasn't wearing her seat belt--shame on her.  She hit that handle that you hold onto on the ceiling.......

Poor Mom!  That was after two days.  She is better now.  Anyway, I was able to put the kids photos up on the wall:

I LOVE the wall!!

These don't look as cool on-line as they do on my wall, but I put our family photos on canvas!  And I love them too!!

Today I am at the memorial service of a dear friend.  I will be mourning and celebrating with his family---celebrating because he is free of the pain and suffering of this mortality---mourning of course, because we miss him.  But we know we will see him again and his family will again behold his face and embrace him!  What an amazing thing we have, to know that family relationships are meant to extend beyond this life!!  Our friend had her marriage to her sweetheart solemnized in the temple of our God!  Her marriage to him will last beyond the grave!  What glorious news!  And that my friends, is worth celebrating!!

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Yesterday, Spike and I made Gnoicchi.  I had never heard of it before.  I found a recipe with Gnoicchi and then googled it so I would know what it was.  Functionally, it is a home-made potato noodle.  The recipe was super easy and I had all of the ingredients.  So yesterday Spike and I made the Gnoicchi, which is a great activity if you have little people who want to help in the kitchen.

Here is the recipe:
Peel and boil two medium starchy potatoes, like russets.  When the potatoes are cooked but still slightly firm, drain the water, cool and mash them.  Don't add any butter or milk like you would for mashed potatoes, just smoosh them.  Take out one cup of the potatoes.

Add two cups of flour and one egg.

Mix all ingredients until combined.  Pour out onto a floured surface and knead until it forms a ball.  Wrap dough in saran wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into fourths.  Roll each fourth into about 1/2 inch roll, like a snake.  Then cut about 1/2 inch pieces off of the snake, dip them in flour and roll off of the tines of a fork.

Then you boil them for four minutes.  You know they are done when they float to the top.

That's it!  Super easy!

Here we are:

In my photos, you can see my dough balls wrapped in plastic, my rolled 'snakes', my cut snakes, and the tin we were putting them in.  Spike and I started about 11 and worked until 1.  Because we have so many people in our family, I made five batches.  It took us a long time!  Spike didn't last through the entire process.

Because I knew it would take so long, we started early in the morning.  But then I piled all of my pasta into a pan thinking it would be fine until dinner.  It wasn't.  Because the noodles were so starchy, they continued to absorb the flour.  By the time I wanted to use them for dinner, they were all stuck together in one giant dough heap like I hadn't done any of the work!  It was super frustrating!

But I remembered reading in one of my research efforts, that I could just drop the dough into the boiling water without shaping it.  So when it was time to make dinner, that is what I did.  They weren't beautiful, but they were still delicious!  The next time I make them, I will just do it right before dinner, or figure out a way to do them differently.

To make dinner, we sauteed garlic in hamburger---while the broccoli was steaming.  Then we added 1 and 1/2 cups of chicken broth to the browned hamburger and garlic.  Then we added about two and a half recipes of the gnoicchi and sprinkled on 1/2 Cup of Parmesan cheese.  Salt and Pepper to taste.

It was delicious!  My kids gobbled it up.  Some of them put their broccoli into it and some of them piled on more cheese and ate it plain.  The recipe was only for the broccoli, chicken broth and garlic.  It suggested shrimp, which we don't like or eat.  And the picture of the gnoicchi from the web had marinara sauce--apparently a very versatile dish.  Happy eating!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Christmas 2015--the whole gang (except Tams!)

Life has been super busy here.  I don't know how else to describe it....and my head is kind of spinning with where it is all going.

Over the holidays, all the big boys came home...we had a ton of fun!

Here is where we moved all of the furniture out of our living room, brought the ping pong table in and sat everyone around it--17 people for dinner two nights in a row!  It was so much fun!  My sisters always complain that I am never in the photos, so I stuck my head into the second one. :-)  Just for fun!

Scuff and I found a new store here in town called Party Planet!  They had paper party stuff for everything!!  We couldn't stay in it very long because Scuff was having an allergic reaction to all the latex or plastic in there!  But we had a great five minutes and if I ever need party supplies, fast, and affordable, I know where I am going!

I forgot all of the fun stuff we did!  When we were setting the table for Christmas dinner, Spike decided he wanted all of his Christmas candy for dinner.  Here is his was so funny that I just had to get a photo:

We missed having Tammy here!  That would have made it perfect!  But it was such an enjoyable time!  Emotions ran really high as the big boys showed up and then left again.  But I wouldn't have traded it for anything!

Hopefully, I will take a few minutes this week to blog and tell you all that is happening.  Things are crazy!

Have a great day!