Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Card Pictures

Here are a few shots we took trying to get a Christmas card picture.

You'll have to check your mailbox to see the one chosen!

This is your last chance to send me your address if you have moved this year (Mandy, Elise, Preston) or if I haven't had your address in the past (Kris, many of Nick's cousins).  Either add a comment here or email me your current address if you have not received our cards in the past.  Uh... this is for people we know only.  Sorry.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The True Meaning of Christmas

I set up my best nativity on the mantle, with the traditional placement of the figurines facing outward, and sent Bethelle to set up our other nativity on her own.

I've never seen it done this way.

I think she gets it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Swanky web fun

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The End of an Era

For the past three years, Nick has worked for ALCO Holdings as a project manager (new-investment-finder-and-keeper).  This job was a wonderful opportunity and a great fit for our family.  Nick loved it and would always say that it was "an 11 out of 10" job.  

I could not have been happier with his employment.  He worked from home 80% of the time, meaning that his commute was the 3 second dash up or down the stairs, the gas stayed in his truck's tank, and I could run errands or make quick visits while the baby napped.  His employer has been so kind and considerate.  We could not wish for better in a boss or friend.

Due to a waning need to find new investments on new capital, Nick foresaw a stagnation in his professional progress.  After discussions with his employer, he decided to begin a job search.  Once again, let me say how grateful I am to ALCO and to Darrin for their help, encouragement, and consideration as we began this process.  In his searches, Nick found commercial banking at Wells Fargo.  He has a great friend, Sarah, who is in this business at the Tacoma office and helped Nick to understand the position and the business.  He has been excited and anxious about it ever since.

As you may be suspecting already, he recently successfully completed the interview process and will be working for Wells Fargo, Seattle office, beginning next month.  I am sad to see all my little perks go, but I know that I have only been spoiled and that it could not last forever.

But with the end of an era comes the beginning of a new era, and we are pleased to embrace it.  Nick is overcome (I mean that very literally) with excitement about this position.  He feels that it is the perfect fit for his talents and aspirations.  I am excited to support him in this step that will mean so much to him and to our family.

"Seattle?"  You may be asking.  Yes.  It will be a 1 1/2 hour commute each way.  Part of that will be on a ferry, so he will be able to take advantage of that time to rest or work.  Although we have many friends near us who live this way, I am not one to embrace such time away from the family eagerly, so we are revving up our efforts to finish our home and get it on the market, although you know how slowly things sell lately, so we're not packing any bags yet.

Congratulations, Nick.  Let me take one more moment to brag about my hubbie.  There were originally over 400 applicants for this single position (bankers needing jobs are suddenly plentiful).  I am so proud of you.  Thank you for taking such great care of this family!

We would be remiss not to mention the gratitude we feel toward our Heavenly Father.  We know that he watches over us and is the source of all blessings.  When we are blessed, it inspires us to increase our devotion and service in gratitude, trying to lessen our debt to Him.  This seems only to increase the blessings, making us more indebted.  But we'll keep trying...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Un-shlumping My Borfin

And poor Mr. Bix!
Every morning at six,
poor Mr. Bix has his Borfin to fix!

It doesn't seem fair.
It just doesn't seem right,
but his Borfin just seems to go shlump every night.

It shlumps in a heap,
sadly needing repair.
Bix figures it's due to the local night air.

It takes him all day to un-shlump it.
And then...
the night air comes back and it shlumps once again!

The above poem is from a page in a Dr. Suess book called Have I Ever Told You How Lucky You Are? It is the story of an older man telling a kid about all the people who are "ever so much more, oh muchly much much more unliky than" him, like poor Mr. Bix.

I read it to Bethelle last night. I think "borfin" is code for "house" and I think I might be Mr. Bix.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Do Angels Dust?

Recently Bethelle was at her grandparents' house during a serious dusting.  She helped with the trim around the stairs and whatever else she could reach.  This morning at breakfast, she was telling me about it and said, "but there were no angels, so Pabby (Grandpa) had to do the high part."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Norah Jones.

You've got to watch this video.

Should I say it?  This is how I feel.

Don't worry, I'll get over it.  Probably sooner than I should.

"Come what may and love it."   - Joseph B. Wirthlin

Sunday, November 2, 2008

College Humor

College was the first time in my life that I was ever around a lot of girls.  OK, there was Girls Camp every summer, but that was way over the top.  In college I had a little apartment with 6 girls (women?  no way!) in as few square feet as possible.  I LOVE those kids.  They are my sisters.  I will love them forever.

We were all a little different from each other, but we were a good mix.  Melinda and Lorrie were the crack-ups.  I appreciated their humor best.  Then there was Meagan who really didn't think we were funny at all.  We called SNL "Family Night".  We were totally into "The Office" type humor (this was, of course, before that show).

We must have had nothing to do one night, because we got out some colored construction paper, glue sticks, crayons, and my sticker book, begun when I was 4, and made crazy creations.  We then wrote on them that they were acceptance letters into the Mariah Carey fan club.  We mailed these things to random people at BYU that we at least knew of: the star quarter-back, a guy in our congregation, a girl from a class...  Why did we do this?  I have no idea.  But if you can imagine the glitter and paper and stickers and brownies, maybe you can imagine the good time we had.

Even though I have not grown out of appreciating this humor, I now concede to Meagan that she was right.  It's really not that funny... to most people.  How do I know this, if I have not grown out of it myself?  Let me give you an example.

One of the most memorable nights was when we were in some kind of delirium, thinking of cities that sounded funny with our names.  I think I remember "Lorrie Nashville" being particularly hilarious.  I bet we stuck with this mode of brainstorming for an hour, laughing at how funny it all sounded.

Tonight in the car, Bethelle did the same thing.  She's three.  They weren't cities, but for about 15 minutes, she was cracking up to "Daddy Road!" and "Rigby Sweater!" and expecting the laugh in return.

Meagan, you win.  It can't be that funny if a three year-old can come up with it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rigby and his party

My little baby is a year old.  He's full of personality and has a mind of his own.
The cake was a pretty festive treat.  Rigby got the small top layer of his volcano (see pics in next post) to himself.  When eating, he usually wipes his hands in his hair.  Great.  As a special birthday moment, he picked up his whole cake and wiped it in his hair.  All over.  On top, behind his head... everywhere.  Much more of his cake ended up in his hair than in his belly.
I couldn't resist posting this classic pose.  What a heartbreaker.
Me and my babes.
The kiddie table.  I love these guys.  We missed you, Joee!
My brothers.  We missed you, too, Blair.

How to Host a Luau / 1st Birthday party

Recently, another blogging friend posted her baby's one year luau party.  Knowing Rigby's Hawaii trip would be so fresh under his belt at the time of his birthday, we had to go luau style.  I was wishing that she had posted her ideas and what worked, so I'm going to post it for others.  Here's how the party came to be.

First, the table settings.  I picked up a couple of twin, grass skirt bedskirts on clearance.  I ran a seam down one to make it fit this table and gathered another in the center with a rubber band to size it to the kiddie table.  In the center of each table I have a bowl or two of dried mango slices.
Each attendee was greeted with a candy lei.  I made these by laying out a strip of colored celophane, roughly 4 feet by 7 inches.  I spaced candy about 1.5 inches apart down the center.  I then folded the top down over the candy, then the bottom up over it.  I cut curling ribbons about 8 inches long, tied them around the celophane between each candy, and curled the ends of each ribbon.  The ends then come together and get one more piece of ribbon.  Viola!
The main dish was kalua pork, tradition at luaus and on the "plate lunches" common all over Hawaii.  Traditionally, I believe you dig a large pit, line it with banana leaves and ti leaves, light some kind of fire, and somehow steam a pig in it.  As I was short on banana leaves, I opted for a crock pot.  I bought a pork shoulder at Costco, and it really was Costco size.  My crock pot is large, but the roast barely fit.  I covered it with liquid smoke and sprinkled a healthy layer of sea salt on top.  I want to throw on a few unpeeled bananas, but there was no room in the inn.  I started the heat the night before, and let it cook on low for about 18 hours.  When I finally tried to take it out, it just fell apart.  Good thing I intended to serve it shredded; it practically shredded itself.  I served it with some Luau BBQ sauce on the table, in case people wanted more flavor, but I thought it had a surprising amount of flavor all on its own.

I mixed up a little strawberry/mango/guava/raspberry juice to drink...
And check out Rigby's fun volcano cake.
This was fun to make.  Invert an angel food cake on the cake platter.  Mix a mashed banana with a half cup of white frosting.  Spread this on top of the inverted cake.  Cut a 2-3 inch wedge from another angel food cake.  Spread some plain frosting on the two cuts and press them together, making a smaller cake.  Invert this and place it on top of the first cake.  I then put another small layer of the banana frosting and placed a mini (single serving size) angel food cake on the top.  Whip up some cream and add in the rest of the frosting with a little yellow food coloring.  Spread this all over the cake and press on shredded coconut.  Whip up more cream, coloring a little of it red and the rest blue.  Drop the red in sloppy spoonfuls on top for lava and spread the blue around the bottom, shaping it into waves.  I bought the palm trees, boat and sun in a craft store in their wood crafts section.  Tape the sun onto a kabob skewer.  Add them to the cake and be sure to take lots of pictures!

I saw this idea on the plane on the way to O'ahu.  Make homemade pineapple ice cream.  I am no expert at this, so find your own recipe... sorry.
I scooped it into hollowed out pineapple halves and froze it.
I then covered them and froze them.  On the video on the airplane, they just cut up the pineapple into cute chunks to hold and eat your ice cream out of.  My question is: How do you just run your knife through a frozen pineapple shell?  I couldn't do it.  I just scooped it out as usual.  Let me know if you have a better idea.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mice Playing

While I was licking Dole Whip off my spoon in Hawaii, Nick and Bethelle managed to keep themselves pretty busy.  To keep Bethelle's mind off of being Mommy-sick, we made a special calendar together before I left.  It had pictures indicating where she would be every day while Daddy worked.  She spent two days with each grandma, two days with her cousins Haley and Ellana, and a day with her cousin Asher.  Weekends were Daddy time, of course, and they had a lot of good bonding time.  Nick even took her on a date to Puerto Vallarta.  She was so excited, she had to call me right away to say that she was at her favorite restaurant.  She had never been there before.  Nick told me later that she fell asleep at the table soon after the call.  He laid her out on two chairs and had a meal alone.

Bethelle really had a wonderful time while I was gone.  Thank you SO MUCH to all those who helped take care of her.  I could not have enjoyed my trip if I knew she was sad or lonely.

Nick feigned on the phone that work was keeping him sooo busy and that he just wasn't able to get to all the things that he had wanted to do while I was gone.  I totally bought it.

Driving home from the airport in the dark, Nick drove very slowly in our driveway, looking at me out of the corner of his eye.  There was a faint smell of sawdust in the air, even with the car windows shut.  I looked up at the house and said, "shut up, what the heeeeeeeeck!"

If you know me, you know that I do not talk like that.  Ever.  Not that that is so bad, but I certainly don't want my toddlers repeating it.  This is  what I saw:
Ok, it was dark and there weren't any men or ladders, but the material point is that THERE WERE COLUMNS!  And they're so beautiful.  

And this is not all.  Nick also finished the brick in the walkway leading to the front porch and coordinated the installation of my master bathroom shower door, tiling around the master bathtub, drawers in the vanity of the master bathroom, some finish work in the kitchen, and a whole lotta cleaning.

Way to top off my vay-cay, Nick!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Hawaiian Adventures

I'm just going to give you a little travel log. I hope it's not too boring to read.

Thursday we flew to Hawaii and watched the veep debates. Exciting, I know. Politics is my hobby. I'm staying with my college roommate, Sara, and her cute family. That evening, another roommie, Janae, flew in with her baby, Sam.

Friday we all went to Honolulu and Waikiki beach. At the international market, I had a Dole Whip. If you've been here before, you know this is a blog-worthy indulgence.

Saturday, Janae and I went to the north shore of O'ahu. We saw Haleiwa, a cute little town up there. Rigby was such a trooper. He let me have some fun without fussing. We went to nearby Shark's Cove (scary, huh?!) to swim and snorkle while the babies slept (swimming one at a time, of course. Give me some credit!). Rigby was soooo tired, but he was way too excited about the beach to sleep, despite my best efforts. He and I got in the water together. He loved it when the little waves would sweep up on him. He laughed and laughed everytime, like he was being tickled. By the time we left, he was so out of it. He fell asleep in my arms as we walked to the car.

Sunday we watched General Conference at Sara's house. After a day of being cooped up (it's four hours of talks... great talks), we headed out for a little sun and fresh air.

Monday I asked Sara for a recommendation on a hike and/or an arboreteum. Janae and I went to Waimea Falls. Ooooh.... so nice. At the end of the hike (OK, they called it a hike, but can it really be a "hike" when the "trail" is paved and eight feet wide?) is a falls into a pool. You can swim through the pool to the falls, climb up on a ledge, and just let the warm water fall all over you. Mmmm. Apparently the "hike" is enough of a deterent to keep the crowds down. We were frequently the only people in the water. I want to take this home with me.

Tuesday was babysitter day. Saturday I had learned that I needed Rigby to stay home for at least one beach day (sorry, Rigs). Janae, Sara, and I went out for some girly fun in the sun. We first drove to Sandy Beach (what a pointless, obvious name) on the east side of O'ahu. Sara and I grabbed the boogie boards and approached the water. I had thought she would dive right in with the rest of the swimmers, but it turns out she was as apprehensive as I was. The waves were huge and strong. I guess our hesitation was a red flag to the life gaurd. He very politely told us that this beach had the highest rate of head and neck injuries and that we should put the boards down and just get our feet wet. Right. Thanks. Am I really that transparent? We tried this for a while, then packed up again. A little further up the island was a beach protected by a peninsula, Makapu'u. This was exactly what I was looking for. The breakers were present, but manageable. We swam the boards out past that, bobbed around in the swells, then rode them back to the beach. Ah, yes. This is Hawaii. Thanks Melissa and Ryan for watching Rigby.

Wednesday Janae and I were off to the Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona memorial. What can I say? It was interesting to be there and see the film about that day with 9/11 in my memory. I felt that I understood better. We then went to the local flea market where I finished up my souvenir shopping. That night Sara and her hubbie Ryan took us all out to a yummy Thai restaurant.

Thursday we all went to the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie. What a fun place. I have to say, this was Rigby's most challenging day. It was long and hot, and he is not one to sleep anywhere but his bed. When a cloud cover set in he seemed to get a second wind and powered through the rest of the day, to tucker out right in time for the big evening show. I appreciated that. If you've never been there, you should go. It's divided up into several different polynesian countries/cultures (Tonga, Samoa, Hawaii, Figi, New Zealand... ). At each location you can watch presentations, make cultural crafts, learn to hula, etc. We also saw an imax about coral reefs. Rigby seemed to enjoy that.

Friday we went to the Dole Plantation. It is not the factory that I remember touring as a kid here. I guess they closed that down when Mr. Dole bought an entire Hawaiian island to move most of his production to. What remains here is a large gift shop/restaurant, the biggest maze in the world (recently pronouced so by the Guiness people), and a little train ride around the plantation of mostly pineapples, but also cocao (chocolate), bananas, mangos, bread fruit, and more. Again, I had a fanastic Dole Whip. Mmmm. It's like a soft serve, pineapple sorbet. It's incredible.

Today is Saturday. We will be meeting up with my friend Mandy who is coincidentally here at the same time with her family and her parents. The last time I came to Hawaii was when we traveled here together after gradulating from high school. Today for our "reunion tour" we will go to the Dole Plantation and Turtle Beach, where large sea turtles return to nest) or whatever they do). I hope to get some great pictures of these guys.

Sunday will be traveling day. Wish me luck. Lots of it. And wish me an empty seat next to me and neighbors who are sweet, understanding grandparents.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Perpetual 87

Yeah, I'm in Hawaii. I'm so excited. I hope I can post pictures while I'm here, but we'll see.

I arrived yesterday after a six hour flight with Rigby. I am soooo pleased to say that the flight went very well. As a roamer, I didn't know if Rigby could handle being confined to my lap for that long. He did great. He slept only 1:20, but, for a guy who never sleeps outside of his crib, that was pretty good.

Nick and Bethelle are home having Daddy/daughter adventures. Have fun, you two! I will!.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Birthdays are of the Utmost Importance

Ever since Bethelle's 2nd birthday (she's now 3 1/2), playing "birthday" is the favorite game.  She makes a cake (a pile of play necklaces, silverware, whatever), sets the table (with play dishes), and wraps presents (various small items wrapped in washcloths and kitchen towels).  Then we sit at the coffee table and have the party.  She gets so excited about each bite and every present: "Oh, thank you so much, Grandma Jackson!  A diaper!  I can share this with Rigby!"

Recently, when stopping for a free cookie in the bakery section of Safeway, she found her next cake.  It's something like this:

A few days later we saw this:
It's now in line for her 5th birthday.  Yesterday she found one she wants when she's six.  I hope I can keep track of all this.  And I hope she doesn't mind my homemade version of these.

Nick's sister, Trish, and her family have recently moved back to the area.  She has a daughter, Joee, who is just younger than Bethelle.  Every time they see each other, Bethelle invites her to her birthday party and they both get very excited.  They jump, scream, and clap.  It's not for six more months.

If Bethelle knows one thing, it is that you get to go to school when you are five and that you get to take your own umbrella (OK, that's two things).  Yesterday at the YMCA, she heard a mom talking to her daughter about her school.  Bethelle said, "Mom!  She's five!  She goes to school!"  I guess I should explain that you keep going for several years beyond that.

At Grandma Patsy's house, Bethelle is keenly aware of some little bags of chips.  After she ate one, I explained to her that they are for Kyle to take to school with him in his lunch.  This morning, Bethelle told me that her cousin, Haley, will be five soon.  We should take her to Grandma Patsy's house so that she can get some chips, and then she can share them with us.  Isn't that a good idea, Mom?!

This is how loopholes are discovered and exploited.  I can't wait until she's 15.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Yesterday Rigby was looking through the baby gate trying to find Nick.  I said to Bethelle, "Rigby loves Daddy."

Bethelle: "I love Daddy too.  I love Daddy the most."

Me: "You love me the most too, right?"

Bethelle:  "No, I just love Daddy the most.  You can only love one thing the most."

True, I thought.

Bethelle: "Wait!  I love two things the most: Daddy and boats!"

. . . . . . . . .

Friday afternoon we went on a family walk around the water in Silverdale.  We stopped in at a little trailer with a sign that said, "Kitsap County Republican Headquarters" where we picked up a few signs.  They were out of anything with "Palin" on it.  Understandable.

Walking back along the water, Bethelle mused aloud, "I love Sister Palin."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Nick!

And Trevor and Rachel and Juliet and anyone else I've missed.

Let's all raise a "post" (ha ha, I must be a Rushton... or a Lilly) to the greatest husband and father I have ever known and could have ever hoped to meet.  Nick is a man whose greatest aspiration is to always do the right thing.  How lucky can a girl get?

And, since everyone asks this question when they find out his birthday is 9/11, he was out of the country on his mission in '01.  I'm grateful for that.  He can just live it up on his big day without the stinging memories.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Mixed-up World

I don't usually rave about myself, but I'm going to share a few things with you.  I think that even my readers who might say that they know me well will learn a few things in the next paragraph, because I really don't discuss these details.  You'll see why I do this by the end, I promise.

I got a 4.0 in high school.  I graduated early.  I scored a perfect 36 on the science section of the ACT.  I went to a "highly selective" university on a full-ride, academic scholarship.  I didn't even apply anywhere else, because I was confident.  I graduated with a BS in physics and a minor in math.  My school had the second largest physics program in the country.  There was only one other girl in my graduating class in that major.  It was HARD, but I had to maintain a 3.75 to keep my scholarship.

I consider myself highly employable.  I would be an asset to the market.  I am a greater asset to my family.  I choose to stay home with them.   I have always wanted this to be my "career," even as I chose arguably the hardest major at my school.  I think it is the right thing for mothers to do, whenever possible.

But if any of you out there prevented me from professional employment, or closed any door of opportunity to me because I am a woman or a mother, you would endure the wrath of Elke.

There are laws protecting women from this kind of thing.  Correct laws.  Employers are not allowed to ask you about your family, children, etc.  They are not permitted to discriminate based on your sex or how many kids you have.  I think that until a week or two ago, most of America would have been aghast to think that anyone would disagree with this law.

But now, all registered voters have the opportunity to evaluate a woman with five children for an important job.  I am appalled at the blog posts (see here) I have read (and the number of comments supporting the idea) that a woman choosing this job, when she has a family to care for, is not the kind of person we want in Washington, D.C.  This shows that many people believe women should NOT have every opportunity before them, that doors should be closed in their faces based on their gender and children.  Why do these voters spend years professing correct principles that they will not live by in practice?  Why are so many no longer aghast?

Sarah Palin wears her own shoes.  I do not pretend to understand her family or situation.  She should not have to justify to us how she plans on nurturing her children while employed in our service.  That is HER business.  She has a husband, family, friends; she'll work it out.  Just like we all do when we have other, important things to do.  It's not our concern.

Our concern should be whether we agree with her politics, experience, policies, etc.  If you don't, and if you like the other guy's better, don't vote for her.  But I am going to boldly say:

To vote against her because she is a woman and has children is wrong.  WRONG.

I choose to stay home.  But I will fight you to the end if you try to take that CHOICE away from me; if you try to confine me there.  I believe that I could do ANYTHING.  Women can!  Knowing what I am giving up helps me to see the value that I ascribe to my children and to love them even more.  If you would prevent Sarah Palin from being vice president because she is a mother, then you are imposing limitations on women.  And I won't accept limitations.

Round Two

Rigby's second strabismus surgery was yesterday.  His first surgery involved loosening the inner muscles of both eyes.  This time, the doctor tightened both of the outer muscles.  So far, so good, but I've learned my lesson and will not get prematurely excited this time.

The recovery hour at the hospital was a little less stressful than before as he was a bit more consolable, and his eyes were less swollen, but he did not bounce right back to his normal Rigby-self.  He spent most of yesterday on edge and easily broken-hearted.  He seems better so far today.

I'm really sorry, Rigby, that you've had to go through all this.  I saw another little cross-eyed toddler at the doctor's office recently, and he almost looked downs, although I really think it was just his eyes, so I think you'll be grateful in the long run that we had this fixed.  It's worth the pain to have depth perception and not have double vision.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Theme and Variations in R minor

Diminutives of Rigby that we call him (OK, they at least begin with "R"):
Rigs, Rig, Riggy, Rigby Bamboo, Roo, Rooster, Roost, Riggalish (think: ticklish), Rigglicious (think: delicious), Rig-a-by, Super Rigs, Super Rigby (he can sing his own theme song)

Diminutives of Bethelle that we call her:
There aren't any.  It's just Bethelle.  OK, I guess a long time ago we called her "B," "Baby B," "Beezer," or "Beezy."

note:  After reading this, Nick informs me that we have plenty of nicknames for Bethelle.  They just aren't derivatives of her name.  We call her Pretty, Princess, Beautiful, Sweatheart, Honey, etc.  They aren't derivatives of her name, but I guess they are nicknames.

second note:   I actually call her "Mommy" a lot.  She calls me "Beffelle".  This is her favorite game.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


When you don't get out much, you've gotta love it when people come to you!

Last week one of my college roommies, Jessika, came to Seattle and we met up a Pike Place Market (it's where they throw the fish in all the sitcoms about Seattle).  Juggling and feeding two kids, I didn't have enough arms for a camera, but here's one I stole from her blog.

I loved college so much and my roommates were the highlight of the whole experience for me.

Thanks for coming, Jess!  So good to see you.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bethelle's Wishes

A couple weeks ago, Bethelle informed me that she wished she could "have wings and fly with Jesus!"  She has repeated this wish to me several times.  While I hope her wish doesn't come true for a long, long time, I do think it's adorable.

Last week she saw a picture of a fair with one of those big slides that you sit on a potato sack to ride down.  She went on one of these last fall with her daddy.  She let me know that now she has two wishes: to fly with Jesus and to go on a big slide.

A couple days ago, I was sitting with my parents and my own family in a park.  My dad asked if we were all going to the fair this year.  In response, I asked Bethelle to tell Grandpa what her two wishes are.  She said, "I want to go on a big slide with Jesus!"

Class of '98

Well, that was me 10 years ago.  What a change... in everything... since then.

My reunion was a couple weeks ago.  I had fun preparing.  I went shopping for what felt like the first time in my adult life.  I have decided that I really like Ann Taylor and Anne Taylor Loft.  Their clothes are simple but stylish and fit me well.  I digress.

The reunion was fun.  Somehow it was more like high school than I even expected.  But with beer.  And this leads me to my biggest complaint about the night: the ticket price assumed you would be getting a little tipsy.  That aside, the meal was great and I enjoyed reconnecting with friends.  I am very impressed with and inspired by many of their lives.  One of my best HS friends is a pediatric dentist with some strong conservative ideas.  Another just had her first baby.  Her enthusiasm over this blessing has been enough to convince another good friend that it's time for her to take the placenta plunge.  Everyone seems to have goals and motivations and exciting places that they are purposefully going with their lives.

See y'all in ten.  Hopefully sooner.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Change of Address

No, we're not moving.  This blog is.  As of about September 14th, I will move this blog to  As a reminder, I've made a note in the column to the right.  Take a minute to jot this down or bookmark it.  I don't want any of you to lose me, so act!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

She's a Good Girl

Bethelle has been working on two major goals all on her own.

The first is saying her "th" sound.  This is critical, as she calls herself "Beffelle".  She is generally well spoken and precocious for her age, but she does say "heen" for "thing".  Lately, when she finds herself saying "thing" she says "h-ththththth-heen".  I couldn't be prouder.  Daddy had pointed this out to her, but she is working on it all on her own.

The next goal is that most mornings she will say to me, "I'm going to obey today!"  I get so excited to hear that and I tell her she can do it.  Recently, I got a little upset with her for not doing something as she should have.  She turned to me and said, "I'm obeying today!  I don't want to have to tell you that again!"  It was like listening to a tape recorder of myself.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Protein in a Pancake

A friend gave me this simple recipe and I tried it this morning.  It's a winner!

4 eggs
1 1/2 c oatmeal
1 banana

That's it!  Dump it all in a blender and whirl it around until the oatmeal is pretty broken up.  Cook them as you would any pancake.  The edges don't bubble (that's what I look for to turn them over), so don't wait for that.  I used rolled oats, but my friend says you can use any kind, even flavored.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Carseats are not baby-proof

... at least when they are taken apart for cleaning.  I was washing the liners when Nick came home and found this:
"Elke, did you know he's eating his carseat?"  Yeah.  I did.  I figure it's good for him.

Here's the damage:

It still works, I guess.

Rigby is too clever for his tiny frame.  He recently discovered that he can push a toy or box up to the coffee table and then climb up on it using his spidy fingers and wiggling his hips.  He can also scale some of the ramps on big toys.  Since these discoveries, he is on the look-out for new trouble.  As he doesn't care how he gets down (head first is generally preferred), this opens a new level of baby-proofing to be done.  But how?

I have made several posts today, so be sure to keep reading!

I spoke too soon

I've been postponing this post because I haven't wanted to accept it, but it's official.  Rigby's eyes are still crossed.  Before his surgery, he was a "55" (whatever that means).  He has improved quite a bit to a "30", but more surgery is required.  Our doctor seemed disappointed and a little surprised.  He had weakened his inner eye muscles as much as possible.  He now has to strengthen the outer muscles to pull the eyes straight.  I will report more as it occurs.

We are sad to go through this again.

A Nap, the Zoo, and the Beach

Just a quick post of some family activities and cute pics:

Bethelle asleep.  Isn't she a beauty?  I love sleeping children.
Feeding the goats at the zoo.
Look at the face!  This guy belongs here.
This is where we go when we're tempted to turn on the AC.  
I saw this guy in the water and felt bad that he had such a little shell for his massive body.  {Body?  Is that what you call this?}
We touched him and the guy actually shrunk right up into it.  I felt like I witnessed a miracle.  Now if I could only perform the same trick into a seemingly-too-small dress...


I just bought a plane ticket to Hawaii.  I am soooo excited.  It's been a really long time.  I will be visiting my college roommie, Sara, so it just could not be better.

And yes, I am going with the man in my life.  Well, one of my men.  Rigby will soon taste his first Dole Whip and be kissed by a hula dancer.

So excited.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Calling on Girl Power

I really like girl power songs.  I think they're healthy.  The funny thing is that Nick really likes them too.  Don't tell him I told you that.

Add a comment to this post and tell me your favorite girl power song(s).  I want to collect more of them in my iPod.  If I like yours the best, I'll send you a favorite song of mine via iTunes!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Random Ramblings

Remind me next time I take on a two month endeavor that my will power only gets me through 6 or 7 weeks.

- - -

Bethelle and I were outside weeding for an hour.  It's July 29th.  What did we eat when we came inside from our labors?  A popsicle?  Ice cream?  Nope: hot chocolate.  We were cheated out of most of our summer last year, so I really thought that wouldn't happen twice in a row.  I'm still waiting for global warming.

- - -

Bethelle has a new favorite movie, Testaments.  She is watching it on her computer next to mine.  Oh, it's so good!  If you don't know, it's about the life of the Savior and about what's happening in the Americas at the same time.  If you have seen it, you'll know that I mean by "Helam!"  Oh, that's the best part!

If you don't have it, it's available from church distribution and is only $4.50.  You can watch the trailer here and order it here.  Even for those who are not members of the church, it's a fantastic movie.  You may think of part of it as more fictional than I do, but it's so well done and such a tear jerker!

- - -

What qualifies as a first word?  Rigby has said, "da da", "ma ma", and "buh buh" on command for a while now, but I haven't thought that he knew what he was saying.  Just lately, he has begun to respond to saying "buh-bye" by repeating it and waving his hand.  Is this a word?

- - -

Rigby had his 9-month check up recently.  He is in the 20th percentile for height and below the charts for weight.  He doesn't look skinny to me!  I'm supposed to take him back in in 4 weeks to make sure he doesn't fall any lower on the scale.  Meanwhile, he's supposed to eat cheese and avocado.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Consider Yourself Warned

If you are a mother who doesn't like to hear about other kids' accomplishments and think that some moms brag too much, pull the plug on your computer now.  I have been putting off writing this one up, but I don't really keep any other record, so I've got to post it.

Bethelle is reading.  OK, just a little, but it's real sound-out-the-word-and-say-it reading.  She doesn't know quite all the letter sounds yet and we haven't mentioned long vowels, but she's starting to get the hang of it.  We're doing the same program my mom used to teach me, Owls Eyes.  Nick is actually doing most of the teaching.  It's been coming on slowly, but a few nights ago she read the word "land" during story time completely on her own.  She also adds on her fingers, just make sure each number is 5 or less.  Good job, Bethelle!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rigby Wordle

I just discovered Wordle on a friend's blog.  What fun.  I created the above image using the text from my blog post, The Making of a Mother.  I think I'll have it printed and framed.  Give it a try with your blog, a favorite Shakespeare play, or anything else you can grab the text of.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rigby's Bag of Tricks

They get smart young, don't they?

Rigby has, for quite a while now, had a little habit of cocking his head to the side and resting it on whatever is near - a couch, his highchair, your shoulder - for just a moment or two.  About two weeks ago, Nick taught him to do this on command.  We say, "Rigby, loves!  Do loves, Rigby! Loves!"  He then lays his head down and smiles.  He is proud of himself and gets a lot of praise for this.

Today he learned to really use his new talent.  When he gets in trouble (for heading toward the stairs, biting, or pulling Bethelle's hair), I say, "No, no, Rigs."  He looks up at me and drops his head onto my shoulder for some "loves" and praise.  It is so funny.  And clever.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Image Tag

This is the cutest tag I've seen.  I wasn't officially tagged, but I'm doing it anyway.

1. Favorite Food
2. Favorite Color

3. Name of Past Pet

4. Place I'd Like to Visit

5. Place I Like to Be

6. Major in School

7. Favorite Holiday

8. Middle Name

9. Age at Next Birthday

10. Bad Habit
Anyone who is interested may consider themselves tagged.