Monday, March 30, 2009


For those of you who loathe the silly, sentimental, parental prattle and the unprovoked sharing of photos only a mother cares about birthday post -----flee now.

I just can’t help myself. It’s not like I will do this every year. I just want to do it once for each child, to put in my journal. Really.

Twenty years ago I was yelling at my husband to, “LOOK AT ME, NOT THE D#$% MONITOR!!! I AM THE ONE IN LABOR YOU IDIOT!!” I will spare you all the rest of that conversation. After 10 hours of labor and screaming at the nurse who was holding the baby in because the doctor didn’t have his scrubs on yet----I got this prize----

I just want to reach right in that picture and nibble on those cheeks and squish that perfect little person! She was my “squishy”, snuggly; I only want my mamma baby.

Nat has been a performer since day one. At 5 months she started throwing her head back and howling—just like a wolf—a little, hoarse, baby wolf—but it made everyone laugh---and she was hooked.

This fashion statement happened the night her Dad took her and some friends to see "Signs". I didn't ever see it but apparently it is relevant.... but I think she looks like Zena, Warrior princess with a hangover.
As a Mother, I can't help but feel a sense of pride as I notice that MY child is the only one who fit the WHOLE cookie in her mouth.........

I’ll never understand how this child......

who we had to fight daily just to keep her clothes on and….
to make her keep her pull ups on the right part of her body………

grew up to be the most modest, all parts of my body must be covered, young woman that she is today!!

Natty, you take my breath away. …….

With your beauty.....

Your courage........

And your strength.

This is Nat 4 wheeling to the Hole in the Rock,inUtah when she was just 13.

I love you for your adherence to what you know to be true. For your shiny, happy soul and for so many other things but most of all….

Because you love me!!

How I got so lucky as to share her journey for the last 20 years---I’ll never know.

Happy Birthday Natty Gann!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Flashback Friday

Pedaling did this today and I decided I wanted to do it too. This is something I can handle—I have a million of these!


These are things I may or may not have said when I have looked at this photo:

1. Mom, I’m really hoping the reason that I am smiling is because you didn’t allow mirrors in our home.

2. What magic pixie dust were we as a planet inhaling to accept this sparkly, winged eyebrow look as FASHION??!! Yes folks--someone INHALED!!

3. Does this qualify as child abuse?

4. The kid is missing some teeth and her Mother dresses her funny----like the glasses matter.

5. There should be greater regulation in the eye wear industry.

6. Just because someone is sight challenged doesn’t give the fashion industry the right to mock them.

8. No wonder everybody always made fun of the kid with glasses!!

9. These look like they should have their own theme music.

10. No eyebrows—no worries!! Just—no worries in general, I’m thinking...

No wonder I am the way I am......

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Good Thing...

Once again I have let my blog go in favor of keeping up with the realities of life. What is up with that??!! I am a little afraid to publish this but…..
...I have never watched a reality show. AAAKK!!
My real life is stressful enough…watching someone else deal with theirs puts me over the edge. My mindless entertainment tastes run along the lines of Bones, Burn Notice, Psych, Monk and Chuck to name a few. (The cotton candy of the NON reality entertainment genre) Please—no hate mail, I try and redeem myself with voracious reading and a lot of Bach, Mozart and ZZ Top.

As fascinating as my inability to fit into “normal” is, I really wanted this post to be about our trip to Spokane, WA. It was WONDERFUL!! We were able to take 2 cars and take my parents with us, stay in a motel with a pool (that is HUGE in our family) and make it to the temple ON TIME Saturday morning. (Also HUGE in our family—actually—just me—I may or may not, struggle with being on time) It was a beautiful ceremony and it is hard to put into words, but it just FEELS like our family is now complete. That such a brief moment of time can affect all of our eternity—simply amazing. We were home again, in our own beds by Saturday night, so it was a quick trip. Here are a few photos. I am just starting my photoshop journey--be kind.

Spokane Temple March 14, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Together Forever

Tomorrow we leave for Spokane, Washington. We are going to the LDS Temple there. We are going to have the incredible experience of having Angel sealed to our family for, what we believe to be, eternity. This is the Spokane Temple....

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have a testimony that this church and its gospel teachings speak truth to my soul and that there is a God and He has a Son who is Jesus Christ. I believe the temple is a sacred place, where I can go and make promises to my Heavenly Father. Where I can find answers to my questions and relief from my fears.

I also count among my dearest friends—many who are not LDS—and I would not change that, or their life choices, for the world. I love and respect their beliefs, as they do mine. I think I would find myself feeling very claustrophobic if I could only have friends who were LDS –I LOVE seeing life from all sorts of perspectives. Not to mention my entire family tree would evaporate—we are the only Mormons! I don’t know what I would do if I had to live without my extended family—they add so much to my life. They are and were strong, vibrant, intelligent people—I am proud of where I come from!

This is our Angel Bean---

She came to live with us in 2002 (at the age of 3) and we were able to legally adopt her in 2003. She was born in Alaska. In 2001 my brother and his then-wife lost their parental rights and we were the State’s first preference placement. I wish I could say that I jumped at the chance, but due to being estranged from my brother and my Mom—it was a difficult time and decision. I am so grateful that we did—I can’t imagine our lives without her. We will tell her one day of her birth parents. She has a half sister from her birth Mom’s first boyfriend and my brother has remarried and had another child—another half sister. We have her keep in touch with both girls—and her native heritage. She is my ray of sunshine, my special gift. Now we are taking the step to make her a part of our eternal family. We believe that will happen when we are sealed to her on Saturday morning. It is a simple ceremony—that our whole family will attend. I am so excited!


I just thought I would share a little of who I am and my family. Some people notice that Bean looks a little different than the rest of my kids and others tell me she looks just like me. One family thought that Phil had had an affair up in Alaska at work and Bean was their love child! They thought I was such a saint for adopting her and forgiving Phil. (so funny—on so many levels!)

Sooo---on that note--hope all will be well with all of you---I will be back next week!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Channeling the Bird Lady from Mary Poppins

This is a woodsy post. If you have an aversion to such nonsense—leave now.

I have become a bird watcher.

I used to mock bird watchers.

I swear my mocking never, EVER, fails to come back and bite me in the butt.

But in my defense—I do not own a wool blazer or participate in any annual bird round up thingie.

I am strictly a watcher.

Wow-that doesn’t sound the least bit creepy.

Anyhoo—I have discovered that bird watching soothes my soul. I can’t claim any Mother Nature/Cinderella type moments but it is great therapy. But if you’ve ever tried to bird watch—you know that you have to be still—and I do not spend nearly enough time being still. Somehow, when I am still enough to watch this--

---I am still enough to sort through all the noise in my head and find the One voice I am always “saying” I want to hear. I had almost forgotten what it is like to just “be”.

Now granted—my children are all old enough to be left unattended without fear of any bloodshed or make up on my bedspread or crayons pictures on the wall—for a little while anyways. So a few years back –this wouldn’t have even been an option—(to be still, alone in my room-all at the same time)I get that. But in THIS season of my life---it has been a wonderful.

We collect pine cones and smear them with peanut butter and roll them in birdseed and some chopped up fruit and then hang them from wires outside my bedroom window. We also smear peanut butter and birdseed on a pine tree a few yards from the house for some of the bigger birds that can’t quite figure out how to land on the pine cones. (giggle)

So I am sitting there, in the cold, patiently waiting for the birds to pose for me--- (yes dear, I know that Crocs are EXTREMELY unfashionable and plaid nightgowns in the middle of the day are so OUT—but—oh yeah-don’t care)

--and for awhile the birds do some of their best moves for the camera—then—nothing—no birds, no chirping, no nothing. Then this comes into my viewfinder—

Hmmmmm—do you suppose there’s a connection???!

And just for you cat lovers—this is their favorite place during the day—sadly they are not much brighter than the birds when it comes to realizing there is a window there.

Glad I got that post out of my system.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What were the Captain and Tennille thinking??!!

Like I said, I am behind on my posts. I had wanted to post this on Valentine’s Day, when my friend sent me this email.

One of these semi unattractive critters decided to come up from the irrigation canal by my friend's house—and stalk her home one day. If you knew this friend--that sentence alone would make you giggle. She doesn't even let dust bunnies do that.

At one point they had it trapped in a window well. Folks, meet that muskrat.


For those of you too young or with too much good taste—they wrote a song back in the 70’s (I think) called—“Muskrat Love”. It was a love song--- of all things. Just wanted to share—call it my Wednesday WHAT WERE THEY THINKING post.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Turtle Poop---Manna to the Immortals

I am so very behind in my posts. Once again I find myself reacting instead of acting upon life’s circumstances. Have any of you seen the new LDS movie called, “Only a Stone cutter—The Story of John Rowe Moyle”? It is only 15 minutes long, incredibly uplifting, and the cinematography is AMAZING! (And he happens to be my sister-in-law’s great-grandfather—way cool) The first line of the movie says, “This world consists of two types of people, those who are acted upon and those who act.” That is my new life theme. I want to be a person who acts. (Not the stage kind—although that is fun) My first step that I am working on is to stop seeking so many mindless activities. I find myself all too often thinking that I am so stressed etc—so I am going to do something mindless to unwind. I think that people who “act” have more ability to stay mentally in the moment---what do you think? If this was your goal—what would be your first step? I need all the help I can get!

This post is almost exactly a month late. A month ago it was my birthday, my family was out of town and my Dad had just been put back in the hospital. I was sitting in my room—playing on the computer and watching an episode of Burn Notice, when I got a phone call. The person just said, “Pay no attention to the noise in your living room”. WHA??!! It turned out to be my friend Matilda (I’m not sure if she wants me to write her real name on my blog) and she was trying to set up a birthday surprise for me. Sadly, my front door was locked, so I had to go unlock it and then hurry back to my room—kinda took a little bit of the surprise out of it. Lots of other funny stuff happened but to make a long story short—she set up a lovely little celebration that the two of us enjoyed immensely and brought me flowers and lots of presents!

One of the best ones being this:

Apparently everyone but me knows this is what you clean your stainless steel pots with. Thankfully Matilda was kind enough to share this info and when I couldn’t find it at the store---gave me some for my birthday! If any of you out there have any other good domestic tips—please be advised that I am domestically clueless and any wisdom you would choose to impart will be gladly accepted!! Just always assume I don’t know –and go from there.



I think I ate an entire plate of them that night and the rest of the pan the next morning for breakfast. Then I went right out and bought the ingredients and made some more. I may or may not have lived entirely on turtle poop for the rest of the time my family was gone.
You take one of those square, buttery pretzels, top it with a Rolo candy—pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes and then gently push a pecan half on top till it smooshes the Rolo out a bit. Then—if you desire to consume IMMEDIATELY—put in the freezer for a few minutes. I probably need a turtle poop intervention. Maybe tomorrow.

So, thank you Matilda—it was a fabulous celebration!! You are one of the most thoughtful people I know—so kind and have been such strength during this new phase of my life. I am truly blessed to have a friend like you. And the turtle poop thing—I owe you—big time—anything—seriously.