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2017 – 2018 School Year


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The Bunny Story

January 7, 2018 | 0 Comments


When school went back in (August) I thought – “Ok, time to get rid of the bunnies.”

I didn’t want to take care of them through the winter. I figured it would be a seasonal thing for us (don’t judge me!).

So I listed them on KSL – for free.

But no one responded. Not one.

But life was busy, so I didn’t think about it again until it turned cold in mid October. Then I decided I better relist them.

Again, for free.

In the description for the add, I listed two bunnies that were the same gender since they had been raised in the cage together for 6 months and had never had babies. Also, very sweet and docile. Totally true.

And again, no one called or responded . . . for about two weeks.

And then this:


I didn’t want to get rid of one bunny and still be stuck with another one. They either needed to both go, or neither of them go.

But then the guy said he would take them. So . . .

The next morning a teenage boy and his buddy show up – for a second Wyatt thought he was being punked. But then the boy said his dad sent him to get the bunnies. They were for his sister for her birthday.

Ok. Of course, being teenage boys, they didn’t bring a box or anything to carry the bunnies with. So . . . we got him a box, loaded up the bunnies, loaded up some food, and sent them on their way.

And that was the end of it . . . I thought.

Until I received a text THE VERY NEXT DAY!! while changing in the locker room at the Temple the next day. It made me laugh out loud. Soooooo FUNNY!


Hahahahahaha! We dodged that bullet by the hair of our chin!

Taking Olivia to the Temple

January 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

Ah, that bright sun and that bitter cold. Bad for taking pictures.

One of the special things we get to do with our sweet daughter now that she is 12, is take her to the Temple to perform baptisms for the dead by proxy. When I was growing up, you only were able to go once or twice a year with your youth group. Now the youth are able to have recommends for any time they are able to go. Combine that with living just 3 minutes away from the temple, and this is a lovely activity that we will be able to do so often!

We took Olivia up one day after school. The most beautiful thing about the whole experience was how quiet and peaceful and warm it all felt. All the noise – the literal and figurative noise – of the world fell away, and we were able to have these slow, peaceful, beautiful moments with our daughter. I felt that Heaven must be like that – just beautiful and peaceful, all the time.

After going to the temple, we went to the top of the hill to get treats at a little diner up there. But then we realized neither one of us had brought a wallet. So we went back down the hill, swung by home, and then went up to Einsteins for hot chocolate.

Olivia graduates from Primary

January 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

Cute Olivia – sniff* graduated from primary. Now imagine my eyes with tears spouting out like a spigot gone amuck!

Cute Olivia memorized all of her Articles of Faith, passed them off, and was able to cut her dad’s tie off before she left.

I am so proud of my girl. I can’t believe she’s growing up. Stop time, stop!

Olivia turns 12

January 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

I can’t believe my little goosey Sunshine girl has turned 12!


Olivia, Cheyenne, Kate, Kira and Hannah

For her birthday we let her have two . . . events. One, she had a late over and watched a movie with some of her friends from the old neighborhood. I think it was probably good for her to see that things have changed in the old neighborhood. I think sometimes things become frozen in our minds as always being the way they were. But when she got together with her little buddies that she spent years with, she learned that none of those girls sit by each other anymore. They aren’t in the same groups of friends. And they have differing opinions on who or what is cool. That was probably a bit of a shock to her, but junior high does that to kids.



Back L->R Jackie, Maggie, Lizzie, Ryn, Amanda, Olivia, Kennedy, ??. ??, Front L->R Sophie, Anna, Natalie

For her second event – a real birthday party, we invited all the friends from this neighborhood to the trampoline park. It was my first time ever doing a birthday party where I didn’t put on the birthday party! It was a game changer! Loved it!

And I think she was pretty happy too.


Also, on Olivia’s birthday I checked her out of school and took her (and Roo, who was home from school) to lunch at her favorite place: Mimi’s Cafe.



House Projects

January 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

Things continue to buzz along here at the homestead – we put in a new fence, including a garden fence, and built a loft in the barn that we will use as a storage unit while we remodel. It.Just.Never.Ends.


We put up a split rail fence around the front yard (several homes in the neighborhood have them, so we knew it would look nice with the rest of the neighborhood).


The very very beginnings of the loft.



The garden fence.


The back yard fence. It’s a cedar fence with a clear stain on it.

Everett’s Baptism Pictures

January 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

For Everett’s baptism pictures we went up to the Draper Temple, which is a short 3 minute drive from our house. It’s neat to live so close to the temple, it blesses our lives! Look at how cute these pictures of Everett turned out.














Everett’s Baptism

January 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

The baptism was changed to 6 pm about a week before the event.

The most special event of all of 2017 was watching Everett get baptized. It’s a monumental occasion to see my children making sacred covenants. We tried to make it a special day for him!


So – in the old neighborhood we were able to have our own baptisms – this meant we were able to chose the day and time, invite the speakers and create the program, and then have an empty church to enjoy a small gathering afterwards.


In this new neighborhood baptism are done on a stake level. Although we were invited to participate in the program (Calvin gave a wonderful talk on baptism for Everett), I had to learn so flexibility in letting someone else run it. 😀 This meant having the stake primary presidency change the time of the baptism just a week before – after all the invitations were out, and I had everything planned on my end. But . . . as I teach my kids . . . sometimes you just have to be flexible. So, with some calls and texts and rearranging of the food plans, all was well.


But, like I said, Calvin gave a great talk about Baptism for Everett, and the Primary counselor did a great job in introducing him.

The most special thing about it all was that we had wonderful support from so many people. I meant to get a picture of Everett with the men who confirmed him a member of the church, but my overwhelmed mom brain forgot. So I will just write it down:

Members of the confirmation circle: Grandpa Harry, Uncle Lance, Uncle Danny, Uncle Thomas, Uncle Jason, Rick Smith, Ian Ferguson, John Engh, Gerry Trelease, Kevin McGlincy, Bret Smith, & Tyler Girsberger.


After the baptism we came home and had cake and ice cream with dear friends and family.


Everett’s Birthday

January 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

2017 is a big year for our family! And one of the highlights of the year was that Everett would turn 8! (It’s a big deal!)

We sure love our Everett. He has the kindest heart, and the greatest desire to serve and help others. He is more aware of how others are doing than all the rest of us combined. He is soooooo sweet. Mmmm, just wanna mush on him.

This year his birthday was on a Sunday – so we opened presents first thing, and then went to church. Afterward we had cake and ice cream. We got trick candles for him, and each time the candles would lite we would sing Happy Birthday again. We sang to him for about 5 minutes – it was the funniest thing ever! And I really think Everett loved all the fun attention. Of course- by that time my phone was dead, so no video.

For his birthday party we invited six of his friends and took them to see Cars 3, then came home to have cake and ice cream at our house. I didn’t get any pictures of that either. Man, I’m not doing so well these days!




Time to Catch Up (Ketchup?)

January 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

Everett’s birthday

Everett’s baptism

Raking the leaves

House Projects (Fence and Loft)

Halloween Carnival

Olivia Graduates from Primary

Olivia’s Birthday


Taking Olivia to the temple

The Bunny Story

Happenings of Fall

Thailand Part I – Getting there

Thailand Part II- Phuket

Thailand Part III- Cambodia

Thailand Part IV – Bangkok and Coming Home


Sledding at the Cabin

Calvin’s Testimony

Here we Go Again

Calvin memorizes his Articles of Faith and Cuts Dad’s tie off

Nate graduates from Nursery and moves into Primary.




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Tales For Tuesdays

I’m going to try and write down memories I have – for my little lovelies who always ask “Tell me a story of when you were a kid . . .”

I’m going to call them “Tales for Tuesdays” – and will try to write one a week . . . unless of course something else happens. In which case I won’t.

  • One of the times I completely and utterly failed at life We went to the Provo temple open house and there were beautiful murals on the walls in the rooms. And it reminded me of this story. When I was at BYU I worked at the Mechanical shop. Lest you’re like me and think the mechanical shop means I worked on cars, let me correct you. The ...
  • My Own Miracle of Healing I went to see “Ephraim’s Rescue” at the theaters tonight with Wyatt. In the movie there is a touching scene where a young man in the Martin Handcart Company was given a blessing of healing by Ephraim Hanks. Despite his severely frost bitten feet, he was blessed that his limbs would be saved. That same night ...
  • I Love to See the Temple If I back-date it to Tuesday, then it count’s as a Tale for Tuesday, right?       When I was sixteen I spent one wild adventurous semester living with my aunt in St. George. Activities included Saturdays spent branding cattle at the Esplin family ranch, working on my ever-popular cousin’s student body election (win), going on some of ...
  • A Christmas Tale for Tuesday Since Christmas is falling on a Tuesday this year, I thought it befitting to have a “Tale for Tuesday” be a Christmas story . . .   When I was in eleventh grade I wrote a short story for my Lit Mag class. I remember reading it to my mom from the back seat of our suburban ...
  • It was Bad Luck One weekend, the summer after our freshman year of college, I was invited to go camping with Andi and her family. I grew up going camping with the Kierst’s. Chris, a geologist for the state of Utah, knew all the best back country camp spots. The place we determined to go that particular weekend was ...
  • First Kiss When I was five my grandpa Brock died. And since my parents were hauling us all to southern Callifornia for a funeral anyway, I guess they decided to make big deal out of it. Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, and Sea World. And it was at Sea World that an employee at the Shamu show came and asked ...
  • Oklahoma! The spring of fifth grade we decided to ride our bikes to Oklahoma. I don’t remember how this decision came about, but it was as real, and we were as determined, as could be! Andi had a map of the United States on her wall – one of those Disneyland-esque maps with cartoons of each states’ ...
  • Uncle Terry This special edition of “Tales for Tuesday” is printed on Sunday, especially for Uncle Terry. Where do you even start when you’re talking about Uncle Terry? In my family he was known as “Terry 1” because we had a plethora of Uncles by that name, but he was always first. Uncle Terry could never talk without ...
  • Painting the Roses Red
    Or, dying the towels pink
    When I was nineteen I spent a semester living in Moscow. And one time we went on a grand trip through northern Russia, across the border to Helsinki, Finland where this story begins, and then across the Baltic to Stockholm, Sweden, where this story ends. Now, we start in Helsinki, where we arrived at five am after ...
  • Our Very First Valentines Day tonight i am typing on my laptop – something i try to avoid ever since calvin got a hold of it last spring and busted some keys – including the all important ‘shift’ – there will be no capitalization tonight. i may go back later to try and fix it. then again, i may not.     ten ...
  • Wednesday was Andi’s Birthday So I was going to write a “Tales for Tuesday” for her, and publish it on Wednesday. But Wednesday I forgot, I was participating in an online protest. So today she shall have her story.   When Andi and I were eleven or twelve years old we would on occasion walk ourselves a mile down the road to ...
  • Estonian Honey   When I was nineteen I spent a semester living in Moscow, teaching English as a second language to ten year olds. But that’s another story. While there we went on a trip where we visited Helsinki, Stockholm, and Tallinn, Estonia. And it’s at the port in Tallinn where this story begins. We had left Moscow a week earlier, sharing ...
  • Two Travel Tales Today I will feature two Tales for Tuesday – because they’re both short. One: The Time I was Smooshed By a Large Lady while Crash Landing in a Hot Air Balloon When I was in third, maybe fourth grade, I went on a trip to Palm Springs, California, where we took a hot air balloon ride. I’m not ...
  • The Roof The house in which I grew up, which was (and is) referred to as simply, “The Yellow House,” had a very steep roof. This was a simple fact of my childhood, confirmed into impressive reality when my brother-in-law, Lance, who roofed houses as a profession for a time, gave his considered opinion that the house ...
  • Flaming Soccer   Today is Emily Elmer’s Birthday (who is no longer Emily Elmer, but Emily Bowers instead). And so I thought it would be good to write a story about living on the Indian Reservation. While we lived on the Res. it behooved us to make friends with some of the local kids. Great kids that the world was ...
  • The story of how we were attacked by
    two dobermans while
    innocently trespassing one day . . .
      This story is dedicated to Carrie, because she wanted me to write this one. When I was probably about thirteen or so, we decided to have a grand adventure. Don’t ask me exactly who all “we” were – I remember my cousin Hazen was there because he whined about the experience all the rest of our ...
  • Singing in the Dark
    AKA The Time They Called Search & Rescue
    When I was about fourteen my cousin, Anna and I decided to go on an evening ride. Our plan was to head up Corner Canyon. When I was growing up, the entire South Mountain was owned by one family. There were dirt trails where kids rode their horses or bikes, and one shabby coral with sad ...
  • The Story of how I was almost hit by a Semi Truck while climbing a tree one fine afternoon The summer before Junior High was a weird one. Perhaps that’s a bit vague. But  I can’t think of any other way to describe it. I was about to start at a new school — a big school that I had only dared to ride past on my bike in the early morning before too ...
  • Swirling The sun slanted at the late autumn angle. The horses picked their way over the canal and out into the field, the hay cut low from the farmer’s plow, the fallow littered on the frosty earth. Andi and I rode in silence. It was too cold to have anything to say, still, the light was ...

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