Friday, April 30, 2010

sugar & spice and everything nice

Okay, I've received some chiding about the promised-but-yet-to-be-seen post about birthday-girl Kristi. Be careful what you chide me about - this could be a doozy.

Kristi joined our family 17 years ago ON her due date of March 24th, after only 3 hours of labor. What a great beginning! To be truthful, I wasn't sure I was quite ready to have another child, as Brennan was only 20 months old and a bit of a wild and crazy guy. It had taken us over a year of trying before we were able to have Brennan, so we assumed the timing might be the same each time. But somehow, before we even knew we were trying, Kristi was already on her way! I remember clearly that the first time I held her in my arms, any feelings of uncertainty instantly melted away. As I looked at her, I was completely overcome with a feeling of peace and awe and gratitude. I felt such joy to have a daughter.

Kristi was always smiling and happy. She was an easy, delightful, sweet baby.

She was blessed to have girl cousins close by while we lived in Pennsylvania. I can't resist posting this oldie but goodie! Love you Karey and Kelly!!

Alas, time flies. Although there is much I could say about her younger years, we'll fast-forward to the present. 'Sugar and spice' describes Kristi pretty well, I think. She can be as sweet as can be, but definitely has plenty of spice to her personality too. Here are a few thoughts about Kristi at seventeen:

Funny! Kristi has a quick sense of humor, and loves to laugh laugh laugh laugh. I get regular comments about her 'bubbly-ness' or just how funny/silly/clever/crazy she is. Really, why be sad when everything is just so funny?

Smart! Underneath her general funnyness, Kristi is suh-mart. I'm not sure people appreciate just how smart she is because she does not appear very serious about it, but she is at the top of everything she does academically. She is famous for saying that she's afraid she didn't do well on this or that, but then aces it anyway. She found out last week via a letter from our school superintendant that she has made it into the National Merit Scholar program. She has wanted to attend BYU her whole life, and I think she's finally starting to relax just a little about her ability to do so.

Talented! You all know she can play the piano. But did you know she also plays the guitar, that she enjoys composing music, and that even though she can read music amazingly well, she can also play by ear? Meaning that she can hear a song on a CD or the radio, and go to the piano and play it. Just like that. To me, who can barely still play Chopsticks, it is the most amazing thing. Kristi also has a beautiful singing voice, but she prefers to keep that talent mostly hidden under a bushel. Kristi is very artistic and creative. You'd want her on your marketing team. She can figure things out and make things happen.

Competitive! I don't know how much of this is due to growing up with three brothers, but Kristi likes to win. So be warned in case you ever play a board game against her, or maybe any kind of game. She's a good sport when she loses, but while the contest is in play, look out. And wear protective gear if you play Spoons . . . or if you dare to tickle her. Tickling is not a fun or friendly or affectionate gesture. To Kristi, it's a call to war.

Normal! I don't know if Kristi would remember this or not, but one day when she was in fifth grade we were discussing some social issues at school. She was noticing and wondering about people's social status and how people got labeled this way or that way. I remember her talking about the 'popular group'. As Kristi had lots of friends, and was very well-adjusted at school, I asked her if she was in the popular group. She said something like, "Oh no, Mom! I'm not popular. I'm normal!" For some reason, I loved that. Kristi does have her head on straight. She is grounded. She knows who she is, and what her strengths and weaknesses are. She sees the big picture pretty well. And she has her priorities in order (although a little more sleep and a little less Facebook & itunes wouldn't really hurt her).

Busy! With so much Facebooking, you'd think she would have no time for anything else :), but aside from the time it takes to maintain her perfect GPA, she also teaches piano lessons, tutors 2 8th-grade boys in Algebra, attends Seminary and Mutual faithfully, serves on the Stake Youth Committee, finds ways to achieve her service hours for National Honor Society, and as the new vice-president for her senior class next year, has begun transitional leadership duties, which twice a week means she has to attend the earliER morning Seminary class. [It will be even more impressive when she makes it there on time, but at least she's trying.]

Social! She has something like 450 friends on Facebook, but more importantly to her, she has a few close friends that she loves and who love her. She is easy to get to know, and is not shy about meeting new people. She challenged herself to get some boys' phone numbers at a recent leadership conference she attended. I don't really know WHY, but she was very proud of herself for getting four, I think. She will never call them, but she got them. Speaking of boys, Kristi enjoys them. As friends. Kristi does not enjoy boys who think they should be more than friends with her. So far she has not enjoyed that at all. One day she hopes that will change. As she was talking with the missionaries who were here for dinner last night about academics and BYU, one of them asked her what she would like to get into eventually. She said in her deadpan way, "Well, eventually I would like to get into marriage . . ." which made me laugh out loud.

I will miss Kristi something fierce when she leaves next year. And even though I know there's a lot about me that she endures, I think she might miss me too. It's been lots of fun growing up together!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

you shoulda seen the other guy

Poor Dallin hasn't had much presstime in here recently. So he decided to take matters into his own hands and give me something to post about. The pictures can do most of the talking. This is what I'm used to seeing around the house every day:

And this is what came downstairs this morning:

Yesterday, 20 minutes after I dropped Dallin off at school, he had a head-to-head collision with a classmate while playing football on the playground. So home he came. I took him to the doc's office, who after checking him out, said he had a mild concussion and had to be 'under observation' for 24 hours. He improved rapidly as the day went on, passed his middle-of-the-night wake up test, and is feeling fine today. The swelling is down markedly from yesterday, although its location has changed -- now it's in his eyelid. Nice.

One more day of R & R at home!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

loco-motion, continued

As if the last post wasn't long enough.

But I don't think I ever followed up on Brennan's BYU-I vs. LDS mission decision. After he received his track assignment, his decision became a bit easier. He was assigned to the Winter/Spring Track, which puts him on campus from January to July each year. Since he wouldn't be starting 'til January '11 anyway, but he turns 19 this July, he decided that serving his mission first was the right decision. He plans to leave in the fall sometime. It was so neat for him to hear Elder Rasband's talk in the Priesthood session of conference about mission calls. For some reason we have had a standing joke about him serving in Fargo, North Dakota. It's just cool to know that wherever it will be, it will be the right place.

Next up was finding a job. I truly thought this might be a lengthy process, but without too much sweat or effort, he was hired at

in the lawn and garden section. Right up his alley, and just what he wanted. And he didn't even need to drop my maiden name to get it, haha. He is still learning the ropes, but is enjoying being a working man so far.

Finally, Brennan had some senior photos taken last week and the photographer put some of them on her blog. Check out my handsome son at;

Okay, that's it. Post about my cute daughter still forthcoming.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I am a broken record, always commenting on how busy we are, blah, blah, blah. Boring! It just seems like my head is in a jumble much of the time, and there are just too many details, schedules, deadlines, and responsibilities to process and sort through on a daily basis. We do get a lot done; I just hope most of it is good stuff and not just stuff that takes time! But for all that we get done, the list of things to do just seems to grow, or at least not shrink. Sigh. I know many of you can relate!! I think loco-motion captures the essence of what I'm talking about -- most days with the emphasis on LOCO. hee hee

Some items of note since last time --------

Brennan finished up his basketball season with a nice surprise:

Even though he had a great season, he didn't expect to be recognized as an all-league player so that made him feel pretty good. And not surprisingly, it was a little sad to say goodbye to this part of his life. He's been playing sports of one kind or another since he was six years old. So it represents a bittersweet change for him and for us! It's been a good ride.

Next up, the youth in our ward had a talent show. I took terrible, dark pictures of the event, so I have none to post, but just for memory's sake I will record that Keith (being a youth leader) played a harmonica medley of hymns which surprised us all. He was voted "most likely to show up at your next campfire"; Austin did an amazing juggling routine complete with coordinated music in the background. First he juggled tennis balls to some carnival music, both in the air and then against a wall which I really thought was cool, and then his music changed to the rap "Basketball" by Curtis Blow (remember the good old days, Deb??) and out came the big guns. He juggled three full-sized basketballs, with some bouncing in between! I had seen him practice a little bit, but was really impressed. He was voted "most likely to join the circus". He's a stud, as you can clearly see!

Kristi and her crazy friend Haydn did a strange tumbling routine, which caused much injury in our backyard during practice, but somehow on the hard stage floor everything came together and they looked quite . . . a bit more like they knew what they were doing! They did a two-person cartwheel routine, among other things, that they learned from watching some youtube videos. They were voted "most dangerously cute". Here they are doing their final warmups in our backyard before the big event. I like the suspended basketball in the background - magic!

Brennan had to say goodbye to two of the missionaries he has grown very close to, Elder Ferguson and Elder Ray. As I may have mentioned before, our family - and especially our oldest son - has been very blessed over the past several months to become very close to the missionaries in our ward. Of course the companionships have changed several times but each one has been someone Brennan has learned from and become great friends with. He's also served with them and has loved every minute.

Austin just finished playing on a traveling basketball team, made up of the best players of the two eighth grade teams in Carson. They played several tournaments in the Sacramento area, did pretty well, and had a lot of fun.

Dallin's big accomplishment lately, other than earning his Webelos badge, was taking second in his last Pinewood Derby. He would tell you that he really took FIRST, but that the missionaries who were judging gave the photo finish in the championship heat to the other boy, figuring that since they know Dallin so well, they didn't want it to look like favoritism. haha

Other funny noteworthy events -- Dallin and Austin were hired to take care of the neighbor's two dogs while they were out of town. We were given their garage door opener as the way in. Inadvertantly, on Day 1 of our responsibilities, the garage door got opened (from inside our house), and the dogs got out. It was hours later that we discovered this sickening fact. It was Day 3 before they showed up at the pound. Oh thank heavens for whoever found them and called Animal Control. Can you imagine that conversation with the neighbors when they returned? Still makes me shudder at what might have been.

Okay, this has turned out to be a novel, and fortunately for any readers, I am off to a girls' camp meeting before work, so I have gotta go for now. I will return soon to devote a post to Kristi, who recently celebrated her birthday. That deserves its own spotlight.