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Boys = Noise covered in dirt...that sounds about right!

Updated: 2017-02-07T20:53:37.459-08:00


Squinting At Fifty


In just over a month I turn fifty. Freakin' fifty! The big FIVE OH my hell, how did this happen?

I stressed a lot about twenty-nine.  For my entire twenty-eighth year I just couldn't bear the thought of twenty-nine. During routine household chores it would creep up behind me, blow its clammy breath against the back of my mind, until, just as I became aware of it there, "BOO!"

I anguished.  I hadn't really lived. I was an old married lady. I was a stay at home Mom with two little boys, they would be little forever AND I needed to decide if I was having more babies because twenty-nine was soooooo old.

Then suddenly I was twenty-nine and ridiculously morning-noon-and-evening sick with my third son. I hardly noticed as thirty came and went, then thirty-one and a lot of numbers in between passed by in a whirl of four more pregnancies, parks, and swimming pools, homework and job changes, moves, and trick-or-treating and Ground Hogs days, first days of school and last weeks of school, football games and choir concerts, baseball and orchestra, a foster kid, and five graduations, more job changes and hikes, and vacations, and crisis and emotions and laughter and, this year, a wedding...  Twenty-nine?  Pffffff, what do numbers mean after all?

Yesterday I went in with Adorable Hubby, #1, #4, and #7 for a MUCH needed eye exam just sure I'd come out with a prescription for, and I whisper this, bi-focals.  Praise Plutarch!  I only needed a bit stronger lenses.   I walked out of that exam room with dilated eyes and a youthful spring in my step, I felt twenty-nine again. Winky face.

But, I am I blind, nauseated and grumpy with my eyes dilated. Helping five people pick frames, realizing I had forgotten my medical card, going home to get it and coming back to pick out my frames and fit new glasses with a hungry eighteen year old, a nervous ten year old, a husband on a conference call and 100+ degree heat reminded me again that I'm nearly FIFTY.

FIFTY! I groaned as I leaned in too close to the mirror to actually see if the frames looked age appropriate while still looking twenty-nine something.

Soon #4 and #7 were fitted in their new glasses and helping me pick out frames.  Try these, no.  Try these, hmmm, no.  Try these, these, these...  finally I put on a pair that #4 really liked.  "What, these make me look like a crazy old lady," I said, squinting at myself in the mirror.

"Mom, YOU ARE a crazy, old lady!"

"Hmpfff, let me tell you, Sonny, I'm only turning fifty and fifty's not THAT old!"

Pour Some Sugar On Me


Four years ago our son Jeremiah was finishing his Sophomore year in high school.  He came to me one day and asked, more intently than he ever had before, what he could do to be cut.  He wanted a lean physique and defined muscles.  He wanted to look hot!I suggested he quit eating sugar and corn syrup, something I've never been able to give up for more then a couple months.  This isn't a blog about shaming so I'm trying really hard not to hate myself right now because sugar is my addiction, my drug, my pornography have you seen how many cookie recipes I have pinned?  Yah, so I told my son, Do as I say not as I do, so proud, hypocrisy much?And wonder of wonder, to his sugar shootin' up mom, he did it!  He just quit eating it and soon two of his brothers had joined him and suddenly I was baking sugar free granola bars and watching him exercise four or five hours a day and then he began to study health and nutrition and exercise science, compulsively read labels and for a while there he was standing on the edge of the eating disorder abyss, skinny dipping a toe or two in the murky but enticing ripples.His dad was scared, I was scared.  His dad yelled and demanded he eat.  I lectured everything I knew, whether I could live it or not, about nutrition and appropriate calorie counts and moderate consumption of sugar and processed food and adrenal fatigue and elite athletics (for the record I know nothing about elite athletics or adrenal fatigue) his dad reiterated everything I said at eleventeen hundred megahertz.  The more we yelled and lectured the less he ate then one day I told him I trusted him to do what was best for him.  And though I was still cautious and hyper-aware  of every bite he ate I felt an overwhelming sense of calm. Now my lectures were sharing what I was learning about health and exercise.  His Dad spent less time yelling and more time cooking for him with his input.Slowly he began to self moderate he increased his calorie intake to wise levels, he reduced his exercise times to something closer to reasonable. Then one day he told me, "I feel really great, and I want to help people the way you and dad helped me," and then he said the big thing, the thing that every parent needs to hear, "I got really close to anorexia, Mom, thanks for trusting me and sticking with me, I NEEDED TO SEE FOR MYSELF what it feels like so that I could help people."Fast forward four years, Jeremiah is graduated, he's still off sugar and corn syrup, studying to be a personal trainer, working, two jobs, helping out the family when needed and making tough adult choices with grace and dignity, OK, he's stresses and yells like the rest of us but, ya know, so dignified.And, I'm  ridiculously proud of him! And, still helplessly addicted to sugar.  And, two weeks ago he asks me to make him cookies, and cinnamon rolls and brownies, he's eating ice cream from a huge Iceberg cup "With extra snickers" he tells me."WHAT?""Mom, I can't even remember what it feels like to eat sugar" he says.  "How can I ask someone to go off it and help them through their addiction if I don't remember how it feels?"I started choking back tears, just like that I didn't want sugar EVER AGAIN! An hour later we're (the flesh is so weak) eating my cookies and he's telling how good they are but they give him heartburn, and everyday as he describes how tired he feels and notices the new patches of eczema that had cleared up years ago, or comes in panting after wrestling with the dog, he is showing me my symptoms, teaching me the gut wrenching truth of how my addiction effects me.  And I think of Christ, how he willingly took upon himself flesh all of it, the addictions and pains and joys and appetites, happiness and anger, all of it. He experienced mortality so that I could learn to trust my experiences, and learn from them, and live them, shame free.Christ teaches me that the divine purpose of my life is TO SEE FOR MYSELF, shame free.My flesh may always sa[...]

Lose Yourself in Nature


 This is my friend Suzie. We are standing in front of a map at the Big Springs trail head. The map is a bunch of squiggly green and tan lines also known as a topografical map. On the map was an arrow and one helpful direction, "You are here". It has been a few years since I  hiked to Big Springs, thirty few years. My memory was a bit fuzzy. Some more helpful directions on that map would have been nice. Like, listen to the kid who says I think we should take this trail, despite being whiney he's right. Or, when you are two miles further then the Big Springs .2 miles sign, heh hem, you've gone too far, might have been nice. Also, you are going to have to dodge rain drops and psycho bikers, might have been a tinsy bit more helpful then, "You are here". Just sayin. Still, the Utah mountains were gorgeous, the wildflowers were blooming their heads off, the kiddos adorable, Big Springs (when we finally found it) was a fun memory, and time with my best hiking buddy was awesome. Oh and the son of one of the counselors when I went to Camp Big Springs many years ago wandered the mountains with us. He's the fellow in the blue shirt. So if, "YOU are ever HERE", it's a gorgeous hike, veer to the right, look under each bridge for trolls and bring your own directions cuz the map, well...  Looking for the Grumpy Old Troll who Lives Under the Bridge...from Dora the Explorer.  Since I'm the Map, I'm the Map, I'm the Map... didn't really pay off. On the trail.  Love all the cute hiker bums! These berries were yummy looking but we didn't eat any. This meadow was sprinkled with Milkweed puffs.  So Beautiful.I can't ever remember seeing so many varieties of wildflowers in bloom, but none compared to our gorgeous Miss Lilly!   I have this thing for twisted, gnarly old wood. Aspens and wildflowers.This creek is the run off from Big Springs.  You'd think that since we followed it most of the way up we could have found the source without a two mile detour.   We spent a lot of time looking for that Grumpy Old Troll and never found him....or did we?? We sure found a lot of cute little hikers on top of the bridge.  This bridge.  Absolute darlingness.  I want to recreate this in my backyard in the worst way.  Let's see, bigger back yard, spring, moss, rocks, flowers, duoh!  I guess I will just have to come hiking more now that I know the destination. The summer after 6th Grade I went to Camp Big Springs.  I remember the campfire logs and the sink (picture didn't turn out) I swear is the same one that was here all those years ago.  What a fun trip down memory lane.   Thistle flowers.  Oh Eeyore.....   We never remember to get the group shot before the hike.  I guess then you wouldn't get the walking sticks and the mud and the random strangers we pick up alone the way.   This guy was a lost as we were and is the son of one of the counselors from my Big Springs Days.  Too Cool!     We got dusty then rained on and that made for 12 muddy feet.  We made them eat, take off their shoes and shirts before they got in Suzie's new car.    And, homeward bound with our muddy hiking buddies. [...]

At 2:00 AM on July 4th Shouldn't Traffic Lights Be Red, White and Blue?


Yes, for the past three years I have worked the graveyard shift seven nights on and seven nights off; but, going to work at 9:00 PM and working until 7:00 AM in a brightly lit office has yet to conquer the mystery of 2:00 AM Brain.  I forget this though and every two months or so, in the dark of my bedroom, 2:00 AM Brain takes over, and suddenly I need, make that MUST, get out of the house.  Where do 2:00 AM Brain and I always end up??Walmart. Of. Course.Why?  Because, 2:00 AM Brain believes this makes good sense. 2:00 AM Brain wonders why I never decorated a bed room in Hello Kitty.  Cute, plentiful, cheap?  Have I missed my shot at a Better Home and Gardens article. Wait, don't I have a lot of sons? Some boys like Hello Kitty, right?2:00 AM Brain thinks the entire family needs patriotic tank tops for July 4th...matching.2:00 AM Brain is fascinated with Pez Dispenser Collections.  Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Bat Man... so many choices. 2:00 AM Brain wonders if the brain in 2:00 AM brain should be capitalized  every time or just part of the time or not at all.  2:00 AM Brain is wondering which friend wouldn't mind waking up to discuss the finer points of capitalization.2:00 AM brain gathered all the ingredients for these super cute eagle cookies except the frosting.2:00 AM Brain thinks we had better go back to Walmart for frosting and for plants because there may be a couple empty pots in the back yard, and for another look at Hello Kitty stuff, so cute.2:00 Am Brain doesn't worry about anything scary at Walmart at 2:00 AM but it is terrified of making more then one eight foot trip into the house with Walmart loot. So it makes sense to gather all ten bags and pray the double bag on the ginormous bottle of Banana Peppers holds."Wow," you say.  "Is there anything 2:00 AM Brain can't make sense of?" Well, since you asked.  2:00 AM Brain is a little confused by traffic lights.  If the light is red but there are no cars coming the other way can we go or should we stop?  Usually there are other cars around to drop little clues. At night traffic lights are really bright and bossy.  If no one sees you turn left on a red light did it really ever happen?  Hmmm, sadly 2:00 AM Brain can't make sense of  everything. Despite its challenges with traffic lights, 2:00 AM Brain thinks it would be a shame for you to miss out on it's brilliance so 2:00 AM Brain decided it made sense to create a blog post.. Happy July 4th! From 2:00 AM Brain and Boy Mom. [...]

Yet Another Spring Break with My Best Girl and Our Crazy Kiddos!


I haven't posted much lately.  I intend to change that with this post.  I miss the journal keeping aspect.  I think I find it harder to post about teenagers because I worry that teen antics are not as cute or socially acceptable as those of little ones.  I have come to realize lately that while some may not understand or agree with my particular approach to parenting teens, that it is, nonetheless, what I am doing and I don't want to forget it because I was afraid of being judged.  So here goes...Spring Break 2013 started on the Monday following Easter, unfortunately I had to be back to work Wednesday night at 9:00 PM so Suz and I decided to leave the Saturday night before Easter Sunday for our annual jaunt to the beautiful town of Loa, Utah and Capital Reef National Park.  Our boys say Suz and I live in an alternate reality where we have our own time zone.   Suz/Sus time makes allowances for final trips to WalMart, obligatory Easter Egg Hunts, cleaning up paint spills, planting pansies, weddings and making  green smoothies (heavens knows we can't survive three days without Walmart and green smoothies).  Getting on the road at 8:30 PM, if we're being liberal with the definition of, "on the road", is pretty good for us.  Gassing up one last time because Suz's dash board indicators like...oh, the speed-o-meter etc, sometimes work and sometimes don't, and one more stop at the bank etc. count as being on the road in Suz/Susan World and 3 hours later when we pulled into Loa with only one potty break, no road kill and eight sleeping kids we were pleased.  Two hours later after settling our sleepy kiddos onto their own special chunk of carpet,  filling 25 plastic eggs with $1.00 in change each and 25 plastic eggs with candy and filling 10 bags with a water bottle, socks, bubbles, bandannas, glo-sticks, gloves and treats, and making an Easter Basket for Grandma, who's house we were staying in, Suz, who is not normally the potty mouth, turns to me and says, "We're f******* nut's!" "Uhhhh, yes we are, Potty Mouth." I reply"Oh, no!" She says, I meant to say, nucking futs! And we start giggling like 12 year old girls seeing Justin Beiber leaving  the mensroom and that's when Grandma came out and asked if everything was OK?  Evidence of our nuttiness and mad Easter Bunny skills.    Easter Sunday dawned sunny and way to early.  We all got ready for church, Suz had her crew dressed in  Easter clothes.  Adorable!             I looked down the pew at two of my crew dressed in semi-suitable Sunday attire, church clothes with tennis shoes, and my cute little, daughter-for-the-weekend, aka, #3's girlfriend, henceforth known as Flower, so named by her Native-American-for-the-weekend, boy friend, Eagle Who Farts in the Wind, dressed in a cute dress, and the rest in shorts, sweats, or torn jeans.  I thought about how much I loved them no matter what they were wearing and how happy it made me to sit there with them singing of newness and spring and re-birth and I realized that our loving Father in Heaven feels the same about each of us.  He cares only that we pause for a moment, however were dressed and whatever we are doing and think of Him.  This is my rag tag bunch of Spring Break hikers!  This is Suz's cute group. And now, drum roll please, a photo line-up of what to expect on a Spring Break trip in Suz/Susan world. Women Gone Wild  wild photo ops!  I think Suz is about the cutest best friend a girl could have!Cute babies, well they're our babies.  Climbing, Mom style!         Hooray, Mom!  You did it!         Climbing, boy style.                 &n[...]

A Letter


This is a letter I wrote to my Visiting Teacher, I felt prompted to share it here.  To friends who are of a different denomination, I am happy to answer sincere questions.  Visiting teachers are female members of our congregation who come to each sisters home monthly to share gospel discussion, to visit and, you know, be girls. Most of the sisters in our congregation are called as visiting teachers and in this way we love nurture and care for each other, it is a beautiful concept. Oh and we call each other brother and sister which is also a beautiful concept.Dear Sister, I wanted you to know I appreciate your faithfulness and willingness to serve as my visiting teacher. As I sat watching you Friday and watching your little Miriam who shakily stood where you had placed her between stone hearth and the rockers of your chair, in stocking feet, on a wood floor, within tiny arms reach of a fragile tile proudly proclaiming the belief that we sacrifice our children as missionaries to benefit others of Gods children, I clearly saw what was about to happen. I felt calm and peace and a little amusement as I watched beautiful Sarah climb and play exuberantly in the Dog-Free-Zone of your lap while you fervently expressed your thinly disguised concerns that I am too harsh and unforgiving of individuals and a culture that proudly proclaim the merits of Mormonism. I remember sitting in a Relief Society meeting many years ago with my own little child using my lap as a jungle gym. My older son was in nursery, I had a five pound diaper bag a four pound church bag, a heart full of determination to raise sons who would happily learn each little LDS principal and then boldly proclaim to all the world that they knew, “beyond a shadow of doubt”, that this was God's true and living church and that the culture, belief's, doctrines and power it taught were the one and only way back into His presence.  Then, Sister Carr shared her experience with a son who chose to skip his mission to attend the University of Utah and finish his schooling. As I listened with growing anxiety she told of the struggle it was for her to let him make his decisions and trust that he had followed the spirit ant made the “best” decision for him. I was shocked, scared for her and her son, a little angry and very, very resolved that no son of mine would EVER make a decision that was so obviously wrong. I knew the revelation about every worthy male serving a mission and I firmly believed that it was lackadaisical parenting and shoddy living of gospel truths that had led to this child's decision. A few months later, again, during Relief Society this same woman's fourteen year old daughter was asked to read a beautifully written script about Mary's feelings upon hearing she was chosen to be the mother of Christ. As she began the room was filled with joy, her voice vibrated with tones of wonder, awe, thrill and passion. Her face was lit with a glow of humble faith and exquisite delight at the blessings and trials that would be hers. I, we all, were moved to tears at the beauty of it. Some of my tears were tears of repentance, this was not the daughter of lackadaisical parents, this was a girl who was carefully taught the majesty of the atonement, a daughter who truly proclaimed the one and only way to the presence of God with all that she was. Yes, I am harsh and find it difficult to forgive that woman, the one who judged and condemned others for their experiences, for where they were at in life and for what they were learning. Sadly, I haven't come very far in actual practice from those long ago condemnations and judgments. All to often I feel like the baby standing shakily on a slippery floor, between a rocker and a stone hearth. I know it is inevitable that the fragile, proudly displayed beliefs of others will topple as I reach out my hand and seek for the experiences and understanding that will bring t[...]

Football Season 2012


Perfect night for football. Sweat and contemplation.  #9 Joe SmithThe home crowd. Taking the field. # 36 Ben Smith  Interception. Jeremiah Smith #45Even the moon came to play. Jeremiah Smith #45There is something about a cool shiver in the evening air and lights coming on as the sun sets.    The barky smell of fallen leaves on damp, chalked grass, pumpkin spiced latte, sweat and the satisfying thwurack of a really great hit. Players, coaches and referees silhouetted against aluminum bleachers and autumn blue sky, bigger then life in colors they'll always be loyal too.  The mutual risings and shared groans of the blanketed crowd, the rushed cadence of something like music from a band and hearing your kids name from the announcer, especially the other teams. And always a non-supportive sibling from the three and younger gang wailing with the cheers, the noise-maker group enthusiastically embarrassing themselves.  Pizza cold as cardboard or over priced hot dogs and popcorn. A hooded sweatshirt is fashion haute couture. That one mom just off work in high heels and a short black skirt...where does she work again?  And, the dad's who played, who really know, their butts firmly planted on cold metal their souls wearing a helmet and cleats.  There it is, that glance from the sideline, the slight lift of a face-masked chin, acknowledgement that all this matters, and  that in a few short years when Fall means extra yard work and changing out the anti-freeze there'll be a warm gathering in the heart, a whoop of triumph in the soul, and lights coming on as the sun sets.[...]



Did I mention I love words? 

Love em!

Came across a really great one the other night at work. At the hospital. Around 2:00 AM. In a Medical Terms dictionary. 

gubernaculum /gu·ber·nac·u·lum/ (goo″ber-nak´u-lum) pl. guberna´cula   [L.] a guiding structure.gubernac´ular

gubernaculum tes´tis  the fetal ligament attached at one end to the lower end of the epididymis and testis and at its other end to the bottom of the scrotum; it is present during the descent of the testis into the scrotum and then atrophies.

Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. © 2007 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
AhhHaa!  Now we know why men don't feel the need to ask for directions.  They have a factory installed guidance system that got the boys where they needed to go.  And reminding them that it has atrophied is only likely to bring up comments about how lack of use can cause atrophy in other structures; soooooo...

Try saying it a few times, goo-ber-nac-u-lemmm, GOO-BER-NAC-U-LEM!  Gubernaculem.  Kinda puts a smile on your face and takes your mind off of driving through that same intersection over and over and over...

Rude Awakening



I get woken up for really odd reasons at all times of the day.  Yes, day!

I get woken up to solve big problems, "Mom, we're out of  spaghetti sauce."

"Mom, everybody in this family uses me for their punching bag."  I get woken up to deal with drama.

I get woken up for physics.  #7's finger and the door tried to occupy the same space at the same time.

I get woken up to be a calendar.  "Mom, do I have a baseball game today?"
 "Mom, what time is my baseball game at?" And, a clock.

I get woken up to be a counselor, "Mom, why are girls so...stupid?"
"Um, I'm a girl."
"I know, that's why I'm asking you."

And, I get woken up to answer tricky questions.  "Mom, how much longer are you going to sleep?"

None of it really bugs me, I choose to work at night so I can be there to be woken up by my most important job, motherhood.

Thursday I was in a really deep sleep, felt something in my hair reached up and OW! got stung by a wasp.

Now that is a rude awakening!

The Dog Ate...Never Mind


I'm a fairly creative person and I usually run late and I am supposed to be to work at 9:00 PM sharp.  I have an amazingly forgiving manager who gives us seven minutes after our appointed clock in time before we are, "Officially late."

But, 9:00 PM is right in the middle of last minute I have a seven page report on armadillos due tomorrow homework and bedtime and, "I'm huuuunngry, you know I can't eat that disgusting stuff you made for dinner" time.

I look forward to summer because bedtime is later and dinner is later and NO HOMEWORK, que heavenly angel choirs, so of course getting out the door on time for work should be a breeze, right?

Thursday, #3 leaves at 8:30 PM to get his girlfriend home by 9:00 PM.  Yay, way to be responsible, #3!  Wait, one of the 13 zillion neighbor kids who have been in and out all day left his bike parked behind the Suburban, it's squished, #3 is near tears, the neighbor kid is in tears, #4, #5, #6, #7, #1 and the other 12 zillion neighbor kids encircle the squished bike like it's a fallen comrade, Boy Mom in a bathrobe with wet hair is calming down and lecturing about choices and responsibility and...Yep, late to work.

Friday, a cleaning frenzy that lasted until nearly 8:00 PM when I ordered #6 and #7 to pick up their toys then got in the shower, determined that tonight I would be on time.  Out of the shower with wet hair in the trusty, blue bathrobe, I step in to check the picking up process.  Rough housing and Lego's and a knee with a gaping gouge and...Yep, late to work.

Saturday, "Mom, we found this dove with a hurt wing and so we put him in our suitcase."
"Ack, why is it in your suitcase?"
"Because we need to keep it safe from dogs and stuff."
"Your suitcase will be ruined, get it out."
"We're not dumb, we put some cardboard in it and put the bird seed and water on the cardboard."
A storage crate with holes a stick poked through the holes for a perch, lids for bird seed and water and a shop vac job on the spilled bird seed later and...Yep, late again.  

Did I mention I'm fairly creative and usually late?  Well, even I didn't try to explain the last few late clock-ins  who'd have believed it.

Which Came First


There are the some deep, dark, philosophical questions that have been pondered since man, uh, well, a really long time. 

Here at boy house we pride ourselves on being deep thinkers.  We allow room for science and spiritual debate and try to consider all sides of each question.

 My deep thinking #7 posed this doozey.

Which do you think came first?

Pink Nerds or purple Nerds. 

Super Summer Fun


I admit it, he started the transformation but I finished it.


 What is it they say, behind every good super hero is...his mother and a crayola marker?

Let's hope it wears off by Sunday. 



I miss blogging!

I have been thinking about doing a post a day for awhile!

Here goes, because all good things start on June 11th.

Of course my sister, Jenny, would disagree, but just because her birthday is June 10th.

However, she got her birthday pedicure and tattoo on June 11th so....


Am I back? 

We'll see! 

When I'm Not Boy Mom


9:00 PM,  a chubby, middle aged Radiology secretary, Susan Smith, could such a banal name be a more obvious disguise, adjusts her glasses higher on her nose and makes her way down the clinical white hallway to the radiology office.  As the door appears she sighs, hoping tonight's graveyard shift will be a quiet assortment of phone calls, patients and paperwork.  Entering the office a quick glance around the room reveals only the usual Mammo films, sticky notes and piles of scanning...but wait, a crock pot containing four day old salsa chicken, remnants of an office party, still sits on a rarely used counter.  Susan gives it a cursory glance as she puts on her rubber finger, pushes her glasses up and begins sorting. 9:10 PM After a quick look around the office to be sure she is alone, Susan shoves her glasses onto the top of her head and begins sorting papers at super speed her rubber finger smoking as a haphazard mound of paperwork is reduced in a dizzy blur to a tidy scanning pile and shredding pile. Getting paperwork filed quickly is always best, it might be a quiet night but one never knows what evil doings may be afoot. 9:17 PM Susan's pulls her glasses back into place on her wrinkled nose, "What is that smell?" Suddenly, a full breasted hen, dripping with four day old salsa and a little cheese emerges from the crock pot with an evil cackle, "Bock, bock, brrrrocck, buwahahahabock." Gasp, "It's Dr. Salmonella, I thought she was in lock down on the psych unit!"  Susan exclaims as she dashes out the door and down the hall.  "Come back and fight, or are you chicken?" screeches Dr. Salmonella pulling a double barreled Blechk 2012 Germ Ray out from under her wing. Susan jerks open the door to the Radiologist bathroom, sending a startled, red faced doctor down the hall grumbling about looney office ladies as he zips his fly.  9:21 PM As green flashes of phosphorescent light and the pewpewpew sounds of the germ ray flash from the office door, someone swirls out of the Radiologists bathroom.  It's Lady 'O Night, her extra strength spandex body suit can withstand toxic levels of bacteria, her fishnet stockings only rarely snag, and her cape...Ahhh the cape, shimmers and swirls around her, sequins and fluff, flashing and fluttering.   Her sensible, sequined, sneakers squeaking on the hospital blue linoleum, Lady O' Night dashes into the office, Dr. Salmonella laughing maniacally "Buwahahahabock!" is covering every surface with germy, green, slime.  Lady O' Night reaches for her utility belt, "Duoh, must be home on the body suit that's in the laundry."  With a habitual swipe at her glasses,  she grabs a handful of paper clips and a bottle of hand sanitizer.  "Hey, Dr. Salmonella, to get back to the Psych unit you need to go down to the second hall, turn left, watch for the elevators about half way down the hall,  also on your left, go up three floors...Hey!  As a slimey bolt from the germ ray barely misses her.  "You office ladies and your parties, buwahahahbock!"  Dr. Salmonella sneers, well, as much as a 5" 9", fleshy breasted, salsa covered hen with a bright pink lipsticked beak and false eyelashes can sneer.  "I could get anywhere in this hospital in a Tupperware or one of your crock pots." "Whatever, I've coated each of these paper clips in hand sanitizer after I throw them at you, I'm going to dash down to Central Distribution grab some alcohol wipes and a can of orange anti-bacterial spray... or we can do this the easy way." "No! Not sanitized paper clips!  I'll get you next time Lady O' Night."   Dr[...]

Mom of the Year


It's only  May but I'm well on my way to being that coveted Mom of the Year grand prize winner. 

Language, we all know that getting your children to use appropriate language is somehow vitally important to turning out good little lads and lassies who don't get themselves sent to the principals office too frequently. With a household of boys I've gotta admit I'm not so much trying to win the battle more convince them that I'm a girl and that means...awright, who am I kidding? I can out potty-mouth all of them so don't get me started.

For instance at dinner hour the other night (could there be a more stress filled hour in the day?) #7 and #6 start roughhousing, I'm trying to combine hamburger that may or may not have sat in the fridge to long, pasta shaped like radiators, a couple of limp carrots and a can of spaghetti sauce into something at least one of them won't complain about while I yell at the youngest three to finish up homework.

 #3 and #4 are prowling the kitchen hungry and sweaty from track and Ultimate Frisbee practice, accompanied by sweaty, hungry friends and cute little teenage neighborhood girls.  #5 is bossing #7 and #6, and refusing to finish his homework and trying to join in with the teenage conversation which I like, can't even like, understand, because like, they use like as nouns, and like, verbs, and like, I know, right?

Inevitably, just as all this happiness is swirling around us #7 starts calling someone a, plug your eyes sensitive readers, douche bag. Grrr, my Boy Mom senses start tingling and I whirl from the stove a pattern of spaghetti sauce splots fanning the wall and fridge in my wake, "Hey, #7, quit calling your brother a douche bag!" I yell sweetly request.

"He is a douche bag!" yells #7 as he launches himself from a bar stool, towards the offending brother, fists clenched.

"I am not a douche bag, I told him to quit wrestling with #6 and he wouldn't, he's the douche bag!" As he fends of seven year old fists.

"I don't have to listen to you, Douche bag!" #7 yells and lands a well placed fist earning him a punch back from a much bigger #4. "Oww, that hurt's you big Douche bag." He starts to cry and punch harder.

That's when years of honed, practiced, parenting expertise take over and I sink my spaghetti saucy fingers so deeply into that Mom of the Year award you'll never pry them off.  "#7, you know your brother is a douche bag, it's an accepted fact that he's a douche bag, but you are pushing the douche buttons.  Quit pushing his douche buttons and he'll quit being a douche bag to you!"

A moment of silence, followed by shrieks of teenage laughter, "Sorry, Mom, were not undermining your parenting...douche buttons...buwahhhhahaah..gasp, ha, ha."

"Mom what's a douche button?"

Happy Mother's Day!

Roll Up Those Genes, Spring Has Sprung


Setting: Front yard where Boy Mom is admiring her blooming bulbs and enjoying a moment of quiet. #3 and #4 walk up having returned from a church activity.

#3: Yo, Mom! What's for dinner.

#4: Now here we see an example of Co-dominance. (As he points to a white and orange Daffodil that bloomed today.)

#3: Dinner Mom??? I'm starving!

#4: You see, when the white flower, uhhh...mates? with the orange flower, the dominate gene for white and the dominate gene for orange...

#3: (interrupts) Uh Oh! Nerd alert!

#4: (ignores and continues) ... each contribute alleles with out overpowering the other so both colors are represented.

#3: I'm making everybody French Toast for dinner.

#4: I need to take a poop then I'll help you.

Boy Mom: Uhhh...wash your hands.

Happy spring from my heterozygous flowers...and teens.



I have three sons serving as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. this is the Easter letter I sent to them. I try not to get to preachy here in blog land because heaven knows I am the last person that should be preaching to anyone. I do believe in God and his son Jesus Christ and I believe in love. Nothing has taught me more about love than being married to my husband and being the mother of eight beautiful sons.Dear Boys,I put a couple packages together for Jacob and Tyler then I decided that it really didn't make sense to spend 12 dollars to send 5 dollars worth of candy to you! Things are a little tight right now so I ended up giving your treats to the little boys and that saved me buying them candy. I had planned to send you each a card with a little money but work and life got in the way and since we aren't sure if we can send anything to Josh except emails I decided to just email you all my testimony of Christ. I have thought a lot about what Jesus Christ means to me on this Easter day! My thoughts have come down to this one thing. Yeshua born of Mary a literal Son of God teaches me most purely of my divinity, my worth, and my claim as a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me and cherishes me. As I think of each of you, your amazing strengths, your little hang-ups,and your unique personalities I am humbled by the the love I feel for you as it compares with Gods love for me. Rarely does a day go by that I don't see or hear something that reminds me of each of you. And each time I think of you I am filled with gratitude for the things you teach me and the parts of you that remind me of the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ. You each save me as I see my strengths and my sins amplified in you. I am thankful that Christ came to teach me not to cling to human experience but to live each moment and move on. I am grateful that He teaches me to know my relationship in this simply, vast universe, to know that I am never, for one teensy moment, alone. I love the abundance He taught by possessing no earthly goods. I delight that over and over He showed by word and deed that rules and policies and guidelines, be they of man or God, are only powerful if they are rooted in and applied with love. "On these two hang all the laws and all the prophets, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself." I am touched that over and over those who chose to live as he lived, in humble realization of THEIR power to order and guide their life through unwavering faith in God were healed. Jesus Christ knelt in Gethsemane's garden, in solemn tribute to the promises made in Eden's garden. He bled from every pore, oh the symbolic significance in each droplet of blood. Then in agony, deserted by sleeping friends, even this Son of God pled with His Father, "remove this cup". He endured silently the taunts and torments of his Roman captors, he groaned beneath the weight of His cross. Forgave, three times in the hour of his death then commended his soul back to it's wellspring . He did not save us by being perfect, He surrendered all condemnation and judgement of our experiences in this mortal sphere and thus became perfect, and taught us the source of our salvation, do not condemn, do not judge, only love. He rose, and came forth out of the tomb on Easter Morn, clothed in immortality and eternal life and Mary called him "Master" From your first breath each of you has taught me this perfecting love by loving me and freely allowing me my experiences, my moments of clarity and my foolish sins, without[...]

You're It


I have been such a sporadic blog updater lately that I was stunned to get a tag from Barb. I love you Barb! This may be the just thing to help me find my blogging mojo.Here are my answers to her questions.1. Where is your dream vacation?Easy, Oregon Coast.I can wander the beach for hours, or hike the gorgeous and rare temperate rainforests depending if I go west or east coming out of my hotel room. A unique and beautiful experience.That being said, I have been stuck in UT for so stinkin' long I'd settle for a tent vacation to Sagebrush Flats, Nevada.I would also love to go to Europe and the Seychelles.2. What is your favorite movie that has Hugh Jackman in it?I love him in X-Men Origins, who wouldn't? But, for me it's The Fountain, I love the symbolism and the Tattoo's and his passion for his woman.3. What book could you read over and over and never be sick of it?Twilight!! Ha! I jest people! Can you believe I didn't take a picture of this awesome apple cupped in two hands Twilight book cover style.Seriously does such a book exist?I love books, don't get me wrong, but over and over without boredom??? Sorry.4. What's the last movie you saw in the theater?Umm...hmmm, oh yes, Chronicle! I enjoyed it, and the popcorn.5. Why did you start blogging?My sister-in-law got me started and the Because I said So lady. I must admit that it is now painful to keep the Because I Said So lady on my sidebar but I give credit where credit is due.6. What store would be your favorite for a shopping spree?The Garden store.Yes, it's true, I would compromise every moral fiber for a Garden Store Sugar Daddy.Trellises, benches, decking materials, water features, plants, hoses, shovels, bulbs, rocks, seeds, fertilizer, pots, gnomes...ahhhh!7. If you were 'Queen for a Day' what rules would you impose?LOL I'm really hung up on this one, "with great power comes great responsibility" I guess.Thinking...nope, nothing is coming... what am I queen of?Oh, I know!Every single urine drop must land in the toilet water, doesn't matter what direction you aim, if you aim, how old you are, if it's 3:00 AM and you are cuddled between your clean sheets, EVERY DROP! And, if my rules are broken then, "Off with their...ummm, heads!"8. Heels or flats?I'm a cute flip flops girl.9. Do you have a traditional Sunday dinner?Yes! We're the freakin' Walton's when it comes to family togetherness on Sundays.10. What's your favorite song right now?MeBy Paula Cole Paula Cole11. What's your dream job?Don't laugh... Tavern owner.Stop laughing!I love having people over to visit, eat, and feel they have a place where, whatever they are and wherever they are in life's journey they are accepted and loved. I've fed door-to-door salesmen, cable installers, neighbor kids, friends and family for years, I might as well start serving them ale and stabling their horse for the night, right?The other option was sultry jazz singer...This was fun! Thanks, Barb!OK, I tagTiffany at Families are ForeverCathy at Ridin' The RangeGinny at Mark and Ginny StewartLaShel at Reality Hits the FanAmy at Adams FamilyJenny at Alternate ReadalityTechno Grandma at The James FamilyMama Lovelock at Mama LoveLockMummy at Mummy McTavishSuz at Jason, Suz and the Grunts.And Mandoo, you know who you are, girl.All these names are on my side bar if I wait till I get them linked this is never going to get posted so there you go.And here are some questions for you.1. Pets, Love em or hate em?2. Favorite Household cleaning product.3. What is your most guilty, guilty pleasure?4. Chocolate, Dark or light.5. The best parenting tip you've ever got.6. If you wer[...]

My Guilty Valentine


They say confession is good for the soul.

My Mom's birthday is January 30th.

I happened to be at the England Store in Salt Lake City earlier that month and bought her a huge Cadbury chocolate bar with filberts, her very favorite nut.

Mom has moved from across the street to a town a couple hours away so I tucked her chocolate bar away and waited for her to visit. On her birthday I mentioned that I had the chocolate and told her to come visit soon before she ended up sharing it with me.

On Valentines day I ate it! The whole thing.

Thanks for the Valentine, Mom...

(image) it was delicious.




Woah!So many things to catch up on.December: Sick Boy Mom, dang nose, and lungs, much empathy for sinus/asthma sufferers everywhere. Missionary number three headed out on the 28th, many hours and dollars of preparation during a very busy month but he LOVES it. Christmas sat in bins and boxes until a near Adorable Hubby meltdown. Presents were simple kinda, #2 wanted to give his brothers a going away XBox 360 and TV, we split the cost and his brothers were thrilled. Boy Mom and #2 at the Salt Lake City Temple.January: No snow. More sinus crud, seriously? OK I get it, be nice to sinus sufferers, enough already. Christmas finally put away after a near Adorable Hubby melt down, poor, patient man. Managed to sprout the live Christmas tree which creates a dilemma, I just can't throw a living breathing plant out on the street. Three missionary letters a week and packages for meds, and holidays and birthdays is taking over my life. Broken dryer, broken dishwasher, limping along washer, broken microwave. Where the crap is the snow?? I love snow!Sprouting a Christmas tree has been a secret goal of mine for years. Makes the saying, "Be sure you want what you wish for", take on new meaning.And now for your reading pleasure...A Conversation With #7.Scene1: Boy Mom and Adorable Hubby's bed for a 5 minute cuddle before bedtime.Players: Adorable Hubby, Boy Mom, #7, #6, #5, the dog.Mood: Boy Mom has seriously called for silence, it's half-an-hour past bedtime and the 5 minute cuddle has lasted 20 minutes.After 4 minutes of silence...#7: It would be really great to be a balloon...Boy Mom Adorable Hubby, #5, #6: ??#7: ...until you POPPED!Boy Mom: (covering up a laugh) Shhhh#7: Of course you wouldn't have hands so you couldn't eat.Boy Mom: Fortunately balloons don't eat much.#7: Duh! No hands!#7, #6, #5, Boy Mom: giggle, chuckle, snort.Adorable Hubby: Alright, everybody into their own bed...chuckle.Scene 2: Next morning wake up time.Setting: Boy Mom and Adorable Hubby's bed, #7 has wandered back in at some point in the night.Mood: Frustrated Boy Mom, #7 complains about school every morning.Players: Adorable Hubby, Boy Mom, #7, the dog.#7: I'm not going to school, I'm sick, I have no friends, my teacher hates me, I'm too tired...Boy Mom: Hey, #7, last night I dreamed I was a big yellow balloon and I was really hungry because I didn't have any hands. But, then you came along and fed me...#7: ??Boy Mom: ...With a FORK.Boy Mom, #7: Giggle, chuckle, snort.Adorable Hubby: Really? I'm trying to sleep here...chuckle.#7 is really into balloons lately. I think being able to weight a balloon so that the feet actually maintain proper anatomical alignment is kinda cool. However, it's really creepy to have a green balloon with anatomically correct feet wandering around your house.Good to be back.[...]



It's 4:33 AM. I've been up since 3:34 AM.Wake up times fascinate me. I find I wake up at exactly the same time every morning for several in a row then suddenly switch times. And, with each bio-rhythmic switch I feel a sense of loss, I'll miss 3:34 glowing red on the clock face like I'd miss a neighbor moving from my same street to the next town. It's not that I'll never see them again, just that the routine of waving each morning and again each evening will be a comfortable familiarity missed.Back to 4:33 AM. I spent the last hour awake sending silly, sleepy text messages to the other graveyard clerk. (I work 7nights on/7 nights off as a clerk at a hospital) I rarely see the other graveyard clerk but randomly carry on conversations in the early morning hours when one of us is trying to stay awake and one trying to sleep. Love ya, Russ! At 4:33 AM I headed back to bed but found my half occupied by two warm sets of elbows and knees, their deep, peaceful breathing weakens my resolve to walk them back to their cold beds and the dog is snoring on most of the couch he's not supposed to be on... and so I write.It's Thanksgiving today. Despite cold toes, I am touched with a profound thankfulness for those knees and elbows in my bed. Each of my sons has held that role at one time or another, though none more then these last two, and it ranks high on the thankful list. The peace of a warm boy body curled up against my back, the thrill of wondering if Rick will get the first elbow to the ribs or if it will be me? Call me strange, but I love it like I loved the growing awareness of each child wiggling in my womb.There are Christmas lights and trees up here and there, I shake my head a little when I see lights up before Thanksgiving, and it's mostly not jealousy at others organizational skills. I really love Thanksgiving, wish I focused more on all I have instead of using the feast as energy to springboard into staying up all night consuming retailers into the black; and, yet I'm thankful for all the abundance around me, the ease of finding Kale after only two stores, the fist pump when I get an X-Box 360 for $50 dollars less then it priced out at.I wonder if I'm attached to consumption, in the name of economic growth and progress like I'm sleepily attached to 3:34 AM glowing on my alarm clock. Have I become so familiar with retail-ism that I fear losing it more then I fear its over powering roll in my life? Am I watching to many YouTube documentaries?Hmmm, that's enough deep thinking for one holiday. And now my Thankful List:Husband, oh, my love.Sons, nocturnal rib jabs, stinky sports gear, empty fridge and all.Family, each one doing their part, sharing experiences that bless us all.Friends, they see our best, know our worst and love us still.Dogs, never have to wonder what they were thinking or what they think of you.Nature, a constant reminder of God's intimate awareness of each detail, grand or miniscule.Books, the best of traveling companions.Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake, it's just that good.Handicapped parking, those extra 40 steps each time I'm at the store remind me how good it is to move freely and to do it more often.Bloggers, you share the little stuff the big stuff the good, bad and mundane, reminding me we're all human and all wonderful.My job, I finally appreciate the leisurely years as a homemaker ;=)Tank tops, they go under everything.Jesus Christ, the Man who makes life with all my men a joy.And now, some hand turkeys for your Thanksgiving viewing pleasure.I[...]

Down, Set, Hike!


This is not a football post, although I really need to do one of those.My friend, Suz and I have decided hiking is our new passion.And that means our 11 sons, 1 daughter, 2 husbands and 1 dog have a new passion too.They're thrilled!Our first hike this year was Little Wild Horse Canyon a beautiful Utah slot canyon. Wait, is compartmentalizing a good or bad thing??Next there was Calf Creek falls.I think a good camera and longer bangs that will stay put is a priority for this hiking thing. Our trail companions sure are cute!Then we hiked up to the Alpine Sliding rock, not much of a hike but, the destination was great. Now so far none of these hikes was really demanding or challenging, then Suz got a Hiking book so we bumped it up in a BIG way. Grove Creek to Battle Creek 9+ miles with an elevation increase of 2,300 feet. Ack! Way off in the distance... Way down there... That is the valley floor. It was a tough hike; but, I gotta say, this was the most amazingly beautiful hike this year. The leaves had all turned to glorious shades of yellow, red and brown, the grasses were waist high, the weather was perfect. We even drank from a spring and no one got Mad Deer Disease. Buwaahaha, ha, errr...hmmm.The weekend before Halloween we hiked Stewart Falls. We found a Leprechaun hiding beside the trail. Turns out the Leprechaun was just #6 really excited to be the Notre Dame mascot for Halloween. Darn! I could have really used that pot of gold. There's always a moment on these crazy adventures of ours where the kids are far enough behind or in front that we can take a moment to quietly talk arm in arm. It's as renewing and beautiful as the scenery and the exercise.So, if you haven't got a thing better to do next summer...Down!Set!HIKE![...]

Were On Our Way...


When #1 was a little guy he had a thing for a big purple dinosaur. We only had two Barney videos and we watched them each twice a day. I can still sing most of the songs in my sleep, "We're on our way. We're on our way. On our way to Grandpa's farm..."It wasn't Grandpa's farm it was Uncle Wilbur's farm, Uncle Wilbur is a giant white pig with the most enormous set of, ummm...daddy pig parts that ever got patted by hesitant, unwitting pig petters. But, on a gorgeous fall day what could be more fun then petting pig bits, hay rides, catching squealing baby pigs, and eating kettle corn while wandering a corn maze with 5 wonderful kiddos, 2 cute husbands, and the best girl friend a Boy Mom could ever have.Sky, the definition of azure blue. Corn, high as an elephants eye.Adorable Hubby (lives up to his name, huh?) and Suz headed into the corn maze.Lilly! Adam! Look at the camera!Ummm, yeah, that's better?#7, Lil and Suz enjoying kettle corn and the hay ride.This little piggy escaped his pen. This little boy caught him. And, this Boy Mom said ewww, ewww, ewww, you touched a pig, all the way home.The farmer, complete with a hat, gun and holster full of bullets, insisted this was the best way to catch a pig. I thought it looked cruel and only made him re-catch it twice so I could get a good picture.Shudder, there was a lot of pig touching going on. I really, really don't care for pigs. They get their pig wrasslin' genes from their daddy.This picture really doesn't do justice to the pig experience, the baby pigs were kinda cute and almost as big as the daddy pigs junk. I really did watch some hesitant little boy work up the courage to reach in and pet the pig, I figured that not having 4 teenage brothers the little guy had no idea what part he patted and that it was best he leave with his pig-petting-pride intact.After riding a train of 50 gallon drums fashioned into different animals our little ones spotted a bunny and the chase was on. For 1/2 an hour they ran around hay bales in a big field, never intended to be part of the Uncle Wilbur's farm experience, until they successfully caught the sweet, soft little bunny and turned him over to the farmer for a free popcorn which they ate with their piggy smeared hands. I had to distract myself with thoughts of farmers living to a ripe old age and bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches to keep from tossing my kettle corn.And, as the sun sank over the hay ride we headed home to pork taco salads and anti-bacterial soap.Ahhh, Autumn, how I love thee![...]

Slip, Sliding Away


At the thoughts of warm summer breezes slipping into fall you may...

Grit your teeth,






look around dazed and confused,


or grab a pair of shoes, cuz it's gonna get cold up in here.


You may be one who throws their arms up and goes along for the ride.


Whatever it is you do...

Love it!

Because so many of you asked, this is the sliding rock in Alpine. Suz and I took the boys and Lil a couple weeks ago. It's a gentle hike up and lots of fun, COLD though! I recommend a warm summer day rather then a cool autumn evening. And thanks to the random guy who took pictures of us, there were a couple shots of me with significant skin showing significantly, poor guy!

Lost In Translation


We live in the Information Age, anything we want to know on any topic can be had with the click of a mouse or by opening our mouth and asking, with Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, Food Network, and the Internet someone has heard something about almost everything. And while much of this information is remarkably accurate it never hurts to check your sources and verify your data.Sometimes though, what means one thing to one and something entirely different to another rears its connotative head and even between speakers of the same language something gets lost in translation. A little clarification just to be sure the information giver really meant what the information receiver got is always a good plan. And, If you don't clarify you may find yourself wishing you had insisted on a better translation before acting on the information you thought you heard.For instance:If your kids tell you just as you're drifting off to sleep for the 3rd day of a seven day work rotation, "Mom, the dryer won't dry our clothes!" And you, knowing the dryer is old and has to be propped shut and is missing one of the tumblers, metaphorically jump for joy because you'll take any excuse to put off doing laundry for a week or two, think a sad goodbye to an old friend as you drift to sleep wondering how the budget can stretch to cover the repair bill or a new dryer and how you'll survive not doing any laundry until you're off graveyard shift and can take care of it all.May learn, a week later when you make it down to check out the situation, that what your kids meant to say was, "Mom, we packed a huge batch of jeans, a batch of towels and a batch of blankets into the dryer so tightly that the barrel can't tumble and even if it could no air would circulate through the soggy mass. Now, strangely enough, our clothes aren't drying."Then you would avoid sending kids to school in clothes that make your eyes water if the breeze hits them and having 3 days to do two weeks worth of laundry.Or if you invited three families over for Sunday dinner and your boys told you, "Mom the backyard is looking marvelous, toys, socks and shoes, garbage, rock and stick collections and doggy droppings all cleaned up and put away, chairs placed in comfortable chatting circles and birds chirping happily". You might think you can squeeze in vacuuming behind the couches, washing down the cupboards and showering in the 15 minutes before guests arrive put the finishing touches on a lovely salad and never think to check the backyard just to be sure.To late you'd translate what your boys said to, "Duh, we're boys, we think piles of dirt make great center pieces that will delight and entertain our dinner guests".Then as you walked out to join your guests with a plate full of spaghetti goodness you wouldn't find a huge pile of potting soil in the middle of the patio with chairs carefully arranged around it.And perhaps, if you get an email from a football coach, who you think has a little too much time on his hands because he's sending stats on 9 and 10 year old boys after each game, saying, "Here are directions to the football game in a town 40 minutes away tonight." You might hit delete thinking, "Buddy, you put the O in OCD, I've been attending games in that town for many years and directions are for sissies" assume you know the way, plan your evening down to the second, only to have a husband and son gone with both sets o[...]