Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

This being the last day of 2009, I should wish you all a Happy New Year.

However, I don't feel like talking about any holiday today.

I just got back from Wal-Mart where I could by Valentines AND Peanut Butter Eggs for Easter.

Makes me irritated!

Meanwhile, I did receive a GREAT gift for Christmas . . . . .

Adobe Photoshop CS4!


Here's some of my latest scrapbook pages -- I've also been toying around with t-shirt designs.

Fun stuff!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Quilting We Will Go

Hmmmmm . .. .

Tons of quilting stuff the last few days.

My sewing room has never seen me so frequently.

This is a joint quilt between Melanie and I.

She pieced together the multi-colored squares and I assembled the rest.

Kellie did the machine quilting, which is very cool!

Melanie started this quilt about two years ago and received it back, finished, as a Christmas gift this year.

She did a great job picking the fabrics and piecing the squares (her first time doing so).

(My photo taking skills have not been hot lately, I need to work on it)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

For Jen

I was challenged by my husband to write this post after our Vincent family Christmas party.

I hope it helps . . . .

A Story

Many years ago a young lady (18 years old) married into a great family. Although she was a really great girl, she was also slightly insane (let's leave that for another story).

When the insanity finally went away - it left this young lady wanting her new in-laws to like her. She worried constantly what her in-laws thought of her, and tried to find ways to endear herself to them. And while she may have been thought well of, she never believed she was.

At one point, she made an effort to help and support her new parents, believing that if she did, they would think more highly of her. But the results of her help seemed disastrous. Her father-in-law expressed to another family member that he did not consider her part of the family.

The long time concerns of being liked by her new family seemed confirmed by the fatal statement. She was heartbroken - for a time. . . .

As in all good tales, the curse became a blessing.

Thinking that all hope was gone for having her in-laws like her, she finally gave up worrying what they thought of her.

What unexpected freedom!

Time spent with her new family became easier, she felt more in control of what made her happy, she had freedom to choose how she participated.

And surprisingly, she became more interested in each of her new family members. Instead of worrying about what they thought of her, she just wondered what they thought at all. After looking at herself for all those years, she finally was able to look at them.

Now, letting go of worrying about what other people thought didn't turn her into a saint, by any means. She still doesn't show her concern for her family as well as she should, and she's not the most helpful person either. But I think she's got more capacity to be those things than she ever did when she was worrying about what people thought.

The End

Great story, eh? Sounds like it could be a story about me, except I
would have to admit that there are still occassions when I worry about what people think of me. But thinking about this story on occasion does help me put things back into perspective -- which I could definitely use after melting down after Primary today.

I can't wait to be perfect!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Block of the Month

I've nearly caught up with my Block of the Month club, which American Quilting is hosting.

Here's a look at what's been done so far.

I have two blocks left to do --

Both are applique!

Also, here's a little recording of Josh and Melanie playing "Away In A Manger".

It's the song they performed at the ward Christmas fiasco.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We Will Build A Snowman

Craftee time at my house.

Here's what we put together:

I've got a few other fun ideas,
but they may have to wait for next year . . .

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Must Read

Get tissues first!

Click HERE

"There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Open Letter

An open letter to my fellow ward members:


Dear Ward Members:

Merry Christmas, from the primary president!

I figured I should write you a note sharing the holiday spirit in case you didn't receive the message at the ward Christmas party on Thursday.

There may be many extenuating reasons you may have missed the primary's Christmas wish about the true meaning of the holiday. Such as:

You didn't come.

You were distracted by the donkey-clad boy who nearly fell of the stage, several times.

You were busy obsessing that Santa wasn't showing up the the WARD Christmas program.

You couldn't hear the song the Young Women sang and thus missed the message of a Silent Night, Holy Night.

You kept wondering what the primary president's child was laughing so hard at -- the whole time.

Your mind was busy anticipating the eventual clubbing of primary children by a staff wielding shepherd.

You were stuck in nasty traffic on the freeway, and even in an accident (hope you're okay Craig).

You were fortunate to have been out of town on business and missed the whole holiday fiasco.

I should pause to mention that I was the responsible person who tossed 'Breakfast with Santa' out the window this year.

I had thought a more spiritual message would be appropriate.

Sadly, there was hardly a spiritual moment to be found as we barely whispered the words to the songs, and potentially bored a few members into a coma.

So, once again -- MERRY CHRISTMAS from the 9th Ward Primary, in case you missed it on Thursday.


The Soon-to-be-Released Primary President

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Trim The Tree

Spent an enjoyable weekend having Stake Conference.

Elder L. Tom Perry visited our stake,

And during the Sunday session compared the story of Jesus' birth,

Found in Matthew and Luke,

To the roles of husband and wife in the gospel.

It was amazing!

I'd try to paraphrase what he said, but I couldn't begin to do it justice.

Instead, just trust me it was a great weekend --

And enjoy these little Christmas treasures from my decorated tree!

(P.S. No swear words were used in the decorating of my house this year -- yippee!)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Utah Children's Choir

Tis the season for me to give shameless plugs!

This shout out goes to the Utah Children's Choir,

Who receives a grant from the Esteemed Pleasant Grove Arts Commission.

I was honored to introduce the choir,

And their talented director, Kay Asay,

At their Christmas concert last week.

I enjoyed the concert A LOT!

(Except for the part where I had to talk in front of people,

And Ethan announced he needed to vomit,

Before I talked in front of a lot of people)

The bulk of their songs were religious in nature,

And for Christmas-time -- it was perfect!

No Santa, no Jack Frost, no Reindeer.

It was beautiful and uplifting!

I admit I cried during the Littlest Angel song.

The wonderful news about this little choir

Is that they've been asked to perform with the Mo-Tab Choir!

They will participate in the Christmas Program,

Along with Natalie Cole!!

And David McCullough (author of 1776 and other books)!

They will sing as part of the Music and the Spoken Word on the 13th as well.

This is a talented group of singers,

Youth from the ages of 6 - 18 can participate (although boys are discouraged after their voices change).

And they are looking for new choir members.

Please, take a look at them this holiday season,

And see if you know someone who would love to join them.

You can find their website at:

Small warning -- everytime I try to watch one of the videos or music clips on their website -- my computer crashes.

I've written this post three times so far because of it.

I nearly posted a nasty-gram to UCC, except I remembered their beautiful music ---

And I'm still remarking on the talent they have in singing (not web making)

Monday, November 30, 2009

School is a Bummer

Who would've thought that sending the kids back to school today would be such a bummer for me?

I seriously enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday this year -- are you as shocked as I am?!?

Jeff had Tuesday - Friday off work, and at first I thought that might be a problem.

But it was heavenly!

I got my annual Thanksgiving (insert cold, flu or pneumonia here).

But it was totally fine -- I spent all of Friday in bed after seeing the doctor and I LOVED it!

Saturday was glorious with the football game and some stress-free Christmas shopping.

Let's not talk about Sunday . . .

Regardless, I hated to see the kids go back to school today.

I'm not ready for swimming, homework, carpool, . . . .

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gratitude 7 of 7

Wow! I've got a lot to be thankful for today ~

Gratitude #1 - Survival Skillz

Yup, I've got Survival Skillz! When I went all "Biggest Loser" last night and tried to hop up onto a bench at the gym proving my strength -- and then fell off . . . but I Survived!

My hand is bruised, my butt and my head (where I banged it on the wall as I fell). Not to mention my pride is really tender today too.

Don't mock those players on Biggest Loser who can't jump on the step . . . it's freakin' hard and dangerous!

Gratitude #2 - Melanie

Everyone needs someone who will babysit your vomiting child while you go to meetings. Thanks Mel, for helping me out.

She even cleaned my sheets and remade my bed after Emma threw up on them. How awesome is she?!

Gratitude #3 - Stacy Martineau

Stacy saved my bacon today doing stuff for the Arts Commission. She has been so reliable in helping me and I think people don't realize how much she does, and how calmly she does it. Stacy holds me together and listens to my rantings. She's also an amazing mother!

Gratitude #4 - Ethan's Science Teacher

Thanks, Mr. Whoever You Are. Thanks for not giving Ethan the "F" he deserved in science and giving him extra credit at the VERY last minute so he can have a "C". Now instead of tossing him in the dungeon he will be my work slave for the next week. Also, I have unlimited zit popping rights now. Sweet!

I love November and Gratitude!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gratitude 6 of 7

Do you ever just have one of those days?

I did, yesterday . . . .

I couldn't even remotely find something to be grateful for.

The day fell apart.

However, here's today's list:

1. I'm Grateful today is not yesterday.

2. I'm Grateful for Diet Coke and Ho Ho's.

3. I'm Grateful for Shauna who took the fall for my missing treasurer report this morning.

I think that's as far as I can got today. Let's hope tomorrow will be even better

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gratitude 5 of 7

I'm sure this is old by now, but I can keep thinking of stuff.

Gratitude #1 - Fandango

I'm grateful that I can go online and purchase my ticket to see New Moon. You will want to do the same. I'm going to the movies on November 21st at 4:30pm at the AF Cinemark 12. Get your ticket and we can carpool over. I can't wait to rip the movie apart . . . . although Jacob looks pretty hot in the clips.

Let's do dinner after!

Gratitude #2 - Taco Soup

Don't ask, I just like it and I'm still having good memories of it from last night. That's weird I'm sure.

Gratitude #3 - Gift Wrapping

I wrapped my first two Christmas gifts! I'm ahead of the season and I still have some holiday spirit left -- woohoo!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gratitude 4 of 7

And so the list continues:

Gratitude #1 - Microsoft Word

I've been typing my little fingers out like crazy today as I write new grant applications and grant evaluation forms for my PGAC meeting on Friday. The thought of using a typewriter for any of this makes me cringe.

And to think my children have never seen a typewriter . . . .

Gratitude #2 - House

House is on tonight! Did you see last week's when they went to do an autopsy on the body and they started sawing his chest open and he started bleeding? And then the 'dead' man sat up screaming? I'm still not over it.

Gratitude #3 - Microwaves

I'm grateful that microwaves work to hide the leftover birthday cake so that SOME of it remains for Jeff to eat tonight. Now if only the microwave disappeared after I hid something in it . . . .

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gratitude 3 of 7

Gratitude Day Number 3

#1. I am Grateful for Jeff's Birthday

Mostly I'm just grateful that Jeff doesn't ask for anything for his birthday except white cake with white frosting. I can do that. Anything above and beyond that is hard for me -- I'm not a great wife. Luckily he's not high maintenence.

#2. I am Grateful for channel 21 (The BYU Channel)

I love getting ready for church and catching the past week's devotionals and firesides. Last week I watched Greg Mortensen (Three Cups of Tea) and this morning was President Uchtdorf's talk to the Young Adults.

#3. I am Grateful for Karen who had us sing ALL the verses of the sacrament hymn today.

It was unexpected to sing all the verses today. But I was feeling the spirit so strong during what I thought was the last verse, and singing the rest - it really filled my bucket.

#4. I am Grateful for friends who let me fall apart over their baby.

Hmm. . .sorry about that Tammy. I think it was a cumulative thing with Gratitude 2 and 3 from today and the fact that your baby LOOKED at me. He looked at me like he saw my heart. Thanks for the cuddle.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gratitude 2 of 7

Gratitude Day 2

#1 I am Grateful for: BYU Football

Ah! After a bye week and a loss against TCU, BYU redeemed themselves with a sweet win over Wyoming.

(Sidenote: We had a young man from England hanging at our house today. He saw the game on and finally clicked that the big "Y" on our vehicles, mountains, etc wasn't for "Yahoo" - but for BYU. So funny.)

(Additional Sidenote: They don't have Rootbeer in England)

# 2 I am Grateful for: A Good Book!

I spent the last week reading "The Thief" by Megan Whalen Turner. It was GREAT! I would particularly suggest it to young adult readers and their moms who like a little bit of fantasy. I'm sighing internally as I think about this book.

#3 I am Grateful for: A Good Book and its Sequel

I spent time this week reading "The Queen of Attolia" by Megan Whalen Turner -- sequel to "The Thief". Man it was good!

#4 I am Grateful for: A Good Book, its Sequel and its Sequel

Again, spent time reading this week: "The King of Attolia". Holy crap, talk about true love! There isn't crazy mushy stuff in this, but you know what love is by the end of the book. I really enjoyed this series and am looking forward to the next installment come March 2010. I hope I can wait.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gratitude 1 of 7

Well, Miss Shauna over on her Celestial Circle blog is showing her gratitude each day this month.

I have been moved and motivated enough to share my gratitude each day for the next week.

At this point in my life blogging 7 days in a row is landmark!

I'd never make it for 30 days.


Gratitude #1

Halloween is OVER!

It's just not my favorite holiday.

Getting tossed into the middle of costume prep time on Hallow's Eve didn't suit me either.

Especially after spending the weekend with 55 teenagers in Cedar City.

However, kudos to Melanie and Ethan for putting together his Swine Flu costume and including Aidan. I'm very happy about that.

(Emma, the Rockstar, and her friend Tia, the Ghost)

Gratitude to Jeff who took them Trick or Treating while I cleaned the house.

(Swine Flu boys - Ethan and Aidan)


Gratitude #2


Try going a week without one and this will be towards the top of your list too.


Gratitude #3

A husband who stores computer hard drives in the storage room and can magically copy my dying hard drive stuff to the new one.

Also, gratitude for hard drives that still work when computer handicapped wife installs the hard drive herself and manages to drop it on the floor.

Can you imagine my gratitude when my email and Bejewelled game were useable again?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Family History

I've 'inherited' a lot of family history stuff from Jeff's Grandmother who passed away this year.

My craft room is overflowing with boxes of photos, slides, negatives, cards, etc.

I've digitized many of these things.

And here's just a little sampling of some Vincent Family slides from 1971 - ish.

(Jeff and his sister Jennifer)


(Jeff, Jennifer and baby Becky)


I'm looking for suggestions on what to do with a bazillion greeting cards, birthday cards, Christmas cards that Grandma kept.
Do I just bundle them up and pass them along?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


In case you've missed the last few chapters of my life, I thought I'd update you quickly with the cliffsnotes version.

(Note: It is not correct to refer to them as Cliff Notes - you must include the "s" after the Cliff. Also, I have never resorted to reading a Cliffsnotes publication. It seemed like cheating.)

1. Emma's Birthday

My baby is now five.

I thought having her turn such a 'milestone' age would be hard for me. But it wasn't. It's comfortable, and I am ready to step into a new stage of life where babies and toddlers are now to be saved until I'm a grandma. (YIKES! that just freaked me out)

2. Ethan's Contacts

Ethan is the proud new owner of contact lenses. He has begged for a year to get them, and so we did. Of course I told him he needed to take care of them, not lose them, etc, etc. So when he 'lost' one at the Pirate Place (think Chuck E. Cheese runs into the Dread Pirate Roberts) where we were celebrating Emma's birthday, it was a big deal!

Let's just say:

  • That I didn't lose my mind completely when it happened
  • Ethan was devastated
  • We searched through a darkened, sticky, messy booth looking for a contact lens
  • Ethan prayed while I scoffed that we'd find the lens
  • We found the lens
  • I humbled myself and repented while thinking Ethan is the coolest person I know.

Good times.

3. Jeff is Grounded

Jeff was out of town last week. He will not be out of town for a LONG time. I suck at being a single parent and the house makes too many weird noises while he's gone. My feet are too cold at night without him. My back is ruined because of the contorted way I slept on the bed trying to keep my eye on the door, yet poised to call 911 to report a fire or intruder. I also am not the bedtime ritual parent -- managing teeth brushing, potty and story was harder for me than I'd like to admit.

4. Josh is 14 and Swims

This explains everything about my interaction with Josh. He swims well. In fact he swam a freestyle 500 in a meet against Lone Peak and AF and came in 10th - not bad for a freshman. And he dropped time in his 50 freestyle.

Meanwhile, any conversation with him is a complete mental exercise to make what I'm saying mean the same thing as he's hearing and vice versa. He has also adopted some cat-like attention spans where he'll be engaged with you one second and then WHOOSH! he's off on to something else!

Shout out to Josh, however, who should have a 4.0 in school this semester while carrying AP Geography, and three other honors classes. He has a concert this Thursday too (thank your lucky stars you didn't go shopping for all black clothes with him, that was . . . . something else)

5. Mom Sinks Into Seasonal Depression

Amongst all the fun being had around here I'm sinking into my pre-winter blues, which will be followed by my winter blues and wrapped up by my pre-spring blues. I think it all started after the Ragnar race when I mentally came apart. I have been doubting my leadership abilities since then -- and the culmination of snow yesterday and possibly today has my heart as heavy as lead.

I am planning on a recovery plan today which is:

  • Diet Coke and Pumpkin Pie for breakfast
  • Giving a talk about leadership to student council members at Melanie's school
  • Pretending I don't hate Halloween as I dress my kids up for the ward party and preschool
  • Ditching the ward Fall Party as I make Jeff take the kids to it while I go tanning
  • Enjoying more Diet Coke and Pumpkin Pie for dinner

I'll let you know how it works.

Friday, October 16, 2009




A small, unnoticed seed, the size of any index finger’s nail, can become the largest of things. Looking at trees around my neighborhood, you would never think they started from a small seed. A majority of them are taller than most of the houses. Planting a seed takes a lot of dedication. You need to plant it, water and nurture the undersized plant that has spurted from the ground, then, from that unnoticed seed, becomes a large majestic tree.

Then the leaves sprout from the long, snaky branches. These vegetations will sometime have to fall. As a bird nests, they might collide with these petite leaves. As the stem connecting the two breaks, the small leaf falls unseen, it is practically invisible. This leaf falls silently and at a snail's pace. The tender leaf spirals to the emerald stalagmites below. The leaf tenderly lands on the earths surface, there it is more vulnerable. A small average kid, who is fascinated by nature, walks up to admire the highly elevated, majestic tree. The small boy steps on the worthless leaf. That small leaf is now pinned onto the flattened grass. The boy leaves the tree to do something besides look at trees. Green veins on the poor, insufficient leaf, have become murky from the filth and grime on the bottom of the boys worn out Sketchers. Edges have been folded and frayed; the leaf is now just an old antique of nature. All of this from one plain old seed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009



It's been three days since we finished the Ragnar Relay and I'm still trying to process the whole event.

The few days before the race, as we had runners dropping off the team, I was having a serious mental breakdown. The thought that the training and planning would be for nothing . . . was very stressful.

However, we found two BRAVE souls who came to run with us, rounding out our team of 12. They were great sports and if any of the 12 people involved ever speak to me again, that'll be something! Cuz this was a mentally and physically tough thing for us to do.

I won't drag you through the 172 miles of the race itself, but I will share some of my 'favorite' moments:

Moment 1: My First Run

My first run came after a pretty full day of driving around, picking up and dropping off runners. I hit the trail about 5:30pm, feeling pretty worried about running 7.3 miles after a long hot day and seeing all of our team KICK BUTT on their runs. But after hanging with the run for 3 miles, it paid off with this beautiful sunset and view:

(That's me, in front of the other runner. Somehow he gets in front of me by the end of the curve . . . Freakin' awesome view!)

Moment 2: Showers

I have a HUGE personal space bubble. But something just happens during a race like this that makes that bubble incredibly small -- practically non-existent! At the first major exchange we had a chance to shower, and with salt crystals aggravating my chaffed skin, this seemed like a chance we couldn't pass up. Except it cost $1.25 -- quarters required!! Not all of us had the change, so we creatively came up with a solution. I'll leave the details out, but it involved more than one naked lady in a shower room and my bra ending up in Jaime's bag. Hysterical to think about it now -- but then, I could've cared less!

Moment 3 -- My First Hour of Sleep

My plans for a few hours of sleep in between runs, was crushed somewhere along side Lake Mead. As Lisa and I created a bed of blankets and sleeping bags on top of the gravel field at the exchange, I realized that sleep was going to be a challenge. Add to the gravel, the bathrooms with no stall doors, a CRANKY attitude, the fear that a snake will join me in bed, Lisa singing and then giggling and freakin noisy people everywhere -- there was only one hour of sleep to be had! At some point I laid on my back watching the moon cast a reflection across the lake, thinking how beautiful it was but then the reality of the crazy situation I was in HIT me and I felt like an old woman trying to keep up with a bunch of partying 20 year olds.

Moment 4: My Second Run

After kicking back a few bazillion grams of caffeine I was much more ready for my second run. The 5.9 miles wasn't going to be too bad. It was dark when I started off (about 5:15am) and as I ran I could feel the sun rising at my back. I had the van stop and get me water about 4 miles into my run so that I could anticipate the last 2 miles of my run. But about that point we were headed off the course by a police officer who said that there was an accident up ahead. I followed the new course for what seemed well over 2 miles. At one point, I turned a corner and saw a rather steep hill that would finally get me back on track. I hauled myself up it, only to see my van again, additional police and several people.

I ran up to the group of people and asked if there's was something I could do to help. The man I spoke to was crying, he told me there had been an accident. A Ragnar runner had been hit and killed. His wife, his mother, brother and team were there - wrapped in blankets. I could only think to offer my love, he wished me well on my run and I continued. I ran in a daze for a bit, but then broke down and cried. A few runner's came up behind me, gave me some encouragement and I finished up the run. It was a detour of only a mile. And while I ran it somewhat grudgingly at first - when I found out why I ran it, I only wish I could've done more.

You can see the story HERE. Meanwhile, our team sends love and prayers to the family of Jeremy Kunz!

Moment 5: My Third Run

My third run was suppose to be easy. But with as tired as I was -- my body just didn't want to move. I was breathing hard the whole way, I couldn't find my stride, my family was there to support me, but I wasn't get the energy boost I needed to make the run truly great. With only a quarter mile to go, I was DONE! I was running for 30 seconds, walking for 30 seconds and feeling like the exchange was too far away. Another runner was coming up behind me, and I was about to get passed yet again. I wanted to stop. I could see my whole team waiting for me, my family there too. I stepped to the side to let the runner pass me -- but he didn't. He slowed down, and told me to get back on the road. I did and kept running, but then I slowed again -- I was so tired! He slowed too, and then he started to whisper to me. "You can do this." / "Relax, take this easy." / "It's alright." And with him just behind my shoulder we made it through my last run.

I am still so moved by how much a stranger's support has meant to me. Why should he care if I finish my run? Why would he care if I was struggling? But he did - and it meant the world to me. His quiet whispering support is something I'll never forget. Running is something you do on your own, but when you run Ragnar style - you have support you never thought existed.

(My support - Wonderful mystery runner on the left and my great family on the right!)

Moment 6 - Finishing

I never run with the thought in my mind that I am going to WIN the race. Today, I've had several people ask me if I won the Ragnar Relay. And I've told them "YES, I did win." If they look at the results they'll see that I finished second to last -- and probably think I told them a big, fat lie. But I really think I did win - I won the right to hold my head up high for doing something hard, I won the right to be proud of myself and of the incredible women who joined me in this, I won back some of the self confidence that the world sometimes tears away from me. That's the best kind of winning!

(Note: The Wasatch Back Team is being formed already. Who wants in on the Saints & Sinners medal for 2010?)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More Thoughts From The News

So, I have been hitting my favorite website this week and have found stories that have really made an impact on me.

The other day they ran a story about a lady who adopted a child and gave him up after 18 months. Click HERE for the story.

The basic details are that she had three biological children, wanted to share her life with another child and adopted. The adopted child had been abandoned by the side of the road and was taken in by this lady. Taken in, after she had taken classes, researched adoption, gone through an agency that could help her, etc. And then 18 months later gave him up, because there was no connection being made.

Thoughts? Feelings?

I have plenty. But not maybe the kind you think.

After we adopted Ethan we were told through LDS Social Services that we couldn't adopt more kids. They had enacted a policy where two kids is all you got - no matter the circumstances. I was upset at the loss of control I had in choosing how many kids I could have! Being told you can have no more than 2 kids is extremely frustrating.

Jeff and I turned to foster care in the hopes we could adopt a child from there. Our first placement was a shelter care placement of 3 kids. There was a total of six siblings, but we took just three for the initial time. They were eventually placed in foster care with a sweet older couple who look all 6 kids.

From there we were given a newborn! A beautiful little baby girl, placed in my arms when she was only 24 hours old. I was in love. And in three weeks she was jerked from my arms and heart with no notice. I was heartbroken.

Next was a placement of a little 18month old boy. We were assured that this little boy would never being going home to his family. Parental rights were going to be terminated. This was our child. Drew, was his name. I was so excited, until things didn't seem to be going right. He hated me. There was no getting close, or getting through. Visitations with his mom confirmed that he was already connected, deeply, to a drug addicted mother who was unfit to be a mother. I tried. It was tearing me apart, and was hard for the boys, and Jeff. I had been told how devastating it is to return a foster care child -- we should work through it. I would be hurting Drew worse to return him than keep. But I knew, I felt, that this was not the right situation. There was NO bond - not even that of a day care worker. It was scary.

I finally took the big step and called social services to place him somewhere else. They begged me to keep him - told me we could adopt him eventually. But I knew something was missing. We took him to a new foster home. I was a failure, he stayed at the new foster home for a few months until he was returned to his mom.

We had one other placement after that. It was short and I was fine with that. But I stopped completely after that. There is something basic, primal in a connection with a child and a care giver. Without it, there is nothing. I do believe that to raise a child without that connection would be ruinous. I also don't think you can manufacture that feeling -- it's too primal to be made. Love may grow deeper and more enduring, but that connection, or the basic flicker of that connection has to be there first.

I am sorry that this lady didn't make that connection, but I'm more happy that she corrected the situation. I believe that God will step in and help both the child and the lady to heal and be better off. I also know that there is a horrible side of this story that happens all the time in America, where for No Good Reason, children are tossed aside for selfish reasons.

Maybe this whole story just reconfirms to me that we shouldn't judge too quickly or harshly without going through the same thing.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Babysitting is O.U.T.

I love the government.

This is different sometimes from

I love my country!

My love for government has been halted, because in

Michigan you can not watch your neighbor's children,

Unless you have a daycare license.

Because doing a good deed, or a trade -

Isn't allowed.

Thank you to the few, who are messing it up for the rest of us!

Who is a daycare provider who can watch Emma for me next week while I run the Ragnar?

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Get In My Belly!

Seriously, I can't stop replaying this video clip.

And it's not because this is a HUGE BABY.

It's because of how funny I think Al Roker is at the end of the clip.

So help me . . . I think I'd say something just like it after a clip like this.


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P.S. Keep your burrito wrapped babies away from me when I'm hungry.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

One A Day

Some things just shouldn't be done more than once a day.

* Like running three times in one day.

To prep for the Rangar in FREAKIN 2 WEEKS! We ran THREE 5K's yesterday.

My muscles hate me today and so does the blister on the end of my toe.

* Also, swimming practice twice in one day shouldn't be done.

Swimming at 5:30 am and again in the afternoon is insanity! My toes are frozen solid from getting soaked in the morning and my face is sunburnt from the afternoon. What the heck!?

However, the following things are GREAT if you do them more than once a day:

1. Sleeping
2. Drinking Diet Coke
3. Eating HoHo's
4. Reading
5. Laughing

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wisdom From Anne

Which would you rather be if you had the choice - divinely beautiful, or
dazzingly clever or angelically good?

L.M. Montgomery

I've been hiding in my house again because I'm neither Divinely Beautiful, Dazzlingly Clever or Angelically Good. If I could be just ONE of these things, I think people would excuse my poor behavior.

If you were Divinely Beautiful people would overlook that you can't think on your feet and say the right thing at the right time.

If you were Dazzlingly Clever, you would always say just the right thing!

If you were Angelically Food, well -- nothing would go wrong would it?

In Anne of Green Gables, Anne doesn't think she could pick just one of these three amazing traits. But as I've been thinking about it since Sunday (Disaster Day), I want to be Dazzlingly Clever! Divinely Beautiful sounds like too much upkeep and Angelically Good sounds a tad to boring.

I'm praying for Dazzlingly Clever!

(I think there may be some offended people out there who are hoping I get this too - sorry)

Friday, September 11, 2009

2 Things

2 Things I will stop to watch ANYTIME ~

1. This Taylor Swift Video:

I think I'm channeling my inner angst with this video. I get the biggest kick out of her being in the band. It's just one tiny step away from being a flag twirler, right? Anyway, I've wasted 15 minutes now watching this video - over and over and over.

2. Shaun the Sheep

(sorry, you have to watch an ad at the beginning)

Shaun The Sheep - Free videos are just a click away

Hysterical! I watched one on Disney this morning that had the sheep camping - so funny.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Photo Homework

A great homework opportunity came around for me on Saturday.

I snapped photos for an AMAZING woman and her LOVELY daughter.

Here's a few of my favorites!

And thanks to Greg for the help and words of advice~

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I'm a blogging slacker lately.

It's because I'm doing a lot of different things lately.

I may or may not be in over my head . . . .

Regardless, Emma is in Preschool and I get a few uninterupted hours now to do something with.

So far, I spend my time running and icing my knees while she's gone.

Here's the Preschool Princess:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gotta Win

So, I'm working through a twelve step program to manage my addiction to playing games.

I've really only made it through step one - Recognizing My Addicition

I Recognized my addiction when I kept playing BeJeweled until I beat my friend's score.

I Recognized my addicition when I had to go back through Burger Shop to get all Gold Stars.

I Recognized my addicition when I stopped playing Typing Mania because I'll never beat Melanie's score.

But then I remembered this story from KSL a few weeks ago . . - 2 men arrested following separate game incidents

Perhaps I better move along to step two in addiction recovery before I hurt someone and end up in jail.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Went photo shooting practice last week.

Lisa introduced me to the joy of Thanksgiving Point.


I wish my photos had turned out a little better ~

Or my photo editing was better ~

But the boys are adorable!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back To School

Back To School Means:

- I have to do the housecleaning now without the slave's boy's help

- I get breakfast at Kneader's with friends

- I get lunch at McDonald's to entertain Emma without her brother's help

- I have homework monitoring to begin again

- I have picking up and dropping off at school duty

- I have PTA stuff to think about

- I have no game playing buddy

- I don't have to watch Zack & Cody at 10am (well, after Memorial Day when little kid programming starts again)

-I have no money . . . why does free public school cost so much!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Went shopping for school clothes on Saturday.

I didn't really need to, but felt I should.

I found Converse shoes that were ADORABLE, but pricey.

Found underwear and socks for a good price.

Emma found a shirt and skirt combo that's very nice.

And Josh found his birthmom.

Yeah! Crazy!

Josh's adoption is technically a 'closed' adoption.

That just meant it was a challenge to overcome for me.

I took the few clues I had and googled it - and found her blog a year ago.

So when I was waiting for Mel to check out, and glanced at the next cashier-

I was able to spot Josh's birthmom right off.

My heart skipped many, many beats and then raced off.

I pointed her out to Josh, and asked if he would like to meet her.

Gathering all my courage, I walked over, put my hand on her arm

And said, "Hi, My name is Wendy . . . "

She looked up, looked at Josh and just 'knew' who he was.

She said it was his eyes.

We talked, I cried, Josh memorized, I thanked.

She's still one of the coolest women I've ever met!

I hope we see her sooner than another 14 years.

I love Target!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Running - Oh My Gosh!

I was looking for some more upbeat songs to add to my ipod yesterday,

And moaning about my 1 mile uphill-ish run with a strong headwind,

And icing and massaging my poor knees that carry 200 pounds (yeah, I weigh that much!)

When I stumbled upon this video.

I don't really know who he is,

But he's FREAKIN' amazing.

Keep watching till the end, and you'll appreciate the runner that he is even more.


My run will never look like his, but for me, and maybe some of my Ragnar friends, we will achieve a level of transcendency. A point where we have achevied more than we ever thought we could.

I'm inspired to at least try!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cowboy Poetry

I love a good Cowboy Poem!

Here's one I'd like to share with you from Wallace McRae. Check him out for more good stuff!


"What does Reincarnation mean?"
A cowpoke asked his friend.
His pal replied, "It happens when
Yer life has reached its end.
They comb yer hair, and warsh yer neck,
And clean yer fingernails,
And lay you in a padded box
Away from life's travails."

"The box and you goes in a hole,
That's been dug into the ground.
Reincarnation starts in when
Yore planted 'neath a mound.
Them clods melt down, just like yer box,
And you who is inside.
And then yore just beginnin' on
Yer transformation ride."

"In a while, the grass'll grow
Upon yer rendered mound.
Till some day on yer moldered grave
A lonely flower is found.
And say a hoss should wander by
And graze upon this flower
That once wuz you, but now's become
Yer vegetative bower."

"The posy that the hoss done ate
Up, with his other feed,
Makes bone, and fat, and muscle
Essential to the steed,
But some is left that he can't use
And so it passes through,
And finally lays upon the ground
This thing, that once wuz you."

"Then say, by chance, I wanders by
And sees this upon the ground,
And I ponders, and I wonders at,
This object that I found.
I thinks of reincarnation,
Of life and death, and such,
And come away concludin': 'Slim,
You ain't changed, all that much.'"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Picture This!

So . . . . I'm suppose to present something at homemaking in September.

The theme has something to do with digital photos and what to do with them.

Here's my dilemma:

1. We are meeting at my house next Friday to discuss it -- and my house looks like CRAP and I think it will still look like CRAP next Friday.

2. What would someone want to know about digital photos?

If you can help with either of these two problems, I'd appreciate it!