Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Time!

My Brother-in-Law posted something on the family website that has got me thinking. The question was "Who in your house is most excited about Christmas?" My first though must be the kids. They have anticipated the gifts under the tree, the Advent House and all the yummy treats and goodies. And just like every other kid in the world they can't wait to open those gifts. I would give them a 9 on the excited scale.

But I would have to say that I am closer to a 11 on that same scale. Why, you might ask? Well I will tell you.

Money is tight, it almost always is, and some years that has gotten me down because we can't give our kids the same things as other kids. No ipods or computer games, no Wii or bikes, we simply can't afford those things. But instead of letting that get us down we turned to the drawing board, no really... The boys love to play with cars so we designed and have made a HUGE car mat for them to play on. Johnathan and I have worked hours on it and we are very close to being finished, but every time I see the little corner of is poking out behind the couch I get excited.

Andie loves clothes, she is a typical girl. She also loves jewelry. I have a friend we several older girls and she was going though their clothes and she gave two huge bags to us. I went though and picked out some wonderful sweaters and other really nice things and every time I see that box under the tree I know she is going to freak out when she opens them. Along with that I got a few necklaces that were hand me downs and I cut them and removed the beads and with them I have made two beautiful necklaces that Andie is going to love, along with some really inventive friendship bracelets.

Jenna is getting a baby doll and I know she is going to love it. I made the baby a blanket and she found it before I could wrap it. She drug it around the house all day before I could sneak it away ofter she went to bed. We also got her a little stroller and I think she is going to have a great time racing that baby around.

Some other things we did were make the boys shirts with dinosaurs on them, a blanket for Tyson, and handmade pillow cases from Santa. Johnathan is working hard on handmade Tithing, savings, spending boxes that are an exact replica of the ones his father made for him and his siblings. They are going to be really beautiful.

The one thing I am most excited about though are the ornaments. Years ago Johnathan's grandmother made crochet Christmas ornaments for him and his siblings. Johnathan has three of them on the tree and he loves them. This year I got his cousin to send me the patterns and I am making each of the kids their own ornament just like Great Grandma Duncan made. They may not understand it this year but in years to come I hope they will be treasured just like Johnathan's are.

So what does this all mean? Well I just wanted to tell you that one: Christmas isn't just for kids, and two: you are only as joyful as you choose to be. I have to say I think this is going to be the best Christmas ever, not because of the amount of money we spent, but because of the amount of love that went into every gift. Merry Christmas to all of those we love and care about, and I hope that Holiday cheer comes in the shape of a heart this year for you too.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jenna, Miss Tude!

Though I would do an update on Jenna. She has turned into Little Miss Personality. She is really just a ray of sunshine in our lives. I don't remember any one of the other kids being so anxious to have fun and be happy. There are those times when she isn't happy, but they are few and far between. It doesn't seem to matter where we are she can command and audience. When she is angry at her brother she will clench her little fists together then raspberry all over. When she is happy she laughs and waves and dances around. Sometimes she gets herself all dizzy and falls over. She has one fun attitude and attention, but what girl doesn't?

She has several things she really likes to do, one is read her favorite book, others include playing outside, swinging on anything, and playing in boxes. She also likes to do anything that big kids, or mom and dad do, such as play on the computer, pound on the piano and jump on the trampoline. We have been pleased how healthy she has been, only one ear infection which is really a wonderful thing compared to the other children. It has been a wonderful 20 months with her and we look forward to Christmas to see if she catches on to the idea this year. We love her very much.

Washing Your Brain!

The other night Johnathan and I were watching TV when this horrendous commercial came on. I don't remember exactly what it was about, but it was disturbing. We just looked at each other for a moment and he commented on how he would never be the same after that. I looked at him and told him that I needed to go and wash my brain to get the picture out of my head.

Last night I saw yet another commercial, this one was for Tabasco sauce, there were peperoni and then they grew heads and started to sing. Again I felt the need to wash that picture from my brain. How many of you need to wash your brains?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Downata Hotsprings!!

We had a whole lot of fun. We left Friday after school and got there in time to have some hot dogs and potato salad for dinner. We hung out and played on the playground and checked out the pool then got in our jammies. Jenna cried for just a few minutes and then fell asleep. Andie and Tyson slept in my parents trailer and Casey stayed with us. Everyone slept really well until about 3:00 a.m when 3 trains came by blowing their horns one right after another. The guy next to us brought his dogs and so they started to bark, both Jenna and Casey woke up. After about 30 min and a bottle everyone settled back down and fell back asleep.

We were up by 7:30, but the pool didn't open until 11:00 so we had breakfast and then Jenna went down for a nap while the kids played in the sand. Finally it was time to swim and we all headed out. The pool was very warm and then kids had a blast. There were 3 water slides that whet into the main pool and Andie and Tyson had a so much fun shooting out of them. Casey was content to play in the little area and Mom and Dad had Jenna most of the time.

Jonathan, Andie and I went over to the big slides for a while, "The Black Hole," and "The Dragon." The Black Hole drops about 100 feet into the ground the shoots you around a corner and spits out out 15 seconds later. Johnathan's face was priceless the first time he went down. I screamed like a little girl! The Dragon is more than twice as long as the slide in Thermop and goes around in a couple of circles, it is a really big tube and you can go down it on a mat. Andie and Tyson went on that one. Finally the kids were hungry and tired so we headed back to camp.

After a BIG lunch we all settled down for naps. Two hours later we geared back up and headed back to the pool. The kids had fun again on the slides and then finally Andie said she wanted to go to the Black Hole. Johnathan and I headed over there with her and she boldly walked up there and headed down. She was SOOO excited when she got done and she went on it two more times. I don't know how many times Johnathan went down, but I stuck to the Dragon. Dad was content to play with Jenna in the pool. Finally it was time for dinner so we drug the tired wet kids back to camp.

Dinner was a tin foil dinner in the crock pot. It was really yummy and then we had ice cream for dessert. We tried a chocolate cake in the dutch oven but it seemed to cook forever and we finally just put the kids to bed and went to bed ourselves. Same sleeping arrangements and everyone slept really good until 6:15 when another train came though. We were up and going, had breakfast then went on our pioneer hike enjoying nature. Then we packed up and came home. Camping trip a success!!! We had a lot of fun and the kids were great. It was a nice end of summer camping trip.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

1st Day of School!

Andie and Tyson headed out for the first day back to school, but no only was it the first day for everyone, but it really was Tyson's FIRST day! He was so excited this morning that when my mom called to wish him luck he told her "She talked to much." He was waiting for the bus and she was taking much longer talking to him than he wanted.

We all went out and waited together for the bus and when it finally arrived, Tyson jumped on like it was going to leave without him. He was so excited that he ran to the very back of the bus. When he realized Andie had stopped he went back and sat with her.

The rest of us decided to meet them at the school and get a few pictures. Tyson hit the ground running and it was like pulling teeth to get a picture of him at his classroom. Then he ran down the hall and was done with us. We stopped in at Andie's classroom and she was ready to learn. I think she is going to have a good year and I am excited to talk to her when she gets home.

I met Tyson at the bus this afternoon and I asked him. "What was the first thing you did!" Instantly he said, "I had to sit down!" HAHAHA What a crack up! He did talk and talk and talk about the rest of the day and he is ready and excited to go again tomorrow.

Casey and I worked on the alphabet song and then hung out while Jenna napped, on top of that I got the kitchen clean and the living rooms picked up. We also went to the store and played outside for a bit. Overall it was a painless first day and I hope Andie has lots of good things to report when she gets home!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Handy Manny!!!

For those of you who are not aware of this guy, he is a cartoon character on Disney Channel and the boys love to watch him. He is a fixet man who goes to people's homes and places of work and fixes whatever their problem is. He has a set of animated tools who helps him and they all work together to get the job done.

Well today we had a man come to the house to fix Johnathans computer. When he got out of the car Casey's eyes went REALLY wide and he just stared at the guy for a long time. Finally he went and got Tyson and took him into the kitchen, where the man was working, and he wispered. "Its Handy Manny!!!"

Granted the guy did look a lot like the cartoon. He was about the same hight as you would imagin him to be and he had on a blue hat. Casey was stunned and he just kept saying that it was Manny! I didn't try to correct him on the matter, it was just too cute to watch him belive it was Manny. Casey was to shy to talk to him, but who would'nt be a little star struck if one of your cartoon heros were standing right in your kitchen!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Tyson!!!

Can't believe it but Tyson is Six today!!! It seems like just the other day we were bringing our boy home from the hospital, and now he is getting ready to go off to Kindergarten. We have a fun day planned. He has two of his friends coming over tonight for a little party and we are having a scavenger hunt for his birthday presents. I made a volcano cake for him, it isn't my best work, but he LOVES it. This is the first time that Tyson will have a real birthday party and he is so excited!

My mom came and picked him up and took him to lunch, then they were going to go and look for some school clothes, he was happy as a clam when they left the house. His is such a big boy. We love you Tyson and Happy Birthday!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kid Update

I just thought I would post some updated pics of the kids and a little info on them.

Andie is done with 2nd grade, she was kinda sad about school getting over, but she is looking forward to 3rd grade. There are lots of things she is excited about this summer and when she feels like it she is a great helper.

Tyson is enjoying Gymnastics a whole lot! He is so strong and it is fun for him to work on the different apparatuses. He likes it when Andie is home and they are spending a lot of time outside. I think he is looking forward to Kindergarten in the fall, and riding the same bus as Andie.

Casey is starting to talk and talk and talk. He is super cute and likes to tell us stories. He also is big into telling me how much he loves me, I really like that. He too is enjoying having Andie home and riding his bike in the nice weather.

Jenna got her first haircut the other day, and now she looks all grown up. She is exploring her facial expressions and has learned to climb up on chairs, couches and even beds, she is going to keep me hopping I am sure! We are hoping to fend off the crib climbing and are currently enjoying her sleeping though the night, but who knows how long that will last.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sending off a Soldier

This last weekend my parents and brother and I went to Colorado Springs to send my brother Ben off to War. It was a wonderful weekend, and we spent a lot of time together just enjoying each others company. We went to the aquarium and then walked down by the river, attended Church with him at his ward and laughed together talking about old times and what we remember of him growing up. I was 11 years old when he was born and so there were a lot of things to talk about. Sunday night was the hardest. We enjoyed some dinner together then quietly discusses his funeral arrangements. These are things that had to be talked about, but no one ever wants to know what there 19 year old brother wants on the day he is buried. It was hard not to focus on the fact that we may never see him alive on this earth again.

Even with the idea of a last reunion playing in the back of our minds we were able to really have a good time. Ben showed us all the places he likes to eat and then we hiked up to 7 falls and went though some old tunnels up on the mountain. It was so beautiful there even though it rained most of the time. The lightning was amazing to watch and it stayed cool for our hiking and other activities.

Ben will be flying out on Friday to serve the country he loves. He feels so strongly about this and it is truly what he wants to do. Please pray for our Soldiers, they are out fighting a cause that is worthy and great. The next time you see an American flag think about all those families who quietly discussed the funerals of their sons and daughters, and then think about all of those families who have fulfilled those wishes so that we can have what we have today, tomorrow, and forever.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Denver, here I come!

I am going to Denver in two weeks with my Mom, Dad, and brother to see Benjamin off to Afghanistan. We are taking a quick trip so we can see him one last time before his tour with the National Guard. It is going to be really hard to say goodbye to him, but this is really what he want to do and I am so proud of him for going. I know it is going to be scary to think of him over there getting shot at, but I also know that my Heavenly Father loves him, and he loves us, his family. We have no control over Ben's future, but He does and He is going to do what is right for all of us. I am so thankful for my Faith, that allows me to see things though a different set of glasses, and know that we are in the life to learn and grow, and our Loving Heavenly Father will only give us what we can handle.

So when I go to see Ben, I plan on giving him a great big hug and telling him all the things a big sister should, but when we leave he will be in the hands of our Father, and I need to let my faith take over. We can be strong as a family and keep him in our prayers and hopefully in a year or so we can welcome him home back into the arms of our family.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Today I ran 3 miles in 45 min. running the entire last mile. For the past 2 or so months I have been running on the treadmill, I went from one mile to two a month ago, and today I decided to take it up another notch. It feels good to be done, and I did a lot of stretching so hopefully I won't be to sore, but yeah for me, 3 miles!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday was Johnathan and mine 9 year wedding anniversary. A good friend of mine took the kids last night so we could have a quiet dinner at home. We had steak and corn, Texas toast, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sparkling apple cider. I decorated the house and put a sign on the door "Night of a thousand stars." It was such a nice evening and we talked about how we couldn't belive that it was 9 years already. I know that we don't have a lot, but we have eachother and that is really all that matters.

Today is our 10 year anniversary of the day we met. So I have known my husband longer than I have known any other person besides my family. It is great to know that we are still the best of friends and that it will be no suprise when we have made it another ten years and are going strong.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Our Headboard

We got this headboard about 7 years ago at a garage sale. It wasn't my favorite thing, but I really liked the shape of it. I thought maybe one day I would redo it to something I liked more, but never got around to it. Well the other day I decided "what the heck" so I pulled it out and sanded a bit here and there. I didn't really have a plan, but 4 hours later it was sanded down to the wood and I liked the color. Next, I wanted to replace the mesh with fabric so I got the wood finished like I wanted then went to work gluing on padding. The plan didn't work how I wanted it and after much debate I realized I need to pull the mesh off from the back. It was hard work but I finally got it off and removed from its stabilizing boards, not with out incident, but I have only made myself bleed three times.

When I realized I couldn't use the fabric the way I wanted to I needed a plan B. Andie suggested I paint part of it the color of the fabric I was using, so we loaded everyone up in the car and went to Walmart and Porters and that is where I found the lettering. Liking the brewing idea I got home, but Jenna to bed and went back to work. I was on day two of the project so I just let the big kids play outside while I sanded and started painting.

There was still no defiant plan but things were coming together. I though maybe some antique gold leaf would look nice, so I spend an hour putting it on, and three hours taking it back off when I didn't like it. At 1:00 a.m. I fell into bed. 7:00 a.m. back at it. I finished painting and the put the fabric over the removed mesh and stapled it back into place. After a few coats of sealer I had a final product. After all the work I can truly say I like it. Johnathan hasn't seen it because he has been with the scouts, but I don't plan on changing it, so he better like it. :) Over all, I am glad I did it, now I have a head board that I love, and...I will never have to do that again!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

$1 Project

Yesterday I was catting around DI and found this transfer in the craft section.

"Hum, wonder what this is. Ah, a wall transfer! Well we rent so it won't really work on the wall, *thinking* but if I put it on a board then I can just hang it where I want to. And it is only $1.00, can't beat that!"

So I got it and brought it home. It was rather large so I went to look in the garage for some wood to put it on. In a deep dark corner under the stairs I found an old shelf with the brackets still on it. Digging deep into my Home Improvement Personality I got the drill and removed the brackets and took a good look. It was about 5 inches to long so I cut it down with the chop saw and laid it out on the table.Perfect! Now it was time to paint.

I wanted it to go in the bedroom so I mixed some paint I already had to make the color I wanted and went to town. When it dried I carefully sanded it then applied the lettering, and viola, the finished product! I am deciding if I want to hand paint the date we got married on it, or maybe some hearts, but I think for a buck it turned out alright!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Getting Big!

Jenna is getting big and she has become very mobile. Because she can go just about anywhere now and she is walking fairly well she has decided that she needs to work on a few more things, namely, climbing and getting into things. When I do the dishes she instantly climbs up onto the dishwasher door and that goes for both loading and unloading. We have taken to doing the dishes when she is a sleep because the moment she hears that door open she hurries to the kitchen and there is not time to get it done before she gets there. One problem is when she gets up on some things she cant get down so she just stands there and yells for help. Yesterday I even tried putting the step stool under the table so she would stop climbing on it, but instead she got up anyway and not only was stuck on the stool, but under the table as well!

Next she likes to climb into things, any things. Boxes, bowls, shoes, drawers and yes, even games. I found her stuck in this "Break the Ice" game the other day, when I finally got her out of it she climbed right back in. When I was working on our food storage yesterday she found and empty box that was far to little to hold her, but she managed to get in it. Because she likes to be wherever I am I have pulled her out from under the sink in the bathroom, and out of the draw under the stove. She has also figured out how to open the draws at the desk and she unloads all the envelopes and rolls of tape. Needless to say she have a bright one on our hands and I can only imagine the places she will go

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Andies Special Day!

Andie was baptised this morning by her father and it was a beautiful experience. Both Johnathan and Andie did a wonderful job and it was so sweet to see them together in the font. He also confirmed her a member of the church and gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost, along with a beautiful blessing. It was need to have the boys watch her and she did a wonderful job even though she was worried about her ears. After that we came home and the family stayed for a yummy lunch and the we let the kids play for a while. Overall it was a nice day and we are so proud of Andie's decision to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Congratulations Andie!

The Duncan Family

This is her portrait. The Plaque says
"I will keep my Baptismal Covenants"
Andie V. Duncan
March 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

2 MILES!!!

Today I ran an entire 2 miles. For the past week I have ran 1 mile and then walked and speraticly ran the next mile doing 2 miles in 35 min. Today I kept talking myself into going just a little farther and I ran the entire 2 miles in 32 min. This is a huge accomplishment for me. I am now in better shape than I have been after having any of my children. My goal is still to see the number of my dreams on the scale on my 30th birthday and I am headed that direction, it is really exciting for me. Anyway just wanted to share.

Monday, March 23, 2009


We woke up to a thin carpet of snow this morning and hopes of an early summer drifted away. Now don't get me wrong, we live in Rexburg ID and if I thought we would see any sign of summer before August first I would be joking myself, but it was nice to dream! I really enjoy winter around Christmas and when the holiday spirit is in abundance but I also really enjoy the sun and everything that comes along with it.

Spring is a time a re-birth. It makes you feel a bit like a flower peaking its head out of the moist spring earth just searching for the tiny ray of warm sunlight. Then when you feel it you want to spring open and brighten the world with your own uniqueness. I always feel like I want to clean, and de-junk. Put away the winter clothes and the boots, gloves, hats and scarves. Buy new sandals for the kids and most of all plan summer play!

We would like to go out camping and visit Yellowstone Park. Fishing and hiking with the kids is also on the list, and planting a garden. What I think I love most about summer is being out of the house. In Rexburg you can spend as many as 7 months stuck in the house because of bad weather, so the few precious months of sunshine are a beautiful thing to me.

But is seems that I need to reign in my anxiousness for summer and stick it out for a few more weeks. Johnathan likes to remind me that mid August I will be wishing it would cool off for just a few days. Will we ever be happy?

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I have been inspired by my sister-in-law to get back in shape. We are the same age so it wasn't like I was comparing myself with a 19 year old so I felt it reasonable to want to be like her. Over the past 9 weeks she has lost 14lbs by simply eating right and working out. She is also a mommy and has a taxing Church calling so if she can do it so can I. It has been one week of working out and my body is killing me, but I am seeing some result and it sure does feel good.

All around me I see people who are getting into shape. It is time to get on the wagon and try again to live a healthy life. I just thought about how I will feel ten years from now when I can't do all the things I wanted to do at that age. Johnathan and I will still be relatively young when all the kids are out of the house and we wish to travel and serve missions so NOW is the time to make that happen.

Thank you Jenn for being my inspiration and I really think that I can do it. Now it is time to get on the treadmill!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Well the corn beef is bubbling away in the crock pot, the cabbage and red potatoes are awaiting their turn and the whole family is dressed in green to avoid the terrible pinch. Happy St Pat ricks Day!!! As a child we would always have dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house. We would set the table up in the living room and add a card table to the end. My cousin and I would always sit at the very end by the back patio door on the piano bench. Of course there would be far more food than was ever eaten but it was the holiday. My grandfathers father came directly over from Ireland and so tradition was fresh and strong. One year I remember traveling to Utah to celebrate with family, but it was years ago and all I can remember was lots of food and a really big house. Other than that my memories are distinct and set into memory.

Johnathan's family celebrated by making everything green, from the eggs at breakfast to the milk. Their family is also Irish so they had their own set of Traditions past down to their family. Now that Andie is in school she is really pushing the green thing and she was sure to ware a green shirt and hair bows to school today so that she would be safe. Hopefully as the children grow up we can find some strong Patties day traditions that the children will remember for the rest of their lives. Today we will start with the famous corned beef, and man am I looking forward to it!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Love, Hate!

Casey is going through a faze that he hates pretty much anything or anyone that doesn't agree with him, including, mom and dad, brother and sisters, and more recently the front door, the car seat and of course chocolate pudding. It is hard to explain to a three year old that hate is a really strong word and that he doesn't really hate anything. But one of my favorite things is when he says that he loves things because it sounds like I huve...two nights ago it was carrots, and onions and celery that was in the chicken stew, yesterday it was cake, and today he huved almost everything, except Jenna, whom he almost always hates.

It amazes me how simple kids think and how adults are always trying to complicate thing. We can't just love chocolate and hate peas, we have to enjoy chocolate but if we love it then we are an out of control chocoholic. If we hate peas then we are devoid of any ability to try and accept new things. So I decided to state some things that I know I love or hate unconcerned with the possible rebuke I may receive.

I Hate tomatoes, tried them lots, hate them lots
I Hate mushrooms, think they taste like rubbery dirt
I Hate crab cakes, they taste like the ocean
I Hate snow, it is cold and sometimes dangerous
I Hate being alone, I need someone to talk to

I Love Chocolate, it is good and that is all that matters
I Love ice cream, so many flavors, so little time
I Love the sun, it is warm and brings life
I Love romantic comedies, they make me feel good and happy
I Love being around other people, it is nice to have other people to talk to

So there, just a few things that I refuse to complicate. What are some of yours?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Big Girl!

Tonight we let Jenna feed herself for the first time. We put the food in a plastic bowl and gave her a spoon and let her go at it. As you can see she had a blast and she really went to town on the food. I think most of it got in her mouth but what she did ware she wore well. I couldn't resist taking a picture and the cheesy smile she gave me was priceless. This will defiantly go into the Jenna Hall of Fame!

Friday, March 6, 2009


My good friend Janalyn had her baby on Wednesday! They have struggled with infertility for nearly four years and so needless to say there little one is the result of much fasting and prayer on the part of their friends and family. It is hard to believe that after being roommates ten years ago at college we are now full time mommies, but I wanted her and everyone to know that I truly believe in miracles. Congratulations Jake and Janalyn on your beautiful baby girl and I hope that mother and baby are doing great!

Happy Birthday Jenna!

Yesterday was Jenna's first Birthday! We celebrated on Saturday at Grandma's house, but we did give her lots of loves and birthday wishes yesterday. It is hard to believe she is one already. We also got some video of her first timid steps and I don't think it will be to long before she is running around the house with the other kids. We are so glad that we can have her in our home and we Love her very much. Happy Birthday Jenna!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Andie!

Andie is eight years old today!!! We just want to wish her a very happy birthday on this very special day. At the end of the month Andie will be baptized and become a new member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints. She is super excited about entering into this covenant with our Heavenly Father and is looking forward to the 28th for her Daddy to baptize her. Happy Birthday princess and we love you SOOOO much!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Funny Story

Jenna is having her 1st birthday next week and I wanted to make her something to snuggle. I was at Porters and saw a good idea for an animal blanket so I bought a little pink stuffed dog and some soft fabric. When I go home Jenna was still down for a nap so I explained my idea to Johnathan and showed him the puppy. Of course Casey saw it and fell in love with it and wanted to carry it around the house. I let him while I read the instructions for making the blanket. Finally I convinced Casey to give the stuffed animal to me and he went off to play in the other room.

Now, I caution you now to NOT do what I did. NEVER, EVER, EVER cut a stuffed animal in half!

I had the puppy all laid out to cut in half so I could sew one half to the top corner of the blanket, and the other half to the bottom corner of the blanket. I picked up the little thing, and the scissors and proceeded to cut...the exact moment Casey came back into the room.

Horrified at what I was doing he burst into tears and ran and hid under the table. He cried and cried and was SOOO sad. I was trying to hurry and put it back together so that he could see that everything was going to be ok, but he was so sad I had to love him. When I brought him out to the living room he refused to look at me, or the puppy dog and when I put him down he ran back under the table.

Johnathan had to run an errand and he offered to take all the kids with him. Casey decided he wanted to go but he was still crying and I tried to tell him the puppy would be fine and I would have it fixed when he got home. He seemed ok with that and left. I finished the blanket just as they came home and when I showed it to him I could see that he wanted to be sad. I quickly explained that I had made it a long skinny dog like our old dog Cookie who was a wiener dog. He thought that was a great idea and wanted to keep it for himself. I told him over and over again that it was for Jenna and he finally gave it back.

Needless to say, don't ever cut a stuffed animal in half in front of your tender hearted children. Wait to do it when they are asleep!

The contravirsial blanket!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Andie had her surgery this morning and she is home and doing well. The doctor found and removed quite a bit of Chlosteatoma and also removed the ear tube that he believes has caused the whole problem in the first place. He did not see any of the growth behind the eardrum and that is really good news. We have to put steroid drops in her ear for a week to help heal the damage that was caused by the growth but other than that she is really good shape. And the thing that she is most excited about is that she can go back to school tomorrow! So thank you for all of those how have kept us in your thoughts and prayers and hopefully now we can be done with ear problems.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


As most of you may know Andie has struggled with ear problems her whole life. We have had tubes put in three times and finally 3 years ago we thought we had gotten on top of the ear infections. Her left ear tube fell out finally but we never saw the right one, but there were no infections so we were grateful. About a month ago she was complaining of ear pain so we took her in and the Doc tried to clean out the earwax build up so he could see her eardrum, but no luck. A week later we were back in, but he still could not see if she had an infection. Two days later we were in the ER at 10:30 pm with a ruptured eardrum. Ten days later she was finished with her Meds and two days after that it ruptured again. We got her on some really heavy meds and she seemed to be doing better until yesterday when her teacher called me and told me her ear was bleeding.

Johnathan came home from class and I took her back up to the ER. After the doctor started cleaning the ear out he became rather concerned and stopped to call a Ear Nose and Throat specialist, 10 minutes later we had an appointment for later that day. The ER doc suspected Cholesteatoma, he didn't give me very many specifics but what he did say didn't sound good. We packed up and came home, searched the Internet, and waited for our appointment later that day.

So what is Cholesteatoma? It is when dead skin cells come together and then mutate from smooth cells to spinney cells and form an aggressive tumor like mass. It then erodes away anything it is around, flesh, muscle, tissue and even bone. If left untreated it can cause deafness, paralysis and even Death. Yeah!

Armed with this info Andie and I went to see Doc. McMasters. He took one look at the bits and pieces that were coming out of her ear and said, "Yep, it is Cholesteatoma." Things went really fast after that, we set up Surgery on Thursday of this week and he ordered steroid drops to try to shrink the existing Cholesteatoma. He is hoping that the mass is only on the outside of her eardrum and that he can scrape it away on Thursday. If he does that and finds that it has moved back into her middle ear and past her eardrum than more extensive and aggressive surgery will be needed. So we are praying that this will all be resolved this Thursday, but it has been kind of a scary few days. Johnathan has given Andie a Priesthood Blessing and we are feeling as comfortable as we can with the whole thing but as a parent this is news that you never want to get. Anyway, just thought we would give an update as to where we are with Andie. Any prayers would be appreciated and we will let everyone know what we find Thursday.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Whatta Ya Do?

It has been one of those weeks. I don't know what is going wrong with me, but I am in a rut. What do ya do when YOU fall into a rut? I need some ideas because I am going nuts. Any ideas would be appreciated because if you don't help than I will be forced to do laundry, and that is a crime.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Casey's 1st Talk.

Casey was asked to give his first talk as a Sunbeam yesterday. We wrote him a little 3 minute talk about his body and practicd it several times, he was ready to go. So we get up to Primary and he stands up at the pulpit and decides he doesn't want my help. He of course can't do it himself so finally I read it for him and told him to sit down. Then he says "NO, I'M NOT DONE!!!" Everyone laughed and I took him back to his seat. When we got home I asked him to say it to my mom over the phone...he did a spactaular job! What a character! We are going to try to record it so we can have it on record, he can acctually say the talk even if he didn't do it in Primary.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Here it is my friends!

If any of you have ever queried for an Agent, or for that matter a publisher you will know what I have been going though. For those who have not ever done this I will tell you, it is a pain the butt! First off you need to figure out how to sell your 85,000-100,000 word novel in basically 2 paragraphs. Let me tell you, not easy! I have spent almost two years writing this book and it has become my 5th baby, so to try to sell it to someone is a little nerve racking to say the least. Finally after several drafts I was happy with the finale product. Tell me what you think, would you buy the book, and if not, tell me why. Don't worry about hurting my feelings, as an Author all I want is feedback, good or bad. Enjoy!

Dear Agent,

I am excited to submit for your review, my first novel. Sweetwater Springs is a completed 83,000 word Historical Romance, with a suspenseful twist. In the spring of 1900, our heroin, Katie O’Hare, has reluctantly returned to her childhood home, only to be faced with unanswered questions and the silent graves of her family. Our hero, Tyler Reynolds is searching for forgiveness when he unknowingly falls in love with the only person who can give it to him. But will she forgive him when she finds out how dramatically his past, altered her future?

Katie is determined not to have anymore connection to Sweetwater than necessary, but when Mr. Reynolds comes to call, she can’t help but fall for his rugged, attractive, nature. Tyler is equally taken with the beautiful young school teacher, and is surprise to find he is open to a relationship with her. Only six months earlier his fiancĂ© had called off the wedding, and left town. However, when she returns for her own selfish reasons, Tyler has to decide between a new love and an old one.

The real conflict however revolves around an old pocket watch that was found ten years earlier in the smoldering ashes of Katie’s home. The watch is not her fathers, and the mysterious initials on the back lead them both to startling confessions, a race for their lives, and into a deadly gunfight. This unforgettable journey could give them both the answers they so desperately want, or tear them apart forever.

I am a member of Romance Writers of America, and an avid reader. I have been published in The Rage, a compilation of short stories, poetry and illustrations. Sweetwater Springs is my first full length novel.

Thank you for taking time to review my letter. The manuscript is complete, and I am in the process of querying agencies. A full manuscript is available upon your request.


Anna-Liisa Duncan

Ah, another week.

It is the beginning of another week. It is amazing how at the first of the month your calender is a beautiful white, black numbers sitting so nicely on the page. Maybe payday, and birthdays highlighted, maybe even date night. It is a beautiful sight, a whole month to accomplish anything you would like...right?

Wrong, by the end of the first week, the second week is booked, by the end of the second week the entire month is scrawled with appointments, dates, Visiting Teaching, Scouts, camp outs, School things, homework, the list goes on and on. Then on the 30th of the month you sit, exhausted with your husband and review the months. What didn't get done? Date night, outings, anything fun that didn't involve a doctors office and shopping lists.

Frustrated you drop into bed and know you can do better. The next morning that beautiful clean, clear, calender smiles at you from its place on the wall. What a beautiful thing, so peaceful, I am going to get so much done this month...Wait, the phone is ringing, What, you need to see the doctor? No, I did not know about the PTO meeting...Yes, Thursday is free, but not tell next week...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Our Fun Night!

On Monday I was NOT feeling well, and by 5:00 p.m. I was pretty much down for the count. I had a terrible pain in my right side and I pretty much felt yucky. At 7:40 I took two Advil and went to bed, by 9:30 I sent Johnathan out to get me some Midol, hoping it would help with the cramping, finally I fell asleep. Waking around 1:00 I noticed that he wasn't in bed so I went to find him and the pain came back with a vengeance, ten minutes later we were in bed but the pain was so bad I was tearing up and finally I hurt so bad that Johnathan was getting concerned. After a Priesthood Blessing we felt like maybe I needed to be seen by a Doctor so we got up and went to the ER sometime around 3:00.

They got me all settled and gave me some really good drugs then sent me off to X-ray while Johnathan went and got my parents settled at the house. Thank heavens for them, they got up and drove to our house in the middle of the night to be with the kids! Well to make a long story short, after some more tests the determined that I had a cyst on my ovary that had ruptured, and my pelvic cavity had some excess fluid in it, nothing they were too concerned about. Around 7:00 they sent me home with orders to rest for the day.

I cannot believe how badly it hurt! We were both sure I had appendicitis, thankfully it wasn't that, but it still hurt! Johnathan was great and so helpful and a huge thanks to my parents again, who not only came up to be with the kids, but also took all of them home keeping Andie and Tyson over night. What a blessing that it wasn't anything more serious!