Christmas card

We aren’t doing a Christmas card this year. I’m still having conflicted feelings about that. But it felt like a burden instead of a joy, so it was out.

I type that and realize how like blogging that is. I want to read YOUR posts. I want to see YOUR Christmas cards! But doing it myself? Ummm…

ANYWAY. Late last week I almost decided to do it. With this photo that the kids made online:


You can click to enlarge, but it totally would’ve worked; you can tell who everyone is easily.

The funny thing is: we had a FEW good photos this year with EVERYONE in them! Which is a miracle right there…


That was probably going to be THE one. If there was one, but there’s not…

menus for a super hot summer week

This week is insanely hot. Again. I have no desire to come home from a long day of appointments and cook or eat hot food. Today I came up with a super awesome plan for half a week of dinners to keep us cool in this heat. Ready?

Monday: cold cereal
Tuesday: either Kids Eat Free at Ikea OR cold cereal
Wednesday: if we go to the Owlz game, $1 hot dogs. If not, sandwiches.


I have taken that mothering bar soooo low this summer that it’s scraping the floor. But no one has been to the ER, we have good enough periods of happiness and even joy, and our home is sanitary.

Hip hip hooray!

Today I want to kick things

We have one kid we’re working hard with on controlling emotions. I am super duper thankful that kid can’t read minds today.

I even had my alarm go off at 5:15 so I could get up at 5:30 so the morning could run smoothly and Joshua and I could get out of the house on time.

Well. The morning started going downhill by 6:30. When one kid was throwing unkind behavior in my direction I was trying to be all zen “it’s not about you, Julie…discipline and move on…” But the bad attitude totally affected me and other family members. Dang it.

All of the sudden I was running super late – we have to cut Josh’s hair every morning before his appointment, so that plus the shower and clean up took longer than expected, plus watering the garden, feeding kids, family scripture time, etc etc etc.

First I forgot to make me and Joshie lunch. Buying lunch is adding up. Shoot. Then five minutes out the door I realized the sitter was not coming until 10:15 – why had I told her that if Josh’s appt in salt lake was at 10:30 and Nathan would have to be at the orthodontist with Jacob at 10:15? I called her and she agreed to run over.

I got to the office with 30 seconds to spare, because I missed one freeway interchange and had to drive through tons of downtown traffic, only to find out our appointment wasn’t for 10:30 but 11:30.

Yep. Really. And also – THAT’S why I’d told the sitter not to come until 10:15.

So we are killing an hour in the cafeteria that’s blessedly air conditioned and I’m trying to plan my errand route for in between appointments (we have to be back here at 2:40). Only to find most of the stores I need aren’t close to downtown.

You’ve had those days, too, right? Man. Every time we come to the hospital I say a prayer of thanks that this is all we are here for. Hundreds of people are here for much harder things. And every time we drive circles looking for parking, Joshua plays the license plate game and I’m thankful we don’t have to travel from Montana or Idaho or Oregon or Wyoming or further to get medical care we need. I totally realize that in the grand scheme, a bad morning can be dealt with. But it still totally bites.

Too bad I can’t kick something inconspicuously here. I bet I’d feel better faster.

On learning

Yesterday I made a decision: no learning anything new this week. And I MEANT it.

We’ve been living at a fairly high intensity. A lot of things we’re learning are out of necessity (nutrition, theta and beta brain waves, etc…and I STILL feel like I don’t have a good grasp on them). But learning is just one of those things that Nathan and I are drawn to. Learning, learning, learning. The past few months I’ve been especially studying about the King James version of the Bible, the Old Testament, human sexuality, lots of reading on nutrition, and lately a lot about meditation and energy and how our brains work and healing.

And quite frankly, I’m exhausted.

So that’s why, yesterday, I decided that this upcoming week would only be FUN reading, relaxing media, and what I usually refer to as “trash” etc.

Problem is: all that stuff I’ve been choosing to learn about, I do it because it’s so fun. Then there’s that other stuff we’ve had to learn about, which is still mostly confusing. But since I’ve learned that I usually have to learn things 3 or so times before I GET it and it sticks, I’m not going to be frustrated and instead think “only two more times to go!”

I had to rephrase my “week of no learning” and I started thinking “ok, then time to dive into fiction and novels and get back to adolescent lit and reread some favorites” but now it still feels weird.

Oh boy.

qI was just giving the girls a bath and remembered this quote, one of my very very favorites. I had to look it up because I couldn’t remember it exactly.

“I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal. But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything. And you can feel it inside of you. If you never take time out to let that happen, then you accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you. You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them. It’s hollow.”
― E.L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

RIGHT? Everything is rattling. I just need to be quiet. And it’s not like I’m totally opposed to learning anything new, of course. If I need to learn something, I’m sure it will yell loud enough then I’ll have to pay attention.

almost the Nebo Loop

Sunday was our day out to adventure this weekend. We had to change plans a few times, but finally headed out south. We drove to see the Payson Temple under construction, then started up to the Nebo Loop. We took the Santaquin Canyon; we hadn’t been there before. Narrow, steep, winding road with lots of dirt and rocks. Yikes.

We got to the top and started to turn south towards Nephi when we saw the “Road Closed” sign across the road. WHAT? Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be when everything opens!

Someone was coming off the road, around the barrier, and we asked them what was up. At the very top there was still snow on the road, but just on one lane. Some other cars and motorcycles decided to go around the barrier and keep driving but without a 4 wheel drive, the road around the barrier was too much for our van. Shoot.

We got out at the Utah Lake overlook. Jacob accidentally found a geocache and we took some family pictures. There were tons of huge red and black ants which Ainsley was NOT fond of.

Nebo adventure Sunday

Nebo adventure Sunday
This one is going through a muscle phase.

Nebo adventure Sunday
Miss Sass gets it from her big sister.

Nebo adventure Sunday
SEE?!?! When we tell her to STAND STILL and SMILE for a photo she gets grumpy.

Nebo adventure Sunday
Our deer friend for the day.

Memorial Day>>>Starting Summer

We started out Monday by cleaning the church. We were scheduled for a future date that Jacob will be having surgery and he’d been so excited to clean the church, that we switched days so he could help. Seriously – every Sunday he’d look for our name on the cleaning schedule and was sad when it still wasn’t our turn.

We went straight from the church to Camp Williams where they had a special Memorial Day ceremony.

Camp Williams ceremony

Camp Williams ceremony

Camp Williams ceremony

Em’s favorite part was the canons. She kept trying to tell us about the “BOOM BOOMS”. You could feel them inside your body.

We went from the cemetery to 7-11 for 50 cent slurpees!


They were a hit. Since we got our FUN over with in the morning, we spent the afternoon working in the backyard. We’re planting a big pumpkin/gourd patch this year and will soon be ready to get the whole garden in.

Thank goodness the last day of the long weekend was yesterday because today we’ve had HUGE rain, lightning and thunder. Joshua and I were in IFA this morning buying vegetable plants and the rain and wind and thunder were so loud we had to yell to hear each other. WOW. Welcome summer? Hopefully soon.

One full day of school and two half days left and we are FREE for the summer! Hip hip hooray! I love having my kids home. It is SO much work, and really exhausting, but I’m happy when they’re out of school and we can all be home together during the days.