Monday, April 30, 2012


Our good friends and neighbors invited us to go boating with them a few Saturdays ago.  We were so excited to be out on the lake enjoying great weather and fun friends.  Brandon and Grant have never been on a boat, so this was exciting. 

Bryce is a die hard skier, and it shows.  They even have pictures of him skiing right next to ice.  Fortunately they have a dry suit so he stays warm. :)
I love this picture of Bryce and Sharece doing what they enjoy. :)

Each of the boys took a turn driving the boat, that was entertaining and terrifying. 
Jason was so confident to just jump in the water, after all dad was all ready in there.  It was cold and he didn't last long, but it was fun just the same.
This picture shows how we all felt while out on the boat.  So happy!

Brandon was really good at steering the boat to a constant right, it was funny but not so fun. :)
All of the boys, except Brandon took naps.  Warm sun and a rocking boat - can't say that I blame them.
Pretty Sharece
I got talked into trying to wake board, I was never very good at skiing as a teen, and I had never tried wake boarding before, but I was assured that it was easy, and I felt confident that I could learn.  This is me putting on the dry suit.
Thought I was going to die trying to get my head through that hole - not good for the claustrophobic.
Ready, Set, Go
 Or not. :)  I'm sure I tried at least a dozen times to get up, but I just could not maintain a grip long enough to get up.  I even tried wrapping my arms through the rope hoping I would be able to hold on better like that, I couldn't, but I did get some great bruises to show for it.  Brandon was a great cheer leader, so confident that I would get up.  I felt a little bad that I couldn't do it for him.  My ego was a little hurt, but practice makes perfect, so I'll try again.  One thing is for sure, I will be prepared with sun screen, and I will not be wrapping my arms in the rope, ouch :)  Despite the aches and pains following the outing, it was absolutely a wonderful, beautiful day!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

8 of 10

What are 5 passions you have?
Passion means more than just an interest or something you enjoy, it might even mean more than something that is important to you.  Passion to me means "Don't cross me on this subject, unless you want an involved debate".  Passion seams to mean a proactive stance on your opinion.  Because of this I struggle to think of what my passions are.  I don't like confrontation, I am terrible at debating, and regrettably I am not very proactive with my opinions, however I was able to come up with five things that the more I think about, the more I realize, I do feel very strongly about them, so they could be considered a passion.

1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I know this Church is true!  I know it with all my heart.  Every little aspect of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true and I know it to be true; from the Book of Mormon, to the Prophet, from the Temple, to Families, from the organization, to the saving ordinances.  I love this church and I am so very grateful for it, and I wish so very much that my siblings, family, friends, neighbors, and everyone else could know this for themselves too.  I wish so much that everyone could experience the joy and peace that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

2. Children.  I am devoted to my children.  Yes, I complain, and often wish for a break from parenting, but I LOVE my children.  I spend hours debating which preschool will be just right for Brandon.  I spend even more time one on one with Grant to help him develop his speech.  I spend nearly an hour every day working with Brandon on learning his letters, sounds, numbers, logic, art skills, music, early reading, scripture memorization, and Article of Faith memorization.  I feel like if I don't teach them everything they need to know, who will?  Preschool is great because it reinforces what I am teaching and it provided an opportunity to socialize, and respect other adults (and it gives me a break :)) but it can not possibly do everything Brandon will need it too.  I feel the same way with Primary, Speech Therapy, and ASL.  It is a lot of responsibility to place on myself, and I ALWAYS feel like I am coming up short, but that is okay, I am doing the best I know how, and I pray that Heavenly Father will make up for my short comings and help my children learn, protect my children, and give them loving leaders and teachers all along their journey. 

3. Family.  I feel very strongly about the definition of a family and the roles each family member should play in their family.  After working in childcare for nearly 10 years I developed pretty strong opinions about day care and that it should be used only as a back up resource, but nothing more.  It was devastating to me to see little babies being dropped off only because their mothers wanted to work more than be with them.  I think that every child has the right to a mother and father in the home who love them.  I have strong feelings about how women are represented in the media and in the world.  Yes I would be talented in the work force as would most women, but my talents are better used in the home.  Yes the appearance of women is wonderful and important, but it is not where our value lies.  And I am not "JUST" a stay at home mom, or worse yet "housewife".  I also get really upset when I hear people putting men down, in fact I am just as upset with how men are portrayed in the media.  The men I know are not lazy couch potatoes.  They are not incapable of being great fathers.  They are not selfish, and unobservant of others.  They don't live their lives acting like 10 year old boys.  They are capable, competent, hard working, devoted, sincere, goal oriented, protective and loving. 

4. Music.  Music is powerful.  It is a universal language.  It inspires and motivates.  It can change moods and behaviors.  Music can strongly effect your personality, relationships, attitudes, and values.  Music can change who you are.  Learning music is so rewarding and stimulating.  Using music in other areas of learning will often help you learn better.  I wish music was used far more in the classroom, from kindergarten to graduate school.

5. Choice.  We chose, before we came to earth, to have the right to choose.  Choice was so important we fought a war in heaven to enjoy this right.  But, with choice comes a consequence.  I get so upset when I hear people say they are "pro choice", because I am too, but not in the way they use the term.  People who are "pro choice" are not really pro choice they are simply "pro no consequences".  They made a choice, now they need to accept the consequence.  Please don't misunderstand I can accept a choice to abort a child, when the conception was not the mothers choice, but if it is some person who "oops" conceived a child, now please make it like it never happened, not okay.  My feelings for choice and accountability go beyond the "pro choice" people.  If you make any choice, you should accept the consequence.  And it is high time we start recognizing that with our choices come consequences.

Whew, I sound and feel a little like a tyrant right now.  I suppose I am more passionate about things than I thought.  I realized that I have one other passion, the right to your opinion.  Just as I clearly have some strong opinions others are entitled to their opinions as well, and it is okay if our opinions are not the same, or if they are similar but have some differences, that is okay, it's their CHOICE. :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

7 of 30

What is your dream job, and why?

Most of the time I think I have the dream job, at any rate my job as a full time mommy is certainly what I always dreamed about doing as a child and youth.  I do feel that my job as a mother is the most important job I could have.  Most of the time I really do enjoy it.  I am privileged to be witness to all the good and bad moments with my children.  I get to see them grow and learn, and I am one of their two favorite people that makes me pretty lucky!

However, if I was to choose a job with a pay check I would choose to be a reporter in Utah, specializing in religion, similar to, Carole Mikita.  How amazing would it be to be on a first name basis with the prophet and other leaders for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to be able to visit with them often.  It would also be so exciting to meet often with all the other religious leaders in Utah, to gain a better understating of their beliefs and ideals.  How wonderful would it be to visit with so many saints and hear their stories, hear them share their testimonies, and feel their faith.  How exciting would it be to travel the world, seeing the sites, meeting the people, visiting so many temples.  How convenient would it be to have a stylist to help you with your clothes, makeup, and hair.  It would be a very rewarding job.  The responsibility to represent the church would be a bit daunting, but it would also be motivating, I would work even harder on my testimony and knowledge of the gospel.  Yes, the more I think about it, the more I think I would really enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

6 of 30

What is the hardest thing you have ever had to experience.
The first thing that comes to mind is when Maggie was hit by a car and passed away, nearly six month later and I still have moments when I struggle and miss her a lot.  You can read more about that experience here.

The next thing that comes to mind is Brandon's delivery.  Brandon was due to arrive on the 7th of September.  Well the 7th, 8th, 9th and the 10th past with out any sign of arrival.  So my doctor told me he would have to induce me on the 13th.  The morning of the 13th we went in to be induced.  By 2:30 that day nothing had happened so they gave me Petocin, still nothing.  At midnight I was dilated to a 3 and could not handle the pain anymore so they gave me an epidural and we continued to wait and wait and wait.  The next day around 10:30 I was finally dilated to a 10 and we began to push.  Three hours later and we had still made no progress.  So I was told I would need to have a C-Section.  I can't describe how disappointed I was.  I know there is nothing wrong with C-Sections, but I still felt like less of a women because I had to have one.  I cried and cried when they told me.  By the time I was in surgery and Jared and I were prepared for surgery I was starting to go into shock.  I was SO cold and the several heated blankets that they were putting on me did nothing to help.  Jared was wonderful to comfort me through everything, until they pulled Brandon from me.  Jared was so taken by Brandon and the whole procedure that he became completely riveted to everything that was going on.  I don't blame him one bit, in fact I love that he was so excited to be a dad.  But I felt so lonely at that time.  I could hear Brandon and everyone else talking about him, but I couldn't see him or touch him like I had hoped to.  The nurse took Brandon to run the tests and held him up for me from across the room, but by this time I was shaking so violently, and so uncomfortable, and emotionally drained that all I could do was give a week giggle and smile.  I was so grateful for the anesthesiologist who stood by me, held my hand, and then put me to sleep for the remainder of  the surgery.  When I finally woke up, Brandon had already been bathed and dressed (with no picture taken).  I on the other hand was still shaking form the cold.  They put me in whats called a "bear hug", a large plastic blankets with pockets that fill up wit hot air, they also covered me with more warm blankets.  I did not like feeling out of control of my body, emotions, and mind.  I do remember having one lucid thought to tell my mom and Jared where my socks were and to put them on my feet.  According to Jared and my mom my skin was grey and my lips were blue and Jared felt a lot of concern over whether or not I would pull through.  I finally came through.  I don't remember the first time I held Brandon, but I do remember the first time I got to nurse him.  Gratefully he took to nursing quickly and I was finally able to feel like a mother.  Despite all the trauma of Brandon's delivery I was so relieved and grateful to have him and to be a mother and have both of us healthy, that I didn't feel too upset about the delivery, but after leaving the hospital and writing in my journal I realized just how emotionally challenging it was for me.  I am surprised that even now nearly five years later I still struggle and cried when I think about it.  And each time I have to have another baby through C-Section I feel little twinge of regret and failure, I know I shouldn't, but I do.

Really though I count my blessings that the few challenges I have had to face are so small in comparison to others challenges.

5 of 30

What are the five things that make you the most happy right now?
* when I worry that it has been too quiet for too long and upon investigation find them sitting in one of the chairs reading books alone, or to each other.  I really love hearing Brandon read the story and get it nearly word for word, because he paid such close attention when Jared or I read it to him.
* when they laugh.  Brandon and Grant have such wonderful giggles that I too often excuse bad behavior if it is making them laugh.
* when they are sleeping - it is a beautiful thing.  I am especially happy when one of them will fall asleep in my arms, that is heaven!
* when they recognize things of the spirit.  Like when Brandon tried to give me a blessing because I was not feeling well, or when Grant insists on saying his prayers before bed time even though he can't talk yet, or when Brandon starts singing I am a Child of God.
* when they learn something new.  Like when Grant learns a new words, or Brandon learns how to blend new words
*when they dance, they are the CUTEST dancers ever!

* when he puts one of the boys to bed and enjoys reading them stories before bed time.
* when he show appreciation for the dinner I made by insisting that we eat at the table and enjoy  family conversation and thanks me for it.
* when he steps up to a challenge because he knows it is proving to be too much for me to handle alone.
* when he leads our family in family prayer or family home evening
* when he takes me on dates, especially to the temple
* when we talk and talk and talk into the late hours of the night

* serving with the Young Women
* reading the Book of Mormon
* watching a Mormon Media film online
* working on Personal Progress
* singing the hymns
* enjoying my association with the Relief Society sisters - Great Friends
* hearing a great talk or testimony
* knowing the joy of the plan of salvation
* attending the temple

* running (while my children are in the day care)
* reading a good novel
* morning scripture study
* taking a nap with the window open
* playing the piano without interruptions

* Great Friends - who help me with my children and who I can enjoy great conversations with, and laugh with.  Friends who find selfless ways to serve and uplift me.  Friends who are genuinely interested in me and care about me.
* Nature - birds waking me up in the morning, sunshine warming (or recently, burning) my face, a cool breeze, the smell after a rain shower
* A clean house

I have a LOT to be happy about!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

4 of 30

List 10 things you would tell your 16 year old self, if you could.
1. Get good grades!!!  You will need them, and they count beyond high school.
2. Learn all you can in the practical areas while your education is free.  Focus on history, science, math, and English - I know you hate them, but they are important!
3. Music is wonderful; it is great that you are developing your piano and vocal talents, continue to do so, but realize that there is so much more to life!  Get off everyone in your choir classes back, you do not have to be the one that keeps them in line.
4. Learn to heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  Learn to speak and understand the language of the Holy Ghost.  You will need all the practice you can get.
5. Lighten up.  Have fun and don't be so serious all the time.
6. Learn to forgive your friends.
7. Stop judging everyone, and be humble, you are no more perfect then your friends.
8. It is great that you are having fun dating, it is great that you are learning how to have relationships with boys, and learning what matters to you in a relationship, but the boys you are dating right now will play a very little role in your life in the future, so relax.
9. DON'T make a list of the boys you like and then rank them - those boys on the list will likely find the list and be upset about where they fall in your ranking system.
10. Spend much more time with your siblings, especially your sisters. 

3 of 30

Describe your relationship with your parents

I have been very fortunate and grateful for the relationship I have had with both my parents.  I admire both of them very much.

My dad is a wonderful man.  He owns his business and works very hard at it.  He was very good to spend time with us when he was not working.  He would take us to his office every Saturday to play, explore and “help” him scrap metal.  He would take us on business trips; we would enjoy wonderful trips courtesy of work trips. J My dad has a wonderful sense of humor that made everything more fun.  We would “grow” to the office; dad would answer the phone with a “yellow” instead of a hello.  Dad is a great storyteller; at dinnertime, we would often ask him to tell us a story about his mission, our favorite was of him visiting the elephant at the zoo. 

My mom was also wonderful!  She was always involved with school; helping out with PTA, helping with party days, and much more.  During the summer, she would set up summer fun clubs, cooking classes, or sewing classes.  During high school, she became my best friend and greatest confidant.  We would stay up for hours after a date to talk about everything and nothing.  My mom was always available when I needed her, and she was a tremendous support in everything I tried to do.  Were it not for her encouragement I would have never learned to play the piano, learned to sing, finished my personal progress, or received half way decent grades.

When I finally grew out of my temper stage as a child, I was able to gain my parents respect and gain more freedom.  I think the only thing that created problems for me with my parents was late nights.  My house was often the go to house for my friends and I to hang out and even if everyone was gone by midnight, we were still noisy, which often kept my dad up (my mom would be hanging out right along with us, so she did not mind J).  Later on curfew became a problem for everyone, particularly when I met Jared. J

I am so grateful for my parents.  Grateful for the love they continue to give me.  Grateful for their testimonies, and all that they have taught me.  Grateful for their examples.  Grateful that they are wonderful grandparents to my children.  Love my parents!!!

2 of 30

Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
1.      MOTHS!  I know it makes no sense to most people but moths are gross.  They have a very erratic flight pattern.  They fly right in your face.  They are dusty.  When I was a preteen I went to my friend’s cabin for the weekend, we shared the only bed in the upstairs loft; it was going to be a great weekend.  When we climbed into bed that first night, there was a large moth in the bed that flew around our feet and then flew up to our faces and out the room.  It was horrifying.   I learned this fear from my mom (who is working on overcoming it) and my grandma.  Bring on snakes and spiders, I will be fine; but put me in a room with a moth - no thank you!

2.      Making phone calls.  It is dumb I know, but I struggle to make phone calls.  I don’t really know why I am afraid to call people.  It really does not matter who I am calling, whether it is people for home maintenance, medical professionals, family, or friends, I just don’t like calling people.  As a result, I don’t get important things done very quickly, I struggle to get my visiting teaching done each month, and my friends and family probably think I don’t care about them.  I have gotten better over the years, I used to have to write out a script of what I was calling about before I made the call, I would even practice simple phone calls like – “do you want to play”.  Texting is good for this fear, but even then, I struggle at times with it.  I am also terrible at returning phone calls.  This more than anything is something I need to overcome.

3.      One of my greatest hopes and fondest dreams is that my children will grow up and live happy, productive and successful lives; and most importantly that they will always be active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; serving missions, marrying in the temple, serving faithfully in the church, and holding fast to the scriptures.  Thus, one of my greatest fears is that this will not happen.   Nearly everything I do is with the intention of providing my children with a strong foundation of education and testimony so that as life gets harder for them and as they go out on their own they will be prepared. 

4.      Obviously, there is the fear that everyone who has a family to love and cherish each and every day has; and that is losing our association with our loved ones here on earth because of death.  It’s not a fun thing to think about, so we don’t; and nothing more needs to be said on the subject.

5.      I am afraid and timid about sharing the gospel.  I know it is foolish.  When you have truth, light and true joy that comes from the gospel why would sharing it be scary.  Fear of rejection I guess.  That right there is a legitimate fear.

Fear is an interesting thing.  We are to have faith not fear.  I was trying to think what my fears are, and moths and phone calls stuck out only because they are so silly, but I struggled to think what else I am afraid of, the other three fears have some validity, but I must admit that the fear is not consuming and while I really hope I do not have to face those fears I know that if I do, it will be okay because of my faith.  The Lord said, “Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.”  Doctrine and Covenants 68:6   I know this is true and I am grateful for it.

Friday, April 20, 2012

1 of 30

List 30 random facts about yourself
1.       I am the oldest of five children in my family
2.       I LOVE music; I play the piano, teach the piano, sing, I am learning guitar, I play the organ, and I really enjoy listening to all varieties of music.
3.       I love animals.  I visit a zoo or aquarium nearly every month.  Jared and I have often given each other zoo memberships for our anniversary gifts.  In fact, Jared and I like animals so well we spent nearly two hours watching deer on our first date.  My love for animals as well as Jared’s love for animals has been past down to Brandon; he has an extensive collection of animals and prefers to watch animal shows of any variety over cartoons.
4.       I like to organize things; and reorganize things, and then reorganize them again (sorry Jared)
5.       I really enjoy driving – by myself preferably.  Oregon was the best place for driving, beautiful winding roads; if I had time in-between piano lessons I would purposely try to get a little lost and find my way again.  I really miss driving in Oregon.
6.       I love bridges; I think they are architecturally beautiful, inspiring, motivating, and full of promise.  I think my love for bridges came while I was in Oregon; there are so many beautiful bridges large and small.  One of my favorite parts of our New York trip was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.  I have been to the San Francisco Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge and London Bridge (in AZ).  I hope to visit many others; the Sydney Bridge and Hawthorn Bridge are high on my list.
7.       I am a nature lover.  I like weeding simply because it is an excuse to spend LOTS of time outside.  I LOVE the moon and its mysteries.   I would leave the windows open all the time; day and night, warm or cold if Jared would let me, and would fill my house with fresh plants and flowers if I could keep them alive; and I would be so happy if I could camp, hike, and explore the beautiful mountains nearby more often.
8.       I want to learn many new things like; interior design, photography (focusing on portrait), writing (I would love to write children’s books) gardening, how to play the cello, the violin, and the flute and nursing skills.  However when I go back for my degree I plan on getting it in elementary education.
9.       I hope to have many pets someday; big dogs, cats, birds, a large albino snake, turtles, frogs, bunnies and horses are on my list.
10.   I am addicted to games on the phone, or computer.  Once I start playing it is VERY hard to stop.  I have wasted many hours of my life away playing pac man, tetris, sudoku and solitaire.
11.   I am really good at entertaining children, if there are little to no other adults nearby (adults are scary to be silly around).   After teaching preschool for 10 plus years I have learned to have children eating out of the palm of my hand; and I must admit I get a natural high when I have a large group of children following and mimicking my every move, expression, and sound.
12.   I am addicted to pastries.  I have been known to sneak into the break room and eat 5 or more Krispy Kreams at a time.  I have made and devoured an entire pan of brownies without sharing, I used to make frequent stops to 7-11 for donuts and then eat them and hide the evidence.  Fortunately, I do feel like I am making a LOT of progress and overcoming this very real addiction.  In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I had a donut or brownie. Yeah me! 
13.   I want to be a runner.  I REALLY admire people who run and enjoy it.  I envy people who have RAGNAR decals on their back windshield.  Someday I hope to run in that race.  Right now I am training for a 5K with the couch to 5K program; I am still very much a newbie at it, but I am finding that I really do enjoy it and I CAN do it; it has been a bit of a revelation to me.  Slowly but surely “I think I can” is transforming to “I know I can”.
14.   I have found a street sign for my first name, madden name, and last name, as well as various signs for the day, month and year I was born.  Someday I hope to have my picture taken under each one. J
15.   My nickname, given to me by Jared, is Bear.  It came from Shelly Bear, which I hated.  Bear fits me.  I growl at Jared A LOT, and I really like to hibernate. 
16.   I do NOT like nuts of any kind!  I will occasionally enjoy a pb and j or a Reeses cup, otherwise I could do without nuts.  But go ahead and put them in desserts; I’ll be disappointed but grateful. J
17. I got married when I was 18, 16 days away from my 19th birthday. Best decision ever! However, just because I did it does not make it right for just anyone, and nothing gets me more upset than people using me as an excuse. I made my decision with lots of prayer, studying, and careful contemplation of advice, good and bad from everyone. Moreover, we got married in the temple; that counts for a lot.
18.   I am loud!  I sneeze and cough very loud; makes Jared crazy.  My voice can carry across the neighborhood if I need it too.  The boys and I will occasionally get in screaming matches, just for fun (when no one else is around) I always win. J  I inherited this talent from my Grandma Johnson.
19.   I have high hopes of traveling the world, Europe first (which part you say? all of it), Australia (Sydney), African safari, All fifty United States, and Brazil.  My goal is to visit a new temple in every new place.  I love visiting the temple when we go on vacation.
20.   I had carpal tunnel in both of my wrists when I was in high school.  I had surgery on both wrists and it helped significantly; but I still cannot write for very long, and it flares up when I over stress them.
21.   I love when school season begins.  I could spend hours walking up and down the school supplies isle.  New sharp pencils, a new box of crayons, paper in all its varieties, post its, 3X5 cards, I love it all.  I only subscribe to one catalog; it’s for Learning Tree, a school supply store.  I drool over it, SO many wonderful things to look at and wish for.
22.   I HATE shopping.  It is depressing, I always want more than I can afford, I struggle to find exactly what I am looking for; I never have enough time to really enjoy it.  Shopping for clothes is the worst!  Jared has actually had to force me to shop for clothes because what I was wearing was so worn out.  Shopping for craft supplies, home d├ęcor, books and music can be enjoyable, but there is still the issue of limited funds.  Shopping YUCK.  Jared however loves to shop, he is the grocery shopper in our home; I am grateful (most of the timeJ).
23. I have lived in Utah for all but three years of my 30 years, right next to the mountains with the greatest snow on earth; and I have only skied once. I was in fourth grade. I went with a school group. My mom dressed me up like Ralphie from Christmas Story. The only thing I remember was admiring my crush on the chair lift in front of me, and falling, A LOT!
24.   I am a terrible, TERRIBLE speller.  I am so very grateful for spell check!
25.   I do not retain facts well.  Jared does.  He has had, and continues to have a lot of fun at my expense because I did not know the difference between Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise when we got married.  I did not realize the White House was separate from the Capitol building.  People are frequently amazed when I do not know about a popular TV show, movie, musician, or actor.  Mostly it is because I just do not care about those details.
26.   I love to learn, I love to teach, I believe in education and I love school supplies, but I HATE school.  I do not test well.  I do not retain facts well.  School is just really, really hard for me.  However, I know it is important to someday return and get an official degree. 
27.   I have perfect eyesight. J  When I was in fourth grade for some reason I was told I needed glasses, I threw a fit about it and fought about it plenty, then I had an idea to hide the glasses in my sock drawer, don’t ask me why, I don’t know.  After being unable to find them, we went back to be tested again and get glasses again.  My eyesight was fine and I have not worn glasses since. 
28.   As a child, I had a TERRIBLE temper.  I would put holes in the walls, doors, even the garage door.  I would hit, scream and throw great fits.  My mom tried putting me on time out in my room – I would just play.  She tried the closet – I emptied every box of toys, every puzzle, every bit of art supplies, and anything else I could find into a big pile in the middle of the closet.  She tried the bathroom – I unwound the toilet paper into the toilet.  Finally, at the suggestion of her visiting teacher she put me on a bar stool in the middle of the living room.  For some reason that worked.  My mom told me I had a temper monster inside me that I needed to learn to control and not let out.  After many years I overcame my temper monster and it rarely make a visit these days.  Brandon is very similar to me – pay back. J
29. In fifth grade, I thought I was a beauty queen. My aunt dyed my hair cooper red, permed it, cut shoulder length, and gave me bangs all at the same time. It was supposed to be temporary, but it stayed a lovely shade of pink for two more years. I had braces with neck gear; both of which I was very proud of and wore to school often, I also had a green with black polka-dots MC Hammer style jump suit, that I wore OFTEN. To top it all off I broke my collarbone and unknowingly walked with crooked shoulders. Despite all of this and my best friend teasing me ALL the time, I really did think I was pretty, prettiest girl in school. Sad!
30.   I love my name.  Michelle means – one who is like the Lord; I wish, but it is something to aspire to.  I do however wish I had a middle name, I would choose, Anne (with an e).   Anne of Green Gables has always been one of my favorite movies, and I always wanted to be just like Anne with an e.  J

30 Before 30

In 30 days I am going to turn 30.  I am genuinly so excited.  30 sounds like a really cool age, the prime of life. :)  I have been following a "30 Things" post from one of my friends and I have really enjoyed it.  So I thought in honor of my approaching 30th birthday I would do the same kind of post.  I will attempt to answer one of the 30 questions each day until my birthday.  Should be fun, for me. :)  I am sure you are thrilled. ;)  So here is the list:

1.      List 30 random facts about yourself.
2.      Describe 5 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.
3.      Describe your relationship with your parents.
4.      List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5.      What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6.      What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
7.      What is your dream job, and why?
8.      What are 5 passions you have?
9.      List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10.  Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11.  Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12.  Describe a typical day in your current life.
13.  Describe 5 weaknesses you have.
14.  Describe 5 strengths you have.
15.  Share 10 fond memories from your childhood.
16.  What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17.  What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18.  What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?
19.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
20.  Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21.  If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it?
22.  Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23.  List your top 5 hobbies and why you love them.
24.  Describe your family dynamic of your childhood vs. your family dynamic now.
25.  If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26.  What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27.  What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28.  What is your love language?
29.  What do you think people misunderstand most about you?
30.  List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

Idaho Trip

We went to Idaho last weekend so that Jared could bless his nephews new daughter.  It was a very quick trip but full of excitement.  Saturday morning we surprised the boys by taking them to the museum to see Sue the T-Rex.  Brandon was thrilled; when he saw Sue he ran up to Jared, who was buying tickets, shouting his excitement; the cashier and other guests in line thought that was pretty amusing.

 The museum was a lot of fun, but when we asked him what his favorite part of the trip was, he was quick to reply that it was playing with Cooper and Lexie.  They had so much fun racing each other, playing hide-n-seek, and climbing trees.  They also really enjoyed playing inside with the many wonderful toys provided by Grandma and Grandpa.

Grant was so happy to have a turn holding baby AliceAnn; can't say that I blame him, she is darling!

Jared gave AliceAnn a beautiful blessing.
 Ryan (Jared's nephew), Violet, Cooper, Lexie, and AliceAnn
 On our way home Brandon had to make a potty stop, so we pulled off at the nearest rest stop in Ogden canyon.  I was thrilled when a very long train passed right by the rest stop.  Don't worry, the boys were excited too. :)  As a child I went on a lot of road trips with my family.  We frequently stopped for breaks at the rest stops or anywhere else we could find.  Some of the best parts of our trips were the stops along the way.  I truly believe that getting there is half the fun, at least it was for my family.  So when we took time to play at the river, explore the nearby woods, and watch the train, I felt like I was passing on a family tradition, a really good one. :)

I love how enthusiastic boys are about throwing rocks and sticks into any body of water. :)

It's not worth it unless the rocks are the size of your head. :)