About Me

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I love Jesus. I love my family. I love photography. I love books. I love thinking. Probably in that order. I have a wonderful husband, five beautiful daughters, a house, and a camera. I enjoy spending time talking to my husband, playing with my girls, redecorating my house and shooting things with my camera. In my spare time, I sleep.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My Grandpa



Last Friday, my family and I stopped by the nursing home to visit my Grandpa & Grandma. Grandpa sat in his chair smiling at my kids and complaining about how muddled his mind has been lately.  He held my new baby and asked me to remind him of her name.  Yesterday, he stepped out of his bed and into heaven.

I was Grandpa Hoar's first grandchild.  I like to think that I was his favorite.  I never knew my Grandpa to work. He had retired long before I was born to stay home and care for my Grandma who suffered with agoraphobia and couldn't be alone.  He always sat in his chair in the corner of their trailer house kitchen.  He was reliable in that.  Look through old photos or watch any of our old home videos and that is where he was...always sitting in his corner.  He was a heavy smoker when I was very young...but quit cold turkey after almost dying with a burst appendix.  He replaced  his cigarettes with hard candy--butterscotch discs, cinnamon discs, root beer barrels--and I could always count on him to sneak me a piece if I'd ask.  He'd steal a hug and I'd bury my face in his cotton button up shirt and sniff in the smell of his cologne, then he'd reach up behind his chair into his "special" cupboard and give me a piece of his candy.

I had so many special times with Grandpa Hoar.  I think fondly of the Thanksgiving Eve's I spent the night at their house and sat over the heater vent by his feet and the summer evenings sitting together on the porch swing eating chunks of Colby cheese.    I remember sitting in the back seat of his car while Grandma ran in to the grocery store.  And every time I had my hair up, he'd grab my pony tail, lift it up and make a farting noise!

Before his mom was moved down to be closer to all of us, Grandpa used to drive up to her house in SD and mow her lawn several times each summer and when he did my mom & aunt would often spend the day with Grandma.  If we were lucky, Grandpa would let my cousins, siblings & me go with him.  We would ride under the topper in the back of his pickup all the way there.  And then we'd let great grandma spoil us with treats and spend the rest of the time getting in his way.

Grandpa also used to spend a lot of time outside in his shed.  We'd arrive at the trailer and stop to say 'hi' to Grandpa who was sitting just inside that old shed listening to the radio, before we'd head inside to see Grandma.   I don't know what he did out there all day besides listen to the radio but I assume it was his way of having time alone.  His shed was filled with his "treasures".  I'm sure some would label most of it junk but as a kid I always found his tin cans full of trinkets intriguing--probably because he rarely let us look at any of it.  He'd grump at us if we messed around in his shed.  When I was around jr high age, I went hiking with my best friend and found a piece of bark off a tree and I carved a message in it for Grandpa about how much I loved him and I brought it home and gave it to him.  He hung it up in his shed with his other treasures and for years and years he would remind me that he still had that bark hanging in his shed.  That's how I knew how much it meant to him and how much I meant to him.

He was a collector.  He had a hutch along one wall of the living room filled with his collection of cologne bottles shaped like cars and trains and all kinds of things.  I loved it. I loved looking at it. Once in a while Grandma would open the glass doors and show me some of the bottles up close.  But mostly they just were for admiring behind glass.

He was a stubborn man.  He hated hospitals and he refused to answer the phone.  If he dug his heels in, you may as well give up.  He developed a relationship with Jesus privately which he and Grandma nurtured at home because he would not go to church.   I only remember seeing him in church a couple times as a kid--when he came to see us grand kids in the annual Christmas program.  My mom said, "He's coming because of you."  Whether it was true or not, that always made me feel special.

I remember listening to he & Grandma argue.  They would yell and call each other names...kinda like Frank & Marie on Everybody Loves Raymond...but it spite of all that gruffness on the surface, Grandpa was my grandma's biggest defender.  I always knew--you mess with Grandma--you're messing with Grandpa!  One time in particular comes to mind when Jordan, Ryan and I were staying with them and at dinner we started singing a song about eating worms and Grandma was getting quite upset with us...which only made us laugh harder.  In the end, Grandpa was the one who put a stop to it.    I interviewed them on video several years ago asking them about how they met and fell in love. The best part was his description of what he thought when he met Grandma for the first time--"Mmmmgawa!"

As a child, I didn't really think much about my relationship with him.  He was always there.  He was grumpy and would threaten us with the belt if we got too out of hand (although I only think he used it once and it wasn't on me).  But he was also always quick with a piece of candy, a hug & a smile.  As I got older--I spent more of my time with him playing Shang-Hai or talking about my kids.  He seemed to soften more and more as he got older and his love for his great-grandchildren was so sweet.  In his last couple years he loved to tell everyone how he'd sit every morning with his cup of coffee and look at the pictures of all the grandkids on his refrigerator and say each of their names.   He did this everyday and he'd tell us every time he saw us.

For me--the thing I'm going to miss most are the hugs.  His big fat, scratchy beard, sweet cologne hugs where he'd hold me so tight and laugh and say "I'm not gonna let you go."  And often I'd say back "You don't have to.  I want to stay right here forever."

I'll miss you Grandpa.  Enjoy your new home.




Friday, February 12, 2016

Cute things my kids have said: Part 12

It has been over a year since I last posted one of these!!  A YEAR!  Wow...so here is edition 12 of cute things my kids have said.


1/9/15  Trying to explain that the color of a country on a map does not reflect the color of the actual place. I showed the kids a map of the US. "Is Wyoming really purple? Is Nebraska really yellow?" Jasmine: (with a mischievous twinkle in her eye) "Nebraska is really red." #huskercountry  :)
wink emotico#‎huskercountry‬

1/14/15  Eden: (after her orthodontist appt) "My teeth feel like soldiers." (Because they are so stiff.)

1/17/15  Eden: "Mommy, do you know what inflexibility is? It is invisible flexibility!"

1/17/15  Jasmine: "Mom, why are you pulling the hairs out of your face? They're just going to grow back while you sleep."

1/21/15  Jasmine: "I get naked when I go number two."

1/23/15   Me: "You guys didn't get any of your homework done." Jasmine: "At least we were playing and using our imaginations instead of being on technology!"

1/26/15  We could hear the bass in the car next to us...discussing what it sounds like, Acacia says, "Or maybe God stomping his foot on the earth."

2/16/15  Eden was pouting because I told her to go work on her homework...I was talking to Acacia who had asked me a question. I answered, "partially." Acacia: "what does 'partially' mean?" Eden(in her pouty voice): "It's a vegetable." And then she started laughing at her own joke.

3/11/15  Kira: "I see the moon, Mommy!" Me: "What? Why is it there during the daytime?" Kira: "it's stuck!" Me: "What should we do about it?" Kira: "Climb a tree?"

3/11/15  Jasmine: "I don't know what it's like to have a brother but I'm pretty sure it's not fun. It's not that I don't like boys..."

3/27/15  Earlier tonight Eden mentioned that she had a sore throat. Jasmine says to her, "Don't you wish you were a bee? Then instead of talking you could just dance!"

4/26/15  Me: "Kira, how did you sleep last night?"
Kira: "I'm wearing Jasmine's shoes."
Me: "That doesn't answer my question."
Kira: "Yes. It does."

5/4/15  Kira was sitting with me at Acacia's violin Sprouts lesson watching intently. I turned and asked her, "Do you want to learn to play the violin?" Kira answered, "No. I'm gonna play my harmonica."

5/13/15  Overheard this morning after Jasmine reminded Eden of something they had planned to do together... Eden: "That was the nighttime me. This is the daytime me and I'm too tired!"

5/17/15  I asked Kira where her shoes were. She answered, "I took them off. My feet are full."

5/19/15  Used my vehicle's rear wipers today...Jasmine: "Oh! So that's how people's back windows make rainbows of dirt!"

5/24/15  After our recent party I have punch & 7-up in the fridge. Kira: "Mommy, can I have some 8-up?" (She was talking about the punch!)

5/27/15  Kira: "Mommy, my shirt has sneeze on it."

7/3/15  Yet another thing I never imagined myself saying, "Kira! Do NOT eat your shoe!"

7/3/15 Kira (about the fireworks): "That scared my ears."

7/26/15  Eden: "I want to go to Target and sniff the clothes!"

8/12/15   Today the girls & I were talking about how hard it was to teach Eden to read and how Acacia basically taught herself. Eden said: "Teaching me to read was like teaching a squirrel how to dance!" Acacia: "And teaching me was like shaking a tree branch."

8/22/15 Kira: "Daddy, I'm ready for my piggy bank ride."

9/16/15 Kira (after I told her not to do something): "I know it's bad but I like it."

9/24/15 Eden while trying to tell us where sushi is made: "I forgot what the other China was called."

9/30/15 Eden: "Utah is like a giant chocolate bar with one of the squares eaten off it."

10/13/15  I asked Kira if she felt any different now that she is three. She said, "Yeah, my teeth feel bigger."

11/6/15  I asked Kira why her baby was naked. Her answer: "Because she has no clothes on."

11/19/15   Jasmine: "Sometimes I use the cc cards when I'm multiplicating."

11/27/15  Kira: "I'm scared of animals. I'm scared of dinosaurs and puppies. But I'm not scared of cats."

12/2/15   Kira scraped her finger earlier today and I put a band-aid on it. Just now she came to me because she wanted a new band-aid. I asked her why she took the other one off. She told me, "That band-aid was having a bad day."

12/25/15. Kira to Russ who was wearing sunglasses on his head in the house. " I told you to quit it with those glasses!"

12/31/15  Kira: talking about having boobies "But they hurt." Me: "No they don't". "But you're going to have a baby and that hurts. I'm guessing."

12/31/15  I threw something at the trash and missed and gave an exasperated sigh. Kira: "it's okay. You can pick up when you get out of the bath." Me: "But I'm pregnant and can't bend easily so you're going to have to do it." Short pause. Kira: searching her body with her hand. "But my back hurts."


1/6/16  Kira found a bottle in bathroom and asked me what it was. "Lotion". "Will it die me?" "Only if you eat it." "So I can put it on my hands but if I put it in my mouth it will die me?"

1/14/16  Kira was looking in the mirror and I heard her say , "You don't respect me!" Then she came around the corner and said to me, "The Kira in the mirror doesn't respect me."

2/1/16  Kira peed on the kitchen table.

2/12/16  Just overheard my kids singing 'Happy Birthday' to Abraham Lincoln.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Books I read in 2015



Books I read in 2015

  • 01) 'A Study In Scarlet' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1/15
  • 02) 'The Sign of the Four' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1/19
  • 03) 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' by Sit Arthur Conan Doyle 1/22
  • 04) 'The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1/29
  • 05) 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 2/3
  • 06) 'The Return of Sherlock Holmes' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 2/12
  • 07) 'Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity' by Jen Hatmaker 2/18
  • 08) 'His Last Bow' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 2/24
  • 09) 'The Valley of Fear' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 2/28
  • 10) 'The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 3/8
  • 11) 'Matched' by Ally Condie 3/9
  • 12) 'Crossed' by Ally Condie 3/12
  • 13) 'Reached' by Ally Condie 3/14
  • 14) 'Own Your Life' by Sally Clarkson 4/23
  • 15) 'In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day' by Mark Batterson 4/24
  • 16) 'Operation Tree Roper:An Eye Above' by Robert A. Polk 5/5
  • 17) '100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever' by Steve Chandler (audio) 5/17
  • 18) 'Soul's Gate' by James L. Rubart 7/18
  • 19) 'Memory's Door' by James L. Rubart 7/20
  • 20) "Treasure Island' by Robert Louis Stevenson (audio) 7/22
  • 21) 'Call the Midwife' by Jennifer Worth 8/11
  • 22) 'Spirit Bridge' by James L Rubart 9/3
  • 23) 'Under the Never Sky' by Veronica Rossi 9/10
  • 24) 'Through the Ever Night' by Veronica Rossi 9/12
  • 25) 'Into the Still Blue' by Veronica Rossi 9/17
  • 26) 'Armada' by Ernest Cline 9/25
  • 27) 'The Scent of Lilacs' by Ann H. Gabhart 10/6

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The one with all the birthdays...

Thirty-five years ago...my mama did what mama's do and brought me into the world.  After all my earlier musings I thought it might be fun to make a birthday post with pictures and memories from some of my birthdays gone by.


My family always did birthdays well.  They weren't always big productions...but there was always a stack of presents, the family's undivided attention and a special cake.  Oh, the cakes!  My mom or grandma would always put some work into our cakes in those early years!

1st birthday
2nd birthday

3rd birthday
4th birthday
 
5th birthday
6th birthday


I can't remember much from my early birthdays.  But I've often been told the story of my 1st  birthday when I sat with my Grandpa Jim and didn't want anything to do with anyone else---or so the story goes!  :)

My seventh birthday is the first I can really remember.  It was my first birthday that I had a party with friends and not just family.  My mom, grandma, aunt & second cousin worked really hard to make a special day for me.  If I can close my eyes I can almost put myself back at my grandma's table, surrounded by my friends and all the happy noise of a kid's party. 


8th birthday
 

I got a bike for my 9th birthday...


10th birthday
 
The next birthday that really stands out in my mind is my 11th birthday.  My mom let me have a slumber party with my 3 friends from school.  We went roller skating, stayed up late, played truth or dare and acted just as silly as you'd expect from a group of 10-11 year olds in the early 90s!  There is a cassette recording in a box somewhere that documents select portions of that night.  My favorite being our rendition of  "Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight".  


12th birthday

Not all the most memorable birthday memories are good ones...I remember on my thirteenth birthday, we had a big scene because I was not opening my presents or at least was going annoyingly slow and people got impatient and I ended up crying in the bathroom.  I was too embarrassed to tell everyone that I was stalling because I was hoping that if I waited a little while my cousin, Ryan, would get home from basketball practice and would be there for my birthday.

14th birthday
 15th birthday

A couple days before my 16th birthday, I was at my grandma's house watching Scooby Doo and my mom told me to come with her to drop something off at my friends house.  I was irritated 'cause I was enjoying me some Scoobs but she talked me into it!  Turns out it was a ruse to get me to the surprise party my friends were throwing.  As much as a appreciated the sentiment and had a lot of fun...I'm not a fan of surprises.  I hadn't showered or anything and was all grungy and feeling ugly while all my friends were shiny, clean and dressed for the occasion!

17th birthday
 18th birthday

I can't even find a picture from my 19th birthday!

20th birthday

 I was in college on my 21st birthday.  Unlike some people who spend their twenty-first with their first legal bout of drunkenness, I spent mine with my family.  My parents came over to my dorm and took me out for pizza and a movie.  They brought cake, which we ate in my dorm room.  It was memorable because we got out my video camera and taped some of our good-clean birthday shenanigans. 

I always look back on my 22nd birthday with a bit of melancholy.  I had moved to a new city with my best friend a month before.  A week before my birthday my boyfriend and I broke up.  The day before my birthday my family drove up to see me and celebrate.  They went home in the afternoon and that evening my best friend and I had a group of new friends over.  My ex and one of my other good friends stopped in as well.  It was a really fun night with just a bit of a sting.  However...my actual birthday was spent alone.  It was Superbowl Sunday.  My best friend had to work.  I decided to go to the mall and use my birthday money to buy myself a ring.  I then spent the rest of the night sitting in the dark watching a stupid football game by myself and feeling sad.  


By the next year, however, I was dating Russ and my 23rd birthday was spent with the man who was very soon to be my husband.  I wrote a poem that year.  I guess birthdays cause me to wax poetic...and get all introspective.  

Since marriage--and thus, "real life" has begun--my birthdays have become, for the most party, just another day.  Russ & I have tried to do something special for our birthdays over the years with dinners out, overnight trips out of town, and whatnot but birthdays as an adult just don't pack the same punch as they did before.  

24th birthday
25th birthday
26th birthday


For my 27th birthday, Russ & I dropped Eden off with our parents and spent a night in Rapid City.  The only thing I remember about the trip is that we ate at Chili's and for some reason or other we ended up getting our meal free.

Fast forward a couple years because apparently it didn't seem necessary to take a picture to honor my 28th & 29th birthdays.

I think Russ & I went on another overnight trip to Loveland for my 30th birthday.  Only took the nursing child. 

For my 31st birthday I finally got my dream camera and promptly took my first selfie.  (Actually I had a 6 year old do it, I think.)

My 32nd was one of my most memorable birthdays over the last few years. I spent it away from my family at a "Captivating" retreat in the mountains of Colorado.  It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life...and worth every moment...but it was kinda strange spending my birthday without any family. 


33rd birthday

Last year for my birthday I had an anti-Superbowl birthday party the night before my 34th.  I didn't get any pictures of myself last year either...just the food. 

AND now....I present me on my 35th birthday....drum roll?

TA DA!!!

I said it before and I'll say it again, birthdays as a grown up just aren't the same.  But that's okay...the birthday parties may get staler but the person just keeps getting finer with age.  Am I right?