Monday, May 31, 2010

Boy Humor

Here is a conversation I was lucky to be part of this morning.

Ally: Can I please have an early birthday present? Please Please Please

Me: No your birthday is over a week away.

Luke: Hey Ally, come here I have something for you. (as he points in her general direction)
Ally grabs on to his finger and the toot noises commence.

Me: Where did you learn that?

Luke: the neighbor.

Can we move yet? Please Please Please???

Clark is now walking around "tooting" from his mouth. He didn't even make it to 2 before he learned that.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Clark is so cute. His personality cracks me up. Lately he has started making his cheese face smile anytime a camera is around. I love it. Binki or not, you can always count on the "cheese". His favorite thing right now is trains. He loves Thomas and whenever he is around a real train he gets super excited. He also enjoys a large truck. (insert rmm rmm noise here) He got mad the other morning when the garbage men turned the corner at the end of street. It was all I could do to stop him from running after it in his jammies.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Free Summer Movies

The list has been posted! Edwards Theater is doing the free summer movies again. (If you don't live in IF, check the Regal Entertainment Group website. They have lots of theaters listed all over the country.)

Movies are shown at 10 a.m. T W Th. 2 movies at a time so you can choose which one you want to see...or go two days if you want to watch them both! There is always a G and a PG choice too, which is great if you have both older and younger kids. Tell your friends. This is a super fun and inexpensive way to get out of the house...especially on rainy days!


Tale of Despereaux (G)
Coraline (PG)


Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (G)
Astro Boy (PG)


Charlotte's Web (G)
Planet 51 (PG)


Rugrats The Movie (G)
Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (PG)


Rugrats In Paris (G)
Kung Fu Panda (PG)


Wallace and Gromit (G)
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (PG)


Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (G)
Monsters Vs. Aliens (PG)


Doogal (G)
Hotel For Dogs (PG)


Muppets From Space (G)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gone Daddy Gone

The tooth fairy must love us! Ally lost a tooth yesterday. I think this is the 5th tooth in less than a month.
I am happy to report she woke up with a dollar under her pillow and nothing else.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Another one gone.

Emma lost Another tooth. That is 3...count em 3 missing teeth in the last 2 weeks.

Last night the Tooth Fairy "forgot" to come. I told her it was because she didn't put her tooth in the special pillow. We will try again tonight.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mr. Allyn Smith

My Favorite Moms- Day 7
This is Allyn. Her dad used to call her Al. People who only see her name assume she is a man. I call her mom. My kids call her Maga. I named my oldest after her. We call her Ally. I love my mom very much. She is so wonderful and I am so happy to have her live close and be part of our life. When I started doing this last week I knew I wanted to wait until Mothers Day to write about her, but now that it is her I am having a hard time doing it. I can’t put into words what I want to say about her.

I was sassy when I was small. Karma is real because I have Ally now. I love that we were required to do chores and to do them right as I was growing up. There was usually a list in the kitchen when we woke up on Saturday. If we wanted to do anything that day our list had to be done first. I know how to do things right. I am not good at it, but I learned the right way.

Allyn has 7 kids. I am #2. You met most of them this week. She has 18-almost 19 grand kids. She is a busy lady spending time with all of them and being to all their events. She has always been involved in everything we were doing in school and extra stuff. In jr. high I though it was annoying but by the time I got to high school I realized how lucky I was that my parents cared about me enough to show up to stuff. Not everyone has parents like that.

Allyn is a Director in MK. She has sold it since I was 11. This is the second time she has become a director. The first time around she had some health issues so she decided to step down and get better. Then a few years ago she decided to become a director again. She is good at it. She has the same customers that she started with. I have great skin because of her.

Allyn is the kindest person I have ever met. She is so sweet to everyone she meets. Everybody loves my mom. It’s true. I still meet people who know her and instantly like me by association. It is a nice perk really. She is very aware of other people and how what we do or say will make them feel.

When I was a teenager, she was the Young Women’s president. I really liked having her be part of my life. She is fun and energetic and can get super silly at times. I think that is why all of us girls have such a blast when we are together. (We got the sarcasm from dad.) It really is a good mix that makes us funny and crazy.

I love my mom. We grew to be really close when I went away to college. I always knew I would feel better if I could talk to her on the phone for a few minutes. She has a way about her that makes people gravitate to her. I love being able to be close to her and to learn from her.

She was good at recognizing our talents and helping them grow. I love to bake. Every Sunday we would have a treat and it was usually me that made it. I know now that I am really good at it, but I just assumed it was my job so I did it. I helped cook dinner a lot too. I still hate to do the dishes though.

I am grateful to have been blessed with a wonderful mother who loves me and has an active role in my life. She is amazing and I would never trade her. I know how blessed I am to have her. Just a few weeks ago my little brother got married. Everyone was there together with our spouses in the temple. I could see the gratitude when she realized how powerful that is. I leaned over to her and told her it was because of her that we were there. SHE has fulfilled her calling of raising her children in righteousness. I only pray that I will have the same experience with my children one day. What greater accomplishment can there be?

I love you mom! Happy Mothers Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Molly Mormon

My Favorite Moms- Day 6

This is Molly. (and Dane) She is my closest sister. We are 19 months apart in age, a year in school, shared a room almost our entire lives and even were roommates in college. You'd think we would be sick of each other. I love her. She is nothing like me and I mean that in a good way. We could not be more different. I love that we compliment each other though. Sure we fought about clothes and stupid things, but we got along really well for most of our lives.

When we were young we had a big bed that we both slept in. We would play under the covers at night when our parents told us to go to sleep. We jumped on the bed a lot too. In the winter we had super big snow drifts and we would climb out our window and slide down. We were in the same dance class when we were little. We had these red tutus with white lace and white fans. Class was in the neighbors basement.

Molly is way taller than me. Until 8th grade we were always about the same height. I was even taller some of the time. Once Jr. High hit, I stopped growing and she didn't. I am barely 5'3" and she is 5'9". She had curly hair growing up, mine was super straight. She is quiet and peaceful and enjoys to be on her own. I talk too much and caused a lot of conflict.

Molly is the peace maker in our family. Mostly she stayed out of any little battles we would have, but when she had something to say it was always to try and diffuse the situation. To help it be better and not worse. It is a great trait to have. It's a rare person who can set personal feelings aside to try to make things better for someone else.

Everything I did in life Molly was a part of. We were not super tight friends like Ashley and Gretchen, but we were so close in age that we were always doing the same things at the same time. We were in the same Young Women and Sunday School classes for a few months when our birthdays would over lap. It was fun because we are not very competitive and we cared about different things.

When we went to college, Molly moved in next door to me so we could be close. It worked out that we were in separate wards so we had completely different friends, but it was fun to be right next door. We had dinner together every so often and worked together on campus. When things would get tough, it was nice to have someone right there. She danced with Contemporary Dance Theater (CDT) while we were there and I went to every performance. She is amazing to watch. She loves the human body and the way it moves. She studied dance in college and got her Masters Degree in Integrated Movement. It is fun though because if ever something doesn't feel quite right, she always knows a stretch or a position to make it feel better.

When we decided to room together we were both super nervous about it. I can honestly say though that the only time we even disagreed on something was the one week our dad let us have a car to share. It sounds silly now, but I think we were both so aware of the possibility for fighting that neither of us ever let the other one bug her.

Molly is kind and loving and a wonderful example of compassion. She makes me feel like I want to be a better person when I am with her. She is genuine about her thoughts and feelings and it is refreshing to be with someone like that.

Molly's little boy is brilliant. He is sweet and loving just like her. He has the smartest observations. Her little girl is the baby of the family right now and she is so much fun to watch grow. Her smile lights up the room!

Molly is a huge part of my life. We are connected in a way I can't describe. It has no words. I feel peace when she is around. Like I found a little piece of my life I didn't realize was missing. I love to be around her. I love to hear her bizarre stories. She is the first person I saw in the morning for half my life . I love that we are still close. It makes me happy to know she is such a great friend. I love her lots and lots!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Double Trouble

In recent news, Emma lost another tooth. She now has a gap big enough to smile and stick out her tounge at the same time.

When the tooth fairy left the cash, she forgot to remove the tooth. Ally told her it was because it had blood on it and she doesn't like to take the dirty ones.


The Wonder Twins

My Favorite Moms- Day 5

Disclaimer: Ok first off I have to say, my sisters are NOT twins. They are, however, only 13 months apart and look enough alike that people mistake them ALL THE TIME! They spent a lot of time together growing up too. They were like best friends. Plus, I have more sisters than days left so I have to do 2 of them today. I just thought this would be the easiest way.

The beautiful gal on the left is Gretchen. We call her Gertie. (the redhead in the middle is her BFF Tammy) At her dance studio--as in she owns it--most people only know her as that. When she was little, she insisted on being called Fred. If you called her by name she would say, "I'm not Gretchen. I'm Fred. Scotty's little brother." Carson was still a distant hope so she took pity on the only boy in the family and decided he needed a little brother. What a super insightful thing for a 4 year old to think of, really.

Gertie is the easy going, adventure loving gal in the family. Not going to lie, she was a bit of an ugly duckling that turned into a GORGEOUS swan when she grew out of it all. She says it, I am not being mean. But she has always been up for something exciting! When she was really little she would empty cupboards and hide inside them. We called her a little monkey. She climbed on EVERYTHING. Up the door frames, on tables, into trees. We literally found her swinging from the chandelier one day.

Gertie has always been super active. We used to make up plays on the back porch and do little performances for our parents. She also loved the swing set and the trampoline. She played soccer for several years and when she was 12 she started dancing and has never stopped. She has turned a love for something fun and exciting into a career and a growing business. I really admire her drive and determination. Her first "dance studio" was in my parents front room. She would push the furniture out of the way and teach little girls how to dance. She has a gift for teaching. It is amazing the things she can get such little girls to do, and to do well.

I have always had a great relationship with Gertie. We are just far enough apart in age that we were never on each others radar so we never fought. She was super obedient too so that helped in the babysitting arena. I was never forced to be mean to her. (I was a mean, mean big sister.) When Gertie graduated from high school, I was graduating from college. For her present, my parents bought her a ticket to Hawaii to come spend 3 weeks with me. It was so much fun to have her and Molly there with me. They slept on my floor and played with my friends...and sometimes me when I wasn't working or taking finals. I am grateful she was there to share that special day with me. It was such a great feeling to have my family there to congratulate me and to be a part of the biggest achievement I had made. I cherish that memory.

After college I went to work and got a real job. I worked there for about a year. I hated my boss. Loved the job. I was torn, but knew I couldn't stay there. Gertie had moved up to Island Park to work for the summer and told me to come live with her and work there...they needed more waitresses at the restaurant she was working at. So I quit and I moved. It was in July. I had so much fun with her and her friends. Now my friends. I felt old though compared to them. But it was a great experience and one of the last adventures I had as a single person.

We had fun going to West Yellowstone late at night and dancing to Ricky Martin music. We watched a lot of super funny movies and laughed til we almost peed. She spent a lot of time fishing. Which I don't like. (She hunts too. I think she was 21 when she took hunters safety with a bunch of 14 year old boys.) I grew to know her well as a person and not just a little sister. She had to leave early to get back to school. She was on the Bengal Dancers at ISU and they started practice early in the summer. It was still fun, but not the same after she left. It's a good thing I had Adam and Cy, my new best friends.

After Island Park I moved home. (I told you about sharing a room with Sam) Gertie lived there too and we went to the same singles ward and hung out together, like friends not just sisters. She was a good listener while I was dating Ryan and helped me through the excitement and scary part of getting engaged and then married. It was really great to have such a close friend through all that, and to have it be my sister made it even better.

Gertie and I both live in the same town now. Our girls are pretty close in age and our kids like to play together. Infinity Dance Studio is her thriving business and my girls are lucky to be her students. They love dancing, but I think they love being with her the most. It has been so fun to be a part of that adventure. I always tell people who ask that I have no official job there, which is true. I am the owners sister and by default they all think I know everything and direct questions at me. I like having that clout. It makes me feel important. I would put my name next to Gertie's any day.

Gertie is super organized and a little OCD about keeping things clean. Her house makes me cringe in shame. Not only is it spotless ALL THE TIME it is beautifully decorated and warm and cozy. Plus it always smells good in there! It is fun to hang out at their house for no good reason. I love living near her. I wish our lives were less busy so we could spend more time together. She is crafty and always has a fun project. She makes me want to be more crafty.

At one point in my life I considered her my very best friend in the world. I am so grateful she and I have grown so close. I love being near her and a part of her life. She makes my life brighter because she is in it.

**Pause for tears. Grab your Kleenex. Ok you good? On to the next sister of the day**

The sister on the right is Ashley. Look how tan she is. This is what you will notice most about her if you meet her... She is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL person I know. Inside and out. She loves people so much and you can feel that love radiate from her when you are around her. She makes me feel awesome whenever I am in the same room as her. I love it.

Ashley is often misunderstood I think. Her motives are pure, but most people think people like Ash are too good to be true. No one can be THAT NICE all the time. But she can. And she is. Don't get me wrong she has her moments just like anyone else, but she really is a super nice person. Oh and she is freaking hilarious too. Did I mention that? She is.

When we were young we had a love/hate thing. I loved to torture her and she hated me for it. I know sisters, what are you going to do? We grew out of it, but we have always butted heads just a little bit. I think it is the stubborn thing. We are both always right. It makes us good moms, right?

Ashley is the middle child. She has the syndrome and the drama to go with the placement. She has always been the center of attention. She has no fear. She would walk up to total strangers when she was 2 and begin a conversation with them. "Hi. What's your name? Where's your baby?" She used that fearlessness to get a lot of things in life. Solos in choir, leads in plays. She has a beautiful singing voice too. I love listening to her sing. We get asked to sing as sisters a lot, but she is usually the one with the solo. Me, not so much the singer. I am just there because I am a sister. I am ok with it. I don't sing well. I know it.

When Ashley was 16 she fell in love. Serious, I want to spend the rest of my life with this man, LOVE. I thought she was crazy. Turns out I was wrong. This all happened while I was going to college in Hawaii and having my adventures and "living" life and not even thinking about getting married. I had a hard time understanding her motives. She waited for him on his mission (he is a few years older) and went away to college for like 1 semester while he was gone. She was content to stay put and move forward with her life. I did not understand it at all, so I had a really hard time relating to her. I felt like (in my naive little way) that she was giving up so much life to be married so young. What I didn't realize, but now respect, is that she knew exactly what she wanted when she was 16 years old. It took me at least 10 more years to figure it out. I still feel like I am trying to figure it out sometimes.

When I was first married, we lived in the same town, not too far away from each other. Our first babies are only 7 months apart. Ashley used to go for her morning run toward my house so she could stop by and see Ally everyday. She was so excited for her baby and loved mine that much more because of it. They look incredibly alike too. We took her little Yogs to McDonald's with us once when they were around 2. People asked us several times if they were twins. They still look a lot alike. It is strange too because Al looks just like Ry's mom did.

One Christmas Eve, Eve Ashley's house caught fire and the roof burned. We were living in Colorado and made it there just a few hours after the fire had happened. It was a crazy holiday week and everyone was in shock. The thing I noticed most was her attitude. She was strong and positive while her world was crumbling around her. Her kids were not scared because she was not scared. Her faith helped her stay strong. She was comforted when she should have been crushed. I was amazed.

Ashley is driven. When she wants something she goes after it full force. I envy her conviction. I feel like I used to have drive, but nothing like hers. She is a wonderful mom. She has the house of her dreams. She has a horse that she has always wanted. But she has worked hard to get these things because she has drive. She is a Director in MK and drives a pink Cadillac. She runs marathons. She makes me a little jealous.

When Ashley was young she used to always talk about having twins. Twin boys. She really and truly wanted to have twins. I thought she was nuts. 2 years ago her wish came true. She got one of each though and they are the cutest little things ever! Well maybe not so little. When they were born a month early they had to stay in the hospital for a couple weeks extra. I think this was the hardest thing I have ever seen her go through. She would go to the hospital to feed them every 3 hours. She talks about the first 6 months of their life like it was a blur. We didn't see her much during those months. If I did, I went to her house. She rarely left. I cannot imagine. It takes a truly special person to have twins. I could never do it.

Ashley has become one of my best friends in the past couple years. I told you she bought my Grandma's house next door to my mom. Every time we go visit, we get to see them. We stay at their house half the time we are there. I love being with them. We have both grown up enough that we finally get each other and everything doesn't have to be a fight. Her husband, Scott and Ry are super good friends. Luke could not ask for a better role model than Yogs. (they both love Super Mario Bros) I feel welcome in her home and grateful to have the time with her. We love to laugh about the silliest things. We have karaoke nights together and make fools of ourselves.

She is one of my favorite role models. I look up to her in a lot of ways. Her strength and faith make me want to strive to live better and to be a better person. I love her so much and wish I could have seen her for the great person she is 10 years earlier! She is amazing. She is super woman. She is my sister. And I love her.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hello Samantha Dear

My Favorite Moms- Day 4

This is Samantha.(and Nate) Sam. Marcie. Cheerleader. Call her what you want. She is my littlest sister. She is a great mom. T will be 3 in July. He is the smartest little kid I have ever met. And the most talkative. I think Ally may come close but she talked about nonsense all day long..still does. T is inquisitive and smart. A will be 2 in September. She had another baby while her baby was still teeny. Bless her.

Sam is really good at organizing her life. I am a little jealous of this trait because I am really bad at it. She is the Primary President in her ward. She is a Director in MK and she has two little kids. Also, her husband is in school so she makes most of the money for their family. She runs every day and has been competing in 1/2 Marathons and 10 K's and all those things I don't understand. She is one busy lady and despite living 2 1/2 hours away, I see her more than most of my siblings. (Secretly she misses me so much she is making it seem like they are moving back for her husbands job)

Sam is an awesome dancer and an even better choreographer. Seriously awesome. She works for my other sister at Infinity and creates the best hip hop dances that seem to do super well in competition. Sam has been hired by teams to choreograph for them too, including the Bengal Dancers at ISU. She rocks!

I love Sam. When I moved home after college there was no where for me to sleep, so I shared her room with her. She was still in high school and she did not love that. She was really cool about it though and I tried hard to stay out of her way as much as possible. Luckily I got married a few months later so I didn't have to be there for too long.

Sam and Ryan have a funny relationship. They would have known each other if I were not in the picture. In fact, I met him because they did know each other. He was student teaching seminary at her high school and they knew each other. He came to watch the homecoming game where his student was being crowned Duke and she was being crowned Duchess. Her first in a long line of titles and awards. We first met at that game.

We have twins, Sam and I. Our babies are only 5 days apart so it is fun to watch them grow and change together. A is 4 inches taller than Clark. She is a lot more polite too. Girls tend to be more so than boys right? I think they know they are connected. They tend to gravitate toward each other when we are together but I don't think they know why.

Sam is hilarious! If she is around, guaranteed there will be laughter soon! She is silly and has the funniest impressions and stories. I love being with her. I am fun when I am with her and I like it. I love Sam. She is almost 10 years younger than me. When we were growing up, she was always just a little kid so I don't feel like I ever really even knew her as a person. We have gotten to become really good friends as adults. I like that age doesn't really matter after everyone grows up. It has made it so we can finally have lots in common and not have an age barrier make things so strange. I always liked Sam when she was small. She really didn't want much to do with me as a toddler, but she was super stuck on mom. She was adventurous and always wanted to be part of whatever "the big kids" were doing.

I am grateful that she is part of our family. I am glad that I was able to spend those few months cramping her style in her room so I could get to know her better. She is a great friend and someone I can rely on. I know that she will follow through with anything I need. I love sharing my life with her and having her be a part of mine. I love her and don't know what I would do without her around.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lovely Leota

My Favorite Moms- Day 3

This is Leota. She is my dad's mom. She is my favorite. I am super blessed to have lived next door to her most of my life. I say have because she passed away in September. It was a sad day. She has had congestive heart failure for the past few years and has been oxygen dependent. She was 95. I miss her a lot. It was hard to watch her because she was so active and young my whole life. Even on oxygen she would grab her portable tank and go for walks around the condo complex. She never stopped going.

When I was 8, Wayne and Leota served a mission for our church in Santiago, Chile. He was the mission doctor. While they were gone we moved into their house. I slept in the twin bed room with Molly. While they were gone the house up the road was put up for sale. We loved living out "in the gap" so my mom and dad bought the house up the road and have never moved. My sister and her husband bought Leota's house when she moved to Salt Lake a few years ago.

Growing up next door to Leota was wonderful. We would go visit whenever we felt like it. They had an apple orchard that seperated our house from theirs. It was like a fairy tale forest to us. Wayne would make homemade cider for us with his apple press. Leota would make homemade apple sauce. It was delicious. They also had strawberries and raspberries growing in their yard. Leota's freezer jam was famous. We had it every time we ate with them. She always had chocolate chip cookies in her freezer for us. She would bake them and put them in freezer bags so we could eat as many as we wanted. She loved to bake goodies and always had something yummy for us to try.

Leota loved her garden and had lots of flowers everywhere. Her yard was always beautifully landscaped. Her favorite were her rose bushes. She had bushes lining her driveway in every color you could imagine. I remember my dad giving her new bushes every so often as a mothers day gift or a birthday present. As the only son, he was involved in her life a lot. It was fun to be so close to them and to share so many fun memories

Leota loved to read. She always had a good book next to her chair that she was working on. She was a member of the same literary club for over 35 years. I also love to read and as I got older would choose books on her recommendations. We share a love of historical fiction and mystery. Most of the recipes I use today that I love the best are hers. She had the yummiest dishes. On Christmas morning we would open our gifts from Santa, get dressed, then head down the road to Grandma's for brunch. The menu was the same every year, with little variation. I still make the same Ham and Cheese Quiche and Sausage and Egg breakfast casserole and Orange Rolls for my family every Christmas. I make them more often too...they are too good to be kept to once a year. When Carson was small, he would go to her house every single day for an ice cream cone. We would watch him and when we saw him heading down the road, we would run to catch him so we could have one too.

Memorial Day was another tradition we shared with her. Wayne's family is from Smithfield, Utah and we would go decorate the graves of their family every year. She had a little girl who only lived 3 days and I know she loved to visit her. Then we went to a park down the road for a family picnic, talent show, baseball game, water fight or whatever we thought of that year. Leota would make homemade fried chicken, delicious potato salad and there would be a bag of cookies there too. Lots of other yummy food was brought to share and we really enjoyed the get together. It was the only time during the year I would see some of my cousins. This year will be the first time we go to visit her. I think I will bring roses.

I spent a lot of time sitting at her counter talking to her as she cooked. She taught me how to knit. She taught me how to embroider. She taught me how to quilt. She made a quilt for every single one of her grand daughters to have when they got married. I did not realize what they were for at the time, but when it came time to choose the one I wanted for my wedding, I choose one that I had worked on with her for several weeks. Ryan liked another one a lot better, but I was firm about having the one we made together.

Leota always made me feel like I was #1 to her. I moved away for college and was gone for a long time. Then after I was married for a couple years, we moved far away again. We have always stayed close and when I would come home to visit she was always very welcoming and happy to see me. I know it sounds silly, but she made me feel like I was the most important person who was there. "Lisha! When did you get here?" It made me feel great. I admit I loved the attention.

Whenever we went to see her, she always had a smorgeousborg of snacks ready and waiting. Even those last few times we saw her, she always had food ready for us. My kids loved it. It was always way too much food and way to many choices, but I know she loved doing it, even if it was from the store.

Being able to visit her anytime was an escape for me, and I know I have sisters who feel the same way. Leota was a wonderful listener and a great friend. I feel like I am the most like her. She taught me a lot of things and we had a lot of similar interests. We are also both very short and super sarcastic. I love her very much and it has been hard to not have her around these past few months. I always wanted to share all my news with her and she wanted to hear it. I miss that about her.

I know it has been hard on my dad to have her gone too. I am so grateful for the beliefs that I have so I know I can see her again someday. I am excited to catch her up on everything she has missed. She taught me how to be a good friend. She taught me that is it ok to not be perfect and making mistakes it just part of life. She taught me to love people when they mess up too. I love her very much. She is a shining example to me of a lot of who I want to be.

I love you Grandma. You are missed.


His very first tooth is now missing from his mouth! Bottom front right.

It was a crazy thing. Right there in the middle of Sam's Club, he was showing his loose tooth to Ryan at lunch and he reached over and flicked it or pulled it or something. The next thing I knew Luke had a tooth in his hand and blood on his face. He is super proud of himself, especially because we know kids older than him that have not lost a tooth yet. The one right next to it is also loose. The tooth fairy brought him $2 for it. Now he is working extra hard to get the other one loose so it can be ready to fall out.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hello Dolly!

My Favorite Moms-Day 2

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This is Blanche. Yes that is her name. She thinks it is horrible. I love it. When I had my daughters she threatened me when I was toying with using Blanche as a middle name. Not even kidding. She is my moms mom. Grandma Davis. Aunt Dolly. (said ahnt, not ant) Dolly of Jack & Dolly. Anyway she is great!

Dolly grew up in Nephi, Utah. It is just south of Provo...down the 15. So did Jack. They knew each other as kids, but mostly just acquaintances. Dolly is an Ockey...Nod to you miss A. They are a great pioneer family that is full of hard working and super fun people. Dolly's mom is the only Great Grandparent I ever knew. Susan Viola. She could play the piano better than anyone I know...and that is saying a lot! We used to dance around Dolly's front room while Grandma Ockey played "Wind, Wind, Wind the Bobbin" over and over. We never got sick of that song. She played the organ at the the background because the films were silent. I think that is the coolest job I have ever heard of.

Dolly has a lot of faith. She relies on the Lord so resolutely. Never a question. Jack went to join the Navy and only had a little break before leaving again. He gave her a weekend to decide if she wanted to marry him. They had barely dated, but she said the Lord answered her prayer and she knew he was "The One."

Dolly had 8 children. 5 girls and 3 boys. My mom is #2 with an older brother...just like me. They moved to Michigan for a while so Jack could go to Dental school. Then they moved to Washington for awhile so he could go to Orthodontics school. (that is why we all have amazing teeth!) Eventually they ended up in Pocatello.

Jack is a stalwart man. He serves the Lord in all he does...we all know what the prophets have said about men like him...there is always a better woman at home married to them. Dolly is that woman. When they were living in Pocatello and the kids were all young, Jack got called to be a Bishop in the University ward. Consequently he never went to church with his family. The Bishop of their ward was new and didn't know everyone very well. After several weeks of watching her come to church with 6 little kids by herself, he made a comment about what a great woman she was and how they needed to get her good for nothin husband to come to church and help her. Hee hee hee...little did he know.

When I was a teenager, Molly and I used to "work" for Dolly. We were there to help her clean her house. Except she had a weekly house keeper that did the actual cleaning. We helped Murphy's Oil the wood, or reorganize the china, or dust the millions of pictures of us grand kids, or clean out one of the 15 closets or storage rooms in their house. Jack is a pack rat and we always had to be crafty about trying to get rid of stuff. We would end up back at an area we had been working on a few weeks before and she would have us get rid of a few more things...we could never take too much at a time or he would notice. In the basement at the end of the hall there is a door that leads outside to the side patio. We stashed most things over in that corner...a place he rarely ventured...until it could be hauled off to the DI. Mostly we were there to get seriously over paid and a free trip to Taco Bell. We would "work" for a couple hours then we would hear, "Let's go to lunch" and we were done for the day.

Her house is really big...not even joking about the 15 closets. The bedrooms are all labeled by color. The blue room, the yellow room, the pink room, the purple room, the brown room and John's room. Yea...he still lives there. Another story for another day. The bathrooms are that way too. The yellow bathroom, the pink bathroom, John's bathroom (which by the way has a sauna in it. so cool!) They have a pool table. They have a play room for babies. They have a walk out basement because their house is built on a hill. When you exit the kitchen upstairs there are concrete steps to take you from the upper yard to the lower yard. My uncle's wedding reception was back was the best day and I thought it was so cool. All the bridesmaids wore a different color of the pastel rainbow and my uncle was in a white tux. Cut me some slack, I was 10 when they got married.

I was a lucky girl to have her live in the same town as me. Most people are not so lucky to have their grandparents so close...I realize how spoiled I am that both sets lived near by. (sneak peak for tomorrow!) We spent a lot of holidays in that house. It wasn't until I was 16 or 17 that I realized I had never seen her sit down and actually eat a meal. She is the best cook! She always wanted everyone to feel comfortable and welcome and she did it with food. She succeeded too. I get that from her. I love to cook and serve people good food. Comfort food. She also taught me how to can. I remember doing peaches with her when I was pretty young. The floor was so sticky we could barely move around when we were finished. She has a storage room, one of the many, that is the fruit room. All of her home canned items were stored here. It has bottles that are made of green glass and 2 quart bottles in it still. They are empty of course, but like I said, pack rat.

As I have gotten older, I have been able to foster a great adult relationship with her. I admit I have not always stayed as close as I want to, but lately I see her a lot more and talk to her on the phone more often. The past few years she has given me a gift subscription to Taste of Home Magazine. Every time it comes in the mail I can count on a phone call in the next day or two to talk about which recipes look the best and the ones we can't wait to try.

Another thing I love about her is the relationship she has with Ally. They love each other so much. When Ally was 2 we lived in student housing. At the end of the summer all her little friends went back to school with their parents. She wanted to go to school too. So I enrolled her in the on-campus day care one day a week. I think it cost $14. She was there for maybe 5 hours but it was worth it to her and me. She even got to have lunch and naps there and I got to have one day a week with just Emma. Grandma Davis is one of those ladies who gets her hair done every week, on Thursday morning. It worked out that she volunteered to pick Ally up on her way to the beauty shop and take her to school every week. This started a long term relationship between the 2 of them that no one quite understands but is super sweet. She said to me once, "I know I shouldn't have favorites, but I think she is my favorite great grandchild."

During this same time, Dolly was always trying to give me things without really giving them to me. We were first married and didn't have a lot of stuff you acquire as your life moves forward. I wanted to roast a chicken one Sunday and didn't have a pan big enough to fit it in. So I borrowed one from her. When I tried to return in a few days later, she said, "Why don't you just keep it? I have so many and that one is so small I never cook anything that fits in it anymore." Slick. At Thanksgiving that year she asked me to bake the pies for dessert. I said sure, but did she have a couple pans I could use? I borrowed 6 pie pans and again intended on leaving them at her house. When it was time to go, she handed me a stack of clean and washed pie plates, "Why don't you take these? I have so many and I know you will use them. I never bake anymore." Crafty.

Dolly's health has not been the best in recent years. She had a routine procedure done that landed her in the hospital for a week a few years ago and she has never quite been 100% since. About a year and a half ago, she fell down on those cool concrete steps and bonked the back of her head. It bled and she got stitches, but the dizziness was a problem. We live about 45 minutes away from them, but we apparently have better specialists here. They brought her to the hospital here and it was a really neat opportunity for us to spend time with her. Not the most ideal circumstances, but we got to see her everyday which we usually don't get to do.

I loved knowing my great grandma, even as few times as I got to see her. I want my kids to have the same opportunities so we go see her almost every time we are in town. They take advantage of her generosity by raiding her cookie jar (which by the way has NEVER been empty in my entire life) and begging for trips to Honks. She is very generous. Our birthday cards from her always had money in them. Even at Christmas they still give every single person a card with money or a little gift for the small kids. She signs her checks Mrs. J.R. Davis. How cute and old school is that?

I love my Grandma. She is a huge part of my life. I am so blessed to live near her and to have the opportunity to know her well. I hope my kids have as fond memories of her as I do of my Grandma Ockey, so I am working hard to help them create them. She is a blessing in our lives that I love dearly. What a wonderful example of humor and respect. I love her so much and feel honored to call her mine.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jules of the Nile

My Favorite Moms- Day 1

In honor of Mothers Day this Sunday, I am going to do a post-a-day on my favorite moms.

This is Jules. She is my moms younger sister. She and I have a lot of history together. If it were a real thing to have a second mom, she is mine. Growing up, she lived 2 hours and 15 minutes from our front door to hers. (She still does.)
Her life as a mom started out a little rough. She was married to a super fun guy and they had 2 little kids right off the bat. My dress was bright colors including pink and orange and matched the bridesmaids. The kids are less then 2 years apart in age (and about 5 years younger than me). Then the super fun guy and Jules divorced because, well super fun is great sometimes but not all the time.
A couple years later, after she switched "her plan" by building a kick A career in MK, she was introduced to husband #2. He is awesome, and super fun too, but more awesome than fun. Just what she needed. I remember the day they got married. In Grandma & Grandpa D's front room. It was just before Christmas and the tree already had presents under it. Grandpa married them and we all dressed like it was time for church.
Then they bought a cool house up on a remote hill with nothing around it. We got to walk through it when they were "thinking" about buying it. It has a great view from the wrap around deck that overlooks a big valley.
When I was 15 she had had 2 more kids and the littlest one was super creative and had an unbelievable imagination. He needed constant supervision so I went to live with them in the summer to "watch" him and make sure he didn't paint the carpet with fingernail polish again. I became an expert at making wands and memorized The Wizard of Oz. I also learned how to organize files and iron really well. It was a good summer and the first time I made any real money. She taught me how to run a house...which my mom taught me too, but at Jules' I was required to actually do it. I have to admit, I failed a lot. But she never acted upset, she just kept teaching me. I needed that.
I got an internship at The JSMB in college and needed a place to stay. Jules opened up her basement to me...studs and all. It was probably the cheapest rent I have ever paid. She and her awesome husband even came to visit me at college in Hawaii at a time when I really needed family around.
When I graduated from college and got my first job in the area, she let me stay with them until I found a place of my own. Then when my roommate turned out to be scary, she let me move back in.
Jules is the kind of person who brings the fun to any occasion. She has "tough love" (her words) for people when they need it. I like that about her. I tend to be a bit to open mouthed about things for my moms taste, but Jules taught me it was ok when done with love and concern for the other person. I guess she understood where I was coming from in the areas no one else did.
While I was living with her, they broke ground around the mountain from her house for a temple. They built a park across the street from her, and lots of people decided it would be a nice place to live. Her remote little hill became surrounded by homes. A few years later, I stayed with her on the night before my wedding so I could get married in that temple that I watched be built from her back deck.
I like mushrooms because she forced me to eat them one day. Turns out they are delicious.
Jules has been to every major event in my life, and my siblings lives. She works in the booth at The Fair with us. She drives where ever we are to make sure she is at the important stuff. I can't think of life without her in it. I love her very much and love that she helped shape me into the person I am today. She has had lots to deal with in her life. She isn't the healthiest person I know, but she doesn't complain about it, she finds a way to live with it. "Find a way, Make a way" is one of her favorite quotes.
I am grateful for Jules. Her family feels like an extension of my own. Her daughter has never had a sister other than me. Going to her house feels just as much like home as my moms. She is wonderful and full of excitement for life. She is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to business. And she is Grandma Julie to my kids. This summer her 5th grand baby will be born. I see in her a lot of the same qualities I see in my mom. The same qualities I am trying to instill in my life. It's wonderful having not one, but two great examples of a great mom to look to as I grow into that role. I still feel like I have so much to learn, but I have her to thank for helping me apply what I know.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

I am a Smith. I think I have mentioned this before. There seem to be a lot of Smiths in the world but as far as my family goes, this is about it. My Grandpa had one brother. My dad has one male cousin who died without children. My dad has no brothers. He only has 2 sons. So to us the name is rare. 5 girls used to make our Smith claim a large one, but we have all gotten married and taken on new Hunsaker, Lunt, Jorgensen, Hansen and Payne. So having a new addition to the Smith gang is a good thing. We pray she will be blessed with many sons!

Carson and Lindsey Smith

Scotty and Rachel Smith

Papa, Lindsey, Carson, Maga Smith

The Smiths + Spouses

The future of the Smiths

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