Truman’s Eye Surgery

We noticed a squishy bump on the side of Tru’s eye about a year ago. The pediatricians thought it was a displaced blob of fat (from getting hit on the eye brow by a cowboy boot – courtesy Max). But after talking with our Optometrist (our Bishop), a pediatric Ophthalmologist, and an Ocular Surgeon, they quickly determined that it was a dermoid cyst. They said if we didn’t take it out now, the mass would continue to grow and could cause eye problems in the future. Today was surgery day for little Tru.

Here’s the before photo:

Isn’t this about the cutest little patient you’ve ever seen? They even gave him mini sticky socks.

Jimmy and Tru had to leave the house about 5:30 to be at LDS Hospital at 6 a.m. Truman’s surgery was at 7:30 and it took about 45 minutes. He couldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight so by 7:30, he was one hungry baby.

The doctor brought the orbital mass out to show Jimmy after the surgery.  It was about the size of a small marble and was white. The surgery consisted of making a small incision on the crease of his eyelid (to reduce noticeable scarring) and remove the cyst. Here’s Truman in recovery resting and waking up from the anesthesia.

You can see how happy he is about his eye patch and surgery here. Upon returning home, all he wanted to do is run around. A semi-sedated, drugged, one-eyed 15-month-old running/stumbling/falling = NOT SAFE. Poor little Tru was not a happy tot. He kept hitting, pinching, and scratching us because he was so upset. Eating a tasty omelet and orange juice helped him temporarily. And then finally when the Tylenol-Codeine kicked in, he fell fast asleep.

We have yet to see his eye since we’re supposed to leave the eye patch on as long as possible. We’ll post more updates when we have more photos.

We love you Tru! Heal well!

Australia Day LOVE

Every year I love mentioning Australia Day. One year at BYU, we needed a pick-me-up so I bought my sister a red gerbera daisy to celebrate. I know she appreciated my Australian accent (hardy-har-har).

I should make Australian foods such as Pavlova. That would be fun.

In honor of Australia Day, let me share my favorite Australian item. My grandparents served a mission in Sydney and brought some of these home for the fam. For years I’ve wanted to get more since we just love splayds so much. Low and behold, I found a company Aussie Essentials out of Utah who sells Splayds. We love, love, love the mini splayds for the kids and the regular ones for adults. Go Splayds!

Happy Australia Day Mates!

the BOSSY mom and SIGNS

I’m a different sort of mother than I was 8 years ago. Perhaps some for the better and some for the worse. I used to be pretty quiet and mellow. Now I have to be more assertive and “in-charge” (which I prefer to call it instead of “bossy”) to keep tots on task. But I get tired of nagging and I’m working on that. I want to communicate expectations and then follow through on consequences without reminding a million times. Ok – really – mostly I just want to have fun … sigh… but reality is that in order to keep the family going, work must be done.

My nephew came to our house last summer and commented on all the SIGNS I had posted reminding the kids to do things… chores, family rules, lists, etc. Yep – it’s true… and maybe it’s dorky or a bad idea … but I decided to give it a try so the kids can be held responsible for certain things without me having to tell them over and over and over.

For example:

These chore charts have helped immensely with this. The kids know what needs to happen after school and I can just remind them to finish their lists.  They wipe these clean every day (well, that’s the idea).  We use wet-erase overhead markers that work GREAT!

Another CHANGE in attitude we’re working on is explained in this quote:
We need everyone to help to survive these days. Each person in the family keeps us all going. We may not want to work or do an extra chore, but it’s part of being a member of a family! So – no whining or complaining people!… unless you want more tasks. :)

We have issues with dishes around here. It’s impossible to do the dishes when Truman is on the loose. He pulls dishes out of the dishwasher and climbs up and tries to help empty it. Anyhoo… we have issues with the dishes. So, one of the changes I’m implementing around here is to teach the kids what to do with dirty dishes. Yes, it would be nice if the dishwasher were always emptied so everyone could put their dishes right in. We’ll work on that. But for now, reality is, that sometimes it’s clean and the dishes get stacked all gooey and tippy on the counter. It drives me bonkers to finally get to the dishes, only to spend half the time scrubbing crud off the plates. We’ll see if this sign helps.  I don’t know… maybe it’s too confusing.  I guess we’ll experiment.

This is one that was posted last summer. I put it by the garage door so the kids can go down the list and make sure they are ready to leave the house for our summer outings. Did it always happen? No. But if someone forgot their water bottle, they knew they were responsible to get it.

And just so we’ve got ’em all… here’s our 2011 Priorities (used to be GOALS, but I liked an idea a friend had to call it PRIORITIES).

How’s that for bossy? Perhaps I’m on the wrong track, but it at least all the signs help remind us what we’re all about and what we’re trying to accomplish. Ya gotta start somewhere and then go onward from there, eh?


Perhaps it’s because today was a killer, and perhaps y’all will just have to ignore me and my random thoughts… but I just was thinking about this throughout the day.

Last night I was chatting with some friends about how sometimes we assume the moms around us are Wonder Woman… with everything put together in life in their perfect little home and tidy children, etc.  BUT… in reality, most are just plugging along with individual struggles… doing their best, but not doing all the AMAZING things at the same time.  Yes, doing AMAZING here and there, but it’s not possible to do it ALL … all the time.

Today my AMAZING was getting the dishes semi-done.  That was a task, I’ll tell ya.  Another AMAZING was attempting to help Hannah clean up her barf-bowl (4 times) while keeping Tru out of the way (practically impossible).  Plus, I made dinner… AMAZING (though not very tasty).  Other days AMAZING is really… well, more AMAZING. And it’s funny how my view of AMAZING changes in different stages of life … or even week-to-week.

The NOT-SO-AMAZING was when Abe cried when I explained that even though I want to sit and listen to him read in peace and quiet for an hour, it’s not always going to happen without interruption.  The other NOT-SO-AMAZING was my attitude about the 4 completely nasty diapers I changed.  Please tell me other homes smell like poop on those blessed days.

A neighbor of 2 little ones was asking me for parenting advice for her little 2-year-old.  I honestly had no ideas.  I’m definitely not the hero of parenting.  Plus every child is so different and every parent is so different.  Anyhoo…  she commented that my kids were so good and obedient.  I chuckled.  Yes, my kids have WONDERFUL moments…. and they are overall pretty good tots.  BUT I told her to come join us for FHE or family scripture study to get the real scoop.  Half the family is either in tears, slouching, growling, or running around in chaos.  But we try… and we keep going with it.

So – what is my point of all this random blah?  I guess I just think I need to appreciate the little things I accomplish that are good each day instead of feeling bad about all that didn’t get done (a hard one for me).  I need to just be glad when Jimmy helps so much instead of feeling bad that I need help to keep afloat.  And I think I can’t always assume that I’m the only mom who struggles.  We all need each other, don’t we?  I find comfort and strength in knowing that I’m not the only mom ploughing through … and that other moms have endured well those challenging days… even if that means serving breakfast for supper. :)

Our lil' fam - 2004

Scripture a Day : 21

Fear and Faith have been on my mind lately. I read an article in the Ensign about a woman who poured out her heart in prayer to have her fear transformed into faith. Though her circumstance is entirely different than mine, it just got me thinking about my level of fear/faith.

I read a few ENLIGHTENING talks that I wanted to note for my record:

“Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”: Kevin Pearson, April 2009 Gen Conf

Favorite Quotes:

  • “We can give our children education, lessons, athletics, the arts, and material possessions, but if we do not give them faith in Christ, we have given little.”
  • “The ability to focus and be steadfast, continually holding fast to true principles, nothing wavering, even when the mist of darkness confronting us is exceedingly great. This quality of faith is exceedingly powerful.”
  • “We do have a choice. We get what we focus on consistently. Because there is an opposition in all things, there are forces that erode our faith. Some are the result of Satan’s direct influence. But for others, we have no one but ourselves to blame. These stem from personal tendencies, attitudes, and habits we can learn to change.”
  • {These enlightened my mind and heart… especially the discouragement one.}  “Six Destructive Ds—doubt, discouragement, distraction, lack of diligence, disobedience, and disbelief”

The Transforming Power of Faith and Character”: RICHARD G. SCOTT, October 2010 Gen Conf

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Faith can transform an individual’s life from maudlin, common everyday activities to a symphony of joy and happiness.”
  • “Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need.”
  • “We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.”
  • “Empowering principles upon which faith is based: … Patience and understanding when God lets you struggle to grow and when answers come a piece at a time over an extended period.”
  • “You are making better progress than you realize. Your struggles are defining character, discipline, and confidence in the promises of your Father in Heaven and the Savior as you consistently obey Their commandments.”


The last few afternoons I’ve been soaking in all the SUNSHINE pouring in my south-facing windows. Seems like we’ve had lots of grey bleh cloudy smoggy days in the past few weeks. I love me some SUNSHINE!1. Oranges!, 2. Untitled, 3. Glass Marbles, 4. HOPE 5. Untitled, 6. .heaven, 7. The tulip orchard, 8. Old Fashioned Tractor, 9. Sunflower

“It’s Amazing!”

Max has been a really funny kiddo lately. He’s talking so much and must have hit a new stage of speech development because he’s trying harder to say sentences. We still don’t understand it all, but it’s cute to hear him try new phrases. My favorite is, “It’s Amazing!” He says it about random things that are normal. Love it!

The funniest thing yesterday was that he was acting as Truman’s interpreter.
“Mom, Twu wants na-na.” When really Truman was saying, “night-night”.
“Mom, Twu wants Da-da.” … Which was probably true because Tru does love his Dad.

Yesterday we were playing with legos and Max decided on his own to build a temple. This is what he came up with. We rebuilt it many times because … “Twu bwoke my temple.”

I think Max has been working on his conversation skills as well. At dinner, he’ll turn to me and start talking about his Sunbeams class and his teacher. He’s also turned into more of a parakeet. He imitates Jimmy saying, “Sorry Babe.” or “Love ya Hon.” Of course, always with his big Max smile.

Max has been interested in eye color lately. He asked, “What color eyes, mom? Blue?”. Then he’ll go through the entire family and ask about their eye color.

But is it all smiles and funny sayings. NO! Much of the day he is soooooo dramatic about anyone coming near him or touching him.
“Twu pinched me.”
“Don’t touch me.”
“Twu, no hit me. Be nice me.”
“No Gwab me.”
“Abe squished me.”
“I got scwatch.”

One delightful new thing for Max has been quiet time. Generally his quiet time has lasted about 5 minutes and then he’s banging on the door. Well, this week, a miracle has occurred and he’s spent 1+ hour in his room playing with toys, building airplanes with brick-blocks, looking at books. It’s heaven for this mama. I definitely need quiet time too!

It’s fun to see little ones learn new things. I’m trying to appreciate all the darling things about Max at this stage because there really are so many.

Celebrating 35

Sunday was my 35th Birthday.  Hip-hip-hooray! … well, as exciting as adult birthdays are.

I thought I’d celebrate by adding 35 life memories to the family history record:

1. Cow named Cornflakes… Horse named Becky
2. Family trips to Jackson… photo on the log fence
3. Green Station Wagon, Red Fury, Blue Bug, The Silver Bullet
4. Squishing the entire fam into the pulsar… Blue moon, Crystal Gale, Beach Boys
5. Getting stung by a bee on my hot wheels in Salem
6. Living on a dirt road in Salem… totally cool attic to play in with Manwaring center carpet
7. Video games and air hockey at Ricks College – Go Dig Dug & Pac Man
8. Running up and down hills at BYU with Steph. Skinned Knee from tripping. aak!
9. Tee-pee and Indian Dress-up, reinacting 7-up commercial, Amy braiding hair or in pink curlers
10. Building huge swingsets and forts out of logs
11. Family trip to San Diego… swimming at Grandpa’s… Disneyland
12. Sleeping in unfinished houses… earwigs galore. Love the smell of new houses … all that wood.
13. Thick window sills to sit in and read
14. Carpeted Phone Booth
15. Building forts, playing in walk-in closet with stuffed animals
16. Swimming at Ricks College with Mill Hollow yogurt after
17. “Stinky feet – they taste so delicious.” Silly songs with siblings while warming feet on the heater
18. Hand Stand contests, jumping rope, volleyball, tether ball, basketball with siblings
19. Indian Necklaces with Jim Griggs
20. 5th Year Girls Camp – riding horses in the mountains… digging latrines, building tent cover, lashing, knots, Mary Lou
21. 4 wonderful babies… 4 c-sections… 4 recoveries
22. Waterton Canada with Swing Choir
23. Living in 4 states with a variety of neat adventures with Jimmy and tots. Alligators, beach, cactus, forest, humidity, mountains, hiking, lakes.
24. Adventure class with Lisa at BYU… snow shoeing, camping at Goblin Valley, canoeing, cross-country skiing
25. Hiking Mt. Timp twice.
26. Working at Electrical and Computer Engineering Department with Ann and Steph
27. Graduating from BYU with Bachelor’s in Human Development. Going through the temple for 1st time on that same day in August 1999.
28. Disney World with Jimmy to meet his fam for the 1st time
29. My love to stay at home … yep, I’m a homebody. Love hometown of Sugar City too. It’s dear to my heart.
30. Pretty much love clouds. I have oodles of photos of fluffy clouds and blue skies.
31. Homemade bread and stew. Comfort foods from mom.
32. After-school snacks and chatting up at the counter.
33. Piano lessons with Sister Gee. Festivals, recitals. Love playing the piano.
34. Sports… sitting the bench, loving volleyball, scared of real games, loved playing for fun. Running in the winter… bitter cold in Idaho.
35. Heart-felt 35th Birthday presents from Hannah and Abe

Get out that ENERGY!

Here’s a video of all that energy being released!

Subscribe to Popcorn?

Jimmy and I were joking today about how I should subscribe on Amazon to our favorite popcorn (they don’t sell it at our Walmart).  I checked and they really had it set up for subscription. Too funny.  Plus, it was cheaper than what we can find on sale around here.  Love tax free and free shipping.

I know – it’s microwave processed whatever. But it’s handy to have around. It’s my 2nd favorite popcorn on the planet. 1st favorite is kernels popped on a pan on the stove, but I guess sometimes I’m too lazy to do that for the tots when they want a snack. So – Homestyle popcorn it is… 2 boxes arriving every 2 months.  Amazon subscribe is my new favorite thing!