Monday, June 30, 2008


Adam was home late enough this morning to see Sierra choose this outfit for herself. He said, "That has to be the ugliest outfit I've ever seen." Reluctantly she changed into something slightly more color coordinated.
Below are a few pics from tonight's FHE at Sister Winn's pool. We met up with the Laws and Purcells, ate dinner, then swam and swam. I was really impressed with how things went last week (same group met last week). Marisa had the idea to have taco salads for dinner and it was delicious (tonight was 5 buck pizza, my idea, not so delicious). Last week the moms took a break from swimming to help pull weeds in Sister Winn's beautiful flower beds. Something about giving back to such a generous woman felt really good (even though it was a simple task). Then we had a quick lesson on fasting and I still remember what I learned about the importance of fasting in teaching us self-mastery. Tonight I was going to bring the Friend along but forgot, so we didn't end up having a lesson. I guess it goes to show the difference of when I plan FHE and when Marisa does.

Yeah, that is Marcus performing a cannon ball jump right over Marisa's head. I know it is hard to believe, but she was not hurt during this process.
Sierra vs. Leilani in a chicken fight.
These are the dads antagonizing a wasps nest. I would never do that, maybe that's why I felt I should take a picture.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


The power of our thoughts has been on my mind lately. A few months back I read a book called "Dandelion" where a big theme was "thoughts become things". I started looking for scripture references and council from church leaders about thoughts and was surprised with what I found. The mutual theme last year was: "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
“The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever” (D&C 121: 45–46).
Elder L. Tom Perry said, "Inescapably our thoughts shape our lives. The ideal is to keep our thoughts focused on spiritual things".
There are many, many more I wish I had time to post.
For quite some time I've let my thoughts drift to what I would do if Adam passed away. Yesterday I finally decided that I need not waste one more thought worrying about it, rather use my mental energy to improve the relationship that I do have. I thought about leaving a little love note out in the stack of wood I knew he would be working with yesterday. But I quickly became busy with the morning and forgot. At dinner time, I wanted to write "i love you" with some sort of eatable material on his dinner plate I gave to Kaia to carry outside to him. I quickly looked through the cupboards but couldn't find anything and before I knew it Kaia had already taken the plate. As I thought about it later I thought "Oh, I could have used Hershey's chocolate syrup. But Kaia would probably have licked it all away before it ever got to Adam." In another blog I read, called NieNie Dialogues, the wife writes little letters to her husband and titles them "Letters to Mr. Nielson". I don't think I can call Adam "Mr. Bennett" but I like the idea:

Dearest Adam,
I know you don't currently read this blog, but someday I think you will (even if it is just me reading it to you someday when we are old and gray). I love you. I love how you spent 10 hours working in your "wood shop" yesterday. I love how you gave Kaia and Sierra little jobs to help you. I love that you went to get Tristan out of his crib this morning so I could take a peaceful shower all by myself. I love days when you get home from work and see the frazzled look in my eyes you take over with creative daddy ways to get the kids to clean up and be friends. I love that even though you are very tired, you are up early to get to your church meeting. the kids and I are blessed when you serve. I'll always love you just because I love you, and everyday I'll find new reasons to love you more and more.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday is a Special Day

What can I say about my little "baba kanoosh". He was laying his head on this yellow balloon and singing a little song this morning before breakfast. After I grabbed the camera he wouldn't repeat his song, so I just got this dazzling smile.

We were up this morning and out the door to Costco. I got everything on my list, took care of my contacts rebate problem, thought I really had it all together. Then later I realized I was out of shredded cheese! Oh, I was right there in the cheese isle, if only I had the foresight to do cheese inventory before leaving for the warehouse. So I'm going to see if we can survive the week sans shred cheese. We have the nasty sliced "cheese" that Adam buys for the kids, so they certainly won't be suffering.

Then we had the wonderful opportunity to babysit the Law kids while Liesl & Jeremy went to the Temple. I'll always remember Meagan saying that babysitters are blessed when they watch kids whose parents are attending the Temple. That was certainly true today. The kids played happily, took lengthy naps and before you knew it 4.5 hours had passed and the Laws were back.

I thought this was a funny shot ("see we can fit three kids in here and prevent a meltdown") plus I wanted to show off my lovely vines and archway.

Adam spent the entire day/evening (minus some time in the a.m. for the REI Garage Sale) out here in his "woodshop". The five bee "supers" he built last night are the wrong size so he had to start all over again today. We get to use the mistakes as book shelves and paint them fun colors. I'm excited about that project, but it might have to wait a few months.

Dinner was a little something I like to call "leftover's burritos". That may just be a grammatical error, but I don't care. I went through a bunch of leftovers in the fridge (sauteed onions, rice, vegis) warmed them up, cooked up some tortillas (I'm in love with Costco's tortillas that you cook yourself!) and voila! Yummy. Plus some homemade bread hot out of the oven with butter and jam then some cupcakes I found in the freezer for dessert (German Chocolate ones that Gram made a few months ago).
This is Renea. She is a wonderful girl who lives upstairs. The girls love to talk and talk and talk to her any chance they get. She was doing laundry today and they told her every family secret and more. She even let them talk her into jumping on the trampoline with them for a bit, skirt and all.

I am amazed with how much Tristan loves this fishing game. He will sit by himself playing with it for 20-30 minutes straight. A wonderful Saturday activity while mom runs around trying to get things cleaned up.

Finally the evening turned to street performance tricks (There is a guy on Pearl Street that can fit himself into a tiny, tiny box, for some reason it is fun to watch and makes you want to give him $1).
Sierra's "Little Mermaid" Pose. Tristan was smiling cute with his head by Kaia, but I wasn't quick enough.

Friday, June 27, 2008

10 things

Amanda Soule has a list of 10 things she is grateful for right now on her blog. Since I want to be just like her, here are ten things I'm lovin' right now:

1. (These are not in any order, by the way) Peanut Butter. I opened the jar of pb the other day and found a spoon inside. I laughed to myself because I can imagine how it came to pass. I was probably going for my daily pb fix and was distracted--by any number of things--mid-dip.

2. My friends and their children and the free government lunch. I wish this was a better picture. I love these women and their delightful offspring and I love what free lunch does for my food budget!

3. My young women. These girls are awesome (even more so now that they've forgiven one another and are good buddies again). We are preparing for camp and everyone is way excited.

4. I'm always lovin' Gram and Pop's house and the great park off their back deck. But this Wednesday was especially wonderful because the giant sprinklers came on.

5. My girls. I always tell Sierra and Kaia that they are best friends (doesn't it look like they believe me in this picture?)

6. My brother, Jay. We went up to their house today. They just returned from a three week trip to Europe and we missed them terribly.

7. My sister, Grace. She is so sweet. Each of us get a great big hug and kiss every time we see her.

8. Hugs like this one.

9. These awesome dolls my parents brought back from Denmark as gifts for my children.

10. Summer moments like these:

As I sat outside and supervised this "i love mud" moment I had time to read the latest issue of Mothering Magazine. Two articles really impressed me. "Time-in: A mother trades time-outs for child-centered discipline solutions based on trust" and "A Summer to Savor: Let your child know the bliss of endless days with nothing to do but play". I don't always agree with Mothering Magazine, but I really recommend these two articles (check out

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Catch Up

I think about blogging, I even made several attempts to do so yesterday, but it has been a while since I actually put up a post. So I'll play catch up with the following 10 pictures.

Last Monday we rode our bikes to a park to play with the Laws and Purcells (who also rode their bikes). The three dads brought their longboards along (imagine if you will three bike strollers with longboards bungie corded onto them). This is Tristan and his buddy, Amri, taking a turn.

Kaia is a regular fashiondiva. I thought I better catch a shot of this style. I don't think she made it out of the house this way, rather just left a lot of headbands scattered around.
On Friday evening Sierra and I took a bike ride together. The real purpose for this trip was to retrieve my purse I'd left behind at a friend's house. This friend wasn't going to be home and I needed my purse for the next morning. She gave me permission to climb through her kitchen window. I brought Sierra along because I knew she would love the adventure. We took a quick stop at the park to get this picture of Max's dog house. A boy in our ward made about 20 of these little houses for his Eagle Scout project. Their purpose is to hold plastic bags to pick up dog poop. He painted the names of several of his own family's dogs and even did one for Max. When Sierra saw it for the first time (misunderstanding the purpose) she said, "Max will never fit in there. It needs to be much bigger." We all got a good laugh out of that one.
Tristan got his first sunburn. He went swimming at a friend's house and I forgot to leave instructions for sunblock (the family he was with has dark skin and I doubt they even own sunblock). He was pretty happy to be running diaper free in this shot, I'm sure you can tell.

These are my young women. Here we are at Youth Conference on Saturday enjoying a delicious lunch.
I volunteered to help out with Youth Conference when I found out I got to dress up in costume. The theme was family history and I was assigned to be a clerk in England. I dug through Gram's collection of homemade costumes and decided on the "old lady" costume. Gram has used this one for many, many practical jokes. Ohhh, if only I could be just like Gram. I got a few kids to laugh, but mostly I just stood there sweating like a pig in a hot room while wearing a semi-fur coat for 5 hours. But I was so grateful for the opportunity, 99% of the kids at the conference were absolutely amazing and awe inspiring.
We found the above book in our play room and for the life of me I have no idea where it came from. Sierra found several experiments she wanted to do. We decided on one we had all the supplies for. It didn't really work out, but it was messy and fun. The instuctions were to mark a face on a marshmallow, put in a jar, seal the lid of the jar with clay, stick a straw in and suck out all the air. At which point the marshmallow face is supposed to expand. We could never get it air tight enough to make that happen. Maybe because we were using playdough instead of clay?

Friday, June 20, 2008


I was lying next to Kaia this afternoon, waiting for her to fall asleep, thoughts dashing through my mind. Mostly I was wishing I would stop making mistakes (I've signed up for two MLMs and a stock option email update in the past 7 months and I'm failing at all of them). Then I came across this blog and I felt a whole lot better:
Then I found this blog and felt a mix of "oh, I wish I were more like 'SouleMama'" and "hey, we can do that!":
Meaning, I need to turn off this computer, pull Sierra away from the TV and start working on some fun crafts together. Pictures to follow.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day & etc.

Here is Kaia posing as the figurehead of the Costco cart, protecting us from the swells of humanity therein. Much like this figurehead from 'Juan Sebastian de Elcano - Spain:
I wish I knew a comedian. I would call him/her and say I have some new material for them. Imagine me pushing the above cart through Costco at the height of sample time. They had some amazing cheese from a traveling cheese show there. While I was slowly chewing a delicious morsel of Parmesan cheese, I look over to see Kaia spiting her sample out into her palm, then looking around for a place to put it. Luckily I intercepted and found a nearby trash. Then we stopped for potato salad. This is the funny part. There was a huge cart traffic jam right in front of the cold room because all these cart drivers had picked up a potato salad sample and were trying to use both hands to eat and elbows to steer. I cracked a joke about it, but the lady next to me acted like she didn't hear me (I realize with my voice it is possible that she really didn't hear me). I should have raised my hand (I learned yesterday that my Aunt Amanda and her boys tell Uncle Steve to raise his hand when he is saying something funny, otherwise they don't know if they are supposed to laugh or not..ha ha ha).
The girls have their very own fishing poles and they are so excited. Here they are before heading down to the ditch to go crawdad fishing.
It is hard to get a good shot of T, he moves so quickly these days.
The fishers: Kaia, Sierra, Jack, Joe, and Adam's back there getting all the hooks ready.
Here is Adam opening his gifts. This very well could be the first gift I've ever bought for Adam that he isn't going to return to get what he really wants (or the first time I haven't just said, "You know exactly what you want just go buy it yourself"). It was a diving watch from Costco and some key holders the girls made themselves. Oh, and since I believe Adam will one day read this blog when it is in book format I want to add that I think he is an absolutely wonderful father who is doing a fantastic job keeping three kids and a wife unbelievably happy. I think he would agree that it was a great Father's Day (we got our first offer on our house and we accepted it!!! Closing should happen Aug 1st. Yipppieee)

This is our new favorite park! It is ginormous. I biked the kids here, then to free lunch, then to Sunflower Market. The cart got quite a bit heavier with a load of groceries in it, but some how I made it back home. Then all three kids went quickly down for a nap and I've had lots of peaceful afternoon bloggin' time. Ahhhhhhhhh.