this is me now


my tribute to 'joy is my goal'

I am a huge fan of "joy is my goal"'s blog---she takes wonderful pictures and writes wonderfully---so I decided to take pictures of my Easter dinner----yeah---I'm not the photographer she is----and I've seen her camera----its a beaut---but I do like to cook and try new recipes and get feedback on which recipes should ever be tried again.... it was a small dinner this year---just Dave, Ace, Brother Davis & I....notice the lovely BLACK AND WHITE PLAID tablecloth my baby boy chose for our easter dinner---read the previous blog---but we had fun eating and pulling cake......

fresh green beans sauted in olive oil with fresh mushrooms, onions & water chestnuts---this was a big hit.
7 layer green salad---Dave made this---looks cool in a glass bowl--probably more work than is necessary---its just a tossed salad that isnt tossed!

each plate had an egg-shaped ramekin (what a great word) with pepper-jack cheese potato spoon bread---the big hit of the day---this was lyric's plate that we set aside til she got home from her trip to Beaumont.

not so very homemade croissant rolls---rolled up in circles instead of triangles.. the obligatory deviled-eggs.

ham steaks marinated in apricot preserves & brown sugar---didnt get this picture til after it had been dug into---so the presentation leaves a lot to be desired!

Lyric got to eat her dinner (and the sugar Dr Pepper she got from the Easter Bunny) when she got home Easter evening

Every year for the past 70 or so, my family 'pulls' cake (the tradition started with my grandfather when my mom was a child)---we rip apart an Angel food cake ---serve it with strawberries and cream---and voila---tradition! there is probably well over 100 people pulling cake each are the pics from that...

my baby boy...didya know....

...that in the passing of one week, a 13 year old boy can go from nose-to-nose/eye-to-eye exact height as mom---to not-even-a-question taller than me? His voice cracks so funny--- I have big feet---his are bigger...i literally watched him grow!
but apparently he is growing (he will kill me)
from right to left---has hair under his arm on
his right side---NOT HIS LEFT! it is hilarious...

(dont know how long these pictures will stay up---so enjoy!)

of course---he's still a goofy 13 yr old--but a sweet guy. He loves to talk to his sisters on the phone...and I used to make him carry my pretty pink phone when he would go out and around the neighborhood. He puts up with so much being the youngest---we make him listen to and sing the songs we like--so he has a very eclectic taste in music...he makes us play Wii games with him that we dont understand (way too many buttons to push)....Lyric & I try to get him to dress 'cool'---he gets pretty close---but his idea of what matches is not the same as what we envision...he thinks that its okay to burp 'excuse me'----he gets dropped off at the grocery store to get the ingredients for guacamole---and when I meet him there---he's pushing the cart around the store---with 2 nice avocados in his cart, looking for the salsa!
how many marshmallows can you shove in your mouth? hmmm? you know you are trying to figure it out! Ace learned this from Leah!
Ace & I are trying out for Music Man next week at the Artisan Theatre---fun times....he puts up with a lot.

btw---the picture is him sleeping on the airplane last summer on our way home from the Jeppson reunion in Cedar City, Ut...passed out!


St Patrick's Day Letter...

I've never done a Christmas letter---and always thought that if I did I would be totally honest---no sugarcoating---which, depending on my mood, could be here is my first ever St Patrick's Day letter....
2007 saw us at the beginning of the year with 3 kids at home, 1 on a mission, 2 in college and 1 dog...a year later we are: 2 married kids, 1 kid not living at home, 1 kid living in a group home, 2 kids at home and 3 dogs.....
me---i loved planning the weddings---dont ever let anyone tell you how hard it is---it was wonderful---two very different girls and desires---it was fun---fun, fun, fun. 2007 was my year of stress---good and bad. I've gained weight and lost weight---I eat way too much chocolate--but it's cheaper than therapy....and tastes a lot better. a dear friend joined the church---and showed me a desire to learn that I needed to emulate. I added a new part-time job at a call center (no--I dont call you--you call me)--and I enjoy it---good $$, great hours and I dont bring it home. I perform with Dancing Moose Productions about twice a month---we do ethics workshops for social workers, therapists and psychologists....musical comedy---it is a has renewed my confidence in my ability to perform....and i get to sleep in nice hotels. Most of the year was spent beating myself up regarding my parenting skills--so i have some healing to do with that---I'm a fairly bitter woman--dont get me started. David has started to re-do the upstairs bedrooms---I have a guest room! It is a great job for Ace, Dave & I to do together and to plan what the next step is. I watch way too many "Flip that House" type shows---so i am flipping my own house---but wont be selling it. I stopped cooking sit-down family meals this year---and really miss that---so we are trying to re-initiate that. This year I learned how wonderful my extended family is---so supportive--so interested in my life and in my welfare....Eden and Bill come up to visit, Pyper drove from San Diego with 4 kids in the car, Marc and Matt were both willing to change trips to be here---Jackie, Jen, Amy & Tif all put out the effort to celebrate with us...and Mom is always there...being mom. David was able to move from the office in Dallas---a commute he has been doing for 18 years---to the office here in Fort Worth---yay! a move he has waited 5 years for! His Dallas office gave him a most wonderful send-off....he does a good job at whatever he does and people like him! He took up a lot of the parenting responsibilities as I was crumbling...he picked up all my slack and then some...with no appreciation from the parented. He adjusted his schedule so I wasnt alone in the morning with the kids and got up early enough everyday to take Sam and Molly to seminary---a thankless and often contentious job. He had his first garden in years---tomatoes and flowers---we had a bounteous crop of tomatoes--it was wonderful---this year he is doing more---onions, lettuce, tomatoes and flowers. He also did some very lucrative work as an expert witness. He also began working Tuesday nights in the Dallas temple. He drives me absolutely crazy when he falls asleep in church...and I drive him crazy parenting him.
Molly has grown up...or at least she is on her own. Molly works at 6 Flags and works very hard. Her senior year grades are nearly straight A's...she passed her TAKS test (required for graduation). She ran away 3 times during 2007--the last time she has not returned from and we dont anticipate her coming back. She is living with a single woman in another ward so she can finish high school and move out on her own. We've asked her to come home a couple of times...but arent surprised when she declines. She doesnt want us to parent her---but she screams for our attention. She says Leah is the only one in the family she loves...and then shows up 30 minutes after Leah has left for her honeymoon. She bears a strong testimony... and then curses us just as strong. Her senior project was on financial stability...and she is bouncing checks everyday. Molly thinks she is happy...and has no idea how lonely she is. Jasmine went from a college freshman with dreams of 2 master's degrees to a married woman working and going to school. She met David Hall at Lamar University in Beaumont the first week of her first semester of her first year and they were engaged in January 2007 , married May 2007. David is a good match for our family...he puts up with our noisy family and puts out so much effort to come up and see us. What is wrong with David? He wont wear the glittery green St Patrick's Day bowtie I bought him or put a pot of sunflower pens on his work desk---what is up with that!? He is so good to her---allowing her to be a funny, silly little 19 year old...and she is stepping it up to set priorities and keep her focus on what is right and what is important... is she growing up too fast? nope---she still spills on her shirts---sleeps WAY too much and cutesy-pouts to get her way....still likes Anime and video games more than any married woman should...

Lyric has had a roller-coaster year...she made the decision to return to Texas from Arkansas to pursue her life-long dream of being a nurse...this meant moving home...but she has dealt with that very well...altho i see she has way too many clothes and shoes...I love having her around. She works at a local hospital and goes to school finishing up her nursing school requirements. She helped me keep my focus on the two weddings and I always turn to her as my fashion/decoration czar. She finished the year engaged...4 months later that is no longer and she survived. There was so much sadness and lots of anger (lots and lots from me--dont hurt my baby)---but she will go on.(humming Celine Dion right now)... this is normally where I would have interjected some adjectives describing whoever hurt her and continued the analogy with him drowning in the North Atlantic---but i know she doesnt want that---so I restrain myself....She's been accepted to Arkansas' school of nursing for next year---altho that doesnt look as attractive as it might have...she's waiting to hear from the Texas schools she has applied to. Growing up too fast---nope---this has been a huge year of decisions, hard looks at the type of guys she attracted, adjusting that with an eternal focus, looking back at skewed priorities and making independent decisions based on her own personal revelation...big step for a little girl that worries way too much about what people think and what they are saying...and people are usually saying good things.
Leah a year ago was freezing in Idaho serving a mission in the Idaho Pocatello she is freezing in Utah with her husband, Joe Nelson. Leah got home end of March and began preparing to fulfill her goal of becoming a paramedic/firefighter. She began working and dating full-time. She has struggled with food this year---she follows a celiac diet--which seems to work---and she lost a ton of weight--- She got an apartment with a friend--THE WEEK OF JASMINE'S WEDDING---Leah does what she feels strongly about immediately---it can drive you crazy! She met Joe Nelson at the singles ward here---and while we were at a family reunion in Utah they went out. Joe left for BYU not long after and the phone calls started...we hadn't met him! Leah flew to Utah to visit her mission---and spent a lot of time visiting Joe--came home engaged. 6 weeks later she moved to Utah to be near him and we planned her wedding over the phone--same way we planned jasmine's---Leah's was very easy---Lyric was there to help me and---Leah has always known what she wanted---pizza and root beer...and she found a guy that thought that was cool...she seems to have found a kindred spirit. Joe plays my father's ukelele like he was born with it in his hands. We dont hear nearly often enough from her---and she tells me they are late to everything (which i consider one of the 8 deadly sins)---we worry they are dirt poor--but at least they are at BYU where dirt poor is okay---and dirt poor has never bothered Leah...she walks by faith.

Chloe is 3 years old and the diva of the house---pomeranian/chihuahua mix---she weighs about 17 lbs---needs to weigh about 14/15---so we are working with her on that. She likes to chew and hide 3" soccer ball/dog toys and crawl under blankets and bark. She enjoys jogging with Lyric and gets really excited whenever the leash or tennis shoes come out!

Chip is almost 1---he is a chihuahua in every way---except he doesnt bark much. He was a rescue puppy we found at one of the adoption fairs Ace volunteered at last fall. Chip weighs 7 lbs and spends most of his time hiding--under tables, chairs or in his dog house. He takes a lot of medicine for worms, mites, yeast infections in his ears. He likes to watch what is going on around him--and bug Chloe. He is learning to play tag with Moe. He hides when the leash comes out.

Moe is our newest addition. He came to us thru Jasmine & David from Beaumont. He is an 8 month old toy dachshund...weighs about 10 pounds....chocolate brown. His name is Mahonrai Moriancumer (look it up yourself). He is a tease to the other dogs and very outgoing. He loves to fetch and play with toys. He has no respect for Chloe as the oldest and loves to terrorize Chip. His bark is like a smoke alarm.

Ace is the most wonderful combination of pain and pleasure. He is now as tall as I am, starting to take on the look of a guy....watching the mustache hairs try to poke out---hearing his voice crack as he reads scriptures. He is impulsive and talks a total know-it-all and has an unsubstantiated opinion about everything. He also puts up with my silly games to get him to know pop culture/pop music (he earns Wii minutes if he can name the artist and song---more if he sings the song). He does well at school---as long as he isnt failing---his grades swing from F's to A's in the bat of an eye. He is charming and affectionate when he isnt raging. He can't wait to go to dances (he turns 14 in May)---there is a dance 2 days before his birthday and he is willingly obedient about not going until he is 14! He plays the french horn, does karate and art therapy. He lives and dies for video games.

Sam has changed alot in the last year. He has finally started growing---gaining about 15 pounds in the year and growing 6-8"---he is now taller than I am. He loves art and loves to draw. He is able to express thru drawings what he cant verbally. He has decided that he hates working at Six Flags---but wont quit and works really hard at the job. He hates seminary and church and anything Mormon...but wont tell anyone but us---at a really high volume and with a lot of $%!^#$% tossed in and things being broken around the house. He did the best ever in his grades in 9th grade...meaning he passed everything...first year he's ever done that! He is very quiet and pleasant at school and the teachers really like him. He was using his art to draw threatening pictures of the school logo--but because of his passiveness and small size, the school just told him to quit drawing guns pointing at people and skulls and such. 10th grade proceeded with him back struggling and failing any number of classes. As he gets older and bigger, he gets more physically and verbally aggressive and more threatening. In February 2008, Sam moved to Waco to the Methodist Home where our goal is for him to graduate a semester early than the 2 1/2 years he has left.

There it is---my Christmas letter---for all the world to see---cathartic? we'll see---but at least it's all out there...and I dont usually let it be all out there---but


shoulda been.....but its okay....

today shoulda been a day of joy---but its okay---she is better and understanding things she didnt...she's learned a lot about who she strong she is...and that her priorities are in the right place

today shoulda been our family all here---together---but its okay---we'll see Leah and Joe in a month---David is coming up for the weekend---Jasmine has been here---Sam is coming home for spring break---Molly is not here---her choice---but its okay---

can't live with should----an old therapist taught me that----shoulds will eat you alive---if you do the right thing you will never regret shoulds----

deep today----but its okay----i'll be light tomorrow

God is Good


(thats how Run/DMC ends his blogs---and I love his blogs!)


'She gave him the wrong finger

. .....nuff said

had to take it off the title---david thought it was a bit provocative....but one of lyric's co-workers came up with it---made us all laugh---nice to laugh


This is musings---possibly amusing

this will be musings---possibly amusing!

Had a nice weekend visit from my brother Ace from California. We went to a nice little french bakery in Grapevine with members of Ace's French class (this will be confusing since I am talking about 2 ace's---but you'll figure it out)---david and ace (son) ordered tuna sandwiches---huge and creamy---okay---this is sounding like carmel's restaurant blog---ace and I shared 5---yes---5 desserts---a chocolate banana bombe, a chocolate croissant, blueberry tarte, fruit flaky pastry thing and a cinnamon rolled thing---of course---the other two shared in our joy....didnt finish their tuna in fact! that was fun---then ace and ace went golfing at a driving range. ace was in heaven! what a good uncle.

sunday made my heart cry---ouch.

monday we had snow---yes---snow---not ice---it was gorgeous---about 1/2" was gone by morning.

tuesday i flew with Gordon & Tim to Miami---their luggage got lost---we got to the hotel at 11 p.m.---IT WAS STILL 80! gorgeous. These trips are really vacations---nice hotel---nice restaurants----love it.

Wednesday we performed for 80 Family/Marital Counselors and Social workers---all with the Air Force---90% were in fatigues. It was a fun performance---they were very receptive---the fire alarm in the hotel went off 3 times during the show! we all just laughed. Then we shot back to Dallas---a 24 hour turn around!

wednesday made my heart smile---big smile....big big big.

we are getting ANOTHER puppy---a toy dachshund from is Bandit for now---he is 6-8 months old---why? why not---we love our lap dogs. David will bring him up next week when he comes to pick up jasmine from her spring break time here with us.

the room is almost done---altho we found out two beds wont fit---so we are re-arranging ideas a bit---david has worked so hard on the beds to refinish them and make them look nice---will put up a picture when it is done.

i love reading blogs---even of people I dont know! people's writing styles tell so much---i think mine probably shows how i flit from topic to topic---but that I am a very good speller.


Love hurts hurts to see someone you love hurt. hurts to see someone you love hurt....and not be able to make the time or the pain go away with a click of your fingers....blah blah blah....I know that time will heal her wounds and i am assured she will come out of this with deeper roots and a deeper understanding of just hurts....