this is me now


Dear Santa,

oh my gosh...:) i have been SOOOOOOO good this year.


i have a crush on....

4 little boys...

john cannon you ever get over the oldest? the first? Cannon is a thinker---a flirt---he watches tv like his mom---which means fixed....he ponders on things before reacting---like his dad----he loves music and lights and buttons---like all 13 month olds....he and i got to bond while mommy & daddy got used to having #2 around (see #4)

benjamin aaron hall----the smiler---the poser---who can resist those dimples and bright eyes? he loves the computer....especially when his parents are using it! walking at 9 1/2 months, what mischief he'll get into!

Ethan Milo Webb----4 months old---a beautiful little baby---just starting to make a statement---thats not true---this kid made noise the day he was born!

brother nelson----cant put his name down yet---but expect to by the end of the day---he made a quick entrance into the world----a couple of pushes by mom and he was here---dark hair----early pictures tell us he will be his own man---dark hair and different face than his brother....time will tell!



20 years ago I colored my hair cotton candy pink----by accident----and I loved it....since then I have been on a journey searching for that hair color again.....i tried to re-create my mistake---to no avail....and I'm not afraid of color---for sure....i've had blue, purple, hot pink, orange, blood red and auburn hair over the years....always wishing it was cotton candy pink. I understand pink is not one of the colors God intended for us to have for hair....something for Him & I to discuss in the future....I dont have a show for 2 months, so now is the PERFECT time to continue my search.
I hate the mall. Really....hate it. But I went to the mall find pink hair dye....I've tried Sally's Beauty Supply....I've tried a couple of different kinds.....never the right one.....I ask strangers where they get their hair color----but its usually permanent ( and I dont do permanent)... but I went to the mall in search of cotton candy. I walked into Hot Topic---pretty sure I dont fit their demographic....but i walked up to the multi-pierced little girl at the cash register and asked her about hair color...she jumped at the chance...they have temporary (wash-in/wash-out) color---but i cant be bothered with coloring it everyday....they have permanent....nope----she suggested i try spencers ----gulp---not a store i'm comfortable strolling around---but this post really isnt about hair color...its about me hating malls.
why i hate malls
  • malls dont have grocery carts.
  • malls dont have drive-up anything.
  • really? is our mall so hoop-te-doo that we need old security guards strolling around on segues....i love paul blart and all....but really?
  • is there anything sadder than people trying to put lotion on my hands from a kiosk---not even a real store! if i needed lotion---wouldnt i be going into Bath & Bodyworks right there across from your kiosk?
  • Maybee New York? hmmm---does anyone in Hurst, Texas really think they are possibly---even maybe--- in New York? well---unless you've seen the clothes in the window of that store---those mannequins belong on a corner in a not-so-well-lit neighborhood of downtown new york city---if you get my drift----( oh my gosh---i sound like my mother!)
  • Coach----not one piece of sports equipment. whats up with that.
  • walking thru a mall at christmas-time sucks the very spirit of the season out of me---seeing people trudge around toting huge bags of overpriced fruu-fruu----really---you can get that same pink boa at dollar-tree for your 3 yr old!

the only good reason to go to the mall---and i use the word good loosely---is the food court---i always park near it--so I have to walk thru it to enter and to leave! WHY?



tender mercies....

on this, the first Sabbath of the Christmas season, I take pause to give thanks for the things that bring me such joy and calm in my life....before i get wrapped up in the pleasure and clamor of the season...
  • I am grateful for a Savior who knows me and knows what I need...not necessarily giving me what I want....imagine....i'm still figuring this out.
  • I am grateful for parents who raised me right.
  • I am grateful for a husband who says "yes---your hair will look great pink"...and then walks away before adding "but...."....cause i know he is thinkin it.
  • I am grateful for a teenage son who likes to talk to me and gets my jokes....and gets it when i'm NOT joking.
  • I am grateful for daughters who share their wows and woes....who let me laugh and cry with them....
  • i am grateful for cute sons-in-laws who are still a bit afraid....hmmm....maybe intimidated is a better word....of/by me....they'll soon figure out I'm a lot of hot air.
  • I'm grateful for sisters who call to belly-ache about their lives---and share their adventures....what a joy to like your sisters as friends. btw...i like my brothers too---but, its not the same......hugs to marc, ace & matt!
  • i'm grateful for extended family----hmmmm---dont like that wording---i'm grateful for family's families....the sibs of my hub....the kids of my sibs....the kids of my sibs' facebook/blog/farmtown friends.
  • my cup runneth over with family.


where my heart lies.... know i like my kids---and kinda fond of my grandbabies....and mildly interested in marching band....and semi-addicted to chocolate.....but if you want to know where my heart truly it is the most beautiful thing i've ever makes me smile to think of makes me happy to think of cooking with it

a dual crock pot----yes, folks---not just one crock pot---but two---with individual controls---whoever thought of this should be sainted! i am planning the meals right now that i will cook using TWO crock pots in one (alright---i already have 4 crock pots---but each has a special use)---

and mine just arrived in the mail!

Merry Christmas to all---and to all----good stew.


okay---havent perfected the whole Julia/Merf thing yet...

making banana bread this morning...tripled the recipe...thinkin'
" hmmm"...i say to myself...
"self, maybe a handful of chocolate chips tossed in would make it that much yummier!"
i begin filling muffin cups (okay---so its banana muffins...not bread....thats not the point)
i finish with the muffin cups and a drop of the batter gets on my finger....
"hmmm"...i say to myself
"self, probably shouldnt lick that finger....raw eggs and all"
never being one to listen to myself...i totally lick my finger.
it was salt...not that clear tub in my cupboard.
i grab for my ice water ( i always cook with a glass of ice water near me----hmmm....not sure why...have to think about that)

into the trash goes 9 eggs, 9 cups of flour, 10 bananas, 3 cups of salt, 2+ c of butter...sad day...will start over tomorrow.

and may i say---its not the first time i've 'substituted'----later date, i'll tell you about my cornstarch/baking soda gravy disaster!


Dear Merf,

today you switched seasons in your here is a NOT-TO-DO list!
1. dont buy any have every color/style/length/pattern...and sometimes have plenty....unless you see a lovely red sweater...or a nice baby blue---but only those.
2. dont buy any stretchy-pants---yes, me and nacho libre---winter is my time for stretchy pants---and i have plenty....unless you see a nice gray pair to go with your new gray boots.
3. dont buy any shoes/boots/slippers/socks that look like slippers...thanks to Oprah and have plenty....unless you see a pair of slippers that are really cute in a nice can never have too much plaid.
4. dont buy purses---well---not many---you have every style and every color you dont buy any unless you see one on a really good deal in a must-have purple.
5. dont buy anym0re suits---you dont really like to wear only like to look at people who like to wear, unless you find one that doesnt look like a suit...dont get one.
6. while we are at it...dont buy any more serving pieces---yes...i looked thru your cupboards...yes, i know you had a bunch of weddings recently...that time is over...get over now you can have plenty...unless it is a double crock-pot server---then you can totally get that....its a crock pot after all and you can never have too many crock pots.
7. no more freezer food....the guys dont eat it while you are gone....and you dont eat it when you are home because you cook...i know it fulfills a need deep inside....we've come to peace with that...but there is no more room and we are coming up into the holidays....unless you see something new or packaged new...then you can buy one...only one...unless its on sale...then you can get some.
8. no more wedding have 4 in your closet! really? who needs 4 wedding dresses....dont live in the past....let it is the time to buy little boy sweatsuits....they take up a lot less space than wedding dresses...really....4 is plenty.

p.s. and while we are at more guest towel sets....yes...i'm heading upstairs and i already know what awaits us one gets that many one.


calm down

I havent gone anywhere....well thats not october and november i've been:

springfield, missouri
el paso
houston (twice)
san antonio (3 times)
austin (twice)
richardson, tx
little rock, ark
indianapolis, in
norman, ok
oklahoma city, ok

i've performed for more than 1500 people....seen probably 150 + marching band shows....
been a great month.
and now....a i will blog...oh, yes....i will blog.....i have opinions....things have happened and you'll want to hear about them all! i've been taking pictures anticipating me blogging....
i appreciate the encouragement of my lovely daughter, lyric....isnt she a doll!
so i didnt really go anywhere---but i've been everywhere, man. (you are humming it now, arent you!)


Dear Mom,

This is your daughter,

I have hacked into your blogger account and there is no turning back now,

Fortunately, your password wasn't too difficult.

and, I could be wrong,

but I dont think so...

when I speak on behalf of your readership,

and state,

that we would love it if you shared witty, thoughtful, and usually cryptic commentaries with us.

Thank you,

Your favorite daughter,


P.S. (bonus!) :

Lines from my diary, June 14, 1994:

"i love my mom she is sweet when i kiss her i fill her love as speshly when she hugs"


in touch with their feminine side?

can i make sock dolls for my baby boys?


to Gnome

Dear Liv,

I love my prize! Thanks for doing the cute give-away...thanks for the cute picture of Rob picking my name! thanks for writing my name as Aunt Merf! Thanks for writing such a cute blog....your photography and writing style always entertain. thanks for letting your kids dress cute/funky/not-at-all .


aunt merf


New Era September 2009

l.d.bell band is represented ON THE STINKIN COVER!
ryan pegram is on the cover of the september issue of my church's teen-focus magazine "New Era"....he was IN THE BAND....we've known ryan since his family moved into our ward the same day we moved years ago!
ryan's article is on page 10.....


musings on a thursday morning

hear i sit...listening to "Breaking Dawn" on my Itouch....9:19 a.m.....Milo is sound asleep next to me...lyric is sound asleep in her room....ben is at work....i leave to go home i ponder a bit...

  • teaching seminary this (one week i teach---the next she does)....Book of Mormon....I am excited....i love the age-group and love the topic.

  • after a busy summer of shows...i still love it....the travel is hard on david and ace....they have been great to make it easy for baby boy has grown up this summer.

  • got to see Ben, Cannon & Milo all within one month.....bliss.

  • i love to baby my babies....and their babies....this makes me happy.

  • i need to stay home and clean closets.

  • i need to go to pennington field to watch band at 7 a.m. on a friday morning

  • ready for friday night football games.

  • i love facebook...friend me.

  • i miss my puppies and want another

  • i'm lucky to like my babies' men...most of the time ;)


i'm the cash

so....if you know my husband, he likes a deal....nay...he LOVES a when our lovely government offered to give us $4500 towards our 10 yr old van with transmission problems and us get a new 0% financed car....yeah...he jumped all over it......
then i stepped in....
I got home on a late friday evening from a gig in Arkansas to see this lovely 2009 black malibu in our driveway...with a balloon attached...i knew dave had bought a car. we drove it to band practice...gave ace a fun surprise.
saturday I jetted down to orlando to greet my new g-baby Milo...see previous post.
got a call from david saying that since my name was on the title for the van (along with his)...i needed to sign the title over to the they were overnighting the paperwork to me (really? after 30 years of marriage he cant sign my name? really?) tuesday morning a knock at the door showed a Fed-Ex guy.....i opened up the material and signed away.
then i messed up....
did you know that if you put papers....important a Fed-Ex return envelope....and...gasp....NOT TAKE IT TO A FED-EX ACCEPTED PLACE...but, yes, instead....put it in the mailbox...A US POSTAL SERVICE mailbox....hmmmm....why wouldnt fed-ex get that?
yes....we had to return the car.
the cash for clunkers program ran out on monday the 24th...and we didnt get the title to them in dave drove the beautiful black malibu back to the dealership....sad day...he was so nice about it....but i totally clunkered.


first day of school

....and i'm not there!
what a pull.....i'm here in Orlando with a beautiful grandson and my baby girl....but my baby boy is starting 10th grade! my last one at Bell High School....gulp...and hooray!....and gulp...and hooray!

I love the starting of a new school year...the smell of new locker numbers....loved it for it for my, boys dont share about adventures as easily as girls...but...ace will answer questions....

but i'm not there....does he care? probably more than he is willing to admit....
will he survive? probably...but only for a few more days.

you always need your mom.


under the florida sky.....

chillin with mickey? nope
epcot touring? nope
beach? hmmm....nope
sittin inside....with mr Ethan Milo Webb. He is a doll of a baby...small-boned...has a cute raspy gravelly voice. Lyric did a great job delivering him....i was there within 11 hours of his birth. One more baby boy to add to the list.

rains every day.....but it cools off as it rains
rains even when the sky is blue
sauna when its not raining
florida medicaid STINKS

is the poopiest pee-ingest baby i've ever seen
he pees while you change his diaper...spraying himself and you and the changing table
he poops while you change his diaper change means 2 or 3 diapers for this kid
he poops in multiples....and you can always hear it.

sorry...didnt mean to get side-tracked by milo's poop....and if you are offended by that word....well then you shoulda stopped reading a few lines ago!


merf & meryl

  • no...this has nothing to do with meryl streep being my muse or mentor
  • yes...i did just see Julie & Julia...okay?
  • i love amy adams
  • i love meryl streep...altho i am still trying to get over that whole mamma mia thang.
  • i love cooking shows
  • i love to read cookbooks....well cookmags...cookazines?
  • i love to blog

all of those lovely little bullets give me pause to write this post....the best part of the movie?

when julia child found out her sister was having a baby...and she cried...

you never forget that pain....and i cried...

so here is to all of us that share....we cry for the joy of others...and we cry at the pain in our heart....

now i'm off to cook something amazing

i will

i will not be offended no one commented on my previous post
i will not be offended no one commented
i will not be offended
i will not be


my travels...utah

okay---if you visit my facebook will see repeats of some of the pictures....cannon is cute enough to see him twice.

got to go to my nephew's wedding in south carolina via utah! and yes, thank you, i know my geography.

my mom has 2 sisters in she asked if i would like to go with her to utah to be her chauffeur and escort her to visit...AND WE MIGHT JUST BE ABLE TO VISIT WITH LEAH/JOE AND CANNON.
duh...that took me all of 2 seconds to jump all over! (if this picture looks familiar---leah looked THE EXACT SAME a year ago! :) she looks great.

so we arrived on saturday...drove to springville...we stayed at a hotel not too far from leah...we ate out A LOT...twice to red lobster....
mr cannon is a calm and happy baby...not a giggly baby....leah was a giggly baby....cannon is a thinker....he stares at you and you just know he is figuring you out...or trying. Joe & Leah have baby-gated their apartment so cannon has full run/crawl of the area. he loves his piano...thats no surprise. he is standing up and trailing furniture...has almost 4 teeth....he has grown into his head and looks like joe...not a lot (really...not much if any) hair...but his dark hazel eyes and eyebrows tell you he is a little joe.
cannon loved this stuffed dog at my aunt Margo's, of course....i have found one for him...david is going up there next week (september 3ish) to he is delivering a dog (albeit stuffed) to mr cannon
we went to church with them...that was to hold cannon...let him slobber all over baby slobber....cannon is learning to kiss...he is at the point right now where he just puts his mouth near yours with his lips wide open....i love baby slobber.

monday we went to salt lake all day and visited with margo and mom's cousins sara, suzie & peggy all came by to know its family when you can pick up a conversation right where it left off a year ago.
Joe, Leah, Mom & I ventured over to the Oquirrh Mtn temple open house...thought it would take 10 minutes...not sure where we got THAT was you drive into SLC valley from the point of the mountain, you can see 3 temples within a few minutes of each other....truly prophecy come to truth. We tore across the valley to try to get into Draper Temple (my family are the drapers that established that area)....only to find it was closed for cleaning! (note to the temple to see if it is open). We headed home to Thai food prepared by Joe & Leah...delish.

After a late-night visit to our favorite....your local wal-mart....we got to the hotel to prepare for a very early drive to slc airport for our trip to south carolina....
bye mountains
bye joe
bye leah
bye cannon
bye b+.....see you in december

my travels...not in chronological order

humming *i've been everywhere man....i've been everywhere"

hmmmm...lets start with where i am...

south carolina...hartsville...goin to Columbia for my nephew Karl's wedding to to meet her yesterday...she is so cute...has the most darlin' southern drawl...hmmm...note to self...start talking with a southern drawl.
this picture is taken thru someone's hair (this is me still talking with a southern drawl)
i get to be here and just be....i'm not the mother of the bride...altho i did love that job....
i'm not the wedding planner...altho i did love that job... this is Karl's (the groom) bouttoniere (spelling?) SO CUTE! where was this idea when i had 3 weddings!?!
i'm nobody's mom....altho i do love that job....
hmmm...maybe i'm not having such a good time
NO! its great...i get to chat with my brothers and sisters....i get to spend lots of time with my mom....i get to see my nieces and nephews and their families....
clockwise from left...amy's shoes....jennifer's shoes (cute toes jenner)'s shoes...pat's shoes

btw...i love the south....atlanta, charlotte,....even ohio (southern ohio...okay!?) trees...rolling hills....gorgeous...stinking humid....but that brings the gorgeousness.
This is the storm coming in outside of the Columbia, South Carolina poured right after we started taking pictures...but what a beautiful sky.
my nephew, Scott Edwards....look close at his tie....totally cool way to tie it.

i do miss my boys at home...hopin they notice i'm not there!

pictures will be forthcoming



  • vents let air comes the air....most of it hot.
  • AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH. yes...cryptic...all will come out eventually...suffice it to say there is always drama....and when...and i know i will....when i wrap my head around the drama then my head wont explode...but until out for the mushroom cloud.
  • old men
  • i cant breathe for everyone...get in line...take your turn....take a number...make an appointment...please.

sorry....i know this is mysterious and vague....cant explain at this moment...wouldnt be prudent...not gonna do it (a buck to the first one for the quote)....and none of these are, meredith, thats not totally true...okay....not all of these are related to each other...that's better... thought we only had to worry about north korea!


ben...i'll be there my beautiful grandbaby boy ...
and its not my beautiful son-in-law...
Ben is the name of my favorite Michael Jackson song....
Ben is a rat....but the song is a beautiful poem of friendship....

Ben, the two of us need look no more
We've both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I'll never be alone
And you, my friend will see
You've got a friend in me.

Ben, you're always running here and there
You feel you're not wanted anywhere
If you ever look behind
And don't like what you find
There's something you should know
You've got a place to go

I used to say "I and me" now it's "us" now it's "we".

Ben, most people would turn you away
I don't listen to a word they say
They don't see you as I do
I wish they would try to
I'm sure they'd think again
If they had a friend like Ben.

When I was 14, my crush and I always danced to "Ben"...if you can get over the idea that it is a love song to a rat....the song is lovely. It was "our song". Michael jackson's voice was amazing.

What a talent Michael Jackson was....songwriter, performer, dancer, choreographer, sad that his personal life scandals marred his legacy....a genius talent.
Michael was born the same year as I....its always hard to be reminded that our days on this earth are matter your age....

maybe this will remind us to be grateful for every day we have ...and for everyone that shares that time with us.

p.s. just as i say "Ben" is my favorite....and it is...then this one pops up! LOVE THIS SONG.


my heart smiles....tis the season!

dropped ace off at school today.

"hmmm? what?" you say! its June! school is out....right?
yes....but tis the season....and my heart smiles.
10 years ago I dropped Leah off at school.....twas the first season.
ace started MARCHING STINKING BAND (that stinking is meant in a totally awesome and amazing FREAKIN good way)....3 days this week...then for real come August.

once again, I have a reason to sit at the football stadium at 7 a.m. and watch 300 kids march back and spend every weekend getting a sunburn watching 20-30 more "Meredith! you dont even have a kid marching!" again.... I HAVE A KID MARCHING!

marching season means:
  • sitting with friends watching the band...talking about band...volunteering for the band.
  • sno-cones during hot rehearsals
  • football games every friday night
  • tailgate parties before the game
  • 5 hr drives to austin and houston for competitions
  • $30 tickets for competitions...and worth every penny
  • dry-cleaning uniform every stinking (meant in a horribly tedious way) week
  • not breathing for 8 minutes every competition while I watch my son march
  • waiting in the van late at night for the band to get back from away games and competitions (and may i boast....we are in the same van we had when leah started band! yay for the big maroon van 10 years old!)
  • counting the times i have to here "Simple Pleasures"....its old before they play it!
marching season makes me happy


my first-born in the wilderness....Leah's story

25 years ago today I became a mother....i didnt know it for 6 days....but May 25, 1984 changed my life.
lets start at the very beginning (admit it---you are humming the song!)

Dave & I were married June 21, 1980....and when I wasnt pregnant by July 4th....well, I was a bit miffed. By December 1980 I was visiting with my doctor. "Normally", he advised me,"we dont worry about infertility when you've only been trying for 6 months....but....(tmi alert) since your periods are so irregular....we will run some tests."

this was 1980....fertility treatment was hit and miss and expensive....but we started the calendars/temperature-taking....all the old-school regimen.....


no answers except my periods were by 1982 we had run out of tests and had nothin. I was angry and bitter wasnt pretty. I hated mother's day and would cry when I would hear of a friend or relative's pregnancy....not that I would wish them to not be blessed...but i just couldnt figure out why God would give a commandment to have children....BUT NOT YOU! I still remember that still hurts when I see others having to experience it....that is on my discussion list for God.

David graduated with his Master's degree and we got a job in Yuma, off we went. I got a job as a teacher's aide in a computer lab at a junior high....we built a house. We also started adoption proceedings with LDS Social Services...our church's adoption agency.

There was not a big conversation about 'IF' we should was very easy.

Back then, the agency required a year waiting time for the paperwork/home study/background check and references...and $2500. I had inherited $1000 from my grandmother, Leota, upon her passing in November 1980...we put that money aside until we had something special we wanted to use it for.... December 1982, we knew this was that something special...and knew grandma would approve.

March brother, Matt, and his wife, Shelley, were living in Denver, Colorado. Their first child, Michael, was born. He was to be blessed the first Sunday in David & I decided to take a quick trip for the weekend. We surprised Matt & parents and my little sister, Pyper (almost 15) were also going to be there.

At the time, we had 4 dogs....yes...satisfying my need to nurture. we asked our friends, the Adams, to watch over the house and dogs. (foreshadowing...they had 2 adopted kids)....

sorry....this is quite the tome.

we arrive in Denver Friday night and everyone is happy to be together...Michael is a doll of a baby and I'm happy to see family. We go to Marie Callendar's for dinner....i remember that because:
1. i love marie callendars
2. my dad was appalled that it cost $50 for 7 of us to eat was 1984.

we went back to Matt's was a tiny apartment...tiny enough that david and i were sleeping UNDER the kitchen table...the shower head in the claw-foot bathtub hit about the middle of my back. We sit around and chat....david jumps in the shower....the phone rings.
Matt answers....looks at me questioningly and says....."it's your Bishop!"
I take the phone and the bishop says "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!? WHY DIDNT YOU TELL ANYONE WHERE YOU WERE GOING!?" i kinda shrugged (yes...i know...he couldnt see a shrug over the phone...) he told me that our LDS social services caseworker had called him that morning and said he was trying to get in touch with us and couldnt find us....did he know where we might be? they called our work (we had just told our jobs we were going away for the weekend....not specific enough)....the caseworker called back the bishop for more possibilities....this was before the days of cell phones. eventually, the Bishop called the Adams and they said we were visiting my brother in Denver and my maiden name was the bishop called every Ensign in the Denver phone book...there were like 10! HE CALLED ALL OF THEM UNTIL HE FOUND US!

the bishop told me to call our case worker RIGHT NOW....i asked him "is this it?"....he said...."call him". I hung parents and brother & sisters were sitting there....all of our jaws were on the floor...I got David out of the shower and told him about the conversation....he took a deep breath....and called the caseworker....who chewed us out for not letting him know we were leaving town....hey guy....if we had known our baby's birth was impending....WE WOULDA CALLED YOU!....anyway...he told us that he had been searching for us all day....and we had a BABY GIRL waiting for us in Phoenix...and would we like to pick her up Monday!
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH....we were flying back on convenient! we said sure.

THE HOUSE WENT CRAZY! we were so OH MY GOSH. by about 11 p.m. everyone had settled in...except for david and i...we were wide awake....and in this tiny apartment....there was nowhere to sit and talk and we headed to Denny's.....we talked about names, made lists of what we needed to do...called the Adams'.....she'd been waiting all day for us to call her....she knew from the Bishop's phone call that this was THE call!

we decided to name her Leah Leota...after my grandma. :)

we finally went back to Matt's apartment....and collapsed...under the kitchen table....except I still couldnt i curled up in a chair next to their bathroom door and read every baby book Shelley the middle of the night Shelley got up to feed Michael....there i was...wide awake...reading Dr Spock!

we spent Saturday calling family and making lists. Mom & Dad took us to Sam's club (or an early version of it) Sam' was that catalog store where you would order from the catalog in the store and your merchandise would appear on a belt like at the airport baggage claim. They bought Matt & I each a stroller for our babies....and a car chair! We bought leah an outfit to come home in. (i'm tearing up right now writing this!). My mom and Pyper would fly with us to Phoenix....we'd get our car and drive to the office where Leah would meet us. My dad would drive the 1000 miles back to Freeport, Il BY HIMSELF!

saturday afternoon we went to a park....i slept on the picnic blanket.

Sunday was Michael's blessing at church....that was a special day of fasting and gratitude for us.

Monday morning dad headed back east....and we flew to our car and headed to the agency office. We were met at the door and escorted to the office where we signed all sorts of paper and wrote out a check for the balance of our account....we could hear movement in the room next to us.....after all was signed....the door opened and there in a bassinett was our baby I am

we put her in her purple dress we brought...change a dirty diaper...and go out to the lobby where my mom and Pyper are waiting. We all squish into our tiny little T-1000 (like a chevy chevette subcompact)....and drive the 3+ hours to Yuma....where we find our house DECKED out in balloons, diapers, banners and baby stuff everywhere...thanks to the Adams!

david & I each go to work the next day, bringing Leah (it was the last week of school for i also gave notice)....when we told people she was ours....NO ONE believed us! we had not advertised we were adopting because we got tired of people asking when it would happen.

Leah has been a joy....she took us out of the wilderness and into the adventure that we had yearned for and prayer for for 4 years....thats a lot of 4/fors. Leah is a lovely person....a loving daughter....a lover of humanity.

She gave us our first grandchild.....and our 4thleah...right after her mission....2007.

leah and joe and cannon....december 2008....we'll have a deja vu december 2009!ace and leah at her husband, Joe's, sister Sarah's (following all this?) wedding reception....march or april 2008...she was so, not sick...pregnant.
my baby girl is you leah leota liahona jeppson junior the third twice removed 17 times.



i've always known my kids would search for their birthparents....henceforth known as "bm",,,that doesnt sound to be known as mb (mother by birth)....that sounds a lot i've said before, 5 of my 6 are i've relied on mb to allow me to be a mom. all of our adoptions were very we didnt know names or identifying information...we had stories that we were told about our kids' beginnings...but thats about it. we set an age of 21 for our kids before they should/could/would start the search...that way, at age 15, they didnt decide they hated us and go off in search of more loving and lenient parents.

Leah has always been very forthcoming that she would like to find her mb. I understand why a child would want this information.....yeah the whole politically correct "i want my medical history"...but i understand more wanting to see someone who you look like or to have an understanding of what happened....and best of say thanks.

Right after she (leah) got home from her mission she started talking about finding her mb...what the heck...her mom....i know, I'M HER MOM, but i try not to get wrapped up in after she got married she started the process. none of us knew how easy or difficult this would be. she contacted LDS social services (the agency we used for her adoption back in 1984....they referred to a private investigator in Arizona that would help her and be the intermediary....i guess each state is different in how you do the search....or each agency is different. the cost was leah & joe delayed while they saved the money.....then, thru the generousity of friends...the money was acquired.....then cannon they took a breath. After christmas 2008, she started the search again....contacted the private eye (are any of you old enough to remember them being called that?) and got the search going....within a couple of weeks...maybe less....she had a city! HER MOM LIVES WITHIN 15 MILES OF HER.
disclaimer: i am not going to give identifying information about her mother....i'll be cryptic....but it wont ruin the story....
her to be referred to as P.....has an elementary age married and lives very close to Leah. the private eye had them both sign documents saying they wanted to be connected...Leah placed a phone call to P at work.....then Leah being leah ( love you leah!)....lost her phone....for 3 weeks....she had a left a couple of messages with P but had not heard we thought maybe P had some people she needed to talk to first or things she needed to put in order....but Leah had reached out and felt good about it.....after the 3 weeks, we replaced Leah's phone when she came to Fort worth to visit (and then go with us to Beaumont for Ben's blessing)....never occurred to us that P couldnt call leah if LEAH DIDNT HAVE A PHONE! in the car to beaumont Leah starts looking at her voice messages and missed calls...THERE WERE TWO FROM P! that poor woman had called leah back....and now hadnt heard from leah for 2 1/2 weeks.....I WOULD HAVE BEEN PSYCHO! so..... I was able to sit next to leah while we drove to Beaumont for Easter as she talked with was nice....leah told her about our family and the things she had done....even thanked her for making the choice to let us raise her. Since then, leah and joe & cannon have met P and are planning to get together with P's family soon.
how do i feel about this? i'm long as i get the emotional reassurance from my kids....and they tell me i'm cuter....i'm okay....these are women we have talked about and admired for 25 years.....women who made it so i could be a mom.....the best label ever. i would love to meet each of them and put my arms around them and express my gratitude....and hope they are happy with the end result of our combined efforts.

thanks P.


a baby baby....Ace

....May 12 my baby turns 15. I look at all 5' 11" of him and I see a little 7 yr old.....wonder if that will ever stop? He is a charming and annoying, tolerant and impatient, loving and impulsive, quick-tempered and endearing..... and.......hmmmm....he's ace.

Ace's story:
1994....spring....I am finishing up the 2nd semester of my sign language program....5 kids at home...leah is about to be 10, lyric is 7, jas 6, molly almost 4 and sam is 3 1/2. We have a foster daughter, Bianca, at the time who has been in our home since Thanksgiving. Bianca is 6 years old and deaf. The state is asking us about adopting Bianca and we are praying about it....she is a high maintenance child requiring a lot of attention and catch-up in her social and educational skills....are we the right ones for her and is the right thing for our family? Is this the right time for us to take on another child with such issues, we already have a couple with some issues. I am going to school everynight and David has the kids everynight....thats a big responsibility for one person. The program is only 5 I'd be done by the time Leah enters junior high.
I'm pregnant. OH MY GOSH. due November 1994.

Bianca has CMV...that is the cause of her deafness (at birth). Cytomegalovirus....its a virus that most of us have been exposed to and isnt dangerous unless your immune system is weak...or if you pass it to your newborn we were all tested and were fine....except for the new baby. So now we have a decision to make....can we take care of a new baby and Bianca and our 5 other kids?


We tell the foster agency that we will not be adopting Bianca....within a week another family turns up for her.....DEAF PARENTS! they had been trying to adopt for quite awhile...but were only being offered multi-handicapped children....not what they were wishing for...and were very frustrated....then Bianca is available for adoption...she is an answer to their prayers....a deaf child! It truly was a match made in heaven....her family eventually adopted 4 other deaf children (all boys from China!) stays at home to home-school the kids in sign language to get their skills up to snuff...then they are mainstreamed.

i miscarry at 11 weeks.
It was painful and horrible and tragic and awful....period. I also believe that the pregnancy helped us make the decision about Bianca and open the door to her being with loving parents that could really communicate with her.
We took a break from fostering....i needed to heal.

We told our CPS (children's protective service----state foster agency) caseworker that we were done least for the foreseeable future....unless they came up with a healthy newborn...we werent interested....we were up to our eyeballs in elementary-age kids. We did a short-term fostering for a 2 yr old boy....that reassured our case worker that perhaps i was ready to have a baby....she worried that after the miscarriage it would be too hard to have a baby in the house so soon.

August 1994...I was getting ready to start my 4th semester of school (summer session had just ended)...this would be a very intensive year with a lot of extracurricular responsibilities.
about dinner time the phone was our caseworker.....they have a 3 month old healthy baby boy....needs an immediate placement....probably will be up for adoption....are we interested? I look at david and say "i'm at school everynight...if you want this baby, its gonna be all on you!"

ace arrived that night. we all gathered around this fat, little dark-haired boy. he was a keeper. you fall in love with your kids in a way you dont expect....that doesnt change whether you give him birth or give him a home.

The kids were all so excited to have a baby in the house. He was mothered by all 4 girls. He was a really good baby...very happy. His every wish was granted by one of his siblings....or his parents....he brought such joy to our home. Sam was so happy to have another boy in the house. I spent the day with him and david cared for him every night....chauffeuring the other kids wherever they needed to was a long year for him while I finished school. The circumstance of Ace being in foster care was a familiar story ...his mother was just a child family to support her.... she had some good friends that helped her when he was newly born...and were smart and caring enough to realize they couldnt help her the state was brought in.

When ace was about 18 months, we were able to take our family to the Dallas Temple and have Ace sealed to us for eternity by my dad, Angus Cannon Ensign, Jr. Dad had also done Molly & Sam's sealings earlier.

Ace's name....
we felt it was important to choose a name for each of our children...regardless of the age they came to us....a family name and a name we love (okay,,,,that sounds like we dont love the family get it)...a family name that would connect them to generations past and to their new we talked about what to name Ace, we did as we always did...we made a list of our top 5 boy (or girl) names....then dave & i each rated them 1-5 with 1 being the best....then the votes were tabulated, numbers were added and the name with the smallest cumulative number would be the name. I was rooting for that name. David suggested grandfather's, dad's, brother's & nephew's names are Angus Cannon Ensign (sr, jr, iii, iv)....initials spell ACE....which is the name they went by (except for my grandpa...he was gus or angie (ang....ghee (hard g)).....I love the name and knew that the men in my family liked their I called my brother Ace and asked him if he would mind...and would his son mind us using the name....he assured us 'no prob' Ace it would be....not Angus...but Ace...took David's father's name Thomas....voila! Ace Thomas the name....named for two men we love.

when we started having/adopting/acquiring kids...we were never sure when we would would we know? what was the right number? how did other people know when enough was enough? we had talked about having 6...but that was when we thought we would be in control of the timing of said children.

when ace came to our home....we knew that feeling. he was the completion of our family. he continues to be a joy....a big sloppy mess of a 15 yr old joy.


...and here's the rest of the story...

SPOILER ALERT!!!! will be mad at me at the end of this post...but you will come back...oh, will come back.

all these birth stories...then the post about my niece, Julia, looking to adopt....makes one sit and ponder....check out jasmine's video post if you want a good cry...her link is the princess one on the right....

leah found her birthmother....


it occurs to me....

...well, actually to jasmine....
if i was smarter....i would save multiple posts and publish them intermittently (great word, btw)...instead of publish 162 all in one even thought of that....great idea....then each post will get its due attention!


.....a family that just needs one thing....

My niece, Julia and her husband, Brett, are trying to adopt. They've been waiting for this blessing for many, many years. I well remember the anticipation and heartbreak and frustration of the waiting and waiting and waiting. We as a family are reaching out to help them and perhaps to touch a heart....thanks to my niece, Audra, for some of her wording from her blog....she and her husband have adopted 4 kids.
as most of you know, 5 of our 6 are adopted....some were private adoptions through our church...two were foster children we adopted thru the state of Texas....all came to our home because someone loved them enough to want something better for them. Right around Mother's Day I always spend time thinking about my kids' birth hard that day must be for hard that day is for those of us that yearned to have a child in our arms....i am a mother because a young girl wanted more for her baby.
Julia and Brett need someone to want more for their child. this is a question i have on my list for Heavenly Father.....why did something so wonderful and desirable have to be so hard for some of my world of crosses to bear....infertility is a BIG one.
anyway...back to Julia and Brett.... they are reaching out to all of their family to find that special girl who can help them realize their dream.

This is their child preference:
Age: Newborn - 1 year old

Gender: Either

Ethnicity: Any Child, Open to discussion

Special Needs: Open to discussion, Drug exposed (occasional), Mild or medically correctable, Alcohol exposed (occasional), Smoking exposed, Emotional/mental disorders in family, Premature birth, Multiple birth, Diabetes in family, Conceived through rape, Nothing known about father, Nothing known about mother

Basically, they are open to any child out there in need of a loving home and two AWESOME parents! I know there child is out there... they just have to find the mother who is led and prompted to place her child with them! That is the miracle of adoption! The spirit touches 2 mothers and fathers and brings them together because of a mutual love for a beautiful child!
So, in order to get the word out, they are wanting to share their profiles with as many people as possible!
Here are their links and blogs to find out more about them.
Provident Living:,12272,2133-1-10088,00.html
It's About Love:
And here is their personal blog if you want to learn more about them!

This may seem like a long shot, but really, it is not! It could be a sister of a friend of a cousin of a friend of a friend of mine that knows of a situation that may have come up that they feel like would be a wonderful placement for this family! You never know until you get the word out! This could be the key to them finding a placement.

Maybe nothing will come of this, but there is a good chance that something wonderful will come of this!!! And the more info they get out there, the better!
I feel very sure that our children found their way to our family the way God intended. We love and appreciate the tender-hearted women that brought them into the world and gave them to our family.
Good Luck Julia and Brett! We shall be praying for your child's birthmom to find you!
If you have a blog and feel so led... please feel free to copy and paste this information in your blog, your facebook, anywhere that may get the word out to honest people about their desire to adopt!

the end of a generation......

1. i dont like instrumental music. with a very few exceptions, i find non-vocal music to be indulgent and, yes, boring. i need a hummable me a vocalist....hmmmm...that was supposed to sound more like a play on the word racist....but vocalist is really a word....oh well.

2. i have been going to junior high band concerts for 13 years....yes...13 years. 5 of my 6 beloveds have played in the Hurst Junior High band....a necessary step towards L.D.BELL MARCHING BAND.

last night was Ace's Hurst Junior High Band Concert....since he is in 9th grade...this is his last....and consequently, my last. I sat towards the back....watching my cell phone for texts from my american idol buddy, niece Jackie....she was keeping me aware of how adam lambert was doing in Rock week (priorities, folks) (and yes.....i understand that is bad concert etiquette)....

this is my view during a break in the concert...i figure i have been to nearly 70 concerts in the last 13 years....not counting marching band....that is not a is an event. I love seeing my kids perform....hard work showing and all that....and i understand there are people that actually enjoy concert season! I buy the cd's that rarely get listened to, we go out for ice cream after the show....i get it.....but, to me...its a good reason to be out of the heat, I guess.
anyway, back to the concert..................
7th grade band funny to watch the new parents be so thrilled (think the last scene in "Music Man")....then the concert band....they do a good job and I know a lot of those kids....wait....theres a text from Jackie.....whew...adam did well...thats a relief....anyway...back to the concert....hmmmm...where did i put my new Ipod Touch?.....whoa...too bright for this dark room.....back to the concert....nicely done. then its time for the symphonic band....see Ace take his place amidst the french horns....notice he is taller than a lot of the boys....always surprises me....i still picture him as if he were starts....they have some rockin' trumpet players....text from jackie....what!? duets!? great!.....back to the concert....Monica Dominguez, the band director, is talking about the band....great kids, great parents, great year....heard it for 13 years.....some years i believed....some years.....they play another song from their UIL sweepstakes-performance.....then a fun saxophone ensemble plays....then music from video games.....if its not tetris or mario brothers it doesnt hit me...cant hum it....but i'm sure they enjoyed it......then they have all the 9th graders come up to get a medal (cool....has a spinner in the middle).....they call out each name....Ace Jeppson.....I START WEEPING! they end playing music from GREASE.....totally hummable.....totally singable....this is the last time! I'M STINKING CRYING!
OH MY GOSH! what the heck am i feeling?

I dont miss elementary school

I dont miss elementary school programs

I will not miss junior high

I will not miss junior high concerts

but i will miss my little boy
these are the directors...Monica Dominguez and Justin Thomas. Mr Thomas has been thru all 5 of our junior-high band kids...the horns, the trombone, the trumpet and the clarinet.....
thank heavens for people who like instrumental music.....and junior high kids.

baby ben

the many faces of Benjamin Aaron Hall...he hasnt been around long...only 2 months....but it feels like he's been here forever! He looks like such a little kid....not an infant...maybe its the hair....or his intense stare at you....he has the biggest dimples when he smiles

Ben at a few minutes old

Ben about 30 minutes the nursery...not happy!Ben after a few hours...finally in the room with mommy!
getting ready to go home from the hospital at 2 days old!
Is there anything better than a new baby to dress up and play with?
Ben sleeps with his arms up at the ready!

eyes open! yay! this is about 6 his shorts!

with his cousin, Cannon (4 1/2 months)...Ben at 6 weeks....gotta figure out that whole turn over thing....Cannon makes it seem so fun!
after an exhausting trip to the beach....6 weeks.
he is sustaining the authorities of the Church!
Grandma (me) got her boys matching dinosaur outfits

sound asleep at 8 weeks old....he sleeps a lot! growth spurt?

Ben asleep on Lyric & Ben's couch (yes...we are able to differentiate between the Bens and the Davids and the Aces in our family)
at IHOP in Houston at 2 months....right before i woke him up because he was too cute and i wanted to hold him....yeah...that went over well.