this is me now


speaking as a fourth-born

When Leah, my firstborn, came to our home---I remember the overwhelming emotion of being ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY 100% in-love with this could i EVER possibly feel this same way about another baby!? maybe we should stop at 1!!!! this is not just loving a child---its being IN-LOVE....... Then came Lyric--- totally different baby---and yet----imagine that! I'M IN LOVE AGAIN!---wow---- how did that work!?!? certainly we need to stop now..... BAM! here comes Jasmine.... so you get the idea.
As I watch my daughters with their babies---I see that 'in-love'-ness with their first-born----and now hear leah talk about Jonas the way (just a year ago) she spoke of Cannon---awe of the cuteness and cleverness that is this new baby. And I smile---because I know that will be the case with each and every one of their babies.....many, many babies.
So this morning---at 6 a.m.---as I was reading Nie-Nie's blog---she spoke of the cleverness that is Ollie (love that name, btw----girls, you can use that for your 3rd born ANYTIME!)--- WHAT A WONDERFUL thing to hear a mom talk about her child and what makes her be IN-LOVE with him. here is the post from Nie-Nie:
"A few facts about my third-born:Ollie and I made up a secret handshake this morning.I gave Ollie a glass bottle with skeleton cross bones on it- as a result he has pretended to drink poison all day long.I never have to ask Ollie twice to do anything.Ollie kisses me everyday. Like smoooooches me.Ollie loves the song 'Families can be together forever',and he thinks it was written just for him since we say his name in it-(actually we are saying "all eternity") Ollie has only one of his 2 front teethOllie's remaining front tooth is fake.Ollie loves cowboys, swords, and enjas (ninjas).When Ollie loves you and can't get enough of you he will put his fingers under your armpits and pinch you really hard.Ollie will make some woman very happy"
as the FOURTHBORN of my parents---i'm certainly glad they continued to be IN-LOVE with their children and to recognize the individuality in each. I get to visit my mom this weekend (ssssh! its a surprise)----and I know she will think I am clever and cute and we will make up a secret handshake.....but i wont pinch her---i promise.



  • not about the movie....altho i loved the movie...foster care/football/winner---jerk for sure.
  • not one of my vents....sorry....altho i do feel one of those coming...just not today
  • shoulda added bemused...but it would have spoiled the title...and i love me my titles

okay----there i am....working on one of my clever little ditties---- thinkin to mahself "self" I say... "lets find a cute picture of ace for the missionary post"....or "self" I say..."lets show them how funny baby ben is with chocolate all over his fingers"....or "self" i say..."lets tell 'em about Eden"....notice how unselfish---not self-centered ANY of these posts were---they werent about toilet paper or cooking----nay---they were about OTHERS!

i rarely post about my physical appearance---never has been a topic i enjoy---unless its to bellyache--there was the one crepe/wrinkle post--- but periodically i'm allowed to notice THINGS.....OH MY STINKIN GOSH KINDA THINGS!






obedience is.....

a picnic in our driveway.

long story short....okay---well not so short---

our focus with ace is................................. HIS MISSION! all roads lead to this goal---learn to cook, do well in school, focus on Duty To God award, stay awake in seminary, personal spiritual habits---all help him stay focused on where HE wants to be in 3 years....serving the Lord and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

  • for all of you who are aghast that you have missed all his birthdays----NOT TO WORRY!
    the kid will be 16 in a month---but we talk about it---preach about it----dream about it----build it up----refer to it----its a family focus...... so we love to have the missionaries in our home...and he is so excited to be able to go out with the missionaries after he turns 16....we love good missionaries who love what they do.

    now---there is a rule----2 missionaries cant be in a home without a man older than 16 also being there----think its the whole 'avoid the appearance of evil' thing----cause i dont think its a temptation thing---yeah---missionaries are like 19---and well, i'm NOT!

so we feed the missionaries every month...but david travels...and so do i.....(i know---get to the point, merf)...and we arent always at home for dinner together.....anyhoo----MOST of the time the missionaries "overlook" the rule and excuse it since ace is SO CLOSE to 16....they come in and eat dinner even if ---OH MY GOSH---brother jeppson isnt prob..... and it doesnt bother me----

so tonight, 2 of our Elders (we have 2 sets in our ward---i fed the other set last night---in our home---IN our home).... Harker and Groth---both from idaho---came to the door---had a dinner appointment with us----they asked if Brother jeppson was home---nope---he is in South Padre Island on a "business" trip----so they stopped at our threshhold.... they werent even comin in! I HAD SLAVED ALL DAY OVER A HOT STOVE (okay---we were having pasta salad, fresh fruit salad & sloppy joes---so i had slaved yesterday over a crock pot and a cutting board---feel better?)

what to do!?! PICNIC!

we set up the card table and ate in our was windy and lovely....and a great way to be obedient to mission rules and still enjoy dinner together!


yay for good missionaries....

"obedience is the first law of heaven"


they learn early.....

when to be quiet....

ben had his first easter basket----he didnt really get thrilled about the whole egg-finding part---altho we did our best to encourage him (7 adults standing around cheering when a one-year old puts an egg in a basket---really?)....but he TOTALLY understood that there was something about those eggs that was desirable....
so when it got a little quiet----i looked around---and there was Ben....sitting in the dark of the exercise room (his dad was in the room with him!!!---studying/sleeping/ Ben knew enough to be TOTALLY quiet)...foil strewn everywhere----plastic eggs opened---chocolate EVERYWHERE!
(thats not a pacifier in his mouth----thats chocolate SHINING on his face!)
....he looked at me----kept on chewing---thru the foil----and didnt stop while i took pictures...just kept on chewing....knowing full well this opportunity was about to end.

the Garden of Eden.

this is not about a garden---altho she does have one....3 pots----2 peas and one tomato---but its not about a garden.....

i have a sister----okay----i have two sisters...eden & pyper (my parents were AMAZING at name choices)....but, sorry pyper....this is not about pyper---someday----but not today....

eden and i are 16 months apart---doesnt matter who is older (she is).....we were #3 & #4 of 5 and eventually 6 kids---(pyper is #6 and came along 10 years after she was nearly an only child as a kid at home).....okay---back to eden.....
i hated eden.....
...eden & i shared a room----so close in age we did everything together---dance classes, piano lessons, church classes----we shared everything---my mom dressed us alike---eden always got the pink outfit and i always got the blue one----and i hated that.....and we argued...fought...battled....she was cute and talented and charming---she could play the piano so well it would make you cry (should have added that to my 'jerks' post)----she had cool friends and was independent and REBELLIOUS (this is not news to her---so i'm assuming she wont be offended).....she fought my parents in everything----so----i decided to not....i would be the good eden formed much of my behavior......i couldnt compete with eden in the piano---so i would sing----i couldnt compete with eden in the looks department---so i would be smart (not that she's dumb---but she's no meredith)....i was not the risk-taker/independent kid----i was the obedient one....and it served me well.....she was neater than i---so i was a slob! we would have physical fights and caused HORRIBLE contention in the family---saturday mornings we were 'locked' in our room and couldnt come out til it was clean----screaming occurred. eden got along with dad----so i got along with mom.

let's see---how do i say this delicately? eden made me look REALLY good during our late teens and twenties---there----thats good.
but its not about eden 30 years ago....its about eden today.
things changed when i got married.
we lived in los angeles---eden lived in san francisco and we started to visit each other.....every place we moved, eden would come and visit. we had totally different life styles---but that didnt matter---we agreed to disagree on religion, politics, life-styles....but there was a mutual respect and even a mutual liking!
eden met her future husband one year before i met david---but i got married first---and she was thrilled for me....she got married to Bill (bill deserves---and i am sure will get----his own blogpost) 10 years later---and i was thrilled. eden & bill are two of the happiest people together---just the two of them---they are a family in every sense of the word----i am jealous of that! bill has been good for eden---and eden is good for bill (hmmmm----let me think how to say this---early on, bill wouldnt go easily to a big raucous family gathering without eden's reassurance---but now he is truly Uncle Bill (Mrs beasley reference folks!)...he loves Eden's---no, not eden's---he loves HIS family!
(love this picture of them----that is TRULY a BILL facial expression)
eden & bill lived in san francisco until 2002 (2003?)---then he retired and they moved to Lago Vista (northwest of austin)---YAY! eden & i spent a fun weekend together looking at houses---having them in texas has been AWESOME and a huge blessing to our relationship. (this is the view out Eden's back windows---they live on a golf course---deer everywhere!)
eden calls me to see how i am....she calls on her way home from work.

she tells me about their plans, her frustrations, discouragements and successes.
she cries when I cry----this was at the opening of Mrs Beasley at Christmas 2009
(previous post---if you havent read it already---you'll want to)
she gives me encouragement and tells me i am right when i feel wronged.
she comes to see my shows and claps! she laughs at the funny stuff in my life and is rightly indignant when i need that.
this is eden holding Jonas at Christmas---she gives each new baby a Harley Davidson ensemble!
eden holding ben---what a great smile she has----never wore braces! (so, of course---I did!)
eden loves my kids----and now she loves my grandkids....
eden loves dogs---well, animals....but its about dogs----after we took a 2 year break from pets---eden presented us with our Chloe as a family for Thanksgiving 5 years ago. We have shared the joy, frustration, aging and death of many beloved pets together.
the family gathered in Arlington for Cannon's blessing at Christmas 2008.
eden (and now insert bill's name) comes up for holidays and events---and not just to be hosted---they come up to work! and happily! (this is an AMAZING PICTURE of bill! yay for big smiles! even while he is working in my kitchen (notice the crowded counter around them!)-they work in my kitchen for weddings, showers, blessings----they are family in the best sense of the word.
..more than that they are friends.
david, ace, jasmine, david, ben & i all went to eden's house for Easter dinner. Eden did easter baskets for each of us....bill grilled was all about our comfort and enjoyment. We went to the InnerSpace Caverns in Georgetown---that was fun....but walking around Ikea with her is just as fun....or just around Walmart...altho Central Market is more fun than Walmart.
back to this past weekened.....she had her menu planned out---on paper an hour by hour schedule of when to cook what (yeah---we got that from our parents)----i mocked her a bit---but just enough to reassure her that i would do the SAME thing! we laughed when ben got chocolate all over her carpet (yes--there's a blog w/pictures coming about that!)...she even smiled when Ace set a paper towel on fire in her microwave (showing how a grape catches fire in a microwave---but the paper towel was a MUCH bigger flame---and her smile was NOT totally sincere!)---we watched 1963's Cinderella with jasmine and sang all the songs out loud.

'and by their fruits, ye shall know them'----the garden of THIS eden is full of service to others and love for her family. i am blessed to benefit from her good fruits!
i like Eden


aprils fool----ME!

so, i love april fools jokes.....good-natured ones---not mean ones....
with my kids, i have always tried to do something on april 1st to commemorate this important holiday....usually dealing with food....
examples of our celebratory events:
  • waking the kids up early to have banana splits for breakfast
  • eating dinner with random kitchen utensils
  • picnics on the front room floor
  • breakfast for dinner (before it was cool and accepted!)
  • coloring food ---- yeah----dont try this one---i colored scrambled eggs red...looked like was gross..... green was received much better

one of my favorites was to make my kids lunches.....BUT

I'd give them empty lunchsacks....(elementary kids are not that bright---they didnt check inside their lunches)....i would weigh it down with something to give the impression that there was more than just a NOTE that said:

"april fools!"

then, of course, I would show up at lunchtime with a Happy Meal or a Subway sandwich or such----

Ace, my baby, is 4 years younger than his closest sibling---so by the time he started going to school...i was tired....and up to my ears in he didnt benefit from my cleverness.....

but this year, my focus has been to give Ace the experiences that my other children had as a group.....sit-down family dinners, playing games as a family, consistent, quality family home evenings,.... stuff we got away from while we were up to our ears....

so....ace would be the beneficiary of my clever 'substitute the lunch' april fools day prank.

ace put a Lunchable in his backpack for his lunch (okay---the other kids NEVER got lunchables---but there has to be a benefit of being the youngest).... so i snuck...yes, snuck.... and pulled out said lunchable---and inserted my own version of lunch:

  • v-8 can which i had poked a hole in the bottom and emptied of its liquid
  • grapes---but only the stems---no fruit
  • sandwich----with the filling being a piece of paper that said "Happy April 1st!"
  • 3 $1 bills under the paper (inside the bread) so he could actually buy an edible lunch.

CLEVER---RIGHT? OF COURSE, RIGHT! (name the musical--absolutely nothing to do with this post)

at 11:30 i get a text....from ace...."mom, look in the front room...i think my lunch fell out of my backpack"


"Ha-Ha! Ace! check your backpack---look in the sack! gotcha!"

pause............. "I thought it was an old lunch. I threw it away".

"Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! there was money in the sandwich!"


yeah---my cleverness bit me back.

but....ace....smelling a pass and went back to his previous class...pawed thru the trash....found his sack....pulled out the money...and had quesadillas for lunch.

april fools on me!