Thursday, June 25, 2009


Something as minor as a new front door sure makes a world of difference, at least in my opinion.

Out with the old (can you believe how ugly? Check out that 60s glass).

And in with the new.

Except...we don't know what to do with it. It's wood-grain fiberglass, so we can paint OR stain it. I did some photoshopping because my top colors, if we paint, are black and red. Or, we can stain it and it will look like a real wood door. We can also scrap all those ideas and do something wild and crazy.

My creativity has been used up and I don't know which way to go. Thoughts?
P.S. The trim will be painted white. Sorry for my shoddy photoshopping. You get the idea though.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


One of my favorite memories from my childhood was going to Yosemite in the summers. I don't know how many consecutive years we went, but I have great memories of that place. There were several families in our ward that would go up together; those were some fun times.

One year my older brother grabbed someone's open pocketknife and passed out after seeing the blood. I think he and my dad were in the ER (or whatever they used as an ER) for the better part of the day. Another year, that same brother threw my shoes into a mountain lake so I got to walk in wet shoes the whole day (don't worry Michael, you're forgiven). Another time, my dad "rented" a horse for the day - Johnny. Curry Village ice cream was a highlight every year.

Well, a few days ago we made the trip so I could take my own little family there. It has been about 14 years so there were a lot of things I didn't remember, or maybe things changed, but I still knew my way around pretty well. I remembered some of the hikes, and we even saw the horse stables; I wondered if Johnny was still there. I have to say that Yosemite is probably one of my favorite national parks; Half Dome is mind-boggling (from the bottom - I have yet to climb it), El Capitan is amazing, and all the waterfalls are breathtaking. And, we had to buy ice cream there, for old times' sake (for me anyway). The kids didn't complain.

In case you haven't heard, most National Parks are having 3 "no-entrance fee" weekends this summer. You missed the first (June 20-21) but there is one in July and one in August. Go here for more information, and get outdoors and enjoy! (However, be prepared to fight the crowds...)

Emma swimming in Mirror Lake (base of Half Dome) ( it me, or does she look twice her age??)

We all know how impossible it is to stay clean while eating chocolate ice cream.

The stunning Yosemite Falls.

half dome
Looking down on Yosemite Valley (Half Dome in the distance)

Can't wait to go again!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A boy after my own heart

Sometimes I look at one of my children and feel little swells of pride. Know what I mean?

Right now, I'm lovin' this boy.
The "little camera" has become the "kids' camera." They can use it as long as I'm supervising. I want them to recognize beauty or originality, and I want them to document what they find special and interesting. Tyler recently discovered how fun it is to take pictures of someone who is taking pictures of you. I guess I discovered that fun too. We had a little "shoot-out."When I go through the pictures stored on the kids' camera, I sometimes roll my eyes and go crazy with the delete button. These images made me pause. Really, have you seen cuter (or dirtier) toes? (Maybe the scissors were the focus.)

Love the use of the rule of thirds.

These pictures are treasures.

Watch out photography world. This little kid is on his way.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Class of 2022

Perhaps the most cliche thing I could possibly blog about would be preschool graduation. But...I'm going to do it anyway. You only graduate once, right? (I wish.)

Poor Emma, I guess, wasn't prepared for what "graduation" was. I guess I should have explained what was happening, instead of quickly pinning a hat onto her head and wrapping a "gown" around her. It all made her so nervous. She was still beautiful and cute and sweet, and I nearly cried. Nearly. I know I will blink and she will be graduating from high school.

Emma is not a nail-biter. But, she was biting her nails! I tried to give her the evil eye but she wouldn't look at me.
biting nails

Finally got a little bit of a smile...
little smile

They put on a cute program with a few songs and even used their kazoos for part of the song. Awww.

Then it was time to graduate and receive her "diploma." Oh man, she was so embarrassed. Her teacher, Miss Darlene, was just so sweet. They had a sort of grandparent/grandchild relationship (besides the fact that she DOES look like Emma's great-grandma.)

Here's the "graduate." And her proud parents.
cheri and emma 1

spencer and emma
Spencer figured out that he'll be 42 when she graduates from high school. I will be...a little younger than 42.

Let her eat cake! She was so glad to be out of all that garb.
eating cake

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Always right

Are you always right like me? I'm starting to think that it might be ok to not always be right. I have (sheepishly) said once or twice, after a child is hurt and crying: "Did I tell you to stop doing that?" Yes. "If you had listened you wouldn't have gotten hurt!" Sometimes I just feel like yelling "DUH!" I guess that's why kids have parents, to teach them all these things. But maybe I have kids so they can also teach me things.

A couple weeks ago, sitting next to the beautiful Gualala River, my sweet girl and I had a few minutes while the boys were in the raft. I don't remember what we were talking about but I know we were both enjoying ourselves. She said, "Mom, I want to be right sometimes." That pierced me through the heart. While it was sort of a "cute" thing to say, I felt awful. I've been thinking these past few weeks about how to empower my children. How can I help them feel confident and full of self-esteem, and not let them feel like their "always right" mom keeps reminding them of their mistakes? How can I relieve them of their worry?

I want my kids to know that they are perfect just how they are. I was told by a few people as a pre-teen that I was "stuck up." That consumed my thoughts so often, and I constantly worried if how I was acting or if what I was saying was "stuck up." It bothered me for years and I don't think I was ever able to develop true confidence during those hard and awkward years. If I label Emma as "bossy," she may feel like that is who she is and will never get past that. If Tyler hears (or even overhears) that he is a momma's boy (hypothetically...), I worry that he'll either feel like he's been labeled and give in to being just that, or rebel and go the opposite (no!) way. I want them to be right sometimes. I want them to be wrong sometimes. I want them to learn from their little mistakes, but mostly I want them to be who they are. I LOVE who they are. I love that Emma is so caring and sensitive; I love that if she hurts someone's feelings SHE will be the one to run to me, in tears, because she feels so bad and has such a compassionate heart. So what if she's bossy sometimes? And I love that Tyler loves me with all his heart, even if all I want some evenings is for him to let his dad put him to bed. And, come on, is it really accomplishing anything when I pull the I told you so crap after he has an accident?

I hope to be able to acknowledge when I am wrong, and when they are right. How much stronger, more confident people they'll be be if they feel empowered now! I know this will take me a long time, but just so you know what's in my head... I've got great empowering plans for the summer!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Want to know a secret?

I am a clutterer. I am forever doomed. I can't escape it and I have come to accept that I will always be this way. With that in mind, I am determined that my walls will look nice. Maybe that will detract from my clutter! Also, in General Conference in April I heard one talk where the person (I really should look up his name) asked us to think of what our home looks like. What do we have on our walls? What do we value? As this talk was given just 4 days after we moved in, I have kept this in mind as I have decorated. Maybe I'm totally overthinking it all, but I want our walls to really and truly reflect US. By the way, I'm cheap (or frugal) and am suddenly house-poor so all of my decorating was under $75 total.
And here we go...come take a tour.

Either sides of the entryway. This gallery frame will eventually showcase places we've been. We just need to go some places... (Oh, and that door in the top picture is a door from the entry into the kitchen.)

I chose to crop my reflection out. This is the wall you see when you walk in the front door. Still lovin' the color.

These cute Ikea buckets are in my craft part of the laundry room. They come just plain silver, and since "plain" isn't in my vocabulary, I made them cute. Ribbons, markers, stamps, etc. will go in them once I figure out where in my garage all that stuff is. (Total price - $15.)

Silhouettes, on the wall leading into the living room (made by yours truly).

About half my blog readers are going to be familiar with this sign but it has an extra special meaning to us. And, I've read and thought of these words countless times in the last several months. And, it's cute!

In my kitchen (I know, duh).Also in my kitchen, above the breakfast nook. I adore that picture of Tyler. (This whole display cost me under $20 to make/buy!)

Above our bed. I don't know if you can read it. It says "Real Love Stories never have endings..." Thanks, Mom, for the quote idea. It's just the right amount of cheesiness for Spencer to roll his eyes but still like it at the same time.

Unfortunately, Tyler's room is still pretty boring. I got burned out by the time I got to his room. I'm sure he doesn't care too much. Anyway, I made this out of vinyl scraps since his room has a train theme.

I think Emma's room is cute. This is a Tinkerbell quote.

Those three mirrors...were the dark brown ones from Ikea. I used to have them in my living room. I recycled them by painting them white and yellow, and decorating them. At $2.99 each I could have just bought new ones but why do that when I can transform them for free?? (You should see Emma's ceiling - she has pictures of "Elphie" and Glinda taped up there. I still don't quite get that.)

So, two months to the day after moving in - here it is in all its glory! Homeownership is exhausting but so fun!!