Monday, August 31, 2009


I used to always be COMPLETELY bored through Stake Conference.
Not quite sure when I grew up
but now I totally soak in the messages, the music, the feeling ...
same with General Conference.
Can't wait for that!
Anyway, our Stake Conference this weekend was filled with good things
My favorite was a primary child's talk
His name is Adam Dean and he's probably 8 or 9 years old
His dad stood beside him at the pulpit for moral support.
Adam talked about his family being sealed in the temple recently
He told how his teenage brother (who is usually quite grumpy) was happy the whole time
and said that if that miracle could happen, then temples really are about miracles!
I don't remember everything he said, but I remember while he was talking, feeling like the temple is the most special place on the whole earth
This little boy spoke with the Spirit.
All the talks were uplifting
But President Udall's struck a lot of chords with me.
He said
"You begin the road to greatness when you reach out and lift a friend"
I think his talk was entitled
He highlighted 8 ways to be great.
One of them was by following the prophet.
Here's a great quote from his talk:
"Don't ever put a question mark where the prophet puts a period."
One last thought from his talk that I'll share with you:
When we talk about putting on the Whole Armor of God, every piece but one is a defensive piece (the shield, the helmet, etc) Only the sword is for the offense. and the SWORD is the WORD OF GOD. To be on the offensive, we need to regularly study and ponder the scriptures.
It was a great conference.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I took a tylenol pm last night about 7pm, conked right out and didn't wake up till 7:30 today. I didn't even see Brad - have no idea what time he went to bed, didn't get breakfast for him or see him before work ... thankfully, he has only 1/2 day of work today so i can see him soon ....
I was SO tired.
This is what SATURDAYS are for
and preparing for Sunday :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009


12 years?
Azure was just my little snuggler ...
... then the silly toddler who would make us all laugh ...
that's never stopped
Azure always makes us laugh
This morning Bryan played a voicemail for me that Sierra and Azure left on his phone last night
The girls were a series of characters - each from a different country - introducing themselves and leaving a message for Bryan. Their accents are amazing. I laughed thru the whole thing. The funniest and most authentic sounding was the character from Iraq.

Ever since Azure was big enough to understand "play", the two of them have had an alternate world of play. Someday, ask them about Fredrick and Freddy.
One day when Azure was 8 or 9 she dressed up as a boy (with Sierra's help, I'm sure) and started break dancing. She did it all day.
When Azure gets really tired, she can't stop talking. This is especially true if we're playing a game. Right about the time I need peace & quiet and am focusing more on winning than enjoying the moment, Azure jabbers to the point of complete distraction. And despite my irritation I find myself laughing between my "QUIET, AZ!" statements.

Azure loves to bake. She rivals Bryan in her culinary skills.
Azure has always fit in with the older kids. In fact, all of us (adults included) often find ourselves hoping Azure will "pick me!" or feelings like that. We all want Azure to think we're cool.

Azure is compassionate. She will not put up with someone being hurt by someone else. She stands up for the underdog, and finds the best in every person.

We LOVE our little Az.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Old Times ... Weekday Mornings

Anyone remember this?
Trevor was captivated with this cartoon when he was little
he'd run around the house shouting

Mostly he was excited about
having the
"speed of the puma!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Can't Wait

Brooke & Steven's baby is due in less than a month now ...
I leave on 9/11 (hehehe) to go up to help out
and am hoping Brooke can hold off till then.
These days they don't let you go too long past your due date
so I'm sure I won't have to wait many days
But when my mom came out for my first baby, she came just a few days early
(like I'm doing with Brooke)
and Trevor was a full 2 weeks late.
My Mother was a real trooper.
I was grumpy and tired and anxious
and she was just happy and loving and giving and willing to be there or not - whatever I wanted
I hope I can do the same for Brookie.
My Mom made my favorite breakfasts for me:
creamed eggs
rice & raisins
and she showed me what to do when Trevor wouldn't stop crying
It was HORRIBLE when she left
sure ... it was fun and exiting to be our own little family of 3
but I didn't know how I could cope without my mother
Now I get to try to do the same for my little girl
Have I mentioned that my mom is an expert seamstress? And can make pretty much anything with her hands? She's amazing.
When Azure was ready to be born, my mother came up to Alaska to help out. She missed the FUN of labor at the hospital because she was staying with the other 4 kids, getting them off to school, making meals ... AND making Azure's blessing dress. She crocheted it. It's gorgeous. But we KNEW Azure was a boy, so I told Mom that it was pointless to be crocheting a dress when all she needed to do was sew a suit.
Sewing doesn't come easy to me. But I imagine it's a whole lot easier to sew a blessing suit than to crochet a blessing dress ... SO, I'm grateful Brooke's having a BOY ... HOORAY!
I can't wait

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Despite a wonderfully chaotic summer, I've been feeling somewhat in control. With everyone's help, we've kept the house clean, paid bills, held birthday parties, attended reunions, and found a few ways to earn extra money. It's been a great summer. So WHY ARE MY SHOULDERS AND NECK SO TIGHT????? If anyone knows a good herbal remedy, (preferably something that hasn't been pulled from the market ... kava kava is no longer available ...) let me know. In the meantime, I'll keep breathing deeply and imagining myself on a tropical beach.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


brooke (4) and trevor (9)
I had someone say to me the other day
"your kids are really good kids"
And I can't help but think that even though they all have been/are/will be teenagers
and we pray non-stop thru those teenage years because of them

azure (11) brooke (19) sierra (14)
truly, Brad and I are among the most blessed of all the parents ever to live on this earth.
sierra (15) and bryan (16)
I am thankful.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Have The Coolest Kids Ever

Bryan knows pretty much everything
about everything
pretty much.
Sometimes, he just thinks he does, and I have to prove him wrong
But usually he knows
Tonight he told us about this meteor shower
So even tho Brad had to hit the sack at the normal time because of work in the morning
the rest of us stayed up and took a drive away from the city lights
Actually, Bryan drove us away from the city lights (good job, Bry)
to see what we could see.
We didn't go really far, so it wasn't brilliant
but we did all get to see shooting stars
and an added bonus:
there was a GREAT lightning storm!
Of course, Bryan knows all about lightning & thunder, how it's formed, etc.
But if you're like me and just enjoy watching it
but might be interested in some facts about it,
and don't have Bryan to answer all your questions,
check out this site
For future meteor viewing, check out these tips
Bryan always knows when there's something cool going on
I really have great kids.

Our Amazing Grandson (and his mommy)

It's Tradition!

The kids have done a great job stashing away summer earnings into their savings accounts AND saving up for school clothes shopping.
... so yesterday, with Brad having the day off, we planned a family outing ...
originally we were going to go to Valley of Fire
but time got away from us.

so we drove to Primm to the Outlet Malls and did some shopping!

it doesn't matter how old you get
in our family you MUST model your new clothes when you get home

after all

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Immediately following the Wheeler Reunion in Idaho
got together at Jennilyn's house
in Colorado
for a week.
For Christmas last year, Jen sent each of us a pair of one-piece PJs. We look great, don't we :)
This was before Camielle arrived.
The day before Cam arrived, Mom treated us to manicures and pedicures.
Oh so fine!
Then when Camielle arrived, she presented us each with a gift - the same gift - a Tshirt that says, "Mom Likes ME Best"

Mom & Jen showered us with gifts. When we arrived, Jenni had gift bags for each of us - the bags were AMAZING bags from Bath & Bodyworks!
Below, we're wearing matching shirts from Mom.
Now really, who does it LOOK like Mom likes best?
Celebrating a belated birthday for Mom at TGI Fridays
Another night we brought in dinner from Panda Express, followed by oodles of time spent playing FARKLE
Wii bowling ... Mom beat us even when she played left-handed!
Sunday after church - our last day together
This was a WAY FUN reunion. We had a huge slumber party for days and days in Jen's basement. YAY for us!!!!

I Love To See The Temple

Cousins, Azure and Carolina
This picture is amazing, isn't it! (NOT photoshopped.)
The day following the Wheeler Reunion, I met up with my parents who were toting Azure and Carolina, on Temple Square. (Actually, my Dad dropped them off so he could run a very important errand: chocolate covered cinnamon bears!)
Mom was wonderful making sure the girls saw all the amazing places on Temple Square.
While in this Visitor's Center, Mom and I relaxed in front of these big
picture windows with this amazing view of the temple
while the girls walked around the center.
When we got ready to leave, guess where we found them?
At the Family History area
engaged in research with a missionary.
They were thrilled to announce to their Grandmother
that they had found her mother and other ancestors.
The hearts of the children have turned to their fathers.
These 12-year-olds (ok, Az is ALMOST 12)
have an incredible love for their ancestors and for the temple.


After years away, I finally attended a Wheeler Reunion where my mother grew up - Antelope. Things had changed, but it still felt the same ... seeing aunts, uncles, 2nd cousins ... it all felt just like it felt when I was a kid. I think that's what reunions in the next life will be like ~ picking up where we left off. Here are some highlights:
Bry - being his cool self.

Caci, Vanessa, Brooke, Az. Watching Trev & Steve compete.

"If I Weren't a Call Girl"
Camielle, Sabre, Mom, Cristi, Me, Tracy, Jen, Stacy
Those in this picture know about the fun conversation
LOVE this family!

Oh so pregnant!

The Leaning Pine - now the Fallen Pine

Sisters: Mom, Aunt Fern, Aunt Joyce, Aunt Lucile

Around the campfire (thanks Trev, Bry & Eric!)
Where else can 2nd cousins become great friends?
Night time was great ... CAPTURE THE FLAG was the best. You should have seen our very pregnant Brooke chase down and catch the enemies, then take them to jail. Funniest-have-to-cross-your-legs-moment: Brooke & I captured their flag by great cunning only to have Brooke announce in the middle of enemy territory that we had it.

Catching a mouse. (That bite had to hurt, Bryan!)

The Call family +/- some

Siblings (where were you Cam?) missing Darryn too
Michael, Me, Bruce, Jenni

Mom & Aunt Joyce back where they grew up

oopsie-daisy! Vanessa, Carolina, Azure (couldn't even compose herself for a picture!)
For all you city people, that's a cowpie Carolina landed in ...

Cute family - Trevor, Caci & Jace

Only Caci can make using an outhouse look like fun.

Lime Green was the Call Family's color

It was raining, but Mom & I stood out in the rain for this picture. It's in front of the house in Ririe. They'd spend the school years at this house. In order to get to school in time, they'd often have to run under the train, as it stopped.

The Ririe house.

My Grandparents' graves. The Ririe Cemetary brought out a lot of emotion in me this time.

Yup - he drives.