Saturday, May 30, 2009


Daniel and I love a good movie. So do our kids. But we rarely get out to see a movie with the kids. Last time we did so was almost 2 years ago. But since UP came out this weekend, we decided we needed to break our streak and make UP our family activity today. We had a friend come by while Ben took his nap, and we took the other 3. What an absolutely fabulous treasure that movie is. It was bright, and colorful, funny and creative. But I thought it went beyond all that. So much so that it made me tear up, and want to just hug my Daniel really tight. It made me look down the road several years knowing whatever adventure we dream- the most wonderful one is the adventure of us spending our lives together. I am so blissfully happy that I get to spend each day with my best friend. I really do look forward to growing old with him by my side. If you havent seen this movie- I would highly recommend it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorable Memorial

Since it was a 4 day weekend we decided to get out of dodge and head up to the mountains of Strawberry. Daniel and I have been searching for the right locale for our someday cabin and we finally found it. Simply gorgeous area. We have driven past there several times when we lived in Mesa, but never stopped and explored the area until now. But now instead of someday I am pressuring Daniel to make that someday more like 2-3 years since it is totally perfect and I want to go up there again and again and again. I cant get enough of those mountains and pine trees. And since it is a 4 and a half hour drive we also decided Daniel needs to learn how to fly a helicopter, and somehow we need to acquire one so that we can fly from here to there every chance we get without having to be on the road with the 4 crazies whose "he's on my side," "are we there yet?" "she's talking to me," "I'm hungry!" "I have to go to the bathroom,""I'm bored," "how much longer?" comments get really annoying really quickly. ;)
we had such a nice time. We stayed in the cabins on strawberry hill which were quite fun. We played some tether ball-(Daniel is such a cheater-even though he has the greater advantage as he is well over a foot taller than me, he still has to grab the rope to steal the ball.) The kids loved playing ping-pong jamesy style -(hitting the ball far away from the table and then running to see who can get it first) petting the horse, playing on the playset and especially the playhouse. But the most fun was roasting marshmallows around the fire-pit each night. We also hit the local arts and crafts festival a few miles down in Pine, and the kids got to make a couple of sand art pictures, which they want me to frame and hang up on the walls. I love those mountains. It was so refreshing up there.
Driving home we decided to grab some lunch at Bajios, but were disappointed as it is no longer there. So we hit chick-fil-a instead, and as fate would have it, we ran into Daniels grandma, his dear aunt, uncle and their family. We were just headed out as they were coming in, so we only got to chat for a minute but it was nice to see them. They are some of our favorite people.
So after such a nice relaxing weekend, it felt really wrong to have to get up and get back into the routine this morning. I think its cruel and unusual punishment that Kylie has to go to school for a couple more weeks. So does she. I tried getting her to sing "I will survive" with me this morning but she gave me the perfected teenager-"that's so embarrassing" eye roll. Love that girl.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Weekend Wonders

2 weekends ago we headed to San Diego to help a friend move some stuff into his "beach house." What an adventure. The kids and I offered moral support while Daniel and said friend pretty much killed themselves off trying to get a sectional, two king sized beds, several chairs, a dresser, tables, and the like up a flight of stairs and through a small door. It was madness. Daniel could barely move the next day. We planned on spending a good chunk of Saturday at the beach, but it was only 60 some odd degrees and since we had just left 100 plus degrees back home, we were freezing our little bunz right off. So we told the kids we would come back in a few weeks so we could try the beach day again. We drove back up Saturday night cuz Daniel had been asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting. I have a bone to pick with a member of our bishopric. Who asks a young dad of 4 of the most irreverent kids-(well Kylie is not a problem- its my boys- so 3 of the most irreverent kids) to leave his wife to deal with them all by herself on MOTHERS DAY? Sheesh. That was brutal. But it actually turned out alright cuz Ben fell asleep and Kylie kept James quietly entertained and my Toast was up against his Star Wars game privileges being revoked, so he did alright too. Anyway Daniel went out of his way to make mothers day special. He let me sleep in which he needed more than I did since he and his friend were up half the night on Friday, but he sacrificed for me. What a great guy. Then he made his delicious homemade waffles which were fluffy and light and tasty as could be. And to top it off-(besides the flowers, the mint musketeers(my current candy addiction) and the love notes) he got me the coolest phone EVER. I know everyone who has the I-phone thinks its the coolest, but the G-1 is actually THE coolest! Man I love my new phone. Its like a little tiny computer/phone/camera/GPS/i-pod-(but you dont have to have all the stinking apple applications)-ALL IN ONE! It is AMAZING! SERIOUSLY AMAZING! (it has the qwerty keyboard built into it. how amazingly awesome is that? very! and its so tiny for doing the gazillion things that it does- its seriously AMAZING!!!)

So after that wonderful weekend, last weekend we decided to play it cool in this desert heat. We did the "rain-o-line" and ate Popsicles by the dozens, BBQed up a storm, and just enjoyed the unhurried calm together. It was fabulous. Daniel and Toast had their little date on Friday night. They went and got some famous burritos, then played video games. Ty apparently was in heaven. I dont think I will ever understand the male desire to spend hours blowing stuff up on video games. But they had fun. The other kiddies and I went and got ice-cream cones and took them to a little park nearby. Since it was such a warm evening, the ice-cream melted faster than my 2 boys could eat it, so it was a lovely sticky drippy mess. Bennie-boy had ice cream on every possible surface of his body. He looked like the marshmallow ghost on ghost busters. Kylie and I got such a kick out of watching those 2 boys.

I love weekends. I love being with my Daniel, and my crazy kids. And I love building memories together whether its on a little getaway, or just here at home. The only thing that could possibly make it better would be if the house would magically clean itself up after such weekends.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


i am not one who gets my haircut regularly. But around every 6 months I break down and get my ends cleaned up. I sometimes think it would be fun to do a major change in the style department, but never do cuz I dont have the guts. Anyway my six months has been up for a while now, so I called my very talented cousin and made an appointment. Since having Ben, half of my hair fell out, and for 6 months its been growing back, so half of my head has like 2 inchs of awkward regrowth. So Shami thought it might be a good time to chop of long hair, and even it up. SO I took a deep breath and..........

..........and now (as Tyler so kindly puts it) I "look like a boy."

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Many years ago the bouncing Tigger was on the Christmas hot-list. I fell in love with that Tigger, and bought myself one. A few years after that, my parents moved out of the house we grew up in, and my mom was trying to get us kids to take our stuff, so she could declutter and downsize. I opened up my box of stuff and found my tigger, Kylie and Ty were so excited. They hadnt seen one of those before, and they bounced and bounced along with Tigger for months.

When we moved down here, Tiggers batteries burned out, and I havent replaced them, so Tigger has just been little more than one of a zillion stuffed animals on the shelf. He hasnt gotten much attention from James or Ben who are now at the ages Kylie and Tyler were when they fell in love with Tigger.

Ty was looking through the stuffed animals today, saw Tigger, tried to get him to bounce, realized he wouldnt, found where the battery pack was, found a screwdriver, opened up the battery pack, took out the old batteries and replaced them, and fixed Tigger. All this own his own. I cant tell you how amazed I am- shocked really. He pretends to fix stuff with his dad all the time but has never actually fixed something on his own. Amazing.

Once he got it fixed, he bounced that Tigger, and James and Ben have been in heaven all morning. I really wish I had a video camera at times like this cuz the image of the 3 boys jumping and bouncing along with Tigger is just priceless. At least I tried to get pictures of it, but most are blurry as the boys were all bouncing faster than I can shoot and I didnt mess around with the settings on my camera cuz the last time I did, it took me forever to figure out how to change it back to normal. I am technologically challenged. But at least when I look back at these pictures when my kids are grown, I can re-live the memory of it in my head. It'll be listed under "favorites!".

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


This morning, after dropping Kylie and her friend off at school, I was listening to the news on the radio. They were talking about an upscale bakery that has gotten broken into time and time again. So the owners put up a sign that said "this premise is under the surveillance of Chuck Norris" or something like that. Since they have put up that sign, there have been no more break-ins. (I think Daniel and are are gonna join up with that home security system.)

But here's the kicker: several customers have come in, and have asked if they can get his autograph. Silly people! Dont they realize the only autograph they could get would be a roundhouse kick to the head? If they could only be so lucky.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


My heart feels heavy tonight. Daniel is at work, the kids are in bed and I have realized that I have been trying to avoid my thoughts lately, but without any distractions at the moment I am overwhelmed with sadness as I am thinking through the things I have tried not to think about. while I am not trying to write a novel out of this I do need to write a few things that are important to me in the hope that I can make some sense or even resolution of thought so I wont be so down when my Daniel comes home.

There are a few things I know with all of my heart. One is that I have a Father in Heaven who is amazingly aware of me and my insignificant little life. I know that He loves me with a love I can not comprehend but can try to relate to with the love I have for my kids. Second is that there is a plan and purpose for the numberless souls who have been, who are and who ever will be. In this plan there is a savior, Jesus Christ, who has suffered the pains of all so that we can have a way back to our Father in Heaven. Thirdly, I know I have the gift of agency, and that I make stupid choices more than I care to admit.

With that being said- I am actually glad that I have made some of the stupid choices I have made because while dealing with the consequences I have found my testimony of the healing power of the Atonement. While I have had several small experiences that have strengthened my testimony, one experience was so powerful to me that there is no way I could ever deny the first two things that I know with all my heart.

Right after I graduated from high school I was struggling with some consequences of a choice I had made. I was terrified of what was to come, but as I put my faith to the test, I received the blessing of hope, peace and a healing that I could not have had, had I not turned to my Savior for help. At that time my healing came from my burden being taken from me and carried by my Savior. There is really no other way to put it. It was taken from me and during that time I felt the Saviors arms carry me through that time in my life. But this is a whole different story. My point is that because of my experience I know with a surety that my Father in Heaven hears my prayers, that He and my Savior Jesus Christ are very real. They are not some imaginary made up beings, and that I have not been brainwashed. And even though I am a fool for so many reasons- believing in them is not one.

So my point-- my heart has been heavy because a friend, who was raised in the church, was taught the same things I was, even served a mission, has decided that the church is indeed some brainwashing joke, that there is no plan of salvation and that basically we are all here to live and die, and that we are on our own because there is no such thing as God. There are many other things this friend know believes, and while I try to just not let it affect me-- the truth is it does. Now I know that everyone has different experiences and that we all think about and view the world according to our own perspectives, but knowing that this friend has made a choice that he/she thinks is "freeing"- I see it as quite the opposite. I see a sad road ahead, one without hope. It makes me sad that the influence of evil is so prevailing in our world today. That Satan can confuse so many into believing that there is no God, no plan, no Savior. There is a plan. And its one that can bring such peace and love and hope and purpose and direction if we let it. But its our choice. "Dang the devil. Dang the devil to heck!" ;)

Ideally my friend will at some point make a better choice. I hope that he/she will not let the guilt and/or embarrassment of his/her choices keep him/her from feeling the hope, joy, peace and love of the Atonement.

I quote (from whom, I dont know), "I would rather live my life believing there is a God to get to the end of it and find out there isnt, than to believe that there isnt a God and finding out there is." Wise words.

My heart is still sorrowful for my friend, but as I have been writing and thinking I know that there are forces of good all around. and while my friend is confused his/her struggles are known by the 2 who love him/her the most and they dont give up on us.

With that, I am gonna go to bed, and hopefully will get to see the sunrise after a good nights sleep.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Family song

I have spent a little chunk of my time trying to think of a good sharing time for tomorrow, and as I have been doing so I keep getting lost in random thoughts. One of which was the Hall Family song we would sing at the end of each yearly reunion. I havent thought about that song since I cant even remember when. But for whatever weird reason it popped into my head today and it made me start laughing. I mean who the fetch even came up with that song? And who the fetch gathers around in a great big group of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, parents and siblings and sings a little good-bye song each year? Wow, we are a little nuts.

But at the same time, its really kinda dear to my heart. I have such an amazing family- really really amazing. Talk about one of the greatest gifts one can be given, not only my immediate family-my incredible parents and fabulous siblings, but extended out to wonderful grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. My dear grandma Hall passed away a few years ago, and since that time the annual Ansel T Hall family reunions are no longer.

But now, each summer we look forward to the B&B Hall family reunion. (my parents and siblings) Not only is it so great for me to spend that time with the ones I love most, but also these reunions are creating great memories for my kids. Its so funny to me to see how excited Kylie gets to see her cousins, just as I was always so excited to see mine.

I thought I would include the few lyrics I know so my kids will at least know a little bit of their heritage. So without further ado-- I give you the Hall Family Song:

(The Melody is to Edelweiss from The Sound of Music)

One and all,

we're all Halls

Family members together

We've had fun


Building memories forever


Ansel and Dorothy, they made the start

Joined our hearts forever

We're so glad that they had

Love that ends for us never

Family we will be

all together forever

if we all

heed the call

Jesus helps to do better

There might have been another verse or not, I dont remember. Nice song huh?

So I mentioned this to Daniel- that my extended family had a family song, (how weird that we have been married all this time and he has never heard that song) and he says that we need a Daniel and Kimmy Jackson family song now. Yeah, I'll get right on it.....