Friday, December 31, 2010
Link: "Mom, can I have a piece of paper?"
Me: "You bet your biscuits!"
Link: "What are bik-skits?"
Me (pinching his bum): "These are your biscuits!"
Link (pointing to his nose): "No, this is my bik-skits."
Me (laughing): "No, silly. That's your pro-bis-cus!"
Happy New Year!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
The program started at 7; my children's regularly scheduled bedtime. Ethan loves to sing, and he did so with vigor when he wasn't busy stifling back-to-back yawns. Little children are adorable. They'll boogie to any kind of music; boys poking; girls twirling; everyone enchanted with the spirit of performance.
Lyrics to the best song of the night:
Don't eat a
If you do
To get a
It was not an especially spiritual program, but I am grateful for the excitement that comes alive in little children when the Spirit of Christmas settles in.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
You have not seen the last of the me. You will stumble upon me again, a visitor to Sandy Beach during your perfectly temperate summers, an out-of-towner running in the Pinedale 10k/Half Marathon, a passer-through returning to visit a handful of the best friends I've had in my adult life. Don't forget me!
But I'm also excited. This will be a fabulous move for our family, bringing me closer to my fellow Kemp women and my children closer to all their Kemp cousins. Oh, the fun we will have!
Monday, December 6, 2010
It's nice to have a house full of underwear. Major milestone: Check.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Nov 1 - Ethan. He is smart and active and energetic and good. He loves to be everybody's friend. Happy birthday, buddy. You are a joy to our family.
Nov 2 - Recovering 1/2 marathon muscles and a strong body that allows me to work hard.
Nov 3 - Greg, who is supportive always encourages me to strive for more.
Nov 4 - My boys - all 4 of them - who give me reason to write, laugh, love and go crazy.
Nov 5 - Perspective.
Nov 6 - Rare weekends with Greg at home with me and the boys.
Nov 7 - To know truth and have the Gospel in my life.
Nov 8 - My parents; truly 2 of my dearest friends and greatest examples.
Nov 9 - My siblings who, in our adult lives, have become some of my favorite friends.
Nov 10 - Home. The location is always changing, but the feeling remains the same.
Nov 11 - The selfless service of my husband, brothers and all those who have given of themselves to preserve the sacred freedoms of this beautiful country. Happy Veteran's Day.
Nov 12 - Good health.
Nov 13 - Resilient children.
Nov 14 - Cold nights filled with good friends, yummy food and loud laughter.
Nov 15 - Little hands that love to hold, little lips that love to kiss and little bodies that love a good snuggle.
Nov 16 - Unsolicited apologies.
Nov 17 - Lincoln. He is sassy and independent and funny. He can melt strangers with a big, cheeked, blue-eyed glance. Happy birthday, turkey face.
Nov 18 - New adventures and opportunities.
Nov 19 - Small and simple things; they always make me the happiest.
Nov 20 - Rare movie theater nights with happy children who fall asleep before the final credits role - and washing machines for mornings after too much soda.
Nov 21 - To have survived the last 2 years with grace and guff, which would have been impossible without the love and support of family and friends.
Nov 22 - Imaginary play.
Nov 23 - To have work.
Nov 24 - Protection from the elements in a warm and comfortable home. It's -14 degrees outside.
Nov 25 - To know the value of being surrounded by good people.
Nov 26 - Porter John. He is warm and loving and resilient and funny. And he refuses to be left in his brothers' dust.
Nov 27 - My parents, again. Their wisdom, advise, guidance, friendship and love are invaluable to me.
Nov 28 - To have my tree up and the Christmas spirit settling in.
Nov 29 - Bedtime.
Nov 30 - For the diaperless family status that is looming.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
In order of response:
Lincoln: A hunkback whale
Ethan: A stinkbug
Porter: A booger.
It's good to be loved.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Color - Pink (hey - I'm just the messenger, people)
Food - Dry cheerios
Song - Angel Lullaby
Movie - Little Mermaid
Activity - Playing and jumping on the trampoline
Friend - Samantha
Thing to do with daddy - Build with Lincoln Logs
What he loves most - His stuffed puppy
Happy Birthday, Link! We love you up to Heavenly Father's power (which is, for those of you who don't know, Lincoln's catch phrase for the ultimate one-up; no one can trump it).
Monday, November 8, 2010
Color - Brown
Food - Sandwiches
Song - Theme song from Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
Movie - How to Train Your Dragon
Activity at School - Recess
Friends - Luke and Mandy
Thing to do with Dad - Play with Boone
When I asked him what he loves most, he said, "Um . . . mommy and daddy . . . but PUH-leez don't add that on the blog!" Too late, buddy.
Another year older, smarter and, of course, sassier. We love you, Ethan!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Mama moose is in the neighbor's yard again. Boone spent a long time barking at them. But when baby moose could not clear the fence to get to mama and decided to stare down Boone instead, he quieted and is currently sulking in his dog house. So, when is it safe to go outside and feed the dog?
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The chain link in the foreground is the end of our yard, standing about 4 feet high. Now, if I know nothing else of wild animals, I know not to mess with a moose. Despite their gangly, placid appearance, they can be very aggressive, and at that size, I choose to avoid confrontation. This mama and baby spent the better part of 6 hours in our neighbor's yard, lounging and munching on his aspen tree, finally clearing out around dark. I love living in the wild, wild west.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Goofing off before the race. Thanks for coming to run with me, Shelle!
Sweaty and proud. Amy, Ashley (giver of the fabulous armwarmers in photo #1) and me. These are the girls who talked me into running in the first place!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
So many moms told me I would stand around and weep after he left. I didn't. I kept telling them I was the mom who would slow to 5 mph and tell him to jump, tuck and roll. I didn't do that either. I watched him climb, excited and ready, onto the school bus and wave at me until I was out of sight. What a happy day.
Yup - Porter's favorite hiking spot is inside Greg's full-sized hiking backpack. The boys do pretty well hiking in but come time for the hike out, the little ones are pretty fried. When PJ and Link get too whiny, I monitor Ethan and Boone and Greg takes both the littles on.I'm only occasionally disappointed that there's not enough room on his shoulder for me, too.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
He looked at me and then at his feet and then back at me and said, in his sweet little 2-year-old voice: "But I have shooooes!"
Now, it seems to me that such logic shouldn't develop until at least 3 years of age. I have a feeling he's gonna give me a run for my money, but at least he never ceases to offer up a good laugh.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I, for one, am very grateful the bears are far away from our house. And I absolutely appreciate his sweet faith in recognizing Jesus' hand in everything.
Second, the 4-hour, 250-mile trip from Utah to Wyoming was not as easy. The boys were vacation fried and ready to be home . . . and who am I kidding? So was I. But Ethan busied himself in the back seat for at least 1-1/2 hours whittling almonds with the broken off top of a plastic knife. Almond shavings were everywhere and he was so proud of his end results, which looked like, well . . . almonds.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Meredith, me, Mom, Lindsey
Porter, Grandpaw and the banana
Nathan, Porter, Connor, Lincoln, Tyler, Joshua
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Greg called me a few days before Grandpa's passing as he was leaving Grandpa's house for what he was sure would be his last visit. He told me he felt like he had said his final goodbye to Grandpa. I've only been part of the Kemp family for 9-1/2 years and I feel like I've lost my own grandpa. But I know that, even though I know their history through stories, Greg's relationship with Grandpa has always been a huge part of his life. More than a grandparent, Grandpa was one of his dearest friends and valued mentors.
The little boys and I were planning to visit Grandpa on the way home from our summer visit to Tahoe. After talking to Greg, I worried we wouldn't make it in time. We didn't. But I had the chance to speak with him a couple times before he went, including the morning of the day he passed. He was weak and couldn't speak, but Elaine said he tried to respond when I told him how special he was to me and much I loved him...and when Porter yelled over the phone, "I yub you Gwampa-Gwate!"
It turned out that by postponing my trip home from Tahoe by only 1 day, the little boys and I were able to gather with the Kemps in Utah for Grandpa's memorial. It was only 8 weeks after we had all gathered with Grandpa on Memorial Day, visiting Grandma under the silver oak in Provo Cemetery and appreciating the epitomizing beauty of the headstone recently erected...just waiting for the engraved date of Grandpa's reunion with his sweetheart.
It was hard to say goodbye to Grandpa. Hard to understand that he wouldn't join us at family dinners or at Christmastime or host family barbecues in his immaculate yard. But I think it was harder to say goodbye to Grandma in January. When she passed, we witnessed their separation. Him without her. At least with his passing, we know they are happily reunited again, free of their tormented mortal bodies.
From Elaine's obituary: "How fitting that as we think of Wars, Veterans, Independence, and Pioneers who sought for Freedom in this month of July, that we also pay tribute to Shirl's life. He is finally free from the ravages of lymphoma. Shirl is a war veteran in more ways than one: as a sub vet, as a battle scarred heart disease and cancer hostage four times, and in one other way, as a veteran of the War in Heaven . . .
In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea
With a Glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Some stand out in this eternal war to make men free. Shirl D. Kemp is one who is a Family Captain of Freedom. He has been transfigured to rest in the glory of Christ's bosom. His life is a witness to the Plan of Salvation. He has become a lily of beauty in the Plan, through faith and repentance and obedience and sacrifice. He has lived to make his family free. He has loved The Commander, even the Lord of Hosts, the Savior, Jesus Christ. We salute you and love, dad. You are top side now!"
When Uncle Keith had a turn at the pulpit during the funeral, he quoted: "Life isn't over for a faithful LDS member until they are safety dead, with their testimony burning brightly." Grandpa lit a fire in all of us. It is now our job to pass that light and love and knowledge to our children. And we've got some big shoes to fill.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
There is seriously nothing cuter than going to watch littles play T-ball. While those in the outfield are busying themselves with dandelions and throwing grass, those playing infield wait eagerly for the ball to be knocked off the tee, and then race toward it and tackle each other in competition like they were playing pee-wee football. After peeling the kids out of the pileup, they take their positions again, anxiously awaiting their next opportunity to be star . . . and touch the ball.
By the way, the solo picture of Ethan above was a total fluke. It was a moment of thought captured between numberless photos of funny poses and monster faces. Thank goodness for rapid fire photography!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I've been trying to get this look for a long time, but have been unsuccessful in finding anyone who could get me here...until now. I have a new hairdresser for life! The pictures still don't quite do it justice. If you want to get a genuine feel for it, get in your car and start driving.
Welcome to the mega-blonde me
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Boone was the only yellow lab pup in a whole litter of jet black siblings. He is spunky and sweet and the boys (yes, and I) are already in love. We picked him up in Utah after a marvelous Memorial Day weekend with family and he rode home in the Durango with me and the boys, who absolutely delighted at his every move.
We are happy and settled again. We are blessed with solidarity, health and perspective. If only summertime would find its way to Pinedale, I would have nothing to complain about.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
So, Greg took Ethan and Lincoln down to Utah to pick her up. They were in love at first sight. She was adorable, chocolate, soft and hard not to love. I thought she made me crazy - the cleaning up after her in the laundry room, the chewing everything in site, the jumping. But now that she's gone, I remember it differently.
Now I remember packing her around in a laundry basket in the front seat of my car when she was little. Now I remember Ethan running to hide in the tall grass and then calling to her to come and find him. Now I remember loving how she would sit at the back door while Lincoln and Porter opened and shut it 1000 times, every time wanting her to lick their hands, and every time she would. I remember loving how Greg would come home boasting about how fabulous she was when they went horse riding, never tiring, always listening. I remember my kids hating the nasty weather that kept them from playing outside with her. She loved my boys. I'm pretty sure she loved me. But I didn't know how much I loved her until she was gone. She was a lifeline for my kids, for Greg. She was a good dog. She was only 8 months old. She only lived with us for 6. But we loved her.
I used to smirk at people who act like their pets are like their children. But now I think I've had a little taste. Dakota was part of our family. I'm not sure I'm ready for another member. She will be hard to replace.
I never wanted a dog. But my boys did. And I suppose it's possible to fall in love through the happy eyes of those you love most.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
By the time I arrived, Greg had already been pushed some morphine and was feeling a very slight drop in his pain. He was covered in cold towels, trying to bring down the skin temperature and give relief before more extensive examination. The diagnosis is 2nd-degree burns covering over 75% of his back, neck and a small area on his chest - about 12-15% of his body surface area. They dressed and wrapped his torso and sent him home with p.o. narcotics to try a night at home with instructions to call if it didn't go well.
We made it through the night. Greg's bandages shifted a couple of times, but overall it was an uneventful course. He's feeling woozy and nauseated, eating only a little and staying in bed with the kids locked out for fear of accidental contact with his burns. We'll go into the clinic daily for a few days for wound checks and dressing changes. There was some blistering, but overall, we're hopefully that he will have a quick recovery without any long term effects. Trying to work with the 3 littles and Greg in the other room has proved unfruitful, but I can't complain . . . because even when he's supposed to be needy and dependent, Greg doesn't ask for much.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Porter is darling. He is funny and independent and sassy. He knows what he wants, won't let his older brothers walk all over him and hates to be left behind when the big boys get to do something he's still too little for. If the street is the negative pull, PJ has a positive charge built into his little body. He's really sneaky and if I don't watch carefully enough, he's in the middle of the road before I know it. He is a lover and if you find him in the right mood, he'll lounge and warm you with his charming affection. His favorite color is "gweeeeen!" and he loves to dance with me when there is music playing. And trust me - he can groove.
I have always said it's a good thing Porter was a surprise because I might still be wrestling with whether or not I was ready for a third child. He is a delightful addition to our family and we love him like crazy.
Now ... if I could just get him and Lincoln to stop their ritual of hour-long jumping on the beds at bedtime and just go to sleep ...
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
"Mom, is it already past the summer of 1998?"
and, my personal favorite
"Mom, we can get lots of great stuff just by logging on to mydisneyrewards.com!"
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Mandie turns on movie for the kids
Ethan: "Mandie, is this in high definition?"
Mandie: "Yes, Ethan."
Ethan: "Oh good. Because everything is SO much better in high definition!"
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
From the moment we arrived at church, he was itching to get up for round 2. Finally, when it was time (any after I made him put his shoes back on), off he went . . . solo again.
"I'd like to bear my testimony. I know this church is true. I know President Monson is a real prophet and Joseph Smith was a real prophet and Nephi was a real prophet, and I'm trying to be like Nephi. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus can do anything in the world. I know that my mommy and daddy love me. InthenameofJesusChristamen."
Beautiful! All it takes is a little discussion and understanding. I'm so proud.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Boy: "Mom, when will I get to wear deodorant?"
Me: "When you get older your body will start to change. You'll get taller and stronger and hairier your voice will change. And you'll start to get sweaty and stinky for more often, which is when you'll need deodorant. It's called puberty."
Boy: "But when will that be, mom?"
Me: "It's different for everyone. Sometimes in middle school, sometimes in high school . . ."
Boy: "For me it will be in the fifth grade. Because that's when I want to get tall and hairy."
Sigh. He seems to be in much more of a hurry than me.
Friday, February 12, 2010
"Daddy, you neck is big like a giant and like Pete [from Mickey Mouse]."
Monday, February 8, 2010
When his turn came, he bravely stood behind the microphone and started fantastically: "I'd like to bear my testimony. I know this church is true . . ." He looked down at me and I could see a moment of panic. He stalled and seemed unsure where to go from there. I nodded encouragement . . . and he ran with it. "My name is Ethan. I have two brothers. Their names are Ethan and Lincoln. Oh wait. I was mistaking. Their names are Lincoln and Porter. I go to primary. I have a new teacher. Her name is Michelle. And another teacher. He's a daddy and his name is Travis. I've been to their house before. They have a cat . . . no wait. They have [with finger props] TWO cats . . ."
By this time I was dying and tears of laughter filled my eyes. He was so cute and everyone was chuckling. Of course, he loved the attention. I was trying to catch his eye and get him to wrap things up, but he continued to ramble on, entertaining the congregation. I finally stood and walked to stand in front of the podium, whispering to him to close his testimony with the things he is grateful for.
"I'm grateful for church and for primary and for my family and for Jesus and for the prophet. InthenameofJesusChristAmen." What a proud and anxiety-ridden moment. I spent the rest of the day laughing with people who came up to tell me how adorable and brave Ethan was to get up by himself. I think the next time we sit down for testimonies, we'll have a brief chat about what they really are. He does have guts, though. You have to give him that. I'm so proud.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
In only the 9 short years I knew her, Grandma Great has been a thorough example of the woman I should be - always full of love, never quick to judge, and as mentioned by so many, she had the rare gift of making each individual who crossed her path feel like the most important person in her life.
As said by Michelle: "A wife who sang and danced with smiles and laughter...a mother cheering and supporting all the days of her life...a grandmother full of empathy and understanding...and never afraid to get a little dirt under fingernails...a great grandmother...tenderly coddling sweet newborns...yet spunky enough to chase 10 giggling toddlers at a time...a rock...a spiritual giant!"
As said by Elaine/obituary: "The sunniest peach to be harvested from Dixie's red soil . . . Barbara was hand-picked, fully ripe and sweet, and gently carried back to her heavenly home . . . [She] has plowed on through many sorrows and nurtured her husband through four near fatal illnesses. She has watered, nourished, and cultivated all who knew her till the Father, the Master Gardener, said, 'Come home.' To Barbara, a 'tree of righteousness, a planting of the Lord' and from those of us still hanging on the tree, we say, 'We love you forever, we honor you eternally, and we miss you enormously till our own harvest brings us home.'"
Grandma Great, my greatest desire is to become a fraction of the woman you were on this earth. Thank you for setting the bar so high and enriching our lives beyond understanding.