Saturday, January 28, 2012

Our New Web Site!

It's true!
We have a family web site!

It's still under construction, so you'll see some things not completely put together, but there's enough there that you can have fun looking around.

Check out the pages with links to short movies my kids have made. Or music videos. Or fun facts about us.

Coming soon: Artwork by kids, Paintings by Grandpa, Quilts by Grandma, Music written by Bethany and Josh, photography, and even some short stories! And of course, recommended books. =)

We're excited to share little bits of ourselves with all of you. I hope you enjoy it!


Friday, November 25, 2011

New Chapters

Chapters in many of my favorite books end with cliffhangers.

The police kick down the door and rush in.
She opens the mailbox to find, not the bills she expected, but a note from him!
The pirates tie the blindfold over his eyes and push him onto the plank, as the cabin boy throws off his mask and shouts, "Not so fast!"

End of chapter.
I'm supposed to put down the book and go clean my room.

But in my life, chapters don't end with cliffhangers, they begin with them.

My parents decide we will be moving to Morocco right after my 16th birthday.
The doctors grab my newborn baby and rush out of the room.
My husband calls from jail in tears to ask me to bail him out.

And a new chapter begins.

New chapters often look dire at the beginning. As Louis L'Amour once said, "An adventure is just something you wish wasn't happening to you." And as my mom used to say about the U-Haul motto, An Adventure in Moving, "Who wants their move to be an adventure? I want our moves to be as unadventurous and straight forward as possible!"

This from someone who once bought a mini-van from a mail-order catalog, had it delivered to a dock in Amsterdam, and drove with her husband and 6 kids through Europe to Morocco to set up house.

Very unadventurous. ;)

Today I find myself, once again, at a chapter opening.

I open an innocent-looking email to find a copy of the employment termination notice for my ex-husband.

I have no idea what this new chapter will bring. Pirates and damsels in distress? Or resourceful maids and happy endings?

Let the chapter begin.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Long Time, No Write

What have I been up to?

I moved. I unpacked. I lost my toaster. I bought a new toaster. I found my old toaster.

I left hundreds of books in Virginia because I didn't have space for everything in one moving van.

I accepted 12 chickens from a neighbor in my new town and watched Peter learn how to care for them, gather eggs, chase them around the yard, and throw his arms around me and tell me his life is complete now that he has chickens.

I looked around my new house and thought how strange it is that my ex won't ever see this house.

I went back to Virginia for a court date on September 15th and was granted a permanent protective order.

I killed a spider the size of Vermont who was living in my bathtub. (I have a large bathtub.)

I figured out what my neighbor meant when she asked if I was putting up. me: "Putting up with what?" Pause. her: Putting up fruit? Light goes on. "Oh! Yes! I bottled apricot juice and peaches with my mom!" I didn't tell her this was the first time in my life I'd "put up" anything, and that my peaches looked pathetic.

I enrolled my children in (GASP!) school. First one. Then another. Then another. I went home, sat at the kitchen table and wondered what on earth I had just done.

I ate so many raspberries that I made myself sick. I didn't know that was possible.

I wrote an entire novel in about a week.

I tried to plan a trip to Yellowstone, but remembered the kids were in school and we couldn't go anywhere.

I watched as Naomi walked out the door in the morning, turned and said with a smile, "I have a backpack, a lunchbox, and a locker. I get to ride the bus and go to science class. I feel like a normal kid!" And I wondered if this made me happy or sad.

I watched baby David while Rachel and Mike went to the temple with Mike's younger brother.

I agreed to paint the set for Cinderella before finding out exactly how big the set is and how soon they want it done. (Holy Cow.)

I took Bethany, along with Elizabeth, to the (brand new!) recording studio at BYU and helped her record a couple of songs for her album. We laughed and figured things out and scrunched in a tiny room and worked for hours and hours 'till our brains hurt.

I discovered that I LOVE (as much as I thought I would!) having a fireplace in my bedroom!

I had Joshua's birthday dinner at my house with All My Kids!

I helped my mom cut out pieces for the (insane!) quilt she's making. It's going to be amazing.

I cried when people asked where my husband is, and what I do. I discovered that a single mom is supposed to work. Not just write novels.

I realized we have deep window sills, so we can put candles in the windows for Christmas and I smiled for a week.

I hosted parties for kids from BYU, kids from school, and anyone else who showed up. We've had bonfires, roasted marshmallows, carved pumpkins, watched movies and had a jolly good time.

I watched the sun set, smelled newly mown alfalfa, picked sunflowers, fed apples from our tree to the horses down the road, watched bees get drunk on apricot nectar, discovered grapes growing on the fence, watched the kids play soccer in the backyard, made bouquets of hollyhocks and snapdragons, gathered eggs, picked pumpkins, and wondered...

Is this really my life?

And I thanked God that things can be so wonderful. =)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Hunt for the Perfect Location

I will be moving soon, to an as-yet-undisclosed (and undiscovered) location. What am I hopping for? Perfection. That's it. Not much, really. Only one word. 10 letters. But, perhaps I should be more specific. What is perfection in a living location?

--Low cost of living. Housing, food and gas prices that are at the lower end of the national average, along with a community college that is either free or very close to free for highschool students. (Yes, Virginians, there is free college for highschool students in some states.)

--Nice people. Friendly, well-educated. This presupposes a low crime rate. Criminals may be friendly with each other, but I really don't want my kids hanging out with gang members. Preferably many of these nice people will homeschool their kids and enough of them will be LDS that my kids have a good dating pool to choose from.

--Not Too far from my family members at BYU. This could perhaps be an extension of "Nice People." =) I like my kids, my parents and my siblings. And grandparents are a good thing for children to have around!

--Lots of trees, no billboards. Think of the mama duck (I think it's a duck) on Bambi (I think it's Bambi) who says, "Green's good for the eye!" (Or wait. Was that The Ugly Ducking? Anyway, you get the idea.) Trees make me happy. Billboards make me feel like white trash.

--Fun Stuff to Do. Nearby activities that are kid and family friendly and either free or pretty darn close to free is big on my list. This could include museums (think Smithsonian), hiking, fun parks, lakes and rivers for boating/canoeing, etc.

--Easy Homeschool Laws. Some states make it easy to homeschool your kids. Some seem to have forgotten who gave birth and who didn't. I like Alaska, where, if I understand correctly, the state assumes your child will be homeschooled unless you tell them otherwise. If anyone finds a way to move Alaska a little closer to CONUS, please let me know.

--Really, really good church congregation. One with a good assortment of happy, non-cliquish teens, where home and visiting teaching happen, ward parties are fun because the people like each other, and members are generally thrilled to be with their friends on Sunday and at YM/YW. If they happened to have a Girl's Camp that was comparable to Scout Camp, I might never leave.

I think this pretty well sums it up. Do you happen to know where I am describing? 'Cause if you do, please contact me ASAP! The hunt for the Perfect Location is on!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yes, but-

What if I look under the bed
To make sure they are only figments of my imagination
And they leap out
Splitting my ears with their roars
Tearing my face with their claws
Spilling my blood
In pools
On the bedroom carpet

Solid Ground

I never notice
Stepping onto the shore
After a day on the lake
In my canoe

But after a night on the sea
In hurricane storms
I fall to my knees
Clutch the grass in my hands
Press my face to the dirt
And thank Almighty God
For the blessing
Greater than I could have imagined
Of solid ground

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What's Up?

People have been asking what's up in my life lately, and... well... frankly I don't have time to answer all of them because of what's up in my life lately. So, a quick blog post will have to do.

I turned on my computer tonight and found an email from my attorney that read, "You're divorced!" I stared at it for several minutes wondering if I was going to feel anything. Apparently not. But now you all know.

What else has been going on? I'll see if I can remember. My car has just recovered from a month out of commission during which time my dishwasher and kitchen sink quit working, the court lost my divorce documents, my kids psychiatrist lost his medical license, Bethany had two ear infections, Naomi was uninvited to attend our church's youth group, the bank deposited my money in someone else's account, I got stranded out of town with no way to get home, an animal died somewhere in the garage (or in the walls of the garage), and the garage door fell off.

I'm pretty sure I'm missing several major things, but this is all I can remember right now.

My apologies if I've been behind in emails, phone calls, or neighborly chats. It's not that I don't love you. I just can't remember what I'm doing. Oh yes. And we're moving.

Rebecca =/