Happy 4th of July!

We had a ward 4th of July breakfast with a short program and good conversation with friends and food. IMG_2635It was hot, but we enjoyed getting our red, white, and blue on and hearing some patriotic talks and music and pledge allegiance to the flag.

Erik and Robin won the water balloon toss game. Very fun!

We went to Stanford campus to hear Jim and Nicholas Welch play the carillon bells. It was fun to listen and see lots of friends from the ward.photo-3Robin played in this fountain for a long time. It is fun to see her in pure bliss enjoying the water and the free play.IMG_2638IMG_2642 IMG_2641 IMG_2640She splashed me a bit and had me come in and play with her for awhile.

We came home and rested and went out to dinner. Then headed to Shoreline for fireworks and met up with the Sweats and saw other friends from the ward too.IMG_2669IMG_2649IMG_2654IMG_2668

It was nice to be out and go for a long walk together. The walking reminded us of our Europe trip. The weather has been hot, so it is still warm at night which isn’t usual. It felt great. We are so blessed to have the freedoms that we do in this country.



Last day of school!

This was our earliest end of school since my kids have been in school. They ended in May this year. We have adjusted to the new time frame just fine. Here are the kids with their teachers and buddies. My parents were here for the day after graduation. We took Nicole to lunch after her early morning arrival and a few hours of sleep. We had a delicious fish market lunch. I feel blessed they were able to come help celebrate Nicole’s graduation from high school. They are dear and blessed in our lives.

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Memorial Day adventures

We had a wonderful Memorial Day. We didn’t make it to the Golden Gate National Cemetery like we usually do. Brandon went on Saturday and decorated the graves with flags with the Boy Scouts.


So we held a cousins’ piano recital at the Westerlind’s house. It is amazing to see these kids progress and the work and time of practice and lessons.


Then after the piano recital we had a book club with the cousins and adults. We read this book by Lois Lowry. Maren chose this book and resonated with the strong 10 year old girl who was the main character.

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We were invited to attend a barbecue for incoming BYU freshman from our stake. What a great group of kids!



The house had a pool. We didn’t bring swimming suits, but that didn’t stop Robin, Maren and Camille from having a grand old time.

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1st grade student showcase/YW Recognition Night

This afternoon Robin gave us a tour of her first grade classroom. She has had a fabulous year of learning. Her reading has grown by leaps and bounds. She has been thriving learning about African animals. She loves her friends. She loves math. She has become articulate and confident.


Here is the tooth story, and Robin lost a tooth yesterday just to go along with the book.

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Sunset silhouette

IMG_1871Awesome African animal reports

IMG_1875Proud mom


Tonight Nicole and the graduating seniors were recognized by the Menlo Park stake for their accomplishments. Nicole and her cousins and many friends were recognized for completing their personal progress awards.

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I am proud of all these girls and their accomplishments. Mostly I am grateful for Nicole and her faith, obedience, dilligence, creativity, strength, and good works.


Mother’s Day 2013

Every year that passes deepens my love for my children. It was a simple and sweet mother’s day. The greatest gift was having Erik home more, fewer meetings at church. He brought me breakfast in bed. We both had singing and piano assignments that took us to church early. He sang in a beautiful barbershop quartet version of Love at Home in Relief Society. I accompanied the young women singing He Sent His Son in sacrament meeting with a beautiful flute and violin accompaniment.

IMG_1854After church we took a few photos in the back yard.

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Then we headed over to Jammie and Grandpa’s house for dinner and sharing of how our mothers have influenced us. I found these fun photos of my mom and Erik’s mom from our wedding reception in Salt Lake after we were married.


I enjoyed seeing this artichoke, newly picked. I also loved Robin and her cousins frolicking in the backyard.

IMG_1864IMG_1865IMG_1866I felt the love of my husband and my kids. I enjoyed the unity and fun of this relaxing Mother’s Day.


Book Fair and School visits

We have been finding some new books at the book fair. It has been fun for everyone, even Brandon, to find some new books. Robin has been my sidekick most of the week when school is out. And Maren has found some new books that she has been reading.


We went over tonight to the middle school for Camille’s portfolio night. We saw her work in science, math, English, and social studies. They have done lots of work this year.

I loved this sign (created by Camille) that I saw in the window of her social studies class. Good words to live by.



IMG_1833Robin gave a family night lesson on Family tonight from For the Strength of Youth. She wrote out the importance of the family in swirly letters. She did a great job. Nothing is more important than family. Our best efforts should be in the home.


Ice skating buddies

Robin has been begging me all during this ice skating session to ice skate with her after her lesson. So since it was Spring Break and there was more time today, I told her I would skate with her. Maren and some of her friends also joined in the fun. Robin was tired really quickly because she is still getting over the flu from last week and really hasn’t completely regained her strength. So I gave her a hug and told her we could rest and leave earlier than I had expected. I loved watching my friend skate with her kids and parents and sister and then her husband came to join in the fun. I love the power of families together.

IMG_1633IMG_1634 IMG_1635We had family night tonight and talked about honesty and integrity. It is interesting to contemplate both telling the truth and not trying to deceive. We talked about needing to shine a light on anything in the corner we might be trying to conceal. I know I have learned a lot about this since my youth, and I have learned to try and open up and shine the light and try to be truthful even when it is painful. When someone has integrity, we can trust them completely.


Finally blueberries back in the house

I haven’t been able to get out of the house much this week since Robin has been so sick. But today after a couple of piano lessons, I ran to the store and one of the things I purchased was some blueberries. I am looking forward to having them in the morning.

It has been a hard week in many ways — quite a few disappointments and sickness. Nicole heard from her last three colleges, and didn’t get in any. She was sad, but still happy to be going to BYU. Robin has had the flu, and really just has started to turn around today. When the schedule is off like that, or my kids are going through something hard, it throws me off. I worry and think deeply and wish I could change things, but restrain myself from doing much but being a support and listener.

In many ways, there is more clarity for the future. I do feel closer to my Heavenly Father when things don’t go as expected, and I rely on Him for the answers since my desires seem different than certain outcomes. I seek out comfort from the Spirit, and I have an eye for the deeper blessings that I have in my life and my children have in their lives. In many ways, this unites me with my deepest beliefs and my anchor to the Savior and my Father in Heaven. It doesn’t take away the hurt, but it does comfort me in my distress. Since Nicole is handling things so well, I only hope she is finding similar comfort in prayer and the Holy Ghost.

Blueberries in the morning — and hopefully some joy and peace and rest with spring break next week!

Loving the sick

Robin has been really sick for two days. She has mostly slept, laid down, watched a few movies, and slept some more in a feverish state. She has been drinking water, eating very little, saying little also, and just in almost a state of hibernation. In the middle of the night, she called for me, “Mom, can you come in the bathroom and help me.” She had the sweetest voice as I sat and helped her through her sickness. She needed help in taking a quick bath and getting new pajamas on. She has been quietly combatting the sickness inside her body.

I have taken moments here and there to sit with her head in my lap and just hold her. I have taken her temperature, put a cool cloth on her forehead, and just kissed her cheek. I feel untold amounts of love for her as she fights off this virus. I am grateful for the ability to love and care for her. I see so many around me caring for their elderly parents, newborn babies, older spouses, sick children, and those in need with quiet love and devotion and service. It fills a unique space in our hearts as we reach out to those that can’t help themselves. We lose ourselves in their care and find a deeper love than existed before. I don’t yearn for these sick days, but I definitely find a different part of my heart and soul is tapped into during the times when I suspend other responsibilities and attend to the immediate need of the sick one. I feel honored and blessed to have Robin to care for during her illness.