Friday, December 26, 2008

family newsletter, christmas

In my christmas cards I sent, I said I would post the family newsletter on my blog, and then I haven't had time to do it yet. so sorry. J had to work on Christmas day, so we had Christmas on Christmas Eve morning....which was very nice...we had to run some errands afterwards, so J and I went and the kids stayed home to play with their new things. While we were out and about, I decided to head up to Bellingham that day to surprise my parents. We are totally impulsive. I had thought about coming up here and decided not to until the last possible minute. I'd planned on taking the car, but the kids protested until we decided to take the motorhome. The weather was good, and had warmed up a bunch so I figured the roads wouldn't be, I went home, packed up, made some cookies and such and left. We got to Bellingham a little after 9 pm. It was a fun surprise. But, it made my life a bit more caotic! oh well. what else is new. We had dinner at Jessie's...she knew there were going to be 4 more mouths to feed...and just hung out and had a good day. J had a pretty lazy day at the dept. one head there was a little excitement. I guess I still don't know what he had for Christmas Dinner. I definitely owe him one. I know they went to the Pirate's Cove (a local bar, with good food) for breakfast. I will post photos later. and I promise I will get my letter done soon. I guess just a shorter version of the blog. by the way, if I didn't send you a card, it was just because I didn't have your address.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Firefighter Christmas party

Well, the younger kids had their Christmas Concert last night. But I didn't get any good photos of it. It was cute though. they did a rendition of the Nutcracker. The kids sang, and Elijah played in the band.
We also had our Firefighter party last weekend. It was fun. I made 6 pies for it. 2 chocolate, 2 apple, a lemon meringue and a mixed berry. Santa came and gave the kids each a gift. There was a band that did pretty good. It was the most fun watching the kids dance.
Here is Kas, thinking she got the new Taylor Swift cd....which I thought she already had...and being very disappointed to see it was David Archeleta....which is good. I was pleasantly surprised! I think she wasn't too disappointed after a bit. she was just so certain...and santa is just enough out of it to not know better! Isn't she cute though! This photo is for Maryhelen.
Here are some of the kids dancing. Logan has got the finger action going. He is a friends little boy. You can see Kas in the background with her back facing us. dancing in a group.

Here's another side-back shot of her. Her and her friend were good at including the smaller kids. They had a great time. It was so fun to watch. Notice Kas and her friend have long shirts, jeans and boots? I am certain they didn't plan that! I wanted to get a good shot of them together but didn't get a chance to.

And, here is J and I. I could only get him out there once. and then he decided he would go cover at the department. They needed help and most everyone else had been drinking at least a J was a good candidate..and he could get out of the partying. we stayed a bit longer, and then I got Elijah out on the dance floor. I know he thought he was going to die...or at least wished. I was planning on getting Kaleb out as well, but didn't make it. oh well. I realized while dancing with J, I am not a good follower anymore. I wonder if that is an indication of something!

We had a great time though.
Tomorrow is the Branch Christmas party. The weather has been frightful.....just kidding. well, probably for some people. snow, rain, cold, wind, anyways...we aren't sure how it is going to be for tomorrow night...and if people are going to want to go out. Hopefully we will have a fair turnout. we'll see.
It has been fun having snow. The kids have started school at noon every day this week except for one. and then they canceled tomorrow, cause it was just party day. Kaleb had his last two meets this week, and both were canceled. That was very frustrating for him. Hopefully they will be able to make them up somehow. I know last year they had to cancel at least one, because of the big storm.
Tomorrow is also Kasidee's birthday! I can't believe my baby is going to be 10! but that is another post.
oh, and some other great news...the baby! that was born so early that J helped deliver and get breathing came home yesterday from the hospital. She is about 4 months old, and seems to be doing perfectly. 5 lbs and 10 oz, I think. anyways, it is just amazingly exciting. Hopefully we will be able to meet her officially soon.
anyways, I think that is enough for now. good night.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Here is another I found in the church news, from Pres Packer at a young adult fireside:

"I give you a strong caution. Be wary of the word tolerance....we are not required to tolerate anything that leads to unhappiness...Tolerance is often demanded but seldom returned. Beware of tolerance. It is a very unstable virtue."
"Remember, there are some things that are fixed, things that cannot change and will not change. They are part of the eternal plan. They are from God. Those who are willing to accept these things will be blessed. Those who reject what God has given us must suffer the consequences."

I thought that was very interesting, and fitting for our times.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

“It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”
—Dr. Leo Buscaglia (1924-1998); author, professor of special education

Friday, December 12, 2008

photo catchup

My hunny and me on the road. I did find the picture of Kas waiting to tryout for the Talent Show. See her dog bag.
Kas and Elijah had extra entertainment with D at a wrestling meet. His brother wrestles high school and gramps is the coach

Kalebs new hobby...he's always checking out his screen.

Kaleb with some teammates and his coach. LP is 60's something and has yet to have a wrestler beat about 30 years of coaching. He coaches the high school too, and sends kids to state all the time. Every so often he has a wrestler decide he is ready to take on LP, and gets whipped every time. Usually in a matter of seconds. It is awesome. I watched practice one day and laughed through the whole time while he was throwing the guys around. He is a fellow ff, and construction dude... We are very glad he is still coaching, cause Kaleb loves him and is learning alot from him.

Kaleb is going to kill me for posting this, but look at that boys chest. He used to be a scrawny guy. He still is a bit, but he is starting to fill out. Scary and exciting. He is not my 'little boy' anymore.

Kas had the opportunity to hang out with the YW one night while I was in a meeting and they made doughnuts out of the cheap refrigerator bisquits. She made them for FHE one night. they were surprisingly good. I don't like those kindof bisquits, so I was pleasantly surprised. Quick, easy and good.

Isn't she cutecutecute! you can see the biscuits, with just a finger hole in the center...and the oil that makes them lucious, and sinful!

Kaleb's spagetti. that is melted cheddar cheese. a ton.

I think I told you about Kas's meal last month...with the sandwich appitizers. where they looked a little ripped..I think Elijah was helping. It was her fancy meal. Spagetti and finger sandwiches.

I am running late, so I gotta go...but I will write more later.

Talent Show

Last year Kas asked her teacher why we didn't have a talent show at the school, and wondered if she could put one on. Well, her teacher started talking around and told Kas that the teachers loved the idea, and they would have one next year....Now it is next year. and Kas and Elijah both had the opportunity this week to 'try out' for the talent show. I was a little disturbed that they had tryouts, but it ended up being a very cute thing. They took three days, and would do a few grades at a time. So, Kas went on tues with the 3-4 grade classes, and Elijah went yesterday. I thought I had photos of at least Kas waiting nervously with the other tryouts, but I can't find them. Anyways, they all looked so cute, and did I say nervous. In both groups of kids, there were at least 2 Taylor Swift cd's with groups of cute girls. That is what Kas wanted to do...sing Taylor Swift. You must know that took a lot for me to admit to the public. Hi, my name is Verlee and My daughter likes country music. ALOT. I don't know how it happened. But she does. Anyways, I talked her into being a little more individual....and she is reciting a poem. She has the memorization thing down, and is very articulate for her age... so, she found a cute little poem about dogs....a favorite subject....and went with it. She went in, when they called her name. and there was a panel of judges and a few teachers, in the room. The panel of judges consisted of a cop, 2 workers from the local grocery store, and another community member. The cop is one everyone knows, who also sings. It was a little american idol style. They asked their name, and what they were doing and why. It was cute. Then the let the child perform, and then they gave pointers. I thought it was super cute. so, now they have about a month to perfect their talent, and work on the things the judges pointed out. I loved it. The kids are all wondering if they made the cut, and from what I could tell, everyone made it to the next round. I love our school. Anyways, Elijah did a sword form. He just learned it in about 2 hours. Doesn't really have it down well, but still impressed the judges just cause it looks so cool. Probably not the principal though. You never know about people, we found out she is a black belt in Karate. would've never guessed. I'm sure she noticed Elijah needed a little work on his talent. but by the show he will be great. I know this is long for some little event. but it was so cute.

Kaleb had another meet and did awesome. He performed some great moves, wasn't sick anymore, or was at least on the mend, and pinned both his guys in the first half of the match. He has improved so much this year. It is exciting. Except I think their season is almost over.

It is fun to watch the kids doing well.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

First Kaleb, and then the rest of us soon followed suit...getting the latest thing going around. Today most of us have been super lazy, sleeping and laying around doing not much of anything, cause we feel so lousy. Ah well. I am glad it is before next week, when all the Christmas partying and baking starts.
Except for Elijah...who stayed home and slept most of the day, but miraculously got better today so that his friend could come over. The friend already had the crud, so he felt safe coming into the sickhouse.
I think they did a lot of planning though. Knolen brought a four wheeler, bb gun, bow and arrows, a big knife, chargers for Kalebs gun, a can of spam...(something my kids have never tried but are toasting in the fireplace right now) and more gear...I think they had a big expedition planned. The funny thing is they thought they were going to use it all this afternoon. They did find a little salamander, which is a first. We do live on a boy's paradise!
Jeremy found feathers all over the yard again this morning. 3 chickens are missing. The kids found a ton of feathers, blood and an egg....down the trail. I am sure it was the coyotes. I saw one in the yard the other night. I am a little irritated. We have 4 left. Out of 12! I think we lost our last blue layer....Frustrating. I know we will get more this spring...and hopefully have this stuff figured out so we don't keep losing them. We've had an opening through a door so they could 'free range', but that will probably have to stop.

Well, I've officially joined the Twilight frenzy. I saw the movie last week with some friends who'd read the series. I think I already mentioned that in a previous post. I started reading the book after the movie..which was kindof fun. I definitely like the book better, but loved the beautiful visuals in the movie. After reading the book, I wanted to watch the movie again, so yesterday I took Kas as an early birthday present. One of her friends loves the movie, so she was interested. It was fun doing a 'girlie thing' with her.

We had parent teacher conferences last week for the younger kids. It was very insightful for me. Kas moved to another class, so I went to her old teacher who loves her. She says she was a huge help and would do anything asked, and she knew she could count on her for anything. She is very helpful around the house too, but seems to constantly be contentious. and moody. Elijah's teacher is a friend of ours, so I think she was a little more open than she normally would have been. She said that Elijah sometimes will almost get in trouble because he will defend his friends, if he feels like they are being mistreated. She says she can guage what is really going on, cause she knows Elijah won't lie. If he is keeping quiet, she guesses that they are guilty. I thought that was funny. She realizes that last year he got away with a lot cause of his cuteness, and is determined he won't this year, which makes me laugh. I realized that an attorney may be a good career choice for Elijah...he likes to fight for others rights. and that maybe he is more responsible for the arguing that is constantly going on between him and Kas. I decided maybe I need to cut her a bit more slack....We are very blessed with good kids...who even if they struggle with school work, are always doing pretty well in the respect and helping categories...which is more important to me. Good grades is a bonus...which they do pretty well too.
Kaleb on the other hand struggles with school work. He excels in the respect and all....NEVER a problem...but doesn't really like schoolwork. Friday when I picked him up, he told me he got an award at school. I asked what for...and with a little disgust in his voice, said....'writing.' I laughed so hard. I knew he had it in him, cause when he was like in second grade he did very well with well in fact, his teacher was showing all the other teachers and principal. He used to write very creative stories and cool illustrations. Anyways, it will be interesting to see where this goes. I hope it gets him a bit more interested or confident in school.

well, that is enough for now. I did get my camera fixed finally, so I should be able to add more photos soon, which will make this much more interesting.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Well, we didn't make it to the hike. It was raining, friends were in town and we had a few friends who wanted to come out and ride. Husband, wife, and 7 year old son... they'd bought a few 90's for their kids. They ended up being too big for comfort for the boy, the girl was not interested at all. Mom tried it a bit, but enjoyed our 4 wheeler a lot more... so, they left with a twisted back..(his, from trying to rescue son from wreaking on the 90), his bike, one of the 90's with a few less pieces after the wreak, and Kas's 4 wheeler. We traded it for the other 90...for Elijah! Elijah has been dying for a bike...and Kas barely liked it was a great trade. Their boy was intimidated by the 90...and loved the 4 wheeler. perfect. The 4 wheeler is fairly new and the 90 is quite it was probably a fairly good trade. But, the smiles on the boys' faces were priceless! Brian said he would have preferred messing his back up riding, but we told him a dad saving his son was a worthy cause! They also left very dirty and wet. You can't play out at our place and stay clean. Suzanne, the wife, loved flying through the puddles! it was funny.

Our friends from out of town (Krugers) came over so the kids could play. We had a great time....mostly just hanging out, catching up, and eating. It was a nice day all in all. oh, and we did some rearranging around the house....which will hopefully work out better for our family, and all we do. We are attempting to make an exercise room. Our kids are getting older and more interested in sports, so it seems like an appropriate time. We will see.

We missed spending time with extending family for the holiday weekend, but were grateful to have it filled with family time and friends.

Oh, also, today at church, during the Sacrament, our Branch President had to go out for something, and maybe because it has already been on my mind, it took my mind to that day almost a year ago, when another Sacrament was interupted by the shooting of Kristy. Directly after Kristy was shot, and Ann realized she couldn't do anything to help her, she walked into the chapel and up to the Bishop to get his assistance and let him know. Members noticed, and thought it was strange. a little later the Bishop came back in, interupted testimonies, and informed everyone what had happened. Today, while I was contemplating how peaceful and sacred the Sacrament is....and how disruptive all of this would have been at that moment. I wondered how long it took for some of those members to refind the peace of the Sacrament after that ordeal.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving.

Hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving. We stayed home this year...well, actually we had it at the church with the 'no one home alone for thanksgiving' was fun, but I had to get my kids (and dh) in from playing to go. At that moment I thought...maybe it would be easier to have a stay at home no pressure meal. but, we went to the church and it was fun. Good food. I made most of the things I wanted so we could have leftovers. So, Kas and I cooked all morning. This was Kas' first year in the kitchen with me...where she participated in most of the dishes. She made the famous chocolate pie...she learned a few pies ago, and it has become her responsibility, and then helped in a big way with the cranberry personal favorite, the apple pie, rolls, hmmm...and probably a few others. I also made a berry those. is tradition in the Simpson family to smoke (on the grill) the turkey. I have never done it is usually dad's or brothers job...but we made one this year. It turned out perfectly. I called dad a dozen times making sure I got it right...and we did. J helped, so it can become his job now. I tried to take photos but my battery was dead and we had to go. I didn't get any photos of today. I should have gotten some with Kas and me in the kitchen. I hope it will be a good memory for her. She worked hard, and I am very proud of her.
We have many things to be thankful for. We have been very blessed this year. We have had huge trials as well....but always see the hands of the Lord through our trials. That is a huge blessing. I am glad we have a few days to spend with the family. We are planning to hike Colonel Bob on Saturday....if the weather is decent. We have done it the last 2 years, and just hadn't had time this year. It is usually a 2 day event, but we are going to try the one day hike. It is only 4 1/2 miles up, but pretty steep. I will let you know how it goes...hopefully!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

plea deal

Today Dave pled guilty for Kristy's murder. His bargain is 20-life instead of the death penalty. I understand that he will most likely not be eligible for parole for 40 years or so. We will find out in January I think. I am grateful Dave pled. He has been pretty adament about trying to get off...which has been hard to see. I have no idea how he is feeling and what his motivation is, but I am certain this is best for Kristy's family. It has been almost a year. Man, that is crazy. Her boys live close we will be able to visit soon. I am so glad they are home, for good. Ann has had quite a year. I applaud her. I think she has endured it well. and I know her and Al will be blessed for all they have endured, and their willingness towards the boys. I know one day it will all be made well. I am so grateful for that knowledge.

I am also very proud of my little sisters. (and brothers) They have been there for Ann helping in every way. I could not have handled things as well as they have.

The Lord puts people in our paths to help us accomplish what needs to be done. Kristy lived in an awesome ward. I have been soo impressed with all they have done. The prosecuters, policemen, advocates for the kids, etc....were all necessary and working hard to bring things to a good conclusion. We've definitely had oposition.....but many blessings and tender mercies. I am so grateful we can see the Lord's hand in all. I cannot imagine going through this without that blessing.

on a lighter note...I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

blue egg

we got our first blue egg today! exciting! we have one chicken that will lay blue eggs....and even though we have been getting eggs for a few months now, and have been anxiously watching for the blue egg..but I guess the blue chicken took a little longer to mature. the funny thing, is Elijah found it and brought it in....after we took the photo he dropped the egg! It just cracked a bit, but it was pretty funny. Kaleb found our first brown egg when he stepped on it...I don't usually like to eat the first egg so, I didn't mind that much. I got the, it's all good. He found these three eggs together. We like diversity here! Has anyone ever eaten a blue egg before. wonder if it is going to taste the same...or look the same on the inside. We have gotten some very interesting eggs. Chickens are so much fun. Everyday Elijah asks if we can get more.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I forgot a little tender mercy that happened to me on my birthday. Remember I was in Bellingham for my birthday. It fell on a sunday, so we went to my old ward there. Well, the sacrament song happened to be my favorite sacrament hymn. Sometime during the hymn I realized the significance of the song being sung on my birthday. It is one that is not sung much....WITH HUMBLE HEART #171

With humble heart, I bow my head and think of thee, o Savior, Lord.
I take the water and the bread to show remembrance of thy word.

Help me remember, I implore, Thou gavest thy life on Calvary
That I might live forevermore, and grow dear Lord to be like Thee.

To be like Thee! I lift my eyes from earth below toward heav'n above,
That I may learn from vaulted skies how I my worthiness can prove.

As I walk daily here on earth, give me Thy Spirit as I seek
A change of heart, another birth, and grow, dear Lord to be like Thee.
text by Zara Sabin

I love the message. But, on my special day I realized it was a special gift for me. :)

Today during the sacrament I saw the hymn LEAN ON MY AMPLE ARM #120
I did not recognize it at all. but I appreciated the message.

Lean on my ample arm o thou depressed! And I will bid the storm cease in thy breast.
Whatever thy lot may be in life's complaining sea if thou wilt come to me, thou shalt have rest.

Lift up thy tearful eyes, sad heart, to me; I am the sacrifice offered for thee.
In Me thy pain shall cease, in Me is thy release, in Me thou shalt have peace eternally.

Isn't that beautiful and so true. lean on my ample arm........
We are blessed with beautiful hymns. I know I take them for granted because they have always been in my life. But, they really are a form of worship. I am not a great musician, and please don't judge me for this, but I don't particularly enjoy listening to motab...but I do love music, and think there is great power behind it.

so, which is your favorite hymn and why? I would love to know. hope your sabbath is great. the sun is shining that is a bonus for us.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

another addition of this and that....

Tomorrow is bring a friend to church day. I am happy to report that each of my friends invited a friend or two or ten. Kaleb texted a bunch of his friends after church last week asking them if they wanted to come. He finally had one say he would meet us there. We'll see if he shows. Elijah's best friend is coming, and Kas' friends didn't work said maybe, the other said yes, but I don't know what happened. As for me....I had great intentions, but forgot to call and ask. I guess I need to learn from at the first opportunity. My problem was I needed to get the number from J and always forgot.

We have had such a busy week. stuff going on every night. It is fun, but crazy. I have been doing alot of computer work...trying to get the end of year stuff done. I have been doing so much that my arm and back are cramped from all the typing. silly. I have also started doing Indexing for the church/family history. I enjoy doing it. and can whip out one to two pages a day. I wish the people writing those records would have been thinking of those of us, hundreds of years later, trying to read their writing! just kidding. I know my writing can be hard to read at times.

Well, J's vacation bonus was much better than we expected, so he is going to Hawaii with me. I am very excited. He became more excited when he realized he could get his scuba certification done while we were there. He's been wanting to do it for awhile, but there isn't any scuba groups out here, so he would have had to travel aways to go. Once he has it done he will be interested in joining the local dive rescue team.....We will be there for a full week if you count travel time. He said he was just hoping the wedding wouldn't interfere with his diving class. dumb boy. (but, I'll take him). That was his reluctance in going to Hawaii....he would have to attend a wedding. He stays away from weddings and funerals, if he can help it!

oh...I got my ears repierced today. this will have been the third time. I have always let them close up. But, someone gave me some earrings for my birthday...and with Kas getting older, and wanting me to, I decided to go ahead and do it. I did feel silly getting them done at 42! Elijah noticed right away. J is on a guys night watching a fight out of town...he will come home in the morning and head straight to we will see how long it takes for him to notice. Elijah said it makes me look, does he know the way to a woman's heart or what!!!

Kas has learned more about her class switch. I guess the 5th graders eat lunch with the she will not be eating lunch or doing recess with most of her friends. (She does have 3-4 of her best friends moving up with her, though) She will be switching her reading and math with the 5th graders. So, this is going to be a bigger change than I was expecting. She is a little excited and a little sad about it all. I think it will all happen in a we will see then how it goes.

I am excited for thanksgiving. We will be doing it at the church this year, for those who don't have family to celebrate with. We have done it a few years and it is fun. We decided to say around home this year to save $$$ and get stuff done.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My camera has been out of commission for a few weeks. I lost my battery charger for it. I know it has to be around somewhere, but I can't find it. thankfully, J ordered me another one,. silly me, I would just live a lot longer without use of my camera. I have learned it is not nearly as fun to blog without photos. J still has his camera, and we take photos with that, but I never get a hold of it to post photos.
Kas got student of the month in her class yesterday. We also found out today that she will be moving classes. At the beginning of the year they combined the 3rd and 4th graders and had 3 classes. I didn't have a problem with it. I liked Kas's teacher and she loved her, so it was all good. And, the kids will go to different classes for reading, math,, they stay with their level. Well, there have been many new students, so now they have to change things around a bit. She is very disappointed to learn she is going to be moving up to the 4th, 5th grade class. Today she will learn who is moving up with her...probably some of her friends will be there too...and then it won't be so disappointing for her. We'll see. I wonder why so many families are moving into Ocean Shores.....and why more aren't LDS!
Elijah recieved an award for football. I did not get any photos of Elijah this year playing football, or with his team or coaches or anything. I always thought we would have an opportunity,....and I didn't. oh well. next year he will play at the jr high. and he will be in full gear. he'd been playing flag. I am excited to see how well he does.
Kaleb had his second meet last night. He was sick at the first meet, and didn't do very well. He was excited to see he was going to compete against the same guy for his first match. He pinned him right away. He byed the second match, which means the person he was supposed to compete against didn't show. We thought that meant he wouldn't be able to wrestle again. He wasn't satisfied with that. Coach realized there was another competitor who had a bye in his same he said they should have put the two together. Kaleb was so determined to wrestle again, he went to ask the head guy if he could wrestle the other person. We had to wait until the end of the meet, but he was able to wrestle ....a girl! Of course he beat her right away as well. He went away feeling pretty good. We were proud of him, cause he did a great job. He has another meet tomorrow where he will compete against different kids. I was going to say boys, but with Kaleb you never know. I guess he is in the right weight bracket for some of the girls who decide to wrestle.

Seemed like I had other things to post...but can't remember. We are definitely proud parents!

Friday, November 14, 2008

catch up

I seem to do a lot of 'catch-up' posts! It has been a busy time for us, and I know I am not going to remember everything I want to post! but, the first big news is I turned 42! I love the 40's. Every birthday in my 40's I have felt totally content and blessed! I guess this is only my third, but it has been totally different than I anticipated. I am not sure why I feel the way I do. I have always looked young for my age, but I have felt the last few years, that I was probably looking more my age, but on my birthday a lady overheard me talking to a friend about being in my 40's and she couldn't believe I was! a little inner shout hurrah! I have wrinkles. I have white hair, that I usually have covered with a beautiful blonde color...;). those few extra pounds seem even harder to get off....and sometimes I look REALLY ragged. but I feel soo content. and I am grateful for that. we went to Bellingham for the weekend. It was great spending time with my family. We went to Katelynn's gravesite --we share the same birthday. She would have been 9. I would love to see her as a 9 year old. I cried like a baby. Jessie told me I hadn't been out there enough, which is true. I did not know Katelynn very well. She passed on at 14 months. and we didn't live near her most of her life. but I was there when she had her heart attack, and I was at the hospital for the 4 days she was preparing to pass on. Those 4 days are days I will always cherish. She was such an example of LOVE, and COURAGE to me. She had a damaged body, she spent most of her life struggling to breathe and stay healthy. She hung on for a few days so her parents could come to a realization of what was to be. I think about that sweet little girl and the impact she made on my life in such a short amount of time. I love to see the twinkle in Shayne's eye when he talks about his little girl, and the reverence that overpowers Tanner when he speaks of her. Even Kaden was talking about her while we were there. Kaden knows her only through stories told, and photos shown. I am so grateful for the knowledge of eternal families, and the knowledge that Katelynn lives on.

While we were in Bellingham we were able to go to my old ward, which is one of my favorite ever. One of my friends spoke and she gave this quote:

"Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had 'never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life.'
"This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions.
"Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened....Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself. Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, 'summer is nigh.' Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat."
--- Elder Neal A. Maxwell

This quote comes from a talk Elder Maxwell gave 30 years ago at a BYU devotional! !
Doesn't it feel like what we are facing today? I am so grateful for a prophet of God who leads us. And, even though we aren't yet in the trenches, there are people who are not afraid to stand up to the truth, and 'stand the heat' for the cause of good. We are representing the Lord and truth, and how we handle what is going on will matter in the long run.

Our small town is feeling the need to downsize their spending. so, our newly elected mayor decided the best way to do that was through layoffs. He wanted to cut 2 positions at the fire department, 13 city jobs total. The last few weeks we have been worried about the stability of J's dream job, and the jobs of some of our friends and/or colleagues. It has been a very emotional few weeks, The idea, of fighting to save a job, knowing someone else we care about may lose his or hers has been horrible. Especially at this time, when the economy is slow. The funniest thing, is at the beginning of the year, J would either be laid off, or get a substantial raise. Isn't that crazy. Well, last night we got word that our Fire Chief found enough money to save the 2 jobs for the fire department. Hallelujiah! what a relief. I am very grateful to our Chief for saving the jobs. I am even more grateful for the knowledge that no matter what happened we would be fine. I was able to feel a peaceful calm, which is such a blessing. I didn't know what was in store, but I have had enough experiences in life to know that everything works together for our good. ..when we let it. This was so unexpected, something we didn't even consider. We never know when our lives are going to change drastically.

Kaleb started wrestling a few weeks ago. He had his first meet yesterday. J and I went on the bike. It was about 1.5 hours away, the sun was shining, and I haven't been on the bike for awhile, so it was a nice treat. I really like riding. and I love the fact that it costs much less to travel that way. The amazing thing is Kaleb weighed in at 125.2. I am pretty sure last year he wrestled at 107 and was quite a few inches shorter.

We have seen a bit of the good, the bad, the great and the ugly the last few weeks. We have been greatly blessed and I am so thankful. Looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I voted

I finally finished my ballot last night, after calling a few people to get clarifications on things. I am not a political junkie. in fact I get pretty frustrated and confused with most of it. But, I am so grateful for our ability to vote. I know many women have fought so that I can vote, and I am grateful we aren't the ones making that fight.

There is so much pressure though, to make the right choice, even when I live in a very liberal state...where my vote probably won't matter much. I do appreciate that I can still cast my vote.
I had planned on turning my ballot in early but couldn't get the time to do the research I wanted to feel informed. oh well. I voted!

I am anxious to see how things turn out and how the candidates do. I hope with any kind of win, that I will be pleasantly surprised by the actions of the elected officials. I know I really don't need to worry. I am grateful for that. I am so tired of all the crap that goes on with the elections. I hate people talking trash about others, no matter how evil they might be. I hate how we get so many 'part truths' and words taken out of context. Maybe I am so sensitive to this because of the Mormon bashing I have heard throughout my life...and because of my ancestors who suffered because of misconceptions and false truths. I just want to know the truth, and understand what is real. Fat chance in this world. So, since that isn't a possibility, I am grateful for guidance from One who knows! ;)

I think I have Halloween photos, but they are in J's camera, so I will post them later.

do you want to hear another redneck moment? yesterday we had stake conference. It is an hour drive away, so we decided to take the motorhome and make a day of it. J was working until that morning, so we were running later than we wanted, but he was able to change comfortably on the way. We packed a lunch, some snacks, and extra clothes, clean bed...etc... I just forgot pillows...After our meeting, we went to a state park, we hadn't visited before, and was pleasantly surprised. There was a river there, with salmon fighting to get up stream and spawn. Discovery chanel live. It was awesome. Not raining for the moment. Just nice. Then we came in and took a little nap while the kids played games. It was awesome. We are blessed.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

unexpected visitor

So on friday, we were pouring the rest of a driveway and steps, etc. and all of a sudden a new fire engine pulls up. One of J's best friends is in charge of the vehicles at the fire dept. They are looking at getting a new engine, and someone brought one down for them to check out. J's friend brought it to the job site so we could get a look at it. The guys who work for us are volunteers, so they were also very interested. We all forgot about the concrete...while they checked out all the cool things on the engine...and I took photos. It was funny cause the salesman just stepped away and let them have their time checking everything out. I thought Travis was such a good friend for keeping J in the loop. but when I told him that, he said J told him he HAD to bring it by.

I thought it was still cool. There are benefits for working in a small department...and having the right friends! ;)

So, most of you know we have a construction business where we do a lot of concrete. We usually don't have animals, especially wild ones walk on our wet concrete. Actually we have only had one other time we can think of....and it was right next door to this sidewalk we poured on friday. This is an exposed agragate sidewalk, so...we couldn't try and work it out....and there were probably a few little holes. j said by the time he went back to spray off the cream, there were a bunch more prints. We saw so many deer there. It was crazy. Earlier this week, we also had a dog walk all over a driveway. We live where there is a leash law, and the general contractor on the job said they never saw dogs running free there. Luckily it was also exposed and didn't show up....but we were worried for a bit. This is another job we are working on. Concrete deck and stairs. We are pouring the sidewalks on tuesday.
Back stairs and large patio.

Driveway and cool rounded flowerpots.

I really love doing concrete. Jeremy is pretty creative with designing. We are getting ready to put a shell design in a driveway. It should turn out nice. I wanted to take a photo of me in my work clothes. carhartt jeans, ragged tee shirts and hoodies. usually frizzy hair from the humidity here...not pretty at all. When I pick the kids up at school they say they always look at my shoes to see if we are going to work afterwards or not...which is funny, that they can't tell with my clothes...that are so thrashed. Anyways, a part of our daily life.....

redneck alert

Okay, I finally got my photos downloaded. Last week, during church, I looked over and Kas and her friend, and she must have had some bendable metal, because they were forming rings out of them. I thought it was funny, but they were staying quiet, and worked for me. These are the rings they ended up with.
But, I looked over on my other side and saw J playing with his knife....this one:

I think he was picking at his callouses on his hand. my heavens! we ain't rednecks!!!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

new one

So, here's a new Mormon stereotype. The other day Kaleb was talking with a friend about something I made, and his friend said, ' man, your mom likes to cook.' Kaleb said I did, and another friend said, 'You're mom's Mormon, right?' Kaleb said I was and the friend said ''Mormon's like to cook.' and then they went on saying that when the missionaries were giving their spiel, they could add that if you join the Mormon church you'll learn how to cook! funny kids' perspectives!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Yesterday was the last football game for Elijah. After their game, against their closest rival school, they came in and played volleyball with the girls volleyball team. That was pretty hilarious! Elijah has been doing great in football though, and it is a sport he LOVES. He had some good coaches, which helped. It has been fun watching his enthusiasm. We have not done a lot with sports this is cool. I didn't get any photos of him this year with his team or playing. sorry.
Kaleb's had his last cross country meet today. It was also actually the first he could compete in as well. We were either out of town, or he hadn't had enough practice with the others. He started late in the season. I am proud of Kaleb because he has shown his willingness to go the extra mile in training. He doesn't give up easily, and I don't think he necessarily pushes himself too hard, but he will do all that is required of him and maybe more sometimes. I think that is a great trait. He was mostly running to train for wrestling, which is starting very soon....I think next week. He does pretty well in that. I was just thinking today how much he has changed in the last year. Last year he was pretty scrawny in his singlet....He has gained a few 7-10 I am guessing and quite a few inches....His chest is filling out...he is looking less and less like a kid...sad and excitement at the same time. Anyways, it will be interesting to see how he does this year.
Kasidee is not really participating in anything. I am tempted to take her into Aberdeen for piano...but don't know if I will stay with the commute.

We had the pumpkin auction tonight. It is fun. The 4th graders have it every year for a fundraiser for their field trips. People decorate pumpkins to sell. We got one with the ff emblem on it. It is very cool...Maybe I will take a photo of it tomorrow and post it. We are doing 3 pours tomorrow I am sure we are going to be exhausted when we are done. we'll see.

Well, I decided I am going to go to Hawaii for my brother's wedding in Feb. I have been very hesitant, cause I can't take my family and it is so much money. I want to support him on his special day, but I am a worrier.... well, I decided to live large and pray that things will work out so at least J can come with me or meet up. He is awesome for making sure I can.

I know this is all quite boring stuff...but that is what's happening with us. hope you are all well. I have a funny story to tell, but it has to go with photos...and I don't want to take the time to download them it will have to wait.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I was able to attend Time Out for Women in Portland last weekend. I went with my Time Out buddy, Jeri.....and met up with one of my favorite missionary companions, Stef and her cousin Karen. I haven't seen Stef since before I was married, so that was an awesome reunion. It was great meeting her family that I only knew through pictures. ...I just tried to find a good photo of us in the mission to scan, but I will have to look harder. Here we were waiting in line. Jeri is a good friend to bring along. She is an early riser, so got there very early. She was about 12th in one of the lines. so we were able to get up pretty close. Our problem is none of us are super aggressive, so we didn't get the best seats but still good.
We got these cool bags when we arrived. One of the reasons I go is always for MEE aka, Mary Ellen Edmonds. Stephanie, Karen and I all served in the MTC while she was the MTC RS Pres. so, we all had fond memories of her. She is awesome. She was the last speaker and had us all laughing so hard. I think we all could have heard much more from her. Notice how her sweater matches the color scheme for the event....remember the bags?....I wondered if she bought the sweater for this years tour, or if the sweater was where the idea came from..hehe. I was going to ask, but didn't get a chance.
Kenneth Cope was the main musical guest. He is my favorite LDS performer. The lyrics to his songs are awesome. I love his outlook on life, and his love for the Savior.
I did not take very many photos this year, because they don't show up that well, but we also had the pleasure of hearing from Emily Watts, Camille Fronk Olson, Cherie Call and Elia Gourgouris. They were all wonderful, with messages I felt I needed. It seemed they reinforced the things I have already been working on.

I've heard Cherie Call before cause I had friends who really liked her, but seeing her live gave me an appreciation for her music I didn't have before.

I love Time Out for Women and am so grateful that I am able to attend with women I admire. Some of my regular peeps weren't able to make it with us.....and there are some I still am hoping to go with all my am making plans for next year. But this is always a highlight of the year for me. I feel blessed.

On our trip home we stopped at a rest stop to make some sandwiches, and a young adult came up to us telling us some story about his car breaking down and running out of money before he got home....I felt like it was an opportunity for us to carry on some of the love we were feeling all day...well the last few days, so we gave him some of our food and a small portion of what he needed. I wondered a bit if he was legit, and then really didn't care, because it felt good to share. Alot of the message we received, was on being a peacemaker, not judging others and ourselves, and feeling the love of our Heavenly Father and passing it on. It was all good.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


we got our first brown egg yesterday. The only problem is Kaleb realized it when he stepped on it! but then we got another one today. Yea! and this is the first time we've gotten three eggs at one time. Usually it is one. progress...

I made 2 batches of blackberry jam. except I made mistakes on both. I think they will both be fine. the jam won out over the pie. I figured jam would last longer....I was trying to be responsible.

tomorrow i am heading to Portland with a friend for Time Out for Women. I am very excited to go. Sad that some 'regulars' aren't able to attend with us. I am certain you will hear about it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

call of the career

In August J had the call of a career. I haven't said anything about it because I didn't want to violate hippa...but, I think it is okay now, since he was awarded for his actions on the call, and it was all explained in a public forum. He made a shift change with another emt, and had been on shift for just a few minutes, when tones went out for a preg woman in labor. Soon after they said she was 23 weeks along, and the foot was hanging out! Now, for a little history....J has dreaded the labor call. Most people like these calls, but J wasn't interested. But, when it happens, you don't have a choice. He and the Medic on duty responded. He said at the top of the stairs were a few pit bulls that they had to get through to get to the woman in the bathroom. Anyways, they got her in the ambulance, picked up another medic at the firedept on the way to the hospital...and off they went. the first Medic delivered the baby and handed her off to J and the other medic. When she was born she was blue and not breathing. but they started cpr on her and by the time they arrived at the hospital she was breathing. Like I mentioned before, she was 23 weeks along....not even 6 months....She was 1 lb 9 oz. J said her head was about the size of a light bulb. She was 12 inches long. Now, she is over 2 lbs. and has been doing very well. They are just waiting for her weight to come up so she can come home. All of the responders were each awarded a medal... for their amazing work. The medic who delivered the baby was asked to sign the attending physician spot on the birth certificate, and the parents were there. It was awesome. they also did a slide show of the baby with the song 'the first time....ever I saw your face......' it was killer.
This is one photo from the slide show. I want to respect the privacy of the family but I also wanted you to see how little she is...She is a miracle. J was on a high after that call. He called me right afterwards, just saying he was in awe...It was awesome. What I originally thought was going to be the dreaded call, became the call of a career!

Today I was able to pick blackberries....only for the 2nd time this season. It took awhile, but I got quite a batch. They were beautiful, but I got a lot of scratches, and amazingly my feet were soaked even though it was around noon and the last time it rained was yesterday morning. Oh how I love the PNW. I think we still have berries because we had such a cool summer and warm fall. Anyways, I am thankful, since I haven't been able to pick much.
Jam tonight...well, I was trying to I want more jam, or a pie. I love love love blackberry pie! I think I may have enough for both! Weeeeeeeeeee....


Last weekend we were able to attend the baptism of my beautiful niece. I love baptisms. Here is mom and dad with the special girl. And here she is with Grandpa and Grandma Simpson.
We had quite an experience while we were driving to the stake center. We were following my brother and his family, and my parents were behind us. All of a sudden our car started sputtering, and we realized we were running out of gas. We were on some country we kept going as far as we could. There were alot of hills, so we joked about making it to the top of the hill and coasting down. It was funny and dumb...that we didn't notice our situation. I was just glad J was driving. hehe....anyways, we finally died on the top of a hill. J told the boys to jump out and push us so we could coast down, and told me to drive and he jumped out. While we were switching, I noticed the church was right there...halfway down the hill! Talk about tender mercies! The guys coasted us into the parking lot. We went to the baptism and didn't have to worry about the car until after.....and we found a gas station with fuel at $3.16...last we paid it was probably $3.59....but, the gas can (1 gallon) was like $10. and then the station where we filled up, was not that inexpensive, even though it was the same company.

We found other success on that trip. J found the watch he's been wanting for $64 rather than $300! He was so excited! And Kas found a cute snowboarding jacket and pants. sorry, no photos yet. Now she can't wait to get on the slopes! well, we are all excited for that!
We have had a lot of things going on right now...but not time to post. First, on the first week of October it was Elijah's turn to take a bike trip with J. He has been anxiously awaiting this opportunity. We have had to postpone a month or they were ansy to go. They left on wed. morning after J got off work and took a little nap, since he worked all night. Since Elijah took 3 days off of school, he'd gotten his homework to do on the trip. Here are his books... protected by the waterproof bag.
The trip down is 11 hours of driving along the wa and ore coast. It is a beautiful drive. They had great weather the first day, and really enjoyed their drive.
Isn't this a cute photo!
Here they are at the redwoods. They had some great adventures. I am going to let Elijah tell the rest of the story.
On friday morning I realized they were going to have rain and cold for the last two days...they were going to be home saturday night. So, I loaded up the motorhome, hooked on the little trailer and we went out to meet them. We ended up in Lincoln City. I love the oregon coast, and so I really enjoyed the drive. It was raining hard the whole drive though. We got to Lincoln City about 45 minutes before they did. The campground we were thinking of going to wasn't that promising, so we just waited around. I don't have any photos of the cold, wet guys. I must say, riding in the cold and wet for extended periods of time is not fun! J pants didn't stay waterproof...and he was sitting in a cold puddle most of the day. Anyways they were happy to see us! A little further down the road we found a koa to camp in that had wifi...which was a blessing for me!

The next day J hung up all the wet clothes. Before that they sat in the shower stall, with all their gear. It was a huge mound of wet gear.

But, before we hung the gear, we watched and or listened to the saturday session of conference. I was so grateful we were able to get wifi, and for great technology. We really are blessed to be able to listen, and see conference whereever we are. Checkout was at 11, which is when conference we were getting everything ready the last few minutes we were watching, and as soon as they said amen, we put the computer away and left. It was awesome. Elijah made eggs for breakfast

And Kaleb made his famous cheese toast. I love having kids who can take care of themselves. We laid around watching conference while they cooked and listened.

Afterwards, we shopped....okay...I shopped...there is a great outlet mall in Lincoln City, and then took out time going home.
We stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory...bought ice cream and squeeky cheese. Here is J eating the squeeky cheese on a cracker.
Kas is trying to hear the squeek!!!We had so much fun. I know we crashed their ride, but it was fun...and I think they appreciated riding in the motorhome.

Monday, October 6, 2008

We had our Tuna Feed a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I was so busy cooking and trying to keep everything running smoothly that I wasn't able to take many photos. The Tuna Feed is a tradition that we have in our branch when the tuna is running. It is basically a potluck with tuna as the main dish. We cut the fresh tuna in small, bite size chunks, wrap each in a half slice of bacon, with a water chestnut tucked in there somewhere...and then grilled until done. They are killer yummy. I like canned tuna alright, but had no idea what fresh tuna was all about, before my first tuna feed some 10 years ago.
So, I was determined to have one this year...even though things seemed to not work out for it. We did get it scheduled, and had to change because of scheduling conflicts with members, and we rescheduled it, and then at the last minute we still had major helpers not be able to show up. But it was still a great time and great food. J was on duty, but fortunately he was able to come and help out and eat.

This is the cake Kas made for the event. It cracked right away, but was still yummy! She loves chocolate with white icing...I like all chocolate....and so does her daddy, so it was good. in fact I think it was all gone by the time we went home. Anyways, she has been really enjoying cooking lately. While I was in Idaho with Gramma Jello, she called me to tell me a friend had invited them over for sunday dinner...and gave them the option of picking the dessert. Kas said she would let her know...and REALLY wanted to tell her she would take care of dessert. That's my girl!!!! Our friend ended up making them yummy cinnamon rolls....and Kas actually hasn't done many recipes ALL BY it could have been very interesting, but I loved the enthusiasm, and desire! So, now all my kids are turning out to be great cooks! They all have their specialties. maybe sometime I will have to blog their foods. pretty interesting and good.

OSFD Open House

I have been a slacker lately. First I thought I didn't have anything fun to write about....and then I found some photos that reminded me I did...but then I didn't have time to blog, and then we got too busy, and then I had no creative juices flowing. I really shouldn't be blogging today, because I have a ton of other things to do, but now I have a few things to blog, so I am going to at least get a bit of it done.

In the middle of Sept the fire department had an open house at the convention center. I think they would normally have it at the firehouse, but ours is in such bad shape...we are waiting for the new one to be constructed...that they did it there, which was nice. The weather wasn't great, and there wasn't a great turnout, but It was well done.

Here is my hunny running the ladder on the ladder truck.

Amber and my parents were visiting, so we drug them along. Here are my parents.
Here is the ladder truck demonstrating their water flow.
J is giving a demonstration on some of the equipment. His firehouse job is being responsible for all the equipment on the vehicles....perfect job for him....His nickname is Toolbox Towery
Isn't this a much easier way to jack up a car than those little things in the truck of our cars! Youc an see grandma, Kaleb and Elijah peeking around the firemen.
I wish I would have taken a photo of my kids. We all had ff teeshirts on.
If you ever get a chance to go to a firedept open house, do it. There was a smoke house, which is a trailer, with a mock living room, kitchen, bedroom, where they will explain what it is like and what you should do when there is a fire in your house. Then they will turn on the smoke, or steam...or whatever it is, so you can see what it is like, while still being able to breathe. I was very surprised by the experience. How much you could not see, and how easy it would to be disoriented. So, then we get to practice crawling to the door, while following the wall, or whatever, and getting to the window and crawling out. It was a great experience, and something I think every child should experience. Anyways, it was a fun event.