Friday, December 31, 2010

Cami's Baptism

Before midnight makes this feel "too late," here's a brief record of Cami's baptism on Sunday, 5 December 2010.

There's always challenges when it comes to making covenants. My personal challenge that day was morning sickness. Cami's challenge (which didn't bother her at all) was that the closet with white baptismal clothing was distinctly lacking a Cami-sized jumpsuit. Thankfully, when I called one of her best friend's mom, there was an immediate offer of letting her wear the dress that all four of their daughters have worn. And Cami felt like a princess, if her prancing was any indication.

We kept it in the family -- I'm not big on turning sacred events into productions -- so my mother & I gave the talks. Jason performed the ordinance (which Bishop Riozzi remarked was done "very efficiently"), as well as confirming her with the aid of Bishop Riozzi & a family friend Simon Boycott.

I realize this is a pretty factual account, but honestly, I'm not sure what to say. Except that I'm proud of Cami for wanting to follow Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Little Miss Silly

Rosie completely enjoys the "Mr. Men & Little Miss" books that I read as a six year old. A Christmas stocking stuffer was "Mr. Silly" which has become a regular part of her bedtime routine. Jason just came downstairs & related this conversation.

Jason reading: In Sillyland the pig says 'Moo.'

Rosie: No, the pig doesn't say 'Moo.' Piggies say 'Oink.'

Jason: In the real world, piggies say 'Oink,' but in Sillyland they say 'Moo.'

Rosie: In Sillyland, piggies don't say 'Oink." They say 'Baa.'

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter Wonderland

We finally made it to Bolton Abbey in winter. It was a very brief visit, because of the temperature was a touch too frigid for the munchkins. But we've done it. And it's pretty.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Act of God: The Update

How many Americans would expect to have their 20-week ultrasound scheduled for Christmas Eve? My guess: Zero.

Baby appears to be large of cranium and to share the same profile as the others. Unlike the siblings, this one is a little bit shy in revealing a gender. But the "maybe" assessment is that Lightning strikes again.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Friendly Girl

I was up in my bedroom, checking email or something else unimpressive, when I heard Jason and Rosie talking in the living room.

"Rosie, you're still in your pajamas."

"Yes, I am. And I lost my friend Mom."

About ten minutes later, after she had found her friend with the melted heart, it was time to come downstairs. As we were got ready to descend, Rose told me, "I need my friend Dad."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

She Makes Me Laugh

Rosie has perfected the domineering & dissatisfied face.

Snap! He's Right

I shouldn't be shocked, but life with Graham can be so surprising. While in the tub today, he was chattering about this and that, when I suddenly thought I heard a rather advanced literary term pass his lips. When I asked him to clarify, I learned I'd heard correctly.

"Onomatopoeia. It's a sound word like 'pop' and 'meow'."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bluntly Put

Part of the toilet training process means that Rosie is often without underclothing. She just walked in with her dress hitched halfway up. Jason commented, "Rosie, you're flashing."

"No, I'm not. I'm naked."

Jason wanted his blog point

Cami was quizzing Jason on the spelling of various European countries.

"Do you know how to spell Espana?" (I don't know how to do the squiggle on my computer & I'm too lazy to look it up.)

He was a bit distracted and his mumbled response meant she didn't hear the "E," and said he got it wrong.

Jason, "Well, I was thinking the 'E'."

Cami responded, "That doesn't count."

Jason reacted with, "Yes, if I were taking a spelling test I would lose points. But one of the good things about having a PhD is that I don't have to take spelling tests anymore."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My English Rose

Rosie had been asking to make cookie-cutter cookies most of the afternoon. After realizing we were out of butter, I opted to buy some Nabisco-like sandwich cookies to assuage the I-must-have-cookies impulse she'd unleashed in the pregnant mother.

Looking at the opened package Rosie exclaimed, "It's biscuits! They're not cookies, Mommy, they're biscuits!"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Money Matters

I watched a really interesting Oprah interview on YouTube last week with J.K. Rowling. I have been mentally chewing on the segment where the two women discuss what it's like to have been devastatingly poor and then to be billionaires. Rowling refers to having such wealth as having a "superpower," many everyday problems just aren't a problem anymore. Oprah mentions those moments where she finds herself debating between two choices and then remembers, "Oh, wait -- I can have them both!"

With Christmas approaching, I can't help but think about how I really DON'T want things. What I want is that superpower Rowling talks about: I want my cabinet rewired for British plugs, I want all the lights in the house to work, I want a dishwasher. I want it not to matter that I left all my maternity clothes in NJ. I want to live in a house where I can paint the walls & put up pictures anywhere I want & rip up the bathroom carpet (yes, it's gross). I don't want to have to choose between the kids' swimming lessons and replacing the timing belt on the car. I want that freedom from mundane problems.

But Christmas isn't supposed to be about any of that. So I'll try to remember that the superpower of Christmas is the freedom from death & sin that is celebrated as we remember a very important baby's birth.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Typical Conversation

Rosie is sitting on my lap, eating a slice of bread. This sort of thing happens multiple times a day. And with it, the following conversation occurs:

Me: Hi.

Rosie (around her mouthful): Hi.

Me: How ya doing?

Rosie (still around a mouthful): Good.

Me: I love you.

Rosie (usually taking another bite): No you don't.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Rosie is sitting on my lap, eating her breakfast. She started making "choo" sounds so I faked a big sneeze, "A-choo." "I not sneezing, Mommy," she reproached.

Graham responded with his own "sneeze," only his was a product endorsement, "Coca Cola."

Basking in Barcelona

Jason and I did the impossible. We got on a plane without our children (unless you count the one that goes wherever I go) and spent two nights in Barcelona. The whispers in the schoolyard that I'm pregnant will soon no longer need verbal confirmation: chocolate croissants & tortilla de patate have done their damage.

A garden courtyard inside the Cathedral.

Another indoor courtyard. This one is at the MFM, Museu Frederic Mares, which displays swords from the weapon maker (who I had never heard of before).

The Sagrada Familia. Honestly, we debated whether or not to stand in line to see the interior of this incomplete building. And once we were inside, we still weren't sure it was worth it. But at least we won't ever have to say, "Why didn't we. . . ?"

Tim Burton and the set designers for Star Trek could walk away with a million ideas from this place.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ilkley Moor

Autumn in England lends itself to LOTS of rain. When I'm already feeling less-than-energetic from the involuntary effort required to build a brand new person, the grey skies & chilly wetness don't help me feel any better. But last Saturday we had a pretty day & we finally hiked around Ilkley Moor. It felt good to be out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An Act of God: Lightning vs. Earthquake

August was a month of memorable events. Jason got home from from a trip to the States on August 6th. On August 8th Graham turned 5 and Jason and I commemorated our 9th wedding anniversary. Within two days, Jason was wiped out with what was diagnosed as "glandular fever" ("mono" for our American friends and family). I got called as the YW president in our ward.

Oh, and we became pregnant. We thought we were done. We REALLY thought we were done growing our family. But apparently Heavenly Father thinks differently.

Graham has dubbed the baby Earthquake, but that's only if Earthquake is a boy. If it turns out that he gets solo-boy status, our little girl is Lightning.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Jason just asked, "Rosie, are you a cheeky girl?"

Rosie, "No, I'm a cheeky Rosie."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Surprisingly Mature Insight

Cami and I were talking about her relationship with one of her best friends. Apparently, they've daydreamed about being sisters, but then Cami revealed that she thinks they wouldn't get along as well if they were sisters. Intrigued, I asked her to explain. "Well, I think Graham and I would be along better if we were just friends. . . ."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Toys for Big Boys and Girl

Jason took the big kids to the park while Rose & I napped this afternoon. He spent some time experimenting with his iPhone. I love the color of the sky and the happiness of the big girl who has conquered her bike.

Graham's interpretation of the "Tree" yoga pose.

And making some friends.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


"Soy milk comes from soy cows."

Graham at 7:56 a.m.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

He's Not Beckham

Cami got a surprised laugh out of me & Jason when she asked, "Dad will you quit your job & become a footballer?"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Should Do This

Rosie is the most positive little girl I know. Honestly. She routinely makes me smile by declaring, "Mommy, I'm so proud of you!" But she made me super happy today when she announced, "I love my life!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Horton House

Cami has become "pen friends" with Claire & Delaney Horton -- daughters of college friends. When we were in Montana, the Hortons sent us a care package with goodies for me & Cami. This nifty house-in-a-box kept Cami happy during a snowy afternoon.

THANK YOU, Claire & Delaney!

Rievaulx Abbey

We haven't been out adventuring as much this summer as we were last. Jason's work commitments have increased, Cami's social calendar is booked, & I still haven't gotten a British driver's license. But we spent one special day in May driving through North Yorkshire to go to Rievaulx Abbey.

It's a gorgeous ruin and there were historical re-enactors showing what abbey life was like. After walking the labyrinth that had been created in a courtyard, Cami & I chatted with a "monk" from York.

I thought that the labyrinth layout looked very familiar -- and with good reason. It was modeled on the labyrinth in Chartres, France, which is the labyrinth my uncle Robert has studied & recreated many times.

Snip, Snip

My babies take a while to grow hair. So, all of them have been a little over two years old when they finally get a trip to see a stylist. Rosie's first (and so far only) trip to meet Claire came in April.

Doesn't she look thrilled?

Since I was holding Rose, Cami was in charge of the camera.

I lifted this image from a video Cami took. That's why it's blurry.

Procedure complete. I thought all her sweet baby curls would disappear, but within a day her hair was bouncing again.

Rosie is 2!

10 April 2010: Leave Montana on a 6 a.m. flight.

11 April 2010: Arrive in Amsterdam. Wait three hours. Fly home.

12 April 2010: Wake up at 2 a.m. with jet lag & sing "Happy Birthday" to Rosie.

Later on (during daylight hours): Sing some more. Have cake. And love my sweet, happy girl.

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs are not a traditional bit of English life. Actually, I take that back. Dyeing Easter eggs is not a traditional bit of English life. When a Brit uses that term, they are talking about a giant hollow chocolate egg filled with other candies.

Colored eggs don't happen, because regular chicken eggs are generally brown. If you want white eggs, you either buy duck eggs or know someone who keeps "rare breed" chickens. So, Grandma Fehr helped us a bit while we used the dye tablets Grandma Jeanne had bought to help the kids have a good ole' American Easter egg dye fest. Cami was overjoyed -- she'd missed that bit of Easter in 2009.

The treasures found in the backyard during the hunt with Cousin Angie.

We are Family

As I mentioned in the previous post, the trip to Montana defied expectations. So I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked. But are a few of the fam.

The night before we left to head home, I didn't have the focus to get the kids to bed. So Sabriand (the newest uncle for my crew) took little Rosie to the family room & tried to read her to sleep -- it was almost a success.

The day before we left, we went down to Polson to see Great Grandma Gessaman. Jason was looking over family photos with his grandmother & Rosie wanted to see too.

More family photos to look at with Sharilyn, the cool aunt who brought Sabriand into the family, & Great Grandma.

Getting a lesson on how vintage clock-toys work.

Cami loves Cousin Angie. Angie is only two days older than Graham, but Cami co-opted her (I think because they have the same hair color & the same shoes.)

Grandpa melted my heart when he took Rosie for a walk to get the mail.

Guess what's on TV? (Hint: my father-in-law is from Canada.) Does your guess involve ice & sticks?