"Middle children have remarkable diplomatic skills."

-The Secret Power of Middle Children, by Catherine Salmon

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Joy, love, squeals

Tonight closes one of the most amazing years of my life. Beginning with my marriage to the most incredible man I've ever known. (I'll post more about him in about a week) Heavenly Father truly has poured out more blessings on me than I could ever have imagined possible. So often my heart is so full of joy I feel like I could just squeal! The happiness I feel is all tied to two things: My love and gratitude for my Savior and my love and gratitude for my family...all of my family. The three beautiful children I gave birth to, the five beautiful children I did not give birth to, but who have graciously accepted me into their family, our fourteen precious grandbabies who touch my heart and tickle my funny bone, my lovely mother-in-law and brothers and sisters-in-law...all of whom give new meaning to LOL! Yes, 2011 brought an abundance of love and joy and happiness to me. May your 2012 be so full of joy that you squeal like a stuck pig!

Friday, December 30, 2011

SIMPLIFY: My new mantra!

I love Marjorie Pay Hinckley. What a sweet lady, so full of wit and wisdom. This is going to be my number one New Year's resolution for 2012...to Simplify....


...right after I take down Christmas and deep clean the kitchen and bathrooms. Make a slush for 200, create centerpieces for ten tables, wrap a shower gift, collect framed photographs and ten white tablecloths for round tables, make a food list, order a sheet cake, find a videographer, arrange for music, and set up grandma & grandpa's anniversary party. Then I'd like to sign birthday cards for everyone this year and stamp them so they can be mailed on time, put the finishing touches on get-away plans with friends in February, buy baby gifts for our new three grandbabies due this year, see our next grandbaby get blessed in Arizona, get caught up on dentist and doctor appt.'s, fly to Utah to help my daughter when she has baby #4, start the paperwork for our mission, fly back to Utah to see our oldest grand daughter get baptized, our newest grandbaby get blessed and celebrate Hudson's 2nd birthday. Intersperse with visit teaching, primary activity day's and temple attendance, that will take me through June. Hey, I think I can simplify!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

CUDDLE: v. to fondle in the arms; hug tenderly.

I'm holding Janae's baby Daniel. I tell ya,
this little guy is so cuddly and sweet...
I could just sniff the smell right off
  his little head, mmm! I think if someone
could bottle this scent they would
make a fortune! I don't know if you
can see how long his eyelashes are,
 but they are amazing. Put them together
with his cherub cheeks and rosebud lips 
and he is a perfect little package!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Post-Christmas Check-list:

  • Christmas morning sticky-rolls devoured...Yum-O.
  • Sacrament mtng. with beautiful music, including an incredible solo by my ever-so-talented step-son (really, he sounded like an angel)....heavenly.
  • opening gifts, skyping with grandchildren, and texting others...delightful.
  • Dinner of ham, potatoes, brocolli (yes brocolli) bum rolls (yes, I said bum rolls) & chocolate brownie trifle for dessert...satisfying.
  • Seeing the expression on Abuela's face when she opened our gift, then learning from Erin we'll be getting grandbaby #17 in July....priceless!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka

me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou !

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Funnest calling ever!

Activity Day Girls

I took my sweet little primary girls carolling
and to deliver some treats to some ladies in the ward
who are taking chemo treatments. I love that they are so
willing to give service to others with such a happy attitude!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Random, but hilarious. Eli's blog is funny!

 Maybe it was the mood I was in but I sat in my office reading this post, by myself, laughing out loud. This is what could happen if you mis-text someone. Then I shared it with my hubby, who has the same sense of humor that I have and I laughed all over again, till there were tears running down my cheeks!

Hey Amanda! This is Jane. I was thinking for Beth's wedding gift we could go halfsies on one of those blocks of wood that says words like faith and hope that they could put on a mantle or hang on the wall. What do you think?
Hmmm . . . I saw couples snuggies at K-Mart the other day on sale for 9.99 and I think this is probably more of what she's looking for. It's more practical.
Lol! That's what I got them for their birthdays! But seriously, what do you think about the wood block idea?
Ok . . . I know for a fact you didn't get them snuggies for their birthdays because I talked to Beth recently and asked her which kind she would want if she got one as a wedding gift and she didn't say anything about already having one . . .
Oh Amanda, I was just joking. Sorry. :( Tell me more about your snuggie idea?
I'm confused . . . what was the joke?
Oh, a lot of people joke about snuggies. But I know a lot of people like them and I just thought maybe you were joking. I don't know you very well, obviously, so I don't know your sense of humor.
Well obviously I don't think we should get them leopard print. I was thinking the classy kitten snuggies with their names embroidered onto them and a phrase like "1+1=furrrever."
1+1=furrever? Do you mean 2+2?
2? Are they each 2 people? Why would it be 2+2?
1+1 equals 2, not 4. So the number "furrrever" doesn't really make sense with 1+1. Also, I don't think Beth likes cat stuff . . .
Furrrever isn't a number . . . And Beth doesn't like cats but I'm pretty sure she likes cat stuff. I get her t-shirts with kittens on them for every birthday and she always says she loves them and that she wears them on vacations and stuff.
I bet she likes them just fine. I guess I just assumed she didn't like cat stuff since she doesn't like cats . . . But maybe she would like them. Or we could think of other options . . .
I can tell you don't like the snuggie idea so let's just bag it.
I'm willing to consider it of course! But, are you at all interested in my block word idea? We could get those really cute ones that are painted different colors and just have a whole bunch they could put around their house.
Here, let me text you a picture of my snuggie so you can get a better idea.

Eli: ( there is a hilarious picture of Eli wrapped in a snuggy, holding a teapot with a 'Venetian' mask on)

Unknown: (2 hours later)
Honestly Amanda, I'm not crazy about the snuggie idea. If you want to do that, that's cool but I'll probably just do my own thing. Is that ok?
Is it because of the picture? Obviously the Venetian mask and tea kettle wouldn't be part of the gift. I was just trying to show a few different uses. I can send other pictures if you want to see more.
No, that's ok. I think it looks really comfie. So you don't like the block words idea?
You can go to football games in them, do grocery shopping, wear them around when all of your clothes are wet, read books, etc.
Yeah, they seem really cool. But she probably wouldn't do that kind of stuff in one . . .
Well obviously she would have to tie it in the back so it wouldn't fall off. Especially if she didn't wear any clothes under it.
Alright. So you aren't interested in my block word idea?
It's not that I don't like it. It's just that, when I was a kid my grandma used to always give me books for Christmas and I was always like, "thanks grandma. Now I have to read to enjoy your gift." You get me? Plus who has time for that?
But you understand the blocks are just one word. Like it would just be a block that says "Faith" or something.
Oooooohhhhhh. So like a whole bunch of them that you move around to make funny sentences like word magnets on fridges that say stuff like, "I don't want no bunny banana frog ok no way!"
? No. Like, it's just the one word and you put it on a shelf or something.
So we would have to get them a shelf too?
No . . . Ok, so you're not crazy about my idea. Do you have any others, other than the snuggie idea?
What about garden gnomes?
Well they don't have a yard . . .
Oh. What about a couple of chickens! Ok, hear me out on this. When I was a kid my parents had a chicken coop and we called one of the chickens the Queen of Colors because she was really colorful but one day her legs got stuck in my sister's hair so they had to cut the chicken out.
I don't think they would appreciate live animals.
You're missing the point! The Queen of Colors got stuck in her hair! You have no idea what that put her through. Everyone called her "chicken head" until she lost her eye in a rubber band fight with her sponsor and they all started calling her "one-eyed-Wendy." But she's so much stronger for it.
I'll just do my own thing and you can do whatever you want. Ok?

Eli: (then Eli sends the texter-Jane a picture of himself without the mask)

Unknown: (Many hours later)
Who is this?


And why did you keep texting me when you knew I had the wrong number?

Eli: (Eli gives her a silly grin)

~It Just Gets Stranger

Posted by ELI at 6:58 PM 

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Labels: Emails, Ridiculous, The Siblings

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Good Friends are Great Gifts to Ones Self

This is my friend Becki. She is magnificent. She is a good wife and mom, a dear friend,
and a true Christ-like daughter of our Heavenly Father. I admire this woman.

It's Officially The Holiday Season

Ron made our neighbors happy. He put up our Christmas lights yesterday. It was a sunny, warm, 60* day. Just right for putting up Christmas lights. And with only a week to go til Christmas... Hey, better late than never, right? Snow would enhance the look, but I'm good with no snow! Thanks honey, you did a great job!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A letter from Erin Brockovich? Really??

Some people lead double lives. My husband is not one of them. In his profession he could very easily have a split personality...a wolverine/lion/vulture in the courtroom and a much kinder, gentler persona at home. I've seen Ron in action several times on the job. He is brilliant. He is the same man you see in front of a jury as he is in front of a congregation at church. I think that is what makes him so darn attractive to me  successful and respected in his profession, even by apposing attorneys. He recently had a case where he had to defend a county employee for doing his job against a family whose religious beliefs didn't want the county employee to do his job. This family petitioned everybody they knew, literally, from the East coast to the West to contact Ron with their plea's, threats and opinions on the matter. He even received a letter from Erin Brockovich -not Julia Roberts, >HA! he wishes!< but the real Erin Brockovich expressing her opinion on the case. He takes it all in stride. While I'm all about turning into the Tazmanian Devil, and telling people how foolish and uninformed (I actually used the words stupid and ignorant), Ron deals with it much more diplomatically. I guess that's why he's the lawyer and I'm not. What a great example my husband is to me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm Dreaming of an Old Christmas

I love Christmas time. I love the music, the food, the lights, and the smell of a fresh Christmas tree. As a child I would dream of having the perfect Christmas tree. A perfect 'A' shape with just the right amount of flocking, twinkly white lights, and ornaments that all matched, or at least had a theme. But the kind of tree we always got was the cheap, misshapen,"Charlie Brown" kind that leaned against the fence at the tree lot. Every year we got the same kind, but that didn't stop my parents from driving to every tree lot in town to find "just the right one", while we kids froze our nose, toes, and fingers off. Really, who were they trying to kid? I knew the kind of tree we'd end up with, and I'm pretty sure they knew too. Almost everytime we'd bring the tree home and have to cut 2 feet off the trunk (ala Clark Griswold). Did they not remember that we still only had 8 foot ceilings, just like the year before and the year before that? Of course they did. Mom would say "we have to cut a little off to keep it fresh". Then they'd screw it into the tree stand that held a thimbleful of water, but never held the tree truly straight. The first thing on would be the lights....not the twinkly white lights, but the big, nightlight size bulbs. And they weren't white, they were every color of the rainbow including blue and orange. Really? Then the ornaments...no "theme", just one of everything that each of my six siblings and I had made from kindergarten through Jr. High, perhaps. Glass balls of every color and small bells made of bone china with little angels painted on them. Lastly, the dreaded tinsel...."icecicles" that would static cling on to you as you walked by the tree. Yes, our tree was really something. And you know what? I'd give anything to be transported back in time to share just one more Christmas with my parents and brothers and sisters decorating that "ugly" tree. I'd understand that my parents were creating family time by driving from tree lot to tree lot, looking at all the fancy houses with pretty lights. I'd appreciate the deliciousness of the cocoa my mom made from scratch while we decorated our tree. I'd listen more closely to the stories of Christmas's past and who made each of the decorations that adorned our tree year after year. I'd live in that moment, rather than dream of a life I didn't live. My grown-up self would understand that  "...Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!" I can't go back in time, but I can thank my Heavenly Father for giving me the life I've had. I appreciate every experience, both happy and heartbreaking, that has lead me to where I am. I am blessed.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sweet temptation

I may need to enter a 12-step program after the holidays. I am addicted to these little Cuties!
A tiny orange ball of sweet perfection!

The Nativity through a Child's Eyes

....and Spiritually Speaking: The Nativity through a Child's Eyes:    This is so sweet!

Beautiful baby Daniel

Grandpa Williams, Annabelle, Grandma Williams & baby Daniel

We drove to Hillsboro, Oregon to baby Daniel's blessing. Daddy Peter gave a beautiful blessing, then we went to their home for a delicious lunch. Grandma and Grandpa Talbot drove down from Oak Harbor, and stayed Saturday night with us and we all drove down together. It was a lovely day. Then the Talbots stayed Sunday night with us and we planned their 60th wedding anniversary celebration with them. I think they are excited for their party. It's so much fun to celebrate on two ends of life. It will be great!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

This is very moving. Enjoy.

More of Temple Square

One of the beautiful sights at Temple Square.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The (NOT-SO) Sunday-before-Christmas-party

4 out of 5 of the other little munchkins in Utah that we love!

We had our annual family Sunday-before-Christmas party at Heather & Dan's house tonight. A huge THANK YOU to my family for movin' that party up to accomodate our visit to Utah. It was so great to see my sister's, bro., nieces, nephews, brotha-in-law, and my kids and grandkids. I really miss you all!

These guys make me laugh...always.

William with bad teeth LOL! Ella to the right

Hudson & Shannon

Adorable great-nieces Brooklyn & Aydrie

Sean feeding Gracie Finger Food

Nieces Eryn & Holli with their squeezies

The best dang grandpa in the world  Universe!

...and the most handsome grandpa ever!

Thank you Dan and Heather for hosting the party this year. Your home is beautiful and you guys are AWESOME!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

We went to see the lights at Temple Square. Ron had never been to them before, so on our way from Erin's to Shannon's we stopped in Salt Lake and walked around. It was beautiful!
We went inside the J.S.M.B. to thaw out for a minute and get some really good cocoa from the
Nauvoo Cafe.
Look at the pretty tree behind us...love it!
Also, I lost an earring while we were there....I have it on in this picture, but not
in the ones outside after this was taken. So I must have lost it out among the
gazillion people there....so if anyone who was at Temple Square on Saturday
night is reading this and maybe found a silver, kinda dangly-with-pokeyoutty-designs
on it earring, it is mine. Okay, thank you. Oh, and did I mention I have the most amazing husband
in the whole wide world? I do.
*Update on lost earring...apparently I didn't have both earrings on in this picture.
Erin texted me and said Tyler found my earring on the step into the garage.
So I was playing pirate the entire night at T. S.....Arggh!
But thanks for finding it, Tyler!
We Love these little guys!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Point Christmas

Erin, Nathan, Reindeer, Ben, Bryce & Kathy


We drove through the lights at Thanksgiving Point tonight. Then we stopped to see the reindeer...see him behind us with the goofy eye? We also went inside to have some hot cocoa...Yum-O!

Ron, Bryce, Nathan, Erin, Tyler & Ben

A perfect ending to the day!

....and Spiritually Speaking: Spirit of Christmas

Monday, November 28, 2011

No trip to So. California would be complete without...
A little trip to Downtown Disney with my sweetie....
we danced to a Salsa band in the street...

Sonia, Patty, Ron & me
We ate fajitas at The Rain Forest Cafe

We ate beignets at Jazz Kitchen...DEE-LISH!

These 3 act like they weren't noshin' on the beignet's, but they were!

We just had a really great time in California over the Thanksgiving holiday. A big THANK YOU to Ron's sweet mom for putting us up (and putting up with us) unexpectedly! And a double fist bump to the heart to the rest of the family who knew we were coming and didn't give the surprise away!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sunny & 78

This has been a super fun Thanksgiving holiday! Playing at Seal Beach, watching them blow in shaved ice for the kids to play in, and listening to Christmas music being played by a band while we ate Ruby's Old Fashion milkshakes. Not your "traditional" transition to Christmas, but I'll take it anytime!

This little sweet shop was packed with people....and they were all our family!
So many yummy things to choose from.

Earlier in the day, Angela and I did a little volunteer beach clean up.
They weighed it when we brought our bags back. Mine weighed in at a whopping 7oz. and Angela's came in at just over 6oz. Hey, every little bit helps!

Friday, November 25, 2011

A balmy Thanksgiving Day

Nothing says  'Thanksgiving' like a fresh picked orange from Abuela's tree! Sweet and juicy... and the oranges were good too!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want,
But the realization of how much you already have.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Phoenix Zoo today....

Someday I want to be this close to a real African elephant.
I've always had a fascination for elephants. Not Asian elephants as much as African elephants. Maybe because when I was little I learned you could tell the difference between Asian 'phants (that's what you can call them when you are a cool 'phant lover like me) and African 'phants, by their ears. Asian: small ears. African: large ears the shape of Africa.
Phoenix Zoo today, Mozambique someday!

Grandpa is cool! *even in the Arizona heat!

Recently we were in Arizona visiting our kids and grands. Every morning we would wake to the pitter patter of little feet climbing out of bed and running around directly above us. We were in the downstairs guest room, the little feet were upstairs. (I guess anything you don't have to endure everyday is a novelty.) These little ones are pure joy to their grandpa and me. It is especially fun for me to sit back and watch as these children idolize their grandpa. In their eyes he can do anything. He truly does have boundless energy, patience, and love for all of our grandchildren. It's one of the things that makes him so darn attractive to me! Of course one of the traditions whenever grandpa is around, is to make chocolate chip pancakes with the kiddo's. Everyone has a turn helping and everyone is important in making the worlds best chocolate chip pancakes!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


A week or so ago I posted about the (3x ) reincarnation of the headboard I was making. Well we finished it- (can I get a big AMEN!)  just before we left for Arizona but I didn't have time to post. So here it is! Nothing fancy, but nice clean lines. Ron raced to get it up before I changed my mind about anything else on it. A big ol' THANK YOU to my honey!

An Attitude of Gratitude

This month gives us an opportunity to stop and think of what we are grateful for. If you are able to read this on your computer, you know you have a great deal to be thankful for. My little series of Thankful Me was a snippet of each of my grandchildren. I love them so much, and I love spending time with them. They truly make me laugh and warm my heart. A friend of mine had me do a little exercise of thankfulness. Set the timer for 5 minutes and write down everything you are thankful for. My problem is I write one down and then think about all the reasons I'm thankful for it...which slows you down. So I'm sure there are more things I could have written down, but I ran out of time. This is my five minute list.
Ron, our kids, our grandbabies, my testimony, The B.of M., Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, The Atonement, my friends, my home, good neighbors, beautiful Washington, the changing seasons, healthy food, flowers, my dentist, books, being able to read, warm clothes, my car, my health, make-up, laughter, music, my eyesight, my siblings, hair color, chocolate, candles, computers, deodorant, toilet paper, school, church, kindness, a hot shower, grocery stores, farmers, traffic lights, being able to walk, my hands, police officers, Maxalt, my parents, a toothbrush, color, heated seats in the car and shade.
I wouldn't want Freud to analyze my list in the order I put things in. I'm pretty sure I'm more thankful for my parents than I am for hair color or traffic lights or even my dentist....eeesh! What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful Me

I am thankful for sweet Ella. She is smart and fun to be around. Being the oldest grandchild, she holds a special place in my heart.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Middle-aged Mormon Man: PDA's: Parental Displays of Affection

I borrowed this from Triple M. because I thought it was full of great wisdom and just exactly what I want my kids, grandkids, steps, and friends to hear. Go to this link for the full (and short) post.
Middle-aged Mormon Man: PDA's: Parental Displays of Affection: My kids hate to see my EC and me hug and kiss. They cringe and avert their eyes. They say "C'mon you guys!". But, I know it's just for show...

Thankful Me

I am thankful for Tyler. He's a deep thinker, and has these beautiful long eyelashes. I just love him.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful Me

I am thankful for Logan.He is the Minnie Me of Grandpa Williams. He is very tender hearted. Love that boy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful Me

I am thankful for Nathan. Such a handsome little boy with a sweet and tender heart. I love him.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful Me

I am thankful for Coleman. A ball of energy and a sweet spirit rolled into one little boy. I love Coley!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Me

I'm thankful for our sweet Elly. She is such a beautiful little girl, with a happy spirit. I just love her!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blogging Demotivator

Thankful Me

I am so thankful for little Landon. He is just a little cherub. When he talks to you his words are very deliberate and carefully spoken. You just want to kiss his cheeks! I love him.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Month-a-versary

Today is our ten month-a-versary. My sweet husband continues to amaze me every day. He is the kindest, most gentle man I have ever known. I wish I could tell you what it's like to live with this man. Not only would it be TMI, but you would have to pack a lunch and sit at your computer all day to read of all the great qualities that he possesses. I will be the first to admit that the circumstances we find ourselves in at this stage of our life contributes to the tranquility we live in. All of our children are grown and living responsible lives (he has 5, I have 3). None of the shenanigans those crazy Brady kids inflicted on poor Mike and Carol! We decided before we got married that we wanted our home to be a sanctuary from the world. Ron genuinely lives by the Spirit. He makes me feel like I can do anything. He makes me want to be a better person. Lastly, he makes me laugh. There has not been a day go by since I met him that he hasn't made me laugh...and I find that incredibly attractive. Thank you honey. Thank you for choosing me!

Thankful Me

I'm thankful for little Owen. He's a beautiful, active, little guy, who is always on the go! I just love him!

Monday, November 7, 2011


This I love....

 "A person without humor is like a wagon without springs; jolted by every pebble in the road." ~Henry Ward Beecher

...Because it's so true!

Thankful Me

I'm thankful for our handsome Bryce. He's just an independent little man. The funny things he says makes me giggle, and he's a great hugger too...this little guy just warms my heart.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My husband the Patron Saint of Patience

My husband and I have been working on making a headboard for our bed....since last January. Okay, we haven't actually been working on it since January, but that's when I said "I'd like to make a headboard." I think I may have even said it under my breath, or whispered the words, or even thought about making a headboard, and the next thing I knew...I had the most beautiful (huge) piece of plywood sitting upstairs in my bedroom, waiting to be transformed. My hubby is like that. I have to be careful when I say I want something, because he will do his darndest to make it appear for me....except a kitty. I don't think he'd make one of those appear. Or a puppy. But anything I wouldn't have to feed or kennel while I was out of town, yes. Back to my headboard...I originally thought I wanted a fabric covered one. Something with simple, clean lines. So I searched and finally found just the fabric I wanted. Fabric, foam, batting, staple gun. We are in business. Ha! Or so he thought....(my husband is a saint)...I changed my mind. I no longer wanted a fabric covered headboard. I still like them and I think they can be beautiful. But I'd like something with some pretty mouldings. "Mouldings I can do!", he said. Off to Home Depot we go. Picked out a beautiful crown moulding for the top, and some thinner curvy moulding to make 3 'picture frames' in the center. That was easy. It's ready to paint and put up-maybe a good FHE project....except...this morning on the way to church I said "Honey....ya know how we have 3 moldings in the middle of the headboard?" "Yessss", he said. "Well, they bug me. I really don't like them. In fact I hate it. And I plan on using that headboard for a long time, and it will bug me forever if we don't change it." He said...and this is where my husband is up for canonization...."OK." So tomorrow we will tear off the 3 square shaped mouldings, putty, sand, replace with something else, putty, sand, paint, and maybe install the headboard this week. I'll post pictures when it's done. It's only been nine months....what's the hurry?

Thankful Me

I'm so thankful for this little monkey. Annabelle is as smart as she is adorable. It is because of Miss A. that her grandpa and I are together. I just love her!