Friday, December 31, 2010

Old Year/New Year

I can only aspire to be you.
and you know who you are... and you and you...
While y'all are all reflecting and making peace with the struggles of the past year and
making valiant and inspiring efforts at looking hopefully toward 2011

here I sit, planning my outfit
imagine this shirt in fuschia (my happy color) on my body which is about 10 lbs more than it should be
and my boots

my boots look kinda like the black upside down pair
and my earrings
for tonight.
and the food I'll make.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fancy Schmancy

Someone please help me learn to use my camera.
Nikon D50
When the flash is not on(this is indoors in the dead of winter... only my 12 overhead kitchen lights plus the two lamps and the spotlight from the front room are on) my shutter speed is like a whole second.
Who can sit still for a whole second?

cool snowflake

When the flash is on, it looks like... well, the dead of winter... at night.
check out the freaky cat eyes

And i can see the gingerbread pictures I took yesterday on my camera's viewfinder, but they are not showing up on my PC... only the pix from the day before yesterday are here.

More cool stuff about Snowflakes.
Am I obsessed?

Ok, maybe a little.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Us and Them

There are 2 kinds of people in this world. I am one and Cherie is the other. We are becoming more like each other and I think that's a good thing.

Of course, her house will never be so messy that you couldn't drop by with the photography crew from Good Housekeeping, but she's sometimes able to let go of the fact that her baseboards are "trashed" in order to, say, fix dinner for her family(as if her dinner weren't planned for a week and prepared that morning).

Cherie's House

And I have many more organizational systems in place than I once did. Still, though, my house will never be so clean that you couldn't drop by with the photography crew from Clean Sweep.
My house

Did you know that organizational systems are a living thing? I know this. And yet... my systems fall into disrepair. Either because they are not working and need to be revamped or because I simply don't do the upkeep on the system.

I've talked to both kinds of people. Neither has any concept of how the other functions.

We'll call me a B Type. B Types tell themselves stories like, "My self esteem is not based on how my house looks" and "Having a 'house of order' means having your
priorities, not your desk straightened" and "We creative types thrive on chaos."

We're lying.

Deep down, we know that having a clean space brings a peace to our lives that we cannot obtain any other way and we know (from our limited experience with it) that order gives us the freedom to be more creative. We know that the "mess" rattles our brains and keeps us from doing the things that we are actually good at. In fact, we hardly ever get any satisfaction for doing the things that we are good at because WE CAN'T EVEN KEEP UP WITH THE BASIC NECESSITIES of running a healthy, functional home. Just like in the 4th grade: Miss Campbell wouldn't let me do the art projects because my math wasn't done. By the 4th grade, I had already identified myself as an artist. I failed art. In the 4th grade. How could I fail 4th grade art? Unless, well, I'm a failure.

But that should be a different post. They aren't judging us. At least not on purpose, but A Types really just don't get us. They wonder and are baffled that we just don't pull it together. They think maybe we don't want a clean house. That possibly we actually like germs or chaos or disorder. That maybe filth is where we find our odd brand of happiness. Truly, they know how much easier their lives are because they are organized and they do what they do TO MAKE THEIR LIVES EASIER. Heh. My favorite quote is,

"organized people are just too lazy to look for stuff."

Because it makes me laugh... And if i didn't laugh, i would cry.


The lies we tell ourselves? We do it to survive. We do it to justify, i guess, the fact that we simply do not have the strength or the knowledge or the skill or the willpower... the whateveritisyouAtypepeoplehavethatwedon't. We are baffled, too. If we knew what
it was, or how to get it, don't you think we would?

We buy books about
it. We collect them. Sometimes we find both the books (amid the drifts of clutter and pet dander) and the time and strength to actually read these books. We study it. We interview organized people about how they do it. We are even fascinated when we "meet" people like Julie Morgenstern, who claim in O Magazine to have once been one of us. This kindles the flame. Keeps the hope alive that we too may, one day, aspire to attain the status of "organized."

Because, really, they are "right" and we are "wrong" right? They are "good" and we are "bad." Don't try to say no. Do they want to be us? No. Do we wish we were like them? You betcha.
Again, the stories we tell ourselves about the fact that A types are mentally ill. Neurotic. They must be, to be so all consumed with such "trivialities."

Lies, I tell you, all lies. We would trade places in a heart beat (and just take our creative minds with us. hah! oh... wait, that wouldn't work).

I'm not blaming Julie. I think her ideas are great. I'm thrilled that she has become an effective person. I think learning organizational skills is important. I have learned lots of skills from my friendship with Cherie. Maybe the problem is that deep down i don't believe i deserve to or have the potential of being effective/having a fulfilling life. Or maybe my brain just will never work that way. Maybe I would be happier if I stopped trying. I think many of us (B Types) get to that point. Sooner than later.

Sorry this is such a depressing post. I'm to that point I guess. I spent the morning happily dejunking the mudroom with my son, congratulating myself that i could say, when
this son graduated from medical/law school, "You know, the only difference was that i worked with this son. Taught him the value of hard work by example. Yes, that's just what i did."

And then at 11:00, the phone rang. It was Mr. LeFevre. Upon hearing our son's voice in the background, he asks, "Didn't you take him to preschool?"

Why does that make me a failure? And yet, somehow, it does. And if I called Cherie, bless her heart, she would say, "You mean, you don't have 'Preschool' written in your planner?" Why would I need to write "Preschool" in my planner? How could I forget preschool? He loves preschool. Truth is, sometimes (only because she has said this before), I do write "Preschool" in my planner. And sometimes, I even look at my planner before 9:30 A.M. And sometimes, the words even make sense to me through the fog of my "creative mind." Just not today.

I am a failure. This erases all the good i have ever done. ever. And it stops me. I haven't even finished cleaning the mudroom. Maybe I'll go get a chocolate truffle from Costco out of the storage room. or a cherry vanilla diet Dr. Pepper. or a piece of australian black licorice. Oh, wait. I've already done those things. Maybe I'll just go switch over the laundry. After all, "Laundry" is written on my planner. December 7. Laundry.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Family! Home! Evening!?@$^#!

For weeks, months (years?), Mr. LeFevre and i have been trying to teach our children (mostly unsuccessfully, it seems) what we consider important skills that they will need to succeed and be happy in this life:
getting along with others.
being kind.
helping those around us.
building them up.

Just recently, we have had multiple individual interviews with each of our children, telling them how proud we are of their accomplishments, how much we love them (a lot), pleading with them to nurture the most important relationships in their lives. We have created a family Mission Statement. We have tried to be positive in our interactions with them. We have had family dinners together, engaged them in working together, held regular family councils and family home evenings. We take them to church. We tell them the stories of Jesus. We look for and use teaching moments on almost a daily basis.

We are far from perfect as parents, but i ask you: how? How are we supposed to remain positive in the face of constant heartbreak? It breaks my heart when one of my children is reaching out for approval ~ of an idea or a feeling...
or a piece of artwork~ and one of his siblings (the one from whom that approval is most needed) knocks him to the ground with "you're stupid!" or "you're an idiot!" or "I hate you!"? I feel dirty even typing these words. They have become to me some of my least favorite and most painful words.

Last night, it was my turn for the Family Home Evening lesson and after dinner, i said quietly to my husband, "how can i really teach another 'Love One Another' lesson? I want to just say, 'You win. I give up. I'm done(and finished)!' " So we decided that we would have a family council and ask our children what we could do to be a happy family.

Well, Megan(8) came up with the idea of making a chart with everyone's bedtimes on it and taking off five minutes for every hurtful comment, or mean action (meaning they have to go to bed earlier). It is a great idea, but part of me thinks it will just become another chart to add to the side of the fridge that is just part of the landscape: unnoticed. unheeded.

Except then my husband shared something that M. Russell Ballard taught recently, and I am paraphrasing: When a [family] council discusses an issue and comes to a conclusion and says, "This is what we will do..." there is a power in that synergy that [nothing] can stop.

And this morning, I read something my friend, Elisa, included in her blog about getting our kids to ask questions. I loved this: “The Savior said, "ask and ye shall receive... knock and it shall be opened unto you." He didn't say, "Be quiet and let me tell you what you need to know." When our kids ask questions, they are prepared to hear the answers. Listen for those questions and set up opportunities for them to ask questions.

A little nudge here, a bright idea there. That's how to do it. One day at a time. Being just a little bit better. Together. We can do this.

Our Family's Mission Statement

Years ago, i jotted down in my planner a few lines that i thought would make a powerful "Mission Statement" for our family and help us stay focused on the most important things in life. Well, then i lost my planner and couldn't find it for 6 months!! It was under the desk at Costco. My untouched credit cards and driver's license and my Franklin/Covey pages and leather binder had long-since been replaced, but i could never quite recreate those few lines to my satisfaction, so our family remained afloat. When my planner was finally returned to me, that was the only thing i found missing. Had i imagined writing it?

Then a week or so ago, Mr. LeFevre and i decided it was time to start from scratch. I took a list of values i had scratched out in the front of my new planner (that i got from these guys) and wrote a new one:

Our home is a


In our home, each of

Heavenly Father’s children

feels acceptance and


We develop

our talents freely


and our

Creative Expression

is nurtured and allowed to



As we create




in our home,

we strive

to maintain an environment of






There is a spirit of


in our home.



in an

Attitude of Gratitude

and go forth



our fellow man.

Okay, so it's not great literature. We do our best. It fits on one page.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Best Friend

Some posts take time

like this one.

We all grieve in our own way.
And in our own time.
Karlee asked me about 10 minutes later,
"When can we get a new dog?"
But then, she's the one who mentions Regi most often.
We miss you, sweetheart.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Favorite

Driving down I-15,
Landon shouts out,
"Look, Mom! Your favorite!!"

No Pictures

I chose not to include any pictures in this post because even some of the mental images are pretty intense.

So... you've been warned.

Some parts about breastfeeding
are less pleasant that others,
say, oh infections, engorgement...

Some parts are just downright amazing
and cool.
My body makes milk?
I can sleep while she eats?

And then...
some parts are just funny.
When my babes are new
and their
are smaller than my
(no, my babies don't have small heads),
i have to use a finger
to move my flesh out of the way so
their nose can find enough air to
breathe ~ but now,

Baby Lyndee is doing this thing
that i don't remember
any of my other babies doing.

(i can't decide whether it's unpleasant, amazing or just plain funny)

She latches on
and then,
firmly planting
a hand on either side of my breast,
she not so gently,
does a little
baby marine
push-up, all the while
sucking away
like a little camper.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What we saw on our trip back from the fire station today

And Lyndee got her first taste of big brother's sucker.

If you wanna hear Landon's new joke, give us a call.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Don't Die!!

Lorinda: I need a Coke. My head is killing me.

Landon: Mo-om! Don't die!!

Landon: And if you do die... and Dad... and Will... I want Mar-Wee.

Landon: I wike Mar-Wee.

(I have to 'splain this picture. This is the only picture i have of my sister on the miraculous day she helped me survive Lyndee's birth. Part of that help included threatening my dad and my fourteen year old son that if they talked--at all--they would be escorted from the room and shot. The rest of the time, when cameras were not trained on her, her demeanor was gentle and loving)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Helloooooo, Kitty!

I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by the whole prospect of making a cake for a little girl with something in mind... ya know? with boys, it's kinda like you make what you make and they're happy, but if you don't get it right for a little girl, it's different. Or maybe it's just personality, because this little girl didn't give me any quivery lips over this and it is faaaar from perfect.
I wish i'd taken pix of the pieces of the cake because that was pretty interesting, but this is the crumb coat. The heart was the left-over cake after the ears and the outside of the face.
Then i rolled the fondant out and set it on top. Isn't that magic? If i'd used fabric, i would have had to take seams to make it 3D. I'm still not sure how it works. The folds just disappear.
Here's the finished product. that shiny spot on her forehead is because after i moved the nose and the eyes, i had to wash off a little dye and i took the picture while it was still wet.

Here she is before i moved her eyes. See why i had to do that?

oh... here's what i learned:
1. Use a white crumb coat when you leave the fondant uncolored.
2. Use separate gloves for each color and do the light colors first.
3. Figure out another way to make whiskers.
4. A little dye goes a loooong way.
5. This was kinda fun, especially to see how happy it made my Karlee.

Thanks, Claire. I couldn't/wouldn't have done this without your encouragement :).

Friday, July 16, 2010

so the bumper stickers on the car in front of me say



and i'm thinking to myself:
Which living thing has
a softer voice
with which to defend it's own
an animal





another bumper sticker:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Speaking of Abby, i was going through some old photos... trying to "organize" them (really all i ever do is reminisce, deleting a photo here, moving a photo there) when i ran across this freaky picture of Abby on Christmas Eve. Brought back the chills i got when i first noticed her there in the center of the tree surrounded by wrapped gifts.

Come on guys.
Cough up the pet photos.
Or the pix of kids.
Or other pix with fun stories.

Put a link to your flickr photo or blog post in your comment.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Abby Yoga

this is the pose I was doing just the other morning, yeah, uh-huh.
I did a little vanyasa flow class at our hotel in Hawaii.
Wow! Nearly killed myself.
Really, though, i am looking forward to
getting back to yoga.
Are you exercising this summer?
with your pets?
Any funny pet photos?

"My Thomas Birthday"

He's just so polite. i mean, "pwease, mom" and "tanks, mom" and "I wuv you, mom..." How can any self-respecting mom resist? He's been talking about his Thomas birthday cake for at least 6 months now. So i checked out a bunch of tutorials online about how to make a Thomas cake(do you have any idea how many people videotape themselves making a birthday cake and then post it on youtube?) I got a few good ideas and this was my finished product:

I mean, it isn't anything super professional... okay, it's nowhere near professional, but it isn't the worst one in cyberspace either. It's good to have a three year old.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Life on the North Shore

So i'm driving along 200 West in Bountiful, daydreaming about Hawaii when out of the corner of my eye, i spot an old camp trailer all decked out in fine hippie style. Seriously~i thought i was hallucinating. I thought i was back on the North Shore of Oahu. Turns out, it's a Shave Ice stand... called "The North Shore." Who knew? and you can get ice cream in the bottom(i did) and sweet beans in it(i didn't) and everything.

When we first tried to go to Matsumoto's for shave ice, we unwittingly (I don't have a data plan on my smart phone... so, no map) took the Hale'iwa bypass of the Kamehameha Hwy, which takes you right on past the cute little town where Matsumoto's is. I was determined, though, so we bought a paper map and went back. This time, the boys were not too thrilled

before we went in...

but after... now, that's a different story. Mmmm! Thanks for the travel tips, Hillary!!
For a little more about Matsumoto's, click here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Rose by Any Name

Don't you think it's a lot of pressure to choose the name by which another human being will be known for her whole life? I mean what if you name her Margaret and she's really a Debbie? Does that ever really happen, though? I mean, have you ever met someone and thought, "She doesn't seem like a Tiffanie?" Ok, so once it happened to me. My sister was dating this guy named Ryan (i think it was Ryan) and I could only call him James ~ he just seemed like James to me. So, his parents must've named him wrong, right?
So I know that kids are mean and they will find a way to make fun of your child's name no matter how careful you are. Still, it's a huge responsibility. You have to find a name that's not so strange that people can't understand you or laugh when they hear it, but it has to be unusual enough to not be the same as every other kindergartner the year your child starts school. Which I've decided is impossible. No matter how unusual the name you choose, it's a matter of collective consciousness and your name will be in the top 10 for that year because everyone else liked it and thought it wasn't too common.
After our little one finally opened her bruised and bloodstained eyes so we could see who she was,
we got out our "short" list of 25 or so names. The problem with girls is you have a little more freedom. You can choose something cute or whimsical like Chloe or Zoe and that's great, or you can totally use a boy name like Ryan or Cameron or Tyler and no one is going to question you... ok, so I really wanted to name our baby girl Derek and I did get a little resistance from the general population on that one, but you can't do the same thing to a boy and name him a girl name... not even a name that used to belong to boys, like Leslie or Shannon. The reason this freedom is a problem is that there are so many great names to choose from and we had a hard time eliminating any of them.
We knew her middle name already, because both of our older girls are named for one of their grandmas (Megan for Darlene and Karlee for Patricia Kathleen) and we really wanted to name this one after my Mom,
whose middle name is Jeanne. Still, there are about 24 perfect names that go really well with "Jeanne." And there was always the option of using Jeanne for the first name or using my mom's first name and another middle name.
We finally agreed on the name that we think is the perfect combination of adorable and pleasant, sweet and dignified, charming and well-possessed, original but not too strange:

Lyndee Jeanne

speaking of Roses, Karlee first wanted the Name Karlee Rose, then Katie Rose, then Rosella. Landon of course, wanted Derek, then Roselle.
Megan came up with a lovely name every other day or so and the big boys never changed their votes from Kara (like Clark's cousin, Kara Kent... not obsessed with superheroes over here, nope). I really liked Lavender Rose and if this says anything about me, i wanted to name her that simply because when Megan told Darlene, her response was, "that's not a name for a baby." Then when Lyndee was born, she was more violet than lavender. oh, well.
and Michael says there is a rose named Lyndee (prob'ly Lindy). Looks like I get another rose bush to prune... or not prune.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baby Story

Anxious. Why did I feel so anxious about having this baby? Of all people I should know that I can handle pain. I've had 4 babies with no pain meds before this one. Heck, i've had my teeth drilled with no anesthetic before, so what was my problem?? Friday morning, my doctor stripped my membranes, so that kicked things up a notch and I started to have some contractions that were actually pretty uncomfortable. Then on Saturday at about 4 AM i started to have pretty regular, pretty painful contractions, and my husband had rubbed my feet with Clary Sage oil and we had tried some other methods to get things moving and so when the contractions got a little more intense and closer together (from 3 to 7 minutes), I decided it was time. After we got loaded in the car, stopped off at Inkley's to get a memory card for the camera, and then back at the house to get Mike's wallet, I only had 3 contractions on the way to the hospital. I said a little prayer, asking for help, and then asked Mike to find a nice little cliff to drive me over. No luck.
When i got here to the hospital, they hooked me up to the monitors, and checked me. I was dilated to 5 cm. and my cervix was completely soft, but not too thin. The baby was still floating, because as Dr. Voss loves to say to me, "When you've had this many babies..." there isn't really anywhere for the baby's head to engage. Everything's just kinda loose and floaty, I guess. So I'm thinking, they'll never send me home if i'm at a 5, but the resident doc comes in and says, "the partners don't want to start you this early so if you don't progress in the next hour, i guess you'll be going home to labor." Well, that actually, that sounded pretty good to me because, remember, i didn't really want to do this birth thing and a nap seemed just the right thing at that moment.
But Marilee (my doula) and Mike both insisted that I get up and at least walk around, then I went to the bathroom and after sitting on the toilet for a few minutes, and a few contractions, my water broke! aaaa!! and after one or two reeeeeallly painful contractions I got back to bed and started screaming for an epidural. The nurse said she had called the needle guy, and i said(well, yelled), "can you call him faster?" She asked, do you just want the epidural or should I check you? Well at that point, since i thought he was on his way and i was between contractions, I told her to go ahead and check me.
"You're complete!"
"What does that mean?"
"Well, when the dr. tells you to push, just take a deep breath, hold it and push as hard as you can."
"I can't do this!"
"Yes, you can."(Jinx on Marilee and the nurse).
So three contractions (9 pushes) later we have this gorgeous thing:

A Dr. from my Dr.'s practice just happened to be at the hospital delivering another baby, but he delivered mine first and then he and the nurse kneaded my stomach for 30 more minutes while I nursed my baby and let my placenta deliver itself(more details on the benefits of that later... maybe). Then the adorable nurse from the nursery gave Michael and my dad and Wade a tattoo of the baby's foot:

Next time: Does this baby have a name?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Eyes (and Hands and Chins) Have It

The writers of one of my favorite blogs recently challenged us to take pictures of eyes that capture us. I had just that day taken these photos of my daughters eyes by which I am completely mesmerized(the eyes, not the photos).
I mean, wow! You really have to see them in person, the photos don't do them justice. I can't even figure out what color they are. what color aren't they? They are brown and gray and blue and green and gold, even lavender on some days. I could spend days (years?) just looking at these eyes.
And then I realized that the miracle of these beautiful children who amazingly enough were once within my own womb have so many fascinating parts:
!Ihandsfingers and toes

noses (... well)
and especially cheeks.
And this doesn't even include those beautiful teenage boys who constantly amaze me with their size and their glorious adolescent faces.