The Twirl!

Today I dressed Sarah in a fancy dress she got from her Grandma Larsen when she was born. It was the first time she has worn it, and she loved it! She swayed and patted her tummy, and looked very proud of herself. She knew she was pretty! People at church raved about her to her, and she soaked it all in. What a girl! Anyway, the highlight of the Pink Dress Day was the implementation of "The Twirl!" Yes, world, today my little girl twirled and twirled in her princess dress, without direction - well, almost. I did say, "Sarah, can you twirl?" And off she would go twirling like a ballerina for her audience. She even spotted while she turned....sigh...(Maybe I was imagining that. ;) ) Anyway, it was a red letter day! And here are the photos to prove it. It brings me back to Sunday afternoons as a little girl when I twirled away in my favorite dress with the puffiest sleeves in the world! I love having a girl!


Day of Wonder With Grandma Nielson

So, Grandma Nielson came to visit last weekend.  We really wanted to see her, so we made plans to spend the day on Monday.  I told her I was thinking of going to the Museum of Nature and Science, and she said she wanted to go!  I was kind of surprised, as I knew it would be a big day, but she came, and was a trooper.  We stayed for about 4 1/2 hours.  We ate a great lunch, and then headed for the exhibits.  It is a great museum!  

 We saw the Space Odyssey exhibit, the Mummy exhibit, the Prehistoric (Dinosaur) exhibit, and the Hall of Life, where we saw a dissection of a sheep's brain.  It was really cool!  The kids got a real kick out of it!
Grandma was such a trooper!  She went everywhere with us.  I think Peter just about gave her a heart attack running beyond our view for a few moments!  But she said she really liked it, and we loved having her with us! 
 After we left the museum, we met Kirk and Steph and their kids for dinner.  It was really nice.  We really enjoyed talking and eating, and the kids had a great time.  After dinner, Sam, Peter and Celine pushed Sarah and Tommy around in the baby seats to the squealing delight both!  What a great day!  Thanks Grandma!  We sure love you!

Animal House!

So, the other day, the Roberts were over here playing.  Eva (our dog) was running around, and the next thing we knew, Tommy, Krey and Sarah were in her Kennel.  They were happy as could be, growling and laughing.  Tami and I decided it might not be a bad place for them - locked away, unable to break anything, and not making any demands.  It was great!  Maybe I should utilize this new technique more often!  Though, since they have opposing thumbs, they can get out if they really try.  Not quite as much of a lock down as it is for my dog.  Oh well...

Our Little Rascal

We went to the park the other day, and took some pictures, and the boys thought this one of Tommy was pretty funny.  Needless to say, he needs a haircut, but the boys said he looks like Alfalfa in the Little Rascals movie, when he is racing, and his hair sticks out of his helmet.  I love my little rascal!


I Have Been Tagged!

So, Michelle "Tagged" me for this. I hope I am doing this right, and that she didn't mean some other Liz. :)

1. What is your Hubby's name?


2. How long have you been married?

Twelve years - though I think we have really only spent about half that time together, so it has gone by really fast!

3. How long did you date?

hmmm. Trick question. We went on three dates, pre-mission, wrote during most of his mission, and dated three months post mission before we were engaged.

4. How old is he?

Adam will be 34 in May.

5. Who eats more?

Used to be him. But since he has been gone he has turned into a health nut, and I have become a junk food junky...consuming way to much ice cream!

6. Who said I Love you First?

I don't remember. But I know he was in love with me long before he knew it. :)

7. Who is taller?

He is. 5'9''. I am 5'5 1/2" (I always have to throw in the 1/2.)

8. Who sings better?

He would say I do. I am not so sure.

9. Who is smarter?

He tells the kids I am.

10. Whose temper is worse?

I am really not sure. It might be me. But I also get over things quicker.

11. Who does the laundry?

Me. But I hate it. And when Adam is home, he will fold the clothes.

12. Who does the dishes?

Usually me, but he clears things over and helps clean up the kitchen.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?


14. Who pays the bills?

Automatic bill pay or me.

15. Who mows the lawn?

I do usually, but mostly because I like to do it. It is therapeutic for me.

16. Who cooks dinner?

We both like to cook. I usually make dinners, but he is the grilling and smoking master, and makes wonderful ribs, etc.

17. Who drives when together?

Adam - I like to just relax.

18. Who is more stubborn?

I think he is...I'm sure he is...I know he is...hmmm...maybe I am - who knows.

19. Who is the first to admit they are wrong?

Usually me.

20. Whose parents do we visit most?

Mine. His live in Taiwan, but we are planning to visit in January.

21. Who Proposed?

He did, and he was very romantic.

22. Who has more friends?

I think we are pretty equal here.

23. Who has more siblings?

Me. 4 brothers 4 sisters. He has 1 brother and 4 sisters.

24. Who wears the pants in the family?

I think he does, and he wears them well!

10 years ago...

Adam and I were living in Wymount at BYU, and really loving life. We had one little boy, were both going to school, and life was pretty simple. We were also very poor, but I look back on it as a wonderful time in our lives.

5 things on my to due list

1. Read my scriptures.

2. Finish this blog.

3. Fax my refinance papers.

4. Eat lunch.

5. Send package to Adam.

There are many more things too, but maybe I should just keep it simple. Five things sounds doable.

What I would do if I were suddenly a millionaire...

Pay off my house, invest a lot of money, furnish/decorate my house fully.

Six places I have lived...

1. Orem, Utah

2. Provo, Utah
3. Vernal, Utah

4. Maryland

5. Washington

6. Colorado

5 jobs I have had...

1. Dance teacher assistant

2. Telemarketer for one day

3. Dance Teacher

4. Choreographer

5. Mother

5 things people don't know about me....

1. I have a bionic ear.

2. When I played powder-puff football, I was sent out to punt, and I totally missed the ball!

3. I used to paint oil paintings.

4. I have been on a hot air balloon ride.

5. I have never been to the circus.

I tag - Kim, Robin, Rachel, Kristen, Paula


This is the result of a highly nutritious breakfast of blueberry bagels and Nutella - vastly happy children with hazelnut chocolate all over their faces! It is a apparently a very satisfying meal! I think whoever thought of this delectable delight should be very wealthy. He/she gave me two happy toddlers for ten minutes while I checked my email! Wahoo! Though, I must admit, it is very messy, and I will have to do a quick clean up in a few minutes. Oh well, I prefer to feign ignorance to the mess. Ignorance can be bliss...


Birthday Surprise!

So, Saturday was my birthday, and had the potential to be kind of a sad day with Adam gone. But, I had some very dear friends who made it just the opposite!  I was really quite overwhelmed!  The weekend before, JD and Dionne Causse called to tell me not to make plans for my birthday, and to let me know that my kids would be cared for all day.  That morning as I was getting ready for Stake Women's conference, a dear friend, Kristen Weaver stopped by with a gift bag containing a book and some smelly goodies (ie. lotions, etc.).  She has really been such a sweetheart, constantly instigating friendship!  I have really grown to love her.  Then, I dropped my kids off at the Causses, and JD watched all five kids along with his own four while I went to the conference, where Dionne and I met up.  After the conference, she and I went to lunch at La Baguette.  Then she gave me a visa gift card from several of my wonderful friends in the ward.  I don't know who all of you are, but THANK YOU!  It was very unexpected!  I was able to get a sweater and a pair of shoes with it!  Needless to say is was quite a bit of money!  I was totally shocked!  While we were gone, Tami came over to my house and did some cleaning and left me a sweet gift bag filled with lots of stuff: a Yoga Journal subscription, some foot cream, candy and a few other little things.  Thanks Tami!  You mean the world to me!  I took a picture a bunch of my goodies, but I left one thing out.  I am listening to it now.  It was a CD from the Bishop and his wife Linda called the Spirit of America, and it is beautiful!  Well, after all the gift giving, a bunch of my friends gathered at Dionne's house and had a little surprise birthday party for me.  We talked and laughed and had a great time!  I forgot to take a picture before everyone left.  This was only about half the people who came.  Sorry to all you other beautiful ladies who were there.  You certainly would have added to our picture, as you added to our night!  I have to say, I never realized I was so loved.  Either that, or this ward is just really nice.   Maybe it's a bit of both, but on a day when I could have felt really down, I felt overcome with friendship and love!  That is the greatest gift anyone could have given.   Just being thought of.  Thank you all so much!  You made my day!  Love you all!


Title of Liberty

Adam sent our family a "Title of Liberty" for Christmas. He sent with it this letter. It really made me cry. When you read it, I am sure you will understand why. So yesterday I was able to finally get it framed. I am so excited to get it up on the wall! When I picked it up, the lady at the frame store said, "I have to tell you that I have been reading that all day, and it has made me cry. I have been filled with gratitude for you and your family, and for what you are all doing for us. So, thank you." It was touching. What are we giving right now? We are sacrificing our time as a family. It has been very difficult, don't get me wrong, but we have been richly blessed as well. Today I saw a little family whose husband/father was in a wheelchair, and I was pretty sure he was a veteran. (After a while, you can just tell.) And I saw this strong man barely be able to help his wife get her baby front pack on, and I thought, "they are the ones who sacrifice." They give their all, again and again. I feel the sacrifice we make as a family very acutely some days, but I thank my Heavenly Father that my husband is safe, and I know that we are watched over. My dad prays every night that Guardian Angels will be with Adam always, and I know that prayer is answered. I am thankful for our liberties in this country, and wish others had this blessing. God Bless America, and those who protect her.


Feeling My Age

So, for those of you who don't know this, I am taking a contemporary dance class. The students are all pre-professional level ballet dancers, and did I mention, almost half my age. Anyway, I love my class! It is so much fun to be dancing again. But yesterday we did a very quick warm-up, (quick warm-ups - ok for dancers in their prime, not so much for me) and were off and leaping across the room, rolling across our backs, coming up to our knees, and doing it all again, and again, and again. Let's just say, that while I normally feel very comfortable in this class, yesterday was not my day. My knees were screaming at me, my back was saying "why?" and my skin on my big toe cracked open. Every part of me was saying, "quit, while you're ahead. You can still leave with some dignity." But of course, I stayed, and of course, I will go back. All for the love of the art! They say a dancer's shelf life is short. I am probably nearing my expiration date, but I will fight that every step of the way! I love the expression of music through movement, and the feeling I get when I know I am "on." That is why I struggle through on those days I am "off." So, even though I felt every day of my age, and then some last night, I will be back at it next week, and the next, and the next. Vive la danse!

Young Again

Yesterday was an interesting day. In the morning, I had these monstrosities placed on my teeth, the Rubber Bands!!! (dramatic music, please.) Anyway, this is not a picture of my teeth, but it may as well be. I also had a bigger, badder wire put in. Yuck! This morning I woke up with a very sore jaw, having been held together all night with my new rubber bands. When I took them off to changed them, my jaw felt spring loaded...but tired, so it kinda boinged open, but at a slightly geriatric pace. Anyway, these things in general kinda make me feel thirteen again, and to complete the scenario, I woke up with a painful zit above my left eye. Shouldn't this have all been over and done with adolescence? I think I'll go back to bed...oh wait, I have children, never mind!


Birthday Present

So, I hate to say that my birthday is coming up, for fear of sounding presumptuous. I say it only because Adam sent me my birthday gift yesterday, early, and I wanted to share with you, because it is pretty neat. He bought me this handmade Persian rug for our bedroom. It was unexpected, and really beautiful! I love it! It represents well, as Adam put it, "what we are going through right now." It will always remind us of our time apart, and hopefully help us appreciate being together. Thanks Honey! I love you!


Spring Fever

Okay, so since I can't grow flowers right now, I am taking pictures of store bought ones. I guess I have spring fever! But now I have decided that I need to get into photography. Last summer I took some fun pictures of flowers, and recently framed them for my bathroom. It was really neat to see my own pictures on the wall. Though they are very amateurish, I still love them. I think I love anything that I can grow. And flowers are one of my favorite things in the world! They just make me happy. So, the two things I want to photograph well, and grow well, for that matter: 1. My family 2. Flowers.

I will keep you all posted on my progress, and maybe someday I will get one of those fancy-shmancy, very expensive telephoto lenses for super close-ups. That would be so cool! I wonder if it would help me in growing my bananas as well? Hmmm...doubt it. I think we're on our own there. Well, until next time, dreaming of spring! Take some pictures for me!


The "Girly Girl"

When I found out I was pregnant with baby number 5 two and a half years ago, I had almost given up hope of ever having a girl. I figured I was a mom of boys, and really didn't know what I would do with a girl anyway. I liked the fact that boys played rough and tumble, but rarely needed me to play with them to have fun. They were pretty self-sufficient in that way, and I liked that. Our house was swimming in testosterone by fall 2005 with a manly husband, four manly boys, and even a manly dog named Max. I was highly outnumbered, but I accepted my fate! Gone were the hopes of pink blankets and bows and dolls. They were replaced with soccer practice and Bionicles (a kind of Lego).Then, we had "THE" ultrasound. The one where they would say "it's a boy!" The sonographer said, "do you want to know what it is?" I laid there, excited to see this new little child, but not expecting anything either way really - hey, I've done this before, when she said, "It's a girl!" I had waited to hear those words, and awaited the flood of emotions I would surely experience, when instead I started to giggle uncontrollably. The poor sonographer wasn't sure what to say or do, but she hadn't been told every time that is was a boy four times in a row, and it was the most natural reaction, in the moment. So, five months later, we received a beautiful baby girl, and we named her Sarah.Anyway, here we are twenty months later, and our male dominated world has been turned on it's ear. (We even have a girl dog.) Sarah is a "girly girl!" She loves shoes, and hair and make-up, dolls, and talking on the phone. She is also highly dramatic, and can be quite the Drama Queen, but we'll save that topic for another day. Tonight I was lucky to grab some "girly" shots, so here ya go! Bask in the bubble-gum pinkness of little girlhood. We sure do!

The Mighty Hunter

This is a picture of my sweetheart, doing what else, fly-fishing in Iraq! Some of you may have already seen this picture, but I got such a kick out of it, I had to post it. The elusive prey in this case was Koi - that 's essentially a fancy goldfish, which he caught out of the retention pond on base. According to Wikipedia, "a homophone of koi means "love, affection" and koi are therefore symbols of love and friendship." Adam was certainly feelin' the love, as these little guys were happily biting at his homemade flies. As you can see, he thought this was as funny as I did, as he held his mighty 4 inch conquest in the bright sun of Iraq. Keep fishing honey! It always helped you keep your sanity before, and I am sure it will help you though the next 8 1/2 months! Love and happy fishing everyone!


Pinewood Derby

Pinewood Derby time! Wahoo! Actually, to be truthful, I was really not looking forward to this, and almost didn't do it when the date got moved forward a week. But of course, Sam really wanted to do it, and so this morning, we took our old car from last year (which came in second to last place) and "we" (ie. "I") sanded down and totally reshaped and remodeled it. We went to the church with little to no expectation for our car, "The Vapor," but with first race our little car quickly "smoked" the competition! I guess the name was appropriate. Well, heat after heat "The Vapor" kept winning! It was crazy! In the end, Sam won 1st Place in the Bear den, and 2nd Place overall in the pack! I am officially, the Pinewood Derby Queen! Sam thought it was pretty cool since he didn't have a dad at home, and his mom made a winning car! The Bishop told me to look out, because at next year's derby Adam will expect me to make the car! Maybe it wasn't such a good thing to do so well - haha! Anyway, all in all, it was a really great time. Sarah was Sam's biggest fan! She stood on a chair with Sam while the cars raced and yelled, "Go guys!" Everyone cheered, and we all had a lot of fun, though we sure missed our dad! Well, chalk one up for the home team! Go Bananas!


The Bananas in Fine Form

This picture was taken Halloween night 2007. It shows how crazy, and yet adorable my bananas can be! Their Daddy Banana was sad to have missed such a "fun" night! No, really, it was fun, just a bit chaotic, as most of my life is - especially lately.

Every time I go to the store with littlest bananas, people look at me with a cross between admiration and sympathy, as they say, "wow, you must have your hands full!" I used to reply nicely, that yes, life is busy. Now, when I only have the two, I say, "Oh, this is a break for me. I have three more at home!" You can just see the shock and awe in their faces. Maybe that is why I say it - shock value, and maybe I just take every opportunity to vent a little, or maybe a little of both. Recently, however, I have been reminded of how blessed Adam and I are! Despite the hard times, we have seen the hand of the Lord in our lives with many things, not least of which, our bunch of bananas!
And so, to all you ladies and gentlemen out there who see me in the store, and wonder what I was thinking, I say, I don't know, but my existence is a sweet, if somewhat muddled one, and I wouldn't change it for anything!

Starting the Blog

Today, I started thinking that I need to chronicle what's going on in my life right now, as well as some of the memories of recent years that have had no voice.  Currently, as most of you know, Adam is deployed to Iraq.  He has been there for six months, and will be home in about nine months.  It has been very long.  And there are days when I think I will lose my mind, that I will go "bananas."  Then I pick myself up, and move forward and the next time my bunch of bananas (Jens-11, Sam-9, Peter-7, Tommy-3, and Sarah-19 months)  start to show signs of rot, I try to have the presence of mind to make banana pancakes.  The results are usually delicious!