Sunday, July 28, 2013

notes from france

I don't have many pictures of me with my mom.
I love this one from 1987.
It was taken for a "Merrie Miss" program.
San Ramon, CA

I've been anxiously awaiting news from FRANCE.

Yesterday, Mercedes got an email from Dad.  I was jaloux (we're working on our French in preparation for our visit).  She got very upset when I told her that he wrote to her and not to me because he likes her best.  (But come on; we all know it's true!)

But hallelujah!  I got home from church and found a new message from mom!  (Dad has yet to write to me.)  

Sister Jeppson was very sweet to mention to Pres. Roney that mom hasn't been able to sleep because of the heat (fan too loud, like a sauna w/o, have to keep door shut for privacy).  Pres. Roney straightway sent some Elders out to buy a portable air conditioner for her.  I'm so glad that she's being taken care of!  Brent bought one for me last summer and it has made summer life much more enjoyable.  

Mom and Dad attended their first church meeting today.  They took two metro trains and walked a few blocks to get there.  Mom was asked to accompany on the piano in Relief Society and then in Sacrament Meeting.  She was amazed at being able to do both without performance fright.  "We are blessed when we are willing to serve," were her wise words.  After church she was asked to accompany the ward choir.

Tonight they're off to have dinner with the Jeppsons at the Roneys' home.

I'm still waiting to hear if she was asked to share her testimony in French today.  I know that she was pretty worried about that.  I'm guessing she would have mentioned it, though.  

And Dad:  if you're reading this, your children are waiting to hear from you!


they kind of like each other.
they wanted to be twins with their new matching haircuts,
so they coordinated their outfits.

Lincoln's looking just a tiny bit different these days.  I LOVE his thick yellow hair, and was sad to see it all go...


But every time Lincoln came in from playing in the sun his hair would be soaked with sweat.  I was feeling bad for him.  Cooper looked so much more comfortable without a mop heating up his noggin.

My four year old suddenly looks so much older, and that makes me a little sad.  Yesterday I sat Lincoln on my lap and asked him to please!please!please! stay four years old for forever.  He said, "OK Mommy, I will stay four forever.  I promise!"

I'm having so much fun with him these days.  Even when he gets a time-out for doing something naughty, he's still happy and loving.  The "olders" aren't my biggest fans.

Cooper's new phrase (which he uses liberally any time he doesn't get his way) is, "I HATE YOU!"  (Which really is better than the venom I spewed at my mom when I was 6; "I don't have to listen to you.  You're not my real mom!"  Geesh.  I was so mean.  And, of course, mistaken.)

Mercedes can often be heard lamenting, "I hate my life.  Whah whah whah."  At the moment, she's 10 going on 15. 

But Lincoln ALWAYS loves me.  He makes his own fun and sunshine wherever he goes.  I love that he can't pronounce his "R's"; Cooper is still "Coop-ah!"  I know that it won't last much longer... but I'm enjoying it while I can.  Isn't FOUR the greatest age there is?  

I think so.

Here's Mercedes at FOUR:

at the Newport Beach LDS Temple

photo taken by my very talented cousin Andrea

And Cooper at FOUR:

in the ER with croup, waiting for a steroid shot
raking leaves, just before his 5th birthday

And just for the grandparents, Lincoln at FOUR:

at Liberty Square Park, June.  

daddy did this.  of course.

Motherhood really is the greatest blessing there is.

Friday, July 26, 2013


uncle chris, we miss you

A few people have been asking for news from the French front.  

I was super-excited when I got an email from mom on Tuesday night.  I expected dad to write, but not mom.  Anyone who knows Nancy, knows that writing just isn't her thing.

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten word since that first update.  What I'd hoped would be a daily ritual was simply an anomaly.  I've tried calling at least once a day (I figure if it's 8:55 pm here, it's 5:55 am there - and they plan to walk every morning at 6 am), but their line still goes straight to voicemail.  Ugh.  

So here's what I know:

They left their house at 8:10am Monday morning bound for the SLC airport, and didn't get to their apartment in Lyon until 10:30 pm Tuesday night.  They may have caught a few stray hours of sleep here and there during travel, but at 4 am (Lyon time) on Wednesday morning mom was emailing me because after being up for something like 36 hours straight, she still could not sleep.  Hot apartment (no a/c) + foam pillow + fan noise + street noise + "someone" snoring = no sleep.  

Their flights were delayed: 1- in Salt Lake City (1.5 hrs), 2- in Chicago (4 hrs), 3- I'm guessing London? (it was their final leg).    I never heard if they paid the $50+ to "be afforded the luxury of sitting next to one another" during their flights.  I mean, really.  Can you believe that?  Reminds me of Les Miserables... "Master of the House!"  Miserable, indeed.

The couple whom mom and dad are replacing, the Jeppsons (call me, maybe?), are very nice.  They will be staying in the apartment with mom and dad on and off until August 6th (when they fly home).  August 6th is also the date when a large group of new missionaries arrive.  Mom called it "trial by fire."  (That seems to be what their last few months before leaving for Lyon were, so why should things change now, right?)

The Jeppsons have been working six days a week and never taking breaks, so we'll see if dad gets his trip to the Swiss temple anytime soon.  There is only one office couple to the mission's 260 missionaries because it's hard to find French-speaking couples.  So they're VERY busy.  

They plan to walk every morning at 6 am, and were hoping to find a bakery open that early.  Everyone buys their bread daily, and it's usually sold out by 11 am.  The largest mall in France is within walking distance of their 2 bedroom apartment, and there is a metro entrance just downstairs from them.  

Mom's birthday was Thursday (Happy Birthday Mom!), so I'm hoping that dad bought her a very fancy French cake (Fancy Nancy style).  I'm also hoping that she's gotten a feather pillow for herself.  We sent her a few videos of the kids singing birthday songs, but who knows if she's even checked her mail?

I was planning on starting a blog just for Nancy and Herb's mission stuff... but I've decided that that is entirely too much work.  It's summer.  I have children to entertain and sun to enjoy (it only really shines for 1/4 of the year here).  I'll put the updates here on this blog.  Hopefully they'll send some photos soon!

Bonne soirée!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Last friday Mercedes spent the day at our local zoo with her two best friends.  Naturally, Cooper was NOT happy to be excluded from such fun.  So I loaded the boys in mom's little blue car and we set off in search of some tide-pools to explore.

There is a State Park just south of us with "more than 1,800 feet of saltwater shoreline on the Puget Sound" (or so it's advertised).  A friend told me about the fun to be had in the tide-pools there.  When I hear the words tide-pools I remember exploring Laguna Beach as a teenager, and I was envisioning the same memories being created in my boys' minds.

After a winding drive down a road that seemed to lead to nowhere (and in the middle of nowhere), we finally entered the park.  Yay!  And it was only then that I realized that we couldn't park there without cash for a park pass.  The two options offered (according to signs posted almost everywhere) were to 1- deposit $10 into a box, or 2- go to wherever fishing and/or hunting licenses are sold to buy a daily "Park Pass" for $10, or an annual "Park Pass" for $30.

I NEVER carry cash.  This is because it is much too easy to spend.  It literally burns holes through fabric. Rather than ruin a perfectly good purse, wallet, or pants, I conscientiously get rid of it as quickly as possible.

Since I'm no dummy I chose part b of the second option.  Why pay $10 for a day (maybe 2 hours - if that) when we could enjoy all WA State Parks for an entire year for just a bit more?  Good for us there was a Cabela's back near the freeway (and civilization).  We high-tailed it over there and entered a very crowded adventure-supply wonderland.

After purchasing our annual pass we spent some time checking out the array of "stuffed" wildlife, some (living) trout and catfish, practiced our aim at a "shooting range", and chose some tasty treats for our movie night.  (Thanks to an indulgent and loving :) pair of grandparents, my kids think that movie night is NOT movie night without a treat).

Walking to the car with Lincoln's hand in mine and Cooper leading the way, Lincoln looked up at me and said:

"Mommy, does Santa work with Jesus?"

"Did you say Santa?"

"Yeah.  He must work with someone.  So does he work with Jesus?"

I don't even remember my answer.  
I'm still trying to figure out how an elk and some moose and a rhinoceros lead to thoughts about where Santa works. I think I said something like, "Well, I can see how you might make that connection (they both give us gifts continually), but I think that Santa works at the North Pole..."

What I love about our littlest is that this is the kind of conversation we have every day.  

Maybe one day soon we'll actually use our new pass...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Because sometimes crying is funny...

Coop, 22 months 
Coop, 2 yrs.

Lincoln, brand spankin' new

Cooper, 2 yrs

LOVE this picture of Aiden...

Just TRY to tell me that didn't make you laugh.

Monday, July 8, 2013

boys and poop

I don't understand what it is that makes boys fascinated with anything gross.  Maybe it's just my boys?  I don't think so.  Cooper told a joke on our drive from Utah to Washington.  It's one he heard while watching "Wreck It Ralph." 

 It goes like this: 
"Why did the hero flush the toilet?... 
Because it was his DUTY!"  

And Brent LAUGHED.  
He loved it.  
So now Cooper says it all of the time.

Well, this afternoon when Lincoln needed some "assistance" in the bathroom, he told me that what he had deposited in the toilet was: 

"STAR WARS poop."  

Then he explained that he was playing STAR WARS and described everything going on in his imaginative little brain.  

Again, I ask:  "What is it with boys and gross-ness?"