Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Haiku


Dreaming of candy
Dressed up, fidgeting, waiting
Hoping for nightfall.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I am level-headed and open-hearted.
I know I am a daughter of God.
I want whirled peas.
I think a lot of truth is spoken in jest.
I dislike when kids wake up before me.
I miss living in Texas.
I feel good when I use my talents.
I hear children playing in the backyard.
I smell spicy salsa in the kitchen.
I crave lemon bars.
I cry a lot more than I used to.
I usually do things by the book.
I search the Internet for recipes and long lost friends.
I wonder how my children will turn out.
I regret the times I have put off a child's request to read a story.
I love teasing Bryce.
I care too much what others think.
I always plan good birthday parties.
I worry about my home's declining value.
I am not a door slammer.
I remember my dog Maggie.
I never ever swear.
I believe that that I am doing my best.
I dance a lot better in my mind than in real life.
I sing in ward choir.
I don't always meet my own expectations.
I argue politely or back down.
I write to express my feelings and keep my sanity.
I win at word games.
I lose at puzzle or strategy games.
I wish all children could grow up in happy, stable homes.
I listen to the TV news on my kitchen radio.
I don't understand why power is so important to people.
I usually can be found at the computer or in the kitchen.
I am scared of tight spaces.
I forget how hard life used to be.
I am happy when I cross everything off my list.

Spooky tidings

Monday at Family Home Evening the kids created three jack-o-lanterns (the boys) and one jill-o-lantern (the girl) and let me just say . . . pumpkin guts are deliciously squishy.

Each person showed off his/her creation. (The twins had help, obviously. But if given the chance they'd love to wield a knife.) I like the eyes on Tyce's.

Lighting up a dark the dark and scary night!

Happy Almost Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Me and my Dad"

Dictated to me (Rebecca) by Mary. Sorry if you read this before I had a chance to correct spelling--she's a fast talker.

Hi, Mary here. Mom wanted me to tell you about my vacation with my fun and exciting dad since I'm on track break, and I guess she thinks Dad is taking too long.

When we first got to the Excalibur hotel, me and my dad called on the telephone for our bags. When they brought them up, me and my dad slipped on our swimsuits and went out to check out the swimming pool.

It was fun because we were the only ones who stayed long. We had the whole pool to ourselves! I grabbed onto Dad's back real tight and then he would go underwater and swim as long as he could. Once I even stood up on his back like I was surfing. We went back and forth between the hot tub and the pool. That's it for the pool.

After we went swimming Dad and I went and looked around the food court. I decided to get a cheese pizza from Pizza Hut. You even had your very own box of breadsticks with three breadsticks in it. Dad got pepperoni pizza with breadsticks. He let me have Moutain Dew even though it was late at night.

Then we went down to the game place, the kid section. We played lots of carnival games and I won about a billion prizes. The best one I did was where there were a bunch of white cups and there were five red cups, four blue cups, and three yellow cups, and was one green cup in the middle. If you got the ball in the middle green one, you could choose any prize you wanted. And I got it in the green cup on the 7th try! (You got 10 balls.) I chose a big black dog with a bone collar.

After me and my dad finished the carnival games, we went back up to our room at about 8 or 9:30. Then we looked on "On Demand" and we selected a movie. Before we started the movie we went back downstairs and got an ice cream and a fresh donut straight from the factory. I got cotton candy ice cream with gummi bears and cherries and caramel on top. We went back into the room and watched the movie and ate our snack. We watched "Narnia 2: Prince Caspian."

Then after the movie, me and my dad talked in our beds for a while about our day. Then we went to sleep at about 12:30 at night!

When we woke up the next morning we ordered room service and it took an HOUR for our food to get here.

After we ate our breakfast, we went to my dad's work office and I got a sucker, three Crunch bars, a Heath bar, and one gumball.

After we went Dad's office we went to Circus Circus. At Circus Circus I rode on a ride called "The Inverter". It was fun and scary at the same time. What happened was, you basically were in a guitar shaped ride, where it kept going around and around slowly, back and forth, and then the scariest part was when it held you upside down in your seat for about 20 seconds. After I rode on The Inverter, me and my dad went on a ride called "The Disco." You were on a moon shaped track going on a flat disk that was spinning around while it was going side to side on the track.

After that me and my dad went on the most scariest roller coaster that I ever went on. And it wasn't scary because it was going fast and there were a million loops that were going upside down and round and round. It was because when we got off the ride, we heard the people talking. They said, "It wasn't supposed to do that! Why did it do that?" and me and my dad realized that we had been on a ride in which our safety was dependent on some teenager reading the instructions right!

Then me and my dad went back to the hotel and went swimming AGAIN. After that we headed for the carnival games again. Dad said last time we spent all his money on games and he had to get more money so this time he set a very low budget. It was only $20. After that we went back to the food court and ate lunch. This time we had pizza again, just the same thing as we got last time.

After that we went to the dragon store and looked around. I saw a very interesting book and sat down and started reading. Dad let me get two lollipops and a princess headband for the show we were going to that night.

And he let me pick two glass sculptures of dragons. One was an egg with two dragon heads sticking out of it. I named the two baby dragons Solis and Luna. And the other dragon sculpture was a dragon sitting on a pile of rocks wrapped around a dead tree. I named him Gemini.

Then we went to the show! It was called the Tournament of Kings. Our king was the King of France. He wore a light blue shirt and cape and dark navy blue pants with a gold stripe down the sides. He won the whole tournament because he was the one who saved the king. And he won the sword fighting, and the jousing match. And he also defeated the evil dragon lord. At the end, he let me pet his horse and then he let me sit on the horse, and take a picture with him.

The next morning we went the the Ethel M chocolate factory. When we were finished with the tour he let me choose 12 chocolates to take home! Then instead of leaving right away we sat in the garden and talked while we ate some of the chocolates. Then we headed for home.

Next time we go on a trip I want to do the exact same thing, because it was fun! I was very excited when we left because I haven't been able to spend time with my dad for a long time. I love you, Dad!

And that's the end of our vacation!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Daddy-Daughter Days

A year-and-a-half ago Bryce and Mary had a really cool excursion planned, just the two of them, to San Diego. They were going to the Wild Animal Park, a whale-watching cruise, and the beach. Bryce loaded the car the night before, and at 5 a.m., all that was left was to lift the sleeping beauty herself into the back seat.

But I ruined the plan. I became horribly ill with strep throat, stomach flu, yellow fever, Johnny fever, and monkey pox. (Well, that's how it felt. I just had the first one.) And through my tears I begged him to just go, to have a great time with his little girl, because I knew how much she wanted this trip.

But in my heart I knew I couldn't take care of two 2-year-olds for even a few minutes, let alone a few days.

And so they stayed.

So all this time I've felt bad about their canceled vacation. Bryce and Mary had talked at length about rescheduling, of course, but other obligations and plans interfered. Until now.

They finally had their trip, and it was grand.

I will allow Bryce the pleasure of writing about their actual vacation, but I thought I'd post a picture just to tease you. Can you tell where they stayed?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A video worthy of your time

Remember when I said I was listening the Christian radio station? I can't imagine why I've never heard this song. Maybe because without the video it just wouldn't be the same.

I'll bet Sal was every choir director's dream with that enunciation. Zap!

I would have loved a close up of the guy with the orange guitar. Sweet moves, Uncle Herb! I wish I had a family band that rocked this hard. It's interesting how the grand piano is merely a prop and the electric keyboard shines in this number. I'm taking notes . . . for when my own band makes it big, ya know?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My date with the Senator

On Friday Bryce and I (and 50 of our closest acquaintances) had dinner with the highest-ranking Democrat in Senate. In the U.S. In the WORLD. The J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Las Vegas chapter, honored Harry Reid at a special dinner at the Ritz-Carlton at Lake Las Vegas. Betsy Fowler was on the committee and did a great job, including making some killer name tags. It's Sunday and I'm wearing mine right now.

As we entered the grounds, I said, "Oooooh, pretty fountain!" and whipped out my camera. Bryce chided me saying, "Rebecca, act like you've been here before." Apparently that is sports talk for "Don't go to pieces now." I will file this away with other helpful phrases I've learned over the years, such as "they need to just play within themselves", "they can't play on the road", and "they won because they wanted it more." Sometimes when there's a game on and I'm not paying attention, I bat these phrases around and score major brownie points.

Anyway, we walked in and found our way to the ballroom. In a room filled with attorneys I felt compelled to say, "I'm not a lawyer, but I play one on TV." Luckily I used that line on Betsy and got it out of my system.

We sat with Betsy, her friend Sara, and some cute UNLV law students. Bryce was a lucky man surrounded by lots of lovely ladies. I should have taken a picture of the food becuase it was as beautiful as it was delicious. A good time was had by all.

Then it was time for the program. I'm sure I will butcher this becuase I don't have my paper in front of me, but the head lawyer for the Church spoke for a few minutes, and then Lloyd D. George (for whom the federal courthouse is named) introduced Harry Reid. Senator Reid talked to us as a member of the Church and native Nevadan rather than as a senator, and I found him to be likeable--if a bit full of himself. I don't mean that rudely. Seriously, how do you get in that position if you're not extremely confident? It was interesting to hear him talk about some of his cases as a trial lawyer (against Lloyd D. George!) and his feelings as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also recounted the story of how Judge Dawson (Bryce's judge) came to accept the appointment to the federal bench. He was a very good speaker, very personable and entertaining.

Unfortunately right after his remarks he was whisked away by his body guards, so I never got a picture. I should've just snapped one anyway, right? Except that those body guards looked pretty serious . . .

After the dinner I was introduced to so many nice people Bryce works with, including Judge George. He's in his 80s and he knew my cousin Una quite well, so I have a soft spot for him. He told the best story about being a pool boy at The Sands casino long ago. His supervisor told him to bring two lounge chairs and a screwdriver over for Frank Sinatra and his crew. Young Lloyd D. George brought the lounge chairs and a semi-working umbrella, and set out to look for a screwdriver. About 30 minutes later he came back and apologized that he couldn't find one anywhere. Frank Sinatra snapped, "I want a screwdriver the drink, not the tool, you imbicile!" Oh boy, I got a good laugh out of that.

Afterwards we walked around the grounds and listened the all the live bands, and wondered, why don't we come here more often? And Betsy, why didn't I get my picture taken with you?

Even though I didn't get a photo with the Senator Reid, I think he looked right at me and I just smiled. I'm pretty sure Bryce was proud--because I played within myself, and I acted like I'd been there before.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Roch-it Man

This week we had a blast from the past--our good friend Roch Player came to visit! I say "our" friend but he was really Bryce's roommate for several years, and I just have the pleasure of knowing him better through Bryce. (I was acquainted with him in college and thought he was a great guy.)

Roch was on his way to his brother's wedding in Cedar City, Utah, and we were so happy he stopped by to see us. He lives in Washington state with his wife and four adorable daughters. He's an engineer and he has several adopted brothers and sisters. And on top of that, he's as nice a person as you're ever likely to meet. He is especially good with kids, and ours loved the attention.

We enjoyed talking, the kids just loved showing off (!), and when I had to leave for a stake meeting, Bryce and Roch looked at old pictures and had a great time.

Bryce and Roch.

The "goofy" shot (though this is what we look like most of the time).

There's nothing like reconnecting with an old friend.

Better judgment prevails

I started to feel really bad about making fun of my neighbors, so I took that last post down. It doesn't do me any good to complain, and the only person I can change is myself, so . . . Lord help me, but I'm actually going to try to be nice.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I just love to get in touch with my emotions--can't you tell? j/k Of course you can.

Today I'm feeling stressed out because of my church work. I have two big events coming up and I just found out that there will be personnel changes in our organization. I was overwhelmed with the two upcoming events BEFORE I knew about anything. I really loved things the way they were, which was my big mistake. I should have just grouched and grumbled about everything, and three years from now I'd still be in the same position.

But I'm grouchy and grumbly about my new neighbors, so using that logic, I'm pretty sure they'll be here for the long haul. They really, really love Halloween. It looks like K Mart's after-holiday clearance sale threw up in their yard. Yeah, I said it.

Is it bad to begrudge someone the joy of putting 8 inflatable decorations on a 10x10 plot of rock? Or to attach a huge green inflatable skull to your roof, while screcrows, spiderwebs, and blinking lights litter the remaining space? Or to keep your junky garage open all day and night while you sit in the driveway on a vinyl lawn chair, shirtless?

Don't answer that.

I know.

This is something I must work on.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Week in Pictures

Tuesday: Mary and I went to get pedicures. Look how cute her toes are.

Wednesday: Entry for the Naughty File: Harrison decorated our baseboards for miles.

Thursday: Bryce and I went to the first play of the season. It had the sidekick from "Walker, Texas Ranger" in it.

Friday: Went to Basic High School's football game, because the junior high band was playing. Tyce is standing up.

Bryce and Mary love to be silly.

Tyce came down after half-time to say hi.

Saturday: Cameron practiced his Jedi moves on Harrison.

We went out for a fun evening with the Pendletons (but I forgot my camera).

Sunday: Bryce helped the little boys make cookies. (He had to do a little touch up work when they weren't looking.) What they lacked in presentation, I'm happy to say, they made up for in taste.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lessons Learned

1. Yesterday I seeded and chopped chilis from Bryce's dad's garden, probably about 50. During the chopping it felt like something had stung me under my ring, so I took the ring off. A little while later it felt like part of my hand was kind of burning. By the time I was finished, both of my hands were on FIRE from the wicked hot chili oil.

Cold water felt wonderful...for the moment. But I couldn't very well stay submerged in an ice bucket all day. So I went online looking for remedies. You know I was desperate because I actually scrubbed my hands with bleach--straight bleach. You know, the base counteracting the acid and all that . . . and it didn't even hurt. I'm not sure if it helped, or if I'd just basically burned a layer of skin off by that point, but the pain lessened.

I told Mary, "Man, I can still feel my hands stinging today."

She said, "Well, I guess you've learned a good lesson."

And the lesson is: Wear gloves when you chop little chilis.

2. I got an e-mail informing me (and others) of an upcoming event in an organization. It asked our opinions on a certain subject, and to e-mail with any concerns. So I did. And I was politely informed that things were not changing, but thanks for my input.

Lesson learned: When people ask for your opinion, sometimes they don't really want your opinion.

3. I had a meeting with one of the Young Women classes, and afterward one of the members (Girl #1), who is super friendly and, I would say, "popular," confided in me how hurt she is by some of the other class members. They ignore her at school in favor of impressing a more "in" crowd--but at church they are buddy-buddy with her. So basically she feels like a "B List" friend--good enough when there's no one better around.

Our meeting was over, and Girl #1 and another class member, Girl #2 (a very witty but somewhat shy person, not one of the snubbers) left together. Afterward Girl #2 called and told me this: She, Girl #2, had always felt like an outsider, despite the fact Girl #1 would invite her to do stuff and try to be her friend. Though she really respected Girl #1, she believed that Girl #1 was just being friendly out of duty or obligation, so she always declined the offers.

After a long talk, Girl #2 realized how wrong she'd been. She had no idea that such a seemingly happy, outgoing person could be looking for a real friend too--and how she'd probably added to Girl #1's unhappiness by rejecting her invitations. Now the two of them are forging a friendship that benefits them both (and warms my heart.)

Lesson learned: A "popular" person can be lonely, and an "outsider" can be the kind of friend everyone wishes they had.

So luckily for me, I finish out the week a little wiser than I started.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

From the Mouth of.....Cameron Jones

Some Cameron-isms.

Me: Mary's going to clean the bathroom now.

Cam: (Looking embarrassed) I don't know how to clean the bathroom yet.

Me: That's okay, you're only 4. When you get bigger like Mary you'll learn how.

Cam: (Looking a bit horrified) I don't want to get bigger.

Today at dinner:

Me: What does the world look like from inside your mind, Cam?

Cam: It looks like a cat. Or a dog.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Because you don't want to work right now, do you?

Come take a break and create a wordle.

And when you're done, you can check out these. This one is my blog text, and this one is from the Interests section in my blog profile.

Maybe you're in the mood to read a mystery. I found this intriguing story beginning under the kitchen table when sweeping.

"Mary, Tyce," said the Comissioner. "We have an important mission for you."

"If you want the Joneses, you take all the Joneses," said Tyce.

"Yeah, doing spy work is easy but keeping the family together is hard and that's the mission we're fighting for," said Mary . . .

Or maybe you're like me and going apple-picking soon and want to do some research on the different varieties out there.

So take a break, and then . . .

GET BACK TO WORK! But I won't tell if you don't.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cast your Vote

I am so glad that Bryce, Tyce, and Harrison are home because I sure missed them. They apparently had fun at the game on Friday, and then Bryce, Tyce, and Grandpa Al went to the Priesthood session on Saturday night. (Tyce wrote a little about it on his blog.) Perhaps I can persuade Bryce to elaborate on their weekend. You already know how my weekend was . . . weepy. LOL But enriching, uplifting, and good.

Well you know how I've been thinking about the upcoming election and why there are only two main candidates--can America's views really be lumped into to two parties without bordering on the absurd? I say the answer is NO. It's time for a stronger third party.

Four highly qualified individuals answered my three pressing questions. My query to you, the reader, is this: Are we ready for such bold agents for change? Could the world's problems be solved by one of these Washington outsiders? You decide.

QUESTION: What is the biggest problem facing children today?

Candidate #1: Safety--kids getting left in cars, kidnapping, and stuff like that.
Candidate #2: Eating their snacks all gone.
Candidate #3: School.
Candidate #4: Catching fish and getting on a boat.

QUESTION: What should the government spend its money on?

Candidate #1: Charity--giving poor people money for food.
Candidate #2: Buying toys.
Candidate #3: Affordable insurance for all.
Candidate #4: Buffets.

QUESTION: How can America reduce its dependency on foreign oil?

Candidate #1: Start making fuel out of trash.
Candidate #2: Put the flags up.
Candidate #3: Drill more oil here in America.
Candidate #4: I don't know. Chocolate milk!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Thank you, Elder Oaks, for telling telling the world that bringing a cell phone to church is evil. (Isn't that what he said? That's what I heard.)

I'm super emotional today. It's partly a lack of sleep, partly missing my family, partly feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of being a good mother. I love my kids SO MUCH and sometimes I see so clearly their intrinsic goodness coupled with my inadequacy.

I found a school journal entry from Mary. It said, "I want to go to Africa to visit my family." And then she drew a picture of herself saying, "Dad! It's me Mary!" Through a sea of stick figures one shouts, "Mary!"

She made herself so vulnerable in that moment, and I felt that I'd seen into her very precious, wounded soul. How I ache for her, physically ACHE for her loss and her hope.

I can't help but cry to the Lord, Please lift up and strenghthen these little ones, who love their first parents and long to know who they really are. Make me an instrument in Thy hands, as I try to raise these four children of God.

On Children
by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Friday, October 3, 2008


On Wednesday the youth did baptisms at the temple and it was wonderful . . . even though Tyce got a bloody nose on his first plunge under the water! But he was okay and he says that "it was awesome." It was really cool being there as a leader and a mom. I was re-impressed with my Laurels who were there, because they really display leadership and maturity. For example, in the car on the way up, some of the younger girls were bad-mouthing their teachers (like most teenagers do) and Ceara kindly but strongly reminded them that we were going to the temple, and that kind of talk needed to stop now. You know it means so much more coming from one of the older girls than from a leader. Rock on, girl!

At the insistence of my sil Kim, I created a facebook page. It's like one day, I vaguely know what facebook is, and the next--I realize there's a HUGE party that's been going on behind my back. j/k I used the "friend finder" and saw tons of people I knew from various stages in my life: middle school, high school, college, working, wards we've been in, former YW (the best!) . . . but you have to click "add as friend" to see their profile, and they have to accept. So I clicked away. But I think I made a big mistake. I tried to add a current Laurel in my ward, and she hasn't accepted. I can imagine her sitting around the lunch table like this:

Ohmygosh, I have to tell you guys the creepiest thing.


My Young Womens president, is like, stalking me or something. She wants me to add her as a friend on my facebook page.

Ohmygosh, that is way freaky. What is she, like over 30? Cuz that's gross.

I know. I totally like her on Sunday and everything, but she needs to hang out with people her own age.


What else. Politics. I never write about politics on this blog because I don't like confrontation and discord, especially impassioned mean-spiritedness. But I do have an opinion. My opinion is . . . that I don't know what to think. My core ideology says one thing, but my psychological read on people (which is very good, by the way), tells me another. I'm not confused as in "I have no idea what I believe in" or "I don't have a clue about the issues," but more about what is truly best for the country at this point.

But Tyce is making a political statement of his own in the form of his Halloween costume: he's going as Barack Obama. All he has to do is wear a suit and he's set.

One more thing. Our dear friend Teresa is the post-adoption specialist at Casa, and she sent a newsletter to all the adoptive families. Reading her article was a much needed boost, a breath of fresh air. Most of the time I expect our children to be "normal" and I think they usually blend in to the normal population. But there are times when it seems like chaos reigns and I wonder what I'm doing wrong--when tempers erupt, fights break out, schoolwork suffers, lies are told, threats are made--and I wonder, what have I gotten myself into? How am I going to get them through all of this?

And while I know that other people have children who deal with some of these problems, it can be lonely not having our Casa community to talk with about the added issues of being an adoptive parent. It would be like being in an area where you were the only one with your religious beliefs--there are certainly great people all around but sometimes you need to talk with someone who really "gets" you, all the way down to your core. So I am just incredibly thankful for our Casa family and their support in helping me regain perspective on raising our beautiful children.

That's about all for now. Bryce, Tyce, and Harrison are in Utah this weekend, so it's just Miss M. and Cam here with me for Conference weekend. I think we might set up a tent in the living room.