Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I've had it in my mind for several days now to kind of make an accounting of the year and to relate what goals I achieved and so on. But as I thought about it more and more I found that actually putting pen to paper as it were has been much harder than I imagined. There are a lot of things close to my heart right now. I will say that this year has been the hardest most tumultuous I've experienced in adulthood. And even the hardest year as an adolescent can't really compare. In some ways I am glad to leave 2008 behind and the beginning of 2009 is very welcome to me. The new start thing has so many attractions and this year more than any I am so grateful for the opportunity. My goals are still not yet fully formed and I imagine I'll form more as the months go by. I do have a few I want to get down and therefore be accountable for.

1. Read more books this year than last (that means at least 52)
2. Read the Doctrine and Covenants
3. Exercise 3 times a week or more

I have one other goal that sounds so outlandish even to me that I still can't bring myself to articulate it. I'm making myself accountable to me for that one. Those are my personal selfish goals and of course we made some family ones. I don't know if any of you know the feeling but there are times now when I don't recognize myself. It's as if the recent events have changed who I am. Things are important to me now that weren't before and so many things seem completely unimportant. I hope 2009 will bring good things for my family and indeed for all of my wonderful friends whom I love very much even if I don't always show it as much as I should.

When I have finished visiting with Mum, I will post a bounty of pictures for you all. Including a shot of the staples Spencer got in his head when he fell from a high stool onto tiled flooring on Christmas Eve. Life with young boys is most certainly entertaining, scary, exhausting, exciting, and many other things besides.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Apple anyone?

On Sunday we had a mini crisis. The toilet in the bathroom downstairs that the children use became clogged. One of the kids had used it recently and definitely used a large amount of toilet paper but nothing that hasn't been done before.
Our last home had very inadequate pipes and we had spent a lot of time plunging and so when we moved to this four year old house we were celebrating the superior plumbing. But on Sunday this toilet was blocked so badly we were left scratching our heads. We plunged and plunged and plunged and plunged but to no avail. If the toilet was left for about 10-15 minutes it would eventually drain away. The rest of the house was fine so it wasn't the main drain, yet why wasn't the block which we assumed was paper succumb to the endless plunging?
Gary found a $20 snake at Lowes that you hook up to your power drill for small jobs such as sinks, toilets, showers. He brought it home and put it to work except he couldn't get it past the U-bend??? There was nothing for it but to take the toilet off.
I waited patiently upstairs hoping for the best. A few minutes later Gary appeared at the top of the stairs brandishing an apple with maybe three bites taken from it. A snack? Nope. One of the children had tried to flush the apple down the toilet. It had gotten stuck just past the U-bend. Both Nathan and Spencer blame it on each other and I am 100% sure Leia didn't do it. So we now have a nice little snake just in case and my faith in our superior plumbing has been restored. And needless to say, all food is now being eaten at the table in full view of myself or another adult.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pink Eye

On Monday I had to visit the doctor to take care of a health concern I had. When I woke up on Monday morning I immediately noticed that Spencer had Pink Eye. Oh great!, I thought. Now I have to do two doctors appointments. My favorite way to spend a morning. Thankfully when I explained to the doctor that we had three children, she prescribed enough treatment for more outbreaks. I'm sure if you're a parent, you know that Pink Eye must be about the most contagious thing EVER. Sure enough, this morning, Nathan woke up with it. And bless his heart. It's the worst I've ever seen it.
I also found out this morning that Mum is delayed for a day and so she won't be arriving in country until tomorrow. MASSIVE letdown. I discovered that the Dove bar consumed post phone call from Mum just wouldn't cut the disappointment. I just HAD to go to Old Navy. (By the way girls, they have this excellent sale going on there right now. Tons of stuff for 5-6 bucks and good stuff too. I got the boys a pair of pajamas each and Leia some workout pants for about $18 total.)
As I was driving down the road trying to ignore the fact that I am a complete victim of advertising - the ad for the sale has been on TV for the past 24 hours, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw that Nathan just looked awful. I asked him, "Does your eye hurt, Nathan?" He replied, "No. I fine. I fine Mommy." He simply melts my heart. And then he promptly fell asleep. And this kid NEVER falls asleep during the day. If you've ever seen Flubber with Robin Williams in it, this child is like a piece of Flubber. Bounce, bounce, bounce all day long.
So here I am back at home contemplating cleaning my bathrooms while Nathan is watching his favorite show, Tom and Jerry. To cheer myself up from missing Mum and having to prise open Nathan's eyelids and squirt gel inside while he screams I am going to have a present wrapping party tonight. And I might even watch a Christmas movie as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

10 years ago......

Gary and I got married. We must have been the most hopelessly in love that you could possibly be. The anticipation, the excitement, the hope for the future was all consuming. I just KNEW that our life together was going to be the most beautiful experience and it has been. Here we are. I was 19 and Gary was 24.

Then came this little angel.

Then this angel.

And this one.

So here we are! Marriage to Gary Asp has been everything I've ever wanted and more. The last ten years has brought us to a place that is even better than the euphoria of those early days. I am blessed beyond anything. Whoever is reading this has reason to be jealous.

Friday, December 5, 2008


As I sit here I can feel the tension in my body decreasing and my mind is slowly relaxing and organizing. It's been a day of constant activity and a fair amount of frustrations. I've never liked getting up in the morning and so last night I was relishing in the fact that Leia had a two hour late start in the morning and so I wouldn't have to get up at 7am this morning. I awoke to "HIYAAA" coming from downstairs. The kids were "playing" karate (probably inspired by a tiresome cartoon called "Skunk-Fu"), and I could tell through my sleepy haze that it was going to end badly. Sure enough, Nathan received a karate chop to his mid-section and sleeping in went out the window.

Later on in my day, I decided to finally vacuum the basement - something on my "to do" list since Monday, and the vacuum cleaner decides to shut off for 20 minutes. Since I needed to go to Target anyway, for a lamp, I decided to take a quick look at vacuums that supposedly work better. They cost $399-$540. You can imagine how the thought of spending that much on a vacuum thrilled me and I ended up passing them by. So I picked up a lamp and exited the store. Nathan informed me half way to the car that he had left his brand new ball cap "in the lights". So I wearily retraced my steps and came up short. So much for the ball cap.

Once home I plugged in my new lamp. The cord became hot, there was a flash and one of my circuits tripped. Another trip to Target was instantly scheduled. YIPPEE!

Leia and Spencer duly returned from school at about 3.45 and proceeded to pick pick pick at each other culminating in a letter that Leia delivered to me accompanied by a VERY serious facial expression.

top secret
dear mom, spencer did something yesterday. spencer went in the girls BATHROOM!

For some strange reason, Leia became obsessed with this topic. Some of her friends had apparently told her that they had seen Spencer going into the girls bathroom at school. We asked him about it and he said that the boys toilet overflowed and he couldn't use it. Since I received no communication from school I have to conclude that this was a non issue. But Leia seemed EXTREMELY bothered by it. She was like a dog with a bone. No matter how many times we mentioned that it really didn't matter, she continued to talk about it. How he's broken the rules etc etc..... It was difficult at this point in the day to view this as humorous. It was bordering on maddening. I had to force myself to take a deep breath.

And something that I just can't get my head around is that I'm NEVER going to have a Christmas Tree that gets left alone. I foolishly believed that this year would be the year. Nathan is almost four for Pete's sake. But no. Even Leia and Spencer seem to be hypnotized by the pretty twinkly lights and the attractive little ornaments that are highly breakable. And Nathan also seems to want to keep squeezing himself between the tree and the wall??? And as I'm sitting here, I can see a sippy cup masquerading as a tree ornament.

Mothering can be quite the task sometimes. It was one of those days where I literally heaved a sigh of relief when the kids went to bed. I don't want to feel like that but there it is.

But there were a couple of AHHH moments today. Spencer asked at dinner "What's Grandpa Alan doing right now?" Leia replied that he is a missionary and Spencer then said "He's standing up straight". Sometimes I can't bear the thought that the kids won't remember Dad for much longer. But at least it hasn't happened yet. He's still very much in their minds and I am grateful for that. I hope I can keep it going for years to come through the scrapbooks I've created. I don't think I ever realized the significance of my record keeping. I viewed it as my favorite hobby but it's a lot more important to me now.

And when we went back to Target to get a new lamp we found the ball cap. Small victory but I'm going to take it with a smile.

Here is a picture of my wonderful and thoughtful son who is well and truly in the Christmas mood. It would be impossible for me to express just how much he can get underneath my skin. It would be equally impossible for me to express just how deeply I love him. There's nothing I wouldn't do for my children and that's why I get annoyed with myself for wishing for bedtime.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Thanksgiving to Remember

For Thanksgiving this year we had a lot of guests. Grandpa Bob, Grandma Cinda, Gary's brother Paul, his wife Gloria, their daughter Lily (age 8) and Gloria's two cousins, David (age 14), Daniel (age 7) and of course, their dog. That made for a total of 12 people and 1 canine. It was crazy. It was chaotic. It was messy. And it was A LOT OF FUN. We played games, ate loads of food, went shopping, hiking, swimming, to the movies and then we ate some more food and played some more games and even threw in some movies. We felt deflated when everyone left. Here are some pictures of a holiday that ranks for sure in our top Thanksgiving memories.

Spencer, Lily, Leia and Nathan at the park in our neighborhood. At the very beginning of the visit we had some wonderful weather and were able to get out and enjoy it.

Grandma Cinda brought along some crafts to keep the kids entertained

Gary and Paul decided to cook the Thanksgiving dinner with no help from the women at all. It was quite the turn on to see them with tea towels slung over their shoulders.

Here are a couple of the bookmarks that Leia made.

Uh-oh. Spencer found Daniel's Nintendo DS. He was glued to it for about an hour a day.

Uno Attack is an excellent game to play while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner.

Just look at that Turkey. It was even more yummy than it looks.

The Wii was a big hit this holiday. And Nathan didn't even have to actually play. He held onto the VCR remote and copied his Grandpa. He was happy as could be.

Here we are hiking the day after Thanksgiving. Nathan was doing his thing since there was no restroom nearby.

Leia took a shine to David. She held his hand during an entire 2 mile hike in the mountains.

Nathan and Grandpa.

A snowstorm hit on Saturday/Sunday and caused much joy among the children but anxiety among the adults as travelling proved to be tricky. All in all we got about 11 inches.

Leia at the park with Sam. She loved him very much and needless to say she now wants a dog.

How cute is Sam? He is a Shih Zzu/Poodle mix and therefore he is super good and doesn't shed. Leia who has a friend in Ohio with a Shih Zzu kept calling him Maggie (her friend's dog's name) for the first few days.

Spencer and Nathan just loved having two other boys around for almost a week.

Enjoying the snow.

As usual, Spencer can't just play in the snow he has to bathe in it.

Hiking fun together.

Paul and his beautiful wife Gloria.

Lily and Leia, devoted cousins.

David and Daniel. Such good boys.

Some of the Asp boys.

Paul got stuck by a cactus. Can you see the spines?

David loved the fireplace and even went so far as to try and touch it which ended up in a sore finger. You can tell that he grew up in Florida.