Jun 18, 2013


We just got back from celebrating Ashley's birthday with her in Logan.  I was 22 when she was born, and now she is 22. So this post is for her.  Someone recently asked her what her name meant-I believe it is from the ash tree or something profound like that.  Ok so we didn't choose her name for it's meaning, but if I can be allowed a mother's sappy moment, she could bring meaning to any name.

Ashley came to our home full of life right from the start.  She is and always has been spunky and even sassy.  She has always entertained with her antics, and although maturity has somewhat mellowed her spunkiness you just never know quite what to expect especially when she is with her siblings. She has a joy and enthusiasm for life that is contagious.

Ashley is an ideal oldest sister, even though she has struggled with the fact that no one thinks she is the oldest.  She has always been responsible and concerned about her siblings, and has mothered them even when they didn't always want to be mothered.  She started babysitting for us at a very young age, because she usually ended up taking care of the kids because the babysitter couldn't. They all know that they can tell Ashley anything and that she will listen.  She takes her youngest brother to get snow cones, learns High School Musical dances with Breanna, will talk to Jared for as long as he wants to talk, and has become Alexis' best friend.  She is a great example and they all look up to her, (figuratively not literally of course.)

One of things I love about Ashley is her obsessions.  She gets interested in something and it becomes a passion.  She started reading Harry Potter when she was 9, for example, and has never stopped.  Sometimes I think she might think he is real.  She loves the movies, the trivia and all things Harry Potter.  Lets not forget her obsessions about Boy Meets World, Michael Jackson, and iPhones.  And of course her parents couldn't be prouder that she became passionate about BYU football, even if it took until 2006 to get her there.  There is nothing like having a child cry with you in an intensefootball game with a spectacular come from behind finish.

Ashley is a loyal and loving friend.  She will often put her own desires aside if it makes someone else happy.  She is quick to forgive, and is always looking for the good in others.  Someone told her once that she was too nice,  pretty sure if you have to have a fault that is a pretty good one to have.

No post about Ashley would be complete without mentioning her love of music.  She was born with it in her, and even before she could walk she could bounce to the beat.  She could sing on pitch right from the start, and was constantly singing and picking out songs on the piano.  She hated practicing just like the normal kid, but with some prompting was able to start accompanying for school choirs in 7th grade.  She loved accompanying and set a goal to be the Madrigal accompanist her junior year in high school.  (Never have been sure if it was the piano stuff she liked or all the cute boys in Madrigals).  She loved singing too, and loved the opportunity to do that her senior year.  This love has followed her to college and created a love/hate relationship.  Majoring in music has been a challenge, and frustrated her many times over.  She can't give it up though and has loved singing and accompanying for the institute choir at Utah State.  Lest you think this piano major only likes classical music, her music tastes are varied.  She loves Beyonce, the Biebs, Billy Joel, the Beatles, Beethoven and everything else in between.
 Ashley of course is not perfect, no one is, but I love that she works through challenges, attacks her weaknesses and earnestly strives to accept the Lord's will for her even when it isn't exactly what she wants.  I love her fiery and fun disposition, and I love that red hair! Happy Birthday Ashley!!

Jun 17, 2013

Father's Day

I realize this post is a day late, but that seems to be the way I work these days.  I am blessed to have an amazing father, who showed me by example what a father should be.  I continue to feel blessed with a husband who is a wonderful father to our children. I found some pictures that show some of the things I love about Tony in his role as father-honestly there is really nothing more attractive (I thought about using the word sexy just to make my kids who might read this cringe...) to me than when I see him caring for our children.  I love that he gets more emotional and worked up about our missionary daughter than I do.  I found a few pictures that show some of my favorite things that Tony does with our kids, that also demonstrate what I feel makes a good Dad.
1. Makes time for them.  When we were first married Tony went to school and worked full time.  Free time was almost impossible to find, but he found ways to make it work.  Ashley loved to sit on his lap while he was doing homework, and for those few precious minutes she would hold still.  I am grateful that he recognizes that taking those minutes make all the difference.
2. Teaches them to work.  The best way to teach a child to work is to work with them.  I love this picture of them washing the car, that of course turned into a water fight.  The work got done, and everyone had fun in the process.
3. Plays with them.  Tony is just a big kid.  He loves having fun with the kids.  Whether it is something big like going to Disneyland or going skiing, or something simple like jumping on the tramp with them or wrestling.  The kids always want Tony around because he brings the FUN!
What could be more fun than everyone sitting on Dad?  Dog pile on Dad was always a favorite at our house. 
5. Sharing passions.  Tony loves movies, and has passed that on to his children.  I love this picture with them all bundled up together watching a movie together.  He has even participated in High School Musical marathons with his daughters, even though he complained that he was losing brain cells the whole time.
6.  Loving.  He always noticed when little legs had gone as far as they could.  All the kids have enjoyed rides on Dad's shoulders.  Grant rode on Tony's shoulders for over 13 miles of hiking through Bryce Canyon, and here in Yellowstone too.  All the kids are too big for shoulder rides now, but he still knows when they need him.  Sometimes it is just a hug when their heart is hurting, other times it is giving father's blessings even in the middle of the night when needed.
7. Encourages goal setting and achieving.  Ashley and Jared both decided they wanted to run a half marathon.  So what did he do.  He ran with them (helps that he is crazy, and loves running).  He ran with one of them the whole way, and when he finished and realized that the other one hadn't finished yet, he went back and found them and finished up with them too.  He is always encouraging the kids to go after their goals, and sometimes even pushing when they don't want to be pushed.
8. Supportive.  He goes to every meet and tournament.  He can be found at multiple choir concerts and piano recitals.  He has attended every musical they have been in.  If the kids are doing it he is there for them. 

Lastly (sorry no picture for this one), he shows them by example the importance of loving the Lord and serving.  He leads out in our home to make sure that scripture study and family prayer always happen.  He honors his priesthood, and shows the kids the joy that can be found by living the gospel. 

Hope all the father's out there had a great day yesterday.  I suspect that no father feels that they have done or do enough, but to me all that matters is that they are trying.

Jun 6, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Aussie!

Today is Alexis' 20th birthday!  However in Australia it is now Friday, June 7th so it was her birthday yesterday there.  I am not in Australia, obviously, so it is still June 6th here.  This is the first birthday that we have not spent together, but as strange as that is, I really am glad she is where she is.  Not a day goes by that I don't think about her, and wonder how she is doing.  She has had her struggles in these first three months, with the visa delays and homesickness, but she is working it out.  Already the lessons she has learned will be invaluable to her throughout the rest of her life.  To hear her talk about calling people to repentance (not something she would do naturally), and being so overcome with love for the people she is teaching it warms my heart and makes all the hard stuff worthwhile.

I am grateful that my already amazing daughter, is having the opportunity to learn and to grow while she is sharing the gospel in Australia.   I hope that she has/had an amazing birthday today/yesterday (that whole different day thing is just weird), and that she could feel of our love for her on her special day.