Thursday, November 24, 2011


It's 4:33 AM. I've been up since 3:34 AM.

Wake up times fascinate me. I find I wake up at exactly the same time every morning for several in a row then suddenly switch times. And, with each bio-rhythmic switch I feel a sense of loss, I'll miss 3:34 glowing red on the clock face like I'd miss a neighbor moving from my same street to the next town. It's not that I'll never see them again, just that the routine of waving each morning and again each evening will be a comfortable familiarity missed.

Back to 4:33 AM. I spent the last hour awake sending silly, sleepy text messages to the other graveyard clerk. (I work 7nights on/7 nights off as a clerk at a hospital) I rarely see the other graveyard clerk but randomly carry on conversations in the early morning hours when one of us is trying to stay awake and one trying to sleep. Love ya, Russ! At 4:33 AM I headed back to bed but found my half occupied by two warm sets of elbows and knees, their deep, peaceful breathing weakens my resolve to walk them back to their cold beds and the dog is snoring on most of the couch he's not supposed to be on... and so I write.

It's Thanksgiving today. Despite cold toes, I am touched with a profound thankfulness for those knees and elbows in my bed. Each of my sons has held that role at one time or another, though none more then these last two, and it ranks high on the thankful list. The peace of a warm boy body curled up against my back, the thrill of wondering if Rick will get the first elbow to the ribs or if it will be me? Call me strange, but I love it like I loved the growing awareness of each child wiggling in my womb.

There are Christmas lights and trees up here and there, I shake my head a little when I see lights up before Thanksgiving, and it's mostly not jealousy at others organizational skills. I really love Thanksgiving, wish I focused more on all I have instead of using the feast as energy to springboard into staying up all night consuming retailers into the black; and, yet I'm thankful for all the abundance around me, the ease of finding Kale after only two stores, the fist pump when I get an X-Box 360 for $50 dollars less then it priced out at.

I wonder if I'm attached to consumption, in the name of economic growth and progress like I'm sleepily attached to 3:34 AM glowing on my alarm clock. Have I become so familiar with retail-ism that I fear losing it more then I fear its over powering roll in my life? Am I watching to many YouTube documentaries?

Hmmm, that's enough deep thinking for one holiday. And now my Thankful List:

Husband, oh, my love.

Sons, nocturnal rib jabs, stinky sports gear, empty fridge and all.

Family, each one doing their part, sharing experiences that bless us all.

Friends, they see our best, know our worst and love us still.

Dogs, never have to wonder what they were thinking or what they think of you.

Nature, a constant reminder of God's intimate awareness of each detail, grand or miniscule.

Books, the best of traveling companions.

Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake, it's just that good.

Handicapped parking, those extra 40 steps each time I'm at the store remind me how good it is to move freely and to do it more often.

Bloggers, you share the little stuff the big stuff the good, bad and mundane, reminding me we're all human and all wonderful.

My job, I finally appreciate the leisurely years as a homemaker ;=)

Tank tops, they go under everything.

Jesus Christ, the Man who makes life with all my men a joy.

And now, some hand turkeys for your Thanksgiving viewing pleasure.

It started out innocently enough, I asked #7 for his hand to draw a hand turkey for his missionary brothers. They were traditional hand turkeys in traditional fall colors and are now on their way to Kansas City, Missouri and Athol, Idaho.

Then #6 wanted to make a hand turkey, things were going well until #7 became bored with the Autumn color scheme and gave his turkey some pink feathers and a green wobble (or whatever you call the thing that hangs down their neck).

He kinda looks like he's coming out of the closet just when he should be hiding in the closet.

Now, #6 is a quiet, traditional child and carefully drew a hand turkey that would make any pilgrim parent proud. Left on the cupboard overnight some older less conservative older brother added a, chain saw blade beak?


No one would own up to it the next morning over cold cereal and so the therapist appointment remains unscheduled.

Here's a close-up.

I dunno, maybe it's a sonic gobble ray, maybe he's a mutant turkey, maybe he'll make it into the next X-Men movie... X Men need pets too, ya know.

I know, time to go back to bed.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Down, Set, Hike!

This is not a football post, although I really need to do one of those.

My friend, Suz and I have decided hiking is our new passion.

And that means our 11 sons, 1 daughter, 2 husbands and 1 dog have a new passion too.

They're thrilled!

Our first hike this year was Little Wild Horse Canyon a beautiful Utah slot canyon.

Wait, is compartmentalizing a good or bad thing??

Next there was Calf Creek falls.

I think a good camera and longer bangs that will stay put is a priority for this hiking thing. Our trail companions sure are cute!

Then we hiked up to the Alpine Sliding rock, not much of a hike but, the destination was great.

Now so far none of these hikes was really demanding or challenging, then Suz got a Hiking book so we bumped it up in a BIG way.

Grove Creek to Battle Creek 9+ miles with an elevation increase of 2,300 feet. Ack! Way off in the distance... Way down there... That is the valley floor.

It was a tough hike; but, I gotta say, this was the most amazingly beautiful hike this year. The leaves had all turned to glorious shades of yellow, red and brown, the grasses were waist high, the weather was perfect. We even drank from a spring and no one got Mad Deer Disease. Buwaahaha, ha, errr...hmmm.

The weekend before Halloween we hiked Stewart Falls.

We found a Leprechaun hiding beside the trail.

Turns out the Leprechaun was just #6 really excited to be the Notre Dame mascot for Halloween. Darn! I could have really used that pot of gold.

There's always a moment on these crazy adventures of ours where the kids are far enough behind or in front that we can take a moment to quietly talk arm in arm. It's as renewing and beautiful as the scenery and the exercise.

So, if you haven't got a thing better to do next summer...




Our Family

Our Family