Monday, December 21, 2009


Saturday, December 19, 2009


Only NINE, yes -9- days until we leave for Switzerland!! Holy CANOLI--I can't believe it's really going to happen! We are all sorts of ready--we have plane tickets, a hotel reservation in Zurich, repacked all our once-packed-and-then-unpacked bags, and most importantly... THESE in our hot little hands:
No, not just our passports, our passports with VISAS inside them. We had to send the passports to the consulate to get the visas put in, and then they told us that we had to send the money and the application and the pictures for Brett as well, even though the university did all the approval stuff on their end. I don't feel bad about this since I read on another Swiss expat blog that the exact same thing happened to them (but why don't people in Switzerland explain this to us?), but we were just so happy to receive them after watching the Fedex tracking number for several days. Anyway. The amount of money those passports represents doesn't even bear thinking of, so it was appropriate of the consulate to give them to us with their compliments. :)

For the kids' last day of school here I made these cupcakes for them to bring to their classes.
Kindergarten classes are very funny. A random kid came up to me and said, "Did you know sunflowers move towards the sun?" It was fun.
Here's Jethro with his teacher. She has her finger on Switzerland and he has his on Utah. She gave him a few minutes to talk about moving to Switzerland and whatnot. Then kids were raising their hands and asking questions. One kid raised his hand and said, "Are there sharks in South America?" Then his teacher said, "Keep the questions about what he's talking about." Hilarious.
Also, all the kids in Hazel's class drew little pictures for Hazel, and all of Jethro's classmates wrote him a letter and his teacher bound it into a book. There are some really funny ones. I was reading some to Wyatt and Brett and Wyatt was laughing so hard. He made me promise to write them down so he could read them to Lindsay Ann. So I'll put some at the bottom.

And this little boy is just cute. I like him in a cowboy hat with boots and a rope and riding a horse, but I also like him in a cowboy hat and diaper and standing on the table.

And this just makes me laugh.
Okay. Here are some of the funny letters from Jethro's second-grade classmates.

Dear Jethro, I hope you have a good time. If you get chased by a tiger Don't jump in water they can swim. Love, Lily

Dear Jethro, You are a verey good kide in school. You folloe the rulles. I am going to miss you a lote not like love thoe. Hav fun and drive safe. Love, Madison

Dear Jethro, I like you you were so nic to all the class. I do not want you to leve are class. You are so smart for me I got jeles I am joking. From your friend, Andrea

Dear Jether, I thingk that you were one of my faverot friend. I have awase wundered how menny lagwgwijise can you speek. I can speek ten. From, Chase

Dear Jethro, You will always be my friend. Even when you are mean to me. I will always like you. Your friend, Cameron

Dear Jethro, I think your a very very very smart kid. I hope you have a wuderful time at Switzerland! I love your hair! I thin you'll be a wuderfull kid! Your friend, Shaylee

Dear Jethro, You are very smart. I think that you like to do papeper ear plane and things that go whith papeper do you like this sckool because if you do that is good. From, Nayeli

[We decided this one is from a future politicia] Dear Jethro Bell, You are very smart. You are a nice friend. You are really good at showing respect to others and being kind. You are very special to this school. Have a nice time in Switzerland! Sincerely, Jordan

Funny stuff. :)

good brother

The other day I was talking to Hazel about school and I asked her if she and Jethro share a seat on the bus and she said they do. I asked if Jethro walks her to her class and she said, "No, but he gives me a hug every day before he goes to his class."
Awww! That makes me happy happy happy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cute winter family photos


I often watch couples and think about their fit. You know, how well they mesh and whatnot. There are some couples who when you see them you just think that they must have taken one look at each other and known they were the one for the other. And I'm not just talking about liking the same music (though that's always nice), but things like personality traits and love languages and work ethic and sociality (is that a word?). The weird thing is, I don't think people think about those things when they're dating, not in those terms. They just enjoy being with the other person. Or they don't. And somehow, that often weeds out the people who would be incompatible.

Some couples are the perfect weird for each other (it's true isn't it--the weird people find each other).

And then there are the couples who you just wonder how they ever got together in the first place, and the more you get to know them the more you wonder. Which doesn't mean that it doesn't work, just that it's so very UNobvious.

There are also couples who do not work, and some of those would have actually been wonderful matches if it wasn't for one person's -or both person's, not working for the relationship. Basically, being too selfish. I'm not just making up these categories-- I would give names of couples who fit all these examples, but it wouldn't mean anything for those who don't know them, and it wouldn't be nice for those who do.

Of course these are only a tiny portion of all the endless options of what kinds of relationships there are. There are shades and nuances and as many different couples as there are people. And even once they are a couple, people change and circumstances change and the relationship continually morphs.

There is one couple I knew in Indiana who seemed (and still seem) to me such a perfect pair. They didn't just seem to support each other's likes and interests, but to really celebrate and magnify all the special things about each other. It always seemed to me that they were constantly understanding of the other, ever grateful for the other's being there, always eager to help the other, just happy to be together.

But that is only from my outside perspective. And that's the thing about looking at something as personal as a marriage relationship. You just have no idea what really goes on from the inside. Like the couple in Indiana I was talking about, sometimes I think, well maybe it's just because they are both white (meaning really laid-back, non-confrontational, never-gets-angry) personlities, and that's why their match seems so idyllic to me. But it doesn't mean they are perfect and they never bug each other. And on the surface, a couple might seem like they are always at odds with one another, but you really have no idea of the private conversations and offerings and compromises. Furthermore, your perspective is always different than everyone else's. So I'm always a little curious what Brett and I look like through other people's eyes.

Why all these ramblings? I don't know. Just thinking out loud. Now I'm done.

Monday, December 14, 2009


The other night Hazel asked if she could wear her swimming suit in the tub. She and Ethne had the greatest time.

Kami and Leo got back to the United States from Colombia and they brought a bunch of really fun instruments.

Jethro and Cowen went sledding.
Isabel helped put up Christmas lights.

Mom stuffed a bear into Tell's shirt. He thought it was very funny.
Lindsay and the kids hung up stockings.
And they all put ornaments on the tree.
Ethne and Elena helped Grandma make treats.
Wyatt grew a beard.
Talmage was soooooo cute!

I read a story to the kids.
Grandpa and Jethro rolled a big snowball.
And Daddy played in the snow too.
Talmage was a cute elf.
This was the hair
taken from his head.
Hazel gave me a pained smile.
And then laughed at Daddy.
How'd I get such a beautiful girl?
This one laughed at Daddy too.
Love her grin. What a cutie.
And then, there are things that perhaps I shouldn't go into. There is something very wrong with my brother. Very, VERY wrong.
The end.

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