Saturday, February 27, 2010


I’d like to introduce another member of my family. (Yes, I started introducing my family three years ago, and then petered out about two years ago BEFORE introducing two of my sisters—what a lame-sauce I am! But you can click on the Meet the Family link on the sidebar to remember all the other siblings I've introduced) AMY LYNN—my lovely second-eldest sister:DSCF4656

It’s impossible to know where to start with these things, so I’ll just ramble in no particular order. Try to keep up.

-- Amy is beautiful and talented and fun and amazing. (like all my sisters). amy And she loves our family with all her heart. She loves it when we can all get together, and she always tries to get us to come visit, and OH! she’s the one who when I said that we’re moving to Switzerland immediately started a savings plan so that she can come visit (all due to seeing me, not seeing Europe, believe you me). On an e-mail questionnaire long ago she answered these questions:

FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK? When I was a kid it
was definitely Sunday, my family loves games and
sometimes we watched "Wonderful World of Disney" and
we always made treats, popcorn, fudge, and when I was
really little, slush.


She is REALLY loyal, dedicated, and also very thoughtful. She is very good at GIFTS. She loves finding things for people that they’ll love. And she remembers what people like—she could tell you everybody’s favorite candy bars in our family and probably all their shirt sizes. :) I remember when I was really little I got the chicken pox, and Amy gave me a gift bag with all sorts of goodies such as candy bars, coloring books, little kleenex packages, to help me through my itchy misery. I remember feeling so amazed that she would get me—her lowly little sister—something like that.

I called my brother Ethan and asked for a cool Amy story and he said that last Christmas Eve they went to a fast food place at midnight to get Dad a hamburger for Christmas and it was awesome. Apparently that’s what Dad said he wanted for Christmas.jul-nov09 343

Plus she’s just a really good shopper. BARGAINS, DEALS, ETC. We’ve all asked her to be our personal shoppers, and she does our best for everyone. In her own words:

So all this blah blah blah....bad times....economy is down....i say who cares? until today. i went to return something at mervyns and it said store closing. well i just thought it was that the store is in the hood ha ha so i said you guys going to transfer to the mall store and they said no, all mervyns are closing the store went under. what is the world coming to? seriously.

This picture below is from our family reunion this summer on Carnival Day when everyone got to get seriously AMAZING paintings on their faces. The really cool thing though, is that Amy had to go get something from the grocery store, so she actually went to Maceys like this. Sah-weet.

jul-nov09 496 She chews on toothbrushes. Usually her own, but often other people’s as well. Don’t ask me why—she just does. When she lived in Minot with us that led to Wyatt always hiding his toothbrush. So if you found a toothbrush on top of the door frame, or in the potted plants, that was why. But sometimes she would give everyone a new toothbrush for Christmas to make up for it.

Sometimes when I shared a room with her in Ogden, she would give me lotion hand massages. She was the one who took me to get my ears pierced when I was finally old enough (12). And once she took me with her when she ran errands and she got some icecream bars for us and then we were sitting in the car together in the car wash, and she was like, “This is the life.”

Sometimes she would put on her Madonna tapes and put some of her dresses or necklaces on us and we would have stomps. It was amazing.

I think I already mentioned she is loyal (blue personality for you Color Code people), and sometimes she went a little far. I remember she had a shirt in her closet that she had worn to a dance with a boy she liked and she never washed it or wore it for YEARS-literally-because it smelled like him. Psycho.

I remember when I was young I always felt like she treated me the same as anyone, not like a “little kid.” This is something that is SOOOO wonderful when you’re a younger sister. For example, the first time I went toilet papering, she was going with Derek and his friend and Andrea, and for some reason she woke me up so I could go too. (I was 11 and they were 17, 18, and 19 or so) It was SUCH a thrill because I was with the big kids. Honestly, it was a monumental occasion to me.

She is buff. She doesn’t whine when things go bad, ANNNNNNND….. she played on a pro women’s football team. It’s true. She’s awesome. Unfortunately her career was short-lived because she broke her ribs. I’ll give you her own words again:

Alright here’s my news.... I AM A WIMP! I broke my ribs in football practice and let me tell you it is no laughing kills to laugh, cough and especially sneeze...sniff sniff I guess my dreams of being a football hero went down in flames... K Love you all Please be careful with your ribs- like so many other things, you never realize their worth until the're gone. SNiff SNIFF LOVE AMY

But, don’t worry, her skills still come in handy –like to tackle Wyatt during beach football at our family reunion this summer.

jul-nov09 363-1

She has a masters degree in Social Work, and I’m glad she no longer works in that field, because it was a very depressing time for all of us. As an example, here is a page she made for me for an art class my first year of college. In case you can’t read it, I wrote it out below.DSCF5983

Why am I creating this page in Kayli’s book when I am not an artist? And I am supposed to be working on a project that is due on Tuesday? Why are my sisters so far away at USU? Why did I go to ASU and why in the world did I pick such a crappy major as social work? Why do CPS case managers have to work so hard for so little pay? And why do people hurt their kids? Why does there have to be broken skull fractures and ribs and legs and arms? Why can’t parents give up drugs and alcohol? Why do cycles of poverty continue over and over and what can be done to break them? Why are some people born ugly while others are beautiful? Why can’t we all get along? Why was I lucky enough to be born to my parents and have my brothers and sisters and why do I get the 2 most beautiful daughters in the world? Why am I always late for everything and why do I hate getting up early? Why do I love chocolate so much? Why are there still 24 days until Christmas? Why do I love puppies and hate cats? Why do I always let my emotions get the best of me? Why is there fighting and anger? Why can’t we give all children a warm bed to sleep in? Why don’t they make clothes for girls with big boobs and why do tickets to Minot cost so much money? Why are men big and strong and women smaller and weaker when women are nicer? Why are there bad people that kidnap children and hurt them? Why does God allow this? My friend says, “Stop worrying and be happy,” and Why can’t I?

She likes themes, and dressing up for things. The picture below was taken at her ward’s TACKY party. I’m impressed with their outfits. Really, realllllly amazing. She also dressed up as Madonna one year for our Family Reunion Karaoke contest and sang “Material Girl.” Reallllllllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyy AMAZING.


When she lived in Minot with us, she let me borrow her clothes pretty much every day. Now that is true sisterly love.


The first time I drove a car was when she let me drive hers in Minot. I was 14 or so, didn’t have a license or any experience but she let me drive and I was doing really well until we got out of the little neighborhood-areas where the speed limit was 25 and out onto a road where people were going 40 and I was still creeping along, and she was like, “You have to go faster!” and I was like, “I can’t—I’m too scared!” and she was like, “GO FASTER!! YOU HAVE TO GO FASTER!!!!” It was good times.

She’s so fun and funny and people are always drawn to her and she really is ALWAYS ready to be someone’s friend. I’m so glad she’s my sister.

When I was young she worked as a lifeguard at a water park called Wild Waters (which no longer exists) and it was sooo awesome because we got to come to their staff parties. Can you imagine the fun of a water park with NO RULES?!!! Trust me, it was better than what you imagine-- climbing up the slides, making human dams until we exploded down the slide in a disorienting head-over-heels ride. Awesome.

The below picture is one of the few ‘oldies’ that I could come up with (all my pictures are in a box far across the ocean—SO sad, I really wish I could post so many other pictures), and it’s of Megan, Amy, Derek, and Andrea when they went skiing. Fantastic looking bunch, aren’t they? ski bums Amy and Derek have a running rivalry of who can beat the other at bowling. It requires a lot of smack talking:

"Lastly, I have been bowling a lot this summer and I just wanted to let you Know, DEREK that you should be a little worried. Seriously. I don;t want to have to explain to your kids why grown men cry. I do have an MSW, I guess I could counsel with them after.”

She’s a good planner, and usually the rest of us bums in the family (excluding Megan) don’t have to worry about planning for Mom and Dad’s anniversaries or Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. because she’ll just tell us the plan and we’ll chip in some cash or try to bum some cash off of someone else, whatever the case may be. :) As an example, I think this was when Mom and Dad’s 30th anniversary was in the planning stages (particularly funny if you happen to know my siblings):

I saw in an article a way cute barnyard theme for a
party.... I will be sending it to Megan shortly as she
is the only person who will really get things done.
Derek just e-mails how great he is (Maybe he thinks he
is Muhammed) AND NEVER RETURNS MY CALLS (so what if I
call at midnight) And Kayli... oh yeah she mostly
talks about how great she is too... and icecream... and Andrea had the
nerve to shoot down ideas while openly expressing that
she would only be kissing in lieu of contributing any
ideas herself. Shame shame I guess all the ideas
will have to come from Kami and then be executed by

amyandgarrett She enjoys food. She wrote in response to a questionnaire:

7. Favorite food? maybe "unfavorite food" is a
better phrase. You name it and I'll eat it
(occasionally there is a price tag attached- ie
Michael’s pet tarantulas leg, one unlucky goldfish at
Maria’s wedding etc) What I REALLY love though is
CHOCOLATE, Seafood, Avacados, Feta, the EURO CAFE, and
fresh tomatoes from the garden.

She’s a good cook, and I still dream about the steak she grilled me once when I visited her in Arizona. Mmmmmm. Also, tortilla soup, potstickers, and caramel popcorn all come to mind when thinking of her.

From all these wonderful stories I bet you think we were always perfectly loving sisters, don’t you? It’s not true. There was the ear-spitting incident. When we shared a room in Ogden, she would often come in after Kami and I were innocently sleeping. Then she would see what mean things she could do while we slept through it. One night, I was sleeping peacefully when I woke up to the NASTIEST sensation ever known to mankind—a wetness in my ear… what?? What could be in my ear in the middle of the night? Then I heard Amy and a friend of hers laughing and laughing. It was SPIT—in my ear. SPIT IN MY EAR. An EARFUL of nasty, gooey, GROSS, SPIT!!! I was sooooooo mad. I was FURIOUS. I was soo soo soooo angry. And Amy kept saying “Sorry, I didn’t know you were awake.” And I was like, “uhhh, I WASN’T awake—you WOKE me up with SPIT IN MY EAR!!!” And then she’d laugh and laugh, which made me MORE mad. (Maybe I shouldn’t relive this story, I’m starting to get worked up even now.) I put my head under the covers and cried in my rage, and Amy and her friend cried with laughing so hard. Finally I left and went into my brother’s room and opened the window so I could go out on the roof. (I would have gone out through my own, handier window, but that was where Amy was, and I didn’t want her to know where I was.) Derek woke up and said, “What are you doing?” And I said “Going out on the roof,” and he said, “okay," and went back to sleep. So then I stayed on the roof for a while to unwind, and then I went and slept with Megan in her bed on the floor under the quilting frame. (That was the last time all 9 kids lived in the same house. Megan didn’t have a real bed.) I didn’t speak to Amy for three entire days, and let me tell you that was a LOOOONG time for me. It’s still a bitter grudge that I carry for that uncalled for malice.

Okay, actually we laugh anytime ‘spit in the ear’ comes up, but maybe someday Amy, when you’re innocently sleeping…

So this last picture is Amy and her awesome kids, Olivia, Megan, Garrett, Brynne, and Chad. saltlakelights08_033

I love Amy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Heard of late

Ethne, pointing out to me some wreckage or mess that SHE has made:  “Who did that?  Was it Talmage?”

Ethne, yelled from the hallway while we’re all eating dinner:  “I didn’t pee on the carpet!”

One morning I needed to go shopping, so I kept telling Ethne to go get dressed while I got other things ready to go.  Though I realize you have to help a 3-year-old along most times, I had told her sternly about 5 times with no results.  Finally I told her that if she did not go get dressed RIGHT NOW I would spank her bottom.  She looked at me before saying, “Mom?  …Should I go get dressed?”Ethne-1

Ethne, when asked at dinner who she knew that could wiggle his ears:  “Harry Monson.”  (I know what she said was President Monson, but it sounded like Harry and all of us cracked up.)

Ethne:  “I’m hiccing-up.”

Ethne:  “Mom, you gotfor the cups.”  Her word for forgot is always gotfor. 

Ethne’s word for gloves:  “Glubs”

At dinner:  “Mommy, I want to be a little girl!!”  We all laughed and said –you are a little girl.  And she said, “No, I’m a big girl; I want to be a little girl.”  (She wanted me to spoon feed her, which she ALWAYS wants lately, it’s so annoying.)

Ethne, in the bus on the way to the store, watching an old man who is watching her and smiling and waving at her:  “I like that man,” looks at me, raises her eyebrows, “and I love him.”

Ethne, when  I told her I cut my finger:  “Is it blooding?”

Ethne, enters room dressed up in princess dress and other accessories:  “Look at me Hazel.  I’m gorgeous.”

Hazel, pointing to Ethne:  “This is Ellie and she has an owie from a WOLF!”  Me:  “Oh, that’s AWFUL!”  Hazel: “Well it was only one bite.”

Ethne, an example of anything she asks for:  “Please may can I have that?” 

Brett, to Jethro who was trying to snatch a piece of my bread:  “Watch out, don’t get between that woman and her Nutella!”

Me:  “Kids, let’s go to the store and get you some gum boots!”  Ethne:  “And some gummie bears!”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So today wasn’t so nice, because I was crabby pretty much all day. Well, not really all day. And we did go on a walk to a new place which was really cool and we’ll for sure go back because we didn’t get very far. But I did take a few pictures. See.DSCF1692 DSCF1697 DSCF1702 DSCF1707 DSCF1708DSCF1723 Today was also very lucrative because…well, to start at the beginning, a little while ago Brett had me look up one of his former mission companions on Facebook (because Brett doesn’t have a facebook account), and he found him and sent him a little message about living in Switzerland, because we knew the mission companion had lived in Switzerland too. So mission companion writes back and says terrible timing because we lived in CH for 5.5 years but now have moved to Australia for five months and then will move to China. BUT he was coming back for a couple days to wrap up a few things here, so today he called Brett and said –come over and visit for the afternoon.

So I called a few people and found a babysitter, and got kindof excited to go somewhere with Brett and all. But then a couple hours later the babysitter had to cancel, so then I was disappointed. Then we went on our walk, but before we had gotten very far at all, Brett called (remember I have a handy dandy cell phone now) and said –how about Jethro comes with me? So he took Jethro and I took the kids home. And Brett rented a moving truck and took a bunch of furniture and odds and ends from mission companion that he hadn’t been able to sell and needed to get rid of. So now we have several things we had needed and some nicer things that we can swap out for the things we picked up really cheapo at a second hand store. We got a kitchen table and chairs, sofa and loveseat, lamp, bed (which is good because Brett didn’t like our mattress that we got at all. Now we’ll just put Hazel and Ethne together in our old bed), air mattress, end tables, dressers, etc. So that’s perty exciting. And the couches match the bookshelf we got from IKEA. So basically, there are 4 morals to this tale:

1- Once you’ve lived in Switzerland for a time, you develop a need to return. (Brett and mission companion both returned, so I’m asserting this as true in all cases.)

2- No matter what you do, there is always someone who will one-up you. (You’re moving to Switzerland for 2 years? Wow, pretty cool! -You lived in Switzerland for 5 years, and then Australia, and now you’re moving to China?? WHOA that’s WICKED AWESOME!!!)

3- Now we have an extra big bed and air mattress, couch. We are READY for VISITORS!!! Come one, come all!!! (This means you.)

4- Heavenly Father really looks out for us and helps and blesses us all the time. It’s amazing. (This is the real moral.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ski Holiday Days 1 and 2

So there’s no school this week for Jethro and Hazel because it’s “sport holiday.” School is more like year-round here, with more frequent breaks and a shorter summer. So I checked the weather and it said it was supposed to rain all week—ruff. However, on Monday morning it was nice and sunny—yahoo!

So I took the kids out to a park I had found while I was on a walk. It’s very near our house and it’s really cool. It has a little playhouse, a few swings, fireplace and table, really huge slide, and a playground thingee which has a very cool bridge where each individual board actually swings from side to side (normally they make them “safe” now, where it’s all so stuck together it’s hardly a bridge at all).DSCF1659DSCF1633

We played at this place forever. It was so nice and warm out, and sunny. The kids were drinking it in. Here’s the big slide. DSCF1632 DSCF1637This slide was the scene of one of the scariest experiences of my life. Towards the end of our outing, Hazel and Ethne were going down the slide over and over. And Hazel was holding this rock she had adopted. The rock was nice and round—a very good rock. And a very large rock. About the size of a cantaloupe. (You can guess where this is going, right?) So, Ethne had just gone down, and was standing at the bottom looking up to watch Hazel, who was at the top ready to come down. In her maneuverings to sit down, she dropped her rock and it went hurtling down the slide, gaining speed every second, and Ethne stood there, watching certain death careening straight toward her. I was near, but not near enough that I could reach out and grab her, and I was holding Talmage, so I couldn’t do a flying dive in front of her, plus it was already happening by the time I realized. (I do not have Superman reflexes like some people.) I yelled at her to move, but she just stood there, looking up at the rock. Weirdo. I almost hyperventilated seeing in my mind this cannon hitting Ethne, BUT it missed her by inches. Phew. When I related this story to Brett that evening at dinner, he said, “Yeah, she would have died!” and Ethne said, “But I didn’t died.”

And the kids enjoyed gathering things. Here’s a stick Hazel found in the woods.

DSCF1643She had a bit of a hard time managing it.

DSCF1644 See why?

DSCF1646And there was a random trampoline. So the kids jumped for a long time too. Now if you look closely, Hazel’s stick is being used as a hat stand for Jethro’s hat.

DSCF1648 I thought it was quite funny to see this trampoline and soccer posts and a basketball hoop surrounded on all sides by woods.

DSCF1650 The kids were very good hunter-gatherers, finding very nice sticks, rocks, nuts, pinecones, berries, and feathers.

DSCF1653 DSCF1654

Then they enjoyed eating the rocks, sticks, nuts, and berries. Okay, it was actually peanuts and raisins that I had brought along.


What a great way to spend the day. DSCF1663 DSCF1664 When they came back, I decided to play school and talked a little bit about why we have seasons and told them they should start a nature journal…thing, so they started out by drawing pictures and recording what they had seen that day. Hazel drew a very nice picture of herself outside that day.

I love her details—the bird we saw, pussy willows in hand, acorns on the ground, and even braids in her hair. Oh, and the teddy bear in the sky is a cloud. I asked her why she had a teddy bear in the middle of her picture and she said, “Well sometimes clouds look like things.” DSCF1684I was way impressed with Jethro’s drawings. Here’s the playground exactly as it was, with the bridge, ladder, and swings exactly in the right places, DSCF1685 and the slide, fire pit, log, and stairs also in correct position.DSCF1686 Then the area with the trampoline and the little zig-zag log-thingees to balance on.DSCF1687

So today it did rain and was very muddy, so we didn’t go outside this morning. Instead, for our playing school I gathered a bunch of different illustrations of all the Narnia stories, and we looked at them and then I had Jethro and Hazel write a book report.

When we first moved into our apartment here, we had no phone, internet connection, t.v. (we still don’t), and the kids weren’t in school yet. Luckily, we had brought some books with us. They were the Narnia books that Jethro had got for Christmas. In those two weeks Jethro read all 6 that we had (I just ordered and got the last book and Jethro finished it) and LOVED them, and I read ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’ to Hazel (and sometimes Ethne). I had never read them before, but since being here I’ve read the first five. They’re good, but they’re really for young readers, so I kinda like the movie better, because they take out the silliness, you know? Anyway, here’s Hazel’s report as dictated to me.

Hazel Bell

Book Report

February 23, 2010

Title: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Author: C.S. Lewis

My favorite character in the book was Lucy. She meets Mr. Tumnus at the lamppost when they were playing hide and go seek.

Lucy almost would get handed over to the White Witch but she went back to her own place so she wouldn't. She tries to tell everybody about it, but none of them would believe her. But when they get in there with Lucy, they finally believe her.

Then they go to the beaver's house and then they go to the Stone Table and they see Aslan and all the other people. And then a battle and then they make all the statues come back alive and then they are all kings and queens and The End.

And her picture. This is, of course, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy when they are crowned kings and queens at Cair Paravel, with Aslan.


To be quite candid, I was less than impressed with Jethro’s effort. He knows the books so well—he can remember names of all the dwarves and animals and characters of all the books, and tell you the whole book in great detail, and he was even excited about the idea of the book report, until he actually sat down and then he said he didn’t like writing and he whined and complained for a long time. He sat there forever and this is what he wrote –not a whole lot of evaluation going on.

The Chronicles of Narnia

Prince Caspian

by C.S. Lewis

during Miraz's reign

There are 5 main characters. They are Lucy, Edmund, Peter, Susan, and Prince Caspian.

The problem of the story is Miraz is trying to conquer Narnia. They solve the problem by fighting with Miraz. At the end of the story Caspian becomes King.

This book caused only a few emotions in me. I felt scared when Caspian's army broke out at the wrong time.

I thought that Caspian would feel awesome when he met Peter because hardly anybody else would get to meet High King Peter.

I liked when Peter challenged Miraz and he fought in a ring because it was brave.

He told me he wants to make a poster of Narnia, which I think would be cool, but I’m not going to count on the idea actually coming to fruition. :)

I found some book report outlines here that worked quite nicely for us.

Ummm, I think that’s about all I’ve got. Except if you want to know what we had for dinner, we had these potatoes, these chicken wraps (except with baking-powder biscuits in place of a pkg of crescent rolls), and this lemon-coconut bread. All good. The kids particularly liked the potatoes. Mmmm. When I was cooking the lemon-coconut bread, Hazel asked if we were having people over for dinner. I said no, and she said, “Then why are you cooking foods like this?” Just for us, dear one. Just for us. (Apparently I don't do fancy just for us very often.)

P.S. My own favorite quote from the Narnia books comes from the very last paragraph of 'The Horse and His Boy:'

"Aravis also had many quarrels (and, I'm afraid, even fights) with Cor, but they always made it up again; so that years later, when they were grown up, they were so used to quarreling and making up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Apple Cake

My newest favorite dessert. And that's a little weird, considering most of my favorite desserts include lots of chocolate, or icecream, or ummm, chocolate. :) But give it a try anyway.

Okay, so actually the recipe, from a Quick Cooking magazine, is called Cream Cheese Apple Muffins, but I didn’t have a muffin tin with me here in der Schweiz, and I like cake better anyway. But I’ll start out with the original recipe and then tell you what I changed up.


1 pkg. (3 oz) cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 butter or marg, melted

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups flour

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup diced peeled tart apples

1/2 cup bran flakes

Topping: 1-1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

In mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, lemon juice and vanilla; beat until smooth. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into cream cheese mixture just until moistened. Fold in apples and bran flakes.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Combine topping ingredients, sprinkle over batter. Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Yield: 1 dozen

SO. when I first made this is was right after we got to our apartment. I didn’t have a muffin tin, but it sounded good and it didn’t include any ingredients I can’t get here like corn syrup or brown sugar (okay and actually you can’t get baking powder here either, but I brought some with me because I’m genius like that). I left out the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and bran flakes (because for heaven’s sake I was making a CAKE, not muffins—let us not ever put anything so healthy as bran flakes into our cakes!). Also, I didn’t peel my apples first. I just diced em perty small and they were GREAT! Then I put all the batter into a greased glass pan. I’m not sure what size it is, it’s not as big as 9X13 though. It’s what we got at the second-hand store that we first went to to stock up on needed supplies that we hadn’t brought with us.

And finally, and this is the CRUCIAL part, I served the apple cake in a bowl covered GENEROUSLY with cream. I am my mother’s daughter, after all. Mmmmm, mmmmmmmmmm, MMMMMMMMM!!!

Do give it a try. And let me know how it turns out! En guete!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fantastic Day

Today was such a great day. It started out with not being quite so rushed to get out the door in the morning for church because we had Stake Conference at 10 instead of church at 9. Which means we had to leave the house at 9 instead of 8:10. Then we rode the train to Zollikofen to go to the stake center there, which just happens to be next to the temple. It is gorgeous. And it was SUCH a beautiful day today—after weeks of gray skies, the temple spire against the blue was breathtaking.


Here we are in front of the temple doors staring straight into the sun. :)

DSCF1526 The conference was broadcasted from Berlin, and Pres. Uchtdorf was there with his wife and also Barbara Thompson, both of whom I love. And get this---Pres. Uchtdorf speaks GERMAN!! Ha ha, kidding. But he did speak in German, and so did Sister Thompson, who served a mission in Germany. And Sister Uchtdorf spoke too. Also in German. ;) But we went upstairs to the English translation room where it was translated for us. Which is awesome, and also funny because President Uchtdorf talked for a little while about respecting others as ourselves, and even so in our own family, and how we need to remember to always endure our family. HE mentioned this a couple more times—enduring our families. And I thought, hmmm, I’m guessing that’s not exactly what he means. Sure enough, when we brought it up to a native German speaker afterwards, they said “ertragen” can mean endure/tolerate/put up with, *OR* can mean sustain/support. However, it IS good advice both ways. Some days you just have to focus on the enduring part. :)

So after visiting for about an hour after the meeting ended (Brett saw many people he recognized from his mission days and had a good time catching up), we took the train back. When we got to the train station, we had about 1.5 minutes to get to the complete other end of the station to catch our train home. So we RAN all the way through—Brett first pushing the stroller with Ethne and Tell, then me running holding Hazel’s hand, then Jethro running last. It was awesome. Awesome because we caught our train in the nick of time. :) I think it’s funny how we had to go to a meeting from 10-12, and we left our house at 9 and got home at about 2. It’ll be good to have a minivan. Although it is fun to visit with all the other members on the trains going the same direction, too.

So we had some lunch and then Brett and I tried to sneak in a nap while the kids played. Jethro got my camera and took pictures. Isn’t it nice that Ethne gave us her blankie?DSCF1542 DSCF1546 DSCF1553 Then when Talmage woke up from his (very much needed) nap, we went outside because it was suuuuuuuch gorgeous weather. Other people were out enjoying it to, so I begged Brett to ask a person passing by to take a picture of all of us by the Swiss cow. Brett said no, but then I whined and begged and reminded him it was my heart’s desire to have a family picture by the cow, so he gave in. I love him. :)

DSCF1558 Then we went on a walk to somewhere we hadn’t explored before. Can you see how warm it was???? No hats, no gloves, Hazel just wearing a light jacket—this makes me SOOOOOO happy!!! Jethro and Hazel ran up and down the hill.

DSCF1561 Every time I look at this picture I about laugh my head off. I’m not sure how it is that Hazel looks exactly like a little doll that Jethro’s flopping around, but it’s hilarious.

DSCF1563 DSCF1564 DSCF1566 What glorious, bright sunshine! I think sunshine is one of my favorite things on earth.

DSCF1567 DSCF1569 DSCF1573 DSCF1574 DSCF1577 DSCF1583 DSCF1594 Then Hazel convinced us to walk to the playground at her school. Talmage LOOOOOOVED this swing.

swinging from Kayli Bell on Vimeo.


Then we walked home again as the sun was going down.DSCF1613 DSCF1616 DSCF1617 DSCF1619 DSCF1621 Then we had some dinner and stuff, and got ready for bed. Talmage was being HILARIOUS tonight and he was giving Ethne these huge, enormous hugs and being that he’s as big or bigger than her, he’d knock her down and it was the cutest thing in the entire universe.

DSCF1625 DSCF1627 DSCF1630 Later, when the kids were in bed and I was looking at these here pictures, Brett went to go milk the cow. I was sitting here, minding my own business and suddenly I hear, “I am descending the stairs this very moment.” I looked around to see a walkie-talkie sitting on the window ledge beside me. I picked it up and said, “You’re so weird.” Then I was told, “Please maintain radio silence unless it is absolutely necessary to contact me.” I continued receiving updates throughout his venture.

“I am now approaching the Wegemann residence.”

“A light just came on!”

“A dog is approaching.”

“It does not appear to mind my presence.”

“I am now engaging the milk dispensing apparatus.”

“I am now completing the milking operation and will return to homebase shortly.”

Really, what could be a better ending to such a nice day?

(p.s. Yesterday was nice too, after Brett and I got over being mad at each other in the morning that is. Brett and our friend David went to the priesthood session and David’s wife and kids came over here to play while they were gone, and then we had dinner together. It was a good time, including some rounds of Indian leg wrestling and the like. It’s amazing how it doesn’t really matter to kids that they don’t speak the same language. They play with legos, they dress up in princess outfits, they wrestle, they dance. Words are extraneous.

Also, we found a desk that somebody had left on the side of the road to be taken to the dump (which you have to pay for here—not a free service) and it is nice and I like it so we took it inside and now I have a place to put my computer, which is really good because before it was just on the floor in the corner with the couch pushed in front of it to try to deter kids from getting into all the many wires. Free is maybe my second-favorite thing in the world.)

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