It's OK if you feel like rolling your eyes while reading this post. I would if I were you.

A few weeks ago our little family was the main act during our Sacrament Meeting at church.
Which, if you are not LDS...speaking in Sacrament Meeting is the anxiety equivalent of...
getting a root canal...
while on a blind date...
in front of a large audience...
while discussing your bank account...
without pants on...
               It's that bad.

We made it through. After it was all over and I was breathing a sigh of relief,
a lot of people asked me how I got Kal and Quincy to stand up and give their talks all by themselves.

OK, not A LOT of people...
like only one or two...
but in Blog World, that's at least worth thirty or forty people.

Well, I don't like to stand up and help my kids give their primary talks by whispering in their ear.
I feel like all the eyes are on me and everyone is thinking...
          'wow, she really should've wore a slip under that dress."

So I was determined to have my littlest ones do it by themselves.

The day or two before the big meeting, I quickly wrote down Kal and Quincy's talks on some construction paper, and then we drew pictures next to words to help them remember what to say.

Even though Kal can't read yet, he knew that a drawing of a little church and a heart meant to say; '...She loves to go to Church...'

and even though he can't read yet, a picture of a stop sign means to end by saying...
 "in the name of Jesus Christ amen...'

The kids walked around with their papers and practiced them several times as we went about our business.
It was time for me to employ reverse psychology.
For instance; I said casually as we were driving around...

'Kal, I better stand up and help you with your talk...I think you are too little to stand up by yourself...
well, unless you think you can do it all by yourself...?"


"Oh man, I can't wait to do my talk tomorrow...I love to stand up at the microphone and see everyone looking at me...it's so much fun!"

And then when the moment of truth comes, act as if it is a normal everyday occurance to be standing up in front of so many people. Give them a 'go get em tiger' nudge and whatever you do, don't make eye contact, or give them a "you can do it" smile.
They are only small children, but they can smell fear.

So by the time Sunday came around, Kal and Quincy and the rest of them were so excited, I had to humble them a little, they were almost getting too cheeky.
And it worked on Dean too, he whispered on the stand "I don't need your help either."
I really didn't even bribe them. Sometimes I think bribes can backfire. The child holds all the cards and knows that you aren't going to get frustrated with them in public, and by then it's too late.

So that's what works for us.

And I'm sure you already do this and do it better than I ever have.
So roll your eyes at my arrogance.

My sister recently told me that her little, timid four year old Mary just gave a talk in primary where she recited 'The Jabberwocky' and then moon-walked back to her seat with no problem.


I am such an amateur.

So dear reader, how do you get your kids to do what you want?

This video is of Kal and Quincy just hours after church giving a repeat performance.

Kal was officially 'given out' after his talk, he didn't want to say another word. But he did it one more time just for me. Quincy kept trying to give Kal's talk, she thought hers was way too baby'ish.



my son surprises me.

For weeks I have been on Brett's case about his lack of interest in his English class.
His assignments were turned in with messy handwriting, poor punctuation and grammar.

"Hey, don't take that tone with me mister."

You see, both of Brett's Grandmothers taught English to punks just like him,
so English aptitude runs in the family and should come naturally to Brett.

...to Brett

It definitely didn't come naturally to Dean and me...

Oh, sorry Mom,
            I meant... it didn't come naturally to 'Dean or I.'

English aptitude must skip a generation, right?

So I thought all of my lecturing had fallen on deaf ears.
But sometimes my son surprises me.

The other day Brett read this book; 

And wrote a poem about it for his English class.
Apparently there is an old myth that after a Crocodile attacks his victims...he'll cry.
Hence the phrase "Crocodile Tears."

Crocodile Tears
By Brett Roberts

Don’t look the beast in the eyes.
Don’t be tricked by its disguise.
The creature that floats the Bayou.
The creature with the mystic Voodoo.

It will use its emotion to beckon you forward,
It will use incognito to catch you off guard.
Crocodile Tears are like the Siren’s Song,
The moment you realize your reality is wrong.

With just one snap the Croc has won.
It’s a matter of seconds,
before you’re over and done.

As the water settles and so do you,
The beast will do something out-of-the-blue.

One singular Crocodile Tear he’ll shed,
May you rest in peace in your underwater bed.

Brett told me that his teacher wanted to enter his poem in a contest.

And I was like...'oh honey, I'm sure he was just saying that.'

But apparently not; the teacher went on and on about how Brett is an ideal student and how talented, smart and creative Brett is.
I was like...
                            Wha?        huh?     you mean my son?     but what about...?  
                 ...oh yeah sure, I knew that all along.

Isn't it funny that sometimes we have to hear good things from other people about our kids
 before we can see it for ourselves.

Thank goodness for 'other people,'
'cause right now all I can see is that my son eating a meatball sub and chips in the living room,
 left a mess in the kitchen, and still hasn't taken the garbage out.

Come on Brett....surprise me again.       I dare ya.


If "PROUD" were PEOPLE...I'd be NEW YORK.

That was fun...Lets try a few more.

If PROUD were "long lines"...I'd be Disneyland. 
If PROUD were "temptation"...I'd be that Creme Brulee in my fridge.
If PROUD were "plum crazy"...I'd be Charlie Sheen.

When I started this post two weeks ago, I was overflowing with pride.
Since then my enthusiasm has faded a little, and I thought,
 "meh, I guess my kids aren't that great."
but I'll go ahead and post this anyway.

River was asked to be a "Little Miss" in the Miss Spanish Fork Contest.
    After accepting the nomination from the beautiful Melynn Elliott,
                 River was on high-alert DIVA status for the month leading up to the big day.

She wanted her nails done, her makeup done, her jewelry and shoes new.

She expected to be walking the red-carpet and was auditioning dress designers.

We finally found a sweet, simple little dress and shoes.
 She even looked the part of a "Little Miss (smartie pants)" don't you think?

As we arrived at the auditorium, I insisted that River take off her coat.
As you can see it had just snowed,
but I really wanted a few cute pictures of her walking in without a coat on.
She wasn't happy.

This was right before the "Naomi Campbell meltdown."

But once inside it was all River.
Just kidding, it was all Melynn...but River did fine too.

(oh man, who is that annoying lady yelling unintelligibly in the video?)

Sadly, the judges didn't see what the rest of us in the audience saw,
and awarded the crown to someone else.
Crazy huh.
(consolation kiss)

However both Melynn and River made me equally proud. 
How proud you ask?
I was so proud...
If PROUD were "annoying"...I'd be Mario Lopez' dimples.

Backing up to earlier that day;
Brett's basketball team played for the city championship.

  Coach Brown and the boys gave us an 'edge of your seat, buzzer beater' game.

At one point during a pivotal moment in the fourth quarter, Brett pulled out his signature move and stole the ball from the boys in blue and made a quick lay up.
His Grandpa would've been so proud.

How proud you ask?

If PROUD were "a narcissistic electronic device" ...He'd be the iPad 2.

And then, just to top off our great weekend;
Our whole family was asked to speak in church.  
And we did! And nobody had mismatched shoes or the last minute jitters. 
I know...a miracle, huh.

(here are Kal and Quincy practicing their talks)
Video coming soon. 

I wish there was something noteworthy that these three did that I could write about;
 but nope, I've got nothin.
Only kidding Lauren and Wade. You make me proud by just being mediocre. 

How proud you ask? 
If PROUD were "an easily excitable housewife"...I'd be me.

And last, but not least.
Since my family already thinks I have turned in to my mother;
I'll act like a proud parent and talk about my brother Will.

Willers (as I'm sure he likes to be called) just graduated from Basic Combat Training in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri and now is off to Ft. Benning in Georgia to start Officers Candidate School
for another fifteen weeks or longer.

I can hardly believe that my little brother is a Soldier.

My little brother is also a daddy to a crazy little girl who misses him.

The other day in the store, River said to the lady behind us...
"guess what? my Uncle Will is a soldier."
We all are so proud of Will. 
When I think of Will's ambitions and bravery and commitment it makes me proud.
But the thing that makes me so proud that I get a lump in my throat, is when I think of Will's wife Kimmy and baby girl Lily. They have been and continue to be so supportive of him.  

Hooah WILL!

Speaking of being proud;
props to Jimmer Fredette for representing lil 'ol BYU in the national spotlight.

It makes lil 'ol me...(the biggest fair weathered fan ever)...
jump right on the "Jimmer band wagon."

If PROUD were "cheesy catch phrases"...I'd be Jimmered!

So dear reader, tell me; How proud are you?



By the time I post this...my older sister,
(actually my only sister) will be a year older.

So happy Birthday sis.

This post will not be the typical birthday tribute, where I gush and go on and on and list all the things I love about my sister Brooke.

There are plenty of good things to say about the beautiful birthday girl.

but nope, today there is something that I just have to get off my chest.

My sister is mean!

or at least she was mean.  there I said it.

Brooke and I are only 18 months apart and are the only girls in a family of five boys.
We have always been really close.

When we were just little girls I admired Brooke so much.
She was everything I wanted to be.

(really mom? that's the best you could do with my hair? 
No wonder Uncle Mike thought I was a boy.)

Brooke and I had a wonderful childhood filled with playing barbies, girl talk, sharing a bedroom, inside jokes, creating, making up plays, working, exploring, babysitting, and of course...laughing.   

Life was great until....

                               We both turned into teenagers.

Everyone thought Brooke was so cool.
She always had the coolest clothes,
the coolest style, the coolest music, the coolest friends. 
And Brooke and I started to fight.

We would mostly fight over clothes.
her clothes.
She would never let me borrow any, so I of course... took them.

One infamous day Brooke came storming in to my Dad's office
where I was working, demanding that I take off her shirt that I was currently wearing.
 So I did, right there and then. (leaving me wearing only a reflective safety vest)
And as she walked away with her reclaimed shirt in her hand...

I still thought she was cool.

Even today my sister is still really cool.

And I was (and always will be) just her nerdy little sister.
And Brooke treated me as such.

We were just a grade apart in school, and on my first day of High School, in the middle of the main hall, Brooke jumped on my back like you see above...
 and I fell loudly to the floor.

I knew she was the meanest sister ever!

Brooke happened to like the guy I liked,
 and of course...He went for her...

My mom and Dad gave Brooke a car, and if I was ever late and missed the bus,
she would kindly offer to take me to school...for a fee.

Once at a Stake Young Women's activity, I was called up on stage.
During the First Aid demonstration, I had locked my knees and I felt weak and ended up fainting right there on the stage. The first thing I saw as I was coming to with all the EMT's around me was my sister almost falling off her chair laughing and pointing at me. 
When I missed school, Brooke told on me.
When Brooke skipped...I told on her, but she actually got away with it.

Brooke and I were on the same softball team every year,
and while most sisters would be cheering each other on;
mine told me to crowd the plate and try to get hit.

Brooke could talk me in to doing anything.
She would make me run around town doing errands for her,
she would only pay me in chocolate Twizzlers.

I constantly was looking for her approval and to hear her laugh...even if it was at me.
 Occasionally it was with me. That was the only pay I needed. 

         Then, about the time we were both about to start college,
                                                                 something happened.

                                                                    There was a shift.

After a long break...Brooke and I became friends again.
We were on equal footing. She and I entering into adulthood together.
Brooke moved up to Utah State and I would drive up on the weekends and we would hang out in her dorm, making fun of her homely roommates. Ya know, the stuff most sisters do.

That summer we went to concerts, cooked, double dated, hit up the midnight movie, met guys at the mall etc.  We were making up for lost time.

One time we hit up Taco Bell around 1:00 am. Trying for some laughs, I spoke gibberish in the speaker, ordering a bunch of food... all the while Brooke was in the passenger seat doubled over laughing. After we paid, they told us to proceed to the next window...they held our bag out the window and I revved up my car three or four times and hit the gas and as we sped past the window, I grabbed our food from the lady's outstretched arm not even slowing down.
Brooke's laugh was my addiction.    
If I look nerdy in the picture above, it's because Brooke is grabbing the back of my dress
 and hiking it up, giving me a snuggie.

Brooke moved home that summer and we both got a job together in Springville.
We worked at the same company, but in different buildings. So Brooke and I would talk to each other through the intercom.

I would say over the loud speaker in front of her customers...
"hey Brooke, your zipper is down"...
So she would comment back over the intercom, "Hil, isn't that the guy you like?"
Then I would say back "Brooke, the doctor called...your test is positive."
and she would comment back loudly "Hil, do you still have diarrhea?"

Good times, good times.

That summer I met my husband.

Dean joined in on our fun. He understood all too well our silliness,
(he has SIX older sisters.)
but he still just shook his head at our crazy antics.

One night back in the day (before I was engaged); Dean came over to my parents house to hang out with me. Brooke and my little brothers were there and we were all just goofing around, fixing dinner and taking pictures.

We were having a great time I thought, until towards the end of the night Brooke became annoyed and... started again to be mean to me. (see, I told you.)

After Dean left I said something like..."hey Brooke, what's the matter?"

Brooke paused just for a second, then turned sharp and said;
"You are going to marry him, aren't you?"

Taken off guard, I backtracked and hemmed and hawed..dodging the question.

Then I was silent.

Suddenly my eyes filled with tears and I nodded, ...yes.

again silence.

Then my big sister and I cried together for a moment right there at the bottom of the stairs; We realized that our sisterhood as we knew it was about to change.

Over the years our friendship has evolved from that of driving around, acting crazy and embarrassing ourselves...
to now driving around, acting crazy and embarrassing our children.

And I wouldn't trade a minute of it.

                                                                       It is so perfect.
                                 I love you Brookers...Happy Birthday!

      this last one is for you.


(a two minute video of the girl who needs to be everything)       So far my hobby has been micro-managing my kids and as rewardi...