Friday, April 29, 2011


Graduation day for Janny and Megs. Only Janny is China, congratulations anyway gb.
A few pics then of the day.

Some achievements are worth applauding and noting. Did I stand up on the chair and woot and holler? Uh, no. I was too busy trying to capture moments with my camera.

Is this not the sweetest picture?

Meghan and her awesome hubby and babe

The whole fan club, minus Mr. JLW.

Afterwards we ate at la jolla to celebrate, then returned home for dessert and gifts.

So happy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


He sent some pics last night. I finally downloaded msn, so was able to chat them up in real time.

Monday, April 25, 2011

payback for being raised with only brothers

I love Easter. All the chocolate, pastels, and eggs. I love new Easter duds, too. Is there anything cuter or sweeter than little girls in their new easter dresses? I offer my gals as proof.

Love these girls.

a recycled heirloom

Years ago when I was a little girl, my great-grandmother Ada Clifford made me several hope chest items consisting of old fashioned crocheted potholders, embroidered dish towels and pillow cases. I had absolutely no appreciation for them then and somehow the only thing that survived from the collection was a set of embroidered pillow cases. I never ever used them but sadly one of them became stained, who knows how. I could never bring myself to throw it away, the years have made me much more sentimental.
Anyway, I got this great idea to recycle the pillow case and incorporate it into a new homemade something.
So I did. I made it into a little fabric playhouse. See the little embroidered flowers by the door and the window sill? I put some little bunnies to live inside and gave it to Cate for Easter.

I appreciate all the work my great-grandma went to and feel badly I didn't value her handiwork more. And as I make little things for my grandgirlies I think about them and love them with every imperfect stitch, just like I know my Grandma did in making those things for me. I get that now.

Arnett 'Eggs' travaganza

Good food, good company. It's a sweet and meaningful tradition for our family. Some photos then, from Saturdays annual egg hunt and hat parade.

H.B. held off on mowing his lawn for a couple of hours so the eggs would be harder to find. Nice guy. The men hid the eggs this year.

The theme idea worked out great this year. I am lovin' me some gangsta and astro bunnies.

Our lovely host family. Need I say more?

Somebunny and his chicks.

Kenz and Brig's hat theme was Angry Birds. Oh, and a princess, too.

Such lovely wimmens.

The menfolk, preening and prancing.

Ham and Eggs. Such funsters.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

a testimony of easter - quiet book style

I've adapted this Easter Sharing Time* in so many different ways over the years. It is one of my favorite presentations. This year I decided to morph it into a little quiet book for Faye. Had to simplify the visuals a bit (think die cuts). Doing so made it no less sweet, I think.

Velcro blossoms

A little pocket of dirt to plant the seed

The tulip 'grows' on the attached string

Turn the egg over and a little birdy comes out. Tweet, tweet.

A butterfly finger puppet

ld thinks this is Moses. Uh, it's not, people.

Great fun to make and a tender reminder.

*The Sharing Time I used for inspiration found here:

Pat Graham, “Sharing Time: Testimony of Easter,” Friend, Mar 1986, 38

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

china again.

Up at 4:00 am to catch a 6:40 flight. Armed with my copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell* (all 864 pages of it) and a new travel pillow, should make the long flight a little more bearable for him. He’ll be there for a month.

Yup. Expect photos, people.

* by Susanna Clarke

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Remember that arcade game at Chuck-E-Cheese called Whack-a-mole? You know, the one with the board filled with holes? You’re given a hammer and the object of the game is to whack a mole when you see it pop up through a hole. You have to be fast and remain feverishly focused because the moles keep popping up again and again.

Fun, silly game. Unless you’re a mole.

Sometimes in life we are a mole. Less often do we view ourselves as a whacker.

Ever had your ideas or thoughts whacked almost before you’ve even gotten them out? That’s a dumb idea, no no NO, or we are pelted with a litany of reasons why we can’t do something.

The mole and the whacker. The offended and the abuser. We all have been both, I think.

Why do you and I get so upset listening to ideas that are not our own? Why do we have to whack someone over the head simply for voicing them? Where’s the threat?

This maybe:

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. ~Robert Frost

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle

Yup. Whether it’s fear or ignorance or control issues or provinciality, whatever makes us whack someone over the head for simply introducing a new thought or idea or opinion, it is very un-Christ-like. Tolerance, after all, is a divine attribute (and I’m not talking about embracing values that are not our own or tolerating evil, you know that).

This then from Christ’s Ideals for Living* (the old Sunday School manual I grew up with):

The ideal of tolerance at its best is hospitality to new ideas. Genuine tolerance weighs carefully opposing views. Above all, it allows those with opposing or conflicting views their right to private judgment. And even more important, the person who is genuinely tolerant will rise above his differences into the fullest fellowship and the noblest friendships. Mormonism represents such tolerance. It is deeply opposed to coercion or compulsion of any kind. If ever an organization depended wholly upon the voluntary spirit of man, fellowship that rises above individual differences, and divine love that unites the body of the Church, it is the religion called Mormonism. Intolerance is a sure sign of weakness. And someone said, "Only the confident can afford to be calm and kindly; only the fearful must defame and exclude."

Love that. Respect for the right of private judgment.

The manual continues:

While this is a widely accepted doctrine, like other great ideals, it is a difficult one to practice — to reverence the personality of another so that it causes one to pause with respect for another's judgment, however much there is disagreement with that judgment.

Verbally whack-a-moling people for their ideas or opinions is not a fun game to play. Apart from wounding and offending others, we hurt our own growth and personal development as well. You can’t win at this game. Ever.

*This book long out of print, If you are lucky you might find a copy at D.I. An amazing manual/book.
Or here:

Monday, April 11, 2011

sneaky grandy

The toy offered in this weeks Happy Meal is the same one from last week - a blue plastic bird on a skateboard. Today in the drive through I asked for another toy at Cate's urging from the backseat. I was told that was the only kind they had.

Not wanting my grandchild to be disappointed in this weeks Happy Meal I did some fast thinking. When we got home I had Kenzie distract Cate while I got into my Grandma-All-A-Dollar box and replaced the lame bird with a pair of princess swim googles.

Cate was thrilled. And you wonder why I am called Fairy Grandmother.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

good shepherd

The King of love my Shepherd is,

Whose goodness faileth never;

I nothing lack if I am His

And He is mine forever.

~Henry William Baker

I love this hymn.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

there are no new steps!

Last night found ld and I sitting in the Marriott Center watching BYU's Ballroom Dance Company in Concert. A few of our BYU ward members are in the company. They are good, I will give them that. But the whole time I couldn't help reminiscing about our family obsession with the film Strictly Ballroom. Do you remember, people? How many times did we watch and quote this movie?

If I remember right Kenz and the twins dressed up in ballroom finery and went as Tina Sparkle for Halloween one year. Oh, yes. The memories.

Ken Railings and the Pan Pacifics. A life lived in fear and all that stuff. The bogo pogo.


Listen to the rhythm. Don't be scared.

Son, can I bend your ear a tick?
I loved this film. Still do.

Insight is helpful, even needed. But it alone won't effect change. We are what we consistently do.

This month’s MoDa selection How People Change by Allen Wheelis. A profound little book written back in 1973, not self-help by any means, but philosophically deep. Chapter 5 alone, entitled Grass, will make you weep and warrants its own book club discussion.

So much insightfulness, I made ld buy used copies for all our children. Interestingly enough it fits into what I believe and know about repentance in the gospel sense. Wheelis just uses different words and vocabulary and some elegant prose which makes it fresh and clear.

Faith in human transformation is basic to the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is the Lord’s program for human growth. Still I am overwhelmingly aware of how difficult it is to change, to transform ourselves into something better, to become Christ-like.

It sometimes bothers me that for the most part my fundamental ways of responding are still recognizable. My fundamental nature hasn’t changed much from when I was 15. I am in my 50’s now. So my wise old dad was right: People grow to be more like they already are. True because the longer you repeat a physical or mental pattern, the more it becomes ingrained and resistant to change.

On the other hand, change and character reform is always possible, it’s just that it doesn’t usually happen much, it’s so dang hard. And in most cases if it does happen at all, it doesn’t happen instantly.

I am still sorting and sifting the role of the Holy Ghost in all this, too. The promise that we can change, really change and become new creatures in Christ, is consistently offered in our doctrine and in the scriptures.

This book is ‘working my thoughts’ as I find it consistent with scripture and truth, it even clarifies some things for me. Read it. Let’s discuss.

While it’s difficult to change who we are, it’s in our power to slowly change what we do, and in turn, those actions will slowly transform us into the people we most want to be.

and this:

Action which defines a man, describes his character, is action which has been repeated over and over and so has come, in time, to be a coherent and relatively independent mode of behavior.

Wheelis points out that changing yourself in theory is pretty simple. If you want to stop being a thief, don't steal. If you want to be a writer, write. The idea being that changes in personality follow changes in behavior:

The sequence is suffering, insight, will, action, change. The one who suffers, who wants to change, must bear responsibility all the way.

He also notes that discomfort accompanies change – whether a new manner of relating to reality or the confusion and incompetence experienced when tackling something for the first time. You may feel awkward and anxious, but will succeed by continually exerting your willpower. The process is not a straight path, but a spiral of movement forward, slips, stagnation, and leaps ahead. It is easy to get discouraged and be swayed by the pull of habit, but persistence pays off.

He offers much to think about with his thoughts on freedom, trying harder versus trying something different, and makes the point that what may look like our nature is really our past choices that became familiar. He also states that we sometimes use what we have been in the past to avoid what we can be in the future. He believes that who we have become is our identity not our destiny. This is a key element in change: how we currently perceive ourselves need not remain fixed, unless of course we are determined that it shall be so.

The new mode will be experienced as difficult, unpleasant, forced, unnatural, anxiety-provoking. It may be undertaken lightly but can be sustained only by considerable effort of will. Change will occur only if such action is maintained over a long period of time.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

mr. fix it

The dishwasher works now. So does the latch on the front door. And my computer? Running in top form. Something gets broke around here or needs repairing, he’s the guy.

Whoo baby, he’s my handyman.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

random insightful nuggets

Liking this today. Especially points #3 and #5:

from 6 Easy–and Not So Easy–Pieces of Advice for Grad Students by Gina Barreca

#3. Almost indistinguishable from point number two, yet significantly different and perhaps even more important, is the need to remember that you cannot count on the praise of others to keep you going. Ever. You will almost never get it and when you do get it, you won’t get enough of it. And when you do get it, it won’t be the right kind. Also, it probably won’t be the right person saying it. Or it won’t be about the right thing. It simply doesn’t work that way: Outside affirmation is nice for elementary school children and 12-step programs, but that’s it. Other people are not going to spend their time telling you that you are doing a good job. Adults don’t do that for other adults. Adults know they are doing a good job when they are not being actively criticized.

and then this, too. Speaks to the dark side of wanting to do things perfectly:

#5. The perfect is the enemy of the good. You can rewrite, you can revise, you can refine, but the first thing you have to do is write. Of course what you write is going to be imperfect. ... Perfectionism isn’t cute, it isn’t helpful, and unless you’re a tailor, an eye surgeon, or part of a high-wire act (literally, not metaphorically) it’s not a useful trait.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Aunt Laurene's newly published book has hit Amazon. Haven't read it yet. Hoping to. If it is anything like her life it should be a humorous and delightful read.

The link:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring is like a perhaps hand (especially here in Utah)

It's tradition for it to rain, blow or snow on General Conference. Every year it proves the same, still I keep holding out that it will be warm. Especially since Thursday and Friday were such lovely days. Yesterdays snow depressed me. Sometimes I miss Blythe weather (did I really just say that?) where there is only 2 kinds -unbearably hot and pleasantly warm. But at least it is bold and firm in what it is. Utah weather is such a tease. Drives me nuts. Spring here is always so tentative. Blossoms here, then cold again. Maybe we won't have cold again--and maybe not. Perhaps. You can never be sure.

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window, into which people look (while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

--e.e. cummings

Remember April is National Poetry month. Celebrate.