Friday, May 28, 2010

The End is Here (Part 2)

At the Centennial Middle School assembly earlier this week Travis was shocked when his name was read to receive an award for Excellence in Geometry. His teacher, Mr. K, explained that of all his students, he was impressed with Travis' persistence in asking questions until he understood exactly. Travis is not the best student in the class or even an "A" student, but his need to know and understand was recognized and appreciated. That made him very happy.

Travis has big plans for the summer. He composed this flier, printed, and delivered them to a few neighbors and in less than 24 hours he already had a job lined up. Between his "Odd Jobs" business, marching band, and basketball, I think his summer is set.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The End is Here (Part 1)

The end of school that is.

With this momentous occasion comes end-of-year testing, award assemblies, final concerts, final projects, and dance festivals.

The "Wax Museum" is a 5th grade tradition at Provost Elementary. Abby was Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was hard work being a wax personage.

When it was break time, Abby eagerly "melted".

The quote of Ms. Wilder's Abby chose to display on her poster is quite telling. I think I will insist that Abby memorize it and be able to recite it on demand:

"Once you begin being naughty, it is easier to go on and on, and sooner or later something dreadful happens."

Ah, my sweet Abby.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A spilt milk kind of day

Some days just feel like a gallon of milk has been spilt all over the floor.

You stare at it with a glazed look of shock, exasperation, and resignation on your face.

You are too tired to care, but no one will make the milk go away but you.

You pray for a "cat" to come and lick it all up--not just lick it all up, but wash it away making the day sparkling clean and energized again.

Some days are just like that--spilt milk kind of days.

All you can do is sigh. . . a big long sigh.

Eventually, YOU have to CHOOSE to grab that cloth, get down on your knees, and clean it up.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sleeping, Creeping, and Leaping

Six years ago we planted two wisteria vines to camouflage a chain link fence that separates our backyard from a church parking lot and to give us a bit of privacy. At the time my dad, who had a masterful green thumb, reminded me to be patient. Perennials take time, he said. The first year they "sleep", the second year they "creep", and the third year they "leap."

It appears that our wisteria vines doubled my need for patience, given the fact that it took TWO years to perform each of those tasks. Last year the "poor dears" only had a dozen or so blossoms, but LOOK AT THEM NOW!

They have LEAPT!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I am forever trying to mimic the lush vegetation and wooded landscape of my childhood. My attempts are feeble at best given I now live in the high desert of Utah.

Azaleas and dogwoods may not grow here, but we do have maple trees. Every May their helicopters (seed pods) litter the ground. As we watch them tumble and twirl in the breeze I am home--home here and home there. Happiness.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It's the little things

It's the little things that mean the most.

Brian has been traveling a lot lately and earlier this week he was off once again--this time to Davis, California. It was a typical "blahy" Tuesday morning until I received a text that changed all that. When I read it, I smiled--not just inside, but it was an honest-to-goodness full external smile.

A phone call or a text from Brian is not unusual, but for some reason the timing was just right and this one filled my soul.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Last Fall as the leaves were turning colors this woodpecker lit upon our back deck. I grabbed my camera and took these two pictures of what I believe is a female Northern Flicker. (I Googled it.)

In January as I was walking up the sidewalk to our home and neared this Aspen tree I heard a distinct pecking sound coming from inside. It was then I noticed some rather obtrusive holes in its trunk. Was this where she was nesting for the Winter??!!

Last week (now May) as I was leaving to pick Travis up from Timpview I was SO excited to discover TWO little woodpeckers flitting around the hole in that same Aspen tree. The mama was no where to be seen, but these two made me feel giddy, happy, awed, and hopeful that they would stick around a while.

Stick around, that is, until Linus saunters by.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

This is a picture of my mom holding me on her very first Mother's Day in 1964. I love these women--my mom, my grandma, and my great grandma. Their motherhood lives on as I sing the same Scottish lullaby to my own children that my great grandma sang to her children. Knowing and learning about their lives explains my own.

Mom and I
(I must say that I adore my mom's outfits and shoes.)

Mom, Dad, and I

My mom made our matching dresses.
(I never knew that my dad wore white socks and penny loafers!)

My maternal grandparents and I

My paternal grandparents and I

I am so grateful for my mother and the generations of mothers that preceded her. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Women's Conference

Last week my sister, Renee, flew in for BYU's Women's Conference. This has become an annual tradition for the last five or so years. Mom joined us this year now that she is an official Utahan, but sadly, we didn't get any pictures with her.

Here we are in the Marriott Center waiting for the closing session to begin. Lovely photo.

Home after a fun yet very full weekend. (I look a bit tired.)

I couldn't help but round up this old photo of the two of us in 1979. It makes me smile.

So glad Mom is part of the tradition now, and I look forward to the day when all the Stoker females will be too.

I LOVE having Renee come each year and not just because she always brings me a box of See's chocolates!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I can sew a straight stitch.

I can sew a straight stitch and this is what I made:

Much to Brian's dismay my collection of throw pillows is growing. Actually, I have not purchased any more lately--simply changed the covers on pillow forms I already owned. It is amazing how a yard of fabric can make such a dramatic change in a room.

Right now black and white damask is a favorite as per this post, and now that May is here I am feeling Spring green as well.