30 October 2011

Our Biggest Bites

"Open your mouth...Wider! Bigger! Now take a bite!"

We were stalling. The kids wanted to play outside, but it was lunch time in July, and Jesse and I were not interested in the heat. So I invented a game...it was called:

L to R: Jesse, Allen, Nicole, Natalie

They totally fell for it! And check out their Biggest Bites!


29 October 2011

In Which Oliver J. Loves Goats

I took Ollie to Logan so we could get an oil change, and get some things to help decorate our bare walls, buy some milk for under $3, see Becca and Chance, and let's face it...get out of Malad!

We went to the Heritage Center to see Becca and Chance at work later that evening and Ollie couldn't get enough! 

We let him in the goat pen and he walked right in and started hugging any that he could get close enough to.

 We loved getting out of town for the day, seeing Becca and Chance, and going shopping! We missed Jesse though! He would have loved playing with Ollie and the goats, and I would have loved holding his hand.

Kelly and Lisa, You're next!

28 October 2011

Good News of the Day:

Last week Jesse received an email with news that the University of Utah would be delighted to have him on their waiting list for the PA program...we fully expected to be ignored by the U because of Jesse's less-than-diverse demographics, so he graciously took his place on their list. Today he called to tell me that he had discovered a new email asking him to please come to Salt Lake and interview instead...How grand is that?

I got a scholarship! A little bitty one, but every bit counts!

Ollivander got a whole box of apples from our gardening neighbor and has been infatuated with them all day long...his baby friend Drew taught him to eat apples last time we were in Blanding, and now Ollie is only too happy to eat/play with them.

It is officially the weekend, and we are all going to relax and get over our colds. Plus Jesse is on call, so he is getting paid for every lazy second.

27 October 2011

Spook o Grams

We found some fun in our mailbox today from Grandma Min and Grandpa Than!

 One for Jesse and me...

and one just for Oliver.

It is ALWAYS fun to check the mailbox and find something from someone we love. Thanks for sending us a taste of excitement to brighten our day!

25 October 2011

Mother, May I?

Nicole, Taylor, and Natalie playing mother may I with me one summer day after my math class.

24 October 2011

{Where I'm From}

I am from the maroon bedroom carpet, summer road trips, and ballet lessons.

I am from warm red brick and four windows on a busy street.

I am from snowy winters, daffodils that bloom too soon, and mountains, Oh the Mountains!

I am from blue eyes, long legs, tuna fish gravy on toast, and five people with one bathroom.

I am from Miriam and Nathaniel, but call me Than...not Nathan or Nate, and dearest friends who have become family.

From John and Lucy Ann: Adventure South, a dead ox, the Ajax Underground Store, a green pioneer bench, and "You are a great Brain."

I'm from Sunday Dinners, Christmas Eves, Whipping Cream, and beautiful china table settings.

From Donald and Lucille: Grandmother to everyone, fresh peas from the garden, a farm with a crooked gate, rainbow noodles, paper dolls, and the descendant of a shoebox.

I am from temples, family history, testimonies, and the blessings of tithing.

I am from making memories, saying Thank Yous, and "Don't sell that at the yard sale."

Inspiration at Metropolitan Mama
Original writing prompt found here.
Photo by Bree

23 October 2011

{What Did Delaware, Boys?}

My friend Jesse was invited east for another PA school interview...

Jesse: "Hey Della, that school I thought was in New York...It's actually in Maryland."

Me: "What? Maryland? That's right next to DELAWARE!"

Do you know how much FUN I would have living in Maryland??? I would be *THIS CLOSE* to all kinds of monuments and museums that I have been wanting to visit for a long time!

And how would it be to live RIGHT SMACK DAB in the middle of the Eastern Coast...

Oh man...can you tell that I'm getting my hopes up?

But don't get me wrong, Pennsylvania would be great too.

PS...{She wore her New Jersey}

22 October 2011

I'm so lucky today!

My PARENTS are coming to visit me!!!


They are on their way right now! And they are bringing me butter! Hooray!

Now I have to decide what yummy food I can feed them!

I was thinking soup, but I STILL don't have a big enough pot...my last pot was thrown out in Cedar City when the teflon started flaking, and I've been too cheap to replace it.

Oh! I hope they are bringing Andre!

And I hope they hurry up and get here soon!

21 October 2011

In Which I Find Myself Hilarious...

I'd love to stay and write a legitimate blog post, but I really...


20 October 2011

Something I love about Malad...

This week, Jesse filled the Mazda's gas tank...

...for the first time since I drove it up here on August 9th!

18 October 2011

It's official

After a few months of making excuses and dragging my feet, I will finally be starting a program to obtain my bachelors degree on the 1st of November through Western Governors University...

I've heard a lot of good things about WGU from people I know, it is fully accredited, and...let's face it, with the closest traditional University campuses an hour away in either direction, and a possible move to another state within the next two years, online is the only reasonable option.

I'm a little excited and a lot nervous... However, I have the time and if I don't do it now, then I probably never will.

So here goes!

I've got nothing to lose and plenty of knowledge to gain...

17 October 2011

Stuffing My Face

Eric and Charlene got married last month and boy was it a blast!

Charlene just posted a whole wedding album to her Facebook profile, so naturally, I clicked through it thinking...

"Oh, I looked pretty cute that day, maybe I will find something I can crop into a new profile picture..."

('cause its all about me, right?)

Well, my little chickens, feast your eyes on this!

And the other photograph with me in it was like unto this one.

Nice, right?

I thought so too.

I'll be sticking with my mustache birthday party profile picture (which I still love)...And when Becca's wedding rolls around, I will be adhering to a strict "NO CUPCAKES" rule...and hopefully Kara from Illuminated Moments (who is almost certain to be Becca's wedding photographer), will be a little more forgiving when it comes to the candid shots. 

16 October 2011

We May or May Not Be Rednecks...

Yesterday our home teacher stopped by for a visit and shared some of his wisdom...Most of it was of a more spiritual nature, but we heard some Jeff Foxworthy when he was sure we could take a joke...
"You might be a redneck if your working TV sits on top of your nonworking TV"
Guilty as charged!

P.S. I lived through my first sharing time today!

15 October 2011

Brown Feet

Can you see Ashley's Cherokee feet in the doorway?

If I recall correctly, this photo was taken on the day that those feet tackled me.

And then Spendy, who was usually pretty subdued, got up from counting Beatrice's change and held me down while the Indian made off with most of the clothes in my closet!

I'll admit that it was for my own good...I had this habit of changing my clothes throughout the day...like 5 or 6 times...so they were conducting an intervention of sorts.

I think it cured me...

I really need to send that letter I wrote to Kaylee last April...

14 October 2011


We just spent a night out on the town!

OK, so we just walked around the block to the video rental store and drive in, but that's about what "on the town" means around here...and "night" can be loosely defined as some-time-before-the-conservative-hour-at-which-the-whole-town-shuts-down.

Good News: The drive in has Piccadillies!
(But ask for "Chips")

And Thursdays are dollar video rental days!
(There isn't a redbox within 30 minutes of us)


On our walk back home, Ollivander spotted a cat walking our way and reached for it. Jesse and I saw his interest and started making cat noises, like silly parents do, to see if he would mimick us.

The cat got closer and I exclaimed, rather dramatically, "Watch out, that thing looks rabid!"

"Rabid?" Jesse asked. "Rabid...really? That cat is not rabid."

"I know," I replied. "I was making a joke...I thought I was funny." (which is generally the case)

"Oh," said Jesse. Then he sorta laughed and went back to meowing at Ollie.

Apparently I've been a little too serious lately...

*I just heard Jesse from the other room laugh about Ollie drooling and licking him...now who's rabid?

13 October 2011

It's my little red wagon and I've got to pull it...

Lately I have been keeping a running tally of how much things are costing me, and it kind of makes me ill. In June, we increased our income by 100% and still feels like money is flying out the window faster than I can count it.

We've also got some pretty huge expenses coming up:
  • Jesse's student loan grace period is ending.
  • He is also taking a trip to Pennsylvania in November.
  • I'm hoping to start school in November which will cost me exorbitant amounts of money AND time.
  • I want to fit another miniature Moses in at some point in the next two years or so.
  • Not to mention the rest of the monthly bills
We'll be OK...I'm not necessarily worried about how to pay for it all...just annoyed that I have to (gee, that doesn't sound entitled does it?). Life just costs money and that's that. There are a lot of things that families can do to cut expenses...we try to stay informed, and we do what we can. Believe me, I'm pro at "needs versus wants." My angst about it is really just something I think I have to learn to deal with.

I truly am grateful for good advice from close friends and family, help from our loved ones who have graciously accepted our requests for favors to help save us a little (or a lot) of money while we live wwwwway out in the middle of nowhere, and the Lord's infinite tender mercies on our behalf.

And really, when it comes right down to it, I have more than most, and just because I don't have money to throw at everything I think I might like to have, there is MUCH to be thankful for.

I just wonder if there will ever be a time when I won't be worried about money... Probably not.

At least I've got Jesse and Oliver J. to make things fun, regardless of how rich or poor we are...

12 October 2011

Oliver Was Here:

I made some little baby bread loaves yesterday and set them on the kitchen table to cool.

About an hour later, I was in another room talking to Jesse when Oliver strutted in and sat down on the floor next to me, all the while smacking his lips around something in his mouth. I couldn't think of what it might be so when Oliver got up, I gave him a head start and then followed him into the dining room where I caught him in the act of using his monkey arms to pick at my bread!

I didn't even think that little goon could see the bread on the table, let alone reach it from the floor!

10 October 2011

Me: "So how's the hunger games?"

Beatrice: "Hahaha! I just picked it up when my phone vibrated!"

That was my text exchange with Ashley Bea today...stuff like that happens between us more than you would believe...

We used to have a holiday called "Lucky Shirt Day." We both had the same giraffe shirt and just happened to wear it on the same day at least three times a season (never planned). On those days, magical things happened to us...

I'm talking about getting the best parking spot in the Taylorsville Walmart parking lot, and Ashley finding the missing pearl from her ring in a shoe...MAGIC I tell you!

We no longer wear the giraffe shirts...well I don't anyway, but I still love days like today when magical things happen to us...however insignificant they may seem to anyone else.

She is one of my top 10 favorite nouns...That's for sure!

And not just because she gave me a gorilla for my birthday...but that sure helped!

09 October 2011

Today was a wonderful Sabbath day!

I'd love to tell you about the things that made today great...like how Ollie only pulled at my red dahlia broach once...and how I wore my cardigan closed without the buttons bulging along with a skirt that hasn't fit for over a year and a half...and about my new calling in the ward Primary presidency...and how my testimony of a loving Heavenly Father was strengthened...and would you believe that all of the members of the ward in attendance today stood out on the steps of the chapel and posed for a ward picture...how fun is that?

Mostly though, I just love how crazy long that sentence was.

07 October 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba

This is Oliverito's Yo Gabba Gabba face:

He was GLUED.

His favorite part? Well, if you know Oliver, then you will also know that he is all about the Dancey Dance!

06 October 2011

I thought I'd be all fancy and write a post everyday this month, but I find that I'm not feeling very eloquent tonight...so you get this instead:

I closed my windows for the first time since we moved in...it was c-c-c-cold outside...but we didn't get snow like just about everyone north and south of us.

Ollie wore new clothes because the weather changed...I'm so grateful to my mom for sending us home with a whole big bag full of fall/winter clothes. Did you know that she has almost single handedly clothed that boy...

The power went out all over the city. I waited FOREVER (I'm talking hours) to eat lunch because I didn't want to brave the cold to fight with the grill. I finally did and ran inside to grab the hot dogs only to find that the power had come back on. Splendid!

I went to the first meeting held for my new church calling. Ollie charmed the socks off everyone else there when he sat in one spot and entertained himself for an hour...

I got my flu shot because Jesse mentioned it... When I said "Heck no, Techno," he reminded me about last year when I told him the same thing...and then got the flu in January.

I thought about all the productive things I should be doing and then took a nap.

I Served spaghetti for dinner tonight...That's right, the leftover spaghetti from dinner last night with zucchini, carrots, onions, garlic and Italian sausage in the sauce... Yeah, it was as delicious as it sounds. But it tasted better the second time around... What's up with that?

Jesse and I cleaned up the kitchen while Oliver J. emptied the drawers behind us.

Then we all sat down on the couch for some family "My Name Is Earl"/laugh-at-Ollie's-ridiculous-antics time.

Now, here I am, telling you all of the mundane pieces to my day and realizing that I loved every minute of it.

I know I've lived in Malad for two months already, but it's really starting to grow on me.

I think I'm gonna like it here!

(please tell me you thought of Little Orphan Annie when you read that last line...)

05 October 2011

Some days, I feel especially grown up...

Like today when Jesse and I bought our first 5 gallon buckets along with the flour and sugar to fill them with.

...Hey, I think that's sort of a big deal!

Ollie really liked them...he had his hands in that bucket of flour so fast we hardly knew what was happening...I guess we should know by now to expect everything from him.

04 October 2011

Blustery Day

The wind, thunder, and water tapping at my windows are all working together to tell me that today will be the perfect Soup Weather Day that I have been wishing for.

I'm thinking...stew?


03 October 2011

{Lemon} Party Cheesecake

I was working on a new recipe called "Lemon Party Cheesecake" for a potluck BBQ, and I was on a roll.

I zipped through all the mixing steps and tossed the dessert into the oven to bake for an hour.

I had just started to tackle the kitchen mess when, low and behold, I saw a 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice just hangin' out on the counter waiting to be added to the cheesecake...


Turns out I only made "Party Cheesecake."

Don't worry though. Most people won't turn their noses up to plain cheesecake...and when I plopped my jar of homemade strawberry freezer jam onto the table next to the cheesecake squares, we had a winner!

02 October 2011


I have a friend whose name is Annie. Annie has a husband named Jeremy, who is also my friend. And we are all friends with Jesse and Oliver. That's why it was so great that they came to our house this weekend to stay with us!

 We did all sorts of fun things...
  • We made strawberry freezer jam, homemade rolls, stuffed mushrooms and 3 delicious meals.
  • Annie gave me wonderful decorating advice.
  • We scrubbed the couches and now they practically SPARKLE!
  • Everyone laughed at all my goofy jokes.
  • We enjoyed uplifting words from our prophet and the general authorities.
  • We gabbed about everything under the sun.
  • Annie ate a bunch of my lime otter pops because they are her favorite and absolutely not mine.
  • And we did LOTS of dishes.
They stayed for two whole days and it was stupendous!

I tried to convince them to stay longer, but they seemed to think that their jobs were pretty important. I guess they're right about that.

Annie is one of my favorite people on the face of the earth. She really knows what it is to be a supportive, loving, and consistent friend. We are sure lucky to have her.

Jeremy is pretty awesome too.

01 October 2011

12 More Sleeps

This was another draft of a post that I found from months ago, July 28th to be exact. I think when I wrote it I was afraid that maybe it was too personal? Or too sappy? Or too something. But I read it today and realized that it was just right, and needed to be recorded where I wouldn't forget it.

In May, Jesse and I made a plan for the summer:

He would go to work way up north, I would stay in Cedar City to take my classes, Oliver would stay with me, and we would meet every other weekend in Salt Lake to be a family for a couple of days.

If you had asked how I felt about it I would have told you I was afraid.

Terrified of starting school again. Anxious about the responsibility of being the only parent available to provide for the needs of my child. Concerned that my baby might forget his father. Afraid of missing Jesse too much, and worse, frightened that my constant need for independence might not allow me to miss him at all.

June 5th came and our plan was set in motion. It soon became apparent that math and I would be fast friends, there were plenty of people willing to help me be a successful single parent to Oliver, and Jesse was still Oliver J.'s very favorite noun (besides his bottle at bedtime). Though I wasn't crying myself to sleep every night pining for Jesse, I sure wasn't going to miss a Friday night date if I could help it, and so it was that visits to Salt Lake were bumped up to every weekend. 

Should you ask me how I feel about it now, with only 12 more sleeps until Malad, I would say that I am grateful.

Grateful for support from those who love me most, lessons learned, and the chance for a new start.

Looking back, I can see so much more than the trial. Though I would never choose to do it again, I would also never want to give back the things I learned.

I now have a real relationship with Cami and Megan, my sisters in law...not just a, "well, we're related."  I feel so much love, trust, respect, and appreciation for them. I'm genuinely going to miss living so close to them and spending time with them regularly.

With so much time apart from Jesse, I've had plenty of opportunities to reflect.

Before Jesse left, things were good, but there was so much room for improvement... So many ways to practice more patience, show more love, and have more fun. There was so much that I couldn't see because I allowed myself to become too serious, too busy, and overcomplicated. 

Our relationship was swell, our parenting was fine, and our life was pleasant, but I want my life to be so much better than 'good'. I want motherhood, marriage, and life to be exquisite.

How blessed I am to have had the opportunity to see that.