Monday, June 30, 2008

History Day 2

Just a few more.

History Day

Needed a good venue to publish pictures of our best time of the summer so far.  Ethan's group got third in the nation with the "Cuban Missile Compromise."  One of my sixth graders got fifth and a $5000 award from the baseball history guys.


couple things

PL@YGROUP TALK is now a public blog. It's also a new system so if you want to participate go on the site and check it out.

also...tomorrow I am doing a giveaway from Jen's site
I got it in the mail today and is a super cute tie-dye apron. Leave a comment on the post and you cold win, if I don't win first that is (just kidding)

o.k I gotta go post on my other 7 blogs. kidding, but only kind of.


Last night I was looking for my watch (again)--the first time I found it in the ironing board cupboard (?). This time it was in a more predictable place, my suitcase. Then I was looking for the phone (under one of the pillows on the bed). As I was looking, Ada sweetly said, "You lost your watch again?" Then Ezra, with characteristic sensitivity assured me, "We loose things a lot in this house." Sweet, sweet kids.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

post post

So when I was closing all the windows Tenney left open after playing on the computer earlier, I saw a message from Jesse: Hey Mom, you figured out how to use skype (I don't even know how to spell it). I laugh out loud. No, but Tenney did. He also gets to Colbert, the trailer for Wall-E and other exciting things that he comes to tell me about and pull me in to watch with him. He goes from the mouse to the remote control and is quite adept at both. I guess Adam's right. It's just a matter of taking the time to mess around. Tenney is schooling me at two. I'm sure he'll know how to spell skype before he's five.

But she's a Mormon...

being a Mormon means lots of things. It means that you let your husband take the YM on an activity that YOU really wanted to do (climbing) but instead you stay back to take care of the babe. One thing that it doesn't mean (usually) is getting stop for drunk driving!

Yesterday I got pulled over for the first time and it was because of drunk driving.

Christian got home at 8:30, he said he would be home at 7:00 but like every good Mormon he was late. We were supposed to be at my friend's birthday at 7:30. Christian got home and Enzo wasn't asleep. It's an effort to get Enzo to take a nap. I really didn't want him to take one yesterday because I wanted him to be asleep by 7:00 so that our friends wouldn't have to get him down. In the afternoon while Enzo was playing out in the yard he fell asleep on top of the buggy board. Of course the one day I don't want him to sleep he does, but that's a given.

This is already longer than I intended. To make a long story short Chris got home late and I ended up going to the party by myself. I hate driving at night and rarely do. It was totally hard to see and I was going super slow and swerving a little, dangerous I know. So the cops pulled me over

cops: have you been drinking?
me: what? no
cop: nothing
me: no (super nervous)
cop: please look into the light and follow my finger. Follow my finger. FOLLOW MY FINGER
me: (I couldn't follow his finger I was so nervous) sorry sir I'm really nervous
cop: do you have any reason to be nervous?
me: well...
cop: why are your head lights out?
me: oh, I don't know (really I didn't. like I said I never drive at night
cop: let me see your driver's license,registration and insurance
me: ok (after a LONG time I find everything)
cop leaves and my friends who are coming down the street approach me and ask what happen I tell that the cops think I'm drunk. they can tell I'm super nervous
very loud friend: hey Mr. Cop is she o.k?
cop: yeah, we're afraid your friend has been drinking
very loud friend: But that's ridiculous shes a Mormon she never drinks
cop : (to me) you're a Mormon? (he thinks this is hilarious he yells out to the other cop that I'm a Mormon and they both laugh, the two friends laugh and I laugh not because I think it's funny but because I'm so nervous at that point it seemed rational to laugh)
cop: let me see your headlights. (he reaches inside the car and fumbles with it and realizes that it's not working)
cop: don't drive this car home o.k
me: o.k
cop: (to other cop) she's a Mormon (and laughs)

I didn't get a ticket. I have no idea why they thought me being a Mormon was hilarious. I don't care, I'm just glad I didn't get a ticket. I'm also glad I didn't get in an accident driving around town with no head lights. what was I thinking?

City Living--Posted by Pam (not Cailin)

No doubt about it, traversing in Brooklyn/New York is a sport: the stroller loaded with Tenney, Ada on the buggyboard, Ezra well-trained to stop on his bike or scooter at every intersection and not cross until the stroller catches up. The first day we followed him to school he had forgotten his bike lock (likely I was supposed to have the house keys which have the duplicate, but no) so I had to carry the bike home and push the stroller with aforementioned kids. Tenney refuses to buckle up and because I don't want to be Miss Nelson and not Elivra Swamp I don't push it. We hit a bump and he does a face plant--scraped chin and lip. (He still refuses.) Or going to Costco in Enoch's car--we shop slow but faster than them since they need to get cell phones activated and the computer is down (etc.) so we're waiting in front where the junk food is. Ada wants a churro and for some reason I think that is some kind of burrito and not a doughnut. Wrong again. She eats one and Tenney the other. He heads straight into a sugar inspired meltdown. Uncharacteristic tantruming. I leave the store so we don't have such a large audience. Israel and Cailin do not appear. (They have the car keys.) I finally go back in leaving my cart in the doorway, carrying a still screaming baby with Ada in tow. We go upstairs on the escalator, do a couple of laps, back down, finally they appear. Now I notice Tenney is only wearing one shoe. We retrace our steps (this is where the endurance comes in). Find it next to the cart. We walk to the prominade to see the new installation art, city waterfalls, unlike Hawaii hikes, uphill both ways. It's almost as worth it as Kahana (okay, maybe not), but feet and legs are pleasantly tight when we return. Yesterday we went on the free Ikea ferry from Brooklyn to Manhattan and then hiked across town and got caught in a wonderful wet rain. Just before we descended into the station there was a natural city waterfall splashing off a building. I said to Anna, Aaron's girlfriend, "This is so fun." "This is not fun," she said. (Of course, she was the one who bought an umbrella and was jogging along beside Tenney and I keeping us somewhat dry.) She got the good sport award, and I had the fun. All in all, it's an adventure being here. Ada was scared as the ferry bounced along over some waves but after said, "I tricked you this time like I've tricked my mom lots of times. I really liked it. When I freak out it means I'm having fun."

Mimi and Karen Go to Utah

Mimi's brother Harmon Jex died on June 18th. I accompanied Mimi to Salt Lake for a 4 day trip. Uncle Jex was very loved by his family and he was a father to nieces and nephews who were without. The service was very good with great stories and music (the older grandchildren's singing number was recording quality.) Family was impressed with Mimi and her ease in travelling and generally getting around (also her young good looks). We travelled one day to Provo and another day up to Logan to see Mimi's sister Lela. Sienna came up for the funeral and Tony came up later to meet us. Uncle Jex was buried in Bunkerville. Aunt Betty is lovely as ever. Pictures later.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tony's Birthday!

Yay! It's Tony's birthday. Here are a few of my favorite shots. He looks great with our new tent in his tie-dye that he loves. And eventhough we haven't done much camping since we've know each other, every time I am impressed with his outdoor knowledge and expertise. He also cleans up very nicely. This is him at his friend's wedding in Portland. He's been a groomsman twice this year and did a great job both times (helping set-up, taking lots of pictures in silly poses, staying the whole reception, and helping clean up). The last picture is from Santa Barbara. He was excited to try surfing again and had fun eventhough he hasn't quite figured out the whole standing up thing. In his defense, the board was too small and his first surfing experience didn't really count. He was mostly excited to feel like he was a part of the family. I mostly just wanted to tell him Happy Birthday and how much I love him. We are looking forward to another fun year together with hopefully more adventures. Luckily, he is only 29 this year and not offically old yet.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Santa Cruz Board Walk

Yesterday we went with Victoria and Ben and kiddies to the Board walk. It was .75cent night which is just up our ally and hundreds of other people's too (TOTALLY PACKED). Luckily Enzo stayed in his stroller for most of the time, Via can't walk and Avi now walks around with a kiddie leash (monkey wrapped around his chest and a long cord that is the monkey's tail). Enzo LOVED the train ride. He went twice but would of gone more if either Christian or I had the patience to go again. He is NOT waving on the picture below. He's actually making his sign for stop. He was pretty terrified even though the thing was slower than the train ride. You'd think he's be fine on a deathly roller coaster since he seems pretty fearless. I guess boats that play annoying music can be a bit scary.
Oh wait, here's a better picture of his experience.
He also wasn't that into the flying dragon. I on the other hand seem to be tripping on acid. I always thought it was ridiculous how parents would watch their kids on kiddie rides and make a huge fuss. I still think it is but I've long given up my attempt of not being ridiculous. Not only do I get way more excited watching then he does riding but I also get excited riding with him. Like I said, the train ride was a hit and next time we'll just stick with that one. Chris and I got to go on some fun big people rides too. The roller coaster there is awesome. Really it is! If you come to visit us I'll take you and show you and I'll try hard to not embarrass you but I can't promise anything.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Zekey and the faces

Thank you Sienna for capturing these on film (I mean memory card).
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Monday, June 23, 2008

citizenship test

Patrick Henry? Francis Scott Key or Francis Scott Keys? Ask me and I can tell you. I've been practicing for my citizenship test and feeling a bit smart now that I know all 9 supreme court judges. At 10:00pm last night when I looked over the notice letter I received to check if I had all the documents I needed I realized that the test is July 23rd and NOT June 23rd. Guess who's feeling smart now? not me! The real question is, will I remember what the 4 amendments that changed voting rights are in a month? probably not. I was really looking forward to getting this over with. All I know is that I better get my citizenship before election day so I can vote for McCain.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mikolyski Update

Hi Palmers and friends! Just wanted to say hi from Laie and that I love your family and your blog! Damaris, thanks for keeping us all so up-to-date with California happenings. Your pictures are sweet. I don't have a blog because I feel like I don't have much to say, not having any kids, but I do enjoy looking at those of my friends and commenting here and there. For the first time right now, I am actually posting! Crazy. :)
Anyways, Scott and I are doing well. He's done teaching for the summer, but will still be working full time with computers at BYUH, which he enjoys. For me, school got out 2 weeks ago, but I've spent my summer so far working on curriculum plans and going to a week-long training in Waipahu for some new textbooks we're getting, so summer has finally really started for me this weekend! Yay!
I'm glad you guys got to have a little family reunion last week! You Palmers know how to make the most of each day. We had a little family reunion here as well, with the 3 of us siblings. My sister Moana hasn't had her baby yet (she's a week late so far), so if she doesn't have it by tomorrow night, she's going to be induced. Her ward out in Makaha had a baby shower for her last weekend, so Iz, Cailin and I drove out there to see them. Good thing, too, cause Iz got called out to New York just a few days later so that was the last time they got to see each other for a while! It was good fun.
So, that's about it. The weather is nice here and I'm sad that you are all elsewhere. Kaity and Danny, I'm sure you miss the ulus falling on your house, like they are on ours right about now! And the plennie mosquitos coming around! But we love it here. We plan on going camping a few times during the summer, but just hanging out on the island, as we have already gone to Oregon and Kauai so far this year.
So, I'd like to end by saying hi to Pammy, K & D, J & B, E & A, C & D, S & T, Adam and the kids, and Shelley and Steve. Love you guys! Talk to ya later!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The drive home

We left Kaity's house yesterday at a punctual 12:30 which was the perfect time to get in our car that has no AC and drive through 110 degree weather and potentially die of a heat stroke. Luckily right before we left Kaity's house my friend from high school, Thais, called. I had been trying to get a hold of her all week to no avail. Apparently you can't check your e-mail 20 times a day at yoga boot camp. She's doing this extreme yoga training up in the mountains right above Santa Barbara. It was so so good to see her and hang out. She took us to a waterfall to cool off which was much needed.

When we got back in the car we were quickly roasting again. It didn't help that there was an accident on 101 so we were stuck in traffic. As soon as we were moving again we decided we had to stop and try driving sometime at night. We stopped at Jim and Myriam's house in San Luis Obispo. Jim and Chris took off to check surf and Myriam, Enzo and I picked fruit from her back yard and tried to cool off inside the house where it was only 90 degrees.

When we got home at midnight I was hoping for a nice cool home. Santa Cruz is always a bit cooler. Unfortunately it was just as hot. It didn't help that our windows hadn't been opened for a week. Our room felt like a sauna. We were so tiered and dehydrated that we didn't really care.

cute genes

Thursday, June 19, 2008

bye Santa Barbara

Tomorrow we leave to go back to Santa Cruz and Pammy continues on her traveling grammy/nanny route. I am determined to find batteries so that I can take at least one picture with our camera of the family together. It's been easy not worrying about it because Sienna has a very nice camera and skills to boot. We'll have to get pictures from her. In the meantime you're stuck with my narrative about the trip.

We arrived on Saturday with Pammy. Sienna and Tony were already here. Sienna's friend Jamie picked them up from LA. On Sunday we went to church and had a planning session which started at various times of the day but only really happened late at night. It was hilarious. Chris, Tony and Danny went as far as writing on the white board with different colors. Blue was the activities and time and red was for the meals. I forget how planning can be taken very seriously.

Monday morning everyone had fun going to the beach. This place is bike heaven. I LOVE it. It makes me sad that it take serious cardio skills to ride a bike in Santa Cruz. We also went on a hike called 7 falls with no flowing water. I like hiking with kids because I'm no longer the last one trying to catch up. YES!

Tuesday we went rock climbing. This was my favorite of the activities. The place was AMAZINGLY gorgeous with lots of beautiful little swimming holes for the kids. I'm convinced that I need to go rock climbing more. I really like it. Does anyone want to come with us and watch Enzo while Chris and I climb? You'll also get a turn to climb. Gio is a dare devil and jumped from one rock to another and left the adventure with a big black eye. He'll tell you that he only cried a little. It's true, he did.

On Wednesday we went to the zoo. Enzo loves the zoo. He kept yelling macaco (monkey) and Gio kept yelling "there are no macacos only monkeys." Enzo got traumatized and has since started saying monkeys and gets mad when I say macaco. We went on another beach trip. I tried surfing (see previous post). Enzo on the other hand loved charging the waves with his dad. he was super excited to ride on the board. We need to get him a mini wet suit so he can go in Santa Cruz. Do they make them his size? We went and visited Victor and his mom (Pammy's neighbors from when she lived at Family Student housing). Victor had this great movie of Adam, Jesse and Chris. It was sweet. he told us good stories of how Adam used to knock on their door when he was only 2 and say "Hi, I'm Adam Palmer can I come in?" He also had vivid memories of Jesse getting upset when Victor would tell him that he had watched cartoons without Jesse. He said Jesse would say "I can't believe you watched them without me, now you wasted them." He had good stories to tell and it's obvious how much they loved watching the boys when they lived in Santa Barbara. At night Chris and I went on a date. It's nice having good babysitting that watches your kid at night and takes your kid in the morning so you can sleep in.

Today we went to the train museum. It was way to hot and not as cool as we hyped it up to be. We went to to the beach to cool off. Enzo, Gio and Zeke played super well together.

Tonight I took Enzo and Zeke on a walk to try and get them to sleep. Trying to get two babies on a double stroller that sits side by side to sleep is a bad idea. They had fun poking each other and screaming together. Enzo practiced all the new names "Penny, Senna, Tuny, Danny, Katy, Zik, and Gio" while he should of been sleeping on our walk. He'll be bummed to go home tomorrow and leave all these cool people behind. Me too!

Red Raiders For Life!

Read this article from Midweek. I was super shocked when I heard it!

4 going on forever

Yesterday was our 4 year anniversary. It's obvious that we love each other because I let Chris convince me to try surfing here in Santa Barbara and he put up with me screaming IT'S COLD in a very high pitched voice over and over again.
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Kamakura beach day

Yesterday, M had a day off from school, so we decided to take Mariko and Amaya to Kamakura. Jesse took us on an amazingly long walk that included several shrines, yummy soba and tempura, and finished at the best place of all. The beach. The water has warmed up significantly and the kids jumped right in. G was ecstatic to be in the water. She tried to swim and body surf. You could see the immense joy on her dad's face as he realized he finally has a surf buddy in G. We're looking forward to more beach days this summer. btw, Amaya was not at all interested in our beach. I'd say she's just a bit jaded.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Hey family... Rachel gave her first talk in sacrament meeting Sunday and I spoke with her. My talk was dedicated to my dad. If you have time I attached a copy. (You've got to read those Bradshaw Books) Coming Home, Men and Women are from Earth Afterall, and BRADSHAW ON THE FAMILY... I'm really enjoying them. I love you all and hope all you men enjoyed your special day of honor!!

Here is my rough draft of my talk:


Happy Fathers’ Day to all the fathers and fathering figures. We know anyone can become a parent, but what is it that makes someone a father? We all know people in our lives that were father figures… I’ve heard people say “He was like a father to me”. There are men in our ward, Home Teachers, The Bishop, who is the father of our ward, and other caring individuals that help boys with their pinewood derby cars and other fatherly duties… What makes a man a father is perfoming his vital role for the child. What is a father’s vital role? To love, preside, provide for and protect his family.

When a father is absent either by choice or circumstance or they do not properly fulfill their vital role the family and ultimately society as a whole suffers as, the sins of the fathers are passed down from generation to generation and the whole world is accursed…

My father recently gave me this book, BRADSHAW ON THE FAMILY. He says he wishes he had this book when we were all little, but we have it now and hopefully we can all learn, heal and pass the knowledge on to our children… Here is a short parable from the book “Bradshaw on the Family” by John Bradshaw:


Once upon a time a ROYAL person was born. His name was Hugh. Hugh was unlike anyone who had ever lived before of who would ever live again. Hugh was precious, unrepeatable incomparable, a trillion-dollar diamond in the rough. For the first 15 months of life, Hugh only knew himself from the reflections he saw in the eyes of his caretakers. Hugh was terribly unfortunate. His caretakers, although not blind, had glasses over their eyes that had an image already engraved on it. So that each caretaker only saw Hugh according to the image on his glasses. Thus, even though Hugh’s caretakers were physically present, not one of them ever actually saw him. By the time Hugh was grown, he was a mosaic of other people’s images of him, none of which was who he really was. No one had really ever seen him, so no one had ever mirrored back to him what he really looked d like. Consequently, Hugh thought he was the mosaic of images. He really did not know who he was. Sometimes in the dark of night when he was all alone Hugh knew something of profound importance was missing. He experienced this as a gnawing sense of emptiness- a deep void. He tried to fill the void with many things: power, worldly fame, money, possessions, chemical highs, food, intimacy, excitement, entertainment relationships, children, work…even exercise…But no matter what he did the emptiness did not go away and the longing remained. In the quiet of the night when all the distractions were gone he heard a still small voice say “Please don’t forget me… Don’t forget who you are”…but alas Hugh did forget and he went to his death never knowing his divine nature and infinite potential.

“Parenting forms children’s core belief about themselves. Nothing could be more important. Children are any culture’s greatest natural resource. The future of the world depends on our children’s conceptions of themselves. ALL THEIR CHOICES DEPEND ON THEIR VIEW OF THEMSLEVES!!

The most powerful lessons we can teach as fathers and caretakers is in the words of a simple primary song: “I am a child of God and he has sent me here, has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear…lead me guide me walk beside me help me find the way… Teach me all that I must do, to live with him someday.”

We aren’t always born into ideal circumstances. Not all of us are lucky enough to be born to “parents kind and dear”…and even the most fortunate have parents that are flawed and human. But it is said that those who succeed must have someone in their life who championed them… Someone who believed in them and nurtured and supported them. One person who truly loved them. Usually it is a parent, but often times it is a grandparent, or other relative, a teacher, or a friend. Luckily for us as Latter Day Saints we all know that we have at least one champion in our life.

He is a perfect Father. He is patient and kind and loving. He doesn’t love his children because they deserve it, or they earned it, or because they are successful or obedient. He loves them because they are His. When they reject Him and disobey Him and return home for help or to admit a mistake he receives them and heals them with open arms and unconditional love….He is our Heavenly Father… Our goal as parents and as brothers and sisters is to be more like Him in all our relationships.

My cousin Tricia is an advocate in adolescent family counseling… Our children bring us our greatest joys and worry. Through the toddler and now teen stages it is helpful to bounce ideas off of a neutral party. Consequently, we’ve shared many stimulating discussions on families and parenting styles and techniques. During one such discussion she shared with me that in her profession she found abandonment to be the biggest fear people have… for children and for adults. If she asked someone what is the WORST THING that could happen?? They usually would share something about if a child, or someone they love died, or a parent or spouse left them. At this response she would empathetically validate that each scenario would be a terrible, horrible tragedy to bear… but… then she’d add “You know, as awful as that would be, that is not the WORST thing that can happen. The WORST thing that could happen is if at the next general conference the prophet stood up and said ‘ I have some very bad news… I spoke with God this morning and he told me that soon the earth will tilt off of it’s axis and because He is tired of our stiff necks and disobedience he has decided to abandon the plan of salvation in our behalf. The atonement will no longer take effect and there will be no resurrection.’ We are all on our own.”

Now that puts things into perspective for me… That IS the worst thing that could ever happen. Fortunately we know He would NEVER abandon us. The Doctrine and Covenants says “What I the Lord have spoken I have spoken and I excuse not myself. Though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word will not pass away…whether it be by mine own voice or the voice of my servants, (the prophets) it is the same”…So we know He will never go back on His word or He would cease to be God…so every other tragic scenario we can experience or invent, aside from God abandoning us…we can, with God’s help, endure.

Now in honor of Fathers Day I’d like to share a little about my own father. My father is a champion. Not because he was a perfect father, but because he loved me and I know he did the best job he could to love, preside, provide for and protect us. HE really enjoyed being a father and when he spent time with me I never felt like I was a bother, or he was just doing a duty. He seemed to love every drawing we made or any recipe we baked. When my sisters and I talk (and there are six girls in the family not including my two brothers) we’ve all admitted that we secretly felt like we were dad’s favorite. I used to look forward to our “daddy daughter dates” which were just simple times going to fill up the gas tank and getting to choose ANY treat I wanted from the 7/11. I chose a wax candy filled with sugary goo. I had so much fun that the next time he asked where I wanted to go I shouted “To the Gas Station!” I loved the times he’d take us aside for our “Personal Priesthood Interview” Usually it was a FAST SUNDAY and I was always excited for my turn for one on one time with dad. He’d ask who my friends were at school and on a scale of one to ten how happy I was. He’d ask how I was getting along with my brothers and sisters and if there was anything that I wanted to talk about or repent of. I remember one such opportunity where I was able to admit that when I was five years old I stole a pack of gum from the grocery store. We talked about what we could do to repent and make up for our deed. (He took me back to the store later and I admitted to the manager what I had done, and then I paid for the gum, which by then had tripled in price!) Then after a nice discussion we’d take turns praying about the goals we set and the problems we discussed and it would usually end with a Father’s Blessing. I LOVED THOSE TALKS… we recently found a binder with the notes he took from our interviews… its priceless! Dad was an artist. I love showing my friends the sculptures he made at the Oakland Temple, and I loved painting Christmas windows with him during the holidays. HE taught seminary and he also taught at my high school. He made sure we had morning and night family prayers and scriptures study…(Even before early morning seminary) He is a natural missionary and could not help but share the gospel with anyone and everyone he happens to meet. I remember when he took the five oldest girls on a ten day hike on the Upper Truckee River. There weren’t many other people around, but one day we ran into a nice couple hiking. They stopped and chatted a while and I remember him reveling in the beautiful mountain vista and breathtaking sunset… “Isn’t God good to us?” he proclaimed, “He could have given us a world that was just black and white but for our pleasure and enjoyment he created these beautiful colors and magnificent miracles of nature just to bring us joy.” I remember thinking wow, dad can bring God into any conversation… I admire that… But what I most admire about my dad is that he chose the gospel in his life when nobody supported him. It further strained the relationship with his father whose only positive time with his sons was Sunday Fishing Trips. His testimony was so solid, you would think he came from stalwart pioneer stalk, when in reality he broke the chain of generations of addiction and abuse, by choosing to join the church and go on a mission even though he was older, and then choosing a righteous woman to marry in the temple so that his family would have a chance at not being as broken and having as much painful as he suffered in his childhood. My dad used to apologize when he’d lose his temper, and sometimes he’d share experiences of his childhood. He’d admit he wasn’t perfect, but he said his hope is that “ Each generation will improve upon the next” He was better than his father and he hoped we’d grow to be better than him… That’s a tall order…

Jakob too, the father of my children, is another wonderful example to me of someone who healed a broken chain the priesthood that had been lost in his family. When he joined the church he healed generations of families that would have grown up without the knowledge of our Savior and His plan of happiness. I love him for his faithfulness and his love of the gospel. My love for him grows each time I see him put his hands on our children’s heads for a father’s blessing. Even last night when we got home late from a wedding, our daughter Rachel was burning with fever. He laid his hands on her head and blessed her while she slept. She woke up feeling great and was able to be here today to give her first youth talk in sacrament meeting. I know our children don’t quite grasp how fortunate they are to be born under the covenant… I know I didn’t appreciate it like I should have… But these fathers are true heroes to have found and embraced the gospel even when it wasn’t spoon fed to them in their youth. They didn’t let opposition be an excuse to wallow in bitterness, and the darkness of transgression.
Being a good father is paramount, having had one yourself is just luck of the draw…

Whether you had a champion father or a father figure to champion you in your infant years… or whether you had no champion at all, we can all walk tall and feel blessed to be alive today because of the healing balm of forgiveness and the sacred atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. With Christ and our Heavenly Father Championing us we cannot fail. If we can only remember who we are… we will live worthy of returning home…. “All our choices depend on our view of ourselves”. If we believe the atonement is real, and if we know God is our Father… we will want to honor him and his name..and our choices will reflect our faith and hope.

I hope we can all show unconditional love and champion our children and each other and to honor the Fathers in our lives. Especially on this Sabbath Day remember our Heavenly Father who makes everything possible and who will never stop loving us no matter what we do…

I know God lives and that he is our Heavenly Father… I feel blessed to have been born to a loving father here on earth who taught me in my youth my divine nature and where I came from. I know we are God’s children and with Him nothing is impossible. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

happy day to you and you and you!

I'm watching Backyardigans with Enzo and Gio as Danny and the rest of the crew BBQs. I have to admit that I've been a slacker this Father's day. In my defence we went to sleep at 1:00 am after driving 4 hours to Santa Barbara. This is a total excuse, of course. However, when I woke up there was pop-up pancakes and French toast. Thank you Sienna and Tony! Today i asked Christian what he wanted for Father's day and he said he wanted to sleep in church without me trying to keep him awake during Sacrament meeting. I teach Gospel Doctrine in our ward and I know Christian makes an effort to stay awake while I teach. Today I let him sleep during Sacrament meeting and Sunday School. Happy father's day Christian.

Christian is the best dad in the world, as I've bragged many times. However, I am fully aware that there are other best dads out there and I admire you for it. Some of the things I've seen you do and appreciate are...

Enoch doing shoulder time with his kids. Adam having FUN and always including his kids. Jesse reading to Miriam. Danny putting Zeke to sleep. Jake walking Amaya even though the stroller was WAY to small for him.

Happy Father's Day to you!

Grampa Mike

Since I don't have to send any cards or do any shopping for Father's Day, I thought at least I could put up a post to honor our dad and let everyone whose joined the family since then get to know him a little bit better. I don't know about everything else, but as a father, it felt like he had it all figured out. I feel like I am always struggling to be as patient and loving as he was and enjoy and appreciate my kids the way I felt appreciated. Rather than try to be systematic, here are some random Mike memories.
I remember being read to at night. We always read a chapter from the Book of Mormon, and something else, like Narnia, or Tolkien. When we had a question, we could choose between the long and the short answer. He was good at giving us choices.
I remember in Davis when I got stuck with the Lego man without a face, I took it out to his office, and he drew a face on him for me. Last I checked, he was still in the lego box somewhere.
I remember him riding his bike out to find us for dinner as we ran wild through the back field., or stopping by his office to beg him for change so we could go by ice cream cones at the Seasider.
A lot of my memories are of his explanations for this or that. He would take the time to try and provide real answers to our questions, but in language and terms that made you feel smarter instead of dumber.
Anyway, I feel like he set the tone of openness, inclusiveness, concern for the problems of the world, aesthetic interest, frugality, service, and love in our family that we are trying to continue and that everyone contributes to. So even if you haven't met him yet, you will love him when you meet him because we are like him, and he is like us. Even though this is a little eulogistic, there should be some advantages to being dead.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer Camp

It is so fun to see Christian and Damaris in their environment. They are fully integrated, having furnished their apartment with local finds (and for about 75 dollars). Most impressive. Enzo goes to a Spanish speaking playgroup one day a week (why not learn three languages?) and has a multitude of fun in other ways (dancing wildly being one of them). Damaris doesn't miss much either, as you can imagine. The school itself is tucked amid the redwoods and yes, feels very much like the kind of place you might (if you were very lucky) go for summer camp. I'd half expect to get a merit badge if I went here instead of a grade (which makes it less intimidating). The town is very cute with lots of flowers and vintage victorian cottages (not new made to look like vintage). The ocean, unfortunately, is cold and gray and no matter how hot you are before you get there, not inviting enough to get me in. (I've been ruined by Hawaii.) Still, my goal is to get in before I go because I do not believe in being such a woose (how would you spell that?) It's time to go now to Musi's for lunch. Musi, by the way, is looking particularly beautiful with a cute new hair cut and who knows why else. I sugested that widowhood agrees with her and she laughed, "People tell me I'm looking younger." Not that we don't all love Bernarr. In any case, we're heading up the mountain.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Its true...I am engaged! His name is Eli Robertson. He is 26. Canadian/American. He loves snow skiing, and wakeboarding, but the beach too and he lived in California a couple summers so he even surfs! I started skiing with him (despite my hate of the cold) and he has been learning how to Salsa dance with me. I found a guy in Utah who surfs and salsas with me, AMAZING!...and craziest of all my dad even likes him!

We were considering getting married in Hawaii, but turns out none of his fam could come and most of my fam could so we decided it would be better to do it in Salt Lake....Pam hopefully youre reading this cuz I haven't got a hold of you yet to give you the update.

Anywho...I am new at this blog thing and its late here so i'll try to post more deits and some pics soon.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pl@ygroup Talk

I didn't see Damaris post anything about this on here, but I thought you should know that she has created a really cool blog using audio recordings to discuss child rearing and mostly related matters. You have to request Da to add you to listen and post. I think it's cool for everyone, even if you don't have small kids at home. I personally hate hearing my voice but I'm trying to get over it. I have no idea why my link is not working; you'll have to ask Da to add you anyway. Do it! Today!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


In case you want to know, Jake cut Amaya's bangs while Mariko was still at school. Mariko thinks they are too short. I (Pam visiting Damaris and Christian) think they are cute in an Audrey Hepburn (Roman Holiday) kind of way. How could Amaya not be cute anyway?

random things about the blog

I recently discovered that you can get all the posts and comments from the blog sent to you in e-mail form. Some people might want this. If you do want this let me know and I'll add your e-mail. Let me know if you want the posts, comments or both.

this is helpful for obsessive compulsive people (like myself) who feel like they have to check the blog and the comments a million times a day, just in case something new comes up.

Fire Miracles

On the next couple of days after the fire, the firemen were able to retrieve some things. The house was a charred skeleton, eerily recognizable. To fully appreciate the surprise of anything being retrievable, it would help to see a picture of the aftermath. The fire was Monday, Memorial Day about 3:30pm. Here are a few things I saw or heard about:

1. Charlie had been saying during the fire that all he really cared about of his stuff was his hard drive. So about 9:00pm after the fire, a fireman climbed in Charlie's window and grabbed his computer and said it looked o.k. He was stoked. His downstairs bedroom with the door closed seemed to have fared the best.

2. On Tuesday, Tricia called with good news. The Austin Hunt slides seemed to mostly be ok. (also some other pictures, though they were affected by the water, smoke etc.) A volunteer crew of 20 showed up at the Grimsmans to clean and box what was found.

3. Wednesday, with very specific instructions of where to look, the firemen were willing to look for some things upstairs. Liz asked for the baby books for Logan and Brodie. Yes, they were ok, I hear. Also Liz's wedding band and a ring she inherited from Grandma Jewel.

4. Brian asked them to check for a square glass dish that had $827 in bills that had been on top of the dresser. No way would it still be there, they said. (It was tithing that he had been saving for about 4 months.) Liz had set a plastic bag with votive candles on top of the money in the dish with a lid. The dish had broken. The candles had melted and sealed the money, protecting the tithing. Brian boiled the bills to clean off the wax and separated each bill. He told us the story and passed around the money for all of us to see at Christian's family birthday party on Sunday night.

5. The day of the fire, Mariah, who had been very strong and brave throughout the day, talked about losing her artwork. She asked the firemen on Wednesday to look in a certain place in her room. He brought down a plastic portfolio with many drawings and paintings. Also there were slides of her work in perfect condition. Relieved and joyful, she left (with Charlie) on a road trip to Chelsea's. They finally got off about 5:00pm Wednesday.

6. LATER that same evening, I went with Liz and Brian and two of Tricia's girls back to "The Site". Liz took pictures (Horrific images). Cami was climbing on the dumpster and spotted the same art portfolio that Mariah had tossed after selecting the work she thought worth saving. What a FIND! Cami called to Lexi to come and help her fish it out. It was full of exquisitely beautiful artwork, including a self-portrait. The girls took it home and laid it out to dry; then put it in boxes to store.

7. Andy had found the plans he had drawn for the house. I hear they plan to re-create essentially the same house with some improvements.

8. Brian went to try and grab some things downstairs. He came out with baby books Charlene had made. Damaged but readable. Very cool.

9. The report came back that Andy's hard drive is also intact. His computer looked VERY bad and was not expected to be ok.

10. Several of Andy's musical instruments were intact (clarinets, trumpet and a sax) though they were in a corner next to the piano which was completely consumed.

The family seem to be holding up well. So grateful to be together and alive. They are staying at the Marriott nearby for a few weeks, then moving to a rental in the area for one year. The rental has a pool :) . Logan and Brodie saw a little of the destruction from the outside. Brodie: "Papa Andy's house has a owie". Logan: "Papa Andy's tree is black". (The native oak which was the centerpiece of the property.)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I like you much better

I got to hang out with Gio a lot this weekend. Kaity had ultimate an frisbee tournament and was on the fields all day. Danny was supportive and watched all of her games. I went to one and then just hung out with the boys. Gio was super cute. When Danny asked him if he wanted to go watch the games or stay with Enzo and I, he said that he wanted to stay because we were his special friends. Enzo has so much fun with Gio and Zeke. He loves them. Gio and Enzo had a jumping off the couch tournament for over an hour. They play really well together. Gio is super patient with Enzo's minimal sharing skills. I think he got fed up at one point when Enzo grabbed something from his had for like the hundredth time and Kaity said something to the effect that Gio had to share because he's older then Enzo. Gio turned to Kaity and said "But he's taller." Gio is always saying these funny things. When we were at the park he would remark "I like this much better" and then ask "do you like this much better?" I think he was trying to say that he liked something a lot. We got him this little outfit for his birthday. I love that he likes wearing ties. He was excited and said "I like this much better"

By the way, I like Zeke much better too.