Friday, May 31, 2013


May is one of the two busiest months of the year, in my opinion. Not sure exactly why - but it must have something to do with end of the school year and all that accompanies it. Regardless, we are just glad to have made it through alive.

Things that Happened:

A: We decided to paint a wall in our house
B: Learning more about the horrible "Common Core"
C: End of the school year and sports activities

How I felt about them:
A: Greg left to Boise for a weekend for a continuing education thing, and so I pulled my usual 'surprise change" for when he leaves me, and decided last minute on saturday night to paint the large wall in the front room. The kids were excited and all helped me to do it. I chose a green that is called "jalapeno" and I think it turned out nice. Greg even liked it. It was the first time that I have painted anything in 3+ years since before we moved into the house! 

It's hard to see it here - but the color actually is one of the shades in the couches!

B:I have become involved (by my own choice) with a group of other parents who are also concerned about Common Core. This is a tricky subject as there are many people who either A) don't know anything about it at all or B) feel like 'it's already implemented so we can't do anything about it now' or even worse (in my opinion) C) those who think it is a 'good thing for our educational system'. If you don't know anything about Common Core - I would suggest you do some reading up on it - there is just way too much for me to explain here on this blog about it - but I would happily invite you to attend our next 'Cottage Meeting' where we will explain in a nutshell what is going on and how we can fight against it. Our goal is to get Idaho to stop it's implementation (that we realize has already begun) and give the people and the legislature more time to really investigate it and pull out the 'good parts' of it and get rid of the bad parts of it.  (data collection is so over-the-top it is like we are really living in a futuristic sci-fi book, I swear!)

C:If there is one thing that I try NOT to do, it is to brag. I know people get all wrapped up in how wonderful their children are and try to 'live through them' or whatever. But to be honest, I have mostly been surprised at how seemingly 'easy' it is for my kids to do well in school. I am happy about it, don't get me wrong, only just surprised at how so far they have all done so well. The oldest 5 children (all that are in school) managed to pull off perfect 4.0's. I promise I don't pressure them about it - they just all seem driven to do it. The only thing that I tell my kids is that if they are trying their hardest, then that is all that I expect of them. It is the one thing that I know was helpful to me when I was growing up - the 'no pressure' attitude of 'just do your best'. My parents wouldn't punish me for bad grades or reward me for good ones either. They just always expressed confidence in me and encouraged me to do my best. I hope that it is the right way to go about it all - so far it seems to be working well. We'll see what comes up in the future as I am sure things will always be changing and each child is different. 
   Anyhow - especially Landen is making Greg and I so proud lately. He has the most sticktoitiveness of anyone I know. He has worked so hard for several years to pass off what is called "Famous 1" through "Famous 3". It is a set of tests that they study for and take throughout the year - and you have to pass off one per year in order. He got the last one this month. He had to know and memorize so many things that I could never have done - and I consider myself a pretty decent memorizer. Here are a few of the things that he had to pass off:

What a fabulous son he is. So proud of him and of all of my children for working so hard and doing so well. I am truly blessed.

The oldest four kids also did really well at their end of the year piano recitals.
In SPORTS - Landen finished off his season of Track-n-field and especially loved throwing the discus and Sadie finished off her soccer season by making a bunch of great goals.

Landen throwing the discus!

Not sure how to get this one turned around. Ugh! She is still cute though - even sideways!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Everything has it's OPPOSITE

        There is a famous scripture about 'opposition in all things'. Tonight it hit me. As I was begrudgingly doing the dishes that don't fit in the dishwasher, I was staring out the window to my backyard. I have been so frustrated with the inability that we have to be able to purchase fencing for the remaining two sides of our yard to be able to have a fenced in back yard for my kids and puppy to be able to roam about. I honestly feel like I am going to have a mental breakdown somedays about it. But, I digress. So - as I am staring out back with my hands covered in bubbles and hot water, I notice something. I see Seth and Sadie - and they are kicking a soccer ball to each other. It is quite frigid out.  The dog is curled up under the picnic table near them, and they both have red red cheeks from running and playing. The coolest part of the entire scene, however, is the expressions on their faces. They are totally and completely HAPPY. There is no other way to describe it. I mean - Sadie is laughing and her freckles are nearly dripping off her cute cheeks from joy. Seth is smiling so big and wears an expression of kindness in his eyes and I can tell that he is making her laugh.

   The irony in this situation is that just yesterday evening, those two were going at it pretty hard. I mean - not just an increase in the decibel level in our home, but hands-flying-and-tears-rolling fights. "She hit me first, that's why I slapped her" he says as I lift her shirt up to see a perfect imprint of his hand on her back - all five fingers clearly delineated and horrifyingly bright.

 I have to admit that although it was only a few hours after that fight, when Dad came home from work and invariably asked how things were at home, I told him of the sad events. All of the kids were present at the time.Then suddenly Sadie chimed in, "Well, it was actually pretty cool. I mean, not that he hit me, but that it left a hand print on my back!" Then they both snorted a little chuckle about it. And that was that. I was like, "Seriously, you guys?"

So watching them out there today, playing and running and making each other laugh, well, it made me realize with profundity that maybe we do need to have an opposite to every single thing in our lives. I don't think about it consciously all the time, but I do love the feel of a warm towel or blanket fresh from the dryer when I am cold. I think it is the immediacy of the contrast that brought that one to mind. However, there are many others that I take for granted.

I love to eat, really good food, and lots of it (as evidenced when I walk in front of the mirror *involuntary shudder*). I think that had I never tasted really nasty foods (i.e. caviar, liver, bananas) then I would not appreciate the sweetness and flavor-fulness of the foods I consume.

When it is super hot on a summer day and you are dripping sweat and it's hard to think, then you walk into a house with air-conditioning, and it's like you can't help it but say, "Aaaaah" as you sigh out a deep breath of relief at the improved ambiance.

I could go on and on about lots of different parallels and contrasts to make my point here - but I just feel  grateful for 'opposition in all things' and I know that it is only for our good.

There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon that explains this feeling way better than I can:

"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. "


Thursday, May 9, 2013


We ended April off with the saying 'April Showers Bring May flowers" coming to pass in the form of SNOW showers! Emerson could NOT get enough of that crazy snow coming down on the driveway - after it had literally been warm that same day. He kept running out and looking up into the sky and sticking his tongue out.
(Yes I can see that he is barefoot and pantless  - See earlier post about being a *leftover mom*)
So - what happened throughout April this month....let's ABC it, why don't we?


A: Spring Break/General Conference Quick Visit to Utah
B: Campouts for the Boys
C:  Ward Boundary Changes


A: For the last weekend of our Spring Break, we went on a quick trip to Utah - down on friday and back on Sunday! It happened to be General Conference weekend - so Greg took Seth for his first Priesthood Session. He went with Grandpa Bailey and Landen and Seth - and a few other family members as well. They had a good time.  On Friday night we were able to have a quick visit with our dear friends, the one and only Lee and Liana Kinikini family!  They are so awesome that our two youngest children would have happily gone to live with them after only meeting them for about 5 minutes! No joke! We also had a fast visit with Greg's mom and a few of his cute sisters in Draper. It is fun to see the younger sibs and their cute babies. We also heard for the first time the story of how Greg's mom and his youngest sister were home alone during the day on April 1st, when a man escaped from Police Custody during an interrogation at the police station that is just up the street from them. Well - turns out he decided to run and hide. He did just that - running INTO my MIL's house and hiding INSIDE of her son's bedroom closet in the basement. But, never fear, the brave Paula Bailey grabbed a pair of scissors and chased the perp out of her house!! It was quite the tale and had Greg riled up for a while and wanting to press charges against the Price City Police!

Check out this link to the newspaper article about's legit dude!

During the other sessions we mostly just hung out in Bountiful and watched them on TV. Here are a few candid shots from the morning session...
Even with Emerson on top of him, Greg was able to catch some ZZZZZ's  inspiration!

Getting some more 'deep pondering' time in!

During the break between the 2 sessions on Saturday - we made a trip to the park with all the kids and with my niece and nephew (Madeline and Paul). We played ball, set up a slack-line to walk on, and just let the kids play at the playground. The weather was beautiful - and thanks to Maddy and her camera, we got some great shots! She is just great at capturing those candid and raw moments of life....

B: Greg is really enjoying being a scoutmaster and he once again took the 12-13 year olds on another campout. They try to do them around once a month (give or take). This last one was fairly close by and Seth said he had a great time. Landen went on a biking campout with his age group where he was able to participate in a bike race. He actually took his dad's bike with him since he doesn't really have one of his own right now. Well - imagine my surprise when he came home the next day sporting this new bike.

I was shocked that he had borrowed someone's brand new bike and I was like, "Who's is that?" He just grinned really big and all proud-like and said, "It's mine! I won it!" Turns out that he took 2nd place overall in the race and since the first place was a leader - he was the first youth to cross the line and therefore he WON that brand new bike! I want to just cry sometimes at how providential life seems to be. I am so happy for him and can't think of a soul who deserves it more than he does!

A few days later I was working at the hospital and was there until 4 am.  Before he went to bed for the night, Greg called to tell me not to lock the back door when I got home that night as the boys were "camping out" in the back yard. I guess that they just don't get enough of it with all the camping they do as a Boy Scout troop that they have to forego a comfortable bed inside a warm house for even more time in a tent! Silly kids. So the next afternoon - this is what I see in the makes me a little bit frustrated that they can't even clean up after themselves for cryin' out loud.

I was about to yell at them to come and clean it up right then! And upon close inspection of their mess, this is what I found...

So - then it just melted my heart. I felt so happy that my child would have gone to the effort of taking a little flashlight with him to read his scriptures in the tent in the backyard!

It's moments like these that I know that my kids are better than me! (Not hard to do - but still....)

C: "Ward Boundary Changes" is another way of saying that our ward was divided. In the LDS church this means 2 things - first that there is GROWTH - which is exactly how the Lord wants things to progress in His kingdom (and that is a good thing), and secondly that there is some PAIN that comes from the inherent 'separation' and 'good-byes' that accompany any changes to a Ward family. That is exactly why we call them Ward Families - because you attend church with the same people week after week after week. You have your kids play together. You go to activities during the week together. You play and worship together  - and you end up feeling a great deal of love for those in your ward family.  This change was like a 2 edged sword for me as a Primary President. When the ward changes happened - I "lost" exactly half of my Primary - including a bunch of teachers and leaders. It was sad for me to know I would not be seeing those sweet children every week at church. The other side to that sword is that it lessened the numbers which inherently makes it a more manageable group - less classes to have to staff and easier for me to get to know each child by name and to learn about and love on them even more!  I decided that the best way for me to have closure was to write each child/ teacher a little note and take it to them - so I did! I went around on my bike with kids in tow and handed them out over 3 days. I still miss them, but I have faith that they will really excell and grow in their new ward. What a wonderful thing it is to be a member of this Church! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Most of the time when I watch a movie or TV show where someone is wrongfully accused, I tend to think to myself - "Whatever. They are still guilty in some way". Part of me wants to think that there is no way on earth that people who are actually 100% innocent can be found guilty of something they didn't do.

However, as fate would have it - if I ever do meet someone like that, I will have a measure of empathy for them. What am I talking about? Well - let me tell you a little story.

A few years back - I was driving on my way to go and visit my parents at their home across the street from the Idaho Falls temple. They were living there as they were serving as the President and Matron of the temple at the time. I was in my suburban with babies in the car with me, I was heading west on Broadway. I came to the light to turn right onto Memorial Drive. It was yellow and so I slowed down and turned right. The light went red as I was mostly turned RIGHT into the RIGHT HAND LANE on Memorial. About 5 seconds later I see lights flashing behind me. A cop who had been directly behind me pulled me over.
  So I dutifully pull over and he comes up to me and I am absolutely baffled with what he could possible be pulling me over for. I was thinking to myself how I was certain that the registration was up to date and on the plates and how insurance was up to date and for crying out loud, I even had my seatbelt on.  So he comes up and asks for my license, registration, proof of insurance, etc. As I hand it all to him, here is our conversation...

Cop: "Do you realize that the light was red just now when you turned?"
Me: "Well, it was yellow when I turned RIGHT, and that is why I slowed down and made sure nobody          was in the path. I was under the impression that it is legal to make a right turn on a red light if you check first."
Cop: "Well, I don't know where you are from, but here in Idaho you have to be completely over the crosswalk lines on the road that you are turning onto BEFORE it turns red."
Me: " Ummmm.... (*trying hard to breath and keep my cool and to not laugh at this over-eager officer*) Well, I thought that as long as you were over the first line with the front of your car while it is YELLOW, then you are OK." (And inside I am wanting to yell "EVEN WHEN GOING STRAIGHT THROUGH AN INTERSECTION...THIS WAS A RIGHT TURN FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS.....")
Cop: "I am going to have to issue you a citation for this infraction because the back end of your trailer hitch was not completely over the last line when it turned red."
Me: "O Kaaaay."
Cop:(writes out the ticket and hands it to me)
Me:"Can you please show me where your badge number is written on here?"
Cop:Points it out.
Me: "And where do I go to if I want to contest this?"
Cop: (explains courthouse procedure - seems a little flustered) "Have a nice day!"
Me: "Um Hm."

Seriously - can you believe it? First off, why do cops tell people that right after ruining their day? Do they get some sick twisted pleasure out of it? Secondly - WHAT THE CRAP is that excuse of a ticket?

So - I go to my parents all flustered and tell them what just happened and how I want to go to court and fight this because it is ridiculous. They just listen to me and were a little annoyed for me.

Later I explain to Greg what happened as well. Everyone I tell about it is equally shocked about the frivolous/seemingly made-up excuse for a ticket.

Here's a little tidbit about me that maybe some of you don't know yet: I DON'T GIVE IN EASILY.

My hubby and others were just like, "It's just so much easier to pay the fee and have it be over with."
Well, I couldn't let it rest. So - I begin to do my private investigating into the matter, reading state statutes, codes, laws, etc.  I immediately look up the code for the violation that he wrote on the ticket.
Imagine my surprise when I read the definition of the code that he wrote on my ticket:


What the aitch? Seriously? I read it over and over and asked everyone around me to read the cops' handwriting to double check it and YES - that is what he wrote. I was so disturbed by this. I went to the court to enter my NOT GUILTY plea and to say that I was NOT going to pay the money and to set up a time to meet with the lawyer/judge, etc about rectifying this. Nobody seemed to think it was a big deal - like it was just a silly mistake, etc.

Well here is the point that I want to share with people about this fact - if you have ever just had a 'simple' ticket issued to you and you call the number on the back and just pay the fee - for a speeding ticket or whatever it is... you are ADMITTING GUILT by default when you pay anything.

So what that means is that if I would have simply gone home and been upset about it but just paid the stupid ticket fee to get it over with (which is EXACTLY what my hubby and other 'non-confrontational people I know would have done) - then I would have been admitting guilt to a MISDEMEANOR of being a pedestrian under the influence of drugs or alcohol and it would have been on my record forever and I would never have even known it!!!

So - my court date comes and I take all of my research in and I meet with the legal person who goes over the case before it goes to a judge. Well, just explaining to her the reason that I was pulled over and ticketed for - she nearly rolled her eyes right there and just sorta blew off the situation as an over-zealous cop for whatever reason. Then I showed her what code he had written down on the ticket right next to "failure to yield at red light". She read it out loud and then I showed her the sheet of codes that I had printed up and asked her to read it. I was like, "Can you tell me how a person can be driving a car and a pedestrian at the same time?" She was shocked at the "mistake" and immediately wrote down on her paper that my case was dismissed.

   I was not satisfied at that action. I looked at her in the eyes and told her that while I was appreciative of her common sense in dismissing the case, I also wanted that cop to be reprimanded for his actions/negligence. She said that she would have it brought to his attention.

I went home and felt vindicated and happy that I had done my research and stood my ground. I sort of forgot about the whole incident over the years. Recently I began my application for BYU-Idaho so that I can start the online RN to BSN program. One of the things that I have to do is a Certified Background Check. Today I get the notification that it had gone through to the school. I clicked on the link and clicked on the "view results" tab so I could print a copy for my own records.

Imagine my SURPRISE once again to see a "YES" under the criminal records results.

Bonneville County, Idaho.
Date of infraction, etc.
"Pedestrian Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol".

WHAT THE AITCH? I was so fuming mad about this whole thing. Yes, it does say "dismissed" on there, I do realize that. But what ticks me off is the very fact that it is on my record. Period.
It doesn't even matter that it says dismissed in small letters a few lines underneath it. It matters to me that I even have a freaking criminal record.

So - I am not sure what will be my next step in this. I didn't make it to the courthouse today or to talk with a lawyer. But I am feeling like I want to sue that cop for 'emotional distress' after the amount of sugar intake I have had today. At the very least, I want to get it completely EXPUNGED off of my record. Also - an apology would be nice. I want to go and find that cop and show him a copy of my records and ask him how he would feel if it were his own daughter applying to school or a job or whatever and something completely FALSE were on there like that?

Then after breathing and reflecting for a lot of the day on the matter, I have concluded a few things about myself - that I am easily irritated when it comes to attacking my character since I try my hardest to be of upstanding moral character, and that I stress-eat more than I would like. Also, I decided that I have learned some lessons from this ordeal - that I should have definitely followed my gut feelings in the beginning about fighting it - but I should have also done some following up after it was over to make sure it was completely gone instead of assuming that the government would do the right thing and take care of it.

A part of me also felt like I could turn to my Savior with my feelings of frustration over being wrongfully accused - because of all people who ever were indeed....