Saturday, May 30, 2015


Finally. The long-awaited PROM weekend arrived.
Rooney and I drove to Springfield to her date Z's house, where they dressed, primped and we took photos. 
When Z didn't step up quickly enough for pictures, his younger brother ran to his room, put on his new suit, and stepped in.  
At 12 years old, he was a handsome stunt double. 
Then everyone relaxed and the pre-prom formalities began.

They had a great time.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Eighth Grader went to Washington D.C.

Tradition in our town dictates that the eighth grade class spends a week each Spring exploring Washington, D.C. It's an adventure that our kids LOVE. Leeli is our fifth child to embark on this journey with her classmates, and was not disappointed. She had a good time and came home exhausted.

 They spent their days touring the museums, monuments and historical sites, and their evenings doing more of the same plus an evening dinner/dance cruise on the Potomac River.
 The only two negatives that she reported were:
 1. School dances are lame compared to church youth dances
2. The construction on the Capitol building made for a disappointing back drop to their class picture.

She said her favorite part was visiting all the monuments and memorials. She loved the Holocaust Museum and
the memorial to FDR the best. 
We can't wait to go back.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

SOCCER continues to be the thing.

Morning Boy is comfortable in goal.
 He works hard,
 gives it his all
 and makes some impressive saves.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

San Diego Status: ARRIVED

 Last night after dinner Mr. Dub gasped with delight in the dining room. I immediately turned towards him to see what happened.
An email had arrived in his inbox from the mission president of the San Diego mission, and he was reading aloud, informing me that our missionary had arrived, and there were pictures to prove that this was, indeed, a happy affair.
She did not arrive alone, as you can see. The mission president and his wife are seated in the front row, and all of the new arrivals are seated and standing around them. I spoke briefly with her on the phone in the morning, as she was waiting to board her flight from Salt Lake to San Diego. She was excited, a bit nervous and happy to be on her way. It was fun to hear her voice, and then even better to see these pictures.

Monday, May 25, 2015


Five years ago over the long Memorial Day weekend 
we had a girls weekend, and my nephew Ben tagged along. He never complained about hanging out with a gaggle of noisy, laughing girls. He was patient like that. I also think he instinctively knew how happy we are when we spend time together. He picked that happy weekend to start his mission in heaven, and I think, although he knew our hearts would break, he also knew that we would have happy memories to look back on.
I like to spend a little time each year thinking about Ben around Memorial Day. This year I went with my parents to his grave site so we could spruce up his spot for summer. I imagine he turned a few somersaults and had a few giggles knowing how much he is loved.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday Night Temple Date

There's no place like the temple.
My sweet friend Annabelle and I found ourselves there together on Saturday night for her own endowment. I hope we'll find ourselves there together again soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Come in, MTC, do you copy?

It was radio silence for seven days.
I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't a teensy bit anxious about hearing from Sweet Mesquite--my mother heart needed confirmation in the affirmative that the eagle had not only landed, but that she was settling comfortably into her new routine.
I'm happy to report that I received the big 10-4 yesterday afternoon. Not only is there no need for a distress signal, the eagle is SOARING.
 Our little missionary sent several emails full of happy details and pictures about her days in training. She has been assigned to a district of eight new missionaries, and has been paired up with a companion from the local area, Sister Carlson. They became fast friends. During their second (and final) week in the training center, they will serve as the leaders of the sister zone. She said it's been exhilarating to walk around and say "Welcome to the MTC!" to all of the missionaries with orange dots on their tags, indicating new arrivals.
 They will both be headed to San Diego next Tuesday, along with three others. The remaining three of the group of eight have been assigned to the Washington D.C. mission. (not to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, as the next picture might lead you to believe)
She spends hours and hours in a classroom, but she assures us that time flies by. She reports that the food is good, gym time is fun, and she has even bumped into a friend from home.
 I know the relationships she is forming with these young adults who are commissioned and committed to the same ideals and beliefs she holds so dear will be forever friendships.
Mesquite was excited to report that as of yesterday, for the first time in the history of the Provo MTC, there were 52% sister missionaries, and 48% elders. Girl power!
Her next email will come from San Diego.
Signal is clear. Roger that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Families (and we hope ice cream) are forever

Five and a half years after we were married for time, we were married for eternity. It was May 20, 1995, and we were living in sunny Sacramento, California. Some local friends and a few family members made the two hour trip to the Oakland temple, where we were sealed to each other and to our two sweet little boys.
A lot has happened in the twenty years since that day in Oakland, and we're still working hard to keep the promises we made.
 We're banking heavily on the fact that our marriage is going to last forever. And that we'll be able to continue celebrating milestones with ice cream for just as long.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

meanwhile: LIFE

It's been a week since we launched Sweet Mesquite into the western frontier and missionary training. I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about her OFTEN. We haven't heard anything yet; we're eagerly awaiting the first report and know that it will be full of good things. Meanwhile, life on the home front is so full, that we hardly have time to stop and fret.  I'm reading a few good books in between activities--I love audio books while I'm tripping around town in my taxi-van. The garden is planted! We're enjoying a colorful late Spring. There are lilacs on my dining room table, and I can smell them in every other room of the house, they're so wonderfully fragrant.
Spring soccer is underway, and our red-shirted goalkeeper is my favorite part of being a spectator. 

 Rooney performed in the High School POPS concert and won an award for her outstanding musicianship. It may have been the last time she'll be playing the tenor sax in a High School ensemble because she has so much more she wants to fit into her schedule before she graduates in a couple of years. If it was her last performance, it was a good one.
 T.B.B.E. (the best baby ever) flew in for a visit.

 I enjoyed nibbling as much of him as I could.
We also enjoyed a visit from the party bus of New Hampshire.
They don't travel lightly, but my sister makes it look like a cakewalk. I nibbled some of her busy boy, too.

 We broke out Angela and have been tripping around town in the warm sunshine and fresh breezes.
(we got in a few rides before Mesquite left)
 Leeli's AAU season has come to an end.
She played with a great group of girls and was lucky enough to have my co-hort, the other Mrs. Swiftcomb, for a coach.
Not driving to Danvers and Lowell twice a week sure made it an easy season for me.
 There's MORE! Building a deck, repairing a pool, painting bedrooms, teaching seminary and piano lessons, staying on top of the yard work, house work and laundry... it never stops.
A crazy, chaotic home is my comfort zone. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MTC: she's IN.

Our missionary made it--arrived in Salt Lake City, spent the night in Provo, and got dropped off at the Missionary Training Center right on time.  Yonder and Teeny live a stone's throw away. They provided a happy send off. It was a good day.
They barely got her to turn around and give them
a farewell wave, as she was READY to get started.

First: the MTC
Next: San Diego!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mission Launch: a success

 Everyone left school or took off work to make the drive into Boston to say goodbye to S.M. at the airport.
It was FINE! MUCH easier than saying goodbye to Yonder all those years ago...
Maybe it was because she was not our first missionary. Maybe it was because she was SUPER excited to finally get started. Maybe we just felt like we were slipping on a comfortable pair of shoes. There were a few tears, but mostly we couldn't wait to launch our missionary onto her eighteen month journey.
Off she goes!