Monday, December 27, 2010

In case you were wondering,

Yes, Santa-baby did get me a new camera for Christmas (a little early actually) so now my life can continue, documented.
I just need to take a moment to highlight some skills I've generously passed on to my off spring and I'm not talking about my ability to out eat ANY challenger on Christmas day or the noises of aftermath, of out eating everyone, which could rival an entire rugby team or military salute I would guess.
I'm talking, mad crafting skills. Oh it makes my heart flutter, to be presented with this notebook on Christmas eve.

I love to write and have a notebook on me at all times with lists and plans and thoughts and tons of Asha's doodles.
But why so much love?
Well this book was made from scratch!!
She hand picked a ream of paper in my favorite color, had it cut to size then bought chipboard, also cut to size. She chose stickers I'd love, cos who doesn't love a panda rock band? ("look Mum, the guitar dude is holding a pick, can you see it?")
Then proceeded to use my new, yes I didn't know I was getting it yet, "cinch" tool which punches the holes then binds the book with wire.
Tell me that isn't the coolest flippin thing you've ever seen!!!
Then the melt your heart message inside which I get at least an infinities times a day from her, whenever she can find a scrap of paper.

Oh and while I'm on the subject of gift's. I think Santa-baby needs to be Boyd's new title because I'm sure if I handed him a list as long and extravagant as Marilyn Monroe's, he'd do his best to get it for me.
So here's the thing, did you know my husbands a geek?
I understand some of you may not know that because he is somewhat of a closet geek. He doesn't openly rave about the latest gadgets, although trust me, he knows all about them and whether they are worth having. He was also one of the few geeks to not get beat up in high school but I love Geeks!!! We celebrate them in our house, after all they do end up running the companies and keeping us all globally connected. I am one who just expects certain things to work and for him to take care of all things technical so then why the need to share?
Well every once in a while, he just shocks me with his nerdyness and I think, man that's cool. This occured with one of my Christmas pressies. I had mentioned how much I liked my friends new Pumas, she got them to remind her of me :)I instantly began to covet how cute they were and my hunnies techy brain goes into action. He uses some online tool called "google goggles" to zoom in and blow up an image so he can see exactly the style of shoe then proceeds to order them online for me....
Nerdy or what?

Man I love that guy,I think he used the same nerdyness to find the exact watch that Sandra Bullock wore in the blindside and then got it for me back in June.
Love love love me my Santa-baby nerd :)

Something missing.....

I did really well up to this point.

I remember back when my Dad passed away, how my brain just seemed to think he was at work or out for the day when he wasn't around but there are certain occasions where someone is just NEVER missing. Christmas is one of them....

Spot the little visitor at our table. Still here in spirit.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Baby it's cold outside....

Cold and raining and yet a perfect day to go to Temple Square, or at least half of Utah thought so. Packed!!!!
I absolutely LOVE the light's on Temple Square and since this was the very time and season that Boyd proposed to me, it's only fitting that we go, every year. This year we went inside and saw some of the newer exhibits. I plan to go back after Christmas with my English peeps because there's some pretty cool, newer stuff.
It was amazing how busy everyone was, noisy, visiting, taking pictures and group shots. We sat for some time, just still and looked at the Christus and it was amazing to me, that the noise could disappear in my own head, if I just focused on what we came to see. I think this is a lot like life really, sometimes there's so much noise and goings on, that we don't see what really matters.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

He gave his Son

I will never really comprehend what it means, that God "gave his Son" for me but I think I may now understand, just a little more, how hard that was.
This past week, Boyd and I gave our Son, back to the trusting care of his Heavenly Father, as he uses him to be his hands, in serving and teaching the people of Virginia.
Oh it all sounds very dramatic and like someone died but I can't actually imagine feeling any worse than I did, the few days after he left.
With suitcase in hand, he was whisked away in what seemed like a YouTube video waiting to happen.
(I can just see it, the mini van slows slightly , door slides open and suitcase comes flying out, followed by a young man in suit. As he picks him self up of the floor, he hears the door slam shut and sees some arms wave out the windows as they speed off)

And that was that. No phone call, text message, email. Just wait.
Know that he will be safe.
Know that he will be an excellent missionary.
Know that he is prepared as anyone you've ever known.
Know that nothing can explain your feelings.

Then wait for your heart to stop hurting.......
Just wait.........

Scratching my head....

As per my English Tradition, upbringing and choice, I send out Christmas cards every year. Being a crafter and all that, I make them. I find no burden in this and they are usually my first and most important to-do. I send alot and the postal service are picky about lumpy things so they are usually simple and have a little update about my family since most people getting them don't see us regularly. I like to receive them too so please do send me one :)

Anyway, I just got news from my Mum that a family member of mine called her to complain quite zealously (I'm being polite, he was not) about how disgusting and offensive it was to him that I had send him a Christmas card with all the mumbo jumbo BS of religious..beep beep beep etc. you get my drift.
My first thought was to laugh, I'm not shocked since he's been this kind of "unhappy" his whole life but I did stop and think for a moment, what might be offensive in my card.
*A photo of my family, together, laughing (I do have black fingernails, offensive?)
*I did report that my family is happy and healthy, employed and safe (offensive?)
*I have a son, dedicating 2 years of his life to serve others (offensive?)
*That I have gratitude for things like, scouts, education, good memories (?)
but no, I'm pretty sure it was my reference to Quote"me being grateful for this time of year, to reflect on my Saviors birth and all that my family is blessed with"

Instead of him being grateful that one of his, only 2 nieces (and 2 nephews )had taken the time to send him well wishes, he took it upon himself to upset my Mum by berating her over the phone for my disgusting behavior.

Well I won't apologize, I celebrate with a conscious effort to remember my Savior in ALL my days but especially at this time of year.

I heard this poem and wanted to share.

‘Twas the night Jesus came and all through the house,

not a person was praying, not one in the house.

The Bible was left on the shelf without care,

for no one thought Jesus would come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,

not once ever kneeling or bowing their head.

And Mom in the rocking chair with babe on her lap,

was watching the Late Show as I took a nap.

When out of the east there rose such a clatter,

I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

tore open the shutters and lifted the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

but Angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.

The light of His face made me cover my head.

Was Jesus returning just like He had said?

And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,

I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand,

was written the name of every saved man.

He spoke not a word as He searched for my name.

When He said “It’s not here,” my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love,

He gathered to take to His Father above.

With those who were ready He rose without sound,

while all of the others were left standing around.

I fell to my knees but it was too late,

I’d waited too long and thus sealed my fate.

I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight,

Oh if only I’d known that this was the night.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear.

The coming of Jesus is now drawing near.

There’s only one life and when comes the last call,

we’ll find out that the Bible was true after all.

Merry CHRISTmas everyone.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thank You Cell Phone

You may be the worst creation of our generation and the route of all evil, according those older people but you have been a lifeline on many occasions. Literally, those calls that got us to a hospital in a hurry or more importantly to transfer money when I just had to have those boots that were beyond my budget.
I have often captured a moment in time with my little camera and so I have to share these latest snaps.

Jordan's Road rash - He had a motocross accident, big jump, came down sideways, snapped his handlebars. Messed up his shoulder but it seems to be improving. He had ALL his safety gear on luckily.
Ridiculous bills coming from ER, make me wonder why I budget at all.

My little Honda Fit, ploughing it's way home after the first big storm.

Some things are just awesome to me still, no matter how many times I see them. The first, fresh, untouched snow and sunshine together.

I thought this Christmas tree was fun.

Finally I got rid of my long mop and feel "Hot" again :)

So I love my little phone and I DO switch it off during movies.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lost my camera.

My life is packed with events so when it comes to blogging, I grab my camera., download my pics and am quickly reminded of all the fun things we have done lately.
The problem arises, when i loose said camera!! It's like my life hasn't happened. I have no recollection of anything.
That may be a good thing because some of the happenings of the past few weeks are things I want to completely forget,
being told your not welcome at the family Thanksgiving party,
2 trips to the ER
A day spent with another son in surgery
A car breaking down on the day of the record blizzard that didn't happen.
Cars being trapped in the garage by a broken door.

I could go on but I have forgotten.....
Fortunately, there was one event that was worthy of getting out Boyd's "real" camera.
I made pies from scratch!!
Banana cream, was a hit.

The main benefit of making my own pie was that, as good as that crust tasted, I couldn't get over the fact that I had put LARD in it, solid coagulated animal fat!!! I just couldn't eat any but a sliver.

It was also a consensus that none of us actually like roasted turkey and we would much prefer a chicken.
There really are bonuses to having your own family get togethers.

We hung out and vegged until heading to the theater to watch "tangled" cute show.

So there it is, I have no record of The festival of trees, my new haircut, shopping for missionary attire, large amounts of snow or my favorite lunch out with all my scrap friends. They must've not happened.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How great shall be your joy.

If you bring but one soul unto me.
I always thought that one soul was me but watching Curt make the choice to enter the house of the Lord was one of those moments of joy that make all the years of worrying and wondering, worth it.

There is such a peace in knowing our children look up for their guidance and not around about them. It was an honor to share this occasion with Curt.

I have to say that this day was possible because of the Priesthood that has guided Curt on his journey to manhood. I thank God daily for the blessing that Boyd has been to me and to our family. He walks, quietly in the ways of the Lord and leads us by example.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


So my sweet friend, who I met online through a healthy transformation group. Planned and gifted a cruise for her parents 40th wedding anniversary ( Big cheer for 40) She and a few of her friends also celebrated their 40 birthdays this year and so she organized quite a large group to go on this Western Caribbean cruise.
Here's the bummer, her boss (she's a pharmaceutical rep) canceled ALL leave until February due to a new product launch, talk about being slave to "the man". Anyway, with her newly transformed good attitude, she let it go, knowing there was little she could do but feel bad, and we choose to not feel bad. SO........

Skip forward a month or 2 and I finally meet my friend face to face in Denver ( That reminds me I need to blog about it) We are like soul sisters, crazy similar. We like fries and ice cream, have unhealthy relationships with buildabears and almost the same haircut.

Well we fly home on Monday and by Wednesday she calls me, missing me of course ;-) but says "so the cruise that I couldn't go on, well they have delayed our launch and now I can go!" yipee I'm so excited for her then she says "BUT...... my husband can't get off work so I have a spot, bought and paid for and you just need to get there" LOL that's me laughing.
" When?"
"What this Monday?"
"Yes the 5 day away Monday"

How many reasons could I think of not to go? well the list was long and detailed not to mention my expired passport which I have to renew at the British Embassy but you know me...
and that was that.
I flew to Miami, my awesome, favorite of Boyd's cousins, actually my favorite of his entire extended family. Jenny picked me up at around Midnight, took me to her home and we chatted til the wee hours, Man I love that girl. Then she gave me a morning tour of Miami beach with her cute little boy Porter.

I think Miami may have trumped California for my favorite place but I would need better clothes if I lived there.
Then I met my friend and had the perfect week.

We worked out everyday.

Check out my treadmill numbers!!! (There are in KM ph and look well impressive compared to Mph)
There are plenty healthy food options if you choose them. We did.

and I had the time of my life.....think dirty dancing....Patrick Swayze...this was totally like that complete with end of holiday show and dance people and fancy waiters and bingo.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I like smiling, smilings my favorite (qt ELF)

If you lack smiles, might I suggest a dog.
Always happy to cuddle, kiss, doesn't care if you smell or left him all day alone or even forgot to feed him til 10 o'clock. Better than a build-a-bear or a snuggie. Quick to forgive. you can totally make fun of them when they get a haircut, I mean you can't do that to anyone else ( Especially if you happen to be the hair cutter)
Yep, love my dogs, they just make me smile.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baby turns 9 :(

I keep telling my kids they aren't allowed to grow any bigger but just like when I tell them to clean up there room or go to bed, they just don't listen to me.
I asked Asha how come she listened to Dad and not me and she said "cos he gives us punishments" Boyd's not a mean guy in case you were wondering but apparently his method of motivation is a little better than mine so guess what.....
Next time Asha grows an inch or a year older, she's in big trouble!!!!

We stop the traditional "party" at age 8 since it ends up being a riot of kids we don't know or even like a whole lot (oops did I just say that)in fear of leaving someone out.
We do the "take a special friend somewhere special" option and Asha chose .....drum roll.....Build a bear. Of course she did, she has gone there on her birthday every year since she was born. Lily and Tanner are her besties right now although she does have a couple of buds at school that she adores (little miss social. It was good time and we had to finish with sees suckers (um um good)

This girl is just a mini me, what can I say. messy, creative, social, loves to eat, boy am I in for teenage trouble.

Our Little Picasso

Asha did, what any creative child would do with an old cardboard box, when asked to take it out to the rubbish. She created an art gallery!! This occurred within about 5 minutes of being asked.

Not everyone is smart, someone has to decorate, that would be our Asha.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Letter

As a Mum who's heart is full, I have not words to describe this feeling.

My sweet baby, Elder Curtis Ross Hickman will be given back to his Heavenly Fathers Care for 2 years as he serves the people of Richmond Virginia. He enters the Missionary Training Center on December 15th 2010.

Making The Climb

Living in Utah, I am surrounded by mountains. People always told me the mountains are to the East but you can literally see mountains all around so it took me a while to figure out a mountain from a MOUNTAIN!! LOL.
I arrived in the State at night in May of 1996 and my then 3 & 4 year old sons were sleeping. The next morning, or at least when the sun came up, my jet lagged boy, looked out the window and said (in his best British accent)" Mummy, these hills are massive" Indeed they are and ever since I have desired to climb to the top.

I know people do this and I have always had an excuse of time, pregnancy etc but really I just wasn't in good enough shape and it scared me, it's not an easy task. 4500 feet to a total of 11,000 ft. 8 miles each way, approx 8 -10 hours hiking with your water/food etc on your back. possible wind storms, heat..... I was scared.

After starting the Transformation challenge in February and reading about setting goals and mapping a course, (they used a mountain reference) I knew now was the time and I really did have to plan a date based on least chance of snow etc.
I mentioned it to a few friends and before long I had many people interested. I sent out the invite and a total of 18 gave me a maybe, then 10 for sures and in the final week I got excuse after excuse until my husband, son and one neighbor where all that was left to join me. I thought the neighbor was a rock star til I got the text at 6am.... So the 3 of us headed out and it couldn't have been a more perfect day.

It was long and hot but my body worked hard for me, the only breaks I took were because of my families varying pains, all of which they pushed through and made it to the summit.I listened to the LDS General conference in my ears and heard so many references to things symbolic of what I was doing at that very moment. The last mile, we literally climbed rocks and I was more terrified about the descent than anything.
By the last hour I was jogging along the trail, just full of energy and life and I can only imagine now the rush I will get when I cross that finish line in Denver after completing my first half marathon.

So no medal for this mountain but a huge goal accomplished with 2 of my favorite people. It was a joy to spend the day with Curtis before he heads out to climb a mountain of his own.

Many wish to start this journey, many quit before making it to the summit. Yes it is hard but we CAN do hard things. I challenge you to get out and do something hard for you. This is how we grow.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Everything but the soundtrack

I know some of you have been waiting for this blog but honestly, I'm not sure how to put into words what we experienced here this past Sunday.

I feel like we spent 24 hours in a movie! That's what I get for stating recently that my life is so boring it wouldn't make a movie.

It began Sunday afternoon as a smell of smoke and a few signs of a possible wildfire on the other side of the mountain where we live. Within a few hours we could see billowy smoke and small flames.

We loaded our car with our dogs, supplies and photographs and watched in wonderment with neighbors as we saw fire trucks and police cars hare up the street.
At this point we really had no concern at all.
We stood around watching with neighbors, woo hoo something exciting on a Sunday afternoon but eventually the smoke was stinging our eyes and we could feel ash landing on us. We had gotten word from a neighbor, who had left her car at a barricade, at the entrance to our neighborhood, that they were evacuating homes and if we left we could not come back in. Suddenly, it wasn't as entertaining.
We received a reverse 911 call, then bull horns declaring the need to evacuate. We were all still quite calm at this point, surely just a precaution. Then a hammer on the door from authorities and we were told to leave. We did so, again calmly without panic and went by the local school which was set up as a make shift shelter. I really just wanted to know if there was a number to call for info and who knew that twitter would be the most accurate way of communicating. Cell phone service stopped working right away due to excess usage which was a quick lesson in emergency preparedness. Walkie talkies are handy.
I had arranged for my older boys to meet us at a safe place as they were in separate vehicles and that's where I headed. As I pulled out of the school lot, I could see the flames quickly coming over the mountain and had the thought that this was not going to be a safe place for long but still calm, I drove away thinking that fire was heading straight for our little cove and feeling confident the firemen would take care of it. I headed down the main road whilst hundreds of cars headed towards the fire, they were lined up and parked and sitting on roofs like it was a drive in movie. I suppose the sight was quite magnificent to someone who didn't actually live here.

(My home sits 3/4 mile between this pond and the fire.)

(My home is directly below the point of this V.)
I sat in a parking lot, waiting like a mother duck for her ducklings to cross the road. My heart was beginning to be troubled but I assured myself that I had no attachment to material things and yes, in case you were wondering, I had ALL my scrapbooks with me.
The flames spread fast and thick and as the sun went down, the orange glow was no longer a beautiful magnificence but the reality that our home and the homes, possibly lives, of our whole neighborhood were in danger.
This was my view.

(My home sits in a cove behind the lowest point of this flame.this picture is taken about 7 miles away)

Curtis had not arrived, I called him only to find he had headed further up into the canyon to help a friend pack he was on his way now and described the smoke so thick and orange that he couldn't see back into our cove. Jordan also had to head towards the fire as his wallet and ID etc was in his car in a parking lot. The roads were barricaded at this point to try and keep a track for emergency crew.
Suddenly not so calm.
Asha was upset, her whole family of soft toys were in that fire and to an eight year old that was devastating but we reassured her they were having a fun party with no grown ups home.
Jordan described this as he sat for 1 hour in a 3 mile procession.
"There is something eerie about sitting in blocked traffic while people walk along side you with back packs and horses on lead reigns (too freaked out to get in a trailer)" Like I said it was like a movie with no soundtrack.

Once my kids arrived we had to make a decision where to go. ( We had so many offers for us and our animals, it was overwhelming).Honestly, we sat there for hours but it felt like minutes. While I had accepted that all I needed was right here with me, it was still sickening to not know what tomorrow would hold or how our life would be from this point. Numb I stared as the fire looked like hot lava crawling down and enormous mountain.

We prayed in faith. Surely if God could part the red sea, he could blow this fire in another direction. I knew he could, I believed it with all my heart and actually I felt peace. Having been evacuated from our summer camp ( not nearly as dramatic) with torrential rain and mudslides, yet seeing the ground solid and dry as we drove, I knew we would be protected.

We have truly been blessed, I have seen miracles, I had my prayers answered. I have gratitude to so many. If I was in need of humbling, then this did it. I cannot imagine what that fire looked like to the personnel working through the night to put it out.

Today, I sit in my home, with green grass and ALL my neighbors survived, although a few homes did not. The community outpouring of gifts and love is also a site to see.
1600 homes evacuated and only 83 people that needed to stay at the shelter. Food from all local businesses and now clothing for those still in "HOT" areas.

As the days have passed I have heard, speak of blame or should've/could've but in my little corner of the woods, we speak of gratitude and miracles because we truly saw the hand of God protect us, our homes and the many many people would worked to put that fire out.

Did I mention my Mum is visiting from England? Welcome to Utah!! This is the most beautiful place on earth. We are a community that know's how to love and serve and care for one another. I feel blessed that I got to witness the power of God and also the nature of man this week, because I'm happy to report that for the most part, it is GOOD.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The old me.

Every once in while, my old self appears it's ugly, judgmental, all knowing face, in an effort to better the world with my truth telling mouth. Today, I leave all my positive, see the light and love of all things furry, as I share with you my, not humble at all, opinion on modesty and clothes of our time.
Having recently returned from my faboosh trip to Cali, I found myself humming the song "California girls, they're undeniable..." Undeniably the worst wearers of daisy dukes I've ever seen. I have quipped and complained my fair share about why on earth, I'm the only one on the beach in knee length shorts and a t.shirt at 90 degrees, when trust me, I could totally rock the little white skirt with a boobtube and cowboy hat, yet the term "modesty" comes to my mind. It always felt like a rule I wasn't convinced on but now I have started to see this more as for our own protection. I don't mean I stay covered to protect some sado, perv from checking out my hotness (I told you this was Un humble, not a word...correction,for my Mum ;-) lacking in humility)But to protect my eyes from having to see someone else s nasty varicose veins and cellulite legs.
Clisty commented that the only people who look good in daisy dukes, are 19 year old boys and I have to agree, I saw one!! No Joke. Yet this seems to be the flavor of the month in style. Have mercy. I cannot tell you how many people I saw that would've been stunning in a longer short but that opted for the DD. While I'm on the subject of latest styles and my inner B... juices are flowing, I need to give my honest opinion on "Designer" jeans and the boutique.
Having been blessed from birth, or so all the boys told me, with a ghetto booty, (that is, large butt, small waist) sister got back, junk in the trunk, however you refer to it, It has been a beast, trying to find jeans that fit. They always have a huge gaping flap in the back, that is useful for smuggling popcorn into the theater but not much else. So I went in search of "designer jeans".
This term used to mean, you got a jean made carefully by a quality designer that actually worked with people and didn't just order in a job lot from south America, made by 5 year olds. The result, was a fab pair of jeans that cost an arm and a leg but not as much as the 5 pairs combined you have hanging that don't fit. (When I say fit, I mean the fit that would have an ex boyfriend weeping at the thought of having overlooked you for the blond who now wears DD's and a boob tube and just shouldn't.)So hear I am after my first beautiful experience, a size or so smaller and in need of new jeans. The term boyfriend jean, could best describe mine since they would probably fit Boyd (my Boyfriend)
So my complaint. Now ALL the stores sell "designer jeans" only they are not, they are just name brands with huge price tags, probably shipped from South America and fit just as crappy as the jeans you could buy at any walmart. To add to my complaining they are all covered in pockets and studs that say, "hey look at my butt, flattened and sausaged into these jeans I paid too much for, in an attempt to look awesome and unique, except don't notice they are the same as my neighbors". I can't tell you how often I see gorgeous girls in ill fitting jeans that they paid a fortune for.
Now onto the boutique. It used to be a small store that had one of a kind clothes. You went there because you were guaranteed that whatever you found in your size, was not replicated in any other size or color, again, warranting the higher price tag. Today the boutique is a slew of angel wings studs and rhinestones which, as adorable and cute as they are, all start to look the same, therefore making all people wearing them lemmings (I confess I have one, appropriate when riding a Harley, me thinks.)
So why does this frustrate me so?
After all, I really have detached from caring two hoots about what anyone else is wearing (you will notice this if you see my kids around)but it leaves me high and dry when I am trying to find new clothes that look good, stylish, cover everything, make me feel good and age appropriate ( yes I'm referring to you, 45 year old in skin tight angel t.shirt and hoodie with jeans with thick white stitching)
that also is a hazard to my eyes. I can't tell you how many sales assistants have told me I should wear the stuff made and marketed for teens but I'm not ready to step into the Relief Society box jacket either.
Such a dilemma.

Case in point, someone who could benefit from some modesty or I'm not talking about Boyd, look harder. It hurts my eyes so.

Ok I'm done. Back to my bright sprightly self. Hope you all have a fantabulous day.