Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Letter to November

Dear November,

I'm happy to see you now.  I really appreciate the change in weather you bring, all the leaves you drop on the ground, the winds that you blow, the snow that you sometimes let fall, and then the sun that you sometimes shine.

I didn't like you for a long time.  You once marked the full month of unemployment, then you marked the 1 year and 1 month of no job, then 2 years and 1 month and then 3 years and 1 month, then there was last year when you had us stay in an empty house for a little while so we could rent out ours.  That wasn't so fun because you also had me feeling not-so-well and with a suspicion that a little one was on it's way. I remember because I kept thinking that if I didn't take a test then I wouldn't be pregnant. How funny is that? Last of all you gave us the preparations we needed to make a move to another state.  Thank you for that.

After all is said and done, you have brought me great joy this year and everything to be grateful for. I see the beauty in all you bring, the memories that come whenever you are around.  I look forward to making more memories with you, but can we make some of them good ones? Thank you for the trials, lessons, beauty, and joyful reunions that come whenever you are around.  Not a day goes by now that I am not grateful for. So keep on coming.  I look forward to our visits, now and in the future.


Friday, October 17, 2014


When the witches are out at Gardner Village, we hear them beckon for us to come. Even though our favorite candy store is gone, the magic of the season is not and that baby is one cool chick.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer of 2014

Summer break for the kids wasn't much of anything.  Having a new baby and still trying to get the house unpacked and organized left all of us just tired.  We watched a lot of Netflix and spent a lot of hours playing computer games.  We did go to the library a few times, the park a few times, swim lessons a few times, the ballpark a few times, and the reservoir a few times just to break up the monotony of this year's summer break.  Sam learned to ride a bike, Emeline learned how to play water polo, Jonathan learned that EFY is actually fun and mowing lawns is a profitable summer job, and Eliza learned that she is loved and adored by everyone.  We spent the last of summer break at Lagoon, which, when you haven't been there in quite a few years, is quite thrilling.  Sam our 6 year old thoroughly enjoyed all the rides we were able to go on and Jon our 14 year old we got to finally laugh uncontrollably as we span on the Twilt-A-Whirl (he's not one for thrill rides).  

Looking back, it wasn't much, but it was good. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Enjoying the nights, enjoying the days

My life revolves around this little one. I love it.

It's a big change for me from the past few years where the older kids can take care of themselves and I can come and go if I need to and the nights of sleep were hardly interrupted by feedings and changings.

I have always loved my newborns, but, but, this one is different. I can't get enough of her. I will say that maturity in motherhood has hit me square in the head and the mark it left is beautiful.

Thank you Sarah for taking the time to take these pictures. I cherish them.

Friday, June 13, 2014


everything is perfectly right in my world today

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The School Year

This school year seemed to go on forever, but then ended all too soon. I guess that is how it feels when you move and it takes forever to get the kids enrolled in their new schools.  I thought my teenager would explode when he spent three weeks of doing nothing but wait to start a new school and make new friends. What an interesting school year it has been too. One child went from enjoying school tremendously to pretending to not feel well Every Single Day. Another child going from average grades to terrible grades and having three to four hours of homework every night.  Another child having to go to the high school to take a class and then travel to the junior high to finish out the other classes and then spend two periods helping in the office because there were no electives to take during the school day. What a complete joke, but it was what it was.  We were willing to accept whatever was given to us, we were just so grateful to have a husband and father with a job again.

The end of the school year was completely different too.   Moving back and getting their old teachers again made all the difference in attitude for the "I don't feel well" child, the terrible grades child, and the mopey teenager.   Now we are enjoying day three of our summer break by doing nothing at all, but taking a break and waiting for the newest member to arrive and turn everyone's world upside down.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I Totally Nailed It.

I believed I could take down a few notes about sewing some crib sheets,  (in my case right now, bassinet sheets) take some sheets I bought at a thrift store, cut and sew them just like the tutorial said, easy peasy even for a beginner sewer.  I totally nailed it on this one.
 Good thing I had plenty of inexpensive fabric to work with.  I laughed at my results, showed it to the world of Facebook and set off to make another one with a few major adjustments. This time it worked. I do love the results and in the end it was really easy peasy lemon squeezey, so I made two of them. And when the crib mattress comes I will try my hand at making sheets for that too.

Friday, May 9, 2014


Laughter, giggles and purring was all I could hear. The neighbor's cat stayed just out of their reach underneath our bed.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ready to Bloom

I planted a lilac bush a few years past, a transplant from a neighbor's garden. Year after year waited for it to bloom and nothing. Was this a complete waste? No, cause it finally BLOOMED this spring! The purple color of the flower is quite regal and royal to look at, the smell, delicious. Now I could just go ahead and show this picture and you would think "how pretty and look at that display, it's perfect".
Or I could show you this picture with some little messiness in the surroundings, still not so bad.
 Or I could span back even more and show the entire surroundings.
This is the mess we are living with at the moment, or weeks or years. But it is a good reminder for me to remain focused on what the beautiful moments are. The mess may still be there for now, but cleaning it all up can be put on hold.  There is beauty everywhere and no matter what it is surrounded by, or however long we have to wait for it, it will come and it will be there, waiting to be noticed and admired. I think the same can be said of life, marriage, motherhood, friendships, and family.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Eliza's Sweater

I finished this sweater back in March, I think it turned out well. I did use the wrong size needles and the wrong type of yarn, but what the heck, it will work.  At the time that I finished this project I didn't have much else prepared for this little one's arrival, since then I have made some more preparations, but still far from calling myself ready, both physically and mentally. Even if the long to-do list is slowly shrinking, her arrival will be a welcomed one and there is nothing like a close deadline to get those last minute projects finished.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How can one be so happy yet so extremely tired at the same time.

I don't know even how to begin this changing chapter in our story.  For a very good reason I have been neglecting this blog. Just been very very busy because we moved! Again!

Mr. Jewels surprised me one evening not too long ago by telling me he got a job in Utah and we could go back home. It took me a while for my little brain to put together all that he just said. I walked around in shock and enjoyment for the next couple of days wondering if this was really happening. And it did! We moved back to our home, he started working the Monday after we returned, our stuff came that same Monday and we have been once again unpacking and sorting and getting used to yet another new but familiar routine. It's not easy unpacking and getting ready for a newborn and that's where the exhaustion sets in, but I have received plenty of help and some delicious meals to help push ourselves in getting it all done. It doesn't seem like such a daunting task when there is joy involved.

This was a very unexpected blessing from our Heavenly Father.  Sometimes you ask and ask and ask for a certain blessing and once it is given you are truly grateful for it and you stop asking and start thanking. We felt very blessed to have a job after such a long time of not having one, and although we were away from close friends and family we knew that Heavenly Father would help us to feel comfortable with the change in scenery.

I am so grateful for this next unexpected journey and the next one and the next one, whatever they may be.

Friday, April 4, 2014


When you live in the Garlic Capital of the World you HAVE to at least ride in one.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Words that inspire

There are so many times throughout life that you need to take two steps into the dark before you can see the light.  As a husband and wife, we went down many roads believing it was what we were inspired to do only to find out it was the wrong road and the other way was the right road. I am grateful for my neighbor and friend who told me about this story given by Jeffrey R. Holland. She shared it with me at a time where we were just about to jump ship. I am so grateful we didn't. Mr. Jewels and I learned so much and even though that learning process was not in the least bit joyful, these lessons hold a very tender spot in my heart and will forever remain with me.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Step One-Make Bassinet Mattress

Bassinet all put together
This bassinet has been in the family for a number of years.  It was custom made for my older sister when she was a baby and that was the last time I believe it was used. I tried selling it at a yard sale before we moved (I thought we were done having babies), but it never sold. I think it may have been divine intervention.  Soon after the yard sale I found out we were expecting our fourth child.  I was excited to get to use it and keep in the family, only one slight problem, the mattress would need to be custom made.

I found some great tutorials on the web and for a lot cheaper than buying one. I set off to the fabric store with my coupons and purchased 2 inch thick foam, flannel-backed vinyl and heavy duty thread.

Measuring the foam with Emeline
I admit this wasn't the best sewing project I've done, but it works, who cares about looks, it's done and I have lots of extra foam to make something else.  The total amount I spent was around $34.00, actually a lot less than that if you take into account the amount of foam actually used for the project. Now I just have to find bumper for the bassinet, that will be step two in this process.  I am excited to use and see my sleeping baby in this beautiful bassinet. She better love it.
Vinyl Measured and Sewn

Emeline is super excited for a little sister

Finished mattress

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Place for Everything

With kids I've learned to overlook clutter, but when we moved into this tiny house I wasn't going to permit it anymore, well maybe just a little bit. I do need some organization especially when it comes to the kitchen. I had found this great idea on a website for a great and cheap alternative to the classic kitchen drawer organizer at really a fraction of the cost. I bought 3 wood yard sticks at Lowe's each for about 84 cents, measured what I needed, cut the pieces to size and hot glued them in, now I could have gone a step further and sanded off all the blue print, but who has time for that. Yay for organized drawers. My mind can function better now that I don't have to rummage through the whole drawer just to find a spoon for my cereal.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Progress Being Made

Uncomfortable progress, but progress it is. Some strange things have happened to my body during this pregnancy that I didn't have with any of the others. I'm blaming it on my age.
29 Weeks along, 76 give or take days to go.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Sometimes we all just need a day off, especially when you're little.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why not here?

Technology is a wonderful and amazing thing. Living just 30 miles from the top headquarters of so many tech companies you would think we could get the best of the best out here. Not so. It rather is quite ridiculous. We spent weeks and days waiting for some type of service for TV and internet. We finally figured it out by talking with neighbors with what they do and it is still really ridiculous, no unlimited data packages available, no Comcast and no Charter service just in this neighborhood where we live. It is available just a few neighborhoods across the road. Mr. Jewels has spent many minutes on the phone trying to get updates, but to no avail.

So in the mean time we have succumbed to checking our usage of data each day so we don't go over our plan, which also means no watching Netflix or our favorite PBS series of Sherlock or Downton Abby on the internet after the kids go to bed.
The other is no more listening to Pandora all day long and with no CD player or radio in the home it gets a little too quiet for me. I need my music.

So off to the store we went to purchase a cd player/radio that I could have in the kitchen, but instead we found this little thing. It works great. Once you get the hang of putting all of your favorite CD's on the computer and then onto to the phone, I can listen to what I want where I want. I couldn't leave the store without purchasing this great movie either. I read the book and loved it. We stayed up late to watch it and this time we let the kids stay up late too so they could watch it as well. There was no complaining about that.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Fight for Happiness

There are still those days of feeling sad and low. It may be homesickness, pregnancy blues, tiredness, self-pity, financial woes, unhappy kids, but no matter what I can blame it on, it doesn't make it go away. It's these times that I reflect upon the struggle and fight for happiness in a life that isn't perfect and complete, when I am brought back to the reality that this time is for learning and growing.  Learning to be happy and at peace with where my life is right now. I try to do things right and I have learned that even if I try to do things right and keep the commandments it doesn't mean I will always be free from conflict, but I can be given the happiness that the Lord gives during those times of conflict. 
One very important fight for happiness I have taken to heart is learning the power of compassion. I get it now.  I love this video presentation that demonstrates the difference between sympathy and empathy. I may not always be the most the compassionate person, but I am working on it. So when you are having one of those days, just know that it may help you have empathy for someone you know who may be having one of those days as well. What makes something better is connection.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Walking Group

A few of the ladies in the ward go walking the hills above our home every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I usually make it on Wednesdays and Fridays, cause these hills are steep hills and I usually lag behind and just watch the street ahead of me as I walk focusing on breathing and not giving up. I don't think I would be able to find my way back anyway without someone with me as the guide. Friday's walk was still hard but easier than normal. The lady that usually goes really fast wasn't there and one of the moms was pushing a stroller she set a pretty good pace for me and they didn't mind my stopping to take a few pictures. I was amazed at what I saw when I looked up and around, the area is really pretty. The houses are well taken care of with beautiful manicured yards, this one here is my favorite with that bright pink bush in front of the window, I would love to look out at that every day. And bunnies, two of them.  The ladies said there used to be four, but there have been lot of hawks in the area recently as well.

It's nothing compared to home and the hikes in the rockies where there is only nature to see and then a whole city once you make it to the top, but for now I will take and enjoy what I can get.

Friday, March 14, 2014


    So green and beautiful, this is my favorite scene from my morning walk.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The baby lace cardigan

I found this great little knitting book at the Gilroy Library.  For as small and low-key as Gilroy is, their library is simply amazing. I love going there. There are so many amazing projects in this book it was really hard to choose, but with the weather being pretty warm here pretty much all the time I thought this cute little short sleeved lace sweater would be just great. I'm using a yarn that isn't what the pattern calls for, but it's something I had already on hand. It's a much lighter weight and the color is really bright pink, I think it will turn out great. This yarn was found and bought on our trip to Greece last summer. After it was purchased and brought home, I found out that it was made in Italy. Oh well, just another reason to go back to Greece and find some yarn that is actually made in Greece.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Begun to Grow

This growing season is by far the earliest I have ever planted anything outdoors and been successful.  Here in California, it seems pretty easy, I may get spoiled, although I loved the challenge that Utah weather brought because that was considered real success if you were able to get things planted from seed outside and it survived.

Just a few weeks ago, I bought some good potting soil, mixed it in with the soil already in these brick planters, sprinkled some lettuce and spinach seeds and here they are.

Just to give an idea of how well things grow here.  These are locally grown in Watsonville just about 30 minutes from where we live and sold in the local Costco stores. I bought these bad boys on Friday and by last night the last one was eaten. They are so delicious.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Just a little trip down memory lane can brighten my day.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's already Thursday and what have I done?

I haven't done much blogging this week that's for sure.

Monday was grocery shopping at two different stores and I still wasn't able to find everything needed for the week. Why is it that one store can carry a product, but then the exact same chain in another city doesn't have it? That is what I hate about shopping, the stores not having all that I like and never being able to know just exactly where everything is.  My ideal grocery shopping experience would take me to one store and I would be in and out of there in 15 minutes. That would just be lovely.
I also spent a good 30 minutes looking around the local Joann's with no luck at all.

Tuesday morning was spent driving to Santa Clara to the Bishop's Storehouse to help stock the shelves and bag produce. Didn't realize I would be there into the afternoon and in my condition it was exhausting. It was really quite a good experience for me though, I met some really unique people who are all striving to do their best with what Heavenly Father has blessed them with. And even another woman whose name is Julie, she was also wearing a green shirt and had freckles.

Wednesday was spent taking care of my oldest who has been sick one week, well the next, ever since we got here. The dishes and the bathrooms did get cleaned that day as well and dinner was made.

Thursday, today, was spent fasting for a test that needed to be done this week. The dreaded glucose test that takes two hours to complete at the clinic that won't let you leave until it is complete.  (You can't trust a pregnant woman, she may just go out and get something to eat and screw up the test.) Blood was drawn three times in three different places on my arm and I was starving.  I did bring a good book to read and got started on my next knitting project.When that was all done I came home ate a big beautiful bowl of cereal and went back to sleep until the kids needed to be picked up from school. I am still exhausted.

Friday I hope will be a glorious day. A day filled with knitting and a trip to the nursery to pick up some flowers, a shovel, gardening gloves, and potting soil.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Words that Invoke

"There are moments in life,
when the heart is so full of
emotion That if by chance it be
shaken, or into its depths like a
pebble Drops some careless
word, it overflows, and its
secret, Spilt on the ground like
water, can never be gathered together."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, February 28, 2014


Amazing what a kitchen table can do, no matter how small or mismatched, it brings us together.