For all of you faithful followers of the Thomas Seven blog (hi Mom & Dad), I started a new blog.  If you feel so inclined, check it out.



How do you get around?

Not only does Quinny think you can drive with the phone, but she also believes you don't need to steer or have rearview mirrors.
Every time I adjusted the mirrors, as shown below, she would readjust them so they were facing in.
Also, you can get anywhere without going in reverse.
Don't text and drive.
 By the way, you can't go anywhere without a burpee.
As she is racing down the road, she checks to see if her burpee is still safely on the back step.
It is.
The race can continue.
Allison was yelling, "Slow down, Quinny!  Slow down!"


funny things

 Haley and I went to lunch yesterday.  
I spotted this sweet hood ornament.
Eric brought home this test yesterday.
We had to review with him how to answer a true/false test.
(Eric, I'm just kidding!)
It is a real test, and he did write down 15 for a true/false answer, however, I did NOT have to explain to him the rules of the test!


the days

The days are long, but the years are short.
That's what they say when referring to parenthood.

I had one of those long days today.
And yesterday.
And kind of the day before that.
You know, the kind of day where no matter how much you pick up, clean up, wipe, or scold, the day just keeps on going, going, going.
Luckily, each of these days are usually sprinkled with a little nudge from one of the kids reminding me that what I am doing is important.

Mimi came home the other day from school very excited that her teacher was reading the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
She thought this was fabulous because at home we are currently reading Matilda by the same author, Roald Dahl.
This got us talking about the author.
She asked if he was Chinese.
We read the back of the book to discover that he was originally from England, but had moved around.
I keep thinking he is Chinese, she said.

I then suggested to her that we read James and the Giant Peach next.
She told me she wanted to read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory next.
But Mia, I said, you are reading that at school.
I know, she said, but I want to read it together.

Ah, the little reminder after a long, long day to let me know that these days are worth it.

"So Matilda's strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone."
- Roald Dahl (Matilda)


short people only

After cleaning up and putting away the chairs and tables the other day, I realized I was missing two folding chairs.  I didn't even notice I was also missing a table!  Anyway, I asked Robert if he knew anything about the absent furniture.  He said he didn't and agreed with me that it was very bizarre.  As we were having this conversation, I looked out the kitchen window and it dawned on me - Quinny's house.  So I asked her if the chairs were in her house.  With a triumphant grin she said yes!  This all happened last night, and I was much too lazy to go and put the chairs away.

She didn't tell me about all of the other things she had squirreled away in there.  
That was just my little surprise when I went out there to pick up some things.
I love that Q and Allison drove the scooter and plasma car up to the front door.
The rose petals are a nice touch, too.
She asked if she could sleep in her house.
I said no.
Obviously they are not going to starve.
I'm not even sure how she got everything in there.

I'm pretty sure Mimi helped her, but I have no idea how she fits!



 Mom, come look outside.

What is it, Quinny?

Come outside.

Look up.

Right there.

The gray clouds are pink.

Do you like those clouds, Quinny?


I want to live in those clouds!


the festivities part 5 (the final chapter)

After the dance party,
we headed outside to ring in the new year!
Hello, 2012!
Jamie, Sarah, & Emma
 I have the most gorgeous nieces!
Seriously, look at these girls!

Andrea & Kristin

Mikayla & Katelyn
Thanks to Grammy and Ashley for the noisemakers, giant sparklers, party hats, firecrackers, and fireworks!
It was loud, fun, and magical!
Sarah, Stuart, Alexa, Shana, Bekah, Ricky, Emma, Michael, Jamie, & Kristin


Robert & Haley





the festivities part 4

Heywood Dance Party
 Get the party started, Grammy!
Show us how it's done!

 Spencer walking like an Egyptian.
 And Lindsey and Mikayla walking like the dead.

 The best tango goes to Spencer and Grammy.
 The best moves go to Leland and Grammy.
Ride 'em Cowboy!

 The smallest dancer is Karina.
 Best expressions go to Ricky and Shana.
Shelle, you came in second.
Not much dancing going on here.

We were all a tired, sweaty mess by the end.
It was marvelous!



My dad had a book on the shelf for as long as I can remember entitled Not By Bread Alone.  It was a journal of my great great grandmother's that was published.  I have read parts of it but not all of it.  As kids, what we got out of the book was this picture.
It reminds of the scene in the movie Summer Magic when Osh Popham (played by Burl Ives) digs out a terrible picture to show the townsfolk.  When the picture is unveiled at a party honoring the owner of the Yellow House, there is a gasp and a dog howls.  Pretty harsh, but we would giggle at Martha's picture in just the same way.  She was not a handsome woman, and she was probably missing some teeth.  Because Ricky and I look so much alike, I often think I look a little manish just like Grandmother Martha.  So the other day when we were looking at some pictures we took of ourselves, I laughed and said to Robert that I was on my way to looking like Martha.

It's true - there are definitely similarities between myself and Martha.  I always thought this was a bad thing, until I got thinking about her, her life, and the woman she was.  She lived a very hard life.  Very hard.  I'm not sure I would have been able to survive the hardships she did.  So if there are similarities, I hope they don't end with just familiar brows and jaw lines.

Martha Spence Heywood was born in Ireland in 1812. She left with a sister for America in 1834 against their parents' wishes, arriving penniless in New York City. She sewed and "toiled & toiled late & early," and also traveled extensively in upstate New York and Canada, part of the time as an "Advent preacher . . . . enduring the scoffs and privations that attend such a course." In July 1848 she joined the Mormon Church and in 1850 traveled to Utah. She became a plural wife of Joseph L. Heywood, a merchant and the first U.S. marshal in Utah Territory. She had two children, one of whom died at the age of eighteen months.

A pioneer settler of Nephi, she lived for a time in a wagon box. Her husband visited the settlement several times a year, and she occasionally traveled to Salt Lake City. She supported herself by making hats and caps, and she trained other family members in hatmaking while her husband took orders, collected materials, and marketed the finished items. She also taught school in Nephi.

In 1861 she settled in Washington, north of St. George. There she became well known as a schoolteacher. She held classes in her home, charging three dollars a month, a fee that could be paid in produce or in chores. She died there in her sixty-first year.

Historians consider her diary of the years 1850 to 1856 one of the best personal accounts of that period in Utah. It documents, among other things, the new territory's intellectual life, the settlement of Nephi, and polygamous family life. Unflinching in her honesty, Martha Heywood records ambivalent feelings about her marriage and the dissatisfaction of some Nephi settlers with her husband's leadership. Her own self-examination was rigorous; and her diary remains a testament to her integrity.

See: Juanita Brooks, ed., Not by Bread Alone: The Journal of Martha Spence Heywood, 1850-56 (1978).

Miriam B. Murphy