Wednesday, October 31, 2007


For Halloween this year - her first - Eden went as ... well, Eden. Her stroller went as "the Garden of..." Here are some adorable pictures. (Notice the serpent with the apple - the apple was contributed by Phil's co-worker.)

This will be the only time Eden wears a headband.

Enjoying it all (especially Lamb-ee)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"You did that in public?"

I assume we all have things which we do in the privacy of our own homes but which we would be way too embarrassed to do in public. Am I right?

Well, lately I've found myself doing these things in public. Yes, it is true, I've been singing to Eden in public! Last week I found myself in Walmart (sorry Layne) with a little girl too tired and upset to continue shopping and yet I just needed to get a few things for Power Port Phil's nausea.

What is a mom to do in such a situation? Does she:
A) Forget about her husband's needs and take the crying baby home without procuring the goods?
B) Subject all the other Walmart customers to her baby's cries (some might say that is the due punishment for being a customer of the Great and Abominable Store)?
C) Begin to sing Skinamarink (from the Elephant Show, her favorite song of late) in a most animated fashion, keeping both baby and customers amused.

The correct answer is, of course, C! So just imagine this: Heidi is walking through the GAS (great abominable store) pushing her buggy with Eden in it and with a lilt in her voice and a skip to her step is singing "Skinamarink-a-dink-a-dink Skinamarink-a-do" and then still with the lilt and a skip says to the produce manager "where are your parsnips?" and without missing a beat (or a lilt or skip) back to Eden, "I love you!" This is no exaggeration.

Today the scene went like this, Miss Eden has wet through all but one layer (which means through the diaper, through the onsie, through the tights with the ruffled bum, and through her blouse - leaving her corduroy jumper the only dry clothing she had). I am in the changing room and she is not happy with having to strip down. Again, what is a mom to do?

A) Subject the rest of the branch to her loud screams of torture?
B) Leave her in wet clothing until we get home two hours later?
C) Distract her by singing the "Bum Bum" song lovingly composed by her Daddy?

Again, the correct answer is C. So there I am with a mostly-naked child who is not very happy about being mostly-naked and I break into the sophisticated melody and lyrics of "bum, bum, change your bum, bum - chicky, chicky - bum, bum, change your bum. (That Phil, is it any wonder that he is a major recording artist?) At this point my friend, Alisha, walks in and wants to know what on earth is going on. I'm sure her son Trey will soon be serenaded during his own diaper changes with the Bum Bum song. Actually it is quite versatile. During the desitin stage it can be "bum, bum, soothe your bum, bum..." and during baths it is "bum, bum, clean your bum, bum" etc.

And so you see, any dignity I once pretended to have no longer exists. I am a mom.

Friday, October 26, 2007

And the Winner is...

No pet for the Keslers - at least not now.

Indoor Dog - 3
Outdoor Dog - 3
Cat - 0
Fish - 2
None - 10

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Your turn...

Leave a comment answering these questions:

What item of clothing have you owned the longest? Where did you get it and why have you held on to it so long?

My answer: The sweatshirt shown in the previous post. I got it from my good friend Kathy for Christmas 1992. I love it, it is warm and comfy and putting it on is like getting a hug from her. I'm wearing it today (we actually have sweatshirt weather finally!).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Power Port Phil Update - Chemo 2

Phil's second treatment (this past weekend) went much better than the first (for both of us). He got some different forms of the anti-nausea med and it worked much better. He continues to amaze me with his steady handling of all this. My mom told me today that she think he has a unique blend of courage and humility. I think she is right! (BTW: I think we can add her to the list, along with Erin and so many others, of Phil female fans.)

This picture has nothing to do with this past weekend but it is pretty cute isn't it?

Saturday, October 20, 2007


It is actually finally starting to appear and feel like fall around here. Some of the leaves are changing (last fall was absolutely beautiful - rivaled New England) and the temperatures are cooler (although we are still hitting the 80s in the late afternoon). I LOVE fall. I actually really enjoy each of the seasons but there is something magical for me about both fall and spring.

This is a picture of our backyard a couple of weeks ago. Many of the leaves have since dropped. This makes our deck a big heap'o leaves, twigs, acorns, and pecan shells. Of course the squirrels love it.

This morning I watched as a squirrel tried to wrestle a twig - about 2 feet long - up the tree to add to her nest. She did quite the dance with the twig and for a moment I thought she had won but alas, the twig remains on the deck. The squirrels are fat from all the nuts they've eaten (as evidenced by the shells carelessly tossed onto our deck). They are such funny little critters.

In the spring (which came at the end of January last year), the daffodils will greet me. The former owners of our house must have loved bulbs because we have daffodils and irises and day lilies galore! Summer is a little less wonderful to me but I still love the magic of summer with the kids that suddenly appear as if from nowhere. I love the sounds of children playing in the streets (I wish more kids did that these days - I wish it was more safe for them to do that).

Of course winter is wonderful and I'm so grateful that we get to experience a few weeks of winter in Utah each year. I love the feeling of sitting by a fire, sipping hot chocolate, and reading or snuggling as the snow falls outside. Cozy is just the right word for it! (this is actually a picture of the snowstorm we got stuck in on our way home to 'bama last December - I think this is Albuquerque)

I've been thinking about other seasons lately too. The seasons of my life. Sometimes when I read about the lives of some of my single friends like this one or my friends who don't have kids yet, like this one, I think, "what am I doing with my life?" I wonder if I am developing my skills and talents. Then I recall that I am changing diapers, singing songs, loving and (I hope) encouraging my husband, making meals, buying groceries, cleaning the house (although not often enough), and so forth. I am also learning some new things along the way. Most significantly, I'm learning about faith, service (on the receiving end as well as the giving), and friendship. I enjoy this season of my life. I hope that I utilized my time in prior seasons in a good way. I hope I served and developed talents and enjoyed unique experiences. I don't think I wasted too much time pining away for another season. I hope not. Now another season is upon me and I hope I don't long for those days of "self development" too much and instead enjoy this season.

Of course, the real miracle of the seasons is that without the buds you would never have the blooms and if the leaves didn't fall new buds couldn't develop. Each season depends on the ones before. They also prepare the way for the ones to come. Enjoy the seasons - Eccl. 3: 1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."

Friday, October 19, 2007

And the Winner is...

Your (not my) favorite Halloween Candy:
check out the newest poll in the upper left corner.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Other Female

Phil has a new girlfriend. The thing is, I'm ok with it. She is very cute and I enjoy her company. It is actually quite fun to watch the way she looks at him and to hear her talk about him incessantly. So what's a wife to do?

This is a picture of her, Erin, at her 3rd Birthday party (Eden's first friend b'day party).

Erin is adorable, bright, articulate and self-admittedly in-love with my husband.
Monday she woke up and asked, "mommy, what is Phil's car named?" She spent a few hours with me that day and although Phil was at work, she talked about "Phillip" quite often. Last Thursday she was over in the evening and she and Phil watched Sponge Bob together. I was in the other room folding clothes. I heard her ask Phil where I was and then she entered the room and said, "I'm going to miss my mom soon." I asked her if that meant she wanted to go home and she said, "not yet, but soon." You know I loved that! What is not to love about a three year old who PLANS to get lonesome. Anyway, she is quite the cutie and she and her mom, Corrie, have been such great friends to Eden and I. So, I guess I can forgive her for being in love with my husband!

Friday, October 12, 2007

And the Winner is...

Congratulations Andy!
You are the funniest.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chemo, Strawberry Jam, and Eden

Phil's chemo started last Thursday. He is scheduled to have it every-other week for six months. He got pretty darn sick over the weekend but has bounced back well this week. I am grateful for that. I am just amazed at his strength - physical, emotional, and spiritual.

If anyone knows of good recipes for foods during chemo-nausea, please email them or post them in the comments. Thanks, Michelle, for the ones you sent. We are anxious to try it next week.

This morning I made strawberry jam. I LOVE strawberry freezer jam! I haven't made it for a few years so it is good to have it again. I know it isn't the most healthy form of berries but it sure is yummy!

Eden has been just great! She seems much more able and willing to be content these days. Today I had a bunch of errands to run and she just entertained herself in the car seat and was a happy little companion for me. She finally rolled over this week but having done it (twice) she seems content to remain on her back now. She hates tummy time so why would she do that to herself? Funny kid.

Here are some more pictures of Eden. Grandma Beck gave her these cute tights.

She won't roll but she will stand (just needs some help with the balancing stuff).

Laundry day

Monday, October 8, 2007


Two weeks ago I wrote two poems. I'm not really much of a poet (as you'll see) but I thought each of these had a particular charm. The first was written to amuse myself and Eden (as you'll see). It was a bonus that it also got stuck in Phil's head for a couple of days. The second was written for my YW lesson on integrity.


There's a Girl, her name is Eden
She is sweet, but not from Sweden
She's from 'bama
Where she'll learn gramma'
And her writin' and her readin'

Sometimes Sue

There once was a girl, perhaps like you.
Everyone called her Sometimes Sue.

Sometimes she was good and sometimes she was bad.
Sometimes she was happy and sometimes mad.

On Sundays she knew right from wrong
And loved the Spirit when it was strong.

But when Sometimes Sue was out with a friend,
Her “churchy behavior” would come to an end.

When she pondered this regretful fact,
She realized her integrity had slacked.

Sometimes Sue knew that she had a choice.
She could follow the world or the Still Small Voice.

Then Sometimes Sue made a decision.
She’d had a great thought, a spark, a vision!

Her habits would need some rearranging
And her attitude would need some changing.

After lots of prayer and also some fasting,
She noticed the good was finally lasting.

The times she felt peaceful were really the best,
She’d chosen the good and bagged the rest!

So if you’ve found you’re at all like Sue,
This story tells you just what to do.

Search, ponder, and pray; then do some fasting,
And soon you’ll find that your joy's everlasting.

I'm sure Voice Male is going to want me to be their new lyricist after reading these! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Girlfriends and Sugar Gliders

While growing up, and even into my adulthood, I preferred my male friends' company to my female friends. These weren't "boyfriends" just fun guys. I thought that girls were often too emotional and competitive. It was fun to just hang with the guys.

I seemed to always have one or two female friends and that was it. Then I had some really great roommates in college - particularly in the 94-95 year. These girls were easy and fun and supportive. It was great! (This is a picture of the four of us at my wedding shower)

Then Charlotte and I became roommates and it was fabulous because we were both done with school and working in our professions and enjoying life. We endured the good and bad of "advanced single-ness" together. Still, I didn't really have a group of women with whom I could really enjoy the good times and mourn the bad. When Charlotte had other plans, I was pretty much alone. It was unwise of me to not branch out more.

Then one day I was talking with a work associate, "S", and she was sharing similar feelings. We decided to form a lunch group of like-women: not married, working professionals, no children. So we invited K and JK to join us and the Sugar-Gliders were born. (We called ourselves the sugar-gliders because JK told us a really funny story about an English grad student who brought a sugar glider to a staff meeting.) Eventually I decided to invite Charlotte and a couple of her Opera work associates to join our monthly luncheons. (Ironically, S never came after the first luncheon.)

These women became the cheerleaders, the shoulders to cry on, and the people with whom I could just hang. Eventually, JL and B were added too. Then Charlotte started going to T's house every week to watch American Idol. I thought that show sounded mean and like a waste of time but I was going through a rough time at work and needed something to tear me away from the 17 hour days I was working so I started to go to T's every Wednesday. B and D were there too! We all brought our own dinner and most of us brought our crocheting and it was much less about the Idol and much more about the fun, the laughs (BIG time about the laughs) and the support.

I love these women! T has moved back to TX, I'm in AL, Charlotte got married, JK moved to WA and D moved to Provo. I think the others are still getting together for lunch. We still get together when I'm in UT and there are still phone calls (thanks for the call the other night B) and emails. Although the dynamic has certainly changed, the bond is there and I so appreciate the friendship of these women. I'm glad I decided to do something about my loneliness. I'm glad I found the Sugar Glider women!

Some of our lunches -
JL, me, Char, T, K:

Me, T, JK:


K, D, and Char:

Thanks Sugar Gliders!

Power Port Phil

Phil had his Power Port put in yesterday - it went really well. Now he has two more scars to add to his collection. He also gets to wear a cool bracelet (like the Lance Armstrong- LiveStrong ones) indicating that he has a Power Port. He's cool! He will receive his first chemo infusion tomorrow. We are pretty hopeful that it will be effective without causing too many of the side effects, the most likely being neuropathy.

Eden did really well with the ladies from our branch which makes it much easier to leave her again tomorrow.

Our friends in the Adam's Park Ward - in Logan, UT - fasted for Phil on Sunday, for which we are really grateful. It is just so wonderful to have family and friends all over the nation praying and adding their faith for Phil's successful treatment. Thanks everyone!