I’m a “California girl”—well, at least by birth—but I never really fit the stereotype, other than the blonde hair (which somehow lost its luster during the Clinton administration). We didn’t live near any beaches so my sunbathing attempts were done out in our backyard, lying on a white sheet in my white bathing suit (can you say “camouflage?”) My life growing up in what was once rural Elk Grove, California is packed with mostly-fond memories. Our little house in “the country” was situated next to the local slaughter house as well as two dairies and an eccentric, rich dude who raised buffalo. So you can imagine the wonderful aroma my fellow school-bus-riding classmates were forced to endure when I was dropped off in this heavily bovine-populated zone. “It doesn’t stink inside!” I would holler with my chin held high and eyes watering (not necessarily from the humiliation) as I walked past two-dozen elementary school kids pinching their nostrils shut and making noises resembling those usually heard during cold and flu season. Today I only retain minor mental and emotional scarring from my school-bus-riding days, but my weakened sense of smell has come in handy, having thus far changed roughly two million diapers during my mothering career.
I'm one of seven sisters. We also have a brother, but he considers himself an oddity—imagine that being raised in a house overflowing with estrogen! Ironically, I wasn’t much of a reader growing up (see Inspirational Message link) but give me a good episode of The Partridge Family, Little House on the Prairie, The Love Boat or Fantasy Island (not to be confused with the likes of today’s reality TV—we’re talking the 70’s here) and I was a captive audience, lost in the story lines that were playing out before me. Life was simple. Life was good.
Even though I was far from “scholar” status when I left Elk Grove High School, I did manage to obtain acceptance at Ricks College (now, BYU Idaho) located at the foot of the Grand Teton mountains in Rexburg Idaho. Life as a Ricks co-ed was entertaining, exciting, exhausting, and…well…cold! My heart did melt, however, when I met a most handsome and charming guy from Tulsa Oklahoma who wore Wranglers and drove a ‘68 Camero. Dennis gave up his hot-rodding tendencies at about baby number three, but twenty-some years later, he still looks great in blue-jeans!
Our family has been blessed with seven wonderful children. Our youngest is into Sesame Street, and our oldest is into the scriptures—he’s serving a two-year LDS mission in Portland Oregon. We're homeschoolers, so you can imagine the wonderful chaos around our house. We call it “Family Home Life”…and we love it—well, most of the time!
Aside from the time I spend gazing vacantly into my computer screen in the middle of the night, I enjoy a good afternoon nap, reading in the bathtub, camping in the living room, and dancing in the kitchen—really! Nothing like a quick tempo and a little foot shufflin’ to assist through dinner preparations for nine, or a counter top full of dirty dishes—a few “dance” partners are also nice—and helpful too!