29 December 2008

"I Have A Dream..."

The new year always brings thoughts of change, renew, goals, fresh starts or start-overs. I'm GREAT at setting goals; not so great at following through (in a timely manor, I might add). For the last year or so, my sister has been working on writing a novel. I don't know how far into it she is, but she updates me every so often. I've read the first few chapters and loved it, but apparently she's changed some things with that, too. :) Anyway, my point is: she's had that dream and she's following through with it. Another friend of mine also is an aspiring writer and will have something published later this next year, a dream for her.

All this has had me I have any dreams or aspirations? Do I need to? Is it okay to just BE, or should I be doing something else for ME in the meantime?

Do I want that?

If I don't, am I lazy?

Things I've pondered and didn't want to answer until the other night when I was listening to the "Mama Mia" cd in my car, singing to every song. Then, the second to last song, "I have a Dream" started and I pictured Eliza singing it in a High School play and thought it would be a very fitting graduation song...

And I realized...I want to take voice lessons (but that takes money) and I want to sing "Oh Holy Night" solo sometime. I sing with Celine Dion all the time, but that's a song I'd love to conquer. That, and a beautiful version of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." So much to do, so little time. I should stick with ward choir and my yearly goal of loosing weight, which I'm doing better at each day (despite the Holiday set-back). Happy New Year!!

26 December 2008

Dear Jordan, Eliza and Lydia,

I wanted to write a special note to you because I found out that you are moving shortly to a smaller place so your Daddy can go to school. Getting an education is so very important. All of my Elves go to school! They even had a spelling test yesterday!

Your Mom said your apartment is smaller than your house. That will be fun to be so close together! But, that also means there won’t be a lot of room for extra things. I bet it’s hard to give toys away that were yours. But, those toys make someone else happy, too. And that makes me happy.

I know your Christmas Lists were long and there are so many toys to choose from. I picked the best ones out of the bunch to give to you. These things will help you be good brothers and sisters to each other, and you will have lots of fun sharing them together! Family is more important than toys, anyway.

I’m glad you are excited about moving to an apartment. Be sure to help your Mom keep it clean!
I’m always watching!

Merry Christmas,
Santa Claus

22 December 2008

I've had better...

...days, that is.

I woke up so excited!! We were getting the keys to our new apartment today!! We had loaded up both cars last night with stuff I wanted to move in today before I left for work this afternoon. So, we needed to get an early start so we'd have time to do it all!

The morning started slow and warm, but by the time I got everyone in the car and up to Salt Lake, it was blowing and snowing! The girls only had jackets! It took almost an hour getting everything together to pick up our keys and paperwork. Then we rushed the girls upstairs while D and I unloaded the cars and brought the stuff up on the elevator :) (yup) to the 13th floor (yup).

On our first walk-through, I gasped as I saw the size of the place! It was a lot bigger in my mind. Then, going into what should have been a huge master bedroom with a double closet pass-through to the second bathroom...there was no pass-through, just one closet, half the size we have now. :( Plus, the kitchen is smaller. Wow (sigh, as I literally fought back tears). Right away I called the office to see if the other two apartments across the hall were rented. They were (another sigh). Well, we asked for the room with the view. I just didn't realize the elevator would take up half my bedroom and part of my kitchen!

Anyway, I'm over it. We met one of the couples across the hall and they have a 4 year old girl (Hallelujah!!) and are very nice, so I won't harbor any bad feelings that even though they have half as many kids as us that they have a larger place. Nope. I'm an adult.

Moving on (hehe), I realize I'm almost late for work so we get to our cars and by now the roads are very snowy and slushy so I'm literally coasting down the road. As I turn the corner I see a few cars stopped and people walking around, so I start braking so I can slow down for them. Brake, yes. Stop? Didn't happen. My brakes locked and so did my brain. I couldn't steer and was too freaked out at the truck in front of me that I couldn't lift my foot off the brake to unlock them! So, what do you do when you are coasting down a hill at 10 mph with locked brakes? Look at the people in the other car looking at you and put your hands over your mouth. Yup. Crunch.

Actually, I've hit harder in Bumper Cars, and I had my seat belt on. :)

I'm fine, but it was just a bad end to a sad morning. D's already had the car looked at and I'm looking at what else I can downsize, but I'm still glad we are moving and I can't believe it's only two days till Christmas!!

21 December 2008

Because I am lacking email addresses...Grab some hot cocoa and settle in for a while

Dear Family and Friends,
I've debated whether or not to send the annual Christmas Letter at all this year. As much as I love all of you, stamps are expensive. So, I figured, with all we have going on (moving next week, and all), I figured you’d all forgive one year. I drug my feet and now, here it is, 4 days before Christmas and I can’t get you all out of my mind! So many blessings and experiences to share, how can I not at least express my gratitude to all of you? Here goes; no pictures though. As I’m sitting here, I’m too tired to get them off my camera. But, if you’re aching for pictures, visit our blog at and you can stay updated with all kinds of fun!

Back to us: it’s been a busy year (has anyone ever said ‘it’s been a slow year?’). No, really. Daryl finished his last Chemotherapy treatment in January. He slowly was able to return to work, but he’s body has been trying to catch up with the rest of us. Then in April, a great friend Daryl met during Radiation Therapy, died after complications with pneumonia. We went together to his funeral. This friend made us both want to live our lives better. He was a great example of living, in spite of your trials. Daryl took a lot of strength from his memories. This fall has been tough on Daryl’s health. A simple cold turned into a bad infection and he was recently diagnosed with migraine headaches after suffering for months. He’s hoping his new medication will help him feel better! He also started back to school full time again. I am so grateful for his efforts and we can’t wait for him to be all done! He’s also was called to be Sunday School president in our ward earlier this year. We’ve both even been able to substitute in different classes on occasion.

I have really enjoyed working at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital. It was so much more rewarding than sad, as some may think, but after going through all we did with Daryl, then after Daryl’s friend died, I decided I needed to make a change. When your patients and your family AND your friends start to combine, something has to give. That’s what I love about nursing: there are always options! So, I had some interviews in different areas and was blessed to be accepted into the Operating Room internship. It was a very long and hard 5 months. I missed my family and they missed me. We all got more creative with Roman noodles and Mac’n Cheese. But now that’s it’s over and I’m working at the Clinical Neurosciences Center Operating Room, the change was so worth the struggle. I have more time at home and I love the work I’m doing. If you’ve got to do it full time, might as well enjoy it, right? I was released earlier this year as Primary Pianist. It was fun being in the Primary and I made some great friendships there, as well as hearing Eliza’s random comments about how I yelled at her to clean up the toy room for the tenth time on some random day…yes, she keeps us all on our toes.

Jordan started the third grade this fall. We were sad that his Mom and Step-dad decided to move back to American Fork, so Jordan started a new school this fall, too. But, he likes his teacher and has made new friends and we are still able to pick him up from school when Daryl has his time with him. In his class this year, something sparked an interest in Astronauts and now he wants to fly to the moon! That and Hot Wheels (thanks, Uncle Jarrod :). He still loves to build things and will spend hours with his legos or building blocks. He also will play Barbies with Eliza. Now that puts him up for Brother-of-the-Year. So much so, that last year for Christmas, when the girls got new Barbies, we got him a GI Joe and called him Barbie’s Bodyguard. Now Barbie needs more Bodyguards, he insists. But he’d rather be playing computer games.

Eliza finished Kindergarten and started First Grade this fall. She has enjoyed her teacher and I’ve been happy with her progress. She’s a great reader, doing well in all her subjects, but gets in trouble for talking too much. :) My Eliza, social? She always has something clever to say, and it’s usually way beyond her years. She loves pink and princesses and dolls, but will scream bloody murder if I come at her with a curling iron! “Don’t!” She begs! She tried ballet last year and had a recital in June. It was adorable, but she didn’t want to do it again, “because we have to do the splits. That hurts.” Well, how can you argue with that? She also started piano lessons in January and was doing so well. We hope that after we get settled in our new place that she and I can start working on it again.

Lydia has just been growing leaps and bounds! Just when I was about to become worried about her speech, she started talking!! And not just words, but whole sentences! She’ll express a whole thought, in broken words, but it’s so interesting how you can understand exactly what she needs. And if you don’t understand, she’ll correct you. She loves to be with her older brother and sister and she’s taken a knack to coloring…anything. She’s even helped me wipe walls, and blocks, and beds, and dressers…she’s very creative. She also loves anything Barbie and knows all the Princesses. Some days she insists on me calling her ‘Snow White’ or ‘Aurora.’ So much fun. We also figured out that she has responded to a gluten-free diet. She didn’t test positive for Celiac disease, but the tests weren’t conclusive, so we tried adjusting her diet and her body does better without the gluten and wheat. That in itself is a huge adjustment, but even small steps have been good for her.

As for the family, along with Daryl starting school again and me working full-time, we decided to move closer to school and work. Moving right after Christmas will be interesting, but I am so glad we will be where we are going. So close to school, so close to work, the bus will pick up Eliza, Lydia will only be at a wonderful education center (structured day care) for 4 hours three days a week and Daryl can concentrate on school (since he was laid off a few weeks ago). This year has been filled with so many blessings, even more than I have stuffed into this already long letter. See? I couldn’t have made it this long if I was printing out 50+ and mailing them! J Daryl and I both have a new outlook on life and priorities. “It doesn’t matter what you want. What matters is wanting what you’ve got.” I’ve heard that somewhere (even Sheryl Crow), and it’s so very true. Change is inevitable, but how we react to that change is what makes us grow. I love change! I love new adventures. Some people are a bit more hesitant, but I have enough adventurism for the rest of us!

Thank you all so much for your prayers and thoughts and encouragement. We look forward to next year and all that it brings. May you be able to reflect on your blessings this year and be grateful for the greatest gift of all, our Savior.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year
Daryl, Rachel, Jordan, Eliza and Lydia

17 December 2008

Need a Little Christmas

Okay, figured I'd post my favorite Christmas project this year. This was more fun than putting together a Gingerbread house! :) Since we are moving the week of Christmas, I didn't want to get out the decorations, but I still wanted the kids to have a fun sense of Christmas. The tree is just cut out of felt and tacked to the wall. The kids and Daryl cut out all the ornaments and snow flakes and we put them on the tree with tape. I put together the chain. I did get one box of decorations had the Fischer Price Nativity set. Thanks, Mom, for my copy of "Davey's First Christmas," a Bartschi family Christmas tradition. The kids love it, too. Merry Christmas!

14 December 2008

My Grown-up Christmas List

Any more, the fun of Christmas has been taken over by keeping presents hidden from children and locking myself in a room while I wrap said presents. Then, as artfully as I can muster, arranging the bundles under the Christmas tree. That is a fun sense of accomplishment.

I asked D the other day if he knew what he would be getting me for Christmas. In front of the kids, he asked if I'd written my letter to Santa. How else would Santa know what I wanted. Oh, okay. So I did, and even told him where it needed to go after it was wrapped (ie: under tree or in stocking). That got me thinking: I should make my Grown-up Christmas List. Why not? Indulge me. :) Any of you should do it too!

**No More Taxes
**Financial Freedom
**Good health
**Healthy Family
**Sidewalk Chalk
**Wii Fit :)
**Unbreakable, never need sharpening colored pencils
**World Peace
**Personal Chef
**Massage once a week for the rest of my life
**Craft closet organizer
**Self-cleaning Bathroom

Yah, it's fun to dream about 'what if.' The truth is, even though there will always be something that will make me say, "Oh, wouldn't that be nice," there will always be a drawback. I work hard for what I do have and I love every minute of the work. Besides, if I had a house cleaner, how would my children learn to scrub floors like I did? On my hands and knees? Not even Swiffer can clean like that! :) I am grateful for each and every one of my blessings and inconveniences because they help me enjoy the time I do have with my family.

Enjoy the Holiday! Merry Christmas

07 December 2008

9 Year Old Humor

J: Mom, what's that under there?!?

Me: (frantically looking) Under where?

J rolling on the floor laughing says, between laughing breaths, "I just made you say underware!!" The laughing continues. Of course this brings E into the kitchen and a whole other round of "Under Where" jokes ensue...I guess it's a 6 year old thing, too.

Now I can tell J that I made all of you say Underware too!! He'll be impressed. :)
Have a great day!

04 December 2008

How Time Flies...

...and we continuously grow older, day by day. Then on the occasion we can look back and remember beautiful memories that become sweeter with time...and age. Growing up, my favorite part of Christmas? Going to Victor, ID to help my Nannie (mother's mother) set up her Christmas decorations. Her husband would have a freshly cut tree waiting for us (and a day full of grumbles) but we'd sing songs and decorate every part of that tiny house. Nannie knew exactly where every piece went and every year Mom and her sisters would have a "better" idea, but Nannie always won in the end. :) I spent more time trying to find candy Nannie kept stashed through the house. It was always a fun day 'with the girls.'

I haven't been to Victor in years. Nannie and George moved to Utah a few years ago to be closer to family and doctors due to their ailing health. Daryl came with me to Victor this time, as did both of my daughters. The weather was supposed to be stormy, but I didn't want to go to Victor by any other way than Teton Pass, through Swan Valley. It's a beautiful drive. As we went through the winding road (literally singing 'Over the Rive and Through the Woods') the trees and ground were dusted with snow and the clouds were low over the Tetons. I wished it would have been a clear day so I could show my girls the beautiful mountains I grew up with, but this day would have different memories. So many happy memories from long ago, yet this time would end with somber ones. The one time the sun did peak through the clouds that cousin was singing a beautiful song about an Angel to Watch over Me.

The service was long for the young ones, but I enjoyed listing to the stories my mother and aunts told about their mother. She was so loving and accepting and beautiful and never can I remember hearing her complain. She always had something positive to say. She loved to learn. She loved being a nurse and I loved hearing her stories. She was my inspiration. My only regret...not making more of an effort to get her to my Nursing School Graduation. She was sick then and wanted to be there, but getting her to Idaho was complicated. I should have figured out a way. She called me the night before to say how proud she was of me for doing that and cried as she told me how she wished she could be there. (sigh) She also loved life and her family, her whole huge crazy family. She hated missing a party.

I could go on for pages, but being with her those last days, she taught us all how to just LIVE life. Do what you can with what you have. No excuses, no regrets. Just Live and Enjoy and Love. I'll miss you, Nannie, but like Eliza said, "Why is everyone crying? She's happy now. She's with Jesus and Heavenly Father. Gosh, I'd be happy if I were there." I held her very close and she touched Nannie's still-warm hand and gave her flowers to hold.

01 December 2008

Thanksgiving Fun and Glory

Thanksgiving was fun, and if I weren't killing time at work right now I'd post some pictures of our Wii Tennis Tournament!! Awesome! I came in second place because I was skooled by a seven-year-old boy. :) Yup.
Anyway, Mack and Shaan hosted the festivities (thanks guys!) and the Bartschi Family Roll Call: (minus Carolee, Sharron and Bryant) was together, including Zac's Fiance Janice. Happy to have you. After dinner, we watched football and played cards while the kids gorged themselves on video games and chips and soda. Yes, all good parenting eating habits flew out the window when I realized, "Stressful or relaxing?" You decided. Plus, Shaan made the most dilectable Sweet Potato Casserole with a crunchy-sweet pecan topping. Eliza took one bite and exclaimed to everyone present, "I LOVE SWEET POTATOES!" Yesss! Let's see what else I can call a 'sweet potato.' :)
The highlight of the evening? Grandma B agreeing to join the Wii Tennis Tourney, and even making Harrison play all three matches! Go Grandma!
Ok, so the real highlight of the evening? Everyone falling asleep in the car on the way home. 30 minutes of nothing but driving and the Christmas music on the radio. Lovely.
Bedtime? That's a post for another time, but it could've been worse.
Most Thankful Blessing of the Year? D not in the hospital and his scan on 19 Nov was clean. Two years to go. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and helpfulness this past year!
Pics to come....