Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I don't know sometimes.

Life is pretty intense right now. Do you ever feel like you are living in an insane asylum and just down the street is a place where all the normal people go and you just don't know about it?

Me too!

So, my question to you today is - what is your favorite thing to do to alleviate stress? What do YOU do for YOURSELF? I can't take away my responsibilities. I can't change the number of hours Jason is gone or the fact that I don't ever get a break - but there has got to be something I can do to take the PRESSURE off.

What do you do? Please tell me - cause I really want to know.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Well, it has been two days and Kenzie hasn't scratched anyone. She pointed it out to me yesterday. I told her how proud I was of her.

Then she asked me - "Mom, can you get me one of those things that cats use when they want to scratch?"

CLASSIC - sure if it will help.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Kenzie strikes again - she scratched Mikala last night after a shouting match where Mikala told her to get off her bed. I decided to have a little heart to heart with the cat and sat her down on her bedroom floor - knee to knee. I begged and pleaded and told her how serious this was. (Luckily Jason was at young mens or we might have had a case for CPS on our hands.) I started crying and asked her to please not scratch my children. I love them and it breaks my heart to see her treating her siblings this way.

I told her that if she really felt like scratching to come and scratch my arms, that she could take her frustration out on me - but to please stop hurting my children.

She started to cry and I told her what a good girl she is and that if she repented these sins could be taken away because of the power of the atonement. I told her she could ask Heavenly Father to help her - and he would.

She looked at me and asked - "Mom, can a person get baptized more than once?"

Biting my lip - "No Kenzie, you only get one chance"


We will see if it works.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


This is a picture of a darling little boy in our ward that his mother gave to me to put in the ward newsletter. Thankfully I had already scanned it and put into the newsletter or I would have had to do some major photoshopping. Should I give it back to her like this or say I lost it? Probably the latter is the wisest choice.

Who did it? Who knows!


So, those of you that know Kenzie - KNOW or have witnessed first hand her agression. When she was just a little girl - she would get so excited or happy she would bite you. Not good. Well, we have broken her of the habit of biting but it seems that frustration unleased itself in another venue - SCRATCHING. Which is worse? - well you be the judge. A bite will bruise and go away with time. Kenzie has left scars the size of cougar claws on Mikala's arms. We will often look at Mikala's arms and lament the fact that she has little scars ALL over both her arms.

SO, why do we need help - because we can't seem to get her to stop. She lashes out at anyone who dares to defy her, call her a name, or hurt her in anyway. Jason and I have done everything in our power to talk with her and teach her and show her how wrong this is. We have pleaded, begged, grounded, taken away and prayed with her to stop. But to no avail. The agression continues.

Yesterday it was Gannon. He made the mistake of calling her a loser - which is horrible in and of itself - believe me he got his timeout- but as a result he also has 3 little claw marks on his wrist.

So, Jason lost it. He grabbed her arm and said - that's it - go to your room for the rest of the night - she went - crying her pathetic wail of a cry that only Kenzie can produce. It is pitiful. We talked to her later on and again pleaded with her to stop this bad behavior.

Well, today as I was making the bed - I found this on Jason's side . . .

Pretty sad - huh? (as I sit here laughing my head off) So, I am asking for your help. If you have any suggestions or recommendation on how we can handle this - please advise. We are totally open to hear if you can come up with something we haven't already tried.


Gabbi and Gannon are having a little trouble with the whole REASON statement.

It is always - "Mom - Kenzie (and it is usually ALWAYS Kenzie) just hit me for a reason."
I will ask what is the reason - Nothing she just hit me.

Ta Da Da

Jason laying on the bed the other night says to Mikala - "Mikala my phone is downstairs on the desk . . . " pause before continuing . . .

Mikala's reply - "That's nice to know."

Ta Da Da

Gannon this morning holding his nose - "Does something stink?" I ask.
Reply - "No, I just have to SNOT."

I guess that IS what comes out when we sneeze so why not say it that way - Makes sense.

Ta Da Da

Gotta love it! Our kids are smarter than we are.

Friday, April 18, 2008


As of late, Gannon has been trying to grasp the realization that on TV and movies - it is either real or fake. Every time a new show comes on - he asks - is that person - REAL OR FAKE. I have to tell him if it is a cartoon that they are fake - somebody just drew that. Dinosaurs fall into this category and really scary monsters. When they are real people, I try to explain that they are real people but are pretending. Now some of you may question my judgement - why are you letting a 4 year old watch things like . . . Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Superman, and he really likes the one about the BIG shark - yes JAWS! My only answer - I don't want them to be afraid of make-believe things. My children are honestly not scared of much (ON TV/movies) because I have drilled into them from them from the very beginning that these things are not REAL - that there are no such things as dinosaurs etc. No nightmares at the Checketts house - we are living the nightmare - :0) Just kidding.
So, apparently Gannon thinks the actors on the T.V. can hear him know. He repeatedly warns people not to do things that may hurt them as they are jumping off high places or getting too close to the edge of a cliff. Last night we were watching Water Horse. This little boy had found a water horse egg and it was a dark, stormy night. He had gone into the shed where he had hid the egg to check on it. It was raining and the music was building up to a scary climax. He was sitting right up by the TV with his little face lifted upward and he sat there with his eyes wide and in a whisper said - "I would not go in there if I were you." I laughed - who wouldn't.

Now, if you want to know how gory I make getting in a car wreck to scare them into wearing their seatbelts or what can happen if someone bad takes you so they stay by me in the store - call me for some pointers. I have scared the living daylights out of them all!

Do I win mother of the year? Not likely.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I'm not writing this for sympathy. I don't want anyone to pity me for the day I had - just laugh with me at the realization that my life is anything less than glamorous and certainly no one would ever want to trade places with me.

The day began in my bed. To - "Rigdon - wake up - it's mom's birthday - let's sing to her." "Rigdon - wake up - it's mom's birthday let's sing to her - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU - No, it wasn't my whole family lovingly waking me up with a breakfast in bed. It was Kenzie and Rigdon who had snuck into my bed in the middle of the night to sleep and Kenzie had decided that she didn't want to be the only one awake so she was doing everything in her power to be loud enough to wake everyone up.

So, I decided - after 20 minutes of this - to just get up and start the day - obviously Jason was sleeping the sleep of the dead and wasn't planning on getting up anytime soon.

I made my way down the stairs with Rigdon and Kenzie and began the clean-up. The house was an absolute shambles. So, you all know me - I begin the battle in my head. I really shouldn't do this - it is Sunday and for heaven's sakes - it's my birthday - I should be laying in bed - but no - who's still sleeping? - JASON - Well I'll show him - I will make him feel like garbage - I will clean the house up and do it all myself. One by one - as I clean - the children began to wake-up and the madhouse begins. I get everything picked up, change the morning diapers and get the breakfast going. Jason comes down - OH Maren, I was going to do that - SURE YOU WERE. No worries, it is done and - hey - it's not like I haven't been doing this for 12 years now. :0)

After everyone is feed and the house is pretty much all picked up and everything is in place. I lay down on the floor to play with my baby. UP comes Mikala, UP comes Gannon, UP comes Kenzie, then Gabbi and finally Rigdon. Rigdon apparently has something Kenzie wants so she takes it - to which Rigdon lashes out by sinking his teeth into Kenzie's bi-cep. I watch in horror - as Kenzie starts to pound on Rigdon with a ferocity equal to Rocky Balboa. To which, Gannon standing behind her, yells out kamikaze style - DON'T HURT MY BROTHER - and kicks her so hard in the back it sends her flying forward onto Rigdon. It all happened in slow motion as I tried to keep Keaton safe from the hooliganism before me.

Something inside snapped - the devil came out and I YELLED - I yelled loud enough for Brad and Allyssia to hear me (this is a life long joke between Jason and I. Brad and Allysia Black were the people that lived below us in our very first apartment - we would always say to one another - be quiet or Brad and Allysia will hear you) Well, even though they are in east Mesa - they probably did hear me - I jumped up and threw them all in their beds meanwhile telling them all how out of control they all are.

Of course, I settled down and of course I apologized and made them all apologize to each other so everything was good again . . . for about 30 minutes. We decided later on to take a drive to a few of the temples around this area - for a fun little birthday/Sunday activity. We got everyone ready and started piling in the car - except - much to my chagrin - another catastrophe is in the making.

Mikala is in the middle seat - and Gannon doesn't want to get in the back - "IT IS GROSS"he cries. Weeping and wailing and nashing of teeth - Mikala crying because she doesn't want to get in the back - Gannon stomping his feet because HE IS NOT (out of control sobbing) SITTING (more sobbing) IN THE (hyperventalation) BAAAAAAACKKKKK!! - YOU ARE SO MEAN (more crying) I (choking while sobbing) HHHHAAAAAAATTTE you." Well of course you do - I mean it's my birthday and who doesn't hate their mom on their birthday. It just wouldn't be a birthday without someone telling you how much they despise you.

I walk into the house and start cleaning up the legos and toys that have been strung out all of the house. They all come in and start crying - WE WANT TO GO TO THE TEMPLE - PLEASE MOMMY - PLEASE - WE ARE SORRY - not half as sorry as I am - all I wanted was some peace and quiet for my special day - and look at this place - I just cleaned it! AHHHH! More weeping and wailing and Jason yelling and I have HAD enough-

I stomp up the stairs, slam my bedroom door and lock myself in. I turn on a movie that I have been trying to finish for over a month and turn the TV loud enough to block out the pounding on the door. The knob being turned over and over and over again - a couple of times I was quite certain the door would be broken down by the violent kicking and scratching and MOM - LET US IN - PLEASE COME OUT. Every 10 minutes they would take a break and then it would be back for more. My movie ends - I fall asleep and the phone rings off the hook with my children pounding on the door - PLEASE MOM - PLEASE - let us in!

Finally 3 hours later - I get up to go to the bathroom, unlock the door and get back in the bed. Let's see how long it takes for them to realize the door is unlocked. One minute passes - two minutes - here comes someone up the stairs - 2 and 1/2 - the knob turns - AHHHHH - the door is unlocked - the first one enters followed by two more and even Keaton climbs up the stairs and into the room. At least they still love me.

We had barbecue beef sandwiches, one of my favorites, outside at our patio table. The kids are happy the birds are singing - and my sweet friend has dropped off cupcakes for us all to enjoy. YUMMY! Life is good - life is short - life is full of good times like these. I didn't get a massage, I didn't get a pedicure, I didn't get to go to dinner or a movie, but I got lots of sticky kisses, a couple of beautiful home-made cards and lots of snuggling time with my babies. What more could I ask for.

And to all of you who called to sing and left messages - because I didn't answer the phone because I was holed up in my bed - THANK YOU a million times over. Your love and friendship are more precious to me than any gift I could ever ask for. I love you all!

And a word to the wise - EXPECT NOTHING - and you will never be dissappointed. At least - that is what I found works for me. . . . . Until next year . . . HAPPY FREAKIN' BIRTHDAY! :0)


Saturday afternoon - Grocery shopping with Gabbi
She is starved . . . . we buy a can of Pringles.

ME - "Gabbi - don't eat those until you wash your hands. They are filthy from the cart."

GABBI - "Okay - mom where is the hanitizer?"

HANITIZER - You mean Hand Sanitizer? LOVE IT! - Combine the two and what do you have HANITIZER! Makes sense.


Monday morning - Gannon asks

"Mom can I play Gamecube?"

Me - "Yes, after the work is done and we get our house clean."

"AHH - MOM, I don't want to work - I am not a slave"

No - Gannon - and neither am I. :0) HILARIOUS!

Friday, April 11, 2008


Gannon in the tub last night - kept turning the water on and off.

"Gannon - please leave the water off."

"But mom - I need a drink."

"Why?" - I said -

"Because - I'm drinky mom."

" You're drinky"

"Yeah - I need a drink because I'm drinky."

I couldn't correct him.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Okay so maybe I am a little prejudice, but don't you think my dad is one of the HOTTEST guys you have ever seen and even though he is 65 today - he doesn't look much different from this shot taken 40 years ago.

I wanted to tell my dad publically how grateful I am for his birth and how much I love him. He has been such an example to me my whole life of everything that is good and constant. We always knew we would be going to church. We always knew what was expected of us. We always knew that we were loved. I feel so fortunate to have been a child in the home of my parents. They gave us everything we needed and all the love and care a child could ever want.

This picture sums it up for me. What a kind face, what a wonderful heart beats within him. He is a great source of comfort to me and there are times when I ache to just have one of his great bear hugs.

So Dad - Happy Birthday! I wish we could be there in person, to give you a kiss and to celebrate your wonderful life, but we are thinking of you from up here in the deep freeze they call Utah. Enjoy the sunshine, enjoy your day - for dad - YOU ARE ALIVE!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


For those of you who know me really well, know of my love for music. It is one thing that lifts me up when I am having a bad day. It creates happiness, love and harmony in my home. A song with a good beat can make my spirits fly. My love of music extends from Queen to Josh Groban, from Barry Manilow to Billy Joel. If you ever hear a good song that you think I would like, please let me know. I would love to know what your ALL time favortie song is. Please post a comment with your favorite. For me - I could never choose. I have so many. SING, SING A SONG!

Monday, April 7, 2008


WHAT THE HECK? Today is April 7th - Old Man Winter is supposed to have gotten the heck out of Dodge. Not so much - Gannon said - Is it Christmas time again? - No Gannon, we just live in Utah. Need I say more. This is an honest to goodness shot from my front door as of one hour ago.


Gabbi lost her first tooth. She was so scared every night after Kenzie told her that she was probably going to lose it during the night and then swallow it. Every night there was worry and fear that Kenzie's prediction would come true. Wednesday the 2nd she came down saying her tooth was bleeding. Jason said let me see - he yanked her tooth a little and she said - DON'T! Then she replied - Hey where is my tooth. He pulled it out without her knowing. She was very excited. The tooth fairy left a dollar.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I must say this was totally unexpected. Kenzie came home yesterday with an EXTRA wide grin on her face. Unrolling a sheet of paper and holding it in my face. "LOOK AT THIS MOM!" As you can see on the certificate, she scored in the top 10%, nationally in Social Studies on the Iowa tests. Pretty cool. And what was even cooler is how she feels about herself. She said to me "I didn't think I was that smart mom, I guess I am." I just smiled and said - "I KNOW you are that smart." AAAHHH! Days like this make it all so worth it.