Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Few Things...

I need to record before they get left behind. This summer Grandpa Jody completed making a children's train that hooks right onto his lawn mower. It is really quite the creative project!! I'm pretty sure no fuel containers, dollys, and pipe insulation has ever brought children more joy! Ingenius--and the kids think so too. They love this thing. And it can pull the parents that need to ride with small ones. He has it conveniently all packed away, ready to go in a trailer for any family gathering we have. And it is a hit with all of the kids!! It really is cute!

Drew and Madelyn had fun rolling down the hill in the inner tube with Grandma's help.

Cute Lily.

These next few pictures could not go without being documented in some way. One day I was enjoying a moment of respite while Hannah and Lily played beautifully together in the other room. When will I ever learn? Moment of respite= TROUBLE.

Hannah and Lily had gotten into the fingernail polish--climbed up the shelves to find it no less. Luckily no carpet or painted walls were harmed or vandalized in their project. Just a couple pieces of clothing and themselves.

Who was the major culprit? Well, my guess is Hannah who painted an "H" on her tummy and totally gave Lily a makeover. She hasn't figured out that that "H" marking is a dead giveaway..... No amount of scrubbing would take this stuff off, we were just left with time to wash everything away.

I also can't forget Hannah's first love. A little caterpillar she lovingly named Shemo. What started as a mom pointing out the joys of nature, soon escalated into a little girl absolutely losing her heart, loving this caterpillar so much!! We of course had to make him a jar home. She insisted he come everywhere with her--even to the grocery store. I consented and let her. I tried to insist that he stay in his jar, but I would find her in different areas of the house with the jar--lid unscrewed, holding her little best friend.

It really was the cutest thing. We tried to make him as comfortable as we could. Giving him plenty of food.

Finally, we could tell this little guy was slowing down. Hannah knew he was getting sick and insisted we give him medicine. Not knowing of any caterpillar medicine and trying to explain that, she took matters into her own hands and thought that a bit of water would nurse him back to health. Unfortunately, his health went down drastically after that.

We tried to release him back into the wild, but he didn't weather well. Even though it was raining, Hannah took her blanket out onto the porch and stayed at his bedside.

After it was apparent that our little friend had passed on, essentially from being loved too much, I tried to coax Hannah back into the house....it did not go over well. This poor little girl had suffered her first heartbreak.

But Shemo still lives on in her heart, we made little green fuzzy caterpillars out of pipe cleaners. She lovingly named one of them, Shemo.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


In my somewhat conscious state of sleep, a couple of nights ago, I heard a couple of doors open and close. Finally, one more opening and closing of our garage door did the trick and I was woken up. I looked at the clock and it was shortly after 6:00 A.M. I woke up Jed with a sense of urgency, and told him I heard someone going in and out of our garage!! He took our fire bat and quickly went to check out the scene. I sat nervously in our bed ........ waiting. He came back and let me know that there was no one there. Jed seemed ok with that and headed for the bathroom, but I knew this was for real, so I decided to take matters into my own hands with the fire bat and just make sure our kids were ok. Jed came out as I was approaching the downstairs, a dark figure also came up from downstairs at the same time. A small dark figure. It was Drew-- all dressed for school with backpack, coat, and shoes. I asked him if he knew what time it was and informed him of the time...he just said "oh, I was just really excited for the Christmas party." (The one he was having at school) That made Jed and I smile. He further explained he couldn't find his shoes, so he got his new flashlight...searched the house....and finally went into the garage to check to see if they were in the car. Jed and I just laughed as we imagined what would have happened if we had woken up just a little earlier to see someone going through our house with a flashlight!!! I'm afraid he may have had a very large goose egg on his head! Our little half-size intruder.
Now I'm just a tad worried that Christmas morning will come extra early this year....if he was willing to get up an hour than usual to be ready for school because of a Christmas party!!

Wish us luck!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pinkalicious Party

I can't believe this girl is six! Time flies.She wanted a tie dye cake for her birthday cake. We thought it turned out pretty fun. We love these colorful cakes because we just frost them white, looking plain enough. Then when we dig into them they just really pop out some bright colors! And it is always a surprise to see how they turn out.

Onto Madelyn's b-day party which I talked a bit about in the post just before this one...these are the party favors we gave out to friends. pink pink pink.

Lunch. I didn't go too crazy and bake my own pink bread or anything....we just did our best to make it pink-ish. I thought the white chocolate pink marshmallows turned out pretty cute though.

Here are a few of the pink party guests.

Here are our pinkalicious cupcakes, Madelyn loved how they turned out.

And here is one of our games, "pin the cherry on the cupcake." All in all it was a great and fun party and it all came together without much fuss!


We've had a lot of them the last couple....few months. Oh my, am I ever behind in recording life's events. I celebrated a birthday in September and some of my favorite moments from that were: the kids making breakfast for me all by themselves--Jed was out of town so they made sure to make me feel special, going on a walk and eating Reed's Dairy--we pretty much go on a walk for my birthday every year..it's just one of my favorite things, I love how the kids were so excited to give me presents. Their excitement kind of rubs off!!

We celebrated Jed's birthday not much later. It was fun....and the sad thing is, when I don't write things down fast enough my brain washes away all memories!! It is horrible.

Atleast I have pictures.

Next was Hannah's birthday, which we celebrated right in the heart of my morning sickness nastiness. So I barely was able to make her birthday wish come true of a "strawberry cake." That was her one birthday wish. And I have no pictures because Lily lost the camera for several weeks. No Halloween pictures either. :( So, I guess, so much for pictures!! She is now 3 and growing up so much. She is still just as full of personality as ever!

Then Madelyn's birthday came next. I had never thrown a friend party for Madelyn before--bad mom huh? So I decided this year was the year. Madelyn and I had a really fun time planning and organizing her birthday. She wanted a "Pinkalicious" birthday party (if you have never read that book, you must, it is very cute). We planned a party with little themes from the book. We played pin the cherry on the cupcake, "pink pink green" as in duck duck goose, and musical chairs. We also read the story at the beginning and asked all of the attendees to wear pink. It turned out fun with a cute little luncheon for the friends too. And it was fairly easy to pull together! Gotta love that. And of course we decorated heartily in pink and made pinkalicious party favors for her friends to take home. I'll put pictures up on a separate post for her birthday, because it is not letting me arrange pictures very easily this time....and I don't want to waste my time!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Life is Crazy

Things have been hairy around here at times lately. Firstly, like I mentioned earlier we are expecting a little one in the next several months, to come and join the ranks. I definitely haven't felt 100% and would rank this pregnancy #2 on the hardest pregnancy scale. Luckily, things have gotten significantly better. It is so crazy how a little speck can throw off your groove so wildly!! Gratefully now I can cook meat--almost, I'm not quite there with beef yet, I can clean the toilet, I can change a diaper without throwing up, I actually have started planning menus again, I can now make a grocery list and no longer have to buy what "almost" looks good enough to eat, I can handle smells now, I can help my kids with their homework standing up...and not from the couch, I actually planned and carried out a b-day party for Madelyn--poor Hannah just got a cake that I could barely make for her b-day, I'm not always wishing that someone else would come and make me dinner--but it would have to be potatoes because that is pretty much the only thing that constantly sounded good, and I don't have to take a nap every day, but almost! So things are definitely looking up!!
We've been potty training Hannah. It hasn't been pretty. My older two kids pretty much potty trained themselves at this age, and had maybe 3 accidents--if that. This one, however, has been much much much more difficult. We reverted back to diapers for a time, it got that bad. I had had enough constant laundering, cleaning, and scrubbing. It all climaxed as I was at an exercise class one day, and near the end I look over and see Hannah and her friend's bare bottoms. That was not all. They both decided to go potty on the floor! I about died. After that, it was back to diapers. Yesterday was the first day that Hannah stayed clean in her underwear and then today 3 accidents again. I am potty trained out.... One other crazy/funny story: there was one day we were in thick of potty training and we had stomach flu going around too. Needless to say the potty training wasn't happening and I had several messes on account of the flu as well. I was pretty much laundering and scrubbing and disinfecting all day long. Jed got home from work and was on the phone doing church stuff in the other room all night long. So I was finally getting everything wound up around the house and getting our scripture study done with the kids-the last thing on our list. I was laying on the couch reading, when Hannah ran up to me and threw up right on my face, neck, and shoulder. I just started laughing/crying....it was funny but also, I was definitely at the end of my rope. Jed walked out just then from doing his phone calls, and I just said "Where have you been?" I wasn't upset, it was more just a funny scene to walk in on and I just had to say it. I was very grateful that Hannah missed my mouth, only by a couple inches....
Jed is now serving in our bishopric which has brought some change to our family as well. It has been a good experience and I know it will continue to be a good experience. We've definitely had a learning curve, learning what works in sacrament mtg all over again, not setting out breakfast for Jed on fast sunday mornings, remembering to bring him a lunch to have for after church, and making sure his white shirts aren't still in the wash come sunday mornings! We're catching on though. I'm so lucky that I serve in YW still because almost every sunday, one of them will come and help me. I really am so grateful for everyone's help. We have to get babysitters every mutual night, and whenever we have to be at the same meeting, etc. My parents and neighbors have helped so very much. I'm very grateful.
Life is crazy and good at the same time. I hope I don't sound like I am ranting and raving, but I had to record real life. When my girls grow up and have children of their own and ask me, "did you ever have days like this?!" I will say, "YES!!!! Just hang in there and take it one day at a time....one day at a time." :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

This month as a family, we've tried harder to focus on being grateful for the entire month of November. I can't say that I have been perfect at it, let's just say a potty training experience gone awry has put my nerves a little more on edge than usual, but I am so grateful for how blessed our family truly is. I truly believe that there is real power in gratitude, and I hope I can better develop a constant spirit of gratitude in my life.
A few things I am grateful for:
*A warm house, food to eat, clothes to wear, and so many comforts that usually I take for granted.
* A loving family. A good husband who works very hard to support our family. Fun, good, and healthy children.
* Wonderful extended family on both Jed and I's side of the family.
* So many "little" things my children do and say that truly bring me joy.
* A new baby coming to our family in May. I'm grateful to see our family grow and see our children excited for a new baby.
*Good friends and wonderful neighbors.
* The gospel in my life, I love it.
* Life in general. I'm so grateful to be able to learn and grow and to become better.
* A loving Heavenly Father and Savior who know me better than I know myself, my weaknesses and my potential. I'm grateful that I can receive guidance and direction in my life from One who knows better than I.
* I'm grateful that Thanksgiving comes just before Christmas. A grateful heart is the perfect start to a season that focuses on the birth of our Savior.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Star of the Week

So remember when I started the Star of the Week series? Yeah, I hardly do either, but I guess it is time for me to finish up with them!

This is Lily.

Things that Lily loves:

* her blankie

*her dada--she runs to the garage every time she hears the door close. I always feel really bad when I return from taking out the garbage and hear Lily, "DADA!!!" and little feet pattering towards the door.

*She loves milk. Could drink it ALLLL DAAYY LOOONG.

*She loves playing with her siblings.

*She unfortunately loves violence. She pulls hair, bites, and pinches. We're working on it.

*She loves playing in the toilet/bathroom.

*She loves to help me clean. It is very very cute. And I praise it like crazy because I know what is coming around the corner....
*She loves Nutella. She isn't a huge fan of toast, but put some nutella on it and she will have thirds!
*She loves hiding in her daddy's closet in his clothes. Check out that smile in the above picture.... :)
* She loves nursery. And she has started going already. The nursery ladies are really helping me out!

* She loves going outside and it has been a struggle to try to explain that it is just getting too cold to go outside sometimes. :(

Things I love about Lily:

* I love that she knows what she wants and how to help me know what she wants. Like when she gets a sippy out of the cupboard with a mismatching lid and leads me right to the fridge to get her milk.

*I love that she knows exactly what to do before we start eating. She will fold her arms before she digs in sometimes.

* I love that after bedtime family prayers she opens her arms wide and will take a turn giving everyone a great big hug.
* I love that she says "please" and "thank you" sometimes without being reminded! One night she was up and was sick. I was up with her and we were laying on the couch together so I could take care of her. She kept saying "taintoo" over and over. It was the sweetest thing, and really helped me not mind that I was missing so much sleep that night.

*I love that other than having a few issues with violence, she really is a pure sweetie!

We love that little girl!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


This word has been on my mind a lot the last couple of days. And it has meaning on so many different levels. In particular, I've been thinking of what it means to me in the sphere of mothering. I wish I could say that I have perfect perspective. I wish I could say that I think eternally if something really is worth my time and effort, all the time. But I can't. So much of the time I find myself just struggling to stay afloat, and then after a whirlwind of a day I think to myself, "what did I actually do today? What did I do that made a difference?" Sure I mopped the floor, scrubbed the toilet, folded a couple loads of laundry, made meals for everyone in our family and some neighbor kids, paid bills, picked up the kindergarten car pool, went to an appointment, helped the kids with their homework, cleaned up countless messes, and changed several diapers, etc. But what did I really do?
Don't get me wrong, we certainly would notice if I decided not to do any of the above listed things. They are important in their own right. But, I want to make sure that I am actually making a difference in my childrens' lives every day, even if it is in some small way. If I am not careful, I can go about a days business without taking a moment to "be there" with my kids. Things have definitely gone up a notch in busy-ness the last couple of weeks....but still....if I am not carving out time to be with them every day, I fear my perspective is out of whack. I should be more careful to take into account the real purpose of what I am doing. Why am I a mom? What do I want my relationship with my kids to be like when they are teenagers? What are my hopes for my children? I really want the eternal perspective to be at the forefront of my mind every day.
Maybe I could take a break every so often from the chores with my little ones to read a few stories together. To cuddle and tell them why I love them so so so much. Ask them what they want to do for the next 20 minutes, and then do it! Ask them out of the blue if they will play barbies with me ....or something else they really want me do, but know I am making dinner so they don't ask. I want to take the time to be with them. I want them to know that even though life gets crazy, that they take precedence over a sparkling clean toilet or whatever else.
I am certainly not there yet. I have a long way to go, but that is the mom I want to be.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wrapping up Summer

Summer was good to us. We very much enjoyed it here. I am already missing the "freedom" of summer and trying to get a handle on the new scheduled mode. I like schedules too, it just requires a transition!

Drew loved every bit of the soccer season. He still steals me whenever he can to go play a soccer match with him outside.

He is already looking forward to next year.

It is sad to say I never wrote anything about our nations birthday. We had a quieter 4th of July this year. We squeezed in several fireworks shows, and a pretty darn good one from our porch late at night that our neighbors put on--can't beat that!

Lily's look of shock, her first memorable fireworks.

Doesn't this picture just look like a fire hazard? ...that lovely pile of dead grass right next to the fireworks.... :)

We had blueberry pancakes with strawberry sauce and whipped cream for breakfast.

Nice and easy traditional breakfast.

Swimming lesson season is over too. And I couldn't resist but breathe a huge sigh of relief. Drew and Madelyn were in different classes back to back this year....and Hannah and Lily were a handful every time--don't let those cuties deceive you.... :)

I don't think the observation deck has been cleaned ever, so every time we went those two little girls were eating the most DEEESGUSTING things ever. I always brought plenty of snacks, but they preferred the old ,stale, moldy, nasty treats from 10 years ago. Don't forget the eating of already been chewed gum. Bleh!! We are still working on that with Hannah and pretty much nothing disgusts me more.

The pictures are horrible, but they are pictures. :) Madelyn had a really fun time in her class. She had some fun little friends to socialize with!

Drew finished his lessons as an entirely different swimmer. Wow. He really pushed himself and did great!

One of the goals my all of my kids wanted to do over the summer was to learn about the world. So we did. My mom took my kids and I to the International Folk Dance Festival--we did that every year growing up.

Since we had been learning about the world, it made the experience even more special. My kids loved looking at all the different flags they had displayed.

We had fun learning dances and observing them. Lily was a pro at making all sorts of international friends. :)

Sorry for the sideways picture. This was our Chilean culture night. We had empanaditas, rice, and beans. I didn't know how to cook the beans...they were non-traditional, but I think the empanaditas were pretty close!! Jed taught/talked about Chile that night after the kids and I had studied up on it.

Our good friends Brett and Leslie hosted a Japan night and it was awesome. The food was delish--I wish I could remember what the dishes were called.... Brett showed pictures, answered the kids' questions, let us use official chopsticks, and shared some Japanese trinkets with us. Thank you so much, it was very fun!!

Our very first one was a USA culture night. Good ole hot dogs, corn on the cob, watermelon, etc. We also decorated heartily for that one with all of the projects we worked on together. It was very fun.

We still have one more culture night to celebrate with their Uncle Gerald on South Africa. It should be fun.

Whew. It was a fun and busy summer. A lot of really fun times to remember!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back To School

The first day of school was anticipated nearly as much as Christmas this year. Madelyn came in my room at 5 AM wondering if it was time. Drew told me he couldn't sleep well at all and woke up several times....

Of course there had to be a little picture taking.

My big girl just starting school.
And my growing Drew.
They both had their clothes laid out and ready the night before. I remember those days. Such fun times. Even though it is hard to say goodbye to summer, I do love this time of year!! Just like spring, the fall has its own feeling of "newness." I love fall.

Waving at the bus stop.

The bus ride!! Very exciting. :)

Hannah and Lily and I enjoyed some quiet time at home together before we had to get Madelyn. It is so nice to give them focused time, they desperately needed it! It is amazing how much different it is at home with just the three of us. Jed asked me over the phone how my "day off" was going. It definitely is simpler with less constant needs!

When Madelyn was home we whipped up a batch of Rice Crispy treats, our special 1st day after school snack.

This had to be one of my very favorite things of the day. All of the girls ran out of the house as soon as I announced Drew was home. There were hugs all around..........I loved that.

Just so sweet!!!

I love those kiddos.

We all got caught up on what happened on the first day over our Rice Crispy treats. Lots of stories were shared and there was a general consensus that school is going great thus far!!

Lily had little crispies stuck everywhere....

Showing each other their cool projects and special things they got.

It was a great day! I was asked by a friend if I was someone who was happy to send their kids out the door or if I am a crier......well, I didn't actually cry...but I definitely favor that side of the spectrum. I love that they go and learn and have a great time. I love that I have some time to spend with my younger ones. But man, I miss those guys!!!

A couple of weeks before school started, Madelyn was starting to feel nervous about school. I told her that Dad would give her a blessing and that would help her feel better. We had planned a time to have the blessings, but something came up...that happened several times until finally we set it in stone that the night before, Jed would give the blessings. It was such a neat experience. I felt the spirit strongly and I know that the children did too. I'm so grateful for the priesthood. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father is watching them always. I'm so grateful for the peace I felt after the blessings were given. Madelyn's nerves were soothed and after that it was just pure excitement!
So here's to a new school year!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The next *Star of the Week*

Onto the second of my Star of the Week series:

Here we have Drew.

Things Drew loves to do:

* Help his mom

*Work with his Dad



*ride his scooter/bike

*play soccer

*play with his sisters

*Learn--especially loves math

*Loves to do a good job with everything he does


*to play the Wii with his best buddy from school

Things I admire about Drew:

*He is a very hard worker--He worked and earned money for the above razor scooter

*He is so unselfish--he has an amazing ability to understand the feelings of others and always wants to help

* He loves to have fun

*He is determined--this year in his swimming lessons, I was sure on that first day they were going to put him in the class just lower. His classmates were doing stuff he had never done.....on the very first day! But they didn't switch him. Instead, Drew got it in his mind that he was going to pass this class and move on to the next level. And he did!! He did so amazing, seriously.

* He is so kind. One day our family was going for a walk. I asked the kids what the most beautiful thing they could see was. Drew said, "You!" Awhhhh, he will be such a great husband!

Drew you are such a great example to your younger siblings, and such a pleasure to have around! We love you tons and tons!!!