Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I have a lot of catch up to do...as always.  We went fishing to a beautiful nearby place on a Friday night.  It was the perfect night.  The weather was warm and nice and our fishing spot had a little bit of a hike to get in--which I am always in favor of--and it turned out to be such a nice low key night.
 We saw geese with their baby goslings, so very very cute!
 There was a lot to keep the little ones busy.  They liked picking up different colored shot gun shells--this place was also a popular duck hunting spot. There were cactuses and ant hills.... 

 ....and of course fishing.  Though we weren't fully equipped that night with worms, we did our best with some fake ones.  We had no success with the actual fishing, but it was just a fun place and a beautiful night that no one even cared!

 I had to get a picture of Hannah's backside.  Yep, those pants are clearly on backwards.  And did this mom care to fix it?  Nope!  Some things just don't matter to me so much any more. 

And to top it all off, we got to see a bald eagle fly right past us.  My timing in taking the picture wasn't so great....but you get the idea.  
I love nights like this.

Weekend trip

A few weeks ago, we stocked up the camper and headed to Swan Valley for a quiet little camping weekend with just us.  We had a lot of fun.  It was quite the adventure as there was quite a bit of raining with intermittent dry spells.  Luckily, the weather cooperated so we had just enough outside time for the essentials...like roasting hot dogs and smores.  Drew built the fire himself, and I just helped him catch the logs on fire.  He did a great job, what a scout!
Warming up by the fire.
Our littlest camper.
We managed to roast a few smores, then opted to microwave the rest because the rain got heavier.... :)
Jed cooked us his signature mountain man hash for breakfast. 
Drew took the motorcycle out for quite a ride.  He was out there in the very chilly morning riding by himself, then following Jed and the girls in the go-kart.
They had a good ride and were quite ready to warm up when they were finished.
As everyone else was out and about riding, I took myself out on a nice quiet walk.  It was wonderful and everything was so beautiful, green, and fresh from the rain.  It was a good time for me to enjoy some nature and alone time.

Jed gave Madelyn her first lessons on the motorcycle, which ended up in an unexpected wheelie with some tears.  So he took her on a ride and that seemed to remedy any fearful feelings.  We'll try again another time....
Lily loves this top bunk, but she gives me a heart attack constantly when she is up there because she just loves to live on the edge!
Madelyn picked these pretty flowers for me and did a nice floral arrangement with them.  :)  I get flowers all the time from my little girls! 
It was a great camping trip and SO nice to just get away and enjoy our family being together.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Little Troublemaker

 Yep, jar of peanut butter on the carpet.  And happy as can be about it in her little cave.
 This girl is not going to get sunburned any time soon.
 Good thing she is such a little cutie!
For a girl who absolutely despises brushing her teeth, she has a fettish with everything involved in the process...  Whenever there is a down moment, she will be found here, feet in the sink--either shredding toilet paper into a filled sink of water and clogging the drain, or squeezing out a tube of toothpaste and giving art a try on the mirror and counter. 
That's my girl.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I am lucky.

I am one lucky girl.  I have the best job in the world.  Though every day is somewhat similar, certainly no two days are alike.  My life is full of adventure.  I get to rub shoulders with the greatest people every day.  I am a mother!!

Jed asked me last night right before bed on Mother's Day, what my favorite thing about being a mother is...and I told him it is in those small moments that fill your heart to the brim with love and joy.

Motherhood is made great at times when:
  • Lily is brought into my bed when she woke up as Jed got up for his early morning meetings on Sunday.  In a bright and cheery voice she says "hi momma!"  Then she grabs my arm and hugs it firmly while she jabbers a little bit more then drifts back to sleep.
  • Drew says he doesn't think he will be able go to sleep on Mother's Day Eve because he is so excited to give me the present he made for me at school.  And receiving his gift first thing in the morning when he woke up.
  • I listen to Hannah in the back of the car, trying to impress her siblings with how high she can count.  1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11...over and over again.  Then Drew finally saying 12, and she cues right back in with 13-14-15-16-19-20-and finally ends up at 40.  And saying "pretty high, huh!"  Boy does that girl ever want to win and be the best at things!
  • Madelyn was not being to even wait until mother's day to give me her present.  She gave it to me right when she got home from school on Friday.  She was about bursting at the seems for a week or two to not tell me she was growing a seed at school for me. 
  • I see Drew, Madelyn, and Hannah all hold hands as they went up to the stand in church to sing their Mother's Days songs.  I loved seeing them all together right in the front, Hannah's head barely being able to see over the edge...all singing and smiling right at me.  Best Mother's Day gift ever.
  • Overhear Hannah's bedtime personal prayer in the hallway, "please bless me to find my ducky.  Please make my teddy bear safe and that Rufus can't get it (that's our neighbor's dog...notorious for taking things and leaving other not so pleasant gifts on our sidewalk and lawn) and please help me to get bigger because I am little."  Melts my heart.
  • Receive all of their mother's day papers from church.  When Hannah gave me hers, she told me "I drew you mad........and I ate your treat."  So Hannah, and so funny.
  • I watch Lily's personality blossom and seeing her cute little mannerisms.   She loves to shrug her shoulders up and down over and over and say "I know"  (I don't know).
  • I see Madelyn read to her little sisters, or help pick pokies out of a sisters foot, or comfort a little one when they are sad.
These are the things that make motherhood shine.  I love Mother's Day because it allows me to reflect on how wonderful being a mother is, how grateful I am for those who are mothers to me, and for those who fill in the gaps in my abilities and mother and teach my children, and it seems to recharge my batteries and reminds me that motherhood is truly the most important calling/responsibility I will ever have.  It fills me with gratitude and humility that I have been given this responsibility.

Of course there are the other kind of moments.  The moments that make me want to pull my hair out, or throw in the towel, or make me want to spend the rest of my day in time out......but those moments fade and I am still left with those joyful moments that are still able to shine through some of those most frustrating times.

Even though I have a lot to learn and much growth yet to be experienced in the motherhood department, I still feel like I am one lucky girl.

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Stuff

 Seems like we have a few "new" things going on around here.  Drew has become a part of scouts, and I love to see him in that cute little uniform!  He loves it and has pretty much waited all his life to be a part of scouts--that's what you get when you have a dad who has pretty much always been involved in scouts!  He earned his bobcat already and got it at his first pack meeting. He is diligently working toward his wolf and it is fun to see him learn and grown and try new things.
 Earlier in the year, my brother Jeff gave our family this little violin.  Madelyn has pretty much begged to start on it ever since.  The trouble is it is still a little too big....  but I finally consented to start her (not bad to let the anticipation build up until they seriously want a go at it I think).  I had told her I would start in the summer since I am not taking students then, but I had a student not show up, and decided it is close enough to summer.  She ate it all up.  She loves it so far.  Every time she picks it up she is very careful to get the bow hold right and use correct position.  Yay! 
 I know it won't last forever, but so far she is the one who is asking me if she can practice.  Love that too.  That's one of the drawbacks of starting an instrument too early, in my opinion, is that it is almost always the parents coercing their children to practice and the children end up hating it before they were old enough to give it a real chance.
So for now, it is going smoothly and she is really loving it.  And I can't help but think it is pretty darn cute too!!
 Hannah, Lily, and I have been trying some new things too.
 These bubbles in a bowl were a hit.
 Can you tell?
Lily sometimes didn't understand that you are supposed to only blow out......not suck in.  She didn't seem to mind the nasty taste and managed to blow up some major bubbles.
And in the end I had a sparkling clean table...not bad.

Last of the Birthday Stuff...

 A week after Drew's birthday, we celebrated it once again...this time with his friends!  Drew wanted a dragon themed party.  So we made invitations, sindged the edges, and sealed them with wax. 
I didn't take a ton of pictures, it was a pretty go go go party and I pretty much was always soothing a whiny or crying child simultaneously....so there was not much time for cameras. 
The party went like this:
As everyone arrived they decorated a paper bag (to hold all their party favors) with dragons.
Then the boys played dragon tail tag--they all held hands and the person at the end of the line tried to chase and tag the person at the start of the line. 
Then they made swords with cardboard and covered them with tin foil.
Then they went on a serious treasure hunt from Sir Lancelot.  Jed made the hunt and it was way more serious, detailed, boyish than anything I could have come up with.  The boys got to even dig in one of our dirt mountains at the end for the treasure. 

 Searching for clues...
 There they are at the dirt pile digging the treasure out.
Here they are divvying out the loot.  They were all pretty fair, I was impressed.  Everyone would choose 5 things at a time, until the loot was gone.
Then they got dragon food to calm any dragon they might run into--swedish fish and dragon eggs also--giant jelly beans I found at WinCo. 
 Then they had dragon scale pizza and dragon blood punch for lunch.
It was all topped off with presents at the end.  Hannah thought this party was for her the whole time...and she was pretty hard to negotiate with.  She was throwing a fit for the majority of the party.  :)
I think they had fun, it was fun planning it with Drew.  I think he celebrated this birthday to the max......  :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

One Great Day.

 Drew's baptism day was so wonderful!  
 Drew is one special little guy.  He had a great interview with the Bishop, where the bishop gave him compliments on his preparation.  I'm so lucky to be the mother of such a wonderful boy.  He is so much better than me in so many ways.  I learn so much from him and his goodness.  His parents/sisters are the luckiest  in the world! 
His baptismal service started at 8:30 AM--good thing I got everything ready before hand--so it wouldn't conflict with the democratic caucuses held that day.  The service went well; it was a humongous stake baptism--15 baptismal candidates. I was asked to speak on baptism, and I was pretty happy about that.  I felt like I was the lucky one, really, because it helped the baptism service feel more personal to us.  So even though my nerves don't agree--I was grateful for the opportunity. 
We had a lot of support for family which we are always grateful for.  It really turned out to be such a wonderful day.  I was just filled to the brim with love for my little family.  It was one of the greatest mother moments I've had--to witness the baptism of one of my own children.  Not only that, but to see my wonderful husband able to perform the ordinance--it was a wonderful spiritual experience. 
After much patience and singing and waiting, the family was able to meet at our house for lunch.  The kids and I worked hard on lots of desserts the day before--Drew is showing the sugar cookie "8"'s and "D"'s we made.  Kind of fun.

Here are some pictures my brother-in-law Steve took for me at the lunch: