Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Little Lady Lessons

We've got a funny little tradition that has kind of stuck around here.  In fact....it just kind of gets a little bigger every time.  While the boys were away (scout day camp and work) the girls got a special invitation to come to "Little Lady Lessons."  They found little invitations all rolled up and tied with a bow left on the doorstep after the doorbell rang.  :)  
It is pretty simple really.  All little lady lessons is, is a celebration of being a little girl.  We talk about modesty, how special it is to be a girl, and some manners.  I read some quotes from our church leaders about the special it is to be a girl/young woman.
I secretly decorated while they were downstairs....and made mini smoothies and mini muffins.
They were so excited to find this when they came up:
Adding streamers and making things we normally eat into mini size sure makes it feel like a special occasion.  ;)
I sure hope my girls will feel how special it is to be a girl.  That they are special and loved.  That they are loved by their Heavenly Father and that with being a girl comes special roles and callings that they will one day fulfill. 
And those Little Lady Lessons have become a way that I try to instill that in them. 
And they seem to enjoy it!

Monday, September 29, 2014

What I miss about summer...

Drew really hit scouts hard this summer.  He started working on his fitness pin, and made some amazing progress in not too much time.  ^^  I also love that a sister wrote a love note on his fitness chart, that apparently he erased.....no mooshy love notes allowed on serious stuff I guess!
I was struggling to fit in my exercise with all the kids at home until I came up with a plan where I would run with Drew while Madelyn stayed with the others (who were mostly sleeping) and then we would trade off.  It was so so so perfect.  I got a decent amount of exercise in because I took each one out on a mile leg.  Plus, I got one on one time with those older two which is hard to come by in the summer.  Drew and Madelyn got to pass something off in their respective church activity booklets/scout book.   Just writing about it all makes me miss it! 
We were all ready to go for our Stake Pioneer Day mile run celebration when it came! 

 Here's my cute little pioneer day girls!
 Here we are all stinky and sweaty after our run in our wards designated black color, we are a new ward in the stake so we kind of got the last choice of color....
Drew pushed forward and came in with the first few finishers with a great time.
So we celebrated: 
 And we diligently kept up with our runs for the rest of the summer.  It was great!  Drew and Madelyn are the best running partners.  :)
This summer we had torrential rains for days and days on end.  But we kept running.  They were memorable runs.  :)  Soaked to the bone, and having a blast:
 On those rainy runs, counting worms kept us occupied and made the time fly!  :)
 I really miss those runs with some of my favoritest people ever.
 Speaking of rain, check these out:

That is some serious rain!!  Our yard has never been so green!  Or mushroomy......  It felt like I was getting flash flood warnings about every other day for quite awhile.
So now school is back in and I have yet to figure out another exercise regimen.  We tried to keep up with running at the beginning of school, and on that first day of school we ran before they left!  But the kids were exhausted by the time they got home from school.  So that idea went out the window quick as a flash. 
I'll figure it out.  But I sure love those summer running memories!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


 So, to just be painfully honest here, my toughest times during the summertime at home with the kids is cleanup.  Ugh.  I have a really, really, hard time handling messes gracefully.  I don't like it one bit.  Not so much the messes, but the attitude of not needing to clean it up. And my poor kids listen to me vent too much about the lack of cleanliness.  I'm working on that......
But there was a day in the summer when the morning got going, and I felt like I was the ONLY one cleaning.  Not only were there children not cleaning and getting to their chores, but holy smokes, are they able to make a mess in NO time. 
So it was one of those mornings...
And I was letting my kids know I wasn't happy about it...
We have been helping a neighbor down the road with her garden and I told the kids I was going to go help her alone, and I would be back and the house better be clean!
Well, they did it. 
But not only that, I think they felt bad that I was so mad.  So did I.  But, to make things better in their minds, they made me lunch.  And it was about the cutest thing ever. 
I walked in and things were picked up.  The table was set complete with a salt and pepper shakers, hot sauce, and napkins.  There was a menu sitting on the table with this written on it:
Ummmm....that is pretty much the cutest thing ever.  Those little sweeties!  It was good for me to get fresh air out in the garden, then to walk in and see their cute little service.  It sure helped me get over my little temper in a hurry. 
I am trying to not lose my patience so easily.  It can be difficult when the kids are talking to me all at once, or fighting with each other, or needing me to do something for them at the same moment, etc.  Add in me feeling emotionally exhausted or physically tired or hungry, and we have a recipe for disaster. 
It can be so much easier to see the problems and nag, than to see the good and praise it up and down.  But I am trying to focus more on seeing the positive. 
There is a scripture in the New Testament that explains, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but [only] that which is good [and] edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."  Ephesians 4:29.
That is what I want to do.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Funny kids...

 Watching my children interact with each other this summer was so much fun (most of the time)!  It was so fun to have them share most of their time together and see what they come up with.  They were always up to something!  Like that tea party up above with our 5 gallon buckets....
 Sorry about the blur on this one, but seriously couldn't leave this one of Lily out.  Drew got fake mustaches as a birthday present and we were all getting laughs out them!
 So silly.... :)

 Some of the greatest moments ever are when you see your children doing acts of service for each other.  Makes my heart just bulge at the seams.  Drew got some mints and secretly left these little notes on everyone's pillows or beds.  Made his sisters' day!

Hannah asked me to take this picture of her silly face pizza.   
 These kids of mine heard the ice cream truck out on the road, and without even really thinking about it, they yelled out "We want ice cream!!!!"  And they called that little ice cream bus right into our driveway.  I guess that is one way to get what you want.   They got their cold treat.  :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Our own personal lake....

 We water our property with irrigation water.  But this summer we put in a sprinkler system, so so much work, but awesome.  Well, the water comes down our way every other week during the early parts of summer.  This one particular weekend, we got a lot of water, and then our neighbor's property overflowed into ours while we were gone.  We came home to a pretty serious lake!!  The kids immediately took to it and popped the canoe in there and ventured out in their own personal lake!
 It kept them busy and happy for quite a long time. :)
 The farmers around us looked painfully on, as we had way more water than was necessary.
In fact, we had more water than our yard could handle and it leaked into our basement, luckily, only I our utility room that isn't finished anyway.  But it kept us busy for a couple hours just constantly sucking water up in the shop vac.  Whew.  Glad it didn't do any permanent damage. 
When we watered the rest of the summer, we (and our neighbors) kept a much closer eye on the water level. 
Plus, it is crazy to see these pictures now, because up on that dirt bank there is now grass!  Hooray!

Swimming Lessons

We started swimming lessons immediately following the first weekend after school let out.  It is a fun way to start things off for the summer.  For Han and Lil I missed their old teacher, man she was amazing.  But she told me to just request her next year.....definitely will.  :)
It was right after I took this picture of Lily that she took that barbell floaty thing and put it on the back of her neck with her arms hanging over it, which meant that the weight of her arms were actually pushing her head into the water.  Scared me to death, especially since the teacher was watching Hannah at the time.  I was just about to shout to get his attention, when he saw her.  She was fine, but she got really water shy the next week and wouldn't do a thing the teacher asked her to do after that.  Shucks.  :( 

My kids sure look forward to the last day of lessons, where they get unlimited use of the big waterslide and free ice cream.  
It's pretty fun for them.
So during lessons, Claire was my little buddy.  She got bored quickly watching everyone behind the glass, so we would venture outside most days.  We found lizards and one day a snake....eek!  
Then we would just walk around the beautiful surroundings together:
On the last day, even though she wasn't going swimming, she wanted to be in her "swimsoup" so I obliged.  She is such a fun little girl!

We got their ice cream cones and some fries to share that last day.  Another good round of swimming lessons!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Camping Trip of the Summer

It is something we look forward to, and it seems the first trip is always super fun.  Digging out s'more stuff once again.  Having more uninterrupted family time.  Getting practice starting campfires.  Brushing the dust off those motorcycles and having some good rides together.  Good times!  Just look at Lily's face with her gigantic marshmallow, I think she likes it.  ;)

 Hannah even got her first motorcycle lesson!  Pretty exciting.

 And of course, we enjoy soaking in the beauties of nature:

 And just letting those kids of ours romp and play and imagine to their hearts content:
The only drawback to early summer camping are those darn ticks.  After going for a motorcycle ride, or hiking we usually come home with about 7-8 between all of us.  Ick!!!