My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Sunday, June 30, 2013

you dumb pigs!

When I was younger, I LOVED pigs.  I ended up collecting them.  Not real ones, but stuffed pigs, glass pigs, pj's with pigs on them, and so on.  Weird...yes.

I had a book called, "PIGS," go figure, and the little girl in the book would always say, "hey you dumb pigs" before they would do something clever and naughty.

We have three guinea pigs.  I just call them our pigs, for short.

To our excitement, Marsha (our one and only female) gave birth a few months ago to 2 adorable babies.  I posted about them somewhere on this blog.

All of the pigs have been happily living together as one big happy, piggish, stinkish, poofyish, pig family.

And then Father's Day came.  Mary and Sam went down to feed the pigs, and came up crying.  The two babies were dead.

To make matters worse, they had been attacked and killed by the adult males in the cage with them. My guess:  the babies were old enough to like their mother... a lot, if you know what I mean.  The other two males weren't too fond of sharing.  So they attacked.  Seriously!  For the love of celibacy! Oh, I still get so mad! 

It was a very sad day in pig land.  We humans were all very sad too. Poor Mary was the most broken hearted.  Ben and the kids buried them with the other baby that died at birth.  The plan was to plant a tree there "to remember them by," but now I am not so sure I want to grow a tree that is being fertilized by three dead guinea pigs. hhhmmm

I was pretty heartbroken as well, and then I just got mad.  I decided that I don't like those male guinea pigs of ours anymore.  So, I posted them for sale on KSL and Craigs list, all the while muttering, "you dumb pigs!"

Just yesterday, as I was walking through the backyard, I noticed that the baby pigs had been dug up.  That was a pretty sight.  Barf.  Of course, Mary ran over there and commented on how cool it was that there were worms all over them.  Double barf.  Thank you Mary, now please re bury them, about 10 feet deeper this time, thank you.

They haven't sold yet.  I guess people don't want cannibals for pets, but here's to hoping. Any takers???

RIP sweet Darla and Alfalfa.


so this is what it is like

to have a day off of hormones.

Between the hormone pills I take  one week out of the month.  The hormone drop I have the week after the pills.  And then good ol' PMS for another week.  I have about one week of the month right now where I feel like my normal self.  Heaven help us all.

Can I just tell you that as soon as we can bring our last sweet spirit into this home, I am going to get sliced and diced, and get it all out.  Ah yeah!  That's right. Majority of it is in the process of dying anyway.  Might as well put us all out of our misery.

   Today, I felt normal, and I relished in it!  It was a wonderful day.  I also think that my new goal to try to slow down and soak it all in a little more, is beginning to help in small amounts.  Baby steps people, baby steps.
Life isn't perfect, and never will be, but I know that with the right outlook, it can be much better than I have been making it lately. 

Today, as the chaos to get ready for church unfolded, I tried so hard to just let it flow.  Being late is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.  Oh, I really hate it.  But lets get real, I have four children.  That is a lot of shoes, pants, shirts, dresses, hair to comb, hair to curl, teeth to brush, snacks to get ready, and bodies to shove out the door.  And, we really do always get there on time.  I may just not be in the best state of mind by that point.  I am all calmed down and back to normal right about the time church ends.  Nice.

So today, as I called out my usual, "Five minutes everyone," I really tried to just take deep breaths as (with every week) all of the sudden shoes could not be found, someone was dying of hunger, Luke pooped, and William's nicely combed hair now looked like a giant fuzzball of white puffiness. 

I met each need with as much "calm" as I could, and tried to laugh at the irony of it all.  10 minutes later, when we all got in the car, William's hair a poofball again, Sam's shoes in his lap, and Ben putting his contacts in, I just took time to look at each person. I saw how cute William's poofy hair was, and how his crazy untamable hair matched his fun loving personality.  I saw how Sam tried so hard to tie his shoes and was still trying with his little tongue out in concentration and his gorgeous, big blue eyes squinting with determination.  Mary rummaging through her scripture case to find her bright red chapstick,  sweet little Luke, chirping away in his happy innocent world, and smiling when I catch his eye, and Ben running late from taking the time to shave, just because he knew I liked a smooth face.

I actually smiled as we drove away. We arrived to church happy, all of us.

I took time to paint fingernails with Mary after church.  We ended up painting a finger or two of Sam's and William's as well, and then laughed our heads off as William tried over and over and over again to wash it off with water. 

I baked cookies with all of the kids.  I let them crack the eggs, pour the flower, and even turn on the mixer.  The look on their faces as the mixer turned all of  the "goop" into cookie dough was priceless.  William even hollered out of pure bliss and surprise, and then laughed and laughed.  And then we all ate handfuls of the sticky goodness.  Life's too short to bake the cookies anyway.  Especially when the dough is so good!

Mary and I made a wreath for the front door, and I loved how she didn't stop until the project was done, even when I told her to go play for a while.  She was so like me in the moment, and I loved that she loved it.

I painted the door that leads to the garage an adorable, soft, happy yellow,  just because I felt like it, and then Ben and I talked with friends out on their porch as the door dried, the sun slowly set and the kids played in the fresh evening air.

The day was simple, hot and busy.  But the day was so good!  It is amazing what the mind can do.  It is so incredibly hard for my busy, fast paced, type A, schedule and list oriented person, to slow down and soak it in, but the more I try, the more I see.  I really see, that my life is beautiful.  My family is beautiful.  The crazy small moments that I have let myself resent or get upset over, are the moments that really make life, well life.  And really, with some laughter, or a moment to love instead of fix, those little moments can make a big impact for better or for worse. Oh, and a week without raging hormones isn't so bad either.  ;)

just because i think

every girl should have a fun, red couch.

A fun green door leading to the basement.

And a fun yellow door leading outside.

Oh, and wait until you see the wallpaper I have picked out for the "green door" wall.  *squeal*

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Heber is doing the COOLEST thing this summer.  It is called Heber Unplugged.

The kids came home from the last day of school with these necklace/keychain things, and paper describing a summer program they can do.  I glanced at it, thought it looked a little confusing, and set it aside.

I didn't really look into it until a few weeks later, and I am so glad I did!  It has been awesome, and has helped me some much on my new mission to spend more time with my kids having fun, and to savor the moments.

There is a list of 101 things for kids and families to do in and around Heber.  For instance:  feed the ducks at this gorgeous park in Midway, wash the car, go camping, go swimming, make smores, have a lemonade stand, go miniature golfing, and so on.

Each time the kids do an activity, they get a "brag tag" to hand on their necklace.  William even got one too! For each brag tag they get, they get points.  Every 5 points puts your name in a drawing where you can win $100.  They draw every week.

The idea is to get kids and families out more, and not so "plugged in" all summer.  It is AWESOME!!!

I honestly think that the person who came up with this was absolutely inspired from a loving Father in Heaven.  It has made a big difference for my little nest anyway.

The more "tag" events we do, the more I realize how much fun it is to be with my children, and my family just doing the simple fun things.  Just the other day, we were all slugging around from the heat and not too happy around here.  I decided to look on that list of tag ideas, and saw "feed the ducks."

I decided to go for it, and we had so much fun!  It was hot, but the park was gorgeous, and the kids had a great time.  Most importantly, we had a great time together, just us.  Just me and my babies.  I tickled Luke and watched his adorable round eyes light up.  I watched the determination on Sam's face, and his little tongue stick out in concentration, as he sprinted across the grass to show me how fast he could go. I watched Mary's scientific mind at work as we walked through the visitors center and looked at animal skulls and Indian artifacts.  I watched William, with his big round cheeks chubby dimpled fingers point to the stuffed animals and holler out of complete awe.

Mary found a dead fish, and loved it.  My little scientific girl.

We stopped at the gas station afterwards for slushies.  Of course, one of my flock spilled their red one all over the floor, and not one of them had shoes on.  We were dirty, loud and silly, but we were happy, my kids were smiling, and for some reason, that is all that mattered to me.  The slushy on the floor could be cleaned and forgotten.  My children could not.

It was a moment I needed, and the kind of moment I am trying so hard to re-introduce into my life.  The moments where I really realize how much I deeply, truly, love my children and how much I love being a mother. 

So, thank you Heber Unplugged. 

I love this town.

sweet moments

Me: William let's put on your pajamas.  Here's your shirt.

William:  I don't want my shirt tonight mom, I just want to wear my belly button.

a mother's musings

As I was thinking about the last post, and about losing and finding things, this week I also noticed that I had lost something else.  Something WAY more important than keys, or a bottle.  I realized, as I laid on my bed and cried out of complete frustration with my duties as a mother, again, that I had lost the meaning, joy and importance of what being a mother is all about.
With my hormones being so messed up, and my body not producing estrogen, I struggle so much with feeling extremely irritable, struggling with my body image, because loosing one pound right now is like trying to make ice cream in hell, and fatigue.  I also have a very close person in my life that has decided that I am not worthy of forgiveness or even worth acknowledging that I am exist.  A person who, by all accounts, made me believe that family ties were above this. I am being treated like a piece of trash, so easily thrown away, and not worth any explanation as to why.  It has been 9 months now, and the longer time goes by, the more this person seals the pain and hurt around my heart.  I worry that it may become a seal that will forever be imprinted on my heart and not easily peeled away, if ever. 
I have let these struggles seep out of me and onto my family. As I watched my children fight over and over again for the millionth day in a row, stared at my dirty house that I just can't keep up with, and ran for an hour for the 4th time that week, only to find I had still not lost a pound, I looked around me in despair and just cried, and then I cried some more.
 I felt like I had ruined my children with my poor attitude.  I had let Ben down with my constant complaining about my duties I have as a mother and homemaker. I have let myself down, for becoming so miserable and grumpy, and I had let my father in heaven down, for not cherishing the blessings he has given me to be a wife and a mother.  The most important and blessed calling of all. 
 Instead, I was resenting it...all of it.  I just wanted to run away, sleep forever, and let someone else, a lot more loving and capable, save my family...from me.
As I cried to Ben the other day, and as he spoke loving words of peace and encouragement to my heart, I finally felt a tiny glimmer of hope peek into my struggling heart.
I felt the quiet whisperings of the spirit whisper to me, "There is still time."
I haven't damaged my family beyond hope.  Maybe my children can still see that they have a loving mother, not a wicked witch.  Maybe Ben doesn't regret marrying someone who complains all the time about her hard life (that would be laughable to so many suffering people out there).  Maybe there is still time.  Time to try to find the joy again, and time to cherish it.
I have decided to start out small.  Instead of resenting the fact that William wakes up at 6:30, I have tried to enjoy the time in the morning where it is just me and my Babo.  I get to cuddle him, kiss his huge, soft doughy cheeks, watch him eat his cereal is his cute little ways.  I get to speak unsaid messages to him that he is special, and that his mommy loves him.
I can teach my children about forgiveness and about handling hurt and grief in the right way.  I can use the situation I have been placed in, to teach my children and to help us all learn that family love should conquer all, forgiveness should be given, communication is key, and that people are real, and should be treated as such.  Ignoring someone and hanging on to anger is not the right way, and I will not have my children, or myself,  doing that to anyone...ever.
Instead of spending the day frazzled over all of the cleaning and picking up I do ALL the time, I am trying to teach my children to do jobs, and let them do the jobs their way.  Try to look past the lumpy bed, and grin at the fact that my child at least made their bed, and it is actually cute that way.
Instead of sitting around in the hot afternoons, with hot bored children, fighting and whining that no friends are home, and me getting more and more frustrated by the minute, I have planned afternoon outings.  Outings where I can watch them explore the world around them, giggle as the ducks eat bread from their hands, watch Luke pick at the grass and flowers around him, cheer on Sam as he shows me how fast he runs, and talk with Mary, who is growing up WAY too fast.
Outings where I can re-connect with my children, love them, and soak in the small details that only a mother can see, but that she carries in her heart forever.  Details that I have let pass me by too often lately.
Instead of dreading making dinner that no one will eat, and everyone will complain about, I have tried to enjoy the fact that I am creating a way to have everyone sitting at a table together.  I try to engage conversations about the favorite parts of everyone's day, and I try really hard to make at least one thing that they will all like.  I try to cherish the togetherness that dinner time creates, instead of resent the time it takes to make something that may, or may not, be complimented.
Instead of yelling at the kids to stop fighting, because the noise demands yelling in order to be heard, I am trying REALLY REALLY hard to wait for a break in the chaos, to firmly, but patiently, stop the arguments in a teaching and loving way, not in an out of control, freak out way.  This one is taking a LOT of work, but I am going to keep trying.
Instead of feeling like the kids are "bombarding me" and hanging all over me,"  I am trying to see it as having my precious angels gathering around me.  Me and them, a mother and her babies.
I have also picked out a few projects that I a really excited to do, to continue on building my little nest here in our world.  I absolutely love to do things around our house to surround us all with beauty, fun, memories, and a comfortable happy home.  I haven't done anything in a while, but once I started thinking of projects, my spark came back, and I once again am finding joy in making our home ours.  Ever heard of paining a door inside the house?  I hadn't until a few days ago, and I am totally going to do it!
Deep inside of me, is that part of me that has been pushed back for far too long.  The side that has let the distractions of life get in the way of what matters most.  In my p. blessing, I am strongly warned about distractions, and told there would be many.  I always envisioned them as big distractions, and figured I could easily avoid them.
Imagine the tears the I shed when I realized all of the little distractions that I have let take over, until I have been taken too far.  Distractions of fatigue, busy schedule, getting the to-do list done, worldly desires, my crazy type A personality that wants the house clean, all the time, things done the right way, and getting things matter what. So many little things, yet all together, they have pulled me away.
So, for me, I am trying.  I will never be perfect.  I will never be the perfect mother, wife, friend, sibling, or daughter.  I will fail a lot.  I will probably complain. I am going to lose my temper, get upset, make the wrong things a priority, and maybe pass by a moment I should be soaking in, but at least I am going to try.
I really do love being a mother.  I love my 4 precious children with every part of my heart.  I love my husband fiercely and unconditionally.  I love our home, my nest, and the place we live.  God has blessed me beyond measure.
Maybe it is time that I slow down, take a deep breath, and see it all for what it is...beautiful.  It is a beautiful life. There is still time.

lost and found

In the last week, there must have been an elf in our house, hiding all of our stuff...important stuff.  The day before Ragnar, as I was in the shower, a little elf took my wedding ring from the counter.  It was missing for 4 days.  I was pretty much freaking out.  And then, out of the blue, my ring just appeared on our table in the family room.
Next up was my car keys.  I took the kids to the school for lunch.  (our school here provides free lunch, all summer, for anyone.  It is awesome).  I lost the keys in the cafeteria.  I did not find them, until five days later, they were just lying on a random table at the school.
And then there was my mom's keys.  My parents are in Alaska, and have their car parked here.  We dropped them off at the airport.  The day they left, Mary saw William with their keys, and then they were gone.  I literally scoured our house, yard, and cars, time and time and time again.  We had family searches, searches with friends, searches while cleaning, ect.  I was absolutely stressed out of my mind!  Then, yesterday, as Ben was moving stuff around in our coat closet, there were the keys.  Lying on the floor as if they had fallen out of our church bag.  HUGE relief!
Last, but not least, Lukes bottle.
By the time this was missing, I was beyond discouraged, and oh so sick of running through our house looking for lost items.  As with the others, I prayed.  Within 20 minutes, I found the bottle in the fridge...where I had looked 10 times already.  It was on the bottom shelf, in the door of the fridge, where I never put anything, because I can't see it.  I was so relieved to find it, and Luke finally took a nap!
I think our elf's name may just be "William."
Oh William!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

ragnar...builds character, friends, memories and stinkiness

There is so much to say, so much that happened, so many feelings, I just don't really know how to blog about it.  My facebook post can kind of sum it up. 

"Absolutely LOVED Ragnar! We laughed, we ran, we hurt, we ran, we laughed some more, we ran, we threw up, and still ran, we got slap happy, slept out in 36 degrees, we ran, we did flag routines and silly cheers, we ran. Oh, I miss it so much already. Go team Runaway Brides. Thanks for one of the best weekends a girl could ask for!"

It truly was an absolute blast!  Ben and I are totally sold, and plan on doing many more of these. 

Some stats:
Team: 12 people, 2 vans.  6 people in each van

Total Distance: 198.3 miles, from Logan, Utah to Park City, Utah

Time:  33 hours for our team..ah yeah, go us!

Our Team: Runaway Brides

We were van 1 :Annie and Jason Dixon, Katie and Landon Ladwig, me and Ben.

I was runner 1: 7.7 miles-very hard, 8.3 miles- very hard, 5 miles- moderate  Total miles:20.9

Ben was runner 2: 7,7 miles-very hard, 3 miles- easy, 3.3 miles- easy Total miles: 14

Quotes:  "I may or may not have just pooped my pants"    "Hey Katie, want a wheat thin"  "Look at he/she go!"  "That runner is a child!  Isn't it way past his bedtime"  "I just put my bare bum on this front seat."  "That is uphill, not it's not, it is downill, um, its uphill."

In all of the runs I have done, marathons, 1/2 marathons, 10K's, Dirty Dash, ect.  I would have to say that this was an experience like none other.  Because a lot of the runs are up VERY steep hills, and down VERY steep hills, lack of sleep, running at all times of day and night, and soreness, it is a big mental game and at times, was pretty tough.

At the same time, because of the team support, constant laughter, talking with friends, fun-loving atmosphere, and silly costumes, it makes it all worth it, and was so much fun! 
Me and Katie, my best friend since 1st grade.  Isn't she cute!

Yup, he's mine...all mine.  He even held my hand!

It turned out that our van finished our last runs right here, at our kids' school!  We were able to come to our house and shower and rest before meeting the other van at the finish line.  Pretty cool to run right here through our beautiful Heber Valley.

I almost backed out of doing this so many times, because of my health being weird, and lack of any serious training.  Yes, my runs felt harder than they would have been if I had trained better, and I got so sick on my 2nd run of 8 miles of sheer downhill drop, that I threw up profusely over the guard rail with still 5 miles to go, but I was also very proud of myself for still keeping a good pace with my other runs, and finishing my last 5 mile run at or slightly faster than my full marathon pace.

First run, first runner.  Starting out Ragnar.

Finishing one of the hardest runs I have ever done in my life.  2 miles straight up a ski mountain, and then 6 miles at a steep downhill grade.  I threw up at mile 3 and cramped in my legs and stomach for 5 more miles.  Without the support of my husband and my van, I never would have finished it.  It became a very defining run for me.

Ben was amazing!  He has never done a running race like this before, and he had never run as far as he was required to on his first run.  He blasted all of his runs out and ended strong.  He was so supportive and fun to be with. It was so neat to do this with him.  It is what made it as amazing as it was.  He was so strong and really inspired me.  He says he's not a runner, but he sure could have fooled me these past two days.  He really did awesome!
Ben finishing up his last run, and getting ready to pass off the slap bracelet to our next runner.  Isn't he hot!


Ben handing off to Annie.  I loved the slap bracelet, I thought it was hilarious...until it got sweaty!

I am so glad I didn't back out of doing it.  It was an unforgettable experience, and so, so, so much fun!  I loved the people we were with.  I am probably bias, but I think we had the best van of people ever! 

I really do miss it so much already!

Ben and I plan on doing more of these for sure.  Ragnar or bust!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


 After almost a month of blood test, exams, Dr. visits, and ultrasounds, I finally got a diagnosis yesterday, sort of.

I learned that there are 2 separate things going on in this body of mine.

#1  My estrogen is low.  It is so low that my body cannot ovulate on it's own, and I have nasty symptoms.
The reason for this is unknown, but over the past month, the doctor has ruled out anything major, like cancer and other serious diseases. 

#2  I have PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome).  Direct medical translation:  Many cysts on the ovaries.  The ultrasound showed a clear picture of this and the doctor seemed convinced.

Supposedly, these two things are unrelated, but between the two of them, they are reeking havoc on me with various symptoms.  So fun.  The symptoms from either of them are less than desirable, but add them together, and it's a party.

The doctor put me on some medicine this week to see if, with medical intervention, we could make my body fertile again.  I have been crossing my fingers all week.

The doc did an ultrasound yesterday, and the medicine worked! I am so incredibly happy and relieved.

These two things I have, are not the type of things that just go away.  In fact, from what I have researched, they just get worse over time, but I am so happy that we discovered them early enough, that with medical help, I may still have a chance to bring our last baby into the world.

After that, I may just ask the doctor to remove it all, and be done with it.  :)  Doesn't that sound nice!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

the pond

This past week was extremely rough.  Everyone in the family ended up with a nasty, nasty stomach flu.  I had all of these great ideas to kick off summer, and instead, we spend the week sick, tired, throwing up, and the kids fought like crazy.  They are not used to all being together all day, or being so sick.  I was ready to throw the towel in by Friday.  Boo.

And then our awesome neighbors and good friends invited us and some other friends in our cul-de-sac, to go to their pond for a campfire, hot dogs, smores and a good time.  I was thrilled with the idea, and so were the kids.

Another neighbor of ours is a pilot.  While we were out in the driveway making plans for the pond, his wife called him and asked him to do a little air show for us, and he did!  He was in this little plane with red and white stripes on it.  He came right over our homes and did some flips, turns, dive bombs, and flew upside down.  He let out smoke from the plane, and flew really close to us and waved the wings to say goodbye.  It had all of the kids and adults smiling, and FINALLY, the weekend had begun.

The pond was AWESOME!! It was up in the mountains, and it was such a gorgeous peaceful spot.  The kids had a blast catching little water bugs

Mary and Lexi


Finding money in the money rock

Eating hot dogs and s'mores (William ate 4 hot dogs)

And romping around in the trees, and the pond.
Bailey, Lexi, Mary

Blake, Sam, William

Karli and Rustin

Luke spilled an entire water bottle on himself on the way there, so he was just hanging out in his diaper, playing in the grass, and eating handfulls of dirt. He didn't mind.

The adults had some much needed adult conversation.  It has felt so good to finally feel like we have a good, solid, amazing network of friends here.  I really feel close to our neighbors here, a lot of them, and I am so glad we live where we do. 

We all lingered as long as we could, until the fire died, and the kids were dropping one by one.  It was such a fun, refreshing evening.  The perfect way to end an awful week.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

what gives

Yesterday, William and I celebrated our Birthday.  I sure do love sharing this day with my William.  Some people thing it must stink, because I have to "share" my Birthday, but I feel the exact opposite.  A Birthday is a time to celebrate a person's life and the day someone was born.  The mother is always involved in that day, after all, she is the one who delivered, raised and carried the baby.  I think it is great to share this day with my buddy. 

Our Birthday was good.  It was a little up and down, but it was good.  For William, I tried really hard to help him feel loved and special.  Every once in a while one of us would say to the other, "Happy Birthday," and then the other would say it back, and we would giggle, like it was a fun little secret or something.  It was hilarious when William would instigate it.  He played outside, ate an innumerable amount of popsicles, got lots of snuggles, and helped me frost all of his cupcakes in fun and silly designs.  He was very happy, and felt loved. It was a great day for him.

William had 2 requests on this day of his.  Cupcakes, and a backpack.  Pretty easy huh! 

The day started, for me, after waking up from a night of hardly any sleep.  Sam and Luke threw up all night long.  Ben woke up sick as well. It was pretty frustrating for me to spend a lot of the day doing laundry with puke all over it, and tending to sad, grumpy kids, but hey, I am a mother, and illness does not care what day it is.  Ben tried to help and ease the load.

Mary also dropped a 40 pound boulder on her fingers that morning, so we spent some time at the doctor with her.  Her hand was too swollen to x-ray, so the doctor splinted her two most bruised and swollen (and possibly broken) fingers and said to come back in a few days, if the pain is still severe. 

I had some nice phone calls from family, and a couple neighbors brought some treats over.  Ben also had a cute little gift set out for me that morning.  I felt loved, and the day was special, it was just kind of up and down a lot with a sick family.

I FINALLY got a call from the doctor about my last blood test results yesterday afternoon.  He said that everything was normal, but that my estrogen levels have dropped even more.  Not good news, and a little confusing, because my FSH was normal, and usually that would be off if the estrogen was low.  He is going to talk with another specialist today and then he promised to call me before 1:00 with a plan of what to do from here.  He did say that things weren't looking good though, whatever that means.  Made my heart drop for sure, but I am still trying to have hope.

We drove to Provo in the evening and ate at my favorite restaurant, Red Robin.  I am pretty much the only one that ate, but it was good, and nice to get out of the house.

We went shopping afterward.  The past several summers, I have either been pregnant, or just had a baby, so I don't have many normal summer clothes.  It was fun to get some new clothes.

Ben was feeling really sick after that, so I did one quick run in to Target to get William's last gift, and we came home.

It was late by then, so we quickly had William open presents, and then tried to go to bed.  Blowing out the candles is yet to happen.  It just got too late, and no one felt good.  William didn't notice, so it was fine.  He was too excited about his new toys to care.

I stayed up until midnight with sick kids, and then finally crashed. 

Guess who woke up this morning at 6:15.  Yup, ALL of the kids.  They feel great and are ready to roll.  And yes, it is an early morning day for Ben at work, so he is gone. Guess who is sick now.  Yup, me.  Nice timing huh. So, who takes care of mom?

What gives.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

i can't believe i live here

Summer has officially begun.

Popsicles, riding bikes, riding scooters, playing with friend after friend after friend.  Late nights, later mornings, band aids, bug catching, dirt digging, sunburns, tan lines, black tub rings, sprinklers, swimming, camping, hiking, crickets, adventures, the smell of freshly cut grass, and flowers.

I love summer, and last night's kick off was the perfect start.

We had a big neighborhood "homework burning" bon fire.

As I sat there by the fire, looking around me, I was in complete awe. 
Everywhere I looked, there were friends.  Dear, kind, humble, down to earth, laughing, smiling, caring, friends. 
I could see children running around, playing night games, eating marshmallows, barefoot, laughing, teasing, swinging, playing in the big open yards, under the big open sky.  Kids everywhere, friends everywhere.  The kind of childhood I dreamed my kids would have.
 I looked across the street at our house, our home.  The porch light was blazing, the bikes were lying in the yard, the bike jump was still in repair, the flowers were blooming, the dirt and rock piles with rakes and shovels left over from our landscaping that day, a sign of hopes and dreams still in the making. 
I looked around at the majestic, beautiful, powerful mountains, surrounding me on every side.  Protecting us, watching over us.
 I looked up at the huge, open starry sky, twinkling down on our little town. 
How could I have felt anything but blessed.  So, so blessed. 
What amazing world God has given us. 
What an amazing town we have found. 
What an amazing place we have found.
I am so, so happy to call this place home.

It is going to be an awesome summer.

the last week of school

was very busy, but also really fun. 

There was pet day, where I was signed up to bring our guinea pigs to Mary's class.  Of course, because they went to Mary's class, they just had to go to Sam's class too.  So, I spent Tuesday afternoon carrying around the guinea pigs, William and Luke.  Aside from William ripping off all of the name tag's of the kids' desks, in Mary's class, and dumping piles of organized color coated strings or yarn on the floor, in Sam's class.  I would say it was a success!  The baby guinea pigs were "humanized" very quickly that day.

And then there was Mary's class play.  They have been practicing for months now.  William decided to chase the car down the road, bawling, as I attempted to leave he and Luke with the babysitter.  It broke my heart to see his big, tear stained face, and his little chubby legs running as fast as they could down the road, in the rear view mirror.  So, William came to the play as well.

Mary was a narrator for the play, and did a fantastic job!  I was shocked to see Mary reading all of those lines, loud and clear, without a hint of shyness or nervousness.  The play was adorable.  It was called "The Stinky Cheese Man, and other silly fairy tales."

After the play, as I was on my way out, the teacher informed us parents that we had been signed up to eat lunch with the kids.  uuuhhh, ok. 

So, William and I followed Mary to the lunch room.  William loved every single food item he ate, and he announced it to the entire lunch room every time he took a bite.  It was hilarious!  As for Mary and I, lets just say that I can now completely understand why Mary prefers cold lunch most days. Wow!    It was fun to spend the afternoon with Mary, celebrating her year in 2nd grade.  I am so impressed with the school.  I feel so blessed that my children get to go to such an amazing school.

The next day was Kindergarten graduation for Sam.  Ben was able to attend this with me, along with Willaim and Luke.  Let me just say that kindergarten graduation is another one of those things that are not for the hormonally challenged!  I seriously bit my lip through the whole thing, in order not to just burst out bawling about every 10 minutes.  It didn't help when Mrs. Lloyd read, "oh The Places You'll Go."

The program was adorable!!  They did sign language to the entire song of "I'm Proud To Be An American."  They sang the song as well.  The sang some other cute songs, and then received awards.  Sam's award was for being the most friendly.

 To me, that was by far, the best award my child could get.  I love to hear that my kids are being nice, kind and friendly to others.  I try to hard to teach them this.  I was extremely proud of Sam! He, as well as Mary, was blessed with a phenomenal teacher.  I really hope William will get her when he begins kindergarten.

Sam participated in the whole program, and looked so cute, and so little and so grown up, all at the same time.  Love my Sammy boy!

The next day was Mary's last day of school.  They played games all day, and also received awards.  Mary got the "best speaker in front of a crowd" award.  If you had told me just 3 months ago that Mary would get an award like this, I would have laughed my head off.  She has come a LONG way, and I am so proud of her.  She really adjusted to our move here quickly, and just took off.  She made a bunch of friends, and embraced her new school full steam ahead.  I am so proud of her!

I am very proud of Mary and Sam.  They came in as the new kids on the block, and still found a way to bloom and flourish where they were planted.  They had wonderful teachers and go to an awesome school.  They ended the school year with happy hearts and smiling faces.

And her we are's officially Summer!!!!