My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Monday, July 22, 2013

lessons through painting

Every month, I get the Better Homes and Gardens magazine in the mail.  Some months, there are things in there that totally inspire me.  I usually cut those things out and put them in my home d├ęcor binder.  Other months, not so much.  Then there are the times where I open it up, and BAM, I could swear that it was made just for me that month. 

I casually opened this month's issue and was making my way through it, when I turned the page and if music could have started playing, and the room could have had fireworks, it would have happened.

I have been stumped for the last several months, over how to paint our loft/bonus area upstairs.  It is a TV/game/lounge/reading room, that all of the kids bedrooms surround.  It is a HUGE reason we loved this house plan.  Well, one of the reasons anyway.

There is a reading nook built into the wall up there (it just needs the shelves in it now), a TV and some big poofy leather couches.

Anyway, when I saw this picture in the magazine, I knew it was exactly how I wanted to paint the room.  I then realized, that this would be the last weekend we would be home, for over a month, so it was now or never.

I ran to the store, got the paint and supplies and went to work.

Just the taping and measuring took me...ready for this...6 HOURS!!!  Yup, 6 hours.  Up and down the stool, hanging the string with the weight at the bottom, to get the lines straight, taping the lines, and doing this over and over and over again.  It was not fun, nope, not at all.
the wrench was the weight on the string, to get the lines straight.  I had to re-tape it to the ceiling for each line.

lots of taping

and more taping

And then I pained.  That was actually fun, and only took about 2 hours.

When I first started painting, I freaked out, because the paint did not look gray.  It looked too light.  I let it dry and then looked at it again, and it looked great.  Few!

I let the room dry overnight, and the next morning, I gave the kids permission to rip all of the tape down.  My 6 hours of work.  The kids LOVED it and laughed their heads off.

Then I went up there, and I almost died.  The stripes were PURPLE!!  Not gray, but purple.  The room looked like a circus tent.  A big giant, purple striped circus tent!  I couldn't believe.  I also couldn't believe that I had just let the kids rip all of the tape off.  Instead of just having to repaint the room, I now had to re tape it again.  aaarrrggghhhh  I was so, so, so sad, and very discouraged.  How could grey paint, just morph into purple overnight.  Boo!

It took me the next 24 hours to sulk, pout, inwardly scream, dream up the scenario that I it would just turn back to gray, and boob around, before I got the gusto to start all over again.  BOO!!!

This happened on a Sunday, and it took a lot to not go to the store, buy everything, and start over right then. I knew I only had one day left, and it would be so nice to have Ben home to take the kids while I worked.  I didn't do it. It really was hard, and a big test, but I prevailed, and I used it as a lesson to teach my kids about not breaking the Sabbath day.  Not sure they could relate my huge desire to tape and paint as being difficult to reign in, but I think they got the idea.  I held my ground.  Go me.  I went to bed resigned to the fact that the room probably would not be done for about a month.

By some miracle today, the kids all slept in until 9:00!!!  My kids are all usually up and going by 7:30.  William is always up at 6:30. William was the only one that woke up early today.  I had time to run to the store, grab milk, GRAY paint (that won't turn purple), and lots of tape.

I even had time to get a lot of taping done...again, before the others woke up.  William just sat by me and talked about the fascinating world he lives in.  It was a small miracle, and I was grateful.

Luke was easy and happy this morning, and I was able to complete the taping, even though all the kids were awake.  Another miracle.

And then Luke took a 4 hour nap!  I finished all of the painting.  The other kids were content to play outside and come in to hang out every once in a while.  HUGE miracle.

It took me 6 hours to do it all, but somehow I had the time to do it today.  Normally, I am lucky to find 20 minutes to myself at any given time of day. 

As I sat pondering the miracle of it all later this afternoon, I had a little feeling that it really was a blessing, not just a lucky day.  I kept the Sabbath Day holy, and was in turn, greatly blessed.  I am humbled.  Small thing, but big lesson.

Tonight, after the paint is dry, I will let the kids rip the tape off again, put the room back together, add a few new things, and then post pictures.  I must is so cute!!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sanity Savers

Obviously, from the last post, my sanity was

Insert Grandma JoJo!  She could not have decided to come at a more perfect time.

She is always so much fun to have in our home.  Our children adore her and she somehow has so much energy to play with them and entertain them, and even run them to and from their various activities.  I never expect her to do these things, but she somehow always just seems to know where the help is needed and is always willing.

We decided to go to Lagoon on Monday.  I can tell I am getting old, because I now find more joy watching my children in places like that, than going on the rides myself. 
Mary and JoJo

The kids had an absolute blast! We all did.  Mary and Sam flew from one ride to the next, and William shocked us all.  He rode EVERYHING he was able to with his height...and he is not small for his age.  I couldn't believe it.  He did some bigger rollercoaster, and just laughed hysterically the entire time.  Some of the coasters were so fast that he could not even hold his own head up.

The perfect moment was when a bigger rollercoaster he was on, came zooming down and around a corner.  I saw William, with his HUGE smile as he was laughing his head off, and Ben was next to him, with his hand on William's forehead, so he could keep his head up.  I will never forget the memory.  It was so adorable and hilarious.
William wanted to ride a roller coaster the goes upside down, but was too short.  He bawled his eyes out.  It was sad.  Maybe next year.

We ended up staying there for 9 hours!  And this was after they had all had swimming lessons.

Big day!

From Lagoon, Ben and I went to a hotel.  One of Ben's clients hooked us up with a free room, and JoJo offered to take the kids home and be with them for a night. 

I was extremely sick from just the few rides I went on at Lagoon, but the hotel sounded so nice.  We ordered pizza and ate it in bed close to midnight, after I was a little less nauseated!  We watched a movie as well.  And then we crashed!  Perfect night.

I slept completely deep, without out even budging until 10:00 the next morning!  It was awesome, and so rejuvenating!  Ben said that a sleep like that was blog here it is, on the blog.

We went to City Creek for breakfast and then made our way home.  It was a great recharger and it is always so nice to have time alone with my best buddy.

The rest of the week has been shuttling kids to and from swimming, Mary to and from gymnastics (she moved up to level 4 this week!), me getting work done, JoJo taking the kids on outings, and just enjoying grandma.  It has been so nice.

I am sad that our fun with JoJo has ended, and we are getting back to the grind next week. At least swimming is over, and the entire month of August is booked solid with traveling, reunions, and lot of playing!  It is going to be awesome.  I think I just might live through this crazy summer after all...if my hormones will just allow it.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

someday i may look back and laugh...someday


Wake up at 6:30am with Luke.  Others wake up at 7:30.

Breakfast, pack snacks, pack stroller, pack bottle, pack towels, pack kindle, pack gym leotard, pack kids, kiss Ben goodbye and head to swimming.

Drive 20 minutes to Kamas for swimming lessons.

Find out they can't do lessons at same time, as said they could probably do.

Entertain Sam, William and Luke for an hour while Mary has her lesson.  Kindle, food, walking around and around with the stroller, bathroom breaks, chasing after William and Luke to keep them from jumping in the pool, dirty looks from mean people, and so on.

Give Mary her towel, and send Sam and William to their classes.  William screams and doesn't want to go.  Luke is crying in stroller.  Mary is cold and hungry.  Sam is thrilled to be in the pool.

Williams teacher thoughtfully brought cars, just for him.  She shows them to William, he give us both one last grumpy look and stomps into the pool.  Swiping the car from the teachers hand as he passes by. I laugh..silently.

Get Mary changed into her leotard, fed and settled, while entertaining a tired Luke.

Boys have great lessons.

Dry everyone off and herd everyone and everything out to the car. 

Get a call from Ben. The people we have been waiting for for 3 weeks to trench our yard for sprinklers bailed on us.  This is the 4th time this has happened to us.  Oh, so not happy.

Drive, maybe a little fast, 20 minutes to Park City to drop Mary off at gymnastics.  All of the kids want drinks from the vending machine.  William screams and won't wear shoes.  Luke sleeps in the car.  Sam takes one sip and hates the drink he picked, so he pouts.  I don't buy him a new drink.

I get Mary settled and she meets her new coach.  I worry so much because she just swam an hour and now she is going to 4 hours of an accelerated gym class, first day.  I yearn to watch, but have 3 boys that need to get home.  I give Mary a good luck hug and a thumbs up and herd the boys out the door.

Drive 25 minutes home, put Luke down for nap and try to get work calls done.  Remember there is a neighborhood water party that the boys are begging to go to.  Grab towels, change into swimsuits, grab water guns and run boys to neighbors. 

Come back home, get a phone call.  Someone stole my credit card number and spent over $500.00  Oh great.

Ben calls banks and talks to numerous people.  I call the bank and verify everything.  Finally, it is taken care of.  Oh, did I mention that last month someone stole Ben's credit card number.  Yup.

Try to get some work done.  Nope, Luke is awake and bawling.  He has another ear infection.

Pick up boys from water party.

Change clothes for boys, gather bottle, snacks and crying Luke and put everyone in car. 

Head off to get Mary.

Almost run out of gas and stop at gas station.  Fill up with gas and turn key.  Car won't start.

Spend 45 minutes at a gas station with 3 boys, Luke is bawling, in the heat, with some random dude trying to help me. I start to cry, but somehow stop.  I am a big girl.

William poops his pants and tries to clean it up with his hands.  Luke is screaming.

Go into gas station.  Clean William while holding a squirming Luke, and call Ben, dad, and neighbor for help.

Ben has to leave work early from Salt Lake to pick up Mary in Park City.  An awesome neighbor drives me and kids home.  I almost cry again, but I stop.  I am a big girl again.

Ben has to buy a new battery for our car and install it.  He also has a ton on his plate right now.  Poor guy is pretty strained.

House is a disaster, everyone is hungry, oh, did I mention that our car keys have been missing for 4 days.  We are using the spare.

Make dinner, hold crying Luke, and try to work until Ben gets home.

Eat dinner, house is now beyond destroyed, Ben takes babies to the gym, and here I am.  I need to get work done, do the dishes, switch out the laundry, clean the house, and shower, but for some odd reason, I feel a bit overwhelmed.  I just want to eat ice cream and sleep.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

pretty darn cool

As I mentioned in my previous post, I went to watch Mary at gymnastics last week.  This is rare, because we are in a carpool, so I usually just drop her off and pick her up.  It is too hard to stay and watch with the other kids in tow.

This gym in Park City is a great gym.  The hours and money are so much better, and Mary is doing great.

When Mel and I walked in the gym the other day, I noticed that Mary was not with the rest of her team.  They were on the floor, and Mary was on the bars.  Actually, not just the bars.  She was on the high bar, that is set up over the pit.  It is higher than the normal bars, and is usually only used by the upper level girls.   AND, she was doing a handstand on it, with the help of a coach I had never seen before.

As we continued to watch her, I noticed that she was with a mix of girls.  Most of them were upper level girls that are in Junior High or High School.  Mary was doing some harder things, but she looked so happy.

She then went over to the floor, and began doing punch fronts.  (a front flip on the floor).  Something that is 2 levels above where she is.  She was grinning from ear to ear, and this coach was egging her on.

Mary has been happy with gymnastics lately, but just kind of in limbo.  She is in the process of moving up a level, and has been a little bored with the old stuff.  I haven't seen her flare for a while.

This day, her flare was blazing!  She looked so happy and excited.  She thrives on challenge and seeing what she can do.  She totally gets this from Ben.  I am a chicken. 

A while later, someone tapped me on the shoulder, it was Mary's coach.  She told me that they had put Mary with a new group today (a much older group, and at a much higher skill level), just to see how she would do.  She said that the coach of that group is the upper level coach (the optionals coach, level 7-elite) and she was also the owner of the gym.  She had been watching Mary throughout the week, and had picked her out.  She had asked to work with Mary that day, so she could see what her potential would be if she was pushed and asked to do some hard stuff.  She said that she could see something in Mary.  She could tell that she could handle harder stuff, and had the mental toughness for it.  So, she tested her out, and Mary flourished in it.

She did not say that Mary was any better than any other girl in her team.  She said that see could see some potential in Mary, that if pushed, may really explode and thrive. She could see that Mary is capable of being pushed, and actually likes it. She was dead on.

They have decided to have Mary work with this optionals group 2 days a week for 4 hours at a time.  The other day, she will be back with her team at her level. 

Later that day, the optionals coach talked to me.  She said that she had picked 2 other girls, along with Mary, to do this, and that this was a big honor for Mary.  She will be the youngest. She said that she plans on "fast tracking" these girls through the levels, and pushing them to see how far they can go. 

This next week will be a test week, to make sure the girls can handle it.  If not, they can stop at any time.

Mary is very excited, and came home excited that day.  I am happy for her, and excited too, but of course, I am nervous.  The hours and pay don't go up much with this new curriculum, but if she speeds through the levels, it may happen sooner than later. 

We are grounded and we know that Mary, at the most, could have a small chance at something in the collegiate level, and even that is a pretty big goal and so far away, so we will have to decide each year, if it is still worth it or not.  We are not thinking we have an Olympian here.  We are proud parents, but we know reality. It will strictly be for the love of the sport, and go as long as time and money can allow. 

It would be fun to push for more, and to pour all of our time and money in to this, but it goes against everything our family holds dear.  Our values, our time together, and fairness and opportunity to each of our children.

We feel blessed and excited that Mary has this opportunity, and we are very proud of her, but we also know there will come a time that we will have to choose.  And it may be tough. 

Until then...what an honor for our little girl.  We are very proud of her. Go Mary go! 

You were born to fly.

there are some things time and distance can't break

When we lived in Colorado Springs, we made some life long friends.  Some of who lived right next door.  "The good neighbors" as they are known to be, on the blog.

Moving from Colorado Springs was one of the most heart wrenching things in my life.  There were numerous hard goobyes, but saying goodbye to Mike, Mel and Tyler was the worst of all.  I felt like my heart was being torn.  We all did.  I remember praying over and over again that our friendship with them would survive the time and distance that was to come. 

And it has.

Mike and Mel came to visit us this week.  We were all so excited to see them, we were literally counting down the hours, and we were all standing outside to greet them as they pulled in.  Grins on everyone's faces.

We spent the next few days soaking in as much fun as we possibly could together.  We completely wore ourselves out, but our hearts are full.  This was the scene in our house the day they left.

We went to the 4th of July Parade in Park City.  That was a bit of a mess.  We got there late.  Had to park over a mile away and wait in line for a shuttle.  Some of our crew decided to walk to the parade in the heat.  We got separated from them for the rest of the time.  There was no candy at the parade, and it was HOT!  Not to mention the  hoards of people everywhere!  We learned our lesson for this little adventure.  Go early, or go home.

We came home, rested, and then headed off to the pool.  That turned out awesome!  It was not crowded at all, and we all had a great time.  Mike has pictures on his phone, and he couldn't transfer them over to met, so those will come later.  Luke surprised us by absolutely loving the water.  He would splash and splash and kick and kick, and just grin. 

Then it was home, a barbecue (thank you Mel!) and off to the firework show.  We parked away from the crowd, off on a country road, and it was perfect.  Our neighbors and friends, the Sweats, also joined in.  It was funny to hear the sheep baaaaaing, and the cows mooing between the pops of fireworks.  It was great.
Ben and Mike...kept us laughing constantly.

the crew

Tyler and Mary on top of the car, waiting for the firework show

Sam and Blake..two handsome fellas

the crazies

The kids all fell asleep on the way home, so we decided to postpone our own fireworks for the following.  It was a 4th of July well spent.

The next morning, Mel and I took Mary to gymnastics.  I think I mentioned in a post a while ago, that Mary is back in gymnastics here.  The time commitment and money are much better in Park City, so we decided to let her do it again.  Something pretty cool happened the day Mel and I were there, but that is for a later post.

We came home from Park City, grabbed the crew, and we all headed to Kneaders for lunch.  Can we say crab roll anyone???  Oh, my tummy was so happy.

Then, it was off to Bridal Veil falls, where the parents roasted and the kids had an absolute blast.
Again, Luke went crazy in the water.  It was freezing cold, and he just plopped right down in it and splashed away.  All of the kids had a great time.

this picture makes me smile every time I see it.  Pure bliss on his sweet face!

William the rock climber

the three stooges

William found a "slide."

William, the ladies man.  He attracted all of these little girls, and they just gushed over him...and fed him rocks.?.?

We drove straight from there to our famous little Heber ice cream shop, Dairy Keen.  I can guarantee you, there will never be a better milkshake made, than those made behind the doors of Dairy Keen.  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough...triple the dough please.  Oh yeah!
And then it was time to blow some stuff up.  I admit, I am a bit of a pyro.  I love fire, I always have.  It started pouring right when I marched out onto the driveway with fireworks and matches in my hands.  We all joked that it was God's way of teasing me.  It happened three times in a row.
Finally, the rain let up, and the blasting began!  It did not disappoint.  Imagine my joy when I walked outside and saw this beauty sitting by the firework stash.  Thanks Mike!
Fireworks....the big kind.

Because of the rain, the first few fireworks smoked us all out.

I thought it was awesome, In fact, I started singing, "I set fire to the rain."

And then all was well from there.
the fire dance

Happy as a clam

The Fortin's left the next morning, and it stunk.  Our hearts were so heavy watching them drive away, but at the same time, they were so full.  I love true friendships.  The ones that withstand time, distance, and any other obstacle life may throw at them.  And we have that.  I am so grateful.  We are blessed.  I am so glad God gave us the Fortins.
Luke and Trevor, only a few weeks apart.
Friends forever

Best buds.

Love you Fortins... we will see you soon...when we are helping you move into your house in Heber.  ;)

family fire

A few weeks ago, we were wanting to go camping, but we had too much going on that weekend, so we decided to go have a fire up in the mountains instead.

Of course, it was a beautiful place.  Everywhere here is beautiful, but it was the kind of place where you just look around you and say a prayer of thanks in your heart for this earth and it's creations. 

We talked around the fire, roasted marshmallows and Starbursts, and enjoyed the serene feelings of nature and just being together.

The kids found all sorts of stuff. As usual, Mary found dead things.  Including 2 snakes, which resulted in me sitting with my legs up on my chair the rest of the evening.  I wasn't about to have any snakes crawling up my legs.

We also had a cow come into our little meadow.  She brought her little baby calf with her.  She wasn't very happy that we were there, and at one point looked like she was going to charge at us.  That brought out Ben's gun, and some fear in all of us.  But, she went on her merry way after a while, and we resumed our fire fun.

It was a good night with the people I love the most.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


When wind meets trampoline being anchored down with boulders, meets trampoline legs ripping out of screws, meets neighbors roof, meets neighbors car.

Let's just say that when they come to trench for the sprinkler system, they are also digging a REALLY big hole to put our trampoline in.

they say we have to kill the weeds

before we can put down our topsoil or hydro seed.

No big deal right...