My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

another note

Mary moved up 3 levels in tumbling this summer, and will be competing at a level 6/7 this year.  It has been pretty exciting for her, and her coaches.  She is officially in the upper level division now.  They have let Mary go at her own level and her own pace the past few months, and she has just taken off.  It has been fun to see.

Mary watched a documentary on Gabby Douglas (the Olympic all around gymnast), and has since been figuring out exactly how many levels she would have to move up each year, in order for her to be able to be eligible for the Olympics when she is old enough.  She has also set specific goals to reach these levels.  She wrote everything down in her special notebook.

I have not instigated any of this, or pushed this in any way.  It has all been Mary's doing.
However, I am all about my kids dreaming big, and setting goals, so I have let her do her thing.  I haven't discouraged her in any way, but I am definitely not telling her she will be an Olympian.  I am just encouraging her to set goals, and to reach for the stars.

Anyway, as I was up in Molly's room the other day, getting her some new clothes to wear, I found this note on her dresser. 

"If Mary is not in the Olympics by the time you are 10, I owe you $25."
Haha!   I thought this was pretty cute. 
I have not let Mary know that I saw this note, and I will leave it just where it is for a while.

Way to reach for the stars Mary!

Friday, October 17, 2014

a note

Mary walked by me today, and slipped a little note in to my hand.  She had a funny smile on her face, and once the note was in my hand, she hurried and walked away.

After I watched her leave, I opened the note.  Here is what it said:
"I think I should be able to have a TV in my room, because I'm mature enough, and responsible enough, and I'm just awesome. 
P.S. The TV in the basement."  

(we cleaned the basement today, and she is talking about a very old TV we have in our storage room down there.  She must have seen it)

I love this girl of mine! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

blessing day

Molly's baby blessing was yesterday.

It was such a special day. 

I made a blessing dress for a final project in a sewing class I took in college.  It was after Mary was born, so she wasn't able to wear it.  It has been hanging in our closet for about 8 years.
It was pretty special to put this dress on Molly.

My mom crochets a blanket for every grandchild when they are born, and all of my children have been blessed in their blankets.  Molly had her special blanket as well.

During the pregnancy with Molly, there were a few baby blessings in our ward.  For some reason, those blessings made me just yearn to have Molly here, and to have her be the one being blessed.  I was so worried about her arriving here safely, and about the whole pregnancy.  I would just hope and pray that we would be able to bless a healthy and sweet baby that had arrived here safe and sound.

Those thoughts went through my mind as we sat in the bench and stared at our sweet angel in her white dress, before she was blessed.  I felt so humbled and blessed, and my heart was very full.

My parents were able to come, and my dad stood in the circle.  He kept commenting on how Molly was very alert and peaceful during the blessing.  I was worried, because she pooped right before the blessing! haha  No one seemed to mind, and Molly was very calm during the blessing. I think she felt the strong spirit that she brought with her, and the peace of being blessed and surrounded by men of the priesthood.

My brother Devin had planned on being in the circle as well, but his wife got stuck at work, and they showed up soon after the blessing.  I was glad they came anyway, and we had a fun time with them throughout the rest of the day.

The other men in the circle were:  Bishop Kohler, Jarrett Welch, Andrew Johnson,  and Mike Phillips.  All of them are good friends of ours.

Molly was blessed to have good friends, and to be a good friend.  She was told she would be a light and a joy to others.  This has already come to pass in her 4 weeks of life so far.  She was blessed with health in mind and body.  She was blessed to have a testimony of Joseph Smith and the living prophets, and to marry in the temple. 

It was a sweet blessing, and definitely just for her.  More than the words spoken though, the feeling in the room is what impacted me the most.  As soon as Ben began the blessing, I felt such a strong, powerful, sweet spirit come over me.  It was Molly's sweet spirit, that I have come to be so familiar with the past several years.  It is the part of Molly that I know on a very deep level.  It was so very special to feel that again, and to have her physically here.  It was in incredible moment.  The sweet spirit in the room was almost tangible, and many people felt it.

It was pretty precious to glance over at Mary during Molly's blessing, and see tears rolling down Mary's cheeks.  She felt the sweet spirit as well, and is learning to recognize it on a deeper level.  It was very special to see this.  These sisters have a neat bond.

After sacrament meeting, we all came back to our house and hung out, talked, and ate a yummy dinner.  It was a very special day, and a fun time with family.  We even got our first family picture..with ALL of us.  I could not believe how many people were in the picture, and that it was all my family!  We are all here.  Our family is complete. I am so blessed!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

first time for our family

Believe it or not, up to this point, no one in our family (since Ben and I have been married) has had stitches....until now.

And it was Ben.

Oh, and he just got back up and did the bike jump one more time, before calling it a day.

What a man.

Friday, October 10, 2014

miss molly...1 month

Miss Molly Grace is one month old! 

I honestly can't believe it, and a lot of me doesn't want to believe it.  I want my baby to stay a baby forever.

Molly is such a sweet baby, and we are all still very much addicted to her. 
She loves to be cuddled and held, and there is usually no shortage of volunteers to fulfill this desire of hers.

Last week, Molly became extremely fussy and uncomfortable.  After three days of this, we discovered that Molly has what all of the other babies had, a protein intolerance and cow's milk allergy.
The poor girl was so miserable.  She had a diaper rash that wasn't going away, her skin was peeling, her little baby acne was getting worse instead of better, her poop was green, and she was so incredibly gassy and uncomfortable.
At 11:00pm one night, I ran to Walmart and bought Nutramigen...our miracle formula.  Within about 3 days, Molly was back to her normal, content, adorable, little self.

Molly has started to become a lot more alert, and is following things with her head and eyes.
She is awake a lot more often, and likes to just lie in the middle of a room and listen to all of the commotion around her.

Molly was introduced into the world of skinny jeans this past week.  Absolutely adorable!

Another huge milestone happened today. 
Molly smiled for the first time!  I was alone with her this afternoon, while Luke was napping, and I could tell she might just smile, so I had my camera all ready.  Lo and behold, she broke out into a huge, adorable, gummy, heart melting, mom squealing smile!  And I got a picture of it.
Molly's very first smile!

She continued to give me more smiles for a while after that.

We are all starting to get back into our routine, and are adjusting to our new normal. 

Our world is such a better place with our precious Molly in it.

We love you Molly!

kid dates

Grandma JoJo came for a visit last week, which was wonderful!  It helped us all get our feet back on the ground a little.

While JoJo was here, I decided to utilize the time to take Mary and Sam out on dates.  William and Luke still get plenty of alone time with me, but Mary and Sam don't.  With the adjustment of a new sibling, I could tell they still needed to know that they were special and loved.

I asked the kids out on a date, and let them pick what we would do.  They literally talked about the upcoming dates the entire week.  I was glad it meant so much to them.

Mary REALLY wanted to see Dolphin Tale 2.  On Saturday afternoon, we headed up to Park City to see the movie.  We even both bought a kids meal of popcorn, a drink and a treat.  Lucky us!

The movie was really good, and it was so fun to spend some alone time with my sweet Mary.  She is a wonderful girl, and I love the friendship we have now that she is getting a little older.  She is a very special girl, with so much personality.  She is a blast to hang out with.

Later that evening, I took Sam out on our date.  Sam wanted to go to the pet store and pick out some stuff to put in his lizard cage.  Then, he wanted to go to Walmart and get a toy that he has had his eye on for a long time...Beyblades.

So, we headed off to the pet store, where Sam took his time picking out the perfect cage d├ęcor and climbing stuff for Spencer, his beloved bearded dragon.  I loved getting into Sam's world and talking about lizards and reptiles with him.  The way he lights up when he is excited about something is adorable.  I love his cute little grin.

Then, it was off to Walmart.  Sam knew exactly what he wanted, and exactly where it was.  He was thrilled to finally have a Beyblade of his own to "battle" with on the school playground.

Sam's 2 favorite things right now.

I sure love my Sammy boy, and the sweet and tender heart he has.  He is a very good boy, and I can't wait to see what kind of amazing young man he will grow to be.

I am blessed.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

doest my eyes deceive me?

As I was walking William to the bus stop, I glanced down at our yard, and I saw this!

That would be grass folks!  Real, live,green, little, peach fuzz, strands of OUR yard!

 I literally got down on my hands and knees and ran my hand over it, and then I squealed like a giddy school girl.

Ben didn't squeal, although that would have been epic, but he just says over and over that he truly can't believe it.  The hard work actually produced something.

I think in our subconscious, we pretty much thought we would never have grass.  Just lots of work, that kept on producing more work.

Putting in a yard can kind of warp a person like that.

Oh happy day!

Sweet rewards.


This has been Williams lunch of choice lately.

I have yet to try it, but he thinks it is "so awesomely good."

Raspberry jam and honey sandwich anyone?  With the crust off, of course.


I guess I should have been a little more clear when telling my 2 year old to "go brush."

He figured he could brush hair AND teeth.

Of course, toothpaste is the logical choice to clean both areas.

Oh, the joys.


Ben was out of town the past couple days.  Normally, this would not freak me out, but this time around, I was very scared for him to leave.

Last week was an extremely difficult week, as the kids have been "adjusting" to our new normal, the baby went through her milk protein intolerance issues, Ben was working on the yard in the evenings after working all day, and I was stressed and exhausted to the max.

Because of this, I was very scared to be left flying solo, even for just two days.

I think the Lord was very aware of our situation, and he gave me a very deep sense of hope and peace while Ben was gone.  Our home was blessed with more peace, and a sense of getting back to normal, at least a little.  I think I was blessed with a kind of blocked sense of feeling overwhelmed as well.  It was almost as if I was numbed during the hard and stressful moments, and the calm and good moments were magnified.

For instance, yesterday morning.

Allow me...

The previous day, Sam told me that the toilet upstairs was clogged.  This stayed in my brain for a total of about 10 seconds.  That seems to be the longest period of retained memory I seem to have as of late.  :)

So, yesterday morning, as I was packing lunches, getting breakfast for everyone, and helping get Mary and Sam out the door to school, I heard the toilet flush upstairs...and I remembered again...for about 10 seconds.

I had just poured milk into the pot on the stove, to start making Cream of Wheat for the kids, when I heard the sound of running water.  I thought it was odd that it was coming from the ceiling.  I looked up, and just at that moment, the water came raining down, from the upstairs bathroom.  CRAP!!!  (haha, no pun intended)

I rushed upstairs with the plunger, and quickly realized that the entire bathroom floor was under water, and the toilet water was flowing out of the toilet...oh, and the water was NOT clear and clean. um, yeah.

I plunged the toilet, and unclogged it, just in time to hear Mary yelling from the kitchen.  I ran back down the stairs just as the milk was boiling over the pot, the stove, the cupboards, and onto the wood floor.  The kitchen was filled with smoke.   Awesome.

I ran to the pot and moved it off the burner, just as a small piece of our ceiling suddenly peeled off, and the flood gates opened from the kitchen ceiling, and toilet water poured down onto the table, chairs, and wood floor.  I threw bowls at the kids and told them to stick them under the water, as I continued to stop the burning milk, and tried to open windows and doors to filter out the smoke.

Somehow, during all of this, I was acting completely calm, and talking totally normal.  Like I said, God gave me a sense of being numb...thank goodness. Either that, or I am beyond too tired to care.

I spent the next 45 minutes getting kids out the door, finishing breakfast for the two younger ones, feeding Molly, getting smoke out of the house, scrubbing the stove and kitchen, cleaning the upstairs bathroom, and getting our house back in order.

When all was said and done, I gave Luke a glass of milk he asked for, and sat down at the kitchen table with a big sigh.

I glanced up at Luke, who was staring right at me.  While looking me straight in the eyes, with his big, blue, innocent eyes, he slowly turned his cup, full of milk, upside down, and poured it all over himself, the table, and the floor.  Then, while still looking me in the eyes, he said, very slowly, "uh oh mom."  Then, he ever so slowly, set the cup back down, crawled off his chair, and went on his way. What the?!?!

I was too stunned to react much.  I just kind of mechanically went through the motions of cleaning up the mess, found Luke and told him that was not something we do in our house, and then I sat down on the couch with Molly, who was ready for her 2nd breakfast.

As I sat down, William came walking into the room.  He asked me for a Zebra Cake (a hostess treat that is extremely popular at our house right now).  I told him he would have to wait until after lunch.

William stormed out of the room in a fury.  (like I said, we are "adjusting" still)
I just shook my head as I watched him go.
A few seconds later, he came stomping back into the room, and stood right in front of me.
He bawled up his fists as tight as he could, with his arms straight down to his sides, sucked in a big, deep breath...and as loudly as he could, he yelled,


Then he stomped away.

I sat there stunned for a few seconds, and then, out of nowhere,  I burst out into my insane, crazy, scary psycho laugh.  Not the normal laugh people do over something funny.  It is the laugh people do when they are choosing to laugh instead of cry...or kill someone.  Yup, that laugh.

And I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

story time


Once upon a time, a family built a lovely home in Heber, Utah.  This family loved their new  house, and everything about it.

The family had grand plans of getting their yard put in by the end of the summer.

The family called a company to come dig the trenches to being putting in the sprinkler pipe.  The company said they would arrive in 2 weeks.

The family waited anxiously for 2 weeks...the company never showed up.  So, the family called another company, who said to wait one week.

The following week, the sprinkler trenching company came, took one look at the yard pretty much made out of rock, and said their equipment would not be able to handle the rock.  Then they left.

So, the family called another company, who never called them back. 

The family called another company, who kept them hanging for weeks, and then never came through.

A couple months went by, and frustration continued to build.

Finally, one company kept their word, and the dirt was leveled, and the yard was graded.

Another company finally pulled through, and dug the trenches.  With the digging of the trenches, an innumerable number of rocks were dug up, and the yard was uneven once again.  But hey, at least the yard was ready to lay sprinkler pipe.

Then it was on to extending the back patio.  The family called a cement company.  They never came out to give the family a quote.

The family called another company, who showed up to give a quote, but never got back to them again.

The family called another company, who said they would come if the family found other jobs for them to do in the area as well.  The family found other jobs, the company never came.

The plans for the back patio were finally just set aside.

Then the family lined someone up to dig a hole to put the trampoline in. 
The person ran out of time, and could not do it.

So, the family found another person to dig the hole...until they found out it would cost $600 for that person to dig a hole.  No way!

The family found a good friend who said they would dig the hole.  The day before they came, their tractor broke.  No trampoline hole.

In the main time, it was time to order the sprinkler pipe, and get it put in the trenches.  Good thing Sprinkler World wrote the sprinkler plans for a house that faced the other direction.  That was so fun for the family, and ended up taking over a month to get the pipes in.  Thank goodness for the help of wonderful friends.

By this point, summer was over.  The family was sad, their plans did not even come close to working, but hey, there was always the spring.  The yard would be done by late spring 2014, they just knew it!

Spring of 2014 came.  And with it, so did the weeds...and lots and lots and lots of rock that had to be shoveled into piles, and manually moved via wheel barrow out of the yard.  After all, rock cannot be placed on top of sprinkler pipe when the time came to cover the trenches.

Moving the rock was no small job.  The rock had to be raked or manually lifted into numerous small piles.  The piles then had to be shoveled into a wheel barrow, and then wheeled out onto the parking strip and dumped.  The rocks ranged from the size of the palm of a hand, to boulders so big, that it took 2 people to lift them.
During this process, the weeks had to continuously be killed and removed...over the entire yard.

The mother of the family was pregnant and could not help, so the husband spend hour after hour, day after day, week after week, and month after month, moving rock, and killed weeds by himself.  This took months of hard work to complete.

By this time, summer was coming to an end once again.  The sprinkler pipe had been exposed to the sun and elements for almost a year.

Finally, with the rock removed, the yard re-graded, and the sprinkler system set up, it was time for top soil.  The family called a top soil company, and they were out of top soil.

So, the family called another company.  They did not answer the phone.  The family called and called and called.

The family called another company, but their price was way too high.

Finally, the family found a company who could come...hooray!
After finding this company, another company called back and offered a lower price.  Score!

The day the top soil came felt like Christmas!

Soon after, the family had a sweet precious baby girl added to the clan.

The week the baby was born, the family had a guy come and level the top soil.  The guy actually showed up on time...and did a great job!  The family was in shock.

For the next two weeks, the husband frantically put on all the sprinkler heads, set up the system to the computer, raked the top toil that was not graded, patched up a few more areas, re-routed some sprinkler pipe, and got the yard completely ready for hydro-seed.

Finally, after two summers of set back after set back, and tons of hard work, the day arrived for the hydro-seed to be sprayed!!!!  This was a HUGE deal to the family. 

The hydro-seed was sprayed on a Friday.  The family was told to just water it 3 times a day and to keep it damp, but not soaking.

Saturday morning, it began to rain.  It rained and rained and rained.  And then it began to pour and pour and pour.  The family watched with pits in their stomachs as their yard soaked, and then puddled, and then finally began to create small little rivers where the hydro-seed clustered and poured through. 

After 18 months of trying to get to this point, and so much hard work, the family could not believe the timing of this monster rain storm.
The mom of the family cried.  The dad of the family couldn't talk about it.

The rain continued for 3 days.

When the rain cleared up, the husband of the family valiantly set out with a bag of grass seed and Pete moss, to "patch up" the damage the rain had caused.

With the yard patched up, and the sun out, it was time to turn on the sprinklers.

Little did the family know, the city had turned down the water pressure, because fall had arrived.

The husband valiantly set out once more, to replace every sprinkler head, with a smaller one, in order to have enough water pressure to water the newly laid seed.

With the sprinkler heads changed out, and the seed laid, the family turned on the sprinklers...

and three pipes were broken.

So, the husband valiantly set out to fix the three broken pipes.  It took him working by a headlamp, well into the night, and the mother of the family struggled inside with 4 children and an infant, trying to do the night time routine.  The baby began showing signs of colic this evening.  The baby was so uncomfortable.

The next day, the family turned on the sprinkler system, and found 3 more broken pipes.

The husband valiantly set out the next evening to replace those broken pipes, and to once again re-seed the areas he had to dig up.  The mother once again, did the evening with 4 children and an infant alone.  This evening, the baby cried and cried.

The next day, the family turned on the sprinkler system and found 2 more broken pipes.  The family knew that the pipes being exposed to the elements all summer, had taken it's toll.

That evening, the husband valiantly set out once more, with his head lamp, to fix the broken pipes, and re-seed the areas he had to dig up.  Again, the mother did the evening alone with 4 children and a newborn baby. The baby had cried most of the day and evening.  The family finally realized that the baby had a milk protein intolerance.  The mother went to the store at 11:00pm, and bought the formula to help the sad baby.

The next day the family turned on the sprinkler system, and found 3 more breaks.  The mother finally cracked, cried, became too overwhelmed and exhausted, and wanted to give up.  The husband was strong, comforting and doing his best, but he was very frustrated as well.

That day, the mother in law showed up to meet her new grand daughter.  Her timing was perfect.  The family was cracking...just like the sprinkler pipes. 

The mother in law helped, the mother of the family finally had a much needed extra set of hands, the baby was finally feeling better, and the husband was able to fix the 3 breaks.

And here we are.
The sun is shining.
The mother in law is here helping so much.
The husband is getting a much needed nap.
The kids are outside playing.
The mother has found time to blog.
And yes....there are 2 more breaks in the pipes.

What gives?