My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Saturday, May 23, 2015

lukie turns 3!

Luke turned 3 yesterday!  He is such a little fireball of energy and fun. 

He woke up to balloons, pancakes and all of us telling him Happy Birthday.  He is NOT a morning person, but he actually smiled and was nice to everyone.

The one thing he really wanted to do for his Birthday was to go to the store and pick out a tractor.

So, after the gym, we headed to Kings.  His reaction was priceless.

He was soooo excited to pick out whatever he wanted.  It was adorable, and a lot of fun to see his little mind working as he looked at every. single. tractor.

He came away with these.

We also got him a digging toy for the sandbox to open on his Birthday, but William could not stand the anticipation of having a big mystery box sitting in our house, so Luke opened it last week.  It has been a huge hit!

He played with these most of the afternoon, while I made his cake and the other kids were at school.

Every time someone would wish him a Happy Birthday, he would loudly and excitedly tell them "Happy Birthday" back.  It was great.

We went to his favorite restaurant, Dairy Keen, for dinner.  He loves it because there are trains everywhere, and there is a toy train track and lego table for the kids to play on.  It is a great place for kids.  Not to mention, I have yet to have any ice cream that can beat theirs.

We came home, and Luke blew out his candles.  Mary helped me with the tractor cupcake cake, and it turned out pretty well!  Luke liked it, so we were happy.

he was so happy and excited about everything!  It made the day so much fun.

he helped himself to his cake, right after he blew out the candles.  ha!
He then opened his gift from us.  He spent the whole day pounding his present with a screw driver, thinking he was fixing it with his tools.

By the time he opened it, it had holes all over it!  It was hilarious.

obviously, he was thrilled with is scooter
Luke had a great day, and I hope more than anything that he felt how special and loved he is.

He has given us quite the run with his 2 year old status, but he is so stinkin' cute with his little round blue eyes, bright white hair, and adorable voice.

He has loads of energy, and he loves to "fix" everything and anything with tools.  He still likes vacuums, but seems to be leaning more towards tractors now.  He also loves to play with little cars and trucks all around the house, for long periods of time.

He likes to play outside in the sandbox, or with trucks and tractors.

He LOVES for me to sing to him at nap time or bed time.  We have our list of songs:  itsy bitsy spider (3 verses), You are my sunshine, Mr. Moon, Horsey horsey, I love daddy, mommy, etc., over the river and through the woods, grandma's feather bed, and I also make up stories about him being called out to fix stuff.  He loves that too. 

He is a very picky eater, but his favorites are yogurt, popsicles, watermelon, ableskievers, and barbeque chicken.

His best buddies are Boston and Evelyn. 

We love Luke so much.  He makes us laugh and smile every day, and he melts our hearts with his sweet little puppy dog face. 

utah assembly

Fourth grade is the highest grade that Heber Valley Elementary goes to.  After that, the kids go to an intermediate school for grades 5 and 6.

Because of this, the fourth grade is treated kind of like 6th grade was for me.  They do the big end of the year stuff, and they feel like they are completing a big chunk of the elementary education. 

Mary has had a wonderful 4th grade year.  Her teacher, Mrs. Foy, has been phenomenal!

She treated the kids as young adults, and taught them responsibility, while also helping to kids to love learning and foster their creativity.  She was wonderful to work with, and was very reasonable when things popped up.  Mary will miss her for sure!  She was so luck to have Mrs. Foy.

For the end of the year program, the 4th grade did a big assembly on Utah.  They have focused on Utah history the whole year, and the assembly was kind of a show case.

They sang songs about all of the Utah counties, the founders of Utah, the different Indian tribes, the Mormon settlers, and so on.

They also had speaking parts.  Mary did great on hers!

They also did a square dance for us, and a line dance.

They let all of the families learn the line dance too, and we were all able to get out there and shake a leg.  It was fun!

We had treats at the end, and Mary was able to get pictures with some of her friends, as well as her awesome principle, Mrs. Burnham, who is leaving this year,  I think the entire school has shed some tears over this one.
Jett Cherry

Mary and Lydia Muhelstein.  They were joined at the hip this year.  Cute girls!

It was a great assembly, and a great way to wrap up Mary's 4th grade year, as well as her time at Heber Valley Elementary. 

Go Heber Valley Eagles!  What an amazing school.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Soccer season came and left, and I did not get a single picture of video of any of the games.  Go me.

Maybe, it's because we had 3 kids in soccer this year, and there are only 2 of us parents. 

Or, because my schedule has looked like this for the past month. 
this is only 5 days worth

A lot of time was spent shuttling the two babies, the stroller, the snacks, the water bottles, the blankets, and so forth, all over the park, bouncing between three games, but it was worth it, and really fun.

The lack of pictures does not mean I am any less proud or supportive of Mary, Sam and William.  It just means that I was living the moment, and doing extreme multi-tasking to its fullest.

They all had a great season!

It was so much fun to watch William play a team sport for the first time.  It was hilarious to watch him move his big happy self all over the field, and actually show some pretty great athleticism!  He is pretty much a human bulldozer, and it is awesome.  He had a great time, and his coach was wonderful with his team of energetic, silly 4 year olds. William would constantly look at us as he was running and give us the thumbs up sign. 

Sam definitely stepped it up a notch this year.  All of the boys his age did.  I could see the footwork, the speed, and the talent of these boys beginning to come together and unfold.  His games were exciting and fun to watch.
Sam is extremely fast, and is a smart player.  He isn't super aggressive yet, but he held his own.  Ben and I were very happy that he scored a goal at a game where both of us happened to be there.  Go Sam! 

Mary is a natural.  She is already in great shape from tumbling, so she is able to run like crazy the entire game.  She is also a smart player, and was able to position herself where she needed to be more this year. She scored some goals, and had some great defensive moves as well.  She rocked it.

(no pictures of Mary...I know...I stink.  I promise she is dang cute though)

Soccer is an awesome sport, and it is so fun to be able to watch my kids exercise and have fun too.

There is a club competitive league called Storm that has been around for a long time.  It is a big commitment, and they travel, so we have never really thought about it, until this year.

Sam has such a passion for soccer, and he is yearning for some proper coaching and to be able to be pushed more.

He, and his best friend Blake just spent the last 2 days at Storm try-outs.  I was able to watch some of the try-out, and dang, they really work those boys.  Sam held out really well, and I was so proud of him.

We find out what team he will be placed on within the next day or two.  We are nervous, but just want him to be on a team where he can reach his potential and feel confident.

As with all competitive, or club sports, my eyes were opened to the politics and the competitiveness of it all.  It was definitely shocking, and annoying, but I am hoping that Sam can prove himself and just do his thing, politics and all that other stuff aside. 

We are very excited for him.

I am pretty sure we just engulfed ourselves into the crazy world of soccer for the next decade of our lives.  So be it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

leader in me

I absolutely love the school my kids go to.

So far, we have been extremely impressed with the teachers my kids have had.  The principle is an energetic, people person, who loves what she does.  The school teaches so much more than just secular learning.  They are really big on kids being leaders, taking responsibility for their decisions, being kind, being respectful, and so on.  It has been a wonderful school for my children.

This year, the school has implemented the "Leader In Me" program.  The kids have learned the 7 habits.  It is from Steven Covey, and is made specifically for kids.

The school has done a HUGE push for this, and every child in every grade can name off the habits, do actions for each one, and tell you, in detail, all about them.  It is awesome.

Today, the school invited all of the businesses who helped sponsor this program to get into the school, to go to the school for a showcase of how it has benefited the school and taught the students.

My kids all had a part in it, so we were invited too.

Mary is in the "Lighthouse" committee, so she got to be a tour guide, as well as welcome the guests.  She did a great job showing leadership.

I was so proud that they started it off with a flag ceremony and the Pledge of Allegiance. 

William and Luke's classes combined, and sang a song called "Soar."  They basically changed the words of the song "Roar" from Kelley Clarkson, and turned it into a song about the habits. 

It was AWESOME!!!  Sam was grinning and excited that I was there.  William was happy, but trying to hide it by doing his shy open mouth, tongue out, smile face.  I about died laughing.
William is on the bottom row in the blue shirt.  Sam is on the top row in the blue and white plaid shirt.

I don't have a car right now, because Ben's is in the shop, and he is using mine, so I had to find a ride with a neighbor.  I almost didn't go, but I am so glad I went.

I am so proud of my kids, and their effort and excitement they put in to school and their education.

Thank you Heber Valley Eagles!!!

the cool mom...again

So, remember my recent post about going on Mary's field trip.

Well....Sam kind of noticed, and wanted a special day with me as well.  I didn't blame him, and forced a very enthusiastic "yes!" when he asked me if I could join him on his class field trip to the planetarium in Salt Lake.

I genuinely wanted to join him, and I really was happy to go, it is just so hard with the younger 3, to go on trips like this.

Luckily, my kind neighbor offered to take Luke for the day.  Her son, Boston, is Luke's age, and they have a blast together.  I knew Luke would be much happier there, than with me dragging him all over a museum.

I got Molly, William, and I all packed up and ready to go. 

And then I realized that I had forgotten Sam's lunch, and ours.

I am pretty sure I set a new PR for myself with power shopping that morning.  Poor William and Molly were gripping the cart for dear life and I flew down the isles grabbing lunch items as we went.

Somehow, we made it, although very frazzled and out of breath, to Sam's classroom, just as they were announcing which group "Sam's mom" would be in charge of, and heading out to the busses.

Sam's adorable grin and giggle, when they announced this, made my whole morning, and I knew this was totally worth it. Man, I sure love that boy.

We followed the busses into Salt Lake and I was so proud of myself for navigation those crazy city streets and underground parking, all by myself!  Go me.

The planetarium was amazing!!!  I absolutely love learning about space, and everything it, so I was completely into it all.  William may have actually enjoyed it more than Sam.  He was all grins, and totally into everything as well.  Sam was completely enthralled, and loving it.  He also kept looking at me and grinning.  Talk about heart melter.  I was so happy to be there with him.

William on Mars.  Sam was over on the moon, and didn't want a picture.

William is in the red shirt, next to Sam in the bright yellow shirt.

We went in to a really neat dome theater, for an hour long movie/presentation.  Molly got really squirmy and fussy at this point, and I started sweating bullets.  Not good.

The lights went out soon after though, and she zonked.  I was beyond grateful.  The show was so cool, and they ended it with a visual rollercoaster, that felt extremely real.  Sam and William had their hands up and were hollering and grinning.  It was so cute! Sam had been looking forward to this part for a week.  It did not disappoint.

After touring all 3 levels of the place, we walked a couple blocks to a park for lunch.  By this point, we were all getting pretty tired. 

Molly was getting squirmy and William was very tired, so I checked Sam out, and we decided to head home.

And that is when I realized that my phone was gone.

Oh, and Molly had pooped up her back, and into her hair.

Um yeah, and she didn't have a change of clothes.

This was nice.

I spent the next hour walking back to the museum with a screaming Molly, tired William, and nervous Sam, looking all over for my phone, sponge bathing Molly in a sink at the planetarium, and scouring the place for my phone.
Molly going "commando" through the planetarium as I look for my phone.
It was absolute chaos, in it's truest form.

As we were looking, I had a naked Molly (aside from her diaper) wrapped up in her blanket, in my arms.  She squirmed out of her blanket at one point, and I discovered that her blanket was COVERED in poop, so was Molly again, and so was I.


Back to the bathroom we went, for another sponge bath, for both of us.  I am pretty sure Molly's screaming, and the scene we created could have been it's own display in the museum.

Thankfully, Luke was having the time of his life back home, going on walks to the park, and watching Mickey Mouse while eating popsicles with Boston.

I prayed and prayed, and the Lord heard.

With the help of 6 employees, flashlights, and someone calling my phone over and over again, we found it smashed between the seats in the theater room.

I was so relieved!  We all were.  I said a prayer of thanks, and then loaded the troops up to head home.

It was so nice to get back into our car, have my phone, and to be on our way home.

That is, until we realized 15 minutes later that Molly's bottle was gone.  And so ensued our 45 minute drive back home.

Rock on.


laughter, the best medicine???

Last week got a little crazy.

Molly is teething, and also has some weird stomach bug, along with a nasty cold and a possible ear infection. 

She was hardly sleeping, and was crying all. day. long.

 We were all a little frazzled.

We were on day 3 of this, and I was ready to rip my hair out one afternoon, when she pooped up to her neck for the 4th time that day.

As I was changing Molly in our room, I thought that Luke was playing with his toys out in the family room.  I was surprised at how quiet he was being, and thinking about how all of this crying from Molly was probably driving him nuts too.

Little did I know.

When I came out of our room, with a screaming Molly, I saw quickly Luke freeze in place.  He was standing next to the couch and the window with a ballpoint black pen in his hands.  It looked like he had been drawing on the blinds.

I quickly ran over to the window, and did a huge sigh of relief when I didn't see any black ink on the blinds or window trim.

And then I glanced down at the couch.

left couch cushion

right couch cushion

I wish these pictures showed just how bad it was.  It was REALLY bad.

I honestly just stared, and my jaw literally dropped.  I didn't even know my mouth was hanging open until Molly stuffed her snot covered hand into it.  Nice.

I was completely speechless as I turned toward Luke.  I turned around, but Luke was no longer frozen by the window.

I found him here.
If I can't see her, she can't see me.

I think I was just beyond frazzled and upset, but for whatever reason, I just burst out laughing, and I could not stop.  Every once in a while, Luke would pop his head out and look at me, but he did not join in the laughter.  He knows the difference between my "this is funny" laugh, and my "I am a crazy creepy carnival clown and possibly going to go clinically insane" laugh.  He just continued to hide and pretend he wasn't there. Smart boy.

Luckily, lots and lots of hairspray and magic erase sponges later, the ink marks are mostly gone, or at least hard to see.

Once I regained my composure and frustration, I crawled under the pillow with Luke, and talked to him about using a pen on paper only, and with an adult.  I also had him help me try to clean it up.

He still never said a word, or changed his facial expression, but he nodded slowly in agreement as we talked and cleaned.  He was thoroughly freaked out.

People always say that it is good to laugh things off.  I always thought that it meant to just take things lightly.  Really though, it is a great way to completely freak your kids out by watching you lose your mind, and scare the heck of them into not doing something anymore.

Either way...laughter was the best medicine this time around.

Luke has not touched a pen since.


mary's green thumb

Mary came home from school a couple months ago with a seed, wrapped in a wet napkin, and sealed in a ziplock bag.  She raced home and promptly taped the bag to our kitchen window. 
She then pulled out a 2 liter soda container filled with dirt and placed that on the window frame.
I just stood there and watched.  What on earth?!?!
Mary told me that she was doing garden experiments at school, and that she wanted to continue them at home.  I chuckled (because I am not the greatest at keeping things alive) and wished her luck.
Turns out, Mary has a green thumb!
Believe it or not, both seeds bloomed.  One was grass (maybe she should have done our yard), and the other one smells great, and is an herb, but Mary can't remember what it is.
The thrill of growing things anchored itself into Mary, and we now have a greenhouse in our kitchen window.
William has also added his own sunflower that he began growing at school.  It was actually looking great, until William decided that it needed water about 10 times a day.  He REALLY wanted to take good care of his sunflower.
We are hoping that with a little TLC it will perk up and survive.
So, here we go.  Greenhouse in the kitchen window!

Monday, May 11, 2015

her moment

Saturday was "the big day."  It has been a much anticipated day for over a month now, for Mary. 

Mary found out she qualified to go to Regionals at the State meet last month.

I knew sooner, (because her coach contacted me at a previous meet and told me that Mary had pre-qualified for Regionals due to great scores that meet) but I didn't tell Mary, so she would fight for it at the State Meet.

Ever since the State Meet, all of Mary's tumbling focus has been on Regionals.  Mary unfortunately landed with her heels out of bounds on floor at the state Meet, and dropped from first place down to 13th.  It was a huge bummer, and one that she has been terrified she would repeat at Regionals.  She also had a lot of clean up work to do on trampoline and double mini.

Regionals is a very big meet, and Mary has never been before.  There are 6 States in our region, and only those who qualify can go.  Therefore, we knew the competition would be nothing like she has experienced so far.  Her goal was to get in the top 10, on any event.  Getting on the podium was a huge leap, but she knew she maybe had a slim chance.  She was willing to fight for it though, and work her little tail off.

Mary decided that she wanted to double practices, by going to open gym twice a week, along with her twice a week regular practices.  I went to open gym with her the first two weeks, and did the best I could to coach her.  Thankfully, the last week of open gym, her coach was there, and gave her some awesome one on one time, which made a big difference.

The big day finally came, and poor Mary was very nervous.  We all were, but we were also so excited that she was able to compete in Regionals, what a cool experience she was able to have!

After Ben and I worked out, and we got the boys squared away at soccer games and Birthday parties, Mary, Molly, and I headed off to Farmington for Regionals.

The weather was horrible!  It was snowing all the way through Parley's Canyon, and I honestly thought we were going to be late for the march in.  Not a good way to start things off.

Luckily, we made it right smack on time, and Mary was able to do the march in.  Few!  Her first event was right after the march in. Good ol' trampoline.

Mary has struggled with trampoline, and has not liked it much.  However, we have noticed that during the competition season, each meet she has looked better and better, and her scores have gotten higher and higher.  We were shocked and exited that she qualified for Regionals on tramp.

She basically just wanted to get this one over with, she didn't plan on placing well at all, and then move on to her other two events she is more confident in.

Well, she shocked us all, and did an amazing trampoline routine!!!  There were 9 girls in her group, and she was the youngest.  She is in the 11/12 year old age group for everything.  She is 10, but turns eleven one week before the year is over, so she has to compete in this group. 

She hopped of the trampoline and did a big sigh of relief.  I was truly so proud of her, and amazed at how great she looked on that event. 

She ended up getting 4th place!!!  One spot away from the podium!  We could not believe it.  It was so exciting.  I was thrilled for Mary, and so thankful that she had met her goal of getting into the top 10 at Regionals on an event.  (even though there were only 9 in this group)  :) 
Mary is to the right of the podium. 

We had a good 3 hour break before her next two events, and grandma Sylvia had come down for the event, so we decided to go somewhere yummy to celebrate Mary being able to compete at Regionals, and Mothers Day, which was the following day.

We had a yummy lunch at Olive Garden, where Mary got high on Root beer, and Molly ate an entire breadstick all by herself.

Grandma Sylvia has sacrificed a lot of weekends, and a lot of driving, to support Mary in her tumbling.  It is really special, and means so much to Mary.

After lunch, we drove our stuffed selves back to Farmington for Mary's final 2 events.

When we got there, the meet was running ahead of schedule and they had been calling Mary's name to get to the warm up area!  yikes!

She did double mini first.  Her group was huge.  27 girls in her level (7) and age division (age 11/12).
 At this meet, one step back on your landing, or slightly bent legs, can knock you back several places.  Mary did great, but she took a step on both of her landings.  She has had better passes at other meets, but she didn't bomb it either.  I was a nervous wreck for this one, because Mary is a level higher in double mini than in the other events, and it has been very up and down for her this season.

  She has gone from landing on her bum at one meet, to taking 1st at another.  Anything can go with double mini right now.  Mary and I were so relieved that she did well, and felt good about it.  I seriously about passed out from nerves watching her do her two passes.  Geesh!
Waiting in line for double min. Mary is second in line, behind the black girl with the green and black leotard. There is a lady in a red jacket next to her.

The girls she competed against were very tough competition, and obviously older as well.
Mary came in 13th out of 27 on double mini, and was smiling away with the fact that she did her best, and hung in there.  I was very proud of her, and glad that she felt good about it.

 (sorry, no picture)  I accidentally had my phone on video instead of photo, and by the time I got it all switched around, the solute and awards were over.  Dang!

Right after double mini, Mary was taken over to tumbling.  These events were back to back.

I was so stinkin' nervous for her!  I knew that this was her best event, and I just wanted so badly for her to do her best and feel good about it.  The last meet was rough (with her heels going out of bounds), so I just wanted to her to feel good and confident again.

Right when she started her first pass, an entire family stood up in front of us, and I didn't see her landing!  I couldn't believe it!  My mom saw it though, and told me that Mary stuck it.  I did see most of her pass, and it was beautiful.  I was so happy for her.  I could tell she felt good about it, because she was smiling as she walked back with her coach.

Right before her second pass, Mary started shaking her hands and bouncing around.  She was nervous!  I have never seen this before with her on floor. Therefore, I was a wreck.  She knew that she had to nail this pass.  From watching the others, they were all so dang good, and it would come down to the smallest little thing.

I held my breath as Mary went, and it was awesome!  She took one small step back on her landing, but other than that, it was the absolute best she could do, and I was thrilled for her!  She, and her coach were all grins.  Mary knew she had done her best, and it was very good.

Everyone was so good, we could not figure out how we thought Mary did, or how she would place.  I did know that she looked awesome though, and probably did a personal best.

When it came time to announce the placements, they began with 17th place.  It wasn't Mary.  They continued to call 16th, then 15th...and so on.  Once they got to 10th place, my heart was pounding like mad.  I just wanted her to be able to meet her goal of getting in the top 10.  When I heard them call another name for 10th place, I could see Mary's grin get even bigger!  She was excited!

I wondered if her name would be called next, but it wasn't.  They continued to call 8th place, then 7th, then 6th.  Still not Mary.  Mary was literally hopping up and down on her feet, and looking excited and nervous.  Could she get on the podium?!?!

They got to the 4th place and I honestly thought I would pass out.  PLEASE, just let Mary get on the podium.  She looked like a nervous wreck as well.  It was like time froze.

They called a name, and it wasn't Mary.  She had made it on the 3!  She was absolutely in shock and had her hands up to her face.

They then called 3rd place, and it wasn't Mary!  Then time truly froze for a second.  I somehow knew that Mary had won, and I can't describe the feelings I had.  For a fleeting second, I had so much joy and happiness for my child.  Not because she had won, which was absolutely amazing, but because I knew how hard she had worked, and I knew how she was about to feel.  The tears came.

They called 2nd place, and it wasn't Mary. 

Mary had won.

She realized it a split second before they said, "And your 2015 Regional Champion for Tumbling, with a score of 53.8, from Heber Handspringers...Mary Maynard."   She had a look of complete shock, and then she was grinning so hard I thought her face would split, she kept putting her hands to her mouth, and the joy and excitement that came from her was shooting right into my heart.  I thought I would burst.

The moment was completely surreal for all of us.  We did not expect it at all, which made it even sweeter and more precious.  I snapped a couple pictures of my little Mary out there on the podium in the 1st place position, as I wiped tears from my eyes. I just couldn't believe it, and I was so happy for my little girl.

Then my mom said something to me that was extremely wise, and became a very profound thought that Mary and I keep in our hearts now.

She told me that every once in a while, your child will have "their moment."  This was Mary's.  She said to enjoy it, feel it, let the excitement out, be happy, and soak it all in.  Tell Mary to relish in it, be humble, but be proud. Feel it, love it.
But, to have Mary save a little bit of it in her heart.  Because, surely there are going to be lots of times ahead, where it will not be her moment, and things will be discouraging and hard.  In those times, she can pull out this little bit of this moment, and let that pull her through and remember what she is capable of.

I told Mary this later that day, and again as I was tucking her in bed that night.

As soon as Mary got down off the podium, she ran up to me and gave me a huge hug! She was beaming, and I was so happy for her. She kept saying she just couldn't believe it.

We quickly texted Ben, and let him know.  His reaction was also very neat.  He was so proud of her, and had tears as well.

Mary was so happy, and just bouncing around and grinning.  We let her pick a place to celebrate, and we headed off to Cold Stone.

We ate ourselves silly with ice cream, re-lived that happy moment when her name was called over and over again, then said goodbye to grandma, and made our way home through the pouring rain.  We kept on replaying the meet over and over again with eachother on the drive home, and Mary was so happy.

That evening, as I was saying my prayers, I thanked my Heavenly Father for giving Mary her moment.  A special moment just for her, where she felt happy, confident, proud and like her hard work was worth it.

I thanked him for giving me a moment too.  A moment to be able to watch my child be so happy and feel so good.  I didn't thank Him for letting Mary win, or even for what place she took on any event.  That is all good stuff, but more than anything, I was just so thankful for the joy of the moment, and for the joy my little girl was able to feel.

Way to fly Mary girl!  Never stop reaching for the stars.  You are someone special!