My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Monday, June 18, 2018

sundance bike race 2018

Ben had a bike race in Sundance a few weeks ago.  The kids and I thought it would be fun to drive up there and support him.  It is such a beautiful place, and the kids love to walk around and explore up there.

We got all packed up and headed up to the race, so that we could be there when Ben zipped through the finish line.

The kids were so cute!  They collected some "prized posessions," and Molly spent a lot of time finding the perfect "trophy" for her daddy.

The kids cheered for Ben as he came through the finish line.  It was pretty cool to see him in his element.

Ben coming through the finish line

It was so cute to see Molly present Ben with his trophies.

Good times at the races!
Mary was at cheer practice, so she couldn't be there.

the birthdays

William and I had a pretty good Birthday.

I treated myself to a tortuous 14 mile run outside.  I ended up leaving later than I thought, and the heat almost killed me.  It was nice though, to help me still feel young enough and fit enough, to just go out and run 14 miles the day I turned 36. haha!

Mary was kind enough to make a pancake breakfast for everyone.  William loves pancakes, that is his favorite breakfast.

We all went out for snow cones when I got back from my run, and William opened his huge bow and arrow gift from the family.  He then played with his best friend.

I taught piano lessons and celebrated William.

That evening, I went to home depot and bought stuff to build our mound with.  I REALLY wanted to get that done for my Birthday. 

While I was there, Ben took William to the store to pick out his new bike.  William was so excited!

William had his donut cake, and I had cheesecake that evening.  Ben surprised me with the cement that night, and told me it would be done the next day.  It rendered me speechless. haha!

We sang, blew out candles, and wrapped up the day.

Overall, I hope it was a wonderful day for William.  He had his party earlier in the week, but I did my best to help him feel like the actual Birthday was special, unique, fun, and all about him.

I love my big buddy so much!

Fun facts about William:
He is a great friend, and has TONS of really good buddies in the neighborhood.
His best friend is Tyson Muhlestein and Stockton Paige
He loves to ride his bike, ride his motor scooter and play on his kindle
He is willing to try ANY new sport.  He loves sports and has a desire to try them all.  He is particularly good at wrestling and soccer at the moment.
His favorite color is blue and orange
His favorite food is pizza..without the cheese.  So, basically bread and pizza sauce..hahah!
He has the best laugh in the world. It is straight from the belly and is totally contagious.
He is a twinkle in his eyes when he smiles.
He is a happy kid.
He is our best reader so far.
He is very curious and asks lots of questions all the time.
He really, really loves Charlie, and he cries whenever we have to put Charlie in his crate our outside and Charlie whines. 
He has a HUGE heart and big feelings.
He is always warm, and is the best to cuddle with.

Happy Birthday William!  Love you to the moon and back!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

the great gas incident of, i'm not referring to my boys

From the day school got out (May 30) this summer, we have hit the yard work HARD!!!  It started with the fire pit, for William's Birthday Party.  Then, we decided that it is more than past time to clean up the rock wall around our house, place top soil in it, and plant bushes. 

We spent two days placing the weed barrier down over the rock/dirt, and then, using the pick axe, Ben dug about 15 holes and we planted Boxwood and lilac bushes all along the wall. 


In the main time, We order a truck load of top soil, which they dumped on the corner of our lot.
the kids thought it was awesome

I spent the next week, shoveling that dirt into the wheelbarrow.  Pushing the wheelbarrow over to the rock wall, and then shoveling the dirt out of the wheelbarrow and into the rock wall.
That tiny patch of top soil took me about 2 hours to shovel, wheel over, and shovel out.

 It was miserable.  Absolutely miserable.  It was very, very hard work.  The wheelbarrow was extremely heavy, the shoveling made me extremely sore, and trashed my hands, and it was hot outside.  I worked and shoveled, and pushed and shoveled and dumped, over and over and over again, hour after hour, day after day.  In between, I was taking care of the kids, teaching piano lessons, babysitting, driving to cheer, driving to gymnastics, navigating play dates, driving to scouts and mutual, getting snacks every 5 minutes, T-ball games, and everything in between.  It was nuts!

I did have Mary and Sam, together, do 5 loads each day.  It was very, very hard for them, and they hated it, but they did realize how much work it must be for me to be doing it all day, every day, and they also appreciate that dang rock wall, way more than any other kid ever will.

By the end of the week, the wall was done, and it looked awesome!!! 

We still had a good chunk of top soil on the corner of the yard, so we decided to finally get our mound done.  This came to some serious disappointment to our kids, as well as the neighborhood kids.  This mound has been the community bike jump for 5 years.  The kids were so sad to see it go.

The mound took another 4 days to complete.  We got trees and more decorative stone, that was the easy part.  Shaping that HUGE dirt pile was a whole other story.  It took hours of shoveling, raking, shaping, more raking, more shoveling and more shaping.  We have to move it back about 3 feet, just to get it back into our yard.  It was covering the sidewalk completely in some areas.  Once again, I was out there working for hours, among everything else.  Ben helped in the evenings when he got home, which made a big difference.  We finally got it done...and I LOVE IT!!!  I am no longer frustrated when I turn the corner to get to our house.  I am excited to see our pretty mound.  I have had a ton of compliments from neighbors and friends as well.  I think they are just excited to have the sidewalk back..haha!!!!
You can't really see the trees in the picture.  There are fruitless plum trees on either side
(maroon color) and a weeping flowering cherry tree in the middle.  That HUGE part of the sidewalk in the front was covered in about 3 feet of dirt, and has been for about 4 years.  We had no idea it was even that big, or that it was even there. It was so hard to shovel, sweep and scrape that back, because it had completely hardened to the texture of cement, but wow, it looks so much better!!!

With the mound and the rock wall done, I was seriously giddy!!!  Our yard was looking loads better than it ever has, and big progress was being made.  This was not without a ridiculous amount of time, work, energy, blood, sweat, tears, and hard earned money.

Our neighbor bought a trampoline, and was going to dig a hole in his yard to put his trampoline in the ground.  He offered to dig a hole for our trampoline once his was done.  He owned the equipment to do it, and he had the knowledge.  We were so excited!!!!  We have been wanting to get our trampoline in the ground for 5 years, but we just can't justify the $900 it costs to have someone dig the hole for us.

Our neighbor, Brett, told us to make sure we called Blue Stakes, to have people come out and mark the yard to make sure we knew where all of the gas lines, water lines, and cable lines were before we started digging.

I called them that next day, and had them record my phone call, as well as type up the instructions I gave to as to where in the yard we would be digging.

The next day, three different companies came out and marked the yard.  I noticed that one kid marked the front of the yard, instead of back by the playground, like everyone else.  I figured that the gas line must just be in the front.

The next day was the big day.  The kids and I were so excited!  I was babysitting that day, and the little kids loved seeing the big tractor out there digging a huge hole.

As he was digging the hole, I went out and began mowing the lawn while the kids played.  I was mowing right next to the playground when I heard a huge hissing noise coming from the hole Brett was digging.  I looked over and saw something spraying about 30 feet into the air.  I thought he must have hit a sprinkler pipe, so I started running over to our main water line to turn it off.  Then, I smelled it.  It was gas.
Brett tried to put the bucket of the tractor arm down on the pipe where the gas was spraying out, and then he jumped out of the tractor and told me to get out of there.  He was already on his phone calling someone.  It was so loud, and gas was spraying everywhere!  I couldn't believe it.

I ran into the house, and gathered all of the kids and made sure we had no open fire in the house (candles, etc).  The house was filled with the smell of gas, but everyone seemed fine.

Within minutes, we could hear the lights and sirens.  We had 4 fire trucks, about 9 police cars, two safety inspectors, the sherriff, the water company, the gas company, the cable company, and about 5 other cars show up within the next 15 minutes.

The police evacuated our cul-de-sac, aside from me, and they blocked off our neighborhood streets.  The sent officers to each and every house, to warn people and to monitor the gas levels in their house.

I was dying.  So was Brett.  I didn't really know what to do.  We very quickly realized that the kid that marked our lawn for the gas line, had marked the completely wrong spot.  I quickly took pictures of his markings, and all of the other ones as well.  I took as many pictures as I could, of everything, in order to take care of us legally.  Other than that, I just had to sit and watch and fret.

They had an officer sit in my house with the kids, to moniter the gas levels in the house, and to keep them calm while I was out dealing with everything.  Ben was trying to get home, but was held up in Park City due to a wreck.

Pretty soon, the gas company demanded that they start digging up the lawn in order to get down to the gas pipe and clamp of each end on the sides of the hole.  I sat and watched them dig up our lawn, tear up or rock in our parking strip, pull up or weed barrier in the sand box, dump rock and dirt all over the lawn, the playground and everywhere in between.  I watched them leave tractor tread divits all over the lawn.  They pulled up sprinkler pipe and ran over trees.  I just watched in horror.


They ended up digging 3 holes about 10 feet wide and 6 feet deep.  It was 90 minutes by the time they clamped the endes of the pipe and got down to the hole.
the hole in the pipe
The whole 90 minutes, gas was spraying, and it was LOUD!  I was talking to police, the gas company, the marking company, and a few neighbors, just trying to get things figured out.  Ben finally got there, and was able to talk to the kid who actually marked the lawn wrong.  Ben got a recording of the kid admitting to his mistake.

They let the neighbors back into their homes, they opened the streets, they packed up their stuff, and they left.

They left a mess, and I cried.

Our yard was torn up.  Our sandbox was torn up.  Dirt and rocks were in piles everywhere.  Sod was torn out.  Tools were left.  It was so disheartening.  All because the kid that marked the gas line in the yard read to mark the south east corner instead of south west.  He read one word wrong.  ugh

We spent a lot of that night, (the night of William's OUTSIDE Birthday party) and the next several days filling in the holes, trying to replace sod, getting the trampoline in the hole, shoveling and wheel barrowing dirt and rock off the lawn and out of the sandbox, and basically trying to put the yard back together.  We are still working on getting financial compensation for all of the damage, and for all of the hours we have spent fixing the damage.

It was absolutely nuts!  Truly nuts.

In the middle of that, Ben got me cement for my Birthday.  I never, in my wildest dreams, would have thought that getting cement for my Birthday would be so exciting to me that it rendered me speechless.  haha!!!  We had our back patio extended out (another thing we have been wanting to do for about 4 years).  It has been next to impossible to find a contractor that will actually show up to give us a bid, much less give us reasonable bid.  Ben worked his magic, and the day after my Birthday we had a back patio!!!

We have spent all of this week, once again, with a pick axe, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow, rounding out the left over rock and dirt, in order to do a paved stone wall around the patio.  If I thought the top soil mound was horrible to move, this was pretty much hell.  Not kidding. 
We had to pick axe, rake and shovel all of the rock and dirt so that it comes straight down from the cement.  Yup.  Absolutely terrible.  For real.
The worst of that project is over now though.  Now is the fun part.
I currently have 2,200 pounds of paving store in the pathfinder right now.  Tomorrow, I will start building the wall.  I am really excited!!!  Pictures to come...

And that folks, is the continuation of our yard saga.  My new rock at a time will eventually move a mountain.

william's party

William celebrated his Birthday with a party as well.  He has a TON of friends, so we knew that his party had to be outside.  I told him to just invite his closest friends, and he came to me with a list of 15 kids. haha!!!

I decided that now would be the perfect time to finally put in the fire pit that I had been wanting to do for the past several years.

Ben got a pick axe (because you absolutely cannot shovel here, the ground is river rock, for real)  He pulled up the rock, we shoveled that into the wheelbarrow, we dumped it on the side of the house, and did it again and again, until the hole was dug.

I drove to home depot and bought decorative stone, and bought a fire ring at Tractor supply, and by the end of the day, the fire pit was done!!!  I don't know who was more excited, me or William.

 We still need to get benches, but for now, camping chairs work perfectly.

William decided that he wanted to have a fire and do night games, so we started his party later in the evening.  It was a good thing, because of what ended up happening that day, but that will be in the next post.

I didn't get a lot of pictures, because it was dark during most of his party, but they had a ton of fun!!!  I put together a s'more table, where the kids could roast marshmallows and put s'mores together.  They did that, and played night games.  It was fun to see William smiling and having fun with his good buddies.

One of William's friends gave him "pass the pig" for his present.  You basically pass a pig around while a song plays.  When the pig farts, if you are holding it, you are out.  It was the PERFECT game for boys this age.  They laughed and laughed and laughed until I thought they would all pee their pants.  Boys!  William is absolutely dying laughing in this picture.  I love it!

Luke, William, Camden Deyer, Hudson Riddle, Logan Weeks, Tyson Muhlestein, Ryker Anderson, Stockton Paige, Samuel Welch, Kayden Kohler, Quinn Parks, Deakin Case

William is an awesome friend, and has so many great buddies.  He had blast at his Birthday party! 

lukie turns 6

Luke's 6th Birthday was a fun one.  He went to school, and Ben went with him and helped him hand out donuts to his class.  Luke wasn't too fond of the attention, so his teacher handed them out, and they kept it low key.  As long as Luke felt special and loved, it didn't matter if he was the center of attention or not. 

After school, he got to go see Tamatha, his favorite person, and his therapist.  He LOVES going to see her, and he really wanted to see her on his Birthday.  He had a fun time with her, and she gave his some fun Birthday gifts.

After Tamatha, it was off to Silver Eagle, Luke's favorite place.  It is a gas station right here close to our neighborhood, but it is a weekly tradition to take Luke after school on Friday to get a hot dog and a candy there.  The ladies that work there love Luke and Molly and always fuss over them.

Then it was home to get ready for the party.  I had plans of doing a simple party of a few games, some cake and ice cream, and presents.  It was the last week of school, it was absolutely crazy busy, and I didn't have time to do a huge detailed, themed party. 

Too bad Luke came up to me, 2 days before his birthday, with is big blue eyes and long eyelashes looking at me, his freckled nose and white hair making him so innocent and sweet, and his cute little voice asking me if he could PLEASE have a minecraft Birthday party.  I said yes...and then I stayed up half the night on Pinterest trying to figure out how to pull off of Minecraft party in two days.  Two very busy, full, crazy days.

I enlisted a ton of help from Mary and her friend Alina, and we set to work. 
I spent a lot of time at the Fed Ex store printing of ridiculous amounts of Minecraft stuff, spent 2 hours at Walmart in Spanish Fork, during Mary's cheer practice, and then an entire day assembling stuff.  Good thing I love Luke.

Luke waited for the big moment, and pretty soon, we had a house full of friends, Minecraft stuff everywhere, and a very happy Luke!

pin the head on the minecraft zombie

exploding minecraft TNT.  (coke mixed with mentos)

The TNT was a HUGE hit!

We taped these "Minecraft creepers" down in the basement, and the kids shot them with nerf guns.  This was by far the favorite game!

minecraft bingo

Ben was the Bingo man for this game

A small part of the food table

the potion

Mary and Alina helping to make Luke's cake.  They saved me!!!!

Luke had a great time at his party, and he handled the social part of it really well, even with being the center of attention lot, which he doesn't like.  He has so many friends that love him, and had a fun time celebrating him.

Fun facts about Luke:

He LOVES minecraft.
He is very smart with building, engineering, mechanics, tools, anything of that nature.
He and I have a special prayer that we do every night.  It is our sweet moment together, and I hope it never changes.
Luke's best friend is Boston Sweat.
His favorite color is kind of blue and kind of green.
His favorite food is cheese pizza.
He is amazing with Legos, and he builds legos every single day.
He weighs 41 pounds.
Luke loves to sing opera, very loudly, when he thinks nobody is listening.
His favorite store is Silver Eagle and the dollar store.
Some of his other friends:  Kai Russell, Luke Phillips, Joey Goates, Dawson Boone, Evalyn Deyer, and Tucker and Harper Holmes
He is very sweet, soft hearted and is not one to instigate arguments or problems in the home.  He is a total momma's boy, and he totally has my heart.

Love you Lukie!

Happy 6th Birthday