Thursday, November 1

Halloween Fun!!!

Carving pumpkins with the Owens.

Becca and Elysabeth were the cutest cheerleaders in red!!! They got many comments at the kids Halloween parade at the school. Many of the kids said "Hey, there is a Utah cheerleader. How cute!!!" I promise....they did.

Well, for Halloween we were a mixed family. Makayla, Ashlyn, and Rebecca were all cheerleaders. HOWEVER, they did not all cheer for the same team. We had Ashlyn as a 49ers cheerleader. Becca was a Utah cheerleader (go utes!!!) and I was the advid fan. Makayla was a BYU cheerleader with Ryan as a BYU football player and dad (at Ryan's request) was a BYU coach. Watch out on November 24th. Who will be the happiest set of halloweeners? Time will tell.

Friday, October 5

A Week to Remember!!!

Ashlyn vs Mom:

There are certain weeks in life when you wonder why you signed up for this job. (For you mothers of sweet little immobile newborns and no other children, yes the time will come) I thought last week was hard when Ashlyn came down with the stomach flu and threw up everywhere starting with all over me. I did multiple loads of laundry every day last week, washed her set of sheets at least 4 times, and had to clean the keyboard of the computer and her car seat after she threw up all over them. I changed at least 4-6 poopy diapers a day, just from Ashlyn. So, you would think "Hey, it can only get better." Well, then this week happened and now I PRAY that it can only get better.
On Monday we were recovering from the weekend. I was mowing the lawn, making bread, cleaning the house, etc. Well, I was in the middle of making bread when Makayla brought up a credit card from my purse. I asked, "Hey, Makayla, where did you get that?" "Oh, from Ashlyn." Drop everything you are doing and go running. She found my purse AGAIN. She loves to play with everything I have...especially the wallet. I found the wallet downstairs with only a few of my cards in the purse. I started to get frustrated but knew they had to be around somewhere. I started the frantic search for my credit cards, costco card, drivers license, etc. In the play room I found the insurance card and Costco card. While searching, Ashlyn proceeded to stick her fingers in my rising loaves of bread. Who can blame her, right? But, after searching for 2 1/2 hours myself and then Brad searching for another 1 1/2 hours there was NO SIGN of the drivers license, debit card, and my one major credit card I use. Oh, man. What was I going to do? We finally decided we had better call and report the missing debit card and credit card. There was a small chance they were stolen when I left my purse at Cafe Rio the Friday before.
The next day I went to replace my drivers license, called the bank, and the credit card company. I still searched, but to no avail. That day Ashlyn and I were friends again, after I realized she is only two and it's good for her to be curious. Right? Yes, that is right. Aunt Bre wanted to treat her three oldest nieces and nephew to Chili's for dinner to give Brad and I a break. I thought Ashlyn should be fine since she seemed to be feeling much better. Well, life isn't that simple with my two year old. She was having a great time at dinner when all of a sudden she puked all over Aunt Bre, the table, everywhere. She looked up and said "Uh, Oh" and then went on eating her fries. Aunt Bre and the waiter handled the situation like pros. Of course Aunt Bre is writing off children for a long time. When she got home and told us the tale, Ashlyn went to work.....drawing on our walls with a green crayon she brought home from Chili's (all other crayons have been confiscated from her and hidden well). Although we appreciate fostering creativity in our children, we do try to limit the mediums to paper....not walls. After we got that taken care of and discipline out of the way we were talking with Bre some more. All of a sudden I stopped her and said, "Ashlyn is too quite, we had better see what she is doing". Sure enough, Mother's intuition kicks in again. She had her tube of toothpaste and was painting the walls in my bedroom.

Exhibit #1-Ashlyn cleaning the wall after her painting job. She had way too much fun with this consequence.

Well, we went to bed in hopes that the next day would be better. It was, fewer poopy diapers, not many tantrums (Ashlyn actually isn't much of a tantrumer...thank goodness) Just business as usual. By Thursday I was thinking, the week is in the past. Ashlyn must be watched at all times, doors must be shut, but all is well. We went to pick up Ryan from school. Ashlyn fell asleep on the way home and I, in a laps of mental soundness, put her on my bed to sleep instead of her own. While she was "sleeping" I was helping my other three children with homework, chores, etc. Kayla and I needed the computer. The laptop cord was missing. What is with missing things in our home? I decided there was a good chance it was in my bedroom. I decided to go in very quietly as to not wake my darling toddler. Oh, boy, this is what I found.....
Exhibition #2-the make-up queen
Ashlyn was NOT sleeping. She had climbed off of my very high bed, climbed onto my toilet to the high place I keep my make-up (from her nontheless), climbed back up onto my very high bed and WENT TO TOWN!!! Oh, she was beautiful. Mascara, foundation, and lipstick everywhere. She had painted my expensive Mary Kay foundation bottles with mascara, my sheets and duvet cover with lipstick, mascara, and foundation, used my eye shadow brush to completely empty my lipstick (which is also expensive Mary Kay), destroyed another mascara and lipgloss. At this point in time, I very calmly asked her to leave my room, after I cleaned her up, and started the long clean up process. It seems that she has expensive taste as all my cheap Walmart make-up was untouched and all the expensive stuff was used up. I raise my children well, don't I? I then calmly taught piano and prayed that my toddler, and myself, would live through this "messy" curious stage. There was some good news, the three missing cards were found. Where you ask? In the DVD drive of the kids computer. Who would have thunk it?
Exhibit #3-Crime Scene Evidence-the pillowcase
Well, I once again went to bed hoping the next day would be better. I was up in the middle of the night for an hour with Ashlyn's stomach bug passed on to me. I then woke up to very sweet pleasant children. I thought, well, we will just take it easy today and enjoy being together. Which is what we did. UNTIL.....Ashlyn wasn't feeling well and requested a bath. I agreed. I pulled her out of the tub and realized her towel was downstairs. I went down to get it and summoned her to me. She wanted the towel upstairs. I threw it to her and asked her to come down. I hurried to the computer to check something when she came to me. I noticed a little pooh on her leg. OH,NO!!!!! Sure enough, out in the family room there were two huge piles of diaharea pooh with little splashes elsewhere. Sorry to be so graphic. I couldn't believe it. As I was cleaning it up I wasn't cursing, I wasn't even crying, I was laughing. The thoughts "How could things get worse" kept parading through my head. However, I didn't dare utter those thoughts as I know things could get MUCH worse, so be grateful for these small trials.
Exhibit #4-Well, it speaks for itself. This is after initial wipe down.
So, on weeks like this week I once again ask myself "Why did I sign up for this job?" Well, this picture tells you why.
My sweet children love me and each other. Their laughter wipes away the frustrations of the day. Their kisses do make everything all better. So, in Ashlyn vs Mom I would say we both come out winners.

Saturday, September 15


This is the first picture of Rebecca actually smiling. It was at her daddy. She was loving him that night.Our beautiful little girl. She wasn't quite in the mood for smiling when mom threw this photo session on her. She is still a photogenic baby though.


There's No Place Like Home

This is the front of our house. The first order of business was to paint the door black. The neighbors greatly appreciate what we have done.

This is our living room with our new couches. It was a total steal of a deal at a yard sale of all places.

This is my music room. My favorite room in the house. It was so nice to have all of my music and supplies in one place. This is the first year I have taught piano at my own home. I have 13 great students currently.

Our kitchen. The girl that owned the home before us loved paint colors. She didn't always choose what I would have, but we will have to gradually change the colors. She painted the cupboards black and the walls lime green. It is fun for now, but will eventually go.

Rebecca's Nursery. This is my favorite decorated room of the house, and we have even bigger plans to come. Nana gave her the cutest crib set and we have decorated around it. Eventually we will replace the dark aqua green carpet and paint the walls. Until then, we will just enjoy the decorations.Another view of the nursery.

The kids bedroom. We currently have the three oldest kids in one room downstairs. That allows us to have a toy room and an office. The kids love it and we love having the extra space. Ryan and Makayla were especially excited to get a bunkbed. Ashlyn thinks she is the biggest girl ever in her toddler bed.
Moving in day. Becca helping the best way she sleeping. Brad and I were able to get everything unpacked in 2 days....just before we left to California for a week. I was super exhausted but relieved to have it done.

This is one view of our office. It is kind of a weird place. I actually have my own craft corner by the card table. It has shelves and places for me to work and keep all of my stuff. It is AWESOME!!! Maybe I will attempt to be domestic.

Ashlyn trying to pick our one pear from our pear tree. We have a very big, nice fully fenced back yard. That was one of the selling points for me.

Sunday, August 26

Our Growing Baby

Rebecca: Growing Like A Weed

Becca around 1 week old.Becca enjoying the sun. Striking a pose. 2 weeks old.

You said what?!!! Rebecca 4 weeks old.

Pretty in pink. 5 1/2 weeks old.
Enjoying her first trip to Lagoon. 7 weeks old.
At her 8 week appointment, Rebecca weighed in at 11 lbs 3 oz and was almost 23 inches.


Our Summer Adventures:

This summer has been full of adventures, both good and not so good. It started with Brad getting a new job, starting the house hunt, finding a house, Tamara getting very sick with a kidney infection and stone, having our little baby Becca, packing and almost moving, a flooded house, new house hunting, surgery to remove Tamara's 9mm kidney stone, more house hunting, finding a house, moving into the Owen's home until we could get into our own, having a family reunion at Jordanelle, Ryan and Makayla going to Seven Peaks with their aunts Mari and Bre, the stomach flu hitting 11 of the 13 people living in one house, going to Lagoon, Ryan starting school, closing on the home, and finally this week moving into our new home. Wow, what a ride it has been!!! Through it all we have had so much fun and have been grateful for our blessings.

Ashlyn enjoying a picnic in the rain. Even under the pavilion we got soaked.
The kids enjoying daddy's work party at Lagoon. Ryan and Makayla loved the Terror Ride. Ryan even went on the White Roller Coaster for his first time.....and didn't even scream even though mom was!!!

Makayla and Alyssa enjoying sharing a room.

Our three beautiful girls.

Tuesday, August 7

Rebecca's Baby Blessing

Rebecca Dianne Bell blessed by her daddy on July 15, 2007

Blessing Day:
We blessed Rebecca when she was only 2 1/2 weeks old on July 15th. Brad's family was in town and we didn't want to make them drive up to Utah from California twice in one month. It was a wonderful blessing. Rebecca is such a good baby that she didn't even need her binky up in the circle with her. Here are some pictures of that day.

Nana gave Rebecca a bath

All of our beautiful children....looking good at the same time. Miracles never cease.

Brad and Tamara with his parents

These are Tamara's six sisters!!! We haven't had a picture all together in years.

The Bell Family. Welcome new members of the family. Brooklyn, Brandon and Lindsey's little girl. Mari, Matt's wife. Rebecca....well we all now know her. We miss you Julie, who was in New York, and Doug, who is on his mission in Brazil.

The Sweeney Family

Saturday, July 28


Rebecca sporting the nations colors.
A million pictures later we got a cute on of all the kids. I know, a miracle they are all looking pleasant.
Makayla thought she would help Ashlyn get ready for the day by doing her hair.

The Flood

What a month it has been. On July 10th we were scheduled to close on our first home.
We were super excited. Well, life doesn't always go the way we choose. On the July 7th Brad went to the house to do a final walk through. We mostly wanted to see what things we needed to do to prepare for moving in the next weekend. When Brad walked in the door he saw something we would never have believed. Our to be house had flooded. Not just a little bit of water on the floor in the basement, but water almost throughout the entire home. I could explain what it looked like, but we will let the pictures do the talking.

This is the ceiling directly below the refridgerator where the flooding began.

While Brad and DeLyle (our real estate agent) were walking upstairs assessing damage they heard a large bang. They went downstairs and saw that part of the ceiling had fallen down.


So, the question is......"WHAT HAPPENED?" We had asked the sellers to hook up the water line to the nice water/ice maker on the fridge. As they had already moved to St George, their real estate agent solved this problem for them. He hooked up the hose to the water source and turned on the water full blast. All we can figure is that at that point he must have left. He did NOT check the fridge to make sure it worked. If he had he would have realized it didn't work because the hose was NOT attached to the fridge. Instead, we had an open running hose for days. Since no one was living their, it was not caught.
The damage was severe. Almost all the carpet in the entire home was completely flooded. All the dry wall down stairs was ruined. Water was leaking out of the back walls all the way to the outside walls. At that point we new we would not be moving the next weekend. We went back and forth for days as to whether we would still get that house or look for something new. The sellers real estate agent made the decision easy for us. He was such an idiot through this whole thing from saying "It can be fixed in two days" to not allowing us full access to the home and the progress Utah Disaster Clean Up was making to changing the lock box on the home so we really couldn't get in. The last straw came when they refused to compensate us financially for what it would take to extend the interest rate lock on our loan and other fees associated with putting off the closing. He was so difficult to work with that we were afraid the right type of work would not be done on the home to make it liveable and eventually sellable so we pulled the plug on the whole deal.
In the midst of this decision making progress we found out we could not stay in our apartment past the 31st as we had already turned in our 30 day notice and they had rented it out to another family. We found ourselves with no place to go and no idea what to do on a new home.
We are currently staying at my sisters home with our four kids. You add them to her five kids and we have a very full house. Last week we went under contract on a new home in Lehi. Let's pray that there are no floods this time.

Sunday, July 1

Going Home!!!

We took our little Becca home on Friday. Her brother and sisters were so excited to get her home. Mom had her sporting an American dress as she was born 1 week before the fourth of July!!!