Monday, December 1

Kid's say the darndest things

Usually when you have a "Kid's say the darndest things" segment it is referring to a 3 or 4 year old. Well, tonight's belongs to my seven year old boy. We were talking, while eating our family home evening cookie, about how we were done having children. We asked our children if they were okay with us being done. Ryan and Kayla both said no. They both really want a little brother. Brad said "Well, you guys, we can't keep having babies just because we want a little boy. What if we were sent another little girl?" Ryan quickly responded "Well, that would be a waste!!!" Well,there you have it. What do you say to that?

Saturday, November 29

I am officially 30!!!

Well, it is done. I am officially 30. Brad did an incredible job leading up to the big day. I didn't even dread it at all. Here are more of the things he did for me for my birthday.
Day 17-I can't remember...isn't that horrible?
Day 16-Another day I can't remember although I will say it was a great night in that Utah beat TCU in a very close game
Day 15-We went to the temple and did sealings with my family for my dad's birthday. I was really sick that night with a weird stomach and head virus. Brad brought me dinner for my gift.
Day 14- A Back rub
Day 13-A very nice breakfast. Crepes with raspberries and whipped cream.....ummmmm
Day 12-Brad was EXTREMELY sick that day so he got a pass.
Day 11-Brad brought home a beautiful pot of yellow flowers
Day 10-Fall decorations. I love them
Day 9--Brad gave me a new hymn book this night. How grateful I was for this as my kids had ripped my old one apart with missing pages.
Day 8--This was a fun night. We had a nice dinner and then watched Kung Fu Panda with my kids all crowded on my bed. It was a really fun night.
Day 7-We went on a date-dinner and finishing Christmas shopping. We finished our kids stuff. It was great to get it done.
Day 6-Brad made his famous Cinnamon Rolls. You can never go wrong with those things.
Day 5--This night we went to celebrate my sister in law Bre getting engaged at the Cheesecake Factory. That was also my gift since that place is so expensive!!! I greatly enjoyed the cheesecake.
Day 4-I was sick (again) and so Brad and the kids surprised me with Gelato from the new Smith's Market Place by our house. It was wonderful. I am excited to have it near by.
Day 3-This day he made me a cool video about 1978. It had all sorts of things that happened in 1978. It was awesome.
Day 2-Brad knew I had a really hard day and wasn't feeling well again (I have been sick for about 2 months straight with horrible sinus headaches). So, for my gift he made wheat bread and navaho tacos for dinner!!!
Day 1-Brad and I went out to dinner at Golden Corral. We both thought a buffet would be fun and Brad heard Golden Corral was good. Well, the food was okay, but it is like having a great big family dinner with a whole bunch of strangers. Instead of spending my last night in my twenties- doing something crazy I celebrated with a bunch of elderly people. I guess that could make me feel young!!! Funny side note, for my birthday lunch that day my sisters gave me a red Utah sweatshirt. I wore it that night and Brad was wearing his BYU sweater. I can't even count how many people looked at us or made comments that night and the next morning about our "opposing" sweatshirts. One guy said he would not have married his wife if she were a Utah fan and didn't "convert". I am sure I have a few brothers-in-law that are the same way. All I can say is I am glad I married who I married. I love you, sweetie!!!!
So, we are still on the 21st. After dinner we decided to hang out a bit longer. Brad drove up to the Red Lion hotel in Salt Lake and surprised me with a room. When we got in the room he surprised me with my last gift-tickets to see Twilight that night. We had a wonderful evening!!!
Day 0- Nov 22nd-the big day-we had a nice breakfast, played Ticket to Ride (right in the middle of the day-it was really fun) and the biggest present of all Utah beat BYU. So, Brad didn't have a thing to do with that. BUT, he handled the loss so darn well that that in and of itself was a great present.

Well, that is it. My husband is the most wonderful and creative guy I know. I am now 30 and don't even care. Thanks to all those friends and family that helped make the weekend special. I had a party with my sisters, time with Brad, a surprise party on Sunday, and then a lunch with my neighborhood friends on Monday. It was wonderful!!!

Friday, October 31

30 Days to 30

On November 22 I turn 30. I have been just fine with this until last week when I thought "What, 30, really? How can I be getting so old?" I guess I have 4 kids, one of which will be getting baptized in 6 month, and a house it is okay. My sweet husband has been thinking of ways to make this day special for me. So, last week he surprised me with a present on my bed. Attached was a sweet card saying we were going to have 30 days to 30. He would be giving me surprises of all forms for the next 30 days. Here is a run down of what has happened thus far
Day 30-A new lap top (our other one broke and I was going NUTS being in the basement on my regular computer, plus with all the photo editing I am doing a laptop is way more efficient with being a mother)
Day 29-Deep cleaning of three bathrooms
Day 28-Fixing and cleaning up of dinner and all dishes
Day 27-A 30 minute back rub (after P90x that is a HUGE gift)
Day 26-A subscription to three photography magazines (I can't wait to start getting them)
Day 25-A wonderful surprise date in our backyard with our fire pit, marshmallows, games, and a tent
Day 24-A subscription to Readers Digest magazine (I have wanted that forever)
Day 23-Tickets to see Wicked in LA the day after Christmas
Day 22-Clean our office (it took over 4 hours but it is amazing the organization he did-we have needed to do it since we moved in 14 months ago)
Day 21-Another 30 minute back rub(I can NEVER have enough of those)
Day 20-A big tub of hot cocoa (I have been out since the end of winter and we have missed it)
Day 19-Get Smart (If you haven't seen this movie you is HILARIOUS!!! We actually saw it in the theater for Brad's 30th birthday this past summer)
Day 18-Cleaning the whole house and getting kids in bed (he actually had this planned for Monday, but I actually had the house clean when he got home....tonight will be good as I have a meeting)

And that is where we are for the count down. I have 17 more joyous things to look forward to. This has made it much easier to embrace the birthday. I never want to be one of those people that dreads their birthday because they are getting older. However, I do understand why they do. It is weird to think I am entering my 30's. People that are 30 are older parents and have lots of least that is how I always saw them growing up. My how our perspectives change.

Wednesday, October 29

Real Life

So, why I thought it would be different with a blog as far as keeping up on writing, I will never know.
On Sunday we had a wonderful fireside from a member of our stake presidency. He mentioned in there how with this new life of blogging we shouldn't compare ourselves to others and their lives. Most of the time the people are writing about the good things going on to give themselves pick me ups or whatnot. Well, I shall break everyones mold of telling only the great things and fill you in on my real life.....I will leave out some less than flattering details that could warrent someone calling DCFS on me...just kidding.
My day started with neither Brad nor I wanting to get up and Becca waking up at 5:30 instead. Finally, a little after six I decided I had better exercise now or it wouldn't happen today. That went well. I started teaching at 7:15am. I made chore lists for my children and had high hopes that they would be so excited with todays incentive to clean that they would get it done without any nagging. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! Who was I kidding? I told them if they finished before school they could invite two friends over to watch Nancy Drew for Halloween. Well, it got finished, but not without some emotional scars (mostly on my part). Trying to get kids to do chores while I teach for an hour and a half is impossible. I know I need to just say "these are your chores, if they are done we have the movie. If they are not done no movie." and leave it at that. My problem is I get so sad thinking of how they will feel when they don't get the movie that I nagged. BAD ME!!!!! I really am trying to just lay down the law and let them make mistakes so they will learn consequences. Hopefully the rest of the day I will be better.
After I was done teaching and got Ryan out the door I finished cleaning the house. Can anyone explain to me why my house looks WORSE after they are done with chores than before? Hmmmm.....I really don't get it. Anyway, I went to throw away something in our front bathroom and I noticed something that just made my day. Yes, it was poo. Not Whinnie the Pooh, just plain old poop. Yesterday Ashlyn and her sweet little friend Brooke were in the bathroom for a long time. I now know what they were doing. As I was cleaning the poop from the toilet I was thinking to myself "this is why on this earth before the millenium I am stopping at 4." Obviously I can't even handle the four I have. So, if you look at me and say "Hey, she always wanted 7 kids....why is she stopping at 4?" Just remember Octobers are horrible months for Ashlyn and I and they come around once a year so there is no avoiding it.
Just for fun, let me list some mischief Ashlyn has gotten into this month.
#1-Cut her friend Brooke's hair
#2-Emptied shampoo bottle number 20.
#3-Wrote all over her wall my her bed with crayon
#4-Painted nail polish on the bricks on my front porch (oops, I don't think Brad knew about that one)
#5-Drew on my Parenting with Love and Logic with crayon (how would the authors handle that one?)
#6-The poop in the garbage can
#7-Cut a hole in her pillow and has gradually made it bigger and pulled out the stuffing
#8-Nail polish all over her hands and who knows what else

Disclaimer: every marker, nail polish, or crayon I find goes in the garbage can. The scissors are stored up high, yet she somehow still finds them.

I love my little daughter. She just keeps me on my toes.

Wednesday, October 22

Kids vs the CD player

On Saturday I went yard saleing. (How on earth do you spell that?) Anyway, I found a portable cd player for $2. I got it home and could not get it to work. I wasn't too happy but thought (It's $2) I threw it in the garbage. Makayla and Ryan found it in the garbage, how and why I don't know. But, I tried some different batteries flipped a couple of switches and works. I love being magical. Now it is a fight with my three oldest of who gets to listen to it. Yesterday Ashlyn got her turn without any fight as Kayla and Ry were at school. Here is a darling picture of her enjoying her moment.

A New Leaf

So, I am hoping after I exercise I can record some thought here on the blog about the previous day. However, I need my baby to cooperate with this plan. We got up at 5:30 to exercise. I actually hopped out of bed this morning. The past couple of mornings I have been really groggy and it's taken me 15 minutes to get ready. Not today, I actually slept straight through from 10pm-5:30am without waking for anything. It's been a long time since I have done that. The past couple of weeks I have awoken at 2am with strange and restless dreams. Anyway, as Brad and I were quietly getting ready we heard Becca starting to cry. Ah, oh. Usually she will go back to sleep. We quietly tip-toed (okay, so I tip-toed, Brad just walked softly....which WASN'T ENOUGH!!! ha ha ha) down to our basement. Becca cried a bit and then settled. We got going into our 50 minute routine. It was slow going anyway because Brad was using bands for a shoulder and arms workout. It wasn't working because he had to continuously adjust the bands. We finally started to get into a rhythm when Becca started screaming. Brad finally had to go get her and get a bottle. He brought her down. All was well until she decided she wanted to be held and was letting us know. I was afraid of the other kids waking so we had to hold her. Finally, fate was kind, we put her back to bed and I believe she is still there. Who knows. Anyway, if I get a toned sexy won't be because of my children who from conception have done everything they can to deter me in these efforts!!!!

So, last night I realized that a funny thing happens. In the morning I am super excited to see my kids....everyday (unless it is 5:30 in the morning and they should still be asleep). Throughout the day things happen and my patience wears thin with certain children. Yet, no matter what, when I put Becca to bed I just want to hold and squeeze her little body all night long. She gives me kisses and lays her head on my shoulder. It is a moment I love with all my heart. I miss her as soon as I lay her down. With my other children the same thing happens....once they have come up the last time for the night and are seriously going to sleep. That is when I want to cuddle and adore them all night long. So, how do I get those feelings all day long? That will be my quest today. Let's see if I can do it!!!

Tuesday, October 21

American Fork Canyon Photo fiasco (I mean shoot)

I have been so excited to go up the canyon for family pictures. I should have known things weren't going to be as planned when at almost the mouth of the canyon I realized my camera was dead and the spare battery was at home. We got the battery but Kayla and Ashlyn fell asleep. We also took pictures of Allison's family, her kids, my kids, and our family. Not good. All the kids were grumps, lighting wasn't great, and we were having issues figuring exposure issues on the camera. It made for a fiasco of a night.I love the swinging bridge park up AF canyon. It is gorgeous for outdoor shots.

Ashlyn just loves getting her picture taken....on her time. This is my bubbly girl.

Some other fun pics of Ash.

I was going to photoshop out the drip coming out of her nose....but, I wanted to capture how she really is....most of the time.

I had to photoshop a different head on Brad. The best picture of Ryan and the others had Brad closing his eyes....shocker!!! Anyone that has ever tried to take a picture of Brad knows he closes his eyes 90% of the time. I love my photoshop program!!!

Kayla posed herself. She is my little model. Too bad it wasn't the greatest camera day for me.

Where's Becca? Peek-a-boo. She was not happy for pictures until we put her by the big rocks.

The kids loved skipping rocks in the water.

"A boo" This is one of Brad's and Becca's favorite games.

This would have been a darling shot of Dad and all his girls....except Makayla was spunking BIG TIME. Not usual for her and pictures. She can be crying, I whip out the camera and she has her permagrin on. I guess I was too far away so she couldn't see the camera.

A Season of Change

This fall has brought a season of change. I am finally done with the benefit concert. However, since I can't sit around and think of what to do I have started delving into things I have been wanting to do, just waiting for the time. The first is Brad and I have started waking up at 5:30am to do P90x together. That is an extreme exercise program. It has been great. We go to bed at 9:30 so I haven't needed a nap yet.
The second thing is I am studying more on photography. I have quickly realized how much I love it. I love looking at good pictures and thinking "could I do that?" I am learning more and more about my camera and am trying not to get frustrated that I don't know even more. I took some pictures in the mountains last Saturday. Some were great....some were not. I am having lighting issues. I am hoping to take a photoshop class and some photography courses to really improve. I am trying to get people to let me take their pictures for practice. It's pretty fun.
I am also starting to sing in a group with some of the people that sang in the group at the benefit concert. I love to sing but don't have the opportunity as much as I would like. I am also starting voice lessons again. That will be a great thing for me. I need help!!!!
There are so many more things in this world I want to discover. I have to tell myself that I will hopefully have an eternity to do all I want to do. Italian lessons are the next on the list, but I just need a teacher. Brad actually works with an Italian but we both think it would be kind of weird for me to have one on one lessons with a 40 year old Italian male. I keep telling Brad he can just have them with me!!!
All in all, life is good. The kids are happy and doing well in school. Ashlyn is still into making messes, but is getting better at cleaning them up (with help of course). Becca is still getting this walking thing down. You need to see the look on her face when she walks a big path!! She just beams. I keep telling her she can feel that way all the time....yet, she just doesn't have the perfect balance yet for standing.

Beauties of Life

So, I just had a wonderful conversation with my dear friend Christy. Christy is one of the coolest people I know. She knows stuff about everything. She does everything, and yet, she has time for one of the most complete, up to date blog, that I know. She really uses hers as a journal. I should try that since I just wrote in my journal about my benefit concert and realized I hadn't written since February. Now, if that isn't pathetic, I don't know what is.
So, I love fall. I love it. I love the briskness in the air. I love the snow capped mountains with the vibrant colors underneath. I love football....especially my 8-0 utes!!! (I have to enjoy that now since who knows what will happen the rest of the season). One of my favorite things about fall is the changing leaves on the trees. All season I have been looking out and enjoying my neighbors trees that are bright reddish-orange. It is incredible. Well, the other day I looked into my backyard and about fell over with what I saw....

This is in my own backyard. (I did not use photoshop at all to enhance this color. It was Heavenly Father's doing) If I want a pick me up I just look out my window and realize how blessed we all are to live on this beautiful earth.

Thursday, October 16

Ode to Becca

I just got off the phone with one of my best friends from high school. 4 weeks ago her almost six month old boy died suddenly. The entire situation has really helped me put life and motherhood in perspective. I appreciate the little things more and I love every moment with my children and everything about that.
So, today is my ode to Becca. One of the things I love about Becca are her feet. They have always been chubby little things. They are also some of her favorite play toys. She would chew on them forever. She HATES and I am mean HATES things on her feet. I do put shoes on her, although anyone that ever sees her would never believe me. She pulls them off so quickly. Today at Thanksgiving Point I was doing a mini-photo shoot with my girls and my friend Ruth and her kids. One of my favorite shots was a full shot of Becca smiling. But, the thing I loved best were her little feet so perfect in every way....especially with the dirt on them from not wearing shoes (they were brought but why bother with this child?) Here is the cute picture I cropped of my darling daughters feet.
Another thing I love about Becca are her hands. Her tiny hands are slowly getting rid of the cute dimples that have graced them for 15 months. The thing I love most about her hands are when she blows me kisses. She has started this the past couple of weeks and it melts your heart. A funny thing she does with her hands is she loves to push my hands out of the way when she wants to do something I am doing. It can get annoying...but I am living and loving the moment!!!

All in all I love my daughter Becca. She really brightens up whatever room she is in. She is still the most pleasant baby in the world (don't worry, she does have her moments). Her laughter is infectious and she is turning into quite the tease (she gets that from her daddy!!!) She is starting to talk, walk (finally), and be quite the curious George. I truly believe she will give Ashlyn a run for the money here soon with her mischeviousness. I love you, Becca!!!

Tuesday, September 30

Benefit Concert

So, I believe my excuse for not updating my blog this month is pretty legit. Life, as usual, has been crazy...just more so now. I have been working since July on putting together a benefit concert for a little girl in my ward. Her name is Emily Heaps. She is 6 years old and just underwent her second bone marrow transplant. She was born with the "bubble boy syndrome" which means she was born with no immune system. When she was two months old she received her first transplant from her older sister Jacqueline. Well, over the years the tranpslant has stopped working and in order to save her life she had to have another transplant. All went well with the surgery and she is recovery remarkably well. The problem is she is on 12 medications daily. One drug alone costs $100 a week!!! So, my friend Ruth and I decided to put on a musical benefit concert in hopes of raising some money for this dear family.
The concert will be on Friday, October 10th at 7pm. It will be held at Lehi Jr High. Anyone and everone is invited to attend. We would love to fill the place. Well, to be honest that makes me a little nervous as I am playing the entire concert except for three numbers when two other pianists will be playing a number. I am playing 4 piano solos and then accompanying the rest. It will be an amazing concert. We have some incredible talent and some crowd pleaser songs. Anyway, my life has been in the preparation and planning of this concert in addition to everything else in my crazy life.
I keep saying that life will slow down....I now know it won't. I just need to do my best to move forward the best I can in the midst of it all. Next week will be a true test of my endurance. I have a dress rehearsal, bridal shower for my wonderful sister in law, practice run for super saturday, the concert, and then super saturday (I am on the enrichment commitee). Bring on October 12th!!!!!

Tuesday, September 16

Jones Family

So, I just took some pictures of my neighbors. It is easy to get great pictures when you have darling subjects. Let's just say if my girls married any of these five boys I would be very happy!!!
Hey, did I mention that I love photoshop? If you want to see more of these pictures I have them on my photography blog.

A loving husband

This post may seem weird since it looks like it is about me, but really it is about my loving husband. Background first, we have some close friends (she and practically he) was my roommate in college. Bret, the husband, loves to do these photo scavenger hunts. We have done some crazy things. Brad and I even earned $30 worth of chocolate for winning this summer (that sure didn't help the diet but my inlaws enjoyed our winnings on our family vacation). The last one we did was Amber and I verses Brad and Bret. The girls won....yeah girls!!! Well, I guess last week Bret called Brad and said "If you were to name five traits about your wife what would they be?" Brad listed them and then Bret said "Good, now go get pictures that represent your wife in these traits...without her knowing!!" This is what Brad came up with and I have to say I had NO idea what he was doing.

Beautiful – I think she must be wondering…. What in the heck are you doing taking my
picture when we are trying to get ready for church! Well… you look DANG good

Friend- Tam is always willing to help a friend. She loves helping others… especially
when it comes to her friends asking to do photography for them. In this picture, Tam is
planning out photo shoot locations with her friend Leesa to take their family pictures.
They got in the car after their careful planning to take as many pictures as possible.

Loving- This picture says it all. Tamara… blue shirt… Lavell Edwards Stadium…
smile… and yes, she was cheering! What is more loving than cheering for your rival
because she wants to spend time with her husband and appreciates and knows the things
that make him happy.

Humble – Don’t know if this one is legal to take. (Taking a picture in Sacrament
meeting.) I had to take it with my phone. This is Tamara during the sacrament. Without
fail she humbly ponders the scriptures or prays during the sacrament. She is a huge
example to me in the way she worships. She is an example to me and those around her of
a humble disciple of Christ.

Caring- Bret… you might look at this picture and say… what? No, Brad… you lose. But
this clearly illustrates her caring to the core. This is Tamara practicing for a Benefit
concert she is putting on for a little girl in our ward. She has been planning it and
practicing for it for months. She may have mentioned this when we got together in the
past. I am very proud of her for the caring spirit she has in proactively finding a way to
help this family.

So, I have to say I have the most wonderful and thoughtful husband in the world. He loves me and I love him back. I think it is important for my children to know how much their dad loves their mom and always have. So, kids, just know how much I love your daddy and here is proof of how much he loves me. He is the greatest!!!

You Never Know

There are things in life I have said I would never do. I'm not talking about "I will never yell at my children" or "I will never give my kids sugar". I am talking about things like "I will never sky dive (although I used to want to before I was married with children that I could orphan), or "I will never run a marthon". These are all things where I greatly admire the peoples courage or stamina that do it. I just don't think I have it in me to accomplish those things. Well, you never know what you will do so I am learning to never say never.
I always said I would never ever ever SCUBA dive. I used to want to be a marine biologist except I have this feddish where I hate touching or being close to fish and I am claustrophobic. Not extreme, but extreme enough that I couldn't imagine being under 60-100 feet of water with only a little mask and tank to keep me from drowning. Well, I am here to say I have taken a great step in overcoming this fear and on September 2nd I became officially SCUBA certified. And, the great thing about it is that I loved it. Yes, on my first dive in the very dark and murky crater at the Homestead up in Midway I had a major claustrophobic moment.....but I talked my way through it and it ended up being okay. The trick now is will I freak out when I am in the ocean swimming with all the fish and wondering if a shark is coming at me around the corner. Funny story, on my first dive in the swimming pool I had a moment of panic worrying about a shark. I quickly berated myself as I realized "DUH, you are in a SWIMMING POOL!!!" Anyway, the ocean will be a true test for me to see if I really love it. I have high hopes.
So, once I accomplished that I asked myself "what will be the next thing I do that I said I never would do?" Only time will tell.
We really are at the is just so blasted dark in there that with the flash we have a nice black background!!!!

Wednesday, September 3

The Hair cut

This week is Makayla's birthday. I can't believe my little girl is turning six. Anyway, for one of her presents I took her to a lady in our ward to get Makayla's hair cut. She got her hair washed in one of those fancy hair cutting sinks and got to sit in the cool stool. She loved it. The final results though are so adorable I can't say anymore about it. Here are the final results!!!

Hair Frenzy

The day I found out Becca was going to be a girl (my third girl)I cried. I know, I know, that sounds patient with me. I wasn't crying because she wasn't going to be the brother Ryan really wanted (he loves his sisters so I don't think he ever cried about it). I wasn't crying because I don't like girls. I love girls. I would have a million of them if......I didn't have to do their hair!!! The tears that day appeared as I was having one of the thousands of fights I have had with Makayla over her hair. She, and now Ashlyn, HATE having their hair brushed. They just hate it. If you have seen my girls you will know half the time their hair isn't done. It is their choice...NOT MINE!!! So, you can stop judging!!!
Okay, so this Saturday I thought it would be so great to do the girls hair in those foam curlers they sleep in. It would make my Sunday morning so much easier. Sundays are days I actually force the girls to have their hair look cute. So between me actually doing my own hair (yes, they probably get their not caring if their hair looks cute from me) and then doing the hair and getting ready my three adorable girls that is what I do for around 2 hours!! Ridiculous. Anyway, Ashlyn was all for doing the foam curlers. Makayla, however, was less than agreeable. She wanted NOTHING to do with it. We had even told her Alyssa, her favorite older cousin whom she idolizes, was having curlers in her hair that night. She didn't care. I tried bribing her with a dollar. She wasn't even swayed. Finally, she came up to me and said "For two dollars, mom". Okay, my little negotiator. We both win on this account.

I wish I could say this picture told the story of the rest of the
evening. But, my sweet and spunky five year old ended up pulling them all out before the night was through. Yep, she did NOT earn $2 that night. I had to do her hair the next day....much to both of our chagrin. Ashlyn ended up pulling only a couple of them out. Her hair looked like a true princess that day. I meant to take a picture and forgot!!! Darn it. It was so beautiful. Becca's also didn't last...but I didn't expect it to. They were merely for fun. Now, in defense of my daughters, I do remember having to wear those blasted curlers EVERY Saturday night. I wouldn't like it....but I had beautiful hair the next day. The things we girls go through to look beautiful.
I have to say that my girls are beautiful even with their hair everywhere. They really are. I was at a store yesterday and their hair was....kind of done. I met a girl from high school I hadn't seen since high school and she commented on how beautiful my girls were. So, I guess I can ease off the hair thing a bit and let girls be girls!!

Friday, August 15


There are moments in life that make your stomach literally sink and your heart stop. I have to say those moments are far and few between, but they forever etch a memory in your mind. Memory isn't quite the word because you don't just remember them, you can feel what you felt at that time. I have had several, and all have been related to my family. One was the time when Brad left on his mission. Others have been with my several miscarriages. Another was when Ryan was lost at the county fair at age 2 1/2. Well, yesterday we added another to the "photo album".
We were enjoying a wonderful day at Lagoon for Brad's work party. Once the kids warmed up to it they really had a good time and didn't want to leave. Yet, by 9:30 pm we were all exhausted and decided it was time to depart. As we were heading out to the exit Brad suddenly realized Ashlyn was not with us. We looked around and sure enough she was not there. Brad then went running back to where we had made a turn to the exit and she was not there. By then I started panicking. It was dark, we were close to the exit. What if someone took her and got out of the park without anyone knowing. We were so close that it could have happened. Well, Brad went looking some more and I went to security. I was hoping she was in there with some nice person, but she wasn't. My heart stopped once again. I tried to calmly ask what to do if I lost a child. They told me to fill out this paper and they would radio all of their personelle to look for her. As I was filling it out a lady that worked at Lagoon walked in with Ashlyn. She wasn't crying, and I did everything I could to not cry myself. She had missed the turn and kept walking. This nice employee said Ashlyn didn't know my name or cell phone number so she brought her here. What a HUGE blessing.
Let me tell you, I hate these moments. The fear is so real....even if it was for only 5 minutes. It seems like an eternity. The worst part is if you allow yourself to think....what if? I have not in this instance. I just can't. I am just so grateful it worked out just fine and that I have my moody, emotional, loving, destructive, darling, kissable, lovable Ashlyn. Today, she can't do any wrong in my book. I guess maybe we have those moments just to remind us #1-keep a better eye on your little kids and #2 to remember just how much we do love them!!!

BTW-The security people recommend when you are going to a large theme park or a place with a lot of people to take a black permanent marker and write your name and cell phone number on their arm someplace. It may look funny, but that could have saved me some grief and worry.

Monday, August 11

Summer update

So, I am even worse at blogging than I am at journal writing....well, not quite. This summer hasn't been a huge one for us. We have just been living life around here. There have been some fun things like Brad's 30th birthday and the Bell Family Reunion. My pictures are on Brad's computer so I will update those shortly. I am hoping once this summer ends, which is on Monday, things will settle down. Probably not. I will be teaching 26-27 students this year, teaching an intro to music choir class for 3-4 year olds with a friend, and I am doing a benefit concert in October for a little neighbor girl (more of this to come). Oh, did I mention I have four children, a home, and a husband to take care of? Hmmm....yeah, so I guess I probably won't be blogging for the next millenia...please forgive me. Anyway, keep up on all of your good blogs because I do like to see what you are up to.

Thursday, June 19

A Carson City Adventure

So, my little sister Tiffany was schedule to come out last Friday, June 13th to Utah. She was three weeks away from delivery her third child. Her doctors were out in Utah and she wanted to deliver with them. Well, her little baby would have nothing with that. He decided he wanted to come to Nevada. On Thursday Tiffany went into labor. She delivered a very healthy baby boy named Landen William Sorensen. He was 6 lbs 13 oz, 19 inches and has tons of light brown hair. He is such a beautiful boy.
I am now here in Carson City, Nevada where Tiffany and her family are currently living. I have had the wonderful opportunity of helping her get things in order after having a baby. Plus, she is flying on a private plane with here girls tomorrow up to Utah. Don't you worry, my sister Nicole and I and our two babies get the wonderful privilege of spending hundreds of dollars of Tiffany's money by driving out Tiff's tahoe so she has a car to drive while in Utah. I have had tons of fun here. The best time was yesterday when I did a photo shoot of my 4 day old nephew and his sisters. Here are some of the results of my labor.

Wednesday, May 28

Our Bear Lake Trip with the Manwarings

Friday, May 16

Ever changing Kids

So, I have learned one thing being a mom. Things never stay the matter how much you are enjoying (or not enjoying) life. So, I am trying to learn to relish in the moments. This week has been a pretty big one for my family with changes. I have been trying to wake up by 6 am (this morning it was 5:45) and exercise before the kids are up and at them. That has added much energy and hours to my day. Second, I went into Becca's room after a nap the other day and saw this......
Yes, she has learned to pull herself up in her crib. She kind of started doing that last week so I moved the crib mattress lower. Good thing or she would topple out.
Another big change for little Becca is she has produced her first tooth!!! It is still popping through so today she isn't too happy. So far, though, she has been very good considering her "ailment".
Well, the biggest change is that Ashlyn is in the process of potty training. She wasn't showing any interest and really detested wearing underwear until Brad came up with a brilliant idea. Lipstick. Yes, lipstick. Actually, we have resorted to lipgloss which is much less messy with a two year old. The first two days whenever she wore underwear she got to carry the lipgloss around and wear it. That brought a few stares at Walmart as she had real lipstick all over her lips and mouth. We were going to buy the lip gloss at that time. The next few days she just got to put it on whenever she went. Now, the prizes have kind of died down as she just goes for the sheer enjoyment of getting me to "Come see my pee, mom!!!" I've never been more proud!!! She does enjoy putting stickers on the potty chart. We just hope she can keep this up....and learn the second part of toilet training.....the poop. That should be interesting. We are trying a playdough reward for that one. Anyway, that is it for now. Ryan and Makayla keep growing as well. They are just older where the things they learn aren't quite as BIG so to speak as these younger ones. I will say for Makayla that she is turning into quite the reader. I am so glad she and Ryan have developed that same love for books that I have.
Oh, by the way, if you want to see updated pictures of my ever changing kids you can look at my photography blog (which isn't that great but the newest set of pictures of the girls are cute) it is

Thursday, May 1

Where have I been? Part 3

It is now May 1st and there is snow on my lawn. Does anyone else see this as a problem? Little Ashlyn is dying to play in the snow, but all the snow clothes are in the attic. She asked me if when I get bigger like a daddy if I could get them for her. That was a pretty safe yes on my part.
Anyway, continuing this saga. Easter was wonderful except for a phone call I received as I was listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and doing my hair. My dad called to inform me that my Grandma Joyce, his mother and my only living grandparent, was diagnosed with cancer the night before. WHAT?!!!! I had no idea she had been that sick. We had just known she was tired and not feeling 100%. It was the shock of a lifetime.
That next week was a roller coaster for all of us. She seemed to be getting sicker fast and we still didn't know the extent of what was happening. On Thursday she saw an oncologist. He wouldn't give her any definitive diagnostics until he ran further tests. He did say he was pretty sure it was pancreatic cancer.
On Friday, my mom, Allison and her baby Libby, myself and Becca, and Nicole and her baby Kiegen all hopped into my van and headed to St George. My grandmother was getting worse everyday. She slept most of the time we were there. When she was awake we had the most wonderful visits. She taught my sisters and I had to properly roll a ball of yarn for crocheting. We took a walk down memory lane and just savored every last moment we had with her.
Sunday was the hardest day of all. We had to say goodbye. With my grandma and grandpa on my mother's side it was easier. They were in the hospital and comatose when we had to say our goodbyes. Grandma Joyce was not. She was fully alert, in pain, but very alert when I hugged her goodbye. It was so hard knowing full well I would never see her alive in this life again. This was to be the case. On Monday she found out things were as bad as we thought. The doctor gave her a day to several weeks to live. He also gave her permission to die. That is exactly what she did less than 48 hours after. She passed away on April 2. It was a sweet passing.

Rebecca with Gigi (my grandma Joyce)

My grandmother was from Canada. She lived there unil just last summer. That meant her funeral was to be held in Canada. So, on Friday we packed up and went to Idaho Falls. We went the rest of the way on Saturday. The funeral was lovely and the trip was very therapeutic. I finally got my sweet husband to Canada. It was great to show him my heritage.

Becca loves "high in the sky" with dad. This is them at my grandmothers home in Canada.

Beautiful Falls at Waterton National Park, Canada

Old Chief Mountain -that is a prominent mountain seen all over southern Alberta.
A panoramic picture Brad and I took of Waterton Dam-just 1/2 mile from my grandmas
My great-grandparents home in Glenwood, Alberta, Canada

The Lodge where we all stayed. It had 13 bedrooms in it. It was awesome. It is across the street from my great-grandparents home.

While in Canada we celebrated Ryan's 7th birthday. Am I really old enough to have a 7 year old? Ryan was quite spoiled this birthday. We went to Burger King for lunch in Lethbridge. That is 45 minutes from Glenwood. There is nothing like that in Glenwood.

After lunch we found a bowling ally and had some great fun!!
Glenwood has a HUGE slide at the elementary school. My kids LOVED playing on it.

Ryan ended up with 4 birthday cakes. One in March when the Bells were up. We had a tri birthday party for Ryan (April 7th), Brooklyn my niece (April 8th) and Julie my sister in law (April 9th). He then got a cake on his birthday at the viewing in Canada. Of course there was the cake for his birthday party (actually they were cupcakes), and then a cake the Sunday after where he had a party with all of his family.

The rest of the month was crazy with small but time consuming things. When we got back from Canada I had to do Ryan's birthday party we had had to reschedule. The next week was spring break. We had lots of fun sticking around town. We got a pass to Thanksgiving Point and went to the farm and Dinosaur museum. My kids were in heaven.

Ryan's big Sunday birthday bash

The new baby goats at Thanksgiving Point

The week after spring break I played nurse the entire week. Ryan and Makayla came down with the Influenza. They were sporting 104 fevers all week and took over my bed. Brad and I slept downstairs on mattresses in the family room so we could keep the illness contained to one area.
Anyway, we finally got them better on Sunday. I was having major cabin fever last week. I didn't drive for days, or practically step out of house except to water my raspberries.
Unfortunately, life comes full circle. I began this saga saying Becca was sick with a fever. I am now holding my feverish baby, who does not want to be put down for any reason what so ever. She has had a fever since Monday and it is now Thursday. I am assuming she has a milder case of what her siblings had. I say milder because her fever has only been 102 instead of 104. I am hoping this will break soon and I can have my happy go lucky baby back so I can live life to it's fullest!!!
Well, there you go. In case you were wondering, that is where I have been for the past 2 months. I am hoping May holds nothing but happiness and fun for our family. I am especially hoping for warm weather as this has been by far the longest winter of my life!! Until next time, ciao.

Wednesday, April 30

Where have I been? Part 2

So, as if finishing my home wasn't enough things got even crazier at the end of the month. The Bells came up for easter and we had a wonderful visit. Easter Saturday was full of an easter egg hunt and a 88th birthday party for Brad's grandpa Bell. Easter Sunday we had a wonderful time with the Bell's at Brandon and Lindsey's. The kids endured endless picture taking.

Where have I been? Part 1

I profess that I am a not so perfect blogger. Okay, let's be honest, I am horrible. I love reading everyone else's blogs and even updating my own...when I have time. That is the kicker. I just don't seem to have time for everything. Well, the last two months I have actually had some pretty valid excuses. Here is a very brief summary of what has happened since the beginning of March.

March began with a sick baby. She had a weird fever that lasted a few days. I don't know how many of you can get anything done with a sick baby, but I sure haven't mastered that part of motherhood yet. On March 8th Brad left to Beijing, China for business. He was gone for one week. While he was gone my sister Tiffany stayed with me while her husband was also gone. One night we were talking about the wood I had just bought to redo our living room and kitchen floor and how I wished it could be done by Easter for when Brad's parents came into town. She got this look on her face, like only Tiff can, and said "How adventurous do you feel?" I smiled knowing what she was thinking. We called my brother in law Bryce to see if he would be in on our cunning plan. I then emailed my brother in law Brandon to get his opinion. Well, here are some pictures of what happens when my sister and I put our heads together with the brawn of some very wonderful men......

I spent all day Wednesday and Thursday ripping up the flooring.
The carpet was the easy part to rip out....

The subfloor under the ugly linoleum was a BEAST to get rid least for me. My brother in law Bryce seemed to have no problems with it.

Tiffany was the official babysitter. Did I mention that while she had this brilliant idea she couldn't help as she was 5 months pregnant.Lee (a friend) and Brandon (my brother in law) got us started on Thursday night.

DeLyle (our friend) and Matt (another brother in law) both were a huge help. (Matt was mad that all the pictures I took of him he was standing around. He did help tons.)
Bryce was the main man in all of this. It is so great to have a brother-in-law who loves to this kind of thing . Thank to my sister she lent him and his skills to my home for several days while we finished the project before Brad got home.My friend Meg was days away from being due with her little baby girl. She was desperate enough to get the baby out that she helped along side the rest of didn't work. She had to wait a few more days before adorable Allie was born.

We all worked long and hard all night Friday and were able to finish almost the entire project. We left just enough so Brad could appreciate what was really done for him. He was SHOCKED when he walked through the door on Saturday afternoon. It was so much work. Brad and I spent Monday finishing the floor. Then we spent many night in March putting up new baseboards. Brad's parents came up for Easter and his dad, who can't not work when work is to be done, helped Brad finish this project.
Just last week Brad finally finished all the wood trim around the carpet and door jams. It is nice to have it all done.

The Finished Product
Decorations I put up top

We ripped up the carpet in the living room and the hall.