Thursday, December 31, 2009

My little warriors

Dave, Trevor and I moved into this house five years ago. For my birthday that year (in 2005) my house was being painted and we were getting ready to move in. I was pregnant with Colin and this was the house we wanted to raise our family in. Well five years later we now have three boys instead of just one. I took this picture yesterday. Colin was in time out and I walked by to check on him to find Logan giving him a hug. He's a pretty nice little brother and if his older brothers are hurt or sad or crying he likes to try and make it better. I ran to get the camera and Trevor had joined in on the hugging. Someday, when they are all older I am going to show them this picture so they can see that even at a young age they were always looking out for one another. All of the time in my prayers I ask that my boys grow up being good friends, that they will be good examples to one another and help each other to stay on the right path and make good choices. Sometimes when I look at them now I will imagine what they will all be like when Trevor is nineteen and getting ready to leave on his mission. And I think about Colin waiting to leave on his until Trevor gets home so he can have a chance to see his brother before he leaves. And while he's gone I see Trevor and Logan being close, Trevor helping his little brother prepare for when his time comes to go as well. I have always loved the story of the Stripling Warriors, how they had so much faith because of the things their mothers taught them. I always wonder if I am doing the job those mothers did and if I am teaching my boys enough and in the right way. I have made lots of mistakes with them already, but that is what's nice about a new year, a new month, a new day. You can always start over and be better than you were before. My sister is about to have her first baby - a boy. When she found out what she was having I sent her a card telling her all of the fun things she will get to experience having a boy. One of the things I said was, "You'll be the first girl he loves." I hope when they are grown they will be better brothers, sons, friends, missionaries, husbands and fathers because of the things they learned and saw and heard here at home.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pictures

Dave's been wanting e to update the blog so here are some pictures I've taken recently. I think in the future Dave needs to take pictures so I can be in some. Here are the boys Christmas Eve before going to my mom's for breakfast. We took like fifty pictures of them and this was the best one. Christmas Morning after the gifts have been open. Loving Trevor's hair that morning (they got haircuts the nest day). And this is Logan's new smile. When he sees the camera he closes his eyes and opens his mouth. I'm interested to see how long this phase lasts.

Trevor has had his front tooth hanging there for forever. Finally he was eating lunch and it fell out. That night he wrote a note to the tooth fairy asking what does she do when their town starts to break (since we all know in Tooth Fairy land the buildings are all made of teeth). He's ready with a new question when the next tooth falls out.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holiday

I've been giving the lesson each week this month at church for the kids. Each lesson has been centered around Christ - how He was born into a family, what His childhood was like, what things he did during His life, how we can remember Him more this December. I keep telling these kids things they can do to remember Jesus and to make the holiday more special but am I trying to do the same? Well maybe I'm trying a little but not really succeeding. I yell at my kids all of the time, I stress and worry over little things that don't really matter, I frown more than I smile, I nag and complain. I wonder why the holidays seems to bring out the worse in some people. It should be a time when everyone is happy, when we all remember how blessed we are, how lucky we are to have the things we have. We should all feel more willing to be nice to strangers, and especially to our family members. As the day went on today I found myself thinking, "I have one more week." I am determined to make this week better. The kids will be home so I'll have to keep my patience, but I also want to do things so that my family will think more of Christ and more of the reason we're celebrating. When it's all over and done with, when Saturday comes and the gifts are unwrapped I want to look back on this week and remember the good, not feel sorry for the bad.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Family Pictures

I love it when I get my friends' Christmas cards in the mail so I can see how cute their families are. But when you look at a picture it's fun to imagine what was happening right before it was taken and then right after. For us it was Dave and me, and my parents yelling at the boys to look up, smile, put their hands down, smile again, open their eyes, and on and on. After each picture they thought they were done and they all wanted to run off and play, but we wanted enough to choose from since we knew there would only be one out of a hundred where all three of them were looking okay at the least. But if you look at each boy in this picture you will see a little of who they are. People will sometimes ask if Trevor and Colin are twins (seriously?) and we hear all of the time how much alike they all look ("they are cookie cutter kids"). But when I see them I see three boys who couldn't be more different. Sure they all have some similarities because they learn things from one another. But I think it's so fun to have kids and then get to know them. They are never what you expected, never what you imagined and hoped. But they always surprise me with different things. I think I don't take enough time to really watch them. When I do take time, especially when they don't know they are being watched, they do something to make me proud that they are mine. I used to want girls. I used to want to have the yellow bedroom, ballet slippers, dolls and dresses. But these three boys have been a surprise to me, a good surprise. Sometimes they make me crazy, but most of the time they love me even because of my faults and they teach me to do the same for them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Good dancin'

Dave was working out the other night in the garage (come on ladies, we all want our husbands to have bodies like Jacob in New Moon...or Hugh Jackman in any of his movies) and the boys were out listening to his music and dancing. When I got the camera out to record them Trevor decided to ham it up. He seriously cracks me up in this video. Sometimes I do not know where that boys gets the stuff he says and does. One day he will see this and be embarrassed but for now it's fun for all.
video

Collectible


This color is called Collectible. I wonder where they come up with names for paint colors. This is the old playroom and it will soon be the guest/Dave's drawing room. I told Dave I wanted to decorate it, paint it any color I wanted. What I REALLY wanted was a yellow room. Buttery yellow walls, a cozy quilt on the bed, an antique desk in the corner and curtains that fluttered in the breeze. But then I came back to reality and knew it needed to be a room Dave wanted to be in so he could draw. I had suggested a chocolate brown, but he said that was too dark. So I went to the store and got some samples, but when Dave left a few days later to the paint store he came back with something different. But it was a good different. Dave has an eye for color that I will never understand. He can pick out colors and know if they have red, blue, or yellow tones in them. He can choose from a variety of colors and pick two that go so well together where as I have no idea what goes with what. He can see something at the store and when we bring it home it matches perfectly with what we were trying to match. I guess that is why he's the artist. So someday when I have published books and boys away at college I will have to make my yellow room where I can sit and write. A place just for me. For now it will be Dave's place and a place for our guests, and I am sure Trevor, Colin and Logan will all think it's there special room as well.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fun changes

So the boys asked to be in one room and now they are! A couple of weeks ago Dave and I went out shopping for bunk beds while we left the boys home with a babysitter. We found a really cute bed at Walmart for not very much and brought it home that night. The next day Dave and Logan (yes, Logan is our big helper) put the new bunk beds together and the boys had a fun night in their new room. Trevor loves this room. It's the one he'd had since he was 2 and I think he was sad to switch rooms when closed the loft in. I think he is happy to be back where he started. They boys have all done really well sharing and they like the playroom upstairs. I like that they have more room to play now and that when they are up there playing it's quieter downstairs. We still need to get them to keep the toys in their playroom, but so far it's all working out. Who knows how long it will last, but for now it's nice they all want to be together.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It Happened

Last night Logan did not want to go to bed. The boys were playing and he wanted to stay with them. So when I put him in his crib screaming he did what any 22 month old would - he climbed right out of his crib. Then, this morning Dave woke up first and about a half hour later he came in our room and said, "Did you get Logan out of his crib?" When I told him no he said, "Well he just came downstairs all by himself." So he climbed out again. I was just thinking the other day how nice it was that he had not tried to climb out of his crib, how nice that he still could be a little contained. Not anymore. Dave took the crib down today (we learned from Colin it's better to stop trying to keep them in their crib...once they know how to get out they always get out) so Logan is officially a "big boy". Trevor was excited. When he saw the crib coming down he said, "Now Logan can sleep in our room." So we talked it over and I think we're going to have all three boys sleep in one room (bunk beds for Christmas!), move the playroom upstairs and turn the old playroom into a guest room. And Dave said I could decorate it however I want as long as it's not too "girly". Yipee! We'll see how the boys' room situation works. I worry we'll have some cranky kids who get woken up by their little brother. But it is pretty sweet they all want to be together. Now I just need to get someone to take a really cute picture of the three of them to hang in their "new"room. That would be you, Marylin!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monday Food Storage Meal - Chicken Ritz

I know it's Wednesday but on Monday I made Taco Salad with my leftover roast so I wanted to do a recipe that may be new to some of you. My friend has 6 kids and she always has great casserole recipes. I love casseroles because you can stretch your money when you make one. If you have just a little chicken you can chop it up for a casserole. Not enough veggies for a whole side dish? Pour them into a casserole. When I had Logan my friend brought this casserole over for dinner and so I've made it since then, but I always add a little twist. Tonight I had some leftover cheese sauce (baked potatoes last night) and some broccoli so I threw it all in to this casserole. This is such an easy recipe that you can add what you have on hand and have a delicious dinner. (I half this recipe since I don't have as big a family as my friend, but you can mix up the whole thing, put half in a freezer bag and freeze it for another day.)

Chicken Ritz
3 1/2 -4 cups cooked cubed chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 cups sour cream
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1 stick melted butter
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together chicken, soup (do not add water) and sour cream. Place in a casserole dish. Crumble Ritz crackers and mix with melted butter. Sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake for 45 minutes. (You can add cheese to this and any kids of veggies or potatoes - the canned potatoes since you should have some in your food storage!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Fun!

We had a very fun Halloween this year. I was a little worried when the first three days of the week were windy and freezing cold, but by Halloween night the benefits of living in Vegas paid off and we had a perfect evening of trick-or-treating, no jackets needed. We always walk the neighborhood to my parent's house, going to all of the houses that have decorations. Halloween always reminds me how much I love our neighborhood because every house we go to the people are so nice! The boys had a good time, and when we got home Trevor started to think about what he wants to dress up as next year....
Colin's preschool class
Dave and the boys carving our pumpkin. Last year we just painted faces on our pumpkin so this was new to the boys. I was the only one who liked the roasted pumpkin seeds.
The finished product. Of course my kids wanted a scary pumpkin.
Dave and the boys before we went out Trick-or-Treating. This year we had a ghost, a lion and a Ninja Warrior!
This is our neighbor's house. We have a very festive street.







Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Food Storage Meal - Shredded Pork Enchiladas

A friend of mine told me that for her food storage she wrote down 30 dinners she made for her family (or 15 and doubled it, or 10 and tripled it) and bought the pantry items she needed for those dinners. Then, when she went shopping she would replace any items she used the week before and buy the fresh ingredients she needed that week. I've been trying to do that but on a smaller scale since I'm not as organized as she was - when I am at the store and I see something on sale and I know I can use it in a meal I will buy a few to have on hand. I love Mexican food so in my pantry I try and keep things like salsa, enchilada sauce, Spanish rice, refried beans, taco seasoning, etc. Tonight I decided to make Shredded Pork Enchiladas. I had it all in my pantry or fridge (check the expiration date when you buy tortillas - you might be able to keep them in the pantry for a week or 2) and this is the easiest recipe ever. I bought my pork roast last week since it was on sale - a 4.65 lb roast for $5.99. Do you know how many dinners I can get out of that one thing? I never buy roasts unless they are on sale and when they are I will buy a huge one to cut in half or buy 2 or more. It's great to have them in the freezer to use for dinners like this.
Shredded Pork Enchiladas
Pork Roast (you can make this with a Pot Roast as well)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (DO NOT ADD WATER)
1 package taco seasoning
Put roast in crockpot (you can use whatever size roast you have - just freeze the leftover meat to use again). In a small bowl mix the cream of mushroom soup and taco seasoning. Spread over roast. Cook in crockpot all day until the meat falls apart. Shred the meat and add sauce from the crockpot until the meat is moist.
Use the meat as a filling in tacos, enchiladas or a layered taco casserole.
It's mmm...mmmm good and so so easy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day Trip

When I went to college at SUU I had some great roommates. Some I already knew and some were strangers but they became some of my best friends. I knew Jamie from high school and I met Tricia when I first got to SUU. We were in an apartment of 8 girls and somehow Tricia, Jamie and I just clicked. To this day Jamie and Tricia are two of my closest friends. Tricia lives in Utah so I keep in touch with her through e-mail, and sometimes we will get together when she comes to Vegas to visit her brother. I got the idea to have a girls weekend in the summer, but we never were able to get it together. Then, a couple of weeks ago I told Tricia and Jamie to pick a Saturday in October and we would meet in Cedar and spend the day together. Yesterday was our day and we had a great time. We went to lunch, walked around campus and talked about all of the things we did in college and what we are doing now. It was so fun to have a day off, to be with 2 of my best friends and remember what a good time we all had together. We've already made plans for our next visit and I can't wait! (The pictures from top to bottom: Tricia and me on campus, Jamie and me in front of Old Main where we took all of our Education classes, the library where I spent A LOT of time, me hugging a tree....the trees there were so amazing with all of the fall colors.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spooky

Colin is in love with Halloween. The second they had Halloween stuff up at the store he wanted to put our decorations out. Last year Dave got some fun decorations to make the front look like a graveyard and this year he added a few new things at Colin's request when they went shopping together. Not only does Colin love the graveyard in the front of the house but he loves looking to see what other people have up. Luckily we have some pretty festive neighbors who keep my kids happy around the holidays with their fun decorations. I took this picture one day when Colin found his costume from last year and wanted to wear it all day to play in (and he did). The other day, though, I found Trevor's old Ghost costume and Colin wanted to wear that. Now he wants to be a ghost for Halloween (thank goodness since we never went shopping for costumes and Halloween is next week). I can't wait for next week and all of the fun the boys will get to have - parties at school, the ward Trunk-or-Treat and trick or treating around the neighborhood. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Food Storage Meal - Spaghetti and Meatballs

One thing I like to do for my food storage is cook things and freeze them to use later. I always have something in the freezer I can pull out and use in a pinch. One thing my boys love are meatballs. Spaghetti is one those things you always have in your pantry but if I don't have meatballs it's just not the same. So when I make meatballs I will always freeze half of them to use another time. You can use meatballs in spaghetti or another pasta dish, use them for meatball subs, make them mini to use in soup, or use them in a sweet n' sour or BBQ sauce. It's always nice to know there is something in the freezer that is already cooked and homemade. Here is my meatball recipe. It makes about 20 regular sized meatballs.
1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (I use the seasoned kind)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (I don't always have this so sometimes I don't use it)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 small onion chopped (I use 2 tablespoons dehydrated onions)
1 large egg
(I also sometimes add a little grated Parm cheese, garlic powder, or chopped garlic if I have it)
Heat oven to 400. Mix all ingredients together. Shape into meatballs - large, mini, regular.... whatever you want. Place in an ungreased baking pan or on a rack in a broiler pan. Bake uncovered for 20 - 25 minutes or until centers are no longer pink. Cook smaller meatballs 5-10 minutes less.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Movies for Grandma and Grandpa (and everyone else too)

Dave's parents and siblings live in Reno (one in Colorado) so they don't get to see the boys very often. Now that we have a camera that can make videos I decided I'd start posting things of the boys so they can see them more often. This time I did interviews with each of the boys. Trevor and Colin both said their best friend at school was Aaron but they are not the same Aaron. Right before I started recording Logan he was talking a ton and kept saying "Hi". I wanted to get him jibber jabbering but everyone knows when you want your kids to do something so other people can see it never works out. So I hope Dave's family enjoys this and anyone else who wants to watch my cute kids.


video

video video

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Food Storage Meal

A few years ago I was asked to be the Food Storage Specialist in my ward. I didn't know a lot about food storage but because of that assignment I learned. I learned why it was important to store food, how to store food and what things I needed to store. I don't have the money or the space to have a year's worth of food storage, but I do little things to stock up my pantry and freezer and try to do my best with what I have. The best food storage advice I've ever heard was, "When you run out of something, go out and buy two." I've been doing that and I have a pretty good supply of things my family likes to eat. Recently I've been wondering if I could go a month, a week, even a couple of days on what I have in my kitchen. Since my grocery day is on Tuesday I plan out my dinners for the week and then go shopping for everything, but I seem to always go to the store on Saturday to "get a couple extra things". I decided that I am not going to plan a meal for Mondays but instead only use what I have in my food storage. This Monday I did just that. I looked around for what I had: egg noodles, cream of mushroom soup, cheese, peas and carrots, chicken (sometimes when I buy meat I will cook it and then freeze it in 2 cup portions. Perfect for casseroles, soups, chili, tacos, etc.). I knew I could make Chicken Noodle casserole, but what about side dishes? I had some corn muffin mix so I made mini corn muffins the kids loved and canned peaches since we were out of everything for salad and the only fresh fruit we had was a brown banana and one apple. It was an easy meal to make, the kids liked it and I did it all with what I had on hand. If you want more food storage recipes, tips and ideas go to one of my favorite websites http://www.everydayfoodstorage.net.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

First Video

I got a new camera and it has a feature where I can make videos. I am very excited about this but not too good at using it yet. I made a little video of Logan the other night and this is my first attempt to put a video on my blog. Here goes....
video

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Family Yearbook

I'm not a good scrapbooker. I've tried to make scrapbooks before but failed. I just don't like cutting everything out and arranging them on a page, gluing it all down. And I'm not too creative either. But I have a ton of pictures that are just sitting on my computer. I've done a few photobooks from different online sites. I like doing that and for Christmas Dave got me some scrapbook software. So for the past few months I've been putting that software to good use and I made a Family Yearbook for 2008. I made cute pages with my software of all of the things we did last year (Logan being born, trip to Disneyland, family reunion in Reno....) and uploaded those pages to Shutterfly and made the cutest book. And when I was working in it a couple weeks ago I noticed photobooks were on sale so I upgraded to a bigger book and finished it. It came today and I love it. I want to go back and make a yearbook for each year since we've been married and then keep it up so I make one each year. My friend says she does the same thing but uses her blog posts for her yearbook. So what else does everyone do with all of those pictures on their computer?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Our house

I've been thinking a lot about our house lately. I remember about 5 years ago when Dave came to me one night and told me he wanted to move. I was a little shocked since we had not been in our first house for very long, but the more we talked the more it sounded like a good idea. We started looking for houses in November of 2004. I told Dave where I wanted to look and we got listings for the ones that fit our price range and wants. I remember praying before we looked for houses. I prayed that we would find the right house in the right neighborhood in the right ward where we could raise our boys. At first we just drove into neighborhoods to look at the outside of some homes. There were streets we'd drive on to and drive right back out, knowing that no matter what the house looked like we did not want to live there. But one day we were driving around and we came to this street. Just the street made us excited. We drove slowly, looking at all of the other houses, commenting on how well cared for all of the yards and homes looked. Then we came to this house and just the outside of it made us excited. It wasn't the prettiest house I'd ever seen before, there was nothing outside that made it stand out. But there was something telling us that this was IT. When we came inside for the first time we got that feeling again. We came to this house first one Saturday afternoon and as we walked through each of the rooms, looked in the backyard we could both see ourselves living here, raising a family here, having teenagers here. We looked at more houses that day but came back to this one again. We knew it's the one we wanted and I knew it was the one I'd prayed for. Everything happened quickly and fell into place and we've been happy here for almost 5 years. It's not the fanciest house or the cutest, it doesn't have all of the upgrades and updates other homes have, but we've made into what fits us, what we love. There are things I love about each room. I love taking naps on the green couch in the living room on Sunday afternoons. I love the colors of that room and the light that comes in from the windows. I love my kitchen. Even though I always tells Dave I want new cabinets and counter tops I love the way it is now. I love how it flows and how it fits everything. I love that it is the center of our home, it's where the heart is. Our living room is simple, relaxing and casual. I love the new couch and how comfy it is. We love our big TV, watching movies together at night or our favorite shows. I love sitting on the couch and reading a book while the boys run around. The playroom is the best. I love that the boys can go in there and imagine and play all day long. I love that we can close the door when it's messy and that their rooms stay clean because all of their toys are in the playroom. I love our bedroom. It's our space. We don't have any pictures of the boys in our room but just pictures of us. It's where we go to retreat and just have our time. I know it's the people in a house that make it a home, but it's also the memories, the stuff you do. If we lived in a different house would our lives be exactly the same as they are today? Maybe, maybe not. But there is something about coming home, being in the place you know you're supposed to be.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

School Pictures

I got a new camera this weekend so I finally had a chance to take pictures of Trevor and Colin before heading off to school.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Trevor's first day of school


No, I don't have any pictures of Trevor on the first day of school, or the second or third. I forgot. I completely forgot to take a picture of him before he left for his first day of first grade. Could be that the camera isn't working, or it could be that I am horrible at taking pictures of my kids. I am sometimes surprised they have baby books. Trevor had a good first week. He had a few mishaps (getting a hot lunch for three days when I packed a lunch for him - he said he "forgot" where his lunchbox was) but all in all he did well. This week he missed 2 days of school because of strep throat and then did not want to go back because I made the mistake of letting him watch TV and play on the days he was sick. I finally got him to school this morning (late) because I told him if he was sick he had to stay in bed all day and when he figured out I meant it, he was suddenly feeling better. Trevor has been pretty forgetful this week; left his lunchbox at school, forgot his reading folder twice, forgot to give his teacher his sick note twice. But I was reminded by some good friends that he's just a little boy and first grade is a big adjustment. Today I was no longer Mean Mom when he came home from school without his reading folder and the sick note still in his "Friday Folder", but I just said, "Try and remember next time." I hope the rest of the year is not as long as these first two weeks have been. One of these days I'm sure he'll get it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My babies

I was just sitting on the couch with Colin, tickling him, when I looked at him and thought, what happened? He got so big so fast. And Trevor. Dave tried to pick him up the other day and said how heavy he was. He's getting so tall, losing teeth, and he has a lunch box now. They used to be so little, so cute and cuddly. Colin will be in preschool this year and all summer I've been saying how nice it will be to have a few hours each week where it will just be Logan and me. I'll be able to go grocery shopping with just one child again. But then sometimes I think of how I'd look out the window to see if Trevor was home from kindergarten yet and how long a day 1st grade will be for not just me but him. It's not like I'm sending him off to college but it seems like that sometimes. I don't know if I should be happy about them growing up, going off to school, or be sad about it. I'm sure they will be times I'll love the time I get when they're gone, but I think I'll miss them too. People are right, it really does go by so fast. I can already see next year coming up before I can blink - Trevor keeps asking when Christmas is....4 months is not that far away. But I sit here and wonder, "Have I enjoyed it?" I look back and I know I enjoyed Trevor as a baby since he was the first, but with Colin we were so busy it seems like his days as a baby and toddler are a big blur for me. I'll look at him now and think "What were you even like as a baby." I forget because I think I didn't take the time to just sit and watch him like I did with Trevor. And Logan - he's been easy to enjoy. It's been easy to take it slow with him, savor the little things and lock them away in my memory so that when he is older I can pull things out. I told Colin one day, "I didn't hold you enough when you were a baby." I'm glad he lets me hold him now, I'm glad he's still small and he still fits in my arms, that he will cuddle next to me and say, "Hold me Mom." And now, thinking about it all I get teary-eyed. No, I'm not baby hungry, I'm not wanting another baby, but I think I just miss my babies. I think sometimes I wanted so much for them to get older, I wanted to get on to the next stage to see what they would do that I forgot to stop and see what they were doing right then. Dave and I will say that every now and then when we're frustrated, "Ooo, I can't wait until he's older." But I wonder, if when they are all older we'll sit back and think, "Oh, I wish they little again."


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Quick Get-away

We didn't do a summer vacation this year so we've needed to do something that felt like a little out of the ordinary. Trevor kept asking if we could go to the mountains. "The real mountains, not that ones that have cactus." He meant not Red Rock. So we packed a lunch, got the kids in the car, picked up my parents and headed out. It was so perfect up there - cooler weather, not too many people and the boys like hiking and running around. We didn't end up staying for too long, but while we were there it was a nice break. Trevor thought we were going camping so he was a little disappointed, but I told him we'd go one of these days; we just need a tent. I think we're going back up this week. My mom has some days off from work so we're going to go up with them and my sister and her kids. That will be fun. It's always nice when we get all of the cousins together. It's almost time for school, so these last few fun things are making the summer seem not wasted, but enjoyed.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The simple things

Dave and I would often laugh at Christmas or on birthdays when the boys were babies and were more interested in the wrapping paper and box than the actual gift they got. He would always say, "They are so amused by the simplest things." And it's nice when it's still like that today.
A few weeks ago my dad was over doing something and asked if I needed anything from Home Depot. Joking, I said, "Yeah, a BBQ." A few days later he knocked on my door with a new BBQ. I have loved having it and I've tried new recipes and grilled up some tasty dinners. But Thursday night when I pulled the grill around and told the boys I was just making hot dogs that night they got so excited. Trevor wanted to have a picnic so once dinner was made I got the blanket out and joined them in the backyard. They thought it was so much fun. On Friday my friend invited me to the park where they had some water toys. The boys have been swimming a lot this summer but the mention of the "water park" and their eyes lit up. They had a blast running around getting wet. It's often still those simple things that they enjoy the most and bring the biggest smile to their faces. (Yes, that is Colin wearing long sleeve pajamas outside in the middle of summer. I can't seem to get him out of those pajamas. He loves them and wears them ALL the time.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

33 days and counting


I've always looked forward to going back to school. When I was little I loved seeing the first commercials on TV advertising all of the back to school sales. I loved going shopping for new clothes and shoes, backpacks and lunchboxes. I was always excited to see my new classrooms, meet my teachers and see who was going to be in my class. I loved looking in my school books, flipping through the pages, looking at the pictures and seeing what we were going to learn that year. I liked school so much I would play it at home all of the time. When I was a teacher it was even more exciting when the summer started to come to an end. I liked making lesson plans, decorating my classroom, practicing what I was going to say on the first day to all of my new students. When I stopped teaching I'd always get a little sad when school came around because I had nothing to look forward to. But this summer in particular, I have been anticipating the beginning of school since the middle of June. I like the order school brings. I like needing to wake up and get ready and out the door for something. I like planning my day around dropping off and picking up from school. And I'm not ashamed to admit I like the break I get with school. I like that Trevor and Colin are more excited to see one another, play together, when they are not home together all day long. It's nice going to the grocery store with one fewer child and nap time is especially joyful during the school year. And I am so tired of hearing my kids fight, cry, scream, yell, tattle-tell, talk back, complain, whine and a million other little things. So the countdown begins....only 33 days left of summer.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Green Beans


It's not very often that we're sitting at the table for dinner and I hear the words, "Mom, can I have more green beans? They're delicious." But maybe the next thing I heard was the reason for Trevor's new found love of green beans. "These are good, but the ones from grandma's garden are even better." Grandma's garden has been a fun thing for all of us this summer. Trevor will go out and pick peas and eat them right out of the pod (they are so sweet and good that way) and Trevor and Colin like to look and see what is out there growing. I guess people are right when they tell you that if you want your kids to eat vegetables you've got to get them in the garden and in the kitchen. Whatever my mom is growing, whatever the boys have looked at and picked they seem to be more interested in. Trevor and Colin both tried tomatoes the last time I put them in salad, they love peas and carrots and of course last night's green beans. Logan even ate his green beans which was a shocker to me. I always make the boys at least taste what is on their plate. "You might just like it," I tell them. And I think after tasting it so many times they are starting to like it. I've wanted to try a garden before I've just never know how to get started or what you're supposed to plant and when. But now that my mom has her garden growing and is a little bit of an expert on planting and caring for vegetables I may just have to have her teach me what she knows. I mean Logan goes out back and eats leaves off trees so I might as well have something back there good and healthy he can much on, right?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

All boys

I don't know how many times I've been to the grocery store or Target, Wal-Mart, the library, anywhere with my kids and people have looked at me with a sad smile and said, "You have all boys?" as if I was walking around with two broken arms or something. What's wrong with having all boys? And I just have three of them. I know a few women who have 4 or 5 boys (no girls) so I wonder what people used to say to them when they went out when their boys were little. I'll have some ladies say, "I raised one boy and that was enough for me!" or others who will just step back a little and wait for us to pass by, watching to see if disaster happens. My boys are not always angels when I take them places. There are many times I have found myself at my wits end trying to get my errands done for the day without one more thing going wrong, trying to keep my temper so I don't get accused of child abuse in the middle of Smiths. But I think that's because they are kids and not just because they are boys. I just wonder where this thing came from that if you're a mom and you don't have a daughter there is something sad about your life, or that things are so much harder for you because there are no girls balance the "boy" in the house. I'll admit I really wanted Trevor to be a girl. I was a little sad when I found out he was a boy and I put my ballet shoes away, back in the closet for another time. Then, with Colin, I had a girl name all picked out. It was going to be Kathryn, Katie for short, and I was sure I'd get a girl. With Logan I still had a little bit of hope of getting my Chloe, but by then we were so used to boys that having a girl would have meant getting all new clothes and toys. But once we had Logan it just seemed to fit. They could all grow up together being the best buddies. They do make me crazy and they are loud and they fight, but I bet there are times when my friends who have all girls, or a combination of girls and boys, go through the exact same thing. So I guess the next time I get that look or get one of those comments I'll just smile and count myself lucky for being a mom, their mom.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dreaming


I've been to Coronado Island at least 4 or 5 times in my life. I've been with my mom and grandmother, my sisters, I went with a groups of friends one weekend in college, Dave and I spent an afternoon there on our first anniversary and we took Trevor and Colin to play at the beach there about 3 years ago. I love the whole Island - I love everything about it and if I were rich I would have a vacation home there. I love the way it looks, the cute houses, the main street with the shops and restaurants and I love the hotel - the famous Hotel Del Coronado. Ever since the first time I visited Coronado and we walked around the hotel marveling at the beautiful grounds and lobby, looking at old pictures from when it was new and reading about it being haunted I've wanted to stay there. Every time we visit I have to sit on the beach by the hotel so I can turn around and look up at it every now and then. It's not an exotic location, a far away dream vacation that you spend years planning and saving for. But I've always wanted to stay there and one of these days, when it's my turn to plan our anniversary, or on a whim when I want a romantic weekend, a get-a-away from the kids and everything else, I'm going to book a room at The Del. But for now, I'm just going to dream about it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Surprise date


Tuesday was our 8th anniversary. I had already planned for a babysitter on Saturday so we could go on a date but on Tuesday around 4 my dad shows up at my house. He tells me he is there to take the kids to his house for the rest of the day. So I get the kids ready and put them in my dad's truck and then go back in the house and enjoy the peace and quiet. Dave had been sending me sweet e-mails all day so I check my e-mail again and there is a message telling me to relax and enjoy the time home alone and not to cook dinner. Dave came home a few hours later with our favorite dinner from Outback (we used to get it all the time when we were first married) and flowers for me. We had a great time being home alone for a while. It's so nice to be in your very own house and enjoy time with your husband and no kids to worry about. And after 8 years Dave is still romantic and knows how to surprise me when I least expect it. I'm so happy to be married to Dave. He is the perfect match for me and we compliment one another so well. It's fun to look back and see how we've changed and I think we've both changed for the better because of one another's influence.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Writer's block

I have ten stories saved on my computer that I have started but not finished. They are all in different stages and sometimes I will be working on one when I'll get an idea for another. I have one that I have been working on for a while now and I am almost finished with it. For some reason, though, I can't bring myself to work on it anymore. I don't know if it's because I'm starting to hate what I once loved or if the thought of finishing it brings with it the next steps and I'm just scared. I've always wanted to be a writer. I majored in English in college so I could read and write. I took a creative writing class where my teacher always had good things to say about my writing, things I will read often when I am stuck and I feel like I'm no good. I'm not sure if I'm even writing the right things. I want to write something I would like to read, but there are times when I think about the stories I write and I wonder if they are interesting enough. Today I sat at the computer and looked at all of the stories I have and I realized that the books I love to read the most are not reflected at all in what I write. My favorite class in college was Young People's Lit. It was designed for those of us who were going to teach English or be librarians. My favorite books are Newberry winners, books written for kids or teenagers, picture books I read to my kids. I have read Jacob Have I Loved a million times and I never get tired of it. I tell people The Giver is the best book ever. I read Charlotte's Web in a few hours and the books I taught to my students are still some of my favorites. I will go to the library with my kids and check the Young Adult shelves for books for me to read and I have looked over the requirements for the Newberry award, just to have it in the back of my mind. I used to think I would write for the LDS market. I read a lot of those books and it just seemed like the direction I would take. But today, when I had writer's block with the book I have been working on, I thought I needed to start writing what I love to read the most. I thought about how great it would be if I wrote something my boys would like to read. One of these days I want to go to a book store and see my book on the shelf; I want to send my kids off to school and sit down at the computer and write knowing I have a deadline. One of these days I will finally finish a book, send it in to a publisher and see what happens.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Apricot picking


I heard from someone that the Gilcrease Orchard was opened so I called my mom and we took the boys Saturday morning. I had never been out there before and the boys were excited to see everything. We saw corn growing, squash, apple, pear, plum, peach and apricot trees. Logan loved picking the apricots from the trees (the unripe ones) and we all had fun looking for the best ones. Trevor said, "Grandma is the boss because she has a garden so she knows if the fruit is ripe." Afterwards we came home and everyone ate some fruit. It was so good. The boys had a really good time and it was fun showing them where some of our food comes from. Trevor has loved going to my mom's house to see what she has in her garden. He loves picking peas and eating them right then and there. He wants us to plant a garden in our backyard, so maybe one of these days, with the help of my mom, we'll try it out.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Swim lessons

The boys started swim lessons this week. I wanted more than anything for them to be comfortable in the water so we could take them swimming more often. They've done really well for their first week. Trevor and Colin have both had fun getting in the water, playing and learning some of the basics. While the boys swim, Logan likes to "jump" on the trampoline.

Trevor practicing his kicking

Colin loves being in the water. When it's time to leave he gets upset and says, "But Mom, I LOVE swimming!"