Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bikes and Cub Scouts

Some people might find it odd that in a house full of boys there are not a lot of sports going on. We don't watch sports on TV, the kids don't play on any teams and never have. Trevor said to me once, "Mom, I'm more of an indoor kid," which is why it took us so long to get him to finally learn how to ride a bike. Trevor would rather be inside playing computer games, reading books, playing imagination; anything other than being outside doing a "sport". But he's 8 and it was time. I told him and Colin a while ago that if they wanted a friend birthday party this coming year they had to learn to ride a bike first. Trevor, of course, had to argue, but Dave and I remained firm. And two weeks ago we took the boys to the church parking lot and told Trevor he was going to learn to ride a bike. And he did! He picked it up so quickly and he was having fun. I make him go out and practice every now and then and he's getting better every time. He doesn't ever want to go out and ride bikes with his friends, he's not interested in taking a ride around the neighborhood or over to Grandma's house. He'd rather stay indoors. And that's okay with me. I don't mind having an indoor kid. But at least now he knows how to ride a bike and he knows he did it all on his own. One thing Trevor is interested in is scouting and last night he got his Wolf award as well as a gold and silver arrow point. He likes doing things from his scout book and getting awards and accomplishing something. He always looks forward to getting more awards, advancing and moving up in scouting. And he wants his Eagle award. Even as an 8 year old kid he talks about someday when he gets his Eagle. I look forward to the day when I have all of those Mother's pins from all of my boys and I can see what they grew into because of scouting.

Gift giving

After Thanksgiving we were talking about Christmas and what the kids wanted as gifts. As they rattled off a list of toys Trevor spoke up. He said, "Christmas isn't about getting lots of gifts, it's about being together with your family and being nice to people." That one comment seemed to set the mood for our Christmas this year. We choose to do the 12 Days of Christmas for our neighbors who live across the street. Dave and I had recently talked to the husband and wife who live there and both mentioned how their disabled son really enjoyed the Halloween treats we dropped off. We thought it would be fun to secretly drop off gifts for their family to make it fun for their son. The kids have really enjoyed getting into "Ninja Mode" and sneaking across the street to drop off a gift every night. Sometimes they will hear whoever opens the door yell out Thank You but mostly they run back in the house chattering of how good a job they did not being noticed or seen. Colin has really gotten into the Spirit of Christmas this year as well. The other day he told me he was going to make gifts for his brothers. He made something out of Legos for Logan and then wrapped it up with computer paper. He made a couple of things for Trevor and yesterday I noticed something for Dave under the tree. I couldn't resist so I opened it up. Colin made his dad a drawing book out of paper. He colored a cover and wrote "scare" (scary) on it. Inside was blank paper so Dave can draw monsters and other "scare" pictures. I must admit I got a little teary eyed looking at that and knowing that right now, instead of wondering what he is getting for Christmas, Colin is more focused on giving thoughtful gifts to his family.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Slow cooker dinner

Almost every Sunday I use my crockpot to cook dinner. We get out of church at 4 and it's nice to have something ready to eat. One of our kids' favorite dinners is Spaghetti and Meatballs. I love it too and it's so easy and cheap. I wanted to make it for Sunday dinner so I looked for a recipe to make meatballs in the crockpot but some of the comments people made on the recipes said the sauce got greasy or the meatballs were too soft. So I made my meatballs the way I always do in the morning (baked in the oven) and then before church I put them in the crockpot with sauce so they would be hot and ready to eat when we got home. I usually just use Hunts canned sauce because it's so cheap and tastes pretty good, but this time I added a can of diced tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic that were minced, some minced onion (I used my dry, food storage ones) and some dried basil, oregano and salt and pepper. The sauce came out so good and the meatballs were so moist. It was one good plate of spaghetti and meatballs. And it was so easy. I told Dave that was how I was going to make spaghetti and meatballs for now on. And if I were just a little smarter I'd make a big batch of meatballs and freeze them so I had everything ready to go next time. I love easy dinners, but I love them even more when they taste like you spent a lot of time cooking. I love when my boys tell me I made a good dinner and when they ask for more. Cooking is something I really like doing and when the people I cook for enjoy my food it makes me feel like I accomplished something pretty great.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

The week before Thanksgiving we had a visit from Dave's mom and dad and sister, Christy. The kids were so excited to see their grandparents and aunt and we had a fun night eating dinner together, visiting, playing with the boys and singing songs. On Thanksgiving we spent the day at Valley of Fire with my parents. The boys loved going hiking and climbing on all of the rocks. We saw ancient writing on several rocks and tried to figure out what the pictures meant. We ate lunch at the end of the hike and then once we got home the kids and Dave relaxed while I made dinner. We had a small dinner that night with my parents: a roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, rolls and chocolate-pumpkin cupcakes for dessert.

We set up the Christmas tree and decorations and the boys had fun going to the park, riding bikes and playing with neighbors, watching movies and having a sleepover in our bedroom. We enjoyed the long weekend and Dave and I took advantage of the sales and went Christmas shopping. We even bought a new kitchen table, something we have been wanting since we had Logan and needed a bigger table.
At the beginning of November we had the boys write down things they were thankful for and we tried to remind them of all of the blessings they have. They wrote down things like: the Earth, church, hands and feet, the military, family, Heavenly Father and Jesus, toys, and video games.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Basket

In our rental house our family room was upstairs. We had the TV and couch in there as well as all of the toys. When we moved I was looking forward to having a family room downstairs, close to the kitchen, where we could hang out. But we didn't really hang out there. We'd go upstairs to where the TV was because we were used to that. We have no TV in the family room; we only have one in the whole house. But I wanted something in the family room that would get us in there, that would make the kids want to sit on the couch and hang out there. I also needed a place to put our library books so we wouldn't lose them and that was where I got the idea for a book basket. Baskets were on sale at Michael's one day so I looked around and found this one. It was big enough to sit on the TV stand and hold all of our books, but small enough for the kids to pull down when they wanted to look for a book to read. I love the basket. I love that we can keep all of the library books in one place (even school ones so we can find them fast before school on library day) and that we have something to do in the family room that does not involve sitting in front of a screen. Sometimes after dinner Dave will read books with Colin for his homework while I clean up. Sometimes Logan will grab some books and sit on the couch and tell me to come read to him. Sometimes Trevor will sit in the middle and read to both his brothers. And there have been times when the whole family has been on the couch reading books we got from the book basket. There's nothing better than sitting with your whole family reading together. And there's something great about seeing your kids choosing to read.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. We love the spooky decorations, pumpkins, costumes and everything else that comes along with it. Colin REALLY loves Halloween and will often plan and prepare for it months in advance. This year was filled with friend and school parties, the church trunk-or-treat and trick-or-treating with friends. And while they traded candy the day after, the boys were already planning what they wanted to dress up as next year.Colin as a mummy and Logan as a ghost for the Trunk-or Treat.

Trevor as a ninja this year.

Colin walking in the school parade.

The boys before trick-or-treating. Logan dressed up as a Vampire Tiger.

Friday, October 28, 2011

My little missionary

A week ago today five girls were walking home from the park. There were three little girls ages 5 and 6 and two teenage girls. It was after 6:30 so it was dark out, but the girls were on the crosswalk. Unfortunately, a car did not see the girls walking across the street and hit the three little girls. We heard about it on the news and when the names of the girls were released, one of the names sounded familiar. When we got to school on Monday Colin's teacher confirmed that one of the little girls in the accident, Amelia (Mia), was in her class. That day the class made cards for Mia to send to the hospital, but that afternoon, she passed away. When Colin went to school the next morning his teacher let the parents know they would be telling the kids and there would be grief counselors at school to help if needed. When I got home that morning I kept feeling like I wanted to be at school. I wanted to see Colin and his classmates and make sure they were okay. One of my friends offered to watch Logan and I went into school. When I got to school his class was at recess. I went outside and met his teacher on the blacktop. She told me she had talked to the kids as soon as school started that morning and that some of them were having a hard time knowing their classmate and friend had died. Then she said, "But I think Colin's comments and positive attitude really helped the class. He said, 'I believe that she'll get resurrected because Jesus was so we'll see her when Jesus comes again.'" I have worried about him this whole week, worried that he would be sad or not understand, that he would have feelings he didn't know how to express. But instead, I saw his kind heart and his strong, sweet spirit. I told him he was a missionary for telling his class what he believed in and he liked that. Dave and I have always said that Colin is a very unique child. He is goofy and has a wild imagination. He will sit quietly for hours in his own world drawing. But we have also always noticed that he has a very kind and giving heart. He wants the people around him to be happy and he will often give up something he wants in order to make someone else happy. This week I was reminded how grateful I am for the things I have been taught, for the knowledge I have and that I can teach my children. Even at a young age they know more than we realize. I think they are smarter than we were at their age and stronger. Sometimes Dave and I wonder why we read scriptures or say prayers at night when it seems like no one is listening or being reverent. Every Sunday morning we wonder if we should just stay home and not go to church because everyone is fighting. But we do all of those things because we know we need to teach our kids. We do it so that they can be good examples to their friends and so they can be ready for whatever it is that comes their way. We do it because at any moment, even at the young age of 6, they are going to need those lessons to help them through. These kids are going to go out and do amazing things and no matter how pointless it seems at times, we need to keep teaching them because it is sinking in.

Monday, October 17, 2011

School pictures

I don't like buying school pictures. They are too expensive and a lot of the time I don't like the way the kids look in them. Their hair gets messed up, their smile is off, they have chocolate pudding on their face from lunch. So I took some pictures of the boys before school and this is their picture for the year.

Trevor: age 8; 3rd grade; Mrs.Martin's class

likes: having friends in his class, doing homework on the computer, recess, playing with Colin on the playground this year, art, music, library, PE (sometimes. He liked playing golf last week).

Trevor is doing great this year! He said 3rd grade is really hard with a lot of challenging work, but he's getting really good grades. His goal for the year is to get the A/B honor roll. Trevor has really matured over the summer and his behavior in class has been excellent. He likes his teacher and has a lot of friends in class that he's known since kindergarten.

Colin: age 6; 1st grade; Mrs. DeVoid's class

likes: eating lunch at school, the big kid playground, art, music, PE, library, doing science, playing with friends.

Colin has really enjoyed 1st grade and he has a great teacher! He has made a lot of new friends and his classmates are all so nice. He enjoys learning new things this year but it was a little difficult getting used to being at school all day. He's doing great in his subjects and comes home every day with fun stories from school.

Logan: age 3; pre-pre-school; Mom's class

likes: going to the library and the park, going grocery shopping, reading books, playing with Legos and computer, watching Backyardagins, riding his bike, walking to school with his brothers and carrying a lunchbox like they do.

Logan enjoys being home with me but really misses his brothers. Every morning we walk Trevor and Colin to school and when the bell rings, Logan has to give them both big hugs. He LOVES when they come home from school and he has a buddy to hang out with. He likes doing "homework" when his brother's do and he can't wait to go to school for real!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When you stop looking...

Ever since we moved I've been looking for bedding for the boys' room. My mom and I have looked everywhere at every store. You would think red, white and blue would be easy to find. But no. Either we would find something that was super expensive or not so super cute. My mom did find some comforters at JC Penny that she ordered for their beds. They were really cute, but when I washed them the colors faded so badly and they looked horrible. So we took them back and kept looking and looking and looking. Finally I told my mom I was tired of looking so I forgot about it and decided the boys were fine with mismatched bedding. Then, yesterday after going to Rod Works with my mom and sister my mom asked if we could also go to Home Goods. I've only been to that store once so I wanted to go look. As I was wandering around the store I found a section that had kids' stuff. I saw this quilted throw pillow that was striped blue, red, white, green and brown. It was really cute and I showed it to my mom and said, "If only we could find something like this for the boys' beds!" So we looked around and found three quilts that matched the pillow! I was so excited I was jumping up and down in the store laughing. And I was so excited to get them washed (they didn't even fade!) and on the boys' beds. My kids love them and I love them. I love it how when you finally stop looking for something you end up finding it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

First submission

I love to write. Ever since I was little I would write stories. Some I have finished, some I have not. I took a creative writing class in college and I loved that class. My teacher was interesting and taught me a lot about what I needed to know to make my writing better as well as about getting published. One of the most important things that teacher gave me were his comments on my work. On my poems he critiqued what I had written and gave me ideas on how to make them better. On my screen play he told me my form was perfect, and that my scene was interesting and a great beginning to a good story. On my short story he had a few comments on things I needed to fix and then told me to submit it to the school literary magazine for publishing. But I was too scared to do that. I never submitted my story and sometimes I'll think back and wonder why. Since I've been married I haven't finished anything. I will start stories and get half way or not even half way and then I'll just stop. Then I'll get another idea and start a new story and do the same thing. I have lots of good beginnings, but nothing finished. A while ago I started reading a blog I stumbled across. It's someone who worked as a publisher who gives advice to writers. I love reading it because I have learned a lot about writing as well as what it takes to get published. And this blog has made me want to work on my writing more and be more serious about it. And so today I submitted my first story ever. It's for a short story contest on this blog; a Christmas story. I think what I wanted the most was to take this first step. To get something out there to see if it's even good, to see if people even like what I write. I know once the voting starts I'll check the blog every day to see if anyone voted for my story and to see if they left comments. But if they hate what I write maybe it will help me to write better the next time. I just know now that I can finish something, that it felt good to finish something and it was exciting to send it out and see what happens. If you want to submit a story for the contest or vote on the stories go to this link. I won't tell what story is mine. It's not a "who has the most friends and can get them to vote for their story" contest. It's about choosing the best stories and not worrying about who wrote it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Art Gallery

One of the things I was looking forward to the most this new school year was the chance for Colin to have art class. Over the past few years Trevor has done some really amazing art projects in school so I'm excited to see what Colin can do since he loves art and Dave and I are convinced he has real talent. Last night I was looking through Trevor's art work and some that Colin brought home from school this week and I wanted a place to display it. But the fridge isn't big enough for all of the art they will bring home this year, so I came up with a good solution. I decided to make a wall in their play room their art gallery. Ever since we moved in I've been wanting to do something to that room to make it more fun, more colorful. I think this will be perfect. After I put their art up last night Trevor went in to look and came out with a big smile on his face. "Mom, someday our art will cover that whole wall." I hope so. And I hope with it up there they will look at it and be proud of what they did and excited to do more to hang on that wall.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Easy craft!

I am not a very crafty person. But it's always around this time of year that I get the desire to try something crafty. I've made a few cute things for my house, but what I've really been wanting are some wreaths to hang on my doors. But wreaths are expensive to buy, so I went online and looked for something to make myself. I came across these super cute yarn wreaths. Just yarn wrapped tightly around a wreath (I used a straw one since it was the cheapest, but if you try it just be sure to keep the plastic on) and then some flowers added to make it look more fall-ish. I love how they came out and they were super easy to make. A few episodes of Friday Night Lights on the Wii and I was finished. I love how they turned out; I love how they dress up the front door. And now I want a bunch of pumpkins sitting outside my door to go with my new wreaths. And I want the inside of my house to smell like pumpkin pie. And I want it to be cool enough to walk to school in the morning and not be a hot, sweaty mess by the time I get home. I don't think that's too much to ask for.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Good things

Sometimes I get so caught up in the things that seem to be going wrong that I forget about the good things. I will be so worried about making sure things are running smoothly that I forget to just enjoy the moment, to smile and laugh, to be a little silly and let things happen. There are so many little good things going on and I know that is what I need to focus on. Here are some of the good things right now:
Spending the day with Logan now that the other 2 boys are in school all day
My gas tank is half full and the last time I got gas was on August 1st
Being able to go swimming after dinner every night
Hearing Colin's stories about his first week of 1st grade - he loves Art, Music and PE class
My boys fall asleep now as soon as their heads hit the pillow
My house stays cleaner longer now
I have a list of things I want to get at Michael's (who knew I'd ever be crafty?)
It was cooler when we walked to school this morning
The other night all three boys asked for seconds at dinner

Monday, August 29, 2011

1st day

I was crying over the weekend thinking about the kids going back to school. I think it's hardest sending them to 1st grade since they are gone all day. And I was getting that "I'm going to be all alone" feeling and it was making me a little sad. I even ran into Colin's teacher at the grocery store on Saturday and started crying while I was talking to her. Usually I am so excited for school to start and to have a little time at home when all three boys are not here and I can actually get something done and keep the house clean. But it's also hard knowing they'll be away from me most of the day and that their teachers, not me, are going to get to see their faces light up when they learn something new or when that light bulb goes off in their little minds. It's hard sending them out into the open and not being there all of the time to watch over them and keep them safe. But they need it and so do I. My kids didn't care about new clothes this year so I didn't really get them any. Trevor got dressed this morning in a dirty shirt he wore on Saturday but I got him to change. Colin wanted to wear his kindergarten class shirt from last year. They both have a lot of familiar faces in their classes and Trevor is super excited to do homework this year. His teacher is going to try a new program where they do homework on the computer. Perfect for that kid. And now it's just Logan and me at home. What a day we've had. I got the kitchen cleaned, I've gotten three loads of laundry done, we went to the library, read books, had lunch together, played the computer together. I am loving the one on one time I'll get with Logan and I think he's enjoying getting all of the toys to himself. He's been non-stop playing all day. And now it's almost time to go pick up Trevor and Colin from their first day. Wow, that sure did go by fast. Kind of like how fast they seem to grow up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Restaurant-style French Toast

I love French toast. Every week we have breakfast for dinner and French Toast is one of my favorites to make. And the kids love it. But I always wish I could figure out how to make my French Toast at home taste more like it does at restaurants. Yesterday I figured it out. I saw a recipe online where you make almost a pancake batter to dip the bread in. Then you cook it like normal and it comes out all golden brown and delicious. I made strawberry-blueberry syrup to go with mine. So yummy. My kids asked for more, and then some more. Here is the recipe. Make it this weekend or on Monday for your kids' back to school breakfast!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fun mom

I have a friend who is a really fun, creative mom. She does things for her kids like drive in movies (in her living room complete with cars made from old boxes), backyard campouts, pajama days, outings, crafts, super fun birthday parties and holidays and on and on. She is crafty and homemakey, smart, creative and she is the best mom I know. I'm not a really fun mom. I'm not very crafty or creative when it comes to kid stuff. But today I had a vision. I was out swimming (the kids didn't want to swim so I went out alone and did some water aerobics - swimming alone is SO NICE!) and when I was done swimming I was walking around my backyard. We have a lot pf palm trees and I don't really like palm trees, but today I noticed that in the back corner of the yard there is a really nice shady spot that is a little like being in a tree house. I thought how nice it would be to sit there and read. Then I thought how my kids needed to get away from the computer and go outside. So I built them a fort out back in the nice little corner of the yard. Just chairs and a blanket. But then I added snacks and drinks, their stuff animals and the books they like. I wrote a secret message and dropped it off on the computer table. And right now, my kids are outside, in their secret lair, in the middle of the jungle reading books and hanging out. Maybe I am a fun mom, after all. Maybe I can even take some of our old boxes from moving and make some cars and we can have a drive in movie this Friday. Thanks Tricia! You inspire me.

My new favorite dinner - thank you Pioneer Woman

There is a dish at Outback that Dave and I love. It's called Alice Springs Chicken. It's so delicious. It's this grilled chicken with a honey-mustard sauce; the chicken is smothered with mushrooms, bacon and cheese. Mmmmm. We usually split it, usually go pick it up and bring it home to eat. We've gotten it on special occasions like when the kids are not home and we are. But, it's expensive to go out dinner so we haven't had it for a very long time. A while ago I came across this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's blog. It looked delicious and it sounded a lot like the dinner from Outback we like so much (minus the mushrooms). I tried it a few times and really liked it, but last night I tweaked the recipe a little bit and liked it even more than before. Did I just say I "tweaked" a recipe from The Pioneer Woman? Yes. I sure did. Her food is great, but I don't think she would mind me changing it a little bit. And I am giving her full credit.

The sauce: The last time I went to the store all I could find was Honey Dijon mustard and last night I didn't have enough for the full 1/2 cup. So I used 1/4 cup Honey Dijon and 1/4 cup regular mustard. The rest of the sauce I kept the same (and it is sure yummy).

The chicken: Before I marinated the chicken I reserved some of the sauce. My husband likes to dip his meat.

Cooking: I don't know why but I hate cooking chicken in a pan on the stove. So instead, I grilled my chicken and it came out so perfect. Then I put the chicken on a baking sheet and spooned a little of the honey-mustard sauce on each piece, then added the bacon and cheese; put it in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese. Oh and I cook my bacon super crispy.

It was the best dinner. I served it with warm potato salad and roasted broccoli. It was so delicious I don't think I'll need to go to Outback anymore. And maybe next time I'll try it with the mushrooms. I think The Pioneer Woman should try it with mushrooms, because I know how much she loves them.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My favorite pictures of us

Dave and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this year. Some of my favorite pictures are the ones of the two of us. Once, when we had first started dating Dave's roommate, Blake, wanted to take some pictures of us. We went up to Mt. Charleston for an afternoon and he took pictures with one of those old fashioned cameras that used film. No editing required. What he took was what we got. He took some great pictures that day and for Christmas that year Dave gave me a frame with three of the pictures we took that day. That frame is in our room now. The one here is my favorite picture of the two of us. My very favorite ever. I think it's because we were newly in love. We were happy and we had all these possibilities and future plans ahead of us. Even though we weren't engaged yet, I think we both knew we were getting married. Blake also took our wedding pictures. I loved how excited we were to sit down and look at the proof sheet and pick the wedding pictures we liked best. We got some good ones. The two here are my most favorite of all. I just like how simple they are and that they focus on us. In our bedroom all of the pictures we have are just of the two of us. We don't have a family picture or pictures of the boys in our room. Our room is all about us. I love keeping it just our place, where we can go and look at these pictures we took so long ago and remember how it all started. And I love that the look Dave has in his eyes in these pictures is still what I see when he looks at me today.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fun summer

It's getting close to school starting again and I keep thinking about how much we've done this summer. We moved, we went on 2 vacations, spent time with family and friends, went swimming almost every day, celebrated Kids Day with my parents and my sister and her kids, we've gone to the library, had little outings here and there. I LOVE that we have the pool. It's been so fun to watch the kids learn to swim and really enjoy it. And it's nice when they are bored to tell them to get their swimming shorts on and go jump in the pool. We love when friends or family come over to swim. We still have a few weekends to have friends over and enjoy the time off before school starts, though. It's been such a fun, busy summer. Here are a few pictures of some of the things we've been busy doing:Dave and Colin at the Las Vgeas mini city in Lego Land. The boys could have looked at this stuff all day long. Logan actually climbed the fence, into the Las Vgeas land and tried to play with a Lego truck.
You can tell my the look on their faces that the boys were getting tired. It was a long day but we had a great time. We went with some friends of ours and really enjoyed the time we spent at the park. Colin loved the roller coasters and there was something for all of the kids to enjoy. We'd love to go back again before the kids get too big.The boys' bathroom! I painted it one afternoon and then recruited my dad to put up beadboard. I love how it turned out. Now I just need to get some decorations for the walls and some new towels. We'll put hooks on the beadboard for the boys' towels. I can't wait to decorate another room in the house.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The biggest little family in Reno

A while back we found out that Dave's sister, Debbie, and his brother, Don, would be in Reno at the same time this summer. We made plans for Dave to fly to Reno to be there as well, but last week, a few days before he was planning on leaving, we decided we'd just all drive up so the whole family could go. Here was our weekend:

Thursday - leave Vegas at 3; stop for dinner at 6, then back on the road and make it to Dave's parent's house by 10:30. Hug everyone, get the boys in pjs and the floor ready for them to go to sleep. Everyone asleep by 11:30

Friday - Up and getting ready by 7. Visit with Dave's sister, Debbie and her 3 girls. Help make breakfast. Dave's sister, Christy and her son Zach arrive and the baby sister Stephanie comes. More hugs. We start eating because the rest of the family is late. Dave's brothers and their families finally get there. More hugging. More eating. The dad's take the kids outside to play. The girls stay and make sandwiches for lunch. We head to the marina to play at the park, swim, play in the sand and eat lunch. Cody gets rescued by the lifeguard. Home to get ready for family pictures and get on the t-shirts Dave's dad had made for everyone. Off to take family pictures. After pictures we discover Carrie's car got broken into and her purse is stolen :( Back to Dave's mom's house. We hang out and talk, the kids play. BBQ for dinner, talent show, brownies and homemade ice cream.

Saturday - Debbie leaves at 7 that morning to fly home with her girls. Breakfast. Take kids to park to play. Meet everyone at Dave's mom's house. Eat leftovers for lunch. Make plans for the day. Go to car show. Kids play in water and get soaked (and Colin was wearing pants). Go watch dirt bike races. Go to Stephanie's house. Make more plans. Go to Andy's house for BBQ. Kids watch movie and play, grown-ups outside talking. Make dinner. Eat. Talk, eat some more. Go home. Go to sleep.

Sunday - up by 7. Eat breakfast, pack. Leave Reno around 9, stop for lunch around 12:30, get home around 5.

It was a great family reunion. So good to see family we have not seen for 5 years. The kids were able to meet cousins they have never met before. We decided it won't be another 5 years before we get together again.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


A while back, I got a letter from the school nurse. It said that Colin had a hearing test at school, did not pass it and I needed to take him in to see the school district audiologist. I took him in twice to get tested. He thought it was super fun and loved going. It was recommended that I take him to an Ear, Nose, Throat doctor for further and more advanced testing. At first I didn't think it was a big deal. He could hear fine. The audiologist told me he could have trouble hearing the "s" at the end of words or the "th" sound or whispers. But still I wasn't too concerned. Then we went to the movies last week to see Cars 2 and throughout the movie Colin had his fingers in his ears claiming it was too loud and hurt his ears. So I called an ENT doctor and got him in. He went in today and they did similar tests the audiologist did, the results were a little different. The doctor wants a different test done next week and then it's back to see him a week after that to see how the results were. All these tests. But, as we left the doctor today, Colin licking his Watermelon Tootsie Pop (I didn't even know they made those in watermelon) he said, "That was fun! Can we come back?" I'm glad he liked it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Home sweet home

Trevor said the prayer last night before bed. He said, "Please bless our house to be like the temple." That is what his lesson was at church. When he said that I smiled because I had a lesson on that the week before and I remember during that lesson thinking about this house and comparing it with where we've lived before and knowing that there is a different spirit in this house. It has nothing to do with the house itself, but more with what we've omitted from our house. We've done things a little differently here which, I feel, has allowed us to have more peace and love in this home. Over the last three weeks that we have lived here I have seen my kids play together more and get along better. They spend more time quietly playing in the playroom or their bedroom, they spend more time reading or drawing. I even catch Trevor sitting on his bed flipping through his scriptures more often than he used to. Dave and I even use our time better and I've been more patient with my kids, more calm with them. And the only thing that has changed, the only thing we have done differently is that we no longer have the distraction of the television. Dave and I decided when we moved to no long have cable. We wanted to save money but we also wanted the kids to watch less television. I will admit using it as a babysitter, as a way to keep my kids busy so I could get things done. But I have since realized what a distraction it used to be and how little control I really had over what my kids saw when they watched TV. My kids still watch cartoons or movies through Netflix on the Wii but now they watch one show a day instead of 20 and they only get to see the things Dave and I have picked for them. And I think one of the biggest blessings is that they no longer see commercials. I feel like we disconnected from the world a little bit and I love what that has done for our family. I don't want to raise my kids in a bubble where they never get to see or know what's going on around them. I don't want to deprive them of things or protect them so much that when they leave our home they have no idea what to do because they haven't been exposed to things. But what I do want for them is to know that their home is different. That when they are out in the world and they get overwhelmed or hurt, angry, frustrated or a little beat up, they can walk through that front door and feel that something here is different. I want them to think of our home as a safe haven, a place where they are loved and protected, a place where they can escape from the worldly things. I want them to want to be home. It really is amazing to me that one little thing like the television can change the feeling and the atmosphere in our home so much. And that being a little more disconnected is bringing our family a little bit closer together.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Water babies

When Dave and I first considered this house to buy one of the things we worried about the most was the pool. We were nervous about living in a house with a pool especially since our kids did not know how to swim. They've had swim lessons, but they've not had a lot of time swimming and were not too comfortable in the water. But, the more we talked about it, the more we thought maybe a pool could be a good idea.
We brought the kids swimming before we moved in. That was about three weeks ago. That first day swimming Trevor wouldn't put his face in the water because he was still a little scared and he didn't like getting his ears wet. Logan just played on the top step of the pool and had no interest going any further into the water. Colin was more adventurous, but still nervous about going too deep and drowning.
Since we moved in, the kids have gone swimming almost every day. And every day they've gotten more and more comfortable. Yesterday I took a video of them swimming for the first time. I mean really swimming. They are learning so fast and they were so excited with their new skills. I think they'll just get better and better and before we know it we'll have three little fish.

Monday, June 27, 2011

House pictures

Here are some pictures of our new house (sorry about the random order) The Master bedroom. I love how much space we have!
Master bed

The boy's room. It's hard to see but we got all three beds in and they each have their own drawers for their clothes. They also still have a lot of floor space if they want to play. The playroom is across from their room but it was super messy so I didn't take a picture.

Our pool!


Kitchen/family room

Kitchen - I want to paint the walls a different color and I want to paint the cabinets white and get new counter tops....eventually.

Family room - our new couch!

This is supposed to be the dining room off the entry, but it's going to be our office.

"formal" living room

There is still a lot we want to do to the house, but the previous owners left it in such good shape that it looks great the way it is. We eventually want to re-paint and add more of our own personal touches. It's so nice to have a house of our own again and to make it ours. We're so grateful for this house.