Saturday, July 27, 2013


Christmas 2008 we got our dog Bella.  Last week she was hit by a car and died.  We had just finished up family night where we had gone outside for the activity, and no one noticed that she'd gotten out too.  But she always runs around the neighborhood because she's an escape artist, and since everyone is on 2-5 acres of land, she can go far without really going far, and she always ends up on our porch waiting for us.  After we'd gone inside from the activity and had a treat, there came a knock at our door.  I was happy thinking it was one of our neighbors, but it wasn't.  A kind lady had brought her to us and said she had no choice, Bella ran right out in front of her.  We thanked her, and through our tears, hurried and dug a grave and buried her and had a nice funeral.  Everyone said something except Sam and Evan, but Sam wrote some beautiful things in his journal.  I don't know what he wrote because I don't read my kids journals, but I walked by and saw a lot of writing and a beautiful picture of him and Bella outside.  It was very sad.  The next day Sam and Evan made a sign and decorated the grave.

I remembered reading a story from Grandma Mary where a dog she loved was standing beside the road and as she watched him, a car purposely swerved to hit him and he was killed.  She was devastated, but after tears and anguish of heart, she decided to get over it and to be happy thinking, 'At least it wasn't one of my children'. I thought that showed a lot of wisdom. 
Evan said, "There's two places I like to go when I'm sad.  The place where Bella is buried, and the pole where Dad killed the bunnies".  He is really so sweet. 
Honestly I think the whole R.I.P. part is funny.  Where did they learn (besides Halloween) that that goes on a grave?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

So much love for this boy!

And for all my boys!  And girl!
Dallas playing piano with Charles.

When Charlie laughs he just sounds like he's growling.  Appropriate that his nick-name is Bear.  When he's upset it takes him a while to start crying too- he mostly just growls again.  Like he's patiently saying he's got needs, and if they're not met in a few minutes things are going to get bad!  He's such a good boy!  The only thing that makes him mad almost instantly is when we lay him down on his stomach and try to teach him to roll over.  He hates it!

There's our chubby Bear.

He's so cute!  My babies have never liked swings.  But we have used this bouncy chair with every single one and they love it! I love that I can tell how excited they are when they have a burst of energy that sends them bouncing!

This is my other bouncy chair I've had since Dallas.  I would die without this in the first months of having a newborn.  Charlie's getting tummy muscles now and once he starts sitting up easily then we put away the chair since he can tip it over.  But in those first months it is essential!  I set it on the counter and cook while I talk to him, or feed him, or fold laundry, etc.  He is spoon fed about once a day now.  Some days he's not interested.  Some days we can't spoon it in fast enough!
There are really only a few essential items I need to take care of a baby.  I'm learning this more and more.  I've never had a changing table and never missed it.  We just change the babies on the bed or on the floor.  If they're messy- just lay down a towel first.  But these two bouncy chairs, a carseat, a bed, blankets, clothes, diapers & wipes, diaper bag, bath stuff (I just buy a $2.00 basin like Grandma used to wash dishes in for when they're small, then when they can sit up they can go in the regular bath), and of course bottles and formula for me since I can't nurse.  I've liked the glass bottles this time.  But they do break when dropped!  I only kept two baby toys from my other kids, but Charlie likes anything and everything.  I could give him a cucumber and he'd think it was neat!  Fortunately the kids have plenty of toys and books he can safely borrow!  And there's always thrift stores.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

4th of July weekend

4th of July weekend, nothing to do so we went to the town next to us (they have a little parade). It's no Blanding, UT, or Provo, or Springville, but hey.  It's all we got.
Pat sat in the back and snapped pictures while I drove.
We got set up along the street.  People only sit on one side of the street since there's not that much to see, or that many people.
Daisy and Mama.

We told Sam that it was an American day, not an Italian one.
Me trying to get pictures of Charlie and his too big hat.

The parade was basically like one big advertisement for everyone's businesses with flying candy.  We threw away a bucketful of candy after the kids picked the 10 pieces they wanted most. 
The rest of the weekend was just spent fixing our front door.  It broke, and we had to buy a new one and a new frame, and our neighbor Warren came over to help.  Thank you!!!!!!  He is such a wonderful neighbor.  Everything went perfect while he was there.  Then all we had to do after he left was the spray insulation.  Note to self: Spray insulation expands 10x its size.  It was awful.  It even came out the newly installed lock.  Aarrgghh!!!  Now I'm trying to figure out how to get it off of tools, the tile, the sink, the lock, etc.

Of course it wouldn't be the 4th of July without flag cake! We also had fried chicken since our BBQ is pretty gross, coleslaw, and deviled eggs.  We were missing something, but I couldn't think what.  So we just left it at that.  Maybe chips? 
Sour Cream Cake with Berry and Cream Cheese Frosting.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Leia in Charge

Last night's family night was so funny.  Leia was in charge as the director.

Leia has been waiting for the chance to have family night for FOREVER!!!  Since last week!!!!

Our family night chart thingy.  I made it years ago.  Leia is the flower, Dallas the frog, Evan the star, Me & Charlie the tree, Pat the car, and Sam the robot.  We just rotate them.  The first one is Director-pumps everyone up, then, Scribe(records what we did and who was there), Songs person picks the songs, Lesson, Activity, Treat & Testimony- whoever has Treat also has to bear testimony to open up testimony time.  We'll need to add one more for Charlie in about a year. Ideas?  Maybe a Performance!

It started off with her calling us all to come, and her brothers ignored her so much she eventually gave up and burst into tears.  We fixed it all, and she moved on shouting:

Welcome to Family Night!!
Now we'll have a song by Dad and a prayer by Sam!
Now it's time for Family Business!
Now we'll have a lesson by...


We never needed to prompt her with what to say next.  She's been paying attention!

And at the end, she picked herself to say the closing prayer.  Usually someone helps her, and she just repeats what they say.  But last night, we left her alone.

And boy did she ever pray :)  It went on and on and on.... She was practically shouting.  We were shaking with laughter trying to not make a sound.   Granted, we can barely understand her, but we caught things about her "happy birthday", things about her brothers and asking God to bless them to not be bad to her (individually by name), so many things.  I know she asked Jesus to protect her from bad guys and said that Jesus loves her.  We were there for a very long time.

Sometimes I feel bad, because it's easy to ignore her and just say 'uh-huh' when she's talking because with her speech issues, she's so hard to understand.  But she is really, really smart, and has so so much to say, and understands everything so well, that we kind of cheat her by not engaging her in more conversation.  It's just so difficult.  We end up so frustrated with each other because I honestly can't make out what she's trying to tell me.  It breaks my heart for her.  She is a leader, and I hope she can overcome her present difficulties someday.  Dallas too.

For our activity we went outside and practiced jumping-rope with Pat and I turning at the sides.  We just left it on the ground for Leia.  She never got air, but she looked super cute.  The kids all loved it.

Our pool-side resort.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A week of scout camp

Pat finally gets home today.  He's been gone for a week- left early Monday morning.  He works with the young men at church, so was at their scout camp with them this week.  

I'm feeling like I got the raw end of this deal.  My week has consisted of daily swim lessons in Albuquerque, 2 trips to piano lessons, speech therapy, cow costumes for free food at Chick-fil-A, and taking care of the five kids and all the chores while babysitting other kids as well.  I've logged way to many hours driving and it is way too hot.

Then Pat calls me and says the food is great and it's been a relaxing vacation. It's a nice facility with a huge kitchen and cooking staff- it's actually where we go for girls camp- so it's my kitchen! So he never has to cook or clean or get up with the baby in the night, etc.  You get the idea.  He said they even made the leaders a special steak dinner one night that was excellent.  Other than that he just hangs out with the boys and has fun playing Marco Polo in the pool.  He's not in charge of anything- the staff does that, and the boys- who are learning to become leaders- are in charge of everything else.  He's just there to supervise.   Oh and have fun on the ropes courses, zip lines, and have a skeet shooting competition with all the leaders!

Anyway... I'm glad he'll finally be home today.  I'm torn between wanting time with him and wanting to run screaming from my house.  Decisions, decisions...  

Last night, Sam was tormenting everyone again, like he's so good at, and me, not wanting to spank him again, threw my mashed potatoes across the room at him. So, I'd say it's going pretty well on the home front.

Here's a couple of emails Pat sent me throughout the week.  I thought they were funny.  On the first day of camp, they tested all the boys to see what level of swimmers they were: not at all, okay, or advanced.  They divided the pool into those three sections with the boys who didn't know how to swim at all in the shallow end of the pool.  Pat got there late and only got the okay for the shallow end.  So the boys made fun of him all day.  The next day he wrote this:

I tried calling and nobody answered.  We got lots of rain today in the afternoon.  I passed my swimming test and it about killed me, I really need to exercise more.  I had to swim 100 yards (4 laps, 1 on my back) and Float for 30 seconds.  Near the end of my third lap I thought I was going to die but then I got to relax On my back.  I miss you guys, I might try to call tonight.  We have a 5 mile hike (weather permitting) at 7:00 so we'll be back around ten and I'll try calling then.

And another:

I had a flat tire this morning, bleh.   I'm tired, but everything is going well.  I think I've walked seven miles already and we got corn dogs for lunch, yay!  I did get to swim already and I've given Noah his water bottle ten times already because he keeps leaving it everywhere. 

And last night:

I probably won't call tonight, I'm thinking about you guys and miss you, can't wait for tomorrow.  I got peer pressured into a belly flop competition, ouch.

I'll have him post once he gets home with the camera.  And I didn't have it as bad as some of the women in the ward whose husbands took TWO WEEKS of their summer (which was all their vacation time) to take the older boys to Philmont.  I feel bad for them, but I do believe God will bless them for that sacrifice of time, since their hearts were in it, and they did it for the right reasons- to make wonderful men out of these wonderful boys.  Our ward is big into scouting and we have a GREAT scouting program.  In fact, lots of people who don't even go to our church participate in our scouting program, and serve as leaders, and are there every week supporting. It is a great blessing to the young men to have all these amazing adult leaders as examples and teachers.  I wish every boy or young man had men like these as their fathers and teachers.  The world would be a completely different place.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The 4 month mark

A bit ago, Charlie hit the 4 month mark.  Here are all of my gems at exactly 4 months!  (Sorry they are pictures of pictures, and even the ones that aren't were taken by someone with no camera skills, and a lame camera.) Can you see who each of them is?  Evan's the only one who doesn't look like himself in his picture. 

As you can see, we pretty much have one mold!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Seven Evan!

Evan is now seven!  Yea!!! 
Sam's gift.  They never get tired of Legos.

He asked for a chocolate peanut butter cake.  It was really good!

Evan had no bike and we figured he needed one and needed to learn how to ride so he could ride with his brothers.  So this was his present from Grandma and Aunt Steph and Uncle T. (I hope that's okay Grandma, Steph and T)  He was so excited to wake up on his birthday and see this sitting here in the living room!  He loves it!  He has been practicing ever since, but it's kind of hard on our rocky dirt roads.

This is how much cake was left after we all had a piece.  I threw it all away to not eat sugar.  I should probably just make smaller cakes, but then there's not as much decorating space.  So I guess I should invite people over, or family should just swing by!  It's only 10-20 hours!

Sam helped me make hamburger buns for dinner.

We had these black bean and quinoa burgers on the buns and they were so good!  I wish they were a tad bit easier.  They're not hard, but not easy either.  You have to sautee onions and spices, cook a cup of quinoa, and then put all of that and a can of black beans and panko bread crumbs (or I used crushed up rice crackers) in a food processor to get it somewhat fine, then shape and fry.  But they cook terrific and stay together really well and taste wonderful.  But I'm kind of a 30 minute girl.  I don't often make meals that take longer than that.  This is one that I will, but I may make a lot and freeze them so I don't have to do it so much.

Evan is always doing something.  It's kind of hard to see, but he cut out and assembled the first thanksgiving here while I was busy helping somebody else with school.  He took the picture because he was proud of it.

These guys enjoyed the party.  Charlie didn't get cake and has a sense that something is missing in his life.

S and E dressing up their animals.

My favorite picture of the day was my big bedtime hug!  He was smiling, but didn't like his picture being taken, Pat said.  He always jumps up on us like this, and I'm glad he's still not too big. 
Aunt Steph got him and all the kids CamelBaks!  Now they always have water during the day and when we travel around!
Dallas got Evan some awesome water guns that he worked a lot of chores to afford!
We got him a jar of thinking putty.  It changes color as he plays with it.
And Evan has some presents he gets to pick out on his own with Grandmama and Papi's gift card.  Thank you!!! So I'd say he's a pretty blessed guy!  He is a wonderful son, so helpful, so kind and so fun with the best laugh and smile.  You should have seen him getting his birthday spanks!  We love you Eegee!