Sunday, July 31, 2011


I enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane as I looked at pictures for this post.  It really does seem hard to believe that 6 years ago, I became a mother.  It is different with your first, and I think that I enjoyed it more.  I had fewer stresses in my life, and my new little baby was my new best little friend.  My delivery was horrendous, and there were times that I feared for his life.  (Actually, I was more concerned that he would never come and that I'd be pregnant for the rest of my life.)  He finally did come (with the help of forceps) and thus began this adventure called motherhood.  For the first 2 1/2 years of his life, until my second was born, we did everything, just the two of us.  I did a lot of things with my first that I would never dare, or never feel up to doing with my others.  For example, I helped to lay sod in our backyard the Saturday before Chad was born on the following Tuesday.  I took him on his first road trip to my cousin's wedding 3 hours away when he was a week old, took him to girls camp for a week by myself when he was 2 weeks old (and got a flat tire on my way home), and took him on an 11 hour drive to Nebraska at 3 weeks old.  I would NEVER have even considered that with either of my other two, and yet all those trips worked out just fine. 
Chad on the day we brought him home from the hospital.  It is crazy to see how much he looks like Greyson!

 I think he is probably 2 in this picture.  He was such a little doll, and we just went everywhere together. 
 Chad reading the paper while he ate his cereal.  He still loves to read while he eats and always has to look at his cereal box while he eats breakfast. 
 He and his cousin.  They are only 3 months apart and have always had a special bond. 
 Chad's first day of preschool. It is hard to believe that Tyler is now this old.  Funny how with my first, 3 seemed like such a little boy, a baby still, and now that my second is there, he seems so grown up. 

 Look at this handsome guy!  Oh, he still warms my heart.  He really is so grown up now, and he is such a good little helper (most of the time).  He will still hold my hand, and likes to have his back scratched.  He is SO smart!  It has been an amazing 6 years. 
And finally, birthday #6, complete with a castle cake.  The only things he asked for this year were a movie, which he debated back and forth on which one probably 20 times, and a pillow from my mom. I know that stage won't last forever, but I'll enjoy it for now.  I sure love ya, Chad! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

There's Something About Nature

I have always loved being outdoors.  I spend a lot of my childhood in the mountains camping, and I have such fond memories.  For our field trip this past week, we took a hike up into our local mountains.  (For those of you who live close, this is the Cherry Springs trail.)  Before we left, I gave each of my boys a sheet of paper with a list of things we were going to find listed on it.  So, while we enjoyed being outside in the beauty of nature, we looked for: something a bird would use to build a nest, a rough rock, a leaf with a pointy tip, a flower, something smaller than your thumb, something larger than your thumb, a leaf that has been chewed on by an animal, something a squirrel might like to eat for lunch, a stick, a leaf that isn't green, a multicolored rock, and something that would be uncomfortable to walk on with bare feet.  It was a lot of fun and I think that doing our scavenger hunt along the way kept my kids interested a bit longer than they would have been. 
 We discovered this cool bridge.  My boys LOVE bridges! This bridge led to nowhere, but it was still cool to stand on it and drop leaves and sticks on one side and see them come out the other side. 
 Of course we had to take a rest.  There were actually benches all along this trail, but my boys insisted on finding rocks to sit on to rest instead.  This resting spot overlooked a part of the river/creek running along this trail. 
 This little guy was pretty happy.  He had to put everything into his mouth, and because he rode in the stroller the whole time, he was constantly being brushed in the face with flowers, branches, etc. that were hanging over the trail. 
 This is the leaf that Tyler found that was "something bigger than your thumb." 
 At the end of our nature walk, we hiked down the side of the trail to soak our feet in the cool water.
There was a rock just the perfect height for Greyson so sit on and it was nice to get cooled off.  The wonderful mother of these darling boys totally forgot to bring any water to drink, (oops!) so at least we could cool off a little this way.  My boys all said this was a favorite field trip.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Groundhog Day

Oh the busyness of summer!  I always look forward to this time of year (summer) thinking it will be so nice to have calm summer days with no committments.  I do wish that described our days, but summer instead seems to be so busy!  I asked my sister-in-law the other day how her summer was going.  She responded, "It feels like Groundhog Day."  You remember that movie, starring Bill Murray, where he wakes up each day and literally has an exact repeat of the day before, and it keeps going on, and going on, and going on.  Well, I have to agree with my sis. that this summer does feel a bit like that.  My kids seem to have lost their interest in our "summer plan" and the newness of summer and our summer store have also worn off.  We've done a few projects, but we've also taken it a little easy this week.  I need to revamp my plan so that it feels new again.  We did do these . . .

They're called String and Paint pictures.  Basically, you use varying sizes and styles of string or yarn, dip them in paint, and pull them through two sheets of paper to make a design.  Here are ours in the process . . .

 . . . and were finished.  They are fun and turn out different every time. 

I can't help feeling myself looking forward to more structured, organized days once school starts again, and yet, I know then that I'll wish again for these more relaxed summer days.  I guess the secret is to learn to enjoy each moment, knowing that they'll each have joys and frustrations, just like each stage of our lives.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Anyone else out there remember these tapes?  

I grew up listening to them, and I LOVED them!  (You can still purchase them here.)  Several years back, my mom gave them to me for my kids to enjoy.  And they DO!  These books and tapes tell stories to teach 12 different values, like honesty, happiness, integrity, dependability, etc.  Super fun!  And because our car has a tape player (yes that's right, our car is so cool that it plays tapes!) I bring them along and my boys listen to them most every errand we run. 
Well, the other day, I decided that it was my turn to listen to something I wanted to, and so I popped in a tape by Sheri Dew called Famous Last Words.  It was not new.  In fact, it was an address she gave at a BYU Women's Conference back in like 1999.  But, her message was so pertinent to today, and it has really stayed with me.  She talked about Satan, and how he is attacking the family.  She talked about how he knows that if he can destroy families, he can destroy societies and God's Plan.  Isn't that SO true?  The Proclamation to the World says that "the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."  That's a pretty powerful statement.  I can't deny that I think the disintegration of the family is the #1 cause of most of the problems in the world today.  And Satan knows it too.  He knows that if he can get a family to spend too much time involved in good things, that they will forget about and neglect the most important things.  He knows that if he can get families to desire worldly things, he can get a mother to leave her children for another to raise in order to enter the workforce and acquire the money to buy those "things" that the world says are so important.  He knows that if he can distract us from what is most important in life, he can deceive us.  Like the scripture says, he truly is leading many "carefully" away. 
As I listened to this tape the other day, Sheri said, "Satan knows exactly what he is doing!  Do we?  Are we sleeping, or are we creating places of security where we may insulate ourselves from his advances?"  I really liked thinking of the home as a place of security.  That is exactly what I want to do as a mother-protect my children from Satan's advances.  She went on to say, "If there were ever a time when the Lord needed righteous, determined, women who can distinguish between the adversary's deception and the voice of the Lord, it is now."  If there were ever a time when the Lord needed his daughters to be alert to what is happening in society, and to defend the sanctity of the home and family, it is now.  If there were ever a time when the Lord needed us to have a clear vision of who we are, where we are and what is important, it is now." 
Then, after having this all in my head for a week or so now, I listened to a speaker at church on Sunday talk of his work as a teacher in an alternative high school.  He spoke of the disintegration of the homes and families of the children he teaches, and how the lives of these children are affected by the choices of their parents, many of whom are drug addicts.  Satan knows what he is doing, and he knows that one little choice he can get us to make when we are young can and will effect generations to come. 
I read this article the other day, and I am determined NOT to regret my decision to be at home.  I know that by being home, and teaching my children, I am creating a place of security for them.  And I feel in my heart that this if right for me.  I loved the closing line of this article.  The author stated, "even when everything we read and hear and see is sending us the opposite message, simply raising your children, being a mother and a wife, is enough."  And I would add that not only is it enough, it is vital, in order to thwart the plans of Satan and protect our children and our families. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Whirlwind of Fun!

So, we just got home from spending the weekend with my husband's family and having a family reunion.  Whew!  I'm exhausted!  I always find it funny how we (or at least I) so look forward to a vacation, but it never fails that I need a vacation once I get home. 

So, really quick, I wanted to share what we did for our craft last week.  It was a lot of fun and super easy.  We made shirts, using fabric crayons (I bought mine at JoAnn's) and plain white shirts I found wherever I could get them cheap. 
 The kids just drew a picture of their choice on a regular sheet of paper, using the fabric crayons.  (Keep in mind that it will be reversed once it is ironed onto the shirt.)  They need to color as dark as they can.  I even went over them to make them darker before we transferred them. 
 Then, you just iron the picture onto a shirt.  Here are the finished products.  Super fun!  The boys were pretty dang proud of their creations! 

Alright, so onto the family vacation.  My husband's family lives about three hours away.  We used to get there to visit more often, but as we have had more children and our lives have become busier, it seems we only get there a few times a year.  So when we go, it is like trying to fit in 6 months of memories into 3 days of time.  Wow!  We had fun!  Here are a few of the things we did.

On Friday (Fieldtrip Friday) we took a fieldtrip to an art museum.  They had a display of shoes.  I have to say, I don't necessarily agree with what others call "art" but it was fun to see what some have used to create these shoes and some of the crazy designs.  This is a few of us outside the museum, since we weren't allowed to take pictures inside. 
 So, I love (no wait) LOVE the 4th of July!!!  Growing up, I always thought the celebration was for me, as my birthday is the next day.  To me, it is a holiday that never disappoints.  You know how sometimes at Christmas, you work like a maniac to make it special, but sometimes, the "feeling" of Christmas never comes.  Well, the 4th is always amazing to me!  Watching the fireworks is is tradition and I love every minute of it!  So, we had to do a few crafts and activities to make it extra special.  For our craft on Monday, we did firework art.  You simply take acrylic paints and thin them out.  Then drop a small amount onto paper.  Then, using a straw (it was easier when the straw was cut in half) the boys had to blow on the paint to make it "pop" into a firework.  It was pretty fun. 
 We also made these fun hats, by cutting stars from card stock and attaching them to a straw.  Then, we just stapled the straws at varying heights onto a headband.  Voila! 
 The boys wore them when we did our "parade".  It was just my older two and two cousins, but we let them wave flags and throw candy to the grown-ups who lined the sidewalks as the spectators.  They thought it was fun. 
 Here are our ducks lined up for our duck races.  We had to damn up the gutter to make a river for them to float in.  Ultimately, they didn't want to stay afloat on their bottoms.  They just bobbed around and we had to use the hose to spray them down to the end. 
 But we sure cheered loud! 
 We got back just in time to head over to see the firework display at our fairgrounds.  I've gone each year of my life (minus the one on my mission) and it is one of my favorite traditions.  It wouldn't be the 4th without it.  The show was awesome! and it sure makes me grateful for the freedoms we enjoy. 
 So, today was my birthday.  I had grand plans for pampering myself, but life as a mom requires some flexibility, and I have yet to get my pampering in.  But, we did celebrate with a cake (made of fruit) and presents.  I figured that we had had enough candy and junk over the last 5 days to last a while, so a cake made of fruit was perfect.  We'll do a party with my family when we do Chad's birthday next week and I'll have Dave make me a real cake then. 
 Dave and I were able to go out together while in Boise and do a little shopping.  He did surprise me with a beautiful flower (my favorite kind even)!  Most of all, I just enjoyed the time to spend with family and feel like the queen for a day. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...