Sunday, November 18, 2012


I'm so happy to announce that Jenna Marie joined our family this week. She was born on Tuesday, Nov. 13th at 7:12 a.m.

She came without much of a fuss.  In fact, I can honestly say that I didn't feel any real pain with her delivery.  I don't know where I got the notion that I need to wait to get my epidural until I am in significant pain.  I have always waited until I cannot bear the pain on my own before I "give in" to getting my epidural.  This time, because it was in the middle of the night, the anethesist was only temporarily in house, and it was now or possibly miss it all together.  Good news-I should have done that with all my others.  It was glorious!  It kicked in before the pain really did.  I felt my contractions, but not pain.  I made quick progress and it took just 6 pushes to get her here.  We came home the next day and we are all doing well.
Her first visitors were her three big brothers and Dave's parents.  They generously gave of their time to come and help during her delivery.  My mom came about the same time and stayed much of the day to keep me company.  In times past, she has been the one helping with our other kiddos and has spent very little time at the hospital.  It was so fun to spend the day with her. 
 Greyson is one proud big brother.  He loves to "hold baby" and talk to her.  He has been very sweet with his new little sister.  I imagine he'll be very protective of her as she grows. 

My sister and her family also came up to meet Jenna.  Her daughter is the only other girl in our family so she is pretty excited to have another girl to play with.

So are we.  Our little family is growing.  Jenna already brings us so much joy and I can honestly say (now that I'm not pregnant anymore) that is was all worth it. 

Monday, November 5, 2012


I always loved Halloween as a kid.  I loved that my dad always dressed up with us and took us door to door.  I loved our family tradition of making and decorating sugar cookies and carving pumpkins.  I've tried to carry on some of those traditions in our own family, and I hope for our boys that Halloween is something they look back on one day with fond memories.  
Now, as a parent, I find the day to be very chaotic and busy, but we still have fun. 
We grew our pumpkins in our garden this year.  Some years, we have success, other years, not so much.  We had two nice size ones this year, and one that grew giant!  Tyler claimed the huge one, and Chad did not even argue because at the time, it was still green and the others were already turned.  Of course, it turned by Halloween, but everyone seemed to remain happy their his choice of pumpkin.  

We mostly let the boys design their own Jack-O-Lantern's.  They clean them our and draw on the faces, and Dave and I do the carving. 

They were pretty proud of their finished result. 
Here are our three skeletons.  This year, I had wanted to make a skeleton shirt for Dave and I, and Tyler had already decided to be a skeleton.  Chad and Greyson wanted to be Woody (from Toy Story), but I never could get Greyson to put the Woody costume on.  So, I knew he would happily wear his skeleton pajamas, and all we had to do was convince Chad that we should ALL be a family of skeletons.  We found Chad's shirt and just used fabric paints to add bones to his arms and legs. Here is our finished outfits.  Nothing creative, as I have seen this all over blogs, but I still thought it was cute. 
And one last picture, of Chad sorting his candies.  This is one of my favorite memories as a kid.  When I finished trick-or-treating, I loved to dump my bag and sort my candies.  It was so fun to see Chad and Tyler do it on their own this year, and even Greyson followed suit with a little help. 
Hope you had a wonderful Halloween as well.  Our baby should be here in just one week!  Happy Day! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chad just finished up his first season of soccer.  And I can honestly say that it was enjoyable.  We were super excited when it came time to sign up, but when the schedule came out, Wow!  I was a little overwhelmed at the amount of time I was going to be spending at the soccer field.  Most of the boys on Chad's team have been playing for 4 or 5 years, and he was definitely at at disadvantage.  However, he had a wonderful coach and he made a lot of progress.  He understands the game now, and really did become more confident as the season progressed.  He even started to get in there and try to get the ball.  Most importantly, he had a lot of fun!  And we are already looking forward to next year. 

Chad with his "trophy".  He was pretty excited to have something to commemorate his season.  He did such a great job! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Before Dave and I were even married, he and his family had a tradition of heading up to Driggs, Idaho each fall to stay in a family friend's cabin.  It is unbelievably beautiful up there this time of year, with the leaves changing color and fall settling in.  I had the chance of going just once, before the cabin became unavailable.  It has been 7 years since then, and we have been long overdue for a visit there.  Dave's parents came across a great deal for a set of cabins there, and so, we headed up for a long awaited, relaxing weekend.  I didn't even take any great pictures of our cabins, but I have plenty of pictures of my boys enjoying the surrounding wilderness.  With their cousins, they created a fort, which I admit, was pretty cool.  They put so much into it that they were pretty sad to leave it when it was time to go. 

 This was a table inside the fort. 
 Here's a view of the majority of the fort. 
 And the little pathway leading to it. 
 This might be the one picture of the inside of the cabin.  Greyson was cold that morning before we left and so he spend a few minutes inside playing the i pad.  We enjoyed a beautiful hike while were there, a game of glow in the dark bowling on our balcony, a campfire complete with smores (that was Tyler's favorite!) and lots of great cousin time.

 This was the view as we headed out of Driggs toward home.  What a beautiful place!!!
And one last pict. I had to put in-we took family pictures while were up there, and Dave was so kind to snap a few shots of me while I was behind the camera.  While I typically hate being in pictures, especially when I am pregnant, but I always feel I should at least try to document how gigantic my belly got, so here it is.  As it has since been two weeks since these pictures were taken, I'm sure it has grown several inches as I now have just under 3 weeks to go.  That feels frighteningly close, and yet SO far away. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Summer Wrap Up

To me, it feels like summer ended months ago, but I so wanted to post about our last summer trip with my family to Bear Lake.  We started this tradition several years ago, and it has become the trip my boys look forward to most each year.  We all stay at the KOA in Garden City Utah, which is arguably not real camping, but it is such a nice facility.  It's like camping in your backyard, with showers, flush toilets, a swimming pool and lots and lots of activities for the kids.  That's what I love most!  I love that my boys can head over to the playground or the jumping pillow and just play.  We take our bikes and ride through the city.  We did hit the beach on two days.  The lake was very high again this year and so the North beach was the only place with any real beach, and my boys had a BLAST! 

 They sure love playing in the water with Grandpa.  It's such a great beach because the boys can walk out for what seems like miles and still, the water comes just to their knees or chest.  I loved watching Greyson as he toddled out into the water, "Deeper!  Deeper!"  He sure enjoyed his sense of independence in that water. 

My boys played their hearts out in the sand.  The second day we went, a few cousins joined us and they brought much cooler toys than we had the day before.  It's amazing what having a boat to drive in the water can to for your fun! 

 Greyson, of course, was right in there with everyone else.  He just wants to be big and play with the big boys. 

 Tyler built quite the sand pile and had a lot of fun burying things in it.  It was just so enjoyable and many memories were made.  I know my boys are already looking forward to this trip next year. 
On the way home, we stopped in Soda Springs, Idaho at a park for a quick lunch.  We stop at this park each year on the way home, and I have a picture of my boys and Dave on this dino each year.  First, just Dave and Chad, then Tyler joined the ranks, and now w have filled the dinosaurs back to capacity.  Not sure where our newest little addition will go in the picture next year.  Here's to summer! 

Friday, September 28, 2012


There is a saying that hangs in my laundry room.  It looks like this . . .

 "If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the piles and piles of laundry will disappear all too soon and that you will, to your surprise, miss them profoundly." Thomas S. Monson

HERE is the link so you can print it too.

Only this morning, for about the 1000th time,  I went into my boys bathroom and I really wished I had a sign that said instead,

"If you are still in the process of raising 3 boys, 
please remember that the pools and pools of  
urine behind the toilet 
will disappear all to quickly, 
and that you WILL NOT (no surprise)
 miss them at all!!!"  

So, if anyone out there wants to make me this sign, I will gladly hang it on my bathroom door. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Young Women Activity

 I love that I get to work with these wonderful Young Women!  Last week, we had a class activity, and I wanted to share our fun project.  

Since our theme for the month was on Individual Worth, I got to looking through the personal progress book for ideas.  I came across goal 7 under Individual Worth and thought it could be a really fun activity.  The goal lists several scriptures to read, and then asks the young woman to have a friend, family member and Young Women leader each write positive qualities the Lord has given to her.  

So, I took an idea off of Pinterest found HERE, where each person writes these positive qualities on a white board, and then the young woman stands in front of it and we take a picture.  Here's one example of how ours turned out. 

I really wanted the focus of this activity to be on the girls thinking of and writing these positive qualities, rather than on the crafty part to come later, so I asked them to really think of each girl as they wrote about her and be sincere and thoughtful in her comments.  They did a great job!  I felt that each girl's comments totally reflected her.  

The rest of our activity was assembling these little boards to put our pictures on.  I have a similar board in my home with a family picture on it and a totally different saying, but the idea was the same.  We Modge Podged the words on, and then taped the picture in place.  I cut, sanded and stained the boards ahead of time to again, keep the focus on the qualities we were listing, rather than the craft. 
I thought they turned out so cute!  And I hope these girls will display them and remember, above all, that they really are of Infinite Worth, with a very unique and divine mission. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

1st Day of School

Well, here we are already!  School has begun, and might I say is going quite well so far.  Chad started 2nd grade this year.  WOW!  That seems hard to believe! 

 This is him at his new desk right as the bell rang on the first day.  I have to say I am so impressed with how well he is doing with his morning routine-he gets up each day and is ready before scripture study.  So proud of him! 
 Tyler just started his 2nd year of preschool.  He is super excited!  He has one whole day under his belt, but hopefully, he will have a great year! 
And of course, Greyson, couldn't be left out when the camera was pulled out for pictures.  

Love these boys! 

Monday, September 3, 2012


I've been having a few of those moments lately where, even if only for a few seconds, I see my children for the joy they bring and the little people they are becoming.  I treasure those moments, and I need to seek for more of them.  As a mother, I think it is all too easy to get caught up in the mundane tasks of everyday life and miss all the moments that really matter.  Moments like all three of my boys playing together, happily.  Watching my 7-year-old speak to his 2-year-old brother in a kind, motherly voice, like he has heard me doing, or reading him a story.  Chad reading, really reading, from chapter books-man, he's growing up!  Tyler talking to me all day, telling me everything that comes to his little boy mind, and Greyson telling me, "I do it, by myself.".  I came across this quote the other day that really struck me:

The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in the pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments". -Dieter F. Uchdorf

Boy, I am so guilty of waiting for my "golden ticket". Not that I'm not happy now, but I find myself constantly thinking of how much better life will be when . . .

When Dave can quit his second job and be home more
When we have finished paying off our debts
When we build our dream home
When I'm all done being pregnant, like done forever, which I'm not sure is yet
When all my kids are in school and I can get a little more done each day

The list could go on and on.  The thing is, when I constantly focus on the future or my "golden ticket", I'm missing the everyday moments.  I'm learning that life is mostly challenges and trials of faith,  with small fleeting moments of peace and joy, that if we look for them, are truly our treasure.  My children are growing up before my eyes.  I've got to treasure these moments.  Yes, some days are hard.  But, I know that for this stage of my life, home is where I need to be.  And, when we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to His help.  I know that as a mother, I'm on the Lords errand.

I posted that quote in my bedroom, right as I walk out of my room.  I need to frame it and place it in virtually every room in my home as a reminder.  No more "golden tickets" Telena, THIS is my NOW! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Last Day of Summer

My kiddos start school tomorrow.  They are ready.  I am ready.  Chad is anxious to get going in 2nd grade and to see all of his friends again.  I'm super excited to be starting preschool again.  But there is still a little tinge of sadness as summer comes to a close.  Chad will be starting soccer this week as well (our first time signing up any of our children for any type of organized sport).  I'm already overwhelmed by the practice schedule.  I imagine we'll just have to give up dinners together as a family on those nights for a while.  I guess we'll see how this all goes.  
There are so many fun memories we made together as a family this summer, and I totally intended to record them, but this blog has taken a serious back seat, so for my own sake, here is my summer recap as we head in to school tomorrow morning.  

4th of July Celebration and Telena's Birthday
We had major fires in Idaho this year, and even lost 66 homes to fire in our own town, so there was a ban on fireworks for most of the 4th Celebration.  However, the boys enjoyed doing their fair share of poppers.  

 Of course we had to attend the parade.  
 As for my birthday, Greyson did a great job helping to unwrap most of my presents.  And Dave made me an ice cream cake (see below).  It's scary to look back even just a few years at past birthday pictures-I'm getting OLD!  

Salt Lake City trip, Airforce museum 
When I was down in Utah for my roommie reunion, I also met up with our old neighbors.  Boy, I sure miss them!  While I was there, we took our kids to the air force museum. 

I can never go wrong with airplanes and my kids.  We had a lot of fun together and catching up.  

Yellowstone Park w/ Grandma and Grandpa Jones
 It's not very often that my own little family and I get to take a trip with just my parents and us.  This summer, we planned a trip together to a campground and hot springs nearby, followed by Yellowstone Park.  My boys sure love their grandparents, and it was a special time that they got to have them all to themselves.  We had a lot of fun swimming, followed by exploring in Yellowstone.  

 I had to take the boys down to the Madison river, where I played my life away as a child.  There are several hot springs bubbling up throughout this river and as kids, we would play in them for hours.  I love to show my kids some of the things I enjoyed as a child.  
 We saw Old Faithful . . . 
 and took a few hikes.
 It was very enjoyable and we made some special memories together.  

Girls Camp
Well, I really missed the boat on taking pictures while up at camp, but I had such an incredible experience with our 19 girls up in Island Park.  These girls were the most helpful and positive I think I've ever known at a girls camp.  No complaining, no arguments.  Just lots of bonding, fun and friendships formed.  I love girls camp and I'm so glad that I get to work with these wonderful girls each week.  

We did have one more incredible trip to Bear Lake, which I will have to post separately.  It has been a great summer!  And now, we open our arms to fall as we start back to school.  
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