Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Heard around...

Josh...on our way to our favorite swing set (it belongs to the neighbors who bring the boys out a treat every time they hear them) Josh teased the little boys the whole way there. He then accidentally walked it front of Math while he was swinging and got nailed by Math's feet and knocked down. Getting up Josh exclaimed, "I hate Karma." :)

Josh..."The world is trying to bring me to my knees in agony." (he had a bad day ;)

Seth licking his fingers..."Mmmm, that tastes just like hot dog juice, very satisfying."
(we had not been eating hot dogs :)

Seth - I saw a rolly poly around the house. I thought it would taste like frosting so I ate it.
Me - And how did it taste?
Seth - Not that good but I still like it because you can eat bugs. Lots of people do it in other places. I am going to tell my brothers that I can eat bugs.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December...

We finished the decorations although most of them went up in mid-Nov... :)

After I had Beth, I bought a sweater. I felt pretty bad about spending money so I took this picture to make myself feel better. It is all my clothes minus pants...

John and Dallan opened a present that was for them and Joe without Joe there. It was a small retribution for all the years Joe has spent opening and eating their presents without them :)

Little Sammer turned 2 and got the best present ever..a snow shovel he can use!!


And finally, our Baby Beth is growing more wonderful everyday :)


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Have a very CHERRY Christmas...

It is 10 degrees so we are having hot chocolate and toast for lunch....
Baby Bep is asleep, dinner and wash is done so now I get to work on treats...

You may not know this but John has a moderate obsession with maraschino cherries. He loves everything with them in it! I have been making a few recipes for years that he loves but last week at Costco I noticed they had maraschino cherries (in bulk!!). I thought we'd do the cherry treats theme this Christmas. It has proven VERY popular in our house. I've done all my old recipes now. I have done the internet and recipe site searches and made many of those. I think I have exhausted the basic cherry bar (a shortbread/sugar cookie base with a filling on top and frosting). I usually don't have time to do any cookie that requires me to wrap a cherry in the dough (although I might try some on a Sat or Sun) so I skip those recipes mostly. Now for my request...does anyone have a recipe that they love with maraschino cherries? The easier it is the better but if it is worth the work then I am willing to try it :) Traditionally we give John chocolate covered cherries for Christmas. I have some recipes that work good but if you have one for them that you think is "john worthy" I'd love it too.

Merry Cherry Christmas!!!!

PS - Michele, when you read this...I'd love that one recipe that you always made at Christmas for gifts with the dried fruit, etc. You can stick it on your kitchen blog or send it to me :) I figured a public plea might add extra incentive to send it :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

3 weeks down...

You know when you go to the store with your kiddos and someone inevitably says "You've got your hands full." Well, I can finally answer truthfully that YES, I do have my hands full. I remember it being a little overwhelming with the first 3 little ones at home but (for real) this time I have my hands full!! It is very busy trying to keep up with the older ones' activities and the younger ones' needs and John's schedule and calling! I am pretty sure we'll make it but John and I agreed to not talk about any more children for at least 2 years and decide then.

We have had lots of wonderful moments over the last 3 weeks. Little girls really are the most precious. It is hard to believe how much a little person can be loved in just 3 weeks. She is adored and adorable!!

These are some pictures that were done by my SILM. That's what we call her at our house because it is too long to say my sister-in-law's mother (her dad is SILF :). When Baby Bep was 2 weeks old my sister-in-law and I went out to my SILM's studio Idlewild (check is out HERE) for our shoot. Our husbands only called us twice :) There were so many darling pictures. These are some of my favorite.
PS - to the Anne of GG fans...are you not just enchanted with the name of the studio!!





These 3 weeks also brought an end to Josh's Reflection contest. He entered the photography section with the theme "diversity means..." This was his project. He took all the pictures and did the editing and decided how to put it together. He had to write an essay and talk about the meaning of his work. This isn't the finished product. The background actually turned out green with the title above it called Apples Together. I only have this version on my computer though. He ended up winning and is now moving onto the regional competition.



Friday, November 11, 2011

In the hood....

Yesterday I was caught in a room, meaning I had shut the door and was in the middle of something I couldn't leave right away. It is amazing how many times that happens during a day. The phone always rings when you are in the middle of changing a diaper or feeding a baby :)

Anyway, I was "caught" for a few minutes and I heard my sweet 1 year old looking for me. He was running between all the rooms saying "Mama, Mama??" As more time wore on he started to get frantic until finally the tears started falling along with the "mama...." The boys tried to help him but he wasn't having it. Finally I emerged and put Beth down and went to find him. He was still running around trying to find me. On my way I picked up a plate with part of a treat still left on it to bring it back to the kitchen. At the end of the hallway he spotted me and started running down the hall with a huge smile and his arms stretched out. As he runs down the hall I think to myself, I may be tired, unkempt and a little jiggly around the belly but I am still mom and that is better than anything to all the people that matter most to me. I bent down waiting for his jumping hug. He got about 6 inches from me with that sweet look of relief in his eyes. Just as he starts to reach for me, he notices the plate. His arms swerve away from my neck and down towards the plate. He grabs the treat, turns and heads off to the kitchen without a care in the world.

My much anticipated hug diverted, my desperate toddler satiated and that sweet "motherhood" moment gone.....I burst out laughing. I couldn't help it...it is such a true and ironic end to most of the sweetest moments in life. The only thing better than mom--food!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stardate: [-28] 05690.00

Our little Elizabeth Pauline arrived!! I am a little slow with pictures but I literally have not sat down at the computer since she came!! I've checked email occasionally but that is all. It is busy :)
For the last 7 weeks, every visit to the doctor has been stressful. Basically from day 1 it has been nothing but drama and it didn't end until she came! Discussions every week about what to do with little Beth. Ultrasounds and non-stress tests, worry, decisions. At 38 weeks I passed the non-stress test and we decided that we'd keep her one more week but the doctor said she had to come out 39 weeks. She even postponed her vacation a few hours to come deliver her. (I have a great doctor!!) The drama didn't end there, delivery was.....eventful but it all worked out. She eventually came out. A beautiful 7 lbs and 18 1/2 inches long. Her hair is brown!! I know...I can't believe it. Her eyelashes and eye brows are blonde so we'll see if it lasts.

She has been an okay sleeper and a really good nurser. It is clear that I am not in my 20's anymore. So tired....Even my doctor commented on the fact that the whole pregnancy it seems like my body hasn't been working very efficiently ;)

Sam calls her Baby Bep. Math calls her Lizard and sometimes we call Eliza just to try on a few different names. She is now almost a week old and absolutely as cute as can be!!




Friday, October 7, 2011

Baked...

Well, I am finally officially "baked" although I still have a little while to go till 40 weeks so a small run down of life...

I don't really expect the baby early but if she makes it to 40 weeks we have a small problem because John is leaving to go out of town at the end of week 40. My doctor said she'd induce me in time (a few days after my due date) to make sure he has at least 4 days before he leaves in case I have complications and I have to stay in the hospital that long. Not ideal because the first few days home can be tiring especially with John gone. A similar thing happened after Sam was born and I survived although John felt bad when he got back because he had literally missed half of Sam's life :)

Out of options...I tried to save things till the end so I'd have something to do. I didn't want to finish my wordsearch book before the baby got here but it is done. I finished reading Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Pride and Prejudice and watched the corresponding movies. I thought that would last a week or two longer so now I have nothing...maybe a Bourne movie party but that will only last 3 days. Any suggestions? I am too tired/grumpy to put up with anything that isn't really entertaining :)

Baby has some timing issues to work around...So, even though she could come anytime, if she wants to come now we don't really have too many openings in our schedule for her arrival :) Tomorrow or Sunday would work along with next Thurs afternoon. The next two Tuesdays after that will work and any Sunday and Sat afternoon but that is about all we have open till my due date. It is a busy time. Homecoming, presentations for BYU, National Chemistry Week and grant proposal deadlines means that John will be gone many, many nights over the next 2-3 weeks. If she wants to come in the middle of the night we have a block of time from about 9:00pm to 6:00am every night that should be long enough :) Of course, if labor goes slow then I can just sit at the hospital myself for awhile till John finishes. That is what I did with Sam. I was there for about 4 hours myself and it was pleasant. I get to be home tonight myself...like almost every other night this past week. I am thinking hot chocolate... :) It is snowing so I think it is appropriate.

I am staying away from gymboree. It wasn't that bad before because their boy stuff is super cute but nothing that special. But now...some of their girl items just make a person tear up they are so darling. I already used my gym bucks. I'll wait for the next big clearance but if it comes in the next 2 weeks I need to budget :) I am learning to try and like animal prints also...

John, apparently, has a nickname from his students. The beauty of having siblings at BYU is they know people in John's classes and they give reports from his students. His students call him "Prince John" and he reigns down too much homework but they like him still :)

Things looked a little fishy so we had to do some extra tests and ultrasound. Everything turned out fine but we do know that it is a GIRL for sure (again) and according the ultrasound tech she has a lot of hair. She may end up without too much hair but I packed the hospital bag accordingly just in case. An assortment of knit hats and flower clips to fit whatever I like that day :)

Football has been sad but it has provided a lot of conversation and entertainment!! I haven't been able to go to any games because John has had to work through all of them but watching them has still been stressful. That is what I need right now, distractions...

My current status at my last appointment. Baby at +1 station (yeah, it hurts), dilated to 4cm and pretty much effaced....so I probably have forever long to go :) Hopefully the next time I post it will be with baby pictures. Happy Autumn!! I hope you get some beautiful weather like what we are having here!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

We're still here...

Just super busy, tired and ready to be done with everything!! :)
So...a small review of autumn so far...

School started...

Dinners in the canyon...

Birthdays....

Leaves and more leaves!! :)



The canyon has turned and the valley has started to change color...



Saturday, September 10, 2011

How you know football season is here...

The weather cools. The leaves are turning and you can smell the scrub oak. The ground is littered with acorns and hot chocolate is totally appropriate in the evening...

Saturday at Costco is a sea of complete blue and white. If you are pregnant and can't fit in any BYU shirt then you are about the only one there without one.

When activities are announced in church they are followed by listing the time of the BYU game and the assurance that the activity will not interfere with the game.

Saturday at Costco the store is almost empty 30 minutes before game time. A few hours before there were literally thousands of people there.

Your Relief Society uses their "good news minute" to talk about the BYU game.

Although Saturday is a "no screen" day in your house, you happily allow your children to watch PBS kids if they leave you alone during the game.

The need for 7 layer dip increase 100%.

Pizza and root beer always seems like the best meal for Saturday.

Your 1 year old already knows some football terms even if he still prefers Jimmer highlights.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Best Games...

Sammer and I have enjoyed two new activities the last little while. Keep in mind, I am still technically a boy mom :)
The first game involves a bowl of magnetic letters. Sammer picks them up and then says the name of the letter while throwing it at a wall. I sit by the wall, help him occasionally when he forgets the letter name and then toss the letters back to him so it can keep going. He is at about 90% accuracy with the letters and about 60% accuracy with the wall.
The second is even more fun. I sit on a chair about 12 feet from the door. Sam runs out the door. Then he runs back in and I shoot him as he comes through the door with a nerf gun. Sammer stops to laugh for about 10 seconds then he picks up the bullet, brings it to me and runs back out the door and the process begins again. Best game ever...

Must stay awake...

I am waiting to do my visiting teaching but I am about to fall asleep. I need to stay awake so I am here typing. Since this is on my mind from VTing, these are a few of the conversations/thoughts that have been going on in my life. I think I'll end them with a question just like a good VT would...you should answer. I need more things to read so make your answers long...

School is starting. I don't feel any anxiety about school this year. We found out the teachers for the boys and about the programs they would be in a little while ago. Hy has been placed in an integrated classroom. We weren't sure what that meant and didn't get too many answers from the front office (which was the only thing open for the last few weeks). It brought up the whole homeschooling debate again. Our elementary school in Texas was SO bad. I didn't mind pre-K because truthfully Hy spent 1/2 of the time he was there in speech or occupational therapy. I had a lot of confidence in Hy's kindergarten teacher but that was my limit. I knew we were moving probably before the end of kindergarten so we didn't have to stay in that situation but we were ready to pull him out.
We finally got to meet with his teacher. We asked about why Hy was put into the program and she told us that Hy had been picked by the 3rd grade teachers for the program because of his excellent behavior and hard working attitude. They expected this situation to be harder for the teachers so they tried to get as many of the best kids into this class to help the teachers. SIGH...how could I not be happy? Now if I can just try and avoid all the crazy G&T parents from Josh and Math's programs it should be smooth sailing :)
What are the things that are hardest for you about back to school? What are your biggest concerns? (there may be some I haven't thought of yet that I should be worrying about :)

We live in a strange ward, strange in a good way. The dynamics of some Utah wards are so different and yet they can produce amazing results. One of the things that I have appreciated lately is the serious lack of judgement by people in the ward. Our ward basically has one half that is normal middle/upper class and then one half that UPPER/UPPER class and yet I have not really detected any sort of judgement/comparison from anyone. It is sort of amazing. The other thing is, from conversations you can tell that no one in the ward expects to be judged by anyone else. The women speak freely and openly both in RS and in conversations on the street and clearly expect to be understood and supported rather than judged...and that is what happens. There are grumpy, opinionated, crazy, stubborn and very direct women in the ward but still no real judging of each other. Refreshing and infectious...
What do you do in your life to keep from judging others? How to you keep from comparing yourself to others? (probably the harder of the two)

Names. Probably not to interesting to people who live far but it has consumed a lot of my conversations with my local friends...feel free to skip ahead :) So, just for fun and for the locals who have asked...In current order. Beth (Hazelbeth or Rhea Beth), Polly (Pauline Beth), Abigail, Jane, Anna/Annie, Margaret. Names I still love but will never fly with John...Greta, Violet, June, Clara, Mary, Nora. The first two never change. Her name will be Beth (98%) or Polly (2%) with every other name below a 0.9 chance according to the powers that be. I should add that yes, we do have a boy name just in case... :)
What inspired your names...tradition, family, uniqueness, spiritual confirmation (that is ours biggest deciding factor)?

Comments. I thought that I had heard it all after 11 years and having 5 boys. I didn't think there was any "boy" comment left to be said to me. What a fun ride, they were often so unexpected or different from my thinking that they entertained me greatly. I know 99% of them were made with no offense and I never took any because it really is just funny and even I can't believe I ended up with 5 boys so it doesn't surprise me that other people can't believe I ended up 5 boys. I thought that maybe it wouldn't be as much fun now but holy moly...having a girl after 5 boys elicits a whole new level of "creative" comments. Wow...I am glad I am having a girl just the comment entertainment value!
What are some of the funniest or craziest things people have said to you about children, dating, relationships, etc?

What would we do without the Spirit? With Miss Beth and especially with Sammer, the decision to have them were based on overwhelming experiences with the Spirit. The choice went against my better judgement and through the Spirit I was told with directness that my better judgement was not the plan for me :) I've known most of you wonderful souls out there long enough to know that the Spirit works in your lives as well and it leaves me to wonder what we'd be like if we left our most important decisions to our selfish selves? And what would it be like to be void of the peace the Spirit brings to helps us through?
What do you do in your life to keep that feeling of peace? What do you do to keep the Spirit close?

Anything on your mind lately that you just want to share? How have you been doing?

I think I am ready to go...and still awake!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Different is Good???

I recently talked to the hospital about maternity costs. In areas like this, it always surprises me the regional differences an area has. They gave me the average cost of a 2 day stay and delivery. It is almost half of what the cost in Austin was a few years ago. Then they went on to explain all the different ways you can save money. In fact, the advisor said that many women with no complications are able to have their baby for under $1000 if they don't stay long. Can you imagine? The average is under $5000 (not including anesthesiologist) for a regular birth and when I talked to my insurance they said it would be well under that price because they are contracted much lower. Doesn't that seem low? I know my Colorado baby was well above that even though I only paid $10 in my copay (that was excellent insurance). They don't require a pediatrician to release the baby from the hospital and they let you go when you want to. This I like about Utah. On the other hand, they also won't put fluoride in the water so.....you win some, you lose some.

I think long hair is back. At any given time there are always short hair styles and long hair styles that are popular but it seems like one is usually more "stylish" for a time. People who know fashion can disagree with me because I don't really know what I am talking about but it seems like longer hair is back as more popular. I am very thankful that the short years were popular while I was in Texas. It was way to HOT for long hair. I am very thankful long hair is popular while in UT and CO. It is way to COLD for short hair :) The longer/medium hair length comeback is also good timing as my interest in hair has been renewed because I will actually have some one's hair to do soon :)

When the boys came back from Texas they told us about everything including some fun memories seeing Gma Goodwin. As they talked I thought maybe we really should use the name Polly (Pauline) after this amazing woman. It has been our girl backup name for the last 2 babies. Then on Sun we sang some of Eliza R Snow's songs in church and I thought we should name her Eliza Snow Prince (Snow is my maiden name)...wouldn't that be cute. Then I thought we should steal other cultures' ideas and give her even more names like Eliza Rhea Snow, then she'd be Eliza R Snow for real. (Side note...there is no form of Elizabeth that I don't love...Liz, Liza, Eliza and Beth are all fabulous!!) John is not convinced so she'll continue with Beth for now (either Hazelbeth or RheaBeth - after my great gma or my gma) but we are running into a problem with Hazelbeth because everyone is IN LOVE with the name Hazel. We'd planned on calling her Beth but everyone just gushes over Hazel when I tell them Hazelbeth and call her Hazel so that may be what she gets called in the end :)
No worries, I'll try not to be disappointed if she ends up as Hazel. You can't always predict these things. My cousin was just telling me this week that the nickname for their baby "baby No" was unplanned along with my other cousin whose nickname ended up being Jo for Joel. I never thought we'd end up with Dog, Math or Sammer for nicknames and they've been so fun. People really like Math and Sammer. My sister was called Jet, my brother-in-law Goodwin and my niece "B." My sister doesn't even use her real name anymore (except at work), you have to look her up as Jet.

The third trimester has dawned and I can feel it. I expect to be really sick in 2-4 weeks from now based on my current degrading condition. I hope it is 4 weeks because that will only give me about 6-9 weeks really sick at the end but we'll see...maybe I won't get terribly sick again??? That would definitely be a welcome difference.

I am also not ready at all for baby. This is a big difference :) Usually by this time, knowing how I will be feeling, I try and prepare because I won't be able to leave the house soon :) I can tell you this, she won't come home from the hospital naked and she'll be dressed her second day at home but after that I'll have to get up and wash or she'll be naked her third day :) I won't worry too much because I do have boy things I can always pull out if needed. I can also try and pick a few things up when I do leave the house if I have energy!

Football season is about to start and that is exciting!! This year promises to be crazy. My guess is that Gilbert is going to be out we'll have a new QB for the Longhorns. It looks like BYU might actually have a decent defense this year. Is anyone going to the BYU vs. Texas game? I have decided to remain silent about the outcome of this game and try to keep my anxiety low :)

For the first time in my life I am actually hoping to go full term with a baby!! We realized that if I got a few days past my due date then everyone will have their birthday in a different month! It is hard to believe with 8 birthdays you could end up with different month for everyone! Even if you tried to plan it that would be difficult and since I didn't plan it that may not happen but at least it will be something to hold onto if they baby doesn't come early :) Also, if we go with Hazelbeth our names can be written chiastically :)

And the best difference...Autumn. I know it is still a few weeks off but I can't keep my delightful anticipation of it's arrive inside. I can't wait for my first orange leaf!

PS - This is also a long post which is somewhat different for me...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Staycation...

Seth was so disappointed he didn't get to go to Texas with the older boys so we promised him a staycation that would be full of things that no one in Texas would be doing. Seth got to chose a few of them so we ate lunch with Stella, Joe, Brittany and Paula at j-dawgs one day. Our other lunches were made up of our favorite cheeses and crackers. He got to eat all the of the strawberries from the garden without sharing. Lots of cream puffs because we knew that the boys wouldn't be eating those. He was the complete, undivided center of attention at John's lab party we had here yesterday. Seth got to pick a small toy and sleep in Math's bed with a flashlight not to mention we let him stay up 20 extra minutes. He got to use the computer on a non-screen time day. All this made him pretty happy...it wasn't quite enough to make up for it but it was close.

John took a whole day off just to spend time with the 2 little ones because we so rarely get to do so. We spent most of the day outside and up the canyon and had a wonderful time (yeah, it was only 80 degrees, this summer has been insanely cool). These few days have reminded me that it is okay for school to start. Sometimes I feel a little bad, like I am sending those boys out into the lone and dreary world all alone to face everything themselves. I know it isn't true. We love our elementary school here and in Boulder. The boys have done so well, had great teachers, and truly enjoy and love going to school...AND...it is okay for me to think it is okay for them go to school :)

Yesterday the S's and I got to play for hours. We did cars, bionicles, puzzles, books and walks. We've had enlightening conversations on garlic, bicycles, repentance (or lack thereof), talents and letters. At the end of the day my heart was full and I realized once again, how quickly it goes. Sammer learned to jump this week with both feet off the ground. He has used about 15 new words and has finally master almost all of the letters. On a normal week I wouldn't have had time to do a lot of this nor energy to reflect on it :) It has passed so quickly and I am coming to the close of this time of life. These are the last few years of little ones. It is nice to have a few hours during the day to just spend with them and to spend only paying attention to them. When the big boys get home from school their needs take over. Lessons and homework and dinner and projects and friends...most nights we go on walks with Hy and Josh and spend that time talking with them. On really cold nights we play Puerto Rico or Uno or Settlers so...I am going to take those few precious hours in the day and soak in the wonderfulness that is baby and toddler (like when they move constantly during a diaper change) and feel just fine about it :)

And now we are off for our last staycation activity, the farmer's market with cousin Stella and shaved ice...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A few things I've learned...

These are just a few thoughts about my forced renovation...

1. Home Depot is greater (much greater) than Lowes, that is why it is further away.
2. There is never going to be a good time to renovate anything.
3. Pregnancy (my pregnancy) is probably the worst time to redo anything.
4. I like money and I like nice things but when push comes to shove I tend to prefer to keep my money and have ugly/free things.
5. Sometimes it is good to be forced to get rid of your ugly carpet.
6. Everything we had in 1800 sq feet fits in one room with a path to walk through but I still have too much stuff, especially if I have to move it.
7. Local stores really do provide MUCH better service than big, giant stores. It is very, very nice when their prices are also much better.
8. Taking a forced computer break for a few weeks is both nice and annoying.
9. Eventually a person will cave and by a TV even if they waited one and a half years before doing it. Why not? I am already forking out tons of money, the TV is only a drop in the bucket.
10. A husband that is very cheap and totally agrees that we should be doing everything in our power to reduce the TV viewing experience will still bend to the lure of amazing technology.
11. Getting rid of the first car you ever owned is emotionally painful. When I pop the trunk I still see it full of HEB bags and when I look in the rear view mirror I still see three little boys squished into carseats in the back.
12. A two car garage is just like a three car garage if you only have one car!
13. My hair should be an inch longer.
14. Do I have enough courage to put up purple curtains amid protests of adding color to any room at all. Past experience has shown I do...
15. After the last move I was going to get a kindle so I wouldn't have to move books around anymore. Instead I got the opportunity to move all the books again and not get a kindle...(but seriously, if anyone has a kindle and loves it tell me so I can hang onto the dream and start saving again for next year :)
16. My husband is strong and a hard worker but terrible at setting time lines and priorities. I am weak and trying my best not to move at all but great at setting time lines and priorities. It has been a successful combination :)
17. New carpet will get rid of old house smell.
18. I am truly the only on in the house capable of painting a room.
19. Fixing things never goes as fast as they say it will.

Pictures to come soon but there is still a lot more work for this weekend but hopefully by the start of next week everything will be done.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Again...

Seth really is a fountain of funny sayings...these are a few that John has asked me to record from this week...

At Costco...
Me - Seth, you and Math need to stop moving, you are making me crazy.
Seth - Mom, it is alright. We need to do it, we are just learning how to live!

Getting on his bike...
John - Seth, do you want shoes?
Seth - No
John - I think you need shoes, don't you care if your feet get hurt?
Seth - Dad, I don't care about shoes. I care about Heavenly Father and I care about Jesus but I don't care about shoes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Picture is worth a 1000 words...

This is a picture of my basement family room. Do I really need to elaborate about what the last few days have been like? Hopefully the whole basement will be fixed within the next two weeks but my savings account will take a little while longer to recover :)

July 4th weekend...

Saturday was Stadium of Fire. We saw Brad Paisley. His concert was amazing.




Marci...this is for you :

The fireworks were spectacular as always...

Early (very early) on Monday was the Freedom Run. John got 14th place and Dallan 45th place in their ages. They both ran a fast 10K. Josh and Hy went with my parents.

For those of you requesting a picture of John's feet after a 10K and the walk back to the car...a little dirty but fine other than that.

Monday continued with hamburgers, chips and dip, homemade ice cream and many games including quigley, speed, indoor ultimate and indoor soccer. It is good to have keys to the church :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Busy...

When June started this week looked like it was going to lazy and carefree but it didn't turn out that way :)

First off, John's new bike arrived!!

My uncle passed away last week. Although a sad reason to get together it did bring LOADS of fun in the form of family. My cousins (with kiddos in tow) poured in and the boys probably had one of the best times of their life. It was impossible to separate them from their "cousins". They played from sun up till the sun was really down...
Here we are getting shaved ice thanks to Uncle Keith!! Cougar's blood, of course, was the most popular flavor...
Keith surrounded by the munchkins...


This month also brought Austin to Provo...
Have you ever seen so many wonderful people together (yes, we used to call it Sunday a few years ago) And we thought we had a lot of kids while we were in the Austin ward...this picture is still missing quite a few of them because they are on the playground. The Hansen family also made it but they missed the picture. Even after all these years, this picture has some of the most beautiful and amazing ladies I have ever known. I am glad I have gotten to see them (or will get to see them) more than once this year.

My beautiful Melinda came a little earlier in the spring and we had a blast together. One of my best dates ever Melinda! :)


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Only two things that money can't buy...

Spring and summer have finally arrived...it took a really long time but the garden is starting to flower and the early girl tomatoes are growing wonderfully along with everything else. In honor of summer (winter is a culinary bummer)...one of the best and least known John Denver* songs....


Now that John Denver has died, youtube exists, and mp3s are everywhere it is a lot easier to get a hold of his music but you have no idea how long I searched to find a cd of this song in the early 90's!!
*He didn't write the lyrics :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Overheard...

When asked which kiddo is most like me I often say Seth. Most people seem surprised but I think that is because he is still little (only 4) but we mesh perfectly and understand each other really well. Ironically, Seth is often the hardest for John to deal with because Seth demands a certain level of respect that is far above his age and John doesn't agree he should have it :)

If there was any doubt, the countless quotes I put up from him over and over should at least give a hint that we are alike because I am pretty sure I said (and still say) lots of things like this....

At FHE tonight when talking about repentance...
Seth - I don't really need to listen because me and Math don't have to repent, right mom...?
Me - ummmm...Seth, it is true you aren't 8 yet but as a good person you should still want to repent.
Seth - But I don't really have to, do I! (big, huge smirk...) also note, it wasn't a question, it was a statement.

Sometimes it might be better if he didn't listen so well in Primary...

Monday, June 13, 2011

This child...

Our Seth man really is quite the character...

Seth - Mom what can we eat when we are resurrected?
Me - I don't know exactly what we'll eat.
Seth - Mom, when we are resurrected we CAN'T die again so I think that means we get to eat an infinity of candy everyday. We're going to eat ice cream and candy all day because we don't have to worry about our bodies.

What am I suppose to do? I can't completely disagree with this logic.......and I wouldn't mind eating m&m's and candy corn all day long ;)

PS...
Math (at dinner tonight) - The artichokes don't taste too bad but they do smell like Hyrum's feet.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Our week...

This week we had my niece in town. She is between EFY and music camp so she got to stay with us almost the whole week. The boys were super happy. I feel a little bad because my hosting abilities are gone but I figured a teenage girl could live on cold cereal if she had to :) She did get her own room and bathroom and internet access...what more could you want?
Everyone had a blast playing with her. She got access to all the aunt/uncle dating info, a few funny stories about her father and even got some snow the first day she got here. I think she may leave our house as a NOVA addict. Here are a few of the activities...


The park, of course, with a few rounds of frisbee...

Stella gets to ride the slide and her dad was pretty fearless...she caught air off the bump in the middle of this slide...

Math...

There were lots and lots of light saber wars this week...

A hike to the Y...

It was more fun for some and less fun for others ;)

Baby Stella...

S'mores in the canyon...

More rounds of games and frisbee up the canyon...


The s'mores were good!



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gary Fisher

John "had" a Gary Fisher marlin. He got the bike many years ago (2004) and it has been a good bike. He put about 10 miles on it every work day from the beginning of 2004 till the spring of 2008. He probably put about 5 miles a week on it the next year and a half. Since we moved in the spring of 2010 he has averaged about 21 to 35 miles a week on the bike. To sum up...the bike has been used A LOT through extreme Texas heat and 2 1/2 feet of snow in Boulder.

Last week while riding home (uphill, thank goodness) the bike frame literally broke in half. When he called I didn't believe him. I picked him up and we brought the bike home.

What do you do? We know the bike frame has a lifetime warranty but we no longer have any paperwork or proof of purchase. We called the Gary Fisher dealer here and they said it wouldn't be a problem and to bring the bike in. John and I were both a little skeptical about what Gary Fisher would be willing to do but the bike shop seemed to think that there was no question they'd replace the frame. This was Friday so we went home and hoped for the best.
It has been 1 1/2 business days since we turned the bike in. Gary Fisher (and the bike shop) informed us today that they were sending out a brand new 2011 Gary Fisher Marlin. Not just the frame but an entire new bike with disc brakes, 29in wheels and a lockout front wheel. Oh...I think John is pretty happy! I am super impressed with the quickness and level of service from Gary Fisher. If you are ever wondering about a Gary Fisher bike our experience shows that the service (at least) is going to be excellent.
John will just get a new set of road tires and he'll be set...
Pretty crazy right...imagine if he had been going 30 mph downhill instead of 5 going uphill...serious accident!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Creative Writing

One of the best thing about school ending is getting all the creative writing papers the kiddos have been doing all year sent home. It is so fun to read through them and discover what your children "really" think about...

Here are a few offerings from Hy.

What would you do if you had $100?
I would buy Kai. I would also buy plants vs. zombies. I would pay tithing and taxies for repairs on oil and machines.

How have people shared with you?
Someone did help my famliey. 2 people did. My mom was pregninte so one person brought are dinner for one night. When my dad was working a women gave us food for another dinner. That's how much we share.

What did you do for Christmas break?
When it was diner time on winter break at my Grandma Princes house there were 20 boxes of pizza. I felt sad so we jump on the tramplen then we eat 5 pises of pizza. Then 2 familys left. Then one more family left. I was so sad. Then we left. I was so sad. We went to 1 of my cosins house and I jumped for joy.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Every once in awhile I get those "how well do you know me" emails from friends. It is always fun to read answers and see how much you actually do and don't know about someone. Some of my favorites are about names like trying to guess their middle names or what names they would choose for themselves, etc.
I was thinking about the names we have chosen." Each one represents a compromise and very long spiritual discussions and many reasons we chose the names. Just the other night I was lying in bed thinking about Eve and wondering if her Seth brought the same joy that ours does, enough joy to make the tragedy that caused the need for Seth bearable? The scriptures hint that he did and is one of the reason I so love that name. I think of Lucy Mack and wonder what it would be like to lose my Hyrum and Samuel, on top of losing Joseph, all basically for the same event. So there are many reasons and people who have influenced our choices but hidden in the spiritual side are also a few nods to most of my "favorites" too. Perhaps you can guess them. Some are very subtle and some are exact names.
Here are the hints. The names are Joshua, Matthew and (soon to be) Beth. One of the names carries reference to two of my favorite characters (one is direct and one is less direct). Another name is also a character of a favorite author and other name is not from an author but an entirely different genre :)
I'll put the answers in the comments...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The loaded question...

For me, this feels like a loaded question...."Do you want a girl?" or the different forms like "Are you trying for a girl?" "Are you hoping it is girl?"
I know that no one has ever asked me this with any kind of negative intent. It is still hard to answer because I feel like if I say yes then that implies that I don't want a boy and that would not be true. Perhaps a better question is "Do you want a girl or a boy?" and then I could just answer yes and that would be the real truth. I have never wanted a girl at the exclusion of a boy and I have never wanted a boy at the exclusion of a girl. (I am pretty sure this is how most people feel, they love their children no matter what they are ;) I have never been disappointed when I found out I was having a boy and I have never wished that one of my boys would be a girl...

When I was pregnant with my 4th someone asked me if I knew what I was having. At the time I didn't and this person implied that I should hope that it was a boy since I probably couldn't hack it as a "girl mom." Then shortly after one of my "friends" said basically the same thing, that there was probably a reason Heavenly Father didn't trust me with a girl. I tried very hard to not have an identity crisis over this :) Fortunately I have a lot of friends who have all girls and it has never once occurred to me that they "couldn't hack it as a boy mom." They are all excellent mothers who do amazing things and I think that being an excellent mother applied across the board. I would never worry if they got a boy because any child, boy or girl, would be lucky to have a mother like my "girl mom" friends! So, I have kept telling myself this over the years. I figured it was important because if you are going to have a lot of children there is a pretty good chance you are going to end up with at least one boy or girl. Also, it is REALLY OBVIOUS now that I should completely disregard any comment these two people had made about parenting :) So it has been many years and I felt pretty good about whichever way this pregnancy decided to go...

A few weeks ago my friend came over and asked if I wanted the few girl clothes she had because she is moving. I was only 13-14 weeks pregnant. I just looked at her for a second and then something inside of me just clicked and I knew in my heart what to tell her...
I told her yes and I took the clothes........and.......I was right!
We know now that it is a girl :) I sort of forgot to breath when the ultrasound tech told me at first. It wasn't my 20 week, that is in 3 weeks, but they were checking something and I was able to find out it was a girl. Even though I felt like I knew it already it was still a shock!!

I want to make sure everyone understands that I would be just as happy if it had been a boy because first, sometimes ultrasounds are wrong and second, it may not sound that way when I say we are SOOOOOOO excited!! I just can't believe it! I told one friend in the ward on Friday that is was a girl and when I walked into church today I must have had 15 different women come up to me with congratulations and hugs and claps and jumping up and down excited for me. It was funny and I couldn't help but be as excited as they were. It is exciting! It is practically unbelievable :)
The older boys are happy. In fact, I thought Hy was going to cry he was so happy. Seth was not excited but Seth has come around now that he knows her name is going to rhyme with his.
Anyway...that is our news... :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Conversations from 11 year olds...

There are some differences between boys and girls...

Josh -Bailey, I don't know if you want to play Twilight Rome (part of Zelda) with us at school . The two main guys are really dangerous.
Bailey - Who?? Edward...
Josh - What? Who's Edward...
Bailey - Sorry, did you mean Jacob, not Edward.
Josh - Who is Jacob? I meant Rant and Ganandorf
Bailey - Who are they? I thought you said Twilight.
Josh - I did say Twilight but the main guys are Rant and Ganandorf.
Bailey - Don't you mean Edward and Jacob.
Josh - Who?

Yeah, I was giggling the whole way driving home from school...

Me and Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte, one of my favorite authors, officially died of tuberculosis. It is believed her two sisters (writers of some of my favorite books) also died of TB many years before. However, many of Charlotte's friends, including Elizabeth Gaskell (another one of my favorite authors - yeah, I have a lot) said that she was suffering from extreme nausea and faintness. She and her unborn baby died soon after she became pregnant. Many people have speculated that Charlotte Bronte died of hyperemesis.

Here I am today with a complete understanding of how hyperemesis could kill someone. I don't want this post to be too long. Super long blog posts are a pain to read through and I really like the people who read this blog so I don't want to cause them pain :) I will try and keep it short(ish). Technically I have been told that I had hyperemesis before. This was based more on weight loss and nausea. They were obviously very mild cases. An extreme case of hyperemesis is rare....I guess you can call me rare.

It is a Thurs. I have slowly been feeling worse and worse but manageable. Thurs I start throwing up and throwing up and throwing up. It doesn't stop. I think I must have a stomach bug because I was throwing up every 45-60 minutes. It continues to Fri. John got supplies (sprite ;) Thurs night when he got home. By Friday morning I have slowed down to throwing up about every 1 1/2 to 2 hours but nothing, even water and sprite, is working. I am still pretty convinced I am going through a 24 hour throw up bug. By Sat night I know I am in trouble. I am still averaging 10-12 throw ups a day and honestly it didn't feel anything like a tummy bug. I live through Sunday on nothing. Monday morning it is obvious to me and the doctor that I need heavy medication or I am going to have to going to have to spend a lot of time in the hospital. Enter Zofran. A lot of pregnant women take Zofran for nausea. It hasn't always been successful in extreme cases of hyperemesis but it worked for me. I finally stopped throwing up. When the Zofran wears off I throw up and throw up. It was tricky in the morning because it would wear off in the night and I would have to throw up a few times just to be able to get it down in the morning but I am alive :)

Zofran comes with SO many side affects and I have been lucky enough to experience most of them. A lot of mornings I couldn't take it right away because I was unable to see clearly or even stay awake to drive a car. So I throw up in the morning and about 10 minutes before I would take the boys to school, I would pop the Zofran. I would drop the boys off and about 10-20 minutes after getting home I just collapse. That would last for about 2-3 hours until the first round of side effects started to lessen. By the time I needed to pick the boys up I usually felt like I could handle driving but we didn't leave the house for many weeks simply because I couldn't drive. I missed church for 10 weeks and have rarely left the bedroom. I really don't know how the two little ones and I have survived. It is sort of a fatigue blur. The extreme fatigue (I mean EXTREME) cause by the Zofran has been hard but I am finally doing better.

I am now well into my second trimester. Most days I still need Zofran (okay I have only had one day I didn't need it) but I can do half pills sometimes and I can make it most mornings without throwing up. I feel the hold of hyperemesis breaking. It really is like a physical addiction. I don't know how to explain it...just that I am so glad it is almost over. I still don't feel good but I feel so much better. I almost feel like I am living now instead of just being alive :)

This morning with tears in my eyes I told John that I didn't think I could be the same person I was after this experience. He laughed and said that no one could go through it and be the same person...he'd be shocked if it didn't affect me :) When I can say things like that or talk about something then I know I am on the mend. So don't worry...I really am doing okay now!! As with most trials in life I have learned a lot and been shown so many blessings!! I just wish I was a better learner so that Heavenly Father wouldn't have to keep giving me trials to help beat things into my head. Wouldn't it be great if we could just pick up perfect charity and empathy and humility and faith, etc on the first time around?? !!!
And I love my Miss Charlotte even more now... :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

BYU Graduation

So a lot of people have been asking for an update and I'll do one soon but I am trying to wait till I can do it with out using too many bad words...

For the meantime...I went to my first BYU graduation last week. This is a little odd considering in both John's and my family we have had 18 BYU graduations (including our own) + 2 for my parents and yet this was still the first one for me (John has had to go to graduation since he started working so he's been to a few). My dad was given a lifetime service award from the college of life science so he spoke at this graduation (and gave the best talk of the ceremony).

It was fun to hear my dad but by far the most amusing part was all the pregnant girls and all the couples graduating together. It seemed like at least 1/4 - 1/3 of the graduates were walking with their spouse. "James Smith walking with his wife Joan Smith." There was one group that had 6 relatives walking together. I just had to chuckle a little bit because BYU has to be the only college in the US that has spouses walking together in any sort of quantity! There were also two mothers who graduated with their children which was awesome. They got lots of cheers.

I wish I could say that John and I were well behaved but we talked the whole time or made funny gestures to my brother and SIL. We agreed that the Japanese really do have the coolest names. There were a lot of people named Houston and Austin so John made me promise if we have twins we can name them Houston and Austin (I am thinking middle names instead, my SIL's middle name is Austin :). And...of course, there was a young man actually named Johann which restarted the Johann Sebastian name debate.

Anyway, for those who went to BYU or probably even the U of U or USU it is a fun reminded of how crazy wonderful this place is!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Triumph of the Pinewood Derby

Guess who won the Pinewood Derby last night...


We've been doing Pinewood Derby for a few years now. It seems to stress John more than me. He feels the cars should be super cool but the boys and I feel the cars should be whatever the boys want to do. John usually agrees in the end :) This year Hyrum picked his own design. It was a Hummer. He cut out the car himself (with adult help) and painted it. John weighted it to make sure is was an exact 5.0 and they spent some time getting the wheels just right. I put a little extra graphite on right before the race and (as Math would say) voila...Hy's car was the fastest for both of the wards that raced.



John finally won his first Pinewood Derby. When asked how it made him feel that after all these years someone finally won?? The answer...he was disappointed. John said he didn't feel any different and it hadn't changed life the way he dreamed it would :) Shocking...

PS - It was hard to believe that this year Josh was too old for the Pinewood Derby :(