Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pete's Dragon Moments

School starts on TUESDAY and summer is quickly slipping away from us. All the more reason I was sad that Jake had commitments that would keep him busy EVERY night of last week. Poor Dekker had to have FOUR teeth pulled Wednesday morning, but I told him if he was feeling up to it, I'd take him and the other kids to see Pete's Dragon that evening. So I couldn't believe it when I got a call from Jake around 3:30 telling me he was done with the Dry Cleaning training early, would have time to go to Costco, AND be home in time to go see the movie with us!

1. Happy to be together. Jake came home, we quickly ate dinner and then piled in the car to go see the movie. We were SO HAPPY to be together as a family (the week before I'd been gone with the kids to California- so we'd already been missing Dad.)

2. TJ sits in my lap. About half way through the movie I heard Jake whisper to Titus, "Why don't you go sit with Mom for a bit..." He walked over to me and climbed into my lap. My baby. He's 4 and a half! Yet he still climbed up and snuggled into my lap. I stuffed my nose in and sniffed his soft hair as I gave him a kiss on the head. I love that he still snuggles me. I think with my older kids, because there was always another baby close behind, I was hurried for them to feel comfortable sitting and doing things on their own. With TJ I savor him being little. Even as he get's bigger and isn't so little anymore, I'm going to hold onto every little bit of his littleness I can.

3. Dekker is my cool kid, with a soft heart. Pete's Dragon is a lovely moment. I love the message- Believe. Have faith. See the magic, and you see the world differently. Better. It has some very tender moments. Dekker was sitting next to me and during one moment I heard him sniffling. I reached my hand over and he took it. Then later during another moment I caught him wiping at his eyes. With TJ on my lap I gave him a pat on the leg. He laid his head on my shoulder and we let our tears run down our faces together. I'm glad he has a tender heart.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Vacation Memories

We recently got home from our most epic vacation ever. We were lucky enough to be able to go with McQuiggs on a Disney Cruise, and also spent time in the Orlando area going to Universal Studios (and Harry Potter land) and other things. The vacation was fabulous and we did so many fun things, but it's the little moments and quotes that I want to record so that I won't forget.

1. At the end of the Disney Cruise I was asking the kids what their favorite part of the cruise was. TJ's answer: "The elevator; and our cool room." This shouldn't have been a big surprise, because TJ loves buttons, and so he was always racing to be the one to push the buttons on the elevator and use the key cards to get into our rooms. Plus each elevator did have a different "theme" or surprise, so they were pretty cool- but I still laughed when he said that was his favorite part.

2. In the car Naomi and Dekker were fighting over something in the back seat, when I tried to intervene and ask what was going on Naomi said, "Dekker just grabbed it out of my hand without asking!" to which Dekker responded, "I asked if I could see it!" and then Naomi said, "But I said 'NO'" and then started chanting, "No means No, No meands No, No means No!"

3. We taught the kids how to play the card game "Nines" on our trip. One morning the kids were playing and Josh was complimenting Dekker on his plays - Those kind of compliments don't happen very regularly apparently, because Dekker said, "Wow Josh that's really nice! I really like your attitude this morning!"

4. The night we were teaching the kids to play Nines we were all sitting around the table, and TJ slipped and whacked his head on the corner of the table. It sounds mean now, but the way it happened we all started laughing, but it must of hurt because TJ said, "Guys, I'm not laughing!!!"

5. Another time when the kids were arguing in the car (the trip really was fun, but when you're all together for 2 weeks, there are bound to be some fighting moments) I said, "Guys, this has got to stop, this isn't the way to show Mom and Dad that you'd like to do a trip like this again!" to which Josh responded, "Mom, you already said this was a once in a lifetime trip!"

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I guess I have to admit that TJ, as the fourth and youngest in the family, gets treated differently. Especially when it comes to disciplining. He doesn't really know what "time out" is- all my other kids did, especially Josh and Dekker. I just don't have the patience or energy to discipline him. Pluse he's my last little one, and so he gets away with more just because he's so cute! A positive byproduct is that the kid is not afraid to be honest. He doesn't feel the need to hide or cover up things he's done wrong. He seems to know they're wrong- but also knows he doesn't usually get in too much trouble- so he's VERY HONEST- almost to a fault.

1. Broken lamp. I had a desk lamp out on the table where we're working on a puzzle. The other day I couldn't find it.
Me: Guys, where'd the lamp go?
TJ: Oh, it's in Naomi's room behind her bed.
(I go to retrieve the lamp and find it and try plugging it back in at the table, but it doesn't work)
Me: WHY isn't it working now?!
TJ: Cause I dropped it and it broke.

2. Jake's favorite cereal. Jake never eats cereal for breakfast (we're religious about our green smoothies). However, he DOES like to have a bowl at night sometimes- like a treat or snack if he gets hungry after dinner, and the other day he was telling me how he missed when I used to buy SpecialK with chocolate pieces cause that was one of his favorites. So, the next time I was at the store I picked him up a box. He was happy. He left the box out on the counter after a serving though, and the kids, seeing it pulled the bag from the box and proceeded to pick out all the chocolate pieces. When I saw the bag with hardly any chocolate left I said
Me: OK guys- WHO's been eating the chocolate from this cereal?
Kids: Kinda looked at each other and I think it was actually Josh who spoke up with a bit of a giggle and said, "All of us"
Me: GUYS! I bought this for Dad cause it's his favorite. WHY would you think it's OK to just pick out the chocolate pieces?!
TJ: I like chocolate
(Even Jake who was in the other room overheard and started laughing)

3. Sunday. It was a Sunday morning and after getting Naomi and TJ breakfast I was telling them it was time to take a bath.
TJ: Why right now? I want to watch something (on TV).
Me: Nope. It's Sunday. No TV right now.
Me: Because it's time to get ready for church.
TJ: But church takes TOO LONG!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


1. LOVE. We just had our celebration of love weekend- celebrated TJ's birthday, Jake's birthday and Valentines Day. I'm so thankful for all the love that surrounds me. I have a kind husband and sweet kiddos, plus extended family and good friends. I'm so blessed.

2. Speaking of TJ- the I love to hear this kid's thoughts. Lately he's been telling us about dreams and things. Jake and him got on the subject of what he wants to be when he grows up the other day and he said, "Maybe a dad.... or a Paw Patrol" (Paw Patrol is his favorite cartoon right now). Jake asked, "What does a Paw Patrol do?" and TJ responded, "Uh.... SAVES THE DAY!"

3. Pioneers. Jake and I have been asked to be Ma and Pa for a ward youth trek this summer. In gearing up we're reading "The Price We Paid" and had to select some pioneer names to trek for (We are choosing James and Mary Ann Mellor). Just starting to get into it, but the stories of the sacrifice and faith of these early saints are very faith promoting.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I have a home.

No, we didn't buy a new house, but I've been thinking about how grateful I am that I have a HOME. I'm sure what makes a house a home is a bit different for everyone, but I'm thankful for the following things that I feel make our house a home:

1. Prayers. We are not perfect about family and personal prayers around here, but there's no doubt that there ARE A LOT of prayers said in this house. Over meals, in the mornings, in the evenings, because we've lost something, to ask for forgiveness, or ask for blessings on those we love. Yes- our home has lots of prayers.

2. "I love you". It's said all the time around here. Verbally. Out loud we say it over and over. We even try and come up with new ways of expressing just HOW MUCH we love each other. It's a good thing for our home.

3. Laughter. We don't take ourselves too silly around here. We giggle, crack up, snicker, and even bust a gut on a pretty regular basis.

4. We clean. Again- NOT PERFECT. But kids know that if they want to make mom happy (and get something they want) then picking up, setting the table, helping with dishes, cleaning a toilet or vacuuming a floor, etc., etc., is a good idea. My kids know that though it's not fun, it's part of being a family and showing each other that we love our home.

5. We make messes too. At the same time I'm not such a neat freak that we're not allowed our share of messes either. Kids play, and kids make messes. Things get spilled, broken and strung all over. I often have to remind myself that finding Naomi's collection of rocks, picked flowers, feathers, shells and more is part of her. Finding the boys' legos here and there around the house means they are creating and building, and TJ's foot prints all over means he is climbing and trying to keep up with the rest of us.

6. Family and friends. I am perhaps most thankful that our house is often home to family and friends. They come to party with us, to hang with us, to stay and play with us. Jake and I said from day 1 that we wanted our home to feel inviting and welcoming to guests. I'm thankful for those who share and make memories with us here.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Mini Moments

1. Naomi says the cutest things. The other night she was snuggling up to Jake and could hear his heart "beeping" and they had a conversation that went like this:
 Naomi: "Dad, I think it's Jesus trying to talk to you."
Jake: "Oh really?! What do you think He's trying to tell me?"
Naomi: "That you need to tell Dekker he should be nice to his sister!"

2. She loves us all so much. Lately Naomi has been hit by the love bug. She is always telling us she loves us. Lists us and her love for us in prayers, is sad if she's still asleep when Jake leaves for work and doesn't get a kiss goodbye, and even when she's mad at me for not letting her do/have something she'll yell or get mad, but then say, "But I still love you Mom".

3. Fascination with nature. Every morning Naomi goes outside to check on our flowers and plants. Especially our strawberry plants. She loves finding new white flowers or ripe strawberries. And she loves finding and catching ants, lady bugs, rolly pollies, etc. I'm trying to encourage all of this as much as possible by having her help in the garden, and I bought an apple tree, a peach tree, blueberry plant and grape start all to keep her interested. I'm guessing the blueberry plant and grapes won't do so well, even though they are "harty versions for my zone", but it's worth a go.

Friday, June 6, 2014

In Summer!

(nod to Frozen)

1. Great school, good students. I love the teachers at JR Smith. I know Dekker's teacher especially just LOVES Dekker, and all the kids she teaches. Dekker was telling me how she was crying on the last day as they all left. Both kids came home with fantastic final report cards and perfect next year teacher assignments. It's so nice to feel good about where I'm sending my kids each day, who they are with, and all that they are learning.

2. Slumber parties in Dekker's room. Dekker has two twin beds and a full sized futon in his room. When we have lots of guests often the kids all end up piled up in his room. On weekends (I don't let them do it on school nights) Naomi and Josh end up in there a lot of the time too. Naomi was so excited for it to be summer in large part so that she can sleep in Dekker's room. I think it's so cute the way they all go in there and read or tell stories or play games. What a fun memory that will be for all of them.

3. Helper Josh. I love having my kids home for summer, but it is a bit of an adjustment for all of us. We unplugged the xbox and said no electronics (except by special/occasional permission) for the summer. At times it seems like it would be so much easier to just let them veg out- but they really are happier when they get outside and/or use their imagination. When we do get frustrated with each other, or I just get overwhelmed (TJ doesn't like having to share me with the rest of them so much) Josh steps in and helps out. He makes quesadillas, reads stories to the kids, helps clean- or the other day he was reading this book of mine about fun kitchen snacks/activities for kids and the next thing I knew he was making "banana snakes" and "dinosaur footprint sandwiches" for everyone!