Friday, December 21, 2012

Party, party, party!

Let me just review the events of the last week or so...

Friday the 14th- Magellan Christmas party (Rachael- one of my laurels from a long time back- watched the kids and stayed the night). Saturday the 15th, Josh's 8th Birthday party in the afternoon, Neighborhood Christmas party in the Evening (Trish came up for Josh's Party and stayed til Monday morning). Sunday we had our family Christmas party here.  Monday we had a combined FHE with a few neighborhood families. Tuesday was Josh's 2nd grade program and I skipped the RS dinner to take Josh out for a family dinner celebrating his actual birthday. Wednesday we went to Dekker's Kindergarten program and to Clay's 30th Birthday party (kids went to Tio and Bryn's house). Yesterday was our mellow night- so we watched a Christmas movie with the kids. Today is the start of winter break for the kids. Josh had Brigham (his latest BFF) and then went with him and his family to see a movie, and Dekker invited his friend Braden over. Tomorrow we are going over to the Eaton family's for dinner and games. Sunday we're having Brea and Tom and Elise (cousin on Jake's side) and her boyfriend and hopefully another of Jake's cousin over for dinner. Then Monday is Christmas Eve (possibly getting together with my cousins again) and Tuesday Christmas!

1. Friends and family. I am SOOSOSOSO thankful that we are surrounded by such good friends and family. We may not have parents nearby- but we have such kind loving friends and family that make this season enjoyable.

2. Additional activities. We've also been making and taking gifts (as well as receiving  to neighbors, teachers, and friends. We are doing the 12 days of Christmas for one neighbor- and Josh loves to knock and hide each night and wait to hear their "Merry Christmas, Whoever you are!" each time.

3. Baptismal preparation. I was able to witness Josh's interview by the bishop for his worthiness to be baptized. I got tears a couple different times. Josh is very excited, and VERY prepared. He was so excited to talk to the Bishop about his testimony and the things he's been learning in preparation for his baptism. He explained the dispensations of times in a way the Bishop "had never heard and 8 year old explain so well before".

I love this busy time of year!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

My kids are cute

1. Heard in the car yesterday:
Dekker: I have so many friends. Christian, Nathan, Logan, Ethan, Stevie...
Josh: Crystal!
Dekker: Yeah, I guess Crystal too
Josh: She's your GIRLFRIEND.
Dekker: No she's not. She has a crush on me- but I broke that love!


2. Most morning I bring Titus in to bed to nurse before getting up. He lays next to me and has his breakfast- then when he's done he rolls over- scoots up to Jake and gives him "boob-warmed kisses" (that's what Jake calls them) right on the mouth. Jake says its his favorite way to wake up.

3.  We love Naomi- but she can be a grumpy pants. She lights to cry and whine to get things- a lot of times when we ask why she's crying she says, "You made me sad!" We've been trying to teach her lately that she needs to "choose to be happy and smile". Well, sometimes during they day if I'm working on something or frustrated with something I must make my own "frowny face" because I'll be in the middle of something and she'll tell me, "Mom, be HAPPY! Be happy to me!" Always a good reminder.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Photo Book

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Where did summer go?

This summer has gone by incredibly fast. I could sit here and write about so many things from this summer that I'm thankful for. I hate that I'm always playing catch up on this blog anymore! Instead I'll just write what I'm thinking about right now.

1. Josh is in 2nd grade! My first born is getting so big. It's a little sad to have him gone for so much of each day again- be we had such a jam packed full of fun summer that I don't feel too bad about it. In fact, the timing is pretty good since things just started winding down and I started to hear the "Mom- what can we do for fun now?" a lot. At least they don't say "I'm bored!".

2. Dekker is going into Kindergarten! He doesn't start until next Tuesday. So these few days where Josh goes and he doesn't are hard on him. He misses his play buddy. The nice thing is that he plays more and much nicer with Naomi when Josh isn't around- and she loves that. Sending Dex to Kindergarten won't be nearly as hard as it was to send Josh- since he went to preschool 4 days a week last year- it's really just one more day a week. And then I get time to focus more on my little two.

3. Father's Blessings. Tonight for FHE Jake gave Josh and Dekker there blessings. Naomi wanted a "turn" too. She sat up on the stool and folded her arms and squeezed her eyes shut and bowed her head for the whole time. I couldn't help but peak. I felt an overwhelming love from our Heavenly Father for this, the only baby girl in our family. It really was distinct. I'm so happy she's part of our home.

I love my family.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Trip to California

1. Safe travels. The Tahoe passed 110k miles on our trip. Some of the weather stripping came loose, at one point the thermostate on the drivers side wouldn't work right, Naomi stuck something in and broke our DVD player, and by the end of the trip our car was a MESS- but there were no major car issues, and we had safe roads and travel- so I am very thankful for that.

2. Jake caught the Disney bug! Jake had never been to Disneyland and wasn't super excited to go. With his bad ankle all he could imagine was being uncomfortable standing in lines all day. Since he's just a big kid at heart though, I knew that once I got him there he'd have fun. That was the truth. He had a blast and even ended up being the one hurrying our kids onto as many rides as possible. And once we learned how to manage a line time app and fast passes- we really didn't have to do too much standing in line anyway.

3. Minnie meets Minnie. It was cute when at our Character Breakfast our Minnie met Minnie. She was being very shy of course and didn't want to get close to her- but she made the connection I guess, because later when we were in one of the gift shops she found some Minnie ears and latched onto them and wouldn't let go. She also sweet talked her dad into buying her a little Minnie pin. Oh- and  another favorite Minnie moment was on the first day when Jake let her pick out a sucker- as they were walking to the register she found a GIANT one, and without taking her eyes off of it she handed the smaller one back to Jake and with a big grin grabbed the big one!

4. Dekker at CARS LAND. Dekker LOVES the CARS movies and all things cars really- so when he found out CARS LAND would be opening two week before we got there he got super excited. That's where the lines were the longest of course- but luckily he has a sweet aunt and cousin who were kind enough to go first thing in the morning to stand in line and get fast passes for the Speedway ride. They got there as early as they could, stood in line for 45 minutes and the fast passes were STILL not till 4:40 that evening. We got to go though and it was Dekker's favorite ride.

5. Just tall enough. Josh was just tall enough to go on all the big roller coaster rides. The first one we took him on was California Screamin. He was so nervous- but such a good sport. Jake talked him into doing a lot of them. He said in the end that Star Tours and Space Mountain were his favorites.

6. Family, family, and more family! We got to see Mom and Denny, Garrett & Rachel with Charlie, Kari, and Kjerstin at Disneyland. Then we headed up to my Dad's for the forth. It was SO GOOD to see Kjerstin there talking to her dad again (Brian). And we got to see Brian and Erin, Sera and Shaun, my DAD and his crazy beard.

7. Enjoyed the Bybee Ranch. It'll be interesting to see what happens with that place. My dad still has it listed, but with all his retirement wrapped up in it, and the supressed real estate market, who knows if he'll ever get an offer that will be attractive enough to actually let go of the place. I know that when we are all there and enjoying it- he remembers why he worked so hard to buy and establish the place- but when he's there all alone dealing with the maintenance, finances, and legalities- it's another story. So it was great to be there and make more memories in that beautiful, magical place. We had fun fetching eggs from the chickens, picking raspberries, catching frogs, trying paddle boards, swimming, skiing, canoeing, jumping on the trampoline, playing in the sand pit, picking flowers, walking the vineyards and watching the sunset.

8. Visiting friends. My good friend from high school, Camille, and her family live in the bay area now. So she and her family came up and spent the 4th of July with us. She had her baby just two and a half weeks before so I got to meet her little tiny one. One the way home we also stopped in Reno for a break and visited Rebecca, who was my "companion" for the semester I spent in Guatemala. I haven't seen her in years- and so it was fun to catch up with her as well.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Memorial Day weekend

Before I get to our Memorial Day weekend...

1. Karina is back from her mission! She got back April 19th. She went home to Washington first of course, but came and stayed here with us May 7-18th. It was so great to catch up with her and reminisce on mission life. Jake was called to be our ward mission leader right before she got here too- so that was pretty cool. We had a little BBQ here in her honor. Took her shopping. And she helped watch the kids while I worked on our front yard and Jake and I got to go out on a date!

2. Rain can be good. It was cool, windy and rainy most Fri-Sun of Memorial Day weekend- but we still had fun Saturday we went up to the air show at Hill Air Force Base. On our drive there we worried maybe it was a bad idea because it was a hard downpour, but by the time we got there it had lightened up, so we decided to get out the umbrellas and jackets and at least go see a couple ground displays. The boys had a blast tromping through puddles and using an umbrella, and by the time we got on the base it had stopped raining and they began the air show. Since most people had left by then, due to the rain, we had front row spots! It was a lot of fun, even if some of them were really loud.

3. I'm thankful for my country and freedoms. We live near a cemetery, and since Memorial Day the place is COVERED in flowers. It is such a great reminder to think of those who have past, especially those who have died protecting our country and freedoms. Oh, and for Mother's Day Kari and I took some white lilies to Bradley's grave for my mom.

4. Nice weather! On Monday we finally had sunshine and warmer temperatures. Jake went golfing in the morning. Bryn and Jesus came by in the afternoon to tell us about their Europe trip and enjoy a little BBQ. Then we took the boat out for our first time this year in the evening. The boys dropped their poles in and tried (unsuccessfully) to catch some fish. The kids had fun sitting on the back deck of the boat and dipping their feet in. It was a beautiful evening- even if it did end with me dropping my cell phone into the lake!

5. New phone. At least the timing was right for me to have a credit for a new phone on our cell phone plan! The new EVO just came out, and so I looked into that- but it looked as if they were hard to get, and even with my phone credit it was going to be expensive. I found the fury though, that fit my cell phone needs just fine- so Jake went and picked one up for me yesterday.

6. Our front yard is looking so much better! After the excavation we paid someone to come and do the grading, topsoil, and some cleanup and decorative rock placement. Jake put in a few spicket heads so that we could run a basic above ground sprinkler system. Then we had to do some more of the topsoil moving, build planter boxes, plant trees, starts, and seeds. We're starting to see things sprout up, our sod is finally mostly green (for a while we were worried when about half of it looked like it'd died), and it's actually looking pretty nice!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Busy times

1. Garrett, Racheal and Charlie came to visit! They came for conference weekend- sort of. Racheal had a mission companion from South Africa who was going to be in town, and so they came to see her, us, and some other friends. It was so nice to visit with them! I guess that's the nice thing about being far away from family- you appreciate the time you DO get with them even more.

2. Yard excavation. We had our front yard excavated. The dug out the front yard and put in rock steps and a new rock wall. It opens up our yard SO much! We were all kinda mesmerized by the backhoe too- pretty cool to see all that rock and dirt moved around. Now we have to put in our spickets off of the secondary water source so we can plant grass and other stuff. Lots of work, but it's great to see much more potential.

3. Titus' blessing and Easter. We had both of Jake's sets of parents here. I was a little nervous- but it worked out well. The blessing was beautiful! Dot, Brea and I went shopping up at the outlets while the boys went fishing. Dot offered to buy me something new to wear for the blessing. I was SO happy when I actually found something at Banana Republic that fits my current body, that I can nurse in, that I'll be wear even after losing the rest of the baby weight, and that is flattering now! We did a BBQ and made taquitos Saturday night, and our traditional leg of lamb dinner on Sunday. Tio & Bryn, Brea and Tom, and Trish all came for the blessing too. It was a great weekend.

4. General Conference was amazing. A bit out of order- but really- I LOVED so many of the talks I heard, and the spirit I felt. I need to start going back and listening/reading them again, cause there was just SO MUCH that I felt was just for me!

5. TJ's smiles! I got nervous when Titus didn't seem to be making eye contact a lot- but then he started getting better. Then I was nervous because he hadn't smiled yet- but now he is doing that too. I'd read that you need to adjust milestone expectations for premature babies, but I was still nervous. I even got Jake nervous about the possibility of autism. I guess you never really can know this early- but it's been such a relief to have TJ locking eyes with us and smiling more each day.

6. Time with Minnie. Before TJ was born I tried to treasure moments with my baby girl. She can be a handful though- and it wasn't always easy. However, we started a habit of her taking showers with me. It was much easier than worrying about what she might get into while I was showering! At first she would just sit on the bench mostly out of the water and wait for me. Then she started copying me and wanting the wash cloth or pumas stone and stepping into the spray a bit. Then one day she reached up and wanted me to hold her. Something about that skin to skin time is just precious. Lately she doesn't get in the shower with me as regularly as she used to- but when she does she still reaches up to me for some snuggle time. She lays her head on my shoulder and I just treasure it. Oh how I love my little girl!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Our Family of 6!

1. Titus is born! It was quite the adventure, the way TJ came- but we are so happy he is here, healthy and so SO sweet!

2. "Minnie". This is what Naomi calls herself since she can't really say "Naomi". I think it's so cute, that now I've even started calling her that sometimes!

3. A sweet big brother. Dekker LOVES Titus. It's really sweet to see him adore the baby. He's also been better about playing with and being kind to Naomi lately.

4. Mr. Independent. Josh is so grown up. Sometimes he's a little too confident in his independence (he thinks he knows everything!). But he does a lot more for himself and is a great helper!

5. My sweet hubby. Jake has been SO GOOD to me lately. Even more attentive and sensitive to me and our family's needs. I'm so thankful for my partner and friend.

6. I can do it! Having four kids is busy, but we've been managing thanks to the great teamwork of this family, as well as the help and support of extended family and friends. I'm thankful for my body, mind, and spirit that keep me going each day. Even though life is busy, I find myself happy and content more often than not, and for that I am VERY thankful.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Heber Life

1. Elementary fundraiser. This week was "teachers at the Train". Tue-Thur teachers from the JR Smith worked evening shifts at Dairy Keen ("home of the Train"), and all the profits go to the teacher's classroom budgets. It worked out great that both Dekker's preschool teacher, and Josh's 1st grade teacher were working the same night. So tonight we all went to "the train" for dinner. It was seriously fun! The principal was there blowing up balloons for all the kids, Josh and Dekker got to see their teachers, as well as lots of friends from their classes. We entered a raffel for a bike, and ate our meal while watching the train do circles around the restaurant. It was fun too to see a lot of people from our neighborhood and ward. We seriously said hello to at least 5 other families we know. I can't believe how cute and "small town" the fundraiser was!

2. Bald eagles in the back yard. This was a while ago, but we had bald eagles hanging out in the trees behind our house. I saw one sitting there early one morning, but it was gone by the time I grabbed the camera. The boys saw it with me, but I could tell Jake was skeptical. Then a couple days later, during lunch Dekker came and grabbed me and said it was there again. When I went to look we actually saw TWO, and a hawk circling overhead. Later we found out there was a dead dear in one of the nearby vacant lots, and so that's why they were all there that day. The largest of the two bald eagles sat in the trees at almost eye level the whole time we sat eating lunch though. I swear it was staring me down. It was pretty darn cool!

3. Ski lessons for Josh. We got Josh into the "Start Now" program up at Park City Mountain Resort. It's for Utah residents, and only $200 for 5 lessons- which includes day passes and rentals for each day of lessons. Since the Park City is just a hop skip and a jump away, it hasn't been too hard at all to get him up there- and so far he LOVES it. Better yet, the schools here have an after school ski program that starts in second grade, so if we can get him comfortable enough this year, maybe he can do that next year!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dekker turns 5!

1. Oh how I love my Dekkerman!
I can't believe he is 5 years old. Okay, I kinda can, because he started counting down to his Birthday back in November when we were celebrating Naomi's. Five really is a big and exciting one though, and I think it turned out pretty perfect. It started out with a pancake in the shape of a #5, then he got to take Oreo-pops to his preschool class as a treat. When I picked him up I told him I'd take him to lunch wherever he chose (McDonald's- with the play space of course). Then he got to play Dance Central on the X-Box, and when Josh got home we loaded up, picked up his friend Trevor and headed to Chuck E Cheese for the real party! We had lots of other friends meet us there. Jake put together the requested Batman cake- and he LOVED meeting Chuck E Cheese and the Ticket Blaster and everything else that made up the party. He was all smiles the whole day. I was exhausted by the end of it, but it was worth it to see this guy who's been counting down for so long, so happy! (Not that 'happy' comes from such worldly things, but when you're a kid, certain moments can be truly magical. Your fifth Birthday is one of them).

2. Facebook notes to Dekker:

Brian Snowone Bybee likes this.

Natalie Bush Dekker, you are such a sweet boy! You are always so happy to see friends, it makes them feel very welcome and special! Happy 5th!!
Yesterday at 9:23am · Like

Becca Farwell Happy Birthday Dex! Always love your smilles and hugs! Hope you have a fun day. See you soon. Love, Aunt Trish.
Yesterday at 9:34am · Like

Christine Jackson Dekkerman you are such a happy, handsome, awesome guy!We love you so so much!! Have a super fun birthday. Our gift to you is in the mail...
Yesterday at 9:34am · Like

Christine Jackson Love, GrammaChris and Papa Denny (your fellow car-lover)
Yesterday at 9:35am · Like

Jackie DeCocq Pedersen Dekker! Happy birthday! You always make me grin when I see you at preschool and you're full of smiley hellos!
Yesterday at 10:04am · Like

Jackie DeCocq Pedersen ‎(oh. My. Gosh... He is ridiculously cute.)
Yesterday at 10:04am · Like

Angela Ritchie Happy Birthday from Logan! We need to play soon! - Logan
Yesterday at 4:31pm · Like

Leah Runyan McQuigg Happy Birthday Dekker James! We love you SSSSOOOOO much. Love Kylie, Dallin, Chloe, Auntie Leah (the awesome one), and Uncle Cliff.
Yesterday at 5:17pm · Like

Jenny Runyan Dear dekker,
Happy birthday! You turned 5 so fast-you are lucky! I miss you! I wish I could stay at your house longer next time. What did you get for your birthday? You are my best cousin. I love you.
From mckyla
Yesterday at 8:20pm · Like

Marcia Koseki Barrand Dear Dekker,
15 hours ago · Like

Marcia Koseki Barrand Happy Birthday! Lucas says: I hope you have a good present! You can come to our house. from your friend Lucas

3. "I love you, Mom". "You do?! Wow, I am one lucky Mama!"
I've mentioned before that I'm thankful the words "I love you" are spoken so frequently and openly in our home. I guess the fear with that is that then they become just words, or not greatly appreciated. Well, one of the ways we avoid that is in how we respond when we hear it- by not always just saying "I love you too". When one of the boys tells me they love me I sometimes respond by acting really surprised. "You DO?!!" I say, and when they nod or say "yes" I say "WOW! I am one lucky Mama to have such a (and I add in something I love about them)___ boy love me!" Well, I guess Dekker really likes it when I do that- cause a few times now when he's told me he loves me and I've replied with a simple "I love you too Dekker" he's said, "No Mom- don't say that, say 'You DO??!" and so then we start over and I make sure to tell him how lucky I feel to have such a sweet little guy like him choose to love me!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I wasn't so good at keeping this blog up to date in 2011. Here's to hoping I can do better in 2012!

1. New Years Eve. We were invited to an adults only party just down the road. I'd watched Bucky for Megan earlier in the day, and she offered to take my kids for a sleep over that night so we could go out. It ended up being 11 couples that went to the party. They had fondue, played some simple games and wrang in the new year. I think that's more than I've done to celebrate the New Year for a long time. We had a lot of fun.

2. Another fun date. Jake and I were able to go to a Jazz game together. One of the insurance carriers had seats that they gave to Magellan. They have two sets of seats, so we shared them with Lou and his wife, and Scott and his wife- the first half we sat in row 14 (I think?), and the second half we were on the floor underneath the hoop! We also got to go back to a buffet room for snacks at half time. The Jazz haven't done as well this year- but the game was against the Hornetts, and they won!

3. My Joshers. I posted this on my Facebook page on Josh's Birthday: "7 years ago today Jake and I welcomed our first child into this world. I can't imagine life without this guy around. I'm so thankful for the great leader and example he is to his younger siblings. For the smiles he knows how to so easily provoke, for his tenderness, for his inquisitive mind, and for his laugh. We love you Joshua Daniel!" And I wanted to not the responses:

People who like this

Angela Stratton Jones
Natalie Bush
Keisha King Knight
Airy Zamora Morris
Lori Christler Chase
Karen Knight
Brynna Haddock
Deanna Lamadrid-Jensen
Kate Williams Dixon
Sera Elisabeth Bybee
Shaun Bybee
Jessica Duckett Finnigan
Sandra Dunham
Brian Snowone Bybee

Christine Jackson Who doesn't absolutely love this guy?!!!
December 18, 2011 at 5:18pm · Like

Christine Jackson Happy birthday Josh!!!!
December 18, 2011 at 5:20pm · Like

Jenny Runyan Yay! Happy birthday Josh! Can't wait to see you tomorrow!
December 18, 2011 at 5:42pm · Like

Karen Knight HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Josh!
December 18, 2011 at 5:45pm · Like

Bri Phillips Hoopes Nope, that's impossible!
December 18, 2011 at 6:52pm · Like

Cherolyn Hill Rowland I don't know him very well but one morning I was backing out of my driveway with my kids in the back on our way to school. Josh was on his way to the bus stop and he motioned for us to drive out while he patiently waited. Then he gave us all a couple really big wink winks. It was awesome.
December 18, 2011 at 9:12pm · Like

Roxi Moncur Oh how i miss Josh in Primary. He would say the funniest cleverest things!
December 18, 2011 at 10:07pm · Like

Becca Farwell Happy birthday Joshers!!!! Definitely one of the sweetest boys I know. I am blessed to know him :).
December 18, 2011 at 10:28pm · Like

Rachael Hortin Happy Birthday Josh!!!
December 18, 2011 at 10:32pm · Like