Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Benson went to nursery all by himself! He loved it. When I dropped him off, he just stood there, vigorously sucking on his binky while I casually walked away before he headed for the toys. When I picked him up, he was just sitting on the floor, vigorously sucking on his binky while they blew bubbles over his head. He looked at me like "oh, hey." This is the picture he drew:
That's right. He gave Thomas S. Monson a 'stache. The kids are even prouder of it then he is. First they put it on the fridge, but by that night Kate had taped it in the stairwell like a prized piece of art. Pretty cute. The next morning he wadded it up, took a bite out of it, and that was the end of that. 
Yesterday morning in the time it took me to use the restroom he ate a fourth a cube of butter and then painted his hands, face, the floor, the door, and the stairs in butter. He was so happy. I couldn't even be upset, I was just so darn impressed by his speed and gastrointestinal fortitude. This kid. Here he is right after the butter incident, hanging out in his clubhouse and eating the teddy grahams he'd dumped all over. 
We've had a bug at our house. Kate had it, then Liv has been yucky the last couple days and had to come home from school early today. Yesterday was Benson's day. He was such an angel despite feeling yucky. But have you seen the movie 'Here Comes The Boom' with the projectile vomit? That was him last night. Just stood there and epically barfed twice. Then toddled off in search of the keyboard he plays with, perfectly happy again. Yuck! Parenting is dirty work. 
Yesterday there were snow flurries on the way to school! The kids were SO EXCITED. Olivia yelled out "You're welcome, Las Vegas!" Like we had something to do with it. I think they take the credit because we came from Kansas City so we must have brought it with us. So exciting. 
Saturday Trina and my dear friends Shawna and Jodi came and spent the whole day. It was perfectly magical! We laughed our heads off and talked, talked, talked. The kids had just as much fun as I did! You (the collective you) should not underestimate having friends, if you have them. They are a good thing and when you don't really have them, it can be pretty sad! I felt loved that they would come. 
Since February has arrived (hallelujah!) That means I've been hanging little love notes the last two nights. I jerked awake at 1:30 this morning because someone was in my room. It was Olivia! She'd woken up in the middle of the night to make me some hearts of my own and was taping them to the wall. Both terrifying and so, so adorable. 
They say "I love your jokes" and "I love the way you cuddle."
So I guess you could say I'm pretty lucky. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Park

I am lacking in motivation today. Does that ever happen to you? It's like the mess just mocks me. Geeeetttt uuuuuppp and cleeeeaaannn meeee, Maaaarrriieeeee. And the laundry! Curse you, laundry! But I don't have any motivation. It will just be there again as soon as the public school system releases the children back into my care. And my husband, who is not aware of it but definitely is a "clean house and dinner on the table" type of man, will come home and wonder what the heck about the clutter. And I will resent that, because I've been going all day. So instead, I'll just sit here and chat with you instead of doing my job. Cool? Cool. 
I'm so glad we had this talk.
Benson is trying to reformulate his naps right now, and I'm against that. Just sleep, baby. Although yesterday as I was sitting on the floor playing cars with him I realized that yeah, he's definitely a toddler, not a baby. But since I'm 96.72% sure that he IS my baby in this family, he'll just have to deal with being called my baby. So, yeah... just sleep, baby. 
I did another sugar detox this month. Just because I could and it seemed like a good way to start the year. I also did one in October. This one was harder, but I think it's because I had a few extra treats with the holidays. About half way through the month, I was ready to throw in the towel. But I stayed strong and now I don't even know when I'll have a treat again, because it doesn't feel important. And it definitely won't be a big treat, because I don't need it. Something has shifted inside of me. When I decided at the end of September to change, I must have actually meant it this time -- cool. I'm taking care of myself and it feels good. And I finally refuse to be a slave to anything. Not soda. Not sugar. Nothing. It doesn't mean there is not a place for those things -- of course there is! But they are not the master of me. I am the master of me. And it feels great. I am also finally truly living the law of the fast and I know that is having a big effect on learning to master my physical body. It's like the Lord knows what he's doing or something! I also know I could quit at any time if I'm not diligent. But I don't ever want to go back to feeling that way again. So my health has my best effort. FINALLY! 
Monday we went to the park after school and had such a great time! 
I even played. I'm playing with my kids again!!! Hurray!!! They went crazy nuts for it. We were all over the playground and Olivia said "It must feel so good to you to feel like a kid again!" I've been thinking about that one ever since. We played tag on the field and then -- wait for it -- cartwheels! I did cartwheels! First successful cartwheel since about 2 in the morning with my cousin Mary Dawn and a bunch of boys on the BYU campus in July 2001. So kind of a big deal. It hurt at first, ha ha! But I can do it and I'm going to keep doing it. I'm going to be a grandma that does cartwheels! 
It was great. Progress. 
The other morning the Double B was making waffles. I was drinking my breakfast shake (I hate 'awful waffles' but love my shakes) at the table and Katelyn was sitting by me. Daddy put one on her plate and I said "what do you say?" She turned around and yelled as loud as she could "Livi and KJ, I got the first waffle!" Oh boy! This girl!!! Never a dull moment. I explained that I meant that she needed to thank Daddy, not tease her brother and sister. "Oh. Thanks, Dad." Ha ha. Oh, Katelyn. You make me laugh. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Katelyn's Big Day

Last night Katelyn came running in -- "I loosed my tooth! I loosed my tooth!" When we went to the dentist in December he told her she would lose her bottom two teeth pretty soon. "Dr. B was right!!!"
So exciting! She'd just been "giving it a wiggle, when it popped out!" She was so excited to share hugs and tell the whole family. My little heart went pitter-pat.
Around dinner time she started saying she didn't feel so good and didn't touch her plate. I knew where this was headed and got her a big bowl to carry around. Poor little baby had the stomach flu and didn't have such a great night after that. Olivia the little mother took extra special care of her, cuddling her on the couch, heating a heating pad, getting her drinks, and finally "making sure she was comfortable" in bed with all her favorite toys. 
Pretty crowded in there! I love her eyes in this one. Ha ha! 
True to form, KJ ran out of the room every time she was sick and Liv hunkered down helping hold the bowl. Katelyn was a trooper through out the ordeal! How I love these crazy little people. They fill my soul with happiness and give my life a beautiful purpose. 
I had the fairly dumb experience of being at the dentist for five and a half hours getting two shiny new crowns on and felt fairly miserable after, the Double B held down the fort all day and sweetly made dinner -- his specialty, fried potatoes. Yum. Benson was not interested in me at all when I got home, he was too busy helping Dad sweep. He'll drag that broom all over the planet. Then he went down for a nap at four and woke up at seven this morning! Then couldn't wait to go back down for his nap at nine. Guess he's tired! KJ had a wonderful time at Young Men's and everyone  went down for the night. 
Our male Tooth Fairy was in charge of the exchange last night since the female Tooth Fairy was in bed asleep. He found this under Kates pillow and graciously left it for us to see. 
Katee was on CLOUD NINE this morning with her first dollar from the Tooth Fairy, and thankfully felt great and happily went off to school. 

Monday, January 18, 2016


Saturday night KJ and Katelyn wanted to go to Hobby Lobby. KJ found these letters and specifically requested I take this picture of him. 
Which I did. 
i love it. Kind of captures his current self in one shot. 
The kids had the day off of school for MLK Day. We chillaxed and they were delighted to visit the dollar store. Happiness purchased for $3! That's a steal! 

Hairstyles And Rock Stars

After church today Olivia felt like she needed a rest, so she told Katelyn to set the timer for THREE HOURS, and then they could play. Katelyn came to spend those three hours with me while we checked the timer on my phone several times. But she never bothered Livi about it once! She was dedicated to the plan.
The timer went off right before dinner, so after we ate the ever-popular meatball stroganoff, they got busy chasing each other around the circle of walls downstairs and up and down stairs. It was pretty cute. After I finished the dishes and my sweetie pie worked on a loaf of bread (he's our bread maker, which is cute), I asked Kate if she wanted to watch the new video from Cute Girls Hairstyles on YouTube, which we love to do together -- it's one of our "things". She settled right in on the arm of the couch while KJ played his computer game and Liv played on the stairs with Benson. After picking out a couple of extras to watch, Liv wondered over and whispered in Kates ear. Then they ran up the stairs! The Double B finished and headed upstairs to cross stitch and KJ and I visited for awhile while Benson played until he was ready for bedtime. I got him changed and tucked into bed and went to visit with my sweetie for a minute after giving the kids their ten minute warning for bed. Then the most magical sound came down the halls -- my girls belting out their latest inspirational and favorite hit song at the top of their lungs "I'm gonna stand by you, even if we're breaking down..." -- lots of vocal trills and tricks to go along with it. I went to peak and Liv was diligently working on doing one of the bun tutorials we'd watched on Katelyn's hair. The only trouble is the girl in the video had thick brown hair and Kate has thin blond hair, which we know is a totally different rodeo. It was so cute to see them working hard on their secret plan.
Earlier tonight Liv said to me "I just don't know if Katelyn and I have had any quality time together today -- I think I'm going to make tomorrow a sisters day!" Katelyn will be thrilled with this news!
Being a Mom is a lot of hard work, but it's got some awesome perks! I love this little family of mine.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Hardest Part About Sunday

I have a conflict.

I love Sunday. I want Sunday to truly be the Sabbath Day in my mind and in my heart.
Also, I love primary. I'm good at primary.
More then primary, I love my children. They deserve my very best self.

The conflict is, by the time I get the children ready for church, get done being my most patient self with primary, and feed everyone, I am DONE. I'm out of patience. Out. Out of it. It is gone. So my kids get the mealy leftovers of Mom.
So often times, I'm after my kids all day because I used up what I had in primary. I have a sensory issue with noise that gets worse the older I get, and the noise of even my own four kids can deeply overwhelm me. The noise of a whole bunch of kids... is hard. It really scrambles my thoughts and upsets me a lot even though I have a smile on my face, so by the time I'm home, I often snap. I wish I was different, and I keep working on it. But what it really means is, for the last four years of this particular primary stint my kids get half (or a fourth or an eighth some Sundays) of a Mom on their Sabbath afternoon. No stories or cuddles, because I can't handle the simulation. I just want to be alone and tolerate company as best I can. I think that's why I sometimes feel discouraged that primary appears to be my auxiliary, because I'm afraid we'll always deal with this. I actually had to take anti-anxiety medication when I was called into primary again in August. My kids deserve a loving Sabbath Mom. But I'm being honest when I say that only some of it is in my control. Hard to explain, but still true. So I guess I'll keep working at what IS in my control.

I told the Lord I'd give everything I have in His service, and if that means giving up a little Sunday sanity, so be it! I will keep trying to dig deep into the reservoir of patience and will keep trying to be better every week. Working to find my own personal Sabbath Day in here, too.

Adventures With Tiny B

The Double B has had the last two days off, and it's been great, because he has had a front row seat to the adorable path of destruction our one-year-old can cause. He's been very impressed. 
Here's the thing: Benson is one happy, go-lucky guy, with only an occasional display of war-path temper. He's a doll. A pleasure. A busy, busy, busy man. He reminds me of all the stories I've heard of the Double B when he was a child. He just causes trouble without meaning to. And then he dumps the whole bag of veggie straws, and you can't even be mad, because it wasn't malicious. So you let him eat as much as he wants before sweeping them up. Yep. That's Benny. 
Yesterday morning he gave us quite a scare. I was upstairs cleaning our bedroom when I heard a sound downstairs -- I just knew he was choking. I ran down the stairs and the Double B had him upside down over the sink, pounding his back. He'd get a few half breathes, enough to groan in pain, then choke again. Horrible. I was finally able to swoop a pretzel out of his throat, but I don't know how, because it was lodged way down there. Heavenly Father blessed us, basically. It must have hurt so badly, because I had to reach my finger so far down his throat and dig and dig. So scary for all three of us -- it took quite a bit of manuevering between the Double B and I, but we were able to stay calm and talk to each other as we tried different things several times. When we finally got it out, all three of us were shaking and Benny and I were both crying as Daddy and I held him close! Not something you want to happen but so thankful it ended well. When I finally put him down to feed him breakfast, Olivia stayed right by him with her hand on his shoulder while he ate, wanting to stay close. He didn't mind! She came upstairs with me to put him down for a nap and told me she thought it was Heavenly Father that got the pretzel out of Benson's throat. I told her I agreed. I was praying hard and I knew Daddy was, too. She said "I was, too, Mom. I'm so thankful He answered our prayers!" Me, too. She'd been in the kitchen with us and it was very scary for her, too. I'm glad the Spirit witnessed to her that our Heavenly Father cares for us. I know He does in all outcomes in our lives. 
He also had to have a haircut last night. Rough day for Benson! He sure looks cute, though. 
We are so thankful for this mischievous boy and will happily lose many bags of food that he dumps out! He puts the spice in life, that is for sure!