A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Baby!

The last two years have flown by with our sweet, sweet baby Austin! He is such a joy to our family. A little tease, yes, but definitely the most laid-back, easy-going baby one could ever imagine. We sure love our little Aussie and had a fun day celebrating his birthday.

With it being Sunday we had church first thing in the morning, and then he naps right after church. I had a couple of meetings after church (one for each calling), so I was a little worried about finishing the cake. (Yes, a prepared mom would have done it on Saturday. I felt accomplished having it baked on Saturday night.) Then we had some frosting problems, but needless to say, I was happy with the results anyway. And, as you can see, so was Austin. This was his first time to see the cake:

Little side note: When Paul went to get him out of the crib he had taken off his socks and put them on his hands. He thought it was so hilarious he wouldn't take them off:

Yes! He loves his Mickey Mouse:

At first (before food in the tummy) he wasn't too happy about opening gifts. But once he got some food/milk in this tum-tum, he was soooo happy:
Austin, meet Mickey ...

Elephant, poofy dog and frog

To much cuteness!

Yup, having my own Mickey is a-okay!

Beanie babies are fun!
Then came blowing out candles. He wasn't so hip on it until we lit them for the third time. Then he got into the blowing:

Happy, happy birthday Austin! We sure do love you!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Gearing up for Disneyland!

So, after this post you might think I'm crazy (assuming you're not already thinking that). My boys are sooooo excited about Jedi training and want to be able to do it twice. So, I decided the best way for them to be chosen is to be wearing shirts that can easily identify them. (They can't say, "The kid in the blue shirt" or they'll have 20 kids show up. But I've seen them say, "The kid with the Darth Vader shirt.") So we made shirts.

I asked the kids what sayings they wanted, and I came up with a few of my own. Needless to say, if they don't get chosen on a couple of days I might have to kick a storm trooper or something ... ;)

Here they are:
Tyler is hoping to fight Darth Maul with this shirt :)

What's your midi-chlorian count?

A line by Princess Leia, but we can't go and put her name on a boys' shirt

Of course, once all the fun began Shayla wanted a shirt, too, but definitely not a Star Wars shirt. I finally talked her out of her initial choice ("I love Mom"), and we ended up with this:

Oh, and I made them their own autograph books. Here are the covers:
Is it right for a parent to be as excited (or more so) than her kids to go to Disneyland? :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shoe Woes

Last month Tyler complained about his shoes. Turns out playing basketball with shoes as smooth as butter on the bottom isn't so great ... especially when they call you for traveling when you didn't mean to. I had thought his shoes were okay, but the tread was gone. Zachary's on the other hand, well, I knew they were needing to be replaced:
I'm not even sure you can see in the picture how bad they were. They are completely open between the "fire" on the toe and the rest of the shoe. So any time it rains or snows, he gets the whole top of his feet wet. Yes, the top. What worried me most was those wires hanging out. (Yes, the little red and white lines there are wires.) Not only did the shoes no longer light up after getting wet, but I started to wonder if there were safety concerns. Besides, Zachary doesn't like wires getting caught in his socks.

I sought recommendations on good boys' shoes. Of course, all of the recommendations I got are a bit more expensive. I decided we'd just run to Kmart for now and get Tyler some new shoes to end the basketball season with. That was 38 days ago. Here are Zachary's new shoes today:
REALLY?!? The irony of the whole thing is that the shoe brand is "Everlast." If only ...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


We had a cub scout magic show at our house, and it was a big hit! Each of my cubs prepared a magic trick (fortunately we found some good, easy ones) and they put on a show for their families. I also arranged for a boy in our ward (Mick) to come do his magic -- he performs at shows in SLC and agreed to come show the kids some tricks. He did GREAT! I told him that as long as I'm in cub scouts I'm calling him once a year to come do this for our magic show. (He may or may not be safe as I've been in cub scouts for more than six years straight now ... :)

Anyway, Mick was great at involving the kids and shocking us all. I know it's all about illusion, but magicians still get me every time!

I love the shocked look on the faces of kids when they saw Mick's tricks. Of course, my face probably looked much the same ... :)

Life Reminders

Last month Zachary was walking home from school when another kid started pestering/bullying another. Zachary stepped in to help the kid and told the bully to back off. The bully didn't like his interference and therefore picked up a rock the size of a small apple and aimed it at Zachary's head. Fortunately my little sweetie was wearing his glasses or he could have been severely hurt and had eye damage. As it was, his glasses (which were one week beyond being under warranty -- grrr!) were VERY bent and chipped. Zachary was very upset about his glasses, but I was so pleased with him for standing up for someone who wasn't as big or strong as my not-so-little guy.
REMINDER: I have great kids! I don't need to worry so much about dirty socks and underwear on the floor or not having a clean house most of the time. I need to remember to praise them more and let them know that they are true gifts in my life. 

A couple of weeks ago Shayla had an accident that was severe enough to need medical attention. We debated back and forth about taking her in and finally felt like we needed to have her seen. What a blessing it is that we did! While the doctor checked her, he found another serious condition that needs immediate treatment. Had we not found it, it would have lowered her quality of life in many ways and possibly lead to cancer. What a blessing for her to have this accident, even though there was much pain involved.
REMINDER: The Lord works in mysterious ways. He will inspire is as needed, so listen up! And health is oh, so valuable. Cherish it!

Several months ago our dear friend Scotty was riding his bike home from work when he was hit by a car from behind. The force of him hitting the pavement broke his neck, and he was rushed to the hospital. He was blessed beyond measure that even though he broke vertebra in both the front and the back he is able to walk. (This is highly unusual.) I have thought much about his recovery and the strength it has taken for him and his wife to overcome this trial ... which they are obviously still doing. They're both amazing and have more strength than they ever realized. It was so shocking to hear of his accident, but glorious to know that eventually he will be restored to health.
REMINDER: Life is valuable -- appreciate every moment of it, because it can end or change dramatically at any moment.

Very shortly after Scotty's accident there was a train accident here in town that took the lives of three teenage girls and shocked the community (and beyond). Two were nieces of a neighbor, and he was one of the first on the scene after the horrible accident. He saw them moments before the accident and then the next time he came by happened upon the scene. Just like that, they were gone. The other girl was the daughter of a woman I worked with for years on the PTA, and whose son I coached in soccer. (She also happens to be a niece of a different neighbor.) The community mourned heavily for this devastating loss. Although it has been months, many of us still think often of those girls, whether we knew them or not. The mom of one of them spoke in our stake conference (church meeting) last week about eternal families and how grateful she is to know that she will see her daughter again. She has been so blessed with this knowledge!
REMINDER: Families are forever. We are so blessed to have this knowledge and to have the sealing power of the priesthood on the earth. I know that no matter what, my husband and kids are mine forever.

Tonight I found out that my cousin Jennifer has been given six weeks or less to live. She has fought a long, hard, valiant battle with type 3B cervical cancer. Mind you, we have been so grateful she has been able to fight this long since we were told two years ago that she wasn't expected to make it to Thanksgiving. And although we have known she has a short time left throughout her battle, it is still quite shocking considering she is exactly my age. She is so young to die. Her children are so young to lose their mother. Jennifer made it to her daughter's baptism a few months ago, which initially seemed like it would be impossible. I believe it was one of those tender mercies.
REMINDER: The Lord is at the helm of our lives. Live each day with His help, because you never know when He'll want to call you home.

All of these recent events have got me thinking even more than usual about how precious life is. Each and every moment is a blessing from our Heavenly Father. It is easy to forget that when your children are screaming, fighting or just plain ol' ornery! However, I know I would even miss those moments if they were taken from me. Of course, this is not always to remember when "those" moments are happening! But I hope more and more I can cherish and make the most of each day with my wonderful husband and kids.

We are already at the point where we'll say goodbye to Becca in a few months when she heads off to college. As a mother of only 10.5 years and a mother to Becca for only 7 years, I'm not quite sure I'm ready to send her off to college. But I guess that's the way it works. Fortunately, though, in this case she'll just be leaving the cocoon and learning to spread her wings ... and I'm sure she will fly home often for plenty of visits. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I love this girl!

"There is just something about little girls." My mom said this to me when we were expecting Shayla, and now that I have a little girl I couldn't agree more. I love my three little boys to pieces, but my little girl and I seem to have a connection that just makes my heart happy. Maybe part of it is that she's the only little girl. Or that she shares my same love language and serves me in little, adorable ways (like opening my door for me while I'm buckling Austin's seat belt or refilling my water cup at dinner in a "magical" way when I'm not looking). Or that she has had me more to herself than my little boys did since they were less than two years apart. I don't even care what it is, I'm just glad I have a little girl. No wonder -- look at how adorable she is:

Cowgirl day at school -- think it's time for a new hat?
Shayla the cowgirl
I don't remember why I promised her we'd bake a cake, but she wasn't happy when I made a bundt cake instead of a normal cake. But she made the most of it and put on hearts (the red frosting), oranges and blackberries (like the recipe's picture had) and American flags (???).

And I've said a million times and I"ll say a million more that there is nothing as cute as a little girl who loves to dance:

We sure love our Shayla Bela!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Becca's art show

Becca had her Senior art show Wednesday night, and it was a wonderful success! The show was from 7 to 8:30, and throughout that entire span she had people visiting the show. I was worried very few people would come (family and very few friends), but it turned out that more than 50 people shared in her evening. I felt so blessed to have such wonderful family (one of my sisters drove 40 minutes to get there) and friends support her in this. (Five of her current and former Young Women church leaders came as well -- how awesome is that?!)

This is the art she had displayed for everyone to see:

She has been an intern for the art teacher at our elementary school, so she taught them how to do this technique that she likes to do. She then included their artwork in the show by putting it on the exterior of the booth and one of the walls inside:

Now that this stress is over she can concentrate on the next steps of getting her drivers' license (she's oh, so close!) and starting her first real job (she starts tonight!). Good job, Becca!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Here comes trouble!

One day it was so nice and quiet. Actually, a little too nice and quiet. I knew it. So I investigated. And this is what I found:

Oh, my! We might be back to the days of fearing showers since I never know what I'll find when I'm out. I'm imagining Austin alone won't be nearly as bad as Tyler and Zachary were together, but it reminded me that I have a fun time ahead of me.

So what did Austin do when he was discovered? Well, first he did this:

Then he grabbed two handfuls of powdered sugar/baking soda and did this:

Little stinker! :)

Sledding Fun!

With such a mild winter, the only thing I have to complain about is the lack of ability to go sledding! However, last week we were finally able to go for the first time this winter. (So crazy!)

The kids all had a blast! Not only did we get lots of sledding in, but we had several friends (including a boyfriend) join us to increase the fun factor. Good thing -- when we got there the sledding was soooo slow! We had to make quite a few runs to get the snow packed and ready for some fast sledding. Poor Austin could barely open his eyes it was so bright with the sun reflecting off the snow. Time for baby sunglasses!

Here are some pictures from the fun day:
Shayla went down more than anyone and LOVED it!
Zach wouldn't smile, but he's cute anyway
Tyler kept trying to snowboard with a sled ...
No wonder people love Austin's lashes!
What a doll!
Austin tried eating snow then spit it right back out! :)
Zachary's crash looks worse than it was ...
See -- he's still smiling. :)
Shayla catches a little air
Is that smile for the camera or the boyfriend? ;)
Austin wasn't so sure what to think of sledding.

Last night's snow means we actually might get to go again before the season is over ... if the snow doesn't melt in one day like it has every other time this year! :)