Wednesday, December 23, 2009

{december 23, 2009}


merry christmas

It's been a looooooonnnnnnggggg time since I've blogged. No excuses really. I'm sad for all I've missed, but there's no use crying over spilt milk...right.

Our family wishes all of our wonderful friends and family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

If you want this picture in hard copy, just let me know. Sometimes people just want to see what everyone looks like. This way you can do one or both {smile}.

Hoping this post finds all of you happy and healthy. Loves to all.

Friday, October 9, 2009

{october 9, 2009}


The joys of little helping hands. Lucas has decided that he likes to help cook, stir or at least see what's going on inside the pans. He wanted Macaroni and Cheese for lunch today, so we helped each other. He was so patient. He still loves Blue's Clues like crazy and we are constantly singing songs from the show. "Wait, wait, wait. What will we do while we wait?" That's what he sang while the noodles boiled. Then tonight when it was time to get in his pajamas he started singing "Pajama T-i-m-e! From my head to my toes in my night time clothes!" I just love these little things that he does.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

{october 8, 2009}


I don't know if I've ever done so much in one day when I've had sooooo little sleep! This was the full blown chocolate-sugar-sweet-brown-green-baby-love spread for my sweet niece's baby shower. I was cleaning, baking and decorating up until the last minute. I always seem to work that way. I got about 4 hours of sleep due to a misunderstanding, a very early (5:00am) scheduled 5 mile walk with a friend, spending a few hours to fix before mentioned misunderstanding and then all the above mentioned preparations for said shower.

Exhausted, I was, at the end of this day.

Yes that was "YODA" talk...ha, ha, ha. I crack myself up.

But at the end of the day, I had an awesome walk.
The shower was a very fun success. Thanks to all who helped and came.
Relationships all around are going good.

Give me my bed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

{october 7, 2009}


Got a ton done today. My friend came over and helped me finish up in organizing and going through all of Lucas' toys. In the process we were able to clear out all the clutter that has made his and Chase's room a disaster zone. It feels so good to get SOME organization in place. I feel I have so far to go, but at least I'm getting somewhere. Thanks friend, for your help.

Lucas was so excited after I picked up from school and told him we were going to get the car washed. I meant to just get the quick, cheap wash. Instead I blurted out the name of the more expensive detailed wash and didn't realize it until he came back with my credit card receipt. Oh well, maybe that will teach me to slow down and be in the moment.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

{august 27, 2009}

Okay, so the day didn't start out with me making breakfast, but yesterday when I made Belgian Waffles, I froze extras for today. My kids still think I'm great. Today we had a professional dancer, he's the son of a lady in our ward, come to our church and teach us how to Salsa and Samba. This video is of the Cha Cha style of dance. The class/dancing/workout was amazing! I felt like a fool trying to do the moves of this dance, but it was most definitely a workout! I'm sore in places I didn't realize even had a muscle...LOL! I was glad for this workout, because then I was lucky enough to go meet my sister, her husband, my brother and his new wife at this awesome little Italian Restaurant called Roma Garden. The food was more than yummy...I've already dreamed about going back to have the dish my sister and her husband ate. With the salsa dance workout and the pasta, "Just roll me to my bed and leave me be."

This is a strange phenomena to me. I'm positive that we've had hotter days than today by almost 7 degrees, yet today seemed exceptionally HOT! Just like in Utah where I remember getting tired of the cold, I'm getting tired of the hot. The only difference is that the cold goes on for months after you've had enough. At least the heat isn't going to continue another 2-3 months. I hope.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

{august 26, 2009}


Would love to re-do my kitchen like this!

Today was one of those days that you look back on at the end of the day and wish like crazy everyday could be like that. Actually made breakfast for my kids today. Yeah...okay...I know that probably drops me down on the "Best Mom Meter" but that's why I said a day like today is what I WISH it could be like everyday. Most of the day was just filled with being really productive, which lately has been very elusive for me. I'm certainly not trying to blame all this on losing Mark, but being a single parent (not by choice) is very lonely and harder than I'd like to admit. My dear friend is helping me organize. We made a plan and headed out to IKEA to get some things to use for organization. Had fun. Took the longest route to and from the store and it's not close as it is. Thank heaven for good company. Taking care of other aspects of my life and feeling happier about the direction of things as the day comes to a close. I hope tomorrow will continue on with the same energy and attitude. Crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

{august 25, 2009}


Today, tonight, right this very second, I decided that even if I didn't take a picture today. This really is about journaling and keeping a record of this year. So, whether I have a picture or not, I'm going to journal. I'm way too behind, because I'm always so worried about getting the pictures up, but then I forget the real feelings and happenings of the day.

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I've been on this emotional roller coaster, and it's been exhausting to say the least. I'm hoping that things are going to level out, but it's possible things will stay the same. Once again, I am in awe at my children. I try to be strong for them and give them the support they need. Occasionally, however, they are my support, and they humble me with their Christ-like love. Tess has always had a tender heart and she has matured so much since Mark died. I know she still has fun and is able to be a child with imagination and play, but she has a heart that puts mine to shame sometimes. On monday, I had had an exceptionally emotional day. Not really sure why, but I was still a mess as I left for the Open House at the high school. When I got home, I found these two letters on my bed, and the tears flowed. Tess had helped Lucas write me a note, and he colored a picture on the back of "mommies sad face". Knife to my heart! Then the sweet words of my darling Tess...she has so much love to give and such a love for life. I'm gonna kick myself someday if I don't treasure her and adore her even more than I already do.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

{august 12, 2009}


I can say without a doubt that I have experienced things in the last few years that have made it very clear how Heavenly Father can take my burdens. I have to admit however that when I'm feeling so confused and lost and like I want to run away and hide in cave, it's hard for me to REMEMBER to lay my burdens at His feet. Well last night as I finished the day feeling all those negative feelings, I remembered! I didn't know what else to do but turn it over to Him, and have faith that He would take care of it. So let me tell you about today. I didn't wake up feeling peaceful and have this amazing answer pop into my head that solved all my problems. No...I still woke up feeling lost and frustrated. I had to pray constantly today just to keep calm. I wanted to take action. I wanted to DO something that would fix it. (I wish eating this Dilly Bar would have been the fix, but alas, it was not. It tasted great, but the problem still existed.) I was having a hard time being patient. I wanted the answer or the fix now. I like to control my life, so this was extremely vexing for me. Well, as the day unfolded small little things happened that finally resulted in a culminating experience that had me sitting in awe and peace as the day came to an end. It wasn't an easy ride. I wish I didn't have to have days like this, and yet I have to say I'm grateful. Grateful for His love for me and His patience. I'm grateful for friends that play their part in bringing the plan together. I'm grateful for those who were inspired to call me and inspired in what they said. I wish I could remember this experience every day, but I know I won't. Isn't this why we have to go through things over and over. We need the practice to become closer to perfect. I am being perfected every day. I know I'll never be perfect, but that's why the Savior's gift is so important.

~ Be still, and know that I am God. ~
Psalms 46:10

Sunday, July 26, 2009

{july 26, 2009} The uncensored, entertaining ramblings of a 3 year old - late at night!

I was checking out Facebook. Lucas is in bed next to me. He wanted to sleep with me tonight. We were going to bed late, but we started at least an hour or so ago. He's been quiet where I thought he had fallen asleep then he would say a few things and be quiet again. Then he started talking. He didn't even wait for me to answer most of the time. It's so funny how his mind goes from thought to thought, and so I just started typing everything that I could as it was coming out of his mouth. This is what took place over the next 20 minutes.

Lucas: When I was big like Tessa. When I was 10. I was, I was a baby, and when I was born like a baby, I was stronger like George of the Jungle. (Starts singing)George, George, George of the Jungle Strong as he can be. Watch out for that belly button.

(He laughs at himself. He thinks it's funny to use different words for "tree." He used one right after belly button that he knew was a bad one.)

Lucas: That was disgusting. I shouldn't say that, should I?

Me: No, probably not a good word to use.

Lucas: Yeah, (singing) George, George of the Jungle Strong as he can be. Watch out for that lamp. When I was 3 I was good. When I was little I was 6. When I was just a baby, I was 3 like a baby, cause my name is Lucas Baby. you're gonna be little in like 2 minutes, yeah, you are. You're so cute like a baby! Mom when you were a baby, you were born. (Not a question, but a statement) And what's you're number.

Me: I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Lucas: Your number is 6, 12. Grandma is the same order as you. Mom I'll do the key and get the mail for you okay. Hey mom, I'll click when I play Blue Clue's. Can I play Blue Clue's tonight? (It's 11:38 pm) You know the Upside Down show? Yeah. It's funny, but I like to go to bed and sleep. I'm just kidding, but I'm not gonna say kidding when I go to sleep. I'm SO kidding. What about no covers, I can just use my snugly. Do you like covers on? I don't like covers on. I just like my snugly. When Noah babysits you, do you want to watch Pikachu? I'll babysit you at mom's house. I'm going to take a picture of you when you were a baby. (My camera is here next to me.) I was just kidding of taking a picture of you when you were a baby. I was taking a picture of you when you were a baby. I want to take a picture of your lap.

(I take off the lens cap, turn it on, and show him which button to push. I also tell him he has to look through the little hole.)

Lucas: I can't see.

Me: Look through the hole. See my hand? (waving it in front - big smile appears on his face)

Lucas: I want to take a picture of you and the lamp. Which button do you press? (Chase come in the room) Chase I'm gonna take a picture of you. Flash. Chaser, I did it.

Chase: You almost did.

Lucas: Chase take a picture.

(This is the picture Chase took. I was going to stop typing what Lucas was saying, but then he said this:

Lucas: Mom can I squeeze your mouth and you say pineapple.

Me: Okay, sure.

Lucas: Okay say Peter Piper Pineapple. Laughs. I'm just kidding. I'm gonna roll over and go to sleep. I'm going to bed, I'm going to bed. (It's 11:50)

(Five seconds later.)

I wish I had record of these kinds of conversations from my other three children when they were little. What I wouldn't give to know back then what I know now.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

{june 27, 2009} Time is short.

So, here I sit, just thinking about many different things. On Wednesday, my dear friends little boy was in an accident and he did not survive. The next day as I was driving back home from visiting Utah, I thought continually how short our time can be with the ones we love. I wish there was a way to remember that exact point every second of every day, but unfortunately I don't. I cried for a long time as I thought of their pain, and how intense it must be to have it happen so suddenly. People used to ask me if it was harder or easier to go through the months with Mark being sick, knowing he was going to die, compared to a sudden death. It was hard, very hard, but at least we had talked about many things and did as much as we could with the knowledge that our time was short. For this dear family, he was with them one moment and gone the next. I know their faith is strong and I know they believe in the atonement and that brings peace. However, the grief and pain can be a test some days. It was hard to imagine in the immediate aftermath of Mark's passing that I would ever be happy again. But I am happy! Sure, I still have sad times, like when I visited Mark's grave while visiting Utah. It caught me completely by surprise. I don't believe that's where Mark is, so his grave is just a symbol. Yet, as I walked up to the headstone and saw his name permanently etched with both a beginning and end date to his mortal life, I cried. It's hard to explain the emotion behind those tears, when I don't know exactly myself. I'm not sad for me. I'm not sad for Mark. I most definitely know that he is just fine where he is. My point is that time really does make a difference. You never stop loving the people you lose, but you are able to keep living. That's what they want for us. They don't want us to be miserably sad the rest of our mortal lives. My friends were able to donate vital organs from their son to other children. I'm sure that was a difficult thing, yet to think of the increased hope of survival and a better life for those other children had to bring some comfort to my friends. Where one life is taken, others might be saved.

I think the thing that triggers my tears is that I'm sad for my kids. I've thought a lot about this lately. They are strong and I know they are going to be fine, but I struggle with how to manage all the things that will come their/our way. I don't want them to forget about their dad or not know about him and his life. Especially now that I'm dating. At some point I will likely get married, whether it's to this man or someone else. So how do I bring another man into my life and my kids life and yet still share with my children everything about Mark they need and want to know. It's a much different situation when you are widowed rather than divorced, because I still have a very loving and close relationship with Mark's family and always will. I will always think of Mark with much love and devotion. So take all that and now add a new man. I have very strong feelings for this man I'm dating. I hope it will continue on to something more serious, but even saying that is hard, because it seems that by saying that it means my love for Mark is leaving. Yet I know it isn't, but how is that possible? How can I still love Mark and now love another man. Most days I don't think about it so hard, I just let things take there course. I constantly find myself in a state of wondering, "just how did I get right here where I am with all the blessings and trials, and how on earth am I going to keep going and survive it all." Then Lucas asks for another Graham cracker, Tessa asks if she can go play with her friends and Chase and Patrick tease me for the hundredth time; and suddenly I'm distracted from my deep thinking and I get back to LIFE.

Which, by the way, reminds me, I'm totally behind on my {365} pictures and journaling. I have nearly all the pictures for the last month and a half, but for some reason I keep putting off doing the journaling. That's one of my top priorities next to getting my pool fixed. AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

{may 17, 2009}


On friday, as I most likely took my last drive up to Montana Academy, we spotted this Bald Eagle. I was worried about being late, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to photograph this majestic bird right there next to the road. I can't even explain the sheer thrill and awe that I was experiencing. I have always loved birds of prey. I look for them constantly, and I get excited every time I see one. This, however, was one of those experiences I will never forget. It seemed like a symbol somehow. I don't know...maybe that sounds crazy, but I still get chills when I remember how I felt in those few moments I allowed myself to enjoy the "fUN of getting there."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

{may 10, 2009}


Yesterday, after the birthday party, we all went to see my other niece as the lead in ~Romeo and Juliet~. She did a fantastic job. I love theater. I love to go to the theater. I enjoy performances at every level. I love to be in plays. There's such a rush being able to stand in front of a crowd and act out a story. I've been able to be so many different characters. It's definitely something I'm grateful to have had in my life. I'd like to be able to do it again someday, but even if I never did, my memories on the stage are pure joy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

{may 9, 2009}


First of all, isn't my niece beautiful? We got together to celebrate her birthday today at my sister's house. We had a great barbecue, did a little swimming and enjoyed cake and ice cream. You know what I was thinking? This, right here, is a huge part of what makes life so great. Family being together. Laughing and having fun. Making memories and celebrating important events. I'm grateful for family. I am extremely blessed to have a family that enjoys being together.

Friday, May 8, 2009

{may 8,2009}


When I looked outside to check on all the kids. I saw the girls, all huddled on the trampoline playing "phone line." Is that the name of it? We used to play this at slumber parties. That was a big thing when I was in grade school. It's so different now. Back then, someone would invite 10+ girls over for games, food, staying up late, playing pranks. I don't know how our parents put up with that. Those were really fun times. It's sorta, kinda, sad that it's just not possible to do that kind of thing anymore. It's great to see that some of the old fun never dies. The girls were laughing and giggling about the mixed up messages. Their joy and innocence is such a pleasure, and takes me back to a fond memory.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

{may 7, 2009}


It never ceases to amaze me how much peace and comfort I find when I go to the temple. The worldly cares and concerns are no longer weighing me down, and I am able to feel the spirit of our loving Heavenly Father in his holy house. I am so grateful to be able to go into the House of the Lord and find the solace I need within it's walls. Truly He loves us and invites us to come to Him and find peace.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

{may 6, 2009}


This day, I remember today too well actually. Some days in our lives are profoundly etched into our memories. Time does very little to diminish the memory of the feelings and happenings of the day. Because this is so public, there are some things I cannot share in my journaling. I've thought about whether it would make more sense to put some things in a private journal, but then I think there are some things I would never really want anyone to read. What I do know is the sun shines every day whether we can see it or not. There may be clouds in the sky with rain or snow pouring down, and even though we cannot see the sun. It is always there. Some of our days may seem overcast and dreary, but if we remember that our Heavenly Father is always there, then we can find peace in the storms.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

{may 5, 2009}


I feel equally blessed for Lucas' sake that we have friends right here in the neighborhood for him to play with. He still loves playing Legos. Playing Legos with friends, makes for a very happy boy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

{may 4, 2009}


Today-the actual day I'm journaling this week of pictures is August 20. I think some of the emotions are lost from what was really going on for me this day, and what I was thinking. I do know that as I look at the face of my sweet daughter, she is happy. She has good friends and she's loving life. I know that she has a strong faith and belief in the atonement. She amazes me with her ability to move forward in life even though her daddy is gone. I am grateful for her and her spirit. She is truly an angel in my life.

Monday, April 27, 2009

{week of apr. 27 - may 3}

sunday, may 3, 2009

Chase had tried to fish a little yesterday with no luck. He tried again this morning with no luck still. I've noticed for myself that fishing isn't always about catching fish. You put in the work and the effort with HOPE that you will catch a fish. Sometimes we have to go back again and again before we catch one. And the joy when we do catch one is thrilling. The best thing about this day was waking up to the beauty, peace and stillness of nature and then following that up with the beauty, peace and stillness of the spirit. Correlation = aren't we supposed to be "fishers of men?" Don't we need/want to keep trying again and again never giving up HOPE that we will bring someone to the truth and light of the gospel. Just Thinking.

saturday, may 2, 2009

Went camping for a quick over-nighter at Lynx Lake in Prescott, AZ. Ate yummy steaks and potato salad. Went for a night hike around the lake. Taunted some poor lake birds. Sat by the fire. Roasted marshmallows. Had such a fun and relaxing time.

friday, may 1, 2009

Tonight Doug and I went to celebrate the birthday of our friend Emily. When we arrived at their house for a BBQ we were introduced to the newest members of their family. Hailey and Comet (left to right, girl and boy.) They were the sweetest little things. So new. They were shy, but curious at the same time. Our friends have only been married a few months. I hope adding puppies is a good thing. They already seemed like lots of work while we were there. Of course it made me "puppy hungry," but as I watched them spend so much time taking care of them, I also remembered why I don't want a dog. My poor kids - they suffer because of me.

thursday, april 30, 2009

Isn't he cute? No really, isn't he beautiful. I saw him from my upstairs window. Darting from a large Purple Lantana, across the driveway and up toward the front door. I grabbed my camera and raced downstairs. I couldn't believe my luck when I opened the door and there he sat emerging from the Yellow Lantana near my front door. I literally had seconds to snap this picture before he was gone.

wednesday, april 29, 2009

Seriously????? We've already gone through two nesting's on the vent from our fireplace of presumably the same pair of morning doves. There was a picture of the first nest back in March when the babies where only days from leaving the nest. On the 14th of April I have another picture of the pair on a nest on the vent. When the second set of babies had flown I took down the nesting materials and pulled up the chicken wire so it wasn't a nice little scooped out place to build a nest. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I love wildlife and nature and watching this miracle is fun and educational, but the mess right in the middle of my back porch is not my favorite, thus the attempt at deterring another nest on the vent. Well I succeeded in preventing that location, so they moved just a few feet down the porch onto my nice soft towels on the rack near the pool. Lovely. Third time in 3 months!? Maybe, hopefully, this is not the same couple. Oh well, we'll be the proud family of two more baby morning doves in a few weeks time.

tuesday, april 28, 2009

Tess and I had a "date night" tonight. We went to one of those places where you pick out a ceramic piece of your choice and paint it, leave it for a few days for them to fire it and then whaalaa - how do you spell that ? - you pick up a glossy finished absolutely beautiful work of art to take home. We painted it together and had such a nice night together. Someday, this incredible daughter of mine, will be wanting to spend her free time going on dates with boys instead of her old mom. I'm so grateful for a few more years.

monday, april 27, 2009

Sometimes I'm grasping for a POTD. This would be one of those, and yet it's the cute simple pictures and happenings that we so easily forget. Lucas really wanted me to get a picture of what's inside his mouth, and as soon as I took it, he wanted to see it. He's fascinated with pictures of himself. Therefore, he still wants to have his picture taken. This phenomenon might not last too much longer, so I take full advantage of it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

{week of apr. 20 - apr. 26}

sunday, april 26, 2009

Look at this beautiful daughter of mine. I can't believe how lucky I am to have her in my life. She is thoughtful, giving, happy and really beautiful. I realize over the next few years her teen attitude might take over and things could be more stressful between us as mother and daughter, so I wanted to document how wonderful she is and how blessed I am right this moment.

saturday, april 25, 2009

This was our view from the bedroom suite we had. Rachel has some connections so we were in a really nice room. I haven't been to Vegas {in a hotel/casino} for a very long time. I realized I haven't missed anything. Although I love the fun shows available, I don't love the overall feeling and atmosphere, and SERIOUSLY????, why on earth is this the only place where a non-smoker must inhale a pack of cigarettes just to get from the hotel entrance to hotel room? Let me share a joke I read once. "A non-smoking section in a restaurant, is like having a non-peeing section in a swimming pool." Think about it...funny huh!?

friday, april 24, 2009

Rachel, Mom, Diane and I left my house at about 1pm and drove to Vegas to attend Brit's bridal shower. Her mom Sheryl is in the middle. Brit is marrying my nephew Michael. I'm not going to make the wedding, so I was really excited to take a girls road trip out for the shower. It was a blast, and then we went over to Brit's house and chatted for awhile. Great memories.

thursday, april 23, 2009

My sweet sister and her husband Jim are so good to us. They always have us over for dinner. Today was their anniversary. I meant to call all day, but I never did get around to it, I'm pathetic. I know.

wednesday, april 22, 2009

Chase was in a "One-act" play written and directed by a senior in his drama class. He had a big part and he has to kiss the girl in this scene four different times. Poor guy. He did a really great job, and the premise of the play was four different pairs of people - one engaged couple, two sisters, two scam artists and two buddies moving out for school (that's what Chase was) - are trying to see who can last the longest in the apartment. Whoever does gets to stay in the apartment for free.

tuesday, april 21, 2009

I've been wanting to get a picture of gas prices before they go back up. When we moved down to AZ last August, the price was $4 something. I think it got close to $5, but then it dropped. I can't remember when, but I keep hearing it's inevitable that it will go back up again. So here's proof that it was under $2.00 once.

monday, april 20, 2009

See the cute little tie on Lucas? Well I bought it for Easter. He wore it for Easter, and now we haven't seen it since. How does a tie just disappear? Oh well, it looked cute for the day and who knows, maybe it will turn up somewhere...sometime.

Monday, April 13, 2009

{week of apr. 13 - apr. 19}

sunday, april 19, 2009

This is a watershed lake up in Prescott called Goldwater Lake. After church and some hamburgers on the grill, we went up just to enjoy nature. It really was beautiful. I had so many beautiful pictures of the sun on the water and some with the ducks and geese, but I chose this picture. The simple joys. Looking for the perfect flat rock and the attempt at skipping it. Chase loves it and I swear I can't almost 12 skips on one of his throws today. A friend was telling me about a lake in Montana where the beach is covered in smooth flat stones. I'm going to have to make it there someday.

saturday, april 18, 2009

Late at night...scrappin' away. We have so much fun. We laugh and talk about all kinds of crazy things. We give each other help when we're stuck in a creative rut. I'm often cold, so it's perfectly fitting that I'm in my sweatshirt. Can't say I got a whole lot of scrapbook pages done. Will say I bought a lot, even though I promised myself I wouldn't. It's all good.

friday, april 17. 2009

So anyone who scrapbooks will know that someone famous is in this picture with me, my sister, my mom and our friends. We took her class at the convention and she came back and chatted with our group. She thought it was way fun and cool that we were all there together. We took this picture with her. {She is so skinny, tiny and sweet} I was so excited when I went to her blog and saw that she had posted the same picture....does this mean I'm kinda famous?

thursday, april 16, 2009

I love this picture, and do you want to know why? My mom is amazing at journaling. Seriously...she keeps track of everything. We went to a scrap book convention this weekend; my mom, my sister and I. We started in the year 2000. I think I've only missed one year. We have such a fun time. Sometimes our friends come. Sometimes my sister-in-laws come. We laugh and buy and scrap. But this picture depicts what it's all about. Journaling. Sharing the stories of what, when, why, where and how.

wednesday, april 15, 2009

Do you know what my insane, perfectionist mind just did...I went looking (10 minutes) for this stupid cactus' name. I drive myself crazy. All I wanted to say was "LOOK AT THE BEAUTY OF THESE FLOWERS." How can a prickly scary looking thing called a cactus produce something this amazing? Well, it's happening all over right now. I've never seen so many colors and varieties. It's fantastic. There really is beauty in everything. Sometimes you just have to be patient to see it.

tuesday, april 14, 2009

We literally had two full pool days, yesterday and today. Luckily the weather cooperated great on Monday and wasn't too bad today. Most of the Giles got a little red. I felt bad. I tried to heat up the pool so we could actually enjoy it. Even though we can have toasty days. The nights still get cold enough to keep the water cold. We had so much fun.

monday, april 13, 2009

Yeah!!! We had more visitors. The Giles came to stay for a few days during their Spring Break time. The kids were so excited. The kids hadn't seen each other since October for some and July for the others. It was really great to catch up and hang out. We took them to one of our favorite places for dinner down at Desert Ridge. It's a yummy place called "Islands." I told Kelly about the "Yaki" tacos, and she was very happy with them. I'm not sure what I was thinking. I tried something different and it just wasn't as satisfying. :(

Monday, April 6, 2009

{week of apr. 6 - apr. 12}

sunday, april 12, 2009

Easter - When I think, on this day specifically, just what the Savior did for me, I feel humbled at His grace, mercy and love for me. I look at my children's faces and realize that no matter what choices they make in life I love them with every inch of my being. If I have that kind of love for them, I can't even begin to imagine the depth of love our Father in Heaven and elder brother Jesus Christ have for us. I wish I could remember this point every second of every day, because then I'm sure I wouldn't make so many mistakes. The beauty of it all is knowing that because of Christ's atonement I can always repent for my mistakes - big or small.

saturday, april 11, 2009

We had two Easter Egg Hunts today. One at the church with a Break-the-fast breakfast for our wards 40 day fast. The other we had later at our house while there was a small break in the rain. We had brat's and burgers. It was a really fun day.

friday, april 10, 2009

Lot's of just thinking going on this week in pictures. It's been almost two years since I made one of the most difficult decisions in my life. I knew then and I still know that it was the right decision. I know that both Patrick and myself have learned a great deal about ourselves and grown in many ways. I know that I was able to be a better mother to the other three than I otherwise would have been. I know that our relationship, mine and Patrick's, is so much stronger than it might have been. It's hard to think that I basically had to turn over the responsibilities as a parent, but I know without a doubt that I did the best thing I could do for Patrick, Me and the other kids. I am positive that we as an entire family would not be in as good a place emotionally if I hadn't made the choice I made two years ago. Here's to HOPE - hope for an amazing future ahead for our family.

thursday, april 9, 2009

A huge group of us (about 24) met on the lawn in front of the Visitor's Center for the Mesa LDS Temple. Every year hundreds of volunteers put on this wonderful pageant before Easter called Jesus the Christ. Before the pageant starts the actors come out and meet and talk with the audience. When Lucas saw this particular actor (who was John the Baptist,) he pointed and said, "Mom, it's Jesus."

wednesday, april 8, 2009

This is a problem...and I don't know what to do? Oh yeah, call a sprinkler expert to come and fix the whole system for a bucket load of money. I know this is part of being a home owner, but can I just give a primal yell of aggravation anyway?


At least now it's all fixed, and I'll soon forget the pain to my pocket book.

tuesday, april 7, 2009

This is a funny story. A year ago I had to replace my windshield, and about one week later a rock hit my brand new windshield. Funny...right? The crack stayed small and contained in the upper right corner, without growing, for ten months. One day when Doug was with me, he said, "I can force the end of that crack to go up to the top so it won't continue across the front of the whole windshield." So he proceeded by putting just the right amount of pressure in the right spot so the crack would head straight to the top. Guess what the crack did instead? It zoomed straight left across the middle. He tried one more time because it wasn't in front of the driver's side yet, but it just leaped right past the new pressure point and well now you see why I have a new windshield. I think it's hilarious. We hadn't been dating very long when this happened, so he felt awful, but I just laughed.

monday, april 6, 2009

I took this picture, because it still never ceases to amaze me that both of these two boys are my sons. One older, ready to take on the world and become his own man. He graduates in a little over a month and will be off to college next fall. The other other one, young and still needing his mama in many ways to help him along the way even though he often tells me, "I tan do it." Then you put the two other children in the middle with their varying needs, and WOW! What an amazing and varied life I'm blessed to lead. I see Patrick and think, "I've come so far, and grown and changed." But then I look at Lucas and think, "I've got so far to go; so many improvements to make and lessons to learn." It's strange how it seems like just yesterday that Patrick, our first little toddler, learning and growing and needing us so much; in the blink of an eye, has grown up and is going off to find his own way in the world. He is still learning and growing and, yes, in many ways still needs us; but it is different now. Good, but different. I'm so excited for what lies ahead for Patrick. There's so much self discovery during this time in his life. My prayers for his success and happiness will never change. I guess this specific picture got me just thinking.

Monday, March 30, 2009

{week of march 30 - apr 5}

sunday, april 5, 2009

Wow...conference was amazing. Two days of wonderful counsel and spiritual uplift from our prophet and the apostles. Each year as I get older, the magnitude of having a living prophet on the earth to lead and guide us, becomes more and more fantastic. It brings me so much peace and comfort. I wanted to soak in every word. Of course with kids, some things are missed. That's why I'm so grateful for the special issue of the Ensign every six months with every talk reprinted. It's wonderful to read the words over and over again. It really was amazing.

saturday, april 4, 2009

C, T, and L have been so excited for Patrick to come home for his Spring break from college in Montana. It's all Tess could focus on for the last week. Funny story though. He was supposed to come in last night. We were all set to go pick him up and grab dinner on the way home. He calls and informs us that the plane out of Kalispell is very delayed and he won't make his connection in Salt Lake. The airline put him up in a hotel and he finally made it this morning. He handled the whole ordeal like a pro. The reunion was delayed, but it was no less exciting this morning.

friday, april 3, 2009

I have lots of decor for different holidays, so I wasn't really planning on buying any new decor for Easter. But...Tess and I were at the grocery store, and Tess sees this really cute fat chick. I was tempted, but still thought "No, we don't need another stuffed animal." But then Tess read the tag "9 inch PHAT chick," and we both looked at each other and laughed right out loud. We had to have this 9 inch phat chick as part of our family, so into our cart he went.

thursday, april 2, 2009

I busted a gut when Lucas came around the corner in these boots and the lei. He'd gotten into the dress up box, and this is what he came up with. To top it all off, he didn't have shorts on, which happens to be his favorite dress right now. So it really was quite the look. Disclaimer...I know Lucas is in the same shirt for the last three pictures. First, he loves this shirt. Second, the last two pictures were taken on the same day. Yes he wore the same shirt two days in a row. I'm living on the wild side and I let him choose what he wanted. We were just hanging around the house and you know what? It didn't kill anyone for him to wear the same shirt again.

wednesday, april 1, 2009

This was so funny. My dad had called to check on us and say hello. He wanted to talk to Lucas. Lucas was talking along and answering questions, but then he saw his new Happy Meal toy "Susan" from the Monsters vs. Aliens movie. He was telling Grandpa all about it. Of course my dad had no idea who "Susan" was, so Lucas was trying to show him...through the phone. He kept saying, "See Grandpa, see, this is Susan." I could hardly contain my laughter. That's the joy brought about by a three year old.

tuesday, march 31, 2009

We went to this cool park in Tuscon to feed the ducks. Lucas had a blast, but I think he wanted to eat the crackers more than he wanted to feed them to the ducks. I found it so interesting to see such a huge variety in one little pond. Usually all I've seen is Mallards, but there were lots of different kinds.

monday, march 30, 2009

This is the face of someone who met a Prickly Pear cactus up close. Poor little Lucas. You can see the pure feelings of "Ouch" and "You want me to smile for this?" Just kidding. I didn't ask him to smile. He loves to have his picture taken, and he especially loves looking at the pictures of himself. There are so many teeny, tiny little prickers in his arm that you can't even see. He was very brave while I pulled them out. So sad. The neighbors actually removed that bush a week later. This was the first encounter with a cactus for Lucas.