Sunday, June 24, 2007

Never Under-estimate the Power of a Three Year Old

The other day I was folding laundry while the kids were sleeping. Sirri woke up before I could finish so I asked her if she wanted to help. Check out the great job she did on the beach towels!!!

I have been wanting to get chore charts made up for the kids for quite some time now and I think helping with the laundry just might be on Sirri's list! Good job sister!

That same day, she and her cousin Sydney helped me wash the van. What great little helpers!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Kendon!

Tomorrow is Kendon's birthday! Happy birthday babe! I love you.

Here is a little tribute to the main man in our lives!

Choosing the person that you marry is such a big deal because you are choosing the person that you will be with forever, BUT it is also a huge deal because you are also choosing the man that will be a father to your children. That is putting an awful lot on the line, but I know and am so thankful that I chose well! What a blessing in my life.

Kendon is such an incredible and involved father. He loves to spend time with his kids. Family is his number one priority. He loves to take the kids and me with him to the archery range, for family evening walks, to the park for family night, treasure hunting (geocaching) all kinds of great adventurous things that I know are a lot more work with three kiddos tagging along. But he does it and he does it because he wants to. Not only does Kendon do all the fun things with his kids but he is involved in the every day tasks as well. Kendon always puts at least one child's jammers on , rocks kids to sleep each night, changes poopy bums, makes dinner, does dishes, gets kids ready for church (even irons Connor's clothes!) gets up with babies in the night, stays up with kids who decide to be up at 4:30 on many mornings (MEG!), stays home with the kids (more than his fair share) so I can go to book group or scrapbooking, goes to gymnastics/dance recitals. The joy of all of this is that Kendon always does these things willingly. He never acts like he is being put upon or that these tasks are a woman's job. He sees our marriage and raising kids as a true partnership and team job. He gives 100% all the time. Kendon truly is my partner and for that I am thankful!

For Father's Day I had the kids finish some sentences about their Daddy and we made a little book for him. Here are some of the answers the kids came up with all on their own. They are real gems!

* My Daddy is fun because...I like Big sister song. (A song he made up for Sirri!) - Sirri
* It makes me happy when Daddy...I go to church with him. - Sirri
* I know my Daddy loves me because... he does macaroni and pasta and that's it. - Connor
* I know my Daddy loves me because... he tickles my back. - Sirri
* My Daddy is fun because... go on treasure hunts. - Connor
* My daddy is good at... working computers. - Sirri
* I love my daddy because...daddy takes me go bowling. - Sirri
* It makes me happy when daddy...go the range. - Connor

We love you Daddy!

p.s. Here is the present I would get you...if I could. It's the thought that counts right?!?!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day Dad! I hope that you had a great day. You deserve it!
Here are just a few of my "dad" memories:

1. Anytime I had a problem, or needed advice I would wait until you were in the garage working on a project. I would sit on one of your stools and explain the situation. You were always a great listener and cautious to give advice until you knew whether that was what I was after or just a listening ear. Your advice was always very wise (even as a teenage I could recognize that) and most of the time you could share a similar story from your youth.

2. One particular story/bit of advice I can remember you telling me was about what to do in a situation when I did something to cause myself embarrassment. Someone had once told you that the "offender" always remembered the embarrassing situation more than anyone else. Everyone had their own problems to be worried about and weren't too worried about what you had done that was so embarrassing. So hold your head up and go back to school or work or wherever you caused your blunder and get on with it! I remember that advice still and think of it often as I tend be an embarrassment to myself frequently!! What great advice!

3. You were one of the most supportive dads I know. Being the father of girls, your kids tended to be involved in girly activities. Dance, gymnastics, cheer. That didn't matter to you. You were always at every performance. Every Performance! That meant a lot to me! You even got drug along on many a shopping trips and didn't complain too much. You did spend much of the time on "your bench" but were there none the less. (and you were always excited to see what special finds or purchases we got!)

4. You were not just at all these girly events you were there building cheer and drill team props, setting up for homecoming dances (ALL day) and then chaperoning them as well and cleaning up the next morning, wearing the high school colors and cheer/drill team dad t-shirts and buttons! You were the ultimate cheer dad!

5. You have a certain look, that Kim and Cindy and I call the "proud dad" look. It is a special look that is saved for special occasions. The cool part about the look though, is that almost any thing/time can be a special occasion and elicit "the look." I have seen the look at games where I cheered, my Junior Miss Pageant, when I got married, when I had my babies, , when I discipline my kids, when I play with my kids, when we are all at church together. Big events and little events alike! I LOVE that look.

6. One memory I have, I can appreciate now, but didn't when I was 16. This is something that would always occur after you had been at the high school for parent teacher conferences or the like. The next day I would go to school and I would always, no fail, have at least one teacher, tell me how handsome my father is! I agree now, and even did then, but I certainly did not want to hear it from my teachers! Geez!!

7. We always took great family vacations. I think my favorite were our Oregon Coast trips. Those were always so much fun. I love the cozy little cabins we found and stayed at more than once...The Viking was it? I know family vacations are a sacrifice and I appreciate it!

8. Remember the Science Fair things you used to do with us girls? You were always our team adult leader and we were lucky kids cause you are so smart. I remember the one you did with Kim that involved a door off it's hinges, bee bees, a mouse trap maybe? The memory of the project is very vague but I can remember watching in the garage and hoping that when I was big enough they still did this competition. Sure enough they did. The year my group did it, the challenge was to build the tallest free standing structure. Again, I'm not exactly sure what our project involved, I'm remembering masking tape? for some reason, straws and plastic cups maybe? You'll have to remind me. But I do remember that you taught us about the strength of using triangles in our structure during that competition.

9. It seems you were always building something. One very special project was "The Eagle's Nest" our tree house at the cabin. You involved all the kids in the building of the fort and we even built all the furniture. Remember the "open house" we had when it was finished?!?!? I wonder how the Eagles Nest is holding up these days?

10. Another great memory...climbing Mt. St. Helens. This memory is lots of memories in one. We spent so much time preparing for that climb. We hiked and hiked and hiked to prepare ourselves, bought new hiking boots, tested them out, thought of and packed any emergency item we could possibly need. (I think this was when I learned or understood for the first time what a "preparer" you are. Be Prepared. Scout Motto and Larry Bigelow Motto!) Then what a blast to actually climb the Volcano. I am pretty sure that each of us girls got the "proud look" at the top! That was such a blast! I still like to tell people that I've done that!

11. I loved all the time we spent out on the lake boating. Again, I know that activities like this take a lot of time before and after the event but it didn't stop you from taking your family most summer Saturdays! Remember the sneaky snake incident? Cookie Time? The time we hit the storm and had water up over the top of the boat?

Dad, these are just a few of the memories that I have of growing up. Mostly I just remember a feeling of being loved and being safe. I don't think you can ask for a whole lot more!

"After all these years from the day I first held a baby of my own in my arms, I would say that what a child needs most is knowing she is safe and loved, in a calm and peaceful home, with a parent who is happy and well--more than she needs a visit to see the Treasures of Tutankhamen exhibit at the museum or a made-from-scratch birthday cake in the shape of a stegosaurus." - Joyce Maynard

I love you Dad. You have done well!

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Standard Issue 8 Year Old

I think that when you have your first baby, you should be given a standard issue 8 year old. Maybe he/she would come in the mail with your new baby's birth certificate. Eight year olds are the perfect age. They are old enough to be capable of helping out quite a lot and yet they are young enough that they still have a desire to please. THAT my friends is the perfect combination. Able AND Willing! Doesn't that sound like an idea to anyone else? Where exactly do you think you would go to propose such an idea?

My baby, Meg, is sick today. She started to act sick yesterday and progressively got worse throughout the day. I went to Book Group last night and when I got home she was awake and not doing very well. She was up most of the night sleeping for about 45 minutes at a time (at the most.) She had a rough morning but is finally starting to pull out of it I think. She just took a little thirty minute cat nap and when she woke up she actually smiled at me. The first smile in about 24 hours! How sweet those smiles are after not seeing them for what seems like so long.

Now, back to the 8 year old idea. My niece Saquoia, who is 8, spends the day with us on Mondays and Fridays and BOY HOWDY have I been thankful for her today. She is so great to have around. She helps out so well. She plays with my older two kids so I can love on the sick baby and then she'll love on the baby when I need to be with the other two. Saquoia will even hold Meg when she is crying and it doesn't seem to phase her. She is such a great little helper and I am so glad that she was here today. Thanks Saquoia! I love you!
And eight year olds still take naps. Yet another bonus!!! Poor girl, my kiddos wore her out!

Editor's Note: Meg is BACK asleep. I'm glad yet sad. I was excited to love on her while she was happy, but I know she needs her sleep since she had none last night. Mom could use a little herself!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Got Hair?

If you won't grow hair, Sirri, then I guess I'll just have to add more bows! We'll fake it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Love the Country Life (Part 3)

Just one more reason why I love the country life....

Space for a BIG garden!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

It's Hard to be Mom

There are times as a Mom that are really emotionally taxing. They pull and tug and yank at your heart strings and it takes a while to recover. For example, taking your babies in for immunizations and finding out that the nurse expects you to help hold their legs down, leaving your kids with a sitter as they cry, "Mommy Mommy," explaining that Daddy is at work when they really need/want him and Mommy just won't do, their first "fight" with a friend, getting called a name on the playground. All these things hurt as a Mom. You can really feel for your child. You feel so bad for them because you have been there, done that and you know that growing up can be tough. (And my examples are all only toddler related. I can only imagine that it gets worse.Yikes!)

Well, yesterday we had one of those emotionally tough kind of days. Sirri was invited to go to a one day, mini dance clinic with her cousin Sydney. For those of you who watched the gymnastics video, you know that this thing is right up her alley. So we went and had a great morning. They learned a little dance which she and Sydney picked up quite well. Stacey and I were both amazed at how fast they caught on. They were having a great time, being good listeners, and really dancing away! Shortly before they were to perform, and they were rehearsing with all the other groups Sirri had her feelings hurt. Some days, she is really thick skinned and isn't phased (again, refer to gymnastics video. Notice Sirri sticking her tongue out at the little girl trying to "help" her behave during the awards ceremony!) and some days when her feelings get hurt her poor little heart is broken and she really struggles. So, yesterday was a struggle kind of day. She was so sad and cried and cried and cried. All during the rehearsal she cried and wouldn't do her dance. The show was about to begin and she was still crying. Of course at the same time, Connor had yanked on Meg's arm and she was so sad as well. (This is one of those moments when people look at me like I am crazy woman!) While I was trying to console Meg, Aunt Stacey went over and held Sirri until her turn to perform. But then she wouldn't let her put her down when it was her group's turn to dance. So poor Aunt Stacey is in the middle of the floor holding Sirri trying to convince her to dance, and they are waiting for Sirri to start. After what seems like forever and probably felt even longer to Stacey (THANK YOU STACE!) I went out on the floor and got in Sirri's face. I told her that we came here to dance and have fun and if she didn't want to do those things then she didn't have to and we could go home but they were trying to start and she had to make a decision right now! Now, don't read that in a very sweet tone of voice, there wasn't a whole lot of loving happening at the moment. I was trying to teach her a life lesson though. I guess that means there was some love! Sirri did decide to get down and dance. They were able to do their dance twice and by the second time she was back to her spunky self dancing away! (She even won an award for being a Super Star Dancer. They had chosen the winners before all of this little episode took place!)

Phew, just relaying that all really re-wore me out. I thought about that experience all day yesterday and still today and feel really sad about it all. I feel bad that Sirri had her feelings hurt in the first place. I feel bad that I got in her face and wasn't as nice as I could have been. I feel bad that she had to make her decision while sad, and in front of a big crowd. I feel bad that she doesn't understand that I was trying to have a "teaching" moment. I feel bad that my teaching "methods" were influenced by frustration, not empathy. I just feel bad.

Sigh.....Sometimes it is just HARD TO BE MOM!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Chit Chat

Just chatting with my Aunty!

Love you Aunt Kimmy!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sirri's Gymnastic Recital

As promised! I hope you enjoy. It is a little lengthy, almost ten minutes, but I think it is worth your time! Or you could fast forward through it if it's too much!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Good Idea Bad Idea (Toddler Edition)

Anyone remember Good Idea Bad Idea from the Animaniacs cartoon? Here is my own version.

Good Idea: Finding out what your toddlers are doing outside that has kept them so quiet.

Bad Idea: Finding out what they are ACTUALLY doing.

In this case...drum roll please.... eating dog food! And I don't mean just a little nibble. I am talking mouth fulls. Hence their being so quiet! When I asked them why they were eating dog food, Connor answered, "because it is good." And Sirri, being the wise 3 1/2 year old that she is said, "I'm showing Chuck (the dog) how."

Let's hear about YOUR Good Idea Bad Idea (toddler version) stories!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Today in church I asked Connor if he was thinking about Jesus. (Trying my darndest to think about Jesus myself, which is always a difficult task with three little ones.) Anyway, here is how the conversation proceeded:

Connor: "Mom, where is Jesus?"
Mom: "He is in Heaven."
Connor: "When will Jesus come out? There is a door in heaven? Sirri, there is a door in heaven and Jesus is gonna come out!"

I guess that he decided to answer his own question. I thought he did a good job and we left it at that!

They can be so sweet can't they?!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Loving Rexburg

I love living in Small Town Rexburg and here is one more reason why......

The check out ladies at Albertsons know me. The librarians know me. The bank tellers know me. Even the produce guy at the grocery store knows me. And it's not just me. Though I am sure I am especially known in Rexburg as the crazy girl with three kids 3 and under! But everyone knows most everyone or we at least recognize one another for the most part. And I like it. Sounds silly I know, but it makes me happy.

And here is a story that helps portray why it makes me happy. Today I went to the grocery store. (I was even by myself which makes this a great story to begin with!!!) Anyway, when I got to the checkout one of the check out gals came up to me and asked if I had lost my daughters shoe earlier that week. I had in fact. Though I did not know that it was at the Albertsons that they had been lost. (Yeah, I know #1 Mom!) She said they were in the lost and found and went to get them for me. When she came back, she also had a pair of my son's shoes that had been lost on the same shopping trip (Again, #1 Mom, I know!!!) But how fabulous is that? Those little shoes could belong to any kid but they knew they were mine. I bet that doesn't happen in....well, in too many places!

I love Rexburg!

Holding On and Letting Go

I have been MIA for the last two weeks. Life was put on hold for a short time but I am back and ready to get on with my life as I know and LOVE it!

Three weeks ago I found a lump in my neck. I wasn't too concerned but was concerned enough to have it checked out. My doctor in turn was concerned and ordered a CT scan. The results came back and the radiologist at the hospital and my doctor both suspected Lymphoma. That is where my life as I knew it took a sudden halt. Many phone calls later I was scheduled to see Dr. Eric Garner in Boise. I was only willing to see him. He is the father of my best friend Camilla and I know he is the best and I trust him. Well, to make a long story short, after an appointment with Eric, an in depth ultra sound of the lump and my thyroid, a complete removal and biopsy of the lump, a super long and tiring week, and MANY heard prayers, all the tests came back clear of cancer. Aaaaaah. I can breathe.

We tend to ask the "why" question a lot when we go through trials like this. Why did I need to have such a scare? Why was my lymph node swollen like that? Why me? Etc etc. etc. I decided to ask "what can I learn from this?" (Which I know is easy to do now that this is all over. I am one of the lucky ones who just had a mere scare. ) Well, I think I learned about two things. Or at least was reminded of them. They are things I have always known...maybe I just needed a reminder. I learned about Holding On and Letting Go.

Holding On.... Hold on to your little ones, hold on to your spouse, hold on to all of those that you love most dearly. Holding on means taking a few minutes to sing an extra song at bedtime, or to tickle a back. Holding on means to be more patient and kind and giving when it seems like all you ever do (as a mom) is give. Holding on means remembering that we CHOSE our spouse and should treat them that way. Holding on means, literally, HOLDING on. Give more loves, give more kisses, steal them if you have to. You never know how many more days you get to hold on. I was also reminded to hold on to the truths that I believe in. Hold on to the things and beliefs that make you YOU. Do the things that you know to be right every day and do them with conviction. If you don't have convictions what do you have? Don't just "do" these things, LIVE them. HOLD ON.

Letting Go.... Sounds a little bit odd. I was just talking about holding on. Well, in order to hold on you have to let go. Let go of all the things that we can't do on our own. Let go of your burdens, your sorrows, your pain. Give it away. If you will give all of these things to our Savior He WILL take them. He will take them and carry them for you and make you light. I have always known that the atonement is not for our sins only but for our trials, but I have lived a fairly charmed life and haven't taken advantage of that part of the atonement like I should or could have. I guess I am learning. I'm learning the beauty and peace and calm that can come from Letting Go.

And now, like I said...I'm back and ready to get on with my life the way I like it and that means....FUN, PLAY, LAUGHTER, PICTURES!!! No more heavy blogs! So, please come back, keep on reading. I promise there are great things to come! Sirri just had her first gymnastics recital and that equals very cute video! STAY TUNED!!!