Family Pic 2017

Family Pic 2017

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The play house

With Kami at girls camp and Caden at scout camp this week, I wondered how the younger kids (and myself!) would get along! I have been happy to see that the kids have their own imaginations.  They have been happily playing in a shed that Shawn has been building in our back yard.  I have to call them in for their meals or they'd stay out there all day long playing away!

Yesterday I was getting ready to make lunch when they rushed in and asked if I could make a picnic because they had "swept everything up really nice and made seats for everyone out in the shed!"

I was a little worried about the sturdiness of their home- made "chairs" but they held up great!:) My seat was on the other side of Abram.

Their new-found playhouse has a table (behind Maddie) and a stove (that she is working at). The girls said that it actually DOES get warmer in the stove!

They also showed me their stash of "food" which Nolan has been going and regularly gathering in the "forest" to the side of the shed.  What appears to be leaves at the top of the ladder are in all actuality "prairie chickens". No wonder they don't ever come in asking for snacks anymore:)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Our "date-away"

Shawn went over to Bend Oregon last Monday, was going to be there for a couple of days and then had some work to do in Boise, so he suggested that I meet up with him there. My sisters-in-law, Suzette and Kristi, had offered to watch the kids for us so that we could have just such an excursion, and Shawn was quick to take them up on it!  The couple of days before I left  I was wondering if it was really worth it because it was so stressful canceling appointments that the kids had or scheduling someone to pick them up from others. I worried about putting his sisters out.  I had to make sure they had enough to eat, the laundry was caught up and the house clean. (I have a hard time leaving when the house isn't just right) But the second that I left I was so glad that I did!

Shawn still had to work on Friday, but it was so rejuvenating to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted! I exercised, finished a good book and went to the mall and looked at things for just as long as I wanted to!  Shawn and I went to late movies, ate at fun restaurants and went on long walks, talked and talked and had such an enjoyable time together.  I came home feeling so relaxed and feel like my patience bucket has been filled up again.  I feel like my mind is more organized and that I"m not so flustered.  I tell you, a break was in order, and I am so grateful for my sisters-in-law for helping out so that could happen!

Maddie was opposed to our calling it a "get-away" -she thought that sounded mean.  She said it should be called a "date-away":)

This year is the first year in our marriage that we have tried to be really religious about a date every Friday night when Shawn gets home from a trip.  I never thought that dates were that important - we spent good quality time together all of the time!  We did go on official dates from time-to-time, but never weekly.  But this year I suddenly really NEEDED them!  If for some reason they didn't happen I found that I got really grouchy.  I could get through a whole week of Shawn being gone and be cheerful during it, but I realized I was just looking towards Friday night and the expectation that there would be a change.

 I think we need to add these "date-aways" from time-to-time.  I realized that I used to get a break-of sorts- when Shawn came home at night from work, but that doesn't happen any more.  When he's home (for saturday) we try to spend a lot of family time to make up for all the time he is missing with the kids, he tries to get everything done around the place that only a man can do, and the rest of the time he is gone doing church things or traveling for his job. That break was so nice for my state of mind, and Shawn loved having some company.

I know that Shawn won't always have this job, but for whatever reason it is what he is supposed to be doing right now.  I am so grateful for family members that care and watch out for us, and also watch out for our kids for us! I'm the type that has a hard time asking others for help and I appreciate so much that they offered!

And when I got home the kids had everything just as clean as when I had left.  What great kids!


Caden has a veritable green house in his bedroom.  He has a grow light with plants galore underneath it, and he also has plants that he has grown all over his room.  He tries to plant any seed that he can get his hands on.  He has grown a cotton plant (from a seed), mango, stevia(a natural sweetener) pomegranate his own patio oranges, cactus', venus fly traps, and more plants than I even know of.  If I want basil while I am cooking, I can go grab some off of his basil plant. He has also learned to take cuttings from other plants and grow things from cuttings. If he sees a plant that he thinks is interesting, he takes a leaf from it and starts one of his own. He tells me things that I know nothing about like, "mom we could hand pollinate that and then..." He loves plants and he loves science and his hobby combines the two. For the last couple of years he has been nursing along a "three-in-one" angel trumpet. It's been a really neat, large-leaved, tropical-looking addition to his room:

Many times it has looked like it was going to die.  He figured out that it had spider mites and read about, concocted and applied a solution that killed them.  Some time later the leaves started falling off and we thought for sure it would die, but he re-potted it and it took off once again and began to flourish. Then last week it bloomed!
it's grown even longer since these pictures!

 It is so fragrant at night that  I don't think I would be able to sleep in the same room with it, but Caden is so happy that it finally made it, that he doesn't seem to mind. And the next flower is opening up white!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

lazy hazy days of summer

Actually I really wish that our summer was like that title, "lazy hazy days of summer".  Really we're having an insane summer, but there have been some nice, lazy, hazy moments. Abram has particularly enjoyed his first real year of exploring and doing fun things outside. He just about gives me a heart attack every day that I take him outside with me, though- that kid can disappear faster than a hummingbird can flap it's wings! I try to pay strict attention to him, but I get distracted for a moment by some weeds that need pulled here, or some grass that needs watered there and before I know it, he is gone! Luckily his big attraction is a pile of dirt that we have in the back yard - he can't get enough of it. I have learned to make a quick bee-line there and sure enough, there he is sifting dirt through his fingers, throwing it up over his head or trying to slide down the pile of it.

everything's a big fascination

Abe in his "clip clops"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I love fathers.  The kind that are good men trying to do their best in their homes, teaching and loving their families. Lately I have been really appreciating how differently a man and a woman's mind works.  A woman can multi-task and accomplish so much and do it all fairly quickly.  This is a good thing, and I think a needed thing, but it also has it's drawbacks.  When we are upset or worried about someone or are going through a hard time, it affects every area of our life and we're never really able to focus on just one thing.

I had to get a close-up of Shawn's face while he was playing frisbee with the kids

Men, on the other hand can compartmentalize.  They seem to do one thing at a time, and do it really well.  When they're at work, they're at work. When they're home they're home.  They put everything into what they're doing at the moment. They're able to put aside problems that may be happening in other aspects of their lives and they deal with the present. Yes, this also has it's drawbacks, when we expect that they can stay home and play with the kids AND keep the house clean AND possibly? get dinner started while we go grocery shopping. But what a great quality! I see Shawn come home from tough interviews, and I can see that he is weighted down and burdened, but he steps in the door and he is HOME. I wouldn't be able to do that! This is why men have the priesthood, I think. I am so grateful for the good men in the world and in my life!

These are pictures from Saturday, when we went to a park and had a picnic,

fed the ducks, played frisbee and enjoyed time with Shawn!

Sunday after all of our meetings, we went to Shawn's parents where Marilyn put on a real Oklahoma meal on for all of the dads.  Barbecued brisket(sp?), fried Okra and Texas sheet cake - the meal they always fed the missionaries when they first arrived at the mission home. All of the men in the family (particularly-or maybe just Shawn) have been pestering her to fix it for them. It was delicious!

Jim opening his presents