Family Pic 2017

Family Pic 2017

Monday, November 25, 2013

Four and counting!

Knowing that Saturday (Abram's birthday) was going to have a crazy-busy morning, Kami, Caden and I did this before we went to bed:

Plus we put a lot of balloons on his bedroom floor so that he would feel extra special when he woke up!  I got up early and made some pumpkin pancakes (delicious!!) Abram woke up all bright-eyed and filled with excitement and we hurriedly ate before we were 'off to the races'!  Abram didn't appreciate the pancakes as I had hoped.  We usually don't eat syrup at our house, and I got some just for the occasion.  He ate a few bites and then proclaimed that he didn't like the "ketchup" that was on them.:)

Nolan and Shawn took off at 7:00 or 7:30? for weigh-ins for Nolan's wrestling tournament.  Nolan came home appalled that a lot of the die-hard little boys weighed in their underwear.  Shawn said Nolan was feeling pretty apprehensive until Shawn reassured him that he didn't need to do that!

I took off with Maddie at 7:45 to piano festival, and then got home in time to take Kami to violin festival.  The judge was running late, so I didn't get to hear her play.  I had to run home in time to get Maddie to her basketball game.  On the way to her game, I dropped Caden off for his piano festival and sent him in with Kami's books for HER piano festival as well.  Then I dropped Maddie off, and the rest of us ran over to see if we could catch any of Nolan's wrestling tournament.  We got there just in time for it to end:(  Nolan won all but one match and was pretty excited about that!

I hurried back to the festival to see if I was in time to hear the kids play.  I got there just in time to see Caden come out from his performance.  We all got in the car to go watch the rest of Maddie's b-ball game.  We were there five minutes and the game ended.  Sigh.  I was a little too late for everything.

After the game, Shawn took the kids to the store because they all wanted to shop for something for Abram.  Abram and I went home and got busy on his cake.  He said he wanted a "hulk" birthday cake.  We looked for ideas on-line and I asked him if any of them looked good to him.  I was a little concerned that he'd pick one of the most time-consuming ones...but he said, "I'd be happy with ANY of them!!!"  Bless his little heart:) While we made the cake, Abram asked me if he would get any "burning sticks" on it:)

We love our Abram boy!  He is so much fun and has such a sunny disposition. Isabelle summed it up really well with her card :

Monday, November 18, 2013


Right at the end of Kami's surprise party (previous post) a boy called MY phone (because Kami had left hers at home) and asked to speak to Kami.  He asked her on her first date. When I walked back to Shawn after handing Kami my phone, he groaned and said, "This just gives me the most sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach!  When did she get old enough for all of this stuff?"

When indeed?!?!

Shawn's nostalgia made the song "Sun Rise, Sun Set" from Fiddler On The Roof, one of my all-time favorite musicals, pop into my head. THEN I started feeling nostalgic...which can make you also feel a little melancholy. 

When DID she grow to be a beauty? Kami before her first date:

When DID she grow to be so tall?
WASN'T it yesterday when she was small?

Is this the little girl I carried?

I don't remember growing older....when did she? I look at these pictures and it seems like we just took them last year!

I miss that little face and little body!  I'm glad that I don't have to miss that sweet smile and bubbly good-natured personality!  I am loving the teenage years, but the sudden realization of how quickly this wonderful season of my life will come to a close saddens me. I love being a mom.

 Shawn and I felt a little melancholy that first night of our oldest turning 16, but the next day, when another boy called and asked for a date, we felt more accustomed to things.

And before the boy showed up, Shawn had to have his little joke:

Kami's surprise

Kami turned 16 on Friday!  Little did she know, but I had been planning a big surprise party for her for the last month!  I had contacted all of her friends about it, and then suddenly there was a surprise party for one or two kids per weekend!  So it didn't end up looking like a very original idea - I guess age sixteen is a surprise birthday party age:)

Friday morning I told Kami that I wanted to get some pictures of her on her 16th birthday when school got out.  After school, the rest of us were rushing around trying to tie up all the loose ends before the party, but Kami was oblivious to it.  She calmly practiced her piano and got ready because she thought we were going to go to the school play later on.  Caden and Maddie finished baking some cookies I had started while Shawn and I ran things back and forth to the party site.  At one point I apologized to Kami that she was having such an un-exciting birthday.  She replied, "I'm having a WONDERFUL birthday!"  So I decided to tease her a little bit.  I asked her what her friends had gotten her for her birthday (knowing that they hadn't given her anything yet).  She said, "Well, Hailee is the only one that gave me anything.)  I said, "Jeesh!  What slacker friends!!" And she said, "No.  Mom. They made me feel really special!!"  She is always so easy to please!:)

About ten minutes before the party started, I took Kami with me to grab a pizza for the younger kids.  I told her that after we took her pictures, she could choose something to eat.  Evidently, there were already two boys at the front door the second that Kami and I pulled out of the garage.  We just missed seeing them!  I really took my time, giving everyone a chance to gather, but Kami still had no idea!  When we got back to the house, we saw a (late) girl run up to the front door.  Caden pulled the girl into the house before she even had a chance to knock, came out and grabbed the pizza from us and then came back and jumped in the car and said, "We need to hurry and get those pictures taken! I'll come help!"  So we took off for the Wades shop where we had the party.  (I had told Kami that there were some great backdrops out at the Wade's barn) BTW - the late girl got there right behind us:) We walked in and everyone started singing to her and she was completely taken by surprise.

We played games and ate lots of food and I was so glad that we did this for Kami!  It was stressful day-of because so many friends had school things - sports, debate events, etc. that made it so that they couldn't come and I started worrying that the group would be too small to do everything that we had planned, but it ended up that we still had a good number. She had such a great time and I could tell that it meant a lot to her that we went to all that effort for her birthday.

And I really didn't get any individual pictures that night;)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Personality disorders

Yesterday Abram smiled up at me and said, "Mom, you're weird....But you're weird in a GOOD way." This got me to thinking about the weird things that I do or enjoy.

A little while later I was smashing the third spider of the day that I had found crawling around the house.  Man I hate spiders!  They ALL give me the creeps....except for one...and that one is the spider that lives in our storage room, that Abram and I refer to as our "pet spider".  I have very fond feelings for this spider!  Is this a "weird- in- a -good -way thing?" About a month ago, there were fruit flies ALL OVER our house!  Once I had Pace and was feeling more like navigating stairs again, I got to the bottom of the problem.  I cleaned out the storage room, which had been sadly neglected, and found some rotten squash which the fruit flies were going crazy over.  These fruit flies were a good/irritating thing - I don't need to spell out why it was irritating - fruit flies are irritating!!  It was a good thing, because whenever Pace was being really cranky and all I could do was hold him, I could still smash flies with a fly swatter.  Once the flies made it into our living quarters, they seemed to head straight for the upstairs bathrooms.  We have nine foot ceilings, so I spent many happy moments "accomplishing something" standing on the toilets or edges of the bathtubs, swatting at fruit flies on the ceiling.  They became my mission:)

One day Kami came home from lunch and had to share her funny fruit fly story of the day - she said that at lunch-time she headed to her locker to grab her lunch and several fruit flies flew out of her locker when she reached in to grab it!  We got a good laugh....we Gees are really something, I tell you!

...But back to this pet spider business....You should see all of the fruit flies that he/she(?) single-handedly dealt with! The smart little thing set up a web right by the door at the top of the storage room stairs and any time a fly tried to head out it got caught in it.  Then Abram and I could watch with fascination as the spider sucked their insides right out.  VERY SATISFYING!!!  Yes indeedy, you can bet that spider is safe in my long as he stays in the storage room.

 A few weeks ago, Shawn was gone week after week for a couple of months straight, only coming home on weekends.  I was living on three hours of interrupted sleep every night.  (Oh my goodness, life is SO MUCH better with a husband!  It's so nice to be able to trade off a little bit during the night and have both of us get adequate - if not sufficient- rest.) Anyways, one week while he was gone, all of my life-lines floated out to sea, so to speak.  These are my lifelines:

1. My husband.
2. Sleep
3. At least three days a week that I get to exercise
4. Socialization - usually with friends while I get the exercising done
5. A clean house

I could repeat the lifelines of "my husband" and "sleep" several times.  One day during the end of this loss-of-lifelines week, I started feeling stressed, and burdened and depressed.  I had kids to run all over while Pace screamed in the backseat.  I was stressed because several kids needed to be in different places at the same time.  Kami can drive, but not after dark - and HELLO!! It is dark practically from the second they get out of school now!!!! Did these day-light- saving people think this scenario through?  I think not!

 Then there was the Relief Society meeting that I really wanted to go to but would be super late to if I made it at all-and remember that socialization is one of the things that gets me feeling better about things.  So anyway, I was sitting outside in the car waiting for my kids to get out of piano lessons and my Father-in-law came out to talk to me.  He said, very sympathetically, "How are you doing today?"  And I started crying - how mortifying is that?!? It's mortifying for me because I'm not much of a crier.  THEN, I never could get things under control.  I cried ALL the way home.  Caden was sitting in the passenger seat staring straight ahead giving off the most "I'm uncomfortable" body language that you would ever see.  Under normal circumstances that would have sent me into peals of laughter.

Well, I made it to RS and it was very therapeutic.  When I got home I walked into a spotless house, - bless my traumatized children's hearts- got Pace to sleep and went to bed myself.  Then, miracle of miracles, he slept (for the first..and last time....) until 4:00 in the morning!  Three life-lines thrown to me in no time!! When the kids woke up, I said, "It's a miracle! He slept until 4:00 a.m!  They said, "yeah, we were all praying for that!"  Then Caden sent me back to bed and they all watched Pace and I slept, without stirring, until 10:00.  And do you know, from the second I woke up the world was just the most wonderful place again!  Boy do I love sleep - it just puts everything back into perspective.  And babies have a way of making you value every little bit you get even more!

Even though things aren't as pretty taken from my phone - or taken by me for that matter:), the phone is the only thing I ever have handy! So here you go. When I am rested I like seeing things like this:

Maddie was on activity and chose coloring for FHE
 or this:
I went to clean up this pillow from the floor and it seemed weightier than usual!

 or this:
I guess he must be comfortable...he isn't crying...

 And I like watching my kids enjoy things like this:

Maddie's team played her cousin Abby's team.  They had ALOT of cousin moments like this, (above) talking during the game:) And Abby was assigned to guard Maddie which gave them more opportunities:)

Shawn left again this morning, but before he went, he sent me off to exercise, and let me hurry down to IF with my good friend Amanda, since we both needed to buy some bulk honey.  We talked all the way.  Two life-lines down. And the house is clean.  That makes three. Now I'm just hoping to get a good night's sleep so that I don't develop any more "personality disorders".

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween 2013

This year I had a vision of having the whole family be a family of monsters...then I wisely decided that this was not my year to do extras like that when I"m lucky if I can keep up with the basics!  So... Abram went as a dinosaur, in a costume that I made for Caden when he was about this age:

He was entirely cute, but I was only able to get him to agree to the costume by convincing him about how scary he looked:)
I took him to the store with me to buy some candy for our trick-or-treaters and it was a very entertaining shopping experience.  A big group of college girls spotted him right off and I heard them simultaneously say "cute!"  Then Abe began growling and roaring at them in the way he imagines that a dinosaur would sound and they all exclaimed, "AWESOME!!!"  He then growled and roared at people all through the store:)
I bought (or I should say Shawn bought) a Captain America costume for Nolan.  I made him a shield out of a pizza box.  This is at Nolan's class when Abram and I went to help with the Halloween party:
Maddie decided to go as a Barbie doll, I suspect because she would then get to wear make-up.  Isabelle was adamant that she DID NOT want to dress up this year.  I kept giving suggestions and she kept saying she didn't want to dress up.  But then I thought of an idea that completely appealed to her.  I asked her if she would like to dress up like a worn-out mother.  She was then so excited about her costume.  Isn't that funny?  I must make that role look pretty appealing!! Ha ha.  Anyways she wore her pj's with a bathrobe over the top, slippers, carried a baby doll, and then we ratted her hair and had a few curlers just hanging from the back of her head.  Here is the whole gang:
everyone's really taking on their role:)
And let's not forget the little monster:
Kelley gave Pace this outfit and that is what got me thinking about monsters.  Thanks Kelley!  He was pretty cute!!