Friday, October 3, 2014

Bikin it

Elsie has wanted her training wheels off for a while. I kept putting her off because she is a bit of a scaredy cat and I thought we would have to put them right back on. But no, she proved me wrong and was riding on her own within a day of practice. Ivy has almost got it down and Ezra can even ride a little bit on his own. Now it's an obsession and since there is only one bike small enough to practice on, there is also lots of taking turns. 

 Notice the stink corner (his shred of a blanket) going for a ride around his neck.

 I'm pretty sure that is Elsie's handwriting. (do not wake ivy)
This is one of the easiest things you can do with your kids.  We placed a folded paper towel in a fold top plastic sandwich bag. Evenly staple four staples about an inch from the bottom making sure to staple through the bag and paper towel. Pick 4 different beans, grains or whatever you want to sprout, then set on top of the staples and pour a little bit of water on top of the paper towel. (It's okay if it pools a little bit on the bottom of the bag.) Then watch those magical bean stocks grow over the next few days and make sure your paper towel is always moist. 

You want to make sure to tape these to a window to get sunlight. It was fun even for me to see these different things grow. I had really old beans and newer stuff and it was neat to see what would pop out first. My triticale grains grew first into lovely blades of grass. Ivy's is on the bottom left and you can see her adzuki bean really took off. It reached all the way to Lilly's bag above hers!  Some went moldy eventually but most of them grew. I had these old kidney beans that took FOREVER to sprout, like a month after I had given up hope and thought they were a dead bean. I threw everyone's bags out recently except Lilly's because she has this amazing sturdy kidney bean growing like crazy! It took forever but it was still a live bean! We want to find a place to plant it. I keep telling the kids if it gets big enough then we will climb it to the giant.  :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bacon smoothies, All the rage

I found Mayble dipping her greasy bacon in a nice healthy smoothie one morning. But apparently Bacon Smoothies are a popular dessert, more specifically at Quick Trip. Not sure if I really care to even try it though.

 The kids painted a trunk for a "Do Good" tree (or whatever you want to call it). They basically get to put up an apple or fall leaf anytime I see them do something good or if they work  hard on any assignments. The nice thing is that they can't be taken off the tree for bad behavior and there is no reward involved except for the satisfaction of our fall tree coming to life with lots of colors. The kids really like it. 

 If you haven't heard, AZ got hit with some record rain. What a treat for us Arizoners. I heard up to 5 inches in some parts and some major flooding on the I-10! Do we even get 5 inches in one year let alone one day?
 Me and the kids couldn't get enough of it and eventually we made our way over to Nana and Oompas for some puddle fun. Then oompa made us all lunch and brought out sweaters for us to warm up.
 I think even the schools were closed for the day!

September is probably my least favorite month, but if I knew we were going to get rain like this every September,  it may be my new favorite month.

Now we get to sit inside all snuggly. I can't wait for some cooler weather!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Since I last blogged

 Aaron got an amazing deal on some cabinets (from a remodel he recently did) and offered them to his parents. Having 11 children can be hard on kitchen cabinets and they were definitely due for some new ones after 20 + years. So in Aaron's free time he has been working hard to gut and install a new kitchen for them. I love remodel before an after pictures. So I will keep you updated on the progress. He has installed the new ones but they are waiting for counter tops now and I haven't taken a recent picture. I'm excited for the finish!
 Ezra recently knocked Anders last front tooth loose and it finally came out.
 We call this shot "Nanny McAnders"
 He has 3 teeth missing on top with no sign of anything new growing in. He is all gums!
 Mayble likes to ham it up in front of the camera. She also does this funny thing where anytime it is time to eat, I will walk over to her chair, set her food down and wait for her. She runs over, stops about 4 feet from her chair, does a hilarious dance while saying "dance, dance" then runs the rest of the way to eat. It is her eating ritual that we have titled "the numma dance". I don't know where she came up with it but I will get it videoed one of these days. Cracks me up every time.
 The kids earned a well deserved and undeserved trip to Big Surf before the summer ended. I say undeserved because there is still always fighting/teasing and me threatening to turn then car around on the way there. I was excited to go, but somehow got stuck with the little kids and worrying over them at the little kids slides. It is so stressful over there! I'm constantly wondering where each of them are while I am also confused as to why there is only one lifeguard up there and the gate to the wave pool is broken and wide open with a  20 foot drop right below it??? There's also a bazillion people there that I have to search through. Luckily Kier, Heath and Cody were helping me out.

But it was fun. The kids especially loved the wave pool and crashing into oblivious people on their rafts. I have to admit I got a real kick out of hearing people turn around a say, "Oh crap!" as we pummel into them. Kim and Ethan joined us too! Always more fun with family!

I got an even bigger bonus when I saw my old college cross country coach and his family there. I ditched Aaron for a bit and talked to them for about a half hour. I loved catching up with them!
 When it rains, we actually have a river running close by. Aaron came home from work and asked if I wanted to go. Well heck yes! Something that I don't have to drag him to and it was his idea in the first place!

 The kids had a blast and there was a pretty strong current running. We were wishing for a rope with Ezra because we had to keep chasing his floating body down toward the "rapids".
 I was avoiding taking Mayble in because I knew once she discovered she could go in she wouldn't want to come out. And I was right. She loved it.
 I made Aaron handle all the kids while I pretended I couldn't go in because I had the camera in hand and someone has to take pictures!
 Lilly made a temple out of Legos the other day. She is super proud of it. The kids are having their obsessive moment with Legos. The thrill of digging through 2 huge bins comes and goes.
 We've celebrated 2 birthdays. Choo Choo is now 3.
 Elsie turned 6. I love the little crown Lilly made.
 Always fun at grandma's pool and getting flipped in by Uncle Heath and Grandpa.

 We brought back the water slide on an especially hot and boring day.
And the kids discovered board games! Monopoly and Life are on the top of their list. I am severely cutting back tv and we need to find other things to do to fill our time.

So that's what we have been up to. I am mainly trying to keep up with blogging for my sis in law Hayley who is on a mission.  So I will try to do better!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Swim Team and a Vistor

Swim team has been great this year. Yeah the meets are hot and long and we dread them sometimes, but it worth seeing the kids active and outside. 

 This was a relay meet at night. A storm blew in and we thought it would be canceled but it was fast moving and they only started 1 hour late.
 Remember my friend I visited in Kentucky? Well I was thrilled to hear she was coming to visit me before she settled in their new place. I'm sad I didn't get a picture of us together, but these will have to do. She is a wonderful hair dresser and was so nice to give everyone a trim!

 The last swim meet is in San Manuel and the kids did well. Anders got 2 3rd place medals for his team relays plus a few 6ths and 7ths.
 Lilly swam her heart out in breaststroke, cut 9 seconds off her time and came in first! The second place girl in this photo had the top times for the summer and I don't think she was expecting Lilly the underdog! She doesn't look too happy on the stand.
The Coolidge Dolphins

They threw a end of the summer swim team pool party which was fun. Ivy aimed to impress everyone with her flips and dives off the diving board. She was really showing off when she decided to jump off the diving board then swim halfway across the pool. I think we will put her in swim team next year.

Friday, July 11, 2014


I have wanted to visit my h.s. bff for a long time now. So I finally asked Aaron if he would be willing to let me venture off by myself. To my delight he said of course . So I nervously bought my ticket a few months in advance and waited patiently for my trip to come. I felt very selfish asking this of Aaron and was also anxious about the upcoming trip. I was also praying that all went well with our family and no illnesses or injuries came up. 

Everything was going fine until about 2 weeks before, Mayble and Ezra had a case of diarrhea for about a week. Then Mayble got a high fever and was very sick for about a day and a half. Her fever lowered and she seemed to be getting better but I noticed that she was swollen and red behind her left ear and she was very sensitive to the touch in that spot. We looked online to see if we could figure it out and the main problem that we saw was called Mastoiditis. It can become a serious problem if left untreated so we took her in to rule it out. The pediatrician almost instantly told us she had mastoiditis and made an appointment with and ENT right away. He mentioned surgery and seemed very concerned which also made me very concerned. He couldn't tell us much about it, because it is such a rare thing and he never has to deal with it. Maybe once every 4 or 5 years!

So we see the ENT that day and he was much more calm about it and explained a few different options. Basically mastoiditis comes from an ear infection that bursts back instead of forward causing the mastoid bone to become infected and inflamed. Hers hadn't leaked too far so he suggested either trying antibiotics or a tube to drain it. Luckily I think her infection kind of contained itself. What is funny is she had shown no signs of an ear infection and seemed to be getting better and happier after that initial high fever. The scariest part is that this condition can lead to meningitis. So being the weekend already and not wanting to risk meningitis or anything more serious we opted for the tube to drain it. I was very nervous especially with her being put to sleep. She was not happy with all the doctors and being out of her comfort zone. She screamed most of the appts and especially the day of the surgery. But luckily it took about 4 minutes from the time the took her til she was back in my arms again. The ENT said it popped like a pimple and she would be back to normal soon. 

He was right, her ear improved within a few days and she seemed to be on the mend. I was still so stressed getting ready to leave though. I was afraid something would happen when I was gone. 

So the day came. We picked up Maggie right before I left and I said goodbye with tears in my eyes. Mayble was with us so that made it even harder. The plane ride went fine. It was about 7 hours of traveling. I met a few people and felt woozy about half of the time, but overall it went well.  I had a layover in Atlanta and I could not believe how busy that airport was. It is the main hub of Delta so that is why. 

 I got there 1130pm Sat. night and we stayed up until 3:30 talking and catching up like we were in h.s. again. It was so incredibly good to see her again! We were inseparable back in the day. She is the extrovert and outgoing one and I was the more shy introvert. She is hilarious and could always bring out my fun side. She was also my spiritual rock and she was always there to lift me up and make me feel better about myself. We wanted to do what was right and there was no peer pressure to do anything but that. I couldn't have had a better friend than her. There was 8 of us that were the best of friends. We did everything together and supported each other with all of our extracurricular events. They were always there at my track and cross country meets cheering me on. We tailgated, and traveled to football games together, cheered for each other at assemblies. We went to stake and school dances, did service projects and worked together. There was girls camp, proms, frolics, firesides that where bore our testimonies to one another. We always switched off houses and ate lunch together. Most of us served on the seminary council and planned numerous activities together. We were there for each other when we each had our personal trials.

Some of my favorite memories are going to church events with each other. Hot tubbing on a cold winter night watching the stars, playing cops and robbers, ice blocking at EAC, swimming in the back of a pickup while we drove down main street, the endless games and date nights together. (Most of us hadn't even kissed anyone else til we were out of high school, ha!) Lisa and I would giggle together during classes and firesides. There was always something funny we were talking about. Going to Mt. Graham and playing in the snow was also super fun since the mountain was only about an hour away. My favorite was when Preston and the guys would go to the mountain and bring back a truck load of snow. Then they would surprise each of us by coming to our houses and bombing us as we opened the door. They we would go along with them to the next house. It was endless fun and I could go on and on. I really miss those relationships. At that age you think you will be best friends the rest of your life! Seeing Lisa reminded me of those carefree days....
 So I went to church with her the next day and was in awe as we drove. Beautiful green everywhere!
 This was what was happening behind her church building. A gorgeous field with a little stream and big trees. I'm sure it was effortless grass unlike AZ. Lisa has 3 adorable boys whom I was thrilled to finally get to know. The were so sweet to me and I enjoyed being in their company. 
 Lisa took me for a drive and showed me all of her favorite scenic spots. Lots of fences and horse properties everywhere. I don't think I saw dirt that entire time. 
 I loved all of the old barns
 There were big established trees everywhere with canopies reaching over the roads.
 I'm a cat lover by nature and was thrilled to find out that Lisa has a cat! His name is stubs or stubbies, or stubbikins, lol. It was funny watching the kids play with him and call him all of his hilarious names.  He payed me a visit every night and would scare the crap out of me as he attacked my dangling arm in the middle of the night. 

 Lisa took me to Natural bridge. It is a bridge that was formed over time. We hiked most of the morning. You had to go through this passage that I like to call the Lord of the Rings passage.
 This I think was standing on the bridge. 
 There was a lift that we took down. It was beautiful!
 If you look close, this is a rock where you throw your hair tie as you ride down. There were thousands of hair ties.
 Then you ride back up the steep cliff!
 We are standing on a rock called "lovers leap" and you can see natural bridge in the back.
 She took me around town and showed me all of the old, big brick houses that I instantly fell in love with.

 We went and saw Captain America on my birthday. It got out about 9pm and we started to walk around the little shopping center before we realized everything was closing for the night. I half jokingly said, "Well I guess we just have to go see another movie!" And she promptly replied by saying, "That's what I was thinking!" So we went and saw the 10pm Amazing Spiderman 2 which happened to be in 3D!
 I love her zebra shoes!
One of the last things we did was go to Old Kentucky Chocolates. They had boxes upon boxes of chocolates to sample which they forced upon you until you couldn't eat anymore. They had this little old lady who I think was just there to stay busy and she kept saying funny things and messing up orders ha ha! Behind us is a chocolate horse (which I noticed had a lot of lick marks on it, lol).

I always wished I would have taken more pictures. I got a few videos and some more scenic one of my runs. I was there a full 4 days and my other 2 days were purely traveling. It rained a couple of afternoons and the weather was in the high 80's so it wasn't bad.  My dear friend is now moving to Oregon and I look forward to visiting her there once they are all settled in a few years.

I had a great time and I felt that we really rekindled our friendship. We stayed up late most nights just talking and looking at pictures.  I am of course grateful to Aaron for taking the week off and watching the kids, which is a feat in itself. It was really good for me to take a break for myself (and get a break from every day life) and re-evaluate my role as a mother and wife. I came back refreshed that is for sure! Thanks for a great trip Lis!! I look forward to seeing you again!!