Thursday, February 11, 2010

What Am I?

I know it's been forever and then some since the last time I blogged, but after much delay, I decided to share my creativity. This is one of the MANY things occupying my mind and time since the last blog.
WHAT AM I?



Some at our house thought this was a "crappy" idea, but we did it anyway. ;)





Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This about sums it all up

Okay, after MUCH delay, a final blog for 2008. I feel it appropriate to share something that I meant to share many weeks ago (one of the many things that should have been blogged long ago).
Each week at Bailey's school that have what they call "Family Write Night." It is when a child and a parent is supposed to sit down and write on a topic together. Then we read and correct each other's paper, etc. Okay, that is if it is done the ideal way. We did it like that once upon a time, but it typically now is when Bailey sits down and writes, then later that night, when all of the kids are in bed, either Shane or I write something so that she gets credit for a parent writing and being involved.
One week, Bailey chose the topic, "If I could make a holiday greeting card this is what I would make it like." She then proceeded to write about and describe her card. Then she made the card just as she had described. Later that night, in the midst of all of the holiday chaos and needing to get all of the things accomplished that the crazy time of year brings I sat down to think of a creative holiday card. This is my write night. Consider this your holiday card -- belated as it may be.

My dream holiday greeting card would be one amazing card. it would actually be magical. It would personalize it's greeting for the person it's being sent to. In fact, the front graphic and greeting would match the likes or style of it's recipient, and the greeting inside would likewise be fitting for the person to receive it. I could then just sign it (the least I can do) and put it in the envelope. It would then address itself, affix a stamp to the corner, and manage to find it's way to the mailbox.

Okay, a little much to ask for, but at least it would get done. I can't recall how many years it's been since I've stopped to take the time to send out cards to beloved friends and family. I guess at our household, it it doesn't cry, whine, smell, need to be fed, bathed, dressed, mopped, washed, vacuumed, wiped down, watered, turned off or on, or involve primary children, it probably won't get done any time too soon.

Happy holidays from our house to yours! Many happy wishes for the upcoming year!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Simple Pleasures

This afternoon, the kids and I went out to swim for a little while. It was quite pleasant to watch the kids splash and enjoy themselves in the water. I tried to challenge Brayden to jump in from a different spot than he usually does, but with Dalton in the water, I didn't dare leave him in the care of Bailey for too long, and Brayden was too nervous to take on the challenge today.

Dalton really enjoys being in the pool. He splashes and squeals as he chews on the dive sticks. As we were getting closer to the time we needed to get out, I decided to go get in the spa to get warm before getting out. I don't have it set for too warm of a temperature, but warm enough that the kids like being there (about 95 degrees). Dalton really enjoys standing on the bench and splashing on the tile decking that spills over into the pool. As he was thoroughly enjoying himself, I found myself taking in the neat moment there with my kids. Brayden was playing with my feet. He finds such joy out of lifting my legs out of the water and trying to get me to squish his face with my feet or calves (part of his feet enjoyment he has always liked -- good workout for me).

(Brayden likes my feet.)


The girls were playing "Queen of the spa." They would take turns sitting on the step which served as their throne. The queen would then get to give out an order to one of the other girls to perform a "challenge," such as put your face under water without goggles for 10 seconds. They found this silly game to be so much fun and were continually rotating queen status and performing tasks as ordered by the queen. Brayden was all smiles and giggles with my feet, and Dalton was in heaven standing there and splashing.

It was just a simple thing, but I found myself taking in this simple moment. No fighting, quarreling or arguing. Each child happy and content and I was just a spectator among such amazing spirits. They are each so individual and unique with such varied interests and traits. I felt like I was the queen there, being so lucky to be their mom. I enjoyed the moment so much, and kind of felt bad that Shane wasn't able to be there to enjoy it himself. He would have loved it. What amazing little gems I have!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

So Much Happening -- such little blogging time

So much happens and my time to sit and blog seems very limited, or so I like to use that as an excuse. I would much rather be doing and enjoying than writing about it. So now on to getting things caught up.

Kelsie learned how to ride "a two-wheeler." I saw our neighbor out working with her son to help him learn how to ride a bike (he's about a year older than Kelsie) so I told her to go bug her dad to take off her training wheels and help her learn to ride. Little did I know that he had told her other sisters the day before, that he was planning on working with her that day on learning to ride. By time we got out there ready to start, the neighbor had been out practicing for about 20 minutes and was getting the hang of it. One time down the street and back, Kelsie had a pretty good grasp on how it was done. The neighbors were shocked on how quick she picked it up. Shane took her back out a few days later and worked with her a little more on a few skills and she is pretty darn good if I do say so myself. She starts and stops and turns all on her own. She is awfully proud of herself!

video

We have spent every chance we get in the pool, trying to take it all in before the water is too cold to be out there. With the solar heating, the water has been as high as 86 degrees this week. It fluctuates about 4 degrees daily. Shane and I have even been out swimming laps in the evening. It is kinda fun. The kids enjoy it more when we have friends or family over to swim with them. That is an open invitation for you to come join us!








This past week, we had Misti come down with Payton and Porter. Todd was flying in from work he was doing in Arizona, so we got to have family visit. Payton was anxious to get in that pool. He is a pretty good swimmer! He spent a lot of time in the pool. Porter enjoyed it too, but he likes the heated jacuzzi the best. It was so much fun to have family down to play for a little while.








Friday (Halloween) morning we carved pumpkins with Misti's family. Shane (& Todd) had taken the camera out coyote hunting so I didn't get pictures in the pumpkin dept, but I did get Morgan to take a few, just so we had proof that we did it. Payton thought it was "disgusting" and disappeared. The rest of the crew stuck with it and got some interesting jack-o-lanterns carved. It is nice to have the majority of the crew at a point that I can give them the pumpkin carving "knives" and let them create their own masterpiece.
After a little more swimming, Misti and Todd loaded up and headed home so that they could be ready for trick-or-treating at their house.

That evening we went to our ward activity/trunk-or-treat up at the preschool a few blocks from our house. This year was nice to not have to come up with a costume idea for Brayden. It has always been a task to come up with a costume to dress up in that Brayden didn't "feel" like he was actually dressed up. (A bit out of his comfort zone!) Of course, he was given candy even without a costume. Morgan dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood. Bailey was a hot dog -- or a Hallo-weener to put it in a more desirable title. Kelsie dressed up as Tigger, and Dalton ended up being a sheep. Misti had loaned me a frog costume she found for cheap, but last minute, I decided to have him wear the costume that all of his siblings had dressed up in. Kelsie may not have worn it (due to the wrong size/season) but the rest of the crew made an appearance in that costume when they were that size (not that young of an age though). The kids got so much candy! We are all either going to gain a lot of weight from all of this or I am sure Shane will throw a bunch away -- probably both.



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall is here-- LET'S GO SWIMMING


Okay, so if you haven't heard from the girls already, THE POOL IS DONE!!! They plastered it on Wednesday (Trudi's birthday) and put the hose in to start filling it when they finished. About 10 hours later, we turned all four of the hoses off (not that we were too anxious that one hose couldn't keep up with the expectations or anything like that) and boy were the girls surprised when they got up the next morning to find the pool completely filled. Brayden didn't give a lot of attention to outside that morning, but when he got home from school that day, and a few of us were out hanging around the pool, he came out to investigate. Boy the little sparkle and smirk on his face read, "So,...that's what we've been working on all this time!" He started trying to take off his shirt and unfortunately, his mom shut down the great idea to jump in. It didn't last long when a little later, he sees his sisters out wading in the shallow part. He came out and requested again. I offered to take off his shoes and sock so he could wade a little bit. I helped him into the water and the shock of the cold water hit him. He was scrambling to get out of there!

Needless to say, the wading of the other kids turned into, "Oops! I fell in Mom!" They ended up having a great time in the 68 degree water. What kind of parent would allow such behavior? Guess that confesses our parenting skills. We even allowed them to get back in the next day and the day after that. It is getting a tid bit warmer each day. The water was at 72 degrees today.

We still have to brush the pool 3x's a day which makes me think that I am growing some new muscles. It does make me feel old to see how much my body hurts from such a little thing.

We will be legal to have the kids out swimming on Friday. They did say that once the water is clean and clear from brushing it that they could get in, but I figured it looks clean and clear before they get in, just 'cause they stir up the plaster dust is a minor little detail the kids like me to overlook. The kids can't wait to have friends and family over to swim. I can't wait to be able to warm it up a little for the wimpier ones of us to use it finally. -- FRIDAY!!
wE're WaiTinG FoR waRMer DayS!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Can't keep up -- so trying to catch up!


So much has happened lately that it will take some time to catch up on all of the happenings at this house.

POOL



The pool is coming along nicely. It is so close to being done we can dream about it, but still have a little time to endure. They need to fix the wet deck that they did too shallow (or would it be that the wall to the jacuzzi was done too short?) so that we have more than a couple inches of water for the little kids to play in. After that gets taken care of, then they are ready to plaster and put water in it. Then it has to sit for a few days (they originally said 10 but we'll see if that really holds up) and hopefully by then it won't be too cold to throw these patient little rugrats at my house, in the cold water. The weather forcast for the next few weeks shows it to still be in the 90's through the middle of Oct. so hopefully we can put that solar to use and have some warm water to dunk in a couple of times before it's too cool.



I will miss the girls out "panning for gold" or "fishing" out in the deep end of the pool. They have found a lot of entertainment with "nuggets" of concrete that they fish out of the water and let me tell you, WE ARE RICH!!! They have spent hours out enjoying themselves, until we told them they are not allowed in the water anymore. It looks kind of toxic out there now.



School

Brayden is getting by in school. He has had lots of days of not-so-usual behaviors, but that is now becoming the norm of expecting the unexpected behavior wise. He is doing well in his computers class and his art class. Wish I could say the same for the rest of his day at school, but the two with the "regular peers" are his best grades. I don't know whether to credit that the teachers really like him, or they don't know what else to do with him other than slip by so that they can be done with him.

Morgan is still loving being in middle school. She is not so fond of her Science and Math classes, but LOVES PE, English, and Reading. Her Explorations class is okay (even though "the boys in that class are a pain"). She loves texting her Mom and Dad during her lunch hour and is finding her way around campus just fine.


Bailey recently ran for student body treasurer. When she brought home the paper to get permission to run, I felt comfortable signing it because it said that only 4 students out of the school would be allowed to actually run. They had to apply and the advisors would pick the top 4 candidates. I wasn't totally thrilled when the note came home saying she was selected to campaign. UUUGGHHH! So off to creative land we tried to go. We were only allowed to do one poster (thank heavens) and then she could do flyers, etc. before school, at lunch or recess, and at the end of the day. I spent all my extra time that week cutting out watches that reminded the kids that it was "time 2 vote 4 Bailey". Needless to say, she wasn't elected, but she handled the disappointment well. She was very pleased to report that the next Monday she was chosen by her classmates to be a class representative. She loves to be involved!





Kelsie is of course doing wonderful in preschool with her best buddy Max. She is doing quite well at learning the sounds for letters, but more impressively, she LOVES to rhyme. She can make up any word to rhyme with any word you can come up with. No matter if you are asking what a certain letter is or what sound it makes, she can come up with a rhyme to some word -- even if it's two words that she made up and makes no sense to anyone else. She is one even-keeled girl. I sure enjoy her. Her older sisters would enjoy her more if she would clean up after herself so they don't get stuck helping clean up her messes.





Dalton is content..... as long he is being packed around in his mom's arms. He is my little buddy I must say. We love hanging out together, much to the dismay of my back. He is getting so big, and sees that walking is much faster at getting around than crawling, so he resorts to the "crying to get carried" method and it seems to be working well for him. He is scooting around and reminds me of a caterpillar the way he slinks around, but he brings such happiness to our household. The girls all fight over who gets to hold him or help him or play with him, or...... you get the picture. He has all of us (with the exception of Brayden who still luckily mostly ignores him) wrapped around his chubby little fingers and can get any of us to jump and run at his beckon call.




Church


They recently realigned the boundaries within our stake and made some big changes to our ward. Our big exciting news here is that our dad got released and we now get him back with us. Morgan isn't so sure that it is all good. Her comment last Sunday (the first week of him back in the trenches) was that "He's strict. He won't even let us talk or play finger games." Obviously I can figure out what was happening when I was out in the foyer before, and now Dad is the reverence enforcer and not all of the crew are convinced it is a good thing.


We also are attending a different chapel (about 5 miles away from home) so the kids are disappointed that they can't walk home after church -- they have to wait until Mom gets done gabbing.

Of course there is more to catch up on, but that will have to be at a different time. The young'uns are getting restless and they think they need their mom. Better go find her.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Pool of Frustration and Fun


Long overdue for some pictures of the pool progress. They started our pool the last week of August and we are underway, but how far and how fast they can go still remains to be seen.

They brought in the big equipment and tore out the grass like nothing. I just stood there stunned thinking about the work and hours of sweat that went into getting our backyard the way that we had it. The hours by way of moonlight to get the sprinkler system in so that we could "mooch" grass off of the neighbors across the street that were taking a bunch out of their yard. The sidewalk, the planters, the swingset, the list goes on. What a bittersweet day that was. And all we were left with was a big hole.

They next came in to do the plumbing. That day made me frustrated. To see them tearing apart my planters just so they could get their equipment in and taking out plants and bushes. I didn't like it. Shane knew that the plants and such would be coming out and he was fine with it. In fact, he thought they were doing a really good job. I decided it was best for me to just stay in the house and distance myself from it all. Afterall, none of the workers could speak English anyway, so stick to my own "indoor business."



The most recent installment was the steel. This guy came by himself and spent all day in the 102 degree heat working away. He was friendly and I didn't mind him nearly as much as the previous crew. He even seemed to get a kick out of Pittman when we would let him loose for a little break.


Saturday night, Shane stepped outside to check on things and found that a water line they had done a couple days previously had broken apart and had water flooding clear back into the pool (it was over by the playhouse where it was broken).


I think the next crew to come in is to run the electrical conduit. The inspector then should come in to inspect all the work to that point. If everything looks good, they should be able to do the gunite. I will be nice to not have the dirt sluffing into the big hole. Then they will be ready for the next installment of money.

This will be a point that we might stay for a little while, depending upon the status of finances at that point and time. We are still stuck at the point of trying to establish Shane's identity so that we can get a credit report on him. Once that finally goes through, I think that things should move, but who knows how long it will take to clear up this little credit glich. (When they enter Shane's SS# with equifax, it pulls up Cody's name and SS# with AKA: D. Shane Dennett listed.)


Shane is so excited, I'm still a little on the reluctantly excited side. It will be nice and I know that our family will really enjoy it. I guess I'm a little like Brayden in that I don't like change. I like the grass, even though it leaves me with a $150+ water bill in the summer. I like things the way they were. I know that this will be a really good form of exercise for the whole gang and I think that it's a kind that Brayden will even enjoy. Especially since he and Kelsie learned to swim this past summer.


video



video


Unfortunately, the pool will be done, just in time for winter! We'll be more than ready to put it to use next spring though!!!! These swimmers can't wait!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Perfect"

Heading back to school this year has brought a little anxiety for more than just me. All of the kids are in different schools this year. Brayden is going into 8th grade at Mannion Middle School, where he has been for the past two years. Morgan is heading into 6th grade at Burkholder Middle School (closer to home than Brayden's.) Bailey is in third grade at Newton and Kelsie is going to preschool at Jr. Junction 3 days a week.
Brayden brings anxiety, just because it's Brayden. He was enjoying his summer break and not ready to go back. When I asked him if he was ready to go to school, he said "Yes." When I asked if he was ready to go on the bus, he said, "Yes." When I asked him if he was ready to see Mr. Shel and Ms. Val, he immediatley responded, "No. "

Brayden changed his shirt from a new shirt his Mom put on him to a "familiar" shirt before the bus showed up.

Morgan was nervous being at a new school and changing classes every hour. She was also concerned about having a locker and remembering a combination, etc. I've been anxious about her with her classes. She is in advanced classes, and I am concerned about her keeping up. I have also been nervous that I couldn't be there to walk her to her classes and show her where she needed to go at what time. (Mom's working on cutting the apron strings.)

Morgan was ready to go an hour earlier than last year.

Bailey.... not so worried there. She seems to hold her own, and her teacher is a lady that is in our ward, so I haven't been too concerned about her. I guess I have been concerned that her teacher may not like her/us so much by the time we're done, but what's not to love about my outgoing little girl.

Bailey can handle being on her own without any problems.

Kelsie was at Jr. Junction last year so she wasn't too worried, I'm not too worried.
My biggest concern of all is juggling all of the schedules. Brayden's bus makes the juggle a little tricky when I can't control or foresee all of the timing issues each day. Brayden and Morgan's schools start at the same time, but Brayden gets out 5 minutes before Morgan. That doesn't help much in trying to pick up Morgan before Brayden gets home. Soon after Brayden gets home, it will be time to pick up Kelsie, and then finally Bailey gets out. Trying to fit a nap in there for Dalton proves for a grumpy afternoon/evening because it gets cut a little short with the travels.

Kelsie is ready to head to preschool with her best friend Max.

Well, amidst the concerns and worries, the first day of school went smooth. Brayden's teacher reports that he was sad early in the day but seems fine later in the day. When I picked up Morgan and asked her how her day when, the answer was, "PERFECT!" Whew, what a relief there. I had such butterflies dropping her off in the morning, and as I watched all of those big kids with such different values than I would care for my daughter to be exposed to leaving school, I really had been getting concerned. Thank goodness for such a good report. Kelsie had a, "really good" day and had a cute paper with her hand print on it that she brought home for the scrapbook. One more to go. I had the neighbor across the street picking Bailey up from school so I didn't get the initial response as she came out of school, but by the time she got home and I inquired about her day, "Perfect!" was her response. Thank heavens for such a great start to the school year. Within a day or two, things will be better for Brayden and the girls won't be as thrilled with the homework from school, but overall, we are off to a "perfect" start!

Friday, August 15, 2008

What Disney Princess are You?

You Are Mulan!
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Strong and spirited. You're no one's girly girl; actually you are very determined person with a strong sense of self. Never let go of that! The only thing that equals your sense of self is your family, but the traditions of society can always be bent to protect something or someone you love.


Which Disney Princess Are You?

Figures I'd not get a crown to wear! Guess I'll stick the flower behind my ear and go save the kingdom!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

That time of year again!

It is that time again. Time that I become a hunting widow for 9 days. What a great hunter/gatherer I have. So thoughtful to go on a long, exhausting search, with the sole purpose of providing our family with the meat to see us through the long, cold winter months ahead.




(Shane's deer from 2006)



Poor fellow, out with only male companions and no responsibilities but to go out scent-free (who do you think does that laundry anyway) and quietly sneak into position to hope that "the big one" comes happening along the trail. Unfortunately, sometimes the poor hunter dozes off and takes a little snooze, and misses "the big one" as it passes by. If he is awake and just so happens to see a deer that suits his size limitations, he will certainly shoot a $25 arrow at it. Which brings me to the extremely high value of the meat that will possibly be brought back home. You have to take into consideration the new $1500 bow that just had to be upgraded this year because the other one makes a faint whooshing sound when the string is released which startles the deer and inevetibly results missing. Obviously the new bow doesn't fit the old arrows, so he needed all new arrows and tips. So these $25 arrows are bound not to get lost, because he is a great shot (the other misses and lost or ruined arrows were only because of the faint whooshing sound of the old bow). Now then take into consideration the transportation. Fuel in and of itself will range in the several hundred dollar range. Then there is food that needs to be purchased to keep the energy up in the mighty hunter. Oh, and I failed to mention the tag that already has cost me almost $300. Taking all of this into consideration, what a marvelous man I have to bring home a deer with 30 pounds of usuable meat for only about $2000.

All I have to do is stay home and eat my bon bons and chase 5 mild mannered, perfect angels, who never cry, fuss, fight, and are quick to do their chores and help out around the house. I'm certain there won't be a bit of frustration or difficulty while he is away. Just the minor fact that all of the back-to-school activites take place during that week, as well as a stake primary meeting fall within that time frame should prove to be unexciting to juggle. I'm sure it will all be great!
Actually, I am trying to be optimistic about this time, and have plans to try and get some things around the house in order before his return home. The biggest glich in my plans happens to be a chubby little one that likes to be in his mom's arm and walking around constantly. Naps are so over-rated in his opinion, so he tries to keep them to a minimal time frame and as infrequent as possible. His huge teeth coming in aren't much help either. We'll see how much really gets done around the house before I am completely drained of all energy. I hope to fit some fun for the kids in there somewhere as well. We had talked about going to Utah, but with the neighbor that feeds the koi going out of town as well, I don't know if we'll be able to make that trip. Who knows how spontaneous I can become with this crew of chaos!