Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Need To Get It Together Already!

Christmas is here again and I'm not ready!! I think I needed another month to get ready for it. Feels like it kinda snuck up on me. Crazy!
I'm totally sinking this year. I do not have it together at all! I even decided not to do my annual cookie exchange! I am on the ward activities committee and had a lot I had to do for the ward Christmas party. I just felt like I couldn't do both.Sad, sad, sad. It is my very favorite thing to do each year and it is killing me not doing it!
Things kinda went out of control several months when I had surgery and I haven't been able to pull it together since. I am just trying to dig out! How can I feel so dang overwhelmed?
I do think though that I need to start making some effort so I'm not totally bummed. It just doesn't feel like Christmas when in years past my baking looks like this.....
 And this year so far my baking is looking like this..........
I need to get it together already!!!

Our Fall Escape Day 3!

I just had to finish posting our last day at the cabin because it was one of my favorite days yet!
Lauren and Zachary came up the night before and spent the night. We got up early and had breakfast then spent the morning outside on the porch watching the kids play in the yard.Then we grabbed some hot dogs and string and headed down to the pond!
I was going to teach my kids how to catch crawdads!
Some of my favorite memories are of my dad taking all of us kids down to a stream or pond and teaching us how to catch them! I loved the thrill of getting one hooked on my hot dog and yanking it out of the water! It would terrify me as they would squirm on the ground.We even took them home and boiled them and ate them a time or two! Yikes!
My older ones have been crawdad huntin with me but the littles hadn't been yet so it was exciting! They could hardly contain themselves.
Zachary was a master at catching them so he helped the girls catch them. It made me a little teary eyed watching him and Bailey together. One of those "Oh man I love these kids so much" kinda moments. So sweet.
We spent hours down there catching lots of crawdads, and trying (unsuccessfully) to catch some frogs.It was awesome!
We finished the day with a BBQ on the back patio as the sun set! Perfection!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our Fall Escape Day 2!

So on day 2 we got up at the buttcrack of dawn and I made a huge yummy breakfast for everyone.

Grace was once again beside herself at the thought of getting to sit down and eat together at that round table! It made me smile the whole time I was cooking to see her excitement over it! She had to set the table to help make things go quicker. Plates, yep..cups, yep..silverware..."Bailey hurry and get your butt in here we gotta get this table set so we can eat" ( guess she just couldn't contain herself!) Funny.She is a freakin awesome kid! I love this girl's personality!

After breakfast I cleaned up then started making chili for the crockpot. We wanted to go explore and I wanted to make sure dinner would be done when we got home so I wouldn't have to worry about it!

Then we were off. I love exploring the mountains. Wherever we have lived Tony and I have always loved driving exploring the mountains. I love finding wildflowers and pressing them in my scriptures. I have some from ten years ago that I can still tell you where we picked them!

We were on the hunt to find a lake called Big Lake. I heard it was beautiful but we had yet to go there.

The drive was beautiful! It reminded me of living in Utah and Colorado! It made me happy. The big pine trees, the aspens just starting to turn color for fall!Heaven!

It turned into quite a adventure! It was raining and we were on a dirt road.I thought for sure we were going to roll the car or get stuck in the mud. Tony and I were tense but the little ones loved the bouncing all over the place!

Then we found this fabulous river. Ahhh I love rivers like this! I was sad I didn't have some salmon eggs and treble hooks with a fishing pole! I miss going to the river to fish!

After the river we found the lake. It was as amazing as we heard. I thought I might cry. It reminded me of my favorite campground in Utah..Currant Creek! Right here in Arizona! Happy times are here again!

It was raining at the lake so we only spent a little bit of time there walking around and taking pictures.
(notice the ever elusive teen attempting to avoid all pictures!)

Now folks, I promised Tony I wouldn't post this pic but it is too awesome to not share! I thought I was taking pics of the kids exploring and when we got back to the cabin I downloaded the pics and saw Ethan in the background! Peeing in the lake! haha! He is such a animal. And I have the pictures to prove it!! It was so funny to see that he was doing that and I didn't even notice at the time!

We had a perfect day rain and all and when we were tired we
got to head back to find
some delicious hot chili waiting for dinner. Perfect!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Our Fall Escape Day 1!

I am burnt out on heat, dirt, and desert! So at the beginning of this month we decided to get away and rent a cabin up in the White Mountains! I went online and found the most amazing cabin ever!! It was SO reasonable priced so we booked it and headed up.
We were delighted at how gorgeous it is! And the size of it is perfect for our big family. My favorite part of the whole cabin is the wrap around deck. It is all enclosed so Adelynn can walk around and play while I read a book or just sit watching squirrels and birds. I love, love the sound of the wind blowing through the trees! And the smell...oh the smell! Nothing like the smell of pine trees!

The first night Tony decided to go golfing so I made the kids some popcorn and we sat on that porch for a hour. That is heaven to me!

The property has a creek running through it and the creek empties into some ponds. We spent hours catching fish and trying to catch frogs.

I also loved the dining room table. The kids would be excited to help set the table for the meals. Grace thought a round table was super cool cause we could look at everyone! haha! It was great seeing how happy it made them to be sitting there with family. So sweet.

I was so thrilled to have found this place and it was exactly everything I had hoped it would be!

I am already planning a return trip this winter and am talking to the owner about renting it for a week during the fourth of July!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Surprise My Pet!!

This Wednesday Zachary is turning 18!!! And usually for his birthday he doesn't really want to do anything for it. He has always told me he just isn't into a party so he hasn't had one in years!
But this year was going to be different! Cause his girlfriend Lauren just wasn't having none of that!
She decided she wanted to throw a surprise party for him. She was so sweet about it because she told me that since it was a big year for him, turning 18 and all it was very important. One he would always remember and she wanted to make sure that when he thought back to this year he would remember how many people really love him! Her entire goal was to make him feel special and loved! She is such a sweetie!
So I agreed to help her throw a surprise party with some of his closest friends.And then it started looking like about 30 people, then 50 people and by the end we were looking at about 70!!! Holy crap!

Tonight was the party and when Zach first walked into the party he was TOTALLY surprised! Seriously! We pulled it off! AWESOME!! I still can't believe that we pulled this one off!

Lauren and her girlfriends made a giant cake out of cardboard boxes.
The they had this inside~ Abe .......

Oh yeah..And Jake!!! I wasn't really getting what they were planning on doing! Not yet anyhow!
So they sat Zach down on a chair as soon as he got there and they put some music on. And Abe and Jake jumped out of the cake.

Wrong on so many levels. Seriously! But...seriously hilarious. (i was kinda embarrassed laughing my butt off like i did) Jake stole the show for sure!! Makes you wonder if he's had some prior experience there! Haha!

These boys crack me up! They have all been such good friends for the past four years and they are all great kids!
They are crazy and all but they are good kids. I am grateful for that!

Tony and I left shortly after the ummm...cake dance!
And I am so pleased that the party was a huge success! Tons of food, tons of good friends, Karaoke ( you shoulda heard them boys singing!), swimming, etc! The kids were having a great time and I am certain that without a doubt that exactly what Lauren wanted for Zachary has happened! He will look back with fond memories of his 18th birthday and know he had so many friends and family that loved him and were happy to be able to share that day with him!
And Lauren! Thanks sweetheart! We love you!

Friday, September 3, 2010

111 Degrees Today! What Did You Do With My Fall?

It's that time of year again! You know where I start to feel down. I 've reached the OK summer I am totally done with you. Go away now. Please.
I start longing to live somewhere beautiful again. Oh my gosh how I miss my flower gardens!
I miss the trees! And now~I keep thinking how right about now the nights are starting to get a chill to them! And in a few weeks the leaves will be turning those fabulous oranges, reds, and yellows that I love! Fall has always been my favorite time of year and I miss having one!
Temps in the lower 100s just ain't screaming fall to me! And take a look at these texts I got from my sweet friend Corrine yesterday!
These are pictures from her garden! She has the most amazing gardens! See that bench in her front yard? We would sit on it and talk. And laugh. And sometimes cry. I would admire her flowers. And she would give me gardening tips. And she would share with me her flowers.
She'd dig up some of the new growth on some of her flowers and give them to me to plant in my yard!
Every time I looked at my Johnny jump ups growing it would make me think of her! She is one of the most kind, fun people I have ever met. I am grateful to be able to call her my friend after all these years!
It was kinda bittersweet to get these yesterday.I smiled seeing how fabulous it looked this year. I could picture her in her big straw hat out early in the morning weeding.

Her message she sent with the pictures made me smile. It said '" A shady afternoon in my garden, wish you were enjoying with me, also the watermelon ice cream cake!
Sigh! I wanted to laugh and cry all at the same time! It painted such a lovely picture in my mind!

I talked to my husband about how much I am missing it so we booked a cabin in the mountains for a long weekend at the end of the month and I am hoping that helps me not feel so discouraged.
But I wonder~Am I the only one here that has a hard time with this? My Arizona friends~Don't you miss all this beauty? Don't you miss fall? Do you find yourself struggling not to get down over these things? I think it is one of the hardest things about living in Arizona!
And if you are fortunate to live somewhere beautiful, make sure you take some time to really appreciate it! I wish I had a little more when I had the chance!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Miss Elizabeth!

A few weeks ago Elizabeth came out to visit. And once again I couldn't help but smile as I watched her cracking up over some kinda trick one of the little one was doing. Or how she would pick up the front room, or clean the kitchen. I had Pneumonia and felt like I was dying and she wanted to help me out so she just did those things without my asking.What teen does that??

I came into the room and found she and Rachelle just hanging out. Rachelle was laying down and Liz was resting on her like a pillow. i found myself once again amazed at the relationship of those two. They have been like that since day one! Best of friends! I remember one year we were camping at the beach. The girls were five I think. And I came to the bathroom where they were talking with some woman. The woman asked if they were my girls. I said yes they were my daughters. She said they told her they were sisters. and that they both were five. She thought yeah, they defiantly look like sisters but she was confused cause they told her Rachelle's birthday was in March and Elizabeth's birthday was in May! I explained that they were step sisters but don't tell them that cause in their eyes they were sisters and that was all that mattered!

To this day that relationship is just as strong as it was 11 years ago! No matter how much time is apart they just seem to pick up right where they left off. I think in Heaven they knew each other. Were best friends even then. We were all meant to be a family!

It made me happy having her around. I loved watching Liz do Rachelle's or Bailey's hair. Or seeing the girls take off in the truck to go have some fun. I loved the sweet thoughtful letter she wrote her dad for his birthday. Seeing how much it meant to him! I loved just being able to sit around with her and talk. Catch up a little!

I miss her! Like crazy! So do the kids. Bailey has asked why Liz can't live here. And when does she get to see her again? " Cause you know what mom? I miss her!" Yeah Bailey~ I do too! But aren't we lucky that she is a part of our forever family?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Ideas myspace graphic comments
Seasons Graphic Comments

Summer is in full gear here and of course, hotter than ever! By Weds. this week it is supposed to be 111 degrees! Yikes!
I have been trying to plan activities for us to try to keep busy. I saw one friend who has activities EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK! Ok super mama, let me know how that works for you and how much prozac you were poppin to accomplish it! One or two things a week is fine for me thank you very much! I am just too dang lazy to load up all the little ones and herd them places!
I also am trying to do it on the cheap! I just don't want to blow money.
Here's what we have done so far!
Taco Tuesday~ We hit Rubios for some $1.49 tacos! My kids LOVE Fish And Tacos! They thought it was awesome!
The Movies~ We went and saw Shrek 3! They loved it. Adelynn behaved perfectly and slept through the whole thing. Since it was just me and the 4 little ones I brought the stroller and she was perfect. Ethan was too. Almost to the end!
The Local Pool~ It is only 50 cents per kid to go the pool. It is one of their favorite places to go. It has water slides, a lazy river, geyser's, and a whirlpool. We pack a lunch and I sometimes let them buy a Italian ice too.
Check out this lady who sat in front of me! Freakishly anorexic! You could see every bone in her spine! And her arms! Whoa!
People watching there is a crack up.The clothes instead of swimsuits, the thug wannabees, The tattoo's. Oh the tattoo's! What were they thinking? Oh and a bonus is that there is usually someone grosser, or trashier than me so it helps me not feel so bad about myself! The bikinis with their goods hanging out is scary/crazy. Lots of wild things I'm surprised to see. Fun for the kids, fun for me.
The Zoo~ We happened to pick one of the coolest days of the summer. It was perfect! We packed a lunch and ate by the lake. Ethan kept screaming he just saw a giant walleye jump!
We saw lots of fun animals,played at the kids playground, petted goats, and even splashed at the splash pad. Awesome zoo trip!

Krispy Kreme~ We went for national donut day! Free donuts. who doesn't love that?
So for this week I think we might be busy. The library has some fun stuff going on.
Tomorrow we are going to go to the Library for a free craft. (FREE! I love free!)
Tuesday we are going to the farm/peach grove to pick peaches then we are going to water and ice to get a ice cream. That night we are having the missionaries over for dinner. We love our missionaries! (chinese take out!They are stoked and I am too since no cooking!)
Wednesday I am taking Hannah and her friend to the library to make Free jewelry! It's a beading class, and once again....FREE!
Thursday we are hitting the library again for a juggler that sings and tells stories! Should be fun~ For the kids anyway!

So~ tell me what you are doing for summer. Do you have any good ideas that are cheap (cause I am kinda...) or even better, free?
The week after next I have scrapbooking with Hannah at the scrapbook store and the pool. What Else can we do???

Monday, June 14, 2010

Just Another Sunday

I always thought Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest. A day to renew your spirit. A day to bring you and your family closer together and closer to God. So if this is supposed to be the case then I have to wonder what exactly it is that we are doing wrong here! Cause I HATE Sunday's anymore. I seriously dread them. I start getting a sort of sick to my stomach feeling on Friday and by Saturday I am in full fledged dread mode.

My mouthy teen accepted a calling and it is important for him to be there. I am embarrassed every time he lets them down. I finally told the bishop I have to wonder why he felt inspired to call him to this cause it has become a huge battle and fight weekly.

I fight every single week with my kids trying to get them to church. I mean it becomes a screaming match with one of the mouthy teens telling me I am crazy. Certifiable. I should be put in a loony bin.And that he hates me.And still I can't make them go to church.

it seems like I fight with them and in the end I am fighting with my husband too.

Last week I finally had the family go ahead of me. I downloaded some lds music on itunes and I put it on trying to calm myself. I was in tears at this point.

I pulled myself together and made it to church.

Sacrament was as usual embarrassing. Yes, Ethan was his usual animal self, and the same ole people were giving us the same ole stink eye. By the time Sacrament was over I was emotional so I stayed in the chapel and pulled up conference on my iphone. I was reading a talk on mothering. It really hit home but also was making me super emotional. I was trying to hold it together when the bishop came over to ask how things were going and to tell me how well mouthy teen did on the trip I forced him to go on. I of course broke down sobbing. Nice humiliating moment! I told him I feel like my family is going to implode every week with the contention and fighting over church and at this point I am wondering why I am even there. I told him I had to go and I left church.

But after awhile I calmed down and thought I need to go back. Show my kids I think being at church was important. So I went to Relief Society. And it was good. Kinda funny cause the lesson was actually on the exact conference talk I had been reading earlier.

After church I went out to my car and the freak who hates me ( she's never spoken to me, she just hates me) was sitting in her car next to mine with it running.She was bending over biting her thumb. I waited and waited for her to go cause I had to put Adelynn in her car seat and I didn't want to be in her way. She didn't drive off so I figured she must be waiting for someone so I opened the door to put the baby in the car and this lady GUNS her car! She peels out of there. She almost hits me and my baby! If there had been a kid behind her car she would have killed it! Like what the hell???? Yeah... just another shinning Sunday moment! So once again I am thinking, what am I doing here?

This last Sunday Tony and I got in a fight before we even got started over something stupid! Over him taking the baby so I could sleep. I was so frustrated. And mouthy teen spent the night at friends house and promised to be home in time for church but didn't come home. Surprise, surprise, Sunday was just the usual Sunday.

So I decided I didn't have it in me. I was tired,cramping like crazy and just plain sad. So I did what I do best and I went to bed, and pulled the covers over my head and didn't get out of bed for most of the day. I didn't want to look at my husband, mouthy teen or the super freak at church. Worked for me.For this week anyhow!

So I am now sitting here trying to figure out why this has gotten so out of control and hard right now. I am seriously trying and things are the worst they have ever been when it comes to this. It has hurt my relationship with my son. It is causing me huge anxiety and frustration and sadness.

Somehow I am wondering why doing the basics is anything but basic for my family.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summertime Swimming

We have been spending everyday in the pool. Sometimes for hours. And miss Bailey loves taunting Ethan and Grace with the fact that she can swim without floaties and they can't!

But the other day it pissed Ethan off this time. So he ripped his floatie swimesuit off and ran and jumped into the pool. Then he kinda sank. And just as I was getting ready to grab him he made his way to the surface. And got out of the pool and did it again. And again. And again. Till instead of sinking he was swimming! He looked straight at Bailey and said HA!! I AM BIG TOO!

Woohoo Ethan! Yes you are!

Grace then had to follow cause she wasn't about to be the only one if a floatie! So I guess the fighting finally paid off cause my kids can now swim! And I didn't have to pay anyone to teach them either! HA!