Tuesday, June 28, 2011


K turned 12 today. WOW!! I cannot believe that my oldest is so old!

Sunday was her last day in Primary. I had the opportunity to spotlight her. I love this girl so much. I feel so blessed to be her Mama.

These are some things about her:

  • She loves gum
  • She loves singing
  • She finished the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price
  • She is very responsible
  • She has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ
  • She cares about people individually, not their popularity
  • She is smart and dedicated: A-Honor Roll
  • She is funny and has a great sense of humor
  • She loves to text
  • She loves to bake
  • She loves her family
Oh my! There is more, but that gives an accurate snapshot. I am so impressed with her. I cannot believe that the baby that I held in my arms 12 years ago has grown and matured so much. She has been through some major trials and has come out stronger and more confident on the other side. We have had a great day so far!

I love birthdays and I love to make them special for other people. This has become a tradition that my kids look forward to. They love the streamers on their door (one streamer for every year old that they are).
For K's breakfast choice, she chose donuts from a local donut shop. Then, she wanted to go to the park to eat them. It is her birthday, so we did.

We opened presents at lunch time since it was the only time that we'd all be together this evening. I think her favorite present was....A BRAND NEW CELL PHONE!! You should have heard the screaming! With all the texting that she enjoys, I thought it was time to get her a QWERTY keyboard.

My daughter!!
Isn't she beautiful????

Happy Birthday, K! I love you!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A was here

This is another post that is way overdue.

A was here with us, visiting for two weeks. It was really awesome to have her here. I am so impressed with how she treats our family as her family and I was also impressed with how accepting my children were of having a new "sister." K and A share a room and that is a new experience for both of them. I was very thrilled with how well they did together.

The funny thing is, I am finally posting this, but A will be back again in just 5 days to spend another week with us. :)

On the day before she left, we all went to dinner. The kids got a booth by themselves with CK and I across the way.
Then, we went swimming at some dear friends' pool.
The next morning, I flew with A back home. She loved this picture. She tried so hard to get it in focus just as she wanted it. When she did it, she was so excited to show her mom. She wanted to show it to her as soon as we got off the plane. :)
Here we are on the plane.
Isn't she gorgeous?
And...a long flight can turn us into silly girls (it really isn't that long...just 1.5 hours). I love this picture, even if it is crazy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Piano Recital

I have been behind on posts. :(

Last Monday, K and C performed in their summer piano recital. It is very cool to see how much they have learned in the last 6-7 months. They both enjoy piano and I am grateful that I had the clear impression to buy a piano. It has truly enhanced our quality of life.

K played Sunburst Waltz and Horse Drawn Carriage. She did an amazing job!

C played Hedwig's Theme and Dance of the Irish. He also was amazing! What talent these two have. :)

Here are all the students of their wonderful teacher.
Great job everyone!!!

No Pain

Lately I have been pondering on something that is a little bit strange to me.

I now have no pain. Sure, there are moments of sorrow for what should have been, but there is no pain. That doesn't surprise me.

What does surprise me is my inability to remember the pain. I remember sobbing out prayers to my Heavenly Father when the heartache I felt was overwhelming. In my memory, I can see myself kneeling at my couch as tears flowed and flowed. I can see myself crying in my Bishop's office when I felt that I didn't have strength to go on. I can see myself sobbing as I spoke to friends in person or on the phone. I can see my sister coming to spend a Saturday with me when I could not stop crying the whole day and I needed help. I see myself clasping our family picture to my chest and crying great tears of bewilderment and sorrow. I remember them all.

The strange thing to me is that I cannot remember the pain. I feel that this has been a blessing that I did not anticipate. The memory of that heartache has been taken from me. I know I felt pain. I know that it was difficult to function and even to desire to live, but the actual memory of the depth of the pain is gone. What a strange, yet beautiful blessing. How grateful I am for the support of a loving Heavenly Father, my Savior, Jesus Christ, and their angels that attended me daily, even hourly, as I struggled to make it through this unexpected trial and tragedy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Casualty of the storms: fence down!

We have had some major winds around here lately. I knew this fence was coming down, other storms earlier this year weakened it. This week, we had heavy winds from the south and this is what we woke up to Sunday morning:
After church, we braced it up and Monday, as soon as CK got off work, the project began.

The most difficult part was digging out the old post and continuing to dig to get the hole deep enough to put the new post in. Texas soil is very shallow with rocks....big huge slabs of rock right underneath. It was a lot of work. CK did 99%. I tried to help, but I couldn't do much.

Last night, CK (with a little help from J and from me) got the panel back up and screwed into the posts. We still have some slats to replace, but it is pretty much done. Thanks, CK! I love having him willing and wanting to work. I am so grateful that he is willing to take care of me in a way that I have never experienced. I truly feel treated as a queen. I am so blessed. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Father's Day (Early)

Sunday was Father's Day. No, not really, but it was at our house. A was with us for two weeks and this was the Sunday that she'd be here....so we took advantage of it.

My three were with their dad, so A and I got up and made CK breakfast. We LOVED working together and it was comical to watch CK itching to get up from the couch and come help. He doesn't allow himself to be "served" very well. :)When the other kids returned home, they were soooooooooooooooo excited to give CK his gifts. I had read somewhere an idea that I thought would be very fitting for Father's Day: each kid choosing a gift of something to DO with Dad. Kind of a one-on-one "date." They loved the idea and all four kids chose different and unique things. K is getting ice cream with him, C is going to play tennis with him, A is going to the movies with CK, and J is going with him to mini-golf. It is a great way to honor a father.

After gifts, we had a yummy dinner of roast and potatoes (and...I lost the battle...I couldn't keep CK out of the kitchen...he had to help with the potatoes!).

Happy Father's Day, CK! :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cub Scout Day Camp 2011

This week, C has been going to Cub Scout Day Camp. It really is twilight camp. The camp is about an hour away, so the boys (including travel) are gone from 1 pm - 9:15 pm. It is hot....around 100 degrees every day, but they LOVE it!
This year's theme has been space. The hours that volunteers have put in to make this run is amazing. It is very creative, as well.

I was lucky to be able to go as a chaperone on the first day of camp. It was hectic, but still very fun. I also was with one of my best friends and that was great!

Our boys:
Our flag that our group made. They all worked so well together. Every boy contributed, both in ideas, and in actual drawing. I was impressed with their talents. I could not have drawn that well. :)

The favorite activities of the day were the water gun fights and they made rockets out of newspaper that they then launched. It was very cool and they loved it.

C said that some of the other days were more fun, but he also said he wished I could be there with him EVERY day! How sweet! I would have loved to. Braving the heat is well worth it. If A wasn't here visiting, I am sure I would have gone more. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Picnic Flash

Saturday was a special day. It was one of very few Saturdays a year that we have all four kids together. Usually, either A is with her mom or my three are with their dad. Stinks having a split family!

So, Saturday we began the day by going to the park (early...since it was going to be so hot). We played ladder ball, played on the playground, and threw around a football. It was fun. Then, we came back and worked. That was okay, too. We all worked together. Some outside. Some inside.

Around lunchtime, everyone was kind of cranky. :( I wanted to make lunch fun, so I came up with the idea of using our UNO Flash game board and assigning different parts of the meal to each light. The kids LOVED it! I was surprised what a hit it was. Even after some of the items were gone and I was ready to just eat the rest, they wanted to keep playing. This is how we did it: if it hit "sandwich," we would all eat a quarter sandwich, if it hit "yogurt," we would all eat three bites of yogurt, etc.

What a blast!

Then, we went to see Kung Fu Panda 2 and enjoyed our evening together, loving every minute! :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

4th Annual Last Day of School Water Fight

The last day of school was Thursday, June 2nd.

For the 4th year in a row, we had our traditional Last Day of School Water Fight! It is so much fun. We have tons of pizza, tons of friends, and tons of water. It is cool to me how much this has become a tradition for other families also: I had many call or come ask if we were doing the water fight this year. :)

I love it. It was really fun, really hot, and a really great way to start summer 2011!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

17 Years ago today

17 years ago today...it was also a Saturday: June 4, 1994. It was my high school graduation. The crazy thing is I was 17. I am now 34. I have reached half way. Half of my life at "home," as a kid and half of my life out and on my own. It goes so fast.

Things about me at that time:
  • I was excited to go to BYU in the fall to study Math Education with a Theater Education minor.
  • I had a boyfriend that I absolutely adored.
  • I had a best friend that was better than any best friend. We were heartbroken knowing we were going to different colleges in the fall. (We are still best friends)
  • I had my life's plans and goals in front of me: finish college (did that), go on a mission (did not), marry in the temple (did that).
  • My siblings were 15, 11, 7, and 4. Leaving them seemed impossible. At the same time, I was ready.
  • I had super long blond hair.
  • Life was good. Life was easy. I was so innocent.
I am so grateful that now, as I look back on the last 17 years since then, that I can see that I have been blessed at every turn by a loving Heavenly Father. There have been amazing ups and devastating downs, but He has ALWAYS been there. I am amazed at the multitude of blessings that he has sent me. My life is amazing and I cry tears of joy nearly daily right now. It reminds me of Elder Wirthlin's talk a few years ago where he talked about the Principle of Compensation and mentioned that every tear we cry in sorrow now will be returned to us 100-fold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude. I have a lot of tears coming.

So...this is my life 17 years later: I have a degree in Math Education. I taught middle school for two years (in two different states!). I have three kids and one soon-to-be step daughter, ages almost 12, almost 10, 7, and 4. I serve in the Primary Presidency in my ward. I am divorced. I own a house. I am a stay-at-home mom. I am engaged to be married in (hopefully) 56 days. I have friends scattered throughout the country: people I love that either have moved away from me or I from them. I have lived in Utah, Oregon, and Texas.

Life was good 17 years ago. Life is good now. I am so blessed. :)