Sunday, December 22, 2013

C basketball game and K choir concert

Last Thursday was a very busy night for our family.  C had a basketball game and, at almost the same time, K had a choir concert.  CK had a stake meeting that overlapped both.

But, after thinking through it all, I physically could not drive them both to their respective locations, let alone support them in their events.  So, CK didn't go to his meeting, but fulfilled one of his greater rolls as "Dad." 

So, CK, J, and V went to C's game.  K and I went to her concert.  K was able to be ready quickly for her concert, so the two of us got to go and see the beginning of C's game.  Supporting him was worth the money we spent to get in for just half a game.

Here is C taking some free throws.  Go #2!!

And here is K singing with her choir.  It was beautiful.  I was grateful that I went.  I am glad I got to see both her sing and C play.  It made for a long night, but so worth it.

I think this picture was the next day.  I just had to take a picture of my gorgeous girl.  She is gorgeous inside and out.

Finally, we had some very good friends come visit in our area.  We got to see them twice while they were here.  I have a picture or two more to share about their visit, but this one just is priceless.  E was about V's age when they lived here.  V dislikes going with anyone not in her family, even if she knows them well, so it was surprising how much she loved E.  She just let E carry her around everywhere.  That is unusual for her.  It was cool. 

I am blessed to have this family in our lives.  I am so blessed with their amazing support with all I have been through.  Their prayers sustained me and their vocal support was so needed.  I am blessed.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

15 months already!

V is already 15 months old!  Crazy!  She is so much fun.  She loves to talk.  She loves to dance.  She loves to kneel down for family prayer with us.  She loves to play with her siblings.  She loves to throw mini-tantrums.  She loves to assert her own will by either saying "Yes" or shaking her head "No."

She doesn't like staying still long enough for me to take her picture.  She has a beautiful smile that I rarely get to capture with a picture.  How glad we are that she is part of our family.  We wouldn't be complete without her.  We are so blessed.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

C's Band Concert

C's band concert was Thursday.  With so many things getting canceled and rescheduled due to the days of school missed, they didn't play in the high school auditorium as originally planned.  They played in the middle school gym. They all took it in stride and they played very well.  C is in honor band, the top band and he had to try out for it.  We listened to symphonic band before them.  They did well, but they were definitely a notch more skilled and the music was really good.  I was impressed that 7th and 8th graders sounded so well together. 
It was difficult to get pictures of him, but look closely and you can spot C right in front of the big tuba.
I am proud of him.  He plays sports and he does band and he has participated in whiz quiz.  He is also heavily involved in scouts and church and I am impressed with all he does with his life - especially that he does it so very well. 

Finally, I just tacked it on to this post....
I actually completed a project.  I am not a sewer, but I would like to be.  I had a dear friend have a sweet little baby girl and I wanted to make her something just for her, so I attempted something I had never done before....I pieced a simple baby quilt.  It is not fancy at all, but I am so glad that I completed it!  It has been done for a couple of weeks, but with the storms and all, I finally had the opportunity to take it to her on Thursday.  :)

The rest of the ice storm 2013

So, we had no school on Friday, but then....all events were canceled for Saturday, church was canceled on Sunday, School was canceled on Monday, and School was again canceled on Tuesday.  This was a lot of ice and we were definitely iced in.  I am so grateful that even though we did get stir-crazy that we had each other and that we had plenty of food and heat.  We played games, we made cookies, we roasted Marshmallows, we did some cleaning.  It was a good break from life - although I was definitely ready to get back to the routine and schedule by Wednesday!

 Our doggie is looking so old.  She is 11 in human years, which roughly is about 77 in dog years.  In our new home, she is usually an outside dog.  When it gets very hot, we bring her in.  This time it was very cold and she spent most of every day and night inside.  V just loved her.  She is a great dog.  She never barks.  She never licks.  She is always obedient.  She is just a very good dog.  I see her aging and I am sad that she will eventually become even older and pass away.
 Road still a sheet of ice on Monday (or maybe that was Tuesday).
 I didn't capture this exactly.  C and K were really using J as a "hockey puck" and sliding him back and forth on the ice.
 Roasting marshmallows...thanks, K!
 I forgot to take a picture of the icicles on our bushes.  This picture was taken either Wednesday or Thursday...AFTER the kids went back to school.
 Ice.  Mostly shoveled onto the lawn from our driveway (again, Wednesday or Thursday).
 These two of icicles on the roof I am certain were taken Thursday.  I don't know why I didn't do it before, they weren't nearly as long when I remember to take pictures.
There you have storm in Texas.  I am so glad that we don't have the infrastructure to make the ice melt off every road immediately.  We get storms every year, but only every 3-4 years this big.  I think it would be a waste of my tax dollars to have the equipment to clear off every single road.  I will just stay in and enjoy it, thank-you very much!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

No School!!! (Iced In)

Friday, December 6, we did not have school.  Most everything was shut down around here due to the ice storm that came through our area Thursday night.  It was so loud on the front of our house (North facing) that K had to move to the floor of the ping pong room during the middle of the night.

This is what it looked like Friday morning:

This is NOT snow.  It is pure ice.

Above is one of those North-facing windows....completely iced over.  We couldn't see out of them at all.

Of course, the kids went out "sledding" on the ice.  We used cookie sheets and they sled down the icy driveway.  They had so much fun.  They went out later in the day and played again.  Then, yesterday (Saturday) they had cabin fever and I forced them to play for 15 minutes.  It was over an hour later and dark and I was calling them in.

The cabin fever came from being in the house for a couple days straight.  Almost everything was canceled yesterday.  We went from a busy Saturday to a very not-busy Saturday.  It was nice. 

Friday night, we decorated the tree.
We also watched a movie as family while a fire burned in the fireplace.  It was awesome.  We were all gathered together.  V just walked around the kids that were on the floor.  We laughed.  We loved being together.

Yesterday, we cleaned.  We made cookies.  I sewed (until my sewing machine had issues).  CK and I shopped a little online.

Now, today (Sunday), we are still iced in.  The roads are still quite dangerous - 1-3" solid ice.  Church was canceled.  We are getting ready to have "church" at home.  I love the Spirit in our home.  We will begin by having song and prayer and then each of us have prepared short talks.  We will close with a song and prayer.  Next we will have "Sunday School" and have our family Book of Mormon scripture study.  Then we will have some time set aside for "Young Women" (Personal Progress) and "Young Men" (Duty to God) and "Primary" (reading from the Friend).  CK and I will help the kids.  I am so grateful that we can have the Sabbath day at home, even without formal church being held.

I am also so grateful that we have not been among the hundreds of thousands of people that have lost power.  I am grateful that our heaters are working.  I am grateful that we have plenty of food to eat.  I am so grateful.

Today, we are supposed to finally go above freezing.  Forecasts vary about whether it will be enough to melt the ice or not.  We will see if school and everything else is canceled again tomorrow.  If so, we will spend another day together and love (almost) every minute.  More sledding.  More studying.  More games.  More peace.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's the Little Things: Feliz Navidad

J and I just had a cool experience that I wanted to document and share. 

I was driving J to school and asked him what his favorite Christmas song is.  He said, "'Feliz Navidad,' but I haven't heard it this year."  I told him I hadn't either and said that we should turn on the Christmas music station to see if it happened to be on.

IT WAS!  It was the coolest thing ever.  I turned the station and it was right at the beginning of the song.  J and I sang loudly as I drove.  It is a heart-moment I don't want to forget.  I don't know if the Lord had any influence on what song was on the radio at that moment, but I do believe that He is more aware and involved in our lives than we know.  He indeed might have wanted J and I to feel that He is there and aware of us....even just driving to school. 

Either way, it was a touching moment for us both.  I will cherish it.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

One more... I almost forgot these!!

V loves to play with the kitchen towels. I mean absolutely loves them. We have to keep them from her or they'd all be dirty in one day, maybe even one hour. She wears them around her neck like a scarf or over her head. She absolutely loves them. One day this is how I found her and I happened to have my phone. I know I will forever cherish this moment in time that I was able to capture.

Some of my blessings: The best family ever!

Wednesday, the day before K, C, and J went with their dad, we decided to have some family time.  No working allowed.  CK, V, and I did go to pie night at a dear friend's home, but we left early and came home to watch a movie, have a fire, drink hot chocolate, and just enjoy being together.

After we wrote for the last time on the Thankful Wall, I looked over at the stairs and this is what I saw - so I had to grab my phone to take a picture!

This picture is awesome.  I love the boys' faces.  I love them posing together.  I love the love that we all share.  Makes my heart sing.

And the fire.  Still silly faces, but all three just love fires.  I am thankful that we can have them on occasion.  I am also grateful that we don't have to rely on the fire for heat, especially since our fireplace was definitely built for decorative use not for practical use.  Last week, one of our heaters went out.  It was the beginning of one of the coldest weeks in a long time.  It was also the night we were hosting dessert group for some of our ward.  Luckily, we were able to get a repair man over and he was able to find and fix the problem.  Otherwise, we all would have lived upstairs.....down was getting so cold!

Again, I am so blessed.  I have a great family, a comfortable home, all the necessities of life, and a relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I was beaming through the grocery store today as I realized that this is my fourth Christmas with CK.  I am so lucky.  I love him so much.  He treats me so well.  My heart beats a little faster when he looks over at me with love in his eyes.  I am so grateful for the love he has for me.  I am one blessed woman.  From heartache to happiness, I am so blessed.

Thanksgiving (for us, Tuesday November 26th)

This year, we had Thanksgiving on Tuesday.  We did it all like any other Thanksgiving ( except with no parade and less football).  We cooked all day.  We ate until we were stuffed.  We celebrated with family.  We were so grateful. 

The reason we celebrated early is that our four oldest kids were going to be with their other parents on Thanksgiving day.  K especially asked for "Fake Thanksgiving" with all the home cooking (especially the sweet potatoes).  A was still with her other family in St. Louis, but we did have K, C, and J with us. 

Thankfully, my sister (S) and her family made plans to join us (and help with the food!).  I am so grateful every moment for family close by.  The kids love their cousins and I sure love my sister and her husband and kiddos.  It may have been Tuesday, but it sure felt like Thanksgiving!

We also had a chance to Skype with my parents and they got to see all of their crazy grandkids at once, except A.  It was fun.  And, it felt so much like Thanksgiving.  Smelled like Thanksgiving.  Kids were excited like Thanksgiving.  Lots of laughter like Thanksgiving.  It was awesome.

Then, for "Real" Thanksgiving....CK and V and I hung out and relaxed.  We watched football.  We ate leftovers.  We went to some friends for pie and games.  We thoroughly enjoyed the day.  We missed our extended family, particularly CK's family as most of them gathered together in Idaho.  We missed them and would have loved to be there.  There is no denying, however, how very much we enjoyed our rare day of relaxation!

Thankful wall this year was as awesome as ever.  This year, I had A write some things on leaves and we taped one of hers up each night as we wrote our daily things to add to it.  I loved having her be part of it, even from a distance.  It is something I will definitely continue!  I might take a picture of it...but then I'd have to cover all the proper names on there.  Not sure I am up to that. 

I am blessed.  So very blessed.  The name of my blog is so true:  I do indeed have a very good life!

K's Piano recital

K had a piano recital this week:  Monday, November 25, 2013.  She is so talented.  It is hard to believe that she has only been taking lessons for just over three years.  She is good!  I love to hear her practice.  I love to hear her play.  She loves it too and that makes paying for lessons so worth it.  She has become the most advanced student of her teacher now, which means she plays last in the recital.  This gave her almost an hour to get nervous!  She is almost ready (as far as talent goes) to move on to a more advanced teacher, but she loves her teacher, I love her teacher, and she is so busy with high school and all that entails that more advanced is not in the cards right now.  She has reduced lessons to only twice a month and it is difficult for her to practice with her busy life, but she manages to make the music sound so beautiful. 

This recital she played:  "Guitars of Seville" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?"  Beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

14 months!!

Crazy girl keeps growing. I love her so much. I am constantly amazed at her abilities as she grows. A few weeks ago, she learned to walk backwards. It isn't such a novelty anymore, but she sure loved it. I don't remember the other kids going through that stage. Either she learned it earlier or loves it more.

I am blessed. Love being Mom. No better title in the world!


Feeling quite blessed (and quite sore):

Yesterday afternoon, I tripped coming into my house while carrying V asleep. Something had fallen in the garage, but I didn't see it and tripped over it.

I am quite bruised up, but okay. I am feeling more and more sore every passing hour and new bruises keep showing up but I have no broken bones and I am okay. I slept better than I expected (between this preggo belly and my bruises). No new bruises, but, boy! Am I sore everywhere this morning.

V was scared and what a way to wake up! She is fine.

Baby seems fine-he is moving like normal. :)

Feeling grateful! I feel so very blessed!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

J's artwork

There are some things the kids do that I never want to forget. His picture he drew yesterday at school is one of those things.

He is in first grade. He has a love of penguins. This is how he describes this picture: The penguins are having a war: the blue and white hat penguins versus the green and red hat penguins. The polar bear takes advantage of them being distracted and comes along saying, "yumm." In the water, the seal is also preparing to have a yummy lunch.

I love it! It shows his personality, his creativity, and his artistic ability.

So, I posted this via my Blogger app on my phone.  I cannnot---via phone or computer get these pictures to be the right direction.  So Sorry.  :( 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


What a special date!  If you know me, you know that I absolutely LOVE numbers.  What a blessing to have gotten to live through all these super fun dates that won't come again for a hundred years, like 1-1-1 and 1-2-3, and 7-8-9, etc.  Today is one of those cool numbers:  11-12-13!

This last weekend was a St. Louis weekend.  We had such a great time.  I love seeing A.  I have been reflecting recently on a comment made in passing by an acquaintance when CK and I had just begun dating...that it was good that CK only had one daughter...he could forget about her and marry me and have my kids and be good.  I am sure that the comment was made in innocence, but it shocked me then and really shocks me now.  My life is so much more complete to have her as one of my daughters.  I am so grateful that we get to see her at least once a month.  It is important to me and important to CK.  I love her.  We had a great few days of reconnection.  We didn't do anything extraordinary, we just loved being together and I will always cherish this. I think that is one of the reasons that I am sad that this will be the last time in a while that I get to fly and see her. 

December, she comes here for Christmas.
January, too close to due date to fly...CK will probably go alone
February, due date and newborn time....hopefully CK can still go, maybe he will take V with him and leave new baby with me.
March, we would love to have A come for Spring Break.  We will see if that works!
April, Maybe I will brave taking both babies on a trip....maybe not yet
May, We will probably get to her bring her here as school gets out before Memorial Day and that usually works out well
June, July, and August are summer months and we will bring her here as much as we can
September, we might be able to make this one work, but as soon as V turns two, we will be paying for three plane tickets.....not sure that that is in our budget. is only November and I might not fly for another 10 months.  Crazy.  I have gotten so used to flying and so has V, but this is the life that we have chosen and that we love!!!  We are so blessed!!!

And don't forget that it is 11-12-13....we are blessed there too!!!!  :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Family Party October 2013

I realized that I talked about our October Family Party, I even posted regarding the invitation, but I didn't follow-up.  It has been nearly two weeks now.  It was so much fun.  It was so worth going.

So, "Check-it-out" meant that we first went to the library.  I am lucky that all five kids love to read.  It was the perfect start and all five were super excited to go.  The only down side to this family party was that CK's work computer came down with a virus or something and everything froze up.  Since it is a work computer, THEY have to be the ones to fix it...confidentiality, I am sure.  CK works remotely.  He is based in St. Louis.  And he had a big project he was finishing up, in addition to A being here and the family party plan.  Things just don't go wrong at opportune times, they happen when life is already crazy.  Luckily, his work has a small satellite location a little over an hour from us.  He took off, hoping they would be able to help him.  They could, although they couldn't finish it Friday and he had to go back Monday before his flight with A home.  More crazy!

It meant he missed the library, but he was indeed able to join us on our way to our next part:  "putt-putt-ing around," which, of course, meant going miniature golfing.  We chose to do this before dinner as it does get cooler when the sun goes down and we didn't want to freeze and hear complaining kids that they were cold.  It wasn't even that cold really....but it was better to do it a little earlier.

 K made a hole-in-one on the first hole!

 V stayed in the stroller the whole time and did very well watching us all play.  The four older kids played together ahead of us and CK and I played together.  It was a little bit like a date - although we did have four kids in front of us that we were responsible for and one in the stroller with us.  Still, we will take what we can get!

 They had a few tokens to use playing the arcade games, which they all seemed to enjoy.
And our final stop was "An Underground Train," aka Subway.  All seemed to enjoy their meals.  We loved being together.  I have such a great family and it is moments like these when we are all together and we can put aside the hum-drum routine of life that I cherish.  I am so blessed!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cutting Up My Mommy-Card

Ugh!  Most of the time....even through the ups and downs and moments of stress and/or frustration with my kiddos, I LOVE being Mom!  Love it! Love it! Love it!

These last two weeks have been tough.  Mostly because of my little V.  She is very much in terror stage and I cannot accomplish anything when she is awake.  UGH!

But....worse than that (for me at least), she has not been sleeping any more than 15-20 minutes for her daily nap.  UGH!  UGH! UGH!  I am pregnant.  I am tired.  I get up at 5:30 to drive to seminary every day.  I have older kids' activities after school many days of the week.  I MUST nap.  And, I am not.  Today yet again she only slept for a very short time.  I was ready to give up and cut up my Mommy-card.  Sometimes I feel like being done with the whole thing. 

But, Mommy is an Eternal calling for which I am so grateful.  I love V.  I love J, A, C, and K too.  I also love our little guy who has yet to be born and yet to be named.  I love them all.  I feel so blessed to get to share my life with these wonderful spirits that have come to my family.  I am truly blessed.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Quilt block of the month

This block is only one quarter of the way done. Yet, I'm still very impressed. V let me work at the church for two hours today. I have to make three more of these squares, and sew them together. Hopefully, I will be able to make time during the next month to complete the square. They are very eclectic in their fabrics, because I'm using the fabrics are used in the kids' quilts. I wanted the memories. I wanted them to all tie in together.