Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mothering in the summer

Mothering in the summer means lots of swim suits, sunscreen, bug spray, and baths. 

Mothering in the summer means homegrown tomatoes and catching frogs. 

Mothering in the summer means water gun wars and filling up water balloons until your fingers hurt. 

Mothering in the summer means washing more laundry and wishing it would put itself away.

Mothering in the summer means bedtime before sundown and ceiling fans. 

Mothering in the summer means wishing there were a cooler way to make homemade pizza. 

Mothering in the summer means road trips and adventure. 

Mothering in the summer means going to the library and spending time with friends. 

Mothering in the summer means happy mom, happy kids, happy home. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer Reading and Book Club

You may have heard, "You've got to be kidding me!" burst from my five year old when I explained that we are going to read for at least three hours every week this summer to meet the summer reading requirements. 

Despite this outward show, this boy will sit and read with me for 45 minutes or more if you have the right books. This is the boy who loves "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" and "Hank the Cowdog." This is the boy who can't wait to read on his own (and he's learning!). 

But, yes. We love the library. We love summer reading programs, extra trips for extra books, and the juvenile nonfiction section that teaches us something new everyday. 

Even if trips can be a little stressful with three little bitties, it's worth it to me, because I am determined to raise readers!

P.S. I'm thinking about hosting a book club for young elementary kids (ages 5-8 approximately) when the school year starts up. It would be one day a week, or every other week, after school. The kids could share a book they read recently. We would also talk about characters, narrative vs. informative writing, etc. It sounds intense, but it would be pretty laid back and fun. Anyone interested?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Arizona Lovin'

Once we finally made it to Arizona we sure did love it! Here are some highlights:

A couple of nights in the tent with Uncle Hayden were in order. Then, a couple more in the garage with the gigantic boxes they found on the side of the road and redesigned into sleeping quarters. 

Ellie loved hanging with her Aunties, especially if they would take her for rides on the go-cart. 

Hyrum got to attend pack meeting with Hayden and Grannie. The grand finale was building and launching soda bottle rockets. He had a blast!

Pops is a fun guy too. His bed is the best hang out place. Lindi especially likes it there because she can keep her distance from the dogs. 

Rope climbing and zip lining at Riverview Park was a blast! Lindi would have zipped away all the evening if we had let her!

Splash pads, the lake, the wave pool, the city pool, and Grannie's pool...phew! Sounds like Arizona summer to me! Lucky for us, we left just before it decided to jump up to 115 degrees!! Yikes!

So, when can we go back??

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Oh deer!

Sydney, the kids, and I left our house at 3:30 yesterday morning to begin our drive to Arizona. We had been counting down the days until our 2 week visit with Grannie, Pops, and our aunts and uncles. We were so excited!!

It was all going so well until the deer jumped out in front of our car while we were driving 75mph down I-20 just outside of Big Spring, TX. It was kinda slow motion for me. I saw the deer bounding across the median toward us. I hit the brakes, but I knew we would probably hit it. It's a weird feeling, see something like that coming and not being able to do a thing about it. Immediately after, Sydney yelled "Did that really just happen?!" "Yes! That really just happened!"

We were all safe. No one was hurt, except the deer and the van. Looking back, I wondered "Could I have avoided it? What if I had swerved?" But I also thought, "What if I had swerved and rolled the car?!" I would rather hit a deer than roll my car full of kids!

That was only the beginning of the blessings that would come. The hand of the Lord was present in so many ways yesterday. 

We were only a short distance from the next exit in Big Spring. We weren't in the middle of nowhere. The body shop was literally three minutes away. Not only that, but the people there went above and beyond to make sure my day was as good as it could be! My van was not safe to drive, we couldn't tow it five hours back to Dallas, the rental car situation in that part of the world was pretty poor and didn't fit the budget my insurance company gave me. More blessings kept coming...the public library was .4 miles away and Grandpa had the ability to come and get us!

Speaking of the library. I'm grateful it was .4 miles away...perfect for walking to and from to get out some wiggles. The kids were able to read stories, play the computer, and make a pleasant experience out of an unpleasant one. 

We scared the poop out of that deer (there was literally poop on our bumper). I was a little shaken, but I never got angry. Somehow I was able to see things and discern that much of it was out of my control. I saw the humor in the day and hopefully passed that on to my family. We have a wild memory to add to our books. 

So, for now, we are home. As soon as our van is fixed, we hope to go pick it up and continue on our way to Arizona. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Date with Grandma

Dad didn't have the day off today... He's been busy with shut down and other big changes at the temple. We decided we would t let that stop us from going on a date with Grandma.

She took us to get lunch at Keller's and then we went to the arboretum. I love that place! The kids loved it too! (Notice Hyrum's double thumbs up below.)

Little Miss Ellie just went along for the ride. She is such a sweetheart!

The bigs got to participate in a science lab. They learned about pH. They used cabbage juice to identify acids, bases, and neutral liquids based on color change.  It was so much fun!  Plus, it ended with a big, bubbly chemical reaction.

Plus, goggle marks...that's a successful experiment right there.

We ended the day in the splash pads, clothes and all, because I didn't plan ahead and bring water gear.  It was a hit, regardless. (P.S. Look at that big kid standing up all on her own!!)

We ended the day with Blastball and pizza.  Thanks, Grandma!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ellie's Kentucky Derby Hat

We went shopping at Hobby Lobby for some Personal Progress supplies today. I couldn't resist the extra large daisies that were larger than Ellie's head. I think it would make a great Kentucky Derby hat, don't you?

Friday, April 29, 2016


Tony and I we're excited to be able to go see "Wicked" yesterday. It has been years since we've been to see a play. 

The performance was amazing! The actresses and actors are so talented in so many ways- singing, dancing, and acting! The costumes and set were also very well done!

I had really been anticipating this evening. I wanted to leave at 4pm so that we would have time to go to Cheesecake Factory beforehand and to just enjoy one another and not be rushed before the show. Unfortunately, it is the last week of temple shut down and I should have known better.

Tony was supposed to be done at 2pm and promised to do his best to get out on time. At 2:15 he told me he was waiting for Patrick to arrive so that he could leave. At 4pm (when we had intended to leave) he still wasn't home and wasn't responding to text messages. 4:30 and he didn't respond to phone calls. 5pm and I was worried he was dead on the side of the road. 

He called at 5:04. Patrick had just arrived and he had been stuck meeting with the interior designers from Salt Lake. I was not happy. I knew it wasn't his fault (although I found his "my phone was charging in the office" excuse pretty lame), but I was so frustrated that my "perfect night out" had been foiled!

We ended up scarfing down Braum's hamburgers before rushing off to the play. We got their in plenty of time, but he still owes me a fancy dinner. 😉

Monday, April 25, 2016

Ellie Texas is One!

We got to celebrate another birthday this week. Ellie Texas turned one!  How lucky are we to have her sweet little person in our family?!

She's a climber, an almost independent walker, a chatter bug, a tongue clicker, and outdoors lover. 

She still likes to spend a large portion of the night with her mom. We're working on it...

She's also a cake lover. She ate it so fast she gave herself hiccups. 

She is adored by all. Most who know her best refer to her as Ellie Bean, the Bean, or just Bean! We'll see if that name sticks forever. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hyrum Turns 5!

Our little guy turned five today! He has been counting down the days for weeks! 

He was lucky enough to have cousin Jacie in town to visit!

Aunt Sydney was clever and gifted him $5.55. 

Grandma and Grandpa are always favorites. We are sad we couldn't share day with Grannie, Pops, and the other Aunties and Unlces, but he sure loved their gifts!

Sydney helped me make a lemon cake with homemade strawberry frosting. It was delicious! And I think our cake skills were pretty on point too! 

So now that Hyrum is five, he will suddenly and magically like salad. He also anticipates learning to read (although I argue that he can read some). He also plans to see quite a few new states this year (yay for traveling). Being five may be his best year yet! 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Rooster Dinner (and a little library update)

For those of you who would rather not read about the rooster killing, here's a happy little update about the library.  We have been listening to "The Mouse and the Motorcycle" in the car all week.  There were a couple of times we had to sit in the garage and listen to one more chapter after returning from running errands.  Hyrum loved the adventures of Ralph S. Mouse!  This afternoon when we went to the library, one of the librarians came up and asked if we would like to take the "Pin the Mouse on the Motorcycle" game home.  They had no need for it anymore and my post on their Facebook page had "made their week!" (I had simply thanked them for putting on such a fun even that inspired my boy and brought reading to life.)  How awesome is it that they recognized me and were so thoughtful??  I love our library!

But really, that rooster!  His name was Nugget.  We bought him as a chick and unfortunately, our aspirations for his *ahem* productive egg production fell through when he began to crow.  He's been crowing for at least a month now.  It's like a loud, obnoxious alarm clock that goes off at 6 a.m., doesn't have a snooze, and doesn't shut off until 7.  He had to go.

We could have found someone to take him, I suppose.  But we paid $3, plus room and board for four months and I didn't want him to get off that easy!  Unfortunately, Tony and I are not very knowledgeable in the chicken killing business, but we do have a Grandpa with some awesome skills.  We roped him into coming and helping.

Hyrum was so excited.  If you had been at our house in the weeks leading up to this, you may have heard him stick his head out the back door and holler "You better be quiet or we're gonna cook you for breakfast!"  He may or may not have picked that up from someone, but it was still hilarious.

After Grandpa cut off the head and the chicken was flapping around Hyrum said "This is awesome!"  Judge me if you want, but I think this made good memories for my kids.  Plus, if the world ever ends and we need dinner, it'll be right out back and they'll know what to do.

The kids weren't interested in plucking the chicken (maybe next time), but Tony helped (until the smell got the better of him and he had to bail).  Yay for my nurse nose that turns off.  I didn't smell a thing.

So my father-in-law and I had some great bonding time as we harvested the drumsticks, thighs, and breasts of that chicken.  By golly, that bird looked a lot bigger with his feathers on.  We probably won't be able to feed our whole family a full meal of chicken, but hey!  The alarm clock is gone and he's gonna taste good!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Husband gets to work with some pretty stellar people at the temple.  Big surprise?  Sybil is the cafeteria manager and we love her!  She spoils Tony.  He calls himself her "garbage disposal."  That means he gets to eat whatever doesn't get eaten and will be thrown out.  He doesn't complain.  She also sends things home for me from time to time.  The latest is a sourdough starter.  I was super excited to give it a try!

When I first started feeding it, it wasn't very active and I was kinda bummed, but I was also persistent.  It only took a few days before it started looking exactly as it should and I was able to bake my first loaf of bread! was yummy!

Previous to this, I hadn't had any exposure to sourdough (other than eating it!) and I've learned a lot.  One of the coolest things (I think) is how much variety you can make with your basic sourdough starter.  So far we've tried sourdough waffles and sourdough oatmeal muffins.  The waffles were different from a traditional waffle, but delicious with butter and syrup all the same!  My kids didn't really like the waffles, but they did like the muffins.  They may be the prettiest muffins I've ever made!

Tomorrow we're going to give sourdough pancakes a try!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Happy Birthday Beverly Cleary!

One of the things I cannot live without is a quality library nearby. I have been very impressed with the Rowlett Public Library. The librarians care about our family and know us. They have a great selection of books and movies. They always have great activities for kids and families. Today they threw a 100th birthday party for Beverly Cleary (her birthday is on the 12th). It did not disappoint. 

First we got to sit and listen to an excerpt of her story "The Mouse and the Motorcycle." Hyrum was enthralled! We made to check out the audio book so we could hear the rest of the story. 

After the story they served delicious birthday cake. 

They had a pin the mouse on the motorcycle game for the kids to play, birthday cards to make (to be sent to her publisher), and a mouse craft. 

Hyrum really enjoyed the entire activity and when he got home he made a paper motorcycle for his mouse! 

I'm so grateful for good books and for libraries that foster a love of reading and learning!