Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sharing our House

We love our new house in the country and we want others to see what we love about it. One of the reasons I moved here is that I hoped I would be more willing to invite people over. It is not a huge house, but I think the view is beautiful and peaceful. My kids have taken really well to the transition because the already knew the house so well, thanks to our good friends being the owners, and our other friends living right next door! I took a few weeks to move in and then it was time to say goodbye to friends from our old ward. (Well, hopefully it's not goodbye because we only live 2 miles away!) I had a luncheon for the girls I visit teach, a class party for my church class and Dallin had almost all the boys from his class over. It also happened to be the week I was teaching preschool! Whew, it makes me tired reading that, but it was a great week. Here are some pictures!

I participate in a co-op preschool where the parents take turns teaching the group of preschoolers. I have done this since Dallin was 3 years old, and I really do enjoy it. Plus it fits my pocketbook better than the other preschools! We order a curriculum online and then take our turn. The theme for this month was "Farm". There couldn't have been a more perfect theme for my house! I took the kids to feed the horses down the street. (Although Bryce is the only one who would feed the horse the carrot from his hand!) We also went to see our chickens. We had "pigs in a blanket" for lunch. It was a fun day!

My next day of preschool I was in charge of the field trip to the fire station. The captain was fantastic with the kids! I was very impressed!

I was sad to say goodbye to my church class. They are all the kids who are turning 8 and who were baptized this year. Dallin was in my class and I enjoyed teaching him and realizing how much he has learned from other teachers over the year. He was the first one to be baptized and then was able to go to most of the other baptisms. There is a special spirit that is there and it was a great reminder for him of how he felt at his own baptism. I decided that instead of just a class party, we would make it service oriented. They had great attitudes as they made cards for soldiers and did crafts with our Special Needs group at the YMCA. Emily was also able to do service as their class performed a Thanksgiving play at an assisted living center.

I have not really had playdates for Dallin since he got into first grade. As the kids got bigger, I just felt more and more claustrophobic in my old house and backyard. I was excited to have 9 boys over to play to see how it went! The only bad news was it was rainy and cold so they only played outside for a little bit. They had a blast playing video games and then after playing outside they all came in for hot chocolate! I hope to do more of this type of entertaining this summer!

There was a rumor going around that we were going to get snow (only happens every couple of years here) and I was really hoping the weathermen were right because I had good friends coming into town!! Luckily there was enough snow for a "snow day" and the kids had fun in the light dusting of snow that cancelled school for the day! It was the day before Thanksgiving break, so we were able to play all day with our friends, the Merrills! We hung out, made snowflakes, and then went swimming in the heated pool. We also went to Spaghetti Factory. We had a fun time and I am glad they came to visit!

Thanksgiving was spent with the Porters and the Williamsons! They didn't assign me much, so I was able to get away with just bringing pies from Costco. (Although at the last minute, I felt compelled to make a homemade banana cream pie, just like I remember from my Thanksgivings as a kid!) The kids were all playing happily in the basement, so we actually started dinner with just the adults. It was very enjoyable. Then the kids started joining us one by one. We ended the night with games and surprisingly, the kids and adults all played in the same room, and it was great! I miss being with family during the holidays, but I feel lucky to have such good friends to share the day with. I wish I had more pictures. Maybe Ranell or Karen will post more. I do have a picture of the 5 pies we ate between 3 families!

That night, we inherited 2 extra kids. Ranell and Brian went to Hawaii for a week, so we watched their 2 youngest children. (Don't worry- we will be getting away in the spring!) It didn't always go perfectly, but the kids got along pretty well, everyone slept at night, and we all survived! I think it was successful!! We even had a lot of fun in there!

Okay, that is all for now. :-)

The pictures are all of of order, but I need to go hang out with my family. There are more updates to come!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Still Miss Him Like Crazy...

This day will never get easier.

Grateful for- the 29 years I had this wonderful man in my life!
- friends willing to go to the temple with me at 5:15am.
-friends to help with the kids so I could roll back under the covers this afternoon.
- a husband who knew that I needed time with just him tonight.
-family who understands and knows I love them, even when I am not up for talking.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful for Mom Moments

I have pictures I need to upload, but left my camera at the house of our wonderful Thanksgiving feast!! We spent Thanksgiving with 2 wonderful families! The kids got along well, with only a few minor scuffles and we enjoyed fantastic food (too much!) and games. I will write more, but today I wanted to attempt to capture a moment.

Last night, we gained 2 extra kids, so we had to shuffle rooms a little. Emily was bummed to find out she was kicked out of her room and would be sleeping with Natalie (the 2 year old girl.) I put Natalie down first and Emily stayed up with me reading books. It was just me and her and I read her a couple of books. Then she picked one that she could try reading. I watched her face as she concentrated on each letter of each word. I watched her as her eyes glanced around the page, searching for clues as to what the word might be. She was able to read almost the whole big and I could see the pride in her eyes. Reading has not come as easy to her as it did to Dallin, and I have worked really hard to not compare them and to work with her in her time and interest. It has been amazing to watch her blossom in kindergarten, with the help of an incredible teacher. I was so glad that Emily missed the cutoff last year and I feel I gained an extra year with my sweet girl. I also am glad that Oregon doesn't pay for all-day kindergarten so that I get her before Dallin comes home so we can do homework together. I am treasuring these moments with her. I hope she knows how much I love her and how grateful I am to be her mother. She is a bright, funny, silly, beautiful little girl and I love watching her learn and grow.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Well, as you can tell, I am not sticking to NaBloPoMo, but I still want to update my posts more regularly. I am having a great time living in the country. We have a lot to learn, and mostly I am still working on getting my house in order. I have have loved having a clean slate to work with. I still wish that organization came easier to me, but I am doing the best I can! :-) Luckily I have good friends who give me ideas. (And if I am really lucky, they shop for me!)

Sarah and I have begun running together again. We meet outside our sidewalk and head out. It usually ends up being a great chat session. One run we were discussing my issues with losing things. I need to have a place where I always put the essentials- phone, keys, wallet, camera. I tend to switch bags around and then end up forgetting which one is where. The only time I have been successful at not losing something was when we were on our cruise. (Yep, my kids weren't there, so that probably helped!) I had a tiny purse that I wore across my body and always had it with me. Sarah and I decided I needed a purse that I could do that with, but it had to fit those 4 items mentioned above. My other issue is that I do not like shopping!! So, Sarah agreed to find me a purse!! It had to be small enough that I could easily carry it with me always. Here is what she found:

It is brown(which I wear a lot of) and very cute, yet practical!! I know it won't solve all my problems, but it seems to be helping!

Here is one of our visitors to the new homestead! She felt right at home with the chickens! We love having people come visit.
Here is my first sewing project! Emily had asked me to sew her a skirt for Veterans' Day. I told her I didn't think I would be able to get it together in time, so I didn't really think about it again. I sent out an email asking for scrap fabric so we could do some projects. One of my friends happened to have this flag fabric. Emily loved it, so I decided to go for it! I only had a little bit of time to work on it, but Emily helped me and we through it together in a night. She looked very pioneerish, but she loved it!! I am just proud that I did it!! I hope to find some more projects to do.

I have been helping with Math groups in Dallin's class on Tuesdays. This week I was able to work with these 3 boys: Tyler, Zach and Dallin. They have been buddies since they were babies. Zach has been on the waiting list for the Charter school for 4 years. We are excited to have him there now!! They are such good friends and nice boys!

We have still been working on potty training with Bryce. I think we are almost there. We decided after the kids and Jeff did some hard work inside and outside of the house it was time for some fun. We tried to go bowling, but it was full, so we went to the arcade. It is amazing how fast they go through those tokens! We had a good time!

Text Color

(Love that Bryce's shorts are on backwards and wearing boots with them!! Just glad he is trying to dress himself)

So, that is it for now. Just plugging along! Finding the new normal, whatever that may be...

Monday, November 08, 2010

Happy Birthday Emily

Emily's birthday fell on a Monday- the day we signed with our renters and the beginning of craziness! I hope she felt loved and adored! On her birthday, we went to our traditional birthday restaurant, Red Robin. She wanted to invite our adopted grandma, Sister Delong. I love seeing Emily with her. She is so sweet.

My mom came into town on Thursday, so I scheduled Emily's birthday on Friday so she could share it with us! Since we were packing and all that fun stuff, I opted for a no-stress birthday parted. She invited 14 friends and we went to Pump it Up!

It was a blast and even Jeff had a great time.

I am truly enjoying Emily and the sweet, sassy young lady that she is. I am glad that she missed the school cutoff so I can have this extra year with her. She is a bright girl who is very inquisitive. She asks a lot of questions and actually wants to know the answers. :-) She is learning to control her excitement and wait her turn in class. My favorite story this year was when she was dropped off at a friend's house a few minutes before I got there. She already had her homework out. I praised my friend for getting Emily to start her homework. I was informed that it was Emily's idea to do homework before watching T.V. I was so impressed and proud of my little girl!! I am trying to show her a lot of affection and appreciation. The hardest part is when I see some of my own weaknesses in her. I try to be patient and just love her!

She loves music, dancing, and anything a teenager would love! Happy 6th Birthday Emily!!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

So thankful...

for a weekend of inspiring words and a reminder of what's most important. I was able to attend Time Out for Women and hear wonderful speakers. They talked about overcoming adversity and having strength in your trials. They talked about the joy that can be found if you are looking in the right places. Being grateful for what you have and the blessings all around you. They also talked about focusing on the good that you do instead of the coulds and shoulds. I loved all of this! I have a renewed commitment to my family and giving them the best "me". I am excited to apply some of the things that I learned and/or was reminded of.

"No one can go back and make a new start
Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending"

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Filled with Hope

I had a busy day on Friday making 100 freezer meals with 4 other awesome women and then I headed for a night out! We went to Time out For Women and had a great opportunity to remember that life can be filled with hope and love instead of despair and disappointment. I will share more thoughts when I have time to process all of it. It was very inspiring and I am excited to apply what I learned!

Time to catch up on Book of Mormon and get some studying done! More catch up posts with pics tomorrow!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Finding Me...

So, part of this big experiment of moving to the "country" is trying to figure out what really makes me happy. I am pretty hard on myself sometimes when I don't think I am who I am "supposed" to be. One thing that has always bothered me is that I love being around people and getting to know them, yet I hardly invite people over. So, I am a socialite who doesn't entertain! Part of it is my lack of confidence in my cooking skills, so I don't want to have people for dinner because I am afraid it won't turn out. As I have become a little more proficient in the kitchen, I still hesitated to invite people over. I am not a natural decorator or party planner and I don't think about the details like some of the people I admire. I also didn't feel my house was well set up for entertaining. I had hoped that once I had a bigger yard that I would have people over. I am glad to say that I was right! I had book club at my house last night and today I had a luncheon for the neighbors that I used to live next to and of course my newest neighbor also came! I really enjoyed spending time with these awesome women and I felt comfortable in my own setting. I was very lucky that the weather turned out beautiful so we were able to eat outside and enjoy the sunshine. It was a very simple lunch, but I am okay with that! It is who I am- simple. :-) I hope they had a good time and felt comfortable at my house. That is what I want-for people to come and feel loved and welcome!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Book Club

This is where I was tonight- at my house! It was great spending time with amazing women! (And this is why my blog is short and backdated!)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Day 2- My goals for the month

Hi all, I love NaBloPoMo because many of my friends take part also and I get to read their posts every day! I am excited for this month because I feel like we are pretty settled in the new place and now I can use my preschool quiet time for other things than packing, unpacking or cleaning! Okay, so maybe I will have to use it for cleaning every once in a while. :-) For now, my focus is going to be studying. I will be taking the ACE Personal Trainer Certification Test on December 29th. So, I will be staying off Facebook and TV for the most part and using extra time to study. Wish me luck! Luckily, I really love the material. This is an important step for me.

My other goal during November is to read the Book of Mormon every day to keep my spiritual perspective. I have a couple of friends reading the Book of Mormon in 60 days. I wanted to continue where I was, so I began on Day 14 today. I loved reading more than one chapter and they happen to be come of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon! Here is the schedule I will be following:
14 2 Nephi 31-33
15 Jacob 1-4
16 Jacob 5-7
17 Enos, Jarom, Omni & Words of Mormon
18 Mosiah 1-3
19 Mosiah 4-8
20 Mosiah 9-12
21 Mosiah 13-17
22 Mosiah 18-21
23 Mosiah 22-26
24 Mosiah 27-29
25 Alma 1-4
26 Alma 5-7
27 Alma 8-10
28 Alma 11-13
29 Alma 14-17
30 Alma 18-21
31 Alma 22-25
32 Alma 26-29
33 Alma 30-32
34 Alma 33-36
35 Alma 37-40
36 Alma 41-44
37 Alma 45-48
38 Alma 49-51
39 Alma 52-56
40 Alma 57-59
41 Alma 60-63
42 Helaman 1-4
43 Helaman 5-7
44 Helaman 8-12
45 Helaman 13-16
46 3 Nephi 1-4
47 3 Nephi 5-8
48 3 Nephi 9-12
49 3 Nephi 13-17
50 3 Nephi 18-20
51 3 Nephi 21-26
52 3 Nephi 27-30
53 4 Nephi, Mormon 1-2
54 Mormon 3-7
55 Mormon 8-9
56 Ether 1-5
57 Ether 6-10
58 Ether 11-15
59 Moroni 1-7
60 Moroni 8-10

So, I will finish right before Christmas- I love it!! Thanks to Suziepetunia and Ranell for the inspiration!

Okay, time to study!

Monday, November 01, 2010


This is a perfect topic for the first day of November. It is easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget what is most important. I have a friend who has helped me to remember that life should not be taken for granted. Her husband was diagnosed as an 18 year old with brain cancer. (He was not her husband at the time!) He miraculously beat it and was able to live another 22, service filled years before brain cancer eventually came back and took his life. He was an integral part of our little community and was involved in helping in so many ways. His wife is an equally strong amazing woman who I have truly enjoyed getting to know. One of the things she said really struck me. About 9 months ago she said, "I see all these marriages falling apart over petty differences and selfishness and I am doing everything in my power to hold onto mine." I keep this in my heart when I get upset about small things. Her husband used those "extra" 22 years to bring smiles to everyone around him. The stories that were told at his funeral sounded a lot like those used to describe my father. Somehow I can see that they might be joking around in heaven together, even though they didn't know each other here. :-)

We were able to take their family out boating about a week after the funeral. It was great to see all of them smiling and having a good time.

This month I also want to think about the things I am grateful for. Today it is:
1. Our health
2. A new day, a new start
3. A wonderful community to live in

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A New Beginning...

That's what I feel I have right now. In the last 3 weeks, I have run a marathon, packed, cleaned and moved an entire household of almost 10 years into another house of which I have unpacked and mostly organized! Whew! It has been busy, but suprisingly, it has not felt stressful or chaotic. There were a couple of days that I felt overwhelmed, but each time I was able to take a breath and just keep chipping away at it. I am very pleased with how well it has gone. A main reason it has been so smooth is because of this amazing woman:
Yep, it's my mom! Even though she looks like she could be my sister instead of my mom! When I found out I might be moving, I called her and asked if she would come out for a week. I knew that having her here would make things much, much easier, and I was so, so right! She was basically in charge of Bryce so that I could make a million trips over to the new house in the "country". It is only a mile and a half away, but it feels worlds apart, and I LOVE it! I wake up to deer running across my yard and I enjoy the quiet.

Here are a few pictures:

This is the view off our deck and the kids are playing in the leaves they spent all day raking!

We have been very lucky to live in such an amazing neighborhood for the last almost 10 years. They have been there for me in good times and bad and I hope they can say I have done this same. This was such a tough choice for us to make, but we have both always wanted to raise our kids with more space. I want my kids to run out in their own backyard. I want to have kids over to play and in our old house I just wasn't doing that as much as I would like. I love nature! I feel claustrophobic when I walk outside and see a fence 10 feet away. When we had our house on the market, neither Dallin nor Emily even wanted to look at the possible houses to buy. At the end of the summer, our good friends bought a house and were looking for someone to rent their house on 5 acres. We realized it was a perfect opportunity for us. Surprisingly, the kids were great sports about it because they already know the house. We ended up renting our house instead of selling it. We had a renter lined up, who then backed out. Luckily we found another great renter and it has been crazy fast since then! Many of my friends have helped us move and unpack and I am extremely grateful. I know it is what has made this process run as smooth as it has. A few of my friends and neighbors have joined us to play and I hope they will keep doing so. We want to share our home with others often!

While my mom was here we took a "break" for one morning and went on the preschool field trip to a beautiful pumpkin patch. There was a train ride out and a boat ride back. It was a perfect day to go! Not a cloud in the sky. I am glad I was able to enjoy that with my mom. She helped me with the packing also.

One of the nice things is we live next door to Suziepetunia and her cute family. We always talked about having a house in the country next door to each other, but I don't think we really thought it would happen. We have even been able to run together and we just meet in the middle of our houses! I have enjoyed chatting with her at her house as she creates fun school projects. Her kids play outside with mine and when they are done they are not afraid to say so. Bryce told Alice, "Go to your side." I thought it was cute and reminded me they will fend for themselves just fine!

Here are the chickens and we will be adding a few more tomorrow.

Here is my favorite chicken! This leads right into our Halloween pics. Bryce loved being a chicken. He was very cute with all the people who commented on his costume. He was very upset when Emily told him that roosters are boys and chickens are girls. Bryce has made the transition to this house very easily. He loves running around outside and is glad that all his toys and puzzles made it here. :-)

Here is another Halloween picture. We went to the trunk or treat with our good friends the McDuffies. We love spending time with them. I enjoyed seeing all the kids in costumes and my candy bowl with the hand that grabs was a hit! (only made a few kids cry...)
After a couple of days of rain, we had one dry day for trick or treating around Old Town. Even the donut shop gave out free donut holes. I love our little town! I enjoyed the time with my kiddos!

Another one of Bryce and Alice! They are a great pair.

Now onto Miss Emily. I love this picture of her and it captures her expression perfectly. She always has a smile on her face. She does her best and always wants to learn more. She will shower you with love and affection if you let her. The move has been the toughest on her because she loves the neighborhood. I know she will love it in the end, and she is already attached to the chickens! She is doing great in kindergarten. She turned 6 while my mom was here, so we will have more pictures about that shortly! I love this little girl!

Speaking of updating posts, I have so much more to write. Today is actually the 5 year anniversary of my first blog post! I wrote about being a chicken with my head cut off. One of the reasons I moved to the country was to slow down and really enjoy life. I am excited to have that chance. November is the Nablopomo, the challenge to write every day. I have decided I am going to use it to catch up this year. Then my Christmas present to myself is going to be to print out my blog books. This is my scrapbooking! So, feel free to check in often and say hello. It feels good to be back!

I will leave you with the Chicken Dance!