Friday, September 30, 2011

Hello Fall

I think Fall is officially here.
I am wearing socks.
Today the kids' nursery leader (and family friend) at church had us out to her pumpkin patch.
It was so much fun.
They have goats that the kids got to feed
Apples to pick from the tree
and pumpkins for everyone!

Taylor....we missed you!
I'm glad you left your class of 2011 sweatshirt at home when you went to school.
Your mom let me borrow it today and I am still wearing it!
I wasn't quite dressed for fall :)

Goodbye Summer

I snagged my sister's memory card from her super camera.
I think our summer is over.
It was great while it lasted.
Here are a few "must share" pictures to sum it all up!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pandora to the rescue!

On many a days Pandora saves my sanity.
Today Adelle woke up on the wrong side of the bed after nap.
She came out with a frown and plopped herself down on the couch.
Braxton was drawing and didn't want to mess with her.
He's a quick learner.
I turned on Pandora to one of our favorite stations: Disney Music.
The next thing I know she is laughing hysterically as I am bustin' a move to some super fast Alladin song that I somehow remembered the words too from eons ago.
Before I knew it the Beauty and The Beast song came on and we were holding hands and spinning each other around the room. Braxton even left his project to join in on the fun.
Thanks Pandora for turning another frown upside down.
.....and thanks for the really good workout too! I thought my cheerleading days were over but maybe not ;).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

sweet dreams

I think my two big kids are missing each other more than they are expressing. Yesterday they decided they were going to sleep together. Both of them up on Braxton's top bunk (twin size).
"We will go to sleep mom. When I tell Adelle to close her eyes she just does," Braxton assured me.
Jeff and I peeked on them before we went to bed last night. Aren't they stinkin' cute! Our hearts melted. Then Jeff grabbed the camera and they miraculously stayed asleep while the flashes were flying.
I'm grateful for their friendship. I hope they always are so close. It is such a blessing to have siblings.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I've got Sunshine.....

on a cloudy day.
When it's cold outside.
I've got the month of May.
My Girl.

Adelle has never been as dependent on me as Braxton "was!"
Our lives are changing.
We don't have our Brax at home with us all day.
We enjoy more of each other now.
When Adelle used to be with her brother. Now she is with me.
She helps me with everything. Cooking, cleaning, playing with Emmett.
We read together and she gets to pick out the books every time.
We play what she wants to play.
We go on walks and play I Spy.
We dance. A lot!
We stomp in puddles.
And she naps in my bed. Because she wants to and that's all it takes.

Adelle has such a special heart. She is so real. I think that is my favorite thing about her. She messes up, sometimes, but she doesn't judge herself. She say's sorry, and get's over it. I hope she never looses that.
She is so kind to her brothers. She loves them so much and always tries to meet their needs. She is Braxton's gofer and Emmett's little mommy.
She has so much personality.
My favorite line that I hear all the time from her lately, "ugh! my panties are in my bum again!"
She only likes to wear dresses.
She always tells Brax, "see, don't I look pretty" after she gets dressed.
She loves to walk her big brother to school and play with his big friends.
Her favorite color is blue. (?)
She is genuinely very kind.

I am so blessed to have this little spirit in our family. I am grateful for the sweet girl that she is and for the beautiful woman she will become.
Lately I have been pondering life, growing up, and the precious gift of time. I know Adelle will face challenges and I know, as a woman, that her identity will be questioned and at times she will have to stand alone. I am grateful to love her. I am grateful for this chance that I get to tell her everyday that she is beautiful and smart and funny and silly and special and most importantly that she is a Daughter of God,
and she is
My Girl.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Braxton's perspective

  • "So I have a friend at school and he can't see so he reads braille."
  • "Today I got to hold the flag when we all said the Pledge of Allegiance."
  • "I got a prize for listening to my teacher and sitting quietly."
  • "My friend with the orange shirt, well his name is Ashton, I remembered."
  • "There is this boy named ____________ and he fights with the other kids."
  • "Today we learned about the Jog-a-Thon and mom, I am going to win the canoe!"
That is the most recent news I've gotten from my little guy. It's funny because after school we walk home and I try and talk to him and he wants to say nothing. Then throughout the day/week little blurbs come out. I'm learning to be a better listener and to be available to listen at all times, not just when I am asking the questions.

So far he has been in school two Monday's and on each Monday he has came home, excited to play outside and has stepped on a bee. So that leaves for a swollen foot Tuesday and Wednesday. Same foot and everything. Interestingly enough the foot hurts way worse at home than it does at school.

We walk to school with the neighbor boys, Fisher and Charly. They are cousins and both in Kindergarten. Today on the way to school we passed a guardian of some sort who was dropping off a little boy. Both of them completely reeked of marijuana. The kids even said, "what is that smell?" No comment.

Braxton is loving school. He already knows the whole Pledge of Allegiance. Totally blew my mind today when he told me about holding the flag I asked him what he said when he held the flag and he totally spilled out the whole thing (the end was a little staggered). That impressed me.

Mrs. Howell is really great. We are looking forward to getting more of the scoop at Open House this week!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Miss Adelle

bye bye smoochers
First Day of Preschool Picture

Miss Adelle had her first day of Preschool today.
Have you ever seen this movie? Well, that is how we got Adelle's name. Before we had even conceived her we watched this movie and fell in love with Miss Adele, played by Charlize Theron.
We decided that night that if we ever had a daughter her name would be Adelle and we would call her Miss Adelle. So, we do. Sometimes.
She was not named after Adele, even though she rocks!

Back to preschool. Adelle's preschool is a cooperative operation with 6 different moms of 3 and 4 year old's. We got together and came up with Tuesday to be Preschool. We rotate from house to house each week. Each of us taking a turn teaching. One Thursday a month we have a field trip.

Today was the first day for Adelle. She was really excited because last night she got a blessing from her dad, just like Braxton did a couple weeks ago. She was so excited and I don't think I will ever forget the look on her face as Jeff was blessing her. I took a mental picture. Which means I was peaking.
Last night her and I got her school bag all packed. Jeff's mom sent her this little lunch pail that she is holding in the picture. Since she doesn't take a lunch we use it to store her supplies: glue, crayons, scissors....
She still has her lipstick and lotion in the bottom pocket but I reminded her that the bottom pocket doesn't get opened during Preschool. She just is so grown-up. She insisted that the lipstick and lotion had to stay in her bag.

Adelle had a great day. Braxton gave her a nice little pep talk all about Preschool last night. He told her she would have fun and there would be lots of toys. He kept on repeating, "wow, I just can't believe Adelle is going to Preschool already," grandfather style. Cracked me up. Adelle listened half way. This girl doesn't get nervous. She pretty much loves everyone and is comfortable in any situation. She is the youngest in the class but I convinced the other parents that she is 3 going on 13. That can be good and bad I guess but it's the truth.

When I took Adelle into school today Emmett wanted to stay. Adelle wrote her name with her teachers help and then hung it on the board. I told her it was time for mommy and Emmett to leave and she goes, "ok, bye, love you mom. Love you M." That was it.

I drove home with Emmett and when I turned off the car he started to cry. It was as if he was saying, " I don't want to be at home without my sis!" I told him Kate was coming over to go for a walk and the tears stopped. My sister and my niece came here and we put the munchkins in the double stroller and hit the hills. We ended up at a park and the cousins got to play. They love each other like brother and sister.

When I went to get Adelle she was still working on some gluing. The teacher said, "she was so good but so serious." I thought it was funny since I consider Braxton to be the serious one. I think Adelle will just take some warming up. But, Jen if you are reading this, we all know I am not a goof ball so maybe my kids have the same serious look all the time that I have? I don't know?

Adelle told me all about school. They learned about apples and talked about the letter A. They made applesauce and put cinnamon in it. They read a story and did criss-cross applesauce. She told me they glued and cut.

I think we are all really going to love Tuesdays. I can't wait for my turn to teach!

Friday, September 16, 2011

All is well

  • It's Friday
  • Jeff is on a really good job! His business is going full swing! The website is almost done and that is when I will advertise him more :)
  • We went to the Temple last night and it was a much needed peace I was craving
  • Braxton's school added a third Kindergarten Teacher!! Yes! His class size will shrink dramatically next week
  • The sun is shining
  • My new blog is up! Please become a follower! There is something in it for you coming up as soon as I understand better how to use my button. Check it out here:
  • Emmett picks up the dog poop now. Not really but he wishes. Today while playing outside Adelle noticed poop and pointed it out to me. Before I could do anything about it Emmett had came inside, gotten a plastic bag, and was back outside ready to clean up the mess. What a smart little boy. He's been watching his brother do this chore for many weeks. Apparently in anticipation for when he is old enough to do it. NOT YET!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kindergarten Update

Today is day 4 of Kindergarten. I'm not sold on it yet but I am trying to put aside my mother bear instincts and give the school and the teacher the chance they deserve.

Monday was tough. I dropped him off and then distracted myself by walking with a friend up to my church to play volleyball with some other mommies. That was a good choice on my part because it totally preoccupied my time.
My mother in law texted me that day to see how I was doing. It was much needed. How did she know to do that? She must be a mom or something.
My mom has been sending me daily emails reminding me that it's all going to be o.k. You always need your mom.

After school on Monday the kids were happy to have Braxton home and they were all playing in the backyard when Braxton stepped on a bee, swelling up his foot for the next 2 days. That sure didn't make things any easier.

Tuesday I went to the PTO meeting hoping to convince myself that this is real and I want to be involved. I was shocked that there were only 8 of us there and a little discouraged. I met some nice moms and talked with the Principal who has been there for 24 years. That was encouraging. Maybe I should teach him to hang out in the Principals office. She's a really great lady.

Wednesday has been the best day so far. I picked him up and he actually had something to tell me. The other days he came home really quiet and a little out of it which concerned me. I think there is just so much to take in and he's a little overwhelmed. Wednesday though he told me that his foot didn't hurt anymore and that they played with blocks. He also told me that he went to the bathroom that day so that was good.

So to all of you experts out there. Is the first week always easy? I am frustrated. Braxton is reading. He comes home from school and tells me, "mom, I don't even get to read at school." So far all the work they have done that I know about is coloring pages and tracing letters. Are they just assessing where everyone is at? I tell myself this is all part of the first couple weeks and then hopefully he will be more challenged. I know we were spoiled at preschool but I am afraid that he won't get noticed by the teacher. I want him to feel like he has a place there and right now I feel like he is just a number. There are 30 kids in his class. Absolutely insane! I did sign up to help in the classroom so I am not just complaining, I plan to help out and hopefully other parents will see the need as well.

Braxton is doing great. He loves going. He has made a couple friends who actually live in the neighborhood so we get to walk to school with them too. He made a basket in the basketball hoop at recess on the first day so that was a huge thing for him. Good way to start the year.

Monday, September 12, 2011

lessons on Faith

Braxton's goal to read every day

Adelle's goal to do better at sharing
Notice how Adelle wrote her own name
Notice how Adelle drew her own people
Notice how Adelle drew her "baby sister???????"

Today was a hard day. I'm just throwing that out there so that all y'all know that I have a bad day once in a while too.
Change is hard. I missed Braxton. I missed his questions and the sweet way he plays with his brother and sister. I missed his help in distracting and entertaining the little ones. I missed his excitement and enthusiasm. Emmett is teething and was difficult. He didn't want to nap, he'd rather scream apparently. Adelle and Braxton bickered at each other instead of their usual playing together. Adelle had an accident (this rarely happens). Jeff worked until after 8:00pm. blah blah blah blah....
By the time 7:00pm finally hit and Emmett was safely tucked in bed, actually asleep, the last thing I wanted to do was sit down and spend quality time with my kids. I felt too wiped out and my nerves were had. I had to act on faith.
On Monday nights in our family we have Family Home Evening. Basically we hang out, spend time together and we throw in a spiritual message and sing a song. It's something we just do, on Mondays. It is part of our routine and the kids know it. It's something that our Church really encourages us to do and Jeff and I have found that by doing so we are more united as a family.
Tonight it took a lot of faith on my part. I didn't want to do it. I wanted to get my kids to bed early so that I could have a break! But I knew I needed too and I knew that it would somehow bless me and/or my family.
I told Braxton and Adelle that it was time for Family Home Evening and they cheered. Then we sat on the floor in a triangle and I asked Adelle if she would choose a song to sing. She picked, Families Can Be Together Forever. Singing this song with my two sweet children immediately changed my mood and my perspective from lousy to blessed. After that I said a prayer and then I taught a lesson that I got from a friends blog on goal setting. We all drew pictures of ourselves and then wrote down one goal that we wanted to work on during this school year. Braxton is really into reading and for his goal he choose "read every day." Adelle is sweet and simple and when I asked her what she wanted to be better at she said, "I'm going to do better at sharing." I did not lead her to this answer. This was all her and I was so impressed. She is already a good sharer but I liked that she recognizes the importance of sharing.
At the end of the lesson we always open up the floor and ask if anyone has anything they would like to add to the lesson. At this question Braxton responded with the sweetest, purest, testimony. I turned over my goal picture and started scribbling notes as fast as I could as he spoke:

"I have something to say. So I know we should keep our bodies clean and always dress modestly. And I really love my family a lot. I love mom and dad and Adelle and Emmett and Sofie. And do you guys know who you should love the very most? Anyone? Jesus. Right mom? And I just really know we should talk nice and play nice and don't hit anybody or kick or pinch. And you shouldn't say you can't do this, you're too little. You should just say, come on and give it a try. That's it. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

And that, today, along with my little girls song, was my much needed lesson on faith.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

the best car ever

For Sale
1998 Chevy Metro
4 cylinder Manual Transmission
237,000 miles
The Best Car Ever!!
I'm not joking.
I'm not a salesman, but here me out here.
Let me give you a little history.
Rewind about 8 years.
Jeff and I are newly married.
Cruisin' around in a really hot 1965 mustang.
It's a muscle car.
We are so cool.
We are so in love (with each other and with the car).
We snottily make a list of all the cars we will never drive. We really did this, how lame and embarrassing.
Guess what the first car on the list was??
A Chevy Metro!

Now fast forward back to the present time.
We grew up.
We bought the car from my Gramy.
They were the first owners.
We have had this car for 6 years.
It has never let us down.
It is in top shape.
Never been in an accident.
It has never left us stranded.
Jeff has driven it proudly to and from work.
We have changed the oil regularly.
This has been the best car, ever!

We have had our share of cars; the Mustang, the 4-Runner, the Honda, the Explorer, the Metro.

Seriously, no joke, hands down, the Metro has been the most reliable, best running, best gas mileage car of them all.

With Jeff's new business (more to come on that, later) he needed a truck and we have no room for our car. We thought about saving it for when Braxton starts to drive but that is still a ways off.

I would really love for this car to go to a good home. It's in great shape and although it has a lot of miles it has no signs of giving up. Perfect car for a new driver to learn manual on too!

Friday, September 9, 2011


One of Emmett's favorite words is "shoes." I wish I could attach and audio of him saying "shoes" so you could hear it because it's the sweetest little word to come out of his mouth.
He's funny though because he talks about shoes all day and grabs his shoes and patiently waits for me to put them on, only to two seconds later take them off.
I found him these shoes last weekend on my garage saling excursion. I fell in love with them and so has he.
He can't tell me this but I know the reason he is so in love with these shoes. Probably because all I wear in the summer are my one favorite pair of old navy black flip flops. He recognizes that his new shoes look like mommy's shoes and he gets really excited when I put them on him. He goes and grabs mine and we prance around with matching flip flops. It's fun.
The goal is for Emmett to acquire at flip flop tan line to match mine before the sun leaves us. I don't know though, he's gotten a late start. My typically barefoot boy has some brown little feetsies (that is what we call feet in this house)!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Be strong and of a good courage..."

"Say School." "School!"
I had to put this picture with this post because the looks on our faces totally match our feelings.
Me; don't go! Let me hold onto you forever.
Brax; uh mom. I totally got this. I can handle it. No problem. Can we just go now?

Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the aLord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Today was Braxton's first day of school. Sort of. His first day will actually be Monday but today we had the Kindergarten Assessment.
My sister watched Emmett and Adelle so that just Braxton and I could go. We got to a classroom and the lady asked him his name. Then he got his name tag and she said, "ok, you go this way, and mom, you go down to the Library."

I was totally caught off guard at this point. The flyer I got in the mail said that the parents would stay and so I assumed we would stay together. Not the case. I asked Braxton if he was o.k, and he was, and so then I turned and as soon as he was out of sight I released the tears.

This has been quite the process for me, the whole school thing. The truth is that I feel really good about him going to school. I haven't always been able to say that.

I really carefully thought about homeschooling him. I researched it. Read the books. Talked to everyone I knew and got different opinions. I didn't ever feel good about it. Not for this kid, at least. Then I thought about transferring him to another district. One that was a little more conservative and that didn't send their Kindergartners every day. I filled out those papers. Got Jeff on board. Then, finally, I fasted and prayed and to everyone's astonishment and to my own disappointment the answer I received was that he was to go to the nice little school right by our house and that he would do just wonderfully there. The funny thing was I totally stalled praying about it because I knew the answer the whole time but it wasn't what I thought I wanted so I kept looking for escapes. Funny how we do that sometimes. After I got my answer I knew that I had to shape up. I couldn't let Braxton know my concerns. I needed to put on my big girl panties and start preparing both of us for this big step.

It hasn't been easy for me. Every day for the last while I have prayed about this and prayed for Braxton and I cry every time. Even when Jeff prays and mentions anything about school in his prayer I cry. Not because I'm worried about him. He's awesome and capable and hugely ready for this. More for me. For the help that I need in letting go. For the help I will need when I don't know who he is playing with or what the teacher is telling him or what the boy next to him is teaching him or when the bathrooms were last cleaned or what name someone called him or.....

Last night we read "The Kissing Hand" and we kissed each others hands. My Gramy bought that book for Braxton and brought it over last week for him to have before school. It was sweet but it made me cry. Then Jeff gave Braxton a father's blessing for school and this was really special and helped strengthen me by reminding me that Braxton will never be completely alone. I know and trust that the Lord never leaves us alone.

So today was one of many steps. He got up early and picked out his outfit. He ate a good breakfast of steal cut oatmeal with frozen raspberries. Then when my sister got here we were on our way. Hand in hand.

After the parent meeting in the Library and his assessment I found Braxton outside at recess. He was right next to some teacher with a bunch of other little Kindergartners and he looked a little hesitant. But, he wasn't crying, so he did a lot better than me. He was relieved to see me though and when we left he told me that he was going to miss me when he was at school. He told me it was fun and then he told me everything they asked him to do. "I had to count as high as I could so I just kept counting and counting and then they wanted me to do the alphabet and then I had to like match these shape things and when the teacher asked me what I was excited about I said reading and wrote my numbers and then I had to tell my teacher what the letters were....."

It was a good day. I am feeling more prepared than I was yesterday. Friday Braxton will know what teacher he has and he will find his classroom.

I am so excited for Braxton. I really am. I love him so much and I am grateful for the years that I have had him all to myself. Someone once told me they wouldn't last forever and they were right. I am excited to share this young lad with the world.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Garage Sale Models

I know better then to say "never" so lets just say I rarely, seldom, am extremely unlikely to ever, buy new clothes for my kids.
Or myself for that matter.
I can't justify it.
Yesterday I packed up all three kids and we were at our first garage sale at 9:00am.
We scored Braxton's new suit there complete with white dress shirt: $8.00
Next we hit up another garage sale where I found Emmett's pants for $1.00
After that I brought the kids home and fed them lunch only to get a call from a friend telling me of another garage sale up the street.
I left Jeff with the kids and fled.
Good thing I did because I found Adelle's sweet little denim dress there for $1.50!
I have a total thing for denim dresses.
So today for church my kids were garage sale models.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Thursday at the playground

We visit this playground frequently.
The big kids do their own thing.
When did they grow up?
Emmett and I play together.
Emmett usually buries himself in the rocks.
Sofie runs like the wind in the field.
Thursday the kids wanted to wear their dress-ups to the playground.
Sure, why not.

smashed peas

Due to some technical difficulty I am having trying to upload my pictures from a fun day I found this old picture.
These are my new favorite thing.
I call them smashed peas.
Boil water.
Add frozen peas.
Cook until peas are tender.
Drain most of the water.
Add a tad of butter and a ton of fresh garlic (I like 3-4 cloves)
smash together.
Serve warm or cold.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

good boys of late

So me and my littlest boy went to Utah with my brother. That is where we were. We got to drive with Brent over to school and hang out for a few days with family and friends. It was a really good experience for multiple reasons.
First, Emmett is the funniest, sweetest little boy and I was so grateful to get to spend so much one on one time with him. He sat on my lap at dinner. He slept on my tummy half the night and right beside me the other half. He had me carry him places where he would normally have walked. It was so fun. I felt like a new mom again. I didn't forget about my other kids, don't worry, but I felt like all my attention could be focused on Emmett. I needed that. I think we both needed that.
Second, my brother is a great guy and I got to know him even better on our long drive. There are six years between us so we have always been in really different stages in life. When I got married he was in middle school. Since then I have kept having babies and I have felt like both of my brothers went from being my brothers to being my kids' uncles. Interesting how that works. So it was nice to spend time with Brent and to let my womanly instincts and motherly traits help him get set up for college. I found myself wanting to protect him and hover and then reminding myself that he is a grown man and able to fend for himself.
Brent and I are a lot alike and I notice it more and more as we get older. He is very sensitive and genuine (wow, that makes me sound awesome doesn't it ). I guess I mean I can really relate to him. We think the same. The whole time he helped me with Emmett by carrying him so I didn't have to and entertaining him when he was tired or bored. On multiple occasions I noticed him opening doors for either myself or other women in grocery stores. He is such a nice boy and I am so excited for this time in his life.
Third, Jeff's brothers in Utah were so helpful and accommodating and I was so impressed by how they treated Emmett and I. One gave up his bed, actually his whole room, so we could sleep comfortably. They were constantly strapping in Emmett's car seat and hauling it from place to place and I felt so spoiled by their help. Totally voluntary.
Last, my crush. Who I love so much. Who is so gentle and kind and so helpful and considerate. True story... As I am riding down the escalator in the airport coming home I am looking out for Jeff because I want to hold him and kiss him and pass Emmett off to him. Then I see him, in the distance walking out of the airport with some other woman. Really! It is a woman and children (I don't know how many, maybe just one) and he is helping her with her load. My nose starts to flare and my head is screaming "Hey dude. I'm over here. Remember, your wife and kid. This kid is heavy too and I've been carrying him for days and guess what, he's yours so maybe you could help me..." on and on. Ruthless, I know. It's so hard being a woman and having those awful thoughts. Luckily my heart was there to convince my head not to worry. I am so blessed to be married to such a gentleman. Jeff is mine forever and he is such a gem. The bad thoughts didn't last after that. I put myself in the shoes of that woman and recognized what a blessing Jeff was to her in that moment when she needed a hand.
Jeff had everything in order when I got home because he knew that is just the way I would like it. The laundry was done. The bed was made. The fresh cherry pie he had made from scratch that morning was waiting to be eaten.
Good boys are such a blessing.