Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas






Our Christmas was very different this year.  We were surrounded by boxes and bags with a little Christmas tree in the middle of it all and presents underneath.  Christmas morning we opened presents, ate breakfast and then I started packing agin.  The tree was down and decorations packed before 11am.  The kids played with their toys while Michael and I worked on getting things done.  We took occasional breaks to watch the kids, but most of it we were busy.  That night instead of a nice Christmas dinner at home we had dinner at the Denny's that's connected to the Flying J.  It was okay.  The kids enjoyed it.  I got to eat a salad (which was delicious).  I had been craving real food since we haven't had any for a few days!  It is certainly one we will remember.  We did the usual talking to the family on the phone and that was nice.  The kids were pleased with the loot they got and are wound up and bouncing off the bare walls!  We have been very blessed this year and are very grateful for all that we have been given and are excited for the opportunities and adventures that await us in Wyoming.  We hope you all had a merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Our December

December has been a busy month for us.  Besides the craziness from packing we have had all the other December activities to keep us busy.  There were the two winter concerts at school that the kids put on, a Gingerbread house here at the ranch with a visit from Santa, dinner with friends several times, Relief Society Christmas dinner, Ward Christmas potluck, school parties, basketball games, blizzards, gingerbread house making at school, playdates with friends, trips to Hendricks and plenty of other things to keep us running around!  Here are a few pictures from some of our December fun!


Sunday naptime

Visit with Santa

Maddi playing basketball

Me and Dillon with his gingerbread house

Ice skating with friends in Hendricks

Orville, one of our dearest friends, and the kids





Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What Can I Say to Get You Here?

When this job search journey began months ago we wanted so badly to find something in Dillon, MT.  We applied for every job that came open there.  The job he wanted the most was with a cattle company called Sitz angus.  We waited and no word came.  Our search took us other places and we ended up with a job in Green River.  Michael reports to work on the 30th of this month.  There really is no turning back.  Yesterday Michael got a phone call and was offered a job in Dillon with Sitz Angus.  I could see the reaction on his face when he heard what was being said.  I could feel the pain in his heart as he listened.  Of all things!  This was the place he wanted to go from the very beginning and now here at the end they were asking what could they do to get him here.  Unfortunately, at this time, nothing.  We both know that we are supposed to be going to Green River right now.  We both know this is the job that he needs to have.  Maybe some day in the future our life's path will take us to Dillon but not now.  It really wasn't a hard decision for him to make.  He knew before he ever got off the phone that it wasn't something he was going to do but the thought of it still threw us for a little loop.  Today we are back on track and packing for Green River.  I have two rooms completely emptied out and will do a third room today.  The garage is filling with boxes and furniture.  the house is slowly being emptied.  Things are coming together and we are reassured that we are doing the right thing for our family.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Little Girl's Faith

This week we had a very sweet experience in our home.  It is no secret that we are moving in just over a week.  We will go from country living to living in town.  There will be a lot of expenses that we just don't have the money for.  As a result we are having to sell our horses.  Sadler, our little pony, was sold yesterday.  We had a few tears from Zeke and Olivia.  Okie, however, is a different story.  Makenna LOVES Okie.  She showed her in 4-H a few years ago.  Santa brought her a halter and lead rope for Christmas that year that was just Okie's size. When we first started talking about selling Okie, Makenna cried.  It wasn't little tears, it was a big, hard cry.  I felt so bad so we kind of stopped talking about it for a while.  Then it came time to really get going and we HAD to sell her.  We weren't having much luck though.  So last week, on Wednesday night, before family prayers we talked once again about selling Okie.  We were going to add it to our prayers and we asked the children to do the same.  I believe the power of a child's prayer is great and I knew that we would need that extra help!  It was a hard thing to talk about, but we did.  Makenna cried.  I knew she would.  She cried through the family prayer as we made that plea to Heavenly Father.  She was still crying afterwards.  We talked to her about sacrifice and how sometimes Heavenly Father requires us to sacrifice things, hard things.  Then we told her that if we were faithful and tried to obey, He would bless us with even greater blessings than what we were giving up.  She understood, wiped her tears and went down to say her prayers and go to bed.  That sweet little 9 year old girl, got on her knees and prayed, just like we had asked. She prayed for Okie to find a good home, she trusted us and Heavenly Father, she showed faith.  Faith that I don't know if I would have had at 9 years old.  Well, I want to testify that Heavenly Father hears our pleas, no matter how loud or soft they are.  He hears them,  He knows each of us personally.  He loves each of us tremendously.  He heard Makenna.  Not only her spoken prayer, but he heard the beating of her heart and felt the sadness and strength of her soul.  A few days later (yesterday) Michael's dad bought Okie.  It gives us what we need right now and it gives us the opportunity to buy her back when we get there and get things squared around.  It was so wonderful to see that smile come across Makenna's face when she heard the news.  We once again talked about the love that Heavenly Father has for HER, individually.  We taught her that sometimes Heavenly Father gives us these tests to see if we are willing to be obedient to Him.  She was and her blessing was the opportunity to keep her beloved horse.  I hope that as I go through my tests in life that I will have the faith, trust and strength that Makenna had when she prayed for Okie.

Friday, December 17, 2010

News From Green River

We heard from our real estate agent today.  We will be able to move right into the house we are trying to buy.  That will be so much easier!  No basement living!  We are very grateful our parents were willing to let us take over their home and lives but we are glad we will not have to do that.  The only hitch is that the house will be going into foreclosure sometime in January.  If we don't get everything closed in time then we will not be able to get the house.  Since it is a short sale it could take longer than a normal sale.  If it goes into foreclosure we will have 120 days to find another house.  Still I would rather spend that 120 days in a house and not a basement!  We should know soon if everything will go through in time - soon meaning a few weeks.  So for now we are planning on moving right in.  10 days before we start loading the truck.  Time is going quickly!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another Sick Day

Last week we had Zeke throw up Monday night,  Olivia go to the ER Tuesday night and then throw up Thursday morning and Maddi have asthma issues Wednesday and Thursday.  I was also sick on and off all week.  Today Dillon is home sick.  He threw up this morning.  Luckily it isn't a long lasting thing.  The kids have rebounded by the end of the day.  Mine lasted longer but I was also trying to pack, run errands and take care of sick kids all while being sick myself.  I am hoping we have seen the end of it but I still have 3 who haven't gotten it yet.  As long as they don't miss their Christmas parties at school all will be okay!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The First of the Lasts

Today was the first of many lasts. I taught for the last time at church today. I know there will be other opportunities, but not here. I have really enjoyed all my teaching exerpiences here, from Sunday School to Primary to Relief Society. I have learned so much from those I taught. There will be many more lasts to come, some harder than others. This week we will go to our last play group, our last preschool night with Zeke and Olivia, our last ward potluck ( do you hear Michael cheering?) and Maddi's last basketball game as a Tri-Valley Fireball. And sooner than we know, we will be turning out the lights and closing the door to our little green house for the last time. Am I sad? Yes. And no. We have been through alot here. We have made so many fun memories and had so many experiences that gave changed us in so many ways. Through it all though, will be the reminders of the blessings that we have been given and that await us. Our experiences and friendships here will remain a part of us as we move on to new experiences and as we build new friendships.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Friday!!

What a week!  Zeke and I were sick and then Olivia went to the hospital.  Then Olivia and I were sick and then Maddi got asthma.  Now we are all better in time for the weekend.  Maddi is still bothered with her asthma but seems to be improving.  Hopefully she will be able to play basketball tomorrow.  She has two games tomorrow morning.  In the meantime I have been packing when I could and resting when I couldn't.  We have eaten a lot of toast this week and drank a lot of 7Up.  I hope it doesn't spread to the rest of the kids.  I know they don't want to miss any school since their days are numbered here.  Three weeks from today we will be in Green River.  Olivia is hoping the house will get painted pink before we move in.  Wouldn't that be lovely?  She is also excited at the thought of finally getting another puppy.  That may not happen until the spring...  Things with the house are moving right along.  Everything is in to the bank.  They now get the chance to go over everything and accept or reject it all.  If all goes as planned we will be able to move in a lot earlier than we thought.  They think maybe the first of January instead of the middle of February.  Keep your fingers crossed!  Anyways, glad it's Friday, glad we are all better for at least a little while and glad we get to sleep in (a little) tomorrow!  Yay for the weekend!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Take Me To The Hospital

Last night around 11:30 Olivia woke up crying and she couldn't breathe very well. She kept saying it hurt - what I don't know, and seemed scared. I told her she needed to settle down so she could breathe or else she would have to go to the hospital. Then she asked me to take her to the hospital because she was sick. I took her outside to see if the frah air would help but it didn't. I had been up the night before cleaning up throw up from Zeke and had been sick myself all day. I asked Michael to take her to the ER because I wasn't feeling good enough to do it. I wa afraid I would end up vomiting while helping her! Michael took her in and came home a few hours later. Olivia went straight to bed. Michael said she had croup again. This is her 3rd time this year. She had to get a shot and two breathing treatments and x- rays. She came out this morning sporting two stickers on her jammies and she got a stuffed horse from the doctor for getting a shot. She was quite excited about it all! She put her hospital bracelets on her horse. The horse is, of course, named Okie! This morning I will go get her prescription and hopefully she will recover quickly. Nights are so scary with croup and asthma. Hopefully we won't have to do this again anytime soon.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Michael's Birthday


I never posted yet about Michael's birthday.  We celebrated early because he was in Wyoming interviewing on his birthday.  Monday night we opened presents and had cake.  Olivia was so excited for his birthday.  She knows he loves licorice and she happens to love it too.  When we were at Target one day we found this three foot long tube of licorice in the Christmas candy section.  Olivia knew it was the perfect gift for daddy (and her). She helped him open it up and helped him eat it too!  We are so blessed to have Michael in our lives.  He is so caring and kind.  He works hard for our family and still finds time to play and have fun.  He teaches our children about life and the gospel.  I am so lucky to have him in my life.  We love you Michael!  Happy Birthday!

Initial here and here and here

Last night we got our contracts emailed to us to sign for the house we are trying to buy.  This is a first for us.  Kind of exciting and kind of scary.  First of all we have never seen the house, mom went and looked at it for us. It's not a pretty house but it has potential.  Potential is good and the price is right.  So last night we started initialing and signing on every page then sent it back to our real estate agent.  The process has begun.  Today I made a phone call to the bank and got everything in order for that.  So far, so good.  Of course, there are a lot of things that could go off course between now and closing.  The seller has agreed to the low price, but her mortgage person has to agree to it.  We think he will, but you never know.  The inspections have to pass and all sorts of other things.  Those of you who have bought a house before know what I am talking about.  Since this is a short sale the process can take longer, hopefully it won't.  In the meantime, I am packing and preparing!

Monday, December 6, 2010

We Have a Date!

Well, we finally got a start date for Michael's new job.  He will be starting on January 3rd.  Wow!  Nothing like waiting, waiting, waiting and then BOOM!  Now it's crunch time (and Christmas time).  We have about 3 1/2 weeks before we leave.  During that time we will have 6 basketball games, several practices, 4 class Christmas parties, one church Christmas party, a gingerbread house making party, Christmas, and lots of other things to go along with it.  Michael is super busy at work and I will be super busy at home.  It will be good though.  The kids are excited to have a date and time frame.  We actually let them choose the date.  Halliburton said we could start either the 3rd or the 10th.  The kids chose the 3rd so they could start school with the other kids after Christmas break.  We are also in the process of trying to buy our first home.  It isn't our dream home by any means but it is cheaper to buy a house (especially this one) than to rent.  Hopefully all goes well with it.  We will have to live in my parents basement for a month or so, but that will be fine.  Anyways, that's our news for the day!  Hopefully things will keep moving along!

First Basketball Game

Saturday morning I loaded up all the kids (except Makenna who was at a sleepover) and we headed to Brandon to watch Maddi play her first two basketball games.  Despite being early we had a fun time watching her team play.  They did a great job.  They lost the first game and won the second one.  The kids and I sat at the top of the bleachers and made quite the cheering section.  Dillon especially got into the game and did some major cheering.  The coach did an excellent job of making sure all the girls got to play.  I was really glad to see that.  The girls all seemed to have fun and all went home pretty tired.  Tonight they will have practice and prepare for this Saturday's two games.  I'm so glad she gets this opportunity.  She loves basketball!  Here are a few pictures.  They are not good quality, but you can still see what's going on.



Thursday, December 2, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering...

On our way home from picking up Zeke from preschool we saw 89 cows, 28 hay bales, 13 horses, 3 guys and 1 dog.

Also, Olivia's name is not Olivia so we should not call her that.  Her name is Lollipop so please address her as such, preferably with a Princess in front of it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Quote of the Day

I found this quote yesterday.  It is from one of the leaders in my church.  I think it is beautiful and so true.  I have certainly witnessed it in my life.  When we are doing our best to be our best, the spirit will guide us and we will know what to do.  It is a beautiful gift from our Father in Heaven.  It lets us know that we will never be left alone.  If we follow Him, He will send His spirit to lead us.  What strength and assurance that gives!  What comfort and peace it allows!  He loves us and will never forsake us!


“It is wondrously simple and so incomparably beautiful. As you continue to live righteously, you will always know what to do. Sometimes the discovery of that may require significant effort and trust on your part. Yet you will recognize what to do as you meet the conditions for such divine guidance in your life: obedience to the commandments of the Lord, trust in His plan, and the avoidance of anything that is contrary to it. The more closely you conform your life to the doctrine of the Lord, the more capacity you will have to do what the Spirit inspires you to do.”

Elder Richard G. Scott

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another Week...

Well another week has come and gone and we are starting a new week.  We all had a good Thanksgiving break.  Good food, lots of playtime and no alarm clocks!  Friday we put up our Christmas decorations and the kids slept out in the living room by the Christmas tree.  They love doing that!  Sunday the kids and I sang in church.  Olivia didn't - she said she couldn't remember how to sing so she sat with Michael.  The other kids did a great job.  Monday was the start of school and getting back on a schedule.  The weather turned cold over the weekend and we got a little snow yesterday.  The kids were so excited.  It was our first snow of the season.  It barely covered the ground but they still got on all their snow clothes, drug out the sleds and played until dark.  Actually it was just the girls - the boys had to clean their room :)  I started making phone calls to Green River and Rock Springs trying to find out about rentals and other such things.  Not much luck yet, but I know it will all work out.  Michael left messages at Haliburton but so far they have not returned his calls.  They weren't in the office yesterday.  Hopefully we will hear something today.  I still have this fear that all this will fall apart!  It all happened so fast.  Nothing like this has ever happened to us before.  I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it.  I think it will stay that way until we are actually there and living it.  In the meantime I have started some packing.  We will have to downsize so I am trying to sort through things and get rid of everything that we absolutely don't have to have.  I have started in the storage room.  I hate the thought of having to move all that food storage again, but we will and it will be fine.   Things are already getting crazy with empty boxes stacked here and there and packed boxes along the walls downstairs.  Time will go quickly though, especially with the added busyness of the season.  This week we have basketball practice tonight.  I will take all the kids while Michael goes to his church meetings.  Michael has more meetings tomorrow.  I have a church program Thursday night and the girls have their school concert that night.  Michael leaves early Friday morning to go to Kansas until late Saturday night.  The boys have their school concert Friday night.  Maddi has two basketball games Saturday morning.  Saturday evening we are headed to Hendricks.  Sunday is church and Michael has to work Sunday night.  Crazy times, but fun times!  Hopefully things start coming together and we can get everything done that we need to!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Maddi's Birthday

I feel bad I procrastinated blogging about Maddi's birthday.  This week has been such a whirlwind of a week!  We celebrated Maddi's 10th birthday Saturday night and Sunday.  She wanted for her birthday supper a baked potato bar so we had that Saturday night.  We also let her open one present.  Sunday was a busy day.  Michael had early morning meetings, the kids had their primary program in sacrament and then there was a Thanksgiving potluck after church.  Then we had to meet with the bishop for tithing settlement.  The kids and I went home and Michael stayed for more meetings.  He got home later than usual and Olivia was sleeping so poor Maddi had to wait until about 5pm to open her presents.  It was killing her!  She did get to talk to people on the phone and that helped pass the time.  For her cake she wanted a basketball (a green one) so that's what I made her.  They started putting candles in it before I could get a picture but that's alright, it just looked like a round green cake anyways :)  We did have a fun day and she went to bed saying it was her best birthday ever!




We are so thankful for Maddi.  She is an amazing little (maybe not so little anymore) girl.  She is so helpful and thoughtful.  She tries so hard to do what is right.  She wants really bad to be a grown up but she has fun being a kid too.  She loves sports, especially basketball, and it is fun to watch her develop and improve as she gets older.  She'll be good on the court when that time comes!  She is a wonderful example to those around her and has tons of friends because of the person that she is.  We love her so much and are so blessed to have her in our lives.  She has held a special place in our hearts from the moment we knew she was coming!

 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

FINALLY!!

These last two days have really been something! After the job offer last night, the crazy weather, the closed interstates and then the reopening of those interstates when Michael needed to get through, it has been quite the roller coaster!  He went early to his interview this morning so he could talk to Laci about the job offer from the night before.  She was in meetings so he ended up just talking to Heather (the person interviewing him today) about both jobs.  She also ended up offering him a job!  She told him to let her or Laci know Monday morning which job he wanted.  He got all the specifics about wages, overtime, benefits, vacation and shifts.  Then he called me.  He told me which job he was leaning towards and I agreed with him on the decision.  The job would pay more than the other and he would like the work better.  With minimum hours worked he would be making almost 2 1/2 times what he is making now.   When he got to the airport he tried to call Heather back with his decision but they were already gone for the weekend.  He left a message and he'll call back Monday.  Can I just say, I am so excited to FINALLY be able to say that yes we are moving and we know where we are moving to!  I feel so good.  It is like a huge weight has been lifted off me.  I haven't felt this good in so long.  We didn't expect things to happen this quickly, but I am so glad it did.  While we will be leaving behind people that we love, we will be going closer to family and that will be a wonderful blessing.  I can't help but acknowledge Heavenly Father in all of this.  The way it all came together, the amount of money that we will be making, all the little miracles that have happened over the last two days - it couldn't have happened without His hand in things.  I am so grateful.  I feel overwhelmed and kind of in shock.  We have been dealing with this for so long, it seems unreal that it is ending.  I keep thinking I am going to wake up and find it is all a dream.  The kids are also excited.  They know we will be moving closer to family and they love that.  Dillon already started packing!  I am glad they are excited.  That will help the transition for them.  When we left Hendricks, they were not at all excited and it made it really hard and I felt horrible.  This time I think it will be a little easier all the way around.  We still don't have an exact date.  Once they get Michael's decision, they will start his background check.  Once that process is started, they will be able to tell approximately how long it will take and then we can base our two weeks notice on that.  It could be as soon as two weeks or it could be as long as 6 weeks.  We won't know until it is submitted.  But at least we have a destination and the answers that we have been seeking for so long!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Phone Call and Crazy Weather

We dropped Michael off at the airport this evening a little after 5 then we headed to school so Maddi could have basketball practice.  About 6:30 Michael called.  He was getting ready to board the plane.  He told me that the lady from Halliburton that had interviewed him for the first job had just called and offered it to him.  He laughed and said he was on his way to Rock Springs to interview for another job.  She said that her office was right next to the person he was meeting with tomorrow so she wants him to stop into her office and talk to her too.  Kind of exciting, but there is still things to be discussed before a decision can be made.  When I got home I called my parents and they informed me that the weather between Salt Lake and Green River was not good.  Part of the interstate was closed and you had to have 4 wheel drive or chains to get up over the mountain pass out of Park City.  We had been watching the weather all day and supposedly it was suppose to get better.  I guess it had to get worse first!  We are hoping that it will be cleared off before morning so he can get to his interviews.  That would be sad to get so far and go through all that just to have to turn around and go home without an interview.  Originally he was going to drive straight to Green River and stay at my parents house.  Now he is going to get a hotel in Salt Lake and wait until morning to drive.  Anyways, I guess if he doesn't get to the one, he at least has a job with the other if he wants it!  We'll see how it all goes...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Prayer for a Little Finger

On Sunday one of my sister's little girls got her finger pinched in a door at church. It cut it off at the first joint. Only a ligament held the tip on. She's barely 3 years old. Today they did surgery to reattatch the finger tip but it was already turning gray. The doctor said it was the second worse finger he's ever seen and he doesn't give much hope that it will be saved. They will take her back next Monday to see. In the meantime all of you who read this blog, please send up a prayer for a sweet, brave little girl and her finger and also her sweet mommy who is dealing with a lot of emotions and guilt over the accident.

I Have a Bunch of Miles

As I stated in the last blog, Michael has been asked to go to Rock Springs for a second interview.  We were planning on doing it Wednesday.  We had thought (mostly I had, but I convinced Michael to think the same) that since the kids didn't have school Wednesday and since Rock Springs is 20 minutes from my parents house that we would all leave Tuesday night and spend Thanksgiving with my parents.  Then we would come home Saturday.  The kids were excited and I was excited to be able to see family over the weekend.  Then the weather reports started getting bad for this week and we weren't sure a long trip, through the night, would be a good idea.  I didn't want to take the kids out when it could be bad conditions but I didn't want Michael to drive by himself either.  Then last night we got a phone call from my younger brother, Stephen.  He had talked to my parents earlier and they had told him about Michael's interview.  He travels a lot (weekly) with his job.  In fact he was on his way to a hotel when he called.  He said he had tons to points saved up and he could get Michael a flight from Sioux Falls to Salt Lake Tuesday night and then have him back in Sioux Falls Wednesday night.  Wow!  What an answer to a prayer that had not even completely been said!  Not only will it save us money that we did not have to spend, but Michael will not have to drive that 13 hours to get to the interview.  He will be much safer and I will not have to worry about him while he is gone.  Michael said that would be great.  Stephen got to his hotel, booked the flight and sent us the itinerary.  Just like that, it was done!  The kids were quite sad this morning when they found out we would not be going to Wyoming for Thanksgiving but we talked about fun things we could do instead and they were okay by the time they left for school.  I am a little sad too but I am hoping that this interview leads to a job and that we will be living there soon so we can see family whenever we want!  Anyways, what a blessing that short sentence was.  "I have a bunch of miles" has lifted a burden and solved a problem that we weren't quite sure how to solve.  So thank you to my brother for offering something that he did not have to offer and thank you to my Heavenly Father for answering a prayer that had not fully been uttered yet.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Yay!!

Michael's interview went well this morning.  They want him to come to Rock Springs as soon as he can to do another interview.  We are trying to figure out the schedule so he can make it there next week.  Hopefully the kids and I can go too so we can visit my family.  We'll see...  He has a lot going on right now so it will be hard to squeeze a trip to the far side of Wyoming in!  At least it's a breakthrough.  We'll see what it leads to!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yet Another Interview...

Michael got another call from the same company in Rock Springs to interview tomorrow for another job there. We should hear back on the first job by Monday. I finally got his resume faxed off to the mine in Challis so we will see where all this leads us. I sure hope it leads somewhere, I've had about all I can handle! My sleep is horrible, my energy drained yet I have to keep going because I have children and a husband who count on me for things. Plus we have birthdays yet to celebrate, thanksgiving in a week and then Christmas will be here. All of that requires me to be cheerful and fun so my children don't feel the stress I do.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Makenna!

Monday we celebrated Makenna's 9th birthday. She was so excited for it to come! We took cookies to school so she could celebrate with her class. After school she got several phone calls from grandmas and aunts wishing her a happy birthday. She chose hamburgers and onion rings for supper that night. I made her a cake. It had a unicorn on it and I tried to make a pond with a field with little flowers in it. I also tried to make a few rocks. It didn't turn out quite like I pictured it in my head but once the candles are blown out and the cake is cut, you can't tell what it was anyways! We opened presents that night after supper. She loved all her gifts and seemed to have a great day! Now I have two nine year olds for a week!






We are so thankful for Makenna. She can be hard but she has a very tender spirit that makes her so sweet. She is so aware of those around her in need of kindness and friendship. She has a wild spirit that keeps us all on our toes and constantly amazed at what she comes up with! There's a song on her Alvin and the Chipmunks album that makes me think of her every time I hear it. It's called "The Song". She has something inside her that no one can stop. She really does have a song inside her that she moves to. I love to watch her figure out life and her place in it. She blesses us all and we are so happy to have her in our lives. Happy Birthday Kenna!

Her song is in the post below...

The Song

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Interview

Well, we've had a little more happen over the last week and weekend.  Last week, Michael got a text from a friend who is trying to help him get a job up in Challis, ID at a mine he works at.  Last night Michael got the rest of the needed information to fax his resume to one of the head managers there, who is also an acquaintance of ours (he is Michael's friend's father-in-law).  I don't know if this will help the process there or not but it is worth a try!  Sunday he got a call from a company in Rock Springs, Wy.  They set a phone interview up for today.  Supposedly this company is one of the best in the area to work for.  They treat their employees good and they have good pay and good benefits.  We'll see how it goes.  In the meantime, I am anxiously waiting and hoping for something to happen and praying that I will hold out until it does!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Day of Rest

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. Well, I'm still waiting for the "rest" part because it has certainly been a day! I woke up at 3 am and couldn't sleep - something that seems to happen more than I would like it too, especially lately. By 4 am I had my I-touch out writing a story for Zeke for school and emailing it to myself so I could save it on the computer. The alarm went off at 5:45 am just as I was finishing downloading some new kids games to my I-touch for the kids to play. After Michael left for his meetings, I got ready for church and then began looking for a song to sing in church. Our family has been asked to sing in sacrament in two weeks. The kids voices aren't strong enough to hold the melody while I sing alto so I had to find a song in a low enough note range that I could sing the melody without screeching. Around 7:15 I started getting the kids up and helping them get ready. We were at church by 8:45 where I sat with them by myself while Michael was up on the stand. Some of them were quite active today and one princess in particular thought it necessary to talk almost constantly in a low, but audible voice, stopping only once or twice to wave to her daddy! I also had to find a piano player and sheet music for us - which did happen a lot easier than I thought it would, thank goodness! I also taught Relief Society today. I enjoy that though. It was the least stressful thing today. When we got home there was changing clothes (some several times because they thought it was warm enough for shorts! Afterall it is still above freezing) and then lunch. Michael came home with a headache that turned into a migraine that resulted in him throwing up at least 3 times and spending most of the day shut up in the bedroom with the lights out while I tried to keep the kids quiet so as not to add to his pain. The kids ate from 1 to 4 without stopping I think! In between bites they were bouncing off the walls! It was crazy! I talked to my parents, Michael's mom and his grandma. We practiced our song four times. The nice BBQ pork dinner I put in the crockpot this morning had to be saved for another day because Michael couldn't eat it and the kids wouldn't eat it. By 7:30 things were slightly settled down and then I remembered I had to make Kenna's birthday cake tonight because I wouldn't have time to do it all tomorrow. So, I put it in the oven, tucked Michael back into bed, read scriptures with the kids, had family prayer, tucked the kids into bed, took the cake out of the oven, studied my lesson for next week and now I am enjoying some peace and quiet (except for a few " mom, I need..." episodes) while I blog and the cake cools. Tomorrow won't be much better, but it will be fun because we will be celebrating Makenna. I think I will look to Tuesday for being my make-up day of rest!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Star Student

Zeke is the star student at preschool this week.  On Monday, Olivia and I got to go to school with him and spend the morning in his class.  He gets to be line leader all week and he gets to leads the group activities and circle time routine.  He has his pictures up on the bulletin board and "all about me" facts.  He thinks he's pretty neat stuff.  I think he is too!  Here is a picture of us from Monday morning:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Have I Told You Lately...

video
This is a song that Zeke and I sing to each other.  I love hearing his little voice sing to me.  It just melts my heart.

Catch Up Pictures

Here are some pictures I finally downloaded of Halloween weekend.

Olivia with her scarey teeth from the Great Pumpkin.

Maddi and Zeke

All the kids dressed up for trunk-or-treat.  Makenna is a ballerina, Olivia is a Vikings cheerleader, Dillon is a Vikings football player, Zane is a Packers football player, and Zeke and Maddi are basketball players.

Zeke and Olivia making treats on Halloween

Makenna measuring chex for chex mix.

Zane being a goof :)

Michael and I dressed up for trunk-or-treat.  I dressed up as a mom and Michael dressed up as a cowboy!

Maddi and Zeke doing crafts at trunk-or-treat.

Dillon getting his face painted at trunk-or-teat

All the kids eating their candy afterwards.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Hard Decision

Over the weekend, Michael and I finally made a very hard decision. After much prayer, thought and discussion we decided to say no to the railroad. All logic made sense to say yes, but everything else made us feel no. Despite our financial situation and the great need to find something else, we just didn't feel right about it. We did everything we could think of to make it work. I ignored the constant head ache and sick stomach and planned for Nebraska, but in the end, we had to go with our hearts and the promptings we felt. It was a huge relief to make this decision. I feel much better now and so does Michael. Unfortunately, it means we are back to square one - needing to do something but not knowing what that is. We have talked about going back to school or staying here until a job comes up. We're not sure which route to take. Am I nervous for what lies ahead? Kind of. The unknown is hard for me. I am ready for answers to be found and to know what lies ahead for us. I do know, however, that something will come and we will have answers. Heavenly Father will not forsake us. We will be able to provide for our family and find what we need. Our prayers will be answered. In the meantime, we will continue our search and hope that the answers come soon.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

As Sung By a 4 Year Old

Zeke has a new favorite song that he learned at church this year.  He sings it every where we go.  It is usually loud and a little off key, but he sings with his heart.  It is "The Iron Rod."

Here is how he sings it:
To Nephi seven golden time, a vithion came fwom God.  Where in da holy worlds of blind, was shown an i on wad.  Hode to da wad, ddee i on wad.  Tis stwong and bwight and twue.  Dee i on wad is da word of God, twill safely guide us fwew.

Here is how it really goes:
To Nephi , seer of olden time, a vision came from God.  Where in the holy word sublime, was shown an iron rod.  Hold to the rod, the iron rod.  Tis strong was bright and true.  The iron rod is the word of God, twill safely guide us through.

I love it when he sings it.  He really gets into it and sings with all he's worth.  We sung it in church a few weeks ago and he had all sorts of people grinning as he belted it out!  They will have their program in sacrament in a few weeks and the primary kids will sing it again.  I can't wait!

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Know Why

Mommy, I know why there is a girl on the raisin box. It's because she's the one that plants the raisins!

Cross That Off

Well, Michael had his talk with the boss. I didn't have to go because I was babysitting. We can officially cross the ranch off. Their offer to us to stay was not enough to make any difference. So we know not to include it in our plans for the future. We both figured that would happen so we weren't holding our breath for it anyways.

Pants on the Ground

Remember that song from American Idol?  Well, my kids think it is the funniest song.  Just a little bit ago I heard Zeke and Olivia downstairs singing it.  It went something like this (try to imagine them trying to talk really cool while saying it too):  "Pants on da gwound, pants on da gwound.  Lookin' like a flew wiff your pants on da gwound."  Then they would repeat it in a little higher pitch and a little louder voice several more times.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Everyday I Think of Different Cool Stuff

Like right now I am thinking about kicking a football all the way to the clouds.  That would be really cool.  Yesterday I thought about me and you flying.  That would be cool too.  The day before that I thought about bringing my folder home everyday (right now it only comes home on Thursdays).  Wouldn't that be cool?  I'll have to wait and see what is cool that I think about tomorrow.

By Zeke

Talk With the Boss Man

When I got home this morning from taking Zeke to school, Michael called and asked what my schedule was for the next two days. I told him nothing and asked why, hoping that he would tell me he had an interview in Wyoming or something. Instead he told me that the boss man wanted to talk to me and him together. They know Michael is looking elsewhere and I suppose he is going to try to make some offer to get us to stay (or else he's going to tell us to get out now - he can be kind of moody). He said he could talk to us together or separate. I won't go talk to him by myself! So, my nerves are in high gear again. I'll let you know how it goes...

By the way, Michael had his strength test yesterday. That should be about the last thing he needs before they extend the official job offer. He wasn't given the results of his test so we'll have to wait and see how he did.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Want a Baby...

and a puppy.  I love babies and I love puppies.  Because I am a princess and princesses love babies and puppies.  I need a baby and a puppy.  When can we get a baby and a puppy, Mommy?

Ha!  My response to that?  My little princess will get a puppy long before she will get a baby!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Am I Strong Enough?

Yes and sorry, this is another post about the job situation.  I promise someday my blogs will be fun again and filled with all of our family events.  Right now though, this is what our family is dealing with and this is what is in the forefront of our minds and the topic of most conversations.  Anyways, after talking to several people yesterday and another today, I feel better about the town of Alliance.  I think I mentioned that yesterday.  The people were very friendly and helpful and loved the town.  However, it brought a new question to my mind.  Am I strong enough?  During the conversations things like single parenting, living with your phone, giving up family time and a hard four or five years were mentioned.  The one that got me the most though, was from a lady whose husband had retired a few years ago from the railroad.  She said that it takes a strong woman.  I have to be strong enough to raise the family and hold things together while Michael is out earning the money.  I have to be understanding and strong willed.  It is not for the weak and faint of heart.  I have to admit, I'm not sure that I am that person that she said I would have to be.  It makes me nervous that I will be the one not able to handle our new situation if in fact we go to the railroad.  Am I strong enough?  I don't want to be a single parent.  I don't want my life to be determined by the next phone call.  I hope that if we end up there, I can be that person, but I have doubts and worries.  Once again, we will be required to act on faith.  Faith that Heavenly Father knows better than we do and that He will give us the strength to be what we don't think we can be.  I will have to be strong not only for the children, but also for Michael.  He will need assurance that all is well at home.  I hope that Heavenly Father will come to my rescue and raise me up to where I need to be so that I can be to my family who they need me to be.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Morning

This morning I have spent almost the entire time on the phone.  I called the doctor for Maddi and Dillon.  I called Sam's mom about babysitting this afternoon.  I called a friend about toys for her daycare.  I called two different schools on Alliance and a realtor.  The realtor was very nice.  Her husband is a retired conductor.  It was nice to hear her talk about the job.  Finding a place to rent may be difficult.  We may end up having to buy a home.  We'll see.  The secretary at the elementary school was very nice too.  She answered some questions about the school and the town.  She said Alliance is a very nice place.  She said she raised her children there and if given the choice she would do it again.  She said it is a great place to raise children.  She said most families there belong to the railroad so we would be with people who understand our situation and life circumstances.  I will call the bishop of the church later and talk to him.  We thought we may as well get things going.  So far nothing else has come up.  We are down to two months before we have to move.  That's not a lot of time to find a place to live and do everything else we need to do.  Time will go quickly, that's for sure.  It will be hard to pack up and move again to another unknown but I do feel better about things after talking to people this morning.  The schools sound similar to what the kids are doing now.  The girls could still be in their advanced reading groups.  They would still have PE, music and art.  The classes would be similar sizes.  The schools are K-2nd grade in one school and 2nd - 4th in the other school.  Middle school is 5th-8th.  There are a lot of preschool options for Zeke and Olivia so that will be good too.  Anyways, despite spending the morning on the phone I feel I have accomplished quite a bit and gotten one little step closer to where we are headed.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's The Great Pumpkin

This year, for the first time since having children we are getting to experience trick or treating on Sunday. The last time Halloween landed on a Sunday we lived in Idaho and they did it on Saturday.  So, we talked to our children about the Sabbath and what kinds of things we should and should not do. We don't shop, play sports, go to parties, eat out, go to the movies or other things like that. We spend the day together as a family. We go to church, write in our journals, call family, play together, read and sometimes we make special treats together. Then we talked about choices.  We talked about how not every choice we make is between good and bad.  Sometimes we have to make a choice between two good things.  When that happens we need to decide what will be the best for us and our situation.  Then I let the children decide.  They decided that they wouldn't go trick or treating this year (we'll see if it lasts through the day).  They thought the better choice would be to not go.  We did go to trunk or treat at church on Friday so the kids did get to dress up and get candy. They had a lot of fun. Yesterday I got treats to play "Don't Eat Pete" and ingredients to make chex mix. The kids also wanted to make cookies using some of the candy bars they got from trunk or treat. While I was out shopping I thought about Charlie Brown. Then the idea came to me that maybe, since we weren't trick or treating this year, that the Great Pumpkin could come to our house and leave each child a little prize. I thought it would be fun. The kids were very excited when I informed them that the Great Pumpkin comes on the years that we can't trick or treat. So last night I got out my Halloween and fall stamps and each kid made a card for the Great Pumpkin. They turned out really cute! I had one child ( Dillon) who was slightly doubtful about the Great Pumpkin but he was willing to hope! This morning when they woke up the Great Pumpkin had come.  He took their cards and left a little bag of treats instead.  The kids were so excited!  They told all sorts of people at church about the Great Pumpkin coming.  I am proud of them for being able to make a decision and I am glad that they feel good about it.  Of course, since then they have been invited by several people to go trick or treating so we'll see if they change their minds part way through.  If they do, well, that's part of decision making too.  I know I have changed my mind plenty of times throughout life.  But with or without the trick or treating, we will have a fun day filled with treats, family time and a visit from the Great Pumpkin.  Do you believe in the Great Pumpkin? My house does, but only every seven years or so!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Parent Teacher Conferences

Last night I went to parent teacher conferences for the four oldest.  The reports were good.  I went to Zane's teacher first.  She loves Zane and says that he is fun to have in class.  He struggles with math from time to time, but overall he is a good student.  She is a super nice teacher.  Makenna had her too and loved her.  Next I went to Makenna's teacher.  She said Makenna is a sweet heart and an excellent student.  She said Makenna was actually her top student in every subject!  Go Kenna!  It doesn't surprise me.  Makenna loves learning and works really hard on her school work.  Maddi was next.  Her teacher really likes her too.  He said she is a good student, that she uses her time really well in class, she knows when to stop messing around and get to work, and she has good class participation.  His only worry with her is that she needs to slow down and check her work so she doesn't make so many silly mistakes.  She got pretty much all B's but he said it wasn't because she doesn't know the material, he knows she does, it's because she needs to slow down.  Dillon was last.  I never know what to expect from his teachers because he is so young.  She said she was worried when she saw his age at the beginning of the year and actually went to his kindergarten teacher to ask about him.  She said he has done really well though and his age hasn't been a problem at all.  She said she loves him and he is doing excellent in her class.  After that I went to see the girls' reading teacher.  They are in an advanced reading class.  They had also been tested to be in a gifted program so I went to talk to her about the results.  Unfortunately, we just got a new principal and she doesn't know if she wants to continue on in the development of this program like the last principal did so that program may never come about.  I was amazed at the girls' abilities.  I think they get that from me!  Haha!  I felt good leaving the school last night.  You never know what your kids will go off and do when you are not around.  I am proud of the reports that I received and I am proud of my children and the examples they set.  Today I am taking them swimming as a reward for their hard work.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Preschool Party

Olivia and I got to go to school with Zeke today for his preschool halloween party.  All the kids dressed up and looked cute.  Olivia ate breakfast with Zeke and thought that was pretty cool.  Then we went and sat out in the hallway by the classroom.  All the lights were out in the room.  His teacher handed out special glasses, bowls and flashlights.  They were going on a spider hunt in the room.  There were little black plastic spiders all over the floor in the classroom.  The kids turned on their flashlights and went in hunting.  All the spiders they found they put in their bowls and then afterwards we counted them and they each got a certificate telling how many spiders they found on the spider hunt.  After that we carved a pumpkin and picked out the seeds for the teacher to roast over the weekend.  Then we read a story and played games.  The kids had a lot of fun.  Olivia LOVED being a big kid for a day and Zeke made sure to keep her close by in case she needed help.  After the party, Olivia and I ate lunch with Zeke.  Wasn't the best day for school lunch but Zeke liked us being there eating with him.  Here are a few pictures from our morning.

Zeke and Olivia with their special spider hunting glasses

Olivia finding spiders

Zeke with his bowl of spiders

Picking out pumpkin seeds

Zeke cutting out his pumpkin to paint

Olivia finding a bone in a bowl of slimy cold spaghetti

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Good Feeling

This morning Michael had a phone interview with a company out of Rock Springs, WY.  He ended the interview with a very good feeling.  It is a job that he would like more than the railroad.  It would be in a better location, have a better work schedule and a greater opportunity for advancement.  The pay would be similar to the railroad, but I'm not sure about the benefits.  I don't think they would be as good because most places aren't, but I know they have them.  Anyways, the lady he talked to was the initial interviewer.  She will pass his info on and he should receive a call in the next week or two.  She said the fact that he was willing to relocate to the area was a huge plus for him.  They are in great need of e-line riggers in the area.  She said she didn't make the final decisions, but she made it sound like the job was his if he wanted it.  Now it's back to the waiting game...this is the part I don't do well with.  I will say though, that I feel good and hopeful.  This is the first job that we have both felt good about.  I feel some of the pressure and dread lifting.  I hope and pray that this is the answer we have been looking for and that all of this will come to an end soon.  It would be so nice to be moved and settled in before Christmas.  I'll keep you all up to date to what's going on and I want all of you to keep us in your prayers for it all to work out!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sorting

Today I began a slow process of sorting through things.  I know if we do end up moving (which I am 99.9% sure that is going to happen) we have a TON of things.  There is no way it can all go with us.  With six kids that like to keep pretty much everything, we get a lot of accumulation.  Today I sorted through most of the toys in the toy room.  It is a process that has to happen while the majority of the kids are in school because if they sit there and watch everything is their new favorite!  I had a garbage pile, a thrift store pile and a daycare pile (I have a friend with a daycare that is in need of new toys).  I got rid of quite a bit, but there is still enough left that the kids won't really notice or miss anything - I hope :)  I'd love to get rid of more but I am afraid of the reaction of my six little monsters!  I figure if I do a little bit each day then there won't be so much to do when the time actually comes to pack.  Tomorrow will be the art supplies.  That has become an overgrown mess with a little of everything thrown in it.  Doing this at least makes me feel productive in this whole waiting game - this and filling out applications online for Michael, which I do on a daily basis and which is also productive.  So far, three of the applications I have sent in for him he has gotten call backs on - one being the railroad.  Soooo, anyways, this is my life right now along with laundry, lots and lots of laundry!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jack-O-Lanterns

Tonight for family home evening I made pumpkin shaped cakes for the kids to decorate into jack-o-lanterns.  The girls did one and the boys did the other.

 They frosted them themselves (except for a little help with the edges) and then they made the faces.


They got a little carried away with the M&Ms and ended up not looking like jack-o-lanterns at all,

 but they tasted good!