Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post Christmas Fun

Yesterday it was a little warmer than it was on Christmas day so the kids ventured out with their new prizes and tried them out.  Zane went around shooting things with his new Exploderz gun.  He and Dillon tried out their new scooters...

They were even nice enough to let the other kids try too.  Zeke only fell off twice.  Luckily he was wearing all his snow clothes  and the roads were snow palcked so it didn't hurt :)
 
Zeke tried out his new Shark Spinner.  It's a knee board.  It didn't work too well on the snow packed roads with him bundled up in all his snow stuff.  We'll have to find an indoor palce for him to try it out.
 

 
 
Maddi and Makenna have spent the last few days on their new kindle fires.  They love them!  They have downloaded facebook, text now, games, music and books.  They got haedphones and cases for them too.  I am hoping that they get lots of good use out of them.  They are excited to take a trip with them this summer and put those car chargers to good use!
 
 
 
Olivia has been enjoying her new kitchen and was especially excited when she got to have a friend over today to play with her.  They have put on make up, dressed up, had their hair and nails done all while listening to princess music :)  Now they are settling down to watch a movie and have some popcorn.
 
 
 
Last night we took the kids to Pizza Hut to use their Bookit coupons and then they went shopping with their Christmas money and gift cards.  The boys got DS games, Olivia got make up in a nice red fake leather case and Kenna bought a few things and Maddi is saving her money to get an electric razor scooter like the boys.
 
This morning I awoke to a make over :)  Olivia jumped in my bed and gave me a make over with her new make up!  I would post a picture but that kind of beauty can not accurately be caught on film :)  Then I got to give her a make over. I got pink blush, pink lipstick and pink eye shadow with black eyeliner.  She got pink blush, black eyeliner with purple eye shadow and silver accent, pink blush and a shiny purple lip gloss. Sounds beautiful doesn't it?
 
So the fun continues for a few more days until it's back to school and routine!  We still have a few days though for more movies, make overs, and game time!

 



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This...


I must say, these last fews days have been wonderful.  It feels like the Christmas I have always dreamed of having.  I don't know what has made this year different.  Maybe it's the fact that we tried to focus on getting along with each other and serving each other more.  Maybe it's the fact that Michael has been able to be around and be at home with us - something we all love!  The days have jsut seemed to peaceful.  The kids have gotten along so well with each other.  They've been sharing and helping and playing together.  We've been able to spend time with friends and enjoy their company.  We've been able to talk to family on the phone and share our fun with them.  Today has been especially nice.  We opened presents this morning and the kids were all so excited about what they got.  I heard them say several times that this was the best Christmas ever!  After presents were opened and breakfast was eaten, the kids spent the rest of the morning and afternoon playing and having fun.  There was no fighting or arguing, everyone had fun and got along.  In the afternoon they went out and played in the snow.  Then we all watched a movie together while the ham and potatoes were cooking. 

It's not that the day had anything spectacular happen or anything.  It was just the peacefulness felt in our home.  We were together, we helped each other, we spent time reading the Christmas story and singing carols. It was just nice. I can't describe it any other way.  With six kids in the house, there are few times when we go an entire day without a squabble or mishap.  There's always something or other going on with some one.  Today though, nothing.  I loved it! I hope for more days like this in the future.  Today though, I will just enjoy it while I can!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

RACK'd

This year in our family we are focusing on Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.  I saw this idea on another blog and decided to do it, but change it up a little.  We wanted to teach the children (and ourselves) to look around us and see things that we can do for others and then to do them.  There were some things we planned out and prepared for - like taking treats to our neighbors, the teachers' lounge, the bakery (the kids wanted to give them treats since they give everyone else treats all year long) and their friends at school.  The girls also gave change to the Salvation Army guy and we bought toys to give to the children of military parents (something they were doing locally here).  The other things though were truly random.  The kids have been working on serving their family members throughout the day and their classmates.  Each night when we read our scriptures and have family prayer we name one random act of kindness that we have done that day.  The kids have been doing a pretty good job with it.  Michael and I have also become more aware of things we can do.  There have been things as simple as helping each other zip up coats or holding open the door to doing another's chore or playing a game with some one.  Some nights it has been a struggle for some to come up with something to share but for the most part they have several things that they want to tell us.  It has really helped change the spirit in the home and soften our hearts towards each other. 

I think their favorite thing has been taking candy canes to everyone at school.  We divided the candy canes up into cups for each classroom and put a note on each one saying that they had been RACK'd.  Then one night when Dillon had practice at the school they took the cups and set them in front of the principal's office so when she got to school the next morning she found them.  The kids did a pretty good job keeping it a secret.  Olivia was the only one that spilled the beans :)  She did good until they started talking in class about what an act of kindness is and then she told them that's what we did!  It was fun for them to see the reactions of their classmates and listen to them try to figure out who it was from.  The preschool teacher told me her class thought it was from Santa, God, or some one they didn't know!  I subbed in the fourth grade class that afternoon and some of the boys were trying to get the attention of one of the janitors.  He was out shoveling the walk and the boys wanted to do a random act of kindness and give him a candy cane because he was working so hard. 

I'm not trying to brag or anything, I just wanted to share our story with everyone because it has done so much good for us.  With six kids so close in age there are times that I think the fighting and arguing and tattling will never stop!  Doing this and helping them be aware of their family members in a different way has really helped that.  Yes, we still have our moments where I need to send everyone to their opposite corners, but it has been better.  The older kids have included the younger kids.  The younger kids have "allowed" the older kids to play with them :) (that has been Olivia's act of kindness several times).  We talk about serving and it's importance.  It has taught them that there are so many different ways to serve each other.  We, of course, tie it back to the Savior and our reason of celebrating this wonderful season.  He came to this earth as a baby.  He spent His whole life in service and then He gave His life for us.  We are taught to follow His example and so we serve and love others.  In John it says, "A new commandment I give uto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."  If we can love those around us and serve them, our hearts will be open, our lives will be full and we will be helping to make our world a better place.

Another blessing that has come from this is being able to notice kindness shown to us.  We are so blessed with so many wonderful friends.  There have been so many kind things done for us.  An offer to buy all the kids new winter coats, birthday rides in a golf cart, letting the kids be in on a cousins picture with the star quarterback even though they weren't his cousins, offers for help with snow removal, phone calls, treats, invitations for Christmas Eve, hugs on the street... so many things.  It has opened our eyes to all the blessings we have and made us more grateful for the acts of service shown to us.  I am so glad that we decided to do this and that the kids have so willingly and excitedly (not sure that is a word) done this.  It has added more meaning to Christmas for us this year and has brought us closer together as a family. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I Wrote This For You

Monday the kids had a snow day so I let them all sleep in.  Olivia had gotten up earlier than the others so I was in the living room with her playing Garbage (she was mercilessly winning).  Dillon came upstairs with a paper in his hand.  "Here, I wrote this for you."  I guess he had woken up that morning and decided to write me a love note.  Here is what it said:

Dear Mom,
     I love you even when you are mean to us. You are a really good cook and you are really nice. And when I get hurt you make me feel better. You are a good teacher and you are really fun. You are a good reader and don't hurt people. You are the best cook and you make things look neat.  Sorry about my handwriting I don't really write neat. I hope you can be my teacher sometime. You make good projects. You are a good writer and a good driver.

                                                                   Love,
                                                                  Dillon

Then he gave me a hug and a kiss.  Now, I know this letter was meant to be a good letter that showed me that he loved me, but the first line seriously made me cry.  See, for all of you out there that call me Wonder Woman and Super Mom and all those other things, that is so not true.  I am a far cry from any of that.  Everyone seems to think that if you have six kids you are patient and loving and kind.  I try to be all of that, but I am not - especially patient!

I have been working for years to improve on my patience and kindness.  While I have improved, this letter let me know that I have still have work to do :)  I yell at my kids when I get overwhelmed and frustrated with them.  I tell them at times that they are no longer allowed to call my name for the rest of the night when all I have heard for hours is "Mom, mom, mom, MOM!"  There are many times that I have had to go to my children and apologize for my behavior and then gone to bed crying because of my feelings of failure for that day.  There have been times when I have just had to remove myself (and not always gracefully) from the room which in turn has left my kids sad.  Some days I just don't "feel the love".

I get so upset with myself when I fall short and I hope and pray that what I have heard is true - that children are given strengths for their parents weaknesses and that as long as I do my best my kids will be okay.  I cling to that some days because I know that my weaknesses have overpowered the rest of me.  I hope that my children look back on life and remember happy things and not just a tired, grumpy mom.  I love my children with all my heart and I hope that my shortcomings don't break their hearts.

I'm not perfect, I'm not a super mom or wonder woman.  Some days I wonder why God thought I could handle being responsible for six of His children!  I feel very inadequate.  I try to involve the Lord in all my dealings with my family, but I know I fall short in that too.  Sometimes, I just take over and that's not always pretty!

I know the purpose of Dillon's letter was not to make me feel bad and point out the fact that sometimes he thinks I am mean to him.  I know it was to express his love and tell me all the nice things he thinks about me.  I love the letter and the funny little things like "you are a good reader and you don't hurt people".  He has always been a very special boy to me that holds a very special place in my heart.  From the time he was born, he has been that way.  We have a very close bond that has grown stronger over the years and I'm glad that he can love me through my meanness.  It was just a wake up call, I guess, that I still have a ways to go....

Friday, December 7, 2012

Maddi Turns 12!

I know - I'm a few weeks behind... I think it has taken me this long to realize I have a 12  year old!  I'm not sure I am ready for this stage of life but I guess ready or not here it comes!  Maddi tuned 12 on the 21st of last month.  She was so excited for this birthday to come.  I think the biggest reason for her excitement was that she graduated from Primary and now gets to go to Youg Women.  For those of you who don't know, primary is our church's Sunday school class for all the kids under the age of 12.  Young Womens is a Sunday school type class for girls ages 12 -18.  Now she gets to go to church acitivitied every Wednesday night.  Some weeks it's just the girls who get together and some weeks they combine with the boys and do things.  She also gets to go to Stake activities every few months.  That is an acitivity that includes all boys and girls ages 12 -18 from towns all around in SD and MN.  They usually meet in Sioux Falls and enjoy a fun day together.  Anyways, she's excited to get to go with the older kids now!

She had a fun day celebrating.  She took chocolate covered cookie dough balls to school for a treat.  They had an early out that day so she was excited for that too.  She wanted baked potatoes for supper and a marble cake with green frosting for dessert.  She had also been wanting her hair colored so we did that the night before like we had done for Makenna.

 
She loves the new color and I think it look pretty cute too!  She also opened presents and seemed to be pleased with what she got.
She was excited to see 12 candles on her cake and if you look in the background you will see Kenna helping to blow out the candles :)



Maddi, too, has had a lot of changes this year.  We moved at the end of the school year and while she was excited to get to be closer to old friends, she was sad to leave her Wyoming friends behind and also her grandparents.  At the end of the summer, she faced another change with going to a new school without the friends she had planned on being with. It was tough but it didn't take long for her jump right in with both feet.  She has made friends and gotten involved and seems to be loving it.  She was on the volleyball team and they ended up 3rd in their tournament.  Now she is playing basketball and loves it!  She had speaking and solo parts in the school Christmas concert last week.  In church she earned her Faith in God award before leaivng Primary.  She is taking piano lessons.  She has over 400 AR points in her reading at school and is aiming to break the school record of around 1000 points! 

It is fun to watch her grow.  I am nervous about all that the teenage years will bring but I am excited to see her learn and progress.  She is a beautiful girl with so many wonderful qualitites and talents.  I am so proud of her and who she is becoming.  I remember when we first found out we were having a little girl.  We couldn't wait for her to get here.  She has always been such a good little girl and now she is changing into a beautiful young woman.  The joy we felt the day she was born is still felt each day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Celebrating Makenna

On the 15th of this month we got to celebrate Makenna's 11th birthday.  She was so excited for her birthday to come.  Out of all of the kids, she is the one who gets the most excited.  The night before her birthday I let her open a present.  She has been asking me since she was four years old to have red hair.  I have always said no because it was such a drastic change and I didn't want anything permanent.  That and she was four.  Who lets their four year old dye their hair!  Then again, what four year old asks to have their hair dyed :)  Anyways, I found a semi permanent red hair color and I got that for her.  I let her open it the day before so she could go to school on her birthday with her new red hair.  She was so excited! 
In the process

The finished product!
 
I think she makes a pretty cute red head!  The next morning she woke up and opened all her presents before school.  I don't think she posessed the capability to wait until after school :)  I don't know where she gets that from!
 
Her favorite gift was this stuffed elephant from Munu and Papa.  She loves elephants  (I think she has 2 of them now) and this one was really big, really soft and extremely cuddly!

 
She took treats to school to share with her class.  After school a family friend took her out for ice cream and a golf cart ride.  That night we had steak, green beans and rice - her choice followed by cake and ice cream.  She wanted a chocolate cake with orange colored frosting.  Easy enough!
 
 
Makenna has really grown a lot this year.  She has faced a lot of challenges - moving (again), starting a new school (again and unexpectedly), to name a few.  She had ups and downs dealing with it all but has come out on top when all is said and done.  She has made lots of new friends, joined the volleyball and basketball team.  She's on student council, won in a DARE essay contest, and has straight A's.  She is taking piano, loves to read, tried out for All-State choir and is developing a love for cooking.  She can be tough as nails, yet she has a very sweet, kind heart that makes people love her.  We are so thankful to have her in our family.  She teaches us so many things and we can't imagine life without her!  Happy Birthday Nennna!



Monday, November 12, 2012

Gratitude

For me, November is a month of reflection.  A time to look back and see all the many blessings that I have.  I think it is that way for a lot of people.  We take time to count our blessings and give thanks for them.  It's something that I try to do year round, but because of the season I focus on it even more.  I have so many things that I am thankful for - a wonderful husband, six beautiful children - each with their own personalities and abilities, a home, a job, food, clothing, friends, the gospel and my Savior Jesus Christ.  There are so many more things - too many to mention.  Each day though, I am blessed.  Each day I can feel God's love for me and His hand in my life. 

In the scriptures it says, "every day [we] should give thank to the Lord [our] God."  I believe with all my heart and soul that the blessings I have in my life come from God.  He loves me and He wants me to be happy.  He looks out for me and gives me the things that I need.  Sometimes those blessings come wrapped up in trials, sometimes they come through friends, sometimes they come from quiet moments spent in prayer and pondering.  However they come though, I know from Whom they come and I am grateful for His love. 

A few years back when all my kids were little, I was having a very overwhelming day.  The kids were all needy, the house was a mess, I was tired and there was no end in sight.  I sat down to take a break and try to gather myself together and these are the thoughts that came to my mind:

With pen in hand I humbly write about all my blessings that may seem out of sight.
They get pushed to the side by day to day things like diapers and errands and quarrellings.
I have so many gifts on which to reflect, blessings that come when I least expect.
Sometimes distracted by the tasks on hand, I forget about the blessings behind the demands.
I do not like laundry, to wash and to fold, but I am grateful that we all can be clothed.
The dishes keep piling, I don't always keep up but I know if they are dirty then we are filled up.
My cupboards are few and I have to stack things around, but I am grateful they are full and there is food to be found.
Dusting is a job that never seems done, but I am grateful for the furniture that the dust lands on.
Making the beds is not a fun chore, but I am grateful that we do not sleep on the floor.
Our house needs work out here on the farm, but I am grateful to have something to keep us warm.
My children have needs, sometimes almost more than I can bear, but I am ever so graetful for the love that we share.
Our vehicle gets smaller as we all cram in there, but I am grateful we have it to take us everywhere.
The bills pile up - telephone, gas and utilities, but I am grateful to have such luxuries.
Through the child bearing years my body has changed from young to not and from firm to mush, but I am grateful for the strength it posssesses and for it's ability to continue to push.
The list goes on - the blessings camouflaged by the tasks. Our Father has so much to give us if we will just ask.
I'll never be a rock star, but I love to sing. I'll never be a concert pianist, but I can have the joy that playing brings.
I won't discover new cures or lands, but I can teach  my children to discover with their hands.
I'll  never be a gourmet cook and have a T.V. show, but I can feed my family and help them grow.
My children won't have all that they adore, but I can give them so much more.
I can teach them to see all that blesses us and help them to look beyond the task.
I am grateful for my Savior and His Atonement. Iam grateful for His act of love which for me was meant.
I am grateful for the everyday tasks because behind them are blessings far more than I could ask.
 
 
I still feel this way some days, overwhelmed with all that lies before me, frustrated with all I have to do.  My children are older now, I don't have diapers to change and they can help with the every day tasks more, but it still gets busy and I still get caught up in the everyday things and forget to look beyond that.  When that happens, these word start to run through  my mind and I know to step back and be thankful.  My children are healthy, my husband has a job, we have a nice home to live in, we have our needs met and some of our wants satisfied, we have each other.  I am so thankful for those quiet moments that allow me to step back and see all that I have.  I am thankful for a Father in Heaven who continues to bless me and my family.  I am thankful for a season in which we stop to give thanks followed by a season in which we celebrate the most important gift of all, which is the gift of Jesus Christ.  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

October

I haven't done much of an update for quite a while.  It has been a busy month or two here (I am discovering that it is always busy though).  October started with my birthday.  The kids let me open presents that morning before they went to school.  I walked with my friend that morning and then she took me out to lunch that afternoon.  After school the kids and I went to a volleyball match here in Hendricks to watch some of their friends and my cross country runners play.  Then we all went out for pizza with some more friends.  When we got home we had angel food cake (my favorite) that Michael and Dillon made for me. Another friend made me some apple crisp and brought it over.  It was delicious and Michael got to have that for dinner since he was working and couldn't come for pizza.  It was a good day and even though it means I turned another year older, I enjoyed it!  There were no pictures taken (kind of glad for that) so I can't post any from the festivities...

I also got to go to the school and read Halloween/Fall stories to all the kids in Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades.  Then we decorated sugar cookies.  It was fun.  The kids seemed to enjoy it and they are already making plans for me to come back another time :)  I love going in and being in the classes.  I know at some point my kids won't think it's cool for me to be there so I better enjoy it now while they do!

 
 
We also got a new puppy.  He was really a birthday present for Michael.  He is a border collie/australian shepherd cross for Michael to train and use at the feedlot.  His name is Tuff and he is a cute little fluffball right now.  The kids love him and he seems particularly attached to Dillon!
 
 
October also brought the end of volleyball, little Dolphin football and cross country.
 
 
We ended the month with Halloween of course.  The kids had parties at school, we had our traditional spaghetti supper and then the kids and I went out trick-or-treating.  The weather was great so we just walked until we got tired.  I have wimpy trick-or-treaters so they got tired by the time we finished our side of town.  When I was little we didn't didn't stop until our bags were totally full.  My kids don't get into it like we did when we were little.  We had fun though!
 

 
The kids had their primary program at the end of the month.  They all did good with their speaking parts.  They also participated in a comminuty choir and had a concert towards the end of the month.  Makenna had a solo part and did and excellent job.  Zane had a speaking part and he did a good job too. 
 
We had parent-teacher conferences and I got good reports on all the kids.  Our high school football team started their playoff games.  We were ranked number two in the state so all the play off gaes were at home.  We had a lot of fun watching them win!  Earlier this week we got to go to Vermillion and watch them win State at the Dome there!  It was so fun to be a part of all of that!  We are part of a great school.  Our elementary school was honored by being in the top 5 percent of the best schools on the state.  That is a big deal here!  One of the elementary teachers just got honored with a teacher of the year award.  The kids are loving it.  I also enjoy going in a subbing and getting to know the staff and students.
 
As we head into this Thanksgiving season we are truly blessed by all that we have been given and are privileged to be a part of.




Zeke's Ear

The other day I got a call from the school telling me that Zeke had some how hit his ear on his table and cut it open.  They weren't sure if it would need stitches or not so I went in to look at it.  I wasn't sure about it either.  I was not a deep cut but his lobe was really swollen and it was pulling the cut open.  I called the clinic and they wanted to see him.  It was swollen enough that glue or butterfly bandages wouldn't do any good and it wasn't deep enough to need stitches.  They just cleaned it up and put medicine on it and I took him back to school.  It was a little sore to the touch for quite a while.  In fact, it still hurts when I touch it and it happened over a week ago!  They still aren't sure how it happened.  I guess he was sitting at his desk coloring and he dropped some crayons.  He bent over to pick them up and he slipped and hit his ear on the table.  The principle came in and checked the table and found no sharp edges.  The table had the rubber around the edge so it was even a little rounded.  He must have hit it just right though and it must have been hard because it sure did leave a mark!  A week later and it is still the talk of the school and everyone is still checking on his ear to make sure it is healing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Go Forward

Okay, so I don't get in to politics too much.  It drives me crazy.  All the lies and mudslinging and fighting.  It seriously makes me crazy!  It's like a junior high sissy fight - all the drama and silliness.  Can't stand it... There is one thing that bothers me more though - it's people's reaction to politics.

We just had an election.  Obviously not everyone got what they wanted out of the election.  Today Facebook, the internet and the news is filled with all this craziness over the reactions people are having.  I don't understand it.  Don't get me wrong, I have opinions and I was disappointed in things that took place and results that came in, but I don't understand the extreme responses. There's all this tough talk, talk of darkness for the next four years, blaming Obama lovers for all the problems that are coming to us, kicking people in the balls, etc, etc, etc....  What?!  I know we have freedom of speech and all that other stuff.  If we didn't I couldn't be writing this now.  But sometimes we need to stop and think if what we are saying is really helping the situation.

I want to bring it back home for me.  I am a Mormon - I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I am a Christian - I believe in Jesus Christ.  I believe that He is my Savior.  I believe that He came to this earth, suffered for my sins, died on the cross and was resurrected so that I, a sinner, could return to live with my Heavenly Father again.  It requires faith, hard work, continued and constant repentance and obedience to the laws of God. 

There may be dark times ahead, there may be obstacles and hardships, but we are told to have faith.  We are told to put our trust in God.  We are told to act like the Christians we claim to be.  Just because we don't like something doesn't mean we get to put our standards and morals aside and act like blind, raging idiots!  Christ did not do that.  As Christians we carry His name, we represent Him.  We can't do that while we are threatening people and calling names.

The leaders of my church put out this statement:

"We congratulate President Obama on winning a second term as President of the United States.

After a long campaign, this is now a time for Americans to come together. It is a long tradition among Latter-day Saints to pray for our national leaders in our personal prayers and in our congregations. We invite Americans everywhere, whatever their political persuasion, to pray for the President, for his administration and the new Congress as they lead us through difficult and turbulent times. May our national leaders reflect the best in wisdom and judgment as they fulfill the great trust afforded to them by the American people."

What a great example to us!  This is how we, as Christians, should act.  We already know who will win the fight between good and evil.  The question is, which side will we be on?  When we put our morals down, we are stepping on the side of evil.  We can't control other people.  We can't change their minds by threatening them and calling them names.  We can, however, make sure that we are in check for what we should be doing.  Are we the citizen that we want everyone else to be?  Are we the friend to others that we want others to be to us?  Do we look after our neighbors and help those in need?  Do we pray for those that lead us?  Do we go forward with faith and do our best and know that in the end all will be okay?

In the Bible there is a story.  It is found in Genesis.  The Lord was talking to Abraham about destroying Sodom because of the wickedness in the city.  The Lord told Abraham that if he could find 50 righteous people in the city then He would not destroy it.  Abraham asks the Lord what if he can only find forty-five.  The Lord said he would spare the city for forty-five righteous people.  Abraham then asks what if he can only find forty righteous people.  The Lord said he would spare the city for forty people.  Abraham continues this all the way down to ten.  The Lord says in verse 32 of chapter 18: "I will bnot destroy it for ten’s sake." 

The Lord will protect us according to our righteousness.  Will it all be easy?  No.  Will we face challenges and hardships?  Yes.  Will the decisions of others affect us?  Yes.  So what can we do?  We can pray.  We can be law abiding citizens. We can be obedient.  We can be faithful.  We can be righteous. If we are not religious, we can still be good citizens, obedient to the laws of the land and respectful of our neighbors and fellow Americans.

I know there are tough times ahead.  It would be that way no matter who was president.  I know we are all going to walk stormy paths at times.  But there will also be good things and sunny days that will bring light and joy to our lives.

Henry B. Eyring, a leader in my church, said this: “Ask yourself, 'How did God bless me today?' If you do that long enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes, you will have gifts brought to your mind which you failed to notice during the day, but which you will then know were a touch of God’s hand in your life.”

This morning I woke to a beautiful blue sky with a warm sun shining down on me.  The wind was calm, the town filled with colors of fall.  The air was cold but the view was beautiful.  God has given us so  many things to help us, lift us, bless us, strengthen us and guide us.  During the tough times, if we can remember to look for the good, serve others, and show gratitude we will feel His love and strength and know that all is well.

I'm not trying to preach religion.  I am trying to point out that there are other ways to deal with disappointment than what I have seen over the last few days.  Some worry about the future for their children, I worry about that too.  I have six children that have a lot of life ahead of them.  But who is president isn't the only thing that is affecting them right now.  Who I am has a greater affect.  My reactions and ability to handle different situations is affecting them.  I need to make sure that I will not be a stumbling block in their future.  All of us have morals and standards, religious or not.  We need to pull together, hold to those morals, keep our standards high and go forward.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cross Country

For those of you who don't know, I have had the privilage of being the assistant coach for the cross country team here in Hendricks.  I have absolutely loved it!  The head coach is the most awesome person in the whole world and it has been so much fun spending time with her and building our team together.  Our season is winding down now - only a few more weeks left.  I'm not sure what I will do when it's over and I don't get to see the girls and boys everyday.  I have loved getting to know their personalities and watching them interact with each other.  I have loved watching them improve and strengthen over the season.  I love walking by the school when it is lunchtime and having them run over to me to talk to me.  Our last meet our top four runners in the JV race took first, second, fourth, and sixth.  They were awesome!  One of the meets we went to also had a race for younger kids.  It was only about a quarter of a mile.  I was able to take my four youngest with me to that meet and they were able to run with the other kids.  It was a fun, but slightly crazy, day!

I tried to download pictures but it is not letting me.  My account says I have to pay now to download any pictures.  Once I get it all figured out then I can download pictures again!  Yay!  Pictures always make a blog more fun :)

So, anyways, cross country has been a great experience.  I have loved every minute of it and I will miss it terribly when it is over.  I want to thank the kids for the last few months of entertainment!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September So Far...

We are 11 days into September and it has already been super busy.  We celebrated Dillon's birthday...
Which was a lot of fun :)  We had a fire (several different times) and roasted marshmallows (several different times).  We had a campout in the yard.  Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of that... We also went kayaking.  That was great fun for everyone!




 
 
We also got out the blow up boats and paddled around.

 

 
We've been busy with campfires and cookouts, having friends over, going to football games and now starting harvest.  I have had several cross country meets, Maddi and Makenna have started volleyball...
 

 
 
And Zane and Dillon started football...

 
 
The most special thing that happened this month was Dillon getting baptized a memeber of the Church of jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He was baptized the week after he turned 8.  We are so proud of him for making this decision.  He was so excited for the day to finally come. 
 
 
 
I also got to go to school as acting Grandma and eat lunch with all the kids on grandparent's day.  I managed to catch them all and see Olivia sing most of her songs at the after lunch kindergarten program.
 

 
So we've been busy as you can see.  Football practice twice a week with games once a week, volleyball practice twice a week with meets once a week, cross country practice everynight with a meet once a week, piano lessons, church and anything else that comes along!  The kids are liking school, Michael is busy at work and I am keeping busy at home :)
 




Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dillon Turns 8!


On the first of September we celebrated Dillon's 8th birthday.  He was so excited for it to come and that it came on a long weekend.  We got to celebrate for four days!  Friday night we went to a football game.  Saturday Michael made in sourdough pancakes for breakfast and I made him fried pies for dessert.  We grilled out that night per his request and he got to open all his presents.  Sunday night we had a fire and made s'mores and then the four youngest kids and Micheal slept out in the tent.  Monday we went kayaking and played in the lake.  It was a fun weekend spent together celebrating Dillon!  We are so thankful to have Dillon.  He is such a sweet boy.  He always tries to do his best and be obedient.  He is patient and kind and caring.  We are also extremely proud of his decision to be baptized this Sunday.  He is so excited for it and we are excited too!
 
He got his build a bear horse from Michael's parents like all the grandkids do on their 8th birthday.  He has been patiently waiting for 3 years :)  He also got a few vikings things and some tools to help daddy fix things!
 
 
Happy Birthday Susie boy!  We love you!!



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for all the kiddos.  They were all excited to finally get to start.  It is a new school this year.  Instead of sending them to Hendricks here where we live, we decided, in the best interest of our children, to send them to another school.  So most of the faces will be new for them.  There were some nerves going on but mostly it was excitement.

The BackPack Fairy came as usual and left the kids new clothes to wear for the first day and a treat for after school.

Here's my baby girl all ready for kindergarten!  I can't believe she is getting so big!
Zeke was so excited for first grade that I only had to tell him once to get up!  We'll see what tomorrow morning brings :)
Dillon is in 3rd grade this year.  He is really excited to get to play football and basketball!
Zane is in 4th grade this year.  He, too, is excited for football and basketball.  He was also excited to see some of his friends from baseball in his class!
Makenna was a little nervous to start 5th grade but she made some new friends and came home happy :)
Maddi is in 6th grade this year and seems to have a class full of really nice girls.  They all waited around last night at open house until we got there so they could meet her. 
Here they all are, oldest to youngest.  I can't believe how fast time has gone and how quickly they have grown.  It was so fun to listen to them chatter on and on about their first day!



I also reached a first today.  This is the first time I have ever dropped my kids off and not had some still with me on the way home!  It was kind of a strange feeling.  It's been a long time since I have had this much time alone.  I think I will be able to stay busy though!  Today I went on a walk with a friend, did laundry, went shopping by myself, baked cookies, cleaned some and went to cross country practice.  Time sure flies!  I am so thankful for the time I do get to spend with my kids but I am also thankful for the time we spend apart.  We get to grow and learn on our own and then come home and share with each other.