Monday, March 26, 2012


I don't know whose thumb this is, I just found it on the internet.  Why am I posting pictures of a thumb? Well, yesterday at church I was sitting behind a lady and I noticed she had the same thumbs as my aunt and my grandma!  They are these sort of thumbs - club thumbs.  One of my brothers has them too.  Anyways, seeing those thumbs just brought back so many memories! Growing up my Aunt Peg was one of my most favorite people in the whole world.  I loved seeing her and being around her.  I didn't get to a whole lot because she lived in Tennessee and most of the time we didn't but I still have wonderful memories of her.  My Granny Cantrell had them too.  She was also one of my most favorite people.  I loved her yearly visits and being able to spend time with her. She left this world a while ago and I miss her terribly.

As I sat there looking at that ladies thumbs it amazed me how many things were attached to that sight!  Smells, voices, sounds, scenery, people, holidays, so much came flooding back.  It was nice to sit and remember for a few minutes those things of the past that fill me with so much love and happiness.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bicycle, Bicycle, Bicycle. I Want to Ride My Bicycle....

We have been singing that song all weekend, at least I have!  Olivia decided that she wanted to learn to ride her bike without training wheels.  I took them off Friday afternoon and by Friday evening she was doing it!  Saturday she get even better and learned to ride her bike down the driveway and turn out into the street and keep going!  I am impressed and so is she!  Her motivation when it got hard? A pack of gum! She won't go uphill yet but she loves being able to ride out in the street with the big kids! Yes, I allow my kids to play in the street and they love it!  Here are some pictures of her on one of her first successful rides:

I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride my bike!

Friday, March 23, 2012

PTC and Tonsilitis

This morning Olivia woke up and told me that it tasted funny when she swallowed.  Then she told me it hurt when she swallowed.  I felt her neck and her glands were swollen.  I called the doctor and made an appointment, called her school to tell them she wouldn't be there and called Makenna's teacher to tell her that we may or may not be there for PTC.  They did a strep test which came back negative.  She has tonsilitis. Not sure which is worse... She is on antibiotics now and not feeling so well.  I did get done in time to make it to Makenna's conference.  She was the last one I had to do.  All my kids did awesome.  Maddi got straight A's.  Her teacher's only concern is that he is not able to keep her challenged so she gets bored.  Makenna also got straight A's.  Her teacher said she is top in all of her classes.  She rarely gets a wrong answer on worksheets and tests and her standardized test scores are always way above average.  Zane's teacher even had good things to say about him this time (last time it was not so positive).  He got A's and B's which makes me happy since school is by far not his top priority :)  Dillon's teacher is very pleased with him.  He is one of the top students in his class, does well on all his work and scores higher than average on his testing.  He also got all A's.  Zeke is awesome too.  His reading is ahead of the curriculum and he is very good at math.  He is able to do the math problems in is head and is ahead of the curriculum in that too.  Anyways, I felt good after all those positive conferences and I'm glad that they are all doing so well!  After Makenna's conference we went to the library to help take down the book fair.  The librarian gave each of them a free book for helping then we went to McDonalds to celebrate!  They are good kids and I am so blessed to have them!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Sweetest Thing...

Today I decided to get my hair cut. Not trimmed, cut. I think she took off about 8 inches. I'd post a picture but my laptop is not working so I can't down load pictures. Shucks, right?! Anyways, she didn't cut it like I wanted her to and I had to keep telling her to go shorter but she was afraid. After several tries I just let it go. It's just hair, right? It looks fine but I'm not sure it's my favorite. This afternoon I had to pick up the kids from school. They all noticed straight away that my hair had been cut and they all told me it looked nice and I appreciated that! I have one child that is very sensitive and sweet. He always notices things and he is always complimenting me, leaving me notes on my pillow and coloring pictures for me. I love it! It totally makes my day! Today when he saw my hair he came up beside me as we walked to the car, grabbed my hand and with the sweetest smile on his face told me that he loved my new hair and that I was really pretty :) then he held my hand all the way to the car. Doesn't that just melt your heart? It did mine! I love that little boy. He really is the sweetest thing ever and he totally made my week!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I have been second guessed, doubted, questioned and told to suck it up and get over it. Well, I don't appreciate it! First of all, Michael and I will do what is best for our family! Meaning me, him and our children! We are capable parents with the ability to make decisions! We won't do anything for selfish reasons. We won't make any rash decisions! We will make our decision through study, prayer and discussion. I would like credit for the ability to be a parent! Sorry, just had to get that off my chest! I would like for any one who thinks that I am a wimp or a baby or a whiner to do what I am doing! I would like for them to take their six kids, the oldest being 11, and raise them while their father is off working for two thirds of the year. I would like for them to try to console a crying four year old at night as she goes to bed missing her Daddy. I would like for them to hold their 11 year old daughter as she sobs because it is hard when Daddy's gone and listen as she tells you that she cries herself to sleep at night because she misses him. I would like for you to deal with an 8 year old son who acts out because of all the changes that are involved with daddy being gone for two weeks at a time. I would like for you to talk to your 7 year old son, who didn't even cry with a broken nose, as he sits behind the couch with tears rolling down his face because he misses daddy. I would like for you to spend your days running children all over the place trying to be at everything for everyone even though it is impossible. I would like for you to see your 10 year old daughter's face when she finds out that daddy won't be there to see her in her first play. I would like for you to spray daddy's cologne on your 6 year olds favorite stuffed animal so he doesn't miss daddy so much at nights. I would like for you to be everything and do everything for everyone all the while trying to cope with the fact that you are alone. There is no one to help. No one to takeover when you are tired or sick. No one to help when a child is out of control. No one to take the pressure off when things are hard. No one to share the happy things and triumphs with. No one to fix the bathtub or the computer. Youngo to bed alone at night and you wake up alone in the morning. That's what I go through two out of every three weeks. And I'm a wimp? Because I express my dislike for the situation I need to suck it up? I normally just keep things to myself. I don't like confrontation or negative things. I just keep it to myself and go on with life. This time, however, I just want to say - if this is what you think of me YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE!!! And I want to say one other thing. Money, as necessary as it is, is not worth this! I would rather be dirt poor and have my husband home with his family than to have the money that he makes being away. My children feel the same way. They have told me and from the tears that they have shed, I believe them 100%. I am on overload right now and not just because of the added responsibilities that I have while Michael is gone. But because of the lack of understanding and caring from those who should be doing both.

Wacky Wednesday

Olivia's preschool class is doing a theme week.  Yesterday was red, white and blue day. Today was Wacky Wednesday.  They got to dress up in wacky clothes and have wacky hair.  Olivia had a great time picking out clothes that didn't match and putting her hair in 8 different piggy tails.  The other kids got to do this earlier this year so she thinks it's pretty cool that she gets to do it now.  Here is our Wacky Lollipop!
Pretty crazy huh!?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bathtub Troubles

Last night I told Zeke to go take a shower.  He came out later and said that the water wouldn't go out of the tub.  I went in and tried to drain it and it wouldn't drain.  I tried plunging it and that didn't work. The other kids had to take sponge baths from the sink :) After the kids went to bed I messed with the plug.  It didn't feel broken so I figured we had a clog of some sort.  I tried baking soda and vinegar down the drain - nothing.  Boiling water - nothing.  This morning the water was still standing in it. I had a feeling I should try to take the plug out. I tried to but could only get one screw to come out so I abandoned that and bought draino at the store - nothing.  I bought a little pipe thing that I could stick down the drain to pull the clog out.  I couldn't get it to go down.  I knew then that it was the plug that was broken.  I got a bigger screwdriver (the bigger the better right?) and finally got the other screw out.  It was indeed broken.  I pulled out all the pieces and down went the water!  Yay!  Now the tub is all cleaned and ready for kids to shower.  Hurray for clean kids and clean tubs!
Don't judge me by the stains in my tub - it's old but it's clean.  Judge me by the fact that there is no water standing in it!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Bag of Rocks and a Visit to the ER

Last night I had to take Zeke to the ER.  The glands on his neck were really swollen and kept getting worse.  The swelling had gone up to his ears, around the back of his neck and the front.  I was worried about breathing issues if the swelling was on the inside too and his neck hurt to move in any direction.  Michael had already left for his flight to North Dakota so I had my brother Jon come over to watch the other kids while I took Zeke.  Zeke loves rocks.  Jon had been looking for Zeke something for his birthday for two months and he finally found some rocks!  When I brought him over last night he gave Zeke a bag of shiny rocks.  Zeke was so excited!
We took the bag with us to the emergency room so he could look at them all while we waited.  They did another strep test on him and found out that it had indeed come back.  They gave him a dose of steroids to help with the swelling and got him on some more antibiotics.  This morning he is doing much better.  He can move his head and neck without it hurting and the swelling has started to go down.  Hopefully this will be the end of it and no one else will get it!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Leprechauns, Cheese Curds, and Corn Dogs

This weekend we made a quick trip to Idaho to visit Michael's family.  The weather was yucky but we still had fun.  Saturday morning the kids woke up to a table full of prizes left by the leprechauns.
Joyce gave me a shamrock plant that I love!  I saw those all over the place in Ireland.  I've been home for 14 years and I haven't seen once since - until now.  We enjoyed a breakfast of green waffles, sausage and milk in our new green mugs!

Later that day I stopped at the cheese factory and picked up some cheese curds.
There's nothing better for an afternoon snack than squeaky cheese!  The kids love it and we try to get some every time we go home to Idaho.

For supper Saturday night we tried out a recipe that Joyce found on Pioneer Woman for homemade corn dogs.  
They look a little cooky but they turned out good!

The kids also managed to spend some time out in the rain and mud playing in the haystacks, shooting guns and getting dirty.  They also played the Wii, watched some TV and put puzzles together.  

Makenna didn't go with us this weekend.  She stayed with a friend.  They are both in the High School play and there was a big rehearsal this weekend.  Plus it was her friend's birthday so they made a fun weekend of it.  It's so nice to know that she has a friend like Laura that she can be with!
It was a fun weekend for all and I'm glad we got to spend it with Michael before he headed off for another two weeks of work!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

We Can Throw the Penny Up to Heaven!

Yesterday was my sister Katie's birthday.  Each year I try to do something for mom and dad in memory of her.  This year Olivia helped me.  We picked out a potted flower for them - white petals with pink middles, and made them a card.  Olivia knows about Katie.  We talk about her often and Olivia got her middle name from Katie - Anne.  As we were looking at flowers Olivia was asking me questions about her.  She wanted to know what Katie liked to play with.  I told her she liked buttons and pennies.  Olivia wanted to give Katie one of her pennies.  I reminded her that Katie had died when she was only 2 and that she was in heaven now.  I told her we could just give the penny to granny and tell her it is for Katie.  Olivia decided that wasn't good enough.  She wanted Katie to have the penny! "Maybe we could just throw the penny up to heaven for her!"  It made me smile.  She was so concerned about Katie and sad that katie couldn't be here for her birthday.  I told her that we probably couldn't throw it that far.  Then I suggested we put the penny on Katie's card and then when we say our prayers we can tell Heavenly Father to let Katie know that she had a penny for her.  Olivia liked that idea.  When we got home and made the card the finishing touch was a penny taped on the front of the card from Olivia to Katie!  I love little children and their innocence and pure love for those around them!

Happy Birthday Katie!  Hope you like the penny!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Max and Jack

This is Max.  He's three and he's the newest addition to the household.
He's a dog that has spent his life ignored by his owners and left in the backyard by himself so he still has some social skills to learn but he is a nice dog.

This is Jack. He is 4.  We've had him a little over a year now.
We got him from the shelter when we moved here.  He has turned out to be a very sweet dog that the kids enjoy having around.

In the evenings we let the dogs in to spend time with the family before going to bed.  Max is not used to being inside so he is a little excited at first.  Jack is used to it so he just sniffs around for a few minutes and then lays on his bed.

Get the picture?  Makes the evenings interesting!  The kids especially like it when the two dogs start wrestling each other or wrestling Zane.  I know, who cares right?  Well, this blog is about our lives and the dogs are a part of them so today you get to learn about our dogs!  And if you ever see them running loose through the neighborhood with a line of kids running after them calling their names feel free to join in the fun!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

You Raise Me Up

I love Celtic Woman.  They have beautiful, haunting Irish voices and music. It calms me like nothing else can.  This particular song I listen to on a regular basis.  Our move to Green River has been particularly hard.  I have struggled with Michael's work schedule that has taken him from the family.  I have struggled with a child that I don't know how to help.  I have struggled with individuals that don't know their boundaries and can't seem to give me the credit I deserve.  I have struggled with being away from friends that I love in a setting that I love.  This song touches me clear through my heart.  It warms me and lightens me.  I can't really describe it's affect but if you listen to it I think you may feel the same.

I have thought a lot lately about how our actions affect those around us.  We really can either raise people up or do the opposite.  These last few weeks have been particularly hard and I have been blessed by people who have chosen to "raise  me up."  My brother, Spencer and his wife Kimberly, have done it on several occasions - an invitation to hang out and eat cookies, an offer to help transport children from place to place, conversation, and dinner.  My friend, Emily, met me for lunch and we had a great time talking.  We got a package in the mail from our dear friends the Olsens, phone conversations with Grandma Great.  All of these simple things have meant so much to me and have helped to raise my spirits as I struggle.  There are others who have chosen the other way.  There are things that have brought me down, but there has always been some one there to raise me back up.  I hope, as I look at what people have done for me, that I too can help to lift others up the way that I have been lifted up.  I hope I can reach out with simple things and make their day brighter and their way easier.

I listen to this song at nights, after the kids are in bed and all is quiet.  It fills me with gratitude and gives me time to go through the day and find the positive and erase the negative.  I am so grateful for the people in my life that raise me up and help me be stronger because they give me their shoulders to stand on.


I hate sore throats and I feel awful when my kids have them.  This morning Zeke told me his throat was hurting and he didn't want to go to school.  I let him stay home. His glands were swollen and later in the morning his fever was 102.  I took him to the doctor and he has strep.  Poor kid.  It didn't stop him from playing outside this afternoon when the other kids got home from school, but it did slow him down when he had to swallow.  We got his first round of drugs in him tonight so hopefully he will be feeling better soon.  Tomorrow we get to spend the day together since he has to wait 24 hours before going back to school.  It will give him the weekend to recover before he has to go back Monday. Now my only hope is that the others don't get it...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Today Started with This...

This is Olivia's inner thigh.  At some point yesterday she got a bite of some sort and by this morning it was big, red, puffy and starting to streak. I called the clinic, took her in, and now she is on antibiotics to get rid of the infection from the bite.  After I dropped her off at school I came home to do my workout only to discover that the new flatscreen TV/DVD I got Michael for Valentine's Day had a DVD stuck in it and I couldn't get it out.  I took the TV off the wall and started taking it apart.  Half way through I wondered what in the heck I was doing that for (as if I would know what to do once I had it all apart) so I put it back together and hung it back on the wall.  I finally finished working out at 4:45 this afternoon.  Tonight Makenna had dance at 6:30 and Maddi had soccer at the same time.  I rushed the kids out the door and locked it behind me only to realize I had left the keys on the kitchen table.  It was coldish outside, we only had on sweatshirts if that much and I couldn't even turn on the car to keep the kids warm while I figured out how to break into the house.  I finally got the screen pulled off the living room window and managed to slide both windows open enough to stick Dillon through the opening so he could get the door unlocked for me.  My fingers were frozen but we managed to get everywhere on time.  Unfortunately though, we now have another thing to add to our fix-it list.  Tomorrow's a new day right?

We Got Mail!!

Yesterday , much to our delight, we got a surprise package in the mail.
It was from one of our most favorite families in the world!  The kids were so excited when they saw who it was from.  They especially liked all the stamps on it :)  It was filled with t-shirts, socks, gloves, treats, water bottles (my kids' favorite thing) and letters. It was so fun!  We are all wearing our new shirts today, the kids all took their new water bottles to school and I stole all the snickers out of everyone's treats!  A mom's got to have her survival kit ready - diet Dr. Pepper and chocolate!  It's so nice to know that even though we are miles apart, we are still the best of friends and we are still always on each others minds and in each others hearts!  We love you Olsens!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Olivia discovered the other day that she and I both have purple striped shirts.  She has been waiting for just the right day for us to wear them and be twins.  Today was the day!  We both had to wear our shirts, blue jeans and flip flops.  We went to lunch together to McDonalds and then went and did our shopping.  We even had a little girl comment to us about our matching shirts and that she and her mom had four matching shirts!  As we were walking through Walmart, she had to hold my hand as we walked and help me push the cart and sing about us being twins, holding hands and shopping.  She got concerned when I changed into my workout clothes that I wasn't going to match any more so I took a picture so she could see it when ever she wanted!  We also took a picture with my phone so we could send it to Daddy so he could see how pretty we were together today :)  She is such a cutie!

Fun Times

Okay, this will be a fun blog - I promise!  With pictures.  I have been slow with the pictures because my beautiful laptop that I got for Christmas crashed.  It is now in the process of being fixed but is taking forever (had to ship it off).  So I finally downloaded all my pictures to my desktop so I could post them.  Olivia is at a friends this morning so I have some quiet time to post.  Valentine's Day has come and gone.  I posted about our countdown we were doing.  The kids loved that and despite the melted ending, they want to do it again next year!  One of their favorite things we did was make ladybug pretzels.  It was an idea we found on Pinterest, my new favorite website.  I dipped the pretzels and the kids decorated them. Then we all ate them!

I think we ended up making these 3 or 4 times throughout the Valentine season.  Makenna even took some to school for her class party.

We've also had crazy days at school.  I only got pictures on the first day - crazy hair and clothes day.  The kids always love dressing up for school.  One day was crazy sock day. Maddi, who is not in elementary school any more, was feeling left out so she wore crazy socks to her school that day too.

We also got new carpet in the basement so I have been able to start organizing that which I have enjoyed. Pictures will follow when I get them taken. Dillon helped Spencer coach soccer and thought that was fun. we enjoyed getting to watch Braden play. Maddi started playing soccer last week so we will get to go watch more soccer in the coming weeks. Makenna is in the High School play "The King and I". She'll have her performances at the end of the month.  We got to see Braden, my nephew, get baptized and spend the day with him and his family. My sister, Sarah, and her family came up for the weekend so we had even more cousins to play with.  Baseball season is right around the corner.  I got the four little ones signed up for that and Maddi has decided to play softball this year so I signed her up for that.  Zane and Dillon have already gone to their first baseball clinic.  Makenna and Olivia have had several dance shows.  I love watching them do their thing!  They both love it!  We got a new dog named Max.  He is a Golden Retriever.  He's a little crazy right now because he has been ignored for the last three years of his life (his only three years) but he will be a good dog.  His energy makes Olivia and Zeke nervous but when he is settled down they love to pet him.  Zane loves to go in the back yard and play fetch with him and they all enjoy taking both dogs for walks.  I even get to take Max with me when I go out running. 

Anyways, that has been our life for the last little while.  Always crazy busy, don't think that will change :)  

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Today was testimony meeting at church. The first Sunday of each month we fast and our church meeting consists of people from the congregation getting up and bearing their testimony. Anyone can do it but no one has to do it. Today, four of my six children did. Olivia wanted to but I told her no. However, Maddi, Makenna, Zane and Zeke did. It was so sweet to hear them do that. It warmed my heart knowing that they are learning the gospel of Jesus Christ and know the importance of having Him in their lives. As a parent, I worry about all that lies ahead of them. I worry if they will have the strength to stand strong and make good choices. Times like today, when I hear them speak of their testimonies, calms me and helps me know they are headed in the right direction.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lunch Date And More

I posted yesterday that I was going to find one thing each day that was positive to help me get through this time. Today I had several. One was a lunch date with a good friend. We got to sit and talk for an hour. It was nice to have that time to talk and laugh. Another thing was the several phone calls I got from Michael today. I love hearing his voice and getting his calls. Another was time with family. My sister and her family, my brother and his family, my other brother and my parents. I love watching the kids play and I love talking with them and teasing. Another was getting Olivia and Makenna all dressed up for their dance show. They get so excited for it and Olivia loves the fact that she gets to wear make up. Also the random hugs from Dillon and the kisses from Olivia. Those always make my day!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

One A Day

It's been a while since I blogged. Things have been crazy here. When Michael has his week off, I try to spend every waking minute with him. When he's gone, all the responsibilities fall on me. He is gone now. He started his two week shift in North Dakota. That is where he will be working now for quite some time. He flew out Sunday night. I am not excited to say the least. Neither is he or the kids. It is hard to be doing all this by myself. Sometimes the days get so overwhelming. At night I just sink down and turn off because I am so emotionally, mentally and physically spent. Kids take a lot out of me! I have a new and great respect for single parents! At least I know that I have my partner one in every three weeks! While that's not a lot, it's more than a lot of people have. I have decided since I am struggling right now that I need to focus differently. If I don't I will turn into a depressed mess and feed off diet Dr. Pepper and Cadbury Mini Eggs! So, each day, no matter how stressful the day, I will find one positive thing. If I am looking for the positive, maybe the negative will not consume me. Today my positive was my brother Spencer and his wife Kimberly. They must have known I had had a day! Around 7pm this evening I got a text from them inviting me and the kids over to their house to visit and make no bake cookies. One of the hardest things of Michael being gone is having no one to talk to. Even when he does call, the reception is not good from his room and we have a hard time having a conversation. It gets very lonely. Being able to go there and have some one to talk to was just what I needed. No bake cookies are my favorite so that was a delicious added bonus! I am so glad they are here and that I have them for not only family but friends. It was such a good way to end the day!