Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Still more Christmas Break Fun

We took the boys to Flagstaff over the weekend. I know half of the country is digging out of snow and likely cursing it the whole time. We are thankful for it. I love the snow and I love the rain. Anyway we took the boys up to play and we had a great time. We had a great time sledding and even just watching it. The sledding hills were packed and thankfully, we had no injuries. Levi slept through it all. AJ had the most fun sledding with his brothers, but Jake and Caleb had the most fun of all.

More Christmas Break fun

We got up this morning and I decided enough is enough. We needed to get out of the house again so we went on a 6.5 mile bike ride. We stopped at the park for an intermission. This also served as an incentive for the boys to go and complain less. It worked. I got my exercise, the boys got out some restless energy, Ryan got to sleep undisturbed and we all got some fresh air. They obviously had fun at the park, they usually do. Ryan woke up and called me and we were about to go home when another boy came out and they ended up playing t ball with him. How could I make them leave? So of course, we stayed another 45 minutes. It was worth it even though I didn't get to see Ryan but for a few minutes, that part sort of bites. My days have sort of run together and I didn't even realize that today is New Years Eve. The boys want to stay up tonight. I'm sure that will be some good pics to post tomorrow. By the way I think my legs are dead, it's been awhile since I've ridden that long. It wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't pulling 50 pounds of kids behind me in the trailer. I love that thing!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!! Our Christmas started early, very early and unfortunately, Levi had a rough night which means I had a rough night and I wasn't ready for it to start, but after Ryan got home this morning from work (he pulled an overnight) we started. As you can see, the paper tearing was enjoyed by all. Levi didn't take long to catch on but AJ was all too happy to help him anyway. Jake and Caleb had a great time also. After the gifts were opened, Ryan went to bed and the boys disappeared upstairs to play with very loud Firetrucks, tractors and police cars and a tunnel that the babes got. Even though the boys didn't get alot of presents this year they all enjoyed the ones they got and apparently the ones their brothers got also. We snacked all day on leftovers from Mary's party last night, as always a good time and great food. Tonight we had our traditional Christmas dinner and then Ryan went back to work. I'm looking forward to Saturday when he will have a day off and a night off. Did I mention that he is amazing!? I'm debating on going out tomorrow for the awesome after Christmas shopping, we could use a couple of things and I read the sales are supposed to be incredible. I'm not eager to take four boys to the stores but I probably will, mostly to get them out of the house so that Ryan can sleep. I bought him ear plugs but I think quiet is still better. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and remembered to be thankful for the reason we celebrate it, I know we did. Love to all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Ok, I know it's not politically correct to call it Christmas Break, it's supposed to be winter break now. I don't care. For me and mine, it will always be Christmas Break. Anyway, the boys are on CHRISTMAS BREAK and we are it's only Tuesday I'm already exhausted and my house is a mess! I can't even remember what we did on Saturday, Sunday is a blur. Yesterday we made cookies all day and I do mean all day. We finished about 3 and quick got ready to go to Mesa to the temple to look at the lights and eat at Matta's, which is Ryan's fav restaurant and a must hit everytime we go to the temple. I know the weather man called for rain but come on it's Arizona and they are hardly ever right, it usually doesn't actually happen. Last night it did, we walked around the temple grounds in the rain. Oh well, it was still pretty and the boys still enjoyed it and I'm still thankful for the rain. Today we went hiking in the white tanks and did the waterfall hike, with all of the rain recently, the waterfall was flowing and there was water in the wash. It was a nice little walk and of course the boys had fun. I like going and getting some exercise while the boys burn off some energy. We stopped at the visitor center this time to let the boys look at all of the snakes. They make my skin crawl and my stomach knot but the boys are fascinated. They had one particular diamondback rattler that as soon as we walked by it's cage, it coiled and poised to strike and was hissing and rattling. The ranger said they don't strike at the glass but then he looked at him and said, "well he sure looks like he is going to this time doesn't he." The boys really liked that. They also have a gila monster and the boys liked that and the scorpions and tarantulas the best. They are definitely all boy but anyone who knows them already knew that. When we got home from that I made still more cookies while the boys watched movies and then tonight we went caroling, at Jake's request. We visited a couple of friends and delivered some of the cookies we made. Now you can see why I am already beat. Mary called and said if it rains tomorrow she is moving her Christmas Eve party over here, that's okay with me but now I have to mop my floor and stuff tonight instead of tomorrow. That's no big, it's going to be fun. Ryan says I'm glutton for punishment but I'm glad the boys are enjoying their CHRISTMAS break. Anyway, I'm not sure how long I can keep this going but I know that after Christmas they'll be busy with their new stuff so I can sit still for a few minutes. It's fun anyway and I'm glad we are making memories they'll enjoy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


We had our ward Christmas party last night and of course Santa knows what a great time it is every year so he always comes and hangs out with the kids. AJ wouldn't sit on his lap this year but I thought he might this year since we have been talking about it so much this year and he has been saying that he will tell Santa he wants candy for Christmas. He calls Santa "Christmas" for some reason. As you can see from his face in the picture, he wasn't trusting him enough to take his eyes off of him even for the picture. He definitely wasn't going to sit on his lap. Caleb got a santa hat from my mom and was having a blast with that, as you can plainly see. Tonight was our annual Maher Christmas party and this year we did it at our house. Considering that we have a pretty big family and a not so big house, it went pretty well. The food was delicious, the desserts were delightful, the gift exchange was fun (we got Wall-E, sorry Karla), the kids had fun playing upstairs and if the quality of the fun correlates to the noise level, they were having fun. Considering how many kids were here and how loud it was, the mess is, actually, not bad at all. I love Christmas. Not for the gifts although it's fun to give and nice to get. I love Christmas for all of the opportunities we have every day to celebrate the life of our Savior. I am so grateful for his atoning sacrifice. I am thankful for my husband and children. I am thankful for all of my family. I am thankful for wonderful friends. I am thankful for more blessings than I can ever name.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Stick em up varmint!

I turned around in time to see AJ just like this. Then he pulled out his guns and told me to stick em up! He is such a miniature version of his older brothers. They used to do the same thing. Caleb used to put his in his belt. I think the pockets are my favorite. My boys are so boy and they crack me up. His stick em up face is hysterical. He is so serious.

Yuuummmmyyy Oreos!

Levi discovered that he REALLY likes oreos. We bought some Christmas Oreos yesterday and he got one for dessert after dinner. He wore a lot of it, thank goodness for oxyclean! He had to break in those three new teeth! Caleb was enjoying his dipped in milk, my personal favorite. I haven't made any Christmas cookies this year and it feels like my Christmas is missing something. The boys are done with school until after the holidays and so I think we'll bake on Monday. I might invite some friends over since having the boys help me will be go better with another grownup to help me. Any mom will know exactly what I mean. I love them so much!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Wonderful Caleb

So... Caleb is a wonderful but challenging spirit. I often see him do mischievious things but just as often he does wonderful things just as quietly. He never seeks recognition for anything he just does it. We had a yard sale a couple of weekends ago and Caleb's friend Derek came over. Derek is over at our house daily and is constantly wanting to be here. Anyhow, Derek wanted to buy something but didn't have any money. Caleb went into the house and took money out of his piggy bank and gave it to Derek to buy something. I thought it was interesting that instead of just giving it to Derek he took his own money to let him buy it instead. This picture is from when Caleb shaved a stripe into his hair. I wasn't happy. Today I got a phone call from his school. I saw the number on the caller ID and was instantly afraid something bad had happened. When the Dean of Students was on the line I thought it was something related to football since the boys are playing. Then he said I have your boy in my office. I said which one? Caleb was in his office having gotten a positive referral. I had never heard of a positive referral, when I was in school a referral meant you had done something bad, since Caleb is unpredictable, I asked what he had done. Then Mr. Kemmer told me. Caleb had helped a fellow student pick up his change he had dropped, given it all back to him and gone back to work. His PE teacher had seen and was impressed with his awesome behavior and had given him a positive referral. I was so proud. I was also very pleasantly surprised that the school recognized kids for their good behavior not just their poor choices. Caleb is so awesome. He is so challenging but so amazing. He told me he wasn't going to help but the spirit told him to so he did. He is AWESOME!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Christmas Picture

So... We were asked this year if we were doing a Family picture. I decided that since we didn't do one last year we should probably do one this year. We decided it would be more economical to do it at home. So we did. We had Luke come over and take our picture in our front room. Ryan has no patience and taking family pictures with 4 little boys is no small undertaking. We took many pictures and finally settled on the one I have now placed behind our blog title. I think it turned out pretty well, I only had to crop out one dog and he at least wasn't blocking anyone like Jazzmin was in some of them. Sometimes I think if they put a camera in our walls, we could be a sitcom with all of the off the wall and downright hysterical stuff that these boys do.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our Dune trip

So, we went to the dunes with Ryan's brother and family and some of their friends. I knew it would be fun but I didn't realize it would be that much fun. Thursday Jake was in my bed at 5, completely dressed and ready to load the trailer. On Friday AJ woke up at 6 on Friday and kept repeating Allie, Rhino, dunes. The worst was on Saturday when he woke up at home, he went to sleep at the dunes and woke up at home. He was very mad and kept saying dunes go back! The boys had a blast and didn't stop all day. If you know my boys that isn't anything new. It was nice for them to have plenty of room and dirt and stuff to do all day. I had to make them stop to eat lunch and dinner. They were so tired they, even AJ slept all night and never even turned over. It was nice to hang out and enjoy each other and just have fun. I felt bad for AJ though, he is too little to ride the quads but he wants so badly to do everything his brothers do. It was alot of fun and I can see why people get so into it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the monster sleeps recent months AJ has become attached to his towel. After he takes his bath he wraps up in his towel and the only way to get him into pajamas without bloodshed, ok not that bad but almost, is to promise he can wear his towel over his pj's. Usually it resembles a cape. He wears it to bed and when falls asleep, I hang it back up on his hook in the bathroom. Today was a very busy day and AJ never got a nap. Suffice to say the evening was less than pleasant but at 5:30 he fell asleep next to me on the couch like this, watching Christmas movies with his brothers. I love it. My favorite is the towel over his eyes as he slumped down into oblivion. As I type he has made his way down to a laying position never having awakened and his brothers have just finished their movie and are off to bed. They are so awesome, I love them so much and they are so much fun.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Levi turns 1

So... Levi, my baby, turned one today. It was pretty mellow. Since today was Sunday we went to church as usual and as soon as I walked into the chapel I remembered that we were feeding the missionaries tonight. Luckily I had already made chili and it was in the crockpot at home keeping warm. So for today, he got some regular milk, he doesn't care for it and who can blame him, and a brownie with a candle. We all, including the elders, sang happy birthday to him and then AJ tried to blow out his candle and drooled all over the table, barely missed the brownie. It was pretty gross but very funny. The boys were all tired from being up so late last night at the light parade and so they went to bed right after this. We are having a slightly bigger birthday celebration for him in 2 weeks at the same time as Ryan's family Christmas party. I'm pretty irritated because I don't want his birthday to get forgotten in all of the Christmas hubbub but I guess right now, since he doesn't really know or care anyway, it's no big deal. He is happy with his sweeter than cows milk mommy milk and doesn't care that he is another day older.

Friday, November 28, 2008


So after my turkey/ham coma wore off I started thinking about all of the things I have to be thankful for. I am thankful for the gospel in my life and for the many people in my life who have been such wonderful influences on me. I am thankful for the atonement and the spirit that gives me the strength to keep going when I have no more of my own. I am thankful for answered prayers. I am thankful for Ryan who gives 150% everyday to provide for us, like now when he is getting ready to go to work an extra shift because hospitals are cuttting back on OT nowadays and he takes whatever he can get. I am thankful for my children that teach me so much everyday and push me to my limit pretty much everyday. I am thankful for the hilarious things they say and their total innocence. I am thankful for their candid comments that keep me honest. I am thankful for my good friends like Melanie who has stood by me for 20 years, can you believe it? She also gave me the best turkey recipe ever, man was it good and juicy! I am thankful for a great thanksgiving that started at 5 am and the good friends, some old and some new that shared it with us. I am thankful for the food we ate and that somehow it was all ready and actually pretty good, on time. I am thankful for my parents who taught me how to be a grown up, most of the time. I am thankful for everyday I wake up to my family. I am thankful to live in a country where I can say what I think and do what I want and for everyman and woman who sacrificed so much so that I could. I am thankful for more blessings than I can possibly list.

Monday, November 24, 2008


We had a great day at the park. Levi loves sliding and climbs up and goes down, usually by himself, over and over again. He also loves going down with his brother. Jake of course adores him and takes him down and all over the place. Caleb was busy hamming it up as usual and running all over the park like he'd been locked up in a rubber room for days. AJ was having a blast cruising all over on his trike that he finally rides the right way instead of scooting along. The boys were having so much fun that we ended up staying alot longer than I had initially intended but it was worth it. I'm never sorry when we spend too much time having fun together.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pasta Maniac

So, just in case you can't tell, Levi LOVES his pasta. He is such a joy, except when he thinks it 's funny to pinch my boob while he is nursing. It really hurts and he just laughs, which by the way, interupts his nursing thereby giving him more pinching time. He is growing up so fast, he'll be a year old in less than a month. He is walking so much now and his personality is becoming just as strong as his legs. The other nght he got up at 3:30 and I, being exhausted, brought him into our bed to nurse. So I'm laying there dozing and nursing and he was wide awake and wanting to play. He woke me up completely by smacking me. He put his top arm behind his body and then flung it forward, like a blasted catapult, and smacked me. He got such a kick out of it that he kept doing it over and over again and laughing like crazy. Like I said, completely awake at 3:30 in the stinking morning and not at all happy about it. Then he went to sleep. Isn't that the way things go. Some days these boys are lucky I love them so much because they drive me crazy! At least there is never a dull moment in our lives.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Veteran's Day trip

We took a trip up to Jerome over the holiday. It's a very touristy town and I was a bit disappointed. I don't know what I was expecting, maybe something a little more in line with the town's history, instead of a bunch of art galleries. The weather was beautiful though, it was chilly and overcast. We found this incredible waterfall at the end of a little street that started out touristy and ended up residential. The neat part about this town is that since it is literally built into the side of a mountain, the whole town is switchbacks. We parked on the bottom street and climbed stairs, similar to these, to get up to the next road and so on. We continued down the highway as it leaves the other end of Jerome and crossed over Mingus mountain. There was snow on the ground at the top. The drive was actually nice except for the idiot driving the corvette that passed us on a blind curve in the switchbacks.


Levi got his first haircut today. I was giving the other 3 boys haircuts before their cousin's baptism on Saturday and I looked at Levi and decided it was time for his. Gone are his curls. I saved some in an envelope for his baby book. He doesn't look like a baby all of the sudden. He looks like a little boy. don't mind the naked butt of AJ in the background. I can't keep pants on him these days. I am trying to explain that it's not summer anymore and getting a bit chilly but he doesn't care. At the time he was busy dumping sand out of his sandbox and into the hole his dumb dog dug. Oh well, what do ya do? At least he keeps his clothes on in public.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Another long night of trick or treating

So... after another long night of getting WAY too much free candy, Levi is out cold, AJ is coming down from his sugar high, I think Jake's teeth were stuck in his mouth with now and laters and Caleb looks more like a zombie football player. They went trunk or treating on Thursday night also and then to another Halloween party on Saturday night. We have enough candy to keep every dentist we know (and that's alot) in business for a long time. Most of it will go to work with Ryan on Tuesday like every year. There is no way I'm keeping it in the house. They had fun and that's really all that matters. My little super heros were super and my star and villian were fit for Hollywood. Jake and Caleb picked out and put together their own costumes. I always think it'll be fun to do a theme as a family but I can never get them all on board. When AJ was a baby he was a lion. I tried to get Jake and Caleb to be the tin man and scarecrow but they weren't having it. This year I tried to get them to be super heros, but again, not interested. Maybe next year. I got to go to their school parties on Friday and that was fun. Their teachers are amazing. I can't imagine doing what they do everyday and then to control a room full of 6 and 7 year olds hopped up on sugar...Like I said... AMAZING! It was fun though.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The boys finished football on Saturday. They had a great time and played with a great bunch of boys and great coaches. This is a picture from their team party after the last game. Don't mind the dog in front, he was chasing his shadow on the grass. They were all awesome and learned alot.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The second annual Buckeye 1st ward campout

We had our ward campout last weekend. We went out to Tonopah to Saddleback Mountain. It was a great turnout and we had a great time. The boys were filthy and exhausted by the end of the night. We stayed only for the fire program on Friday night since the boys had an early football game on Saturday and then we had a party to go after that. I decided camping was too much to cram into one weekend. Jake ate at least 4 hot dogs, AJ had 3. I couldn't believe it. Of course they ate their fill of cookies and brownies after that. Even Levi had a great time crawlingaround in the dirt. Caleb ate his fill and disappeared with Jake and the older boys. The highlight was finding a live tarantula in the desert. If I had been planning on camping, that would have changed my mind. I can live with the coyotes, they stay outside of the tent, tarantulas... I'm not so sure about.


So there was the greatest game of football ever played on Saturday. Jake and Caleb and the rest of their team played like pros and with all their hearts and we were so proud of them. They almost won but were literally within 6 inches of the winning touchdown when they ran out of time. So heartbreaking. Coach was so excited he looked like he was going to burst. They blocked and passed and ran like they had been playing together forever instead of almost one season. I'm still so proud of them. Their last game is this Saturday. It's bittersweet to see the season end.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Early Halloween

Jake and Caleb went to their first Halloween party on Friday evening. Jake was Batman. Caleb was a pirate. I must say I was and still am very proud of Caleb's costume. I made the whole thing with stuff from around the house. The shirt I bought years ago for a costume for Ryan. everthing else came from his bedroom including his hook that was a hanger he broke pulling his shirt off of it. AJ couldn't be left out of the face painting (Caleb's eye patch) so I painted a mustache on his face. When it was time for pictures he of course wouldn't be left out of that either. Unfortunately, he was naked, as usual. On one hand it makes potty training easier but on the other, it's inconvenient for having pictures taken or pretty much anything else but that's another subject. Anyway, I'm not posting my favorite picture but it's hysterical. I was taking pics and since he had to be in it, I told him to cover his weiner and he stood there and gleefully shouted "CHEESE!" and covered his stuff. This is my life with 4 sons. They are so much fun and so funny. Anyhow, Jake and Caleb had a great time at the party and came home dutifully sugar coated.

Monday, October 13, 2008

rail fun

We took the rail out for a bit of fun this afternoon. We found a nice hill to take the rail on but we wouldn't let the boys go up on their quads. After a bit of playing on the hills we went exploring and much to Ryan's amazement, AJ fell asleep in the back seat. As you can see, Caleb stayed busy on a short break by digging for gold with Jake supervising. It was so much fun and I'm glad we went. Levi absolutely loved it but got mad when I wouldn't let him crawl around in the car or play with the turning brake or gear shift. He had a great time while we were driving and was even singing to himself again, amazing Ryan. We were totally covered with dust and grime by the time we quit this evening.


This is from the boys 3rd game at South Mountain High. It was an ugly game played by a dirty team, more tackling than flag pulling. So much for flag football and rules. Noone got seriously hurt and the boys did well. We were proud of them. Jake and Caleb were tough and once they got mad, they got tougher. They have learned alot since then and have gotten better every week. These boys are playing like a team and we enjoy watching and cheering for them.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Jake and Caleb had their first football game this weekend. Caleb flattened a kid on the other team while blocking and Jake had a long run. They had a great game and a great time playing it. The whole team played well. I'm amazed at how far these kids have come in such a short time. They supported each other and worked together. Even Ryan got into the game and was asked to be the down marker. We had a great time cheering and helping out. I am so glad they are playing and staying active and healthy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Our Fall Garden

So, we have been challenged to plant a fall garden this month so I did, again. Every Spring and every Autumn I plant a garden. Every Spring and every Autumn our dogs climb over the white picket fence that used to surround it and they dig up and lay in my garden and pee in my garden and kill everything I plant. This year I've had it. I invested in an electric fence. It's called "fido shock". No more dogs in my vegetables. I planted spinach, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, peas, cilantro and swiss chard. We'll see how things go. So, I grabbed the electric box. It delivers a bit of an uncomfortable shock but nothing fatal. AJ grabbed it on Sunday. He screamed for a minute but he was also fine, mostly mad. I figure it'll take once, they are after all smart dogs. It only took once for AJ. I'll post pictures later for progress.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


So, Jake and Caleb were playing volleyball in the familyroom... I reminded them they weren't supposed to be throwing balls in the house but unheeding, minutes later, they knocked a plant over the wall and down to the stairs. I didn't even yell and they quickly went to clean it up. It took two hours to vacuum all the dirt out of the carpet. I wonder if they learned their lesson this time...This took more effort than when the broke the lamp playing football in the familyroom, they just had to pay for that and it obviously didn't deter them. Life with boys is never boring.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

first day

Today was the first day of school for Jake and Caleb. As you can see by Jake's expression, the newness and excitement have worn off. It went well except for a snafu at pick up. No major problems. AJ was pretty upset that he didn't go with his brothers. I packed him a lunch also since he was feeling left out. Ryan gave the boys a father's blessing to start the year off right and of course, AJ couldn't be left out of that either so he climbed up into the chair for a blessing too. Ryan gave him one also. I was so happy.

The End of Our Summer

Yesterday was the end of our summer. Jake and Caleb started school again today. Bittersweet. We went hiking in the White Tanks. This is the end of the trail. Sometimes there is a waterfall coming down the rocks. As you see, yesterday there was only a pool at the bottom. It was still great to go.

Friday, July 25, 2008

too much fun

We like to go swimming. Jake and Caleb have always been fish in the water. AJ hasn't. At the beginning of the summer he wouldn't go near the water. Now, he doesn't want to get out and doesn't want any help either. He loves to jump in and swim to the edge and climb out. Luke likes to do the "high dive" with the boys and AJ isn't one to be left out. We have to throw him lower than the other boys but he swims up and out and says " more". They have so much fun and I have fun watching them have fun! Even Levi loves the water and splashes all over the place. I have to be careful because he tries to put his face in the water, soon he'll be swimming around with the other 3.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

dog tricks

Jake and Caleb, with the assistance of a couple neighborhood friends, taught Jazmin to climb into the fort today. She is so big when she stands up to climb in that her front feet are on the top step. Then she climbs up the ladder with her back feet. She goes down the slide too. Neptune just jumps in with one leap and goes down the slide. The boys are so excited to have accomplished something fun. I'm just glad they actually did something together that wasn't at my expense. They have no problem working together to torture me but at least have fun with it. They also got the dogs to fetch they said. They ran in to tell me. "Are they bringing it back?" I asked. "Sorta. Jazmin keeps taking it away from Neptune." they say. I just laughed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Silly boys

So, Sundays are always crazy here. I try to keep it mellow but really, come on with 4 boys is that really possible? Today was the best so far and that only because there wasn't any complaining about no tv or video games, the boys got along for the most part and I didn't yell at anyone at all. That is the most amazing part. As you can see, even after they were ready for church the goofiness is still there. I woke Levi up to load him up and take this pic, can you see the enthusiasm? Caleb is winking at me, AJ is trying to do something, I'm not sure what, and Jake sticks with an oldie but goodie, sticking out his tongue at me. So much for a good picture. This was my 3rd attempt. I gave up. I am so thankful for them and all of their goofiness. I think if we all were a bit less serious and laughed and fooled around more life would be more enjoyable. Who says we can't have fun while we do our work? I'm going to try to be more silly! Who cares what people think as they drive past me driving with the kids all singing and being a rock band on the freeway. I just keep both hands and eyes where they need to be and the boys have fun. I need to do that more often.

Friday, July 18, 2008


So, Ryan and I decided that the boys need to be more responsible about helping out. Mostly we decided because we got tired of the complaining when we asked them to do anything. So... they have to feed and brush their dogs daily. They have to clean the bathrooms weekly and make their beds daily. They also learned that complaining about the chores or being bored results in more chores. It's amazing how fast the complaining stopped. They are actually doing a good job. I have to share a funny experience. Caleb, after finishing his chores on Saturday said to me, "Mom what is that thing you get every week when you do your work? That thing that we don't get." I answered him "Allowance?" and he said " Oh yeah, allowance. Can we get that now? And I mean alot!" He is quite the bargainer my Caleb. How can you say no to that? They get a dollar a week now for a week of completed chores. He wasn't quite satisfied with that but agreed to revisit the matter after a trial period to make sure he is doing them faithfully and discuss a raise then.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Like Father Like Son

So, I know it's an old adage but it's so true. Our children learn what we teach them, and all too often, they learn what from what we do not what we say. Like below, Ryan wears goggles so the boys wear goggles. Caleb sleeps in his underwear now. He said to me, "Mom, know why I sleep in my underwear? I'm hot blooded like Dad." Today Jake was tattling about Caleb gargling his cereal milk. Caleb said, " She knows brother, She's not deaf!" I tried not to laugh but I felt a bit guilty. I'm sure I must have said that before, I can't remember but that's no big surprise, I can't remember yesterday. It was a graphic reminder to me to speak more kindly and with more patience. I pray daily and on some days almost constantly for patience and strength. I'm getting better and I feel like today was a better day. The boys weren't perfect but I feel like I handled it more Christlike. I'll keep praying.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Family Fourth fo July

Yesterday was our family Fourth of July party at Joe and Victoria's house. We had a blast as usual. AJ is now completely over his fear and spent the day jumping off the diving board, going down the slide and swimming with his "muscles". Miraculously, he no longer hates putting them on. Jake and Caleb didn't come out of the pool until we forced them too. Levi had fun splashing around and Ryan of course did his patented cannonball dive which sent water flying in all directions. It's so fun to watch our boys have fun with the family. They blossom and actually get along for a little while. They are always so excited when Ryan gets there and maul him to hug him and tell him everything that is going on and play with him. We also went to the Tyson Farm in the morning and the boys worked up an appetite cleaning pens. The heiffers sure like the babies. They liked them too. Today we caught up on all the work around the house that didn't get done yesterday. The boys were great helpers. I love them so much and once they go to sleep, I can laugh at the exasperating things they have done. Today, Jake and Caleb were arguing as we left Lowe's. We had eaten pb&j sandwiches before going and Jake of course had peanut butter on both sides of his mouth. I ignored it, pick your battles and all. Caleb noticed as they got into their seats to leave the store and the argument ensued. They were arguing, really arguing about who was going to wipe it off Jake's face. Now I have begun to loosen up about the arguing lately because I remember that all siblings fight, some more than others. I have basicly decided that if it's not violent or especially mean spirited to let it go and let them work it out. But give me a break, wiping pb off Jake's face? REALLY? The men around us in the parking lot were honestly laughing out loud. Well, I love em!

Monday, June 30, 2008

another crazy day

So, yet another crazy day for us. AJ had his follow up echo today for his PVS. He won't see the cardiologist for another 2 weeks. He did amazingly well so it should be a great study. Jake and Caleb were great while waiting also. Levi was also great but it's hard for him not to be, he is so sweet. AJ was supposed to go to the hand surgeon this afternoon but when we got there he was running an hour behind. I weighed the extra gas to come back in to town and reschedule against the aggravation of sitting there with 4 hungry and tired and bored kids in an overfull waiting room. The gas lost. I'm actually pleased with my decision. I am always so worried about waste, ie gas, that I usually try to do too much and I'm usually sorry. Today I finally got it through my head. I decided that it wasn't worth it to expect them all to sit and behave in a crowded waiting room for at least an hour and then wait in the exam room for who knows how long. I knew that they wouldn't be able to. They are only kids after all. I knew that I would get mad at them and frustated and everyone of us would be miserable. I knew it was just setting them up for failure if I tried. I'm so proud of myself that I didn't try. We still had to sit in rush hour traffic but at least AJ went to sleep. We ate dinner and the boys took baths and then we read from the Friend. I have noticed such a difference since we started reading the Friend at bedtime. I have more patience. It's hard to notice a difference in the boys but at least they recognize repeat stories and are able to repeat some lessons from the stories.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

moonlight hayride

So this was a busy weekend! We got very little sleep but had a lot of fun!!! We went on a moonlight on Saturday night through farm fields. Ryan, Jake and I got to have fun driving the tractor. We got home at 12:30 but it was worth it. We saw some coyotes and heard a ton of bullfrogs. We had a great time and made some new friends.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Ryan is busy with work, kids and his toys. He loved our vacation this year and fishing with his boys. He loves taking us for rides in his toy. He is a great father and gives 110% in everything he does.


Jake is 7 years old and going into 2nd grade. He loves riding his quad and playing with his friends and brothers. He is super active and loves sports and right now, swimming. He is a great helper at home and with his brothers.


Levi is 6 months old. He is always smiling and moving. His laugh is wonderful and easy. He loves his brothers and laughs at all their antics.


Caleb is 5 years old and active as all get out. He loves riding his quad and taking AJ for rides. He finished kindergarten this year and is looking forward to 1st grade in the fall. He is a great helper and has a special way with Levi.


Looks so innocent doesn't he? Appearances can be deceiving! He is my most mischievious yet. He is 2 years old and loves to run and climb. He is great fun and loves to cuddle and give big hugs and kisses. Don't think he's a softy though, he can rough house with the roughest.