Monday, March 29, 2010

JUST BEING A BOY

As Caleb was practicing the piano yesterday I walked past and noticed some of the things that make my boys such boys. First of all he is playing Star Wars. Second, note the sling shot that he put on the top before he started practicing. It's also funny to note that immediately before he decided to practice I had just jumped all over him for "hunting pigeons" with it in the back yard. Third, on the other end of the piano lays Jake's sports glasses and mouth guard where he laid them after practice. Not to mention that yesterday they got up and made me a breakfast of eggs and toast all by themselves for no apparent reason. So... my boys are all around boys, they are rough cowboys, athletes, sensitive piano players and pretty decent cooks. Someday they'll grow up to be great men.
I love them and I'm so proud of them but I'm sure you could tell that by reading this!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I LOVE A GOOD DEAL!

In case you didn't know, today was the 50% off sale at Goodwill. I was just there on Tuesday and they had some shoes that I really wanted but didn't want to pay $10 for, I know, I'm cheap! They were gone before I got there today but I got lots of other GREAT deals. I'm so excited!!!! I love getting a great deal! Pretty well all of it looks brand new and would have been a good deal at full price but at half price they were great deals! WOO HOO!!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

WHAT A FRIDAY

No sleep again last night courtesy of AJ's horrendous cough that won't go away so... off to the pediatrician today. Not such a big deal except Jake and Caleb behaved like they had never been taught better. So tomorrow they get to go work off some anger on some vicious weeds at Mom's house. They are afraid they may get lost in the weed jungle but no worry, I'll send a search party. Jake, never one to shy away from drama, just informed me that he is starving to death and going someplace far away because he hasn't finished cleaning up the back yard yet. You'd think that after knowing since last night that this had to be done today, and since this morning that it had to be done before dinner, that he would have gotten it done. Especially since this isn't the first time it's delayed his dinner. NOPE! I know... I'm a mean mom. I think that they had plenty of warning. Caleb is still working on it. I can't believe how stubborn he is. He will go hungry rather than just do it. Someday that doggedness will pay off big for him I hope. Hopefully now that AJ is on some steroids and antibiotics and Levi's on some too, we can start getting some sleep again. A girl can dream at least.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

RODEO TIME

We love to go to the rodeos and the boys have been begging to go since October so we went on Saturday night. My spectacular husband arranged for someone to cover part of his shift so that he could come with us since he usually misses things, like the campout the night before. It was so awesome to be together doing something as a WHOLE family! It was Levi's first rodeo where he was old enough to actually follow what was going on and he was enraptured! He hardly moved the entire time and couldn't take his eyes off the action. It was Caleb's last mutton bustin' as he is getting too big, now he wants to ride the calves up in Wickenburg, we'll see. He was determined to ride it to the other side of the arena but his sheep didn't cooperate, he laid down in the chute and as soon as he got out the gate he laid down again. Caleb didn't let go though, it was pretty fun to watch, it was more like sheep wrestling than riding. The clown was great and the drunks around us provided ample entertainment harassing him and a great lesson for the boys about how stupid people look when they are drunk. It was a great weekend! Until Sunday, but lets just leave it at that.

WE LOVE CAMPING

Our ward campout was this weekend in Buckeye Hillls and it was so much fun, despite my horrendous headache! We are blessed to live in a GREAT ward and our activities are so much fun. Jake and Caleb decided that they each wanted to sleep in their own tents so I felt like an idiot with 3 rather large tents but oh well. Friday night Caleb's tent zipper wouldn't zip, big surprise since it was a play place throughout the afternoon for many of the boys attending. Anyhow after all that, he slept in the same tent as Jake. I was too afraid of a scorpion joining him through the ever so inviting open door. Many people slept under the stars but I confess, I'm not brave enough to do that. Jake and Caleb were put in charge of the fire, to their utter enjoyment, and they took their duty seriously, they kept it going strong and were devoted to it again in the morning. I came home smelling like smoke and incredibly dirty but as always we loved it and can't wait to go again!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

SELF RELIANCE

I am so proud of my latest project. I got to can with Sister Miles on Monday and borrowed her pressure cooker to do some more today. It is so intimidating but so easy! On Monday we canned some pork loin and potatoes. Today I did ground beef that was on sale at Safeway. I think I'll do beans next so that I can do my own refried beans and chili so much faster and easier. Now I just need to learn to do fruit and veggies since I get so much in our produce basket!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

GROWING UP SO FAST!!!

Video to follow but... AJ mastered riding a two wheeler without training wheels today. My superstar husband ran along side him all the way to the park and then in the park off and on for all of Caleb's practice and then all the way home again. I estimate about a mile each way but Ryan says not quite that far. Anyhow today we went on a bike ride with Kelli and her boys and about half way through while riding in my trailer AJ announced that he wanted to go home so Dad could take off his training wheels. So... after our ride and some needed park time, we did and He went straight upstairs and got Ryan up and out to the garage to help him. Fast forward to this evening and he was riding alone before they got to the park. My kids have the greatest dad ever! I could never run with them like he does and so far he has done it with 3 of the 4, Levi is still too little, on the first try/day. He gives them the confidence they need and they are off and riding. AJ is so excited and his face was just beaming. He wouldn't let Ryan rest, he wanted to keep riding and riding and riding. Thank Goodness, maybe now he won't fight with Levi over his trike anymore!

Monday, March 15, 2010

HUMILITY

I've recently decided the Lord made children so difficult to raise to keep us humble. There is nothing I'll ever do that will be more important than doing a good job with our boys and the enormity of it is weighing on me daily. Add that to the fact that most of the time I feel completely inadequate and it is definitely keeping me humble. Pretty much any other job in the world you can practice and get better at, and maybe that is so for parenting but so far, I'm seriously doubting it. As soon as you feel like you have a good handle on one thing, it changes and something new is the problem. The situations are endless, the boys are constantly changing and to make matters more difficult, they are, I'm certain, smarter than me AND they team up against us. They aren't malicious, thank goodness, just mischievious! They have a never ending supply of energy and questions and I am completely outnumbered. Thank goodness that they are such good boys, even if they really do enjoy driving me crazy. Life with 4 boys is never boring, always busy and often exasperating but definitely an adventure and well worth the heartache, worry and loss of sleep/complete exhaustion.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

HOW DO I EXPLAIN IT TO HIM?

We were at Fry's the other day and parked at the end by the garden center. This is the end close to the Vet where we had to put Ricky down last year. Everytime I think AJ has forgotten or understands he says something like he did this day. When we were leaving he told me he wanted to go to the vet and get Ricky back. It was all I could do to hold back the tears right there in the parking lot. I guess because I still feel guilty for putting him to sleep, I wish we could have kept him comfortable longer and kept him longer. We stopped there and I explained, again, that Ricky wasn't there anymore. His body was buried and his spirit is in heaven and we can see him when we get there. I reminded him that Ricky isn't hurting anymore and is playing in water and running around and keeping Gramma and Papa company. He said he wants to go to heaven with Ricky. I didn't know what to say so I just said that someday he will, when Heavenly Father is ready for him to. Even now just thinking about it I'm trying not to cry because I don't want to get them going again. He was such a great dog, he deserved better than to suffer for so long but I still miss him. I don't know what to say to AJ to help him understand better.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

BLESSINGS OF PAYING TITHING FIRST


I have to admit that it's not been hard for me to pay our tithe first. It's the very first check I write when Ryan gets paid. A couple of weeks ago I was driving home from church and started thinking about it and sort of marveling that it wasn't hard and wondering why some people struggle with it. I started thinking about just how much we pay every month and that of course led to what I could be spending that money on, a new truck, a bigger house, new clothes etc. and I thought wow that really is alot of money... of course that is why some people struggle with it. We could easily stop paying our tithe and spend the money elsewhere but of course it would never be enough. All the blessings we would lose could NEVER cover the money kept. Since my little conversation in my head that has been reinforced over and over again. I thought today about all of the tithing blessings we have received in just the last month. We thought the car needed new brakes, took it in, nope, cost $56 for adjustment instead of $200 for new brakes. We knew the truck would need new brakes. Heavy Duty is generally more expensive, ouch, figure $400-$500. Walked away under $270. Truck started pulling hard left. Back to get it looked at, covered under brake warranty. FREE! Truck started having fuel problems. Ouch, expect $1200 for new injector worst case plus labor. Problem covered under warranty at Jones from previous work done, FREE! Steering column broken by previous owner, best estimate $300 to rebuild as Ford doesn't make the part anymore. Fabulous mechanic/friend got it fixed for $100! AJ locked us out of our own bedroom last night at 4:55 pm. Someone thought it would be a good idea to put a keyed lock on the master suite, not us btw. After hours locksmith, figured over $100. Back into our bedroom for $75, still alot of money for 10 minutes work but not as bad as it could have been. I could go on and on and on but you get the drift. Not that I needed reminding or reinforcing but I sure am grateful for the blessings of paying a full tithe without pausing. We'll probably never be wealthy and that's ok. Somehow, Ryan's pay has been enough and he has been able to keep his job amidst layoffs and for these and so many more blessings we are grateful!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NOW HE ENUNCIATES!


Levi starts pretty much every word with M or N. It makes it quite interesting trying to decipher what he is trying to say sometimes. Anyhow he is still potty training and today he "mooped" in the toilet and was telling Ryan his accomplishment. The best part was he actually said "poop" instead of the usual "moop" I said good job, you said it right. Probably a huge mistake because after that he said POOP POOP POOP. over and over and over again laughing deliriously. That I'm sure will come out in church!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

WHAT CHILDHOOD IS ALL ABOUT

When you are the mother of 4 busy, industrious, adventurous and fun loving boys the days are full of fun. You never know what is going to happen. This morning started out as a normal Sunday and the day pretty well ended that way too come to think of it. Anyhow, I guess that this didn't really surprise me but I got out of the shower to hear laughing and yelling and lots of thuds. Of course I go investigate and this is what I saw. videoTo be honest this is much better than when they were pushing each other down the stairs in the laundry basket so I told them to keep it down since Ryan was sleeping and went to finish getting dressed. Then I decided to video it. I told Ryan about it this afternoon and he said he did the same thing when he was their age but he didn't tell them about it and said they all figure it out eventually. It was great to see them having fun together and laughing so hard. I love to watch them play and laugh.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

OH SO TALENTED!

Today was the primary talent show. At the last minute AJ decided to dance in the talent show and since Levi wanted to go on the stage the whole time he went up with AJ to dance. The highlight was when AJ picked up Levi, that got so many laughs that he thought kicking Levi would be good and that got so many laughs that next he started to choke Levi who at that point wasn't having fun anymore. Then the dance ended.

Caleb played an arrangement of the Star Wars theme song courtesy of Sister Emmett. She gave it to him yesterday and he practiced it since then and did pretty well for only one day of practice.

Jake also played the piano and got a song from the Biermans yesterday. He played "Love One Another". He also did a great job. All in all the talent show lasted about 90 minutes including cookies afterward. We have a very talented bunch of kiddos and we enjoyed them sharing their talents with us.






Friday, March 5, 2010

SO REDNECK

Yesterday was my errand day. We went to 5 different places, not really a super big deal, just another day in the life of a mom right? Well Levi is potty training and doing pretty well, he HATES diapers and always wants to wear underwear (we had a huge toodoo about him wearing a diaper to my friends house on Monday while I went to my test) anyway, I forgot to have him pee before we ate lunch and of course... out to the car we go to clean him off and put on some dry pants EXCEPT the pants and unders I had gotten out for his backup before we left were still sitting on the back of the couch at home. Luckily I had a diaper and of course wipes in the car so he had to go back into Sam's Club in a diaper, polo shirt and his faithful cowboy boots. Soooo... Ryan just laughed at my embarrassing escapade but no way was I going all the way home and back into town to get pants for him. This is him lounging in his new to him booster seat Mr. I'm too cool for this chair. He of course fell asleep shortly after this was taken. Sorry for the lopsided pic but I was driving and thought it better to look where I was going instead of turning around to look at the camera.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

ALL BOY

When Ryan and I were first married one of the things I loved about him was that at every family function he was always playing with the kids. He was always on the bottom of the pile of A giggling wrestling mass. After our kids were born and life got harder and more stressful it didn't happen so much anymore which was kind of sad in a way for me because some of my best and favorite memories growing up were wrestling on the floor with my brother and mom. The last 6 months, maybe more, I've started seeing the old Ryan I fell in love with. I still love him. AJ today reminded me how much they love him too and love wrestling with him when he came up to me tonight before dinner and asked if dad would wrestle with him ( he couldn't since he was in the shower) and since Ryan couldn't asked if I would wrestle with him. I guess boys really do need that rough play... Anyway then tonight Ryan went into work late so that Jake could go to football practice since we are down to one vehicle right now. Practice was cancelled, after we got there, because coach hurt his back but he handed out some plays to work on at home. My superstar hubby stayed at the park and ran through plays with Jake and Caleb. Within minutes he was surrounded by other kids asking to play too, and of course he included them and AJ. He ran around with them and threw to them and just had a great time. I'm not sure who had more fun, him or the kids, but I'm so grateful for him and the great man/father he is.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO RYAN AKA STUDMUFFIN


My awesome hubby's birthday was yesterday and I meant to post about it yesterday but we were busy celebrating family style. We had a great day together despite having awakened to water dripping from the ceiling fixture in our dining room first thing in the morning. Our on the ball landlord got the plumber out right away and even though I spent pretty much the whole morning cleaning up, we had a great afternoon. Ryan is a champ and was content to hang at home and enjoy a steak dinner and his fave... yellow cake with chocolate frosting! It was a great time at home with the boys enjoying his special day as much as he did. He is of course old at a ripe old age of 35 with many more to come I hope!

Monday, March 1, 2010

GRATITUDE

Thank you to my great friend Kelli for watching my little ones today for my stress test. I am so grateful for you! So, in keeping with my committment to be an accurate journaler ( is that even a word? you know what I mean anyhow)... All of my life, at least what I can remember, I have had heart palpitations, sometimes it feels like my heart is doing a somersault in my chest but it always goes away and I've always ignored it. Until about a month ago anyway. I started having chest pain and it started to get old. When Ryan was with me and it happened again, he insisted I see the Dr. So skip to today, I've had an echo, event monitor and EKG's. Today they wanted me to have a stress test since I've been having PVC's (premature ventricular contractions) and I don't want to take meds, I'm not big on meds if I don't absolutely need to take them, so they sent me for a stress test to make sure I don't absolutely need them. The good news is my heart is great. The bad news is I have biatrial enlargement which indicates lung disease. I was told today that I need lung tests to see how bad it is and that I will most likely need to take a steroid daily for the rest of my life to attempt to manage it. I can't tell you how many patients I've taken care of whose bodies are torn up from long term steroid use, the alternative is of course worse, but I was pretty upset. A month ago I was healthy and active, today I have PVC's and fairly advanced lung disease. In the grand scheme of things it's not really so bad. I'm not dying, I don't have cancer and cardiovascularly, I'm in pretty good shape. Thankfully, while I was sitting there waiting for 90 minutes for the test I was reading the Ensign. Seriously like 5 talks on trials, I was starting to worry that the Lord was telling me I was about to have a doozy of a trial and I was starting to panic about maybe losing my husband or kids or something devastating. Then one on Gratitude. So on the way home I realized this isn't the end of the world. I need to back up and remember to be grateful. We found out before I collapsed and died too young. It's not cancer. It's not my heart. There are meds to take care of it. I'm not dying. All of my kids and my husband are healthy and countless other blessings. Maybe this is my trial and I can handle this. I am so thankful for the Ensign, it always seems to have exactly what I need when I need it. The Lord is incredible!!!!!!

JOURNALING

If you were in our ward's Sacrament Meeting yesterday you heard Sister Lewis speak on the importance of journaling not just for our own benefit but also the benefit of our posterity and others. She also mentioned that we will be held accountable for the record we keep and the lessons we could have taught/learned with that record. That is pretty heavy and of course I got to thinking that I obviously haven't been keeping a very good record so I'm recommitting to do better. She also reminded us to represent ourselves truthfully and not try to "whitewash" ourselves. I'd like to think I'm pretty good about that since I frequently share my most embarrassing and unflattering moments, never the less, I can do and will try to do better. I also got to thinking that I should document our Saturday night.
I am so thankful for good friends, of which I am blessed with many. Four of which I was blessed to spend Saturday evening with in the temple and afterwards, dinner. Tisha, thanks for thinking of going and getting the ASL screen for the session, I felt the spirit so much stronger than I can ever remember, I think because I was focusing so hard on the sign language and what was being said. Joyce and Andy, thanks for driving all of us and especially Andy, thanks for saving us from that accident on the way there, that would have ruined the evening. During that session I felt the most love for my incredible husband that I have ever felt. I love him so much and that feeling and the feeling of the spirit testified to me how great our marriage is and how blessed I am to be married to him. I have to admit though that looking at some of the younger men in there made me jealous. I was jealous that I didn't know Ryan when we were 19 or 20 and I wish I had, I'm certain I would have seen then how truly wonderful he is, I could have enjoyed him that much longer. I'm just grateful to have him now and for the last 10 years.