Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lest You Think...

I love reading back over my blog and remembering.  It's fun to see pictures of when my boys were younger, read funny quotes, remember Christmases.

But I was noticing that most of my posts are happy, happy.

Let it be known that I have my sads too.  I have my let-downs, my tantrums, my challenges.

Take today for example.  It was an ordinary day:

I had two kids home with Pinkeye.
One of those two kids refuses to do his business in the toilet and therefore...
One of those two kids ran around the house with a naked bum all day, a desperate tactic.
I have a big zit on my cheek.
I yelled at Caleb this morning.
I felt overwhelmed with upcoming Christmas preparations and activities.
One of the kids needed an emergency bedding wash.
There were already two loads of cold, unfolded laundry piled up.
Brandt and I had a power struggle over him only eating the m&ms in his trail mix.
I gave in.
The aforementioned nuts and raisins were scattered across the kitchen floor.
I got a minor injury on my finger.
I cooked Lime Coconut Curry Chicken over rice and went through the farce of serving it to my family when I knew only Mitch would eat it.
Today when I stepped on the scale it told me that I'm heavier than I've been since I was battling Brandt's baby weight.

But!  On the other hand:
The pink eye is retreating.
The naked-bum tactic really does help!
I apologized to Caleb and we're friends again.
I got our Christmas activities planned for the month of December, and filled our activity advent calendar.
I made a handmade gift for my mom (one for me too).
Bedding and laundry is folded and actually put away.
Brandt and I swept up together.
The rosy hues of the sunset were unreal, and I got to see it because Mitch called me and told me about it on his way home.
Caleb ate all his Coconut Lime Curry Chicken.
I worked out with my husband this morning.
I got to listen to some beautiful music today.
I got Dallin and Adam on the floor rolling with laughter.  They're ticklish.
I helped Adam with his homework.
I put out some beautiful lights around our nativity scene.
My new phone came in the mail.
The dishes are done and tonight I get to go to book club with some amazing, intelligent friends.

I think that when I look back at my life I'll remember mostly the good stuff.  But I think it is good to keep a real perspective too because without a few downs it would be hard to really appreciate the ups.

Monday, November 26, 2012


After our feast of Thanksgiving we went on a hike in the Superstition wilderness.
The air was mild, the sunlight, golden.  And it sure felt good to get up and move after such a busy morning cooking and a full-belly feast.

While we walked in the desert splendor, and as I watched those sunlit heads bobbing ahead of me I was momentarily choked with gratitude to my Heavenly Father for my life.  For those boys, and their strong, handsome dad leading us.  For the sun, the air, the path under my feet, and my healthy body.  For everything.

And then Brandt wanted his picture taken, I swallowed the lump in my throat, and life continued.  
But I cherish moments of communion like that like little gems.

One thing my boys like to do is throw rocks, and at home I have to say, "Put that rock down.  No throwing rocks!"  I love going hiking with the boys because they can throw rocks to their heart's content.  And play with sticks.  And climb.

And climb some more.  

And just 
be boys.

They need that.  

On the way back home Brandt fell asleep in the warmth of his car seat and had to be awakened for pie.  Boy, were we all ready for that pie.  And though I was worried because I baked my mom's Apple Slices Pie for the first time, there was no need to be.  Mmmm.

It was a beautiful day.  And I hope your's was too.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Piano, Puppets, and a Pretty Deep Bow

Brandt has been into the performing arts lately.  One day he said, "Mom, I'm going to play you a song." Then he sat at the piano and played freely (with a grape in his cheek here).  When he was satisfied he jumped off the bench and announced that he was done.  

After the second performance I taught him to stand and bow while I applauded.  He liked that.  And then it was my turn to play and then bow while he clapped.

We repeated this scenario a few times.  Sometimes I thought Brandt might tip right over from the depth of his bow.

Not long afterwards, Brandt asked if he could play puppets.

His older brothers arrived home from school just in time to see some of his shows, the plots of which mostly followed this pattern:
1- Character 1 goes looking for Character 2 and, with help from the audience, finds him.
2- Characters 1 and 2 proceed to wrestle or fight.
3- Adam got to determine which character would win, until Dallin got fed up and told Brandt to decide on his own.

These were the best seats in the house.

I loved watching Brandt enjoy being creative and in the spotlight with his older brothers' attention on him.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mt. Lemmon in Autumn

Recently we took off after Saturday soccer games and drove down to Tucson for the weekend.  Mitch wanted to go see Mount Lemmon, since we've lived here all these years and we've never been there.

It could not have been more beautiful.  The weather was in full cooperation too, and we relished the chilly breeze as we picnicked near the summit.  What a view of the desert floor and rolling brown hills below!  And the leaves!  Each fall I speak of these great plans for getting away to "see the leaves."  See, not many leaves (read: none) turn brilliant colors in my neighborhood and I really miss that part of fall.  So when I saw the gold and red as we flashed by on our way to the summit, I was so excited!

The only bad part was that I forgot the camera!  I wanted to record some of the beauty around us but all I had was my phone.  Here are some of those pics.

It was a beautiful day, and I'm glad my kids got to see those leaves.  They were like gold.  Each boy chose one favorite leaf to bring home and I have them pressed into a book to help them remember.

Halloween 2012

 Halloween breakfast: pumpkin pancakes

 Cowboy, Ninja, Buzz Lightyear, and Alien Abduction

Brandt, I mean Buzz, feeling bashful

 Dallin is being taken, right before our eyes!

Jack O'Lanterns: Adam's/mine, Brandt's/Mitch's, Caleb's (Domo-inspired), and Dallin's.  Notice that Dallin's is eating sweets.

 Howdy!  Have you got any candy?  That's what Adam want's to know.

Caleb melts into the darkness, emerging only for treats. 

Happy Halloween!


We spent a few days in Oceanside over Fall Break.  Mitch's parents came with us and we had a lovely trip. We spent most of our time on the beach.  Here are a few favorite pictures.

As soon as we got there the kids got busy digging in the sand, making pits, castles, sand turtle.

Mitch, Caleb and I worked together on this guy.  

Yes, we hauled this shovel to Oceanside in the back of our minivan.  Yes, it was worth it.   It was the best thing for finding sand crabs.

Brand thought this shovel was alright too.  He loved playing in the sand but he was pretty nervous about all  of those foaming waves that kept coming at him.  

Brandt kept a pretty close eye on those waves, and ran away every time...

...even when his big, strong dad was sitting right next to him.

Adam loved playing in the waves,

but he spent most of the time digging, and scooping, and digging some more.  

The ocean inspires contemplation.

Or maybe it was just fun to watch those surfers out there. 

Mitch bought a couple of boogie boards, which were a hit.

  Sea fort


One morning we went to La Jolla.  When we arrived it was cool and misty, which is pretty much opposite normal conditions at home.  I think Adam's and Brandt's favorite part of that trip was chasing the seagulls in the mist.   

Grandma and Grandpa after the mist burned off.

We went to La Jolla in hopes of seeing sea lions and seals, which we did.  But the Dallin thought the best part of all was walking down near this "sea cave" and being splashed by the spray. 

Back at Oceanside, things got pretty silly before we left.

It was a great trip!