August 29, 2012


Our sunflower opened!

Is Disneyland Hiring?

Kacin found the facepaint.
And the next thing I know they were running around like this.

Kyler thinks they should be the new Disneyland characters.
I can't wait to see their movie . . .

August 23, 2012

Elvis is in the Building

It just so happened that Elvis the rooster
had to be taken out of this life
on the same week
as the anniversary
of Elvis Presley's death.
It was pure coincidence.
Pretty morbid, really.

The week of August 16th
is always Elvis Week.
There's a big celebration in Graceland.
I probably won't ever get the chance to attend it,
so why not bring the celebration

the invite . . .

I seriously had two boxes
of Elvis paraphernalia
out in the garage.
You gather stuff like that
when you take a college course
on Elvis Presley
(fine art credit!)
and admit to your grandma
that you are on Elvis fan.
It works great when you throw an Elvis party.
You don't have to buy a thing.

after the party . . .
The boys acted as the welcoming committee
and directed guests to the backyard.
Here they are practicing . . .

We served
Elvis's classic
fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches
and a bacon wrapped appetizer.
And then played a little Elvis trivia
with games mixed in.
Basically, if your team did not answer
the question correctly
you participated in an
Elvis related challenge.

the Elvis phrase choir

strike a pose!

applying the sideburns

more sideburns

Teddy Bear relay

ain't nothin' but a hound dog

blue christmas

Heartbreak hotel

time for some karaoke

we can embarrass ourselves too

dancing at the end

Elvis lives!

August 19, 2012

The Death of Elvis

Big Warning:
Do not read on if you love chickens alive.
Or if you are a vegetarian.
Or if it makes you sad to see something be murdered.
Or if you do not like blood.

The guys in my family
do not have any problem with any of the above.
The fence divides life and death

Everyone knows I do not like animals.
But I do not like to watch them die either.
So I took a few pictures and then passed the camera on
and tried to hide in the house and pretend
like nothing was happening outside.

This was working well.
Until Kyler came into the house splattered in blood.
Chicken blood on his face, arms, and clothes.
Oh, the disgustingness.

There had been a little mishap,
and blood went everywhere
on everyone.

The guys did not seem bothered by it.
I was.

They finished cleaning the chicken.
They looked at its heart and gizzard.
Eric said it was a good anatomy lesson for the boys.

And now today they plan on cooking him up.
I don't know yet if I will be able to eat Elvis.

Elvis was a good chicken.
His only fault was that
he ended up being a rooster.
And we can't have one of those around.

Until about a week ago,
Kacin wanted to keep that rooster around
no matter what.
He told us he would hide it in his room
so Eric wouldn't kill it.
He got really upset anytime the subject came up.

one of Kacin's regular early morning visits talking to the chickens 

In the end,
it didn't take much to persuade him.
He was very intrigued with the idea
of dissecting
the rooster
and getting to see it's insides.

Boys are gross.

August 18, 2012


party at a friend's
matchy, matchy. . .

Notice how long E's beard is.
But it's not quite long enough to braid yet.
He has til the end of the month. 

August 16, 2012

Never Dull

my life before kids must have been so dull.
Utterly dull
compared to this.

I inspected an armpit.
It's not every day you get to examine
an armpit
for injuries.
Well, today was my lucky day.

One of my little guys
has a lot of emotion
to express.
And today he screamed
and stomped
and screamed at me
that he wanted to go pull weeds.
All he wanted in that moment
was to go pull weeds.
I never thought I'd ever
see a fit thrown
over someone wanting to pull weeds.

I watched a future super star at his soccer practice.

I was entertained by backflips on the monkey bars
and tricks on the bike.

I was dogpiled on the trampoline.

And I put an end to two conversations about
poop and toots.

Never a dull moment.

August 12, 2012

6 Months Later

At the beginning of Feb., we made the decision to become licensed as foster parents. We jumped right in and completed all of our paperwork and trainings and fingerprints . Licensing is supposed to be complete within 90 days of turning in your paperwork. Here we are 6 months later . . .

It's been one thing after another. A lost paper. A backed up office. A brand new licenser. A long wait for background checks. Someone forgot to have us sign some paperwork. And forgot to send out our background checks to the other states we've lived in. Another wait for background checks.

But today an email came. It told me that they only have one thing left. Just one thing, and we will be done. And so now we are only dependent on the secretary who will type up our license. That's it.

I'm sure our licenser was so relieved to pass our file on and be rid of me. Let's just say, I'm good at checking in on things through email and phone calls.

I will be so glad to know that everything is done. Done just in time for us to leave on vacation, summer to end, and school to start.

Um, I guess someone didn't realize that wasn't our plan. Our wise plan was to get licensed and start as foster parents around the time I was done teaching preschool for the school year. And then we would have a whole summer to take kids in because I wouldn't be working and could be really flexible. We would all have a nice summer vacation to adjust to any family changes. Doesn't that sound like a good plan? We thought so.

Goodbye to our plan! I guess I'm ok with that though. My plans don't ever turn out near as well as our Heavenly Father's plans for our family do.

During this whole process, I've shared my frustrations, confusion, and thoughts with close friends and family. I've heard different perspectives. Someone told me once, "yeah maybe this isn't the right thing for you to be doing." All signs point that way. But if we gave up on this, and if we gave up on our license through LDSFS, we would be abandoning hope.

I love Emily Dickinson's words, "Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all. . ."

With hope in my heart, I believe the good things in life don't always come easily, but the journey is worth it. I have hope that no matter what happens--adoption, fostering, or maybe nothing--it will be the right experience for us. To my hope, I add my faith in Christ. He knows us personally and we are never alone through our trials. Hope brings peace, happiness, and strength.

I'm ready to see what happens this week. Will we get our license? Or will all the computers fail and they run out of ink so they are unable to finish our licensing? Time will tell . . .

August 8, 2012

Junk Food Day

I love summers
and their laid back days
with time to play
and sleep in
without rushing to get ready.
At the same time,
I love schedules and productivity.
With boys with boundless energy,
I feel like I need to take that energy
and channel it.
At the end of each school year,
I start thinking about a summer system
that will be fun and flexible,
allow us to spend time together,
and help us learn and be productive.
This Summer,
we decide together on something we want to work for.
(For example, when we rode the new ferris wheel in Seattle.)
To earn the reward,
we must fill up a jar with stones we've earned
from completing tasks.
One stone is earned by completing regular morning chores
(brush teeth, scriptures, clean room, house help, prayers, etc.)
in a timely manner.
Usually, they have an hour and 15 min.
from whenever we eat breakfast.
That's usually more than enough time,
even when Kacin dawdles and gets distracted
he can get everything done.
Another stone is earned for reading for 20 min.
This year, I also ended up buying workbooks for the boys.
I just got the Brainquest books
for the respective grades they are going into.
Each day, they do three pages out of their book.
I check the pages and they earn a stone for the jar for each page.
The boys love the cursive, science, math,
and social studies pages the best.
But my favorite way they earn a stone is for Mom Time.
I get time with each of them by themselves doing whatever I choose.
I choose activities depending on
how much time I have and how I feel.
Sometimes we play a game together or I read to them.
Sometimes it's as simple as walking together to get the mail.
I've also done things like play a computer game together,
give a piggy back ride, go running, watch a show, or do yoga.
Just whatever I'm feeling we need that day.
What I do with one boy I don't always do with the other.
I LOVE this time.
Even if it's just a few moments,
it's uninterrupted time with each of them.
Oh, and fyi, stones also go in just because my boys are awesome,
but they also can come out for whining and back talking.

With all that said,
now I explain this.
Junk food. Happy faces.
Junk food. Sick faces.
Junk food. Crazy faces.
I don't know exactly how it happened.
It was a collaborative idea when grocery shopping together.
Maybe a bad idea,
but an idea nonetheless.
The boys and I came up with
Junk Food day
as our most recent reward for filling up the jar.
All the things we never buy or eat around here,
we bought and ate.
The boys were cracking me up as we went shopping.
They laughed at all the junk in our cart
and how we did not put one healthy thing in.
And how we were all going to have tummy aches.
But how this was so exciting and so much fun
to pick out anything from the grocery store
(just not bananas, sorry my Kyler. that's too healthy).
Kacin was so anxious to go to sleep
so he could wake up and eat.
They picked out a sugary cereal, Kraft mac and cheese,
and Raman noodles for our three meals.
And then to snack on they chose lunchables, Cheetos, and Cheezits.
For treats, they chose ice cream with whipped cream
and we bought Ding Dongs, as requested by daddy.
Our junk day ended with more candy and a movie.
I don't know what kind of mother I am now.
Some may judge me
because I never get this stuff for my kids in the first place.
And some may judge because I gave it to them all in one day.
Eh, whatever.
We made a memory.

I don't know how the boys feel now,
I'm sure they would deny it anyways,
but I feel sick.
Like we need to follow today up
with Vegetable and Fruit day tomorrow.

August 7, 2012

Farewell Stock's!

I can't seem to find the words.
The Stock's have had such a place in our WA life.
Like Kyler told me, we've gotten used to having them around
so it's really sad to see them go.
But with friends like this
you don't say goodbye forever
because we will still keep in touch.
But you do say goodbye
to meeting down at the corner park,
swapping babysitting,
dragging eachother to RS meetings,
celebrating the holidays,
and going on outings with the kids.
We all miss them already.
Yet, we are happy and excited for them
 for all of the fun adventures they will have
during the next two years at school.
We are now saving and planning for a trip back east!

The farewell dinner . . .