August 29, 2013

Cub Scout Day Camp

Thanks to some really awesome leaders and many parents (not me!) for putting together a super fun cub scout summer activity for these boys! My boys loved every minute of the hiking, leather making, cooking, wood working, volleyball, kickball, rocket launching, and more.

August 26, 2013

3 D!

He turned 3!

Poor D was sick the day before his birthday. On the day of his birthday,
he still had a low fever and was a bit sluggish all morning so we minimized all of our plans, but still tried to make the day all about D.  

One of the first things we did was drive to the gym in search of D's favorite keys. They had been missing for about a week and after searching at home, we realized we had gone to the gym around the time the keys went missing. What do you know, there they were in lost and found. He was so excited to see them again. Well, we were all glad he had his keys back. Keys make for a calmer D.

Our next stop was to pick out a birthday balloon.

Kyler and Kacin were so great to their little brother all day. They tried extra hard to spend time with him and help him all they could.


Time for the birthday cake. By this time, D was feeling much better.

Forget the fork . . .


It's hard when it's not your birthday, but you want to open all the presents yourself . . .

Happy birthday, our D!
We love you and your smile and your big personality.

August 24, 2013

Wild Waves

I dreamed of this all summer--
a day of water slides, floating in a lazy river,
a wave pool, roller coasters, and more. . .
I guess I wanted to relive my summers
in high school when I worked at
a water park in AZ. . .
I was very excited
to go with my family to
Wild Waves. :)
And excited that Eric's work gets us a discount so we could actually go.
My phone was tucked safely away most of the day
to avoid getting soaked,
but I captured a few moments from our first few rides.

With Makenna and Janaya . . .

I am so glad that all of my children love water and love rides
and that Eric is impartial to roller coasters and many rides
so I got to be the one to accompany the bigger kids    
when the littles weren't tall enough.

It still cracks me up when L rides a roller coaster.
She spends the first few minutes yelling she wants dadda,
but by the end she is happily squealing and asking for more.

It is difficult getting D off of each ride. He does not like to leave.

We convinced Kacin to ride something called the Timber Axe
that turned you upside down and around with feet dangling.
He shut his eyes tight,
but I was proud of him when he opened them by the end.
That became one of the favorite rides--
always face your fears
we said!

Kyler has no fear and loves every thrill ride out there.
It was a great day,
and if it wasn't so far away
I would love to go again before school starts
and the rains come.

August 21, 2013

I Chose

I took L and D to the park this morning.
L had oatmeal in her hair from breakfast
and D was still in the same clothes he slept in.
The nice grandma at the park with her granddaughter,
after chatting for a bit,
said to me
"Oh sweetie, but you got them to the park."
Yes. Yes, I did.
And I got two boys off for cub scout day camp.
My heart was sad this morning to know that they will be gone all day.

It's almost been a year since D and L came to stay.
One exhausting year
that I wouldn't trade for anything.
I have never been this drained
physically and emotionally
from all the demands
of meeting the basic needs
while addressing the special needs
and balancing visits and court hearings
questions and therapies.
for everyone.
all four.
So many days I feel like I could burst.
I often feel like The Mitten in Jan Brett's beautiful children's book.
The rabbit, hedgehog, owl, and even the bear may fit inside,
but if that mouse comes along . . .

Which has led me to my journey.
While I have always wanted to be a mom,
this last year has been a time of much reflection on motherhood.
My decision to be a mother has required effort,
so much effort,
both to make it happen
and to continue each day.

If a needy man on the street robbed you
of $200 in cash,
how would you feel?
Upset. Violated. Angry. Revengeful.

If you saw a needy man on the street
and gave him $200 in cash,
how would you feel?
Good. Proud. Grateful. Sacrificial. Humble. Loving.
Warm and happy.

What's the difference?
In both cases,
he gained $200
and you
were left without $200.*
It's the choosing.

I choose motherhood.
I have been on a journey with my daily reflections, observing wonderful women around me, and reading articles, books, and blog posts of inspiring women
and this journey
has helped me to grow and to know
without a doubt
that I choose motherhood.
And I know why.

I choose motherhood because I believe it's the most wonderful thing in the world. Your best memories and deepest joys come from your family.

I choose motherhood because nothing trains us better to become like Christ than motherhood. It brings us closer to our Heavenly home.

I choose motherhood because I can influence individuals, children of God. And these individuals influence me.

I choose motherhood because even when days and moments are really difficult the Lord is our partner, and while I don't know everything, He does. Others are placed in our path to help us along (and for me I am blessed with one amazing husband by my side through it all!).

I choose motherhood not because I am "good" at it or qualified, but because I have the desire to be a mother and the willingness to work at it.

I choose motherhood to fill my heart.

Pictures from a picnic at Flowing Lake a few months ago . . .

*(antidote taken from Choosing Motherhood compiled by Lia Collings , 2013)

August 18, 2013

microsoft bbq

Eric's work sure does know how to throw a party.
We went to a family bbq and it included all sorts of food, treats, and fun.

My favorite of the afternoon was the bubble man. Look at these pictures and when you see the purple beard and overalls you will know exactly why.

He was good with bubbles.
And he even does funerals.
How fun would this be at my big 3-0 next year, hmm . . .