June 25, 2018

children’s art work

I try to pull the canvases out once a year. Sometimes we go a little bit longer in between. But I love having my children’s art work proudly shining on a canvas. It usually just takes an hour of our time. We pull out the paints and the kids can plan out and create whatever they want to.

B even expressed herself through blue and purple paint  for the first time this year.

It was no surprise that Layla was very detailed and free flowing with her creativity while Kyler and Kacin pulled out the rulers (and one of them even got so frustrated with his imperfect lines that he stormed outside a couple times to cool down).

Perry came to paint after the others and I forgot to take a picture of him at work. :(

The final products!

Then they hang on the wall in my collection of art. This wall is in my hallway right outside of my room. Soon we will have to start wrapping around the wall!

June 24, 2018

Father’s day 2018

This man is the best human being I know. He is hard working, selfless, forgiving, funny, loving, and faithful. The more time I get with him as his wife the more I see how close he is to perfection. And he is seriously the best dad for these five kids. 

He knows when to tease, when to teach, when to play, when to love. I see him learning and becoming a better dad all the time. 

We made him a French toast and bacon breakfast on Father’s Day and then loaded him up with gifts, cards, and love. 

Layla knows that her daddy loves black licorice and soda so she gave him that as well as making him this music band box.

Perry knew that daddy loves spicy juice so he filled up this gift bag with cans of soda (maybe from the pantry leftover from a bbq the day before. I might have forgotten to take him to the store to buy something).

Kacin made him a card and then gave him a keychain for his gym membership key fob.

Kyler drew this picture and found this poem he copied down and gave E a new oil keychain for blessings. 

E has been enjoying puzzles lately so B and I bought him a new puzzle to work on.

I love this picture with Perry snuggling up to his dad. 

I also made a video for Eric. I interviewed each of the kids with questions about their dad (age, favorite food, favorite thing to do, something dad always says, why you love him) and then combined it all into a short video with music. It was pretty hilarious to hear all of their answers. I think I may try to make this a yearly tradition. 

Happy Father’s Day to our best guy around!!

June 23, 2018

These days

These goofy, handsome young men went to a special fireside for all the youth on a Sunday evening and I tagged along. 

That devotional with the prophet of God and his amazing wife was outstanding. It was so fabulous to be sitting by Kacin (Kyler sat with his friend separate from us) while the prophet called these spectacular youth to join him in gathering the house of Israel and in bringing the blessings of the gospel to all people. If these youth take the prophets challenge seriously, and I pray that will feel the magnitude of it, I know that the gospel will go forth rapidly and blessings will pour out to all of God’s children. I am sure of that. In their inspirational address, the youth were challenged to take a 7 day social media fast (can I just say I was glad to hear mention of the blessings of not having a smart phone as a youth—I hope my boys are proud of their “dumb” flip phones), to make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord for three weeks, assess your place on the covenant path, pray daily that all of God’s children will receive the blessings of the gospel, and stand out and be different from the world. It’s a doable challenge that could have powerful results.

I posted on Instagram about an experience I had when I tried to go to book club. I’m grateful for good friends and my family to talk to during these hard days of cancer. 

E and I went to the temple together before my surgery. We went with two main questions and a lot of feelings. We made one decision together while we were sitting in the celestial room (regarding my surgery). The other decision we made by playing “paper, rock, scissors.”(baby girl’s name). I won the game so I was happy with that means of decision making. I wrote about this experience on instagram, but I also sat there during the session and thought about everything I know to be true. Without a doubt. Part of that testimony is written on insta (@laurallred_).

I liked this quote by Benjamin Franklin. Though I hope to be one of the few who can do those things!

Well doesn’t this just melt your heart...”I love you because mom Jesus gave me to you.” I love my sweet girl!!

This was also written about on insta. A “perfect” evening with my kids. I love being their mom. 

Before my surgery, I took each of my kids out on individual dates. I didn’t think to take any pictures except for these with Layla at the dinosaur museum.

I know it had to happen, but it was a sad day for me. I was released from my church calling as an activity days leader. I still went ahead and had a summer swim party (even though only half of the girls made it). I have loved this calling. 

I worked hard to get some things ready before my surgery. I blocked out the majority of what the schedule says, but here is our three week help schedule  with everyone’s activities etc.

I was also busy setting things up in my room. I will try to post pictures later of how it all came together, but I wanted to make an environment that reminded me of who I am, what I love, and all of the love I have been receiving through this cancer experience. Here is a snippet of my love wall.

We ended up with a babysitter on a night that the older boys were at AP camp. We took full advantage of that and planned a night out that turned into a birthday celebration for one of our friends. We grabbed dinner and then went to an escape puzzle room! I love those places!! It was a really good puzzle room, too. I think they gave us a couple of extra minutes, but we solved the room! 

B was playing on the floor with a gift bag. I might have been doing something on my phone while I sat near here. Perry can by and told me to watch her. I said ok and kept doing whatever I was doing on my phone and he came back to me and said “No mom, watch her with your eyes!” It was a good reminder to me to be more present. And then with my eyes I got to see him sweetly taking care of her. 

Layla made a girl out of dominoes.

My sister and her kids came into town for my surgery. Here are all of the cousins gathered together!

Two more good quotes from Gretchen!

Kyler got his braces off!! With or without his braces though, he is such a handsome, good guy.