Saturday, August 27, 2011

p.s. i love you

My sweet Morgan is VERY GOOD at writing.  I LOVE to read her writing.  She will sit down and write story after story just for fun.  She amazes her teachers and us as her parents.  Recently, after we (Mark and I) had an argument with her (I think it was about entitlement) she left this on our bed...
It included a bag of candy and a beautiful, well written letter telling us what great parents we are and how sorry she was.  I love letters like that and always save them. We are far from perfect and are constantly apologizing to our kids for our imperfections, but I am so grateful for encouragement such as this from our kids who we love more than life itself.  Thank goodness we are patient with each other.

Monday, August 22, 2011

roses are red

My sweet husband gave me two dozen BEAUTIFUL roses for our Anniversary.  He is so thoughtful!  This man is everything I need.  Neither of us is perfect, but we complement each other very well.  He picks up where I am lacking and vice versa.  I am so glad I get to spend eternity with him.  I love the father he is to our children.  He teaches them responsibility, respect, hard work, and how to show love to their Father in Heaven by doing what is right.  He is a wonderful leader in our home.  He loves to surprise me - and he's good at it.  I'm a lucky girl!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

scripture POWER

This picture pulls at my heartstrings - first because of guilt, and the other because of pride.  The guilt comes from the fact that I told Kyle to wait in bed for me (I don't remember what I was in the middle of) and I would come up and read him a story and listen to his prayers before he went to sleep (our nightly routine).  It took a little longer than I planned to finish whatever it was I was doing and by the time I got to his room this was how I found him.  This little boy crashes within a few minutes of his head hitting the pillow.  He plays hard and then is out like a light when he crawls into bed.  I wished I had been quicker to get to his room.  I hate disappointing my kids.

The pride came from seeing what he had chose to do while waiting for me.  The book he fell asleep reading is a child's illustrated adaptation of The Book of Mormon.  He was reading his scriptures.  He loves reading the scriptures.  He loves hearing all the stories.  I am so proud of the person he is becoming!  I know how much he loves his Heavenly Father and strives to do what is right...
I made a promise to myself to be better at getting in to Kyle quicker when he is going to bed.  I've been doing pretty good!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer's ending...Back To School!

I have to be totally honest.  I love summer and finally being able to sleep in, but in previous summers I have spent the last month of summer vacation counting down the days for the return to school and a schedule.  We have a lot of fun the first month of vacation, but eventually the kids start to get on each other's nerves, arguing, and generally becoming bored.

THIS summer was pleasantly different.  I found myself longing for summer to continue.  Everyone got along pretty well (with only an occasional argument).  They also were able to keep themselves entertained...I don't think I ever heard an "I'm bored".  Now, maybe it is because they are getting older, or maybe it's because we took a few fun trips and it helped to break up the summer - but either way I loved it.  We had a lot of lazy days spent swimming, reading, making lots of chocolate chip cookies (everyone but Kyle has the recipe memorized I can make them completely on their own) or playing in the yard.  I really enjoyed hanging out with them all day!

So here we are starting another year of school.  I really do love having a schedule.  I think my children do too.  It's also really fun for them to get back to seeing their friends on a daily basis.  I crave having a clean kitchen, messes that stay cleaned up once I clean them, and SILENCE (at least for a little while).  I find this helps me to be excited when they come home and more ready for the whirlwind that follows.

The whole silence thing is another subject altogether.  I realized when my children were younger how much I craved it.  Before I had kids I used to listen to the radio when I was driving.  After kids, if I ever found myself alone in the car, I was excited to keep the music off.  Silence...  Sweet Silence...  I love their babbling voices - I just also love to hear my own thoughts.  Sometimes.  

When my youngest joined the ranks of his other siblings attending school I thought I would get so much more done during the day.  That really wasn't the case.  I was pretty productive even with him in tow.  He was my little shadow and was actually very good at entertaining himself.  He'd just come check to see what I was doing every so often.  He was wonderful that way.  The biggest difference once ALL my kids were in school was the silence.  I could do everything in complete silence, and I hadn't realized how much I craved that until I had it.  I am such the better mommy when I get a little silence each day.

Here are our pictures before sending my kids off on their first day of school...

This was the elementary-age bunch...

 Bryan starts school at 6:30am, so we weren't so great at getting pictures that first day.  This picture was taken the 3rd day of school.  Can you tell how tired he is?  It's all in his eyes.  He is my one who likes to stay up late but not getting up in the morning (takes after me that way).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Colton Turns 10!

Since Colton's actual birthday was the same day as "Meet the Teacher" night, this year we decided to celebrate a few days earlier.  This way we could really enjoy his birthday with him, have more family and friends able to come, and slow down and enjoy it more.  This was a "family-party" year for him, which meant he wouldn't be inviting a ton of friends, but we would celebrate his special day as a family.  He could invite one friend over to enjoy the occasion with our family and he chose his friend, a cute little boy named Sam.

I have always had a lot of fun making our family's birthday cakes each year.  Sometimes they are elaborate, and other times they are very simple with the birthday child picking the flavor cake and frosting, and then some sort of their favorite candy to decorate it with.  We always have fun with it.

We also have a "You are special today" plate that was given to us as a wedding gift.  We love pulling that out for birthdays...

Our friend, Sarah, came over with her son, Jace...

Colton's big gift this year was a digital camera.  As our kids have gotten older and the gifts are a little pricier, we've come up with an idea that has worked pretty well.  If they really want something, and we feel they are old enough for the responsibility of taking care of it, we have agreed to pay for half of the item.  This helps them to feel ownership of the item.  Because they helped to pay for it they are much more careful with it.  They know if it gets lost or broken they will be responsible for the full price if they want another one.  So far it has worked pretty well.  Colton was SO excited about his camera...

Five things I love about Colton...

1) He is super compassionate.  When he's sees me cry he gets big crocodile tears.  He has great empathy.

2) He is an awesome chef!  I have a passion for cooking, and has been fun to see that rub off on all of my children, but Colton loves it so much he talks about having it as a profession someday.  He has told me he will open his own restaurant and I can eat there for free.  He makes a mean chocolate chip cookie...completely by himself.

3) He is so cute with little kids.  He gets down on their level and plays with them.  He wants to help them and make them happy.  He will be a fabulous dad!

4) He is an amazing singer!  He loves to sing and has a fabulous voice.  I can always hear him singing as he goes about different tasks all day long.  This carries over into playing the piano.  He loves sitting down and playing music on the piano as he sings.

5) He is intense.  He has great passion for the things he loves.  It is so fun to watch him play ball, whether it is soccer, basketball, or baseball - he goes at it with everything he has.

We love our Colton!!