Monday, June 19, 2017

Easter Time 2017

Presenting my {current} favorite photo of my children.
Sweet little bunnies.

Forrest graduated from the "kid table" and has become
a  full fledged easter egg coloring participant this year!
It's fun to find an activity that all four are equally jazzed about!
The Saturday before Easter, the Mays cousins came over for our annual Easter Egg hunt. 
And when I say "annual Easter Egg hunt," I need to clarify a little. 
For me, this activity involves me tidying up my house;
while my mom fills all the eggs and brings all the treats 
(read: she does all the work).
I should not receive credit for this happy memory. 
Thank you, Mom!

Easter Sunday we went to Nanna Teresa and Bubba's house.
It was a wonderful weekend filled with family...
...and really cute newborn babies!

Wedged between these beautiful temple photos,
I want to take a quick minute to express gratitude for my Savior, Jesus Christ.
I believe that as I have tried to follow Him, I have been led to my life's greatest blessings.
My family, imperfect as we are, is the center of my happiness.
Because of their great love for us,
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ desire for us to be together forever.
By trying to keep His commandments and by making sacred covenants,
 we walk a path back to our Heavenly home.

I make a lot of mistakes.
A lot.
In fact, while watching Moana recently, one of my dear children
likened me to the upset lava monster who had her heart stolen.
She was a hot, mean, grumpy mess!
That was humbling to hear!
So clearly, I have some refining and cooling off to do.

Through Heavenly Father's plan, I can start over.
Each week, I can apologize when I fall short and promise to do better.
His grace lends me that new beginning and forgiveness.
When the path grows dark and lonely,
I can ask Him to walk beside me.
He offered to carry the heavy load for me.
But I have to ask for His help and have faith in His plan while waiting for that light to return.

I am not trying to be preachy or "too Mormon."
My life isn't as idyllic as my writing may portray.
It's hard.
Some of our struggles are visible for others to see
but most are born privately.

When I sit down to write,
I hope to entertain. Yes. I love making people laugh and smile.
But my primary motive, at least today,
is what I would want my kids to know when I am gone.

Please know that I love our Savior.
I don't know what difficult paths we will be asked to walk.
But, I know He will always walk with us if we ask.
And when that sad day of separation comes;
hopefully many, many years from now...
It is because of Easter and His marvelous resurrection
that I will get to hold you again
and smother your faces in kisses.

That is the miracle of Easter!

Shifting gears entirely,
Here's a sampling a photos from April 2017.

new hair for Mom

Stumbling upon scenes like this make my heart explode.

These two had fun competing in their respective 
pinewood derby races.
Neither of them won, but they had a lot of fun.

Eliza came to Lottie's dance studio with me
and entertained us by pulling different faces.


Andrew turns 34!

For Andrew's birthday this year, we had {a few}Taylors, the Jensens, Bubba and Nanna Teresa to our home for dinner. Everyone brought tin foil dinners, which we cooked in our campfire, and something to share. The Taylor's were able to stay overnight as Cecelia had a dance competition nearby the following morning. We love having family over to visit!
As if this blog needs any reminding, 
here are some pictures of Andrew playing with the kids on our trampoline.
We LOVE him!

Uncle Mike stopped by this Spring with Bubba and Nanna 
to watch our kiddos play soccer!

We love you Andrew.
I hope your 34 birthday was a special one. 
Thank you for being our number one guy!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Spring Break 2017


Recently, we moved a couch next to this window in our front room.
I spent a lot of time this Spring sitting there and gazing up at the gorgeous blossoms on our pear tree.
My increasing appreciation for nature is one of many signals that I am growing older.

This spring, General Conference coincided with our spring break.
It was nice to have that long weekend at home without church obligations followed by a week without school! I wouldn't be sad if that happened again next year.

It was also the first time, that I can remember anyway, that I did something extra
to motivate the kids to listen better during conference. 
Each bowl had a treat assigned to a word or phrase that we often hear during conference.
The kids listened closely for these words so they could have one treat.
Overall, this idea was successful.
However, my kids cheated and stole a few pieces here and there.
Also, next time around... I would add some healthier options too in lieu of all that sugar.
The ensuing sugar rush was real and slightly insane. 

Our first outing during Spring break was to the Loveland living planet aquarium. 
Andrew had injured his knees while walking with some neighbors a few days before and was in enough pain that he requested a wheelchair. 
Actually, if you want the full story;
Andrew brought one of the kids razor scooters into the aquarium with the plan to use that.
However, security shut down that idea immediately and suggested he rent the wheelchair instead. 
The kids liked taking turns pushing him or sitting with him.
It was extra special that Bubba was able to come!

After the aquarium we stopped by Bubba and Nanna Teresa's house for ice cream.
Lucky for Eliza, she bumped into cute cousin Syrelle and was invited to go to her house for a sleepover!
Eliza was thrilled and the timing was great so we made it happen.

That did mean, however, that Eliza missed out on our bowling outing the following day.

After bowling, I introduced these three kids to Coldstone. 

The following morning, after a violin lesson, we drove to Oakley and were reunited with Eliza.
She had such a wonderful time with the Taylors, 
but man... I struggle having her away! 
Seeing her empty bed gives me a case of the sads!

Near their home is a fun rec center where we swam.
After that, we went to Summit Inn Pizza.

We crammed a lot into those first three days!
The rest of the week was spent folding laundry probably. 

The remaining pictures are from Forrest's field trip to the Tree house museum! 
Lottie was lucky enough to tag along. 
A few weeks later we went Lottie's Kindergarten class and Forrest was able to tag along. 
Let's not think too much about Lottie going to first grade next year 
and having to start all over again in finding our new normal. 
(again... it gives me a case of the sads)
 (I found that sweet note on my pillow the other night.
The smiley face made of elastics was left on my "desek")
Special friends!!
Forrest wore this hat for a week straight.
He reminded us of Porky from the Little Rascals;
so so cute!
His preschool picture this year!
And finally, as a follow up to Henry's federation performance;
he earned a SUPERIOR rating!
We are very proud parents.