Friday, June 28, 2013

Out of the mouth of babes...

Arabella likes to write "talks" during sacrament meeting almost every Sunday.
We have had a few meetings end in tears when she realizes we are about to sing the closing hymn and she has not written her "talk" yet. 
They all have something to do with Jesus. 
For a long time, they were about Jesus dying for me so I could live again or have a family or come to earth. Then it switched to Jesus got baptized.
This week this is what she wrote. She tells me what to write and then she copies it from my handwriting on  to another piece of paper. 
"Jesus is there to comfort you. He will be all around the world."
I am so thankful that at age 4 Arabella knows to whom she can turn for comfort and that He will be everywhere for anyone who needs comfort. She is a sweet spirit with wisdom beyond her years. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Water Slide Fun

A friend had a brilliant idea. She invited anyone from our ward who was interested,  to contribute $10 and she rented this massive water slide/ bounce house.
 Joey going down! It was faster than it looked and a bit awkward at the end if you were holding a smaller child. One mother who works but has older girls sent them and they were a HUGE help with the smaller kids. 
 Jon and Arabella waiting their turn.
 It took Lily a little time to warm up to the idea, strange since she usually loves water. 
Arabella was in her own sweet paradise. 
It was a great day! There is talk of doing it again- I hope we do!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A week of growth

Peter spent last week at scout camp.
As he was packing, he threw in his razor but as he did so he said, "Maybe I will just let it grow all week and see what I get."
 He did- this is a week of growth. It is a bit sad! Or not depending on how you look at it.
We save money in the shaving products department. 
It was soft and not very dense and had a reddish hue to it. 
I love my man clean shaven anyway so I am not to sad!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More Track Meets

The Saturday before Father's Day, Jon's track meet was here in Lewisville.  We were hosting. 
Peter and I were volunteers. He did the long jump- which lasted ALL day long and I helped in concessions in the afternoon. 
 The kids were troopers. When Peter was not done and I needed to go to my post, Lily with her backpack went to the long jump and sat in her camp chair and then fell asleep in it. I wish I had a picture but it was too hard to get with my camera from where I was at. 
Joey and Arabella were in chairs in our team area and entertained themselves with coloring books and reading. Arabella has become quite adept at making friends at these meets and so by the end she had a few older girls (like 7 or 8) that she was playing with. 
 Jon waiting to do the relay. 
 Arabella gave herself a bruise/hickey on her upper lip from her gatorade bottle. 
 Go Jon!
 This last weekend the meet was in Mineral Wells which was 1 hour and 40 minutes away. 
It was a drive but going out to it gave us something to do besides sitting at home wishing Dad would be home from Scout Camp.
 Jon ran fast and the weather was beautiful. The kids were great. 

We bought this little pop-up with the idea in mind that it would work well for track meets and it has been really nice. We plan to take it to Utah with us to use at Bear Lake as well. We played games in there, read books, colored, and ate lunch and snacks. Good Times!

Monday, June 24, 2013


We were all so happy to have home again after scout camp. 
There may have been more than a little silliness and rough housing that took place.
This photo happened after the kids watched Dad carry me up the stairs thrown over his shoulders similar to Arabella. I was laughing so hard all of the kids came running to see what was happening.  Well, they wanted in on the action. Arabella on the back and Lily held up between her legs and dad's strong hands. 
We are so glad when Daddy Comes Home! He helps us to be silly!

Joey Testing

Joey is getting super close to testing for his Second Degree Black Belt.
He had another "pre- testing" a few weeks ago.
He did an amazing job!
He should be able to test in October or December but due to our travels in July and August and Cub Camp this week we are taking 2 months off. It is really nice to have our afternoons free. 
Peter had his work camera there and took a ton of pictures- some really good ones but I don't have the disk.
Joey doing his form. He has made some major improvements.
Joey is sparring Ralph in this video. Ralph is really good in all aspects of Taekwondo but Joey had an amazing round here. We are proud of him and the hard work he has put in to this sport!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Swimming Lessons Wrap Up

The boys had semi-private lessons together last week with Ms. Sigler. 
 They did great! I was thrilled with the progress Joey made in swimming with his face in the water and not gagging when or if water got in his mouth. Jon is making progress too and will need to keep working on his breathing.  He can do well with his breathing and using long arms but it is hard and he gets tired. 

 The last day they get to play on her slide and diving board. They had so much fun! Way to go boys!
 Arabella can basically back float by herself now (she likes your fingers just barely touching her back). 
 She definitely has increased bravery and comfort in the water. I am hoping that we can spend some more time in the water this summer and she will become even more confident.
She was the only girl in her class but she was not intimidated. It was a great way to start our summer.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wonderful Words

While driving in the car, Jon announced that he wanted to become a car designer. He and Arabella had seen a car that had a screen in the back of a head rest. He then went on to say he would make a lot of money because cars are worth a lot. 
The car he would design contained these elements:
screens in the headrests
XBOX 360
Book of Mormon in the steering wheel for the driver
and "the Great Pearl of Price". He! He!
It would also be super fast of course.

We had been in the backyard looking at things and the kids had followed us in.
Peter was bringing up the rear and I heard him say,
"No Lily. No lawn mowers in the house." 
I turned to see she was trying to drag the play bubble mower in but that was not my first thought and I was really confused but I laughed when I saw what it was. 

I asked Arabella what she would like to do while we were in Utah.
She paused and thought and then said, "Well we could go shopping."
Oh what a smart girl. She must know that my mom and I love to shop! 
Yes, dear daughter we will go shopping.

Lily says "hit" this means sit.

I love my kids!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A great day except for that one thing

Peter left for scout camp yesterday morning at 3:00 am. 
Our morning started pretty well. Everyone was well rested.
I made a list of chores and gave assignments. There was a reward of going to the movies to work for.

As you can see, the kids did great. We also cleaned the bathrooms and changed the sheets. 
We had made our goal and so we headed to the movie!
And then the fated intersection. Yes, the same one I was rear ended at 2 1/2 years ago. 
It is an on ramp intersection to the one way frontage road that leads to the freeway. The police had a lane coned off and their car in the road, not sure why- I never got up there to see.  The cars were coming up at a fairly regular speed but then slowing quickly so I waited for a good opening and pulled out. I could not go too fast since the lane you have to merge into was slowed down due to the police. I was about to get all the way over when BAM! I was rear ended. She said she was sorry and that she had been watching the cars in the other lanes and did not see me- obviously! The kids were all frightened and Jon and Arabella who sit in the very back hit their heads on their headrests. My rear door won't open.  Texas is a not fault state or something like that so I did not bother calling the police (well actually I did long enough to verify that having them come out would do nothing). We exchanged information and we headed to the movie. Now, we really deserved a reward. 
I loved it! The kids loved it! We met some friends which made it even more fun! 
Family is really what it is all about. It was a good time for me to reflect on how grateful I was that none of us were hurt and really that the car was not damaged more (well I hope it is not going to be too bad). I thought a great deal about the roles we play in families. I reflected on the priesthood blessing Peter gave to me before he left. When we got home I made a few phone calls to the insurance and car repair place.  Then, I told the kids about some of the thoughts I had and that in the scriptures we read so often of families and individuals giving thanks after good times and bad.  I told them about the blessing their dad had given to me and how very thankful I was for our safety and then we knelt as a family and gave thanks. I was so thankful for the chance to teach and testify to my children. 
Today, I took the van in to get fixed (no time to waste we leave in just over 3 weeks for Utah). 
And my rental car looks very much like the one below- Chevy Traverse. It is really nice there are a lot of things I like about it but I don't know for sure if I would buy one- the jury is still out. 
The car repair place told me 5-7 days. I have my fingers crossed.
I am pretty sure that the rest of my week without Peter can only get better and yet I am thankful for what this experience allowed me to learn and teach my children.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


I have been holding on to this picture to use for Father's day
Lily is Peter's shadow. As soon as he gets home from work she must be where he is doing what he is doing or at least trying. She loves to "ha" (hug) him and she does not have to ask twice to get him to read her a story. 

This one is from the track meet last Saturday. Arabella has her dad kind of wrapped around her finger. She loves him and loves to laugh with him. I remember when I was pregnant with Joey and we did not know what we were having yet and I was worried that if it was a girl he would be upset because he was so set on having a boy. That was silliness- he is putty with these two angels.
Oh but my boys are lucky too! Peter is so good about working with Joey on his cub scout things. He loves to "help" Jon with his video games. He is wonderful about working with the boys on their spelling words in the mornings as they eat breakfast and he makes their lunches (yes, he does this 95% of the time) and while he takes them to school (this is on his way to work).
Peter truly is the patriarch of our family. When I have to work on Monday nights and we were not able to do FHE on Sunday for some reason he sees that it gets done. He reads scriptures and writes in the journal when I have to work or have meetings. What I am saying is that he is just as amazing when I am not home as when I am home!  
I am grateful each and every day - every hour really- for Peter. He is spiritual, smart, funny, hardworking, sweet, stubborn at times, strong, service minded, committed, adventurous, patient, a true partner. I hope his Father's Day is wonderful and that he had a great time at Scout Camp this week. 

I would also like to say that my dad is the best dad a girl could ask for. I am thankful for his hardwork, love, service, attention, tenderheart, discipline, and testimony. So much of what and who I am is because of the great and amazing man he is. I love you Dad!

And of course, I am blessed with an excellent man as my Father-in-law. I have come to know him well enough over the years that there are times I see Peter doing things and I know that he learned them from his dad. Max has a strong commitment to the gospel and I am thankful for his testimony. The last few years have  had some interesting ups and downs for our family and I know that Peter  has been grateful for his relationship with his dad to help him along. Thanks Max for loving me as part of the family.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Jon's First Track Meet of 2013

It is that time of year again but thankfully this year it was only 90 degrees at the first meet of the season instead of 105. It was a beautiful day and once the meet got going, which took a while due to some poor planning on the part of the host team, it went really smoothly.
Jon was unable to participate in the long jump due to the before mentioned problems but he did not mind.

 He ran the 2nd leg of the relay and was great! 

 Joey spent most of the time in our shade pop up reading. He read an entire book "More of the Great Brain" by John D. Fitzgerald. He has really liked these books.  He did take some time out to play a few games and watch one of Jon's races. 
 The 100 m 

The 50 m
We are still trying to help him understand that he should not waste his time and energy looking at his opponents to see if he is winning. Instead he should look straight ahead and sprint! The thing I have loved most about this is that he is not angry if he does not take first place or even if he gets last place.  He used to be a really sore loser but something about him running his heart out makes him know that he did his best and that is all that matters!
Keep running Jon!
(His second meet was today and our team was hosting.)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Jon's Accomplishment

On the eve of the last day of school Jon had a big accomplishment...
 he beat his Bakugan game. 
I believe he got this game for his birthday 1 or 2 years ago I can not remember.
He has spent a lot of time figuring it out and working with Joey and Peter to learn to play it better.
Considering that he only gets screen time if he gets a good behavior mark at school and then it is limited by extra curricular activities and practice and other such things he has not played for days on end. 
Jon has a knack for video games and I have come to a point in my parenting life that I am okay to admit that I let my son play video games (ratings and content monitored of course) and feel he is developing a skill. I am not exactly sure how Bakugan will help him in his future life but I do know it has helped he and Joey to have something to work on together and that to me is worth it. 
Way to go Jon!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

First Day of Summer Fun

We started the summer off right by doing our homework pages first of course and then heading to the Dallas Zoo with friends.  
First we rode the carousel.
 Joey had that nest spinning so fast I thought for sure Arabella would throw up but she just laughed!
 Lily told her horse to "Giddy up".
 And Jon took control of the rhinoceros.
 Lily enjoyed feeding the fish until they began to swarm and were pushing up out of the water with big open mouths easily bigger than a golf ball.  Then, she was happy to let me finish feeding them. 
 This was the first time we were able to catch the bird show and luck was with us because Joey was called as the first volunteer. 

 He had to use those chopsticks to pick the fish out of the water and try to beat the ibis bird.  I was so proud of him and he was so excited!!
 The eagle owl was so big and the bright orange eyes gave a good creepy factor. 

 Such lovely kiddos.
 Jon found the facts about the bald eagle the most interesting.  They shared that they were nearly extinct and that conservation efforts saved them.  Of course this was followed by a plea for donations.  They did at least have a raven that would pluck the dollar bill out of your hand. I let Jon and Arabella do it since Joey was picked as the volunteer. 
 Not a great picture at all but there are 10 of the 11 kids we took to the zoo in that jeep.  I did not get Lily over there fast enough. 
She did think it was great to stand on the front.

I hope this is the first of many great adventures this summer. 
This week I plan to let the kids finger paint, sign up for the summer reading program, and likely go to a park at some point. Summer it is good to have you here, I hope when you are done it will not seem like you flew by but that you were here long enough for us to enjoy your warm weather, slower pace, and our precious time together as a family!