Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nephi

I love this age!! Nephi is 18 months old now and he is so much fun!!
video

Bittersweet day


Last Saturday we took our most trusted vehicle...the van...to the junk yard. It was sad. This was our miracle car. Let me reminisce for a minute....
It was the beginning of the month of December in 2003. We had 3 kids. Faith was 4, Hyrum was 3 and Vilate was 1. We were expecting baby number 4 to come in the middle of January. We had a really fun car...not really economical, but hey it was really fun!!! We drove a black Honda Accord 2-door sleek car. It had been lowered, had leather seats, a moon roof, tinted windows...it was stylin'! We were expecting a check from a company that David had been doing business with and we were going to use a small chunck of that money to buy a very used station wagon that we had found that would be able to fit our new arrival....but the check never came. I was devastated...David was frustrated and we were about to bring home a baby with no place to put him. It was a little scary...but we continued on for the next few weeks, hoping and praying that our Heavenly Father had a plan.
And then it happened. The day after Christmas my friend, Katie called. She told me that her Aunt Kathy's hubby had surprised her with a new car for Christmas. Kathy was very excited about her new car...and well, who wouldn't be!!! Kathy and I had gotten to know eachother a bit through Katie and she knew that we were in need of a car. She called Katie and asked her if she thought we would be interested in a well used, very loved old van...FREE!!! Katie immediately called me and I said, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" or something like that! We arranged to go and pickup the van the next day.
We took the kids to my parents house and David and I drove in our fancy-schmancy car to go and get the van. We got there and they were ready for us. They signed over the title and off we went. David drove the van and I drove the Honda. We got to my parents and the kids were so excited. David took Faith and Hyrum with him in the van home and I took Vilate. On the way home David had to stop for gas and Faith and Hyrum played tag in the van. They love the "new car" that we had been given. I will admit that it took me a while to really love the van...but David was hooked right away!!

This van has been a trooper. We drove it to Yosemite, to the temple in Oakland and then just around for almost 5 years. In October it failed the California SMOG test. The repairs on it definitely were more costly then the worth of the vehicle so we chose to retire it. Basically the state of California will give you a chunk of change for you to stop driving your car. We took it to Pick-n-Pull last Saturday and this week it was smashed. I will miss that van. It was a constant reminder to me that my Heavenly Father knows who I am and that he wants us to succeed...it will always be that! I am grateful for the blessing of this wonderful van. It was dirty, the seats wiggled a lot, there was an on-again, off-again rattle, it had no air conditioning, it had no radio, the passenger side rearview mirror had fallen off, it leaked in the rain...but it was an awesome van and we will all miss it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Choir Frenzy

We are all decorated for Christmas and I am loving it!!! The kids are in full Santa-mode and it is very fun. Gloria's big request for a Christmas present is a "beautiful box with a pink bow." How cute is that?! Vilate is dying for teaching stuff...she wants to be a teacher and has a list of things that she NEEDS to have so that she can practice teaching her stuffed animals. The other kids have their lists, of course, but Gloria and Vilate seem to have a particular thing that they just HAVE to get from Santa. It is so fun to see them enjoying all the Christmas festivites.

This week has been a concert goin' week. Tuesday Hyrum got to go with the school choir to perform at Country Club Plaza (the mall down the street from our house) and at a local church. I'm not sure if he liked performing as much as he enjoyed getting to miss the last 2 hours of school! It was fun for me. I got to drive and just sit (without any kid distractions) and enjoy the concerts.

Faith would have been there also, but she was on a fieldtrip. Vilate can't wait until she is in 3rd grade and can sing in the school choir. The kids have to be to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:15am to participate in the choir. They are really good at getting up and have yet to miss a practice this year. Their next concert is on Dec 18th. It is a great program and Mrs. Kaspick and Ms. Williams, their directors, do a fantastic job!!

Then on Tuesday night David's school choir had their final concert of the semester. It was a real treat for me to be able to go. The last concert he had we sent Faith and Hyrum...for the most part they did a good job of being quiet and paying attention. At the last minute I called my parents and they had the three little kids come to their house while I took the three big ones with me. It was so fun. The choir did a fantastic job. I think that David said that there are over 60 people in the choir this year. It was wonderful and the kids really enjoyed watching their dad up on stage. I am really grateful to my parents for being willing to watch my kids at the last minute. Helaman keeps asking when he gets to go back to Grandma Morgan's house. He and Gloria had a great time...I'm sure Nephi did as well, he just can't vocalize it yet!!
Tonight is David's recital. Faith, Hyrum, Vilate and I are going. I am really excited. Each semester a music major must do what is called Applied Study. Basically for David that means that he takes voice lessons and then has to practice his vocal music. At the end of each semester, he then has a recital to showcase the songs that he has been working on. Grandma Eve is coming to stay with Helaman, Gloria and Nephi so that I can go - a room full of people quietly listening to 8 people's performances is not really the place for these kids to be! I'm sure it will be fantastic...so I will plan on posting about how great it was tomorrow!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Confessions

I feel like I have missed a lot of blogging opportunites lately. My schedule is just crazy busy and I have not made the time to blog. So, while I am not going to play catch up just yet, know that it is in the works and I will upload some phots to facebook if you are interested.

I have a major confession to make...I have a phone phobia. I know it sounds so silly!! I am afraid of calling people. This has been around since I was a teenager. My dad used to tease me and threaten to make me call a list of members of our ward on Sunday morning just to say, "hope you make it to church today." He never came through with the threat, but I was terrified!!! What is it that scares me? I have NO idea!!!! Actually, I think of all these silly things: What if they don't know who I am, even after I explain who I am? What if I am bothering them? What if this person really can't stand me and is irritated that I am calling them?

This phobia is becoming worse. Did you know that I even make David call his parents for me? Crazy, huh? I don't even like to call my own brother!!! Okay, there are some people that I am fine with calling: Aimee, Krissy, my little sister Jeni, my Dad, most of the time I don't have a problem calling Nancy, my step-mom, but sometimes I have to get the courage up to do it. Now, you should know that I can accept calls from anyone and everyone...the phobia is in the making of the calls. If I have something really important to discuss or I am asking for a phone number or something I can usually do that, but anything else, sometimes even returning a phone call is a challenge!!

I am hoping that now that everyone knows that I am so ridiculous that you will all forgive me for not calling you!!! Many years ago I lost touch with my best friend growing up, the teen years. Her name is Amy. Her family moved to Utah a year or so after we graduated. I found her brother on Facebook and messaged him. He immediately sent me her number and said that she would be thrilled to hear from me...that was TWO WEEKS ago...have I called her? NO WAY!! I am such a dork!!!!

I am thinking that I need "full immersion therapy." When Vilate had the dog phobia, that is what she had to do...she is still nervous around dogs, but we don't seem to have the panic attacks and the bunny at school is her best friend. So, if it worked for her, it should work for me....

...now if I could only get up the courage to call people....Not gonna happen today....and I am betting that tomorrow is off too!!!!! Maybe I will try on Christmas? Stay tuned!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh, Twilight!!

Need I say more? I'm sure all you people that have read the Twilight Saga know exactly what I mean!!! I had heard about these books from friends and my sister-in-law's blog, but wasn't sure what they were or if I would be interested. Then a good friend of mine insisted that I read them. I had to finish the Eragon series first - by the way I would totally recommend those! - BUT in no way did they compare!

I read the first book in less than 24 hours. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed, especially with all the hype. But I did enjoy it so I got the second one and 8 hours later, I was finished and totally in love - not really with Edward or Jacob, just the entire storyline. I must say that I enjoyed the second book much better than the first...the fast reading is a good indicator.

After book 2 I had to take a necessary break. It was really hard to not get the third one right away and dive in, but, I had a Statistics test, a project due for my other class and I was teaching on Sunday in Relief Society. I worked really hard and was able to finish the homework in one night and jumped right into book 3. Amazing!!! Stephanie Meyer has such an awesome gift. The way the story twisted and turned...I was amazed! Then I took Saturday night and Sunday morning off for my lesson and church, but then I got the 4th, and final, book and read, and read, and read.

By this point the kids had had enough of a non-existent mom. They kept bugging me and interrupting my reading. I was really frustrated!! It took me 2 entire days to read the book!! TWO DAYS!!!! While it felt like torture, I was able to breathe a little easier by taking breaks and thinking about what I was reading. It was soooooooooooooooooo good!!!

All this is to show you that I fell in love with the books. I usually read fast - Harry Potter book 7 took less than 24 hours - but not this many books this fast. After my reading whirlwind was over, I found myself going through withdrawls!! Can you believe that a book, or series of books, had this effect? I was totally depressed and sad that it was over. I went online and found http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/ and read everything she had written including Midnight Sun. That is Twilight from Edward's perspective. It was wonderful as usual!!

And now, the movie is coming!!! Yay!!!! I am so excited. I have a babysitter coming to stay with the kids until David gets home from one of the recitals that he has to attend and I am leaving at 8 pm to get in line for the midnight showing. I even bought a shirt. This is getting ridiculous!! My friend had shirts made they are amazing! We have quite a group going and I will take pictures so that all of you can see our fabulous shirts!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Trying to be compassionate!

I am really trying to be compassionate to others with a different point of view...but they make it sooooooo hard!! I just read an article about what is happening in LA and it made me so sad. You can read the article yourself here: http://www.ldsmag.com/ideas/081110hate.html. I am grateful for the prophet and I have the upmost confidence in him and in my Father in Heaven and in Jesus Christ. I worry about how awful this world has to become before Christ will come again and I feel so sad for my children and for what they will have to endure, but I know it is necessary to separate the sheep from the goats and I am hopeful that we will all be on the right side. I will just keep on praying and reading my scriptures so that I am prepared and so that I can prepare my children for what will lay ahead of us in this battle of good versus evil! I know that GOOD will PREVAIL!!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gloria is amazing!!!

Gloria and her magic umbrella fixed my car door!!! Can you believe it?? David and I spent a lot of time looking at the door trying to pry it open and Gloria walks up to the van and started whacking it with her Ariel umbrella and magically it opened!!! I think that my car is just really scared of Gloria and well, who wouldn't be?!?!?! I am soooo glad that she has beaten it into submission!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Why am I here?

Have you ever pondered that question? Lately I have - a lot!! Not because I really wonder why I am here...I understand the Plan of Salvation and I know that I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father...but seriously...when my life is chaos and it seems as if ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is going my way I think, "Why am I in THIS mess?!?!?"

So, having pondered and discussed this at length with my great friend....I have a conclusion....I am here so that everyone else can look at my life and say, "Boy, I'm glad that's not me!"

Okay, so I am only kidding, kind of. Did you know that I once had someone actually say that to me? Can you believe it? She said that when she started to feel bad about her life with 3 kids, she just thought of how my life was and was immediately grateful she did not have mine! That makes me kinda sad.

I have a really good life...allbeit crazy, busy, cars breaking at rapid rates, diapers and the like that weave through it. I love my kids...they are great...right now Vilate is a handful, she is independent you see, but I digress.....My kids ROCK!!!!! They are brilliant...some of the smartest kids that I know and they - get this - WANT to do what is right. They love the Lord and they like going to church on Sunday. They like to learn and for the most part they love school and they are so nice to their friends and they want to make everyone feel included. So, you get it...my kids are GREAT!!

So, what else is going on that you could say, "I'm glad her life is not mine" you ask? We had both vans break down on us last week...actually the Friday before Halloween, in my car the check engine light started blinking...according to the handbook that is really bad. We were on our way to a Halloween party and had to turn the car around and switch everyone to David's van. So, on Saturday we took my van in and it only needed spark plugs, engine wire (what are those for?), an oil change, and I don't remember what else, but basically a tune-up...not so bad...just $500!!!!! It was to be ready on Monday afternoon. So on Monday morning I took the big kids to school and then it was off to drive David to school. Everything was going to be okay....that was until.....ready?...David's car made a loud snap and the power steering went out. I don't know how many of you have had to drive a car without power steering, but it SUCKS!!! Especially when it is a HUGE old van. Lucky for me it happened just as I was about to park the van at home. So, I called the mechanic...he said that it was okay to drive to him, down the street, and that the other van would be done around lunchtime. So I walked Helaman and Gloria to school - good exercise - and then mustered up the nerve to drive a van without power steering down the street....I have a new found respect for people who drive or used to drive without power steering - You guys ROCK!!!

I got the car there and put Nephi into my van and started the driving to pick up everyone at school. Get this...the mechanics gave us a multi-car discount...aren't we SOOOOOO lucky? It took them a few days to come back with the damage...."We can fix the problem for $850.00 but" (don't you just love that word?) "there are so many problems that are engine related and the car already failed smog that you should try for the vehicle retirement program." Oh sad day!!!! I love that van. We got it from my friend's aunt just before Helaman was born. It has been a great car...a real trooper and we have grown accustomed to it!! Rather than spend the $850, we agreed to $150 so that we can drive it (without power steering) to the place to retire the vehicle. You would think that we have had enough car trouble at this point. Right? David even said, "do you think we have put enough into this van (speaking about mine) so that it will run for the next year?" I really hoped so.....but....NO!!!

So, today we go out to get in the car to take everyone to school....now that we only have one car I am the chauffer...and the door is refusing to open. And it is not just any door...it is the kids door! UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The setup in this van does not let one easily climb over seats...so here we sit. Only one van with only the front doors that open. Ya know, I am glad that I wrote all this. Maybe someone important...with connections will read it and take my life and make it one of those made for TV movies that make people feel better about their lives...In the end it would be great for all...I would get royalities and everyone else would feel like they have a great life!!

Things aren't that bad really. Yes the car is having issues, and money is non-exsistant...but so what? I can walk the kids to school, they can ride bikes. Well, time for the chauffer to leave and pick up the next batch of younglings. I hope you are all having a fabulous day. Regardless of what is happening to mess up my life...I am determining now to be happy!!! Good luck to me!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Irritating!!!!

I am so annoyed with the media coverage of the rally today at the State Capitol. Today was the Yes on 8 rally and there was a pretty good turn out, I think. I would guess that there were at least 300 people there. I was very happy that my friend Krissy and I took our little ones to be a part of it. We saw a few of our other friends there. The irritating thing is that there was ONE guy there on his bicycle that was loud and obnoxious. He was yelling at the Yes crowd. He was booing us and yelling "No on 8" and lots of other things. In fact, he had to be escorted by the police off the lawn at the capitol and then they had at least 6 officers on foot, bicycles and horses posted right in front of him to keep him off the property. This ONE guy got the media's attention. On the news tonight HE is all they showed!!! Just him...not the 300 people, JUST THE LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS GUY!!!! How annoying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am soooooo sick of the liberal media. It would really be nice to see someone report the news, what really happened, not what they wanted to happen. Then to top off their great reporting, they said that over 200, 000 Yes on 8 signs have been stolen from people's front yards and they then had the gall to say that according to the No side, they have had about that many stolen! ABOUT THAT MANY??!!?!?!? What does that mean? I want numbers...I would venture to say that only a handful have been taken on the No side, but that doesn't help their agenda, so they just add to it. UGH....I am soooo annoyed!!!!

Anyway, the rally was great. Helaman and Gloria loved shouting, "Yes on 8, Yes on 8..." There were a lot of people and I was really grateful that I live so close to the capitol and that I had a fantastic friend who went with me. I was really glad to be out doing something that would show my support!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

And the Winner is....





FAITH COX



This week was the elementary school elections. You can run for office if you are in 4th, 5th and 6th grades. Faith came home on Tuesday and announced that she was running for secretary. One student from each class is chosen in the primary election and she won that...it does help that she ran uncontested!!
So, she came home and enlisted the help of her oh so awesome sister, Vilate, to make signs to put up around the school! She was allowed to have 7. They made 2 and I thought they turned out great!!
On Wednesday, we went to school early to hang up her signs...I was amazed at how many signs were already up...and how professional some of them appeared. WOW!! Who knew that elementary elections were sooooooo HUGE?!?!?! I took it upon myself to come up with a sign...and then I forgot to take a picture...ugh!! It was awesome...I cut each letter of "Faith 4 Secretary" out and mounted the white letters on colored paper. Each letter was larger than a 5x7. It was really cool...at least I thought so! Wednesday night was spent making stickers...those were really cute! Thursday Faith handed out 90 stickers and today she handed out another 60 and got Hyrum to hand out 30 to the 3rd graders. The election is open to all 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders.
Yesterday we worked on the all important speech! This morning she went to school, delivered the speech and at the end of the day found out that she beat out 2 other 4th graders and 3 6th graders!! How awesome is that? I totally was setting myself up to be prepared to give her a big hug and tell her that I was sooo proud of her trying and her hard work on her campaign. But...I got home from my school and she said that she WON!!! SO COOL!!!! Now she is talking about running for president when she is in 6th grade....ugh! I am not really a fan of elections. Too much extra work for this lazy/busy mom.
Congratulations
Miss Faith!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Crazy days at my house!!!

Why is it that when you finally get a good night's sleep, you feel soooo tired the next day? I was a good girl and went to bed early last night, 9:30! But today I am sooo dragging!!

Here is a recap of the past few days:

On Monday David and I went to the hospital to visit my sister. She had a proceedure done that went a little awry, so she had to stay one night in the hospital. Kelli is fine, and it was good for us to go and visit her. While we were gone we left all six kids with a great friend. I say great because it takes someone great to say yes to watching 6 kids afterschool, when she has her own 3. Thanks Krissy!!! While we were gone Nephi fell asleep. When we got home he was still napping...but when he woke up his upper lip was super swollen. We called Kaiser and ended up in the ER. He had an allergic reaction to....SOMETHING!! Ugh....I hate that it is sooo difficult to figure these things out. They gave him some Benedryl, which they said with a sad face that it would make him sleepy...don't they know that a mom LOVES anything that will help put their kids to sleep at bedtime?!?!?!?!? They also prescribed an epi-pin. Basically it is a shot of epinephrine that you give someone having an allergic reaction that might be causing their throat to close and cut off their air supply. Kinda scary when they give that to your 16 month old little boy!!

Today I took Nephi in to see his doctor for a follow-up. She said that he should have allergy testing done so that we don't give him whatever he was allergic to again. Apparently with food allergies, if that is what it is, if he is exposed to it again it could prove to be a much more serious reaction...hence the prescription of the epi-pin. Interesting....we go for the allergy testing on Friday morning...I'm really not looking forward to it.

Yesterday I got to help with picture day at the kids' school. It was 4 hours of chasing Nephi, he was a really good boy, and telling kids to please wait in line until they were called up. It was really fun, the kids were all great, and I was amazed at how many kids there I DON'T know. I felt terrible saying, "Hey you. Please stand still." I have got to learn more names!! Nephi was hilarious. I was working with the class picture photographer. We were outside in between some classrooms. Every time a class was finished with their picture and got off the risers, Nephi would scramble up to the second or third step and smile at the camera and say, "Cheese." It was very entertaining. When he wasn't saying cheese, he was sneaking off to the playground, water fountain or into Mr. Mosher's 3rd grade classroom taking the plastic coins and running off with them.

I think that my family single-handedly keeps Kaiser in business. For the month of October I have had or have scheduled at least 8 appointments. Man I HATE going to the doctor. I am sooooo tired of it!!!!! I don't know how we would survive without insurance!!!

Well, the day is still young...I have lots to do, but I just don't want to do it...so here I sit blogging....okay, okay...I will go and get something done and surprise my wonderful husband with a clean (relatively) house when he gets home. I hope he doesn't have a heart-attack!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Proposition 8

Well, I really feel that I need to write something about Prop 8. I just saw a YouTube clip on a friend's blog. At first it seemed kind of sappy....but as it continued, I felt so impressed that this is the right thing. Marriage is between a man and a woman. The Lord has already spoken on this issue. Pretty simple.

On another friend's blog, I got involved in a discussion that I probably should have stayed out of. I had someone tell me that what I was saying was just "religious dogma." Okay, I'll admit, that I had to go and look up what that meant. Maybe it is religious dogma (which by the way means - according to http://www.dictionary.com/ : A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a church). But, ya know when it is just me and I really ponder marriage the answer I get comes to ME. I know that the Lord has a way of doing things. He really knows the BEST way to do things - a way that really works. I want to be on His side and doing what He wants me to do. The answer that I get is that His way is: "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children." Yes that is what my religion teaches. So, yes it is religious dogma, BUT it is also what I KNOW TO BE TRUE!!! I KNOW IT!!!!

The Lord has prescribed a way for His children to live on this earth. He has prescribed a way for us to follow and be happy and then in the "end" be able to live with Him again and even become like Him. What a blessing that is. What a blessing that knowledge is! Those who choose to follow Him will be blessed and will have eternal happiness. I know that they will not always have an easy life - got it, but in the "end" it will be way worth it. Those that choose to not follow Him and think that they know better might have what they think is happiness...heck they might even really be happy here and now, but in the "end" they will be anything BUT happy. They will see the error of their ways and will have to answer to God why they chose what they did and then live through eternity with the consequences.

Looking at Proposition 8 with a little different spin, the nature spin: Nature has selected against gay marriage. It's true. David took a class last semester on Anthropology. He learned a lot about natural selection. One thing he taught me was that nature chooses things to continue reproducing and to not. The meer fact that a homosexual couple cannot reproduce tells us that nature has selected against it. Nature doesn't allow for that couple to reproduce. Interesting.

Also, in my Early Childhood Education Class I had to look at some information on birth order. I found it very interesting that they listed a "Sexual dysfunction resulting from childhood sexual abuse" as homosexuality. Check it out if you are interested at http://www.birthorderplus.com/. So it seems that even the scientists can't figure out if it is a dysfunction or not. With nature selecting against it it sure appears as such.

Now, just to clarify, I am NOT saying that those with homosexual feelings are "bad," "evil," or "hell-bound." Personally I don't believe that it is something that someone is "born with." I believe that some people might have more of those types of feelings than others, but it is not a DNA thing. I am sure that it would be a very difficult thing to deal with and I don't know what that is like from first-hand knowledge. But, I do know that the Lord has said that it is not okay to act on those feelings. The action is what I have a problem with. The action is what the Lord has a problem with. I do know people that have chosen this lifestyle. In fact, my old hairstylest...the nicest man around, was gay and he lived with his partner. I love him. He was so kind and loved my kids...he moved which is why he no longer does my hair. He was great, but I didn't approve of his life choices, so we just didn't discuss it. We chose to be friends and enjoy our time together. He knew my position and I knew his.

I know that our Father in Heaven loves all of us. He truly does. I know that we need to protect marriage. I am encouraging anyone who reads this to vote YES on proposition 8.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October starts with a BANG!!

Well, here we are a week into October and we have already had three fieldtrips, with at least four more scheduled for the month. Faith left on October 1st for a three day - two night fieldtrip to Mount Lassen. The bummer was that exactly 2 weeks before she left, she was jumping rope and hurt her foot. She was on crutches for the trip to Mt. Lassen and had to miss a few of the hikes. Faith and her great attitude had a blast playing games with Duncan's mom. I was told today by another mom that they were impressed that she went on one of the hikes. They said that she was a real trooper! As of now, the foot is still hurting and we will be going to a foot specialist on the 15th!

Hyrum left the day after Faith to go to Camp Winthers for one night. He had a blast. The third grade has been discussing the water cycle and were able to spend all day Thursday following the water cycle along the river up to the top of the mountain. They had a great time.

On the 1st I got to take Gloria and Helaman on their first fieldtrip of the year to the library. It was fun, but Nephi sure was a pain! There are computers in the children's section and he sure thought that they were fun to play with. Glo and Helaman loved checking out their own books. It was really fun!

I took Vilate to the dentist on the 2nd, and although not as funny as the previous visit (see last post) it was interesting! Vilate stood outside the door to the room and refused to go in. The poor receptionists remembered me from two days before and immediately ushered us out to get the referal!

Helaman had to go to the doctor right after Vilate's dental appointment. He woke up on Thursday with a swollen face. They said that he had something called perotitis. Apparently he had a viral infection in his salivatory gland. When the doctor told us the treatment, as much sour candies as he wanted, he was soooo excited and Vilate was majorily jealous. It is amazing how quickly it healed! He is all better and we have had 6 days in a row of no doctor/dental appointments. I am so excited, but I am anticipating that we will be back to Kaiser soon!!

Our good friend and apartment manager, Alma, had a great party on Saturday afternoon. Earlier this year, or maybe it was last year, she entered an Emeril Live contest. The contest was a cheese contest where the contestants had to submit a reciepe that had cheese in it. Alma submitted her Cheese Tamale with Jalepeno Peppers and WON!!!! She was one of I think 4 winners. Well, as her prize she was flown to New York for the taping of the Emeril show. The show aired on Monday, October 6th. Alma was given a DVD with the show on it and we got together two days before and got a sneak peek, private screening. It was awesome!! Alma is a magnificent cook and made all the items that won for the party. It was wonderful. We ate it all while we watched the show on the "big screen" in the community room. Congratulations, Alma!!!!

And finally the best thing this past week was General Conference. I love this time of year and I really LOVE conference. I really enjoyed the words that were spoken and feel so blessed to live in a time and in a place where I can hear the words of our Prophet. The rule at our house is everyone must sit and listen each time the prophet speaks and if you have been baptized, you must also sit through the Sunday morning session. Overall the kids did really well. We did put a TV in the girls room so that they could have something that they could enjoy and that would keep them out of our hair!!

So, there you go!! Never a dull moment at our house!! Looking at the calendar I see that next week brings much of the same - I am soooo excited!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bye-bye September!!

September was a busy month for us, but which one isn't? I have 5 kids in school and my days are full of dropping off and picking up, homework, cooking and cleaning. We survived Hyrum's birthday party, Center's Day, Culmination Day, signing up 2 kids for preschool (HOLY COW - a lot of paperwork!!), Camp Nauvoo, two fieldtrips, the cannery, 2 dentist appointments (those were really funny!! Keep reading for details!), Hyrum's first Cub Scout award, a Daddy-Daughter dinner, and some other activities, I'm sure there were more that I am forgetting!!

I can't believe that there are only 3 months left in this year! It seems like it has just flown by. I remember as kid that the years seemed soooooo long. Oh, how I long for those days again!

I got to go to the cannery - our church owns a cannery in Sacramento. We canned tomatoes. My friend Krissy and I went together. We started the evening by going to In & Out for burgers first. Yummy!! We had to be at the cannery at 9:30pm and I got to work the salt, putting one pellet of salt in each can, and then I went to the lid station where I got to make sure to have enough lids in the stack to be put onto each can. Finally I got to work at the station where the tomatoes in the cans. I don't think I have EVER been so red-orange. There were tomatoes EVERYWHERE. I survived my first cannery experience and really had a good time. For those who don't know, the cannery is run by volunteers and each ward is assigned times to go and staff the cannery. I believe that all the tomatoes that are available to the church are canned in our cannery. It sure felt good to be of service. When I got home I took a shower and ended up getting to be around 2 am. It was a long day.

Helaman and Gloria weren't going to go to preschool this year, but we decided that we would try it and see how it goes. They are having a fabulous time. They go each day from 12 to 3:30. Gloria is loving having her own friends and Helaman likes hanging out with the boys! We have started walking to school at least 3 days a week. It is a little over a mile and Helaman rides his bike while I walk and push the other 2 kids in the double jogger. We have a friend that goes with us. Helaman's friend Lorelai (apparently they are going to get married after Helaman's mission, just ask them!) and her mom and sister walk with us. It is a nice walk and I really enjoy the conversation with a friend!

Hyrum got his bobcat award in cub scouts. That was sooo cool. David and I got to go up and Hyrum got to put his bobcat pin on me. I love scouts and it is really fun to help Hyrum accomplish the things in the books.

As for the dental appointment. I took Gloria and Helaman, Nephi came along for the ride. We got in and while sitting in the waiting room, Gloria was telling a lady in there that she was going to see the dentist. Glo seemed really excited and Helaman seemed to be okay...that is until....they took us back. Gloria took one look at the room, from the doorway and ran to the other side of the hallway screaming, "No, I'm scary!" It was really hard to not laugh at her choice of words. As I approached her to try and gently coax her into the room, she bolted down the little hallway screaming all the way, "No, I'm scary!!!" So, while all this is going on Helaman is standing at the doorway to the room saying, "I'm not going first, Gloria's going first" over and over again. Don't forget, I had Nephi with me and I didn't bring the stroller because I wasn't sure if there was room. So, while I am chasing Gloria down the hall, Nephi is getting settled in the dentist's chair in the room. I'm sure it was very comical for those spectators in the office. After what felt like 20 minutes of my kids screaming, they finally took pity on me and ushered me out with the promise that they would let the insurance company know and refer us to a pediatric dentist. I bet that when we finally departed from their office, they breathed a huge sigh of relief and then had a good laugh at my expense. I hope that they enjoyed the show that we put on and I am sooo looking forward to going again to the dentist with these lovely kids of mine - NOT!!

So there it is in a nut shell...my month of September. I hope you all enjoyed your September as much as I did!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Funny Helaman

Quick note about my silly boy. The other day Vilate pointed out the beautiful green sharpie that is decorating the hallway. I investigated and found:












So, being the mom that I am I asked Helaman, who loves to write his name on everything, if he had any idea who might have colored on the wall...coincidently his name starts with an H and has 2 A's in it. He said no with a bit of a guilty look on his face. Then when I asked if he was absolutely sure that he had nothing to do with it, I got the most awesome answer...."Well, will who did it get in trouble?" My response was something like, "I really can't say, but if they are honest, it will be a lot easier." He looked down and then said with a sad face, "I did it."



Cute, sweet little boy!!! I sure do love him. He didn't get in trouble, but he did have to scrub the wall!!!

When it rains...It totally pours!!

Well, today I took Vilate to the ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat specialist). The poor kid has had 5 positive strep cultures since December. Last week she had her 5th one and her doc said that it was time to see about removing her tonsils. I didn't mention to her that they might do that, I just said that we were meeting with a specialist to see how we can stop her from getting strep throat again. The doctor, who was amazingly nice, came in and looked at her throat. She said her tonsils don't look too big, but with that many positive tests, we should remove the darn things. Vilate FREAKED out - she started crying and jumped down from the chair and ran over and sat on my lap, begging me to tell her that we would not take her tonsils out. Then the doctor proceeded to tell us that not only did she need her stupid tonsils out but that she has nodes on her vocal chords and needs speech therapy and behavior modification so that they can go away! WHAT?!?!?!?!? All I wanted was to STOP STREP THROAT!! Then as we are leaving the doc says that she will take a picture of them while Vilate is sleeping during the surgery so that we can show them to the speech therapist. To which Vilate says, "You mean I will just be sleeping during the surgery?" The poor kid spent all that time thinking that she would have to endure them scraping out her tonsils WIDE AWAKE!!! No wonder she was so scared.

I have talked to the speech therapist at school and she said that we need to get Vilate to stop yelling...yeah, good luck with that one! She said that speech therapy is not really going to help, but the behavior modification is where we need to focus. So, Vilate has been trying sooooooo hard to not yell this afternoon and she has done a stellar job. We shall see how this progresses.....

All afternoon Vilate has been asking questions about the surgery...."What if I wake up in the middle of it?" or "How do they know how much medicine to give me to keep me asleep?" and "How will they give me more medicine while I am asleep if they need to?" The poor kid is trying to be brave and she finally came up to me and said, "Mom, why couldn't they just have told you about the surgery and then you could have told me later, when it was better for me?" GOOD QUESTION!!!!

So, now I will endure the endless questions and scenerios that her 6 year old brain will come up with until they finally call to schedule the surgery. Apparently they book 6 - 8 weeks out. Ohhhhhhhhhhh this is gonna be a long 2 months!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy

Ya know what? I live a great life. We don't have a house or a lot of money, but I have all I need. We have a great, safe place to live with the best yard ever...I don't have to mow, rake leaves or water. The kids can ride bikes, play on a playground, practice cheerleading, play golf, play volleyball and just be kids out in our "yard." I have six kids that are healthy and happy, most of the time. Today we got to go to the skating rink with a BUNCH of friends from 3rd grade to celebrate Hyrum's birthday (a few months late). I drive an awesome van...it seats 12 and all seats are captain. The kids don't even sit right by each other - there is an aisle in the middle of the van. I have a new computer. I get to go to school. My kids go to an amazing school that requires a lot of me, so much that I consider regularly leaving, but they learn so much and have such good friends that we are in it for the long haul. I have great friends that I LOVE!! I have an amazing husband that loves our children and me! I am healthy and learning daily how to become more so, especially with my new "stress management" class. (I really am learning a lot in that class!) I have the gospel. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me a TON and that his goal for me is to succeed. He wants me and my family to return to Him. I live really close to a temple and the last 2 times I was able to go, I got to go WITH my husband - THAT is a MAJOR blessing for me. I am sealed to my husband and children. I know about Jesus Christ and what He has done as my elder brother who loves me so that I can return to live with Him and my Father again. I am blessed beyond my comprehension.

Lately I have been feeling really blessed. No, everything has not been going my way, but I have many moments lately of what I will call love. Moments with my kids where my heart is so full that all I can do is grab them and give them a HUGE hug and tell them that I love them SOOOO much. Moments of driving down the street and just seeing the beautiful trees and homes and enjoying the time in which I live. Moments of a clean house, and I do mean moments, when I feel like I can do this...have 6 kids AND a clean house. Moments of love and happiness. I hope you can and do have moments like this. It is those moments that I am striving to look for now. I am trying to brush off the other moments and hang onto these moments!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Camp Nauvoo

The first weekend in September was our annual trek to Camp Nauvoo. Camp Nauvoo is the church-owned campsite in Placerville (about an hour or so east of us) that we go to with our ward once each year. Every year our ward gets assigned a weekend. It was sooooo much FUN!!!


We got there right before it started getting dark and had to rush to get the tent setup. As soon as we were done, Nephi had a great time inside the tent!!! He is a funny little man - side note here - he LOVES to sit and stand places. Sounds weird, I know! He just goes to obscure places and sits down. He kind of nestles in and then sits there, sometimes until someone acknowleges that he is sitting there and then he gives one of his "I'm having a blast" smiles. It is soooo funny!!!


Okay, back to camping. Helaman and Gloria had a marvelous time throwing rocks in the creek. Helaman's goal was to get it "all the way across" and he was successful most of the time. It does help that the creek was only about 3 feet across...if that!



The kids also had a great time on the "rafts." These are new since the last time we went to Camp Nauvoo. Faith was a natural. Vilate took a little teaching - she kept pushing herself in the wrong direction. Hyrum was a little hesitant at first, but once on got the hang of it and was pretty upset when it was time to go home. Gloria and Helaman loved to ride on the rafts. I think that if our kids were given the choice, they would have stayed there forever!!! But what kid wouldn't?


Just before he left, Brother Ubaldi threated to throw Faith in the creek. The night before he tried to throw Vilate into the fire. What a silly guy! He sure makes the kids laugh, although with Helaman, there is no separation of fiction and reality, so he got a little concerned!! But Faith thought it was pretty cool to hang over the side of the bridge...just so we are clear, Faith could stand in that water...and he did have a really good hold on her!!


Also while we were there Vilate pet the dog! This dog was way cool!! It just laid there, wherever it was and paid absolutely NO attention to what was going on around it!!! It has been there for years. (I don't remember if "it" is a boy or girl...sorry doggie) I am pretty sure it is the same dog that was there when I went to girls' camp years ago!!! Vilate was so proud of herself. She is getting soooo much better!!! Yay Vilate!!!!!!!!


We stopped at Jack in the Box on the way there and the way back for dinner and then lunch. The kids were facinated. This was their first Jack in the Box experience. It was hilarious. You would've thought that we took them to lobster or steaks at the most expensive, top of the line restaurant. Since we have been home they are always asking to go there again!! Kinda funny those kids of mine!!!


So, Camp Nauvoo is done. Summer is really over!!! It was a success and we had a BLAST!!!! Thanks go out to all who helped us and who worked so hard on coordinating the activity! For us...it was a great ward activity and we can't wait for next year!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

PROGRESS!!!!!!

This past weekend we brought the hampster home from 1st grade and Vilate had her hand in the cage and was petting it and had no problems when the other kids let it crawl on the floor!!! Then today I went in to the 1st grade classroom with just Vilate and Faith during Vilate's lunch. The bunny got out of the cage and Vilate did really well while it hopped around the classroom. She walked around the room and only jumped a little when it hopped near here. She refused to sit on the floor, but would sit on my lap. It was really encouraging!!

Then when I picked her up from school she told me that she pet the bunny again and that she even pet a big, black dog!!! AWESOME VILATE!!!!!!

Progress is being made!!!! I am going to go back to the classroom on Thursday, maybe before!! I am so pleased!!!

Bragging Rights

Let me just start off this post with a disclamer....if you hate to hear how other people's kids are doing in school...skip this post!!

Today in the mail I got Faith and Hyrum's STAR testing results. For those of you not familiar with STAR testing...it is the California Standards test that is administered from 2nd grade on. Last spring the kids took the tests...Faith was in 3rd grade and Hyrum was in 2nd grade.

I opened Hyrum's and he is advanced in both language arts and mathmatics!! WAY TO GO HYRUM!!!! He works pretty hard and always feels like he is not doing good enough so it was great to be able to tell him that he was advanced!! Then I opened up Faith's...she got a PERFECT score on the math and is in the advanced catagory for language arts! I was SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited for her!!! Of course, we only told them both that they did very well and were in the advanced catagories, that way they will know that we expect more of their work! Good job kids!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Phobia's Stink

Anyone out there have a phobia? They are terrible!! Vilate has one. A terrible one. One that I don't think I can deal with anymore. She is afraid of animals. At first it was just dogs, then cats. Okay, those I can kind of understand...dogs have never been my favorite, unless they were my own. I just can't predict what they are going to do...I don't like the unknown. Cats I can understand, well not the fear, but I certainly don't care for them. But...the worst has started to show itself. The end of May we went to Yosemite (see previous posts). She sat in the car for the first few house, terrified of...SQUIRRELS! Ugh!! Who is afraid of a squirrel?!?!?! That would be Vilate.

So over the summer I took her to a psychologist at Kaiser. He said that she needs "full immersion therapy." Basically take her to a house where a nice dog resides and make her love the dog. I was not dilligent (is that how that is spelled?). I did not do it. I didn't want to impose on my friends and have to take all SIX of my kids to their houses daily for 2 weeks...it just sounded like a lot to ask. Now this problem has become a monster that I need to kill NOW!!

Vilate is in 1st grade at Mission Avenue Open School. It is an amazing school! I really love it. She is in Miss Rausch's class. We have never had Miss Rausch before, but I am loving her class....the only drawback............she has ANIMALS!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is a bunny that hops around the classroom for 1/2 the day everyday! Vilate spent the first day sitting in the teacher's chair screaming and crying because she was so frightened. Everyday, so far we have completed 4, is becoming harder for her. She got up this morning and begged me to let her stay home! Here is the conversation:

"Mom, I don't want to go to school."
"Vilate, you will be fine. Remember that you had a good day yesterday. You even petted the bunny."
"NO" insert tears here "I HATE SCHOOL"
"No, you don't"
"Yes, I do. Well, I like school, but I am just so scared of the bunny."

So, what do I do? Any ideas? While talking to a great friend of mine we determined that it is probably a good idea to do the dog immersion, but we should also do an immediate bunny immersion, one on one. I am going to start on Monday taking the 3 kids at home to school at lunch and taking Vilate in her classroom while the other kids are playing outside. Maybe if it is just me, and the little kids, and her, we can overcome this hurdle. I don't know what to do...but I have to come up with something, today she came home from school and said that one of the girls called her a cry-baby. So sad!!! I am anxiously awaiting your brilliant ideas...anyone?

Facebook

I had a friend just recently post about Facebook and thought that I should check into this thing. I am so glad that I did. I have "found" friends from when I was a kid in Texas. It is neat to see how everyone is connected. If you haven't tried Facebook yet, here is my endorsement!!
www.facebook.com

Monday, August 18, 2008

1st day of school

Today was the best day of the year. The kids went back to school!!! I feel a little guilty saying that, but just a little bit!!!

My house was quiet. There was no arguing!!! It was amazing. I still had 3 kids at home, but they seemed to relish in the quiet. They were able to be in charge. Helaman loves being the oldest and he and Gloria play wonderfully together when no one else is around. Nephi took a great nap! It was delightful!

Okay, so now they are home and we have had multiple arguments, one case of door slamming and a few cases of whining! But I must say, I feel like I can handle it when they are being kept busy the first half of the day.

I am also appreciating that I don't have a mid-morning drop-off or pick-up. The kids go from 8:05 to 2:35. What a great 6 hours and 30 minutes. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids! They are awesome, but it is wonderful that they can play with friends, learn new things, and be challenged and then I get bring them home and play with them!!! I hope everyone has a great first day of school like I did!!

Special Gloria

Last Thursday we were really looking forward to going to the Mission Avenue (kids' school) Back-to-school picnic, but while I was putting Gloria's hair up in a ponytail...I saw what every mother dreads....LICE!!! Gross!!!!

I did handle this outbreak much better, more grown-up, than I did when Faith got it when she was about the same age Gloria is now. Back then I screamed and ran across the room and while pointing at her yelled to David that "Faith has bugs in her hair! Gross!!" This time, I just said, "dang-it" and proceeded to break the news to the kids that we were not going to contaminate the entire population of Mission kids and we would be missing the picnic.

I called Dave at work and told him to bring home $40 in quarters and I loaded up the van and got the shampoo at Walmart. We spent the next 24 hours cleaning bedrooms, washing clothes, and searching through everyone's hair. Lucky for me...Gloria was the only one infected, what a special girl! I am sooooooo glad I put her hair up that day. This could have been terrible.

So, by Friday afternoon we were de-bugged and able to go to the 4th grade party at our friends house. I HATE bugs!!! I would not wish this on my WORST enemy...well, maybe my WORST one!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pianos

Today was one of those days that I realized that my kids are only this age for a little while. I was sitting at the piano (no I am not great) messing around and all of a sudden I ended up having to share the piano bench with Gloria and Nephi. You see, they are budding musicians. Gloria was writing her own songs. Basically they were all the same, "__(insert name here)___ is great, because I love him/her." It was so cute and she made sure to sing it for everyone in the family and for Heavenly Father..that one was a little different, "I am a child of God, God is great, I love him." It was awesome. The entire time Nephi was playing his own accompaniment, which was fantastic for a one year old. It was so much fun!! Shortly after the songs were over, Helaman came in and asked me to scoot over. I told him if I did I would fall off and he seemed okay with that!! He wanted in on the piano action. It's days like this that I like being the mom!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Another one down!!

Okay so this weekend was a lot of fun!! We had Hyrum's baptism. It was fantastic. He chose who did what and then we called and asked everyone to help. It turned out great. Thanks to all who helped us!! After the baptism we had a luncheon that was very nice and very low-key (ie simple). Gotta love Raley's deli department...their meat trays rock!!

Then we came home for a few minutes, and packed up the kids to go visit Aunt Robin at a sprinkler park in Folsom. It was sooo much fun!! The biggest problem: Gloria kept leaving. She wanted to hunt for snakes. Apparently a little ways from us was a sign that said "Caution, Rattlesnake area." There were "big" kids that were looking at the edge of the tall grass for snakes and Gloria thought that sounded like a great idea.

Sunday we had a great time at church!! It is amazing to me that there are so many people in our ward that think our kids are so well behaved! During sacrament meeting, I took Nephi out for screaming and climbing under the pews and then David had to follow with Gloria. She just doesn't get the word quiet. I think that she thinks it means, "I'm sorry, I couldn't understand what you just said. Could you please repeat it as loud as you can?" Because I have older kids who have been through this before I have hope that soon she will get it, but it seems to be taking a long time!!

After church we got to come home and visit with Grandma and Grandpa Cox. I really think that they are great!! We love it when they come to visit. In fact the kids love it so much that Faith and Hyrum were hoping that "maybe their plane would get frozen for 2 days and then they would have to stay with us longer." Kinda funny those kids of mine.

Two weeks until school starts....YEA!!! We are starting to back onto a schedule this week...wish us luck!! I look forward to getting more accomplished and becoming more organized.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Beach, Birthdays, & Baptism

This last week has been a blast!!

The Morgan side of our family had a family reunion/vacation together...we went to Dillion's Beach! It was a blast. Huge THANKS go out to Grandma and Grandpa for getting the beach house and organizing the great vacation. It was fun to be together, but we did miss one of the branches to the family tree. Jeni, Joe and the girls were not able to make the trek from Idaho...we hope you can soon!! We were about a five minute walk from the beach. It was fantastic. The only draw-back was trying to get Kelli to walk down the hill...she was a LITTLE nervous and it took a bit of patience to get her to go. We built sand castles, made kids into mermaids, visited the tidepools, collected shells, climbed in the sand dunes, watched Aunt Jenny and Uncle Marchane brave the FREEZING COLD water, and had a blast!!

The day after we got back from Dillion's we celebrated Hyrum's birthday. He was so excited to get a pogo stick...can you believe these things are popular again. Why did I ever get rid of the toys when I was a kid...today they are playing with the same ones!! Then the next day we celebrated Gloria's birthday with a tea party. She invited, "my friend Carly, friend Char-Char, and Sister Brown." Carly and Charlotte are her age, Sister Brown is my friend and Gloria just adores her...who wouldn't?

In two days we will be having Hyrum's baptism. Grandma and Grandpa Cox are making the trek from Utah and Hyrum is thrilled. We are so grateful to have family near and far that are willing to sacrifice their time and talents to attend and participate in our kids activities. It sure shows the kids that they are important to their Grandparents and other friends and family.

As for pictures of all these fantastic events...I have them, but my good computer is out of commision right now so, you will have to wait for my stellar photos!!

Have a great last few weeks of summer everyone!! We will!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

He really is a boy

Nephi loves to put things on his head...hats, headbands, whatever he can find!! So, when he put this pink, sparkly headband on, I couldn't resist a picture. I am thinking that this picture will come in handy when he gets older as blackmail!! Maybe I just have a mean streak....nah - I'm just a mom!!!

More on the 4th

After the parade, we headed over to swim at Grandma and Grandpa Morgan's house. Following that we went home for naps and then headed back to G'ma and G'pa's for more fun. David met us there when he got off work and we had a yummy BBQ and then started the fireworks!!

The greatest picture that I got is this one of Helaman. You can see him through Grandpa....the only thing that I can think of is that it has to do with the shutter speed of the camera...I had it set to portrait at night. Pretty cool......or pretty creepy...depending on what you think!!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

4th of July

Our 4th started out with a pancake breakfast and parade! Our stake did a combo 4th / pioneer party. It was fun. The kids wore their matching Yosemite shirts and all looked great!! The parade was a hit. I was impressed with how many people were there. It was a really good event! We look forward to next year's parade and we will make sure that we decorate our modes of transportation appropriately.

Happy 6th Birthday Vilate!!!

Vilate's 6th birthday came and went (June 22nd) with a big mess!! She was really interested in getting her own cake. She wanted a pink cake...pink? I know Vilate has been far from pink FOREVER. Red was her color of choice, but she has decided that pink is agood color for her! So, I made her her own cake that she could dig her face into...she thought it was cool that Nephi got to do that and now it is the request of every kid around here.

Another tradition that we started year before last is that Vilate gets a watermelon on her birthday. She loves watermelon and it is the season, so she was thrilled to eat her own watermelon. For some reason she is into eating with out hands...kinda weird. She does it to be funny...and of course we all laugh! How could we not?!?!

So then, two days later we had a birthday party for her. We had a water/ice cream party here at the apartment complex. We had some kid pools out, water balloons and lots of ice cream. My plans were a little upstaged by the little frogs jumping around. Literally, I mean frogs. The kids were having a marvelous time catching little frogs. I think that they caught at least 100 of them, probably more. The frogs were a hit!!

We ended up having about 35 kids ranging in age from 1 year old to 14 years old. The picture here is all the kids patiently waiting for the pinata. Pinatas are my kids' favorite part of a party, but it is David's least favorite. Too many chances for kids getting hurt!! So, David is very good at getting the kids to follow his rules and the kids did a great job following directions.

Vilate had a great time and loved all her gifts!! Happy birthday sweet girl!! We love you bunches!

Nephi's 1!!!!!!!!!


His birthday was on June 12th. Nephi loved his cupcake...you can tell by the lovely chocolate face!! We took him swimming at my parents' house. His favorite thing to do is drink the water off the ground. We kept trying to give him a cup, but he liked the chlorinated water mixed with cement better.


Nephi fell and skinned his little face as a great finish to his birthday. He seems to be the least balanced of all the kids at this point. I think that he has fallen the most. Generally he doesn't have any marks, but this day, we were lucky and ended up with war wounds!! Poor guy!!!

Yosemite

Okay...so I am a little behind on my blogging...and everything else in my life!!

We went to Yosemite the last weekend in May with the Cox family. It is a family tradition. They have gone every year since David was a boy. This year we had a small group. There were Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Tami & Uncle Brent and their 2 boys (Jake and Danny), Aunt Joanne & Uncle Mark and their 3 boys (Dylan, Luke & Trygve) and then there was us.

We got there around lunchtime on Thursday and Vilate spent the first few minutes or was it hours in the car terrified because there were squirrels everywhere! After she got out of the car, she sat on this rock for the next four days whenever there were squirrels, pretty much the whole time!!!


Hyrum had a great time watching Dylan play video games. We brought some also, but I was the mean mom and wouldn't let the kids get them out of the car...my thinking was that we drove for hours to enjoy Yosemite, not to play video games.


Most of the time, this is the view that we had of Gloria...


We went to Mirror Lake. That was the first time that I have ever been to Mirror Lake. The kids and David go every year that we go, but I always have stayed back at the campsite and taken a nap with the baby. This year...I decided to go with them all. It was beautiful. The kids enjoyed playing in the water and I enjoyed sitting in my chair watching them!!

Nephi loved the water. He didn't mind that it was FREEZING! In fact, he kept putting his face in the water and trying to eat the mud. While it was kinda gross...it was really funny!


Vilate spent the entire time we were at the lake reconfiguring the way that the water flowed past this rock. She got her brothers and cousins to help her build dams and lakes. It was really cool. They figured out that if they made the water more shallow it would warm quickly and then they could enjoy the warm water!


Isn't Faith a babe?!?!? She had a great time trying new things. She climbed a rock and then was daring enough to walk from the rock to the beach in the cold water. The water was up to her neck!!


While at the lake, Gloria ended up with a butterfly on her back. We couldn't get it to leave. I caught it and then the cousins enjoyed passing it around.


On Saturday, we took the kids to Lower Yosemite Falls and we found a great place for us to rock hop and play in the water.

On the way back, Gloria insisted on pushing Vilate in the stroller. Surprisingly she did a great job!

We went into Yosemite Village and enjoyed learning about the indians and seeing the teepees.


Well, that was it. Here is my favorite picture...Half-Dome. I love seeing that mountain. I think that I love that I climbed it once, and will NEVER do it again!!

Yosemite is beautiful and I am so greatful to the Cox Family for this tradition that I married into! The kids are already talking about next year...in fact they started talking about our next trip to Yosemite on the ride home!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

He's Walking!!!

Nephi is having a fabulous time walking everywhere!! He can get up all on his own in the middle of the room and loves to carry his blanket down the hall. Ya know, I never tire of watching a kid take their first steps. David and I were talking about this the other day. Just because we have a bunch of kids, it still is miraculous to us and facinating when our youngest takes their first steps. Nephi is a cute little boy who loves to smile and laugh!! We are so glad he came to our family!!!

He's Free!!

Today we went to the orthopedic and Hyrum had his cast removed. We were sent to get x-rays and then return for a new cast, one below the elbow. We did the x-rays and then had an hour to kill before his actual appointment. Hyrum was thrilled that he got to eat in the hospital cafeteria. He ate a turkey sandwich - which consisted of buttermilk bread with two slices of turkey - and some chocolate milk. Personally I thought it was a pretty boring, normal lunch...but he was so thrilled. The first thing he told his sisters later was that he got to eat lunch in the hospital cafeteria. I'm so glad that it doesn't take much to make my kids day!! Okay, so back to the doctor visit. After our fantastic lunch in the cafeteria, we went back to orthopedics and the doc looked at Hyrum's x-rays. He said that his arm is healed and he doesn't need a cast anymore - to which Hyrum responded, "What!!! no cast?!?!? Please can't I have one?" I think that Hyrum was the first patient this not so young doc ever had that asked for a cast. Hyrum was/is very concerned that it is not really healed all the way. We finally came up with a reasonable solution. Hyrum got a brace to wear for as long as he thinks that he needs it. Hyrum was much more willing to leave after he got his brace.

The biggest thing for me is that his arm still looks wrong. I don't really know how to explain it and Hyrum is refusing to take any pictures of it. I asked the doc and he said that it will take 6 months to one year to straighten out back to its normal appearance. We go back in 6 months for a recheck! Hopefully this doc really knows his stuff and Hyrum's arm will return to normal!!

Tomorrow I send Hyrum off on a 3 day - 2 night fieldtrip to Calaveras Big Trees and Mercer Caverns. It is a couple of hours east of Sacramento. He is so excited and I hope that he has a fabulous time. Because of finals David and I are not going to be able to go at all, so we are trusting that the other kids and their parents will help look out for him.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Hyrum Update

Well, we took Hyrum back to the Doctor for a recheck on his arm and they xrayed it and they said that it looked good. YEAH!!! WOO-HOO!!! I was so terrified that they would have to do something to torture the boy more, but we were lucky. They did have to change his cast as his arm had been so swollen and now the cast was too roomy. He was excited that he got to change the color of his cast and went from green to red. The doc then said that we need to go back on the 19th of May for another xray and at that time they will recast again, this time with a cast that stops before the elbow. Hyrum was thrilled! He said that he wants a blue cast, but I think he now wants a green one and then he will color on it with a black sharpie to make it look like an army cast. Interesting!!

The only concerning thing was that when they took off the original cast, his arm was totally crooked (is that spelled right?). He was a little concerned and mentioned to me that his arm looked really funny. The doc said that that was normal, but that within 6 months his arm should look normal. Hyrum and I were okay with that...as long as it really happens!!

Hyrum has adapted well and thinks that it is great that Mom has to write his summaries for school as he dictates them. He is even still able to play baseball. He hits the ball like he is holding a tennis racket and is practicing his back-hand. He is really quite good and was so excited that he did not have to sit out the entire season.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Utah Trip

I have been working on this post for at least a week now, but there have been constant interruptions. I don't know why I expect to just have all this time to blog...I guess I just have high hopes.

The last weekend in April David, Nephi and I went to Utah for David's youngest brother, Kenny's wedding. (Um...not sure if I got the comma in the right place there!) We shipped the other 5 kids out to my parents' house for one night and then the girls went to the Browns' house and the boys went to the Ducker's house for one night and they all ended up at our house with my parents and then Susie, the babysitter, until David and I got home around 1am on Monday. So a HUGE shout of THANKS goes out to all the people that helped watch our wonderful kids. I was so terrified to leave them, not that I would miss them, but that they would be way to crazy at everyones' houses and then I might lose my friends ;)! Just kidding....but really I was a little concerned that the kids would be a handful and to my pleasant surprise, they were really good.
We left on Friday around 4 and drove to Oakland Airport. Our plane was about 30 minutes late, so Nephi had a great time exploring the airport. He loved looking out the window and seeing the planes and all the people...he kept trying to sit on the window ledge...it was so funny. When he would stand up he couldn't see because there was a bar right at his eye level; he got a little frustrated.

We finally got to David's parents' house in Alpine, Utah around midnight. The next morning was Kenny's wedding. Kenny and Jane were married for time and all eternity in the Mount Timpanogos Temple. The sealer had a wonderful sense of humor and was a joy. It was beautiful. The best part for me was that I got to sit next to my husband! We walked into the sealing room and sitting there were Bob and Wendy Bagozzi. He was the Bishop when we moved into the Eastern Avenue Ward 10 years ago. The moved to Canada some years ago. Apparently Jane is Wendy's niece and they had made the trip down to attend the sealing. What a delight to walk in and see friends. So, now we are related to the Bagozzis!!!! That must be what it will be like walking into the Celestial Kingdom...friends everywhere! I can't wait!
After the sealing we took Nephi back from the sitters waiting outside the temple and went back to Mom and Dad's house. He played for a while under the table. The table was behind the couch in the family room. He thought that it was the greatest jungle-gym. It was a beautiful table and we were thrilled that he chose that as a great toy and not the stairs!!

Once we got him down for a nap, David and I left Nephi again with Melanie (our brother-in-law, Brent's sister) and her friend, and we were off to the luncheon. It was held at Magelby's in Provo. It was so nice, the food was fantastic - the world's most awesome rolls are there - and we got to sit with David's brother, Bill and his wife, Kristy. It was so fun to visit, especially without any of my children interrupting our conversation. David's sister Tami and her husband, Brent, put together a wonderful DVD of pictures for Ken and Jane of their journey through life so far and how they got together. It was really nice to see the two of them grow up before our eyes. Side note here....Nephi sure looks a lot like Uncle Kenny!!!
We rushed home from the Luncheon - did I mention the awesome rolls - and quickly changed into picture clothes, grabbed Nephi and drove down the street to attempt to take family pictures.

I say attempt because it was so windy that I don't think the photographer was able to take any pictures without someone's hair flying up. It definitely made the photo shoot memorable. David loved it!!! After the photo shoot, we got to rest for a little bit and then we headed over to the reception. Nephi loved the chocolate fountain...see the evidence to the left! - At least as I am typing it in, the picture is on the left. Once I publish the posts, they occasionally seem to have the pictures in different places!
When the reception was over, we went back to the house, put Nephi to
bed for the night and then went downstairs to the malt shoppe/theater. We took a bunck of pictures of my in-laws downstairs to show our kids!! Mom and Dad have a 12 foot screen that we got to watch movies on. It was fantastic! There is also a beautiful old fashioned malt shoppe. It is really cool. But, I must admit, the thing that I went looking for was the Elvis scarves. I had been telling my kids that Grandma Cox had some of Elvis' scarves that she had gotten when she had gone to see him in concert. The first thing they asked when I said I had some pictures of some of the Elvis things that Grandmad had was..."Where are the scarves?" I don't think that they believed me. But when I was able to show them the evidence, they were in awe. Grandma - I think that you are their hero!!
Sunday we spent the morning cleaning house for some more houseguests, a non-member business partner of David's dad and his family. Then we all went to church and that was the end of the schedule. We spent the remainder of our time in Utah eating Yumburgers in the cool malt shoppe, visiting and enjoying playing outside in the beautiful yard with our littlest boy.
We had a great time. I really enjoyed spending time with David's family; they are awesome!! It was a nice break from the everyday and the scenery was beautiful. Thanks to all who helped us pull this off!!