Thursday, September 30, 2010

September at a glance

Halle and her friend Berlynn performed a magic show for a ward talent show.  They were amazing!  Maybe I’ll post the video of their awesome magical talent.  

Back Camera

Blake wishes I would stop going to the gym and give him a proper nap.  Here he is zonked out in the middle of the child care floor with 50 kids running all around him, screaming, and tripping over him. He stayed asleep through it all.  Sad.

Blake asleep on the floor of child care at the gym

When he’s not sleeping, he has turned into the devil toddler.  Lot’s of tantrums at our house!

devil toddler

We’ve been getting in touch with our crafty selves at Discovery Days

Back Camera discovery days

Halle continues to be a model first grade student

picture day at school

Blake enjoys his sweets more than anyone I know. He usually starves himself for days at a time in hopes that a “tookie” will come his way.

yummy pudding snack

I turned the ripe old age of 29.  And I made myself an apple pie to celebrate the occasion.   (I tried to make the pic look like a 1960’s housewife.  I think all I succeeded in doing was looking orange)1960's housewifeIMG_0131

My Husband is HOT.

We’ve been enjoying this beautiful Fall weather with many outdoor excursions.  This one was biking along the Boulder Creek Trail.

Halle josh

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quick Get-away to Winter Park

IMG_0379 We made a last minute decision to head up to Winter Park for Labor Day.  We left after church, and headed up to the mountains.  We stopped and ate Pizza at Beaujoe’s in Idaho Spring, then finished the drive up to Winter Park.  We got in kinda late, but the kids, of course, wanted to go swimming.  So, I put Blake to bed while Rusty and the kids wore themselves out at the pool. 



The next morning we swam again, and then headed out to do a mile hike to a lake that was 10 miles away.  What we didn’t know was that it was 10 miles on a very bumpy, narrow dirt road, straight up the mountain.  After about 40 min, we got to our destination.  The wind was blowing like CRAZY, and it was about 42 degrees.  I was ready just to head back down the mountain, but Rusty wanted to keep going.  He was sure the wind would die down once we entered the little valley where the lake was.  So, with Blake and Josh bawling their eyes out, and Halle and I freezing to death, we made our way down to the lake.  Where is was still freezing and windy.  The kids and I immediately wanted to turn back, but we sat frozen for a few minutes trying to eat our lunch.  We started back up the hill with Josh still crying.  So, I stopped the kids, and we talked about how important it is to try our best, and even when things are hard, to put on a happy face.  We promised we would all do our best to get up the mountain, and not whine and cry.  Halle was amazing.  She was our little trooper blazing her way up the hill.  I didn’t hear one word of complaint out of her.  We kept saying things like, “we’re so strong, we’re so brave” and she loved it.  I gave Josh a piggy back ride most of the way up and he had to say things like, “you can do it, mom!” in order to give me “energy” to keep carrying him up the hill.  I put him down about 50 yards from the top and let him finish himself.  Both he and Halle were so proud, and I was too! 
A few days after we got home I had asked Josh to do something and he said, “It’s so hard, Mom.” I said, “Is it harder than climbing that mountain?” He said, “No.” I told him if he could do something as hard as climbing a mountain in the wind, he could surly do this small job.  He thought about it for a minute, put a big smile on his face, and went and finished his job.  It was really sweet. 

After the crazy hike we decided we needed something fun.  So we went and rented some bikes and rode along a beautiful trail right along the river.  Halle and I had a tandem bike, and Rusty pulled the boys in a trailer.  We stopped and threw rocks into the river—always a favorite pass time with the kids. 

The kids just love staying in hotels, jumping on the beds, and having adventures.  I was so proud of the way they acted, and can’t wait until our next grand adventure.  As long as it’s not cold or windy :)    IMG_0408 IMG_0410 IMG_0419 IMG_0420

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Amazing Grandma

b&w flowers

My Grandma passed away on Aug 22, just a few days before her 89th birthday. I flew out to Utah to attend her funeral, and it was wonderful to reflect on her life, and commit to be a little more like her.

There are a lot of things I love about my Grandma, but the one that stands out the most is how she made each and every one of her 10 children and 41 grandchildren feel like they were her favorite. You never went away from Grandma’s house without a big boost in self confidence, because you had just spent the last hour being told how wonderful, special, beautiful, and talented you were.


The last time I saw my Grandma was in June. Blake had just turned one, and the last year had been a crazy one. Taking care of three kids often leaves me a bit frazzled, and taking care of three kids on vacation ALWAYS leaves me frazzled. I was running a little low in spirits. I hadn’t seen her in awhile, and the whole time I was there she sat right next to me, with her hand in mine. She kept patting my hand, and telling me what a special girl I was, how wonderful and important I am, how I was looking so beautiful, and asking if Rusty knew how lucky he was to have me. You can bet by the time I left I was feeling on top of the world—she successfully boosted my spirits, and left me feeling confidant that I could do anything! I will miss that so much.


My Grandma has a favorite story she loves to tell about me. I think I’ve heard it at least 50,000 times in my life. When I was little, I was a talker. My mom jokes that I could speak in complete sentences before I could even take one step. I was probably less than 2 years old and my parents were over at Grandma’s house. My mom was relating one of my latest tricks, and my proud Grandma said, “Well, isn’t she above average!” My tiny self immediately parroted, “Above average?” in that sweet baby voice. Well, that just cracked her up. So, every time I would see her she would tell me that I’ve always been above average.


At her funeral, as I had time to sit and reflect on her wonderfully rich and full life, I was struck with a few things. Things that I want to do in my own life to honor her memory.

One, make each of my children feel special everyday.

Another thing that really stuck with me was how much she loved my grandpa. He died when I was just a baby, so most of what I know about him comes from her. He was truly the love of her life, and I have never heard her say anything but loving, positive things about him. We watched a little video interview that David did with her a few years back and she said, “Never was a woman more loved by a man than I was.”

In my own life, I want to reverse that statement. When Rusty is 80 years old and our kids do a video interview of him (smile) I want him to say, “Never was a man more loved by a woman than I was.”


The last thing came from a journal she kept called “Words to Live By.” This journal had newspaper and magazine clippings of inspirational thoughts, quotes, or life philosophies. It also had a lot of her own words on how she wanted to live her life, and what characteristics she wanted to develop. There was one quote that I thought described her perfectly:

Until you understand--
Do not criticize;
Then perhaps you may wish
Just to sympathize

Grandma accepted people as they were, she loved them no matter what. She loved them even when they made decisions that she didn’t agree with, or when their opinions weren’t in line with hers. I think I can honestly say that I never heard her speak a critical word about anyone. And all of us knew that we had her unconditional love. This quote is going to become my new mantra as I seek to become less critical, and more understanding and accepting.

Natalie, Carlie and I sang, “Each Life that Touches ours For Good” at the funeral. The third verses says, “When such a friend from us departs, we hold forever in our hearts, a sweet and hallowed memory, bringing us nearer, Lord to thee.” I know as we all move forward that we will carry her memory with us, and we are better people for having had her in our lives.

Grandma, I love you and will miss you so much!

My siblings at the viewing

Grandma’s 10 children and their spouses

Nene and Charles meet again

This is a poem written by my cousin Jeremiah. I just love it! (My Grandma's nickname was Nene because one of the grandkids couldn't say Geneve when they were little)

If you could visit Heaven, I would have to imagine a scene unlike most.

As I cast my gaze upon our Father's land, I picture a cobblestone road lined with thousands.
Trumpets blowing so loud, it shakes the heavens and a gate that is wide open for a soul that has been gone for too long.
For heaven, like earth, was not the same without Nene.

She lived her life with purpose and love, not only for every single person she met, but also for her Heavenly Father.
The heavens have welcomed her home.
As she passed through the gates to the Kingdom, she always knew there would be thousands to welcome her back.
As she passes her eyes are on each, but she is focused on one.

She was expecting him to be the first one there, but she knows this man all too well.
His quiet reverence keeps him in the back of the crowd, watching intently,
knowing that his angel has now come home.
She knows he is there, but where??

As she looks at the horizon, she sees an outline of a man she knows all too well!
He is standing underneath an apple tree that bears his signature.
For this moment has been dreamed about and lived nightly for so many years that she realizes what to do next.
She approaches the man leaning on the tree, trembling inside, trying not to erupt.

She sees him as he once was.
Strong, broad shouldered, a larger than life young man.
Words are not spoken, there is nothing that can be said, that can explain this feeling.

They embrace, and the heavens and earth shake, the trumpets sound,
for today they meet again.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Preschool begins again

Cute little Josh started his second year of preschool.  He loves going to school and learning.  He does not love to color.  He will scribble one line down the middle of his page, and say, “Done!”

I am doing the co-op preschool again with some friends.  We use Mother Goose curriculum, and it is FANTASTIC.  I love when it’s my turn to teach and I get to see Josh interact with his friends, learn, and try new things! 

1st day of preschool for 2010
Darn you iphone with your blurry pictures!