have a hap hap happy new year

i totally got busted for the last post! i thought for sure it would fall into the crack of times when ty doesn't read the blog for a few days. but no, he read it.

don't worry, we laughed about it all and he's been pointing out all the fungus that is probably growing in our house because of the hat comment. hahahahaha. he's so funny huh? (insert sarcastic tone here)

so anyways, happy new years! i'm so excited for 2012.
my odd years are usually a little "iffy" but the even years rock! hoorayyyy!!!!

we celebrated in extra special grand mode with the girls: a new years dinner of yummy appetizers and cream puffs and sparklers and sparkling apple cider. the best part? every kid was in bed by 7:45.  (we have church at 9am tomorrow! yikes!)

some of my new years resolutions are :

eat to live-not live to eat
 and keep a clean house. i currently vacillate between a perfectly clean house (which only lasts 2 hours-and took me all day to do), to a complete pigsty. i would like to hit a happy median here.

i have more resolutions but they are mine and i'm not sharing.

so there.

what are your resolutions this year?


sometimes i just don't get my husband

ty and i have almost been married 9 years. that's not very long for some and a long time for others. we've been dating since 1998. i'm too tired right now to count the years for that.
  but i digress. the point was to put down in memory most of our conversations that leave me wondering, "am i the only wife who thinks this?" 

 for example: clothing. ty has probably gone clothing shopping 10 times in his entire life. i buy his clothes. his mom bought his clothes. the end.

for christmas, i pick out some nice stretchy skinny jeans  for yours truly (because let me tell you, nothing and i mean nothing, is more comfortable for me). they are perfect for squatting, and bending, and sitting, and all the other things moms do all day long. so i don't care if i look like a stuffed turkey in them, they work. and he squinches up his nose and says, "no one looks good in those". which means, he wants me to not wear them. at first i was all, "ok, honey buns, i won't wear these if you don't like them." and then it dawned on me, this is coming from the man who wears his holey SHIFT t-shirt from senior year. and greasy jeans with holes and tears all over them. and a boston red sox hat that has probably seven kinds of fungus growing on it. (*i should note that although i buy his clothes, he will not let me buy him clothes, and if i do, he still wears the old stuff)

so basically i said, in a really nice way i promise, "i'll start wearing what you want me to wear, when you start wearing what i want you to wear".  and i know that is not the "love language", kind-hearted, selfless thing to do in a relationship. but stretchy skinny jeans just are soo comfortable gosh darn it.

another debate is home decor. he says our bedding for our master bedroom is too "girly". i say "eat it" because i like it and it's soothing and i'm the one whose home all day looking at it. i ask him opinions and opinions and opinions on where to move/replace/swap/turn furniture. finally last night, after his 15th "mmmhmmm" reply i asked, "should i just tell you where i want things to go and not even ask?" and i swear he had a relieved look on his face when he said, "yes!".

and i don't know if its because he doesn't have an opinion, or he knows that his opinion isn't mine and if we don't do what i want i'm going to complain about it for eternity?  these are deep thoughts i'm having here people.


i better go to bed before i start divulging too much about us. ha!


christmas morn

the girls slept in until 6:20, which was nice. ty asked if they wanted to just snuggle with us in bed for a little while before opening presents. abby was game, lucy not so much. we woke up phoebe and poor girl struggled all day long. talk about sugar highs and lows.
phoebe was more interested in cookies until about 8am
 abby loves her new bike
 it inspired lucy to be brave enough to take off her training wheels
never too late to learn right? we all have different talents right?
 nothing like those first few moments of christmas
santa wrote lucy a letter this year
and of course, the middle child wasn't happy about not getting a letter.

we had a great yet tiring day chock full of church and family,
and family and family and family and family!
we are so blessed. looking forward to the new year.
(i've already started deep cleaning and organizing plans in my head)


merry christmas from hidden hollow

the children are all tucked into their beds, filled with sweet dreams of santa clause.

the dishes are stacked and dirty and the house is a mess, but it is because i'm blessed enough to have food to cook and children to feed. there are toys all over because there is life in this home. beautiful, blessed, overflowing little lives.

this christmas has been a lovely one. full of ups and downs. but i know the years will fly by, and i will crave, oh i know my heart will just ache for these christmas' that are full of smudgy handprints on the windows, broken ornaments and running little feet in the hallways.

we are so grateful to share our lives with you.
all the good and the bad
we know that gratitude and cheerfulness can get you through anything.

merry, merry, merry christmas to you and yours.


dear santa, this christmas i would like a lobotomy

my mom always waited a lot longer to decorate for christmas then any of my friends. i thought she was just, like, so weird. when lucy was a toddler i never listened when she said, "you should wait to decorate till just a week before". what? crazy talk i tell you.

and so, every year we bust out the full on decor the day after thanksgiving. tree! stockings! decor! music! and it's absolutely fantastic.

and then...oh and then. 4 weeks later the kids are absolutely bonkers. i have so many things to get done that i get paralyzed (remember diy paralysis? i also suffer from holiday paralysis). wrapping, cards, baking, dinner, cleaning, laundry, playing, organizing, sweeping, wiping, diapers, diapers, diapers and more diapers to change.

ah. exhaustion! i just can't take it any more!!!!! and to top it off, my kids are getting more and more disobedient the closer it gets to christmas. they just can't handle the pressure. i finally put out a few, and i mean a few, kids christmas presents yesterday as i thought, "they won't be tempted to open them in just 2 days". wrongo. a child who will not be named just snapped. and walking out the door to grandma's i notice an opened package ever so gently placed back on the pile.

" who opened the present? i asked. no, i demanded.


and then, it was phoebe.
and then it was the cat (the CAT!),
and then it was an accident ,
and then it was nobody again.

"well unless i hear the truth no one is getting that present" i stated. the best part is, it is "prancer's" present. so not knowing to whom it belongs everyone is having seizures at this point.  ( i use reindeer code for their names to discourage gift opening. yeah, that worked awesome)

fast forward 3 hours later. there has been crying. and pleading. and "i did its!" and "i didn't do its!" and a sister who is cajoled into confession. and then, i snapped. i had had enough. i didn't care that the present was opened but the fibbing and fibbing and fibbing! ENOUGH! i said. and i threw the present up on top of the roof.

that was my only option. i was exhausted of the answer of what to do. there was no solution to my tired, frazzled brain and i just wanted it to stop. i threw a present onto our roof. that sounds so crazy now that i write it down.

i called ty and said, "i just threw a present on top of the roof." 

"well, as long as it works."   he replied. (i love that guy)

and guess what, i don't think any kid in our household will open a present before christmas again. but i'm also not going to put presents out under the tree until christmas eve, at like, 9:30pm.

the avarice. the greed. i hate how it so easily smothers out peace, good will and joy at this time of year.

mom, you were right. waiting to do it all is the most brilliant idea in the world.
why do us moms with little kids make ourselves suffer so?


parenting mistake #3: we thought it was like riding a bike

I wouldn’t say that I ever imagined parenthood to be “easy” or that my kids would be “perfect”. But I did imagine that I would eventually learn everything and thus “have it together” and “know what I was doing.” Enough with the quotes already.  Somehow, somewhere, I got the notion that I would figure out parenting and be comfortable with it. Granted, parenting is fun for me. I love my babies, I love kids. I still want to have more kids. I love having kids with my husband and raising them, but as I heard recently, “yes, these are all my kids, and it’s no picnic.”

The first kid came, and she was beautiful. And perfect, and smart, and cute and polite and obedient. We both thought, “dang! We must be doing something right!”. And then our second one came, and besides a rough start at birth, she was the easiest baby and toddler we have had by far. Mellow, happy, a peacemaker (thank you Abigail!).

We had our rules and our perfectly timed naps and bedtimes and our manners and our meals together. And everything was honky dory (sp?). we were good parents! We knew what we were doing! Those other parents were lame! And then, the years passed and we added another easy going baby (again, we got lucky), but something happened, our oldest one kept getting older. I know right? And then she got , like, opinions and all that crap. And oh, she’s a talker. I keep telling her she would be a kick butt lawyer.  And then she started kindergarten and we didn’t have complete control of our day or our schedule anymore, and I was pregnant with our 4th almost the entire first year of school (awesome!!).

AndI started to struggle with being “the mom”, when things weren’t so easy anymore. my kids weren't perfect, i wasn't perfect. i didn't know what i was doing at all! And as hard it was getting to manage three little independent, free spirit souls who are smart and sassy and moving a jillion miles a minute, I still dreamt that when my kids were older, I would have it “together” and “know what I was doing.”. total pipe dream.  Insert My 16 year old niece coming to live with us for a month and I had an epiphany, the mom I am today is the mom I’m going to be when they are older”. I wasn’t the fun, silly but strict, easy going mom that you could talk to. I was the harping, record playing, mean mom that gave the evil eye (hey, it works on 4 year olds) and jumped all over you the second you even wavered from doing the perfectly right thing exactly when I asked.

And here I am today, with 4 kids under the age of 7. And I have no idea what I am doing. Some days I feel that I am not strict enough and I am ruining them. The next day I’ll feel that I’m too strict and I am ruining them. We keep trying out rules and rules and chores and consequences. some stick, others don’t. I’ve found that new and exciting rules and chore charts all have a shelf life of approximately 2 weeks. Because human nature (unless you are ocd, and some days I wish I was) just can’t keep be  perfectly consistent with every single thing, all the time, every day.

So instead of boasting of my parent skills and how I have it together and know what I am doing. I’ll be honest. I love being a parent, but it is hard. Each one of our kids are so different from the next. Different personalities, different strengths, different weaknesses, different needs. It’s like having to run a different obstacle race every single day and not knowing the course. And who can do that? I can’t. so every day I pray for help that I can do the right thing, say the right thing, and maybe teach them something important for the day and that they know that i love them.

But I know now that I will never have it figured out or know what I’m doing.

And I’m ok with that.


if you ever wondered what ZUMBA! is like...

wonder no more my friends.
pure awesomeness.

classes start back up next week
tuesday/thursday nights
Old Overton Gym


you should call us

because then you could get to talk to phoebe. she just loves to talk on the phone. more than a few times a day i have a phone shoved in my face and her saying "ia calla nama!"  "call dampa?", translation: "get grandma or grandpa on the phone STAT!"

the other day her hair was actually done and she hadn't pulled it out...yet. so i snapped a few pictures of her talking on the phone with auntie danna. she is really in such a fun/cute but physically tiring age. she definitely rules the roost.

*showing me how her and dolly dance together


busy and sick. sick and busy.

i was really enjoying this holiday season. i had so much joy and thanks in my heart.

and then...

ty got sick. and then the kids. and i had to rest to get over a womanly issue sickness (tmi!)

and all of a sudden i got behind in everything.

and the sadness wave hit again because it just took one little cold to rock me out of my good groove i had going on. i was really starting to feel a (little) more on top of things. and now the laundry is overflowing and the dishwasher broke (which just makes my dish problem even worse), the presents are unwrapped, and i'm doing the last minute thought mambo in my head: wait? should i give this present to A and the other one to B? or switch them and then give something else to C? when will i get all the cooking done! and wrapping! and send out the cards because we never did last year! and is it ok they won't have photos in them this year? can you send a card without a photo? does lucy believe in Santa Clause still? and my brain is already scrambled so it's just making things worse.

but deep breath here, it's the most wonderful time of the year!

and i'm not going to let social pressures and customs ruin my fun. the cards will not have photos and i'm not sending out a christmas goody plate a plenty this year. and i'm going to be merry and bright no matter what!

even typing that just makes me want to crawl into bed for eternity.

anyone else battle holiday depression?

to cheer myself up, here are some pictures i snapped while lucy and i battled out a rummikub game. (that girl cheats just like her mother used to)


from a house to a home

when we moved into our house it was just that. a house. it had walls, floors, and a roof. it had doors and windows and rooms and a kitchen. getting pregnant with your 4th child after just 3 months of moving into your fixer upper home is not something i would recommend. for the past year i have struggled because the house wasn't "homey" (is that  word?).

so little by little, i've been trying to make little spots that i love. just like the coat rack i made, i've added some other things around the place that make me smile. 

 my santa collection is growing
 i love my new thomas monson drawing(that is not a photo!) from Jordan Jones
i fall more in love with it every day. 
i made the others from a geography book of the places i want to travel, africa, australia and europe. 
and gardening book sketch of a cow- both of our families have dairy farmers.
 one of the cutest additions to the house so far (sorry, couldn't resist!)
 trying to tackle our 40ft long hallway. yes, 40 feet!

and my favorite quote from charlotte's web. 
perfect for when i'm running out the door screaming at the kids to "get in the car!"
*don't mind the not painted trim and door (woops!)


6 months of gratitude

little rodney byron has been on this earth for 6 whole months now.
ty always gets mad at me, because this is the part where i gasp, "can you believe it?!" 
and then i get all psycho and don't feed him his vegetables because i don't want him to grow up.
but that's a different post for a different time.

my back is starting to hurt from lugging around our {not-so-little} love chunk. he is so huge! as of this morning he weighs 21lbs (on our scale at home) & wears 12-18 mo old clothes now. i know, crazy talk. but it is all true. he's a large baby boy, and it makes me sad and pleased all at the same time. does that make sense?

 isn't he a total stud?

so today, on his 6 month mark, i am grateful.
for our beautiful boy that was given to us.
for all of the friends and family that have showered us with help and love (and boy stuff!).
for my husband and daughters.
for all of the challenges we haved faced with this baby. because it has stretched me to lengths i never knew i could go and beyond.
i will always be grateful for my baby boy- because he made me turn to my Savior for help. and my heart will never be the same again.

i am looking forward to enjoying these next 6 months.
because the first baby year is just so deliciously perfect.

*on a "growing out of clothes note", because i can't keep up with rodney's growth. my beautiful next door neighbor Tiffany graced us with ALL of their baby boy clothes. i literally cried tears when i saw the boxes. the best part? they smell just like her house, heavenly. and the girls everyday ask, "was that leo's?" "was that eli's?" and then they ooh and ahh over them.  i love that we still can feel so close to them even though there is 500 miles between us.


there once was a little girl...

 who started with a strong personality from conception
 who my mom says, "must have something important to do later on". which i think is just a nice way of saying, "there must be some payoff for how difficult she is right now."
 when she is good...she is very very good. and when she is bad...she is
this is what i devised after an hour of putting her back into her crib. she is seriously a houdini ninja monkey when it comes to climbing out of that thing. i sat on our kitchen stool for an hour! just to hear her get out. she even learned how to open the door slowly so as to not ring the "jingle" bell i put on there as an alarm. the stroller worked really well as it would make a lot more noise. someone is going to call cps on me after seeing these photos. wouldn't that be awesome!

*apologies for the snotty faced pictures. this kid is like pig pen.


parent mistake #2: we potty trained

When our oldest turned 2 we bought her underwear for her birthday. They were so cute and it was going to be so fun! They had little ruffles and bows and princesses on them! She was a big girl! I mean, she talked about the potty and would ask what I was doing when I went, so of course she was ready! My mom gently suggested, “when you potty train you are only training yourself”  a quote she famously learned from her mother, a pediatric nurse.  And in the back of my head I could also remember my sister in law jill saying, “don’t ever potty train. Wait for them”.  But what did they all know? They only have 19 kids collectively. Pshaw, pocket change.

So we did what any normal first time parents did. We read and read about potty training (ok…I read and then told ty about it during pillow talk). And set up a sticker chart…and potty trained! It was awesome! She loved it!

And then she spent 8 months crapping in her pants! And for 3 years would regress with every vacation, holiday, & change! I couldn’t get in the car to run errands without stressing out. I couldn't go to church of friend's houses without stressing out. Car trips were a nightmare where we would have to bring the baby bjorn with us (a potty I highly recommend, thanks mel!).
The saddest part is that it took years to recover our relationship with each other (her and I) of fighting over accidents and pooping on her sister (and you think I just made that last part up). 
All in all it just stressed out our entire household, and I feel like we lost those sweet moments of 2 yr olds when they are just so happy, care-free and love everything and everyone.

So with our second child we waited. And waited and waited. And when she was 3 years and 3 months she said, “ I want to wear undies today” and I said sweet! And put them on with no hopes whatsoever. And that was it. Potty trained in one day my friends. No accidents. Dry at night in 4 months (she wore pullups at night until then…I only change sheets once a week dudes, ok…more like once a month. Sorry mom!). it was so simple and easy. I wasn’t completely and totally stressed out and exhausted over accidents and public outings. I didn’t yell at her when she had accidents (I think she’s had 3 in almost 3 years) or pooped in the pullup. No stress this time around was my goal. And it totally worked, and she never pooped on her sister. Success!   

So a little suggestion (because Ty agrees 100%) is to try and resist the social pressure and urge to potty train(because it will be there)  and not potty train. Don’ talk about using the potty or if they “want” to use the potty. If you ask a 2 year old if they want a full frontal lobotomy they say “yes” too.  When they come up to you and say, “dude, you don’t walk around with poop in your pants? How do I join that club?” then they are ready.  And I know, know, know, know all you first time mom's will say, "whatever. my kid is much more mature and just so ready!" and that's cool. I did the exact same thing.

* I think I have met maybe a handful (maybe) of moms in 8 years who said potty training was easy for their kid. If you are one of them, then bully for you! Stand up, pat yourself on the back and relish the fact that you haven’t had to scrub poop out of carpet.


losing pickles

our favorite kitty pickles has been with us since we've moved to our little home here. she's been gone now for a few weeks (a tragedy our neighbors told us that would befall an outdoor cat here).  unfortunately i'm pretty sure she was coyote food. the other girls don't seem to mind, but poor lucy has been in mourning. i found this while cleaning just now:

*face looks: tired. how sad is that? poor pickles. i miss her too.


parent mistake #1: we didn't buy a minivan

Tyson and I agreed from day one of marriage that minivans are out. They are ugly, unattractive, rice rocket, mommy mobiles that can’t go where we need them to go. i.e: rocky dirt roads to awesomeness.  I also told ty that if we bought a  minivan my chest would automatically sag 2 inches. The topic was never mentioned again.

Fast forward 8 ½ years later and my sister comes to help take care of me after baby number 4. Our car was out of commission with the a/c getting fixed so she tossed me the keys and said: “take the van”, and with that my whole world changed. Yes, they are ugly, unattractive, rice rocket, mommy mobiles and can’t go “every”where we need them to go (but we also have a lifted 86’ suburban for that): but!…they are the most amazingly awesome invention for families. ever. Holy lower stress levels batman! I could see all my kids! They could strap themselves in! and close and open doors by themselves! And they had space! And it drove like a sleigh on perfectly softy snow! By the time the week ended and she drove away in her asian, gas hating beauty I was banging my head against the wall crying “why? why? why were we so stupid?” 

so when push comes to shove, and you have to get a bigger car. might i suggest the ugly minivan? they are badical.


in passing may i suggest,

* ty and i kicked off our holiday movie tradition with this one. it is one of our favorites. joe juniah!

*i want bangs. i want them badly. i want a lot of things but those sound more affordable than an ipad.

* i officially arrived in housewifery. i had a tupperware party.  their stuff is pretty amazing.

* had fun hanging out till late with my neighbors. those girls kill me everytime.

*there are bloggers that i start to follow, and then i can barely stand to read them. some it only takes a few posts of reading, some years. i don't know if it's that i'm tired of their style of writing or i'm completely jealous at their following. nat the fat rat... no thanks. but cjane i read for a long time and now hardly remember she has a blog...but i just read her birth story. holy cow i don't even know what to think.

*i have been losing a little bit of weight with this baby...and it's been nice. i work out 4-5 times a week and it's starting to make a difference.  i still have 20lbs to lose and would like to do it by rodney's 9 month mark.

*my zumba class and tara's pilates class were in the local paper last week!

*i have really been enjoying this holiday season. our house looks nice and festivelike. and my heart feels like it bursting with joy. glory to God! glory to God! i want to sing to everyone (but my kids forbid me from singing outside of the home. just ask jed wheeler why singing is not one of my talents)

*hunting season 2011 is over. hallelujah. huzzah. goodgraciousi'mgladit'sover.

*i have some fun less-expensive but thoughtful diy christmas gifts i'm planning to make and hope i don't pull a major nosedive like i have in past years and then go out and buy giftcards. blech.

*my niece is getting married in january. i'm sorry, my NIECE is getting married? she was one of my flower girls! holly golly that makes me feel old. besides that, we are so excited to go up to Reno for the wedding. we love reno trips.

*toffee. what is the secret aunt lynne? i either grossly undercook it or overcook it till it's crunchy. luckily ty and the kids will eat anything with chocolate on it.

*we live on 2+ acres and that means mice. yuck! i swear those little buggers crap on only the things that i need to use on purpose. i found the perfect mouse trap bait though, after you make toffee, or any other candy type food that hardens, use the leftovers to coat the trigger- let it harden and the set your traps. works everytime and you don't have to replace any bait! they can't resist the buttery goodness. (if you don't bake you can also chew up some cheap gum, wrap it on there and let dry.


my favorite new dessert

i think i could nibble on this baby all day long

seriously, could he get any more delicious? i think not.

i had to put this photo in, because this is how he always is...with his tongue hanging out. grandma informed us that daddy did this all the time too. it's really cute, but some days he doesn't too look too intelligent like that.


childhood scars

i've never experienced as much fear as a parent when i realized that my oldest will remember what is happening. 2, 3, heck even 5 if your my sister sarah, you can't remember that far back. but 6! i remember being 6! i even remember kindergarten, and i especially remember my good friend mo egan and that i was the only one who couldn't tie the snowshoes that day and i cried in the corner and they put a picture of it on the year book.

monday was one of those days for lucy. she ran off the bus teary eyed and bawling. she had puked on the bus. my kid was "that kid". i can't believe she did it, but she merrily got back on the bus this morning. and oh! how i prayed for her. please don't let those kids make fun of her! something like that  never dies down, kids are like elephants with embarassing crap. i will never forget ben shryock from elementary school. why? because he barfed all over his yearly exams 2 years in a row.

when i hugged lucy and helped her wash off her coat and hair i thought about how that bird pooped on my in middle school. i've never looked at a seagull the same way again.

but at the same time, things like this happen to every child don't they? that's life...things are starting to go a little good, and then a bird poops on your head. i hope she survives this one down.


a holiday feast

inspired by jandee, i embarked on a (hopefully) new tradition for the holiday season. as thanksgiving approached i was watching the commercials and hype of the holidays. and as much as i can scoff and worry about how "everyone" else is celebrating with shopping, giving and going into debt, i thought more about what i really think about for the holidays.

can you guess what it was? at first it was my children and family and what to give them for christmas that they would enjoy. and second, food. yes...food. i thought about making the perfect batch of toffee and grannie's sugar cookie recipe. i dreamt about dove chocolate squares in my stocking and warm hot cocoa and cinnamon rolls at my mom and dad's.

this  year i wanted it to be different. i wanted to focus my holiday celebration on the real reason of the season. the birth and life of the Savior Jesus Christ. starting thanksgiving day i began an accelerated reading of the Book of Mormon.  at about 18 pages a day i can finish on christmas day. i thought this was a crazy undertaking, but from jandee's advice i did it. and although i am early on in the game, only day 6 of 30. i sit down at night after everyone is in bed, turn on the christmas music and read it like a real book. not like "i have to read my scriptures every day" kind of thing. but a "curled up in a warm blanket on the couch devouring the writing" kind of book. i have to write what a difference it already has made in my life. for all the times i've read this book, i've never focused just on the Savior. i can't tell you how much i have already learned about His life, His purpose and His will for us on this earth, and i'm not even to 100 pages yet.

i just want my kids to read this someday and be inspired to do the same thing. it has already filled my heart with joy and purpose in just these few days that i feel as though it might overflow. what a perfect holiday feast.


diy paralysis

when i get an idea on what i want for our house, i then look up how to do it by myself (or better yet, look up how ty can make it by himself).  but then something happens when it comes to actually doing something: i get paralyzed. i want it to be so perfect/unique/me/different but cute that i don't do anything. so i have idea after idea after idea and.....drum roll please...no execution. bare walls. no wallpaper. no picture frames. nothing.

so a little while ago, i decided it it is better to have SOMETHING made other than NOTHING made. does it have to be totally unique/pinterest worthy? no. does it have to work and look semi nice? yes.

and so, i was brave and ordered vinyl from a dear friend kathryn (thanks!) to kick start some projects and have had so much fun making my house a home. my goal this year is a place for everything and everything in its place.

and so on wednesday, instead of cleaning the kitchen to get ready to make pies, i found a scrap of wood, painted it, sanded it, screwed in hooks and made a coat rack for the kids. and guess what? they love it! they are so proud of their little names and hooks and take so much care to put up their coats and shoes. and it has blessed a small little corner of our home. it is not perfect in any sense of the word, but my kids and home are happier because of it. and what's not good about that?


just call us the griswolds

yesterday we attempted to solidify a family tradition. i say attempt, because we have done this 2 other times before, but purchased trees other years, blah blah blah. this year was the year where it is tradition: the day after christmas the leavitt family packs up the car and kids and heads into the mountains to cut down the tree. *helpful hint* if the tree looks really, really, really small in the wilderness, it might, just might fit into your living room. seriously, this thing is huge.

now, we had a really fun time all together and ty and i realized that we are getting used to this parenting thing because we had a really fun time despite the following things happening:

  • the oldest child car sick after 20 min, crying to go home
  • 5 min after oldest stops crying, the 2 year old lets out a toot that leaves us questioning whether it is just a toot or a changer
  • after 30 min of driving we pull over to get the car sickies gone
  • 10 min later the two oldest are sick again and asking when we will get there
  • stop for lunch, feed the birds, nurse the baby, take 3 potty trips while stopped, change a diaper,2 year old face plants into her ranch packet
  • get back in the car, head to blm office and then up mountain
  • find a place to cut a tree dad style. which means, up a rocky cliff full of obstacles my children can impale themselves on.
  • find tree
  • wait for daddy to climb back up mountain to cut it, play "i spy" and sing christmas carols while you oldest rolls her eyes at you
  • hike back to car holding 2 year old and 20lb 5 month old at the same time
  • try and take 4 year old to the bathroom, unsuccessfully
  • play in dirt while daddy ties tree to car
  • take a family picture
  • drive home
  • stop to let the whining kids play, change 2 diapers, successfully teach 4 year old to go outside, take pictures, get in car
  • car has flat
  • sit and watch daddy change the flat
  • head home and set up tree
the best quote of the day was from our oldest while hiking down the mountain, "wouldn't this be cool if it was a ride at Disneyland?" at first i felt like i had failed as a parent, but then i realized, she thought it was fun and held onto the one positive nugget.

i swear i don't teach them how to pose

we saw a beautiful blue heron on the way home, and a golden eagle

if you have any family traditions, i beg you to go call your parents and tell them thank you. because it's a whole heck of a lot easier to just stay at home.  it really was a great way to start off the holidays.


just another tuesday

wake up with rodney, 6am! bring him into room while you fold laundry
breakfast, music homework, make lunches, hair, dress
put baby down for nap
chase phoebe down, dress her and change diaper (it's a poopy one, that's why she's hiding)
get ready for joy school
rodney wakes up
joy school
put rodney down for another nap
hang out with joshlyn and her kids for lunchtime
clean up, put phoebe and abby down for naps
play with rodney, read, try and clean
put rodney down for 3rd nap
fold laundry
work on zumba routines
lucy home from school
homework, play, put on sense and sensibility for the girls
talk to sarah on the phone while you clean the girls' room
dinner. it's german pancakes since daddy is gone hunting...again
bathe, dress, nurse rodney to sleep
come out from putting rodney down to find phoebe drinking out of the syrup bottle
bathe, dress, read to girls
put in bed
put abby and lucy back to bed
put abby and lucy back to bed again
watch tv and bake two apple pies
shower while they bake
finish watching a tv show, put pies on cooling racks
go to bed
nurse rodney
wake up to a crying someone. lie in bed trying to decipher who it is. it's phoebe and it sounds like a throwup cry.
it's throwup (she obviously doesn't chew her pomegranates)
put phoebe in bath, strip down bed, spray, launder, wipe down crib
new pj's, rock for a few minutes, lay her down with new bedding (a blanket just in case she pukes again)
go back to bed
nurse rodney
sleep for a bit
wake up with rodney, 6am! blog while he plays on the ground witha teething ring

rinse and repeat


"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in number, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.  But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.  It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.  I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens." 
-Abraham Lincoln - October 3, 1863





all i can think about when i see this picture is "fat man in a little coat...fat man in a little coat!"

rodney and ty terril are 6 weeks apart.
their dads are best friends.
their dads were born 5 weeks apart.
their mommies really like each other too. so the plan to make them bff's is solid.
you see, tyson and mike were little trouble makers growing up.
baptized same day.
became eagle scouts the same day.
missions. marriage. daughters...and now they each have a son!
i don't think we could have planned it better if we tried.
danielle and i both know these two little dudes were meant to come when they did. 
they've both got some important shoes to fill in the years ahead.
hooray for friends. now if they just lived a little closer...


apparently i was doing everything wrong. go me!

so remember how i mentioned that rodney wasn't sleeping really well? long story short, he wasn't napping longer than a half hour (if that long at all). i would have to lay him down asleep and pray that he wouldn't wake up when i shut the door. he was eating every 2 hours at night. ack! top it all off i couldn't find my sleep bible. i've been looking for a month now as i knew that sleep training was due. so, rewind two days ago and i find the book. place it in the bathroom (only place i can have some peace and quiet).

turns out, i was doing everything wrong. what? after 3 kids you'd think i would remember how to put a baby down to bed. nope. granted, a bout of bronchiolitis and an ear infection kind of threw us out of whack. but really? total goof up over here.

yesterday i thought i'd give it a go since i was feeling confident. i put rodney to bed just an hour after waking up in the morning, which means he was only awake for 40 minutes before i started soothing him to sleep. and guess what? he slept for an hour and a half! and he woke up happy! and he only woke up ONE TIME LAST NIGHT. what?! this morning i could see a light at the end of the tunnel and i called the mental insitution and canceled my reservation.  yay for sleeping rodney! two thumbs up! we're going to make it!


give thanks

for all that you have

for your health, your body, your mind

for your family

for your friends

for your life

for your ancestors

for your home, your clothing, your light, your heat, your food

for the freedom to worship where and how you wish

for everything that you've been given in this world.

don't skip out on giving thanks.

because Thanksgiving really IS something to celebrate.

that is all.


this and that

 hello little blog. do you miss me? i miss you. now that the captain is sleeping more, and he sleeps in the office with the computer, blogging and internet usage is at a minimum.  want to buy us an ipad for christmas? anyways, here is what we've been up to.

a few saturdays ago ty rented a lift from the hardware store to trim our trees. he and his grandpa adams worked all day long on our trees. we have lots of trees on our property (what a blessing, but a lot of work), 25 of them are cottonwoods with dead limbs. so from 8am to 6pm they cut and cut and cut. ty has been spending the last 2 weeks every night after work hauling the limbs off the property. i love that man.
 grandpa adams was the "operator"
 saturdays' are big work days here at the house. so any trips without kids has to be prearranged. friday night i told tyson, "all i need to do tomorrow is go to the thrift store". i had a feeling i would score something good.  and score i did! look at what i purchased:
 one brand new couch, 3 dining chairs in great condition, 1 dish set, 2 unique plates, 4 silver plated serving trays, 1 glass serving tray. all in 20 minutes. i'm totally hooked on thrift store deals.
 our good friends mike and danielle terril stopped by for a visit saturday night. danielle and i had a great time talking about how hard it is to raise little souls, while mike and ty planted our two desert willow trees. it was so cute i tried to take a picture. ty was driving the backhoe, mike was holding his baby and spraying wiht the hose, and eddy was protecting everyone from the mechanical monster (he tries to bite the bucket).
we had a nice relaxing sunday, which is a blessing after all that hard saturday work. ty fed rodney while i got ready for church, and it was so cute i had to get a picture. the captain's like, "dude, put the camera down mom and let me eat!" rodney is eating cereal twice a day now and is sleeping a "little" better. i would like to request he sleep a "lot" better.

other than the previous things we had a great 4 day weekend. veteran's day parade with chandra, our wonderful babysitter all day friday so i could get stuff done, date night friday with the captain tagging along. catching up with old friends at a beautiful wedding reception. native american day at the museum. we've had a wonderful week.
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