Thursday, August 28, 2008

We Can Help

Today is Nie Nie day! Who is Nie Nie? She is none other than Stephanie Nielson, the one I wrote about earlier who is suffering from a terrible plane crash. She is beloved by many people around the world, and in her honor, they have decided to call today Nie Nie day. People all over are having silent auctions and all proceeds will go directly to the Nielson family to help pay for huge medical expenses. Go to our Extraordinary Housewives blog to see one of the auctions and get more info. Also, check out Design Mom for tons of great auctions. is amazing how many people are participating! Go join in on the fun!

If He Builds It, We Will Come

On Sunday night, we went for a drive with the kids, much to Brek's dismay. Their loud, noisy voices and Brek's headache were not a good combination.

We went to see our land. What land?? Well....let me tell you about our land.

After much searching and thinking and searching some more, we finally decided to purchase some land on the river. I only wish I had taken a before picture, so you could see what a huge transformation has taken place thus far. It has not been an easy transformation. There have been many stepping stones, or should I say disasters, along the way!

There were only a few things involved in these near disasters....

a bulldozer,

an excavator,

the land,

and, oh yes...the most important husband!

Now, before I tell you the story, let me first say that my husband is truly amazing. He is so smart and can almost always figure out solutions to problems he may face. He never gives up. When we first found this land, it was marshy, mosquito-infested land. And much like the early pioneers in Nauvoo, he has drained all that marshy land, which was the first of many improvements.

He has torn down trees and a dilapidated old shed. He is in the process of digging out a pond with running water moving in and out. He is going to plant hundreds of baby trees, which are now residing in my back yard, along with strawberry and raspberry plants. Those are just a few of his ideas. So, when I say the man has vision, I'm not just kidding!

Now, with that said, let me take you back to last fall. Brek had finally purchased the land and was ready to begin work. He had acquired an excavator, as well as the use of a bull dozer for a short period of time. He wanted to spend every spare moment digging and digging and digging.

I mentioned a time or two (or three or four or fifty!) that perhaps he should hire somebody to run the equipment for him...somebody who knew what they were doing. He was using very heavy equipment in very muddy, marshy ground, and I was afraid he might sink something! I told him my concerns, but he informed me that he knew what he was doing, and there was nothing to worry about.

Thanksgiving was coming upon us. Brek wanted to do some work in the morning before we joined our family for dinner. I, however, wanted him to be around, helping prepare food, playing ball with the kids, whatever. Holidays, in my humble opinion are family days, and I wanted him around, even if we were doing nothing. So we compromised. Brek would go "dig" early, knowing we would all sleep in. He would be back early enough to spend time with us.

However, disaster struck. Just as I had feared, he drove into a bad spot, and the bulldozer began to sink. Hours went by, and I gave up wondering when he would return. He came flying into the house, just as we were about ready to leave.

He took one look at me and said, "I know, I know. Don't even say it!" But of course, I couldn't resist a good 'I Told You So!' He had called his dad, his brother Brad, our friend Jared....anyone he could think of to HELP! They had miraculously saved the bulldozer.

I would like to say this was the first and last problem, but that just wouldn't be true. I would also like to say this was the first and last time anything got stuck. But again....that would not be true! You would think he would learn, but apparently not. He has sunk the excavator on more than one occasion, sunk the bulldozer again, knocked over a fence, flooded out the neighbor, cut a gas name a few things!

His dad grounded him from driving any more large equipment on our property, but since he is a grown man, I guess he figured he didn't have to listen. I'm pretty sure his dad grounded him in hopes that he wouldn't be running to his rescue again anytime soon! Running to Brek's rescue generally means lots of hard, back-breaking work in the mud. We love you Kent!

The land project has been halted for a time due to equipment problems, but resumed again last weekend. Who knows when we will actually move out there, but when we do, it will be beautiful! What a view we will have!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You got stung how many times??

On Sunday, Luke got stung by a bee at least 4 times, one of those stings being right between his eyes. After the initial crying and hugging and fixing, the bee stings were pretty much forgotten.

That is, until Monday morning when he came walking down the stairs. For a moment I wondered what on earth had happened. Did somebody punch him in the face? Then I remembered.

The bee sting....right between the eyes.

The stings were all very swollen, the one between his eyes looking the worst. He was swollen clear under and around his eyes, and looked a little...well, very different. This picture does not do justice (poor guy).

Fortunately, he was oblivious, as he wasn't in any pain.

For lunch, I suggested a picnic outside with fun books to read. However, I would have been wise to check the temperature BEFORE suggesting this fun little outing.

It was hot....roasting, melting, sweltering...whatever you want to call it. It was so bright that Luke and I decided we needed sunglasses.

Luke and Ben liked eating apples.
Luke at his like a piece of watermelon,

and Ben sucked on an apple core.

We read some of our favorites, and Luke played on the swings.

Then, for the best part. We all went in the house and Luke and Ben BOTH took a nap. Ahhhh...heavenly!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Who needs a hot tub....

When you can make one yourself!

Last night, Luke came running in the house asking for a swimming suit. I, of course, told him no, considering the fact it was almost dark, and verging on chilly.

A little while later, I realized I could hear water running, so I went outside to assess the situation. And this is what I found.

I was surprised, to say the least, for a few reasons. First, they weren't shivering, and second....Luke was running around in his birthday suit....or in other words, he was completely naked! It didn't help much that his little bum was a glowing white in contrast to the tanned skin on the rest of his body. It was like a burning beacon for all to see.

The kids were laughing and splashing, and when I pointed out how cold it was, they told me No worries! This is a hot tub!

I always wondered why Brek had that hot water option in the garage, and now I know!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Your prayers are needed

For the past hour I have been reading about a family who has suffered a huge blow. One of my favorite blogs to visit is I do not know cjane personally, but very much enjoy reading the things she writes. A week or two ago, Courtney's (cjane) sister, who lives in Arizona, was in a plane crash with her husband and one other person. The third person died, and both Stephanie and her husband are in very serious condition. They were both burned severely...Stephanie was burned the worst. (Stephanie is Courtney's sister). Courtney has been keeping everyone updated on her sister's condition via her blog. Stephanie and Christian (husband) have four small children who are awaiting the return of their parents.

Why do I share this with you? As I have read about this family and the trial they are going through, I have felt an overwhelming....well....a mixture of feelings, really. Sadness, worry, love for this sweet family, gratitude for my family, etc. Even though I do not know this family, I am touched by their strength. I am touched by the hundreds and hundreds of people who are reaching out to this family. It is amazing how so many small gestures of kindness add up to such an overwhelming outpouring of love.

My heart reaches out to them, especially the children who are without their mommy and daddy. I think of my own dear children, and how hard it would be for me if I weren't able to be with them.

I feel an overwhelming gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who loves us and comforts us in our trials. I am grateful for my knowledge of eternal families. My prayers will be with this sweet family, as I hope yours will be.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Off They Go

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

These ever so popular words to the well-known Christmas song have been flitting through my head all morning long. And why, you may ask?? Because it is the first day of school, of course!

I must admit, I have been a bit sad as I realized how quickly school time was coming upon us. But one trip to Wal-Mart yesterday, with all 6 children, to get groceries and school supplies cured me of that one!

Just to give you an idea of the level of chaos that seems to surround me when we are all together...
On my way to the store, my mother-in-law called. After a couple of minutes she said, "Do you have all the kids with you? Because, it is really loud." And what do I say to this?

Amen, sista!

There are benefits to having my older kids come along. They can help gather groceries, help keep track of small kids, etc. However, on the downside of things, I always end up with several surprise items, and I have been known to lose a child or two when under the watchful care of one of their older siblings! So, to avoid this yesterday, we had three carts....I pushed one, Scott pushed one, and Josh pushed one. Luke was in one cart, Ben in another, and food in another. However, by the time we made it to the check-out lane we had three half-full carts. Lovely!

As my sister once said when she ended up in line behind me and my bulging shopping cart, "I hate it when I get stuck behind people like you!"

But we survived, the children all got what they needed (no thanks to Wal-mart and their lack of school supplies!), and today they are all off. I took two very excited little girls to school this morning, and two excited, but trying to act cool about it, boys to school.

On a more serious note, as we prepared for school last night, Brek gave each of the kids a father's blessing. This is something we do each year before the kids start a new year of school. As I looked at each of my children, my heart swelled within me.

There was my amazing Scott, who can accomplish anything he puts his mind to. My kind Josh, always mindful of others and always willing to include anybody and everybody. My beautiful Sydney who tries to do her best in anything she does. And my sweet Madelyn, whose smile always brightens my day.

And then there was Luke, who after watching a few of the kids, decided he needed a blessing as well, and plopped himself on the chair in front of Brek. Little Luke, who fills our home with laughter. And, of course, Ben who we love so much!

What a wonderful family I have. I am SO blessed!

Monday, August 18, 2008

How Quickly They Grow

My how you've grown my little Ben! Imagine....just a couple of months ago I doubted that you would ever crawl. This doubt stemmed from the extreme dislike you had for your belly. Anytime you would find yourself on your stomach, you would scream. And I do mean scream! Occasionally you would roll over, but you quickly learned that produced undesirable results, and so gave up rolling all together.

But look at you now! Not only are you crawling, but you are learning all sorts of new tricks. You are learning that you can make funny noises with your tongue, you wave Hi, you call out Ma-ma-ma-ma when you are in general distress, and you are starting to pull yourself up onto things.

And, on top of all that, you have two new teeth, which both poked through on the same day. Yes, it's true...two teeth in one day!

It is amazing to me how you have seemed to grow so much overnight! When you began crawling you probably didn't think too highly of it. But that could be because you always seemed to crawl backwards. Actually, I don't really think it could be classified as a crawl, but rather a scoot. How frustrating for you. As you tried to work your way towards some sort of treasure, you would instead find yourself moving farther and farther away from it, until you would end up in some far-off corner of the room. But, now there is no stopping you!

Boy do I love you!! Especially when you snuggle up to me, sucking your thumb in that oh so cute way you do. I know, I know....sucking your thumb is not a good thing, but it is awfully cute!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What a Day

Summer is almost at an end, and we finally made it to the pool! What a crazy summer it has been....with spudman training, family vacations, boating, and who knows what else. So yesterday we all went to the pool with my sis and her cute kiddos. We had a great time.

However, despite the fun had by all, there was a moment when my heart stopped for fear of losing my darling little boy. Luke has decided he loves to swim. He hops in with his life jacket and away he goes. But then he got cold, and in order for me to snuggle him warm, I took off his life jacket. I will not bore you with the details of why I was distracted, or why I never imagined he would jump in without a life jacket, because the fact of the matter is that he did jump in. Someone ran over to us and pointed to the water where I saw my little boy under the water!

My heart is beating faster just writing this and I am feeling anxiety just reliving the moment. My sister saw what was happening before I did, and jumped in to save him. What did I do? I scooped him up into my arms and never wanted to let him go. I felt like burying my head in his towel and sobbing.

What scares me the most is that somebody else saw him....not me. How could I have missed that? What kind of a mom am I?? As I lay in bed last night, I felt panic coming on as I thought of what could have happened.

I am so upset at myself, but at the same time, I am so grateful to others for being aware. I feel so blessed. Elise turned to me and said, "I think sometimes we have angels watching out for our kids!" I completely agree. I feel so much gratitude for Luke's safety. What would I do without my little guy who is such a bright spot in our home.

Did I mention my heart is filled with gratitude? Because it is. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who watched out for us yesterday.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Outdoor Breakfast

The girls and I (and Ben) went to breakfast this morning with Dad and Darla, and the Anderson clan. It was a beautiful morning....not too cold. And although we enjoyed the breakfast, the kids' favorite was climbing the big tree beside the deck where we were eating.

Well....that and the hot chocolate.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Summer Fun

A week ago, our wonderful friends the Days came to visit (well, half of them came). We just love them! They are like family to us. Jasmine, Brandon, and Savannah came for a few days and we had a great time. It was so much fun catching up with Jasmine and watching our kids pick up right where they left off. You would think they had never been apart.

We went boating, swimming, to a super fun birthday party with a huge inflatable water slide, to the Twin Falls Temple open house, and to Harris Pond.

The boy slept on the tramp every night, and the girls had fun playing with the kitties.

Here are just a few of many pictures. A picture can sum up all the fun so much better than I can!

Here are the boys trying to catch a fish while at Harris Pond. It kept them occupied for quite some time, and to my amazement, they eventually came out victorious, catching one of the ugliest fish I have ever seen!!


Uncle Jordy came to Harris Pond with us, and the kids had so much fun with him. He even took Luke on the zip line.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Date Night

For Brek and I....

and Luke.

As Brek and I were leaving, Luke came running out of the house crying to go with us. We decided to bring him along, and let me just say that we had a great time! We thoroughly enjoyed the time we got to spend with our little Lukey. We are in complete agreement that he is just about the cutest thing around!

He loved golfing with us, and carried his golf club with him the entire time. He carried a couple balls in his pockets, and hopped out to hit a ball every now and then. He especially loved golfing when we got close to the hole. He always had his eye out for the flags, or "blags" as he would call them. He would drop his ball near the green and smack it. One time he hit the ball and it rolled to within inches of the hole! He ran up, gently nudged the ball into the hole, then yelled, "Woo-hoo! I made a birdie!"

If you asked me yesterday what Luke thought a birdie was, I would have told you a know, like the ones that fly around and build nests. But apparently Luke is up on his golfing lingo enough to know that a birdie has something to do with the ball going into the hole!

He was also very helpful....running to retrieve balls and tees, helping drive the cart (good thing he's got a few years to practice before hitting the real road!), and giving helpful tips along the way.

One of these helpful tips was given to me as I was putting. After I hit the ball, Luke pointed to the hole and said, "No mom. It goes in here."

Thanks Luke. I'm sure I'll do much better next time!