Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jingle Bells, Lukey Style

Today Brek was playing his guitar and singing Christmas songs with the kids and I, while I made cinnamon rolls. He was singing Jingle Bells. When he started singing the second verse, most of the kids dropped out.

This is how it went....

(Brek singing)
A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride,
and soon Miss Fanny Bright
was seated by my side.
The horse was lean and lank
misfortune seemed his lot.
We got into a drifted bank
and then we got up... (pause)

Luke chimed in: EARLY!!

If you know anything about our mornings, you will know that we had a good laugh over that one!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Place Like Home

I am HOME!! It is true what they say....There is no place like home. After spending a wonderful week in the sunny Caribbean, I am glad to be home.

Brek and I had a wonderful time relaxing and enjoying the WARMTH! We did some snorkeling, lots of reading, watched a few movies, and had a great experience attending church at a small branch on the island of St. Kitts. We also enjoyed exploring around Puerto Rico for a couple days as we passed through on our way to and from the island.

But we were both ready to come home. We missed our kids, we missed our home, and we were ready for real life again.

It was so fun to see the kids this morning. Ben wasn't quite sure what to think about me for a few moments, but it didn't take long for him to start planting kisses right on my lips! And from that moment on, he wanted to be my permanent attachment, screaming in protest whenever I put him down.

I had so much to do, but instead, I just held my baby boy. I turned on Christmas music, and danced around the kitchen with Luke and Ben. We teased and laughed and had fun together. It is GOOD to be home.

I was able to see Lana and Jeff last night and wished I could stay longer. I was also able to see little Emma briefly (she was sleeping). How are they doing? we walked down the hall towards them, Lana called out, "Welcome to Hell!"

Actually, they are doing as good as can be expected. Jeff and Lana are probably both exhausted as Emma requires much attention day and night, but it doesn't show. A side effect of being in survival mode. If all goes as planned, Emma and Lana will be coming home on Tuesday (Jeff rode home with us.) They will make the trek to Primary Children's Hospital once a week for chemo treatments.

If you want more info on Emma and how she is doing, go to the Extraordinary Housewives blog where Lana has been updating.

I will post pictures and tell more about our trip soon.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My friend in need

My heart is breaking for my dear friend Lana who has just learned that her 8 year old daughter has leukemia. Emma is such an amazing girl. She loves life. She always has a huge smile and many stories to tell me. She is always writing or drawing something, and she always has some sort of little treasure or two or three with her. I love this little girl. I love her mama. I wish I could take the hurt away. I wish I could take the pain away. I can't stand to see these people who I love so very much suffer. If anyone out there is reading this, will you please include them in your prayers.

How grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father who knows and loves us. He knows the Gibbons family and he will not leave them alone in this their hour of need.

Monday, November 17, 2008

If I can't find a reindeer, I'll make one instead

When the leaves began to change colors and fall from the trees, my children began dreaming of jumping into piles of leaves. Sadly, our home is not the greatest place for such recreation. Our trees are still young and therefore do not have many leaves to shed. But the longing for piles of leaves did not subside.

Thus plan B was put into action.

As I pulled into our driveway after church, I saw Syd, Maddy, and Luke each carrying large garbage bags full of who knows what. I questioned, and they excitedly told me they were leaves. As they were walking home from church they decided to "borrow" the leaves that our neighbors had so kindly raked up and put into bags....just for us, apparently! The leaves were transported to our back yard, a huge pile was created, and the fun began.

And now we get to rake leaves. All for the sake of a few hours of fun. Was it worth it?! Definitely.

To be like a little child

Yesterday I enjoyed some sweet moments among the craziness. During church I was able to go into primary and watch my kids as they practiced for the Primary Program. The program is next Sunday and I will be gone (this is killing me!), so the primary leaders kindly offered to let me be an audience yesterday.

Sydney and Maddy played their violins, Josh sang a solo part, and they all said their parts. Maddy made me smile when she stood to give her part. She was so proud to have her part memorized and said it with a smile! The girls played very well on their violins, and Josh sang beautifully. I didn't know he could sing like that. It was so sweet.

My heart was touched as I watched Josh put his arm around Maddy when she finished saying her part to tell her good job. I saw similar displays of kindness among other children. Older brothers proud of little sisters, quietly complimenting them.

My heart was touched as I heard the children sing. The sound of children singing primary songs is one of my favorite sounds. Their goodness shone through. Their simple, yet strong testimonies were evident. The Savior loved the little children. He counseled us to become as a little child. They are so full of goodness, always quick to forgive or show love to another.

(Maybe I should print this out and stick it in my car, on my bathroom mirror, on my refrigerator, etc. Because there are definitely times when I "forget" that they are full of goodness!)

But truly they are. Their behavior is far from perfect, but their hearts are so good.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A hard day of play makes Luke a tired boy

Brek wants to know what is up with me and taking pictures of our kids when they're sleeping. But, when Luke fell asleep up to the dinner table, I just couldn't help myself. He is darling, wouldn't you agree?!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Laundry Issues

THIS is why my boys do their own laundry.

What is that lying on my laundry room floor? Oh, you know...just a swim suit! Yes, it is November. And yes, we have not been swimming since school started.

Do you see where I'm going with this? Where did the swim suit come from? I have no idea. But I am pretty sure that it is already clean. Clean clothes thrown in with the dirty clothes does not make mom so happy. Thus, my boys do their own laundry. If they feel compelled to rewash their clean clothes, then so be it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When we're helping, we're happy

What did we do for an activity after Family Home Evening this week?

Well....Brek was complaining of a back that was in much need of a good hard massage, so the kids decided to help him out!

Wasn't that nice of them?!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Soooo Sleepy

My little Ben has had a hard time with the time change. that I think about it, the time change may have nothing to do with it. Luke may be the source of the problem. Luke, who wakes up at the crack of dawn, flips the light on in their bedroom, waking Ben from his deep slumber.

What's the problem? Well, the poor little guy can't seem to make it through the morning without falling asleep somewhere! I will suddenly notice a drop in the noise level, then go in search of Ben. I will usually find him on the floor, out cold.

He will crawl around until he finds a blanket lying on the floor. If he can't find that, he will settle for a shirt or some other soft article of clothing lying on the floor. And on the rare occasion that there is actually nothing lying on the floor, he does not give up, but will search a bit harder.

This is how I found Ben a few days ago.

I found him lying on the floor, half inside his closet. He had found blankets on a shelf in the closet, pulled one out, and fell fast asleep.

I'll say this much about my younger kids. They certainly learn how to fend for themselves. When busy mom isn't around, they just make do on their own!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nature's Beauties

We enjoyed a beautiful sunrise a few days ago. It filled the entire sky. Gorgeous!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

To Bose or not to Bose

Like his dad, Ben loves music. His dad has shared music with him from the time he was a tiny baby. Ben loves it when his dad sings to him. He has always loved it. Have you ever heard the phrase 'Music tames the savage beast'? Well, often times that is a reality in my home.

When Brek is in charge of keeping Ben out of trouble, out comes the guitar. When Ben cries because it is time to go to bed, out comes the guitar. Brek is teaching Ben at an early age that Bose headphones are the only way to go. Much better quality of sound.

A couple of nights ago, I put Luke and Ben to bed. While I was still in the room, tidying a few things up, Brek walked in with his guitar. He sat down and began playing. Simon and Garfunkel resonated throughout the room. Ben squealed with glee, jumped up, and began dancing and singing along. A picture just doesn't do justice. The girls gathered around and we all laughed and danced with Ben.

Families are great, you know. In them are found many small moments of delight. How lucky I am!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Halloween has come and gone once again. The weather was very cooperative, and the kids had a great time trick-or-treating. I'm pretty sure some of my kids made the neighborhood loop more than once. I went trick-or-treating with Maddy and Luke while Brek manned the candy post. He sat on the front step, handing out candy to the many, MANY trick-or-treaters that hit our neighborhood.

Trick-or-treating with Luke is quite the experience. There is no need for speed in that kid. He slowly plodded along, checking out his pumpkin and all the goods inside. Occasionally he would feel the need for a little sugar-boost and reach in for a treat. He completely ignored my complaints about his lack of speed, and continued on in his own little world.

That is, until the rain hit. At that point in time, I quit urging him to move quicker. He no longer had a choice in the matter. I took his hand and we ran for cover. Luckily the rain didn't last long.

The kids all looked cute in their costumes....especially little Ben. He was one cute little monster. And as long as he had a sucker, he was happy as can be. I'm pretty sure my kids went without dinner and just loaded up on candy. I suppose I won't be winning any mother of the year awards. Oh well. A girl can only do so much, you know!

It would appear the color of the day was blue. Go Cougs!

Scott and Josh (and Josh's buddy Davis) decided to be BYU fans. Lack of dinner can be traced back to my involvement in painting shirts, spray-painting hair and bodies, painting faces, etc. Those boys were quite needy!

At last, the photo shoot is over, and we are off. Let the good times roll!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pumpkin Carving Time

Pumpkin carving is one of those things my kids love, and so we do it or not.

It is a tradition. It must be done. In fact, this year we were carving pumpkins the night before Halloween, well after bedtime.

I will say, however, that this year was much better than last year as far as pumpkin carving goes. Last year, Ben was a week and a half old, and Brek was in China. I was on my own. (You see what I mean abut pumpkin carving being a must?)

This year I had Brek. Thank heavens.

We both cleaned out pumpkins (Brek saved the seeds), and we both helped carve. And this year, for the first time ever, three of our children carved their own pumpkins all by themselves! Poor Luke could barely keep his eyes open by the time we were done. But he perked up when we lit the pumpkins and turned off the lights!

If I was fun like my sister, we would have watched a fun Halloween movie by the light of the jack-0-lantern's glow. But sadly, I am not that fun. Plus, I don't really love Halloween or Halloween movies. Now Christmas....that's a different story.

Any-who....we carved, we conquered, and the pumpkins glowed their little hearts out on Halloween night!

Madelyn wanted to be a dinosaur for Halloween. A dinosaur?? We have a pretty Cinderella costume, or a fun cheerleader costume, but she would have none of that. So a dinosaur she was. And she wore the costume for a good 3 least!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pumpkin patch time once again

Last Monday we finally made it to the pumpkin patch, after a couple of failed attempts. The pumpkin patch has become a tradition in our family. Halloween just wouldn't be Halloween without a trip to the pumpkin patch.

In case you're wondering if the pumpkins get picked over, the answer is yes. We weren't able to find the usual huge pumpkins we find, but the kids each found a favorite.

As we arrived, we discovered Luke had no shoes (or socks) on. So Luke and Ben rode in the wheelbarrow with the pumpkins. I was the wheelbarrow pusher/photographer, and Brek helped locate pumpkins. Along with the usual pumpkins, we also came home with a few mini pumpkins....Madelyn's favorite. Maddy loves all things small. They are treasures to her.

We topped off the night with pizza, eaten at Brek's work while he finished up a few things. What fun!

A Few Words from Luke

Hi. My name is Luke. And I love, love, love to take baths!

As a matter of fact, this could possibly be my third bath of the day. I usually get in at least two. Whenever I hear the bath water running, I run to the bathroom, take off all my clothes and hop in before anybody can stop me. Sometimes it's my sister's bath, sometimes it's Ben's, and sometimes it's my mom's. But, no matter. We're all one big happy family, right?!

This is my little brother Ben. He loves taking baths, too. He would play in there for hours. But sometimes he cries and wants mom to get him out. Do you think it's because I keep dumping water all over his head? Naaahhhh. That couldn't be it.

Oh, and Ben also loves the dishwasher. He drives my mom crazy, because he tries to pull all the dishes out while she's loading. She tells him no, but he doesn't really listen. He thinks he's pretty funny.

Actually, I think he's pretty funny, too!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Typical Saturday? I don't think so.

What did I do today???
(I'll give you 3 guesses)

Go to a football game? No.

Clean my house? No.

Run a half marathon? Yes!!!

It's true. I ran a half marathon today, and I am so very proud of myself! I am also very tired and have very tired legs. But, I finished. And I did it in 2 hours. So, three cheers for me!

What am I going to do tomorrow?

Go to church, of course, then hopefully catch up on all those posts I meant to write last week. The pictures are building up. They are calling out to me. I must record all the good times! It was a full week.

What am I going to do right now?

Absolutely nothing!