Jaron’s 15th birthday

  
I seriously cannot believe this kiddo is turning 15 years young today!  I love him more everyday. 

I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he said, I just want maple doughnuts. Soooo, your wish his wish was granted and he was to the moon and back that we got him a dozen just for him in addition to his gift. 

He wanted to go to IHOP for dinner tonight.  He has always been a big breakfast fan. 

Happy birthday Jer!

General Conference-Saturday

  
  
One of my favorite weekends of the year… General Conference. Oh how I love hearing from our leaders. This conference was especially historic in that three new apostles were called: Elder Ronald A. Rasband, Elder Gary E. Stevenson and Elder Dale G. Renlund. I am excited to get to know them better. 

  
There were so many spiritual insights and tidbits; however, here are some of my favorite take-away’s from today:

• We didn’t marry perfection, we married potential. (Elder Robert D. Hales)

• You are rich if you can live happily within your means. (Elder Robert D. Hales)

• We must be engaged in intentional parenting. (Bradley D. Foster quoting Boyd K. Packer)

• There is no darkness so dense, so menacing, or so difficult that it cannot be overcome by light. (Elder Vern P. Stanfill)

• Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure. (Elder Dallin H. Oaks)

• Be peaceful. Believe in God. Be faithful. You are doing better than you think you are. (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland) 

  
The evening finished with my boys going to the priesthood session of conference. Love that Trevin wanted to go with the others even though he’s only eleven. 

Jaron’s Scout Hike to Mount Timpanogus 

Yes, I snatched the pictures from Facebook. Looks like tiring fun!

   
    
   

All in a day’s time….. 

Some days just seem to be jam packed full of things that need to happen, today was one of those.

. Woke up and had breakfast.
. Andy and I discussed our schedules for the upcoming week for about an hour, deciding who was taking who where. 
. I left to present two boys from the Paradise Ward with their Faith in God certificates from the Stake Primary. 

. When I returned back home, we were having a song practice at my house. I agreed to play the piano for a quartet performing today: Julie Andrews, Gloria Pulver, Tara Hansen and Heidi Bates. We practiced for about ten minutes when Andy goes running out the front door.

  
  
. When Andy came back in the house, he said to Julie Andrews, “Your car was just hit and the driver drove off; however, I got their license plate.” We called the police and got the ball rolling. She hit the car with such force that it moved Julie’s car up on to my grass and into my peach tree. Come to find out found the lady that hit Julie’s car lives in our neighborhood. Her version of the accident differed 100% from our account. She said she was swerving to avoid a scooter in the middle of the road. She also claimed to have left a note on our door. When all was said and done, she was arrested for drunk driving and fleeing the scene of an accident. Not very cool!

. At 12:45 p.m. I left for church, arriving early for Jaron to prepare the sacrament. Our musical number was very nice. The new Relief Society Presidency spoke on the importance of eternal perspective. 

. The second hour of church I visited the Riverbend Ward. Their Primary is really struggling (leadership-wise). Their Primary president is fantastic and just needs some extra support. 

. I returned back to our ward for Relief Society where Tara Hansen taught the lesson on respecting the elderly. She is such a delightful teacher!

. After church I went home and got dinner going. While it finished cooking, I ran a birthday present over to Kristy Flanders. Then I dropped a treat over to Julie Andrew’s hoping to help her day end a little sweeter after the whole car incident. Then Emalee and I visited Doreen Evans for a bit. It was fun catching up with her. 

. We finished up the evening watching a movie Jaron chose called, “the Woodcarver”. It was a really good movie that basically had the theme, “WWJD – What would Jesus Do?”

Half Marathon

Four thirty this morning my alarm went off. (Today was the day of the Revel half marathon.). My mind screamed, “No, say it isn’t so!” as I got out of bed. But it was so. Andy was up and at ’em a few minutes behind me. 
All four kids were at four different houses so there wasn’t a concern I would wake one of them. Ashlyn slept over at John and Liberty’s, Emalee at my mom’s, Trevin slept at a friends house and Jaron was on a Scout overnighter. 

  
Andy dropped me off at the finish line, where everyone meets to be bused up the mountain. I loaded the bus at about 5:40 a.m. Once I got to the top of the mountain and got off the bus, it was freezing cold! Every participant was given an emergency blanket for this reason. It was a sea of silver foil. 

  

I started the race at 6:55 a.m. and kept a good pace through most of the race. My thighs were very sore running downhill for so many miles. 

  
  

  
I certainly wasn’t the fastest, and I didn’t train for it (I was gifted the ticket from Liberty because she decided not to run) but the scenery was beautiful. I am also proud of myself for the fact that I finished. I did it!!   

  

“Laboring” on Labor Day

We were true to the holidays and “Labored” all weekend long. Jaron and Trevin decided to camp out in the backyard last night, which they loved!  Jaron got up early, excited to make chocolate chip pancakes for the family. He is a great little chef. Emalee was watching everything he did, wanting to be his helper. 
After breakfast we got to work. Andy, Emalee and Jaron worked together while the other two paired off with me. Together we cleaned out cars, defrosted the freezer downstairs, did yard work, laundry, washed blinds, mopped floors and even rotated all the water in our food storage room!  
The bummer deal today? My dryer broke! We’ll have to troubleshoot it a little more, but for the time being I hung wet laundry all around the house until it dried.  
Afterwards, we finished up homework due tomorrow, had showers and met up with my mom for dinner. We decided to go to the new movie, “Once I was a Beehive”. It was really cute. I love how Ashlyn looks over at me whenever there comes a point where I might cry. I didn’t cry this time but she always sneaks a look at me to check out if I’m crying. I use to do the same thing tiny mom. Not sure why really but I did. 

  
On the way out of the movie theater Jaron and Trevin really wanted to play an arcade game. Jaron did really well and earned two small stuffed animals. On the way to the car he said to Trevin, “Today must be my lucky day!”

We finished up the day by starting the Old Testament together as. Family. We figured since Jaron was reading the Old Testament in Seminary this year that we would help support him. We also changed our family scripture study time to nighttime. We’ll see if that sticks of if we’ll go back to mornings.

Navajo Taco Day

  
Alton slept over last night and the kids had a blast playing together this morning. Each child begged for Alton’s undivided attention (in their own way).

However there was one occasion when all the kids hung out together to look at an older picture album turned into a book.  

  
Church was very uplifting and awesome. We had a combined Relief Society / Priesthood lesson on the Sabbath Day. I left the meeting with an increased desire to do more to make Sunday’s even more special and sacred.

  
(A snapshot of Andy and I at church today)

After church we started getting dinner ready. (We invited my mom and John’s family to join us.). While some of us prepared dinner, Ashlyn and Alton played the game Scattegories. Ashlyn loves that game!…but she loves winning even more.

 
Andy and Emmy worked on making the Navajo tacos together. It’s one of his favorite foods to make. He made it often while he was on his mission since it’s a food they never had in Taiwan. 

  
 
Once everyone went home and the kitchen was clean again, I could relax for a bit. Ready to start another week. 

Saturday – Soccer Day

  
While the day may have started with catching up on homework, the rest of the day was filled with soccer, soccer and more soccer.  We had six games from Park City to Draper.

While Jaron was getting ready for his game, Andy asked if he and Jaron were close to the same height. He’s not there yet but it won’t be long!

  
I dropped Ashlyn off to her soccer game and her team was so excited to see her again. Her game went well…she even scored once during the game winning 3 to 1.

 

Emalee on the other hand was thrilled to get a piece of mail addressed just to her! It was a card from Mimi.  It sure made her feel special. 

   
Jaron has had a particularly hard time adjusting to the time difference. He fell asleep at 4:00 p.m. and would not get back up, so I let him be.  Both he and Ashlyn did that yesterday and ended up waking around 2 a.m. this morning. I wanted them to stay up tonight until (at least) 8:00 p.m. Ashlyn made it but Jaron did not.

Trevin begged Andy to let Alton sleep over tonight. With a lot of begging and a few extra chores, it was approved. They played hard tonight. Before the sun went down, they played soccer at the park behind our house.

  
Here are the sweaty and smelly kiddos!!

They’re back!!

So the first part of my day was spent in Centerville at a meeting for Sugardoodle. We are launching a blog called the Soul Spa. I met some of the lead bloggers, went over contracts and took pictures and videos for the blog. (Don’t mind my triple chin! It’s hard to take a picture of seven people when your arms are only so long!)

  

I had to leave the meeting pretty abruptly because Jaron and Ashlyn’s flight was arriving. Flight 57 from Amsterdam had my two babies and part of my heart.

  
Even though their flight arrived early, it still took them a while to go through Customs. It seemed like everyone was mostly off the plNe and my kids hadn’t come out yet. Suddenly, Margaret (Mimi’s sister) appeared and was getting off her shift. She offered to go check on their status for me since I wasn’t allowed back there. 

 

A few moments later these two appeared… They were tired but in good spirits.

   
 

Our first stop after the airport was Grandma’s house. She had picked Emalee up from school so I could go to the airport. 

  
We visited with her and then went straight to Jaron and Ashlyn’s school (Riverview Junior High) to pick up homework. School was just getting out when we arrived giving them a chance to say hello to some of their friends and find their lockers. (Emmy and I decorated the inside of them lockers last week, so they got to see the treats and school supplies we left for them.
  

Meanwhile, Trevin had been invited to spend the afternoon with two of his good friends, Atti and Roman. They went out to dinner and then enjoyed a soccer game, where Trevin was thrilled to get his ball signed by one of the athlete’s!

 
  

By the time Trevin came home, both Jaron and Ashlyn were fast asleep. In fact, they were out no later than five o’clock. I let them sleep today but it won’t happen again tomorrow because they need to adapt to the change in time before school starts on Monday.  

However, I wish I could have video recorded Kai’s response to Jaron’s return. As soon as we opened the front door and Kai spotted Jaron he started whimpering and crying. Jaron was just as thrilled to see his favorite dog. He brought him home a dog bone and Kai was in heaven. 

Yeah, it’s off!

Emalee has had an orthodontic device in her mouth the last few month’s to help with tongue thrush. She was soooo excited to get it off!  We’ll go back in six weeks and make sure all is well. 

Trevin doing his homework…

 

…while Em and I made BBQ chicken salads for dinner. 

  
I just got a text from Quinn letting me know that these two are at the airport right now and will be boarding to go home in a few minutes!!!! So happy to have them back home. My heart can’t wait .

   
   

A long day

Last night was a long night…. Our smoke detector kept chirping because of a low battery; however it was hard to tell which one it was and it is practically deafening! All this going on in the middle of the night!! Ugh.. Not cool! 
I stopped by Planet Fitness after dropping the kids off to school and got a quick workout in. 
  
At 10:30 I drove up to Centerville to meet with a good friend of mine, Allison Kimball. We had another lunch date but this time at her house. We had such a good time chatting, catching up and hanging on together. It is an understatement to say she is talented. (That will be a whole other blog post.) In a nutshell, I adore her!

  

Andy left this afternoon for Wisconsin (business trip). He’ll be home late tomorrow night, so it’s a quick trip. Hate it when he’s gone! He texted me a picture of the view from his hotel room… (Rough huh?)

  
I took Emalee to Brain Balance and soccer tonight. I barely survived as my head was throbbing from a growing headache. Going to bed right now in hopes of sleeping it off! 

  
(Emmy is in the blue penny)

  
This girl with a splitting headache is signing off…over and out! 

Good but strange…

It was strange waking up on our own in silence this morning. With Jaron and Ashlyn in Germany and the other two at John and Lib’s for a sleepover, it felt a bit too serene…too quiet. I took it in, but it felt strange.

I visited the Oakhill ward for a bit before heading to our ward. Again it felt a strange not having any children with us. The air conditioner was blowing with full force and I always forget to bring a jacket. So Andy does his best to keep me warm, bless his heart.   

 

  
 
(The wagon made it a piece of cake to haul the food and other stuff over to the park….. really slick!)
After church, we had a BBQ with our home and visiting teaching families/sisters at the park behind my house. Julie Warner and her kids, Melissa Wyatt (my companion) and her family and Mindy Hill (a family Andy home teaches) came to our dinner. I was sad not to see everyone come, but we enjoyed each other’s company and the fabulous weather! Time well spent. 

     

Once we cleaned up from dinner, Andy and Trevin started kicking a soccer ball back and forth on the front lawn. Emmy, on the other hand, was riding her bike in the sidewalk. I watched them for a bit and then decided to call Mimi and Opi and see how they were doing. We chatted for quite a while, it was nice to catch up with them. 

Another week bites the dust. 

A friend from the past

I ran into an old co-worker of mine this morning. We use to work together at IHC in the patient advocate department. It was one of the best jobs I had, along side fabulous women. So when I saw her face this morning, I thought, “I know her….how do I know her?” It took a good fifteen minutes, but I got it. (Hey, my kiddos took the best I had when they were born…scary what I have to live off of!) 

 

We chatted and caught up with each other. I asked if I could take a picture of us together before I left and she said, “Inevitably when I don’t wear makeup, a camera gets pulled out.” Another lady who was listening to our conversation said”I know…I never go anywhere without makeup anymore for that reason.”  

Trevin had a soccer game this afternoon, first one of the season. They won 8 to 0. Off to a good start.

While grocery shopping, Liberty called and invited Trevin and Emalee to sleep over, giving Andy and I some time alone. At this point it was 8 p.m. We dropped them off and they were elated to go.  

Andy and I decided to wrap up a few things at the house and watch a movie together. I told Andy to check the freezer down stairs but I was sure we had ice cream. He dished us up both a bowl and we watched our movie. Not long after finishing the ice cream, my body started cramping a lot. My stomach was loud and it honestly felt like someone was stabbing me. I don’t know if it was due to the sugar or the fact I haven’t had dairy for the last six months, but the ice cream and me did not agree. 

I have taken some medicine but for now, ice cream is not on my wish list any time soon. Ugg!!!!

Productive for once….

Some days are more productive than others and today was very productive. It felt good to get back into a routine, now that the kids are in school. I really enjoyed summer with the kids but I’m ready for routine…which is the very thing summer lacks. 

  

Jaron sent me this picture today. I love his smile and the picture in general. Sure miss him but he and Ashlyn will be back home in a week. 
Most of me afternoon was spent on the telephone with my insurance company. For months now we’ve been trying to get Andy scheduled for an ultrasound of his liver.  Our doctor is concerned about some things and wants additional tests. However, each time we schedule something, the facility calls us back saying they are out of network and to call our insurance company. So I call them back and each time they tell me, “you can go there, it’s a participating facility.”  Back and forth, back and forth.  So it was no surprise really to get the call again this morning. Andy’s appointment is scheduled first thing tomorrow morning. So I made phone call after phone call to keep the appointment and document everything I could. We are set and planning on keeping the appointment. It’s only taken nine months to make it happen, yes nine. Good thing it wasn’t life threatening!
I made stuffed peppers with my uncle’s produce for dinner (that he shared with us from his garden). I also made zucchini bread, several loaves actually. I’ll shred the remaining zucchini and freeze it for future baking. I am doing the corn and beans tomorrow. Plus, I’m making peach fruit leather for Trevin tomorrow from my own trees. We are very blessed with more than enough food!

  

First day of school….

Trevin and Emalee were both bright-eyed and bushy tailed this morning. They were excited to start a new school year, see their friends and meet their new teachers. 

  

I picked both of them up from school and we headed to Em’s Brain Balance appointment . On the way there, they both proceeded to tell me about their day. It dawned on me how much I love picking them up and having those few moments with them after school each day.  

Later in the evening, Trevin had soccer practice at Grant Elementary. At the same time, Andy and Emalee went to Tae Kwon Do. Fall is back in full force!

Jaron on the other hand got to go to the Copenhagen, Denmark temple today.  Lucky guy!