Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our very first (and last!) . . .

We finally did it.  Our family’s first garage sale.  The kids have always wanted one but I’ve never been patient enough to gather all of our treasures (crap!) together at the same time and then WAIT until the big day to carry it all out into our front yard.  It’s just so much easier to clean out one room and take all of the  unwanted, neglected toys to our local thrift shop right then.  

My house was was long over due for spring cleaning.  It was exploding with stuffed animals . . . in the storage closet, toy boxes, kids’ closets, beds, floors.  I finally decided I wasn’t willing to store Jack’s frog collection or Ryan’s monkey collection indefinitely, until they had their own children.  I came up with a plan.  They could keep all of the money from their stuffed animal sales if they would let me sell them.  They chose their favorites and kept a close eye on the remaining ones throughout the day.   

Ryan made one last quick look for any monkeys he wanted to keep after someone tried to buy his beloved “Cha Cha”.

It was a fun experience but I would never do it again.  It was so much work and preparation to get all this stuff together and presentable.  Garage sale people are only looking for steals and don’t want to pay more than $2 for anything.  We ended up spending more money on batteries for the toys than we made on the toy.  We still had a lot of stuffed animals left over.  I ended up buying them for $.50 each from Jack and Ryan so I could take them to the DI.  They walked over to the grocery store and spent all of their earnings on chips, drinks and gum.  We ended up making around $150 which surprised me since most things sold for $.50 to $1.   And the best part of having a garage sale?  I was finally forced to  clean out the toy room, storage room and closets!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Worth the wait.

Happy 39th Birthday Gavin!  I bought U2 tickets for Gavin’s birthday.  Not this year but his birthday last year.  I felt instant regret after buying them.  Knowing they were my favorite band, not Gavin’s.  Spending way too much money on the tickets when I could have purchased less expensive seats.    Then right before our scheduled show Bono hurt his back and needed emergency surgery in Germany.  Our show was put on hold for a year.  I thought about the tickets from time to time wondering if I should just take them back and get a refund.  It wasn’t like we hadn’t seen them before.  We saw their Elevation tour 10 years ago and it was good but nothing I’d spend hundreds of dollars on again.  Luckily I never did anything with the tickets and let them sit in our drawer for 15 months.  No regrets with this show!  It was nothing like I’ve ever seen before.  The stage, the music, the lighting, the message, the vocals, the backdrop (blue skies and snow-capped mountains), the memories, my hot date.  All of it!!!   They put on an incredible show!  I’ve grown up with this band.  It’s been the soundtrack of my life.  Each song representing a different time . . .  junior high, high school, college, dating, shouting out the songs with my best friend as we drove all around the city, pre-mission, marriage, children, triathlons (Gavin’s, not mine).  All of the big times in my life had U2 playing in the background.  Well except for the day I got married.  That had a lot of Celine Dion but one day when I re-do our wedding video, I’ll be sure to at least include “Beautiful Day”! 

Turns out it takes a lot of trucks to haul all of the band’s stuff around.  Not to mention that stage that was almost as big as the stadium!

The stage

A little bit of the show.  The video doesn’t do it justice but it’s the best I’ve got.

Better video footage of All I Want Is You/Love Rescue Me from the show.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One of a kind

We feel extremely blessed and grateful to have Gracey in our life.  She made an instant connection and friendship with Morgan two years ago.  That scary day when we weren’t sure if we had made the right decision to have Morgan not go back to the cluster classroom but attend her regular neighborhood school for 1st grade.  Not sure if she would fit in and be included with her peers.  Gracey reached out to her and took extra special care of Morgan.  That friendship and love continues to grow and we can’t imagine our life without Gracey! 

She made the big decision to get baptized and wanted our family to be a part of her special day.  She asked Gavin if he would confirm her a member of the church.  It was such a privilege to be included in such an important event in her life.  She is the most tender, sweet, loving, caring 8 year old you will ever meet!  She cried through the entire thing and seeing her pure joy made everyone in the room cry happy tears along with her.

The cute sister missionaries who taught Gracey about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

You continue to amaze us Gracey and we love you so very much!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

End of the school year.

Which means lots of performances.  Recitals.  Awards.  Field trips.

We got to go eat lunch at school with Morgan.  She always gets so excited when she sees us walking down the halls or catches us peeking into her classroom.  So you can only imagine how excited she was to have us stay and eat lunch with her!
She had her 2nd grade music program.  I was smiling ear to ear throughout the whole performance.  I love watching Morgan interact with all of her classmates and friends and seeing my girl do the same thing all of the kids her age are doing.  Morgan’s unpredictable and I never know if she’s going to happily participate or sit with her finger in her mouth, looking down at the ground.  She started sitting and not wanting to do it but as soon as she heard the music she couldn’t help but stand up and sing along.

Ryan earned the Tiger Pride Citizen Award “Cooperation" for his 6th grade class.  This award is usually only given to one student in the classroom but Ryan’s teacher decided to give it to Ryan and his best friend, Tate.  She said the reason she chose two boys this time was because they cooperate all of the time with each other.  They are always getting along even though they might compete with each other.  If they see someone being left out, they are always the first ones to go over and ask them to join their group.  It just felt like the right thing to have both boys earn this award together.

Ryan is receiving this award for cooperation.  The sixth grade teachers know that we can 
count on Ryan to cooperate with us in and out of the classroom.  
He is always willing to help the teachers and his classmates.  Ryan sets a good example 
by cooperating with the teachers the first time he is asked.  Ryan works hard 
and is a good friend to many students.  He is a great example to all of the students.

Ryan and Tate with their teacher, Mrs D.

I got to tag along on Ryan’s field trip to the zoo.  It was a perfect spring day and weather for the animals.  They were all awake and playful.  So were the kids.

Jack had his final band concert last week.  He had a solo in the concert and did so well!  He’s really loved playing the trumpet and surprisingly never complained about having to wake up early several mornings a week to go to Advanced Band practice.   

All of his hard work paid off.  Check out this trumpet solo.  Go Jack Go!  (He is not the crazy dancer kid in the middle but the one on the back row, far right).

Griffin has really loved his preschool.  He’s made lots of new friends and gets asked to play by someone everyday.  It keeps him busy but he loves it!  He’s all about friends and play dates!

He got to be the circus ringmaster at his spring preschool performance and did such a cute job with all of the songs.  It was just last year that he refused to sing any of the songs and just sat there asking me how much longer until the program was done.  You’ve come a long way, baby!

He told me that this was his favorite song.  “Because it makes me miss you when I sing it at school”.
Ahhhhhh.  You know the way to your mama’s heart!

We took all of the kids out to lunch after their school program.  

Watch out Kindergarten!  You’ve got a wild one coming to your school!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


My dad is going in for surgery in the morning and was lucky enough to spend the day in the hospital today.  Getting chest xrays, blood draws, respiratory therapy teaching, etc.  We decided he needed a little more chaos in his life and took the family up to see him tonight since the kids won’t be able to visit him tomorrow in the ICU.  He’s having a lung biopsy to get an exact diagnosis.  Please keep him in your prayers.  Thanks! 

Friday, May 13, 2011


We spent the evening at The Gateway for Hadley’s singing/dancing performance last night.  Since it was such a beautiful Spring day, we decided to make it a family affair.  We were actually a little hot as we watched her perform with the sun setting on our faces.  Not that I’m complaining because I love the warmth and sunshine and it’s long overdue!  It was such an enjoyable evening.  I love it when we find an activity that works for all of the different ages in our family.  It was fun to experience a different part of our town, too.  I always feel like I’m a tourist walking around The Gateway.  

Hadley is the group, Sensation, and did such a good job!  I love watching my girl dance and sing with a big smile on her face!

Hadley and her friend, Jayden

We sat on the stairs around the fountains while we watched the performance.

Dinner in the Courtyard.  

Frozen Yogurt.

Enjoying the warm weather and frozen yogurt together.

I’m proud of my girl and the progress she has made this year.  

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day! 2011
Hey “mamba”  “LOOK” “uno” we “Skor” “100 grand” cuz u r a “smartie” not a “lemonhead” don’t be a “Butterfinger”  “Rolo” over 2 ur “sweetharts” and give ‘em a hug! xoxo

I’ve always dreamed of being a mom and anxiously awaited the day of having my own baby placed into my arms.  I’m still amazed that all of these beautiful children belong to me.  Motherhood is a much harder job than I ever expected.  It took becoming a mother before I fully appreciated my own mom and realized what an amazing job she did with all of us.  Sacrificing her time every night to kneel down with each child by their bed to say prayers together.  Laying down by each of us every night to tickle our backs.  Home cooked dinners every night.  Hot breakfasts every morning.  Sack lunches for school.  Skipping dessert so one of us could have seconds.  Driving us to piano, softball, dance, baton practice, friends houses.  Making every vacation a family vacation, didn’t matter if it was Lake Powell or traveling around Europe, my parents took us everywhere even though it would have been easier and probably more enjoyable to leave their six kids behind and go as a couple.  My mom is amazing and I am so lucky she is mine!  I love you mom!  Happy Mother’s Day to you!

Germany 1976

Switzerland 1979

Being a mom is not an easy job and one that I know I could do better.  Every night I resolve to be a better mom for my children, to be more, but the next day I seem to be the same ol’ mom I was the day before.  Luckily my children love me just the way I am, imperfections and all.

I woke up this morning to Griffin calling out, “Wipe my bum, mom!”.   It just seemed so appropriate to start off my Mother’s Day with a little bum wiping.  I headed out to see patients and when I got home I was greeted by anxious, little faces, excited for me to open up all of their homemade goodness.   By the way, I think dad’s get the raw end of the deal with Father’s Day being in the summer.   They miss out on all of the cute things that the kids make in school.

Mia’s cute picture from nursery

Ryan’s top reasons he loves me and a coupon book:

I hope Ryan is okay with me listing his top 10 reasons.  I thought they were so sweet.  His coupons were quite specific, like do the dishes (unload only), picking up the dog’s poop (once).  He told me he had to keep them realistic so that he would actually do them.

1.You encourage me to do my best on everything.  I really like that about you.  You are awesome.

2.You don’t get in fights with dad.  You will never get in a divorce.  You always get along with him.

3.  You manage to control all of the kids.  It is really hard with Morgan.  I am amazed how good you are.

4.  You take time to find out how my day has been occasionally.  You help me when I have troubles. You are amazingly radical.

5.  You cook me food.  Without you life would be so boring.  Especially with just my dad.  You are funamenal.

6.  You give me stuff and you are not very overprotective.  I really like that about you.  You are the best mom in the whole world.

7.You love and care for me.  I am SO GLAD I am not an orphan.  You rock.  I wish you were alive forever.  I would never choose a different mom.

8.  You are very strong in what you believe in.  Which will help me a lot with my kids and having them go to church every Sunday.

9.You could never hate me and I would never hate you.  Even if I say that (which I don’t) I really don’t mean it.

10.  You are the best mom in the world.  I could think of 100 reasons why I love you but I only need ten.  I LOVE YOU.

Hadley made me this cute framed picture of flowers and taught herself how to stitch my name and her name.  Love it and can’t wait to get it on my wall!

How can I not love this sweet note from Morgan?  I know how long it takes to get her to focus and write one word so to get a whole letter from her means the world to me.

“Mom, I love you because . . .
You help me with my homework.
You took me to disneyland and on the pinocho ride
thank you mom
Morgan Seal”

P.S.  She hated the Pinocchio ride!

My new ‘bee bracelet’ from Griffin:

Griffin was most excited for Mother’s Day.  He brought home his gifts on Thursday and hid them under his bed.  He asked me how many more days until Mother’s Day.  He got so excited when he found out it was only 3 days away.  He’s so used to hearing 60-90 days when he asks those kind of questions.  “Mom, how many days until Christmas?  How many days until I turn 5 years old?” etc.  I thought I saw something with chocolate on it and told him he better hide it somewhere else so the dog wouldn’t get it.  Hopefully the dog enjoyed eating my m-n-m’s because Griffin was so disappointed when he found the package missing on his card.  Dad saved the day and bought him a new package.  We played the m-n-m game today after church (each color stands for a different question).  His gift was this cute bee bracelet--my new, favorite accessory.

It was a perfect Mother’s Day!