Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Button Bunch

Last night we had 8 kids ages 7 and under in our home along with 4 adults. It was the best slumber party ever!
While David, Levi, Brigham and I lived in Rexburg Idaho we lived in an apartment complex (Rexburg Plaza) and were surrounded by some of the best people on the planet, in my opinion. We were all in the same boat; young parents in college without any family near by. We became each others family. One of our dearest friends were Ryan and Berni Button. They were such good examples to our little family. They just wanted to do what was right and it easily rubbed off. Its hard to see how I affect people for the better, sometimes, but there were times when I felt that I was good for Berni just as she was for me. There is something very satisfying in a friendship were you build each other up. It was hard enough to leave our beloved Rexburg, Idaho but it was even harder to leave all our wonderful influences like the Button Family.
Through the years we have been able to visit the Buttons in Rexburg because of trips we took up there to visit Amanda and some of our friends but then it came time for the Buttons to move on to their next phase in life. They moved to Pennsylvania so Ryan could get his Masters Degree. It has been a couple of years since we have seen each other but last night that all changed! Ryan just joined the Air Force and so on their journey to California they came to stay with us for a bit. First we stayed in the house for a few hours to let their kids play with toys and just be anywhere but their van! Then came the outside water time. We played a game with water balloons before the inevitable water balloon fights!
Then we got the slip n slide out along with soap to make it more interesting! After a while Amanda, Steve, and Logan came over to see the Buttons also. Amanda lived with us for a few months while we lived in Rexburg and she got to the know the Buttons pretty well. Amanda's birthday was on the 21st and I wanted to take her out to dinner that night but she wasn't able to to. I thought it would be perfect to surprise her with a cake last night when she wouldn't expect it....well, along with some silly string being sprayed all over her!

There were many times throughout the day and that night that Berni and I would try to have conversations but with so many kiddos interrupting us I finally made the comment to her, "You know, its a good thing that we already established our friendship before our many kids came along because we haven't been able to finish anything!" So we made it a point for just me and her to go out and get some ice-cream before David and Ryan went out to watch a movie together. I knew I missed her but I didn't realize just how much until our time at Braums last night and then later as we stayed up way to late just talking. And it was so fun to be laughing at silly things with our friends back in mine and David's bedroom as the kids slept. It was really the only place we could go without waking up any kids because they were everywhere!
Grandma and Grandpa came by last night to see the Buttons also. They had come out to visit us while we lived in Rexburg and got to know the Buttons a little bit. They really liked them a lot so they wanted to see them also. After they left, Ryan asked me, "Did they come all the way out here to see us?" I know it is only about a 15-20 minute drive but I was reminded of how impressive my family can be sometimes. My grandparents seem to teach me often how important family and friendships are; even if those friendships /meetings were short. If they made an impact on you, you make an impact on them, I guess.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Is it time, already?

I was getting dinner ready this evening when I heard my little singer doing his usual thing; singing some random song to himself. But I have to say I was surprised to hear him singing, "....uh uh uh uh uh uh uh undo it!" I just turned towards Brigham with the biggest smile on my face and proceeded to sing along to see just how much he knew of the song. We were in the van today when Undo It by Carrie Underwood came on the radio. I shouldn't be to surprised, I guess, since he has always been the one to catch onto the "fun" songs that come on the radio/cd but usually he just wants to hear them again. What I usually hear him singing around the house are theme songs to a cartoon, a primary song, or one of the many songs he learned in Kindergarten last year. Don't get me wrong, I love Undo It and I have no problem with Brigham singing it (well, except for when she sings the word stupid) but it was such an eye opener that he really is listening to everything. Is it really time for this? It is time, already, to censor everything?
I'll never forget the turning point, in our family, of when we decided to change what came out of our TV and into our home and what we watched in the theater. I was in the hospital with Levi in my arms when David started thumbing through the channels. I just remember hearing some random cuss word and it being so very offensive to me all of a sudden. I couldn't handle this precious new spirit just out of the presence of God listening to that! It took a few months of adjusting but before long David and I made the commitment not to watch anything above a PG rating. For about 5 years we continued doing this. I also remember coming to visit Oklahoma, probably for Christmas, and being at the branch when Allison Andrasko commented in class about her home being a "safe haven" for her family. I loved that! Since then, David and I made changes in our home to make that safe haven for our little family. But not to long after Hyrum was born I slowly let things seep back into my life. Commitments were broken and I slowly became more and more disappointed in myself. Many things have happened since then and in no way am I saying that the bad things that happened were directly related to watching PG 13 movies or listening to music that I had given up previously or any of the other things that I had let slide. What I am saying though, is that I have no doubt that my guard wasn't up as high as it was before and slowly, very slowly, things began to crawl into my life that made it all the more easier for Satan to make his way into my little safe haven. I have been thinking about this for a months now. Knowing that I was happier in times past but being smart enough to put in my life what Elder Uchtdorf said in General Conference in October of 2009, " ...there are so many "shoulds" and "should nots" that merely keeping track of them can be a challenge. Sometimes, well-meaning amplifications of divine principles - many coming from uninspired sources- complicate matters further, diluting the purity of divine truth with man-made addenda. One person's good idea- something that my work for him or her- takes root and becomes an expectation. And gradually, eternal principles can get lost within the labyrinth of "good ideas." I have no doubt that at the time our commitment to changing what came in and out of our home was inspired. No doubt at all. But I also know that things happen in a person's life that can be quite unexpected and people change. And as much as that person may want to be who she was before, it can not happen overnight. Sometimes not ever. So I have changed the way I look at things. Instead of feeling terribly guilty at who I have become, I now see this old me as an example of what I could be but being smart enough to remember what President Uchtdorf said, "one person's good idea" may not work for everyone. I am a different person. The change that occurred in my body after having Hyrum is real. I am not the Alisa of Rexburg, Idaho. Maybe I never will be again. I can only look to her as an example now and hope for her but to love myself as I am now. So for a few months I have wrestled with the idea of going back to the PG thing. Just me, not David. I will not change my family; just me. Of course in the end it will change my family but right now, I just want to work on me. Build myself up and gain confidence. So I have been doing the PG thing for a month or so now and it feels good. Maybe that is as far as I will go and maybe I'll be just fine with that. But after hearing Brigham sing today I have a feeling that I will be shifting gears and thinking of my family a little more. But I want to be wise. I want to take it slow. I want to pay attention to what the Lord wants the Alisa of today to be.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hyrum and Logan's birthday bash!

Logan's birthday is on the 8th and Hyrum's is the 31st of July. Since they are only a year apart in age and they still are so young to not really care we decided to combine their birthdays and head to Chuck E. Cheese's. We had to go to Arkansas but the ride was beautiful. It sure is a green state. Plus, we had a blast riding in our convoy of 5 family vehicles, texting each other back and forth making each other laugh! Once we got there we ordered the pizzas right away and tried to use as many of our coins on the rides/games while we waited. Grandma and Hyrum were cute together. He just always seems to go with her when we are in a group setting like this.
So we chowed down on pizza, opened the presents and got to the yummy cakes! Logan is a Wow Wow Wubbzy fan whereas Hyrum is in love with Yo Gabba Gabba.
I think this is the favorite part of birthdays for the kids; getting to lick the icing off of whatever is on the cakes. They don't even ask anymore. They know that once the Happy Birthday song is sung that it means they get to attack the cake!

We still had TONS of tokens after the party and so even the adults were playing whatever they wanted.
It may have been the little one's birthday but they didn't seem to be to excited about Chuck E. Cheese himself!
Hyrum has been telling everyone that he is 3 for a while now so we don't have to mess with that stage that toddlers seem to go through as they try to figure out what number to show on their fingers when strangers ask how old they are. It's kinda weird celebrating his birthday so far before the actual date.....I guess we'll just have to party on his birthday too!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

It's time for yet another July birthday post! My Mom turned 48 today and to celebrate, my sisters, Tricia, and I took Mom to a scrapbooking house in Bernice, Ok. April bought a new pair of comfy pajamas for Mom along with some junk food. Amanda bought Mom's birthday cake along with some junk food. I made dinner along with paying for Mom's way into the crop tonight. And Tricia brought us some more junk food! Needless to say, we had plenty to keep us going through out the night.I could have put a different picture on here but this one is a good one of Mom and more importantly, it captures how nasty my sister is.....yes, I caught her in a burp! Yet some how little Mrs. Halle Berry still looks beautiful!
Once again; thanks for having a birthday, mom!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday, Brigham!

Brigham has been anxiously awaiting this day; asking daily of how many more days until his birthday. I know that is probably just about how any child acts but its just so fun watching YOUR CHILD get excited about a day that is all him.
We started his party off with a Slip n Slide that Nanny and Poppy got for the party. Huge hit, of course! But as I turned on my camera to start taking pictures, this is the first shot that I get. Yes, even my camera hates the humidity here! I have walked outside and looked up in the direction of the street lights and have been able to see the water in the air. There are times that I have had to use the wind shied wipers because of the water that has built up on the windshield from the humidity in the air. Oh....will I ever get used to this? Anyways, back to the birthday boy!

I love this picture so much. Just before this picture was taken, he had just gotten over his second big cry of the night. First was a water balloon ambush that Daddy had asked him about earlier today as we were filling up the balloons. Daddy had mentioned everyone throwing water balloons at the birthday boy at the same time and I mentioned that it could be in place of the birthday spankings that some people do on birthdays. He got a big smile and said he wanted to do that. So I thought I would surprise him tonight and act like I was taking special birthday pictures of him all the while his cousins are coming up behind him ready to pelt him with water balloons. Yeah, mommy didn't think ahead to tell them to throw them at his feet. I couldn't even post the picture because it still makes me sad! It really hurt him and to top it off it happened in front of everyone. I really felt terrible for him. He soon got it together so we decided to bring out the birthday cake. But all it took was for Levi to talk too loud in his ear to set Brigham off into tears again. I think I love this pictures so much because you can still see the emotion in his eyes even though he is trying to "keep it together."
As usual, Nanny made an amazing cake. I make cakes but I do not decorate so birthdays have always consisted of buying cool character cakes at Wal-Mart or Target. Thank goodness for Nanny because they get the best birthday cakes ever now that we are here!
He was so stinkin' cute with opening his presents! He honestly was excited about every single one of them.
I had to put this one on because it is just funny to me. The Moore family got him other things but they added some food to his gift feed his tape worm! No, he doesn't really have a tape worm but we tease him about it all the time because he is ALWAYS hungry! We have lovingly named his "tape worm" T-Rex! So it was fitting that tape worm would get a few presents also!
At this point the Wilson family had arrived and it was time to break out the water balloons (minus the ambush of a certain birthday boy!). As you can see it was just the kids throwing the water balloons at every one's feet (and yes, that is Levi attacking the camera woman!) until....
....the grownups got involved!
Daddy made the mistake of showing Levi this trick!
I love you so much Brigham. I do. I love how you teach me to see the literal things in life. I love those sparkling blue eyes of yours. I love how you defend people. Yes, I even love your makes for a lot of laughs at times. And I love all your one liners! You just might be too smart for your own good!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Words of Brigham

Brigham asked me, just a few minutes ago, if he liked Yo Gabba Gabba when he was a baby (its Hyrum's favorite show). I told him no because it wasn't on TV back then. He then asked me what his favorite show was when he was a baby. I told him that he loved the movie Cars. Levi then asked me what was his favorite show. I told him that he really liked things like Diego and Dora. All it took was for Brigham to hear Dora to make him laugh! Levi made some comment like, "What?! Dora!" Then I was brought back to the memory of my Grandma Thatcher sending us one of the many care packages that her and Grandpa sent us when we lived so far away, with 2 DVDs in them: Over the Hedge and Little Mermaid. Which one did Levi watch over and over again? You guessed it: Little Mermaid! He would walk around the house in his 2/3 year old voice singing the famous part of the movie, "Aaah, Aaah, Aaaaaaaaaah...." So I decided to tell him that he used to love Little Mermaid too. I should have known that the following would have come out of Brigham's mouth to Levi: "Did you even know that you were a boy (at) that time?!"
Funny thing is that Brigham really has been all boy, ALWAYS! Even as a baby he liked to be around men more than he did women. I'll end with what is commonly heard coming out of my mouth: How in the world did I get two completely different boys when they are only 18 months apart in age?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

girls + hotel room = fun!

Valerie, who lives in Arkansas, came to Grove to stay the night with Crystal, who was visiting from Texas. We all went to school together but I didn't know Crystal like I did Val and Pounce and it had been years since I had seen her. I couldn't believe how very much the same she looked! Pounce called me a few hours ago and told me they were going to pick me up and that we would go and get some ice cream. The ice cream was good and all but the real fun happened when we got back to the hotel room that Valerie and Crystal were staying in tonight (the little girl is Crystal's niece). Who says that you need games or alcohol or food or whatever for entertainment! All we needed was old memories and a few bouts of gas to keep us laughing!
I love you girls!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy 50th Birthday, Dad!

I have a very young Dad. He was only 17 when I was born. All my life I have heard things like, "That's your Dad?! He's so young!" Even so, I still can't believe that my Dad turned 50 today. We really wanted this day to be special for him so we planned a surprise birthday party for him at El Vallarta in Jay. He thought he was having a daddy/daughter date with April but instead he had all of us waiting on him. There were 2 tables and 3 booths full of people, black balloons, presents and a cake. One of the things El Vallarta is known for is birthdays. They always bring out sopapillas, Mexican hats, and end up smearing your face with whipped cream after singing Happy Birthday to you.

One of the best parts was Logan crying after Poppy got creamed....and Hyrum thinking up of ways to eat Poppy's face!

Poppy got a kick out of Hyrum licking his face!I hope you know how much we love you, Poppy-Dad!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mom verses Dad

This is why I think David is a better parent than I am most of the time: Look at all that toothpaste slobber on his shirt!

Unfortunately I think to much of the mess that will need to be cleaned up afterwards instead of the lesson that Hyrum could learn in doing it himself. I sure am glad we have Daddies around!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Aunt Linda!

Aunt Linda, Dad's sister, lives in Washington but is staying with Mom and Dad for about a week. Aunt Linda and Dad's sister, Michelle Willingham (Mickie), died last week. She had a heart attack and was on life support for a few days before she passed away. As they always are, death and funerals are something no one wants to attend or be a part of but if there is anything positive you can find out of them is that of family gathering. Aunt Linda flew into Oklahoma to travel with Dad and Mom to Georgia for Mickie's funeral.
Unfortunately for Aunt Linda, Mickie's funeral was on her birthday. So we really wanted to do something for Aunt Linda while she was here with us to make her birthday a somewhat happy one. She thought she was coming over to April's house to come over and swim, which she did, but really we just wanted to celebrate her birthday. Isn't she pretty? Some people get prettier with age. Not many of us do but I have to say that I really think that Aunt Linda looks prettier now than the last time I saw her over 13 years ago.
Some of the things I remember about Aunt Linda:
-My family always told me that I had "aunt Linda's nose" growing up.
-That I always thought that Aunt Linda had a very distinct voice and I still do. If she was to call me in 10 years from now and I hadn't talked to her in those 10 years, I would instantly know it was her before she told me who she was.
-That she puts up with Dad! My Dad is very much a kid at heart and just like he does with us kids, he loves to pick on her. She just yells, "Ronald!" but he always goes back to picking on her which tells me that he knows she can take it and that they have that type of relationship that he could do that with her and enjoy it.
And probably the strongest memory is how much she likes Oklahoma. I remember wishing that her, Ray, and the girls would move out by us, when I was growing up. For some reason she seems to like all this heat and our redneck way of life.
Happy 47th birthday Aunt Linda!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July

I usually ponder on this day much more than I did this year. I think a lot about our soldiers both now and past. But as I'm finishing up the day and writing on here about tonight I'm realizing that I wasn't as "in tuned" with the day as I usually am on the 4th of July. I hope I am not like that next year and remember my many blessings because of those soldiers. I did have a good experience at church, though, with a girl whose Dad is leaving for Afghanistan in a few months. Jasia Liftee is this sweet teenager in our branch that is always coming up to me and giving me hugs. I'm not sure I deserve all the attention she gives me but she loves me all the same. She came up to me today after sacrament with just a hint of tears in her eyes and gave me the usual sweet Jasia hug. I held on tight this time, though and asked how she was doing and when her Dad was leaving. Asking her that made me think of the possibility of losing her Dad and instantly I was so thankful for her and her family and what they will be sacrificing and what they already have in years past. And I am so grateful that David is here with me. I know it is selfish. But it's true. I'm so grateful.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 69th Birthday, Grandma!

Today is my Grandma Thatcher's birthday. Today was also the night of the Grove City Fireworks for the 4th of July. So when Spring Houck invited our family to come and sit with her family a few days ago, I thought what a perfect way to surprise Grandma with some attention! The majority of my family was there along with the Wilson and Houck families and the missionaries. In all we had 30 people there which made it all the funner. Here is April trying to get Grandma's cake out to her without the wind blowing out the candles. I think she made it just in time!
The is the gift from her great grandbabies. It is a "MeMaw's treasure box." Inside were chocolate goodies and notes from each of her great grandchildren.
I love this picture! I love it when you can capture a picture in the middle of a laugh! April, Morgan, Amanda, and I were kinda doing this chain line of getting the cake out to everyone. We got down to the very end and I guess Morgan and April got up at the same time, the cake wasn't balanced anymore and well, you can see the outcome! I think they both felt bad at first but I just laughed and thought it was so funny and a perfect moment for a picture! Before we knew it, I think everyone got a big kick out of it.

While we were waiting for the fireworks to start some of us walked over to where the firefighters were passing out free watermelon. Can you believe some of the slices they were handing out?! And I couldn't pass up a staged picture of the kiddos spitting out their seeds at me.
I didn't even try to attempt to get any pictures of the actual fireworks. It was nice just to sit back, watch, and not worry about getting the perfect picture.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Avatar: The Last Airbender

I'm not a cartoon lover. When a new cartoon comes out and we have the funds to take them to the theater to watch it I always seem to find a way out of taking them. The kids know pretty much that if they get to see a cartoon in the theater that they are going with Daddy or that MeMaw and Pa are taking them. I'm the same way about renting cartoons. I usually clean the house or something while the kids and Daddy watch it. So it was a nice surprise that when David started watching the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender on the Nickelodeon channel, that I actually liked it. Aang is such a good little boy on the show and I like the humor in it. So when M. Night Shyamalan made the movie of it with real life people I was actually excited to see it. Sure, it wasn't a cartoon but hey, progress right?! Anyways, we invited Uncle Steve to come with us and as you can see we came decked out!It was so fun watching the boys get excited as we talked about putting Aang's arrow on their heads. I felt almost as giddy as they did....ok, maybe even a little more!