Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday, Hyrum!

Hyrum turned 5 today.  I am so grateful he is such a small boy.  I love that he seems so much younger than he actually is.  I want him to stay "Bitty."  I am grateful we live in a place that Kindergarten is only a few hours long because I get to keep him all to myself just a little bit longer.

Tonight he had a Luigi party with the Adams and Wilson Families, well, and Katie of course :)
We played pin the mustache on Hyrum/Luigi.  
After being spun around a few times, most found it hard to get the target.
However, Brynlee is my kind of girl and cheated!  Just like I informed her Dad, Shannon, tonight:
"It isn't cheating if you let people know you are doing it!"
I used that line many times growing up while cheating on games with my sister, April!
I love how it is almost just as fun for the rest of the kids to watch someone else open up gifts :)
I found this cake topper on E-Bay where they specalized it for me with a picture of Hyrum on it.  Brigham was a little jealous that he didn't get one for his birthday even though I went out of my way to find him all kinds of "hamburger" stuff for his party....sometimes I wonder if he has any clue just how much I do for him.

We got Hyrum this shirt and slippers for his birthday and I wanted to take a picture of him in it but he informed me that this was not the cool way....
.....and that this was!
I had, had a rough day today with the kids and honestly, I was not looking forward to this party.  But I sure do appreciate those people that I only have to be around for a few minutes and my attitude changes.  It really was a good night after all :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hang Time

There is a warehouse type building in Orem that is full of "extreme trampolines."  You pay by the hour, which seemed a little much until we got there.  I don't see how anyone could stay more than one hour at Hang Time after constantly jumping over and over....or trying to get yourself out of a foam pit!  Talk about a workout!

I took the boys here on Saturday because we were going down to Provo that day to pick up Amanda Roberts from BYU.  She spent the weekend with us and I was grateful.
She was good about going after Hyrum in the pits so I could take pictures. I didn't even have to ask; she just did it!  
 It was fun to watch people "try" to play basketball while jumping on the trampolines.  Hyrum just used it for a slide :)
I think this might have been the world's best game of dodge ball. 

That night Amanda watched our boys while David and I went to dinner, the temple, and ice cream.  That was an amazing treat for us!  When we get babysitters, we never do that much because I worry about taking to much time.  But I knew Amanda was spending the night with us and I completely trust her with the boys.  It really was such a blessing.
We got back that night and Amanda almost immediately shows me some pictures that she took of her and the boys while babysitting.  She was so cute in wanting to put them on Facebook.  This got me to thinking.  How many times do we put pictures or things on Facebook or Blogs or whatever because of people that you know have accounts with these things?  It can become as if we are trying to impress those people and end up leaving out the ones that you know won't be looking at these web sites.  Yet, some of those that are most important to us may be the ones who are left out.  Here was Amanda who knew that I didn't have a Facebook account and David who never gets on his account (hence him not even adding Amanda to his friends list) yet still puts on her facebook account something that was important to her.  She knew we would never see it but from previous comments (and quite a bit, I might add) I knew she was so very grateful for us coming and getting her for the weekend.  I don't know.  This is just me blabbing but it made me stop and think and really appreciate her sincerity.  And just so I make myself clear, I have been guilty of what I was describing at the beginning of this paragraph.  That girl taught me something this weekend.
To add to a wonderful weekend, church was amazing on Sunday.  I hate to admit it but there are plenty of Sunday's that go by and I barely feel the spirit in Sacrament meeting.  It is so hard to really concentrate on what is being taught when you are wrangling in children.  But on Sunday the boys were amazingly calm and the speakers were powerful.  They spoke of forgiveness, both of giving and receiving.  I am so grateful for Sundays like these and the reminders that it is worth coming even if you wonder if you or your children are getting anything out of it :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This Is The Place Heritage Park

One of the great things about living in Utah is that they celebrate the 24th of July almost as enthusiastically as the 4th of July.  Just about everyone gets the day off and it is celebrated with family, friends, and fireworks.  David had to work today but I still really wanted to take the kids somewhere to learn what it was like for the pioneers.  This holiday is to remind us that on this day, 165 years ago, Brigham Young came to this valley and knew (from a vision that he had) that this was to be the new home of the early Latter Day Saints. 
So we headed off to THIS IS THE PLACE HERITAGE PARK.  The workers there dress and act as if they were in Brigham Young's day, complete with long hair (for some of the men), bushy beards, and heavy clothes.  I don't know how they did it in the heat but they kept to their characters very well.
We made it just in time for the flag ceremony.  This made me so proud as I knew that the saints had done the same thing....even though they lived in a time when our government was not kind to them at all.  After being pushed out of several states (and starved because of it), murdered, some women raped, and just horrible horrible persecutions, these early saints found a home somewhere else and yet still were loyal to our country.  In fact, the pioneer that Levi is named after (Levi Hancock) served in the Mormon Battalion (to fight in the war against Mexico at the time) during this time.  I am sure many felt betrayed in so many ways but they still were Americans in their hearts.
 At the park there was a petting zoo.  The boys "milked" this fake cow.  Afterwards Hyrum said to me, "I made him pee!"  I thought that was so funny but later as I was thinking back to it, it was a little disturbing to think Hyrum actually thought I was encouraging him to grab this cow's "penises" and make it pee!  I guess I just thought he already knew that this is how you got milk from cows.  
Well, now he knows!

 It was so fun to be able to talk about all the boy's names and who they were named after.  Of course, Brigham got the most attention with all the historical facts surrounding this place and Brigham Young but I think they all left this place realizing once again just how important their names are.
 Here the kids are with some of the "pioneer children" outside of the school house.  This park is really unique in that they took these original houses from other parts of the valley and brought it all here in one place.
 This was one of Brigham Young's homes.  I learned so much in this home! 
-The house was painted pink....the masculine color of the day!
-Brigham Young had 50+ wives but the majority of them were namesake wives, meaning that these women needed to be remarried in order to keep their land and possessions after their first husbands died.  He would marry them and then would never see them again because all they needed was to be married to keep running their households.  I loved what the lady said who was giving us the tour, "Back then, Polygamy was a way of life (for some of the saints).  Now polygamy is known for dirty old men!"
-He built the mantle in this picture.  It still had nicks and dings on it, which made it seem all the more real to me.  Marble was hard to come by so they were creative and the "marble" that you see at the bottom was actually painted wood!
 It was a warm day outside so the boys were so happy to see that some water games were being played.  They were racing to see who could get the buckets filled up first.
 ....but of course, it turned into a water fight.  Believe it or not, my boys actually didn't start the water fight!
 This was a barber shop where Levi and Brigham were shaved.  They smelled so good afterwards :)  We learned that one of the things that barbers did back then was bloodletting.  That is actually where the red and white striped pole outside of a barbershop started; the red representing blood and the white for the tourniquet.
 We got see a little bit of our Okie/Indian roots as we watched a Pow Wow.
 The boys participated in a watermelon eating contest.  Later Hyrum told me that he, "...liked eating like a dog!"

Some of the other things that we did that I didn't take pictures of was panning for gold, crafts, watched a candy cannon go off, saw houses that the pioneers lived in that were smaller than our living room, and so much more.  We ended up staying there for 5 hours which is saying a lot since I don't like to be out in the heat at all unless I am exercising or in water.  It really was so interesting and just fun.  The boys never once complained about being bored.  It was a perfect way to celebrate the holiday!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Oh, to be a princess...

 Every princess deserves a chariot awaiting them.
 Our 2 Okie princesses, Amanda and Jasia, are at BYU for a few summer programs.  Tricia and I had to make sure that they were pampered for their birthdays, even though they were away from home.
 They had their royal meal at Kneaders...
...while Jester Tricia got in a few tricks :)

It is so fun to watch these girls come out from our old Branch/Ward in Grove, OK.  I remember that exciting time in my life when it was my turn to be on my own and couldn't wait to see what choices I would make.  Going to Ricks College was the wisest choice I had made up to my 18th birthday.  Nothing would be the same after that, and for that I am so grateful.  For that reason, I get so excited every time one of our youth comes out from the Branch/Ward.  So much is in store for them.  So much to experience as they meet people their age that actually want to have good, clean fun.  This is the beginning of the rest of your lives girls :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


My sister called me tonight.  She brought up how her husband has been working Saturdays for a while now, leaving him with only one day off a week.  I immediately thought to a few years back when I would have listened to someone tell me something like this and as much as I hate to admit it, it would really bother me.  Being in the construction field, David's jobs almost always require him to work over 40 hours a week.  Sometimes his jobs have required him to go out of state which means he is only home on the weekends.  Up until 2 weeks ago, the job he is currently on has required him to leave our house at 6:30 a.m. and is usually home around the same time; only in the p.m.  Now he is working 10 to 10 which is pretty much the same except a lot less time with his children because of the time of day it falls on.  Now, add earning a Master's degree on top of that as well as callings. There have been plenty of times in our marriage that I have felt like a single mother and would unfortunately, secretly get irritated at those wives that complained about not seeing their husbands when they obviously didn't compare to what I was going through.  It really is horrible to admit all this but I want to remember how I used to feel so I can always remember how I feel now. 
There are two important things I have learned.  1.  Be careful about calling yourself a single mother or comparing yourself to a widow.  You just might offend those that actually are.  At least you have someone to cuddle with at night or have someone to call, Skype, or write when you are feeling your lowest.  2.  This may sound contradicting to number 1 but.....Never judge those who really do feel like they are a single mother or widow.  Another's feelings are valid whether we understand them or not. 
So back to what I contemplated back on after speaking with my sister.  I started thinking of her situation.  Raising 4 children in a small town with not a lot to do and having less time with her husband, when she probably needs support or just a break.  I thought of a friend that does so much for her 5 children and all the others she takes care of while her husband is gone on business trips.  I thought of my friends that actually are single parents.  I thought of my friends that don't have very involved spouses with their children and how hard that must be to raise children without help.  But what came to my mind that I wanted to remember the most was that whatever the situation, they are truly hard for that person.  I don't want to ever judge a person again for what they truly feel.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pass of All Passes: Tracy Aviary

 The boys and I met Christine at the Tracy Aviary this morning.  There were all kinds of birds there in large cages but my favorite part was the bird show.  They involved the children in the crowd and had the birds fly over our heads.....luckily that didn't include us being decorated with bird poop :)
 Seeing an Eagle is always amazing!
I'm not sure where Hyrum gets his dimple.......

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy 8th Birthday, Brigham!

Brigham is such a meat lover.  So much so that we went to Beyond Glaze the other day to get some donuts for Family Home Evening and guess what he got?  How does a Bacon Maple donut sound?  That just seems disgusting but not to Brigham.  I can't believe they even sell something like that, but they do and apparently it is their best seller.  So for his birthday, David took Brigham to Tucanos.  They have all you can eat meat along with a salad bar but do you think he even went to the salad bar?  Nope!  I asked David if he went and his reply was, "Why?"  Wow, I seriously can not imagine getting sickening full on meat alone.  
Oh, and Brigham's favorite meat to try was a chicken heart.  Wow.
 Tonight was Brigham's birthday party. We started with water baseball and the kids liked it so much that I really wish I would have gotten more water balloons for it.

 Jasia Liftee came out from Oklahoma to spend a week at BYU but before we take her up there tomorrow we got to spend some time with her at the party tonight.  Ronald and I know her from growing up in the Grove branch and she has such a good teasing spirit so we immediately plotted to act like Ronald was going to pitch to her a water balloon but really.....
 .....he just pelted her!
 Brigham got a lot of great presents but Mario Kart from Nanny and Poppy got the biggest reaction.  Levi and Brigham have been saving up this summer for this game.  They knew it would take all summer (and that was for a used one) so you can imagine the wonderful surprise that he got it for his birthday instead.
 He was not forgotten by his family in Oklahoma (they boys never are, though :) and he was spoiled by family here.  He got this Lego kit from Stephen and Holly and pretty much gave it to Levi.  Levi LOVES Legos!  I wish Brigham would have been more tactful about it when opening up his presents and announcing that Levi was the one who loved Legos but I also loved that he gladly gave the gift to Levi.
The hamburger cake was a huge hit.  Fresh Market did such a good job on it.  They even made "fries" with it that the kids dipped in "ketchup" (frosting).
 Before everyone left, a few of the girls left Brigham some birthday messages.
Last Family Home Evening we focused the lesson on baptism and the importance of names.  All of our names have special meanings behind them and it was fun to go over those things we know about those who went before us and how important that we live up to our names.  Most importantly, Brigham will be taking on the name of Christ soon and we wanted him to know just how important that really is.  It brought such a neat feeling in our house.  I really hope he remembers this birthday of his.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Comes Out Of Our Children's Mouths

It rained today.  I think it has rained, at least during the day, twice in our area since school has been out.  I know that is not really news for much of the country right now but it sure is such a blessing to see that rain....even if it only lasted a matter of very few minutes.
This morning Brigham said our breakfast prayer.  In it he prayed for rain.  I am sure he has prayed for rain in the past but I don't remember him doing so.  It caught my attention enough that I told him how much I appreciated him asking Heavenly Father for rain and how badly we needed it.
So, we are coming out of Smith's grocery when we see these huge drops of rain coming down.  We run to the van and Brigham says, "Hey!  My prayer happened!"  I told this to Tricia and she said, "What a sweet tender mercy."  Sometimes I forget just how important it is to us that we are recognized in our actions and words both by those around us and our Father in heaven.  The faith of a child...
...but maybe that should worry me.
Almost every prayer that Hyrum says, has something to do with him wanting a sister or sisters.  But then again, he also asks if he can "keep Katie."  So, maybe I am safe!
 Katie helping Hyrum with his summer homework.
 I also wanted to journal some things that the boys have said so I don't forget.
We were at the pool when Brigham took Hyrum's leg and my arm and compared them side by side.  Hyrum's legs are perfectly smooth with no freckles.  I have lots of freckles on my arms and face.  Brigham points this out.  Then he looks at my face, stares for a bit and says, "I'm guessing you would look better without those."  Nice.  Love you too, son.

I was paying bills at the table when I overheard Levi saying out in the living room to his brothers, "Mom doesn't share very good with chocolate."  True, true.

We are driving to Seven Peaks when I hear the boys singing, "One, two...I gotta go poo.  One, two, three...I gotta go pee!" Pretty funny, actually.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blackridge Reservoir

Herriman has a man-made beach that we checked out last night.  I have to admit, it was a little too nasty for my liking.  I have this thing with water and having to be able to see through it in order to get in.  Yeah, I am not sure I will be going back but it was fun to watch the boys experience it.

 The boys were so very excited to be able to build sand castles and stuff so it was a little bit of a disappointment that the sand there wasn't like real beach sand.  It was was very hard to build anything with it.
 So Brigham resorted to burring himself :)
 And when that got boring, it was time to start throwing sand and water at each other! 

It was a nice way to end the day.  The boys and I were suppose to meet Christine at the Tracy Aviary that morning but between time mix ups and the boys being naughty, it didn't happen.  I ended up taking a very long nap with Hyrum to try to get my attitude in check but still woke up in a bad mood.  These types of days don't seem to happen very often anymore, and I am grateful, but I sure was glad to see the day end!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Our Blessed Land

I love the 4th of July.  I love that this is one of the few holidays not centered around physical gifts.....only the greatest gift; that of freedom.
Today, we had Family Home Evening with Grandma Adams and we centered it on this blessed land that we live on.  We focused on the scriptures in 1 Nephi chapter 13 and how it prophesied of the importance of certain events that would lead to this wonderful land that we live on today.
I love this holiday.
I love being reminded of both my Grandpas and the many years they were in the Navy.  I think of my Grandmothers and all they had to sacrifice as their husbands were gone for so long.  And though I wasn't around to see those sacrifices, I am still eternally grateful.  I am grateful for my dear friend Niki and all the years she has had to raise her children alone as her husband was away at sea.  I think of all these wives who didn't choose to be single parents, for a majority of their marraiges, but proudly took the call on as they knew they had to do what was placed before them to keep their families functioning.  This just makes my mind go back to my Grandmothers and what it must have been like for them.  So many have sacrificed....
This holiday, as well as those few centered around Jesus Christ, brings my emotions to the service.  The ultimate sacrifices.
So I guess this journal entry is my way of saying thank you to my Father is heaven for those surrounding me who have been such good examples to me.  I am so grateful that He placed these people in my life on this blessed land at this time in its history.