Thursday, May 31, 2012

Almost There

We are so close now I can smell it! And it smells like coconut shoulders, watermelon, chlorine and hose water on a hot side walk. I can hardly wait a few more days until these kiddos are all mine again and we are free to stay up late, ignore the clock and best of all, wallow in the beauty of no homework. To me "no homework" is summers greatest gift. For the life of me, I cant understand why children need to be gone at school for 7 hours in a day and then come home and do more of the same. But thanks to blessed summer break we are free at last!

Well almost. A few more days.

Some of our end of the year activities, if you please.

Ella had her graduation. (Graduation..whatever, but it was cute). Here she is singing her little Spanish song with a lot of la, la, la's.



































Plus, I went in to help the twins celebrate their unbirthday (since they have summer b-days). Their teacher (amongst other amazing things) provides the best b-day celebrations. They get to do all kinds of special things through out the day and then they get to sit at the front of the class and get sung to. This isn't just the typical "Happy Birthday to You" either- this is a rockin', clappin' sing a-long, followed by banging on your desk as loud as you can. Then one by one the kids tell the birthday child what they like about them and then the Mom gets a turn and the teacher, it is fantastic and the twins loved it.

Here they are soaking in all the compliments.





































Cali and I were there too!























I am a huge believer in family traditions even if they are ridiculous. 2 Summers ago, on our way to the beach we stopped and ate at a Golden Coral. It was hysterical. Our kids thought they had died and gone to heaven. They talked about the Golden Coral like it was the finest dining in the world. So now, every time we drive to California we stop pay the Golden Coral a visit. A few weekends ago, when we had cleared our schedule for the first time in months the kids begged for a pig out session at our local Coral. So we obliged.


round 2




































Here is Ella explaining to us how she Luuuuuves strawberries and chocolate and how she hates marshmallows and chocolate.


























Ridiculous...yes, glutenous...yes...doing it again...yes!
One more day of running crazy and then the glory of summer begins!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Homesick

Today in relief Society, I looked around and remembered that I didn't really know any of the ladies in that room and they didn't really know me. I remembered that I left a relief society behind that held dozens of decade old friendships, hours of shared lives and comfortable, happy history. And then...I remembered that a stranger is living in my house and enjoying my neighbors and that was it. My heart was aching and tears started to well up, slip over the edge and drip into my lap.

I am home sick.

Today more than ever. Only there is no relief for it. As long as I live, I will miss my life on Del Rio Street....in Summerfield Ward, a part of my heart will always be there...that I am sure of. Scott hugged me tight after church then I crawled into bed and sobbed, Scott closed the door behind him and let me grieve. I swear I am such a baby! You would think someone died, I need to get a grip, I just cant seem to figure out how.

And making things worse is that school is ending which is a cause to rejoice- if it weren't just another reminder that one more year has passed and my kids are just that much older. Makes me all weepy. Two bright spots from this weekend was this heart melter....























And Saturday when I got to baby sit my nephew Jack. It was one of those perfect Arizona days, a cool breeze, a blue sky and just enough warmth to call out swimsuits but not enough to make you hot. I sat in the outside rocking chair, snuggling my little Pepperjack, while Cali, Brylee and Ella played around in the grass eating Popsicles. Jack and I sang primary songs and I let my flip flops slip off my feet. I love the sound of a good breeze running through a leafy tree and since my Mom has two of them in her yard, their comforting melody was like salve for my soul.
























If I could bottle up babies and good weather I would. Good, good stuff...put the two together and I am a goner. Thank-goodness for the blessing of that hour in the rocking chair. It was like the glue that held me together through one very homesick Sunday.

If only just barely.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eclipse

We really had fun watching the solar eclipse last Sunday. The twins amazing teacher had prepared them so well, complete with solar glasses and a schedule of just when things would be happening. For a whole hour we took turns with the glasses, watched the sun get smaller and smaller and ate strawberries on the lawn.

It was the calm before the storm. Now we are in the flurry of the end of the year tornado. And I feel like I am getting whipped around in storm force winds. Kaden has had a few projects (have mercy!), we are putting together teacher gifts, and running crazy to everything that is going on all in the midst of dealing with a ton of renter prospects.

I am so grateful for one magical hour, when the sun and the moon crossed paths and brought us together.

I needed that.






Monday, May 21, 2012

Available

(for your blog reading information this post has taken me like nearly a week to finish. A sentence here, a sentence there, in between poopies and homework and searching for a renter...please excuse it for not being very coherent but I just have to get the darn thing posted. Also, for some reason when the pictures were transferred to shutterfly they transferred at low resolution and I haven't the time to redo them. Blast you low resolution! And its too bad too because I had some gems. But please enjoy the high resolution pictures that I high jacked from my friend Robin who is a fantastic photographer)

I have been with my sister a lot lately. And even though I am still struggling to soften and open my heart, it has given me the chance to once again be profoundly grateful for who I am--just the way I am. It has also helped me to see the light of Motherhood even more clear. It is bright and beautiful. I have learned from her struggle that my kids don't need anything fancy, spectacular and amazing from me, they just need me. And everyday that I can give them that...is a gift.

Right now the best things in my life are the simplest. Don't you love simple? It's quiet time to read my scriptures. It's prayer. It's a trip to the temple. It's a date with my husband. It's lunch with my Mom. It's having an occasional nap with my four year old,  now that we are down to her last few months before Kindergarten. It's serving my friends when they are in need. It's making dinner for my family and helping Kaden with his homework. It's jumping on the trampoline with Brylee. It's reading with Brans, or rocking with Cali. It's being available to drop everything and do important things with my kids.

On Tuesday, I hadn't planned to have to be anywhere but early in the day I read an email saying that the Angel Moroni statue would be placed on our new Gilbert Temple, at 2 pm. My heart is so wound up in this new temple that I debated only for a minute until I decided that we would be there. It would be such a pain to crunch my time, pack the drinks, find parking, lug the babies, endure the heat, ect, ect. These things have a price tag you know.

My kids attend school just a stones throw from the temple site, which was going to be helpful. By adjusting the nap and accomplishing a few things faster than normal, I made it to the school in time to trek the babies across the hot parking lot, excuse Kaden from his class and meet the twins in the field in time to see the beautiful gold statue of the Angel, be placed on the steeple of the temple.

It was worth it.

There was a huge crowd gathered on the other side of the street but the school yard was pretty empty. As soon as the statue lifted into view things got crazy. Kids were shouting and pointing and running to get a better view, adults were lifting kids onto their shoulders and tons of other teachers started bringing their classes out to get a look. Cars were slowing down and the kids were climbing the fence. It was amazing! I loved the whole experience.

In the car on the way home Kaden told me that he knew why I had felt so good about moving them to this school 3 years ago. When I asked him why he said,

"Because of today".

Then he told me how glad he was that his school is neighbors with the temple.

I am too.

It was a good day.





Friday, May 18, 2012

Laughs






































Ella was playing all by herselfez the other day down in the basement. I went to check on her and caught her with a crown and gloves and the whole get up, if you know what I mean. When she saw me she was instantly pulled from her make believe and explained herself very clearly to me by saying,

"Hi Mom, I was just pretending that I was the queen of everything."

Carry on then , Your Highness, carry on.

Ella likes to sing out a good strong redition of "I am a Child of God." She does it with gusto and heart if you ask me. The only trouble is that when she gets to, "lead me, guide me, walk beside me." It comes out, "lead me guid me, walk me sideways."

Yesterday in the car, the Queen of Everything and I were discussing kindergarten when in a state of complete confusion, Ella said that,

"Kindergarten is for big year olds and I'm not a big year old yet."

Not yet and thank goodness girl, because who keep me laughing around here if you were?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Counquer


























We have a room mate here in the basement. She is a 25 year old bouncy horse thing that my Grandma bought for my little brothers, many moons ago. I have been watching Cali stare the stallion down and make attempt, after attempt at getting her wiry little body into the saddle. Her toes grip the smooth plastic, her fists wrap tightly around the red handles- but to no avail, she looses strength and slips back to the carpet.

Until Monday when I heard the shrieks of victory coming from the North. I looked over to see that little Skinny throw her head back in triumph, mouth wide agape with glory.

She had conquered.

And she was proud with all of her soul. She was Jone of Arch, she was Amelia, she was Kerri Strug.

Congratulations my Little. Here's to many MANY more victories.



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Star

Ella is the spice of life. She has an entire life time of personality all squished into her little frame. She can be sweet as a summer daisy and as salty as an ocean spray. She is smart, and kind, and silly and ornery as all heck when she wants to be. But I swear, I miss that little sass when she is away and I love being her Mama.

Last Saturday Scott and I watched Ella dance in her recital. It was so fun! Cutest thing I 've seen in a long time.








Dear Ella Mae,

You were fantastic in the show! I liked how you smiled big and how you looked so happy and confident doing your dances. I liked how you wore my ballet shoes from all those years ago and I liked how careful you sat in the car so that your make-up and hair would stay nice. Mostly, I just really like YOU! You are a star!
Love, Mom. 




Monday, May 14, 2012

33

I turned 33 on Friday. Wrapped up another year, tied it with a bow and placed it up on the shelf. The big events of this year were,

letting go of nursing my baby, long before I was ready.

Watching a sibling and her family go through a near tragedy and the aftermath.

Cali's horrible, 9 day illness.

And leaving my familiar, wonderful home of 12 years.

But really, 32 was about the hundreds of ordinary days and moments that equal out to the sum of a whole lot of good stuff. And today, my birthday-was no different. I woke up, fixed breakfast for my kids, helped them get ready and dropped them off. I did two loads of wash, rocked my, sore-from-shots, baby and played with Ella, Brookie and Mikey. I put away more boxes and cleaned up our little basement space.

Later, the kids and I met up with Scott and had dinner at one of our favorite places. I loved it. It's pricey, PRICEY! I tell you,  for all of us to eat out together, so we don't do it a ton but when we do...amid the chaos and the occasional fits...























I really love it. It is so fun for me to sit back and let other people feed us. It is at last a chance to just really enjoy those 5 smudgy faces across the table. We had a huge root-beer spill because well....we always do. We laughed at Cali's constant need to slurp down ice water like she couldn't get enough.























And, best of all we walked away from the giant mess left behind. Happy Birthday to me!

After dinner we stopped by a reception, then the girls and I, kissed the boys good-bye and came home. (We left them behind to wrap up last minute repairs at our house.) At home, Ella was ramping into some pretty stellar fits,  so I was happy to take her and Brylee out back to jump. And then like it always does, Pure Happiness showed up. (Welcome back Pure Happiness, how I've missed you). I could see it in our bouncing shadows on the back yard fence, I could hear it in the little girl giggles and I felt it from the very inside of my heart.

We jumped and played, so long that my legs ached. Then we laid down and watched the fluttery movement of the leaves in the tree above us. Brylee put her head on my shoulder and said,

"Mom, Heavenly Father made all of those leaves."

Man, that girl and her faith! Beautiful, I tell you. After the girls were tucked, I checked in on the computer. I found two amazing gifts there waiting from me. This and this.

And if all that weren't enough Sunday was Mothers Day and my Dad brought me 12 yellow roses. Really he did. The kids gifted me with their usual elementary school notes of love and devotion. And Kaden, KADEN gave me the best gift of all. A NAP. The boy entertained Ella with a game of Twister for a good hour. Glory Be! Scott kept Cali with him the whole day too so that I could let my brain think of something other than keeping her from constant injury as she feels compelled to climb, dump, consume, seek death, ect, ect. Brain rest is better than chocolate.























Don't you just relish in simple. I don't need a limo ride or diamonds, just kindness. I am an easy girl to please, I tell you what.

And that is the story of how I turned 33.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Best Neighbor Award




































The house across the street from us was empty for a few years. I hated it. Vacant houses are no fun to have next door and I wanted a neighbor. So I prayed quiet little prayers for that exact blessing.

Then in January of 2008, I was sitting in my lawn chair, holding my baby and watching my two- half day kindergartners ride their bikes, while we waited for the bus. It was a normal day except the empty house next door had a moving van in front of it. And..Glory be, what looked to be a Mother in a BYU sweater was unpacking!

Oh hallelujah! My prayers had been answered!

That mother brought with her, a husband, plus 3 kids and one more on the way and I can remember thinking that she was SUPER worried about how my kids road their bikes out in the street and even more worried that hers were doing the same!

Since that day, I don't think that there have been more than a handful of days in my life, that Anna hasn't been a part of. I could have never known at that first meeting, that not only had I been blessed with a neighbor, but the best one in all the world. I am still adjusting to the fact that Anna does not live a few steps away any more. I miss her everyday.

A few weeks ago, while I was in the middle of packing, Anna came to the door and asked to borrow my crock pot. A little while later she brought it back full of food, she set it down and plugged it in and then put a salad in my fridge. That sweet act of kindness is just one among countless others that Anna has selflessly offered to me and my family over the years. It is a pefect example of the kind of person she is.

I am convinced that no matter where we go, or where we end up we will never have neighbors quite like Anna and her family. Anna has been more than a neighbor, she has been a friend, and a sister, especially when my own sisters have been far away, both physically and mentally. I have relied on her so much and I will always thank heaven for the day she arrived here in my life as a answer to my prayers.

And every chance they get, our kids still ride bikes in the street.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

1%




































Poor baby Cali got 3 shots today. I will never get used to it. They also told me that she went from being in the 5th percentile of weight, to the 1 percentile of weight. 99% of 15 month olds, weigh more than my little Bitty.

But she is strong, healthy and active. She is just small, dainty and petite- and probably always will be. I cant help but love that combination. The perfect balance of little and big. Big blossoming personality, full of energy and determination, all bundled together in a beautiful little frame.

That's my girl.

"A person's a person, no matter how small.”
Dr. Seuss