Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy.

~ Mother Teresa

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Preschool Pirate Party

Caleb's Preschool did a very fun thing this year! They had a Pirate Party to celebrate their last two letter's to learn... P & X.
P is for Pirate
and X marks the spot!
Teacher Lynda went all out! They had a huge treasure hunt for gems, letters and gold. She was in full costume! It was AWESOME!!
Caleb and Jesse looked forward to it all year! She gave each of them their own copy of the book Shiver Me Letters
"On guard!"
And very best of all... she made them all swords out of PVC pipe and swimming noodles!
This Preschool really has been a ton of fun for Caleb! We are so thankful for Teacher Lynda and all she does! :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This pic makes my heart melt...

This is one of my favorite pictures. Cody took this months ago.

This is my "baby" Caleb and "baby" from my childhood, Little Beggar.

Beggar was a gift from my Daddy when I was 8 years old. I had to have my tonsils and adenoids removed and then was rushed back to the hospital for a second surgery because I hemorrhaged. It was scary I remember, but I woke up and my Daddy handed me this little dog with a bib on that said "Little Beggar".

He became my most trusted friend. He offered my comfort in some really sad times in life. Jestin jokes he had to kick Beggar out of our bed when we got married because he was jealous! Even now as an adult, when I would get him out of the box, and I rubbed his soft paws or ears between my fingers there was  this emmense comfort. Silly at over 30 years old huh?? I can find comfort in a stuffed animal!

Each of my kids, when they were about Caleb's age had seen Beggar. They love to see the box of Mommy keepsakes and the stories I tell with each item. (they love their boxes even more though! LOL) Each time he was brought out, I considered letting them play with him. But it never felt right.

Until Caleb.

Caleb saw my Beggar and fell in love. He hauls Beggar everywhere. He goes to get him to cuddle on when he is feeling blue. He is gentle and tender with Beggar (for the most part) and he won't let his friends play with Beggar. I have often heard him say "Beddar is owld. He was Mommy's so we shouldn't play wif him". At 25+ years old, bless Beggar's heart, he is truly surviving this new wave of love!

As I type, lying here in my bed, Caleb is snuggled up beside me, missing Jestin too and cuddling Beggar.

The very BEST part? When I am feeling down, or am sick, guess what Caleb goes and gets for me??

Yep. My Beggar. Somehow this little man of mine totally 100% gets it. And he gets it to the very core. Beggar makes us feel better. :)

We share this comfort item of mine... and I can't explain the joy at knowing that something that meant so much to me... means so much to him!

Thank you Daddy for my "Little Beggar". He is old... but he is still loved!

And I can't help but think that "Woody" would be well pleased! *wink*

Monday, April 26, 2010

Home and Gone Again

Jestin came home for the weekend. It was really nice having him here for a few days! They planned on heading home Friday morning, but got rained out Thursday so they headed out right after work. We didn't tell the kids he was on his way. They were so mopey that evening. Caleb's prayer was consistently "Heavenly Father...Please b'wess Daddy come home tomorrow. Amen." in the days previous. They even wanted to know if I would come check them out of school if he got home before school was out! We were all missing him something fierce! It was so hard to put them to bed that night and not give them the good news!

He pulled in the driveway at 2:30 am. We stayed up talking and what not for a couple of hours. It was perfect time for us to catch up and then he could devote himself entirely to the kids the next morning.

I heard the alarms go off and I laid there wondering what their reactions were going to be walking into my bedroom and seeing Daddy asleep next to me! No one came in and I drifted off to sleep for a minutes more. As I was laying there I sensed someone was staring at me! I opened my eyes and there, at the bottom of our bed, sat Cody with a cutest lopsided grin on his face! I poked Jestin and said, "Hey love, your being stared at!" *giggle* Cody leapt into Jestin's arms and gave him a huge hug! He promptly left the bedroom and told the other kids the news. LOL! So much for a surprise! They LOVED having him help them get ready for the day and take them to school... I don't think it even occurred to them to ask him to let them stay home... they were just so glad for their routine with their Daddy in the morning again!!

Caleb stayed asleep and missed all the activity that morning. Jestin left to work on a job here locally and was gone until  2pm. I didn't tell Caleb anything. But this little bug of mine is too smart! He climbed into bed with me and wanted to know why I had 4 pillows again instead of the 3 I had had the last 2 weeks. Later he asked me when Daddy was coming home. I replied that I was unsure... to which he replied that if he didn't get here soon that Heavenly Father must send him a robot Daddy because he misses him too much and can't wait any longer!! LOL I was cracking up!!

When Jes pulled into the driveway Caleb saw him out our window. He came grinning downstairs and tried to act all macho about it... like he wasn't super duper excited!! It was a hoot! And then... after some huggin and kissin' Jes had his shadow back! Caleb missed him the most I think... of course... it truly is a toss up!

We didn't get a ton of time with Jes, as he tried to get his local jobs done, but we did get a quiet dinner with his parents on Saturday to celebrate his birthday. He wanted Beef Stew of all things! LOL It was lovely and low key...just what Jes wanted to feel for his few quiet moments at home.

Sunday he had meetings all morning and then church, so I begged Pat (the guy he is working with) to hold off leaving one extra hour after a church so we could at least eat dinner together and Jestin could give us all blessings before he left. It worked out perfectly.

We all were brave as he left... but broke into tears as he pulled away. Caleb went and hid and fought crocodile tears. We were so sorrowful to see him go again! We turned on America's Funniest Home Videos and soon the tears were dry and we could pretend all was ok again.

I find it interesting... this place we are at. We are SO dang thankful for the work! Our family desperately needs it. Our gratitude is full. And yet it breaks our hearts too!! I cannot imagine being a military wife, or a pioneer mother left while crossing the plains! I cannot fathom being a widow with small children! These women are my hero's!!

I am surviving... but I sure don't love it!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dad's Home!

We were all so glad to have Dad home for a few days! We missed him like CRAZY!!  He was a sweetheart and tried to work on all the little projects we couldn't do without him and his help!
Cam's Go-cart had a loose seat...
So he and his Daddy fixed it all up!
Cam was just beaming at the time spent one on one... "helping" Dad!
And Mom just enjoyed sitting in the warm sun for a few minutes and enjoying them enjoy each other! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Visiting the MTC

We were blessed to attend Sacrament Meeting at the MTC today! My Dad was called to serve as the 1st counselor in the Korean speaking branch there! WAY COOL! Sadly, he was also released as a counselor in the English speaking branch which he dearly loved! And he is nervous since he does not speak a word of Korean... well except for Kia & Samsung! LOL  It was really fun to take my kids there and let them walk those hallowed halls. They were enthralled with the chairs that had desk tables attached, and they tried SO hard to be quiet beyond the standard of the busy family ward from which we come!
The yound man blessing the bread had to repeat it at least 3 times (that I could tell) (he did it in his newly learned Korean)... and once it was over Cameron leaned over and told me that was the longest prayer he had ever heard! I explained that the missionary was using a language he likely has only known for a few weeks. Caleb kept pulling on my arm while I was talking to Cam. Finally I turned to him and asked what he needed... to which he said, rather loudly, "Dat was da strangest prayer I ever heard!" The sweet sisters in front of me giggled in spite of themselves!
The missionaries were just awesome! They were super friendly and talked to my kids a lot! Emma and Cody have it all figured out! If Cody holds off on turning in his papers 5 months, then they both can turn in their papers at the same time and be in the MTC together! LOL! It was cute!
...I better start saving my pennies! LOL


Here I am. It's 2am again. I can't sleep. I try. I really do. I just can't.

I have tons of fun pics I want to post to this... birthday parties, camping trips, easter etc. My cable for my little camera won't read in the new computer tower. Blast! So I uploaded them to the laptop... um.. yeah... why bother? The thumbnail to pick them from is TINY! And it keeps messing up because our touch pad is so sensitive and our wireless mouse is kaput. just get verbal updates for now. ;) Sorry...

It has been a busy week. Day 3, 4 & 5 of being alone are over. :) Good news. Bad news? Being without him on the weekends seems 10x harder than the weekdays! We have tried to stay busy though! I am organzing and de-junking like crazy. I have a bunch of stuff I am going to list on KSL to try and make some money as well as get rid of. I have organized all the books in the house. I have organized Jes and my closets and the boys closet. I did all the laundry from A-Z including putting it all away. I alphabetized our CD collection (YES!  I am bored and lonely ok??) and went through all our cassettes that we recorded back in the day and labeled and cleaned them out. My bedroom is almost all perfect, with the exception of a little more ironing...but I did a huge portion of that today!

However, amid all this lovely "kicking butt and taking names" motivation I tackled upstairs... my downstairs fell apart. I *love* having the kids home on days when I get in a groove. It almost makes it *not* worth it! LOL

Jestin is doing good. He is lonely too, but they are working hard. They put in 50 hours this week alone... and that was after driving down all day Monday! Not bad! I feel bad for him because he is staying with the guy he went down with's parents, and so he feels very odd man out. They are being super kind to him though! He has had a great breakfast everyday and a good dinner everynight! They are staying the parent's 5th wheel trailer and it is working out really well.

On an upnote... Jes did his first loads of laundry today!! My sweetheart is growing up! LOL! Actually I am a little nutty about the laundry... I like to do it for the most part... and I figure if I keep the laundry taken care of... then I don't have to learn about car maintenence! It is a good trade I think! I am excited for him to learn something new though... I always joked if anything ever happened to me someone was going to have to teach him how to do it! Tee hee hee!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day 2 - As a "Single Mom"

Ok... really I am not going to mope and whine every day that Jestin is gone! LOL Today has been busy... I got up early, got everyone ready for the day and went to take an all day continuing education class for my Realtor's license. It was very interesting... but sadly... with only 3 hours of sleep I was going crazy trying to keep my eyes open towards the end! LOL I was so thankful to Caleb's friend Chase's mom for letting him come spend the day there. I signed up for this class when I had Jestin I was stressing when it was the night before and I had no plan! Ah... but all is well that ends well.

I put my new bookshelves in the office closet today. My office looks like a bomb went off as I try to find a home for everything! I am considering a yard sale... I have quite a bit of stuff ... and listing stuff on feels like too much work sometimes! LOL We'll see. My list of projects is getting longer by the minute.... I should probably hit the hay and try to sort it all out into a list in the morning...

New Chicks!

So... yes. I am crazy. Let's just get that out of the way right now! LOL.
We have 4 new chicks! One of our good friends son was asked to a highschool dance with a chick. It was cute and cliche ("dont be Chicken! Take a Hot Chick to the dance!") and left him with a little chick and no idea what to do with it. He knew we had chickens and a coop, and so, we adopted his chick. (the little yellow one) The poor thing cried all day and all night. It was ALONE in the world and wanted EVERYONE to know it! LOL! So... even though Jestin was headed out of town for a lengthy amount of time, I decided this chick could not be a lone chick in the box until it is big enough to join the brood. (nor could I endure it's crying all night long! LOL)

This is the selection they had when I went to pick some up!
Jes has always wanted Ameraucanas, since they lay blue/green eggs, and believe it or not, they had them! So we got 3! *grin* They are darling. They poop a ton. Their water constantly needs cleaned out. Their box stinks the garage up. And  I am doing baby chickens while my husband is away...heaven help me!

Like I said... I am crazy. *wink*

Day 1 - "Single Mom"

Today is day Numero Uno of being a "single mom". We have prayed so feverently for work for Jestin, and now it has come. Much to my chagrin, it came in the form of out of town work... as in I won't see Jestin for 2 weeks at a time for at least 2 months if not longer. :( Grateful for the work/income. Disappointed about the location and separation.

Last night was torture! We all had the "impeding doom" sense going on and it was quiet and a little moddy around here. Jestin gave us all Priesthood blessings. They were short and sweet...but full of love and comfort. We got him mostly all packed and were in bed by midnight. He quickly fell asleep, but I laid there for hours listening to him breathe and just "feeling" him near me. I was upbeat and ok with it all, which made Jestin feel very happy about it all... until last night. The reality had set in and I started to feel nervous to be on my own all time... on so many levels! LOL

Today was ok. I got him out the door, kissed goodbye and on the road by 6am. I fell back asleep (unfortunately) and so when trying to help get kids out the door it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. I must have been in limbo between an REM cycle! My eyelids were like lead! LOL! After the kids left, I fell back asleep. Caleb joined me and we curled up together...I slept, he watched PBS and drank a Carnation Instant Breakfast.

We did good as a family without a Dad this evening too. I used my birthday money from MJ and Dad to get two new bookshelves for our office (they were on sale at ShopKo for half off! Someone "upstairs" loves me!). The boys and I raided Jestin's tools and put them together...

...while Emmalee made us dinner. (Taco Pizza). It was lovely. Cody asked if he could sit in Dad's seat for dinner. I replied that yes, he could since he was the "acting man-of-the-house". Cameron quickly piped up, "But am the 2nd acting man-of-the-house!"... to which Caleb promptly replied, "But I am the tiniest man-of-the-house"!!" We all had a great giggle and called to tell Dad what he had said! Dad laughed and laughed. It was Caleb's turn for dinner prayer tonight. Normally he repeats the same wording, and often needs prompting to continue on, but tonight, being the "tiniest man of the house" he took the whole prayer into his own hands. We were in stitches again when he forgot what he was suppose to ask for regarding the food and quickly thanked Heavenly Father for it, and then asked that it be "warm to eat". He also prayed with a sweet tenderness over the safety of his Daddy.

We decided to go splurge and used the rest of my birthday $ on ColdStone for Family Home Evening. I had a coupon for a free icecream for my birthday (if you haven't done it... go to their website and sign up! We all get a free icecream coupon emailed to us for our birthdays! It's sweet! Literally! LOL) and then with our local store's Monday night special of buy one adult icecream get a kid one free, we made off with icecream for everyone at almost the same cost as a date night for Jestin and I! (whisperings of affection from above I tell ya! I feel so blessed!)

We came home, ate our treat and then played a couple of rounds of Uno...teaching Caleb to play for the first time. It was hoot! He was happy regardless of whether he was loosing cards or picking cards up and LOVED shouting UNO! We had just turned on the 10 o'clock news to see the weather when Jestin called us. He visited with each of the kids, asking about their days, and then we put him on speaker phone and he offered our family prayer. The Spirit was strong and we could feel how much we are loved by this great man in our lives. The kids all wished him goodnight and I told them to go up to their rooms, that I wanted to talk to Daddy for a minute and then would be up. Caleb got a displeasured look on his face and asked "am I suppose to pretend it is Daddy tonight?" He thought I was not going to tuck him in...that he was going to have to imagine it was Dad doing it! It was really super cute! LOL

And now here it is... almost 2:30 am. I have read emails, read Facebook, read blogs, cleaned up the entire downstairs, double checked all windows and doors, rotated laundry, etc...but now I really am missing Jestin tonight. I know this is temporary. I know it is not as bad as it could be. I know others have been through this and that it is ok. WE have been through it before. It is just a bummer...and a blessing... and I think it unfair to myself if I deny either one of those emotions! LOL

I know this will pass quickly and it will greatly bless our family.... THAT I KNOW ... it's just not much comfort to cuddle up to in the middle of a cold dark rainy night...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Palisades - Spring Break 2010

The first camping trip of the year!
My friend Maria and I have been planning this trip ever since we went last year really! It was SUCH a good time last year, we KNEW this was where we wanted to break out the trailers and run away to for Spring Break 2010! We invited another neighbor family, the Burningham's, to join us and they brought their parents and sister (whom Jestin is related to... but it's complicated to explain! LOL), and we also invited some friends of Wilkey's (and our recent clients), Dale & Andra and their kids to come 4 wheeling with us on Saturday!
It was a great get-away from life! 
We love the improved campsites with full water, power and sewer hookups! Oh yeah!
(Jesse, Sophie & Caleb)
The kids love that they can bring their bikes and ride on the black top until their hearts are content!
(Caleb's Sock!)
Or until they wear holes in their shoes and shred their socks! LOL
(Cameron & Bryn)
We played games with our friends...
(Dale, Caleb & Jesse)
Begged to go on 4 wheeler rides!
Dale was a sport and made the wheeler bounce and sway so "Kick and Side Kick" could pretend they were driving! LOL
(Kaitlyn, Kelby, Jestin, Cameron, Jesse & Caleb)
Then Dad was talked into it! YEA!!!!
(Kaitlyn & Kelby)
Even the teenagers joined the caravan... and off they went!
(Coye's fish that didn't make it!)
Meanwhile the other kids went "fishing"... not much luck though!
Cam hangin out after his ride!
(Jill, Bryn & Sophie)
Our cute little neighbor girl toted Sophia everywhere! Sophie had to "take naps" to find a little relief ... but they both had a good time! And it was nice to know I could always find Sophie if she "wandered off" LOL
(Heather & Jestin and Maria & Bishop Curtis)
The adults got the teenagers to watch the kidlets... and off we went on a twilight ride of our own!
The RV trails were so much fun! And the views were amazing!
Manti Temple
As the sun went down it did start to get a bit chilly in the mountains in mid April, but we were having a blast so no one cared!
(Jill, Heather, Brett's Mom and Maria)
The women folk!
(Brett and Mallory, Brett's Dad, Bishop Curtis, Jesse and Jestin)
The men folk with the littlests
Our view on the way down! Oh how I wished I could hold still well enough to give it justice!
The temple looked SO pretty!
Once we got back down it was time for Bag Fudge, S'mores & Roasted Starbursts! Caleb couldn't wait!
(Caleb & Jesse)
Good Mornin'! We are clean and ready to get dirty! *grin*
And race our "Man Cars" down the hill!
Jesse and Caleb did this over and over and over again!
 The kids loved the hills to the side of our camping spot and they went on many explores!
Caleb is "King of da Mountain!"
Jesse and Jes on their way back down
We headed down the hill to the reservoir... and there was way too much fun to be had there! *grin*
My kids LOVED having such a great time with their dad!
(Cody, a Burningham cousin, Aubrey, Rachel & Maria)
Brett's Parents rented a paddle boat for the day and all the kids took their turns on them!
Our two little men! They couldn't wait for their turn!
(Jestin, Maria and Cameron, Caleb & Jesse)
YEA!!! It's our turn!!!
Maria is my hero! She took all three of these busy boys out on the water by herself! And she is terrified of water! I was so impressed! I wished so much that I wasn't newly recovered from that stupid cold in my heart! I so wanted to go with them! :(
Squeals of delight! Off they go!
Cameron, my eight year old boy!
Another fun pastime to be found... Rock throwing you don't get in trouble for!! They wanted Jes to stay with them all afternoon throwing rocks! Until the playground was offered of course! LOL
Just sittin' on the dock telling jokes and stories was a blast too!
(Our campsites: 1st trailer was Brett's parents, then ours, then Wilkey's and then Burningham's)
Cody took his camera and really got some great shots~ makes a momma proud! :)
The sun going down on the lake...
Mom and Caleb... down the hill we go! WHEEEEEEEE
Hee hee hee! We made it! And we didn't crash!
Off they go again!
Bryn and Sophia again!
Breakfast time again! Back to the dirt! It sure was nice of them to make "sand boxes" for these boys!
(They were tent sites! LOL)
Sophia hiding out! LOL
MMMMM... we love camping meals! Especially bacon, pancakes and hot cocoa!
Can't get enough of you baby!
Coverin' up to keep the burn to a minimum. I have to say, even though my heart meds make me burn super fast, I really did pretty good up there! :) We all were a little lobsterish... but that's ok! It was SOOO worth it!
Mally and her sweetheart! When we first got to camp I greeted her and asked her, "Whatcha doing Mally?" To which she replied, "Campin' wif Kelby". She LOVES Kelby. It is so dang cute!!
We are going to miss Jestin so very much while he is away!! He was such a good sport this camping trip though! With my need for careful monitoring of my activities, he really stepped up! He took the kids fishing, 4 wheeling, hiking, to the playground, played games, cooked food and just all around spent quality time with all of us! We are so blessed to have this wonderful man in our lives! As well as great friends with whom we can escape the real world's view of us and our responsibilities and just be friends! It was LOVELY!!!