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

~ Mother Teresa

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Watching over Ma

What a whirlwind of crazy the last few weeks! On top of normal everyday (ca-razy!!) life, we have taken in my Mom for a month as she heals from major back surgery. She was pretty miserable the first two weeks, so I was up helping her roll over, take meds, and any other needs she had, every 2 hours, 24 hours a day. Yup. Just like a newborn! LOL It was exhausting and yet I have felt the Lord lifting me and enabling me more than I can truly say.

Emma has been a HUGE help! She rearranged her high school/college schedule to alternate with when I needed to be on campus and she has taken care of her Grandma while I am in class. Ma claims Em makes the best eggs and *loves* having her come home after her early morning college class and first period to make her breakfast. (I am so thankful as well so I can get out the door to class!)

Caleb has loved having his Grandma here and has spent multiple evenings sitting with her in the bedroom asking her questions about her childhood and what she likes in life. He checks in on her all the time, and loves going on walks with her (she is supposed to walk multiple times a day) where he watches carefully for cracks in the sidewalk that may trip her, or low hanging branches that may make her bend over. He is such a sweetheart!

All the kids have stepped up their game for their Momma and help me keep the household stuff flowing. Laundry has not gotten behind, nor have dishes. I am amazed and utterly grateful!

This week - week three - she is finally feeling a little less pained and a lot more mobile. She can do more for herself, and the time between meds has increased such that she is waking herself up in the night to take them.

We are so grateful not only for this chance to serve her, but also to foster relationships that we wouldn't have the chance to enjoy otherwise.

Double Dates!

We had a busy couple of weekends as of late...
Here is Sadie Hawkins 2015 at their school...
80's themed

And here is Masquerade 2015 the following weekend at SF High on Halloween.
Theme: The living dead.

Emma was Emily from the Corpse Bride
Cody was "R" from Warm Bodies

They both said that they had a blast at both dances with their respective dates for each...
And my baby boy went on his first DATES!!! Eeeeek!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Blogging vs. Facebook

Life sure has changed in just a year's time. The kids are growing up SO fast! We are all super swamped with school, work, family life, church callings, and show choir!

I have been thinking lately about the difference between Facebook and a blog.
Facebook gives any random acquaintance access to most any detail I post at any time.
Those who love me and my family the most read a blog.
Facebook loses many of my posts by choosing which content to share for me so I cannot easily go back and find the information that I want to see again.
I liked if for a time, but have decided that I miss being able to use my blog as a picture filled history of my family...
And so... long story short. I think I am back!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall Colors

Each year the landscape makes a beautiful change of colors that brings me joy beyond measure! I know there are some who love to drive around and look at Christmas lights, or to enjoy spring flowers... me? I want to drive around and Oooo and Ahhhh at people's tree choices and absorb the peaceful feeling and beauty that is  Fall.

I love it! It's my most favorite time of the year!!

And so... here is a little glimpse of the beauty I enjoy when I come home each day...



Sunday, October 6, 2013

General Conference Saturday Afternoon Session

Aunt Becky & Uncle Kevin were going to come up from Arizona for Conference this year for a visit, that is until Kevin landed a job in Idaho and they are now quickly getting their home ready to sell! (EEEEEE!! We are SO excited to have them closer!)
They sent us their tickets for the session they were going to attend.
Caleb is just old enough to go, and with Cody gone to Shakespeare and Emma sick as a dog, the two younger boys got to go on a "date" with Dad and Mom.
We hopped on Front Runner and rode the trains into the city...
It was a fun ride! 


Because of the train schedule, we were 15 minutes late, but they still let us in!
Cameron loved "singing with the Prophet".
Caleb couldn't believe all the people that were there!
It was a great session!
When we got back to the Front Runner Station, we had a 45 minute wait for the train...
It was a lot of fun and we are so glad we could go!!
Next time we will not rely on the trains ---- and we want to bring everybody! Including Becky and Kevin and family! ;)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pack Night & Shakespeare Showcase

We had a busy night!  Both Caleb's Pack Night and Cody's Shakespeare Showcase were on the same night (and Jes had class!) so there was a bit of running involved to attend and support both!

Caleb read about George Washington
Then the scouts tried to get their Cub Scout Master, Brother Porter, to draw what they were drawing in the air...
It was pretty hard!
The boys were WAY excited to have Bishop Day give it a go...
He had multiple boys "instructing" him... so he got two pens going!
It looked absolutely nothing like what they were trying to get him to draw! But the boys ate it up! What good sports!
Caleb's leader didn't get his advancements turn in on time, so he didn't get his awards... so off we ran to Cody's performance...
Cody played "Norfolk", assistant to the King, in this scene.

He did a good job! I couldn't get many photos because of the lighting and him moving so fast (LOL) but we were glad to make it in time to see him perform.
They leave tomorrow for the Shakespeare Festival and competition in Cedar City!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Our "Cubs"

Oh Caleb... sweet funny Caleb... here's a quick update on that little man...

* He still loves/adores/excels at anything hands-on, dirty or resembles something his Daddy would be doing. He also just spent over 2 hours helping me bottle tomato juice! He LOVES work... as long as it's not school work/reading.

* Caleb started with a fantastic tutor here in the neighborhood over the summer, and she is helping him succeed by leaps and bounds. He still *really* struggles with the building blocks of reading, but his comprehension is awesome! He landed a fantastic teacher at school, and it's the smallest class to boot! (almost 10 kids less than the other classes!) The school is getting him some help as well, and we are optimistic that he will get caught up this school year and not feel so behind.

* Caleb has attended Cub Scouts for almost six months now. He is scooting right along with his achievements and last week declared that "even though I am suppose to hate scouts" (wait? what??) "I totally LOVE it now!" He proceeded to explain that they worked with tools, hammered in nails (which "I rocked it better than anybody else!") and did all the things he loves. LOL He is so funny!

* Caleb has had a lot of fun hanging out with Cam and Tyler, but he also just loves hanging out with Cameron. They have gotten really close the last few months and love to hang out together. One of their favorite pastimes is Minecraft that Caleb got for his birthday. Their little worlds are super elaborate, and they work together to make things work. It's kinda cool. They also ride bikes and love to play outside together with soccer balls and the like.

* He is on pins and needles... it's almost OCTOBER!!! He absolutely ADORES Halloween! His all time fav! So far he has 100% decided he wants to be a cowboy, or maybe a karate kid or maybe a skeleton. LOL He is so much fun!

Mr. Cameron

So... to wrap up the updates on us let's begin with Cam...

* Cam is LOVING sixth grade! His teacher is awesome, and he got to be a part of a special 6th grade class. It's a fine arts 6th grade, and so he gets to incorporate the arts into his everyday learning. One of the coolest opportunities in this class is that they get to pick a topic/subject they learned this year and, as a class, write an opera for it. They then have a music teacher that helps them to compose original music for their opera and next spring their class will perform it!! Talk about unique! He loves it!

* He also tried out last spring and made it into the Elementary show choir: Tyros. He spent a whole week at a "retreat" at the school during the summer learning 3 detailed choreography dances to perform. Last week they performed at the city's Harvest Moon Hurrah and have another "concert" in 2 weeks. He really enjoys it and his voice is maturing and growing so much... his momma loves it too!

* Cameron has jumped headlong into scouts. (I think his brother's example helps *wink*) This fall he is attending both the local and the BYU Powwow's  and when it's all said and done, he likely could have over 10 merit badges! He was really disappointed when his 2nd 11-yr old scout overnighter was cancelled due to heavy rain (and moved to the church) a couple of weeks ago. His Dad had committed to go with him and he looked forward to having him all to himself! Dad still went with him to the church (they still did the activities etc. just no overnight camping) but he was still a little bummed out. His other 11year old overnighter was missed because of a bad asthma attack. He is REALLY looking forward to turning 12 in January and becoming a deacon and a "real boy scout" with lots of camping opportunities!

* His best friend lives right behind us (Tyler Day) and they are constantly on the go together. My favorite part about their friendship is that they have no problem including Caleb in their fun. It makes my mommy heart burst! :) They love to jump on the tramp for hours, or play X-box together. Tyler has been a deacon for over a year, and can't wait for Cam to join him too!

* Another fun thing Cam has been up to... he is passing off his Articles of Faith for his Faith in God. So far he has almost 5 of them memorized completely. He wants to receive his award before his 12th birthday.

Cam is full of fun and laughter. We love his sense of humor, as well as his small acts of kindness he is constantly trying to do. He is such a good kid and we love him to bits! :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

William Cody

Now to do a quick update on the Code-man...

He has had a busy summer as well. He committed to mow & edge "Grandma" Carolyn (our next door neighbor in our last house)'s yard each week. It has been a bit of an adjustment for him - he has some depth perception issues so sometimes he had to go back over spots, but he is getting really good at it! For a few weeks he helped mow a couple of other families yards as well. He earned enough to pay his way for Scout Camp, as well as purchase his new iPod touch he has been saving for. Once he reached those goals, he then saved some for his CA souvenirs, and now is helping to pay for his Drama and Choir fees. (he needed a new TUX for choir! WOW! I guess he's set for dances in 2  IF he quits growing though right?? LOL)

He had a very busy July - it felt like we rarely saw the boy! We started out the month in San Francisco on vacation. We arrived home early Sunday morning and hurried and packed him up and he left for Scout Camp the next day. He was gone all week (and for his birthday too!! :( This Momma was sad!). He arrived home Saturday and we rushed through getting his laundry done and sleeping bag cleaned up, and re-packed him... he and Emmalee left early Monday morning for a Pioneer Trek for 4 days. The poor boy came home and had NO desire to leave the house... or really even his room... for a solid week! LOL He loved trek and camp... though was really disappointed for both because for Scout Camp his best friend Ethan got dehydrated and went home early, and for Trek Ethan wasn't old enough to go! A few weeks later Ethan moved two towns over and he has missed hanging out with him a lot. :(

In July, Cody also turned 14, and was ordained to be a Teacher. He was sad to leave the Deacon's quorum, but was relieved to no longer be the D.Q. Pres and "be in charge" anymore.

Funny enough... his "being in charge" didn't lessen much the following month. August was consumed with his Eagle Scout Project. I will do a whole post (or two) on the project, but in a nutshell it was a way bigger bite than he had planned. He coordinated the efforts to build ladders across the end of the bunk beds at the local Young Women's Camp - Camp Koholowo. This project was completely out of his comfort zone and really stretched him to the limit, but he DID it! We had a lot of great support and love... and honestly... we are all really thankful to see it completed! *grin* We hope to get all the paperwork completed and signed off and are shooting for an Eagle Court of Honor sometime in Jan.

Cody is loving being a Freshman this year! He is taking Drama, like I mentioned, but he also tried out and made it into the Shakespeare Group. He is practicing with his group and they go to competition the first of next month in Cedar City. We are really excited for him! He also tried out for Choir and made it to the High School Concert Choir. He also is taking a Choir Tech class where he is learning the theatre prep/prop prep/lights & sounds behind the choirs performances. He could go on tour (Nationals) with the Show choir as their "Techie", but it's $2000 and I just don't know if that can happen LOL We shall see... in the mean time he is eating it up and loving every minute of it!

He started taking French this year and LOVES it! Last night he asked me if he saved up for it, could he go with his French class to France his Junior year? WOW! (Can I just say how much I *love* their school?? So many great opportunities!) Pretty cool!! *I* wanna go to France!!! LOL

Cody loves his iPod, and his favorite hobbies right now include finding funny pictures (especially of animals) to see (and share). He is annoyed by his little brothers, but is also fiercely protective of them. We all tease that he has definitely become a surly fourteen year-old... but he is such a good kid - even when he acts kinda grumpy LOL

One of my favorite things about Cody is his willingness to just quietly jump in and help. He really does so much to help out the family. He doesn't love big chore days, but he is the first to rotate laundry, empty the dishwasher, take out the trash and mow the grass. He also likes to help read scriptures at night and keep us on track for Family Home Evening.

We sure love our Will-I-am... He is such a great part of our family!! :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Emma has been super busy as well (I wonder where she gets it?? Bwahahaha)

Here's a quick sum up of her comings and goings as of late...

* She finished her first semester of college with flying colors over summer semester. She is continuing her college courses this fall - along with being a Sophomore in High school. She has two EdNet (live interactive) college courses this semester and one AP class. It is TONS of work, and she really wants to do it, but sometimes really just wants to be a teenager and hang out with her friends. It's tough, but she is being so responsible about it and learning a lot of time management skills. We feel really proud of her, but try to not be too proud because we want her to do this on her own if she wants it - it's entirely up to her ;)

* Emma is serving as the Mia Maid President at church and loves the girls in her class. She prays for them often and is just so sweet about it.

* Em earned her Young Women's Personal Progress Medallion in July (me too!!) It was fun to receive it together and to reflect on how much we have grown together. She has been such a motivating factor for me to get mine alongside her, and it has been worth every minute! When I was being interviewed by the Bishopric member about my experience and about how it has changed my own relationship with the Savior my heart filled to overflowing and my eyes filled up with tears... I hadn't realized just how important my role as a mother is to help my children feel, recognize and develop a relationship with the Savior. I realize that I am His greatest ally when it comes to my kids. It was profound moment as a Mom. Emma is excited to move on to earn her Honor Bee next, and has already completed over 40 hours of service helping Cody with his Eagle Scout Project. She restarted reading the Book of Mormon.

* She is still in love with piano, though with her schedule she is self teaching at the moment. She loves Drama and is the same Drama class as Cody. She chose Drama this year as opposed to Choir. She realized she didn't have time for it all. She looks forward to attending the Shakespeare Competitions in Cedar City next month. Cody is in Shakespeare and she gets to go cheer him on. She also wants to get a mask! (see below)

* Em is screaming up on Sixteen! She has her learner's permit and loves to practice, though the freeway has not been yet attempted. Her Mom and Dad are trying to save up to get her through Driver's Ed in the next few months. She was asked to Homecoming last week. She was so conflicted! Before her Dad and I could even discuss it and make a decision, she made it herself. She decided that it was the right thing to do to follow the standards she knows are for her own good and she told him no. He was a good friend, and was somewhat relieved she said no --- he didn't realize she was not 16 yet and was sick about making her choose! He has agreed to be her escort for her Masquerade...

* Yep. Masquerade. We are throwing her a Sweet Sixteen party and her theme is a masque (hence the mask shopping at the Shakespeare Festival.) We have a cousin who is a DJ and he is going to come make it a good time! We found Emmy a formal gown in California and she just picked up her shoes the other night on our way to Millie's wedding. It should be an event to be remembered!

We are so thankful to have her in our family! She is Mom's best friend, Cody's best friend, and we all just love her to bits! She helps to keep our busy family going whenever she has time and without her her Momma would be lost!


Soo... catching you up on Jestin:

He is busy as ever. (surprised? I didn't think so) Here are some recent highlights in no particular order:

* Jestin began going to school again this semester, however he moved from UVU to MATC and is getting his certification in HVAC (heating and A/C). He goes for 6 hours a week in the evenings and will have his certification in 2 years. He is excited about it. A lot of the machines at work have those kinds of systems on them, so he would be able to fix them start to finish, but it also will increase his abilities in his side jobs to help out. He really already can do these things, he is just excited to be able to be certified and understand a little better the formulas etc. His bachelor's degree is on hold... but not forgotten.

* He teaches Cameron's Primary class (11 yr-olds) at Church. He really likes it. He also was just called to be the on the Scout Committee as the Quartermaster. He has all kinds of plans for getting the equipment trailer up to snuff and organized LOL

* Jes had surgery over the summer for some diabetic issues. He is doing pretty good. It didn't really fix the problem, but at least gave us answers as to the whys. He is considering getting an insulin pump now that he has met his deductible LOL

* He has been busy this summer helping me with all kinds of projects! He has repaired and painted the chicken coop, sanded and painted the back steps, built shelves in the shed, and the biggest of all helped Cody with his Eagle Scout project (more on that to come).

* He got to fulfill a bucket list item this summer! He had the chance to eat a fancy seafood dinner at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. He was tickled that my cousin Kayelani & Daniel splurged and joined us. It was really fun for him. The kids even liked all the food! It was delightful!

* He works as many side jobs as he can and really does SOO much to help our family succeed so that I can stay home with the kids and so I can attend school. He often feel like a complete failure because ends don't always meet and pass each other, but somehow it *always* works out and we all feel SOO blessed that he is our husband and father!


I miss my blog...

Hello there. I miss you. It's true. I miss my blog.
I used to jot down all kinds of thoughts and updates randomly.
I used to be creative and fun.

I have allowed my perfectionism to stop me from posting.
* I haven't uploaded the latest pictures! I can't post yet!
* I still haven't uploaded Thanksgiving of last year for Pete's sake... I shouldn't post about what's happening right now!
* I don't have time to do pictures AND a post, so I better not do anything at all.

UGH! I make myself crazy. LOL

This is my blog.
And I am going to be better about posting the day to day.
If I do pictures, go me!
If not... I still capture some of our little families life no?

I am tired of loosing my family's history to Facebook who files it who knows where!
And I just need some space from Facebook... ;)

No more perfectionism.
Just raw real Dorius Life.
Join us if you want to...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dinner on the road

Dinner at Wendy's in Reno
Jestin was super grumpy because #1 I wouldn't let him drive and #2 because he was hungry, so we pulled over and got something to eat at the kids favorite fast food place!
To cheer him up, I finally handed over the keys and let him take the wheel (3 days post-op... *gulp*)
He drove for about an hour before he pulled over and admitted he shouldn't be driving.
We drove over the Donner Pass in the dark... the outlines of the trees were amazing even in the dark with the moon light shining on them! Can't wait to see it in the day!
We arrived at Kayelani and Daniel's about 1:00 in the morning.
*whew* what a trip!
The small car was bearable and the snack boxes were perfect!
Let's PLAY!!

1st Stop - Bonneville Salt Flats

This first official stop on our trip was at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
The kids wandered down in the 106 degree weather to explore the salt...
Mom and Dad set up lunch at the picnic tables.
Cody & Caleb finding cool chunks of sparking salt.
Everyone came back to the table to start eating, but Caleb was enthralled! He wanted to keep exploring.
 About 5 minutes later he came running up to the table all excited! He had found a marker on the salt flat! (a permanent marker!)
We gave him a napkin to try it out on and he opened it up.
Out fell a huge marijuana joint!
Mom snagged it up and grab Caleb's hand and as she rushed him to the car to wash his hands with sanitizing wipes, dropping the joint and the marker into the trash!
Momma scrubbed his hands thoroughly.
Then his face.
He seemed confused.
After she was sure there was no ickiness upon his little body, we joined  the crew at lunch.
A few minutes later Caleb says in a relieved voice...
"OH!!! I get it! You were washing my hands for lunch!"
Uh - Yeah - Spot on little man!
Why is it always Caleb...?
Mom and Dad... ready to get back in the car and hit the road!
We got a late start and it could be after midnight by the time we reach Vacaville!

San Francisco! Here we come!!

We are super exicted!
My cousin Kayelani and her hubby Daniel have invited us to come visit them and spend a week playing and exploring with them!
Aunt Becky & Uncle Kevin (and Amanda & Jake) will be there visiting as well!
12 people sharing a 2 bedroom apartment!
We will get to check off two bucket list items on this trip!
Heather's bucket list item was to see fireworks over San Francisco Bay.
Jestin's was to eat fish at Fisherman's Wharf/Pier 39.
We plan to do both!
We bought a new (used) car a couple of weeks ago, and to save on gas money we are cramming in together to go! (You KNOW you are jealous of our fun when you see that picture right??)
It's SO gonna be worth it!
Jestin had minor surgery the Friday before we left, so Heather gets to drive us all there.
Should be an adventure!!
See you in a week!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Snack Boxes and Travel Food

We are headed to San Francisco in a few days and we are taking our "new-to-us" 2004 Ford Taurus sedan. Yep. All six of us, together, in a barely-six-seater for a 13 hour car trip!
Space will be very limited and so I worried about how we were going to transport our snacks and not end up with mashed boxes and crumb chips. Not to mention, of course, the inconvenience of mom being the hander-outer non-stop in a tight space... and it all ending up at mom's feet to boot! LOL
I was at the Dollar Store picking up a few of our cheap favorite snacks when I passed by these tall plastic containers...
...and it hit me!
Everyone gets their own box to hold/keep track of!
I snagged the boxes, some sandwich baggies, the rest of the snacks and headed for home to share my excitement with the kids. :)
They were all THRILLED with the idea!
Everyone got to choose what he/she loved!!
We broke out the label maker and gathered all the snacks I had been buying on sale for the last 3 months for this trip. 
Cam and Code loving theirs! 
Cubs can't contain his excitement!! 

Even Mom and Dad were going to be in charge of their own snacking pleasures on this trip.
Everyone kept their box down by their feet and we tossed all the extra space taking boxes and bags the treats came in! YAY! 
Food is ready to go!! 
Here's a variety pic so you can kind of see what each box had in it... 
We are ready to go!!!!!!!!!!!!
** Post trip notes **
** Instead of sugar laden drinks, each child took a water bottle and we took our 5 gal water cooler with us in the trunk and refilled at each bathroom break. It worked out perfectly! (all we ever bought was ice to refill it - the heat of the day melted it as needed!)
** We also filled a gallon size baggie with celery & carrots and if the kids wanted they had the single serve peanut butter cups in their own boxes to eat with them (Mom & Cody's fav!)
** We also had another gallon baggie with peeled and wedged oranges and 2 different kinds of apples (cut into wedges) - Em juiced one fresh lemon all over the top of the fruit and shook the bag to coat the oranges and bananas... it kept the apples fresh and crunchy with very minimal browning for almost a week! (have used bottled lemon juice before it is not as effective) 
** The previously mentioned baggies of fresh food we kept in a small ice chest in the trunk, along with some lunch meats, cheese, mayo/mustard and tortillas - we made wraps for the big meals on the trip. There also were some frozen applesauce pkgs (the kind you suck out) for when we needed something refreshing. When we stopped for potty breaks along the way we would rotate the fresh bags when we got water refills. It was lovely!
** note: Don't divvy up beef jerky into sandwich bags for this - it is too strong smelling and some of our crackers took on the flavor of jerky. Jerky will just have to stay a pass around treat LOL (meat flavored Nilla Waffers was weird LOL)
** The kids did not eat all their snack items, and often gathered some of their baggies of snacks for their day-packs while were in SF. (each child had their own string day pack to carry their water bottle, snacks, camera, and sovenier $ - that was a back saver for mom and dad! And saved the begging for expensive drinks and treats along the way!) A quick stop at the grocery store and the boxes were refreshed for the trip home as well! This was a real life saver!!
Hope to use this new tradition from now on! It was a great way to teach the kids moderation and responsibility as well: There were no boxes/bags to refill from... they had to ration smartly to make it last the whole trip and they all did beautifully with snacks to spare!! :)