Monday, May 7, 2012

I love my kids.  Short and sweet of it.  I love this shot of Hyrum and Savvy.  Please don't mind Savannah's lack of clothing.  She is now an expert and taking off her clothes and not so good at putting them back on!  This picture was taken on Phoebe's angel day.  There is something about having my earthly kids that allows me to still feel her close.  The relationship that my kids have together makes all those "hard" days worth it. 

My mom came to help me after a surgery and it was so wonderful.  As much as my family takes care of me, there is nothing like having your own mom there.  I loved the time that she was able to spend with me, when I was not in a percocet induced sleep, and the time she spent with her grand kids.  I would lay in bed listening to her interact with my youngest.  So so so sweet.
Ammon participated in Destination Imagination at his middle school.  He really enjoyed the team he worked with.  I am not sure all the specifics, but they had to create a structure made out of wood and glue that wasn't to exceed a certain weight that would allow a golf ball into it, as well as hold weight.  They also had to come up with a play to go along with it.  It was fun to watch them compete.  They didn't do as well as they had hoped they would but I was proud!  :)  He has matured in so many ways.  I am really proud of the way that he has stepped up.  It's amazing how quickly boys become young men. 
Tyler turned 11.  Yikes.  My kids are growing up too quickly!  Granted, I am grateful that Tyler no longer plays in toilet water, and that we can now stock crayons, markers, and glue in the house again, as well as keep kitchen knives on the counter instead of hidden from his view, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this boy will be grown before I know it. I am so proud of him.  If I could write the feelings that come into my heart when I thing of this boy it would be a miracle, but let me name a few.  Tender-hearted.  Obedient.  Strong.  Helpful. Desires to do good continually.  Fantastic brother.  I could go on and on.  So so so so glad to have Tyler in our family.  LOVE YOU!!  3!  ;)
Aaron turned 9 and Savannah turned 2 a day apart from each other.  Aaron has made so much growth in the last year and not just in clothe sizes!  I have been so amazed by the amount of courage that he has shown in choosing the right and mastering some things that get him feeling down.  He is so much help to me and his siblings and is HILARIOUS!  His quick quiet wit catches me off guard sometimes.  Love you Bo Baron! 

And Savannah.  What a blessing she is.  Not just to me but everyone who meets her.  It's not just her dimples that gets you, but her personality is to die for.  She has filled such a sweet spot in me that I am so grateful for.  She is so conscientious to details and likes everything just so.  She is so stinkin smart too.  Like, too smart.  :)  She brings me and the rest of my family so much happiness. 

Em J.  I am constantly amazed at the spunkiness of this girl!  She often throws caution to the wind and breaks loose.  She still fits the phrase that I have given her since she was really little... A girlie girl tom boy.  She took gymnastics in the fall and is about to start up again.  I am so impressed with many things she can do, but especially her upper body strength.  That is my achilles heel so it's fun to see her have so much strength.  Ask her to whip out 20 boy push-ups and she could do it no problem.  Another things that makes me so proud of her is her preparing for her baptism.  She often will come to me with questions or thoughts that she has concerning it, as well as her feeling the Spirit.  Almost 8.  Excited for her, but it makes my heart ache!  I don't want her to grow up! 
Hyrumba.  He is so super dooper cute.  What can I say about him that would adequately describe the whirlwind he is.  His sense of humor and wit, the way he picks up on things, the sweet way he treats your baby sister, and of course, his sass, all makes him one fun kid to be around (most of the time... ha!)  I am going to miss him so much when he goes off to Kindergarten.  The mad skills he has in any sport he tries makes me want to wear full body protection when I play with him! 

Whew.  If you have read this far, I am impressed.  I do write in an actual paper journal.  I have found that I am too often not able to finish handwriting about each of my kids due to interruptions etc, so I figured this would be a good venue to catch up.  Thanks for hanging in there.  :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Growing Pains

Do you ever feel like people can see things about yourself that you don't only to find out later that they were right?  I kinda feel like a chump when that happens.

It makes me wonder what would have happened had I embraced those observations instead of explain them away.  Fast forward a year or so and I see those things said to me realized.  But here is the difference.  It was the Spirit that whispered the words to me.  Almost as if I needed that second or third witness to what had already been spoken to me by those who love me.  The vehicle that was used this time was music.  A song I have sung a million times and that has affected me in different ways several times.  This time it was these words:
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tell —
All is well! All is well!
Let's just put in on the record that I have had plenty to mourn about.  Plenty of things that are classified as "hard". Even that word doesn't seem to encapsulate what I have been through these last four years.  I have had to rely on too many people. Something that I think is really hard for most people.  No one likes to be in a position where there is no other option than to open your uplifted hand and say "Help."  I, like most, much prefer to be the one to offer to help and strengthen the feeble knees.

The constant battering of life's trials has brought me so low that I thought there was to be no escape.  That I had been called to do more than I could.  But tender mercy upon tender mercy and line upon line and small moments here and there led me a step at a time.  Sometimes it was people constantly opening there homes to my children who were also having a hard time.  Sometimes it was an email from a random ward member after a day where I questioned... A lot. Sometimes Most times it was from unfailing friends who took me (and sometimes my kids) at my worst and wrapped their arms around me anyway.  The same who refused to talk bad, harsh, judgmental things about me or my family behind my back.  People who decided that love, even without all the details, is the best way to handle a situation that you are not privy to.

I loved what President Uchtdorf said in this last conference.  He spoke of many things that I had wished to tell some people but really, it chagrined me enough to take some of the growing pains I am currently experiencing with a more open heart.  He said:

This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:
Stop it!
It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”
We must recognize that we are all imperfect—that we are beggars before God. Haven’t we all, at one time or another, meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy—to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed?
Why is it so hard to "Stop"?  We all do it.  Most times, I have noticed when I judge the harshest, those end up being when I needed to love the most. 

So.  Taking all of this in stride.  Being on the judging end and also desperately trying to weather through being judged.  I am working on changing my nature.  It's not easy.  I keep failing, but I also succeed. 

Growing is hard.  Sometimes I get apathetic because it is so dog gone it hard.  I really start to wonder what's the point.  It's too hard to fight back.  And then the same words come back to mind, 
"Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. Our God will never us forsake; And soon we'll have this tale to tell — All is well! All is well!"

I have been asked several times what keeps me going with all that I have on my plate.  And it is this.  My eye is on eternity.  The things that I am learning for me and my family are things that can effect my eternal happiness.  All is well.  I don't have to wait for heaven to feel that.  

And THAT is what I am working on.  All IS well. I can thank those that have helped me to this point, but you know what?  It's time for me to do more.  To stand a little taller.  To be a little kinder.  To try a little harder.  

Wish me luck. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baseball, baseball, and BASEBALL!!

When I signed Aaron, Tyler (on the same team), and Ammon all up for baseball I had no idea how I was going to do it with practices and games as well as Emily in gymnastics.  I felt good about it, so off we went.  

With practices Mon, Tues, Thurs, Friday and games on Saturday we have all but lived at the baseball fields.  I really haven't minded it and have loved every second that the boys have built their confidence.  None of them have ever played and it has been so great to see the incredible improvement that all 3 of them have made.  It has gone from throwing the ball from the MITT (Ammon) to being able to throw in from the outfield to the pitcher.  Tyler is a NATURAL and has picked it up right from the start.  Aaron has all HEART and can throw and hit like the best of them.

I have watched every game and practice like its the world series.  I love seeing the excitement on their faces as they connect with the ball.

There has been quite a few games with Tyler and Aaron that they were the majority of RBI's.  So proud!

Ammon has been able to use those long legs of his and play center field brilliantly.  He provides a great back up if the infield misses the catch and has improved so much on his batting.

I told all the boys that all I wanted for
them in the baseball season was for them to improve even if it was just a little bit throughout the season.  They have more than surpassed that.  I think a lot of that has to do with the great coaches we scored.  The one to the left with Aaron is Coach Norm.  As in Norm Angelini.  A major league pitcher.  His son the head coach was drafted in the minor leagues and dropped out because he wanted a better life for his family.  It has been awesome!

Ammon's coach is great as well and has a great support too.  They have been really patient with Ammon and have taught him well.

Who knew that I would be as proud as I am.  Don't get me wrong, I am excited to get my nights and weekends back but I have a feeling that I will be spending a lot of time on the bleachers for many years to come!

Enjoy the video of Tyler clearing the bases below.  (I had strep throat so I sound like a fairy... ) :)

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I love the golf course.  I have never played with Martin.  Ever.  And yet, there is something about it when we drive by whenever we go to Target (which is NEVER I might add... Savvy does NOT kick her feet like crazy and squeal like a little piggie in excitement when we pull up into the parking lot and love to stick her little finger out and touch the magical red ball... okay yeah, it's all the time but what can I say...)  Anyway, I love to hear Hyrum spout out all the memories he has with his dad and brothers.  The girls have been crashing the party lately and its been kinda fun.

Ahh.  The sand trap.  Pretty sure they didn't mind the shower of sand that came upon them trying to get there ball out.  I have come to realize that the golf course is really just a big playground with the excuse to get dirty in a "clean sport."  Maybe that's why the boys like it so much. 

Emily and Aaron took it upon themselves to ensure the sand was properly cared for.  And then made sure that it wasn't....

I love, love, love, watching Martin put his CSU golf class to work in teaching the kids.  He is so patient and I love watching the kids learn from him.  This shot below kind of gives you the idea of what it is like to golf with the Michel family.  We don't take it over at all.... The employees are really kind to our family and have never left us feeling unwelcome.  So glad the kids can have a positive experience.

I love the above sweet tender shot.  I love how perfectly Martin towers over Hyrum as if to suggest that Hyrum is protected from everything around him.  Sports speak to this little boy and if you take the time to play one with him, you have him in your hand.  Love that little boy.

And then there's me.  My first shot.  Pro?  I think so.... ;)
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Snapshots of what we have been up to!

The joys and challenges of having a large family means that you are busy all the time.  One kid or the other is always doing something.  The result?  Lots of pictures and not a lot of time to post them!  I have been having a lot of fun doing things as a family and with all of the milestones that have been reached in the last few months.

I love seeing the individual triumphs of each member of the family including myself and Martin.  I see so much growth and strength that I am humbled by the things they teach me.  I am overwhelmed at the amount of pictures and stories that need to be told on this family blog, but I am determined to let my kids know how precious they are to me. 

A part of the reason for my long blog break was a frustration within myself for the lack of sharing of my personal learning and growth.  I have so many thoughts that come to me, life changing ones that I would think could benefit someone else.  I go to write them down and then become self-deprecating that maybe these really aren't all that "amazing".  A personal goal for my blog for here on out is to not just share a "photo journey of our family" but from time to time to have enough guts to share what I have on my mind.  It is my goal for my kids to know me personally.  Not just as mother and teacher, but as a person with weaknesses and strengths just like them.  So... wish me luck....

Without further a do, a few pictures before the storm of posts trying to catch up!
We love bowling!  I guess it could have been the competitive Wii tournaments we have at home, but for some reason we always have a great time.  Emily cracked me up whenever it was her turn. 
The zoo.  We live there.  Almost.  I have been bringing these two boys since they were babies!  I love how close they are.  I love the fact that the train is still a cool place to ride. Hope it lasts!  :)

Spring storms.  Love love love Tyler's child-like wonder.  He has always had this wonderment with the smallest of details.  I can always count on him to help me notice things I would have otherwise overlooked. 

I am pretty sure I have the same picture of me at about the same age doing the exact same thing.  So cute!  :)
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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Blogging block.


I am so far behind.  I don't even know where to begin.  How do you catch up when you have so many great things to say/post?

Suggestions?  Anyone?

This is killing me slowly....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eight is definitely Great!

Dressed in white you were glowing
with family and friends gathered around
you were showing
your deep testimony and love for the Savior
you made a choice and found favor.
Your Heavenly Father is so very proud
your mom and dad are humbly bowed,
in thanks for such a righteous son.
Can't wait to see the good that you'll do,
the lives that you will help too.
Aaron I love you.
While we were getting ready to leave, I found Aaron running through this meadow.  Couldn't help but see a future missionary!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Temple Trip

How do you choose from so many great pictures?  I couldn't.  We took a trip to the temple to take pictures for Aaron's upcoming baptism.  It was a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky.  Aaron looked sharp.  Dad looked awesome.  The rest of us, well, don't look to closely.  They dressed themselves (yes Hyrum's shirt IS backward)  but this day was for Aaron.

Aaron doesn't always like to have his picture taken.  I couldn't find a displeased look in the whole bunch of these pictures.  What a spirit this young man has.  I loved watching his youthful exhuberance as he watched huge bumblebees on flowers and following after his little brother.

I had a feeling that Phoebe was there with us as we trooped around the temple.  I can't wait until we can meet together inside.  Whole again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Savannah is One!!

One?  One?  I want to know who is responsible for this time warp I find myself under.  Savannah, Savvy, Saboonu, Savvilicious, Savannah Banana, The Savs, Savalina Ballerina... there are many more names that you have already been called.  But one thing is for sure, you are one loved baby girl.  You already have an uncanny way of cheering up someone who is sad.  You have hands-down the best two teeth smile.  You melt my heart with those gorgeous baby blue eyes.  Your only word "Hi" is enough for me.  I think know you are perfect for our family.  A little girl like you shouldn't enjoy being thrown on to a couch or being pelted with high speed pillows.  And that growl of yours?  I can't even do it as well as you.  Savannah, you are such a joy to have.  Happy 1st birthday.

Happy 8th Aaron!!

My sweet Aaron Bo Baron.  How in the world did you become 8? 

I remember when you were about to make your entrance into the world, your dad whispered in my ear, Please hold on a few minutes longer.  Let Aaron have his own special day."  I said "I'd see what I could do."  You made it with 13 minutes to spare.  

No sharing your birthday with Valentines day for you.  My first present to you!  :)
What a handsome little man you've become.  Your excitement for so many things makes me excited with you!  You LOVE the outdoors and anything that goes along with it. From sleeping outside in below freezing weather in your own pup tent to playing ALL DAY in snowy wet weather.  

My little tawny scrawny isn't so scrawny anymore.  You wow me 
with your 20 straight as a board push-ups and your huge muscles. 

You make such delicious meals with great ideas to change things up.  You are a fantastic brother with such a sensitivity to people.  You love your little sister Phoebe with such a zeal that it rivals my own.  You give the BEST hugs.... I could go on and on.  What I am trying to say is, thank HEAVENS you came to our family.
I love you infinity times 8.  Happy 8th Aaron!!
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