Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nothin' too exciting...

As some of you know, my kids and I have been counting day the days till school starts. It's not that I don't love my kids and love the fact that we can be spontaneous together, it's just that there is only so much you can do with 5 kids everyday and try and keep them entertained! All the usual tricks just aren't working anymore. So point number one, Tuesday is a blessed, blessed day for me.

Point number two. An update on me. Well, I had a really hard time this past week. You can call it hormones, and probably a lot of it was, but I had some pretty hard days, Thursday in particular. I happened to be the eve of the three month anniversary of my daughter's passing, which in and of itself is difficult to deal with. I won't go into nitty gritty details, but I just had a hard time with every aspect of my life. Then Friday rolled around and I seemed to be able to handle things a lot better. I don't know why things hit me so hard out of the blue, but I guess that's just the way it is. It seems that I have more good days than bad days, which is nice, but when I have a bad day, it's a REALLY bad day. I just can't function. I feel really bad for my kids, because I am really just not all there. I really don't want to ask for help because I have been helped so much already. I guess in a nut shell, I have been keeping myself so busy I can hardly breathe, and I am getting tired. I think it all came to a head on Thursday. My next little light that I have to look towards is school starting.

I am sorry that I don't have any fun pictures to show, and that I am not entirely upbeat, although I feel relatively okay at the moment. You know, it's just hard. Plain and simple. If I could heal any quicker I would.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pictures of yo' momma

Aaron and Emily drew some pretty accurate pictures of me with a dry erase marker on our back door this morning. It's interesting how they view you.... out of the mouths of babes? At least I am smiling right?!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Gettin' ready for the cruise!

You may have noticed the countdown on my blog for our cruise! We are so excited to take some time, just Martin and I, and have some relaxing fun. This is made possible due to the genorosity of a dear friend that the kids have known since they were little. She is coming to our house and staying for the whole week! Emily will be staying and Grammie's house and they are both THRILLED!

To get ready for this fantanstic event I have started and 30 day fitness and diet plan that Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser put together. It is a pretty intense workout plan designed to kick your hiney. Literally...

Today was day one. Consider my hiney kicked! I could go through most of the exercises and do the reps she wanted, but I am not sure if my form was all there. It sill felt good to do it though. Wish me luck as this seems to be an intense 30-day ride!

Fortunately a friend of mine, who is a personal trainer, is doing it with me. I love having someone to suffer with me! :) If I had enough guts, I would post a before picture and follow up in 30 days with an after picture. I hope it's all worth it!

By the way, we are going to the Eastern Carribbean on our cruise for 7 days and nights on Royal Carribean's Enchantment of the Seas. Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Memory Lane

Memory Lane

Here are the directions:
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn’t matter if you know me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you.

It’s actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I’ll assume you’re playing the game and I’ll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don’t want to play on your blog, or if you don’t have a blog, I’ll leave my memory of you in my comments.So let’s have it! Don’t be shy! What do you remember? Anything funny, embarrassing, silly…

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Get-away weekend

What is it about camping that is so enticing? Is it the three days of planning and gathering? Is it sleeping in the freezing mountain air, praying all night long that your children will not need your help so you won't have to lose all of your heat getting up to help them? And that they won't play tag team all night so that you get a combined 3 hours night sleep the first night? Well, if this is why you go, more power to you! This is why I go camping.

My kids love it! Emily was thrilled to find out the she got to sleep
another night, even though she hardly slept the night before and was such a chilly little Popsicle that she climbed into bed with us in the middle of the night. The following day when we were packing up she started to beg and said, "Please mommy, just three more sleeps?"

The fun thing was there was no running water or trash service!
Aaron couldn't wait to find a port-a-potty. I wasn't even sure that there were any up there! In fact Emily had her first taste of peeing in the forest. She did a good job! Of course this was before I knew that there was in fact a nice smelly fly infested toilet just down the way. Oh the joys of camping!

Since last year my kids have been BEGGING to go camping since
last year! I don't know why we don't explore Colorado more! It is a gorgeous state where people from out of state travel to explore it!

Tyler was very excited to show me "Tyler's Mountain". So we hiked off to see it. All of the kids found some walking sticks and we trooped off singing "Following the Leader". (click on the picture for better detail!) Hyrum would hum along and he even had a little bounce in his step.

Hyrum is a NATURAL camper! The dirt, bugs, weeds, cold, EVERYTHING he had no problem with. When we trooped off, he kept right up and had a grin the whole time. When he woke up after the first night he must have been a little stiff. He started walking like he was a popper on "So You Think You Can Dance". It was pretty cute!

The sad thing was, he kept biffing it! He is so tough though because he
would usually pull himself back up, brush himself off and keep walking. He showed off his biffing technique for most of the ward. You can tell that he
is the youngest of five.

We showed up Thursday Evening, set up camp, roasted marshmallows, had smores with Nutella, had hot chocolate and went to bed. Can you guess why our kids had a hard time falling asleep? Could it have been all that sugar? Nah. It actually wasn't too fun of a night. Suffice it to say, it was freezing and there wasn't a whole lot of sleeping going on!

In order to make it so this post isn't so long, I decided to break up the trip into different sections.

The Waterfall

After our restful night sleep.... not really... :) ... we decided to go to Georgetown, and ride the Georgetown loop. This is a old train that takes you past old gold and silver mines. Something Martin has always wanted to do, being a Colorado native but never has. There was a fun back road that took us right into Georgetown without having to go onto the highway. It was GORGEOUS but slow going. On the way up the mountain, we passed this waterfall. Everyone jumped out.

The boys including the 32 year-old boy was ecstatic to see that there was a little stream run-off that they could pan for gold in. I think Martin was the only one that didn't expect to get any gold! They still had a fun time practicing.

The Georgetown Loop Train

The Georgetown Loop Train was a lot of fun. It was fun to see the boys different reactions. Tyler, who is terrified of heights covered his eyes and ears as best as he could. On the ride back he realized that it was no big deal and was standing up and dancing around. It's amazing what a little perspective will do.

We were glad that Grammie got to come with us. She is always full of knowledge and of course a helping hand. We are blessed to have her so close.

The train went over many waterfalls and through landscape we wouldn't be able to see on any road. The kids had a fun time questioning the brake conductor. Overall, it was fun, albeit a little pricey.

We found gold!

Gold! Hyrum was a master panner by the end of the day! We were given a bag of sand guaranteed to have gold in it at the Argo Mine in Idaho Springs. I think he might have had more fun playing in the water! :)

Martin and Ammon on the other hand couldn't even pull themselves away from the swishing and the swirling, trying to get down to the "pay dirt". Ammon had even brought his own panner with him!

Aaron, Tyler, and Emily enjoyed themselves primarily by playing around all the neat artifacts. Aaron may have explored a little too closely on a few of them. Let's just hope his tetanus shots are up to date!

I honestly think that Martin was in little boy heaven. He was asking even more questions than my inquisitive 8 year-old! He and Hyrum hung back in one of the mines we were able to explore.

All weekend long the boys were catching grasshoppers. But they didn't call them that. They called them "noisemakers".

We had a great get-away weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mountain Flowers

Where we went camping, it was absolutely gorgeous! There were wildflowers EVERYWHERE! There were these beautiful purple flowers that would just cascade down the mountains, where no human could tread.

It seemed like this was the closest thing to heaven that I have been since I have held my sweet little girl. It was so bittersweet to be surrounded by Heavenly Father's magnificent creations and to

have that feeling well inside you that you know that there IS a God, and that he made all of these incomprehensible things. I felt the veil very thin as a gazed around me. I made a CD the night before the funeral of music that brought me peace and that could be played before and after the funeral. I was listening to this as we took a mountain drive and felt really close to my daughter. At the same time, I felt this ripping from my chest of the unfairness of it all. I wished that she was there with our family. As little as she would be, she would still be there with us.

Flowers seem to remind me of Phoebe. The sweet delicate nature and the intense beauty that they seem to possess. With one uncareful step, they could be crushed. I could stare at blossoms with all of their uniqueness
glory in their beauty. I couldn't have stared any more than I did with my sweet child and glory in her beauty.

As we drove an unpaved backroad to Georgetown, I felt this big knot in my chest. I stared out the window like a little girl seeing snow fall for the first time. I tried to wrap my mind around the intense beauty I was seeing and couldn't help but feel as if my sweet Phoebe loves nature. That she would be right along Emily, tramping up the mountain side with pigtails flying and dirt under the fingernails. I got the feeling that she glories in our Father in Heaven's creations as much as I do. I felt her presence near, and it killed me. With silent tears rolling down my cheeks, I listened as the happy chatter in the car enjoyed the sharp corners with their hands in the air as if they were on a roller coaster. I smiled. I grieved. I laughed as they made silly potty jokes. I cried as I thought about what I wished I had.

I have never felt so close to Heaven, and yet so faraway. I wonder if I will ever be able to feel close to heaven with out having the constant hole in my heart throbbing to have my daughter again. I am glad she is safe and sound. Truly I am. To know that I will have her again to raise from infancy is blessed knowledge. To not have her here with me is torture.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

Okay ladies and gents, I am currently working on my camping blog for tomorrow, but I wanted to share with you what Martin experienced today in his CTR 8 class. Martin was telling the story about Jesus and the ten lepers. This is the conversation:

Martin: Do you know what leprosy is?

Kids: No

Martin: It's where your skin is falling off.

Kids: Gross!

Martin then explained how lonely and shunned lepers were in Christ's time.

Martin: What would you do if you came upon the ten lepers?

A little girl raises her hand

Anonymous Student: (valley girl tone) Ew!

Martin: What do you think Jesus did?

Same student: (valley girl tone again) Ew! Now I HAVE to heal them!

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July!

4th of July has got to be one of my favorite holidays. It seems to go non-stop with nothing but fun. Somehow, keeping the kids up until 11 pm at night just seems like the right thing to do! Especially when they get a private show of about $200 worth of fireworks, thanks to Uncle Matt!

In the slide show, you will notice pictures of the family with a pinwheel. It has become a tradition that we bring a pinwheel to Phoebe's grave every now and then. It is a nice way for the kids to "give" something to Phoebe. Emily is always wanting to save her things to give to Phoebe. I wish she could.

After we went to visit Phoebe, we went to the Montclair Picnic. Martin has been going to this neighborhood event since he was a little boy. Linda (his mom) still lives in the neighborhood so we have an "in". Thanks Linda! The whole family enjoys going every year. They get to decorate their bikes for the bike parade, then its off to eat and then the games begin! Ammon and Tyler won their first heat in the 3-legged race with Martin and me to win 1st place in the adult round! Must run in the family! Then Tyler won 3rd in the gunny sack race with Martin winning 1st place in the adult round! He even scored cole slaw for the first place prize! Right before I was about to put my camera away to leave to Wellington, it died and I had no replacement batteries! Oh well. The rest of the day was just as fun! Enjoy the show!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Our own Summer School

School of fish that is! We got this pool from a garage sale and everyone loves it! The nice thing is, Hyrum can be sleeping and I can be watching these crazy monkeys. It has been toasty hot and this is perfect to take the edge off. Notice Emily and the position of the hose. Can someone say she has brothers? I didn't even notice until after the picture was taken. Oh well!

If you notice that in most of these pictures a certain oldest child is missing, well, he was a little um, well, let's see, how do I put this, he was a little "girlie" in his reaction to the cold water. I don't think he ever did survive longer than one minute at a time by the pool! Take a look at this video and you will notice him at the end. Fun Fun!