Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Some Christmas Favorites

So there were some Christmas gifts that were given that were my favorites this year. I am going to save my very most favorite for last, but we will start here with Jake. Every year Jake tries to figure out what his brother or sister is giving him, and usually Sally somehow accidentally gives it away. Well, this year, she and I worked together to convince Jake she was giving him some kind of pink Webkinz. Jake was pretty concerned. So when he opened his gift from Sally and it was the guitar strap he REALLY wanted, he was surprised and thrilled. Sally was sneaky and asked Jake which strap he liked best--it was ALL her idea! Great job, Sal!

Kash is WAY into John Deere. So Santa did a great job and put a John Deere hat and t-shirt in Kash's stocking. He also got some cool tractor and truck movies from me and Brian. But he LOVES his hat--wears it every day.

Sally is quite sure Santa is the most amazing guy around. She asked for a digital camera and got a pretty darn nice one, especially for a 6-year-old. She thinks it is so cool she got a red camera and kept saying all day how great Santa was. He really is great, isn't he?!

So, this is my all time fave this year. Ben and Jake are big Steelers fans and both have thought about getting a jersey. I don't know how many of you have looked at these jerseys, but they are VERY expensive. And me being me, I could never justify getting one of them. Ben really has wanted a "Ben Roethlisberger" jersey for a long time and looked online lots, but the cheapest we could find was around $80. Well, my sister saved the day. She called and as we were talking about gifts she said she thought she might be able to get a good deal on a jersey through one of her friends who works for a sporting goods store. We got a great deal on the jersey (still a lot for a shirt I think but so worth it) and made Ben's day. The look on his face says it all! Christmas is so much fun!

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Jake

I told Jake when he learned an entire song instead of just the intro, I would post a video again. Well, he has been diligently working on some AC/DC songs and told me this morning he was ready to post "Back in Black". He tried singing too, but the newly learned song is not down pat enough to play and sing at the same time--I am sure it will be another post another day.

We had a great Christmas, hope you all did too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

It is hard for me to believe that a month has passed since Thanksgiving. I am usually really good about getting a Christmas card out, they actually sat on my desk for the last 3 weeks. But it was the kind of card that required a picture and the picture just never got taken. So for the first time in YEARS, there will be no card from the Owens. I promise to do better next year. As far as this holiday season, we have enjoyed it so far. The kids are all very excited that today is Christmas Eve. Kash can hardly contain his excitement and would really like to open all his presents RIGHT NOW! Patience is not his virtue! Sally, much to my chagrin, has been counting presents under the tree. She gets excited when she thinks she has the most, we had to have a talk with her about that. We have been doing the 12 Days of Christmas for two of our neighbors we thought might enjoy it. One has recently gone through a divorce and the other lives here alone without any family close by. It has been lots of fun to try and secretly deliver gifts, although both have already figured out who we are. That is okay, I think they have both enjoyed it so much and my kids learn the joy of giving. Tonight we have lots of fun things planned and for me, tonight is far more fun than tomorrow. We are having 5 missionaries from our church over tomorrow as well. I am glad we can share our home with them, I know what it is like to be away from home for Christmas.

Jake, Ben, & Brian got to help with a live nativity this past weekend. I don't have a picture of Jake, I forgot my camera the night that Jake was the shepherd, but I have one of Ben with Brian. He looked like a marshmallow because we had him layered so much--it was very cold the night he was a shepherd. The family who hosted the nativity submitted an article to the church news, the link is None of the pictures in the article are of my boys, although they looked exactly the same. Other than Brian was a really big shepherd. It was fun for the boys and a great thing to do this time of year. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, it really is the "most wonderful time of the year" for so many reasons.

Friday, December 19, 2008


So while Ruby is very cute, she is not a good sleeper at night. I can't even remember the last time I slept for more than 2 hours at a stretch. Needless to say, I am a bit exhausted. Many night, Ruby ends up in bed with us. Well, I have noticed that she really does sleep better when she is in her own bed, but I am not good at letting my babies cry it out. So I have been at least trying to give her bottle to her in her bed, I just stand by the side until she is done. This has been working pretty good and she is getting herself back to sleep a little more too. Two nights ago, I was standing there holding her bottle, and I was FREEZING, so I put her in bed with me so I could be warm. BIG mistake, she just tossed for the next 4 hours. So last night, I was completely worn out! I got up to feed her once, and then the next time she woke up, I was in a delirious state. I pulled her out of bed because in my dream/awake state, I was sure she had told me she needed help counting poinsettias. Yes, you read that right. My almost 8 month old needed help counting--and she TOLD me that!? Brian and all my family can verify that I do and say INSANE things while I think I am still sleeping. When I realized Ruby was even in bed with us, I put her back in her bed and she slept a bit better. I figure, she is our last, someday I will sleep. And no amount of sleep anyone could ever offer could replace my sweet little girl! It is all worth it, even if I do lose my sanity.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandma Sally!

We wanted to wish a special Happy Birthday to Grandma Sally, Brian's grandma. We all love her so much and wanted her to know we were thinking of her.

Jake: We miss you! I love music like you do. Hope you have a great birthday and a Merry Christmas!

Ben: You are always nice. And you are always fun. I am always glad to see you. I love you and Happy Birthday!

Sally: Happy Birthday! I hope you have a good birthday and I hope you have a good Christmas, I hope I do too. What do you want for Christmas? I want a digital camera. I am glad to be named after you. Love, Sally

Kash: Do you want a 4 wheeler for your birthday? Or do you want a motorcycle? I like those things. I love you.

Jen: I love you, Grandma. You & Grandpa were so kind to me the first time I met you. I loved coming to your house in Richfield and spending time with you there. You are so warm, friendly, talented, and all-around wonderful. I am so glad you were part of the package when I married Brian! I hope you have a wonderful birthday! Love, Jen

Brian: Grandma and Christmas---they just go hand in hand. We love you and hope you have a great birthday. Wish we could be there to celebrate with you, but know we are thinking about you on your special day. All the best, love Brian.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

She must be cute

My mom gave Ruby this outfit while we were in Utah a couple of months ago. I had it hanging in my closet and saw it there yesterday and thought we had better get some use out of it before Christmas was over. I love the outfit--the little cap isn't something I would make her wear out--but it sure looks cute! I figure if she can pull off looking good in a cap like this one, she must be cute for sure! The little video is Kash singing to her--he sings to her ALL the time--I love it!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's a FIRST!

Every time we move into a new house, Brian tells me he is going to put up Christmas lights outside. I believed him when we moved into our first house and bought lights, but they never got put up on the house. So our next house, he said it was really going to happen so I bought clips to make it easier to put up the lights that were still in the box from the first house. It never happened. So then it got to be kind of a joke between the two of us. Last week, Brian says he thinks he will put lights up this year, I laughed. But today, it actually happened! Apparently, Amarillo is WAY into Christmas lights! I am sure our neighbors think we are Scrooges with the amount of lights we have compared to them, but if they only knew....

I had to get the oil checked out in the Suburban today and when I got home, I found Jake & Ben on the roof helping Brian. I think they were mostly having fun crawling around on the roof. But we have lights!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Favorite time of the year

The kids helped with the Thanksgiving banner and the name cards--I always loved name cards!
Kash just wanted his picture taken and Ben never turns down a chance to be in a picture.
I love the fall and I love Thanksgiving and I love Christmastime. I like Christmas, but I mostly like the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everyone really seems to be a bit kinder to one another. And we are all thinking about our families and what would make the perfect gift. For me, it reminds me of all the reasons I love those I love so much. I love to give gifts and really think about what might make someone happy. I will be honest and say I have missed the mark on a number of occasions, but I still love the feelings this time of year. I have such great memories from my childhood revolving around the holidays. Thanksgiving at my Grandma & Grandpa's and being amazed by the amount of mashed potatoes my cousin, Rex, could eat. Then the next day we would have a second Thanksgiving dinner at my Grandma Eva's. She had a very small house and all the adults would have to move every piece of furniture out of her front room so we could all eat together. After dinner, there was always a good card game going on and the smell of cranberry pudding steaming in the background. I like cranberry pudding, I don't love it. But I can't have Thanksgiving without it--just doesn't seem right. There is just something so perfectly wonderful about being with your family. I know that is why I get the most homesick at Thanksgiving. I did okay this year, we had the sister missionaries over and Chris, who came to work with Brian from Cuba. We had a great dinner and my first attempt at a pumpkin pie turned out pretty good. I used to make fruit cake every year with my great aunt. I had the recipe out the other day and found taped to the back a pumpkin pie recipe and decided to try it--it was really very good--a great find! That made me miss Tilda and Grandma Eva and my Grandma and Grandpa and everything about my childhood that when I look back makes me feel like I had a fairy tale sometimes. I know I had a wild imagination, but I really did have a great childhood. I just remember feeling loved and so happy. I have great parents. I had great grandparents. I have super aunts and uncles. And I have so many wonderful cousins I liked playing with (most of the time) :)!

I knew I would be busy getting things ready on Wednesday, so I had projects for the kids to work on while I cooked. They helped with all the decorations and some of the treats. I was so glad when Jake said the family prayer that night that he was thankful for the all the fun they had getting ready for Thanksgiving. I only hope I can provide for our kids the quality of memories I am blessed with. Memories are truly priceless.

I was especially excited about this Thanksgiving because my cousin, Matt, and his family stopped here on Friday night and stayed until this morning. It was so nice to have them here. Matt reminds me so much of my Uncle Kent and I really love my Uncle Kent. Matt is quite a bit younger than me, so it was just nice to get to know his family a bit better. It was just a perfect way to end this Thanksgiving weekend. I was busy and got to have a bit of my family here--I have loved every minute. And now I get to be excited about the next month and all the fun we will have doing everything Christmas! Kash and I have already listened to Christmas music once! Brian always makes fun of me because I can't wait to get the music out--I LOVE Christmas music!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


So this week the kids have Thanksgiving Luncheons at school that parents are invited to attend. Last week we were talking about the luncheons and I asked Jake if he wanted me to come. He had to think for a minute (I am hoping the whole 5 seconds he isn't too "tween" to not want me there), and then said that sure I could come, sigh! So then we were talking to Sally and Ben about their luncheon and how we would work that out. Ben wanted Brian to come to his, no great surprise, Ben openly admitted when he was 5 that he loved Brian more than me. So that worked out great, I was going with Sally and Brian would go with Ben. Later that night, Ben asked me why I hadn't been to the school to have lunch with him when I had already been there to have lunch with Sally. I reminded him that for the last 2 years he adamantly told me he didn't want me to have lunch with him--way too embarrassing! Although I did once anyway! He said, "oh, yeah, well, I want you to come have lunch with me now." Sigh... I have always been alright with the relationship Ben has with his Dad, he has been that way since he was 6 months old. But oh, how I loved hearing him tell me that! Of course he still wants Brian to come to the luncheon with him, but I have been officially invited to eat with him some other time! Again, sigh...

Sally has been telling me for the last two days that she can't wait for Thursday because I get to eat lunch with her, sigh...

Tuesday I went to lunch with Jake. He was happy to show everyone his baby sister and introduce Kash to everyone. We sat with his best friend and his mom and had a nice lunch. When we got done eating, Jake said he was ready to go so he would have some recess still. I got up to leave and he gave me a HUG!!! Sigh... Right then I realized how much that meant to me, that he would still give me a hug in front of all his friends. I decided I wasn't ever going to let any of my kids not do that. I thought I was prepared for them to not want to, but I am not and never will be. So if I embarrass them, so be it, at least they will always know I love them.

They critique my cooking, tell me I am unfair, ask why I don't do this or that, don't appreciate all the laundry I do, but they do little things every day that make all I do so worth it. I love these little people and just have to savor the "moments" instead of getting hung up on all the "if onlys".

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tribute to AC/DC

Okay, so Jake promises me that this the last thing he wants on the blog for a while. He has been practicing these songs for the past few days and wanted everyone to hear his music--we have been listening for DAYS! Actually, I really haven't minded at all--it has been great to see him so excited about something. He is dressed like Angus Young--same as he was for Halloween. This clip is a bit long, but hope you all enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

That is what my little girls are made of. Definitely more spice than nice on some days, but oh, so sweet. The other day Sally asked me if I could please put a little note in with her lunch. I asked her if she meant a note telling her how much I loved her and she smiled and shook her head yes. I had tried this with both my boys, the little love notes, only to have them come home and politely tell me I had to stop because it was embarrassing. I was so excited to have Sally ask me to write her a little love note, but felt a bit badly that I hadn't done it before--of course girls are different! So I was so glad today that I had remembered her little love note when she asked if I had put one in her lunch bag.

I remember when we found out we were having a little girl and I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I was so comfortable with my 2 little boys with all their dirt, bugs, and balls. But the night before I went to the hospital to have Sally, I was doing some last minute laundry and the lint from the dryer came out pink. I was all the sudden so thrilled to have this little girl. She has not been a disappointment once! She is ALL girl and such a delight. She was exactly what our family needed. So when we found out we got to have one last little girl, I was excited from the beginning. Ruby is just as sweet with just enough little girls are wonderful!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Jake the Rock Star

Jake has been saving his money for a while now. After his birthday, he finally had enough to buy an electric guitar--he is THRILLED! It arrived yesterday and he has been playing it since. Of course, Jake is an expert and doesn't think he needs lessons because he can already play. Brian and I are hoping he will want to do more than play the intro of 4 songs soon. But he is having a great time either way and is on his way to his dream of being a rock star.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Birthdays and 1/2 birthdays

Today is the beginning of birthday week for our family. It starts with me--I am 36 today. Ruby is 6 months old today. Tomorrow Jake will be 11, and Tuesday Sally will be 6. And then on Wednesday Kathi, Brian's mom, will I won't post that! But we do have lots of birthdays this week. It really is crazy but so much fun. This summer we had a big sleepover at my mom & dad's with all the cousin and then had an outdoor breakfast the next morning. Kate had an awesome waffle maker that I have been wanting since. It is the kind like when you get a continental breakfast at a hotel and it flips, you know what I am talking about. Anyway, I wanted one. Me and kitchen gadgets--just my thing. Anyway, Brian got one for me and surprised me with waffles this morning. And he even bought me REAL maple syrup--so yummy! I got to take a 2 hour nap--unheard of--very wonderful! And Brian made dinner--it was a fabulous birthday! Anyway, I thought I would post a little video of Ruby--she laughs so cute! Jake was hiding behind a pillow and then he would pop up and scare her, but she loved it. Watch though, every time Jake disappeared again, she tried to sit up and figure out where he had gone--she is such a peach! I just read though this post, a bit random. Oh, well. It's my birthday--I can be random if I want!


We had a great Halloween. I missed Cuba (once again), trick-or-treating isn't the same here. But the kids had fun "trunk-or-treating" at the church. The best part was having Kathi & Rick here for a few days. We love Nana and it was great for the kids to get to know Rick a little better. He is a huge tease and poor Kash didn't know how often he was being teased, but he sure loved Rick and followed him everywhere for the few days he was here.

Just before Nana and Rick took off for their long road trip. They are headed to Buffalo to get an antique couch of Kathi's great, great grandfathers--pretty cool! I so wanted to hop in and head to Cuba for a few days!

Our annual "Dinner in a Pumpkin" that we do every Halloween.

Jake was Angus Young (sp?) from ACDC, Sally a cheerleader, Kash a blue monster, Ben a mad scientist, and Ruby just the cute little "punkin" she is already!

The boys pumpkin...

Sally & I did a cat--second year in a row--I think she likes this one!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pics from our trip

Kirsti playing at MC--the reason we went to UT!
Kash sitting on Grandpa Jack's John Deere.
My mom wanted a picture of Ruby for her "wall"--what a cute girl! Morning light is stinky though!
Kash & Josh racing thier cars.
Where one wild thing is!! So fits Kash! The Pumpkin Walk in North Logan is always fun--I was glad we got to go while we were there.
All the cousins who went on the Pumpkin Walk.
Had to get a picture of Kash by this one, it was done by my blogging friend, Emily, and her family. Nice job, Emily!!! I love the elephant's backside! One of my faves!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Back to reality

So we got back from our trip last night. It was great to be back with my little family and I have to say, Brian was amazing! He had ALL the laundry done, the house picked up and the garage straightened so we can actually park in there now--very nice with colder weather coming. I was much impressed and told him I thought all his domesticity was very hot!

Kash, Ruby, & I had a great week in Utah. I loved spending time with my family and getting to see Kirst play volleyball. They lost to Sky View, but played great and then beat Roy on Friday. Kirsti does a great job and is so fun to watch, I only wish I could watch her more often. I think I am going to get Sally a volleyball for Christmas! :) Maybe I was the undiscovered talent in the family and I can pass on that genetic legacy--ha ha! I can barely walk down the hall without tripping or running into something. Maybe between Brian and some family talent that just skipped me, she can be great. She is left handed and tall, all the possibilities...

I will post some pictures and a little more info maybe tomorrow. Right now my baby girl is hungry and she is way more deserving of my time than any post.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gone for a few days

I am leaving this morning for Utah. I am taking Kash & Ruby with me and we are all excited about our little trip. I haven't been able to see my niece play volleyball, who unbelievably is a senior this year. I always loved watching my sisters play and told myself I would sometime get to see Kirsti play. So FINALLY I am going to watch her! It should be a fun trip--short--but always good to see my family. The other kids are a little disappointed they don't get to go--Sally shed a few tears last night. But this morning they were all great and I really think they will have a good time with Brian. I am sure there will be more school lunches and pizza in their diets this week which will make them happy! Kash is very excited--he has a little back pack ready for the plane and I am just glad the 2 flights we will take are both short. I better get ready to go...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Do I blog too much?

My Kash LOVES trucks, tractors, cars, basically anything with wheels. He is totally in love with John Deere and Bob the Builder and he gets so excited when we finds books at the library that include any of the above. We were at the library yesterday and he found a board book with all kinds of trucks and tractors--he was THRILLED! Since yesterday we have read this book about 3 or 4 times, so today when we were reading it I would ask him what truck it was to see if he could remember all the names (front loader, excavator, paver, etc). I LOVE the way he pronounces things and how excited he gets about all of them. Well, we got to the pages with all the semi trucks and there was a picture of one called a "logger truck". I asked Kash what it was, and you guessed it, it was a blogger truck. How I love this little boy!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ruby is 5 months

I thought it would be fun for those who stop here at my blog to see our little Ruby in action. She loves her little bouncer and she is "talking" more all the time. She is still wonderful!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Okay, so I have been tagged! That is what I get for blog stocking! I really don't know who to tag back, all the blogs I look at seem to have already been it. As for myself and writing 6 quirky things about me, that is hardly enough! Honestly, I should have Brian write this for me--many of the things he finds quirky I think are perfectly normal! Anyway, I will give it a shot!

1. I am a bit obsessive in my behavior. I have to do the same things in the same order when I go to bed, when I shower, the food I eat (I will often eat the same thing for days on end), etc. I must have order!

2. I love to buy books. All kinds of books. I don't really like getting books as gifts, because books are a personal thing, at least to me. But I am the first to give a book as a gift. Go figure.

3. I am a picture fixer--they must be straight--refer to #1.

4. Don't tell me I can't do something. Or don't tell me how to do something. You may offer suggestions, but that is all. I tend to do the exact opposite, even if I know it isn't good for me. I am getting better, but not much.

5. I LOVE to cook and bake. I love new recipes and then I love to alter them. I love to make things up as I go along--a little of this, a little of that. I have only had a couple of things go completely south on me. And they went WAY south!

6. I don't like being wrong. And I will argue way past knowing it is a lost cause simply because I hate being wrong. More than that, I love to be right. I will apologize eventually.

Some of my quirkiness makes me sound like a crazy lady--I guess some days I am!!!

Great idea?

So I thought a bike ride would be nice yesterday. I figure Ruby is getting just big enough to sit in the bike trailer. So I go out and get the trailer set up, but the wheels are flat. No big deal, I get the pump out. It is not working. I think I know what the problem is. So I took the pump apart, and I was right, the screw inside had come undone, I got it fixed. But then I couldn't get one of the tires to pump up. After 10 minutes, I figure out the problem and get both tires pumped. Remember, this is after spending at least 20 minutes fixing the pump. So I get my bike down, the tires are flat. Good thing I fixed the pump. Ruby gets hungry during all this. Between me, Kash and a blanket to prop up the bottle, she gets fed. I get the trailer hooked up. And I get on to take off, feeling much empowered by all I was able to fix by myself. My chain comes off. I am thinking maybe I just wasn't meant to go for a bike ride. But not me, I am determined! After just 5 minutes, I figure out how to fix the chain and we are off. The whole time I am thinking about how Mr. Johansen, our neighbor across the street, says he is always watching the neighborhood. I head to Coulter Street thinking maybe I will see how I do on Tascosa Road, thinking that riding my bike to the library would be a good option. I get up to the church and realize my legs are in no shape to go up a much larger and longer hill, so I turn in to the church parking lot and head down Brookside to get back up to Smoketree Street. I BARELY make it up Smoketree and because I had only been gone maybe 10 minutes I ride up and down our street one more time. So my bike ride lasted about 15 minutes and it took me almost an hour just to get going. I am sweating and wondering how many times I will have to ride my little loop before it doesn't feel like I am going to lose a lung. At least I exercised for the day! :) Thought you could use a laugh, I am sure Mr. Johansen is laughing!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Emergency Room

I am sure you thought Ben had something go wrong--nope--it was Kash this time. Last night about 10 he woke up crying and could not be consoled. He said his ear was hurting, we were sure he had an ear infection. But of course no antibiotic without a doctor. So I tried taking him to urgent care, but all the urgent care locations closed at 8!! He fell asleep in the car, so I thought maybe the motrin had kicked in and he would at least be able to sleep. We got home and within 15 minutes, he was awake and crying even more. We decided we had to take him to the ER, he was just so miserable. I was so grateful Brian was home! Brian took him and they waited for 3 hours before a doctor could even see him--Kash was awake the whole time! Anyway, he has an ear infection, and a blister on his ear drum. The doctor told Brian they are extremely painful and are caused by a bacteria. So he is on an antibiotic as well as drops for his ear to help with the pain. He just woke up about 30 minutes ago, and he is doing better. The doctor told Brian that either the blister will break or it could burst his eardrum, we should know by the amount of drainage. Poor little guy! I just feel so bad for him. He didn't complain once yesterday about his ear hurting.

Update on Ben, he is doing fine. He said his leg felt tight this morning which I am thinking must be the skin trying to heal. It will be a while though. Some of you have asked why I didn't post a picture--I just thought that would be gross! But maybe I will in a few days when it doesn't look so bad, but you can get an idea of how big a scar he will have.

We had a weekend full of doctors and pharmacies, but I am not complaining. All of these things are so minor--just letting you all know what exciting things were going on at our house!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Urgent Care

So who in our family do you think of when you see that title? You guessed it...Ben. He was outside today looking for something to do and I told him to go for a bike ride. Within 10 minutes of sending him off, he was back in the house wailing with blood running down both his legs. I was just getting Ruby to sleep and looking forward to kicking back and reading this afternoon since I had already cleaned the house. That plan went out the window when I saw his right leg. His left knee was scraped pretty badly, but his right leg was really bad. It was deep and making me a bit queasy. I thought for sure he was going to need stitches--one thing Ben hasn't experienced yet. So we took him to urgent care and when the doctor took a look at it, she said that if there was any skin to stitch that would have worked great, but Ben basically took a chunk of his leg off. So they wrapped it up with gauze and some stretchy stuff and told me to watch for infections, because of how severe the wound was, that was good possibility. The doctor also gave Ben an antibiotic just to be on the safe side. Ben was so funny about the whole thing. He is a bit dramatic and was telling me he was never going outside again and would NEVER ride a bike ever again. Then he went into panic mode when I mentioned stitches. Once the doctor said stitches weren't an option, he became ecstatic and started making plans to show all his friends his bandage and wound. We were also told he was going to have a bad scar--Ben of course thinks this is cool. I am mostly glad Ben is okay--this was minor compared to his other urgent care visits--we love our Ben!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blast from the past

When I was in high school, I loved going through my mom and dad's closet to see if there was anything cool to borrow--the whole retro thing. Anyway, I found a belt of my mom's that I loved. She told me I could have it, but my mom was so skinny in high school (and still does look great, by the way) that the belt never fit me. I always kept it, just because. Well, Sally discovered it the other day while we were unpacking. She wanted to know if she could have it. I told her she could borrow it. So this morning we thought the outfit she had on would look great with a belt, so we tried it. Great belt, mom! Still looks great a few years later!

Utah Legends

Jake has been WAY into basketball lately. Partly because of NBA Street 2. He plays the game on the PS2 and then goes outside and tries out his new moves. He was outside yesterday afternoon for at least 3 hours playing. He and Ben created a team on the PS2 game called Utah Legends, so Jake thought they needed jerseys. They cut sleeves off some white t-shirts and decorated them on Friday. Jake was VERY impressed and thought we needed documentation. I will have to get a picture of him doing some dunks--we have gotten more use out of our Little Tikes hoop in the last month than we have in the last 8 years since we bought it! We need to get a real hoop, but it can wait a bit longer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sally's tooth

I was teasing Sally last night about how "unbrave" she was when we got shots the other day. (Another story) Anyway, I apparently teased her too much and she ran off to her room embarrassed. When Sally is upset, she talks to herself and cries, so we were all listening and just enjoying our Sally. Well, Brian went to check on her and told her if she really wanted to show everyone she was brave, she should pull her tooth out because none of us thought she would do it. Brian got that competitive spirit in my little girl going and she pulled her first tooth out! It was TOTALLY ready to come out, but still, she did it! I was very surprised and she was very excited as you can see from the pictures. The tooth fairy made it here last night, thank goodness she remembered! Actually I think Sally has a boy fairy who remembered! :) But either way, she was thrilled!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Happy Four Months

Ruby is 4 months old today. I can hardly believe the time has gone so quickly. She is still a little gem and we are all so in love with her. It amazes me that after 5 babies, I am still thrilled when our little girl smiles at us or learns to use her sweet little hands. She is really such a good baby--she has handled all the the changes and lack of schedule far better than I. She is starting to laugh a little more and really is grabbing things, including our hair. Kash calls her Binga still and all the kids have started calling her "Dubie". I don't think Brian is in love with this nickname, but it started with us calling her "Ruby Dubie". She is quick to smile at all of us and has all the attention a little person can handle. She is wonderful! I thought I would share a few "faces" of our Ruby. She is really a good sleeper, she slept through my bright flashes while I was taking these pictures! She loves her fingers! And she loves to "talk" to us. I still think she looks an awful lot like her dad, but in a very cute girly way. Brian teases me about the big bows and flowers I put on her head, but I love them! Like I said, she is wonderful!

Cute little girl

Sally was worried about Ruby's feet getting cold on the tile the other day, so she let Ruby borrow her slippers. Sally thought it was so cute that we should take a picture of her! She is very cute, isn't she?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Long week

School started today. I have never been so glad. I know that sounds horrible, but I am thrilled! I love my kids and I have always loved summertime; not having a schedule so much, the weather, finding water to play in, seeing some new places, all the adventure. But as far as this summer goes, I think we all had so much of the above that a routine is a very welcome change. Like I have said before, I am sure my kids will look back on this summer as one of their favorites, and I loved spending so much time with our families, but I am just very ready to get back to a schedule. My house needs a schedule too. I have yet to put away my clothes and the ones I did get out of the boxes to hang up were still maternity clothes and those need to be put away forever! Any takers? :)

So this past week Brian left on Monday and didn't come home until Saturday afternoon. I got a few boxes put away, but we had meet the teacher night and school supplies to acquire. Back to the never needing maternity clothes--we can't afford to buy school supplies for any more children--holy Toledo! I was a bit shocked by the lists we were given, not only by the amount of things needed but the specificity of what to buy. Without coming right out and saying "we only like Crayola at our schools", that is what the lists said. And because we were buying supplies less than a week before school started, we had to go to 5 stores to buy all the required items. So if you can imagine me with my kids and how happy they were about that much shopping, all the stares we received because, yes in fact, they are all mine, and yes, my hands are full, and yes, they keep me very busy...thanks for all the comments...and the occasional thought...2 of them are for sale...just kidding. They all did fairly well considering all we were trying to do. Then on Thursday afternoon Sally wasn't feeling well. By Friday Sally & Jake were both feeling awful so we quickly found a pediatrician and they were diagnosed with strep throat. So they were both pretty miserable until last night. Neither wanted to miss the first day of school, so we were so happy that they were both feeling better and able to go today. Brian is still here, but at the new plant interviewing a couple of people for positions there. I thought this week would be my last week as a single mom, but they have asked Brian to continue commuting for a few more weeks until the plant here is a bit more prepared for him. There were a few tears shed over that bit of news, but I think I am okay again--I only have 2 kids at home for 7 hours every day--I can make it! As we were trying to find the doctor's office, we found the library. Kash and I were very excited to find out there is story hour every Wednesday morning, so I think we will find ourselves there this week. I need a good book. I shouldn't even say that when there are still piles of boxes everywhere, but I said it anyway. Like I said, it has been a long week. I have told Brian before that if I believed in reincarnation, I know I would be a mother bear in my next life. I love berries and honey, I like to believe I protect my children well, I am always up for a good back scratch and my favorite--hibernation. And did you know that bears have their babies while they are hibernating? So they come out of the cave looking great and feeling great every spring. Right now I am feeling ready to hibernate. I am exhausted in every way. But I am not a bear, so I will go back to my boxes and my 1/2 put together cave and at least have the built in excuse for napping because I needed to lay down with Kash. I feel I need an excuse to nap because I feel guilty about all the things I could be getting done if I were awake. Brian thinks this is insanity, he is the power napping king, "Just give me 12 minutes, Jen!" I am more of the "give me 3 hours" kind of person. One of my favorites, on a cold day curling up in a blanket with a good book and knowing I can go to sleep whenever I want and sleep as long as I like. I don't know the last time I did that, but it is nice to think about. I do love the moment I am in, I love where my kids are and I am grateful for all I have. But I still think we all need an afternoon like that occasionally. It is not that afternoon and the laundry and boxes are screaming at me, so is Kash. So I am off.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Let's get started!

We got to Amarillo today. It looks better than it did in February, still not as pretty as NY. I do like the house, Brian did a great job. Now it will just be the chore of finding a spot for everything. Pluses would be CLOSESTS, lots of them, a garage, attic storage, and a brand new kitchen. I will have to post a picture of the mural on one of the walls that Brian forgot to mention. It isn't horrible--nothing I would do--it can wait until we get a bit settled. The kids start school a week from Monday. We need to get them all registered in the next few days. Lots to do!

It was hard to leave yesterday, I knew it would be. But once we picked Brian up at the airport, I just got excited. I couldn't wait to get here. Now we are here and I know tomorrow will be a bit overwhelming, but it will be great to get all our things with us again.

After spending the summer with our families, I am reminded how little "things" really matter. I have things that I really enjoy, but they are all replacable and I could live without every single one of them. But those we love are priceless.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I love summer. This one has been crazy. But I love that my kids have spent some quality time with their cousins and I have spent some quality time with my sisters. I hate that my brother has to have a job, I haven't been able to spend as much time with him as I would like, but I am so glad that his wife is willing to tolerate us--we love her! I am simply convinced that John is the greatest brother ever and I feel the same about my sisters. My kids have finally had a chance to really get to know my mom and dad--I am thrilled about this. We spent a few days in ID with Kathi and I appreciate that my kids got Nana all to themselves. I don't think my kids realize what super grandparents they have--hopefully someday! As crazy as this summer has been, I really do believe my kids will look back on it as one of their favorites. I really don't know where July went and I really can't believe we will be leaving for TX in just one short week. Jake is very aware of our limited time left and he is trying to sqeeze as many parties as possible into those 7 days. As much as I like to think I am a simple girl with simple needs, I have concluded that Brian and I don't know how to do things simply. I ask myself if we could have made this whole move/job change any more crazy and I can think of a few things but not much. Through it all though, I find that the thing I feel most is gratitude. Gratitude for a whole lot of things. I am looking forward to having a house of my own again and living with my husband again, but I know when next Wednesday comes I am going to be sad too. I wish I could post a bunch of pictures from this summer, but I love this one. Just a great summer shot--kids belong in trees during the summer--don't you think?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just for fun

My friend Christine teased me about the size of my mug. I always told her it just had water inside, but she was never convinced thinking there must be something more potent in it to deal with ALL my kids and a husband who wasn't around much the past few months. Anyway, I have upgraded my mug--I never have seen anything so big! I promise, it still just has water, although I am sure Christine still has her doubts! Just because she isn't quite as amazing as me and can't handle as much as me with just water. :)

What's been happening

The past week has gone so quickly. My sister and her family were here from FL and we had a week full of cousins and fun. My parents have 6 grown children all with spouses and 22 grandchildren, all were at their house several days during the week. It was crazy but fun.

Ben was baptized the beginning of July and the same day we blessed Ruby. It was a very nice day. Ben asked my dad to confirm him, he is a big grandpa fan. I thought that was nice and it really was just a great day. I promise to elaborate more when I have some time.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lots of news

First of all, it is our anniversary today. 12 years ago today I married Brian. I love him more than ever and more than I thought was possible.

We closed on our house in Cuba Friday and that night made an offer on a house in Amarillo. The offer was accepted and we are in the process of becoming homeowners once again. I am thrilled to know I have an address again and can't wait to see the house in person. Brian did all the work on this one and from the pictures I have seen, it looks great. For any of you with an RV, our new place happens to have an RV pad with hook-ups, so we are ready for you to visit!

We have been visiting with Brian's family the last few days and having a great time. The kids have loved being with their cousins. I will be glad to be in home I can call my own again, but for now I enjoy seeing my kids have such a great time. We are headed to Idaho this week for a few days so the kids can see Nana's new digs--should be fun.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Finally posting some pictures

I am using my sisters internet and could finally post some pictures from our trip. They are in the slideshow to the side. It really was a great trip. I don't want to do it again next week, but we really saw and enjoyed so much.

Friday, June 27, 2008

It has been a while

I am having trouble with our laptop, I wanted to post some more pictures of the rest of our trip. I will do it later, but I will at least say we made it to UT and we are happy to be here. Yellowstone was great--Jake saw his wild bison and was THRILLED! We saw a few elk, but that was it. We were all hoping to see a bear, but they were somewhere else in the park that day.

We had a great visit with Brian's family while we were in Island Park. Kathi's husband, Bob, brought his 4-wheeler and Kash was SO happy about that! Brian "was forced" to take him for several rides while we were there. The cabin was great and accommodated several of us very well. The views were spectacular and the boat rides lots of fun. We got to my mom & dad's Sunday and the kids have been enjoying their cousins every day since. We went to the pool yesterday and had a great time. Jake is going to his first overnight scout camp today with his cousin. We are both excited about that, Jake because he gets to camp with his cousin and Brian, I am excited because he will pass off several requirements for scouts! I am so not a scouter--I am clueless! So I truly appreciate those who know what they are doing and will help me.

We are doing great. I miss Cuba, but it is so nice to be here. I love Cache Valley. For those of you who have never been, I highly recommend it. Utah is a beautiful place.

As soon as I can, I will get some more pictures of our trip on here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a beautiful country!

We started today at Mt. Rushmore. Brian compared it to Niagara Falls, it is absolutely incredible, but no need to go back. It really is an amazing sight, but I don't think we were even there an hour. We took off and drove through Black Hills National Forest, Deadwood, and then into Wyoming to only drive through another beautiful forest, the Big Horn National Forest. We saw some amazing landscape and the kids enjoyed seeing the wildlife. Jake and Sally spent a good part of the afternoon counting antelope and I am not kidding when I report they saw over 200! We saw 3 moose, 4 elk, and at least 10 deer. Ben said it was the best day of his life because he saw a moose in the wild. Then he said it was the worst day of his life when his ears wouldn't unplug! We were over 8000 feet above sea level when we crested the mountain and headed back down the other side--it was incredible! We are hoping to see more wildlife tomorrow in Yellowstone.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Badlands

We drove through the Badlands National Park today. Ben made the comment they should have named it Beautiful Lands, so then we had a discussion as to why they possibly named it the Badlands. We came up with hard to travel through with a wagon or horse, lots of indians, or lots of outlaws. Since we didn't have to worry about any of these things, we thought it was simply beautiful! We were planning to go to Mt. Rushmore for the evening lighting ceremony, but there was quite a bit of rain and some tornado warnings a bit farther south so we are opting to go there tomorrow morning. The kids continue to be great and the suburban is holding out--we will keep praying and keeping our fingers crossed!

Monday, June 16, 2008


So we are on our way across the country now. It was hard to leave, but we are now all very excited about seeing some new places and especially getting to see our families.

We have our stroller strapped to the top of the suburban--there is absolutely NO room inside! Right as we were leaving Cuba the stroller came unstrapped and fell off. It was scratched up some, but no damage we could see. Brian got it strapped back on, but we both had been nervous that it would fly off in the middle of a busy highway. Well, yesterday we heard something flapping around, so we pulled off to the side of the road to check the bungee cords. All the bungee cords were fine, the hand strap on the stroller was actually flipping around. But ironically, in pulling off to check our bungee cords, we ran over a bungee cord that was on the side of the road and got a flat tire. Fortunately, Brian got to change tires in between rain storms and he was pretty darn quick considering all the stuff he had to take out just to get to the tire and then actually changing it. So this morning we were a little late in starting because we had to get our tire fixed, but all is well.

We had a fun stop today. Our friends who used to live in Minnesota told us to check out the Spam Museum, so we decided to do it. What fun it was--one of those quirky places our kids can now say they have been to. Brian and I couldn't help but get t-shirts. We are all very excited to get to Mt. Rushmore tomorrow--someplace I have always wanted to see.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ode to Bonnie & Christine

In my last post, I didn't go into a lot of details about what I would miss here in Cuba. That was a mistake. First let me say that Cuba is a bit of Mayberry. I love it here. I love the community, the school, the natural beauty, so many things. I love that Kash is on a first name basis with the city workers and can tell them hello when they are driving the back hoe. I love that when I misplace one of my kids at a school function (oops), people know me and my family well enough they can help my lost child. I love that when I walk to the library, people say hello and wave whether they know me or not. I love that I can walk to the library. I love the fall here, it is more beautiful than I can say. Cuba is a wonderfully self contained community where people really take care of each other--it is the best! So yes, I am going to miss Cuba like crazy, but why dwell on what I can't change? But what I will miss most about Cuba are the friends I have made. Bonnie and Christine have made Cuba some of the most memorable years of my life to date. I have missed walking with Bonnie so much! I will miss walks, lunches, hikes, play dates, being teased by Christine about being a Mormon, the cabin, the lake, and so much more. But what made all those things memorable was the great friends I was with. I love you both and will miss you lots. Much easier to say here than in person!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I remember thinking in November that it seemed like such a long time before we would actually be leaving NY, but it has come rather quickly. Not that I am upset by that, I am ready to be a whole family again, but there is some sadness as well.

May as a whole has been a good month. MOST importantly we added Ruby to our family. She is such a good baby and I just pray that will continue as we make our trek across the country. The day before Ruby was born, we sold our house. This was such a blessing! I truly appreciate all the prayers in our behalf--I really was concerned about how long it would take to sell our house. I don't know that we will close before we leave, but just knowing it is all in the process is great! I don't know the family who bought it, but apparently they too have a large family. I am so glad--this house and yard need a family.

We had Brian here for over a week when Ruby was born. Kash became even more attached to his dad and now tells me several times a day that he misses his dad. It was great to have him here and he was such a great help. I decided that I am my biggest problem sometimes--Brian was so willing to help (and he did SO much)--but I feel so obligated to do "my job" if I am home. I relented some, I was SO tired, but it is hard for me. Simply having Brian here is a great help, just having someone to "have my back". Like I said, I can't wait to be our whole family again.

I was so grateful to have Pamela come and stay with us for a week. It was so great to just have another adult here with me. My kids LOVE her and were so happy to have her here as well. She and Kash became fast friends and played outside quite a bit. It was sad to see her go, but we look forward to having her come visit us in TX.

I had a very nice Mother's Day. Brian BBQ'd some great steaks and some chicken, we had Pamela here with us and we had the Torreys over as well. The kids and Brian got me charms for my new fabulous charm bracelet and I loved them & a whole bunch of homemade cards, which are my very favorite kind! But I think my favorite gift was the single rose that Ben gave me. Brian took the kids shopping and one of their stops was the florist. Ben told Brian he wanted to buy me a rose with his own money. Brian tried to talk him out of it since he was already buying flowers and also when they asked how much a single rose would cost ($4--can you believe that?!!!). But Ben was determined, so he bought me a rose for Mother's Day. I still get a little choked up thinking about it and how sweet he was when he gave it to me with my breakfast in bed. I still have it sitting on my bookshelf in my room--and I am not one to hang on to dead flowers. But each time I look at that flower, I see Ben and his beautiful blue eyes with all the expression he has a hard time verbalizing. In that moment, I felt like maybe I was doing alright as a mom and I knew Ben loved me. was a GREAT Mother's Day!

The month has literally flown by. I can hardly believe that Ruby will officially be one month old tomorrow. We have lots to do in the next couple of weeks and I don't get so excited about all of that, but I do get excited to get to UT to see our family and hopefully some friends along the way. We can't wait to go to ID and see the much talked about Island Park and Ben is very excited to actually meet his Gpa Bob. We have some great stops to make along the way and hopefully we can enjoy this long road trip we are about to make!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Jake's concert

Jake had his spring chorus concert last night. Wouldn't you know that Ruby was great right up until Jake's solo and then she started getting a bit fussy. So my attempt to record Jake's solo is a bit shorter than I intended. He did great though, but is mostly excited he is done with chorus!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Those darn bees!

Today Kash was stung by a bee. A band-aid and Bob the Builder seemed to fix things. A while later I was changing Ruby's diaper and Kash was helping. I said, "Last job for you, Kash, go throw away the diaper." He looked at me so seriously and said, "I can't, Mom. I am naughty." I asked why he was naughty and just as seriously he responded, "The bee sting made me naughty." I think that darn bee sting is going to get him into a lot of trouble today and be his greatest excuse for a while. I love this little 3-year-old! He puts lots of smiles on the crazed mom's face! I just wish I could come up with the brilliant excuses he does! Even if people didn't believe me, they would let me off the hook for just being so darn clever!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Five Kids--Holy Cow!

I thought I would take a picture of all the kids today since my camera has been focused on just Ruby the past couple of weeks. After I took the picture and then put it on the computer, I took a look at it and just thought, "HOLY COW! They are all mine!" I felt a bit overwhelmed for a moment, but I just love them all so much! They all love Ruby so much--Sally & Ben cannot kiss her enough--Ben woke her up today with his kisses. Not a happy Jen at that moment. Pamela left today, we were all sad to see her go. She was Kash's entertainment all week and then once the kids got home from school she kept them all busy. We love Pamela! Anyway, we are still surviving!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wahoo, Ruby!!!

We had Ruby's check-up today and she weighs 9 lbs 3 oz. I am so relieved!!! She gained almost a pound in one week--go, girl! She is doing great and I am just glad to know she is gaining weight and is a healthy little girl. I wish I could get a wahoo for gaining all the weight I have, but my wahoo will come with the loss of a few more lbs! All is well at the Owens house tonight--big pajama party plans--always good! Pizza guy should be here soon--even better--no dinner to fix!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just about 2 weeks

Ruby is doing great. I thought I should update everyone. She is a sleeper though and the first week we had trouble getting her to wake up enough to eat. At her first appt. with the dr. she had lost 2 more ounces. She has another appt. tomorrow just to make sure she is gaining weight--I am keeping my fingers crossed. She is a sweet little girl and we just love her! I never thought Jake and Ben had so many kisses to give! Kash still calls her Binga, but now it is Binga Ruby. Sally is very sure that she waves to us and all her little grunts are actually words. So I am thinking we must have a genius on our hands! Not only is she super cute and sweet--she will be at Harvard by age 10! It was hard to have Brian go back to CA after he had been here for over a week, but we are thrilled that Pamela is here visiting--she has been a tremendous help just playing with the kids--especially Kash! Other than being a bit tired, I am really feeling good. More later, I am sure!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ruby T.

I should be taking a nap--but I am too excited to share more of Ruby with everyone! She is doing really well, although I think she is looking just a bit yellowish. I will have to get her in the sun the next couple of days for sure. But she is is truly a "jewel"! The kids all love her and it is just nice to be home.

I won't go into lots of details, but everything really went well with the delivery. The dr. started the induction around 8:30 am and she was born at 1:36 pm, really fast considering the fact that is was an induction and it could have taken forever!

Kash "named" the baby a few months ago and has been calling her "Binga". I thought it would go away when she came, but so far he is still calling her Binga. A few times times he has called her Ruby, but he is pretty set with Binga--darn cute if you ask me!

As for her "real" name...Ruby Teza...While I was in college, I met an elderly woman who I really grew to love, her name was Ruby and I have always like it. Our Ruby's middle name is Teza after my grandma. According to my mom, my grandma didn't like her name, but we still decided to go with it because I think my Grandma Teza was one of the world's greatest grandmas. I would take little cakes that I had made to her house and she would have special tea parties for the two of us. She would let us stay up late and give us all kinds of good food when we stayed at her house. She played games with us and cheated so we would always win (made my Grandpa mad, but he would always laugh). My Grandma Teza would have the best sleep overs--and when we woke up she would fix the best breakfast after we had crawled in bed with her to watch "The Price is Right". Even after I was older, I always liked sleeping over at my grandparent's house. I took my friends there and never thought twice about it being inconvenient because my Grandma made me and whoever I brought with me feel so important. She really was one of the best! So although she may not have liked her name, I loved her. Ruby might have quite a name to live up to, but I think she can do it!

We love our little Ruby and we are just thrilled she is here!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

April is just about done

I can't believe another month has gone by! I have been busy keeping the house clean because we have luckily been showing the house--just no buyer yet--I am giving it 5 more days. I really don't want to have to worry about showing the house with a brand new baby to take care of as well. Luckily, Brian will be home for over a week--that will help so much! We are all very excited about the baby coming, except for maybe Kash--I think he is a bit nervous about what is going on. I don't know if it was a good or bad idea to be trying to potty train him the last few weeks--I am sure we will find out soon enough!

So the plan right now is to call the hospital at 6 am Friday morning and make sure they have a room for me. If so, I will head to the hospital immediately and start the whole process. I have been having some very minor contractions here and there, and I keep wondering why I said I didn't want an epidural--I guess I can always change my mind. Brian will be home Thursday night, so as long as everything goes as planned, we are all set! Knock on wood!!!!

We had an open house today. What a pain in the neck! I guess 3 people came to look--better than none--I was a little worried about that. As much as I love Cuba and our house, I have to be realistic that there are just not many people moving here.

Yesterday was a crazy day, just trying to get things ready for today. I told the kids if they were inside they had to help clean, but if they went outside they could just play. I was going out to check on things and Ben, who I didn't realize had come in, raced past me outside. Jake asked me if I had seen Ben. I told Jake I had seen him just come out. Jake said no, before that. I told him no and then Jake proceeded to tell me that Ben had been on the roof. He had climbed out the upstairs bathroom window and had been sitting on the roof. I am seriously at a loss for words sometimes with stuff like that. All I could say was "Ben, you could have fallen! That was stupid! Don't ever do that again!" Such effective parenting! He says to me, "I didn't think you would want me to do that." Hmmm, really?! Honestly, what do I do?! The day got worse actually. We went to Subway for lunch and we walked out before anyone could order--the kids were demonstrating how NOT to behave in a restaurant. I was completely embarrassed--I am sure everyone there was wondering, "Why does that lady think she can handle one more?" Things did improve moderately that afternoon. But it was definitely one of those days I was thrilled when it was bedtime. I started actually cleaning around 9 and got done around 11 last night. I have decided I prefer cleaning late at night--it actually stays clean for 8 hours--something that doesn't happen if I clean during the day.

The weather here has been so beautiful the last few weeks. We have hit the 80's a few times, but been in the 70's consistently. Everything is so green and the trees are all getting leaves again. I just love this time of year! We have spent lots of time outside and we have all been loving it! Kash wants to go out first thing every day and would be content to just stay out all day. He has a pretend mower that he pushes around and he loves to hit wiffle balls off the baseball tee or drive the little car around. He loves to dig in the dirt and throw rocks! Jake and Ben have spent a fare amount of time down at the creek and playing football in the backyard. I am worried they are going to put each other in the hospital, but Brian assures me they are normal. Sally likes to go to the creek too, but she also loves to pick flowers, leaves, weeds, whatever looks pickable and she makes flower arrangements and salads. She is still loving her new bike as well. It has just been WONDERFUL to be outside so much. The sunshine does wonders for me--I think for everyone.

Brian went to Amarillo again. I told him I was hoping he could tell me there was a drastic difference between February and April in the way things looked. He said things do look greener there, but I don't think it turned into a beautiful place over the last few months. Either way, we are headed there, so I better start finding things to like about Amarillo! Brian is doing very well at work. Once again, he is amazing everyone with how quickly he can get things turned around. He really is so good at what he is doing. This should be a great opportunity for him in so many ways. I just can't wait until we are living in the same house again!

I will try and get Brian to figure out how to post some pictures of the baby soon after she arrives. I am just getting so excited to meet her--not one is alike--each completely amazing!

Friday, April 25, 2008

A little dirt and water won't hurt

I know that sometimes I get too concerned about messes being made and clothes getting super dirty. I find that when I see dirty kids and dirty clothes, I think more messes for me to clean instead of how much fun my kids must be having. I have to remind myself that clothes and kids both wash, but there is nothing that will erase a memory of a great mud bath for a child. Yesterday I had been outside with the kids but needed to come in and try to figure out dinner. I heard the water come on a few times outside and thought I should go investigate. I found Sally & Kash getting toy wheelbarrow fulls of water and taking them to the hole they had dug in the dirt. Kash had taken off all his clothes and gave me that wonderful Kash smile and said, "We made a bath, Mom!" I just about got upset, and then I gave myself one of those reminders and was able to enjoy the moment with them. They had the best time! I was glad I hadn't cleaned the bathroom yet though after they bathed--that was some yucky water! I probably should have bathed them twice! I am glad I didn't ruin that moment for them--kids are supposed to get dirty--right?!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Forty years--looking back...

His gingerbread guy says so much about him! :)Again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I LOVE YOU!!!

On our wedding day, 12 years ago this summer! What a handsome guy!

A teenage Brian--wish I could show a picture of his legs--they were still SO long in comparison to the rest of him!

A little more grown up, his grandma says she can't remember a picture of Brian before he was 18 where he wasn't making a goofy face.