Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Colin’s Pokémon Shop

Colin has been wanting to sell his Pokémon cards for awhile now because he just never uses them anymore.   He tried ebay with no success, so the obvious crowd for him to target was the one here in the house – his little brothers.  He wanted to charge way more than I thought was fair (and they probably would have paid it), so he stewed over his dashed dreams of quick bucks for awhile.  Then a couple of Fridays ago, he had to stay home from school because he was sick the night before.  After just a few hours of Full House (I got him hooked over the summer), Colin was pacing around like a hungry lion.  He came up with a plan to keep busy and make everyone in the house happy.  When Gabe and Ollie came home from school, they found this sign outside their bedroom door:



The sale was a huge success and all of Colin’s cards where out of his possession (but still in our house and ready to be scattered on the floor again, hip hip hooray).  Everyone was happy.

Until this past Thursday, when all of Colin’s classmates suddenly started talking Pokémon and bringing their cards to school.  I believe Colin weaseled a few cards back from Gabe and has already managed to aquire several more from classmates. Now Colin can’t believe he just sold them all for a cent each.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Mom

Last Sunday was my mom’s birthday.  Within about ten minutes of getting to church, Ollie drew a picture of him with Granny, holding hands.  He scooted through the aisle until he reached her, snuggled up and showed her.  She got a huge smile on her face and pointed at him and herself, knowing exactly what the picture was.  Ollie could tell that she loved it, so he spent the rest of the meeting drawing pictures and writing sweet messages to his Granny and sharing them with her.  It was so sweet and completely his idea, and both of them were beaming the whole time.


That evening we had a family dinner for her with Papa Murphy’s, which used to be my mom’s favorite whenever she visited us in Provo.  We just got a location near us this year. 



I secretly gave Colin and Santi some silly sting to spray at Granny right after she blew her candle out.  She was very surprised and LOVED it.  She loves pranks and practical jokes.




And, just because these two girls (Carina and her cousin Leslie) have been crazy about each other lately, and they are so cute…a couple of pictures of the two littlest party girls.

My mom was pretty tired after a couple of hours, but I think she had a good time and we were happy to show her how much we love her.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bryce came home

My youngest brother Bryce completed basic training for the Marines last month.  Here is a picture I stole from my Dad’s facebook page:1167644_10201744675084710_1308127997_o


He had a ten day leave before he moved on to his next training, so we threw him a little party. 

All my siblings should be able to look at the three pictures below and guess what I made for dinner -



-My mom’s very gringo Chicken Enchiladas.  I cannot remember the last time I had Chinchiladas (as Chaddy and I always call them) and let me tell you – yes, the sauce is an orangish, vomitey color, yes, it has condensed cream of mushroom soup, yes it has more dairy in it than you should consume in a month, but those suckers were sooooo tasty.  Lindsey and Bryce reminded me that Bryce always loved Chicken Enchiladas so much that he would eat them until he got sick.  I think I did the same thing that night.


This is Bryce, next to my brother-in-law Seth.

Bryce is doing great.  He is in incredible shape.  He seems so happy and fulfilled.  Towards the end of the night we had him sit down with his nieces and nephews who were there, for a Q&A session.  We are not exactly a military family, so we are really clueless about everything.  We all really enjoyed hearing more about Bryce’s experiences, especially Colin.  That kid had stars in his eyes the whole time.


Now Bryce is gone again for more training.  We miss him, but it is great to see him out there living his dream and doing it well.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


On Sunday, in “the mountains,” I took a walk down to the wildflower field in front of Levi’s house with Carina and my niece and nephew, Ruby and Silas.  Grabbing my camera, I decided to keep my portrait lens on and see what kind of images I could capture with it.  These pictures make me want to pack our house and move up there.





Dear Ollie,


You had your first day of kindergarten a week ago. Your dad, your big brothers, Carina, and I loaded the stroller up with all your school supplies and walked you and your hashbrown belly to class. Your brothers said goodbye at the school entrance and Colin gave you a big hug, telling you you were going to do great.

A Dad (with a capital D) was quizzing your teacher when we walked in the classroom, so we quietly waited for his questions to end.  Then the teacher turned her attention to you with a big smile and said, “Ah, another smart boy!”  She led you to your cubby to show you where to put your monster backpack, and then you sat down to color.  After a quick goodbye (feeling like veteran parents) , Daddy, Carina and I walked out, leaving our handsome little guy in the care of someone else for seven hours.

And I didn’t cry.


I had spent the previous evening reading my blog late into the night, letting the tears spill over onto my pillow as Chad slept beside me.  All five of your years are here, and each post about you is precious to me. 

Your smiling brown eyes.  Your strong will.  Your energy.  Your joy.  Most of all, your love. 

My heart ached with post after post and the thought that keep swimming in my head  - Did I do enough?


Why oh why can’t kindergarten be half-day here?

When we dropped you off, your teacher reminisced with us that on Colin’s first day of kindergarten I was pregnant with you (you were born hours later, as you know).  It was certainly a full-circle moment, watching you, my last baby boy, start the same adventure that my first baby boy began on the day of your birth. 

On the way to school you told me, “Mom, I am a little excited and a little nervous too, but I am just going to do the things I am supposed to do.  I am just going to be quiet and not talk, but then talk when teacher asks me stuff.” 

In that moment of walking away from you, I didn’t rush back to my car to let all my emotions spill over, like I had done with your brothers, despite the months of shorted home-time with you.  You were so ready.  You were so confident.  You had seen your brothers doing this your whole life.  You would see them (and your dear cousins) in the hall, on the playground, and in the cafeteria.  You would have feelings of home and security in little pieces all day long.  Maybe Colin and Gabe had more mom-time, but you had been showered with brotherly love since your birth.  You weren’t shorted at all.

Maybe I felt like I need more time home with you?  I will miss you dearly.  I will miss you calling me “Liam” on accident after you have been playing with him.  I will miss your funny phrases.  I will miss your any-time-of-the-day snuggles.  I may even miss you asking for food all day long.

I am excited for you, Ollie.  Your curious mind gets to work all day long now.  Your friendly face will find many new pals. Your boundless energy will serve you well as you navigate through Chinese, music, art, and PE with your never-ending enthusiasm.  I am so grateful now for those very traits that both exhausted us and entertained us as we tried to point you in the right direction.  I am so happy that you are there now – heading strong-willed and kind-hearted on a path of growth. Keep going, my brown-eyed, furrowed- brow sweetheart.

With love,