Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Decorations

The first weekend in October is always the Semi Annual Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It runs in 5 sessions. Two on Saturday that can be viewed on the internet, cable, or satallite. One on Saturday evening for the boys/men ages 12+ which can be viewed at the stake centers. And then two on Sunday. This year I thought and pondered for weeks of how I was going to make it a more spiritual weekend. I don't know if the mission was accomplished, but I do know that we successfully watched all 4 sessions and have spent many conversations since then discussing what the Prophet and Apostles taught us. In between our Saturday sessions, the children and I decorated the house for Halloween. We also did two Halloween crafts between sessions this weekend. We made candy necklaces.

 And Halloween Chocolate!
To help the kids focus on the talks, we played conference Bingo. I realize now that it was a bad idea. There was a lot of arguing over, you can't color that, they didn't talk about that. Saturday they all had the same board. Sunday, I was smarter and gave them each a different board so it wasn't as much of a competition! Next year, I will come up with a different activity! But it was fun for them to do, if only they didn't want to compete over it. I felt like overall this was a great start to our holiday season. What better way to start the fall time and holiday time than learning from our religious leaders. It was amazing!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Random Pictures

So Laycee really likes to sleep with me.  Judging by this picture, you can see why I do not like to sleep with her!

 Several of the boys in Logan's class have mohawks.  He has been begging me for one.  So I recut his hair and spiked it up.  He begs for me to spike it everyday.
 I could not find where I posted this, but shortly before Trent's 8th birthday, he lost his first tooth!  Just two weeks ago, he lost his second.
I figured now that I was almost done catching up on all of the summer pictures, I could break and put in a few of the random gem pictues I had.  Next to be posted are autumn pictures.  Oh I love this time of year!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ward Campout

Well I decided to brave it and take the kids camping... alone.  Thankfully, Tyson and Kimberly in our ward offered to have me follow them up there and Tyson helped me set up the tent.  You can see our tent pictured in the background.  I found this semidarts toy at Walmart for $15.  It was magnetic and the boys loved playing with it.

Here are Trent and I.  Camping it a lot of work.  And especially for one night.  But I really think that we had a good time!

Our fire

Ethan, Scott and Miss couldn't make it, so I offered to have Ethan come along.
 This was so Laycee's thing. 
I didn't get any pictures of Haylee.  She must have been off running around.  I actually hardly saw her the whole time we were there.  It was an awesome weekend.  Spent some time meeting new people and the kids were able to get out and run free.  Kind of hard to keep my two eyes on 5 children, but all in all it turned out super fun!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Casa Grande Ruins

Well summer was over and we traveled our little tails off.  Spent time moving down to AZ.  Then went to Amy's in NV.  Spent 9 days in the midwest.  And then we were back home ready for school to start.  It was a really busy summer.  But, before it ended, we had one last trifold trip to make.  We went down to Casa Grande Ruins.  Trent needed to visit a national historic site for scouts.  This happened to be one tha we could get a stamp in our National Parks Passport.  And Laycee brought home Mr. Bear from school and he needed some fun things to write about in his journal.  Here are Trent and Logan raedy for an adventure!
 Casa Grande Ruins
 I know its hard to see, but the black spot in the corner of the covering here is an owl!
 They had a Jr Ranger program here, which the kids really loved!  Here is Logan searching the desert for some of the things on his checklist.
 Laycee and Mr. Bear working on her packet for her Jr Ranger Badge.
 All of the kids out front after earning their badges.
This was a surprisingly fun place to visit.  Its super small, but the kids really enjoyed all of the activities.  We had packed a lunch and spent several hours here!  It is close to home and only cost I believe $5 for all of us!  I did not expect it to be as enjoyable as it was.  The kids would have loved to stay longer, but I ran out of energy well before they did.  If you are in the area and looking for a fun thing for the kids to do, this is definately a must see!  

Monday, October 17, 2011


Trent is of age to start scouts!  And we have LOVED it.  He turned 8 in July, but we waiting until after vacation to get him started.  So, he started in August.  He earned his bobcat at his first pack meeting.  And he has two more achievements left for his wolf.  He has really taken a liking to it.  His first rain gutter ragada is next week and he is thrilled to be working toward fun scout activities.  I was worried that it would be something I wouldn't enjoy doing with him, but its been great!  We try and do 1-3 of the sub achievements every week and it has been an enjoyable experience for us both.  I am thankful for this time to watch him grow into a responsible scout!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oh Baby!

Ok, so this summer has flown by, as has the pregnancy!  I am 28 weeks now.  I sit and wonder where the time has gone.  But here are a few pictures of the previous two trimesters!  Our first glimpse... 8 weeks.

I am not one for belly pictures, but since this may be the last baby, why not?!  10 weeks
 12 weeks
At this stage, it all depends on what you wear I think
 20 weeks
 24 weeks
 27 weeks
 At 20 weeks, we found out...
 He will be the tie breaker for us.  Now we will have 3 boys and 2 girls.  I also ordered this fun diaper bag from Thirty One.  I love it!! 
I am starting to be ready for the baby to be here.  The pregnancy has flown by, but there is always a time when you are ready to feel normal again.  Thats me.  The exhaustion has been... well exhausting, this time around.  I dont know if it is a result of Dave being gone or just the busy life of 4 children.  Either way, it has been a struggle.  But I feel really blessed and strengthened so often.  The baby is due Dec 31st and Dave cannot wait for a New Years Baby.  I am both excited and nervous to be having another baby in the home.  There is nothing better than raising children, but it is no secret that the newborn days are not my favorite.  Lets just hope the next 12 weeks fly by as fast as the first 28!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Back to School

  We returned from our trip on Friday and the children started school on Monday.  However, it worked out that Saturday there was a back to school bash.  It was a really fun event with games, freebies, and bounce slides.  One thing they didnt plan for... the heat!

Here are the kids on Monday.  We live about a half mile from the school so the kids have to walk.  Unfortunately, in AZ it is hot still the beginning of August.  Really hot still.  So all of the kids were sweating by the time we made it to school.  But they were ready.  Trent is in 3rd grade this year.  Haylee in 4th.  And Ethan, their cousin, in 2nd.  Its exciting to go to school here because my sister's kids also go to the same school.  And Brooklyn (my neice) and Trent are in the same class!

A week later, Laycee and Logan started preschool.  They attend a special needs program at another elementary school in the district.  They have a couple mainstream students in the classroom to help model for the children with special needs.  I was thankful they got into the program because I could never afford preschool for twins otherwise.  Logan is all ready!  He loves preschool.  He has made fast friends, is learning letters like a champ and really enjoys being there!
 Laycee so pretty.  Preschool as been a struggle for her.  She has really struggled with the separation anxiety.  We have tried working with the teacher, but at this point, we are kind of at a loss.  This anxiety has now carried over to church and to home, so I am not sure what we will do.  I am thankful she has this chance in preschool though with teachers who are understanding of the atypical child so we can work on this now, instead of next year in kindergarten!
 All ready for their first day!!
I will admit that having all of the children head off to school this year has been a struggle for me.  They have all been home for over 18 months between the summers and last years homeschool.  I loved the relaxed nature of making our own schedule and having the children with me all of the time.  We felt like it was time they went back to school this year and the kids especially wanted to go to school.  Homework has been the hardest thing I think.  Since being back in school, we have discovered that Trent has been struggling in school.  We questioned some things about him in kindergarten and first grade, but the teachers assured me it was ok.  Last year, when I had so much one on one time, we made progress but I even then questioned their satallite teacher.  All was well, but being back in school, there is something off.  We recently found ou,t in our effort to find some help for him, that he has a lazy eye and are waiting for a specialist appointment with the hearing doctor.  After these treaments begin, we will see if there is any improvement and look for more ways to help him.  Haylee on the other hand is excelling so well.  She loves school and loves learning.  She works so hard and finds real joy in being at school.  School has been a ride so far this year but we are adjusting and its great to be somewhere that the kids already knew other children.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Last Stop

A trip "back home" is not complete without a stop at my dad's parents.  My grandma died when I was a little girl and my grandpa died a few years ago.  I have not been back since before his was burried here.  This was a fun opportunity to have the children really experience the remainder of my childhood memories at Grandma and Grandpas.

Mom and Dad were married in this church

I, as a child, never saw this home, but we were driving through town and dad pointed it out.  He said my mom used to ride the lawn mower in her bikini here.  Funny thing is, a few houses up, we saw another girl doing the same thing.
Then we headed out for our trip home.  It was an amazing vacation.  We really got to do and see so much.  The kids were mostly well behaved the WHOLE time.  It was long and exhausting but we all loved it.  Made memories for a lifetime.  I hope to be able to make it back that direction again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spencerville, OH

We arrived at Grandmas house in the afternoon sometime.  Had a little lunch and then prepared for a dinner at my aunts house who lives up the street.  They live in a nice small town, with a lot of free roaming space so the kids were in heaven.  I don't know how it happened, but I did not get any pictures of the BBQ.  Maybe if Lynnae posts pictures, I can steal some of hers.  It was great to see my family again.  I have not seen them since I was 17, so its been a while.  You know, 11 years anf 4.5 kids later.  Anyway, the second day, we went to town to see Mr Poppers Penguines and that evening we headed to the fair.  I think this was one of Haylee's favorite things to do.  Laycee and Logan LOVED my aunt Starla. 

Haylee wanted to see every animal there.  There were a lot of animals, so that was quite a feat, but I think we saw a fair amount of them.

Here is the baby's experience of the fair... 18 weeks along.

We watched a little barrel racing.

The kids really enjoyed the fair!  Then sad as it was, the next day we headed back out.  We had a few more places to stop before we left.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kirtland, OH

I have to admit, this day of our trip was one of my absolute favorites.  I love learning and museums and such.  So this was great!  We went to the historic area of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Kirtland, OH.  It was so fun to see where the early church members lived and what they did to work toward building a temple.  This is Whitney's store and home.

This is the lumber mill where they were able to build the products for the temple.  Interestingly, the temple is up the hill.  I cannot imagine how they transported products from here up the hill!

The Kirtland Temple.  It is owned by the Community of Christ church formerly known as the RLDS church.  They changed their name a few years ago.  It was interesting to tour the temple.  Not the same as going to see the other sites, but still neat.

There were so many other sites I would LOVE to go see, but we were on a time schedule and had already spent more time in Kirland than expected.  Across the freeway was a National Historic Site at which I begged my parents to stop.  I really wanted to try and get one stamp in my National Parks Passport while we were in the midwest and this one was really close.  So we headed over to the James A. Garfield site.  We were ready to get on the road, so we didn't tour the place, but I got my stamp and we took a few pictures.

We had planned on going to Cedar Point this evening, but we were all completely exhausted.  Pretty much to the extreme!  So, we stopped on the way to our next hotel and got some Dairy Queen to get us going again.  Then continued our trip toward the Cleveland area where we had a hotel waiting.
We arrived much later than originally planned, so we were all glad that we didn't have to muster the energy for an amuesment park.  Instead, the kids went swimming at the pool while mom and I worked on some more laundry.  We went out for dinner, not fast food thankfully and stopped at Walmart to pick up a few things we needed.  We repacked up and were ready to head out in the morning towards Grandmas House!!