Thursday, July 31, 2014


I need to apologize for my last post and all the crazy errors is had. It has since been edited but I know that if you read my blog from a reader it would show it in it's original form, which was...crazy! You can probably tell I was using the microphone function on my iPad so I didn't have to type because I was painting. So it turns out this is not something I can multitask. The painting below is one of Beth's that I copied (she gave me permission). 
The one below is one I wanted to do after our drive up to the mountains. I'm not sure if it is done, I may do more to it. 
Whether they are very good or not - I love painting. It turns out that mixing the colors and putting them down next to each other is very therapeutic for me. It has turned into our Sunday morning activity. We listed to hymns and primary songs and we paint. It is calming for the kids and I. Maybe we can even get Russ to join in.
I also want to apologize (to my family mostly) for my lack of posting. I am in a cycle where I get behind and try to catch up and in the process of catching up get so tired of posting that I get behind again. What I really would like to happen is to use this more as a journal. Right now it feels like our pictures with captions but I want to write more about what is happening in our day to day lives. The ways we are learning and growing and how we are feeling. It is harder to do that when I am trying to remember last month. I want to record at the end of the day when the memories are fresh in my head. I hope I can accomplish this because those are the things I want to remember.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30th

Lou and I were awake early on Gracie's 7th birthday. She was the next person to wake up and join us in my room.
We were able to give her some birthday love.
 We had a neighbor friend come over and swim while we babysat her for a while and then we were off to run some errands. We went to some restaurants to get free food for her birthday, played the water tower, and went to target. Grandma and grandpa Christensen gave her a gift card to target for her birthday. She was pretty excited about that. She was also pretty excited to wear the matching dresses that Grandma Huston made for her and Louise. 
She had $15 to spend at Target. When we walked in she grabbed three different things from the dollar bins and asked if she could get all of those. I told her she could get those and more, her face lit up. As we continued to walk through the store she found the movie Charlottes Web for five dollars and I told her she could also get that. She got it and was so excited about it. She told Joe they could watch it when we got home and I told her they could unless she changed her mind and decided to get something else. She said "I will never give up Charlottes Web". It wasn't too long after that we found the movie The Pirate Fairy. I knew she would want it so bad and but it was $20. I told her I was willing to give her five dollars but that she would have to put everything else back and it would be the only thing she could get. She became very somber and I could tell she didn't know what to do. She looked at me and said "I really want The Pirate Fairy but I really want Charlottes Web too". At that point William was asking me to come look at something on the lego isle so we went over there and as I was looking at what he was showing me I looked back and saw Gracie standing with a very sad face. I could tell she was trying to decide what to do I called her over to me and she just came and stood really close to my leg I put my arm around her and she began to sob. I told her that I didn't want to be sad that this was supposed to be a happy day and a happy thing. She still didn't say anything and just cried. After I held her tiny body for awhile feeling it shake from sobs, I told her that I would buy her The Pirate Fairy for her birthday present from me and she could still get all the other things she was planning on getting. It took her a minute to be able to smile fully but she gave me a hug and told me thank you multiple times that day. I was able to tell her later that one of the reasons I decided to get it for her (besides the fact that it was her birthday and I love her very much) was that she never whined or begged me to get it for her. She was just sad and trying to make a hard decision. I was very proud of her.
Also for her birthday she asked to go visit our dear friend Pam who is on hospice. We have gone to visit her nearly every day since Sunday even though she is unresponsive. She does slightly open her eyes when we come and talk to her, but she can't look at us or talk. The kids like tell her "hi" and sing her songs. After that we hurried home because Grandma and Grandpa wanted to bring by a cookie cake and do candles. 

While we were at a restaurant earlier in the day I said, "let's go around the table and all say something we love about Gracie." Joe thought I meant get up and walk around the table but since we were at a restaurant it wouldn't really work so we did it at home. Maybe we will have to make that a new tradition. We also looked at her baby pictures and talked about how happy we are that this little girl was born. I am so grateful for the privileged of being her mother.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

7 and Frozen

Gracie wanted a Frozen party so that is what she got. I was pretty busy keeping the girls entertained that I didn't take too many action shots but a good time was had.
Thank goodness for all the easy ideas I got from Pinterest. And the sparkly tulle my mom already had. I found a fancy blue leotard at a second hand store and my mom added some sleeves and the skirt to make an Elsa dress for Gracie. Then she made sparkly capes for all the girls and they had to go on a Frozen themed scavenger hunt to find those. We made a Let It Go music video of all the girls and then did pin the nose on Olaf. 
Then we had our feast. One of the things Gracie has wanted to do at her party for months was dissolve a sugar cube in water and drink it? Something she learned at school apparently. So we got a tiny squirt bottle of blue powerade concentrate and add a sugar cube to each drink. They loved it.

Then we had cake, which was just a bunch of frosted ice cream sandwiches. Easy as pie, actually much easier. I think they all had a good time and Gracie got all the things she wanted; heeled shoes, make up, Heaven is for Real, glitter glue, sock puppet kit, a necklace, and more. These are all things that make her really happy. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Happy Mountain Day

We have been spending so much time the past months just getting the house clean and ready to sell that I really needed a break. It's also been really hot so all I could think about driving up to the mountains on Russ' day off. We called it our mountain adventure day, the kids were so excited. Russ decided that we needed to make a time capsule and bury it on Mt. Ord where he proposed to me.
Russ dug while the kids went off exploring.

Then we headed up to Christopher Creek.
Louise really wanted to sit in the creek and she really wanted to put rocks in her mouth. So much so that this is what happened when we took them away:
Russ finally got her sitting up high enough that she couldn't reach the rocks easily and gave her a stick. That kept her happy for a while.
The kids walked up and down the Creek searching for crawdads.

William found a good way to look for the crawdads.
Our leaf skeleton that we found.
I loved hearing Gracie walking down the creek saying "I ain't afraid of nothin'!" She is definitely an adventure girl. 
Joe really wanted to hold the crawdad but he was scared. After much reassuring from Russ and watching Gracie do it he was able to conquer his fear and hold it. He was pretty pleased with himself and it was very fun to watch. 

We are definitely going to need to take some more day trips around AZ. It is a lot of fun and not as much work as preparing to camp with a bunch of kids. It was refreshing to be up there with my family not worrying about anything, just being together in the outdoors. Here's to more adventures. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Frozen Birthday Invites

In the midst of trying to get the house all ready and listed came Gracie's birthday. She decided on a Frozen party and thanks to all the ideas on pinterest it wasn't long before I had tons of ideas. I loved the Valentine that I saw a bunch of people do where it says, "do you want to build a snowman?" and then there are marshmallows and pretzel sticks and things to make a little snowman out of. I thought it would be a cute way to invite the girls. I made little origami paper boxes out of snowflake wrapping paper I already had and then printed out a little invite to stick inside. The kids were pretty excited to do it so we set up a little assembly line.

Once we had them all boxed up they got to make their own. Joseph wasted no time and ate it as soon as it was made.

But not Gracie she played with it for quite awhile before eating hers.

At this point I didn't have the noses yet but we just used orange Mike & Ike's. I know I get sort of crazy around their birthdays but it is how I show my love and they love it, that's why I do it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A day of play

We discovered today that Louise really likes to play the piano.
It was also overcast so it wasn't as hot. It was pretty muggy but the kids still spent a lot of time outside today. They swept out underneath the whole pomegranate tree to make it their treehouse.
They even made a swing in there.
This made my heart so happy. I have been trying basically since we bought the house to get them to realize the awesomeness of this pomegranate tree. I've wanted them to use it as a hideout or clubhouse. They never seem to catch on to that idea. Now they finally have on their own. And now they are enjoying it so much together.

This is the entryway and walkway they made leading up to the door. Notice the doormat also. I'm grateful for the days where they just play and play and play.

Monday, July 7, 2014

May 2014 randoms

We had some people come resurfaced the pool. They were here all day jackhammering away. I noticed William went outside and sit outside the pool fence to watch them. Next thing I know he's sitting inside the pool gate on a chair watching them. Then I look up to see him sitting on the edge of the pool chatting with one of the workers. He always has been my friendly boy.

I just thought it was cute one day when I saw Jojo sitting in the dress up bin playing.

Building forts… Sort of.

Getting distracted while building a fort. This could be called suitcase of nuts. 

Joseph really likes that Louise can sit in the shopping cart next to him. I'm not quite sure she feels the same way.

Gracie is often successful in getting Jojo to dress up in her clothes. When I took this picture Joe said "this is embarrassing".

Someone (I think Joseph) found an interesting way to eat the strawberries. Creative?

Gracie with her long hair. That is really my fabric wrap to carry Louise in. Also creative.
These fun creative kids make for some fun creative days.


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