Thursday, June 30, 2011


I love the changes that have taken place in Adam since he has been baptized, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

I just had to share a few, so I don't forget.


Josh is a toddler who loves to get into Adam's stuff. Adam had organized all of his Pokemon cards, only to find that Josh has somehow gotten into his secret stash, and completely messed them up.

Last night, I overheard Adam yelling at him:

"I really, really want to hit you for messing with my Pokemon cards. But I'm baptized now! So, I won't!"

I, mean, at first I was mad. Because, you don't hit babies.

However, he recognized that he was doing something wrong, and stopped.

That made my heart melt a little.


In our house, our kids aren't allowed any "media" (computer, video games, or tv) until morning chores are done and they have earned some "time" to do it. Anyways, Adam woke up really early this morning (while I was still sleeping), and thought he would sneak in some MarioKart time.

Later, he told me:

"Mom, this morning I closed your door so you wouldn't wake up, and I was going to sneak out and play MarioKart. But then, the Holy Ghost told me not to. So, I didn't. Then I felt really warm inside."

And that made my heart melt a little more.


Today, I went to the dentist for the first time in over 10 years.

Which seems terribly trashy, I know.

For the first half of our marriage, we didn't have dental insurance.

For the second half, we've had such crummy dental insurance that we couldn't afford to go to the dentist.

I decided, however, that it was just going to cost more the longer I waited. So, praying that they would let me work out some type of payment plan, I went.

The last time I went to the dentist (10 years ago, remember?), I was told I had two cavities.

I ended up getting married before I had them filled.

SO. I was dreading this appointment. I try and take really good care of my teeth, but I knew 10 years with a couple of cavities and without a professional couldn't be a good thing.

I only have 6 cavities (and, yeah, one needs a root canal).

But, that is so incredibly, seriously better than what I was expecting.

Plus, I went to THE best dentist ever, and they are totally willing to work out a payment plan.



While I was gone at the dentist, our apartment manager called Mike.

She offered to let us move into a different apartment here, with a rent that is $140 less a month.

Plus, they are running a special, and the first month would only be $199.


We have been praying for so long for help getting out of debt. We read Dave Ramsey's book, and have made a lot of cuts and have been trying to put anything we can toward our debt, but raising a family with three kids is just expensive.

For some reason, they think that they need to be fed and clothed.

We have a lot of medical debt, student loans, and a credit card that we've thrown car repairs onto. I feel that this is an answer to our prayers; we will be able to put the $140 every month toward our medical debt, and then "snowball" it over to our other debts.

And then maybe someday we will be able to buy a house. Maybe? Pretty please?

I feel so ridiculously blessed today.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Adorable Reader

I found him asleep like this tonight.

So adorable.

(Please don't tell him I called him adorable).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bike Rodeo Pack Meeting

Adam had his first pack meeting tonight! It was a "Bike Rodeo," and he had a lot of fun learning bike safety rules, ways to take care of bikes, and practicing in a bike obstacle course.

Grace really, really liked the refreshments.

Such a fun night!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

At Least It's Not a Newt...

My brother, Ethan, and his wife, Cameo, gave the kids a gift while we were down in Phoenix:

Three hermit crabs.

Adam named his 'Charizard' (his has flames).

Josh allowed Grace to name his crab 'Henry' (his has the Spiderman shell).

Grace named her crab 'Fried' (the ladybug).

Fried seems a little skittish. Not sure why. What crab wouldn't like to be named something like Fried? Or Boiled? Or Stir-Fried?


At first they creeped me out, not going to lie.

But, they have grown on me.

For one, the kids are completely mesmerized by them, and will spent hours playing with them.

Second, they are easy to take care of. Like, super-easy.

And for another, they like to climb on top of their little palm tree and sit there.

For some reason, seeing them do this completely cracks me up.


However, someday when my brother and his wife have children, I will be getting them a newt.

Because that's just how paybacks work.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Adam's Baptism

Almost all of both of our families live in Phoenix. Rather than having everyone come up here, we decided to make it easy and travel down to Phoenix for Adam's baptism. Our car hasn't been doing well as of late, so rather than pay for a hotel, my grandmas and parents helped us out with gas and a rental car. SO grateful for them!

Adam was SO thrilled that he was going to get to have ALL of his cousins and family at his baptism! After we got permission to have his baptism in Phoenix, I let Adam plan out the program. He loved being able to do that, too.

He chose:

Chorister: Aunt Tiffin
Pianist: Aunt Kelli
Opening Song: “Baptism”
Opening Prayer: Papa R*
Talk on Baptism: Grandma W*
Musical Number: W* family cousins (“When I Am Baptized”)
Musical Number: Aunt Kayty (“I Am a Child of God”)
Talk on Holy Ghost: Grammy R*
Closing Song: “The Holy Ghost”
Closing Prayer: Grandpa W*

I'm glad that Adam got to choose his program, but stake baptisms are a lot less stressful. :)

We made it down to Phoenix on Thursday, and he was baptized on Saturday, June 25th.

Josh loved being there.


Grumpy babies aside, Adam's baptism was so wonderful. The talks were great and the kids sang cute.

Then came the time for his actual baptism. His opportunity to covenant with Heavenly Father. Something I've imagined for the past 8 years. I've been to a lot of baptisms, but I can not even describe the serious goosebumps that I got watching Mike baptize Adam. I didn't expect to tear up, but seeing that was just... amazing. Seeing them both in white in that font, was just incredible. I hope that memory stays etched in my mind forever.

After Adam was baptized, Josh decided he was done. I didn't get to hear a lot of his confirmation, because I was trying to keep Josh quiet. However, Mike assured me that it all went good. :)

Afterwards, my parents invited everyone over for a pizza and swimming party. It was so fun to get together with everyone and have some fun!

It was a perfect day of family, of celebrating a little boy who is choosing the right, and of gratitude for everything that Heavenly Father has blessed me with.


*Thanks to everyone who made Adam's baptism so wonderful, and thanks to my brother, Doran, for the photography.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

In Kingman

Almost to Kingman

I've heard that the city of Kingman is a nice place to live.

I'm sure it has great restaurants, stores, churches, parks, and people.

But, for our family, Kingman is all about the Burger King.

It's our "halfway stop" on the way to Phoenix, because it has a playground.

Making it the perfect place for lunch and letting the kiddos stretch their legs.

And since I'm from the stone age, and we have no cool electronics (and even if we did, I wouldn't let the kids bring them), the free crowns serve as a great source of entertainment on the second half of the trip.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

School Memory Shirt

Adam's class made these super-cute shirts during the last week of school. They have everyone's handprint and name on them. I love it!

He has been so sad lately about not going to the same school next year, and missing his friends. I'm glad he has a little something to remember everyone by.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Favorite Dad

He's my favorite Dad...

Because he is so funny.

Because he is so great at wrestling.

Because he expects them to do a great job.

Because he talks to them quietly and patiently when I've had it.

Because he is always willing to hit a few balls to them (even when he is tired after work).

Because he tries to spend time with each of them everyday.

Because he teaches them about the Gospel, and is a wonderful example to them.

Because he is a wonderful provider.

Because he is the best Dad that I could ever hope for, for them.

He woke up to his favorite cereal. Poured by himself.



After church, we gave him a homemade card (from Grace), a keychain (from Adam), and a framed Priesthood Line of Authority (from me). I am pretty proud of myself, because I stink at gift giving, and I thought of and researched his Line of Authority, and did it before Father's Day actually happened.


It's actually pretty neat. Adam (surprisingly) is completely captivated by it, and the fact that Mike got the Priesthood from Jesus, and keeps reading it over and over.

We let him take a long nap.

(Which is what he wanted most of all).

I made Cafe Rio pork barbacoa enchiladas for dinner and finally made the birthday cheesecake for him. Thanks to a helpful tip from my sister-in-law, Amanda, it didn't crack.

A first for me.

Happy Father's Day, Mike! We love you!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Treats

Our Primary was in charge of the Father's Day treats for the father's in our ward this year.

Traditionally, they do boxes of goodies or pie and ice cream in our ward.

However, I wanted the kids to be involved.

And, the thought of kids being around pie and ice cream on the carpet, just didn't seem like a good idea.


So, I came up with an idea, and my 1st counselor and chorister bailed me out this week, and helped me put together these tie bags, filled with candy.

We went into Priesthood opening exercises yesterday and the children held the bags behind their backs. They sang, "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home," changing the end from "a great big kiss" to a "great big treat" and held out the bags as they sang the end.

The kids loved doing it, it got a big laugh, and turned out pretty darn cute!

I love my calling.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

For My Dad on Father's Day

(Because Father's Day is today. And because my Father's Day card won't get to you until Tuesday. And because my children have made it a personal quest to make sure I never hold a conversation on the phone).

When I was in middle school, we were having some kind of open house for the school. I was a yearbook editor, and I was there helping to sell copies of the yearbook. Our teacher brought us some caffeinated sodas and, not wanting to seem completely un-cool, I took one and drank it.

A little while later my dad walked by and watched me drink that soda.

A soda that he, and I, knew I should not be drinking.

When we got home that night, after my siblings had gone to bed, I sat with my Mom and Dad, and he said, "Do you want to tell Mom what you did tonight?"

I lied.

And I lied.

I felt horrible about drinking that soda, and I couldn't admit it. I lied and said that I was just pretending to drink it. Over and over again.

My dad didn't yell at me. He didn't try and catch me in my (completely obvious) lie. He didn't ground me. He just looked at me with the most disappointed look on his face, and said, "Okay. If that's what you say happened."

And then I went to bed.


That look on his face that night has stayed with me my entire life.

I never wanted to see my dad look at me that way again.

Not that I was (or am) perfect. I was a huge brat throughout high school. I talked back. I was disrespectful. We fought plenty of times. I'm sure I lied a time (or two).

But, I have tried hard to not do anything to make him look that way at me again.


It's funny that of all of the consequences, lectures, groundings, and "corner time" I'm sure that I received growing up when I made bad choices, that that's the only one I really remember clearly.

I've wondered why. Why that moment was the one that stuck with me.

I think it's because of who I disappointed.

My dad would do anything for me. He worked several jobs so that I could have dance lessons, play the flute, and so that my mom could stay home with us. He spent hours trying to help me with my homework. He went on field trips with me, even after working all night. He would drive me up to the school in the winter, so I wouldn't have to walk as far. He made me the most beautiful jewelry box and doll house a girl could ever want. He coached my t-ball team. He went to my performances, drove me to mutual, and helped me pack for Girls Camp. He taught me how to dance. He would sit with me when I had a hard time sleeping at night. He gave me priesthood blessings, spent hours in teaching us about the scriptures and prayer, and tried so hard to lead by example.

He would do anything in the world for me.

He is my hero.

And I disappointed my hero that day.


I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day. Thank you for everything that you did for me. Thank you for raising me well. Thank you for being a wonderful Papa to my kids.

Most of all, thank you for being disappointed in me that day.

It has helped make me who I am today.

I hope I haven't disappointed you (too much) since.

And I'm very sorry about lying about drinking that Coke.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Little Sniffer

He loves smelling the strawberries at Sam's Club.

And always insists on sniffing every package I pick up and look at.

If I haven't mentioned it before, I love toddlers.

Like, an insane amount.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why (Today) I Am SuperMom

I took all 3 kids to the doctor for Josh's 18 month well check...

... and let Josh climb on the trash can.

And push the nurse's "call" button.

Good times.


I took all 3 kids to Target...

... and let them peruse the toy section for a long time.

And I let Josh out of the shopping cart so he could be in on the fun, too.


I took all 3 kids to wrestling and gymnastics...

... and let their instructors deal with them for an hour, while I chased a toddler around the gym.


I took all 3 kids to the pet store (aka the free air conditioned zoo)...

... and said "no" approximately 1,142 times when they asked for various pets.

They are currently scheming to ask Santa for a newt.


We picked up Mike, came home, I made dinner, cleaned up dinner, gave the kids baths, put them to bed, and picked up the rest of the house.

And then I wrote a letter:

Dear Santa,

Today I was SuperMom.
(Which has to count for something).
I am also generally a good person.
Please do not bring my children a newt.
There is not even remotely a way possible for my children to be good enough to deserve a newt.

At all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Adam's 8 Year Interview

At 8 he loves ketchup... like, a lot.

I WANT: to know everything!
I HAVE: no Nintendo DS. (And... it's going to stay that way)
I WISH: I had a Nintendo DS. (Never. Gonna. Happen.)
I HATE: taco soup.
I MISS: school.
I HEAR: Sesame Street.
I WONDER: where Amelia Earhardt is?
I REGRET: hitting Grace.
I AM NOT: bad.
I DANCE: when music isn't playing.
I SING: lots of songs.
I CRY: when I don't get what I want.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: drawings and origami.
I WRITE: books.
I CONFUSE: what "antidisestablishmentarianism" means.
I NEED: candy!
I SHOULD: play.
I START: third grade soon!

How old are you? 8
Nicknames: Adders, Ads
Are you taller than your mother? No, but close!
Do you cry often during movies? Never! Well, rarely.
What is your biggest pet peeve? When Grace and I fight.
Favorite color: Orange
Favorite foods: Pizza, hot dogs, pepperoni, pancakes
Favorite beverage: Root beer (but not Mug root beer!)
Favorite cold cereal: Marshmallow Treasures
Favorite Smells: Fresh pie, gasoline, coldness
Favorite time of day: Dawn (like he's ever seen dawn...)
What is your favorite game? Smart Mouth
How many pillows do you sleep with? 2
Do you play an instrument? Yes, the recorder
What was the last movie you saw? Aladdin
What is your favorite article of clothing? My Cardinals jersey
What is your dream vacation? Going to Phoenix
What do you love most about Dad? That he wrestles me.
What do you love most about Mom? That she hugs me.
What is your favorite "me- time" activity? Weave
What is one of your weaknesses? Not crashing my Air Hog, and holding my pencil correctly.
What is the emotion you feel the most? Happy!
Do you consider yourself outgoing? Yes! I always am outgoing!
What are some of your talents? Reading books, telling jokes, art, playing video games, doing tricks on my bike, singing, playing my recorder, and eating pizza.
What is a word or phrase you overuse? "Mom!"
What was the hardest thing that happened to you this past year? Learning to hold my pencil correctly.
What is the best thing that happened to you this year? Having my first birthday party!
The best thing learned this past year? That snakes hear on the bottom of their jaw. And about the tongue-eating louse.
What was your favorite thing about being seven years old? Being in 2nd grade.
What are you most excited about being eight years old? That I get baptized and that I get to go to Cub Scouts!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nielsen's Frozen Custard

One of our "79 Days of Summer" was to visit Nielsen's Frozen Custard, a place that has come highly recommended to us by friends. We went tonight for a belated FHE treat.

We hadn't had for our treat Sunday during FHE, and it was Adam's turn to do the treat.

And he was not letting it go.

So we went.

It was so ridiculously good.

Nielsen's Custard was voted one of 100 Top Things to Eat in America.

For good reason.

It is so ridiculously good.

It is so good that I actually loved the berry flavor.

Normally, I consider anything except for chocolate a waste of time/calories.

The problem is, is that once you have something that good, you can never go back to "regular" ice cream.

(Which, I guess, in regards to dieting, is a good thing).


We had a lot of fun together, sharing bites of custard and spinning on the cool chairs.

Except for Josh.

Who does not like ice cream/frozen custard.


Monday, June 13, 2011

A Little Craftin'

I don't have a lot of free time (what mom with a toddler does, right?), but when I happen to have everything caught up and get a few moments, I love looking in my "favorites" file, and doing simple crafts.

I attempted to make a "spring wreath" with some things I already had, and using Ucreate's "Create With Me" examples. It's definitely not as great as the others on the blog, but I like how it turned out. Just some hot glue and teal-colored flowers.

I made some of these fun twine balls that I saw on the V and Co blog, with some twine I had, and leftover balls from a science project. I wish I had some teal or cranberry-red spray paint (I'm loving those colors right now!), but they look pretty fun natural. I put them in a vase that I already had from D.I.

I printed out the Subway art from eighteen25. In the other vase, I rolled some cranberry twine from a Christmas decoration, and squished it inside.

I'm soooo left-brained and not terribly creative. So, I'm glad that there are other really creative people out there for me to copy to make our home look nice. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mario Party!

(This is text/photo heavy. Sorry! The photos turned out SO cute and I wanted to document it all. If only to prove to Adam that he at least had 1 friend party in his lifetime.)

Last year on Adam's 7th birthday, he asked if he could have a friend birthday party when he turned 8. He had never had one before, and really, really wanted one.

Thinking that surely we would be in a larger apartment (or house) by then, I promised.

In April he began reminding me of that promise, and I realized:

1) We still lived in the same place.
2) I had to give him a friend party. I had promised.
3) It would be way too hot to do it at a park.
4) Our apartment rules didn't allow us to have it at the pool.
5) Because of our recent stuff, I needed to keep it very inexpensive.
6) I needed to come up with a lot of entertainment if I was going to keep our 800-square foot apartment in one piece with 8 boys running around.


He really wanted a Mario party. He has been all about Mario since Christmas when "Mike" received the new Super Mario Wii game from my brother, Ethan.

I don't necessarily consider myself to be super-creative, but once I started thinking about the ideas just started coming to me for this party. And a few searches online helped with the details. SO. We had our Mario party. It turned out pretty well, I think!

(All pictures are by my super-talented Mom. And, yes, we are so fancy around here that we had a photographer from Phoenix come up to document our party.)


I made the invitations with some random scrapbook paper I had from when I had time to scrapbook (I knew it would come in handy!), and with the Super Mario Wii font downloaded from here. The top of the mushroom lifts up, and the party info was inside.

We decorated with streamers (collected from past birthdays), some yellow ? bricks I made from scrapbook paper, a banner made with scrapbook paper and ribbon, mushrooms (made from a balloon and cardstock), and Goombas and Piranha Plants. I found some Mario clipart, enlarged it and had it printed at FedEx, because I'm deprived and I don't have a color printer. As a bonus, they accidentally doubled my order and gave it to me for free. Sweet!

I made the cupcake toppers by re-sizing the Mario images to 1", printing them, cutting them out with a circle punch, and then gluing them to a toothpick.

On Saturday, the day of the actual party, I put on a Mario & Luigi show from 1989 for them to watch while everyone arrived. I found it on Netflix. It was... interesting.

Which is a nice word for weird.

Once everyone arrived, Josh came out dressed as a Koopa Troopa and delivered a note. It explained that Bowser had captured Princess Peach, and it was their job (as Mario) to complete 5 worlds and battle Bowser at the end to rescue her.

I hung notes on the walls explaining the different worlds and what they had to do to complete each world.

In the first world, they got their Mario gear on prepared for their journey. I made hats from a pattern I downloaded from here and clearance-d red fleece (our Joann's is closing... sad!). They colored paper circle "M's" for the hats and pinned them on, and put on mustaches that I found here. They were all so stinkin' cute dressed as Mario!

In the second world, they had to battle ghosts (white balloons) to collect all 100 coins (found here). I put a black sheet over Adam's window and un-plugged the lamp so it was dark and spooky. The boys LOVED doing this!

They got the coins picked up so quickly, I considered turning the lights off in Adam and Grace's room when it's time to clean it every night. It would make it more fun.

And dangerous.

Dangerous is fun. Maybe...

In the third world, they used "firepower" (Nerf guns) to shoot down the Goombas and Piranha Plants. I used my printed Goombas and Piranha Plants and hot glued them to painted cardboard.

Once they defeated the bad guys, they moved on to the fourth world: defeating a Chain Chomps pinata.

Is my knowledge of Super Mario characters scaring you?

'Cuz it's kinda scaring me.

I made the pinata using paper mache and very little art skills. Amazing, I know. Unfortunately, it only lasted 3 rounds of kids' hitting.

Fortunately, once the candy came out the kids didn't care.

After they collected the candy in bags, I wrote their name on a card that said, "Thank you for coming to my party, ***), to use as a party favor, and we came inside for the fifth world.

They played musical chairs with Mario music I downloaded from here. On the last chair, they found instructions to get to Bowser and Princess Peach's location.

They all ran outside to the grass, where Princess Peach, played by Grace, was in a cage. Bowser, played by Mike, told the boys they had to knock him down to get to her.

She was rescued after the boys defeated Bowser!

She thanked them and told them to go inside for lunch. We had pizza, veggies, fruit kabobs, and Capri Suns. We sang happy birthday to Adam and had cupcakes (red velvet, his favorite).

We opened presents after eating. He got so many fun things... his friends were so kind. He got Transformers, water guns, clothes, a puzzle, art supplies, a homemade scripture bag, chips, soda, and a gift card. It was really nice of everyone and he loved his presents!

Afterward, the boys played together, and got a little crazy.

Just like boys should.

I was so nervous about having this party, but it really turned out pretty good! Adam loved it, his friends had fun, and it was a great way to begin our summer!

Unfortunately, Grace is asking when she can have her first friend party.

I don't Mike is ready for that.


(Super mucho thanks to my parents and brother, who happened to plan a trip the same weekend, and helped so much with the party!)