Sunday, June 29, 2014

Our Family: Week of 6/23-6/29

On Monday, my awesome sister and I took the kids to the dentist.

Grace and Adam were due for check-ups, and I needed help watching Josh + Sam.

They both did great and neither had cavities.


Even better, she has a way to fix Adam's teeth until he is an adult and can get crowns/implants.

Unfortunately, our insurance is all done helping with those two chipped teeth of his, so we're going to have to cover all $900 of it.


So, yeah, we're going to have to figure that out... BUT his teeth will be worth it.

Afterward, we grabbed some lunch and headed home.


On Tuesday, Kayty left early.

We are sooooo glad she came, but we love that girl and miss her!

I brought Adam to swim, and while he was there, we ran a few errands.


On Wednesday, we went to the splash pad/awesome park out in Henderson.

We had a wonderful afternoon there, and then rushed home to have some friends over, while their mom was at Young Women's.


On Thursday we tie-dyed patriotic t-shirts to wear for the 4th of July with the kiddos + Activity Day girls.

They turned out super-cute.

That evening at 11-year-old Scouts, Adam volunteered to "call" in the flag ceremony for the East Stake Patriotic Breakfast on Saturday.

Which I had no intention of going to... because who wants to get up THAT early to fill their kids full of sugar?

Not this Mama.

But, he's pretty psyched, so I tried to get on board.



By Friday, I was dead.

Taking care of a still sick Josh + newly sick Adam, who started displaying symptoms of "the plague" Thursday night, keeping house, driving everyone to activities, taking care of a baby, nursing said baby, cooking, cleaning, Activity Days AND trying to help the kids have fun so they didn't miss Dad so much... I didn't get more than 3 hours of sleep each night.

Honestly, it probably wasn't too much different from any other week.  Mike works so much that he isn't able to help much anyways.  BUT, I had no one to complain to about it.


Josh asked if we could go to Cafe Rio for dinner.

And, yeah, I felt I totally deserved that.

So we did.

That night, we all cuddled while we read book after book, and I felt like the luckiest Mama in the whole world.


On Saturday, we got up bright and early and went to the Stake Center for the patriotic breakfast.

They kids ate yummy pancakes and sausage with orange juice and chocolate milk, Adam did an awesome job "calling" the flag ceremony, and then all of the Primary kids in the Stake sang songs they had been working on for the breakfast: "My Flag" and "You're a Grand Ole' Flag."  They all did a great job!

We came home and had the l-o-n-g-e-s-t day ever while we waited for Mike.

At about 4:30, he came home!

He hadn't showered in a week, was sunburned head-to-toe, smelled horribly, and was STILL the best looking guy I have ever met.

He pretty much crashed when he got home.

But, our house felt complete.


Sunday was pretty typical.

Church, where Mike and the boys gave beautiful reports of Scout camp.

Mike napping.

Us trying to be quiet + eating dinner.

Putting the kids to bed.

Nursing Sam and getting him to bed.

Waking up Mike at 11:00 for him to get ready for his hotel job.

Him leaving at 11:45.

Me going back to shower/read scriptures.

Me walking out at 1:00am to Mike sitting at the computer.

He had been fired.

No explanation, no warning.

Just a co-worker saying, "The boss told me to ask you to give me your keys because she is letting you go.  If you want more of an explanation, call her."

Shocked + worried (we need that job to pay the bills + hospital payments).

But, when I went to bed a little while later and prayed, I had the sweetest experience.

A scripture came to my mind: D&C 132:50.  It's not a scripture I had thought much of, and I certainly had never memorized it, but the words came to my mind.  I couldn't remember it word-for-word, but the part that came to my mind was, "Behold I have seen your sacrifices... and make way for your escape."  Tears rolled down my face as I thought of how hard this job has been (and how many times I asked Heavenly Father to help me, because it was so hard).  But, we had to do it.  Sam prenatal care was about $4000 and his birth was $5000, and we owed another $1000 to the children's hospital for Josh's croup (because, though they are in-network, they don't have a discount agreement... what!).

So, yeah, we really needed the job.

But, the thing is, when Mike started working this job 2 years ago, we "lost" him.

His days off were spent sleeping.  The days after that he was a zombie who slept any chance he had.  His D.I. job, with a boss that requires at least 55 hours a week and a busy calling in the Bishopric and then Young Men's president, took up the time he wasn't sleeping.

Family time and family dinner just slowly slipped away, until I realized one day how little time we actually spent with Mike.

So, even though I knew it was going to be ridiculously hard to pay these bills, I have never felt more at peace.

Because escaping from this and getting Mike back would be the best gift we could ever receive.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Our Family: Week of 6/16-6/22

On Monday, Mike made good on his promise to take Grace out on a lunch date when she finished her chapter book reading chart (from April).  She chose Golden Corral.

They had a great time together!

After Mike was finished, he took a quick nap, and then brought Adam over to the credit union, where he opened his very first savings account with the rest of his birthday money.

And lest you think he is responsible or something, he is saving not for college or a mission (though he is going to have to save a portion for his mission once he turns 12) but an Xbox.


My poor Josh came down with a fever last Friday, and began displaying the symptoms of the weirdest-illness-ever that Grace had: sore throat, fever, rash, ear ache, goopy eye, etc.

Poor buddy!

He cuddled with me all day and drank lots of Gatorade.


On Tuesday Josh was still super-sick.

We hung out at home, and tried to get him feeling better.

Adam began swim practice with the swim team.  He knows how to swim but definitely needs practice/coaching to become better at it and learn more strokes.

He gets 2 1/2 months of twice-weekly swim lessons + 4 swim meets, as a part of being on the swim team.

He is SO excited and had a great first practice.


On Wednesday we worked on getting the house in order and worked on getting Mike ready to go to Scout Camp next week.

He leaves Sunday/Monday at 3:00am and is off to a remote camp in Utah, where they don't have cell phone service.

We're going to miss that guy.


On Thursday, Adam had 11-year-old Scouts and we continued to clean.

Mike took Adam, Grace, and Josh to see The LEGO Movie (a late celebration for Adam's brithday) and they had a blast.


On Friday after a l-o-n-g day of waiting (and some last-minute cleaning) my sister visited!

We had soooo much fun talking and laughing.

(And a little bit of gossiping, but nothing bad, Mom!)



Adam "won" getting to keep the class pet, Cosmo, over the summer.

Unfortunately, he woke up earlier this week to Cosmo dead.

We gave him a few days for a miracle recovery, then went ahead and buried him Saturday.

Afterward, these guys held an impromtu lemonade stand.

This time to raise some money for themselves.

They made exactly $.50, thanks to Kayty.

I got my first haircut in over a year... I chopped 8 inches off and LOVE it!

Kayty was kind enough to watch the kids that evening, while Mike, Sam and I went out to dinner.

Late that night, I decided to cover up all of those grays that have been hanging around since I last dyed my hair in January.

And Kayty wanted to cover up her roots.

So, we had a little hair dye party.

Earlier in the day, Josh and Grace dug out some old clothing boxes, where Josh found the suit that Adam wore to Ethan and Cameo's wedding when he was ring bearer.

He was soooo excited that I caught him sleeping in it that night:


On Sunday morning, Josh refused to wear the suit to church.

He says he is "too scared."

He is also "too scared" to take Tylenol for a fever/pain, eat carrots, and wear running shoes.

I'm thinking "too scared" is either a random excuse or he can't figure out the word he really wants to say.

My sweet sister took care of Sam while Mike and I taught.  Usually, I nurse him for the first part of sharing time, he hangs out in Primary with me for the rest of sharing time, and then goes to Young Men's with Mike, while I teach my class.

Teenage boys are slightly less distracted by babies than 6- and 7-year-olds.


She was so awesome to help us!

After church, we got Mike finished packing, and he headed over to help the boys and the other leaders load up the cars in preparation for camp.  He came home and got as much sleep as possible.

We hung out, played games, and watched 17 Miracles on Netflix.

That night, while everyone else slept, I drove Mike to the church at 3:00am, trying to be all brave and not-a-crybaby.

I didn't completely succeed.

I am sooo excited for him to get a week off, to be with the boys, to have fun, and to grow.

We are just going to really miss that guy!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Our Family: Week of 6/9-6/15

On Monday, my once-tiny-baby-boy-whose-feet-now-are-almost-the-size-of-my-own turned 11!

In our family, each person gets to choose all of the meals on their birthday (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).  That tradition was all fine and dandy back when these guys requested things like boxed mac 'n cheese and their favorite cold cereal.

Now they are older and wiser and want real food, darnit!

He had requested homemade orange rolls for breakfast.

Luckily, Smith's makes a decent canned version.


Next year when I don't have a baby, bud!

Grace had her first sewing class, so we rushed to that.  I had planned on taking them to the dollar theatre to see The Lego Movie, but chickened out.

I was pretty sure Sam wouldn't have been thrilled with it.

For lunch, he had homemade pizza-filled Hot Pockets.

Which, are actually super simple, so this meal actually WAS homemade.

Mike had to work both jobs on Monday, which meant he only had about 4 hours at home before he had to head back to the hotel, and he needed sleep, so as soon as he got home from work, we got our birthday celebrating on!

We sent him to his room and hid his gifts, and he came out and searched for them (another tradition of ours).

Adam got cards, a book about the pilgrims and early American history, money, a basketball, and his very first MP3 player.

Man, I wish I had got his reaction to the MP3 player on video.  It's not easy to surprise this kid, but his mouth hung open, and he kept asking, "Is this for real?  Is this all mine?"

He got a gift card for some music, too, so he was pretty excited to fill it up.

After dinner (caramel apple pork chops with mashed potatoes and peas), we had cake.

I'm giving myself some serious props on this cake.

Adam wanted it to taste good (he went with Pioneer Woman's white sheet cake recipe and it was amazing), but look cool, too.

He gave me a picture of a Pokemon, and I free-handed it (and attempted to write his name using the Pokemon font... meh.)

And he was (almost) as excited about seeing that thing as he was his MP3 player.

This guy is so funny, witty, sarcastic, smart, a hard-worker, and insanely stubborn.  I love how curious he is about everything.  He can give a random fact on any topic, and loves to talk.  He most especially loves public speaking... he is always begging to be able to give talks in church.  :)  He loves, loves reading (still), playing sports, having fun, and his little brothers.  He is so extremely patient and kind with them.  (Now, we gotta work on having that same attitude toward Grace).  ;)  I am so thankful every day that he is ours.


On Tuesday, Adam did a whole lotta this:

He has been having too much fun ripping songs off of our old disc jockey CDs and recording them off the radio.

We've never really been into "baby products" like swings and bouncers and stuff.  But, when we picked Mike up at D.I. a few weeks ago, someone had just dropped off a bouncer that looked brand-new (and D.I. can't sell baby stuff like that), so I asked Mike to snatch it up quick.

Sam loves that thing.

That evening, Adam's birthday money was burning a hole in his pocket, and Josh's "sock purse" filled with quarters was burning a hole in his, so I took the kiddos to Target in the evening, while Mike slept.

In pajamas, of course.

Adam bought a paintball Wii game, a yo-yo and Sprees, Josh bought some sour straws, and Grace bought 2 packs of gum.


On Wednesday, Grace finished her project at her sewing class.

My super-talented friend, Carla, holds sewing and cake decorating classes each summer for kids ages 7 and up.  Grace was so excited to finally be old enough to participate, and decided to try her hand at the swimsuit cover-up.

She sewed it all on the machine and it turned out DARLING:

That afternoon, we went over to the library to sign up for the summer reading program and check out a bunch of books.

You could say that Sam wasn't too into the library.


On Thursday, Adam went to his first 11-year-old Scout meeting.

He loved it and is pretty over-the-moon about the fact that they will be going on their first campout in July.


On Friday, we baby-sat for some good friends.

They brought us pizza + cupcakes for dinner as a thank you.

The kids had too much fun playing together.


On Saturday, we went to Adam's very last basketball game.

He scored 2 points.

This season has been such a good experience for him to learn about basketball, teamwork, and get some great exercise.

That evening, we went to our ward "water party + bbq."

We had an amazing time talking with friends, watching the kids play, and eating yummy food.


On Sunday we celebrated Father's Day.

And late Saturday night, I remembered the birthday gift that my mom had brought up from Kayty for Adam months ago, and brought it out.

Adam was insanely excited to have his first suit.

The men had brownies + ice cream at church.

Afterward, Mike came home and napped, and then grilled us dinner.

Hey, he loves to grill!  It's a privilege!


I am so thankful for the sacrifices that this guy makes for us.  He is the best dad!

And I'm thankful for my wonderful Dad and father-in-law.

We are so blessed to have such great men in our family!