Sunday, July 27, 2014

Our Family: Week of 7/21-7/27

On Monday, my sweet sister drove Mike + Adam down to the insurance office and the car lot.  Mike gave his statement, collected the $800 check, and went to the car lot to make sure nothing else good was left in it.

They said good-bye to that van that has been so good to us this past year.

Mike and I decided years ago to never get into debt for a vehicle again.

When we decided to try for a baby, we began praying for a vehicle that would be reliable and fit our family without getting into debt.

One evening our Bishop stopped by our house; he had bought a van for his daughter, but she didn't want it.  It was older, but only had 85,000 miles.  He offered it to us for $1000, and told us we could make payments to him on it.

It has been reliable and good and we were so blessed to not have to get into debt for it.

When Mike was offered that van from his co-worker a few months ago, I told him not to take it.

We didn't have any extra money for repairs and I didn't want to have to pay insurance on a dead vehicle.

I'm so glad that he didn't listen to me (ha!) and for Heavenly Father inspiring his friend to give it to us... because he did, we can keep our goal and use the insurance money to fix it up and not get into debt for a vehicle.

Heavenly Father (and the other people in our lives) are so good to us.

That evening we had FHE and had some final fun with Kayty until October.


On Tuesday morning, Kayty left bright and early.

Our van was towed away a little while after she left to get the fuel pump fixed.

That afternoon we received a letter in the mail.

Explaining that Sam's remaining birth balance was paid off by some incredibly generous angel.

I am in awe and amazement at the sheer goodness of people.

If I could only be half as kind as others have been to us, I would be a saint.

Thank you to whoever you are.

You have no idea how much that means to us.


On Wednesday, we learned that a whole chunka change later, that the fuel pump wasn't the only problem with the new van.

And the amount it would cost to continue to diagnose + fix it was above our budget.

So, I cried.

I called Mike, who was upset, too.

We decided to part it, buy bikes, and save up for a new vehicle.

Luckily (though I don't believe it was just luck) our friend/neighbor, Katrina, stopped by that night and told me to press on.

That she would tow it home from the garage.

That saving up for a used car is fine, BUT it's going to have problems, too.

And at least we knew what we were dealing with (sorta) with this one.

I hope I can one day brighten somebody as much as she did for me that evening.


On Thursday we walked to the store for some groceries.

Lucky us, a park with a splash pad happens to be on the way to the store.

After shopping we stopped there for awhile to cool off, before trecking home in the 100+ degree heat.

Our sweet friends towed our car home.

The same sweet friends who refuse to let Mike take the bus, and have driven him to/from work each day.

For reals.

And Mike changed the crankshaft and camshaft sensors.

And it started!

And stalled a few minutes later.

(But, hey, it started).


On Friday we celebrated Christmas in July.

We listened to music, watched a Christmas movie, and made some gingerbread boys.


We spent Saturday getting the house uber-clean, walking to the store, and having pizza + a movie night.

We worked at home, Mike worked at D.I. and Sam chilled.

It's our Saturday thang.


On Sunday we had a wonderful day at church.

Except for, you know, being asked to speak again.

I have limits, people!

Unfortunately, it was the same sweet neighbors who have been helping us with our van + rides who asked, and we couldn't say no to him.

So, Mike + Me + Adam will be speaking August 10th.

That evening, our good friends, the C* family came over for dinner.

We had pulled pork, homemade coleslaw, homemade buns, watermelon and chips.

They brought an amazing Costco chocolate cake.

And the only thing better than that cake, was having fun laughing and talking with them all evening + while our kids got out every single one of their toys and laughed and talked, too.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Our Family: Week of 7/14-7/20

On Monday, since we still had no car, we were stuck at home on Mike's day off.  Mike finally buckled down and organized the shed (while I organized ALL of the boxes of baby + kid clothes in there).

I so miss having a car.

But, getting organized is pretty great, too.

That evening, since this guy turned 6 months, and has been D-Y-I-N-G to eat (he watches every bite we eat and opens his mouth when we do), we went ahead and gave him some oatmeal.

He loved that stuff.


On  Tuesday morning, I woke up to this girl hard at work at the table.

She was making a card for Aunt Kayty... who was coming to visit on Friday.

She (and the boys) were counting down the seconds to her visit.

They love that sister of mine!

And the card she made was too adorable.

Our sweet friend brought Adam to swim, and he came home pleased-as-punch with his 6th place ribbon from Saturday's meet.

I'm so proud of him for working hard (and very thankful for good friends).


This baby boy sure is going to miss his siblings when school starts.

I decided to only feed Sam solids every-other-day.  I did some research and talked to my lactation consultant.  Breastfed babies don't need solids, they are just for fun... and if given too often, babies rely on them instead of milk, which diminishes supply (and if you have read this blog you know I'm kinda crazy about keeping up the milk supply).


It was Wednesday, though, so we gave this guy another feeding.

I have never had a baby love oatmeal like this one.


We were sooo blessed to pay for my prenatal expenses last year, and a few payments on his birth this year, with Mike's second job.

When he lost it, I called the hospital and asked for a lower minimum monthly payment on our almost $5,000 balance.

They told me in order for them to be able to do that, that I needed to fill out a bunch of paperwork.

I did.

On Thursday we received a letter in the mail, letting me know that my hospital charges had been 100% reduced... and Sam only had $800 remaining on his balance.

Totally overwhelmed and thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who truly is a God of miracles.

Lunch around here during this summer is a smorgasbord of whatever-you-can-find.

Which makes leftover nights obsolete.

But gives them a break from the school year PB&J lunches that they get daily.

I always start the year wanting to make fun lunches... ;)


On Friday, we got a little bit of bad news: the driver that hit Mike did not have insurance, which meant that our deductible would apply... which meant we were only going to get $800 for it.


That afternoon, Grace made herself a peanut butter-jelly-graham cracker-tortilla concoction for lunch, of which she was rather proud.

We spent the day finishing cleaning and getting this guy packed, because he was going on his first campout!


So happy and excited for him!

That evening, Kayty came into town, and we were all SO excited!


Saturday, we spent the day hanging out with Kayty, grocery shopping, and having fun.

She is a blast, people!

And still single... wink! wink!

Adam came home from his campout and reported having an amazing time.

Kayty showed Grace the fine art of owling:

And planking:

And brought the special fishing poles for the kids that Papa had gotten at a yard sale.

Thanks, Papa!

I think you may have some future fishermen (and women) in the family.


Sunday we spent the morning at church.

Kayty watched Sammy (again) during my + Mike's teaching 3rd hour.

Thank you, Kayty!

My parents had also sent up some pasta makers (remember when I asked if they saw any at a yard sale... these guys happened to have 2 already.  They rock!), so we spent the afternoon figuring it out and making lots of fresh pasta.

We all got into it, and had a blast.

Especially Adam a.k.a. Dough Boy.

That boy never fails to make me smile.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Our Family: Week of 7/7-7/13

On Monday, our sweet friends lent us their car for the week, in return for me baby-sitting while she and her mother-in-law were at Girl's Camp.

Our kids are all similar in age (except there's no one for Adam), and these babies are exactly a month apart:

Having 2 babies + two 4-year-old boys + a 5-and 7-year old set of girls is exhausting.

But, I love these guys.

And I adored a lap full of baby.


On Tuesday, we realized we were out of laundry soap.

So, after my friend brought Adam to swim, we loaded up the stroller and walked down to Wal-Mart.

Before all of the drama started, the kids and I started walking/running 1.5 miles each evening on July 1st.

Between having to walk to the store for groceries + our nightly walk/run we are all going to get pretty fit.


I love when the kids get the camera and capture me being a Mama.

This would be me (attempting) to read an Ensign article, while Josh talks to me, and Adam flashes gang signs.


When you're stuck in your house (because you don't have a car and it's insanely stinkin' hot outside) ya get creative for entertainment.

On Wednesday, we went ahead and tried our hand at making our own pasta.

Which, as it turns out, is incredibly delicious and fun to make.

But, it's a little messy.

Hey, Mom and Dad, if you ever happen upon a pasta machine at your yard sales...



On Thursday, we got MORE rain!

We have had the worst monsoons ever in Las Vegas since we moved here, with it normally just lightly raining.

We have had lots of rain and thunder and lightning during the storms lately.

It is the best!

And, for me, a tender mercy.

My kids + my friends' kids loved it.

After we dried off, we had some fun playing inside.

And when they left, Josh and Sam went ahead and relaxed in their little chairs.

Playing with friends is hard work!


On Friday, we all walked down to 7-11 for some free Slurpees.

And finished our evening off with buzzing Adam and Mike's hair, and cutting Josh's.


On Saturday, Mike used our friend's car to take the boys to the swim meet.

Adam placed in one of his 4 races.

Sixth place!

(But a definite improvement).

That afternoon, we were going to go on a major grocery trip.

While I was loading Josh in, Grace accidentally knocked the car into gear.

I tried to (heroically) jump in, and instead go knocked down and run over by the open door.

Resulting in some nasty bruises on my arms + a lump on my head.

Miraculously, I had some sense to move my legs out of the way and the street was empty and the car stopped rolling before it hit the wall across the street.

It was traumatic (for me and the kids).

But, we were so blessed that the car didn't have a scratch + and no one was seriously hurt.

After our shopping trip and dinner, we got ready for Sunday with baths.

This guy is all about sitting up lately, so we let him try it out in the tub.

I didn't think this guy could love his baths any more than he already did, but sitting up and having access to Josh's toys made it even better for him.

I love me some clean baby.


On Sunday, my sweet baby boy turned 6 months old!

This boy is a dream.  A great eater.  A wonderful sleeper.  He would sleep 9 hours at night, but I wake him up every 3 to eat (or my supply dips).  He can roll over, but rarely does.  He prefers sitting up, munching on toys, and taking it all in.  He adores his siblings.  And he loves to cuddle.

He is soooo wonderful!

He has us all wrapped around his chunky fingers, and we are all pretty  sure we couldn't possibly love him more than we already do.

But, tomorrow, that sweet guy will giggle and laugh and pull Grace's hair and talk to us, and we will fall in love just a little more with him.