For those that like to dream, come in. For those that like to laugh, come in. For those that like to cry and be inspired...please come in. Our family is like any other, but is extraordinary in it's own right. Come and join us at our campfire and laugh a little, cry a little and leave us, but please come back. We love company...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just our luck

"Mom, can I bring some laundry up to your house today?"
"You mean your washer broke down again?"
"Yup, again..."

We had this ridiculous top loading washer for about 12 years. It wasn't flashy and complicated. It did it's job and that was that. When tax return time came around about 3 1/2 years ago we decided it was time for a new washer and dryer. We did our research, we went to several stores and even had Jon's dad Kent look up consumer reports. In other words we did our homework. Not only for the best buy on the market but for where we could get that best buy for the best price. This was no easy feat and it wasn't an impulse buy.

We went to RC Willey, looked and looked, picked what we wanted and started to dicker price. The salesman could tell we were not an easy sell, but then again he must have known we were serious about buying because he didn't give us much room for dickering. In the end he was impressed that we had cash to pay, he wrote it up and we went home to make room for our new washer. We got rid of the old, cleaned the laundry room up and made the way for our Whirlpool Super Capacity washer and dryer.

It was like gold, at least for the first two years. I could wash more than I ever imagined in one load and I had that thing running everyday. With 11 people in our home you can imagine that it ran a lot. We were told it could handle multiple loads everyday for years. We felt confident we had made the right choice.

Then after two years we had a problem. It wouldn't spin, it wouldn't wash, it wouldn't run. I called my neighbor who is an appliance repair man and he came over and looked at it.
"Well, the drum has gotten off somehow and has totally ruined the inside. I will have to replace the entire drum. Wow, I have never seen anything like this before..."
"But when you fix it it will run like it should and will be good?"
"Oh yes, it should be just fine"
So for the space of several days I spent hours at Polly's house doing laundry while we waited for Kelly to get the part and fix our washer. Now, Polly and I love to spend time together and this was a convenient excuse, but still, it would be easier to just be able to do my own wash in my own washer in my own basement. We spent hours watching our favorite shows while folding and waiting. It was a long week for both of us.

Kelly fixed the washer, said Merry Christmas in regards to the bill, which was a God send and told us we should be good to go for a long time. I wish I could say that is the end of the story...alas...it's not.

About 3 days ago I went to put in a load of laundry and shut the door, pushed the necessary buttons and waited for it to start up. It didn't. I waited and waited, it tried and tried...with no success. I tried to stop it, cancel it and even unplug it. Finally the door unlocked and I gazed inside to see what was up. Same thing as last year. The barrel had rubbed out the entire inside of the drum out and that was that. Within the hour I was on the phone with Polly.
"Hey, what cha up to today?"
"Oh this and that and not much...what about you?"
"I think I might be at your house today doing my laundry...assuming that's ok?"
"Again? You mean to tell me it's broken again? Oh my gosh!"
So, load after load and hour after hour I am sure I owe the Bringhursts about a hundred dollars for the water bill. By yesterday I still had not gotten a hold of Kelly to ask for help and I had used Polly so much that I had called my mom to ask for help.

I am still trying to call Kelly. I am still trying to figure out where to take another load of laundry. I am still trying to decide if it's bad karma or just dumb luck. Either way, we are washerless and I am losing my marbles. Maybe that's what broke the washer, my lost marbles.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Best Aunt

Since before I had children I have loved them. Anyone who knew me as a little one knew this about me. When my little brother Michael was born I was only 7 and half yrs old. That tender age did not deter me from trying to be his parent. After getting ready for school I would bark out orders to my mother as I was walking out the door. "Make sure you feed him when he gets hungry, and make sure you change him before you put him down for a nap!" "Yes Julie, I know what to do" My poor mom. When he was two and would get scared he would crawl into bed with me. I loved every single one of those moments with him. I do not remember one bad moment with him, not ever. He was like my baby, still is. I coddle him, I know I do. I was no better when Karlee was born. I even went as far as to dress her every Sunday morning and take her to my classes with me at church. I loved that little round faced kid so much that I often felt like she was my own. I still have the best relationship with her. She is mine. :)

I have found as an adult that I am no better with my nieces and nephews..as they have come along. With some I am closer than others. I don't get much of a chance to love some of them the way I want to. If I had more opportunity I would love them to death.

Last summer I got a hold of Kent. He is 19 now, and last summer when we got him for a day or two we had the greatest time with him. He is so awesome, and I think he had fun with us. I wish I had been able to spend more time with him.

I also have been able to get to know my nieces and nephew in Vegas more the last few years. Man do I love those kids. They are amazing kids. They are bright, beautiful and fun. I think all my nieces and nephews are though. I have 20 nieces and nephews. Phew...that's a lot. They vary in age and gender, and I even have one that is engaged. Wow...I can't believe that! So weird. Watching them grow up is wonderful. Sometimes with your own kids your so close to it it's hard to be objective. I have to be the one to do the discipline, homework and refereeing, but with nieces and nephews I don't have to raise them, just enjoy them.

I think it's sort of how a grandma feels. As an aunt you get to love, adore, pamper and spoil these kids, and when they start to misbehave you can send them home. Of course, in my eyes they can do no wrong. They are perfect to me! I have showered love and adoration on Maddie and Tay this summer and plan on doing it more if I get the chance, but I don't get to do it so much with Carson. He is still so little, we can only see him when we go to Vegas, but that will change soon enough! And then watch out Lisa...you will have me to deal with. My nephew will know me better and I plan on loving him to death!

Drake. I couldn't write this post without mentioning him. He has to be the most adorable little boy ever. He is petite with curly dark hair and the sweetest little voice. He can get away with anything at my house. I adore him. Today he called me by name for the first time. I thought he was saying something about peanut butter and jelly when I realized he was saying "Aunt Jelly". He can't say Julie yet, but I hope he never corrects himself. It made my whole day...."Aunt Jelly, Aunt Jelly". I am still beaming about it. He just rose up a bit more on my lovable list. He can do no wrong!

Little boys and their superheros

Drake. I love this boy so much, so so much. He has to be one of the sweetest little guys I have ever known. Every time he comes over he is wearing his Hulk jammies, drags around books about Ironman and wants to watch Spiderman. He loves his superheros. Every little boy does. Each one has a favorite, but they all love them.

With Isaac it was either Superman, or Spidey. Whenever these movies were on he was glued. He has Superman sweatshirts and would even watch Smallville with me in an effort to catch a glimpse of the main character being super.

Joey was all about Batman. Dark, stealthy and had the mask. He always loved the mask. He was Batman three Halloweens in a row. He still has some Batman jammies that he squeezes himself into.

Colby is all about Ironman. Although he does love the Transformers now too. Can they qualify as superheros? In his mind they do. He will talk non stop about Optimus Prime and has had about ten of them in his lifetime. He usually plays with them until their arms and legs are falling off and he can't play anymore. He just loves them. The hero and the villain fighting for the rest of us.

Skyler? Well, we haven't gotten that far yet. I will be curious to see what he loves and how many more superhero sheets I am going to have to buy and how many more movies I will have to watch.

The greatest thing about this all though is that in a little boys mind the superhero is the person that saves the rest of us. The person they look up to, admire, want to be like and love. I really wonder if our spouses know that for most little boys this can also be dad. In fact, in most cases it is dad. I know this just from watching my husband and his boys. I have never seen such adoration as I have seen on my son's faces when they look up to their daddy. When Jon says he's going to Home Depot, he has four little boys that stand in line to go with him. When Jon gets a project going and he lets the boys help they are right there. They don't leave his side and even love to help out.

Jon and Isaac are currently building a lego table together. The last time they worked on it Isaac was right on Jon's heels. He followed him everywhere, hinged on his every word and nothing was going to distract him from doing everything his dad was doing. Last night while Isaac and I were sitting there watching TV together, just the two of us I turned to him and asked him what he thought he wanted to do when he grew up. He said "Well, I am not sure yet, but maybe a pilot, a doctor or maybe what dad does." I am not sure he even knows for sure what dad does. He has been to his office a handful of times, but for the most part he only has a vague idea of what he does. Isaac loves his dad. I am always trying to encourage Jon to spend time with him, give him that "buddy" that he doesn't have with his brothers yet.

When my boys do spend time with their dad, when Jon includes them, treats them as equals or spends the time to teach them things they look up to him like they do a superhero. Even more so I think. A superhero won't hug you when you scrape your knee. A superhero isn't there for your fourth grade Christmas program and a superhero doesn't tuck you in at night and say "I love you". A dad can be so many things to a little boy, they can be everything to him. I have seen it in the eyes of my sons when they look up to their dad. I think they would even believe their dads could fly. They love them that much.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Pistol

Nine kids. At least one of them has to be a "pistol". Feisty, strong willed and disobedient. Ok, honestly? They are all pistols from time to time. With some of them it comes and goes, depending on the day, the amount of sleep they had and whether or not they have had a proper meal in the last 3 hours. Abby is one of these. She can be as feisty as the next man, but its conditional. She isn't always like this, she can be really bad when she hasn't had enough sleep. McKenna is the same way. Sweet, helpful and happy, until circumstances invade and then watch out...you may get murdered in your sleep! Then there are the kids that wake up as pistols and go to sleep pistols. It's in their blood and they can't deny who they are. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad thing. The stronger the person the more likely they will not get walked on all their lives, the more likely they are to accomplish their dreams due to sheer determination and the more likely they are to be able to endure whatever comes their way.

My kiddos that were born pistols would have to be Megan, Joe and Jessi. Not one of these kids is afraid of life. They say what they think, they do what feels right and all three of them are willing to stand toe to toe with anyone who threatens them. Strong they are...each one of them. Sometimes this works against Jon and I.

Megan is a night owl. We can start her on her nighttime routine at 9 and she will still be awake at 11. We threaten, we compromise, heck..there are even nights where we beg. She just has her own agenda and follows it through the way she sees fit. It drives Jon and I crazy, but what are we to do? You can't force anyone to do anything and even though most of the kids cooperate and do what we ask, we have learned, even the hard way that you can't force them. It's a 2 step forward, 3 step backward process. She loves fiercely, completely and hurts deeply. It's just the pistol in her.

Joe...he has a very unique personality. He likes what he likes, he wants what he wants and when you go against him he will explode. He and Polly's son Ian have pretty much grown up together. They are both just as strong as the other. There have been so many days where Joe has wanted to take Ian and throw him off the nearest cliff, and Ian can feel the same way about Joe the next day. They can fight like brothers and often do. But just as fierce that way Joe can be fierce the other way. At school when Ian gets picked on Joe is there to be his friend. When they have no one else on the playground, they have each other. Joe and Ian play like they are twins and then fight like they are enemies, all on the same day. It's that sibling mentality of "I can pick him to death, but if you touch him I will kill you!". Joey is a very passionate child...gee, I wonder where he got that from? ;)

Jessi. This child is a pistol, with an intense and wonderful sense of humor. She is feisty, but so much fun that you forget about the feisty. I was in bed a little longer than normal this morning. I spent most the night up with Skyler, so Jon was kind enough to let me sleep in. After an hour or so the kids started to filter in. Kenna was sitting on my ceder chest chatting when all of a sudden the boys door flies open and Jessi drop kicks a stuffed green bunny out the door, yells something at the poor thing and then slams the door. Kenna and I both cracked up...it was just too funny. After another couple of minutes Jon had strolled into the room and was laying on the bed and the three of us were just blabbing casually. Colby's whimpering came from inside his room and we all looked at each other with that look that says we knew what was going on. Jessi, the pistol, was now giving it to Colby. I guess she wasn't getting the desired response from the stuffed animals...so it was Colby. He came out of his room crying and saying that she had thrown Buzz Ligthyear at his head. While he was pining away, she was in the other room yelling something about "It was an accident!". Jon yelled from our room for her to say sorry....in a loud and very insistent voice she said "I did say sorry like a billion times!" She put such an emphasis on billion that we all burst out laughing. She said she was sorry....so take it and go! I love that kid! I love them all....

I have to say that I love the feisty, as much as it makes me cringe as a parent most days. They are what I never had the nerve to be...strong, outspoken and able to speak their minds. Good job guys...now I just need to find out a way to teach these little pistols to keep it in check! :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

My favorite words...

There are somewhere between 250,000 and 900,000 words in the English language. New words are added almost everyday. There are so many of those words that I use, and hundreds of thousands I can't even pronounce. I have words that I don't like (I won't name them, they aren't so good), and words that I love.

I have words I love because of what they make me think of. Beach, ocean, kids, ice cream, chocolate, water, friends...you get the idea. Then there are words that I love just because I love them. They are fun to say, fun to think about and can be so colorful coming off the tongue. Here's a list of a few of my favorites and why.

Beautiful. I love this word. It not only describes the most amazing people, situations and places, but it also looks pretty. I can never type it without stopping to think about the keys because it's a little trickier than some words so therefor it makes me really think about what I am typing. I think the last time I used this word is when I was on facebook describing two of my nieces, Taylor and Maddie. And they are beautiful. It's also perfect to describe the most amazing places to me...oceans, beaches, mountains, nature...and my favorite thing to use it to describe would be my children.

Naughty. This can be used to describe so many things and so many people. But it isn't like "bad" or "evil". Naughty is what I call Skyler when he dumps an entire box of cereal on the floor and then drives his cars through it. Naughty is what I use to describe Isaac when he is teasing the girls just to hear them scream. Naughty is what I use to describe Lacie when as a two year old she would escape from the house and be halfway round the block before I could get to her. Those things are naughty, but endearing. That's what that word brings to my mind...endearing. I often hear my friend Angie call me "naughty"...I hope it means the same thing to her...

Butt...don't ask me why. Jon is always telling the kids to say "bum" not "butt". He thinks the word is somewhat crude. I cannot tell you why, but I love it. "Get your butt over here now!" is much more affective than "Get your bum over here now!". It's got more flavor and umph to it. Sayings like "cute butt" and "kick your butt" just wouldn't be the same with the word bum. I love butt...I guess that's the naughty side of me speaking.

Summer. I love summer. Everyone knows that. I love all it means to me and I love the word. When I was pregnant with Skyler, before I knew he was a he, I was convinced that he was a she. As we poured over names for him I came up with Summer. I thought what a pretty name for a sweet little girl. Every time I said her name it would be a gentle reminder of my most favorite season of the year, plus it's just pretty. It flows and and has soft sounds to it. Summer...summer...summer...

America. Its not the softest word, but the older I get the more this word means to me. I watch the news. I hear about what goes on in the world. I talk to people who live outside the U.S. for extended periods of time and although I would love to travel and see so many things, I would always want to come home. This land is so blessed, so rich with so many cultures and peoples. For the most part we live in harmony and we are all striving for the same thing. Peace, in our lives and our world. I love the men and women who fight for our rights to vote, live and strive for our dreams. Only in America.

Laughter...do I really need to explain myself on this one? Everyone loves it, everyone tries to find it and everyone tries to produce it out of everyone else. It's priceless in my book...which brings me to my last word...

Shit. Yes...shit. I couldn't have a list of favorite words without putting in there my favorite swear word. Just last night as Jon and I were watching one of our favorite shows that word was spewed off by one of the characters. Now Jon and I have seen this movie countless times and yet every time that scene comes up we laugh. We both admit that that's our favorite swear word. It's strong enough to get the point across without being too offensive, but is better at getting the point across than saying damn or hell. We both are trying very hard not to say it in front of the kids...but alas...shit happens...

I could go on and on...but I am not going to. I love my language, I love learning new words and Polly and I even like to make new ones up. Language can be colorful, offensive, fun and descriptive. Anyone who knows me knows I like to talk... :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Short order cook

I am so many things in my home. A nurse, educator, maid, sounding board, chauffeur...the list goes on. Tonight I just got done being a short order cook. I should seriously get an apron, a note pad and pencil so that I can start to take orders the proper way. Maybe some day I can get a few tips.

"Mom, what's for dinner?" I am standing in the kitchen with various food items spread out over the counter and I have just turned on a frying pan.
"Mom, what's for dinner?" A little louder this time. I heard Isaac the first time, but I knew that some of the kids would not want what I was making and I didn't want to hear their complaints.
"Toasted egg and cheese sandwiches" Isaac's response was immediate. "Yum, that sounds really good". Megan and Jon both agreed, but I heard a distinct moan from across the kitchen. Joey has to be my pickiest eater. He won't eat anything that doesn't have a cute picture on the box and sugar in the label. I spent the next several minutes cooking one sandwich after another for those that would eat them. It takes a bit to cook for just 3 or 4 people...takes a long while to cook for eleven.

I got done with those that would eat them and turned my attention to Skyler who can't sit and eat a big sandwich like that yet. A few finger foods on his plate and his blood sugar and insulin done, then on to the next kid. We mustn't forget to do Megan's diabetes stuff too, especially after last week..so we get that done. I call for the other kids who are outside at this point and wait to see what their response to the dinner menu would be. Lacie and Abby both wrinkle up their noses to the menu and start to request things like cinnamon toast and toasted cheese. By this time I am telling them that if they don't like what's up for dinner they can at least help out with their own choices. They do, and I get them fed. Colby and Jessi are last. They need more help and I get their dinners done. Once I get what I think is the last of them done I put things away, rinse off dishes and look at the clock. It's now 7:15. I started this whole process at 6:00pm. Over an hour and I think we are done with that particular meal. Just as I sit down to the computer to look at my Facebook and think about writing a blog Joey walks into the kitchen. "Mom, what do I get for dinner?" Oh my gosh....you've got to be kidding me. I thought I was done, but apparently not. One more kid, one more meal and whew....please tell me I'm done now. I sit back down, continue with the blog and in walks McKenna from work. "Hi mom, what's for dinner?" At this point I start twitching in weird ways and my mouth spews off some words that I didn't even know were in my vocabulary. Kenna takes a few steps back and says something to the effect of "Geez, chill out...I will figure it out on my own...calm down". Of course this brings on the guilt and I get back up, tell her what was for dinner, watch her scrunch up her nose and mumble something about yucky foods and wander off.

I can see why short order cooks, and waiters find themselves in the position of wanting to dump the nearest beverage on their patrons heads at times. I find that I want to do that every night at dinner, whether it be a night like tonight where it was a come and go dinner, or even a night when I get the 3 course meal on the table and we all sit together to eat. Mealtimes are just loud and stressful. Much like the rest of the day around here....

"May I take your order please?" is right up there in frequency out of my mouth next to "who wrote on the wall?" and "Get to bed!".

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The boys vs the girls...

Ok...we are going to go for a few light hearted posts for a while. I love my deeper side, but life has tons of fun and laughter to be had. Today Polly and I found some.

Boys. They are rough, loud, like to wrestle and call each other "dude" all the time. Girls are sensitive, more quiet, prefer nail painting to wrestling and use terms like "sweetie" and "hun". I have 5 girls and 4 boys. Shy of adopting another boy we are as close as we are going to get to making it even. I love seeing the differences between the boys and the girls. I mean, there are the obvious things, like boys like legos and sports and the girls like dolls and jewelry.

I have to say that it's fun to watch the kids when they cross over just a bit from one side to the other. My kids are very competitive and they will often have races. My cute little Abby will win these every time...even against Isaac and Megan. The other day when Joey walked by I noticed that his toe nails were painted. I had to laugh when I found that not only were his painted but so were Colbys and Skylers. I guess the new nail polish that Lacie had gotten for her birthday had to be tried out on more than just herself. Abby and Lacie painted anyone who happened to stop long enough to let them. Skyler's nails are still painted...

As a mom I have much enjoyed watching my kids and how different their personalities are. But I will say that there are distinct similarities between the girls and the boys. Isaac and Colby have recently started to wrestle. Isaac isnt quite as rough with Colby as he is with his friends his same age, but he still does it. I yell, I scream, I try to pull them apart...but alas..it's a lost cause. Same goes for the girls. They primp, they do each others hair, they wear each others clothes...and then have sleep overs on each others floors and talk girl talk.

I love to watch it unfold...the things the kids do with each other. I love to see Colbys eyes when Isaac lets him into his room on one of those rare occasions where he lets Colby in. The look in Colbys eye is so sweet as he ogles over all of the lego men, castles and transformers. It's heaven on earth to him and if he could he would spend all day in there with Isaac explaining every little item and showing him every little thing. It's one little boy looking up to the big boy and it's so sweet. Lacie does the same thing with McKenna. Unfortunately Kenna is almost always annoyed with us at this point and doesnt like the kids to bug her, especially in her room. But when she can Lacie will watch Kenna put on her makeup, she will help her pick out cute clothes and gazes sweetly at all the best friends pictures Kenna has on her walls of her and her friends at the mall. If she could pick anyone to be like in the family it would be Kenna. McKenna doesnt even know how much my little girls look up to her, and yet they do.

Most of the time its cute things to watch and fun things to see, but every now and again its just plain annoying...like this morning when Polly and I took the kids to the pool. Isaac was hellbent on getting Polly and I wet. He had to sit and squirt us from every angle with his little water gun and with no ammount of threatening would he stop. He was going to get us wet and laugh out loud while doing it. The thing with the girls that drives me nuts is that if I leave my makeup bag anywhere to be found its dug through and often times things come up missing. Same thing happens with my perfume. I better buy 3 bottles because 2 will be gone before the end of the week.

I will have to say that I always wanted girls. More than anything I wanted a bunch of little girls. I dreamt of the day when my home would be filled with dolls, dress ups and tea party stuff. I had no idea having boys would just as much fun. I love having both and watching them all grow up together and seeing how different they can be. I am glad I get to see the differences and get hugs and kisses from both. Little boys are so tender with their moms and seem to be protective from a very early age. Little girls want to be like their moms and seem to mimic them. I love all nine of my kids and am having so much fun watching them grow up and become such neat people!

I think I will go now so that my little ginger who is my lap can get the proper hugs and cuddles he's wanting. Tomorrow he may want to douse me with water, so I better get in the cuddling while I can....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It is what it is

Lisa and Lori are saying it all the time. It's kind of caught on in the family. No ones life is perfect. No ones. Some peoples problems are more apparent than others, but no one is without trials. It is what it is.

I have had my fair share of problems in my lifetime. Too many to count really. Now I know that I am not special this way, everyone is in the same boat. This weekend I found myself back at Primary Children's Hospital with Megan. I have to say that every time I am there with one of my children I am taken off of whatever high horse my butt may have been sitting on and brought right back down to reality. That hospital has a feeling about it. Despite the sorrow and hardship there is an overwhelming feeling of hope and peace there. Every corner you take you find a sweet child that is in pain and a parent whose pain can't be counted on a scale, but is just as real. There's a kinship there. No matter what language you speak, no matter what color you are there is an unspoken understanding that passes from parent to parent, eye to eye as we pass each other in the hall that faith is not lost, hope can grow strong and love can conquer anything.

This morning Megan and I went for a walk. We had to take it slow because her strength wasn't back yet. We went out to the patio on the third floor and immediately we both stopped as soon as the sun hit our faces. After being locked up for more than a day in the hospital room to machines and a bed we loved the feel of the sun on our faces...it felt so good. We wandered over to the fence and gazed out over the valley. It was a beautiful quiet sunny morning and we didn't need to say a word to each other to know how the other person was feeling. I happened to glance across at another teenage girl doing the same thing we were doing. She was hooked up to IV's, tubes and a wheelchair. As she looked at me the look in her eye was striking. It made me tear up. As I stood there fighting the tears I realized I was losing the battle. I cried for every little child in the hospital today. Every young child that hurts and longs for home and happiness was in my heart at that moment. I tried to stop the tears and couldn't, it was beyond me in that moment.

Why? Why did our children have to hurt so much? Why can't I take away their pain and just leave laughter behind? Why did I get to take my daughter home when so many parents leave that hospital without children, leaving a part of them behind and having to move forward without their little ones? I can't answer that except to say it just is. It is what it is. I thank the Lord everyday that I have been blessed with the ability to love my child so dearly and so deeply when they do hurt. Any of them. how is that possible? It just is what it is...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The mountains....

I know I never stop complaining about the weather here in Utah. The truth of the matter is that I hate cold weather...everyone who knows me knows this. I don't like driving on icy slushy roads. I don't like 15 coats, 10 pairs of boots, gloves, hats and scarves all over a very small entry way all winter. Digging out the car every morning in order to drive the kids to school. Hoping and praying every single day for months that I will catch a glimpse of the sun that day. It's all so depressing to me. I have made no secret of the fact that I want to move to a warmer climate.
But despite all of that right now I am completely content. The weather is warmer and the canyons are beautiful. I have made several trips up there already this year. I have actually done more in the first month of the summer this year than I had done all summer last year. I have been trying to figure out why.

We have taken the kids to Silver Lake for a walk around the lake. We have taken a hike to Donut Falls. We have taken drives through the canyons just to drive and see the beauty. I have spent several hours on the computer looking for other places to go. I currently have at least three on my list of things to do and see. I want to take the kids to antelope island, East Canyon and a campground up American Fork Canyon. It all sounds wonderful to me.

So why am I so in love with the mountains when I am trying so hard to leave them? I don't really have an answer for you. I know as a family we will eventually move. Not today...not tomorrow....but eventually and maybe my heart wants to get it's fill before we do. Maybe after spending months with ice and snow I am just so excited to see the green trees and beautiful water falls and rivers that I want to get my fill before it all turns to ice and snow again. Maybe it's all of the above. I know I have always loved being outside. Camping, hiking, bike riding, swimming...they all have been at the top of my list of favorite things to do. I love sitting outside while the sun sets and enjoy the warm evenings. I love all kinds of landscapes from desserts and their spectacular sunrises, to a gorgeous sunset over the ocean. Mountains are majestic, and they seem to loom over our valley as though they are there to protect us, to watch over us and I love them for that. I hope to instill some of that love to my children. Teach them of the beauty all around us and try to respect it while enjoying it. Maybe it's the Blackfoot Native American in me...I love it all...

Either way, I am loving being outside right now and if you want to tag along let me know, cause we love the company. :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

The fourth...

Well, it's that time of year again. The time of year when my driveway gets covered with burn marks, noise reigns supreme and the kids like to throw "snap ems" at each other. Jon and the kids all love it just the same. They like to buy as many fireworks as our budget will allow and spend the days leading up to and after the 4th burning through them all.

The routine is pretty much the same every year. We invite a bunch of family and friends over. We pull out the fire pit and go to town on hot dogs and mallows. Before it even gets dark we pull out the spiders and parachutes. Those are the fireworks that the go off sky high and the kids chase down the spiders and parachutes. Once those have been exhausted and its barely dark enough the others come out. Fountains, flowers, tanks and pagodas. We burn and burn until all the fireworks are gone and we are left there, sitting in our lawn chairs in the dark wondering what to do next. This is a yearly tradition and for the most part we love it.

Now, mind you, we always have one little person that is freaked out and will stand alone in the house by the window totally afraid of the showers of sparks. Last year it was Colby, the two previous years it was Joe. Then there's kids like Ian who try to carry the fireworks around and screams like a fire engine on a rescue. That kid has no fear....we have to watch him really close.

At my in-laws home the biggest kid around is my father-in-law Kent. He sets up some tin can rocket launchers and meticulously teaches the kids how to get the most height. He loves those and the kids love them with him. I think they might be illegal...but non of us cares...they are just fun.

I have to admit bbq's and fireworks on a warm summer evening has to be one of my favorite holidays. No pressure, no stress, no shopping in the freezing cold trying to make an empty pocket book stretch....non of that. Just showers of sparks, lots of family and friends and my favorite time of year....not just summer...but summer nights. Love it, love it, and love it more.

And when the fourth is over we sit back and wait a few weeks and start all over again. We celebrate the 24th of July with the same exact routine. That day is Utah's Pioneer Day...the day in 1847 that Brigham Young and the first pioneers made it to Salt Lake....so bring it on....all of it! It's my favorite!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Trying to figure it out...

I have the worst anxiety. Anyone who knows me knows that. I never sleep. Late nights are the worst. I lie awake late at night worrying over any little thing and every little thing. My kids, my finances, my relationships, even my lost cause pets at times.

I tend to find some peace in old movies, sweet romances and action thrillers. I love all those movies and for some reason they tend give me comfort and quiet my mind like nothing else can late at night.

I do acknowledge that I need to figure it out. Figure out why I don't sleep, figure out why I worry so much about things when I should be regaining my strength for the next day of kids, questions, bare naked bums that need to be washed, laundry and loads of dishes.

It did dawn on me tonight that maybe one of the reasons I spend my nights up is that my mind is so completely full of the basics of life during the day that I never get the chance to work anything out in my mind. I never get the chance to worry over anything, or work anything out during the day. There is just so much going on, and so many demands on me that I just don't get the chance. Night time is it. This is my chance to let my mind wander, let my mind absorb everything that went on during the day and try to work through some of it.

I haven't made note of whether or not this is all worse during the summer when all the kids are home or not. I will admit this summer I have been impatient and preoccupied. Now I truly think most of this has to do with the remodel. I honestly believe that when its all done...which should be within the next few days, my life will calm down considerably. The kitchen is the hub of the home and when it's in disarray it makes life so much more difficult. My kitchen is finally almost where it should be, and should have been from the day we moved in. It's finally not only livable but really really nice. That alone is going to make my life easier. And since I got most of it painted yesterday it truly is almost done. Just a few details. I love it!

Back to me and my rambling mind. For my kids sake I need to figure myself out. Figure out why I am losing sleep and making every ones life more difficult by being tired all day long. I need to figure out why my mind can't rest when it needs to be and is going a million miles an hour.

Maybe it's just that this is the only time of day when I get a turn on the tv? That might just be it....