Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Upside Down

Early this spring I applied Austin to a bilingual charter school in Ontario. Enrollment is based on space avaible. So his name went on the waiting list and we went about our lives.

As school approached and we still hadn't heard anything we made peace with the fact he wasn't going to get in and moved on.

Today I received a call: there was a spot aviable in 2nd grade and Austin had been accepted to the Four Rivers Cultural Charter School. They wanted to meet with us today so he could start school tomorrow if this is what he wanted to do.


This phone call turned our world upside down.

Kurt and I picked up Austin from Vale Elementary school went for an extensive tour of the charter school. Kurt and I was very impressed and very excited for him. He was super shy throughout the visit.

Have had many, many talks in the hours that followed. We have decided to have Austin go the charter school tomorrow to try it out.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sweatin' 4 Sarah

My good friend Jamie's sister Sarah was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer in June. Sarah is a sweetheart. It has rocked Jamie's world. It is so hard to understand.


On Saturday some girls in Sarah's ward put on a fundraiser 5K race, "Sweatin' for Sarah." Jamie, Megan (her daughter) and I made a quick 24 hour trip to Salt Lake for the race. All the proceeds went to Sarah. She raised $15,000. There was more than 400people that came out to walk or run the race. It was amazing to be apart of something big and to see the love and support for Sarah.

{me, Jamie, & the other sister Becky}

It made for an intense weekend especially the first week of school but I'm glad I could support Jamie, Megan and Sarah. And on the plus side - road trips almost always help me appreciate Vale more. So true with this trip, I am so grateful for my life, my husband and the gospel. I'm a blessed woman.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the FIRST day

A TOTAL success!!!

Austin couldn't sleep {neither could his mother.} He came into our room at 2:30 AM to ask if it was time to get ready. Emma Lynn was bouncing around, up & down with THE biggest, cheesiest grin on her face. At 7:30 they were completely ready trying to prod us into the car so they wouldn't be late! How can you help but smile when there is so much excitement vibrating through our house?!!

A few times on the 3 minute drive to school Emma Lynn told me she was nervous. I reminder her about her father's blessing and that she can always pray at school.

Our game plan was to take Austin first and then Emma. It has started to get chilly in the mornings so Emma Lynn was cold and wanted to go to her class right away. In Austin's excitement he ran ahead and disappeared before I could tell him about the change in plans.

The little girl sitting next to Emma Lynn was bawling {uncontrollably} we when got there. I tried not to freak out {{is that really the best person for her to sit by???}} As her smile started to waive just a little I reminder her that she could help her be happy and she could be her friend so she wouldn't be sad. We hugged and I left.

I ran over to the second grade building to say by to Austin but Mrs. Anthony had already started class so I waved to him and let my very grown up school kids do their thang.

{notice them holding hands, awwww!}

You know I cried so we are not even going to go there.

Couponing saved my life that day.

Krystal and I loaded up the kids and headed over to Ontario and concentrated on the kids we had with us and getting amazing deals. We headed back to Vale so we could get Braxton and Brooke. After lunch we went back to Ontario to focus on diaper deals. We let the kids play at the park while we took turns at the store. Before I knew it it was time to pick up the school kids. It was the perfect distraction. {Thank You Krystal!}

I love the details that Emma Lynn gives. She talks easily and freely, a luxury I haven't had with Austin. Even her talking prodded him to talk more. I love it!

Austin said Mrs. Anthony is the BEST ever!

And Emma Lynn wanted to go home and go right to sleep so it would be time to go to school again!

It's going to be a fabulous school year.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Final Preparations

The F-I-N-A-L Countdown.

Can you hear me singing the 80's hit song by rock sensation EUROPE? Life is often much better expressed through song.

{{I totally had to google "the final countdown" to find out which super cool band sang it!}}

All the essential things have happened in our preparation for school. The time has come. The kids are ready.

Emma Lynn's Mommy Date
She was really so patient about this event. It got rescheduled about 12 different times. Finally it came down to Saturday because there were absolutely NO other free days left before school started!

Rooster woke up quite disoriented (it wasn't even 24 hours post surgery at this point.) She had had very vivid nightmares that night (I'm blaming the drugs) and was sooo scared of everything. She couldn't even walk down the hall without crying. Kurt had to {{pretend}} kill a bear about 30 times while my job was to {{pretend}} kill the monster only half a dozen times. Ya, I definitely didn't want to leave her with a babysitter in that condition...Emma was so gracious and thought it was a fabulous idea to have her come with us and it continued for the rest of the day. She loved having a true girls day out. Oh thank you Emma Lynn for making it easier and loving your sister like a friend and just being a sweet heart. {{that is exactly why I'm going to miss you!}}

We pretty much just went shopping. Emma Lynn loved it. We tried on clothes, shoes, and accessories and she exclaimed that ,"This is the best mommy date ever!" (It was just funny to me how different boys and girls are b/c that would have been torture for Austin!) She picked out her first day of school outfit. When she saw it she ran over, picked it off the rack and sighed, "Oh, this is just perfect! I love it. I will be so fancy for the first day!" {{cheese out.}}

We also saw "Ramona & Beezus" at the dollar theatre. I thought it was totally fitting since the sisters were out together. I loved the movie. I LOVE who they cast as Ramona. Very high recommendations from me.

LOL moment of the day: I just took my wallet and a little diaper pouch (it is the size of a diaper and I can fit about 3 diapers and a small flat box of wipes inside.) Emma had picked out Swedish fish for the movie at Shopko. So I put them inside the diaper pouch. When I was paying for the tickets Emma noticed that they also had Swedish fish for sale.

"Hey, I have that candy too." She proceeds to open the pouch and pull them out and shows me AND the theatre employee who was in the middle of selling me the tickets. I WAS SO MORTIFIED!!! The employee was clearly trying not to be as amused as he was and whispered to me, "I won't tell."


Ahhh, the innocence of youth. We most definitely bought some overpriced popcorn.

Sunday after church we completed the mommy date by making some new bows and clips for school. I won't mention the fact that I completely broke my promise to myself and scared my daughter by crying. It's gonna be a long and emotional week. yikes.

Father's Blessings
Sunday night Kurt gave everyone a father's blessing. It is always so wonderful to feel the spirit so strongly in our home and to recognize and talk about it with our children. We are blessed beyond measure to have a righteous, loving, priesthood holder in our home.

Austin's blessing was powerful and much different that his previous school years. It talked a lot more about being spiritualy prepared than secular knowledge. It is the year of his baptism.

Emma Lynn was blessed to be a strength to her brother, to her teacher and to her mother. That she could look out for others and communicate.

I was blessed with patience and that I can focus on the one. To remember the Lord and turn to him often especially to counsel about raising my children.

VES Open House
This event was as anticipated as the first day of school. It help calms the anxiety to have your desk picked out, know who is in your class, put away your supplies and meet your teacher. Since we've accomplished all that we are in good shape.

Look at my girl. After I took this picture I was awe struck with her confidence and beauty. I'm so proud of the little lady she is becoming.

Emma Lynn and Mrs. Wagner {whom Emma has already made 2 cards for. ;)

And the last preparation...Austin surely couldn't start 2nd grade with a loose tooth. He himself pulled no.4

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ruthy's Toothy Procedure

Those of you who are avid followers of this blog {or talk to me regularly or can see her yourself} know of Rooster's terrible teeth.

Friday the 20th was her scheduled surgery in Nampa to repair her teeth. Kurt and I decided to have the procedure done at the hospital so she was completely out and the job could be done right with medical professionals there to help her.

After the preschool open house on Thursday we took the older three kids to Marti's for a sleep over. Then we went to Jeff and Julie's so Rooster could get a blessing.

We were at the hospital Friday morning by 7am. Shortly after we checked in they gave her some medicine to drink to calm, and relax her so they could take her into the OR where she would inhale the drugs to knock her out. Let's just say the meds she drank made her slightly hyper. Within 10 seconds she was jumping on the bed {I was holding her hands} and singing.

R: "Where are the guys?"
Me: "What guys? The Doctor and nurse?"
R: "Ya, the guys."
Me: "They are outside in their office."

After which she peeks through the blinds and waves to the nurses, "Hi, guys!"

She was so silly! But her goofiness help make the situation easier. She didn't want to go with the Dr. but the meds made it easy for them to distract her and she went without screaming.

I felt like I was on the verge of puking the whole time she was gone. Luckily she was only in surgery for an hour. Dr. Kizer came out and reported that he was pleased with out everything went. So he pulled 2 teeth, repaired 2 teeth and filled 2 cavities. The cavities on her back molars were really deep and large but he opted not to put crowns on them {I'm glad.}

They had her in a recovery room until she woke up and then brought her into us. I thought that part of the procedure was dumb {bad word, I know, sorry!} I'm sure for medical purposes they want to make sure everything is okay but it would be SO much easier for the child {and the parent} if they could wake up with their parents with them! My heart ached when they carried her in, her face was all swollen, IV still in and she was SO mad and agitated. She was able to go back to sleep after drinking some juice and finally getting the IV out. She would only fall asleep with the juice cup in her mouth {whatever! I just wanted her to be happy!}

We were home by 10:30 am. She slept until 12:30pm. Her recovery has been A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! 24 hours post surgery she was still hyper and silly and goofy {the laughs it provided were great!} But now...she is back to being two. And defiant.

I'm so pleased with how everything went and how it looks. Granted she will have the holes in her mouth until she is 8 or 9 {yeah, that's 6-7 years!!!} But Emma has been good preparation??? Her front 2 teeth look a MILLION times better and that it makes up for the holes. And in reality it is better than seeing teeth rotting out of your daughter's mouth!

Bless Dr. Kizer for assuring me that it wasn't all my fault. Clearly super weak enamel and bad genetics are also to blame. It's kinda taking the guilty edge off. Kinda.

Let the pictures speak for themselves!



Pre-surgery & Post "calming/relaxing" meds

Falling Asleep with the cup in her mouth

{and yes I realize I look special.}

In other toothy news Saturday night Kurt pulled Austin's 3 tooth. The one on the top, forever changing his baby face appearance. The tooth fairy is going to be busy at our house!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Tyler asked if I like having so many visitors. Personally I'm feeling pretty lucky that so many people will come to Vale to see us.

This summer we've had Grandma Richards, Elaine, Lorna, Ethan, Karen (on multiple occausions), Jesse, Pam, Herb, Zach (even though they slept in Ontario) and on Wednesday the 11th Matt, Dawn, Alyx, Drake, Luke and Kade came to visit. We are indeed very blessed!

We had a great visit with Matt and Dawn and their family (and are looking forward to our next together plans for Thanksgiving! CA here we come! :D ) The last time they visited Vale we had just moved into this house (more specifically we had been here two days and the carpet wasn't even laid and boxes everywhere!) I'm just so glad that we've made progress since then.

We had a quiet and enjoyable weekend with them. We talked lots about them relocating to Vale and even went through a house that is for sale just up the road. {My main goal, or at least one of them, is to convince everyone to move to Vale with me! Just a warning if you ever come this direction! ;) }

We went to Bully Creek

Prepared and excuted the Back to School carnival, and Saturday we spent the day in Nampa. I don't know that they were impressed with our water park but the kids and I had fun. The was also a Art Festival taking place in the park next to our pool so we checked that out too. The free bounce house was by far the kids favorite part.

We are blessed to call you family. Thanks for visiting, we love you!

Chamber's Back 2 School Carnival

This year I helped Tiffany with Vale's Back 2 School Carnival. It was Friday the 13th (and no there were no fatalities.) I enjoyed working with Tiffany and I loved getting the school supplies together and giving them away to all the kids who came. We put together 150 bags of supplies and had way more kids than that. Definitely need to plan for 200 next year!

Big thanks to our husbands who are ever supportive and always a huge help the night of. Also to Matt and Dawn and family who were in town and helped my kids that night. Photos courtesy of Alyx Waite Photography (great job btw!)

Kurt cooked all the hot dogs that night.

Potato Sack race (part of the obstacle course)

Treasure Dig

More obstacle course

Oh, did I mention that Tiffany & I were clowns? I'm scaring myself!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My First Couponing Picture

Shopping has been good since I committed to the couponing world.

It has been interesting to see the different stages I've gone through as I try to learn and grasp the world of saving to cash in. {complete and utter overwhelming, obsessive, got to get every deal, and realistic giddiness.}

I also find the timing of this new job/obsession/hobby interesting. I was completely not interested in couponing until things freed up in my life to allow the time I knew was needed to devote to the success of couponing. This summer I found myself in a wealth of time and devoid of excuses. Starting this summer also allowed me the time to get this thing figured out before school (= super busy time) starts.

Most couponers take bragging pictures. I haven't really felt like I've had a super killer scenario worth taking a picture. But this week I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of it.

TOTAL: $6.24
{12 cake mixes, 12 frosting, 10 salad dressings, & 16 cans of green beans}

It is very easy to get use to this.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Free Activity

You gotta love free things.

The Discover Center in Boise has FREE admission on FRIDAY from now until November. Austin and I went there last year for our back-2-school mommmy date and loved it. And you can't beat free!

We went last Friday (08-06) and Austin was super cute to show everyone the Discovery Center ropes. It is a great place, highly recommending it!

Walking in holding hands, aahhhh! {melt your heart moment.}

The larger-than-life bubbles are always a HUGE hit.

Austin loved the space planet station
Emma Lynn loved everything ;)
Spencer loved the tornato
Rooster loved the discovery of all things new!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Weekend Summary

[ ] Do ya ever get frustrated with yourself? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever get put in a situation where you feel trapped? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever have issues with letting your kids have sleepovers? {check.}

[ ] Do ya have control issues? And probably denial issues about having control issues? {double check.}

[ ] Do you ever stone wall your husband when you are upset? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever have a moment where you are granted God-given patience and you manage, through some divine miracle, to handle a parenting situation when your son completely shatters the back window of your van because he was throwing rocks with complete love and patience. {miraculously check.}

[ ] Do ya ever hold on to the grudge a little too long? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever feel like your home town is suffocating you? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever feel weird calling your "home town" Vale? {triple check.}

[ ] Do ya ever feel insecure? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever feel embarrassed and uncomfortable at the country fair? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever eat out 3 nights in a row and completely blow your diet? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever have to sit through interviews for a new sectary/accountant with your husband? {check. not the most fun, not recommending it.}

[ ] Do ya ever have to say sorry and you can't even remember why you were upset and acting like a brat in the first place? {check. dang hormones!}

[ ] Do ya ever have to study like crazy to finish a homework deadline cause ya kinda forgot how the whole school system thing worked and you...procrastinated.... {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever have a spiritual experience at home? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever have your aunt, uncle and cousin come up from Nevada to visit? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever have the opportunity to sing with your family in sacrament meeting? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever have the chance to witness your cousin, my kids' new big brother, receive the Melchizedek priesthood? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever eat so much good food all day long that you are really sure you blew the diet thing? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever get to witness your husband jump at the opportunity to serve and magnify his priesthood? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever feel so completely grateful? {check.}

[ ] Do ya ever feel ready to try harder, to be better and more committed each day? {check.}

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

signs and symptoms

The second it was officially August 1st the school fever struck.

My mind starts whirring with all the lists of things TO DO to get the next preschool year ready.

And new to the school scene - Emma Lynn - whose mouth has been whirring with the anticipation of the upcoming new adventure awaiting her.

That is ALL she is talking about. I have never seen her talk so much or be so excited for anything. Despite the dread I feel I can't help but grin when her excitement bubbles over.

I think she is inspired to be extra excited to help her mother try to feel less sad (and depressed, lonely, pathetic, etc...) She is good to her mom.

In case you have never personally experienced a super-excited-giggly-burst-at-the-seams 5 year old weeks before starting kindergarten here are a few of the signs and symptoms to look for:

~~~ Going through all her new school clothes, organizing and coordinating outfits specifically for each day of the first week {if not her whole life!}

~~~ Trying to schedule her Back-2-School mommy date with me every day. Insisting that she needs to buy her school supplies right now. {Fortunately and unfortunately I didn't have the school supply yet so I was honestly able to procrastinate the scheduling. Her reply was to write up her own supply list complete with pictures of each item and boxes for checking off.}

~~~ Making a count down till school starts chain. {21 days left...}

~~~ Endless discussions especially with her all knowing soon to be second grade brother.

E: Will we ride the same school bus?
A: Do we live together?
E: Ya.
A: {smiling} Then we have to ride the same school bus!
E: Can I sit with you?
A: Ya.
E: Will you walk me to my class every day?
A: No. I will the first day but then I'll just point you where to go after that.

~~~ Coordinating a special hand shake only for the students of VES that live on 1922 Graham Blvd.

~~~ Making a checklist for all the new friends she will make. "Every day that I make a friend I will check it off my list when I come home. Some days I'll make 1 friend, next day 5 friends then maybe 3 friends."


Well...the anticipated letter arrived today!

Emma Lynn's teacher is Mrs. Wagner.

We are all very happy about that. I think Emma Lynn was also inspired with her friend checklist - all her friends are in the other classes.

Now that we have the school supply list it looks like I'll be scheduling my mommy date with my soon-2-B kindergartner. Her excitement is contagious!

Home Again

June 3 - 9, 2018 Sunday, 06.03 Monday, 06.04   Tuesday, 06.05 Wednesday, 06.06 Happy 2nd Birthday to sweet Eleanor!! ...