Saturday, April 30, 2011


It is surreal to me that this moment has come. We have been blessed to be parents for eight years. We have learned so much in the journey together. I know that it is really just the beginning. This was a big moment for us, for Austin, for our family. I am so grateful for the baptism preparation process. For the eight years of teaching moments leading up to this day. For the focused preparation months before, for the prayers, blessing and fasting that strengthed our family.

In a prayer the day before he was baptized he said, "Thank you for letting me know my decision to be baptized is right."

I love the example it set for the younger siblings as they now anxiously await their baptism day. Ruth frequently tells me, "I am going to get baptized tomorrow!!"

The kids and I did a "Eight Is GREAT Baptism Countdown" eight days before the baptism date. Each day we spoke about an important element of the baptism process and covenants complete with games, activities or object lessons. It is the start of a great tradition. I loved having the opportunity to bare my testimony so often of sacred and important principles.

In an effort to help Austin with his preparations I too have reflected back to my own baptism and other covenants I have made since. I know that we are a covenant making people to show our sincere and earnst desire to completely follow the Savior. I continue to have reverence for the Plan of Happiness. Our Father in Heaven is not only loving but so very wise. It gives me comfort to know He has completely prepared the way for us, the path is sure, and there is joy along the way.

Saturday morning the boys had their soccer games. It was so fun to have Grandma Richards and dad watch and cheer them on. After we got back to Vale Austin and Grandma went on a special Grandma date to Dairy Queen. I'm so grateful that Grandma could come and she knows the importance of spending one-on-one time. Thank You!

Austin asked Kurt for a father's blessing before the baptism. It brought the spirit and calmed the nerves of everyone {well, at least Austin, Kurt and I.} :) Thank you Kurt for being worthy and amazing.

Kurt had the opportunity to conduct the baptism service so Austin sat on the stand with him. It was a beautiful sight to walk into the chapel to see Kurt and Austin dressed in white with happy, glowing smiles. It made my heart happy.

The Baptism Program for Briggs and Austin went as follows:

Pianst: mom
Chorister: Karen

Opening Song: When Jesus Christ was Baptized
Opening Prayer: Roger McMullan

Spotlights by mothers

Talk on Baptism: Mike Rankin
Special Musical Number by all Primary Children: I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ

Talk on the Holy Ghost: Claudia Richards


Welcome by the Bishop

Closing Song: Teach Me to Walk in the Light
Closing Prayer: Mark Marvin

It was beautiful. I couldn't close my eyes, they were glued on Austin the entire time - he did not stop smiling. His smile was sweet and pure especially as he came up from the water. I will never forget his smiling face as he covented with our Father. Sweet spirit to spirit communication.

After he came back into the room there wasn't a seat for him so he came to the back and sat on the piano bench with me. I loved being able to hug n' love on him so soon after. "I feel so happy." And singing the closing song together {Teach Me to Walk in the Light.} I have sung it to him since he was a little tiny baby and will continue to sing it to him as he grows taller than me. Together we will strive to walk in the light.

I am so grateful for all the family and friends that came to support Austin.
We appreciate you!


Bill & Cindy Romans

Claudia Richards

We gathered together for dessert at our house afterwards. It was a beautiful day. Thank you Austin, it was an honor.

Pine Wood Derby

Thursday, April 28th was Austin's FIRST Pine Wood Derby.

My nature likes everyone to be winners so sometime I find events like this hard. But we had a fun evening so we'll count it a success!

Kurt's philosophy was for Austin to experience the pine wood derby. "We're not out to win it the first year." This worked well for me.

Austin completely designed his car. The week he got the kit Kurt took him {and Spencer} to the shop and cut it out according to Austin's drawing. After very minimal sanding he came to me for the paint job. He wanted to use crayons but luckily I persuaded him that paints were a better choice of medium. He painted each side of the car a different color {red, green, orange and blue} complete with a yellow lightening sign on the front. The number 16 on every side was the final touch.

So his car wasn't fast. But luckily that was okay and he still had a great evening with the boys in his den.

I think one of the cutest things about the Austin starting Cub Scouts is Spencer's interest and enthusiasm. He was right by Austin's side for each step of the pine-wood-derby-making process. He loves to study Austin's Wolf book. And he told me that he will have to stop gymnastics when he is 8 so that he can go to Cub Scouts. I love that he was willing to sacrifice gymnastics cause he knows Cub Scouts is important. Luckily I told him that he will most likely be able to do both. :D

He stayed like this the entire night. He was more captivated than the scouts!

And another thing - I think it should be a rule that dad's don't get too involved with the pine wood derby. Some of them are a little too...intense...

Here's to many, many more pine wood derbies in my future.

Emma's Field Trip

Emma's class had their field trip the next day {Thursday.} They were going to the zoo. Emma was {as she said countless times} so so so so so so so EXCITED! Living up to her expectations to be an author/illistrator she made a "Zoo Animal" book for Senora Brito. She worked on it for 5 days straight as soon as her homework and chores were done. She is a dilligent kid.

The weather wasn't as great but it did stay nice {enough} during the duration of our time at the zoo. It started raining the minute we loaded up so we ate lunches in the bus and cars. It all worked out. Spencer, Ruth and I rode over with Kate Draper. It was good to get to know her better.

It doesn't matter how many times you've been to the zoo, it is still a magical place. Especially when you go with friends! Our group consisted of siblings, Emma, Ella (Kate's daughter), and twins Zayda and Paisley.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Austin's Field Trip

Austin's class has been doing an electricity unit for the past few months. For their end of the school year field trip they went to Swam Falls Dam just outside of Kuna, Idaho. I was lucky enough to be a chaperon.

The bus ride. I will admit that it was a very difficult ride back to school after we were finished. My pregnant body wasn't handling the small space and my head had had enough of second grade boys.

We had to drive down into the canyon to get to the dam. The kids' reactions were cute and amusing. Austin named it "Grand Canyon Jr." and he also said to me, "I can't believe this didn't make it into my book of 1000 awesome places cause this is AWESOME!"

The Dam was very impressive. I am going to refrain from all the dam jokes that my husband would now insert here.

The guys at Idaho Power gave us a very informative tour.

Austin has trouble with his ears and it was very loud so I think he missed out on a lot of the info. There was still lots of amazing things to see even if you couldn't hear.

Like this turbine in the old dam {a new up-dated addition was added on in 1992.}

Mrs. White & Senora Mason's 2nd/3rd grade classes

I love volunteering and being apart of my kids' school lives. I would be lost without it. Thanks for a good day Austin.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Impossible Dream

So as of yesterday Kurt and I own a farm. A whole 78 acres. We even created an LLC for this cute little farm called "Romans' Acres." {Personally I was voting for "Kurt's Dirt."} The pivot has been shipped and planting shortly to follow that. Who would have ever thought I would own a farm? It makes me want to race Austin through the acres, leave a dusty trail on a 4 wheeler, gather eggs from the coop and sigh {contently} at the quiet peacefulness of our land.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Ghetto Fabulous Project

So the past few weeks I have been working on a project that I've wanted to do for quite awhile. I rigged up my own ghetto {fabulous} photography studio.

Last year the girl that took my preschool pictures had a set up that got me started thinking about the project. Many articles, youtube videos and amazon searches later I came up with this

It revolves around this main piece {that I made six of.} A pipe cemented into a bucket.

Most people use wood but I'm married to a man with a lot of pipe. And luckily they are currently pouring a lot of pivot pads so the cement was easy to come by also. Braxton and Spence helped me with that part, they were very enthusiastic helpers.

I'm still working out a lot of lighting/shadow issues but I have plenty of subjects to practice on. ;) Its been fun and pretty fast to set up. Here are a few pics from my GFStudio...

Spencer age 5

Rooster age 3

Emma Lynn age 6.5

Easter pics of my nieces & nephews

Lorna & Ethan

Braxton & Brooke

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This is what I did today.

Yes, I am nesting at 30 weeks.

I realize it may be a bit premature BUT it will take me that long to get ready since I'm always running around taking care of kids. Plus with nesting comes much cleaning. I can't think of anyone who would discourage that!

Great 2 B Eight!

Sunday, April 17th Austin celebrated his 8th Birthday. I thought a Sunday birthday was perfect since our focus is on his baptism on the 30th.

My itty bitty preemie ~ April 17, 2003

First Birthday {2004}

Second Birthday {2005}

Third Birthday {2006}

Fourth Birthday {2007}

Fifth Birthday {2008}

Sixth Birthday {2009}

Seventh Birthday {2010}

Eighth Birthday {2011}

He had a new suit {pin strip btw} and shoes to wear to church. Plus he opened his Baptism Memories Scrapbook. Aunt Karen made cookies the night before to take to his Primary class while I was busy decorating {aunt Karen rocks!}

He also had his baptism interview with the Bishop. {Later the Bishop told Kurt that he was very quiet and nervous. But during FHE Austin told us he felt the spirit during his interview.}

We had invited family over for a Great 2 B Eight dinner at 4pm. We scheduled it early because there was a Stake High Priest meeting that night at 6. That way Bill and Cindy could come and eat before the meeting. As Kurt was helping me get ready he asked if we would have enough time before the meeting. I looked at him with a dumbfounded look {What was he talking about?? I'm sure his parents could get there in time.} "Honey, I'm a high priest. We have to go to that meeting also." LOL {for like 10 minutes.} I seriously didn't clue in that it included us too.

So plans had to change a little bit. Austin had asked 4 people to share about their baptisms before we ate dinner but we skipped it and the games to get dinner on the way. We served cake and ice cream and Kurt and I seriously walked out the door with a house full of guests. {Again my amazing sister ROCKS! Thank you!!!}

Austin picked the dinner menu of all his favorites: Nachos and home made Mac n' Cheese. We added steak, appetizers and salads to the mix. It was tasty and Austin was happy. For his cake Austin designed a LEGO baptismal font to put on top of his white cake.

He received his Cub Scout uniform and handbook. He attends his first Den Meeting on Wednesday (the 20th.) Not to mention the Pine Wood Derby is next Thursday (car is already cut and he is on the sanding process) and we signed him up for Cub Scout Day Camp in June this morning. Nothing like jumping in with 2 feet!

Mom and Dad gave him a keyboard {complete with headphones for mom! :D} He has had a lot of fun exploring, experimenting and creating.

We have been talking, teaching and preparing for this birthday. I was grateful that all he wanted for his 8th birthday was to get baptized. As we made invitations for his birthday dinner and baptism I told him to write, "I'm excited to be eight" at the top. He didn't like it so I asked him to write what he wanted to say. He wrote, "I'm grateful to be eight." I was touched by his word choice.

Austin you are a great son. We have enjoyed the past eight years with you. Thank you for letting us grow with you, for bringing us joy and understanding of Heavenly Father's great plan. I am grateful for the knowledge you have of the gospel, your desire to be baptized and your sweet testimony.

Te amo un milion ochos!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Wednesday night after Ruth's shower I noticed something different about her hair.


And I didn't cut them for her.

What a little naughty potty.

But the thing is - I really like them. She did a good job, I didn't even have to trim them up. Maybe she has found her calling early in life.

Too bad I can't tell her since it was a naughty thing to do.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Soccer practice got a little interesting and long on Wednesday.

Kurt needed the burban to haul kids to Nyssa for Mutual.

So we met at the Vale Elementary parking lot to exchange vehicles.

It was yet another cold day so the kids and I ate snacks in the pick-up while Austin practiced.

And another soccer standard {for this year at least} practice was going L..O..N..G and we really needed to get home. So I got out of the pick-up to get Austin off the field so we could go home. Just as I reached him I heard a LOUD crunch. I whipped around to see a Black suburban backing away from Kurt's pick-up now decorated with a LARGE dent while the suburban continued to drive away.

I was shocked. And immediately started to run as fast as Lucy would allow me.

The suburban stopped at the gate about the time I reached them and yelled,


This was my first experience {ever} with a wreck so I didn't really even know what to do. We exchanged info and just as we were finished a cop pulled up. A friend who witnessed the whole thing called the police. He continued to help me by taking all my kids + the extra I was suppose to take home too. That was a huge help and I felt very indebted to him. Not the best time to not be able to get a hold of Kurt.

Is it horrible of me to say that I'm so glad it wasn't my suburban that got hit?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Soccer = Terrible Weather

Spring is here and for our house it also means another soccer season. I really like Ontario Parks & Rec's soccer program. It is great exercise and training for the kids and a huge test of patience for the parents. Only because soccer means the WORST spring weather ever. Every year it never fails. No matter how beautiful the weather was yesterday it will be miserable, cold and windy on every soccer practice and game. Not complaining cause we are still supporting but like I said, a test of patience. :)

Austin has practice twice a week and both boys had their first games on Saturday, April 2nd. It was raining and cold and windy for Spencer's game. Maybe the worst soccer weather to date. But somehow we endured.

Great patience comes in trying to keep the non-players warm.

Spencer played goalie during their "game." He had so many layers on it was comical. The marshmallow boy.

Austin was not very aggressive but got more into it as the game went on.

And they won! The final score was 4-1. His team didn't win once last year so it was a great way to start a new season for us.

Home Again

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