Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Welcome HOME!

We found out on Thanksgiving that Sam was coming home on November 30th due to transfers. Kurt was already scheduled to go to a conference in Salt Lake at the exact time. I decided it was a blessing of perfect timing and the kids and I went with to see SAM!

He had the crazy, long drawn out release I've ever heard of. Tuesday he met mom and dad in the Salt Lake temple {cool!} They spent the day together {visiting area and teaching} and returned him to his apartment that night. Wednesday they picked him up and he spent the day with us. Returned him to the mission home that night {for dinner, testimony, games, etc...} Thursday picked him up for good.

Sam looks great! He seems calm and mature. The kids were so excited to see him. By Thursday he was warming up to them. :) The kids are struggling to know how to pray now that he is home.

Spencer's prayer the next day:

"Please bless Sam on his mission. Oh, no! I mean Merry Christmas."

Karen/Roger & Joseph/Maren represented

It feels good to have him home and know our family is complete {for a little while until Tim leaves. Looking forward to Christmas!!} It feels good to know he served an honorable mission & that he has grown in the process. It feels good to know of the wonderful example he set for my children. We love you Sam! Welcome home thou good and faithful servant.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Grateful Heart

We did the most unthinkable thing this Thanksgiving. We hosted it. At our house. And no family was there.

When you live this close to family and you've spent 10 of the 11 Thanksgivings with them, its kinda crazy.

On the fishing trip the guys decided they wanted to get together on Thanksgiving to have a fish fry. {I refused to serve just fish.} We invited the family to come also but they wanted to keep tradition at their house. I was super worried that we were making the wrong choice, were going to completely offend someone and ruin family ties forever. Sigh of relief I was being dramatic and we are on still on speaking terms. {{phew.}}

All that drama aside we had a really good time. I enjoyed hosting. Being able to decorate and prepare the table and make party favors for the kids {Once again thank you pinterest. I had fun!} Plus the company was super. I really wish that Cortney and Brittany lived closer. Already love the Rufs.

Top 100 things I'm grateful for this year {in no particular order}
100. Kurt 99. Austin 98. Emma Lynn 97. Spencer 96. Ruth 95. LUCY! 94. A home 93. Amazing parents 92. Service 91. Temples 90. A wonderful school 89. In-laws who are still speaking to us 88. Freedom 87. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 86. Eating real food today 85. Sisters 84. Pinterest 83. Kurt's job 82. Cars that work 81. Healthy husband & kids 80. Brothers 79. Life experiences 78. Scriptures 77. Losing weight 76. Ears to hear my children's laughter 75. Beauty of the earth 74. Owing a farm 73. Chocolate 72. Washing Machine/Dryer 71. Camera 70. Our prophet 69. Ability to read 68. Nieces & Nephews 67. Internet 66. Siblings serving missions 65. Children making good choices 64. Parents moving to Utah 63. Ever-loving grandparents 62. Being taught a legacy of love 61. Piano 60. Eyes to see Lucy's smile and the joy it brings our family 59. The ability to have children 58. Church callings 57. Scouting programs 56. GOOD books 55. Gymnastics 54. Crafting 53. My testimony 52. Blogging 51. Disposable Diapers 50. Most amazing Sister-in-laws 49. Forgiveness 48. Our Bishop 47. Singing primary songs 46. Family History Work 45. Teachers who influence & impact my kids 44. Non battery toys 43. Cricut 42. A warm house 41. Vinyl 40. Brother-in-laws 39. Being an American 38. FRIENDS 37. Couponing 36. Pivots 35. Listening to music 34. Hymns 33. Clogging 32. Emma creating another masterpiece 31. Cell phones 30. Sealed for eternity 29. Opportunity to teach 28. Volunteering in school 27. Family Home Evening 26. A long HOT shower 25. Being a stay-at-home mom 24. Good employees at RPM 23. Free agency 22. Prayer 21. Bread 20. Visiting Teaching 19. Aunts & Uncles 18. An extra freezer 17. Date night 16. Family vacations 15. Church auxiliaries 14. Hugs 13. Covenants I've made 12. The FRIEND magazine 11. Girls Night Out 10. Repentance 9. Bows, Flowers & Jewelry 8. Morning Devotional 7. Snake free 6. Scrapbooks 5. The Atonement 4. That my husband is my BFF 3. The Plan of Happiness 2. The ability to love 1. Jesus Christ

My heart is full.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


So my man turned 33 on the 22 day of the 11 month. In this family where we {okay I} are obsessed with numbers we think this is pretty cool.

We also think our Daddy-O is pretty cool.

Thanks to pinterest I used the theme "HE's the MAN" {Master of OUR Universe} for our little family party. I made a large banner and his own He-Man shirt. He came home to have a real man's lunch {steak, mashed potatoes, rolls & creamed corn.}

After he came home from work that night we started the party. But sadly the kids had no idea who HE-MAN was so we started by watching the pilot epidose on hulu. Kurt and I lost steam after that {sad. i know.} We ate the Reese's Cheesecake & hoped all his birthday wishes came true.

The kids and I made a Candy Card. Here is the story we came up with:

"Once upon a time there was a handsome SUGAR DADDY. All the ladies in the kingdom adored him. They voted him BIG HUNK of the year. One lady caught his eye but alas he could never remember her name!

'Whatchamacallit, I would be thrilled to PIECES if you'd date me.'

She couldn't resist his 100 GRAND and so she agreed.

"SKOR!" he shouted.

U-NO the date was magical and so Sugar Daddy became her MR. GOODBAR. Their love was sweet and so complete when BABY RUTH joined their family. Parenthood was the best PAYDAY.

And they lived a very sweet life."

It's true. Thank you for humoring us by being a great sport with a He-Man birthday. Thank you for being the Master of our Universe. WE LOVE YOU! Happy Birthday.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Austin's Day

At the pack meeting Becca told me that LeBraun was doing basketball. I found out the particulars and got hime signed up. The season had already started but I figured better late than never.

He wasn't overly excited to go to the first practice {last week} but I wanted him to at least try it. I like for him to be involved with the boys from Vale to keep those friendships alive. It is great exercise and a wonderful opportunity to learn the skills of the game. The coach does a great job teaching the basics of the game which is perfect for this age.

The first practice was a little painful for me too watch. He is just not very competitive when it comes to sports {I wonder where he gets that from?!!} But more importantly he wanted to keep doing it and is excited about it.

They have 2 games every Saturday. Yesterday was the first game he was able to play in. He actually missed the first game because he had a Piano Festival Competition at the same time. As soon as he played his piece they rushed off to the game in New Plymouth.

Emma, Lucy and I were at another Super Saturday so Kurt was on major dad duty {THANKS!} But Kurt said he was pretty timid and they didn't win the game. He was in good spirits when I saw him that afternoon. So I'd say it was a success.

About the piano festival. The student plays for a judge {no parents or teachers allowed} and are graded on their performance. All students receive a ribbon. Because they were rushing to get to the basketball game we haven't heard his score or got the ribbon. But I found out about the festval on Tuesday. The piece had to be memorized and when I listen to him play it he only knew the first half. Yikes. But we buckled down and really practiced the next few days and he memorized it effortlessly. He amazes me. Maybe we should be buckling down more...if only there were more of me to go around...

I'm really glad Austin had both of these experiences yesterday. Great character building moments. And also an example of how extracurricular can overtake your life.

Proud of you for doing so well on your busy day, Austin!

He's a GREAT Catch!

Kurt had a great time on his fishing trip. Apparently we are even having the guys {and their families} over for a fish fry on Thanksgiving. He was proud to show us this picture.

Pretty impressive.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

FIVE months

I feel like she has grown SOOO much this past month. Not anywhere near the infant stage any more. It is all quite surreal.

~ Still co-sleeping. If you ask Kurt I've created a monster. But all I want to do is sleep. I realize at some point {soon} she will have to move but for now we are enjoying it. She is growing too fast as it is, why rush it?!!?

~ Still nursing. I feel like this is a miracle straight from heaven. With my diet I am just super surprised and amazed that we are still nursing. It is about an everyone feeding schedule. Which honestly works out soooo nicely. We are constantly on the go and sometimes it is super convenient to give her a bottle when there are a million and ONE things going on. And then its wonderful to still nurse and snuggle especially during those quieter moments. Really is the best of both worlds for us. I feel like its a major blessing, I'm truly grateful.

~ She is all over the place. Can cover all corners of a room with her rolling skills. Plus very, very small scooting. The kids love to track her progress. "I set her down here by the piano and now she is all the way to the front door. Come LOOK!" It's super cute.

~ She is super duper happy. As an infant she wanted lots of attention and to be held. {Thank you for many hands who could.} As she gets older she still thrives on loads of attention but can be entertained. I'm grateful she is child number 5 because the olders dote on her and she flourishes. Her face lights up when they walk into the room and she knows its time to play.

~ Lately she and Ruth have developed a sweet friendship during the school hours. I heard endless amounts of laughter so I went to check it out. Ruth was bouncing Lucy on my bed talking to her. Lucy loved it. Ruth loves to hold her on the couch. "Come on. Let's be friends. We're the best of friends."

~ She GNARLS on EVERYTHING. She is mastering picking up an object {toy or paci} and putting them into her mouth. But mainly she is always choppin on her hand or both. If you get your face too close she'll try to chew on that too.

~ Can be propped up to sit up by herself. Not dwelling long on this.

~ Still has some major gas. She rips 'em loud and long. It can be embarrassing. As my friend Jamie says, "She has powerful man farts."

Emma told me the other day that she can't remember life before Lucy. True dat.

What did we ever do without you?

Bonus: {these pictures are the perfect protrayal of her personality. wanted to share.}

She loves to grab onto everything she can get her hands on
{usualy my short hair or ear.}

Letting me know she had had enough pictures!

And of course, her famous open mouth kisses.

Its good to be loved.

Right Now

Some times the day to day stuff doesn't get recorded. Mainly cause it happens EVERY day. And really, how fun is that? But my kids are growing up before my eyes and the day to day will be different before I'm ready to admit. Must record.

Right now Kurt is on a fishing trip with his buddies Doug and Courtney. I am really happy for him. I realized that it has been 11 years since he has gotten away and done something for himself. He really, really deserves it.

Right now I am thankful for a super husband. Absence makes the heart grow fonder right?! :) But seriously, I appreciate all that he does for our family which is almost too much to write down. He is constant and supportive, loving and faithful. I am uBer blessed.

Right now Ruth is all extra sassy. I really and truly hope she is just missing her father because I sincerely thought she was making progress.

Right now my laundry is drying on the stair railing because my dryer broke on Monday. I do not want to make a large appliance purchase without Kurt.

Right now I am 14 pounds lighter than I was a month ago.

Right now I am nursing Lucy.

Right now I'm too exhausted to care how many times Lucy has spit up in my bed. {PS I'm washing the sheets right now so they'll be clean when Kurt gets home.}

Right now my freezer is full of food from couponing this month.

Right now Spencer is participating in a "Tumble-A-Thon" at gymnastics. He worked so hard yesterday to complete 834 tumbles! His face was flushed. I love watching him do gymnastics. It really makes my heart happy. He does well, works hard and enjoys doing it. How can a mother not love that?

Right now Lucy is chessin' out. Man she is a cute baby. And so happy. You just have to look at her and her face lights up in this massive smile. A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. Kurt and I often ask each other, "Were our other kids this cute?"

Right now my new cricut is sitting on the dinning room table waiting for me to cut some more vinyl {for Christmas projects.}

Right now Roost is singing an original song as she arranges her "treasures" in a perfect row on my couch.

Right now I'm trying to make peace with Roost's "treasures" all over the place! AHHHHH. I've got to think of a good way to organize her pack rat ways that will satisfy both of us. Still brainstorming...

Right now I am OBSESSED with Pinterest. My goal is to introduce as many women as possible to this amazing site. I've thought of making business cards to pass out. I'm pretty sure I should get paid for all this advertising.

Right now I am trying to help Austin accomplish his behavior goals at school. How sweet hard work and choosing to be a leader feels {especially after some harder weeks.}

Right now I should be cleaning my house. I should always be doing that. Honestly, reading with Ruth or kissing Lucy is so much more fun!

Right now Emma is loving the world of fonts. {I can totally relate to this!} She is trying out new hand writings and eating up a few books I had about making "Clever Letters."

Right now it is cold and cloudy and the leaves are gone. Wishing a few more of the gorgeous fall leaves were still on the trees.

Right now I am cooking up a storm. I have been faithfully using my meal plan and trying out new recipes {thank you Pinterest.} Kurt asked, "Why are you cooking better than ever when you can't eat any of it?" Oh sweet irony.

Right now Spencer is singing his favorite song, "Pumped Up Kicks" by the Foster People. Just like gymnastics it is sooo fun to see his eyes light up when the song comes on the radio and he starts belting it out. And of course he can't help but dance. I love that the kids have dance in school. I love the shows he puts on for me. "Walk the Dinosaur" is the current favorite.

Right now I have a love/hate relationship with Medifast. I've decided that its all a mind game. The ability to control spirit over body.

Right now Emma is planning the next play date with Hailey.

Right now I'm making a meal for a friend.

Right now I'm trying to balance and prioritize my time. There are always a million things I don't get done. Sometimes it really overwhelmes me. I know this will be a life long thing. But I hope that in the end I have picked the right thing.

Right now Austin has his basketball clothes laid out on the couch. This makes me smile. Reason number one he was responsible AND organized to prepare for his practice this afternoon. Reason two he is excited and enjoying it regardless of skill and ability. Reason three it is great exercise and opportunity to learn.

Right now I LOVE "The Sing Off" on hulu.

Right now life is GOOD.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Super Crafty

Today was Super Saturday at the church. Our ward didn't have one last year {and maybe the year before} and I have really missed them. I must have been complaining loud enough because they decided to throw one to together this year. And they asked me to come up with a craft. I did two different styles of Christmas stocking hangers. I am pleased with out they turned out. A HUGE shout out needs to be given to my husband who stayed up late {more than once} to help me in my Christmas sweatshop. He is awesome.

I invited my friend Angelica {Hailey's mom} to come and she did. YAY! Naturally our girls were extatic to be together and Angelica was able to release her inner crafty side. Everyone was friendly and she had a great time. We are now inspired to have a Mommy/Daughter craft day with the girls soon. :)

enjoying the delicious lunch

Ruth wasn't feeling so good and took a nap on the couch. Poor girl.

I enjoyed coming up with a craft and the process of putting it together. {My late night dates with Kurt were an added bonus ;) } Now Momma's Christmas Workshop is OFFICIALLY open for business.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Welcome William

The last nephew to be born in 2011 was born today. Congratulation Jeff and Julie and family! We are so excited William has arrived safe and healthy. What a perfect addition to your family.

7 pounds 1 ounce and 20 inches long

Welcome to the family William, we are so glad you're here! WE LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


One of those hilarious conversations that you just have to record.

They were playing Truth or Dare {First of all I didn't know they even knew about this game. And yes, I did ask them, "What happens if you are dared to do something that isn't good?" Austin simply replied, "You just don't do it!"}

One dare was to kiss Ruth. The next dare was to kiss Dad. But they decided his face was too sratchy. So the conversation turned to shaving. Austin informed Emma that she would have to shave when she was a teenager.

E: {asking me for validation} You have to shave?!!!

M: Yes, when you are a teenager you will grow hair and girls shave their armpits and legs.

E: Can I shave my arms too? They are so hairy.

M: No, the hair will grow back darker and stronger. Plus that would look weird.

A: Did you know that when boys are teenagers they get uglier. But girls get prettier.


S:...{thinking} well then, I wonder what Pedro will look like.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

In Memory

On Tuesday Sarah Hays Schurtz passed away. My dear friend Jamie's sister Sarah. "Sweatin for Sarah" Sarah. She was kind and giving and charitable. She will be sorely missed. But how beautiful to know she LIVES on, pain free.

I know this will be hard for Jamie. I'm trying to be a good friend. My husband was awesome to let me go down to the funeral which was on Saturday. I wanted to get back for Tyler's blessing on Sunday {and all the normal everyday excitement} so we bought a plane ticket. Since we bought it the day before it wasn't cheap. And so Lucy had her first plane ride! She did awesome and won the hearts of everyone who saw her.

Lucy and I went to the viewing Friday night. It was good to see Sarah one last time. The spirit was sweet and I knew Sarah was there and she was happy. It was wonderful to see Jamie touched and sustained by the spirit during this time of need. I pray she will remember that feeling.

This morning was the funeral. It was very well attended. It was full back into the gym. I was impressed with all the lives she touched. I couldn't help but wonder if my life has had such an impact. Something to strive for. During the funeral her husband of one year spoke. I was really touched by something he said. He said he was happy for Sarah. He knew she was no longer in pain and he was happy. All the tears he cried were selfish tears for himself. I was moved by his genuine, charitable love for his wife. Again it made me reflect inward. I love attending funerals that inspire me to be a better person.

And then we were back on the plane again.

I am SO grateful to have experienced this with Jamie.
I am SO grateful to have known and loved Sarah.
I am SO grateful to my husband for always supporting me in my desires to serve.
I am SO grateful to my parents for always being the most perfect hosts.
I am SO grateful for family who helped watch my kids.
I am SO grateful for the knowledge of a true and living gospel.

I know Sarah's legacy of happiness will live on.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Bobcat Scout

Tuesday night was Austin {and mine} First Pack Meeting. Back in May he earned his Bobcat badge and was finally awarded it. He was very excited and spent quite a bit of time admiring it. :) Cute. We set goals to get his Wolf done by January.
"Mom, scouting is cool."

Pinning on the Mother's pin.

So proud.

Our pack

Home Again

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