We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Home sweet home!

I wanted to wait until I had everything put away and cleaned up, but that is going to take a while and I have people breathing down my neck to see pictures of the new house.  Things aren't as perfect as I would like them to be, but here are the pictures of the house. Please excuse the boxes and other out of place items. I will do better posts of the individual areas as I complete them.

Walking up the front walk

The front porch

The entryway (straight ahead is the family room to the right are the living and dining rooms)

The living room (our dump room for the moment) with the dining room beyond

The family room (from multiple angles)

Hallway to the bedrooms

Girls' bathroom

 Grace's and Milly's room

James' and Dylan's room

Master bedroom

Master bath (um, the 80's called and they would like their gold swirl tub back!)

I love these stools!

Soon to be Command Central!

Dining room

Boys' bathroom

Jesse's room/playroom (for now)

Laundry room

Backyard (the fence will come down, it cuts off the rest of the yard)

The house is about 2500 sqft and sits on a little over an acre with several fruit, (apricot, plum, peach, fig) citrus, (orange, tangelo, lemon, grapefruit) pecan and shade trees. The kids counted them today and there are 23 trees on our property. Standing out on our property, you would never know that you were in AZ...except for the heat! 
We finally moved in last weekend after spending a month painting, installing new floors and carpet, cleaning, etc. There is still much updating and decorating to be done, and I am looking forward to making this place ours. We feel so blessed to have found and gotten this house. We just love it! Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


No pictures to accompany this post. I took the kids to a roller rink today...4 kids that have never been roller skating + one toddler in a stroller + only one mom = no time for the camera! Anyway, that's not the point. I just want to tell a tale of perseverance.
Like I mentioned, none of the kids had been skating before and they thought that it would be no big deal...slap on the skates and let's go. Not so much! At the rink, they had these walker type things that the kids could use to help steady themselves. I was so impressed by my little James (3yo), I was nearly brought to tears. He got out there (while my older 3 whined a bit about it being too hard!) and for about an hour he skated with his "skate mate." He kept falling down, crying, getting back up, wiping away the tears and continuing to skate. I can't even tell you how many times he fell down, but it was a lot. He wouldn't let me help him up, he wouldn't take a break. He just kept going and going. It was almost heartbreaking. I'd never witnessed such tenacity before and I was amazed. After a while he'd finally had enough and let one of the refs (if that's what you call them) help him off the floor. He came off the floor with tears stained cheeks. When he was up and moving, he was so happy that I guess it made all the falling down worth it. He even kept asking me all evening when we were going roller skating again.
The lesson is obvious here...Keep trying no matter how many times you fall down. I am rereading Anne of Green Gables with Grace and just last night I read a quote from Anne that said "Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing." She was referring to the fact that she had done her best in school to try to win a scholarship. It was the eve of the final exams and she just couldn't worry over them anymore. Like Anne and James, we just need to keep trying and doing our best (or sometimes good enough!) and even if we don't succeed, there is value in the effort. And if we keep at it, we cannot fail, no matter the outcome. I love the quote from President Monson that says, "Sometimes courage is that little voice at the end of the day that says, 'I'll try again tomorrow.'" I have lots of those days as a mother to many small children (and some not so small!) It is just important to keep at it. I'm grateful to my little sweet boy for reminding me of that today.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Now that it's the middle of June...

I should really do a rundown of the end of school year festivities! I thought I would do a little different format with this entry. I'm gonna just do individual updates on the kids and that will tell you what's been happening around these parts!

*Had his first "real" project for school. He had to make a display of Arizona's National Historic Landmarks and Monuments. He researched 3 different ones and posted his findings on his display board. I did help, but he did a lot of the work himself and it turned out really good.

*Finished off the year with straight A's for all 4 quarters and was treated to a Golden Scholar award lunch that I got to attend. I'm so proud of how hard he works at school and what a great student he is. He had a great teacher, Ms. Guhy, and he said that 4th grade was the best yet!

*He's been keeping quite busy with Webelos. He's already earned 10 out of 20 activity pins and is on track to receive them all. We had a fun day camp this past weekend and he is working hard and thinks that Webelos is the best den ever! It helps that his den leader, Sister Bowers, is a scouting veteran and works hard to make sure the boys achieve all the pins plus numerous belt loops. I'm the other den leader, but I'm just there to help where needed...Sister Bowers is a scouting all-star! And so is Jesse. I was working at the day camp so did not get any pictures but here is a picture of a volcano that he made for his Geologist pin.

*Jesse (to my delight) is an avid reader...he devours books just like his mom (when she gets a chance!) I love being able to read series with him. It's fun to compare notes and discuss our favorite characters and parts!
this picture has nothing to do with this post, but is the most recent picture I have!
*Grace's end of the school year came without any fanfare, it just ended! But she, too, got straight A's for the whole year (they didn't have a lunch for the 2nd graders!) and is an excellent reader and student.
*She loves activity days and spending as much time as possible with friends, friends, friend!
*She is my right hand man when it comes to help with Milly or in the kitchen. She's such a great big sister and is such a big help to me...when she wants to be!
*We are reading Anne of Green Gables series together. It's so much fun sharing some of my all time favorite books with her.

*Was the praying mantis in his bug show for the Kindergarten performance...ain't he cute! He was being a little naughty during the performance and couldn't keep his hands to himself. But it was fun watching him nonetheless!

*Graduated from Kindergarten. He did awesome in Kinder. I was a little worried about him (he's not my most disciplined child) but he did great and was a great student. He excelled in all his learning and was loved by his teacher and classmates. He had a great teacher, Mrs. Sears. I know he will miss her next year!
*Learned how to ride a two-wheeler the last few weeks of school and was excited to get a bike lock and ride to school a few times before it got too hot!

*is enjoying having the kids out of school.
*loves anything that has to do with fighting, cars, legos or TV.
*is a bit of a troublemaker, but so dang cute, he gets away with way too much.
*loves nursery at church.
*is starting to communicate a little better (he was a little slow in the talking department, but I'm sure he'll catch up in due time!)
*is an all around cute little stinker!

*has decided that walking is a way better mode of transportation than crawling (second only to being carried!)

*still has those luscious chunky legs that I just want to eat up! But I know with her walking they will soon disappear...boo!
*is officially a toddler but will forever be my little baby girl!
*is getting quite opinionated and is learning the fine art of tantrum throwing (much to my dismay! I was sure I had a few more months of sweetness, but, alas, it is not to be!)
*loves to "help" empty the dishwasher, too bad I am usually trying to load it at the time!
*looks so cute when she folds her arms and sits quietly during prayer (much better than her 3yo brother and even sometimes the almost 6yo!)
*loves pulling everything out of all the cupboards in the kitchen...so much fun!
*pretty much makes a mess at every turn...gotta love it!
*cracks cute, cheesy grins with just a hint of mischief behind them!

We are all enjoying the summer break so far...I'm not even going crazy yet! We are planning a trip to CA the first two weeks of July and are looking forward to a much needed beach fix! It will be nice to have a little break from the constant 3 digit weather and to be able to spend time with family and friends.

House update: We are still in the waiting game for the not-so-short sale property that we are trying to get. Apparently there is just a lot of red tape when working with banks! Quite the understatement there! And just because I didn't do it before, I thought it would be worth mentioning how we came to put an offer in on the property.

Well, we were not exactly in the market for a house just yet. We had decided that we would by our new van this year and start actively looking for a house next year. We (I mean "I") were always keeping our eyes open for potential properties and I really wanted a house that had a big property. Here in Gilbert you have basically 2 options (in our price range!) close-quartered subdivisions or pockets of 1 acre horse properties. The second of which are really hard to find in our price range and sell really quickly. Anyway, one night we went to get our taxes done by a man in our ward (who happens to live in one of those pockets) and his wife told us that the house across the street was going to be listed the following day as a short sale...in our price range! It turns out the lady that is selling the house felt compelled to tell her next door neighbor (also a member of our ward) about the sale and he in turn felt prompted to tell our tax guy about it. This all transpired about a half hour before we came over. Anyway, to make a long story short(ish) It took a bit of convincing to get Danny to consent to look at it, but he finally saw reason and the offer was made and accepted by the owner. We are just waiting on the bank to approve the short sale (when the bank agrees to sell the house for less than what is owed-for those not familiar with the lingo!) 
It's a great house on just over an acre with big, beautiful shade trees and grass (not common out here in the desert!), lots of  mature fruit trees and even a blackberry bush. We are still keeping our fingers crossed and hoping to go under contract soon because we likely have to be out of this house by July 31st and don't want to deal with the hassle of moving twice!
So there you have it...the long and short of it. Thanks for sticking with that loooong post!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


It has been a bit of an eventful May so far...and we're only half way through! The first week was not so busy, but this last week has been a little crazy, but all good things.

Mother's Day
Dylan's sweet teacher, Mrs. Sears, held a Mother's tea for us moms on Friday. It was so fun to be there with my handsome Dylan. Then on Saturday, Danny and the kids gave me the day off. It was nice to spend some time all by my lonesome...however, I have reconfirmed that I really hate shopping. I wished I had just spent the day reading or something more relaxing. I definitely need to hire out all shopping trips! I think I'd rather clean my house than shop...now that's saying something! Sorry...back to celebrations. Danny really outdid himself this year. He's not much of a cook (or wasn't) but he wanted to make something special for me. I have to hand it to him...he made delicious spinach and sun-dried tomato stuffed pork chops, a yummy strawberry avocado salad with honey vinaigrette and rice. I saw the pork chop recipe and thought that it was pretty ambitious for an amateur, but it turned out really good. He and his sous chefs (Jesse and Grace) pulled it off and it was great to have a yummy dinner that I didn't have to make! I was spoiled and it was fun!

On Tuesday, we had a special opportunity to go see the Angel Moroni get placed atop the new Gilbert Temple.

It has been so fun to live so close (about 5 miles) to a temple being built. We have watched it's progress for the past year. But it was so wonderful to be there for this part. I pulled the kids out of school a little early and we went and sat across the street from the temple in 105 degree weather. We were hot, but it was so worth it. I'm so grateful that my kids have that memory. They'll always have a special feeling toward "their" temple! How blessed we are to have temples and to have a beautiful one so close!

And finally, tonight was Danny's 38th birthday. We are now the same age for a month!

We celebrated with some pie and a few "practical" gifts (his favorite kind!) We sure love that daddy of ours and hope that he had a good birthday!

Tomorrow, Jesse has a State fair at school presenting his project on National Historic sites of AZ, then all the boys are heading out to the father/son camp out, Grace has a birthday party to go to, then we get to hang out...just us girls. Ad then it's on to our last week of school and all the craziness that comes with it (kinder graduation, academic lunches and so on!) Bring it on...I'm ready!

One Whole Year!

Ok so, technically, she is nearly 14 months old, but I never posted her 1 year pictures and stats...so here goes!

Our beautiful little Milly is ONE!

Isn't she pretty? As pretty as she is, she is also such a sweet, happy girl and we just love, love, love her. She is just so much fun and brings our family such JOY!

One year stats
20lbs 13oz (70%)
29" (40%)
head 18cm (60%)

At one, she had 4 teeth, was crawling everywhere and always getting filthy because she loves to be outside! Since her birthday (3/22), in the past few days, she has started getting up and walking a bit. Today she took 20+ steps. It's so fun to see all the kids get excited about her accomplishments. It looks like she will be walking steadily very soon. This makes her my 2nd earliest walker (Dyl was walking at 13mos.) She's also my 2nd biggest baby at a year behind Dylan as well. 

This year has flown by and I am just enjoying all of Milly's milestones and watching her grow. We have so much fun with our almost toddler! As always, we are so grateful for her!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A quick little catch up!

I really should do an individual post for each one of these, but I don't have the time or energy to do that. So here is a quick catch up to bring this up to date and then a renewed commitment to keep it that way!

First off, we headed for the hills over Spring Break and went for a camping trip at Santa Catalina State Park down it Tucson. We planned on spending 2 nights, but it was too cold at night and too hot during the day with not much to do around the campsite and not enough shade. So we wimped out and went home after one night and a hike in the mountains. It was beautiful, nonetheless and we had a good time!

Next up was Milly's first birthday...where did that year go? We celebrated with a little cake and the traditional "let her eat her own cupcake and see how messy she gets!"

The end of March brought Jesse's very last Pinewood Derby. His car was awesome and even though he didn't place. he looked cool doing it!

April started with Easter, of course. The Friday before, we hosted a fun Easter Egg Hunt and Spring Eggstravaganza! I was too busy organizing the hunt, egg toss and water games so I wasn't able to fit photographer into the fray, so unfortunately, there are no pictures. But it was a lot of fun and just may be a new annual event!
Saturday morning brought buckets of treats from the ol' Easter Bunny!

And Sunday brought the obligatory Easter outfits and rushed photo shoot...it's not great, but it was the best we could do in less than 5 minutes and without Mom completely losing her temper! (Just telling it like it is!) They looked really cute anyway!

Finally, we had a visit from Uncle Steve and Aunt Kirsten plus Suzie, Eli and Wesley. It was fun to have them hang out with us, although we missed the rest of the crew. Here are some pics from a trip to the zoo.

 A couple of other significant events are worth noting. We said "goodbye" to our old, faithful Ford Windstar with 160,000+ miles on it and said "hello" to our "new" 2008 silver Honda Odyssey with 46,000 miles. We love it!

Also, we made an offer on a short sale and hopefully we will be able to call this place home soon! Keeping our fingers crossed!

And there you have it!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

11 Months

Milly is a girl on the move. She is enjoying her increased independence and abilities. She especially loves taking off when I get her diaper off...me, not so much! She sure is cute, though!

I didn't do a post for 10 months, so I'll have to do a little catch up. She has been quite busy these past two months. She has become very adept at crawling and prefers it to being carried. Which means she is always a mess. She especially loves crawling around outside. With winter this year being mostly in the 70's, she's had lots of opportunities to be outside. She also loves eating rocks, leaves, sand and sticks...I can't wait for her to get past that stage!
She has started pulling herself up and cruising along the furniture and she just discovered the thrill of walking while holding on to our fingers.
She got her top two teeth and enjoys using them, much to our dismay. I'm hoping she doesn't go through a bad biting stage like Jesse did...that was awful! She is also an expert pincher, again, a skill we'd happily do without!
Milly is still a happy, sweet little girl. And we love her the mostest!

Isn't she pretty? (I might be a little biased!) Don't mind James, he had to get in on the photo shoot, too. I think he's pretty handsome as well.
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