Saturday, January 30, 2010

Not just a house...it's our HOME

This is our home in the summer in all it's adorable little house glory. Now if you drive by it you will see a big ugly yellow for sale sign stuck deep in the snow that covers our lawn. With each blow of the hammer that stuck the sign in I felt like it was a blow to me.

I know we must sell this home, I know we are outgrowing it, I know dental school is ending, I know life must roll on. I understand all that and I will accept all that and move on. But right now as I look out at the big sign in my yard... I want to scream "NO". I love this home. I love it for so many reasons (initially I just loved it because it got us instate tuition and was only 50,000 dollars). It's impossible to put down in words all the things that have taken place within it's walls. This is the same run down house we drove up to late in the night over 3 1/2 years ago. The house we walked into, sighed, and got busy working on. The place we unloaded our Uhaul and thought we will never fill this place up, that is now overflowing with people and things. The place we thought was so dirty we didn't want our only child (yep, just one when we came) to walk around on until we washed it all, painted and refinished it.

This is the house that we woke up to snow in October and were shocked. Then we walked down and found water in our basement. We put our baby in his crib and bucketed in freezing water for hours until we realized we had a drain in the floor. The water was gone in minutes and we sighed again out of sheer relief. We bundled up our baby and stayed without power for several days. We wondered what we had gotten ourselves into then.

During that first year we worked so hard and even though the house was still little it slowly transformed into our home. It was fun decorating, tearing out the bar, finishing floors, painting etc. all while Garret watched from his high chair and walker.

Garret learned to talk in the walls of this house. He learned to walk on the wood floors. He bumped his head on these walls. He grew from a baby to a little boy in this house. He has celebrated every birthday he has ever had in this home. He built his first fort in this backyard, vacuumed this floor, stood by me and did dishes with me at this sink, danced with me in the living room, did somersaults on the floor, hammered with Dad, built the birdhouse in the backyard with Grandpa, potty trained in this toilet- the list goes on and on. This is the place that it has all happened. I love my little Garret and when I look around this house the whole thing shines with memories of my boy.

We found out we were pregnant with Spencer shortly after we moved here. His whole life is here. We brought him home to this house. He slept in my room in the beginning. He was a noisy awful sleeper and I spent many nights with him in my arms (in this house). We paced the hall together. Me with my little boy in my arms. Spencer ran around this house in the walker. He loved it. The floor was thoroughly abused by his little feet and those four little wheels. He was always smiles when he was in there. It didn't take long before those two (Garret and Spencer) were wrestling on the floor together, on the couch together and everywhere else. Spencer loved the dirt in the garden and would play in it all day if I would let him. The basement was a play room by the time Spencer was born and he loves to play down there. He loves to play everywhere. He can turn the house into anything he wants. This house is the backdrop of his imaginary adventures. Spencer is a joy and this house is full of it. It's full of his silly laughter, his stubborn tantrums, his bright smiles and his babyhood.

The four of us have had years of adventures here. Trips to other places were always fun but we always loved coming home to our home. We loved our family nights, movie nights, cleaning days, and game nights. Our camp outs in the backyard and living room. And all the other crazy, rowdy times we have shared.

Then 2009 brought another sweet baby to this home. Our girl, or little miss Adele. This is where we brought her home. This is the place four became five. The place I got my girl and now I am not completely outnumbered. Adele will not even remember this first home. She won't remember the months of three in a bedroom or the stuffed full closet (three in a closet is a lot) or the first moment we brought her home and the minute we walked in the living room how she was smothered by her brothers. She won't remember but I hope we always remember those first special moments with our third baby.

Not only do we have a million special moments with our children in this home- Tyler and I have memories here that have shaped our relationship. We have celebrated anniversaries in this home, danced in the kitchen, cried on each others shoulder, celebrated the joy of children, endured the struggles of dental school, held each other on the couch, worked together side by side to make our house all that it is, been each others everything, missed our families together, debated and compromised on a million things. I am happy to say that the things that took place in this home over the last few years have made us stronger, happier and closer together. The things that have taken place in this home have prepared us for the next step of our lives.

It's like a good book, you want to get to the end to know what happens but at the same time you don't want it to be over. "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" (A quote that pops in my head as I try to deal with all this change that we are about to face), hopefully I can have this be my motto over the next couple of months but I might shed a few tears here and there.

Who ever owns this home next will not know that my babies feet ran across this floor. That their little heads layed down each night in the room with the green wall. That a family came here from across the country, scared and alone and left with so much more than they came with.

Oh little house, we love you. I hope you sell and I do hope that it is to a wonderful family that will love you and take care of you. We sure do love you!

Today was a bitter sweet day that just cemented the fact that life is going to change. There are so many other wonderful things I am going to miss from this place (but those will be written about on another sentimental day). Today my thoughts are with our little house and what a wonderful place it is!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Life Lessons

I know that my kids are not old but I feel like it is never to young to start learning important lessons. Here is one thing the boys are learning about right now-

Garret picked out a set of pirates for Spencer for Christmas. They both love them. Inside of the box was a little advertisement for other pirate things that go with the ones they got. They sit and look at it all the time. They really really really want to get more pirates.

I don't think it's right to just give them the pirates just because they really want them. But if they really want them I'll try to find a way to help them get them. So they are learning about money and saving. It's been very fun watching them. They went through their toys and picked out a bunch to try and sell on craigslist. This serves a dual purpose (gets rid of a lot of junk, I hate stuff that just sits around and doesn't get used and they get to make money off of it). They have also been collecting cans. We took a bag full the other night to turn in and they got 75 cents. They were thrilled. They also plan to shovel the neighbors sidewalk.

After they turned the cans in they were holding the money and they wanted to buy candy. I told them if they bought the candy they wouldn't have as much for pirates. They decided to save for the pirates. They also set their tithing money aside first.

I think they are having as much fun trying to make the money as they are going to have with the pirates. It's cute too because they are starting to understand it. They are starting to understand why they can't just have things when they want them, how they have to think about what they want before they buy it, how it can take a long time to get what they want but if they really want it they can find a way to get it.

I won't pay them for jobs at home, I think jobs at home should be done just because they are part of the family. They don't expect me to pay them either which is nice. They still have a lot to learn but I think they will get there. I am glad it is taking a while. I think it is good for them. Delayed gratification is an important principle.

I really feel like money management is a huge thing that kids have to learn. I also think it is good for them to hear that they can't have things sometimes and that it is too expensive or not worth the money. I think it's good for them to experience wanting something and having to wait or do without.

I will have to give an update on how their quest for the pirates is coming but for now they are having fun coming up with the money and I think if they ever do earn them they will appreciate them more than any other toy that was just handed to them.

Here is a secret though...ssshhh...don't tell the boys- I knew they loved the pirates and when I was at the store after Christmas I found two sets for 75% off and bought them. I planned to put them away until next Christmas. So really the pirates are just sitting down in the basement. Is it wrong that I still think they should earn them, even though I could just hand them over?

I wish I were an expert...but it's sure fun trying to teach them! Anyone have any great advice for me?

I'm Back

The last week or so I have been stuck in a rut. I have been frustrated with myself, my kids, the snow, the house, the boards...etc. I haven't felt like playing pretend or doing laundry. It's not like I have been just laying around I have been doing what I'm suppose to do I just haven't been enjoying it.

Yesterday was a good day for me. I went to the post office. I know the post office is not normally a place of inspiration but the ladies there always make me leave with a smile. The minute I walk in I am greeted with "hey baby, how you doing?, how are you kids?" today I was asked where the babies were and why I didn't bring them for her to see. Then she said "I wish I hadn't wasted half my babies childhood making a living. I don't know why this woman had to work or if she had to work, but I know what she said made me leave feeling grateful for the time I get with my kids. The conversation actually went on for a few minutes and she told me how much she felt like she had missed and how fast it all went by and she told me to just enjoy them. (Isn't it funny how no matter the job there is a good way to do it and an even better way- well she is the best post lady ever!)

Then last night I sat down and read the Ensign. The new one came today and I read most of it. Everything was just reminding me of how important what I am doing is and how special it is and how lucky I am to have what I have.

Then I read someones blog last night. There was a post about how we always can look at things two ways. We can see laundry as torture or a blessing that we have clean clothes and a fairly easy way to get them clean. I read and read and read and I just kept having little wake up calls.

There really was nothing new. It was all stuff I know and stuff I try to implement but when I am having a day when I feel "ugh" about everything it's nice to be reminded. Today I started our with a different attitude. I still have laundry to do and a day full of playing with kids but already it's been fun. I am reminded of how beautiful and wonderful and innocent they are. I don't really get much time with them before they run off to school and grow up. This is my time with them and I don't want to waste it.

I think overall I am a good parent. I try very hard and when I start to feel like I am struggling I try to get back on track. I think it's a viscous cycle that a lot of us get in. we are really motivated and focused then slowly we drift back to bad habits and selfishness. I just hope my cycles are getting better. I know there will always be days when I think "I could have done better" but I hope the older I get and the harder I try that I will have more days that I think "If this is the day my kids remember it will be a good memory".

I am very thankful that I get to be a stay at home Mom. I am glad I am there to watch them grow. To learn from them. To teach them. To play with them. To sacrifice for them. I know that if I were not here with them I would regret it. I am not saying everyone should or can stay home with their kids but I can and I am thankful for it. I love them so much.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

One Year...

...of poor oral hygiene
...late night snacks
...bad breath
...food stuck in between my teeth

All so I could be Tyler's boards patient.

In the end it was all a waste....I didn't qualify...it was all for nothing (good thing I was exaggerating...a little...there really were many times I thought I shouldn't eat this just before bed...and then I thought "but I want to be his boards patient"). He was thankful for my effort but that still doesn't cut it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We did it!

No we didn't get a picture of Adele smiling but we did get brave and put Adele in the boys room at night. Tonight will be night three. So far so good. She is not sleeping all night but even when she wakes up she doesn't seem to bother the boys so maybe (I hope I didn't jinx it) it will work out.


Also Spencer thinks he is big enough to pee standing up. It's so funny though because he has to stand on his tip-toes to be tall enough and he looks so cute. I have noticed that my bathroom is even smellier than normal so I don't think he has mastered the aim yet!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Impossible...





...To get a picture of the girly smiling. She is the smiliest baby- but once she sees the camera she just stares at it. For some time now she has done a kind of half giggle but tonight I think that everyone would have agreed she was really giggling- So fun!
This week a friend gave us tickets to Curious George live. The kids really liked seeing George. I thought the story line was a little too hard for them to follow, especially since some of the main characters had accents. But thy enjoyed it! (Speaking of accents I meant a woman at the temple today, she sounded southern but when I asked where she was from she said "oh no where, I just love country music"- I had a hard time not laughing out loud. She was such a cute old lady!). It's been a fun couple days and now Tyler has a three day weekend. He will be studying of course but we always seem to find time to fit in some fun.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Real Life

We have been back from break for a little while now and I still don't feel like we are back to a routine. For some reason it has felt a little hectic. Maybe we are still getting used to the new schedule or something.

Since being back Adele turned three months old. She is wonderful! She smiles soooo much, she makes a funny breathing sound that I think is going to turn into a full on giggle any day. She found her voice and loves to talk to herself. (the boys love it to, apparently they can interpret what she says). She hasn't gone back to her good sleeping since break. I still can't complain about her but she was doing better before vacation. She is a very content little baby.

Spencer turned 2 1/2. He is now in senior nursery. He says the funniest things. For example he said "When I be a Daddy I like shrimp". (that was just out of the blue). He also told me you climb to heaven. Everyday he cracks me up with what he says. Sometimes I just sit back and listen to the two of them chatter about all kinds of random stuff. Spencer is a stubborn boy. He knows how he wants to do things. It is actually pretty funny watching him try and hold his ground about everything. Overall he is a delightful little guy that adds a lot of life to our family. We can't imagine it without him. This box is no longer a box...it is a rocket ship and if you ask the boys they have been to Saturn in it!!! Actually we all went....yep we all fit in the box!
I am pretty sure this is the worst picture I have taken of my beautiful baby. It looks nothing like her and I know she will either find it hilarious one day or hate it. I find it hilarious!

Lately we have been spending a lot of time with the missionaries. We really love them. We are always so sad when they leave our area. We had the missionaries and some friends over tonight. We had a yummy meal, a lesson and a great game. I think we all got a good laugh.
Everything around here is going well. Tyler has to retake the boards (he got a 73 you have to get a 75). I am proud of how he is handling it. He is not excited to take them again but he is working hard and not letting it get him down. I don't know if my kids will remember this time of their lives but I hope they remember or at least know that their Dad always kept going. He kept smiling and having fun no matter what happened. Dental school has not been easy but I think he has made the very best of it and our family will leave stronger then we started.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Number 10

My Brother Daniel and Sister (in-law, but that's getting technical) had their baby on January 3. His name is Ridge Steven. I think he is adorable and I just can't believe I won't see him til he is five months old. He is my parents 10th grandchild and now all of my siblings have at least one child. There has been a baby boom going on in the family. Little Adele is going to have so many cousins her age. I hope they are all best buddies. Welcome to the family Ridge!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Since we got back

Friday we flew home (it was crazy- mechanical problems, Adele pooping through clothes and running through the airport), we made it home by late Friday afternoon We decided not to have the kids nap so they would get back on our time quicker. I fell asleep feeding Adele and when I woke up Garret was asleep next to a vent, Tyler was asleep on the couch and Spencer was playing in his room- needless to say we are all still adjusting to the time difference.

Saturday was my birthday. It was fun being the "princess" for the day. I got lots of hugs from the boys and they made me cards and picked me out a present from the store. Tyler made me yummy food and we went to a movie together. It was a fun day and so far 26 is treating me pretty well! Don't you love the crown and flower Tyler made me!
Spencer looked so cute during his nap. He said he wasn't tired and this is how I found him about 30 seconds after he went down. When they were born I gave each of the kids a stuffed animal that used to be mine. This dog was mine when I was little and now he snuggles with it.
It snowed a lot today and we debated for a minute about going to church or not. We went and it was a great meeting. Garret told me he wanted to bear his testimony. I said that was fine (our rule is they can bear their testimony up front as soon as they can do it by themselves), he said he would be fine and that he knew what he wanted to say. He went up and started doing the chin quiver, lost it and came back down. I was proud of him though and told him we could practice at home so he wouldn't be nervous.

We just got word that my Brother and his wife are going to be parents tonight or tomorrow. I am super jealous of everyone that lives closer. They will get to meet the little stinker before me.

We are all sad that Tyler has to go back to school tomorrow but are thankful for the time we got to spend with him over break.

2009

2009 is over. It's 2010 (how has it been ten years since "Y2K"?). We had a great 2009. It was a year of growing for our family. We got our sweet little Adele this year (we grew in numbers we are a "big" family now), we grew in girth (at least I did, I am not as big as when I was pregnant but still much bigger than I would like), we grew in love (Tyler and I were part of a research study on disagreements in marriage and we couldn't even think of an argument this year that qualified for the actual fight part of the study), we grew in spirit (we reached most of our goals for the year), we grew in service ( I am happy to say I complete my goal of doing service every week, I really learned a lot from focusing on service and I plan to keep doing service forever).

Those are just a few ways we grew this year. This has also been a year of travel- Washington once, Colorado three times (at least for Tyler), Maine, Palmyra, D.C., and Mexico (just Tyler).

Tyler had his appendix removed and I don't think I will ever live down telling him I didn't want to take him to the ER for gas. Good thing I finally believed him it was something more than that. Otherwise it has been a fairly healthy year for us.

It was a great year. Every time I think life can't get any better for us it does. We truly are blessed and so happy to have all the joy we have in our lives. I am looking forward to 2010. It will be a big year of change for us. Change scares me a lot, especially when I am happy with the way life is, however it is not too scary because no matter where we go or what we do we get to go together and the majority of my happiness comes from the things that go with me (my family and the gospel). I have not sat down and set all my goals for this coming year but I know some of them- I want to work on getting stories written from my childhood (I think I am going to try and do a topic or two a month), I want to read the lessons for Sunday school and Relief Society and keep up on the things we already do (FHE, scriptures, prayers and temple). Tyler and I also want to try and learn Spanish (he will be working with 95% Spanish speakers next year so it seems like a good year to learn it), expand my cooking abilities and exercise more. I hope to fine tune my goals but those are some of the things I am thinking of.

Welcome 2010!!!

Colorado

We had a great trip to Colorado. We were there the December 25 until January 1. We kept busy while we were there so I am not even going to attempt to get it all down. The order of pictures is all messed up too. I'll try to get some highlights-

We took some family pictures (I really didn't like most of them but there were a couple cute ones)-


We spent time in the snow- sledding (this picture is very deceptive- the hill was actually very small, but big enough that the kids thought it was lots of fun), attempting to build snowmen and shoveling.
Little Deli is so smiley I love it. She was a little fussy on vacation but overall she did really well considering how different things were for her.


The boys loved spending time with their cousin Everett. They played with toys together, took baths, wrestled everyone, played with play dough, made cookies and watched movies together.
We saw more movies in the last week then we did all year. We saw The Blind side (loved it), The Princess and the Frog (it felt like the classic cartoons), Cloudy with a chance of meatballs, Avatar (Tyler loved it, I thought it was alright) and Sherlock Holmes (I actually really enjoyed it).
The boys got to spend lots of time with their Grandma and Grandpa.
We delivered cookies to neighbors.

Opened presents.
Got all dressed up for Church. The kids were not being the most cooperative so no great pictures. They looked really cute though.



These boys of mine love playing pretend. They pretend to be lions, pirates and here they are being superheros.
We also celebrated birthdays (mine, Tyler's Mom's and Tyler's relative Noelle- not sure the exact relation!), played lots of games ( I think we will always remember playing The Great Dalmuti- (inside joke- "pass the wee-wee"-you would have to be there)), watched way more Barney in one week then ever before, ate way too much good food and stayed up late too often.

We had a great time seeing everyone and are glad we were able to make so many great memories with everyone.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 26th Birthday Rachel!!!


Let it be known... I love this birthday-girl with all my heart, and I don't care who knows it!!! You are my best friend and my forever. I hope your 26th year will be the best yet and may all your hopes come true (except for the one where you wish that I didn't write this mushy note so that everyone can see it, because that is already done).

I love you forever!!!

Love Me