Monday, November 26, 2012

For Love of a First Grader

Garret is teaching me about love and learning about it himself.  Here are just a few examples-

Garret joined a basketball team (so did Spencer but that is another story).  It's really scary for him.  And a little out of his comfort zone.  The first week I showed up with all the kids and walked him from his class to the gym.  This week I really felt like it would be good for him to go on his own and I would pick him up after.  I know him and understand him so well, I knew this would be scary for him.  I also know him and love him so much that I know I have to help him find ways to be confident on his own without me always there.  It was hard for me and for him.  Sometimes love means not being there when we really want to be.  

When Garret has a hard day at school he has to get it all off his chest.  It usually means running to me when he gets home sitting next to me on the couch.  Laying his head on my shoulder while he pours his whole day out.  It means I have to remind myself over and over that these petty things are big to him.  Sometimes love means listening and being there.

Garret is the most obedient student at school.  Then he gets home and has all this built up energy and goes a little crazy. He is not really being bad.  Just playing loud and wild.  Sometimes it makes me want to scream and tell him to be quite.  Then I have to remember that he is still little and just wants to play.  Sometimes love means not saying the things I really want to say.

Garret loves Spencer.  It is the sweetest, wildest brotherly love.  They wrestle (seriously, they wrestle until one of them pins the other for 3 seconds).  They look like bear cubs.  They grunt and grown and knock each other down.  They love it. Sometimes love is very physical. 

Garret has been reading for a long time but is just starting to read for "fun" and not because I am telling him to.  When I hear him read and can tell he is enjoying it, I am so proud of him.  Sometimes love is watching others fall in love (with a good book that is). 

Waiting for Garret is torture for a toddler. Titus Tries to break free from my grasp whenever we see Garret after a long day apart.  Whenever I finally let him free he races for him and wraps his chubby little arms around him and says "hi Garret".  Sometimes love grows through absence.

Garret is grossed out by "kissing".  We talk about love and dating.  He usually just has not interest in it.  Today he said "Mom I don't like girls like that.  But when I do, I think Jenna might be a good person to date.  She is really nice and was student of the month."  I said she sounded like a good person to be friends with and who knows later.  Sometimes love is meant to stay on the shelf for a long, long time.

I may not always show my love the way he needs, but I do know that despite my imperfections I love him completely and always will.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


We just got back from a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  We went to my parents Thanksgiving morning and everyone got busy- baking, entertaining kids and visiting.
 My kids are doing homemade gifts for each other.  They spent a lot of their down time working on gifts.  Garret was a dedicated scarf maker.  (I put in my time on it as well.  Between the two of us he was able to cross Adele off his list).
 Spencer has been talking forever about making Garret Star Wars guys.  Tyler and I tried to discourage him but to no avail.  I forget that his 5 year old mind sees things different than me.  He drew 17 little guys for people to cut out and he thinks they are perfect.  He showed everyone (except Garret).  He plans to paint them later.  He is a giver by nature and just can't wait to see how much Garret loves them.

There were other surprises made that I don't have pictures of. It's fun watching their creativity.
 When dinner time rolled around the kids helped with the table and watch Grandma make rolls.

 The kids hung their decorations they had made.  Which added to the festivities!
 Then we finally sat down and feasted.  It was delicious and we all ate way to much (of course).  I am truly Thankful for my family.  I am thankful that we get to spend time together, share holidays and memories.  I love knowing we would all be there for each other if we needed anything.  I am thankful my kids have cousins and Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents and Great Grandparents that love them and cherish them.  Truly we have so much to be thankful for.

We hung around in Shelton for another couple days.  We put in some more family time. 
Tyler and I snuck off for a few minutes and attempted to take a couple pics for a friend.  It rained (of course) which threw off some of our plans but in the end we capture a couple cute ones.  We will just have to try again when the weather is better (oh and when I know more about the camera I am using).

 The Bennett's are such a great family.  We really enjoyed snapping pics of them and enjoy all the time we get to spend with them.  Bradley (the cute little guy) even fell asleep in my arms (can't get enough of that).
And to wrap it all up I must mention my brothers manly mustache!  Everyone at his work grew Mustaches in November.  He opted for the handlebar (is that what it is called).  Sorry for the blurry pic.  It was classic.  If you are familiar with our family, doesn't it look like one of Grandpa Becks?  So fun.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

More Fun with Friends

Lucky us!  We got to spend another weekend with friends.  Brendan, Tatem and kids came up Friday night and got to keep them until late afternoon today.  I am so blessed to have so many great friends.  Our kids get pretty noisy when they are together...I am so looking forward to having a playroom again.  They all enjoyed each other and are already asking when they get to see their friends again.

Monday, November 12, 2012


First let me say, this has nothing to do with politics or recent elections or our country. 

We got a second car (I can hear some of you gasping....I know, I thought it would never happen too!).

When Tyler and I were dating he had a silver Jetta.  We drove it during our year and a half of dating and for the first year and a half of our marriage.  It was a great car...we have lots of great dating memories in that car.  Our first kiss was in that car, followed by lots of other kisses.  We went on road trips in it.  It was our getta way car after we were married. We brought our first baby home in that car. It started going a little crazy on us.  The windows would get stuck down if you rolled them down, sunroof broke and then the alarm started going off on its own.  When we had Garret his car seat barely fit. 

We upgraded (or down graded depending on how you look at it) to a silver 2003 dodge caravan sport (so the small one).  We drove that little van across the country, multiple times.  Through deep snow in Buffalo.  It brought home three more babies.  The kids were locked in it once, that was so embarrassing.  It had the best built in car seats (I miss them).  It took us to the drive in, to the temple, to dental school.  It took us everywhere for nearly 6 years.  Then it needed costly repairs and with as many miles as it had and our financial situation it just didn't make sense to put our money into.

We bought the silver 2007 Hyundai minivan.  Since we had no working car we didn't get to shop around.  It was just the one we found so we took it.  It has been good to us this last year (and better continue going strong for many more to come).  Moving with us four times since we bought it.  It hasn't brought us home any babies (which we are just fine with) but it has hauled the four babies I have many places.

Some of the time it really has not been a big deal having just one car.  Tyler could bike, or I could drive him because it was so close if I needed the car.  Some places have had more in walking distance than others, which I took advantage of.  Other places I was trapped.  If the weather was bad I couldn't go out.  Other places if I needed the car it meant taking Tyler to work even if it interrupted babies naps and long commutes.  Overall we always made it work and usually didn't mind saying no to things if we couldn't.  It was just how life was and we didn't know anything different, we just did what we needed to do.

The kids are in school now.  They are getting busier with sports and other activities.  It rains here often making it hard for me to walk forgotten lunch's to school or running kids to school when they  miss buses.  We knew that there were times that we needed a second car now but it was still kind of hard to commit.  I hate rushing into things (as Tyler has reminded me "we waited 8 1/2 years" this isn't exactly rushing).  We finally went car shopping and after a few unsuccessful car shopping trips we finally brought home our first "second car". 

It's silver again (can't seem to get away from that color).  It's nearly new (but technically not).  It's practical but nice.  I haven't actually driven it yet (I think that Tyler has claimed it, but I'm pretty sure if I find a sitter he will take me for a ride in it). 

Today he drove it to work and I took the kids to the park.  It was so nice having the freedom to take them out on their day home from school without having to run Tyler to work and pick him up again.  It will be so nice being able to drive to the library for story time even if it is raining.  It will be so nice being able to run the kids to school if they miss the bus.  I had no idea what I was missing. 

There is a certain freedom having two that I haven't known before.  I can do things without having to work around Tyler's schedule.  I feel quite blessed!

"I was sweating all day"

Just a quick Garret memory I plan to tease him about when he gets older....

Garret came home from school and said "a boy told me that a girl is in love with me and wants to kiss me."
Garret "when he told me I started sweating and couldn't stop all day"
Garret "I didn't know which girl so I stayed away from all of them".

Me "So a girl is in love with my Garret boy".
Garret "don't say that it makes me all sweaty when you say it."

A different conversation, we were talking about kids.  For fun I asked how many kids they thought they would have some day. 

Garret said "8", Spencer said "9" and Adele said "5". 

I said something about them having to get married first.

Garret said "Never mind I don't want any kids"
Me "why"
Garret "I do not ever want to put my tongue in some one's mouth.  I will never get married and never have kids".
Me (trying not to laugh).  "you might feel different someday, but I'm glad you don't want to do that now".
Garret "I will never change my mind"
Spencer "yeah I will never do that either".

Saturday, November 10, 2012


When we lived in Olympia we made So many great friends, so fast.  My kids did too.  A few of those good friends came to play today.  It meant so much to all of us.  Not many friends will drive nearly two hours to spend a day together. 
Tyler took the boys to the bunkers to play.  Then later Jamie and I took the little girls to dinner. It's always fun having time with just one of the kids. 

 Then we rejoined the boys for ice cream and a few more minutes of play. 

Everyone got along so well.  These kids know how to have fun and they are such nice kids.  I hope they stay friends for years to come.

I had a great time spending the day with a friend and watching my kids play with their friends.

And just to prove how much fun they had, Here are a few fun comments my kids made right after their friends left.

Garret- I like all my friends but Tristan is my favorite. 
Garret- Did you hear me playing with Presley?
Me- I heard everyone having fun.
Garret- I was making her laugh and she has the best smile.  I really like her smile.
Spencer- Today was just the best day.  I liked all of it. Wasn't it just the best day?
Adele-  Can I go live with my friend.
Me- No I need you to stay here with me.
Adele- When we are in heaven I will visit her a lot.
Me- I'm sure we can see her before then.
Adele- I would like that.
Adele-  I'm going to dream about playing with my friends tonight.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Isn't November a lovely month?  I think so.

The weather here has been very fallish.  When I walk the kids to school the air is crisp.  There have been rainy days and sunny days.  Gusty winds and morning frost.  The trees still have the colors of fall on them.  Thanksgiving is going to be here before we know it.

I had planned to write Thankful posts often throughout the month.  But most likely there will only be a few written. 

Yesterday Spencer and Adele were both sleeping and Titus woke up.  He had only been asleep for 20 or so minutes.  I decided to get him up and snuggle him since there were no other distractions.  He laid down on my lap and fell asleep.  It's not often I get to hold him while he is sleeping.  He sleeps in his bed very well, but no where else.  It's not even very often that I get to spend time with just him.  As he was laying there, breathing in and out, occasionally reaching up and rubbing his nose; I knew I could not go the entire month of November without writing down some of my blessings. 

My life is busy and noisy but there are many moments that are sweet and beautiful.  Like the moment when a normally energetic 17 month old lays his head down and sleeps with his Mommy. 

Or when a big 7 year old runs back through the halls of the school to hug me goodbye.

Or when a 3 year old says "We are going to be best friends forever".

When a five year old wears his Hulk costume everyday after school and every time thanks me for getting it for him.

These little moments are all around me and I am very, very thankful for them.  I hope to write them down on the blog (and on my heart) so I can remember them always.

Happy November!

Monday, November 5, 2012


Today I found out that Lois passed away.  She married my Grandpa after my Grandma passed away.  But she is more than just my "Grandpa's wife".  It's hard to know exactly the right way to explain what she was to us.

I was 17 when my Grandma died.  When my Grandpa remarried I wasn't expecting a "new" Grandma.  I remember being a little nervous the first time I met her.  What would I think?  What would I feel?

Turns out she was very nice and never tried to take my Grandma's spot.  Instead she had her own spot. 

I have never lived close enough to see my Grandparents often.  When Lois joined the family it was the same.  An occasional trip to Utah whenever we could fit it in.  I can't claim to know Lois as well as I would have liked.  Since she joined the family I probably only met her 10 or so times. 

Some of those times were very special.

When Tyler and I were just dating we went to Utah and stayed with Lois and Grandpa (actually we stayed there are couple of times before we were married).   One time in particular comes to mind.  We got there and went to dinner with Grandpa and Lois.  Then we all went dancing together.  It was Tyler and I and a lot of people significantly older than us!  We had such a good time.  I danced with Tyler, I danced with Grandpa, Grandpa danced with Lois, Lois danced with Tyler.  We met their friends, laughed and had a lovely night.  Tyler and I felt like we were stepping back in time.  Every dance was either a swing dance, a fox trot or waltz.   We were young and dating and we got to share it with Grandpa and Lois.

Other visits we had kids with us and Lois was always so nice to our kids.  She found them little treasures, asked them about school, fed them and endured their noise (something probably not very fun for someone not used to it). 

We decided to pass through Utah on our trip to Colorado this summer.  We stopped by Grandpa and Lois's and we were able to spend a couple hours there.  Lois and Grandpa were both attentive and kind.  I enjoyed the visit, never knowing it would be our last visit with Lois.

I am grateful for the role that Lois has played in my life.  I am thankful for the kindness she always showed to us, the way she welcomed us to her home.  She was a very good woman and someday when we meet again I hope to know her even better.

A Lovely, Lovely Weekend

I was a horrible picture taker this weekend.  So while you read about my wonderful weekend you will juts have to make mental pictures (please take 20 pound of me when doing this!)
I don't even know where to begin...Thursday night we all drove down to Olympia.  We were going to buy a second car (gasp...we have only been waiting 8 1/2 years).  The whole experience was so awful its hardly worth writing about.  We tried to plan ahead we had already talked price and which car before we got there.  The car we wanted and sales person we worked with were not there.  The salespeople that were got in an argument in front of us...I could go on and on.  We didn't get a car...really what's the rush.
Tyler and kids left me at my Moms.  I was so excited to sleep in and not worry about kids that I woke up at 4:30 and couldn't go back to sleep.  So typically me.  Friday we set off to say hello to my sister Leah.  See her new house and meet little Tony.  He is adorable.  Seriously he has the cutest little cheeks. 
Leah's house is great.  Her girls were running all around, hiding in corners and you could just tell that they love it.

After a couple hours there Mom and I set off for the big city of Portland.  We found our hotel checked in then headed off to Time Out for Women (a church conference, fun weekend).  The hotel offered us free shuttle service which worked out so well and reduced the stress a lot.

We spent Friday evening enjoying excellent speakers and amazing music.  I could go into great detail about all I learned and felt throughout (but I'll spare you all the details).  I loved the messages.  I also loved the feeling of being in the room with 3,400 other women that are all trying to do and be the best they can be.  Sometimes I feel like everything is so negative and the future seems kind of depressing.  But in that room I was reminded that there are so many good people out there.

Saturday we went back and again we spent the day listening to speakers and soaking in the good music.  I can't speak for anyone else but I know I left inspired.

We spent another night at the hotel and then Sunday went back to Leah's house.  Her baby was blessed at Church.  I was lucky enough to be there for it.  Dan and his family and Anna and her family were there.  It was like a little afternoon family reunion. 

Then we headed home. 

I missed my kids....but every time I called home they were having so much fun with Tyler that I wasn't worried about them.  Tyler is such a great Dad.  He made the whole weekend special and fun for them.  I called once and they were at Fort Warden, another time they were having a pizza movie night, they went to church and they cleaned the whole house, garage and car. 

It was a weekend full of blessings.  I am blessed to have a great family to come back to, a husband that supports me and encourages me.  A husband that is a great Dad.  I was blessed this weekend to be able to spend so much time with my Mom.  She is an amazing woman.  I was blessed to have some time with other members of my family.  I could go on and on.  It was a great weekend.

I loved coming home to my kids and Tyler.  Adele followed me around when I got home.  She wanted to snuggle and sit by me.  She kept putting her arm around me and hugging me.  Titus cried in the car on the way back unless I was reaching back putting my hand on his leg.  Garret and Spencer wanted to tell me everything.  Tyler had the house all clean and flowers on the table when I got home.  It was just so great. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

Happy Halloween everyone. 
Halloween snuck up on me and I confess I didn't spend as much effort thinking about it as I wish I had.  I am happy to report that the kids still had a great day (which is the point).
I took Adele to the Library Halloween story time/party.  I didn't want her to get her Captain America costume dirty so I let her pick something from the box to wear.  She decided on Snow princess.  I did her make-up to make it extra special.  It turned out pretty awful...But she LOVED it and wanted to wear it to the library so I let her. 
 She hammed it up for everyone (and for me at home).  So despite the make up she got all kinds of compliments.

 I thoroughly enjoyed my morning with the two little ones.
 The story time lady, Martha, was "Pete The Cat" one of Adele's favorite literary characters.  I love Martha.  She does the best story time.  She keeps the kids mesmerized for an entire hour.  She sings and laughs, reads stories, does crafts and knows all their names.
 When the kids got home from school it was time to become the Avengers.  We stopped by the office to get Tyler.  We were lucky enough to be there at the same time as Hayden (aka The Big Bad Wolf), the son of one of the staff.  I couldn't resist getting a picture of them all at the office.
 Then we headed down town.  The whole downtown area is blocked off to cars and all the business open up for trick or treaters.  I love community events, there is just something great about people enjoying themselves together.  It was windy but not raining (lovely fall weather). 
 Then to wrap the night up we went to the Church's "Trunk or Treat". 
Until next year....Happy Halloween!!!