Tuesday, November 25, 2014

So it begins!

Yesterday was a great start to the Holiday season. We picked up our little Indian from school and she was loving her feather hat. They had a cute little Thanksgiving meal at preschool and London was so excited to tell us about it "We had raisins!! and Nanabwead!! No... wait... not nanabwead.. COORN bwead! AND chicken nuggets!!" Pretty clever on her teachers part to do chicken nuggets as their turkey :) She wore her hat for a good part of the morning.

 That night was Holbrook's annual Christmas Tree Lighting. It had been very cold all day long because a frigid wind, but the kids and I decided to brave it out so that we could go listen to Kyle's choir sing. If you brought a can of food you got free hot chocolate and the kids were very excited for it. Okay- maybe I was too- it was cold! We traded in our cans and the hot chocolate wasn't so hot. Bentley was not very  happy that it was cold. He was also pretty obsessed with the Christmas Tree, so after hanging up an ornament or two he opted for sitting wrapped up in a blanket watching the tree.
 London and Macy were loving decorating the tree.

Afterward we all enjoyed some yummy apple crisp at home. It's beginning to look a lot like.. the holidays!

The leaves have fallen

One day last week we woke up and all our leaves had fallen off the trees. It was the craziest thing! They literally fell over night. We usually have to wait awhile to do the leaves since they usually all fall at different times, but this year we took last yesterday to get it all done. First we scooped up a big pile and let the kiddos play in it before we got to work.

 It was all fun and games until London got socked in the face with a leaf pile.

 It kind of just went down hill from there.

 We have a rule in our house- if two kids are crying, we're done. With Bentley and London down it was time to get to work. Macy did pretty good with the rake for a little bit- but then I took over the raking and the girls helped Kyle keep the bag open to put the leaves into.

 Those two cute girls helped us for 2 hours! That's a long time for a 4 & 5 year old. We bagged 8 of those REALLY big clear garbage bags- there was a ton of leaves. Before we went into Macy wanted to take some pictures- she got some cute ones.

We took a few hour break and decided since we had time and it was gorgeous outside, we would just go ahead and put the Christmas Lights up! It was so much easier doing them now then when it's freezing, right after Kyle gets home from work, and trying to hurry before it gets dark. I'm excited for the Holiday festivities to begin this year!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Time Out For Women

I have heard lots of great things about Time Out for Women and when I saw a status update from Kyle's nephews wife saying she was looking for people to go in on the group tickets with her, I knew I wanted to go. I checked with Kyle about the weekend and he immediately said Yup! Do it! Originally it had been on the same weekend as his All-State Show Choir- and the sweet man was going to figure out what to do with the kids and didn't even tell me it would be kind of hectic for him. Luckily they scheduled the Phoenix Temple Dedication on the same day- so Time Out for Women changed to the weekend before which was so much better for us. I called Stormy and my Mom to see if they wanted to go and they were in!

Kyle took the afternoon off on Friday so that Emily and I could drive down there to make it to the Friday night festivities. We got into the valley a little early so Emily went and hung out with her family and I took the car and did a little solo shopping trip. It's a weird feeling not having 3 little ones chasing you around the store, but it made for a quick trip. I must've called Kyle 5 times not knowing where I was going or where I should go eat. I hit up Tempe Town Marketplace, got 2 new pairs of shoes- and then headed over to some Red Lobster. Since Kyle's not a fish fan we don't eat there often.

I walked in and let the ladies know I needed to be some where in about an hour and they told me it would be much faster to just eat at the bar- so that's what I did. Luckily it was early and there wasn't anyone else at the bar but myself. The bartender didn't even offer me alcohol, I don't know if it was my "mormon glow" or "she still looks like she's in High School" but that was just fine with me.

After my delicious shrimp trio, I headed out to find the Phoenix Convention Center. I relied solely  on my i'm-so-smart-phone and didn't have a clue where I was going or how to get there. I made it to the convention center and had NO idea where to park. I made about 92 phone calls to Stormy, my Mom, and Kyle with no one picking up and finally found a parking garage to park. Stormy realized they didn't have service in the conference room and came and found me and off we went. 
We probably took about 20 selfies and these are the best ones we got...

The theme of this year TOFW was Inevitable Light. As we come to know our Savior and our callings as wives and mothers, we will be inevitable light through Christ. We heard some amazing speakers and amazing music artists but after a week later the thing that has really stuck with me is that being a wife and a mother is a HARD job... if you try and do it all, all on your own. We don't have to do everything to be a good wife or mother- we don't have to be perfect. BUT Through him, we become the perfect wife and mother for them. I can say that I am a MUCH better mother to my kids today then I was 5 years ago or even just a year ago. I have more patience and I realize more how different they are from each other and they need different things- I'm not perfect, but I AM getting better. It's a hard job if I try and do it myself, but it becomes easier and I get better at it as I become closer to my Savior and use the atonement.  I'm excited for what is in store for me. I know that my journey is far from over and I'm excited for the wife/mom that I will become in the future.

99% of the time when someone asks me what I do I tell them I'm a stay at home mom. Nothing wrong with that at all, but one of the speakers mentioned she says "homemaker". I got to thinking about the difference between a SAHM and a homemaker and there isn't much, but the word homemaker is so much more of what I do then just... stay at home mom. I want to make a home for our kids that they feel safe in, that they love, and that they can rely on. I don't just stay at home. I make our home. It's up to me to decide what type of spirit will be there that day. What type of mood will I allow myself to slip into that takes away from the spirit in our home? What shows or music will I watch or listen to that takes away that spirit? On the flip side- what will I do to make sure the spirit can dwell in our home? What can I do to make sure that spirit stays? How can I make our house a home and a refuge from the world? It's a big job being a homemaker, but I  know as we become closer to Christ that inevitable light will shine and making my house a home won't be that hard. 

I am already so excited for TOFW next year. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

1st EVER Petrified Forest Marathon

Kyle's family gets into some crazy stuff. The latest- putting on the 1st EVER Petrified Forest Marathon. Kyle's city, Kathleen, works for the City of Holbrook and figured this would be a great thing for tourism since the Petrified Forest is only 30 minutes away and the road running through the forest is 26 miles long- it was just asking for a Marathon to go through it. Kyle volunteered for his choir kids to run the water stations and it worked out really well. We had 3 suburbans with 5 kids a piece and just dropped them off at the next water station and then leap frogged them after the runners had passed their water stations. The kids had a blast... until the wind picked up! Man oh man there was a lot of wind. 

Our awesome choir supporters grabbed one water station.
 These were the front of the pack runners.
 Look how cute those water station people are!

 These two runners were amazing. They were in the back of the pack- but the front girl had a fractured rib and the one behind her was a sister that was running to support her. The sister ended up stopped at the half-marathon point and the sister in the pink finished right at the cut off time. She was amazing though and was always smiling when we saw her.

 Here is our Male and Female finishers- they are even married!

It was a great event! I can't decide if I thought it was great because the only real preparation we had to do was to get another driver and get kids signed up to help- but Kathleen did amazing! It was an organized and super fun race to help with, we'll definitely be on the list to help again next year!

Happy Halloween!

Our Trick-or-Treating festivities started out at our Tri-Ward community Trunk-or-Treat. It started at 6:30 and we got there around 6:40 with everyone already going on their second round of the trunks. It was crazy packed and so many community members. It's such a bitter sweet thing to me. It's good that the community comes but it just turns into the candy thing with no social interaction with anyone. You get a chat a little with friends that have trunks but for the most part you just wait in line to get candy. There is SO many people there and it just feels hectic. We were there for about 15 minutes and then headed home. The kids got some candy and they were happy. When I said it was time to go (we had gone through the line and I was NOT about to go through a 2nd time, I'm so against that for some reason) Macy was like "umm.. that's it?!" Yup.. that's it!

The next day was London's last day of preschool for the week so they all got to dress up in their Halloween costumes. She is seriously the cutest little witch I've ever seen!

The next day was a little crazy. Kyle had Regional Show Choir practice in Show Low and forgot some skirts that the kids needed, so we took a trip to Show Low. We hung out in the auditorium for a little while, ate lunch at Subway, and then drove back to Holbrook just in time to catch Macy in her costume parade at school. All the kids got dressed up and walked around the baseball field. 

 When we asked Macy what she wanted to be for Halloween I think it was a princess for like 2 days and then she got stuck on a pink and purple Super Hero. My Mom made her a cap and a tutu and we have ourselves Super Macy.
 I got this super cute picture of Joey as he walked by us.
 Macy and her class. There were tons of fairies, princesses (Anna and Elsa's), and Super Womans- but only 1 Super Macy :)

Kyle was still in Show Low at 5 and he still had to go call the football game on the radio at 6:30 so I was all set to take the kiddos by myself. I got the kids all dressed up after dinner and it was about 5:45 when I decided we just needed to go- poor London was exhausted and I knew the later I waited it was just get harder to get her to go. She really didn't want to get off the couch. I was afraid she was getting sick, but she was just tired.
 I did manage to get a picture of Super Macy, the Cutest Little Witch, and Clark Kent before we left.
 We've always gone up to Spurlock Hill where Marie lives to do the Trick-or-Treating but without Kyle with me I figured we'd just walk around the block and be done. We started walking down the street around 6:00 and it was completely empty. The sun had gone down, but there was still no one trick-or-treating yet and all the lights along our street were empty. London was crying because she was tired and Macy and running down the street and not listening at all when I was telling her to stop. We got about 5 dark houses down and I called Kyle and I asked him if I would be a completely awful parent if I just bought them candy and went home because no one was opening their doors. He was right around the corner and said he could squeeze in 15-20 minutes up at his Moms house if I loaded the kids up and met him up there. So we did. We went to about 5-6 houses and then headed over to Marie's house to help her pass out candy while Kyle went to the football game.

This Halloween wasn't anything special, but I was so grateful for Kyle that night. He was a little late to his game, but he could sense my need for him to take out 20 minutes to help me take the kids Trick-or-Treating. He's a pretty amazing guy in my book.