Sunday, September 13, 2009

OHHHH August!

We began the month of August with a Leslie FaMiLy ReUnion in Island Park. Many of Derek's siblings and Aunt's & Uncles stayed at the cabin. To maintain our sanity, I opted to bring the camper along. Besides... DUH ! The campground has a pool and a hot tub - the cabin does not. Anyway. It ended up being kind of a convenience thing as it was close to the pavillion and we had easy access to everything in my little kitchen while we prepared many of our meals at the pavillion.
Had a great time visiting with the FamiLy. It of course is always a JOY to be around Brandt and his Family. He for sure keeps things lively.

The next week, our Little babysitter Chelsie had Girls Camp. So that means we didn't get a whole lot done. Ok. Maybe we did. In preparation for our trip to Arizona coming up, I have been on a mission to gather furniture and other things to take with us in order to furnish the "Winter HOME" we purchased with Derek's parents. This week, I finally got around to refinishing the chairs to the dining set and completely tore apart 2 wing back chairs that I inherited from my Grandmother. (I am sure I unpicked 4 trillion staples and so did Steph.)

This week we went to the Temple with Tara as she took out her endowments and then enjoyed an amazing meal at the Olive Garden. Serious YUM. We also suffered the wrath of Montazuma's revenge. All of us had the stomach flu - some worse than others.

On the 8th, we rode to Firth and helped with the final Yard work Preparatory to Tara's wedding. Todd & Wendy's kids and our kids were there. That is an army of helpers. We seriously kicked that yard into shape in about 5 hours. Mowing, weeding, bark down, window washing, etc. POW. It looked great.

Late in the project, I took off for IF to run some errands. The usual. Fabric store, Old Navy and Big Lots were on the agenda. In one hour, I returned an old Navy purchase, selected fabric for the 2 wingback chairs and found an amazing bargain on a sofa for the Arizona house. WOW! $220.00 for a sofa!

The next week of course was spend recovering the wingback chairs. I completely dig the fabric. If only I did NOT need to eat or sleep. I could be the most productive individual on the planet. Unfortunately, the older I get, sleep is SOOOOOO necessary.

The past few weeks, Grandma Fern has been really ill. She of course has been getting worse the last 2 years until just a few weeks ago, Dad had her transferred from her home to Ashley Manor on Hawthorne Road. She continued to deteriorate there. The last few days, we have been worried about her so mom asked Derek to give her a blessing. We went over just before we had to leave to drive to Firth. She of course was not doing well at all and was hardly responding. She did open her eyes and look at me when I said "Grandma, It's Holli" Bless her heart. When I think of the Sacrifices this woman has made in her lifetime, I can't help but feel like this last portion of craziness that she has had to endure is slightly unfair. Derek gave her a nice blessing and then we had to leave for Firth.
We of course were in a hurry to get to Tara's Meet the Family dinner. It turned out delightful and we all approve of Nick and his Parents. Delightful.
Tara's wedding was the next day. Instead of us staying there, we came home in order to keep plugging away on some of the projects necessary for our trip. Early Friday we went to Idaho Falls for the wedding. On the way to the temple, I got a phone call from Steph saying that Grandma had passed away. So sad for us but so great for her that she is free from her suffering. More than anything, I felt bad that I wasn't able to be there to be a support for my dad.
The wedding ceremony was really nice. We were all very happy for her. The reception was seriously Chaotic. The wind was blowing outside until right before we had to set up the tables. We had very little help in the kitchen until Tara's friend's mom showed up to bail me out. Shirleys nieces's arrived just in the Nick of time too. I would have been to feet under in chicken salad and Frape!
As you might imagine... all of the back and Forth and this and that did not allow much time for us to pack and prepare for our trip to Arizona. On Saturday the 15th, we had originally planned to be on the road by about 1:00 pm. By the time we went to see Grandma at the mortuary, went to visit dad, made arrangements for a flight home & a rental car, mowed lawns, and packed, it was 8pm. We hit the wendy's drive thru for din-din and then the road. WOW! Perpetual Motion lately.
We wanted to drive as far as we could the first night. As we continued on, we decided to pull an all nighter and go the entire way. We pulled into Queen Creek Arizona at 11:30 am and another adventure began.
The home is really cute. I had never seen it before. Derek and his parents picked it out in April. We finally closed on it in August. The floor plan is completely workable but the best part is the swimming pool. We completely LOVED it!
This trip was spent cleaning, painting and moving in. I am hoping the next trip will be a little more fun for me (what isn't fun about buying stuff at Wal-mart?) Next time we will have a few things to do, but not to the extent we did this time. Still, it was fun. HOT! One after noon, Derek said it was 117 on his truck thermometer. Sweet nibblets.
Ok. we arrived Sunday at 11:30 am. we worked and moved all day Sunday. Monday was more of the same. At 2:30 Derek drove me to the Phoenix airport so I could make it home for Grandma's funeral. By 8:00 pm I was finally on a plane heading for Salt Lake. My flight had been delayed 3 times. I caught the last flight out of Arizona that night. I arrived in Salt Lake at 11:00 ish and then had to catch a rental car and still drive home. By the time I got to SLC, most of the rental cars were gone. I had a choice between a diesel Excursion, a yellow YUGO or a Bright blue mustang. NO Brainer. I took the mustang.
I arrived in Pocatello at 2:30 am, went to sleep, woke up at 8:00 was at the Funeral home by 9:45 for a 10:00 funeral. We had a nice time visiting with all of the cousins and relatives that I haven't seen in a very long time. We had our luncheon at the Golden Corral and then at 4:00 pm I was on the road back to SLC. I caught an 8:00 pm flight (once again, it was delayed ) and after a layover in Denver, Derek picked me up at the airport in Phoenix and we drove back to the house. We dropped into bed at 2:00 am AZ time. exhausted!!!
The next few days were spent finishing projects, throwing rooms together, swimming hour after hour (kids only) and of course cleaning.
On Friday, we cleaned and packed and shampooed carpet, hung drapes and then finally got on the road at 6:00 ish. (My kids were seriously sick of McDonalds after this week.) Dinner at McD's again and then on the road. We drove as far as Flagstaff and then bunked down for the night.
By 10:00 am we were on the road - well at least out of the hotel and looking for breakfast. After a visit to Walmart for drinks and crochet hooks for mady, we were on our way. Little did we know this would turn out to be the longest day in history. We didn't pull into the driveway until 2:30 am. Just for the record. It is much easier to pull that ride in one solid trip. It goes by much quicker in the dark while watching a movie. Kids are much more pleasant while trying to sleep. Many lessons were learned. We are excited to visit again over Christmas break. Two weeks of Fabulito weather. Bring it.
Monday morning our kids started school. Brennan's weeks of anxiety were in vain as he was introduced to Hawthorne Middle School. He really likes it and is completely impressed with all of the options he has for lunch. Mady likes her teacher and is making new friends. Gage is totally cooperative if he can go to SUBWAY before school. (AS if) He likes to ride the bus and his buddy MAX is in his class. What could be better?
Tuesday the 25th, Derek and I celeBrated our 14th anniversary. Ok celebrated? That was an exaggeration. I didn't get him anything, he gave me a card and a hedge trimmer and we went to the Road House for dinner on a gift certificate from our T-Ball team. Celebrated? We have been so busy lately this event took a back seat.

Wednesday, I cancelled Pack Meeting.. Mostly because... WHO cares about Pack meeting right now? NOT me.

Thursday and Friday , Noelle and I made crafties for our up and coming Super Saturday. Be looking for those on my porch. 'Can't wait to have them.

On Saturday, we went to Bren's game at 1:30, Rushed home and then went to Kate's baptism in Firth where I gave probably the crappiest talk of my career, we had sundays and drove home.

What is it all for? I do not remember my parents sitting down with at calendar and trying to fit everything in to their lives. In contrast, Derek and I live by the calendar. We have to plan time to sit and discuss things. SIck and wrong. SOmething has to give. I pray it isn't my sanity - oh... oooopps. That was gone a long time ago.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Seriously. I am nearly two months behind in my blogger journal and I am having to look back to my planner to remember what in sam heck happened in July... because right now It is a BLURRRRR. oh yeah. I remember now.

Right out of the starting gate, we began the month with an outing to the cabin in Island Park to Whoop it up over the Independence Day weekend... and did we ever! Below please find the top 10 reasons cabin outings are bittersweet for me.

1. By the time I wash and pack clothing for 6 people, I am completely exhausted and want to stay home.

2. We eat like kings nearly every meal... why? I don't know. We don't eat this way at home. Maybe there is just more time to cook yummy food and nothing to do but eat it? We have learned not to forget many grocery items when going to the Park simply because Robins Roost charges $8.00 for a bottle of worcestechire sauce. Sweet Nibblets. That store is owned by a family of Millionaires. (They totally have it figured out :) By the time we shop for and pack the food for the weekend, we are exhausted and want to stay home and have cheerios or better yet... NOthing - to save ourselves the 2 week crash diet once we get home.

3. We usually never get out of town at the time we planned. This results in grabbing dinner on the Fly - which is seriously my favorite. Everyone is quiet until at least Blackfoot because they are busy stuffing their KISSERS with a chicken nugget. I am all about playing the quiet game in the car. Unfortunately, nobody else really likes that game. Brennan loses everytime. He still just doesn't get that the way to win is to just "shut up". Oh yes, one day he will get what is coming to him. I have formally issued the mother's curse exclusively for him and his lovely future companion.

4. The ride to Island Park is a tad long. We have to "Pit" in St. Anthony in order to prevent any unwanted accidents in the back seat. This usually sets us back a $20 spot in order to get out of the store without a hissy fit from Gage. He won't just choose the quick and easy cheap treat. He heads straight for the suckers with the battery powered helicopter and blinkie blinkie lights that costs $6.99. Seriously - he has the ability to stir it up when he doesnt' get his way. Derek and I feel it is cheaper to just let him have what he wants than to have to post BAIL for one another as we are being hauled off to Jail for child abuse. It's safer than a Jail Break too.

5. The scenery is of course beautiful on the way. Derek always has to comment on what a STUD his truck is on the Ashton Hill..."Yeah. She's still doing 70" as we fly by all of the SLOW truckers and all the FOrds in the right lane. "Good thing we have a Diesel... SO IT CAN HAUL ALL OF THE CRAP THAT I HAD TO PACK!

6. The first breath of amazing, crisp, fresh, mountain air is completely invigorating. I will never tire of the smell the mountains and pine trees.

7. Derek is always the first one out of the Truck to open the cabin door. He has an inspection ritual where can't wait to see if our efforts from the last trip, made in vain - to see if we could keep the rodents (most especially the squirrels) out of the cabin - worked. There is almost always evidence that the squirrels have visited... shredded insulation, shredded pillow cases, etc. That is until Derek bought the Squirrel Deaf-i-nator 6000. Of course something this real can only be purchased on the internet. I am sure the headquarters / manufacturer is in some Hollar in Kentucky or something (joking- Dena!) So far this is the only thing that has proven effective. It is so loud, you can hear it on the steps. Once inside, you have 2.3 seconds to run in and unplug it (because finding the power switch takes too much time)or we all lose our hearing until morning. One of these times we might see squirrels jumping from tree to tree sporting the latest in rodent hearing aids... yeah. It could happen.:)

8. The first few hours of unpacking are reDONKuLUS! My kids want to immediately change into PJ's, play with the friends that have come with us, and always act like they haven't seen food in weeks. What is it about that mountain air that makes you ravenous? (and crave Pepsi & chocolate?)

9. As mentioned before, we generally take friends with us. Many of these friends have accompanied us for as long as we have been going. They are dear friends and we love to spend time together. Our children are similar in age and for the most part they get along amazingly. Good Friends *Good Times is an understatement. The memories we have made will remain - at least until we all have Alzheimers from the snowmachine exhaust. oh and it is somewhat similar to Vegas... What happens at the cabin--STAYS at the cabin. (Especially the part about me falling down the stairs while everyone was watching! Wow.)

10. The day we pack up to come home is for sure the most bitter sweet of all. Yes, we are relaxed and ready to take on the world again, but HOLY COW it takes an army of Merry Maids to get that cabin cleaned up after 20 people have been there. We have all agreed that there are times when plural marriage would be handy - and this is one of those times. We whip that place into shape in no time with all of the happy helping hands (that is an exaggeration:) Dad's are packing, moms are scrubbing, kids are dusting and vacuuming. It is team work to the MAX*I*MUS baby!
The ride home is fabulous. The kids are completely wiped out from the 72+ hours of
FUll-ON insanity, and I finally get my few hours of peace and quiet. Mission accomplished :).

This cabin trip was no different from any other. We did however visit Hebgen Lake for the first time. Good thing we brought the boat. It was the perfect outing. Across the Lake to the far shore, we found a little cove with some private docks that we "borrowed" (I do not know what happened to that sign). The water was amazing most of the day. We all enjoyed it to the MaX! Skiing, wakeboarding and tubing - even Mady couldn't resist (She hates boating) Brennan is mastering the wakeboard- for a Merit badge and went outside the wake for the first time.

WaHoo Brennan!

The Dyes were with us the first part of the trip. Troy took Karami, Geoff and Brennan Fishing at Henry's Lake for most of a day. They brought home several Trout and of course lots of stories. We grilled it up for dinner and it was some serious YUM!

Crocketts arrived later due to overlapping schedules. Friday we all rode to John Sacks Cabin on the Motorcycles . That is a lot of MOtorcycles. 16 Bikes single file on the roads is a big deal. People would just stare at us like we were nuts or something. Well, guess what! We are nuts.

On Sunday morning, we decided to have Sacrament Mtg at the cabin. Really, when you hang out with the Stake President, you can do about whatever... (joking) We skipped church because of the crowds and we had received word from home that they had a monster Hail storm and there were lots of people with water in their basements from the rain and flooding. - so in the spirit of needing to get home, we had a song,the sacrament and listened to a brief Patriotic talk and then finished the cleaning and got on the road. (My kind of sacrament meeting)

Once home, we could see evidence of the Hail and Pounding Rain storm that hit Chubbuck. It had pelted anything alive. There were leaves and branches everywhere. The intense amount of water delivered in such a short time filled window wells and flooded the basements of many homes out here. CRAZY. The worst part of it all is that the HAIL was so large it also beat the heck out of peoples roofs and lots of the homes will also need a new roof. Our house was in great shape (most likely due to the outstanding Master Builder - who built it) and so our energies were focused on helping those who are continually suffering the effects of inferior building techniques :) I just had to get that jab in... didn't I? Any who.

Most of that next week was again fast and furious as we unpacked, relaundered and repacked for a trip to Lagoon. In all honesty - I hate Lagoon. I admit it. I am a complete premenopausal pansie. I get totally motion sick, it is smoking hot outside, and I don't appreciate the costly overcrowded environment. Sorry. My Family on the other hand completely LOVES it. So, I suck it up and endure it only because Derek drags our trailer along. This way I can take Chloee back for a nap and we can save money on meals, etc. It was ok. (I am sure i WILL get my revenge the next time I go to TaiPan Trading !! I will make them all push a cart full of raging Greenery around for an hour as I revisit every aisle making sure that I have seen everything. oh! They hate that store :) It is great!

This was just one of the many times they rode the colosus.

(Check out these reactions. Adrenaline junkies...all of them.)

The following week, Dena and Her girls were in town for a visit. This is truly a highlight for my kids. It is unfortunate that they don't live closer so that could be together more often.

Pioneer Day had a whole new twist this year as Gage participated in the Motorcycle Barrel race. He took 2nd in his age group. Hilarious. He had a blast and is the proud recipient of a shiny new trophy. He thinks he is some kind of STUD or something!

The following week was spent partially at Scout Camp for Brennan and Derek and then we frantically prepared the camper for an outing to Lake WalCott near Rupert.
We all got our fill of skiing and wake boarding and of course playing on the docks.

Saturday the 25th was Tara's bridal shower. We packed up early and busted it home so Mady and I could make it to Firth by 7:00. WOW! Crazy!

The last week of the month is usually Hopping for us. Thankfully this month we had a closing and we were jumping to get the last minute projects finished. I did 14 million square feet of faux finish in this house and my tennis elbow is reminding me. It is a drag to get old. I fear it will only get worse.

Along with a closing, we were busily preparing food for Derek's Family reunion at the Cabin to be held on the 31st - the 1st. That is a big job. Generally I am up for a challenge, but after the month I have had... it was a bit much. We always have a great time at this reunion because we don't ever get to see Derek's cousins, except for at this reunion or a funeral. I enjoy visiting with his aunt's tremendously and he has some seriously fun cousins. Unfortunately, many of them were unable to come. We counted out that if all of the families had attended, there would have been upward of 120 people present. WOW! Way to Go Guy and LaRue(That's Derek's grandparents... How about that for Posterity?)

As you may well imagine, the end of this month leaves me feeling Thrashed mentally, out of energy and in serious need of a mani/pedi. (And that is only after reviewing the calendar) No wonder I had a bit of a slow start in August. Summer is more than half over. We have no regrets as we Grab each moment by the horns and hang on with all of our might. We will continue to drink it in... For in just 3 short weeks we will be back in school dreading the boring nightly ritural of homework and bathtime.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Oh what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green? Do you sit in the shade and drink lemonade and watch all the clouds go by?

AS IF...

No school is a beautiful thing. Nothing important has happened at out house before 10:00 am. We have stayed up late, had sleepovers, watched a few movies and played with friends - just trying to get it out of our system so we can get on to bigger things...
The weather has still been fairly rainy. Everything is beautiful and green, the air is fresh. 'Love it. I can't remember a summer that has been so wet since I was a JR in High school - 1987. It seemed it rained every weekend. We did very little camping that year.

Brennan started the summer off with two prep camps - Basketball and Football. We are still playing baseball and is fairly discouraged by negative coaches and smart mouth team-mates. 'Hoping that this experience doesn't spoil it for him in the future. He and his dad and Gage went on the Father & Son's outing to Scout Mountain. I believe it rained all night so it was cut short.

Madelyn has started taking some little 4-H mini classes. She so far loves to crochet. My mom has been helping her. She is the crocheting guru - I know a few basic stitches but my ability to read a pattern is limited. (Mom is my resource for most things domestic.) She will start a cooking class next week. She continues to play softball. 'Loves it. Her team has really improved and they are fun to watch.

We attended an extended Family Reunion in Utah on the 20th. Seriously! What is the point. Very little was planned. There was no program, B.Y.O P. (bring your own picnic, water was provided!) What kind of an event was that? We showed up at the church because the event at the park was rained out. One of Shirley's brothers conducted and ordered introductions by each head of house, we visited for about 20 minutes and everyone was out the door! WHAT? That was worth a 2 hour drive to Utah. Many of Derek's cousins did not even bother to show up and now I know why.
"Nothing is easy achieved without enthusiasm!"

Gage is a T-Ball maniac. He is on fire this year. What a turn around from last year's dirt digging, whining, boo-boo experience. He doesn't have to use the tee and he actually runs to first base not third! We are arriving! Derek and I are coaching. We have half girls, half boys on the team. It has been fun. We have the Hege Tripletts on our team. They are our cheerleaders. It has been refreshing to have them so excited for each other this year.

Chloee is still working on being potty trained. Still working on loosing that bottle. Still sleeping in our bed. She loves to play outside and thinks she should just be able to hop on a bike and go like the older kids. She loves our neighbors new baby and wants to go visit as much as I will let her. She carts a baby around about half of the time all the while sporting a pair of crazy shoes and some thrown together assembly of clothing. WOW! She totally loves to swim, run through the sprinkler, jump on the trampoline, ride her big wheel, and she loves motorcycle rides and boating. She is for sure a member of our family.

Toward the end of the month, we took a day trip to Twin Lakes. It is to the brim. The water was beautiful, clear and blue and there was sunshine to be had. Our kids love to drive out to the middle and jump off the boat. IT was still a little chilly so that first Jump was a tad freezy. Blue lips and lots of goose-bumps. By the end of the day we were all used to it. We had a little BBQ with the Crockett Family and the Boyle's drove from Logan to meet us. Their kids are so grown up - Chloee thinks Garrett looks like Joe Jonas. Yes, yes he does.
It was a fun day. My Dad drove separately and brought his boat to go fishing. He brought Dallas with him. As soon as we saw them, my 3 older kids transferred to his boat and went fishing as well. Brennan is "Hooked" - he loves to fish. I am glad ... I love that he likes to spend time with my dad! ( and that my dad wants to spend time with the grandkids.) He and my dad will get to know each other and he will learn to appreciate my dad's quiet crazy ways. My dad is a very talented man - I am hoping some of those things will rub off on them. Gage just likes to BE with him. It doesn't matter what they do... Ride the lawnmower, go on bike rides, fix things, dig in the garden, watch a fishing show in the recliner with a peeled orange or a tomato and a salt shaker. He digs Grandpa John. So do I.

Derek and I continue to be busy with stuff and things that won't matter 20 years from now. It seems the day to day hum drum is nuts most days around here. Everyday, I clean the same house, do the same laundry, clean up the same messes, drive to the same grocery store, buy and prepare the same food, go to bed exhausted in the same bed, and everyday,wake up next to the same really great man - for that I am gratefuL.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

May-Day! May-Day!

Stop the InsaNitY! Is the phrase that comes to mind as I review my Calendar for the month of May. How did we make it through? There isn't a bare spot on the calendar and in many spots, there is white out and post-it notes covering days where the 2 inch square space was inadequate to hold the activities for the day. I did not think we would make it, but It is true! Another school year has come to a close and I am so glad for a break from the books, and the strict bedtime regimen at the Leslie Household.

Let's see... We attended my cousin Jared's new baby blessing. She is for sure a sweetie. She is the first grandchild on that side of the family. Miracles never cease.

Derek and I have been working out a system to quickly cut MDF boards for temple pictures. We also have developed some mad skills making frames. This is the most exciting development of the month in my opinion.

We have had 5 Doctor/ ER visits this month. When it rains, it pours. Chloee hurt her front teeth somehow and had an abcess requiring antibiotics. (that was a treat... I have changed my perfume to essence of amoxicillin due to the constant spraying I would get trying to give the meds to her. She hates taking medicine. It kind of smells like strawberry :)
Brennan had pneumonia the first part of the month. I am going to get the Crappy mother of the year award because I made him wait an entire week feeling like horriBle before I took him to the doctor. Sorry Bren! We are just sick of hearing that "It's just a virus" $100 dollars and 2 hours in the waiting room later!
I went to the ER the night before MOther's Day with a piece of acrylic nail in my eye. Yeah. I am for sure going to mount the safety goggles next time I do my nails at midnight. Dangerous!
Gage swallowed a "quarter" in his exact words, and required a chest x-ray. We later found out it was only a nickel. Cut him some slack. He is only going to be in Kindergarten and is still learning money. I am thankful he only needed a chest film and not a gastroscopy! That would be something he would never forget.
'Just when you would think we couldn't possibly do one more thing requiring medical attention, Chloee fell on a stick, jamming it into her mouth, scraping the roof of her mouth and jabbed her in the throat. WOW! this again required a course of antibiotics. Seriously. We may have met our deductible in a 3 week period of time.

I have taken a severe liking to photography this last year and have put my camera to good use along with a little buddy, Noelle Merzlock. We have just completed 2 weeks of H * E * double Hockey Sticks at the Community Rec Center - taking pictures of all of the little sweeties in their dance classes. Totally cute. I posted some of Mady's dance pictures earlier. I am hoping we have just paid our dues and will have our foot in the door for more projects in the future.

I had my Hair chopped off. Seriously. I have as much hair as 3 human beings should have. We have had so much wind this spring (imagine that... wind in Idaho) I just decided it was time to chop it off. It is to my shoulders and layered and thinned out severly. One of these days I will get used to it. Hopefully. Some days I wonder what I was thinking - ok. Everyday. Cuckoo!

The middle of the month, I enrolled in a Continuing Education class for my Broker's license. I thought I would take it early in order to save me the hassle later on. Anyway. The course was for a "Green" designation. Seriously. I am struggling the remember anything in my life that delivered the torture factor as fiercely as this class. This would be the equivalent of Hell to me. Boring, useless, repetitive material over a 3 day period. DId I get the credits? yes. Will I use the designation? NO.

Our busy children continue to have baseball and softball games & practices.

We went camping over Memorial weekend to Lake Channel near American Falls. Rainy, sandy craziness all weekend. Our kids had a ball with the Dyes and the Crocketts. They rode motorcycles, caught lizards, played in the dirt and climbed the huge rock near our campground. I totally love our camper and will love it even more when Chloee decides to sleep in her own space. That queen size bed is just not going to cut it much longer.

The last day of Elementary school for my kids was on the 28th. It seemed that the last couple of weeks was spent messing around. They both brought home the contents of their desks about 6 days before the end of school. They watched movies, went to assemblies, and who knows what else. I would seriously love to have had them out 6 days sooner that to have them waste the time on crazy things with little meaning.
Brennan will be in the 6th grade. They have just bumped the 6th graders to the middle school so Bren will go to Hawthorne Jr. High. He is excited. I am still trying to decide what I think.

We will be coaching Gage's TeeBall team this year. Last year he was a total Stinker and we vowed we would not coach him again. Well, we have given him one more chance and we will see if we make it through the season. Our team is made up of only children from our Neighborhood this year. It will be fun because we not only live in a great neighborhood, but we know all of the kids. They are great kids.

As the month comes to a close, I have cause to reflect upon the many things that I am thankful for... Hmm. For sure good health. Children who are obedient and always try to do their very best. Positive attitudes. Free enterprise. Photoshop cs.
Good friends. Loving Parents. Shorts - because they take up less room in the laundry than long jeans. Summer vacation - we can stay up late and sleep in and do what ever we want. People who influence my children positively, help them develop confidence. Best friends. Laughter. Ensalada Bajio (MMMM my favorite). pepsi.

Friday, May 15, 2009

ApriL ShoWers BRinG May FLowers!

Seriously, I am confident we had April but at this point is a little blurry. Sick isn't it. As an elementary school student/ child I remember counting the days until our next day out of school, the end of the 9 week grading period, the days left until summer break, the days until school started up again, the days until Christmas break. As an adult & most especially as a parent of 4 crazy kids... there is no counting about it. Deadlines SNEAK up on me and FLY past before I can even catch my breath.
Milestones for our FAMILY in April were few, but we maximized each minute of it.

Beginning with the end of March we enrolled all of the kiddies in swimming lessons to add to the chaos our already SUPER NUTS schedule. ChLoee took a MOM/DAD and me class to learn how to blow bubbles and put her face in the water... a waste for a 2 year old. She thought it was stupid and just wanted to jump off the side into the water and "DIBE" Dive for the floaty frog that everyone else was just reaching for. Seriously, course descriptions are imperitive in my opionion. The other kids really enjoyed swimming lessons. Gage was a fish in his former life and thinks that he is ready for the olympics "Like that one guy who looks like our cousin Cameron.." (Michael Phelps) RIGHT. Maybe in the semi-drowning category for the doggie paddle.
Mady of course did well and like gage passed off her level 2 and Brennan passed off level 3 and is working toward his swimming merit badge (how convenient was that?)

We had our pinewood derby the beginning of the month. Our new hi-tech track is soooooo superior. It is connected to a computer and electronic finish line making my job sooooo much easier - and where scouts is concerned, there aren't many things that involved the word easy or easier. We have to do everything the long drawn out hard way.

On the 8th we had an enormous Homemaking super Saturday type activity where we made pictures of the temple. They turned out super. We used the Picture of the Idaho Falls Temple that I took in February when we visited. I thought they were great - and the night was a success.

Just one week later, Derek celebrated his 41st Birthday in a frenzie as he was preparing to go to Phoenix with his parents and secure a winter home for them. (He doesn't care if there are presents... as long as there is great chocolate cake!) He was gone for a week - it felt like 2. Seriously, single parenthood is not for me.
Within the course of that week, we sold our last Parade home (YEAH) and the spec home next door. (The old saying stands true, if you want to sell a home, plan a trip and go on it.) The kids and I packed up and drove to Utah on a trip to take pictures of all of the Utah valley temples and to purchase supplies for crafties. All of this while I was managing Phone calls long distance with regard to the houses. CUCKOO! IT was a CRAZY weekend. The kids enjoyed seeing all of the temples, Mady and Brennan have developed an interest in photography, Mady thinks she needs a $600 camera and Brennan would just be happy if Mady would give her camera to HIM - no strings attached. Now everytime Chloee sees a steeple she says... MOM ! Temple! Although stressful, is was a great time. Funny, there was no craziness or contention in the car while we were in pursuit of the next temple photo. The kids were exceptional, I must say. :)

Brennan is playing Chubbuck Boys Baseball - Does he really enjoy it? We'll see as the season progresses.

Mady is playing her first year of girls Fast pitch softball. Totally DIGS IT! But then what is not to dig about SOftball? GIrls are more fun, relaxed and are just playing for the social aspect and for the fun of it. BOYS and Dads are stressful. It's all about being your best and improving to be your best and winning. Yes, winning is the iceing on the cake, but could we have a little fun while doing it? It is a wonder i don't chew the acrylic nails off at his games. It is tense.

My whole next week was spent helping out at the new Green House in town... Changing Seasons. Decorating, Staging, Building a fireplace, more decorating. Apparently I am going to be selling some of my crafties there in the future. We'll see how much time I have for that! Zippity! --

To wrap it all up, Gage, Chloee and I went to McKees Petting Zoo for his preK fieldtrip. TRuly a hi-light of the month. We decided that we are super happy we are not pot-belly pigs and we don't snort corn up our noses while eating. HA!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

S p r i n g Break?

Well, whether it feels like SPRING or not, we had SPRING BREAK this week. Seriously! Is this typical Idaho weather or what? Clearly the weather forecast was dead wrong the beginning of the week. We have had our spring break camping trip planned since January.. and who knew that we would receive record snow fall this month and record high winds, etc. (So much for our calendaring session with the intention of coordinating friends and famiLy schedules) Who cares if we all can make it if the weather is going to be crazy!

Anyway. We have had a great break from school and the everyday humdrum. Beginning with a trip to Hagerman / Glenns Ferry Idaho where it is usually 10 degrees warmer than PokY. We spent 4 days there in our camper. While the rest of Yous were getting 6 inches of snow, we only had wind and rain. We attended church in Glens FeRRy, a short 25 minute drive from our campground. 'A friendly bunch I must say. After that, we drove toward Twin Falls and saw the new TemPle. 'A great new addition to the collection in my opinion. 'Totally love the new subdivision surrounding it.

We made our usual swimming visit to 1000 springs, an indoor pool in Hagerman. 'Totally love that warm water- my kids are exhausted afterwards...;)

Aside from all of the wind, rain, and dust we are grateful that our camper made it home in one piece, the wind nearly blew our door off, but we had some great motorcycle riding, our kids had an absoLute BLast - aLright, I didn't mind it too bad either. Brennan thinks he is big enough to ride my Honda 200 ( and he is... that is the sick thing) Mady did really well on the Yamaha 90 and Gage is shredding the Land on the Honda 50. He is mastering the art of Hill Climbing and I must say that there in NO FEAR in that boy!
Whereas the drive the Hagerman is 3 hours, we listened to lots of music in the car. Brennan got is first dose of the BEEGees and totally Loves THeM! (He is just like his dad :0)

The afternoon we packed up, all of the kids are bawLing because they wanted to stay longer... they "didn't get to have enough FUN!" If we had stayed a month, they would have said the same thing.

I am grateful for a warm home that boasts wide open spaces, lots of running water, a dishwasher, a true flusher toilet with lots elbow room and a soaker bathTUB, oh, and a KING size bed. Truly, I would have been a really crappy Pioneer Woman. Especially with no snack-size candy bars or chocoLate in the knapsack. Anyone who knows me , knows that my motto is be prepared... that of course means that I do not pack Lightly making the whole handcart thing a bad option for me as well. :) Any WHO! I Totally love camping... IN JULY!

The remainder of our week was spent playing with cousins, friends, going to Hip Hop and Cheer classes, making serious crafties in the garage, cleaning the camper, doing TONS of Laundry, staying up late and due to the weather,watching lots and lots of movies.

Last night, Derek and I went to Dinner with Tara (derek's sister) and her totally cute boyfriend :) SHa SHwoo! We got to meet him for the first time whiLe having dinner with the SiBs. Later we played Lazer Tag at OuterLimits. Yes, we are nearly 40 and we all love Lazer Tag. It is a sort of anGer ManaGement / Therapy or something. How can shooting your spouse bring so much satisfaction and JOY? I had a blast. We again left our kids home to "Tend themselves" and again they passed the test. We are ecstatic (-2 for spelling?) Our days of date night babysitters are coming to a close :) TruLy, I am seeing light at the end of our tunneL!!
Tonight, Sunday, we had dinner at the LesLie Home in Firth. A dandy place, Firth. (To visit) THat house was hoppin' with 29 people there. (Cameron is on his mission so it would be 30). Now that is posterity!

Tomorrow will be the beginning of a Seriously CRAZY Week. May the Dear Lord be with us as we attempt to get our chiLdren out of bed to make the school Bus!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

February is now just a BLURRRrrrrr!

I know it is March, but I am sticking to my commitment to journal each month as it passes.
February in Review.
The 'ol GroundHog wasn't a kidding.. We for sure have seen a lot of winter this month, except for a bout 14 minutes of sunshine and temperatures above 40 near the end of the month.

I already talked about my adventure to the temple. I am happy to report that I did find the missing 3 relatives and am headed to the gen. library to finish up.

Every Saturday we had basketball games. Stay tuned for some on the scene action shots.

The 12th - the 14th We had an aduLts only getaway to the cabin in Island Park. It was a Blast. Thanks to the Simonsens, Boyles, Crocketts, and the Dyes for Good food, Good Friends, Good Times. Thanks especially to Jennifer for the help redecorating while on top of the fireplace. She is amazing!

Brennan and Mady are taking a HIP Hop class. It is total Comedy. We enjoy watching it as much as they enjoy taking it.

We celeBrated lots of Birthdays this month... Mom (Anna) is 29.. again, Gee, & so is Holli!

We had our annual Ward Night-Skiing Party at PebBle Creek. Lots of Chili & Hot dogs.

Derek and I attended the aduLt session of our stake conference for the first time in a while. We left our kids home of course with the 2 older ones in charge of the 2 little ones. (I am pleased to announce that we are arriving) Get this.. ( I am getting "VaClempt" just thinking about it).. the Family Room was completely spotless. Brennan even vACUumed. We were so very impressed!

Well that's about it... I am totally looking forward to warmer and sunnier times. Yes, I do love to snowmachine, but it is time for warm afternoons, picnics, baseball games and certainly for kids to play outside! Tally HO!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Its all about FAMILY...

Many people close to us know that we have in a round about way ... ok... since May of 2005 - been doing temple work for My dad's side of the Family. I must admit, if we had not been issued a chaLLenge by our Bishop to have famiLy names for a then up and coming youth baptism trip, these peopLe might still be waiting for us to get it in gear!@_* My Grandfather was relatively easy... but it took some doing to find information on his parents, grand parents, and siblings. Let's hear it for the census of 1910 being destroyed by FIRE - (WHo couLd have had a hand in that?... SATAN?) I am pretty sure that record is the link to everything I am missing. If you were a Geneology buff, you could imagine how great it was for me to stumble upon the document that answered many questions and helped to get this family "Temple Ready". We discovered a few FaMiLy secrets, verified a few others, and were able to do baptisms for 3 women and 6 men. Derek and I did the Baptisms ourselves. It was really a great experience.

Over the course of the next year or so, we received endowments for my great- great grandparents, great grandparents , a great aunt, 3 great uncles and my Grandfather. I admit, after completing this minor task, I have greater appreciation for those who have dedicated their lives to geneology and temple work for their families. These names rode around in my purse for a long time and considering the scheduLe we have kept over the last 3 years, it is a wonder that I remembered anything much less that I needed to still have these people sealed to each other.
Last week, I found the names in my purse. Yes, it is Feb, 2009!!!

In October when my Grandma Primm passed away, My mother received a letter from her "cousin" Retta, who is amazing ( wife of a pastTemple president & geneological Rottweiler)... She had found some names in my Grandpa Primm's Line that needed work. Mom gave the names to us, and they have sat in my kitchen cupboard..... waiting.... waiting...

The temple is open after it's seasonal closing. Derek and I went yesterday to 'Git 'R' Done, if you will. We had a youth group do our baptisms (4 women, 3 men) and then we did a session. After the session, we had everyone who was able from both sides of the family (double greats on the Ratliff line and triple greats on the PRimm Line) , sealed to their faMiLies. It was an incredible experience for me. I'm not really sure WHO was there with us, but I don't remember EVER feeling like I did yesterday in the temPle. IT was an experience I will not soon forGet!

We still have a few names that need date clarification to make them temple ready.... Gee, I think I will get right on that! :)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Time FLies!

No kidding? IT is nearly FeBruary aLready!
Writings of a crazy-busy family is what we should have called the bLoG...

Brennan and Derek are BLazing the court in BasketBaLL - Derek is heLping to coach
Bren's team this year... practice is only 2 nights each week with one game on Saturday. He also has Scouts one night each week and we have been workinG on Merit Badges like craZy! When is there time for homeWork?

MaDy got GLasses this month - CuTie BagooTie! We are seeing the chalk board much Better these days. MaDy has CHeeR and TumBLing once a week and has workinG hard to prepare for her recital. Their dance team has come a long way this year. Many of the Girls have never taken CHeeR or TumBLing before so Mady and her BFF Jordan look like oLympic Hopefuls!:)

GageR is Just BusY! He is really good at filling his day with things that make him HaPPY. He loves to make PRojects, watch Playhouse Disney, set up his trucks and motorcyles to park under the rugs and recliner, and he loves it when he wakes up to see that it has snowed! Immediately he is lookinG for his BooTs and coaT to go out and shoveL the DriveWay. I am sure the thRill of shoveLing will fade. Gage is loving preSCHOol this month as they stuDy Dinosaurs!

ChLoee had her front teeth fixed... Derek thinks they look a little bit like ChicK-Lets we are grateful that she has teeth. She if finaLLy sLeeping better at night and so are we! She loves to pack a baBy doLL around wrapped in a blanKie. She loves to help unFoLd Laundry and reorganize her dresser drawers. She is woRkinG on beiNG potty trained and we are tRying to take the Bottle away. Wish us LuCK with thaT!

We took a Trip to the CaBin in Island Park over Martin LutHer King HoLidaY. The weather was BeauTiFul and warm enough that we could be outsiDe and enJoy the sNoW. SnoW forts, sledding, being puLLed behind the snow maCHine on a sLeigh, and eating lots of great food. One SatuRday we rented a few sNowmachines and took Grandma & Grandpa Leslie and the kids on a tRail Ride around Island Park. It was GrEAT FUn!

Holli and 2 of her super scrapbook divas went to SaLt LaKe for a weekend of extreME R & R.
We left on Thursday stopped off in ClearfieLd for a Look around "Little Patch- O Heaven" and then after dRinKing in the experience with no chiLdren or HusBands buGGing us to Hurry up, we went to CaFe Rio for some amazing FooD! DE-LiSH! I totally need the homemade TorTiLLa JoB. A remedy for ReLief SocieTY aRms for sure... We spent the next 48 hours in cReAtiVE HaVen at the KimBaLL Condo. Once we were there, we didn't leave the room except to go to the COLa Machine for more beVerages containing the susTaining suBstance of LonGeVitY and occaSionaL ChoCoLaTe for a SeriTOnin BooST. ALL is WeLL! Much was accomPLished and returning to ReALiTy might be somewhat of a ShoCKer, but we wiLL do so with a sMiLe on our Faces, some sPriNg in our steP and with reNeWed coMMiTTment of FuLL SerVice to our FaMiLies. SeReniTy NOW!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

We have done it! We made it through another Holiday season alive! 'Funny how I always have such big plans for the season - the plan is usually for things to be WAY more simplified than the years previous. This year was not the case. I put off the holiday shopping until the week before, and our 2 December Birthdays snuck up on me like a bad pair of undies. At this time I am pledging to be more prepared next year.

Although there was much hustle and bustle, we did enjoy our Holiday break. We spent lots of time with the kids... had sleep overs with friends and cousins, stayed up late, went to the movies, went sledding and snow machine riding at Grandmas, shoveled snow, helped Aunt Steph and Uncle Ron finish their basement, and did our fair share of cleaning and laundry.

Now that we are all relaxed and rested, we will begin another semester of school and hope for the best attempting to get everyone back on schedule!