May 31, 2011

End of the School Year!!!

I can't wait for school to be over!! I love letting my kids sleep in, not doing homework, hanging out at the pool all day, sipping on snow cones, & not having to be anywhere, especially school.
I love the Summer!!!

Only 6 more days of school left...
It seems Moms have to be there a lot during the last few days of school.
Here are a few photos from my recent visits to Lone Peak Elementary.

Hayden loved Kindergarten - especially riding the bus!!
His teacher was Mrs. Gaither. She figured him out quickly and they got along great!!
Mackay LOVED 3rd grade. He LOVED his teacher Ms. Jacobs. She is moving to 4th grade and gave each child/parent a paper to sign if they wanted her for a teacher. Mackay and I couldn't sign it fast enough. He can't wait to be out in the portable for a second year in a row.
For their Zoo Exhibit, Mackay chose to do the Panther (because it is the University of Pittsburgh's mascot - he is so funny). He did great - 100%!!
Kenzie has done many after school projects this year. Honors Choir - Talent Show - even a little dance. Last Wednesday was her regular Choir Concert. She was asked to play her guitar for a medley of Tarzan songs. She did great. On a side note, her choir teacher played the piano for my dance classes growing up. He even took me out a few times. He is extremely talented on the piano... (just ask Manda - :)) Mr. Abbott was Kenzie's FAVORITE TEACHER!!
All my kids loved their teachers and did great this year
- but I still can't wait for it to be over and Summer to start!!

May 16, 2011


I always say that I have the BEST husband... but really... I Do !
Aaron had a ortho training in Chicago this weekend. He invited me.
THEN.... he invited my sister, Manda, and her two girls.
Jenn was willing to watch my kids (& stinky dog).
They had a BLAST!! And so did we!!

Thursday -
We arrived in Chicago. Aaron got his own personal welcome at the airport.
Then we walked around the city in the beautiful sunshine - 80 degrees!! Ahhh.... :)

Friday -
The Hatches arrive!
We went swimming, did make-up, tried to go somewhere fun for lunch but ended up at McDonald's (with an escalator) ... at least the girls got a TOY!! (wink,wink, Manda).
It was too cold and windy to walk around the city
so we went back to the swimming pool until Aaron got out of class.

We ate at the Rainforest Cafe for dinner. While the adults talked,
Aly & Jane looked curiously at the elephant standing right next to our table.
Jane was content to look but Aly wanted to touch...
so she reached high and low and crawled into a hidden cupboard to explore!!!
While reaching into that hidden cupboard, Aly snapped her fingers in a huge
She cried and cried.
We iced her little red and puffy fingers until she felt better.
Aaron took the girls to see some of the other animals in the restaurant,
and I informed the waiter about his gross mouse-trap.
Our waiter told his manager, who came to apologize and get Manda's info - "just in case".
Then another manager came by with two bags of goodies for the girls.
The bags were filled with lots of toys, binoculars, light-up cups, etc... they Scored!!
So did we ---
they removed both children's entrees and the $15 dessert we ordered to share.
Thank You Aly!!!

Saturday -
We took a boat tour and huddled in the covered area - fighting for a table.
Once off the boat, we went to board a Double-Decker bus for a city tour.
But we missed the bus and had to wait for another one... which usually comes every 10-15 minutes - but lucky us.... we got to wait even longer because the street/bridge had to open up for the passing boats. It was cold. It was wet. It took forever.
Manda ran around with her kids to keep them warm. I kept our place in line to assure a covered seat, and Aaron went to watch the boats pass.
We road the bus for a while, then decided we were done and hungry.
We got off to find a restaurant for lunch... but after walking in wind and pouring down rain,
(we seriously looked like we had jumped in a swimming pool) the only restaurant in sight was Dirk's Last Resort. It was bright and colorful!! I thought it would be perfect for the kids.
But after the waiter said the "S" word three times while taking our drink order, I wondered if we should have gone back to McDonald's. Jane asked why on her kids menu word search she needed to find the words "booger", "toot", and "puke".
I told Manda "Stick with us. We'll show you a good time".
Manda had to take the child menu home "just to show Brett"... :(
We swam some more at the hotel before the Hatches headed home.
It was so fun spending time with Manda and her girls.
It was as if she never moved "far far away".
Aaron and I went out for Chicago Pizza and packed up to head home to Utah the next morning.
Although the weather was crappy!! The city was beautiful.
I loved all the flowers in window boxes, on fences, and in the center of streets.
It was a fun city and a great getaway!!
Thank you again:
Jenn & Scott for letting my kids invade your quiet, peaceful home.
Aly for snapping your fingers so we could eat dessert free.
and especially Aaron for inviting me
AND letting me spend a few days with my sister and her girls.
You really are the best!!

May 10, 2011

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

May is Melanoma Awareness Month!
May is also the month we celebrate Mother's Day!!

It is because of Melanoma that I get to stand in a cemetery on Mother's day
to wish a headstone with my mom's name on it a "Happy Mother's Day"!!
Too many of us know someone who has had melanoma or is fighting it.
My family knows how hard the fight is.
We didn't get the happy ending but we all learned so much during my mom's battle.
We felt your prayers.
Here are a few families that could use our prayers:
(click on the name and read their stories) ...
I am sure you know many more....

When the SUN finally comes out --
Enjoy it but don't forget to Wear Sunscreen!!

May 9, 2011

a HAPPY Mother's Day

As I said before, I was looking forward to a HAPPY Mother's Day with no tears of sadness. And that is exactly what it was - HAPPY!! My sweet husband surprised me with flowers and a very unexpected gift... (story to come)... My boys couldn't wait to present their poems, coupons, and school-made cards. Kenzie wrote me a sweet note AND wasn't the "last one in the car" for church. ;)
At church, I helped gather all the primary children onto the stand so they could sing "Mother, I Love You" which probably would have made me cry, if I wasn't herding them up and down. Then, I worked up a full sweat running around primary putting the Mother's Day Gifts together. So No Tears at church!!
But I could have cried tears of JOY when I heard a little voice in the microphone singing a SOLO!!! ( I know we aren't supposed to take pictures in church, but I couldn't resist.) "My life is a gift. My life has a plan. My life has a purpose, in heaven it began..." He sang the entire song!!!! My heart melted!!!
After church, Aaron made dinner happen and I plopped myself on the couch and watched the NBA Basketball games. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Lakers get swept!! :) I had planned to go to the cemetery to take flowers to Mom's grave, but it was SO RAINY!!! I had almost given up on getting there, when Adam and Steph called. They stopped by with their rain coats and some beautiful tulips from their yard. I added a few more and we headed up to the cemetery to wish Mom a Happy Mother's Day.

I am so blessed.
I had a wonderful mother teach me how to be a mom.
She loved me and always made me feel special.
I miss her but I am so grateful she was my mom.

I am so blessed.
I have a kind and loving husband.
I am far from perfect but he doesn't care.
He is patient and loves me anyway.
AND... he thinks I am a good mom.

I am so blessed.
I have good kids.
They each have their own strengths, ideas, and personalities.
They are perfect in my eyes.
As their mom, I make lots of mistakes.
I mess up and have to apologize.
They constantly forgive me.
They can't get in their beds without a kiss from mom and an "I love you."
I really am so blessed!

I hope you all enjoyed a HAPPY Mother's Day too.

May 7, 2011

I Got to Call Her "Mom"

A few weeks ago, I decided that this Mother's Day I wasn't going to dwell on the fact that I didn't have a mom here to celebrate on Mother's Day. Rather then feel sad, I would enjoy the day and be happy. Having set this goal, I have unexpectedly spent the last three days ridding myself of many tears. I am embarrassed to say that I have caught a few friends off-guard with my uncontrollable blubbering. My poor husband has had to patiently wait for me to finish my bawl session, reapply make-up, and dab a swollen and red face, so that we can carry on about our day. But I intend to keep my goal.

Tomorrow, I will wake up happy. I will allow my sweet kids to pamper me with their darling school-made gifts. I will let Aaron figure out dinner. I will smile. And I will enjoy the day, knowing how blessed I am to have three little people call me "Mom." Because I know that being a mom is such a great blessing that not everyone gets to enjoy.

But, it felt strange not to honor my mom on my blog. This blog is my journal. Sometimes it is an "over-share" and sometimes it is a "bragging zone". But it is a place to jot down my feelings, desires, frustrations, and memories. So... on this Mother's Day eve, I want to wish my mom a Happy Mother's Day.
I wish she was still here so I COULD celebrate her. She was my best friend and the greatest example of what a MOTHER really is. Tonight I miss her. Tonight I am sad. But my heart is filled with gratitude. I know how lucky I am. I know how blessed I was. Because for 35 years, I got to call her "Mom".

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!!

May 5, 2011

Backyard Projects

Our Backyard is beautiful but had a dumb lay-out.
Our deck off the kitchen was small, so family parties were held down on the patio. Which required a lot of extra work because there weren't stairs or a pathway to get down there, yada yada yada. It was a dumb layout.

We have ALWAYS wanted a bigger deck and stairs to get down to the patio
-- oh and we have always wanted a Pizza Oven too.
So....... We decided it was time to fix the problems.
We made our deck bigger (no pictures) and added stairs
(I won't go into the details on the stairs.
They are done and we won't use that company again - enough said).
And we built a fireplace with a Pizza Oven.
(the people we used for the fireplace were awesome. We would use them again.)
Now if the weather would warm up...
We could have a Pizza Party and Roast S'mores!!!