Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Scott had an over night work trip planned for Monday and Tuesday and he made arrangements so I could go with him and have a little respite. He's so awesome!! Emily his sister was going to watch the kids and he even had arranged for me to have a surprise massage Tuesday afternoon (found this out later). However none of this was meant to be...

Emily spent the night at our home on Sunday and was here Monday during the morning to help me get out the door. I was trying to do laundry, tidy up the kitchen, help Jarom finish his pinewood derby car (which had to be turned in to his troop on Tuesday), feed the kids, tell Emily all about our family routine and how best to handle naps, bedtime, meals, etc...when I noticed Becca was really looking congested and sick. I know even for me my six kids can sometimes be a challenge, especially with my Irish twin girls at the end. So I called my mom to see if she'd be willing to watch Becca while we were gone so Emily would not have to worry about a sick baby in addition to 5 energetic kids. My mom was totally willing and I was very relieved.

Everything seemed to be going great after that. Scott showed up with just enough time to load us up and head for the airport. I settled into the comfy seat in his truck and started thinking about my little vacation as we started to drive to my mom's to drop of Becca. We talked and I could feel a sense of relaxation taking over my body.

We were doing okay on time when we stopped at my mom's. Scott carried Becca in and set down her carrier on the kitchen table when we noticed that she wasn't looking good. She seemed to be having trouble breathing, her cough was worse, and her color looked terrible. However, when I saw her little chest retracting just to get a breath and noticed how fast she was breathing I knew something was wrong. I didn't think she had looked that bad when we left our house, but maybe I'd been so busy with other things I hadn't noticed. I wasn't sure...but I knew that I wasn't going to board any plane until I found out what was going on.

Scott and I decided to fly out later and headed to the Pediatric Urgent care by my mom's. After waiting for 40 minutes we finally got into triage. I was relieved to finally have someone look at her. Maybe we'd find something out now! I knew she looked bad, but when they put the pulse oximeter on her little toe (the machine that measures the oxygen your blood is carrying) flashed 90% I freaked out. That was bad! I wasn't surprised when we were taken straight to a room and not shuffled back into the waiting room which was the standard protocol.

It wasn't to long before the doctor came in and examined her. He ordered a chest X-Ray and within 15 minutes of getting to our room we found out our little girl had double ear infections...oh and yes she also had Pneumonia in her right lobe. I was in shock!!! Becca got a steroid shot, antibiotic shot, and a breathing treatment. Whoa!! Then it was time to check her pulse ox again. I knew if she hadn't made any improvement she'd be getting a one way ticket to the hospital. Thank goodness the pulse ox read 95% which meant we got to take her home! Of course she'd be on a heavy duty antibiotic and breathing treatments, but we got to take her home. WOO-HOO!!

So now we had to figure out what we were going to do. Scott still had to get to LA so he could attend his conference, and I needed to stay with Becca. I was an emotional wreck and since we had Emily already set to watch the kids I stayed at my mom's and just took care of my sick little girl. What a huge blessing it was for me to be able to focus just on Becca. Thanks Emily!!

By the time Scott got home on Tuesday Becca was doing better. She was still quite sick, but didn't require breathing treatments every four hours which was huge. I am so grateful for modern medicine and the ability it has to help us get over sickness. I thought of all those mothers in the past who had lost a baby to pneumonia because there wasn't the medicine or knowledge of what needed to be done to help. The thought of having to watch a little baby struggle to breath (like I watched Becca do for only a short time) until they couldn't breath any longer broke my heart. I am grateful for my blessings and for the gift of having Becca in my arms to enjoy for another day. I know the Lord knows who I am and loves me. I know he wants what is best for me and comforts me when I am in pain. I am so grateful for the knowledge and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


With TV not allowed during the week at our house the kids often get creative when they feel boredom coming on. Maybe some kids embrace boredom but my kids HATE IT!! To Jarom there is nothing worse than being bored. However, when we first started homeschooling he felt bored often and thought it was my job to cure his severe case of boredomitis. My reply was your boredom is your problem, and although I was willing to help him find something to do alone or with was his job to figure out how to cure his affliction not mine. It took him a couple of months to realize I was serious, but ever since then he's done great (most of the time) of coming up with things to do when he isn't reading, doing projects, working on chores, or doing other daily duties.

{family fun?}

Last week I was busy working away when I heard a commotion in the hallway. It was after lunch and the kids were a bit wiggly. I had left Becca happily sitting on the family room floor while I organized some mail in the office. The noise continued to grow in the other room and I started to wonder what was going on, but before I had the chance to investigate my gang of kiddos barged in to show me what they'd been up to. There she was my little chubby Becca smashed into Brea's doll stroller. She looked uncomfortable yet she was smiling because she was the center of attention and obviously pleasing everyone! I can only imagine how they got her in there. I'm glad I wasn't watching as they pushed her plump little body into the small stroller. Jarom asked what I thought, and I could tell all the kids were all proud that they had successfully squeezed big Becca into a little stroller. I smiled and kind of laughed at the silly scene. I made them wait so I could take a picture and then they whisked her off for a roller coaster adventure through the house. Poor girl won't ever be able to repay that favor to a younger sibling since she's our caboose.

{the labeler}
Today my kids gave the label machine a whole new purpose. Like most moms every once in a while I call one child by another child's name. It's not on purpose or anything...I swear! I don't know if the kids were trying to tease me or what, but after lunch Megan found my labeler and got the older kids to voluntarily labeled themselves. I think they knew they weren't suppose to play with my labeler and thought if they got me to laugh they wouldn't get in trouble. Well guess what they were right. I thought this was HILLARIOUS!!! Now if I was just able to have the same easy going reaction to Brea throwing her food on the floor I'd be set. Oh well...its a process.

Anyway it's always good to laugh, and I need to do more of it!!!! Thanks kiddos for a funny memory. I am sure this will go down in our family's history books.

Life on the Farm

{what's been happening}
Over the last two months our lifestyle has really started to change. Since we've moved into our 'farm' we've added 2 dogs, 19 chicks, and a horse to our family. Its an adventure and we are loving the slower rural life. Its funny because a few years ago if you would have said we'd end up in the country I'd have said you were crazy. It wasn't the type of lifestyle I was looking for at all. However, people, books, and things started coming into my life that began to change that idea I had of what I wanted for me and my family. It made me question my motives and paradigms and helped me begin to make a massive shift in the direction I was headed. The Lord certainly knew what I needed because I didn't know this is what I needed. I am so grateful I listened and took that first step even though it was one of the scariest things I've ever done.

As a result of taking that first step a lot of things have happened. First we moved a year ago to Queen Creek by Scott's brother which was awesome. Then I started homeschooling (which I never thought I'd ever do) which has turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. We turned our TV off (okay we maybe watch one movie a week)!! We started reading a TON as a family! I joined a book club on steroids called 5 Pillars...which has pushed me harder than college in many ways. My kids figured out how to get a long better than ever, can play for hours on end using their imaginations, and are the best of friends. My kids are learning how to work (Megan and Jarom especially) without complaining. In December 2008 we moved a little further away from town to a 3 1/2 acre farm and things are better than ever. The ward we moved into is amazing and the kids already have friends and fit in perfectly. Scott and I feel right at home, and we've already made lots of friends with other families. Its been such a blessing to have everything go smooth with the move. The first Sunday we attend the ward after we moved in I felt this overwhelming peaceful feeling. It felt like home and I didn't really know anyone yet. I haven't felt quite like this before, and I feel so blessed to feel so settled and peaceful about where we are in life right now. This is the right place for our entire family to be right now. I know the Lord's hand was in the chain of events that has lead us here. I know He loves each of us and is aware of our unique circumstances and needs. I am so grateful for my testimony of a loving Heavenly Father who has a plan for us and wants us to return to live with Him.


One day I started talking to Jarom about the book I was reading 'The Beginners Guide to Constructing the Universe." Its a pretty cool book! Anyway I started telling him how throughout the universe different shapes and patterns are repeated over and over. One example was the swirling pattern of a universe, tornado, black hole, water going down the drain, etc... Later he came in and showed me how with the wax from a candle in our hall bathroom he could see his fingerprint and guess what there was that swirly pattern again. He also noticed how each fingerprint was so different, so we talked about how no two fingerprints are the same. It was a great discussion! Learning happens all the time...sometimes planned sometimes not planned. Its all a matter of taking advantage of the opportunity when it appears. I don't always capitalize on these opportunities, but I'm trying to!!

{the lawn mower}
Scott tried to mow our new lawn with our push mower, but after 30 minutes and hardly making a dent we decided we needed something a little more powerful and quick. So we started looking on Craig's List for a used one. We had NO idea how expensive a riding lawnmower was. After almost two months of looking we found one that worked and was in our price range. WOO-HOO! I am not sure if Jarom and Scott realized this is a tool NOT a toy. Oh well I guess when you can make work fun its a WIN-WIN!! It cracked me up on Saturday when Scott decided to mow the backyard real quick. He had the biggest grin you ever saw and followed up the job by taking the mower out to our dirt area and doing a few 360's!! Gotta Love It!!

Jarom likes to pull up the blade and take the mower for a few spins around the yard and the other kids LOVE going along for the ride too! Sometimes I get a bit scared having my 9 year old with a 20 horse power motor under his control. AHHHH!

{Going Healthy}
A few weeks ago Scott went out of town. I had a ton of laundry to do so on Saturday I flipped the TV on and we all vegged in front of the TV for a few hours (something we don't normally do). At first we were watching ice skating, which is one of my favorite sports to watch. However, when that ended we started by default watching an infomercial on juicers. Before I knew it Jarom and I were hooked, and then Jarom started begging me to get the juicer. He swore he'd start drinking juice and commented on how our family could really use it so we could be more healthy. I caved in when they marked it down to 3 easy payments of $49.95 or something and I ordered it. It finally came a week ago and we've actually used it quite a few times and the juice is awesome. All the kids (except Megan) love the juice and I'm working on her getting out of her chicken nugget and ranch kick and try new things. We'll see how that works out, but as for the rest of us we are starting to get a little more healthy by drinking 100% real juice.

{the co-op}

We are part of a babysitting co-op in our new ward. There are three families all together and its GREAT! We've never been in something like this before (I think because we have so many kids) and its been super fun for us and for the kids. We swap babysitting three Fridays a month and then on the fourth Friday we have a game night with all the kids and adults. We hosted game night last week and went swimming first (our pool is heated right'll be interesting to see what that's going to cost us...ahhh) and then turned a movie on for the kids while the adults played games. This is what the kids looked like after the movie was over. HILARIOUS!!! There were sleeping kids everywhere.

{My Birthday...the big 32}
My mom and Scott made my birthday rock! My mom called the day before my birthday and offered to watch my kids...she ended up taking them around 2pm on the 5th and kept them overnight until 9 or 10 the next morning. Thanks Mom you are the best. I don't think she realized how awesome this was. It was one of the best gifts ever. To have a day to get caught up on all the things I can't do usually which was fantastic. I LOVE homeschooling, but because I have 6 kids with me at all times I don't get out much which gets me behind on things that require getting out. Anyway it was perfect and I loved hanging out with Scott the whole time. THANK YOU BOTH!!!

{Valentines Day}
Parker is awesome!!! He needed to earn some money to go on a trip with his music group called Light and so he sold singing telegrams for Valentines Day. I was totally surprised when I answered the door and there he was!! What a treat...its something I'll always remember. The best part was he earned the rest of the money he needed for his trip. Way to go Parker!!

After Parker left I ended up working on my Gospel Doctrine lesson until 7:30 so instead of a romantic dinner (we didn't have time for that because of me) we ate a hot dog and nachos at the movie theater and watched Taken. All the restaurants had an hour long wait. After the movie we hit Village Inn for a little pie. We had a great time even though it wasn't your typical Valentines Date.

{horse hunting}
We've been on the 'farm' now for 2 months almost and we're itching for a horse. We knew our first horse needed to be old and gentle and after looking and riding (that was fun) a few different horses we settled on Titan. He's a 20 year old retired ranch horse that is gentle and slow. Just what we needed. (Although Scott is ready to have a horse he can run...scary.) The kids love him and after having their riding teacher come check him out and give him a thumbs up we are excited to add him to the family. Scott's been so cute checking up on him and keeps looking out at the pasture and saying...I can't believe we really have a horse.

We got Titan on Monday and on Tuesday when Scott got home from work he went right out to the pasture (before he even came in to give me a kiss...) and tried to saddle him up and take him for a ride. After about 10 minutes of watching the horse run away from Scott Jarom went out and taught Scott how to ketch the horse and get him saddled up. Within 5 minutes of Jarom's lesson Scott was up on the horse and trotting around. SO FUN!!

{the golf cart}
So last Thursday a week ago I guess my mom called. Her neighbor was selling a used golf cart for really cheap and she thought we ought to get it. We drove down there and Scott stopped by after work and it was just what we needed. However we wanted to do a little more research to see if it was really a good deal. After looking on Craig's List we realized it was a good deal and decided to go for it. I think we'll use it a ton to fertilize the garden, trees, feed the horse, and chickens, etc... So far its been fun and the kids have had a blast riding around in circles.

{the chicks}
The cutest....I think this is our cutest chick. Its called a Frizle and its feathers actually grow up instead of down. So backwards basically. It looks like its feathers are curly and its so cute and puffy. I really like this little guy that the kids call Frizzie.

The ugliest...this is Vulture, or at least that's what we call him. He's a weird breed that don't grow feathers on their necks. The feed store said they grow up to look like vultures hence where the name came from. They had quite a few of them when we got our chickens but I only let the kids get two (and one of them died from being overly loved I think). So we are down to one ugly vulture. It'll be interesting to see what she ends up looking like.

{Blue and Gold}

For this year's Blue and Gold Banquet they asked the boys to bring a cake or pie that they made and decorated. Jarom took this very seriously and asked his Nana to come help him decorate his cake. On Tuesday morning Jarom made the cake 100% by himself including clean up. I was very proud of him. That afternoon when Nana came he made the frosting and decorated it mostly by himself with just a little guidance from his Nana. He was so proud of his cake and I have to admit it looked AWESOME!!! It was definitely the best on there. Way to go dude!!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

TWO FREE seminars by Dan Ralphs on March 14th!!!

{Dan is coming}
Okay I am SO EXCITED!!! Dan Ralphs has agreed to come down on March 14th and give TWO FREE seminars/lectures or whatever you want to call them. I've been begging him to come down for a while now and finally it's worked out. WOO-HOO!! Thanks Dan!!!!

{Saturday, March 14th}
So mark your calendars because you aren't going to want to miss out on this. Here's a little about him...

{Who's the heck is Dan Ralphs?}
Dan Ralphs is a native of Ukiah, California. He holds a Master's Degree in Education from George Wythe College. A popular speaker Mr. Ralphs has lectured in eleven different states and three different countries on a variety of subjects including education, leadership, personal success and politics. After years of working for George Wythe College, one of the premier leadership schools in the nation, he has returned to his true love, teaching. Mr. Ralphs currently is teaching at Williamsburg Academy, a small leadership-focused private school, where he is the primary mentor of 16 "very talented" high school age students. He is married to the former Allison Schnepf and they reside in Enoch, Utah with their three children Jay, Malia and Caleb.

{TWO FREE events}
I know it seems to good to be true, but Dan's agreed to hold two FREE events on Saturday, March 14th. One for the youth ages 12-18 that afternoon about Living in the Sweet Spot, and one for the adult that evening from 5:30-9:00 all about the book The Fourth Turning.

For the Youth:
12-18 years old
12:30-2:00 (light refreshment included)
Living Life in the Sweet Spot! It seems that some of the unavoidable feelings of life include: awkward, clumsy, frumpy, plain, unstylish, overwhelmed, out of place, and bored. In "Living Life in the Sweet Spot", I hope to shed some light on how you can bump into your sweet spot, your groove, your niche, your mojo.
*Dan's going to be giving this same lecture to the youth that attend the Salt Lake TJed Forum, so it will be AWESOME to have him come give it to our youth too!!!

For the Adults:
5:30-6:30 Potluck Dinner (Great time to mingle and get to know other homeschooling families in the area better!)
6:30-8:30 Fourth Turning Lecture by Dan
8:30-9:30 Wrap up...possibly Q&A
The Fourth Turning! Dan will be shedding some light on and helping us understand more about the concepts and themes presented in the book The Fourth Turning. With the way things are going right now this seems like the perfect time to learn more about these fascinating cycles that seem to consistently happen over and over throughout time. Where are we in the cycle and what can we expect for the future? Come join us for an incredible nigh

All the events will be held at our home in Queen Creek (Ironwood/Ocotillo) I'll email directions out later!

{RSVP Today}
If you are interested in attending either event please either leave a comment with your email address or email me directly at Space will be limited.
*Please include which seminar you'll be attending, how many will be coming, and an email address I can contact you at. THANKS!!!