Sunday, November 14, 2010

A wonderful list...

"Lessons I endeavor to help my children embrace so that they may be healthy, whole human beings, capable of living an abundant life:"

• Trust God.

• Be curious.

• Read. Read. Read.

• Help the underdog.

• Entertain thoughts.

• Set goals.

• Observe nature.

• Have compassion.

• Discuss ideas.

• Do hard things.

• Create: Build. Paint. Plant. Draw. Sing. Bake. Play an instrument.

• Care for your body.

• Follow through.

• Appreciate beauty.

• Ask questions.

• Take responsibility.

• Eat good food.

• Play hard.

• Plant a garden.

• Try new things.

• Share with others.

• Manage your personal finances. Well.

• Solve problems.

• Plan for the future.

• Keep house. Well.

• Prepare for emergencies.

• Nurture relationships.

• Travel.

• Give of yourself.

• Value truth.

• Keep your word.

• Smell the flowers.

• Pick up after yourself.

• Use time wisely.

• Encourage others.

• Laugh. A lot.

• Brave storms.

• Cultivate a spirit of gratitude.

• Find passion for life.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Staying up late, hanging out, and loving it!!

[Life is about RELATIONSHIPS!!!]
With the weather being SO AMAZING...we've been bending our bed time routine a little. I guess I've felt a little less worried about sticking to our normal routine, because we are on a modified homeschool style fall break this week.

Anyway, its been great!! We've been staying up late, playing outside, and just bonding as a family. Last night after dinner, we put the two little girls to bed, then headed outside for a few hours.

[So what did we do?!]
1. Play catch!! Scott and the kids played a fun game of catch for 20-30 minutes which the kids just loved. It was impressive how good they all were at judging where the ball would come down.

2. Let's get our SWING on: Then I felt like I was back in elementary school as we all laughed and swung on the swing set. I don't know what it is about swinging, but it just makes me feel young, carefree, and alive...I know I'm a bit crazy.

3. Race, race, race: The funniest thing that happened last night was that for probably the last 30-45 minutes all the kids wanted to do was race. We raced as a family, they each took a turn racing themselves against the clock, they tried to race against the dog, and finally they convinced grandma to let them race her. What a HOOT!!

Sometimes I have to remind myself that life is really about relationships, NOT about schedules, agendas, or projects. What does this means I put God and my family first. It means that I'm dialed 100% into my family most of the time, and not distracted by less important things. It means I lead a simple life...always trying to keep my priorities straight and my focus on my Savior. Sometimes its just plain hard. I like my projects, my quiet time, my schedules, and my agendas.

['WE' Projects NOT 'ME' Projects]
However, if it ever feels like my kids are getting in the way of me getting my stuff done, that is when I know I've totally missed the point. Life is about building relationships with others, and when you have a family one of the most important areas to do this is by building REAL, deep, and meaningful relationships with your family, by working together, playing together, learning together, talking together. I've found that most of my 'ME' projects, have become 'WE' projects. What a HUGE AMAZING gift this paradigm shift has been for me. Its a balancing act that's for sure, but I'm learning a TON!! I'm a happier mom, a better wife, and feel A TON more fulfilled as a woman.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Meg is growing up!!!

[Salt Dough]

Last week Megan was talking to her friend Olivia about the Salt Dough creations they had made as a family. She was just in love with the salt dough necklace hanging around her neck, and wanted to go home and make some up that very next day.

The problem was we had CoOp the next day, and then on Saturday we had TONS of work projects, and on Sunday we just plain ran out of time. Needless to say, Megan was a very disappointed little girl on Sunday night.

As I tucked Meg into bed that night, she asked again if we could PLEASE make the dough tomorrow. We are on 'Fall Break' so our days are a lot more open than normal, so I said sure, and suggested that she wake up and try to make it on her own.

I totally forgot about it after that, but Meg didn't. She woke up early Monday morning, found the recipe online, and made the dough totally by her self. She then rolled out the dough, and used cookie cutters to cut the very salty dough into Halloween shapes. SO FUN!!! I couldn't believe all that she had done (she had even cleaned up the mess)...she really is growing up on me, and I'm so proud of her.

The next few hours were spent baking the dough and painting the dough. The kids had a blast.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What a weekend?!

[Ginger MIA]
Saturday we had kind of a crazy day. I went to Costco and Scott went to pick up his parents from the airport. When we got back our sweet dog Ginger was missing. We looked everywhere, and we totally confused. She never got out...why would she leave...where would she go?! Finally I remembered that the day before she had been acting strange. On Friday she'd been shivering quite a bit. I knew the weather was getting colder, but I was surprised that she was shivering so bad. Then on Friday night she kept whimpering by the back door. I went and checked on her, but could see what the problem was and didn't think of it again.

After I told Scott this he thought maybe she was hurt and hiding somewhere in our yard. So, he went back outside to look again. He came back in a few minutes later with a huge grin on his face. He asked the kids, "What's the Greek God of fertility or love?" The kids and I were confused. "Aphrodite" we answered back not sure what he was talking about. Well, Scott smiled even bigger now. I think Aphrodite has visited us again. WHAT?! Ginger wasn't missing, she was hiding under the slide, and she's had a puppy.

We were such ding dongs that we didn't even realize she was pregnant. Our neighbor's dog had jumped over into our yard about 2 months ago...lucky us we now have a little mixed breed puppy. I just couldn't help from laughing at the ridiculous situation we were in...yet again. In May our cat had 2 kittens and we didn't even know she was pregnant...and now it was happening with our dog. STRANGE!!

Here we are after discovering the new puppy with our new animals...4 kittens and 1 puppy. WOW!!!
[EGGS, EGGS, and more EGGS]

With the weather getting cooler, we are finally starting to see and increase in our egg production. Today Cooper (who's job it is to bring in the eggs each morning) brought in 9 eggs. WOO-HOO!!


During the summer I had this great idea to paint a few squares using black magnetic paint. I thought it would be great to be able to use magnets to post a picture, or project from one of the kids. The issue was: 1. I never finished the product as I thought I would (meaning I never framed in the black paint). Which meant the edges of the black paint weren't totally straight and looked lame. 2. The paint wasn't that the pictures were always falling down...lame again.

SO, I decided we'd just repaint the room, cover the black paint up, and start over. (Scott was a totally good sport to run with me on this one). The room is a light pinky color, so I'm more than happy to use the left over paint from another project to spruce up this room a bit. However, I do have to admit, I'd forgotten what a big project painting is. :)

Saturday afternoon Scott, Megan, and I worked hard on prepping the room by taping everything off. I'm hoping we can paint on Monday and Tuesday and then start putting the room back together so its all ready for school again on Monday!!


Two or three months ago Scott and I both, within weeks of each other, cracked the glass on our iPhones. We'd both just been living with it...until TODAY!! Scott finally found a DIY kit online to replace the otherwise VERY expensive glass. It was a pretty intensive project, and took him and Jarom about 2 hours to complete, but now our phones look brand new again. What a champ. It was a little touch and go there for a while. I was nervous as I saw my phone opened up and spread out on the counter.

[Sunday morning activity]

With the weather so great the kids and I can't get enough of the out doors. We've been cooped up all summer, and are just loving this wonderful weather. So, I decided to pull out the paints this morning before church. We had a lovely time, but Scott out-lawed me from ever painting prior to church again, and I can't blame him. Most shirts got paint on them...but boy oh boy did we have a great time.

I guess I'll have to think of something else for next week. Susan, told me about a great little Sunday activity sheet she made for her children when they were younger. I think its a great idea, and am already excited about making something like that up. To bad painting won't be on the BEFORE church list.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Dr. Mom?!

[Nursing School]
Going to school as a nurse taught me TONS of things that I will be forever grateful for...but one of the things it taught me was that a lot of the medicine we take isn't all that good for us. Don't get me wrong I think Western Medicine is AMAZING...especially with emergency situations!!! However, now that I'm a mom, and I'm not working in the hospital I seem to see a lot more cuts, runny noses, coughs, fevers, upset tummies, burned fingers, head aches, bug bites, bruises, sore muscles, ear aches, crying kids, hormonal mom, etc... Which most of the time isn't an emergency situation, and usually something I can't do much about.

I always wanted to do more to help my family with these small...but HUGE things. For instance I've been wanting to help Jarom out with his difficulty getting to sleep, make a burned finger feel better, help a cut stop bleeding, or just get rid of that yucky runny nose (especially when it starts to turn green...ICK!!). But I didn't know what to do most of the time. Then, I started to realize that quite a few of my friends were using these weird things called essential oils to help them doctor up their kids.

I started doing research...what were these oils, why did they work, where did they come from, why wasn't everyone using them, ect... What I found out was amazing. Essential oils have been around forever. They are basically concentrated herbs that are super duper powerful. I just LOVE them. Here are a few reasons why:

[My Proof]
1. Megan was eye, cough, and fever. With the help of my friend Sarah's oils she was better within 24 hours.
2. Becca (who's 2) two days later got even more sick than Megan. She had everything Megan, but even worse, PLUS a terrible green runny nose, and was totally lethargic. Again I called Sarah and she was better within 36 hours.
3. Becca burned her finger on a hot cookie sheet. She was totally crying, (by this time I had purchased a few oils of my own) and so I put some lavender on it. Within 30 seconds she was totally calmed down, and had completely forgotten about it.
4. Jarom got bad allergies, and could barely breath. We finally looked up his symptoms in the oil book, applied some oils, and within 1 hour he was breathing great again, and felt better.
5. Jarom has trouble sleeping, but ever since I've put lavender on him at night he has slept better and tells me every night how much it helps, and asks to please put some on.
6. Brea started getting a running (greenish) color nose. I put some oils on her and within 24 hours it was gone.
7. Scott had sore muscles, and I put some oils on it and they felt tons better.
8. Me...anytime I get a headache(which seems like it happens every day) I put on some oil and my headache is gone within 30 minutes...LOVE IT!!

[Dr. Mom]
I'm sure there are even more reasons why my life as a Mom has been much improved since I discovered oils. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that I have something that is totally natural, non-invasive, non-toxic, and actually works that I can use when my family has a little health issue. It brings me peace, and makes me happy knowing that I really can care for my family in a more whole-istic, nurturing way!!! The best part really is that it WORKS!! WOO-HOO!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


After at least a year of my kids begging to PLEASE do Karate, I finally gave in. Why?! Because I figure after asking for that long it isn't a passing phase, and they actually really want to do it. Jarom had researched all types of Karate, and had been teaching the kids about it. So, when I was able to find a Karate studio that was close to our house, had a family rate, and great flexibility with the classes they offered we tried it out.

We started in August and the kids just LOVE it. They always want to go and are practicing their moves constantly at home. In fact they love it so much that Jarom and Megan have created their very own customized at home workouts for themselves. Their instructor told them they really needed to practice and work out at home, and my kiddos took this very seriously. While I was reading to the two oldest tonight Megan was busy doing squats, sit ups, burpies, crunches, and loads of other work out type activities. I just love my kids!!

The last week of September was our first belt testing. Not only did all of them move up a belt (Jarom and Megan to Yellow, and my two little ones to White-Yellow), this now meant that Jarom and Megan could start assisting with the Little Dragon class (Cooper and Hyrum's class). Today was the first time they had a chance to, and they were on cloud 9!! It was so fun to see them out there helping out.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


So this year we are in the most AMAZING little CoOp...actually its called The Totally Amazing CoOp or TACO for short. Its kind of a long story...but anyway it stuck, and now every Friday from 9:30-12:00 we have our Love of Learning, and Core classes for all the kiddos. Its been a BLAST, and my kids just LOVE it!!

This summer we kicked off our planning for the CoOp with the most amazing 13 hour (literally) planning and bonding session. I'm SO GLAD we snapped this picture before we wrapped it up for the night. I felt like I really got to know these wonderful woman and their amazing kids that day, which gave me perspective and a unique foundation for our CoOp!!

What's been almost as fun (for me at least), is the two hour lunch at the park that has kind of become a TACO tradition. I love it because I get to talk to all these wonderful women for a few hours, and get inspired and uplifted. Its a total win win...the kids play, the moms talk, and everyone is happy.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Filling our time with the BEST things!!!

[The Wii]
I have a HUGE confession to make. After baby number 6 (which came only ONE year and 5 days after baby number 5) I broke down and purchased myself a little babysitter called the Wii. I remember coming home from the hospital overwhelmed, a bit frantic, and just plain scared. How in the world was I going to handle 6 kids ages 8 and under. The Wii was my temporary solution to keeping the kids quiet, and entertained while I figured out how I was going to adjust to this new addition to our family.

Once we introduced the Wii into our home it was unthinkable to my kids to remove it. Sometimes gently or other times quite abruptly we would yank the thing out of our home hoping it would never return. However, in some degree it always found its way back in. At first it would only consume a little of our time, but eventually it would take up more and more of our very precious resource TIME. I found that most of the time having the Wii on (especially during the week) caused contention, frustration, and irritable kiddos. I kept thinking I could figure out a way to create a balance, but I couldn't (which was probably totally my fault, due to inconsistency among other things).

FINALLY, two years after bringing it into our home, we semi-permanently lent out our Wii, to a home that can handle the distraction. And we FINALLY limited our family's electronic gaming time to ONLY Saturdays for 2 hours. Miracles started to happen in our home, as a result of the change, but an interesting by-product emerged. We had 5-6 weeks left of summer when we yanked the Wii, and cut out basically all electronic gaming and movie watching.

We hadn't started school time yet (we homeschool), and so we had a lot of FREE time (about 2 hours each day) that I had previously (yes I partially justified it because it was summer) allowed the kids to play computer, Wii games, OR watch a movie each day. I was curious what the kids would do with all this empty time.

I talked to the kids about it, and made myself available to play games, build forts, play with toys, or whatever... I wanted to help the kids discover new, even better, and more satisfying ways to fill their time. However, they didn't need me at all. They figured something out on their own.

They immediately began printing off FREE coloring pages from the internet, and carefully coloring them. They made games out the pictures, laminated their favorite ones, and even putting together binders of their pictures. It was crazy, but they quickly filled up the 2 hours previously used for electronic time with out ever complaining or even requesting Wii, computer, or movie time. Maybe it was because I had been very clear on the new expectations...but I think it helped that the Wii was gone, the TV was in my closet, and I was very clear that the computer was only to be used for very specific reasons during the week.

So began the Martineau Paper Saga...resulting in elimination of 3 rems of paper in 2 weeks. I still can't believe that!! Most of the time they were printing and coloring Pokemon pages, but we also had our fair share of princess and animal pictures to color too. They were happy, working together, and enjoying each other's company.

[Let's take it up a notch]
I was was a good temporary transition from where we were to where we wanted to be...however after 2 or 3 weeks of this I came to the conclusion it was time to move on. I wanted to INSPIRE them to fill this time with an even more meaningful activity. We had baby steped ourselves out of filling these 2 hours with electronic time, but it was time to take it up a notch. It was time to learn to draw and paint ourselves...we COULD do this. (However, I don't have any artistic training...or talent really so how was I going to do this?!)

(All the drawings below, are Jarom's, he's really really good!!!)

I researched and researched and researched for a week or two...trying to find something to help us all figure out how to draw. I'd actually been looking for something all summer to no avail, but now I was on a mission, so I looked even harder. I was ready for my kids to stop printing blank coloring pages, and start to draw on their own. I'd recently been reviewing and reading all about the power of drawing and observation from Charlotte Mason, and I wanted even more to teach these skills to my kids.

[The Skill of Drawing]
FINALLY, I found something. I was recommend by a fellow homeschooler to Mark Kistler's books. I thought they looked great, but was worried that with someone so incompetent at drawing as I was, that the books would be over my head. SO then I did a little Google search, and found his website, and decided it was the PERFECT thing for our family.

Over the last month all my kids have started to fill their time with drawing. Jarom especially has enjoyed learning the skill of drawing, and will hardly go anywhere without his sketch pad, and drawing pencils. Its AMAZING to see what he's been able to learn in the last month...WOW!! The best part is that I'm learning right along with my kids.

For school we often pull out our 'school' sketch pads, and draw something from the history, science, reading, etc... lesson we worked on that day. It helps us remember the concepts, observe the details, learn with more clarity, and probably more important than anything else it has strengthened our relationship, as we've all sat around the table, and just enjoyed this sweet simple time together.

[Good, Better, Best]

Its amazing what happens when we really try to fill our time with the BEST things. I know this post is about a very small thing, but I feel anytime we can make better use of our time (like replacing our electronic time with time spent learning a new skill) that we will be blessed. TIME is one of our most precious resources in this life, and yes there is a small amount of time for amusement and entertainment as we know it today, there are so many things we can be engaged in that will help edify, lift us, and help us grow and those are the BEST things that most of our time should be spent on. Wouldn't it be great if we could always spend our time on ONLY THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE!!! I pray I will always know what the BEST thing for me and my family to be doing with our time is!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Please can we open The Closet??!!!

These words were music to my ears!!! All week my kids have been BEGGING to be able to use the 'locked' closet. They've looked inside of it (on a few precious occasions to just see what this unattainable 'closet' held). This gave me a GREAT opportunity to explain to them what the closet is, and how we'd be using it. I explained to the kids that we'd be using it in during our afternoon structured family time, but since we were currently on a two week Fall Break that we probably wouldn't start using it until we started up our structured family time again. They were TOTALLY bummed.

So, I made a plan. Monday and Tuesday Scott was home, and the family had a STAYcation, so we didn't have closet time...much to the kids chagrin. Wednesday, was cleaning day (oh yes the kids loved this). So finally today, I had promised the kids it was family day. We would just play together, and so FINALLY it was time to open the closet for its inaugural debut. I said we could do structured family learning time for about an hour, but Megan asked if we might be able to do it longer if we were still having fun after an hour. I said we could probably do that, but I'd have to see. (hehehehe my little plan was working).

So we opened the closet up, and the kids went crazy. They began looking at everything, and each picked out something to do. Megan was interested in learning about it was discovered, how to make it, etc... (I happen to include in the closet a little kit all about chocolate that I've had for months). Jarom was interested in the watercolor book. Cooper took out the Scrabble Apple game, and wanted to play it with me. Hyrum, was so busy looking at everything else he didn't really know what to think, but eventually thought painting sounded fun.

[So what is in my closet?!]







Science experiments, tools, and lots more!!!


In the end we all started out painting. We all sat outside, (okay let's be real my little girls, ages 2 and 3, just played), but the rest of us painted for close to an hour. It was a BLAST!! My visiting teacher even stopped by during our painting session, and joined us for a little water coloring. So, I'm not going to lie...we are really not that great, but boy it was just plain fun to sit with the kids, talk, enjoy the weather, and hang out. It was the experience or should I say process of just being with eachother NOT necessarily the finished product that mattered.

Allison was over for part of the day, and being the super fun aunt she is...she helped Megan learn about, and then make chocolate. Of course this happened during hour 2 or 2 1/2 of our structured family time. I couldn't believe the kids were still going. We had been painting for an hour, then ate lunch, cleaned up lunch and the painting and finally got around to round two of closet time. I was so glad Alli was able to do this...because it allowed me to head outside for a smashing game of Scrabble Apple with Cooper. (Yes these are even more games that are now in the closet).


I think the kids stayed engaged in our Structured Family Time for 3 hours, but finally I had to blow the whistle because, it was getting late, and we had a date with Nana to learn how to crochet. So, off we went to hang out with Nana for a few hours, before we needed to go to the wonderful EVMCO.


All in all I think it was a smashing success using The Closet as a tool to engage the kids to learn, work together, and build relationships. I can't wait for many more successful days with The Closet in the future.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our first 'Sabbath Week'

Last week I was reading a really great homeschooling article in a magazine I just discovered call The Home Educating Family. It was called Sabbath Schooling, and I was curious, so I started to read it. I thought maybe it was going to give me some tips on how to help my family's Sundays be more meaningful...or something. However, it was on something totally different!! At first she talked about the Creation and how the Lord rested on the 7th day. Then she talked about seasons, and how we each need to identify what our 'season' or 'cycle' for learning is and let that guide the way we run our homes...NOT the schedule of the school system, other families, or anything else.

I remember the first time I learned about seasons...or at least the first time I really GOT seasons. I was listening to a LEMI call about SEASONS...WOW, was it a big eye opener. I was able to incorporate some of what I learned on that call into my life, but then to hear the topic again with a slightly different angle helped me understand it even more. To try and keep this short...I'll just quickly say that the gal writing the article talked about how for her, 'schooling' or if you are not homeschooling just doing your 'normal' stuff for six weeks was about all she could do without experiencing overwhelm. She modeled her schedule off of the 6 days of work 1 day of rest...however, instead she does 6 weeks of 'schooling' and on the 7th week she calls it here Sabbath week.

I don't know exactly what she does on her 7th week, but here is how that translated to me. On week 7 we have a Sabbath week...not a week of only vegging, playing, and basically being useless. A Sabbath week to me instantly meant a week full of a different type of focus. A focus on relationships, foundational things (like organizing, working on systems, re-evaluating everything, etc...), a week of reading, studying, learning, playing, and being together without the normal pressures of school (that doesn't mean we won't be learning during our Sabbath week)!!!

Today was Sabbath Week...DAY 1, and it was FANTASTIC!!! So what did we do?! TONS. (We only took two days off this summer for a family today Scott had already planned on taking a 'STAYcation' day, so he was even home which was a dream come true!!)


In September I took an online class all about [The Closet], which is a tool that everyone from a Grandma to a mom of small children can use to help create meaningful time with their family. It was really a great class, and I learned a TON!! I'll have to explain more of what The Closet is later, but basically I'm going to use it in the afternoon (so it can only be used in the afternoon...PERIOD). We'll have already completed our 'normal' school stuff, and will use it during our afternoon 'Structured Learning Time.' It will help us change gears, be 100% present with each other, learn a little more about something that interests us, do a project we've been putting off, play a game together, or do whatever else we find in the magical closet.

Anyway, I've known about the closet for YEARS, however, I never got around to actually creating my closet. After taking this online class, I felt inspired again to create my family's closet finally. The class ended two weeks ago, and I've spent those last two weeks thinking about what I wanted in it, how I was going to use it for my family, and how I was going to actually make time to get this all done.

Last week, when I decided to make this our first 'Sabbath Week,' I made a decision to spend time and create [The Closet]. I decided I wanted it in my school room, which meant I had to do a little re-arranging. It took most of the day today to actually get through the whole process (it takes me a while to really think, process, and create a new space). However, I finally figured out how to re-organize the room, re-structure our normal 'schooling days,' and finally put everything where I wanted it to go.


There were to many things on top of this low book, and it was always looking terribly cluttered.

This bookcase was filled with stuff...and most of it we never used. I decided to empty the bookcase, move the stuff I did use into better places, store away the stuff we aren't using, and use this in my room where I am desperately in need of a more book shelves. I'm SO EXCITED to move it in there tonight.

Wow, can you say messy and UNDER UTILIZED...the closet was basically empty except for junk.

I got this new bookcase a few months ago, but never really had spent time figuring out how to use it really well. That changed today. I made this bookcase our 'MORNING' BOOKCASE, which meant it contains most of our morning school items. I had to move things all around, to make this a functioning bookcase so I could create my Closet space (which will be my 'afternoon' bookcase). It may not look to spiffy to you in the photo...but its more about functionality than being super cute. Although, I always like it when I can accomplish both. It would be much more flattering to look at if I was able to replace those miss-matched plastic storage totes (which are holding all the books/materials for a certain subject we are studying) for nice brown baskets...but for now I am SO THRILLED to just have it all organized, and looking neat and tidy. I'm also feeling re-charged enough to start school tomorrow. :) (Even though we're not, because I have lots more SABBATH week activities planned.) Its amazing what a little 'foundational' time will do for you!!

I couldn't get a very good shot of the lens is a 50mm which isn't wide enough to really capture small spaces like a closet. I'd love to some day get a wider lens...some day. :) Anyway, hopefully you can kind of see how different my closet looks. I re-organized the entire school room, and as I did I looked for interesting things my kids hadn't read or done in a while. I pulled those items out and started to put them in the closet. Before I knew it the closet was jam I think I might actually have too much in my new closet.

Oh, and you can also see in this picture how the funky green bookcase is now completely EMPTY --- WOO-HOO!! Its getting moved out tonight. There are so many books in my bedroom that will be happy to have a shelf of their own to rest on. And I'll be happy not to have them laying around in piles anymore. :)

[Fall Bike Fix Up Day]

You are probably wondering why under Bike Fix Up Day there aren't any pictures of bikes. Well, here's the scoop. I went out with my camera to capture the crew working on the bikes (Jarom BTW was a rock star and knew how to fix everything). Anyway, I did take one lame picture of some bikes laying on the ground, but then I got totally distracted by Becca who had somehow stripped down to just her diaper, put on some bright pink boots, and was strutting around like she was the most fabulous thing there was. I couldn't stop I followed here around for 15 minutes, and took literally about 70 pictures of her. What a HOOT. Needless to say, I completely forgot why I had come outside, and after finishing up Becca's little photo shoot went inside. Thank goodness my lack of photos doesn't reflect the progress they made.

With the weather FINALLY cooling down, it was definitely time to tune up everyone's bikes. Bike tires were patched and switched, chains tightened, spider webs cleaned off, training wheels tightened, and everything got a little oil to boot. We are now officially ready for an Arizona Fall...bring it on, our bikes are READY!!

[Finish our Garden Boxes]

A few weeks ago the 4 oldest kids worked SUPER DUPER hard to each build a Square Foot Garden Box. Its a STINKING HOT, but they persevered and finished building the box, and treating the wood. Thank goodness today wasn't so fact it was PERFECT. With a determination to finish the job, Scott took the four oldest to home depot. A few hours later they came back with chicken wire (to put under the boxes to keep out the gofers), 3 watering cans, and lots of plants to plant.