I’m ba-ack…

So, for the last 7 years, I completely forgot about this blog on WordPress. Since then, we have moved and I had a girl! ALL of my kids are now in school. Whoa! How did that happen?!

Since the beginning of this year, Skyler has grown about 4 inches, started growing facial hair, and his voice dropped an octave. ūüėõ He’s all about basketball, videogames, and hanging out with friends. He turned 14 on Wednesday (August 31st) and started the 8th grade.

Hunter broke his finger the first day back to school in January and had surgery on it 2 days later. He needed 2 pins to hold the bones together. Then, last month, he had pylomatrixoma¬†#2 removed from underneath his right ear. He turned 12 on April 6 and he is looking me in the eye. Just lost his first molar today, and he’s in 7th grade this year.

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Gavin turned 10 on July 29. He was accepted into a special school called Wonders of the Ozarks Learning Facility (WOLF). They spend lots of time outdoors learning about nature, animals, habitats, and environmental things. He loves it! It’s such a change from what he had going on last year. I feel like being able to attend WOLF is a great blessing in our lives.

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Brennan turned 8 and was baptized on his birthday, July 9th. He is still a funny and loving little boy. He has boundless energy and has dance/karate moves for days! Brennan started 3rd grade this year and is so excited to be a Cub Scout. He loves Legos and Star Wars and he has the cutest freckly face!

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Ashlyn started Kindergarten this year! She is 5, turning 6 on December 16. Still a girly girl, she likes to paint her nails, dress up, and wear make-up. But, she also likes riding her bike and playing in the dirt with the boys. She is not afraid of bugs or worms. Her favorite part of school is recess! She has made lots of friends already.

Brian has been working freelance since losing his job April 22. Somehow, we are always able to pay our bills and our tithing. I know that the Lord is taking care of us. We have been to the temple 3 times since then, and we plan to go again soon. We have developed a habit of scripture study and family¬†prayer each night. And while it doesn’t always go like we want it to, we still do it and it is getting better.

About 2 or 3 years ago, I invested in a book called Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes A Day. Today, I am selling my bread to friends, mostly. I love baking. It makes me truly happy to see someone enjoying baked goods that I made for them. Last Sunday, I was asked to bring the Sacrament bread until further notice. I am happy to oblige them! After church today, I had 4 different people come and ask to buy my bread. I feel so blessed to be able to provide something that people love! Also, I now have 6 piano students. I know that Heavenly Father sees me, knows me, and loves me and He wants me to be happy. Even though we don’t have a steady job right now, I feel no worry or doubt. I marvel at the opportunities we’ve had AFTER the loss of Brian’s job.

  1. We have gone to the temple 3 times.
  2. We were able to go to Silver Dollar City for the first time as a family (thanks to some of our greatest friends).
  3. WOLF school for Gavin.
  4. Family reunion in Oklahoma.
  5. Visiting one of my best friends who lives in Oklahoma.
  6. Going to the St. Louis Zoo, and so many other blessings I cannot number them!

I am grateful for this test and those that I face daily. I know that to be refined I must stand in the fire. Even when it is painful, I need to stand my ground because the result is worth it. In the fire, I am changed and strengthened so that I may face the world with different eyes.

 

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Skyler is 7!

The big day was August 31st. We took the boys out to Incredible Pizza and then went back home for cake and icecream. Skyler changed his mind about 5 times on what cake he wanted, but finally he settled on a sports car. He said he wanted it blue and yellow. He also got 3 different Transformer toys and his birthday spankings!

Visiting Grandma

We’ve been at grandma’s house since Thursday evening, having fun. Friday the boys played with their cousins and Saturday we had a joint birthday party for Dallin, Lily, and Brennan since their birthdays are within 10 days of each other.

This morning we went to church. After a lunch of homemade chicken and noodles we rested a bit and then headed to the Complex in Sikeston to play with cousins again. We stayed for 2 hours and played on the playground, with kites and frisbees. I took lots of pictures of the kids so I wanted to post them on here to let you all in on our fun. Enjoy!

Bad Mommy

We had a day trip to the beach last week for my friend Cindy’s birthday. It was our family, the Chlarson family, Joni and her boys, and Lex and Barb. So, I was so busy chatting and soaking up the sun that I neglected to put sunscreen on my kids until lunchtime. Skyler and Gavin fared fine. They are little tan boys–little brown beans (as Joni would put it). Brennan pinked up a little on his face and shoulders. Hunter, who is my redheaded, freckled guy didn’t come out so well.

His right arm looks like it’s had a 1st degree burn, and it is definitely going to scar a large area of his arm. I took pictures of it after the blisters started popping¬†2 days after. (Actually, they were helped along by Skyler who purposely twisted his brother’s arm to hurt him since he knew Hunter’s sunburn hurt. He was punished severely too.)¬†The¬†2nd picture is from this morning–5 full¬†days after our trip. It has crusted over like a scab and most of the pus is gone.¬†Every time I look at him I get a twinge of guilt. But I think I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll NEVER forget to sunscreen them again!

Oh yes, and Brennan had his 2nd haircut. He looks so much older! He’ll be 1 on July 9th. I’ll post pictures later since he’s sleeping right now.

ouchie wahwah
ouchie wahwah
looking better
looking better

Camping Trip

We left for Stockton Lake Friday evening for our first weekend camping trip this year. We didn’t get to go last year, so we stayed through Monday evening. We all had a great time and got to spend it with lots of our good friends! Our group was us, Lex and Barb, Chuck and Michelle, Mike and Charlie, and Tyler, Paige and baby Beau. We got to go fishing, to the beach, to the playground, swimming¬†and night fishing. The food was awesome! We played games and visited, and Barb and I even found time to go back into town for a baby shower!

Here are some cool pics I took at the beach.

Hunter turned 5!

Hunter turned 5 on April 6th and we had a celebration with just our family and some friends of ours. Hunter was so excited when an Iron Man costume arrived in the mail from Grandma. Even though he wanted her to make it, he was¬†more than happy¬†with the one he received. In fact, he didn’t take it off long enough for me to wash it for about 2 weeks! It definitely has gotten a lot of wear.

He looks cross-eyed!

Hunter is very excited to go to Kindergarten next school year and told me he wants to attend ALL day! I think I’ll welcome the break since I won’t be home-schooling Skyler half a day either. Two kids gone at school all day! What will I do with all the free time? Hmmm…. probably spend time with the other two!

My family

Okay. Here’s my family. The most recent pictures of us were taken at mom and John’s wedding at the Nashville temple. It was a little chilly.¬†From left to right standing: Leigha holding Dallin, Adam, Liliana, Hunter, Brian, and me. Seated: Skyler, mom holding Gavin and Brennan, John, and Jaiden.

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¬†And here are some random pics of the boys in the food court inside the mall that’s connected to Bass Pro in Nashville. We visited one of Brian’s good buddies, Paul Waller, while we were in town. It was great to see you again, Paul! The boys loved testing out the 4-wheelers in the store.