Tuesday, July 26, 2016

20 Years

Last month was Clint and I's 20th Wedding Anniversary.
Last weekend, we were finally able to carve out some time to celebrate.
(It's been a crazy busy summer full of camps, college orientations, and yard work!)
Friday and Saturday, we took off on a little overnighter to Park City while #2 held the fort down back at home.
We attended the symphony, ate, shopped, and just enjoyed each other's company sans kids while #2 took everyone swimming at the pond, scootering along the river trail, and for a picnic. She's pretty awesome.

I think the saying "Choose your love, love your choice" couldn't be any truer. I definitely love my choice. I'm so grateful for this man and how our life has turned out. Here's to another 20+ years.

Monday, July 25, 2016

It Finally Happened

 As you may or may not know, three years ago, Clint and I bought a two-year old house. Here in Utah, when most people build a house, they move in first, and then put in their yard. The original owners of our house never got around to that part, so when we moved in, there was no yard, just a lot of dirt, and rocks. 
-Well, no more.-
I'm happy to report that as of last Friday, July 15th, we finally have grass!
 Putting in a yard with minimal hired help is a long tiring process. We tried to do as much as we could by ourselves.
Clint and my dad started in April moving rocks and installing the sprinkler system.
After doing as much as we could on our own, we had to hire out the rest. Someone to pour cement, build a couple of rock walls, bring in topsoil and grade the yard, and finally, someone to curb around the flowerbeds.
Here in Utah, the housing market is booming. We called 100's of landscapers who never called us back, and those that we were able to get a hold of were booked out for weeks/months. I'm an impatient person. When I'm ready for something, I want it right now. This was a hard wait for me. Finally, bit by bit, over the course of three months, we were able to get everything done.
 After months of waiting, once things got started, everything seemed to happen all at once, and almost too quickly.
On Monday the topsoil people finished. Tuesday the "Curber" came. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we (and when I say we, I mean Clint) installed 1,567,899 sprinkler heads.
In fact, we were up until 3 am most nights trying to get everything done and ready for sod.
Our neighbors were awesome and also helped.
We had one neighbor that came over every night to help. Our other neighbor stayed up late combing the dirt to make it smooth and remove any rocks.
Speaking of sod, it was scheduled to be delivered Friday night, and we would install it Saturday just in time for the return of our three older children who were attending a church youth conference.
WRONG!
The sod trucks pulled up a little after 5:30 am Friday morning (Who needs sleep?)!
There was no way we could keep the sod outside in the heat and sun all day long, so after going back to bed for a couple of hours, Clint and I began laying sod.

We had some awesome helpers. The first to arrive was a sweet neighbor lady, no bigger than me, who came with her two children. Together we carried the large HEAVY (who knew grass could weigh so much) pieces of sod over to Clint who then put them in place. We worked for over two hours and finally finished the smallest section of the entire yard before muscle fatigue set in and lifting another piece of sod was impossible.
 When I was wondering how we were possibly going to lay 20 more pallets of sod, more neighbors showed up to help -This time men! 
 They kept coming and coming and before I knew it, there were 10 men out there taking time away from their family to help us lay sod.  Each came on their own without being asked.
We were so grateful.
 When we began laying the sod, we noticed that there were a lot of unusable dry crumbly pieces that fell apart when you went to pick them up. This was not good. We knew we had ordered a little bit extra (a little cushion), but with all this bad sod, we wouldn't be able to finish the entire yard, and would have to wait (ugh! that waiting game I "love" so much) for more to be delivered. 
Somehow, even with several pallets-ful of unusable sod, we had just enough -just enough- to complete the yard. It was a miracle!
At the end of the day, as we sat on the patio looking out over our new yard eating Cafe Rio (that a thoughtful friend brought us), we were dirty and exhausted, but happy and very very grateful.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Exodus 2016

Last week #2, #3, and #4 had the opportunity to go on an Exodus.

What the heck is an EXODUS?

Exodus - a departure from, exiting from or a journey...

We are leaving behind the piece of our heart that distanced us from God and giving Him our new heart. A heart that loves God above all and places Him first in our lives. One heart, one mind - Zion

 Exodus is similar to a Trek, but without the pioneer theme.
Each child was assigned a Ma and Pa.
Here is #3 with his family
and #4 with his. 
#2 (Can you find her- hint she's on the left side) was on a special team they called the Delta Team.
It was comprised of those who had graduated from high school this past May. 
The Delta group was assigned as helpers along the trial. They served meals, unpacked trailers, help to pull handcarts, and befriended the friendless.
Months and months of preparation were involved, as you can imagine when you take 780  people on a 4 day hike over the mountain. Not to mention feeding them all?
 Here #3 and #4 are practicing setting up and taking down their tents.
 Exodus started up Ephraim Canyon
(Can you find #3?  - He's pulling the handcart on the left)
23 miles over the mountain where they ended their Exodus at
the Manti Utah Temple.
As they walked they thought about what things, things they were holding them back and distancing them from God, that they wanted to leave behind in the mountain.  When they reached the temple each of them made a commitment to be a new better person, to serve God more fully and love Him with all their heart.
 Pulling a handcart for four days in the mountains surrounded by God's creations and His presence, what a truly remarkable, spiritual experience, and I am so grateful my children were able to take part.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Seventeen


Last Sunday, we celebrated #3's seventeenth birthday.
I sure love this kid. He's so easy-going, a hard worker, and he's always willing to help out.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Star-Spangled 4th

Happy 4th of July!
It's kind of fun celebrating Independence Day on a Monday. It seems the celebration spans throughout the entire weekend. If you include tonight, we've been able to sit on our patio and watch fireworks three nights in a row.
My mom started a tradition years ago of making homemade ice cream each Fourth of July to eat during the fireworks show. We're keeping the tradition alive! It wouldn't be the 4th without homemade vanilla ice cream and fireworks -oh and family!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Senior Photo Shoot

I've been an emotional wreck since May. 
Why?

Because my baby girl is growing up and heading out into the big world (without me).
Yes, I know this is a good thing. I know this is how things are suppose to go.
BUT
knowing all this doesn't make it any easier.
All I can think about is how much I will miss her.
WAHHH!
Granted, she will only be living be 25 minutes away, it's still away.
While I finish showing you #2's Senior pictures, let me tell you a little bit about her.
She's always been easy-going. She was my easiest pregnancy, my easiest delivery, and my easiest baby.


She's a peacemaker. She doesn't like contention, and tries to avoid it at all costs.

She has always been a second mommy to her siblings, not in a bossy way, but in a loving way.
She loves being at home and hanging out with her brothers and sisters (and sometimes her ma and pa too).

 She is a friend to all. I have never heard her talk unkindly about anyone.
I honestly think she sees only the good in people.
She is patient and uncomplaining. She rarely gets mad or upset. And she is always thinking of others.

It's not uncommon to get a sweet little note or text from #2 telling you how much she loves and appreciates you.
She loves the Lord and has always strives to serve Him.
I can't wait to see what God has in store for this sweet girl. She is going to do amazing things!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Champion of the World!

This past spring, #3 played tennis for the High School team, while balancing work, which was pretty tricky!
He and his doubles partner took first place in tournament.
We're all thrilled for him (if you can't tell from this picture -Ha!).

Peace Out,
The Tennis Mom who still has no idea how the game is played.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

May Happenings

May was an extremely busy month. Isn't it always?

Here are some exciting things that happened:

FIRST GRADE PROGRAM
#6 had her 1st Grade program, which means she's soon going to be a 2nd grader and before I know it, she'll graduate high school, and be leaving the nest.

*sigh*

Okay, I'm getting a little ahead of myself! Please excuse me, I've been a little emotional lately.
She was so cute! She sang. She danced, and she jumproped like a pro for 4 minutes!
I was winded after the first 10 seconds of just watching her.

SYTYCD TALENT SHOW 
 #5 and her friend worked for weeks on a dance for their 3rd grade talent show. 
She is a performer. She jumps at the chance to get in front of an audience.
Me . . . I try to avoid it at all cost!