Sunday, March 19, 2017

Catching up...

I can't believe how quickly time passes.  Once upon a time I was an avid blog writer.  I tried hard to record the little details of our lives as they were happening, then life got in the way.  Things got very busy for me as I went back to school to accomplish my goal of obtaining my degree.  It took 4 years of hard work for me, but I did it!  I graduated on July 20, 2016 with a BS in Marriage and Family studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho.  Brett and I decided that it would be a great opportunity for us to head to Rexburg, ID to participate in the commencement and graduation festivities.  It was a surreal experience for me to step on campus for the first time and to reflect on all that I had accomplished.  I was so thankful that my family was there to support me!  Going back to school and getting my degree has blessed my life in so many ways. first, My secular knowledge and testimony have increased simultaneously.  I also gained greater confidence in myself and in my talents.  I learned to value family life in our society far more than I did.  I also developed skills that have helped me to strengthen my own family.  Even though the process of working towards my degree was difficult at times, it was so worth it in the end! This has become one of the greatest blessings in my life.

Other changes since I last blogged...
We moved to UT!  We were blessed in 2015 to be able to move our family home to Utah.  We now reside in Cache Valley and we couldn't be happier!  We love raising our family and living here in this beautiful valley.  When we moved here Erik started his junior year in high school, and had just gotten his driver's license.  Cameron started 8th grade.  Austin started 4th grade, and Ethan started 1st grade. The boys adjusted really well to their new schools and made friends fairly quickly.  We could truly see the hand of the Lord in our lives with all these changes.  The boys were truly blessed with good friends.  We have now been here for the past year and a half and still feel so happy and content to be here.  Erik is now 2 months away from graduating from high school.  Cameron is wrapping up his freshman year and is looking for ward to getting his learner's permit later this year.  Austin is finishing up 5th grade and has really enjoyed playing basketball and baseball here.  Ethan is finishing 2nd grade this year.  He is growing up so quickly!  He is counting down to his birthday in a couple of months and is really excited about the opportunity that he will have to be baptized!

Erik Junior year 2015-2016

Erik Senior year 2016-2017
Class of 2017!

Cameron 8th grade 2015-2016

Cameron 9th grade
Freshman 2016-2017

Austin 4th grade 2015-2016

Austin 5th grade 2016-2017
Student council

Ethan 1st grade 2015-2016

Ethan 2nd grade 2016-2017

 One more big change to share.  After graduation I stumbled across a job posting that I thought would be a perfect fit for me.  I applied, interviewed and got the job.  This past year I have been teaching preschool for Logan school district!  I love my job!  This year has been part-time which is perfect as it has helped me to ease back into the work force and has still left plenty of time to care for my family as well.  I am really enjoying putting my education to good use by working in a job that is challenging and extremely rewarding!

Friday, March 3, 2017

My baby is growing up...

We just got the good news...Erik will be attending BYU in the fall!  This boy has worked so hard to make this dream come true.  After months of waiting, he received his acceptance letter and will be a freshman there this fall.  I couldn't be happier or more proud of this boy of mine!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas lights at Temple Square...

Is there anything more beautiful than the Salt Lake Temple all lit up for Christmas?  I think not!  Brett and I decided that it would be fun to take the boys to Salt Lake to see the Christmas lights.  We decided to invite some family members along for the fun (we love living near family).  We met up with Grandma and Grandpa McGee, Grandma Stewart, Kevin and Breanne, and Matt and his kids.  First we enjoyed pizza at The Pie in Salt Lake (one of our favorite restaurants), then it was off to Temple Square to soak in some Christmas spirit.

Salt Lake Temple

Ethan and Austin 
Erik and Cameron

My boyfriend :)

We're so happy to be able to do these fun things with family!  Can't wait for next year!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

7-11 and cousins...

7-11 fun with cousins
One of our favorite family traditions is play 7-11 on Thanksgiving.  This tradition originated with the McGee family when I was a little girl.  I love carrying on this tradition with my own children.  This year the boys got to play twice!  We had a quiet Thanksgiving dinner this year with Grandma Stewart followed by the annual 7-11 game.  To play this game, you roll 2 dice and try to roll either a 7 or an 11.  If you do, you get to pick a present which usually consists of some type of candy or fun toy.  Once all the presents have been unwrapped, the lightning round begins.  The timer is set for 11 minutes and the game continues, but this time you can "steal" presents from one another.  Every year there is some "hot" present that everyone wants and it is always fun to see what everyone fights for. This year the coveted prize was a Mixel (Lego) set.  Cameron was the proud winner of the Mixel.  A couple of days later the Whitney family came and we played again.  The coveted present for this round.....a lovely "poop" emoji pillow.  Congratulations Austin!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Family Fun Week!

This year for spring break we were trying to decide what we wanted to do with our whole week off from school and work.  We had talked about going to Utah of Tahoe (our usual vacation spots).  Then Brett suggested that we could stay home, but do something fun and exciting each day of the week. The boys were very excited about this idea and we held a family council to decide just how our week would go.  The boys came to our meeting prepared with lots of fun ideas.  Cameron was our scribe and he wrote down all of our ideas.  We then whittled those ideas down to our favorites and plugged them into the calendar and a plan was born!  My Sister Allison called a few days before family fun week was to begin, and asked if she could come visit and join in the fun.  YAY!  That was one more fun thing to add to family fun week.  She came with my niece (Isla) and nephew (Nixon).  We had a fantastic time and created so many wonderful memories.  Here is what we did each day:

Monday:  Lego day
Day one began with a walk to the grocery store for donuts followed by some time to play at the park on the way home.  We then went to the movie theater to see the Lego Movie.  After the movie we went to the mall to the Lego store where each boy got a new Lego set to build.  We ate dinner at the mall to finish off day one.

Tuesday:  River Cats
Day two began with breakfast at Panera.  Yummy bagels and hot chocolate (too bad they were out of the chocolate chip marshmallows).  After breakfast we went to the church to play basketball.  This was so fun!  Then it was home for a few hours to rest up followed by a River Cats baseball game that night.  Gotta love $1 hot dog and dessert night.  River Cats won and we all had a great time!

Wednesday: Yes Day!
Day three started with tennis at the park followed by Jamba Juice.  For yes day each boy got to suggest an activity, or ask for something they wanted, and the deal was that Mom and Dad would say yes (there were some restrictions however).  Then for dinner it was homemade pizza.
  • Erik : Cold Stone for ice-cream
  • Cameron:  Egg rolls at Panda Express
  • Austin: Download "Happy" by Pharrell Williams on ITunes, and a malt
  • Ethan: Bubble bath
Thursday: Bowling/Skate park
Day four began with a trip to the skate park.  The boys love riding their scooters at the skate park.  We spent about an hour there and they pretty much had the park to themselves.  After the skate park Ali and I were able to go out without kids (thank you Brett) to run a few errands, and out to lunch at Chick-fil-A.  Then we took the kids bowling.  Later that night we made s'mores around the fire pit and then curled up for a movie night (The Croods).

Friday:  Six Flags day
Day five was a full day of fun!  Ali got to go to San Francisco to spend a couple of days with Ben and the kids and Brett and I took the boys to Six Flags.  We had a great day riding roller coasters and spending time together.  Even Ethan got to go on a few coasters.  He loved them and each time at the end of the ride he would say "That was awesome!  Can we go again!"  Our favorite ride of the day was the water ride, Monsoon Falls.  Thank goodness we saved it for last, because we got soaked!  After Six Flags we went to Napa to spend the night with Grandpa Jed and Kathy.  Brett and I went out to dinner (Don Pericos) and the boys got to have pizza at Grandpas.  We were pretty exhausted after this fun day.

Saturday:  Pink Bakery
Day six began with a run through beautiful Napa with Jed and his running friends.  Erik and I joined them for a quick little run.  Always fun!  Then we went to the Pink Bakery (AKA Buttercream Bakery) for breakfast.  This is a favorite spot for us to visit while in Napa.  After breakfast we went to a tomato show (pretty funny, we got there right at the end), followed by a street fair in Napa where we scored lots of free stuff (i.e. pens, water bottles, etc).  The it was off the park, home for malts and games and then I took Erik and Cameron to the outlet mall to visit the Adidas and Under Armour stores before heading back home.

Sunday: Easter
Day seven was Easter.  We went to church followed by a hunt to find Easter eggs and baskets.  I think that we were all pretty tired out from our busy week, so we just enjoyed our day of rest.  Ali, Ben and the kids came back for one more night and we had a great time playing games with them to end our very fun and successful Family Fun Week!  We had such a great time that we may consider doing this again next year.

What was everybody's favorite part of family fun week?
  • Erik: Lego day
  • Cameron: Six Flags
  • Austin: Visiting Grandpa Jed and Kathy
  • Ethan: Six Flags
  • Mom: Creating memories and spending so much time with my family.
  • Dad:  Everything!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

This is me challenge #6

If you could write a letter and send it to yourself when you were younger, what would you say?

I have to admit that this is a hard challenge for me.  I really had to think about my life when I was younger, and what I would have liked to know back then.  I also wrote this with my boys in mind and added a few things in there that I want them to remember as they grow. 

Dear younger me,
There is way more to life than high school.  It is OK to have confidence in yourself.  Don't be too hard on yourself.  You shouldn't assume that everyone else is better than you, prettier than you or more popular than you.  Popularity is not what it is all about anyway.  All you really need are a few good friends who will care about you and inspire and encourage you to live a good life.  Learn to recognize and appreciate your talents and develop them.  Life won't always go the way that you think it should, but if you trust in the Lord, He will guide in the ways that are best for you.  Keep the commandments, pray and read your scriptures.  These are the things that will bring true happiness.  Be happy and enjoy life, don't worry so much about dating, an awesome husband is waiting for you and you will be so happy when you meet him.  Together you will have 4 boys to raise and they will bring you more joy than you could ever imagine.    Each stage of life is a blessing and an opportunity to learn and grow.  Always remember that you are a daughter of God, and He loves you, and He is there for you.  You can always turn to Him for strength and guidance, He will never let you down.  Looking back, I can see His hand in my life and I can see the ways that He has guided me, and continues to guide me today.  You have divine worth, so don't let anybody try to take that away from you. 
Me @ 39

Sunday, March 30, 2014

This is me challenge #5

I have taken a very long hiatus from blogging.  Too long.  I recently sat down with a few of my boys and we went back through my blog and we laughed about so many of the stories and memories that I had recorded.  I realized that this little history that I have created for us really is important, and it is something that I need to make time for.  Life is busy.  There will always be something else that I could be doing, but for now, I hope to take a few minutes each week to record the little things in our lives. 

I decided that I also needed to be better at keeping a record of my life, so that my children can get to know me better.  So here I go.  My first post back will be the ABC's of me from the "This is me challenge" that I started so long ago.

A- Anxiety.  I struggle with this.  I tend to be a worrier.
B-  Brett, my wonderful, awesome husband!
C-  Chocolate.  My favorite treat.  I could eat it every day!
Create.  I love to create and I love to encourage my children to be creative as well.
D-  Don Pericos.  My favorite Mexican food restaurant. Love Mexican food!
E-  Education.  I am currently going back to school to receive my BS in Marriage and Family Studies @ BYU-Idaho.  This is a great blessing in my life, and I truly believe that an education is worth all the effort!
F-  Fall.  My favorite season.
G- Green.  My favorite color, and the color of my eyes.
H- Hugs.  My son Austin gives the best hugs aka Austin hugs.
I-  Ice-cream.  I love mint chocolate chip ice-cream, and it always tastes better in a sugar cone.
J-  Job.  My first job was at Mac's Hobbies and Crafts in Utah. 
K- Kind.  I try to be kind to everyone.
L-  Laugh.  I love to laugh, but I don't like to be tickled.
M- Mother.  Best job ever!
Movies.  I love movies.  One of my favorite activities is family movie night!
N-  Notes.  I love the little notes that my boys write to me, and I keep every one!
O-  Oceans or mountains?  Definitely mountains!
P- Preschool.  I love teaching preschool to my son Ethan.
Q-  Quiet.  I am generally pretty quiet around people I don't know really well.  It takes me some time to warm up.
R-  Road trips.  I love to take road trips with my family. 
S-  Sons.  I have 4 of them.  I am a lucky Mom!
T- Temple. I am thankful for the blessings of the temple and the knowledge that I have that families can be eternal.
Teacher. It's what I want to be when I "grow up".
U-  Utah.  The place where I was born and raised. 
V-  Vegetables.  Don't love them. 
W- Warm.  I love warm blankets in the winter time. 
X-  Example.  I try to pattern my life after the example of my Savior Jesus Christ.
Y-  Yes.  I try to say yes to my children as often as I can.
Z-  Zinnia.  I love flowers.  I used to be a florist before I had children.