Sunday, September 15, 2013


Riley has had a few football games and is LOVING it!!!  You would have to love football to stay in it.  The 6 a.m. weight training and 3 hr everyday practices and then some on Saturday and often in 100 degree weather.  Man they do all they can to make those boys TOUGH!
Daxons first game is Tuesday and he is so EXCITED he can hardly stand it.  So excited he was SHINNING his helmet last night.  Who does that.:)

I am watching this neighbor girl this year and can I just say she has been a GOD send!!!  She is so adorable.  She is so sweet to Ashlynn and loves my cooking and is always complimenting it.  I kinda like that:).  She is just so fun to have around.

ASHLYNN really needs a DOG!!!!  Everywhere we go if they have a dog that is where she is.  Everyday when I pick her up from school she cannot be found.  WHY?? She is somewhere petting someones dog.  Does not matter whose. It's like she is just drawn to dogs.  Maybe shes going to be a dog whisperer.  LOL!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


These are lame pictures but I LOVE them.  THIS is why... A few weeks ago I was going to have my older kids paint this stairway when they were fighting, however, I decided on a different punishment.  Saturday, Daxon was doing something , I can't even remember what.  I told him that before he could go to the football game him and Riley had put together the hallway had to be taped.  OH, and NO ONE could LEAVE without him:).  He was taping away and 10:30 was arriving quickly.  Alyssa and Riley were on pins and needles wanting to leave.  But,  they were SITTING and complaining about how dumb this was that they could do NOTHING about the situation they were in and that was sooooo unfair.   When low and behold they came up with this brilliant idea to HELP him.  It was a great moment for me to see and they even left pretty much on time. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013


 The other day when I was working at the Y Alyssa took the kids swimming.
 She has an underwater camera
 Love these pictures she took.  How fun are they?
 Love Ashlynns eyes in these ones.
 Love Brittons goofy face in this one.

 These ones just make me smile!!

Friday, August 16, 2013


This is the CrAzIeSt year.  It is a year of MANY firsts.  How is it possible that I have a SENIOR this year.

 Riley started his FIRST year at the high school.  A sophomore, WHAT... when did this kid get so tall, have his voice change into a mans and start being so concerned about his hair looking just right?
 This is Daxons LAST year at the middle school before he moves on to 9th grade.  This kid is always snapping his fingers, pounding his chest and just moving.  Sometimes I feel the energy coming from him just being in the same room.
 This is Brittons LAST year at the ELEMENTARY school.  I have really enjoyed getting to see him everyday with my new job.  I love that he gets to spend one year at the same school with Ashlynn.  I know he will take good care of her.

At back to school night he was so cute walking around with her by his side.  All the kids joined Ashlynn for back to school night.  It was pretty funny.  As we walked into her kindergarten room to drop off her stuff four other siblings followed her  throughout the class.

On the second day of school I told Ashlynn to SMILE and this ADORABLE little neighbor kid stood next to Ashlynn  all big and Smiled.  I thought it was so cute!

Ashlynn is BEYOND excited to start kindergarten.  She doesn't seem to mind that she is leaving her MAMMA ALLLLLLLLL day!!!!!!
I am not sure why these pictures are sideways.  I could not get them to rotate GRRR.

Walking into her first day so big and brave:). Mom was not looking so big and brave as she walked away;(

Mom and Ashlynn ready for our FIRST day of school!!! First, I am working 3 different small jobs this year.(childwatch at the YMCA, Lunch /recess duty at the school, and before and after care for a neighbor girl)  I haven't had a job besides being a mom in a long time.  At the beginning of summer when it all started happening it kinda felt like a curse had fallen upon me!!!!!   It took awhile(LIKE THE WHOLE SUMMER) for me to wrap my head around my life taking the directions that it was. This was not part of my plan to go to work when Ashlynn went to school!! I had a list of other things that had been waiting to get done when that day arrived.  Day 3 as I dropped Ashlynn off and actually had time to breath,  I think I would have collapsed into tears at the fact that my house was so quiet had I not needed to get ready to go to work and see my kiddos.    I can now see I need these jobs to keep me busy enough to keep from thinking too much, if at all about the fact that my oldest is almost done with school and my baby is starting school.  It might not have been my original plan for this year... I might have resisted the fact that it needed to be the plan in the beginning with every fiber of my SOUL. But, truth be told I LOVE the way it is all turning out.  It is going to be a SUPERCALIFRAGILISTIC  year!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Last week J.Ds mom and sister stopped by on the way home from Virginia.  Ashlynn was so excited to have someone do puzzles with her. 
 And read her stories.

It was so great to have them.  They ended up not being able to stay long since J.Ds Grandma Phippen passed away and they needed to get home. I did not know her very well but every time I was around her,  I loved her and thought she was such a neat lady. I really loved her name.  It was Kristi Page.  How adorable is that?
   Living in Iowa no visit from family is ever long enough for my kiddos.  However anyone who knows our family knows it is probably plenty long for the guests.  We always seem to be overly LOUD. Without fail 1 or more boys get into a pretty good fight before the company leaves.  They are probably counting blessings as they walk out the door., thinking MAN THAT FAMILY HAS ISSUES!! LOL! Indeed we do, but we hope you will still come back soon:).


 The other day Daxon has Ashlynn putting on her helmet and telling her its time to move up to a bigger bike.
 She did amazing.  But I thought his bike was a LITTLE on the BIG side:). How does my baby keep getting so BIG??? (It kinda looks like she is barefoot.  But that could not be possible, that would be bad parenting.)
I am thinking Daxon just wanted a chance to do tricks on her bike without her screaming.  Smart kid!

Saturday, August 10, 2013


 Rileys summer started out with him taking off out west with the Russells.  They were his family for 3 weeks.
 They took him to Lagoon the first weekend, to the spoken word and then dropped him and his friend Dallon off an EFY in Provo Utah.  Riley could not say enough about how much he loved EFY. He even got a PICTURE with HANK SMITH our families most FAVORITE speaker!!! I am not sure where that picture was sent to.
 After a week they picked the boys up and headed to Vail Colorado.
 One of the e-mails I received while they were in Colorado said this.
Riley is such a great boy! His stamina is tremendous! We biked from Frisco to  west Vail. We lunched at Vail summit. Then finished by riding from the Vail pass summit  into west Vail. I've been so impressed with his positive attitude and happy demeanor. He has been such a blessing to have with us. My family has benefited from his wonderful example.
I am so THANKFUL for such wonderful people in this world.  I am thankful Riley was able to go be part of such a great family for a few weeks.  I definitely started his summer out right.

I wish I had pictures but I don't a week after he returned he went to high adventure in South Dakota.  He LOVED it.  He was able to go on another bike ride and see MT. Rushmore.  They mutual had the pioneer trek this yr.  They walked 25 or so MILES!!!! Riley loved it except his allergies did get to him.  He had football camp this week and man that REALLY keeps them busy.  Once again he loves it!!! All days he is expected to be at weight lifting by 8a.m. if he is home.  Other days its practice for 2 hrs.  He missed a lot of the lifting this summer due to being gone or telling mom he didn't have it because he wanted to sleep in:).   He loves to go to the Y and play Racquetball or basketball as long as friends are also around.    When he is not super busy he LOVES to TEASE, TEASE, TEASE.  Mostly his baby sister.  He calls it playing.  She is screaming and laughing so I call it teasing.  He is a great kid.  Never complains, okay even when he does complain he still does what he is told while he is complaining but as long as he does it I don't care if he complains.  I complain about the things I have to do sometimes also.  His energy is endless but he does loves to sit in front of a computer or TV and do nothing if I let him for a time.  He NEVER, NEVER, NEVER stops eating!!!!  I think he eats as much as everyone else in this house together.  He will have just finished a HUGE meal and I turn around and hes in the fridge.  He is skin and bones so I am not sure where he is putting it but man I would love that metabolism.  Riley is going to be a sophomore this yr.  how crazy is that.  Man the yrs are flying by.  I keep giving him extra jobs on Saturday like help me make this bread or you also need to fold 20 socks.  18 is right around the corner for him SCARY!! Thanks for being such a fabulous kid RY.  Love you to BITS & BITS!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


 My Grandma Nelson who I love with all my heart passed away a week and a half ago. I grew up about a mile away from this amazing lady.  We would go visit her most every Sunday and she would make treats. We spent holidays at her home with cousins and it was a fabulous time. She loved her family.  I can't remember going to her home very often that she was not reading a book, had the TV on, and was crocheting a blanket for her great grand-babies.  Have you ever tried to do that many thinking things at the same time?  She had some great skills.  The blankets she made are so  beautiful. The one She made for Alyssa, Ashlynn has taken over and calls it her Easter blanket.  I am not sure why.  It is pretty pastel Easter colors. The date of my dear sweet mom passing away when she was WAY TOO young was also coming up August 2,  I was missing her. I was feeling pretty sad that I was not going home for my grandmas funeral.  My heart was breaking. It was just a REALLY ROUGH week all around.
On facebook after my grandma passed away the grand-kids were talking about her famous buttermilk cake she always made.  Ashlynn and I decided that was something we needed to make in memory of her.  I think I ate most of it. 
 I am pretty sure I miss my mom as much for my kids somedays  as I do for myself.  First no one loves you like a mom does. I miss having that.  My mom loved my kiddos and as you can see, her eyes were filled with magic when she looked at them. I really miss that not just for me but for them.  Her every moment was spent loving her husband,  her kids and grand babies.

 As we walked out of the woods from a hike we were on last week 2 days before my Grandmas Viewing this BEAUTIFUL rainbow filled the sky.  At my moms funeral my cousin Amy with the voice of an angel,  sang a song about rainbows and how they are a message to us all that FAMILIES ARE FOREVER!

Once their were some children named Scott, Lori, Todd, Jeremy, Jana and Trish.  They had some great friends, BUT their GREATEST friend was their mom.  Not in some sissy way or anything like that.  She was just different then other moms.  While they were busy going to fashion shows and  parties and work, she stayed home, with them.  They played in the back yard together, go on bike rides sit on the swing and have long talks.  She was the BEST COOKIE MAKER on the whole block.  At least that's what the other kids said.  They really thought she was special.
Then one day the kids dad called them all together.  Their mom hadn't been feeling well and the dad had just talked to the doctor and these kids were scared.  They could only be with their mom a few more months, and they had to make the most of it.  She said I'm going away and I won't be coming back.  I'm dying.  Big tears came to their eyes and they said "MOM you just can't die."
She said, "It's okay I have no regrets.  I've been with you more than most moms are with their kids  in a whole lifetime."  They said,"I know mom but you can't die.  She said kids there's a SECRET and it's a special secret and I never want you to forget it,  FAMILIES ARE FOREVER..and even though you won't see me I'll still be their watching over you waiting for ya.
They said "but if we can't see you how will we know you are there.  She thought a minute. Then smiled and answered.
I'll build you a rainbow .  Way up high above send down a sunbeam, plum full of love, sprinkle down raindrops.  teardrops of joy I'll be happy as springtime watching over my kids.
When the time finally came she kissed them each and closed her eyes and she was gone. The kids and their dad as they left the hospital and went home all broke down and started to cry.  They held each other real tight and then they remembered the secret, they looked up and sure enough it started to rain and there it was right over their house a GREAT big rainbow just like she said. The kids said DAD, DAD it's all right families are forever. 
 I'll build you a rainbow.  Way up high above, send down a sunbeam, plum full of love, sprinkle down raindrops, plum full of love.  I'll be happy from HEAVEN watching over my KIDS!!

I still miss something about my mom everyday that will never change. I don't dwell on all these things but every so often and once a year around this time especially I think about and remember how perfect I had it when she was here.    Despite her being gone I know my relationship with her continues to grow.  When I am doing something that she used to do, or something she taught me I feel her close. At times,  I am a better mom just thinking she might be watching and will kick my butt when I get to heaven if I mistreat her grand-kids.:)I feel blessed by her still today.  I know she helps watch over me and my family.

 I'm am so thankful to know that my mom is with her mom again.  Now my mom has someone to call her and ask to go to the dollar store everyday.  My mom never understood why her mom loved this store so much, but she loved to be with her mom and would go with her.  I love and am thankful that someday we will all be together again forever.


Ashlynn has been BEGGING to go camping.  Since time has been an issue with work,  kids going different directions, Jers getting home late, this Iowa weather never being sure if it would rain or not,and the list goes on.  I decided to grant her wish in the back yard.
The kids helped me make homemade scones for Navajo tacos that were DELICIOUS!!! I made my moms homemade roll recipe and man it makes DIVINE scones. I took mine with honey butter since I always go for sugar first.
It was a great night to have a campout.   It was cool enough for a fire, rare in IOWA.

After football when it was finally a little dark we played ghost in the darkness.  I think this was all of our favorite part.  We kept playing until enough kids were cloths-lined on things from it being so dark we decided it might not be such a safe game any longer.

We made them leave the phones inside and they were only allowed in to go to the bathroom.  The older ones seemed to need to use the bathroom  A LOT.  Plus plugged in the phones right next to the bathroom.  Smart kids:).
After breakfast Riley's comment was ,"this has been fun,  but,  can we go inside and be a NORMAL family now."   I told him he was welcome to go in but NORMAL for this clan was probably a long shot.

Monday, August 5, 2013


Wednesday was the dollar kid movie at the mall.  I do not buy the season tickets  for these movies due to the fact that most of them I could not bring myself to sit in.  Rio,  I think is worth a couple bucks to sit in the theater and watch.
As we left US cellular had this fun both set up for kids to race cars at and stuff. We participated proudly and took the cute fans they gave us and all.  When the ask which us cellular plan we had we also proudly replied we are with Verizon.  They ignored us after that, but let us keep the fans:).
Then we went to feed the ducks, we used bread that was donated to the Y from Panera that was NOT SO GOOD to us but seemed to be delicious to the ducks.
Well the older kids all went into the mall while the little girls(Ashlynn and Brynn the girl I watch sometimes) and I went to feed the ducks.
At one point the ducks started chasing them for bread it was pretty funny.
The only thing I would have changed about this wonderful afternoon is I would have brought picnic lunches to eat .  Instead we went to Costco and had lots of free samples.

For putting myself on a budget to not spend over a little money every week, which I am not loving because, I kinda LOVE to shop...It  was a fabulous day!