Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Do you want to paint a snowman?

 It would seem at times that I only have one child and her name is Ashlynn.  
This is not because I like her the best( I do like her a whole lot). 
 She is just the only one who still lets me take pictures
 and is happy to hang out with MOM!

                                                    
 One of my favorite things about
 the holidays are the crafts and projects.
Ashlynn is happy to do anything where paint, glue guns 
and scissors are involved.


 We had so much fun putting together these little snowmen. 

MOANA

Image result for moana
I took the kids to see Moana last night.  It was excellent.   It had a crab part in it that was a little strange, but we all really enjoyed it.  I loved the genealogy theme.  I found that as I sat in the movie with all 3 of my kiddos who are still home, I appreciated the fact that we were all there together.  At one time during the movie they all started to laugh. As I looked around at them eating popcorn, I felt so blessed to be sitting with them in that moment. It is funny. . .when they were all young I tried to avoid taking them to the movies. Now, I feel blessed when a movie comes out that we can actually all go together. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

IT'S GREAT TO BE 8



 I realize this post is about a year late,  but it had to be done.:) 
 It really is so GREAT to be 8!!!

 Ashlynn had 2 special dresses for her Baptism day.  The one she is wearing with the blue bow was my moms wedding dress.  My brilliant sister Jana resized it to fit her daughter and kindly let Ashlynn use it.  I really love it.  Ashlynn was baptized in it.  The other white dress, the bright white poofy one, her Granny Phippen gave her.  Ashlynn still wears it almost every Sunday.

 A very special thing about Ashlynn's Baptism is that we decided to go to Idaho so her and her cousin Grady could be baptized on the same day.
Seriously, I love these 2 kiddos:).
It was so much fun to have her cousins, aunts and uncles to be part of this wonderful day.



Cousins are such a wonderful thing.  It does not matter how long you are apart nor
 how well you know one another, 
a special bond keeps you tied together.   


 In Alyssa's last email she wrote about about how thankful she is for families and her testimony of the plan of Salvation.  As I look at the next few pictures, one of my favorite songs comes to mind and I feel a deep gratitude for the gift of that plan.
FAMILIES CAN BE TOGETHER FOREVER

 I have a family here on earth. They are so good to me. !
I want to share my life with them through all eternity.
 I always want to be with my own family,
 and the Lord has shown me how I can.

I am so thankful for the plan of salvation. Because of it I will see my mom 
and grandparents again someday.
A gal I go to church with mentioned the other day how thankful she was for the missionaries because it was the only reason she has friends and the gospel.  Without the missionaries she would still be all alone.  I am thankful that Alyssa, Riley and Granny & Gramps Phippen are out teaching others so that they also can live together forever with the families they love. 

I sure love my Dad!!  I am so thankful for the 
blessing he is in my life and my children's lives.

 It is amazing how naughty all your kids can be sometimes.
Then you see them in a picture and just see little angels. :)


Well almost, LOL
Couldn't have all these family pictures without Alyssa :).
 Since Ashlynn has been baptized she has loved the book "Who's your hero for  girls."  She makes sure to plan a family home evening for the family from it weekly. They are actually really great lessons.   The boys are very happy she does this;).  She tells me when she does not choose the right.  She is always sad about it and asks how she can make the wrong right.  She loves to listen to primary songs every night when she goes to bed.  I am thankful for you Ashlynn and the good choices you are making everyday to keep your Baptism covenants.  I am thankful for this special day you were able to share with Grady  and so many others.
Love you little miss Ashlynn.  
Enjoy being 8.  
It is such a precious age.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I BELIEVE

I THINK THIS GUY IS THE REAL THING!!!
Woke up in the morning excited to have everyone home for breakfast.  As I began to tell the kids what I was making, Daxon wanted to know why we could not just buy syrup instead of act Amish and make everything?   Britton wanted to know why we could not just have German pancakes?  I told them they were the lucky winners of making breakfast themselves.  They were not upset at all, they were excited!!  Dax looked up a recipe for buttermilk syrup, Britton took out the Mingo family cookbook and made German pancakes.  Ashlynn turned up the tunes and went to work setting the table. Since the kids were so excited to do breakfast..
 I think we have a new tradition:). 

Altoona's
Bass pro shop Santa this year is truly amazing.  


Following breakfast J.D. wanted to go to Bass Pro shop to buy some Jerky seasoning.  Guess who is already at Bass pro shop?  SANTA!!!  Last year we went right before Christmas and ended up not seeing him because it was a 3 hour pass wait.  OUCH!!!
With 4 children who have outgrown visiting santa, 1 who is very close, I have seen my fair share of santas.  

This one just may be the real thing .

He didn't rush Ashlynn along because she was older.  I kept trying to and he just acted as if he had all the time in the world to visit with her.
He had J.D and I even come over and talked as if he actually knew Ashlynn. When she said she wanted a karaoke machine and art set, He commented on her love for singing and art.  He did not stop at that, he continued with details about her singing and art.  As we went to leave
I had to glance twice to see if he was the real thing.  He for sure had a twinkle in his eye as he
commented on Ashlynn growing up so fast and how proud he is of who she is becoming.
  
IF , you are a non-believer go visit this Santa. 
 He may just do the trick for you! 




Friday, November 18, 2016

Week 3 in Arequipa



Elder Phippen has been on a mission for 3 1/2 weeks now.  He is doing great. Singing in the dorms, tears shed from feeling the spirit, waking up at 3 am to welcome the new missionaries, and saying goodbye to the old ones who have quickly become new friends are all a part of the life he is loving so much. He  looks wonderful--if I do say so myself:).
 I love the new tie he has on that he bought in Peru.
We have a kid in Peru, crazy.


I looked at my husband the other day and it's as if we both had the same thought. . . "It feels like RILEY HAS BEEN GONE FOREVER."  

Missions cause the strangest range of emotions for parents.  You are so excited and happy that they are living this selfless life.  You are undeniably happy for them.  You know what they are doing is the right thing.  The weird part is, as happy as I am, I find myself waking up at night hoping they are doing okay. . .hoping they are happy. I'm just wanting to pick up the phone and say, "Really, how are you?" 
 I know this will get better with time.  I think that is because, with each passing day they are away, you know it is one day closer to them being home:).  
   One thing I miss the most about Ry being gone is watching Daxon and Ry together.  They are just so funny.  The 3 boys could laugh and talk for hours every night when they go to bed.  That is for sure one of my favorite sounds in the entire world.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I REALLY LIKE THE WAY GOD MADE YOU


Kids are interesting people.  
At times we think our kids are a problem because an adult/teacher says they do not fit the mold.  What mold?  

Ashlynn for sure has a lot of energy.  She is non-stop movement. She does blurt out when she should be quiet.  Sometimes she is sitting there, and just bursts out in song. It's as if she will die if she holds it in one more second.  She has brothers, so yes, inappropriate things at times do come out of her mouth. 

I teach Ashlynn in primary.  She has a lot of energy to say the least. Many of the kids in my class do. I have shy ones who hardly move or speak. I have ones who hold still, but talk non-stop. I also have a handful who never stop moving.  They are climbing off the chair, on the chair, to the side of the chair.  
I have found it best to sit this group next to one another because the wiggles do not seem to bother another wiggler.
Just as this is true with children I have found it to be the case with adults as well.
 This group of boys right here is who Ashlynn spends a lot of her time with.  They are very high energy.  Daxon stands to eat dinner most the time.  I would not even notice except for the fact that his father is not a wiggler and it makes him crazy.  

Over the years I have received many notes home regarding the fact that my children are movers and shakers.  They don't fit the mold.  Can they not just hold still??  Can they not just talk in a quiet voice?  I have been thinking about the answer to this question.  

 I must say yes!!!  If, you gave them a different mother, they could indeed. :)
 But, thankfully God gave them to me.  I am loud , at times I burst out.  Over the years I have learned to tame this some in public places.  With each year of my life I get a little better at not being loud and wiggly. But plain and simple, I am most happy around people who let me be loud and wiggly.  

One day we went to Jordan Creek to feed the ducks.  This girl was smiling from ear to ear.  I turned around for 1 second and she tripped fell in. The smile was gone. 

 Life can be like this.  Smiling and sure of everything one second, crying and unsure of everything the next. 
  
 At parent teacher conference yesterday ,the teacher had Ashlynn fill out a questionnaire about her behavior. happily and full of confidence, she explained how she is doing in these areas.  Without missing a beat or stopping to say 1 positive thing to Miss Ashlynn about her answers, this teacher who says my child can be a problem, pulls out her same test with all lower answers and tells her she was been way too kind to herself.  The teachers answers are all lower. The teacher then begins to explain why her's are the correct answers.  
Is this really happening, I thought. " No wonder Ashlynn has anxiety coming to your class," was my thought.  It only took seconds for  Ashlynn to  act as if she is not listening. She changed the subject and began talking about something else in her portfolio book.  The teacher looked at me as if  wanting me to acknowledge this behavior.
  I want her teacher to see this is actually a protection mechanism for a child when an adult is being the problem.  

I know it is only an opinion but it is a pretty good one since it is mine, ha ha ha. I think that we like to label our children when they don't fit a mold.  They don't hold still enough. They don't make friends very well, ect.  I guess something must be wrong with them.

 In doing this we miss the very things that make them who they are.  We miss the things that they excel in and the things that make them wonderful and brilliant in their own quirky ways. 
 It is true some kids do actually have medical things going on.  But for many it's not a label they need, it's simply a personality they have .  Some fit better in a  classroom setting than others.

A few days ago I was looking in the boxes downstairs. I found notes from teachers to my oldest daughter. I found one to my son that ended with, he was even eating PAPER:). 

I think about how worried I was when they were growing up and didn't always fit the mold.  I look at them know and man I wish I would not have been so worried.  I love the way they are turning out. It makes me see that even the loud, wiggly, at times emotional and opinionated ones will be amazing and perfectly fine. 

 Yes, we need to teach them to behave, respect others,  show kindness and all that good stuff.  Then all we need to do is let them know we are the biggest cheerleaders they have.


When the world sends them a bad day, they need a soft place to fall and to know we LOVE them and to have us tell them "I really like the way God made you."
No matter what your challenges are today,
YOU ARE GOING TO BE AMAZINGLY AND PERFECTLY FINE!!!





Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WRESTLING & CAKE


For the first time ever Britton decided to take up wrestling this year.  
Last week he won his first match and this week he won his second. 
It has been fun watching him play sports this year. 
I was not excited when he said he was doing wrestling. I always thought it was a weird sport. 
I DECIDED, I WAS WRONG!
I have found I  actually really love watching wrestling. 
I could be wrong but just the few times I have been this year it is a sport where the strongest or most talented is not guaranteed to win.  Those fundementals are important. However, the one who wants it most can overpower alot of the other. I think thats why I enjoy watching it. You can see the will to win in the kids faces. They both look at each other then as the match goes on, I love the strong determination some of them get to not quit. The match gets to a point you can see who will win not always by the skill, but the fight in the face. 


Britton also played football for the first time ever this year.  
He mentioned the other day he was going to do weight lifting in January:).
I love that he has decided to do sports.  Sports are so good for kids.  Teaches teamwork and dedication to finish something. Plus, it lessens the time they have to watch TV or play video games.
I wish this picture wasn't blurry I really loved  the look on his face when he won, it was priceless.

THANKSGIVING CAKE



 Seems these days everyone on facebook is live.  They are recording themselves doing something.  I don't ever watch these but for some reason stopped at this one entitled "HOW DOES SHE."  She was making a Thanksgiving cake.  When someone in the comments asked what she was going to do with all the cake? She responded, I'm going to take it to my husbands work. The guys love it. 

 HUM, I've never sent a cake with my husband to work, LOL.   I decided I wanted to be a nice wife and make a Thanksgiving cake for my husband to take to work.  My kids all demanded a slice before he took it. 
Now I'm a nice wife and mom ha ha ha