Friday, November 17, 2017

Trek 2017

 JD and I had the privilege of being the MA and PA for Pioneer
Handcart Trek this year.
 This is an exciting, kinda weird event that LDS 
people do to remember and commemorate their pioneers ancestors. A 20 miles (or so) route is mapped out and you get to take whatever will fit in a 5 gallon bucket.  The youth are grouped into "families" and you start walking:).
 JD and I had the greatest bunch of kids ever.  
They were nice to each other, helpful and a lot of fun to be around.

 Lunch was usually eaten by the side of the rode in the dirt.  
Today, it is summer sausage, cheese and crackers:)
 Until you have been on a handcart trek, you will never realize 
how many hills Iowa ACTUALLY has.  I always thought it was flat. 
It definitely isn't.

 Afternoons were spent playing  pioneer games

 and chillin' with friends:)
Daxon and Britton are such cute pioneers:).  

 Dinner was made from scratch in dutch ovens. 
(except for the night we had tornado warnings and were 
evacuated from our campground to the basement lodge.

 That night it was cooked over a stove in the kitchen:).
 I think my favorite meal was cooking pancakes on a skillet using coals.  
I did not even know this was possible.  The pancakes were delicious.
 I loved that the girls in our family were all so tough.  
They pushed/pulled as much as the boys.

It was a fabulous opportunity. I feel privileged to have been apart of this adventure.  Sleeping on a very uncomfortable ground, and pushing a handcart a few miles a day I know did not even compare to the life of a pioneer.  As fun as it was to experience, I am thankful I was not a pioneer:).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Backyard Adventures

 This Summer I bought a Backyard Adventure on Groupon.  I wasn't sure what it was when I purchased it, but it sounded like something fun to do.
   It took us to all these sculptures and monuments up around the State Capitol building.  We were amazed at all the interesting sites we had never been to or known about. 

 We were also surprised that we have lived here this long and we had never been to most of these memorials before.

 The ones we had been to before, we had never cared to investigate further.
The Backyard Adventures does the work for you, so that was fun. 
We enjoyed finding out how much history is tied to this area.

 The greatest part about this was being able to go on a treasure hunt as an adult. 
And someone else took the time to put it together:).

 It was a fabulous way to spend the afternoon.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Thankful for pictures:)

This  last summer we discovered a pool in Ankeny.  (Cascade falls) 
The kids loved it.  I loved it because it kept them entertained all day with little effort on my part.  
Another day I paid Alyssa to take Ashlynn to the
 Clive pool so I could get some errands ran.
They were happy to go lay in the sun and not run errands.
Ashlynn is all about baking lately.  She tried her hand at macaroons.  
They did not look so hot but they did taste pretty good.
Looking at her in these pictures makes me remember that day and the 
moment we opened the oven and we both started laughing.

Ashlynn's friend Elizabeth was over one day and they pretended to have a baking show.
They sat out the delicious results with a YOUR WELCOME sign for all to enjoy.
So adorable!
As I have been going over my pictures recently, trying to update them for journaling purposes they bring fabulous memories.  Pictures have a way of making us see and remember only the good things in life and I think that is a very good thing.
Today was Stake conference and JD and I have very different behaviors in regards to these events.  I think as long as we are in our seats when it starts, cheers to us.  He is more of the mind frame if we are not 30 minutes early, we are late.  I don't mind running right on time the top seats are my favorite anyway.  If Ashlynn is not ready,  it is not worth causing the home to be in an uproar to get out the door.  
Well today she was not ready, and it did cause an uproar.  The boy that is not suppose to drive left in one car.  Dad left in a car following him beyond mad.  Ashlynn was upset because they were mad that she was not ready. (she tends to run on Ashlynn's schedule only)  
I was upset that they could not be patient and wait for her.  
The meeting did not start for 20 more minutes and the building was 15 from our home if you drive slow.  Being on time is important, but how we make each other feel and the tone of our voice is more important.  Ashlynn and I are dressed, ready to go but we are staying home today.   I am probably making the wrong choice.  I am not about to have 3 cars at Stake conference. Ashlynn is writing a letter and reading the friend. 

 I am writing this post of an experience, I would otherwise not remember. 
Because, thankfully I have no pictures of it. 

That is why I love pictures...You never see the hard moments in a photo. 
If you don't see it, you tend to forget it ever happened.
Life is remembered as complete BLISS;).

Saturday, November 11, 2017

HAPPY #17 Daxon

Who would have ever guessed that when Daxon turned 
17, his year would have so much adventure attached to it.
A few months after this picture was taken he was in the hospital 
because he and his cousins made a dry ice bomb which exploded and a 
piece of it went into his leg.  Shortly after that, he started a long 
journey with a craniotomy to remove infection in his brain.  After 10 weeks, he FINALLY 
had the PICC line removed this week.
Over the last few months, 
I have witnessed miracle after miracle take place in this boy's life.
I believe the Lord has great things in store for him and his future.  

Daxon has never had any sympathy for people being sick.  
He has always just said "it's all in your head."  (interesting his health scare really was in his head LOL!!!)
"Change your thoughts and you can change how you feel" has always been his motto.   The few weeks before he ended up in the hospital he tried to make himself feel better.  He went to a Rascal Flatts concert one night and the next day he was so sick.  He went on a bike ride one day and it really knocked him out.  He kept saying,  I think I need to work out more so, he would try to do the Les Mills video and he just couldn't understand why he couldn't make himself feel better.

After the doctors found a reason for the way 
he was feeling, he did not let that give him a reason to lay around sick.
He was of the mind frame lets fix the problem and move on.
I think his thoughts played a big part in his recovery.  
The few times he did get discouraged, I noticed it was the times he had no 
control over the situation. . . things like being stuck in the hospital, or not being able to drive.
Situations like when you have to be able to get out of bed before getting a catheter removed, did not discourage him. It just gave him 
a goal and he was going to accomplish it as soon as possible.
I hope he never loses that strong determination and drive that is in him.

For his birthday on June 3rd, we went to Nitro circus.

It was so much fun. 
 We loved watching all those crazy people.

 I feel blessed by the many tender mercies that have come to pass in Daxon's life, and our whole family's life because of him, these past few months.  I am thankful for Daxon's example to stay positive, work hard and not be discouraged even when things don't work out the way he had originally planned.  I am thankful to be his mom. I am thankful for the many hours we have been able to spend together these past few months.  After Riley left on his mission, I was feeling a little overwhelmed at how quickly my children were flying out of my home.  How is it possible that Daxon is a Senior and would be leaving at the end of this school year as well.  It sounds weird, but I found myself almost missing Daxon. I knew graduation was coming quickly and I wanted to slow time down somehow. As parents we want our children to grow up, go to college, serve missions and be successful adults.   It is a wonderful, exciting thing to  be a part of.  We want them to grow up and move out!
Still, moments come that we know those things are coming quickly and man, it pulls the heartstrings.
Before surgery, Daxon was never home. He was always going with friends, working, and hanging out at other places.  The events of the last few months have truly slowed time down somehow.  They are not the events I would have ever wished for in order to spend more time with him.  Funny,  life does not ask permission, it just kind of happens and we get to decide how to respond... I will take those many priceless hours with Daxon and I will be thankful for them.  
 I love you Daxon!

Thursday, November 9, 2017


 Since my children were very young 
I have LOVED the zoo.
 Every zoo is great but the Omaha zoo is 
 We have always spent so much time in all the upper areas that we never 
made it to the lower level until the last two times.

 Of all the areas I think my kids like the petting zoo the most.  
We are a hands on kinda family:).

Honestly they like all the areas about the same.  This last time they LOVED the sting ray exhibit.
We buy the military pass so we can go anytime all year and get into the
 Imax for free.  It is only $60 dollars for the ENTIRE year. 
Love this deal and this zoo.