Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

These are our little Clone/Storm Troopers and theif fearless leader of the dark side, Darth Vadar this year.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Baptism Poem

This weekend we are going to be traveling all over the country it feels like. We will be spending Saturday in Oregon attending my niece Baylie's baptism and my new nephew Ryder's blessing. They were nice enough to move Ryder's blessing up a day so the family could all be there and still make it home Sunday. We get to make the trip in one day because Sunday is my other new nephew Silas' blessing in Utah. We didn't want to miss any of these special days so we'll be living out of the car for a few days.

I made Baylie a white, snuggly blanket for her baptism and wrote her this poem to go with it:

The Baptism Blanket

This soft, warm blanket White and clean
Is here to remind you
Of something unseen

When you were confirmed
A member of the church true
You were given the Holy Ghost
To comfort, lead and guide you.

This blanket is white
Like the clothing you wore
Not a spot to be found
Through and through, clean and pure.

When the blanket gets dirty
Throw it into the washer
Just like when you sin
Pray for repentance, the answer

On days when you’re sad
Scared, lonely or blue
Wrap up in the blanket
It will warm you through

The Holy Ghost is the same
Comfort, love and peace He will give
He’s just waiting for you to ask
And a righteous life to live.

I have to run now and get a bunch of unfinished stuff done before Gary gets home from work and is ready to carve pumpkins!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Are We REALLY Going Down This Road Again?

For those of you who don't know, Ethan and Dylan are really really allergic to anything milk related. No lactose or lactase at all or they get bloated and have horrible diarrhea and don't absorb any nutrients which means they don't gain weight or grow. Anyway, we finally figured this out almost two years ago after a long list of both non-invasive and very invasive tests on poor Ethan. They tested him for everything from giardia to cystic fibrosis and finally had his stomach scoped at Primary Children's to discover he was missing the enzyme to digest lactose and lactase. Dylan was easier to
figure out because we knew what we were looking for and just put him on the same diet that Ethan was on and his symptoms vanished.

Here we are almost two years later and I think we are headed down the same road again. I took Ethan to the doctor yesterday and was telling him that he was potty trained but now he was having a hard time getting to the toilet fast enough to not poop in his pants. Watching him, I don't think he's waiting too long, I think he doesn't have enough warning to get there in time. So, it's back to CBC blood tests and stool sample collection at our house. At least this time he's not in a diaper so the collection part is easier. With the diaper we had to saran wrap him first because it couldn't touch the diaper itself or it would be contaminated with whatever chemicals they use in diaper making. That was an adventure!

I'm still holding out hope that it is just Ethan being three and he will snap out of this and we won't have to go down that long road to re-scoping him like the doctor mentioned. UGH!

So off to collect some poop. YUCK!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Primary Program

Yesterday was our ward's primary program and it was quite the event. We have over 100 kids in our primary so the chapel was completely full. Thankfully my mom came up to help with Dylan and Ethan since Gary needed to be on the stand with his class and I was helping the kids who had forgotten their parts. Thanks Mom!

Tom and Logan did awesome. They had their parts down and they didn't even seem nervous when they were at the microphone to say them. I am so proud of them! I was a nervous wreck for all the kids and the secretary and I were crying before the first part was said. I've become such a baby since I've had kids!

Tom had a talk in primary after the program and he did an amazing job. He picked the subject by himself and all I did was help type it up for him and hold the pictures when he gave the talk. It was about Lehi in the Book of Mormon. I can't believe he is old enough to put a talk together by himself. Where have the years gone?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Moving Into This Century

As many of you know, Gary and I are old school. I'm talking cameras. We don't own a digital. Gary uses them for work but we have been very content with our 35mm. We bought it for our first Christmas as a married couple and it is a very nice Nikon that takes great pictures when we do what we are suppose to with it. I love the surprise of getting film developed and the anticipation as I'm waiting for the photo lab to hand me my envelope full of pictures. Often, I don't even wait to leave the store before I've ripped open the package and started looking through them.

This brings me to our very very sad news. On Wednesday night I was taking pictures of the boys in their costumes for trunk or treat at the church when the camera just froze. Like I do with all things I break, I took it to Gary to fix it. Even after taking the batteries out, it wouldn't turn all the way off. We couldn't rewind the film with the emergency manual button either. *%$!@*&$!!!!!

I took it to the repair store here in town and they told me that if I paid them $150 up front, they would do me the favor of mailing it to Nikon to be repaired. Nikon would then mail it back to repaired. Great! How long? ONLY - key word here - six to seven weeks at least. That would take us right through the holidays with no camera at home. Gary does have a little 35mm he takes on fires sometimes so I could use that but it isn't my GOOD camera with the big fancy lens and body that makes me feel like I can take the best pictures ever.

So now we have a dilemma. We can spend the money and the time to get it fixed or we can jump into the land of digital at home too. The decisions are killing me. I want a great digital camera but I don't have the cash to get the perfect camera so what do I skimp on? Which one will hold up to being jostled around in the bottom of my purse? Which will let me zoom in so that the kids don't know I'm taking their picture? So many questions.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tom, Tom, Tom

Yesterday afternoon/evening was all about Tom. We took him to the orthodontist again to check on the progress of his teeth getting ready for braces (he has to lose so many and have the adult teeth in before they can fix his under bite) and got a shock to our system. OK, really it just seems to be shocking my system. The rest of the men seem to be dealing fine. It seems he doesn't have two adult teeth to come in. The ones right next to his two top front teeth are missing in action. As in they aren't ever going to appear. As in we have to talk options. As in, "WHAT THE HECK DID I DO TO MY CHILDREN IN THE WOMB TO MAKE THESE THINGS HAPPEN!?!"

So, it looks like they may start braces sometime in January or there abouts. That we were prepared to hear. The fact that there is a good possibility that my first born may need tooth implants at $3000 a piece that most insurances don't cover yet was something that I was less than prepared to hear. The good news is that he doesn't need them right now or even in the next year and insurances are covering them more now than a year ago so time is on our side. Hopefully by the time he needs them, our insurance will step up and pay for some of it. He's getting to be an expensive kid!

From there we headed to his final football game which they played under the lights at Halliwell field. It is quite entertaining to me to watch the coaches and some of the moms at these games. They are screaming and yelling and jumping up and down and high-fiving mid jump and WAY into ever little thing that happens out on that field. I actually heard the coaches talking about the need to put the "monster squad" in during the fourth quarter to ensure a win. It is 8 and 9 year old flag football for Pete's sake! They should be learning how to play not pulling the little guys to make sure they win!

Anyway, off my soap box. Tom did great. He is turning into quite the little player. Still not my most aggressive child but that is a good thing most of the time. After the game the coaches had a little awards ceremony until they turned the lights off on us. They gave each boy a personalized trophy with an individual award which is no small fete for a team this size. Tom was awarded the Offensive Rookie Player of the Season. Good for you Tom! I'm proud of him for putting in the time and effort and giving his all to a new sport. He's a great kid with tons of potential for anything he wants to do. It's a good thing he does well at sports because his life will now be focused on playing professional something in order to pay off his mouth! Just kidding.

This is a photo from the last football practice. They ended with a game of parents versus the kids. Gary and Tom had a great time. We'll get more football photos soon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The View

This was a picture from Gary and my vacation to Glacier. We hiked into Hidden Lake at the Logan Pass Visitor's Center and this was the overlook. It was so beautiful! The weather was perfect and the company even better.

Monday, October 20, 2008


A week or so ago it turned into winter. The boys were very excited to shovel and kept asking Gary when they could all go out and help him. This all happened before 8:00 in the morning. Even Dylan was excited and I don't think he even remembers snow from last year! Usually he runs away from me when I want to get him dressed but this morning he was completely cooperative when I put his snow pants, boots, snow coat, gloves, and hat on right over his pjs. I may be partial, but I think they are pretty cute snow shovelers!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Up, Up, and Away!

OK, so the week has calmed down enough that I can finally post about last Sunday. It was amazing. At least it ended in an amazing way. Church was chaotic - we are practicing for our Primary program and everyone was squished into the small Primary room for two excruciating hours and I found out I had to plan pack meeting for Cub Scouts again ugh. By the time we got home from church, I was exhausted and Gary was going stir-crazy from sitting in that a fore-mentioned practice with a bazillion screaming kids.

Finally we had a moment of peace and quiet and were just getting settled in for our after church siesta when his work phone rang. I thought this was kind of strange because it isn't really the peak of fire season and people weren't working weekends as much anymore but whatever. When he was done, he told me that I needed to change clothes because we needed to leave. I asked him what I needed to wear to our mystery location and he smirked and said, "I'd wear all cotton fibers." At this point I made him tell me where we were going.


It rocked! We all geared up and loaded in to the helicopter and Gordy - the pilot - took us for a quick trip around town and then buzzed over our house so the boys could see it. We left Dylan in the hangar with a guy Gary worked with so the whole time I was freaking out that we left him all alone and what if something happened......I know. Crazy mom. It was so beautiful up there and I couldn't believe how fast we zipped around. The boys were in heaven. Tom and Logan had headsets on so the could talk with all of us and about 90 seconds into it you hear one of them say, "This is SO cool!"

Yep, Gary is by far the coolest dad on the block and quite the amazing husband. I had told him that I would love to go up in a helicopter one day just in passing but he pulled it off. It is one of the best surprises I have ever had. Thanks Gary for a GREAT Sunday!

Getting ready in the hangar before our flight.

Gary getting Tom and Logan's flight helmets on. Thanks helitack crew for sharing!

Do we look like Jedi fighters on Star Wars?

Tom in the helicopter mid-flight.

Logan in the helicopter mid-flight. Yes, he even poses while flying!

Ethan mid-flight. He was too little for a flight helmet so he wore some shooting ear muff things instead. Gary would just shout questions to him. I think he may have been a bit nervous but he'd never admit to it.

If you know what you are looking for - and I DIDN'T during our flight - this is an aerial view of our house. Our house is just a little to the right and up from the cul-de-sac i the middle. Look for the line of trees.

Walking back to the hangar at the end of the flight. The boys are all wearing their Forest Service Fire sweatshirts just like Dad and all the other firefighters.

The whole family on the ground again. It was an incredible afternoon. Thanks again Gary!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

They Grow Up SOOOO Fast

Last night Dylan and Ethan were exhausted from a day playing with the neighbor boys. They were both asleep before 7:30. In fact, at dinner Ethan wasn't really eating and Gary asked him if he wanted to just brush his teeth and go to bed. His response was, "No, just go to bed," and off he went to his bed. I think he was asleep before he got to his room.

Since it was just the big kids and parents, we decided to play a round of dominoes and then read scriptures for bed. It was so fun playing a real (sort of) game with the boys. When it was scripture time, Tom and Logan both took turns reading. It is still weird to me that they are old enough to actually read the Book of Mormon with us and it isn't just Gary and I doing it every night. We really slacked off this summer and are just getting started again. I know it shouldn't come as a surprise because the prophets have promised us this but, it really does bring an added measure of peace into our home. For some reason, I tend to think that nothing can bring that peace to OUR four fighting boys! It really does work though. We don't make it very far each night - sometimes only a handful of verses - but every little bit helps.

By the way, I've been waiting for some pictures to be developed before a post about our way cool and exciting weekend. Hopefully I'll get the pictures today!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dylan's Prayers

Every night before bed, we read scriptures and then kneel in a circle holding hands for family prayer. Dylan isn't really old enough to understand the kneeling thing so we've started to just put him on my lap or Gary's during the prayer and he starts out folding his arms - which is the cutest thing ever by the way! Lately, he's taken to showing the person praying just how much he loves them. Last night it was Ethan. He started with Ethan and walked over and threw his arms around him in a big hug. When he decided it was a big enough hug, he moved on to Logan and then Tom. By then the prayer was over so he waited for his turn to hug Gary and me. We all give hugs after prayers so I'm not sure if he is getting a jump start on it because he thinks he won't get a turn or if that is just his way of participating more fully during the prayer. Either way, I'll keep it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ethan's Harem

Ethan is the little Romeo of the family. Since starting preschool, he's taken a liking to a girl from our ward that goes to the same class, Emma. She is adorable and I think he has pretty good taste. Yesterday the teacher said they spent the morning holding hands. Emma's mom has told me that Emma won't talk to her about Ethan. She gets embarrassed and shy when he's mentioned.

Ethan is also a BIG fan of red heads. His neighborhood girlfriend, Claire, is also adorable and has beautiful red hair. The way he lets her name roll off his tongue is priceless, like he's taking about a newly discovered treasure. At church, they also spend time talking, giggling, and holding hands during class or while out in the foyer.

A couple of Sunday's ago, Ethan's world collided. There he was, minding his own business walking out of nursery with Claire when he ran smack into Emma leaving her Sunbeam class. He stuttered and stammered and just ran past both of them and on toward out car. It was the funniest thing I've seen in a while. At three, he wasn't sure how to handle both girlfriends he's been juggling in the same hallway. Would they find out about each other? What would the fall-out be? Would they still be his girlfriends? How did they end up in the same place?

It was too funny!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Setting the Record Straight

Picking Ethan up from preschool today, I had a chance to talk with his teacher for a minute and asked her how he did last week while Gary and I were on vacation. She said fine and then told me that he came in and said, "My Mom and Dad had to go away for a few days and talk." So........if any of you are worried, we didn't go away just to talk. We were actually just getting away to spend some uninterrupted time together! I wonder where he got that from and who else and what else he's been saying!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Glacier National Park

Gary and I went on a great vacation. For any of you who haven't gotten away with just your spouse for a while, GO FOR IT! It was so nice to just spend time together without worrying about the kids. We drove to Kallispel, Montana the first day and even though the ride was over 8 hours, it was beautiful and time flew. The hotel was amazing and the scenery seemed to get better and better.

The next morning we drove into Glacier National Park. The road that goes over the top was closed for construction just past Logan Pass but it was still amazing. We hiked to Hidden Lake at Logan Pass and saw mountain goats and big horn sheep as well as quite a few interesting people. It was nice to be able to take our time and see what we wanted to see. There weren't very many people this time of year and the leaves were all changing colors making the ride to the top great.

The next day, we took our time driving around Flathead Lake on our way to Missoula. It is mostly Indian Reservation by the lake but it is more touristy than reservation. I guess it's suppose to be the largest freshwater lake this side of the Mississippi and it too is beautiful.

The next day we drove home to our kids and Grandma. I think I fell in love with Montana! I love the rural feel and the mountains and the trees. Thanks Dani and Grandma for making this trip possible by staying with the rug rats!