Saturday, February 24, 2018

Brynne and Luke

Girl's Choice Dance...
So grateful for Luke's parents who took pictures for us.  I was at a meeting when Brynne left to go pick up Luke and didn't get to see how lovely she looked.  Luke is a stellar kid from our ward.  He and Brynne have become good friends the past year.  So fun!

Do you Hear the Words that are coming out of my mouth?

Last week I spoke in Sacrament meeting on the topic of developing a relationship with our Savior.  Tonight Josh and I are speaking in Stake Conference about receiving personal revelation for our family.  I don't know if we've figured out what the stake president had in mind, but we have our talk prepared and I'll be glad when it's over.  Too many talks for me this month!  I think I've earned a 10 year hiatus.

The kids have been super busy.  Brynne's job at McDonald's was crazy this month - she worked 5 days a week, for two weeks in a row.  This week she got a breather and was so grateful.  Track and Field starts on Monday and both Brynne and Logan are participating.  Logan has developed an interest in pole vault and javelin - so that will be interesting to see.  Today Brynne had her solo ensemble event at SOU in Ashland and, lucky for us, Logan's Brain Bowl event was also at SOU.  So we spent the morning down there and got to see both kids.  They did great.  Still waiting on results for Logan's team.  It snowed all the way down there, but warmed up enough to melt by the time we left.  Still, super fun to see those snow flakes scurrying around.  Tonight Brynne has her winter ball - I'll try to get ahold of pictures later.

Logan finished wrestling.  I can't tell how much he likes it.  He almost didn't wrestle this year, but it's good exercise and he enjoys the technical aspects of it - just not the locker-room talk I think.

Kenna's moving along with her violin studies.  She also enjoys sounding out songs on the piano.  She's competing in Battle of the Books next week.

Natalie's still loving practicing piano.  I love that she never whines about it.  She's so excited about her birthday next week.  It's the start of birthday season for us.  I think we are having an actual birthday party.  I realized it's going to be her first.  Does that make me a bad mom?

Faith had some moderate hearing loss for a few months due to a cold.  It drove me crazy!  She would look at me with such a blank look while I was speaking to her and I could tell she wasn't comprehending a word!  Luckily it seems to have improved finally.

Did I mention on the blog that Brynne was accepted to BYU-Idaho?  That was where she wanted to go.  We are waiting to find out her track so we can make plans.  It's so strange to think that child #2 is going to be flying the coop soon.  I'm not sure I like this growing up business.

Christmas 2017

What with the wedding and everything, we planned for a quiet Christmas at home and it was exactly what we needed.  The award for best gift went to Logan - who gave Josh a box inside a box inside a box inside a box.  And that was it.  Josh loved it!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Wedding Post-Op

For some reason my last blog post didn't post and even though I knew it - I didn't have time to fix that.  So three weeks late for your viewing pleasure, that blog post is below.

Now we are home from Idaho.  It was a good trip.  About a week before we left I was not sleeping and feeling highly stressed and after some conversations with friends and a few heart to hearts with myself, I determined that I was worrying about things I had no control over and resolved that I did NOT want to remember this wedding as a super stressful experience!  I wanted to be able to enjoy the day!  So with that end in mind, I went back over the things I knew that *I* needed to do, updated my lists, put my processes in place, and stopped thinking so much about everything else.  Prayer figured into this as well.  And I stopped feeling stressed.  I haven't slept great in months, but I slept better.  When we got to Idaho, I had very short to-dos for each day and felt like I had time to spend with my family.  On the day of the wedding things went wonderfully.  We kept it as simple as we could and I think that paid off.    Having friends there who offered support made a big difference.  The first lesson I learned is that every mother of the bride needs a wingman - someone who is there for moral support, tackles the odd jobs, directs the traffic, etc.  In this instance, for me, it was Julia - who was able to be with me for the entire day.  I couldn't have done it without her!

The second thing I learned is that it is WELL worth the money to hire someone to decorate - worth it's weight again when they also do all the take-down.  We left the church at 9:30 and didn't have to worry about a thing.  The helpers that Janet had recruited for the food cleaned the kitchen.  Friends helped load up the wedding gifts into a trailer that the Sants provided.  It was quick and painless and we got to go home and relax after a very long day.

I have a cold so I've been tired the past few days.  I spent the day after the wedding getting organized for our trip home.  Then we spent an exhausting day in the car.  And finally Friday I spent about 75% of the day in bed.  Between wedding and the oncoming cold I was tired.  I'm still tired but I think if I didn't have a cold I'd be feeling better.  So next lesson - book some serious downtime after the event.  I'm so glad we had Christmas prep finished before we left town.  I was done by the 8th, had the next week to focus solely on wedding stuff, then the wedding week, and now Christmas is my down time.  We are eating simple, healthy foods, watching lots of movies, and sleeping as much as we need.  It's perfect.

All in all, though, I think it was a successful event and we were able to witness the creation of a new family unit in the proper place with the proper authority - which was really the only part that mattered.  We look forward to getting to know and love Keaton better.  I told Faith the night before the wedding that she was getting a new brother the next day.  That is now one of her favorite things to  say: "I have TWO brothers!"  She won't remember life without Keaton in our family.  Sort of interesting to think about that.
She also wondered when Brynne and Logan were getting married.  I told her it would probably be awhile.  ;-). Thank goodness.

Car packed with all Hannah's junk!

 Playing in the snow on Monday - all my kids plus Keaton were out there and Josh and I loved watching them all play together!

Faith's favorite activity was to yell for Keaton and then walk into him with a pile of snow in her arms.  She couldn't figure out how to throw that much so she just crashed into him with it.

For FHE that night the kids opened their Christmas jammies from Grandma Richardson.

Wedding day!  On our way to the Temple after a quick stop at Jamba Juice for some nourishment!

The reception decor

Julia and I just before it starts - so grateful she was there!

The next day Hannah and Keaton stopped by before heading to SLC and decided to open some wedding gifts.

Faith with one of the few cousins on this side who is younger than her - I asked her to keep an eye on K and she tossed her arm around K's shoulder.

The happy lovebirds!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wedding Pre-Op

3 weeks until W-Day.  It's feeling very surreal that it is ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN that my eldest is going to get married.  Mom - I just want to apologize now for putting you through this at such a young age.  It's not until walking in your shoes that I fully realize what I did to you.  I'm sorry.

On the good side of that coin, I think we're basically ready.  I have a little to-do list but mostly it's stuff that I can't take care of until the last week.  So I'm turning my attention to Christmas and my family for the next couple weeks.  We have two weeks to do all our pre-Christmas celebrating so the  Christmas season is feeling too short and rushed.  But I'm hoping that the actual Christmas Day will be quiet and peaceful.  We will get back into Grants Pass two days or so before Christmas when I will purchase a boatload of food to see us through the holiday and hopefully sequester myself with my family for a long weekend and just enjoy our time together.

Our Christmas presents will be simple - they are already on their way and once wrapped I will be almost done with that.   One gift per kid but they are good ones.

I've been reading books like crazy.  I realized something several months ago.  With family and church busyness I had almost given up reading for pleasure and I discovered that I NEED that.  It's really one of my favorite pastimes and I don't need to give every good thing up in my life in order to serve my family and my ward.  So I considered my options and made some time.  Utilizing my Kindle app and the Deseret Book app has helped immensely.  When I'm sitting in the carline at school I have a few minutes to read.  Setting a goal to read a fun book for at least 15 minutes before I go to bed has also helped.  Right now they're mostly re-reads (Brandon Sanderson novels and my Anne books), but I have a few educational books by my bed that I read for a few minutes.  I'm a firm believer that we can make time for whatever is important to us - and I decided that this was one thing I wasn't giving up.  my piano practicing on the other hand... that's taken a bit of a hit - although I still plunk away now and then.   Thank goodness for church playing that keeps me in practice!

I'm excited for the curriculum changes in Relief Society.  It's going to help us get a little deeper into the Gospel, serve a little more, and allow us to really be taught individually by the Spirit and by each other.  Figuring out how to accomplish this is a little more challenging.  For instance, one of the suggestions for our 1st Sunday council meeting is to sit in a circle.  Since I already have 45 women packed into our room and no time to rearrange chairs, we are trying to think how we can get that feeling without having to rearrange the room.  Also, we discussed how to teach and train our teachers to think of themselves more as facilitators and give them techniques to work with.  One of my counselors threw out some great ideas so maybe I can delegate this to her. ;-). That's the great thing about having talented women to work with.  Sure love those ladies.  This has been the best calling for getting to know the members of my ward quickly and thoroughly!  It has it's stressful or frustrating moments and a lot of exhausting ones, but overall it is a calling of JOY.  I'm learning so much.  I just feel bad for my poor ward members who have to suffer through my stumbling and slow learning.

During my 20-30 minutes of treadmill time I've been enjoying the Amazon series the created about Queen Victoria (also enjoyed The Crown - about Queen Elizabeth II).  They are basically historical fiction films - my favorite book genre on the silver screen!  It's slow going just the right kind of show to keep my interest while I'm walking.  I tried watching short comedy shows like Last Man Standing that are about 20 minutes long, but they're too fluffy and when you are watching them that frequently they all sort of start to run together...

Sunday, November 12, 2017


I did a post that had some pictures from our trip.  BUT our internet was having issues and who really wants to see photos of a vacation they didn't go on.  I know I only like it sometimes...but sometimes I would rather have gone myself.  ;-). Suffice to say, Josh and I had a great week together and our kids were alive when we came home - which is about all we wanted.

I wanted to share some things today.

First, we had our Primary Program.  If we could have videoed this we would have.  Faith does not sing Primary songs.  Instead, she head-bangs along to every song with a huge grin on her face.  It was hysterical.

One of Kenna's friends has anxiety and had a full meltdown as she waited in line to say her part.  Tears streamed down her face.  It was so sweet to watch Kenna quietly whisper in her ear to comfort her, and hold her hand to cheer her up.  Kenna is a nurturing soul and she cares deeply for this friend who needs her.

I had a miracle happen today.   Remember the conference talk about miracles in our lives?  I wanted to share this one because it was a perfect example of a small miracle.
I got assigned to purchase supplies for 25 care baskets the Ward Council is putting together on Wednesday.  Yesterday I did my shopping for them and decided to grab some bags of popcorn.  Let's see - 6 pkgs in a box, 4 boxes should be enough.  I'm obviously not a math major.  Fast forward to church this morning - the Bishop added a name to the list so now I had 26 baskets to provide for - no problem, I knew I had an extra gift bag.  Didn't even remember the popcorn.  Ok.  Here's the miracle - after church this sweet lady comes up to me with a plastic bag and said she wanted to contribute something to the baskets.  She hands me TWO pkgs of popcorn.  As I take them I realize for the first time that I had been short exactly two between my own miscalculations and the Bishop's addition. Two.  And that's what she hands me.   Heavenly Father cares about the details of our lives - even if it's just popcorn.

So now the pictures from the past month or so:

Kenna and Brynne have ONE year together at the District Play-In.

This is not my sunset.  But isn't it lovely?  I love these colors.

Miss Hannah went to the Temple for the first time in October.  It was super amazing.

Love watching my kids do sweet things together, like read aloud.

This girl - how cute is she?

Brynne took Senior photos.  {heart}

And went to Homecoming with this cute boy....

She built a bridge out of popsicle sticks all on her own.  She rocked it!

Faith loved carving pumpkins!

As did Kenna.

Logan did two that night.  So we know he likes it even if he doesn't show it.

Last Halloween with all 6 kidlets.

We had a couple families over for dinner potluck and trick-or-treating.  It was super fun!

I took these girls to rake leaves for the grandparents - shhhh....they will figure it out when they get home tomorrow!  They worked so hard for an hour and got the lawn pretty much done.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

family fun

 School has started!  Brynne and I snuck away for a quick BYU/OSU women's soccer game.  BYU rocked it. My friend Julia's niece played and scored.  fun!

Two days later Brynne got her wisdom teeth extracted.  Not so fun.  Her darling friends brought ice cream!

Logan and Faith are buddies and it is so sweet!

On Friday we went to the Grants Pass football game.  Josh and I both lucked out with friends who invited us and one child to join them.

Here are Ella and Kenna - and my friend Heidi photobombing them.  ;-)

And Megan and Natalie

And I went with Amy

Faith's imagination has taken off.  She plays pretend All. Day.  Long.
She especially loves to play with the baby toys in my closet.

Natalie lost a tooth.  This is what she sent the tooth fairy. 
I drew an amazing fairy picture back.

We left for Hawaii.  You know it's going to be a great trip when you start off on the Beaver plane.  I may have cheered for BYU at the soccer game, but OSU is my second fave.

Hannah also got two of her wisdom teeth extracted.  It was interesting to see the difference in how they dealt with it.  Brynne was silent and communicated with me as little as possible.  Hannah was chatty the minute she got in the car.