Friday, June 29, 2012

No More Cast!

And yes, Zane was able to get the cast off when we got home!

I knew he would want to keep it but there was NO WAY that was happening. I told him we would take pictures of it so he could always remember it and the people who had signed it.

 Sure enough, they cut it off and asked if I wanted it. Zane said yes and I said no thank you. I reminded him about the pictures and he reluctantly agreed.

When we got home he put on his Spiderman costume again and I told him absolutely no jumping or crawling walls. This Spiderman must keep both feet on the ground!

His arm smelled real bad and it was covered in dead skin. GROSS! Washing with soap was not enough. I found my exfoliating scrub and replenishing hand cream and did a thorough treatment on his entire arm. Much better!

Zane is excited to bathe himself and go swimming again!

The JOY of Family

We did have fun in Oregon, visiting some of our family. Wish we would have had more time to spend with everyone. Morgan and Zane loved seeing their cousins and sleeping at Grandma and Grandpa's house! (I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of my sister and her kids.)

 (Morgan & Brinley)

 (Zane, Corbin, & Addison)

 We took flowers to the cemetery to Scott's mom...

 and to his grandma.

 We went for a drive with Grandpa and stopped to skip rocks in the Grande Ronde. Zane asked if the forest was a real place. I asked him if it looked like he was in a forest. He said yes. Yep. The forest is real.

We had hoped to get the cast off before we headed to Oregon but the doctor said it wasn't quite ready. Zane was very angry and insisted he was going swimming at Grandma's any way. Luckily the weather was a little too cold for swimming.
 Morgan searched for just the right rocks to skip across the water.

 I loved taking my kids to places I where I played as a kid! (I spent many hours swimming in that river.)

We had a friendly game of kick ball at Scott's cousin's house. The kids thought it was the most fun ever! And the big kids were gentle, most of the time.

 Morgan finally figured out how to kick the ball up and run with out missing a step.

 While Zane easily mastered the jump kick.

 They played until the sun was almost behind the mountain and their toes were sore and bruised.

 One last look at our beloved Mt, Emily and it was time to leave Oregon.

 Not so happy to be leaving and very tired.

 I think he was saying lets go get this cast off.

We stopped in Twin Falls and had dinner with Aunt Erin's family. It was great to spend time with them and fill ourselves with Gertie's Pizza. Wish we could have stayed longer but we had to get to Brit's to reach our half way home mark before bedtime.

There really isn't much to look at while driving across Wyoming but the smoke from the fire burning in Colorado was pretty exciting. As we approached Cheyenne the smoke was so thick it was burning our eyes and throats. In fact, we could barely see Cheyenne through the dark, gray clouds.

Although this was not a planned trip I am so glad we were able to go. And I'm glad Brit was able to get some time off and come for a few days as well. 

There truly is nothing more important, or anything that brings greater JOY, than family.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Strong to the end!

“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”  
~Doctrine and Covenants 18:10

Last week we were blessed with the opportunity to travel home to Oregon. Scott's cousin courageously battled cancer for 3 1/2 years. She was an amazing woman! She was always cheerful and helpful. She was so strong and encouraged strength in others. We will treasure our memories of her wonderful example!

It's hard to understand why this mother of 3 beautiful girls would need to leave this earth life. It breaks my heart that her 3 year old daughter won't have many memories of her mother. It was so hard to see her husband trying to console the girls. It's easy to ask why...

But we have to trust that God does have a plan for our lives. I know that all experience can be for our good. I pray that these sweet little girls will always remember their mother's strength. I pray they will follow her example to face life head on with a smile. (Even if it's a forced smile at times.) I pray they will carry on the legacy she left for them and accomplish great things in their lives. Someday they will see their mother again.

Just after Riki's death, a rainbow was seen over their home. A coincidence? I don't think so. A tender mercy from the Lord, as they drove home that day, letting them know everything will be okay.

"Trusting in God’s will is central to our mortality. With faith in Him, we draw upon the power of Christ’s Atonement at those times when questions abound and answers are few."
~Elder Ronald A. Rasband

Sunday, June 17, 2012

all about my DAD . . .

I had Morgan and Zane complete a questionaire about their dad to give to him for Father's Day. I love their answers!
My dad is _42_ years old.
My dad is really strong, he could lift a car.
My dad’s favorite color is blue.
My dad’s favorite food is sausage.
My dad always says "I love you."
My dad is the best at taking care of cows.
My dad’s job is cowboy.
My dad laughs when funny videos is on.
My dad & I like to walk the dog.
My dad really loves to watch TV.
I love my dad because he helps us.

My dad is _23_ years old.
My dad is really strong, he could lift a kid.
My dad’s favorite color is blue.
My dad’s favorite food is corn dogs.
My dad always says "clean your room."
My dad is the best at feeding Tucker.
My dad’s job is working at a feedlot.
My dad laughs when I tell him jokes.
My dad & I like to play games and go fishing.
My dad really loves to fish.
I love my dad because he's my DAD.

Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hurry Up and Slow Down

"Everywhere people are in a hurry. Jet-powered aircraft speed their precious human cargo across broad continents and vast oceans so that business meetings might be attended, obligations met, vacations enjoyed, or families visited. Roadways everywhere—including freeways, thruways, and motorways—carry millions of automobiles, occupied by more millions of people, in a seemingly endless stream and for a multitude of reasons as we rush about the business of each day.

"In this fast-paced life, do we ever pause for moments of meditation—even thoughts of timeless truths? When compared to eternal verities, most of the questions and concerns of daily living are really rather trivial. What should we have for dinner? What color should we paint the living room? Should we sign Johnny up for soccer? These questions and countless others like them lose their significance when times of crisis arise, when loved ones are hurt or injured, when sickness enters the house of good health, when life’s candle dims and darkness threatens. Our thoughts become focused, and we are easily able to determine what is really important and what is merely trivial."  ~President Thomas S. Monson

One summer, when I was about 12 and my sister was about 6, my mom signed us up for swim lessons. We got up early each morning and walked to the other side of town where the pool was. On most of our walks, to and from the pool, my sister lagged behind and I frequently told her to HURRY UP. 

On school mornings it seems the kids don't move fast enough. While tying her shoes, Morgan will stop and tell me a story about something that happened the day before. Or she will stop eating her breakfast to write on her reading log. I constantly tell her to HURRY UP before the bus comes.

My goal in shopping is to get in, get what I need, and get out. The children often want to stop and look at things. (Especially if there is a toy section in the store.) I usually keep walking and yell over my shoulder, HURRY UP.

These thoughts and many others came to mind as I listened to President Monson's talk in conference. Why am I always in a hurry? Will I really find JOY in the journey of life if I am always in a hurry? What if I slowed down and took time to savor the moments, especially the time I have with family and friends.

In my conference notes for this talk I wrote, "What if we all lived today like it was our last day on earth? What would I do differently?" Our time here is so short and we don't know when it will end. Instead of hurrying to do all the things that don't really matter, how would my life be different if I spent more time with those things, and people, who really do matter? If we take the time to slow down we will find JOY in the journey.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Roadtrip JOY

We had a friend taking her kids to Utah for a week and decided to go along for the ride. All 5 children did really well which made the long drive across WY more enjoyable. They dropped us off in Logan and went on to stay with their family. A week later, she picked us up and we headed home. Perfect!

We had SO much fun in Logan with Brit and Levi. With one boy in a cast and one boy with his belly stitched together we had to cancel the swimming activities but we still found lots to do. 

Our first day, Brit's boss asked her to set up a both at the Providence Day Fair. She was only supposed to stay for about an hour until he could get there. 4 1/2 hours later we were finally leaving. Morgan and Zane had so much fun though. There were lots of games and prizes for the kids which kept them entertained. They had a several bouncy toys but we decided to avoid them. I did let the kids ride on the rocket swing. (The guy had to push start it and it didn't go very fast at all but the kids loved it.)

We went up in the canyon a few times and found a lake with snow around it still. Snowball fight in June - pure JOY!

We also went to First Dam and fed the incredibly fat ducks and geese. It was fun to watch the mamas with their babies.

Nature and wildlife... what more can you ask for...
 How about a boat?!

Levi put his canoe in the water and the kids were in heaven!

  They took turns going out on the water. Morgan got to duck under the walking bridge, row under the BIG car bridge, and explore the rapids upstream. Zane got to go close to the dam and help catch a fish for Levi's dinner.

 What's wrong with this picture? We had to find a different spot to fly the kite.

 Zane won a kite at the fair we went to. He was anxious to fly it but we had NO wind for several days. This day there was a little breeze with an occasional 5 mph gust. (Nothing like our home in NE where 20 mph breezes are normal!)

 The kids did a lot of running to keep the kite flying!

 We enjoyed some sunshine.

 We enjoyed the COLD water. And we ended the day with roasted hotdogs and lemonade.

  We did some shopping, painted nails, cooked yummy food, roasted marshmallows and Starbursts, and had a fantastic time. My highlight was going to the temple with Brit and Levi and then to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. The best!

 We returned home to an amazing sunset, thanks to a large fire in WY. Morgan said, "Time goes so fast. I woke up in Utah and now I'm going to bed in Nebraska." Time does go too fast!

We're Going to the Zoo!

We found a cute little zoo in Logan. Nothing too fancy but fun for kids who LOVE animals.

We woke up to gray skies and thought our zoo day would be postponed. By noon, the sun was shining so we packed a lunch and headed to the park. It was a little cool but we were hopeful the sun would quickly warm things up. But as we finished our lunch we could see dark clouds rolling in again and the wind really picked up.

We were determined though and hurried in to see the animals!

 The baby emus were SO cute!

 Look! It's Crane from Kung Fu Panada!

Peacocks are incredibly LOUD!

 Our favorite was the tortoise. He circled his enclosure, following the fence line, as if he was looking for a way out. He paused in the corner and the kids were excited that he seemed to be stopping to say hello. Then Brit realized he had hooked his toenail and once he was free he moved on.

The raccoon was bigger than the one Levi shot at our house. (Don't say that too loud at the zoo!) The sign said he needed to be adopted and Morgan wondered if he was house trained and could we bring him home with us. When I explained they only wanted you to give money to help take care of him she was a little disappointed. We'll keep looking for a pet.

The temperature dropped rapidly so our visit was cut short. We still had fun though!