Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ann!

Ann turned 18 years old today! We celebrated by going to Olive Garden, Ann's favorite and mine too. Then we came home and opened presents. Ann wanted a fuzzy blanket, and I got her a bright pink one, even though she hates pink. How can that be? I get to have another girl in the house finally, and she can't stand pink.

Ann and I are going to go to Time Out for Women and girls. I am excited to get to spend an entire Saturday with just us. I love Time Out for Women and am excited to get to go to this event, as well.

Happy Birthday, Ann! We love you! You are incredibly talented and a lot of fun. Ann has so many good qualities and talents that I admire. She sings, draws incredibly, plays the flute and is really intelligent. I am thankful for the relationship that Ann and I are developing. I also love having her around to talk about girl stuff. She is a great example and trys hard to live the gospel. I am very proud of her and am so thankful that she is apart of my life!


Kuddos to all of you that have raised teenagers. I have no idea what I am doing. I am so in over my head. I love Ann, Ariyona and Taylor to death, but it has been a long time since I was their age. Does anyone else ever want to shake their teenagers and tell them to grow up? In one minute I am laughing and loving them them being around, the next, I seriously want to strangle them. Are they all a little self centered, hate doing chores, want to sleep all the time or just be on the computer? Then, the next minute I couldn't be more happy and proud of them and the choices they are making. Any advice from those of you who have raised teenagers, call me!

Ann, Taylor and Ariyona, if you read this, know that I love you and most of time think you are absolutely adorable and wonderful! You all know somedays you make me a little crazy, like I am sure I make you crazy too! Love you guys!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Hayden is hysterical when he starts quoting commercials.

We constantly are hearing, "Save money. Live Better. Walmart." In fact, if we go to buy things at a different store, he quotes Walmart and says we should be shopping at Walmart, and we could go to Disneyland more often. He told me we needed to shop at Walmart because it was the responsible thing to do.

This morning, it is, "We need to go to www.leapsterworld.com and enter the secret code. Then we can sign up for exciting surprises and cool free gifts".

He followed me around for weeks quoting the Zoobooks commercial, "Call 1-866.... to order these educational products for your child. This will give your child a jumpstart on learning and education. It will teach your child about the world around them and give them a well rounded outlook on nature." I heard it so many times and he would ask me, "Don't you want me to get a jump start on my future and learning?". I caved we own zoobooks.

I love him! I love his little quirks! He is an advertisers best friend. He can quote almost any commercial out there, especially if it is something he likes or wants. What a crack up!

Our Anniversary

Eight years ago today, I married Thomas. I had no idea then what a great and wonderful guy I was really getting. Thomas is one of the most amazing guys around. He would and has done everything he can to make me happy! He is kind, caring, compassionate, humble, a hard worker, loving and a great example of Christ. He is an amazing father to Hayden and everyone that comes into our home. He truly loves people and sees the best in them. He can find people's great attributes in a second and always states positive things about people.

Thomas is all these wonderful things to so many people. He has a heart of gold and would do anything to help anyone out. He also will do a million little things without expecting anyone to even notice. I love that he is teaching these wonderful attributes to Hayden and teaching him to serve others.

Thomas is my rock! He has always been there for me to lean on, no matter what the situation. When Thomas was in the hospital last year in ICU, at one point they told me to say anything I needed to tell him because he wasn't doing so well. As I looked at him and held his hand, all kinds of emotions came rushing at me. I could see our entire marraige. At that moment, such an overwhelming peace came over me. I had no regrets. I knew that Thomas and I loved each other. I knew he knew that I loved him and was so grateful to be blessed to be his wife. I knew at that moment, that although no marraige is perfect, that we both have given this marraige 100%.

I think about that experience now and then and am so grateful that my wonderful husband is still with me. I'm thankful that he is still here to make more memories with, thankful for more time for him to show Hayden how to be a husband and a dad, and more time for him to be by my side. That experience has also made me so much more grateful for eternal marraiges and the knowledge that we can be together forever, even after death.

I am so thankful for my sweet husband. I am so glad I made the decision to marry him and that he wanted me. Happy Anniversary, Thomas, I love you!

Party for Ann

Last night we threw a birthday party for Ann. We had all kinds of food and snacks, Thomas even made a black forest cake, since it is Ann's favorite! We had the Wii and Playstation 3 set up with guitar hero, boxing and bowling. I think for our first teenage party, we did great!

Ann practicing guitar hero before the party. She is really good.

Taylor before the party. I was told no pictures once other people started coming.


Thomas attending to all the food details of the party

My favorite part was sitting on my bed reading and I could hear Ann just laughing and having fun. An overwhelming happiness came over me and I was just so happy that she was happy and having fun. I've been so concerned that this would be such a hard adjustment for her. I was relieved to see her just having fun and making new friends. It is amazing to me that although she has only been with us a short time, how much I have already grown to love her and think of her as just apart of our family. Then, after everyone left, she came in my room, sat on my bed and we talked for over an hour. Nothing earth shattering, just talked about the night, her friends and life. I sure loved it!

Hayden loved the party, he got to pick out his own movies and have a movie marathon in our room. He watched Scooby Doo all night with his dad. Since he is still sick, it was the best way to keep him down and out of the teenager party. And the best part for Hayden, snowcones! Yummy!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

One sick kiddo

Hayden sure is one sick little guy. He never really runs high fevers but last night it hit 104.7 degrees with Tylenol and Motrin in him. Not only that, he looked awful and wouldn't really respond. I called the doctor and she said to head to ER. Luckily, they opened the new Phoenix Children's Hospital urgent care. We decided to try it out.

PCH urgent care is as great as the hospital. The staff is amazing! Within a couple of hours, they had Hayden's fever dropped and he was talking and charming the staff. He is so funny. I've never met anyone as "at home" in a hospital, as Hayden. He absolutely loves doctors, nurses, the machines and the entire hospital enviornment (except for needles). What a crazy kid. He was cracking the doctors up and explaining to them how his heart was switched and how Dr. Teodori fixed it. He had them all being putty in his hands. He was telling them he was going to grow up and be a scientist that studies dieases. But, that he also wanted to be able to help the kids when they were sick. He was explaining his experiments and how they were going to make kids get better. Seriously, do most 6 year old boys try science experiments to eliminate disease? I love Hayden and all his little quirks. Oh, they asked him to rate his pain and he pointed to the smiley face. The nurse said, "Hayden, everytime you cough or talk, you get a scrunchy face, you can't be happy?" He said, "oh, I know it hurts, but I still like being here, so I am happy". It is true. Hayden can find the good in anything, and he had people that would listen to his stories and were fascinated by his heart. He was in his element and regardless of being sick, he was happy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

2008 Vote

What a great clip done by the Catholic church. It made me realize the importance of voting this year. There are definitely a lot of issues at stake.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What a weekend!

We had such a great weekend! It was packed full of exciting events. We had the gymnastics stars tour, Makayla's baptism, Rilla came for a visit, we watched Jodi's kids and all three girls had a big dance on Saturday night. It was a whirlwind, but fun! You never know who is going to show up at our house, or when. I love it. I always wanted to have the home where everyone came to. I love having a lot of people around and I'm always up for fun and games. I love that people feel comfortable enough to just stop by. Bring on the fun, laughter and joy. The more the merrier!

Brooklyn loved that the girls included her in their getting ready activities. She wanted to go to the dance so badly with the big girls. These three girls are amazing and are so good to the younger kids!

Taylor, Ann, Ariyona, me and Brooklyn hanging out on the couch talking.

Thomas and Suzi were tickling Hayden and Brooklyn.

Thomas humoring the kids and letting them dog pile him and play horsey.

Thomas sword fighting with Brigham and Hayden. That is one dangerous sport. I always get whacked and even those soft swords can hurt.

Jodi was so funny, they had a fundraiser and she came over and literally took off all my jewelery and put it on, including my necklace, earrings, bracelet, ring and then took my purse. She is so funny! But, she looked adorable!

Rilla with the kiddos. Hayden and Rilla always exchange elephants. They both collect them and they are definitely Hayden's favorite animal. Hayden found a really soft one for Rilla for her birthday!

What an incredibly fun weekend! I looked around our house Saturday night and we had all kinds of people over... there were a tons of different people that didn't know each other but it was fun, loud, and chaotic... it was perfect!

The Big Dance

I laugh that there are always teenage girls at our house. Last night, as Ann, Taylor and Ariyona were all getting ready for the dance, I realized how different our lives are now. We were discussing who was taking the girls to the dance and who was picking them up, helping them get ready and laughing at their complete enthusiasm as they were discussing which guys they were hoping to be there. In some ways it seems so very long ago and in other ways I still remember the giddy feeling I had as I went to dances. It is fun to get to experience all these things with the girls.

They had a great time. Ann talked to the guy she liked, Ariyona had the "perfect" evening and danced the entire night with her guy, Taylor had fun but it didn't turn out exactly like she had planned. The theme for the dance was Back to School. Ariyona and Taylor were all excited and wanted to show school spirit. They got all dressed up for the dance, including making QCHS Bulldogs shirts, spraying their hair purple, painting their faces and wore school colors. Ann told me her intent was to meet guys, she would wear purple, but that was the extent she was getting into the spirit. I laughed at the difference between freshmen and seniors.

The girls get to the dance and they are the only two dressed up. Everyone else is just in regular clothes. They about died. Ann helped them out and helped redo their hair and took the face painting off them. They had a great time anyway, but I laughed and laughed at how excited they were to dress up and then were so embarrased when they got there. We are having fun with these teenage girls and we love them to death!

Taylor and Ariyona in their school spirit attire.

The girls getting ready for the dance!

Taylor, Ann and Ariyona

They were sitting and talking about which guys they wanted to dance with.

Taylor is always peppy and so smiley!

Makayla's Baptism

Makayla, Taylor's little sister, is 10 years old and asked to have the missionaries come over and teach her the discussions. She met with the missionaries and developed a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She decided to pattern her life after the Savior and was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday. She was so happy and smiley all day. She has a strong testimony of the gospel and she is seeing the benefits of having the Holy Ghost in her life. She is a good girl and I am so happy for her that she made the decision to pattern her life after the Savior. Thomas was honored for her to pick him as one of her witnesses and help confirm her a member of the church.

Taylor, Makayla and Ariyona

Rilla and Hayden

Rilla came to visit us this weekend! We sure love when she is here. She is a wonderful grandma to Hayden and loves him dearly. The feeling is mutual, we all adore her. She is the kindest, most humble and loving person. We are so blessed to have her as apart of our lives. Hayden and her have a special bond since she watched him as a little guy. He loves that when she comes, the weekend is all about him; they play playdough, legos, do arts and crafts and watch movies. We love you, Rilla and are so glad you came for a visit!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

USA Gymnastics

Last night, Thomas and I went to the USA Gymnastics Superstars event. It was so much fun. A bunch of the USA gymnasts were on tour including Shawn Johnson, Nastia Lukein, Shannon Miller, the Hamm brothers and the USA mens team. They were absolutely phenomenal. I absolutely love watching gymnastics, so it was incredible to be right there next to all these incredible gymnasts while they were performing. Their gymnastics abilities were even more impressive up close. What a memorable evening!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My precious little boy

This morning Hayden asked me why only adults could hear Jesus talk and he couldn't hear him anymore. I explained that when Jesus talks we have to hear with our hearts, not our ears. Trying to get him to understand, I asked him if he ever felt really happy inside his heart. His response, "Yah, I always do when I'm with you mom!". How precious is he!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Suzi is so great! She is a wonderful aunt to not only Hayden, but all the kids. They all adore her. It is no wonder that they do, she is absolutely amazing with them! I mean what aunt is crazy enough to put on a Spiderman costume and run around playing with the kids. Brigham was hilarious trying to copy Hayden and making superhero poses. Watching them play last night was absolutely priceless. I love when they all get along great and just really play hard together.


Suzi made a volcano with Hayden while we were out of town. It still needed to be painted and exploded. On Sunday evening Suzi came over and me, Ann, Suzi and Hayden painted the volcano and set it off.

Hayden loved watching what happened when he put in the baking soda and vinegar. He is such a science fan!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Macey's Baptism

My niece, Macey was baptized yesterday. She was absolutely glowing with a huge smile on her face all day! I don't think I have ever seen her just radiant, like she was yesterday.

The primary children sang a song and the words were "I want to feel as clean as the earth right after rain". I started thinking about how the earth actually feels to me after it has rained. I love rain, I love the way it smells, the way the gentle breeze feels on my skin, the taste of the newness. With all my senses, I can feel the cleanliness that rain gives the earth. A renewed life, a new beginning a fresh start.

I started thinking about the relevance between baptism and rain. Baptism, like rain, also gives renewed life, it is a cleansing of the body and soul. It is a new commitment to pattern our lives after the Savior. I found myself wishing that baptism wasn't a one time thing, how I would love to be like Macey, and be as clean as the day I was born, to be completely pure and worthy to be in the presence of our Savior. Although that cannot happen, I am grateful for the opportunity to take the Sacrament each Sunday, to be reminded of the covenants that I made with the Lord on my baptism day. To be able to try harder to be like our Savior. I am thankful for His perfect plan to allow us all the opportunity to repent and again become clean like the day we were baptized. I am thankful for baptisms and sacred gospel ordinances that help me to remember the covenants I have made and it renews my dedication of patterning my life after our Savior.

Me and Macey right before she was baptized.

Me and Brinley. She was so funny, she doesn't like anyone besides her mom. But, I had skittles (I knew she would be there) and she loves candy. So all during the baptism she would run up to me, get candy and run back to her mom. She eventually caved and figured she'd get more candy if she just let me hold her.

It is funny to me how much Hayden and Treyson adore each other considering the age difference. Hayden is convinced that Treyson is going to grow up and be just like him.

Hayden sat with Grandpa at the baptism and was his shadow. He loves his grandpa.

Which Disney Princess are you?

You Are Mulan!
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Strong and spirited. You're no one's girly girl; actually you are very determined person with a strong sense of self. Never let go of that! The only thing that equals your sense of self is your family, but the traditions of society can always be bent to protect something or someone you love.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hot Water

I have an entire new appreciation for all of life's conveniences. Our hot water heater broke last week, yes, last week. Long story to why it isn't fixed yet... can I just say that my husband doesn't like to pay for repairs and is trying to fix it all himself. (Note: a plumber is coming this morning). So, I have been having to haul all my stuff, along with Hayden and Ann, and going to Suzi's every night to be able to shower. Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful to be able to still take a hot shower or bath, but just the ordeal of having to go somewhere else and all the extra time it takes. I guess going without makes me really appreciate of what I do have. And, I am so excited to have hot water again today!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Remembered

I remember that morning very clear in my head. The day before we found out we were having a boy. I was so excited. I woke up thinking about Hayden and all the great things we were going to do together.

My thoughts were quickly turned around as I remember vividly driving to work and hearing the news of the World Trade Center being attacked. I rushed into work to watch CNN on the tv. I couldn't believe that America had been attacked. My heart broke for those that were there experiencing it first hand. I quickly called all my family just to make sure that they were safe. Poor Jodi, Troy was in New York at the time. Jodi got in her car and drove to Arizona just so we could all be together.

I remember the feelings I had that day of love, unity, and being proud to be an American.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

KMLE Miracle Marathon

I love the next 40 hours of radio on KMLE country. I throughly enjoy listening to all the stories that the parents and staff of PCH tell during the telethon. I am so touched by the stories of survival of these young children. My heart breaks for the parents that were not as fortunate as me, to still be holding their children. Phoenix Children's Hospital holds a very special place in my heart. They staff there is incredible. I think they have some of the greatest doctors, nurses and staff around. The doctors and staff sure helped me cope during such a difficult time when Hayden was born.

As I listen to the telethon, I am so thankful to all the wonderful, generous caring people that care about kids; and are so willing to donate to such a wonderful hospital. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful hospital in case our kids every need it. I hope no other child I know needs to go there, but if they do, I know they will be loved, receive the best treatment and incredible care.

As I listen to the stories, my heart is so thankful and so appreciate of the miracle in our lives, Hayden. I am grateful to Dr. Teodori for being such an excellent surgeon, Dr. Jediekian for being the most kind, loving and caring cardiologist imaginable, and thankful to all the loving nurses that made my experience with Hayden bearable. I don't know what I would have done without all of these wonderful people to help me through such a hard time of Hayden having surgery and recovering. They are truly amazing! It is an amazing hospital!

New Adventures for Ann

Ann is so funny. We were talking and she is in culture shock at school. I guess Queen Creek high school is a lot bigger than Dixie High School in St. George, Utah. She is shocked by how many students there are and that they aren't all Mormon. I thought we lived in a huge population of Mormons. I guess it is all perspective.

I think she is adjusting to the move, new rules, new expectations, and all the changes. She handles change much better than I do. Me, I wouldn't do so well, transfering schools in my senior year of high school, but she is taking it all in stride. I am proud of her for that.

Ann went to mutual last night for the first time. I think she made a couple of friends and she has quite the optimistic outlook for life in Queen Creek, Arizona. She is still really excited to be here and looking forward to all of the fun and exciting changes that are coming. She is really excited that she is in choir and art.

She tries really hard with Hayden and he really looks up to her. I'm glad she is so patient with him. It is fun to see them interact so well. I'm sure he will get on her nerves from time to time. But, I appreciate her loving him and trying so hard to play with him.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wonderful Counsel


YouTube - LDS Church Leaders preparing us for the 2nd Coming of Christ

Girls Movie Night

After all the swimming on Saturday night, we fed the kids, hooked up the Wii and all of us girls went to the movies.

Suzi was wonderful and treated me, Kelli, Ann, Taylor and Ariyona to the late showing of Mamma Mia. We had a great time. It was mine and Suzi's 3rd time seeing the movie, but their first. We sat on the back row so Suzi and I could sing and be goofy!

When we got home, we found the kids all asleep but in funny positions. We cracked up laughing at them. The kids were exhausted from their fun day in the sun.

Logan, Hayden and Victoria all crashed out.


My favorite is Brooklyn, she was sleeping upside down, across the arm of the couch and had taken her shirt off. What a crack up!

Fun Saturday

We had a great time yesterday going swimming at Josh and Steph's house. Their backyard is better than a fun park. They have a rope swing, a water slide, and a waterfall into their pool. Their backyard also has a sports court, trampoline, underground sandbox, fort and a putting green. The kids loved it!

We took all eight kids over there, Hayden, Brooklyn, Brigham, Logan, Victoria, Ann, Taylor and Ariyona. They had such a great time!

Hayden ended up loving the rope swing and did a great job swinging on it. I was surprised he actually would swing on the rope. I'm so proud of him.

Logan loved the rope swing as well, after we got him to try it. It is amazing what the boys would do after they saw the girls doing it.

Thomas diving off the rocks.

Ann, Ariyona and Taylor all jumping off the rocks.

Brooklyn, Ann and Victoria.

Hayden and Logan playing in the pool. Hayden absolutely adores Logan.

Brigham is a crack up. With his lifejacket on, he won't go away from the stairs. Once you take his lifejacket off, he is brave as can be and just jumps in. Crazy boy!

I love this picture of Logan in the waterslide.

We are so lucky to be apart of so many wonderful kids' lives.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ann is here

We are so excited. Our niece, Ann, has decided to live with us and finish out high school. She is so much fun. I don't know who is more excited that she is here, Hayden, Taylor or Ariyona. They are all estatic. I'm happy for her and the wonderful things she wants to do in her life.

It will be different having a 17 year old girl living at our house. I guess here comes the parties, boys, mutual activities, driving and dating. I think Taylor and Ariyona will even be around more with her here. The idolize her with her being 17 and them only being 14.

Fun fun! I'm excited she will be here. I'm sure we will do a lot of fun things together. I also know it will be an adjustment for all of us.

I was talking to Thomas this morning and he said, well, our lives are about to change (since Ann will be here this morning). Hayden, pipes up, "Why mom? Are you and Daddy splitting up?" Me: "No, of course not, what would make you think that?" Hayden: "Lots of kids at school have split up parents. It's okay they live with one and visit the other." Me: "Well, Hayden, that isn't going to happen. I love daddy and he loves me." Hayden: "Oh, it would be okay, I would live with you mom and just visit daddy when I wanted to go do fun things." Where does he come up with these things?

We are looking forward to Ann being here and all of the fun and craziness that will bring into our lives. She is such a good girl and I look forward to getting to know her even better.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Funny boy

Yesterday as I pulled up to pick up Hayden from school, I had several teachers and staff come out to the car when I picked up Hayden. Apparantly, he had been at the school telling everyone he was getting a sister. Since Hayden has been at this school for the past three years, a lot of the staff is aware of us trying to adopt. They were all excited for us to be getting a baby. I had to explain that we weren't getting a baby but my 17 year old niece, Ann, was coming to live with us. A couple of the teachers laughed at Hayden's reaction to everyone that he was getting a sister. To him, if she's living with us, they are siblings. He is so excited that Ann is coming, he can hardly stand it.

I guess Hayden is wanting a brother or sister even more than I realize. Last night, Jodi told Hayden to help out with Brooklyn and Brigham while she was gone. Hayden's response was, "Jodi, don't worry about it. Of course I'll help out with my little brother." So cute. He is a big help, even if he does refer to Brigham as his little brother. I'm so glad that Brigham idolizes Hayden. He follows him around the house saying, "Hayden, Hayden". They are so fun together.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Let the fun begin

Jodi and Troy are leaving for Bejing early in the morning. They brought the kiddos over tonight and put them to bed. Brigham is so cute. He keeps telling me no to sleeping on the floor or in the crib. He wants to sleep with Jer. It's true, by morning, all three kiddos will be in the bed with us. I'm not sure why I buy beds. The kids prefer the floor in our room.

Brooklyn and Hayden crashed pretty quickly. Brigham on the other hand keeps talking and poking at the other two kids. I think he is wired and is a long time away from sleep. Let the fun begin. Jodi always tells me she puts Briggy back to bed numerous times every night. I don't know how she does it. He is so stinking cute that he can get away with anything with me and Thomas. We admit it, we're wrapped.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

For Labor Day weekend we went up to the cabins in Oak Creek Canyon. It was so much fun! Hayden, Taylor, Ariyona and I went up on Friday at noon. We had so much fun listening to Mamma Mia the entire way there. I have the girls hooked on the Twilight books and they read the entire weekend. Hayden and I explored and looked for bugs and caterpillars. My favorite moment of the weekend was when Hayden and I sat on the hammock, swinging and talking. He put his head on my lap and just talked about school, caterpillars, friends and why we live in the desert instead of the beautiful mountains. I didn't get a picture, but it will be forever etched in my heart. I love that he is getting old enough to have meaningful conversations. I told him all about me playing in the mountains when I was young. After a while, Taylor and Ariyona came up, sat on rocks next to the hammock and just talked. I love spending time with all three of them.

The girls were lying on the bed reading and Hayden wanted to play. When he came running in and jumped on the bed, both girls immediately gave in to play with him. He is so lucky to have them around. I can't believe how much they humor him and just play with him.

Later that night Thomas, Suzi, Kelli, Scott, Logan and Victoria came up. Then on Saturday morning, the rest of the gang showed up, including, Terri, Ann, Nathan, CJ, Rochelle & Larry, Aimee, Theresa, Shayla and all their kids. We had such a great time.

Hayden and Logan spent the entire weekend searching for caterpillars and had such a great collection when we left. Hayden's favorite was his "tiger" striped caterpillar. CJ and Nathan were great and followed the younger kids around so we could play games. I love Loaded questions and Imaginiff. Such fun!