Friday, January 31, 2014

Bathroom Makeover

Bathroom makeover:  
I wanted a brighter bathroom to match the rest of the house. 

We had this brown set for the past seven years. It was great but brown. I posted this picture on San Tan Online Yard Sale and asked $50 for the set. Amazingly, I had over 30 people that wanted the set. Fantastic. 
We took the money and bought these items!

I loved the bright shower curtain. I want our house to represents sunshine and joy and happiness. Bonus when I found a $10 off a $60 purchase at Target. Compile that with my $40 gift certificate and I was able to get the bathroom of my dreams with money to use on my next project. 

I love how bright it turned out. How cheerful. How perfect it is for this phase in our lives. Loving our new home.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Game night with munchkins

Jodi's kids came over while Jodi and Troy celebrated Troy's birthday.

Grandma Joyce was here. She stuck around to play games. Brooklyn begged to play Apples to Apples. So Thomas and Joyce played Apples to Apples while I played with the younger boys. I loved hearing laughter and giggles from the table. All four of them had a ball.

Meanwhile, Brigham, Talmage and I played Sorry. 

Some of my favorite moments were:

Brigham "sorry'ing" Talmage's guy. Brigham said, "Sorry Talmage". 
Talmage replied, "No you're not or you wouldn't have done it!" 
Brigham and I died laughing. 
Talmage said, "What? You wouldn't have, would you?"
Brigham loved getting a Qwirkle. He received many. He did a great job. 

Talmage put his tikes n the wrong place. We tried to correct them. 
Without skipping a beat, he said, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. That's where I out it. Deal with it."
I said, "Talmage!"
He said, "What? That's what my teacher told me. You just have to deal!" 
Oh how Brigham and I laughed. 
Talmage couldn't figure out why but he is one funny kid. 
I loved being with Jodi's kids. We had so much fun! We all laughed and played. So grateful for the gift of these cute kids in my life.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Max anxiously awaits Hayden

Waiting outside for Hayden to come home.

If Max had his way, this is where we would wait each and every day. So, on the days that it is overcast and perfect weather, we take advantage of the opportunity and sit on the front porch waiting for either Aunt Suzi, Grandma Joyce or Grandma Julie to bring Hayden home.

Love how much Max loves our boy! Love the look on Hayden's face when he pulls up and the surprise of Max and I waiting his arrival. It equals an absolutely perfect day!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hayden and Max

I love these two. Best-est of buddies.

Max loves laying on Hayden's bed. He loves cuddling with anything that smells like his boy. 

Everyday at 3pm, Max jumps on me and wakes me up. He literally "drags" me out of bed with his barking and trying to get me to follow him. He paces. He stands at the door and waits. He goes to grab his own leash so I will take him outside. He jumps. He watches intently as each car and person passes. He about knocks Hayden over as he jumps in excitement. 

Hayden can hardly get in the door and out his backpack down. Max needs his boy and his boy needs Max. 

I love the relationship they have. I think every boy needs a dog. 

Love them both. Next best thing to having a sibling is a dog that loves you with all his heart.

Talmage and Max

I love Talmage time!
I love the way he melts my heart when he smiles.
I love that he lays in the dog bed with Max. He just curls up in the bed and watches a movie with Max.
I adore the ground he walks on.

He is such a tender mercy and joy in my life. I am so grateful for Aunt Jer days. 

He woke up not feeling so well. He told his mom he needed an Aunt Jer day. Jodi asked why. He said, "I don't feel good. I want to sit on the couch and cuddle with Aunt Jer. She is never too busy for me."

I love that I am never too busy for him. I never will be. I hope each person in my life feels that way. They matter to me. I never have too much to do to make the time for them. Because some of my greatest joys in life are sitting on the couch and talking with those I love. Especially my family. Especially my husband and son. And of course, all of my precious nieces and nephews. 

Relationships matter most. I hope Talmage always remembers that. And that he always knows that I will always have time for him.  

I love you, my little buddy!!!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Gilbert Temple

We went to the Gilbert Temple open house as a family.

It was wonderful. 

I had to go in a wheelchair as I could not walk thru. They were so kind and accommodating. 

We watched the video on the temple. I was in awe of the way it was handled. So beautifully. 

Hayden was in awe of the god water fountains, amazing chandelier, beauty of the celestial room and the gorgeous stairway. He loved the mirrors. He loved the feeling. 

Hayden came home distraught which I couldn't understand. He loved it. We had a great time. We felt the Spirit. We had some tender talks of him going thru. Preparing for missions, his own endowments, baptisms for the dead and someday getting married there. 

Later, he admitted something to me. 

He said, "Mom, I'm confused. Everyone talks about the strong spirit inside the temple. Don't get me wrong, I felt the spirit. But, it felt like it does at home. I always feel this way at home. What did I do wrong?"  

Oh my sweet son. You did nothing wrong. You live with the spirit each and every day. You live to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. You feel it more when the Spirit leaves than when you feel it. You are so accustomed to the Holy Ghost that it upsets you more than when you leave. 

I love that you feel the Spirit at home. 

I love that you want and desire to feel the Spirit. 

I cannot wait until you g into a dedicated temple that has the Spirit of our Lord. 

You are amazing Hayden. 

Words cannot describe the feelings I had being there with my family. 

I love that we have a temple so close. I cannot wait to go more. So grateful for the growth of the temple district and all the blessings that having a temple so close will provide.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Scout campout

As Hayden was headed out to scout camp, he had to give his last bit of love to Max. Not his momma. Not his dad. But his BFF Max.

Had Max realized what was happening, he would have stowed away in Hayden's backpack. 

However, not understanding, he soaked in Hayden's love and loved that Hayden showered him with love and treats. 

Hayden wasn't a fan of the scout trip. 

He slept alone in a tent. Not with the other boys. About 7pm, after dinner, and sitting around the camp fire, Hayden told them he was tired and headed in for the night to his tent. He said he laid there just praying. Praying for sleep. Praying for comfort. Praying the night would go by quickly so he could come home. He said it was the longest night of his life. 

My heart breaks for him. I picture him alone in a tent. No friends. No family around. All alone. 

I'm so far away. What am I to do? I can't go with him. He has to learn to do things on his own away from the comfort and safety of our home. He has to learn to stand on his own two feet. My desire is to scoop him in my arms and tell him he never has to leave. 

However, each time my desire to hold him back comes, I remember a conference talk. A mission president was asked how to better prepare missionaries. He replied that they need significant away from home experiences. 

That hit me so hard. 

I can't keep him young forever. I can't keep him confined to the safety and security of our home forever. 

My job is to prepare him for the world. Prepare him to stand on his own two feet. Prepare him to lean on his Father in Heaven and Savior. To rely on the Holy Ghost for comfort. To trust the Savior. To know he will always have a safe place to fall at home. 

That me and Thomas and Max will welcome him home with open arms and wagging tails when he comes home. 

If the camp out is any correlation to life, I imagine my Father in Heaven letting me come to earth. Afraid. Scared. Alone. Not sure what to do. Somedays praying to be wrapped in my Father in Heaven's arms. To not have to camp out alone. But I also imagine when I go home again that my Father in Heaven and Savior will welcome me home with open arms. 

Hardest thing as a parent ..... Letting go. 

I'm learning. Not to worry so much about how hard it is to let him go but to make sure that I welcome him with open arms back home. That he knows he always has a safe place to fall. That he will always be loved and welcomed and wanted at home. Safety. Security. All things he needs. An open door. Filled with love and safety and protection and unconditional love. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hayden's Room Makeover!

Hayden's Room Makeover!

Hayden designed his room. He picked out his decor. We scoured garage sale sites and he asked for great items for his birthday and Christmas. 

We found the desk for $15 at a garage sale. Chair for $5 on a site. Grandma Julie bought Hayden his new guitar for birthday and Christmas. Jodi took Hayden for a photo shoot and created him this incredible tin photo. Suzi bought him tin signs, the shelves, and Grandma Joyce bought the cool Dino and guitar figures out of metal. Thomas and I bought some of the finishing touches like the magnet board, storage bench, picture frames and clock. 

I am impressed with how well Hayden designed and configured his room. He wanted a teen room not a little boy room. He did a GREAT job creating the room of his dreams. It is filled with things he love and that represent him. 

His artistic side, his beloved Legos, his guitar dreams, his goals of the temple and missionary service, photos of people and events that matter to him and cool zombie and mine-craft phase items. Add bright colors that represent Hayden's personality and it is a score of a room. 

Hayden is growing up. He is definitely a preteen headed to a full teenager. I love who he is and all of the different facets that make him, Hayden. He is one awesome kid. And I am so glad that he has an awesome room to go with all of his awesomeness.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Max

I love my Max!

He is my buddy. My baby. Literally. I cannot imagine my life without my Max. 

I never thought I could love a dog so much. 

He sits with me, cuddles with me, follows me wherever I go, and stays up with me when I am sick. 

I love him like he was another child. No, he does not complete with Hayden. He adores Hayden. But he is a wonderful member of our family. 

We got him for Hayden but he became mine. 

I enjoy him. He keeps me company.  I'm never alone because of Max. 

He is such a tender mercy in my life. 

I'm so grateful for him. I love my Maxwell more than words can express. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Game Night!

Brooklyn and Jodi were going to have a girls night out. What she wanted to do is play games with all of us. So Suzi joined in and we had a fun game night. Brooklyn chose Apples to Apples and Hayden chose Qwirkle. I love that we are beyond Candyland and Sorry.

They were hilarious. Funniest thing ever...listening to what Hayden and Brooklyn think is funny. 

They were so excited when they get a Qwirkle.
I love these people so much!! I love game nights. I love laughing and playing with them.
Max thought he needed in the action and sat on the back of the chair behind Thomas all night. Then jumped down on us. Too funny.
Hayden turned it into charades. He was going cra cra according to Brooklyn.
Funniest part. Suzi had a card that said beautiful. Hayden put in a card that says "Supermodels". Suzi laughed and had a funny look on her face. Hayden said, "What? Aren't they?" We all laughed and laughed.
So fun of a night.
I love how much these two love each other. They are bestest of buds. 

I'm so glad that Brooklyn wanted a game night. We had a great evening filled with tons and tons and tons of laughs.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mancave Makeover

Man-cave Makeover!

All Hayden wanted for Christmas was a decorated bedroom and Game-room makeover. 

So we dropped Hayden off at Jodi's and Suzi, Thomas and I headed to IKEA. Suzi bought the red cabinets and bins. Tomas and I gave him the shelves, Mine-craft stickers and some accessories, filing in for what he had received for Christmas. 

He walked in and was in awe! 

Thomas and Suzi worked their tails off. Hanging, decorating, assembling and organizing trying to get it ready to surprise the boy. 

His face says it all. He loved it! He just walked around looking at it. And taking it all in. 

There were many many thank you's. Many hugs. Lots of squeals of delight. 

I love how excited he was. I loved how the room turned out. I love how happy Hayden was. It is the perfect Man-cave and Game-room. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

It is 2014!


As we say goodbye to 2013 and welcome in a new start, I am grateful. 

I have learned that the only thing I can successfully count on is that 2014 will bring many changes, curves, turns, unexpected trials, joyous moments, challenges and insurmountable joy! 

2013 brought more changes, growth opportunities, heartache, trials, joy and miracles than I could have ever anticipated. 

So as we head to a new start, a new year, we are girding up our loins, putting on the shield of faith and the breastplate of righteousness. We are arming ourselves with faith, scripture study, family and personal prayer, and the strength of the Holy Ghost. I know that by doing this, we can and will face whatever comes our way. We know that with the Savior, we can do all things required of us. 

I'm looking forward to making beautiful and everlasting memories with those I love. 

I'm looking forward to strengthening my relationship with our Savior. 

I even picked my word of the year.....SOAR! 

I even have my little bird perched where I can see it every day. Reminding me that even birds with broken wings, with faith, patience, perseverance, and love, can again fly. 

I'm working on flying again. I'm trying to mend my broken wings, broken body, and doing all it takes so I can again SOAR. And soar again, I will! 

So, 2014, please be gentle as I heal and nurse my broken wings. But know that I am strong. I have complete faith. I know that miracles occur. I know I can heal. And I am oh so ready to SOAR!