Monday, July 29, 2013

blessings and farewells

Michael showed up at mike n rachel's first this Sunday morning (allelujia chorus) and helped everyone get ready for church.  First was baby Paige's blessing.  This happened to be in our old ward so it was fun to see familiar faces.  Weird though.  There is definitely a special feeling you have when you attend your own ward where your membership is, even if you're new. 3rd ward in Lovell didn't feel like our ward anymore.  They just changed the boundaries for our Billings ward yesterday so we have a new bishop and the only 2 moms I knew are in different wards now, but I'm okay with it.  I love having a ward family.  I know its Heavenly Father's way of taking care of us and that having responsibilities and people to serve is so fundamental to our happiness and his great plan.  We're only going to have sacrament the next 2 weeks while they're figuring out all the callings and such and I'm sad about it.  I hate for my kids to miss primary and for me to not have RS and those connections with other people.   Back to Sunday, Janelle loves babies and she got to hold a real live baby on Sunday!  Love it. 

Elder Asay gave a great farewell talk.  We are happy for him and this great experience that awaits him but we are going to miss Jacob.  My kids love him.  Janelle is really finicky about people, even people she sees a lot, but she almost always goes to Jacob and Stetson and Kandace adore him.  He babysat for us quite a big on a last minute's notice and we appreciate his example, sense of humor and laid back personality.

Didn't get a great family shot, maybe next time. lol

My favorite pic from our whole weekend.

Pioneer day 2013

Last weekend was Cowley's day, Paige's blessing and Jacob's farewell.  I debated all week about whether I should go early by myself and the kids so they could go to all the festivities and sing in the variety show, but then I kinda thought about leaving Sat morning instead of Fri, then last minute I decided to go Fri night and stay at Michael n Rachel's so I could do the fun run.  I did the mile and it was quite enjoyable honestly.  Funny though, there weren't many adults doing the mile, mostly kids and a few adults.  I actually ran 3 miles last Wed but its not my usual workout so I chickened out of doing it for the fun run.  Maybe next year.  Running is so much wear and tear on my joints and my hip still pops from old injuries, so lower impact exercises are my preference but I'd  been running a lot here in Billings the last couple weeks since I didn't have a gym member ship or anything yet.  Anyhow, after my run we went to the parade, got lots of candy, tried to go to the program but had to turn around and go home because of uncooperative children, went to lunch in the park and kids games (Kandace LOVED the games and did almost every event, Stetson declined to participate).  Having the kids by myself all weekend was hard.  After that we headed back to Mike's for naps (which noone actually took) then we headed to Asays for some gpa and gma time my kids needed after being with grouchy mom all day.  After naps we went to the brand new log gym (recently renovated) to run through our songs.  Stetson and Kandace were being silly and it was the end of the day and we were all on each other's nerves, so needless to say it wasn't a good practice.

 This is my crew right before the talent show, before the tears.  It stings to talk about this but maybe it will be therapeutic. lol.  We'd been practicing our songs all week but it was hard to get efficient practice time in with 3 kids around, so Stetson kept forgotting the words and would just get frustrated if I tried to prompt him.  We were also trying to memorize the national anthem for a try-out on that was today (which went well thank goodness).  I should have figured right then that I was spreading myself too thin, but I'm stubborn and like Michael says I always do it my way no matter what, so we went ahead and went through with it, trying to squeeze in practice time here and there.  Stetson actually suggested to say a prayer right before he sang so we did, and Hoping for a miracle, we went through with it.  Stetson started out awesome.  He got through like the first verse and forgot a word. He looked over at me and I prompted him.  He went on.  He forgot another word...and I prompted him but he wouldn't keep singing.  He stood there quiet and I said "are you done?"
  And the crowd applauded and I helped him off the stage and he starts bawling.  I set him down behind be because I still have to play for Kandace.  I mess up on the intro of hers, but she does the first verse perfect, forgets the words on the 2nd verse, is still super cute but I'm so frustrated because they have both performed these songs perfectly before.  So after our songs I take Stetson outside (who is still sobbing) and talk to him, about to cry myself.  We talked about why Heavenly father didn't answer his prayer and how we have to do our very best and not expect him to do everything.  I was sick about it because this was literally my biggest fear when I first started teaching him this song, that he'd forget the words or I would mess him up and he would feel bad or be embarrassed.  I know its a minor thing but I was really upset about it but I've tried to keep my mind off it, think happy thoughts, keep perspective and know that we'll look back on this and it won't be such a big deal.  Dad and I had a good talk out on the playground while the kids were getting their energy out.  We talked about how you just have to get back on the saddle after you get bucked off and it was good to talk to someone about it.  Lots of sweet people told him how good he did and I appreciate thoughtful comments.  An older couple was sitting in the back with us before the show started and I was fighting Janelle on my lap who was trying to get down and run around and she tried to get Janelle to go to her so I could have a break.  She played with the kids during the show to entertain them.  A complete stranger.  People are so good.  Her sweet husband told me after the concert how hard it is to get in front of a crowd and how good he thought Stetson did.  Dad helped a lot with the kids and let us drive his honda around all weekend and I so appreciate his help.

Kandace didn't care one bit when she forgot a word.  She's kind of oblivious and just loves to get on stage. :)

After the show the kids lit off fireworks with Adam and Travis.  They LOVED that.  

cinnamon rolls

The first time I tried to make cinnamon rolls was last year.  I remember thinking "this can't be so bad."  Well it was. ha ha.   Actually the only thing that went wrong was I forgot to add the eggs to the dough when I'd already mixed the dry and wet ingredients.  I tried mixing the eggs in after but I could see it was not going to work.  Well then I'd felt bad I'd wasted all those ingredients just to throw them out and felt really bad.  I know, dumb thing to stress about but I did.  So last Sunday we thought some cinnamon rolls sounded good, so using the same recipe as before, I gave it a whirl!  (Michael said he wanted no part in the cinnamon roll making process, probably so he wasn't liable for anything that went wrong).  :)  Stetson is my awesome cinnamon roll model.  I think we'll be making these a lot!

Billings summer reading program

Last Thursday was the last day of the summer reading program here in Billings.  We started late but Stetson still got all his hours and ended up with some awesome prizes!  And the balloon man even came!  Stetson got an alien, Kandace got a princess hat (her specific request) and Janelle got a lady bug.  Taking these 3 to the library by myself is a huge struggle so far, its way bigger than Lovells and harder to keep track of them and get their cooperation with so much to do and see but hopefully it will get better.  It will be fun when hopefully it will just be Janelle and I at story time if Kandace gets into a preschool.  Thats a long story.

Billings Mustangs

 Last week we went to a Billings Mustangs baseball game.  It was super hot but the kids got snow cones to cool off a little and that was fun for them.  We only stayed for about an hour and a half because the kids were getting restless but it was fun to watch!  When we lived in SR, me and dad and my brothers would go watch Oakland A's games and my fave part was the peanuts (maybe sunflower seeds, forgot) and watching through dad's big binoculars.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

1st week in Billings

This last week in Billings we...went to the Billings Parmly library (big eye opener for this small town girl).  I remember going to the library in SR with my dad when I was little and there was always this homeless guy who'd hang out there and thats kind what this one was like.  However, we coincidentally got there right before story time and even got a library card.  During story time Stetson's new principal called me and I'd been waiting to hear from them for a while so I took the phone call and in the meantime Janelle had taken off her shoes and was wandering around barefoot.  Two strikes and two broken rules in one day (using the phone during story time and barefooted children).  They might not let us back. It made me miss story time in Lovell where I don't even have to tell them my name, I just plop the books down on the desk (or the kids) and voila.  Here there's a self scanner where you scan your card and then the books.  Very easy but not personable.  I felt lonely that day but when we decided to check out the pool my spirits lifted!  There is an awesome city pool pretty much in our backyard called Rose city park pool.  We got a summer pass and have been almost every day this week.  These kids (Kandace especially) remind me so much of myself at that age.  I LOVED swimming.  The smell of sunscreen and chlorine still takes me back and brings back great memories.    

There's a big pool that Stetson can actually swim in, he's getting better every day.  Then there's a kiddie pool thats perfect for Kandace and Janelle.  Its actually divided into 2 thats 2 ft that Kandace swims in and then one more like Lovell's that Janelle swims in. 

Last night we got a hot n ready pizza from little caesars and against all Michael's wishes went to a free movie at the park (Rise of the Guardians).  It was in the south part of town (which Kambrie warned me about long ago was kind of the ghetto and I was having flashbacks from the city library but it was a beautiful night but way too long.  The movie didn't start 'til after 9 which meant we didn't get home 'til like 11:30 and we are losers and don't stay up that late even in the summer.  The kids thought it was awsome, especially the free cotton candy. 

my kids are loving the picture taking

Michael is doing awesome.  He has 2 classes every morning, they started Monday and he had midterms today.  WHAT?!  They're condensed courses and its pretty hard core right now but he gets up before 6 to study, comes home for lunch, goes back to study some more then comes home for dinner then studies some more.  I actually see him more now though than I did in Lovell and I'm loving it.

moving to Billings

The night of Janelle's birthday was when the real work began as far as moving, but I didn't know we were doing any loading that night until Michael's brothers and this horse trailor showed up in my driveway.  We had quite a few boxes packed but were a little unorganized.  Things never slowed down from that point until our first night in Billings 2 days later.  I told Michael the only way I'm ever moving again is if the process can be a little more spread out.  He said the only way he's ever moving again is if we have a moving company.  Smart man.  We couldn't have done it without lots of help from friends and family.  Jared &  Jacob were rockstars and took the first load over with Michael Thur morning.  Stetson and Kandace went along so I could focus on packing.  That day (July 4th) dad was over almost all day helping clean and the sister missionaries came over in the afternoon and cleaned my fridge and stove.  So grateful for that.  That night once Michael was home we headed to Asays for a July 4th picnic (indoor, weather was nuts), left the kids there for a sleepover then Michael and I headed home about 9pm and packed some more 'til about midnight.  Fri morning we woke up and dad came again and I called gma Dorothy last minute for some extra help with cleaning and we were off about noon for the last time.  Jared and Jacob had already left with Michael that morning about 10 I think and unloaded everything (those 3 did all the grunt work and I appreciate them so much).  Once we arrived in Billings that afternoon we unloaded like crazy, I tried to put stuff away and organize but got burnt out.  Emily and the boys came and helped a little.  Dad, Michael, Jared & Jacob took off to take the trailor back and get the kiddos who had been at grandma Asays the whole time so they wouldn't be in the way and it was so nice.  Joel & Kambrie came that day too and did a ton.  Kambrie organized my whole kitchen, Joel put together Janelle's crib, emptied every box in sight and helped "decorate."  :)  They switched the furniture around in the living room about 5 times I think going for the perfect arrangement.  I sat on the couch and watched.  At like 8 we went and got dinner at Wendy's, came home and waited for the Michael and the kids to get home.  I have never slept so good in a new place.  I zonked out good.  Sun morning it was back to Lovell for William Kade's baby blessing.  After that we went to Asay's so Michael's dad could give him a father's blessing and then we went to see Daniel & Kasi's new baby Paige and then back to Brenda's house for a couple things we forgot and then Todd & Emily's for dinner then "Home" to Billings.

Kandace and Janelle love horsie rides from gpa Simmons and gpa Asay.

even Janelle's baby got a ride.

William Kade & aunt Kambrie.  After a week in Billings life is sort of feeling a little normal again.  I got to go to the temple today and loved it.  I feel so lucky to be 10 minutes from a temple and plan on taking advantage of that opportunity.  

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Janelle's 2nd birthday

Yesterday we celebrated Janelle's 2nd birthday.  I am so in love with this girl and am so happy she's ours.  We had pizza that Michael brought home on his way home from work, salads, lemonade and chocolate cake.  I kept everything really simple this year since we're right in the middle of moving. We couldn't get the candles to light because it was so windy but we sang anyway and it was precious.  Janelle knew we were singing to her and was so entertained and smiley while we sang to her.  It was the best part.  After that we had some water balloon fun and that was it!  

At 2 years old Janelle...
*says mom, dad (almost always calls Michael mom though and I think its hilarious.  Michael maybe not), also says no, uh huh, baby, please, bok (milk or any drink) go, book, woof, bye, h i, doos (shoes) gogurt (yogurt) papa (grandpa) mama (grandma, one of my favorites) some others I'm forgetting
*LOVES babies and every night before I lay her down she says baby and we give her some
*loves to sing, especially in sacrament. when the music starts to play and we get the books out she starts singing
*doesn't like animals, only in books. she actually loves animals in books
*sleeps from 7 'til about 8 and an afternoon nap from 1ish to 3ish
*puts her hands up and says "go" if you ask her where anything is
*gives great hugs. especially to Kandace... they give each other moral support and give each other hugs when they're in trouble

Dear sweet Janelle,
You bring so much pleasure and joy into our home I can't describe it adequately.  I love your big eyes, I love to hold you and smell you and give you lots of kisses.  Today gpa came and helped us clean and vacuum so we can move to Billings and you two were in the master bdrm and I listened to you giggle and laugh hysterically while you two played.  You have the best laugh.  Thank you for being in our family. We love you.    mom xo xo

Monday, July 1, 2013

fun in a bucket/update

Just hanging out in a bucket on Sunday morning.
Yesterday I gave my last lesson to my Sunday school class.  Love those kids.  Some lessons went better than others.  The best ones were when I'd really prepared all throughout the week before and not just the night before.  I really put my heart n soul into the last lesson and was reminded that this calling has been a blessing for me because it forces me to learn the gospel more and put myself in a position to feel the spirit and feel joy and happiness and feel God's love for me.

Today Jan and I went to Billings take a load of stuff and to shampoo carpets.  Pretty sure I have the best mother in law in the world.  As soon as we got there Kandace peed her pants in true Kandace fashion but Jan just cheerfully washed her pants n undies in the sink and tossed 'em in the dryer.  No big deal.  She watched kids while I unloaded the pickup then she helped clean, put stuff away and shampooed all the carpets in our house and helped entertain while we ran other errands. Couldn't have done it without her and wish I was as awesome as her.  Michael and I are going to lease this condo til we can close (Hopefully about a month).  We're moving Thur and Fri and I'll be glad when its over.  Thinking happy thoughts. :)

Mustang Days

We started off Mustang days with the kiddie parade.  One of my glorious attempts at being a good mom gone horribly wrong. lol.  My plan was to stay right behind them during the parade and keep my eye on them but they got way ahead of me and even when I started running I still couldn't keep up.  FYI I'm pretty sure it was like 110 F that day. at least.  I finally barely caught up with them at the church parking lot where the kiddie parade was supposed to end but they KEPT GOING until they were half way down an alley behind the big horn federal bank and I'm thinking seriously this is not happening, but it is.  AAAAAAAAHHH  Well after lots of chasing and yelling we all arrived safely back at the church lawn to watch the 11:)0 parade.  After the parade we cleaned and packed a little, I took the kids to the whale pool for a bit, we went to Asays to put the topper on our truck, went to Minchows Food court and stood in line way too long then I took the kids to see Epic at the Hyart.

going away party

Last Fri Michael's co-workers threw him a surprise going away party.  Michael's co worker Rich actually ruined the surprise but it was still fun!  First pic is Luz, Michael and Luz's husband Al and baby Alena.  We love Luz and Al.  They are good workers, good parents and so super nice.  I'm going to miss Michael's stories about Luz, though.  Funny stuff.

 This is Michael with is boss Kelli who is awesome for lots of reasons, one being that she gave us TONS of girl clothes, and then Laura.  These were 2 of Michael's favorite people to work with and I admire them so much because they have so much on their plate and still put on a happy face and keep on keepin on.  Kelli has a boy and 2 girls and Laura has 2 little boys but they both work full time.
Michael and Luz's little girl.  she is so cute.

The whole crew (almost).  Back row: Gretchen, Corey and Kelli's son Bailey.  Front row: Brittany (?) she was new, Kelli, Luz, Alena and Al.  These are a great bunch of people and we're grateful for Michael's chance to work in Powell and have such a good job.

swimming lessons

Ever since swim lessons ended last year,t his girl has been asking me on a regular basis when it would be time to go back and finally the day came! Kandace loves swimming lessons and loved her teacher.  She's very brave in the water and really doesn't have any fear.  Its fun to watch her.  She made a note for her swim teacher Ashlee.

Another years of swimming lessons!!!!  Stetson passed level 2 this year and Kandace passed level 1.  Stetson and I kind had a rough patch on the last day of lessons.  I had an extra kid that day I was watching and so I was already spread a little thin trying to wrestle 4 kids in that sauna.  Stetson wanted to make a thank you card for his teachers which he did the night before. On the day of, he made a picture of each teacher on separate peices of paper with their names to give with the card.  Well when Stetson got into the lobby he realized they were gone (I had no idea we'd left them in the van and why he was frantically tearing out peices of paper from my address book he'd brought in (trying to make new pics for his teachers) but I knew it was time for his lesson to start and I took his pen and told him to get going. I knew it was a bad idea and that he was not going to be happy but I did it anyway. After I sent him in the locker room I watched for him to go out to lessons and join his class but he didn't so I sent one of the dads to go in after him and waited..and waited...and finally found him right outside the locker room crying and I felt sooooo bad.  I felt even worse when I went out to the van and saw the 2 pics he'd left that he was trying to replicate.  He is so particular about things and I love it about him sometimes but in a situation that day where I had extra kids and it was 100 degrees in there I wasn't having it.  Hard moment for a mom but I think its important to remember some of the hard times and learn from mistakes I guess.  Stetson did great in lessons and I'm proud of him.