Last Tuesday we had Charlene and Chloe over for lunch (she comes every Tue for Ian's therapy and we sometimes get together). We had Will that day, too so his parents could go to the temple. After everyone went home, Janelle and I went to the park. She'd put this dress on herself earlier that day, and I grabbed a jacket for her before we went to the park but she didn't end up needing it! I was in a sweater and was hot. It was 60 degrees! Stahle napped in the stroller while Janelle played at the park and I laid on the bench and soaked in the sun IT. WAS.. BLISS. Such a welcomed surprise in the dead of winter. . Now its snowing and blizzarding. Blah. After we got back from the park, Janelle had a popsicle. We loved this nice weather while it lasted and are hoping it comes back some time soon.
Billings has the best sledding hills that I've ever seen. There's lots of parks to choose from but our favorite so far is this hill on Rimrock right before you get to the temple. We park the van right next to the hill so Stahle can stay in the van and the last 2 times its worked out perfect and she just sleeps. The first time we went the weather was perfect and the kids each had their own sleds. It was so fun, even I went down. It was the most fun I've ever had sledding. We've been back to this hill twice and then to Pioneer park once. All the snow has melted so we'll go again when there's a good snow pack and its not too cold.
2 weeks ago I was just about to load all the kids up in the car for scouts when I heard Kandace cry from downstairs something about a snake. I didn't think anything of it, then looked downstairs and saw a snake. I first thought it was a rubber one and asked Stetson if he put a snake downstairs. I then looked at the snake again realizing we didn't even have a rubber snake. I looked some more in utter disbelief that a snake could be in our basement. And then it moved. And then I called a guy in our ward who lives in our culdesac, knowing that if he was home, he could take care of it the fastest. He was at work. I called our friend Nathan Grill who was miraculously on his way home from something and actually pretty close to our house. I stared at the snake making sure it didn't move, and right before Nathan came, it started to move out of sight ( I wasn't going down there, no way no how). Luckily it didn't move too far away and Nathan got it.
Later that week my friend's daughter flushed one of my decorative balls down the toilet. Its like the size of a golf ball. It wasn't an issue until I tried to flush the toilet later on that day and had the water start flooding. This brought back bad memories of a similar occurrence that happened in McCook, NE. :) I called the plumber, got the water turned off and waited for him to come get the ball out. In the meantime, water had leaked down into our closet downstairs where we're storing some things. I went down to survey the damage and saw a piece of what looked like fecal matter, floating in one of our glasses that was in a box int that closet. Realizing that everything that was wet was infected and had to be bleached or thrown away, I did what any rational person would do, and cried. Knowing Michael wasn't home and I had this huge job ahead of me and no help, I was totally overwhelmed. I later realized it was a piece of brown cardboard floating in that glass and felt better. When Michael came home we cleaned out that closet, got rid of some stuff that needed tossed anyway, and sanitized the floor just in case. That was a bad week. I always remember in the back of my mind that Heavenly Father won't make me go through anything I can't handle. Its still hard, but I know I can do it.
Michael starts his 5th week in Powell next Monday, has 2 more weeks there and then he's in Billings for 6 weeks doing cardiac and orthopedics. I am so relieved he'll be here for a while before his last 3 rotations which are in Casper, Libby, MT and Lovell.
Stetson is in cubscouts now, which means he can't do bball because its the same night, which means Kandace can't either, because we were going to sign her up as well. Stetson's piano lessons are on Saturday now, which is great because I can take him by myself and not with 3 girls in tow. Stetson really likes scouts. He had his first pack mtg last Tue and got his bobcat. I'm excited for him and glad he gets to be involved with scouts.
This boy of mine somehow turned 8 and is now a baptized member of the church! The day went well--lots of planning it seems and some stress. Mandy Bullock is a friend of ours and her daughter got baptized with Stetson since they do stake baptisms, and I thought it'd be nice to have both our families have a simple dinner afterwards so we each made 2 kinds of soups and brought rolls and desserts and it went really well. I was glad we could feed our families before they left.
There were 4 kids getting baptized that day. The ward in charge of this month's baptism were in charge of talks and they were very nice. It was a full house, kind of noisy but the most important thing was the ordinance that took place that day and I think it was a special day for Stetson. He went last and from the looks on Michael and Stetson's faces, the water was a little chilly! After the baptism, our group got to go into the RS room and have the confirmation, welcoming into the ward and Stetson and Kandace sang "I am a Child of God" for the closing song.
Stetson got some sweet little gifts from family but he kept saying that the best gift he got that day was the Holy Ghost. Stetson is progressing well in the gospel I think. He is thrilled about having his own scriptures and reads them to us during nighttime scripture study. He has a testimony of prayer I know because he's always telling about the prayers he says in "crisis" situations like when there was a snake in our basement this week or when I was trying to plunge the toilet and it flooded our bathroom and pantry. After the water stopped, he said he knew the reason it stopped was because he said a prayer. Stetson always thinks of saying a prayer when he loses something or when he's afraid. I hope and pray he always embraces this gospel and lives worthy of the Holy Ghost because it truly is the very best gift!
We love our grandparents! They sure made Stetson feel special on this day.
The kids had some fun on this big pile of snow the other day. Its right at our parking lot. The kids (especially Kandace) like to play outside for a little while right after they get home from school.l
Janelle is always testing my patience. She's my buddy all day long while Michael and the kids are away but her energy is sometimes too much for me. She can't stay away from Stahle and thats cute for like 1 second then I'm over it.
This sweet girl keeps growing. She's supposed to drop her late evening feeding now and go 4 hrs between feedings which would only give her 4 feedings/day but I add one at bedtime. She found her thumb and likes to suck on it which is actually nice. Its helpful for naps and bedtime so she can self soothe.
After staying Christmas night at Asays, we headed back home around morning time to get stuff for Jared's luncheon at Costco and to get tables and chairs set up. We had dinner with Matthew n Charlene that night which was fun. The next morning we took the kids to Rice's and then headed to the temple. It was great to go to a wedding sealing again. One of the best things in life. I do not know where my camera is (yikes) so these are all phone pics. I don't even have one with the bride and groom (yikes again) but we got some fun ones with all the kiddos and their gpa n gma.
This lady was stunning!
Our purple family. We got home about midnight, hit the sack and I had a talk in church the next day on covenants. It was a hectic week but that's sort of how we roll these days. Michael is finished with his Miles City rotation and starts his ER one in Powell on Monday. He is excited for a faster pace and to deal with more "medical" things. I hope we see more of him than we did for the last rotation. Honestly its gone by really fast and its a miracle we've all survived. Its just what we do and we look forward to days when we can be together every night again. Our sweet Stahle is the sweetest and we all adore her. Can't believe how fast she's growing. I'm taking it all in!
I've gotten way behind on blogging. Michael is home for a little while so I've got to seize the opportunity to get this done before I forget. I'm trying to make my 2014 book but I can't log into blurg. UGHH. Anyway, these pics were taken the Sunday before Christmas. Gma Asay bought the girls beautiful red dresses. The first picture was while Stahle was napping and we hurried and took the 2nd one after she woke up. Michael came home from Miles City December 19th and spent the whole week of Christmas with us. The kids had a couple days left of school. It was amazing to have him home. When he's here I don't really know how I did it without him. Since I knew Michael would be home, I arranged with the kids' teachers to come into their classrooms and volunteer. It was a good week. We had tithing settlement the 21st, then Jared and Renee came for dinner that night. They were passing through from Rexburg. We were excited to have them. We all love Renee. So the next day I worked in Stetson's classroom then on Tuesday I had lunch with Kandace and then worked in her classroom. It was fun to be in the school helping.
On Christmas Eve we decided to stay home. We knew we'd be doing a lot of traveling in the upcoming days. Michael wanted to do sweet pulled pork tacos like from Cafe Rio. He marinated the pork for hours following a copycat recipe he found. They turned out really good. After dinner the kids opened their new pjs. I'll never forget what a let down this experience was the first year we did it by ourselves. Jan had bought us our Christmas pjs for a long time, but when we started doing our own thing we bought the kids theirs and Stetson thought it was going to be a real toy or something and pitched a huge fit. It was awesome. Pj opening goes much smoother now :)
Janelle thinks this is how you're supposed to smile. She's caught onto the fact that we're laughing at her though when she does it so she cries not and tells us not to laugh at her.
Michael got a framed map of the farm. Hope we can find a good spot for it. I miss this farm.
Kandace helping Stahle open a present. After this we had sweedish pancakes then hung out and headed to Todd n Emily's at 1. After dinner there we went to Charlie n Donna's where Michael "inherited" a cool gun case his gpa Monk used when he was an outfitter. Pretty awesome. Then it was off to gpa n gma Asays for more presents. It was fun to be with them. We are so blessed to have the family we have.