June 25, 2006
I am having such a wonderful time in TX with my sister and her family. I really enjoy spending time with her. It's so sad that we live so far away from each other. But, I'm grateful for the time that we do have.
For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be like her when I "grew up". She has set such a good example to me in so many ways. She is an amazing mother and wife. She is everything a person would want in a sister. She is loving, kind, thoughtful, caring, understanding, insightful, patient, Christ-like, and so many other things, that it would be almost impossible for me to list them all. We are 10 years apart, and growing up, I never thought we would be close. I never thought she would want to do anything with her annoying little sister. But, I was wrong. She is such a support to me. She is one of my "best friends". When I'm home in UT and she is in TX, we talk to each other several times a day. DH has often asked what we talk about. Sometimes it's nothing really, but the joy is in the fact that we could talk to each other about anything and be content. I usually know when her kids doctor appointments are, when E breaks something, when S has dance try-outs, all the stuff about her life, and she knows the same about mine. One of the great things about having her as a sister, is that she cares and wants to hear and know about what is going on, even if it is only a bad hair day. I hope she knows how much I love her, and how much she means to me. Thanks for everything L!!
We went to Papa Deaux for dinner one night. It was sooo yummy!! We ordered these delicious desserts. They were almost too pretty to eat. But, it's dessert, and I can never just let that sit there and look pretty. I got a strawberry cheesecake, and L got creme brulee (so did R, but he didn't really care about having his picture taken with a dessert). They were both very delicious!! We had a fun time going out to eat, just the three of us, with no little bodies running around. There were only 2 bad things about the night. One, DH was not there to make it a double date, and I felt bad knowing that he was probably sitting at home all alone eating a frozen pizza. And two, I got attacked by fire ants. The restaurant is right by the river, so we walked over to look at it, and I stood right in an ant hill. My ankles started hurting, and I looked down, and R told me I had fire ants all over. He quickly helped me brush them all off. Man, those little suckers hurt! Other than that, our night was wonderful!
June 23, 2006
My sweet little M woke me up in the middle of the night and said, "Mom, can you come with me something is wrong?". I jumped up right away to see what I could do to help. She said (while she was crying hysterically) that her ear was hurting and making a very weird sound. She pulled my ear close to hers so that I could hear the sound. It sounded kind of like a bubbling sound; like the sound you hear when you put peroxide in your ear to clean it out. I thought maybe her ear is hurting from all the swimming we've been doing, and maybe she has swimmers ear. I told her I was going to put some alcohol in her ear, to help drain the water or relieve the pressure. Then she started crying again saying that it was happening again. It was kind of an off and on thing. So, I got the alcohol and dropped some in her ear. One of the most disgusting things happened next. Out came an ear wig. It was soooooooo gross. I grabbed it off her neck and washed it down the sink. It was so disgusting, I could hardly stand it. And poor M just stood there crying. I felt so bad for her. Not only did she have that thing crawling around her ear, making weird noises, and hurting, she also had a mom who was grossing out. I probably scared her so bad. I gave her a huge hug and kiss and told her I was sorry that happened to her. She asked if she could sleep with me because she was too nervous to go back to bed by herself. How can you say "No" to a question like that. So, she came into bed with me and it took her a while to fall asleep. When she was finally asleep, I thought okay now I can sleep. But, I couldn't. I was so worried about getting an ear wig in my ear, or that someone else in the house would. I said a little prayer asking for protection from ear wigs, and then finally fell asleep.
My poor little girl. I felt just awful for her. She woke up and had to tell everyone what happened. I look at her picture and think to myself what an amazing girl she is. She has such a sweet spirit about her. She is always writing notes to other people or drawing pictures for someone. She is very caring, loving, kind, and thoughtful. It just broke my heart to see her so upset, and hurting. I think one of the hardest things as a parent is seeing your children suffer. I am sure glad that it is over, and I'm sure she is too!
We wanted to make sure the kids still did a little bit of work among all the fun they would be having. So, we made a chore chart. They were all actually excited about it. One of the jobs for S was to clean the mirrors in the bathroom. He loved this. He climbed right into the sink, stood up, and sprayed the mirror about 15 times, then wiped it up and moved on to the next mirror!
June 17, 2006
The first man in my life was my dad or pops as I sometimes call him. My dad is a wonderful man. He has such a sweet, gentle heart. Growing up he used to call me his little lass. I have so many fond memories of my father. I remember going on walks with him. Sometimes he would let me go to his night classes (he taught Spanish at our Jr. College) and just sit there with him. We cleaned together, cooked together, learned & laughed together, played together and much more. My dad has always been very patient. He has taught me many lessons about life, and taught me how to make it in the world. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful dad.
The second man in my life is my wonderful husband. I have been so blessed to have him in my life. We only dated for 3 weeks before we got engaged, and many people told me I had no idea what I was doing. Well, almost 10 years later, we are as happy as can be. He is my best friend, and I know I can turn to him for anything. He is an amazing father. The kids all adore him. He is always willing to play with them or help them whenever they need something. We have such a great time together. He honors his priesthood, and uses it to govern home, and for that I am forever grateful. I'm so thankful that I found someone who I could go to the temple with and be sealed to for eternity. I don't know how I ever got so lucky to have found someone like him. He is my everything, and I thank Heavenly Father daily for giving him to me!!
The other ones in my life, aren't men yet, but I hope that they will grow up to be good , strong, honorable men. I have been blessed with two wonderful sons. The joy they bring into our family is hard to put into words. I love watching them as they grow and learn new things. T just got baptized, and is in Scouts and really tries his best to do what is right. S is following right behind in his brother's footsteps. Although he is only 5, he wants so bad to do the things that big brother has done. I hope and pray that I will set a good example for them, and raise them well enough so that they will have the desire to do those things pleasing unto the Lord, and to his parents.
June 16, 2006
When I walked back into the kitchen, Millie (the dog) was so kindly eating up all the poop. SICK!!! I screamed at her to stop and go outside. How disgusting is that? Dogs are gross. so, out went Millie. Then, I thought how Millie would probably go and lick one of our kids now. The thought almost made me throw up.
DH thinks getting a dog is such a great idea. I personally have never ever wanted one. This is just another reason I think we should never get one!! Some of my other reasons include: hair everywhere, poop clean-up, accident clean-up, wet dog running through the house, licking, jumping, etc. I guess I really don't want one. I don't hate dogs, I just don't want one in my house, especially after today!
June 15, 2006
J.H. gave a very nice FHE about cousins and how they can become such good friends. This was a perfect lesson for us, as we are going to be together for a total of 5 weeks (3 in TX and 2 in UT). This was a long awaited visit, and the kids are all so excited to be together. I hope that this vacation will lead to some long-lasting friendships between them, and that it will be something they remember forever. The kids all listened and participated so nicely. I mark the night down as one of the more successful FHE's that we've had.
I am so grateful to have such a wonderful family. We have been blessed in so many ways. My sister has lived in Texas for almost 8 years, and this is the first time the kids have been able to go. I came once before when she had her last baby. DH has not been here yet. I hope next time we come, he will be able to come with us. Even though we don't get to spend as much time together as we would like, whenever we are together it feels like no time has passed at all. And that is just one of the reasons I love my family so much!! These 5 weeks are going to be so wonderful together!! I can't believe that 2 1/2 have already passed. It's amazing how fast time flies, when you are having fun!
We went to Barnes & Noble so I could buy the kids workbooks for our "summer school". There is a giant statue of a cowboy on a horse that the kids were very fascinated with. They had fun looking at all the books. We got the workbooks and a few other books for some of the kids. In the "kid"section they have some little benches and a stage for a story time, I'm assuming. They all thought it was a stage for them to perform on. They all took off their shoes and started running around everywhere. We had to remind them that we were in a store, not a zoo.
Afterwards we took them to McDonald's for ice cream. They all loved the ice cream, but were all very tired and cold (how you can get cold in Texas in the summer, I don't know), but they said they were cold. So, we took them home, and they all went to sleep very nicely.
We went out to lunch for one of my sister's friends birthdays. S and J stayed home to babysit. When we walked in the door, we saw a hilarius sight. S was surrounded by 4 little girls doing her hair. They had all the combs, hairpins, & ribbons scattered all over the living room. They were having so much fun making S beautiful. Aren't they great hair stylists? She was such a good sport about the whole thing. She just sat there and let them play until they were all done.
M and H both have pink robes that they love!! We had to bring ours all the way from Utah, just so M could have it on hand. She wears it all the time; when she's cold, for dress up, when she gets out of the shower, when she wakes up, and any other time she can think up a good reason for wearing it. We didn't even know that H had one so similar. When the girls saw that they had matching robes they were so excited. They love to wear them at the same time. Now they are little robe twins.
After several days of swimming, M and T started complaining about the bottoms of their feet hurting. They had little raw spots on their toes from the bottom of the pool that were starting to bleed. Their cousins all had water shoes and my kids decided that that would cure the problem. So, off we went to Wal-Mart to get some. Naturally once we were there and getting shoes, S and J suddenly grew sores on their feet and needed water shoes as well. Thank goodness for Wal-Mart & the inexpensive (oh, so necessary) water shoes. So, now we have 7 little angels with water shoes, to protect their precious little feet.
After a long, hard day of playing, movies, & swimming, the kids settled down for a nice, somewhat quiet evening. The boys went upstairs to watch the second half of King Kong (we had to split the movie into two days because it is soooooo long). L and I decided to skip the second half, and let the boys enjoy it on their own. Meanwhile the girls stayed downstairs to color barbie placemats. Afterwards both sets of kids were finished up with their activities, and we all sat down for some yummy chocolate cake!!
Monday night, Uncle R asked who wanted to go see a helicopter. All 3 boys wanted to go of course. They each got to take turns sitting in the drivers seat and everything. I'm pretty sure they all had a wonderful time. The boys have been getting along so nicely, and I'm really glad about that. They have fun playing Star Wars, fighting, watching King Kong (pronounced Ting Tong), swimming, and running around doing all the other fun things boys like to do. I was a little worried about T not having as much fun since he is quite a bit older than the other boys, but my worries were in vain. He is having a blast, and getting along so well with E. We love our cousins.
June 13, 2006
L has a chocolate fountain that M asked if we could use as our FHE treat. We got strawberries, apples, and bananas to dip in the yummy chocolate. It was a big success. The kids were so excited, we had to tell them to stop acting like little animals, and to eat like good little kids. They just couldn't resist that chocolate, but who really could? Not me. I love any type of sweet, especially chocolate!! YUMMY!!
When bedtime finally arrived, they were all exhausted. It didn't take long for them to all crazh, maybe 10 minutes. This was a big improvement from the night before when it took about 2 hours for everyone to finally settle down in bed.
L and I did Yoga Booty Ballet last night, and Big S joined in for a little while. It was pretty fun, and I could feel it working. With all the delicious food we have on our menu, the question of whether or not it will actually work is still up in the air. But, it's the thought that counts. Right?
We really are having so much fun here in Texas. It is so nice to be with family. I really wish the cousins could grow up together, they get along so well. But, life doesn't always bring us what we want. I can't complain though. Life has been good to me. I have healthy children and a loving husband, and a wonderful extended family. In the long run, nothing else really matters, except for what you have with your family and with your Heavenly Father.
When we were eating dinner Sat., S had asked why their water tasted different. Uncle Rob told him it was because their water came from a well. S then asked, "What's a well?" To make things simple he was told that we would go on a walk after church to go see the where the water comes from. Here comes the part where the questionable day of rest comes into play. Everyone was so excited to take this walk to see the well. We all started off in great spirits.
Excerpt from my sister's blog(toomanytocount; a perfect description):
Yesterday we chose to go on a walk to see the water towers in our neighborhood. It's just a round the block, but it's a TX size block (almost a mile). We started out with a couple kids in the wagon, two riding scotters, one on a bike and one on a big wheel. Luckily Grace was napping and stayed home with the big girls, who knew better than to start out with us on such an ill-fated trip. By the time we had gone 5-6 house down the road the kids were swapping spots and complaining about the heat. By the time we had made it to the end of the road many were crying and Tanner was riding ahead a few houses, dropping the bike and flopping on the lawn of who ever's house we were in front of. By the time we made the half way mark, the spot designated to stop and have a juice box to fortify them for the trek down the other side and home everyone was tired and hot and sweaty and complaining. H and M (both turning 7 this summer) chose to walk in dance recital outfits. M's vinyl pants were becoming a pool of sweat and she was crying because that feeling made her feel like she needed to whispered discreetly: poop. We stopped by the tower and passed out lemonade. Pronouned: Lee-mo-naw-day. The kids took a sip and said "this juice is boiling, wah!" SO, we finished our fun field trip. Val (me)pulling two scooters, DH (Rob) with a wagon filled with crying passengers, an empty trash box, and a big wheel tied to the back flopping along because no one wanted to ride it. Thank goodness he had the foresight to take the rope along. Me (Lana) pushing the bike. And the kids trudging along, feeling "grateful" they weren't pioneers but they weren't stoically grateful they were grateful with a side of whine. The funniest part for me was watching H and M. They rolled their outfits up to their necks for a breeze and held out the dance trunks to catch some wind. Whenever a car came by, which was seldom, they had to quickly unroll everything. I (Lana) was in the back of the pack with the slow walkers so when we came up to the house that was across from ours I cut across their yard, threw the stoopid bike over the fence, lifted the three kids that were with me, "hopped" over myself and then we only had to walk the last acre over our backyard. DH (Rob) and Val (me) went the long way and finished the loop.
We then hosed the kids off and handed out popsicles. Day one of summer vacation fun, complete.
(Sorry if you are a blogger and already read that, but I want to use this as a journal, so I can remember my wonderful TX trip. And since she painted the perfect picture of our walk, there it is.)
That night when DH called to say good-night to the kids, T said, "Dad, you don't EVEN want to know how big a Texas block is!"
June 11, 2006
The kids actually traveled very well. The first day was pretty easy. The second day however, was not quite as easy. For one thing, they were tired because I got them up early so that we could be on the road asap. For another, who really wants to be stuck in the car for two straight days? Luckily we have our handy little travel DVD. Which is a complete life saver. My sister gave me a great idea for traveling. I prepared little bags with different things written on them, like: when we are in the canyon, after lunch, when we've been in the car for 8 hours, etc. In each bag there was a surprise. They got some movies, snacks, dollar store toys etc. This kept them entertained and it was something new. At Wal-Mart, they have these cartoons on DVD that are only a buck. Who can really beat that, and our dollar Huck & Fin DVD was the favorite bag. So, all in all, our trip went pretty well.
The kids were so excited to see their cousins. They jumped out of the car and started playing instantly, and everyone got along very well. My sis has a pool, so we went swimming right away. They loved that. S was a little cautious about going into the water. He loves to play in hot tubs, knows how to go underwater without plugging his nose, but once he sees a pool he kind of freaks out, but I think by the time we go home in 3 weeks, I'll have some pretty good swimmers. They will swim everyday, several times. We are really excited.
I decided to stay for a while since the drive is so long. We really wanted it to make it worth our while. We have some really fun activities planned that I think the kids will really enjoy. The only downside about being here for so long is that DH doesn't get to come. I really wish he were here to enjoy all the fun stuff. I also feel guilty about leaving him home for so long. He is great though and said it was okay, and that we should go and have fun. What a wonderful husband!! I would never ask for anyone else in the world. So, I'll have a blast in Texas, but I'll miss him terribly.
June 9, 2006
Here's T with his missing teeth. He lost those four within about a 2 month period. He is also missing 4 other teeth in the back of his mouth. So, that makes 8 missing teeth. How does the boy eat? We have no idea. But, he does. In fact, he eats everything from steak to ice cream. DH and I laugh all the time, because it just seems like he keeps losing teeth. Hopefully some of them will grow in before any more come out.
June 7, 2006
S wanted to grow his hair out, so that it was long enough for Auntie Ange to cut. Whenever we wanted her to do it, it was never a good time for her, so his hair kept growing longer and longer. Finally, we found a time that was good for both of us. He was so excited to have a hair cut from his aunt. It took her almost an hour to do it, because she is still learning. He was such a good sport about it and sat still the entire time. Now we have our little handsome S back!
M has been asking to get highlights in her hair for a very long time. Finally, Auntie Ange decided she had the time to come over and do it. M kept asking why all that stuff was in her face. We had to tell her that famous line of "beauty is pain". She really did a good job of sitting there. She just got some really blonde highlights put in, so nothing too drastic, since she is only 6 years old.
June 6, 2006
Whenever S finds out that Papa is coming to visit, he immediately wants to play dinosaurs with him. Papa is such a good sport about it, and is always willing to play. They each pick out their army of dinosaurs, then line them up to prepare for battle. S of course always gets all the big, strong dinosaurs, while Papa gets the small weak ones. Then they battle. Can you guess who wins? Yep, it's S!! But, occasionally he lets Papa win a battle or two.
June 5, 2006
Papa and Grandma Arhets are here visiting from TX. Papa and I were making Indian Fry Bread, and of course my little chef had to come and help. She wanted to help with the flour, the messiest job of all. So, Papa being the kind, sweet man that he is let her. As they were cooking together she said, "You are the cook boy and I'm the flour girl!" It is so fun to have them here. Papa really was nice to let Jojo help, and she had a great time working right by his side. Maybe she'll grow up to be a culinary expert!! It really doesn't matter what I'm cooking, she loves to help. She's made mac-n-cheese, top ramen, scrambled eggs, cookies, cake; she's helped cut carrots, peppers, cheese, meat; she knows how to crack eggs, without getting the egg shells in too!! You name it, if it has to do with cooking, she's there and she loves it!
June 4, 2006
The kids and I did a surprise Early Father's Day for DH, since we were going to be in Texas for Father's Day. We got everything ready while he was at his church meeting Sunday morning. We wrapped his presents (a CTR ring & The DaVinci Code), and set them out in the living room. They each colored a card for him and taped it to the wall. Then, we each listed why we love daddy. Some of the things included were:
Because he takes me to the candy shop.
Because he lets us buy stuff at Wal-Mart.
Because he loves me.
Because he plays with me.
Then, we were supposed to hide from him so we could jump out and scare him when he got home. Unfortunately he got home a little bit earlier than we had thought he would, and we weren't quite finished. But, he pretended he didn't see anything so we could finish our preparations. They were so excited to do this for him, and I think he enjoyed it as well.
P.S. This was written a while ago, but for various reasons I haven't been able to post it until today.
June 3, 2006
Aunt Andrea lives in Provo, just 10 minutes away from us. We love it. She is so much fun to live by. The kids all absolutely adore her. We don't get to see her quite as often as we like because she is so busy with school, work, and of course friends. But, when we do see her we have a great time. The kids all run to the door and start screaming the second they see her pull up. She is a great aunt. We love her!
Introducing Spencer as Buzz. Another one of the days we couldn't go out of the house with S in everyday clothes (well everyday for us, I guess this is everyday for him). We went to the park to feed the ducks and Buzz came along. He was a hit. All the other kids kept asking him if he could fly or if he had a rocket. He of course played right along with it. How can we not just love this kid?
June 2, 2006
This was from my son's baptism, which was almost 2 months ago. I was just watching him the other day and thinking how fast kids grow. I can't believe I have a son whose been baptized, and I know in no time at all the other 3 will be right there too. Oh, how time flies.
Anyways, his baptism was wonderful. I of course cried. I can't help it, I'm a big cry baby. He was so excited to be baptized and to get the Holy Ghost. What a wonderful experience that was for our entire family.
M conducted the music. She was so sweet. We let T pick out what he wanted each person to do. Papa gave the baptism talk, and Grandma D. gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. Grandma A. played the piano. Everyone did a wonderful job. The other kids are now so anxious for their baptisms. They keep asking when it's their turn. T has grown up so fast. He is such a good boy. He has his moments, but what 8 year old active, growing, healthy, adventurous boy doesn't?
Afterwards, we went out to dinner, and he chose Chinese food. If you ask any of my kids where they want to eat, the answer is always Chinese. Their favorite is Orange Chicken. So, everyone was happy with the decision to go there. We had a lot of family and friends come to support T in his decision to be baptized. It was a wonderful day for all of us!
I'm so grateful for the gospel that we have in our lives. I don't know where we would be without. It has blessed our family in more ways than I can name. As my sisters blog says, there are "Too Many To Count".