Friday, January 27, 2012

Going, Going, Gone...

For a year now Madison has requested a room makeover. I have been dreading the thought because of her beautiful wall my Mom and I painted about four years ago. Part of me was excited for the new task but part of me was quite sad to think that my little girl was no longer little and now a tween. So for her 12th birthday she got what she has been wishing for. A new room. Out with the mural and in with new bright, bold, colors.

So long horse and girl.

Hello Pink! That's right she wanted her girly colors to shine forth. She picked out the paint colors and I got to work. She wanted a bright pink wall and polka dots. She wanted a zebra print bedspread. And a big body pillow. We had so much fun picking out the colors and decorations for her room. The lamp is so cute. She has talked about wanting one since the time she saw one in her cousin Megan's room.

Madison also wanted a new dresser and vanity. The old vanity she had was my Great Grandmother's from Kansas. She wanted something small and fun. The bed came from her Aunt D. That was also my Great Grandmother's frame that came from the farm in Kansas.

The black wall was a surprise for her. It's chalkboard. She had no idea I was going to do that. If you know Madi you know she loves to doodle, and draw on everything. Her walls were so marked up that as I was painting I kept thinking that I needed to do something for her. I saw the board on the Today show and decided to try it. We have to let it cure for at least 3 days before we can use it. So I will get back to you on whether it was a good thing or not.

And Finally We Are Done! So cute, so fun, and so exciting. Happy 12th Birthday Madison! I LOVE YOU!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Day To Remember

Ten years ago we saw our world change. We saw those who sacrificed, those who ran in when others came out, those who fought, those who cried, those who mourned, and those who lost. I will never forget that day, and I knew then that my life; our life had changed. We knew immediately we would go to war. That anytime soon Chris would be called to duty. We knew at times we would not feel safe or secure.

At times I was hoping we could forget and never remember. I wanted to move on like nothing happened. I wanted to know things would be the same. You would be able to travel safely and not look at someone and question their true intent. You could go to the airport and walk up to the gate to welcome someone home. You could see someone of another religion or race and not question them. But that was not to happen.

This past week I have reflected a lot about that day and how we have changed. How I have changed. What has happened to our little family. What we went through to secure our city, state, and country. To know that Chris has left to fight for our freedoms. To take the war to them.

We new immediately that the little spirits waiting to come to our family would have to wait longer. I remember now why there is a big gap between Madison and Abigail. We wanted another child. I could feel her, hear her. I knew she was ready. Yet, on that day I didn't feel safe bringing antoher child into this world with such chaos and not knowing. Just not knowing.

Little did I know that Abigail would be my life saver. She got me through the lonely nights, the long days between calls from Chris. She took care of me and yet she wasn't even able to speak at the time.

Tonight as our family watched a beautiful documentary about a photographer who followed workers at Ground Zero days after the attack a reverence entered the house. The spirit was overwhelming. Preston and Madison were so young. So innocent. So pure. Abigail and Luke were still in Heaven waiting to come. They have heard us talk about 9/11 but I don't think they fully understood what happened until tonight and seeing the pictures and hearing the stories.

I hope they understand now why Chris left. Why he needed to serve. Why he needed to help those that couldn't help themselves. He didn't serve for gold, or oil, or for selfish reasons. He served because they brought the war to us. He serves because of the compassion he has for this country and the beautiful freedoms we have. He serves because of the love of his family. He serves because of the love of God.

May we never forget. May we remember those who died for us. Those that sacrificed on the planes, ground, and around the world. May their families feel the love and peace knowing they will be remembered.

So as we go through the day tomorrow may there be a reverence, and peace in knowing that yes things have changed, but they will never get our freedom, or break our spirits. That we as a family and a blessed country will do what we can to honor those who have fallen, honor those who have served and still serve.

Chris may you continue to know that what you are doing is right and that we will be next to you supporting you on.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It came and went...

Summer that is. It flew so quickly it's sad to see it go. I have enjoyed the kids so much. We had a great time going to Ohio, camping, playing in the muck and mud and just being a lazy summer.

So as they all go to school today; Preston in Junior High, with the hottest gym teacher; Maddie ruling the school; Abbie enjoying the new teacher; and Luke getting used to school lunch and a full day; I contemplate what to do.

There is so much I am excited to do. I can't wait to start painting. Starting with the laundry room. Slowly working my way around the house. It will take a while but I am excited. I can now go to the temple and not worry about picking someone up from kindergarten or pre-school. That's a first in over 8 years.

But mostly I am excited to find me again and do what I need to for my family. Here's to a great new school year and the new adventures.

P.S. Lala is Preston's gym teacher. I think it's awesome that my little Sis is teaching my child. Go here to learn about her adventure and how she got the most awesomest job!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

15 Years and Counting

June 20, 1996 was a special day. The day my new life started. The day I married my sweetheart. Chris and I have now been married for 15 years, we have 4 children, a dog, and a house. You would think it sounds like the typical American family. Yet, in these past few weeks I have learned we are not the typical family we are special. We have made it through challenges, heartache, trials and separations. (Not marital separation, but military.) If there were ever times where life would get rocky we would come closer together as husband and wife and endure the challenge. Life without Chris would be so hard. (I know I did it for 2 years.) I can't imagine my life without the father of my children being by my side.

So here's to Chris. The man who makes sure I am home with my children. The man who will come home from work late because he is picking the kids up from swim. The man who proudly puts on a white shirt and tie every Sunday and sets an examle for Preston. The man who treats me like a lady and let's Madison and Abigail see how they should be treated someday by their future spouse. The man who proudly wears his military uniform and loves our country so much that Luke knows what it means to be a true soldier. The man who laughs with me, cries with me, listens to me, but most importantly loves me.

Love You Chris more and more. May the next 15 years be as adventerous and funfilled and exciting as the last 15 have.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Time

As she peacefully lays there I could feel her slipping. I quietly tell her "Grandpa is here. He is waiting for you. You need to go and dance with him." No response, no smile, no tear, she grunts. I know she hears me. I tell her about the kids. I tell her to say "Hi" to Grandpa. I tell her about the things we did as kids. (D, I even tell her a little secret.) She grunts when it's something funny, but mostly she is just trying to breathe.

For three days I have lifted her, cleaned her, brushed, rubbed and layed with her. I help to dress her. Thinking of how life can play unfair at times. Wondering why? Why this way? Why not quickly? I realize then it was not for her, it was for me and my mom. I know that my mom could not do this alone. She needed me. She needed me to lift Grandma. She needed me to hold both their hands. She needed me to reassure her it was okay. She needed to hear that Grandpa was there. And he was.

So as she detoriates day by day I wonder. Will my time with her matter? Will she know I love her? Does she know she will be missed? Who is going to call me and say "Are you here yet?" As she waits on the front porch. Oh, how I will miss coming around the corner and see her sitting there. But I can't focus on that now. I have to be strong. I have to sit and listen to the nurse because Mom can't.

So tonight my time comes and as quickly it goes. I am laying there with her. Carrying on as if she is responding. Then silence and peace. The spirit quietly whispers, "You need to go now, you need to leave. Your time is done." The spirit is telling me my time is done. I need to leave the room and let my Mom sit with her Mother.

I can't leave the area. I go into the next room knowing what is happening. Knowing that her time here on earth is done. I quietly go into the room and see her. I know. I look over and it is 5:02. I quietly slip out go to the top of the stairs and say to Dad 5:02. He asks what do you mean? I again say 5:02 and go back to the room. I hear them come. As we circle around her I feel them.

She knows. She knows she is loved. She knows she will be missed. And she knows everything will be okay.

My time will never be forgotten. My time will be cherished. My time to show her the love she has always shown me.

"Love You More." I hear her in my mind. I will never forget my times she tells me that.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Got You!

You guys are so easy to trick. Man, it wasn't Madison, she's grounded. She couldn't get on.
It was Me, Preston.So I got you!
(: (: (: Ha, ha, ha!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What needs to happen...

Is that my mom needs to make more blogs. To me it would be nice.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Tyler Fish...

Yesterday, 12 February 2011, Preston AND Madison participated in a swim meet in Hyrum, Utah at Mountain Crest High School. Sadly, both Aubrey and I forgot to grab the camera so we don't have any pictures from this meet. Preston competed in three races, and Madison competed in just one. Preston swam in the 50m Freestyle, Breaststroke, and Backstroke for the 11 & 12 year old boys. Madison swam in the 50m Backstroke for the 11 &12 year old girls. Both did very well. We are very pleased with how they did.

Preston posted 47.41 seconds in the 50m Breaststroke, 39.33 seconds in the 50m Freestyle, and 47.33 in the 50m Backstroke. All three times are personal bests for Preston.

Madison posted 1:31.23 in the 50m Backstroke. She swam her heart out and her arms moved just the way they were supposed to. Now she just needs to work on her kick. She did well for her first ever meet.

The next meet is coming up the first weekend in March and we expect Preston, Madison, and Abigail will all compete this time around. We also expect that Preston and Madison will improve their times and Abbie will swim beautifully in her first ever competition.

The Tyler Fish... will Luke be next? Stay tuned.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Weekend and our Special Guest...

My weekend consisted of puzzle making, donuts and the smell of coffee. I had such a wonderful time. It was a treat and honor for me to have our special guest come and stay. The kids were wonderful and Chris was very patient.

Friday my mom called and asked if Grandma could come and stay with us for the night. I was so excited I couldn't wait for Chris to get home so I could go and get her. There are many things my Grandma loves but her two faves are donuts and coffee. I knew where to get the donuts but not sure what to do about coffee. So we stopped at her favorite store and I ran in for the donuts. While there I decided to look in the coffee aisle and see if they had individual packets. Sure enough, Folgers her favorite, had a box of packets and I was excited. The smell of coffee brings back so many memories of our trips to Kansas. We always knew that when we arrived after a 15 hour car trip that Grandma would have dinner ready for us. It didn't matter how late we got there the mashed potatoes and fried chicken would still be warm and fresh. Sometimes I swear I could smell dinner all the way from Cimmaron. (About 20 miles away from Dodge City.) We would be so excited. My favorite though was waking up in the morning to the smell of bacon, eggs, and coffee. Even though I don't drink it I do love the smell. The memories I have had while visiting her I will always treasure.
Now it was my turn to host her. I wanted it to be the best. When I showed her the coffee she just laughed her little laugh and said "How did you know?" She's my Grandma and I will always know.
So off we were to my house. We pulled up and she immediately came in sat at the table and pulled out her puzzle. (Another of her loves.) She had been saving it because that is what we got her for Christmas. So she and I sat down Friday night to a puzzle and donuts.

Saturday I got up and fixed her coffee and got her a donut and away she went on the puzzle. It was so much fun. I have missed spending time with her and just talking. It was nice to have her stay with us. This past weekend is something I will treasure. Her and me with a box of donuts and a new puzzle.
She has taught me the tricks of cooking along with my mother. She has given me a love for reading. She is patient and very observant. She cares for anyone she can. For the last 5 years she has knitted hats for my children and all their classmates at school. I figure she has made about 500 hundred hats for neighbors, friends, family, and anyone else she can think of. She has taught me about compassion and love for others. I always enjoy the times we get to chat and be together and this weekend couldn't have been better. Love You Grandma. (Love you more.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I thought that once the kids were older and in school most of our firsts would not be as frequent. I know that we will have a first license, Preston; our first teen accident, Madi; first date again, Madi; first wedding of kids again, Madi; first to graduate school, Preston. But I never thought I would have so many firsts in a short amount of time at this stage in their lives. So let me begin.

Preston had his second swim meet in Salt lake. See below. The next week at practice his coach handed him a ribbon for first place. That's right he took first in the freestyle! Awesome! He not only took first he beat all the kids his age range who have been swimming for a very long time and it was only his second meet. It was also his first swim where his goggles stayed on. SO there are two firsts for him.

Madison and Abigail. It was their first to go to a concert. Mac Christensen the President of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir asked my Dad if he wanted tickets to the Christmas concert. The one with David Archuletta. The one everyone was trying to apply for tickets. So my Dad told him that Chris was flying in that night from Afghanistan. Mac said not a problem I will send you six for him. (This was before people even found out if they had tickets back in October. And no I didn't apply for tickets. That's another story.) SO anyways last thursday Dec. 16 we went to Salt Lake with Abbie, Mads, my mom, my sis Lala, and Chris. It was also Abbie's first time at the Conference center.

Luke's first was actually two in one. He lost not only his first tooth but his second tooth thanks to Dr. D. They gased him up and pulled away. The toothfairy brought him $4 bucks. Thanks to Aunt D. she has instilled in the kids that when your tooth is pulled by the Dentist you get pain and suffering. I can't wait for Sammie's first tooth to fall out. It was also Luke's first to outspell Abigail. That's right, the kid who refuses to say the alphabet and refuses to read because I read him stories at night out spelled his smarter 2nd grade sister who is at a 5th grade reading level and taught herself to read before she was out of pre-school.
SO here is how it went down. The boys are huge BYU fans. One day we were all in the van talking when they saw a dreaded U sticker. They started talking about how wonderful the Y is and they will go there because their Grandpa did. When all of the sudden Abbie pipes up and says:
"How do you spell BYU?" (Chris and I were Totally stunned that she said that. I thought she was having a Lala moment.)
She was dead serious.
Luke responded by saying "B-Y-U! Duh!"
His first time out spelling his big sis. Way to go!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Swim meet

Saturday was a great day! Preston had a swim meet in Salt Lake at Cottonwood High School. I was amazed that at 7am he was up and ready for the day. So excited to go and race. He has really enjoyed being in a swim club.
A lot of the swim meet consists of sitting and waiting around. He competes in 3 strokes. Breast, back and freestyle. He does an amazing job. His coaches are surprised at how skilled he is at the breast stroke.

All three of the kids were such troopers. They were very well behaved for having to get up early on a Saturday.

Preston is so ready for this.

He did a beautiful job. He was in 4th place at the wall. He then turned and kicked off and glided ahead of everyone.

He took 1st place for his heat. It was awesome! I am so proud of him and his accomplishments he has made.

Thanks Mom and Dad for coming and waiting with us. Mom thanks for the pics.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


We made it! Finally, after a year of feeling guilt, sadness and failure. I helped Abigail finally fullfill a dream. A week after Chris came home we went on our celebratory trip to California. Five days of parks, walking, sightseeing, climbing, riding, eating, shopping, and more walking. Very exhausting but very rewarding. And the very first thing we did was for Abigail. A year ago we missed her most favorite character at Disney. (Mom was in a rush to see everything and bypassed this place.) So here is to Abbie and her favorite cartoon.

The excitement is building. She can hardly stand it. For a year everytime we talked about our trip Abbie would remind me of who we didn't see.

Tinkerbell! That's right Abbie finally met her and loved every minute of it. That was the first time I have seen her this speechless. I don't think she even giggled.

She loved every minute of this precious moment. So here's to Abbie and her hero. Way to go girls.

Abigail also had the chance to duel with Darth Vader. She had the force. Again, all 4 kids were picked to train as Jedis. It was awesome. I so loved that they were all picked. Abbie, was picked as the the special Jedi in training to fight Vader and knock him down. The Master couldn't get her to stop giggling long enough to knock over the troopers. She had the whole crowd laughing. It was great. If you look at the pic above you can see the clone troopers falling back as she uses the force.

What great parents we are. One of my favorite rides is Splash Mountain. I love long log rides. We made all the kids go on this ride. If you know anything about our kids it is that Prest hates rides. IF it goes higher than about 15 feet he won't go near it. Well, our luck is that has rubbed off onto fearless Lukers. He was at one point fearless, and now with the great influence of big brother he has no desire to go on "BIG" rides. He squeezed the life out of my arms on this ride as he clung to me. At the end Chris got this great pic of him. I am sorry but it was well worth it.

This is the first family trip that I actually let Chris take pics of me and not erase them. I have thrown a few in. Finally getting over the feeling of ugly pics. Might as well enjoy life and have some proof for years to come.

The girls chillin' with Chris. They kept him busy. It was great to be with him.

Toontown is one of our favorite places to goof off! The only problem was they couldn't keep us in jail.

Mickey Mouse's house. It is so much fun. They have done an amazing job with his house. It is a neat place to explore.

No explanation needed. At least I hope.

Oh yeah! Who's the tough one?! Obviously me. Wait...

Preston cheated. You can't use fingers.

The girls are in Heaven!

Still the strongest. Sorry Chris.

Luke could not get enough of Mickey and his house. He was lovin' the place. I really think he would live there if he could and if they had nintendo.

Preston needs some practice.

I think that Luke got to see Mickey 3 times and was still asking to see him again. He had so much fun. So while the girls and Chris were riding big rides I took the boys to see him again, and again, and well anyways you get the picture. Actually you see the picture.

Disneyland really is the place where Dreams do Come TRUE! Madi is the one child that has had a hard time growing up. She would still play dress up if we could find outfits her sizes. So there we were at the princess shop and sure enough we found a Cinderella dress her size. She couldn't hardly stand it. Madi had it on before we could even pay for it. She could not stop smiling. She then was able to meet her favorite character. Perfect ending to a good day. Love ya Mads!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes...

When you are fast asleep.
So after a year of doing laundry alone, eating dinner alone, laying in bed alone, running kids all over kingdom come alone, going to church alone and so much more I have finally woken up to a wonderful morning. Chris arrived home October 30 at 11:45ish pm. We missed trick-or-treating with him but the kids could have cared less.
One week later Chris was able to baptize Abbie. She was so excited that she literally came out of the water giggling. It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen or heard. She made everyone in the room laugh. What a sweet spirit she is. Thanks to all the family who participated and helped make her day. Thank you, Oma for coming down just for the occasion. I know it was a quick trip but I am so glad you came. Amy, thank you for the gift. I know you wanted to be there and you were in spirit. Thank you D. and Mom for participating in her program.
The next morning we left for our family vacation. What a fun trip it has been. Pictures are to come but we brought the wrong cables and unfortunately are unable to download any right now. We left Sunday trying to miss the snow storm Utah was to recieve and I am glad we did leave when we did. Monday we went to Disneyland and what a time we had. First thing we did was see Tinkerbell. For a year all Abbie could talk about was how we missed her and she never got to see her. For once, she didn't know what to say. It was the best. We could have ended the trip there for her and she wouldn't have minded. We then went to the Jedi training where again all 4 kids were picked. More to come on that. Tuesday we went to California Adventure. All I have to say is fun and again no crowds; although there are a couple of rides where the lines were long due to popularity. We still had a wonderful time. Wednesday we did a mix of both parks and what a time we had. Crowds were thicker in Disney that day but for the most part we still didn't have to wait too long. Luke was even able to see Mickey for the 3rd time and not wait long. He was lovin' life.
Today was the most exhausting. After 3 days of Disney we went to legoland. It was crazy. The park was packed. Lines for some rides were 2 hours long. (We skipped those rides.) The kids had a great time but waiting in line was hard, especially after not having to earlier in the week. Apparently California celebrates Veterans Day. No school=Legoland for those kids. The kids had a good time. They have been troopers and it has been great. Tomorrow Sea World. Can't wait to see Shamu. It is a fun place.
We have had a great time and are enjoying our time with Chris and just being able to get reacquainted with him.
And for all those who have or will serve this great country of ours THANK YOU and GOD BLESS!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Wacky Luke

Today is Luke's 6th Birthday. He has been counting down for days. He may not know the date but he knows today is important. He is so excited.

Luke looks at life through imaginery glasses. He is always on an adventure. Finding something new to experience.

Luke always has the biggest grin on his face.

Luke loves to play. He will always find something to entertain him. His goal is to make everyone around him laugh and feel loved. He is happy, excited, kind, loving, caring, and anything else positive. He has been my bud and a great trooper through life. If it's not fun he is not interested. Just ask him what he does at school. His reply, "we sat, we just sat, we just sat some more." He makes life interesting and fun.

Today was "wacky hat" day at school. He was so excited because he could wear the "Birthday" hat.

Happy Birthday Luke! We love you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Coming Soon...

It's October and you know what that means. Less than a month for my wonderful husband to be home. Can't wait and can't last much longer without him. It has been a wonderfully long year of highs, lows and many-in-betweens. Life has been good. We have accomplished a lot this year. I would not have been able to do it without the help of Heavenly Father and awesome family and friends. THANK YOU! You know who you are. Love you all.