Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sis. Beck Rocks

Sister Beck has done it again. She inspires me so much and I just LOVE all of her talks. I just read this talk this morning that she gave at the BYU Women's Conference, and it really lifted me up this morning. I know what my divine purpose is, and I absolutely love being a wife and a mother. Sometimes I start to get distracted, or selfish, or listen to the rest of the world and their opinions. I start to care more about what others think, than what my Heavenly Father thinks. This talk helped me to remember, so powerfully, what this life--my life--is all about. Just wanted to share.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

City Fishing

One of the parks that's just a few miles away from this house has a nice little man-made lake with lots of fish, ducks, and turtles in it. Kenny bought Tyler his own little fishing pole last week and they've used it several times since then. Tyler really likes it, but still doesn't like to touch the fish. I don't either. I think the whole idea of fishing sounds great and all, and it's fun to be together, but I hate the way they look, feel, and taste. I don't like prying a hook out of an animal's mouth because I feel so cruel. (It was even worse when they caught a turtle and a duck by mistake...) But I don't let Tyler in on any of that. It's just good bonding time with his dad.

Reeling it in

Holding up the little guy

Madi is a good sport and loves to watch everything that goes on. And check out those rolls!!

Uncle Tim likes to come along too, and it's fun for everyone.

P.S. I caught the biggest fish

Friday, May 13, 2011

Announcement and lots more stuff

ANNOUNCEMENT: We just found out a couple days ago that we are moving to Cleveland, Ohio!! I will admit that when I first heard, I cried. I was really set on being here at least through the summer, to spend time with all my sisters. I really miss them. But we should be there beginning to mid-June. (So much for that half-marathon in San Antonio, maybe we can find another one in Ohio.)We are really excited about this next adventure! Since we don't get a choice in where we live, we've decided to just love it all. It's a darn good thing they told us when they did or we would have signed some kind of contract for renting a house or apt. within a few days! So I'm very glad about that. We are getting relocated there, so they would have had movers come and take care of all our stuff which is ironic because WE already had to do ALL the work. It's nicely packed and sitting in a storage unit. Lame. I'm trying to see if Kenny can get the money they would have spent on that anyway from them so we can get something out of it. The tentative plan is that we'll be there for about 18 months before they try to get us out in the field, which means another project. Isn't life exciting?!

My mom had a birthday yesterday!! We had a theme: Celebrate 48! She was gone at the temple in the morning with my dad so it gave us a little time to get some things ready. She came home to 48 balloons in her bedroom...
48 chocolates on her bed

A $48 gift card to her favorite nail salon. Also a large card with 48 things we love about our mom (all of the kids except Jeff added to it). And we had her favorite strawberry cheesecake that night with what should have been 48 candles.

Happy birthday to my wonderful mother!

Last night we finally took the girls to the instacare and they both had fluid in their ears and are now on an antibiotic. Hopefully we'll see an improvement within the next 24 hours--I hate having sick kids. I don't seem to be getting any better, and might even be getting worse, so I'll probably do the same thing sometime soon.

Mothers Day and More

All of these pictures are from last week. We've been loving the hot sun here, and the kids have had a blast doing all things related to water. Including jumping on the trampoline with the sprinkler underneath...

This one of Madi was when they were swimming at the neighbors across the street. They have a pool in their backyard but are living across the world for a while. My mom and Tim take care of the house, yard, mail, etc. so they let us swim whenever we want.

And of course the pools, of which there are an abundance here in Houston. The waterpark one opened up last weekend, and we had a grand ol time. Madi's first time swimming was definitley a success (even though I couldn't find her swimming suit anywhere--it's brand new too! she still has yet to wear it).

My brother Tim is a lifeguard so he was working while we swam. But during his break he helped Tyler learn to swim without floaties. He's no pro yet, but he's getting there.

Brynlee is a little water-baby and was in absolute heaven the whole time. It's always a fight to get her out of the pool when we have to leave. She would sleep in water if she could.

I was starting to not feel well, the night before and thought it was because of the hard run Kenny and I went on. But I was still supposed to do 8 miles that day (half-marathon training) and I didn't want to miss out totally. So that night I went and felt like it was a huge accomplishment to do 5. I walked one more and went home, thinking I should probably listen to my body. The next day, mother's day, I woke up sick. And so were my girls. So we all stayed home from church, and I barely made it out of my pajamas for the yummy dinner. My dad made a yummy breakfast that morning of omelets, bagels, and strawberries with nutella! Kenny had taken the kids to the store the night before and let them each pick out a necklace for me, and flowers :). It was so cute when they walked into my room, each wearing the one they picked out. So sweet. I sure feel like the luckiest mom to have 3 beautiful, wonderful children. I think they're just the greatest things in the world. I also feel so blessed to have such a fabulous mother. She is an incredible example to me and I love her so much. Being a mom is one hefty, eternal calling. But it continually brings me closer to the Savior and teaches me so much. I am so grateful that I am a mom, and that I'm surrounded by amazing women who teach me how to be better. Happy mother's day to all the lovely ladies out there.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Holy catch up

Wow! I really need to catch up here.

Okay so Easter was Sunday, April 24th. It was a rainy day, and we did not take a single picture. Which is pretty much like a sin on easter, because that's THE day to take family pictures. Fortunately, we had some done the previous week by a professional, and this is what one looks like. I put up a lot more on facebook. But this was my favorite family one. Church was great, the kids looked cute, they ate too much candy, and we talked about the Savior and His resurrection. The Pearsons were kind enough to invite us over for easter dinner and it was SO delicious. Rochelle is a fabulous cook and they are great friends. The kids did a little easter egg hunt and we visited and then went home.

That week was absolutely crazy packing up and loading the U-Haul and getting everything ready to go. On Wednesday Lisa Bowerman took the kids for the day so I could get a lot done. On Thursday my 2 friends Kaylene and Lorren showed up (along with their husbands) and helped clean and rearrange the truck to fit more, and watched the kids while I took a trip to Goodwill, etc. They were all basically heaven-sent angels and I couldn't have gotten everything done without them. We really did think we could and would get it all done by ourselves, but I was humbled and taught a very good lesson...ACCEPT HELP! I was very grateful for them recognizing the fact that I wouldn't ask for it, so they just showed up or demanded to help and it turned out I really did need it all.

Friday, April 29th was our 5-year anniversary, which is pretty funny. Funny, because we obviously weren't able to celebrate at all.

We had been up till 2 a.m. the night before, loading the truck more, cleaning out the garage, and the house, etc. We got up early that morning and Lisa showed up again to help. Kenny only worked for a couple hours, then came home and we finished up everything. We flew my brother Tim up to help me drive down with the kids. Kenny drove the U-Haul and pulled his car on a trailer behind it. Tim rode with me & kids in the van and we took turns driving. We picked him up at the airport and were on our way. We stopped in Jackson, Mississippi that night in a hotel. We joked about how most people stay in a hotel for their anniversary, but they don't bring along their 16 year old brother, and their 3 children haha. The next day we finished the trip, between 7-8 hours each day so not too bad. It was extremely helpful to have Tim there.

When we got here, we took the U-haul straight to the storage unit. I dropped the kids off with my mom, said hi and bye. Tim had called some buddies and we had several people help us unload the truck so it got done pretty quickly. Again, we were so grateful for the help. People are just so kind. I hope we can serve and help others the way people have helped us.

Since being here we have just been trying to get a little settled and look for somewhere to live and figure life out. I still have dreams almost nightly about either packing and moving, or looking for houses/apartments. I will just wake up and not be able to go back to sleep for a long time. Can we say stress? So things are still up in the air, but we are so glad we can be here at my parent's house in the mean time while we figure it out. Sarah gave up her room so we have 2 bedrooms and a bathroom all to ourselves and we feel very spoiled. The kids love the trampoline, the swimming, and of course, all the extra love and attention from family. On Saturday, Kenny and I got to go to the temple together for a early morning date, sort of like a late anniversary date. It was a much-needed time and we really love the free babysitting :)

Well I still have a lot more pictures, and mother's day to catch up on but this is long enough so I'll try to do that later (and hopefully before another week passes).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Goodbye Edwardsville

Well we made it here safely yesterday, but I want to first catch up on some stuff. Here's a few pictures from our last week in wonderful Edwardsville, Illinois.

Kenny with his young men
L to R: Craig Foust (leader), Cameron Foust, Brandon Ryan, Dominic Barnard, Kenny, Carson Foust, Chandler Reed. Austin Bogle was there, but left early. (Missing: the 3 McLean boys)
Tyler's last soccer game with his 2 friends from church: Ashlyn Porter and Liam McLean

Me with all my girl friends eating out at Grace Manor, 2 nights before we moved.

Standing L to R: Kirstin Lindsay, me, Karla Russell, Rochelle Pearson, Charlene Kraude, Ann McLean, Terra Reed, Melody Sever

Sitting L to R: Kaylene Foust, Heather Porter, Lisa Bowerman, Lorren Ryan

We will surely miss all the wonderful people we've known and loved there. We have such wonderful memories of that place and learned so much from so many people. We are grateful we got to be part of their lives for 2 years.