Girls’ Weekend 2018

Girls’ Weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year! It was so fun to be with my sisters and mom, cousins and aunts…..and all without any kids.  We love our kids.  But it feels really good to just be a person for a few days.  

We started it off by going to Zumba at my gym with my grandma.  

We played games, ate, talked, shopped, and had so much fun being together.

Traditional breakfast at Kneader’s

I love my mom and sisters so much.  I couldn’t ask for better people to be my best friends.  They love and support me no matter what.  And they always inspire me to be better.

Moments

Avery got on the high honor roll.  She works so hard in school and is so responsible in getting everything done that she needs to.  She is like that in all areas of life, never needing to be reminded of much.  

Carston started games for Pleasant Grove High School’s provisional soccer team.  He really enjoys it, he never loses his cool, he compliments his teammates, and he is just a pretty great kid.

Hazel is obsessed with music.  Whenever she starts to lose it in the car, we hand her the ipod full of songs and she goes into a trance listening to whatever songs she picks.  John jokes that he listens most to music not of his choosing: Barbie songs, One Direction songs, Moana songs, etc.  I personally would rather listen to those songs repeatedly instead of her crying or whining.  John hasn’t quite built up his stamina like I have.

With no treats in the house, it is a pretty big occasion for these girls when Grandma gives them a cookie.  Hazel will talk about how she wants to go to grandma’s house because she has cookies.

I ordered a bunch of clothes from China and most of them have turned out okay.  Hazel likes to model and get her picture taken.

Carston doesn’t like me to take pictures of him, so this was the best I could get to make sure when he grew up and looked at our pictures, he wouldn’t feel left out.

Hadley and Hazel love when they get to go to grandma’s without me! Hadley was quite good at giving makeovers on this day.  They are so lucky to have my mom.  

Macy got to choose a prize for good things at school and this is what she picked out on Amazon! We all love our gum, especially since we aren’t eating treats!

Carston and I have struggled to find a balance of how involved he needs me to be for his grades, how much I should be involved…..This is our current solution.  He has this term to prove himself and show that he is capable of succeeding without my involvement.  After he signed up, I couldn’t help but laugh when he said, “I just signed my death warrant.”  That kid and homework.  I don’t know if anyone could hate it more.  Maybe John.

My little twinners!  I love that these girls have each other.  I constantly thank God for working on my heart to get them both here.  It took a lot for me to be willing to get through 2 more pregnancies.

Our house seems like it is never clean, and I guess that’s because there are so many people living, playing, and working in it.  Kate had a friend over to test out recipes for an entrepreneurial fair.

 

Spring Break 2018

For Spring Break this year, I did what I wanted to do since I was the one planning!  One of my goals for the year was to visit a National Park so we got an RV and headed to Zion’s.  It was beautiful.  I started getting anxious and not enjoying it because I was worried about if everyone else was having a good time, but then I decided to stop and enjoy it myself.  I love being out in nature surrounded with only what God has created.  It was beautiful.  We had to split up a few times to accomodate Hadley and Hazel.  At one point, Avery and Macy were seperated from the rest of us and we weren’t sure how we would connect with them.  Kate was in tears with worry, but we said a prayer and everything worked out okay.  We hiked Emerald Falls and the Narrows.  The water was FREEZING in the Narrows so we didn’t go too far.  I want to go back in the summer and really enjoy it.  After Zion’s we headed to this off the beat “trail” that wasn’t really a trail at all.  The kids loved exploring and climbing over boulders and in slot canyons.  It was pretty cool.  Kate is a little monkey and scared me lots of times, especially when she tried to climb out of the slot canyon by going straight up the cliff.  After that hike we headed to Heather’s for a night.  That might have been all the kids’ favorite part.  We swam, played games, and hung out.  We headed home the next day but stopped to meet some friends at the Lava Tubes near Meadow.  Those were really cool! It’s hard to imagine that we’ve never heard of them before.  They looked like the scene from a movie at parts.  There is so much beauty and variety in Utah.  I feel like we definitely need to do more exploring.  Hopefully we can when summer comes.

Easter

General Conference and Easter happened on the same weekend.  It was such a great weekend filled with so much of the spirit.  I love the apostles, President Nelson, and all the other leaders, and I am so grateful for the sacrifices they give to serve the Lord.  Since I’m trying to not buy anything that would end up in the garbage in 6 months, and since we aren’t eating candy, our Easter baskets and General Conference Bags were a bit different this year.  We had a lot of snack foods I don’t normally buy.  I also had the 4 older kids pick out a picture of the Savior that spoke to them to celebrate memorizing the Living Christ.  I loved seeing what they each picked.  We had some of John’s family over for dinner on Easter.  It ended up being Orange Chicken! Not your typical Easter dinner, but it was a busy week and we were making do with whatever food we already had.  Later that night, we put Hazel to bed and then did my favorite Easter tradition.  We have Resurrection Eggs which we tape glow sticks to, and then we hide them in the backyard when it is dark.  We sat around the fire, talked about the Savior, sang songs, and felt the Spirit.  It was the best part of the whole day for me.  Sometimes it is hard to know if any of the things I do to help my kids feel the spirit are of any benefit.  I just trust God and follow the spirit.

-Kate got a bloody nose today. Tonight, she told me that she felt like she had lost too much blood today and it had made her weak. She hoped she would feel better when she woke up in the morning.

-Macy had a juice party with some friends from school. They had traded candy at lunch to get 100 juice boxes. They had fun drinking juice and running around playing outside.

-Carston was pretty excited to find another friend who might be a dedicated member of his band. They practiced this week and sounded pretty good.

-I started freaking out again about Carston’s grade since he missed two days of school when he went to spring training. I’m trying hard to back off and show Carston that I have confidence in his ability to be responsible for himself. Soooo hard for me!

-Since my mom and dad will be doing their missionary job at the conference center next Sunday, we celebrated with them yesterday. We had yummy food, got creative filling eggs for a hunt since we couldn’t use candy, had a treasure hunt, and watched a movie about the Savior. I feel so lucky we get to live close to them.

-I’ve been feeling discouraged lately with myself and mistakes I make. I’m trying to figure out how I can not be so hard on myself. I think it is a matter of pride, so I will pray for humility. I made a goal a couple weeks ago to read the Book of Mormon in 6 weeks again. I’ve been listening to it and it is surprising how quickly I can get 11 pages in. I’ve also been listening to a lot of audiobooks since all the ones I had on hold became available at the same time! I don’t know how I stayed sane before I could listen to so many at double speed. There is a lot of monotonous tasks that come with my daily life:cooking, cleaning, driving, etc. Listening to things makes it more enjoyable.

-I’ve been busy doing things for the PTA at Franklin. I’m supposed to host an assembly tomorrow to end our literacy month, and I’m kind of wishing I didn’t have to! I can get up in front of people, but I usually don’t look forward to it.

-Kate gave a talk today about Jesus restoring the church to earth. She wrote it herself, and it was really good. She had typed it up but just spoke looking out when she got up there. And then at the end she said that she knew Heavenly Father would help us know which church was the true church, even if it wasn’t this one. So tonight we were talking about how you could know, and she started talking about President Nelson and how maybe he wasn’t a prophet and was going to start tearing the church apart piece by piece….starting with home teaching! That girl is the best. President Nelson just became the new prophet and announced in his first general conference that visiting teaching and home teaching were being retired for something else.

-John and I went to see O.M.D. in concert with some of his brothers and wives.  I think I knew one of their songs.  It was what he wanted to do to celebrate his old age since he turned 40.

-I took the girls to Farm Country and Hadley got to help drive the wagon with her friend Brooklyn.  She thought that was pretty cool since she is really into doing things herself.

-Hazel and John played puppies.  John is such a good dad and is always trying to say yes when the kids ask him to play whether it be puppies, board games, or watching a funny video together.  I could definitely do a better job of that.  This week I did spend time with Hadley playing barbies and reading books while Hazel was sleeping.  It is hard to make it a priority when so many things are clamoring for my time and attention.

-Macy tried learning how to play the flute for 6 weeks at school and found out it was REALLY hard to even get a note out!  Her teacher had a little performance and it was awesome.  While we were there I saw Kate’s picture that won an art contest the teacher had.  She’s been really into the book series, “The School for Good and Evil.”  This was her “Evil” inspiration.  She loves being able to have art and drama classes everyday.  We love their school.  Macy also had her science fair at school.  Their science teacher is amazing.  I loved seeing all the displays and hearing about what the kids investigated.

-I did have to do the assembly (even though it was girls weekend).  Everyone else had too much anxiety to get up in front of the school.  And lucky me….my videos wouldn’t work.

I really wasn’t feeling like being a leprechaun this year, maybe because John and Carston had been gone for 3 days. So I didn’t do anything. The girls found the bin in the basement, so at least they were wearing green. Carston and John headed to Arizona this week for 4 days of spring training. John had been wanting to spend some time hanging out with Carston, so this was one of his Christmas presents. I didn’t get a lot of info about how it all went down or what kinds of emotions they were feeling, it I think they had a good time and enjoyed it. We sure missed them and are glad they are back home.

Hadley Turns 5!

Hadley turned 5 this week! She has been planning a Moana party since July when Hazel had one. She might have thought that was the only way for her to get a Moana dress. She loved every second of it. Macy and her friend Grace painted everyone’s faces, we played don’t let the kakamora touch the ground and went bowling with a real coconut. They made some real treasures out of pine cones and shells. Danced the hula, and played on the Moana boat John and I made. She loved every second of it. We sure love this beautiful girl who brings so much light and joy to the world!