Thursday, November 17, 2011

Praying & Partying

~We had a scary moment as we drove the first night. We had set up a hotel reservation to stay in Kanab, which looking back now was just too far to drive for the first night, being that we didn't leave till Tim got off work till 6:00. Kids were all asleep and everything was going great until ...oh 11 something. We came upon the point where you had to turn or go straight...both said Page.  Well, Tim turned. I said "I think we should have gone straight"...he insisted I was wrong of course. While driving down this new road we hear the lovely sound of ding-ding-ding. We look down & see that the light has come on for the gas tank indicating it is low....we keep driving with no signs of life, or gas stations anywhere. I got a pit in my stomach. Still we continued on... For a few brief moments I was planning in my head that we would be stranded and would be sleeping in our car. At this point, Tim & I were talking in raised voices, which awoke all of the kids & led to 4 out of the 5 more like screaming. They were uncomfortable & had been abruptly awakened. It was awful. 
~Long story short we turned around back to the original route...instant peace. I knew we made the right decision as we putted into the town of Page just in time to fill up that empty tank of ours. We all jumped out of the car, breathed in the brisk fresh air and welcomed the small raindrops on our heads. All kids were full of smiles as they realized we wouldn't have to be on the show: "I Shouldn't Be Alive...No really they thought that. The kids had been praying in the car, out loud & simultaneously ..they were so scared. Our phones were not working of course when we needed them most-terrible feeling. The funny thing was looking back later that night, both our moms had text us around the exact time that we were about to be "stranded." ....
`Call it what you want=Mother's Intuition/Promptings from the Holy Ghost/Being watched over from above. I think all apply.
~We finally arrived about 1am to our Hotel and all slept so soundly that night. The next morning we enjoyed the beautiful weather & scenery as we finished the drive to Provo.

After the long travels we finally arrived!
We went straight to the Provo Mall...a nostalgic favorite...

And then we were off to meet my family at Granddad Curtis' 90th Birthday! We met at the end of my grandparents street which is on the top of a beautiful hill overlooking...
...the town of Provo
~While there, we could hear the roars of the crowd as the BYU Cougars scored! I thought about how my Grandparents used to go to those games religiously & came draped in head to toe BYU paraphernalia. They of course cannot do that anymore & it made me realize and remember that life flies by.  {Someday I won't have 5 yelling kids in the car... This time will pass & I have to take it all in now while I still can.}
We enjoyed seeing cousins & family we hadn't seen in quite a while. My kids embraced Aunt Sara that they had missed so much. All the young ones & young at heart rolled down the gigantic hill. (They don't have hills like that in AZ.) And I don't know why I didn't get a picture of Grandma & Granddad together...silly me. I must've been too busy stuffing my face.

~And then we headed off into the sunset, okay north of the sunset, and off to Salt Lake to check into our hotel.  
....After all, we had a Conference to attend to.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ready for Take-Off...

So we took the kids out of school before Fall Break a day early for K & D and a week early for Spence. We headed up to Utah for the 10-11 hour drive. 

The Objectives:
 1) attend General Conference with Spence & Kay
2) to attend Granddad Curtis' 90th Birthday Bash
3)  to see our 3 little Sisters in action @ BYU 

~We had to split it into two days so it wasn't so painful. I always think about our ancestors traveling across the plains & then down into Arizona WITHOUT cars or  a.c. How did they do it?!? 
I actually prepared some activities for the kids with ideas I stole from Pinterest. One was a Bingo game they had to mark off as they saw the pictures= train, tree, stop sign, bird, airplane, red car etc.., Another game was finding something out the window that started with each letter of the Alphabet. My favorite hour of the drive!! 

Ok who feels like playing "I Spy" with this next pic?
{"Oh Stephanie?...}
*Spencer's dry patches on arms
*Ryler's friend Elmo staring at him the drive
*Jaxson's messy face
*flip flops
*Kay & Day's dog sticker covered D.S.
*3 pillows
*dry erase marker & ABC practice board
*frog toy for Ry
*1 child who was bound to get carsick even though sitting center & raised in booster seat

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Ryler got to spend time with both sets of his Maternal Great Grandparents within one weeks time recently. It was smiles, coos & loveable squeezes all the way around.

I feel blessed to have both sets of Grandparents here to be able to talk with & hold my babies like they used to me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

If Mom says "No"....

...then just poke a hole in it.
How do I discipline this?... when they look at me like that?

For more Motherhood Moments:
Link up to my friend Jamie @ One Blessed Lady

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My little photographer...

Daylan loves looking at photographs just like his Mommy. While on our recent trip in Utah, we were in the car waiting for Tim to check us into our new hotel. I was looking at pictures I had taken on my camera and suddenly Daylan got in this pose & said "Mom, would this be a good picture?"
I of course quickly lifted up my camera & took this precious one of him. 
When Moments like these happen with Daylan I try & treasure them. He goes from being Mr. naughty pants to Mr. melting-my-heart.

Earlier that day I was snuggling with Ryler on the bed during the afternoon session of General Conference & Daylan captured this series of shots...
...I think he might have a future in this photography thing.

~What I loved most about these photos was two things.~ 
One, being able to see through Daylan's eyes, down at his height & see how he views life.
Two, that he captured ME being a Mom; something I am every minute of my life but never get to see.

Friday, October 21, 2011

*Ryler=5 Months*

I can't believe my baby is already so old. What happened?!

He is scooting/crawling all across the floor...and quickly I might add. I can't keep up...literally. Look closely below: I had placed Ry on that colorful playmat in the left corner, I left the room for just minutes and BOOM he was underneath the piano on the other side of the room.

Oh and every morning he has a little computer time..checking to see what his peeps are up to.
In this pic I think you can tell really how big he is getting as he is up against Jax. These two are loving being brothers. They both have smiles that just melt my heart. 
{Check out those chunka it!}

A few days ago he tried his first taste at real food (Rice Cereal) & just acted like it was no big deal.

~I love this kid so much. He makes my heart so incredibly happy. ~I laugh when I look at him because I just can't believe I never "planned" on him coming...Oh but Heavenly Father did & I am so so glad that He is in charge and not me.~

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Official....

Tim's little sister Lacey & her longtime beau Jordan got engaged last night.

After 5 and a half years these two are finally tying the knot. 
First dating as High School Sweethearts, then Lacey waiting patiently for Jordan as he served a full time mission in the Philippines
...and then Last Night happened.

~Dreams Are Coming True...~

I just found this old little doo-dad pic below and had to smile.
CONGRATS to them!
~We love you!~

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

~Missionary Moments~

First off I have to say how much I love the people in our Stake! They put so much effort into this last activity for all the 8-11 year old girls in our stake & it did not go unnoticed. 

When the girls all arrived they were put on a pretend Airplane (in the gym). Kay said they even ate peanuts and everything. Then they traveled around the World to different countries learning from someone who had served a mission there about the country it's food, language & culture.

I showed up a little before it was over & was able to watch as they did their Balloon Release. The girls had written their testimonies out & placed them inside their balloons. Then they released them all at once to create this wonderful, colorful collage. This symbolized that they would share their testimonies throughout the world to all those who they could find & who would listen.
{Kaylea woke up earlier that morning not being able to walk but insisted on going anyways. Somehow she had hurt her hip playing soccer at school perhaps. She limped around the church to the stations with help from her bestie Sienna. Then my cousin Alena spotted her & Kay was lucky enough to get piggy-backed.}

With this activity and then the Primary topic of Missionary Work lately, Kaylea was inspired & continues to talk about the Mission she wants to go on when she's older. 

~The neatest experience happened to her soon after this. A girl from her ELP class was talking to her about how she wanted a tattoo & Kaylea told her that she never wanted to get one. The girl asked her if she was a "Mormon" & Kay said "Yes I am." Then Kaylea quickly went up to her friend Hailey (pictured above in the blue) & told her "Hailey we have to go talk to Ivanna; she is asking me about the church & I think we should be missionaries to her."...and so they did. The 3 of them ate their lunch inside the classroom & talked about the Gospel the whole recess. They answered questions & wrote their testimonies down for her.

~I am proud of my little missionary.~

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cousin Campout

It all began when we were having the discussion with Kaylea. She said that towards the end of the school year last year her Music teacher had asked who in the class had gone camping. Kaylea said she was the ONLY one to not raise here hand. How sad is that? Can you say DEPRIVED of a necessary childhood experience!!

Tim (the non camper) instigated a "COUSIN CAMPOUT" for us all to do this summer {in June}. You see Kaylea's cousins the Lundells are the official campers with every camping luxury possible, making it more appealing. And so that is just what they did.
the one time the kids could get away with such dirty faces!
The Clan included Tim, Spence, Kaylea, Daylan, (I stayed home with the 2 littlest) Grandpa Ron, The Lundell Family, Flagstaff Campbell Family, The Check's + Sophie.
(Thanks to Heidi for most of these pics.)
The kids say that some of the Highlights included:

*Beanbag Toss (adults had the most fun)
*Movie Time (watching on sheet from projector)
*Jumping in the freezing cold water (my crazy kids only)
*Being told by the Park Ranger that Bears were seen the day before in the area...(they set up traps in their actual campsite amidst all their tents!)
*Fishing in the Creek (Grandpa caught one with his bare hands!)
(spence & kaylea said they caught some with their bare hands too!... oh fish stories!)

I'm glad the kids could have this experience with their cousins...Kaylea is officially a "real kid" now.

Meanwhile Jax, Ryler & I camped out too...on my bed! We stayed home snuggling on our comfy bed & enjoyed not camping but Ry wore his tent shirt too celebrate. :) {~Ryler was only 5 weeks old at the time & I still couldn't sit up comfortably on my own. There's always next time...ha.}

Cousin Swim Time!

The kids "California Cousins" Ethan & Carson, stopped by for a summertime visit. They were getting watched by "Grandpa Tom & Grandma Kathy" for a few days & made a trip over to swim.

~We sure miss them.~

Saturday, October 15, 2011

forgot one or two...

How could I forget?..
Tattooing himself
Playing with the hose

Gotta go he just jumped off the table & got hurt.

Is it any wonder why I'm behind on blogging!?!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Terrible & Wonderful 2's

Today Jax ran up & down the aisles of the Movie Theatre squealing as he ran from me. Of course I couldn't catch him.. I was so angry but found myself laughing & cursing (quietly) at the same time. 

These are a few of his latest favorite things to do:
Helping Out..
Building  Towers

Sleeping smack in the middle of the bed...
Pretending HE is the baby...
Playing with his baby brother Ryler...

Making Mom Laugh...
"Oh Mom....                        You can't see me!"                    "Here I am!"


Monday, September 12, 2011

9 years ago today...

...Kaylea came to this World & changed our World. What would we do without a girl in the house? Here's the video I made her last year for her baptism. I cry every time I watch it as I reminisce the ups & downs of these past nine years & wonder how different life would be without her...

Happy Birthday to our 9 year old Princess Kaylea!! 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Remember...

"I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today.
'Cuz this FLAG still stands for Freedom. 
And they CAN'T take that away..."

Friday, September 2, 2011

'Till We Meet...

Ryler woke me early one morning.
I was exhausted from a long night but I got to see this:

This was what the Sunrise looked like on August 12th, a year to the day that Emmie returned home to Heaven. It was so bright, it even hurts my eyes looking at the picture of it.
Later that evening we honored Emmie with a Balloon Release on the Temple grounds. It was a special time as Debbie (Emmie's maternal Grandma) had just gone through the Temple for the first time to receive her Endowments. She had promised Emmie that she would do this a year ago as Em lay there preparing to leave this Earth. Debbie followed through and did it on this special day a year later. She radiated that evening as she walked out the Temple doors & I know Emmie was there to experience it with her.

Not too many days after this day we got awful news:

Tim's step cousin Amanda passed away in a terrible car accident. She was driving very early in the morning & had to have fallen asleep at the wheel. She went off the road, off the side of the mountain plummeting hundreds of feet killing her instantly. She wasn't found till days later after she hadn't been heard from. A helicopter discovered the crash site & her car. She was planning to get married in the coming months leaving behind a fiancee, her parents, 2 sisters, brother & nieces and nephews that adored her. 
Although we didn't see her often, Tim and the 5 kids happened to run into her at the Mall not too long ago. She introduced her fiancee to them & then asked each one of my kids their ages, what grade they were in among other things. She took specific interest in each one making them feel special. Something so small yet so meaningful in recollection. As my kids recalled the moment, I thought to myself how important it is that when I speak to someone, I make THEM feel important; a definite Christlike quality.

And then the Lesson we are all reminded of when anyone passes away...that This Life is Temporary & we never know when it will be our turn to leave. It reminds me to live in the moment..not too much in the past or the future. I try & treasure the now- as imperfect as it may be. I hold my kids a little longer, forgive a little easier & cherish life a moment at a time.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tim's Knee Surgery...{July 22nd}

"Hey it's just knee surgery. What's the big deal?"

(doped on morphine)
"Wow...this is Awful!.. Oh and where are my sunglasses?"
It was so horrible to see Tim in so much pain immediately after surgery. He was not conscious but was moaning in pain. I had the nurses give him a few more injections of morphine in his I.V. & he felt MUCH better.  ....BUT then the funnies began!
He insisted on wearing his sunglasses inside the Recovery Room which gave me & the nurse quite the chuckle. He looked like Stevie Wonder as he bobbed his head back and forth and said such funny things.   He told the nurse numerous times how important it was for him to wear his sunglasses since "his eyes were so sensitive from his 3 eye surgeries." 
( had to be there.)
Tim also kept saying : "There has to be something the Doctor's not telling me." The nurse finally said "Ok Tim why don't you just relax and stop talking because you keep saying the same thing!" I busted up. Then doped up he started saying in his drunken slurred speech sweet things like: "Wow Audra, you stayed here my whole surgery....You're amazing." 

--Oh good times, good times...--

Wish I had video-taped his silly moments.
Because they didn't last long! Getting him in the car was horrendous & so was the 30 minute drive home from the hospital. He was miserable, pale & on the verge of passing out and vomiting.

Let's just say it's been a long couple of weeks!!
                              **Tim's Surgery was actually really complex. It was 2 hours long & it involved first taking 4 tendons from his hamstring, braiding them together & creating him a new ACL. To get it placed correctly the Dr. had to drill into his tibia & femur bones. Ouch!**

This was taken at his first Physical Therapy appointment @ East Valley Physical Therapy. I HATE when people post gross bodily harmed pictures on their blog like THIS:
(Sorry had to document it for history's sake.)
He did get his leg shaved.. which was a first.

The 1st week was absolutely brutal!... Tears were shed by both of us. We were up all hours of night in pain, giving/taking meds & with the 2 little boys. He was in a lot of pain, needing lots of care & attention. Meanwhile kids start school. Was in survival mode.
The 2nd week he was limited to work about an hour a day, I chauffered him everywhere, His bruising was scary & he was still on percocet, aspirin & crutches.

The 3rd week Tim began driving (which was so helpful!), had a job interview, got the job & celebrated his 37th Birthday. Tim was down to one crutch. Spence began school this week...the same day that Tim spent his full first day back at work. I felt like I was sending another child off.

The 4th week he is now progressing well. He is walking free of crutches& seeing my Dad 3 times a week for Physical Therapy. Other than a funny little limp he has, he is pretty much back to normal. He still tries to walk at his normal fast pace which provides us all a chuckle. 

Tim is now just literally Dreaming about the time when he can run up & down the BASKETBALL court again....but that won't be for AT LEAST another 6 months or so. I really am proud of how hard he has worked to get healed up to this point. He still has a long road ahead but it'll be worth it!

~We are just glad that his Surgery went so great 
as is his Physical Therapy. 
...He has a new knee & All is well.