Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Logan swims!

We went swimming on Saturday, Logan's 3rd birthday. While we were swimming around with Logan, he slipped off Truston's back and started swimming by himself. That gave him enough confidence to realize he really could swim by himself. He's been swimming for the past 2 months or so with only one floatie. Not only does it look ridiculous, it can't be that helpful.
So once he started swimming, he couldn't stop. He swam around and around, so proud to be doing it by himself.
Also, it was totally raining while we were in the pool. Usually, when it rains around here, there are LOTS of thunder and lightening so we have to get out of the pool. But this morning, there wasn't any, so we got to swim in the rain. Pretty fun!

Friday, July 6, 2012

News from May

Grace and I took a trip to Dallas while Truston was out of town. We had a couple of awesome days with the Dallas Myres. Kristin had a minor surgery while we were there, so we were glad we could help out a little. The weather was so perfect, so the boys played a lot outside, we took everybody swimming, on a walk, etc.  We also attended a mom group that Kristin goes to, “Power of Moms”. I remember my friend Danielle telling me about it, she LOVED the ideas they had. The topic that night was parenting with intention. I’ve actually been thinking somewhat along those lines, so it was good to formulate the ideas and goals I had been considering into more concrete form.
Grace and I drove home in our new van on Thursday! We are now the proud owners of a Toyota Sienna. Talmage and Logan still want to sit right next to each other. But as far away from me as possible. 
When we got home I tackled a home improvement project I’ve been wanting to do, but I haven’t had the guts to do it. You know that I am not a risk taker and this particular idea was making me really nervous. I decided to go ahead and paint my countertops. Here they are before and after. It’s a faux granite that you paint on and then seal. I was having a panic attack for the 24 hours it took to paint and seal them, but now that they’re done, I love it.
Before. Faux wood block. when was this ever a good idea?
After. Much better.
Here are the boys on Mother’s Day: they are such a sweet blessing in our lives. Especially the fat one.
Only Talmage is looking, but it's still cute.
And because I love to talk about everything they do, here are some random funnies:
  • ·         Reid is a wild man in the pool. He puts his head right in, he crawls right in, he has no sense. This summer is going to be tricky, keeping him water safe.
  • ·         Talmage got a ‘letter’ from his friend Hunter down the street. Mistakenly, I showed him where the envelopes are so he could write a letter in return. Now he is delivering ‘letters’ back to Hunter about every 4 hours, filled with letters and ‘pictures’ of Hunter and him.
  • ·         Talmage had a BLAST with my cousin Kaitlyn in Dallas. Kristin had just brought her back a tea set from Chinatown in New York City and Talmage and Kaitlyn had a ‘tea party’ about 3 times a day. Drinking so properly and then running around the house shooting guns and then stopping for another sip of tea.

Reid Turns ONE

We had a special celebration this week, Reid’s ONE year birthday!! Wow, where did the time go? This kid is so fun and full of personality. He is finally warming up to other people (especially if I’m not in the room) and walks around everywhere. His round body receives quite a lot of attention, especially at the pool. He loves the toilet, in fact, we need to keep the bathroom doors shut at all times because he finds it a little too fun. He thinks Talmage and Logan are hilarious; he loves their jokes and antics. Whenever they start horsing around with Truston, he tries to climb into the middle of the group and loves the attention. He will get so worked up; he throws his body into his two yoga routine. First the down-ward facing dog and then plops his belly on the ground with his head up in a cobra. I wish I had a picture of it. He can clearly say, ‘da-da’ and ‘uh-oh’. He also holds the phone up to his ear and says, ‘he-y?’ He kind of has an oral fixation; he puts everything in his mouth, especially shoes. He thinks it’s hilarious to bite Truston’s toes and he tries to do it every chance he gets, last night he totally bit them. For this birthday we bought him a new car seat and a cherry-picker truck. Talmage and Logan helped pick it out and were very excited to give it to him. The whole time we were in the car aisle, really anytime he sees anything he loves, he says ‘ohhhh’ really emphatically. That night we made some car cakes. He was afraid of the candle, but loved the cake. He took a bite, crumbled the rest and then threw it to the ground.  
Here he is on waking up, one year old!
More highlights from the week:
·         For posterity’s sake, this conversation has to be remembered:
o   Talmage: Mom, I want a Ferrari.
o   Me: Ahh, probably not.
o   Talmage: WHY? (starting to cry) But I want one. I’ve wanted one for a long time! (like 4 hours) Everybody else has one, I really want one. Or two. And a Ferrari helicopter.
·         We went to Thomas’ end of swim season party. Talmage went to the pool early with Thomas and started going off the diving board. By the time we got to the pool, he was a pro. He was SO proud of himself. Logan found the froggie slide (a kiddie slide) and went down about a million times. Reid was mesmerized by the fountains in the kiddie pool.

How to NOT survive childhood

  • ·         Mom, look what I can open! (a child proof jar of vitamins, which he tried, and then threw it up)-L
  • ·         “Does anybody know where my phone is?…(silence)…I will give them money”….(pitter patter of little feet). “I was keeping it under my bed for you” -T
  • ·         Mom, I just touched Reid’s eye! (Reid is blinking furiously in the corner) -L
How to earn brownie points that will keep your mother saving you:
  • ·         I have a good idea. Monster Truck Digger Party. And Hot Wheel Party. -L
  • ·         AH! I just love Hot Wheels SOOO much!!! –T
  • ·         Explosions! In the sky! BIG! Scary (in a whisper) –L
  • ·         The fact that Logan has played with 8 legos for the past 3 days, non stop. I guess we know what to get him for his birthday.
  • ·         That Reid chases Mango around, trying to hug her bottom, but mostly loving the occasional tail swipe across the face.
  • ·         Talmage giving the talk in Primary on Fasting and Prayer. And then he drew some pictures to accompany his talk; pictures of tanks and monster trucks. I’m not sure how they tied in, but he made sure to show them at the end.
  • Logan and Talmage carrying around ear plugs for 2 days in preparation of the fireworks: “Mom I want to be prepared”. And then they forgot that the ear plugs were in their pockets when they got there.

Friday, April 6, 2012


We started on Wednesday morning at 5 am. Everybody checked in at the church, and sat in the chapel. We listened to ‘Brigham Young’ give us a motivational speech to get us to Zion. (His speech was replete with fulfilled prophesies. Literally every sentence was a prophecy that had been fulfilled or was in the process. It made me wonder how many prophecies I miss as I listen to President Monson…usually thinking that whatever he is saying is ‘just nice’.) We all shouted “Hurrah for Zion” at the end and then rushed out the door to our cars. Drove the 3 hours outside of Houston to Jasper; deep East Texas, practically the Louisiana border. Outside Jasper is a private property attached to the Sabine National Forest. We started at base camp, each Ma and Pa calling out the kids in their family.
We started with some name games, gave everybody their pioneer stories of who they were representing (they read the first part then and the last part on the last day), and tried to decorate a flag. I forgot how teenage decision making is so laborious, as we tried to reach a consensus on our family name. The ‘swag wag’ was already being used by several families, ‘pimping pioneers’ was too risqué; finally everybody agreed on ‘huslin’ handkarts’. Whew. Then we loaded the carts. Thankfully, we had two senior boys who had been on trek before and were serious workers. They were football buddies from Katy High (the school that won state last year) and were really tough. They knew how to load the cart and tie down the tarp. And off we go!
At first, everybody had fun ‘pushing’ the cart; which meant that several kids really pushed and everybody else had a hand on it. Then we got to a muddy ditch and it took full effort. Then we came to another muddy ditch (When I say ‘mud’, I mean so mucky that it takes your shoes off your feet). Then we came to a really big muddy ditch.

Then we trekked through some muddy cow pasture (now THAT is stinky mud), then we hit some muddy hills and a couple big muddy ravines. Then we head into the woods. By this time, everybody is sweaty and hot and we are really suffering from lack of water. (The water they initially gave us was stale and was making everybody sick…were they trying to be so realistic?) If we thought it was muddy before, we didn’t know what was coming. Going through the woods was basically walking through 6-12 inches of muck; walking was hard enough, but pushing those heavy handcarts through the mud was almost impossible. By this time, everybody’s true colors were showing. A couple of kids were dry heaving, the wimpy ones, who hadn’t even been pushing were exhausted and complaining, we had two kids close to fainting, but our two football boys were working their guts out. Then we start hitting ravines in the woods that are slick mud up and down both sides. It took everybody’s effort, plus some kids from the family in front and behind you, to get them up the hill, just to see another raving in front of you. This was exhausting to say the least. I started thinking we weren’t going to make it. Our football boys were dry heaving and one girl was close to exhaustion. After about 3 hours, there was a water truck that replaced our bad water with clean water and everybody revived. Sadly enough, it was too late and one of our football boys was sick…real dysentery, plus a little heat exhaustion. He tried to go on, but just couldn’t and he had to go back to base camp until that night.

We head out of the woods and into a clearing. Great, no more maneuvering trees, right? (Piney Woods are THICK wooded forests, we were mostly following 4 wheeler trails). Wrong, that meant we were following the pipeline trails, which were 200 foot steep ravines. I am not exaggerating when I say they are at least 60 degree angles up and down, with a foot or two of mud at the bottom. It took everybody on the back of the cart ‘breaking’, plus a tow rope tied to the back with more ‘breakers’ to get it down to the bottom without losing control. Then we flipped the rope to the front of the cart. It took at least 8-15 boys on the yoke, rope and pushing on the back to get it to the top. Only to do it all over again. We did this about 7 times. But many boys did it so much more, running down to the bottom to help the next cart up the hill. The Ma and Pa weren’t supposed to push the cart at all, but what can you do when you see your cart slipping down the hill? By then we had lost one of our boys and Truston was trying to fill his spot.

The last hill was enormous, and we turned a corner and rested for a second.

Thankfully there were no more hills, but the ground was covered in standing water…which meant so much mud. By this time it was dusky and the mosquitos were out. We walked through the mud for a ways, waited for the whole train and then the men left for the women’s pull. One of the leaders gave a beautiful speech about respecting the young men and the priesthood they bear. She talked about the influence of young women and how we determine their behavior, speech, dress, etc.

Then they told the women to push. So, here we are, 5-6 girls to a cart. If you were lucky you had 1 athletic girl who could pull like a man. They told the girls they had the support of their leaders and parents so all the women leaders pushed with them. We pushed for about 30 minutes through the muddiest muck ever, in the dark. It was so deep, my petticoat got weighed down and I lost it. A couple of people lost their shoes. I was in the back with another girl, I kept thinking, I’m going to blow my back out. Toward the end, the men and boys were lined along the trail singing ‘Come, Come Ye Saints’ as we pushed past them. When we were stopped, the girls in our group sat down on the ground and cried. By then, everybody was worn out, I could feel the girls giving up. We got to camp and I tried to have them help me set up the tent..they were so done. We sipped our broth and tried to wipe the mud off our feet and legs. We had a fireside after the camp was set up…I can’t remember anything about it, I was so exhausted. My feet were sore and my back was killing me. I thought for sure I had broken it and the next morning I wasn’t going to be able to get out of bed. I don’t need to tell you that at this point, NOBODY was loving the ‘experience’. It was more like torture. We got to bed about midnight.
We spent a sleepless night listening to Pa Geigley snore like a bear.
The next morning, everybody got up slowly and choked down the cornmeal mush. Even though we started slowly, everybody’s spirits had returned and they were more adept at taking down the tent, cooking, cleaning and packing the cart. We started a full strength, really stronger then the day before. They were better walkers and pushers. There was less complaining and more helping. We went through some muddy woods for a while and then came to a clearing. We summited two huge hills and then stopped for the ‘Sweetwater rescue’ talk. Brother Anderson gave a beautiful talk about our Lord being a 4th watch God. He gave several scriptural examples of the Lord coming to the rescue in the 4th watch. He explained that the Hebrew clock starts at 6 am. So the first hour is 6 am, the 2nd hour is 7 am, the 11th hour is 5 pm. The 1st watch is 6-9 pm, 2nd watch is 9-12am, 3rd watch is 12-3am and the 4th watch is 3-6am.
Then we summated the biggest hil that we had done. It was impressive how many boys ran up and down the hill, helping push cart after cart up the hill. We got to the top, kept going, dodged into the woods with trees scraping both sides of the cart, wallowed through some more mud and then finally made it to zion! Whew! I think that everybody was a little misty-eyed, if not crying, while we walked into base camp. We circled up our carts, set up our tents and started dinner. Every kid there was ‘so tired’ and ‘could barely move’. They ‘just wanted to go to bed’, ‘sleep through the hoe-down’ while the pioneer games started. After we ate dinner, it was time to go to the Ma & Pa skits and then the hoe-down. All those kids who were ‘exhausted’ were up and dancing like a bunch of wild Indians.
The next morning we made breakfast, broke camp and made our ash cakes. Everybody was given 4 oz. of flour to carry throughout the trek and the last morning we mixed it with water and made some ash cakes. It’s like making one pancake or 2 small biscuits. Not very much food, at all. I told our boy who had worked his heart out, that he probably would’ve died of exhaustion. He had worked so hard, and there just wasn’t enough food to keep him alive, in addition to the exposure the pioneers suffered.
Then the kids had some solo time and we met again for the testimony meeting. The testimonies were so sincere and thoughtful. The boy I had told, “would probably die”, bore his testimony. He said, “This morning my ma told me I would probably have died. (at this point I’m kicking myself). He said, I thought about that and decided; if that’s what it takes to get my brothers and sisters to Zion, I would’ve paid that price”. It was so touching to hear how everybody’s testimonies had grown and their gratitude had deepened. The testimony meeting made the whole trek, mud and all, worth it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Reid Crawls

Reid has been swaying back and forth on his knees for some time. This week he started really moving forward. He totally skipped the army crawl and just went for it!

He is the sweetest baby. He is so soft and squishy, I can never get enough of this kid. At church he looks over my shoulder and smiles to the people behind us. Logan sits on the end of the pew and waves to the crowd like he's the king of England. These boys knows how to work it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

slip and slide

it's October and we're still breaking out the swim suits.
I found this beaut at wal-mart for $3.
The boys were wild with excitement. We set it up, turned on the hose and… they stood and looked at it. They had no idea what to do!
Talmage asked me, ‘do it first, mom’. Yeah, right!
Instead, I recruited all my interpretive dance moves and showed them what to do. (Good thing it was in the backyard…that would’ve been quite a show).
Sorry, I forgot to change the view before I uploaded this.