Billy’s April Recital

April 27, 2015 on 12:08 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

The spring recital isn’t quite as much fun as the Christmas one – just the nature of the music.  Plus, I didn’t even realize a recital was coming up and THAT was why Billy kept playing the same song so much!


I missed the recital this time because I stayed home with Bobby and his double ear infection.  Kevin took the other boys and recorded it for me though.


You can see it HERE.

I’m very proud of how quickly Billy has picked up playing the piano – he had both of his songs completely memorized.  He’s a good kid!

Easter 2015

April 26, 2015 on 2:23 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Easter is always a fun holiday for me.  It is so much easier to focus on Christ and the real meaning of Easter than it is at Christmas time.   The world hasn’t completely taken over the holiday yet.

As per our custom, each day of Holy Week, we discussed what Jesus was doing that day.  Starting with his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday … (Charlie Brown playing Christ in our re-enactment)


To Him cleansing the temple on Mad Monday …


Mad Monday is the boys’ favorite of the days.  I don’t know why they think it is so funny to swat over a bunch of tinker toys and then chase their brothers from the room, but they do.


They all HAVE to have their turn to cleanse the temple …



You can see Tommy and Ricky’s turns HERE.

We started calling each day by a name this year to help the boys remember what happened.  Palm Sunday is a real name, most of the others I either made up or borrowed from others.  We had Mad Monday, Teaching Tuesday, Spy Wednesday, Prayer Thursday, Holy Friday, and Spirit World Saturday.  I really do think the boys grasp more than I realize during this week of teaching.  They were even eager to do our “day” while we were camping.

Easter Sunday is full of fun traditions.  The boys’ baskets are hidden as well as some eggs.  This year Grandmama boiled our eggs for us (we like to use real eggs), but we got home so late from camping that the eggs were never colored…and the boys didn’t even care.

They all had to wait at the top of the stairs before coming down …



Then the first thing they have to find is their Easter Basket – they are not allowed to touch any eggs they might see.


Their baskets are always a treasure chest (or at least I think so!).


This year they did get some candy, a yo-yo, and a suncatcher craft but mostly they got fun churchy stuff – CTR ring, journal, temple picture, tie clip, scripture markers, etc.


Their favorite was the Book of Mormon action figures.  Last year they all got good guys – this year they got the bad guys!


Oh, and they love getting eggs with money in them!


Once they’ve perused their basket treasures, they line up for the running of the eggs …


They had to leave some of the low ones for Bobby …


It’s hard work to find all those eggs.


It was General Conference Sunday as well as Easter this year.  Several of my family members came over for lunch and a big egg hunt in the back yard (plastic this time).  The boys loved that – there were probably 200 eggs scattered around.  Bobby wasn’t as interested.  He kept finding racquetball balls to put in his basket and then getting distracted by the neighbor’s dog.  It’s all good though – he just likes being outside!



Uncle Tim brought the boys marshmallow shooters and that was a HUGE success.  I handed over a new bag of marshmallows and outside they went (they were actually fine playing inside, but I thought that wasn’t such a good plan).



The uncles might have gotten a little into it …



The boys aren’t afraid to take them on either …



I couldn’t resist a little video of the fun.  You can see it HERE.

No cute clothes Easter picture this year.  But here is one of my favorites from our family photo shoot in February …



Rusty’s Kindy 500

April 24, 2015 on 10:53 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Rusty had his patriotic program last month.  It is called the Kindy 500.  The kindergartners sing patriotic songs and then climb into their homemade box cars and drive to different “national monuments” and learn about them.  Grandmama got to be Betsy Ross this year and teach them about the American flag.


You can see the entire 10 and 1/2 minute program HERE, including Rusty’s class parading by in their box cars.  It isn’t a long program.



The singing is cute.  Rusty isn’t a performer, so there was no dancing or head banging like the older boys gave me.  He did yawn several times, so I’m sure he was totally into it!  Ha!  But he did get into the parade of cars afterwards …



We’ve learned that some cars will be totally over the top and some will just be basic.  So when I asked Rusty what kind of car he wanted and he replied, “A dinosaur!”  I went with it.  Cardboard box car was loosely translated this year …



And he was totally happy about it!

Fancy Nancy Word

April 20, 2015 on 8:29 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

We had a nasty virus go through all of us last week.  Nasty, but pretty quick moving.  Lots of laundry.  Everyone had a designated “barf bucket” handy.  Did I mention it was nasty?

One day, when most everyone was feeling better, the following conversation happened at dinner.

Rusty said, “I think I’m going to puke!”

Tommy asked, “What’s puke?”

Rusty replied, “It’s a Fancy Nancy word for throw up!”

There you go.

Spring Break

April 19, 2015 on 9:21 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

We were invited to go camping with some friends for Spring Break.  Kevin and I actually love camping, however …. camping with small people in tow has never been high on my list of ideals.  Since having our kids, Kevin and I have gone with the youth from church (sans our own children) and Kevin has taken the older boys a couple of time, but we have never gone camping as a family.  So when this invitation was extended, I hesitated.  Bobby is only a year and a half.  That sounds like dirt and work and no fun.  But, going with our friends did sound like fun, so I was torn.

Then I remembered that my mom hadn’t sold my uncle’s trailer yet.  When my Uncle Harold passed away last year, his travel trailer was inherited by my aunt and mom.  We’d tried selling it for them last fall but without any luck.  So, I got permission to use it and told my friends we’d go camping.


There are lots of benefits to camping with a trailer and Kevin and I evaluated the pros and cons while on this trip.  My uncle’s trailer wasn’t meant for a family of 7, so we sold it when we got home (in 24 hours, thank you very much).  Someday though, we think we’ll make that investment because camping with our 5 boys was such a good time!


It took a bit of work to get ready to go.  The trailer had to be cleaned and a few problems fixed.  Our suburban needed a few adjustments so it could haul a trailer of that size.  And there was the gathering of camp supplies and food.  But the boys couldn’t wait!  And we were finally on our way.  The journey had a few mishaps … broken hitches and unknown full tanks of water … but we finally made it to our destination.  The boys were incredibly good about our delays.  They were fairly patient and everything.


After a restful night in a cozy trailer (not setting up a tent – definitely a perk of trailer camping)…


…we headed to Goblin Valley.


It was a bit chilly and incredibly windy while we were there.


Dust got into every nook and cranny and even places I didn’t know dust could go.  But the boys loved being free to climb and explore.


At one point, I heard Rusty calling for help.  I found him dangling on this rock.  He told me he was stuck.  He really was only about 8 inches from the ground, but he wasn’t so sure about that.  The bad mom in me chuckled.


Another time, I was counting heads and looking for Rusty and Tommy.  I found them just lounging away on this perfectly settee shaped rock.  Make yourself at home, son.


So many wonderful things about that day.  One was watching Ricky just go.  He climbed and climbed and went places I probably would have told him not to (if he could have heard me shouting above the wind).  I love watching him excel.  Billy and Tommy were right there trying to climb every place they could as well.  Rusty was at a disadvantage.  His tennis shoes wouldn’t stay on his feet.  No amount of tightening could keep them on and we didn’t have any duct tape handy, so he just couldn’t conquer some of the sandy spots.  He had a great time anyway and told us, “It was great!  I conquered my fear of heights!”  Oh, I love that face!

We used the video camera a lot at Goblin Valley (and it took on a lot of sand, sadly).  Here’s just a little video of our adventure:  HERE


Even though he adventured in the backpack, Goblin Valley even wore Bobby out!


The wind and chill followed us back to the campsite.  Our trailer wasn’t large enough for all our friends who were there, so we huddled around the fire with them in an attempt to stay warm and be social.  The kids were layered up and ran around playing, just occasionally stopping by to warm up.  It was fun visiting and shivering with good people.  In all, there were 29 of us in our group – 19 of which were children.

The wind would kick up embers from the fire and apparently one landed on on my coat.  I didn’t even realize it until I tried taking my coat off that night and it was melted together.  Thankfully, it didn’t burn through all the layers – just most of them!


The next day we went to Arches National Park.  It was beautiful there and we look forward to going back and being able to do more hikes.


We met up with our friends at Balanced Rock and did quite a bit of exploring there.






Here’s some of the kids on a fabulous old tree.  The photo bomber in the back belongs to our crew, too.


Due to the crankiness of a certain one year old, we only hiked to one arch.  Actually, two arches.  We hiked to Double Arch.


Maybe if we’d gotten him his own CamelBak, he would have been happier.  He was a bit of a thief when it came to his brothers’ water…


I love watching my kids be adventurous and brave these climbs.  Really, I do.  See?  How cool is that picture of Ricky climbing?


But then the mom in me kicks in and I say things like, “Rusty!  Tommy!  That’s as high as you can go!  Do NOT climb any higher!”


And other times I yell across an echo-y chasm, “Billy!  Do NOT go up to the top of that ledge!  You are as high as 8 year olds should go!”


And then I bite my tongue as I realize that the behind you see on the top of that ledge, is Ricky.  Below is the unzoomed picture and Ricky is holding his hand up.  It was just a very long drop on the other side of that ledge and my 10 year old had no fear sitting there with his legs dangling.


But my 8 year old was NOT to go that much higher!  He listened.


I’m generally the non-worrier, but the mom had to come out in me because Kevin couldn’t climb up where we were with the baby on his back.


It was an awful lot of fun climbing all over those rocks …


And the arches were spectacular!


We did drive around and look at some of the other arches from the car.  We picnicked on a bumpy dirt road with a view of the famous Delicate Arch in the distance.  It was a good day … it just gave us a desire for more!

After our sight seeing, we stopped by the visitor’s center on our way out.  Bobby immediately lunged for this ram statue and climbed aboard.  He was now very happy.


It wasn’t nearly so windy or cold that night, so our campfire talking was more pleasant.  The boys didn’t sleep in any later while camping than they do at home, sadly.  So, bright and early they were up and horsing around.  Kevin joined them.





That was our last day.  The boys played and explored the campground while we visited and cleaned up.  Rusty tried to convince us to bring home his favorite tumbleweed, but his momma said no.  However, I did take a picture of him with it…



The drive home was uneventful and left us with nothing but good memories and a great desire to go camping again.

Spring Break … priceless.

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