Rusty’s Birthday and Baptism

March 31, 2017 on 8:59 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

I still picture him as being my chubby cheeked 3 year old, but my Rusty turned 8!


This year we are making a point to take the boys to a restaurant to celebrate their birthday.  Rusty chose Pizza Pie Cafe.


Grandmama joined us and the boys ate to their heart’s content.  Ricky and Kevin were often distracted by the boxing matches on the tv at the restaurant…


This little man likes his pepperoni!


I love this birthday boy!


After dinner, we opened some presents and gave some hugs …


And the ever popular birthday cake and candles!  (I’m guessing this picture was taken right after I took the candles out of the cake and before I started cutting it …)


Rusty is all about the details!  He remembers facts about dinosaurs, fossils, rocks, animals…


He loves a good instruction manual and a list of tasks that need to be accomplished.  He’s our peacemaker and rarely gets upset.  He might seem shy, but he can talk your ear off about anything from dinosaurs to Minecraft to Pokemon to Magic School Bus.  He likes to make melted cheese and pepperoni sandwiches (american cheese and microwave melted, please).   He says Kit Kats are his favorite candy bar.  I often find him reading his scriptures or studying some manual!


We sure love Rusty!

And along with turning 8, Rusty chose to be baptized!


He was baptized by Kevin on February 4 and is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


He had Ricky give a talk about the Holy Ghost and me give one about baptism.  He asked his Uncle Tony to lead the music (a new thing for him) and Aunt Suzy to play the piano (she loved it).  Uncle John and Uncle Marc were witnesses to the baptism.  It was a really nice meeting and just sweet!


It didn’t start so smoothly though.  Rusty’s baptism was supposed to be at 11 am and we were going to come back to our house for Rusty’s meal of choice … French Toast, sausage, and hash browns.  We’d cleaned up half the garage for extra seating and the boys put nice messages on my chalkboard signs for the visitors to see …


However, there always seems to be a phone call.  This one came just as we were loading all the boys into the car to head to the church.  No one had filled the baptism font.  It would take 1 1/2 to 2 hours to fill.  Sigh.  I began sending messages and making calls to let people know that the baptism was postponed until 12:30 and to come to our house for brunch first.  Because of Rusty’s food choice, it worked out fine.  I had everything all ready and we had a nice time visiting and eating.  It wasn’t worth stressing over, but it would have been easy to!


All in all, it was a delightful day to celebrate Rusty and focus on him.  He needs to be the spotlight every now and then!

Family Getaway – Homestead Resort

March 30, 2017 on 8:42 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Before I even knew how bad our January was a going to be, I had scheduled a getaway for us.  I found a great deal on an overnight stay at the Homestead Resort in Midway and it included tickets to the Ice Castle.  I thought it would be fun and it ended up being very needed!

We stayed in a family bunkhouse … complete with bunk bed!


We left after school got out and enjoyed trying the new Yukon out for its first family road trip.

We got tickets to see the Ice Castle that first night because I was told it was more impressive at night.  I was impressed to see the Disney princesses from Frozen waiting outside.  I made the boys go say hello …


They need princess exposure …


The Ice Castle at night WAS pretty impressive!


Especially when the lights changed colors!


They had a few slides built in for the kids – or the husbands – to try out!  And, yes, that blur is Kevin.


There was a chilly bench to chill on.  Those polka dots are pennies stuck in the ice.


Pictures were not easy to take in the dark with all the changing lights on the ice, but Ricky did a nice job of this one of Kevin and me.


The ice slides were pretty cool.  Some of them had different tunnels that popped you out in different places…


And sometimes, my boys just had to find their own little tunnel to try wiggling through!


It was not a warm evening.  I know it was colder than 10* but I refused to check how cold it really was.  The boys did a good job not complaining about the cold, until Tommy’s poor boots just couldn’t handle it any more!  His toes were cold!


As well they should be!  It was single digits and we were walking on crushed ice and snow through a castle made of ice!


And apparently you have to stick out your tongue in selfies…


Not Billy.  He’s too cool for that.


After that we had dinner at a local cafe and back to the bunkhouse for bed.  The boys liked the Ice Castle, but they really loved our Saturday activity.  We went swimming!  The resort has a pool that’s a decent hotel pool size but they have a huge hot tub that is almost as big!  I enjoyed just sitting in the warm water and watching them … Bobby gave us one scare when he thought he was taller than he is, but no harm, no foul.

We also tried the natural hot spring – outside – and I was perfectly content at the indoor hot tub!  My hair froze as we walked back to the car after we were finished.  The boys thought that was pretty cool, too!  I haven’t had that happen in years and forgot just how crispy and hard my frozen hair can get!


A final picture with this frog statue and our quick little getaway was done.

Some January Happenings

March 29, 2017 on 9:10 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

Our January started out really nice!

Bobby loved on the poor cat some more …


Temperatures did drop to below zero for a few days, so my van gave up its spot in the garage for the bunnies.  This set up worked until one (Patch – mostly white, bottom right) figured out that she could hop out!  Then she’d explore the garage and forget how to hop back in!


We finally found the features we were looking for in a newer SUV at a price we were willing to pay.  When we first went to test drive this GMC Yukon XL, the owner had tried to wash it before we came … in below freezing temperatures!  The poor car was completely iced over!!


And then I got the phone call.  Tommy’s teacher, my good friend,  called to say that he just didn’t feel well and she could tell by his eyes that it was serious.  The school nurse was there when I picked him up, another good friend, and she told me to get him checked out because his chest sounded way tight and his fever was way high.  I listened and took him in.  We saw a PA that I won’t be going back to.  She told me his chest wasn’t tight at all and it was just a high temp virus with a cough that was going around and he’d start feeling better in 3-5 days.  I could do that.  We went home.  It was a Thursday.


That poor Tommy had a fever around 103-104 all weekend.  I couldn’t get it down very far with Tylenol or Advil and he was pretty miserable.  Bobby did his best to entertain him…


Until Saturday, when Bobby got a fever, too.  The meds would give  a short period of relief and then they both would crash.


I was waiting it out, just like the PA said.  I tried to make them comfortable and keep them hydrated.  It wasn’t all that much fun.


Rusty and Billy both stayed home from school with a comparably minor illnesses, but both were able to go back to school after a day or two (they were home different days).  On Wednesday, nearly a full week after the initial visit, I took both Bobby and Tommy in to see a different PA that I like.  When we walked in and they handed us masks and suggested that we not sit by the other patients, I knew it was bad.


And it kind of was.  This PA was alarmed at how sick the boys were.  Both of their chests were super tight.  Both had ear infections.  Both were diagnosed with “pre-pneumonia” and put on antibiotics, steroids, and breathing treatments!  There was so much going on that I had to make a chart just to keep track of who got what when!  Add in Rusty and Billy’s minor illnesses that same week and I was a flurry of thermometers and chest rubs and “take this medicine!”  We thought Ricky had made it through just fine, but his hit a couple weeks later.  His was more minor but bad enough that he missed his honors skiing trip that he’d been looking forward to. Kevin and I both got “stuff” but as parents with sick kids, you just muscle through. January was not nice to us!


In between sick kids, I did try to do some deep cleaning.  I stumbled upon this treasured book created by Ricky (I think.  I just realized I never did ask and there wasn’t a name on it)


During the illness, we had a super scary event with Tommy.  Or super funny – depending on which side of the room you were on.  The boys were in bed and Kevin heard one of them get up and go into the bathroom.  He went to check and heard Tommy screaming!  I missed that part because I was in the back of the house, but I did get an urgent text, “Get up here now!”

Tommy had a bloody nose.  He didn’t know that when he woke up and found out when he flipped on the bathroom light – hence, the scream.  Kevin then ran up to find Tommy bleeding all over the bathroom and I couldn’t hear them, so I got the urgent text.  I got upstairs to find Tommy in the tub, bleeding, and Kevin running the shower on him!  I was hit with questions about taking him to the ER and what to do!  I kind of chuckled.  Our boys don’t get bloody noses often, but I have friends whose children do.

I told him to undress him and keep him warm in the shower, blow his nose to get the clot out, keep his head tilted forward, and it would stop.  I used some essential oils on him and went to clean up the bedroom and hallway.  I think Kevin was more traumatized than Tommy (sorry, dear!).  The bleeding stopped and Tommy went peacefully back to bed.  However, the next day a beautiful shiner showed up!  This picture doesn’t even do it justice and it lasted for a good 2 weeks!  He was so sick that he actually looks really good in this picture!  He lost about 5 pounds in a week during this ordeal.  Poor kiddo!


Rusty did a puzzle on his sick day…


Ricky finally had a piano recital!  He’s always taken lessons from a different teacher than the other boys and his first teacher stopped doing lessons and his new teacher hadn’t done a recital before.  But in January, he finally got to show off his skills.


My favorite was his “Pink Panther” number where he even included the snaps at the beginning.  I love seeing this boy succeed!


I had the opportunity to teach Billy’s class the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Kids” this winter.  I loved being able to go in and talk to them about relationships and taking responsibility for themselves.  I showed them the Jars of Life when we were talking about Putting First Things First.  Those big balls are the important things in our lives and if we make sure we do them, all the little stuff will fit in too.  It was a good reminder for me … what’s my big, important stuff?  Am I putting it first?


Sometimes, after a month like January, we just need to snuggle with the big man on the couch … even if his computer is in the way!


An evening for the grown-ups

March 28, 2017 on 8:58 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

My boys were itching to have a sleep-over at Grandmama’s house and so we made it happen over Christmas Break.

Kevin and I took that opportunity to host a party.  I made some very dear friends when I was in junior high (or earlier) and while we’ve spent years apart, we still feel very close.  All 5 of us live in Utah again and so I invited them and their husbands over.


A picture recreation was high on my list of must do’s for the evening.  We were so cool once…


I know the evening was a success … because Kevin cried with laughter!


We did another of our drawing games and this one was caused some tears!  It began with “Kevin was Eddie Murphy’s stunt double in Shrek” and ended with “Kevin, the Greek God, kills ducks with his trident!”  Seriously!  This game kills me!!


These are some good people and I’m so glad we were able to reconnect!  It had been more than 10 years since we were all together…


It felt like a lot less time than that!


Shelly, me, Jana, Mindy, and Amy..


A couple of the couples needed to head home earlier than the other two.  I didn’t think the night could get any more funny, but, I was so wrong!  We karaoke’d!!  Even KEVIN!


Oh, the tears.  The many, many tears of joy!


It was a good night!

Christmas Break Stuff

March 27, 2017 on 8:48 am | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

We don’t usually plan a lot for Christmas Break – I like the boys to have downtime to play with their new stuff – but we do throw in a few extra special adventures.  Some of those had to do with the end of the year coming and our Wanna Do List not being completed!

Ricky gave Billy this Harry Potter blanket for Christmas that they worked together on.  They had to trim the edges and tie knots to finish it off.  It was good brotherly bonding time!


Bobby just loves this cat!  The cat is fairly patient with the boy!


Some Christmas presents required hammering and protective eye wear!


The boys got to dig up fossils and gems!  Rusty was in heaven!


I bought this gingerbread house kit LAST year.  We finally got to it … a few days after Christmas!  It still worked, the boys just weren’t allowed to eat any of the candy!


Sometimes Bobby joins us on our dates…


One of our Wanna Do List items was to go ice skating.  Our neighbors put in a backyard skating rink this winter and invited us to give it a try.  Bobby was happiest making snow angels…


We didn’t bother to clear off the snow, but the boys thought it was perfect anyway!


They were surprisingly good at it even though it was their first time on ice skates.


I enjoyed that it was just a little rink with just our family … many less fears of fingers being skated over (why I have this fear, I don’t know, but it is REAL).


They WERE surprisingly good, but that didn’t mean biffs didn’t happen!  I missed catching a fabulous one by Kevin on camera by mere seconds.


There were skates for everyone but Bobby and me.  He and I were both okay with that.  We slid around in our boots and I tried to capture the memories with pictures.


I am almost feeling brave enough to take them to a big rink.  Maybe.


It was a pretty sweet evening!


I love when I wander into my boys rooms and, one, their bad is nicely made, and, two, one of the animals on the bed is not stuffed!


Another Wanna Do List activity was going to a basketball game.  I’m still a bit of a stickler about bedtimes, so finding a daytime game was tricky.  We ended up at a rival high school’s girls basketball game!


As a full family event, it was perfect!  Girls’ games are a little shorter and less crowded.  The boys made themselves at home and made it almost all the way to the end before repeatedly asking for snacks!


Sometimes Grandmama brings Duchess over.  Bobby likes that little dog.  Maybe too much.


I kind of like finding random selfies on my phone …


Go sledding somewhere new was also on our Wanna Do List.  I decided it was time to introduce the boys to MY childhood sledding hill.  My mom’s home is on “the bluff” which means there is an okay hill behind it.  The city built a walking trail right through the middle of that hill several years ago, but I figured we could still go above or below the trail.  Kevin decided we could just go right over the top of it!


It’s just a good size hill.  Big enough to get some okay speed but not so big that you get tired walking back up to the top.


Especially if you can convince your big brother to drag you up instead …


The boys got some good practice learning how to sled.  We just don’t go very often and so it was really nice to let them just go and learn.  Sledding was something I did so much as a child that it comes second nature to me so it was fun watching them learn!


Hearing them giggle and enjoy it so much was pretty awesome, too!


When I was growing up, the challenge was the canal at the bottom of the hill.  It was never very full, but it was wet enough to be super muddy.  If you weren’t skilled enough, you would land in the muddy canal.  Having been stuck in that mud more than once, I got pretty good at stopping before the canal.

Now there is a fence blocking the canal.  For the most part, that was a good thing!  The boys just kind of ran into the fence and bounced off.  It was scary the time Tommy was heading down the hill head first (despite being told not to) and was heading towards a fence post.  Thankfully, he missed it by inches!  There may have been a stern reprimand and dangers of sledding talk to follow that!


It was a lot of fun!


Getting cocoa from Grandmama afterwards was pretty fun, too!


The final run of the afternoon was my favorite … the train!  I had to teach the boys to hook feet and how to hang on …


But I should have focused on teaching Kevin how to not make them crash!  Heehee


No boys were hurt in this train wreck!

See the joy on my boy’s face?  That’s how much fun that afternoon was.


New Year’s Eve means junk food and games.  We had a bit of a Phase 10 slap happy game going on as midnight crept near.  My mom, sister, and brother-in-law were enjoying that night with us.


How better to start the new year than with a lap full of cats?!  I was hungry, but hated to disturb them all.


And there you go!


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