Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I'm playing a little bit of catch up right now cause I noticed I haven't posted since right after Clay arrived in Utah.  I had a wonderful time with my husband in town, we played a lot, did a  lot of shopping, a lot of eating out and well a lot of other stuff too that I wont mention in this blog!! The only thing I didn't like was how thrown off I was with my normal routine.  I didn't work out the entire time he was here, which I paid for dearly on my very first work out back! It felt like I hadn't worked out in months!  The other thing I struggled with was what I called the "divorced dad" complex Clay has.  He spoiled the kids terribly while he was here and when I would try to stop him he would only say "I'm only here for two weeks".  One example of this was one Saturday night, after a few hours of trying to get the boys to bed he announced he was taking them to McDonald's for a shamrock shake, it was 11:00 pm and we have 8:00 am church.  Needless to say getting the boys up for church was not fun and then Clay again says to me "why don't you just let them sleep in this once!" I explained if I do this once they will expect it from now on.  We did eventually get them up but they were 30 minutes late to church!
Now Clay is back in Australia and I'm hating my life! I'm trying to be strong cause I know there are worse trials out there and I wouldn't trade this one for some of the ones my friends are going through right now, but it still sucks and I just want my husband back!
On a lighter note, it's 6:00 am right now and the reason I'm up is because Brittany's friends just came over and kidnapped her for her birthday. No, it isn't Brittany's birthday today, it's next week but we are going to California next week for spring break, so they did it early.   When her friend called me yesterday to plan this she asked that I not turn any lights on cause they wanted to pretend like this was a real kidnapping.  I have to admit, when I was watching them wrap her up in duck tape, it was pretty freaky! There were four of them and they all dressed in black and had masks on their faces.  They put duck tape on her hands and feet and then put a mask on her face so she couldn't see what was going on. Of course the mother in me wanted to preserve this memory, so as they were walking out the door I whispered to one of the girls to stop so I could take a picture.  It was all I could do to not laugh, but I didn't want to ruin it for them so I held it in!
 This was the best picture I could get! I couldn't turn on the lights because they wanted to keep it like a real kidnapping.  Brittany is the one on the ground with the orange ski mask on her head, Jesse (Brittany's boyfriend) is on the left and I'm so mad he took off his mask for the picture! Then the other girls were Addie, Nicki and I don't know who the last girl is! So after this picture they carried her out like a stuffed pig because her limbs were all taped together. I was nervous a neighbor would see them and actually call the police because they thought it was a real kidnapping. 

I'm going to be all over the map during this post. So I apologize! Back to when Clay was here.  Clay moved out of the house we lived in after we left Australia cause the house  was just too big for him. Plus he didn't need all that land to try to maintain on his own! So he says to me that  he wants to show me his new house key and I'm thinking "what's the bid deal about a house key", then he whips out this baby...
 Yes, Clay has moved back to the 1800's!
 I couldn't' believe that this was actually someone's house key! I wish you could see the size of this key compared to other regular keys! It's so long! I ask him if his door creeks open when he opens it, like a old haunted house! That's what I expect with a key like this!

So I said earlier how we did a lot of shopping while Clay was here, well that was not an exaggeration! I think we hit three no four, wait it was five different malls in the two weeks he was here! One of them was the new City Creek mall, which is awesome by the way! If you haven't been downtown to this new mall, get there soon. We went opening weekend so it was crazy crowded!  Luke said he felt like we were at Disneyland! But, they had all sorts of different kids of entertainment every where you turned.  From boy bands, to magic acts to these women dressed as flower pots!
 Luke was fascinated by these so I had to get a shot of him with one! The funny thing was later on we went across the street to eat at the Garden room in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and on or way back to the mall one of these statues was crossing the street with us. I guess she was just getting one duty, but Luke thought it was so fun to watch her hold up her pot and walk around! 

So I explained earlier that my whole routine was messed up while Clay was here and that included my volunteer time too!  I work in both Cody's and Luke's classes once a week, but missed it the first week Clay was here. So the next week I told Clay that he should just come with me that way he gets to spend time with Cody and he can see what Cody does in his classroom.  Cody's teacher Mrs Vent was so excited that Clay came cause she never gets a father to come and help out in her class room.  This week she needed us to help her glue the stuff the kids have been making during their "dark ages" lessons.  So Clay and I spent the next hour hot gluing all this stuff up outside Cody's room. Can I tell you how happy I was to have Clay there helping me do this! It would of taken me hours with out his help! 

Cody's is the one with the checker board print on his shield.  
All the kids had to pick a saying to put on the front of their display. All the other kids put saying that had to do with the period and Cody choose, "Champion's are not born they are made".  A sports theme, of course! You can't see it very clearly in the picture but one of the things on his shield is a football! I love this kid!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mason's blessing and sealing

This past Saturday, March 17th, Clay and I were privileged to be able to attend our first grandsons sealing to his wonderful adoptive parents. Six months ago Jessica decided to place Mason with Nick and Erin cause she wasn't ready to be a mother just yet. Clay and I were torn with the idea of adopting Mason ourselves, but knew that if we did, we would always be battling with Mason's birth father.  Even though we wanted to keep this precious little boy, we knew it would be better for him to be as far away from his father as possible. In our eyes this boy was and still is pure evil! Jessica also knew this and this is what helped her in making the decision to place Mason.  Even though we miss this little boy every hour of every day, we know that he is in a great family and is protected from his birth father. He also has an amazing mother and father who we know will raise him right and will protect him from all the evil in this world! 
Nick and Erin have been so amazing to our family! They let us visit Mason when ever we want and includes us in all the important events in his life! It's especially nice that they only live a few miles away from us!

After the blessing, in front of the Temple

I had never been to a sealing of a parent to a child before so I didn't know what exactly to expect.  The sealer  started by speaking about his own experience of adopting two or his four children. His story was beautiful and had us all in tears before the sealing even began.  Then they brought in Mason and all I can say is I lost it! He was glowing in his white outfit and was all smiles when he saw his parents! Nick and Erin sat on opposite sides of the alter and they placed Mason in the middle.  The sealing only took a few moments, but was such an amazing experience.  Afterwards we were able to hug and kiss on Mason and hug Nick and Erin too.     
 Mason in his blessing and sealing outfit

The next morning we attended Mason's blessing.  Clay was invited to stand in the circle, which of course he was thrilled to do! Afterwards, we went to Nick and Erin's house  to have lunch and to get a chance to get to know Nick and Erin's families. 
 Jessica after the blessing with Austin and Mason

These are all the men that stood in the circle of the blessing of Mason

 This was actually taken after the sealing.  Mason crashed and looked like an angel!

Mason definitely got a lot of Collins in him! Clay couldn't get enough time with this sweet boy! But then how can you resist that smile! And he smiles all the time!  

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'm so glad when daddy comes home!

Last week for family home evening I took the kids up to Soldier Hollow for some night sledding.  There is this lady in our ward that books it every year and then invites families from our ward to join her. It's a complete blast and if you've never done it, make sure you plan on it cause it really is a great family activity!  
Savannah was the only one that didn't come with us. She couldn't get any of her friends to come so she decided it wouldn't be fun with just the family! The boy next to Brittany is Jesse, yes they like each other! And the boy next to Cody is Parker, one of his best friends.

This last Saturday Clay returned home for a two week visit. This was us at the airport, very very happy to have our dad and husband back on this side of the world! 

It's only been three days since Clay arrived in Utah and he is extremely jet lagged. To make things even more wonderful we found out that Brittany has mono and Jessica just got back from the doctors and has the flu! That means all three of my drivers are out of commission and now I'm going to be spending even more time behind the wheel! One more piece of good news, Jessica's car broke down and it's going to cost more to fix it than it's worth so we are now car hunting! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mason time

Six months ago this guy came into our lives, and it's never been the same since! Mason or Big Mac as we like to call him has brought us so much happiness, I can't imagine our lives without him in it! We also love that Nick and Erin, his parents are part of our family now too! 

 We got to spend some time with Mason last night! I find myself so excited all day long on the days we get to go and see him! Even the kids get so excited, it's all they talk about until we get to his home!
 We get pictures almost weekly from Erin and I can't believe how much he changes ever week! A few weeks ago he was looking like he was thinning out and growing so long, then just the very next week he was chunky again and then this week.....well you can see from the pictures, he is huge! 
 Cody really can't get enough time with this boy! And look how much he looks more like a brother than a nephew to Cody and Luke, especially Luke!
 He has a pretty serious disposition, but he also loves to break out the smiles! He is even laughing and cooing so much now! It even sounds like he is trying to talk!
So I have this little problem that I want to buy him everything I see! We showed up last night with this toy and two outfits! I just can't resist! But, it did make me so happy that he loved the toy! I just hope it doesn't drive Nick and Erin crazy with all it's sounds! 
I'm sad I didn't get a picture with Savannah and Mason. She loves this guy and I'm hitting myself for not getting one! Oh well, next visit! 

Sweethearts Dance and Valentines Day

I'm so happy that Brittany is back in Utah and able to go to all her school dances, but I'm  especially happy that she is able to date!  She went a few weeks ago (I know, that is how behind I am), to the Sweethearts dance with her cute friend Jesse.  
I especially loved that this dance was casual and I didn't need to go and buy another dress!
For their day date they went bowling, which I don't have a picture of, but thought I would throw this one in of them on another date 4 wheeling. I like this guy cause he actually asks Brittany out on dates and comes up with fun ones for them to do! 

On Valentines day Cody's 6th grade class had a Valentines dance at his school. For months they have been teaching the kids different dances like the cha cha, the waltz and many other ones.  They had to ask a different girl to dance each dance and then had some fun group ones.  Parents were invited to come and there was even a dance for the boys to ask their mothers, unfortunately I was home with the stomach flu that afternoon and couldn't make it. Thankfully, Jessica didn't have to work that day and she went and supported Cody!

This is Cody with his group of girl/guy friends.  He currently has a crush on the two, yes two girls on the left end!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


This last week has been an extremely heartbreaking week in our neighborhood.  Let me start back a little before I explain.
  Cody and Luke are good friends with two boys in our neighborhood named Getty and Sy. It's always been such a great thing because they are both the same age as my boys, they are brothers and they have a lot of the same interests, which means they spend a lot of time with each other!   When they first started hanging out, Getty's little sister Elle would follow the boys around every where they went. See, Elle had a huge crush on Cody, even though there was a 10 year age gap between them! I loved to hear from Elle's mom and dad how much she loved being around Cody. And Cody being a kid with the sweetest heart, especially for little kids loved the attention he got from Elle.  She even made  up a song just for Cody titled "The Cody song".  In fact when we moved back from Australia I asked Cody how Elle was and if she was still crushing on him. He of course turned red and said "yes, she still sings me my song"! This crush started a few years ago and sadly ended today.  
On Saturday afternoon Elle was walking home from a friends house, who lived only two houses up from hers.  She was walking on the sidewalk, but when she got into the neighbors driveway, the owner of the home happened to be backing up at the same time. He never even saw Elle until he was completely back up and  in the street.  She had been run over twice.  They lifeflighted her to Primary Children Hospital  where she was put on life support.  By Sunday morning we received word at church that she wasn't doing well and had taken a turn for the worse. It was of course an emotional day at church, but it was comforting to be with our friends who knew Elle and loved her family. Only a few hours later we received word that she was starting to get function back in a kidney and the test were coming back in a positive turn.  They were so many of us fasting and praying for little Elle that we had hope that we would see a miracle. 
Yesterday at school, Cody and Getty spent the entire lunch time talking about Elle. I arrived at the school after lunch and Getty begged me to let Cody come over after school to play. I was hesitate but then conceited because I knew getting things back to normal would be good for the boys.  I dropped Cody off at their house and even talked to the teenage girls and received good news about Elle. It wasn't ten minutes later that Cody called and asked me to come back and get him. The kids had heard from their parents that Elle had had a stroke and they wanted them to come to the hospital as soon as possible.  
Today we heard from Loreene, Elle's mom that they had decided to take Elle off life support.  
Cody and Luke have really taken Elle's death hard. But we have had some really good discussions about death, the Lord's will and forgiveness.  See, the person who hit Elle was their next door neighbor.  Luke at first was angry with him and it's been good to explain forgiveness to him and have him actually know what it's like to forgive someone.  
The next few days will still be heartbreaking as we attend the funeral for this sweet girl.  Luke asked if we would receive an invitation so that we would be able to go to it.  I explained that we didn't need an invitation and that we would of course be going! My heart breaks when I see how sad this has made them and how they have to deal with something like this when they are so young.  But I'm also so impressed with how they handled this situation.  They were so eager to pray for her and all the time. Luke has asked me if we can go get them a present to make them happy! It's also been a great time to talk more about our Savior and the gospel with my kids and they understand how important and our grateful they have it in their lives especially  during these hard times.
So, hug your kids a little tighter tonight, because you can! Tell them often how much you love them! We will miss you Elle!
 This is a picture Elle's dad sent us in the fall of 2010. He wanted us to see how much Elle loved Cody and how she always wanted him to hold her! The other boys in the picture are Getty (on the left) and Sy (on the right).  When he sent the picture he put in the subject line "Elle's crush".
A recent picture of Elle

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Getting back into the swing of things!

When Clay first approached me with the idea of the family staying in Utah after Christmas without him it lead to a lot of sleepless nights for me, wondering if I was capable of parenting by myself. We have all heard that it takes a village to raise a child and I totally believe it! I really feel like we were lead to the neighborhood in Highland four years ago because it is the only place I feel like I could be a single parent and succeed at it!  I really have the BEST neighbors and friends ever! There hasn't been a week that has gone by that one of my neighbors hasn't called me or text me to see how I'm doing. They plan lunch dates, invite us over for Sunday dinner, include my kids in activities that they know they would like.  On top of great neighbors, we have the best school I could ask for. Luke was diagnosed with some developmental delays when he was young and his school has the BEST teachers, that know him just as well as I know him. They understand how he works and use that to help him in all the areas that he needs! I really could not do any of this without all these incredible people helping me! My sister in law Lacy will laugh at this, because we joke about it, but the Lord has really blessed me with so many tender mercies since we have been back! I'm more than humbled everyday when I see the Lords hand in some many areas of my families lives.

It hasn't taken us long to get right back into the swing of things. The girls are doing great in High school and even have made new friends too.  Savannah started Lacrosse, which she has never played before, but jumped right in and is loving it! Brittany is looking for employment everyday and on the weekends is taking a ACT prep class.  To our surprise there are about 6 kids from our ward in that class too, so Brittany carpools down to BYU with them every Saturday.
Cody jumped right back into his life in our ward and school.  He was behind in Math because of our move to Australia, but not by much, and since he picks it up so quickly, his teacher has requested that he take the exam to get into the accelerated class next year in 7th grade.  He told us how none of his friends played football at recess any more since he left, but it only took one day to get that one back up and running! He even got a spot on the ski bus that our neighborhood puts together ever winter.  My kids always did the ski bus every year before our move, which starts in January and runs through March and takes the kids up every Saturday morning to Park City to snowboard, then brings them back. It really is an awesome thing, mostly cause we don't have to take them up and they love it and it's great exercise and something they will do for the rest of their lives! Plus, it's just our neighborhood that does it, so they get to go up with all their friends!
Cody's ski bus 

On top of getting the kids back and busy with their friends and school, we are quickly filling up our entire summer with activities already! The girls have both been signed up for EFY, Cody and Luke will do football camp at BYU. Luke is also doing some cooking classes at Thanksgiving point. For those of you that haven't heard, Luke wants to be a chef when he grows up. He is always the one next to me in the kitchen when I'm cooking and is eager to help me. He really just enjoys eating what ever is cooked! I think that is the main reason why he wants to learn to cook, so he wont starve to death!

I'm just so thankful and feel so blessed to be back in Utah.  Also, to be in the area that we are in! To be given all the opportunities we have been given! I really took these things for granted before our move, but now can't be more than thankfully for every single one of them! Even though I'm not living with my husband right now, and somedays I completely fall apart, I really am so happy and thankful for the life I have been given!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting Asked to Sweethearts!

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon, we had come home from 8:00 am church (yes, we really go that early) and we were looking forward to getting some food than taking a nap! We heard a knock on the door and everyone just looked at each other not knowing what to do. We don't EVER get anyone at our door, so it's something we were not prepared for! The boys ran to the door and opened it, but found no one there! But, there was a vase of roses and a frozen ice heart on the ground. Now we were even more confused about what to do! Brittany saw the items on the ground and instantly knew what they were for! Yes, only weeks after Preference, Lone Peak will be having another dance, the Sweethearts dance! Brittany grabbed the items but didn't know what to do with the big ice heart. We stuck it in the sink and turned on the hot water.

Inside the ice was a piece of paper that read, "Brittany will you go to Sweethearts with me?"  We had to keep melting the heart to find the other paper, a red heart with the name of the boy asking, "Jessie" was all it said! Brittany is currently "seeing" Jessie so it wasn't a surprise that he asked her to the dance. Stay tuned for some really cute dance pictures to follow in a few weeks!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Preference 2012

Wow! Is all I can say about Brittany on the night of Preference.  I was a proud momma that night when I saw her all dressed up and looking so beautiful, from the inside out! Brittany is an amazing girl! She is smart, beautiul and happy! And that is saying a lot for a teenage girl! I'm so happy for her that she is back at Lone Peak and especially that she is back with her best friend Addy!

 This was the group of kids that went with Brittany and her date Blake to Preference. Addy is the girl right below Brittany.

Something that I forgot to post about was Brittany's new car.  We came back to Utah and decided that Brittany was in need of some wheeles to get her and Savannah around town.  So, for Christmas we gave Brittany this....
Brittany doing her "Oh what a feeling, Toyota" jump for joy!

Elvis Baby!

In Parkes, one of the most higly anticipated events in that small town is the Elvis festival! It happens every year in January and the locals plan and prepare for it all year long! In fact, it's all you hear about if you are new in town! Sadly, only Clay was in town for it this year, but that didn't stop him from getting all into it and having a great time! Now he didn't have as much fun as the rest of his coworker and that is cause they were all loaded up with alcohol and Clay was the only sober one there!  Get ready to laugh cause here is the proof in pictures of that day!

 In case you can't tell which one is Clay, he is on the left!