Friday, April 27, 2012

T minus 120 min til we leave

It has been 6 months since we have flown ANYWHERE.  Working for the airlines you always here of co-workers flying here or there for the weekend. Since we have been so tight on money, I haven't dared be stuck in CA or JFK so I haven't dared it.

Until this weekend.  In about 2 hours I am headed out the door to CA for the weekend and I am soooo excited I can barely stand it!  YAY!

I sure hope we get lots of pics* to follow this post.  The beach will be about our only place we go but hey you can't beat the beach (especially New Port Beach). 

Hello California!  See you soon!!!

*No worries...I won't subject you or your eyes to any of me in a bathing suit!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Gratitude Evolved

I needed to write my gratitude today.

Saturday we were able to have a slip n slide in our own yard.  Blessing!

We also had a bunch of neighborhood girls want to come join.  Blessing!

Our girls have tons of other girls around to play with.  Blessing!

We will have a completed garden soon.  Blessing!

We have a Bishopric, ward and community that cares.  Blessing!

We have a beautiful home to live in.  Blessing!

Our children can walk to school.  BLESSING!

After school is over, the girls can come home, get homework done, do chores and then they have a gaggle of girls waiting to play with them.  Blessing!

A couple nights ago, Ben and I went outside to lay on the grass (Blessing!!).  We snuggled and watched the stars in the sky.  I sat there thinking of all our blessings we currently are enjoying (and some days taking for granted).  So many dreams, so many tears shed, so many trials fought to bring us to this point.  I see and feel huge blessings each day.  I need to be better about looking at my blessings, pointing them out and being grateful for them.

I have thought a lot about our Savior and his atonement lately.  I have thought about he suffered all so that when we are struggling, he could understand.  He suffered for our sins and our sorrow.  I truly know this.  I remember many times over the last few years KNOWING my prayers were answered but many times feeling that no one understood really.

 The time I felt this the most was the time we went to Washington DC in Jan of 2010.  As we were led and guided I knew our Father in Heaven was leading us and guiding us to where we needed to be.  We met some people there.  I KNOW we were meant to meet them.  Ben and I both had VERY distinct feelings to go to church at this set time and place.  We arrived and I thought maybe it was for the speakers but it wasn't.  We met some people there that Ben had grown up with.  This and that happened and they offered to help but in the end backed out.  The other day Ben and I were talking about that time in our lives.  Ben said to me, "I think we were meant to go and meet them.  They felt inspired too and then backed out.  I think they were the means to the way for us to get what we were supposed to at that time but because they didn't help Heavenly Father had to take us to a different path."

That struck to my soul.  Even though I learned soooo much from our experience, I had always wondered why he sent us to Washington DC.  We learned but I had felt like there was something more, we had missed out on something.  I felt that way strongly for a while but could never pin point it.  Ben saying that answered my final questions.  Our Father in Heaven can't do it alone!  He needs US to help answer OTHERS prayers.  We can be his helping hands to those around us.  He is going to find a way to help those that he needs to and wants to help and if we choose not to help, we are the ones that miss out.  We can be a huge blessing in someone else's life if we choose to listen and serve.

Our current ward it seems is ALWAYS talking about how to serve those around you.  Each week I hear over and over again how the Lord hears our prayers and many times he answers it through actions of those around us.

How many times have I been the one to answer prayers?  The more important question is, "How many times have I been the one to fore-go the blessings of answering prayers".  How many times have I been "just to busy" or "I will get around to it"?  How many times has the Lord asked me to be his helping hands, to be the blessing in someone else's life, only for me to fail in doing so?

I need to be better and listening and following because what may seem to me like something small and simple may be a fervent prayer and life changing event to someone else.

I know this is strange to put this here but I wanted to have it written down.  I started writing about our blessings and all this over took me and I realized I needed to write about this.  I have a saying on my fridge by President George Albert Smith and it says, "Our eternal happiness will be in proportion to the way that we devote ourselves to helping others."

This saying has been going around on pinterest and I have to say, I love the Hinckleys!

I am only given 1 life.  I need to make this life more about service and living the way the Savior has asked and even begged and pleaded at the service of my fellow beings.  I find it easy to serve my family (hubby, children, sisters, brothers and parents).  I need to reach out and start serving my neighbors too!

Monday, April 23, 2012

I have the best hubby in the world (and this post contains photo proof of it!!)

This last weekend we put in a garden - yay finally!  I love it so much!

I have to share what an amazing husband I have.  On Saturday morning, we got up and I said, "I want to put in a garden today!"  He replied, "Well my list is spray the lawn, edge the lawn, fix the cat house, fix the playhouse, etc., etc., etc."

I frowned a little cause well there is a timing you HAVE TO FOLLOW for a garden.  I looked at him and said, "Yes but a garden ..."

2 hours later we were leaving Home Depot with the necessary items and he was staking out the ground where the garden would go.  I told ya...I have the best hubby ever!

Now it is NOT complete.  We still have a couple things left to do.  We had to start the garden by cleaning up the weed err I mean flower bed surrounding the tree.  I forgot to get a before picture but it looked something like this:

If you look closely in the corner where the fence is you can see the tree.  About 4 feet all around that was the "flower bed" surrounded with rocks.    

I didn't get a close up of the tree on the East side of our backyard before we started this all; HOWEVER, I did get one of the "flower bed" for the tree on the West side of our backyard.  They flower beds looked about the same so here is a picture for you to have a close up of what it looked like!

It was a rock and weed bed...not a flower bed.

So we got to work.  We started by clearing out the weed bed.  I worked on that with the girls for a while and Ben started in on the measuring out for the flower garden.  Our yard has a very slight down slant from front to back, so Ben being the awesome fixer/builder started out with figuring out the level ground.  Here is some pictures of the progression:

After figuring out what was level...then the real work started.  We took all the grass from where the garden was going to be and transplanted it over to where the tree is!  Several times I tried to jump on the flat shovel to cut a nice straight line and help get the grass up.  My efforts were futile.  I did do some with the spade shovel but then the edge wasn't nice and straight.  Honestly, Ben did most of the digging up of grass.  I did help with the relaying over by the tree.

After helping clear around the tree, we told the girls we had a surprise for them.  It was HOT!  The surprise was a slip and slide.  We put it in the back yard and let the girls slip 'n slide with fun while we continued to work on the yard.  The girls ended up having lots of friends join them and we had a backyard filled with about 10 girls having water balloon fights and slip 'n sliding away!  Definitely fun!!!

So much fun!
Lyse on her turn
Katy's turn
It was "cold" at first!
This was at the first when only a few were here...the numbers doubled by the end!

Please note the playhouse!  See it has been sitting there next to the patio since we moved in.  While we were discussing the garden Ben said, "I have the perfect location for the playhouse!"  As we were excavating the ground for the garden, we started the excavation next to it for the playhouse!  It is the perfect place.  Ben is so wonderful!!!

The playhouse is tilted a little.  We are going to have to level out the bricks underneath the playhouse again.  We knew it would settle once we set the playhouse there, so now we know what we need to do and and how much more sand we need to put under it. 

The garden still has a little work as well.  We need to put in a weed barrier then bring in some topsoil and miracle grow so we can start planting - YAY!

So as you can see, this last Saturday (which was VERY hot) was also very productive.  We have a lot more to do but we have gotten a lot done. 

A huge THANK YOU!!!  to Ben.  I could not have done it without him and he was amazing to do this for me.  It means so much to me!  He truly sacrificed.  I love you babe!!!

P.S.  I will give you a month before I get started on the other "weed/rock" garden bed around the other tree.  I have to save up cause that is the PERFECT place for that fire pit I have been wanting ;)

Monday, April 16, 2012

If I had been thinking...some of these scenerios would have never happened!

It's been an eventful place around this house this last weekend.

Saturday morning we got up to get to work on the house. We needed to get some yard work done. After breakfast was over we walked outside and the bitter wind brought us right back in. We figured we would wait an hour for it to warm up some. In the mean time, I would get the green room downstairs FINALLY organized and put together, while the girls cleaned their toy room.

We started on the green room and Ben got annoyed with the water heater in the furnace room next door. Before I knew it, we were at the home depot because Ben went to google and found out that the water heater pressure release valve was bad. We got what we needed, looked at a want (a microwave), walked out with what we needed and headed back home.

Ben fixed the water heater (after a couple more trips to home depot) and as he finished the water heater he yelled up to me, "Gross! Tauni you gotta come see this!" I replied, "It's not a mouse is it?" To which he replied, "NOPE!" So curiosity got me and I headed down stairs.

What did he have to show me?!? A DEAD (which means it was once alive) SNAKE!!!!! On top of that this dead snake was TAPED TO THE UNFINISHED WALL (well really the stud). Who does that? Why would they do that? GROSS!! I don't know if the snake was alive when they taped it there or already dead. I know nothing more about it other than a snake was PURPOSELY taped to the wall in that room. CREEPY!

Ok so I get over the snake thing and I walk upstairs only to find myself back downstairs putting away items that now have a home in the green room. When I walked in the green room I find a MOUSE in the window well. EEEK! I yelled then I being the smart woman I am, went and grabbed the closest cat and OPENED the window. Bet you can't guess what happened?!?! Ok you probably can. The mouse ran INTO my house as the cat watched and then sauntered away! WHAT?!?! I just let a MOUSE INTO MY HOUSE! I yelled for Ben, blocked the door and waited. Ben came to the rescue and caught the mouse that had been stuck in our deep window well (ya we are going with that story...I just rescued him, I didn't let him into my house). We put him in a tupperware dish and Ben and the girls went to the gully and released the poor scared mouse. Ben said it was overjoyed to be released and flipped and jumped into the bushes. So see, I didn't let the mouse in my house. I rescued him from the deep window well in which he was stuck and released him into the gully where he can go have a nice family and live a long mouse life. The end!

No seriously though, how on earth could I have been that stupid and WHY did I do that? I am sooooo grateful that I have a quick agile hubby to capture that mouse! My cats I have found are USELESS! LOL

So that was our eventful weekend. We never made it outside to remove all the wood chips/bark that needs removed from the flower beds. I will work on that slowly this week I guess!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I miss the days when I was a stay at home mom. When all that mattered in the world were my children and what was happening in our home. When a company didn't own me for time needed to be worked and money that needed to be earned.

At the same time, I am so grateful that while my kids are in school, I have something to fill my time. That I have a way to earn money and help our family survive. I am grateful for the amazing job I have been blessed with. I am grateful that I can work from home and be there for my kids 90% of the time.

I wish I would have savored the stay at home mom a little more. I was ALWAYS grateful for it but I also took it for granted.

Monday, April 9, 2012

St. George and Zions

Ben jumping across the river at the Narrows in Zions. He is such a little kid at heart...I love him!

Kids holding up the rock! Zions


All of us after hiking up to where you start at the Narrows in Zions.
Zions at the opening of the Narrows
The Cliffs in St. George
The Narrows in Zions
The Narrows in Zions
The Cliffs in St. George
The Cliffs in St. George
Climbing wall at the Cliffs in St. George
The Cliffs in St. George

For my birthday we went down to St. George. We spend the night Friday and Saturday in St. George and drove home Sunday. We had so much fun! It was great having a weekend away and we spent the weekend with Jana and her kids. It was great.

On Saturday, my birthday, we spend the day hiking the cliffs in St. George, going to the Dinosaur museum and eating a yummy dinner at The Outback Steakhouse. It was a wonderful birthday. Oh and of course there was a lot of time spent next to the pool while the kids and Ben swam (I did join for a bit).

On the way home on Sunday, we stopped in Zions and did some hikes. It was way fun and the kids loved it. We hiked up to where you start hiking in the narrows. It was an enjoyable walk. The kids loved running around. After we finished that hike we went and hiked to the emerald pools and then we did the tunnel and headed home. It was a blast. While hiking down from the emerald pools, the deer were out. I have never heard a deer call before this...sounds a lot like a goat!

We had so much fun in Zions on the 25th of March, we decided we want to hit more national parks this year. It is quite fun loading up the car with all of us and heading on a road trip. We had a blast with Jana, Brookie and Dustin. It was a great birthday weekend getaway!


Ok FINALLY I got some pictures uploaded. I made Ben show me how to do it on his computer. No I am not stupid but he has so many USB ports I wasn't sure what I could and could not plug stuff into! Once I found out...I was set! I still have the perfect picture of the girls in front of the house but it is on a different camera and Ben's computer doesn't have a card reader so well...the picture of the girls in front of the full house will have to wait. I do have some of them from Easter morning in here!

We are LOVING our new place. We are getting it all put together and it truly feels like home. I am only having a little trouble with getting to know people. I am hoping as weather gets better and people are out more we will get to know more and more of the neighbors as well as the ward members.

I LOVE yard work and I am loving having a yard to work in. It is awesome! I have so many great eventual plans...and I am loving planning it all with Ben. I feel so immensely blessed. Each time I think of it I am overcome with gratitude, love and happiness. I often find myself teary eyed as I sit and look at our home. It truly is home!

Katy finding her eggs in front of the front door. Has a partial part of the front yard and front of the house.

Side of the house...our yard goes back to the tree that looks like a stick.

Backyard...goes back to the stick tree :)

Some of the front of the house!
This is how the living room is currently decorated...sorry about the cushions. I fixed them, had it beautiful and well I have a house full of kids and before I could get the camera and take a picture the kids had run through this room. Had to take the picture before we had more mess!

This is where you always find the cats!

I LOVE this wall! I love these pictures. I love them going up the stairs. This was my favorite wall to put pictures on because I loved seeing the progression!

These pictures are hard to see but they pictures of the girls in sepia and I love them!

This is how the wall in the family room is decorated now...updated pictures of the girls!

This is the kids in the family room dancing to "sexy and I know it"
More dancing fun!
Dancing and rock band...can't get better then this!

This is the bench Ben and I got for our birthdays. It sits behind the front door and it has a bottom shelf that we get to put shoes having a place for shoes by the door cause lets be honest..that is where the kids take them off (at least at our house!)

View from in living room.
My kitchen - I LOVE the huge pantry and I love having the bar area!

I love my front windows!!! This isn't the best picture but seriously they are so wonderful and light filled!

Close up of the family room...change the pictures on the walls now but the couch is still in the same place!

Toy room - a disaster! I had it cleaned and gave up. Honestly...its a toy room and I clean it about 2 times a week but most the time it looks like this!

Our unfinished basement will eventually be finished!

The green room downstairs...Katy calls this the library!

View of Kitchen and dining room from the stairs!

Main Bathroom

Master bath - the turtles are our not ours and not a permanent fixture...they have since been returned home from turtle sitting back to my sisters home.

Master bedroom

Where I work in our bedroom.

View of kitchen from stairs.

Elyse's room
Family room
Entry view
Living room
Katy's room