Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Noelle

My precious, gentle, squishy, rambunctious baby girl is one today. Has it really been one year? It has been a blur. Time moves so quickly. I was so anxious to be done being pregnant and I was thrilled when the doctor announced that it was a girl! Rinar and I were ecstatic. 

Noelle, you have been a blessing for our family in so many ways. We love you so much. In the beginning, you were a darling spectator as the daily circus passed before your eyes. You soaked it all in. I would just hold you in my arms for hours and hours.

But then, the spectating was done and you were ready to take the world head on. You have come so far. You walk and explore and destroy with perfect innocence. You give so much love to all of us: Dad, Raef, Zach, Eli, Harry, Julia, and me. You make us laugh and bring smiles to us all.

You are a pro at climbing up and down stairs, up and down the stroller, and love, love, love the toilet and all of its possibilities. You are now starting to talk and the words are forming and sorting themselves out. Today, you loved to say football. Maybe that is because you play in the front yard and watch your brothers practice their punting skills. You also love the wiggle board and have an obsession with my yellow iPhone, at least almost as much as I do.

You love it when I sing you to sleep and tuck you in and we always play a good game of peek-a-boo. You are a master peek-a-booer. Sometimes, you let me cradle you and sing to you and you will just stare at me, perfectly still. It is heavenly.

It is a privilege to be your mother. Thank you for choosing our family. You are my heart.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Precious Kid Moments

I just love the funny little moments in my kids lives, and I get a front-row seat.

Eli wore a green shirt to the park. Clearly, it perfectly camouflages him with the grass.

"Look mom, I am invisible when I squat down like this."

Yep, Eli. You ARE invisible.

And then we went home for lunch. It was a long morning at the park. Harry was parched.

Problem solved!

Kid Happenings

September has been a go, go, go kind of month. My calendar is packed with appointments every single day.  Here are a few things we have been doing...

I am part of a playgroup, which is comprised mostly of boys, and then there are the two girls, Julia and Molly.  A few weeks ago it was my turn to host this motley little crew. They had fun as you can see playing pool. And why bother taking turns when you can all go at the same time? Right?

Ryder, Boston, Sawyer, Harry, and Charlie
 Eli's flag football team, the Seahawks, play on Wednesdays at Galena Park. Our team is navy, Ryan P. and Jason B. are the coaches, and our entire team is made up of first graders, minus one second grader. All of the other teams are pretty much second graders so it has been a tough season.  The first game was very entertaining. When it was Eli's turn to be the running back, he really pulled out the juke moves. Of course, there was more juke than move, but it was still adorable.

And Zach was able to do the Kokopelli Triathlon again this year. I am really proud of my boy. He ended up placing 3rd overall! Whoa! I was not able to go down because I had to stay up here for Raef's football game and Harry's soccer game. But it was nice to have Rinar do the race with him and also have Monica W. down there spectating and cheering for Zach along with her daughter Natalie and husband Bart. They are good friends. We are blessed.

Zach with Natalie W.
 Julia has her soccer games on Monday, which is nice because Rinar is able to come to those. She is enjoying all of the girls and has made special friends with this cutie, Jocelyn. Whenever they are on the sidelines, this is what they are doing. But all of the girls are darling.

September is coming to a close and October will be here soon. One more month of craziness and then I will be able to breathe.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


September is my birthday month. It was a nice way to celebrate 38. Rinar was home and able to help me and do stuff to give me some free time. He even installed a bunch of motion-sensor light switches for the lights that always seem to be on, like the basement stairwell and the pantry. There is also one in the kids bathroom and the half bath. 

I was able to go to lunch with Melanie. She treated me to Blue Lemon, which opened on my birthday. There were some ladies walking around giving out presents and I came home with a t-shirt and a hat. I am a walking billboard!

Melanie and I had a wonderful lunch together and were able to catch up after a busy month of doing mom stuff.

And once again, not a word from my parents. Nothing. Crickets. It kind of bothered me for a bit, and even more so when they called me a week later. I just really didn't want to talk about it. I just didn't. It brought back memories of my 8th birthday when they completely forgot because they got into a big fight. It was pretty miserable, I am not going to lie. And every time this happens, it just takes me back there.  I have thought about what I want to do about it because it bothers me with how much it bothers me.

So now I have a plan. Next year, I am going to call them on my birthday. They never remember, so I will remember for them. I will call them and have a nice conversation and remind them that it is my birthday and then the problem will be solved. I really like this plan. I don't like all of the attention anyway. But it is nice for my parents to remember me.

Violin Recital

This past month has been pretty darn crazy. Every single day I have been taking the kids to something or another and Saturday is the worst because Raef and Harry have games and they are usually at the same time. The nice thing is that their games are always in the morning, so the afternoons are free. 

A few weeks ago Zach and Eli had their fall recital. It was wonderful. Eli played "Lightly Row" and he was a pro. He kept going even though he had a few little hiccups in his song. He also played "Old MacDonald" with a group in the middle of the recital. Zach's group piece was "Ashokan Farewell" it is a stunningly beautiful tune. I love it so much and his group played it exceptionally well.

Zach played Violin Sonata in E Major, 4th Movement by Handel. It looked like a walk on a sandy beach for him. No problem. 

Overall, the boys represented well. I am one proud mama.

Labor Day Get Away

We had a wonderful Labor Day this year. Since there was no school or work, it was time to take a mini road trip. We took everyone up to Fort Bridger, Wyoming for the Mountain Man Rendezvous. It is quite a festival in the middle of nowhere. We were able to get there at lunch time and made sure to get some funnel cake to start the trip out right. Plus, the kids were kind of hungry and something in their stomachs was better than nothing. 

Noelle really liked the funnel cake, but so did everyone else. We enjoyed it while watching the Native American tribe members perform traditional dances.

Everything at Rendezvous is authentic. There is nothing made from China at the festival. Plus, they have hands on stuff and learning booths. Raef and Zach were able to play an old-fashioned game of tug-o-war with one of the mountain men. They really liked it.

Eli especially enjoyed the festival. He is a sponge. We watched fire making the mountain man way, spinning of wool, touched animal pelts, and searched for old coins to add to their coin collections. He really loved everything and wants to return next year. You got it, Eli!

After we made the rounds, we headed to Mountain View to eat at the local burger joint and then hit the road for the scenic way to Utah, through the Uintahs and Mirror Lake. On the way to Heber City we stopped at an enchanted fairy forest. Yes, a fairy forest is in the Uintahs! It is an art lovers dream on the Mirror Lake Scenic by way at mile marker 17. You can make your own little city for the fairies when they come out to play.  The kids enjoyed looking at all the contributions. We will definitely be returning to add our own vignette to this special forest.

As the day was winding down, we finally were able to visit WISP, Lindsay and Justin's shave shack in Heber City. The treats were delicious and it was tons of fun. And we even got to see them as they were down the street hanging at the Provo river. We visited for a little bit and then hit the road to get home before it got too late. I mean, the kids had school the next day. We had to be responsible.

Church Walk

I am the mean mom that makes my kids walk to church every week. Okay, maybe not every week, but nine times out of ten, we are walking. The church is a little less than 3/4 of a mile away, and it is up a pretty good hill. When we first started doing this, there was a lot of complaining. But I think they are just resolved to their plight. 

It definitely has its advantages. First of all, by the time we get to church, they are more than happy to sit for a while. The wiggles are obliterated, at least for 30 minutes or so. 

And on the way home, there is a plethora of grape vines. This past month, we took advantage of the harvest and found some pure deliciousness along the way. The Glad's have many types of grapes and they are so different and scrumptious.  This was a simple but wonderful highlight of the summer.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Give Me a New Name

I took Julia with me tonight to get my hair cut. As we were driving in the car, she was talking to me. Then she said, "Mom, I don't like my name."

I replied, "You don't like you name?"

"Yes, I don't like my name."

"What name do you want instead of Julia?"

"I want to be called Elisabeth," she said.

Well, alrighty then. I guess I really screwed that up.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Don't Compare

Today I was the host for the weekly playgroup. At the end I was able to talk to one of the mom's for a minute. I had a profound revelation while I was talking to her.

My friend is in the Primary presidency for our ward. The Primary Program is coming up soon and the presidency is very concerned about whether the kids are ready or not when it comes to the music. We just got a new Primary chorister and it is a hard calling for her. She is struggling. I have been the Primary chorister many times and it comes very easy to me. I enjoy teaching kids, I love music, and I have had many opportunities to 'perfect' my music pedagogy skills. But she has not. This is her first time.

They want to have a meeting to see what we can do to get ready for the program. I am the pianist and don't really think I need to go. Plus, I would hate to cause the chorister any anxiety by anything I would say that she might misconstrue as a criticism. She is not me and definitely brings her own skill set to this calling. I would hate to intimidate her as I know I have a big personality and a lot of opinions. Haha! I just don't want her to compare herself to me. I really think she is doing a great job so far and seems to be getting more comfortable each week. It just really would not be fair for her to compare herself to me in this capacity. I know I have a natural gift for this and years and years of experience.

In the same way, the chorister is an amazing woman. It can almost be intimidating if I look at myself compared to her. Every time I have gone to her house, it is immaculate and she is so well put together. Her kids are a joy and she seems so organized. I, on the other hand, am not so organized, and nine times out of ten, my house is a disaster zone. My kids are a bit unruly and I have somewhat of a temper. In other words, just like she might be intimidated with my chorister skills, I could say with ease that I am intimidated a tiny bit by her homemaking skills.

However, just like I have had years of practice and a natural gift for teaching, I learned that my chorister friend gets a lot of help from her mother. According to my friend, her mother has potty-trained all of her kids. Her mother is there a lot to do stuff with the family and lend a hand. I, on the other hand, don't ever get that kind of support. I am on my own and my husband is out of town every single week.

I realized even more how foolish it is to compare myself to others. I have been blessed with a lot of strengths, but I definitely have weaknesses to keep me humble.  The dear chorister would definitely say the same thing about her strengths and weaknesses.

In the end, we are all just people doing the best we can with the skills and resources that are available to us. Don't compare yourself to others. You don't have the same skills and resources that they do, no matter what it looks like from the outside peering in.

What I do know is that I am very grateful that the chorister and the other women who live around me are in my life. I have learned a lot while living here and in other places. Instead of it being a competition, I know I can rely on these women to be a resource and inspiration to me. I think it is natural to compare, but with some perspective it definitely helps me stay grounded and secure in who I am and what I can do.

Bury the Weapons

I had an "A-ha" moments today that I need to write down. I don't ever want to forget it because I know that the Holy Ghost was teaching me today and I was really listening.

This morning I shared a Gospel Art Kit picture with my little ones for our scripture study.

These are the Anti-Nephi-Lehi people. They were true converts to the everlasting gospel, who had once been a murderous, blood-thirsty people. But once they took upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ and were washed in His blood, they refused to take up weapons anymore, no matter what.

"Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords have become bright, then let us stain our swords no more with the blood of our bethren." -Alma 24:12

They literally dug a deep hole in the Earth, and buried all of their weapons. They would not fight again. It sounds so easy, but it was not. These Lamanites had a deep desire to do the will of God and be in complete harmony with the Spirit. They feared that if they fought again, they would never be forgiven. But there were other Lamanites in the land that were not converted and were still blood-thirsty murderers. These Lamanites were angry with the Anti-Nephi-Lehies and vowed to kill them.

The natural instinct would be a desire to defend oneself and take up arms, but the Anti-Nephi-Lehies would not. They went out into a field to meet the Lamanites, knelt on the ground a prayed mightily. For they knew..."if our brethren destroy us, behold, we shall go to our God and shall be saved." And the Lamanites fell upon them and struck them down, slaying 1,005 of them.

It was so awful. I can just picture it and it makes me cry. But out of something so awful, a mighty miracle happened. The attackers experienced a mighty change of heart and put down their weapons. Hence, the dead went to celestial glory and even more Lamanites were converted and brought to the truth, even more than a thousand! "Thus we see that the Lord worketh in many ways to the salvation of his people." -Alma 24: 27

I recently got into a fight with a family member. The swords were flying and I am not proud of myself. This scripture story has definitely chastened me. How can I change my relationships with people in my life who are a challenge to me? Easy. Put down my weapons. Bury them deep in the ground.

Jesus put it another way when He taught that we must turn the other cheek. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies took this teaching very seriously and trusted God utterly and completely. And look what happened? Miracles.

I know I have to do the same thing. I need to bury my 'weapons' deep in the ground and never get them out again. When I stop fighting and defending myself, there will be peace. And only the peace the surpasseth all understanding. Yes, I know that I will probably get 'injured'. It may hurt a bit for a while, but I know that if I put down my weapons, miracles will happen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sports and Stuff

Two weeks ago the sports season officially opened up for our family. But before I went to any games, I headed down to Pleasant Grove to see Echo and Amie F. and go for a hike with them. Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, but Amie was visiting from Georgia to go to Education Week at BYU. We were all in the same ward together for many years in Henderson. It was amazing to be able to catch up with them. It was like we had never been separated. And I guess we had a lot to talk about, because we ended up walking 8 miles!!

I just hope one day I can grow up and be like these two. They are inspirational.

I then raced back to Draper to catch the end of Harry's first soccer game. It was pretty much adorable. He smiled the whole time while he was running around. I wouldn't expect anything less from this guy. He is posing with his buddy Sawyer after the game. And the best part of the game was the treats. Harry was looking forward to the treats. I don't think he was disappointed.

When the game ended, we had just enough time to get to Woods Cross to watch Raef play an official scrimmage. The boys looked great and I think they are ready for the season. Their first game was this last Saturday and they did not disappoint. They won 33-0 versus Copper Hills. Raef had a stand-out game. He made some key tackles, swatted down the ball on a pass play, and held his position on offense. The coach from the other team even called him out at the end of the game to commend him on a job well done.

And as always, Rinar wore his silly hat that Raef just loves. The Copper Hills game was in West Jordan and Rinar had to run 21 miles for his training that day. I suggested he run to the game, since it started at 9:00. He did, and ended up running 24 miles because he took a wrong turn. That sucks for him, but he didn't seem to mind too much. If it was me, I would have been really pissed off. Good thing it wasn't me!

And like I have mentioned before, my little kids are in full swing with school. Just thought I would include a few pictures.

Julia had her first soccer game last Monday. They are called the Cotton Candies. Hmmm, wonder where they came up with that name? She is on an all girls team and loves it and loves her pink uniform. We really scored in that department. Julia did great and I think she might have some skill when it comes to sports. She did well. But it was hilarious to watch how many of the girls would come to the sidelines upset and fling themselves to the ground in a fit of hysterics. Oh yeah, girls really are different from boys.

And then there is this little darling who is on the cusp of walking. Look at that little tush. She is just the cutest thing ever.

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