Friday, December 26, 2008

'Twas the night...

An account (a bit late, what can I say...) of our Christmas... We hope yours was merry!

Twas the night before Christmas, the presents were wrapped,
Pa and I could not stop eating, all those sweet yummy snacks!,
The kids were all nestled with Christmas lights burning,
Dreaming, no doubt, of presents they were yearning.

For Austin a DS (Nintendo) was the gift that he sought,
For Landon the same, with not much other thought,
Dallin bought his own DS with his very own penny,
so this year a game--two or three would be plenty!

Benson's gift was all planned, he had his mom post it--
On a big cardboard sign so Santa could notice it.
"Santa please stop here" it said, "Benson wants Aragorn!",
"Make it the same size as Legolas", he made that clear for sure!
(of course this toy is discontinued...Amazon saved the day!)

Jenna's easy to please, just find something pink,
A barbie, a pony, and a bookshelf we think.
Mom and Dad want her healthy, nothing would please us more,
A bad case of pneumonia has her sleeping on our floor!
(antibiotics x2, steroids and nebulizers...)

For me the best Christmas was easy to see
It had nothing to do with the things on the tree.
Our cozy little house full of a girl and some boys,
Who love life and each other more than any amount of toys.

Christmas morning was nice, we slept in a bit more (7:30!)
Fresh bread and hot chocolate---we could not ask for more!
Afternoon was filled, with family and fun
Capture the flag in the snow, kept all on the run.

Seven siblings are all home, they have traveled many miles,
Mom and Dad are so gracious, they host all with their smiles,
Fifteen cousins are in heaven, with sleepovers and games,
Snowball fights are the favorite, not a soul can complain!

The holiday's not ever, Rustin's home for a week!
We have Austin's 9th birthday and Hatch party to seek.
We'll head down to Franklin, hope the roads are all clear,
We will surely all say, this has been a great year!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Look what I did!

This took at least 2000 hours because I was trying to learn how to use Photoshop. I'm sure there would have been a more efficient way but this is a start. I even figured out how to save it so I could put it on the web! Yea!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Heaven on Earth...

An ENTIRE day with my husband to myself. It was Rustin's birthday Monday and he took the whole day off work. He humored me in the morning and helped me get the house all spic and span (who can enjoy a day with a messy house?). Then we farmed the kids out to all their really great friends for the afternoon and evening (we had a babysitter at our house for bed time) and we headed to Boise.

We went shopping for ourselves, I mean the kids, and pretty much got all the gifts done. Except for my mom and dad. What do you give parents who have everything and to whom you owe everything?

We listened to great Christmas music and spent lots of time talking. My family met us at PF Chang's for dinner (so awesome)and then we headed over to The Christmas Sweater.

The show had a great message. Very inspiring. The main thing we took away is that though life can be very hard and we make mistakes, our challenge is to face the storms head on and have faith that we can overcome with the help of the Savior.

I was particularly impressed with the film they showed about Jon Huntsman during the intermission. He is a billionaire who has managed to keep himself grounded and righteous. He lived in a 600 sq. foot house with cardboard walls as a boy. He remembers having only one shirt to wear to school and he remembers the other kids making fun of him. He was once facing bankruptcy and he mortgaged everything he had so he could still donate to the charities who were counting on him. I find that really amazing. He does so much good in the world. And he says his goal is to die broke. I love it.

We are happy and busy here. I have to teach my first relief society lesson Sunday which makes me nervous. We are also in the final stages of preparing for the Christmas program. Which makes me even more nervous.

Rustin had one of his home teaching husbands die this week. He has taught them for years and was with them when the wife was baptized and when they went to the temple to be sealed. They didn't have children. He died of complications from a ruptured appendix. He had been to the doctor the day before he died (after having been in intensive care for almost two weeks). The funeral was really simple and very touching. Surprising how much peace we can have even when things are very difficult. We still have a lot to learn!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Just to catch up...

Christmas is in full swing around here. We put up our tree the minute we got home from Thanksgiving. We had a blast over Thanksgiving down in Franklin. All six original Hatch kids were home with their families---that is 13 adults and 18 grandkids with another on the way. The big boys slept out in the trailor with their cousins and had a ball. Rustin and I feel really lucky to have cousins for our kids on both sides of the family that are really great. It makes it so much fun to go home.

Loalee did a great job of assigning out most of the meals so it all went pretty smoothly. The really amazing thing--there aren't any strained relationships between anyone in the family. Not even a little bit. We didn't even have any fighting between kids (at least not beyond the usual scrabble for the favorite toy of the day!). Grandpa Hatch got up at 5 in the morning on Thanksgiving to make sure that each and every one of the grand kids could have their own awesome handmade sword.

We also went up the canyon and cut a Christmas tree. We've done this every year for quite a while now. There wasn't any snow this year. Sometimes we have gone up in a blizzard (which the kids love!). I don't have any pictures because I still can't find my charger for the battery. Ugg. And that image of Sam walking down the path with only his head and a giant tree bobbing along is priceless.

Loalee and I made some really great fresh wreaths. All of the girls went to a craft fair in Logan. Very fun. I didn't do one single bit of shopping on Friday morning. Which was actually very nice. Rustin left us on Friday and went to Boise for the BSU football game with Tom and Jeremy. They had a blast.

We attempted to get a few holiday pictures today. As usual it will take a bit of photoshopping to get it right. I may have a nervous breakdown trying to get the software to do what I want. I really need to take a class one of these days!

Benson just came in and told me there is a party in his stomach. And he told the water left in his glass that it wasn't invited to the party. Where did that come from? He also came up to me last week and said--"Mom, is Disney World where dreams really do come true?" Those darn commercials... I told him that home is where dreams really come true. Someday we'll get these kids to Disneyland though.

Tomorrow is Rustin's birthday and we are headed to Boise for the day. I can't wait. In the mean time we are enjoying the sweet spirit of the holidays. I am determined to keep Prisident Monson's advice to "Keep Christmas not spend it."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankfulness remembered

Years ago in Memphis we had three small busy boys (5,5,almost 3). We also had a really great babysitter. Amanda Slauson. One Thanksgiving while babysitting she had the boys make this list of things they were thankful for. We keep it in Rustin's journal.

In case you can't read it here are a couple favorites:

#14--being able to go to the park
#15--being able to climb really big dirt hills
#16 When Landon fell down the dirt hills at the park he didn't die (seriously that was a minor miracle--very high and steep dirt hills!)

#19--not having to walk to school (Dallin)
#20 Not missing the bus (Landon)
#21--missing the bus because then we get to ride with Mommy and Daddy (Dallin)

#23--that we have arms
#25--"that the pioneers could make it"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

perfect November

We have had the prefect fall weather around here. There is frost on the windows in the morning but it has been in the sixties every day this week. Yesterday I took the kids down to Shoshone falls park with our good friends the McCurdys. There is actually a lot of water right now. The boys had fun playing mountain goat up all the steep side trails. Then they all played tag.

In other not so exciting happenings: I made a new job chart that the kids are doing really well with. It kills two birds with one stone--they all get their own Christmas money (we like them to spend their own money) and we get all the jobs done. As soon as I get my camera charged up I will have to take a pic so I can remember it!

We also moved ALL the toys downstairs at the kids request so they can keep their rooms clean more easily. I have a feeling that this may be death to the tidiness of the family room but we'll hope for the best.

Jenna's doing great with violin. Benson not so much. He likes the rhythms but doesn't like the actual violin practice(very squeaky!). He still hasn't figured out the potty either. As he says--we just keep trying (Help!)!

The boys and I just finished reading "The Fire of the Covenant" about the handcart companies. It had us all in tears and was a really inspiring story. We just started a new series about the Nephites at the time of Samuel the Lamenite. So far so good... I'm still working on getting everything in the house organized and I can't wait to go see Twilight on Friday for my mom's birthday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Veterans Day etc.

We went to my dad's symphony concert last night. I love small town symphonies. It really was one of their best concerts that I've been to. They played a medley at the beginning that included the theme songs of each of the branches of service and they invited the veterans present to stand during their branch. For some reason it almost moved me to tears. So many old wrinkled faces along side the young ones. And of course seeing my dad stand always brings back a lot of childhood memories. I am really grateful for the memories I have of the military. Big thanks to Mom and Dad. The music was beautiful, the kids did great (Dallin, Austin and Jenna) and we were uplifted. A great night. And happy birthday to Kenj. And Dad today. And Bro A a couple of days ago.

Speaking of Brother A., I took my activity girls out to his house last Thursday to rake leaves. He told me when I got there that he didn't really need their help that much because he could use his lawn mower to blow the leaves. I told him that we really weren't there because his leaves needed raked--we were there because some girls needed to rake leaves. I think he needed us more than he knows. I used the blower to blow a couple of decades of spider webs off the windows. You can thank me later Beck. We seriously need to have a family service project out there in the spring and we need to do some cleaning. I think it would be fun. He sure is spry and fun for what 85? Who's counting!

The kids are doing well. We have had a few rough Sundays (they actually made me cry two weeks ago...)but I am determined to get on top of this and make it a really nice day of worship. Any ideas are totally welcome! Mostly, how do I keep wiggly kids still (not the four-year-old,the eight-year-old) and how do you separate them when there's only one parent? And I'm trying to get a good traditional Christmas choir concert for Sac meeting if anyone has any ideas I could use those too.

We don't have any pictures lately because I can't find the charger for my camera. It will turn up one of these days. In the mean time we can't wait for Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I love talent in the family...

I don't have a gift for art but fortunately for our children Rustin and his family do. Darren and Loalee came over last week for a visit. It is always fun to have them over. We watched their dog Clancy for a week which was also fun. They are always working on a hobby of some sort. Porcelain dolls, wood projects, toll painting etc. Right now Loalee is scrap booking and Darren is making beautiful natural wreaths. I got to swipe a few decorations from the Halloween box last year so it looks like we have some creative ability at our house. I think it's great.

This is one of the first projects I ever made. Rustin and I were just married and we went to the old house in Franklin to visit. We were sitting on the couch and Loalee just said "lets make a project." So Darren cut it out and we painted and finished the whole thing. It's a very fond memory.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Silver lining

*I better qualify these comments. They are just my own personal thoughts. I wrote them down so I can remember them. I'm sure Rustin would have entirely different points if he were writing. He is much more politically minded than I am. But he doesn't have a blog...:)**

I lay in bed last night thinking of all the reasons I would tell people I didn't vote for Barak Obama. And all the reasons I was shocked to realize many I know and love did vote for Obama. My mind rambled from Obama's blatant disregard for the laws of God in regard to abortion (he voted for partial birth abortions--he was even more liberal on this subject than Ted Kennedy--what does that say!) and his support of same sex marriage, to his theory of redistribution of wealth and his statement on Monday that he would "tax all the coal mines into bankruptcy." Does he have any idea what that would do to an already destitute Navajo Nation not to mention the power shortages that his precious Hollywood celebrities will experience?

I wouldn't say that McCain was a good choice either, but the fact that this president will likely nominate three or four supreme court justices and cute little Sarah Palin, were enough to tip the scales to the republican side of the issue for us. I knew Obama would win but I, could not, in good conscience, vote for such far left ideals as possessed by Obama. I was distressed to find that some of my friends didn't see things from my perspective.

However, this morning I woke up and watched a minute of the morning news coverage and I saw the crowds and crowds of crying celebrating people--both black and white--and I realized that there may yet be some good come out of all this.

One of the saddest things that I realized in Memphis was that there was an entire culture of people who were cheating themselves out of success because they thought they lived in an unfairly balanced world that could never be overcome. But as I watched Obama today, I realized that there are no more excuses. Maybe this is just what the struggling black families of the inner city areas need to see. There aren't any excuses for failing. Anything is possible no matter what your skin color. There is no excuse for ignorance and lack of self control. There's no one to blame. Maybe we'll see more people get out there and be the parents that the last generation didn't know how to be.

I also had some insight into Obama's thinking a little bit. Dallin is doing a project about Robert E. Lee from the confederacy. I have learned a lot about that man. He really was a good man who fought for the "wrong" side because he couldn't bare to raise his arm against his family and home. For many in the south, the war was not about slavery but about state's rights. The southern states thought they had the right to do whatever they wanted without interference from the government.

The problem was that there are limits to rights. Life and liberty for all being foremost of those limits. Slavery crossed the line. It had to be stopped. Obama is from a group that really has no tolerance for anyone taking away individual rights. I can understand why. However, I think they take it too far (life and liberty) when they completely support really radical versions of abortion (like leaving a breathing infant in a linen closet to die after a partial birth abortion, as testified by a nurse to congress). To me, some abortion issues are obviously clear cut. Others not so much. But I think I understand where the thinking is coming from. The issues are complicated and extremely complex. How is it that some will go to the ends of the earth to allow a gruesome abortion but won't let people buy the weapons of their own choice. hmmm. Some debates are looming. But I can at least see some purpose in some of the reasoning. That makes me understand Obama---and maybe even like him. Well maybe not like, but tolerate. Just a little tiny bit.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bail out...

Yesterday was one of those Sundays when the kids are all wrestling and fighting and begging us to take them somewhere (usually grandpa's house). I had already spent the morning wrestling with kids (not one of our stellar before-church mornings...) and then wrestling the kids through Sacrament meeting (hoping they wouldn't break anything while I was up leading the choir in a musical number) and then I finished off the three hour block wrestling a class of 7 sunbeams including six rowdy boys. When I say wrestling I mean that quite literally.

Rustin had been at meetings and home teaching since 6 am so he was ready to stay home too. This is one thing that makes him great. Rustin spent an hour and a half playing with the and cold, alligator, hide and seek, Simon says and anything else they wanted. I can't say how much I appreciate him. He doesn't just show them what to play he completely plays with them which makes all the difference.

On a really great note--we have an oven! We have been eating every baked good we can think of. Cookies, muffins, potatoes, German pancakes... The kids all requested pot pie for dinner tonight. I think we might eat only things baked in the oven for the next few weeks!

This week I didn't get the office organized, but I did get everything cleaned and painted and organized and put away in the kitchen. Rustin also cut some shelves for the bathroom closet which is really helping to organize that room. I think the rest of this week will mostly be filled with Halloween stuff. Which is fun. I have been sticking to my resolution to have the kitchen, front room, hallway and kids rooms cleaned and vacuumed by 10 every day. It feels good. I'll have to add laundry to the list one of these days...

All right, Benson is begging me to play 'monster' so I will better get going. By the way--this boy will never be potty trained. He does rinse out his own underwear and climb into the tub by himself. Does that count? I am completely drained of ideas and I feel like a total failure. But I keep reminding myself that there some things I can't control and a four year-old's sphincter muscles fit into that category. Right? On a positive note, he does seem to be finally able to tell the twins apart. Up until now he has been calling them "the guy with the broken leg" or "broken arm" or on a bad day just "that brother". We find that weird and rather baffling. We've never even had to tell the other kids who their brothers are. Someday we'll figure this little one out...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ahhh Fall...

We finally got that Fall weather that we have been hoping for. We had a beautiful 60-70's day today. We cleaned up all the flower beds and garden and planted some tulips and crocus.

Landon had his final game today. His team ended up third. It was nice to watch in sunglasses instead of gloves and snow boots like last week! The teams that got first and second place were the only teams that scored on them all season. The games that they played against the two teams that beat them were both really close and hard fought. It was fun to watch.

Benson is healing well. He really doesn't tell me when his throat hurts but he occasionally melts down and has to be rocked in the "rock-a-bye." A little Tylenol does the trick. He's still scared to eat crackers because he tried it once when his throat was sore and now he thinks it will always hurt.

Dallin is trying really hard not to walk with a limp but his right leg is still very weak. He's hoping to recover in time for basketball.

Landon still has his cast on. We (mostly me) are tired of doing fifth grade homework. He usually has figured out all the answers so we just have to write them down for him. He will be really glad to get the cast off so all the raw blisters can heal.

Rustin has been assigned to a different ward for high council which means we don't see him at all on Sundays. We are trying to adjust to that. I think it will be much easier when I have both of my big helpers available in the morning again. Dallin's getting better but we still miss Landon's help.

As for me--I still don't have an oven. We are tired of eating uncooked cookie dough. Maybe in the next week... I have big plans for organizing my desk/office space. Hopefully I'll get to that this week too. And I definately plan to enjoy the beautiful Fall weather.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sister's sister's sister...

This morning has been one of those slightly grumpy feel-sorry-for-myself mornings. I thought it would do me some good to count my blessings and look to those who inspire me.

One of the first to come to mind is my sister's sister's sister Stephanie Nielsen (Nie Nie) You should REALLY check out this blog!). She is Becki's sis-in-law's (Courtney) sister. She and her husband were in a terrible plane crash about two months ago. They are both in the hospital and Stephanie was burned over 80% of her body and is fighting for her life. They have four small children who are living with Courtney and Chris.

I have been a long time reader of Courtney's (cJane) blog so I have been following this experience for their family. For some reason I feel like this experience is for me. Not literally, but the outpouring of peace and encouragement I feel through reading Courtney's accounts are my own personal life raft. It makes me want to be a little better prepared and to make sure I am really sucking the life out of every single moment. It's made me a little better person. I continue to pray for them all.

***A little side note here--if any of you have read cJane's blog you will know that Nie Nie's family found her house perfectly organized and prepared down to the fresh fruits and veggies in the fridge. Juli and I both signed a pact with each other saying that if anything every happens to either one of us, we will clean each others house spotless and tell everyone that our sister had perfectly prepared her family.***

The second inspiration I'm going to think of this morning is my sister. All of my sisters really do great things that are inspiring but today I'm thinking of Juli. A couple of weeks ago she ran a marathon. This came after months and months of preparation. She beat medical odds to get her body healthy and she accomplished a really hard task by working on it a little at a time.

She ran with last few miles with her husband Shon by her side which I think is terribly sweet. After listening to the accounts I don't think there is such a thing as a half marathon. The reason a marathon is such an accomplishment is because of the last human-limitation-defying miles. From about 22 miles on I hear is really past what a normal body can endure. Juli did it and I am really inspired by her accomplishments. One of the most inspiring posts for me from Juli is HERE.

So, in summary I am going to spend my day enjoying the things I can do. I will sit and rock my sore-throat-ed four year old and enjoy the moment. I will not allow myself to get overwhelmed with the vast number of unpleasant tasks awaiting me today. Much thanks to my sisters.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Surgery day--Again.

Silly Benson before the surgery

Benson had his tonsils and adenoids removed yesterday. Because he was one of the youngest, he went early--about 8 o'clock. It only took about 45 minutes total. When he came back he really didn't cry much at all. He wanted me to hold him the whole time and he whined a little because of the numb feeling in his throat but he really was easy to handle. The doctor said his tonsils were huge and gross but his adenoids weren't as bad as they expected.

The surgery center was great. They waited until he was asleep to but in the IV and then they put it in his foot so it wouldn't bug him. They let him wear his superman jammies in the surgery. We were able to wait in his room the whole time and they brought him right back to us. It was really nice.

When we first got home I thought we had totally gotten off easy. He was happy and smiley and wanted to eat ramen noodles. It wasn't until about 2:30 that the numbness wore off and then he was one sad and sore little boy. So I pretty much held him the rest of the day. He would doze off to sleep and accidentally swallow and then cry. Poor kid. We had given him some Motrin earlier in the morning and I finally figured out that it only lasts 6 hours at the most. We'll do better on that in the next few days. Our really great friends brought us dinner which was really nice. We're totally spoiled!

Last night I got up and gave him some medicine at about 5 1/2 hours so he could sleep and so that he could swallow the medicine before the pain relief wore off. He did really well. He wouldn't sleep in my room and I knew Austin wouldn't wake up if he was crying so Landon switched with Austin and slept with Ben. Dallin is going to sleep with him tonight.

He still has his signature horrible thick green runny nose. We have started some antibiotics but he woke up with a raging fever today. His throat doesn't seem to hurt too badly unless the Motrin wears off. We'll keep giving the antibiotics and then see how he's doing with the fever tomorrow. I need to get a new thermometer. And I think I could use some sleep.

A great class!

Dallin's fifth grade class made him this awesome poster. His teacher came to the house to deliver it. What a great group!

His ankle is feeling good and he is starting to walk on it a little more. It's tough after two full months! We'll check in with the doctor latter this week to make sure all is well.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Surgery Day

Dallin had his surgery on his ankle today. Our first doctor sent us to an orthopedic specialist for a secondary opinion. The ortho guy said that he had never seen an injury like Dallin's that didn't have the cartilage broken (If there's enough force to break the bone then...) He said that they would need to scope the ankle and remove the bone fragments and drill into the bone so it could form scar tissue to support the cartilage.

After six weeks of crutches we were hopeful that things would go well. They did. When they got into his ankle today they found that the cartilage was completely firmly attached to the bone! There is still a 1 mm difference between the injury site and the surrounding cartilage but they said that an 11 year old has a good chance to have that smooth out. The doctor wasn't sure how the healing took place (maybe the crutches for six weeks?). We know we had some blessings from above!

So, no bone drilling and Dallin can work on walking on his foot. They did have to free up a tendon that was trapped out of place (or something like that) so it wouldn't rub on the bone. Other than that things went well.

The worst part was probably for me. They sent us to the wrong recovery room so we sat waiting and worrying for Dallin for 20-30 minutes. He was next door. AHH. He was in tears when we found him. That was torture. I wasn't there when he needed me.

I think I may be one of those really pushy moms when Benson has his surgery on Monday. I was a nurse long enough to know that things like this just happen and no harm was done but I certainly don't want my four-year-old waking up alone.

We are looking forward to a couple days off school for teacher work days the next couple of days. Hopefully the kitchen will get done as well!

Benson's day

Yesterday was Benson's fourth birthday. We had a great day. He wanted doughnuts at preschool and a cake with star wars guys on top. I didn't get pictures of that because my camera battery died. My mom made that cake at her house (we still don't have an oven--thanks mom) and Benson loved it. Dad (and fam) came over and helped Rustin give Dallin a blessing for his surgery the next day. That was really nice and comforting.

I also made Benson a cute blanket (again at my mom's house because my sewing machine died!). It has very soft brown furry material on one side and it's slicky with his name on the other. I will have to finish tying it over conference.

Here are a few things that are unique about Benson:

*Benson has had a runny nose for at least a year and a half. Really yucky looking nose. We've had weeks (and weeks) of antibiotics (which work great but can't seem to hold off an infection for more than a week) and a couple of strep infections. Thus--Monday morning he is having tonsils and adenoids removed!

*He has never slept by himself. When the surgery center called to ask if he has a comfort item that he sleeps with I said "yes, his brother Austin".

*He has the most delightful laugh ever. Seriously. He and Jenna were playing the other day and he was giggling and I heard Jenna say to herself "I love it when he laughs."

*We think Benson was blessed with the gift of originality (survival for the youngest of five for sure!). He defies everything we know about parenting. None of the 'rules' apply to this little personality. We pray for inspiration constantly.

*Benson loves to rock-a-bye when he's sad but he also has times when he wants NO comforting whatsoever. We just have to give him his space. Of course I love it when he wants to rock with his little arms clasped behind my shoulders...

*He is currently the thinnest and speediest of the five hatch kids. Very cute.

*Even the big boys enjoy playing with Benson. He has a very fun little imagination.

Overall, our lives certainly wouldn't be the same without little Ben. We are so grateful we have him and although I hate seeing things change I know the future will get better and better.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bubble wrap anyone?

We spent another night in the ER. Our poor Landon left football practice half an hour early to go to the end of his good friend's birthday party. As he bounced down one of the giant slides he somehow hit his hand and snapped the bone right behind his pointer finger knuckle. The doctor was sure it had cracked right through the growth plate, but on follow up x-rays it looks like it missed it by a hair. phew.

I was feeling very optimistic as we walked back into the treatment area and we could see that the familiar "bed three" in the hallway was occupied. We ended up in bed four instead. Dang. The doctor on call was the same doctor that's treating Dallin's leg. He offered to bubble wrap our remaining uninjured children!

We did get to move into a room when it was time to set the bone. We joked that our frequent flier miles finally kicked in and we got an upgrade to an actual room. It was extremely painful (for both Landon and me!) to get the hand numbed up enough to set the bone but Landon handled it like a champ (I had to leave the comforting to Rustin). Such a really great kid.

Landon's hand was hugely swollen so he has to wait a week to get a cast on. He can play once we get a cast if we just wrap it up. Land was glad about that.

In other news: the kitchen is still a construction zone (driving me nuts), Jenna started violin lessons (Benson tags along with her and does really well), everyone else is happy and healthy. Rustin and I spent Thursday-Saturday at an optometry convention in Idaho Falls. I spent two great days reading and relaxing. We both loved it. It was a true vacation. Who needs Hawaii? (At least that's what we tell ourselves:) Thanks Mom and Dad (and Tom) for the help with the kids.

The weather is definitely fall-ish. I got our first (and probably last) tomato from the garden. It was delicious. Now we will work our way through apples and peaches and corn. I love Fall!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Landon Football

Landon is number 2 and is a left tackle and a defensive lineman (did I get that right?)

Landon is playing his first year of tackle football. This has been anticipated (and practiced) since toddler-hood. Of course Rustin had NOOOO part to play in that line of thinking...

Dallin is missing this season with his cast. His coaches said they were totally looking forward to having bookends on the line. Bummer...

Rustin and I were both really surprised at the intensity of the practices this year--2 1/2 hours to 3 hours every day. They work until they are dripping with sweat and they run until they can barely put one foot in front of the other. Then they do it just one more time. I have seen Landon reach down in himself and do that one more push up when I could see that he was almost past his breaking point.

I guess this is why people play sports. This is where character development starts. I can see that really working hard is an important skill to develop. I kills me to watch though. The linemen always have to stay and work for an extra twenty minutes when they are already about to tears. ("The line is the engine of the team...") I know in the long run it will pay off whether they win or not.

Landon has Osgood-Schlatter disease in his knees. It basically occurs in a rapidly growing kid and it involves a painful bony growth at the very top of the shin bone. We were told he wouldn't get better if he didn't rest the leg but he really really wanted to play. So we have been doing some exercises given to us by the physical therapist (and a lot of ibuprofen) and quite a few prayers and he seems to be doing better now than he was at the beginning of the season. They have their first big game tomorrow so we'll have to write about that later.

Benson puts on the pads and jersey every chance he gets. He steals it out from its hiding spot under Landon's bed.

He said to me in the car "Mom, I'm going to be the guy that runs." He has obviously been listening to his dad and brothers talk about positions. He already labels himself as a runner--which he seems to be. He is made out of a different mold from the other boys. We can't wait to see how he grows. One of the joys of being parents.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Smash is married!

We had the big day yesterday. It was as much fun as we hoped. Ashlee and Trevor Thomas were married here in Twin Falls. All seven original Patterson kids were home for the occasion. That was really a treat. I don't know how my parents raised seven kids who are happy and well adjusted and who love each other. They did.

Ash picked the perfect match for her and he can hang right in there with the rest of the fam. What a relief. Six down and only one to go. (no pressure there Tom...)

Juli and Shon stayed here at our house with their five kids (which our kids thought was as good as Christmas--seriously!). We had a blast and I loved having them here.

My mom and dad got through the event (barely) without having any nervous breakdowns.

Emily-the party planner-(aka Spencer's wife, have I mentioned how much we love this girl?) kept all the details rolling the day before. I was the designated baby sitter. Juli, Becki and Kendra (and of course Dad) were the workers. Ashlee was a gem. Honestly. She was so laid back. She just wanted to be married and didn't really worry about all the details. All brides should be like her. She even made her own cake (and was delighted to show up all of us skeptics!).

Abby hiding out in the apple tree with a treat

The lawn was beautiful. Mom and dad spent most of the summer getting everything just right. We all helped with weeding and raking and apple picking. It was sooo nice to have the wedding in our very own temple. The reception was perfect as well. The kids could run up and down the hill as much as they wanted and when they were tired we put them inside with a movie.

We had dozens of white roses (which are now making my house smell lovely!)

We even had golf carts to drive people to their cars (which was the hot spot for the brothers to hang out).

Trevor's family was also really great. They jumped right in and helped with all the little last minute work. We had everything packed up and cleaned in less than an hour. We are really happy to be indirectly joined to a great group of people.

Of course the best part was the actual wedding ceremony in the temple. The sealing room is beautiful and peaceful. Because the temple is a medium sized temple, there isn't a chapel so we all got to wait for the ceremony to begin in the very large sealing room. It was so peaceful. The ceremony was also very peaceful and well done. It was really a great day.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What's Labor Day anyway?

We got home from our camping trip on Saturday, so that gave us Monday to unpack and clean up. The kids were glad when we reminded them it was a holiday and they didn't have school. They asked us what we were going to do for fun. We reminded them it is called Labor day for a reason. (They were thrilled about that):)

We got a lot done. We cleaned up all the summer remnants on the back porch and lawn. We also moved furniture and dusted floorboards and walls and we organized and cleaned out shoes and washed the sheets and blankets.

Fortunately for the boys, Uncle Tom came to the rescue and took them to the fair on Monday afternoon. They of course had a blast. Jenna and Benson were pacified when we took them to the video store and let them pick out any movie they wanted (Barbie Mariposa and Superheros). It will be good to get back to a schedule again on Tuesday. The main project this week will be to help my mom and Ashlee get ready for the wedding on Saturday. Yea!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Last day of summer

Austin fishing in the Sawtooth mountains

We had a long weekend this weekend. The kids were out of school on Friday and Monday so Rustin took Friday off and we loaded up Thursday afternoon and went camping. This is the first time since we've had kids that we went camping by ourselves without any other friends or family.

We wanted to go somewhere we had never been. Alaska and the Oregon coast were a little out of our league (this time) so we headed up past Stanley (north of Sun Valley). We took my parents' trailer AND our four wheelers. It was a little tricky to back the massive line of vehicles but Rustin did great.

We found the perfect campsite right on Marsh Creek. The water was shallow enough for the little ones. The kids had fun fishing. It was beautiful.

Benson and Dallin fishing. Dal did great 'cross-country' with his crutches.

Landon braving the creek water.

Austin in the f-f-freezing water!

We had good food. For future reference the tinfoil dinners were the biggest hit. I could have brought a lot more. And the popcorn was great.

It got really cold at night but we were great in the trailer. Benson and Dallin slept in the tent the second night. We put hot rocks in their sleeping bags and they were toasty warm.

We asked everyone their favorite thing about the trip---

Benson--sticky marshmallows
Jenna "The longest four-wheeler ride" (Rustin took all the kids for about two hours)
Austin---Popcorn cooked over the fire
Landon--Going on a long ride with Dad and Dallin
Dallin--Sleeping in the tent alone with Benson
Kim--Having everyone sleep in until 9:30 in the morning! (and reading an entire book uninterrupted!)
Rustin--Looking at the bright stars with Mommy
Molly--absolute beagle heaven with all the room to run and sniff that she could imagine

I took the little kids on a nature walk while Rustin and the twins went for a long ride. I let them each take control of the camera for a while. Here's some of what we got:

We ended the trip home with a beautiful sunset. The weather turned cold the day after we left so we had perfect timing. Definitely a great end to the summer!