Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A bit of perspective...

Late last night as I was balancing our budget it quickly became clear that our recent bout with doctors offices, x-rays, stitches, shoes for five growing children, school supplies etc., has left our bank account looking a little more slim than we would like.

I woke up this morning feeling really sorry for myself. It felt like those plans for our dream house were taking far too long to materialize. How long is a girl supposed to happily feed an army in a kitchen that is barely wider than the span of her arms? Surely I have a right to whine just a little. I need a new kitchen and a bigger house to go with it, right?

About that time I got a phone call totally out of the blue from Felita Benally, Rustin's Indian placement sister. She lives in Chinle, AZ which is right in the center of Navajo Nation. She just called to say hello. We visited her home and her kids (5) when we lived in Page, AZ. Very humbling. She lives next to her grandma who speaks no English--only Navajo, as she weaves blankets for a living. The grandma, by the way, still asks (in Navajo) 'I wonder how big that little blue eyed girl is now?' (Jenna!).

As we visited about life in general, Felita told me she still lives in her little one room hogan. She has no running water and no indoor bathroom. I mean seriously. She heats her place with a coal stove. She has five children in a house not much bigger than my living room. She told me how she wishes she could have a sink full of dirty dishes because then she would have a sink. Not even a big fancy kitchen or a dishwasher. Just a sink with running water.

It was probably not a coincidence that I got that phone call this morning. Someone's watching out for me. I think I'll go wash my dishes.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to school

Today is the day. They are back in school. After we dropped everyone off (including Dallin with his crutches and cast), Ben and I went back home to a quiet house. Benson looked at me with his little pouty face.

"Everyone went to school 'cept me." Lip sticking way out and looking out from under his very dark lashes.
"Oh, but you get to be home with me today Ben," I told him.
"What should we do?"
"How about you help me make the beds?"
"How 'bout we play guys mom?"

Oh I think I miss those kids already!

Landon (L) and Dallin (R) (fifth grade) didn't want me to walk them to class this year. Hmmm. What do they think they're doing--growing up or something!

Austin always does really well with new classes. Big third grader this year. He is naturally likeable (we think!) Jenna didn't cry at all and she even said her name to her teacher without my help--a big step for her. I made sure the teacher knows she's a lefty so she can use her special scissors. She has two really good friends in her class so that's fun.

We had our signature banana chocolate chip waffles with buttermilk syrup. yum mm. And I must brag that I came up with this recipe all on my own. I will post it to the right. The syrup is from Lora Gibbons (I would put a link here Lora if you would get a blog!)

I also made very cute treat bags for the teachers (a little bribery never hurt!) I totally copied from my good friend Kari Holt. I can't believe I forgot the pictures but I did. You'll have to take my word for it.

I have to admit it is pretty quiet around here. We have lots of work to do (Ben and I) to get everything in desired order. This may take a while. I have been working on a plan though. In the mean time I'm enjoying the quiet!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to school picnic

We got a bunch of friends together for a FHE back to school pot luck dinner at Niagara Springs. I must say we make good food (see Grandma Cara's baked beans recipe at the right)! Landon missed out because he was sweating his guts out at football (more on that later).

We had a visit from a scavenging skunk which the kids loved.

My friend Kathleen and I found out we have matching blogs!

The kids played in the beautiful water. Again--We love Idaho!

I have mixed feelings about school. We are definately ready for a more structured schedule but I don't know if I am ready to lose my little helpers. Seriously, the boys have been a tremendous help this summer. It will be just Ben and me at home until lunch every day. I'm sure it will be busier than it sounds. Benson is not happy about being the only one not going to school. We'll see how it goes Monday morning.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Crunch and slice...

Our accident free streak has ended with a bang. We knew it was too good to be true. We hadn't even seen the inside of the emergency room here in Twin since our move, but alas, that has been thoroughly remedied. First Dallin then Jenna had ER worthy injuries--of course on Saturday and Sunday.

I must mention here that it was a mere 12 hours after we left our "room" (bed three in the hall way) that we were returned to the exact same non-room with Jenna. It's a good thing a new hospital is in the works!

We had Heidi (Rustin's sister) and Jim here with their 6 kids this weekend. We love to have them over. Our kids pick up and play like they never missed a beat. We took the four-wheelers up to the south hills to a beautiful little camp spot to ride for the afternoon. Dallin was riding with Landon. They went over a jump and Dallin slid off to the side. His right ankle got caught under the wheel of the four-wheeler and he broke the Talas bone in the center of his ankle (the bone that supports the tibia in the leg). For anyone who knows their fractures, it is called a Talar dome fracture. Man my anatomy terms are rusty!

Actually the bone is kind of crunched and wrinkled. So he is completely non-weight bearing for the next couple of weeks until we can see how things are going to heal up. If things heal just right he shouldn't have any future trouble but that will remain to be seen.

Now as for Jenna's activities:


Plus this

equals this

*P.S. Jenna insists I add more to the story.  The only reason Jenna cut her finger is because she tried to take the oh-so-sharp green knife away from Benson so he wouldn't cut himself and Benson tried to pull the knife away. What a sweet sis!*

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A couple more pics

A few more pictures (thanks to Ginger) from our rodeo days---

Family Memories

Aunt Vaughn and Aunt Virtue (the kids great-great aunts!)with us in Bloomington, Idaho

We went to a family reunion this last weekend. It was my grandfather's family--only two sisters remain. It was such a pretty little drive. I really loved seeing where my family settled. Who can't help love a valley with names like Frog Hollow, Paris and Bloomington?

Aunt Virtue read from her father's journal and for some reason it really struck home with me. I loved hearing about how he would help his wife (my great great grandmother) with the laundry by hauling and heating water for her. It made me realize that I come from a long line of people who loved and served and lived for their families. Even by doing the laundry. I've only met my great aunts a couple of times. I am glad I didn't miss an opportunity to talk with someone who know my grandfather and great grandfather personally. I wish I had talked to my own grandparents about their lives more often. I've missed my chance now, but my kids haven't.

Six of my Dad's nine brothers were at the reunion and they took the opportunity to sing for us. They are really amazing. No surprises there. I don't know how my grandparents raised 12 children who all play the piano and sing at the very least. Not one deviation in the group. And they did it on a teacher's salary in Rexburg. I think it must be genetic.

For those who didn't come--here's a little clip---

Dallin and Landon spent a few weeks in Franklin last week so we drove over and picked them up along with Sam on the way to the reunion. Rustin and Sam drove the four-wheelers over the mountain to Franklin Saturday afternoon. They only took about fifteen minutes longer then we did. It was a lot of fun.