Friday, August 31, 2012

The Grand Finale

 Our last day of summer vacation was a fun day.  My nephew Kash had his birthday that day and they invited us to bear world with them.  It is right down the road from us and I had never been there before.  Let me just tell you, it DID NOT disappoint! Actually I was surprised at how much fun it was.  There were bears everywhere and sadly the only pictures I have of them are on my phone which Kallie took.  But seriously it was awesome.  We drove through the park, saw the animals and then went to the petting zoo.  There were baby deer there that were so cute and the kids had a blast.  Our ticket also included the rides and we were about the only ones there so the kids went wild.  My mom manned my camera and took some great pictures (as great as my junky camera will allow)! I was just happy to get to spend the day with my kids and my sisters!

 Hagen struggles with the heat and the sun, he was pretty somber the whole day but still had a good time.  He loves animals and even went on a few rides.  I am so happy to report that he will now leave his sunglasses on which creates a much happier baby!

I didn't realize how much shorter I am than my sisters until I saw this picture! I love these two and I really never thought I would say that!
 Oh the posing! I wonder if we will ever outgrow this phase??

 Favorite picture of the day below!! If you could only see how small those little cars were!! Ha Ha!
And just like that our summer had slipped away from us for another year!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I had a panic attack last weekend when I realized that school starts NEXT week!! Where did our summer go?  We have not had near enough structured play days.  And when I say structured I mean; I want picnics, four wheeler and horse rides and excursions to the dunes.  We haven't done any of those things yet, so now we cram!! There's always got to be one last swimming activity, one last four wheeler ride and at least one trip to the dunes before we are doomed to bedtimes and schedules for another nine months!
 So when my friend wanted us to join in a water day, we jumped at the chance.  To make it even better, it was a backyard relax party.  No crowded pools, and no paying to swim. Just a bunch of kids, a canal and a blowup water slide. It was especially fantastic because the babies did a lot of this!

 Saturday afternoon we decided to take the kids on a four wheeler ride to Packsaddle Lake.  At the last minute Grandma and Grandpa Crapo joined us to make it that much funner.  This is truly the only activity that we can ALL enjoy at the moment.  Reason being; Hagen LOVES the four wheeler and brings me my shoes and tuggs at my finger multiple times a day to take him for a ride.  Basically any other activity involves me chasing him all over the place and him throwing a fit or two.  The four wheeler is the only place we can both thoroughly enjoy!
 It was a lovely ride, and an easy trail until the last 1/4 mile where it was straight downhill with lots of rocks but we made it.  Grandpa was pretty nervous about how we were going to get out, but then again he worries a lot.  The Lake was beautiful and the water was pretty warm, we noticed a rope swing some college kids play on and we are hoping to back another time to try that out. 
 After we washed up in the lake and snapped a few pictures, Grandpa was antsy to get up that hill.  He was afraid some of us were going to have to walk, but we made it and it didn't seem as bad going out as coming in. 

 Hagen zonked out on our way back and Grandma and Kallie wanted to go eat. I had to take a picture of Grandma and show her how dirty she was because she didn't believe me that we were all way too dirty to go anywhere! She was a little shocked when she saw herself, so we just ended the evening with homemade fries at their house!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cougar Pride

Recently I have been consumed with thoughts of our schools and more personally my kids' education.  I know that this is a very sensitive matter and that is exactly why I want to address it.  This is part of my new blog resolve; to write things that matter to me so that my kids can know how their mother felt about life's issues. 

We have a wonderful community here, we have so many great caring people that work their little tails off to make things good.  I personally attended school here and while I agree that I probably have a biased opinion and that maybe I would be a bit more "educated" had I ventured out of good ole St. Anthony at some point, I think it's a pretty great place to be. 

While I realize that we have many concerning issues in our school district, I don't for a second believe that we can't fix those problems or that our kids can't get a great education here. I have been told (more than once) that I am young and naive and that my kids aren't old enough for me to see the problems.  I agree, I am young and possibly naive, but THANK YOU for the compliment. I will always be ten years younger and dumber to some!

I believe that as long as I am a proactive parent, I can assure my kids that they will get the education that they need.  I want my kids to be confident that as their mother I will be at their side every step of the way, but I also want my kids to learn to deal with what they've been handed in life.  I want them to face challenges head on and to be confident that they can do and be whatever they want. 

I realize my kids are young, and I plan to follow my mother's advice to "never say never" but for now I plan to teach my kids what I feel are the most important things. Those are; work hard, take responsibility, be your best self, and blossom where you are planted.  I want my kids to know that I believe we were planted right here in Parker Idaho for a reason.  I don't desire for my kids to be amazing athletes, world class musicians, or Albert Einstein geniuses. I do desire and expect for them to be good citizens, hard workers, and faithful servants of their Heavenly Father; and that my friends can be accomplished right where we are.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ranch Hands

I spent a decent chunk of my childhood (probably not as much as I think) helping with farm and ranch work.  I learned a lot of valuable lessons doing things like moving pipe, hauling hay, moving cows and lots of feeding.  Lessons that are deeply imbedded into my brain such as; if you use vulgar lanuage then the cows respond to you better or if you kick the pipe it is sure to come unhooked a little easier.  I am pretty sure the only time my dad lost his temper with us kids is when we were moving cows and we didn't block our gate good enough or something like that. I learned to make myself scarce when I knew the cows needed moved.  I also learned that if we listened on the other side of the barn door when my dad milked we could hear him sing and talk to himself. I learned that it is possible to survive hours at a time of stifling heat in a tractor with no air conditioning while baling hay.  Most importantly I learned that I wanted my kids to have some of these same "miserable' experiences as me because it builds character!

 Both Kallie and Cole have really taken to the horse riding this summer.  Cole has always loved it, but Kallie is just now finding the confidence to enjoy it as well.  I was excited for them when Weston took them to help move cows in the forest.  (Not excited enough to go myself I might add)  They had a great time and were excited to ride their own horses and "help" with the cows.  Weston later told me that Kallie's horse actually crow hopped a little with her but she made her do what she wanted and was just fine.  Their cousin Wyatt also went along and he too has decided just this summer that the horses are pretty fun.  We are pretty lucky to have a VERY PATIENT cowboy who allowed all these novice ranch hands to tagg along.  His comment to me was "We gotta train us a new set of cowboys or we are really going to be in trouble in a few years!" Cole tells me regularly that he is going to be a cowboy when he grows up and when I ask him how he is going to feed his family by doing that he tells me he might rent a couple of pivots to farm too! He hasn't changed his mind about being a cowboy in five years and I don't suspect he will.

While the little family farm I grew up on compares in no way to the ranching and farming business of Weston's family; I am grateful nonetheless that my kids will get to experience a lot of work.  Even if they drive tractors with air conditioning and their is no pipe to move, there is still a lot of opportunities to learn responsibility and hard work.  In my opinion all the education in the world can't teach that!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Let's be Honest

So here is the thing, I really like to blog. I like to record the things that happen in our family and to make a record for future posterity.  I do it for me, not in anticipation of people leaving nice comments.  The reality of it is, I don't get many comments and that is perfectly fine with me.  I do however have a fair number of hits each month on here and I am always curious about who is peeking in and what they think of my family. (Not that that in any way changes what I write.) I have strongly considered making my blog private, but I have made some really great connections with people through it.  Most importantly; people who have children with Ocular Albinism.  Hagen's condition is not seriously life threatening or anything, but it is rare and information on it is limited.  Every case is so different and it has been comforting to talk to others and follow the progress that their kids are making.  I in turn feel it would be selfish to not allow others to do the same with me.  So here we are.

Having said that, I have been reading through some of my older posts and I have to say I have been bored to tears.  My kids and grandkids are not going to want to read about how we went to the park, went down the slide once and the did the swings twice. Then had a nice red popsicle and came home.  They are going to enjoy much more hearing about how I actually feel about going to the park. (which is bored:) I am going to try really hard to start writing my posts with more depth and feeling and not so much boring fluff.  With that I want to begin my new resolve with a little honesty, because what I really don't want is my kids to read this later in life and think, "our mom is such a liar, what she wrote about was the few and far between moments of pure bliss"

I have always thought it would be so refreshing to read a blog that talked about EVERYTHING that went on in a home full of kids. Not just the rainbow and butterfly moments.  So here goes...If you don't like it, don't read it!

If we're being honest, here are some of the things that really happen in our home;

 Hagen does a lot of this.  He is throwing a major fit because I wouldn't let him eat a marker.  I had already fed the kid Lucky Charms for breakfast (I know, who does that right?). I figured let's just eat one unhealthy thing at a time.  I would also like to point out the disastrous mess on the floor. (This picture actually does it no justice at all) I am by NO means an impecable housekeeper.  I wouldn't consider myself a complete slob, but our home is definately LIVED IN.

My kids fight, and hurt each other. My seven year old can throw a wicked awful fit.

 I yell A LOT, which I am not proud of but I am really working on quitting.  Some days I amaze myself with my temper.

  My kids haven't read much at all this summer, I am a total slacker. They play from sun up to sun down and sleep a little in between.  Hagen's vision therapist called to make an appointment and wanted to know when his nap time was, I didn't know what to tell her because we are just so sporadic right now. 

Sometimes when the kids whine about doing a job, I do it for them so I don't have to have the fight.

I feed my kids cold cereal at least once if not twice a day. 

I rarely prepare my Sharing Time or lessons until Saturday night.

I have left my kids home alone a time or two while I run here or there for up to 30 minutes at a time.

I got Cole's feet measured for new shoes only to find out that the shoes he's been wearing are 2 sizes too small.

And I am sitting here in my exercise clothes from early this morning.  Weston tells me that I am not going to be worthy for a temple recommend if I don't start getting dressed earlier.

I have lots of goals for when school starts; I am going to make dinner more often, have bedtimes, read with the kids, make a menu and feed the family a little healthier, and keep the house cleaner.  I am continually trying to be a better mom because let's face it, we all love our kids and do our very best to keep them healthy and happy.  In the process of perfecting my mothering, I really want to be real about how things are around here.  I plan on owning up the bad parenting moments and resolving to be better. Isn't that what this life is all about anyway?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ocular Albinism Update

 Hagen had his appointment at Primary Children's yesterday.  It was a quick trip down and back, about twelve hours total.  Hagen was not overly thrilled with riding in the car that much. So unhappy about it in fact that he threw up all over just to show me who was boss.(Actually I think he was a bit carsick)  Luckily I packed an extra outfit for him, otherwise the doctor probably would've refused him service.  Once we got to the city we ran a couple errands and got the kids some school shoes.  (They stayed home with Grandma, Thank heavens!) Then we headed to that wonderful hospital.  My heart fills right up with gratitude every time I step in those doors.  Gratitude that my kids are healthy and happy.  Gratitude that I have those ambitious, smart, big hearted doctors to help my son.  Gratitude that I am only there for one hour or so. 

Hagen loved the waiting room of that place, and our appointment was late enough in the afternoon that he had it mostly to himself.  He stomped around and threw toys all over the joint.  All the nurses claimed to be in love with him.  I have to admit he was rather cute, cute until they called him back and he had to leave the toys.  Then he became a little not so cute. He was mad that he couldn't play anymore and then he was terrified of the doctors "eye checker helmet" thing.

After all his 18 month old nonsense, we learned that his vision has stayed the same since we were there six months ago. Good News! We learned that we really won't learn much until he is four or five years old, and by then we should know how good or bad his vision will be for life. He will continue to be seen by a specialist quarterly until he starts kindergarten at least, just to monitor his progress or lack thereof.  We were pretty happy with how the appointment went, and grateful that so far he is progressing nicely.  The importance of sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen was re-stressed to us.  I am happy to report that he is finally leaving his sunglasses on for long periods of time while outside and he loves his hat and refuses to go out without it.  I like the excuse to spend money on cute hats for him, and my friends with babies regularly comment on their jealousy that he will wear a hat. 

 The attempt at entertaining with a movie and headphones, no go!
Oh and did I mention that this is how he takes a day off? At least 15 phone calls and no less than ten texts and hour! He was a barrell of fun to visit with!

We had a not so fun long drive home after the doctor. It just so happened to be exactly 5:00 pm when we left the hospital and so we found ourselves in some lovely rush hour traffic.  Rush hour traffic only exists in Parker when there is more than one car at the four way stop on the way to take kids to school in the morning.  I was trying in vain to keep said baby awake until we could get out of the city , get some dinner, and make a "quick" stop at the famous Smith and Edwards.  (Supplier of all the Ranch and Farm crap one can imagine, my Idaho farm boy's dream store) I was busting out every trick I could come up with and the only one Hagen liked was sword fighting with straws.  Only problem; he giggled himself right to sleep! After making the HUGE mistake of waking him up to stop for food, he screamed for an hour or so before we stopped for gas.  Weston took him into the gas station with him to give him a break.  Hagen insisted upon some Mini Oreos, and was so dang cute asking for "more" with his sign language.  When I would offer him a drink or a different snack he would shake his head but when I held up an Oreo he would rapidly nod his head and say "Ya Ya"! He cried a fair amount more one the way home and finally went to sleep 30 minute from home.  I'm crossing my fingers that he will be a funner traveling partner in six months when we take him back.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grand Targhee High Adventure

 My Number 1 had the opportunity to tag along with the scouts in our ward on their high adventure.  I have to say I was a little nervous that their adventure was a little too adventurous.  They went up to Grand Targhee ski resort, rode the chair lift up and mountain biked down for a day.  I have skiied Targhee and, honestly I can't imagine riding a bike down that hill.  They were all geared up with helmets and such though and assured me that they would be fine.  Weston ended up having a blast and loved spending time with those boys!
 Now if that's not a view that will take your breath away then there isn't one.  We are pretty lucky people to have a perfect view of those majestic Tetons in our backyards.

 Even though they were few in numbers, they seemed to have fun.  Taylor Frisby, Mark Steiner, Mason Howard, Weston and Thad Stevens are the only ones that went.  Weston loves these boys and is so good with them, he texts and calls them quite often just to say hi and joke around.  I stole these pictures off Weston's phone and this was back in the middle of July but I liked their snow picture.  That snow is probably gone now but it is crazy to think that there is only a month or so of the year when all the snow in the mountains is gone. 
Since Weston is rarely featured on the blog I figured for posterity's sake I would add a little blurb about him and what he is into these days.  (He won't be happy with me either!)
Weston bought a go fast road pedal bike a few months back and I have actually been pleasantly surprised with how much he has rode it this summer.  He was going two mornings a week for awhile there and really enjoyed that.  His work is pretty crazy right now and always, so he has had to go in early and not been able to ride as much lately.  Weston has been gone on a few work trips and stays busy with farm work and his church calling when he isn't at the warehouse.  Wes has also been invited to go roping a few times with R.J. Thueson, and that is like a dream come true.  He really wants to get into roping but honetsly just doesn't have time.  Wes is a great dad and really tries to make his time at home meaningful. He is always taking the kids on the four wheeler or out to check a pivot or even saddling the horse for them.  Regularly featured or not we love him and he is a crucial member of our family!