Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Once upon a time it was April…

6 weeks ago.  I can’t even remember what happened. 

Oh no!  I just looked at my pictures folder and there are, like, 6, and they are all of Easter.  This is going to be sparse.

We decorated eggs and went easter egg hunting and it was a very lovely sunny day (which is ALWAYS a blessing here in Spokane).  Ryan had us on a mean budget and so I didn’t even get to buy new Easter clothes so no Easter Sunday pictures.  Here are some the activities we could afford (just kidding, Ryan):



We had playgroup at our house, with a Spring theme and it actually was Spring-ish (note the blossoms), so thank you, Mother Nature, because playgroup is A LOT more fun when you can go outside.


I just texted Ryan, asking for pictures from his phone and this is what he sent:

photo 1

(he was King Benjamin from the Book of Mormon for a primary activity)

and we went to the Museum of Arts and Culture and looked at their Native American exhibit and their VERY COOL impressionism exhibit. (Can I just say:  my kids are superstar museum goers, especially Gabe.  They totally listen and go slowly while I explain stuff.  I love it.  I always feel like an awesome mom when we go.)


After he sent me those two pictures, he texted:  “I don’t have much from April”

and I said  “Me neither”

and then he replied “Take a picture of a soccer ball, cause that’s all we did.” 

Which is true.

Except we also (and by we, I mean, Faith) thought our Sonicare needed airing out and decided to leave it on the front porch for a day or so.  That’s worth taking a picture of…

photo 2

And Gabe continued to swim:

photo 4

And Emma, Jane and Seth all did after-school running programs (wonder where they get that interest?), but I have no pictures of it, except this one of Gabe and Seth cheering Emma on at her first meet.

photo 3


And Faith is funny and her favorite thing to do is play “castle”, which is just a more elitist form of house.  The BEST is when she plays with Ryan…he lays on the couch and she walks around telling him all of the stuff they are "doing” (“Okay.  You be the PrinTH and I am your Printhess and mom is da queen.  And we go on our hortheth, with our pretty dretheth.  But you don’t wear a dreth, wight dad?)  He always has some pretty hilarious additions, but my favorite is how she is completely satisfied with him just lying there while she spins her fantasy world.

So that’s April.  The End.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day Bests

1. When I realized that Emma snuck out with Ryan at 11:00 Saturday night to buy me these flowers.

2. When Jane said her favorite thing to do with me is "read scriptures in the morning". I love it, too, and am glad it's a happy time for her.

3. Seeing how much Gabe really cared about making sure he could make me breakfast this morning. Things were running really late before church and he was pretty bummed when we told him we'd have to do his muffins and scrambled eggs for lunch. I could tell he really wanted to do something special.

4. When, in church today, an older mother whose son had gotten married this week spoke of the joy she had felt all week and she bore testimony that she knew it was a result of the daily efforts...trying over and over again to teach and love her children. It was just what this mother needed to hear today.

5. When I came home from choir practice to a slightly chaotic dinner preparation. Finally Ryan said "I'm sorry. I need your help. It's really hard getting all of this ready". Honestly, just having him admit that the thing I do every day was difficult for my super capable husband...made me feel valued and accomplished.

6. Skype-ing with my mom and craziness but everything that woman says and does makes it clear that she loves me and she loves my kids.

Good day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

How to be a Great Mom (By Ryan)

Moms are great each in their own way.  On this Mothers Day I wanted to share 3 things that make my mom a stellar one.

1.)  My mom can do anything.  When there is something ... anything to be done, my mom just does it.  She doesn't whine or complain or wait for someone to come save her, she just rolls up her sleeves and gets to work.  Having a mom teach you this everyday of life through her constant steady example is invaluable.  Thank you mom.

2.) My mom is selfless.  My mom isn't happy unless she is helping someone else.  As a child I watched her make meals for sick friends, pack boxes for people who were moving and scrub the home of a friend that just needed a little extra help. 

As a twelve year old boy, I had a paper route. Often my mom would come help me with the task of rolling and rubber banding 180 newspapers.  I cherished the help at the time as it saved me from a task that I hated.  But it wasn't until recently that it came into perspective how kind and selfless this was of her.  Here was a tired mom of 7 rowdy and obnoxious children  who went to bed at midnight and woke up at 5am taking 30 minutes of her 5am hour to help her son do something he could and should do by himself.  I now appreciate the generous act many times more than I appreciated the help with my job when I was twelve.  Thank you mom.

3.) My mom is kind.  I am sure that my mom had people in her life that annoyed her or rubbed her the wrong way.  I think we all do at one time or another.  However, I never knew about them.  My mom didn't gossip about people when they weren't around, she didn't make mean comments about the people she interacted with when she talked with friends.  She chose to be kind.  I didn't know it but she instilled in me a discomfort with rude personal attacks because they were absent from my life.  I didn't see them occur or happen to overhear them as I was near her.  I appreciate her teaching me the value of living a kind life.  Thank you mom. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

We never do this. Okay, ONE of us never does this.

A month or two ago, one of my oldest best friends, Tammy, emailed me about coming to visit.  Adrianne, my OTHER oldest best friend, was coming to see her during the weekend of Tammy’s baby shower.  They both thought I should come too.  Of course, I said yes.  I’ve learned over the years that spending time and money to let someone know how important they are to you is always worth it.  One reason we’ve stayed friends for more than 20 years is because we make these kinds of efforts to be together at important times.

So I was all set to go.  And then…we were at dinner with our friends, the Beykirchs.  Kevin began to talk to Ryan about a Southern California sailing trip some guys were putting together.  They wanted him to come.  “I can’t”, Ryan said, “It’s the same weekend as Jessica’s Girls Trip”.  And then the craziest thing happened:  Melissa, Kevin’s wife, said, “I will watch your kids.  All 5 of your kids.  And all 4 of mine.  And my brand new puppy.  All by myself because my husband will be off surfing with your husband in Sunny California.” (So, I added those last few sentences.  But that’s actually what she was saying.  And everyone needs to know the magnitude of what she volunteered to do.)

Here is a list of the things Ryan does his best to avoid:

1.  Spending money on himself

2.  Putting people out

3.  Getting scratches on his car from the handlebars of kids bikes.

This trip was obviously going to require him to do 2 of the 3.  I thought he’d never do it.  That’s why, when I got the trip itinerary via email, I gasped out loud in Target.  I couldn’t believe it.  I got 3 texts from friends within 2 days expressing the same shock. 

So while Melissa (with some help from other devoted friends) wrangled all of our kids, I did this:


(hiking in the Oakland hills)


(lots of GOOD food eating)




(at the baby shower)


and Ryan did this:


(christening the boat)


(surfing…and breaking the board)


(runs on the beach)


(navigating…when he wasn’t trying not lose his lunch due to seasickness)


And Melissa has qualified for sainthood.

Thanks to the friends who invited and organized and stayed home with our kids, so that we could have a fun, girls/guys bonding weekend at the same time!