Reality hit me yesterday.  I don't think I've been in denial about the surprise pregnancy of our 5th baby, but as I looked out on our driveway at the Suburban we just purchased parked next to our van, the reality of outgrowing a minivan in a mere 3 months just whacked me upside the head.  (Granted, there are 7 seats in our minivan and we could have smooshed everyone in for a while).  We're going to be a family of 7, plus a dog, and only a few weeks after I turn 30.  W O W.  Never expected that.

Ever have one of those moments?  It's not a bad moment.  Just a WOW moment of contemplation of your life.  And it's not necessarily overwhelming either.  Especially when I compare myself to others I know.  It's just funny to sit back and think - how did this all happen SO fast?!?  :)


I'm officially not a nice person

I need to work on being Christ like in several aspects of my life.  A lot.

Like I probably shouldn't be annoyed at becoming a defacto baby-sitter for a neighbor kid who has a single mom who has to work and whose older brothers I don't think are very nice to him when he's at home

I shouldn't be annoyed.  I should welcome him into our home.

Even if he is loud.  And a complete tornado.  And doesn't listen.  And argues with me when I tell him not to do something...

I need to be more like Christ.

Even if He was never pregnant with four other children in the house.  :)


We added to the chaos

Meet Dexter.  :)

Yes I am crazy.  And it was not husband or children pressing for it.  I was the one who saw him and knew he was the one for our family.  He'll always stay pretty small, but we are hoping for his sake he grows a little bit more.  :)  The only problem I'm running into so far is the balance between wanting to wash him all the time to make sure he doesn't get the stinky dog smell, and not wash him too often so his skin doesn't get problems.  I'm hoping his skin can handle once a week.  I don't think I can do the 2 week...

He is much loved by all - and has taken a special attachment to Zane.  And I should say Zane's taken a special attachment to him.  So we have now complicated our life with a dog.  Hopefully I won't regret it too much.  :)


Did I say tomorrow?

Well, it wasn't tomorrow when I posted these pics...  :)

He did turn 1! :)  Clean up after cake.

Happy birthday baby!

First day of school in Kuna

This is a typical pose. :)  First day of school

2nd day for Princess, 1st for Cowboy

Playing in the park after we moved

Such a cheeser

it was very cold - so they all had several layers.

her scary witch face.



Typically as the holidays approach the stress level elevates with so much to do and so many things to see, places to go, etc.  It's opposite in our house.  Things are finally starting to settle down and we are slowly getting into a routine.  There are still a few things to work out - mostly my schedule.  I like to have specific days set aside each week for the same things: ie - library, park, errands, cleaning.  I'm hoping to have that all ironed out in less than 2 weeks for my own sanity.  :) 

The house is getting there.  I would say we are probably 3/4 unpacked - with most of the remaining boxes in the sitting area of our master bdrm.  :P  I keep saying I will get to them, and then I go to bed before 9 and it doesn't happen. haha.

Living on base is different.  I think there are positives and negatives.  We moved into a remodeled once-duplex and the space is nice as well as the no rent.  It's a beautiful base with tons of trees and parks.  There is a railroad track fairly close to where we are, so that has taken some getting used to - as well as the speaker blasting the trumpet every weekday at 6:30 am.  :)  The school is great though, and it is a super safe area.  Our ward is small and *gasp* we actually have to drive 20 min to the church building!  ;) lol.  I'm just glad we'll be here longer than a year! 

We are all doing well - it's fun to actually have Zane home for the most part when the kids are awake.  :)  The 3 min commute to his office is pretty grand and much better than that 8 hr drive.  He is enjoying the full-time military life, so I wouldn't be surprised if we end up being an Army family until retirement.  But you never know.  Let's get through a year long deployment first.  He needs to get over there sooner than later and his unit isn't slotted to go for another few years, so we're thinking he will probably try and volunteer sometime while we are here.  We'll see.

I'll do another post tomorrow updating on the kids and posting a few pictures, but we're doing well and adjusting.  We've definitely had some backlash from the craziness of our lives the last 6 months as far as behavior from the kids, but they are troopers in the truest sense. 


Something I truly despise

Packing.  And unpacking.


We'll be in Spokane in about 48 hrs!  Crazy!



Because of the nature of the meningitis and how early I got it in the pregnancy, we opted to do a full diagnostic ultrasound last week to make sure everything was alright with the baby.  We weren't planning on finding out what we were having, but once there, told the technician if she could see then we wouldn't care if she told us.  This is a video of us telling the kids.  I personally think it is HILARIOUS!  :)


Hello again - we're still ticking

Quick update:

Kids are doing great. 

Brother Bear is still scared to go poop in the potty, but he is doing great otherwise with being in big boy underwear (FINALLY!!!)  Baby  Boy is now 13 1/2 months old and trying to be a big boy like his brothers.  His favorite thing is to get into everything he isn't supposed to and he giggles and runs away when you see him do it.  :)  Princess is doing great and is a reading machine.  It's fun to watch her as she falls in love with chapter books.  Cowboy is loving being a big school boy - especially that he gets to eat lunch at school on the days he goes.  (it's every other day, all day)

I'm doing better but thinking that the meningitis has ruined my immune system for the season, as I am now prone to picking up everything that is going around.  I still get pretty worn down by the end of the day, but at least I'm able to take care of the kids.  :)

Zane is doing well.  He found out earlier this month he got an AGR job with the reserves that he put in for back in February.  (One more reason to be grateful for not purchasing a home in Utah!  :))  So he had 3 weeks to get everything together to go up to Spokane.  The kids and I will be joining him in a few weeks when he's found housing for us.

Just another regular update from our neck of the woods, right?  :)  At least this move is for a definite 3 year period of time.  Oh, and did I mention we're having another baby?  Surprise!  Baby #5 will be joining us around March 20 and we've decided to be surprised on the gender.  Like I said, just a typical update from our neck of the woods.  lol.


We have landed

I haven't posted for a long time because pretty much everything has been in upheaval and I wanted to wait until things were a little more settled before filling you in.  I've been trying to reader's digest it and it's pretty difficult.

But here goes:

We were in the middle of purchasing a house in Utah, (by the way, a little plug here: if you are ever in need of an AWESOME realtor - call Parker Smith or go to his website: modernhomebuyers.com.  He really is the best!)  So back to my story.  We are literally in the middle of buying the house, already had the inspection and appraisal, when I just wasn't feeling it.  And not some little "I'm scared about buying the house" feeling, but I couldn't sleep and both Zane and I felt like we just had to walk away (there were several mitigating factors as with anything).  It didn't make sense, we were in the middle of packing up our house, we had already given notice.

Meanwhile, we made the decision to move to Boise, I would live with my parents and eventually look for a house here, and Zane would just keep on doing what he was doing and come home on the weekends for a while.  Then he saw an advertisement for a job opening here and felt strongly that he should apply and he got the job.  So the day he turned in his notice he found out they were working out something to transfer him to a job in Ashton, ID (insert relief at walking away from the house in UT - we would have moved in and then Zane would have been transferred to another site once again 6+ hrs away and the kids and I would have to build a support system by ourselves once again).  He considered staying, but felt like this was his opportunity to try something different, and he was tired of being away from his family so much (he's pretty much been gone Baby Boy's entire life)  so we went ahead and moved over to Boise.

It is a definite change for us.  He is going from a guaranteed salary to a commission only income but we both feel it will give him the future opportunities he wants.  I think it helps that his old job said he is welcome back any time if anything changes.  So for now, we are grateful for my parents letting us stay with them as a buffer zone while he adjusts to the sales life and we figure out what his income will be.  :)  It's nice for the kids to have some kind of consistency before school starts too.

Speaking of, they have the strangest kindergarten schedule - basically Cowboy will be going all day, every other day.  So some weeks he'll go Tues/Thurs and some weeks M/W/F.  Good thing we have a calendar.  :)  Princess is ready to start 2nd grade and I think it will be fun to have the two younger boys all to myself, especially since we'll be doing the home preschool for Brother Bear on the days Cowboy goes to school.

That is definitely a condensed version, but there you go.  :)  We've landed temporarily.


Heaven help us

Cowboy is going to be the death of me.  In more ways than one.

At the moment, he refuses to play with those different from himself.

Which means, in HIS words: "I don't play with brown people.  I don't like them.  I only like white ones like me."


Seriously mortifying.  Trying not to overreact to avert his doing this to get attention, but really?  REALLY?!?

Right as I was about to feel like an absolute and complete failure, Princess said to Cowboy: "That isn't okay!  I'm best friends with ..., ...., ...., and ...., and they are a different color and it doesn't matter at all!"

We've had several discussions over the last while reiterating who we can be friends with (everyone) and how everyone is a child of God.

And then I realized through no fault of anyone, there has really not been anyone his age that he is friends with or associates with who is at all different.  He's barely ever had anyone his own age around.  Typically they have been Princess's age or Brother Bear's.  And his preschool?  Every single child was white.  I had no idea until I looked at his school picture.

I worry.  He has a big mouth and likes to say what he thinks which makes me want to crawl into a hole because where do you think other people will think he got it from?!?  Even worse, what if he says it to a little person trying to be his friend in school?  How awful.  I'm seriously trying to nip this in the bud, but it's been so shocking I barely even know how to react.

I still feel like I failed.  But I'm a mom and it comes with the territory...

I really really hope I can change this BEFORE he hurts another mother's baby.  :(


The Upside and Downside of life

Which would you like first?

The downside could actually be considered upside depending on who you are.

We're moving still.

We're NOT moving to Utah as planned.

We're moving to...Boise!

My parents are being SUPER generous and letting us stay with them with all our stuff in storage for a bit - hopefully less than 3-4 months.  I think my mom is just happy she won't have to cook, go grocery shopping, and have less cleaning responsibilities.  Granted, my kids are going to be there so that last part might be a bit understated. :)  Kidding.  I'll just keep doing what I do at my own house there - except they have a LOVELY rule that whoever cooks doesn't have to do dishes.  :)  Can you see why I am planning on cooking every meal???  hahaha.

I know you aren't surprised at the complete change - this is Zane and I we are talking about.

Upside and downside to everything - one major upside: my kids (and I) LOVE their Grandma Great, and she loves them and I think they make each other pretty darn happy.  I'm glad they will have a chance to live close to her.  :)  Not to mention they love their grandparents too.


Letting go


I'm not going into details, those will come later.

We let the house in Eagle Mountain go.

Sometimes letting go is a good thing.

Especially when there are better things to come.  Hopefully.  :)


Lots of big things

What a big day!

We went and played at Grandma Great's.

Baby Boy took 3 steps.

Brother Bear went pee pee in the potty a ton - his idea!  :)  He also came in and said, "Mom!  I peed in the grass!"  I still cheered of course.  :)

Cowboy lost his first tooth!  We were playing a game and I glanced at him and noticed his tooth looked funny and I asked him what was wrong with it.  He said he broke it.  I ran over to inspect and the tooth practically fell out when I touched it.  Looks like he is on par with when Princess started losing all her teeth.  So fun.  He was so happy!

Grandma has now been here and a part of both of the older kids losing their first teeth.  Pretty cool.

There has also been a snag in our contract on the house.  Not a big deal, just more irritation.  I'm going to be glad when it's done.


Happy 4th!

This is my favorite verse of the national anthem, and unfortunately it's not one that most people ever hear:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I hope everyone had a great Independence day celebration!

Zane spent his driving back down to work.

We went to a parade this morning that was super fun - hit Five Guys on the way home for a juicy burger, and then the kids and I drove over to Boise to watch fireworks with my parents, grandma, and cousin.  It was AWESOME!  Baby Boy loved the fireworks after he got used to them and even started pointing his finger and I swear it sounded like he was saying "Look" and "Wow."

I feel incredibly blessed to live in such an extraordinary country.  Thanks to all who have made it possible!  Happy birthday America! 

Oh, and I still get teary EVERY time I hear and sing the song "Proud to be an American."  Never fails.  God bless the USA!!


We have another house!

We're set to close no later than Aug 12, though probably earlier.  It's a foreclosure in Eagle Mountain, so it needs some cosmetic work, but I think it will be a pretty good place.  I don't love the neighborhood as much as the other house, but I do like my view from the front window!  :)


Starting over

I am going to be super positive about this whole situation.  SUPER positive.

We don't have a house anymore.

I get to go shopping for another one.

In the positive realm, I am looking forward to finding an even BETTER house!  Yes!




Convinced?  Yeah, me too.  :)



Do you ever make a mountain out of a molehill?  I do.  A LOT.

Is it a womanly attribute, or are men afflicted too?

I'm stressed.  I called my dad pretty much freaking out.

He advised me to CHILL.  No sense worrying about something you have no control over.

Right.  Exactly.  Hello?  Got it brain?  Did you hear what my dad just said????  Stop it already!

Stop stressing.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

I think I'll have to repeat that statement a lot - we're talking knocking over Mt. Everest here.  :)


We have a house...sort of

We at least have a date of closing!  :)  I kind of keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and that is keeping myself from being super excited - but it will be super fun.  I am a little regretful that we aren't going into this with our eyes closed and a little more naive.  :)  I just look at it and think, "oh my goodness- this means if Zane ever loses his job we are SCREWED!" 

I'll have to post some pictures when I can - but I love the neighborhood, yard, schools, location, and while the house is smaller than a lot of others we saw, I think it will be just fine.  We'll definitely want to redo the kitchen in a few years.  Anyway, we are moving to Springville sometime by the end of July.  yay!



You my darling girl are SEVEN!  I can't believe how fast time has flown and how much you've stayed the same...and how you are still my sweet baby girl princess!  (*NOTE* I don't have any baby pictures on this computer - those were the pre-digital camera days).  :)
 When you turned two, all you wanted to have was your ears pierced.  You would take my earrings and put them up to your ears in the mirror and say, "Petty.  Petty Abby!"  Who could resist such cuteness?
 Dress ups, babies, princess galore!  Three was such a fun year.  One time when you were put in time out, we recorded you singing to yourself, "Jesus wants me for a soccer ball!  A soccer ball!"
 Four years old and you were already so smart and so good at making friends!  Now you were not only determined to make your own clothing choices, but Mommy was hard pressed to have you let me do your hair once in a while.  :)
 This picture is a perfect persona of you - you have been your Daddy's princess 
since the moment you were born.
 Sparkles, play make up, nail polish and no teeth were the symbols of your year @ SIX.
And now you are seven and I feel like I just blinked!  You are still as smart as ever, a true and loyal friend, an amazing big sister, and still my sweet princess.  You are my darling girl and I have loved watching you learn and grow.  You are my first born and I believe you have an incredibly brave spirit to have chosen to come to our family first (especially with this very imperfect mama)!  Thank you for your love, your forgiveness, and most importantly - for being mine.  I love you baby girl!



I am such a chicken.  I mean, seriously chicken about stupid unimportant things. 

Like actually telling my realtor I don't want to work with him anymore over the phone.

Can't he just accept my goodbye over email?

I don't want to talk to him because I don't want to say the wrong thing and come across the wrong way and frankly I get super flustered lately because my mind is stretched a little thin.   I've had sick kids, and I'm stressed with the whole house thing and I'm having to do it while Zane is unreachable by phone except after 7:30 at night.   I stumble over my words just talking normally, let alone when it's an uncomfortable situation.

I just want to be immature and not answer his calls.   Ever.

CHICKEN.   Me.   Do I have to be a grown up?   :P

Don't things just go away if you ignore them long enough?   :)


In mine drawer, Mom!

I finished giving Baby Boy and Brother Bear a bath last night and Bro Bear was sent into his room to get his jammies and bring them to me.  A couple of minutes later he runs into me and says (well, it's Bro Bear so he yelled) "Mom!  I peed!"  Me - "Where?" BB - "In mine room!"  So I follow him in with a towel asking him to show me where and looking for the puddle on the floor.  BB- "O'er there! (pointing at his closet)" I'm looking all over for the puddle and ask again, "Where?"  BB- "Not on floor!  In mine drawer!"  Sure enough, my 3 yr old had opened up his drawer, stood on a stool and peed into it all over his pants.  But of course it didn't just go in his drawer, but in Cowboy's drawer underneath and down the front of the dresser and stool. Me- "Buddy, you need to go pee pee in the potty!"  BB- "No pee in potty Mom!  Pee in the drawer!"

My reaction?  I started laughing.  Hysterically.  Who does that?!?  I hope this isn't a trend.  :)

Meanwhile we've had lots and lots of puking in our house.  Baby Boy had it Saturday.  Princess started Sunday night.  Cowboy has had it the worst - he added a fever and diarheaa to his miserableness that started early this morning.  Needless to say, I am expecting the drama to continue with Brother Bear sometime in the next 24 hrs.  We even passed it to my sweet nephew in our 14 hr stay at his house.  Blech.  Baby Boy is still fighting off an ear infection and wasn't too happy today.  I'm really hoping we can kick this soon - especially since I need to go to the store soon since I have all 3 boys in Baby Boy's diapers (poor Cowboy just hasn't been able to make it to the bathroom in time and since BB has decided the dresser is a much better place to pee...*sigh* I've never met a child more determined to stay in a diaper).  I was a Lysol tornado today wiping all surfaces and spraying every where I could.  So beware and stay away from our house!  :) 


My lovelies

Once again there are not very many of our rambunctious never-sit-still Cowboy, but my life has been full of these lovelies.  :)

Brother Bear loved his cake!
New bike - he's so proud

Cowboy had his party at the local jump place and loved it!

Literally holding on to the ladder so he wouldn't have to do a breathing treatment

Can't resist this face!  He's so happy to feed himself

Pure love



It's such a simple thing to take a breath, but oh so wonderful!

I took a breath of relief when I got my computer back.  You never know how attached you are to a piece of plastic until it's taken away.  :)

I took many deep breaths taking a trip to Utah to find a house.  Many.  DEEP.  Breaths.

No, I didn't find one, yet.  Having to go down again.  (Deep breath)

Baby Boy caught a stomach virus and was puking Saturday - so we headed home from Utah.  I was completely nauseous by the time we got home and Princess started puking tonight.  Breathe.

And then there was Baby Boy's reaction to me laying him down in his crib when we got home last night.  He looked around, smiled and sighed contentedly.

It's good to be home.  :)  Now back to looking for another one.  Breathe.



I'm computerless.  I feel like an important appendage has been removed from my body.  Especially when attempting to look for homes for sale in another state.  Or paying bills.  Or looking something up when I think of it.

And I'm addicted.  I see it now.  I'm pathetic.  And I'm grateful for the reawakening into how much a computer can distract from children when you aren't careful.  I haven't been careful.

So I am at the library for my weekly break from children because I feel like I am going to go nuts without my computer.  But I'm not.  It just shows how sad sad sad I am sometimes.  :)


Keeping track

Are you able to keep track of all the disasters and conflicts going on right now?

I can't.

It seems like I just find out about one when another occurs.

Praying for those affected - though at this point I feel like I should just start praying for everyone because it seems we have reached that point in the last days the scriptures tell us about.  Constant wars and rumors of wars, fire and famine, storm and flood, pestilence and earthquakes...

It makes me grateful.  Extremely grateful for our safety and shelter.

And mindful of those who may be suffering.



Actually living in the same house as my husband is overrated.  Especially when this husband of mine isn't really going to be living at said house during the week until the winter time.  Especially when finding/buying a house and packing and moving are involved. OVERRATED.

Just kidding.

Kind of.

:)  hehe.


I think I'm going to get dumped

By my realtor.  I would dump me if I were him.

He just found out his commission is going to drop in half.  After he worked to compile a whole lot of houses for us to consider that we now are not going to consider.

Awesome right?

The bright side is by changing our tune, there is a distinct possibility, even reality that we will be COMPLETELY debt free (minus the mortgage) in two years or less.  With a substantial savings.  I like that tune.  Especially when it means I only have to suck it up in my van for less than 3 more years before I can get a car I love.  And we will be able to get a nicer house than we can now, maybe with matching furniture.  :)  lol.  Another plus to this decision?  It means I am probably going to sell 80% of my furniture and other crap before we move.  Which means less to move.  Which means a smaller moving van.  Which also means I get to use that $$ I get and save to buy furniture that fits the space, instead of making my huge furniture fit in the tiny space.  And closet organizers - nice real ones.  :)

Dave Ramsey would be so proud.  Except, I'm not waiting to pay cash on my house, and I am not going to stop saving to pay off the debt faster.  But that's another story.

So, yeah.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to get dumped by my realtor.  And my kids may have to do without an awesome yard (maybe).  Or a big dog.  And we will definitely be moving before 5 yrs is up.  :)



After a few weeks of utter and complete frustration looking for a home to buy in Utah, I finally had an epiphany tonight.  Why am I looking so hard?  That is why I am using a realtor.  Because I can't be there right now.  I feel a little dumb for wasting all this time and stress.  However, something tells me this poor man is going to earn his commission working for me...

But that is what is going on in our home right now.  That and I tried to do the lawn this last week and ruined the trimmer, and couldn't get the lawn mower to start and finally gave up after 15 minutes - at least I got the front lawn mowed...not trimmed...I hate when I have to admit when I fail doing a "man's" job.  :)  Don't worry though.  I'm determined that stupid piece of machinery will not see the last of me - I'm just going to have a little lesson on it first from my husband.  The funny thing was after dealing with this I looked at my neighbor across the street trimming his lawn effortlessly and I just wanted to throw a rock right at him in my irritation.  I opted to turn around and stick out my tongue at my own trimmer hanging in the garage and marched myself inside.


To Brother Bear

I'm a little later posting this than I wanted, but it's been a little busy with sickness at home.

My sweet Brother Bear,

What a sweet surprise you turned out to be!  You were my longest and most miserable labor, but you my adorable baby have been such a delight.  You fit into our lives perfectly and your fun personality has always made us smile and laugh.

 Who can resist a face like this?  Not your mama, that's for sure!
Your kissable cheeks and sparkling eyes are the light of my days.
  And now you are THREE!  It has taken you a while to find your words so it's been easy for me to think of you as my "baby" for a longer time.  You love to make people smile and laugh, but when others make you smile and laugh you try to hide it behind your hand - keeping a serious face.  :)  You have the best facial expressions - a million words can be said in one look.  I love you my sweet baby boy.  Thank you for making your mama smile.



To Cowboy

Since I have two boys who were both born on the same day, I will post another note to Brother Bear tomorrow.  :)

To my darling 5 year old Cowboy,

 I should have known from the start you would do things with your own particular flare.  After 4 or 5 hours of labor and no progress, you decided to come flying out in less than 20 minutes.  Your dad had to catch you because you came so fast.  And you haven't stopped since.  You jabbered early, were talking in sentences by the time you were 1, and started running (I mean walking) when you were just 9 months old.

You have always had an affinity for chocolate and LOVED dogs and balls when you turned the big "1"
 Not many boys can say they got to be a big brother on their 2nd birthday!  At this time in your life, you still loved dogs and we took you bowling a few days after Mom and brother came home.
 Three is when you were designated "Cowboy."  Horses, horses, and anything Cowboy!
 Four years old and still a Cowboy.  :)
And now you are FIVE and I can hardly ever take pictures of you because you are always on the go.  You are SO smart and LOVE singing songs.  I am so impressed with how fast you can memorize them!  You are terrified of all small animals, particularly dogs and cats, but horses are still your love.   My darling boy - you keep your mommy on her toes, but I am SO grateful you chose to come and join our family.  You have your own personality, a tender heart, and the biggest imagination!  I hope you never ever lose it.  And I hope someday you let me come and visit your Spiderman house - 
it sounds like a perfect place to be!  :)