Monday, November 26, 2012

Half Dozen

It's True.....

We are expecting our SIXTH wonderful little Stout baby!
Estimated time of delivery: May 3rd
Currently at: 18 weeks

Monday, October 22, 2012

thoughts on a large family

I have been thinking about large families, and thought I'd jot down a few thoughts of my own on this. From different perspectives I have a small or a large family. I grew up in a family with 3 girls, I was the oldest. I remember thinking that our family was HUGE. It seemed like all the coupons for Disneyland were for a families of 4 (Yes, this was how I judged what a large family was). I knew that when I had a family I would have 2 kids so that we could go to Disneyland more :-) It's funny how perspective is as a child, but those Disneyland commercials really influenced my thoughts....

When I began dating Joel, he was number 6 of 10 kids. During the years that we dated and early on in our marriage I remember going to his family things and taking an Excederine before going, I thought it was so hectic and crazy! At the time not even half of his siblings were married (it was so small compared to the size now). However at that time, his immediate family was larger then my family from my great grandparents on down! In my family, in general only one person spoke at a time, their was usually only one conversation going on too. At Joel's family their were as many conversations as their were people, and everyone spoke at once, if you wanted your story heard...well you just spoke louder and louder. People gathered anywhere they could and talked with each other and kids ran around playing with cousins.

Joel and I were married and had our first child, three and half years later we had Taran. We weren't sure that Taran would even come, I had so many problems that the doctor after many appointments told us we may only have one child. I think this is when my perspective began to change, I couldn't believe that I wouldn't have the choice to decide how many kids to have. I was also no longer taking Excederine to go to Stout gatherings, I found that when family was in town, we went to hang out with the crowds every chance we could. I began to crave the commotion. I loved all the kids running around with each other, always another cousin to hang out with. Multi leveled loud conversations were the norm, and I found I could easily follow and add input into 3 overlapping conversations at was fun. I loved seeing my mother and father in law delight in their family.

Joel and I had a change in our conversations at home too, we desired to be surrounded by family. We wanted to have kids and one day grandkids running around our house, with multiple cousins to play with. We were on the path to a large family. And here we are with five kids. Are we a large family? Yes, by most standards. No, by Joels family standards. We only have half of his families size.....but I just dont think 10 is in our cards :-)

Things are different with a large family. The thought of having another baby is different then it was with the first few. I didn't worry about being out numbered...because we already were. Staying up late with a baby doesn't faze me, I haven't slept a full night in most of marriage. Being prepared for a new baby is not as stressful. I realize that you just don't need all the gizmos and gadgets that I once thought were needed. I also have become far more sentimental about each baby. I think i was before, but with each child I have realized just how fast they grow, I savor each thing my child does. I desperately wish for my kids to stay were they are, I feel like they are quickly growing and will be gone to soon.

Some things that have changed though, for example; this weekend we decided to take our kids out to eat and then to go bowling. We used to always eat out....that just doesn't happen anymore. In fact when our kids have a birthdate, they can go out on a date with just mom and dad and pick the resteraunt. We very rarely bring all of our kids out to eat at once. This weekend when we did I was reminded why....besides being very expensive, its just hard. Trying to keep kids in their seats, make sure they aren't kicking each other under the table. Trying to stay somewhat quite because other people are their too. Besides all that, the real battle comes when the food arrives. I looked at my yummy plate of food, yet was quickly moving from one person to the next, cutting enchaladas, taking rice of one plate, because he doesn't even want the rice on his plate, making sure Keegan doesn't touch the hot plate. Picking up a dropped fork, giving Keegan a bite of food, quickly eating a bite myself, and then going through it all again. Going out to eat with all the kids means you don't enjoy each bite of yummy food, it means if you get a chance you quickly shove a bite in your mouth and move onto the next's kind of exausting. Though I will say the food was great, the night was so much fun, I walked away from the evening feeling like a just ran a marathon. Things sure are different with many kids!

I am greatful for the tender mercies that our family has been given. I love that our Heavenly Father has trusted us with 5 wonderful kids, I enjoy watching each of them. I wonder how 5 kids with the same parents have all turned out so differently, each one has such a different personality. We have adventurous and cautious kids. We have homebodies and outdoor oriented. Those who love sports and those who shy away. Those who are coordinated and well those who sadly took after me. Some who sing and some who don't, those that clean and those that I wonder why they cant keep their room clean for one day. It seems as though we have them all, and I love each one of them. It funny to think that we could now buy two family specials just to go to Disneyland!

 I think its fun that dinner time in our home each night involved 7 different people usually all talking at once, just talking a little bit louder and louder hoping to be heard. I think its funny that now my family probably has to take excederine when they visit my house. I love that I get to enjoy this each day and I  hope that one day one of my kids will look and Joel and I and see in our faces the same delight that I see in Reynold and MaryEllen as they look out on their family with a sense of pride. I guess its all in perspective, and I'm so glad that my perspective changed from that of my younger self and that I didn't choose the size of my family based on a Disneyland special. I'm glad that we have a Joely, a Taran, a Kyler, a Parlee, and a Keegan. But, if life would have only allowed me to have 1 or 2 kids, I hope that I would be sitting here with the same feelings of gratitude that I feel right now.

Monday, October 15, 2012

first day of school pictures 2012

 Kyler: age 5: AM Kindergarten with Mrs. Cowley
 Joely: age 12: 7th grade
Taran: age 9: 4th grade with Mr. Campbell

So we may have started school awhile ago, but I am finally posting the first day of school pictures. Wow, 3 kids in school, all of them getting out of school at different times. Joely leaves for school at 7:10 and gets home a little after 2. Taran and Kyler both get picked up for school at about 8:20 (they want to eat breakfast at school this year) Kyler gets out at 11:45 and Taran at 3:30. All the crazy school schedules make it hard to ever leave the house!

So far they have all been doing well in school and liking their teachers!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What a blog?

I know, I blog slacker. That's me.

This summer was filled with so many fun things that I really wanted to blog them all...but instead I made a photo book for the family, and I'm going to consider that good enough!

 Here is the super condensed summer story....
Summer was probably summed up like this...skim boarding! This was the fuel that drove the summer for us. Its the first time we have ever tried skim boarding and my kids LOVED it. So every Thursday we headed to the Virgin River with some friends and neighbors and skim boarded.

Keegan turned one. I don't know exactly how I feel about this, it seems that each kids we have seems to grow up faster and faster then the one before. It's kind of sad for me. I just love my kids and having them around me, and watching them grow up is a bittersweet emotion.

We also spent time camping and hiking around a lot.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dinosaur Dig

 Not sure how you celebrate your kindred dead on Memorial Day weekend....but in this family, we dig up the dead!
 Our family had a dinosaur dig, there were dinosaur bones and eggs buried in the dirt at my grandparents fields. Everyone was equipped with a bucket, shovel and of course a paint brush to carefully remove any dirt from the delicate fossil remains.
 It was so fun to watch everyone collect their loot!
 Of course we did more then just dig, we had a BBQ, we rode 4 wheelers, rhinos and of course the famous training wheel mini dirt bike, is this the funniest thing ever! Here's my grandpa taking the dirt bike for a cruise :-)

And Keegan having fun with the bucket. More good times!

Summer Breakfast

Last Day of School Breakfast!

It's a tradition! The last day of school we invite friends over for a breakfast and them bring them all to school. This year I had to do two parties since the kids go to different schools.

Joely had a party at 6:40am and then Tarans at 8:20, some of the kids we invited were: Harrison and Kaleb Warden, Alexa Anderson, Samantha Profit, the kids from the bus stop and a couple others, that didnt make it. We had donuts, juice, muffins, fruit and of course some M&M's (everyone needs candy for breakfast) I bought some chalk for the kids to decorate the road. They wrote out 'freedom' and 'summer' everyone signed their names, it was a lot of fun.

Taran and Kylers friends added to the road decorations and by the end we had the most festive piece of road around. I'm sure I'll forget some of the kids that Taran had over but here's the best list I can write down; Tyler, Megan and Nathan Maxwell, Brianna and Brinlee Cullen, mason Abbott, Zac Gossik, Hannah and Olivia Warden, Gabe Cook, Cameron and Alex Bang, I think thats all.

I had a dream that night that I forgot some of the kids and didn't bring them to school that day....who knows maybe I did and they walked home and their parents never told me :-) Seriously there were kids everywhere and it would have been rather easy to have forgot one when I overloaded my vehicle up to get them to school. Of course driving to school, we had the most illegal car ever! There were kids piled on top of each other! Fun memories :-)

Annular Eclipse

On May 20th their was an Annular Eclipse, and the sweet spot just happened to be Kannaraville, Ut! We were coming home from a weekend in Lagoon, and stopped in Cedar City with our friends the Wardens to enjoy the sight.

We were equipped with the awesome solar glasses and some welder glass to.  The kids ran around and just had fun. When the eclipse happened the crowd that gathered at the Cedar city Middle School all cheered. It was so much fun!

We are planning on hitting the total eclipse in 2017! I think we'll plan a trip to Yellowstone at that time.

The art of frying

I kind of find the saying "I fried my computer" rather ironic....How many people bake their computers? if you set in on your porch in the middle of a St. George summer, can you cook your computer just like you could cook an egg? Has that ever happened?

I have heard of people doing some serious damage to their computers by ....ehem, water damage.

But, I've never heard anyone say that their computer just drowned, have you?

Now, you can say you have.

A few days ago, I was working on something on the MacBook, I sat it down on the lower counter, then I sadly knocked down a glass of water on the upper computer where it perfectly spilled into the back airvents of the computer....After a very dis-heartening sizzle sound, and a look of pure shock from me, where  quickly thought "seriously their are 5 kids in this house and I am the one to ruin the computer"...I snapped out of it, quickly loaded the kids up and ran into the Mac store to see if, their was like some sort of emergency room care that could be done to remedy the situation.

Well, there's no emergency room care available for a freshly drowned computer. They reported the time of death, but said that the hard drive had not 'fried'  (see there's that icky word again)yet. So, if we bought a new computer we should be able to do a data transfer.

So, I am currently typing on my new iMac. We decided to get a desktop instead of a MacBook this time, she's really a pretty little computer, and I hope that I can keep her safe from harm.....hopefully!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spring Happenings

Ha, its been so long since I added anything to my blog, it looks like they have changed a lot, and I don't know if I'll figure out how to post my stuff.

Anyhow, I had better quickly write down whats been going on this Spring so that I'll have it written down.

Joely turned 12 in March, and started YW. It's about time, she was very ready to be done with primary. I dont blame her either when she is already taller then half the teachers.

In march we went to see the Blue Angles. We had so much fun watching them the week they were practicing. We drove down to the fields everyday to check out what they were doing. Then for the Saturday show, we went with the older three kids and my mom. It was crazy loud having them fly over head while we were at the airport.

In March we also found out that we didn't get the Hawks house after waiting for 8 months! That was a long story, but I'm hoping that everything turned out as it should have.

At the end of January, Joel left his job to start working for Johansens. This has been a huge change in our life too, its crazy to actually have our family home everyday for the first time in our lives!

In April, Joels parent left for their mission in Sao Paulo Brazil! I still think it's rather surreal not having them here, and I'm conflicted with being happy for them and sad for myself that they aren't here. We did get our first message from them and found out that they are living in a small place that's all tiled, it has a teeny kitchen with no running hot water! They said they have a lot more love for the USA! They also don't have a dryer so they have to hang dry and iron all of their clothes. They also don't have a vehicle and walk or use public transportation! What a change for them.

I'm on the Stake girls camp committee, and over the 2nd year girls. In April, we took the 1-3rd year girls on their camp hike and worked on certification. It was rather rewarding to do camp stuff this year and actually have my daughter there. It was fun because the hike we did was in Paradise Canyon, or 'devils pits' as we called it as kids. Joely, Lori and I hiked it the week of the camp hike, then we hiked it as the stake on a Saturday, then later that night Joely and I hiked it again with Parlee, Keegan with Marg and her boys. They were down from SLC and she wanted to go and check out devils pits too, she hadnt been their since we were kids. It was fun to relive kid memories, and see different things we could remember. We literally spent probably everyday of out youth out there.

When Marg was down we also spent a day in Snows Canyon with my friend Kammi and her daughter Jordan. Talk about a weekend filled with old memories. I've been friends with Kammi since elementary, we dont see each other much, but when we do it feel like the gaps that we havent seen each other kind of melts away.

End of school stuff....
Kyler graduated from Miss Robyns Lil' Thinkers preschool yesterday.  They had an adorable little program at the library. However, when we left Kyler began crying that he would miss preschool so much, and it continued for most of the day. He would stop crying for a while and then it always picked back up. He is really going to miss it. (I hope today he does better)

Taran had a class play that he presented yesterday also, we were able to see it twice. (yes, we had a lot of school stuff yesterday). He played the part of the 3rd pig (the one who builds his house with bricks) he even had a little solo part he sang. He also played the part of a magic mirror. He and his class did wonderfully. The evening performance did turn out better though. For the 1pm one, someone made a snorting sound and then Taran spent the rest of the song laughing. You know the kind of laugh where you cant stop not matter how hard you try. It was rather funny and I found myself unable to look at him or else I would start laughing too.

And finally Mothers day....I only mention this because of the razy even that happened. We were over visiting my Mom, when the kids saw my Aunt Dianne across the street, they wanted to run over and say Hi. Well, Joely tripped over Parlee in the street, and Parlee hit the back of her head on the road, she must have hit a bumpy rock because it cut open the back of her head and it was gushing out blood. Yes, GOOSHING. it was just dripping everywhere, uncontrollably. We loaded her up to go get some stitches, and before we got to the doctors, the bleeding had subsided, thanks to Joels non stop pressure on it. We were able to chek it our and realized that the wound would not likely be able to be stitched as it was an odd shape. When we stopped all Parlee wanted to see was her blood or as she would say "My blood" in a funny little voice. So we took her shirt off and turned it around so she could see her blood soaked shirt. (I considered keeping the shirt in her treasure box because it was so crazy, but I didn't, and I didn't even get a picture of how mush blood was on it) We heading back to my moms, and she took a bath with my moms millions of rubber duckies. That made Parlee happy and she seems to be doing great. Seriously, that girl is a wild child! When we got home I heard her tell Joely "You hurt my head" Joely asked who told her that and Parlee said "The doctor told me" Ha, she never even saw the doctor!

Well, we are wrapping the school year up, getting ready to go to Lagoon this weekend and then planning our last day of school breakfast. With the kids at different school we have to do one breakfast at 6:40am and the next at 8:20am. I've decided to simplify and do muffins, donuts, fruit and juice!  Speaking of which, the donuts and hot chocolate has been a little tradition we started this year for Joely and the bus stop. On random days through out the year we would invite all the kids from the bus stop to come over 15 minutes early and have donuts and hot chocolate. Its been a lot of fun! We will be doing that again next year too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

INSURGENT by Veronica Roth

Okay, so here's my newest plug for the new Insurgent book....seriously have you not read Divergent yet???

On other book news, I finally read Orson Wells 1984, after having too many people ask if Ive ever read it...well I did. The three 'classic' dytopians are 1984, Brave New World and a book called 'We'. I honestly haven't heard of 'We' much though, If I can remember correctly I think its German. I have read the other two though, and they were not quick reads AT ALL. You know what I think about some of the more modern books, is that they develop characters that you love and feel like you can relate to, they paint stories with their words. Quite frankly that wasn't happening so much with 1984, it was just too filled with information. And, while I didn't find it really interesting, I have to admit it took me almost 2 weeks to finish (that's forever in my reading ways) and I did take a break for two days and quickly read Hunger Games again.

I'm needing some new book ideas, have any? Maybe I need to start a book group!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

see that on the side------>

Okay, so its no secret, when I love a book, well I LOVE THAT BOOK! I practically obsess over that book (wait, not practically, I DO obsess).

Anyhow, I've spent last night thinking about books, and how there are times that I really try to read a 'good' book, you know one that may uplift me, or enlighten me. (aka church related or self esteem types) in fact I just got the 'Divine Center' by good old Covey a couple of weeks ago, you know Ive met him many times, I really like him, Im sure the book was great, I even renewed the book, but I just couldnt read it! I tried I swear I tried, I just couldnt do it!


Because when I read, I want to be transported, I want to imagine and enjoy and NOT THINK! Serious, I 'think' too dang much! So if I'm reading I want to enjoy it! A book to me is like a treat I give to myself, and when I find books I love, well I read them over and over and over again.

So, I heard about this book quite a while back, (it came out early summer last year), I bookmarked it, I even checked out her personal blog, she liked many of the books I liked. I got the idea that this was a dystopian novel, and boy oh boy are those popular right now, which is fine and dandy-o with me, because those are my FAVORITES! (with the exception of 'hiking-adventure true life' novels aka. "Into thin Air", "72 hours", "Into the Wild" type stuff).

I reserved the book at the library MONTHS ago, I wasn't quite willing to go and buy the hardbound book as I knew noone who has read it, well the book came in on Tuesday, I picked it up that afternoon, and was surprised that it was a larger book, like 500 pages. Less then 24 hours later, i had it read, and I'm really trying to restrain myself from not reading it again today. I think I'm going to go and get the paperback because it just came out 2 weeks ago!

I just love to LOVE a book. This one follows suit very well with Enders Game and The Hunger Games type of themes. It will be a trilogy and the next one comes out in May. All everyone who reads this blog needs to do is to quickly (which will be easy) read the book so we can talk about it! :-)

Oh yeah and tell me which group you would join.....I can tell you I don't think I'm brave enough to be 'Dauntless!'

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentines Day

I kind of think this may have been my favorite Valentines day! It was busy and fun and filled with my family!

Joely had a choir concert on Valentines...which is a rather odd day to have a concert. But, her having this concert made me switch around our usual plans, usually on Valentines we bring cookies over to all the grandparents houses and leave them on the door steps, ring the door bell and go run and hide waiting for them to find us, this has always been a lot of fun, and in fact for FHE we made a few cookies and decorated them, but I just couldnt figure out how to drive all around, have dinner and go to the concert....

So, of course I couldnt figure out what to do until Valentines morning, while Kyler was at preschool it finally hit me, Im going to have a big party for the kids. I set up different "Stations" with activities, crafts and games. After preschool I had the general idea, we went to town to get decorations and prizes for the prize box and began setting up.

Once the kids got out of school the craziness began, we started by running to Joels work and decorating up his truck, we added balloons, cut out heart, streamers and window clings all over the truck, the kids thought this was so fun and slealthy of us! (of course my hopes was to embarrass him as he came back to get his truck)

Next we quickly visited with two of the grandparents, ran back to Joelys school, came home and had heart shaped Papa Murphy's pizza, with red ice cubes in the sprite (okay so maybe I was stretching for anything valentine-y)

Then the party began, we had so much fun guessing M&M's in a bottle (Kyler won) playing toss the 'golden love tokens' aka coins into a jar (kyler also won this!) We decorated cards to people, each kids had to choose two people to write to, that will be delivered today), we made Valentine pinwheels on pencils, we played a game where we had to list anything red in two minutes (Joely and Parlee with Joels help won), a lifesaver and toothpick race and so on, it was the best day!!! The kids all got to win prizes, and just had fun. I got crazy on the decorations and this place ended up with streamers, balloons and all things valentines hanging up.

When I was kissing the kids good night each one asked if we could have more parties just like that...mission accomplished!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Parlee's new hair

Parlee is "So Pretty" as she puts it....and of course we agree, Im mean come on thats a pretty happy face if I do say so myself!

On Saturday my mom, Marg and the boys spent the day at my house, in the evening Parlee came waltzing out to the front room, smoothing back her locks with her hand saying "Parlee's pretty" she had a smile about as wide as the grand canyon. It seems as though our little beautitian had some fun with the safety scissors in her room.

Marg and i cut another 4 inched off the back and cut the rest of her bangs into little pixie bangs and all in all I figure no harm done, it was bound to happen eventually. Shes on day three of her new hair and she still loves it, in fact yesterday I found her in the bathroom carefully slicking her locks back with lotion and on Sunday I found her styling her hair with the shampoo and body wash!....never a dull moment!