The Cutest Blog on the Block

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ruby and Jade

Porter loved being around 1 year old Ruby
My brother Craig stopped by with his family on his way to SLC.
It was great to see the cousins play and to have an excuse to have a BBQ.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Today I saw a hero

While driving to a music store in a neighboring small town, we drove down main street and noticed lots and lots of people lining the streets as though they were waiting for a parade.  
They all stared down the street looking for something.  
Many were wearing red.  
Most had American Flags.
Restaurants like Arctic Circle, Maceys, and Carls Junior even had their employees lining the streets.
Several veterans were in full uniform.
Scouts were in uniform.
One of my kids suggested they might be waiting for a Memorial Day Parade.  
Unlikely, but stranger things have happened, I suppose.
My guess was that an important person was visiting and the town people came out to show respect.

After looking around, buying a book and a guitar, I asked the clerk why people were lining the streets.

The answer was not what I had expected.

A soldier in Afghanistan had died and they were bringing his body home.

My heart dropped.
It all made sense.
As I started to drive home, 
I made a decision, 
pulled the car over,
and told the kids to follow me.
I decided to take just five minutes.
If he didn't come soon, then we would leave.
We waited.
My gratitude grew.
I decided that we would wait all afternoon if we had to.
Someone had lost their son and I wanted them to see that I honored and appreciated their 
So we waited.
And with so many others
we stopped our day.
We changed our plans
because it was such a small thing for us to do.

After the road was cleared,
there was quiet.
A little moment.

Then a highway patrol car led about 15 state troopers on motorcycles to announce that someone import was coming.  
A Hurst slowly followed them. 
It was white.
You could see the casket,
covered with the stripes of freedom.
And the sight felt slightly suffocating to me.
Feelings of pride and intense sadness attached to my heart.
I didn't know this soldier,
but I know that the cars that followed him were his family
and they were following their son,
their brother
their love.

As the family drove by,
I hoped they were touched by our efforts. 
I hoped that they felt our love.

Then, not just a few, but dozens of service vehicles and dozens of Patriot Guard Riders 
passed by,
in a whisper,
in respect,
in support.
It was an emotional moment.

Those who rode in the procession and those who stood at the side of the road were all there for the soldier, for his family and for our country.
We didn't take away the pain,
but they knew that by being there we were saying thank you.

As tears curled under my chin, a woman in one of the cars of the family members,
looked out and mouthed the words, "Thank you."

She thanked me for being there.
My hope for today is for her to know that it is her who I would like to thank.
It is her who I will be praying for tonight.
It is her who I cry for as I write this.
To all the military families I say Thank You.

Today I saw a hero.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Morning Must-Do List

1. Reading (20 min)
2. Math (one page/video)
3. Practice a goal (from a short list they created)
4. Home (chores)
5. Physical (20 min)
6. Extra (do something from a list we created)
One of Warrick's goals was learning the piano.
Warrick is listening to a book on tape for his EXTRA.
Flint Heart

Monday, May 27, 2013

Make it Monday - Homemade Bouncy Balls

Because crafts and science experiements are slightly painful to me, I found several really easy, little to no planning necessary, ideas for our summer Make It Mondays.


We thought we followed the directions, but IT DIDN'T WORK.
Make It Monday - Day One = Total Flop.
Warrick said, "That really wasn't that fun."
I agreed.
Plan B = water + corn starch.
Always a favorite.
Next week I think we're going to make cookies or try making swords made out of swim noodles.

By the way, notice the white flowers on the table.  Christian found them growing on our mountain.  I LOVE them. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The last few days

It was field day at school.  I told Warrick to try to keep his cast as dry as possible.  He came home with a trail of water following him, dripping form his cast. 

Just as we were going to bed, Warrick starts whimpering that his arm hurts and that something was in there.  I figured it had something to do with his cast being wet and his skin getting raw.  He was insisting that he needed his cast off.  It was almost 9pm.  Glenn perked up.  He could handle this.
Out came Glenn with a saw that does the same thing as the one they use in the doctor's office.  I thought, "Why in the world do you have a saw like that?"  But regardless of why, it worked and did the job very well.  After getting the cast off, it revealed that not only was Warrick's skin raw at his wrist, but there was a wood chip in it too.

We sent Warrick to the last day of school with is arm in a brace and a sling and hoped he wouldn't break it again for the fourth time.  

6th Grade Graduation
Miss Bird and Christian's buddies Brayden and Macarthur.
Miss Bird was Christian's teacher both last year and this year. 
She really cares and does a great job with the kids.

"I'm on Top of the World"  featuring the musicians, Christian, Macarthur and Daniel.

As soon as school was out, we had pizza and headed to the doctors office to get Warrick's arm checked out.
The first question out of the doctor's mouth was, "How did you get the cast off?"
Pretty nosy, right?

Warrick got a waterproof cast and 10 minutes later we tried out the new splash pad in town.

That night we watched Chasing Mavericks out on our back deck as a family.
(Awesome family movie if you haven't watched it yet.)

The boys had been training for a couple of weeks to run a local race.
Glenn had school, but I decided to not let that dampen any plans.
We waited in the cold for over an hour for the race.
Warrick ran his race and while I was picking him up from the finish line,
Christian came running over to me with panic, "Mom!  We just missed our race!"
I looked over to see his age group running down the path.
It was too late.
So sad.
I just couldn't be in two places at once.
I thought they would announce it.
All dressed up with no race to run.  
Believe me, there were no smiles after we missed it.
To spare my heart the details, that was the start of one of those days.

During our walk on the trails behind our house, we found these flowers out in force.
The last time we were there, there were purple/pink flowers that were blooming.

The irrigation canal was flowing so we each chose our boats to race.

Cool Runnings to finish out the day.

And now summer officially begins!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The day begins

You hold it together.
You're a mom.
Stresses happen.
Kids argue.
Issues happen at school.
Expectations are not met.
You take each thing - one at a time.
You know your weaknesses.
You pray.
You look for inspiration.
You probe your heart hoping to hear the answers.
And then you jump into the game and you fight.
You fight for your kids.
You fight with your kids.
Your kids fight.
You try.
You become hard on yourself.
You get a dose of perspective.
You become grateful.
And then you go to bed.
As you slumber you hope for grace.  
You hope for forgiveness.
And then you smile, because grace and forgiveness are there for those who try.
You know you try.
And you know that God is God.
And at the end of the day - at the end of a life,
You wipe your tears,
and realize that everything is okay.
It has always been okay.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I'm concerned.


This Video blessed my life today.
Take a few minutes.
After watching it, I realize that most things don't matter.
I realize that the things that matter most are simple.
Be thankful for it.
Be thankful to get to live this life.
Be thankful for time.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

I know what we can do

Warrick and Porter decided to strengthen their legs.
It seemed like a good idea.
Turned out to not be as fun as expected
...for some.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Let the bombs begin

I grew up in a family of boys.
Boys who made movies and bombs.
Boys who seemed to always have some scheme in the works.
I wasn't sure if it was normal at the time,
and I'm still not convinced, but setting the word normal aside...

Introducing the magic of vinegar, baking soda and an airtight container.
Baking Soda Bombs.
Christian and Porter loved it!
It kept them busy and begging to do it again.

See the shredded milk jug?
Lets just say there's a story there and Christian is thankful to have all of his fingers on his left hand.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Rescue - A Brother's Stewardship

When I went to youth conference with my church, we went into a book/art store and each teenager that was with us was given time to look at all the paintings and choose the one that they like and then tell us why.  There was a 17 year old, 6 foot 2, athletic boy, (you know the one that all the girls have a crush on) who chose a picture called The Rescue by Del Parsons.  It shows a little boy with his brother on his back.  I had never seen the picture.  This teenager from church, with side burns to his chin, told of the story of a family of four boys who traveled with the pioneers across the plains in the Willie/Martin Handcart Company.  The mother was a widow and doing the best she could, but she needed help.  While she pulled the handcart, she asked her 11 year old to help and be in charge of the youngest who was 5.  
There was a blizzard.
The 5 year old was too exhausted to go on.
The 11 year old boy carried his brother, on his back, the rest of the way.
That is a brother's love.

- to lift us when we can't any more.
-to lift us when we can't any more.

Nurturing the relationships in our lives helps us become more like Christ.

It seems to be a familiar theme in the church.

My most favorite thing as a mom to see my boys playing and caring for each other.
That is what life is about.
They are blessings.
Cherish them.
While hiking up the canyon, Stafford was hot and tired.
Without being asked, Christian jumped in and offered a piggyback ride.
Relationships are blessings.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm paying taxes for a babysitter, but, well, there are worse things.

Christian and his buddies @ the 6th grade party

There doesn't seem to be much learning going on at school these days.

If I told you that I cared, I'd be lying. 

6 hours of learning - straight - is too much.

Try it sometime. 

It's too much.

I don't mind if they take a break.

I don't mind if they play.

They are babysitting my kids and I'm getting ready,


for summer fun.

When you home school you learn that you can teach them what they learn in school

in so much less time.

I wish the school day was shorter.

I wish the school year was shorter.


since it's not,

I'm okay if they play.

I'm okay if they have a bit more time to be a kid.

They'll be okay.

And if all goes well, in a few years, they'll still get into college.


after a hot run

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Triassic Triops are no more

Nonetheless, Warrick continues to keep the heating light burning bright in order to keep them between 74 and 78 degrees.


I think we messed up when they added in the complex skill of feeding them morning and night as well as switching out the water.  Too complex for us.

Heating the water.  We can do that.  Anything more than that, well...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

We went for a walk and a picnic in the canyon that is behind our house.

So fun.
Makes me happy.

The best part was watching Warrick and Porter walk ahead of the rest of us.
In conversation.
Side by side.
Sometimes they have a hard time with each other.
I loved seeing their friendship being nurtured.

Yes, Christian is wearing a "wife beater".
Ignore it.

We ended the day with dinner at Glenn's parent's house and an episode of Granite Flats.
Good day.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Christian and Warrick swimming at Aspen Grove

Porter and Stafford during a family night

Warrick came home early from school today.
Stafford is so happy when one of them comes home - for whatever reason.
He really gets lonely when they leave
and pals around with whoever comes back - he's not picky.
This particular afternoon, Stafford (5) and Warrick (7)
watched a show called Merlin that turned out to be a bit more scary than we had thought, searched for bugs to feed to a spider under our tramp, played in the sandbox and finished with a fruit pop.

Don't feel bad.  They fight too.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cabbage Plant = hope for a better life

You know those movies where kids live in some small town and their only hope for a future is to "miraculously" get into college?

Meet Porter's ticket out of the ghetto.

This school-issued-plant could win him a $1000 scholarship if it is the biggest in the state come fall.

He treats it like this is his one chance at an education.  One chance at a future.

He keeps his ear to the ground about how to take care of plants.  So far he has sprinkled it with ash and Miracle Grow.  And it gets 1/2 cup of water - when he remembers to water it.  Warrick tried to get him to throw a banana peel in there as compost.  I stepped in and explained the composting process a bit - close call.  I did give a bit of my own advice and suggested that he start talking to it, but even Porter thought that was a bit much.  (For the record, if he doesn't win, it's not my fault. Everyone knows that verbally validating the plant is nothing short of miraculous.)

He moves it around our backyard to get optimal sun and brings it in when there is a threat of a frost.

Here it sits safe from the hail storm we had last night.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Triassic Triops

This picture may not look like much,
but right now Warrick's every thought revolves around it.
It is a kit from Hobby Lobby of Triassic Triops.
They start as eggs.
Hatch into teeny tiny swimming things.
I mean these things are teeny.  
You have to stare at the water and practically cross your eyes to see them.
And then they grow into something that I can explain only by using the word cockroach.
Think swimming cockroaches.
I know.  What kind of mom...?

Glenn and Warrick set up a lamp, as you can see.  
During the day, I'm in charge of making sure the temperature stays between 74 and 78 degrees.
It's an honor.

Last Saturday,
Glenn took the boys to the store to find projects that they could work on together.
It was interesting to see what they chose and yet explained them all so well.

Christian got a model jet and a model boat.
Porter got a catapult with moving parts and levers.
Warrick stuck with living things like the Triops and a Venus Fly Trap grown from seeds.
Stafford got a model boat that he broke because he threw it.
Christian had been eyeing Stafford's boat and as Stafford mourned the "ship wreck" with a fit,
Christian took the opportunity to trade Stafford for the jet.
Stafford had been eyeing the jet. 
Win.  Christian.  
Win. Stafford.
Fit stopped instantly.
Win. Mom.
Christian went about repairing the ship.

All was well in the Small World, once again.