Thursday, September 27, 2012

Girl Power!

I was listening to Keely and Charity laughing the other day.

And it was a great sound.


Sometimes I take it for granted that I have these two darling creatures living in my house.
They are at such a fun age and the thing I am most grateful for is that they really do love each other.

Being thrown together in the situation of a blended family
can be really challenging. 
There are issues that you can't prepare for because you've never
experienced it before.
And I firmly believe the ones who struggle the most are the kids.
(There's my little plug for working hard at your marriage.)

These two have had some ups and downs, but what I've realized lately is that those things have been a bonding force for them.

They know each other so well.
And they love each other.
They understand each other.

They have had to learn to be patient with each other.
They have had to learn to open up their lives to each other.

I will always be grateful for the way they
have chosen to love each other.

I have watched them create a very special friendship.
I have watched them lean on each other when they struggle.
I have watched them take a tough situation,
and make it a great one.

They have had to work at it, and it has been challenging
at times for both of them.
But, they have been a great example in our home of how to do that.

And I will always love them for that.

As I watch them together, as I listen to their funny inside jokes,
 and as I see evidence of how much they love each other,
I am very grateful.

These two girls bring me great joy.


Many times when I see them together, I feel like this...

HAHAHA! 
Oh...the joys of life!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's a Sassy Pants Kinda Day!

OH YEAH!


I LOVE IT!
And I DO have my sassy pants on today!
Bring it on world!
Sometimes you just need to have that kind of day.

Speaking of sassy pants...
Around here, we call HER little Miss Sassy Pants.
I always ask her, "Well, Miss Lucy Lu-Lu...do you have your sassy pants on today?"
And she replies, "YES M'AM!"






You can see it...right?

She's hilarious.

Our little Lucy Lu-Lu has come at the very end of our crazy bunch. 
She is sassy, confident and absolutely sweet.
She keeps us laughing, and keeps us loving.

It's great to have a "sassy pants" kind of day,
but even better than that is having a 
funny "sassy pants" kind of girl.
She keeps life sassy. 
And in our home, she is a treasure to us all.

GO ON!
Get your own sassy pants on!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Simply Sunday: Make It Work!

The other night I was sitting on the couch watching tv 
while Big Daddy was studying.

I glanced over and tried really hard to hold my gut giggle in. 

I got up very slowly and quietly walked to the cupboard 
where my camera was.

Very stealthily I made my way back to my spot on the couch.

Then.....

CLICK

I got this beauty!


Once I took the picture, I finally let my gut giggle out.

In the middle of my laughing I asked him what was with the two pairs of glasses?

He then told me that the bottom pair was for reading,
and the top pair was for when he wanted to watch the tv.

I laughed again and then thought,
"HOW DARLING IS THIS MAN?"

The more I think about it, the more I love it.

Here sat a man who did what he needed to do to make it work.
And he does this all the time.

In his mind, there's never a problem without a solution.
Sometimes the solutions are hard, and sometimes he's not quite sure what the solution is.
But, he absolutely knows there is one.

He's not a quitter.

And he's been a great example to me.

Life is quirky.
It's full of crazy things that don't go the way we think they should.
Sometimes we are faced with things that 
we have to fix, solve or figure out.

It's life.
And it can be tricky.

But, I love Big Daddy's attitude of.....

 

Don't get me wrong.
He gets discouraged just like everyone else.
But, soon, he's trying to figure out how to make it work. 
It's comforting to be with someone like that. 

He makes everything seem ok.
He makes it easy to believe that there really are
solutions to problems.
That there are ways to get through tough things.
He never tells me that we won't go through tough things,
or that everything will always work out the way we want it to.

But, he ALWAYS reassures me that things WILL work out and that everything will be ok.

And I always believe him.
  

I love people like that.
I love Big Daddy.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dear Old Dad!

My Dad

This photo was taken at Hannah's wedding and it is one of my favorite photos.
When I look at this picture, I'm filled with love for my dad.
He is a great man.


There are so many things I could say about my dad.
He is someone I love more than I can adequately express.
He is my hero in many ways and I'm so happy that I've been able to share my life with him.

He makes me laugh with his crazy sense of humor.

I've always thought it was strange that he would read the dictionary just for fun, but I also love that he knows what every word means. And just for fun, he loves using those big words that no one else can understand.
Except for my sister Shawna, who also loves the English language.
.....strange little birds. :)

He has a tender heart and isn't afraid to show his emotions. I love that he showed my brothers that you can show your emotions and still be a strong man. 
I love that...so very much.

I have some very special memories with my dad. 
And the older we both get, the more important those memories are to me.

Some of the memories I cherish the most are ones of my dad praying.
I can't remember one specific prayer he said from growing up.
But, I remember him gathering us for prayer, and I remember how I felt when he prayed.
I remember him ALWAYS giving thanks for my mom.
And I remember him ALWAYS getting emotional as he did so.

I have always been thankful for a dad who has loved my mom so much.
It was a rule in our home that NO ONE disrespected my mom.
And we all knew he was serious about it.
I love that about him.

He does this dance-jiggety-jig thingy.
It's impossible to describe, but just the thought of it makes me laugh.

And then there's his laugh. 
No one laughs like my dad.
And my favorite is when he REALLY laughs.
It's extremely contagious and you can't help but laugh along.

When you look at this picture, can't you just hear it?

My dad is a hard worker.
He's never been afraid of working hard.
And that has been a great example to me.
He can fix anything and always knows the answer to every question you can throw at him.

One of the memories I cherish the most is dancing with my dad.
When I was growing up, we had youth dances at church, and my dad was there often.
And I always got to dance with him.
The best thing is that he didn't just go around in a circle, but he would waltz me around the room.
I love the feeling of being in his arms dancing.
He holds you tight and guides you.
And I have always loved that feeling.



When I met Big Daddy, one of the things that made me love him so quickly was that he reminded me so much of my dad. I've taken some pictures of him lately as he's interacted with the kids, and I have caught myself thinking about my own dad. 

Ricky is a great father.
Just like my dad, he has MANY kids and the weight of the responsibility to take care of them, is very heavy at times.
He takes his responsibilities to our children very seriously.
Not just to provide, but to teach and to guide.
He wants them to be great adults.


Just like my dad, he loves each child.
And magically, he finds ways to make them all feel special.




To be a father is a tough job.
I believe mothers are born with a natural tendency to nurture.
But, I believe fathers are born with a natural instinct to protect, to provide and to lead their families.

I am grateful for the father I have been blessed with.
And I am equally grateful for Ricky, for the father he is in our home.
I'm so happy to be lucky enough to say that this applies to both of these great men.

I am a very lucky girl.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Dentist.....Gone Horribly Wrong.

Many who know me, know how much I LOVE going to the dentist.

not.

I. Hate. It.

I feel the anxiety building for days.

As a child, I had some rough experiences, and some bad zingers!
You know the ones.
The ones that shock you to your toes.
And then you cry.

Finally I learned the beauty of gas at the dentist office.
Such joy.
Such peaceful, wonderful joy.

Until the numbing medicine wore off and I got another zinger.


As I got older, I was told that I was metabolizing the numbing medicine too quickly.

So every time they lovingly numbed the spot, it ALWAYS wore off right in the middle of the drilling!

Well, recently I went to the dentist.

Being older and wiser, I asked my dentist to PLEASE make sure that he REALLY numbed it good.

I basically begged.

I asked him for the good stuff.
The REALLY good stuff that I KNEW he had.

This time, my amazing, wonderful and very gentle dentist told me he used the strongest stuff there was.

.... and ....

ZING

It still wore off.

He was shocked.
I was not amused.

So he got that bad-boy numbing stuff out again and I could tell he was REALLY saturating my poor gums with it.

Needless to say, it worked really well.

A little too well.


Complete paralysis on one side.

Complete.
From the top of my head and down into my neck.
For hours.

MANY hours.

HAHAHAHA!!

If you cover one half of my face at different times, you will see two very different emotions!
Pure joy.....and pure shock.
So funny...and a bit disturbing.

hahaha!

And if that's not entertaining enough, I've decided to swallow all my pride and attach a short video that Hannah took.
I really think the laughing gas or numbing stuff made me a little high or something.
Sorry it's sideways. :)

So.....
currently I LOVE my dentist.

LOVE him.

No zingers after my lovely numbing cocktail.
Not a single one.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Squirrel Catcher

So, I walked in the kitchen the other day...

and there sat Noah.

On the counter.


And then this conversation followed,

"Noah, what are you doing?"

"I'm watching my squirrel trap."

"What?"

"I'm trying to catch a squirrel."

"...uhhhhhh......oh."

Then Noah very proudly points out the window.

"See?"

Then he pointed out the fishing line that went from the trap, up through the kitchen window...to his hands.

He was ready to pull that darn trap closed!


"...uh huh. I see."

"I've got an acorn under there!!"

BWAHH-HA-HA-HA!

"Good luck Noah!"

I have no idea how long he sat there.
At some point he put peanut butter out there as well.

Noah never caught his squirrel.
But, Noah is not one to be discouraged.

I have thought a lot about Noah and his squirrel catching episode.
There was no way anyone was going to convince Noah that his dream was not within reach.
He was determined that this was an absolute possibility.
And he had no problem being patient and waiting.

I do believe Noah will change the world.
He is a dreamer.
And he helps me to keep dreaming my own dreams.
He is a great example to me of believing in things that seem unattainable.

Such a delightful young man.
Such simple joys.
So easily entertained.

I love this kid.
And I love that he's a dreamer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Mom

Let me just say ahead of time...

sorry Mom.


hee hee hee hee...
(oh, the glorious gut giggle)

I was thinking about my mom the other day.
Up until 7 years ago, she was someone I saw almost every day.
Living this far away definitely has it's downsides.
I realize how much I took her for granted.
And it makes me miss her more.

Why do I love my mom?
Well, many who may read this post will know her.
But, some won't.

So, at the risk of embarrassing her, I thought 
I would do a post about her.

My Mom.

Ruth Ann Evenson

I don't believe great mothers are just born.
I believe great mothers are created by years of personal experiences that mold and shape them into great women.

And I firmly believe that is how my mom became a great mother.

She was born into somewhat difficult circumstances.

She didn't have many things that others around her had.
Yet, she was surrounded by some who would have a profound impact on her life.


These are my great-grandparents,
Albert and Veronica Glaubitz.

I was named after her.

They were a very important part of my mom's life, and I am grateful for their influence on her.
I believe that their influence is a large part of what made my mom a great mother.


My mom went above and beyond to make sure we had a great childhood. 
And we did.
I, personally, feel like I had the very BEST childhood.
My parents made great sacrifices to make sure that happened.
And I will always be grateful to them for that.


Any one who knew my mom when I was growing up, knows EXACTLY what kind of mom she was.
She got up every morning, sometimes in freezing Wyoming blizzards, and did a paper route.
We all took turns getting up early and wrapping newspapers.
We loaded up our old VW bug with the papers, got in the car with my mom and would go deliver the papers.
I remember some mornings were so cold, that as the passenger, your responsibility was to take the ice scraper and keep the inside of the windows scraped. 
To keep the windows from fogging up, we would have to keep the windows cracked a bit.
The car was older, so I remember the heater not working very well.
I remember being very cold, with cold aching hands.
It was miserable.

As a child, I remember thinking many times how grateful I was that we all took turns.
Now, as an adult, I am filled with gratitude as I realize that my mom never got a break. 
She had to go EVERY day.
I don't ever remember her complaining about it.
She did this because it was something she could do to help. 
She made that sacrifice for us.
She is a great mother.


My mom was very frugal.
She was a crazy coupon lady.
And she had a newspaper route, so we had access to TONS of coupons!
She would get our piles organized and we would all start cutting.
CRAZY CUTTING.
There's no possible way to let you know exactly what our crazy couponing was like.
I look back on that now and it just makes me smile.


 My mom loves her kids.

All TEN of us.

She made our clothes, we had matching home-sewn Christmas nightgowns, she made our stockings, she made our dolls, our blankets and even made some AWESOME Barbie clothes.

She planted a garden every year, and we learned to work in that garden.

She made homemade bread...in those funny big soup cans.
She made homemade yogurt, granola, beef jerky, canned fruit, canned pickles, and canned everything else she could get her hands on. 

She made homemade candy at Christmas, and homemade costumes at Halloween.
She made the cutest birthday cakes.
Then when we got older, she made our beautiful wedding cakes.
On Christmas morning, our tree was full of presents, and many of them were ones that my mom had stayed up late at night making for us. And they were made with love.

She can look at something and know how to fix it. 
She can look at a couch and whip out a slipcover for it in no time flat.
She can create anything. 
(She will disagree with this, but to that I say, "Don't tell a lie Mom.")
hahaha!

She tolerated every pet imaginable.
Including the many strays I walked through the front door with.
There was always room for them.
Actually, there was always room for ANY stray, including friends, visitors, and families who needed our help.

She created traditions for us, that live on today in our own families.
As we've all gotten older, she has helped create new traditions that fit with our growing family.
Her family has been her life. She lives for us.....and we all know it.
And we all love her for it.

She has taught us by her example that sometimes you have to work a little harder because not everything is going to be handed to you.
She taught us to be grateful for what we had.
She has taught by her example to serve others and to always think of someone else first.

My mom's life has been about serving.
She did daycare for YEARS.
She had a home full of her own kids, and then opened it up every morning for many others.
And somehow she magically had enough love for all of us.

And then if that wasn't enough, in her down time she was busy doing something for someone else.
ALWAYS.
She has always loved being the one to give, to uplift, to encourage and to lighten someone else's load.


Being away from my mom has been something that is very hard for me.
But, in many ways it has made me love her more.
It has made me more grateful for her.
And it has made me realize, time and time again, what a great mother she has been.

My mom is incredible


And I'm grateful she's mine.




I love you Mom.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My WONDERFUL Family!

I've had many ask for updates on all my siblings.
I thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peak into all their lives.

They are my siblings, but they are also my best friends.

Shawna: 2 kids, living in Billings, Montana.
Was the COOLEST English teacher who ever lived, 
and now she works as the studio manager for Jana Graham Photography.
Getting ready to enjoy the wedding of one of her sons.

Michael Shane: 2 kids, living in Provo, Utah
Is an incredibly creative and doting father. His children are his life.
He is always fixing, building, or creating something.

Jason: 4 kids, living in Las Vegas, Nevada
Is a pilot in the Air Force and is still loving it!
He is a fantastic father and husband who remains completely smitten with his family.

Lori: 3 kids, living in Auburn, Washington
Is a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines and is a traveling girl.
Planning the wedding of her only girl...sweet little Ashley.

Britney: 5 kids, living in Provo, Utah
She is a crazy, talented mom. There is nothing she can't do.
She stays busy being supermom to 5 of the cutest kids you will ever know.

  Kathryn (Katie): 5 kids, living in Orting, Washington
She is more involved than most moms I know.
She is VERY involved in her kids schools and enjoys her job on the side as a wedding planner.

Stephanie: 5 kids, living in Kent, Washington
She is the editor for International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association's newsletter.
She also makes AMAZING cakes. You can see her work at cremedelacakes.blogspot.com.
She is also a very busy mom with a brand new darling baby.

Jenny (plus one more baby just last month!): 4 kids, living in Glen Allen, Virginia
She is an incredibly busy and amazing mom.
She graduated with a degree in psychology, so I use her as my personal counselor all the time.
hee hee hee...

Mallorie (Dr. Boo Boo): OB/GYN, living in Salt Lake City, Utah
Just started working in her first practice and is loving it.
She is good through and through and still waiting for Mr. Wonderful.
Know anyone special?
You can send them to this link.
All About Mallorie
...hee hee heeeee!


When I look at all of these pictures together,
it makes me incredibly happy to know they are all mine.

THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!!

 
My mom FINALLY retired from daycare and now travels the country visiting all her grandchildren.
We literally fight over her. :)
My dad retired from the FAA...years ago.
But, couldn't stand it, so he started working again as a consultant.
(We're all secretly convinced that he works for the CIA, because none of us completely understand what he does exactly!) hahaha!
He's still working hard!
Happily married, still living in Auburn, Washington, happy grandparents to 39 grandchildren!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Things I Take For Granted

I ran across this quote this week. 


For some reason, this has had a profound effect on me.

I keep thinking about all the little things I take for granted.

There's a song at church that says, 
"Count your blessings, name them one by one."

And this week, I seem to be doing that a lot more.

I've realized that I'm not nearly as grateful for all 
the good things in my life as I should be.
I've realized also that I've gotten pretty darn good at recognizing all the things that aren't exactly how I would like them to be.

Life is a tricky thing.
Every moment has value, but some of those moments can be hard to really appreciate.
I've found that it's also really easy to allow myself to get into a rut, to become complacent and to not REALLY see all the wonderful things around me.

It happens slowly.
It sneaks up on you.
And before you know it, you are taking too many things for granted.

So...
I'm going to focus on some of those things.
There are so many things I take for granted on a daily basis.
And I don't want to be that person.

I want to be aware daily of how wonderful and great my life is.
Because it really is just that.

WONDERFUL!
and
GREAT!

I've been very blessed, through every season of my life.
And I thought it would be fun to think about some of those things.

So, today.
I'm grateful for one of those moments that is not the most enjoyable in some ways...but in other ways it's incredibly rewarding.

I'm grateful for the chance to take Noah to get his driver's permit.

We were there for over an hour and a half.
A very long hour and a half.
With Lucy.
Enough said?

hahaha!

Actually she tried hard to be really good.

We were sitting there and a teenage girl was standing up at the counter where she was told she didn't pass the test. She broke down in tears and walked out.

Noah was next.
I got a knot in my stomach.

Noah had gone into the back room to take his test.
I waited...and said a silent prayer for him to be able to do his best.

Then, sweet Noah came out. 
I heard him call my name from way up in the front of the room.
Then, he proudly told me, in front of everyone, that
HE DID IT!

The look on his face was priceless.
And the fact that he was excited to tell me his good news was even more priceless.


It's one of those moments that could easily be taken for granted.
But, I will always be grateful for that moment I shared with Noah.
The wait was well worth it.

Time to appreciate all the good things in life!

Here we go!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Just Breathe...and Smile.

There are many moments as a mom when I'm a bit speechless. 
I have to just sit for a minute...
take a breath...
and THEN try to respond.

This was one of those moments.

Here is my sweet little Lucy Lu-Lu.
Such a cutie.

LOVE her piggy tails.


Did I mention that I love her piggy tails?

Well...

She decided that she didn't.

So...

on a lovely day when her golden locks were neatly placed in a lovely ponytail, she cut it.

 I found a chunk of hair mysteriously lying on the floor.

And then this followed...

"LUCY! Where did this hair come from?!"
(said with dismay and disbelief)

"I don't know." said Lucy with such convincing innocence.

"Luuuccyyyyyy...."
"Where did this hair come from? Turn around please."

As she turns around I notice half of her ponytail is missing.

Breathe.

"Lucy...did you cut your hair?"

"Yes...I DID!"
said with a mischievous and proud grin.

"Well, we have to go get the rest cut off so we can fix it."

HORROR.

COMPLETE HORROR on her face.

"NO!!!!"
"I don't want to cut my hair!!"
(said with huge tears rolling down her cheeks.)



As she was getting it cut, I watched her. She kept looking in the mirror with confusion.
When she was done, she just sat and stared at herself.

She looked so different.

And as her mom, I sat and stared too.
She didn't look like my Lucy Lu-Lu anymore.
I started to feel myself get emotional.

She kept looking at me, so I smiled and told her, "YOU LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL!"
And she did.
She just looked so different.

But, I'm happy to say that it has grown on me. 
I now love her little haircut.
And I love that she loves it now too.


So...
just a reminder to all you moms out there.
It all works out in the end.