Sunday, October 5, 2014

lemonaid stand

We really have never established any traditions for Independence Day.  This year we also lost the lottery and Chad was scheduled to be on call (it is a drinking holiday after all).  So instead of wasting the day, we decided to show our American spirit and be entrepreneurs.  We had been planning to do it for a while, but this seemed like a great day for a lemonade stand!  I wanted this to be a learning experience for  the kiddos, so I made them help from beginning to end. 
We started the morning by making a special trip to Wal-Mart.  We bought poster board, cookie and lemonade supplies, and a few sparklers just for good measure.  Once we got home, I helped the kids make their poster.  I wrote the bubble words, they colored them in.  Then we spent a couple of hours working together to make two kinds of cookies.  We packed a lunch, packed the van with all our supplies, and headed out for the afternoon.
We decided to set up shop at the corner of the "skunk forest."  There is a lot more traffic there.  once the stand was ready, I sent my little barkers to the corner with their signs.  They stood on a rock wall and called at passing cars.  They were very loud and energetic!  After 10 minutes and no customers, they started to loose heart.  Just when they were ready to throw in the towel, a bike rider that couldn't avoid eye contact was captured.  He very sweetly waited as we walked through the process of selling cookies and lemonade.  He even gave them each a tip!  Motivated by this sale, they hit the corner once again and started reeling in the costumers.  Porter and Pratt eventually only wanted to be a part of the action once a customer was acquired.  They all practically pounced on the people that stopped.  Aimee was my trooper though!  She was a natural saleswoman!  She stood right at the boundary I set at the corner and hollered at ever car that stopped or passed.  I felt a little sorry for the ones that had to wait for an opening to enter the street.  She made sure they knew they were missing the opportunity of a life time!  "Fresh cookies and lemonade!"  "They are yummy in your tummy!"  I'm sure the passers by thought I had coached the kids on how to bring in business, but no.  I just sat under the umbrella with May and enjoyed the free entertainment!
In total we were there about three hours.  In that time we sold all the lemonade, and a good portion of the cookies we prepared.  The kids pocketed just over $50.00.  I tried to teach the kids that harder work gets a greater reward.  Aimee got to keep $20.00, and each of the boys  got $15.00.  They each got to pay tithing and set a side some money to take to Idaho.   I'd say we definitely met our goals, and started a new holiday tradition!

the big 5!

I think there is something about turning five that changes a kid.  Maybe it is that they know that they are old enough to go to school now?  I don't know.  It just seems to me that there is a switch that flips.  Porter went from an all-about-me little boy, to a what-can-I-do-to-help boy.  He wants to please his parents and show everyone how big he is.
Somehow I can't find the pictures from this transformation day, but is was a happy one!  Porter got to have his first birthday party.  Since he is a summer baby, we went with the play-in-the-water-outside theme.  I gave each kid a squirt gun/bottle and filled up a few buckets of water and let them go to town.  My neighbor lent us a slip ' slide, and we turned on a sprinkler.  Could life get any better!  They had a wonderful time soaking in the Vitamin D!  There were a few water games, some chocolaty cake, and lots of running around screaming!  Porter even got to end his party by going next door for another birthday party!

For his birthday we gave him a fishing pole.  With his birthday money he replaced the remote control car that he got for Christmas.  While I dislike my babies growing up so fast, it was a super happy day for us all!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

long day

I had been looking forward to the annual Julie Williams Triathlon for months.  I was especially excited because I could actually participate.  I started running before TRX class, and going to one spin class a week.  Sadly, I never actually finished a spin class, but at least it was a step in the right direction.  The day of the race came.  I was pretty nervous.  Chad had done other races before, but it was a first for me.  I got me, my borrowed bike and helmet to the Y at the designated time.  Chad was on call the night before and had to meet me there.  About an hour and a half later, it was all over.  I didn't drown, and had crossed the finish line.  I didn't do quite as well as I had hoped, but now have a time to beat!
 We had to hustle home after the race.  Our annual King's Island trip also happened to be scheduled that day.
  Chad and I showered, got the babysitter home and headed out the door for a different sort of race.  We had an awesome day!  The weather great, the crowds were tolerable, and kids loved it!  
 We enjoyed the our fifty "beagle bucks" to the fullest, even though it was only enough for one game each and a couple of shared treats.  It is a good thing we got those perks through his work!
 Aimee's favorite ride was the carousel!  She loved that she got to ride with her baby!
Porter was all about the tummy ticklers!

After all the park had worn us all out, we headed back for the triathlon BBQ!  It was a big crazy day, but we had a blast!

Friday, July 18, 2014

one amazing dad

I can't put into words just how lucky my babies are to have Chad Williams for their daddy.  Chad's greatest fear through all of his medical training is that he would be an absentee dad.  He is anything but!  From the second that the kiddos hear the garage door until he walks through the door, their little bodies can hardly contain their excitement. Chad is their hero, and he this their biggest fan. I think that is the way it was meant to be.
Here are just a few of my favorites from the last little while.
Chad has sneaked a few times and given the kids "driving lessons."

 Chad is a hands on dad.  When he does a project, the kids do it with him.  Aimee and Porter had a great Saturday helping dad work on the bunk beds.

 This is a not a rare situation to find these four in. From the moment that they hear the garage door open they can hardly contain themselves. Once he is within touching distance, they are pretty much attached until he peels them off.
I rarely play board games with the kids.  I like to tell myself it is because I have other things I need to do.  Truthfully, I don't have the patience.  Every now and again Chad sucks me in.  He mans the rules, and keeps the pride in check when someone has to be on the loosing end, and he makes sure we all have a good time. 
Sleepovers are a big deal at our house.  Mostly because Chad goes above and beyond to make it awesome.  Nothing says sleepover like a specially made daddy tent.
And sometimes in order to make everyone happy, he has to get pretty creative.
I always cringe just a little when Aimee asks her dad to do her hair.  Depending on if we have to go anywhere determines how willing I am to let go of my hair OCD.  Aimee on the other hand thinks it is awesome!
Box castle anyone?  Could a Sunday afternoon get any better for a kid?  I submit that it could not!
I'm not sure if Aimee or Chad was more excited when we found out about that Aimee's school has an annual Daddy/daughter dance!  Their first one together was magical for the both.
Mostly it was Aimee spending the entire night telling her dad everything about every thing and person she say.  There wasn't much dancing, but there were crowns and treats!
Chad didn't let the evening end without an ice cream sundae.  He also had his date home by 9:30!  Perfection!
Dragging out an actual mattress was the best way to get even mom involved in a family movie night and camp-out!  And the popcorn was the icing on the cake.
We have become big fans of the first Saturday of each month.  The Home Depot has a free project for kids to build.  Chad loves heading that activity up, and even though it is a family event, the kids want Chad's approval on anything we build.
This is just a sampling.  Chad is an amazing dad!  He somehow manages to balance family, work, church and all the extras with such grace.  His family is always his number one priority.  When all of his co-workers can't wait to go to the bar or grab a quick round of golf, Chad can't wait to come home to his family.  We are so blessed!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


The plans were made, vacation time had been taken from work, and we were counting down the hours to when we would be leaving for Alabama for a mini family reunion.  We were driving down to visit Chad's brother and family.  His dad and another brother and family were flying out to be with us as well.  We were excited!  The day before we were supposed to leave I was just trying to get packed and tie up a few loose ends to be gone for a week.  That morning I was babysitting for a friend.  Porter usually loves having his little friends over.  That day, however, he complained of an ouchie tummy and didn't want to play.  I told him to lay on the couch until he felt better.  I later saw him laying there and tears just streaming out of his eyes.  Porter doesn't handle discomfort well, so I often go about my regular day when he "doesn't feel well."  By mid-afternoon I decided to give him some pain killer.  Still he was very whiny. I carried him up the stairs that evening. With every gentle step I took he winced.  We decided this was the real deal (it very hard to tell with him), and we couldn't risk a trip out of state without having him checked out.

At Chad's request I took him to Dayton Children's E.R late in the evening.  Porter had all of the classic symptoms, and after some tests it was confirmed.  He had appendicitis.  The  doctors where somewhat surprised.  Not many four year olds come in with appendicitis, and even fewer come in before it has ruptured.  Porter's low pain tolerance turned out to be a huge blessing.  With the diagnosis confirmed, we called our family and canceled the trip.  Luckily for the flyer's we let them know just in time for them to turn around at the airport and drive back home.

Porter and I spent the most of the night getting him ready for surgery the next morning.  Because he was hurting so much he didn't have the energy to fight the multiple attempts it took to start his IV.  They started pain meds and antibiotics.  By about 3 in the morning they finally took us to a room out of the ER to rest until morning, and let me borrow a breast pump so that I didn't explode.
Chad called our awesome neighbor to take the other kids bright and early the next morning so that he could be there before Porter was taken into surgery.  He also brought me some make-up so that I could feel somewhat normal. 

Everything went smoothly, as expected.  It did give Chad a chance to be on the other side of surgery.  We both felt like this would be a blessing as he interacts with patients and their families, and will help him be more empathetic.

 Over the next four days, we had the privilege of spending some one-on-one time with Porter, and getting to know Dayton Children's Hospital.  The staff there was so kind and sweet to the entire family as Porter recovered, Chad and I tag teamed the care of all of our children, and we witnessed the blessings of our Heavenly Father to our family.

The day after surgery, was Super Hero Day at the hospital.  Porter was treated to visits by several of them.  Also, several staff came bearing gifts.  Porter was given everything from lunch boxes, to action figures.  He got to make his own super hero cape, as well as one for Aimee, who was at school, and May, who was with Daddy.  Pratt got to tag along and make his own.

Porter received so many gifts, that it actually became a problem.  He was having a difficult time receiving his pain medication through his IV.  It wasn't in quite right, but they did feel they couldn't improve it.  Each time he received medicine, his smitten nurses would bring him a prize.  We had to ask them to stop because at one point, Porter began asking what they were going to give him each time they came to care for him.

-Dr. Meager called this Porter's "worm removal."  He did a fantastic job helping Porter see and understand what was happening.-While spending Chad's vacation at the hospital wasn't what we had planned, we can't imagine things having worked out better.  We felt so blessed that both of us were able to work together during this time, and that we were able to see such kindness to our family by friends and hospital staff.  Our Father in Heaven took such good care of our Porter, and our entire family, and we were grateful to so obviously see the hand of the Lord in our lives.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Porter and Aimee are best buds.  Pratt is rather independent.  Porter and Pratt...are not best friends.  When Aimee went to morning Kindergarten this year, I knew it would be a huge adjustment for my boys.  Well, it was.  In fact, there were many days that I found a reason to leave the house, just so I didn't have to be a referee between the two of them,

While my boys are about as alike as a rock and a tree, they have come leaps and bounds!  They have learned to enjoy their time together. They have found some common ground.  But at the end of the day (or rather the middle) 11:54 can't come soon enough.  For that is the time that the bus brings our Aimee back home to us, and the waiting can end. 

she is six!

It is hard to watch your kids grow up.  And, I think it is especially hard to watch your oldest. Even though your younger children hit new milestone for themselves, it is on that you have already been a part of with an older child, and one that you have felt more prepared for personally.  Aimee is six! It is awesome for her, and bitter for us.  And I would say especially for her daddy.  With each birthday he mourns the loss of his baby girl, and knows that the days are numbered he will be the big strong man in her life.  While that may seem silly, I think it is also wise. Every older person that I speak to, whether it is a family member or senior citizen at the grocery store will tell you, "they grow up so fast.  Cherish it!"  We are just taking that wise advice!
For Aimee's birthday this year you did our traditional date-with-mom-and-dad.  We went to the same place as last year, and even had the same waitress.  Before lunch, however, I took Aimee out for a "free make-over."  We hit up the make-up samples at Kohl's.  She picked out the kinds and colors of make-up, and I put them on.
For her birthday present we gave her a Cinderella dress-up.  As an after thought I gave her an apron and oven mit, but it stole the show!  She now likes to pretend she is a Chef.  I admit I sometimes use this to my advantage.     
We told her she could have a birthday party this year.  She invited her primary class, and out next door neighbor (and her bothers).  I'm not good at the whole "Pinterest theme party" thing, so we played some games, and she picked a cake that she liked.  It worked for her, and it worked for me!

 It was all spread out out over the course of a week, and in many ways felt like an eternal birthday celebration, but she loved it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

turning 30

Disclaimer:  I have been trying for weeks to upload pictures for blog post, but for some reason it won't work.  Now the computer with the pictures is out of commission.  I will have to just add pictures later, and just put up the post.

I know that for many, entering a new decade of their life is difficult.  I have seen family members and friends struggle with this.  I for one, am not one of those women who is sensitive about age, and have never really understood that mind set.

In October I turned 30, and I loved it!  One of my best friends, Melanie Jacobsen, and her two cute kiddos flew out from Utah to ring it in with me.  The truth is, she was just coming to visit, but I got lucky and it happened during my birthday!  I probably bored her to tears, since we aren't big go-ers, but for me it was awesome.  We did hit up the Children's Museum that day (which I learned was huge) and Chad went all out making me his mission Mexican Special for dinner.  He even had the kids help put up birthday banners and balloons (that is pretty impressive for my boy).  A not so quiet dinner at home, with my family and friends was perfect!  The following evening  Melanie and I went out to dinner.  For dessert, she found the "best place in Dayton" for doughnuts (which I have since learned is true).  When we lived in Omaha there was this weird little doughnut shop that opened from 10 at night until 10 in the morning.  We would hit it up late, just as it opened, for a favorite treat on our birthdays. Bill's Donuts was a perfect cross over!  Truthfully, it was my best birthday ever!

On a more sentimental note, birthdays have a way of bringing the past and the future together.  Especially big birthdays.  I spent some time thinking about how amazing my life has been.  I've spent most of the last decade of my life with the person that makes everything in my life better just by being a part of it.  Even the hard things we have worked through together were okay, because we did it together.  We've lived far away from our families, and while we miss them so much, we have The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that makes our life full of peace and purpose. And, we have met amazing friends along the way.  Some of our happiest times are the ones we spent living as "broke, students," although we have never felt that way, and have marveled at the blessings that have made us rich beyond our imaginations.  We have four beautiful babies, that make life exciting and interesting.  I especially love the way that looking at the world from their point of view makes everything so much more fun and happy!  On this birthday, it is hard for me to imagine that life can get any better.  But, I felt that way for so many birthdays, that I am excited to see what is to come in the next 10 years.  Happy 30th to me!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

sucker amimals

I have been wanting to post this since I started the blog. This is almost a nightly occurrence during tubby time. Aunt Shauna gave us this set of animals last year at Christmas that ended up being the all important bathtub buddies. They all have holes in the bottom that often end up being used as a squirt guns. For entertainment Chad also started to attach them to the kids.  He likes to see how many he can get on before they start pulling them off.
I just found this old post that I never finished.  Better late than never!

pulling teeth

What kid isn't excited to loose teeth?  Aimee has been waiting patiently ever since kindergarten started to loose her first tooth.  She would often get off the bus with the first thing that came out of her mouth being that someone in her class lost a tooth.  One night in November we were returning from a temple trip to pick our kids up at a friends house.  Instead of, "hi, Mom and Dad" when we walked through their door, we got, "I have a loose tooth!"  And pretty much from that time forward she was wiggling away at it.  The next evening just after Chad left for the evening to attend a church meeting, we were talking to his brother on Skype.  Aimee showed him her loose tooth.  Uncle Steve suggested that she just go ahead and yank it out.  Two minutes later, her sweet little smile had a hole in it, and she couldn't have been happier about it!
 From the time I learned of the loose tooth, until the time it was gone was less than 24 hours.  She was pretty determined wiggler!  Chad was heartbroken that he missed the big pull.  I later mentioned how sad I was that her little smile would never be the same, especially as her adult teeth started crowding their way into her tiny mouth.  That was the wrong thing to say since I don't know a dad who has a harder time watching his little girl grow up.  That night the Tooth fairy spent about 25 minutes trying to follow a YouTube origami video to transform a dollar bill into a butterfly.  Luckily, this cheapskate mom (this according to Chad) thinks the Tooth fairy will only be leaving a dollar for the first tooth.

I can't get the videos or pictures to post of the second tooth coming out, but it was even more fun!  Aimee was so anxious to get it out she asked me to tie floss to her tooth, attach it to a door and do the old slam trick.  I told her I didn't think it was loose enough, and that it might hurt, but she didn't care.  Well, long story short, it didn't work.  It wasn't loose enough.  It was fun though.  It took her several more days of twisting and wiggling to get it loose enough for me to yank for her.  And she loved getting TWO quarters, instead of just one dollar!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

tis the season

Usually we decorate our tree on the same day we put it up.  This year it took us a few days to get around to it.  Luckily, my kiddos are getting big enough that they know exactly what to do when we pull out the decorations.  It was difficult, to say the least, for them to wait until Chad got the lights on the tree before they started hanging things up. 
Pratt did the honors this year of putting the star on the tree.  He didn't really get the utility of the spiral that allows the start to sit on the top of the tree, and came up with his own method.  Aimee just about went nuts!  She asked several times if she could fix it.  When we told her no, she finally asked if she could please put it on next year.  I think she has a touch of my OCD...

I thought that perhaps this year we could decorate the entire tree.  By the time Christmas was over there was nothing in arms reach left (or in Hobbs reach).  We knew of a few balls being broken, but learned that Pratt must had discarded the evidence effectively, because about half of the balls that went up didn't make it back into the storage containers.  We bought some new decorations after Christmas on clearance, but I with May adding to Pratt's mischief next year, we will definitely stick with the top half decorating!