Dream a little dream…

My little family got a short break two weeks ago to visit my parents for two days…the remains of our Spring Break.

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My dad cuddling my baby girl before bedtime.

Wiley loves and frequently asks to go visit his “cousins” down there.

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I can’t post their sweet faces for the public, but here are two of my parent’s foster (hope to adopt) children! Wiley…being wiley. 🙂

My parents began fostering children a few years ago – with the hopes of adopting.

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They are such sweet kids! It’s no wonder Wiley can’t wait to see them again!

So those children that Wiley considers ‘cousins’ are more than likely to become his legal Aunts and Uncles.

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Wiley is not great at helping with chores, but it is good for him to go with the kiddos to learn the ropes…some day, he’ll be helping out on the Wanch too!

Since relocating to the city life, I am always happy to visit family (here in Missouri and down in Texas) where my babies can run free in the country with their cousins.

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I can now post photos of this little guy, because he is officially ours!! So are the dogs and ducks littered about…the back hoe in the back ground, not ours.

I’m a big believer that children need to be outside – as often as possible!!!

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What’s that popping up on the other side of mom’s garden??

City life has it’s perks and I’m not one to complain about being two blocks from the library or the grocery store, but my husband and I both have plans to make our way to the country.

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Mom and dad are building a house for my Gramma! So excited!!

Or at least closer to the country…presently, we live off the main street in our town.  So, a little further away from the city center.

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Walking back from Gramma’s house.

We are very lucky to have Danny in school – considering all the small children we have collected since we married – Dan has had quite a load.

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How many other 29 year old engineering students do you know with three kids under the age of four? Hahaha, well, there aren’t many at Mizzou…I’m sure BYU could name a few.

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My pink eye had mostly cleared up…before it came back. But, my face was still puffy, hence the glasses.

Although we have quite a handful, we have a lot of help from our church community and family. I’m not sure I’d survive mentally without my church community of moms!

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Daddy and Wiley

Most of our time spent at mom and dad’s is filled with chasing babies, making sure they stay out of the pond and jumping on the trampoline.

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Mom getting the engineer’s opinion on the retaining wall…

Danny and my brothers spend an equal amount of time as the little children on the trampoline, doing flips.

My dad made a new rule after he bought the new trampoline…only one big boy (that’s Dan or my brothers) allowed to jump at a time. My husband and my three younger brothers managed to collapse the old tramp – I mean, it was old, but yeah – too much weight es no bueno.

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Little Kon Bon – Konny Bon? My baby brother Konnor – the man of many nicknames.

Speaking of jumping…

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Mom came in to help choreograph a few scenes for Peter Pan.

I got to visit my brother’s dance rehearsal.

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Everyone was a little tired from rehearsing all day…but, they pressed on!

Cabool, Missouri has a new ballet school – totally legit! Children’s Ballet of the Ozarks was opened by a family friend, who recently moved to Missouri from Utah and with Cabool already the home of The STARS Foundation (which produces excellent music and theater), Cabool is like, the center of everything awesome here in Missouri…especially for all the youth in the area.

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I have this love for vintage photos, which may help you understand why I chose this particular lighting. I dig it!

It’s kind of miraculous this tiny little spot on the American map has so much to offer a community. All it takes, is for someone to take a leap of faith on a dream.

Because building your dreams, just might help others pursue their dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day Trip…From Three Four Weeks Ago (of course).

Tiny House - just his size!
Tiny House – just his size!

Several weeks ago…I wanted to take a day trip to some church history sites.  We live about 2-2 1/2 hours from some pretty significant sites – for our church – and for our nation.

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Our first stop was Independence, Missouri at the LDS visitor’s center to learn about the early saints.

There are many groups of people who were mistreated by the US government – slaves, Native Americans, the Japanese Americans during WWII, to name a few, and the Mormons or early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Replica of Liberty Jail - where Joseph Smith and other men were held 5 months (during the winter months).
Replica of Liberty Jail – where Joseph Smith and other men were held 5 months (during the winter).

Some people didn’t like what those, “mormons” were preaching and they persecuted the members – killed, ran out, antago.

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Who were the ‘they’? Oh, “Christians” who didn’t agree with our doctrine.

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After Independence and Liberty Jail, we drove north a little further and stopped at Adam-ondi-ahman – The most beautiful and peaceful place – the Garden of Eden.

Turns out I have some family here...Hello Whipples!
Turns out I have some family here…Hello Whipples!

My brother Kaleb, Danny, Wiley and I spent the longest bit of our day wandering the trails of this place.

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If Danny and I could buy property right now…it would look a lot like this place.

We took a path off the main trail and I thought it would be a great idea to take a family photo.

Waiting on Kaleb to tell us he is ready to take the shot.
Waiting on Kaleb to tell us he is ready to take the shot.

We were standing on the path maybe two minutes when Dan says, “Kaleb, hurry and take the photo, there are ticks crawling up our legs.”

Ticks?
Ticks?

At this point I look down and I have three ticks crawling up my legs.

TAKE IT KALEB - TAKE THE PICTURE!!!
TAKE IT KALEB – TAKE THE PICTURE!!!

I internally seized with terror from the feeling of little nasty ticks climbing my legs – Danny seemed to find it humorous.

Didn't get a real natural look on our faces here.
Didn’t get a real natural look on our faces here. I’m freaking out.

And the moral of this story is “just stick to the marked trail.”

If you zoom in, you can see those buggers.
If you zoom in, you can see those buggers.

I was seven months pregnant, but I ran outta dere.

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This may seem weird, but I hate ticks more than I hate snakes and spiders.

I was scratching myself the rest of the night. Cheese!
I was scratching myself the rest of the night. Cheese!

I’ve been bit by a poisonous snake, so I know what I’m talk’n ’bout people. Ticks are gross and some carry a bacteria that will give you lime disease!!

Wiley was having so much fun exploring, he didn't want to make time for photos.
Wiley was having so much fun exploring, he didn’t want to make time for photos.

Ticks, snakes, spiders, and whatever else may live here… I’d still want a slice of heaven – just – like this place.

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Knowing my husband, and the fact that he talks about buying land at least once a week, I know someday I will.

Tally-ho!
Tally-ho!

Until that time in our life comes, we will make it through school together, have more children and do some more exploring together!

A bird? A plane? My brother Kaleb.
A bird? A plane? My brother Kaleb.

I like to live my life from one adventure to the next.

I’m so grateful for my life –

DSCN0519and grateful for my forever family!

Kansas City Temple
Kansas City Temple – Danny took this one.

“So Take The Photographs and Still Frames In Your Mind”

 

 

The Green Day song, “Time of Your Life/Good Riddance” came out while I was in high school…it’s amazing how much the brain can retain after all these years.

Anyway, that song came to my mind when I looked through these photos of my son taken at my parent’s house.

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I love capturing happy memories. It helps us remember all the good in life.

Look at the cute duck roaming around.
Look at the cute duck roaming around the yard with six dogs.

My older brother Keegan was visiting mom and dad’s the same weekend.

Keegan is really good with Wiley and when they go outside on adventures, that means Wiley has the best. day. ever. and I get some extra duty laundry to do.

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I always think a little mud and what not on an outfit is worth the joy that came from putting it there.

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The other half of the day’s fun comes when it’s time to wash the greater part of the mud from the shoes and hands.

Awe, quality time with his uncles.
Awe, quality time with two of his uncles.

I can’t keep up with cleaning his finger nails of dirt…he digs in every day.

DSC_0814There is no greater play ground than mother nature – the earth, wildlife…

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not only a play ground, but a classroom!!

Uncle Keeg is getting some practice in what being a dad is like.
Uncle Keeg is getting some practice in what being a dad is like. And that dirty butt? Nothing a little Oxyclean can’t take out.

Two nights ago, Wiley woke up earlier than usual and Dan brought him into our bed.

After a while, Wiley would push the lambs away saying, "shoo, shoo!"
After a while, Wiley would push the lambs away saying, “shoo, shoo!”

I was having trouble getting Wiley to settle down to sleep again.

Hey Guy!
Hey Guy! Those blue eyes! and muddy face. So kissable!

He got quiet and for a minute I thought It was okay for me to go back to sleep.

Those pesky lambs wouldn't leave him alone.
Those pesky lambs wouldn’t leave him alone.

After several quiet minutes, in a very awake voice, Wiley says, “mooooooo” [pause] “cow.”

FInally got him cleaned up - boy did he cry when I brought him in the house.
FInally got him cleaned up – boy did he cry when I brought him in the house.

You can read kids books with pictures, but it makes such a bigger impression to have them actually see and interact with life!!

 

Dear Family In South Texas, This Is What December Should Look Like

(The above photos, two are taken of the courtyard that is located in the center of our LDS chapel…my brother Kaleb standing where the small children usually play during Sunday classes. The middle photo is taken from the front door of the LDS chapel…the 60 or so people that came to worship came in through the back door.)

I love this scene that sits directly in front of the chapel. This barn, as well as the massive brand new house next to it are up for sell if anyone is interested in moving here.
I love this scene that sits directly in front of the chapel. This barn, as well as the massive brand new house next to it, is up for sell if anyone is interested in moving here.

Church wasn’t cancelled last Sunday, but “stay home if it isn’t safe to travel” calls were made to each member/family in the congregation.

Ah, yes, my husband having some fun in the church parking lot...
Ah, yes, my husband having some fun in the church parking lot…

I had enough of being cooped up in our house for a few days, I was going to church come hell or high snow drifts.

I made Danny stop several times so I could take some photos...with my pocket camera that I happened to have in the diaper bag!!
I made Danny stop several times so I could take some photos…with my pocket camera that I happened to have in the diaper bag!!

I had to tell Dan to slow down so many times, he eventually put it in neutral and the car kinda of rolled along…

The beautiful cemetery that sits near the highway.
The beautiful cemetery that sits near the highway.

I happily hummed Christmas songs while we “cruised along” and took photos.

This may sound really weird, but I love cemeteries. They are so peaceful and sacred.
This may sound really weird, but I love cemeteries. They are so peaceful and sacred.

Dan obliged me a bit more and we drove down more icy roads so I could get this:

really, I wanted to drive in and walk around, but I think everyone in the car would have revolted.
really, I wanted to drive in and walk around, but I think everyone in the car would have revolted.

I started to feel hunger pains, so I told him he could put the truck in drive…we did have to get on the highway ya know.

our neighborhood.
our neighborhood.

Dan asked if he could fish tail the truck a bit and told me, “if we get stuck you can tell me ‘I told you so and make fun of me.’ To which I told him, “I would do that any way, deal or no deal.”

Kamron met us at the gate with a backpack full of Oreos (thanks Konnor)
Kamron met us at the gate with a backpack full of Oreos (thanks Konnor, for donating the Oreos)

I wanted to walk back to the house, so I hopped out here. I love talking walks in the snow – I did it many a time in Utah!

Wearing the Kilt (Nana and Aunt Tina purchased for me in Bath, England - Love) and my sheepskin boots.
Wearing the Kilt (Nana and Aunt Tina purchased for me in Bath, England – Love) and my sheepskin boots. I also have a mouth full of Oreos.

In addition to walking back to the house, I ate some Oreos on my way in.

Wow, I can't feel my hands and the ducks are swimming in the pond.
Wow, I can’t feel my hands and the ducks are swimming in the pond.

Wiley loves to be outside too – and if we didn’t force him inside – he’d live out there with the ducks.

P1000597I can’t keep gloves, a scarf or a hat on him. If I take my eyes off of him for a few seconds, he’s be outside in his onesie!

Seriously, nothing says Christmas like snow, SNow, SNOW!!!
Seriously, nothing says Christmas like snow, SNow, SNOW!!!

I grew up in southern California, I remember roller skating in shorts on Christmas day.

See that turkey standing in the barn door? That would be my family's Christmas turkey. Farm fresh.
See that turkey standing in the barn door? That would be my family’s Christmas turkey. Farm fresh.

There is nothing wrong with shorts and sunshine in December…unless you watch too many Christmas movies, which I did and always longed for a Hollywood, snow covered people singing about how happy they are while they are snow shoeing…SNOW covered December.

P1000604Christmas is about Christ, no matter the season.

Danny and wiley running together. GEt inside!!
Danny and wiley running together. GEt inside!!

The Christmas season is always a time to get together with friends

Vonallmen's came for dinner - we love our friends.
Vonallmen’s came for dinner – we love our friends.

What am I saying? Any time is a good time to get together with friends.

MommyWileyI love the snow, I love having friends come over to our cozy home for a delicious meal…

Can anyone else spot the creepy little Papillion eyes glowing?
Can anyone else spot the creepy little Papillion eyes glowing?

and I can’t wait to see family in Texas in a few weeks, even if there is no snow.

Hey Aunt Klara, thanks for forgetting Joe joe's army sweatshirt :) Wiley loves it
Hey Aunt Klara, thanks for leaving behind Joe joe’s army sweatshirt 🙂 Wiley loves it

because as I said, snow doesn’t a Christmas make.

Here’s to enjoying the snow while it lasts!

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Happening Any Given Week

Dad is really good at pulling food out of the oven.
Dad is really good at pulling food out of the oven. Pork Roast, rice and veggies to off-set the brownies, chocolate chip cookies (gluten free) and chocolate tea cakes.

It seems to me that we have a steady flow of visitors.

They are really good at following orders. They stand nearby, so when I say, "can you..." they are ready for action.
Dad and the boys are really good at following orders. They stand nearby, so when I say, “can you…” they are ready for action. Although, I say, “can you?” it’s an order, not a question.

It seems to me that life has been this way my entire life.

One of these days, we'll have dinner ready on time. The birthday girl arrived and we still hadn't finished; but we were close.
One of these days, we’ll have dinner ready on time. The birthday girl arrived and we still hadn’t finished; but we were close.

Since I can remember, my parents would invite families, missionaries, and friends over for dinner every Sunday.

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It got to a point, where most of us children were adults and we finally told our parents, “can’t we just have dinner as a family this week.”

My sister came to stay for a few weeks - her husband is working a large project for his employer - and as a homeschool mom, she can do school anywhere.
My sister came to stay for a few weeks – her husband is working on a large project for his employer – and as a homeschool mom, she can do school anywhere. We are so glad she came. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love having friends over, but year after year, week after week, entertaining gets exhausting.

Grandad likes the extra help around the Wanch.
Grandad likes the extra help around the Wanch.

We have gotten back in to entertaining mode (having people over every week for dinner, in stead of every few weeks…) and every time there is a birthday, it gives us an excuse to gather again (to eat baked goods – yum).

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In addition to having a steady flow of dinner guests, my parents have been hosting travelers.

The grandkids love to help with farm chores.
The grandkids love to help with farm chores.

We see family come through from time to time.

And when a friend is passing through town and needs a bed to crash on?

one of my younger brothers is relegated to the couch.

sometimes both brothers are relegated to a couch.

I spy a couch on the back porch...yeah, well, it's on its way out. No worries, no one has had to sleep outside on this couch yet.
I spy a couch on the back porch…yeah, well, it’s on its way out. No worries, no one has had to sleep outside on this couch yet.

There is always room at the Inn here. Visitors welcomed.

We could always use more help around here doing chores.
We could always use more help around here doing chores.

I’m looking forward to time with family this week. So grateful for them.

Mormons: We Like To ‘Kick It, Old School’

Every year a friend of the family holds a Fall Festival on their farm – open to anyone.

My husband's boss - The Boss Man Jim, holding our son - who's the boss now?
My husband’s boss – The Boss Man Jim, holding our son – who’s the boss now?

People bring, chili, stew, chowders and cornbread. The barn wall is lined on one side with crock-pots, dutch ovens and large silver pots.

I look forward to the yummy food!

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We also look forward to the huge tug-o-war challenge.

Usually Dan anchors the winning side. But out of four matches, including trading sides…it was a draw.

Everyone wins!

Ready to watch the kids in sack races
Ready to watch the kids in sack races

There was horseback rides, hayrides, live music and touch football….and of course a bonfire!

Wait a sec...why are the little kids on the same team? This looks lopsided...
Wait a sec…why are the little kids on the same team? This looks lopsided…

And my advice for a good laugh? Watching sack races…

Balance Restored!
Balance Restored!

I always get car sick driving out to the farm, but it’s totally worth it!

The food, friends and crisp fall air makes me feel alright.

DSC_0643Compared to that, what’s a little upset stomach and light headache for a little while?

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It was pretty cold this year! Good thing I crocheted a new headband the night before.

Looks like the sunset is making us look a bit rosier than we are.
Looks like the sunset is making us look a bit rosier than we are.

Our son is 18 months this month

This was the second time we attended the Fall Festival since we moved here.

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Last year, our son was six months!

FLASH BACK:

Rebecca holding Wiley - who is rocking the Stache-fier.
Rebecca holding Wiley – who is rocking the Stache-fier. Yeah, we called him “The Bishop” for a few months…his hair fell out and grew back funny.

Time flies.

DSC_0085and yet…my forehead still wrinkles when I raise my eyebrows.

somethings are forever…like wrinkled forheads

DSC_0073and family – we are forever

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Six months of sleepless nights under my belt here!

I’m a lucky girl.

DSC_0111Another year, another fall festival…maybe I’ll have another baby to hold – or pass off – when next year’s festival rolls around.

What?
What?

Only time will tell.

Our Nursery Is Filling Up With Chicks

DSC_1682My mom has been incubating a large group of chicken and turkey eggs the last month and the chickens are hatching (the turkey eggs have about another week before hatching).

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My son loves to watch the chicks run around “cheep, cheep, cheep” -ing, it’s educational and entertaining.

DSC_1690He wants to hold them and squeeze them so bad….but, we just let him pet them for now.

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He likes to throw things into the tub that the chicks might like, books, yo-yo’s, things he finds in the trash can, luckily I’m also two steps behind him and no harm is done.

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We hatched a few chickens a few weeks ago and they have already been moved to the barn – but this last batch is the largest that has been incubated. We just need to see these chicks into adulthood – my parents have a dog that LOVES to eat her some maturing chickens….we have devised a solid plan for protecting these new ones.

SAVE THE CHICKS!
SAVE THE CHICKS!

We have dozens of farm fresh – free range – NON GMO – eggs piling up in our fridge.

DSC_1700When I was in high school, our family owned chickens. We had a few roosters in the bunch and my parents decided to eat two of the roosters. I remember the process entirely.

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The slaughter, the plucking, and boiling…. none of which I was actually a part of, but I saw it!!!

DSC_1703I’m still scared and I remember sitting at the dinner table staring down at my bowl of rooster noodle soup and I couldn’t eat it. I just couldn’t. It’s like, eating the family dog.

DSC_1706I knew them since they were babies for goodness sake! They were so cute. Some how, I don’t have that feeling toward the cows that we butcher, maybe because the cows annoy me more?

DSC_1707I wont eat you little guy…I mean, I don’t plan to eat you.