I can honestly say the last 7 years have been work.
4 moves, 3 children (2 miscarriages), 1 more college degree.
We could have done things a little differently – I could have put off having babies till I was closer to the age of 40 – I mean, it would have been a lot easier to get my husband through school without kids.
We could have stayed in Texas.
Dan could have avoided extra school all together and just started a career…
Hahaha, we would have taken way more vacations.
More time on the beach, just the two of us.
No diapers, no night time feedings or arguing over who was more tired (Mom or Dad) and which deserved the nap or night away with friends.
It seems we choose to follow Robert Frost and that darned road less taken.
In place of warm naps on a sandy beach, we get warm baby snuggles.
In place of extra vacations, we are saving for a debt-free house.
In place of the Texas economy, we are enjoying lovely Missouri summer evenings and country life.
My little family got a short break two weeks ago to visit my parents for two days…the remains of our Spring Break.
Wiley loves and frequently asks to go visit his “cousins” down there.
My parents began fostering children a few years ago – with the hopes of adopting.
So those children that Wiley considers ‘cousins’ are more than likely to become his legal Aunts and Uncles.
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.
I’m a big believer that children need to be outside – as often as possible!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Speaking of jumping…
I got to visit my brother’s dance rehearsal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some people didn’t like what those, “mormons” were preaching and they persecuted the members – killed, ran out, antago.
Who were the ‘they’? Oh, “Christians” who didn’t agree with our doctrine.
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.
My brother Kaleb, Danny, Wiley and I spent the longest bit of our day wandering the trails of this place.
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.
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.”
At this point I look down and I have three ticks crawling up my legs.
I internally seized with terror from the feeling of little nasty ticks climbing my legs – Danny seemed to find it humorous.
And the moral of this story is “just stick to the marked trail.”
I was seven months pregnant, but I ran outta dere.
This may seem weird, but I hate ticks more than I hate snakes and spiders.
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!!
Ticks, snakes, spiders, and whatever else may live here… I’d still want a slice of heaven – just – like this place.
Knowing my husband, and the fact that he talks about buying land at least once a week, I know someday I will.
Until that time in our life comes, we will make it through school together, have more children and do some more exploring together!
I like to live my life from one adventure to the next.
(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.)
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.
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 had to tell Dan to slow down so many times, he eventually put it in neutral and the car kinda of rolled along…
I happily hummed Christmas songs while we “cruised along” and took photos.
Dan obliged me a bit more and we drove down more icy roads so I could get this:
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.
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.”
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!
In addition to walking back to the house, I ate some Oreos on my way in.
Wiley loves to be outside too – and if we didn’t force him inside – he’d live out there with the ducks.
I 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!
I grew up in southern California, I remember roller skating in shorts on Christmas day.
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.
Christmas is about Christ, no matter the season.
The Christmas season is always a time to get together with friends
What am I saying? Any time is a good time to get together with friends.
I love the snow, I love having friends come over to our cozy home for a delicious meal…
and I can’t wait to see family in Texas in a few weeks, even if there is no snow.
It seems to me that we have a steady flow of visitors.
It seems to me that life has been this way my entire life.
Since I can remember, my parents would invite families, missionaries, and friends over for dinner every Sunday.
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.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love having friends over, but year after year, week after week, entertaining gets exhausting.
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).
In addition to having a steady flow of dinner guests, my parents have been hosting travelers.
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.
There is always room at the Inn here. Visitors welcomed.
I’m looking forward to time with family this week. So grateful for them.
My 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).
My son loves to watch the chicks run around “cheep, cheep, cheep” -ing, it’s educational and entertaining.
He wants to hold them and squeeze them so bad….but, we just let him pet them for now.
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.
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.
We have dozens of farm fresh – free range – NON GMO – eggs piling up in our fridge.
When 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.
The slaughter, the plucking, and boiling…. none of which I was actually a part of, but I saw it!!!
I’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.
I 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?
I wont eat you little guy…I mean, I don’t plan to eat you.