Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal.

Christmas morning in all their glory! 

We don't do Christmas jammies. I mean, we have, but it's not an actual tradition. First, they are boys and rarely wear pjs anyway (as you can see) and second, they just don't care about matching or coordinating pajamas. In fact, it's something they'd buck just because they match or coordinate. So, I gave up the vision of beautifully dressed children on Christmas morning a long time ago. But, we do have Nash in his unders and Bryce looking like a 45 year old gym teacher! And that's pretty cute. Ha ha! 

They were happy with their gifts. I saw lots of excitement and smiles and genuine thankfulness, which made my mama heart happy. We all opened gifts, hung around the house, played with new toys, the boys and Travis played some football outside and we maybe started a new tradition? Chinese for dinner! After almost a week of eating ham (how many Christmas hams can you have anyway?!) and lots of extended family get togethers (and more that were planned the day after) we decided to go out and let me tell you, it must be a thing bc all the good places WERE PACKED! But, we got in and had a good time with each other and the food was delicious. It was fun and was a pretty perfect day, 

We had a great time with each of our families and were grateful to spend time with each over the holiday. We are most grateful to celebrate the birth of our Savior and are thankful for his example. We even acted out the Christmas story one night and it was oh, so sweet. Emma was baby Jesus. 

2014 was such a good year and we are thankful for all of God's blessings! 

To be continued...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Miss Emma

sak photography

Emma June
September 9, 2014
2:05 pm
7 lbs. 11 oz. 19 1/2 in

I don't even know how to write a birth story. First, it's so personal - I mean, we are talking about a child coming out of your Area. And yeah, Area deserves capitalization there, you know what I'm saying? But, it is also amazing, a true miracle, completely natural - the most natural just awesome experience this world has to offer and a silly blog post is the least of places it deserves to be written for. But, for now, the Internet is kind of a permanent place where I can keep these precious gems and one day this little miss will want to read how she came in to this world. Maybe? I hope so. 

You think you know how things are going to go. At least I did, this time. The fifth baby, you'd think I am a pro at birthing them, but if there is one thing I know in this life is that you never know. We arrived at the hospital in the morning, as scheduled, and things went routinely for an induction: paper work, room, IV, waiting. My doctor decided to break my water before starting pitocin. That was new. She wanted to see if labor would progress on its own by breaking my water, but...nothing. So, the nurse started pitocin and had to increase the dose every hour because nothing was happening. I was contracting, but I couldn't even feel them and they were all over the place.. Finally, at 9 ml/hr I started feeling the contractions, but I wasn't dilating. ...and let me just say here that all the boys were born quickly. No problems dilating, nothing, so I starting to get on edge. The nurse provided a ball and once I started moving around on it a bit the contractions started coming closer together and more painful - good sign for a baby!

But no dilation. So more waiting. And then, two nurses came in and put an oxygen mask on me. And that was new, too. So I started getting a little more anxious, obviously, but the nurse said not to worry that baby's heart rate was going down just a bit and this would help. But, little Emma wasn't descending.

Things get a little foggy here. There was an influx of nurses and the doctor was in and out and Travis kept pacing back and forth, and everyone looked worried.  I didn't know what else to do except to pray and it was kind of a desperate prayer along the lines of " Please keep this baby safe and dear God I cannot handle a c-section with four other children at home to take care of so please help me out here". And, as soon as the word amen left my lips, even through the epidural, I felt this baby move on down to where she was supposed to be and I don't take that lightly. I was helped in that instance. I followed up with a quick prayer of thanks. 

So, I was all ready to push. And it was hard. I've never had trouble pushing a baby out, but I felt like I couldn't even get any kind of grip to push. Travis, bless his heart, is such a supporter. He was on my right side doing and saying whatever he could to encourage me to push - but he just didn't get it. I literally could not push! Eventually I managed to push enough for her to descend and with a little help from our doctor, Emma came out. 

She got a quick check and spent the next couple of hours getting snuggled. (i actually hate that word.) And the rest of the time in the hospital was smooth sailing. It took us a little while to pick her name. When we finally settled on Emma, we still were on the fence about her middle name. It was between Lynn and June. I just love the name June and since we didn't use it for the first name, I just couldn't let go of it. So, Emma June it was.

She got visits from lots of family: the boys and Cheryl, followed by my Mom and Dad, and Aunties Danielle and Lauren. Lauren came back the next day with Michael, and Chris and Lorrin, a friend of Travis', and Great Grandma and Grandpa Wilson came before we left.

We had amazingly nice nurses and everything just went great. I appreciate their hard work.

And then, we came home....

(and aren't the pictures just darling??! My friend Sarah does an amazing job! Can't wait to see our family photos we had done over the weekend!)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Why I Finally Stopped Watching The Walking Dead.

***contains spoilers of the first episode of season 5. 

So, the Walking Dead. Just about one of the best shows ever on tv, right? I know. I've watched every episode, even though I say I'm never watching it again everytime. But, I'm really done watching it this time and I'll tell you why.

Secret: I kind of love zombies. It's the only area of the horror genre I can handle. I don't do ghosts or demons (certainly not demonic children...can someone please tell me why this is a recurring theme?!), haunted or evil houses, gory deranged serial killers, or just gore in general. It's apocalyptic - which caters to my borderline doomsday prepper disorder perfectly...and gives me ideas about what to do/not to do in dire situations!  It's an us vs. them mentality and you always want the good guy to win, right? C'mon humanity! ..and then you have the tiny detail that it's COMPLETELY fictional and could never happen. So, even though I never want to admit that "yes, I'm a Walking Dead fan" to say, like, my Bishop...I'm a fan because it's secretly kind of fun. 

Except this new season isn't fun, at all. Did you catch the first episode last week?!  Gore, gore, more gore. We can definitely agree that the gore level has been increasing each season, but it's always looked pretty fake...and it's a zombie show, so there has to be some gore, right? 

But, we're not dealing with just zombies anymore. The good guys aren't just running away from fictional monsters. In this season, the fractured group we've all been rooting for comes together at what they thought was a safe haven free from 'walkers'. But, the people who run this compound called 'Terminus' aren't just misguided folks who steal to survive - they're in the business of pillaging, torturing, murdering, and eating people. 

Eating people. 

In the premiere episode of season 5, I watched in horror as 8 people were shown waiting in line at a giant trough-like stainless steel sink to get their heads beat in with a baseball bat while another guy jumps in to slit their throats. The show didn't just insinuate this was watched it happen. 

Obviously, the 4 main characters in that line-up survive this ordeal by killing their captors, stealing automatic guns, and then firing on more of these people to get the rest of their group and get out of there. Oh yeah, and they have to walk past corpses hanging like slabs of meat, butcher shop style. Like, human bodies without arms or legs just hanging there. All the while, zombies are taking over the camp and biting people everywhere.

 And then we have the guy with intentions of hurting the baby, which, for a mom with a new baby and four other innocent kiddos - I don't need another reminder of all the people in the world who would hurt children if given the opportunity. And can I just add - you never know what kinds of ideas people are getting from these crazy shows. There's a lot of freaks out there. 

Anyway, after watching that episode I have been mauling it over all week. I think we, as television viewers, should demand more of our tv shows, yes. But, I don't have time to do that and there are millions that don't want to do that anyway. And, if that is your prerogative, go for it. 

But maybe there's someone out there that feels like me and wants a reason to stop watching, too. As I couldn't get images of that episode out of my mind this week,  I was reminded of an article by Richard G. Scott that I used for a talk I gave in church one Sunday. You can find it in its entirety here.

Here's a few snippets: (bold is mine) 

We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day. Righteous character is a precious manifestation of what you are becoming. Righteous character is more valuable than any material object you own, any knowledge you have gained through study, or any goals you have attained no matter how well lauded by mankind. 
You cannot be passive in life, or in time the natural man will undermine your efforts to live worthily. You become what you do and what you think about. Lack of character leads one under pressure to satisfy appetite or seek personal gain. You cannot successfully bolster a weak character with the cloak of pretense.
It's a stretch to apply these snippets to someone who watches shows like the Walking Dead. Do I think it's going to undermine my character? No. Not specifically. But, I do think - that for me - consistently watching shows - or consistently doing anything that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ will eventually erode my character - absolutely. Not religious? You don't have to be - the shock value of shows like this desensitizes and normalizes things that should be outrageous to everyone. 
"You become what you do and think about". I want to be better at being a mom, and a wife, and even though I rarely have the time for it anymore - a writer.  I want to be a better cook and friend and someone who freely gives service. And watching the filth that I saw last week will not help me achieve any of those things. I want to consciously choose entertainment that makes me happy and that I can share with my whole family - and the Walking Dead definitely is not a family affair. Not to mention - it's pretty stressful to watch that show anyway. 
"We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day" - Consistently making better choices in all things will add to and fortify our character and help us develop into what we want to become. 
And when you have that perspective - that show gets a lot less important. 
And I'm hoping my "better choices" in television programs won't come with nightmares. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

5 Weeks In.

I'm 5 weeks in to a new "normal". There's so many things I have wanted to say and write down and REMEMBER about this time period, but it all comes down to this: I am tired. More tired than I have ever been in my entire life. And so hungry - all. the. time. - thank you breastfeeding. This last month has been a frustratingly wonderful kind of way. There have been some growing pains, especially with Nash, but it is getting a little easier every day...and I'm pretty sure Emma kind of likes me, like - a lot. Which is good, because I'm kind of over the moon about her. 

How about a birth story for next time...yes?! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bubble Sauce.

This boy ^^^ says some funny stuff.
Yesterday, he told me while he was taking a bubble bath that he was covered in bubble sauce.
Bubble sauce.
Later that evening, one of the kids suggested we hold hands during our family bedtime prayer and Nash started wiping his nose on Triston's hand. Travis asked if he had an itchy nose and in all seriousness he said, "No, I just have snots up there". We all started cracking up which motivated a good 2 or 3 minutes of silliness before we could actually say the prayer. give them an inch.
And he's been asking why he has to grow up because "He wants to be small forever". It's the sweetest thing, until I am reminded of all the epic fits, mega messes, the fierce independence that makes us but-heads, and all the mischievous shenanigans a small boy can muster - and I think no way.
Three is hard.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Favorite Pasta Dish: Scooter's Spaghetti

Look who's blogging again! Yay - because I've got a lot of stuff to put down into words. Like how my big boys are getting ready to start 5th, 3rd, and 1st grade. And how the baby isn't a baby anymore and says the funniest stuff ever - but is a for real, like, terrorist at the same time. And how I'm about to have an actual baby. A baby girl. I don't even know what is happening in this little life of ours. And that's the beauty of blogging - its a fun little record of me just figuring stuff out.

But, I'll start with an easy post. A favorite recipe everyone should try.

Sometimes I think Pinterest is ruining the world. Like, seriously. The website took 'keeping up with the Jones'" to a whole new level. The parties, the crafts, the kids' ideas, the d├ęcor, the wardrobes - the list goes on and on. But the one thing I love about Pinterest is the RECIPES. A bazillion recipes, right at the touch of your screen.

I think my sister in law found this one a year or so ago and we've both added it to our arsenal. It. Is. So. Good. But, don't ask my Jackson - he thinks it's gross. I love anything with cream cheese on it or in it or around it, I'm not picky. And he just doesn't know what's up.

scooters spaghetti post
Here's the original post.

Here's my version:

1 lb. of hamburger
1 jar of your fav spaghetti sauce
8-10 oz. of spaghetti noodles
1 onion, diced
4 T. butter
splash of milk
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese
french fried onions

Get the water started to boil the noodles. (Tip: Add just a small amount of olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together) In another pot, cook the hamburger until browned, drain, and mix with the jar of sauce - set aside.

Put the diced onion and 4 T. of butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 4 minutes, or until onion is soft. I picked this up from the original recipe and I can't find any reason to dirty another pot to do it on the stove so....microwave it is. After the onion has softened, put the block of cream cheese in with the mixture and microwave for another minute. Stir well, until the cream cheese is melted into the butter and onions. Add a splash of milk to thin out the mixture. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but I think it's just a little too much.

When the noodles are done, drain, and dump into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread evenly with a fork. Layer the cream cheese mixture first, followed by the meat sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes have passed, pull that baby out and sprinkle the top generously with the french friend onions. Pop back into the oven for another 5 minutes and you are done!

I usually make garlic bread and salad to go with.

And if you are 8 months pregnant, like me, go heavy on the Prilosec on this one. #friedonionsequalskillerheartburn

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Premise.

The premise for this blog is thanks to my oldest son Triston who went behind my back and turned 10  in March. I've written on a "mommy blog" for 6 years that was heavy with stories from the trenches - late nights, toddler tantrums, outings, mischievous preschoolers, picky eaters. basically funny (and not so funny) accounts of our long days, if you will.

Triston picked Hacienda for his birthday dinner

Although we still have plenty of that going on in the day-to-day realm (and will continue to since we have a 3 year old and a new baby due in September), I feel the tide turning just a little bit. I turned 30 last year and noticed not only a shift in myself, but just in our household as a whole. Triston suddenly doesn't play with action figures anymore. He would rather hand out candy on our porch than dress up and go trick-or-treating. He's really into friends right now, too. Once a routine sight, Jackson rarely dresses in super hero costumes, instead, he is more likely to be found with his face in a book (which I love, by the way) or trying to find a way to get permission to play a computer game. Or, again, friends have become super important.  Bryce has stopped asking me to hold him as much and gets his own snack or drink without even a second thought. And they all do chores, sometimes without me asking. WHAT?!

They. Are. Growing. Up.

And that's good. They're, like, supposed to do that, right? It just seems like an appropriate time to turn my old blog into a book and start a new one.

So, here's to the new ...era?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Peach Oatmeal Breakfast Cake

Hi. New blog here. You can find our last chronicles at

1st day of Spring Break and it is 40 degrees. Boooo. So I'm letting the kids piddle around the house, while I try to get a few things done which means mostly they are just finding ways to argue with each other and Nash just fell out of a chair. Like, one leg was hinged on the seat and the rest of his body was dangling over the side, his head resting on the floor. How do kids even manage to do stuff like that?! Can you even imagine doing that as an adult? Well...actually, I can, so there's that.

BUT, I did make this awesome peach breakfast cake and the kiddos ate it up. Now, when you have four boy children who eat A LOT, I make sides with my meals so it all goes a bit further. This morning, in addition to the cake, I made hard boiled eggs with a glass of milk. The big boys protested eating the eggs and only wanted cake (The little boys were angels and ate every bite). I said that was fine but if they wanted seconds they had to have some eggs first and if they got hungry before lunch, they were just going to have to wait it out. I'm expecting them to start pillaging in about an hour. I'll definitely be shutting that down. I hate being a food Nazi, but it really burns my ass when my kids don't eat what I make and then complain about being hungry.

Here's the recipe:

1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 15 oz. cans of peaches, with juice

Pour peaches and juice into a 9 x 9 square baking dish and set aside. Stir together the remaining ingredients (the mixture will be crumbly) and pour on top of peaches and juice. Place dish in a 375 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm with whatever your kids won't complain about.

Monday, January 27, 2014

January Highlights

Every month I think that I am going to try to write something everyday or at least a couple times a week on my blog. There are so many cute moments and remember worthy things that happen within our family on a daily basis. That's what happens when you have four boys - no pictures and no time!!

So here are a few highlights from the month:

We took a completely unplanned, spontaneous trip to Miami Beach! I have never packed and cleaned my house do fast! The time there was amazing. 

We spent a night in Jacksonville on the way home and I got to meet up with one if my best friends. We hadn't seen in each other in 6 years! All of us had a great time - the kids played like they had known each other forever.


We attended an awards ceremony for Triston and Jackson - AB and A honor roll, respectively.

      Jackson with one if his best buds. 

Jackson became a Marathon Reader at school.

Nash FINALLY became fully potty-trained.

Bryce celebrated 100 days of school by counting out 100 skittles and taking them to school for a project. This caused lots of chaos in our home - apparently, little hands just can't resist grabbing a few, which resulted in us re-counting several times and ultimately buying another package.

Triston and Bryce signed on for another season of wrestling. 


Travis filed for re-election in November. So far, no one has filed to run against him in the primary and wouldn't be great if he is unopposed for the general election, too? We've heard that may be the case, but either way we will be campaigning all year. 

We had ONE nice day to play outside this month - it's been in the teens and below almost all month, so we took advantage of the 50 degree weather! 

And I spent the month organizing cabinets, closets, our basements, kids' rooms, ect. Unfortunately, that is an neverending job. But it was great to get a really good head start on spring cleaning. 

AND: I let my blog address expire. It went from to 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Super Fun DIY Kid's Game - Head's Up! Party Game

Ellen Degenerous came out with a game called "Head's Up! Party Game" and friends: it is hilarious. My sis introduced us to the game over Christmas, when we played it at her house and laughed until we were all crying.

The premise is that you have to guess what is on your card via your teammates. They aren't allowed to say what it is - only giving you hints by talking around it, acting it out, or humming a tune. the more cards you guess correctly, the more points your team collects. Highest points at the end wins. 

So. Fun. 

At the end of our game, Triston started watching us and jumping in when he could and thought it was a ton of fun, too. Fast forward to New Year's Eve, when I was planning some fun games for us, and a  DIY *kid's* version was born. 

In the original game, plastic headbands hold the card in place on your head so that your teammates can easily see what's on it, while the "it" person cannot. We own the kid's game Hedbandz, so I just used the headbands from that, but you could easily play without any headbands at all: the person who is guessing sits in front of their team, while they show each other what is on the card before trying to get the "it" person to guess what it is. 

We also used the sand timer from Hedbandz, but any game timer or stop watch can be used. 

Using a pack of .98 cent index cards, I wrote one of four categories based on the original game on the side of one card: Action, Tunes, Perfect Pairs, and Name Game. On the other side, I wrote something that correlates to the category.

Action: simple actions kids will understand: playing baseball, swimming, brushing teeth, clearing the table, ect. 
Definitely choose actions specific to your family that your kids will know. And no talking!! This category is miming the actions, only!

Tunes: Just like in the original game, this category only allows teammates to hum a tune. I chose songs my kids would know - Scooby Doo theme song, Happy Birthday, some church songs, and a few pop songs like Ice Ice Baby. This is the hardest category, but so funny! 

Perfect Pairs: things that go together: chips and salsa, macaroni and cheese, salt and pepper, Mickey and Minnie, Scooby and Shaggy, ect. You can talk throughout this category, you just can't say the name or rhyme the name of whatever is on the card! 

Name Game: This is the name of a person your kiddos will know. Choose from celebrities they might know, the president, church leaders, friends, family, teachers, acquaintances, ect. - just don't say their name! You could even use the names of things like a shark, or French fries, or whatever - they just have to say the name of whatever is on the card. Again, no rhyming!

I made 12 cards for each category for my 3 older boys to play. The more cards, the better. If you have a lot of players, make a lot.

Rules: we let each kid take turns choosing what category they wanted and played until the timer ran out. If they guessed a card right, we went on to the next card in the pile or they could pass if they didn't know it and go to the next card. Whoever wasn't "it" helped give clues. Whatever cards they guessed right, belonged to them as points. Whatever cards were left over went back into that pile. The kids took turns (with us parents helping give clues for everyone) until all the cards were gone. Whoever had the most cards at the end was the winner.
If you have an even bunch you can divide into teams and play the same way for an even more fun version! 

The kids loved it and us adults were cracking up watching them. We're planning on trying it out again this weekend with some friends and their kids. Hoping it will be just as funny. 

Definitely add this game to your collection. It's only $14 on Amazon right now and so so fun! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

NYE, 2013.

 New Year's Eve is one of those holidays that anticipation runs high, but is usually a disappointment. I prepared for that this year. We had tentative plans with friends until Nash started running a fever the night before, so we planned to stay in - with few expectations. I made a quick list that included ingredients for egg rolls, fried rice, chocolate fondue, (my expectations) and some items for a few minute to win it games. I hadn't taken all the boys to the store in quite a while and holy freaking geez, my head just about exploded. Here's the thing: I love this time of year for about 2 weeks. It's too cold to play outside and these boys get a serious case of cabin fever. Nevermind that I supply them with books, outings, art supplies, toys, movies, blankets for forts, nerf guns, and a free reign to have as much fun as possible in our basement play room - they want to run, and jump, and wrestle, and play football, basketball, and soccer right in our family room. So, there's a lot of movement this time of year and when we are at the store, it pisses me off. Hands touching this, arms sticking out over here, legs in the air over there, someone trying to ride under the cart, someone jumping on the cart, someone stopping mid-stride that causes me to almost run them over and if I'm lucky, it will be Jackson who might start howling right there in the store. You just never know. Then of course, there is always ninja moves that cut people off in the aisle and Nash always trying to get out of the buckle in the front of the car seat. He loudly lets everyone in the entire store know about it. And then there's the wants. Jackson and Bryce asked me about 500 times if they could have something, anything. Defense mechanism kicked in and I guzzled a DP. 

So, that was fun. Day 2 of low carbs: fail.

And I ended up caving at the last minute and bought them twizzlers. Nash said he had a "muns-stache".

We went home and I made everyone clean the house and then they told their dad that it was a horrible day. Little turkeys.

Once we got our "party" underway, everyone started to have some fun. The food turned out good - and I say that carefully. It was good, not fantastic, which is what my expectations for a New Year's Dinner was going for. Everyone said it was great though, even Travis, who just happened to grab the only egg roll that had oil literally dripping out of it. The only one! How'd that even happen? He never said a word about it, though, and that my friends is a good husband.  

My mom and dad stopped by just in time for games.

party monster

"Elephant" - put a ball down the leg in a pair of pantyhose, put them on your head, and try knocking over cups with no hands. And YES! They were brand new, NEVER WORN. I had to convince my kids of that.
"Ping Pong" - 6 ping pong balls in empty Kleenex box, tied around waist with a robe tie - get them out with no hands. hilarious.

We put the boys in bed by 9 and Travis and I watched funny youtube videos. Around 10:40, Nash woke up and Triston brought him downstairs. I told them they could watch the ball drop (we're an hour behind NYC) and I even got a kiss at midnight from my oldest and my youngest.

It was a good night. No disappointments, after all. And I hope we'll have many more together.

Happy New Year, to you!

iPhone Dump 2019

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