Thursday, August 30, 2012

This girl...

This girl is becoming such an amazing person.  She never ceases to surprise me with what she knows and what she learns.  She has been loving kindergarten and is so tired at night after dinner she tells me she needs to go to bed and puts herself to bed.  I've waited a long time for that !  :)

Yesterday she came home and told me about the pupil and iris.  She is learning about her sense of sight.  She couldn't believe that I had heard those words before.  After soccer practice she told me that I made her do too much running {I am her coach} so now she will be very slow.  When we came home she was helping me make guacamole and I was talking her through it, telling her what to add and how to mix it up so she would know how to make it when she got older.  She turned to me and said "Could you write that down for me?".  It was SO funny.

I told her not to worry, that I can write it down for her when she moves out of our house and goes to college.  She informed me that she would not be going to BYU,  after all because she is going to stay in Colorado to be close by me.  Then she said "And when you get married you don't HAVE to get your own house."  I told her yes you will need to at some point and she said "No, I think I'll just stay here close to you."

She had me laughing all evening.  I love her innocent five year old mind eager to learn and quick to trust.  Her hair is long and beautiful and she is brushing it every day so she can go to school (you have NO idea what a milestone this is).  She almost didn't want to go to school when she found out she would need to brush it each day.

I am constantly amazed at all of these different personalities running around that are my children.  They are so different from each other and their needs are as varied as they are.  They are intelligent and quick yet sometimes need their mom so badly.  This growing up business is quite an adventure!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday Afternoons

I love the Sabbath day.  I love everything about it.  It is the only day of the week that I don't do laundry, run errands, or rush around to sporting events.  It is the only day of the week that Kurt doesn't work and that we spend the entire day together as a family.  We worship together, we play games together, we go on walks, we read and write in journals, and we have quiet time.

Yesterday Kurt had quiet resting time with Faye.  When dinner was ready I looked everywhere and couldn't find the two of them.  Then one of the children told me they saw him in the back yard.  This is how I found them.  I love this time of year; the air is a little cooler and it feels wonderful to be outside.  I'm so glad my little one and her dad could have a sunday afternoon nap together outside.
These are life's little pleasures, right?  And they are all possible on sunday afternoons. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Light No. 34

I'm starting to feel ok about being at week 34.  I'm beginning to look for light more frequently and without forcing myself to; I would even say it is becoming a habit.  That makes me happy.

The first week of school went well and we are settling into the new demands of homework and carpool lines, cross country, swimming, soccer, piano, and tired children at the end of the day.  I've surrendered my schedule to the school and to sports; to church activities and to children growing up.

I have 2 hours one day a week where I am alone at home with Faye.  This past week we spent it at the doctor's office and more children have fallen ill since so I don't know what this week will bring.  I'm headed to bed early and praying hard that everyone can sleep through the night tonight and that Clark's breathing will stay in check to keep us out of the emergency room.  It's funny how this always seems to happen on a weekend in the middle of the night.  I'm thankful that we have great health insurance benefits that cover his asthma medications and that he likes to sit in a steamy shower.  I'm thankful that I am now at the point that I have had enough experince with this to know that he will be ok.  I just look forward to this passing so I can sleep for more than an hour at a time again.

The air has changed and the weather is cooler and I took a few minutes this week to change the decor around just a little to welcome fall.  It only took ten minutes but everything got dusted and it makes me happy to see the beauty that has all come from the garden.  I had a lunch with some friends to catch up and was reminded by how I'm surrounded by wonderful people.  I'm beginning to feel more like this new neighborhood is home {now that it's been a year and a half} and to feel like I have friends.

I was thinking today as I harvested more from the garden how truly amazing life is.  What can grow from a single seed.  How we can work hard and then enjoy the benefits of a bountiful harvest.  I was thinking that children are growing up and that I need to do a better job of making sure they know more about what I believe in more about why it is important to be obedient rather than just knowing that I want them to be obedient.  I was thinking about a five year old boy in my church class today who, when asked about how Jesus Christ shows us he loves us answered "He always gives me a second chance."  I'm thankful for second chances.  I'm looking forward to starting one again tomorrow morning as the sun comes up and a new week begins.  Here goes...

Sailing On,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Photo Favorite

Emma so excited to be in kindergarten.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Light No. 33

The week was another fun-filled week with school preparations piled on top.  So much has happened that I already feel like last week was last month.  Isn't that strange how that works?  Does that happen at your house too.  I keep thinking of how we are never really at home in time because we belong to eternity.

My oldest daughter started Middle School this past week.  I assure you when I thought about all that becoming a parent involved, I did not think of this because it always seemed SO FAR AWAY.  That day has come quickly and we are moving along smoothly.  It's hard to believe my daughter has a locker now and wears mascara and picked out converse high tops for her school shoes.  I guess she must be growing up.  And I'm pleased with who she is, she is a girl to make a mother proud.

Friday night we took the family to Lakeside Amusement Park to use our groupon before it expired.  Did you know that rollercoaster was built in 1942?  It is one of only two rollercoasters from that era still running and is "esquistely kept".  It was really a lot of fun to be there and have the children have such a great time.

Again, I just feel my blessings overflowing.  I've been blessed by so many wonderful people and fulfilling friendships and I'm so thankful for the time I have been able to spend with friends this summer.  I learn so much from each of them.  I have a great family that is not perfect but we all keep trying every day and then we get up and do it all again.   And while we try we look for light, we see it shining through and we seek it out until it can shine into all the parts of us that need it the very most.

I guess that's what I'm good at -- just trying again.  Here goes another week of trying...
Sailing on,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

His Final Run

Christian is quickly approaching his eighth birthday which means that he will be too old for Muttin' Bustin'.  This past weekend my mother alerted me to the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo so off we went to sign him and Emma up to ride.

Fourty six children rode on saturday afternoon and then the top ten rode again saturday evening.  Emma was given a bit too much time in the pen sitting on the sheep and decided to just climb off.  Silly girl.  Christian placed 9th and moved on to the evening rodeo.

We spent the rest of the day at the fair and got free seats for the family for the rodeo that night.

Christian got all duded up and ready to ride.  His mother was by far the loudest parent cheering for him and moving in close for pictures.  I'm not sure why I didn't remember that I could have taken a video on my phone but it may have something to do with how loud I was cheering.  The cowboy at the gate was talking to us and gave Christian some tips on his sheep riding skills which paid off!

He took first place and won a new belt buckle.  It was a great way to end his Muttin' Bustin' career and a fabulous fun night at the rodeo with our family.  I love every minute of it.  I love the cheering, the dust, the animals and pretending like I'm a cowgirl.
I'm still dreaming of the day we can move onto some acerage and live a more out of town lifestyle.  But until then I just keep pretending and dreaming.  My children are on board with me which I love.
We ended the evening by meeting the Rodeo princesses.  Life sure can be hard sometimes but there is a lot of fun that can be had along the way.  I think I'm doing a better job mixing fun in and I'm glad.

Monday, August 13, 2012

2012 Smith / Olsen Campout

We went camping in Golden Gate Canyon State Park this past week with our dear friends.  I love this campground because it is not very far out of town and pretty easy for us to get to.  The children loved having "fire sticks" and exploring.
Chrisitan and Trevor would call to each other "to the boulders".  Classic. 

I don't know why I had the idea that I would get a little bit of sleep.  Faye and I slept in the van, well, we laid in the van unitl the sun came up.  I love being in the mountains, I love watching the children have so much fun, I love the campfire.  Then when it's bed time I regreat choosing to be there.  My back really can't take it - sleeping on the ground whether there is an air mattress or not.  I just need my own bed too much.  I guess I'm old now and not much fun.  I survived and we all had a great time.  
Colorado is truly is beautiful state and I'm grateful to live here.  Driving through the mountains and climbing the rocks fills me with awe for this earth we have to live on.  Savanna continues to be a world class climber and scaled everything she could find. 
We only stayed one night because there is always too much to do and the dad's have to work, after all.  It was one night of great fun though and I'm sure these memories will be with us forever. 
After breakfast we took a little hike up the rocks and had a great view.  I loved all the moss growing on the rocks and was scheming about how I could bring one home to my yard.  Then I remembered that 'leave no trace' business and decided I better not :).
Thank you, friends for such a great time.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Light No. 32

Kurt and I have decided that we were officially fun parents this week.

Monday night we went out to Ben and Jerry's for ice cream after spending a small fortune purchasing new uniform clothes for the upcoming school year.  Tuesday I took the children to a swim park here in Parker and we had a blast.   Later that evening counsins came over and everyone slept out on the trampoline.

Wednesday we spent the day at a friend's house.  Thursday we went camping with friends.  Friday afternoon we came home from the mountains and Kurt took Sav and Chrisitan to the swim park while Madeline headed to the pool.  Saturday we went the fair and rodeo.

Today is my birthday and we had dinner at my parent's house with friends as well.  I know that is quite a travelogue but I think it's important to document {for my children} how much we say yes to and that we do, in fact, try to have fun as a family.

My children worked hard to keep their rooms cleaned up and were great helpers at all of these different activities.  Sometimes I forget to stop and look around and appreciate what wonderful people they are becoming.  They really are and I love them.

I'm in denial about this week being our last week of summer.  I'm not excited about school starting.  Early mornings, packing lunches, homework.  I want my routine back but at the same time it's just so much more work than what we are doing right now.  I guess that's what summer is for -- a season to refuel, make memories, be fun and stay up late so we can hit the grindstone again and work hard.  Then right as we get to the end of the year and we run out of juice we get to summer break again.

As I went to school registration this past week I once again felt so many tender mercies from my Heavenly Father.  Savanna got the school teacher I know she needs to have this year.  The other children are well matched in their classes and are with friends.  I'm thankful that Heavenly Father cares enough to address my concerns about even the smallest things.  It's going to be a good year.

There has been so much light shining this week; rays on sunshine pouring out blessings upon our heads as we play together and enjoy this crazy life.  And then it begins...

Sailing On,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Photo Favorite

The 2nd Smith/Olsen campout was executed successfully.  Waa-Hoooo!
Why is it that the things that are the MOST fun for the family and children are SO much work for the mother?  Ah well it's worth the good times and memories. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I am still not sure exactly how this happened.  Something about jumping off the fence onto the trampoline, bounching back and hitting the fence.  Sometimes I just wish my children understood that when I tell them NOT to do something it's because there is a pretty good chance of them getting hurt.

But I guess sometimes you just have to learn for yourself.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

All Geared up

These boys love to get duded up and go exploring in the field across the street.  It is so fun to see them enjoying their time together as cousins and friends.  I had to laugh about how much time they took 'getting ready' and standing in front of the mirror adjusting their bandanas.

When they came back they had all sorts of tales to tell about their adventures.  Oh the joys of childhood.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Light No. 31

I have felt the light shining in so many differnt ways, through so many different people this week.  One thing I know is this:  No matter what happens; no matter what we experience God is aware of us.  He knows our hearts and our needs.  He never leaves us alone.  He always has a plan and we just need to trust that.

This week we were priviledged to be part of a one year old birthday party for my neice who is adorable.  It was the best party I've been to in a LONG time.  Everyone had so much fun, the food was amazing, and the decor so perfect.  I'm taking lessons on how to throw a great party.
We have been able to purchase another van and are so thankful to have that work out.  Kurt was accepted for a pathways program through BYU to complete his degree for a discounted price.  His hand is healing, he is busy with work, and again we are being watched over and taken care of.  I'm trying hard to remember how much I have to be thankful for and to accentuate the positive.  For the next two weeks before school begins again I am determinted to do as many fun things as possible with my family.  We are eating popsicles and running in the sprinklers, sleeping in and staying up late to watch movies, riding bikes and picking from the garden, painting toe nails and calling friends.  I love summer.

Sailing on,

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Photo Favorite

This picture cracks me up.  Three sisters who can't seem to leave each other alone.  Either they are pestering each other or loving on each other.  Silly

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's the end of my world as I know it...

Faye is on the move.

She officialy began the army crawl on our trip this past weekend.  Gone is the luxury of setting her down and knowing she will stay exactly where I put her.  Now every lego, every playmobile weapon, every bead, every polly pocket shoe must be accounted for at all times.  I'm in big trouble.

It's the end of my world as I know it, and I feel fine. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Light No. 30

Good times.  That is how I would describe this past week.

My van got the transmission work finished just in time for us to drive all night and make it to the family reunion.  Thanks to Kurt for driving until 3am.  Thanks to my brother and his wife for allowing us to crash into their house at 3am.  Thanks to my children for being so adorable even when they have to stop every 20 miles for something:).

It was an amazing week.  One where we all ended up smiling, exhausted, and full of forever memories.  Again I am reminded that although I look around my life and feel like I need to brace myself for another mini crisis because they always seem to be happening, I cannot deny that the Lord is aware of me and my family and our needs.  There is light shining through and tender mercies all around us.

My top 10 this past week {in no particular order} are:

1.  Getting a family photo with my parents, all 8 of their children with spouses, and all 21 of their grandchildren.  Good times.

2.  Having a family lip sync where I laughed myself to tears and made a fool out of myself in the same night.

3.  Watching my children pal around with their cousins and write in each others' journals about how much they love each other.

4.  Learn more about my ancestors and temple square, especially the tabernacle that Henry Grow designed and directed the building of.

5.  Watch my brother Brent give all 21 of those grandchildren drinks out of his camelback.  Priceless.

6.  Play a game of Acquire with my brothers.  Even though I was destroyed, it was so fun to play with them.
7.  Have a memorial service for my Grandmother and being able to choose a few of her things to bring home to remember her.  The feeling that I had as I listened to my Mother talk about her Mother.

8.  Hanging out with my two sisters and making a chocolate cake with them.  Scheming about how soon we can all get together again to sew or just laugh ourselves silly all hours of the day and night.

9.  Playing a family soccer game and participating in the 'Sheffield Family Olympics' that my brother put together.  That was one hot and sweaty, spectacular afternoon.

10.  Receive a family ancestry book as a gift from my parents that is SUCH a treasure.

I can't help but think back on the week and say "Isn't life miraclous?"  So many differnt moments, people, and feelings organized into experiences that shape us, bless us, try us, and teach us.  Aren't we lucky we get to be on this ride?

Sailing On,