Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 In Review
I can't believe we are at the end of another year! I don't know what we did to make this year fly by so quickly, but we've had lots of fun and many opportunities for growth. Here is a run down on each member of the family. (in this picture, Lucy is not born yet and the extra boy is our cousin Izac)

Tyson - Is still working as the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Salt Lake Marriott City Center. He loves his job and the people he works with. He does a great job and works hard. He's taken this last week of the year off and it's been nice having him home. He went from being the Cub Master in the ward to Young Men's President. He's adjusted to the demands of this calling and is really enjoying it. He is still without his own cell phone, which shocks anyone who knows that, and anyone who works in any way with the youth, knows that is not possible because texting is the only way they communicate, but we've been able to make it work.

Camber - I am still teaching piano and enjoying it. It keeps me busy, but allows me to stay home with the kids and help them with their school work and other activities. I completed my first sprint triathlon at four months pregnant, and while not breaking any records, gave myself a goal for next time. I stay busy running the kids around and keeping the house in some kind of order. I maintained going to the gym most days up until three days before having baby number five and accomplished having all five kids without any pain medications.

Tanner - Turned 10 this year, when did that happen! He started taking piano at the beginning of the year and tolerates it. He actually enjoys it as long as I don't correct his timing or try to help him with a piece. The Thursday before school was supposed to start, we got an email from a charter school in our area saying that our application for Tanner had been pulled if we were still interested in having him go there. So he started at American Preparatory Academy. I love this school! He's done so much better with the routine and while his focus still leaves much to be desired, he has gotten a better handle on it. He's adjusted well and while the homework load is more than he cares for, he's enjoying the school. He's still able to say he hasn't missed one day of school since starting Kindergarten. His favorite thing lately has been putting lego sets together and got a pretty big lego set from Harry Potter for Christmas. He had it put together in two days.

Tyler - Turned 8 this year and was baptized in June. She is maturing and has become my second set of hands. She is so helpful with the baby...almost too helpful. She will jump at any noise we hear from the monitor and will go get her out of bed. We've had to talk about waiting for a few minutes before she goes in to get the baby. She has really taken off with reading and took our challenge to read the 4th book of Harry Potter and get $25. She had it finished in a month. She loves school and also started piano at the beginning of the year. She does really well with it and will take pieces I leave out on the piano and try to play the top line.

Jake - Is now five and started kindergarten this year and loves it! His teacher is Mrs. Morgan and he's enjoying learning how to read and being a big kid and riding the bus. A few weeks before Christmas break, I had walked to the bus stop to pick him up and as we were walking him, he told me not to pick him up anymore, he's big enough to walk home by himself. Our house is three houses down from the stop. He and Jefferson are buddies and will both take their shirts off to wrestle.
Jefferson - He's growing so fast! He turned three this year and when you ask him, he holds his fingers up like he's throwing a spider man web. He started preschool with Miss Hillary this year and loves going. We also have him in a weekly playgroup in between his preschool days that he enjoys. He was doing speech at the beginning of the year and progressed quickly with that and tested out of the program six months after starting it. There are still some things we have a hard time understanding, but he talks really well now. He loves his baby sister and will come give her kisses all the time, even when she's sleeping. He's such a good kid and so different than the other kids. He climbs everything and loves to play basketball and watch any kids of sport. He'll sit and shoot a nerf basketball 100 and only make a basket once, but he keeps playing. He was really in the "Peanut Butter Jimmer Time" and would always say it right before shooting the basket. Even though he's not the baby in the family anymore, he's still my baby boy.

Lucy - Joined our family November 4, at 6:27pm. She weighed 6lbs. 9oz. and was 19 in. It was a pretty easy and fast delivery and as with the other kids, I bounced back and am back into my routine pretty quickly. It is so fun having a baby girl again. It was a shock to get into the baby thing after being out of it for three years, but I think we've all adjusted well. She eats like a pro and has started sleeping longer chunks, giving me a little bit more of quality sleep. We've discovered, as of late, that she's not a big fan of bottles...we're going to have to change that. While my kids have never had many bottles, I still need that as an option in the afternoons while I'm teaching. But we are loving having her here and love the smiles that she's started sharing and are excited for all the little things she'll learn and the kids can't wait to teach her.

I love the feelings that this Christmas time brought with it this year. I felt like having a new baby around brought my emotions much closer to the surface.

As we come to the end of this year, we are grateful for the growth that has come and the many opportunities we have been blessed with. We are excited for the new year and the many things that it will bring with it.
Happy New Year

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Playing catch up...

Holy cow! I've totally fallen off the face of the earth when it comes to updating this blog! Tyson even mentioned something about posting something on the blog and then laughed and said, "who am I kidding, you never update the blog!" So, I should probably get a move on it and update. I'll just highlight some things from each month with some pictures and we'll call it good. Lucky for who ever reads this that I had the worst camera only up until June when Tyson got a really nice camera for his birthday and then I started taking more pictures. So here goes...

We started the new year with our friends here at the house and watched the ball drop. Tyson was again at work so I brought in 2011 kissing the back of my hand...again.
We welcomed our Brazilian exchange student Amanda Rosas from Manaus the second week in January. Little did we know that she would become like a second daughter and fit in like she'd lived with our family from day one. She set such a great example of reading for our kids and was a huge help!
A week later, we were back at the airport saying goodbye to our first exchange student Han and sent him home to Korea.

I flew down to Arizona to help out Tyson's brother and sister-in-law who just moved to Arizona weeks after having twins, along with their three other kids. It was fun to go down and help out.

The unthinkable happened...not that we were all that surprised, but we got the positive on a test and started to brace ourselves for number 5! Yes, we are adding another little one to the chaos of this place we call our home. We've decided to be surprised and didn't find out at the ultrasound what we are having.

Along with spring, comes spring break. Mandy's parents were going to come pick her up at the end of her adventure to explore so of the great US of A, but things came up and they ended up not being able to come. So we decided to have a trip on our own and introduce her to the disgusting ways of Las Vegas.We stopped in St. George on our way down for the night and went swimming. We also went on a fun little hike and realized our kids really like that kind of stuff!Apparently, that was the best part, because that's all Jefferson talks about. We drove down at night, because it's so much easier to travel when the kids sleep. I wish I would have taken a picture of his face when we got him out of the car to go into the hotel. He had the biggest grin on his face and all he wanted to do was look out the hotel window down at the pool.He keeps asking when we're going to St. George so I finally had to tell him we'd go during the summer when the kids are out of school. Wouldn't you know it, but now that the kids are out of school, he hasn't asked once when we are going.
We also celebrated Mandy's birthday, Americanized Brazilian style. We did carne esada and tried to have a Brazilian food spread. She told us she'd never eaten carne esada before. Oh well, we tried our best. :) We got her a cake with the Brazilian flag on it and she said it seemed weird to see her flag here because it had been so long since she'd seen it. On her actual brithday, she requested McDonald's for dinner, so we all went out to eat. Needless to say, the kids had a great time and Mandy, if she wasn't already, was now their favorite person because we never eat inside at McDonald's. That was a real treat for them.

April showers snow storms. Yes, it was still snowing in May. And freezing! Mandy's mom kept telling her to pack up her winter things and ship them home so she wouldn't have to worry about trying to pack them in her luggage. We all had to laugh because she still needed them. We joked about snow falling in June back when she first got here, little did we know it was going to be a possibility. With May, came Tyler's 8th birthday. She got baptized the first week of June, which was special for us because Mandy was able to be here for it as well.
Tyler's birthday was the only one she was here for.
I competed in my first sprint triathlon. Yes, four months pregnant. I had set the goal and registered before we decided to try for another one, so I was locked in. I told myself I wasn't going to break any world records and I was just doing it to set a time for me to beat next year. It was a lot of fun and I'll totally do it again next year! Like I said, I didn't break any records, but now I know what time to beat next year. And wouldn't you know it, I didn't get any pictures. I know I had pictures taken of me, but none that I have in my files and Tyson wasn't able to make it with the kids so no one was the specifically for me and to take my pictures.
There was one evening when we had no rain and it was fairly warm, the kids ran outside one night after dinner, only to come back with Jefferson crying his, "I'm really hurt, come see me!" cry. A neighbor was carrying him back with blood dripping from his foot. He'd stepped on a piece of broken bottle and we were looking at the possibility of our first ER visit. We didn't end up taking him and he didn't get stitches, but he'll have a decent scar with a cool shape and he points to the area and tells us he stepped on a broken bottle over there.
Jake also graduated from preschool. I can't believe he'll be in kindergarten this year! When did that happen? He loved his teacher Miss Hilary and he was sad when his school ended./div>

Just before school got out, Tanner had the opportunity to go to a basketball camp put on by Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery.The kid was in heaven, even though he only saw those two for a little bit of time. But they had most of the BYU basketball team come help out, so he got some good time with names he's heard before while watching basketball.
School got out for everybody else the second week of June and a few days after that, we said a tearful goodbye to Mandy.It was hard to see her leave, but we knew she was ready for some peace and quiet back in Brazil. She came from being an only child to a house full of four loud, crazy children and I'm sure there were many times that she was questioning her decision to come to such a chaotic house! But we still miss her! Tyson would tease her about two songs that were written with the title "Amanda". Those are the only songs Jefferson wants to listen to when we take our turns on the ipod when we're in the car.
After Mandy left, Tyson had his birthday and Father's day. Nothing real exciting, but he got a nice camera for his birthday, and the kids pooled their money together and got him a suit and new shirt for work. They really love their dad.

After Tyson's birthday was Jake's fifth birthday. He enjoyed his day and got McDonald's for lunch. I guess that's a tradition I've started now. Usually I take it to the kids for their lunch at school, but he got to eat it in front of everyone and I think that made him happy. Yes, that's a doughnut instead of birthday cake.

And now we are to July. Jefferson had his birthday and got more swords than you'd think a three-year-old should need, but he plays with each of them at least once during the day. He loves to have anyone who will give him two minutes, play swords with him. I think he likes the fact that he gets fireworks for his birthday as well. We were watching the fireworks that night and he came over and sat by me and said, "Happy Birthday to me!" He is a cute little stinker! Jake and Jefferson had their well child checks. Jake, as usual is still below the third percentile for his weight and height. Jefferson comes in at 47% for height and 54% for weight. We've never had a child with those kinds of numbers. No wonder people think the two of them are twins every where we go! Jake may need to get his tongue cut because the skin connecting his tongue to the bottom jaw is too far forward and affecting his speech, but at this point he's still too young to make that decision.
Tanner and Tyler had their first piano recital and did really well. They surprised Tyson and Jake with singing "Happy Birthday" once the recital was all over. They did a great job!!

The second weekend in July we went to Yellowstone with Tyson's family. That's a lot of time in the car! The kids enjoyed playing with their cousins and building memories. I'm not a believer that Yellowstone is bear country. We didn't see one bear. I was sorely disappointed.

And that brings us to the current. Tyson is working a lot, which is good. That means business is good. I'm still teaching piano and plan to take the week off after I have the baby and pick right up again. I've taken on some sewing projects, aside from the blankets I already do. Its been fun to make myself skirts that actually fit and don't look too bad either. I also added a crib skirt to the mix. The kids are getting big and learning new things everyday. What more could we ask for!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Food For Thought

I wish I could take credit for this, but I can't. I saw it on a desk at Jordan High School while getting our exchange student registered and had to take a picture of it so I could remember it. I laugh out loud every time I read it! Enjoy!

Food For Thought
In this life I'm a woman, in my next life, I'd like to come back as a bear

When you're a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that, too.

When you're a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're seeping and wake to partially grown,
cute cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.
If you're a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs.
If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.

If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling.
He EXPECTS that you will have harry legs and excess body fat.

YUP! Gonna be a bear.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


As cool as that date is to write, nothing much happened on this day in our history.

It's a new year with new resolves and new ambitions that will probably hit the wayside a week or two into 2011, but it's a time for a fresh start and to try and be better. Why we choose Jan. 1st to put all this pressure on ourselves, I'll never know, but year after year, we do...I do.

Last week after our main lesson for Family Home Evening, I gave the kids a "teaser" for this upcoming Family Home Evening. I told them that it's a new year, and with that, we make goals, things we can work on or accomplish for the next year. I told them first we have to have a goal, then we need to write it down and next tell others so we can have their help in accomplishing those goals. With that in mind, I'm writing down my goals for 2011 on a blog that no one ever reads, but none the less, is a public place so that I'll at least have them written down, which will get me one step closer to accomplishing them. So if by chance you are the one sad soul that happens to stumble across my blog, don't be afraid to ask me how my goals are coming. I may even try and update more than twice in the year with my progress on them.

1. Compete in a Triathlon without drowning. (Already signed up for Women of Steel, women's only Triathlon, May 21.)

2. Run the Salt Lake City Half Marathon, beating my time from last year and coming in under 2 hours. (I know for some, finishing under 2 hours may be a walk in the park, but I was 56 seconds shy of it last year and it still bugs me!)

3. Keep from yelling at the kids. (please tell me I'm not the only mom that has a hard time with this. And if you don't, please give me some advice...please!!)

4. Eliminate sweets and treats/increase fruits and vegetables. (I did the sweats thing for three weeks once last year. I felt so much better, so I'm trying to bring my family in on this one. I've already told them dessert will be limited to Sundays and or sometimes Mondays after Family Home Evening.)

When setting a goal, one could look at trying to accomplish these things for an entire year is a big bite to take. But, to that I ask, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I'll work on these things one day at a time, and after those days, find that working on them a week at a time, isn't such a big deal, then a month came pretty quick and before you know it, I'm writing down new resolutions for 2012.

So, here's to working towards a better year, and accomplishing those goals!

Monday, June 28, 2010

long overdue!!

Every time I come to my blog, I see the same picture that's been there for almost three months! I'm sorry. It seems as though my blog updating has become like my journal updating. The only time things get written down are when life is slow or I'm struggling with one thing or another. Lucky for anyone reading this, its neither. I'm just getting tired of looking at the picture that pops up.
Our lives have been busy, busy, busy since my last update. We ran our half marathon April 17th and the week after, Tyson and I left for Hawaii for six days! There isn't a day that goes by that I don't want to move there and stay there f.o.r.e.v.e.r! I have a picture on my desktop of Tyson and I with the ocean behind us and both of us will look at it and daydream for a minute.
On Waikiki Beach at sunset.
At the Dole Plantation.
One of the sharks above the water from our shark dive. Yes, we dove with sharks.
The view from Marriott Vacation Club International in Honolulu. It was a paradise all itself! We could have stayed here the entire time and I wouldn't have complained one minute.
This is the picture on my computer when you start it up! You can see why we both want to go back! This was at the Ritz Carlton in Maui.

After our trip, we cam home and Tyler finished her first soccer season. She did really well. Her coach was great and was so patient dealing with a bunch of five and six year olds!

Oddly enough, even though her soccer games went through May, every single game was freezing and windy or rainy! That's why they are wearing coats as they are playing. Yes, this is the weather that Tyson and I walked off the airplane from Hawaii into. That was not a pleasant welcome back to reality!!

After Tyler's soccer, we celebrated her 7th birthday. I can't believe she's 7 already! She's getting quit the friend base and every time we go to the gym, she's introducing one friend or another from school to me. We didn't do a birthday party for her this year, because she had one last year, and I don't want to set a standard to expect a party every year. But I'd say she had a pretty good birthday despite the lack of a party. This year, the hot toy is Zuhzuh pets. Well, she got two of them for her birthday. I guess Charlie felt threatened by these little toys rolling around on the floor at his level. One day after coming home from the gym, I saw one of these pets clothing accessories on the floor and in my head thought, gee, that's too bad Tyler left her toy laying around and Charlie got to it. Later, as I was putting Jefferson down for a nap, I noticed two black plastic things and a pink thing. I knew exactly what had happened. Charlie got the the zhuzhu pet. This was not even 48 hours after Tyler's birthday, so these were her prized toys still. I remembered from the morning, Tyler put her zhuzhu pets in a basket in her room so they could take a nap while she was gone to school. Charlie has never been one to eat the kids toys unless they leave them outside. That morning, he skipped over all the other toys on the floor, and there were many, and went into her room and got that pet and tore its face apart! I couldn't help but get her another one. I know it doesn't set the best precedent, but it was a birthday present.

After Tyler's birthday, school got out. As I mentioned earlier, it was the coldest May ever, so it didn't seem like the final weeks of school. Both kids graduated on to the next grade with flying colors. Tanner now has three years of public education under his belt without a single absence.
Jake also graduated from his pre-school. He was pretty excited about that. It was a windy day, but fun none the less. They even gave him a birthday treat because his birthday is during the summer.

After a week or two into summer. I was beginning to notice a bit of a problem. Jefferson enjoys being outside. So do the older kids. However, the older kids didn't like playing in the back yard because of one reason or another. However, I can't continue on inside with my stuff if I let everyone go out front, because Jefferson doesn't know the difference between the sidewalk and the street. And the other kids can't be in charge of keeping him out of the street. So, I was finally able to talk Tyson into getting a trampoline. It's worked like I charm!! We've even had a night when the kids slept out on it. Not without the sprinklers turning on first though. :)
Then came Tyson's birthday and father's day. Both days, sad for Tyson, passed without a huge deal. But he's another year older and wiser too...well, the wiser part is debatable. He had his usual German Chocolate cake and was good to go. Unfortunately, we weren't able to take it up to his work like we've done in the past.

After Tyson's big days, came Jake's birthday. Toy Story 3 came out the day before his birthday so we decided since he hasn't had a birthday party, that we would invite three friends and take them all to the movie. He had a great time. He was a little confused as to why he's not five now. We celebrated his birthday on his birth date and his party was on a different day, so I can see where there would be confusion.

Jefferson celebrated his 2nd birthday a week and a half after that. I can't believe it took us four kids to realize that a two year old doesn't need hundreds of dollars spent on their birthday! He got a baseball tee and bat, a push car and bubbles and couldn't have been happier! Plus he got a great display of fireworks to celebrate his birthday...well, actually it was on the 3rd that we got the fireworks, but the whole weekend was a celebration. I can't believe he's two!! Those two years have flown by!

Which brings us to the present. Life is crazy, and we don't have a spare minute for anything, but we somehow seem to fit it all in. I left out some things, Tyler's dance recital, the ten things we crammed into the 4th of July weekend, the RAGNAR race I ran. Count your blessings I didn't do a minute by minute detail of our lives. You just got the major highlights.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Salt Lake City Half Marathon

Before picture
We are now on the other side of our spring time half marathon. The rest of the day is not something I look forward to. Sure, it would be nice to come home and rest and take it easy, nice but unrealistic! With kids, life doesn't stop.
Carli came up and our ride picked us up at 5:45am. We got on trax about 6:15 and were crammed in there like sardines!! Once the race started, we all went our own pace and finished in our own times.
Tyson's time was 1:43:25
Camber's time was 2:00:39
Neither one of us met our goal, but Camber came closest to meeting hers. She wanted to finish under two hours. Guess that means we'll be running again next year.
We owe a HUGE thank you to Grandma Stauffer who came up and brought all three boys to cheer us on through our last mile. Grandpa Stauffer even rode his bike up to watch. Nothing is better than seeing a familiar cheering face as you round your last corner to a very long race!! Oddly enough, its somewhat emotional, for a reason I can't explain.
We also owe our great friend Becky our life for helping out with Tyler and her soccer game! Even though it would have been possible to take her and make it, our legs would have come off and clubbed us in the heads after 13.1 miles. THANK YOU BECKY!!!
Now that we're done with the race, next stop...HAWAII!! I'll post pictures when we get back. It's going to be great!!