Saturday, June 30, 2012

Birthday scrapbook

Yesterday I shared my feelings on my birthday, today I am going to share the play by play, for documentation sake. As moms, our birthdays are important too! Of course I don't have the same amount of pictures, I was enjoying my day nonetheless!
My red, white,and blue pancakes at Denny's
I spent the morning going to breakfast with my mother-in-law. Afterwards we went birthday shopping! Then we went and had a picnic lunch at a pond near Josh's work. The ducks were aggressive! There is probably a good reason that there wasn't anyone else eating their lunch there. They seriously snatched Cooper's food right out of MY hand as I was trying to get him to take a bite. Afterwards Turner and Max shooed all of the ducks back into the pond and marched patrol along the bank. They kept those ducks in the pond. So cute! After such an amazing morning, we came home and put the little ones down for a nap so we could go to the drive-in! In Josh's family, they have a tradition of the dad bringing home a present for the kids when he gets home from work. Josh decided to bring me home one also! He gave me a rhyming dictionary, and a the Oxford guide to writing. I am thankful for a husband that listens to things I want (rhyming dictionary) and remembers it later down the road. For dinner we went to Famous Dave's BBQ, and then headed over to the "theater" We put our bean bag into the back of my father-in-laws company truck. It was a blast! My mother-in-law brought in a ice cream cake, we ate it while we waited for the sun to set. We saw Brave. It was a cute movie. The only one that fell asleep during the movie was Amelia. I seriously don't know how some mom's put on a movie to get her kids to fall asleep. It wouldn't work for my kids!!

This didn't last long! They were in the truck crawlin' all over everyone in no time!
It was a fantastic day!

Friday, June 29, 2012

They say it's my birthday!!

           I am writing this post on my new laptop I got for my birthday! Josh is amazing and bought a simple laptop so I could write more! He is such an amazing man. I felt lucky to wake-up next to him this morning. I loved how as each child woke-up, he prompted them to wish me a happy birthday. I loved it! I loved each "habpy birfday momma," from my four sweet children. A birthday wish and hug from each of them made my day!     
           This morning my parents called me bright and early to sing an early morning rendition of "Happy Birthday!" They told me that the family was celebrating by going to the World's Oldest Rodeo tonight. I love that my family celebrates even when I can't be there ;) I love that my parents called me before it was even 7am their time.
          When I hung up the phone, I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for them. It is because of them that I am even alive. It is because they were brave enough, after having four boys in four years, to have another baby. It is because they are such great people that I have such a great life. They nurtured me, raised me, taught me, and helped me believe in myself everyday for 18 years. After that they sent me to college, and on a mission. They never stopped loving me, nurturing me, and strengthening me, and providing opportunities for me to be the best person I can be.
         Shortly after I hung up the phone, my mother-in-law came to take me to breakfast, and birthday shopping. I was again overwhelmed with gratitude for my "in-law" family. I have lived near them for 7 years now, and I have always known that I was an important member of the family. I have been loved, encouraged, taught, and cherished. Maybe it is because I gave them the cutest grand kids alive; but I think they kinda like me even on my own.
         While I was eating breakfast, my brother called to wish me a happy birthday. My sister called later in the day--I am thinking, maybe, even a few more phone calls might be in store for me today. 
        I got to have a picnic-birthday lunch with my sweetheart and the kids. When I went to go meet up with Josh, I met his new boss. He is a great man with an endearing smile. He shook the kids hands and looked them straight in their eyes. I was very impressed. As we were eating lunch, my cousin walked by--it turns out that he works in a building across from Josh! He wished me a happy birthday and gave me a warm hug. I came home and read over 30 Facebook birthday wishes.
         It may sound like I am bragging, and maybe I am a little ;), but honestly I just have an overwhelming feeling of love for the people in my life. I honestly felt so grateful for 34 years of experiences with people that have touched my life, and made it so wonderful! From childhood friends, to youth I looked up to growing up, teachers, kids I babysat, Adults that took interest in me, primary teachers, leaders, roommates, companions, families on my mission, families I worked with, co-workers, Of course my parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and in-laws. I can't believe that I get to love all of these people!
        Yesterday I finished reading Les Miserables. I started reading it over a year ago, and had a hard time sticking with it. I kept picking up other books instead. About a month ago I set the goal to finish it before I turned 34. I am so glad that I did. I am glad that I get to start out my new year with a new heart. There is so much wisdom in this book. Yet one of the most poignant lines, is also such a simple line. It is one of the last paragraphs in the book. Jean Valjean tells Marius and Cosette, "Love each other dearly always. There is scarcely anything else in the world but that: to love one another."
          If you are reading this blog--I love you. Even if I don't know who you are! The fact that you take the time to read my, less than perfect, writing about my life means a lot to me. Thank you so much for allowing me to share part of my soul with you everyday! Sharing my life with others is what makes living so worthwhile. I love growing older! Even if I am in my "mid 30's" now!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A little love?

          We have been very blessed at our home recently! When Josh and I bought this home, shortly after we got engaged, we knew there was a lot of updating that needed to be done. There was brown shag carpets in the kitchen, white carpet over hardwood floors, ugly wall paper EVERYWHERE! Yet, that is one of the things we were the most excited about--getting to fix it up. I reccomend buying a fixer-uper to all engaged people. It kept us too busy to get into any trouble! 
          One of the things that we hated was the old aluminum storm windows, covering the even older aluminum windows. They were impossible to clean, had no screens, and the wind whistled through them on a cold winter's night. We have a couch next to one of the windows that doesn't get used during the winter at all because it is too cold to sit there. Yet children came quickly, and money was short. The windows never got replaced. Last March, my oldest son threw a rock at the kitchen window. We watched that crack spread slowly across the large window that summer. When the dry hurricane of 2011 came through, I watched as those pieces of glass rubbed against each other, chipping, yet never breaking. Josh put some blue tape over the cracks on the window to prevent more cold air from filling our home. It looked as if we had a blue spiderweb on our dirt covered windows. I knew that we had finally made it--we were officially rednecks! 
          Something snapped in us this spring, and we decided that we didn't want to put that burden on the rest of the neighborhood, and we wanted a warmer house for our kids (aka I didn't want to let our hard earned money fly out the windows--I would rather spend it on the windows!) 
          We had a gentleman come out to the house to measure for our new windows. Honestly I barely even spoke to him on that day. I do remember wondering how good he was. He seemed a little . . . um. . . worn. He was older, and you could tell in an instant that he was an avid smoker. A couple of weeks later, he came out to install the windows. I was so excited! He worked really hard on my five measly windows. After he installed the windows, but before he got the trim up, he fell out of the back of his truck onto the asphalt. He then decided to call it a day. I was a little worried for the guy.
        The next day when he came out, he did a great job finishing off the windows. As we were signing any remaining paperwork, we got to talking. I learned so much about this great man. I loved the passion in his voice as he talked about cars, houses, his family, his past business purists, and so on. I felt bad about my hasty judment the first time I met him. Somehow we got on the subject of religion. I don't get a chance to talk religion very often, living in Utah, so it was really nice. He told me that he was raised in the church, but he started smoking at a young age, and found happiness being a non-denominational Christian. I expressed my love for all Christians. He then asked me if I was LDS. When I told him I was, he was surprised. He explained that he hadn't met many LDS people who were as nice as I was. He told me that even though he doesn't smoke on people's property, as soon as people see him with a cigarette, they treat him like a dirty piece of garbage. I felt so sad upon hearing this. Honestly I wasn't surprised, just sad. I could feel the pain he felt.
          I told him that in the big scheme of things, smoking isn't that big of a deal, but not treating people Christ-like,that was a much much bigger deal. It is important that we don't smoke, but it is way down on the list compared to something like . . . I don't know "Love one another!" Matt. 22:37-39 is pretty clear. I was grateful for this reminder for myself. Why oh why don't I suspend all judgments? Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13, that if we don't have charity, we are nothing! 
         Sometimes we think what we say or do doesn't matter. It does! I firmly believe that God only gives us commandments that make us happy. When we love others, we get to feel God's love. That makes us happy! I am so thankful for a loving Father in Heaven, that has so much patience with me and my shortcomings! And I am so thankful for some new windows :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Need a seat?

Saw this awesome chair at big 5. Now if it would have had for straps to tie all my kids down, I may would have forked out the $100!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Call for help!

I need some help with biting! I really am at a loss for what I can do to help Amelia to not bite! From what I can tell, this is a common problem with twins--one is a biter, and one is the chew toy. Anyone know what I can do to help this problem??

Monday, June 25, 2012

A photo just won't cut it

           So we won't even start to critique the photography here. I know it is pretty bad. Amelia had been having a hard time breathing last week due to aspirating some vinegar. It of course drove me to checking on her a couple of times the first couple of nights. As I went in on this particular night I just sat there and marveled at the beauty of a sleeping child. Josh laughed when I told him this, thinking that I meant that they are not a pain while sleeping, but are when awake. I didn't mean that at all. I don't know if anyone else can put it into words better than I can, but I feel like there is just no distractions when you watch a little one sleep. You are in an environment where you need to be still. That stillness allows for an ability to feel that magnitude of the spirit that is in the little body. I wanted to capture it on film, some way to preserve this precious moment. I couldn't find my tripod or cable release so I had to settle for a wheat bucket and unsteady fingers. I of course woke Amelia up! She is a very light sleeper.

          As I looked at the pictures, I realized that sometimes a photo just doesn't capture it! Like when you look at the Grand Canyon or a beautiful mountain. There are some pictures that are beautiful, but it is nothing compared to being there!

Friday, June 22, 2012

It takes a village

I have heard/seen a quote that goes something like this: "I homescool because I have SEEN the village, and I don't WANT them raising MY child." As much as I laugh at this, and in some cases, find it great wisdom--I really don't agree. I do want a village raising my child, just a village of my choosing! The first time I remember really feeling an overwhelming gratitude for "the village" was about a year-and-a-half ago. Turner wasn't really happy about going to church. Turner loves people but struggles when he doesn't know what to expect. He had been in a Sunbeams class (3-4 year old Sunday school) the previous year where the couple teaching rotated every other week. He really liked both couples, he just had a really hard time when he was expecting one couple and it was the other one. It really was difficult for him. Because of this, he hated hated HATED going to church. We struggled through it.  He then was put in a class with three teachers, but they all came every week. By this time I would have considered him "a hard kid" at church. Luckily for me, and especially Turner, he loved his new teachers. He really bonded with Sister (Tami) Stephens. He would still get nervous to go to primary, but when he saw Sister Stephens, he would get really excited! She cared a lot about him, and still smiles and says hello when she sees him. Last Sunday she remembered that his birthday was coming up. Tami did something for him that I couldn't do. I will always love her for that.

Last fall a friend of Turner's was signing up for karate (aikido to be exact), and his mom invited me to bring Turner along. I thought it would be good for him and so I took him. I have to admit (and sorry ahead of time, if you ever read this Turner) that I struggled so hard watching him struggle. He wasn't very graceful or coordinated. He struggled with the moves, and he struggled socially. Turner is a very social child but his social energy is a bit untamed. When it came to pairing up, he struggled if someone didn't want to be his partner, or if he couldn't find a partner. He also has a lot of untamed energy. In steps Sensei Mike. Turner's sensei is gentle and kind. Aikido is a very gentle martial art. I don't know if it is Mike's nature or years of mastering this martial art, but he is a very gentle man. He has helped Turner become more graceful, skilled, and less socially awkward. I have faith that through more aikido, and tutoring from Sensei Mike, we will be able to train some of Turner's energy!
I loved this picture because it looks like Turner is glowing!

Turner couldn't remember the words he had to say, so Mike prompted him. I love the gentle way he works with these kids!

Here is Turner with his Yellow belt 2nd degree. We promise that we will get him a gi when he comes back in the fall!

Celebrating frugal style--courtesy cones at Arctic Circle!

Next sport we are trying is soccer--Heaven help us!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It is a MIRACLE!!

I have waited TwO yEaRs for this day!!! I got a picture of BOTH twins smiling at the SAME time!! Can you believe it folks? Both of them? Cooper is even winking at that! (I usually have to give him candy to get a wink for a picture--okay my mom gave him skittles for a half an hour trying to get a winking picture!) Yes yes yes we have a real live miracle everyone!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lovin' the zoo

I once had a visiting teacher that hated zoos. I remember having a conversation with her about how she just couldn't stand to look at the poor animals in cages. She felt like they should be running free! I have to admit, her perspective changed zoos for me a little bit. I love the animals--and I love looking at the animals. Yet now I realize that it is totally selfish! I think that zoo animals have it pretty easy, and quite of few of them would have been a predator's meal if they were born in the wild. So I don't feel too bad for them. Although I have to admit, when I was little we visited the Hogle Zoo, and it was pretty bad. I don't remember much, I mostly just remember a lot of concrete. Luckily the whole zoo profession has gotten a little bit more in touch with the animals needs since I was a tyke. They really have done a lot to improve the habitats of the zoo animals. This was really the first time going with the twins, where they enjoyed looking at the animals also. It was a ton of fun! It also helped that they opened the new Rocky Shores exhibit--so we all had something new to check out!
Amelia loving the Elephants!

We love watching the now toddler elephant. It is fun to see how much like a human toddler she is in her behavior!

We kinda have an obsession with otters at our house. We have been enjoying them at the aquarium and now get to enjoy them at the zoo also! Their life is pretty nice--swim, eat, sleep, play, repeat. See why we love them?

The new seal--lovin' some sun

watching the sea lions swim around

I may have a few too many of Cooper. It was just my mission all day to get one of him smiling! I don't think it happened.

I have to admit, with all of the viewing tanks, we kinda felt like we were at sea world!

Even a blurry picture can be adorable when it is of this cute girl!!

Loving the zoo!
So, these animals might not be running free. Hopefully they love their perfectly heated/cooled habitats with things to do (I think they call that enrichment), and all the food they need.  Maybe life as a zoo animal wouldn't be too bad!

Monday, June 18, 2012

My courage

I absolutely love my calling in the church right now. I get to teach sunbeams. Not only do I teach the cutest and most reverent children in all of Jr. primary (with the exception of my handsome Turner a few classes back), but I also get to teach with one of the greatest women in all the world. I have to admit, I use to think that I knew a thing or two about children, until I taught with my dear co-teacher. Not only does Sister Hansen (or Sister Handsome, as Max calls her) know a lot about teaching the little ones, her actions match her knowledge—something I am constantly trying to do.
Sunday Max was lucky enough to get to say the scripture in opening exercises. The scripture is 1Nephi 3:7. He did a great job, even if the whole primary was talking at the same time. I enjoyed practicing it with him this week. I love Nephi and his stories! We are also learning the Song Nephi’s courage. I love the song Nephi’s courage. For those of you whom may not be familiar with it, it is a song that recounts a few events in the ancient prophet, Nephi’s life. The chorus is the paraphrased aforementioned scripture 1Nephi 3:7 “. . . I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” The chorus words actually are: “I will go, I will do the things the Lord command. I know the Lord provides a way, he wants me to obey.”
Just writing the words warms my heart!! The story of Nephi is so inspirational. Nephi was commanded to do many things, one of them being building a boat! This account is found in 1Nephi chapter 17. So I can only imagine how this happened—Nephi has a strong impression/inspiration/spiritual prompting to go pray in the Mountains. As he is praying he gets the impression he needs to build a boat. This is in a day and age where he can’t just google “How to build a boat.” He wasn’t a boat maker—he had NO IDEA what he was doing. He received the commandment to build a boat, and what was the first thing he asked God? Not: “me?” Not: “You want me to cross this ocean? In a boat I built?” He asked where he should go to get the metal to make the tools he would need.
Nephi gives us a clue as to why he felt like he could do this. In an earlier verse in the same chapter, he states: “And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them. . .” He testified that God will nourish us, strengthen us, and provide the means whereby we can accomplish the thing which God has commanded us.
That is the best part—this isn’t about the 10 commandment, it isn’t about living the Law of Moses or the beatitudes, these were individual commandments that God had for Nephi and his family. The Lord has individual plans for us. The things that we are called to do on this earth are individual commandments for us! We are not all commanded to build a ship or take our family into the wilderness. Yet, just like Nephi, we all have individual commandments. What are yours? What has the Lord put you on this earth to accomplish?
There are several commandments that I feel the Lord has given me. I need to pray for Nephi’s courage. I logically know that God will sustain me the same way he sustained Nephi. Do you think that Nephi was worried when he pushed that boat out on the sea? Or do you think he had all the confidence that he followed God’s command with exactness? Do you think he ever wondered why he was building a boat when they were living in a beautiful land with a lot of fruit and honey?
How is it that people come across their life mission? I read biographies or short bios of very successful people. Some of them have known since they were a youth what they wanted to do with their life. As a youth, when people asked me what I was into—the answers were always the same “1.Children, 2. Photography, 3. Sign language.” Does that mean that these are my life mission? Although I know that being a mother is part of my personal commandments, I feel that every mother also has their own personal mark to make upon this earth. I hate to say that we have more to offer, because that sounds like mothering isn’t enough. Mothering is the greatest thing we can do, but I feel like we all have something else (even something less) to offer this world.
What have you done to discover your life mission? How do you go forward in faith with that plan?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's day!

Here is our Father's day card!
I just want to wish my husband and my daddy a Happy Father's day!

I am a pretty lucky girl to have been raised by such an amazing father. My dad is gentle, kind, supportive and loving. He is what every girl wishes for and wants in a dad. In a day and age where father's don't think that they are important, I tell you--my father was very important in my life. Even better than having a good dad? I had a dad that loved and supported my mother. I really hit the jackpot when it came to parents. In fact, there was a time in my life when I thought that I must have been a very weak soul, because Heavenly Father gave me such amazing parents. I love my father and am so thankful for him!

I also love my husband with all of my heart. He is an amazing father also. He is very involved in every aspect of their life. Josh wants the best for them with all of his heart. He pushes them to become better all of the time. It is great to be a wife and watch the man you love grow and learn in his calling to be a father. He is always trying and doing better. Here is a man that thought he would have two kids, three kids tops--had four kids in four year. He is the love of my life, and I am so glad he is the father of my children!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Turner's big day!

We had a great day on Turner's birthday! It started with traditional (Thomson family tradition) of German pancakes. That is the way the Thomson's have been celebrating birthdays for generations--well at least Josh's generation. We have been eating almost every meal out on the patio lately. It seriously saves my sanity most days. I love that I can just hose it off, and not stress about the mess :)
German pancakes are great for birthdays--just don't try to put wax candles in them! Not that I would know from experience or anything...don't look at the brightly colored spots in the pictures below--ummm....they are melted candy?!?!

My big boy turns 6! He looks so grown up!!

Outside is a great place for the twins to learn out to drink out of a cup!

Very intent on something...what I just don't know! Poor girl! I didn't pull her hair out of face!

The easiest birthday cake to date, but probably the most expensive. Good thing the action figures also counted as a present :)

Seriously! How did they get to be so big!

Messy baby! Baths were soon to follow

Gotta get one of the momma!

Love the ghetto sun shades in the background? Oh I mean Turner opening presents!

Working on his surprised face! Love it!

Okay so maybe the face didn't improve as the night went on. He loves his quillow and flashlight from Grammy and Grampy!

Who is this masked man? It is Crapa!! (Ignore the writing that says property of U-HAUL on the blanket)

Again with the hair in the face at meal time. I swear her hair got done that day! My beautiful princess!

Blowing out the candles!

Birthday spankings! And Josh says the kids get their drama from me...

We finished off the evening by watching a batman cartoon!
Birthdays are the best! So grateful for all of my kids!