...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Are they **ALL** yours?

We celebrated Bryce's birthday recently and it was so much fun. He is so easily excited, and it was great to let him have a day to really feel special (not that he isn't special every day). I am so grateful for that little boy and the joy he brings to our home. He is a child that is just happy at heart, it is really hard to get him down (not that we try).

Anyway, so that has gotten me thinking today how grateful I am for ALL of my children. I guess we do have a large family, although the people in it are so small that it really doesn't feel like it to me. I NEVER in my life would have guessed I would be the mother of six, but now that I am here (or almost here...bring on labor and delivery!!) it just feels so right.

While we were in California a couple of weeks ago, we found a lot of people who stared in amazement, or made comments (some shocked, some kind, some really rude) at the size of our family. Pregnant mom, five kids nine and under, Dad helping to keep things under control, it can be a sight. While it has not been unusual for me to have to deal with "other people" and their sometimes snide comments, here in Utah we are not quite so out of place. This was the first time Josh has had to really deal with people staring at us or making comments just loud enough for us to hear and, honestly, it was kind of fun to watch him. Having years of practice ignoring people while grocery shopping (somehow almost all the people who are rude about our family seem to show up in grocery stores...why is that?) I have learned to ignore it or loudly proclaim to my children how wonderful they are as I pass said snippet. Josh has not had to practice this skill and ended up fuming on a couple of occasions when couples with their token 1.8 children talk about how we are ruining the earth and causing global warming and depleting the supplies of the planet etc etc. Usually Josh is the calm one and I am the more annoyed, enthusiastic, or emotional one. It was fun to have the roles reversed.

On several occasions, trendy California natives (can they really be trendy if we come across them in Walmart or Denny's?) stated snidely "Are they ALL yours" as though there is some shame that could be alleviated if we had found a couple as strays and taken them in or if we had each brought some from previous relationships or something. Then I get to smile proudly and proclaim, "Every single one," and watch the reaction. Some say, "That's great, what a beautiful family" (which is true when they aren't climbing the shelves or trying to spit on each other for fun), others simply grunt and look baffled, but some sneer and, once they actually pass (guess they have enough knowledge of manners to know such things shouldn't be said to some one's face) say something like "How selfish can you be," or "What gives you the right to force that many kids into the system," or, my personal favorite, "I can't believe I have to pay for all the kids people like that have." Like I said, I am beyond the point where these things bother me. My main concern at this point is that my sweet children will hear something and feel put down or unwanted, but hopefully I can fix that if it happens.

Anyway, the point is, I am grateful for my kids no matter how much they may break down the ozone or whatever else. I hope one day one of my little ones becomes the amazing surgeon that saves the lives of the afore mentioned snippet, and although they won't know it, they will be indebted to my super sized family.

P.S. Don't think we are looking for sympathy here, there is none needed...people are people, we all have to learn to live with each other, and maybe even like each other a bit along the way.

Monday, June 15, 2009

California Dreamin' (Josh titled this one)

This past week has been a great one for our family. We took a 10 day trip to California and stayed as a resort in Indio (which I'd never heard of before...it is sort of by Palm Springs). The resort was fabulous. There were lots of pools, a lazy river to float in, tennis and basketball courts, parks (all covered by awnings so they didn't get too hot to play on), and beautiful paths and grounds for walking. It was the perfect get away for us with our many ages to try to please. The weather there was perfect (right about 9o degrees every day) and we missed all the rain we hear has slammed Utah.

We also visited a zoo which was awesome and had a lot of animals that our Utah zoo doesn't have. It was also located in the desert with natural desert surroundings so there were lizards and birds and (to my dismay) snakes wandering around the place (okay, we only saw one snake on the path, but that was one too many for me...and it was red so obviously it was deadly and out to get us). We forgot our camera that day so we have nothing to show off, even though there were some incredible plants and animals. Bryce particularly loved the Mexican wolf which was huge and grumpy. Aubrey loved the Zebra, we meet a zoo keeper at that display and the male Zebra yelled at the keeper (boy are they loud and big). The keeper told Aubrey the male was trying to protect his girlfriends who were a little ways away and she told everyone at the zoo that we saw after that that the boy zebra had girlfriends so watch out.

We went to a children's museum with lots of hands on displays that the kids could play with. They loved it, but Josh and I thought it was a bit of a let down. It was nothing to the children's museum here, which was what we were expecting. Still, the kids loved it so that was what counted.

One day we went to the movies (which we don't do often because 7 people cost a lot to take to the movies) and we saw "Up." It was really fun, and the kids could not get enough of the talking dogs.

Mostly, we just hung out as a family. Josh did all of the cooking (the condo had a full kitchen which was wonderful) so I got a break from that. We all had a fabulous trip, Gavin keeps asking when we can go back to California.

Parker playing tennis

Gavin navigating the ropes course at the Children's Museum.

The kids on the balcony of our condo, this is the gorgeous view we got to see every day. Down below there were often ducks that the kids liked to throw bread to (and Gavin tried to feed them paper, which they didn't care for)

Everyone enjoying one of the pools. We spent a lot of time swimming!!

Our family on the ground of the condo

videoThis is a video of Logan at the pool. The first day he was really nervous in the water, but by the time we left he could not get enough. He would say "jumpin, jumpin" over and over until we stood him on the side. Then he would count "two, nine" and jump in.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thanks, Mom, for the Fun

This week our family had a mini adventure designed by my mother. She is an amazing woman and I am always grateful that we have her. I hope I can be like her when I grow up (do I really have to grow up?). Anyway, she had a prize she wanted to share with the kids, so she designed an awesome scavenger hunt sort of thing for us. We had to drive all over and do different tasks. The kids had a great time, and so did the adults. What a fun way to spend an afternoon. We had to stand on the side of the road and hold up pictures to the passing cars. No one really paid attention to us (wouldn't you write off a family of people holding signs as weirdos too).

We visited the cemetery and placed flowers on several graves that did not have decorations. It was really neat to be able to talk to the kids about life and death and it was a fun, although much more quiet and serene, part to the adventure.

We had to stop at a baseball field and run the bases.

Next we went to a certain park and played a game of duck, duck, goose. Logan was really upset that we didn't stay to play on the slide and swings. He wasn't really into the whole get in and out of the car a lot thing. Poor guy.
We had to stop at the home of "an old person in our ward" so we decided Jerry qualified. He was sweet to put up with us as we sang our required song.

It was really fun and the kids loved the prize my parents had for us at the end. We are so blessed to have such amazing family, even if they sometimes make us do embarrassing things. What a fun day.
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