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

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Soccer 2014

This month we eat, breathe, sleep, and live soccer in all of our spare moments.

We have three boys in the soccer deluge this year (on top of the final tendrils of basketball for another son and dance dance excitement for our daughter) and while it can get pretty crazy schedule wise, it is still a lot of fun.

Josh is coaching Logan's team so I also get to watch him run around the field helping his little crew of distractable  energy pockets attempt to focus on the game instead of the dandelions.  Herding cats, my dad used to call it.  Yup.  That's just what it looks like.  It is loads of entertainment for me, I can't help but smile every night (yessiree, we have soccer every single night...sometimes twice).  

Our boys have done pretty well this season and each has managed to score a few times, steal some balls and kick the living daylights out of the poor ball (and sometimes accidentally the other players as well).  

Here's a glimpse of the action.  

Good stuff.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Can't we all just get along!

A couple of weeks ago I got together with a couple of ladies that I love for a play group.  We call it play group but really it is just a chance for us to hang out and chat while our little ones entertain each other. I adore these women and feel very blessed to know them.  They are sweet and kind and hilarious and I just really enjoy any opportunity I get to be around them.

Anyway, as we were gabbing we stumbled into a conversation that was a little sticky.  We were talking about a situation that will be coming up soon in our area and the way we each think it should be tackled.  It is a politically charged circumstance revolving around intense feelings and fears and innocent people who may end up hurt or mistreated if it isn't handled well.

We each had a solid perspective on the coming episode, but we each saw it from a unique viewpoint.  One friend accidentally fell in the middle of this issue when it started last year and her vision of a solution went one way while another friend will get her fingers in it this year and her thoughts head a different direction.

When it came down to it, we didn't see eye to eye.  Not one of us.  All three of us had strong feelings about it, but none of them were in line with the feelings of the other parties.  It was obvious as we continued to explain our opinions that no one was going to convince anyone of anything.  We were all firmly attached to our viewpoints.

However, the beautiful part was that as each person spoke the other two listened intently NOT just waiting for the speaker to close her mouth so we could jump in with our own views but actually listening.  We listened to each other -- you know, really hearing what was said -- and tried to see it from that person's perspective.  It was actually kind of a beautiful thing.

I can't speak for the thoughts my friends were having, but for me I felt like I could really understand where the others were coming from, how their experiences and feelings had shaped their ideas and I could really see why they stood where they did.

Now, no one came away that day with an "oh wow, I see that you are right and I was wrong" moment.  As far as I know we each feel pretty much the same about the situation after the heated discussion as we each did before.

But here's the thing.  No one scorned the others labeling them as ignorant or uninspired (at least not out loud).  No one stormed out because people wouldn't come around to her way of thinking.  No one screamed.  No one threw a tantrum.  No one demeaned or belittled or even affronted the other women in the room.  We talked about a tough topic -- one that absolutely will cause pain and heartache in some way or another -- we didn't agree, and we were still the same amount of friends when we came out of it that we were when we went into it.

And I love that.

I don't understand why so often in today's society we take on this notion that if someone doesn't see things the way that we do then they are unfit to be acknowledged and should be snuffed out as soon as possible.  I do not believe that tolerance should mean forced acceptance.  I loathe listening as someone screams for tolerance when what they mean is "you must convert to my way of thinking."  I absolutely HATE watching as single issues sometimes become more important than relationships.

There are topics that live within you so deeply that it is painful when someone attacks them. That is just truth.  It is part of life.  At some point someone is going to vehemently disagree with something that you hold dear.  But what you do with it from there, that is the vital choice.

Are you going to decide that you cannot abide the presence (or blog post or tweet) of a person who has a different view than you do on a beloved topic?  Are you going to go on the offensive and personally and repeatedly attack them because of their ideals?  Are you going to make your well loved issue the only thing in life that matters so if someone doesn't agree with you then they simply don't warrant your time?  What does that make you?  "You are supposed to respect my way of viewing the world but I don't have to afford you the same courtesy?"   Something is wrong with that.

Let me be clear, I am NOT saying we should roll over and just accept the beliefs of everyone around us.  I don't buy into the "just quietly sit by and let everyone think their own thing and lets just not bring it up so we don't accidentally disagree" philosophy.  I believe we should all stand up and fight for laws and issues and ideas that are important to us. We should vote.  We should campaign.  We should express and explain and encourage our beliefs.  We.  Should.  Fight.  For.  Right.

I am a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I hold firmly to the standards and ideals and values of my chosen religion.  I know them to be right and I will not bend on that.  This means that I have very firm feelings when it comes to things like abortion, gay marriage, human equality, Jesus Christ as my Savior, the importance of family etc.  I will stand for those things.

That said, I have family and close friends who do not happen to agree with me on pretty much every single one of these issues.  In fact, in several cases our views could not be more opposite.

But these are people I love.  These are people I want to be around.  These are good people, kind people, loving people and I hope they would say the same of me.  I am grateful that even though the gap between a few of our beliefs really couldn't be wider, we can still respect and care for each other as people.

We may end up in a passionate debate from time to time.  Feelings may end up bruised once in a while (on both ends) but in the overall scheme of everything we try not to let one (or two or three) concept -- no matter how deeply we feel about it -- clip all the other threads that bind us together.

It is not wrong to defend a heartfelt conviction.  Seems to me it can't be too heartfelt a conviction if you aren't willing to defend it.

And yet, when all is said and done, we are all humans.  We all get to chill on the planet together for whatever chunk of time God gives us.  When it is all said and done, we are all on the same team.  Most of us want what is good and loving and beautiful in the world.  Most people are good people, even if we don't all agree on everything.

It seems like maybe we could put a little more effort into remembering that even though we are different -- even though we have varying goals and ideals and thoughts -- we are all breathing air, tending gardens, loving children, driving streets, reading books,  basking in sun, struggling with budgets, complaining about commercials, singing songs, cooking food, helping with homework and on and on.

We should not set aside our values, that is what makes us who we are.  But no matter our position on hot topics we can travel this planet together in mercy and compassion and kindness.  We can be more than our differences.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Recently a friend donated a used pogo stick to our family.

Yeah, it's sort of become a favorite item around here.

We may or may not end up with broken limbs thanks to this little lady, but it is so much fun in the mean time that we'll just take what comes.  

Pogo.  Good times.  Who knew.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A quick note

On our refrigerator we have this fancy green board for phone messages and such.  Mostly it just ends up as a place for the kids to doodle, but that isn't a bad thing either so ok.

A couple weeks ago Aubrey jotted down a reminder of which page in a borrowed piano book (thanks Kephin) holds the song she wants to learn.

Then, a couple days ago I noticed that the note had changed a bit.

Truth, I guess.

Someone who has wandered through my kitchen has a bit of a sense of humor.

I love a good laugh.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Poster

This week is teacher appreciation week and Logan and I were asked to create a poster for his teacher, Miss Jarratt.

So, we waltzed our way over to the dollar store to look for some inspiration.  When we saw the decorative (??) fish net we knew we had found just what we needed.  Add in a packet of fancy fish and we were off.

This is what we came up with. 

Logan loves it (which is what matters most) and hopefully his teacher feels very appreciated.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My hard working husband

This is me with my favorite person on Earth.

He's pretty amazing.  Let me tell you about is latest feat of awesomeness.

These pictures show how Josh spent the day before his birthday.

Picture #1 which shows (in the background) the way our patio used to look.  Ignore the messy, overgrown vegetables and instead notice the wasted 10 foot wide swath of grass hanging out between the patio stones and the garden.

Picture #2 which shows our newly extended patch of patio taking the stones right up to the garden (well almost) and giving us more space for entertaining, family events, etc.

Poor Josh had to maneuver and place every single one of those patio stones and they are BUGGERS!  believe me.  They weigh close to 50 lbs a piece and are 2 ft x 2 ft so they are pretty awkward and tough to handle.  Also, while they are WONDERFUL (thanks soooo much kind friends who make them with leftover cement from completed jobs and then let people you know benefit from them) they -- the stones that is -- are rough and not perfectly uniform in depth so Josh has to do smidging and adjusting to get them to sit flush (or pretty flush).  

Anyway, the point is, the day before his birthday my sweetheart spent hours hauling and placing really heavy stones so that I could have an extended patio.  He worked and worked to get it all in before rain starts falling and turned our area emptied of grass to a mud pit.  See, he's also a smarty pants.

He is such a sweetheart.  I love him to bits and I am grateful every moment of every day that he was born.

Love you JKD.  You're my favorite.  Have a fabulous birthday today!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Remember to work together...as a Spaceteam

  Have you played this game yet?

My family is completely addicted to it at the moment. 

It is wild!

Each player signs on using their electronic device and works together...as a SPACETEAM...to complete tasks on their individual control panels.  Each person receives commands needed to run the ship and either completes the commands or shouts them out so that their spaceteam can complete the commands.

It really is a riot.

And the funnest part (to me) is when you are not the one playing and you are in the next room and you hear frantic shouts of: 

"Increase clip jawed monodish to four!"
"Activate brain plunger!"
"Entertain dignitaries!"
"Clean up vomit!"
"Launch heliochoke!"
"Reduce subduster to two!"
"Sell stocks!"

We haven't yet made it past level eight, but we have had many many laughs and entertaining moments thanks to this little baby.

I tried to get video several times, but I never seemed to film the moments that are the most hilarious....still, here's a taste of our new favorite family game. 

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