Monday, June 30, 2008

Dena and John photo shoot

This one is one of my very favorites. What do you think?

Finally I'll share these, I have given in to the hounding (yes Liza, here they are, for you!). I had misplaced the discs shortly after I got them, and miraculously they were found when kids were gone and cleaning was done! (So hey Allie, all I need is a copy of the dvd now)
These are some of the photos that Allie Hoopes did for us. She's great no? Allie is an Evanston girl (and we all know how much I heart Evanston) she is actually married to a guy I graduated with (Derek Hoopes) thats how I met her. She has a fantastic talent for photography, ok lets be honest, she has a fantastic talent for almost everything and to top it off she's one of the sweetest people ever. Allie and Derek won Spencer's heart when they gave him an old scooter that all the neighbor kids envy!
I am really happy with these pictures and can't wait for her to take some of all of the kids.
I tried to put more up here but after 3 tries and "internal error" messages each time I decided that this will do. Enjoy, you can see the rest later (at my house, or wedding, or something!:)
The 3rd one down is one of my favorites, you don't get to see my FAVORITE because of the error loading it to the blog. Hmm.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mountain Men (and Women) our last 2 weeks in pictures

Nat with her pet moth
At the first camp, the water to play in
Walking with Grandpa Moon
Our only existing family photo with everyone in it. Next time we'll try for showers, clean clothes, combed hair, something.
The snake skin that Mac and Natalie found
Spencer in the muddy water
Natalie, Tia and Emily on their way to the big hunt
The gang at Grandma and Grandpa Moon's house
David and Tia, getting ready to be tucked in
Have we seen this picture somewhere before? John and I are as bad as Corie and me!
Natalie and her new best friend, Polix (on a side note, Polix was so meant to be a mountain dog! He is doing much better here than he ever did in Utah! We are sooooo happy! The ear infections are even a thing of the past for the moment!)
Tia after smores one night
Race, who loved camp and the kids but is too old to keep up with them for long. He enjoyed many naps and watching from the distance.
The boys with Uncle Colin and Grandpa
One of Sammi's many pet snakes (not the one that bit Nat)
The dogs were oh so happy to have kids to love! They are sleeping in the tent everynight
Hey look! Dena gets to be IN a picture instead of taking it, here with Natalie and Sammi
Muddy water joy for David, Spencer, Sammi, Natalie and Tia
Tia and Emily make mud pies at their Cafe'
David after some shooting
The kids after our journey to restore the enchanted castle to the good people of the kingdom. These are a fine group of wizards, faries and a clown. Natalie: a Nurse Fairy, Sammi: clown, David:weather wizard, Spencer:hunter wizard, Emily:Mother Nature Fairy, Mac:Map and direction Fairy
Natalie with the "keys" to the castle
The girls and Jedadiah, they gave so much love!
Never has anyone had such a messy face/hands, or hair as Natalie after campfire marshmallows!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Update: Busy Busy camp life

Just a quick update (photos to follow at a later date...)
We've been oh so busy camping. John's 4 kids have been here the last couple of weeks and we've been camping the whole time. We've come down from camp now and then for important things like showers, groceries, to go to work, get more reading materials, etc. I have had all (5) kids plus an occasional 1 or 2 extras (John's nieces). Such a change of pace from my one boy! Leda says I deserve a medal, I would so settle for a nap!!!
We've had so much fun spending time together and doing fun things, and we've also had our share of exhausting & trying moments. Its been an adventure to all get adjusted to each other and figure out this new family unit. John's kids are going back to their mom's to celebrate the 4th of July and Spencer will be with his dad for a while too. I'm so torn, I am tired and want a little break but I really don't want them to go! This time together has made me realize how much I love these kids. I have to echo my friend Ashlee and say that sometimes it is hard to understand "why these kids had to have another mom first". I wish they didn't have to live this 'torn' family life and go back and forth, I wish they could just stay!!
Some of our more notable moments from the past 2 weeks:
~Natalie was bitten by a snake (a non-poisonous one) this was very likely the most traumatic thing to happen yet in her 6 year little life. She has since taken to collecting "pet" moths. They do not bite as hard.
~All of the kids learned to do dishes at camp and have been taking turns each night doing them! Yay!!!
~We went on an "adventure/hike" and learned that Emily can talk to trees, Natalie is an expert key maker, Spencer can stop time and Mackaylynn can read any map, even farie maps
~Sammi and Natalie both got cute new hair cuts from Grandma Clinger, we still cannot persuade the boys to comb or even wash their hair willingly so they might be next in the hair cut chair for a shaved head look
~All the kids have caught pet snakes and let them go. In Sammi's case a couple have been loved TO DEATH. Natalie, like I said, is happier now with pet moths but she also loves pet worms. Spencer is holding out for catching a pet elk. Tia has made a new rule that there are no snakes allowed in the tents.
~Gigantic fits have been thrown over the idea that kids should: help clean up, clean up after themselves in any way, help out with anything resembling work, eat anything resembling something nutritious, refrain from yelling at and/or punching siblings, drinking anything other than soda ....(and now, 2 weeks into this adventure, the fits are lessening and we're making progress in the training of these little creatures! Hip hip horray!)
~John and I have toyed at the idea of leaving the kids at camp and running away, so far we are just much too busy taking care of everyone to actually follow through with this idea.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Move, final, for now

And the move is complete. (until it is time to move from storage to an actual abode)
I am in Star Valley now. I 'm at my parent's waiting for John to get back with his kids then we are headed to camp! All of everything we own is either in storage or a few bags and boxes we are trying to carry with us. Ah, the life of a gypsy just speaks to me!
We are not nearly organized enough to make me feel calm about it though. I envy all of you super duper organized movers out there, really I do. I'm not mocking, I really do think you are super, I want to be a little more like you when I grow up (or at least for my next move). While I'm waiting for John I am going to go through these boxes and bags, of which some are the 'odds and ends' you just throw together in a box at the end. I need to decide what goes to camp, what goes to trash, what goes to storage. Then I need to go to storage and get out the camping gear. Then I will feel organized enough to relax, in control of my world just a tiny bit more.
We're really excited to have some down time together at camp. I'm sure the "down time" part will be a bit less like what I'm envisioning. We are throwing 5 kids into the mix, anything done with that many kids is not quite tranquil right? Good to get away into the mountains for days on end at any rate.
The move is bitter sweet too. I will so miss living around the corner from Charlotte and my nieces. I am going to miss Destrie and Deja and Darien and Danica more than I can explain! I feel so lucky that I've had the chance to see them on an almost daily basis and form strong relationships with each of them. I am also so glad that Spencer has had the chance to have his cousins right there and to get to see them so often and get so close to them. He's going to miss them so so much, only the idea of gaining siblings makes it worth it to him to move away from those girls. I'll miss living close enough to Emily and her family and Corie and the Jex's and so many other people to see them often. Emails and phone calls will ensue. And actual letters, what ever happened to actual snail mail letters? I'm so writing some this week!
Life is moving us forward and we're enjoying the ride.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Moving: stage 3, 4.....

The move is underway. The packing and moving is so near done!
Here we are packing boxes, packing the Uhaul and packing John's truck. How in the world did I end up with so much stuff??????
My dad and my friends and neighbors along with my nieces and Charlotte all came and helped the packing and loading project.
John and I drove the Uhaul and one load in his truck to SV Sunday where his parents and brother came and helped us unload into storage. We overflowed the storage unit and so my parents garage is housing some of my things, and John's parents house is housing a few items. All this and still there was One more load in John's truck today on this rainy Tuesday. Sheesh, why didn't I just have a huge yard sale and call it good??
I have a serious case of moving burnout. What really stinks is that ALL of it needs moved again in a couple of months, and at least once more in the next year or two depending on when we build our house.

As I've said before, I am the house wehre all the kids in the neighborhood play.........even when Spencer isn't here, I am still the house where the kids gather. So on moving day my house and yard was full of neighbor kids "helping" and playing. John is so good natured and just kept finding little jobs for all these kids so they could feel helpful. What a guy!

The happy news, I'm almost moved!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tut Tut looks like rain

I decided, as my day was spinning me deeper and deeper into bad mood land that I had to snap out of it! The rainy weather that I love looks threatened to be overtaken by those blue skies! So I took a break, went on a walk, enjoyed the gray clouds, picked up the mail (happy because John's birthday present is here on time! Yay fast mail!), and upon my return home I saw this.
It is warm enough that one of these brave roses on my ragged little rosebush has decided to bloom.
And now Hi Ho Hi Ho back to work I go!

Moving: Stage 2, mood faltering

Moving. packing. blah blah blah. I wish I could fast forward the packing part. And the loading the truck part. And the unloading the truck part.
You know how when you move you are so motivated to deep clean, organize, dejunk and all that goes along with that? Or is it just me?
Well this time around I only kept up all that good work for the first day or so. Then it turned into good intentions then it was abandoned all together and everything is just getting thrown in boxes now. With good intentions of organizing as I UNpack. Good luck me on that one! ha!
The boxes everywhere make my claustrophobia kick into high gear. And my knee hurts, and now to go along with the mystery pain it is making LOUD GROSS noises every time I move it. And if you put your hand on my knee when I bend it (which I'm sure you are all just dying to do) you can feel the LOUD GROSS noises in textile format. Ew. I know. And where oh where did it come from? No clue. Mystery knee owie. Getting worse by the day.
The obligation to pack and my complaining knee are keeping me from what I really want to do today, I want to go on a long bike ride. Its a wonderful cloudy day and I want to be OUT there! Not in here with the dust and clutter and boxes boxes everywhere.
I did turn Friends on to help me laugh while I pack to distract me from the fact that I'm hating this part of moving. (and points if you can tell me during what Friends episode this photo was taken. Jen? Anyone?)
Aaahhh. Sigh. Now that my whining is done I'll regroup and feel better and go be productive. Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Happy Early Birthday Boy

Spencer was able to have an early bithday party this year. He felt sad that he wouldn't be able to invite his friends since we'll be moved before his birthday so we had an early birthday/going away party at Castle Park tonight. The camera was oh so tempermental so we didn't get many pictures.
I ended the day with a TIRED TIRED boy. I let a couple of his friends sleep over last night, then play at our house all day then a party tonight. His mommy is almost just as tired. It has been so fun having all the kids over though, we will miss these good friends!

I said "Angry Faces everyone!" and this is what I got. Indeed angry faces!

Moving: Stage One

Moving stage 1.
We are still happy and cheery and not rushed enough that we are cheerily labeling the boxes with cute little antidotes and love notes.
Spencer got in on the box marking fun too. The last picture is a box he wrote on, in case it isn't decipherable it says "These books are all mine, mine I say mine. Which means all Spencer's"
Enjoy our light hearted playful fun attitude about moving now. I can feel it slipping away the more my house starts to feel like a storage shed.
I fear it will be ugly by the end.
Updates to come.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Did I mention that we are rock stars?

I love being the house where all the kids play. Today they made cardboard guitars and put on concert after concert. Iron Man, Shout at the Devil, Crazy Train, Welcome to the Jungle and The Devil Went Down to Georgia are a few of the tunes the neighbors heard these kids rocking to on their new guitars!
John made Spencer a CD of "guitar hero-like" hits. Do you think the other moms will be so happy when their kids come home singing Shout at the Devil?
The other shots are from American Idol circa Destrie's birthday party. We're so rock star material!