Sunday, December 6, 2009

"That's what I wooshed for..."

Porter and Paden turned 5 on November 15!  Can you believe that?!  It just doesn't seem possible.  In so many ways it seems like yesterday when we brought these teeny, tiny precious babies home.  Small enough to fit both in a little bassinet...  The slept side by side in that little bed.  And now, here they are, 5 years old.  Eager to go to kindergarten, eager to give talks at church, eager to have friends over to play...
For the last several months before their birthday, if you asked Paden how old he was, he would say, "I'm four-five."  And he really believed that.  Just like when he was turning 4.  I kept telling him he was going to be 4 and he would say, "NO!  I'm already 4!"  And when I told him he wasn't, he quickly pulled me into the bathroom, hopped on the scale and said, "Uh-huh!  SEE!" and sure enough, the scale pointing at the 4.  Never mind that it had a zero right after it!
Anyway, so the story of their birthday this year...  Or, at least, the lead in for now...
A month before their birthday, our fabulous friend, Nana Lois, fell and broke her ankle.  She had surgery and ended up in the Peaks, a place they don't call a nursing home, but for all intents and purposes, that really is what it is, only they take young people in too, as necessary.  So, we would go and spend our days with Nana Lois.  Either at the Peaks, or going with her to Dr. appointments and such.  Well, after a month of being there, she'd had enough.  And she started to get a little edgy.  Understandably!  She will be 85 on January 9 and has been alone since the love of her life, Clyde, passed away 12 years ago.  She is very strong and independent and someone I would like to be like when I grow old. (Not that she's old or anything...) And so it was on the day of their party...Now, Porter had told Andy he wanted a surprise party for his birthday.  He had been to one this summer for a 50th birthday of our friend Carol and wanted to have lots of people at his party like she did.  So, I texted the moms of some of their friends about a week before and told them it was a surprise party at Peter Piper Pizza.  So the day of the party comes and after we spent a few hours with Nana Lois, we went to Sam's Club and picked out a cake.  Porter and Paden got very excited and asked, "Is that our birthday cake!"  Well, not wanting to give anything away, I answered, "It's for Nana Lois. We are going to take her some cake to make her happy."  They sighed, but when I assured them she would share with them, they were fine.  So, we hurried home, I gathered things together, we picked up Andy and Tallin and hurried in to town.  When we arrived at the party, they were astonished...  "WOW! Aubrey's here!  The Poulters are here!  The Cains are here!  Look!  There's Amy!  Heath's here too!  And Hailey!  And Cooper!  Look!  There's Bayleigh and John!  Where's Makayla?"  They were so excited.  They ran off and played with all their friends.  The pizza arrived and then it was time to sing "Happy Birthday" and blow out the candles.  It was "the" cake.  Porter had 5 candles on one side and Paden had 5 on the other.  As soon as we were finished singing, I reminded them to make a wish and blow!  Paden got his out in a flash, but Porter was a little more contemplative.  And with a final huff, he blew them all out...  Andy and some of the parents worked on cutting the cake while I took the kids over to the opposite end of the table and we opened presents.  I think everyone knows my boys really well.  Nerf guns! A fun "meat-ball" game, walkie-talkies, and jumping bugs, balls, and more!  Woo!Hoo!  (They have kept them very busy!  Thanks everyone!)We went back to the cake as soon as the presents were opened and stashed for later use...  I started over to the crowd and Porter came up to me, grasping me by the arm and very compassionately asked, "Mom, didn't Nana Lois want her cake to make her happy?"  WOW!  I was speechless.  This little boy is so thoughtful.  I smiled and said, "Oh, I had to trick you and tell you that so it would be a surprise."  His eyes got HUGE, his face lit up and he exclaimed, "A SURPRISE!!! That's what I always wanted!"  As I gave him a hug he continued, "That's what I wooshed for on my cake!"  The humility of a child!  While at his surprise birthday party, blowing out his candles on the very cake he was going to take to an elderly woman to bring her happiness, he wished for a surprise party!  I'm glad I could help make his wish come true!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mom's got the POWER...

at least according to Porter!
Sunday he was talking to our good friends, the Cains, at church. We are going to the dunes with them and our other good friends, the Grahams, the week before Christmas. Becky told Porter, "I hope it stays nice and warm and sunny and beautiful until we go to the dunes, and then when we get back, I hope it snows and snows and snows and it just keeps snowing until we get a foot of snow!" Porter looked back at Becky and with a very serious face replied, "Well, you'll have to talk to my mom about that!"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Counting Blessings

Count your many blessings.... Name them one by one.... Count your many blessings see what God hath done! Most of all, I am thankful that there is a GOD. I am thankful that He LovES me and that He hEaRS and answers my pRayERs. I am thankful he provided a SAVIOR for me. I am thankful I have His WORD available to me in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I am thankful that He has provided a ProPhET for this day and age to help us and teach us. My wonderful husband Andy, who is so great at so many things. I am thankful you use your talents to bless our family. Thank you for loving me. Our amazing children! Wynchester Dakota, what a focused young woman you are. You are so good at keeping your sights set on what you really want. I am so very thankful you were able to be HOME for Thanksgiving. Quaelii Rue, you are so sincere and compassionate. I am thankful you are still in high school and enjoying your experiences. Jaeci LaWren, I am so grateful you are so straight forward and fun loving. You bring a lot of energy into our home. Tallin Andrew, your eyes speak so loudly. I am very thankful you are the Best Big Brother! Porter Thomas, you have about as much determination as I have ever seen in a person. I am thankful you love to help me and dad so much. Paden Carl, I am so thankful for your genuine love and excitement for life. You are a true joy! I am thankful my Maternal Grandparents are still with us. Nana, and Bigdad , you are the best! My life wouldn't be anything like it is had I not been around you so much in my youth. Thanks! My dear mother, Pat Wood! You are an inspiration to me. I am honored to be your daughter. And I can hardly wait to see your dreams come true! My dad, Thomas Henry Richards and my Grandma Syl (Johnson), I am grateful I had the time with them that I did and that they are looking down on me and my family. My schweet sisters! Jacquie, I am thankful you are so good at expressing gratitude -- I love the notes you send me and your thoughtfulness. (I would do well to follow your example.) I am so grateful for you and your family! Tanya, I am so thankful you got married and had daughters before me so I could learn from your amazingly organized experiences :0)... ie: dating, graduation, weddings, and all those other things! You are a great mom! I love you and your family. It sure is growing fast! :0) Shawna Lynn, I am so thankful for your laughter and happiness and friendliness. You are so fun to be around. Pam, Janet, ReNae, LeeAnn, Annette, Dorothy, Amanda and Susan, I couldn't have picked better sisters-in-law if I had picked each of you myself!!! My awesome brothers in law -- Eric, Greg, Kenny, Dorel, Roy, Clarence, Kayle, Rex, Larry, and Ross! You make the best brothers! My Whetten in-laws. Carl & Viva, you strive to do what is right and help us to do the same. Thank you! You are so amazing with all the things you are involved in. Keep it up! All my Aunties & Uncles and my crazy cousins and nieces and nephews -- what would life be like without you!! I am so thankful for each of you. My GREAT friends!!! You all know who you are. Each of you is so special to me. I am so thankful I have a warm home, food to eat and skills to cook, clothes to wear, technology to use to tell you all how much you mean to me. I am thankful my children have good friends at school and teachers that truly care. I am thankful I know how to sew, how to read, how to listen, how to make friends, how to clean, how to can, how to paint, how to scrapbook, how to type, how to care, how to serve, how to play, how to work, how to smile, how to laugh. You know, I am learning that when I take a minute to count my blessings, I really have too many blessings to name, but it is still good to sit and try. It makes me HuMBle to know that God loves me so much and has really given me a lot to be GRATEFUL for! And the best part is, He did the same for YOU!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Life is Good!

Andy and I are in Portland, Oregon. He has a conference for work here and I tagged along. FUN! We left Thursday and went up to Aberdeen, Washington and stayed with our new family, Jack & Marti Hollingsworth! They didn't know they were adopting us when we went... But as long as I feed Jack cinnamon rolls, they might keep me around! Tee!Hee! This is us at the Lake Quinault Lodge in the Quinault Rain Forest. It is so beautiful! We also went and saw the "World's Larges Spruce Tree" at 58'11" in circumference! And this amazing waterfall, which was just on the side of the road. Andy and I climbed up these rocks for a kodak moment and when we came down, our back sides were soaking wet! You could have wrung us out! It was so amazing though! I am so glad we were there. Marti and Jack really treated us like family! We were totally spoiled!
Andy got to go out on the Marisha, a dredge boat Jack & his partners built for farming the oysters. They pulled in lots of oysters that day! While they did that, Marti and I went to the beach and watched the waves. The day before, the waves were about 25-30 feet and crashed over the jetti (not sure if that is how you spell it) and washed about a foot of water down the street. Crazy! It was an awesome sight! Leave it to me, however, to provide a "ha!ha!" experience for all the locals... I was standing on the beach, fairly far back and the waves came in and one got up on the beach a little closer than I liked, so I moved back about 20-30 feet. I was taking video and waiting for the "perfect" pictures when I noticed water coming up the beach again. I could tell it was going to get close, so I began walking backwards, while continuing to video, then I was running backwards, finally I turned and ran and still got water half way up my knee! Silly Arizona girl! I just hope nobody was videoing me! Embarrassing!!
And, now we are in Portland, Andy is in class and I have been relaxing today. Tonight we are going to the World Forestry Center? I think that is what it is called. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to go to the Portland Temple! I am so excited!
And since I haven't blogged in so long, I hope to spend some time catching up!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

She's a UTE!

Holy COW! You'd think Chesea was moving for a long time or something! LOL! Actually she didn't take much at all. We took her to Salt Lake City on Wednesday and she moved into her dorm on Thursday. Thankfully they had mail-carts you could use to hall your stuff up with. They were great. Too bad I wasn't with Andy & Chesea when she crawled in the cart with the last of her stuff and rolled down the little hill to her dorm -- that would have made a great picture! Oh well!
Thankfully we have a friend, Amber, who came and stayed with the rest of our children while we were gone. The boys LOVED her! It was wonderful not to have to worry about them and how tired they were getting. With the hours we kept, they would have been WORN OUT! We were supposed to come home on Friday, but ended up staying until Sunday. So we also felt very thankful to Quaelii and Jaeci for being such GREAT big sisters! They held down the fort over the weekend!
Chesea got a big surprise when the Jones' came to her dorm to see her. We LOVE ROB, TIF, EMMA AND TATE! Thanks for your support guys! You are the best! Chesea got this cool UofU shirt and was proud to show off her new school spirit. And look at that amazing quilt behind her. She was so excited to get a quilt made by the tender hands of her Grandma Whetten.

The very best part of taking her up there was going to the Salt Lake Tempe with her on Saturday morning. We had said that was one thing we wanted to do, so we got up and did that before anything else. It was a tender moment!
I have done many hard things in my life. It was hard when I left home for college. It was difficult when I had my miscarriage. It was excruciating when I said my final earthly good-byes to my Aunt Hettie, my Dad, and my Gram. As difficult as each of those was, I do believe leaving my first born was harder than any of them. I cried for two weeks before she left. I cried when she and Matt cherished there last few days together, and then he came by at 5:30am on his way to work Wednesday to hold her once more before she was gone... I cried when she hugged Jaeci and Quaelii good-bye and wished them luck in their schooling... I cried when Tallin held her so tightly as he was leaving for school that he almost missed the bus... I cried when she hugged Paden good-bye and he lovingly said, "You're my best riding buddy!"... I cried when Porter gave her a quick hug and said, "See ya, Ches!" like she'd be back tomorrow... I cried as we headed for her dorm -- thankfully she was riding with Andy in her car and I was alone to cry as I wanted to, holding nothing back... And I cried, like a baby, when Andy and I got in our car and headed south on I-15 and she got in her car and headed north... I held my right hand up to the window in "I love you" sign language, and watched as her car disappeared. And as I sit her and tell you all of this, tears continue to stream down my cheeks. She is my little girl. I am so proud of her and I love her so much... I am blessed to be the mother of my Wynchester Dakota! My God has been merciful to me!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


You see this amazing woman??? This is MY MOM!!
Of course, I share her with my three "other" sisters. :0)

And seriously, SHE ROCKS!!! See the barrel? Yep, it rocked but then it stayed standing! WHEW! She is 60 years old AND she had MAJOR surgery last September after a horse injury where she broke her leg, right at the top near the hip joint and could hardly walk for 2-3 months. It was the worst break the surgeon had seen in over 4 years, and here she is 10 months later ROCKING the WORLD of BARREL RACING!
I have a video of her barrel race, but I can't figure out how to post it -- yet, but I will!! (Along with my little sister's HAPPY DANCE!)

Anyhow, she won the barrel racing event at the Snowflake Rodeo on my 39th birthday! And she did it in 17.3 seconds! She was awarded this beautiful buckle, and a check for almost $500! She is totally awesome and I am so PROUD to call her MOM!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

MarSHmaLLoWs gAloRE!

What is the best thing about a campfire in the forest??? Eating ROASTED Marshmallows, of course! We went out for a special Court of Honor tonight, and afterward I broke out these amazingly LARGE marshmallows and just look at the fun we had!