We're BA-ACK!!

This is to let you all know that I haven't fallen off the edge of the earth! After a 2 week long vacation, I need a vacation! My body isn't as forgiving as it was during the college years when going to bed before midnight was considered pooping out early. I made a rash decision Monday morning around 8:30 that I don't regret one bit: to drive to Colorado myself with the kids and surprise my dear friend Jana, and then meet up with Dan a few days later at his family reunion. Dan helped me pack the car real quick-like (is that even possible for such an extended trip?!) and I was off! My kids were angels in the car and we made it in record time--11 1/2 hours later we pulled up and while we were in the car plotting on how to surprise Jana, she walked out of her house and totally scared ME! No fair! We enjoyed a few glorious days together doing what we do best--sitting on the couch gabbing while the kids roam free, and eating Nate's delicious cooking. Thanks for shoving those 4 loaded crepes down my throat, Nate, and completely sabotaging my diet! I will never forgive you for that, never!

Happy Independence Day!!

Well, we made it through! We started off the day at the parade-yikes!! It was so hot!

A book for Daddy.

A while ago Dallin and Eliza made a book for their daddy. It's one of those things that when you see it your heart turns to butter. I love it and am mainly posting it so I can look at it whenever I want.

I wanted something different!

BEFORE...

...AFTER!

Enough said!!

Library Tuesday

Today was a crazy day. Joe was home from work and therefore life was turned a little topsy-turvy. After breakfast he started mowing the lawn while I did a little cardio to get my blood pumping. Then I took over the lawn mowing and he attempted weeding the garden. I think he maybe pulled 20 weeds, if that. FYI: I was very much against a garden this year because everyone thinks its a good idea at first and then "someone" (me) gets to do all the work. So, I'm not helping with the garden-really mature huh?!?

It's a bird...it's a plane...it's a...bat?

After visiting Joseph at the firestation we were walking back to the car and the kids noticed the pretty flower garden they have. We stopped to look at the flowers and Joe says, "Hey, look at that slug!" I was thinking, Man, that's a huge slug. On further inspection we realized it was a bat. In my entire 28 years I have never had the privilege of seeing a real live bat. The kids were excited and we had a discussion all about bats. Luckily it stayed asleep and we were able to get some pictures of the cute little disgusting creature!
This is looking up at it's face.


It wasn't very big and was just hiding between the ridges on the wall.

Reflection

So, I had a hot, cranky day at church by myself with five kids. I decided ahead of time that I was going to at least get through lunch before I had a breakdown. After I had gotten the little ones down for naps I myself took a nap. When I was awakened by little baby voices calling for their mommy I was completely caught off guard by actually being happy to hear it instead of covering my head with a pillow and wishing I were back in dreamland. After getting them out of bed I ended up laying on the floor watching Molly crawl around it hit me just how precious and special each one of my kids really are - I guess I am so used to taking them for granted or wishing they would grow up faster, thinking toworrow will be easier. Here are some of the little things that make being a mom worth it: Molly snuggling up next to me on the floor and laying her little face right onto mine. Matthew walking towards the stairs with his arms swinging at his sides all the while reassuring me saying, "I'll come back up, mama, I'll come backup." I think he was making sure I wouldn't miss him too much.

Feed the World! (And Get Smarter!)

If you haven't been to freerice.com yet, you must. You simply must. My family put me onto this site, where you test your vocabulary skills, and for each right answer you get, sponsors will donate rice to the UN World Food Program. Here are a few awesome words I've encountered so far:

frangible
gauchery
wapiti
splenetic
glossitis

Make sure you enable the option to keep track of how much rice you've earned -- not only to give yourself props but to remind you of the embarrassingly long time you've spent in front of your computer. :)

I think I'm addicted!

What have I done?

The Barber Shop

The other day Eliza got out all her grooming tools and opened up a barber shop. She "cut" Dallins hair and then he cut hers. They used there blankets for the cape and actually had pretty good technique. I just couldn't help but snap some pictures.

Yellowstone

I know this is a little bit late being posted but I just figured out how to do all this posting. We had the opportunity of going to Yellowstone June 3-4. We had a great time and were able to see so much beauty and lots of animals. The kids were excited for the first 10-15 buffalo but by day 2 they were more interested in their movies. I just couldn't believe the vast variety that exists in one place (and I've been there 3 times prior)! We met up with family for a mini reunion and had a good time visiting with the Burlisons, Wallaces, Clancys and Finns. We stayed the night at Chico Hot Springs Resort and the kids had so much fun in the hot pool, by the time they got out their cheeks were rosy.

Here's old Faithful going full force. No matter how many times I see this it's still amazing.

My second attempt at coolness

So, I learned from my library excursion and called in reinforcements! Joe had yesterday off from work and he helped with the cool factor. In the morning we made the trek to the nature park north of town and were able to feed the ducks. I guess they were pretty ferocious because we almost had to force Andrew to stay with us.

So, I was trying to be the COOL mom!

This summer has been kind of a boring one for my kids so I decided I'd put my best foot forward and at least make an effort to be a little cooler as a mom. So, two days ago I needed to make a return to a store (with 5 kids mind you!) and on the way home we passed the library. From the back seat I hear "I wanna go to the library" and "Mom won't let us." Ouch!

So...I cut my hair...myself

Well, I started cutting it myself, anyway. I should have known better--as I was holding scissors to my hair, three friends called my phone. Did I heed their calls?

Zap! Pow! Zowee!

Heard today while eating lunch:

Nicole: Mom, I don't like that my whacks are in my face!

Mom: Huh?

Nicole: I mean, my bangs....

"Holy hair stress, Batman!"

Now that's crazy!

Allright, forgive me if this seems a little outdated, but I lost the SD card for my camera. Whadya know, when you clean your desk, miracles happen! So, for the last week of school at Compass, the kids celebrated "Spirit Week" and got to dress up. One of the days was "Crazy Hair Day." Now, I know you're thinking "For BJ, every day is crazy hair day!" But he had other ideas in mind. No "bedhead express" for him that morning, nosirree. He was going for the "Quill Pig" as seen in Rockband, but c'mon, he has horse hair, not pig hair, so what's a mom to do?

"And here we have I--DA--HO..."

Believe it or not, folks, Boise ranked a whopping no. 2 on the list of best cities to live in America! Ironically, "affordable housing" was one of the reasons....But despite that, in my mind, Boise is truly one of the greatest places on earth. In case you were wondering, here are some reasons why it is so appealing. (and you just might find yourselves packing your bags to get here!)

1. Where else can you live in the heart of the city and look out your window each morning to cows and horses? (yes, that is our back fence. And yes, they smell like roses.)

2. In my eyes the weather is pretty much perfect. (although I know there are those of you who vehemently disagree, MOM, but here we have a little something called AC...) I admit, this year has been a tad strange, but where hasn't it been?

I'm not lost, just behind!

Yes, we had a wonderful time at Glacier Park. I can't believe I survived the week without the munchkins. (And I can't believe Grandma survived a week WITH them. What a trouper!) I have been home now almost a week and I am barely catching up with laundry. Give me a few more and I'll catch you all up on the trip and it's glorious details!!

Week three of nine

I am currently at week three of nine in the Podrunner Intervals Couch to 5k program. This week has me running for up to three minute intervals. Last week I was starting to get worried about shin splints until I started to wear shoes during the day. Normally, I am a bare-footed kind of guy; my feet love the open air. But especially on the day after a run, I really need to wear something that has good arch support or my legs and feet feel very fatigued. I suppose this means I should go see a podiatrist or something, but the only one I know is still finishing up school and is planning to take over his dad's practice in Utah. So a fat lot of good that does me.

I am just happy to be out and running. There really is nothing else in the world that can replace that for me. Knowing that I am self propelled and seeing the world go past me is just super great. Backpacking is similar for me, but a much slower pace.

A Nickel for the Nicole

My girl is 5!!! Here are five things I love about my little Pickle being 5:

Building elaborate towers
Having a mommy's helper
Her hip shake
Kindergarten in the fall
Learning how to read all by herself

We had her birthday party with a bunch of school friends last Saturday at our house. Enjoy the pics below! I'll admit, they're not the most fabulous of photos, but we were too busy partying to spend much time behind the camera, so you'll just have to love what we've got.