Molly Sue is 3!!

Yesterday we celebrated Molly's 3rd birthday. I can't believe she's already that old!! I know I always say that, but the time has just flown by. I don't know what we would do without our Molly Sue. She is a hoot, she is loveable and cuddly, she stands her ground, she sings to her babies, she goes potty in the toilet, and she is just the prettiest 3 year old I know. We love her so much!! Molly really enjoyed the whole day. On Sunday her friend Marie brought over a present of the cutest out fit in the world! She wore it for her special day. Cheeser!She was humoring me here, I just had to get a picture of her in her cute clothes.In the afternoon we went and rode on the carousel, she didn't want to leave her horsey behind.Pretty girl with her pretty presents.Matthew picked out a little pink flamingo for Molly and as you can see she was very excited when she opened it!Molly loves baby dolls, I don't think it's possible to have too many babies!What a sweet heart, she even shared with her sister.Molly loves riding her little tricycle and has been eyeing the bikes at the store for awhile, so we finally broke down and got her one of her own.She was very excited about her "princess" cake this year and help me make it every step of the way. I think it has a simple elegance to it.Big girl blowing out her candles.Molly could hardly wait to try out her bike outside.There she goes!!Everyone got bubbles as their party favors and they had a great time making huge bubbles. For once the wind was actually helpful!We look forward to seeing what the next year brings for Molly.

Summer Photos

Utah trip: First leg

Grandma Nancy's house

This picture just screams "summer" to me. Yay for popsicles!

We spent LOTS of time like this. The stomach flu hit us for the first 4 days of the trip. BLERG. After I recovered, the kids did about 2-3 days each. Grandma was brave and cuddled up with them on the couch to read, and read, and read, and read.....

And then we got better! And went up the canyon to a little tucked-away park for picnic time. Annie's never happier than when she's eating. (Ya don't get thighs like these by being a slouch at dinnertime.)

Swings! And Rachel's legs coming out of James's head.

Nathan squashing Uncle James. He makes great noises!

One happy Grandma:

More photos to come...

Seventh Heaven

Look at my girl! Seven certainly agrees with her. Yeah, it's been over a month since her birthday. Don't judge me, okay. Judge the cuteness of that smile! And know that it's extra big because her first grade carnival just happened to fall on the same day as her birthday. Face paint and root beer floats AT SCHOOL on your BIRTHDAY???? Does life get any better?

It does if you have strawberry cupcakes waiting for you at home:

Oh my goodness. Nicole picked these out of a Sesame Street cookbook and at first I was very leery of the recipe (most food in there is "kid-friendly," read "bland as cardboard"). But the frosting on these was divine -- tasted just like a strawberry shake. Next time, I'm adding cream cheese and eating the whole batch myself. She chose her birthday dinner, too: hot dogs, potato salad, and green salad, shared with the Harts, as usual.

The next day we partied with friends. Nicole requested a "pony and movie" party. So Michael's saved the day again with pink foam cowgirl hats to decorate:

What a bunch of hams.

And we played racing games outside with our stick horses. I love how Nicole's new wristwatch channels the energy of the sun to give her super powers!
What? It's just shining? Come on, where's your imagination, people?

And last, pile on the presents!

After that, I couldn't take the squealing anymore, so we plunked them down for the "movie" portion of the party: a My Little Pony DVD. The girls loved it, and it took me directly back to my childhood.

We had a great time celebrating Nicole!

P.S. At one point in the party, the girls started bragging about who their "boyfriends" were and how many boys they'd kissed!!! ACK. Nicole sat quietly and listened to the other girls one-up each other, thank goodness, but who thought you'd hear this at SEVEN???? Luckily, another mom in the room obviously had older kids because she cued her daughter to say this:

Mom: Suzie*, how old do you have to be to go on a date?

Suzie: Sixteen!

M: How old do you have to be to kiss a boy?

S: Twenty-one!

M: How old do you have to be to get married?

S: Twenty-five!

Dude! I want my girl to stay little longer. :(

Where Be the Tray-sure?

There comes a time in a girl's life when, well, something's got to go. Apparently, for me the time has come and the something has been the blog.

Who do I blame this on?

These ruffians:


But by popular demand (well, mostly relatives I saw in UT over our vacation), I'm gonna bring it back! Watch for some catch-up posts (Nicole is now 7, we went to Utah for a long time, my brother looks really great with legs sprouting from his head -- what now?), and maybe a gimmick in August to get me back in the habit.

Not tonight, though.

Tonight I'm prepping to lead teacher training tomorrow and teach sharing time on Sunday.

So this'll have to hold you for a while.

Peace out.

The Mauery's in all their glory!!

Here's the whole family!! This was taken on the last day of the reunion right before we all said our goodbyes and loaded up in our cars. I love my family so much!!This is more like it!Love it!!

Creepy Skies

When I looked outside this evening I could tell something wasn't quite right, it looked a little reddish on the driveway and it was darker than it should have been at that time. I went outside and this is what I saw. This is facing North.This one is to the South.This one is facing towards the West.A little while later we went outside again and this is how it looked after it had blown over a bit.I'm guessing it's caused by a fire somewhere but it looks a little too creepy for my liking. Dallin said it was a sign, whatever that means coming from a 9 year old!!

Mauery Reunion 2010 - Park City

July 7-10 was the annual Mauery Reunion in Park City Utah. We got a big house up the canyon and had lots of fun with the people we love. On Thursday we went to Temple Square. Here's Penny still fresh and happy in her stroller. That didn't last long!My brother Vernon with his bandana and beard, he scared small children. ;)Dallin, Benjamin, and Ryan.Here are the cousins at the reflection pool. Luckily no one fell in...this time!Where's Waldo? Can you find Elder and Sister Mauery in the window looking down at all of us. They are on their mission and work in the Joseph Smith Building. We're glad they got to spend the afternoon and evenings with us.Some of the kids at a fountain. Their favorite thing about Temple Square was all the water, I don't know how many times I heard a parent say, "Come away from the water."Here's my favorite picture of the Salt Lake Temple.Enjoying the shade and the flowers.Emily and Eliza taking a break.When we went in the Visitor's Center Penny didn't want to be in her stroller but she didn't want to stay with our group either. We spent some time playing on the stairs and just walking around.My two little girls hugging on the stairs.We went up to see the Christus and the kids were reverent and some even commented on feeling the Spirit. Here are 15 of the 20 grandkids in front of Jesus.On Friday we went to the Planetarium at the Gateway and the kids really had a good time. My kids favorite part was walking on Mars and the Moon. Here's Grandma showing the kids how to walk on the moon. Priceless!Penny spent most of her time on the moon. She was having the time of her life climbing on the rocks.Here's Penny and Molly sitting on the moon with Earh in the background.Eliza, Molly, and Andrew on Mars.Here's Charlie on the moon.Back at the house that night the kids put on a play they had been working on for 2 days. It was about Princes and Princesses, Kings and Queens, Knights and Horses. It was cute and all the kids had a fun time putting it on. Here are a couple pictures from their production.The last day there I got some shots of the cousins and some of the adults. It's always sad to say goodbye at the end of a reunion. We all had such a good time and even though we were all tired I wouldn't trade those few days for anything! Here's Annie and Penny, they wouldn't stay still long enough to take a good picture.The girls: Nicole, Eliza, Emily, and Ariana.Andrew and Nathan.Dallin, Benjamin, and Ryan.Molly and Jaren, they were bestfriends. It was so cute to see them together.Me and my Mommy.Nancy, Sarah, and Mary.Chanin and Lauren.Timothy and Vernon, so sweet!Here's the Olympic Ski Jump Slopes that are in Park City. Pretty neat!We had a long drive home through hours of road construction but thankfully the kids were good and we made it back home safe and sound. It's nice to be home but we sure do miss our cousins, brothers and sisters, mom and dad, aunts and uncles, and nieces and nephews. We are so thankful for our family and we sure love them. *sniff*

Nouveau Baked Beans

When you think of baked beans, you usually mentally insert Boston at the front. These are not Boston Baked Beans. More like Chickpea Popcorn or something. They make a great, tasty, healthful snack.

Nouveau Baked Beans

  • 2 C. cooked garbanzo beans (~ 3/4 C. dry beans, prepared)
  • olive oil
  • seasonings

Coat the beans in olive oil and bake on a cookie sheet at 425°F for 15-17 minutes or until starting to brown. Take care, the beans hiss, spit, pop and jump while baking. You may want to stir them part way through. Remove beans from oven and toss with seasonings. Try salt and pepper, curry powder, cumin, or any other flavor you like. Eat as an appetizer or add to a salad. Mmmm.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans
Roasted Garbanzo Beans

The Parade and so much more!!

The 4th of July Parade was today and that's just something you can't miss!! The weather this year wasn't sweltering, it was actually a little chilly. Here are the kids sitting on the ladder truck in great anticipation for the parade to get started.You can't have a parade in Idaho without some old tractors!Brrr! Molly was freezing and watched the parade from the comfort of the blanket.The storm trooper give the kids five.For some reason this giant shopping cart was amazing to me! Where can I get one of those to do my shopping with??Everyone's favorite, the Cream O' Weber truck and it's free chocolate milk!Joe letting us know just how good that milk really is!We went in the fire bay to get some annual 4th family pictures.Our little clan on the back of the fire truck.The girls.And the boys.Me with my favorite Fireman!!Now I plan on relaxing for the rest of the day!! We are so thankful to be living in this great country we live in. We hope and pray it will continue to be great! As we look at the stars and stripes we are reminded of all the things it stands for and all the people who are protecting it! God bless the U.S.A!!

Liberty 5K

Today I did something I never thought I would do in a million years! I ran my first 5K. It wasn't so bad, I actually enjoyed it. Here I am before the race, it was 50 degrees out and the wind was blowing!Here I am running the final stretch, almost done!Crossing the finish line. I DID IT!!My family was there for love and support!Great big thumbs up!Here I am at the finish line with my friend Kimberly. She ran an awesome race (she beat me!)I'm so glad I signed up to do this, I know now it won't be my last one. Crossing the finish line was a great feeling. I beat my goal by one minute and ran the whole thing. I felt really good about my performance and can't wait to do it again. Next time I won't be having surgery a month before, I only had 2 weeks to get back to my running routine. All that hard work and sweat was definitely worth it!

Wolf to Woof

Yesterday Joe and the kids decided we were going to the Museum of Idaho and see their Wolf to Woof exhibit. Everyone was excited except me, I had a bit of trepidation. Everytime we've been there previously someone ends of crying and it's very stressful for me. This time was the opposite, we had so much fun. I loved watching our kids discover things together and get excited about what they were seeing. I had to step back and watch and realize that my babies are growing up, and it's fun!!This guy here was the first thing we say when we walked into the exhibit room. Andrew was hesitant to enter the room; he has a phobia of dogs. He was able to warm up to the stuffed dogs and ended up really enjoying it.The kids thought this garbage dog was pretty funny. Matthew stuck is finger in the trash and then looked at his finger and couldn't figure out why it wasn't covered in slime.Here's Dallin in front of a stange looking wolf. His legs are like stilts and he looks very disporportionate.This is another display that made Andrew a little nervous!Eliza and the head of a St. Bernard.There was a tunnel of "ice" and the kids got to climb up it. There was a rescue dog at the top. Molly thought it was great!Joe humored me and let me take his picture with the big ears, you could hear termites in them like a dog would.Andrew with the eye seeing guide dog.Penny was very excited to see this guy. She wanted to get close to it but then got nervous, it was cute.After seeing all the dog exhibit we went to the kids' favorite place: The Children's Discovery Room!! Here's Molly and Matthew climbing down the rocks from the eagle's nest.Matthew is working hard with the animal track kit.Dallin coming out of tunnel.Penny was nervous to go through the tunnel into the cave so Joe went first.She got brave and just walked right in!Andrew, Molly, and Eliza all dressed up ready for an exibition!Molly - our little Davy Crockett!Andrew went hunting and shot himself a deer!I made myself at home and cooked up a stew with the deer Andrew shot. (Eliza thought I was weird!)Matthew, Molly, and Penny sitting up at the table enjoying my delicious stew!Once dinner was on the table I could sit back and relax while churning a little butter.Molly can't help it that she's so cute!!After having his fill Dallin did what he does best!Penny and her babies. As soon as she discovered there were babies she carried at least one around with her at all times.Here she is dragging them around.Here she is with her baby in the teepee.Molly and Dallin emerging from the cave.Molly at the eagle's nest. Again, stinking cute!Penny back at the table with her baby. She was content to just stay there and play.Penny and the big dog right before we left.The kids with the big bell outside the museum.I'm glad we got to enjoy a fun afternoon together as a family!! Woof!

Giddyup!

You can't live in Rexburg (or even visit Rexburg) in the summer and not take a turn around the carousel. Thank goodness Joe gets a pass from the city or we'd be broke the amount of times our kids like to ride it! Here's our resident cheeseball!The 3 big kids!!Andrew, broken arm and all!DallinElizaMatthew and Molly enjoying the ride.Penny refused to look at me, I tried everything but she would not.MatthewMollyJoseph, Penny, and Matthew riding the bench this time.Molly and her mama!Penny safe on the bench (she liked the horses as long as they weren't moving). I finally got a smile out of her!What a privilage it is to have a carousel only a few blocks away. We really enjoy it!

Relay for Life

Relay for Life is something my kids literally look forward to ALL year. They could hardly stand waiting to go to the track the day of. It's fun to do something worthwhile with the people you love. Go team Buffy the Cancer Slayer! Here we are getting everyone into their shirts.Eliza did the hoola-hoop contest and got 2nd in her age group. She's already practicing for next year. They had them do some hard stuff, like walk, turn around and jump, all while hoola-hooping.Mommy and Molly taking it easy.Here's the real reason we love Relay!It doesn't get better than this!This is a picture of the sunset. It was AMAZING. My camera just couldn't capture it. It looked like lightning going horizontally across the clouds. I'm so glad I got to see it! WOW!The kids were glued to watching the Polynesian Dancers. I enjoyed it too!Everyone's favorite-the fire dancer!Our family minus Daddy.Walking the track after the lighting of the luminiers ceremony. It was supposed to be silent but that's when Penny was the most talkative!Molly being too cute for her own good!We had a lot of fun and the kids are already counting down the days until next year's Relay!

Enjoying the sun!

A couple weeks ago we went to Idaho Falls and stopped by the river to feed the ducks. Once the bread was gone the kids had fun running around and playing. Here's our little crew on the rock thing.Miss Eliza.Molly and Mommy.Running around the flower bed.Our little Von Trap Family!Penny.Sisters!Andrew.Brave Penny.Concentrating to stay on the stones.Cheesy Molly.My boys.Pretty girls.Right above the Falls.The ducks weren't really interested in our offerings.Penny eating her bread.Molly.Dallin taking it VERY seriously.So fun! Later I read in the paper that it's against the city ordinance to feed the ducks. Oops!These last three pictures were taken at Dallin's last baseball game. Goofy Matthew.My sweet baby Penny.

Deluxe Blanket Fort

The first week school was out the kids were bored so they decided to build a blanket fort. It wasn't just a regular old fort. It had separate rooms and a hall. I think they used every blanket they could get their hands on. It kept them busy ALL day. What we're looking at here is the East Wing where Dallin and Matthew had their rooms.Here's the hallway leading to Dallin's room.This is the view from the front.Eliza's room.Dallin's room.Matthew's room.Then the kids took about 100 pictures of different angles and pictures of each other. They took all the pictures here. I'm glad they had so much fun together!!

Beaver Dick Park

This past Sunday evening the kids were bored so we went for a drive and ended up at Beaver Dick Park.The view of the river off the dock was beautiful.The kids had so much fun throwing rocks into the river and also "fishing" with their sticks.I'm not sure what Dallin is doing here.They were so excited that it was actually warm enough to be outside that they just kept running from one thing to the next.We forgot Penny's shoes and she wasn't thrilled about that. Eventually we just let her run around barefoot.Penny discovered that there was something between the slats of the dock. She could see the water moving around underneath and thought it was amazing.What a fun way to spend the afternoon. The kids are already planning a camping trip there which includes s'mores and roasted hotdogs. We'll see!!

Raingutter Regatta

Instead of the Pinewood Derby this year, Dallin's scout group did the Raingutter Regatta. He had fun making his boat with his dad, it turned out real nice!The boys set up their boats in a raingutter and then blew on them to see how fast they could get them to the finish line. It was fun to watch them blowing their boats along.Whle Dallin was racing the other kids got to make paper boats and float them in the pool. Pack night is fun for everyone!

The Story of my Tonsillectomy :(

June 3rd will forever be ingraved in my mind as the day my life changed forever. Ok, so maybe not quite, but almost. The few days leading up to my surgery I had a overwhelming sense of calm. I knew I was supposed to have my troubled tonsils removed and I knew it was going to all be ok. What I didn't know what everything I had to go through to get to that ok. So, Thursday late morning Joe and I headed to the hospital. Our kids were in great hands (thanks a million Heather!)and I knew they were going to have a fun day, so I had no worries there. Once at the hospital we were directed right back to the surgery unit. I got to change into their really flattering gowns and get hooked up to an IV. My nurse was real nice and made me feel right at home. Then we got to wait, and wait, and wait. Finally around 1:30ish the anestesiologist came in and told me what I should expect and had me sign the release forms. Then we got the go ahead to give me the drugs that give you a happy feeling and make you forget what you're about to do. Prior to that we watched a lady get wheeled past towards the doubled doors of no return and she was just spouting off nonsense sentences. I told Joe I wasn't going to say anything once I received the drugs. Turns out you don't really have control over what you say when you're under the influence of Versed. I guess Joe and the nurse got a good laugh when I said, "This is fun! I need this everyday midafternoon. I'll tell the kids to go downstairs so mommy can go to her happy place." Yikes!! My last memory before going under completely is seeing the doctor come stand beside me and thinking he wasn't very tall. When I came to after surgery I remember wondering if I had gone under yet or if I was done. I coughed a bit and said my throat was scatchy and I believe that's when they gave me some Morphin and I went back into sweet oblivion. My recovery would have been a lot more enjoyable if I didn't have to endure ALL the side effects of the pain medicine. First and foremost it burned in that writhering around on the floor wimpering kind of way everytime it went down the hatch. Then I got to be extremely itchy, I scratched so hard and so much that I had bruises all over my legs. I couldn't sleep without Benadryl because I would wake myself up scratching. I thought I slept soundly on the Benadryl but Joe informed me that I was still scratching in my sleep. Then the nausea hit. I felt like I had 24 hour morning sickness for the duration of being on pain meds. It was BAD! My biggest fear was throwing up through my stitched up throat. Thankfully I didn't have to experience that. Oh yeah, I almost forgot a really fun side effect, trouble breathing, that was my favorite. I had horrible sleep apnea. I traded in my pain for all the side effects. A few days after surgery my uvula did something I didn't even know was possible; it swelled up so big it was like a trap door to the back of my throat. Picture a second tongue hanging down! That just added to my breathing problems, if I laid on my back it shut off my airway, I found that one out in the middle of the night! There are so many things they just don't tell you when you sign those papers giving your consent for misery! I feel like I need to make a poster of all the horrible things you go through and post it on the wall of the doctor's office just so others have an idea of what to expect. Now, for a lighter side, I am sooo thankful to my dear friends who took care of my family while I was incapacitated. Sarah, Kimberly, Terressa, Jenny, ValaRae, Cami, Heather, Conna, thank you, thank you, thank you. You are awesome and I feel so blessed to call you my friends. I could rest easy knowing my family was fed and my kids were watched over. Also, I have to give a huge shout out to my wonderful husband, Joseph. I seriously could not have made it through such an ordeal without his support, that encompasses emotional, physical, medical, emotional, and emotional support. I have an awesome husband!! After being down for 8 days I thought for sure I would be well enough to take over my motherly duties but I sadly was not. I had to call in for re-enforcements. My mom and dad were able to take a short leave from their mission and come babysit me. Having them here was just what I needed. They gave me the emotional support I needed and helped with my kids so I could continue to heal. I am so glad they could come, it made my recovery just a little more fun. So, finally, about 2 weeks after surgery I still wasn't feeling up to par so at my post-op appointment I told the doctor I just wasn't feeling well, I was still having some trouble breathing even though I hadn't taken the prescription pain meds for 5 days. That concerned him some and so this past Friday I got to revisit the hospital and have a CT scan done on my lungs to rule out the possibility of a blood clot. Wowsers, I didn't even know that was an option. Turns out my lungs are in great working order and I am finally feeling mostly back to Mary again. I went running today and although it was a lot harder than 3 weeks ago I DID IT!! This whole surgery and recovery has been a growing experience for me, I learned a lot about myself. Hopefully I can take what I've learned and become a better person. I know this recount is probably not interesting to anyone else but I needed to write it down so I can remember what I went through and be able to in turn have more compassion and empathy for others who may have to go through something similar. So, I guess that's it, I hope the pictures aren't too much, I made them smaller hoping they wouldn't offend anyone! Here are my pre-surgery tonsils:
Here is my unusual IV looped around my thumb.Here I am before surgery anticipating the pain!Now for the graphic pictures! This first one was taken the same day as the surgery. Ouch!This picture is of my swollen uvula, we couldn't get a picture that really did it justice, it was nasty!!Here I am several days after surgery, gotta love that bruising!I don't have a picture of my healed tonsils only because they aren't healed all the way yet. I still have a stitch back there and some yucky tissue. I have to tell you that there's definitely a lot more room back there! Now, onto better things!!

Summer Fun!

We love that the weather is getting nicer. The kids wanted a picnic lunch, they ended up settling for eating ont he porch.Water Fun!What's not to love about a chubby baby in a swimsuit?!Sisters!Cooling off in the pool.Molly on her bike. She LOVES riding her bike!!

Andrew's Broken Arm

Yesterday we were enjoying a nice afternoon on the swingset. The kids had the pool set up at the bottom of the slide and were taking turns going down. I was sitting on the swing next to the slide and all of the sudden Andrew was on the ground in front of me crying out in pain. He held up his arm and it just didn't look straight. I kind of had a freakout moment but then was able to regain my composure. Of course Joe was at work at Air Idaho in Idaho Falls. I called him in panic mode and he called his paramedic friends. They came over in the ambulance and ascertained his arm. After putting it in an air splint they got him safely in the car and we took him to the Emergency Room. After x-rays and some Morphin they determined it was indeed broken. Andrew was brave and has dealt with it really well. Poor guy!We all got to sign his cast!Andrew with his freshly signed cast!