Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Life Saver

Seriously, Kindergarten where have you been all my "mom" life!? Today is Day 2 of my oldest's first week of school and it has been great for everyone in the family. It has solved his problem of being bored, wanting to be social, and to gain independence. His brothers are getting the attention that they need from me, and I now feel like I can balance the time now between 3 attention hungry boys. It has also given me more structure to my day, and the time to get all my work done with chores, yardwork, running, and more focus on our investments and getting our house sold. Oh, and showering and getting dressed before anyone else wakes up! It's nice having a calm mind and not having everything racing through it of what all you need to do. So, there are my 2 cents on the enjoyment of kindergarten.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Getting ready for a new school year

We had to make some last minute changes this week, but we have decided to switch Freeman at of the local charter school and put him in a public school. We will be moving in the next few months, and it didn't seem fair to take up a spot that someone else needed.

So we attended the Open House for his new school and met his teacher and we are all excited about the start of the school year!

Happy 8 Year Anniversary!

We are celebrating our 8 year anniversary this month!

In honor of our 8 years I would like to share

8 favorite memories from our marriage.

1. Well, this should take up 3 spots, but our 3 boys!
2. Our wedding in the Boise Temple. Words can't describe that day.
3. Awesome Honeymoon to Jamaica with Scuba Diving and unlimited food
4. My husband surprising me with our dog Tohbi! (He's turning 8yrs in October)
5. Laughing until we have tears in our eyes
6. Family walks
7. Big Freeman's first time at Disneyland
8. The Journey of it All...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Homeschooling Inspiration

My friend Susan invited me along with her to our first Homeschooling Convention. We have both played with the idea of the possiblity of homeschooling, and we just enjoy learning about education. We went to a few workshops and they had products galore to better assist with Homeschooling. It was a great experience and a gave wonderful insight to the Homeschooling Movement and the reasons and how to make it successful.

Even though I am not choosing Homeschooling now for my future Kindergardner, it has inspired me to make some changes at home. I don't believe it is all up to the teacher at school to teach everything to my child, and that I can supplement at home with what they are learning. I am putting faith in the school that we have chosen for him, and that I can still take responsibility to be part of teaching my kids very valuable lessons before and after school, that will strengthen them while during school.

So one of the workshops we went to was "7 steps to Sanity." (Yes, I think most stay at homes are seeking advice like this...) So I'm taking her advice and applying it to our day. So far no changes in behavior with my kids, but... I feel like I am making it more fulfilling with the time that I am putting aside for Scripture Study. I have been using the Primary Manual from church which came with pictures to use, so I have the lesson already mapped out, visuals, and scriptures to refer to. I also can apply it to our
"challenges" that have been testing my own sanity and hopefully it will help. So it's pretty much a mini Family Home Evening (F.H.E.) daily with just mom.

Here is her advice below:
1.First thing to do is pray: before rolling out of bed, say your prayers.
2. Serve others; Serve our family
3. Stay focused. She comments on the success of homeschooling... "The answer isn't homeschooling, It's Jesus Christ. Seek Him first in your day."
So before teaching ABC's, math, reading, whatever, start with teaching your children about Jesus, the gospel. Whatever you may call it... Daily Devotional, Scripture Study, Bible Study, do that first because that is what Homeschooling's main purpose is and should be our focus in our lives anyway.

A. Set limits: They are the Priority: no phones/texting/computer allowed
during their time.
B. Say No: Focus on your children, your family first. If someone needs
help, and you just can't do it, say no. Also, let others say no to. (Don't get
offended if someone turns you down when requesting help, remember they
are focusing on their family 1st also)

4. Start Slow: The Journey is part of it. Enjoy this stage. Foundational for everything.
5. Stay Home: Dealing with Characteristic Issues at Home. Kids are so busy nowadays and add stress, so just stay home.
6. Start Laughing.
7. Sleep Well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm Proud of Him

Today I had the chance to be interviewed by the background investigator for a job my husband is applying for, and it felt so good to be able to proudly answer all the questions about him and that all I had to say were good things.

I have always been impressed with him since I met him. He is funny, charismatic, has high morals, and patient. My list of course goes on and on, but I just had to put it out there that I am grateful to be best friends with him, to be his wife, to have him as the best father for our children, to have him forever. He has taught me to be myself, he understands my wierd, corny humor (and laughs), and knows how to quickly turn my temper into hysterical laughing with just a look or funny comment, He has the magic of calming down a bleeding kid and worried mom, he loves his friends and will go the extra mile, he can turn anything into something fun, and is a great support for what's best for his family. He lifts me up and always says good things and never complains about anything... he will tell the truth though when asked! He is such a unique, special person, and I am so happy (and lucky) that he chose me to marry and to be with him forever, and I love him with all my heart.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Free Summer Sports

A few months ago a friend and I were chatting about organizing a sports program, and after getting approved we were able to start a summer sports program for our ward and we are able to hold it indoors at our nearby church building. It has been great and everyone has pitched in to help run it.

My motivation for being involved stems from a few things. Sports and Exercise are high on my list especially with the obesity epidemic that our country is facing. Threats of cutting physical education programs and our country complaining and not doing anything to fix the problem. Another is availablity and money. I have always taken advantage of the programs the city has to offer and actually started Freeman when he was 6 months old in a mommy and me swim lesson. Next we went on to Soccer, Tennis, Flag Football and Gymnastics. Slowly some of those programs I was signing up for, the quality of coaching and the price I was paying for wasn't worth it. And maybe this is where kids lose out on the opportunity of being involved in sports. We shell out the money for something and then the quality isn't what we expected and we say to ourselves, "I could have taught that at home!" Well, I don't like to sit around and complain, I like to fix what I am complaining about. So instead of paying $50 a kid for 6 lessons for soccer, why not do it myself?

So, my friend Susan and I, combined our passion for sports and exercise, and are passing it on to our kids and to anyone that would join us. :) Everyone has been great with support and providing equipment for us to borrow and make this a free program for all those that participate. We have been able to teach T-Ball, Tumbling, and Soccer, which in the real world would have cost me about $300 for my 2 oldest kids. But instead I invested about $18 for 3 sports. I know I am not a professional, and I learn how to adjust my coaching each time I coach a class, and youtube has been a lifesaver, but there are so many resources out there that it is possible to make this happen.

I don't think sports and doing exercise should break the bank. I understand that it does cost money and I know that in the future it will cost money to have my kids join teams, but right now, if I don't think the quality is that great, that I could teach it to my kids and to others, well why not? I hope this experience this summer will start a new tradition and we can continue on throught out seasons. We are very lucky to have a church building to use in the Arizona heat, and wonderful parks that our close by for when it does cool down.

I am grateful for the motivation and ideas of others and learning that as a mom I am able to provide many opportunities and experiences to my children and not having enough money doesn't let them miss out. I do believe that it takes a village to raise a child and I am impressed with everyone who has stepped up to the plate to let this happen and to work together to provide this to all the children involved.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Last Sunday we were at a friend's house and we were getting ready to go and I was finishing up a conversation with one of the mom's. Nate came up and was trying to get my attention and I asked him to wait until I was done talking. The boy of the mom I was talking to also came up and she told him to wait, and then we noticed that he was upset and crying. At that moment, I hear Daddy Freeman say, "Freeman needs stitches." He walked in from the backyard and my sweet Freeman was covered with blood on his face and shirt and was crying. He had walked up behind one of the boys who was swinging a metal baseball bat and he got hit in the eyebrow.

We rushed to 3 different Urgent Care's that were all closed, before finding one right before closing in Avondale. They were very prompt and calm and got started. Freeman had calmed down as soon as dad put him in the car and I give all that credit to Daddy Freeman for being so calm and setting the mood for Little Freeman. (and mom) Freeman laid there and answered all the doctor's questions and even stayed real still for his shots in his cut. We took turns holding his hand so he could squeeze as hard as he could. One time he even calmly said, "oww. oww." and still laid still and maintained his composure.

The doctor was stitching him up and asked what his favorite number is, and Freeman answered, "One thousand." The doctor asked him if that's how many stitches he wanted and he told him no. The total count was 8 stitches and X-rays came back normal.

I am so proud of Little Freeman and being so tough and realizing how important it was for him to be calm and stay still. I am also grateful for my husband and how he is such a great father and leader. He knew he had to stay calm for Little Freeman and that he had that much strength and immediate response to do just that. I am proud of him and thankful for his example he is always setting and that he could be that strong for our kids. I am thankful that I wasn't alone when that happened, because that experience that Freeman went through would have been ruined by me because I know I would have broke down crying and freaked out if it wasn't for Dad.

Daily Gospel Teachings

One of my goals as a mother is to teach the gospel to my children. At the end of the day when it is time for my personal prayers, I realize that I need to do better and pray that I may focus my goals as a mother and make teaching the gospel a priority. Well, this has been a repeated weakness that I feel at the day's end, and started to feel discouraged and couldn't believe that I could get so distracted by little things through out the day, and not accomplish one of my main goals...

Well, there is hope to this story... read on...

We were sitting down for lunch and Freeman said the prayer and asked that his food won't be hot. He then tried his soup and it of course was hot. He was confused and said he prayed about that and Heavenly Father didn't do it. I then told him that we have to do our part also in order to recieve help from him. I shared an experience and explained that Dad and I prayed about something, but then we went out and did all that we could do and then had to wait. Then we were blessed. Little Freeman then picked up his food and put it in the fridge. I then realized that I do teach the gospel in my home, it may not be formal sometimes, but we live it. We live the gospel and we come across obstacles that we can use as teachable moments to teach a principle about the gospel.

I am grateful for these moments and can't believe I've been overlooking so many of them. I am grateful for my testimony and the choice that I have to teach my children about Christ and our Father in Heaven and that they want us to return to him and that they gave us so many teachings to help us be happy down here and to learn so much and return back to them. I am grateful for all that I have learned and hope that I can have more moments to slow down and take the time to use it to teach my children some kind of gospel principle. I am grateful for prayer. I guess I have been hard on myself, but am grateful to close the day with a prayer and reflect on what happened, what I am grateful for, and all the blessings that Heavenly Father has given my family. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost that does comfort us and help us realize these special moments and that it truly cheered me up and pointed it out that I wasn't realizing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Power to Read!

The past year Little Freeman's been working on reading CVC words and some word families, but we just didn't have access to the right books that were easy for beginning readers. After a frusturating day for me and the librarian not finding anything appropriate for easy readers, I turned to facebook for help. A good friend recommended "Bob Books" and the next day when I glanced at the Book Order form through Scholastic I was excited to find out they were selling them. We anxiously waited for our order and they have been a big hit ever since. They come with a set of 12 little books and it starts easy and gets a little more challenging. This has opened a whole new world to Freeman and his frustration with trying to read has been lifted, and he is so happy and proud. (So is Dad and Mom) Little Freeman loves taking his turn to read to me at night or to his brothers. I am so proud of him and his desire to read and figuring it all out.

Tonight I walked by his room after tucking him in and heard him talking to himself. I peeked through the crack of his door and he was reading aloud a new book and trying his best to read through. I love the freedom that comes with learning to read. If Freeman had his way he would have me read to him all day long, so for him to want to read a book, and not have to wait for a grown up to read I think really excites him.

Besides Bob Books, I also want to give credit for some great programs out there that really help with kids learning to read. So here is my shout out to them:

Between the Lions
Leapfrog DVDS (these are the bomb!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Start of a New Adventure

So our family is hoping to start a new adventure... We decided to put our house on the market this past weekend. These past few months have been hard to make that decision, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Today our "For sale sign" went up and I had a mix of emotions. Happy, Sad, embarrased, excited, STRESSED. :) It's sad to sell the house where you have so many memories with your children, excited that there are new possibilities ahead for us, Happy to hopefully be free of being a slave to this mortgage, and stressed because we don't know where to go from here.

I'll keep you updated on our plans, as soon as we figure them out. Had to put my feelings out somewhere, and facebook just wasn't an option. :) I'll keep you posted and any suggestions or input is appreciated.

Thank you to our family and friends for all your encouragement, advice and just listening. It's amazing how your support really helps just put our minds at ease. (Extra shout out to my momma for all her time listening to my ramblings... LOL)

Nate's Speech Update

So this past month we were able to start Nate in speech therapy. He loves going and looks forward to going to "peech" with mommy and have learning time. He is working with articulation and working on those tricky "s" and "r" sounds, blends (st, br). He shouldn't need too much therapy, but I'm looking forward to this help so he could feel like he is being heard and understood.

We have had moments where I could not understand what he was trying to say, and he is so determined to tell you sometimes and just to see the sadness when I have to say, "I'm sorry, I don't understand what you are trying to tell me," breaks my heart. I'm glad he is proud to go and that it is fun for him to.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Farm field trip for our Preschool

October 2010
Some Mom's and I have started our own Preschool Co-Op for our 2 and 3 year olds and this is our first field trip together! We went to Tolmachoff Farms (Same farm as Freeman's first field trip last year) We were learning about pumpkins, fruits and vegetables this month so this tied in perfectly with our curriculum.

Freeman's foot got caught in a hole!

Preston loved these goats and according to him they were all "Doggies!!"

Nathan (Almost 3 years old!)

Some of the preschoolers enjoying the presentation on corn.

Here is picture of our preschoolers, along with some friends.

Nathan and Tiff picking our own vegetables!

October Break 2010

California here we come! We enjoyed a great trip out to San Diego with our friends, Brian and Camille. We rented a beach house, went to Disneyland and walked around the boardwalk. We all loved it.

Disneyland Day 2

Enjoying the Parade at California Adventure

One of the Piers at Newport Beach. The kids love watching the fisherman catch fish and ran around checking out their buckets.

Beach Days
Daddy Freeman in the background Boogie boarding.
Nate loved trying to bury himself.

Yes, this baby will eat anything! Sandy pretzels? No prob!

Disneyland Day 1