Saturday, May 31, 2008

We're Alive!!!

Just thought I'd take a moment to let everyone know what's up.  I'm on a Mac so I'm not great with the computer (sorry Shel) so I'll probably wait a few days to post pictures.  At least until Travis is done playing video games to upload them.

Well, we got here with little fanfare.  Things went pretty well other than that planes are the most UNCOMFORTABLE places to sleep.  I was really nervous on Wednesday when we were leaving, and it didn't help that the first leg of our flight was on the smallest plane ever.  I was seriously claustrophobic.  Trav was thinking he should have left me home.  But we made it to Houston, flew to Sao Paulo, drove to Curitiba (it took about eight hours instead of the three it should have taken) and checked into our hotel (after driving around for about three hours looking for it).  You'd think these boys have ever been here before.  Not that they lived here for two years or anything.  But the streets here are INSANE.  In the last three days we have probably spend about ten hours lost in the car.  But we have had nothing but good experiences.  I have had some serious spiritual experiences that were totally random, and make me think they were put in our path for a reason (therefore not so random).  I will update more with pictures and everything later, but just wanted to let everyone know that we're alive.  Although Aubrie may be the only one who cares:).

I love this place.  I do not love the food, I do not love the streets, I do not love the drivers, and it is a totally different world than the one I live in.  But if there is anything I have learned so far (and we haven't even done a whole lot) it's that I am terribly blessed.  I am so lucky to have the things I do, and to simply be born in the United States.  I'll elaborate more later, with pictures to make it a little more interesting.  My husband is amazing, and I can't believe we almost passed up this opportunity.  Things like this make me love him so much more and bring us so much closer.  It definitely makes me feel better about leaving my kids for TEN DAYS!!!

We are off to the dedication tomorrow, and I am anticipating some great things, because the experiences so far have been amazing.  These people have waited so long to have a temple here, and it makes me feel guilty for taking ours for granted.  They are so excited, and so honored to have the prophet here.   I'll try to upload pictures sometime and maybe put something interesting on here.  Tchao!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

We're Off!

Well, we leave in just a few hours. I'm really nervous, really excited and scared to death to leave my kids for this long. I think they're tougher than I am. We will land in Sao Paulo tomorrow morning at 9 AM, and we hope to have Internet access at our hotel, so hopefully I will be able to update something. Otherwise, I'll see you all in ten days!

Thanks to all those who are helping or who have offered to help with my kids. When I sat down to write a contact list, I was amazed by how many people are willing to help us, and how many people truly love our kids. We're so blessed and lucky.

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Preschool Graduation

The pictures aren't great because guess what? Mom of the Year forgot her camera and we had to use Angie's. How lucky am I that she came? For some reason they're a little blurry, but you get the idea. He's such a sweetheart.

This is probably one of my most favorite pictures of all time.

Jaxon and his teacher, Amy, who I think is wonderful. He has learned so much this past year. For graduation they all took turns doing nursery rhymes, and it was the cutest thing ever.

This is Jaxon and his girlfriend Taryn. You can tell by his face how he felt about this picture. Although he did tell me later that he finally worked up the guts to kiss her at graduation.

Me and my boy. He's very very special to me. I don't know what I would do without him.

Jaxon and Aunt Amy. He loves her.

Jaxon and his Angie, or as we call her "morning mommy". When I was still in school and Jax was a baby, Angie practically helped raise him. She watched him all the time. They're the best of friends. That's why Emory's middle name is Angela.

I'm so proud of my little boy. He is so dang smart, sometimes I can't even keep up with him. Funniest part about this whole day is that since we're holding him back because his birthday is so late, he'll get to do it all again next year. Ha ha ha h ah ha.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pick Your Battles

When you have a daughter such as mine, sometimes you have to decide which things to fight about and which things to let go, in order to save your sanity. Today, this is what Emory wore to church. Obviously, this was not a battle I chose to fight.

Still though, isn't she a beauty? Homeless hat and all? I love her chubby little arms peeking out of this dress.

And here's my goofy little cheeseball. Love him.

If something unthinkable were to happen and I were to never come home from Brazil, will everyone please let these children know how much I adore them?


The other day after I got the kids ready for bed, they decided to change their clothes. Jaxon put on his new shark swimsuit he got for preschool graduation (don't worry, I bought him toys too, I'm not THAT lame) and Emory put on two of Jaxon's swimsuits and his Buzz Lightyear PJ shirt over hers. Then they ran around like crazies for an hour. Strange strange children.

I love this picture. She is such a crack-up. And don't worry, there's one more swimsuit on under the one you can see.

He's Indiana Jones here. Like he tells me at least one hundred thousand times a day. He's getting so big.

Friday, May 23, 2008

All About Jaxon

My cute little man was tagged by his girlfriend Taryn and his little friend Jessie from around the corner. So here are six things you should all know about my little boy.

1. Jaxon is a little OCD. Things have to be arranged perfectly, and if you even move one of his toys an inch, he will notice. He's gotten better as he's gotten older, but it used to be a real problem.

2. Jaxon has a stuffed monkey that he loves. My mom gave it to him on the day he was born, and at about a year old he became totally attached to it. He always had it in his crib and one day we took it to church and left it in the car. We couldn't figure out why he was screaming his head off at bedtime until we brought the monkey in and he was fine. He has been through about ten of them because mom always replaces them, and they have been called Mr. Tinkles (daddy named that one), Mr. Brown Tit (don't ask) and Titi. All of which are relatively embarrassing to explain. He still sleeps with one every night and he can identify which one he wants by its smell. Yuck.

3. Jaxon has the most tender heart of any little kid I've ever met. He is constantly saying things like "Mom, I want my sister to be happy" and "Mom, I sure do love you". Travis and I talk all the time about how he has a special little spirit because he is such a sweetheart. He is full of love and he loves to cuddle and give hugs and kisses.

4. Jaxon LOVES Transformers. He has all the little action figures and we take them everywhere we go. He knows all their names, and it's so funny to hear him say them. He watches the cartoon and he has also seen the movie at least five times.

5. Jaxon loves to learn. He is always asking us to spell words for him or show him how to write them. Travis started reading with him one night, and within a day he was reading things all by himself. He constantly wants to add and subtract things, and he LOVES to read books. I know all moms say this, but I think I have a little genius on my hands.

6. Jaxon loves sharks. In fact, he watched the movie Jaws on TV just last night. He is fascinated by all kinds of sharks, and he loves learning about what they eat, which ones are dangerous, and all the different things about them. He has some little shark figures that his grandma brought back from Sea World and he can tell you what kind of shark each one is. His grammy ordered him Shark Week from the Discovery Channel for Christmas.

Jaxon is such a good boy. We don't know what we would do without him in our home.

Jaxon tags: Daxton Sumko, Trevor Baird, Zoe Teuscher, Emma Jensen and Braden Kellett.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


That's how I feel tonight. I yelled at my kids all day today. I had no patience for them, and I ignored them most of the day. They were tired and whiny, and I was cranky. They had an excuse because they spent about six hours in the car and were fed at random intervals. I didn't have an excuse, other than that I just plain old didn't have it in me today.

I hate days like today. And every time I have one I try to remind myself of how I felt the last time. I hate wishing that I could go back and redo them because nothing was really worth losing my patience. And they always look so damn cute when they're sleeping. Go super mom. Is anyone else surprised that I just admitted to all that???

Here's Jaxon and his buddy Kyler. This is how they fell asleep the other night on the way home.

Emory and Jaxon on Sunday night when they were completely maxxed out and dead to the world.

And here's little Miss Barbie herself. I bought her a new hat and a new purse today, and Grandma bought her new flip flops. Apparently they all need to be worn together for maximum effect. Notice Luke Skywalker in the back. Or Optimus Prime. Or Indiana Jones, whoever the superhero of the moment is.

Dirty little feet. Sick.

Well, when I started this post, I had just finished yelling at Jaxon for crying in his bed because he claims he was scared. I was so frustrated that I went back to his room yelling that if he didn't go to sleep I was going to spank him and shut his door. Bet that helped him not be scared. He just wanted me to sing him a song and I just wanted to eat my dinner at nine o'clock. About five minutes after that it was dead silent and I figured they had both fallen asleep, at which point the guilt sets in. Then my baby came out and gave me a chance to redeem myself. I picked her up and held her and went to check on Jax and of course he was awake. So guilt-ridden mother that I am, they're both laying together in his bed waiting for their dad to get home. That's all they want is a little daddy time. Stupid mom. I think Satan makes it real hard for us to feel good enough doesn't he?

Here they are now. I think they still love me. These two are the reason I consistently feel okay about how I'm doing as a mother. They always love me no matter how mad I get.

I think I'll go re-examine my shopping booty from today. That always makes me feel better:).

Thursday, May 15, 2008


For Drew: I kept them. And a few days later, Jaxon happened to see them sitting on the counter and he was so excited that I had kept them. So I was real glad I decided to. Especially when Emory got her feelings hurt when she found her Mother's Day card she made in nursery on the floor of the car. Doh. But I did let her eat the necklace. I don't think she understood that I was supposed to wear it, not eat it.

I really do love my daughter. She picks flowers for me everywhere she can, especially dead dandelions out of my backyard. Tonight we had a neighborhood barbecue and she kept picking my neighbors flowers and bringing them to me. A little out of focus, but you get the idea.

This is my niece Brylee (we call her Brilly) watching the Jazz game. It was so funny. Every time we cheer she starts crying. This was a happy game. Last night was not quite as fun.

She was really into it.

You must love this child. If you know her, you absolutely have to love her. She is the funniest, spunkiest child ever. She now calls me Mom. Not Mommy or Mama, but Mom. Like a freaking teenager. And everything is "so so funny" or "holy moly". Last night Travis took Jaxon on a father and son campout with our ward, so Emory and Sara (Jamey's girlfriend) and I had girl's night out and went to dinner and a movie. Emory brought her little purse with her and was so excited to "go see the big gulls". She can't say her Rs.

I totally one hundred thousand million percent adore her. And I haven't always. I guess they grow on you:).

Some fun parts of this week:

- I went to a friend's wedding in the Logan temple, and it was in the same sealing room where Trav and I were sealed. I love attending weddings, because I was so nervous on my wedding day that I barely remember anything that was said. This friend is actually more like a brother, and definitely an uncle to my kids. I would have some pictures, but when we forgot our camera we called Jamey and Sara to bring theirs and Sara's battery was dead when they got there. But I'm so happy for them.

- After the above mentioned wedding, I got to go to my oldest friend (oldest meaning I've known her the longest) Lindsay's house and see her new baby. And her cute other two girls, one who looks exactly like my daughter. Which is funny because Lindsay and I could not be more different. She's tall and dark, I'm short and naturally lighter (not sure what color my hair actually is). I remember when we were little and we were best friends people would always laugh at us because we were so different. But I love her and I always will. We've shared lots of fun stuff together. From the little incident on her porch when we were in grade school (you know what I'm talking about Linds) to rooming together at college, I'm so glad she's my friend.

- The weather has been so nice. Knock on wood. We've had some major ups and downs lately, so having a few warm days has been nice.

- I went shopping to get some stuff for our trip. Always a soothing experience.

- Our neighborhood barbecue tonight was so fun. We live in an amazing place. The thought of moving and leaving my house and neighborhood makes me hyperventilate. This is such a fun area.

- My brother Chad got married tonight in Phoenix. I couldn't be there because I didn't want to leave my kids for five days a week before I leave them for ten days, but I'm happy for him. They're expecting a little boy in August, so I'm so glad they're making a commitment to each other.

- Girl's night out with Sara and Emory. We went to dinner and saw "What Happens in Vegas". It's so nice to do girl things sometimes.

- Jaxon and Travis heading off for father/son campout. Makes my heart hurt a little to think my little boy is growing up. Why can't they just stay little so I don't have to make more????

It's been a good week. I'm a happy girl.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

I had a great Mother's Day. I am one of those mothers who feels appreciated every day of the year (awwww), so I don't really feel the need for a special day. This year I decided to focus on two different things. One, the fact that I'm lucky to have two perfect kids and be a mother, and two, all the mothers in my life who have taught me how to mother my own children.

A few of my favorite parts of the day:

- When Jaxon woke up, he told me it was Mother's Day. He then told me he had to get the Play Doh out to make me my present, which turned out to be Play Doh in the shape of a mitten and a duck. Love that kid.

- When Em made me a Froot Loop necklace and right after giving it to me asked me if she could have it and eat it.

- Relief Society was amazing. It was such a spiritual meeting, and someone said some really nice things about me that made my day.

- Watching the Jazz game with my family. That was a fun game.

- Talking to Mitchy!

- BBQ with my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins.

- Playing games with Carson, Jamey and Travis until the wee hours of themorning.

As I was sitting in sacrament meeting, I was thinking of all the mothers I know and how different all of our challenges and trials are. Here are some of the things I notice about some of the mothers I know.

- First of all, of course my own mother. And all the moms who have to work full time (or more) and struggle through trials and keep a happy face so that the kids think everything's okay. And all the moms who always put their children first, even when it's hard to get out of bed in the morning.

- My grandmas, who are amazing examples of having strong testimonies even through the hardest of trials. And I just love being around them.

- My mother in law, who is so much fun to be around, and I love that she is my friend too.

- Cherry, and any mother who takes in someone else's child and makes them feel loved when they need it. I wish there were more people like you in the world.

- My sister in law Melanie, and anyone else who has five kids or more. Wow. I think I'm maxxed out at two. And somehow she keeps it all together, and still stays fun AND organized.

- Shelby, who faced cancer, and made her kids feel secure about their future. Who made sure they laughed and had fun and understood that her losing her hair wasn't the worse thing that could happen.

- Lexi, who deals with things on a daily basis that I couldn't even begin to imagine, and still manages to have the cutest little boys who are so happy.

- Angie, who had such a hard baby her first time. And even when she wanted to give up, she just kept going. AND she would still watch my kids all the time.

- Mandi, who manages to keep it together for her kids even when she feels like her world is falling apart, and who loves her babies more than anything.

- Aubrie and Stacee, who I've seen chase their incredibly busy little kids all over the place. I don't know how you guys aren't exhausted all the time, or how you still manage to be so fun all the time.

- Sarah, who I know gets no sleep, even though Trevor's almost two. I'm afraid I would have given my kids away by now, but you're still an awesome mom.

- Lindsay, who has beautiful girls, and probably does hair for three hours each day, and just keeps doing it and loves it.

- Alisha, who not only is an awesome mom, but always remembers me on important days.

- Sidney, Chelsea, Jamie and any other mother out there who has twins, triplets, or whatever. I do not know how you do it. And you're so dang happy about it all the time.

- Kristy, who deals with her kid's shyness with patience and love. And who goes up to the front to sing with them on Mother's Day so they're not scared:).

- Val, who sometimes has to feel like a single mom, yet I've never once heard her complain about her kids.

- Mothers like Michelle Eberle in my ward, who have lost their babies and are determined to make sure they can be with them forever.

- Moms who still serve in nursery callings. I appreciate this so much because I get to drop my two year old off every week and go where I can feel the Spirit.

- Moms who teach preschool, and take the time and effort to teach my kids things I wouldn't even begin to know how to teach.

- Channa and Alisha, and any other mother who has had to wait longer than they have wanted to conceive. It's so worth the wait, but I can't imagine the disappointment and frustration you must feel.

- Jenn, who devotes everything she is to cute little Rian, and any other mother who takes in stepchildren and loves them as their own.

- Moms who adopt babies. You truly have to have an understanding of eternal families to be able to do this. And those moms who make the best decision for their baby and give them to a family who can care for them.

- Emma Smith, who makes me realize that my life is never as hard as it could be, and that sometimes I don't even know what a real trial is.

- Mary, who had to watch her son suffer and die so that we could all return to our Heavenly Father. I hope nothing like that is ever asked of me.

These are just a few of the things I was thinking about yesterday on Mother's Day. How lucky we are to be able to be mothers. I know that my kids are my biggest blessings in life, second only to my sweet husband. I'm so thankful that Heavenly Father sent them to me, and was willing to give me a chance to raise these precious little spirits. I hope you all had an awesome day. And I hope you all got new cooking pans that you wanted, just like I did:).

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One Thousand Photos

Here are one hundred million pictures from our family photo shoot with Mel at the end of March. Words cannot express how much I love my sister in law. She rocks.

One of my happy things - my kids in flip flops.

This is how she usually looks, but with about one thousand decibels of sound coming out.

I love this because they love each other so much.

Daddy's Girl.

He is such a happy boy. I love him. The belt swinging thing is my favorite.

I think I love this one because of the look on Jaxon's face. He idolizes his dad. I'm glad Trav's a good one, otherwise I'd worry.

This is how I feel about having my picture taken.

Sigh. He tackles her instead of hugging her.

Jumping off the bale of hay.

She was so angry that her hands were dirty.

I love love love love a thousand times love this one. It's proof I can do a topsy tail.

So it's hard to get a picture where we all look good. My kids don't smile well. But I love the color on this one.

Doesn't he look happy?

Look at her little mouth. Her mouth is my favorite feature of hers. It's so tiny, and the way it moves is so cute.

This is probably one of the better pictures of Jaxon I've ever seen.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha. I love the men in my life.

So so sweet. She really can be sometimes.

Trav and I NEVER get our picture taken just the two of us, so that's one of the reasons I had Mel do them. I like the color in this one also. Even though I'm kind of squinty eyed.

As mentioned before, I hate pictures of just me. But this is the least ugly one I've seen for a long time:). Self deprecation is so attractive isn't it?

Despite my squinty eyes, I like this one too. My husband's a babe.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I have loved the weather the last few days. These picture are from about a week or so ago, but the weather now is just as nice as it was then. The day after I took these pictures it SNOWED! I was so mad.

Jax is copping a feel here. Kind of creepy.

This is about how wide Emory's mouth is always open, and you can imagine the volume. Save me.

I can't decide if he looks really cute here or really creepy.

She is such a little stink, but so so funny to have around. She looks Chinese here.