Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tanner turns 5

I don't know why I struggle so much with this boy growing older but I do!! He is so sweet and fun and EASY and mellow...and I adore him more than I can say.

He asked to go on the boat, so we went out the Monday before his birthday and he pretty much just wanted to do the tube. The kids rode for a looooong time. Just how he wanted it.

He has known for months that the new Amazeum would be opening ON his birthday, so that is what he wanted to do. We went at opening and stayed until lunchtime. He and Tyler played and played and then they would sometimes come find me and the girls.

It's a fun place, and he got to wear his birthday shirt and button there. A worker even sang happy birthday to him.

We got Chick-fil-a for lunch and he played with his new toys.

We were pretty busy later in the day so he sorta got jipped, but awesome Emma made him a lego cake that we ate for dinner. Then we had to pack up for our 2 1/2 week trip out west.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

the first half of summer, and Nana and Grandpa pass through!

As of today our summer is halfway over. Man it has flown by! But it has been SO much fun. And until this week we have been busy almost every single day. This week has been super rainy so we have been inside, which is a little bit nice for a change, and for a few days.

We have spent a lot of the time on the boat. We always take people with us. Except once when we went after Spencer got off work.

The kids have been perfecting their skills. Tyler on the kneeboard:

 Sadie being cute:
 I did a really good job at getting up and then immediately falling.

 Spencer is a great kneeboarder (but his wife needs lessons in driving the boat):
 Emma likes the skis and also the kneeboard.
 Tanner shocked us all and got up!! He was so proud.
 And they all love the tube.

 Sometimes Tanner gets a little bit scared...
We did a lot of berry picking (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry):

On the day Nana and Grandpa were driving in (on their way home from being Mission Presidents in New York!!!) we went out on the lake and the boat broke. Bummer! We tried to make lemonade out of lemons and play on the shore...

But that just wasn't a whole lot of fun.

That was the 4th of July. So we had a BBQ with almost 50 people and then went to see fireworks.

Patriotic nails:

And then Nana and Grandpa made it!! We loved having them for two whole days.

We've also had lots of swimming time with our friends who have pools, have gone to the Rogers Aquatic Center twice, Emma went to an art summer camp, and we have even done the splash pad and Bentonville Community Center.

Soon we go on quite the road trip all over the West. Not looking forward to the drive, but we definitely are looking forward to seeing some family we haven't seen in 3 years.

We love summer!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

looking back

I've been thinking a lot about entitlement. The mom in me wants to give my kids everything. The mom in me also wants to give them nothing and make them work for it all. As I have kids growing up and needing more things this is something I spend a lot of time thinking about. I haven't figured out exactly what we will do, but at least I'm thinking about it, right? It's so hard to determine what we think is best. And I'm sure what is right for one won't be right for another, and what is right for my first may not be right for my last. I print my blog off into books every couple of years, and my kids read them all the time. I just want this documented...

I CAN say I really appreciate how I was raised. And how Spencer was. I had to pay for almost everything I wanted, starting from when I began babysitting at age 10. The car that I drove did not have reverse for the entire year I drove it. At the time I thought it was so cruel (and it definitely wasn't safe), but now it makes for the best stories, and whenever a teenager complains to me about anything, I know I can top them. :) I was never given a car, and sometimes at BYU I didn't eat if I didn't want to walk the 5 blocks to the store and carry bags of groceries home.

When I look back NOW at our first few years of marriage I wonder how we did it. Spencer made hardly anything, we had to pay for our move across the country out of our own pocket (and we had pretty much nothing already and had to take out a loan to pay for the move), and we barely scraped by. We had one car and I had to take Spencer to the train and pick him up, sometimes waking kids up and sticking them in the car at 10 pm. I know we were able to do it because we knew to expect nothing and to work hard. We knew it would pay off. Eventually. But even then, I don't think I really complained. It's all part of paying your dues.

When we hit our 5 year anniversary we FINALLY could go on a trip together. Our first one! (Our honeymoon was two days in the mountains near Provo because school was in and honestly we couldn't afford anything else anyway.) I made the $1200 it cost with my editing money and tracked it carefully, flights were "free" with our credit card points, and we went to Hawaii and did it super cheap and never ate out (though buying groceries there is definitely not cheap). But wow it was fun.

When we bought our first house, after we had been married 7 years, I HAD to bring in $600 a month (myself!) for us to just break even. We had a stressful few years financially, especially because we were living in California, but we were used to it. I never felt bad for myself; it was just what we needed to do to make it. I drove my parents' old van (the one I took my driving test in) because my parents didn't need it anymore and we inherited it. We replaced the transmission right off and it was the biggest blessing for the 5 years we had it. By the end of its life every single piece of it was being held together with duct tape. I was so proud of that car. When it was time to buy a "new" car we found the nicest van we could that was 4 years old and had the fewest miles. I sure felt like a princess driving that van around (I still do!).

Anyway, I guess I am just so happy to have had nothing and for the fact we had to work so hard to get to where we are now. So I want that for my kids. I'm just not sure how. We will have to do more pondering. I do know I want my kids to be able to work for what they have, and so far they have done really well.

There is all my rambling/reflecting for the day...