Tuesday, August 27, 2013

School is cool....

these cuties couldn't wait to be reunited after my daughter finished kindergarten yesterday.  They are best buddies and my 3 year old must have asked 5 times where his sissy was.  She squealed and ran over to him, she was way more excited to see him than she was to see me!

School is back in session.  My schedule is this...
4:45: my oldest wakes up in time to get ready to attend early morning seminary which is a religious class taught to the youth of our church (or anyone else interested) before school starts. 

5:30: he leaves and is off to school right after seminary
6:30:  I wake up my 12 year old
7 ish my younger 3 wake up
 7:15: 12 year old leaves for school 
7:50: we leave to walk the kindergartner and 2nd grader to school
9-1:1 I take a breather, spend some one on one time with my 3 year old, clean up my kitchen, do a load or two of laundry and then.....
11:20: pick up the kindergartner, come home feed the littles lunch, read some books to them, let them watch a show while I do some more housework, start dinner
1:25: Pick up my 9th grader
 2:30:Middle school gets out, fortunately he walks home unless it's raining
3:15: Elementary school gets out and fortunately I have a carpool  and hegets dropped home around 3:30.   
3:30-5:30: Afternoons are full of piano, scouts, homework, soccer downtime and that little old thing called kids playing outside, with friends etc (which is SO important I think, but doesn't happen as often as it should)
6:00-7:00: dinner, clean up
7-7:30:  wind up for the day... baths, family time, family scripture reading, family prayer
7:30-8: Little kids get stories, time with Mom or Dad and bed
8-9: older kids read, brush teeth etc and lights out usually before 9
9:00  Mom wants to crash but has to get more laundry folded, house picked up, spend time with hubby etc

Repeat the next day....Life certainly isn't simple with 5 kids and before I had older kids I thought life would get easier once I had older kids.  In some ways it is because I have helpers and babysitters, however it is certainly busier and more complicated.  However I do love it!  No matter your stage in life there are hard things and there are wonderful things.

I am a home body, I like being home, I like having a slower pace.  I don't like rushing, I get anxious and stressed out.  I miss the days of not having anywhere I had to be (but in those days I was dying to get out of the house).  So this is challenging me and stretching me. 

I also find that if I don't get up before my oldest leaves I don't get my time to fill my reservoir.  I need quiet time to read my scriptures and other inspirational books, to pray, to think and ponder.  So while I may not love getting up so early it is my only time to have quiet time to myself.  So falling into bed at 9:30 or 10 is necessary for me to be able to do that.

So if you see me around with dark circles and bags under my eyes, just know it's my crazy life but it's my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything :)  That picture above makes it all worth it to see those adorable faces light up!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I can't wait until I'm 8

On August 10th this cute boy was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Salt Lake City.  Our beliefs are that children aren't accountable until age 8 and that is when they are baptized to enter into His kingdom and church.  Here are pictures from that great day!

Garrett and his Dad who baptized him.

Garrett and Great Grandmother Layton who is 93. We always feel honored when she can attend a family event. She is an angel!
Family photo in front of the font.

Some family who attended


Grandma and Grandpa Cardall 

The "after party" at the local swimming pool. I

It was a wonderful day and there was a sweet spirit at the baptism. Garrett asked his brothers to give the talks and they did a great job. I love these "Mommy pay days", they make all the hard work and sometimes the monotonous job of Motherhood worth it!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Home again, home again jiggity jig

17 days. 4000 miles,10 states,  hours and hours and hours in the car, hundreds of gallons of gas, 9 hotels (some really crappy), too many screens watched and played,  too much fast food, countless "Mom he/she touched me", "Mom he/she's looking at me", "When will we be there?", "How much longer?", "I have to go potty!"

Not to mention many books read, hundreds of funny moments, new people and adventures,  countless laughs together, seeing America the beautiful,  hundreds of memories, lifelong stories to tell, multiple occasions of feeling the spirit together,building relationships, creating stronger extended family bonds, having my husband and kids around for 17 days, good talks in the car...etc.  It was better than I ever expected it to be.

Multiple times people have said to me, "I can't believe you did it." or "I would/could never do a long road trip like that!"   To those naysayers ;)  I say never say never and/or don't knock it till you try it! I would never have tried this when my kids were much younger.  It would have been a nightmare with a baby, but my kids did great.  But they also have been road tripping since they were born since we have always lived away from family.   They are used to time in the car and know what to expect.  Now they aren't used to multiple days in the car, but they did so great.

 Dave and I have talked multiple times that we have THREE summers left with our oldest until he goes off on his mission and honestly I know how fast 3 years will go as time seems to be rolling along more and more quickly as my kids get older.  I want my kids to have lifelong memories of our family together.  I want them to have funny memories and stories that will only get better with time.  I want them to see our beautiful country and be exposed to new things and diverse people.   I mean who knew that Iowa and South Dakota had the most beautiful scenery of the trip?  Who knew that I would want to go back to the Black Hills and explore?  Who knew that we would see THOUSANDS of motorcycles going to the Sturgis Harley Davidson rally near Mount Rushmore?

People ask us what the highlights were and everyone has a different answer, but mine has to be having my little family together and building memories. Mine is the picture at the beginning of this post, yes my 3 year old was grumpy and wouldn't look at the camera and was crying, but we were at the Nauvoo temple together!  Sometimes I would look all 5 of them sleeping at night all in the same room and it my heart was so full from the gratitude I had for them and for this experience.  My family is changing, my oldest starts high school, my youngest starts preschool.  I won't have all of them on vacations like that much longer.  I have seen my siblings become empty nesters and miss these times together with their kids. So the fact that we had this opportunity for 17 days just makes me happy.

I have also been asked, "Would you do it again?"  My answer is unequivocally YES!   I wouldn't go the same places,  I would want to see new places and have different experiences but I am already in my mind planning where we will go next!  It certainly wasn't perfect, it certainly was crazy, and crowded and messy and  noisy and stressful at times.  My kids got on my last nerve multiple times, but it was totally and completely worth those times to make the memories and stories and fun we had.  As it is right now, my kids are talking about the fun times, not the time in the car, not their brother annoying them or the crowded van.  They remember the good stuff and that was the whole goal of the trip.

We will do certainly an #epicroadtrip (my hashtag on instagram for this trip) again!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Epic road trip 3

Goodbye Nauvoo. We will miss you. We loved Nauvoo, it's such a fun place for families. My kids are throwing rocks in the Mississippi at the end of Parley street (trail of hope)  where the Saints left Nauvoo. 

Hello Nebraska! State #8. We are crossing "Mormon bridge" 

We went to the Winter Quarters visitor's center. 

We have a great heritage on both sides of pioneers. Some crossed with the ill fated Willie handcart company. 

This statue is in the pioneer cemetery where many sacrificed their lives for their beliefs. It is right next to the Winter Quarter's temple. Such a sacred feeling there.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Epic road trip 2

Family, that's what this trip is all about. Our main purpose in driving 3500 miles was to go to a family reunion in Nauvoo with my family. Here are a few photos of family togetherness.

My newest great nephew 2 month old Charlie. Drew loved him and so did I!

Emma loved her girl cousins! They are actually her second cousins, they are my nephews girls.

My Mom and 4 sister. Love these amazing women.

Grandsons after the temple.

My awesome parents. Celebrating 60 years of marriage! Pretty incredible in this day and age!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Epic road trip

I know I said I would blog regularly, but Internet coverage has been spotty at best. So here are a few highlights from Nauvoo. 

We were able to go to the Nauvoo temple with my siblings, spouses and parents and my boys did baptisms. It was incredible. The spirit of that temple is amazing, like none other I've been in. I'm certain it's because of the sacrifices and dedication of the early saints to get the temple built at all costs. 

Love this statue of Joseph and Hyrum

The grandsons (we do believe in equal rights, we did get one of the girls too, I just don't have it on my phone)

Love this picture! I have seen Dave pull a handcart before. I was his "Ma" on pioneer trek many moons ago (that's a future blog post).

My hero, Emma Smith. There's a reason my daughter is named Emma.

Just a few highlights. LOTS more to come.