Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Time Out For Women

 This year I had the opportunity to go to TOFW in Lethbridge.  I have wanted to go for years, and this year I just made it happen.  It was such a wonderful experience, and I can't wait to go again next year!.  Bree, Mom and I left Friday afternoon, and talked all the way down.  We were lucky enough to hear from some wonderful speakers, and hear Jenny Oaks Baker play her violin - she is an extremely talented musician! Bree and I stayed up way too late Friday night, and then had an early morning to get back in to Lethbridge.  Mom, Sandy, Sue, Larramie, Bree and I had a wonderful time.  My favorite analogy was in a talk by Emily Watts.  She talks about being on a segway, and how in order to move forward you need to be off balance and lean forward, if you lean back, you stop, and if you are perfectly balanced there is no movement.  She talks about how in life we need to be slightly off balance to be progressing, if we have total harmony and balance in our home, then we are not progressing.  It is such a good reminder for me.  It seems like I am always striving for balance, but I need to remember that as long as I am leaning forward, then I can m0ove toward progression.

My favorite speaker though came in at the very end.  Her name was Kris Belcher.  She has suffered immense hardships with her health, and she talked about finding happiness, and learning to laugh again.  She was a phenomenal speaker, and could have us all in stitches from laughing soo hard, and in the next minute crying because we were so touched.  It was a wonderful weekend, and I am grateful to everyone who helped make it possible for me to go, and for the memories that I was able to make, and the lessons learned.

Easter 2013

We spent some time saturday afternoon decorating Easter eggs with the kids. I am hopeful that in another year or two it will be a less stressful event in our home.  These 3 kids can manage to spill anything, and get paint everywhere.  Regardless, memories were made, and we had some great looking eggs.

Sunday morning Skyler was in our room at 7, like every morning, and he quickly had both of his siblings up because they were soo excited about Easter.  This year I did very little candy, and just looked for 1 gift, and then practical things that we needed anyways.  I used useful things for the baskets, Ethans was a pair of rain boots, Skylers was a storage bag for his skylanders, and Ryleys was a new helmet for this spring/summers bike and scootering.

I also spent a lot of time in the weeks prior to Easter working to teach the kids about the true meaning of Easter.  I feel blessed that my kids have such great primary teachers at church because they all really get what the celebration is all about.  Something I want to change - Next year I want all of the fun stuff done on Saturday so that Sunday we can really concentrate on the spiritual side of Easter, and what it is all about!

Easter Egg Hunt

 This year Bree organized a little Easter egg hunt, and I feel lucky to be one of the participating families.  We just went over to the field at the church, everyone supplied 10 eggs per child, and we set the kids free.  I love these shots of the kids with friends, and I love how casual and fun it was.  Maybe next year we will elaborate a little, but it was fantastic, and as you can see, my kids all loved it!

Egging houses

A family tradition that we have started with our kids is to fill some eggs with treats, and to egg someones house before Easter.  This year we did glow in the dark eggs, so we had to wait until past bed time for it to be dark enough to do.  Here are my 3 little Easter bunnies, all done up in their jammies, and bunny ears.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Skyler played his first year of basketball, and he really enjoyed it.  He didn't have any of his friend on his team, but that did not seem to bother him at all.  He made some great improvements in his ball handling skills this year.  He is not the star player, but he can make a clean steal, and he love it.


Skyler and Ethan were able to go skating at the Olympic Oval for school again this year, and the family was invited to come along.  I debated going, since neither Ethan, or Ryley could skate unassisted, and I was not sure how I could manage them both on my own since Jordan was at work.  In the end we did decide to go.  I hardly saw Skyler because he quickly took off with his friends.  They had a bunch of skate trainers which helped me a lot.  Ethan made it around the Oval twice, and he was done.  So was I since my skates were 2 sizes too small.  Ryley on the other hand was not.  She did the Oval 4 times, 2 of which I spent running on the pavement beside her since she did not want to get off.  I have GOT to find a trainer and take theses kids more often!

New Job

 I have now quit working at the mission home as the cook.  I did it for the last 5 years, and it was hard to leave.  I decided to quit because I am now the new rep for Modest is Hottest and having fun with some great new clothes and accessories.  It was a lot of work initially getting organized so that my type A personalty could deal with the extra stuff in my house, but now we are all organized and running smoothly. I am enjoying it even more that I thought I would, and I can totally work around my family! 

Random Acts of Kindness

 I wanted to teach the kinds about kindness, and really teach them about being kind to everyone.  So I decided to do a family home evening lesson on Random Acts of Kindness.  I found an image online that said "please enjoy this random act of kindness.  Now pass it on"  and I printed them out, and got them laminated.  In theory these were going to make the rounds.  Then for family home evening we went to the shopping area in our community and the kids all had to fine a random person to give their card (attached to a small gift card) to.  Skyler ran up to this person and dropped it in his basket.  Ryely found a little girl and her Dad that she wanted to give it to. Hers was funny. We finally got it given to them, and we walked away, and the guy chased us down and asked us what we were up to.  He could not believe that someone would do that.  The kids had a lot of fun with it, and while I am sure that we still have a lot of work to do in teaching them to shoe real kindness to everyone, it is a night they will not soon forget.

Fun in the Snow

We took the kids tobogganing in their time off school.  They loved the big hill, and are all really little dare devils.  I am by far the biggest chicken in our family.  I went down once, and for some reason Ryley and I were being sprayed pretty bad with snow, so I tried to protect her, when we got to the bottom, I checked to see how she fared, and she was laughing hysterically.  It was the time of her life!

Chritsmas Eve

 We hosted Christmas this year to help accommodate Mom.  All of my brothers were going elsewhere for Christmas, and Mom was not comfortable joining us at Nielsons for Christmas Eve, so we hosted it and mom was a part of the action.  We had Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Cooper, Loewens, and Ashlyn and Jeff.  We did it some what traditional for both sides of the family.  My family always does appetizers on Christmas eve, so we had appetizers.  Then the Nielsons always do a talent show, and act out the Nativity, so we did all of that , and played some minute to win it games. Skyler, Grandpa Nielson, and Uncle Jeff all had magic tricks to show off, and the Skyler, Dakota, and Grandma Nielson played the piano. As the night wound down, and we were getting ready to go our separate ways the kids all got some new pajamas.  We had a lot of angry birds jammies, and a lot of happy and excited kids.

Izzy the Elf

Bear with me while I play catch up over the past 3 months.  I still have not finished documenting last year.  We had an elf on the shelf that visited our house during the month of December, and she was a naughty little elf.  On her last night here she decided to shave a line in Uncle Erics beard.  (Maybe she thought it was as gross as I did?)  regardless, the kids found our naughty little elf with all of the evidence.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Funny boy

Ethan has recently developed a love for layering, I think he could use a little fine tuning, but it makes me laugh.

Regal Kids Christmas Party

We were able to attend another Regal kids Christmas Party this year, and as always it was a huge success.  Each of the kids found their own way to enjoy the bouncy houses.  Skyler prefers to slide hear first. Ethan goes traditional, and Ryely goes for the tummy, being slight more conservative than her older brothers.
Then the kids all decorated ginger cookies.  For some odd reason Skyler loves ginger cookies, even the stale hard ones that you use with gingerbread houses, he loves them and would rather eat than decorate.

Ethan had Grandma do his bidding and piled as much candy as possible on the cookie.
 Ryley is just particular.
 Ethan refused to have his face painted, but Skyler and Ryley were both happy to stand in line.  Ryley wanted some cute candy canes on her cheek, but Skyler wanted bushy eye brows, a mustash and a beard, what a weirdo.
 Of course Santa came as well, and the kids were all spoiled and loved the treasures that they received.  Ethan even had a picture to give to Santa.

Pason Christmas Party at Shakers

We had the annual Pason kids Christmas Party at Shakers again this year, but they made one small change that made a huge difference for our family.  They put crayons on the table and covered the tables in paper.  I have 2 very focused coloring children who will color for hours on end, and it just happens that they are my 2 youngest that have the hardest time staying occupied at Shakers. Can you not see the focus and determination in these 2 - they did in fact manage to fill the whole of the paper in drawings.
 Skyler on the other hand loves this trip and keeps himself very busy.  He loves the climbing wall, and this year won enough tokens to get a lava lamp.  He was pretty impressed with himself!
 We had no tears or tantrum when it came to Santa, just 3 very excited little people.
 Ryley was given this super funny little purple elephant backpack that has a stuffy that attaches to it, she loved it!  I thought it was just about the weirdest looking thing that I have ever seen.
 Thank you Pason for a really fun day.

Best Buddies

We had the opportunity a few times before Christmas to watch my Nieces and Nephews.  Tamara and Lee were able to go on a trip just the 2 of them, so I had all of the kids one night, and then we had Griffin over another day to help break up the week.  Then Tamara was able to go on a girls weekend and I was able to have the youngest 2 for another day.  What a blessing for us.  Ethan and Griffin are the best little buddies.  Not gonna lie, that is a little scary for me since Ethan can be a handful, and Griffin has a mischievous streak, so the 2 of them could mean real trouble.  I am happy to say that to date they have not gotten into too much trouble, and they just adore each other.  Ethan will save a treat for hours if he knows that Gfirffin is coming over, or Griffin has come running in with some pennies that he has brought just for Ethan.  I hope to put more effort into fostering their little friendship, because cousins should be best friends.