Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Quick Update and One Little Word

Hey everybody, I know that I had the best intentions to stay up to date on this blog, yea that went well :) Anyway, I have decided that I'll update it as best I can, when I can. In the past 5 months, there has been a lot going on. Ashlyn and Breckin had birthdays, which they loved, Avy learned how to crawl, Addy got a little more like a two year old, I finished another semester of school, worked, volunteered at the school, played mommy and a number of other things that I can't remember. Right now we are taking a much needed vacation in California with my parents. The kids have been able to play outside without any coats on, they have discovered toys that were left behind from last time, and we have all eaten VERY well! I have enjoyed reading, watching television and taking trips to Target :) I will be sad when we have to leave and go back to negative degree weather. I, however am excited to get the kids back to school and to get some crafting done before I go back to school. I am also very excited to have Addy's birthday party and I am hopeful that once she actually turns 2, she might not be as naughty :) I am also looking forward to doing some snowshoeing with Ashlyn and Breckin. I was inspired by my friend Jen, who took her two little ones snowshoeing, so I have been looking into purchasing some for myself and the two big kids. I think it would be good for them and they might actually like it. I have a lot to look forward to, but mostly I have begun to work on my One Little Word. One Little Word is a project that you can participate in too. It is a word that you live by for the entire year. This year is my first year participating in it, but I find it more appealing than the New Year's Resolution. I have decided that this year my word is going to be STRONG. I want to work on making myself stronger in mind, body and spirit. I feel a great need to increase my strength due to the trials that I have gone through this past year. I feel that Heavenly Father is challenging my strength and what I am capable of handling and doing, and so I have decided that I am going to pass the test and increase my strength as much as I can. I am grateful for this opportunity to better myself. I hope that you will participate as well. You can find the information for it here: And too close, I'll leave you with a few fun pictures that I just LOVE!!
I will try to keep up on my progress and feel free to leave any comments about your own progress here. Good luck and may 2013 the year that we all find our strength!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Is In The Air!!

Okay, for those of you who don't know, or who haven't figured it out yet. Fall is my FAVORITE season. I love the colors, the smells, Halloween, Thanksgiving, all of it!!! This fall we've already started having fun. This weekend was Cody High School's homecoming, so we went down the street and walked down to the parade. It was fairly un-eventful, nothing like the 4th of July, however I liked it that way. Here is Addy showing her school spirit.
We also have been spending some time antiquing. I don't know if I have inherited it from my Grandma Cyphers or if Sean had something to do with it, but Cedar, Annie and I took a day last week and tried to go to the antique stores in Cody. We made it to all but one and I found some pretty nice treasures to take home with me :) I could have taken home all of this as well.
On Sunday, Ned and Lynette took the 4 littles so that I could have some peace and quiet for once during church. We had a special stake conference and Elder Cook from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to talk to us. This conference really focused on the sacredness and importance of the family. They spoke about the influence of parents and our responsiblities to our children. I would say that grandparents are pretty important as well :) They also spoke about increasing our faith and sanctifying our marriages. Everything that was said was what I needed to hear. It has been a rough 6 months or so, but I know that it will get better. We only have to have faith that it will. I have to say that I am so grateful for my calling as a mother and that I am able to be with my little children everyday. It has been hard and pretty tight for our little family, but I know that this is right. I couldn't imagine a day without one of these precious little faces. They mean so much to me. It is such a great blessing to be a parent. It is the only time that you really have any kind of idea how our Heavenly Father feels about us. Well, I suppose it's time to continue with the fall merriment. I hope your fall is going along just as nicely.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

On My Soapbox

So, I know that usually everything on here is all hunky, dory, let's just all have fun. However, I also feel that it can be used as a personal forum for things that I find vey important. One of these important things is the education of our children.
As an education major who is also studying special education. I can't tell you how important I feel it is to get your children developmentally screened by a reputable facility. When we lived in Laramie, both of our kids were screened annually. That is how we found out that Ashlyn needed glasses. Now we have had Breckin screened and he is receiving services for certain areas and Addy is also being worked with. It is not that there is something "wrong" with my children. It is the fact that I want to receive all of the help that is available to them so that they can succeed. It is important to me that my children enjoy school and that they do the best that they possibly can. It is also important toe that if they need to work with any of the Title 1 teachers in order to do this, that their needs are met.
Recently I learned of a case of a child who was not receiving any help and who was obviously struggling. This child's mother is battling the school that is trying to help them and she is clearly in denial that anything is wrong. Now, I don't have a child with severe special needs, so I don't know how it feels. However, I have heard other parents of children with special needs compare it to dealing with the death of their child. They go through the grieving process, just as if they would have lost their child. I understand that it is a hard pill to swallow, but the sooner that you get your child the help and assistance that they need, the better off everyone will be. The situation above really hurts my heart because as a parent, I would do anything it took to see my children succeed. I understand the disappointment and guilt that is associated with the fact that there may be something wrong with your child. As I said, I have two children who receive services. The services they receive may seem menial and unimportant to others, but they are very important to me because I think of something that maybe I didn't do right, or something else I could have done. However, I have stopped blaming myself and I have gotten them the help that they need. As a future educator and as a parent, this is something that is very important to me. I hope it is important to you as well and that even if you have the slightest of questions about your child's development or if a teacher comes to you with any concerns, that you will take it to heart, not blame yourself, and help your child any way that you can. I know you will!!

I'll step down now ;)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Well, we had a great Labor Day Weekend. I hope that you did too. Sunday was Breckin's 5th Birthday, so we had dinner and dessert and presents. It was so much fun! I can't beloieve how big my boy is now!! We spennt yesterday playing and cleaning house. I also got some school work done, but mostly messed aronund on Pintrest and tried to make plans for the change in decor for our house. I found lots of cute printables for fall on there, so if you're into that sort of thing you can follow me on Pintrest! School resumed for both the kids and myself and I just got a project put together and some assignments done. Now I have to go back home, make frosting, frost cupcakes, take the girls to Grandma and Grandpa's, go to Breckin's school for a little party there and maybe try to get to the library today. On top of that, Ava seems to be teething and thinks that she needs to be held all of the time. Did I mention that I was up at 5 because I had a bad dream about rattlesnakes? Yea, this is my life :) We will continue to be busy. That's what happens in a house of 6, with two babies under 2. I suppose I have become acclimated to it by now. Coming up this weekend we have soccer activity at the park, I have 3 dozen cookies to bake for our Ward Conference, and then we have Ward Conference on Sunday. I might see if I can work in between then. I also have plans to go antiquing again with Cedar. However, my house is clean and most of the laundry is done... That reminds me I have some laundry in the washer that needs to go in the dryer. I will leave you with some pictures on Breckin's birthday, instead of continuing the neverending To Do List :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What happened to summer?!?!

Okay, this is really sad. I know that I said that I would try to do better this summer in staying up to date on my blog, but it just didn't happen. I don't know what went wrong. Perhaps we were just too busy having fun to pay devotion to the blog. Oh, well. Now school has started and it's time tp get back into the swing of things. Ashlyn and Breckin are both in school all day long. This is great because it gives their mommy a much needed break and it's easier to manage 2 kids than 4. I am going to school and I have 13 credit hours this semester. That's the most that I've taken since I had kids. Many of you might say that it doesn't seem like much, but keep in mind that I have 5 credit Methods class that I HAVE to have to graduate. There is a lot of reading involved and a lot of projects, so that will probably consume whatever amount of "free" time that I have. Jame is working for a private security group that guards and maintains the safety out at CertainTeed. He works mostly at night and sleeps most of the day, however he does get to see the little ones every once in a while. Ashlyn spent her summer writing back and forth to her friend Anna who lives in California. She is actually the daughter of a woman that I was friends with in Texas and just happened to run in to while we were visiting my family one time. She really enjoys having a pen pal. We also spent a good part of the summer reading for the library's summer reading program. Ashlyn, who is the luckiest person that I know, won a month membership to a MMA organization, it has since gone out of business, so she didn't get to use her prize but once. Breckin spent his summer reading and playing with his toys. That is his favorite thing to do. He spends more time doing that than anything else. He also learned how to use the computers at the library so he can play games there now. This is good for some of his fine motor issues that he has. He has inherited his father's tremor and his hands shake slightly when he is concentrating on fine motor skills. Using the mouse and the arrow buttons have helped him a great deal over the summer. Breckin is having a birthday next week and is very excited about it. He's going to have some friends over to play the Wii, also his favorite thing to do. Addy is busy driving her mother crazy. Anything the girl can get into, she does. Any button of mommy's that she can push, she does. However, I was helping her up the stairs the other day and I was filled with such unconditional love for her that I couldn't believe it. She may not be my best behaved girl, but she is very loved in spite of that. Addy is also missing her brother and sister while they are at school, so she gets to help me work on a few projects while they are gone. Ava is growing like crazy. I think that here pretty soon she will have more hair than Addy. She rolls around to get where she wants to be and she is working on getting her self up on to all fours. She is a very happy baby and brings a lot of joy to my life. She always greets me with a smile and some cooing first thing in the morning. It is the best way to get up! She is going to keep her blue eyes, and I'm hoping that her hair stays the brown that it is right now. That's what I wanted to begin with! All in all, we are doing well. We are facing some tough trials, but we have faith that we will continue to grow in love as a family and that we will continue to follow Heavenly Father's plan for our lives. We believe that everything happens for a reason, even the bad things. We trust that Heavenly Father knows the end from the beginnning and that he holds each of us in his hands with great care. We've been living by a quote from President Hinckley: "Keep trying, Be believing, Be happy, Don't get discouraged, Things will work out." Tara :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fun at the Rec Center and Other Happenings...

So, I think it's pretty good that it's only been 10 days between posts as opposed to more than 30 :) This past Friday, the Cody Rec Center celebrated their 11th anniversary, so I took the kids up there to have some good, clean fun. We started out with some of the outdoor games and I am proud to say that both kids hit the target on the dunk tank! They both have their mommy's athletic abilities! Then we did a little bit of slipping and sliding. When we went inside I was a little apprehensive to let them get into the water by themselves, but they begged and begged and they both know how to swim pretty well and they both were ready to wear live vests so, I went ahead and let them play in the shallow end while Ava and I supervised. They had so much fun. Breckin waited under one of the water toys that pour water out when it is full and there was a little incident involving a full moon of half of the pool. However, he did recognize what had just happened and pulled his pants up quickly and returned to playing. Ashlyn grabbed a floating lily pad and was kicking her little heart out. I see a future in competative swimming for her :) Ava slept, watched the kids, ate, and slept some more :) Later, the kids participated in some of the games they had out to play. They one some small prizes that are now lost in the deep recesses of their mess of a room! I'm sure that my vacuum cleaner will find them eventually. Last weekend, Ashlyn, Ava and I made a weekend trip up to Cut Bank, Montana for my great-grandma's 95th birthday celebration. My mom finally got to meet Ava and play with Ashlyn some. The first day,we picked my mom up from Great Falls and we just spent some time with family and then I took the girls back to the hotel so that they could get some sleep before the party the next day. The next morning Ashlyn and I both woke up at about 7:00 and Ashlyn (who was sharing a bed with Grandma Kathy) informed me that her bedmate snored. I busted out laughing, so did my mom. We got ourselves ready, ate breakfast at a cute, old restaurant in Cut Bank and then went over to see how we could help. We set everything up for the party and then entertained guests for a few hours, visited with family and had a really great family dinner prepared, in most part, by my grandma and my uncle. Later that evening, the kids wanted to go swimming and so my mom got in with Ashlyn and my aunt and cousin got in with my cousin's daughter. I opted out because of the questionable color of the water. No body contracted any disease though, so I guess I could have risked it :) Ashlyn saw the 11th hour, that last evening and my mom and I stayed up until 2:00 am just talking and catching up. I really miss her :( The next morning we had breakfast that my great-grandma made for us, which was great, and I took my mom to airport. Ashlyn and I stopped at Sonic and sugared up for the drive ahead. We finally came home, exhasted, at about 7:00. It was a fast but happy trip. Oh, and did I mention that we went to Sonic? :) Today, with the help of some really great tunes, I have gotten the fridge cleaned out and some much needed housework done. I did, however, sleep in until 9:00 which was really nice. I haven't slept that late in probably a year. I feel well rested and ready to tackle the day as well as some of the projects that I've pinned on Pintrest. I started in the kitchen by chopping up some veggies and whatnot for the jar salads I found on there. They are for next week when I'll be washing some windows and just want to be able to grab something really quick for lunch. Here's a pic of some of those. The rest of the day consists of painting Ashlyn's toenails to look like lady bugs and repainting my own finger nails a pale pink with black french tips, also Pintrest finds! There are also some little projects I have in the works. So, here's to sleeping in! P.S. Just for fun, I took this picture of my brother as a baby while we were at my great-grandma's house. Have you ever seen a cuter, fatter baby?!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer is Upon Us!!

Holy cow!!! I can't believe that it's been over a month and I haven't written anything!! That is really sad, considering that I don't have any school work to do right now. I do, however, have four kids, so I guess that it kind of evens out. Summer is here in Cody in full force. It officially begins when I start to get really annoyed by tourists who don't know how to drive :) Seriously folks, with inventions like GPS now, you should be able to navigate your way around our small town without going 10 miles an hour on Sheridan Ave! This summer we have several things planned. This weekend Ashlyn, Ava and I are going up to Cut Bank, Montana to celebrate my Great-Grandmother's 95th birthday. She actually turned 95 in April, but this is most convenient for everyone's travel plans. That is probably the only big trip that we'll take this summer. Updates: For those of you who don't know, Jame was let go from his job in March and has been doing temporary stuff to help pay the bills since then. He did have an opportunity to be the Chief of Police in Byron, but who really wants to be THAT guy?! Everyone hates him and after talking to the new Chief of Police in Powell and getting some advice from him, he decided that it wasn't worth all of the trouble and stress that he would have to go through. He would be away from us for ten to twelve hours a day six to seven days a week, he would have to work up to fourteen hour days during Byron days, they neglected to tell us that the house that they were going to provide was demolished and the land was sold earlier this year, he would be required to write a minimum of sixty citations every month and we would have to change our plates to 9 county :( So, after careful consideration and prayer, he decided not to take the job. Since then, it's been temp work and continuting to look for and apply for jobs. We're keeping our fingers crossed and saying our prayers that he hears something from somewhere soon. We've applied all around the states and right now would be more than willing to move if we found a good fit. Thank goodness we saved our tax return because that has saved our hide, that and paying our tithing :) Ava is growing big. She is awake most of the time and has quite a sweet personality. She is a happy baby and I am so excited for my mom to meet her this weekend! Ashlyn is pretty excited to see Grandma Kathy and her cousin Hailey too!! There's also a swimming pool in our hotel, so she's looking forward to that was well :) Mugga calls Ava, Avy and I have to say that I kind of like it. I might start calling her that too, before she's old enough to get confused :) Anyway, she goes to the doctor tomorrow for her two month check up and I'm hoping that she and I both do okay when she has to have her shots :( I hate that part! Addy is eighteen months old now and she can FINALLY go to Nursery at church! Can I get a Hallelujah?! The girl really knows how to push my buttons. She gets into stuff she's not supposed to, has quite an attitude problem and doesn't seem to grasp the concept of NO! It's a good thing that she's cute or she'd be out! Let's hope that since she entered the terrible two's early, she gets over them quickly because right now it's a battle of wits and I don't know how long I'll be winning when school starts again! Breckin got screened and registered for kindergarten. I met with his IEP team and the team from the Children's Resource Center before his screening and we went over his IEP together. He'll be seeing the Speech and Language Pathologist for some of his pronunciation issues and the Occupational Therapist for the tremor in his hands, it's hereditary, from his dad. He has been attending the Kindergarten Readiness Camp for the past two weeks and will continue next week and the week after. They like to give the Head Start kids a little more time so that they can become better acclimated to the environment and the rules of kindergarten. So far, things have gone pretty smooth, with the exception of the incident with the bus driver this morning. I just have a very low tolerance for rude people and when he tells me that we need to be out there waiting at 7:20 and by the time I get him on the bus and back up to the apartment, it's 7:21, I kind of lose my cool. Don't worry, he'll be hearing about it either this afternoon or tomorrow morning. He should be aware of his poor attitude! This is why I don't want my kids riding the bus, every bus driver I have ever heard of has been a jerk! Anyway, Ashlyn is bored. I told her she could clean her room, but that's boring! We have a list of things to do this summer, but it's been kind of hard to accomplish when there are naps to give, a house to clean, laundry to do, meals to plan and make, messes to clean up and a number of other things. Last week we had a water day with some of their friends and they loved it! This week we're going to Montana. I think I'll try to have a goal for each week. I would love to truck them all over to the park, but it's kind of difficult with only a one seat stroller. I need to find a double stroller so that we can get out of this house more! She is a great helper though, and I really enjoy the special time I get to spend alone with her. We have been reading some of the American Girl books for the summer reading program that the kids are doing. We went through one in a day and will probably finish another one today. That's good because we have to take our trip to the library tomorrow since we won't be here this Friday when we usually do it. Ashlyn also got new glasses! She picked some out that I really didn't think that she would like, but she loooooves them! It wasn't that big of a deal and she got a pretty good treat for being so compliant with the eye doctor :) Here are some images from our summer so far!! Finally, I have turned 29. I am officially going to enter my 30th year of life. I have been married for eight years, I have four children, I have moved a total of seen times in my life, I have taken trips across the country and I have had a very blessed life experience so far. I am so grateful for all of the family and friends that I am priviledged to have. I have learned so much from all of them. I am also very grateful for all of the experiences that I have had in my life, they have helped make me who I am. Through the trials of this life, I have found that I have become more optimisitc and hopeful. I feel that this is one of the divine gifts that my Heavenly Father has given me. I have always thought of spiritual gifts as more temporal things, but I have learned that my bright outlook and attitude in the midst of difficulty is something that I have been truly blessed with. I wouldn't give up this gift for anything! This year I was inspired by another blog to come up with a word of the year, a word that I would live by for the year, so until next June, my word for the year is DREAM! I have a lot of dreams and aspirations that I would love to see fulfilled, many of my dreams I have already seen come to pass. I have a beautiful family that I am close to and I love, I am able to live in a place that I enjoy and that I am comfortable in being in, I am able to continue my education in a field that I enjoy and I have passion for and I have a great support system around me to bouye me up when I feel low. However, there are still many dreams (big and small) that I have yet to fulfill and that is what this year is about! So wish me luck and come back here to join me on my journey to follow and fulfil my dreams!