Sunday, June 25, 2017

Benson's Big Debut at the Elm Tree Ward

Today Benson made his big debut at church. We made it to all three hours of church and honestly, it was a miracle. I told Chris last night that I wanted to go to church this week. I never should have said my wish out loud, because what ensued was one of our worst nights with Benson yet. It was unreal. I felt so sleep deprived this morning that I could hardly sit up to feed Benson. But I fed him and then after burping him, I laid him next to me in bed. I then laid back down and tried to pass out from exhaustion. Benson, however, had other plans and he proceeded to project spit up all over me and my bed. Like an insane amount of spit up and it just kept coming.
So then I thought, "there is no way I can get this all cleaned up, get him cleaned, me showered and ready with makeup, my bed stripped and sheets in the wash and get my other three kids ready in time for church." I thought, "oh well, we will try again next week and I'll send Chris and the older three to church today." But then I remembered the peace I had felt the night before when I had resolved to go to church and actually take the sacrament. I needed it. I needed to be at church. After determining to make it happen, I flew around the house like a crazy person, shoving shoes on feet and strapping bow ties on boys. All the while, Chris was flipping pancakes and pouring syrup like a boss so the kids could eat breakfast. I showered, quickly did my hair and threw on some makeup and we made it out the door in time for church. It was basically a modern day miracle!
But the truly miraculous thing was the amazing spirit that was felt during sacrament meeting. My kids behaved and I was able to listen to all the speakers. I was able to take the sacrament and actually think about my covenants. I was able to feel the spirit and love from my Savior. It was something that had been missing in my life for the last month and I hadn't realized how badly I had been missing it. I'm so grateful for the confirmation I felt today. I had made the right choice and Heavenly Father immediately blessed me for it. It's not often that we see blessings come into our lives immediately after making a good decision, but today the proof was there right away. My Heavenly Father was mindful of my state of mind and knew I needed help right then. He knew that I needed to have my eyes opened and my heart lifted right away. If for no other reason than to prove to myself that even on the craziest mornings, we can do it. We can get our family to church and when we make the effort to get us there, our Savior makes up the difference and the spirit felt during sacrament meeting will make it all early morning church prep worthwhile. I'm so grateful for the gospel and the peace and security it brings in my life and into our home.

Oh and because this picture is too cute not to share, here are my four babes all ready for church this morning.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Benson's Blessing Day

How sweet is this baby boy? I love him so much!
Today, Chris blessed him at church. We actually ended up blessing him at the Mtn. Home Ward because we were visiting for Father's day. It made more sense than making everyone come to our ward in another couple weeks. Joseph and Sarah were already visiting with their families so we were all there together.
Chris gave a beautiful blessing. 

Here is a group picture of the family that was able to attend the blessing. 
Papa, Uncle Johnny, Bishop Fox and Brother O'Brien were in the blessing circle with Chris. 
We are a family of six these days. 
I'm so incredibly grateful for this man. He's such a great guy. I'm grateful that he holds the priesthood and is able to bless our babies  and me when needed. I'm so grateful that the gospel is the foundation of our family and that I know it will always be a priority in our lives. 

After the blessing we all went back to Nanny and Papa's house for a small luncheon. Aunt Robin, Paul and Mrs. Kate and her husband Dale came over. Joseph and his family were there waiting for us when we got home from church. It was so fun to eat and chat. Benson got passed around and loved on and everyone adored him. 

We served chicken salad and PB&J for the kids. Then  cookies and lemon bars for the treat. Oh and we had veggie cups and punch. 

We truly are feeling very blessed to have little Benson in our lives. He's such a sweet baby and he is so very loved!

It was a beautiful blessing and a wonderful luncheon full of love, family and friends. It doesn't get much better than that!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Gone Fishin'

Each year our cute little city of Centerton hosts a kid's fishing derby. Last year we missed the majority of it and the kids didn't catch anything because they got there right at the tail end of it. 
But this year we marked it on our calendar, got ourselves up early, loaded up the van and we got there right after it opened. And we had the best time. It wasn't hot yet, the fish were still biting and the kids were still happy. Total success!
Tanner was the first to cast in and he immediately caught a fish. 
Next Daddy helped Tuck get his pole all set and before he could string Bailey's fishing pole, Tucker had caught a fish and he had to help him reel it in. Tucker was very excited until he actually saw the fish and then he didn't want to hold it or touch it. 
Do you love Bailey's hat? When we registered at the entrance, each kid got to pick out a new hat. Tucker decided he wanted to just keep the one he was wearing, but Bailey picked out this obnoxious camo/pink hat and she loves it so much. Tanner also picked out a camo hat. I loved that all their little faces were shielded from the sun and they loved that they got "cool new hats". 
How cute are these anglers? 

Here is Tuck reeling in his second fish. Again, didn't want to touch it. 
Daddy casting for Bailey. It's a good thing we had Daddy around because he kept these kids in business. They were pulling out fish left and right and it was awesome. He would get one fish unhooked and get that line back in the water and another kid would be reeling in a fish. 
I love this boy and his cute smiles. He's so happy all the time!
Look at this awesome catfish. Tanner actually caught a tagged fish and he won a prize. He got to pick from a bunch of prizes and he picked out his very own tackle box. Pretty cute. 
Bailey with her catch. She was pretty proud of this big fish. 

The limit was three fish per kid, we decided to stop at 7 fish instead of 9. We had more than enough to feed us for at least two meals. These kids had so much fun fishing. We left just as the morning started to warm up and it was perfect. Benson happily hung out in my front carrier and the two of us were in charge of snacks and drinks. While Dad kept the kids fishing poles going, we kept the kids fed and hydrated during this little adventure. 
We all had a great time and we went home with some very happy fishermen. Thanks to the city of Centerton and the fish hatchery for hosting this awesome event. We look forward to next year!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Nanny's LIFE SAVING Visit

I can't even begin to express how grateful I am to my Mom. She's the greatest and I wouldn't have survived the last two weeks without her. I really don't think I would have made it. Nanny left this morning and I cried my eyes out. Chris is back at work (he only took three days off- two of those days we were in the hospital) and I am super nervous to be home with all four kids. But thanks to my mom, I'm well rested and I will just take it one day at a time. 

We had so much fun with Nanny while she was here taking care of all of us. We went to "National Donut Day" and got free donuts at Krispy Kreme.  
On another day we went to the Museum of Native American History together. This place was so cool. We had a great time learning all about the Native Americans and searching for our souvenir arrowheads. 
The kids spent lots of time with Nanny playing and reading together. Nanny brought a "survival kit" with her. Inside this kit were treats, activities, coloring books, puzzles and more. She came super prepared and the kids loved it. 
The kids also spent lots of time playing in the backyard together.
They really love playing superheroes and it cracked us up.
One day Nanny I watched the kids play through the dining room windows while we took turns snuggling Benson.
These superheroes had so much fun together. I love that they include Tucker and happily play all together. 

We watched tv, ate yummy food and and really enjoyed our time with Nanny.
One day she brought home sushi for all of us. Tanner was soo excited. It was adorable. 
These kids are so lucky to have such a wonderful Nanny. 

I'm completely terrified to be home alone with my four kids without help, but I'm grateful for all the time I had with my Mom. I will always cherish the memories we made. While Chris was gone for drill, Nanny and I would stay up and watch TV together and talk.
My mom was constantly letting me go back to bed and nap while she kept the kids happy. She would bring me Chick-Fil-A and let me eat in my room in peace. She kept me from getting too exhausted and was always looking for ways to help. She's so great. So THANK YOU Nanny for everything. I hope to one day be half the mother you are! 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Berry Bash Fun

Chris left on Thursday for a 4 day drill in Mountain Home, but luckily we still have Nanny here to take care of us. I think I may die when she goes back home. Today Nanny and I took the kids to the "Berry Bash" in Rogers. It was our first real outing with all the kids and it went pretty well. Nanny held Benson the entire time while I took the kids around to the different booths.
Our first stop was fishing. Tucker loved this. 
While Tucker was fishing, Tanner learned how to make a candle. He dipped  his very own candle and was so proud of himself. 
And Bailey got her face painted. I thought she might ask for a strawberry or some kind of berry since we were at the "berry bash" but no- she asked for a rainbow ladybug. lol. What in the world? This girl, she cracks me up. She nice clown lady happily obliged and Bailey was thrilled with the result. 

Unfortunately, after the other girls in the face painting line heard Bailey ask for a rainbow ladybug, the all decided they needed one too. I think this poor lady spent the rest of the day painting very colorful insects. It turned out pretty cute, actually.
We had fun looking at the different booths. 
Then it was time for a pony ride. 

And we checked out the baby chicks
Then we played some games and each of the kids won a bag of jelly beans. They were so thrilled with their prizes. 
Look at these happy jellybean smiles. 
Benson in his typical place- in Nanny's arm.
Then it was time for lunch. We grabbed some hot dogs and water bottles and tried to cool off. It was starting to get pretty hot. 
I love this boy and his sweet smiles. 

This was our first real outing and I know I wouldn't have survived without my mom. She's the best. I sure love all these kids of mine. I still can't believe I have four kids. Seriously- blows my mind.
But I love them all so much. I'm so lucky to be their mom. 
Yay for a successful Berry Bash outing.