Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Catching up

I think it's time for a post! I'd like to go back into the depths of my phone for memories.. We started a new school this fall, I've already blogged about it, and my utter love for that place, so, I won't include it here... But it's still just as awesome as it was when we started!

Jaxon had his first pinewood derby, and he Won! Peter was such a great dad. Even though it was an insane time of year for us with opening a new store, he spent time with Jaxon molding and shaping that thing! He won the first pinewood derby he was ever in, so it was important to him to have a very good showing for their first time.

We spent a day at Disneyland on a rare day off of school. Our passes for the year were ending and we were trying toile the most out of our limited time.

We got ready to open our new store! Opening a store is like pushing a boulder up a hill. It is so challenging and those last few days you feel like you are in a pressure cooker! We finally got it open and did 700 pizzas on our first full day open. Peter is always astonished by m marketing efforts... The store is doing well, and we are so happy to be at this point. I also got shingles just a few weeks before we opened. Not a happy surprise. Especially not on my face. It came as a result of stress from managing my job, and some hurtful people in my life. No worries, those people are at a distance now, but I just hate it when you are attacked by people you think are your friends!

It was a trying time for our family, juggling so much on our own is very difficult. With small kids, and 4 of them! And no family around to help lighten the load. Unless you have done it, it is hard to imagine the stress you are put under. Our contractor asked me if it put a strain on our marriage. It most definitely does, however, to date it is nothing like the strain of having a business blow up in your face, losing your entire investment, them being under employed or not employed at all for three years. Simple as that. In some ways,?i wonder if we went through all of that just so the pressure of opening these stores would seem like a cake walk. So far, it does.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A little this, a little that

I think I know what keeps me from posting on my blog. The inability I have to post pictures. I got a few new devices, and I have yet to figure out how to get pics from my device to my blog. I must inquire with a few people to figure it out.

We opened our new store a week ago Wednesday, which was 4 days ago, so, officially 1 week and three days ago. It was much different than our first store opening, where we opened with staff that had been working for three days, most of them never having had their OWN Papa Murphy's pizza. They were confused, slow, and Peter was putting in hundreds of hours at the store when we would run out of dough like, every day. . .

Now, we have 1/2 a trained staff, and 1/2 new, and most of those people who are new have at least heard of us before! They move and learn more quickly because they have people around them who are moving and working quickly, so, they pick it up more quickly. Which is a huge blessing. The pull on the new side of town was intense. Lots of people, very excited people, who couldn't wait to have a store over there. Many would drive across town to get a pizza, and were ecstatic they no longer had to. We worked up to the very last minute to get the store open. As a matter of fact, when the inspector came, our make line wasn't even hooked up. Meaning, we didn't even know if it was going to work yet. But, he let us pass anyway, and I felt like shouting from the rooftops! So much goes into that moment. So much planning, working, ordering, I mean, I can't even describe it. It is so overwhelming that last push. But we did it. A few days later than we wanted to, but we opened the day our print ad dropped, and that was the REAL miracle. (I just realized that a lot of this means NOTHING to you, but when I read it back years from know, I will know exactly what it means, and what it meant, and I want to remember.. because sometimes it seems like we are moving mountains over here!)

My job, as always has been marketing, and getting the word out. I don't know how to go 1/2 way. As a matter of fact, Peter was hoping on giving away 400 pizzas on our second day of opening. (On our first day, we didn't open until 3 p.m. and did not have a lot of time to let people know we were open.) Papa Murphy's mailed out 2500 VIP passes, that would allow people to come and get a free pizza. They did not do this last time, and we had no idea exactly how we would be impacted by this. So, I just went about my job, getting the word out, E-mailing key contacts a VIP pass, and telling them to spread the word. Little did I know how viral it would go, 700 pizzas, and out of dough later. After I counted the mailed passes that were redeemed, it was a total of 57. So, the remaining 643 were given away strictly to the word of mouth I created. Not to mention how many people came, but left because the line was too long. I wish I knew THAT number!  Someone was talking to me last night that they got an email about the grand opening and there were 200 people on the email. That was just one person, and I don't even know if it was someone that I sent the email to originally. Crazy. People were doing their job most certainly, getting the word out, and we are grateful.

My trailer has been in full swing as well. I feel like a carnie folk, traveling around with the Kettle Corn Guy (his name of course) and the Shaved Ice Guy, and the Hot Dog Guy. We all show up at events, say hi, give each other freebies. It's an interesting life.  Most of it I have hired out, because when the stores open, Peter is at the store, and I need to get the kids to their stuff, and so, something has to give. But, I found someone who can do it, and I trust them to do a great job. So far, it's working, and again, I am grateful. Events are always at the same time that I have OTHER events with my kids, so, finding a balance is just about the most challenging thing of all time.

We are coming up to one of the two biggest days of the year. Halloween. What do you do, when you own a pizza store, and the biggest day of the year is Halloween? You work, and you have someone else take your kids trick or treating. Honestly, Halloween is one of my LEAST favorite holidays as a parent. I don't remember not enjoying it as a kid, teen or even young adult, but it didn't take long before I dreaded it as a parent. Thinking of costumes, making everyone happy, making/not making costumes, party after party after party where your kids come home wound up, out of control and on a sugar high that is through the roof. Yeah, I could do without it.

But this year (we missed it last year by three days) I'm working, probably until 7 (i hope the rush has died by then!). Luckily, I have the best 19 year old babysitter a person can have. She is ALWAYS available, and her mom drives her to my house, and picks her up most of the time. She loves my kids, and she agrees to babysit on days like HALLOWEEN. I'm blessed. For real. The only thing that could be better is if she could DRIVE. But alas, she doesn't have a drivers license and isn't planning on getting one. Drat. That is okay, it forces me to arrange my schedule so that I am at  most of the kids events, even if it nearly kills me getting there. Oy.

I can't say I'm surprised at our new life. I knew it would be like this to some extent, but it is always different when you are actually going through it. I am just grateful that we are making it. Some of the tiredness, and run-down-ness is extreme. More extreme than I have ever experienced. However, our contractor, who was an LDS Bishop, recently released, asked me when I was leaving the store at 2 a.m. if doing this was a strain on our marriage. I laughed. Almost out loud. Peter and I had just worked from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. and he asked me if it was a strain on our marriage. I realized that it wasn't. I mean, don't get me wrong. There are times when we are both VERY strung out, and we may not react with the most pleasant of tones, or voices. However, we BOTH decided this and we are in it together. I thought back to just over a year ago, when I was leaving Arizona and praying that the most hellish time in my life was trailing behind me in my rear-view mirror. I couldn't drive fast enough. It wasn't Arizona per-se, but what happened to us while we were there. I was praying that it was coming to an end, and although we are STILL dealing with repercussions from that time, I realized that that time, may have actually been a test, a test to see if we could do this. We passed that test, and this... seems like a complete cake walk, in comparison and retrospect.

I know there's a plan. Sometimes it is so hard to see. But I am grateful for experiences that teach us, that we can endure hardship of any kind. It's been a ride. Quite a ride.

Friday, October 5, 2012

In a School

Abby and Wade are attending  a new school this year, and I am just head over heels about it. Abby regularly  has to memorize poems, and literature, and recite them to her teacher for grade. I have no idea why I think this is a great way to educate, but I do. Something I can't explain. Maybe it is because her first poem that she had to recite was the "SELF DISCIPLINE POEM"
Self Discipline is the virtue we use to manage ourselves and the different parts of our lives,
It involves controlling our tempers, it involves controlling our wishes, it means controlling our appetites, it means controlling our egos, and even controlling our mouths.

Self Discipline not recognizing our limits. Not wanting not wanting too much too soon, and not reaching so far beyond our abilities that you are asking for trouble.

In short, self discipline means saying yes to the right things and no to the wrong things it means taking charge of yourself. And if you do so, you will find yourself a happier, healthier, better person.


I don't know. That is about all you need to do to impress me. I love the classical education format. They whole heatedly believe that memorization is a helpful skill, and practice it regularly. They start teaching French in Kindergarten, and Abby is already learning Latin as well. Since Latin is the base of many languages, I think this is so helpful. They are also very strict. So strict, that Abby has missed 4 assignment (for random reasons, mostly being, she wasn't paying attention, which is her biggest problem) and now she is getting after school detention.

Each child has to shake their teachers hand before they go home, and I just stinking love it. I am so grateful they got in. To be honest, I was on the fence, and I wasn't sure about sending them there at all. It is further away, I had to pay for expensive school uniforms, and Abby has large amounts of homework each night, and her spelling words are words that I still have trouble spelling. Sometimes I can't believe the the words on that list. But she is doing well, and excelling, and being more responsible (despite the missing assignments if you can imagine) and I just love it.

They just read Beowolf, and Abby is retaining so much history, it is astonishing. All about the Byzantine Empire. (?) Most of the material she is covering, I didn't cover until I was in High School. But I honestly believe that children have the capacity to learn much more than we give them credit for. And so does this school. They require it, they expect it. And I love it.


Had to post for posterity.

Please ignore all of the errors, Jaxon has a very hard time spelling.
If you can't read it, the note says as follows:

"I really like Jolly Ranchers. I mean, who doesn't. I really need some candy. Mom said we can't get any Jolly Ranchers. The only thing we can afford is erasers. I am definitely the biggest fan of Jolly Ranchers."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Countdown, and other stuff

Just two more weeks until we open store #2. This is where the incessant hand clapping starts in my head, and I try to keep up with the marching, even when the beat gets to an unsustainable pace. Turns out, it's already backfired. Peter and I left to go to a Papa Murphy's convention on Monday. I worked and worked and worked to get the house ready for the in-laws to see after 6 months. It was a mild success. I still had things that I had left to do, that didn't get done. I had to let it go. On Saturday, two days before we left, I noticed some small eczema developing on my nose. It was a few bubbles, and that happens to me occasionally when the weather changes, although the weather isn't changing, I didn't think it was too suspect.

By Monday morning, the day we left, the bubbles were bigger, and festering. I found myself desperate to hide them from people I would be mingling with at the Convention. I brought some Hydrocortizone cream with me and that night, lathered it on, in hopes to stop the rampant spreading on my face. By morning, I had a boil. I popped it, in desperation before heading off to our meetings. I was careful to not to remove the skin, but just let some of the fluid out. That would turn out to be a colossal mistake. The sore got worse, and started to show signs of infection. By the time we left convention  I was definitely concerned, and planning on seeking  medical advice. Thursday morning, my eye was swollen, which lead me to a hasty Dr.'s appointment at the dermatologist. Their conclusion? MRSA. Just what EVERYONE wants to hear when they have a break neck work schedule for the next two weeks, including an event on Friday. I started stressing about how I was going to cover this event now looking like beating victim with a large sore on the side of my nose, and a swollen eye.

The next morning, after starting a heavy round of antibiotics, my sore had worsened, and I was in full panic mode. Already panicking and stressed over a possible MRSA diagnosis, and now trying to determine why I wasn't getting any better. I returned to the Dr.'s office first thing in the morning, and begged someone to see me immediately. They did. And now, that I had yet ANOTHER bubble forming on the tip of my nose, the dermatologist determined it might be SHINGLES, or SHINGLES AND MRSA. Of course, the culture that they took the day before would not be ready for 24-48 hours, and that would be, oh, SATURDAY. Of course. So, I get to worry all weekend long if I have MRSA, SHINGLES, OR BOTH.

They put me on an antiviral medication as well. With a cream for my nose, and told me to go to the Ophthalmologist to ensure permanent nerve damage wasn't being done to my eye. Awesome. That is ALWAYS news that you want to here. AND they told me to go to the ER if things didn't get better over the weekend. (Another great tidbit of news, don't cha think?)

Luckily, things are progressing, although I still have a quarter size sore on my nose that is practically black and disgusting. I have been taking all of my medications, which leave me feeling queezy, and having a low grade headache all day long, along with aches and pains like I am recovering from the flu. The stress I am feeling is absolutely un-measurable. But I figure I better document this kind of thing, because I am sure when I look back at this time in our lives, I will wonder if it REALLY happened, because it just seems completely UN-REAL. Seriously.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gone too Soon

I really haven't had much experience with death. My grandparents passed away when I was 10-12. One of them before I was even born. I went to the funeral, I remember those things, but because my relationships with my grandparents wasn't that close, I didn't feel the emotional loss.

I really haven't had anyone else in my family pass away. Not even friends. I had a guy I knew in High School die when hit by a car. I liked him, he was nice, but again, I didn't have that connection with him. I mean, I just wasn't that close to him.

When I was moving to California, I put my facebook feelers out (I seriously love facebook for that) and asked if anyone knew anyone who lives in Temecula. I got two hits. One was a relative of someone that lived  in my current ward, and one was a friend of a very good friend of my own. I called both people, they lived in different stakes actually, and spoke at length about schools, areas, neighborhoods, etc. I felt it was the only way I could make an educated decision about where to live and where to have my kids go to school.

One of these people was Claudine Taylor. My friend Nicole, who was a neighbor of mine growing up, and also went to BYU Jersalem with me immediately told me her friend Claudine would be a great source of information. Indeed she was. She would speak with me endlessly about where to live, schools and more. She would never act irritated by my calls, or questions. When I got into town, she checked in with me to see if I was settled, her son applied for work at our store, and quickly became a favorite of mine. (Yes, I totally have favorites). I would speak with her from time to time, but we would go to lunch, and talk about life. She was easy to talk to, I could have told her anything and she would have kept it in total confidence. She was one of THOSE people. It's not like we spoke everyday, or even every week.  We would chat once a month or so, and go to lunch every couple of months. Just to check in with each other. Having such a rocky ride over the past few years, I appreciated her solid friendship, and knew, in a pinch, I could have asked her for anything.

Justin came into work at the beginning of summer, he was getting ready to attend BYU, HI and go on a mission. He said that his mom was sick, and going to a lot of Dr. appointments, and that he needed to quit a few months early because of her illness. I inquired as to what was wrong, and he said the Dr.'s really didn't know. I informed a mutual friend of Claudine's illness, and she said she didn't even know (she was in Claudine's ward) she was sick. Her husband, being in the Bishopric, quickly responded to find out what was wrong. I was told she was going into the hospital. Not being a "daily" friend, I sent her a facebook message, asking how she was doing. It didn't get a response. I asked Justin, he said she was sick, but doing okay. He thought she'd be home that week. Another week went by, she was still in the hospital, my friend in her ward said she didn't think she'd make it!?!?!?! I was stunned, but thought CERTAINLY in this day and age, people don't just die at the age of 43 from "nothing".

Justin left for school at BYU, HI, I thought for sure that was a good sign that she must be getting better, since he had pretty much been caring for his younger siblings all summer long. He got his mission call, and I thought, WOW! Claudine must be elated!!! She heard of his mission call just hours before she passed away. He didn't even get to tell her himself.

The shock and stun to me has been horrifying. I have never felt such a loss in my life. She wasn't even an "everyday" friend, but a solid as a rock friend. My heart was sick for her son, and other small children, she is only a few years older than myself, and the thought of leaving this life without seeing my children grow into adults was shattering my world. I reached out to Justin, and assured him, that we would support him without a doubt, and although he probably has plenty of people who will support him, I wanted him to know, if he ever needed a "mom" to talk to, I would drop everything to be there for him.

I watched him grow into a man in 30 days. He spoke at her funeral. I started crying when I walked into the room. I could hardly believe that I person I went to lunch with at the start of summer was laying in a casket, without a spirit in her body. The feelings were overwhelming. I learned things about Claudine that day that I never knew, I also heard again and again what an amazing person she was, and that, I had experienced first hand. I KNEW she was amazing. Think of the most amazing woman you know, that was her. . .maybe even more so. Caring, loving, friend to everyone, event the friendless. Selfless acts of service constantly. It is devastating to me that she has left this life. But then again, I realize, that such a perfect person did not need anymore time in this life, but is needed in the next. Although my heart aches for this family, and I cried for at least 3 hours yesterday, they were selfish tears. I was crying for myself, because I wouldn't be able to glean any more information or love from her. I needed more time. But now, I will think of Claudine, and her selfless acts of service every time I need to work on being better. She was an incredible example to me, and I am grateful to have known her, even if it was for just a short time.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ants in my pants

A couple of weeks ago I found a big old army of ants on my garbage cans outside.   We haven't had an ant problem "yet" so, I just figured I'd call the pest people and have them come on out.... They did. A few days later, they were in my house! In my boys bathroom, next day, family room, next day, laundry room.... I figured this problem was not going to move  on by I finally called the pest guy AGAIN.

He came, put out bate.. I thought the problem was gone until today.  Nts moved to jaxons room, where they were crawling all over a swim suit, on their way to 5 empty pudding containers under his bed.
 Problem #1 millions of ants
Problem#2 secret food horder who ate all the pudding, and stuffed it under the bed.
Problem#3 jaxon took the swim trunks, and up them BACK IN  HIS DRAWER where all of his clean clothes are now covered in ants.

I hate ants.
Ants are hard to get rid of.
Ants may push me to the loony bin.
I want to go to bed and not get out.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back to School

The kids are back to school, Jaxon started last Wednesday at his old school. . . He seemed okay with going back. As long as everyone else was going back too. (He went to some summer school, and did NOT like that at all!) He is always a ham for the camera... 

 We get normal, 
 Tired of Posing
 Wait, LIKING posing. 
 REALLY liking posing. 
 Now I've done it. Taken ONE too many pictures. 
 I shoulda known....
 Abigail and Wade got into a Charter School. They teach a Classical Education. I am super excited about it. Because they are a great school, and I love the concept of Classical education. 
how hilarious is Wade's face?
 And I'm not going to lie, I like the uniforms. Abby got harassed mercilessly last year for the clothes she wore. I am just happy to have that out of the equation now! We can focus on school. HURRAY! Shirts must be tucked in for the boys, belts on, and no slouchy pants or hairdos. . .

 Wade walked into his classroom with the most sense of purpose I have ever seen in a 5 year old. He walked straight to his seat. Assessed the situation, saw that most people were coloring and went straight to work.

Like he was writing the code for the newest form of nuclear fusion. I'm serious. I didn't get a BYE MOM! Or a tear or a nothin'. This kid just went to work like it was his mission in life. Now that I think about it, maybe it IS his mission in life. He loves school, school loves him. I see a great blending of two very smart grandfathers here.....Pretty much, is options are limitless.  

Abby, being in 6th grade, would NOT let me walk her to class. Even on her first day, so, I walked myself there and took pics from the doorway. She is in the back of the room, emptying her backpack... Now that we have been in school for a week, I am realizing the blessing this school is for her. It is perfect for her. She is acting more confident in her abilities, and seems more focused and sure, and I love it. 

This is one of the things I love about their new school. The teacher in this pic was talking to them about how to form a straight line, how to shake hands, and greet a teacher. Administrators from the school stand all over in the morning and greet the students with a handshake. A student is expected to return the shake and say 'good-morning', and look that person in the eye. They care about respect, and they believe the having it, is the right way to live your life. . . . me too. 

 I have no idea where she gets her attitude from. None. 
heaven help me. 
 Kaylie went to school too. She is at Ms. Michelle's, where Wade went to preschool last year. I am not going to lie, Ms. Michelle's is NOT close to my house. However, after Wade finished preschool last year, I decided that Ms. Michelle was the best darn Preschool teacher any of my kids had ever had, and I wasn't going to lose her. Although I had told her that I was going to be putting Kaylie somewhere closer to me, I totally changed my mind in the middle of the summer and decided to put her in. SOMEHOW we got back in, and doesn't she just look ready for school. Uhhh huhhh. She's ready for sure. 

So far, so good!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Endzone Dance

I went up to my room tonight, after I had packed up all the school supplies that have been sitting on my counter and cluttering it for a couple of weeks now, and I felt like spiking a football and doing the football dance!!! I DID IT! I FINISHED YET ANOTHER SUMMER!

Actually, for the first time since I can remember having kids in school, summer wasn't all that bad. Actually, it was kind of enjoyable. My kids love going to the beach, and so do I, so, that makes for some fun. They were involved in a few activities, so many actually, that I was kind of sick of running around all the time. The only thing I DIDN'T like about summer this year was patrolling the television. It didn't matter if I said they could watch it or not, someone was always trying to sneak it in. Or watching it when I was gone, etc. I need to vamp a new plan for next summer where I don't have to be such a watch dog on the TV.

Jaxon and Abby started Piano this summer which has been such a blessing. Abby has just blossomed with it. I actually kind of liked that she had a year long break. She knew just enough about the piano that when she started back up with it, she felt confident and enjoyed what she was doing. Now she is putting together songs that I just never thought I would hear her play, and it makes my heart sing for sticking with it, even though she took a year off. Taking a year off was not intentional, I couldn't find a piano teacher! But now, I am pleased as punch that I persisted and she is doing it, and doing it well. LOVE IT.

I finally enrolled Jaxon as well. If you think you have a child who complains about something just ask if you can come hang out with Jaxon for a day. It DOES NOT MATTER that his job has been to empty the dishwasher every single day for the past two years. Every time I tell him to do it you would think that he has just been sentenced to a life term in prison. There is whining and complaining and huffing and puffing. I have become so immune to it that it doesn't even bug me anymore when he does it. (However, it drives me INSANE when my other kids do it) But I just expect it from him. #Autism. Ugh. I was hesitant to put him in piano because it would be yet ANOTHER thing I have to badger him to do. However, I have found out that if I ask him to practice ANY OTHER TIME OF DAY THAN RIGHT BEFORE BED, he wines, he moans, he runs away after only playing one song. But, if he practices RIGHT before bed, he just sits and plays all of his songs with absolutely NO complaining. I would think with him being tired that it would just be a million times worse. I am thankful for small miracles like this. I mean, I am lucky that A- I tried to get him to practice at a different time (it was a total fluke) and B- That I even NOTICED that he did such a better job! I am so grateful. Such a small mercy from Heavenly Father.

Wade starts Kindergarten tomorrow, and I am so excited for him! I am not sure if I will cry. I never have with the other kids. Maybe I will for him because I have such a soft spot for him, but on the other side, I am so excited for him to get to put his brain to use all day long because I have the BIGGEST battle with him, and wasting time. However, he LOVES to learn, so, I am happy that challenge will be placed with his teacher for a time.

Work has already started a full swing, and I had no fewer than 6 calls on Friday for fundraisers. Some of them for next week even! I am not sure yet how I will be all places and do all things, but I find that a way always comes together. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to make a difference with our business, but sometimes it takes a toll on my little family. Luckily, everyone seems to take it in stride. I am sure there will be lots of family memories of "going with mom in the trailer to do a fundraiser." Abby got her taste last week when I took her out in 100 degree weather and we baked 15 pizzas in a a trailer, with three ovens going,  with no air conditioning! I am not gonna lie, I was just as miserable as she was, but of course, I couldn't show it. MAN, it was hot.

So I sit here in my mostly clean house, waiting for tomorrow when my kids are going to wake up and leave the house and it will STAY mostly clean!!! I can't wait for that moment. But I am blessed with 4 great kids. Sometimes I look around the table and I cannot believe that I gave birth to every single one of them. Fed them everyday, changed diapers, nursed them through all sorts of sicknesses, and kept them alive for all of these days. It really is a miracle. So far, I have spent 4045 days being a mother. Can you believe that? I sincerely can't. I think that we have a selective memory because after that many days it just seems like it would be an impossible task. There were times in my life where I wasn't sure if I would have the privilege of being called "Mom" in this life, but I am so grateful that I am. So grateful that I have made it this far, and so grateful for the fantastic kids that I have.

Friday, August 17, 2012


This is something that I just HAD to post. It know it has been all summer. ALL SUMMER, I never thought I would drift off so horribly. But, I can't help it. Having 4 kids in summer activities is juuuuuuuuuuust enough to be too much for me. And now, since school is starting, I am filling that time with work. But because my main motivation for blogging is keeping a record for my children, I MUST write about Wade.

He is touted as the Golden Child in our family. He is smart, cute, funny. He whistles, knows how to read (he hasn't started kindergarten yet), and he pretty much taught himself. He is smart as a whip, and remembers EVERYTHING you tell him, which is why I have to record these few stories for posterity.

Peter was taking Wade to football practice and the back seat was full. He decided to just let him sit up front for the short drive rather than unload all the boxes from his car. Wade was giddy with excitement stating the obvious fact, "I've NEVER been able to ride in the FRONT before!" Peter explained to him that was because there are airbags in the front seat, and if they go off, they could hurt him. Wade paused and asked, "What are airbags?"  Peter took to youtube for an instructional video and let Wade watch this.

Pretty intense and all. Wade got to practice, had football practice and when he returned to  Peter's car, got in veeeeeeeeeeeery cautiously, and after getting in, leaned waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over to the side over the arm rest almost all the way into Peter's side. When Peter asked what he was doing, he said, "I don't want the air shoots to hit me!" I didn't know all of this had taken place until the next day when Wade waltzed into the  kitchen and said, "Mom, will air shoots kill me?"

Wade has had a slight fascination with death lately, and I had NO IDEA what air shoots are. To be honest, we really discourage any kind of talk of guns and killing people in our house. I guess I just never want to plant that seed.. Anyway, I asked HIM what air shoots were and he said, YOU KNOW! The THINGS IN THE CAR!!!! I said, AIR BAGS? And he said YEAH!!!!

He was obviously traumatized, and I casually said they wouldn't hurt him, and later told Peter the story and he related to me the conversation he had with Wade. Wade is STILL concerned about it everyday, and today he was looking all over my car for the airbag insignia's and kept asking me where they all are. He is HORRIFIED by them.

Wade could be crippled for the rest of his life by irrational fears. If you don't remember this one, you definitely need to watch it again..   It's just a small glimmer of when his irrational fears started...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


This is such a weird feeling. I have never had this feeling before. . . Nothing is going on.
We aren't going anywhere for summer vacation.
Peter is home. A LOT, because he just hired a manager for the store.
My kids are home, and don't have a ton of things to do.
I mean, I have signed them up for a few summer things, but, in all, it doesn't fee like much.
I am working, but it is definitely slower in the summer.
I watch other people's lives swirling around me.
And I am grateful.
That I am not packing a box,
or trying to find a place to live,
or making life changing decisions,
or having major upheaval,
or devastation,
or anything else.
I am SO grateful.
And although I am probably at my best when I have a little bit of stress,
I am grateful that there is no stress.
I am just plum happy about it.
I may finally have a normal life.
Like you all have had for many, many years.
Where you don't move,
and you don't pack boxes,
and you don't stress about where to live.
or what your husband is going to do for work,
And I can say that because it is my blog.
And I don't feel bad about it.
Not one bit.
I still look back on my life and wonder what on earth was happening,
and wonder how on earth I survived it.
And realize man! I DID SURVIVE IT!
And I now see other people, with their turn,
for whatever.
And I am here for you, for them.
If you need me.
Because I understand.
And I am grateful for that too.
Because that is what life is about.
Having compassion.
I wonder if this feeling will ever go away.
Or if I will just continually be amazed that I made it to this point.
It feels good.
And I am grateful.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Turning Tides

The other day we were all in the car at 3 p.m. Peter and I were checking out locations for our next store, which will hopefully be opening in September. At the last minute we decided to go out to dinner. This is totally rare for us because a) it is expensive to take 6 people to dinner, and b) we have 4 kids, 10, autistic, 5 and crazy.

Peter decided we would take everyone to AN ACTUAL RESTAURANT. Again, something we don't do. We usually go to such establishments as Chick fil A, Wendy's, and Panda Express when we are in need of a quick dinner. Even visits to these places are rare, and only after we have already had pizza for the week.

We walked down the Mall corridor with our family, and I could hardly believe my eyes. They were all walking, talking, and acting like civilized creatures, and suddenly, I could hardly wait to see them all as adults, and siblings spending time together and relishing in family time.

We were seated and played a simple game of I spy while waiting for our food. A game which everyone LOVES. And I looked around, and could hardly believe my eyes. We were all in a restaurant. Everyone was behaving themselves (generally) and we were all enjoying our selves! I wasn't rushing a baby out, or trying to keep someone happy with a sugar packet, or changing a diaper, or trying to make a bottle with restaurant water, or yelling at anyone for getting under the table, or walking someone in a stroller while we were waiting for food. OR ANYTHING ELSE. I was just sitting there.... enjoying the moment. And it was indeed a magnificent moment.

I took  a picture with my heart, because it was sweet. I am loving watching these people grow and develop. It is exciting, and rewarding, and I just don't know what I would do without a single one of them.

Life is good.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


This little boy captured my heart long ago. He was an easy baby. Smiled at 2 weeks old, he has always been  my buddy and pal, and maybe, just maybe, he will be the reason I cry for the first time when I send a kindergartner to school.  He is fun, and usually happy go lucky. Usually obedient, but can also be a great big punk. It's so hard for me to discipline him at times because he has a full fledged grip on my heart. 

He Loooooooooooooooves baseball. And when his daddy told him that it was his last game for the season the other day he nearly died of shock. It was ruining his little world, and I love that about him too. 
When I tell him to get ready for baseball he happily gathers all of this things, underwear and "cup" to boot. 

He is smart as a whip, is reading on a first grade level. His favorite video right now is school house rock, and I swear he just loves it because he wants to soak in every last bit of information it provides. Yesterday after his last day of preschool, his teacher gave him a math workbook, and he insisted on coming home and working on it. He wanted to finish it all in one day. 

His teacher cracked me up with what she said about Wade, because it is literally and exact description of Peter. Peter and I both have our mini-me's he has Wade, and I have Kaylie. In all the good ways, and in all the bad. 

Someone remarked after his performance to me that he was the only one who knew all the songs. He loves to sing and he loves to know all the words! He insists on getting out the hymnal at church, and wants to follow along. 

 He is a complete joy to me... even when he is being a punk. And I just love him to pieces. His teacher said he grew 4 inches this year. She has been teaching preschool for 10 years and has never had a child grow 4 inches in a single school year. She said she has kids grow 3, a lot, but never 4. I would never know because he refuses to wear pants, so, I don't usually notice that he has grown and inch or two.... But he is a VERY big boy, and solid as a brick.
 I really don't know what I am going to do next year when he is in school full time. I will miss him tremendously, and I am sad that we won't have that daily connection anymore. He always has been a total joy. Even from day one. Most of his life is on this blog, because I started it right around the time he was born.
Here are a few videos of his performance, and words from his teacher to give you and idea.

Ps- I recently migrated a bunch of old videos from google video, and many of them are Wade as a baby. Click on a few, and you will see why we love him so much!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kaylie Bug

Woah, this is quite liberating actually!!! I have been thinking about that issue for quite some time, and because of it, I didn't feel like I could do posts like this... 
But now I can, 
So I will. 
This is my 3 year old. 
She rocks my world, every, single, day. 
She poses for a lot of pictures. 
Most of which are taken with my cell phone. 
Not all are taken by me. 
Actually, she and Wade will randomly steal my phone and snap pix. 
This one, I think was snapped by Wade, or Abby, 
but I just think it's kinda funny. 
 Her hair is wild. She gets mad when I comb it, but I can't bring myself to cut it. The wild mane defines her. It is a part of her. WILD, in every way.
 I love looking at her. Most of the time, I am just thinking about how wild she is, and how I can't believe that I survive almost every day with her.
 She CAN be super sweet. In the morning, she wakes up and usually leaves me alone until I wake up, then she informs me that she has pooped her diaper (that she wears to bed). Every morning we have the same conversation. . . "Kaylie, you should take your diaper OFF, and go poopoo in the POTTY!" "I'm SORRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" She says! (Usually over and over and over) She can't STAND it when people are mad at her. She will often get upset, and even mad at times if you are mad or upset with her. (hmmm, doesn't sound like ANYONE I know)
 I am obsessed with her eyelashes, and her nose. Seriously. I can't handle it, and most of the time, I take a picture because I want to try to capture them at this age.
 She has the looooooooooooooooooongest legs. I am worried she will clear my height. I am not worried that she will be tall, I am worried that she will be taller than ME. I can't imagine. I hope my fears are not founded.
 She often falls asleep in this position. I think it is sooooooooooooo cute. I LOVED watching TV in this position when I was a kid. It just reminds me of . . . me.
 Her nose is bulbous and round at the bottom. I want to squeeze it all the time. And I do squeeze it A LOT. And she is patient with me, and lets me.

 She takes after her brothers, and is super aggressive. Peter says team sports is going to save her, or she may end up in jail.
 She likes to be happy, and party and it's usually more than I can handle. I am blessed to have miss sarah that takes her twice a week. THANK HEAVENS FOR MISS SARAH!!!!!

 Kaylie likes to take pictures of me eating shrimp tacos.
Did I mention she likes to fall asleep in this chair?
I am so glad that I can say that I am grateful for her. It took me three years. But now, I can... I just wouldn't have used the word "grateful" until now.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Private Eyes

Okay, so, I was serious when I said I had to take this blog private. I always HATE IT when blogs go private. However, our family is out there, A LOT. Meaning, I am constantly promoting the store, we have news articles, I have facebook friends that are really just more "associates" because of our new business, and so, comes the death of the public blog. :( It is one of the reasons I've been kinda quiet over here. I mean, I put up a blog post, and I have made it so it automatically tweets to my facebook page. Yeah, I don't know how to make it stop. :( But regardless, a quick google search would bring up my friendly little blog, and far too many people have access to our name, and we live in a CRAZY WORLD YA'LL!

So, before we blow this town up with Papa Murphy's, I think it is best to have this here "public forum" be a little less "public" if you know what I mean. NOW, I will just about invite everyone on the planet to come along if I know you! Or even sorta know you, imaginary, or non-imaginary, or blog land or real land friend, but this time it's for reals. Because I have got to get back to my blog, but this whole privacy issue is kind of nagging at me. So, either get on! Or GET OFF! :) Just kidding. I am still going to facebook when I update my blog, because what I hate more than a private blog is that your reader doesn't bring it up when you post, which means, I eventually STOP checking your blog, and heavens knows I would HATE to have that happen! So, instead of that, I will just put it on out there that it is updated and you can check it.

Anywho, those of you who know me, know that this is driving me BONKERS, but, I kinda sorta feel like I really need to... This town is just a titch too small. :) In a good way.

Message me, email me, text me, comment me your address, and in the next few days, you'll be in like flynn. LOVES!


Sunday, April 22, 2012


I was reading a parenting book last night.

Shock of ages.


Reading parenting book.

I will admit, I would rather allow TV land to take me to another life, but in this case, Peter was doing something  that seemed like it may need reflection, so, I read.

It talked about keeping a notebook for your kids. Just about what they are doing, what their likes, and dislikes are etc. What they are working on, what they are succeeding in, etc.

I think she intended it to be a way to reflect upon your children. Really focus on them, and understand them. Maybe in doing so, inspiration will come. At first I was like, HA! I don't have time to even blog! And then I thought, wait, I  have done this ON my blog. Which I think is a great idea. However, if I do this on a regular basis, I may have to go to an "invited only" status.  Don't worry, I will invite anyone who WANTS to be invited, but rather than have too much information about my kids accessible, it is better to air on the side of caution.

But I liked the idea. REALLY liked the idea. Because I want to remember things. And I want to do a better job at recording them.

Blogging is still an outlet for ME, but since I have less and less time to actually do it, I figured I will have to "make" some time. Hopefully Sundays, hopefully once a week, hopefully it will include a snapshot, hopefully it will talk a little bit about my kids (I don't want to rely on facebook to remember all the funny things they do. It's not very easy to navigate or search).

So, here is my first


Me: Amazingly enough I did not have any Papa Murphy's events this week. The first thing that slips when I am doing lots of events is the housework. Grocery shopping, (i.e. I only make food with what I have on hand, which makes for small, not so great meals) Laundry (which means I do it, but it remains unfolded and in a super human pile of clean laundry either in the laundry room, where everyone has to crawl over it, or in my bedroom, where I feel like I no longer have my own space) and cleaning (this one drives me the most batty because I am hating dust right now, and right now I have LOTS of it. IN ABUNDANCE). I did dust ONE room, and that felt good, but now I would like to get to the other 8. I would like to finish reading this parenting book and have decided that in my spare time (of course now that most of my TV shows are ending) that I will clean/organize some rooms/closets, read, and get my garage situated so that someone can park in it. (It's the little things, right?) Oh, and get the mail, because I don't remember the last time I picked it up.

Abby: Abby is taking some classes right now. She takes a theater class on Mondays, and an Art Class on Tuesdays and sometimes has activity days on Wednesdays. Right now, I am finding that Abby is NOT a morning person, and is less likely to like to do things in the morning. However, she is a night OWL (okay, this is not new info) But, I can get her to do more things at night because she wants to stay up. However, that makes for less of a morning person. (Bad cycle) I am having fun walking with her in the evenings, and find that she just totally spills her guts to me. I love that. I hope to make it last. She is doing a better job of helping her sibs, and actually taking on some babysitting responsibility. She does a good job with it when asked, and I think she likes it.

Jaxon: We have decided to medicate him. Yep. The past few weeks have been trying a new drug, and seeing if it helps. The good news is, it helps. The bad news is, he is MORE crazy if someone forgets to make sure he takes his medication. :( In the end, I hope we find something that works, for all of us. He also passed the first round (I had no idea there was more than one round) of gifted testing. I was surprised by this, because Abby is so crazy creative, I thought she would be my first child to do so. However, Jaxon is. I don't know if they will put him in the program, because currently, he is in special ed, and I just don't know if they would, but, I kind of hope they do, because he is a creative learner, and I think the lesson plan/curriculum would be great for him.

Wade: I'm not kidding. This kid knows how to get just about anything he wants. He is knows that if he is super sweet, he can just about get anything. A skill I am sure he plans on refining. He got super sick this week. He doesn't get sick very often, but when we does, he almost can't handle it. :(It's so sad. He just gets super sad, and hibernates like a little bear. He is smart as a whip, and I cannot WAIT for him to start school next year just because I don't have the time to really push him. He has read through the first 12 books on hooked on phonics, and I actually try not to push him to do more because I don't want him bored out of his gored in Kindergarten. I just don't know. I am sure that is not a great game plan, but it's all I've got right now. He Loooooooooooooves baseball, and this is our first foray into team sports with him. It is super fun to watch, but lately, with sickness, weather and spring break, we've missed a lot of games!!

Kaylie: Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh. This girl is crazy challenging. Peter says is like a rock, meeting an immovable object. Neither one of us will budge. Case in point, Kaylie is harassing Jaxon in the car. I say, Kaylie, stop. She says, No. I say Kaylie, give me the headphones (I can't quite reach them) She says, "No". I say Kaylie, say sorry to Jaxon, she says, "NO" .  At this point, she is directly behind me and we are driving on the freeway and there is NOTHING I CAN DO. She seems to sense this, and digs in. I am in a whole heap with this girl. The other day, I told her to get in her car seat, and she said, "It's MY LIFE!" She's starting young.....

Well, I don't think i'll solve the world's problems, but I am sure I will learn something.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring Break

 I love spring. There are sooooooooooo many reasons for me to love spring! The flowers come out, (aren't these AMAZING?? They are at my favorite beach spot)
 There is my Anniversary. .. We did lots of fun things this year, a visit to Pinks, a back lot tour, and a visit to the Staples center to see a Lakers/Clippers game. It was fantastic, of course.
 The sun is out, and everyone is happy to be outside. The weather is mild, and the kids are out of school for a few weeks so I don't have to maintain that killer school schedule. . .
 We get to go the beach, and I am going to tell you right here, and now, that there is NOTHING I love more than going to the beach. Who doesn't want to sit in the sun all day, and watch the surf roll in??
 My kids are finally getting big enough where I don't have to worry too much about them. The ones that CAN handle the water, I have a hard time getting OUT of the water, and those that can't play happily in the sand. I hope they love it as much as I do when they are my age. I mean, I think they love it now, but I hope their love just grows stronger...
 I finally took Easter pictures this year.(first year in like... 4) Of course, I didn't take the time to grab my NICE camera, even though I was home. These shots would have turned out soooooooooo much better. But they are documented still the same. 

 Taking pictures with 4 kids is NEVER easy.
 Especially when you have a few posers...
 These pictures make me so happy. I have 4 healthy, happy children.. . .
We have our fair share of challenges, and a large work load, but things are on a better keel. . .
I look back at where we've been, and I am so grateful to be HERE. I post pictures of my family at Disneyland and at the beach because I can hardly believe we are there myself! It is wonderful to be in a place where we finally feel settled, and even though there is a lot to do, we have a HOME, and our kids like it here, and they are growing, and thriving.

I am grateful, so grateful. I would not rather be in another place, or another time. I am blessed, and I know that the challenges we have are for our good. I feel peace. Because I know that God lives, and has a hand in our life. I am reminded daily of that.


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