"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly."
-Pres. Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Surprise 75

Thanks to Jenn and Kristie, we were able to pull off a whopper of a surprise party for Grandma Kaiserman's 75th birthday coming up!  Complete with photo collages, best friends, her whole family, and enough sheet cake to feed an army, it was a day to remember.

Grandma Kaiserman was only 65 when Dallas and I got married, so I've been able to form a wonderful relationship with her.  Since we are the only family in Heber together, that means we get to see them a lot- something that I am very grateful for.  She feeds us nearly every Sunday, and we play as many card games and Scrabble matches as we can fit in.

energizer bunny
fastidious housekeeper
best baby talker on the planet
excellent cook
service minded


Sierra and Paige

Amy, Kierra and Santanna Kaiserman

Mark, Dallas and Seth

Mark and Kallie in the sleeping corner

Kaitlin, Wendi and Kassidy Kaiserman

Abby and Kait

Allison and Jenn

Me, Abby and Kallie

Will, James, and lizards Speedy and Big Fat

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


This summer in our lovely little valley, they are doing a program called "UnPlugged".  At the end of the school year they issued a challenge to the children to spend less time watching TV and video games, and more time playing outside.  As an incentive, they came up with 101 things to do this summer and offered a "brag tag" to all those who completed it.

We've had a ball collecting tags and doing all kinds of things this summer.  We've explored Cascade Springs, made s'mores and homemade ice cream, swam, played soccer, had a lemonade stand and a water balloon fight- not at the same time, walked dogs, watered flowers for grandma, made and flew paper air planes, rode a carousel, picnicked in the park, and much much more!

What I'm most proud of is that the kids pledged to go ten days straight with no electronics- no cartoons or movies, no computer, no Nintendo, and no iPod.  They did it, and it wasn't even that hard!

As part of the program, the kids get entered into a weekly drawing to win $100.  Each tag is assigned a point value, and for every 5 points you get an entry.  Will entered in 15 entries last week and won!  Will split the money with Annie, took out $5 for tithing, and wanted to save the rest.  He is such a smart (and kind!) boy, and I am so proud of him.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Annie Turns 4

This year Annie helped me plan her very first friend party.  She made it really easy for me- she wanted to go swimming in a little pool with her friends, and then come inside and watch a Strawberry Shortcake movie with treats.  Done!

This picture of the party cracks me up.  Kids!!!
Back Row:  Beckham Carter, Will, Julian Thomas and Peter Haas, Front Row:  Brinley Studdert, Roma Carter, Annie, Tobin Thomas and Andi Haas
Her cake instructions were simple:  "I want a cake that has a little toy that I can take off and play with."  So, I kept it simple this year.  I'm still recovering from making her princess castle cake from last year.

 Her party was on Friday, and her actual birthday was on Saturday.  Unfortunately she woke up with the stomach flu!  Even though she felt awful and couldn't play with friends, she still was so happy.  She was so excited to be 4!  I did take her to Walmart to pick out a gift with some of her birthday money, and she chose a Hello Kitty camp chair. 

We love our Annie.  She is completely goofy- entertaining us with stories of "Bulldog Boy" during dinner, dressing herself in the craziest of outfits, and she packs all kinds of purses, bags, and baggies with every small toy imaginable.

She has tons of personality in that little marshmallow body of hers.  She can be the sweetest thing you've ever seen, or the naughtiest- depending on her mood. 

Annie still loves Teddy and Bluey (her blanket) more than anything else.  She is getting better at writing her letters and writes her name very well.  She can't wait to start Miss Katie's preschool in the fall, and I am so excited for her to blossom in learning.  She is a smart cookie!

She loves to play school and house with her best friends Grace and Roma.  I sing her songs and tickle her back at night before bed, and every time we're at my Mom's she climbs up on Grandpa's lap and lifts up her shirt for a back tickle.  She finally learned to ride her bike with training wheels and spends a lot of time on it each day.  Will is her best buddy and they play so well together... most of the time.

Annie asks for Ramen Noodles for every meal, eats her weight in string cheese, hates peas and corn, and is the candy queen!  She can sniff out one grain of sugar in a square mile.

We are so lucky Annie is in our family.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The blog in which I say that time flies... again.

So much is happening, and not much is happening.  Time is escaping me, and yet, I scramble to find what to do with the afternoon.  Is it summer?  Is it little kids?  Is it a 6 year old, or a four year old, or an able-to-still-name-the-days-year-old?  I'm not sure.  All I know is that in the middle of it all, I am so so happy.

Sometimes someone else's words are better than my own:

Lisa Jo Baker, "The (real life) dictionary definition of a mother."~
"I am stretched and tired and fearful.
I am wild and brave and broken.
But this one life is on purpose and it’s not by accident where I woke up this morning.

While my closet has a sense of humor and clothes in every size,
my story is richer and fuller for it.

I’ve worn these hips around the labor and delivery dance and they are not ashamed.

I have lost it, yelled it, fought it, cried it and apologized it all before 9am.

I have fingerpainted, caffeinated, and run out of explanations for a line of why questions that stretches around the living room, out the front door and around the block.

I have tripped on Legos, stepped on scooters, slept on bottom bunks, and strung yards of white, twinkling lights to ward off the dark and their bad dreams.

I have been woken up, shaken up, thrown up, loved up, and shut up. I have never quite, completely, ever given up.

Love sleeps in my bed. Curiosity eats at my table. Delight runs laps around my back yard. Exhaustion is a faithful friend. But so is grace.

If I started tonight and counted backwards all the gifts of this wild and furious season I would still be counting when the grandchildren were standing on tippy toes with noses pressed against these same smudged windows.

So I count dimples instead.

And piles of stray socks and jeans with knees missing and shoes that only fit for a few months and hair cuts and loose teeth and how many times I look at them and say with the disbelief of the proud, “I can’t believe how much you’ve grown!”

I am overwhelmed, infatuated, love struck and completely unhinged. Especially on the nights they bring in wild flowers and all the ever-loving mud in the world.

I am full and fulfilled.
I am older and comfortable in my skin.
I am about the work of raising tiny humans.

I am out of my mind and in my calling and desperate for five minutes alone and a lifetime together.

I want to stop time, tame my fears, bottle their dreams, live a hundred summers of dripping, sticky, chocolate swirl ice cream. And in between I hang onto my faith, my temper, and my sense of humor with my fingernails.

These are the good days, the glory days, the slow-as-molasses days. These are the fast years, the wonder years, the how-do-I-find-words years."


Monday, June 17, 2013


I'm an aunt to twins!  This is very exciting.  James and Kaydee got to welcome their sweet babies today, June 17th, and of course I rushed down as soon as I could.  They are the sweetest.  They are miracles.  So many things went so beautifully, the Lord's hand was definitely in it.  We are so thankful.

Samantha Kate 1:15 PM, 5lbs 14 oz, 17.5 in.
Isaac James 1:19 PM, 6 lbs 2 oz, 18.5 in.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Two Months!

Name:  Paige Abigail Nicoll

Age:  2 Months

Height:  25 in, 99%
Weight:  11 lbs 1 oz, 57%
Eyes:  Mostly grey with a streak of brown in my right eye.
Hair:  Dark Blonde and fuzzy

Skills:  Smiling, wiggling out of my pajamas, sleeping from 10 PM until 6 AM, cooing, and holding my head up for short periods of time.

Big Events:  First cousin sleepover at the Robinson's house, first Finer Things Club, first hike at Cascade Springs, and surviving with my Dad and siblings while my Mom started back to work.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My bad?

For the record, it is bad for a three year old and a Kool-Aid packet to be left without proper adult supervision.