Tessa’s YW in Excellence, Corbin’s Braces are Gone, Twitching, Throwing Up, and Awesome Friends!!!!

We found a house!  Presently, we are in the inspection stage, so we’ll see how everything works out.  It’s much bigger than we planned, but we’re excited.  We were hoping to get out of a neighborhood (if possible) and have a little land, less than 2 acres.  Instead, we got more than that, the house is on the Washougal River (way above it, but we can walk down to it) and on 7 1/2 acres.  We’ve had a few sleepless nights imagining how we are going to adjust to this.  We tried to go elsewhere, but we kept feeling we should do this.  We’ll live in Washougal (in the country), a cute little town to the east of Camas, Washington.  Come visit, we’ll have room!  Here are few pictures (of pictures on the computer):

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We should back to the NW the fourth week of March!!!!



Not one showing for three weeks at our house in Huntsville.  Uggghhh!  We had an open house and people came!  Tessa said “I’m so glad to find out we aren’t invisible!”  It’s been an emotional roller coaster that I have never experienced before.  We have always rented our house and then sold it years later.  This living in it, while showing it, is incredibly hard.  I keep saying to myself that “They are only houses, we are healthy, happy and thankful”.  It works for awhile…..

Dixon:  “Mom, do we move tomorrow?  Can we bring our library movies with us?”

Dixon mispronouncing his Primary teacher’s name.  Her name is Sis. Hagelberg, he kept calling her “Sis. Bergers”.  He did inform us that he really likes her now.

Corbin’s braces having wires suddenly poking out and slamming him into things at Shakalaka.  He told us “I think my braces heard I was ditching them and decided to fight back”.

Counter offering on the Washougal house for a week and a half!  Uggghhh!  But we get new carpets!  🙂

Getting home from the NW and immediately painting all our murals (minus the playroom) and changing out the chandeliers.  Then cleaning everything for the open house.  I was still trying to get the emaciated Royce to eat and the kids back on track.  Kevin and I started to twitch by the end of the weekend.  It’s all a bit much to do with six kids, work etc.

Buying the “Incredible Body” app for our iPad.  Dixon kept asking to use the “icrippled body”.  It’s an awesome app:  http://igamemom.com/2014/07/04/app-went-free-wonderful-educational-app-for-kids-about-human-body/

Crazy cold here in Alabama!!!!  It’s supposed to get down to three degrees Wednesday night!


My little boys following in their big brothers’ footsteps….  10983428_852966804745494_7393947608119705055_n

Writing an e-mail to all my kids and Kevin (that have e-mail).  It was my first family e-mail since we have spread out.  It actually came out the way I wanted it to.  I never like the way I write, so it was a new feeling to actually communicated what I felt.

Loving our Classical Conversations community.  These families are fabulous, they kept telling me how they are praying for our house to sell and for us to find a new one.  It really helps!  Love them!

Kevin and I turning 43!  Wow, time flies….  The kids were great and we had fun.


Happy birthday with on a carousal.
Happy birthday on a carousal.


Getting to have a clean house (so as to be “show” ready at all times) it great.  Minus actually being the one to clean.  But it really does clear my head to have everything in it’s place.  The kids have been a huge help.  It’s an odd feeling to know your house has to be perfect for other people, ALL THE TIME!  It feels like having a guest stay for an extended visit.  I’m ready to get back to my privacy.  🙂  Hopefully, I’ll still be sane.  The good part is that I have more time for the kids.  I’ve loved doing school a little better and saying “yes” to them more.

Hearing Royce call for me, “Momma”.  He just warms my heart.  Kevin and I can’t get enough of the boys cuteness.

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I’m trying not to panic that there won’t be another child to move up to their age.

Kids playing outside while I baked some cookies.  I could actually hear the cookies sizzling as they baked.  Loved it!  🙂

Getting to hear your daughter tell you that she has a boyfriend.  I have a lot of great things to say about this, but I’ll be good.  We may or may not have taken a video of the Face Time conversation.  🙂  10982465_853051158070392_1326190112715987421_n 10989109_853051174737057_3006542746191847556_n


Horseback riding for the kids!


Corbin getting his braces off!

My handsome boy!
My handsome boy!

Beth Collins visiting with us to tell us a story and bring treats.  🙂  Love her!

Taking a trip back to the NW to look for a house!  I should have been excited, but instead it was extremely stressful.   I was gone a week and had to coach the kids on how to keep the house clean.  Kevin met me later in the week, after I had narrowed things down.  We did a stealth like visit, ending up at my parents house each night exhausted.  When we finally admitted that the Washougal house was the right one, we had fun and felt peaceful.  The kids did a fantastic job!  They got to go to the Cowan’s house for the weekend (minus Corbin, he spent it with the neighbors).  The horrible part was Royce throwing up all night at their house.  He had to be brought back to Corbin.  The Cowans deserve Friend of the Year Award for staying up all night with Royce and still attending to the rest of the kids.  THANK YOU!!!  Our wonderful neighbors the Darbys and Rays brought meals over and treats.  Beth Collins was a nurse for Royce and even cleaned up his last throw up as our kids ran away, as fast as a cockroach.  You all will forever be in our hearts as you served our family, when we couldn’t.  It’s a horrible feeling to be across the nation as your child is begging for you.  We sang him Primary songs over the phone, but couldn’t do anything else.  😦

Addisen sending us amazing talks from her parenting classes and devotionals.  I am attending BYU-I proxy style.  🙂

Kevin having fun as he painted the horse murals….


Dixon “I didn’t have a dream last night, I didn’t need one.”  🙂

Tessa finishing her Young Woman in Excellence!!!!  We are so proud of her and who she is.  She has been working really hard for the last year to get it done.  Congratulations Tessa!  10923601_853051134737061_8023753944954910601_n1450273_852966831412158_4711603876305512720_n

Really thinking about how much I love being at home with my kids.  I am so thankful for Kevin providing for us so well.  I love that each morning I have a fresh start and the opportunity to decide how to be a better mom to help influence my kids lives.  I can see what I need to do and have the entire day to do it.  I love it and feel very blessed to get to live life this way.  

Birthday lunch with Felicia Borden!  She makes me smile.


When she arrived, she presented us with an extremely special gift.  Thank you everyone that took the time to write in the book!  As Kevin put it “Looking at life close up can be disappointing.  We can see all the faults, missteps, and lost chances and we sometimes focus on them more than we ought.  But taking a few steps back and looking at the whole picture reveals a very different version of reality.  A more accurate view.  And that is what your book did for me, personally”.

The beautiful book Felicia put together.  :)
The beautiful book Felicia put together. 🙂



Bryson’s return itinerary from his mission!!!!!  My heart just about leapt out of my chest.  I let myself actually get excited, but then had to calm down. Less than three months!!!! 🙂


Watching “Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” as a family.  Tessa happen to watch it babysitting and Addisen happen to watch it in Logan, Utah the very same night.  We were laughing so hard during the movie.  Merritt finally turns to me an says “Mom, ever since Dixon has been born, this has been our life”.  Of course, it is a movie, so it goes a little far, but they only have four kids, so it’s actually pretty close to reality for us at times.

Making Valentine’s Day cookies and pancakes.

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Kevin won’t do Valentine’s Day, so Hadley asked me to be her Valentine.  (KJ: In my defence, I want to love my wife and my family on my terms in my own way, not when and how a social tradition says I should.)


Our neighbor gave us cookies and a helium balloon.  Dixon is pretty fanatical about these balloons.  He was so worried it would fly out of the car.  Of course, it did.  Kevin and another man chased it to no avail.  Dixon was crying and crying about it the entire way home.  Kevin wouldn’t let me buy him another one (he was right), but then……  Merritt and I saw a different one on the side of the road in some bushes.  We went and got it!!!  He was happy again!  Ha! 

Big Hero 6!  We went to the movie for the activity part of Family Home Evening.  We all loved it!  It’s super cute, inspiring and funny.  The best part was the Borden family happen to walk in and sit in front of us.  The kids were so happy to get to sit with some great friends!









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