Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Last Freeze???

Oh my lovely apricot tree...please bear me the wonderful fruit that is so yummy!  Please little blossoms, don't freeze!!

We had another cold storm come through last week after my fruit trees started blossoming.  So here's what we did; it was like Christmas at our house for a couple nights.  I can only imagine what the neighbors thought...as I watched them drive by slowly with odd looks on their faces.  I claim redneck on this one!

I guess we'll see in a couple weeks if it helped.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I need a BREAK from Spring Break

Spring Break was Marathon Week for us.  So much fun, but I'm still recovering.  We all are actually.

Saturday:  I did this to one wall in my living room.  I love blue.  Isn't it so beautiful?  I was needing a little color in my life... I can't wait to get the baseboards and flooring finished in the entry way. 

 Now ask me how I accomplished such a task as painting my living room with three active boys at my heals all day? 
Here's your answer:  Adriane kidnapped them for the morning; tired them out and brought them home happy,dirty, wet and exhausted.  Love that girl. 

Sunday:  I really need to work on the whole "Day of Rest" part of Sunday.  For me, Sunday's are completely exhausting every week.  Getting kids ready for church (by myself, John has early morning meetings), sitting with kids (by myself) through church, helping to make sure Primary functions (Don't get me wrong, I totally love Primary),  and then heading home to finish dinner prep, so we can all sit down for together before John heads off to another evening meeting or something...Oh Sundays.  I love them, I need them.  I sleep well after them.

In fact, here's how I look on Sunday evenings ...soaking my poor feet.

Monday and Tuesday:  We headed down to Annell's for Jayda's birthday and a trip to the Wildlife World Zoo with Nanna and Tanner.  We love seeing the cousins, we love our Nanna, and we loved the animals and aquarium.  Thanks Nanna for the fun day.

 Witt was so proud he touched a stingray.
 Lane loved the petting zoo best.

Race loved feeding the giraffes

Wednesday:  We met Grandma Sara for our traditional golf game at Tlaquepaque Piggy Park.  Then we had our picnic and fed the ducks.  Love you Grandma Sara.

Thursday:  Laundry...need I say more?

Friday:  We got to see Jadon and Nathaniel!  We miss you guys!

Saturday:  Race turned seven!! 
He had a great day (more details to come).

We had a great week catching up with the people we don't get to see too much.  Spring Break came and went, and now we need another break. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Party like it's 1999 (which was actually a very good year)

We just can't get enough of saying goodbye to the people we love who are leaving.  We had a small get together down at the church for Andrea, Natalie and Ella; it was so beautiful, thanks soooo much Mona the Amazing and Karen the Great for putting it all together.  We are so spoiled.  (more pictures to come) 

A quote I live by, that is perfect for this occasion:
Be courteous to all,
but intimate with few,
and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
-George Washington-

I am so blessed with good friends. 

The boys are really going to miss their friends too!
Love you Brooklyne, Kaidne and Grahm.

Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain.
It's not something you learn in school.
But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship,
you really haven't learned anything. 
 -Muhammad Ali-

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ten Years...

We have been sponsoring our own March Madness Tournament over here, and amidst all the craziness, John and I had our Ten Year Anniversary on the 9th!  He took me out for my favorite shrimp tacos, and of course I didn't get any pictures.  Can you believe it?  Ten years...

We were just kids...

 Look at the air he could get back then!  If you ask him to do that now he'd probably pull a muscle.  Don't ask him though, he might try.


We joke about this picture because this really is how he felt when the crazy weekend was all over.  And yes, if you would ask us to do this weekend all over again???  No way; no we wouldn't.  We would have eloped to the Hawaii Temple instead. 

Ten years later.  I think he's much better looking now than ever.  Even the bits of grey that are starting to come through look so handsome (I give him a hard time about the grey because he gives me a hard time about my crows feet).  I love this man.  I don't ALWAYS like him, but I ALWAYS love him.

I love you John.  Happy Anniversary.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Run For Your Life Lizard!

Uh-oh...poor lizard.  He's about to be loved to death.

And Witt didn't fall for the "defence mechanism" this time (his tail falling off).  At least that's what Witten told me anyway.


We are so blessed with not only a great school for Race, but also that he gets speech in school and at home too.  I'm so grateful for our Therapists who I'm constantly bouncing ideas off of.

What's crazy is that Cris was Race's first Speech Therapist four years ago.  When he was two and a half, and I started noticing a few delays, I had him screened for speech.  At the time, we weren't even considering autism, just a speech delay.  Well, he qualified and that is how we met Cris.  When he turned three he qualified for speech through the school district, so we lost touch with her.  Now it's been a year since we got the diagnosis officially done and since then, she has been in our home once again.  We love having her back. 

In August Race tested at four years six months for his speech levels.  This was really hard for me for two reasons.  The first was that I'm always worried people will judge Race's intellegence based on his speech (he blows me away in his academics), and the other reason is because Witt has always been VERY verbal.  I was afraid of what would happen if or when little brother passed big brother.  How would that be?  How would it work?  Well, Heavenly Father makes brothers brothers for a reason is all I can say.  And he just so happen to give Race a fiery red headed brother who is exactly what Race needed. Witt is amazing with Race.  They are best friends.  Witt takes care of Race.  In awkward social situations when Race gets treated "dumb" or teased, when Witt is there, he gets very protective.  This is even without us explaining autism to him.  He just knows he needs to take care of his bro.  It's pretty amazing to watch.

And Race's speech has come so far this past year.  I can't wait to see where he scores in May.  It has been such a year of growth for him.  He wants to work hard at it.  He tells me he wants to talk good.  Today, he really only has a hard time expressing himself when he's either really upset, tired, or excited. 

The key I have found, is that like school work, speech has to be reinforced in the home (a no-brainer for most of us, but you'd be surprised how many times I heard as a teacher, "Your the teacher, it's your job to teach him/her.  Not mine..."  no kidding.).  We are constantly talking with Race.  Even when he is playing the Wii (which is his FAVORITE), we are talking to him about the game.

 I used to have this guilt about the Wii.  I didn't even want Santa to bring it last Christmas because I knew how obsessive he gets about things (and trust me, Santa and I went back and forth about it).  I was afraid he wouldn't be learning while he was playing it.  That he would be zoning out when he played.  Not that we ever let him play too much, but that since the time wasn't spent doing other things, he would fall more behind.  Well I have found that's not the case at all.  Like all of us, he needs down time.  The games he has teaches problem solving skills that he is excellent at.  And, he LOVES to TALK about the Wii.  It's so cool to hear him having two way conversation (which a year and a half ago wasn't happening) about things now.  A year and a half ago he couldn't keep up with the exchanging, the change in topic.  It was too much.  Talking on the phone was hard and I was always the interpreter.  Well, many of those first solid, two way conversations were about the Wii.  He also has this amazing gift with technology he needed to embrace and we needed to let him.  It amazes me.   He always amazes me.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Goodbye Guy's

I really don't like catching up.  It takes the details out of the moments.  It's amazing how quickly I forget the details.  But, life does this sometimes I guess.  We've had so much going on down here at the Armstrong House, so much change.

Goodbye Guy Family.  We love you.  You will be sooooooo missed.

 Race is going to miss his sister. (Yes, they do act like brother and sister...)
 Thanks for all you've done for our family.  We have some great fun memories tucked away.  One of the best is Forth of July of 2008 when we got attacked by firework shrapnel!

 Here's the shrapnel that was falling on us through the firework show.  Except here in the picture, it's not on fire...

It's a hard economy to live in right now.  You really don't realize how unstable life is until you are forced to change.  Whether it be moving away for work, changing your line of work completely, giving up things that a year ago were so important to you but now you're finding they're not a necessity or a priority. 

 It's amazing when life gets hard how your priorities change because if they don't, life just gets harder.  It's amazing how important preparedness is. 

 I've been wishing for a new car for a couple of years now.  Let's face it.  Our family is really crammed into this car of ours.  I was driving up the freeway on Tuesday, from the Valley.  We had spent a few days down with my sister.  And we got to the big hill outside of Black Canyon City.  Yes, this is the hill that I hold my breath all the way up, turning the AC off, praying the car doesn't overheat.  It's quite exciting actually, once we are at the top of the hill anyway.  But anyway, on the way up the hill, this beautiful red new H3 passed us.  And the boys were looking at it, mouths open, totally staring, saying stuff like, "That's what I'm going to drive when I get big."  And I just had to laugh because A. I was thinking the same thing, and B. because it brought me back to being a kid, squished into the back seat of our little Plymouth Acclaim (that later as a teenager I wrecked.).  I can remember looking out the window into the windows of other cars and dreaming for a moment of what it would be like to be in THAT car, living THAT life...I bet my mom was sitting up front smiling to herself because she used to do the same thing too. 

Anyway, point being, it's amazing where your priorities are when life acts upon you.  When life gets hard.  A new car just isn't for me right now.  It's amazing what life forces you to do because it is so unstable.  I'm so grateful I have a car that runs and can keep my family safe.  I'm so grateful for the memories I have from that little car as a kid.  Because now my kids are in the car yelling at each other, "Mom, his leg touched me!  Mom, Lane just wiped something on me!"  But in the same trip, we are singing songs, playing the ABC game, I spy, making those memories I hope will outweigh the sibling fighting. 

Life is hard right now for soooo many,  and we are all having to do what we have to do, but life is good in sooooo many ways.  

Thanks for the memories Guy Family.  We love you.  We cherish your friendship.