A Boy’s Outing

Ben took all the boys out to a Husky basketball game on Saturday.  I had given him tickets for his birthday thinking that it might make for a fun boy’s outing.  They had a great time cheering on the Huskies to a win.  I sure love these boys of mine!

A Frozen Daddy Addy Date

Ben took Adelaide out on a special date this week.  They started their evening out with dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  Adelaide was very excited that they were chosen to sit in the caboose.

She was very particular about how she wanted her hair braided and what she was going to wear because she wanted to look as much like Elsa as possible since Ben had bought tickets to Disney’s Frozen on Ice.



Adelaide loves ice skating, frozen,  and dancing so the show was a perfect fit for her.  Ben said that she had a huge smile the whole time.  I’m so glad that Ben takes the time to strengthen his relationship with each of the kids.  He is such a good father.


Surgery On My Stupid Toe

We lost power for a little over 24 hours when a bad storm blew in on Tuesday.  Bored to death, a few of the kids ended up reading through some of our old blog books.  Adelaide begged me to make some more books with older pictures of her and it was the kick in the pants I needed to post on the blog.  I’m about 3 years behind on the book printing front, but at least I can keep recording memories.

Future Adelaide, I’m sorry that this next post is of my pathetic toe and does not contain any pictures of your beautiful face.  I will remedy that soon.

A week to the day after breaking my stupid toe, I had surgery to have a pin put in.  The doctor said that my bones were too tiny to allow for any more than one pin, but luckily one pin seemed to do the job.  The surgery went well and yet ended up being way more painful than I had anticipated.

I lay in bed in a semi drugged stupor of pain all weekend.  I didn’t sleep at all that first night.  I tried watching Molly’s soccer game from the car and it was excruciating.  I tried going to church and ended up leaving after the first hour.  The only bright spot was the fact that both the dog and cat kept me company at the same time, and that only lasted a few minutes.  Just when I was about to throw in the towel and accept my inevitable doom, I turned a corner and started feeling better late Sunday night.  I fully recognize that I’m a big baby and that it’s just a stupid toe.  I also recognize that I owe a big fat apology to my poor husband and kids for having to hear me whine incessantly about said toe.

I mustered up enough courage to teach my ballet classes Monday night.  I think my giant cloven hoof of a foot scared several of the dancers and one girl in particular thought they’d amputated my toes.  We all made it through however.  I hobble and dance and hobble and kick my leg up in the air.  It works.

I even found a snazzy rain cover that slips right over the top of my walking boot.  I’m feeling very fancy these days.

I know there have been a lot of pictures of my my feet in this post and that I’m not even wearing cute shoes or standing in something interesting… however, I feel like I need some credit for not having posted the worst picture of them all…

I went in for my post-op appointment this morning and they took all the wrapping off only to reveal the ugliest foot I’ve ever seen.  It’s like they gave me a foot transplant or something and the worst part is that there is a metal pin STICKING RIGHT OUT OF MY TOE.  It’s so gross.  I could barely look at it so naturally I took a picture and sent it to Ben at work because that’s the kind of wife I am.  Now I have this horrible ugly picture of my foot on my phone that makes me alternate between wanting to burn my phone and feeling compelled to zoom in to the see the ugliness in great detail.  I am a crazy person.

Now my job is to change the dressings on the foot I can barely look at and twist the pin if it starts poking the other toe and touch the the blasted booger of a toe and bend it every which way to keep the joint limber.  It’s too much.  I kind of just want to cut it off.  The doctor was happy with how straight the bones lined up and how it’s “only a little bit smaller” than it should be.  (Pinning sometimes compresses the bones.)  As long as my midget Franken-toe doesn’t get infected (hence the daily dressing change) I don’t have to go back in for a chec- up for another two weeks.  If everything goes absolutely smashingly, I can get the stupid pin pulled out at that appointment.  Please oh please.




Oliver has been excitedly telling us about his upcoming birthday for weeks now.  Literally he would say, “I so excited!” any time we mentioned him turning three, quickly followed by the phrase, “I two and half” in a very serious tone, lest we forget that the actual day hadn’t arrived yet.

Oliver loves to pose for photos.  When I ask him to smile he concentrates very hard and then arranges his features into this squinty-eyed grimace.  It is adorable.

Oliver’s birthday landed on a Sunday this year, so we told him we were going to “Birthday Church” which seemed to give it a properly festive air.    He breakfasted on Lucky Charms that he had picked out with Daddy at the store the night before.  Unsurprisingly, he only ate the marshmallows.

After church, I mixed up his cake and popped it in the oven.  Both he and Adelaide helped, and only fought a little over the mixing duties.  Then it was time for presents!  One of Oliver’s very favorite thing in the world is to check for packages on the door step.  It is a job that he can do all by himself and that makes him feel very proud.  A few of the packages that came recently were for his birthday and he had the hardest time watching me set them aside instead of letting him open them.

I tried to wrap things separately to give him more things to open, but that may have back fired because Adelaide counted all the presents and made a mental note of how many he got.  She is very aware that her birthday is coming soon as well.

As per our family tradition, the kids each made or shared something with Oliver.  William made a suit of armor with a spare one for Henry so that they could have battles.  Henry shared some of his prized sports collecting cards, Adelaide stitched a small stuffed dog out of felt, and Molly gave him her orange pig statue since it was his favorite color and animal.

I made him a Star Wars shirt.  I had grand plans to make him something else, but breaking my toe threw a wrench into everything.  It was somewhat of a miracle that I was able to get anything done at all.

Other gifts included a card and money from Papa, a book, some orange clothes, a new tie, a new pair of orange rain boots, puzzles, an orange Hot Wheels car, and some more kinetic sand for the play bin Grandma and Grandpa Johnson got him.

I think Oliver must have told me five times a day, every day for the last week, that he wanted an orange birthday cake.  He wanted one so earnestly, that there was no way I was going to let a broken toe get in the way.  It may not be frosted perfectly, but it fulfilled all his orange cake-filled dreams.

Oliver is a complete joy.  He is full of enthusiasm and excitement about the world around him.  He is very smart and likes to do school type work.  He loves the construction class he gets to take at Co-op.  Oliver has crazy good hand eye coordination and ball skills.  He knows lots of tricks from attending his older siblings’ games.  His vocabulary has exploded and he has become quite talkative.  He really wants to be understood and gets upset if he can’t communicate his feelings.

Ollie loves the color orange.  He likes to sort things into color groups and put things in order.  He plays with the toy kitchen we have every day, but cooks up marbles, puff balls, and toys instead of food.  He loves to paint, draw the letter “o” for his name, and build churches out of blocks.  He gets into lots of mischief and makes more messes than all his siblings combined.  He loves to steal snacks, gum, and cough drops from my purse.

He regularly asks me for “Mommy snuggles” and often has opinions on what I wear or how I do my hair.  (For instance, he doesn’t like when I wear jackets, and doesn’t like my hair down because it gets in his face.)  He loves his Daddy and gets so excited when he comes home from work.  Oliver loves his siblings and tells me they are his best friends.  He brings so much love and light into our home.  I sometimes think about how long it took us to decide whether or not to have a fifth child and it makes me so glad that we didn’t miss out on this wonderful little spirit.  We needed him in our family.

In some ways, our house only feels as old as the youngest child.  Oliver turning three today, put an end to an era of babies.  There are no more diapers, binkies, or bottles in our house.  While I loved the heck out of the baby era, I am in love with where we are now and am excited for what lies ahead of us.


A Broken Toe

On Friday night I was zooming around the house picking up all the evidence of a busy life with kids, and I stubbed my toe very hard on the leg of the couch.  It made a very loud POP.  I was wearing socks but could feel through my socks that something was wrong.  It hurt but I couldn’t really feel my toe and I had to pick it up off of another toe and put it back into place.  Only, it wouldn’t stay in place.

We hurried the littlest kids to bed and then I had Ben drive me to the urgent care.  The doctor on call didn’t even want to touch it before having an x-ray.  I took a picture of it, but it’s too gross to post and feet are kind of ugly anyway.

There wasn’t any doubt after looking at the pictures.  My toe was broken clear through.  Unfortunately, the doctor said it looked like a spiral break which can’t be set easily.  She taped me up, gave me a walking shoe, crutches, and a prescription for pain killers, with orders to get into see an orthopedic surgeon right away.

I don’t know why these types of things always happen on the weekends, but they do.  I didn’t end up filling the prescription right away because I wasn’t in too much pain and our regular pharmacy was already closed for the night.  That proved to be stupid, because the pain eventually did hit and I was in agony all night.  It felt like my toes and foot were on fire as all the nerves were firing like crazy.

I stayed off it all day Saturday, but by the end of the day I was in a lot of pain again.  Luckily Ben had filled the prescription for me by then.  Sunday I took it easy again, using crutches at church, and there was less pain.  By the end of the day I could put a little weight on it as long as I only focused on my big toe and the ball of my foot.

Fortunately I was able to get an appointment with an orthopedic for Monday afternoon.  He outfitted me with a fancier walking boot that puts all the pressure on my heel.  It’s much more comfortable to walk in than the previous shoe.

The doctor confirmed that it was a spiral break and gave me two options.  1) I can tape it and it will heal crookedly in 4-6 weeks.  2) I can have surgery and have it pinned and it will heal straight in 4-6 weeks.  Considering that I need my toes to function normally for teaching ballet, I opted for the surgery.  It’s a simple procedure and will give me the best chance of having a normally functioning toe.  It will take 10 weeks until I can dance on it again, but I should be walking around normally in 6 weeks.

What a lot of fuss for a toe!


Happy Halloween

Halloween has come and gone.  It was a crazy one this year.  All the credit goes to Ben for handling everything on his own while I was laid up with a badly broken toe.  (More on that later.)  He got up early, braving the wind, rain and cold, and coached Henry’s team to a win making it an undefeated season for them this year.

When they were showered and properly warmed up again, Ben took the kids out to run errands, have lunch, pick up pumpkins and go bowling, all while I stayed at home in bed.

He was even able to get three of the four pumpkins carved before having to pick up Molly (She was in Yakima for a soccer game) and take the little ones out around the neighborhood.

Molly went to a Halloween party and trick-or-treating with her friends, Ben took the little kids out trick-or-treating, and I sat at home handing out candy.  It worked out well for everyone.  This year Molly was a cat, William was a Roman soldier, Henry was a ninja, Adelaide was a butterfly, and Oliver was a ninja/Samurai.  Oliver had wanted to be a ninja but I ended up grabbing a samurai costume by mistake so we just went with it.  Ben said that Oliver was so excited to be trick-or-treating.  He loudly said “Thank You” after piece of candy and “Happy Halloween!” as he walked away.

It was a stormy day, but we still ended up with 64 trick-or-treaters and I didn’t lose any children to a mountain lion attack.  It was a good day!

We Can Do Hard Things

Earlier this year, our bishop challenged the members of our ward to memorize the 13 Articles of Faith.  In Primary, we decided to encourage the children to participate as well.  The Articles of Faith are a list of 13 basic beliefs we hold as a church.  Molly was able to pass hers off quickly, having memorized them previously, and last week William, Henry, and Adelaide finished #13 (we went in order, starting with #1).  Oliver memorized #1 all on his own and can say parts of several others.

At the beginning, the kids were intimidated by all there was to memorize.  We focused on one each week and I often used our many trips in the car running to activities, as a time to practice them with the kids.  Little by little it worked and now they are so proud of themselves.  I’m proud too.  I have such great kids.

  1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
  2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
  3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
  4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands, for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
  6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
  7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.
  8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
  9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
  10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the new Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.
  11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
  12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
  13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul – We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things.  If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

William said his favorite Article of Faith is #11: “Because it lets you know that it’s okay for other people to do other religions, but it doesn’t mean that you have to do what they want you to do.”

Henry likes #10: “I just like the words.  It was one of the more harder ones to memorize and I just like it.  It’s about Christ coming to earth again.”

Adelaide likes #4: “I like to sing it.  <sings the whole thing>  It’s about getting baptized.”