Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Last Camping Trip of the Summer!

What a way to send Summer off!! We LOVE camping, and with family it doesn't get any better!

My sister made this great video of our fun. It says it all--although she did miss the part where my nephew got lost and the kids all learned the power of prayer.  Love that Heavenly Father answers kids prayers!



Friday, August 5, 2016

Bathroom Redo!

All three bathrooms in our Blue Acre need a serious overhaul. One is (was) yellow, one all blue, one all pink. The plan is to gut the two bathrooms upstairs  (yellow and blue) and switch around the space, since they share a wall. But, that is down the road several years.

After prepping our Layton home to sell I decided that never again would I only fix up a space just before selling..and never get the benefits of living in a space I love!! So, even though we will be changing up the bathroom at some point, I figured I could do a little bathroom 'refresh' for cheap enough to make it worth my while.

Mike headed to scout camp this week. I stay up late when he is gone so I got the itch to redo the bathroom as a surprise. It would be tricky to get it all in, but I did it (with serious help from my parents!!)...and what's more, I LOVE it!!

Before:


After:








I used a tile resurfacing kit (rustoleum tub and tile) to PAINT the ugly yellow bathroom tile. So slick, and looks totally legit! It was seriougly strong fumes though...I think I lost some brain cells! 

My little brother helped me with the floating shelves...oh, such a big fan!! Found the decor in my basement and at DI...it pays to be a hoarder! ;)

My parents came over and helped me raise the cabinet. 7 freaking inches!! My back already is happy!! Now it's tall person height!!

My mom spent a full day and half here helping me tile and grout the countertop. And, by help, I mean she pretty much did it all while I rode my little people to do their chores.

I painted the cabinet white and the walls gray. If I had had one more day I would have trimmed out the window and door, as well as painted the door...but time waits for no one and Mike comes home tomorrow so it's done as far as it will be. 

I feel so happy with the results and the feel of the bathroom now. Can't wait to enjoy it, and show Mike tomorrow...I think he will mostly be happy that I didn't spend any house money (it was all my saved up slush fund) and that he didn't have to do any, bwahaha!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Homemaker

I'm a bit nervous about sharing these thoughts...I'm super worried about offending people and this is broaching possibly tender territory...but broach I will.  ;)

Homemaker.

I took the kids to the elementary school today to have Luke do his Kindergarten testing.  While he met with the teacher I filled out paperwork and the big kids gave Lizzy a tour of the school.  I filled out shot records and address and emergency contact forms. I filled out phone numbers and special needs Luke might have--you know the drill.  I got to a portion of the form that had me fill out Mike's work information and mine.  

Name: Mindy Williams.  
Occupation: Homemaker.  

I little lump got caught in my throat. Homemaker.  HOMEmaker.  What a job!  What a HUGE job!

I was chatting with my sister-in-law last weekend. Her babies are growing up and will all be in school this year. She's been researching things she can do to fill her time and midst the research it looks like her husband may be having some career changes.  One of the possible changes would mean a lot of hours worked and many hours from home, which means a lot of long hours for mom at home.  She talked about how it would be important to make herself available to make a good dinner and keep on top of the house and help the kids with stability...'at the risk of putting feminism behind 50 years, I just will need to be home more, you know?' 

I'm confused about feminism.  I'm confused when things changed from Mothers being honored and loved and cared for--to people looking down on those who stay home.  When it seems like 'Homemaking' is nothing more than TV watching and taking long afternoon naps. I know I'm opening a can of worms here--plenty of women have been demeaned and hurt and held back. Many have been abused and looked down on and treated as 2nd rate.  But not all.  Certainly not me.  I don't feel less than, or lower than, or not important: not at home, not at church, not in my marriage. I feel blessed that this is the case.

I feel blessed to be a HOMEmaker. I can't think of a better job.  I could do ANYTHING.  I'm a smart cookie with good ideas and great skills and am eager to learn (as long as it's not math!).  I could do all those things the world tells me I should do as a woman...but I CHOOSE to be at home. To put all those skills to use here.  To teach and learn and use those skills at HOME.  And I know it is a blessing not afforded to everyone. I know the feeling of contentment and fulfillment is not something that everyone has.  I don't think I'm a minority, but sometimes I wonder that maybe I am.  Regardless, and in hopes I don't hurt or offend anyone...HOMEmaker.  The greatest calling and blessing there is.  I'm not curing cancer or running a board room or breaking any glass ceilings.  I'm building a home.  One dish, one dinner, one bum wiped, one sleepless night, one kissed forehead, one nutella lunch, one snuggle, one welcome-home-honey-kiss, one storybook, one prayer at a time.

"True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.  It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." -Arthur Ashe

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A day in our Life...

Ever heard the phrase, "the days are long, but the years are short"?  So, so, true. I've been realizing more and more lately just how quickly time is passing.  A large part of me is cheering saying-- yes!!  Let's be done with diapers and tattling and potty training and tears...lets move on to driving and real conversations and life skills learned.  But, a large part of my heart knows I will miss these long days full of cleaning and whining and children trailing like little baby ducks.  How I love these little people and how thankful I am to remember these little moments. 

Brielle made me this video from some footage I took of our day. Not every day is like this--Mike is usually around a bit more (not much!) and we only doing swimming one week of the summer, so people usually have more clothes on.  But--there is ALWAYS so. much. cleaning and laundry and did I mention cleaning?  And the house is most ALWAYS a mess.  And we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to eat for snacks.  And we spend a lot of time in the car.  But, we also work hard together, play hard, laugh a ton, and love each other.  

"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." -President Monson

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Family Pictures

As always, the talented Chelsi Mae does it again! It's amazing to me that she can take such great photos--and be in half of them herself! :)





























Sunday, July 10, 2016

Yellowstone

Where to begin!  Certainly the almost 1000 pictures we took tell a story of fun, success, and awesomeness!  Now, to weed them down to something manageable!
We left on Saturday morning and made the drive to Montana to spend the weekend with Andrew and Elena.  Such a great decision!! The kids played nonstop with very little fighting or sadness.  They were in HEAVEN!  We enjoyed Church on Sunday and had a water filled at home 4th of July.  It was great!


 




We headed out for Yellowstone Tuesday morning and spent 5 awesome days camping in the park. Nobody was eaten by bears and nobody fell off any cliffs, so it was definitely a success! ;)  We came in the North entrance and by the end of the week we had pretty much covered the whole park. The kids hiked like CHAMPS and we got to see some really neat things. They slept in the cold awesomely and handled the hours of driving and traffic wonderfully.  Camping in the park was definitely convenient and was not even NEARLY as dirty and awful as I worried.  I would certainly recommend it!








We saw FOUR bears! 


 






















Fishing in Yellowstone was a huge hit! We fished right on the river by our campsite and loved it--although we didn't catch anything on the river.

We did get up early one morning and drive the hour to the lake. We enjoyed breakfast on the beach and spent the morning fishing.  We caught something here--way to go Josh!  Patience pays off!






 






Iconic Yellowstone experience...stopped by Bison crossing the road. Awesome!





Lady slept amazing, and Josho lost his second tooth!!









 We climbed Uncle Toms trail--300 + steps down, 300 + steps up. The kids did AWESOME!! It was so worth the view!



The whole crew! I wish I hadn't already changed Little Miss out of her blue shirt! 


Ben fell in the fire one night. It was quick and scary.  I know there are guardian angels protecting our boy, and it's evidenced by the fact that he came out unscathed.  Our own miracle.






Luke and Luke!


 He's my favorite travel buddy!