James has been after me for a while to do a list of 50 things I'm thankful for so I'm finally getting around to it, even though I have a million other posts I'm behind on....like all the way back to Halloween! Hahaha!!!!
1. My husband-always willing to work hard and provide for our family! The best father in the world who is loved greatly by our kids. He's my best friend and I don't know what I would do without him. It's hard to remember my life without him!
2. Teancum-his mind is always going 100 miles a minute and I love it! He is always thinking and being creative. He is so helpful and works so hard!
3. Ana-she is so smart and always helping her siblings with learning. She loves to help little Abraham and he loves her! She is finally coming out of her shell and has lots of friends.
4. Jarom-he is the most competitive kid I know and it's awesome. He always has a ball or something in his hand and wants to be running all the time. I love his energy!!!
5. Rebekah-such a sweetheart who has one of the biggest hearts in the world! She always says hi to everyone at school and is always helping her teacher and classmates. She just has a way of singing and dancing around the house that can't help but put a smile on my face.
6. Sariah-she is my little mom. She is such a tender hearted little gal who just wants to please everyone. She loves to make me breakfast and lunch while I'm taking care of Abraham and is always so sweet about it. Her smile just melts my heart!!!
7. Abraham-what can I say, he was meant to be in this family and I don't think a person in the world doesn't love that little face of his! He has a way of calming us all and bringing lots of love and peace to our home.
8. My Savior-without his atoning sacrifice and love for us, we wouldn't be here and I am eternally grateful for the chance I have to be here on this earth at this time!
9. The gospel-I can't imagine where I would be without the knowledge it gives me.
10. My calling-I love children and it is so fun to be a part of a wonderful presidency that gets to spend so much time with some of the most awesome people in our ward!
11. My hubby's job-it may take him away from us more often than we would like, and it's not even a fun job, but it's such a blessing to have a job at this time and to have a way to provide for our family.
12. Our home-it's not the nicest house in the world and it's old and a little run down, but it's our home and it keeps us safe and warm and it's where we get to be together and do the things the Lord would have us do as a family!
13. My mom-she's always been such a good example to me and taught me so much by both her words and actions. She has helped me to be the woman that I am today and I will always be grateful to her for that.
14. My sister Kristi-I don't even know what to say! Not only is she one of the best friends I could ever ask for, she's been there for me since as long as I can remember. For being the "little" sister, she's always been the biggest example and help to me!
15. My big brother Craig-although we didn't always get a long, he was always there behind the scenes helping to take care of me and stand up for me. I'm sure he did so much more than I could even imagine!!!
16. My little brother Erik-such a good example to me. He was much better than me in music and I always admired his talent. I'll always remember the good times we had with krispy kreme runs, eating ben and jerry's together, and the little lessons he taught my kids.
17. My daddy-always there to help me out. Always encouraged me to do better and try a little harder. I always knew he would be there for me when I needed him and always knew the things I needed to hear!
18. President Monson-I always loved him growing up and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful prophet leading and guiding us today.
19. Joseph Smith-a true prophet who restored the gospel to the earth. I'm forever grateful for all that he endured in his lifetime to ensure that we had the gospel and the book of mormon today.
20. San Diego Temple-it's the place where I was sealed to my best friend for time and all eternity!
21. Music-I love music, whether I'm playing it or listening to it!
22. Singing-I LOVE to sing. I may not be good at it but it's so fun to do and I love how I feel when I do it.
23. Dancing-it's so fun to just let loose a little and dance around the house with the kids.
24. Movies-I love being able to watch good movies with the kids for a movie night or a little date with the hubby.
25. Exercise-I may still be a chubby gal but I enjoy being able to exercise. I love a nice walk or a good sweaty workout when the kids allow it.
26. School-the kids enjoy it and I enjoy the learning they do, the friends they make, and the activities they get to do.
27. Being a stay at home mom!
28. A nice washer and dryer.
29. The most comfortable bed in the world.
30. A car that runs-not only can I get to where I need to go around here, but I can travel in the summer when James is gone!
31. Good neighbors-I've been blessed with lots of good neighbors in the past and now is no different.
32. Awesome friends-I have some of the most awesome friends but feel guilty for not being the best friend all the time.
33. Coloring books and crayons-it's so relaxing and fun to do.
34. Christmas trees-the live ones of course...they smell so darn good and look so beautiful with all the decorations!
35. Parks-it's so fun to go out and swing on a swing and act like a little kid again.
36. Swimming pools-there's nothing like a nice dip in the pool on a super hot Texas summer day!!!
37. Ice Cream-it's so yummy in the summer time or with a yummy little piece of cake on your birthday.
38. Pictures-I love looking at pictures and reminiscing the good old days. It's nice having something tangible to help with the memories.
39. My computer-what, oh what would I do without you? Not this...that's for sure.
40. My shower-I LOVE getting into a nice warm shower after a long day or first thing in the morning when I need a little pick me up!
41. Making dinner with the kids.
42. Making dinner for someone to come over.
43. Giving things to others without them knowing it's me.
44. Helping people with things like watching their kids, making them dinner, or whatever else.
45. Winter days-I really don't like being hot and the weather outside right at this moment is just too perfect!
46. San Diego-is there a better place in the world?
47. Abraham's crib-I love when he sleeps in his bed to give me time to get things done.
48. Make-up-it's always nice to cover my face with stuff so I don't scare the neighbors....hahaha!
49. Hugs and kisses-my kids are the best at making me feel loved with their hugs and kisses.
50. Date nights with my man! They don't come very often but I love them when they do....even if it's just a movie when the kids go to bed.
Whew!!!!! Life is pretty darn good!!!!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I've been missing my best friend and so I wanted to write about him. James and I have been married for 12 years now and some days it feels like just yesterday we were newly weds and others, it feels like an eternity already. Like all married couples we've had our ups and downs but I think lately the ups have definitely outnumbered the downs. When James joined the Army full time and left last April it was really tough since I was 2 weeks away from my due date with baby number 6. It was really hard having James gone at that time since he's the one person in the world I have always shared that special time with and the one person I rely so heavily on for my strength and support. Since moving to Texas he has been gone a lot doing field training exercises preparing for deployment in April. It really stinks having him gone not just because I become a lone parent with 6 kids but because I love him so much and he does SO much for our family. Things just aren't the same when he's gone. I have taken for granted too often all the things he does when he's home and so I have tried really hard to make all the times that he is home right now something special. I have noticed that I enjoy his company even more than I did before and I love the times we just sit and talk and laugh hysterically at the goofy things we do. I love how I get butterflies in my tummy whenever he sends me a text message from work or out in the field. I love how he always tells me how much he misses me and loves me when he's out in the field, it sends chills down my spine. I always thought people were so cheesy and dorky when they would say things like "absence makes the heart grow fonder" or "love gets better with time" or referring to their spouse as their best friend. I don't laugh anymore because I guess I've "matured" a little...and I do mean little when it comes to these things. I really love James with all my heart and I love being able to see him when we get to and I love all that he does for us. He is the most amazing dad in the world and I love how much our kids love and adore him! I don't think I could have asked for a better man than the one I've got!!!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I wanted to throw a little spot light here about sibling rivalry and cooperations. I had a thought today as I was watching little Abraham being tickled by Jarom. First I have to explain, Abraham has been the most unusual about laughing, its not that he doesn't laugh but it is like he has a limited reservoir of laughter. It is not easy to reach that little reservoir but when you do he will laugh whole heartedly. The kids are always trying to find it and often they do. Here Jarom was holding the little turtle upside-down and had found that special spot by giving him the biggest 'bizerbert' Jarom could muster. Abe would curl his little body around Jarom's head and laugh.
So, as I was watching this I thought of all the times I had been mean to my own siblings when I was shorter. I also remembered all the present times when my own children are unkind to one another. I regret those times when I was not nice, especially when I knew what I was doing was hurting their feelings. I see the kids hurting each other both with hits and with words. This picture is a time, that does happen every so often, when a couple of my kids are having a great time. It is wonderful, I cherish these moments.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
What a lifesaver, I wanted to thank Grandma for passing on this little foam couch-hide-a-way-bed. We used this to train Sariah to want to sleep in her own room first and thus enable us to not only not sleep in my bed but in her own room so both Erin and I could sleep better with out a small person kicking us all night. Now once again we are employing the usefulness of this small piece of children's furniture. Little Abraham has been snuggling with Erin since birth and so he has not been keen on the idea of sleeping in the bed we have set up for him in the toy room. These past few days I have taken the time to help him get to sleep and then tried to ever so gently place him in the bed I use to be able to put him in just a month ago. Both nights he would stay asleep just till I would make contact with the bed. I would take him back into our bed and he would not have any problem sleeping. The thought came that he likes the softer bed so I put him in the bat-man bed and he has slept the past two days until 5 am, all by himself in the little bed. Thank you Grandma for the two nights of sleep for both Erin and I. We are forever grateful for your generous and caring nature.
I just wanted to slip in a small moment of excitement that gave me a small glimpse of the eternal joy that a father has in watching a child demonstrate abilities that will give that child success in the future. Tank is working on his first Boy Scout merit badge. The troop he belongs to has taken on the task of working on the Rifle Merit badge as a group. They meet at a ward members house and take turns in rounds shooting five rounds. Knowing that Tank has shot both long rifles and pistols before I have high expectations of his performance. When we show up together I try to take somewhat of a back seat to be able to watch him interact and work with those who are his leaders and the other boys. He seems to be ready to work with the unusual nature of his name as one leader asked him how he pronounces his name, he quickly responded, "You can call me 'Tank'." During the remainder of the three hour activity, Teancum demonstrated the usual performance of an emerging deacon by taking the opportunity, after eating a sandwich on the way to the meeting, to eat another three hot dogs. What really made me excited was his eagerness and steadfastness to work with the leaders and a little bit from me to work on his ability to shoot well. After an initial round of shooting, he was all over the target. I gave him a basic military class on marksmanship, trying to use words and pictures that he would understand. Then we watched a leader together and I pointed out the fundamentals that were visible. From this point I sat back and let Teancum do what he wanted to observe what he would do. Teancum was the first scout each and every round to take his turn to shoot; as the other boys would find other distractions either dealing with the activity or ones that were brought from home. Tank would follow all instructions from the range safety's and after each time he shot he would look for a leader to discuss his performance. I was afraid he would do too much talking but he was respectful and would listen well to each coaching. He stayed focused on the task at hand, taking the given breaks between rounds of shooting to grab a hot dog, drink some of the beverage we brought or talk to me about his shooting. In the end he was able to place two out of five three round groups with in the required quarter size grouping needed to pass off the merit badge. He is excited about continuing to practice, apply the coaching that was given and finish earning the badge. His ability to stay focused, respect his leaders and take control of his own actions make me a happy and pleased father and make me excited for all the success he will have in the future!
Our little guy thinks he needs solid food. We are trying to slowly introduce the better foods that will help teach him the benefits of healthy foods. Now this dream of a pure healthy diet does not always come true, with our own diets not perfect and with other siblings that love to share some of the sweeter things in life, he gets his hands on less than healthy foods. Now this picture here depicts the sweet child as he was sitting on his mothers lap and at first he grabbed at the plate and moved it around. Before the meal was half over he had moved the plate close enough to grab one of the bread sticks. Once he had his hands on the bread stick it was all over. At first attempt to eat the Bread stick he jabbed it into his right eye. This did not deter him in the least, next he seemed to want to ensure that his mother would not take it back. He placed the bread stick at its half way point next to his hands and licked the full length of the bread making it unappealing to anyone else. From this point he made an operation of the bread. I have seen Grandpa clean a fish and I have seen the fillet process, my youngest son first filleted the bread stick before shoving the bread into his mouth, losing only a few small pieces of bread. He thinks he's getting big!
Tank is such a great little worker. There is a trick to get him started at times and once in a while he gets a little distracted but as a general rule, he is one of the little people that I know I can count on to help when I have to leave on a field problem or have to stay overnight for a CQ shift. He has been working on his lawn mowing skills and I can share with gladness in my heart that he is learning and getting better.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
We had a wonderful adventure going to Round Rock, Texas to visit the same donut shop the Man vs Food guy visited on his trip to Austin, Texas. When we pulled up to the shop crazy Tank, with his eyes wide open, he all but screams, "I am at the same place Adam Richmand ate at!" We all got a laugh, we took pictures of the 'Texas' size donut that was the same size of Abraham who enjoyed his fair share of the donut as he is eating solid foods now himself! So after the huge donut we made our way over to the 'Salt Lick' an above average bbq joint that, although it is a little expensive, we all ate our fill and enjoyed some of the fun of Texas.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
James decided one night that we needed to have some "committees" here to help us be better at things like writing in our journals, service for others, planning vacations....and so on. We wanted to have something for all the kids to do but with them being as young as some are we needed to make sure they were things they could do. One concern was Abraham...he's just barely 5 months old so what is he supposed to do? Well, we came up with the Sunshine Committee and he is the head of it and let me tell you...this kid is the BEST!!! His job is to make people happy and I don't think we could have had a better man for the job! We sure love this little guy...how can you not?
Sariah LOVES to carry around the little man even if he is almost as big as her. She feels so big when all the other kids are gone to school.
Sariah coloring such pretty pictures.
The big kids walking by the park to get to school on time.
Sariah breaking in her new shoes.
Abe chillin' with the old man while he takes a snooze.
Life in the full time Army as an Infantryman can be a little crazy...almost like being in training all the time. Last Monday James came home and told us he had CQ duty (charge of quarters, basically you watch the desk and answer the phone) and then was leaving the following evening for his 3 week FTX (field training exercise). All of it happens right here at Ft. Hood which is kinda crazy knowing that James is right here but we can see him and for him, knowing his nice cool house, clean bed, shower, and good food from the awesome wife is just a couple of miles away and he can't have it. It gets tough sometimes...but at least we have a job so no complaints. So, he came home about 6:00 and went to bed while we got up and started our day. James took me to lunch at a fun little place and then we got all his stuff we needed, packed, got the kids, and had him to where he needed to be by 5:30 and he was gone. The kids always hate it but this is our life!
Abraham is teething and so things can get a little much at times with all his crying but we wouldn't know what to do without the little guy. With James not home the middle of the night stuff gets a little crazier...kids coming in at all hours and Abraham needing to eat so I get a little tired and sometimes grouchy. Thursday was parent teacher conferences so it was HECTIC!!!! The kids got out of school early so that made it a little nicer....but here's how the day went. Wake up, shove Tank out the door, get the other kids ready, eat breakfast, walk to school, feed Abe, do a little p90x, clean the house, get dinner preparations done, go get kids, take a shower! And it's 2 p.m. now....whew! 3 p.m. we leave to get to Tanks conference which is on post, come back for Jaroms at 4:15, Ana at 4:35, and Beka at 4:55...We made it!!!! We got home, made dinner, took showers, read scriptures, said prayers and went to bed!!! It was one crazy day but we made it and actually had fun. The kids are totally awesome and doing so well in school. They want to test Ana and Jarom for the gifted program soon. I'm really excited for them and proud of all their hard work.
So...most days are like this minus the conferences but we are having so much fun. Sariah colors and draws pictures most days and absolutely loves it. She is getting so good at it and it makes me happy to see her love to do something so much. We've had some fun times with movie nights, letter writing days, games, fun family home evenings and good treats. As much as I complain sometimes, I love my family and the fun things we do together and I really wouldn't change my life for anything in the world.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Tank has a hard time remembering to put on deodorant and James thinks it's hilarious how he puts it on....so he took a picture. MEN!!!! What can I say?
The other picture is of our little house. All the houses at Ft Hood are duplexes....I have yet to see one that isn't. It's kinda crazy but at least for us the only connection to the house next door is the garage. Makes me a little bit less nervous for our loud crazy kids. One of these days I might take pictures of the inside...maybe!
Friday, September 3, 2010
I just love this little gal and all the fun laughs we have with her! If you know Beka...you know what I mean. Tonight at dinner James called her by the wrong name (hey...it happens when you've got 6 kids to keep track of). Immediately she looks up says "I guess we need to get some name tags or sumthin'! We could not stop laughing. Most of the family had left but Beka and I were still there and I called her by the wrong name....she didn't even hesitate but looked up and said "well, I guess mom's doin' it now too." She seriously cracks me up and I don't know what we would do without her in our family!!!
Monday, August 30, 2010
My kids in their cute uniforms on the first day of school. Tank is already in middle school and is still trying to adjust. It's tough but I know he'll do awesome. He gets the bus at 7:27 and gets dropped off at about 4:10. He is such a little stud muffin! The rest of the kids walk with me to and from school in the blazing heat. The first couple of days it was 104-105 degrees without the humidity factored in. The school is only about 1/2 mile away....THANK GOODNESS!!!! We leave about 8ish and pick up at 3:45 so it's a long day for these guys. At least Beka gets "nap time" each day. Of course she's too big to actually go to sleep....funny girl. The kids have no problem with the uniforms and I actually really like it. It makes it super easy to get ready for school each day plus I think they look so cute! The girls and I made some hair things to make it more fun with their uniforms and they LOVE the hair things. School is fun and we can't wait to get a little more involved in it!!!!
Monday, August 16, 2010
We spent the afternoon on Saturday exploring what BLORA was....and it's SO FUN!!!! They have these cool water slides that were so much fun to go down and all the kids (who were tall enough) LOVED it!!! They also had a fun little kid water place to play for those that weren't tall enough for the slide. After we went on the slide we headed over to the "beach" for some more fun. The kids loved the warm water that cooled us off and the fact that it was shallow enough for them to have fun without mom and dad freaking out. What more can you ask for? Once we were done with that we headed over to the paddle boats. While I took care of Abraham, James took the other 5 out on the paddle boat. I think this was the hit of the day because I ended up with 5 VERY unhappy kids heading back to the car after they were done. It was so fun to spend time out in the water with the hot weather that we're still trying to get used to. The best part of it.....FREE for us military folks. What more can you ask for? Tons of fun for only the cost of the gas to get you there! What a fun weekend we had....maybe we'll find another fun spot next weekend!!!!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Well....we made it to TX after tons of fun! It was a fairly rough 3 months without James but we definitely survived it. The house got all packed up, lots of help from family and friends cleaning, and moved into James parents garage. We started off the Hoopes' family reunion the day I finished moving out and Sariah was sick so I went to Bob and Jacobies house to take care of her. We went to Moab and enjoyed lot of fun swimming, going to the arches, and lazing in the river. It was HOT but fun to be with everyone. I headed of on a LONG plane ride to GA to go get my hubby. Abraham was so good but I was exhausted by the time I got there. I actually spent most of the 3 days feeling really sick...oops! I can't even tell you how awesome it was to see James for the first time in 3 months...he's so HOT!!!! We had a really fun time just hanging out. We went to Shoney's (which is a Timmons family thing) and tried to find a movie theatre with Eclipse, got shirts for all the kids, went to the museum, and it was awesome. Of course the biggest reason for being there was the graduation and turning blue. It was really an amazing experience. I got to put the blue cord on James which was fun and listening to all the soldiers sing was hilarious!!!! The graduation was really neat and gave me goosebumps, even if James was sitting next to me and not with the others.
We came home, loaded our truck, blessed Abraham, and headed on the road! It took us 3 days to get here. We stopped in New Mexico the first night....and 10 minutes from the TX border the next. We finally made it towards the evening on the 3rd day of traveling and it was so nice to get out of the car. We got up the next day and got a house....CRAZY!!!! We actually got a house that very day which is a little unusual. It's an old house but it has 5 bedrooms and is just perfect for us! The kids are so excited because we have a backyard and a community pool just 1/2 a mile from here....sweetness!!!! We are unpacking now and trying to settle in. I think it might take a little while to get used to this heat and humidity but we are really excited to be here!!!!
Monday, May 31, 2010
Sariah took a picture of me and Abraham...he's a cutie!!!
All the kids just before going to church. We're sending some pictures to daddy!
Little Abraham sitting in the little chair that the kids think is just perfect for him.
Keeping an eye on things.
Little man sitting on the couch for his photo shoot with the girls.
Well...school is out and the kids couldn't be more excited! They are all in love with their little brother and constantly fight over who gets to hold him. They are so cute about it. We have been having fun doing things like making cards for daddy's birthday and father's day, making treats with thank you notes for all the wonderful people that have been helping us, and watching Gilligan's Island. My kids are crazy and that's all they ever want to watch!
We had a great time with Kristi and her family coming to visit us and we're excited to go down there for a week or so in just a little bit. We have so much going on this summer that we are so excited about. Tank has his birthday next week and Springville's Art City Days are always fun for the kids. Grandma just moved up here so we get to spend time with her before we move, which is so exciting. We are moving out of our house just in time for the Hoopes family reunion, I'll go to James graduation in GA and bring him home just in time for us to leave to Ft Hood in Texas. It's gonna be a fun adventure and I hope that we really end up enjoying it!!!!
Friday, May 14, 2010
What more can be said? This little man is something else. He wasn't paying attention and walked into the corner of the brick wall outside of Walmart last night. Vonnie was so sweet an met us down at the instacare to sit with him while he got stitched up so that I could take care of the other 5 kids. I'm so glad I have such a great mother-in-law who doesn't have a weak stomach like I do. Hopefully we'll be more careful and watch where we're walking....this is Jarom after all though.
One of my worst fears. No mother ever wants to see their baby in the hospital when they're only a week old. Seriously!!!! Well, Sariah had jaundice and so I knew what to look for. Little man Abraham was starting to look a little yellow but then started to get better. He wasn't really lethargic or anything and was having plenty of wet and messy diapers. Last Friday I looked at him and realized that he was all but glowing yellow...literally over night this happened. I took him to the pediatrician and he decided to be safe and have him checked but reassured me that he wasn't too concerned. Well...a couple hours later when the results came back he called and told me to take him to the hospital immediately because he was at 23.2 and needed an IV and lights immediately to avoid serious problems....HOLY CRAP!!!! I was really terrified and didn't want to deal with this right now and especially with James gone...I know....I'm a big baby! It was one of the worst nights of my life as I watched them put an IV in his tiny little hand and lay under the lights where all I could do was watch and pray. His numbers were down to 12 the next morning and so we got to go home. When I went to his Dr on Monday he apologized for the hospital stay because he really didn't expect it to be that bad. He figured we would just need the at home lights and no big deal. He felt horrible that it was much worse than he had expected. Oh well. I have to take him back in tomorrow because his numbers are still rising but at a much slower rate. I pray for the day that it's over...will tomorrow be the lucky day?
Cute little man takes the binky very seriously...gotta hold that sucker in!
He just can't watch any more of the nonsense with the other 5 siblings!
The kids love to hold him and bug him too!
Moments after he was born and the nurse showed him off while he was whining to us all.
Talking to dad on the phone within the first 20 minutes or so of entering this life. Even though dad couldn't be here, he still wanted to talk to him.
So...Abraham Robert Hoopes was born on April 29, 2010 at 6 pm on the dot. He was 7lb 7oz and 20 inches long (with the cone head). He was one of the longest labors I've had, who would've thought being number 6. Well, we got there in the morning and they got everything started. My doctor came in and by 7:40 my water was broken, PIT started and all the fetal monitors in place. Brittany, the most awesome nurse ever, really believed that this baby was gonna come lickety split...we all did but he fooled us. I progressed slower than molasses and after a while there were some concerns because of some fetal stress. At one point a different nurse came in and had me really scared that there were going to be some problems if I didn't progress any faster. They kept turning the PIT down and then up again because of his heart rate and even put me on oxygen. I spent most of the day on one side because his heart rate was better that way, even though it started to get extremely painful for me. The things we do for these kids before they even get here! So...my Dr came back to check and noticed that he wasn't coming down because he was turned the wrong way. He wasn't completely posterior but he was partially and it was making it so that he wasn't coming down like he should. Dr. Gourley moved him so that he was facing the right way and we were all hoping for some good progress now. NO!!!! It didn't happen right away but things did get a little better even though the contractions started slowing down. It was just crazy. Finally, Abraham's heart rate was dropping enough that they took me off the PIT completely and so the contractions all but stopped....SERIOUSLY!!!!! It was insane. We were just waiting for Dr to come back from surgery to decided where to go from there. I finally made it to an 8 and he was coming down a lot more. Thank goodness!!!! Well...Dr. Gourley came in at 5:50 and worked his magic. He had to turn him some more to get him in the right position and TA-DA!!!! Obviously it didn't take long since it was only 10 minutes later that he was born. He was such a little stinker but we love him to death! We're so excited that he's finally here and adding so much joy to the rest of the family!