Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Spring Break in the Snow

Last April we journeyed southeast to McCall, ID for the kids' annual spring break. "Why not?" we thought! Little did we know it'd be an extension of our long and drawn out winter that we had just said goodbye to, haha! McCall is fast becoming a favorite place of ours. Neither Jared or I had ever been there prior to blending with the Thornton family, but my step-dad, Mr. Brad Thornton, is invested in a timeshare which includes the Hearthstone Townhomes along the golf course in McCall's beautiful Spring Mountain Ranch.

We should've known better than to expect nothing but snow outside of July and August, but we didn't realize it'd be a winter wonderland! We've dubbed it forever and always, our "Christmas in Spring."

So we made the most of our days in the cold -- hiking along the Payette Lake, ice skating, soaking in the hot tub...rolling in the snow...then soaking in the hot tub again, visiting a Christmas shop, playing boardgames, and last but not least, eating a giant cinnamon roll & drinking hot cocoa at The Pancake House.

We had such a wonderful time embracing our last hurrah before fully welcoming la primavera (spring).

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Carlie Joy's Baptism

Dear June started off beautifully with Carlie's baptism on Saturday, June 3rd, yet ended with a Mack Truck hitting us in the face towards the end of the month. :) Thank you for blessing us with light before the storm!

Like all sacred ordinances in the gospel, it was such a special day filled with family and love. The school year was still winding down, so the week leading up to her baptism was especially busy. My dear mom came to help me with the final preparations a few days before her baptism.

I had been preparing for Carlie's baptismal service (as a primary president) for nearly 4 months -- because there were several other children from our ward who were also getting baptized that same day. It was a different experience than having a private baptism all to ourselves, but I wouldn't trade it! I really enjoyed teaming up with other families to share the responsibilities of the event. There was a lot of positive energy in the room considering the number of families involved, but it certainly had a sweet ambience of joy and gratitude that I will treasure.

I was nominated to be the pianist, Aunt Katie Wolfley led the music, and big sister AnnMarie gave the talk about baptism. And I must say (bragging moment)...that she truly did such a marvelous job! She wrote her talk all by herself using the word BAPTISM as an acronym to discuss the important principals of this sacred ordinance. It was particularly reverent during her talk, and I was so pleased that she had the courage to share. She will be a wonderful missionary someday.

Prior to Carlie's baptism, I discovered a bookmark in our house that read, "Newly Baptized and Bright as a Daisy!" To me, this described Carlie Joy to a T on her special day. She was so smiley and giggly.

We were blessed with an abundance of family support from the Wolfley bunch and Thornton clan. It meant so much to us to have everyone there that came -- including nearly all of the Wolfley cousins. And of course we celebrated afterwards with yummy food...homemade Cafe Rio pork tacos, sweet corn, and Carlie's favorite dessert of all time, brownies.

June is the gateway to summertime! It's always been my favorite month, and although 'most loveliness is likely reserved for Heaven, I know in my heart a great portion of it must be experienced in June.' - Abba Woolson

Monday, October 16, 2017

Get Out and Explore

Farmington City Hall has a hiking program for kids called, "Get Out and Explore!" It comes with a booklet that provides a list of kid-friendly trails here in Farmington. Once 15 miles have been logged, by golly, the Power Hiker patch is rightly earned. The boys and I have been working towards this title before it gets too much colder.

We found a few abandoned tree houses along the Davis Creek Trail.

AnnMarie captured this moment of the boys climbing a tree in our backyard. I've been trying to accommodate her plea to experiment behind the lens, and I think it paid off! I have a feeling this picture will always be special to me.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

That Fun Dad

I feel like my husband is a kid at heart which is one of the many reasons why he is such a great Dad. Over the past year or so, I've overheard a few of my girls' friends call him a "Fun Dad," and I couldn't agree more. He loves to teach our kids how to play sports, he's really good at telling corny jokes that are so bad they're actually good - usually soliciting a, "Nice one, Dad," and he loves sneaking treats. He's known around here for his tootsie roll trivia which by the way is no joke! He always has a tootsie roll handy, especially on road trips -- ready to toss whenever someone is smart enough to answer one of his brain busters: math equation, random history fact, spelling word, or geography question.

I came across these pictures of him from Memorial Day Weekend when we took a road trip to Silverwood Theme Park (near Coeur d'Alene, ID) as part of AnnMarie's MOJO Marimba Band Tour.

He insisted on going on the bumper boats multiple times, and it was truly one of the funniest scenes I've ever seen! He took it so seriously and even got in trouble by one of the workers running the ride because he was being too aggressive and spraying the people on the deck.

Afterwards, we headed to Treasure Valley (just outside of Kuna, ID) to meet up with his siblings for a day of motorcycling and RZR-ing. :) Jared was so good about helping all of us have a great time, and I really appreciate the fact that he puts safety first, yet isn't afraid to encourage all of us to participate and try new things.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Receiving Something New

"We see what we choose to see and receive what we focus on. There is such beauty in willingness to release and create space in our lives and our hearts to receive something new. Resting in the promise of abundance..."

My friend Anna Molgard shared that beautiful thought with me this past week.

Sometimes the present moment can be scary when we consider our place in eternity. I've struggled with forward thinking as of late, but I believe that often times, the present moment is just enough. "Give us this day our daily bread." I know that there have to be chapters in life when our Heavenly Father requires us to focus on the day-to-day in order to exercise obedience to our current role and situation.

What I really want to do right now is post lots of amazing photos of us in Washington leading up to our move, but I'm going to embrace seeing the here and now for the time being, so here goes posting a few great experiences we've had in Utah lately.

I got to accompany Carlie on her 3rd grade field trip to the Kaysville Farmer's Market landing several weeks ago where we rotated through various stations all about agriculture. She loves it here and has made lots of new friends.

AnnMarie and I watched my niece, Kate, in a volleyball tournament a few weeks ago. I love being able to support my extended family members in person.

The children have an adorable clubhouse in our backyard to center many of their adventures around. The weather is not favorable for the water slide right now, but it sure has been a fun space for them.

Cheers to seeing snow on the mountains that stare at me every day. Not really sure how to feel about it, but I do love skiing, so this isn't a bad thing. :)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Carlie turned EIGHT

Eight years ago from May a bright blue-eyed light was born into our family.

We named her Carlie Joy.

It was such a beautiful I will never forget.

I remember thinking forward to her 8th birthday, wondering what she'd look like...knowing the milestone it'd be. Oh, how she's become a piece of my heart, especially through the hardships of her strong personality that's really stretched us as parents.

I know all children have meltdowns, but we went through several years of very difficult days and tantrums -- trying all sorts of tactics to help her feel at peace and better navigate her emotions. It was not easy, specifically in Argentina when she suffered from a series of illnesses that certainly affected her sleep and behavior problems. Shortly after our return to the States (when she was 4-yrs. old), she underwent a tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy. This was a turning point for Carlie (and for all of us, really), and somewhere around 1st grade we really noticed some changes. Gymnastics and soccer became a big part of her life, and her self-confidence was truly beginning to blossom.

She was only 5-yrs.old when my Dad passed away. I know she feels the impact of his absence at times, perhaps through me, but she had a special bond with "Papa Stacy," and I know he loved her dearly, too.

And now here she is - eight years old. What a special life you've lived thus far my sweet girl! You're more beautiful than I could've ever imagined.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Change

As I sit here at my computer in the quiet of a Sunday night - reflecting on my life’s journey thus far - I can’t help but consider the ways in which our loving God brings about change in our lives. At times it can be quite quickly, and perhaps dramatically. Other times it’s more subtle and slow — following a series of small happenings over time. Over the course of the past few months our family has experienced large scale changes — some rapid.
Others? Small happenings maybe not so recognizable at the time.

Tri-Cities was our home for the last 9 years. We made very dear friends there and felt like it was going to be our place and our future. We loved our neighbors. We were involved in our community and ward. We were happy.

Only ten days after listing our beloved home (in order to start the building process on a beautiful piece of ground we purchased over 2 years ago), Jared’s job situation changed dramatically, and he was given the option to move to Salt Lake City. Our house sold the next day.

So here we are in Farmington, Utah. We’ve been here now for about 3 weeks, and I’m doing my very best to embrace the change and navigate Davis County, Utah. Although the transition hasn’t been easy, I am grateful for the opportunity to begin a new chapter! I still feel like I’m ready to head back to our house in Washington any day now, but honestly, the people here in Farmington have been so warm and welcoming. There is a definite difference in the feel here, and it’s tangible!

AnnMarie, Carlie, and Gabe started school last week, and boy, was it bittersweet. The girls have been adjusting alright, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say they’ve had their days. I’m so proud of them and the way in which they’re trying to jump in and make life happen for them here.

Gabe had his first day of Kindergarten! What a wonderful day it was. We are so pleased with his teacher and the wonderful person she seems to be! The girls seem to have great teachers, too. We live within walking distance of the school which will be a new experience for us.

“In the end, they became more than what they expected. They became the journey, and like all journeys, they did not end, they just simply changed directions and kept going.” — R.M. Drake

Thursday, July 6, 2017

MOJO Marimba Band

AnnMarie was a proud member of Cottonwood Elementary's MOJO Marimba Band this past school year. The music teacher there, Mr. Doug Edwards, begins teaching students the marimba at an early age. As the students mature and develop their skills, he invites a certain amount of them to participate in the 4th grade MOJO marimba band which rehearses twice a week before school starts. The literal meaning of MOJO is magic spell. These kids were phenomenal -- and I don't use that word lightly! Mr. Edwards arranges and composes most of their music which is an inspiration in and of itself. He truly had an impact on our daughter, and we are so grateful for the opportunity she had to be a part of this group.

Performances included a Christmas Concert, The Leprechaun Dash (a 1-mile kid's run along the river side prior to St. Patrick's Day), the End-of-School-Year Carnival, a Community Mallet Festival, a tour performing at several elementary schools throughout the Spokane Valley, and a Final Concert.

We'd tease AnnMarie about "getting her marimba on" because she really knew how to rock it! The tour was especially rewarding to be able to go on as a family and see the looks on all the kids' faces when the band started playing! It was amazing -- and quite touching, actually. Way to go, Badgers! We were so happy to see AnnMarie shine through this experience.