Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Healthy Habits Challenge 2

So, the Healthy Habits challenge I did in April and May came to an end on Monday. It was for 8 weeks and I think it's helped me make habits out of the good advice and tips I've received over the past year. I felt like the challenge was a collection of ideas from things I've tried recently, like from Buddah's Diet and Whole 30, but especially "Eat to Live" by Dr. Fuhrman. I think my taste buds are enjoying plant based foods. This week at Costco I loaded up on the delicious selection of summer time fruits - makes for a great Marilu approved breakfast! The peaches right now are soooo good!
This is the little system I currently have for keeping track of my water - I have my hospital mug by the bathroom sink, and bobby pins in groups of 4 to help me keep track. I did get 16 cups one day, but I usually go for 10.
I wanted to keep going with the challenge since I was really happy with the progress I made. So I threw out a facebook invite on my wall to see if anyone wanted to do it. We've got a good group of 20+ people again and we start tomorrow! I'm excited to keep doing it - I think the accountability to others helps me keep on track. (Probably cause we Hibberts are kinda competitive!) I'm mostly excited to have some of my family and friends doing it with me this time, yay! This challenge isn't just 8 weeks - it's all of June and July, which ends up at 8 weeks and 5 days, should be good! The summer is gonna fly by either way, might as well make some health progress by the time we're headed back into another school year! My ultimate goal is to get back in to my size from between Ethan and Hyrum's pregnancies 15 years ago, which was the best shape I was ever in, even better than high school. I'm gonna believe I can do it, go me!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Elf Girls

After the Royal Ball, the girls were ready to keep going with the princess motif. So yesterday morning, they decided to add a little bit of awesome to it and dressed in their gowns ready to play the Elf game. Here we have the Queen Elf, Fire Elf, and Water and Ice Elf. They're showing you their powers!
 Wesley helped male the crowns. It's fun to watch them play "Elf".

Monday, May 29, 2017

Royal Ball

Yesterday after church, Hyrum was an awesome big brother and had an idea of a game his little sisters could play. He made them crowns and they all got into it. Hyrum was the king, Natalie and Sophia were his princesses
Natalie is so stinkin' cute. I took quite a few pictures and her expression in each one is just so fun, I love her little face. Here are the pics of her face in order that I took them. That picture above was #3
I'm not sure who she was waving at all of a sudden as I took her picture, but it made me laugh, and then it made her laugh too.
 Feeling pretty great about herself I think.
Wesley was a prince from a neighboring kingdom. He hadn't particularly wanted to participate, but Natalie really wanted a prince. And that is all princes are, right? Wesley has been reduced from a young man to a princess accessory.
They held a Royal Ball. Lily was a pirate that crashed the party. (And as they played during the day, it turns out Lily killed the queen, but the queen was actually still alive! Drama as good as on Alias...) Abi started out as a maid servant at the ball, where she offered guests imaginary double dumpings. Then later in the game she was a pirate too.
Here is a little video of their dance. It was pretty cute. I love Natalie's little kick at 1:09. Daniel had a really big smile at 1:48 too.  I love my kids, I love my family! I love moments like this, I love being a mother and to know I'll be with all these souls forever.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Veterans Memorial Park

We went to a park out in West Jordan today so the kids could play with friends. We were supposed to be there at 11, but we were late. It was our first time there and I was pretty excited when we saw it, cause it looked as cool at the wood park in American Fork. The girls were also very excited, as they got out of the car, to see that Bell and Ariel and Aurora were there at the park too!
But if you ask me, these ones definitely didn't look as legit at the theme park characters nor as good as the ones Corey and the kids stumbled into at Classic Skating. So they said hi to the princess and then they were off to play.
Running and jumping, I just wish there were a few more trees or a bit more shade. I caught Abi smiling at the camera from a distance.
Cute little jumping 3 year old...
Owen, what do you think? Do you like the park?
Coming in from the sun to grab a snack and a drink.
Then off to go down the big slide. Natalie was climbing the ladder.
She came back to help feed Daniel, such a good big sister.
And before we left, the girls said goodbye to their friends the Disney princesses. Natalie wanted to see Anna.
Ok!That was fun. We were there from 11:30 - 1. Then we had to hurry home so I could go buy a b-day present for Abi to take to a party at 2. Busy Saturday, fun summer days are ahead.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Spring Gala

Today was the last day or school for the older kids. It was a busy day trying to manage everything and get people where they needed to be. Wesley had his last concert at school, Hyrum had his 8th grade promotion party. Melodie had a Spring Gala tonight up at the Libby Gardner Concert Hall with her Gifted Music School group. Joseph had to play for Skyline's graduation and then came home. Joseph and Ethan both had friends who were doing stuff, but we made them come to Mel's concert. My mom and Dad came over to watch Owen and Daniel, so even I was able to go! It was a real treat. I didn't get any pictures or video of the concert, but it was really nice. Melodie didn't play as much as I thought she would, but it was our first gala, we weren't sure what to expect. J & E wondered why her concert was such a big deal and why we all had to go, when we don't all go to their concerts... The answer to that is we don't all go usually cause I've got babies and no sitters. And if I'm home with kids we just have one car and one driver to get us there, cause J is usually gone or had to get there early for call time. Anyway, we're not playing favorites, I promise. You're dad and I try to go to as many concerts as we can. And Joseph, you were there when I did a concert once with little kids...  and you saw first hand how it is not fun, right? Right. So, yeah, we do what we can.

Natalie was glad that after all that hard work of sitting still and being quiet, she got rewarded with cookies and dessert!
That made it tolerable for Joseph and Ethan too. The coconut chocolate chip walnut chewy cookies were soooo tasty.
I sadly didn't get a picture of Mel. She was off chatting with her fellow musicians. Just a few more last hurrahs and then we'll have a break for summer with most of the kids activities. Almost there.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Summer Chore Logistics

Trying to do some prep work for our summer plan of attack. I've been reading "Large Family Logistics" again and I'm liking chapter 15 this time. I spent today writing out lists of all the tasks to be done in each room of the house.
I put the lists in sheet protectors and then on clip boards with markers so they can mark off the boxes. I'm putting them in the kids rooms so they know what is expected of them for the day -
And they are to be hung in the cleaning closet when they are finished. 
I've also made kid name tags and room tags, so I can tag the kid and it is very clear that they know where they are supposed to clean. And they have to wear the tag until they have it cleaned and checked off by me.
Here's Ethan taking care of a different task, but with the reminder of his room responsibility still plain for all of us to see. The older kids are done with school tomorrow. Saturday is going to be our trial run. Summer chores, bring it on!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Took this pic of my baby snuggling up to my neck today. He is such a snuggly baby, I love his head hugs and cuddles. I love to feel his heavy relaxed body on my chest. I love it, a little moment of heaven. Through the years, whenever the baby has been asleep, that could/should be the time for me to get cracking and get stuff done, but usually that is the moment that I want to stop any cleaning or work and just stare at his little face. He's growing too fast. I'm only nursing him at night time now, I already miss it. I don't feel like we're done having children, but we'll see. This picture below is from April. I love it, I hope there are lots of babies in heaven!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Almost Done

Ethan has been working hard as Governor of Churchill, especially the past few weeks. It seems like he had to stay after school everyday to work on something for the COW assembly (Churchill Office Winners). But today was the day of the ceremony that marks that his governorship is officially coming to an end. We went to see his send off and stayed for the whole thing and as long as we could until, unfortunately, Mel had a lesson and we had to leave. We left right before Ethan walked down the isle with his friend Kimmy. So we didn't hear the roar of applause from his constituents, but we did get to snap a picture on our way out.
Sorry buddy, I'm sure they cheered loud for you. And Mel, tsk tsk. You gotta plan these things out better. If she had taken the bus then Corey and I could have stayed. Oh well. That's what we get for not pushing her to get her license yet. She's been 16 for five months, still no license. We don't want the car insurance cost to spike again though by adding another teenage driver, so I guess we're willing to continue to be your chauffeur.

So big assembly was today, and for the high school kids, they are just finishing up the last few assignments. Joseph stayed up late working on this video for his calculus homework. It was a group project, and they all worked on the lyrics and filming together, but Joseph wasn't finished yet cause unfortunately he's the one with the sweet video editing skills. So while his classmates were sleeping, Joseph was up editing. But good news is that it's his last all nighter. Video turned out pretty sweet! When he left this morning it was still processing so I had to upload it to youtube for him and we talked on the phone so he could give me last minute instructions - how to spell his classmates names correctly and to put them in the video description, etc. Took me two times uploading it to work. Then sent the link to his teacher so it could be turned in on time, before 7:30, and then he was done! No more big homework assignments, yay!

The last day of school for our Churchill and Skyline kids is this Friday. Phew, we're all glad the school year is starting to come to an end, even if we still have another 2 weeks of it with the rest of the gang. The end is near, hallelujah.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Bird Funeral

We buried the baby bird today. I offered the prayer.
Good bye little Douglas! We were glad for the few moments we had together, you brought joy into our lives and we were amazed at you, you were a beautiful little creation.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bye Baby Birds

We had a little lesson on life and death today. So, I went out to check on the birds this morning. They are super cute. I wanted to bring one in just for fun. But he didn't want to be held. The one that flies away is Elliot. He flew away from me, the parents were diving towards him chirping, I thought they might attack me. Elliot tried to fly and went under the kid's slide and got across the lawn before I got him. "Okay! Sorry, sorry! I'll put you back!" And then I picked up Douglas, he's the nice bird that doesn't seem to mind us holding him. So as I held Douglas, I decided to move the nest. They've been on the north side of the tree, so we can't see them from inside the house. I thought it would be fun to see the parents coming down to them, so I moved the nest to the west side of the tree trunk. Elliot didn't like me moving it and flew into the bushes. Douglas sat there sweetly. I couldn't see where Elliot was so I left him there as I went inside to finish getting kids out the door. About a half house later, a guy came to fertilize the lawn. Usually they ask if there are any animals in the back yard but he didn't this time, and I forgot to think about the birds. Anyway, I saw him back there pulling the hose around to the far lawn and then I was like "Ah! The birds!" I ran out and grabbed Douglas, who was still there. As the guy pulled the hose, it dragged along the tree trunk right where the nest was before I moved it. Wow! I was inspired! I had been thinking to move it all week so we could see them, I was glad that I did it before the hose could get them. Then I tried to find Elliot - I didn't want the fertilizer fumes to get him. Tess came over to get Wesley - they had late start today, and she helped me find Elliot. I brought both of the birds inside and showed them to Natalie and Owen. They are sweet sweet little guys. So I felt glad I saved them from the hose. After the fertilzer guy left, I put them back out.

Probably 20 minutes later, I was at the sink and looked out the window at the nest... and couldn't see them. Hmm. I went outside, they were gone. I thought that maybe they didn't like the new location and had flapped their way over to the bush. And they are near impossible to see, so I looked for a few minutes but couldn't see them, so I went back inside. I just went along with the morning, but still watched for the parent birds to see if they gave a clue as to where the babies were. I went outside to empty the garbage, checked on the guinea pigs, kept my eyes open for any little birds hiding, and then as I walked back towards the house, I happened up on the body of a little decapitated bird. Ohhh! Oh no!! I was so sad. I had seen the neighbors cat in our backyard earlier this morning and chased it out a few times. Darn it, he got the baby birds!!! Man! I questioned heaven with a frustrated heart "Well, what was the point of all that?!?" They had been doing so good and made it through the cold nights, almost ready to fly! Only to come so close and just get eaten by the cat?!?! Boo! I spent the next 20 minutes walking around the back yard with Owen, looking for the other dead bird. I was pretty sure the cat would have been able to get both of them, and I didn't want the kids to find the dead body, so we walked back and forth and back and forth across the lawn and dirt. I didn't find the other bird body. I was so sad though, I had just had them safe in my hands, I wish I would have brought them inside!! Regret, what ifs, and if only's began to fill my thoughts. Along with thoughts of "why do I care? They're just birds, it's just nature taking it's course. We feel an interest cause we just happened to stumble upon them, but it's happening all over the place. Cats eat birds!" (We don't like cats today). I kept watching the back yard, hoping beyond hope that maybe the other bird was alive. Then, I noticed two parent birds flying down behind one of the trees in the back yard. Hope! I hurried out to see if I could see anything, and THERE HE WAS!! Bird #2 was alive! He was sitting on a pile of leaves tucked between the fence and a tree trunk, looking up at me with a "you have no idea what I've been through" look on his little bird face. Hooray!! But the cats prowl along the fence there on the property line, little birdy, you are not safe, no one is! What do we do? I tried to put a big rock on either side of the trunk thinking that might keep him safe from the paw of a cat. But no, the cat could get in there I bet. So I reached down and grabbed the little bird. I began to walk toward the house, planning to let him hide in the bushes where he was so well hidden earlier this morning, when swoosh, the little guy took flight right out of my hand! He flew! He got enough height to perch himself right up onto a low branch of the pine trees, yay!! He's up in the tree! He's safe! Up and away from the cat, he's gonna make it!
He looked so proud of himself, don't you think?
A little while later I came out to see if he was still there, and he was. I was happy to get a few more pictures. Now he's flown away and he's on his own. And if a cat gets him we'll never know.
Good luck with your life little bird! The sadness and loss I felt for the little dead bird was quickly turned to joy for the one that made it. It made me think of heaven and life. A scripture in LDS scriptures says in D&C 18:15 - "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" I did feel joy when he flew up out of my hand into the tree. We'll have a funeral tomorrow for Douglas. I'm guessing it was Elliot that survived, he seemed more like a "I'm outta here" fighter, Douglas was too nice and would just sit there when we'd hold him. Sweet little birds, two different paths. One gets to stick around here in mortality for a while longer, the other is up flying with the angels. We are grateful we got to spend a few days watching both of you grow. Goodbye little baby birds!

Saturday update: Douglas' graveside services.
Abi and our neighbor Tess (owner of the cat that got him, but there are no hard feelings. That's just how life is.)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Getting Healthy

My little health challenge that started the beginning of April has been going well. This Monday my weigh in weight loss total was 10 pounds (of course I starved myself/fasted each Sunday before Monday morning weigh in, but I'm reaching a new low each week, so yay!) I've got two more weeks, then I might see if anyone wants to continue or maybe I'll start my own group. I've really enjoyed it. It's almost like I'm doing Whole30, I don't eat carbs and I don't eat much meat... I'm mostly focusing on things that will help me lose weight, so lots of veggies, no bread or processed food, I'll have whole grain a few times a week, and a little bit of meat now and then. Here's a typical meal - yummy veggie soup - this is a bunch of steamed squash and cauliflower topped with a barley vegetable soup from Costco, so good!
And I love these pretty bowls, I bought them for myself for Christmas. :) The kids trying to get on a health kick too. Abi has a friend at school who is going without sugar for a year, so she's trying to eat less sugar and has skipped the junk cereal for breakfast and has been cooking eggs!

Mel's always been a light eater with a small sweet tooth, but she'll eat avocado and other stuff that the other kids won't try. This morning I caught her chewing on a leaf of lettuce this morning for her breakfast and I thought "Weirdo!" I'm a weirdo too. Today I had three heads of lettuce. Romaine, I'm not brave enough for kale yet. I do spinach sometimes. I made the kids put some frozen spinach in a smoothie this week and it ruined the whole thing. I took a little taste, it was way bad! I think it was either spinach that had freezer burn or that someone left it out and it all thawed and then got refrozen. It was super nasty.

And a little shout out to Hyrum, he and I started in November with a 12 week challenge for ourselves. He did better than me, he has lost 12 pounds since November. And Joseph recently had a lesson in his Seminary class about that Word of Wisdom, and the teacher gave a disclosure that he was going to share his own interpretation of the scriptures, but shared in the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 9 verse 11 that says "And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands." So, for Joseph, the thought of being accountable for the blood of every beast that is slain for him, has inspired him to eat meat very sparingly, as in like he won't eat it now. He's basically gone vegetarian, which is making me think about what that scripture says. But as I'm getting used to his new diet I forget, so I've been feeling bad for him when I make our usual dinners (like Orange Chicken) and there's not much for him to eat if he's to be true to his new ideal. So we might be changing up food around here even more than we did just for Hyrum and me, it's hard to makes meals for all these different dietary lifestyles, we might need to come to a consensus. Might be a new experience shopping at Coscto if we don't buy our orange chicken as that is definitely a kid favorite. I snapped this pic at Costco today cause it's such a rare occurrence.
I usually don't take a lot of kids to the store for me. Usually it's just me and Daniel, or me and Daniel and Owen. But all the little kids came with me today, they were pretty excited.
Owen being affectionate to Daniel, they are cute.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Spring Snow

Last night we had an inch or two of snow.  I woke up at 4 am and saw the snow out on the balcony and just laid there awake worrying about the birds! Now it's 8 pm and it's snowing again...
This morning I hurried out to check on the chicks after it started to get light and was relieved to see that the snow didn't collect under near the trunk, so they were safe, phew! Lily checked on them before school and begged to bring them in. "They look really cold!" Sweetie, there are lots of birds outside in this temperature, they'll be fine. Baby birds have special feathers to keep them warm (I'm googling and learning a lot about finches at the moment.) It was also good to see lots of bird droppings around them, made me know they are being taken care of.
That's a picture we took of them this afternoon, they are so cute!!! Mel couldn't resist picking one up. He didn't like it very much and flapped his wings and went fluttering across the ground trying to get away from her. That's just what you're supposed to do, little finch. Good job. She caught him and gave his feet a bit of warmth for a minute as she admired his cuteness.
We've decided they are both boys, and we've named them Douglas and Elliot. But we can't tell them apart.
And now I've been calling Daniel my baby bird. He's got the same look in his eyes as the birds, a lot of "Be gentle with me, I've got no defenses! I'm totally helpless here!" 
They just wait, trusting that food and help will come. But, Daniel, I'm glad you don't have to sleep outside on the ground overnight.  
Daniel eating the knob on a chair for nourishment? These baby humans would never survive in the wild. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Bird Watching

So, on Sunday evening we had family over for dinner. We were eating outside, and as we went in and out from the back door, I heard a bird chirping. We have a little vent opening out there that goes to the bathroom on the main floor. We've had birds there before we all assumed that is where the chirping was coming from. Fun! We have a nest in our house! Then a little bit later, I was in the basement getting some chairs, and heard the sound louder. Odd... then I learned that the chirping was not coming from the vent, but from the basementwindow sill. We looked down but couldn't see where the bird was, so I went down and opened the basement window and then was able to see the little bird hiding under a leaf. Tiny bird, still with it's down feathers on it's head and wing feathers growing out. We thought it must have fallen from the vent down into the window. We searched for a worm to feed it, the kids went to google to search how to rescue/feed/etc a bird. And I got the ladder so we could try to maybe put it back (after everyone got a turn holding it). 
Pretty exciting! Real nature right in our backyard! So I put the bird up in the vent. It didn't look like there was a new nest up there, but I could tell there had been one there... but it didn't look fresh... maybe the nest is further back? So I glued some cardboard over the bottom of the hole to hold the bird in a little better and we hoped it would hop back home. We kept the ladder out so we could check on the bird later and in the morning to see if it was okay. Then, like right after we put it up in the vent. Ethan was walking by one of our trees close by the kitchen window and noticed something fall to the ground. He was very surprised to find another little gray bird. It was alive and fine, and the kids said it was exactly alike the first one! They got the first one out of vent. I eventually came to take a peek. Yup, those two do look identical. About that time, Melodie came back to report her internet research findings. She said we shouldn't try to feed it anything, some worms can be poisonous. She also said sometimes the birds jump out of their nest as they practice flying, and they just hop around on the ground while the parents watch. Maybe the first bird hopped over to the window from this tree? Okay... well so what do we do now? We put them down on the ground and watched where they went. They ended up snuggling together by the trunk of the tree where the second one dropped from. We just decided to leave them there for the night, with a prayer that the neighbor's cats won't get them!

Yesterday morning we all went out to check on the birds. They were still by the tree, hooray! They were very camoflauged. You can see one pretty clearly and the other one is there in front and to the right a little bit.
Ok, well, I guess we'll just leave them there and pray for the best. I couldn't reach the nest with the ladder anyway. There's not much we can do but let nature take its' course. After the kids left for school, I sat by the kitchen nook and bird watched the morning away. I noticed a few birds flying around the tree. They all looked the same, I got my camera and caught a few pics of one of the birds:
We've decided we think the baby birds belong to the small red finch class. There were three of these finches flying around the tree this morning. I watched as one bird perched on the branch and kept an eye out while the other went down to the babies, and then sometimes two of them were chasing each other away. I'm hoping the babies really are both from the same nest, I'd feel horrible bad if I put babies from two sets of parents together and the tougher/meaner parent won't let the other parent near their baby bird! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Time Will Tell

I feel like we had a turning point tonight. It's just past midnight (but I'm changing the date so it's just before midnight and this post is still on the 15th...) We stayed up late having a great and sober and humble talk with the kids. Well, with Jospeh, Melodie, Ethan and Hyrum. Wes had collapsed of exhaustion a few hours before, Abi and Lily were in bed, Sophi and Natalie fell asleep on the floor next to Corey as he rubbed their backs, and Daniel and Owen were asleep. So, we shared with them a bit of the reality of the situation and our feelings about the business. Corey and I both shed a few tears, as he said that it feels like it might be at the end of the road but also he don't know what else he could have done and feels satisfied that he did everything he could. Corey had one last card that he put on the table today, so we'll see how that goes, but that really is his last card. He's done all he is able to do now. So it will be over soon or this last card will keep it alive to see another day. We'll see what they can do with it, time will tell.

So it was a great talk, I wish I had my phone so I could have recorded it. I think I will put some of the thoughts in my personal journal. One thing I will share here - we listened to a youtube video recently of a married couple and some of their faith crisis with the LDS faith, and Corey said "It seems that people's basic complaint with God and with the church is their un-realized and un-met expectations. They thought such and such would happen and it didn't, so they feel hurt/mad and leave. And I feel like I've been promised some things, and I wouldn't have done all of this if it weren't for those promises or expectations I had, but now it looks like they're not going to happen..." then after a pause and tears... "...but I'm not going to get mad..."

So as we headed to bed and I looked at my calendar, I thought came to me "May 15... I think that was the date of our first date?" I had moved all my journals and scrapbooks from our bedroom into the basement are (I'm always having to go down there to look up stuff! Maybe I'll move those back up here....) so I looked in my journal, didn't have the date there... then looked in my high school scrapbook.  I found the old dance picture from our first date and, well what do you know... Look at that!

Junior Prom 1992
"Forever Young"
May 15, 1992
Skyline High School

And a little bit of math helped me learn that it was exactly 25 years ago tonight! 25 years ago I was dropping him off after our first date. My sister drove us all in the family station wagon! It could be said this photo was the night that marked the beginning of a great life together. But at the time it was just a date. Just a dance, but time would tell the story of how it was really the beginning of something great and wonderful. I would not have believed it if someone told me that night "You and Corey will get married! And not only that! Get this... in 25 years, you two will still be in love and will have a great life and eleven children!" My brain would have exploded. Maybe that's why God can't let us see too far ahead, we maybe wouldn't be able to handle all the good news! It gave me a little bit of hope that maybe, for the business, tonight will turn into a moment of time that didn't seem to have any promise of leading to anything in the future, but we'll look back and see that it was. However it ends, we both have faith that it will work out for the best!
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