Monday, October 26, 2009


What do you get when you cross two mischevious boys & a featherbed topper? An entire room (and boys) covered in feathers.

They never cease to make me wonder about their thought process. First, they were in the spare bedroom in the basement - a room they weren't supposed to be in in the first place. Second, when they intially popped or ripped the topper, you would think that they would realize they had done something wrong. Third, why did it seem like a good idea to roll in and toss the feathers everywhere. Fourth, they came upstairs giggling and eager to find me and tell me what they had done.

Thinking it would be a punishment to make them clean up the mess, I swept the feathers in a big pile for them to put in a garbage bag. Immediately I realized this was not going to be a punishment. They were giggling at all of the feathers, and dancing as they took turns putting them in the bag. Sidenote: I was proud of them for remembering to say please and thank you as they took turns opening and holding the garbage bag. As they continued to get sillier and sillier, I had to pull out the big guns and threaten what I promised myself I would never threaten: "If you guys don't straighten up and stop making these messes, I will call Santa and tell him to keep your presents at the North Pole." This brought some somberness to their mood and I think they got the point.

Once they were done cleaning their part, I let them go upstairs to play. I told them to stay out of the (food) cupboards. Where was the first place they went? They are not quiet, even when they are trying to be quiet, they are not quiet. I heard them open the cupboard where there is some candy. Then I heard Porter "whisper" for Gryffin to hurry. So, I quietly crept up the stairs and stood in the living room waiting for them to see me. They both started to run to the bathroom and ran into me. With fists full of bubblegum the only thing they could think to say was, "What?"

I love them sooooo very much but seriously. I'm going gray here! I know for a fact Heavenly Father is getting some good laughing at my expense. :) I should have taken a picture but I was a bit upset at the mess.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Life in general

Woohoo! I finished my killer 8 week class on Friday. I turned in my 10 pg paper at 11:20 pm. Probably could've written it a bit better but this professor kept giving us more books to read and discussions to write. Oh well, it's over now.

Today was our Primary program in church. The theme this year is "My Eternal Family". As a teacher in the primary, the songs and parts sometimes become commonplace and I miss out on their meaning. Today, as the kids sang, I got a bit choked up. One of my favorites is "The Family is of God". Some of the words are:

Our Father has a family. It’s me! It’s you, all others too:
we are His children. He sent each one of us to earth,
through birth, To live and learn here in fam’lies.

Chorus: God gave us families
to help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God.

I’ll love and serve my family and be A good example
to each fam’ly member. And when I am a mom or dad,
so glad, I’ll help my fam’ly remember:
(Then back to the chorus)

Of course, I still can't make it through "Families Can Be Together Forever" without getting a bit vaclempt. I want so much for these sweet little spirits, I just hope that they know how much we are all loving and pulling for them. The world is a pretty crappy place sometimes and as our Bishop said we need "to protect their innocence". They grow up so quickly.

The sweetest thing I saw today happened between Fiona and her cousin Brooklyn. They are fortunate enough to have Great-Grandma Carol as their primary teacher (and it's just the two girls in the class!). Midway through the primary program, they had said their part and the two of them were getting a bit tired of sitting there. Fiona laid her head on Grandma's shoulder and Grandma rubbed her back. A moment later, without really looking, Brooklyn scooted closer to Fiona laid her head on Fiona's shoulder and then Grandma rubbed her back too. If I had a camera (and it wouldn't have been totally inappropriate), I would have snapped a shot right there in church. Moments like these will mean so much more 10 years from now when the world starts to get to them. Knowing that you are loved, deep down inside, makes the choices a bit easier or, at the very least, more meaningful.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cute giveaway

A friend of mine directed me to her friends blog. She has some really cute things and is doing a giveaway. Check it out.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Farm Heritage Days

Saturday was the 3rd (I think) annual Farm Heritage Days in Gresham, Wisconsin. This day equals the excitement of Christmas for Porter. There is always a tractor parade, they throw candy, animals, and a drawing for model tractor (toys). My kids really lucked out at the tractor drawing this year; Kennedy, Fiona and Porter all won a tractor. Gryffin was a bit upset but when the other three said they would share he perked up. They are expensive - to be looked at and not played with tractors, so I convinced them to let me put them back in the box. (They will thank me later...) The bargain invloves me going and buying a tractor from Wal-mart. Thought I'd send some pics. I think Porter's favorite part of the day was being able to climb on all of the tractors.

Fiona and Kennedy by the animals - this is where Fiona spent her whole day

Porter watching the tractor parade and Gryffin checkin out the tractors

Porter test driving - the second picture cracks me up!
Gryffin, Porter and Cousin Dallin

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thought I'd do a quick update on how the family is doing...

At the end of August, I started my Master's program from NAU. The madness started right away. I had to register full-time to keep a scholarship. This is not that bad part. The bad part came in when I discovered that one of my classes is an 8 week course; the other two 16 weeks. Why is that bad you ask? An 8 week course is 16 weeks worth of work crammed into half of the time. Needless to say, things have gotten pretty interesting here.

To try and manage my time a little better, I've started waking up by 5:30 am. The theory being that I would get some quiet time to do some work. The boys have some mischievious intuition and have started waking by 6am. So much for quiet time.

The kids are doing fine in school and are finally adjusting to the schedule. I get to watch my 7 month (that's right isn't Shel?) nephew on Monday's and Friday's, and take Porter to speech on Tuesday's and Thursday's. This week we will throw the schedule a loop and start dance on Thursday. Things have been stressful (that's an extreme understatement....) but we've tried our best.

After family home evening yesterday, we had our family scripture study. Sometimes I wonder what the point is. Porter and Gryffin are usually giggling and rolling around while we're reading. Last night for whatever reason, Porter was listening intently and repeating phrases. This is amazing for 2 reasons, one - the fact that he paid attention to catch anything and two - that fact that he was putting the phrases together. This is his second year of speech and very rarely do I get an actual sentence.

My posts will probably be very sparse, but I will do my best. Until next time, have fun!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Praises of Family Home Evening

Our Monday has not been the best. There has been fighting, whining and crying...ALL DAY. By dinnertime I think we had all had it. I even had to start yelling. That is something I don't like to do - it make me too cranky. Don't get me wrong...I'm pretty good at it. If it were an Olympic sport I would be a returning champion many times over...but, I digress. We were supposed to have FHE but I was not in the right frame of mind and knew the lesson I had planned was not the one that needed to be given.

**For my wonderful friends who are not LDS, we have been counseled to set aside one night a week (Monday) as family night. We have lessons, sing church songs and even have a treat.

Everyone took their baths/showers and got ready for bed. We calmed down and listened to Fiona practice the piano. Once we all got in a better frame of mind and mood we sat down. Our lesson was how we talk to others and how that makes others talk to us. Our challenge (and I mean everyone!) is simply to remember to say "Please" or "Thank you". Each time I hear one of these wonderful things I will put a check mark by their names. It was so nice to close by singing "Families can be together forever". Almost immediately following the lesson a wonderful change of air blew in. And, by the end of our closing song, we all felt much more peaceful. Porter said the closing prayer and he made sure to remind us to be friends and to "say please to play with my tractors".

I'm so thankful for the inspiration and revelation of FHE. It is one of the quickest ways to bring all of us back to where we need to be. Now, I don't need to accept my earlier nominations of meanest mom ever and most likely to pop a vein in my neck while yelling.... :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Porterman!

On Wednesday the 5th, Porter turned 4 years old! Time flies...when you don't have time to realize it's flying by.....(think about that one for awhile...)

We had his party today (Saturday). He is our John Deere lover and we did our best to please him. I made him a frontloader cake (that had an odd resemblence to Mater), and another smaller cake with the John Deere logo on it. He recieved many articles of JD clothing, as well as some fun toys and Thomas the Train books and stickers. He had so much fun and was surprisingly patient. We didn't give him any presents on his actual birthday and told him he had to wait for Saturday. He didn't complain once!

Here's some pics of the party.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

If this is boring what is exciting to you?

Growing up, I once heard a woman say that motherhood can be boring and uneventful. In retrospect I think that either:
A. She didn't really have any children
B. She didn't pay attention to her children
C. She was an absolute idiot!

Yesterday, Fiona came walking slowly to me with a terrified look on her face. Apparently, while she was holding Doodles - our cat- she was having a hard time holding on to her dime. To say Fiona is a money miser is an understatement. So, rather than set her money down (...where someone might pick it up...)she thought it would be a good idea to put it in her mouth. Now, I have yelled at my children many times not to put money in their mouths. I realize it's a choking hazard, but I personally can't get past the germ factor. Needless to say, she swallowed the dime. "My throat was so dry, I swallowed and I didn't mean to." I talked to the Dr.'s office and we (and of course I mean me) have to watch for the dime to make its exit. This morning Fiona informed me that the dime was like Dora because it was getting to explore lots of places. Where do they come up with this stuff?

Then, tonight, as I was trying to get everyone cleaned up and ready for bed, I left my freshly bathed boys in their hooded towels in the living room. I went to get their jammies and came and heard Porter yelling, "I'm a superhero, I'm a superhero!" He and Gryffin were running around with their hooded towels on with arms stretched wide open, flying around the living room. The only part of their bodies covered was their head.

I was then trying to fold clothes, put them away, and finish the dishes when I discovered Gryffin needed a dry diaper (sidenote: any potty training tips for a stubborn almost 3 year old?!). I sighed and was ready to change him when Kennedy offered to do it. "It's okay Mom, I've got this one." 8 going 18.

Life is crazy. Life is stressful. Life is unpredictable. Life is very entertaining....and I wouldn't trade with anyone....

Friday, July 17, 2009

A new addition to our family....

Hee, hee....before you too excited I'm not talking about a baby. Any of you who know my Fiona very well, know that she is a lover a all creatures great and small (furry and creepy). Recently a very mean stray cat was prowling around our house and Uncle Jerod & Aunti Shel's. The stray ended up having babies in Uncle Jerod's garage. There the stray and most of the babies met there demise. They were all very even took a good bite out of Jake's finger. In the past week two of the babies have been wandering and mewing around our wood pile. They would run anytime I'd open the door or walk (and yell) toward them.

Apparently, the reason they keep coming back is because in the past couple of days Fiona took it upon herself to try and feed them. The charcoal one "was the mean one mom and the nice one kept running away from it. I knew I had to help it. It was crying for me." The nice one has "pretty blue eyes and likes me". With their mother gone I knew it would be a matter of time before they were gone. The charcoal one was found over by Grandma's house today, dead.

Now, I do not have a heart of ice but I am not a big animal fan. I do, however, love my daughter very much. So, after much pleading, I let her take a small dish of cat food out to the wood pile. I stood back and was amazed how this kitten would walk around and purr on Fiona but when any of the rest of us came near it darted. It didn't hesitate to let her pick it up and pet it. So, unfortunately we now have (an outside one!) a new kitten...named Troy. He has a box with a diaper rag near the wood pile. We even sprayed flea and tick spray on it. That was mainly for my peace of mind and not the health of the kitten. I just hope to heaven Troy can survive outside and doesn't annoy the heck out of me. We already have Doodles, the inside cat. She is not so found of other animals.

Tonight, after we got Troy set up with his makeshift bed, I called her inside to come take a shower. I stood on the deck and listened to her say, "It's okay Troy. You're safe now. I will take care of you. You're not alone anymore."

Oh, Fiona. This ought to be interesting.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Home is where the heart is....

I had the opportunity to take a quick trip to visit my family in AZ at the beginning of June. It was very quick (just the weekend) but it gets harder and harder to be so far away. I went by myself. Thank you so much Julie, Jasmine and Michelle (the best Mother-in-law and sisters-in-law a girl could have). Thank you Jake for letting me ditch you for a weekend. I've been thinking alot about my visit and some feelings that came to mind.

I love to look out the windows as the plane decends into Phoenix. Mountains! Oh how I miss them. My heart swells up and somehow I feel protected. As the plane was about to land, I found myself tearing up and getting very antsy. I'm 33 years old but I wanted to see my Mommy. :) The people around me probably thought I was on drugs I was tapping my leg so furiously.
Distance does not make the heart grow fonder...Shakespeare was seriously mistaken. A synonym for fond is tender. That is exactly what happens to the heart, it becomes tender. The distance make the heart tender and makes the soul appreciate what is there.

Driving to Thatcher from Mesa is actually one of my favorite parts of the trip. (Most people will tell you this is the worst part...) Again, I love the mountains and all of the saguarro cactus. when I was younger and we took road trips to Mesa, my dad would always tell us stories and legends about the cactus. Apparently there was an old indian legend that said the saguarro represented the chief. The arms represented how his wives. If she was a good wife, the arm was pointed to the heavens, if she was a bad wife the arm pointed to the ground. The best part of the drive is when we drive past Pima and head into Central. The view of Mt Graham is awesome and I know I'm almost there.

A few days before I left WI my dad was telling me some things about Thatcher to which he said, "You'll just have to wait until you get home to see." I giggled and thought about that. Somehow, Thatcher will always be my home. No matter how old I get or how far I move away. A piece of my of my soul (yes we are entering cheezy's my blog..) still resides there. But, how can I call WI my home if I still have a home in AZ. So, since I left I've tried to figure out this conundrum. Can we really have more than one home? Once you leave, they say you can never really come back again. I recently came across a quote from Maya Angelou that said, "You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right."

She pegged it just right. I will always have a 'home' in AZ. My memory is complete with the familiar sounds of birds and frogs (yes they are different from the ones here in WI), the smell of the rain (again...different) and the feel of the air (I don't think anyone would disagree that the air is different...). As Jenni is now getting ready to leave AZ (have a safe trip), she asked me how could I ever leave because she was going to miss it so much. I told her that I've missed it every day since I left.

What I have realized, with a bit of help from Ms. Angelou, is that I have never truly left.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fiona's Kindergarten Graduation

As always things are crazy busy but wanted to post some pics of Fiona's Kindergarten Graduation. I know most people poo-poo (yes, that is a technical term...) about kindergarten graduations, but it sure is cute to see them so excited. They feel so accomplished!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

No title - just be forewarned this is more for me than you...

Washing the dishes this afternoon afforded me some thinking time. My day was not working out the best. The play out in my head went something like this (yes, I talk to myself in my head, but don’t worry, no one ever answers back):
After a not so good day at church today I was starting to wonder, how can we gauge our progress in this life? When we are single it’s fairly easy to check and keep ourselves on track. When we get married, our progress includes one more person. Motherhood really throws us a curve ball because we are then responsible for those precious lives in our care. How can we tell we are doing okay? Now, I’m not fishing for compliments I was really trying to figure this out. All I know is that when I walked in the door this afternoon, I was ready to quit, throw in the towel…whatever. I must be doing something wrong because things don't seem to be going right.
I know my children will never be perfect, but I have expectations – and I think they are reasonable. I expect them to be kind to their family as well as others, be respectful, courteous, eventually sit reverently in church, pick up after themselves, love their family, love their self…. If they do not reach these expectations, I’m at fault. I understand free agency but I have a responsibility to raise and teach them…show them the right road on the map, if you will. I’ve tried not to raise spoiled children but have wanted to give them opportunities that I were not available to me.
I started thinking about Kennedy being in dance. That is the only thing that I have ever really wanted so bad that I couldn’t have – we couldn’t afford it. I’m living vicariously through her. I love to watch her – she can move it with the best of them.
Fiona plays the piano quite proficiently for a 6 year old if I do say so myself. I might be biased…oh well. Recently, Fiona has started to say she wants to quit piano. Things are a bit harder as she is starting to play both hands (treble and bass clefs). It’s a lot of notes to remember for a little girl but she does it so well.
In the midst of my self inflicted anguish I thought of a conversation she and I had at the piano just yesterday. She told me, again, she just wanted to give up and that it was just getting too hard. I then told her:
“We don’t quit. There is always going to be something in life that is hard, Fiona. If you quit, you’ll never get to the good stuff. You are too special and too good to quit. I can’t let you.”
As I remembered this conversation, I had to stop and smile to myself (through tears of course). I needed my own advice. There are times I want to quit. I feel like I’m failing and quitting is the easiest thing to do. But, I know I have a Heavenly Father that echoes my advice to Fiona. I need to push through the not so good stuff to get the great stuff on the other side. Someone does think that I am too special and too good to quit.
I apologize if you find yourself at the end of this post, wishing you had never started. This is not meant to be a “woe is me post”. I just thought I’m probably not the only one out there feeling this way. Let’s face it, life gets pretty hard sometimes. Unfortunately, there are times we are going to feel like we are failing. Quitting is going to be soooooo appealing but we can’t. There’s always going to be something hard but we are all better than we think we are. We can do it (right?). I’m sure I’ll be discouraged again tomorrow, but for tonight I’ve found a bit more resolve to muster through. If I can find the will try a little harder, I think we all can.
Good luck to us all!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Proof is in the Paint

I had a rather eventful evening on Thursday. Fiona had a friend come over after school. About 6pm her friend's father was on his way to come get her. I was on the phone just finishing up with directions when Kennedy screamed, "I just stepped in wet paint". I hung up the phone and remembered that about 5 minutes prior to Kennedy's scream, Porter came running upstairs and headed to his room. I went downstairs to find a huge puddle of white paint on the dark green carpet. Granted, this is just a carpet scrap that keeps their feet from freezing, but still. Three paint cans lay on their side and one's cap was cracked open just enough to leak.

I got Fiona's friend off with her dad and set off to find the truth. All fingers pointed to Porter so I made him come downstairs and talk to me while I tried to clean the mess. I asked him why he was playing with the paint cans and he replied, "I build a tall tower, it fall down." I then told him he had boxes of blocks, why paint cans. "They're bigger." Now, I knew he didn't mean to spill the paint, but the bottome line is that the paint cans are Daddy's and he's not allowed to play with Daddy's stuff.

3 hours, 4 buckets full of water, 2 1/2 rolls of paper towels, and one full shop vac the mess was pretty much gone. I didn't yell at Porter but grounded him from checking out movies and books from the library. (trust me, this is a big deal for him; sidenote - I made a point to go the library the next day so he couldn't check anything out - does that make me mean?)

I sat down at 9pm to finally eat my salad. The frustration wore off and I started giggling. I hope his inquistive mind can be put to good use one day.

Another bit about my Porterman is that he has been asking for a shirt and tie to wear to church. I finally remembered to get him one. He looked so handsome today, I thought I'd share.'s kinda hard to be mad at that face for too long!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Patting myself on the back...

Awhile ago at Stake Conference one of the speakers read a quote, "Fix it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." I'm usually pretty good at pinching pennies but with school too many things got pushed aside. Now with some time on my hands, I decided to put those words into action.

The past couple of days, I have patched my favorite jeans and broke out the sewing machine. I love the brand Silver jeans but as some of you know they are very expensive. Between rummage sales and Goodwill I've come across some nice namebrand pants including Silvers and Guess. (...the most expensive being $4...and I don't think the pants have ever been worn...) The one problem I always run into is the length. I'm short. (...sorry to state the obvious...) Now that schools out, I brought out all of the mending and hemming. I have 4 new (to me) pairs of jeans and a pair of shorts.

Some of you are scratching your heads not realizing that I had aquired the talent of sewing. I thank my Grandmother's Cope and Larson who forced me to listen and watch them sew.

The hemming and mending isn't the coolest part. My boys needed some curtains for their rooms. They keep waking up at the crack of dawn. I wanted to get them some good insulated/thick curtains to help with the sunshine in the summer and the cold air in the winter. When I priced them out, it would cost me close to $40. No way.

Today, I went to Wal-Mart and found some nice thick fabric on sale (a nice boyish maroon, dark olive green, light olive green striped) and commenced to make curtains. They work great and make it nice and dark in their room . The true test will be how early they wake up tomorrow morning.

Sorry about tooting my own horn but I am pretty pleased with myself and thought I'd share.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Well, I did it. Yesterday (Saturday) was my graduation from UW Green Bay. I was intially very upset because I was told I was uneligible to graduate with honors. UWGB policy states that you must attain 60 credits from UW the semester before graduation. I only had about 58. So I was told that not only would I not recieve my honor cords but that it would not say with honors on my transcript. I whined and complained to my counselor and eventually just sucked it up and moved on.

I recieved a very pleasant surprise as I was thumbing through the program booklet at graduation. In the honors section, under Magna Cum Laude was "Rebecca Phillips Hoffman". I quickly hunted down my counselor before everything started and showed it to her. She tried to explain to me that I would have honors listed on my transcript but no cords. Whatever, all I know is I worked hard and am glad I got some recognition. However, I must admit I cringed everytime they said a graduates name and their honors knowing they wouldn't be saying anything about me. It's an ego thing, I know.

Speaking of ego...could they make graduation gowns anymore unflattering. I was so close to breaking out my sewing machine and doing some serious alterations...little black dress anyone? ...and the hat...I have no suggestions....

Thank you to everyone who has helped and encouraged me while working on this endeavor. Thank you to my wonderful sister-in-law Jill who accompanied Jake so he didn't have to sit alone during then entire 2 1/2 graduation (yep, that's how long it was). Most especially, thank you to my wonderful husband who has supported and encouraged me these past couple of years. I smiled as all of us graduates were entering into the Kress center and I caught Jake's eye. I'm not positive but I think I saw tears in his eyes and I had to remind him to take a picture of me. :)
Here are a few pics from Graduation.

Jake also got a clip of me getting my diploma. Notice the awesome catcall when they say my name. (Thanks Jill!)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Will Porter & Gryffin survive to 16? Stay tuned to find out...

I absolutely adore my children. That being said, I feel my boys are really going to give me a run for my money.

In the past week, I've caught them drawing on the walls (AGAIN!!!), unfolding the newly folded clothes (2 minutes prior) and Gryffin taking permenant marker to himself. Oh, and Gryffin climbed on top of my washing machine and got stuck. Later that day I had no cold water for the washer. He had shut if off while stuck on said washing machine.

JUST TODAY, both of them on my countertop trying to get candy (7:30 am - caught them after I got out of the shower), shortly after they completely stripped their beds of all linens, the time it took to make my lunch Gryffin was screaming downstairs - he was stuck on top of the deep freezer, 30 min later I had no water running in my house - Gryffin flipped the breaker downstairs while on top of the freezer (thank you Uncle Jerod for figuring that out..), while I was at piano with Fiona both boys climbed up to the key hooks and took both sets of keys for the lawnmower - Jake didn't notice until he heard a strange clicking noise outside.

I'm sure there is more that I'll discover later but I'm too tired to check. So I ask...any of you who have this what the rest of my life will be like? I'm going to need a lot more Coke and chocolate........................................

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Mother's Day

I had to share's too cute. Fiona woke up on Sunday AM with really bad allergies, so she stayed home from church. When I got home, she literally ran at me and shoved a card in my hands. She wrote some very sweet words but the icing was the quarter she taped inside the card. You have to understand that she is a tightwad like her mother so for her to give up money for something other than tithing - it's a big deal. I'm typing her wonderful phonetic spelling:

"Happy Muthrs Day - I love you mom
this qarter is for you all for doing the stufh you did
I love you mom
Happy muthris day
I rele love you mom."

I tried to give her the quarter back but she wouldn't hear of it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

First, I just wanted to wish all of you fabulous mom's a Happy Mother's Day! I thought I'd share a poem with you that Kennedy wrote at school. She brought it home for me on Friday. It made my day.
Happy Mother's Day
May 2009
Name: Becky
Mother of: Gryffin, Porter, Fiona and Kennedy
She loves: Flowers, Family and Kisses
She feels: Happy, Sad and Mad
She needs: Dad, Mom and Sister
She fears: Snakes, Snowstorms and Tornados
She would like to see: Sisters, Brothers, Moms and Dads
Resident of: Maple Road, Gresham
I like to call her Mommy.
I love you Mommy!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dance Recital

Today was recital. It was a crazy day because I had to leave at 7:30am to head to Green Bay for class and drop my boys off with Uncle Jerod because Daddy was at work. Aunt Jilli took my girls overnight and graciously agreed to get Kennedy to dress rehearsal that morning and then get her ready for the recital as well as get her to recital. My professor let me leave class an hour early. I got to the recital at 12:30 and it started promptly at 1pm.

I'm so proud of my Kennedy. I love to watch her dance. I know this is me being biased, but I think she's pretty dang good. She likes to "shake it". (...those are her words)

It was an awesome show. Not only did I get to watch Kennedy, but my neices - Taylor, Mackenzie and Brookie, my sister-in-law Jasmine, and a whole slew of cousins were in the recital.

Wish you were there Jen. We needed someone to start the catcalling. :) Here's a few pics for you instead.

1st pic:Brookie, Kennedy, Mackenzie & Taylor
2nd pic: Kennedy & Aunt Jasmine

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009

Well, I desperately tried to convince the Easter Bunny to come Saturday morning but no. So, early Sunday morning I heard children running around trying to find candy. Kennedy led the pack at 5:45 am. I took them until close to 7:30 to find them. The hard part was knowing they weren't allowed to eat any candy until after lunchtime.

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter. When I asked my children why we celebrate Easter, they answered, "To remember that Jesus died for us and that he lives again....and for the awesome candy the Easter Bunny brings." Good enough for me!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fiona the Philospher

Things have been a bit crazy lately with school and I haven't had the opportunity to post. Fiona has supplied me with a few deep thinking moments as of late and I thought I would share.

Sometimes I wonder if family scripture study and FHE is doing any good. The boys are usually bouncing all over, and the girls tend to look off in space. After scripture study we say our personal bedtime prayers. That night a metaphor had been used in the scriptures about the strength of a chain. Fiona started her prayer - prayer #13, the same-o same-o. Then as I was trying to keep Gryffin on my lap, quiet, with arms folded Fiona paused. I thought she was stuck and I was about to help her when she said, "Heavenly Father, please help our family be strong like a chain and that we can all work together to keep it strong." Of course my eyes watered a bit and scripture study was validated. Then, about a week ago, while saying bedtime prayer, she asked, "Heavenly Father, please watch over this family that no one will ever get lost because we need everyone." That opened an awesome opportunity to talk about eternal families and the importance of temple marriages.

I really would like to know what goes through her mind. This is the same child that asked if we all had to hang on the cross to live with Heavenly Father. Sometimes I think Heavenly Father sent Fiona to me because I forget the basics and she is always there to remind me.

Friday, February 6, 2009

If cleanliness is next to Godliness what does that say about me?

My day consists of waking up at 6:30, getting the girls off to school. A couple days a week I add Porter into the mix and take him to school. Once home, the morning is spent doing regular cleaning chores so that when Gryffin lays down I can do my homework. I have gotten very discouraged lately as my extra time is becoming shorter and shorter (says the woman spending her free time blogging and not cleaning.....) with a full load of classes. By 6pm, you can no longer tell that any cleaning has been done. I wondered why does this happen day after day? I have good kids who do fairly well at cleaning after themselves. So out of curiosity, I took a picture at 11am after I was all done cleaning. Then, I took one at 3:45 when everyone was home.

When looking at the pictures, all I could think about was a poem my sister used to have hanging up. ( you still have this Lisa?) "Trying to clean while your children are growing is like trying to shovel while it's still snowing." Having moved to WI has given this poem even more meaning. Perhaps, there will be a time, when I can walk through the living room without puncturing my foot on a tractor. I'm sure when that time comes I will miss these memories.....right?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Goldie, September 08- February 09, Rest in Peace

This morning, as Fiona and I were going to feed our fish, Goldie, we were shocked to find the fishbowl empty. From the first day we brought Goldie home, Doodles our cat, has jumped onto the countertop to bat around the fish and drink the water out of the bowl. I have sprayed her with a spray bottle, swatted her with newspaper, but at night I frequently hear her jump down from the countertop. Our only explaination for Goldie's disappearance, is that she currently resides in Doodles' belly.
As can be expected, Fiona was very upset. We made this discovery 30 minutes before time to leave for church. I held her while she cried and tried to explain to her that Doodles couldn't help it. I told her that Doodles likes fish as much ash she likes candy, or whipped cream in a can. She understood, a little, but still needed to cry. After a couple of minutes, she wiped her eyes and told me, "Mom, it's starting to get warmer outside and the fair will be coming soon. I will do my best to win another fish." (She won Goldie at last year's fair)
She then gave me a hug, stood up and walked into the kitchen where Doodles was sitting. She stood in front of Doodles only for a second. (I wondered if I was going to have to save Doodles' life...) She very sternly poked Doodles in the shoulder and said, "That was naughty! You don't eat my fish! I am very angry!!!...I still love you but I am very angry!"
So, Fiona is okay, but she is still a bit sad. She loves animal and all other creatures. In all the sadness for Goldie's death, Fiona made me giggle and smile at her ability to bounce back and her willingness to forgive. If only we could all have those abilities and take them with us throughout all our lives!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Boys will be boys

I love to quietly watch my boys when they are playing. It's always interesting to see what they come up with. When Porter gets out his trucks, trains, cars and/or tractors, he systematically lines them up. Then yesterday afternoon, I came in my kitchen after laying Gryffin down for a nap and Porter had lined his big trucks and tractors on the back of my couch. Where do they come up with this.

Speaking of the antics of little boys....Gryffin loves to run and spin. He also has a bad habit of not paying attention to his surroundings. Wednesday night he kept spinning until he would get dizzy. Unfortunately, he was doing it by the kitchen table and wooden chairs. Kennedy tried to help him as his dizziness caught up with him but....smack! The middle of his forehead met the seat of a chair. The bump was instant as was the blue and purple. Jake took a picture of him last night. (...sidenote: Gryffin lets Daddy or even Aunt Jasmine take his picture but still not me...) His forehead is brown and yellow, with a ghastly ring of blue still lingering.

Boys will be boys...and will constantly worry their mother.

Something sweet...

Fiona has a new found love for canned whipped cream. At first she would ask to have it in a bowl. Then she asked for mom or dad to squirt it straight into her mouth. Now, if you listen really closely when Fiona gets home from school, you can hear the fridge open and some one clinking trying to find something. Things will get very quiet and then, "Pshoosh!!!!!!", as she squirts herself a mouthful. When caught, she just smiles with whipped cream where her teeth used to be.
It's a good giggle for me. I might have to join her in her obsession. Did you know there are only 15 calories in 2 tbsp? Here of some pics of her caught in the act.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No one likes a frowning face....

I don't know why it is, but Gryffin hates to have his picture taken. (...boy was he sent to the wrong house....his mom takes pictures every day...) Yesterday, I tried to take a picture of both of my boys sitting on the countertop...they were my helpers while I was making dinner. They were giggling and hugging each other so I thought I'd take the photo op. As soon as Gryffin saw the camera, he started screaming. The picture is blurry because I couldn't stop laughing.

So, you will notice in most pictures Gryffin is frowning, looking away or screaming "no!" at me. The only way I can get a semi-decent one is when he is doing something silly like sticking q-tips in his nose, or wearing red rain boots with nothing else but a smile.
(See picture below for visual explanation..)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My name is.....

Porter accomplished a major feat over Christmas break. He can now say his name. It sounds a little like "Pertor Hopmin" but it's good enough for us!
He still goes to speech every Tuesday and Thursday and is progressing so well.

6 Hoffmans, one cat and a fish...

We finally jumped on the "blog"wagon. I can't guarantee how much it will be updated, but I will do my best.

Things are crazy as always in this household. School has started up and so has dance, piano, and speech. My classes start this Thursday.

Amidst all of this, we are trying to remember to slow down and enjoy life.

Stay tuned....more to come....