Adventure in Arizona

First I would like to say Phoenix is hot!!!!!! Second I would like to say, I was tremendously thankful for the hotel having a pool!!!!!! With that being said, we did have a great time in Phoenix. It was fun having absolutely no responsibilities for a while.

Middle Bit was born in this great city, so he had fun seeing the old house we lived in, hospital he was born in and the church he was baptized in. We took him to the church he was baptized at, and one of the priests is still there almost 13 years later! I have a picture of her holding him as a baby, and now of them standing next to each other 13 years later. Time does fly!

Other highlights were visiting Tombstone and Bisbee. If I had the chance to live in Bisbee, I would. The town is so eclectic and much cooler in temperature. Love it!

We had a great time, but like all good things, we had to come back home. We were all grateful for the time away and time spent together!

What were some of the trips you have been on this summer?

Love,

Suzy

A Broken Foot to Start the Summer

Middle Bit always keeps us on our toes.  He is my kid who will get hurt, who will jump off a tree, who will climb the tree to jump off of.  He will do what most people think through first, but does it before thing and then says to himself, “I should have thought that through.”  He learns things the hard way.  But he lives his life to the fullest, and always has a good story to tell. In his adult years, he should write a book.

We have avoided broken bones in this house even with what I consider an obscene  amount of visits to the ER.  I am sure they have often wondered what goes on in our home to warrant so many stitches.  I thought that maybe we could make it through the kid years without a broken bone, but I was wrong.  Middle Bit broke his foot in five places.  Three bones, five places!!!  When he does something, he does it well.

Here is the story that we have been told.  I have a feeling I will find out more when he is in his twenties.

We were over at our friends house for Sunday dinner.  We switch houses every week to enjoy a great Sunday meal.  When one does not have family around, you make family with others who miss the same traditions.  It happened to be their turn to host, and all the kids were playing outside.  The grown ups were inside, enjoying a few beers together, when Middle Bit comes limping in. He wasn’t crying, but I could definitely tell he was in a great deal of pain.  I took one look, and knew it was broken.  My husband down played it and placed him on the couch, elevated his foot and put some ice on it.  We sat there for about thirty minutes, when my friend and I decided to try to stand Middle Bit up.  Immediately, his face went pail, and that is when we knew that an ER visit was our destiny.

We kept asking Middle Bit what happened, hoping we missed part of the story, and hoping more would come out.  But nothing ever has.  This is what he claims happened.  He was playing soccer and his foot was on the ball.  Someone kicked the ball, and he said that his foot was not kicked in any way, but somehow from the ball being kicked, his foot was broken in five places.  All the kids stood there dutifully shaking their heads in agreement, but not saying a word.  Hmmm….

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I have never witnessed the changing of the cast, and it was fascinating.  It was also quite nerve racking.  I prayed that the doc would keep his steady hand!

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During his broken leg, Middle Bit got to experience friendship.  So many of the cutest kids came by and gave him cards, or rescheduled get together so he could join.  It was so sweet!  A good friend stopped by with her young kids, who bought him all yellow items, because he needed a little sunshine.  They included these puzzles, which Middle Bit totally enjoyed.  Thank you to all who took the time to check on him.  It truly made the broken foot more bearable!

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I look forward to hearing the complete story someday!

Have a great day everyone!

Love,

Suzy

MMA-Mixed Martial Arts Photo Collage

My kids are in a mixed martial arts class, and they love it!  For a long time, it was a struggle to get them to go.  My oldest son started classes when he was in the first grade, and it was so painful!  He would fight every time it was class, but I did not want him to give up.  I knew that in the long run, it would pay off.  Besides if I had my kids quit every thing they fight over, then they would never find out if they truly like it.

Middle Bit joined in, and when he started to progress faster than his older brother, my oldest son quickly found his interest!  A little competition never hurt anyone!

After my youngest was with us a few years, we had her join, and she has progressed nicely!  It has taught them all respect, control and most importantly how to protect themselves if they were in a rough situation.

They had the opportunity recently to show off their skills.  What I enjoy about MMA, is that there are not matches that we have to attend.  They can get serious if they want, but this class is mainly to build confidence.  However, this day was an opportunity to promote their do-jo so, they had the experience of getting to show off their skills.

The sad part is Middle Bit could not participate in the event due to his broken foot.  That is a whole other story!  But the other kids had a great time.  In the last larger photo, my oldest is sparring against one of his best friends.  We absolutely love this kid!  I consider him my fourth child, so I can put him in these pictures!  However, I have no idea who some of the other people are, so oops!  My favorite pictures are those of Little Bit with her staff because there is some random mascot watching.  He is the mascot of Real Salt Lake, the professional soccer league here.  I really do not know what he was doing at this event, but the pics are hilarious!

Hope you all are having a great summer!

Love,

Suzy

 

40!

In February, I celebrated my 40th birthday!  I did not want any birthday parties or events that make others feel like they needed to get me things and I feel really uncomfortable when I am the center of attention.  I really did not want to be surprised by any of that either.  But I did not know what I wanted to do.  Mr. Bits asked me, but I just could not decide.  The weather where we live had been horrible for a month straight, and the inversion that happens because of the constant snow cover became really depressing.  So getting out of town sounded like a good option, but I honestly had no clue where I wanted to go.

Some friends of ours suggested we try to go in on a cabin together since his birthday was around the same time.  We could celebrate mine, my daughters and his all at once.  So my husband began planning, and we decided on Bryce Canyon in southern Utah.  Warm (warmer but still chilly), clear skies and beautiful scenery.  Our families cooked meals together, sat out on the balcony in the warm sun and drank beers (grownups only of course), and drove into the national park for a day of hiking and looking around.

It was truly a great birthday and a much needed dose of sunshine!  Another special thing about my birthday is that I share it with my grandpa.  He died when I was young, but I remember sharing my birthday with him.  We were both born on Feb 13, and on a Friday!  Every birthday, I have a toast towards heaven and wish him a special day, and this birthday, I felt as though he were wishing me one right back.  Nature does that.  It brings us closer to those we miss.

Love,

Suzy

Back in the Swing

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Oh the New Year!  Always a slam back into the swing of things.  Last night, there was an overriding grumpiness that seemed to hover over the family.  Back to work, back to school.

But I feel as though we allowed Christmas to linger this year.  We let ourselves rest and enjoy the season, which is something we tend not to do. Rush to get from one thing to another.  Rush to get the shopping done.  So I think our grumpiness came from the thought that we would have to rush.

We learned something this Christmas, and that was we do not have to rush.  Each day, no matter how busy it may be, can be savored and we can be in whatever moment we are in with all our hearts.

Today was our first day back to co-op, and even though we all love it, last night I was rushing around trying to get things done.  It hit me that I was not enjoying my time.  I was not savoring the moment of getting ready for the task, for the smiles on my kids faces when we go.  I was just thinking of what needed to be done.  It was up to me to change my outlook.  And isn’t that what I need to do with all the craziness of what I choose to do with my time.  It includes this blog.  I have not been enjoying my time, but instead seeing it as something I have to do.  I realized today that I am going to have more fun with this space.  I want it to be a place for family, friends and strangers to all feel at home and welcome.  I want to thank those of you who read this small space, thank you for caring about my family.

Welcome New Year, and welcome a new change in attitude.  Not necessarily a resolution, more like a life change.

Happy New Year!

Love,

Suzy

Our Night in Vegas

I told you all yesterday of the impromptu trip to Fresno.  I told you how I picked my husband up from the airport, and then we just kept driving.  I also said we spent the night in Vegas, and that was a story all on its own.  So today, I will tell you the fun and crazy story of our night as the top one percent of the tax bracket.

My husband travels quite a bit, and when he stays at hotels, he gets points that earn us free nights.  Because of this, not only does the hotel offer points to stay overnight, but they do offer a stay without using any points, for free at ANY of their hotels.  This could be at the most basic to the most ritzy, depending on where you are at.  So on our way south to Vegas, my husband called the booking service, and asked where we could stay with our one absolute free night.  No, we did not want the basic.  I mean if you are going to use this opportunity, you better use it well, right?

The person on the other end, booking our night, said, “Sure, we have a $500 suite at the Palazzo available.  it is only a king size bed thought, would that be suitable.”  Yes our family of five can figure it out!  I mean if we have to rough it, we have to rough it.  We were a little excited, and then realized how ragamuffin we all looked.  Hair standing on end, ketchup stains from the fast food.  But hey, this could be a one time thing.  So we sucked it up, and walked through the high end hotel.  Mixed matched luggage in tow, ketchup stains and bed heads.

We were standing in line, when a woman approached us and asked if we were members.  We said with great pomp, “Why of course we are!”  She then escorted us to the “elite check in”.  Keep in mind, we did not look elite by any means, and all the people looking us up and down, were now looking at us wondering who the hell we were.

The gentleman checking us in was tremendously sweet.  I think he could tell we were not the normal clientele, and decided to help us out.  He said that he noticed we had the king bed suite and would it be okay to change us to the two queen bed sweet.  Of course we said yes.  Then he said that he wanted to check on a few things, and would we mind if he excused himself for a minute to make a few phone calls.  Uh oh, this is it, they saw the ketchup stains.  He came back and said, he rearranged our booking to make sure we were on the strip side so we could have a view.  He also said he arranged it to be on the 26th floor, and to please enjoy our stay.

We had to walk back through the hotel with fancy people, with our ketchup stains and bed heads, to the elevator.  We arrived on the 26th floor, and headed to our suite.  We opened the door to this:

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Ummm, super nice right?  There were three televisions.  One over the bathtub.  Middle Bit took a bath and exclaimed, “I watched television while taking a bath!”

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This is an awful shot of the bathroom.  It was much bigger, and the size of a normal hotel room.

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This is the area where one would lounge.  The curtains were controlled by a remote, which the kids used constantly.  Oh, it had a television.

The sleeping area had another television.

Our family will never be the same again.

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Hope you are all having adventures!

Love,

Suzy

 

Where to Begin

It has truly been a whirlwind of events the past few months, and I can honestly say some of the busiest weeks I have experienced as a wife, mother and grown up.  Teaching full time at home, going back to school, trips, running major events, and all the miscellany in between…I have seen that I can do it, but it does wear the body out.

This week is the first time in months that I have a “normal” week.  I have missed blogging, I have missed my business and have realized that these spaces are part of who I am.  With the events of the past week around the world, I have missed connecting with family far away and see blogging as a way to connect to family, friends, the world.  How important it is to do this in love, unity and peace.  I am so grateful for all of you and I look forward to connecting and seeing what is happening in your lives as well.

I could not figure out how to start this post, because there has been so many things happening, and last night, I sorted through about 300 photos from the past few months.  Where do I even begin!

So I will lead in words my month of September through mid October, then show you some very cool pics of an impromptu trip to Fresno California.  September began the craziness.  I put together a women’s retreat for the northern region of our state.  It was called, “That’s How the Light Gets In”, and approximately 30 women from 3 different congregations came together to learn about service and prayer.  I heard it went really well!  I say this because even though I organized the event, I was unable to make it.  I had class all weekend long!  Wonderful women banded together to help ensure all went well.  This was my first lesson:  how to learn to allow others to help.  I have always had a difficult time with this control issue, but honestly, I cannot do it all.  These wonderful women stepped up and did an amazing job, and I couldn’t be more grateful!  Class went well, and I am drinking through a fire hose of information.  Getting back into the school routine and writing papers on theology is mind boggling, but somehow, by grace, I am getting it done.

Another major thing I am working on with another woman is starting up a soup kitchen, opening in January.  There will be more info to come.  But in the midst of preparing for this, going to school and planning for our church bazaar, we have had co-op and home school!  I have enjoyed school this year.  The program for the kids is amazing, and this virtual school incredible.  The kids attend class online, and meet with their fellow classmates.  The curriculum is great, and I feel like I am running from kid to kid, but they are all having a great time.  The co-op has been a lot of work, but so worth it, and I am grateful for the ladies I work with.

Now to the Fresno trip.  This was an impromptu trip.  My husbands aunt and uncle live in Fresno, and one week called us to invite us to the wests largest civil war re-enactment.  Apparently, Fresno has the largest one in the west, who knew?  They know that my son is a huge civil war buff, and did not want us to miss this opportunity.  However, when they called, we only had a week!  My husband was gone, so we had to work out how we would do it.  So, on a Thursday, my husbands flight got in at 1pm.  Since he was already packed, the kids and I picked him up from the airport and just kept driving.  We spent the night in Vegas, which is a story all its own for tomorrow and got there Friday night.  All day Saturday, we attended the event, and it was pretty cool.  Here are the highlights.

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The morning started with a battle, and which one, I cannot remember.  I was not expecting it to be so cool.  The horses were so well behaved with all the black powder noise, and the characters were amazing!

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In between battles, we walked around the camps, both union and confederate.

The above horse was the most friendly horse I have ever met.  I couldn’t stop petting her.  Really, literally, she would not leave my daughter and I alone.  Which was sad for my daughter, because she absolutely loves horses, but unfortunately this is what happens.

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Yup, she is allergic.  So Benadryl to the rescue and the rest of the day continued.

The men and women participating stayed in character at all times, and answered all questions.  We all learned much about the history, and had fun learning some new crafts.

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The doctor was by far the most informative.  We are so lucky for the advances in medicine.  I will spare you the details.

An old distillery, for medicinal and moonshine purposes!  Of course it was just for show.

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And then of course the day ended as it began, with a battle.

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We truly had such  an amazing time, and I am so happy we did not wimp out.  It was great to see family, learn new things and watch the kids have a wonderful time.

Thanks Bruce and Cheryl!  We had so much fun!