Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Dear Friends!
In less than a week we will be setting out on a "huge" road trip through ID, UT, AZ, CA, and OR before we move out to West Virginia (for Graduate school!). So amidst all the route planning and budgeting we are also trying to get everything ready to move because we will have an interrupted 9 days after the trip and before we move.  Whew!  It's a challenge but I'm up for it!
In an effort to educate my son, I printed and colored numbers to place on the front steps of the porch so that every time we go up or down we can go through the numbers.  He digs it cause we always end with a big "yay!" so that has been a success.
Mikey loves to spend time outside, which is why I have so many pictures of him on his little adventures.  He is such an observant little booger and quickly learned the word "bug" as it pertained to literally every little thing.  Lint on the floor, "bug".  Mommy's gray hairs, "bug".  The string on the bottom of your pants, "bug".  Fortunately he has learned the difference between bugs that move (in which case, he runs away) versus "bugs" that don't (in which case he stomps on it and tells you to throw it away).  dance, ya know, cause they rhyme and all.  Well now I call them "anties" but he still dances, so I got a picture. When he first saw ants he said, "what's this" (uts dis) and I said "ants" and he proceeded to dance, ya know cause "ants" rhymes with "dance".  So I got a picture of the process.
Montana has had a record-breaking snowfall this last winter and we went 7 months before getting a 70 degree day again so naturally what follows the worst winter is the best spring!  We have all kinds of wildflowers and it is AWESOME!  I love spending time outside with Mikey so I can see the plants grow and blossom and change from day to day.

Along with the growing flowers we've had lots of natural tall grass, which means it's harder to see the snakes hiding.  I've talked with Mikey about staying out of the tall grass and away from the bushes and he often replies with "ssss  ssss" like a snake (yea, he's pretty smart) but proceeds anyway to where I don't want him to go.  After all, to him at this point snakes aren't that scary because he's only ever seen them in his friendly illustrated picture books.  Well today we actually saw a snake slither into a bush and away into the tall grass (I played it cool and screamed "SNAKE!" and waited for my father-in-law to come).  It was a bull snake but acted just like a rattle snake (defense mechanism...wikipedia is right on when it comes to this part) and Mikey and I watched as Papa (a.k.a. snake wrangler) came to our rescue and explored the snakes defenses.  Mikey talked about the snake with a concerned tone for a while after this happened so I believe he'll think twice before venturing into the tall grass or crouching by the bushes saying "sss sss".

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Exciting times!

So yes, it has been a while and yes, we have news! We have had a lot going on this past little while and are about to bring in some big changes. 

First the good news, I am officially done with the leveling courses I need to get into a Speech and Language Pathology program!  I've been working on these courses since little Michael was born so this is huge! The bad news, I didn't get into the program. Honestly, I'm not surprised considering they get 200-300 applications every year and only accept 16. Secondly, I only applied to one program because we didn't know at the time where we would be moving this fall.  This brings me to the next update...

We are moving to West Virginia!  Mike, unlike me, was accepted to the masters program at Marshall University and he will be starting this Fall. It was honestly my last pick but we know it is where we need to be, at least for the next two years. Now that we've made the decision and are starting to plan, it is becoming all too real. We've lived in Billings for almost a year and a half, the longest we've lived anywhere, and we have been absolutely spoiled by Mike's awesome, patient, and understanding parents. 

This will make the 5th state and 6th move in our 3 years of marriage so here's to hoping that everything goes smoothly. The hardest thing to plan out is where to live. So any advice or guidance in that realm would be AWESOME! The last two times we committed to a place without physically seeing it first left us a little surprised. 
More updates! My brother Brooks is officially getting married at the end of July!  We love his bride-to-be and are excited to welcome her to the family!  Another brother of mine, Fielding will be coming home from France in just about 8 weeks!  I'm so proud of the work he has done as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I'm stoked to see him again! (I just realized that every sentence in this paragraph ends with and exclamation mark.)
That's just about it. Now that I have more evening time on my hands (only three more weeks of work!) I'm hoping to make more updates and post some of the stuff we've been up to. Remember to leave us with some moving/home finding advice!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What's It to Ya?!

Tact is not something I was naturally born with.  Working as a speech aide in a public school has taught me to think before I speak.  But sometimes I wish I could just let 'em have it.  "Your kid won't get better unless you work with them outside of school!"  But I'd prefer to keep my job.
A few months ago Mike and I were out on a date and we swung by the mall so Mike could check something out real quick.  I parked by the curb and saw a young woman in her early 20's dragging her child, a boy no more than 5 years old, by the arm.  He was screaming "Ow! Ow!" as most kids would in that situation.
When they arrived at their ride, parked along the opposite curb, the woman intentionally swung her arm holding the boy and the boy's head banged into the side of the car.   He then stood there crying, holding his head.  She proceeded to swear at him, picked him up, and plopped him into the car.  Having been in Rexburg, Idaho for such a long time (often called a "bubble" keeping us from harsh realities of the world) I was appalled at this mother.
Mike got back into the car and I told him what I saw.  The mother was still struggling to get her son buckled up and Mike said, "well do something about it."  The thought had crossed my mind but I get so nervous in confrontations, plus who was I to tell her what was right and wrong...right?  Well I don't know what got into me.  I rolled down the window and said, with what I thought was a sympathetic look on my face, "Try to be more gentle.  He hurt his head."  The look she shot me was the classic "who are you to tell me!" look.  I cowered back in my seat as she approached the car yelling at me, telling me that I have no idea what kind of day she's had, that her kids are brats, and so on (you can throw in your own profanities to make it more accurate).  I honestly thought she was going to reach through the window and slap me.
She was right though, I really had no idea what her life is like, what kind of crap she had to deal with today, or her children's degree of normal behavior.  I felt horrible for being "that" person to critique another woman's parenting.  I quickly responded by telling her that I was just worried because he hit his head on the side of the car (and it wasn't a tap) and she responded with, "So what if he did! He had it coming!"  Oh.  Well, then I felt like calling child protective services and turning that woman in!  I don't care who you are, what kind of day you've had, or how bratty your kids are, no one "deserves" abuse like that!  Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-spanking, but I do believe that it shouldn't be done out of anger.
But really, where do you draw the line?  I understand having screaming kids in the grocery store because you don't give them what they want, or kids throwing tantrums while collapsing on the floor screaming bloody murder in the middle of the mall because they want to walk where they want and not have to hold your hand (yea, been there).  I understand it isn't necessarily the parent's fault.  But by golly I draw the line at injuring your kid in public and saying that they "had it coming".  Who's going to speak up for the kid?  What would you have done?  Do you think there's a better option?  Should I have just kept my mouth shut and minded my own business?
All in all, what's done is done but it did bring the question to mind, where do you draw the line?