Thursday, January 30, 2014


I've generally had a routine, maybe a better word would be flow, to my day and even week.  Kids changed things up a lot and my whole life existed to take care of these little creatures.  Their routine was my routine.  I loved having little ones, especially before we had to leave the house on a regular basis.  Then school started and life became busy!  Over the years, the kids have been involved in soccer, flag football, basketball, track, wrestling, piano lessons, school orchestra, battle of the books, Metropolitan Youth Symphony, cub scouts, boy scouts and a variety of summer camps.  We've been members of the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona Science Center, Arizona Museum for Youth and the Arizona Museum of Natural History (aka The Dinosaur Museum).  I've carted boys to their scheduled visits to the pediatrician, pediatric opthamologist, dentist, pediatric orthopedist, orthodontist, podiatrist and dermatologist. (I've also taken them to many urgent care and ER visits....but thankfully that isn't too routine!)  My days have been happily filled with their appointments, events and homework.  So.....where is this going?  Well, I'm finding that I have more time lately and the boys are more and more independent.  While that is great (dare I say, fantastic......wonderful.......exhilarating!) I've realized that I need to find my own routine again. (my afternoons/evenings are still taken up with the's not like they've moved out or anything!)  It's a work in progress, but that's the great part - It is progressing!!!  This week I was really pushing forward with my new routine.  This is how it's gone so far:
Cleaned the house, tons of laundry and plans to run a couple of errands.  Get in the van and it doesn't start!  Plans altered.
Van in the shop all day (but it was fixed without spending too much - yeah!)  Tony helped with the van and even stayed home in the morning so I could go to my institute class.  Again, plans altered.
Van is back and running well.  After taking care of my morning routine, it was time for shopping and errands.  First stop, Ranch Market (10 miles away) and after shopping, I went to check out.  That's when I discovered Colton had my debit card from the night before and hadn't returned it!  I won't even finish with the whole story, except to say that I did finally end up with my groceries (1 hour and 15 minutes later) and was able to get to two others stores before calling it a day.  Plans altered for the third day! 
While it hasn't been the ideal week, it has been a great experience.  I find that when I am more focused with my day, I'm able to deal with the little alterations to my time and relax a little more. And that is priceless.
Here's a little glimpse of what January has seen at the House of Steve.  Kyler had his haircut.  What makes this news is the fact that he didn't get a buzz cut!  I let him get a real haircut.......I regretted it the second I saw him!!!!!!  He looks too grown up.  Bring back my baby in the buzz cut, STAT!
 Asher and his magnets!!!  I get that we have science fair every year, but why must this boy need super strong keep-away-from-your-TV-and-all-electronics magnets!  Thankfully, science fair is over!  (Colton's really thankful he's completed his last one!)
 Normally, I pick Kyler up in the back parking lot.  I prefer the back, the front is a mad house!  Last Friday I was teaching Art Masterpiece for two 6th grade classes.  Unfortunately, I had to park in the front.  Can you see what I's crazy!  On top of that, no one would let me get out!  CRAZY and RUDE.  While I had the time, I did have to capture these two cute boys. Before you know it, they'll be in high school.  (that's how it feels)
 Once they realized I had the camera out, this is all I saw.
 Until I caught Andrew!
We've also been very busy preparing for our Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration.  The Gilbert Temple open house is going on now until February 15th.  We are taking our family tomorrow - can't wait.  Next week, Tony, Colton and Asher will join me in serving during the open house - really can't wait for that.  This was from our first practice on the 8th.  Colton is in the black shirt.  He and Brianna were learning the first moves to the Cha Cha.
 Asher getting ready to dance.
 Rockin' the sombrero!!!
And finally....this is my first "chalkboard" creation.  It didn't turn out like I pictured in my mind, but it's growing on me.  This is our 2014 mutual theme at church.  I will share this (and our Young Women's birthday gift) soon as a printable. 
Now, back to my routine.....
write on the blog - CHECK

Friday, January 10, 2014


Doesn't Asher look handsome in his new school shirt and sweater! Back to school time and both Colton and Asher wore their new shirts.  I'm so glad that they liked them!
 Why is it so difficult to get him to pose for me?
 Not everyone went back to school.  Poor Kyler woke up sick and spent all day in bed.  By Tuesday evening, he wasn't any better.   When we went to bed.....and he was so restless and we were up most of the night.  The silver lining: with Kyler being home I was able to clean out my scrap room.  It's been fun to actually create in there today!
 Thankfully, he was able to go back to school yesterday.  I finally had the house to myself.  Now if I could just catch up on my sleep!
And favorite, Arizona sunsets! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014


It was about 10am on Monday when we heard a knock on the door. (OK, let's be honest.....we heard our dogs FREAKING OUT first.  Man, they are crazy!)  To our surprise, Johnny also had the day off of school and these two friends were able to spend the whole day together.  They were so happy!!!  Johnny even invited Kyler to watch his hockey game that night.  Non-stop friend fun! (and yes, they were spoiled with McDonald's)
 If the little boys were spoiled.....we had to spoil the big boys!  Colton and Asher were thrilled for the Capriotti's lunch.  (so were Tony and I)
 Even after such a big lunch, Colton and Asher had no problem eating all the Texas Hash.  It is their all-time favorite comfort food. 
  The best part of this day......they all go back to school tomorrow! 


It was great to end 2013 with Austin and Reagan visiting.  For such a short visit we were able to pack a lot in - Tony, Austin and Uncle Dan went golfing, we visited the Temple Lights, Reagan and I went shopping and out to lunch at Liberty Market.  We spent New Year's Eve with a very competitive game of Dutch Blitz.  Reagan and I tried to get pedicures......did you know most pedicure places are CLOSED on New Year's Day?!?  We visited about 9 of them......unfortunately, the first 8 were closed and we found the 9th too late to get the pedicure!  Reagan, next time we're together - we're heading straight to the nail salon.
What a great start to a New Year...
Family Picnic!!!
 All 9 Arizona grandkids and 3 of the siblings together!
 Michael, Colton, Austin, Ruslan, Reagan, Sofia, Kyler, Asher, Joseph, Sariah and Jean-Jacques
 Their true characters!
Austin and Reagan started their drive to California after this shot.  We miss you already, but are so excited for you to fly to Spain next week!  With Austin and Reagan studying abroad in Spain......I will officially be the only sibling who hasn't been to Europe. 
Quelle Horreur!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Sunday, December 29th was a big day....Tony had a birthday and Austin & Reagan drove in for a visit.  After they arrived, we got on Skype with Dad and Connie and then Audra. It was good to talk with everyone.  Colton ended the evening with another showing of Pacific Rim....this time on Blu-Ray!
 I'm still learning and hope to get much better by next year, but these were my first attempts at capturing Christmas Lights.
 Kyler and Cocolette out front.
 Walking up to our home.
 Monday, December 30th.....Christmas Lights at the temple.  Sadly, it was the first and only time we saw them this year.
 I love the wise men and camels on the front lawn.

 Austin and Reagan

 Kyler (the Sith Lord) and Tony join in

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


December 27th
We met at the park to visit with cousins before everyone went back home.  I decided to try and get some photos of these cute kids.
 Dean, Deborah, Braeden and Addison
 Cannon and Kyler
LOVE this picture!
 The Hakes kids vs. The Stock's & Jason Hakes
Not sure what this game was......a mixture of soccer and tennis?! kept them entertained though.  That's Autumn kicking the ball.
 Even the younger kids needed to play their own version on the next court.
 After we said our goodbyes and Kyler managed to leave with Cannon, Tony and I took Asher out to Capriotti's.  It's so DELICIOUS!  Tony and Ash shared the 20" meatball sub.  I enjoyed the small Capastrami.  Poor Colton was out fixing barbed wire fences near Casa Grande.  He missed out on all the fun and food, but did earn more mission money....HOORAY!
The 27th was also big day for birthdays.
Happy 12th Birthday to Joseph!!!
Happy ?? Birthday to Uncle Chris!!!
Happy 3rd Birthday to Skylar!!!