Saturday, August 22, 2015

Life is a Carnival!

It's the last week before school starts... so we're trying to cram every fun thing we can think of into this week.

On Sunday night, we finished the first Harry Potter! 

On Monday morning, we set off on a long walk. The dog wanted to sniff every tree, and the boy gathered every stick and feather he could find, but we managed to walk a mile without any incidence. We'll try walking to school as often as possible just because, why not? It will be fun!

Monday afternoon, we finally got Antonio's car back and running like new!

On Tuesday morning, we began practicing riding the bike. Daniel's been peddling all over the facility.

Tuesday afternoon, Antonio surprised Daniel by taking him to the pool with his friend Emily. He had a wonderful time... apparently. I wasn't there. I was working.

Wednesday night, we went to visit a financial advisor who gave us some stellar advice! I loved it. He sat with us for over and hour and taught us this fantastic way of organizing our money. I feel so empowered now. It's such a good feeling to know that you're doing your best with your money. (This probably deserves a longer blog post--but it's boring.)

Wednesday night, we cracked open the 2nd Harry Potter! Harry Potter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets! Where Harry battles irritable bowel syndrome and snakes his way to glory! (I think...) 

Thursday Antonio helped me clear out an abandoned unit and Daniel continued to practice riding his bicycle.

 Antonio snapped a couple of pictures of Daniel as he rode.

 I love this picture.

 My brother Nick came to visit for a couple of hours Thursday afternoon, and Antonio snapped his picture a couple of times.

 Nick looks like my Uncle Grey and Jesus.

Antonio picked up Jaxon and took the boys to Wheeler Farm!

This is the most unexciting picture of the boys, but it's the only one I have. Evidence that they were there and that apparently Daniel was drinking Mountain Dew...

Because I wanted to have fun too, I announced that we would head to the pool again Thursday night and we made it for one hour of swimming! I jumped off the diving board and showed Daniel how to do a dive!

The sweetest thing happened. A stranger came up and said that she thought I was incredibly patient with Daniel and she said that she could tell he really trusted me. It made me so happy. We swam all over that pool. He is getting really good at swimming. The kid is a fish! And he did a perfect swan dive!

And then there was Friday....

Friday morning, we discovered that customer had broken the gate by attempting to hot wire it from the inside when it wouldn't open after 10pm, instead of calling our after hours number.


I spent the morning trying to solve the mystery and fix the gate.

The stress just kind of piled up.

 Friday night, we headed off to his new elementary school to meet his teacher, get free pizza, and play at the school carnival! We lasted two rides. We were hot and tired.

After the carnival, we took Daniel over to Grandma DeAnne's house. We hung out in the living room for a couple of hours and just enjoyed gabbing. She really is a splendid woman. We laughed and she showed me videos of old family friends.I won't make a list of all the ways she has blessed us this summer. (swim passes, lagoon passes, aquarium passes, a box of Oreos, a rotisserie chicken, watching Daniel on Saturdays, meatballs, donuts, pies,  helping to get the car fixed, random acts of kindness...) She has been such a kind and generous mother in law. Her help has been instrumental in helping us to grow into a family.

The best part of the day was coming home! Antonio got his new a-pap machine yesterday! He slept peacefully all night long! It was like Christmas yesterday.

We're ready for fall.

Summer has been wonderful. We've filled our days with work and play. We've grown into a functioning and happy family. Every day, we're trying a little harder. Every day, we're finding more joy.

It isn't always easy. Sometimes I'm so tired. Sometimes I'm just achy every where. But I'm happy. And we're moving forward, little by little.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Random Thoughts: Being Single, Skin Color, Babies, Jesus, Dumbledore, Reading, Daniel, Atticus

I'm feeling very thoughtful this morning.

Topic 1: Unmarried friends. When I was single, I used to believe and hope that all of us would find ourselves happily married one day. Now I'm married. I see the world differently. I don't see my unmarried friends as lacking any sort of integral step. I just see that they're single. And that they have different opportunities and more exciting challenges. I'm not jealous of my single friends, I'm just excited for them. I see friends post about world travel and education. I sigh and I think about their beautiful opportunities and how they have this smorgasboard of ambitions to choose from. My ambition right now is to pay down debts and to make sure our children grow up to be happy. I love my goals, but I'm also really happy imagining the goals and dreams of my single friends.

I'm much more optimistic about my single friends' lives now then I was when I was single. It's been an enjoyable mindshift since getting married. It's not that I wasn't optimistic before... It's just that I realize that being married isn't a fairytale. It's just one of many pedestrian avenues we all choose in life. While I was single, I was in the midst of that pedestrian enterprise. I was surrounded by the frustration at having to go out in order to "feel social". I enjoy that I get to stay home  and not go out in an effort to spend time with family. At the same time, I feel guilty if we don't plan some sort of fun activity for the active 6 year old...

Topic 2: Skin color. I am ridiculously tan. I haven't been this tan since I served a mission in Dallas, where I was on my bike every day. There's a picture of me sitting next to a little black boy--and my skin is darker than his. The only person tanner than me is Daniel. And that little blonde haired blue eyed monster is super tan. It makes sense though. Every day we're outside. Every week we're in water some where. This Thursday, we were up at Jordanelle swimming in the reservoir. I was fully clothed because I figured we would wade a bit. But Daniel jumped in and began swimming. Knowing that he would need rescuing at some point, I jumped in with my dress and enjoyed swimming in the muddy water as much as he did! It was glorious and renewing. And my skin is golden and my hair is flecked with highlights!

Topic 3: Having a baby. I'm not. Yet. We want to have a baby. We have no choice. Daniel's birth mom is pregnant. He hasn't seen or heard from her since Mother's Day. No phone calls, no nothing. But she was due to have her baby this past week. We finally attempted to find information on the interwebs and saw that she has had the baby. But no calls were made to Daniel. Thank heaven. Because her contact is so sporadic it is more painful for him to have her come in and out of his life. But he is still working through the heart ache of her loss and the loss of this baby sister. (Please don't tell him that the baby was born. Please don't bring it up to him at all.)

He is happier than he has been. Again--it's the in and out that hurts the most for him. He is attaching to me. And I'm happy about this. I want to be there for him and love him. He has been talking about babies all summer. He wants me to replace her in every way--including having a baby. He talks to my belly and gives kisses to the baby. We've told him a number of times that I'm not pregnant, yet. But I know he needs to give this love to the baby that he might never meet. On Mother's Day--she told him all about how she was going to have a new baby sister. But she hasn't been around. So, we enjoy cooing over other babies and he tells me that I'm having a baby. And I hope that this helps. The other day, he got very mad at me because I hadn't had a baby yet. He was crying. I told him his birth story and how I became his mother.

I said,

Once upon a time, there was a woman named Eve who wanted to be a mother very badly. She prayed to Heavenly Father that she would be able to be a mommy. One day Eve met a handsome man named Antonio. When they met, they fell in love. Heavenly Father brought them together. Then Eve met Antonio's son Daniel. Heavenly Father brought Eve and Antonio together so that Eve could become a mother to Daniel. The moment she saw him, her heart opened up and she felt so much love she thought her heart would burst. She knew that she would love that little boy for the rest of her life. And that is how Eve became Daniel's mother.

We don't lie to him. But we try to help him to feel that his life is as beautiful and magical as anyone else's. We want him to see the miracles and the love in his world.

And he gets happier and happier every day.

I'm not currently having a baby. And Daniel is upset by this. But I told him that the baby is watching from Heaven and she or he will come down when it decides it is the best time. I said that the baby knows that Daniel needs some extra time with us before the baby comes.

Then Daniel said that Jesus is the one who decides! (I say this with an exclamation point because Daniel was very emphatic.)

Topic 4: Jesus. Daniel used to not want to pray. Now he won't allow anyone else to pray. His prayers are very cute. He uses big words like "nourishing and strengthening". He is very thoughtful. He will pray for his dad to sleep well. He will pray that I will have a baby. And then he will close his prayer by singing out loudly and dancing to the words, "In the na-a-ame of Je-e-suuus Chri-i-ist--AMEN!"

It's very disrespectful. It's also hilarious. And Jesus said that he loved the little children most so who am I to correct this little child? (I probably should.... but every time I think about it.... I think of scriptures about how Jesus loves the little children...and I think about whether Dumbledore would like it....and I stop.)

Topic 5: Dumbledore. We are reading the first Harry Potter. Daniel is actually enjoying it! We started by watching the movies. We then began reading it at night before bed. One night, he actually read an entire page by himself! We let him read one paragraph during each reading session. But mostly, he just enjoys listening. We read at breakfast too. It's a great motivator for bed time. If he gets in his pj's and brushes his teeth, we will read to him. If not, he has to go to bed. One night, he said something rude while I was reading. I closed the book and kissed him good night. He was very upset. I saw him shut the door and the light turned on. I didn't stop him because I was hoping he was going to sneak and try and read ahead. The next morning, we discovered he had read ahead an entire page on his own! This is very exciting! I couldn't figure out how he his reading had improved so much until...

Topic 6: Reading to Lily. My friend Christi has been watching Daniel for us from 9-3 while we're both working. She has a 2 year old. And Daniel adores her. He reads her stories when she is going to sleep. He reads her stories! He doesn't like reading stories with us, but he read her 4 stories before her afternoon nap yesterday! Christi has been such a blessing to us this summer. She has taught me about attachment disorder. She has taught me about defending Daniel against the inconstancy of his birth mother. She was a foster mother and her wisdom has been so incredibly helpful. She has given us the confidence to defend Daniel against pain and sorrow. We are better parents through her wisdom and experience. And he is a better reader!

Topic 7: Everything is about Daniel.

I'm sorry. I know the blog is entitled All About Evey. I really wanted this post to be about me.

I failed.

Topic 8: Atticus. I need to walk this dog more. She is still happy and loved and spoiled. But I need to walk her more. I need to walk her more because I need to walk ME more. Hopefully, I'll get it together enough to walk Daniel to school with Atticus every day. I just need to make my health a priority. I need to get it done. Atticus is good for me because everything good that I do for her, is good for me.

This has been a very long post. I hope it hasn't bored you all to tears.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What's better than riding a pony? Riding a TIGER!

On Saturday, Daniel and I traveled to a magical land....

Gardner Village!

While there, we visited a magical place of animals, straw and poop! 

The Farm!


It was spectacular. 

We met so many different animals and had such a lovely time. 

And at the end of it all--he got to ride on a pony named Snowflake. 


 This is Daniel's friend McKenna and a little bunny rabbit! 

Here he is checking out his steed...Preparing psychologically...

And he's on the pony! He is ready to ride folks!
 Daniel is seen here riding his trusty steed, Snowflake. 

Ride on cowboy!

 These are other animals from The Farm.

 Here we have a beautiful white horse. We call her Gwendolyn, but I'm sure it's Pamela. I can't remember. 

 This gorgeous animal is named Dakota. 

 This is a fuzzy little alpaca. He had apparently escaped earlier. Mischievous little fuzz ball. 

 I wish I could have gotten a better picture of the pig. 
She was laying on her side. She looked dead. I swear I could smell the bacon. 

Then out of the blue, she popped up on her feet and waddled over to us! 

She's so cute and hairy!! I love her!

 Daniel is loving this!

No seriously. He is LOVING this. 

 If that weren't enough, that evening, my dad and brother took us to the Valley Fair Mall where instead of riding a pony, he got to ride


Best. Day. Ever.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Kannon!

This little cutie pie is 4 years old today! He is such a wonderful nephew. I'm so proud of my baby sister Bethany for being such a good mom. She is such a hard worker. And she loves her babies so much.

Here are some of my favorite pics of this dashing young boy through the ages!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Celebrating the 24th Of July!

This year, we had my friend over and her two cute girls!

We basically ran around the front yard with glowy things, trying to see the Fireworks!

It was wonderful.

Daniel got a long well with the girls. There were a few fights/mishaps because they're kids and he's an opinionated child, but the girls were so easy going.

My friend who visited is one of my favorite people.

It was wonderful to just chat her ear off and spend time just relaxing with her.

It's been a good summer. Busy. And good.

And we have a lot of really good people in our lives.