September 9, 2009


Catching up part 2.......


For the 4th of July we usually go to my parents house for swimming and a BBQ.  This year was no different.  This is a tradition we've had since I was a little girl.  We would meet at my Aunt & Uncle's house until the family just got too big.  We still end up with a pretty big crowd at my parent's house with my two sisters, three brothers and their families.  Throw in a few extra friends most of the time and it's a lot of fun.
Dan & Uncle Ryan
These boys get so crazy when they are together.  They have so much fun though.
Courtani, Brittani and Nellie
Dan and Grandpa Hall
Grandma Hall getting the huge amount of food ready for the crowd to attack.

After dinner most of the crowd heads on over to our house.  We sit in our driveway and on the front lawn where we have a great view of the fireworks going off at the high school down the street.  It's nice to be able to see them from our house so we don't have to drive around looking for a spot to watch them.  (Not to mention with 17 grandkids, ages 11 and under, it's nice to have a bathroom near by!)
some of the kids decided to watch from the truck
Porter and Courtani (or as Evi & I tend to call them.....Corter & Pourtani) are most definitely best buddies!
the adults opt for the lawn rather than the back of the truck
Aunt Shelbi & Cora
It was too loud for Mason
Watching fireworks!
Aunt Shelbi & Cora
Uncle Ryan & Ella
Speaking of fireworks.......
Even still today, I find joy in catching glimpses of my parents showing their love for each other.  They are a good example to each of us kids about how to build a strong marriage!

July 5, 2009

I love watching the kids wrestle with Dan.  I remember watching my dad wrestle with my brothers when we were little.  Part of me wanted to join in with them, but only a small part.  On the rare occasion I did, it never went well for me.  Now watching Dan and the boys, it sometimes makes me nervous to see how carried away they get, especially as the boys are getting older and starting to give Dan a run for his money!
Funny how Trevor always knows where the camera is
Wrestling with Dad at Gma & Gpa's house
It's always two against one unless Courtani jumps in to help the boys.
In a headlock and still looking at the camera
Do the boys smell victory?
Dan usually gets them both pinned at the same time.  Then they are laughing so hard they can't do anything about it.
The boys decide to try some new moves on dear ol' dad
Looks like this one goes to the boys!  Dan quit after a swift kick to the gut by Trevor.  This is Dan lying here moaning and groaning minutes after calling "UNCLE"!
Trevor was still feeling the victory once we got home and he wouldn't let Dan forget it!  (check out this boys guns!)
It was a fun July!

September 8, 2009


Well, it's time to play catch up again.....seems to be how we roll around here.

June 3, 2009

On June 3rd Braden received his Arrow of Light award for Cub Scouts. He worked very hard to earn this award and we were very proud of him. He was excited to receive his award at the same time as his friend Scott Johnson as well as it being on his Grandpa Roberts' birthday. It was an awesome ceremony. The lights were all turned off (which of course you can't tell because of my flash) and they had a "campfire" in the middle of the room. All of a sudden we heard the steady beat of a drum and two kids walked in very slowly in full Native American costume. The ceremony lasted about 15-20 minutes and the kids were in awe the entire time. Braden and Scott received some really cool arrows (good job Lauren) and the ceremony ended with Braden and Scott being walked across a bridge to where their Boy Scout leaders were, signifying their transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. It was fun to have Dan as one of Braden's Boy Scout leaders and Monti Randall, our good friend, as the other. It was a great night and Scott and Braden were able to set a great example for the other Cub Scouts that are working on receiving this same award.
 Arrow of Light ceremony
Arrow of Light ceremony
walking across the bridge from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts
Welcomed by the Boy Scout leaders
 Corrie Curtis (Den Leader) & Tyler Hyer (Cub Master)
Braden with Grandma & Grandpa Hall

June 25 - 27, 2009

Dan and I celebrated our 12th anniversary on June 27th.  We were able to have our first get-a-way without the kids.  We went for a weekend to Jon & Kari's cabin in Christopher Creek.  It was amazing!!  We had been there for almost a day when Dan said, "Oh my gosh!  We haven't had to change a diaper all day!  We haven't done that for 11 1/2 years!"  We've always had somebody in diapers so this was a very welcomed change!  It was so nice to just sit out on the porch and enjoy the sound of the pines and just the quiet!  Ahhhh!  I actually got to read a book and didn't get inturrupted even one time!!  It was awesome!!  We spent an afternoon going through the little shops in Strawberry, went for walks in the nice cool weather, Dan made a full steak dinner the night before our anniversary and then cooked a full breakfast the morning of.  I was very spoiled.  It was just so great to spend time together for a weekend.  WHY, WHY, WHY haven't we done this before?

Thank you to Dan's parents and mine for watching our kids so we could go!
Thank you Jon & Kari for letting us use your cabin!
We appreciate it more than you know!!
The nice, quiet and peaceful cabin!  Ahhhhh!

June 1, 2009


Today Mason turns three. I can't believe he is three already yet, at the same time I can't remember life without him in our family.

My pregnancy with Mason was a trying one. My water broke and Dan rushed me to the hospital when I was four months along. My doctor told me I was probably going to deliver the baby and the outcome would be grim. To say the least we were terrified! It turned out that there was a small high leak which had the possibility of sealing back up if I stayed completely still. I was put on bed rest for the remaining 5 months of the pregnancy. I didn't know how on earth I was going to be able to be on bed rest for that long with 4 kids to take care of ages 2 - 7. It's amazing to look back and see the different ways things happened and worked out.

On the days I thought I was going to go crazy, I had to constantly remember my mom's advice to me, "other people can take care of your kids, your house or whatever needs to be done. You, Wendi, are the only person who can take care of that baby and you have to stay down to do it!" Talk about motivation! She wasn't kidding either, we had so much help! My mom came out to help almost daily, my dad came and took the kids to school almost every day, friends brought meals in, my good friend Theresia McMorris came over on many occasions and took my kids on fun outings for hours at a time, my mother-in-law and my sister Evi came to clean my house. These of course are just a few of the people who helped. It just wouldn't be possible to name everybody who helped or everything that was done for us. I know that I couldn't have stayed down if it weren't for all of the help we received. I am still amazed and so grateful!!

Mason has had some physical struggles over the first three years. There have been weekly visits to physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. He is progressing though and has been able to stop the O.T. He has always been such a good and happy kid. He smiles all of the time, really, he does!

I've had so many different thoughts and feelings since Mason was born. Especially over the past year. I knew he was going to be our last child and part of me was really looking forward to getting rid of the baby basics that have been around our home for so long (stroller, crib, highchair etc.) I was excited to get these items out of my house and start the next phase of our life, the phase where you focus more on raising kids instead of having babies and toddlers. While it has definitely been good getting rid of the baby stuff, and I am enjoying this new phase of life, I also find myself on some days wanting to just dig my heels in and force time to stand still. I find myself just staring at him and his chubby little hands and feet, that will soon loose their innocence as they morph into little boy hands and feet. I get teary when I see him get so excited and happy, the way only toddlers do, over the simplest of things. I hang onto every cute little thing he says or does, things I've seen done four other times, but things I still enjoy as if I were seeing it for the first time. I find myself holding onto him a little tighter and a little longer when he wraps his tiny little arms around my neck. There is some definite spoiling going on over here. Not for the sake of over indulging him or giving him what he wants, but rather, for my sake. For the sake of just trying to hang onto these precious years that go by too quickly.

My three favorite things about Mason at this age are:

1. He constantly cracks himself up! When he does or sees something he thinks is funny, he full on belly laughs to the point of loosing his breath. It's so fun to watch!

2. He clearly finds comfort in resting his little face on my cheek. He will come up to me at any random time of the day and want to just hug me and press his cheek next to mine. He will want to stay like that for quite a while too. If I'm not holding still, he will grab my face and hold it in his hands with our cheeks pressed together. I absolutely LOVE it!

3. Mason's smile. Mason has always been a thumb sucker and because of this he has developed some "rabbit teeth". We thought they were called "bucked teeth" but we were informed by his nursery leader one day that they were too cute to be "bucked teeth", she called them "rabbit teeth". He flashes his huge toothy grin at people all of the time. I have gotten so many comments about Mason being such a smiley kid. It's so fun to see him make people smile just in response to him smiling at them.

4. I know I said three, but we'll just call this the "one to grow on". Mason loves to watch movies. His current obsessions are Mary Poppins, The Grinch (with Jim Carey) and Hocus Pocus. He LOVES these movies and will rattle off a long quote from one of them quite often! We find ourselves laughing hysterically at least a few times a day because of Mason's spontaneous outbursts of either quotes or reenactments from his favorite movies.

So, today I say good-bye to the Terrible Two's, that really never were terrible, and hello to the Terrific Three's. I love being a mom and I do love watching my children grow. I love these few short years when a child thinks his parents are his heroes! I'm looking forward to having a couple of more years with Mason all to myself, at home during the day for some one-on-one time while the others kids are at school.

Mason, you have sure been a blessing to our family. We love you more than you could ever know!

May 25, 2009


I love to find good deals on things. I mean really, who doesn't right? Well, my cousin has an online scrapbook store full of great sales right now. I know some of you already shop there for the really low prices but just in case you didn't already know, for Memorial Day she is having a HUGE clearance sale and the prices are even lower than usual. Some items are up to 75% off! If you love a good deal like I do, go to and look around.

May 23, 2009


I was reading a post on my friend's blog recently about her love of writing. Her words inspired me to begin blogging again. Aside from becoming very busy these past few months, I have realized that my "blogging block" also happened after reading so many other blogs. Many of them have writers who are very entertaining, others have such amazing family adventures to blog about. I found myself feeling like my posts had become boring. Not boring to our family, but maybe boring to people reading it. I'm not a great writer and our adventures are great adventures to our family but maybe not to others. I don't use my blog as a journal so my deeper thoughts, feelings and opinions I save for my pen and paper where I can write freely without a care in the world. My blog has mainly been for extended family to see what our kids have been up to since we don't get to see each other often enough. After reading Monica's post, I have decided to find something to blog about at least a few times a week. I will start blogging about even the simplest of things that I find joy in. I will start blogging about the cute little looks my kids have on their dirty faces after our little adventures. This is my new commitment for the summer. I will begin blogging about the joy I have always found in the simple things in our family. I will begin to blog and, as Monica put it, "not really care whether or not people love or hate what I write, or if people even read it at all". Well Monica my friend, the English teacher, thank you for inspiring me to open up my computer and start blogging again!

May 5, 2009

The auction has been extended

I just wanted to update my info by adding that the benefit auction is still going on. There are different deadlines for different items being auctioned. Because of the great response, a new blog has been started just for the auction. You can find it at There are some cute things and some pretty great services so take a peek!

May 1, 2009

Online Auction

There is an online benefit auction currently going on until May 5th on several blogs for Monti & Shannan Randall in honor of their angel baby, Harry Randall. Please take time to visit the hosting blog at to see the many cute items and services up for auction. You will also find links to other blogs who are holding auctions for the Randall's as well. If you would like to donate something to be auctioned, host an auction on your blog or place a bid, you will find instructions there also. Thank you so much for helping the Randall family!!

April 28, 2009


Harry Randall is the sweet baby of my very close and dear friends Shannan & Monti Randall. The Randall family has suffered a very great loss. I received a frantic phone call from Monti at 3:00am Sunday morning (April 19th) asking me to come stay with their two year old daughter, Gracie, until Shannan's family could get there. Shannan's water broke and the cord was coming out first. A very dangerous situation! Shannan was being rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Little Harry was born by emergency C-section at 3:42am. Due to the oxygen deprivation, he was taken by helicopter to Phoenix Children's Hospital. After much fasting and prayers and lots of tears and tender moments, on April 24th sweet little Harry returned to the safe and loving arms of our Father in Heaven.

Due to the many expenses that are now upon Monti & Shannan and to help ease their burden in any way possible, there has been a memorial account set up in the name of Shannan Randall FBO (For Benefit Of) Harry Randall at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union. The account number is 9686904. Donations can also be mailed to: Desert Schools, P.O.Box 2945, Phoenix, Arizona 85062. If you already have a Desert Schools account, you can transfer funds by phone. As it is a memorial account it will only stay open for three months, therefore, donations need to be made within that time. Donations are also being accepted through a Pay Pal account that has been set up in Harry's honor. You can click on the baby blue button to the left and you will be directed straight to that Pay Pal account. As you know, no donation is too small, so if there is any amount you could give, it would be greatly appreciated!

My heart truly aches for Monti, Shannan and Gracie. It has been so painful to watch my dear friends hurt so badly! For those of you who know them, you know what wonderful people they are. For those of you who don't, I wish you could! They are great people! Shannan has become one of my closest and dearest friends. I love this family and our prayers will be with them.