Thursday, June 30, 2016

Quick Update

Summer is flying by around here--I can't believe today is the last day of June. Where has it gone? We've been busy/not busy, and that's been perfect.

The scouts and I made boats. Mine was not that fabulous--once the sail got wet, it sunk.
 This is the only picture I have of Karli's recital--crappy iPhone shot. Wow, that lady can sing. One song they did (it was a joint recital with a flutist and a pianist) had Karli echoing the patterns played by the flute. It sounded like Snow White, but better. It was amazing!
I got to hold this little girlie while her mama sang. Every once in a while she would clap her hands and yell, "Mama! Karli! Mama!" It's hard for a little girl to call someone "Mama" when everyone else around calls her Karli.
 And Annie turned two yesterday. She loves purple and pink more than anything, so Karli made her a Dr. Seuss-colored strawberry puree cake that refused to come out of the pan. But it tasted delicious.
 For her birthday, Annie got a new doll, a teddy bear, a picture of Jesus, and  . . .
. . . a big announcement! There's a new little Denton on the way! We are all so excited!

Where did June go?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Musing Today

Artistic pictures?

Deep thinking?

Great kid adventures?

Today is just . . . a day.

I woke up to a crown in my retainer instead of on my tooth.

my favorite way to start a busy day?

The dentist was able to see me first thing this morning. That could have been worse.

They can replace my crown tomorrow. Again, that could be worse.

All of my kids seem pretty happy this summer. They're not too busy but just busy enough. That's good.

Monsoon is threatening to develop around here. We had thunder and lightning last night. I always look forward to monsoon season.

Ever just had one of those days where you were  . . . meh.

That's me today. Plans cancelled because of my tooth. Too many things on my plate to possibly finish today. Everything in life is pretty good.

It must be the heat, right?

We're all looking forward to this weekend and the holiday and everything.

Am I gonna let this funky mood dictate my day?

I'm off to find my happy!

Sometimes it's good to wear a reminder across your chest--and remember how to spin it to your advantage! You can bet I'm going to make the most of this today!

And the answer is YEP!

Friday, June 24, 2016

First Meet

Where did my baby go? She's growing into a kid.
Eve is participating on a swim team this year for the first time. It's work--swimming all the way across the entire pool when you're six years old (even when you're 46 years old!). Some days she likes it, while other days she hates it. She swam in her first meet yesterday, and she was pretty proud of those numbers on her arm that said she was on the relay team. Her team is really small, and I bet there were only six girls who qualified for the butterfly, but she sported those numbers proudly.
I've said it before, but I love it when my kids do things that are hard for them. Eve complained a little in between warmup laps--"My toe hurts" or "I'm too tired" or "How much longer till we go home?"
But when it was time to line up for the races, she was really excited.
My teeny little six-year-old girl can swim across the entire pool doing a (somewhat modified/somewhat incorrect) butterfly stroke. It took her a long time, but she made it!
And when she finished, she received a pretty green fifth place ribbon! I don't believe in the "trophy for everyone" mentality that permeates kids' sports, but a legitimate ribbon earned in her heat was a prize in her eyes. Her team earned a fourth place ribbon (out of four) in the relay, and she came home smiling.
It's hot here in AZ right now, in case you haven't heard. All we can do is run from AC to AC or jump in a swimming pool, which means I'm really thankful for our community's swim program. I didn't learn to swim until I was 12 (and still didn't learn to swim well), so this experience of teeny people doing real strokes is something I love to watch (even if I have to sit outside for an hour in the 110+ heat!).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Troop 654

Our house has felt a little empty this week because all of the neighborhood scouts are at camp! They left Saturday morning for Camp Cherry Valley on Catalina Island.
 Good looking group of boys, right? I'm so grateful for adults who sacrifice their vacation time (and a touch of their sanity) to take our boys on adventures like this one.

Micah was especially excited to go. When he heard about the troop going to Catalina, he was disappointed because he didn't think he would be old enough to attend. One day we were cleaning the kitchen, and I offhandedly asked him if he was excited about scout camp this summer. "I can't go. I won't be 12 yet." I then explained that his leaders had purposely planned the trip for the week of his twelfth birthday so that he could go. That sweet boy of mine stopped wiping the counter for a moment and tears rolled down his cheeks. "Mom, that is the best news I've ever heard. I thought everyone was going to have this cool trip and I would have to stay home." He's getting older so he doesn't like as much affection, but I gave him a quick side hug and smiled to myself.
I love this boy so much, and he is having the adventure of a lifetime with his best buddies.

They attended church on Sunday in California before getting on the ferry to camp.

They're working on merit badges and hiking and having a great time. And one of their leaders posts pictures every day so we can follow their experiences from home.

I can't figure out how to post a video from Facebook to my blog, but the whole troop sang "Happy Birthday" to my boy on Monday night with candles in a pile of ding dongs. He even called home for a quick minute that night so I could wish him happy birthday.

"Mom, this is the best ever!"

My boy will come home twelve years old and filled with great memories of his first scout camp. I couldn't have gotten him a better gift.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


When I found out "Newsies" was coming to Gammage, I knew we needed tickets. By the time I got online, they were almost gone. That was clear back in August.

June 16th finally came.
Wow. Wow.


That show was absolutely incredible.
The set--so inventive. The music--so fun. The dancing--unbelievable. In a few places, Lily and I both gasped loudly at the stunts those young men performed. All of the kids made it through without falling asleep (surprising for Hyrum and Eve), and they loved every second of the show.

I would go every single night it's in town if I could. It's that amazing.

I grew up listening to musical soundtracks with my mom and watching VHS tapes of the best--West Side Story, Seven Brides, Camelot, My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, The King and I, The Music Man are all favorites. I love sharing the new generation of musical theatre with my kids.

Especially when we sing "Carrying the Banner" all the way home--until Eve and Hyrum fell asleep, that is.

Monday, June 20, 2016

24 Down, 3 1/2 To Go

Last June I published this post with this picture:
As I reread that post (multiple times, I must admit), I sobbed. I can't believe it's been two years since these two have been together.

And now?
McKay is home from Korea. I still can't believe that's real.

So much has changed while was away. His grandpa Shelley passed away less than a month ago from complications from a stroke. Grandma was at the airport to greet him just like when he left, but this time she was alone.
And new people joined the family while he was gone. Baby Ruby . . .
. . . and Calvin, a new niece and and a new nephew.
I love watching the missionary walk toward their waiting family and friends.
I don't know what mixed emotions they feel as they walk down that corridor. It's sadly over? I'm finally home?
But I do know how the mama feels.
It's the most joyous of days and can't be explained until it happens to you.
Two years is such a long time to be separated from your child. Four video calls. 104 weekly letters.
And that's all.
Everyone reunited.
It's an incredible moment to be cherished forever.
Those first hugs.

Getting reacquainted with little ones who have only seen pictures and don't really remember this stranger.

And, of course, meeting new loved ones.
I hung back and snapped pictures for a while, but when it was my turn, I couldn't hold back the tears.
And then McKay whispered to me, "Here, other mom. Here's a hug from Ben in Peru." Then I lost it.
So proud of my other son. How I love McKay and the man he's become. Lily grabbed a hug, too, and  I could guess what she was thinking. "Soon it will be my brother. But not soon enough."
She keeps reminding me that Ben isn't ready to come home yet. Isn't finished with the work he enlisted to do. That helps fill the hole in my heart a little bit. But not completely.
All of the Tuckers back together.

I love Abby's face in this one. I know how much she's missed having her big brother around these last two years.
Welcome home, Elder Tucker. We've missed you.
And just in case you're wondering . . .