Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wisdom from Garrett...

Garrett is a Social Bunny! He loves to play with the neighbor kids. Right now he really enjoys when the older neighbor boys are our playing baseball and let him join in. Paul and Kevin who are both 9 years old, play together everyday. The Dows adopted Paul and then found out they were pregnant. Bonus!

Last week I was sitting outside watching the kids, when Garrett came up to me and asked, "Mom, why is Paul brown, and Kevin and Mr. and Mrs. Dow peach?"

Okay, I wondered when Garrett was going to notice the difference. So I explained that Paul's brown Mom and Dad could take care of him but wanted him to have a good family, so they asked the Dows who are great parents to have Paul join their family. This is called adoption.

To which Garrett responded, "Oh, like when I adopt a Webkins or take a puppy home from the pet store?"

Me, "Ya, kinda like that."

Then Garrett just went on playing without asking more questions. I thought we were done with the conversation until that night when asked, "Where did the Dows go to get Paul? And do you think we can go there a get a brown boy too?"

Bless his little heart, all Garrett wants is a brother to play games with him, not that he doesn't love his sisters and play well with them too. Although Kendall can play rough and tumble, catching slugs, and pretend castles with dragons and bad guys, she draws the line with some sport Garrett tries to engage her in. She is completely afraid to play catch with the t-ball. Basketball is not her thing, yet. And Lego's sound fun, but they become boring after about 3 minutes.

After watching the differences in age and gender over the past few months, I think I was the most disappointed when the Ultrasound Tech., told Garrett that, "You're going to have another sister!" Garrett didn't seem disappointed. He just thought about it for a minute, then stated, "I guess that a good thing because we have a lot of Pet Shops and girl toys." He's such a logically little thinker like his father.

It wasn't until we were driving home from the Dr. that Garrett made this comment, "Mom, do you think we can put all the boy toys in one place in the house away from all the girl toys?" Oh, sweet Garrett, toy space is not going to be your biggest problem with three little sister, you need to start worrying about bathroom space.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Friends who inspire....

The events of the past few weeks have made me review my life.

Last weekend my mom called to tell me that Celia (Hunt) Turley, a good friend from high school had past away. I knew Celia had be fighting leukemia but I assumed modern medicine would prevail.

Her mother, who is battling phase 3 colon cancer herself, wrote the obituary for Celia. She ended a obituary by saying, "We are so blessed to have had her for 39 years." 39 years!

How fast those 39 years have gone by for me.

As children, Celia came to almost all my birthday parties. Her mother and father were my primary teachers, and high school science teacher, bless their hearts for enduring that. She is in every memory of have of Young Women's. We played sports together, and shared many friends and high school activities together. The main thing I remember about Celia is she was always found doing the right thing. She always put herself in the right places, with good friends. She always made the right decision that would lead her to happiness. She was obedient.

Over the past 20 year since graduations, Celia and I have not really keep in contact, but I've heard reports of Celia's life through her mother and sisters who are friends with my little sister. Celia's wisdom to live an obedient continued to lead her to happiness. She became a wife and mother. She continued to be a good sister and daughter. And she continued to serve and bless those around her by always being in the right place and doing the right things. Celia knew how to follow the spirit. And although her young family will mourn her lose, I am certain they were blessed to have her as a mother and example.

As I thought about Celia and all the events of her life, I thought, although no one like to hear of a young mother dying, she was prepared to return to our Heavenly Father. I, on the other hand can't imagine meeting my Maker right now. I'm not ready. I'm a slow learner. Unlike Celia, I am still perfecting my skills at living a more Christlike life. Being prepared isn't about accomplishment that we achieve, or experience that we must have but a change that must occur. That change of heart, mind, and body that the scripture talk about. And not just changing for Sundays and special events, but a consistent moment to moment, day in and day out. A change that causes us to think, and speak no evil. A change that makes our actions always in the serves of our Savior.

Simple things make kids feel great!

Garrett had his first T-ball game last week. My neighbor had told me that T-ball is like herding cats but I didn't realize until we go there the truth in that statement. And they can talk about it all week. But Garrett thought it was great! He's talks about it all week.

As you can see from his amazing swing, and the response from the crowd, he has some awesome skills.

He thoughts he was a rock star, as he gave high-5's to the first base coach!

Go Nationals!

One Big Happy Family!

Being that we haven't been all together for two years and may not be able to get together for a while Maurine really wanted a picture of everyone. Unfortunately we choose to do it at noon, under the favorite tree, with no tripod, and with a timer set by a pregnant women running back and forth. Sad, but at least we have a memory. I wish we would have done this with the Hatch family all together at Easter.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

More from the ranch

I must admit, I must enjoy the ranch more then I let on, because as I was going through all the pictures I remembered all the great memories. I love these pictures of Josh with his mom, Ruth and his best cousin friend, Carolyn.
When we saw Josh at the ranch it was the first time we had seen him in person since the operation and treatment for the cancer. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was shocked how much he looked like a cancer patient. It was apparent how much weight her had lost and that he had not grown much in the past two years. His skin was so pale His hair had not grown in so it was easy to see the scare that goes across the back of his head. Unlike the other 18 or so other rambunctious young cousins, he didn't have the energy like them. But with all the physical changes, he was still the tender, sweet, fun loving Josh that we all love. I watched him play cards with Carolyn, and be silly like all preadolescent kid.

While we were at the ranch, Garrett asked me if he was the Josh that we had been praying for every night? For the past two years our nightly prayers have included the phrases like, "Bless Josh that he will be made healthy.", "Bless Josh that he can be comforted in his pain." or "Bless the Doctors that take care of Josh." So I knew that seeing Josh would be good for Garrett, but I didn't realize how much he was taking it in until we returned home.

In the week after we returned home from the ranch, I was surprised at the changes Garrett made in his nightly prayers. On the first night back during Garrett's prayers he said, "Please bless Josh that he can grow hair on his head." Then a few nights later he said, "Please bless Josh that the Doctors won't cut his head open again." Garrett thought toward and prayer to Heavenly Father became a little more personal and understanding of his cousin Josh who we still pray for every night. It was nice to have one of those times when you see your children developing faith and understanding of why we pray and know that our prayers are heard.

Little Red, the cowgirl, wasn't that into the ranch. She doesn't like the dirt yet, and the horses are fun to look at but not ride. Of ever she did enjoy wearing the red hat.

The ranch was a great time for Garrett and his cousin Teddy, who we never get to see since they live in Texas and we are in Virginia. It was nice to get to know Teddy and his sisters a little better. These two enjoyed being goofballs together.

Garrett just couldn't get enough of the tire swing. Like every kids at the ranch the goal was to touch the branch on the tree across the river bed.

The Talent Show Family Home Evening

On the last night at the ranch we gather in the front room for a family meeting which always includes the Grandchildren sharing their newly acquired talents. Many lovely children's songs were preformed and even a lengthy scriptures quoted by our soon to be missionary. Grandma and Grandpa enjoyed every minute of having all their Grandchildren together and happy.

Kendall was a little grouchy and exhausted from the days events, while Garrett was enjoying the chaos of children hoping all round and giggling.
It was particularly fun to get to know Sean our newest little person to join the cousin fun. He is the sweetest little man.

One of the highlights of the night was a beautiful performance of the Star Spangled Banner by Carolyn. She had preformed if for the one of Tyler's basketball games. Grandpa was so moved that he stood in appreciation.

Keith and Will joined in on the patriotism.

At the conclusion of the talent show, Grandpa and Grandma both bore sweet testimonies to their children and grandchildren of the blessings that the gospel of Jesus Christ had brought them and how much they loved and appreciated each one of us. Then they asked if any one else would like to share their testimony. The first person to stand was Josh. I felt the spirit as Josh bore his testimony that Heavenly Father loved him and how grateful he was for Heavenly Father's help in his life. It was easy to sense Josh's faith in our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Josh also thanked his family for loving and taking care of him.
As I listened to Josh it hit me that the most important thing we teach our kids is to trust and follow the spirit. I send the majority of the day training my kids to follow routines, play nice, eat your veggies, do your homework, be safe, hold still, and on and on and on...... But how many times in the day do I identify the spirit or encourage my children to follow the spirit.

Traditions of the Ranch

(I LOVE this picture of Keith and Kendall driving over to the coral. Sweet!)

One of Keith's happiest memories of his childhood, was going to "The Ranch" every year. Garrett loves to hear stories about Keith's experience at the ranch. The huge ranch in southern Arizona owned by Uncle Devon and Aunt Lilian, Delwin's sister and husband.
Keith loves the whole experience of the ranch. Keith loves riding horses. A trait he past on to Garrett because he definitely didn't get that from me. Keith loves the dusty primitive living conditions, which thanks to Uncle Devon did vastly improve this year. Keith loves the traditional meals that they fix, like chili boats, aka Frito chili pie. But most of all he LOVES having the cowboy experience. And now as a Dad he loves watching his kids gain those same experiences. So because Keith loves the ranch, I will suck it up and continue to go to the ranch every other year. Hopefully someday I'll be able to go to the ranch without being pregnant so that I can learn to love it as much as Keith.

After a delicious breakfast, we loaded all the kids up in the back of the truck to go over to the coral to saddle up the horses for a ride. As you can see from the many happy faces riding in the back of the truck is almost as exciting at riding on the horses.

While waiting for the horses to be saddled, Garrett amused himself with the tire swing. Later in the day I let him try his hand at driving the truck while sitting on my lap. We was easily distracting by the many cows on the side of the road. Let's hope he works through that by the time he is 16.
Garrett also found himself a souvenir horseshoes, and received a lesson on branding from Uncle Devon.

I didn't get very good pictures of Garrett riding a horse, but he made plenty of memories by riding the horses non-stop. Every time he could get on one he was up there.

Kendall was just at excited as Garrett to get up on the horses but she didn't have as much fun. Unfortunately, she was bucked off the first horse she was placed. I don't know who it did more trauma too, me or her. I thought I was going to have a baby then and there watching my baby girl fly off the back of a horse. But we went back to the house, discussed the events of the morning, to which Kendall decided that not all horses are bad just the one that bucked her off. By the afternoon when they brought the horse back up to the house, Kendall wanted to get back on one. I would have been perfectly happy if she never rode one ever again, but she wanted to ride. It's Keith's blood running through her, not mine.
Although Kendall wasn't at fond of the tire swing. She never really took to liking it, and I personally thing this is the funniest part of the ranch because it's SAFE!
I LOVE this picture of Garrett pushing his cousin Ben on the tire swing. Garrett is really struggling to pull the swing, but Ben is just kick'in it!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Enough is enough!

While we were home in Arizona, Taryn was trying to drop a hint that she was through with formula. We've had to keep her on formula because my girls stomach can't handle regular milk until they are about 2. But while we were home Taryn found the powder very entertaining. Three times she opened a full can of formula and dumped it out all over someones house. First was Brian and Lanae's, the Vonda's newly cleaned floors, and the last was at Grandma Maurine's, which she thought it might also be fun to add orange juice to the formula powder to make a nice paste that sticks to everything.
Oh, how I love her.
Needless to say, I stopped buying formula.

The hunt!

Aunt Vonda was nice enough to let all the Hatch invade her home for Easter dinner and festivities. After a delicious meal, and enjoying the delightful company, we sent the kids to the front yard so that the Easter Bunny could work his magic in the backyard. I always try to prepare my kids for the hunt but they lack the aggressive drive necessary to acquire eggs when hunting with the Pros of the sport. Fortunately, we had a few older cousins who helped my kids find some success.
Taryn found three eggs and a stuffed animal from Aunt Vonda's toy room which satisfied her Easter fix.

We decided to find a piece of shade to enjoy the spoils.

Grandma likes to play a Easter Question and Answer game with the kids after the hunt. Upon answering her deep doctrinal question on the resurrection, the kids win dollar store prizes from Grandma. It's loads for fun and a crack up to hear the kids try on answer the questions. My favorite was these two little men, who were cracking each other up.

I love this picture of my niece, Kam. The bucket, glasses and her serious determination to answer Grandma questions. I love her.
Kendall found a willing adult to allow her to open all the candy her heart desires. As you can see from the look on her face, unless it's chocolate, Kendall would rather feed it to the dog.
In the first pictures she's think, "Who put this lame bubblegum in my bucket?"
But in the second, she's say, "Now this is what I'm talking about?"

Down Home Fun!

Our first week in Arizona we spend in Jo City visiting my parent and sister and her family. I had forgot how much kids love everything about this small town.
First off everyone owns a dog, which is the greatest thing ever to my kids. Not to mention the dozens of other farm animals in every ones backyard.
Also dirt is a cheap toy. And for some reason sandy dirt was particular interesting to my kids. Maybe it's because there is so little grass, dirt in easily accessed.
Speedy's was also a hit with my kids. Speedy's is the only store in town. The other grand kids call Speedy's the "Candy Store!" We became reacquainted with their greasy bean and cheese burritos. What a treat!

And you can't forget baking with Grandma and teasing Grandpa. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Hatch for letting us enjoy a relaxing week in small town Jo City.

The highlight of our stay in Jo City would have to be chasing chickens. Kamryn the resident professional chicken catcher instructed my children on the art of catching a chicken. The real problem is overcoming ones fear to just grab the feathered creature, but it's difficult to do, even for me. Garrett quite quickly abandoned all hope of catching a chicken and moved on to jumping on the tramp and digging the dirt. But Kendall was obsessed with those stinking hens. Sweet Kam would catch them and taught Kendall the proper way to put that chicken under you arm and on our hip to carry them around.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Easter morning

Although Garrett enjoyed the surprise of the Easter basket, he wasn't that interested in the candy, unlike Kendall who wanted to gobble it all up. But he was a bit concerned that the Easter Bunny forgot to hide the eggs over night, so he had to wait till after church for the Bunny to come back again just to hide eggs.
Forgetful Bunny!

I love these pictures of Taryn but wish my stinking photoshop would work so that I could fix them up. Oh, she's yummy!

Note for future reference:
We each come into our marriage with different family traditions, good and bad. The Hatch family traditions included Easter baskets full of goodies and toys that the Easter Bunny left for you along side your Easter dress, hat, gloves, shoes, and new fancy tights. He'd hide eggs and prizes in the house or backyard. (Which the Easter Bunny totally forgot to do the night before this year. Lazy Bunny!) To some this may be a little over board, but to me it's a memory I cherished as a child and want for my children. We also went to church talked about the meaning of Easter and great blessing of our Savior.

This year we celebrated Easter morning at the Jones' (Grandma and Grandpa Jones' house). Keith and I had discussed the differences in our family traditions, so I was full aware that my festivities may be viewed at over the top. But I decided to move forward with the traditions that I grow up with and loved.
Even though my sweet husband had to make this comment, "We (the Jones family) choose to celebrate Easter my remembering the Savior and the resurrection."
Nice honey!
While we at the Hatch household celebrate a big fat bunny, fluffy chicks, marshmallow peeps, and costly apparel.
Nobody likes a Smartalic!