Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day 2016

Boy Howdy drew a picture of his father that we painted on a shirt for Father's Day. A small gesture to show him how much we love him.

The kids love that he comes home everyday. They love that he reads them stories while I'm cooking dinner and tickles them at bedtime. They love grilling, doing yardwork and especially playing legos with him.

I love him because he is my perfect teammate in parenthood and in life. Without his goodness and humble example, his commitment to his family and to the Lord, life would just be dreary. We are grateful he is ours for all eternity.

Friday, June 17, 2016


I found a recipe on Pinterest for flubber. We had a free afternoon and I wanted to try it out. Genius. The kids LOVED it, especially Boy Howdy, and I'll admit I was pretty mesmerized as well. We all played happily together for the better part of the afternoon with what amounted to a lot of glue, some water and a touch of Borax. Fascinating. Boy Howdy was especially in love with making (what he called) spider's silk. We may have recently watched a Wild Kratt's episode about spiders and their web making ability. So for most of the time he played, he made "spider's silk". Such an entertaining, yet cheap and low-key afternoon. Perfection.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Matthew has a Kidney Stone

Yesterday, for a few hours, Matthew felt the amount of pain, many women suffer through at child birth. He passed a kidney stone. All at once he felt pain that knocked him over and put him into a fetal position crying for help. I immediately called my sister who just happened to be passing close to our house on her way home from her sons' soccer games. Two minutes later (almost literally) they were at our home picking up our children so that I could take Matthew to get help. Oh how I love this sister and the tender mercies of a merciful Father in Heaven who put her exactly where I needed her to be at that moment. I wasn't sure where to go, so first we started at Urgent Care. Silly Sara. Yeah, there wasn't much they could do for us and they sent us on to the Emergency Room. I felt so bad that we had wasted precious time with Matthew in so much pain. He was writhing in the backseat and all I could do was nervously/inappropriately smile and drive as fast as possible in the front seat. We made it to the ER where they gratefully got us back to see someone within just a few minutes. Matthew paced and grunted and cried through the pain until they could get some blessed morphine into his system that almost immediately sent him into a silly stupor. Three hours later they sent us home with a second dose of morphine and some serious prescription meds for Matthew to pass the stone at home. And then twenty minutes later my niece showed up bearing my sweet children to my doorstep.

We are overwhelmed by the number of tender mercies and the obvious love the Lord showed us yesterday.

  1. His brother also lived through a kidney stone and had shared his experience with Matthew so that Matthew immediately knew what was happening when the pain struck. 
  2. As noted above, my sister was available and able to pick up our children almost immediately allowing us to get Matthew help as soon as possible.
  3. It happened on a Saturday afternoon, not while Matthew was at work or we were otherwise engaged.
  4. He had planned on going to a WWII air and car show with Boy Howdy and his brother but his brother couldn't make it so Matthew decided not to go.
  5. Neither Urgent Care nor the ER were tremendously busy allowing us faster access to medical care.
  6. We had just enough time to get Matthew's prescriptions filled and get take out before the kids came home.
  7. There was a dance at the stake center just a few blocks from our house that my niece had planned on attending making dropping off our children on her way to the dance ideal.
  8. Matthew passed the stone early this morning making attending Ward Council, church, an Elder's Quorum presidency meeting, and a dinner party possible. Also, his pain didn't start until after we had done our Saturday tidying and he had helped someone move. Heavenly Father wanted him to fulfill his priesthood duties with a clear head, and not writhing in pain and so he moved things along to make that possible.
  9. Finally, hot date for Matthew and me while our children played happily with their cousins.
We are so grateful to the Lord for the best possible experience yesterday and to have been able to witness His hand so intimately orchestrating the entire day.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Boy Howdy Takes Swim Lessons

So let me first start with the bad news. Boy Howdy did not pass his swim class. He's going to have to retake the beginning swim class again (which he can do with Cheeks! Hooray silver lining!).

But for 10 half hour classes, this boy got to splash in the water and spend time with his two favorite people, Cousin A and Friend C (not pictured). He might not have the attention span for learning to swim just yet, but he still had lots of fun, so we are still going to call it a success. Thanks Melissa for inviting us to join you for swim lessons.

Oh, the last day of lessons, Boy Howdy got to go down the adored from afar super cool water slide. Twice.

Boy Howdy Learns to Work and Other Birthday Presents

Thanks to a wonderful aunt and loving Booren grandparents, in addition to all the fun toys Boy Howdy got for his birthday, he also got some birthday money to go spend. We went to the store, and after perusing all of his potential options, he decided on Hungry, Hungry Hippo. He also wanted a robot claw, but didn't have enough for both, so he decided on the game. It was a great choice and he and Cheeks have happily played with it since. He's so excited that he can set it up all by himself.
But later that same day, he decided he also desperately wanted the robot claw, so I told him to start earning the money for it. It was only $5, and he still had $1 left over from his birthday money so he got to work. The work ethic for this boy is still a work in progress, but over the next week and a half, he earned enough money to buy the toy and pay his tithing. So much enthusiasm was coursing through his little body as we went back to the store to buy his new toy. I'm really quite proud of this little boy for doing his jobs, mostly throwing out his sister's dirty diapers and emptying the dishwasher silverware, and saving his money.

Oh, and that's excitement, not mania.

Strawberry Picking

Each year I go strawberry picking and each year I think, why am I not just buying these beautiful berries from a road-side stand instead? With that said, picking with small has become easier and it was a gorgeous day to be outside enjoying the beauty of the earth.

Cheeks, while not super productive, was by far the more consistent picker. Her face, hands and pants all testify to the work she did as wee strawberry picker.

This is the only picture I have of Boy Howdy's efforts. I think it perfectly captures his work ethic for the day. I told him that if he could fill his box I would give him 3 whole quarters, but his 10 strawberries did not merit much. I think I gave him one quarter more as a thanks for coming than anything else.

After making two strawberry pies, that were amazing!!, I decided to make strawberry sauce with the remaining berries. The kids' job was the smashing of the strawberries, which I thought they did pretty admirably. Although at one point they pulled out their silly straw and started taking turns drinking the juice. 

Yeah, it was a lot of strawberries and I probably should have done it in batches but I am happy to now have 15 pints of strawberry sauce for all my waffle, brownie and ice cream needs.

P.S. Boy Howdy got another $1 for his work in mashing strawberries and cleaning the floor. It was a lot of work.

Edit. We also went cherry and blueberry picking. The kids were a bit more productive this time. It may have been due to the plentiful fruit to be had at very easy heights. We may be going back to pick more fruit. I may still miss Pennsylvania like crazy, but I am LOVING having access to cherries for $1.50/lb!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Boy Howdy's 4-Year old Interview

What is your name? Boy Howdy Marler
How old are you? 4
What is your favorite thing to do? Play outside in the rocks
What do you want to be when you grow up? A daddy
What is your favorite food? Apples
Who do you like to spend time with? Adam (his cousin)
What do you do really well? Play in the school bus (a toy of ours) and do really big puzzles
What makes you laugh? Going bla la bla la (making silly faces with his tongue. This kid loves to be silly and to have others know just how silly he can be)
What is the best time of the day? Going to the Gilbert House (our local children's museum)
What are you afraid of? Giant dinosaurs
Who is your best friend? Charlotte
What do you like to do with your family? Playing games
What do you love to learn about? Spiders
Where you like to go? To Charlotte's house
What is your favorite book? The pop-up book about the ladybug that goes on vacation
What is your favorite show? Wild Kratts (sadly now off Netflix)
What is your favorite movie? Monsters versus Aliens
If you had one wish what would it be? To have a robot
What is your favorite thing about turning 4? Having two gummies (now that he's 4 he gets 2 vitamin gummies instead of just 1) - Ah simple pleasures.
What are you most excited to do now that you are 4? Do my science experiments (he got a science experiment kit for his birthday)
Is there anything else you'd like to add? There is syrup next to you (me)