Sunday, March 30, 2014

A letter to Marisa

I just sent this email to Marisa in Poland and thought I'd post it because it pretty much sums up my life right now and is good for journaling purposes. 

My dearest Marisa.
I keep attempting to put together a letter bundle for you and mail it out. I've discovered Valentines cards and birthday wishes that the kids made for you but were buried in my mountain of papers so I have failed to send them. I have failed to email for weeks thinking that I'll put everything in a packet and mail it and that will be much better than an email. Alas, my brain is chaotic and weak right now and I can't even manage to remember to buy stamps let alone make a trip to the post office. So, for now, know that we love you and think of you and even make cards for you but this email will have to do. :-)

I don't mean to sound like such a downer, but truthfully most days I'm happy just to keep my kids fed and (mostly) clean clothes on their backs. I've been battling a bout of depression this winter that has made me function on a much lower level than I like to admit. No need to worry for me. I think it's mostly seasonal and circumstancial. We've had a colder and wetter winter than normal which I find affects me quite a bit and I'm growing very weary of renting a home and waiting around for Rob's work to make the transition for us to move back to Utah. I also find the demands and lack of freedom from homeschooling are getting to me. However, I feel a better season is just around the corner (literally and figuratively) and I'm sure I will feel more upbeat soon.

On a brighter note, the kids are all doing great. Since that takes up most of my life that's usually the main thing I have to report on. Isaac is finally potty trained and loves he new found diaper-less freedom. Although, with that comes the adventures of boys and external plumbing. Yesterday I caught him peeing out the front door onto the porch. Oy vey! I wonder if the neighbors saw. He is obsessed with everything boy. Especially legos, balls and super heros. I spend multiple hours a day searching for the latest "lego guy" he's become attached to and lost. Now I know why the recommended age is 5 and up. It's not for choking hazards but to keep parents from going insane searching all over the house for a one inch toy. He is extremely demanding and clingy (another reason for the depression) and I'm trying to discover if it's a parenting flaw on my part or just his personality. Still, he's cuddly and quite sweet at times. I adore his hugs and kisses and love it when he requests I sing him "I am a Child of God". He turns 3 in a couple weeks and I can't believe how fast time flies.

Alex is doing great in homeschool. He wants to be a scientist when he grows up and is quite good at math but it's his reading skills I'm most amazed by. He is flying through the books. He's read quite a few Magic Tree House books, but has recently discovered Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. He'll read the full 200 page book in about a day in a half. He is very bright and good at everything he tries. This winter he did basketball and really was amazing. He has also recently started piano, though is only doing it because I'm requiring a year before he can take guitar. He, too, loves legos and creating various ships or gadgets from them and like Isaac is super cuddly and sweet. He's just lost his two front teeth and looks super cute. I especially love his little lisp.

Maycie definitely keeps the interest level up around here. She just started soccer and her coach said he's never seen anyone progress as much from the first to the second game as Maycie did. Thank goodness, too, because during the first game she kind of just stood there like a deer in the headlights. She got shot of confidence, though, and goes after that ball now. It's been fun to watch her. She is still doing art and loves painting on canvas the most. We all are amazed at her creations. Maycie definitely likes to push the envelope in most all she does. She is spunky, creative and funny and has a mind of her own. Her teachers and coaches get a kick out of her and love her. I love her occasional snuggles when I can get them from her.

Addilyn is such a fantastic student. She loves to learn and will come home a spout off about all the interesting subjects she's been learning about. She teaches me quite a lot and will talk and talk as long as someone is listening and sometimes long after. She loves taking tumbling and is getting close to a backhand spring, though she is dying to take acting lessons so she can be a famous actress someday. Addilyn is a socialite and loves being surrounded by her friends. She is kind and helpful and also sensitive in spirit and heart. She is a budding young women and a joy to have around.

That's my report on the kids. I am so blessed to be their mom. I'm really looking forward to conference this weekend. I've spent the last few months listening and re-listening to all the talks from last conference and love the peace and enlightenment they have brought. How lucky we are to listen to modern day revelators. I can't wait to hear what the Lord wants us to hear this time. 

I'm not sure if you got your birthday video we sent you, but we think of you and pray for you daily. You're amazing because you are an instrument in the Lords hands and are constantly doing his will. Keep it up.

Love you lots!

Monday, February 17, 2014


Sweet September.
We started off my favorite month by spending it camping in the mountains and picking apples at Sky Top Orchard.

Delicious hot apple cider donuts and cold fresh apple cider are a tradition at Sky Top.

Dad helping the girls reach the best ones up at the top.

After apple picking we headed to the North Carolina Apple Festival in Hendersonville. All sorts of apple treats and every kind of apple you can (or can't) imagine. My favorite variety was called the Divine. Yum!

The kids loved playing in the river near the camp ground.

Maycie all tuckered out after all those apple activities.

Cami Day.
In memory of my friend, Cami Southwick who died too young two years ago this September, many people in our area baked cookies and delivered them to friends.  We miss you Cami!

Only 6 weeks after loosing Grandma Rabiger, my Grandma Ann passed away. This one was a little more sudden and unexpected and because of my closeness to her it was a little more emotional and difficult for me.

One of dad's favorite childhood memories with Grandma was on Sunday nights watching the The Wonderful World of Disney and eating snacks. Snacks usually consisted of anchovies on crackers and oysters with mustard (or something like that). Dad attributes his sophisticated pallet to this tradition. So in memory of Grandma after the funeral we watched a Disney movie and tried to recreate the snacks. 

Liesl and I adoring our new baby nephew, Jack. Caitlin and Trevor's first.

As a last minute treat Marilyn and I traveled down to Cedar City for the evening to see Peter and the Star Catcher at the Shakespeare Festival with my mom.

Happy 35th, mom!
To celebrate my birthday we had Chinese food night with chopsticks. We hope to make it a regular thing.

My healthier cake creation.
In my attempt to go sugar free I tweaked my favorite chocolate cake recipe. Rather than flour, I ground almonds to make my own almond flour. Instead of sugar I ground dates. I also used a healthier coconut oil. The result was delicious. In fact my friends and kids preferred it to the regular cake that was also there.

Sweet Kristin gave Sandy and I a little party to celebrate our birthdays.


Grandma June Rabiger passes away.
August started out on a bit of a tender note. I almost said "sad" instead of "tender", but the truth is while we'll miss Grandma June dearly she lead the greatest life she possibly could have and it was not sad to see her return home. She spent her entire life serving her family, those around her and living the gospel, all with a song in her heart. She left a legacy.

Kristin and I had fun reminiscing funny things about grandma.

Happy coincidence. By chance I discovered my dear friend and former neighbor in Huntersville was in town from Texas also visiting family in Utah. I met up with her and her darling boys: Gavin, Ryan and Liam for some breakfast at Chick-fil-A.

While I was finishing up my trip in Utah the rest of family headed up to, what we hope to be, the first annual Family Camp at Camp Wayfayer. I caught up with them on their 2nd day there. Sandy Abbott has been the stake girls camp director for 5 years and was chummy enough with the owner of the camp they use that he allowed Sandy to bring up several families to have our own camp experience. We had a wonderful time canoeing, jumping off the blob, swimming, catching critters, rock wall climbing and putting on family skits. Some of the families that went were the Abbotts, Smiths, Harts, Morrows,

Best Buddies: Alex and Josh with a salamander.
Isaac and Declan with snacks.

We celebrated 3 birthday while at family camp, including Addilyn's.

Breakfast in bed is always a tradition no matter where you are on your birthday. 

Addilyn trying her skill at the rock wall. She almost made it and probably would have gone all the way if she had worn shoes.

Upon returning home from Family Camp, we proceeded to celebrate Addilyn's 10th birthday. We got a babysitter for the younger kids and took her out on the town. First stop: ear piercing. This was much anticipated. She had been begging to get her ears pierced since she was about 7, but my rule is you have to wait until 10. There are 2 reasons for this. One, I don't want them growing up too fast. The second, and probably the main reason, is I want them to be old enough to take care of the ear cleaning themselves. Addilyn was pretty nervous about getting her ears pierced. She's pretty fearful of pain and the anticipation of it is worse that the actual pain. First she read a letter of encouragement from her best friend, Ella. Then she nervously clutched dad's hand.

A little pop. A not so little scream. And voila: pierced ears.

Then we went to Addilyn's favorite food: Mexican at Azteca. She got serenaded by the wait staff.

Party On!
Later that week Addilyn got to have some friends over for cake and ice cream.

Now that I have a tween in the house Claire's is a frequent request. Addilyn in so generous. She ended up buying something for everyone.

Playing in the rain.
Brotherly and Sisterly Love!

First day of school.
J.V. Washam Elementary.
Alex: 1st grade (we skipped Kindergarten) - Mrs. Pratt
Maycie: 2nd grade - Ms. Sheiperpeter
Addilyn: 4th grade - Ms. Humes

Maycie with Mrs. Sheiperpeter

Alex, starting his morning work.

Addilyn so excited to have her good friend, Emily, in her class.

Yay! Coming off the bus.

Back to School Feast 2014.
"If the Savior Stood Beside Me...
Would I do the things I do?
Would I say the things I say?
For He is always near me."