Saturday, December 21, 2013


Ty, Erica, Cash, Vanna, and Rosie

Happy Halloween!

Halloween and the events around it were very fun this year.  We were so busy with them though that we never even got around to carving pumpkins.  We had  pumpkins thanks to these events and kids' school field trips to pumpkin patches but we didn't do anything with them until I made the kids run out and draw faces on them with permanent marker the day of Halloween!  Ha Ha's what we were up to:
Ty's birthday is October 25th (and he turned 35 - had to sneak that in there ;) and he shares his birthday with His dad - we often try to celebrate together for that reason.  This year Ty had his birthday and that weekend off and  the kids had several days around the weekend off from school so we made our way down to Rigby just before Halloween for a visit and to celebrate. 
On our way down, we stopped in McCammon to visit Russell and the boys.  It really kind of eats at me that we can't be closer for them, to see them more and support them but I hope we made up for it a bit with our visit.  We got all caught up on Russ and Roger's hunting adventures and got to see their autographed Boise State football cards (they'd just been to a game where they got to associate with the players a bit and their families - so fun!).   And it sure brought a smile to our faces when Dawson and Mitchell got into their awesome Transformer costumes to show off.  Roger didn't want a costume this year - I guess he's too cool for that sort of thing. :)   It was just so good to see each of them, and to see them happy, for our kids to get to play around with the boys and for us all to have a good visit.  We love them all to pieces!
Dawson is Optimus Prime and Mitchell is Bumble Bee!

After our visit with Russ and the boys, we made our way to Rigby just in time to meet up with everyone (Ty's parents and Ty's brother Nick with his family) and head to dinner at Sizzlers in celebration of James and Ty's birthdays.  Sizzlers is a family favorite and Ty's dad was craving a good steak - it was very yummy! 

And afterwards we had cake and ice cream.  Ty's mom had made a delicious chocolate cake and I brought a fun flower candle that lights up like a firecracker, open up/blooms and plays the Happy Birthday song.  It was the perfect end to their fun birthday!
It always does us so much good when we go down to visit.  We love being on the farm and especially love seeing so much family.  Ty's brother, Nick comes to help at the barn most every day so we always get to see him.  My kids adore him - I think they grew a little attached to him when they saw him so much while they stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Bazil a lot when I was on bed rest with Rosie.   I think they love to play with his dogs too.  We usually get to see Nick's family too - we love to be around them - they're so down to earth and friendly.  During our visit, we went to see Nick and Haley's basement they just finished and it's sooo nice.  I have to admit, Ty and I were a bit jealous - to have two levels or a basement would be so nice for so many reasons! Now that Ty's sister, Marcy, and her family moved back to Rigby we get to see lots of family when we come down.  And our kids love playing with all their cousins.  We love Case who is a big as Rosie but half her age :) and Cash and Vanna get along so well and play so well with Hallee, Blyss and Sicaly.  As parents we found it a bit ironic that what kept them most entertained was playing school.  Hallee was the principal I think, Blyss was the teacher and everyone else were the students, if I remember right.  It was so funny listening to them pretend.  They also liked drawing/coloring.  You can see them below fully enjoying Grandma's stencil and marker stash. Needless to say, the kids had a great time - we all had a great time and can't wait to make our way back down there again!
As much as we hate to say good-bye to family, and as much as we like a break from school, etc. it is also nice to get home and get back into the regular swing of things.  I'm a girl that likes her routine.  Just after our break from school, we went to a fun Kindergarten Harvest party that the school put on.  It was fun - complete with a jump house, face painting, pumpkin carving, frosting cookies, and hayrides...
It was a bit chilly but we kept warm under the blanket Ty ran to get out of the van - thanks hun!

If you couldn't tell, Vanna was a mermaid, Rosie was a little pirate and Cash was a J.I.-Jo.  Look familiar?  The kids' costumes still fit them from last year and Rosie's is one of Vanna's old ones.  So we lucked out and didn't have to buy any of our kids costumes this year - and you know what?  They didn't mind a bit! 
Each of the kids had Halloween parties that they had a great time with.  I went and helped with a game for Cash's class and checked in with Vanna in her class too.  They all had fun later that night at our ward Trunk R Treat too.  It was so darling to see the light kind of go off in Rosie's mind as she realized, "all I have to do is hold my bucket out and these people will give me candy?...Awesome!"  She figured it out pretty quick and thought it was the best night of her little life.  It was so fun to watch.  We were so busy that day that we didn't make it to our neighbors (and it was a school night so we called it good a little earlier than we might have otherwise) but they were so sweet - we had many bring by treats and even small gift bags full of toys and treats that they had saved just for the kids.  I felt bad we didn't make it to them that night because I think they love to see the kids all dressed up.  We really have such great neighbors!
So...our weekend before the holiday and our holiday were great and brought some fun and happiness into the month.  Now we are already looking forward to Thanksgiving which is just around the corner (it just seems like time is going so quickly - I find it hard to believe we're already at this time of year!)!

Monday, November 18, 2013

What time of year is your favorite?

I am so grateful to live in a place where I can enjoy the change in seasons.   By the end of one, I'm usually ready for the next.  
I love the winter mostly for the holidays that we get to look forward to, decorate for, share with family and celebrate.  And while I don't like the cold for long, I love a white Christmas and think the snow holds it's own beauty.  There's nothing like hot cocoa on a cold night or sitting down by the fire to read a good book either right!? 
I love spring where we get to see things green up and get to watch the earth around us bloom and grow.  And I love to see all the baby animals running all over the place (don't you just love little lambs in the spring?). 
I love summer for all the flowers and late summer nights you get to enjoy outside.  I crave summer food like popsicles, fresh fruit pie or fruit pizza and BBQ dinners - YUM!  I love to feel the warmth of the sun and playing in the water on a hot day. 
But I think overall, the season I've always liked  just a bit more than the rest is fall.  I love the taste of freshly canned fruit (especially after working so hard to get it all done!) and can never wait to sit down with my pumpkin roll and apple cider. There's something about the food of each season that adds to it isn't there?!  I also love the smell of a crisp fall day and pulling out my sweaters to wear on just such a day.  And while this fall has proven very difficult for me and my family (more of which I'm sure I'll blog about when I have the time and courage/strength), we have found joy in the simple things and been grateful for the season where we can enjoy fun such as this:
Doesn't that look fun!?  Vanna worked really hard to help me rake up all our leaves and was having a ball!
Vanna wanted to be buried - this is the majority of our leaves from just one of our three trees!
Rosie joined in too!
Cash was good at mostly piddling around while we worked at gathering leaves.  He found it most entertaining to throw the leaves up in the air and often make a bigger mess than we began with - silly boy - someone should teach him to work harder!  Ha Ha Ha!
And after the work was done, Rosie decided we all needed to finish off our popsicles.  It was a perfectly warm day to work outside.  I really do like the falls here because they seem to hang on a little longer than in Southeast Idaho where I grew up (where it turns cold a little earlier).  I'll have to post about our Halloween too - which is always a fun fall holiday we enjoy with the kids - there's so much catching up I need to do - ahhh! :) Anyway - what season is your favorite?

Other random pictures from this fall that make me smile:
Try as I might, I have the hardest time convincing Rosie that it's a no-no and unsafe to be on the counter.  She likes to get up there to scribble all over in my planner (probably because she always sees me writing in it :)

She also loves to  get in my closet and wear my shoes - particularly my heels which she is surprisingly good at walking in because her feet are small enough to tuck themselves down into the flat toe part.  Here she is doing this first thing in the morning in her pajamas and pulling a funny face.

This was so funny - ever hear of "sleeping with one eye open"?  I thought Cash was pretending to be asleep here but he wasn't!  I mean, who falls asleep like this?!  In an effort to try and explain his appearance: I had my baskets of laundry sitting on my bed for me to fold and put away later that day and while Cash was having quiet time in my room (I have to separate the kids or quiet time would never work :) he must have been messing around with the clothes and then he fell asleep.  He's wearing one of my shirts over his own and for some strange reason, he has a pair of his underwear over his head! :)

Just a cute very messy face from Rosie.  She's really good at saying "cheese" and posing for the camera (like she is here).   

Vanna has learned to give Rosie a piggy-back ride.  It sure makes me nervous.  While Vanna is really gentle with her I worry that she'll stumble or that Rosie will let go of her tight grip around her neck/shoulders.  Both the girls love it though so I just take and deep breath and try not to worry too much.

Rosie's first bubble bath.  Maybe that's terrible to say seeing that she's nearly two years old.  We've just gotten out the habit and whenever we did for the older kids, she was already in bed.  Well, she is no longer deprived.  Do you think she liked it!? :)

A friend of ours breeds Mini Australian Shepherds and often lets me know when she has puppies so that I can bring the kids over to play with them.  She thinks it helps in training her pups to be around kids and my kids love it as you can imagine.  Aren't they adorable?  Between the two batches, there were 11 puppies so they were everywhere and always snuggling up with you - they were so, so much fun!  It's always such a treat for us to do that and it gives our puppy fix until next time. :)

First Day of School - 2013

I've got a little friend over to play with Rosie for a couple hours and I thought that maybe while she was entertained I might be able to catch up a bit on my blogging as I watch them.  So here's my mad effort to post as many things as I can in that amount of time without feeling like I'm neglecting her.  Ready, set, here I go...
Cash and Vanna started school on August 21st this year.  We went to the school the day before walk around and help Vanna get familiar with it and to drop off supplies and meet the kids' teachers. 
Cash's first grade teacher is Mrs. Fitzsimonds.  This is her first year teaching at Payette Primary but I think she said it's her 17th year teaching overall.  We have really enjoyed her.  She is very nice and Cash seems to do very well in her class.  I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by how much quicker these kids learn things than I remember doing at their age but I am.  Cash is working on his addition and subtraction and even short story problems. 
Cash's doing very well with his reading as well although he didn't always feel like he was.  This was because he goes to a higher level reading group throughout the day but within that group are two reading levels and he is in the lower level of that group.  When school first started, he kept coming home saying he hated his reading group and that he never had time to get anything done, that his teacher went too fast, etc.  I gave it some time knowing that Cash can over exaggerate things sometimes and hoping that it might work itself out.  I became concerned though when this continued for a couple weeks.  I decided to finally talk to his reading group teacher about it when I had to practically shove him out of the van crying one morning because he was anxious to go to school - not wanting to go to reading group.   This was just not like him and I wanted to do whatever we needed to in order for him to enjoy school and in order for him to be and feel successful in his efforts. 
His reading group teacher, Mrs. Tuning, expressed to me the she felt he was in the right group ( I worried that maybe he wasn't able to keep up because he wasn't quite placed at the right reading level) and that the kids weren't expected to be able to finish all they were given in class, etc.  We decided that she would send home anything he didn't get done in class for him to work on at home where he could feel like he was finishing his work and where he wasn't being rushed at all.  I think he would see other kids in that higher level maybe finishing things before him and felt behind.  He is such a perfectionist and while sometimes this is great (you should see his amazing handwriting!) sometimes it hurts him too because if he doesn't get everything just right and perfect the first time (whether it's in school or sports or a game)  he gets disappointed in himself and I hate to see him disappointed in himself - he really does such a good job!  Whew - things were a little rough at first but now things are running more smoothly and he's learning and progressing and I think he feels successful!  He even  got the Student of the Month award in his class and was honored at their monthly school assembly.  We're very proud of him!

 Vanna has been so excited for Kindergarten!  I think she feels like she's catching up with Cash now that she's starting school too.  I was a bit worried about how she'd handle the schedule because the Kindergarten program is all day everyday this year.  Their school got a grant this year that provides for Kindergarteners to enjoy half the day with more of the academic education and then the other half of the day is filled with enrichment activities that allows for more art and music, additional emphasis on math, science and reading, regular field trips every month, etc.  I'm actually really excited that she can be involved in such a good program that I think will ultimately provide her with a much better education than she could have gotten before.  
So Vanna's regular Kindergarten teacher is Mrs. Warzyn who we love.  Cash had her last year and she is one the best teachers at the school I think - she's taught there for about 30 years so she is very experienced and knows what she's doing. I just love her personality and sense of humor too.  She does great with the kids.   And Vanna's enrichment teacher is Mrs. Perryman.  Vanna thinks it's great that she (her teacher) has such long hair that "goes clear to her butt" in Vanna's words.  She tells me she never wants to cut her hair again because she wants to have hair like Rapunzel and like her teacher.  We'll see how that goes.
Vanna got all spruced up for her first day with lip gloss and everything! :)
Rosie wanted to join in on the fun - she was a hoot too, she started dancing and getting all excited because the older kids were so excited for their first day of school!

Vanna was quite the poser and hip thrower for all her pictures that day!
Since this is the first year for each of the kids to go to school all day - one of the most exciting thing about them starting school was that they got to pick out lunch boxes and take cold lunch sometimes.  They thought it was great to get school lunches too.  Everyday when I'd pick them up from school, for the longest time their responses to my, "How was school?" were all about what they had for lunch that day and recess.  We've ventured in responses now to include their friends, what projects they're working on, what they had for snacks that day, what they did in PE, etc. :)

And this is how Vanna looked about 5 minutes after getting home on that first day.  She was worn out.  My kids have always been good nappers, in fact, Cash just out-grew his about this last summer.  And Vanna took naps all the way up to Kindergarten so I was interested to see how it would all play out once school started.  We have a pretty good schedule though:  the kids get up at 7am each morning to shower and get ready for school; then by about 7:30 we're ready for breakfast and by 8am they have their last minute things to do (brush teeth, make beds, etc.) and then we're off for school by 8:15.    The kids get out of school at 2:45 so I go pick them up and once we get home we first dump sand out of their shoes outside (their playground is one made of sand - ahhhh!); wash hands; have a snack; then have a bit of quiet time where Cash and Rosie read books and Vanna takes a short nap.  Then after dinner and homework and practices, etc., the kids are ready for bedtime stories and bed at 8pm.  By then we're all kind of wiped out and I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoy that time after they go to bed before I go to bed myself.  It's a much needed break and the whirlwind it seems each afternoon and evening brings!

The first couple days after school started, Rosie and I hardly knew what to do with ourselves.  But I'll tell you what - I've really come to enjoy the one on one time our new  schedule gives us.  She's my little side-kick and goes with me everywhere, whether it running errands or volunteering in the kids' classes each week.  In fact, she's kind of become the class mascot and luckily she's really good while we're there so the teachers and kids love her - it's been fun.  I think I'd forgotten how much easier it is to get things done with just one munchkin around. 

Anyway, we're settled into things now and school seems to be going well.  It's so fun to see the kids learning and growing up

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Celebration of Life

My grandma Marie Wheatley passed away on July 25th at the age of 94.  She was my last surviving grandparent. Her husband Wayne Wheatley, my grandpa, passed away years earlier, on the day I graduated from High School (May 22, 2002).   My grandma always seemed incomplete to me without him - being that they had been married for over 60 years and together is how I like to remember them.
My grandma in March when we stopped to see her in Pocatello after a trip to Ty's parent's house in Rigby.  I'm glad we took the time to make that stop.  It was funny, because as soon as we walked in, we saw her at the front door - it was like she knew we were coming and was waiting for us.  Even though she didn't make sense in a lot of what she said, I could tell she knew who I was and was glad to see us. 

That family has grown from their own 9 children to a number that includes 41 grandchildren, 111 great grandchildren and 6 great-great grandchildren.  I think when we counted at the funeral we found all but one or two of her grandchildren were there.  I'm grateful we were able to be counted among them.  I attribute that though to how important she was to all of us and how grateful we are to belong to her family and the legacy her and my grandpa built - a legacy of faith, family and hard work.

Her funeral services were held on Tuesday, July 30th at 11am at the LDS Arimo Stake Center and on Monday evening from 7-9 a viewing was held for the family to receive friends who wished to pay their respects.  She was buried in the Robin Cemetery next to my grandpa.
This scene was among the saddest of the day.  These men are some of the most happy - always full of jokes and laughter at family gatherings - and it was disheartening to see them so sad and solemn faced as they escorted their mother to her resting place. 

I broke down after seeing my mom release her tears and emotions when she and her sister, followed by all of my grandma's posterity, lined the path leading to the hearse and witnessed my grandma being escorted from the church by her pallbearers (most all of whom were her sons and my mom's brothers).  I'll never forget that moment perhaps mostly because it seems to literally break my heart when I see my strong and courageous mom hurt in any way.  I ached for her and all of us feeling my grandma's loss.   
Although this whole occasion was sad and tears were certainly shed, it was also, in a way, a time to celebrate.  My grandma Marie (whom our Vanna Marie is named after) had lived a very long and wonderful life.  Her quality of life wasn't necessarily wonderful her last year with us and so for many reasons, it was time for her to go and perhaps easier for us to say goodbye because of that knowledge we had.  And always, it's comforting also to own the knowledge that we will see her again - that hope can be found and there is much to look forward to when we all strive to work towards the blessing of a forever family.
My grandmas only daughters - my Aunt Annette and my mom - they were strong girls to survive all those brothers! :)
You might have noticed in the picture above that my mom is wearing her missionary tag.  The circumstances surrounding my grandma's death were special for my mom in the fact that she was able to attend her mother's funeral before leaving for Belize on her mission.  My mom and Tab had taken into consideration the health of their parents before making the decision to go on a mission, knowing it was very possible something such as this could happen and that they may be unable to make such a long trip back home from out of country to attend such services.  However, my grandma passed away while they were at the MTC in Provo and it all worked out that it was possible for them to come home for my grandma's services.  I'm so grateful that it did work out that way because my mom was very close with her mom and helped do so much to take care of her that I think it would have been very difficult on her not to be able to attend her mom's services.  We all recognized this as a tender mercy and blessing that they were near enough to come home.
Each of us holding a flower taken from the beautiful flowers provided for my grandma.

My grandma's favorite flower was the rose and her favorite color was red so it was easy deciding what flowers should adorn her beautiful casket.

After the services, we all enjoyed a luncheon at the Arimo Stake Center where we were able to renew our relationships with relatives and friends.  It was a beautiful day and one that I will always remember.

Some things I'll always remember about my grandma:

-her loud and contagious laughter

-her ever sure testimony displayed through her strong and steady example

-her skills at quilting and crocheting - it seemed she was always making a blanket for someone and even still, her blankets are my favorites to cover up in

-her huge collection of books

-the way she spoke her mind, especially as she got older...haha...I remember a time when Ty and I visited her in St. George and took her our to lunch...she didn't like the drink she'd ordered at the restaurant and voiced her opinion but told the waitress not to worry about switching it..."I can gag it down," she said...haha...I'll always remember that and how we laughed

-that we could always find Oreos and peanut M&Ms (my grandpa's favorite) somewhere in the house and even Almond Roca could usually be found as well - I must get my love for Almond Roca from my grandma

-her passion for crossword searches/puzzles

-the way her and my grandpa opened up their home to my mom and me and my younger brother during the process of my parents' divorce - I feel especially grateful for the closeness I feel to my grandparents through this experience

-she was an avid Utah Jazz fan, along with my grandpa

-she enjoyed attending anything her kids and grandkids were involved in (be it sports or other activities)

I know I will often reflect upon my grandma's life and how she has influenced my life.  I will always have a reverent respect for her, as I believe most all who knew her will.  She will be greatly missed by her family and friends - I will miss her and I look forward to the time we meet again.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bazil Family Reunion - 2013

We had our first Bazil Reunion this year!  The reunion was organized by Ty's parents and just for Ty's immediate family.  It came at a wonderful time just before his youngest brother, Chase and his wife Brooke, moved to California where we'll likely not get to see them too much.  I was so happy they put one together and I hope it becomes a yearly thing! 

We started our reunion on Friday July 28th and kicked it off by first doing family pictures back on the river behind the where the family farms. I had to fix the kids up a bit after our long car ride down and change into our red-white-&-blue attire but really, they all turned out so good.  Ty's brother-in-law Zak, has a sister who took them and did a fantastic job.  She was so patient with our large group and worked so hard with the kids in the blasting heat to get some good ones.  You can check out her site here:  Here are some of my favorites -
The entire Bazil family.

There had been a lot of additions to the family since our last group picture.
And here's some of just our family - we'll have to pick one for our Christmas card!  Which one would you pick? :)


And now for the pictures we love most of our kiddos.

This one captures the "natural" in our kids - Cash adoring Rosie, Rosie talking in her sweet, soft spoken way, and Vanna daydreaming.  I love it!

Doesn't he look so grown up!?

Our beautiful brown sugar baby.  Vanna gets pretty tan in the summer - add that to the fact that she always tries sneaking in sweets and gets eaten alive by mosquitoes and you've got the perfect recipe for teasing her about them liking her so much because she's pure "brown" sugar.  Ty will often teasingly tell her this summer that she would sweat brown sugar if she ever got worked up enough.  I wonder where Cash inherited his teasing nature?

Absolutely precious!


Rosie could not get enough of these stools.  She would have sat and played on them and posed all day for the photographer.  It was only when she had to get off the stools that she became unhappy about getting her picture taken. :)

After pictures, we went back to Ty's parents for a "Hawaiian" dinner.  We helped the kids make Hawaiian lei's and then turned them loose to simply entertain themselves and play their hearts out.  They all had so much fun with their cousins!  Ty's sister, Marcy, moved back to Rigby from Utah with her family so we're so excited to see them more often when we visit.  They were nice enough to let us stay with them throughout the reunion so later that night, we headed over there, received the grand tour of their beautiful home and tried to get the kids settled down for bed! :)
The next day, we went hiking up to Cress Creek by Heise, which is  a pretty area.  We probably didn't think things through very well and brought only Rosie's little umbrella stroller for the reunion and therefore the hike.  It was a bit miserable trying to steer that thing up the mountain with only gravel and dirt pathways - luckily Ty was  a great sport and took over that job.  But we couldn't have asked for better weather - it was overcast so it was nice and cool. It really was a beautiful hike as you can see from the pictures (I had so many more of the hike and reunion but couldn't get them to turn the direction I needed them to - darn it). 
After our hike, we went back to Ty's parents' and had lunch and spent the afternoon playing so more - imagine that.   The big hits everyday (as usual) were Grandma and Grandpa's Rhino and four-wheeler.  All the kids would pile in and wanted ride after ride.  Even Rosie was thrilled with them and must have even found the rides relaxing because she fell asleep once while Ty had taken her out.  I tried to capture a picture but she woke up once the four-wheeler stopped.  So funny though. 
Dinner was at Marcy's house that evening and since it was stormy by then, we had to move into the garage for dinner but not before a couple games of Frisbee Football which was later followed by more indoor games that were so fun!
On Sunday everybody went to Marcy and Zak's ward because they had been asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting (since they're the new and interesting kids on the block :) After Church we went to Ty's parents for lunch and had our goodbyes with Brooke and Chase...sniff...sniff - we'll miss them!  We hope we get to see them a little bit at least while they're living in California for school.  The rest of us went down to the barn to see Great Grandma (we always love visiting with Melba) and "help out" with the chores.  Really it's just a lot of fun for the kids. 
Funny story - I guess while all the kids were sitting here in the barn (notice they're all sitting on piles of paper towels so they don't get too dirty :) watching Grandpa milk the cow, Grandpa suddenly exclaimed, "Hurry - you'd better move!"  Because one of the cows had started peeing and it would have splattered (and did just barely) and soaked the kids sitting right in it's line of fire.  The joys of farm life right!?  We said more goodbyes throughout that day and the next because we  extended our trip there even a bit longer than originally planned since we found out the day before we left that my sweet Grandma Wheatley (at age 94) had passed away.  Her funeral was to be that Tuesday, July 30th.  So we stayed one more day with Zak and Marcy which was fun because we got to share in celebrating Marcy's birthday with her.  Then we headed down to McCammon to stay with my sister and her family in order to attend my Grandma's services (which I'll have to post more about next). 
Anyway, it was truly a great time! The kids all had fun together  and so did the adults. There's nothing better than spending quality time with the ones you love which is why family reunions or get-togethers are so important.  We loved it!