Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Calling all jewelry lovers!!

This is not very much notice for those of you that live in Las Vegas, but hopefully any of you that care will see this and come! A mom of a good friend of mine makes some really beautiful jewelry, and is not going to be making it anymore...so it's all gotta go. We are hosting a party tonight at Michelle Kesler's home, in Yellowstone. Call me for the address, and it's an open house from 7-9:00 p.m. Come and get some great stuff for a great price!! I've posted a picture of the few things I have been able to get from her before...
Oh, and for any of you that would maybe like something and don't live here, I can always send you pictures, and you could order it too...I will ship it for free!

Credit to Kristin...

I haven't blogged much about Russ's family trip here to Vegas for 3 days, but that's because I have been waiting for his sister's pictures! Russ's whole family (minus Aunt Sparklie whom we missed!) came here to Vegas, which means: not enough adults (or too many parents - however you choose to look at it!), 7 children 4 years and under, lots of snacks to keep children happy, not enough naps, one boat trip to be remembered, dining out experiences not to be forgotten, and a lot of laughs and fun. We all are always so exhausted by the end of these reunions, but are always so quick to say yes to doing it again and again, because these are the things that the children will always remember. Thanks Walker family for such a fun few days! Can't wait to do it again!

I have to give credit where credit is due...I love and appreciate Kristin's talent and patience in taking priceless captions of the kids. I don't know how she does it, but I couldn't pick my favorites of Max, so I had to post them all! The rest of pictures are all so great too, and I appreciate your work Kris! Thanks again!
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Summertime swimming!

If you can't swim in the pool here in the summer, there's not much for you to do! I have to admit that if you can't get in touch with us during the days, it's almost always because we are at some pool, trying to keep cool! I don't know how we have all stayed un-burned, but we have somehow, and Jackson especially asks from the moment he gets up when we are hitting the water. I'm lucky that he has pretty much taught himself how to swim, and won't get out of the water for much. Max on the other hand, has to still be coaxed into the water, and it takes him a L-O-N-G time to be okay with whatever he wants to do. We are hoping to get him into some real swimming lessons, so he's not such a paranoid little boy about "falling to the bottom of the pool..." (not even sure why he would even think that!)

Anyway, we have gotten to visit some fun pools lately. Some of Russ's family, the Godderidges came into town for a night, and stayed at the JW Marriott, so we went and swam and ate with them for the night. Jackson and Max BASKED in the attention they got from not only Aunt Katherine and Uncle Scott, but especially from Natalie and Steven. It was so nice to see them and spend some time with them!

The other pictures are from one of our friends pool just a few blocks away from our house. We didn't even know backyards like this existed here in Vegas, and we certainly felt like we were in paradise a little bit. They have a fun water slide and waterfall and a diving board...all of which was utilized by everyone for most of the afternoon. Thanks Lunds for offering up your pool while you are out of town!! We were spoiled for getting to use it!
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Friday, June 20, 2008


I know this may not seem like a big deal to many of you out there, but I'm starting to wonder if we have been cursed with something crazy...friends that have heard this already have said, "well, it's because you have boys..." or "what do you expect with two boys around?!" But I don't buy it! PLENTY of people have boys, my parents included, and I don't know of ANYONE else that has had to go to (think!) about three ER trips in one year due to HEAD injuries. So this is what happened yet again just two days ago...

I had taken dinner to a friend, who happens to be a nurse that is on bed rest due to early labor. Anyway, her phone rings, and she hands it to me and says "It's Russ." I answer it, and he tells me that he actually needs to talk to Brittany. This is our conversation... (me) "Why do you need to talk to Britt?" (Russ) "Um, because I need to ask her a question." (me) "What question do have to ask her that you can't ask me?!" (Russ) "I need to ask her if I need to take Max to the ER or not..." I won't finish writing what I said after that. You can imagine.

So there you have it. Russ and the boys were in the backyard, that is still in progress of being done, and Russ had set up a swing set that we had been given from a friend for the boys to play on. The swings are NOT steady, and I had already witnessed Jackson and his friend falling off of them, so I knew they weren't so safe for Max, but Russ did not. He had put Max on the swing, and Max had fallen off straight back, landed on a rock, which punctured a hole in the back of his head. It wasn't the prettiest sight, but after debating about it, taking him over to Brittany's for her to look at it, we decided not to attempt trip #3 to the ER, due to the fact that it really is a hole, and not a cut - that could be stitched up, like Jackson's both were. It does not however take any of the drama away from the "owie hurting" and the bleeding and the cleaning out, and the worry that it's infected, but we are hoping for the best.

Again, I ask you, what family has THREE head injuries in less than a year?! No one but the Walkers I suppose. Good thing Max is such a trooper, and hasn't lost his happy face at all...except when I clean his head, or take off band-aids that are seriously stuck in his hair!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not quite finished with our last entry...

I am repenting, mostly to my husband. I didn't get to finish the last post that I had made, mostly just because I was so tired and didn't want to blog anymore, and also because I hadn't taken a picture of the "finished" result. The month of May didn't end with just a bunch of traveling and fun adventures...unfortunately and fortunately. When we returned home from our trip, (a trip to San Diego included - to get our boys from Russ's parents - THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH GRAMMI AND PAPA!!) Russ got on some sort of KICK to do something about everything that I have wanted done for the last weeks, months, years...I have to take a moment and brag about my husband for a minute, especially since I know he will be reading this sometime, and I know his feelings were secretly hurt a little bit that I had put nothing about what he has been up to for the last few weeks.

As he has put it, he did a couple months of work in a couple weeks, and I have to say, he is RIGHT. We got back from San Diego Sunday night late, and Monday (Memorial Day) he not only cleaned out and re-organized the entire garage, but he ripped apart my coat closet downstairs and built shelves in it, so that we have a little bit more room for food storage items. (I have VERY limited space in my kitchen and my pantry, as most of you know!) I was very impressed. Tuesday and Wednesday, he raked out all the rocks out of our backyard and is getting it ready to pour a patio - which will be a blessing to everyone in this family if we ever get something back there for the boys to run around in - no matter how small it may be! Thursday he ripped out all our flooring and baseboards downstairs, Friday we cleaned and swept and scraped and got the floor ready to be laid on Saturday.

Before I go any further with pictures, I have to also say this...we are SO blessed with so many good friends who are willing to be called on and give up their time and their familiy time on a Saturday to help us with our project. I could not believe how many men volunteered to come and help, though most of them had NO idea how to lay the flooring. THANK YOU to everyone that gave of their time, gave us tools to use, made us meals because my kitchen was torn up, took my kids, etc.!! I do not take any of it for granted, and I know Russ was very touched as well. We are so lucky to live in such a good area where there are friends who are so willing to help us out.

So there you have it...Heavenly Father's hand really was in all of this as well, because we have been wanting some of these things to happen for a long time now, and He has overseen and overwatched the entire process. We had been looking at flooring for months now, and how we ended up with what we did at the price we did at the right time is beyond me, but we have truly been blessed. Russ, when you read this, I hope you know that I am SO thankful for you and how hard you have worked. Russ always makes fun of me when I say things like, "well, my dad could do that if you need him to..." and I don't say those things to hurt his feelings, I just know that my dad is more than capable, and he is such a handy man! He's a builder, a fixer, etc, and I had NO idea that Russ really is as well. He is more than capable, and I am so proud to tell everyone that HE did it! He had great help, yes, but he was the one from start to finish in getting it all done. Thank you babe, I love you!!

oh yes, did I mention that while my downstairs was being done, we had up to seven children in one bedroom upstairs??!! Our upstairs had most of our furntiture from downstairs, so fitting us all into one room or the hallway was a little challenging!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What happened to the month of May?!

Well, for anyone that has or hasn't talked to me, there is definitely good reason for the lack of updating the blog...sometimes I look at my life, and think there has definitely got to be reason for the madness, yet the madness doesn't seem to stop. We can't seem to slow down, and although I love being busy, I must say it makes for a slightly crazy mother. I must apologize to all those who have wondered if I'm really just a flake lately, or just a really uncaring friend. I don't know how my mother did it day in and day out with all of us children, and the chaos always swirling around her. Maybe she just accepted and embraced the craziness for what it was and knew that it was better than complaining about it. Let's start at the beginning shall we?

We left the day after Mother's Day, when we learned that my (step) grandfather, Melvin Carlile had passed away. We didn't have much time to think about the consequences that we would be paying later on for this, since being there for my grandma and paying tribute to Melvin seemed like such an obvious choice. Melvin was the only grandfather I had known and was always such a hoot to be around. We learned so much about him in the two hour funeral than we probably knew about him while he was with us, because his quiet sarcasm didn't seem to ever have the desire to share a whole lot with us. He was a dear person, and will be missed.

A few days after being in Heber, we all left and headed south to St. George for my brother, Kacey's wedding, for what we thought would be a little more relaxing vacation than anything else. We were proved to be wrong once again, when Jackson landed up in the hospital splitting his head open yet again, and receiving 10 stitches. (This was more devastating to him since ALL he had wanted to do for DAYS was go swimming with his aunts and uncles...poor guy.) He was brave, but I have to say this was a little more traumatic than the last time we landed up in ER with him!

The wedding itself was beautiful, Kacey and Nikki were extremely happy and glowed the entire day. They were married in the St. George temple, which was followed by a luncheon, which was followed by a reception. It was a L-O-N-G day, especially for the kids, and we were pooped by the end of it. The Anderson's were a very fun family, who have a yard that is straight out of a magazine, and it was a nice celebration for Kacey and Nikki. We wish them nothing but happiness!

Sunday morning after the wedding, Russ drove the boys to California, where they met their Papa Walker, who took them back to San Diego for the next four days, while Russ and I went on a four day hike to Havasupai Falls....

Let me start by saying that even while we were packing up for this trip on Sunday, I was NOT convinced that I really wanted to do this trip. I really consider myself a good sport, however, hiking 10 miles down into a canyon, packing everything that we need for the next few days, sleeping in a campground with no running water, no bathrooms, no ice/coolers, just to see a bunch of waterfalls did NOT sound all that appealing to me. My brother, Kyler had planned the trip, and my sister and her husband were going with us, and I really kept relying on the fact that my sister is pregnant, and would end up backint out and then I would not have to be the party pooper! But off we went, first thing Monday morning...all five of us, piled in Russ's car, trying our hardest to not be so exhausted from the last week we had just all had.

The 8 mile hike to the Indian village was pretty uneventful. It was a nice enough hike, not too hard, just long and a little boring. We made it down to the village, where we were happily greeted by a little convenience store that sold ice cream, which we all but inhaled. The two mile hike after that to the campground didn't seem so long after that!

All I can say about this place is that it is proof of a true and living God who creates some things for the sheer purpose of pleasing the eyes and leaving us as His children forever in His debt. This place is literally in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon, in the middle of desert, and is more beautiful than anything I have ever seen before. Within 4 miles of each other, stands four unique and breathtaking waterfalls... Each time you see one waterfall, you are thinking to yourself that there is nothing more beautiful than what you are witnessing right then in that moment. And yet, we would hike to next one, and were never ceased to be completely and utterly dumbfounded once again. The pictures will never do this place justice, and going once in your lifetime will not be enough. The hikes to some of the falls are crazy, gripping the rocks with your hands, and carefully placing your feet on just the right ridges, and thinking to yourself, "am I really doing this?!" but are so worth it when you get to see the falls. We had a BLAST hiking to the falls, playing in the water, jumping off the cliffs, and using the rope swings, but the turquoise color and the clearity of the water is something that I will always remember.
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We also got to go hiking into some amazing caves and mines, which are not far away from the campground...hence, the headlight in one of the pictures. Truly, this was one of the most fun and amazing trips I have ever been on. Although next time, we will eat a little bit better, and not eat "crap out of a bag" which is what I learned to call the freeze dried food that we ate. We had so much fun all together, amd I'm excited to do it all again. Oh yes, and did I mention that the hottest it got was 108, and by the time we hiked back up to the top on the last day, it dropped clear down to 36, and was raining/hailing/snowing??!! No joke, it was the craziest thing ever...
Look, we are even still smiling after it was all over!