Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell 2010

I know it sounds cliche but where did this year go? The last few days I have thought a lot about the year 2010. It certainly had its highs and most definitely had some lows. All I know is that this year has been a season of change all around. Let's start with my kids.

As you all know little Miss Mia started school this year. While I was a little worried about how she would act (following Tess cannot always be easy) I will say I am not at all surprised! Yes even the phone call from the teacher, NOT SURPRISING!!! She has many friends but seems to have a love/hate relationship with one special friend named Hunter. Again, no surprise! I didn't feel like I had spent as much time preparing Mia for kindergarten like I had the other two. I have mixed emotions about Kindergarten. On one hand if you teach them everything and have them "reading" before kindergarten, they are somewhat bored and feel like school is just a social avenue. The other hand being you have some pride knowing your child is one of the top kids when you go to parent teacher conference and they already have everything marked off. So as usual with this kid I just let the card fall as they may. I have been so surprised to see how things have turned out. She reads better than either of the other two did at this point and she is constantly surprising me with how "grown up" she has become. I will admit she might have a set back come February and I stop carrying her around like my "little" baby. For now, I will get as much cuddle time as I can. Mia also started violin when school started this fall. Batting a thousand, she has shocked me with how well she is doing. I absolutely LOVE to hear Mia and Tess play duets, even if it is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. So to sum up the year for Mia I would say, Little Miss Attitude Rocks the Kindergarten World!

Moving on to the middle child. Tess has had a wonderful 2010. She started playing the violin in February and took off like a rocket. Her teacher would tell me what a perfect student she was and how pleased she was with Tess each time she came to lessons. This is how Tess goes through life. She finished out first grade winning her class spelling bee (they don't go any further in first grade) and when she left her first grade teacher we ALL three (myself, Tess, and her teacher)shed many tears. Mrs. Flinders set Tess on the educational track like I have never seen an educator do. I was so worried about how second grade would then go down. Fortunately, she continues to thrive. She also finally has her good "friends" in her class. They have lots of fun and Tess has found more joy in school than ever before. She also started ballroom this fall with the return on Aunt Giselle. As a result she is constantly engaged in performing. Serious ballerina, showy Jazz dancer, dynamic acrobat, and now social butterfly ballroomer! She and Luke did a great job at the Christmas show and this upcoming year will be bigger than ever for Tess. She is moving to level 2 on violin, getting a new sibling, as well as preparing for baptism. To sum up the year for Tess, the shy quiet child is blossoming into a beautiful outgoing belle of the ball.

Talk about growing pains! Ellie had quite the 2010. Ellie began playing the guitar in February. This proved to be the perfect match for Ellie and her personality. I have no idea how to play the guitar or anything that goes with it. I can figure out violin fingering and music but guitar is way out of my league. Ellie listens to songs and figures out the cording and plays has a great ear. Ellie also participated in her first year of comp team. None of us even knew what a show stopper Ellie could be until she starts into her hip hop mode. Watch out! She gives new meaning to "attitude." She did her first solo and was amazing! She also finished up elementary school and moved onto middle school. SERIOUSLY, I have a middle school student. Her bus comes at 7:05 in the morning and she is always ready and going. She has matured so much this year and it scares me to think she will be entering Young Women's this year! She got an ipod (touch) for Christmas and acts like your typical teenager. To sum up her year I would say, winds of change. (Oh some of the greatest music came from my high school days!)

Tim and I just celebrated our 14th anniversary. Neither of us can believe that at this time in our life we are adding our 4th child. There was a time when we both thought that 3 children was our lot in life. 2010 seemed to change my mind! Between life, death, and the pursuit of eternal salvation... I realized we needed to expand our family. This was not an easy decision given how crazy our life schedule is. However knowing we are weeks away from meeting the final member of our family brings me great joy and complete satisfaction. Since we never found out the sex of our other children I could not let my track record fall. We all have our days thinking it is a boy or a girl and for various reasons but whatever this child is it will complete our family. Tim and I also were called to go on the Stake Trek this year. I will say that of the things that took place in 2010, this had to be one of my highlights. Not only did I grow an obscene appreciation for my pioneer ancestors, I also developed a stronger love and testimony of my Savior, and more importantly a deeper and more amazing love for my eternal companion. It was on the trek that I realized I was pregnant and how lucky I am to have such a wonderful man for the father of my children. We still have so much learning to do but hopefully together we can make it. Our careers are both doing wonderful, (thank heavens Giselle returned to me this year) and Tim has never been so busy/successful with work. I think a highlight for Tim this year was the addition of the tower to the boat. He not only loves wake boarding but spending time with family and friends on the water. I think he wishes the season were a little longer around here. I just remind him all the snow means full reservoirs this summer. To sum up our year.... BLESSED!

We have so many things to be grateful for this year. Good bye 2010, thanks for the good times, the bad times, and our times with each other!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tales from Kindergarten, Mia Style

And so it begins! Probably need to document these things right now so some day in the future I can laugh about it... someday!

Her "natural" pose!-Kindergarten 2010

I have been so blessed to have all my girls in school this year! We run a tight ship around this place and between the 7:05 AM bus time for Ellie, violin and guitar, and piano lessons in the morning, and then 7:58 AM bus time for Tess and Mia we get up early. Not a problem in the past. My two older girls are morning kids, they jump up and get going. Not so much with my third. She has been a different story from the get go. Call it head strong, call it stubborn, call it moody, just call it MIA! Each morning she has a different "drama." Many times it goes like this.

Mom no one will play with me on the playground. They think I am four because I am so little. My reply, logical of course- Well you can explain to them that your birthday is May 30th and you are five. There is another cute girl in your class named Kaylie who is about your size. Try to play with her.

The next morning

Mom how do you spell KC. My reply: K-C. Tess the spelling bee champion and family nark chimes in. It's probably C-A-S-E-Y. She is writing a note to her boyfriend mom and wants to spell his name. Again my logical reply, Mia we don't write notes to boys and your only boyfriend is your dad. (Has she not learned anything from the Jamison episode in preschool!) Later in the day while doing laundry, I find a post it in her pocket reading

KC + Mia

One day as I walk up to greet Mia at the end of the Country Lane bus stop, she gets off holding one sandal in her hand and one on her foot. When I inquire she tells me (one hand on hip and a smile) Kaleby ripped my shoe off and broke it on the bus. My inquiring mind wants to know-Mia what is your shoe doing in Kaleby's face? No reply!

Then this morning. Seemed to be starting off great, in fact she got dressed before Tess and had eaten three raspberry muffins before 7:00! Moving on with the routine, we went in her bedroom to make her bed ad get her shoes and socks on. LET THE GAMES BEGIN. She balked and cried and whined because she does not like wearing brown shoes to school. Last week she didn't like her mary janes because they showed her socks. Today it was the brown shoes didn't match her blue pants. I gave her the speech and we proceeded to doing hair. The fireworks continued and as a result she was spanked and sent back to bed. 20 minutes later it seemed the tantrum was over and we advanced to finish up mode. I took both she an Tess to school knowing there wouldn't be much time for mommy to help with homework tonight so we did reading before school and left at 8:30 AM. Dropped them off at school and headed back home-flash forward 20 minutes and the phone rings. Caller ID indicates -South Summit Elementary. "Hello Billie Jo, this is Mrs. Blazzard. Mia didn't have ANY shoes on when she came to school today! She told me she left them on the bus accidentally, so I called the bus garage and they radioed her bus driver. He said Mia didn't ride the bus. I then told Mia the bus driver said you didn't ride the bus today, and she replied; oh yeah I came in my mom's car. I must have left them there. Are her shoes in your car?" Running down the stairs to check my car, I tell Mrs. Blazzard. "I could guarantee they are in her book bag but let me check real quick." Surprise NO SHOES IN MY CAR. And to think I have 13 more years of this!!!!!!! Can you say boarding school.
In other new, Tess and Ellie are loving school, loving life, and loving wearing their shoes!
Tess, 2nd Grade

Ellie, Middle School 5th Grade

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Seven Years of Joy

Today my middle child turned 7! I can hardly believe that in those seven years so much joy has been given to me just by being this child's mother. It actually took Tim a while to talk me into having another child after Ellie. I was busy with my career, he was busy working and going to school, and we had a beautiful little girl. Seemed like our life was complete. Ellie had her fourth birthday and I decided it maybe was time to get going.

The entire nine months I was pregnant with Tess I had to be on medication to prevent me from throwing up all the time. It also was the hottest summer on the record books and we had NO air conditioning. Needless to say, I could not wait for this little child to get here. It was a very peaceful Sunday morning when I went to the hospital to have her. As usual, the ENTIRE room was full of people waiting for the arrival. (See how much fun it is not to know if you are having a boy or a girl, everyone comes to the hospital to find out!) The doctor even joked about setting up some stadium seating for the many spectators. From the start everything was easy with Tess. I think I pushed twice, about as hard as blowing up a ballon and out she came. A teeny, tiny, hairy little girl. She had so much black hair we could put a barrette in from the start. Even though Tess started out at 6 lbs 4 oz. she chubbed right up and put the gerber baby to shame. She always had the biggest cheeks and a soft little smile. Tess is very shy but stubborn. She decided when she was ready to be potty trained, she decided when she would talk, and she decided that it was fine to be a big sister at 21 months old!

I don't think I need to recount the day we went in for her kindergarten test and she kicked me out of the evaulation. Just proving to me that she can do everything by herself. She started reading early, she started playing the piano at 5, and picked up the violin at 6. Her music teachers tell me she is gifted with a great ear. (Of course look at her "superior genetics".) Tess also was the star speller in her class this year and completely won her teachers heart. It was a very teary day when she left first grade.

Tess is also a wonderful caring sister. She loves Mia and Ellie and can spend all day playing with them. What a joy she had been for these seven years. I am so lucky to be the mother of this child of God. Happy Birthday Tess- my cup of Joy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

And I say to myself....

Well mother nature has once again shown us who is boss (like every good woman). Just when I thought I could enjoy summer and work in my yard, BAM 49 degrees. So instead of cleaning inside, I sat down at my computer to check on a few friends. I should warn you now, I am already crying so prepare yourself!

I have a dear friend, Becky, from college, I hadn't seen or heard from her in over 13 years. One evening I got a call from our other mutual friend letting me know that Becky had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Immediately my thoughts turned to her husband and children. How can some one so young (my age) have something so devastating happen. Through the power of the Internet I have been able to keep close tabs on how she is doing. We also attended a fundraiser event in her honor back in April. I just have to tell you, she has absolutely taken the high road with this. She has allowed it, the cancer, to bring her closer to her Heavenly Father, her family, and her friends. When I just checked on her this morning, she had just reported on her mastectomy procedure. And again, I say to myself...... to young! Go here to see what an amazing person she is!

Over the last few months I have been able to spend a little more time with my sweet ten year old. She had a big year in school this year. When I say big, I mean BIG! Through it all we discovered that she may need a little help moving forward in her education. Some how the stars aligned and we found a wonderful program to help us out. It requires a lot of time and training on her part and mine. But as we take each step and level I can see what a wonderful talented daughter I have been blessed with. She is changing right before my eyes both mentally and physically. And I say to myself... pre-teen what?

She has also discovered a love for the guitar. Her guitar teacher tells me she is the most talented guitar student she has. Ellie surprised me the other day when she heard a song and went to her guitar and figured out the cording so she could play it.

I am sure many of you have heard, mostly heard me complaining, Tim and I are going on the Stake Trek. We were called as Ma's and Pa's. It really is a calling! So for six months we have been going to meetings and training and somehow the time is at our back door. In the meantime, I have been trying to prepare myself spiritually for this Trek. I have such an appreciation for the Pioneers and my ancestors. I am beginning to feel excited for the experience. Instead of complaining about my "summer vacation" being spent in sagebrush-ville Wyoming, I have realized it is going to be a perfect week for me. NO CELL PHONE, no computer, no tv, no distractions. Just my sweet loving and gorgeous husband and I spending all day everyday together! (Minus the ten children pushing the handcart) but still. And I say to myself.... Charles Ingles!

Last but not least, you may know if you are a face book freak. I AM NOT! But, if you are friends with my sister Giselle you know that she and Noah are moving back to Utah!!!!!!! I have been begging, pleading, crying, screaming, more begging, and praying that Giselle would return to me. Just when I had given up, the heavens opened up and brought her back. I can not wait for fall, BMDC has been growing and I have been killing myself trying to keep up with it. NOW the dynamic duo will take on the world. And I say to myself.... worth the wait!

These are just a few of my random thoughts while "enjoying" today's weather. And here are a few pictures of my adorable children because after all that is what I have been doing, being the mom!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Beauty Mark???? and the Price of Beauty

Every since I can recall, I have had a "beauty" mark on my right cheek. With age, and a whole lot of sun loving, I had more and more "beauty" marks pop up. About four years ago I had a few moles scrapped off. It was NOT a lot of fun! On a scale of one to ten of thing I would never want to experience... it would be a 10. In fact I think I would rather give birth to all three of my kids again, with of course the help of modern medicine.
Over time the "big beauty" on my lip has resurfaced and I had to face the decision weather or not to have it scrapped off again or let it take over my face. (I can just imagine all my cute little boy nephews squirming as their old and smelly Aunt Jo Jo comes over to kiss them with her big ugly mole.) So in order to save myself some emotional pain, I decided to take on the physical pain once again.

This morning my stomach started spinning as I remembered the feel of the needle injecting numbing agent into my upper lid. It was by far the worst part the last time around. Since the mole and now scar tissue have grown into my lip. The Dr. made the decision to cut into my lip and remove it entirely instead of just scrapping off the top. I made sure Tim was around this time to drive me to an fro. If you can imagine the intense pain you experience when you accidentally bite your lip, just imagine the feeling of the tip of a needle going into it three times. (Again, wishing they made epidurals for your face!) My eyes did water up again and my toes managed to slice through the leather covered surgical chair. Tim choose not to watch the procedure, probably best for both of us! There was a point and time when the nurse asked him if he was doing ok. Even though I was numb I could feel the tug on my lip while the sutures were being put in. 45 minutes later I walked out of the office looking like a mummy. Hope the price of this "beauty" was worth it. Thanks to all of you for prayers, meals, and calls of well wishes. We will post an after picture in the next few weeks once the stitches come out! Right now this should give you a good laugh.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Mr. Idaho

I thought this looked like a model pose!

Another year has come and still I wonder who this young strong hot guy is that I wake up next to. With each passing year my love for him deepens. (I usually am not a fan of the list, but this post would go on and on so I had to LIMIT it to 35 things I love about Tim!)

1. Just watching him with the girls, especially when he smells their clean hair. He loves it and he truely loves them!
2. His desire to give me whatever I want. (except the TV in the bedroom)
3. His STRONG work ethic.
4. His desire for clean things and his ability to clean.
5. His dedication to any calling he has.
6. His bowed legs!
7. The way he loves my cooking and tells me what a good cook I am.
8. How he walks into our bedroom or runs up the stairs not to flatten the carpet.
9. The way he eats HUGE scoops of peanut butter out of the jar. (and still stays trim)
10. The way he takes a drink and gives a refreshing AAAHHH at the end.
11. His bright smile.
12. His singing, even though he doesn't do it publicly.
13. The way he can spend hours fixing something til it is fixed the right way.
14. How he smells when he kisses me good-bye in the morning. The smell lingers for a while and I LOVE it. I smell that on his pillow on the nights he is gone.
15. His support to endless hours of dancing!
16. His trust in me. (Like leaving the new boat in my care for a week while he was gone!)
17. His priesthood abilities anytime we need them.
18. The way he plays with the girls when they want some attention.
19. His sensitive side when we watch movies or hear a cute story.
20. How he worries about his mommy.
21. How he is willing to incorporate some of my silly traditions in our family.
22. Filling up my car when I have let it drop below a quarter tank.
23. How he loves Lady GaGa songs!
24. His ability to make everything perfect!
25. Calling me ten times a day while he is gone to check on me.
26. How he takes care of others. (even a pregnant waitress)
27. The image I still have of his Wrangler back side.
28. His thick hair. Thanks heavens he has passed on those great genes to my girls!
29. Which leads me to the tolerance he has, or has to have, with the amount of hair on the couch, floor, bathroom cupboard, clothes, etc.
30. The crepes he make for his girls!
31. His passion about things he believes in.
32. The way he loves smelly things. (Must be a Butikofer trait)
33. How hard he works to provide for our family.
34. Snuggling with me (even though it is forced!)
35. Just trying to be my everything!

Again I could go on and on. Happy Birthday Tim, you are the best husband, father, partner I could ask for. You complete me!

Monday, February 15, 2010

This is how we do it......

I hope you are all singing that tune right now. (I know you are Chelsea)

Valentine's this year was perfect. I had a huge week (surprise) and it all came to a conclusion with the thing I love most... time with my family. Tim surprised me Saturday when he called to tell me "get ready and be in Park City by 3:00 for a massage at Massage Envy!" (Trumpets, playing dadadadah!!!!!) He got me a 3 month membership. Best present EVER! He then brought the girls over and we all headed to Olive Garden. This seems to be the girls favorite place to eat. We came back home and stopped at Cold Stone in Park City for dessert.

Sunday morning I made heart shaped pancakes and eggs. (I promised myself I would use the molds if I bought them!!!) It seemed to make the pancakes more delicious. I wouldn't normally blog about silly heart shaped food but the end of the day brought a funny little event which I thought was blog worthy.

The girls had called their Grandma Butikofer to wish her lots of LOVE. She and I were talking after and Tim brought a chair right next to me on the couch. (Background story: Tim has been asking me for a week if I thought I could stand on his shoulders and change a light bulb on the vaulted ceiling) Next thing I know he had Ellie on his shoulders. While I explained to Janis what was going on she QUICKLY prompts me to get off the phone and get them down. What do I do... Grab the camera! They still weren't tall enough so Tim found my old antique shipping crate and boosted them up enough to get the job done. Maybe Tim will be getting a ladder for his birthday this week??????

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter Fun

Despite most people's dismay with the snow, we found there are many ways to beat the white stuff. This Christmas and winter gave us many reasons to celebrate. Between tubing, skating, Ellie and Tim's ice fishing trip, and feeding cows with Grandpa Mac and the McNeil cousins; we find our winter fun is only part of what we are up to!

Our kids are really loving life and learning new things. We have quite the routine around here. The girls are up to their necks in all kinds of lessons: DANCE, school, DANCE, violin, ACRO, guitar, and even a little more DANCE. Since Ellie got her guitar for Christmas we had to take the next step and get her in guitar lessons. Tim and I both love the violin and have wanted to have a child who could play it. So with that in mind we found a teacher that could instruct Ellie in guitar and Tess in violin. It is really exciting to see the girls learn new things and find new talents. The routine for us however is a little grueling.>
With all the girls taking every dance class available to them (and why NOT) our after school schedule is jammed. So we do piano, guitar, and violin before school! They do not complain at all and even beat me out of bed on some mornings. As long as I have Tess' clothes laid out for her the night before we are all good to go. So what about Mia you might ask??? Well this little socialite has a pretty full schedule herself. She attends two different preschools. She does jazz and acro and shops at Kamas Food Town! She also gets playdates every Wednesday with Reece.

Even if it is freezing cold outside and we are longing for the days to pull out the boat, the weeks pass quickly with this kind of crazy schedule! Here is a peek at some other things we have been doing!