Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Day of School

The kids started school on August 20th, less than 48 hours after we got to Green River. They were troopers! We were able to snap a few pictures before they left in the morning. We didn't get any of them together because Jenna starts almost an hour before Will, so he wasn't ready when she was.

Jenna started 5th grade!

Will is a big 2nd grader!

They both like their teachers so far this year, and I think it's going to be a good school year. I really think we're off to a great start!

Big Move

After all of the major life events that have happened in the last few months, we added another one to our list. We moved from Mesa, AZ to Green River, WY!! Joel accepted a job at the Castle Rock Medical Center a few months ago, so after graduation and the PANCE exam, it was time to pack up and head North.

I will try to keep this post short because I don't even have any pictures to break it up, and it will just get tedious if I share every detail of the move.

We were lucky to have Brenda come into town Thursday morning to drive the pick-up for us. She was really helpful with the move, especially because of Audrey. It was great to have an extra pair of arms to hold her when she needed it. We picked up the (huge) U-haul Thursday afternoon and started loading. With the help of our brother-in-law Logan and our neighbor we got things packed up relatively quickly.

Thursday evening I had to say goodbye to my sisters, and that was super hard. It has been so great to live near them and spend more time with them. I've also loved that our kids have been able to spend time together and get to know each other better. I already miss them, and I am sad that I will miss out on the get-togethers.

There was so much to do, but somehow we managed to get it done and leave Friday around 10-ish. Friday was uneventful, and we stayed the night in Beaver Utah. The rest of the driving on Saturday also went well, and we got to Green River around 3:00. We got our keys to the townhouse we're renting, and there were already some people from our new ward here to help us unload. We were very thankful for their help. We unloaded the truck in about an hour. The house was a crazy mess of boxes and everything else, and there was almost not enough room to even walk from room to room. We were able to at least get beds set up and a few things in place on Saturday so we could sleep that night.

We made a lot of progress the next day, and continued to chip away at things until we pretty much had everything where it needs to go. There are still some things that don't have a permanent home, and pictures still need to be hung on the walls, but I think we are basically settled in.

The kids started school the Monday after we got here (pictures to come in next post). We've been really busy unpacking, getting things set up, and getting Joel certified to work in WY. He did pass the PANCE, so that was a relief. Things are starting to slow down into a normal rhythm and we're falling into our new routine. That will be adjusted when Joel starts work next week. We're excited about that!

We're really happy to be here in Green River and beginning this new phase of our lives! It's also great to be back in Wyoming. It really is home to us.

Jenna Hits Double Digits!

Jenna turned 10 this year!! We celebrated on Sunday when we  had everyone at our house after Audrey's blessing. It's so much fun to have lots of family there to sing Happy Birthday and to share cake with!


Clockwise starting with Jenna: Jenna, Bella, William, Adam, Porter, James, Rebekah, and Savanah.

She opened presents on the morning of her birthday. She got some fun things, like a lock box, some yarn, a binder, cards with money, etc.

We had breakfast burritos for dinner at her request, then we went to Bahama Bucks for desert. So yummy! It's hard to believe our little girl is already ten. She's such a great helper! (Most of the time) :) We love you, Jenna!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Audrey's blessing

On Sunday, August 5th, we were able to bless our Audrey Marilyn in church. Again, it was wonderful to have our family here to support us. Five of my sisters were here, and Rachel and Mary were able to bring their families with them. Logan, Scott, and Roland stood in the circle with Joel. It was a great blessing, and I'm so thankful that we have the opportunity to do something so special in our church. And I'm thankful that  my husband is a worthy priesthood holder so he can do that for our family.

It was family picture time before church. It was overcast outside so I figured we wouldn't have so many problems with squinting. I was wrong. This is the best picture we got. Even though there are some funny faces, I think everyone looks nice all dressed up for church.

After church we all came back to our house for some lunch. It was great to hang out with everyone and just relax. Erin, Brenda, and Roland had to leave Sunday afternoon. We were happy they were able to come! We also had cake and sang Happy Birthday to Jenna while we had everyone together. The pictures of that will come next with Jenna's birthday post.

Monday evening we went over to Laura's for dinner/FHE. We made individual pizzas on the grill. It was hot work, but it was tasty! It was great to hang out with my sisters again. It's starting to sink in just how soon we are leaving, and I'm so sad that we won't live as close to my sisters. But we had fun hanging out at Laura's.

Tuesday evening was a little tricky because all of the kids started school Wednesday morning. Except for my kids; we aren't starting until we move. But we had a last minute gathering at my house, minus Laura and Amy. Adrienne, Mary, Rachel, and my niece Brianna came out to my house. They came to the store with me to do some birthday shopping for Jenna. Then they wrapped presents for me while Joel and I folded laundry. We also had the Olympics on, of course. :) After all of that was done we played a few hands of Authors; a card game we got from Brenda for Christmas. It's a family favorite here in our house. We had a lot of fun and stayed up later than we should have, but that's how we roll! :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012


We had a pretty exciting and busy weekend! Joel's sister, Erin, flew in on Thursday evening and Brenda and Roland got here early Friday afternoon. They came, of course, because Joel graduated from PA school! Woo Hoo!!!

Soon after Brenda and Roland got here Jenna and I took off and did some school clothes shopping. We were lucky to find some clothes for her, and we had fun together. After that Audrey and I headed over to my sister Rachel's house for a sister's night, since my sister Adrienne also got into town Friday.  We ate some Costa Vida, I tried on and borrowed some of Mary's clothes, some people did nails, some people did some sewing, and I believe there were various other projects going on. There were also a lot of treats eaten and much conversation to be had. It was a blast, as usual!

Saturday morning we were up and ready to take pictures with plenty of time to get to graduation on time. I ended up not taking the three older kids. They went to play with cousins at Fabiano's house, so that's why they aren't dressed up in the pictures.

Doesn't Joel look handsome in his cap and gown? 

It was pretty bright outside, so in a lot of the pictures at least one of the kids had their eyes closed. This was the best one we got. It even looks like Audrey's trying to shade her eyes. :)

The graduation was at the Phoenix Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix. We got pretty good seats. I was very grateful to my bother-in-law David for taking Audrey for the entire ceremony. It was great to be able to pay attention and not worry about any kiddos.

Here's Joel up on the big screen when they were coming in to the hall.

Waiting for all of the students to come in...

Lined up waiting for his turn to take the stage...

After the ceremony was over and we were waiting for all of the students and faculty to make their way out of the hall I snapped this picture of my sisters that came to graduation. It was great of them to come and support us!

Then I popped in and Erin got a picture of all of us.

And here's the after picture! Notice the fancy "hood" he's wearing now. We should have gotten a picture from the back since that's were most of the hood is. :)

It really was great to be able to watch my hubby graduate with his Masters. He has worked so hard for a long time (not just the two years of PA school) in order to get to this point, and I am so proud of him. It was a more emotional experience than I thought it would be, and I definitely got a little misty a couple of times. But maybe I can still blame that on the post-baby hormones. :)

After graduation we all went to Sweet Tomatoes for a late lunch, and then home to get things ready for our big Sunday. I'll be posting about that soon. :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More Pictures

Some more random pictures. I took some and I think some were taken by Jenna.