Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Instead of ketchup. Get it????

Josh is back at it in school. He is pretty pumped for this years bb season. So am I. He has been into FB debates a lot, as well as studying up on Christ and the Bridegroom symbology.

I have been canning a lot. A LOT. It's been fun. I can even make salsa with strictly my own ingredients from the garden. Enjoying Eragon Inheritance series right now.

Thad is Thad. He is so very two right now. Good thing he is so dang cute, cause otherwise he might not be as bearable. He had an eye check up recently and is our first child to not need glasses. Knock on wood, I hope that lasts! Right now he loves to play with balls, loves to throw and kick 'em. He loves to play chase and loves to laugh. He is a monkey-see monkey-do kind of guy. He really loves his older siblings and will do anything they do.

Monet has started pre-k. Loves it. Loves her classmates and loves that she gets to wear a backpack to school and take out library books. She is growing up too fast. She has been seen walking around with earbuds in her ears, and I get an uncomfortable glimpse into the future. She loves to help me out. Just the other day she helped me skin 10 lbs of tomatoes. Happily.

Enoch is in grade 2 and enjoying it. After having a home reading nazi for a teacher last year (don't get me wrong, she is a great teacher), I never even have to tell him to read his books. He just always does it. Weird to have one so devoted to homework. I'll have to have him read this when he is 12. Enoch is loving Diary of a Wimpy Kid books right now, as well as baseball, Pink Panther, and of course, Lego.

Levi finds himself in grade 3. he has told me several times that he has the nicest teacher in the whole school. He is a great helper with Zeke. I have even gotten him out of bed to hold the baby when I've needed to get some finishing touches on canning done. Levi has been into drawing lately. He traced about 3 dozen different planes and has them all memorized. Josh and him can talk planes and to me it sounds like a different language.

Zeke is growing way too fast. He just got his first shots and is already 20 lbs. He is inching forward on carpet and scooting backwards on lino. He can spin around on his tummy and change directions. He can flip over from his front to his back. He laughed once, really awesomely, on August 28th. Haven't heard that perfect full laugh since, although we get super big smiles anytime we ask for them. I have to refrain myself everyday from eating his cheeks and those dimples. He was an awesome sleeper and now he is an OK sleeper. Oh well. I'll sleep when I'm dead.


FHE. The dreaded weekly event that can end up really wonderful, or extremely sour, depending on the mood of parents and children alike.
Last week was one of those Mondays where I really didn't want to make the effort. I didn't have it in me. The kids were playing nicely outside, should I really stop them from what they are doing and drag them inside, just to sit down and have a lesson when they already had a lesson at church yesterday????

Persevere I did, and dragged them inside. Monet wanted to teach the lesson, and she chose to do it on reverence. We got a little lesson together and she did her thing. We talked about how reverence helped us to recognize the spirit. Daddy shared a bible story about how the voice of the Lord wasn't in the earthquake or in the wind, but in a still small voice. Next, we had an activity where we all made as much noise as we wanted to while listening to rock music. While that was going on, I called Josh's cell. No one heard it. No one. When I turned off the music and quieted everybody down (baby is now awake, btw), they were stunned to hear that the phone had gone off. I think they actually grasped that maybe, just maybe, that is why sacrament meeting can be boring, cause they aren't truly being reverent. It's more than just being quiet, its listening. It was good. I was happy, it wasn't so bad after all.

At the end we invited Monet to share her testimony. It was simple and sweet, and we could all feel the spirit. Significantly, we were all able to identify that we felt the spirit. What a wonderful evening we had, and I was so glad we took a few minutes to turn our home into a temple. FHE. Sometimes great, sometimes crazy. But that was a good one.

best ever

I had the best. birthday. ever. EVER!

As cool and collected as I am about most things, my birthday isn't one of them. I don't like birthdays. Haven't since I turned 20. I could have been 19 forever! Thankfully, I didn't get my wish and have continued to climb the ladder over the years. Of course, there are SO MANY blessings that I would have missed had I stayed 19. For example:

 and of course, this:
Anyways, back to the best birthday ever. I got a garmin watch. Yes. I am happy over something so trivial and worldly. Do understand that it is something I have wanted for a long long time. Maybe 4 years or so. But the best part was that I got to spend the day with my family in Waterton. We ate at the park in town and then drove on up to Red Rock and walked around.

Oops. There was something even better. I got to ride into Waterton. On my bike (last years present), with my watch, telling me how fast and how far I have ridden. With the mountains slowly coming in closer and closer. With nothing but the wind screaming in my ear. It was heavenly and so much fun. Makes me want to bike all around Italy. But that is a dream for another birthday.

Thanks to my awesome husband for the great day. It was one to remember!

Sunday, August 4, 2013


A few weeks ago, Erin's kids were here for basketball camp. I asked Shaylene to be in charge of the FHE lesson. She talked about fears and how prayers help. She asked everyone in the room to name something they are scared of. Most answers were pretty common: flying, spiders, etc etc. But Levi's really got all of our's attention. He said he was scared to kiss a girl! Ha!!! We got a good laugh and I had to get my plug in that of course you don't kiss girls till after your mission, so there is no need to pray for help in that area any time soon.

Thad is potty training. He is doing remarkably well for just turning two, but due to the lack of supervision on our part, he is not doing as well as I would like. I am happy that I only have 2 more to train in this area.

Zeke is so perfect. Actually, that is his nickname; Mr. Perfect. We all adore him and he is growing like a weed. Already 16 lbs.

Levi and I trained for a triathlon and just did the Stirling Tri yesterday. It was pretty fun. He did really well and really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to doing this again next year. 

Enoch lost his first tooth. Being one of the youngest and smallest in his class, he had really been looking forward to this event. He was SO happy when it happened. Thad just so happened to help with the process by pulling on something that was stuck in Enoch's mouth when he didn't want him to. Enoch was pretty upset until he realized how loose it made his tooth.

Monet and Zeke are sharing a room. At first it was Monet and Thad but that wasn't working so well. Now Thad is with the big boys, and Monet is with the baby. She is great with him. And as a bonus, now that she is sharing a room with someone, she no longer comes into our room nightly to cuddle. She sleeps through the night on her own just fine. 

We bought a trailer and have been camping lots. So much fun! So much work, too, but at least its bearable. In my mind I sort of thought that with a trailer camping would be easy. But things are never easy with 5 kids, as I was gently reminded on our first camping trip. It was so great to get away without phones and internet and nothing to do but play with the kids. We all had lots of fun both times. I did sustain a pretty sore injury falling off the playground playing tag, though. I need to be more careful next time. We've been getting into football and baseball with the older boys. They are really enjoying learning how to throw and catch. And both have a pretty good arm.

Friday, May 17, 2013

monet's eye view

Monet has a different perspective in life, and it is quite amusing at times.

For awhile she was always talking about what her Grandma would say. She would tell me stories about the world or people, and say that Grandma had told her. At first I thought she was referring to her "Stirling Grandma," the wife of our home teacher who is pretty awesome. But then I realized that she wasn't. Turns out Monet has a make believe Grandma, Grandma Flimp, who tells her all sorts of interesting "facts" about life and science and food and church. She refers to her often when telling me stories.
Then there is Alla. Not Ella, Alla. Her friend who has 29 brothers and sisters, and a house with 29 bathrooms, and has done many cool things and been to many cool places. She has lived with bears, hiked across wheat fields, stayed up really really really late at night, and taken care of many babies. Monet's friend always has experience in whatever field we are talking about, and can always share insight into any conversation through Monet.
I am amazed at how Monet can come up on the spot with stories about these two characters. It really cracks me up and I am impressed with her imagination. I have heard that kids who can make up stuff are really smart; here's hoping.

the baby

We have a new arrival, and he is so darling and precious!

It all started last last Sunday. Cinco de Mayo. Josh and I went in early to be induced to have our baby. Around 9 o'clock they gave me the drip and the contractions started right up. I immediately asked for an epidural, knowing that I never got a chance the last 2 times going through this because I always asked for it too late. By noon I was in a LOT of pain, and still waiting for that stinking epidural. I hate having contractions when you are tied up to all those machines/heart monitors etc. Around 12:30, the anesthesiologist finally arrived to do his work. As he was inserting a needle into my back, between and among contractions, I heard him say, "I went too far, I'll explain what that means in a minute." At this point I really didn't care and let him poke my spine all over again, waiting for that blessed relief. Relief came, and about a minute later I was pushing the baby out. 2 pushes later, I had a 9 lb, 14oz, baby in my arms! A baby boy! A huge baby boy! Too big for newborn diapers baby boy. Now it is no secret that I was hoping for a little girl so Monet could have a sister, but seeing my baby, I really didn't care and was so happy to finally meet the new addition to our family. The only problem was we had a girl name and not a boy name, so Baby Stone it was to be for a while.
In the meantime, we learned what the Doc was talking about when he said "I went too far." Apparently his little needle went too far into my spine, leaving the epidural space and going into my spinal space (proper medical term not applied). That meant that my spinal column was now leaking minute amounts of spinal fluid, leading to the pressure in my brain area dropping, which produces the WORST headache imaginable. At first I wasn't sure about the headache, of it was bad enough or not. My doctor thought it might be related to all the blood loss. But as the second day wore on, I realized I could no longer stand up or even sit up. The only way to get away from the headache, which didn't respond at all to drugs, was to lay down. (Laying down returned my brain pressure back to normal, and made everything better (or mostly)). We went home Monday night, and that night it went from bad to worse, and by Tuesday morning I found myself back at the hospital, waiting to get what is called an epidural blood patch. That is when they go back in and do another epidural, only this time they flush your epidural space with your own blood to patch up the tiny hole in the spine with a blood clot. This worked for me for a day. Wednesday was great, but by Thursday I was all pain and headaches again. Back to ER. I was told to wait it out and consume lots of caffeine. Luckily, it worked, and by Friday I was finally starting to feel like myself.
Throughout all this, our poor little baby was nameless. It is sort of hard to pick someone's name for life with your head feeling like an axe is slicing through it every time you have to go to the bathroom or change a diaper. Thursday night, when I was starting to feel better, Josh and I were finally able to come up with a name. He was leaving the next day for a coaching clinic in Vegas, and we knew we needed a name before he left. I wanted Ezra, and he wanted.....not sure what. We both agreed on Ezekiel. Which is weird cause its a name that neither of us had ever really considered before. But we love all the nicknames that can come with it. Josh likes E-z (easy). I like Zeke. And it suits him. And so, after almost a week, we had a name for our not so little Ezekiel Joshua Stone.
With my other children I never had a ton of help. My MIL stayed for a few days when Monet was born, but thats it. This time around I told my mom I just needed her there for a day or two after I got back from the hospital. And its a good thing! My mom came with 2 of my nieces and they took care of me and my kids for the entire week until I could get back on my feet and stay there. So grateful for the help of family, and also for the all the help I have been getting from people around town. Feeling blessed to have a new little one in our family. Love him to pieces.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

hockey injury

The unbearable happened a week ago and Monet fell down the stairs at the hockey rink while the big boys were skating and had to get stitches. In her words she said, "I rolled down the stairs." From what I got out of her (I wasn't close by - still feeing guilty about that), she was trying to jump over a garbage can that was in her way. It was so sad to see her cute little chin bleeding profusely, but by the end of the night I think I was the one more shocked and tired from the event.

I was amazed at how tough this little girl is! Initially she was crying, of course, but as soon as we got some paper towels put on the cut she stopped. Then we had to run back and forth from emergency in Raymond to the clinic in Raymond, as there were no doctors present at the hospital. She barely even flinched as they washed the cut and then put freezing on it. A few hours later she was stitched up and ready to go home. I still had Thad with us this whole time, so he was losing it by this point, but she was happy as a clam. When we went back a week later to get the stitches out at the clinic, she was more upset we weren't back at the ER so that she could watch TV than she was about the incident itself initially.

Monet is now a Sunbeam and loving it. She has grown maybe two inches since the end of summer. All her pants are short. I keep meaning to put them away, but after I wash them she always gets a hold of them and continues to be ready for floods throughout the winter. She has stopped cutting her own hair and the bangs she gave herself in the summer have almost grown out.

When we do family scripture reading, Monet ALWAYS wants to go first. This is really important to her. If she doesn't get her way, the entire time is spent with us listening to her scream. She has recently gotten to the point of saying her own prayers. They are very cute prayers, she loves to say family prayers, but oddly, asks me to leave when she says her own prayers. Monet is in Joyschool and loves it. She takes school very seriously. She loves My Little Ponies and Dora and Diego. Barbies aren't too exciting for her, and she has a bunch of dress up clothes that her friends get into when they come over but she never touches. She does loves dress up shoes, though, and has mentioned how much she loves her Cinderella slippers she got from Santa more than once. She goes to sleep in our bed every night reading stories and often sneaks back into our room in the middle of the night. I can't sleep with her in bed cause I am too uncomfortable, and she is happy to sleep on the floor as a compromise. Monet is full of spunk and smiles and tantrums. She is, as she loves to put it, one in a million.

on my mind

I had my routine ultrasound done mid December and I really didn't think much of it. I haven't had Josh go with me to these appointments since Levi. But when I got to my doctor's visit next, I was surprised to hear that there were some concerns with the baby and they needed an additional ultrasound in Calgary to get more information. They had found some edema on the skin as my doctor put it.

I wasn't too concerned; the doctor didn't seem to be. But when Calgary called back and booked me first thing the following Monday, I thought, yikes, maybe this might be a big deal. I was strong and didn't google anything and kept my thoughts from worrying and wandering. Then my dear mother decided to google what they saw on the ultrasound, and found out that what I had was a marker for Down's Syndrome. When I learned that, I can honestly say that it wasn't really a big deal to me. I was happy the baby had a full heart and lungs etc. So then I googled it, and learned way to much info, and that swelling on the skin can mean a whole boat load of complications and birth defects. Reading up on it, several of these women were encouraged to have abortions by their family members or doctors for the complications that my ultrasound was flagged for. Without getting into gruesome detail, some of these mothers were told horrifying stories of the suffering their babies would endure upon birth.

So I drove up to Calgary and Monday morning my sister came with me and got to see her first ultrasound. At this point I still wasn't too worried. When the tech came back the second time to get more pictures, I really started to worry. Then we had to wait and wait for the doctor to come and give us the results. Blah! Did I ever feel ill. But he came in and gave us the great news that he could see no complications or markers or anything at all on the ultrasound. He said that what was there the week before either cleared up on its own or was never there to begin with.

So I felt thankful, and guilty. Not everyone going into that maternal ultrasound clinic that day was going to receive such great news. But I also felt sort of indifferent. I had accepted my baby the way he/she is. I was praying for strength to have the capacity to deal with whatever lay ahead, not for the baby to be perfect and healthy. So now I felt guilty not only for receiving the good news, but also for not being properly grateful for it. It was a very emotional week sorting out my feelings. I feel so blessed to have the guidance and reassurance of the Holy Ghost in my life so that when things aren't going the "right" way, that I can still feel peace and love coming from my Heavenly Father.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Thad is growing like a weed. He is just too cute and I am afraid that the kids have asked me more than once, "Why is Thad your favorite?" I sort of feel bad but I reply that this is how I feel about all babies and that I was this nice to them when they were babies, too. I tell them that just cause I make them do chores doesn't mean I don't love them (actually, I tell them the opposite is true, the more I love them the more I get them to clean....), and I also say I am always nice to Thad cause he never says anything to me with attitude and is never rude to me. What no one else gets just yet is that they have no need to feel jealousy towards this baby brother. 'Cause in just 4 short months, he, too, will be booted into big kid territory, and there will be 4 kids to clean and do chores while I change newborn diapers.

I don't really think that they are jealous. And I do think I could improve on my patience with the older children out of fairness to all.

Here are Thad's words that he is saying at 18 months.
ball (ba)
bath (ba)
thank you (ga goo)
love you (la lou)

I am always amazed at how babies, even though they can't say much, they can certainly understand a lot. For instance, I can tell Thad to take his sippy cup and go give it to Daddy and he will get you milk. And he does.

He also will go and open the fridge and just pull out the milk himself. He is a milk junkie and I am trying to subdue that the best I can.

Other Thad highlights:
- he pulled the Christmas tree over onto himself this year. Screamed like a banshee and didn't go near the thing again. Lesson learned.
- he now goes to nursery!
- he gives kisses when he is supposed to say sorry. it. is. so. cute. I almost want him to hit me so I can get one of those little kisses.
-he loves baths, balls, canned fruit, Daddy, and hockey sticks

middle syndrome

Enoch is such a delight when he wants to be. I can also say the opposite is true.

After having a very difficult day last Friday, he and I ended the day together by making no-bake cookies, playing Sorry, and watching Anne of Green Gables together. It was so cute to see him hide under the covers because Diana Barry was about to drink alcohol! He was shocked enough to almost make me question my choice in movies.

Some things about Enoch that I want to remember lately are:
- He made 3 New Year's resolutions in school, they are to 1) be a better basketball player, 2) skate more, and 3) to eat more food. And he has really been following up on that last one there, he has been a much better eater around the house all of a sudden.
- Recently Enoch was kid of the week in school. This is what we all learned about his favorites:
Food- Mandoo
Subject- Science
Color- Purple
Book- Chapter Books
TV show- Garfield
Movie- Avengers
Animal- Cheetah
Sport- Basketball
Game- Starwars
Treat- Rockets
-We also learned that Enoch wants to grow up and be a science teacher. What a great choice!
- At church last week, Enoch quietly asked Daddy for some of the candy in his pockets. Josh replied, "How did you know that I have candy in my pockets?" Enoch answered, "Well, NOW I know that you have candy in your pockets."
- At the dinner table the other night, Enoch was sitting by Thad and was not being the best example of proper table etiquette. I told him kindly that he needed to be an example to his little brother if he wanted to sit by him. His instant retort was, "OK, Mom, I'll be an example. A bad example."

Enoch really is awesome, and if I am really honest, probably a little too smart for his or my own good. I hope I can match wits with him when he is a teenager.