Monday, June 8, 2015

May in Review

Reina's Highlights: Reina was in her first play. She was Snoopy #4, which is the Snoopy that closes the show! She had a slam-bang song that fit her perfectly called "The Big Bow Wow!" She was great. Acting, singing, stage presence, lines: everything was pretty perfect. She's had a big year, finishing up elementary school. She got to visit Linus Pauling (her new Middle School), with friends and loved it! Ever since she's been talking about how excited she is to go to Middle School. I was pretty impressed with the school too! She's finding new friends, and trying to figure out what friends she wants to have next year. She went to a pretty fun birthday party with Naomi at the movie theater! Reina also ran her first race! She joined girls on the run in February and they've been running twice a week after school. Reina and I signed up to run the 5K on May 30th. We killed it! Reina got 28.5, averaging 9.15 minute miles. She is a natural runner and has a beautiful stride. At the end of the race she really kicked it into gear and sprinted. She heard several people cheering for her! Her good friend Ava, and her mom, ran with us most of the way. It was so fun to color our hair, cheer together, and urge each other on!

Vaughn's Adventures: Vaughn has had a pretty awesome month. He's excelled in Little League baseball, learning the game and learning to hit so well. He ended the year with hitting two home runs, getting lots of outs, and catching two fly balls! Every home run gets you a Home Run pin. After the first one he was hungry for more, and just swung that bat so hard every game! His second home run was during the last play of the last game of the season. Bases loaded. His coach said, "Vaughn just hit this one center field, all the way. Home run, bud." He missed the first ball. But his second swing hit the ball perfectly in that sweet spot, high down center field. A home run! What a way to end their baseball year! He's loving cub scouts and got to go to Scout-o-Rama sponsored by the city. He made a fire, whittled a walking stick, tried his balance on a ropes course, made a rope, tossed tennis balls with a huge "slingshot" and got free hot dogs, donuts and snow cones. He also got a big patch for wearing his scout uniform. When we got home he said, "This was the best day of my life. I can just go to bed happy now." It was only 1pm. His picture showed up in the Sunday morning local paper! He's making some new friends and keeping some old ones. Finn, of course, is his ever constant. Ryan is also one of his best buds. They were in baseball together with Ryan's dad as coach. Vaughn has a wonderful singing voice and is always singing songs at the top of his voice.

Carynn's news: Carynn has had the best kindergarten year! She is beloved by her teacher, Mrs. Donne, who is retiring this year! Mrs. Donne had so many wonderful activities in her classroom including a weekly journal which I love! It captures the most important things in Carynn's life so perfectly. Carynn is reading well, she loves to read the scriptures. She is a wonderful artist! Her attention to detail is what makes her art great. Her teacher says that she is often the last one done because she spends so much time making her work look beautiful. Carynn has enjoyed playing with Samantha, Olive, Tessa, and Madelyn this year. Her favorite thing to do after school is have a playdate with one of her many friends. She rides her bike like a champ to school every day with Reina and Vaughn. And she also keeps up just fine on her roller blades. She plays well with Claire, though Claire has begun to get a little harder to get along with. Carynn has enjoyed playing baseball with Ben. They go out in the backyard together to practice, and Carynn hits that ball as good as any of the 5 year-olds in Vaughn's Little League! She's such a natural at everything. I got to go to her classroom once this month, and it was delightful. She showed me her reading, her play stations, her friends, her desk. And all the kids recited the book "The Z was Zapped!" It was a fantastic rendition! The whole class had memorized every word! Carynn is also growing into her singing voice, and will sometimes ask me, "Mom, is this the right note?" Before she would just sing the words in any key she liked, switching at will, often mid-word.

Caire Bear: Claire has been a little rougher than usual this month. She is learning that she has things she wants to do and she wants to do it now! She will often get out the things she wants to play (even if mom says no), and fights tooth and nail (and hair pulling) if anyone tries to take away what she wants. She'll pull hair, hit, and bite. But anyone outside the family would never guess it! She has had to endure time-outs a bit more frequently. Once when Vaughn saw her sitting alone and he wanted to do something with her, she yelled, "No! I'm in time out!!! She's obedient, and will sit very still until she hears the timer. She is always talking to friends and strangers alike--half of the time they don't understand her. She will give those she loves hugs, kisses, and often says "I love you." Last night after saying goodbye to Mary Jackson she gave her a kiss on the lips and said "I love you, Mary." She has become the ward darling as she's accompanied me to many visits with ladies in the ward. Her curly hair and incredible vocabulary give her instant fame. She will sometimes skip Nursery and sit like a big girl in Relief Society, waiting patiently in her chair as I visit and welcome, and conduct. Then she'll sit on my lap or visit ladies she knows during the lessons. She tells the funniest stories with the most serious face, and then says "I'm just teasing you!" She told me the other day that "Sometimes my friends make me mad. Lily makes me stinky." Lily is her best friend...greatest foe? At this age it's hard to tell. They talk about each other all the time and love to get together, but may spend the whole time fighting over toys, princess dresses, the semantics of words...they are a hilarious duo. Claire has lots to say, especially at the dinner table when all the kids are trying to tell us about their day, and will often yell, "It's my turn to talk!" She likes to read scriptures about "it came to pass" and Lamanites and princesses. She still takes a nap! Fingers crossed to see how long that will last. I taught 5th Sunday on the 31st and Claire was in Nursery. They brought her to me minutes before I was to begin my lesson. She had thown up. I put my arms around her and held her close and asked her if she was sick, she hugged me tight, nodded her sad little head, and cried a little. Ben took her home. For the next day or so she kept saying, "Did it all come out?" Hoping she wouldn't throw up again. She is so patent. She makes me walk outside with her every day to check the blueberry and strawberry plants for ripe berries. I think she likes to watch them change color and change every day. We like to "get ready for our day!" in the mornings, where she does her own hair (climbing on the sink and splashing water on her head), and gets dressed on her own (usually in a princess dress).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009


So I was driving in my car yesterday listening to the Dixie Chicks, "Wide Open Spaces"...and I had this total out-of-time experience. I was back in college (Ricks--now BYU-I) excited to face life, feeling like a new person, totally free of responsibility and kids, like my whole life was ahead of me and I was ready for it.


Then seconds later that time in college felt like a lifetime ago, or, about 8 years. I glanced back at the three (and for once) QUIET kids in the backseat and Reina smiled at me. As wonderful as that feeling was, as nice as being free and innocent and really excited about all the new things coming: crushes, kids, degree, jobs, new friends.....I can't ask for it back. And I don't really want to.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Ben graduated from Medical school! We flew back to Oregon for graduation, and took Carynn with us, a very dissapointed Reina and Vaughn stayed with my parents. It was so great to see some of our friends again. It felt like we'd been gone for so long.

Our beautiful new niece, Emma Rae, Jonathan and Stephanie's baby was born!

And our other niece, lovely Rae'lynn, was baptised!

The Wetzel Fam reunion was a hit!

And I can't BELIEVE I don't have pictures, but we spent an amazing two months in Utah living with my parents (THANK YOU!!), hanging out with my sisters, brother and sister-in-law, and also with my niece and nephew! It was so amazing. We also had another fabulous family reunion at my parents house tucked in there. I only have one picture of the open house at the Ochre Mountain Temple where we got to take the kids, Sharlie, and Tyler and Maddie (I miss you all!!). We also had a really special morning at the Provo temple. We got to perform some baptisms with Tyler, Thomas and Adrienne, Ben and I, and Dad. It was Tyler's first time, and it was really special to be there together! I can't believe how grown up Tyler and Maddie are getting.

We have had so many blessings!! And I didn't even mention getting approved for this house, having to move only twice (to Utah and then Colorado), and having Ben's parents visit us for a week, and going to the Boise temple. Phew. We are happy and well, and I know everyone is anxious to see pictures of the house, so I'll be doing that soon. We love you all and miss all of you in Oregon!!

Here are a few pictures of Garden of the God's in the Springs and the Boise temple.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rocky Mountain High...

As I have been looking on our pictures since we moved from beautiful Oregon, I'm a little disappointed. There is a pathetically small amount. So, though I'm a firm believer that a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll just have to say more than I show. Bummer.

We are so happy here. I'm convinced that just having all this extra space is doing wonders for us all. We found a house and have been renting it while we were waiting for the bank to approve our offer. Thursday, while visiting this cool park called Garden of the Gods, we got the happy news from our realtor that our offer was accepted and started working on the house that afternoon. It was a short sale, which means just shy of bankrupcy (how in the heck do I spell that?), so the house needs some work. Everything inside and out needs paint. The carpets are really stained and worn, the linoleum is old, the basement smelled like cat, the deck needed to be finished, and the yard is in desperate need of TLC. Just to start. And yet we feel like we're in heaven....

Everyone has their own room (except Ben--he's quick to point that out), and we have so much space. We have almost a quarter acre yard. Right now the yard needs so much work that the kids spend more time in the front riding their bikes down our driveway. Did I mention we are the last house on a cul-d-sac? I would recommend it.

We had great thunder stormes nearly every day in July. But sunny, warm, hot, and cool days all mixed in. They say if you don't like the weather, wait a few hours for it to change.

We already have Zoo passes and are really enjoying the great zoo here. The parks are nothing like Oregon though. Lots of rocks, every park has a sand box, not many trees, sometimes grass, and no shade. I also don't like the library as much as Portland ones. Oh well.

Ben really enjoys work, and he is working with a really great group. The chief resident and his wife had all the residents over for a fourth of july BBQ, and I really think Ben got lucky. They are all so very nice. We had a great time.

Here are a few pictures.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What do you think of Mom?

So, my cousin sent this questionnaire out and I had to try it with Reina. It was so fun. Reina enjoyed it too, and was fascinated that I was writing down everything she said. Afterward, she had to ask me some questions and "write" them down. They went something like, "why does an elephant have wings?" "What is pink on a bird?" I didn't get it.

1. What is something mom always says to you? Don’t touch anything or else they will fall down and break.

2. What makes mom happy? Cleaning your toys.

3. What makes mom sad? When we fight.

4. How does your mom make you laugh? Tickle me.

5. What was your mom like as a child? Being a good girl.

6. How old is your mom? 50 thousand! How old are you mom? You’re 28? I thought Dad was 28. You and Dad are the same age?

7. How tall is your mom? Let’s count! 1…12! (in hands)

8. What is her favorite thing to do? Color with her Sweetie, play with her kids, and be happy.

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Play with Vaughn. Do mommy time and take a nap.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? Getting married.

11. What is your mom really good at? Juggle and funny faces.

12. What is your mom not very good at? Playing baseball.

13. What does your mom do for a job? Help kids clean up, and help the kids not be grumpy, and help kids be nice and have quiet time.

14. What is your mom's favorite food? Pizza, pepperoni and pineapple.

15. What makes you proud of your mom? Doing a puppet show.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Herself!

17. What do you and your mom do together? Watch a movie, and have quiet time.

18. How are you and your mom the same? Blond hair, blue eyes, same eyebrows, lips, ears, fingernails….(it went on for a while and then started to repeat).

19. How are you and your mom different? We do different things.

20. How do you know your mom loves you? she shows me a happy face.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad? She married him.

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? To her friends house.

Match Day

Today we found out where Ben matched for residency. We will be calling Colorado Springs home for the next four years! We are excited, Penrose Hospital in Co, was where Ben wanted to go the most, and it was also our closest residency program to family in Utah.

We plan on leaving Portland April 28th, and then going on to Utah for two months. While in Utah we'll travel to Co, to find a place to call home, visit family and take a fun break from reality. Ben will start residency July 1.

We are going to be so sad to leave all of our friends, beautiful Portland, and especially my aunt and her family, my sister and her family, and Grandma and Grandpa Wetzel. I don't even like to think about saying goodbye. We love you all!