It"s a Crazy Wonderful Life

This is a blog about my family and the crazy life in the Sims Household. We have 5 children, ranging from 14 to 5, and seem to be going in all different directions sometimes. The purpose of this blog is to help keep our friends and family up to date on what is going on in our lives.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Way to go Mike!!!

I just wanted to take a minute to congratulate my husband Mike on passing his LEED Certification test today. He is officially certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED Accredited Professional. You may ask why this is important, but with construction trends leaning towards GREEN building more and more everyday, this is a really big deal for him. He has been studying for weeks. Congrats Mike, I am so proud of you.

Vegas Here We Come!!!

Well, we are off to Las Vegas tomorrow. So today I am running around like crazy getting everything ready for our trip. I am finishing the laundry, packing the suitcases, cleaning the house (who wants to come home to a messy house, right), packing entertainment for the kids for our 13 hour drive tomorrow, and making final preparations for girl's camp before I leave.

Wow, it is all so exhausting! I am looking forward to a relaxing visit with my family. So far we really haven't planned much. I know we will be going to a baseball game with Steve and Jeff and some of the kids' cousins on Saturday night and sometime while we are there we will be doing a pizza night (view some cool pics of the last one here)with all of the family as has become tradition. Thanks to Carlee's post, I think we will have to stop in at The Cheesecake Factory on the 30th and maybe try some her other food suggestions too while we are at it. But other than that, I hope to lounge around the pool, relax, and visit.

I am so looking forward to spending some time with my grandpa. We haven't been able to see him much int he last 4 years(or ever for that matter) due to the fact that he lives in Hawaii and his health has made it nearly impossible for him to travel. When we heard he would be spending his summer in Vegas we knew we had to make this trip. The kids haven't seen him since right after Kyle was born and I haven't seen him in 3 years. I can't wait to spend some time with him. I will have to get an updated one of these pictures next week too.
This is the last picture I have of my kids with their Grandpa Great.

Of course I am also looking forward to seeing all of my brothers and their children as well as my dad and Kay too. It will be a fun week.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I LOVE to read!!!

Some of you may know that I am an avid reader. I love to read. The other day at the pool another mom said to me "Everytime I see you , you have a different book. Are you a fast reader or do you just read a lot?" I said "Probably both."I read many genres, but I especially love fiction. This last year I have read several science fiction and historical fiction books and series. I love it. I do not read the trashy, steamy romance novels (not that there's anything wrong with them), they are just not my thing. I don't mind books with elements of romance in them, but I like the books that are about more than romance. I like conflict, mystery, good overcoming evil, people overcoming obstacles in their lives, stories that uplift or encourage etc.

The funny thing is that my husband cannot understand why I like to read. I know that Mike reads all day at work so it is not something he wants to do in the evenings, so he watches TV. Sometimes I watch TV with him, sometimes I read. I like to read in the evenings before bed, because it helps calm me so I can sleep. I know sometimes I get into a book or series and may be a little bit obsessive about how much I read (at least in his eyes), but I really get into what I am reading. Mike can't seem to see that reading can be fun. To him it is just work and I guess I can understand that.

I like that I am doing something that uses my brain. My every day life tasks require very little thought sometimes and I feel like reading helps to balance me out a bit. I don't read all day, but I read when I can. Often it comes in little snippits of time; waiting for the kids to come out of school, while they are at the pool, during baseball practice etc. Most often however I read after the kids have gone to bed.

When I read a book it is often like watching a movie. I picture the characters and feel drawn into their world and their stories. Some authors are better about drawing me in than others. Sometimes I feel so drawn into the story that I cannot put the book down.

Right now I am reading the Twilight series for the 3rd time. My daughter Kaylee is reading it too and is consistently about 100 pages ahead of me. It is fun to see her finally get into the story and want to read it. I am happy that my children are developing a love for reading too. I hope some of that comes from my example.

Reading is very important and I feel that being able to read for enjoyment is a good thing. Anyone out there feel like me? If you have any good reads to recommend, let me know. I am always open to suggestions.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Where is Kyle Sleeping?

So let me preface this blog by saying that none of my children have ever slept in my bed other than the occasional time as infants when I would fall asleep nursing them. That was a big deal for Mike and I as our children were growing. It is our bed not theirs. Anyway, I don't know why, but for some reason, (perhaps my own laziness) Kyle has decided to sleep in our bed more often than in his.

We have the nightly fight with "I can't sleep" or "I had a bad dream". So after fighting with him long enough, we just started letting him fall asleep in our bed. We then will carry him up to his bed only to have him return, most nights, a short time later.

If I am awake enough, I try to convince him to go back to his own bed, but I know that often, (this is where the laziness comes in), I slide over, lift the covers and tell him to climb in next to me. This has created the precedent of course so that now he wants to sleep with us far too often. The trouble is when he is in our bed, I do not sleep well, and I don't think Mike does either.

I have learned that Kyle is a snuggler. He likes to have something, or someone close to him when he sleeps. The other night I carried him up to bed and he woke slightly, crying. He cried until I tucked a stuffed animal into his arms and then he was fine. Mind you, he was still asleep while this was taking place. When he sleeps in bed with us, he has to be touching someone, so he is either head to toe between Mike and I touching both of us, or he is sleeping right against my back.

So now to last night. Mike and I were reading in bed. I was reading Twilight as I am trying to get through the series one more time before Breaking Dawn comes out on the 2nd. Mike was studying for his green building certification test he will be taking this next week. Mike got up to go to the bathroom, and I felt something move under the bed. Yes, I said under the bed. I thought it was the dog, but I looked over and she was dutifully asleep in her little bed. So I got down on my hands and knees and this is what I found.

Kyle had crawled under the bed and fallen asleep. Of course I had to grab the camera and catch a snapshot. I don't know when he went under there, it must have been after he came in the last time saying that he "couldn't sleep". What was he thinking going under the bed? He must have fallen immediately asleep when he went under there, because I never heard a peep out of him.

I guess I should be grateful that we were only reading in bed last night. After snapping the picture, we dragged him out from underneath the bed and carried him up to his bed only to have him return some time during the night again and crawl in bed with us. I don't know when he came back, but I woke slightly during the night to him between Mike and I, trying to push me out of bed.

If anyone has any great ideas for getting this silly kid to sleep in his own bed, I would be glad to hear them, so please share.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Oh My GOSH, I can't wait!!!!!

I am so excited for this movie. It looks so good!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where has the summer gone?

I have been reviewing our calender over the last couple of crazy busy days and realized that our summer is nearly over. Softball and Baseball will be over next Thursday, then next Friday we will leave for a week in Las Vegas with my dad and Kay. We will return from Vegas on the 2nd or 3rd of August and Kaylee and I will leave for Girl's Camp on Tuesday the 5th. We will get home on the 8th. Girls' camp will be so fun, I am very excited to go this year especially since Kaylee will be there this year for the first time too. Then on Saturday after Girls' Camp, Debbie and her family will be coming in for a visit for a week. We are so excited they are coming, it will be great to see them again. Also that Saturday I think we will be hosting an Open House type party in our home for any of Mike's colleagues that want to come up to the Sculpture in the Park show here in Loveland. It is an amazing sculpture show including sculptors from all over the world that come here to show and sell their works. The week of the 10th we also have Middle School Registration and kids' summer physicals. The following week, Kaylee will start Middle School Volleyball team tryouts, then school starts the next Monday, the 25th for her and the others will start on the 27th. It seems like our summer is virtually over already. I can hardly believe it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Camping at Hermit

Okay, I promise this will be my last post for the day. I hate playing catch up!!!

This weekend we had the chance to go camping with a bunch of our friends. There were five families in all and 18 children between us. The kids had a great time playing in the rocks and chasing the chipmunks.

It was so nice to be out in nature and enjoy the peace the mountains offer. Yes I do mean peace despite 18 kids running around. The kids actually entertained each other so well that it was very peaceful and mostly quiet. I had a great time.

Kyle got to play with the girls. They are all a bit older than him, but I think they like playing with him anyway. He could always be found with one of them at least. I don't think he minded a bit that he got to play with the girls. He loved it. They are his new best friends.

The first night, Jake didn't sleep well. This is a picture of him at almost 10 AM. Still crashed.

This is our camp site.

Here are a couple of pictures of the group. We all had desert together on Friday evening. The Bale's made some great Dutch Oven Cobblers. We had Peach and Apple. I LOVED the apple, it was so good. We also had marshmallows for the kids to roast and make s'mores. I think we all had a fun time being together.

I think this is the only picture we got the whole weekend with me in it. So here is one just to prove I was there. That is Mandy in my lap. She is our Yorkie. She is a great traveler and loves to camp with us. She is really good and rarely barks, unless she is left alone at camp.

Of course one of the biggest draws for the kids is the campfire. They love to play around the fire, poke at it and especially love to roast marshmallows. This I think the 3rd or 4th year in a row we have camped with most of these families. It is fun to camp, but it is even more fun to camp with friends.

One final note. I forgot to mention that we have had illness in our family again this past week. Last Monday night Ryan woke with a headache, fever and sore throat. On Tuesday, Mike took him to the doctor to check about strep, they did a quick strep test which was negative and decided to send it out for culture and put him on antibiotics anyway. By Thursday morning, Ryan still felt crummy, his throat still hurt bad and he was developing sores in his mouth. So I took him back in to the doctor before we left for our camping trip. The doctor diagnosed him with Hand Foot and Mouth disease. Of course this is a virus that that they can do nothing for except to treat the pain. He said not to let him share drinks or utensil but other than that he was not contagious. So we went camping anyway.

We treated his pain as best we could with ibuprofen and chloraseptic spray. He did pretty well. Then on Saturday, Kyle was so tired, I let him lay down in the car while we were packing up camp. He was instantly asleep. When I checked on him he seemed to have a fever. When we got home I gave him some medicine and ever since we have been treating him as if he too has hand foot mouth. He is complaining of a sore throat but can't open his mouth wide enough for me to check if he has sores in his mouth or not. Needless to say this has been FUN!

Here is a picture of him asleep in the car.

You can view the rest of our pictures fro our camping trip here.

Baseball and Softball

Ryan, Jake, and Tiffany are all playing baseball and softball this summer. Kaylee was scheduled to play but had to cancel because of her wrist injury, that made her very sad. The kids playing are loving the sports and each of them is doing great. They have all had a hit every time at bat. Here is a picture of Ryan playing catcher at the last game.
And here is Ryan up to bat. He is playing really well. He has a great hit and a great mind when it comes to the game. He is always aware of where to throw the ball to make the play. He is doing awesome!!
And Jake up to bat and then crossing home plate. Yeah Jacob!!!Jake made a great play this game at second base. He is learning the game quickly and has great skills. This is his first season playing organized baseball. He refused to play tee ball last year because he didn't want to hit the ball off a stick, he wanted it pitched to him. His coach has been patient and very helpful with him. He is encouraging and great at helping him stay focused on the game, which at times is very difficult. If you know Jake, you know he doesn't generally focus on any one thing for very long.Ryan and Jake are playing on the same team this year and it is fun to watch them play together.

Tiffany is playing her second season of softball. She has a great swing and hits every time she is up to bat. Several times she has even had a double(they don't let them take more than a double off a hit). She also has great arm and is an asset to her team. She is really great at softball, just like Kaylee. Here she is awaiting the pitch. Here she is just after hitting the ball. Look at that follow through. Here she is playing third base. Ready and waiting for the ball to come her way.

Four Wheelin'

We had a really fun day on Saturday the 5th. I know I am a little slow to get this blogged, but anyway, here it is.

Some of my close friends may know that last year a friend of our family "borrowed" Jake and Ryan for a few hours and brought them home with four wheelers. What a great gift. Of course the boys had signed contracts that they would work so many hours to pay them off. Despite asking, that work time has never come. They are great and the kids all loved riding them, but we have not yet been able to take them out to ride since we didn't have a trailer to get them anywhere. Mostly the kids rode them around in our yard, they made circles around the house. They like it but they desperately wanted more adventure.

In March, my dad gave us his trailer. Thanks Dad. So ever since then we have been working towards taking the four wheelers out for a spin. Finally we found a place, had a free Saturday and were off.
We found this area where the kids could ride up and back on this road. Since we just have the two 4 wheelers, the kids took turns riding and stayed within our sight. It still was just a taste of what they can do on the 4 wheelers, but they were thrilled to get out in the dirt and ride. Here is Jake with Tiff in the background.Here is Ryan.

Jake again with Mike and Kyle in the background. I think Kyle was being scolded for throwing the dirt.Kyle got really dirty...but who couldn't love such a cute face...even if it is filthy!!!Kyle got a few turns to ride too, with the help of mom. We were almost too heavy for the 4 wheeler though and one time, Mike had to come and give us a push. Mike and I determined that it would be a blast to get at least one more quad so we can take real runs. Here is a picture of Kaylee riding....and Tiffany.
Jake really had a blast.Here is a close up of Ryan.I thought this was a super cute picture of Jake and Tiffany. The kids were so patient waiting for their turns to ride and they all had a great time.Of course we were in the mountains, so Kyle had to take the opportunity to pee on a tree.We noticed that some clouds were rolling in and were hearing some thunder off in the distance, so we decided to let everyone have one more ride. Then it started raining. Not just a bit of rain either, it came down hard and fast in big drops. We got to the car as quickly as possible and popped the 4 wheelers onto the trailer and headed home.

Here is a final picture of Jake. He also enjoyed playing in the dirt. Look at that dirty face. You can also see the storm working it's way in over head. We had so much fun and can't wait for the next free Saturday to head out there again.If you want to see the rest of our pictures you can view the album here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Mike

It is my husband's birthday today. He has been razzing me for a few weeks for a comment I left on Carlee's blog a bit ago about Edward Cullen in Twilight. He thinks I dissed him to my friends, and I just want to set the record straight for his birthday.
My husband is an amazing man. He works so hard to provide for our family and give me the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. I couldn't do it without him. He works hard all day long and will often come home from work and help pick up the clutter that always occurs during a day in our house with 5 children.

He is a wonderful father and any one of the kids would tell you that. He loves to play catch in the yard with any of them, he loves to wrestle with them camp with them, play games etc. He truly enjoys being with the children and that to me is a sign of a great father. He is forceful when necessary and soft and caring when that is needed. He is a great example to my sons of what a man should be and to my daughters of what a husband should be.

He is a great husband. He is forgiving when I am not the best wife and when I say things like I "sometimes wish he was more romantic, like Edward". The truth is he is romantic. He takes me out on dates, he brings me flowers for no reason at all. He will sit and gush through a romantic movie just because I want to see it. He is a great husband. He is supportive of all my endeavors. He loves me unconditionally. He is loyal, true, and faithful. I know I can always count on him to be there when I need him. He helps me through difficult times is the shoulder I lean on for support and cry on when I am sad. He makes me feel safe and secure and most importantly loved for who I am.

Thank you Mike for everything. I am so glad you are a part of my life now and forever! Happy Birthday.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Accidental Drowning

It is with a sad heart that I must say goodbye to my nearly new Crimson Palm Treo that I loved.Last week we had an accidental drowning. My phone got forgotten in Jake's swimsuit pocket and he went into the pool.
You may wonder, what was my phone doing in Jake's pocket anyway?
Well, since I was wearing my swimsuit, no pockets, and I had to carry him in to the pool (this was when he had a hurt foot), he had pockets, so we stuck it in his pocket and I said, "Don't forget to take it out as soon as we get inside." I should have known better, but alas, I made the mistake.
We got into the pool and got busy getting everyone smothered in sunscreen and when Jake was ready, I carried him over and dropped him into the pool. I turned around and immediately realized my mistake. But it was too late. My beautiful red treo was wet.
I hoped that it would dry out and still work. I gave it 5 days. Everything looked dry. I plugged it in, the charge light came on. It gave me hope. I charged it for a couple of hours then tried to turn it on, nothing. So I tried again and to my surprise, it actually turned on. The backlight was gone and the touch screen wouldn't work, but it was on. I thought I could deal with it and still have all of my information in my contact list and calendar. Yippee.
My excitement was short lived however when a short time later my phone was off and wouldn't turn back on. So I am very sad and have gone back to using my "old" phone. I have lost all of my contacts and my calendar since I have not synced with the computer in ions. So if I don't call you for a while, I may not have your number anymore. I guess I will start researching and start preparing to buy a new phone. Tear tear.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Our Fourth of July Celebration

Well this year we decided that since we have such a great view of the fireworks from our front lawn that we would have a big party.

So we sent out invitations and the preparations began.

We had a potluck BBQ dinner and yard games for the kids while friends visited. The fireworks started about 9:15 and went on for a half an hour. It was one of the best fireworks shows I have seen in a long time. Here are some pictures from our party.

The rest of the day was also fun. We went to the ward pancake breakfast in the morning. They also had a kids' bike parade over the the senior living center right next to our ward building. There the kids sang some songs for the residents, then paraded past on their bikes. It was fun to see the grandmas and the grandpas who were so happy to watch the children.

After the breakfast and parade, we headed home to do a bit of cleaning for our party, then we went over to the park where they had all kinds of things going on all day long. They had booths of all kinds of food so we all got some yummy snow cones, watched the cloggers, and walked around the park. We also visited with one of Mike's friends, Dan who is a police officer working the park for the day.

After our time at the park, we headed to the pool to cool off. It was a super hot day for us at 94 degrees. So the pool was quite refreshing. We swam for about an hour then headed home for the final preparations for the party. Mike started grilling and I worked on getting the food out on the tables, then our guests started arriving.

It was such a great time. I loved having people over and sharing our great view of the fireworks. For those that don't know, the fireworks are shot off from the lake about 2 blocks from our house. We have a great view right from our front yard and we didn't have to deal with any of the traffic. Our fireworks show is said to be the biggest in Northern Colorado, so people come from all over to watch it.

I hope that everyone else had a great Independence Day. I am so grateful to live in this country and for the freedoms we enjoy and for all those who have fought over the years to secure those freedoms for us.

Our Family in Pictures