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.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Our week in review

We had a pretty good week. As previously posted the kids all started school except for Kyle. They all had a great week and I even talked to Jake's teacher on Friday after school and she said he is doing great. Yay!!

Mike was gone all this week again. He left last Sunday night an headed to Atlanta, then Tuesday he went to Oklahoma, Thursday he went to Nashville and Friday he came home. He is staying very busy and spending lots of time in airports and on airplanes. Hopefully soon things will slow down a bit and he can be more settled in one location instead of flying all over the place every week. He w ill continue to travel most weekdays for a while. So far we are handling him being gone okay. But it is tough.

We are happy to have him home for a 3 day weekend this weekend though. We spent Saturday at Elitch Gardens in Denver. The kids rode most of the rides and had a blast. Kaylee loves roller coasters, Tiffany and Ryan hate them and Jake is somewhere in between. Kyle didn't like the little coaster he rode so I think he is going to be like Tiff and Ryan. We had fun though and were glad that Pete and the kids came to hang with us for the day. Thanks guys! Mel you were missed!

Well today was church and we have just been relaxing the rest of the day. This is our last Sunday for 1:00 church. Hooray!! Next week we move to the 9 am slot. I am so excited.

Well I better run. It was a good week I wonder what this week will bring.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh My GOSH!!!!! WHY?????

So apparently, someone leaked the partial draft of Midnight Sun on the internet. You can read Stephenie's comments about it here.

I don't understand why someone Stephenie "trusted" would do this. I was so looking forward to Midnight Sun and reading Twilight from Edward's perspective. I guess now we get a partial draft early. But, I wanted the whole thing. I really hope she can go back to writing it.

Why would a person do such a thing. I swear it is absolutely ridiculous that people these days do not respect others. Oh well, I guess I am off to read what there is of Midnight Sun.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Heaven or The first days of school?

Hooray the kids are back in school. I mean, I will miss them terribly all day of course, but I am glad that we can get back into our normal routine.
Kaylee started her seventh grade year yesterday. She had a great day and likes all but one of her teachers. She has lots of her friends in her classes and is going to have a fun year. Here is a picture of her on her first day.
Tiffany was very excited to get her pick for a teacher. She will have a fun year as well. Here is a picture of her this morning on her first day of fifth grade. (Both girls asked me to braid their hair the night before so they could have curly hair for the first day.)
Ryan was a bit nervous about his teacher this year. But his first day of third grade was really fun. Here is a picture of him.
I was nervous for Jake's first full day of school, but his teacher said he did great, he listened well and did his work. Yeah Jacob, I am so proud. Here is a picture of Jacob on his first day of first grade.Kyle will start preschool next week. I will post about that then. I am excited that I will have three mornings a week to myself this year. I don't know what I will do with myself. Maybe I will go work out, maybe I will read, maybe I will just enjoy the peace and quiet, maybe I will do all of the above.

One thing is for sure though, my house should be easier to keep clean. I may actually be able to leave a room and have it still be clean when I walk back into it. Can you imagine? More than five minutes without kid clutter. It will be heaven.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wow What a Morning!!!

I must say that I have had a very busy morning. About a week ago I very happily and eagerly volunteered to make the muffins and cinnamon rolls for our Elementary School Kindergarten Boo Hoo Breakfast. This is an event where we welcome the kindergarten parents to our shcool and help to ease the pain of the first day by socializing. Well, the event is tomorrow and knowing that I would have a busy day of baking I got an early start. I got busy baking as soon as I got home from taking Kaylee to school, about 7:20.

I am happy to report that I am already done. It went so quickly and smoothly. I am so happy. Here is what I made:

5 1/2 dozen muffins in assorted varieties

6 Dozen Cinnamon Rolls

3 Dozen Orange Rolls

Here is what that looks like.
I am so glad to be done so quickly. I thought it would take me most of the day to get it all done. Yippee! Now I have the afternoon to clean house. The kitchen is especially in need of a good cleaing after my whirlwind baking session.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Daughter

I write this post not to brag or to sound prideful, but to let my daughter (and anyone else reading) know how much I love her.

Kaylee is my oldest daughter. She made me a mom, she was the first. I can hardly believe that she is nearly 13 years old already.
Lately Kaylee and I have been fighting quite a bit. In some ways I think we are too much alike for our own good. We seem to butt heads sometimes, and we are both too stubborn to back down. I want to let her know that despite these confrontations, she means the world to me. I am proud of her and I love her very, very much. I could not imagine my life or our family without her in it.

She is growing into such a beautiful young woman. Look at these pictures I took of her yesterday.
This week Kaylee had a bit of a disappointment. She tried out for the varsity volleyball team and though she has become really good at the sport and improved her skills a great deal, she did not make the team again this year. She worked so hard and was pretty upset about getting cut from the team, but she is highly motivated and is already talking about how hard she will work on the intramural team this year. I am so proud of her.

Kaylee is a very self motivated person. She does really well in school with very little help from me. She works very hard to get good grades and even ended her sixth grade year with a 4.0 GPA. What more could a mom ask for? Let me tell you.

She is a big help to me, willing to babysit at a moment's notice. She is excited to learn to cook and is eager for more opportunities in this area to come her way. (I just need to be less of a control freak and actually give her more chances to learn.)

She loves her brothers and sisters and is a great example to them. She keeps her room tidy, most of the time, and does most of her chores very willingly. She hates doing dishes, but who doesn't hate that job? She mowed the lawn every week this summer as part of a contact made between us at the beginning of the season. I never had to get on her to get that job done, she always did it of her own accord.

She is willing to try many things. Last year she decided to go out for the track team, something she had never really had much interest in before. She found she really enjoyed running on the team and did very well especially in the 200 meter sprint and on the relay team.

Kaylee reaches out to others and is a great friend to many, many people. She is loved for her spunk and personality. People enjoy being around her. She is also a very loyal friend.

I am so proud of my daughter and the young woman she is becoming. I am sure I could go on longer but I think this post is getting long enough. This picture is my favorite that we took yesterday. She is looking so grown up. (by the way she is almost as tall as me now too)The final picture here is one taken at girl's camp this year. It was so fun to be there with her. I hope she felt the same way. If you are interested in checking out what Kaylee is up to, you can read her blog . Keep in mind that she has given all of her friends nicknames to "protect their identities". She is so funny. Leave her a comment and let her know you stopped by. I am sure it will make her day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Look what I got...

My Hubby loves me. He sent me roses!!! They're gorgeous! Thank You Mike.

Happy Anniversary to Me (and Mike)

It is now officially our wedding anniversary. 15 wonderful years that seem to have flown right by, I can hardly believe it.

Mike and I were married in the Chicago LDS Temple at 11:00 am on August 20, 1993. We were surrounded by lots of our friends and family, most of whom had traveled great distances to be with us on our special day.

Since that day, we have had many wonderful experiences together. We struggled through college together (though I have yet to graduate), we have supported each other in hard times, together we have dealt with the deaths of several people very close to us, we have traveled together to some fun and exciting places, and we have created and are raising 5 amazing children. But most importantly we have grown together, we have learned from one another, and we have loved one another through the good and the bad(though those times have been rare).

Mike has been my rock when I needed stability. A shoulder to cry on when I needed it. He has been my companion, my husband, the father of my children, and always, my friend. He is a great father and provider. He is faithful, loyal, and true. He has promised me forever and works every day to make that forever wonderful.

He loves me and I love him for always making me feel like a queen.

I am spending our anniversary alone. Not by choice, but because Mike is working out of town this week. It is the first time in fifteen years we have not been together on this day. It will be tough, but I want Mike and anyone else who reads my blog to know how much this day means to me.
Happy Anniversary Mike. I hope the next 50(+forever) years can be as great as these first 15 have been.

Monday, August 18, 2008

We Survived...

...our first full week with Mike working out of town. He left last Sunday and returned late Friday night. I won't say it is easy, but we made it through. He leaves again today and will be back on Friday. Mike spent last week in Kansas and this week he will have a couple of days in Yuma, Az. and a couple days in Ft. Sill, Ok. He will travel again next week, but I am not sure what his travel plans are yet.

The kids are handling the change pretty well, I think. We all miss him when he is away but we will do what we have to do.

We had a nice week. Mike's sister Debbie and her family were in town for a visit. We spent a bit of time with them. On Wednesday, we went to the Martinez Farm up in Ft. Collins in the morning and in the afternoon, we went swimming. Then on Thursday, we all went to the Denver Zoo together. It was a great day for the zoo because it was not too hot. We got a bit of rain (about 5 minutes), but most of the day was really nice. It was great to see Debbie, Darren, and the boys again.

This week we also had school registrations and lots to do as we start getting back in gear for school. School starts on the 26th and 27th here. In some ways I am excited for school to start, but I am also sad for summer to be over. I can't believe how fast this summer flew by. The kids are all pretty excited to get back to school and it will be nice to have some time to myself 3 mornings a week while Kyle is at preschool. Yippee!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I LOVE Girls' Camp!!!

Well, Girls' Camp is over. It was a great experience for me. I had such a great time with the girls. It was especially fun to be there for Kaylee's first year of camp, though I don't know if she feels the same way.

We have a great group of girls and it was such a relief to have a camp without any real drama or contention. Imagine 14 girls together for 4 days and having no problems. Until now I would not have thought it possible, but I am truly blessed to work with a remarkable group of young women. Our theme for camp was STARS-Standing Together and Rock Solid. Our girls are definitely STARS!!! Here are some pics from my week.
I did a LOT of hair braiding while I was at camp.
This is me on the high ropes course. That was so much fun, but a real challenge in some places. This picture shows some of the elements of the course. Notice the X we had to get across that. It was not easy, but I made it. This is Kaylee on the X. She made me so proud. She was fearless!! Here is a cute picture of Kaylee and I. Notice she is trying to pick me up. SHOWOFF!!! That is Kaylee at the top right of this picture. She did a great job with the rock climbing. This is me almost at the top. I did make it all the way up, but not near as quickly as Kaylee did. Going on a SNIPE hunt. In case you are wondering, that is toothpaste on their cheeks. Apparently snipes are attracted to the mint in the toothpaste. Imagine that.
This is an awesome picture of Kaylee's rappel. Talk about putting your child's life in someone else's hands. This was a 120 foot drop. The fearless leaders. We planned camp in just 5 weeks after our camp director moved away and was released so close to camp.

We did many other activities including crafts, canoeing, swimming, rifle shooting, and archery. Not to mention our spiritual evening devotionals and group scripture study as well as certification. It was a great time,except maybe for the hike. I didn't go because there was a need to help one of the girls who couldn't make the whole hike. Our girls did a very strenuous 7 mile hike. They were beat when they got back but got to see some great sights from the top of the mountain.

Here is the final picture of our group minus Sister West who was only there until Thursday morning. We also had other priesthood leaders that were with us on other days.

I was also very happily suprised when I came home to a clean house. Mike and the kids did a great job of keeping things neat and they seemed to have a great week too.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Our Trip to Vegas

We had a truly great visit in Las Vegas. Here are some of the highlights.

We went to a minor league Baseball game. The kids have never been to a professional game before and they really had a blast. We went with Nigel, Z, and Brandon, Jeff, Kayden and all of our crew.
Since it was 115 degrees out most of the days we were there, we spent a great deal of our time in the pool. Mike got a real workout throwing the kids around. I loved this shot of Ryan in the air. Is he having fun or what?

This is my grandpa, he enjoyed watching the kids in the pool. I think he wished he could go out and join them. Here is a picture of Mike in the pool alone with 8 kids. He took the kids swimming while Steve and I made pizza for Kay's birthday.
We followed pizza with a "Nothing Bundt Cake." It was divine!!!!! For some reason Jake and Kyle got a cleaning bug. They decided they wanted to help Grandma Kay clean the house. Here they were cleaning the bathroom floor. I don't know how she got them working. I guess I need to get some tips.
We took the kids out for a tour of the Ethyl M. Chocolate Factory. I had never even heard of it before I read Carlee's post. It was fun to see where they make these fancy chocolates and to get a taste at the end of the tour.
We also visited the cactus gardens there. It was really neat to see.
We realized while we were in Vegas that it has been years since we have been to the Fremont Street Experience and most of the kids have never even seen it. So we decided to make a trip down to the old strip to see a couple of shows. The kids were amazed by the huge screen and all the lights.
It was really funny to watch Mandy when the kids were swimming in the pool. She paced along the edge of the pool back and forth always watching the kids very carefully. She very obviously got upset if the kids went under water for any length of time and on 3 different occasions, she actually went in after them. As if she could possibly save them. She could barely keep her own head above the water, but it didn't stop her from going in again the next time she got worried about one of the kids. Here are a couple of pictures of her at the pool and a short video clip of Kyle going under water. Notice Mandy pacing at the end of the clip.

At 10:00 pm on Friday Aug. 1st, I took the girls to the book release party at Barnes and Noble for the release of We had a great time making masks, playing word puzzles all about the Twilight Saga and watching the people who were dressed in costume. The book was released at midnight and we were headed out of the store with 3 copies(one for me, one for Kaylee, and one for Kay) at 12:20 am. Here is a picture of the girls and their masks. I didn't start reading until the next morning when we got in the car to drive home. (but that is the subject for another blog entirely)
Here is a great picture of my family with Grandpa Pierce and Great Grandpa Pierce.(my dad and Grandpa) No the boys are not naked, they just went shirtless a lot because they couldn't stand the heat!!!On our drive home we made a stop that we have never made in all the years we have been driving to Vegas. We stopped in at Cove Fort. It was fun to see the old fort and to learn some of the history that goes along with it.
We had a great time in Vegas and really enjoyed all of the family time. It was great to have so many of us together so much while we were there. I love and miss my family so much. I am still hoping to get some more of them here in Colorado someday soon. I guess we will see.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Off to Girls' Camp

We had a great trip to Vegas which I will have to write about after I get back from camp. We got home late Sat. night and I have been super busy ever since finalizing all my pre-camp projects and getting laundry done and ready to go. Kaylee and I are off in the morning and won't be back until Friday. It should be a fun time. I think, though you never know when you are dealing with 14 teenage girls. I will report when I get back. Wish me luck!!!

Our Family in Pictures