Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Keenan in Casts

Just wanted to take a quick second and post a couple of pictures of Keenan in his casts. Note the annoyed look in the first picture - this has gotten worse as the temperature here is 80 degrees and he is very hot and itchy. In the second picture, Keenan is marching with his high school band. It was fun for him to still be able to be out there with his friends even though he couldn't play his instrument. He went to the doctor last week and they made an appointment to take the casts off December 31st!!! He said he's happy he gets to have at least one shower before the end of the year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Life goes on

Keenan is slowly adapting to life with limited ability to do anything for himself. Two of the funniest things that have happened so far are:

He wanted to take a bath (and we wanted him to take one too!), so we tied plastic bags around his arms and filled up the tub. Then we left him alone to get ready for the bath. After a couple minutes, he yelled, "I can't do anything with these stupid bags on my hands!" I guess we should have waited until he was basically ready to get into the tub to put the bags on. Live and learn.

The second funny thing is he went out to the back deck and pulled the door closed behind him. He couldn't open the door to get back in and it took us a little while to figure out why. He ended up just banging his head against the door in disgust.

Kirsten is reciting the alphabet - Kirstenstyle. After listening to her over and over - this is how it goes: a b c d ki kay kay n o p q r i t bu v w x y z
now I wonder what you are......

It's the alphabet with some Twinkle Twinkle Little Star thrown in for variety.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are so very thankful this year that Keenan is okay!

Here's the story - he was in the barn kind of goofing around like any normal 16 year old, and he slipped on some hay and fell out of the barn (from the second story). He broke both his wrists. After several hours at the hospital and some good pain medicine, he is resting at home watching some TV.

It could've been worse. It could've been better (like he could've been doing his chore instead of goofing), but it could've been worse.

Count your blessings!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Not really sure how it happened. We (and when I say 'we' I mean Tim, the boys and a friend from church) were rounding up cows to pick which ones to take to auction tomorrow and WE LOST ONE! The cow we lost wasn't a bad one to lose - she's really PSYCHO! But, I don't think it's a good thing that she's somewhere in the neighborhood. She broke all kinds of fencing on her way out. I kind of hope she doesn't get back in - BUT I don't want her running around either. A vet told Tim that if a cow gets out constantly that her calves will do it too and being kind of crazy is hereditary. I wonder if it works that way with people too - craziness being hereditary? Something to think about. Maybe I'm not totally responsible for my moments of insanity??

Monday, October 15, 2007


Kirsten is becoming more and more talkative. She has the cutest words for things! She calls her pacifiers 'pies' and when she thinks something tastes good she says, 'dawhishuss'. She also is developing her own agenda = like not wanting to wear clothes for more than 20 minutes and always wanting to climb on everything. A common conversation will go like this:

"Can you stay dressed for longer than 20 minutes?"

"Do you want to go on the potty and stop wearing diapers?"

"Can you sit down in the cart so we can finish shopping, please?"

Good things she's so darn cute! 'um...no' would get old after a couple of times!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I don't think Fall is really here

I just got back from Greenville, SC. It was hot - way too hot for fall. The temp today at Dallin's soccer game at 12 noon was 97!!! Ethan and Dallin participated in the CESA "fall" tournament. They both had the same record - 1-1-1: 1 win, 1 loss, 1 tie. The scores were kind of the same too - the wins were both 2-1, the ties were both 1-1 and the losses were by 4 goals: Ethan's game was 4-0 and Dallin's game was 5-1. Interesting.
We had fun despite the weather. We went to the Mellow Mushroom for dinner on Saturday night deep in the hearta downtown Greenville - they have a great nightlife by the way.
When we got to the fields on Saturday, we were a little early (which is WAY better than being late!). Instead of standing at the fields in the heat, we went to a cute store that was close by. They had the cutest baby sippee cups with names on them. Dallin and I found Tyler, Kyle and Ethan. I said "Dallin, I bet they don't have your name." Dallin replied "What is my name again?" Yes, that was said seriously. Sometimes I wonder about that one!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Life is back to soccer!

Ethan and Dallin had their first season games this past Saturday. Dallin played 2 - lost both; Ethan played one - lost. Oh well, such is life!

The rain situation is so bad! We haven't mowed our lawn in about 2 months - we haven't needed to! The 'grass' on the lawn was a little longer than the 'grass' in the pasture (I am using the word 'grass' loosely - I would say the stuff on the ground is more like crusty weeds!) so we let the cows out and had them eat the stuff on the lawn. What is left is shorter than we've ever mowed it! There is a possibility of rain this week - we are all hoping and praying that it pours!

I found this quote and thought I'd share:

Marianne Williamson:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Life is sort of on a schedule!

School started this past Monday. Kirsten was sitting at the counter eating her breakfast when Ethan, Dallin and Hayleigh left to get on the bus. Kyle, Keenan and Tyler were already at school since they have Early Morning Seminary at church and then Tim takes them to school. Brandee was already at work and the TV wasn't on (yet). It was SO quiet, I could hear the ceiling fans! About 2 minutes after the door closed behind Hayleigh, Kirsten looked up and said, "Where everybody go?". Poor baby! She gets to have all the toys to herself and watch what shows she wants on TV (barney, teletubbies, Franklin and Little Bear), but she just wanted her sister home. Funny, isn't it? They argued all summer as best a 7-year old and 2-year old can, and now Kirsten just wanted Hayleigh here.

The second day of school started out lousy. Hayleigh's bus came 20 minutes earlier than it had the first day, so of course she missed it. I had to pack up Kirsten and Hayleigh and drive Hayleigh to school. Kirsten couldn't figure out why she couldn't go in to the school too!

It's Friday now and she seems to have adjusted. She is back to taking 2 or 3 hour naps in the afternoon - which I love!

The other kids have adjusted to being back at school. Kyle, Keenan and Tyler had 3 soccer games in a row this week - Monday (win), Tuesday (win) and Wednesday (loss - but only by 1 to a team we usually get slaughtered by). I've been able to go to some of the games - Dallin's soccer coach is also a high school soccer coach and he understands that we might be missing some practices.

We're hoping for lots of rain and some cooler temperatures soon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Chicken Story

Happy Birthday Brandee!

A quick note here about the scout camp the boys attended a little while ago - This picture is Kyle and his friend Brent identifying leaves. Guess they took a 'speed identifying' class!

Friends of our from church were looking for a home for their chickens that they no longer wanted. We decided to give them a home. Little did we know that a short couple of weeks later - there would be 4 BABY chicks in the barn. In a couple of months we might be going into the chick selling business!

Okay - enough of the bird stories. How about a cow story? We have one cow that no matter how strong the electricity is on the fence, she likes to get out. When we attempt to put her back in the pasture, we are strongly reminded of the running of the bulls footage we have seen. She tosses her head and paws the ground and RUNS like the wind! She is shortly going to find herself in the cattle trailer on the way to the auction.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More Nature

Happy Birthday Keenan!

Driveway Birds? What bird would ever build a nest in our driveway? Well one did this year! With as many trips in and out of this place that we make, you would think that our driveway would not be considered a safe place to build a nest. Not so with this bird. She laid her eggs in a little low spot on the driveway and ever time we drove past them, she would run across the driveway to the other side - no matter which side she was on. We would have to stop and wait for her to get out of the way. We put cones around her nest so that UPS and FedEx would not drive over the eggs and then hoped for the best. We're not sure if her eggs hatched or not. One day they were there, the next day they weren't, but Brandee saw 4 little birds in the pasture running around with a bigger bird. Maybe when they hatched and the mama realized that they were sure to be run over, she moved to the pasture. That would've been the smart thing to do, although I don't know if this bird had any 'smart' in her!

Chickens are birds too - wait til you hear the next story!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The trouble with nature

Happy Birthday Kyle!

This summer has been very interesting in regards to nature - birds in particular. Every year a bird builds its nest under our back deck. It's all the way on the end and under the grill, so it doesn't bother us too much. Apparently this year the mama bird decided that she wanted to be closer to our family so she built the nest under the deck RIGHT ABOVE THE BACK DOOR. This wasn't too bad to begin with, but then as the babies got older they began to poop - ALOT!! Several times a day, one of the kids would wash down the poop pile right in front of the door. There are lots (like zillions) of mites that live in bird nests and they decided that crawling around on the deck was fun. So, we also gave up hanging up the laundry out back because as soon as we went on the deck, we were covered with mites and had to take showers. Very annoying. We came to the conclusion that as soon as the birds were flying away, the nest would be taken down. Kyle did the honors one morning as all the babies took off for their morning flights. What a bunch of shocked birds when they came back a couple of hours later! Not being happy with being evicted, the birds all started to build their own nests under the deck. We figured that since we pay the mortgage here, the birds had to find somewhere else to live. Every branch, twig and thread that was placed on the boards by the birds was brushed off by one of the kids. The birds did give up - or so we wanted to believe. The birds built a nest in a box in the new carport. How stupid is that? That's like packing a lunch for the dogs that come around here! If that's not enough.....wait til you hear about the driveway birds......stay tuned!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Wow! I really can't believe that there will be 4 birthdays coming up in the next couple of weeks - and how old that makes the kids! (Tim and I are not aging - it's just the kids getting older!) On August 15 - Kyle will be 17. On August 16 - Keenan will be 16. On August 22 - Brandee will be 19. On September 4 - Tyler will be 15. Yikes.

It seems like only yesterday that I could solve all of the problems in my house with some balloons, some homemade cookies and a Disney movie. Now there is so much going on in their lives (and thus mine, since I need to drive them around!).

Soon enough though - it will be quiet here and we will be hoping the grandchildren come over to visit their out-of-date, uncool grandparents!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Life is Magical

If you've never read Harry Potter before, you really need to go out and buy books 1-7, take a week off from everything, get your favorite snacks and just sit and read them - ALL OF THEM!!! These are my favorite books EVER! I will re-read these every year for the rest of my life!!!!

I finished the last book (#7 - Deathly Hallows) about 72 hours after I bought it. The next day, I started with book #1 again (listened to the CD while I painted the addition). I'm on book #2 already.

This week has been different. Tim, Kyle, Keenan, Tyler and Ethan have been at Camp Bud Schiele - a boy scout camp in Rutherfordton. Tim took some pictures of the boys at camp and I will post them as soon as he gets back with the camera. He comes home tomorrow - I need to clean the house and go shopping for some 'real' food instead of just boxed macaroni and cheese and toast. Dallin, Hayleigh and Kirsten have been driving each other crazy. You know it's bad when I give Kirsten bubbles and let her blow them in the living the room just to keep her from bothering Dallin and Hayleigh while they are being quiet building Legos. Kyle was here til Monday night since he played in a soccer tournament this past weekend and couldn't leave on Sunday with the other scouts. It was great weather for a tournament! Absolutely beautiful for July in NC! Anyway, Kyle put a bucketful of sand in the kids' wagon for Hayleigh and Kirsten to play with. Hayleigh came up with the idea of adding water and I figured "what the heck" - at least they're not fighting with each other or crying (again!).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Okay, it's really pathetic to admit this, but I CAN'T WAIT TO READ HARRY POTTER on Saturday! I will be in line at midnight on Friday night to get my 2 pre-paid copies (one to go along to scout camp with the boys and one for home). I will also be reading the last chapter first - I can't stand not knowing what happens. I re-read books with endings I like for that very reason - because I know the ending. I'm thinking that Harry will survive, but either Ron, Ginny or Hermione won't.
How did I ever have a childhood without Harry Potter???

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Once in a lifetime

What a great event this past weekend! Kyle, Keenan and Tyler played at THE SAME TIME, on THE SAME FIELD, for THE SAME TEAM! Since they are all at the high school now, they played for North Iredell at the scrimmages.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Complications in Life

I am a glutton for punishment. Two times this week I took more than 2 children to the grocery store. Am I crazy or what??! I've had to go to the grocery store alot recently because we had our water tested and there is a bacteria in it - so we've had to buy lots of bottled water until we add an ultraviolet light and bleach everything. Anyway, on the way home from the water bottle run today, it looked like yet another bad storm was coming. I said, "It looks like it's going to storm - look at the sky. Watch for lightning." (giving them something to look for sometimes keeps them quiet for 1 or 2 seconds) Hayleigh (who can't keep quiet - EVER) said, "I like thunderstorms. Do you know why? Because one year on my birthday it rained and one year there was a calf born." Since I am used to Hayleigh-logic, I didn't think anything of it, but I knew Dallin wouldn't get it. I glanced at his face - he looked so confused! He said, "I don't understand Hayleigh. She is a very complicated girl." I thought - JUST YOU WAIT! Complicated girls will be the story of your WHOLE life, little boy!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

You just need to be old

We went as a family last night to see fireworks at the local mall. Kirsten was so excited because the other kids were laughing and talking about fireworks. They were asking her if she wanted to see the fireworks - she would say "YES!" and shake with anticipation. Someone walked by where we were sitting and threw some firecrackers in a bush. Kirsten loved it! Then the first firework went into the air - we all have no idea what color is was because we were busy watching Kirsten's face. It went BOOM and her mouth dropped open, she turned around, got on my lap and hid her face. I don't think she even saw one firework. I couldn't get her to turn her head. After the short show (and I mean short! - like 10 minutes), we went back to the van. The kids asked Kirsten if she liked the fireworks and she said "yes". Then they asked her if she wanted to see more. She said "NO". One of the kids said "don't worry, you'll like them next year - you'll be 3 then."

Happy Fourth of July to everyone!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Life is stuff

LOTS OF STUFF! We've had our first week with no school - and it's been busy (not to mention whiny and bratty too!) Does anyone know what happens when 8 kids are given a chore to clean out a room? Well, I know what happens now! It's not a good idea.

I don't know when or how or especially why we've collected the 'stuff' that we have in boxes and totes and piles. It's got to go. I've been to Goodwill already with a van load and there will be more by the end of the week. It's actually a pretty good feeling to get rid of things that we don't use or need!

Tim and the boys have also been working on putting up the crown molding in the addition. It's absolutely beautiful! It just totally finishes the room and makes it look awesome! I will post pictures of it soon.

Tim downloaded the pictures from the camera for me - I added another picture of her accident to the post below.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Lots of Life this week!

My sister Erin and her husband Matt had their first child - a girl - last weekend! She is absolutely beautiful and her name is incredible - Alida Marie. Our Granny Pennings' name reversed! Granny would be so proud! I'm sure she is looking down at Baby Alida and smiling (and knitting, most likely - I can't imagine Granny Pennings without knitting!)

There's some graduating going on today and tomorrow - Dallin graduates from Elementary School today and Tyler graduates from Middle School tomorrow. That means I'll have 3 in high school (and early morning seminary!), 2 in middle school and 1 in elementary school next year. Thank goodness Kirsten is still at home with me! What would I do with all that kidless time during the day??

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Life is unpredictable

One night on the way home from soccer practice, Tyler grabbed a pillow in the van and started rubbing his head. I think it was just to see what would happen. This picture is what happens when you rub your head with a pillow for 20 minutes!

Tyler recently completed a year long project writing his autobiography. He received a great grade - 96 - and a comment from the teacher that he should continuing writing and become an author. Tyler has been working on several books - I haven't seen any in their entirety, but the short paragraphs I've read have been very impressive! Who knows, maybe the wild-haired soccer player will become an author!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Life can be disappointing

Last night at the high school band banquet, Kyle found out that he would not be drum captain for his senior year. He was very disappointed. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Maybe Kyle is just supposed to enjoy his senior year instead of always worrying about whether things in the band are taken care of as he has done the past 3 years. It might be said that it's good to learn a lesson like this early in life - that it makes you prepared for when it happens with a job or marriage, etc..... But it sure doesn't feel good. We talked with Kyle last night and he is going to be fine, but boy, WAS HE MAD!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Life is happy

Last fall, Kyle and Alex decided that they would like to go to the prom if the dates worked out. They paid and then crossed their fingers that the schedule for Kyle's soccer games during state cup would allow them to attend. After waiting and waiting - the schedule worked! At the last minute, there was a tux to be rented, a dress to be bought and flowers to be taken care of. We even got a picture of the very elusive "Kyle Smile"!

Update - Keenan is thrilled to be on the Lake Norman A team with his friends from school. He will most likely be able to fit other things that he would like to do into his schedule now as practice is only 10 miles away instead of 60!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Soccer isn't life

After much drama this week, we have all but one child on teams for next season. We need to have the child's approval for where we want him to play - so I've got to wait for him to get home from school.

But, the real story is that Brandee was in a car accident - she's slightly banged up and carless now, but it could've been MUCH worse.

Sometimes it takes a shock like that to make you realize what's REALLY important: being together as a family.

We're still working hard on the addition to the house. We're really hoping for a June move-in! It's so exciting! Brandee was afraid she'd never get to move into the addition before she left for college (and at times I was afraid she was right!). But, hopefully it'll all work out and she can have a 'new' room for several months before she goes away for school. She is applying for next spring's semester at BYU-I. Yes, the 'I' stands for Idaho - that's pretty far away! :(

Yesterday, we heard from a missionary that served in our branch in Pennsylvania! It was great to talk to him! We hope we'll be in contact for years to come!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's much better!

I am totally amazed every morning when I wake up and I realize that I have 8 great children, that I live in a free country and that I am able to do all the things I do!

A blog is something I've wanted to do for a while - it's hard to keep people up to date about our family happenings - this seems like an easy way to do it.

I will be posting lots in the next couple of weeks as I figure out how to do this.


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