Friday, June 21, 2013

What Do You Do in the Summer Time?

My husband's famous words haunted me yesterday when I was just in a rush and ready to leave the house to finish things on my "To-Do-List".  As soon as I was ready to go, the boys ran in with their lunch boxes and blanket:  "Let's have a picnic!"  I heard Mitch's voice from the distance, "Just say yes more."  So I listened.

All it took was 10 minutes for them to drink their Capri Suns and eat a yogurt.  They had packed the picnic already, but honestly, it was so cute and they were so happy.  When they were done, we still managed to finish the to-do-list, but it wasn't as important, or nearly as memorable as the picnic.


Sometimes all it takes is a picnic to remember that LIFE IS GOOD!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

How to be the BEST Parent EVER...

I'm not an expert at being a parent, not by a long shot.  But something my 3 year old said on Friday got me thinking.

We had an awesome weekend planned.  In my efforts to fill the Summer time up with wholesome recreational family activities, we have literally been ON THE RUN.  We've also been fortunate enough to have some free passes to places we wouldn't have otherwise been going and so we've been trying to use those passes on the dates they were allowed before they expire.  Our weekend plans started Thursday night:  Paintballing, Man of Steel Premiere, Funeral for my cousin's husband who battled the effects of Leukemia for 7 years--who passed away this week & is survived by his wife & 5 kids, Mini-Amusement Park, Father's Day Shopping, Sea Life Arizona, a Surprise Party...and of course FATHER'S DAY.  Honestly, everything was going as planned, and we even had a sitter for the funeral who is AMAZING (she took the kids to the Summer Movie for me while I was gone).  I was totally looking forward to the Enchanted Island Amusement Park for a fun family activity because I heard they had a little roller coaster for the kids, and BAM!  It happened.  Something major that was NOT planned: 

My husband who was working late had an EMERGENCY at a job site.  Let's just say, we are completely and entirely blessed that this emergency didn't catch an entire house on fire, because it almost did.  Just be glad, right? Well, that's hard to remember on a FRIDAY night when you're in the middle of driving 100 miles round trip with 3 kids (one of them screaming) to help with the emergency, and the weekend plans are getting pushed off the calendar.  What's awesome in all of this, however, is that the kids didn't care about the amusement park.  They just wanted to spend time with their dad (isn't that the reason we had booked the calendar anyway?  FAMILY time).  Upon arrival, Tyson found the shovel from the back of the van & was dragging it over to help shovel dirt with Mitch.  Emmett grabbed a rake & jumped in.  And Miles played with a hammer.  And for my kids, life was beautiful.  Emmett was asking for pictures, which is rare for him.  The boys were doing what they always DREAM of doing:  Going to work with their DAD!  It wasn't until Emmett hugged me and said, "You're the BEST MOM, EVER!" that I realized the secret to parenting that's so easy to forget.  Sometimes, actually MOST times, you don't have to have the biggest, or the best, or the most exciting events planned to qualify you as a great parent who loves your kids.  All you have to have is love, time to listen, time to feed them dinner, time to break up fights, and time to teach life lessons (even if it means service on the other side of town instead of roller coasters and carousel rides).  It's just the little things that matter, and when your kids have the LITTLE things they need, it's those little things that are actually the BIG things.  That's the secret.  Now we just have to remember it.

I could feel this beautiful epiphany sort of moment working its magic, effectively changing my heart and attitude for the evening as I realized that writing "Help Dad Put Out a Fire" was more worthy of my calendar than anything else.

And then I stepped on a nail.
(It's okay to laugh at me; even I think it's funny now.)

To all those Dad's who worked day in an day out trying to put food on the table (and I especially send these words to my husband, my father, & my father-in-law)--please know that all those little things you provided for your kids were really the BIG things that their little hearts and souls needed the most.  You did a great job.  You still do a great job.  Because your kid knows you love them, YOU are the BEST DAD EVER!  Happy Father's Day!



Just a note: To Our Best Dad's EVER (Dale Borden & Joe Tenney): 
We love you!

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Tyson was thinking this morning, "Mom!  I thought of a great way to save money.  If I go to Hawaii, I won't need to buy food.  I just could pick it off of the trees or something."

"Good plan!"  I said.

"Yeah, I would just need to save money for a plane." he said.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Today we were at the public pool.  My older two boys are finally old enough that I probably shouldn't haul them through the girl's bathroom with me to enter the pool.  So usually they walk through the boys' side (do not get me wrong--I am NOT afraid to follow them, if need be, ALL THE WAY THROUGH the Men's side just for protection). But, even with my fearlessness, the momentary separation can still create issues.

Today as we were leaving, I told the boys to go together, but Emmett ran through turbo-speed without Tyson.  I get on the other side of the bathrooms and meet up with Emmett.  We're looking for Tyson, and I'm even poking my head into the men's bathroom to see if he's in there.  I began to get nervous about Tyson, because we couldn't find him anywhere.  We headed outside the gates to see if he was by the vehicle already, and THAT'S when I see him still inside the pool gate, poking around. 

"TYSON!  There you are!  We're over here.  Would you hurry through the bathrooms?  We've got to go home!"  I called.

"I'm waiting for Emmett," he responded.

"I've got him already, Son.  Just hurry, please--we need to load up."

Tyson came quickly and got in the van, but he was slightly unsettled and huffing at me a bit when he said emphatically, "Mom, what's more important: brothers or swimming?"

Wondering where he was going with this, I slowly replied, "Brothers."

"SEE?!  I don't want to live a lonely life with just one brother who doesn't do much.  I was looking for Emmett to make sure he was okay," Tyson chided. 

(Might I add, "DUH, MOM!")

I laughed most the way home.  It's so sweet to see how caring & protective he is of his younger brother, but it was so hilarious to simultaneously see my five-year-old's true perspective of his one-year-old brother.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Who Needs a Cleanse When You Meet Sasquatch & Get the Flu?

Our family was fortunate this year to get a full 5 days off and spend it in the mountainsWe had two family reunions back to back (on Mitch's side), and they were awesome!  We saw our siblings & cousins who live out of state in Utah & Alabama. 

The only not-awesome part was that 1/3 of the grandkids were puking out their guts at the same time.  By the end of it all, I'm pretty sure at least 1/2 of everyone in attendance contracted the flu at some point, because we were still passing it around for days after we left.  It was horrible. 

On Monday of the reunion, my baby started throwing up.   I thought he'd be okay, but by night fall, he wasn't holding ANYTHING down.  When he wasn't throwing up fluids, he was dry heaving, and throwing up bile.  It was so continuous, too.  I was afraid he had an internal blockage (like maybe he swallowed a rock or something) and that he would possibly throw up blood eventually because he was vomiting so much.  Then he started having diarreah, too.  I know someone who lost their child because they were so dehydrated from having diarreah & throwing up at the same time (it happened fast, too--he got sick and I want to say in a day or two, he passed away). 

So, here we were at least an hour and a half away from the nearest hospital, it was the middle of the night, and my baby was so sick; I didn't know what to do.  He had already had a priesthood blessing in which he was told he would be protected from getting dehydrated, and my bro-in-law, Kit had driven into town to get some Pedialyte.  So, fortunately that gave me some peace of mind that things would probably be okay, but there was no end in sight.  Mitch took the first shift watching movies & taking care of Miles.  Around 2:30am, he came to our cabin and it was my turn to stay up with the baby.  At this time, Emmett was burning up, too, and Mitchell had left the Tylenol at a different cabin.  He was exhausted, so even though I NEVER walk between the cabins by myself when it's dark, I told myself I would be okay, and I could be brave to save my kids (plus I needed to relieve myself, so that was double motivation).  I grabbed the flashlight, and hustled through the woods to the next cabin, a distant 50 yards away.  With each step I felt safer and safer.  Trotting along I grew more confident by the second.  Until it happened. Placing my foot on the steps of the green cabin, out of the darkness came a low, rumbling, man-like voice.  It said something short, but inaudible.  I didn't know where he was as my flashlight only illuminated 3 feet in front of me.  In that moment, all I could remember were the stories my father told me in my childhood of his Uncle Elwood experiencing creepy moments when he was with his horses, alone in the woods (even the horses were unsettled by their experience).  I didn't hesitate to stare Sasquatch in the eyes--I didn't want to see him.  Screaming, I ran up the steps, grabbed the door of the cabin, slammed it behind me, ran into the bathroom, and slammed that door, too.  By now, I was already talking myself out of what happened.  I knew whoever said whatever it was that they said, was probably laughing their heads off, but I still wasn't going to walk back to my cabin alone in case there was still a stranger outside, lurking in the darkness.  Startled by the commotion, my sister-in-law, Tina ran in to see if everything was okay.  I explained the situation, and she said she would watch me from the steps as I walked back.  How convenient, right?  She would stay in a safe location and watch me get mauled by a beast as I went back alone.  That wasn't good enough for me.  Still needing to get the Tylenol to save my children, I walked into the kitchen, and who was there?  None other than my smirking father-in-law lying on the couch.  In his raspy, low & rumbly, morning voice, he repeated the 4 words I had previously been unable to identify, "Can I help you?"  You cannot believe my relief in knowing that it WASN'T Big Foot who was lurking outside with malicious intent.  But as punishment for scaring the weebie-ba-jeebies out of me, I made him walk me back to my cabin.  Apparently Dale wakes up 2 or 3 times a night, and he happened to be out on the porch looking at the stars at exactly the moment I was hurrying up the steps.  Gee whiz.  If he had been wearing a hairy outfit, I'm sure I would have peed my pants.

Making it back to our little tool bunk cabin safely, I finished the night out with the sick children.  I was actually grateful for the comic relief, but I was still scared for my baby.  I don't think I've ever prayed so hard in my life.  As the night wore on, I finally prayed that my baby would be able to stop throwing up like this by morning.  He threw up for the last time a little before 5am, and finally was able to keep some Pedialyte down and fall asleep for a couple hours.  A peace came over me as I looked across the land in the early morning light. I was so grateful that my prayer had been answered.  Miles' stomach was still touchy for the next couple of days, but he only threw up about 2 or 3 times on Tuesday, and maybe a couple of times a day until Friday as he was on the mend.  The virus hit him the worst and it stayed with him the longest, but I know my prayers were answered, and I'm so grateful we didn't have to hospitalize him.

At any rate, for a while I had been thinking about trying a cleanse to jump start weight loss.  But, I'm telling you, after I met Sasquatch & got the flu at the reunion, I came home a full 5 pounds lighter than when I left (usually I come home from trips a few pounds heavier).  Lucky me, I don't have to do a cleanse anymore.  Haha!

Here are some other highlights from our reunion:

Don't be fooled by the cute blue jay on top of the out-house.  Uncles Brad & Brian told Kallianne about the "Fart-Hissing-Poop-Snakes" that reside under the outhouses.  She thought it was an obvious lie, until she asked her dad, Kit, about it.  Without talking to Brad or Brian, he reaffirmed the legend and told her, "Oh, yeah, those are the snakes whose hissing actually sounds like a fart, and it stinks, too.  You'd better stay far away from them."  She hesitated, "Wait?  They're real?"  We all died laughing when Kit told us the story.

The Borden Girls (not many of us)

 The Borden Boys (pretty sure the family name will LIVE on)

Emmett was starting to get sick on this hike.  We didn't realize until later that he truly wasn't feeling well.  He stayed in denial about being sick until he actually threw up.  I woke him up around 3 in the morning and said, "Emmett, honey, wake up!  Here's some medicine, you're sick."  Out of a dead sleep he JUMPED from the bed fighting mad. "NO I'M NOT!"  I said, "Actually, you have a fever and need medicine."  He scowled back and yelled, "NO I DON'T!!!!"  Mitch and I were cracking up; it was HILARIOUS!  He was spit-fire mad.  I told him to let me know when he was ready for medicine.  About 20 minutes later, he popped out of bed from a dead sleep again, "Okay!  I need medicine!"

 Look closely at his feet.  Haha!

 Crawdad fishing with Grandpa Borden

 Miles & Merrill finally met for the 1st time, now that they're ONE year old!
 Regatta boat races

Learned about Grandpa Jay Whiting "All Hands On Deck"

Hanging with Aunt Tina--she always spoils the babies!

We have an awesome family--I couldn't love them more.  It's great being a Borden!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"Genealogy, I am Doing It"

The 1st step to doing Genealogy is keeping a record of your own life, AKA, writing a JOURNAL.  It's really not hard, you can do it, and you should do it.  Maybe your journal is your scrapbook, or your blog, or a notebook of impressions, or a daily compilation of what you've eaten...:).  What's important, though, is that you do SOMETHING.  You never know what might be most valuable to your family at any given time--your thoughts, your feelings, your struggles, your successes, your walk with God--what may surprise you the most is the value these experiences actually have for YOU.  What?  Your personal journal can be most beneficial for personal use?  Crazy, I know.  But, there have been lessons I've learned & forgotten, testimony building experiences I needed to remember, and good times to laugh at that I've re-read in my own personal journals that have helped me at later dates.
Many years ago, President Kimball said that, "...those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives."  I have pondered this statement, and have realized that many of my faith building moments (when written down) have helped to build my faith back up again later.  Sometimes writing down experiences helps you see God's hand in your life that day.
At any rate, last month my husband took the older 2 boys on a father & son camp-out, and so I took a mini-trip also, to visit my Grandma Carlene.  We typed up a life-sketch of her mother, Ella Mae, and her father, John Leo.  Grandma can't see well enough to type anymore, so all the editing is up to me.  She tells me the stories and I type them up as she speaks.  It was fun.  We wrote up about 15 pages worth of stories.  I learned a lot.  I laughed.  I cried.  Mostly I was amazed at my ancestor's work ethic--an art that has all but died in our modern society (now I know how my mom turned into a work-a-holic, she comes from a long line of them).  I wanted to keep going & make Grandma tell me her life sketch, and Grandpa Zane's, but she said, "That's enough for today."  And then she took us out to see the shop she'd worked on, and to see Wayne's new horse.  We enjoyed some hearty chit-chats with cousins, too.  I had to laugh--I think I was wearing Grandma out a little to make her tell me so many stories (even if it was her idea).  But it's okay that we didn't finish everything.  Now I just have another excuse to go visit her again.
 Leaving to the Camp out!
(Emmett puked on the way up from car-sickness.  Poor Mitch.  I will confess it made me smirk just a smidgin' when he called me, but I'm so proud of the boys for surviving without me to clean up the mess.)

Emmett riding Clara (my cousin Wayne's horse)

Tyson riding Clara.
Miles' miserable 5 seconds on a horse.

Emmett feeding Clara

Tyson feeding Clara  (don't tell anyone it was a marshmallow peep)

 Grandma rocking on her porch as she watched us drive away.  Her face just makes me happy, and so does the fact that her feet don't touch the ground in that rocker.  She's so short.  I love her laugh, and I have grown to ADORE her mountain dialect with a little extra dose of the words "them" and "was".  I never want her to talk any other way.  It was so nice to have Grandma dote on us all weekend.  We had the best homemade meals, and pure attention from a woman I would define to be "the salt of the earth".  Someday I hope I can grow up to be more like her.

This is Why Little Boys Don't Get Invited to Girl Parties

I helped my mom host a bridal shower for Ciara.  It turned out great, and we had a lot of fun.  In case you were wondering WHY you shouldn't let your kids "help out" (even if it's at the "end" of the shower): 
1)  Miles got chocolate cake everywhere.

2)  Emmett decided to pull the pillows off the couch and jump on them.

3)  Tyson decided to bounce a volleyball down the stairs.  We were 3 for 3!  And yes, Grandma Tenney, "When you have kids, that's all you've got!"  Stop laughing at us from Heaven, okay?
(No picture was captured--sorry, I needed both my hands to stop the flying object from breaking anything.)
 My mom managed to make the most adorable OWL CAKE!  Ciara loves owls, and my mom spotted a cake book recipe that inspired the theme of the shower.

We did manage to play "Pin the Mustache on Wes"....

And CIARA won the game without even cheating!  What a cute couple.