Saturday, August 31, 2013

Say What?

I have to write these down before I forget them.

Don't ask me why, but Emmett has always HATED the sound of the bathroom fan.   The other day he came running into the room Mitch and I were in to tattle on Tyson: "He turned on the air conditioning that makes the poop and pee yummier."

My neighbor texted me this story a couple weeks ago. Tyson was catching a ride with her, and she had a bunch of extra newspapers and coupons in her vehicle.  After they picked up her oldest son, Tyson said to him, "I just have one question.  Do you use your car as a garbage can?"  Fortunately, they thought it was funny, but I was so embarrassed!

Emmett:  Mom & Dad, will you consider my plan?
Me & Mitch:  Sure, what is your plan?
Emmett:  I have a plan to use 2 scooters, 1 stroller, and 1 skateboard.
(He wanted to go on a family walk...but all I could think was, "Did you just use the word 'consider'? You're THREE!" Side note:  Mitch remembered the plan, and we put it into action yesterday after work.  I ended up jogging while Mitch rode the skateboard & pushed the stroller at the same time.  It was awesome.)

A couple weeks ago we were at a Borden family dinner, when out of the blue, my baby Miles was walking up the stairs with a sharpened, pointy pencil.  He opened his mouth to put the most dangerous part in, and all I could envision was him tripping and injuring himself in a horrible way.  As I jumped up to save him, my mother-in-law called down to my nephew Caden, to make sure not to give the baby things like that, and he said, "What?  It's better than forks."

On the first day of school, I wanted to make sure Tyson's very first all-day experience went well, and so I stuck a note in his lunch box.  He could read pretty well, but I wasn't sure if he could read, "Hi, Son!  I love and miss you so much!  I hope you are having a great first day of school.  Enjoy your lunch, and I'll see you soon!  Love, Mom"  So I kept it simple.  I knew he could read his name, so I started with that.  "Tyson, I love you. <3 Mom"  When the school day was over, I asked him if he got my note in his lunch.  He smacked his forehead with chagrin and said, "I threw it away!"  That was okay,  but I just wanted to know if he read it before he threw it away, and then he was more embarrassed.  "I thought it said, "Hey Tyson!  Here's your lunch pack!  So I ripped it off because I was hungry."  Side note:  Now he saves all of the notes I write him in the little pouch on the front of his lunch box.  He's so sweet!

This next conversation was sent to me by our babysitter, Amanda, who is no longer our babysitter because she's now gone to BYU *sniff*.  She said this was the funniest conversation she's heard from the kids.

Tyson: "You're going to be a Grandpa!"
Emmett: "No I'm not!"
Tyson: "Yes you are! And you're going to be married!"
Emmett: "No!"
Tyson: "Well, don't you want kids?"
Emmett: "I'm going to grow them myself."
Tyson: "You can't grow kids without a woman! Women are baby-making machines! Mom made you. Mom made me too. Amanda's mom made her. You've got to have a woman!"
Emmett: *slight pause for the new information to sink in* "Oh"
Tyson: "They're baby-making machines!" (I think he said it again for emphasis. And I think he liked the sound of it.)

(Last one for the night.)  This has happened more than once with Emmett.  I'll remind him to say his prayers, and he'll say something like, "I'll talk to Heavenly Father myself without any help, but not in here by you."  And then he'll walk off and if you're lucky, you'll be standing around the corner and you'll catch him talking with God like He's a person in the room:  "Hey, Heavenly Father!  I'm going to Grandma and Grandpa's, now.  I'm going to be good; I promise." Kids are so pure and sweet!  No wonder we're supposed to be more like them.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Memorable Gifts - Muy Hilariouso

I'm a little ahead of myself, because I still need to blog about how deeply in love we were with our Pogo Passes, and how darling my nephew Hudson was on his trip to see us, but such is the nature of how my journal & blog entries have ALWAYS been.  I'm not kidding.  If you were to pick up my personal journals from years past, you would find sections of EMPTY pages.  Those were the pages that I saved on purpose for when I would have time enough to write down the incredible details about events that were so impressionable to me.  Unfortunately, many of those blank pages remain empty because I have now forgotten the details.  Other times I couldn't simplify or condense all the things that were stirring in my soul, so that was another reason those pages were never filled.  I just never began the entry.  So much for my most important life experiences becoming impressionable to anyone else. :)  
Recently, my sister asked me if the fun things I did with her son were "blog-worthy".  Of course they were!  But that's my weakness.  Sometimes there are events that happen in my life that are so extremely blog/journal worthy that they become "TOO" blog worthy & in effect never actually get written down. I know. It doesn't make sense.  But there you have it:  it's my "Achilles Heel" in writing.
I really will blog about Pogo Pass adventures and HUDSTERS, though, so stay tuned.
In the mean time, you have got to see this.  Mitch turned 31 this year, and these are his 2 most hilarious & memorable gifts:
 We have Lego heads on the back of our van and since the FIRST time he saw them, Brian has called them "propane tanks".  Thanks a lot, Brian.  The symbol of our family, our definition of self, our cool little mark in the world just became a great big JOKE.  The other day I kept getting random calls with no voicemail from my brother-in-law.  I finally answered and he asked me, "Can you look at your propane tanks on the grill and tell me which side faces the hose?"  What an odd question.  I was so confused, until he showed up to bestow this most AMAZING gift to my husband.  The birthday card they gave us (written on lined paper) read, "Hey Mitch!  Here's your Lego head!  love, Caden", and "Happy Birthday, Tina", and "I told you the back of your van looked like propane tanks, Brian" 
Seriously, it was the best present ever. It was so funny!

These awesome Guinness swim shorts are also the most hilarious present ever.  Did you know that Guinness is a brand of BEER?  We didn't know that, because, well...we're Mormons.  My parents gave Mitch some new swim shorts for his birthday, and they happened to like the green & white stripes--we're not drinkers, so at least half of us (if not more) weren't even on the "Clue-bus" about the brand.  Boy, did we get a good laugh when we realized the faux pas (social blunder).  Thank goodness for gift receipts--our Bishop might stare a little funny at Mitch if he were to wear that suit to the Swimming Merit Badge activities he's been doing with the Boy Scouts.  Bahahaha!
Sometimes there's NOTHING you need more than family! 
They always know how to make you smile.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


For Tyson's GOLDEN Birthday, we decided to let him participate in Camp Zoo. 
When he was 2, he would watch Planet Earth and cry when the wildebeast would get eaten by the crocodile, and then he would bounce on the edge of the recliner and YELL, "GO, GO, GO, GO, GO!" to the caribou being chased by a wolf.  Let's not forget to mention last year's smashing success of a BUG MUSEUM.  Now days, he watches Animal Planet without fail every time he gets a chance at G'ma & G'pa Tenney's while I need to work in their office. 
This child ADORES animals.  So, we decided to let him do a Zoo Camp, and boy did he love it.  I think my favorite quote of all came when he was telling Grandma Borden about his Camp Zoo experience.  She asked him, "Do you want to be a Zoo Keeper, now?"  And without hesitation he responded, "Nooooo!  That's way too much!"  Apparently he'd much rather like to be on the Safari's catching the animals instead of taking care of them.
This was the only picture I got of Tyson while he was there.  He had exclusive access to the animals and learning with his group, so I didn't get up close pics of anything to document his experience, but boy did he learn!  He got to...
  • Feed flamingos IN THE CAGE
  • Feed the Tortoise and pet him IN THE CAGE
  • Feed the elephants IN THE CAGE
  • Throw bags of food into the monkeys
  • Throw stinky things into the Coati cage as an experiment
  • Make animal crafts
  • Meet a black widow & tarantula up close
  • Learn that the head of a spider is called a "cephalathorax"
  • Learn that the 4 types of webs are funnel, blanket, orb, and...sphere?  I'll have to ask him for sure when he's awake. :)
  • Learn about bird nests:  cavity, cup, ... and there are other kinds
  • Read books about animals like pack rats & make pack rat art
  • Have a WILD time
    While Tyson was off experiencing Camp Zoo, Emmett, Miles & I had our OWN Camp Zoo...5 days in a row!  We had a lot of time to kill waiting for Tyson, and since there were going to be 5 full days, we took the Zoo at an extremely leisurely pace.  Miles can't talk, yet, so Emmett got to choose EVERYTHING.  By the end of the week, I felt like the entire nature of my mother-son-relationship with Emmett had changed for the better.  It's like he trusted me more, he had the kind of attention he needed from he, he was less whiny, and he could reason better when I enforced rules or told him no if I needed to.  It was awesome!  It reminded me of the conference quote that LOVE is really spelt T-I-M-E, and I'm so grateful for that time we had together, because it truly did make a difference.

 Don't let this picture fool you.  He didn't actually feed the Stingrays.  He just took a picture like he was going to and then he made ME touch the dead fish with the fish eyes STILL STARING AT US as the stingrays vacuumed it out of my hands.  Yikes!  It was fun and super gross.

 Tyson's awesome tortoise craft.  It makes me giggle!  Isn't that ruby like a tongue sticking out at you? I love it!
 Miles' first experience at the Petting Zoo...maybe it was Emmett's first time, too.  :)

 That fish is so BIG!

Okay, we got Miles to look cute.
And here's a "good" one of Emmett.

No one I invited was interested in killing time with us at the Zoo, even though it was FREE for them with my extra pass, and even though there was a Splash Pad to help us stay cool, EXCEPT for Jodi.  She wasn't afraid to brave the Zoo with me in the dead of Summer on one of the days.  Haha!  Gotta love her!  (Side Note:  I should probably mention that Tina DID spend time with us, and totally went out of her way to meet us at a Harkins Theater where we could have A/C and enjoy the Summer Movie INSTEAD of staying the entire time at the Zoo waiting in the heat, which I TOTALLY appreciated.)  But essentially what I'm trying to say is that I was a little bit surprised when the reality sank in that when it's 110+ degrees outside, no one really cares if there's a Splash Pad, or if it's FREE, or if you're the "coolest" person in the world to be with, they just want to STAY OUT OF THE SUN so they won't shrivel up & die like a raisin.  :)  So for the most part, we just braved it ourselves, and Emmett got to call all the shots every day.  We survived the heat, and now we have some awesome memories, too.

Miles has opinions about taking pictures when he just wants to look at the animals.  :)
"Mommy & Me" time at our OWN Special Camp Zoo.
The Phoenix Zoo has remodeled in recent years, and now the only way to exit is THROUGH the Gift Shop.  That's a little annoying when you have 3 kids who are enamored with the gifts in the gift shop and when you have to pass by all the shiny toys EVERY DAY of Camp Zoo before you leave.  I told the boys that if they were good, and if Tyson listened for his teachers, that on the LAST day they could pick something from the gift shop.  Boy, was that final trip through the gift shop a fun adventure!  Tyson got a lantern to go with this Safari Backyard Adventure Gear that he got for his b-day, and Emmett got this pack of animals.  He wanted to take a picture of them by the Gilbert Temple.  I actually went to the Gilbert Temple that day to get pictures of the boys, but after a week of eating, sleeping, and dreaming at Camp Zoo, is it any wonder that we would have to do a photo shoot with the animals, too?  Besides, maybe it's a little symbolic of the Creation--animals pay tribute to the Creator, and have a part in His great plan, too.  We are so fortunate to have a world that is so beautiful and edifying.  I know there is a God, and everything about Science and Nature just reinforces the truths of His majesty and glory to me.  I'm so grateful for the gift of this Earth, for all the animals in it, and for the way it blesses my little family.
Yay for Camp Zoo!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Our Own River Monsters

My boys have been begging to go fishing for months.  For Father's Day Tyson wanted to get Mitch fishing poles.  For Mitch's birthday, we bought him a fishing license.  And finally, 2 months later, we had a night out with the family to catch the "River Monsters" at a local park. 

Let's just say it was AMAZING!

Quotes of the night:

Emmett:  Mom!  Smell my tackle!
Me:  No.  I don't want to smell it.
Emmett:  It smells like flowers!

Hahaha!  He was so proud of himself for tricking me after I smelled it and made a face.  I think he gets his jokester side from his FATHER.

On the way to go fishing, I was worried that someone was going to get hooked in the eyeball or something ridiculous, so we were talking about safety, and Tyson said a little family prayer before our outing:

"Heavenly Father, we just want to have a fun time.  Please help us not to get hurt, or lost, or distracted...please help this fishing trip to not turn into too much of a disaster."

Kids' prayers are the sweetest, purest, most darling things on earth.  I'm always trying not to giggle when they say things like that. 

Look at his priceless smile!  Emmett caught the first 3 inch WHOPPER!

As we were fishing, this delightful boy, Ryan, showed up and joined us.  He and Tyson are in the same class at school.  We had so much fun with him!  He didn't catch a fish, but TONS of fish stole his tackle.  I asked him if he likes being in the same 1st grade class like Tyson, and if he likes his teacher: "Yes.  She's so nice.  She's nice, like flowers!"

Tyson caught a fish, too!  LIFE WAS GRAND!
And apparently I wasn't overly successful in cutting that goofy face Emmett was making out of the picture.  Haha!

Darling kids!

Mitch caught the biggest fish of the night with a Fruit Roll Up.  Haha!  Ryan's mom gave us treats from the snack shack for hanging out with him during the evening!  What an awesome way to end the perfect night.
On the way home, Emmett said, "That was FUN times infinity, times infinity, times infinity."
After all that fun, though, Tyson IS still disappointed that we aren't taking their fish to the taxidermist to hang on the wall.  Haha!  Maybe someday we can do that, too.
What an epic evening catching our own river monsters! 
Happy Father's Day, Birthday, and end of Summer, Mitch!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hudsters, The Bonk Boy, Little Man

Husdson is my favorite nephew on the Tenney side of the family. :)  My heart was changed when I heard of his arrival.  I cried the first time I saw him & held him at the airport. And every time I see his cute little face, I just want to kiss him, and hug him!

Miles has always been enthralled with Hudsters, and we were the lucky ones to get to spend some time with him this Summer.  Mike went on the "Guys Trip" with my Dad, Mitch, Heber, etc..  Erin was the smart one--she sent her little boy for a "boys trip" of his own, and she completed a list of to-do's on her "Staycation" at home.  Here are the pics of the time we got to spend with little Hudsters while he was on his own special vacation in AZ:

 Miles & Hudson - Car seat buddies!

Grab the babies before they crawl away!

 We're so outnumbered with men in our lives.  At least they're all AWESOME! :)

 Grandma spending time with ALL of her grandkids.



Painting a Rocket ship at the Children's Museum of Phoenix


The babies are naturals!  It was their first time painting, EVER!

 It's all fun & games until someone wants to take a picture.  Can you tell what Hudson is thinking?  What about Miles?  :)

Caught red-handed!

 The Zoo!  In the dead of and AZ summer!  Whoo hoo!

 I'm sorry, Erin. I couldn't resist posting this one of Little Man.  Hahahaha!


Bears?  Who cares?  Babies just wanna NAP!
Having Hudson in town was AMAZING!  We love him so much, and hope he can feel that from us.  We hope that even though we don't see him very often, that the time he does get to spend with us will leave an impression on him, and we hope he'll remember us, even though he's little.  He's the most darling little guy, and we're so lucky to have him in the family.
Lest you think it was all easy breezy, here's the reality of what moments of the day can be like with 2 kids who are exactly the same age.  I felt like we had twins!  In this picture they were both having serious issues sharing the attention.  If one was handed a goldfish, the other would cry. It's like you have to hand each kid the SAME thing at exactly the SAME time.  And then they would try taking things away from each other, too.  Not to mention that Hudson likes to tease Miles.  He holds something over the car seat, and just when Miles goes to grab it, Hudson moves it away.  It was HILARIOUS!  My mom took this pic on her phone & texted it to Erin with a message that said, "Life is great!  Haha!"  It really did get better, though, when we made it to the Children's Museum.

We love the Bonk Boy so much!  We hope to see him again soon!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Let Freedom Ring

On the 4th of July, I woke up and my boys had already made Kool-Aid and poured it into fancy glasses to celebrate.  Yes, they drank it before breakfast, and no, they didn't get in trouble, because it's the best holiday!

Killing time in Payson.

We battled, too.  That was a work out!

Happy Birthday, Tyson!

 Cute pic!

Crew of mischeif makers at the Payson fireworks--my brother-in-law is the Head Pyro at this show, and they did an excellent job!

Yeah...he probably shouldn't have that in his mouth in case it breaks & the glowing toxins come out.

Payson fireworks--the first time I saw the show.  I was pretty impressed!

Breakfast the next day with Jason & Randa's kids. So cute!

Lunch at the Mexican Food Restaurant in Heber.

Night before the parade.

Can't forget the moment of my stark realization that I was the new, proud owner, of this amazing little green man!
Getting ready for the parade with our "Patriotic Orcs" as Jodi so correctly called them.

Birthday/Parade Buddies

 My mom put together a float honoring my grandma - one of the longest living residents of Heber Overgaard.  She & my Grandpa Zane moved there when they got married in 1949, before indoor plumbing & electricity.  They were the 15th house in the town, and boy did they help build it up over the years.  They're amazing examples of hard work, dilligence, and home-grown-American patriotic Spirit of entrepeneurs & building the American Dream.  They taught us the importance of loving God, Family, and Country!

Grandma's descendents who supported her in the parade!



Grandma was the one who told Uncle Russ to keep driving through the Soak Zone...and boy, did we ever get SOAKED!

Hey, Taylor!  If you're reading this, I want to point out the bracelet on my arm from Guatemala!  I told you that I wear the bracelet you gave me so that you can be with us there "in Spirit" to things I know you wouldn't want to miss. :) 


 When we sang Happy Birthday to Tyson, he squoze Miles' cheeks as if the baby was singing the words, too. It was hilarious, and Baby Miles didn't even squawk.


His new Ninjago Alarm Clock was a smashing success until he started to use it.  His famous words when he realized what having an alarm clock means, "Well, I really like the look of it, but sometimes I just want to sleep a little bit longer."

Exhausted from the parade. :)  It was their first time being in a parade ever!

It's a Bald Eagle, Son!  WE LOVE AMERICA!

I made Hudson & Miles matching baby blankets last year for the 4th of July, but only Hudson's was finished on time.  Thankfully, my mom brought it up the mountain for me, and I could take a picture of my baby in his 4th of July baby blanket while he's still sort of a baby.

We got RAINED OUT!  I'm talking puddles and wet blankets, and this was the boys' fort to sheild them from the rain.

Inside Joke.


Had so much fun with Tina.  She's one of my best friends!  I love my sisters in law!
My boys are probably the closest thing my nephew has to having brothers, and these 4 have an awesome time together.  Caden is frequently referred to by Tyson as his "best cousin" (like his best friend).  I like having Caden around because he's kind of like a big-brother for my boys to look up to, and they really do look up to him.  It would be so awesome if we could have more Borden cousins around town so we could have more interactions like this, but boy do I thank my lucky stars that we have had all the fun memories with our awesome nephew, Caden.  Now with a new neice in town, the in-town Borden family is growing.  We love cousins!

This year was Tyson's GOLDEN BIRTHDAY! He turned SIX on the SIXTH!!!!  If getting face painted, marching in a parade, buying stuff, and playing with cousins all day wasn't enough, I don't know what is.  But there's more:  we have "connections" with the fire-works crew, and my husband got to write Tyson's name on one of the fireworks for his golden-birthday.  We had a fun time watching the show, and wondering which one exactly it might have been that had Tyson's name on it. :)  We don't have a picture of Tyson's firework, because there were no cameras allowed in the fireworks zone during or before the show.
The flag was flown at half-mast for the poor 19 AZ firefighters who died fighting the wildfires the week of the 4th of July.
The most special part of the show was the end, when after the Finale, one, single, firework was shot in honor of my Uncle Lewis, who did so much to build community and patriotism and service to the town of Heber.  This month marks a year of his death.  We miss him, and so does the community that he lived in.  About 30 years ago, the Heber-Overgaard Fireworks show started out the the back of a pick-up truck by Uncle Lewis and his friend, Dewey, and now it's grown into a huge, community event that THOUSANDS enjoy every year.  (I took this pic from my cousin's blog--my Aunt Mary, some of her kids, and my dad got to sign the final firework--they have a picture because it was from the night before, and I'm so glad they got to have this moment.)  The show has grown becuase people like my uncle, and my dad, and my Uncle Les on my mom's side, and my Uncle Russ, and other patriots from this small town who put together their efforts to grow the show.  I remember being a kid, standing by an orange bucket, holding signs that said, "Lighten Your Pockets, and Light Up the Sky!"  We raised donations for the show every year, and then the Chamber of Commerce eventually took that part over.  It's my favorite fireworks show in the world, because it's a home-grown, patriotic celebration that makes me feel closer to God and family.  I love America so much because of the roots my ancestors have given me.  Every Sunday after the show there is the most patriotic testimony meeting you've ever experienced, and I know with all my heart that this country was founded upon principles of righteousness, and that the Constitution can only be upheld by a people willing to fight for truth and righteousness and defend their rights by standing up and being counted.  "Democracy is not a spectator sport." --Unkown   I also know with all my heart that those who came before sacrificed the things they did so that we could enjoy the freedoms we enjoy, and it would be a disservice to them to ignore that.  It's so important to remember what America was founded upon and to teach our kids the simplest of simple things:  put your hands over your heart, and take your hat off when the flag goes by.  Sing the Star-Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, and My Country Tis' of Thee.  Recite the Pledge of Allegience with pride.  Vote in every election.  Show up to PTSO meetings, or any community meeting that you can to make a difference.  And don't ever miss a 4th of July Celebration!  My dad says he thinks it's a sin to not celebrate the 4th of July--that's how much he LOVES America and the gifts he's been given.  God Bless America.  Let Freedom Ring!
I felt the Spirit so strongly at the end of the show.  It was as if my Uncle Lewis was right there with all of us--just like he used to be back in the day on the field, selling snow cones with my Aunt Mary.
The willow tree firework was his favorite, and no one knew what exactly the firework was going to look like until it went off.  I don't believe it was a coincidence that this beautiful firework was the one that went off in his honor.

He fell asleep if you can't tell.  :)  He was asleep for, like, EVER!

Miles & Cord--growing bigger every year!  They're 1 week apart.  Elizabeth & I had the same due date last year, and now look at our chunky, big-boys!  Don't you love the "God Bless America" sign?  My Uncle Les is the head pyro in Heber, and he also owns the LARGEST American flag that I've ever seen, and it waves above his house every day.



 Other crazy photos:  Courtesy of Ryan Asistan