Thursday, November 28, 2013

Oh, no! A Reason to be Thankful for BEARDS!

Just a few days ago I got all riled up about Beards & Parades, and wrote this post and actually SENT THE POST to the Mayor and his Council.  By the end of the day I had a person email from the Mayor of Gilbert himself, and within 24 hours I had reponses from 3 of the council members.  Goodness gracious, I must be a Tenney - we're ALWAYS riled up about politics, like this post about the shutdown - you name it, we can have an opinion on it.  Sometimes that's a good thing, like when you feel like you're friends with the Mayor.  Would you believe that he said that he appreciated my thoughts on the matter? :)  That's why he's a fabulous Mayor, because he CARES about the little guys.  He explained that all 7 of the bands pulled out and so did several vendors, and so it was a tough decision, but they were talking about rescheduling it for December 7th.  He finished his email to me with the following statement:
"For now, I am off to the Rodeo. Gilbert Days lives on (or at least part of it).
Mayor Lewis"
That truly made me smile!
So that resolved the internal conflicts I had about my hometown's cancelled parade and it calmed my outrage, but I still held firm to my No-Kiss-November stance on Beards.  YUCK!  UNTIL this morning!  Never in my life would I have thought I'd be grateful for beards, but Thanksgiving has a way of changing your heart.
This morning, I woke up sad.  No one wants to be sad on Thanksgiving, and even though I have a valid reason to be sad, I also know I have many valid reasons to focus on happiness, but it's a mind game to fight your way through a sadness struggle, because sometimes it really is okay just to be sad about something.  So I was brushing my teeth, and having this mind struggle when my husband walks in.  I didn't even notice until after I kissed him that this is what he looked like:

Have some close ups - in case you can't tell, Mitch will explain to you:
"I  shaved everything but the mustache, soul patch, and mutton chops."

I laughed so hard - I'm embarrassed that I had such a staunch stance against beards just a week ago, and now I actually have a reason to be grateful -they make me LAUGH!
Here are my other reasons to be grateful today.

Miles is so cute licking the spoons while we're cooking in the kitchen. I LOVE HIS FACE!

 Emmett has finally decided that he wants his hair fixed some days...the only catch is that HE HAS TO BE THE ONE TO CHOOSE THE STYLE. :)  He's so cute  AWESOME!

He also makes me laugh with his tough guy faces. :) 
He actually told me to take a picture of this one this week. :)

The other day the kids wanted to do a Polar Bear swim BEFORE Tyson went to school.  It was freezing, and Tyson jumped all the way in.  Fun times.
I am so happy to have my crazy hubby, and our 3 beautiful children. 
What a beautiful day to be THANKFUL!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cancel Beards, NOT Parades!

This is what our family looked like today at 8:40am on the way to the Gilbert Days Parade.
This is what our family looked like at 8:55am when we saw the Gilbert Days Parade was cancelled due to rain.  LAME!!!!!!!!

Remember this post from yesterday?  Principal Roth stayed true to his commitments rain or shine.  What's the deal, Gilbert?  I don't want to rag on the Mayor, but whoever cancelled the celebration should feel major chagrin right now, especially because there hasn't been a rain drop in sight - even at 9 am when the parade was supposed to have started, there WAS NO RAIN!  In 20 minutes from now, it was going to be over - there are currently partly cloudy skies and we are PEEVED that there is no parade due to non-existent rain. 
Different subject:  Even though Mitchell looks handsome with or without a beard, it's going to be gone soon, because No-Shave-November is turning into No-Kiss-November (I stole that phrase from my cousin Nicole).  I do not like kissing beards.
Here's hoping the day gets better.

Friday, November 22, 2013

What Does Reading for 390,000+ Minutes Get You?

Principal Roth is the best principal ever.  He knows how to motivate kids because deep down inside he is still a KID himself!  He drives a cool car, he wears funny costumes, and he makes crazy challenges.  We had a 2 week read-a-thon, where the kids collected pledges for every minute they read.  They were given a Silver, Gold, and Platinum Goal.  A Silver Goal merited a dog tag necklace.  A Gold Goal merited a ticket for a Nook drawing.  And the Platinum Goal gave a second ticket for the grade level drawings.  On top of that, Principal Roth promised with the following statement:  "I'm not monkeying around.  If the school reads 390,000 minutes collectively, on November 22nd, I will sit in a tree wearing a monkey suit from 8:30am to 4:30pm."  The read-a-thon ended last week Friday, and the teachers have been stringing the kids along ALL WEEK saying things like, "We're still counting the minutes," or "If you see him in the tree you'll know you made the goal."  Much to our delight, this is what we found this morning!!!!

The kids were cracking up.  We brought bananas with us to feed to the principal because we just KNEW he HAD to be in that tree (RAIN OR SHINE)!  We read so much that we got sick of reading.  My little 6 year old read 852 minutes alone (that's an average of an hour a day), so he definitely did his fair share.  He kept saying last week, "We gotta get him up in that tree!"

In case you can't read with the angle, the sign says,
"Honk if you like reading!  I lost the bet!  My students read 445,050 minutes!"

Oops!  Too late! 
Those 3 bananas on the branch above the sign were the ones we gave him, HAHA!

We got to listen to him as he spoke to the news reporters.

My other kids loved seeing Principal Roth in a monkey suit, and they were excited to see Roco the Roadrunner, too.  (Miles was so enthralled, he wouldn't look away for even a second, haha!)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Nature Loving Boy

A couple days ago, Tyson was saying his prayers before school.  Side note:  I think families should say prayers & eat meals together EVERY DAY, because most of our favorite family memories have happened from conversations or moments during meal time and during prayer time. At any rate....  During his prayer I heard him say, "...And thank you for making nature and everything in it so that I don't have to be bored trying to make up something to be interested in."
That darling little sentence of gratitude reminded me of this amazing moment last month, when we were on a walk in the morning.  I was trying to cram in some excersize before school, and we swung past my Aunt Karla's house to get a drink of water.  Tyson was exploring her yard and exclaimed to me, "Look! How beautiful!" I totally expected to see him holding a flower or something that I thought was lovely to behold, but when I got next to him he smiled and said, "It's a rotten lemon with bugs in it!"  This innocent little boy was NOT being sarcastic.  He honest to goodness thought it was beautiful.  As I watched the little insects scurry away on the rine, I told him I was glad he found nature to be beautiful, and we went on with our day, but that breif moment has left an impact on my heart.  I made a post similar to this on facebook, and my friend Sherri texted me and made me cry, because she told me I was a good mom.  How ironic to me that just a few years ago I could have cried out of the fear of bugs, and now that I'm the mother to 3 little boys, I find myself crying because of the way bugs have changed my life. :)  Never before would I have ever really cared about any bugs besides ladybugs & butterflies, but now this little boy of mine finds beauty in the blessings of nature and thanks God for it.  Because he loves it, I find myself taking time to see the beauty in it, too.  If you think about it, it truly is a miracle that there are little bugs to decompose rotting fruit to help fertilize the ground, that feeds the trees, and the trees make oxygen and are beautiful to behold.  Everything about this earth is a miracle if we'll just take time to see it.
I love this little boy so much, and I love the way our family appreciates nature more because of him.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Hodge Podge

This year is screaming by so fast!  In just the past couple of weeks we've had some fun moments:

Tyson had a school assignment to make a "FAMILY Turkey" & have us all participate.  Mitch added the DeWalt feathers, I added the stickers with help from Emmett.  The kids helped glue on macaroni & find wrappers from Halloween candy, and the purple sparkly bow ties were left overs from a Frankenstein craft. :)  I think our Borden Family Turkey turned out great!

Emmett & Miles spend a lot of time together when Tyson is gone to school.  I love watching their relationship develop.  My heart melted when I found them sitting outside together & sharing a popcorn ball.  So cute!  (Nov. 8th)

Rockstar day at school.  Cameron tends to only do Spirit Days with us when there is a camera around, but at least he plays along for a little bit.  Haha!

I got to go to the Friday night part of Time Out for Women with Tina, Myrna, & their cute neighbor, Rebecca.  We had an awesome night.  We ate Chick-fil-a, got lost in the convention center with hundreds of other lost & wandering women, finally got in, sat with aunts & cousins, listened to awesome music & inspiring talks, and generally had a great time!  That was my first one & I loved it, so thanks for the ride!

Our awesome neighbors invited us to go fishing.  They are fishing pros, and fortunately let us roll in some fish with their magic fish catching fishing poles...NONE of ours caught anything...I think we're doing something wrong!

For family night on Veteran's Day, we went to Jump Street with Nick, Ashley, & Aleen.  She's so cute!  And funny enough, this picture gives me hope that someday a baby girl will fit in with my's not so hard to imagine that it could work out when such a darling little neice is sitting with my boys!

Babies' first bouncy house slide:

Nick took Aleen down the slide.  She didn't squawk, or laugh, or make a peep.  She just looked up at Nick when it was over.  It's the most darling thing!

Mitch & Miles enjoyed the ride, too. :)

We hadn't gone shopping for a while, and I told Mitch to stock up on canned veggies.  My kids were so excited, not just to have more food, but to PLAY with the cans!  I was thoroughly entertained that they were so entertained!  Miles put them in a row.

Emmett spent a lot of time building new set ups to stand on (yes we let him pick out his own PJ's for the night, haha!) 

They built towers.

Who needs toys when you have canned food?
Life is so good!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Things I Miss

I really miss blogging.

Remember that super-awesome-lucky week we had winning tools?  We had the bad luck to match it the following week: getting sick, dentist trip, served photo-radar ticket, broken brakes & more on the work truck, my son's abscessed tooth didn't go away with the anti-biotic, so it looks like it's going to need to be pulled early since it's a dying tooth from a slide injury a couple years back...and there's one more thing that happened...what was it?  OH, YEAH!  My computer got a virus, so I can't blog at will (especially since I don't have Internet access on my phone).  Seriously this list is so comical to me!  And then to top it off, Mitch didn't get his tools delivered, yet, because in the contract, he could only choose tools from the list they provided, and some of his choices were offered at Home Depot but were not on "THE LIST" we're not complaining at all.  He's been really excited to get his tools and thought he'd have them by now, but on the bright side, they'll probably show up for Christmas, and then we won't have to worry about getting him gifts. (TOTALLY KIDDING HONEY!)

If any of these things had happened on their own, we would have just paid to get it all fixed, and moved on with our lives.  But since it all happened at once, we had to prioritize.  So, we fixed the work truck, got anti-biotics for the sick kids, and I visited the dentist to avoid 2 root canals for my lovely teeth.  Very soon, my computer will be repaired and my son's tooth will be pulled, and the ticket will get paid by the due date.  So, all is fine and dandy, it's just HILARIOUS that when it rains it pours!  There must be "opposition" in all things.

In the mean time, I have missed blogging.  It's a nice outlet to be able to express myself.  Sometimes I feel like I leave a little mark on the world.  Sometimes I feel like I have camaraderie by comments left or by what people tell me in person about a post I wrote.  Sometimes I have a love/hate relationship with the Digital Age, because people don't understand what you mean because they can't hear the tone of your voice, and sometimes it feels so sterile because the people you used to be the closest to lost their desire to talk on the phone anymore and hardly ever text, and then you find that even with all the drawbacks of the Digital Age, you have become closer to other people that you would have never met, had it not been for the positive blessings that come from social media connections.  Even with the new found friendships I have gained, I still truly miss the relationships I used to have with close friends, because the Digital Age has drawn us apart. Sometimes when I blog, I feel like no one really listens, or cares, but it's still beneficial for me.  All the time that I blog, I love remembering how my kids and husband enrich and bless my life. 

Before this myriad of problems deluged our week, I thought my life was over because I was sick with a fever.  I had Mitchell give me a blessing as I was stressing out about many things to come...namely how we're going to afford the Unaffordable Care Act imposed upon us by prices so sky high it WILL change the course of our family life, and may possibly dramatically affect my ability to spend quality time with my kids as a stay-at-home mom.  And amid the peace of the priesthood blessing that I received I was told, "The problems won't stop coming, but don't let it change who you are."
At first that wasn't what I expected or necessarily wanted to hear as I petitioned our Father in Heaven, but in the coming days I was so grateful that I had that "warning" of sorts, so that I could just laugh it off when I saw the computer virus.  And I didn't freak out when I heard Mitch saying, "'s not just the brakes that need to be fixed."  I found that I could actually smile and say "thank you" to the nice, semi-chubby, short, and nervous man wearing a blue button up dress shirt as he delivered the photo-radar ticket from AUGUST...had it been delivered ONE day later, it would have been invalid.  And I was glad that I was only paying hundreds to the dentist and not thousands. 

We live in a scary day and age.  America is not what it used to be.  This change that has come is taking away the hope of the American Dream as we knew it, but we are Patriots.  We will get through.  We will continue to fight for our freedoms, and while these burdens are placed on our backs, until they are taken away, I know that the Lord will increase our ability to withstand.  The problems aren't going to go away, but it's not going to change who I am.  I am alive in the Lord.  I have faith in the Lord.  I love my kids.  I love my husband.  I will bear these burdens gladly, and remember that it could be MUCH worse - we need to pray for others who are worse off, like the victims of the Typhoon in the Philippines - they're having harder problems than the rest of us in the States.

And in the mean time, I can be grateful to vent it all out since my parents still have Internet access at their house...while I'm waiting to get that problem solved at my own.  Thanks Mom & Dad for letting me blog at your house.  :)

Even though I got to blog today.  I still miss it.

Hopefully I'll be back soon. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

And I thought I was being a good parent...

This is what happens after you make your son join the Running Club.  Nuff said.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tricks, Treats, & Tools - a DeWALT Style Halloween

Remember this post: "A Beautiful Heartbreak"?  Everything about that fateful day in the 2012 DEWALT Contractor Challenge was exciting but simultaneously heartbreaking.
Our family is pleased to announce, however, that after almost 2 years, and a total of 5 competitions, we have a GRAND PRIZE WINNER!!!!
Mitchell's story went down a little differently this time.  First of all, he entered the challenge sitting pretty with the fastest qualifying time of any of the participants: 9.04 seconds.  For this go-around, he didn't have to sweat bullets trying to beat out anyone else while he was under pressure. 
 He still had a "Support Team" (a little smaller than last time, because Taylor is on a mission, his mom was volunteering at a school to boost literacy, my dad couldn't handle the pressure--he's really competitive & gets worked up easily even as a "fan", my mom was holding down the fort running the business, and Tyson was in school).  So basically, our support team was smaller than before, but we were still the ONLY support team that existed at the competition, because OUR FINALIST IS THE BEST!!!! 
Remember that "Baby Bee" from last time?  Uh...yeah, he's grown into the little blue monster.  Essentially, our crew had the most fun cheering on Mitch because we got to go in costume for our DEWALT Style Halloween! :)
All the way to the challenge, I kept asking Mitch, "Are you nervous?"
He was fine, but eventually I started to get nervous, because I was thinking about being nervous.
Finally when we pulled into the parking lot, he started to get jittery.
THEN we watched his competition trickle in one by one.
Everyone was nice.  Some of them hung back and were quiet.  Some of them talked a lot of smack.  Some of the guys were really loud, but only one of the guys made us nervous--and that was the 2nd place qualifier. 
We listened to the rules once again:  Start the timer with your drill hand, pick up the driver, drill in 5 screws flush or deeper (screws that aren't flush don't count), set down the driver, stop the time.
  • The first guy to go had a whopping & sloppy 15 seconds.
  • The next guy put down the screws in 17 sec.
  • On the third, I realized they were all tending to have their 1st flush screw at 3 seconds - and that was way too slow.
  • One guy didn't even finish.
  • And then came Mr. Second Place, who drove his 1st screw into the board after 1 second.  WE WERE NERVOUS, but the worry only lasted for 11 seconds!!!  The timer was stopped with a smile and he was the first to congratulate Mitch - shaking his hand like a good sport!
AND THE CROWD CHEERED!!!!!  (Well, actually it was only me cheering.  Mitchell was almost hyperventilating as it sunk in that he was the winner & the boys weren't old enough to really be watching the clock and feeling the suspense.  But it was awesome!!!)
Mitch was given the chance to try again just for kicks, even though he already won because no one else beat his qualifying time.  He started the clock, picked up the screws, and laughed after he drilled in only 2.  He stopped midway with arms of jello as the tension & pressure released throughout his whole body, "I can't do this - my nerves!!!  I can't even move!  I can't believe I won!"
Here's Mitch perusing the list of tools he could choose from - that part felt longer for me than it did for him, because he was LIVING THE DEWALT DREAM, while I entertained the children with candy.

Nick (the DEWALT guy), Emmett, Mitch, Miles, Debra Jo

Nick, Zach, Mitch
I wanted to take a picture of Mitch with some of his best DEWALT friends. :)  The only one missing was Michael - he's encouraged Mitch all along throughout the last 2 years, but is now in charge of representing DEWALT at the Lowe's competitions, and we were in the Home Depot DEWALT challenge.  Honestly, though, we love the DEWALT representatives - they all demonstrate the best customer service in a genuine way.  I would buy a DEWALT tool any day over any other leading brand.  Not only are their quality products "Guaranteed Tough", but they have demonstrated time and time again that THEY CARE about their customers.  We'll always recommend their products - look for the black & yellow!
Before you get jealous that you didn't win a pallet of DEWALT tools, know that they do these competitions year round at a Home Depot near you. You can enter one, too (if you're a stud-muffin like Mitch).  Also, remember that he has been working at this for almost 2 years...he "practices" every time he sees the drill set up in the store as he walks by.  Anyone who has followed this story and knows the good man Mitch is and the way he works hard at everything he does, feels that he has worked hard for and deserved a triumphant day like this.  We should all learn from his example that you'll never know what your possibilities can be if you never try.