Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Scared to death

I love watching CSI shows, but starring in one is not on my top priority list. Last night, or should I say early this morning I had the most horrifying experience.  I was asleep in bed when my five year old, Ariana, came and got into bed with me.  She told me that she had a scary dream and I told her that she was safe and that God’s protecting angels were round about us.  We just started to doze off when I heard a loud bang.  It sounded as though someone or something had hit our house.  I sat up and again heard the noise.  This time it seemed somewhat more recognizable like gunshot.  My dogs were barking like crazy.  I got out of my bed to make sure that the house was securely locked and found that I had missed the back door.  As I was looking out the glass door into my backyard I saw a flash of light and smoke disappear into the air directly in front of me above the toddler slide just opposite of the picnic table in my backyard.  My whole body was quaking with fear.  Who was shooting at my house and why?  I quickly went to the phone and couldn’t make it work.  Where was my cell phone?  I couldn’t think, all I could do was pray for my safety and the safety of my children and that my phone would work so I could call for help.  Again I tried to use my phone and this time I was able to call 911.  It seemed like it was forever before the police came to my door even though I was on the phone the whole time with the 911 operator.  While I was waiting I heard two more bangs.  I could see the police patrolling the neighborhood.  Finally after they had finished investigating one officer came to my door.  I let him in and took him to the backyard where I had seen and heard the noises.  He discovered exploded plastic bottles and debris right where I had described.  He relayed to me that it appeared to be dry-ice bombs.  I have never heard of such a thing.   Two other officers joined him.  And just like they do in CSI one officer put on plastic gloves and collected the evidence and put it in a bag. They informed me that a few weeks ago there was an incident at a Walgreen’s involving dry-ice bombs and a lady was injured and hospitalized.  Lucky for us we were only scared to death and not injured or sustained any damage to my home.  I suppose my home is an easy target but nevertheless it was a bit unnerving and now I will make sure I never miss a lock or window before going to bed.  And perhaps I should cut down on the CSI shows they don’t help with my run away imagination in times of fear.  Sleep would have totally evaded me if it weren’t for the power of prayer.  How grateful I am for the blessing of being able to communicate with our Father in Heaven and feel of his comforting arms.   I also pray for justice and that the culprits are caught and that their days of vandalism and terror are brought to an end.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lemons? How about poop?

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

Well, what do you do when life hands you a big heaping pile of poop?


I told a friend that I felt like I just got handed a big bowl of poop and she says now make something with it.  I thought for a minute what can you do with poop?  Well, I thought you can plant flowers.  So that’s what I said, “I’ll plant flowers.”  I have thought about that comment for some time now.  And you know we can do one of two things we can make something with what we have been dealt or we can sit there and it let stink up our lives.  I have encountered some very challenging circumstances in my life currently.  None that I truly imagined I would have to deal with, feared perhaps maybe, but never truly believed I would actually be going through it.  It has been difficult dealing with the stench but I have been pressing forward planting tiny seeds.  I have hope that from this experience I will be rewarded with a beautiful bouquet.  I know I have a lot of work ahead me but it is my faith that pushes me on.  I am so grateful for the gospel in my life and the lessons we are taught.  There are many scriptures that come to mind about cultivating seeds to grow but the scripture that stands out is found in Moroni that relates to faith and how we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith.  Now it is hard to have faith that something good could come from a pile of poop but if we exercise that faith and plant a seed and cultivate it will grow into a beautiful flower.  As we see that growth we receive a witness of our faith and it becomes knowledge.  I know the Lord is my strength and is carrying me through this trial.  I am so grateful for all those who have heeded promptings to stop by and offer a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on or have made a phone call to check on me. I love the Lord and know I am not alone and it is through the errand of angels he meets the needs of his children. 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2008

"For crying out loud"

Okay, so this is what you do when you have a lot of crying going on in your house and you feel like following suit. First you make the announcement there will be no more crying because this is not a crying party. Second, you announce that we are having a dancing party and then turn on some dance tunes and dance, dance, dance. Smiles are bound to emerge. Then you look in the fridge and find some week old pudding left over from FHE and put the kids at the table for edible art. Let them go to town painting their pudding masterpieces and then feed them. After all the mess making is complete clean up the transformed bunch and put them to bed for a nap or if they don’t nap put on a movie for some quiet time. Oh the peace of quiet!!!

Pity Party, wanna come?

So often I feel that life is one giant competition and I am always on the losing team. The comparison game is the worst, ‘cause I can always find someone who does it better. Today I am just feeling defeated. However in sitting here writing this I am reminded of the poem, The Race, and can hear the words “get up and win the race”. I love that poem and thought I would share it and perhaps in reading it, will find the resolve to stop throwing myself a pity party.


by Dee Groberg

“Quit! Give Up! You’re beaten”
They shout at me and plead
“There’s just too much against you now
This time you can’t succeed”

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failure’s face
My downward fall is broken
By the memory of a race

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene:
For just the memory of that short race
Rejuvenates my being


A children’s race - young boys, young men
How I remember well.
Excitement, sure! But also fear:
It wasn’t hard to tell.

They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win that race
Or tie for first, or if not that,
At least take second place.

And fathers watched from off the side
Each cheering for his son
And each boy hoped to show his dad
That he would be the one

The whistle blew and off they went
Young hearts and hopes afire
To win and be the hero there
Was each young boy’s desire

And one boy in particular
Whose dad was in the crowd
Was running in the lead and thought
“My dad will be so proud!”

But as they speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip
The little boy who thought to win
Lost his step and slipped

Trying hard to catch himself
His hands flew out to brace
And mid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face

So down he fell and with him hope
He couldn’t win it now -
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished
To disappear somehow

But as he fell his dad stood up
And showed his anxious face
Which to the boy so clearly said:
“Get up and win the race”

He quickly rose, no damage done
- Behind a bit that’s all -
And ran with all his mind and might
To make up for his fall

So anxious to restore himself
- To catch up and to win -
His mind went faster than his legs:
He slipped and fell again!

He wished that he had quit before
With only one disgrace
“I’m hopeless as a runner now;
I shouldn’t try to race.”

But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his father’s face;
That steady look which said again
“Get up and win the race!”

So up he jumped to try again
- Ten yards behind the last -
“If I’m going to win those yards,” he thought
“I’ve got to move real fast.”

Exerting everything he had
He regained eight or ten,
But trying hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again!

Defeat! He lied there silently
- A tear dropped from his eye -
“There’s no sense running anymore;
Three strikes: I’m out! Why try!”

The will to rise had disappeared
All hope had fled away
So far behind, so error prone;
A loser all the way

“I’ve lost, so what’s the use,” he thought
“I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad
Who soon he’d have to face

“Get up” an echo sounded low.
“Get up and take your place;
You were not meant for failure here.
Get up and win the race.”

“With borrowed will get up,” it said
“You haven’t lost at all
For winning is no more than this:
To rise each time you fall”

So up he rose to run once more
And with a new commit
He resolved that win or lose
At least he wouldn’t quit

So far behind the others now
- the most he’d ever been -
Still he gave it all he had
And ran as though to win

Three times he’d fallen, stumbling;
Three times he rose again,
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end

They cheered the winning runner
As he crossed the line first place
Head high, and proud, and happy;
No falling, no disgrace

But when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line last place,
The crowd gave him the greatest cheer,
For finishing the race

And even though he came in last
With head bowed low, unproud
You would have thought he’d won the race
To listen to the crowd

And to his dad he sadly said,
“I didn’t do too well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said
“You rose each time you fell.”


And now when things seem dark and hard
And difficult to face
The memory of that little boy
Helps me in my race

For all of life is like that race
With ups and downs and all
And all you have to do to win
Is rise each time you fall

“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!”
They all shout in my face
But another voice within me says;

Sunday, November 16, 2008


My cousin Shannon tagged me with this one

4 Things I was doing 10 years ago
1. Being an “in love” Newly Wed
2. Attending college
3. Working full time
4. Making plans to purchase our first home within a year of being married

4 Things on my list to do today
1. Help my kids write in their journals
2. Get caught up on my laundry—it never ends!
3. Make dinner
4. Plan my week

4 Things I love about my husband
1. His willingness to work hard
2. How supportive he was during each of my labor and deliveries-I went natural for all of them
3. His clean shaven face—this is my attempt to get him to shave his goatee
4. That he is Mr. Fix It

4 Jobs I've had
1. Operated my own preschool out of my home
2. Unofficial Assistant Billing Manager for Native Air (Air Ambulance Co.)
3. Janitor Supervisor @the MTC in Provo (college job)
4. Morning Food Service @the MTC (college job-- I don’t remember the title)

4 Movies I've Seen more than once
1. Ummm….way too many Disney movies--when you have kids once is not enough
2. Grease
3. Pursuit of Happyness
4. Lord of the Rings

4 Places I've Lived
1. Las Vegas, NV
2. Terrell, TX (it is near Dallas-‘cause I know there aren’t many out there who know where this is)
3. Provo, UT
4. Several cities in the California Arcadia Mission, La Canada was my favorite

4 Places I've Been
1. Hershey & Gettysburg, PA
2. Orlando, FL
3. San Diego, CA
4. Hawaii

4 Places I want to visit
1. Niagara Falls
2. The Sacred Grove
3. Any amazing beach resort in Mexico
4. A European tour

4 TV shows I watch
2. Lost
3. Heroes
4. Pushing Daisies

4 Things you may not know about me
1. I served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
2. I was my high school Mascot as well as a cheerleader
3. I once got to fly a plane… well sort of; it was more like holding it on the horizon
4. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 21, who does that?

4 People to be tagged for this game.
1. Tammi
2. Melissa
3. Stephanie
4. Shaelene

Friday, November 14, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words

I got tagged to pick the 4th picture in the fourth file of my pictures library. This is what I came up with.

This was taken at my grandparents home, in Las Vegas, close to four years ago. We went down to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Looking at this picture brought back a lot of memories. And I couldn't just post that picture of my family without posting my grandparents' picture as well. So here it is

the reason we traveled to Vegas. I love these people! They truly are an example to me of what love should look like after fifty years of marriage. I love to watch them interact.

I tag Alicia, Anne, Shannon, Tracy, and anyone else that is intrigued by this invitation. Thanks Allison it was fun looking to see what picture I would come up with and getting to take a stroll down memory lane.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The insanity of mornings

As if mornings aren't crazy enough let's add a little comic relief to the mix. It was one of the mornings when I hit the snooze button at least three times, but shouldn't have because of all the things I needed to get done. Well, that's how the day started with me being tired and running around trying to make up lost time. I was expecting company so not only did I want to have my house clean but I had the usual morning rush of getting the kids off to school as well as cleaning up a kitchen that was a mess from the night before (which I am just sure no one else is guilty of). So there I am loading my dishwasher like a mad woman, fixing children's hair in between, reminding children to hurry and eat and brush their teeth (so they can get to the bus on time) and getting the children I babysit settled when I knock over a glass and it shatters all over the floor. This was just not the opportune time for such an accident. I didn't have time for this. So this was my thought process, "just finish loading the dishwasher and start it, then get the kids off to school and contain the other children at the table, then clean up the glass." Sounds like a good plan, right? Well, it would have worked except that when the door bell rang from one my daycare kids I took off my rubber gloves and laid them on my gas stove. Rushing back to put my thoughtfully laid out plan into action. I stepped on a piece of glass, lost my balance and fell hitting the stove with my hand and turning on the burner which then immediately set my rubber gloves on fire. So I had to put out the fire and then remove the glass from my foot and send the kids off to the bus. What a morning and oh the aroma of burnt rubber, it just filled the air. So here's to crazy mornings and finding the humor (after the fact, of course!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Opportunities for learning all around us

We will live in a fairly rural area I would say. Quite often there is a rodeo going on just down the road from us and right across the street from the subdivision we live in there are crops growing year round. Right now cotton is being harvested. We have taken advantage of learning about how cotton grows, what it looks like, to even checking out the great big bails of cotton.

Finally after living here for over three years I stopped by the rodeo on the way home from Daniel's T-ball game and we watched some team calf roping.
However, the highlight for the kids was to pet some horses and feed them some hay.

There are so many opportunities to learn and marvel at all this world, God created, has to offer us. We just have to take the time to take advantage of them, which I am guilty of not doing enough. Life through a child's eyes is so much more fulfilling because of the pleasure and wonderment they get out of simple things.

Fall Activities

This fall I only have two in sports. Carissa is playing soccer with her friend Bailee and Daniel is playing T-ball with his friend Trent. In the Spring I am going to have to let the other two do something. I figured with not being able to rely on Keith to help get kids places (being so busy with work and school) I had better not over schedule myself. Although I do have 3 of the four learning how to play the piano. We have a morning routine with each of them getting in a 1/2 hour practice. Which I might add is not always done pleasantly, but is getting done. My kids really enjoy school. Ariana was especially excited to go to kindergarten. Just recently all three got awards this first quarter and were so pleased that Keith was able to make it to the assembly to see them get their awards. We are so proud of them!

Halloween Pics

Before it gets too far away I am going to post the kids' Halloween pictures. Trick-or-treating was a highly anticipated event. However Austin fell asleep (like he did last year) and I had to wake him up as Keith had to work that night so I could take my other children. Austin was not very happy about it. Putting on the costume took quite an effort and there was no way he was walking. In fact the whole trek he sat in his stroller, even while at the door gathering treats. We did manage to get some "trick-or-treat"s out of him and "thank you".
Carissa dressed up as a veterinarian

Daniel was a mummy ( as if you couldn't tell)
Ariana, the cheerleader
And Austin the irritable ol' pirate
I do have to tell a cute story about Austin. Originally Daniel wanted to be a pirate so Austin wanted to be a pirate too. Well, Daniel decided later he wanted to be a mummy. Needing to pinch pennies I thought I could put the costume together with a torn up sheet. So a couple of days before we did a trial dress up to see if I could make it work. As I was wrapping Daniel up and the other children were oohing and awing about Daniel being a mummy. Austin then announces he wants to be a daddy for halloween. The kids say to him "you mean a daddy mummy" and he says "no, I want to be a daddy." So I say "well lets wrap you up like a daddy." I no sooner get started than he says, "Take it off, take it off!" I unwrap him as he is helping to get out as fast as he can. I then ask him if he wants to be a pirate instead and he says "no, I just want to be a kid" and runs away.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Explaining difficult things

Isn't it a sad world we live in when we have to explain to our children about homosexuality and abortions. It makes me so grateful to have the church in my life and that I know about Christ's teachings and the purpose of life and families. Tonight I overheard my children having a conversation about how Barack Obama thinks it's okay for girls to marry girls and boys to marry boys. Then I heard one of them say that it is because girls marry girls that babies are killed in the mommy's tummy. I had to correct their ideas and explain things that I never imagined having to teach to my children especially being so young. We talked about how Heavenly Father wants babies to grow up with mommies and daddies and how life is special and every baby deserves a chance to get a body and have a family. We also talked about how it is important to vote for good leaders, who believe the same as us about right and wrong. I am glad that my children feel they can talk to me and ask questions but it also makes me sad that I have teach my children about such things. I can see now, more than ever why it is important to have Family Home Evening and build good relationships with your children. The family is truly under attack and it is up to us to strengthen our families individually and teach our children the importance and sanctity of families. I am so grateful for living prophets who teach about the importance of families and how to strengthen them. How blessed I feel to have such knowledge in times like these.

It's November already?

I can't believe how fast October flew by. There is much to say and so little time. So I'll just share a little bit at a time. My precious angels don't afford me much alone time for posting without some sort of disaster lurking or a fight on the horizon. Although, I have come up with a pretty effective solution to fighting in our household. I told my children I did not like the sound of fighting and bickering or whining so if they found it necessary they were going to have to sing because I only wanted to hear pleasant sounds. This is now the Mair House Musical. (I am forever making up songs to my kids about all kinds of silly things especially in the morning when I wake them up, so they are used to hearing singing in our house on a daily basis). So now when I hear them fighting, I say, "Wait, stop, I need to hear singing. Now, go!" Which is then followed by silence and a lot of smiling. I try to help them out by giving them an example of what I want to hear, by singing to them whatever they were fighting about for instance, "I want the lego, give me the lego." Not one of them has sang yet. I told them that if the fighting was so important then they could sing about it, I guess none of their fights have ranked high in importance. As I said is has been pretty effective because the fighting immediately stops.

Now on to the recap for October. Austin turned three on the 2nd, which was celebrated with the immediate family. He absolutely loves Lightning McQueen. And had to have a Lighting McQueen birthday cake. Be it known, I do not have any cake decorating skills or training so this was quite a feat for me. In the process I learned you cannot make red icing with liquid food coloring. You have to use paste which I did not have. This knowledge came after several attempts with food coloring and a phone call to McCormick. So Lighting Mcqueen was dark pink with lots of red sprinkles. At least my little boy was able to recognize him when I was finished. We, then had a Cars birthday party the following Saturday. Including my kids and cousins we had 21 little ones running around. We started out by making a license plate to wear and then divided up into groups to play a few games. We played musical cars, pin the winner on the race track, tractor tipping (bowling with tractor pics taped to the bowling pins), and red light/green light (which did not fair so well, the little guys would run even when I held up the red light and said red light-- oh well, what can you expect of two and three year olds) and finished off with the piston cup race. We then took a pit stop and had some tires (cupcakes) and motor oil (root beer) or gasoline (apple juice). It was a good time.
A continuation of the recap for the month gone by, to come later.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A failed promise with a resolve to keep moving forward

So I didn't keep my goal to post on Sunday as planned, but I did help my kids write in their journals. I have been trying to get in the habit of helping my kids learn to keep a journal (at least a weekly one.) This has been our Sunday activity for the last month. I am hoping that it will be a lasting activity. So often I have all these grandiose ideas that end up falling by the wayside or never get implemented. However, I am trying to simplify and enact or at least follow through on some of these grand ambitions in perhaps a not so grand fashion. My sister, Linett, once told me (while we were in college together) that it was far better to do something simply than to have great intentions that never get done. So here is my simple post.
I took my son, Austin, and the two children I babysit to the library for story time. Today they got to dress up, so we had a pirate, a fairy princess, and a witch. They listened to a Halloween story, sang a song about a spider, made a paper jack-o-lantern and finally paraded in their costume to trick or treat for some stickers.
Of course, we didn't make it back to the car with all of the costumes intact, that would be too much to expect from a three year old. Needless to say our pirate will not have his eye patch for Halloween. Although it was very unlikely that he would have worn it anyway.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's been a while

Well, it's been a little while since I last posted and this Sunday I am going to give the low down on the Mairs. I thought I would just take a minute and get into the fall spirit and revamp my blogs look. To be honest I've been down in the dumps and and am now pulling myself out and getting things organized and setting small goals. So posting this Sunday is one of my goals. I have missed the blogging scene. Looking forward to sharing thoughts and experiences.

Friday, August 15, 2008

What a precious baby

Here he is, my nephew, Edward Bradshaw Hazelwood the 5th! Welcome to our family, we love you!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Prayer, what a wonderful blessing!

I just wanted to take a moment and express my gratitude for prayer. I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father, who has given us a means whereby we could communicate with him. Although I may never understand all the reasons and purposes for the trials each of us face, I do know that we can find peace, comfort, and strength in the midst of them. There is such power in prayer. Just recently, my sister, Linett, had her first baby, a boy. He was about 4 weeks early, in comparison to his due date. Everything was wonderful when he was born into this world. We were so happy and excited for her new little family. However the very next day he was having difficulty breathing and was having seizures and it was discovered that there was bleeding in his brain. He was immediately flown to the Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. For three days there was not good news. I poured my heart out in prayer along with so many others on behalf of my sister and her husband and especially their new precious little one. Finally, on the 4th day we received good news. The baby was breathing on his own and was able to eat and keep the food down and the seizures were under control and the damage to the brain was not as great as was thought and that there is great hope for full recovery being he is so little and his brain is still developing. I know this 180-degree turnaround was the result of prayers being heard and answered. My sister has since been able to bring her new bundle of joy home and he doing well. I am just so grateful for all the miracles God grants us, both big and small and that He hears and answers our prayers. What a blessing it is know that in this vast universe He hears our simple and humble prayers and cares enough to respond to our petitions. I know there is a God and that he truly does love us. And I am so thankful we can speak with him and feel and see his hand in each of our lives.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ahh, the rewards of accomplishing a goal!

Well, my kids began the public library's summer reading program the beginning of June. The goal was to read 30 hours in order to get a one day pass to the local water park plus a few other little incentives along the way. But the great motivator was the water park. Fitting in the reward was a bit tricky between dentist appointments, planning a last minute trip to California, and starting my baby sitting job, today was the only day to enjoy the fruits of their dedication. And did they have fun!!!! We spent nearly the whole day there. I must say I was proud of my kids for accomplishing their goal, of course the younger two had to have mom's help especially Austin, as Ariana can read easy readers. But reaching a goal, is reaching a goal whether you do it it a lone or with help. I believe getting in the habit while young will greatly enhance one's life. As a missionary I saw how effective goal setting can be. And boy, is it awesome when you accomplish your goal!

The slides were a big hit!

Lounging in the wave pool

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Braving a trip alone

So I decided with Keith's crazy schedule, if I wanted to go places and visit family I would have to go without him. This was stepping out of my comfort zone a bit to drive to Las Vegas alone with my four kids. I did it and survived! We stayed with my grandparents. So not as to overwhelm them with the joys of 4 children we visited the Lied Children's Discovery Center and the Museum of Natural History and planned to visit with my aunt and brother. We had a lot of fun. I was surprised that it wasn't as difficult as I imagined. Although I did have one scare while at the Silverton Casino. We were in the Bass Pro Shop (pretty impressive store-It looked like we just stepped into the great outdoors with a waterfall and all.) We were heading over to the Casino to view the giant aquarium when Daniel and Ariana disappeared from sight. Talk about panic!!! We just came down the stairs from the second floor and I turned to the side of the stair case heading to the exit of the store and entrance to the casino when I looked behind me to only find Carissa as I was holding Austin's hand and had the camera in the other hand. I had just had a conversation with Daniel near ending the flight of stairs. I asked Carissa "where is your brother and sister?" Her reply was "I don't know." I scanned the immediate area around the stair case and then ventured a little bit further, frantically looking and calling their names. No answer and no sign of Ariana or Daniel. Fear consumed me, where could they be it was only seconds from when they were last behind me! I headed back up the stairs thinking maybe they dropped something. No, they weren't on the stairs. I wanted to cry at this point. While on the second floor I looked down onto the first floor scouring everywhere when I spotted them heading in the opposite direction of where we were headed. I knew if I tried to run down the stairs with my other two I would lose them so I did what any panicked mother does, yell! I yelled their names so loud that everyone, I mean everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at me. But I didn't care because I had found my children and they heard me. It was a moment of joy and relief and then anger. I didn't know whether to hug them or spank them, so they got both. After that everyone had to hold hands and after viewing the aquarium it was straight out of that scary place. Thank goodness my brother met me soon after that. That was the only scary and unfortunate event and that was plenty. Aside from the moment of terror I would do it again, just not the casino.

This how I wanted to contain them after the casino incident

The aquarium at the casino. The kids loved watching the stingray swim up and down along the glass.

Science can be gross. We got to learn about how bugs help scientist solve crimes.

Just playing in the water or learning how to change the flow of water?

Finding fossils

Can you pull your own weight?

Showing off piano skills to great grandma

Barbecuing with Uncle Ben

The kids and my grandparents

View at the Hoover Dam, Can you believe how low the water is?

Progress on the road over the Colorado River to bypass the Dam

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Forth

For the fourth we just hung out at home while Keith slept the day away as he had worked the previous night.

The kids helped me make our annual 4th of July Star Cookies.