Ayres Insanity

Ayres Insanity

Thursday, December 15, 2016

All I want for Christmas is you

  I saw the sweetest post on Facebook today, I assume by an older mom who's kids are all grown, and it really resonated with me. It read;

My children each year ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I'd give them my real answer:

What do I want for Christmas? I want you. I want you to keep coming around, I want you to bring your kids around when you have them, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help. I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. Tell me about your job, your worries, your significant other. I want you to continue sharing your life with me. Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don't care. Hearing you laugh is music to me.

I spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how, and I'm not bragging, but i did a pretty darn good job. Now, give me time to sit back and admire my work, I'm pretty proud of it.

Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don't mind. In fact, I wouldn't want it any other way.
I want you to spend your money making a better life for yourself, I have the things I need. I want to see you happy and healthy. When you ask me what I want for Christmas, I say "nothing" because you've already been giving me my gift all year. I want you.

  It's funny how mom's are like this, my mom was, she would always tell us that for Christmas she just wanted a day for us all to be together and get along. My grandma now only asks us for our time. I get that now.
  When we bought this house I definitely had the future in mind, we wanted a place that was tons of fun, a place that my kids would want to bring their friends and eventually dates around, and a place that would someday be where my grandkids want to play. I look forward to a full house for the holidays and Sunday dinners, so I'll echo this mom's sentiment. For every birthday, Christmas, Mothers Day or whatever, I want them, My husband, my kids, my sons & daughters-in-law and my grandkids. That's it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A proud mommy

  The holidays are in full swing! Anyone who knows me knows that I don't love Halloween, but I actually enjoyed it this year. Dan decorated the house, and we're talking SERIOUS decorations, and we spent the evening handing out hot dogs and hot chocolate while the kids trick-or-treated. Next year I'll be doubling the amount of hot chocolate I buy since it was such a big hit!
  Thanksgiving was fantastic as always, is there really anything better than a lazy day full of food and family? We got 2 for the price of one this year, my family on Thanksgiving and Russ' the following Saturday, and the bonus prize? We got to watch our beautiful niece Amber (LuAnn's oldest daughter) open her mission call to the Independence Missouri Visitor's Center mission. So happy for her and so grateful for an amazing family who are such good examples to my children. So so much to be thankful for!
  Two of my kids have November birthdays, (mating season in our house is obviously in February) Ryler turned 9 on the 10th and Aspen turned 4 on the 30th. How are these kids growing up so fast? Ryler loves anything science and wants to be a geologist just like his namesake, Great Grandpa Whitney, he's so smart and handsome, but definitely still a tease. We have enrolled him in a new charter school for next year, it is a STEM school (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) and I think he'll excel there.
  Aspen... oh my, what do I even say about that little gem? She's so beautiful in every way! So optimistic and pleasant, and much like Ryler in a lot of ways. A bit mischievous but a joy to be around as she sings everywhere she goes, dances, giggles and radiates happiness!
  Christmas is creeping up fast and I'm thoroughly enjoying the season this year. Since decorating didn't happen last year because of the move, I have had so much fun doing it this year, maybe too much! I love our home and have filled it full of Christmas spirit. I can't wait to cuddle by the fire and watch our babies open their presents on Christmas morning. And another bonus, we're hosting Christmas dinner with Russ' family so we can finish off the day with lots of fun & family.
  And finally, I have to share the proud mommy moment I had the other day. My neighbor across the street has a son who is autistic, as does my friend Taryn. I have explained to my boys what autism is and the importance of being kind to everyone, even those who are different, and Taryn has expressed her appreciation for my boys kindness toward Spencer. Well, I guess a few weeks ago Taevin & Ryler were out in the circle playing a game when my neighbors son James came over to play with them, she stood back and watched the interaction and told me how impressed she was that not only did my boys include him in the game, but made sure he won. This was a welcome change as she said that most kids won't play with him and don't know how to respond to his disability. This story melted my heart and made me so proud of the people these boys are turning out to be.
  I saw a meme the other day that said "Behind every great kid is a mother who is certain she's screwing it all up". Truth. Often I feel like I'm failing at this mom thing but it's moments like that that give me the hope that I'm doing okay. Like I said, so so much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Back to normal... is that a thing?

  We had such an amazing summer, but the weather is cooling down and school is back in full swing now. Taevin has Mrs. Rigby in 6th grade, Ryler has Mrs. O'Rourke in 3rd grade, Z has Mrs. Ed in kindergarten, and Aspen is going to preschool with Mrs. Sherry twice a week. It's hard to believe that all of my babies are in school! I thought I'd be getting some alone time this year but Aspen is in morning preschool, and Zoey is in afternoon kindergarten. I was a little bummed at first but I'm really enjoying the one on one time with each of the girls. They are all growing so fast and I can't seem to keep up. Before I know it, Aspen will be in school full time and I'll be looking for a job... which by the way, scares the hell out of me!
  Anyway, So that dog I mentioned a few posts ago, umm yeah, that definitely didn't work out. She jumped on everyone and barked at everything and nipped at the kids and peed in the house and ate EVERYTHING, even our deck. I gave it my all, but in the end, she wasn't a good match for our family. We found a darling little schnauzer named Rocky (I call him Beardface). Yes we have a Rocky & a Rocco, no I didn't choose either of those names, but we've finally found a winner! He is 5 years old, fully trained, gets along with Rocco, and we love him! Oh, and he really loves me, in fact most of the time he is my little shadow.  See how cute!

  I love this time of year, The weather is perfect and we've got holidays and birthdays coming up. More updates coming soon. Hopefully

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Perfect day

  Today was a perfect day. 
  Last night my super awesome neighbor Erin and I went to the Dixie Chicks concert, her husband won them at work and we were the lucky recipients! We danced and sang our hearts out and had a blast! Since we were pretty late, the kids slept over at uncle Josh & aunt Jessee's house, so I had the house to myself, which in theory sounds amazing but I was actually a bit lonely without my littles at home. Anyway, I had the morning to myself, so I went and helped clean the church, then I baked and baked, then I grabbed the kids.
  When Russ woke up, we headed to the lake for a fun-filled afternoon with the whole family. The grown-ups chatted, the cousins played, and the weather was perfect. It's a nice feeling going to bed happy and content.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


  Just over a week ago I lost a long time friend, Pam Soloman. It was almost 20 years ago that she hired me to work at The Coverlook at the Fashion Place mall, it became one of my favorite jobs and I was blessed to have Pam as an example in my life. 
  Over the years I have continued to work for her in her own studio, and she has taken many pictures of our family, including the birth of our little Aspen. 
  It was just a few weeks ago that I saw her for the last time, I went in to work for her & we chatted about doing family pictures soon. How grateful I am to have had that last opportunity to see her.
  Attending her funeral was difficult and heartbreaking, but inspiring as well. As sniffles filled the room, her 3 boys talked about their love for their beautiful mama, and to hear her husband Scott talk about his sweetheart, and his knowledge of their forever family, I left inspired to be better. To show more unconditional love as she did to everyone she met. I left with a resolution to be a better wife and a more kind and patient mother. Someday, when it's my turn to return home, I hope that my children will have the same sweet words to say about me.
  Pam was beautiful inside and out and her influence was lasting. She will be greatly missed.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Treehouse Vacay & Z's b-day

  It has been my new goal to blog more often, I don't keep a journal other than this so I'm trying to keep this updated because, who knows, maybe someday someone will be entertained by our simple little life. 
  Anyhow... we got home from our summer vacation just a week ago and I'm not gonna lie, it was totally a blast! We stayed at the Out n' About Treesort in Oregon, it's this fantastic little place in Cave Junction OR on the border of CA where every room is a tree house, how cool is that? We left on Tuesday evening and drove all night so the kids would sleep, then went river rafting on Wednesday morning, after that we got lunch and checked in to our tree house. There were rope swings everywhere, an outdoor pool, and lots of fun things for the kids to do. On Thursday morning Russ and Ryler went zip lining, then after lunch it was mine and Taevin's turn, he and I were able to conquer our fear together! I made sure to spend time every day collecting blackberries from the bushes that were everywhere! We checked out of the treesort on Friday morning and drove to Crescent City CA to see the Redwoods, and it was amazing. Friday evening we checked into our oceanfront hotel in CA and what a view! We even got to watch the sea lions while having dinner. Saturday morning we played on the (extremely cold) beach for a while before starting our trek home. We drove for 8 hours before making a stop in Winnemucca (who named that place?) for the night, then made it home Sunday afternoon. We were all exhausted by the end of it but it was such a great family memory.
  The following Wednesday was Zoey's birthday, I let her choose breakfast (ebelskievers) and dinner (pizza), and she got to open her presents, her favorite being a baby alive doll that she hasn't put down since she got it. We had a party with some cousins and friends on Thursday, they had a tea party and painted fairy houses. And just like that, my little girl is 6, and a beautiful, creative, feisty one and I couldn't love her more!
  The summer is just about over and it has been a good one, lots of lake days and snow cones, swimming, cousins and yard work but mommy is ready for school to start... even if it does mean no more sleeping in.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pictures of the house

Some pictures of the casa for your viewing pleasure...

Mi casa es su casa... ok, actually it's just mine ;) 

The sitting room, or as I like to call it, the visiting teaching room

Were we picky about this stair railing? Yes, yes we were

The heart of our home, and usually messy

This island deserves it's own zip code. Impressive but awful to clean

The great room where we spend most of our family time

The master bathroom. I hear double sinks save marriages

Who wouldn't want a chandelier above the tub?
An antique from grandma and one of my favorite pieces

The master bedroom would be more of a masterpiece if only I could keep the kids out

Oh the love (and hours) I put into these puff quilts for the girls!

And every other detail of this girly room, including the sparkly walls...
They're SPARKLY!

Superhero room, check (Russ & I refinished that dresser,
he even hand painted the knobs. Snazzy eh?)

Complete with quilts for the boys too!

Over protective? Maybe. don't judge

The 160' retaining wall that blew the budget

And the splurge, but isn't countless hours of fun
family memories worth the investment?