Monday, July 25, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, we packed up and went camping. It was so fun! It rained off and on the first afternoon, which added to the fun (and the post-camping laundry) and kept things cool for the rest of the trip. It was a much needed family excursion before the kids and I headed off to Colorado for a two week visit and Tory began his horrible summer work schedule.
Eating Cup O' Noodles in the rain shortly after arriving.
Searching for firewood. And Gavin is still working on those Noodles.
What boy can resist a puddle?
Mr. Hayden...helping with the fire (that we started with Magnesium and flint and steel, because we forgot the matches...)
Our wild turkey friend that wandered into our campsite and hung out all day with us. She kept the kids entertained for awhile.
Benson, trying to start something on fire, I am sure.
Mommy and Bella.
The second day, we played in the stream that ran through our camp and the river it flowed into. So much fun!
Gavin, relaxing by the river.
Bella...with sleeping bag hair. I love it!
Tory taking Gavin across the river and giving him loves.
Two of my Cute boys. Just before we got into a water fight. Tory mostly used Gavin as a shield against my attacks. Totally cheating.
It's hard to tell, but Hayden is crazy about Gavin.
It was the best weekend. And in spite of all the preparation and cleanup, I can't wait to go again in a couple of weeks!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gavin, Gavin, Gavin...


Gavin...(and yes, there are pencils deep down inside the heat vent)




If it hasn't been made obvious before now, Gavin is cut from a different mold than our other children. He's a hitter and kicker (especially in nursery). He colors on every surface of our house, including beds, couches, floors and walls. He finds great joy in playing with cleaning fluids, knives and other forbidden items. He can open all doors and sneaks out often. If there is trouble to be had, Gavin will find it and magnify it. He's loud, aggressive, and physical.
But he's also sooo adorable. He's a cuddler and a hugger. He loves singing and dancing and performing. He loves goggles, Karate headgear, and wearing multiple shin guards on his arms. He smiles all the time and, frankly we are all completely enamored by this little guy. What's a mom to do? Gavin, Gavin, Gavin...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Praying For : My Mom. She has Melanoma Cancer and goes in for surgery tomorrow to remove lymph nodes. Reading : Third Nephi and the current Ensign. Practicing : My guitar, Sam Jang (Tae Kwon Do Form) for my next belt test in a couple weeks, and running (can you practice that?) For the Dirty Dash in September. Wearing : Black running pants, gray T-shirt and sneakers (refer to above). Excited For : My sister arriving from Boise tomorrow, And General Conference this weekend. Tory and I have tickets! Eating : Hmmm...What have I eaten today? Oh yeah. An orange. I've really been loving my Almond milk/ Blueberries/ Protein shake lately. Although I haven't had one today. Loving : The sound of my kids giggling in the basement. Dreaming of : Several things: 1. A much needed bedroom makeover 2. A much needed family vacation to anywhere. 3. Getting a piano. Dreading : Tory's upcoming summer work schedule. I actually get sick to my stomach thinking about it. Anticipating : Our basement being put back together after out multiple floods so the kids can get back in their rooms, Tory coming home (my favorite part of the day), and Gavin's naptime (my second favorite part of the day ). Feeling : Love for my husband and kids, hope for the future, anxiety (I'm working on this feeling) and a desire to be my best self.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Birthday Boy!

My Sweet Husband turned a year older yesterday. On the surface Tory appears quiet, reserved. The truth is that Tory has a fun, witty, silly side that he only reveals to those who really know him. So, in honor of his Birthday here are some things you may, or may not, know about Tory.

1. Since before we were married, Tory gets his hair cut every other week. He can't stand if his hair dares to touch his ears. And I am his barber.
2. Tory is an avid walker and talker in his sleep. I will save the stories for another blog. I have a lot of them!
3. Tory calls Isabella his Girlfriend and formally asks her on dates.
4. He composes songs about how much he loves me while he is in the shower and then sings them to me in a cartoonish, falsetto voice. So, so cute!
5. Tory is an extremely fast sprinter. He made Varsity Track as a freshman and took 2nd in state for the 200 and the 400 meter. He also played Football, basketball and Percussions in high school.
6. He is an avid learner. Currently on his nightstand are "Hunger Games", "Algebra Fundamentals", "Music Theory", an essay on politics, Scriptures and multiple Ensigns. And he is reading them all.
7. Every Valentine's Day Tory buys 13 roses. 12 for me and one for Isabella.
8. Tory LOVES having his back rubbed and will pay or blackmail our children to get them to rub his back.
9. Nearly every night, after scripture study, Tory reads to the kids out of a fairy tale book he bought before any of them were born. He's done this for years and the kids love it...even though the stories are weird and somewhat morbid.
10. Tory comes from a line of Ranchers. His Dad was the only son to break away from the Ranch in Montana to become a business man. Out of all his children Tory is the one that was born with a Rancher's soul. That life would have suited him well.
11. Tory's favorite form of torture is to attack me with tickles. He does this daily, and loves it. I pretend to hate it.
12. Tory's best friends are his brothers and his Dad.
13. I once asked Tory who was the most influential person in his life growing up. He didn't hesitate to answer his two older brothers, Ron and Scott.
14. Despite his outward quiet nature, Tory is very expressive and demonstrative. He is always expressing his feelings for me and the children, and I love it.
15. Tory puts off an "aura" (for lack of a better word) that puts people at ease and makes them feel good just being around him. I call this the "Jasper Cullen Effect". He's completely unaware of this power.
16. Tory worries that I don't buy things for myself. He established a secret savings account and started putting a little money in it each month. He labeled it "Madeline's Clothes Fund" and gave me the account number after he had saved a substantial amount. That way I wouldn't feel like I was taking away bill or grocery money for myself. He's so thoughtful.

17. Tory never loses his temper or his patience. He's extremely kind and gentle.
18. Tory sleeps with two blankies. He sleeps with them because they smell like his babies.
19. He works out everyday, can run 3 miles in 22 minutes and eats a diet that consists mostly of protein and veggies. He is so healthy!
20. Tory's mission to Africa was an incredible experience for him and it changed his life. I can attest to this because I knew him before and after.

Tory is the greatest. I can't imagine my life without him. So his birth is definately something worth celebrating! I love you, Babe! Happy Birthday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hayden's Baptism!

Our Hayden was baptized February 5th. What a special day! Hayden has been waiting to be baptized practically his whole life! Every day for weeks before he would talk about how much he wished today was the day he could get baptized. Hayden is such a special, special boy. He has a deeply spiritual nature and I can't imagine a child being more prepared to take this important step.

Daddy and Hayden in their whites.

All of the cousins who were able to make it. (and half of his siblings...)

Grandma and Grandpa Flinders

My Handsome guys. This day was almost as special for Tory as it was for Hayden.

Our Family

The Sweet Man of the Hour
Hayden's Aunt Rachel and his cousins came down from Boise, My mom and Tory's parents drove over from Colorado and Uncle Craig, Aunt Andrea and Max came from Sandy to attend. We had a full and happy house!
The day after his baptism, Hayden and his cousin Beau were teasing Benson. After a few minutes, Hayden came upstairs and apologized to Benson. Then he said, "YES! I'm free from sin again!" We love our Hayden so much, and are so pleased with his decision to be baptized!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eight is Great!

January 7th, Hayden turned EIGHT! We celebrated all week long!

First, Hayden chose to go out to dinner to Chuck-O-Rama (after our urgings to choose Spaghetti Factory, or Hires, or just about anyplace else. But we had a lot of fun and it was pretty good!)

Then he got to open his presents. His favorite presents were a pocket knife (he's been asking for one for two years and we promised when he was eight, he would be old enough to have one), and hex bugs with a habitat. He also started Scouts last week and received all his stuff for that.

Then Sunday, Uncle Craig, Aunt Andrea and Max came over for dinner and cupcakes.

The following Saturday, Hayden had his friend party. We loaded up 10 kids and headed out to Monkey Island. Hayden refers to it as "the best day of my life"! You'll have to excuse the quality of the pictures. It's not easy to catch a ton of little boys (and one girl...Isabella) who are having too much fun to slow down for a picture, so most are blurry action shots! Tory and I had a ton of fun playing with the kiddos, too!

Opening presents. I love how sweaty all the little boys are. They played so hard!

Racing through the obstacle course.

So fun!

My Sweet Eight year old. How we adore this boy! I also love his attire lately. Camo pants, polo shirt with skulls on it and a silky orange dragon shirt to finish off the ensemble. So darn cute!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Family Pictures

We decided to skip the professional family pictures this year. So with our point and shoot in hand we headed to the park to take our own. Trying to get everyone smiling with their eyes open at the same time? No easy task. At least we got some cute candid ones. Here are a few for your viewing pleasure.