June 2016

June 2016


Twas the day before Christmas

Oh my! Can it be Christmas Eve day already? It's been such a great month...really impossible to try and back track and recapture all of it so I guess highlights will have to do.  I think taking our Christmas Card photo would have to be number one on my list.  Picture a stack of greasy old railroad ties, kids in bare feet, chickens running around, a goat jumping over the top of the family, a pile of weeds in Gerald's pocket, chicken feed on top of Savannah's head, Gerald's gruff demanding voice,  Savannah's sweet little 9 year old friend Emma behind the camera and lots and lots of laughter!  This is our life in a nutshell...quite comical everyday!  The key ingredient to it all is laughter...lots and lots if it.  Can't get enough of it...it feels good, looks good, and is magic to my ears.
Second on the list, but none less comical than our family picture was Devin's water polo banquet.  It was a beautiful afternoon on the pool deck eating carne asada and laughing hysterically while watching the water polo team play a game of inter tube water polo against their fathers.  Again...lots and lots of laughter. Final score was LQHS Team 8 - Old Guys 7  
Devin was honored as one of three Seniors this year.  

The last highlight of the month actually happened at the very end of November.  We took a final trip to our condo in San Felipe.  It wasn't our normal Mexico get-a-way, being that we have sold our condo and had to move everything back.  Upon arriving at 2am in the morning, we found that there was no water or electricity working and to top it off...no clean sheets on the beds!  Gerald managed to get the water working and with flashlights in hand we founds pillows and blankets and a soft place to sleep.  The weekend was busy selling and packing and moving but we did manage to find time for a walk on the beach picking up sand dollars and a good old fashioned game of football.  It was sweet to hear the kids all talk about each of their memories throughout the years in San Felipe.  Again, lots of laughter...
Laughter really is the best medicine of all!


Dad really is boss...

So, I have to admitt...I've gotten a little used to making all the decisions around here lately! Gerald has been so busy the last few years making things happen everyday that I have assumed the role of making all the decisions for our family and kinda telling him how it is. It's my way of relieving him of having to think about one more thing in his busy day or maybe I am still rationalizing why. Anyhow, I was quite offended last night when Gerald came out and told me what our Saturday would consist of.  He most definitively did not realize I already had the day figured out and he didn't even have the courtesy to talk with me before making his plans!

Silly me...when I stepped back from the little picture to take a look at the big one, I realized I was simply getting a taste of my own medicine!  So here it is...Gerald, thank you for wanting to spend your Saturday with me and your four children.  You reminded me last night of one of the many reasons I fell in love with you ...you have a keen way of knowing what I need and an even keener way of always get what you want... I Love You!


Our Pumpkin Patch

Natalie's   ~    Savannah's   ~    Devin's   ~   Jessica's

Great things come in small packages

Savannah (also known as fish bait or little shrimp around the house) had her first flag football game this week. She is playing corner back for her elementary school and having loads of fun despite the fact that there are only 3 girls on the team out of 31 players. This does not discourage or intimidate Savannah in any way. In fact, it probably puts fuel on the fire and motivates her to be even better.

Natalie and I had fun watching Savannah and her teammates defeat the Lions 18-12. I have to admit...I was getting a little frustrated at the number of missed tackles she had and was relieved Gerald wasn't able to make this particular game knowing his patience level is much different than mine. In me heart, I felt she could have done better!

At the close of the game the cheerleaders formed a victory tunnel for the players and the game wouldn't be complete without snacks right? All of this fluff for a elementary flag football game! I was done and ready to move on to the next thing on my to do list. Coaches gathered their players together for a pep talk and then I find out that after each game, the coaches award a offense and defense player of the game. Another 15 - 20 minutes for sure!

Through the years, I have learned the art of breathing deep through my nose and exhaling long and hard through my mouth. Somehow this helps get rid of those negative comments and thoughts that come out at the worst of times. I was actually counting how many games we had left, trying to make sense of why we were doing this.

As I approached the huddle to hear what the coaches had to say, I was impressed by their positive comments and how they really built the kids up. The offensive player was awarded a football and then the coach began talking about the defensive player. She commented on how important it was for each player to to their part and if they did their part the team as a whole would be successfully. The defensive player of the game was Savannah! The coach went on to compliment Savannah on how well she played her position and was always in the right place at the right time. "A great defensive player is not determined by how many flags they pull, it is about playing the position correctly and being ready".

I was reminded this week by a elementary school P.E. teacher that I need to be a better cheerleader! I need to do a better job living in the now and learning the lessons that are being taught around me and my children during our every day lives.

Thank you Savannah for reminding all of us daily that great things do come in small packages!


My Boys Of Fall

There is something about the Fall...I have to admit the desert's warm weather confuses my Pacific Northwest senses a bit.  However, the cool mornings and evenings are welcome and nothings beats the view of the mountains just after the sun sets.  They turn a deep dark purple and the sun behind them radiates a glow of pink, orange, purple and blue.  This best describes my view just after half time as I'm watching the sun go down at Blackhawk football game.  

The view at a water polo game is much, much different.  Quite a few less clothes are worn which is really amazing because this sport is just as rough if not more so than football.  Their practices are tough.  In fact, the football coaches have been known to send their players to the pool to get in "real shape".  As you can imagine, this poses to be a good discussion around our household. 

Bottom line...The Boys of Fall are strong, dedicated, focused and love what they do whether it be in the pool or on the field.


Life is Good

There are lots of great things to focus on at this time in our lives.  As challenging as it may be at times to raise teenagers, it really is a great phase in life as we watch our children grow, become teenagers and develop into young adults.  The days are very busy and we all seem to be going different directions as we do and accomplish great things every day.  I'd have to say my favorite time of day is when everyone finds their way back home.  This happens in stages...the girls and I are the first to get home and they are always on task doing their home work and quickly make their way out to the goats (we added 2 goats to our family the end of August).  I really cherish their ages...probably more than I did with the boys because I now realize how quickly my role as a mother changes once High School begins.  I really love the time the girls and I have together without any "men" around the house.  The dynamics of the house change drastically when that testosterone enters the room especially after tough football and water polo workouts! 

Trevor and Gerald are usually the second to come home.  The smell of football is evident as they both enter the house.  Gerald is an Asst.Coach for the LQHS Freshman Football team again this year and Trevor is playing JV.  As Gerald disappears to his office to finish up some end of the day emails and scheduling, Trevor wastes no time finding something cold to drink and surveys our dinner plans.  He is always very honest about whether it's to his liking or not (thank you Trevor for always being so honest).  Believe it or not... even after practicing for 2 hours... Trevor is always trying to pull together a family football or baseball scrimmage before the sun goes down.

Devin stumbles into the house third with blood shot eyes from a combination of chlorine and lack of sleep. His hair is gradually turning a brassy shade of brunette which gets lighter and longer every day.  After 3 1/2 hours of water polo practice his step is a little less peppy and it's very evident he's happy to be home and finally let down for the evening or at least until he gears back up to do homework.  He's happiest when dinner is a high carb meal and we are all amazed at the amount of food he can eat in one sitting. 

Gradually throughout the evening every ones day unravels in bits and pieces of conversation between one another.  Sounds of laughter...thoughts and suggestions...feet up on the couch...icing soar muscles...last but not least...family prayer.  The perfect way to end any kind of day~


August Rush

School right around the corner once again.  It'll be a big this year with three out of the four kids at the top of thier school.  Devin will be entering his Senior year, Natalie is eighth grade and Savannah will be top of the elementary school as a fifth grader...  FUN STUFF.  Now if I could only master the art of slowing it all down a bit!  Can I be honest?  I feel like I just graduated from High School myself!  How is it possible to already have one of our children making plans to leave home?  Just doesn't seem possible!  I am learning to roll with all these firsts in life.   I'm not quite sure what this next school year will bring but I am confident it is bound to be very eventfull and exciting for us all.  We are all feeling the August Rush a little as we do every year.  So many last minute things to do before school starts.

August Rush List 
  • Paint the Girls Bedroom  - DONE
  • Get in shape for LQHS Football season -  WORKING ON IT
  • Pass off the last three merit badges needed to qualify for an Eagle Scout - ALMOST THERE
  • Buy new school uniforms (Savannah) - DONE
  • Get the new chicken coop built - A WORK IN PROGRESS
  • Get that extra sleep needed to sustain the Seminary students for the next 9 months
  • School Clothes Shopping- LAST YEARS WILL WORK...
  • Enjoy the down time of an easy going summer schedule - SAVORING EVERY MINUTE
  • Water Polo Practice - STARTS AUGUST 25th


Baby Girl

What started as a duck rescue from El Paseo shopping district, ended up being more like the movie Fly Away Home.  Devin is well know as an animal lover and he gets frequent phone calls looking for advise when it comes to animals...especially strays.  It just so happens that the cute little homeless duck is a beautiful goose that within two months time is now flying over the tree line to visit the private golf course and the refreshing ponds it has to offer.  It has been super fun watching Devin care for the goose (baby girl).  I've decided raising Geese is alot like teenagers.  They start out in life following every footstep until they realize they have wings and can fly!  It doesn't take long for them to venture out on their own and as parents all we can hope for is that they don't stray too far from home. 


There are moments in your life when everything around you silences and the thing that matter most in your life stand still like a picture.

Thank you Grandpa Hampton for always bringing the one thing that matters most in life together. A fun filled day at Sea World with FAMILY!

Fourty Years Old...but who's counting?

I turned 22 years old again... except this year I have 18 years experience being 22 years old (great line Lynelle). I woke up to birthday balloons, streamers, flowers and the day ended with a great meal at Joe's Crab Shack. Gerald threatens to trade me in for two 20 year olds. This picture best describes how I feel about all that non-sense!

Travels to Utah

We really look forward to our Summer visits to Utah. This year, Nathan Fox was getting married and we just couldn't miss that! It's also a perfect excuse to escape the desert heat for awhile. We had a fantastic trip with something fun and eventful planned everyday but most importantly...we all returned home safely with no trips to the hospital! Our first fun adventure was the Flow Rider. I think everyone fell in love with the challenge (The boys actually went twice in the same week).

We of course spent time with Grandpa and Grandma Gibb riding horses and the zip line.
Our trip to Thanksgiving Point was Devin's highlight for sure. While checking out the chicken coops, he found out they sold fertilized eggs! As you can guess...before leaving for home he purchased 12 eggs of different varieties which are now in his incubator growing and will hatch around August 2nd.
My favorite is always the hiking we get to do while in Utah. This trip we hiked to Stewart Falls in Sundance which took us right next to the fall and the snow covered ground. It was very cool... (literally) and we ended the hike with a polar bear dip in the ice cold run off.

You might say that the cherry on top of this whole week was the Kenny Chesney concert!!!Thank you Aunt Lynelle
We had a hard time saying good-bye... so Lynelle and Mitchell followed us to St. George and we did another hike in Zions National Park before finishing the last leg of our journey home.

4th of July

Fourth of July was spent with Troy & Sarah at their home. The day consisted of swimming, BBQ, basketball and it ended with a cool thunder & lightning storm with lots of rain which was perfect for a huge slip & slide! Soooo much fun!!!


Highlights for June

Daddy - Daughter Hoe Down

Devin's most recent project is a beehive and we have a humming bird nest right outside our front door nestled on the leaf of a bannana tree!

Trevor has managed to go 2 1/2 months without a hair cut. Per Trevor, "When you wear a baseball cap it looks much better with long hair".


La Quinta High School Prom 2010

Devin Hampton and Tori Mellard



Upon arriving at the school for my normal daily pick-ups...I was eagerly kidnapped by Tori and Devin. With smirks on their faces it was evident they had different plans for me. I was first delivered to the nail salon for a much needed pedicure and was told there would be someone arriving to deliver me to my next destination. Second on the agenda was a 60 minute massage. My vehicle was left in the parking lot with a note to drive home. Upon arrival the table was set and dinner cooking for Gerald and I to enjoy while the kids disappeared for the evening. What a great Mother's Day!

Food for Thought

Savannah - "Don't you think it's so wierd how the clock ticks and the world just happens?" "The Earth keeps rotating around the sun and we just keep going on and on?" " I may be thinking some things and there are lots of people thinking all kinds of different things..."
Jessica - "Pretty hard to deny that God is real and has made all of this possible"
Savannah - " I know, that's just what I was thinking"
Savannah - "Walmart won't ever run out of business...there are alot of people that go there!"
This is an example of how my days start with Savannah.


We are in the middle of California State Testing in all of the schools right now. Savannah recaps every day with me when she gets in the car after school. We discuss how many questions she feels she got wrong that day. Her school work is so important to her... it drives me a little bit crazy at times I must admit. But really, how can I fault her for that?

We had a great Easter this year being surrounded by Hampton Family. Natalie has been experimenting with cup cake decorating and having fun with it. My only requirement when making the cupcakes is that she have someone in mind to give them to so we don't all turn into cupcakes from over consumption!

Just few more weeks of baseball and softball and the last day of school in June 9th. This school year had flown by! I am still trying to figure out how to slow it all down...nothing I have tried has worked thus far. I did manage to get a great picture of Trevor smiling though. That is a feat in itself!

Devin's chicks were asked to help prop an Easter photo shoot. It was a really fun morning and Devin got some great pictures with his chickens. He has started delivering pizzas until hired to lifeguard for the summer. We are loving this time of year as the weather is perfect!

Ensenada Cruise Spring 2011


San Felipe

The kids left for their annual Spring Break Trip with Grandma and Grandpa Hampton and Gerald and I were able to escape to our San Felipe Condo to celebrate our anniversary! It was a great trip and wouldn't have been complete without fresh pina colada's on the beach...yes...made out of the back of an old Ford! You gotta love Mexico! We had a great time relaxing on the beach and laughing at all the white bodies that were turing shades of red from too much sun. To our suprise, when we got back to the condo and we were also a pair of those white beach bodies that had turned a bright shade of red. We decided that we really don't do a very good job taking care of eachother without the kids around...even after 20 years of marriage.


Happy 20th Anniversary Gerald

G -Good looking E -Extreme in Everything R -Resolute A-Active L -Leader D -Devoted Father

Baseball & Softball

The month of March has been jam packed full of ball games. If we are not watching Savannah play softball we are watching Trevor play baseball and for Gerald there is no break because he is coaching both! He's getting pretty good at doing a uniform change in his truck on his way to the next field and I am getting pretty darn good at cracking and spitting sunflower seeds. I really do love this time of year! It is the cutest thing to hear Trevor talk to Savannah about the game and what she can do to improve. They both play the position of catcher so Trevor is full of pointers. They also have the same coach in common which comes with pro's and con's that can be shared amongst eachother. Preston came to one of Savannah's games and loved it. I think he was more excited about sitting in the dug out with the girls and chanting the softball cheers than anything. As soon as the game was over he couldn't get on the field fast enough to run the bases.


Somebody Loves Me...

So I post this and that about the kids... why do I find it so hard to share about myself? That question remains to be answered. I was talking to my sister Sydni this morning and when she asked, "How are you?" I decided to be very honest and share in the fact that I really hate Monday's! I hate feeling like I'm in the same routine that starts over every Monday morning and repeates itself day after day after day after day. Then Friday gets here and I'm too tired to get excited about doing anything. There was a time that Fridays had a cool feeling about them. The days where there was anticipation of what kind of weekend fun I could get into as a teenager are long gone and I have come to accept the fact that nobody appreciates who I am or what I do! I know what you're saying..."Do you want some wine with that cheese"? So at the close to yet another Monday of being an alarm clock, housekeeper, choufer and personal chef, I sit down at my desk and find this written on a sticky note just above my computer.

"I love you Mom! You're a great person and I admire all you do!" - Savannah

A few weeks ago I was looking over my calendar in the office and also found a hand written note from my 17 year old.

"Mom You Rock!" - Devin

Okay...that puts it all back into perspective! I love my life, I love my job and I'd do it over and over again any day of the week!


Time Slips Away

For the past couple of months as I've pondered just what in our lives has been blog worthy, I have found myself making the decision not post! Then it hit me... there has been no major events in our lives that have driven me to update our blog and that in itself is the very reason to post! It seems like our families major events have involved a trip to the hospital these last few years. In my subconsious...no news was good news...

We have had an incredible winter and begining to 2011. Our Holidays were filled with lots of family time which is tough to come by these days with us all going different directions. Gerald pulled us together for a "New Years Resolution Pep Talk". This year was different from the past and the kids were very excited about their short and long term goals. With the the power of positive affirmations and reading our goals daily, we are already beginining to see signs of attaining some of the goals that we have set.

I think it is easiest to summarize the last few months when I focus on each individual so here it goes...

Devin continues to perfect the art of being a chicken farmer. For Christmas he recieved a incubator and sucessfully hatched 12 healthy chicks the end of January. We also celebrated his 17th birthday and he just returned from another amazing Youth and Government Trip to Sacramento. It was just two years ago that he broke his neck while sledding (feels like yesturday). Devin's focus these days seems to be on figuring out a way to fill his gas tank every week. A special thank you to all those recyclers out there that donate in his behalf.

Growth...would be the one word to describe Trevor the last couple of months. Physically, Mentally and Emotionally. The transition into High School Sports has been an intersting one and Trevor has kept a positive attitude through it all. He and Devin are continually arguing over who is bigger and stronger. Despite Devin loosing a couple of inches after breaking his back, he will not allow his little brother to pass him up. Devin's philosophy is this, "It's not the size of the boat it's motion of the ocean". Trevor constantly has us all laughing. He has a way of reaching in and finding somthing to make each of laugh about no matter what the circumstance. It is quite refreshing and very often well needed. Freshman Baseball has started and it looks like Trevor will be catching and pitching for LQHS. Go Blackhawks!

Lady Bug is growing some pretty big wings these days. She is completly head over heals for the Young Woman program in our church and is developing a self confidence in herself that is amazing! Since Natalie was 10 years old she has been trying to find a way to make money of her own. Through the help of Grandma Hampton she has been able to fine tune her filling and accounting skills while helping with her taxes and just recently has begun baby sitting which she really likes! Most of all she really enjoys having money in her wallet that she can call her own.

Savannah decided to enter the year book cover contest and found out the first of the year that she won the front cover! If I could only have captured and saved the expression on her face when she found out she won. Being the over achiever she is, Savannah made the decision to do a Science Fair Project this year (it was not required). With some help from Devin, she managed to take first place and also move onto the District level for more judging. The title of her project was, "Does the color of momma hen and daddy rooster effect the outcome of the baby chick?" Not only did we managed to complete a sucsessfull science fair project...we hatched some more chicks in the process! What mother wouldn't be thrilled about multi-tasking? Savannah is playing softball for the first time and Gerald is coaching softball for the first time...it should make for some great entertainment this Spring!