Category Archives: Family

Captain American Girl

I’m posting this on Deeds blog because he is the one that originally told his little sister to be Captain American for Halloween.  I didn’t think she would take it to heart but low an behold she decided that she was no longer going to be cinderella, and she was going to be Cap instead.

I showed her pictures of the female Captain but she wanted nothing to do with it and was determined to wear the muscled up kid costume she has seen all her boy cousins wear.  I asked if she wanted me to make her a skirt and she replied, “No mom.  The Cap doesn’t wear a skirt!”

Then she wanted sparkly shoes, ruby slipper style and next thing I knew she decided a tutu would be just the thing to complete the costume.

I ran to Hobby Lobby today and got the tulle for the tutu (yeah for no sew tutu’s) and then decided to get some sparkly felt like material to make little embellishments to hook onto her sunday shoes.  I have a handy dandy circle cutter so I figured it would be an easy task when I bought the stuff but then I couldn’t find the cutter.  I just printed out a logo online and then traced the shape and cut out each layer then hot glued it all together.  Since the middle is actually 5 pieces thick it turned out to be really sturdy and I may make a smaller set at hair bows and then put her hair in low pony tails in the back for trick-or-treating.


Thanks to the tulle being 50% off the entire costume only cost me $15!  WAHOOO!  The eye holes on the mask really drive her nuts so I think I’ll just sew them up and out of the way so she wears it all like a hat instead.

I just have to say.  Deeds is one awesome big brother and his little sister adores him, and all of his little quirks.  Deeds is going to be the Red Power Ranger and now they are plotting what Magpie is going to be…it’s going to be a fun Halloween this year.



We headed up for our last trip to the family cabin before school starts.  This time around it was a bit exciting since we did not have power for the bulk of the time we were there.  The solar charger we brought for Deeds iPad didn’t work so we were a bit nervous about how our guy would do during the 4 days we couldn’t turn on any shows or charge any electronics.  We tried to keep really busy with lots of hikes, crafts, nature walks, and playing outside.  Deeds also got a big kick out of the fact that we had to cook all the food over a fire and he didn’t have to have a bath for three whole days.

While the change in routine and bedtime situation without night-lights caused some stress for us a bit, overall it was a fantastic experience.  I’m so glad that almost 60 years ago my great grandparents built the cabin for their posterity to use.  It’s loved by our family, siblings, and countless cousins.  I think this is the first time the kids have been up there without having grandma or grandpa come up at one point too and they asked multiple times where they were.  Next time we’ll have to make sure they come up with us again.

By last night he was begging to go home and honestly I was ready to get home to a hot shower as well.  We stopped on the way out this morning and hiked up to a geocache.  Deeds was super excited to hold the GPS on my phone and tell us what direction to go.  We decided that next time we go up we’ll have to plan on doing a couple more caches.

We took HUNDREDS of photographs, but we decided you really didn’t need to see them all so here is a quick sampling.


Going for a spin

A few years ago we installed some hanging rings, cocoon swing and a mini trampoline in our family room.  We saw a dramatic improvement in the meltdowns when we gave Deeds a physical outlet to utilize at home.  When we moved into our current home two years ago we decided to reclaim the family room and install the equipment in Deeds room.  The trampoline still lived in our family room for quite some time but I’ve never messed with the rings or swing since we moved in.

Yesterday when the kids were playing on the rings I noticed that they really needed to be raised quite a bit.  Thankfully they are adjustable, I’d just never thought to do it.  Funny how much kids grow.  😉

Today I fixed them and they haven’t left Deeds room since.  The laughter coming from their room made me go investigate and this is what I found.  Love these two.

Gwen Spin for Blog

JD swing for blog

I love how during the video of Deeds he stops to talk to Gwen after she says that he is strong like Hercules and says, “Hercules is stronger, I can’t carry the things he can carry.”



Cabin Again!

A couple of nights ago we decided to make an impromptu trip back up into the Uintas, to the cabin while my parents were still there.  Since Jeremy had to work I just headed up with the kids (and dogs) after Deeds was done with school.  We enjoyed helping with the cabin, relaxing, movies, games, hikes and fun.  The only incident we had is when sister accidentally threw a rock that hit Deeds in the eyebrow.  He’s probably going to end up with a little bit of a black eye tomorrow but he was pretty good about the ordeal.

This evening when we got home we headed to go swimming with some cousins and as we were leaving Deeds started having the biggest meltdown of the year.  He’s been doing so well lately it’s like his autism just wanted to remind me what happens if he is tired and overstimulated.

All in all it was a nice break if I just mentally block this evening from my memory.  The easiest way to do that is to gaze upon the fun pictures from the past couple days.

Summer 2013 Kickoff

Even though Deeds still has school for the summer we decided to have a fun little kick off yesterday and I drove him and Gwen up to the cabin for the night with my parents.  It was their week and I’m thankful that they shared the evening and day with us.  My dad has a fishing buddy named Harry in his 80’s that was also up there and Deeds loved him.  He now says that Harry is one of his “best friends”

How did Harry become his new best friend.  Well, he taught Deeds how to play Domino’s.  The child is now obsessed and Harry loved that Deeds not only grasped the concept quickly but could even hold his own against the older men.  It was really adorable to watch.

We went on a hike today and with the snow still melting in the mountains it was much muddier than Deeds would have liked.  Poor little guy stepped in a puddle at one point and begged me to carry him back to the cabin.  Instead we took a little break and had a snack and then headed back.  He weighs so much and is growing so big that there was no way I could have carried him all the way back so I’m really glad he didn’t dwell on it for too long.

Magpie had an amazing time.  The minute we pulled onto the dirt road that leads to the cabin her head popped up in the back and she proceeded to make her way into the empty front seat next to me and wouldn’t budge till we let her out at the cabin.  Both her and Annabelle wore themselves out running and swimming in the creek and it didn’t take long for the kids and dogs to fall asleep once we got back home tonight.

They can’t wait to go back, but our week to visit again isn’t till September.  I know the time is going to fly but to such young kids they are sure it is an eternity away.

Games Please

Deeds has become quite the little math wiz.  In the past few months he has shocked us with his random bursts of math knowledge.  He loves doing addition right now and also counting up to 200 by 2’s.  Jeremy has been teaching him to count by 15’s recently and he can get up to 75 right now.  With all these fun advances he has really started to show interests in playing games.  Uno, Candyland, Blokus… you name it.  His latest game he is saving money for is the new Uno Robot game.

At school they do “social skills” and that often involves playing games and learning how to take turns and how to win and loose with grace.  We organized the game closet the other day so the kids could get into it by themselves.  I was a bit worried about the messes that it could cause but after a couple of days reinforcing that we put one game away before getting another out it’s been a huge success.

I woke up this morning to lots of giggling and laughter.  This was the sight I saw.

Kids playing Games all pics

These two have been playing all morning and it’s honestly been heaven.  As they get older their bond as siblings has some shining moments that really warm my heart.  Sometimes there are a lot of fights because Gwen doesn’t always understand why Deeds will ignore her or doesn’t want her close (hugs can cause big issues sometimes).  Lately however the happy moments have been closer together.  I think it helps that Gwen seems to grasp a lot of the concepts needed for the games, even at the young age of 3 years old.  It makes her a perfect playing companion for her brother.  What a blessing.



Disney on Ice

How can you tell mommy is in the middle of a crazy semester of school…. she never blogs for Deeds and Magpie.  I can’t believe the last post was from Christmas, but hey, it’s spring break for me now which means catching up on everything from doctors appointments, oil changes, yard work and even blogging!


Last weekend we were given tickets to Disney on Ice by an old friend of mine.  She even surprised us with third row seats and the kids were in heaven.  Since a Disneyland trip this year isn’t in the books I was hoping this would quench a bit of their Disney thirst but I think it may have added a log to the fire instead.

It was very cold waiting for the train in the morning.

It was very cold waiting for the train in the morning.

Hear no evil, speak no evil?

Hear no evil, speak no evil?

Waiting to get into the arena.

Waiting to get into the arena.

We decided to take the train up to Salt Lake instead of driving and it was a huge hit.  Magpie wasn’t a big fan at first but like the pro she is, she quickly relaxed and enjoyed the ride with the rest of us and then slept her way through all the ice skating commotion.  I did have to laugh at one point when Jeremy was standing with Deeds and Magpie while I was purchasing a drink for the kids.  I turned around and there were no less than 5 little girls, all dressed up like princesses, talking to Deeds and petting Magpie (who was loving all the attention).  Deeds was incredibly overstimulated during the show but despite it all we had a great time, spinning and flapping included.


We did get a lot of great pictures that are pretty self explanatory.  Deeds favorite parts were when Rapunzel and Flynn flew and when the horse was ice skating.


Quick post with pictures

I know there are many of you wondering where we went, how the autism carnival and soccer game were and what we are up to now.  We are still here but our lives are as busy as ever.  Between mommy’s incredibly demanding course load at the university this year and daddy working a multitude of part-time jobs we haven’t had a lot of free time and when we have we are often spending it together as a family and not blogging.  Lucky for you I got stuck home for a couple days with a stomach bug so TADA, a quick post!

Rest assured Deeds and Magpie are doing fantastically and here are a bunch of photo’s for your viewing pleasure.  I will work on a much more detailed post next week when we mark the one year anniversary of getting Magpie (can you believe it’s been a year!).

All our love!


A week away

A couple weeks ago we spent almost 7 full days off the grid at the family cabin up in the Uintas.  The kids are the 5th generation to be able to spend time there and it’s just fantastic.  It was perfect timing as the last hurrah before school started for everyone.  We had some friends and family with us for a couple of nights and then it was just us and grandma for the rest of the time.  We took a ton of pictures and so I’m going to let them speak for themselves.

It’s become one of Magpie and Deeds favorite places in the world.  Magpie gets to really let loose and act like the crazy lab she is and Deeds gets to throw rocks in water and watch VHS video’s to his heart’s content.  I think we played Hercules at least 4 times a day while we were there.  He got so obsessed with it that guess who is going to be our favorite hero for Halloween.  We seriously lucked out and even found the costume on ebay already.  Here is the run down for everyone’s costumes according to JD:

  • Deeds: Hercules
  • Gwen: Meg
  • Dad: Hades
  • Mom: the “middle” Muse
  • Magpie: Pegasus

We have everyone’s costumes ready now with the exception of daddy and magpie.  I just need to convince Deeds to let me make Magpie a black Pegasus and not the white one with blue hair like in the movie.

Back to the cabin…  We went on a lot of walks and little hikes with the kids.  Little sister was much more interested in the outings than Deeds was but it helped when we took a half an egg carton with us.  We put pieces of tape in the bottom of each spot and colored them each with a different color.  During the walks the kids would try to find stuff from nature to put in the spots with the corresponding color.

It was an amazing week and we made a lot of cherished family memories.  After a rough summer it was the perfect ending and way to kick off the fall.

Throwing rocks after swimming in the creek.

Magpie in the creek with an amazing view behind her.

Very wet Magpie watching Deeds play after she was done swimming.

Deeds balancing on his favorite log. We had at least one picture a day on the log, it was his favorite spot at the creek.

The doggies resting after a extra long walk.

The kids decided this fort about 10 minutes up a trail was the perfect spot for a snack and drink break.

Deeds jumping over a log on the trail.

Magpie waiting for Deeds and I while we headed out for one of our many outings.

Bundled up watching for moose during one of our night walks. Deeds is actually wearing his great great grandfather’s coat, it was pretty cute. We would take glow sticks with us, I think it was the kids favorite.

Yet another shot on our favorite log.

Deeds watching his “favorite cabin movie”. The kids would play titans and heros while together. To the best of what we could determine it was a bit like their version of cops and robbers.

Deeds and Magpie splashing around.

Deeds sitting in the creek and trying to convince little sister to try it too.

Drying off in the sun after all the splashing around in the cold water.

Deeds swinging, we found it on our first night walk and then went back every other night we were there.

Pushing dad and Gwen on the swing.

Deeds counting his 24 glow in the dark bracelets from our walk the night before.

Side note: I love that last picture for a few reasons, one is that you can clearly see the side of his face that was burned so badly on his third birthday.  It still amazes me that it healed so well and that the hair grew back in almost the entire area.  You really have to look close to see the scars on his forehead.  Such a miracle and blessing for our little guy.

Orange you glad I made Jello

We had a family reunion today so I whipped up something I’d seen a picture of online.  Jello with an fruit twist.

The only tutorial I saw used a juicer to get the pulp out of the oranges.  I don’t have one so I just used a spoon to scoop out the fruit after I cut it in half and it worked out perfectly and gave a much cleaner look.  Once they were halved I put them in a muffin tin to keep them upright.

I made the jello with a thicker consistency than the typical directions.  More like the way you would make jigglers.  I used one cup boiling water with one 6 oz package then added a half cup of ice cubes.  I made two different packages and it filled 4 oranges with some left over.  Could have done another orange (maybe two) but since it was my first time and I was in a hurry I didn’t hollow out any more oranges.

Fill the oranges with the jello to the top.  If you’ve poked any holes in your oranges it will become apparent as you are trying to fill them.  Having the muffin tin under helps in this aspect since it will catch any spills.  After they are set slice them as thin as you would like.  I found it easiest to put it jello side down and slice the peel first.

This was such a huge hit that Deeds was sad when they were gone and I should have made a TON more for the reunion.  Now we know for next year.

My niece attacking her coveted Jell-o orange slice

Little sister with evidence of her enjoyment of her treat all over her face.