Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A perfect moment...

...yep they happen even in my house.  Tonight I had a perfect moment in time, one that I wish I could have stopped time, for just a moment.
 A moment of joy, peace, and maybe a little magic.  
Time stopped for just a moment, while I was in the kitchen preparing dinner, Pandora playing a little "Wicked", while Marra danced around with her tutu and magic wand.
Nate had taken Peyton on a drive to get a Slurpee, (that's what big brothers do).
Cam and Mase enjoying being together, and dad reading in his favorite chair.
Sounds a little 1950's.

It was perfect.

Everyone was content.

Everyone was happy

These are the moments when I know being a wife and a mother is what I am suppose to be doing.

1950's and all.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Let the vacation begin...

...I have known for a year now that we would be making the big trek out west to my parents home for Thanksgiving.  But for whatever reason, I waited until the last week to get ready.  NOT the best way to start the trip, but hey it works out for us all in the end.

20 hours in the car...
only stopping for gas...
driving straight through the night...
making it in time to see our friends football game...
Cafe Rio..

worth it.

Our many friends here have made the lack of sleep bearable.

Currently we are on day two and enjoying time as a family and seeing some of our friends here in Las Vegas.

The view from our room.
The boys are ready to play on the beach, who knew Vegas had a beach.

Sitting outside by one of the many water fountains.

So far the highlights of the trip have been friends and watching my children enjoy being together.  Tomorrow it is more friends and a date for Nate the Great.
Yes he has been waiting for this date for a long time.

...Peytonism: something always sounds better if you put "resort" at the end of it.
bed resort, bath resort, school resort... he may be on to something.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My favorite day at church...

...Once a year the children in Primary (children's church), present the program for our Sunday services.   It is my favorite meeting of the year. 
There are many reasons why, but the main reason is because to hear the testimony of a child through scripture and song of our Savior, Jesus Christ makes for a very powerful and uplifting church service.

Of course I cried a few times throughout the meeting. 

I love to see my children sing, and I always have one who does a little entertaining as well.

It is usually Cam, and he did so again.

Not sure if the  the highlight of his entertaining was him doing the "walking down the stairs" and slowly disappearing below, or watching him do the robot. 

We smiled, clenched our teeth, and mouthed SING!!!

Eventually he stopped looking in our direction. 

He did sing...eventually.

Marra and Peyton smiled, and between the three of them (Cam included), it was a wonderful meeting.

To watch my children testify of Christ and to feel their testimonies is truly priceless.

I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is my elder brother, and I am forever grateful for his atoning sacrifice for me, and all others on this earth.  I know that I am blessed. I know that it is through Him that I too can live with Him and Heavenly Father again. I know that I am a child of God. There is nothing more that I want for my children then for them to know the same. 

To witness this program every year gives me hope that I am on the right track.

Next year I will remember to bring tissue.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wow it has been a while...

...I would love to say I have moved mountains in my absence, but no, I have kept up mostly with my family. 

Big things happening here, well big for our family.

Steve and I are officially the BIG 4-0. I know, I can't believe it either.  My hair has been telling me how old I am for YEARS,  (thank you Grandma O). 
40 has not been too bad.  I did have a small breakdown, but that may be due to the fact that my oldest set up a time to take his SAT. 
40 is reminding me that my children are growing up, and my parents are getting older, and life is not slowing down at all. 

Nate is an official driver.  I know CRAZY!!!! He can now drive without a parent in the car, he can drive to dances alone. Now here's to hoping he can get a job to drive to, to pay for this lovely insurance we get to pay for.

Mase made the singing group at school "Limelight".  It still amazes me how much he love to sing, or is it entertain?  He also made the 8th grade basketball team.  Let the basketball season begin.

Cam at Halloween, he was cleaner in this picture.

Cam survived three days at 5th grade camp.  Alright I will be honest, he LOVED it.  I missed him sooo much.  So I survived him being at camp for three days.  Now he is ready for more basketball.

Peyton earned his orange belt in karate!!! He has been working so long and hard to move up.  He had to break a board with his hand, and did it.  I cried, my kids do that to me. 

Marra is loving ballet and tap. I cry there too.

Steve is coaching basketball again, with four boys he will be doing it for years.  He is a great coach, and the boys love him and learn so much through him.

I just finished report cards and am starting parent teacher conferences.  I LOVE it.  I have the best class. Teaching is fun and the kids seem to be learning.  I hope they are learning, we are having a lot of fun. 

I am now helping out in cub scouts.  Scouts are always busy, I pray I can keep up.

Our family is planning on heading to St. George for thanksgiving. The Casper's are having a reunion. It  has been years since all of my siblings have been together.  It will be so fun.

Now all I need to do is think of talent to share at the reunion?

That,  and all the other stuff I still need to get done.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week one...

...of life as a wife, mother, and kindergarten teacher was pretty good.

I still have a few kinks to work out.
Mostly on being a mom.
Nate tells me I'm only fun when other people are around.
I told him I'm just not at my best between 6 and 8 in the morning.
I need to work on that.

I need to work on a lot of things, but MOM will have to be at the top of my list.
Well, that is kids come 2nd to the hubby of course.
He always comes first.

Kindergarten is a down further on my list, I think it is almost easier.
Most of the work is done for me, I just do what the book tells me.

Where is the "how to be an awesome mom book"?
At least the cousins think I'm awesome, (funny how they are not around at 6 am).

I will work on it.
I promise.
I wonder how I would act if everyone just did everything I needed done without me asking them to do so?

I would be an awesome mom for sure.

Until then I will try harder.
Maybe I will actually make a hot breakfast for them every morning.
Laugh when their rooms are a mess.
Happily pick up all the clothes left on the bathroom floor.
Sing while wiping up yet another spill.

Who am I kidding.
I'm going to try and count to 10 before reminding them of all of the above.
It's a start.

Now on to week two, minus the yelling mom.

I'm sure the pioneers NEVER yell at their kids.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's the First Day of School...

...at least for four of them.
Marra and I start next week.
More about that later, and a snap shot on how we spent our summer vacation.

Peyton is ready for the 3rd grade and pretty sure he can ace those TAKS tests he has been hearing about from all of his brothers.

Cameron is King of the school in the 5th grade. Basketball is front and center in his mind, lets hope his teacher is ready for the energy about to enter her room.

Mase is also King of the school in the 8th grade.  Ready for another year of basketball and early morning practices.  We tried to get him to play football as well, but he is not going for it.  

Nate is a junior. I know, crazy he had to grow. Is enjoying the dating thing, but wishes it was a little cheaper.  He has started to be a little more creative and managed a date for free. That is mom and dad already had the food at home, but free to him.

The gang ready to go.

Marra the loan wolf at home.
Until next week when she too is in school.

It is soooo quiet here at home.  Marra is playing with her dollhouse, and the only other sound is that of the fan.  What is a mom to do? Dishes? Laundry? Vacuum? no, I think I will read a book.  I can do the rest any time.

That and get ready for my kindergarten class that starts next week.  One book shouldn't hurt.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's hard...

... to let a weekend like this end.  
A weekend to remember.
A special day for brothers.
A proud moment for parents.

Nate baptized Peyton

Family all together.

Both grandma's

Food, family and friends

Swimming in hopes of staying cool

It is truly a blessing to have family and friends who support us on our journey through life.  Even better when they celebrate with us.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

We are melting...

...it seems only yesterday that we were complaining about the "Big Freeze" here in the great state of Texas.
No one wanted to go outside, after all who owns a coat in Texas.
Ice was everywhere.
We even managed to get a little ice on the inside of our house.

Ice would be nice...

We do have AC, can't wait for that bill.

We have pools to play in.

We even have Popsicles, you have to eat them inside, they melt too fast if you open the door.

We have to leave the windows shut, air is getting a little stale.

We don't have rain.

Oh how we need the rain...

My flowers are dead,
the grass is mostly dead,
and the cars need a scrub.

So while I continue to pray for rain I thought I would catch y'all up on the happenings in this part of our world.

We have some cows,

Enjoyed time in Houston with cousins enjoying the Blue Bell ice cream factory.

 Played the wii (again), with cousins.

Could not resist a couple foam wigs to be entertained by.
Or is it the kids that entertain?

Quality magic show, or was it comedy?

Tin foil boats.  

A big blue blob, no play dough, homemade.  
Why spend the money to watch the real stuff dry out.

An eight-year-old's birthday.
Favorite gift, cash.

A 16th birthday.
Favorite gift, the privilege to date.

A water relay..

and finally a dunking booth.

It's hot and humid, but by next summer we will be used to it.  Right?

Up next? 

A Baptism.
Way to go Peyters,
and a family road trip.

Stay tuned and see where we end up.

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's been ...

The end of the school year has come and gone. Preschool is over for the year and kindergarten plans are coming along.
Now if only I can keep the kids busy for the summer.
Life is still moving and big changes about the house...
mostly this...

A big step,
a first,
a few more gray hairs (mostly for Steve).

Oh and a little of this...

 A bit of this..
 who can resist a few moments of "Just Dance" on the wii?
 And always a whole lot of Basketball camp.  Cam got the hotshot award.
Who knows what Mase will bring back when he returns from BYU basketball camp.  I think he's hoping for some digits, from girls that is.

Life keeps us busy, but busy is good.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I lack in many things...

... mostly time.

I wish I was better at this blogging, so my parents could get happy updates of the going ons in our world.  I should be better, my mom writes a note to each of her grandkids EVERY month, not a small task when you have 20+ notes to send. I think I should be able to manage one update a month.  Perhaps that should be my goal, but I would hate to fail so I will wait on that one.

Life is busy... work, laundry, paying bills (seems to be the only time I get on the computer), dropping kids off, picking kids up, trying not to panic that my son is learning to drive, and always basketball.

Nate and Mase went rockclimbing with the scouts.  Mase who is afraid of heights actually did it.  I think our recent trip to Sea World and all the rides we forced him on may have helped.
 Marra enjoyed the snow more than anyone.  Even when the heat was on she wanted to be outside.
 We also enjoyed some much loved "Jimmer" time with our friends.
So life is good, busy and I would love to tell more, but I am off to pick up the kids.  Oh how much they need to start taking the bus.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 4 of "The Deep Freeze"...

...and I am ready for the thaw.  As a Texan I have developed thin blood, that doesn't seem to warm up in temperatures less than 60 degrees. (I can hear my dad saying "wimp") Aside from the freezing temperatures, and the snow, I need the thaw so my sweet children can be in school.  For their safety and my sanity.

Day 1 of no school brought much joy with a day off and Dad home because his office was closed.  A miniature golf tournament was started. Marra was content with a few preschool worksheets and scissors and glue.  Homemade pizza filled bellies at lunch and soup and homemade bread was enjoyed at dinner.  Amazing what you can bake when you are home all day.

Day 2 started early with rolling blackouts and a continuing game of mini golf.  Soon a Pokemon war started and golf was forgotten.  Soon an NBA tournament on the Wii began and peace from the Pokemon war was restored.  "Left-Over Day"was declared for lunch and my sweet hubby braved the streets to bring me a fresh supply of Diet Coke.  Dinner was tacos or left-overs again.  Thanks to BYU basketball the evening was tolerated.

Day 3 started earlier with the sound of my sweet children arguing about who could be on the computer first.  Next came the news that our gas company (we use propane to heat our house and cook) that the gas truck was running SEVERAL days behind so conserve as much as we can - the thermostat was promptly turned 60 and on went my jacket.  The kids are in shorts and not bothered with the cold.  Mini golf is in the entry way, puzzles are everywhere and Marra is trying to convince her brothers to play her "Princess Chutes and Ladders" game with her.  The Wii basketball tournaments continued. Lunch brought "how many bubbles can you blow in your milk", with a side of soup and Panini sandwiches.  Fried rice and chicken help the feast and dinner, and my Diet Coke is dwindling once again.

We woke up this morning to greet Day 4 with six inches of fresh powder.  Dad's office is closed again.  We will make it another day, at least I am pretty sure.  I am down to my last cup of Diet Coke and no gas truck yet.

Putting all that aside I am still grateful to enjoy time with my kids and a couple days of hubby at home.  After all who else would brave the elements to bring me a drink.  Thankful for food storage that has given us much to eat, perhaps i need to store more of my drink.

Now off to enjoy a movie snuggled in a blanket.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bonse Aba 2 Sloan Creek Choir

Between basketball and homework Mase, whom I once claimed never sang a note in tune, enjoys singing in the choir at school. He surprised me once again when he announced he was trying out for a solo in choir. The solo turned into an ensemble of 10 boys.
So enjoy the rehearsal at school Mase (red Texas shirt) is one of the boys up front.

Now I'm off to another weekend of basketball, hoping my house will get cleaned during baseball season. I won't hold my breath.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I am a slacker...

...so a late Merry Christmas to all and a Happy new year.

We did write a christmas letter.
I do have the cards.
No family picture, and my motivation ran out sometime between school ending and New Years.

So Here is the family letter..
via family blog and a few random pictures of our Thanksgiving trip to Georgia.
note not one with the whole family together, maybe I will set the goal to get a
family picture taken this year. Ohhh Steve would be so happy.

2010 was a very eventful year for the Cottrell family.

The biggest event of all occurred in March when after five years of being away, we returned to Texas. Two years after an ill-fated move to Las Vegas just as the economy was beginning to implode, we opted for the security of the area we called home for 7.5 years. After 5 years of vacation in Encinitas and Vegas, we are enjoying country life on a 19-acre spread in Lucas.

Steve is finding more and more specks of gray in his hair, and is still adjusting to his post-knee-surgery lifestyle. No more running or playing basketball, which has been a difficult adjustment. He was able to help out with coaching a few of the boys’ basketball and soccer teams this year, and says that he must be old because he reads only non-fiction except for an occasional Grisham novel.

Marnie is busy running the house, and this year added a new title: Teacher. In preparation for the next stage of her life, she became a pre-school teacher at Little Hart’s Pre-School in Lucas. Next year the school will offer kindergarten for the first time, and Marnie has accepted an offer to teach it. She is busy most days preparing for next year’s curriculum, plus all of the other things associated with running a busy household. More than the rest of us, she really missed Texas and is so happy to be with old friends and acquaintances.

Nathan (15) is in 10th grade at Lovejoy High School and starting to think about college and working. This year he started to get serious about working out and obtaining the ever-elusive “six-pack”. He will be starting driver’s ed soon and hopes to finish his Eagle requirements soon. He left behind some wonderful friends in Nevada but is making some great new ones in Texas. He enjoys writing, school, and after ending his school basketball career now plays for a team in the local athletic league.

Mason (13) is in 7th grade at Sloan Creek Middle School. At the beginning of the year he was playing left tackle in football for the Henderson Cowboys as they were one game away from the state championship

for their age group. He is now focusing on basketball as one of the tallest members of the 7th grade team. He has straight As, and has an outsized, lovable personality that keeps us laughing. We were especially impressed this year with his ability to make new friends quickly after the move.

Cameron (9) is in 4th grade at Hart Elementary. He constantly impresses us with his knowledge of facts and his memory. He started the year playing football with the mighty mite Henderson Cowboys and was part of a team that only allowed three touchdowns all season, culminating in a championship game with a score of 50-0. He also is an awesome basketball and soccer player, while maintaining straight As and a 100% cumulative grade in his favorite subject, science. He recently won his class spelling bee and will be participating in the school spelling bee after the holidays.

Peyton (7) is in 2nd grade at Hart Elementary. We can hardly believe that it’s been nearly 6 years since the miraculous surgery to mitigate the impact of a cyst in his brain, and we are thankful every day for his continued improvement and attitude. He is still a little behind on some motor skills, but he has a sharp mind. He has straight As, is getting a workout in his gymnastics class, and is part of the chess club at school.

Marra (4) gets to go to pre-school with Mom most days. She has beautiful long, blonde hair and dreams of being able to wear it like Rapunzel someday. She continues to be all princess with a little tomboy mixed in, and she loves having 4 big brothers who adore her 24/7.

Love from the Cottrell’s