Sunday, April 26, 2009


Well, it finally happened. Ten years and three kids later, I got my bachelor's degree! Yay! I'm going to miss school, but I'm excited to have earned my degree and I'm looking forward to just being Mom. I can't think of a better way to make use of all the things I learned in my major (Marriage, Family, and Human Development). It's kind of a weird mix of emotions for me. On the one hand, I'll never be satisfied with stopping my formal education with a bachelor's degree, so it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to get it. I've planned on one day getting a doctorate for a very long time (I mostly just want to be Dr. Somers. Shallow? Maybe...). On the other hand, the unique situation of ours made getting this degree quite a feat! Let's recap.

I went to Utah State University for two years right after high school and then moved back to California and took about a year off. I went to San Bernardino Valley College for a few semesters after Brice and I got married, took a semester or two off to have Raelin, then went back for until I got my associate's degree. When we came to Utah for Brice to go to school, I started applying too. I got rejected several times until I finally went in and asked what I needed to do to get accepted. The lady looked at my records and simply put a note on my account to look at my trend rather than my overall GPA (didn't do so hot at USU--busy playing ;) ). I started going to school at BYU in January of 2008. I took 15 units that semester. Brice was also going to school with 12 units, but we were able to work out our schedules so that one of us was always able to be with the kids. After that semester, I attended Spring and Summer terms full time (12 units between the two). At the beginning of the Spring term I got pregnant with Alaina. I managed to muddle through my Spring and Summer classes despite morning sickness that lasted longer than it had with the other two and being really tired.

Fall semester was the hardest by far. I was taking 15.5 units and Brice had 14.5 (in case you can't add, that's 30 units between the two of us. 30 units of scheduling without overlapping and 30 units worth of homework and tests with two kids to raise while being pregnant--what were we thinking!?). Raelin started preschool this semester too (I had no idea there would be so dang much paperwork!). By the end of the semester, I was beat! I was sore and huge and tired. But Winter 2009 was my last semester, I only had 12 units left (I'd never had such a light load before), and the pregnancy was about over, so there was a light at the end of the tunnel. My classes turned out to be pretty easy and not too demanding, and one of my classes was the keystone of my education. My education would not have been complete without Moral Foundations. The things I learned from that course tied everything else together.

Brice wasn't getting along with the camera very well this day, but they had a photographer there getting pictures of all the grads, so I'll post that when I get it.

This is my good friend, Courtney. She and I have a lot of the same non-mainstream preferences with child-rearing practices and we had fun sharing ideas with each other. I'll miss her! Good luck, Courtney!
Yes, I wore pants to my graduation. Did you expect anything less? At least they were slacks!

So, for me, getting through school was asking more than for most. I don't know many other people that went to school at the same time as their spouse while raising two kids and adding a third mid-semester! Okay, I don't know anyone else that has done that (if you've done it and I just don't know it, you deserve some serious kudos--it's not easy! But it's worth it!). All in all, I completed 54.5 units in three semesters and two terms (one year and four months). And I got B+'s or better in all those courses. Okay, so I'm bragging. I'll stop.

This is the best family picture we got...

but this one has a bit more personality to it. I'm thinking about using this picture in place of the one at the top of the page currently. What do you think? It seems very Somers-esque to me.

But honestly, I couldn't have done it without my wonderful, supportive husband, my patient kids who have just had to suck it up and deal with it, and a sweet, easy baby.

But most of all, God is truly a God of miracles. I really do think that He added hours to my days and gave me answers on my tests (is that cheating?). I can't tell you how many times I was just going to skip an assignment and take my zero or partial credit when miraculously, extra time would appear. There were also times when there was certainly not enough time to do an assignment that should take at least an hour but I miraculously got it done in twenty minutes. Other times, answers to test questions I hadn't studied would just pop into my head.

It's really been a wonderful opportunity and I loved school (who says that!?). I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to finish my bachelor's degree and to do something just for me. I'll always look back on the last year and a little bit as one of the most enjoyable times of my life. Thanks to all of you for your support, kind words, and willingness to help with our kids!

Look at those big, round eyes! They are so funny-looking but I just love them!

Um, I have no idea. I wasn't there yet, so don't ask me what in the world he was doing. Being Rykery again I guess, and expending pent-up energy from trying (and failing--I could see him leap-frogging down the stairs from all the way across the Marriot Center) to sit through the ceremony.

This is not related to graduation, but it's worth mentioning anyway. Raelin wanted to make pancakes (with Bisquick, I might add), which she can do by herself, eggs and all. But we are such slobs (I should have taken a picture of the dishes she stacked up to make counter space for herself) that there were no big bowls to mix the batter in. This was her solution. Divide up the Bisquick between four small bowls and add an egg and milk to each. Funny, clever girl!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rapidly Falling Behind

I know I just posted the other day, but so much has been going on that I feel like I'm losing ground too fast. I'm sure to condemn myself by saying this, but it looks like nice weather is here to stay! Finally!!! We went for a walk up the canyon on Saturday, but unfortunately, I didn't get very many good pictures. But here are the ones I did get:Ryker was very much into everything Rykery (that's an official word at our house) on our walk--sticks, climbing, running, and getting too close to edges. But mostly sticks.

Raelin wanted to be in charge of giving the dog treats every time he came to us, but he kinda scared her with how fast he would run at her. He still doesn't have a name, the poor dog.
Both of the kids love to climb, but especially Raelin. She is really good, too!
This hill was so steep that Brice stood at the bottom ready to save any heads that were in danger of finding rocks on the way down. If Brice is taking precautions, you know it's dangerous!

We also had a home made Playdoh day. A few days ago, I was gearing up to just be Mom and I thought I'd better find some fun things to do. I got so excited (which is new for me!) to do projects with them that I didn't wait until finals were over and we made Playdoh instead of studying. The kids had a great time (thanks, Ange, for the link to a good recipe!) It started off innocently enough:
Ryker told me he made this heart for me because he loves me. He's so sweet!
BYU was her own idea; no one suggested it or gave her ideas of how to do it. She pushed some Doh through a Playdoh garlic press and used the "worms" to make the letters. Clever girl.
Then Daddy came home and this is what you get:

Raelin was a bit skeptical at first, but she got into it soon enough.
Yes, Playdoh went in her nose...

You can see Brice's eye, cheek, and nose pretty clearly; the ambiguous glob on the left was the part that was in his mouth. His comment: "Salty!" My comment: "Gross! You are SUCH a bad example--don't eat the Playdoh!"

Today, we had just gotten home from the park and I was getting Alaina settled, when Raelin said that Ryker was eating food coloring. WHAT!? EATING food coloring?He said he wanted to be a frog. And this was how he thought he could accomplish it.
Oh, boys...

And here are some projects of late (where did I find time? I have no idea...)
I got this idea from my little friend Taylor who had one at church for her crayons. I wanted Raelin to have something to do in the car so her hands would be busy thereby keeping her thumb from finding its way into her mouth. Crayons, however, do not withstand life in a car very well so I made these for colored pencils.
This one's Ryker--most of the pencils are already missing. And he can't bring his in the car because he can't be trusted to write ONLY on paper.

And this one is Raelin's. She loves the fishy fabric.

A while back my friend Kari sent me a Woombie to borrow . It's a cool little sleeper sack that swaddles the baby without the need to know any blanket techniques. It's also cooler than all that blanket material wrapped around the baby. But it is white. White and I are not friends. Anyone that knows any of the Somers' will understand why. So I wanted to make one of my own--it looked simple enough. The hard part was finding ribbing for around the neck. And the time to finish making it. By the time I finished (yesterday), Alaina was too big for it. So I need to make her a bigger one. Fortunately, it is as simple as it looked.
Well, she sort of fits. I can get her in it, but her legs are pretty scrunched. She's fast asleep in it currently, so she must not mind too much.

These two pictures are for Tia:
Thanks for the cute outfit! (AKA "alfit")

And finally, look what I did!!!!! This is the effect I've been trying to figure out how to capture. I'm not quite certain what all the factors are that went into getting this picture, but I got it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

An Easter Story I Can't Believe I Forgot!

We don't usually shelter our kids from real life stuff, even if it's sad or scary (unless it's TV, but then that's not real life now is it...) so on Easter when we were reading the Resurrection story from our egg hunt, we were telling the kids about the nails that were pounded into Christ's hands, wrists, and feet and we told them about the spear in his side and the crown of thorns. At one point, we were describing how they had pushed the long thorns into our Savior's head with a big rock and Ryker looked at me with tears in his little eyes and a pout to his little lip and said, "Why did they DO that!?" What a sweet, tender little guy! We explained that He suffered so that we could live; that He could have stopped it at any time but He chose to suffer all the awful things that the people did to Him so that we could live with Him again. And He did it because He loves us. I hope Ryker never loses that tenderness and I'm glad he has such a love for the Lord.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quote from Ryker

"Mommy, if you smack me, I will still love you."

Now that that's settled...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter, bipolar weather, haircuts and other goings on

We're doing this completely out of order because the pictures always load out of order and I don't feel like cutting and pasting today. I gave Ryker a much needed haircut today (pictures to follow in some future post) and Raelin asked if she could have a haircut. I get tired of raking a brush through her hair, seeing her chew on it, and trying to keep it out of her face and out of her food. So she got a haircut today too and it is really cute! She is really happy with it too. It's shorter than she told me she wanted it because I didn't realize that her shoulders were scrunched when I made the first cut, but I don't think she's realized that so don't tell her!

I just can't do it, I have to cut and paste so things are in order from here on. The haircut was today, but these pictures are from Easter. It was a really nice day and I was excited to think that spring was finally here. I was deceived. We (well, I) decided that this year I was going to teach my kids a thing or two about holidays and candy. Holidays are NOT about candy (except for Halloween)! So this year they got a few small toys and a few pieces of candy in an Easter basket and then they had an Easter egg hunt for eggs that were not filled with candy, but rather with the story of Easter. You know, the one from the Bible. Some anonymous person set up a hunt like this at my parents house one year so I coppied that. There were 12 eggs and in each one was a piece of the story and a little token to go along with it. There was a palm leaf to represent the ones waved at Jesus as he came to Jerusalem on a donkey, a cross (duh), a nail, some throns, etc. And that was it. No candy-filled eggs at the Somers' house this year! And I really liked it. I hope I can get Brice on board to keep that as a tradition, but I think he still thinks Easter is about candy. ;)

On Monday, I went to my parents' house to pick up some things and to check on it while they were in California. It was a BEAUTIFUL day! I had fun taking pictures of the kids and the kids had fun running, climbing, playing, and being out of the house!

They look like sweet little angels don't they. Well don't let them fool you! They sneaked toys into Grammie's house after I told them they couldn't and then they lost them and didn't even care enough to go look for them. They were new Easter toys too! Ungrateful swine! I was really ticked off about their lack of gratitude and appreciation for the fact that they live a life of luxury compared to most. I was also tired of being more upset when their toys get lost or ruined than they are. I was fuming as I drove home and I called Brice and told him I'd had it and I was taking away all their toys except for two for a month to teach them a thing or two about appreciating how blessed they are to have toys. He said he'd proposed that a while back. Why, oh why didn't I listen!!? So that night we did pack up all but 4 of their toys (Brice is a softee and let them have two more than I was going to give them). I don't know that they are learning to appreciate their toys, but the house sure is cleaner!If you ask me, that's WAY too many toys for two kids to own; and that's not even all of them! They have some that are stored high in their closets and some in the attic. Anyone need any toys? Seriously, come and get 'em if you need some!

Okay, back to our beautiful day in the momentary sun...

Ryker was trying to pull this tree down. Ummm, right, good luck with that.
Raelin climbed all the trees she could. She sure loves to climb. I can't tell you how many times she's been stuck in trees or on the outside of tunnel slides. One time she got stuck in a tree and when I went to find her, I almost didn't see her. She was at least a good 20 feet up a big pine tree! Kind of impressive if you ask me.

Two days later, the snow returned. Stinking bipolar Utah weather! I am SOOOO sick of snow! But here's Alaina all bundled up and ready to go sledding. Yes, there was enough snow to sled.
Finally happy (or at least not crying) right when it was time to go. It had been so cold that it was taking her breath away, but she didn't like having her head in my jacket because she wanted to see.

We played until the kids were cold and I had to carry the sleds to the car to leave. They wanted me to carry them but there was just no way I was going to do that!

These are some little shoes I crocheted for Alaina. I used the biggest hook that I have for this kind of crocheting and they just barely fit! She has the biggest feet ever!

And here I caught a sneeze on camera:

This is what happens when dogs want to play and cats don't know they want to play.

(Brice was determined to get a picture of her hissing at him (the dog, not at Brice). I thought it was cruel to allow the torture to continue, but the cat and I lost that argument.