Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Surprise Babies

I've been feeling the need to record our family history - our family's story.  Even if it comes in little bits and pieces. 

Yesterday I found myself thinking about the fact that all three of our girls were surprises and the boys were not.  That sounds weird, what I mean is that we knew the boys were boys before they were born but we didn't know the girls were girls.  Maybe it seems weird to write a whole post about this, but it is part of our family's story! 

Since Stephen was our first, we really wanted to know if he was a boy or girl and were quite excited to find out he was a boy.  It was a lot of fun buying a few baby boy things.  We didn't have much money, so we bought a little Moses basket at Walmart for about $15 and I sewed a little mattress and bumper to go around the inside.  Mom threw a baby shower for me, and that helped a lot!  James had known for a very long time that he wanted to name his first son after his Dad, Stephen James.

When I was pregnant with Annie, I had an ultrasound very early in my pregnancy and then found out that our insurance would only cover one ultrasound.  So we planned for either possibility!  As my due date got close, I was measuring a little small and my doctor was concerned that there wasn't enough amniotic fluid.  So he did a quick ultrasound in the office just to make sure everything was ok.  It was, she was just a small baby.  But he also checked her sex.  And asked if I wanted to know.  I told him I had waited that long, I could wait till the baby was born.  She was born the very next day!  And I was SO excited to have a girl!  Even though we knew she could have been a boy, we never did agree on a boy name.  We had only chosen a girl name, Anne Johanna.  A few sisters from our ward had a baby shower for Annie a couple of weeks after she was born.

Then when I was pregnant with Ellen, we purposely decided not to find out if she was a boy or a girl.  We had enjoyed being surprised by Annie so much and wanted to do that again. Luckily, we already had everything we needed for a boy or a girl, so that was not a concern at all.  And it was fun again to find out when she was born that we had another little girl.  Stephen was not quite so excited about it, but he got over it.  With Ellen, we had only been able to agree on a boy name.  We had decided, if the baby was a boy, that we would name him after our close friend Russell Osterman.  I don't remember having a middle name to go with it though.  We had discussed several girl names, but didn't settle on Ellen Margot till an hour or two after she was born. 

Next came Naomi.  We decided we wanted to know this time.  I had an ultrasound, but Naomi was shy and the technician couldn't get a good enough look to see if she was a boy or girl!  So we were going to have our third surprise!  Stephen really wanted a brother.  But he seemed ok with it when she was born and we had girl number three.  Annie was quite excited to have another sister.  I don't remember if we ever had a specific boys name picked out.  Boy names were a little harder for us.  I had been sure that we had decided on Naomi Fern for a girl.  I was so sure that when she was born and the nurse asked what we were going to name her, I said, "Naomi Fern Mobley".  And James promptly said, "We are?"  He did not remember choosing that name!  But he was gracious and let me name her Naomi Fern.  Life after Naomi was born was hard for us.  Ellen had just started her treatment for hip displaysia and was in a spica cast.  And I  struggled with post partum depression for most of Naomi's first year.  So we decided that we would be done having kids.

Then, SURPRISE!  I found out I was pregnant.  I was so nervous that I knew about it for two weeks before I told James.  He was very positive and encouraging.  But we were still both a bit nervous, so we decided to find out if we were having a boy or a girl.  It was a boy!  And we were all so excited!  Especially Stephen.  He was finally getting a brother!!  My sweet visiting teachers threw a baby shower for me since it had been so long since our last boy and I had given away quite a bit of our baby clothes.  We tried for a while to think of a name we both liked, and couldn't come up with anything.  Then one day James suggested Noah and we never looked back.  Twelve days after his due date, and after both Nana and Grandma and Grandpa Mobley had come and gone hoping to see the new baby, Noah Vernon was born. 

After Noah we again decided that we would be done having children.  Every now and then James would say, "Are you sure we shouldn't have another kid?"  And I always said, "Yes!"  But when Noah was three, I read a quote from Spencer W. Kimball in a talk by Julie B. Beck.  He said, "“It is an act of extreme selfishness for a married couple to refuse to have children when they are able to do so.”  And that morning I knew that we needed to have another baby.  But I wanted to make sure!  So we prayed and fasted and went to the temple.  And the answer was definitely yes.  I was soon pregnant, but after just 7 weeks I had a miscarriage.  James and our neighbor, Mike Dixon, gave me a blessing and I felt a lot of comfort and reassurance that everything was ok.

We were all excited when I found out I was pregnant again.  And we all really wanted to know if we were having a boy or a girl.  I went to the ultrasound by myself then afterwards called James to tell him we were having a boy.  I left blue sticky notes on Stephen, Annie, and Ellen's lockers at school telling them they were going to have another brother.  Noah and Naomi were at the Dixon's house and were so excited when I told them.  James really wanted to name the baby George, after his great-grandpa George Baugh Everton.  James and the kids were constantly talking about Baby George.  I just couldn't quite get used to that name though.  About a month before his due date, I started thinking really hard about other names.  James knew how I felt about the name George so he listened, but wasn't convinced to go with a different name yet.  Then I remembered the quote from President Kimball and suggested the name Spencer.  James wondered who we would be naming him after and I said, "The Prophet from when we were born." and he liked it!  Whew!  Spencer Everton was born a whole week before his due date.

And there you have the story of how we knew when we were having boys but were surprised by our girls.  Plus a little extra. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Our 2015 Big Trip: Camping in Kilgore

Our trip started with Grandpa's annual campout at the Steel Creek Campground in Kilgore.  James had to work that week and Annie was at Girl's Camp with Katherine, so it was just me, Stephen, Ellen, Naomi, Noah, and Spencer.  I got to hang out with my sisters and Beth and it was just wonderful!

Spencer was not so sure about being away from home at first, but he was quite happy to be camping! 

It was COLD this year.  The kids and I didn't get to the campout till Monday evening.  When we got here we found out that we had missed hail and snow and rain and more hail and more snow.  Dixie and Zach and Mom and Dad made room for all of us in their campers so we didn't have to set up out tents and sleep in the cold.  When we woke up in the morning there was ice on all the tables!  Brrr!  We wore our jackets almost all day that day. 

Hunting for frogs with Uncle Kerry.

 Naomi holding a little froggy.

Hannah and Naomi

Stephen is VERY loved by all the younger cousins.

Card games with Nana!!

The big people card game.  We had to pause the game while getting everyone put to bed.  But we picked it right back up around 10 or 11 in Dixie and Zach's camper.  I haven't laughed so hard in a long time!  So much fun!!!

Cousins!  Wearing awesome shirts from Beth.

My Sisters!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nov. 2 - 9

Sunday, Nov. 2nd, James and Naomi stayed home from church today.  Neither of them were feeling very good and Naomi and a mild fever: 100.6.  We've all been struggling with a bit of laryngitis the last few days.  I played the organ in Sacrament meeting.  Ellen bore her testimony.  Her friend Madeline came to church with us.  At dinner Spencer started saying, "Raise hand, like _______" (Raise your hand if you like _______ )  He was so funny!  He came up with all kinds of things for us to like and hardly had any repeats.  Phineas and Ferb was about the only thing he mentioned more than once.  After dinner we played spoons again.  It's been such a nice evening together as a family!

Monday, Nov.3rd, Naomi stayed home from school but was definitely starting to feel better.  No fever!  For Family Home Evening we wrote on our traditional "We Are Thankful For..." paper that covers our pantry door.  It is more full this year than it has ever been! 

Tuesday, Nov. 4th, Spencer and I picked the last of our tomatoes out of our garden.  We also raked up all the pine needles in the front yard.  Two big wheelbarrow's full!  And all of that was from only one tree since James cut one of our pine trees down this summer.  The other one goes next summer!  Hooray!  Ellen and Naomi went to Activity Days.  Then we ate a quick dinner and went to Annie's band concert.  There were two bands and two choirs that performed and we all thought Annie's band was the very best. 

Wednesday, Nov. 5th, Annie went to dance class.  Ellen had her first basketball practice of the season.  She is on the same team as her friend/neighbor Bailee Cook.  Bailee's mom, Lori (aka, the Bishop's Wife) is their coach.  Ellen is excited and nervous for basketball because this year they will play full court games instead of just half court.  Annie, Stephen, and James all went to mutual.  Stephen's group went bowling.  Stephen got 3rd place behind two of the leaders.  Annie's group made decorations for the upcoming Young Women's in Excellence. 

Thursday, Nov. 6th the girls all had piano lessons and I had scouts.  We had a lady from the community come talk to us about alternative forms of communication used especially by kids with Autism.

Friday, Nov.7th, was an early release day from school!  Annie stayed after school to work on an art project.  Ellen hurried off to basketball practice.  Friday night the boys went to the church to set up chairs for Stake Conference.  The girls and I got to go with Sister Dixon and Julia to see the play of "Anne of Green Gables" put on by the Moscow Community Theater.  We really enjoyed it!  Especially since we knew the girl playing Anne!  Her name, for real, is Marilla Hurst.  She used to be in our ward and was one of the kids favorite babysitters before Stephen was old enough to babysit.  She was so good! 

Saturday, Nov. 8th, we got a lot of work done inside and outside the house.  This weekend was our Stake Conference so James went to the Priesthood Leadership meeting at 4.  I made 5 pizzas.  Then James stayed home with our 4 youngest and the Dixon's 4 youngest eating pizza and brownies and watching "the Apple Dumpling Gang."  I took Stephen and Annie and Cecily took her older kids to the Youth/Adult session of conference.  Elder Robert C. Gay of the Seventy was here and of course gave a great talk.  He told a lot of stories that we all enjoyed. 

Sunday, Nov.9th we all went to Stake Conference.  We got to see some actual relatives today!  Joseph and Mary's kids are staying with their Mauery grandparents for the weekend and we got to see them at conference!  Sister Mauery and I arranged ahead of time to sit together so the kids could visit a little before conference started.  We even got to see Simon!  He is so cute!!  He smiled and smiled!  I love him!!!  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Oct. 26 - Nov. 1

Sunday, the 26th, was a pretty relaxing day.  I didn't have to teach Sunbeams because the Stake Relief Society Presidency taught a special class and wanted all the sisters to attend, so the brethren took care of everything.  It was SO nice!  Sunday afternoon was still nice and quiet.  Lots of naps! 

Monday, the 27th was Naomi's last soccer game!  We made it through the whole soccer season!  She played hard but is not planning on playing soccer ever again.  Stephen had taken care of most of dinner while Naomi and I were gone.  Baked potatoes.  After cleaning up dinner, we sang "Once There Was a Snowman" to get FHE started.  Then we watched the Mormon Message video where President Uchtdorf talks about the marshmallow experiment and patience.


We played spoons (even Spencer tries to play, and since it is spoons, it works!) and had candy for our treat.  There is a lot of candy in our house already, and more coming in the next few days.  Yikes!

Tuesday, the 28th, Noah woke up with a slight fever, a very sore throat, a cough, and a lot of congestion.  He stayed home from school.  I gave him some ibuprophen and he was pretty comfortable for most of the day, but when it wore off his fever went up to 103.6.  After school Naomi and Ellen played with friends, Annie did homework then practiced dance, Stephen designed on paper then started working on a Viking type of boat he wants to build, Noah hung out on the couch, and Spencer played with cars. 

Wednesday, the 29th, Noah was still home sick.  Annie went to her dance class from 4-6.  Then Annie, Stephen, and James went to mutual that night.  It was a joint activity with all 4 Moscow wards.  They had a chili dinner in a barn just outside of town.  From what I hear there was tons of really good food.

Thursday, the 30th, Noah was starting to feel better but still had to stay home.  He was pretty sad about that because it meant that he missed his class Halloween party.  Mrs. Murphy, the mom of one of Noah's good friends, brought him a plate of all the goodies he missed and a mask to color.  After school the girls had piano lessons then I had scouts that night.  Alida Fern Humphries was born to Sam and Natalie today!

Friday, the 31st.  Happy Halloween!  The kids were out of school for parent teacher conferences.  Ellen and I met with her teacher first.  It was a student-led conference, which meant that Ellen had chosen some things she wanted me to see and she had set a short term and a long term goal for herself and she got to tell me about all of those things.  Ellen's teacher is Mrs. Mock.  Annie had her in 5th grade and we really love her.  Then I met with Naomi's teacher, Mrs. Gillette.  Then with Noah's teacher, Ms. Hughes.  All good reports and nice things to say which is always nice for me!  After conferences we got some work done around the house.  At noon Stephen and I went to the bank to turn in his report card.  Our bank gives kids ages 13-18 one dollar per A on their report card which they can turn in at every quarter.  They are also entered into a drawing for a scholarship.  We've never known about it before, but will do it from now on!  Stephen had 5 A's!  After the bank we went to Winco to pick up 200 donuts for the ward party that night.  I've never had a cart FULL of donuts before, and it was kind of fun!  The afternoon was spent finishing up costumes and carving pumpkins.

Stephen was a stick man.  He used glow-in-the-dark tape on a black hoodie and black pants and looked really awesome in the dark!  Annie was a train engineer.  Ellen wore a poodle skirt and cardigan.  Naomi was a Monkey Fairy Heart Queen.  (She had a crown, but forgot to wear it.)  She put it all together herself and was very happy with it.  Noah was Donald Duck.  And Spencer was a football player.  Halloween night we went to the ward Trunk-or-Treat then came home and trick or treated on our little street.  Whew!

Saturday, Nov. 1st, I got to go mountain biking this morning.  YAY!  It was foggy up at the top of the mountain and was so beautiful!  James and Stephen spent the morning cleaning up their bear bait site.  Our neighbors, the Kleffner's, have season tickets to the UofI football games but couldn't go today so they gave their tickets to us.  Stephen and Noah ended up going and had a great time.  The Vandals lost to Arkansas State though, 44-28.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oct. 19-25

Sunday was the Primary Program!  We only had three kids participating this year!  I think Annie was a little sad about not being part of it, but she loves Young Women's so much that she didn't say anything about wishing she was still in Primary.  Ellen, Naomi, and Noah all did a great job.  They all had their parts memorized and didn't act nervous at all.  I got to sit on the stand too since I teach the Sunbeams.  It's always fun to watch the parents watch their kids.  Lots of smiles, some prompting, and of course tears here and there. 

It was also the day we got to celebrate my birthday.  It was a busy Sunday for James, but he still managed to bake a cake and frost it with Nutella (definite favorite in our house right now!) and he made fish and chips for dinner!  James has made his french fries for a few ward and youth activities so that the last time he made them for the Father and Sons campout it was announced from the pulpit that they would be having Brother Mobley's Famous Fries.  They are so good!

Monday morning, Spencer suddenly decided that he wanted to be done with diapers.  We spent a pretty intense hour going into the bathroom every 3-5 minutes.  Then he asked to put a diaper back on and was done.  He has only asked to go potty twice since then, but at least it's on his mind!  Noah had a soccer game. 

Noah scores!

He scores again!
For Family Home Evening we had a great lesson on what it means to be a Child of God and what great potential we have because of that.  Then we had a dance party, one our favorite FHE activities.  Stephen taught us a new line dance he had learned at the Stake Dance. 

On Wednesday we got to see Grandpa Humphries for a few minutes since he had to drive through Moscow on his way to Coeur d'Alene.  It was short but so nice!  We have been able to see him at least once a month since July!

Friday night was cookie night of course (chocolate  cookies with mint chips) and we even had time to watch a movie after dinner.  None of the kids had ever seen the Disney version of Tarzan so we gave that a try and they all loved it.  Lots of laughing!

Saturday James and Stephen worked on the shed for most of the day.  Naomi and Noah had soccer games, Noah's last!  It was cold and windy but we survived.  The day really warmed up after that though.  The four youngest kids and I went shopping for costume stuff and got most of what we were looking for.  Spencer did great until we went to the fabric store.  He was NOT happy to be there so we got a few things and came home quickly.  Stephen and I got to go out that night to get a few more costume things.  We went to 3 thrift stores, Walmart, and a couple places in the mall.  It was so fun to spend time with just him.  We even went to the China Buffet for dinner!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Week of Oct. 5-11

Sunday, Oct. 5 - We were invited to the Bishop's house for breakfast and to watch the first session of Conference.  The second we watched at home.  The weather was perfect so I decided to take the kids to the Arboretum to take some pictures.  James had Bishopric stuff to do so he couldn't come.  We had only been there for about 10 minutes and Spencer walked into a pond that was covered with green stuff so it didn't look like a pond to him.  I heard him go in and looked and could only see the back of his head and some of his back.  So I ran and jumped in the pond and was very surprised to find that the water came almost up to my chest!  I grabbed Spencer, climbed out, and we hurried home.  I did get one decent picture before the whole pond episode.  Sometime I'm going to have to get pictures of the rest of the kids!

Monday, Oct. 6 - Naomi and Noah had soccer games.  James and Stephen worked on the shed.  For FHE we memorized D&C 6:36 "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."  Then we had cinnamon rolls for treat because we didn't have them for breakfast the day before.

Tuesday, Oct. 7 - We finished reading the New Testament!  Getting through Revelations was a little rough.  There were a lot of confused looks.  But we made it!  James and Stephen took more bait out to the bear bait site.  Ellen and Naomi went to Activity Days. 

Wednesday, Oct. 8 - I tried a spin class before going to my regular pilates class and liked it much more than my last spin class experience.  My legs were so sore the next couple of days though!  Annie had her Celtic dance class that afternoon.  The weather was so beautiful!  James and Stephen worked on the shed. 

Thursday, Oct. 9 - Spencer and I actually stayed home all day and didn't go anywhere!  Then the girls didn't have piano lessons because their teacher was out of town.  That night I had scouts (I have a partner now!) and James and Stephen went out to drop bait. 

Friday, Oct. 10 - Spence and I went to the gym for my yoga class then we did a little shopping.  School gets out early on Friday so the afternoons always seem nice and long and relaxed.  James and Stephen worked on the shed.  I picked more tomatoes out of our garden.  Still amazing weather!!!  I even put some on one of our pizzas for dinner that night.

Saturday, Oct. 11 - Naomi and Noah had soccer games in the morning.  So Naomi, Noah, Ellen, Spencer and I all rode our bikes to the soccer field.  While we were gone James and Stephen kept working on the new shed and Annie cleaned up breakfast then hung out with her neighborhood friends.  James and Stephen went out hunting in the afternoon.  They saw a couple of cubs and decided they were too small so didn't get anything.  But the season isn't over yet!  They got home around 7:30 and Stephen quickly cleaned up and got dressed.  He went to his first Stake Dance!  And he had a good time!!!  He even danced with a few girls!!!  He only knew two of them.  As sad as it makes me, sometimes, to think about how fast my kids are growing up, I really am enjoying them growing up and doing all these fun, neat things they get to do. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Annie gave her first talk in Sacrament meeting today.


          I was asked to speak on Gratitude.  Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness.  In the talk, Grateful in Any Circumstances, President Uchtdorf says, "When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation.  In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ's Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven's embrace."  That doesn't mean that we need to be grateful of our circumstances though, as he says soon after.  When we are grateful in our circumstances, instead of grateful of  them, we are choosing to have an attitude of gratitude.  That means that we are thankful all the time, until we loose that attitude.  In Doctrine and Covenants, section 78, verse 19, it reads; And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious ; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.  When we are thankful, we will be greatly blessed.  There are many things to be thankful for, such as a small favor from a family member or friend, to a beautiful sunset, to a miracle.  When we are thankful, we need to help and bless others too.  There is a hymn that states this very thing on pg. 219, called Because I Have Been Given Much.  It says; Because I have been given much I too must give;  Because of thy great bounty lord each day I live  I shall divide my gifts from thee  With every brother that I see  Who has the need of help from me. To help and bless others, we need to use our talents.  In Doctrine and Covenants, section 6, verse 11, it says; therefore thou shalt exercise thy gift, that thou mayest find out mysteries, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, canvince them of the error of their ways. That is definitely serving others.   We can choose to be grateful.  It doesn't just come all of a sudden when something amazing happens.  If  that was the way things worked, then we wouldn't have much success in just hoping that we could be thankful all the time.  To do that, we have to choose to be grateful.  President Uchdorf, in the same talk that I quoted earlier, told a story about a waiter who gave a customer two slices of bread.  The customer said it was good, but not enough. After the waiter gave the man a doubled amount, and then even twice as much as the doubled amount, the costumer, was still not satisfied.  When the waiter gave him a nine foot long loaf, cut in half, the man said, "Good as always.  But I see you're back to giving only two slices  of bread."           Like this man we can choose to be ungrateful no matter what, or we can choose to be grateful no matter what.  In order to be happy, we need to choose the second choice.  I know that everybody has much to be grateful for.  It is a tradition in my family, that every thanksgiving we put a huge piece of paper on our pantry door, and at the top in big letters write; We are Thankful for…  After that, for the whole thanksgiving season, when ever someone thinks of something that he or she is thankful for, they write it down on the piece of paper.  If they have not learned to write yet, they draw a picture.  Every year at the end of the year, the poster is filled in every nook and cranny, and corner, with words and pictures.  Every one always spends  lots of time dropping everything they are doing, to write another thing that they just remembered.  There are always things from          chocolate chip cookies, to family, to the Atonement.   I know that when we are grateful all the time, and when we do all of these things, we will be blessed, and be happy as long as we are grateful in, not always of our circumstances.  

Friday, December 27, 2013

We Went Camping for Christmas!

This year for Christmas we wanted to do something different.  Something to make Christmas a little more special with less focus on the presents and the sweet food.  Somehow we found ourselves planning to go camping!  James parents, his three youngest sisters, and his older sister Rachel and her family all went with us.  We met in Montana in the national forest near James' Grandma Staples house.  There is a little cabin there available to rent.  No electricity or running water, but there is an outhouse.  James parents and younger sisters stayed in the cabin.  Rachel and Tyler and their family stayed in their pop-up trailer.  And we stayed in our great big tent.
Santa was even able to find our tent out in the middle of the woods.

Christmas morning!

This picture is kind of blurry, but it shows our tent all lit up at night.

James and Rachel making breakfast in front of the cabin.

Lida and Noah

The Crumpley Family
The Mobley's

Our Family

Monique, Jada, and Dajae


Annie hugging her Grandma good-bye.
James and Rachel

We spent Christmas Eve setting up camp and playing around.  The kids all had lots of fun together sledding and playing in the snow.  Grandma Staples came out to camp to join us for dinner.  She brought doughnuts and all kinds of treats.  We read the Christmas story together, sang Christmas Carols, then let the kids play a little more before settling down for the night. 

We spent most of Christmas Day at Grandma Staples house.  We enjoyed visiting with each other and also got to Skype with Chris for quite a while.  We all had Christmas dinner together.  Then while the kids watched Despicable Me 2, the grown-ups played a couple of games.  Just before we left we all took a turn in the bathroom so that none of us would have to use the cold outhouse in the dark.  We got back to camp just in time to get ready for bed. 

The day after Christmas we had a pancake breakfast then started packing up.  We were sad to say good-bye to everyone. 

Now we have to decide what to do next Christmas.  Any suggestions???