Sunday, January 25, 2009

So, here it is...Kadyn's speech. Enjoy!

Kadyn Ward

Voice of Democracy Contest 2008

American Falls High School

Silent Heroes

I still remember standing at a parade as a little kid. I watched as the police cars drove on, their long whining tone announcing the arrival of the column. The mighty draft horses trotted by, nickering as they passed. I stood and clapped and gathered candy, thoroughly enjoying every moment of it. I watched the mayor pass in the old red Corvette. The football team drove by, sitting and cheering from the top of the city fire truck. Then I saw them. Six old men in uniforms walked slowly down the street carrying the symbol of our Country, our Flag. I stood stock still as they passed, frozen in awe of them. They looked so perfect, so flawless, and yet I could see the pain they retained behind their eyes. One of the men turned to me smiling and I could swear I saw a single tear shining on his cheek. My hat came off and my hand flew to my heart as I had been taught, but before this moment I had never really truly thought about the importance of it all. I smiled back to him and watched as they turned a bend in the road. That night, back at home, I decided that I was going to change for the better. I had always done as I was supposed to, say the pledge, salute the flag, that kind of thing, but then, I felt as though I was simply going through the motions without slowing to appreciate the value of what I had been given.

We have all heard their stories, read their names, but have we ever taken a moment to think about the affects they have on our lives? I have never known one of these retired soldiers. Despite this, I can still see the changes they have wrought on my life. Their sacrifice has shaped me, making me who I am today; driving me to cherish the precious freedom I have been given. It is these noble knights that I recall as I watch our Flag being raised, sing our nations anthem, or am asked what I’m grateful for. The selfless giving of these heroes, these veterans, is what gives me hope, and impels me to be a better citizen, a better friend, a better person. Without these, the unsung heroes of days past, nothing in my life would have meaning, freedom would be violated, and this, the greatest nation on earth would cease to stand as a beacon of hope. Without them I would live in a world apart, no dreams, no future, and no hope for change.

I still remember the old man’s face from that day at the parade. I do not know him, not even his name, but as I picture his face I know that I owe him everything. His face lives on in my memory, a symbol of freedom. Even to this day I look on and watch as he passes through the shadows of my memory, forever encouraging, driving me to attain greater heights. Let us honor his and other’s memory through our actions. Let us each remember our silent heroes, those selfless souls who risked all for the benefit of others. Let us never forget the sacrifice given for our benefit. Let us take heed to the words of John F. Kennedy when he advised “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Friday, January 23, 2009

First taste...

Not too sure about that rice cereal!

Aliya voicing her opinion about solid foods!

4th Month-awwwww!


These are actually fake birds in this picture-all decoys! Can you tell?

We had the craziest frost this last week that made for a very interesting landscape! What was really weird was about midday the frost would suddenly fall from everywhere and it would appear to be snowing and the ground would even turn white.


Oh, how would it be to just sleep anytime, anywhere. How different life would be for me the eternal insomniac.....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Go Kadyn!

Mrs. Stephens (Kadyn's Honor's English teacher) and Kadyn

Kadyn checking out the competition!

Kadyn and his prize~ another $400!

This last weekend we traveled to Boise for the state competition for the "Voice of Democracy" speech contest. Kadyn was one of seven kids in the state competing having won both the local and then the district seven division. He finished 3rd place in the state competition. To win it seems you actually had to have a close family member die in the line of duty in a foreign war, so, unless we kill somebody off....we'll see what happens next year! It was a great experience and hopefully he'll get to do it again!

Happy birthday Joshua!

Joshua turned 4 years on Saturday, January 17. He got to spend the day with his cousins in Boise, lucky boy!

But he did get to open presents before we left!

We went to Carl's Jr. for lunch and the kids had a blast playing in their HUGE playland!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


So, everything I said about this wonderful baby who never even cries? Yah, well nix that! Been crying non-stop for about three hours now, purple face, real tears, and a snotty nose, the whole works! Arghhhhhhhhhhhh!


Okay, I know this seems weird but on January 1 my mother turned 80. What's even worse is that in 9 days I will be half her age! Mid-life crisis, here I come!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Island Park

The day after Christmas we headed for Island Park (a day late due to the weather and closed roads) for a little fun in the snow, and snow we did have! We hadn't been there 20 minutes when Joshua and his cousin jumped off the railing of the deck and literally disappeared. The top of their heads were 2 feet below the snow line. I knew Josh was okay because he could scream, and scream he did, but I neglected to get pictures because he was rather traumatized and thought we should save him. Thank you Uncle Travis!

Beau was quite the celebrity with his new "smart pen". (?)

The kids all enjoyed the hot tub too. I however never partook, which was probably just as well as my visual image may have scarred (or scared) everyone for life.

Kadyn and Darin and their snowcave. It was huge!

Travis snowshoeing- without them he would have disappeared. As it was the snow was up to his butt! Hard work to get through!

Our lovely family after camping out for a couple of days.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Okay, I suddenly have the most amazing baby ever. Not only does she still sleep all night, like 12-14 hours (?) she also hardly ever cries. Yesterday she literally did not cry once! Not yet today either! She is just so happy and content. Kadyn actually had the same disposition. We went to Darin's grandfather's funeral in Northern Montana when he was 4 months old and he literally didn't cry once for the four days we were there, and we slept in a room with about 20 people in it! Everyone was amazed. Gotta love it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Random pics

Tyson's first zit - we're so proud!

Josh loves to snap pictures especially of Savanah, who is more than willing to pose!

And again..........

Makin' Cookies

Better than Playdough!

Some were more about the eating of the cookies!

Kadyn and his artistic endeavor... all about the presentation.

Josh was happy with his results!

Meanwhile Dad was...

On Christmas day we were supposed to head out early to get to Island Park for a long weekend in the snow, but too much snow at home closed all the roads. So, we got to stay home and we made cookies instead, which we hadn't had time to do before that. So, it was all good!

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's all about the presents, isn't it?

"Savanah was sure one of these was her Ipod- too bad Santa "accidently" kicked it under the couch and we found it much later!

The boys and their matching coats-too cool!

Aliya was thrilled with her new toys from Santa! Can you tell?

Christmas Eve dinner

So, my family has really expensive tastes in, well, food. Don't ask me how much the crab cost, I really don't want to know myself.......though I have an idea.

Sunday best!

Okay, so this is the only remotely decent picture of the children the Sunday before Christmas!

Happy birthday Kadyn! Sweet 16!

Not exactly too excited to enter the dating scene, though I'm sure the girls are judging by how many called to wish him a happy birthday personally. Never had so many before! ( I was just trying to be helpful!) (He wasn't impressed)

Aliya~ 3 Months of pure joy!

Thank you Kari for the cutest dress ever!

Love this picture, but I need to learn to use photoshop to remove the booger from her nose I suppose! Check out those eyelashes!