I never could have imagined the experiences, challenges and rewards that come along with the title and responsibility of being "Mom". Everyday my little ones present different needs to be met, new attitudes to understand, stages to conquer, and find new ways to unravel my patience. Despite the challenges, the rewards that come from a genuine I love you mom, a moment of 3 children happily playing together, and even a simple accomplishment bring feelings and emotions that words can't describe. I am ever so grateful for my Precious Little Ones; for their individuality, talents, and the completeness each one contributes to the Cox Clan.

August 30, 2009

Dyreng Campout

Dyreng Family Campout

The highlight for my summer this year was spending a few days at 12 Mile Canyon with my family. What made it so special was that we were all together. I was constantly reminded how much I love each one of them; how each person contributes to the completeness of our family; and how grateful I am to have such an amazing family!

One of our adventures took us for a little hike to a waterfall.

Of course the dump trucks were a hit...even Aunt Natalie couldn't resist!

What cute boys!

Campfire fun

Thomas and Kristyn

Such a good dad!

We spent a lot of time on the trails and loved the rides on the 4-wheelers, jeeps, Mule, and Razor

The hours spent on the bumpy trails definately paid off when enjoying this view!

On Sunday, Hunter was quite upset that we were having church in the mountains. He kept saying, "We don't have church in the mountains!" But his attitude quickly changed when he watched the big boys and Grandpa act out the Book of Mormon story of King Lamoni and Ammon. We were so impressed with the creativity and performance of our men! The kids especially loved the battle scene and when the arms got cut off!

Grandpa and Grandma Dyreng came up for dinner Sunday night and it is always such a treat to have them around. Despite being in their 80's, they don't let their age slow them or their fun sense of humor down! They are such amazing people. I love and respect them so much. Through their example they have taught me what's most important in life...the Gospel and Family. They have always served so faithfully and diligently in the church. Grandma has stood by Grandpa's side through many years of him serving as bishop, stake president, temple workers, and now the stake patriarch and a sealer in the temple. They still always made time and put our family as a top priority. I have spent countless hours enjoying 12 Mile Canyon, Lake Powell, backyard BBQ's, Sunday dinners, card games, and laughing with them. They have kept us a very close-knit family and I love and admire them so much!

A visit from the TROLL!!
We have a history in the family with this troll...used last year to help the kids stay out of the neighbors yard, the troll has since revisited to give a little scare when necessary to whip the kids into shape. After the adults enjoyed a good laugh, the terrified kids had to be told the truth...the Troll is not real...only Jake or Natalie dressed in a costume. Despite this explanation and Natalie even showing herself in the costuem in daylight, the kids still talk as if the troll is real!

Gotta love those surprise visits from the Ranger. Luckily we talked ourselves out of ticket! The boys sure know how to smooze their way out of things!

The kids loved their craft activity, their very own pony. They were very clever with names, like Mason's: "Golden Horse Silver Riding Horse"

Thanks for a wonderful campout! We had such a great time and cherish the many memories made!! Can't wait for next year!

August 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Madelyn

I can't believe Madelyn turned 7 this year! She is growing up so fast and becoming such a beautiful, sweet girl. I am so proud of her and for the accomplishments she has made this past year. I am also so grateful for the sweet spirit she has and brings into our home.
Here are Seven things I love about Madelyn:
1. Madelyn is a peacemaker; she's always the first one to
give something up to make someone else happy.
2. She is a great example to her brothers and always watching out for them.
3. She is such a great helper at home and loves to-do lists! (that's my girl!)
4. She is outgoing, makes friends easily and treats them with kindness.
5. Madelyn is a good student; she tries her best in all she does.
6. She loves to be busy and productive. Some of her favorite things to do are dance, sing, play baseball, soccer, read Junie B. Jones, and play with friends.
7. Madelyn has a very sweet and strong spirit. She wants to do what is right, please Mom and Dad, and most importantly follow Jesus.
We love you so much! Happy 7th Birthday!
Opening Presents...

Enjoying an outdoor garden birthday party with lots of family

Spending girl time with her friend Gracie

A card from Nana and Grandpa

Some of the cousins

Little Chef Birthday Party
One of Madelyn's favorite things to do is help Mom in the kitchen. So for her birthday party, Madelyn and her friends became "Little Chefs" themselves...creating their personalized aprons, making their own pizzas and decorating cupcakes. We had lots of fun!

Here they are: Madelyn, Azaria Chapman, Chase Smith, Logan Lunt, Allison, Aspen Smith and Elise Christensen

Thanks so much girls, for being such great friends and for
making Madelyn's birthday party so fun!

August 19, 2009


Almost four years ago, our family left all the comforts of home, traditions, and extended family in Utah. After my parents helped us moved, get settled into our new home, and then leave for Utah, I'll never forget the feeling I had...complete fear!! Here I was, a mother of 3 young little ones (Madelyn 3 1/2, Mason 22 months, and Jalen 3 months) left to survive all on my own. I knew not one single person and besides Alan, was left alone to try and love, nurture and simply just survive 3 small kids. My mom could not make a quick drive to assist my Walmart shopping trips or surprise us with dinner. I could no longer rely on my sister's good company to kill time on long afternoons. Sunday dinners at my in-laws were no longer possible, nor the convience of them being 1/2 block away. The thought that frequently raced through my mind was, "How am I ever going to make it??!"

To be honest, some days I didn't feel like I was. Three kids in diapers, three schedules, three different meal preparations, and everything else that goes with it was overwhelming, to say the least. I often thought, will the day ever come when it's not so stressful and chaotic? When I can start and finish a project? When I can run simple errands without it being a whole production? When I can go grocery shopping and not get the look and head shake that says, "what is this woman thinking! She has no control over her three kids!"

Well, I did surive! The day has come and I now have all three of my little ones in school. I am loving it! My sister asked, "How are you going to celebrate your first day when all the kids are in school?" Although this may sound silly, I was so excited to just be at home and get caught up with laundry and cleaning. After dropping Jalen off to preschool, I went home, turned up the radio and was thrilled to be able to do what I needed to get done without interruptions.

However, it wasn't long until the house seemed too quiet; until I started thinking about each one of my kids and wondering how they were getting along and what they were doing. I then started to notice a few precious momentos of my kids....

Jalen had earned some M&M's and wanted to save them to eat after preschool. He told me he was going to find a secret hiding spot. I thought it was quite entertaining because no one would be around to try and steal them, except me, and even though he knew I wouldn't do that, he still insisted on hiding them. I didn't pay much attention to his efforts in searching for a safe place but I soon discovered his hiding spot when cleaning out the microwave....

How cute is that! I never would have thought to check the microwave if I wanted to steal his M&M's! Jalen is such a funny boy.

Then I noticed Mason's bedroom. I couldn't help but smile at the way he had "cleaned his room". Mason has many "special treasures" that he won't store in drawers or in the playroom. He used to insist on all of it being on his bed even while he slept. Sometimes there was so much stuff (I mean "special treasures") on his bed, that there was hardly any room for him! Instead of making his bed and picking up clothes, which I thought cleaning his room meant, he organized his special treasures. This discovery sure made me smile!

My last discovery was when I found Madelyn's family of cars on my dresser. And although it wasn't anything remarkable, it made me remember what she had been playing that morning, and how cute her pretend conversation was with all the cars.

Instead of feeling annoyed that Madelyn chose my dresser as her garage, I felt a big wave of emotion come over me. I felt so grateful for my three precious little ones...who aren't so little anymore. Despite the chaos and craziness that comes along with children, I receive such fulfillment and sweet joy from even the little and simple things they do. They make me feel complete and I wouldn't change things for the world! I've decided that what I love most about those few hours alone each week, is the fact that I appreciate and love my kids even more and are ready for them to come home!

First Day of School Photos

Madelyn was very excited to return to school in Mrs. Williamson's class. She is a social butterfly and has missed her classmates. She also loves structure, projects, and being kept busy so she was ready! She is such a sweet girl and always watching out for others. She has already observed one girl in the class who doesn't have many friends and who other kids make fun of. She often tells me of her kind words or actions to include this girl and help her find friends. It makes me feel so proud of her!

For months I worried about this day for Mason...sending him to kindergarten. Because he often cried before going to preschool last year; all summer said, "I'm NOT going to kindergarten!" and being the soft-spoken and sensitive boy he is, made me nervous. However, after meeting his teacher and receiving special mail from her, Mason's attitude completely changed. It also makes a world of difference because two of his best friends and many other church friends are in his class. On the first day, they all walked in together...so very excited. No tears. No hesitations. Just big smiles and total excitment for this new adventure. Although I was happy Mason was not upset or scared, I also felt very sad...the realization that Mason's growing up was there. His days home with me are in the past and there was so much I wanted to do with him but never had the chance. Time just goes by way too quickly!

Cody Lunt, Mason, Ethan Ashton

Jalen and Brayden made themselves right at home in the classroom. Jalen was very disappointed when he realized he didn't get to stay at school, too. Lucky for me (although he doesn't think so)..Jalen gets to stay home with just mom for two more years!

Jalen's turn finally came for his first day of preschool! He was so excited. However, he discovered two things he was quite upset about: 1. he doesn't get to take a lunch like Madelyn and Mason and 2. his school shoes don't have "ropes" which I am now learning is a very important thing to him!

Don't let his scowl fool you! He was TRYING not to smile! He finally gave in and was so excited to be with his friends and teacher, Ms Jenna.

What cute kids! Did you think you were looking at a Target ad?? They're cute enough to do it!