Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Fletchers!

It’s Christmastime!  Time for the annual Fletcher-year-summary!  It's been a fun and eventful year!

Little Jaron (6 Years)
This year Jaron played Chip in his first-ever school play.  His line was two words “Here Gaffer,” and he was very very proud of himself.  He took boxing lessons earlier this year with a fantastic Mui Thai instructor  Jaron is also participating in Scouts at school and is an avid lover of camping.  However, his favorite thing seems to be art in all of its forms.  He is extremely meticulous about finishing his art and homework properly and –almost- never complains.  He always eats his vegetables and is crazy about oranges and hamburgers.  One thing that we love about Jaron is his unwavering honesty.  For instance “I want to say something mean so bad but I know that I shouldn’t.”  He is extremely fond of the holidays, but we all know that he comes by that naturally.

Stephen “Hulk” (4 Years)
Stephen is not quite as honest…but we are working on that.  He is like Whinnie-the-Pooh due to the honey jars we find he has tampered with; always followed by a sticky trail that leads back to the culprit himself.  Soccer is Stephen’s favorite sport and he is in his 3rd season.  He is in his second year of Pre School and is speaking better every day.  This fall he followed in his brother’s footsteps and has taken up singing in EVMCO’s Young Singers choir.  Try singing “Oh Chistmas Tree” in German…he can!  “Oh Tanenbaum, Oh Tanenbaum,  wei trun seind deine bleutea…….”  Stephen absolutely adores his older brother and wants to be just like him.  However, he has made it very clear that because Jaron is 6, he (Stephen) is 7.  I guess he thinks that age determines dominance.  We all know that Mom is older than Dad by two months….

Jennifer (Mommy, almost 30)
A you can see, she is very excited about her Dad's first published book. 
Mommy is keeping extremely busy as she juggles working for her sister, cleaning house, cooking wholesome meals, managing household affairs, tutoring (homework), playing (necessary for childhood survival), and chauffeuring the children from one place to the next.  She is very excited about the new band arrangement she helped produce (sheet music) of “Celtic Carol,” one of Lindsey’s songs, and has been extremely busy trumpeting all over the Phoenix Metropolitan kingdom this holiday season.   Known for being Mrs. Organized, she is currently serving as Secretary in the Primary and faithfully completes her visiting teaching every month.  This year she was proud to have put up the Christmas lights all by herself (well..Stephen helped a little).

Jaron (Daddy, almost 30)


Jaron has finally started the business of his dreams (Infosavers!) and is very happy (as you can see), but working non-stop!  He found a partner (Jared at Transfer for Less) in Mesa who is very talented at doing all the things Jaron doesn't like to do.  Jared is likewise grateful to Jaron, who brings talents he does not necessarily have to the table.  They make a fantastic team!  Jaron will be focusing 100% of his time on the business starting in January.  Jaron has also taken up regularly doing random chores around the house to help his lovely and very grateful wife, and he does a masterful job of getting the kids ready for school/transporting them every morning on his way to work so that mommy can work or sleep (when she pulls an all-nighter).  He has been active in Scouting with Jaron, religiously comes home on Monday night for Family Home Evening (often to leave again for work afterwards), and is eager to help other’s pursue family history as the ward “Family History Consultant.”  He also completes his Home Teaching assignments every month and enjoys playing basketball several mornings/week at the church.  What a stud!

Merry Christmas to all!  We love you!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jaron's First Play

Jaron was a "woodsman" in his school musical, "Porridge."  I knew he was singing in all the songs, but had no idea how he was supposed to dress (when I finally contacted the teacher and found out he was a woodsman I bought him some boots at the thrift store (they look identical to a pair I had as a kid) and dressed him up like a pro!).  He also didn't bother to tell me he had a speaking part until the day of.  His part consisted of two words: "Here Gunther!"

Turns out not all the kids had a speaking part, so I was SO proud that my little man had two glorious words on the program!  I caught him on camera just as he was speaking his part and ooooohhh my little  mommy heart melted!  I now understand why my parents found joy in even the seemingly insignificant things we accomplished.  Not sure what causes that...but I could feel myself just beaming.  And so was he!  He had the cutest, sheepish smile up on stage for the next several minutes after his line; he was obviously very proud of himself.  I couldn't hear much of the play (microphone issues/technical difficulties) but his dancing/singing and those two little words made the two-hour performance all worth it for me.

Here he is saying his line :)

Special thank you to Grammie, Grandma, and Grandpa for coming to watch!  Jaron was so happy you came to see him!

And a special congrats to my Jaron!  I love you little man!

Here are some stellar moments on stage  :)

Totally digging the bobble-head thing he does in this one and the plastered smile at the end :P

He just looks like he's having more fun in this one  :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lost my Keys...and other stuff

Late again!  I rushed out the door with my groggy son who was rudely awakened from his nap and then drove like a speeding demon to my son's school.  I despise waiting in car lines, so I always park about 1/4 mile away across a dirt field full of desert weeds and walk across.  FYI I'm the only crazy parent who does this lol.  My still-sleepy four-year-old refused to walk/run with me, so I grabbed him up and ran the distance to the walk-up line.  *Days when you realize how very out of shape you are*  Once we retrieved my son Jaron and walked back to the car, I realized that my keys were gone.  I realized that I must have dropped the keys between the car and the school...I had literally just lost my keys in a field.  I was pretty upset and annoyed, ran up and down the field in 110 degree heat a few times in search of them without any luck, and then patted myself on the back for at least getting a good workout in.  I prayed to find the keys without any luck, but gratefully I did have a spare car key under the car.  From there we drove to a rental home I'm working on and was happy to find a key still inside the lockbox.  I did some painting there until around 3:00 AM (I put the kids to bed on a sheet on the concrete floor lol; they are such troopers!)  Then I packed everybody up and headed for home.  I was absolutely exhausted, and unsure of whether I would be able to find a way into my house.  My husband just happens to be gone this week with the other set of keys, and the hidden "spare" keys were incomplete; I had no key to the screen door.  Figures!  I tried a window that is usually open and it wasn’t.  I started crying to God for help and felt inspired to use one of the kids' rubber “puddle boots” (as they call them) to push the window open, hoping that it was just stuck.  Still locked.  I desperately hoped for one more option: the bathroom window.  I removed the screen with some effort and then using one of the boots, I pushed the window open.  Success!  But *sigh* I'm not THAT thin.  The window isn’t more than 8 inches tall and a little over a foot wide.  I wouldn't fit...but I knew of someone who would.  So...I coaxed a very groggy Jaron (6) out of the car and appealed to him for help.  He did so, willingly and bravely, as I stood on the outdoor table, fed him through the window, and then eased him down into the bathtub on the other side.  My hero!  Although I was frustrated at first that my prayers did not manifest an answer in the form of missing keys and I will be out about $10 getting new keys made, everything worked out ok.  I was able to do what I needed to do.  And it makes a pretty good story.  ;)  

Yes, I know this photo has nothing to do with my story but it is pretty cute.  This was actually last week at the mall.  We bummed rides on the little merry-go-round (a kid would insert a quarter and my kids would jump on for the ride)  Then we found this nifty thing (below).  Then we waited in line for a solid 90 minutes so my kids could make a free Lego "flamingo" at the Lego store.  The only thing we had to entertain ourselves with was a horse-head finger puppet, so I used it to tell about 10 different stories to them over that 90 minutes.  Talk about having to get creative!  But they were so happy!  So I suppose we must do it again next month (word on the street is that we will be making a pirate next time!  :D  )

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Our sorta-new House!

We have finally taken the time to post a picture of our miracle home.  Bought August of last year.  Cheaper than rent (by a longshot!)  Our miracle house (:  We love the front yard.  And the boys love the backyard!  Since moving in we have built a chicken coup (complete with chickens) and a fence around the garden area (which takes up about 1/3 of the yard).  We installed a second-hand swing-set and there are pathetic little patches of grass in the play area, but one day it will be luscious! 

This is one side of the living room.  We painted it olive green  (:  There sits my pride and joy: my 1926 player piano.  We keep all the scrolls in the chest beside it (and it is totally full).  Notice the flowers on top of the piano?  Those are origami creations from Marina's wedding.  Marina is amazing!

This, of course, is the kitchen.  It used to be orangy-green (ick!) and we painted it yellow.  It is usually bright and cheery, but we took this photo late in the day.  We keep our grocery bags in the dishwasher (the dishwasher works just fine) and we hand-wash all of the dishes.  Notice to your left, the home of Buzzoopter the beta fish (hybrid of "Zoopter" (Jaron's contribution) and "Buzz" (Stephen's contribution)).  I grow alfalfa every day (see jar on the ledge above the fish) and I have managed to keep these plants alive for months!  Yay me!

 The garage has been converted into a 3rd bedroom.  There is still 5 feet left in the actual garage...just enough space for a push mower and some boxes.  The bedroom behind it is in the shape of a right-angled "W," if you can imagine that.  It's perfect for the kids!  There's room for a twin bed in each "angle" of the "W," two sliding door closets (where we keep all of the toys), and LOTS of play space. We have converted the second bedroom into a deluxe office space, complete with three six-foot -long tables, three computers, and all the possible digital converting instruments imaginable.  Jaron is optimistic that his new business, "Infosavers," is going to rock this world!  And I agree.  

This is Spiderman.  He lives in the rafters above our house.

Birthday for Stephen!

On Stephen's 3rd birthday I made homemade party blowers out of straws!
 Yes...only YOU can prevent forest fires.
 And we mustn't forget these amazing homemade party hats (one for each member of the family)  
 Mmmmmm!  Hommade banana cake!  My favorite!  And no party is complete without carob-date-cashew-banana-peanutbutter ice cream!

Garage Sale

After Stephen's birthday, Jaron was feeling sorry that he did not own a toy as cool as the one Stephen got (a deluxe Buzz Lightyear...Stephen is a bit obsessed as you can see below).  So little Jaron suggested that we could sell some of his own toys at a garage sale to earn some money for a new toy.  I was hesitant at first...but then decided, "Why not?"  We got some toys together, put up signs, and set up a table, complete with lemonade stand.  He earned $11.  And from his profits he purchased a small Lego set.  (I helped a little, but don't tell....)
When people would drive by without stopping, Jaron would ask, "Why doesn't anybody care?"  He was actually quite a persistent salesman!  If anyone acted interested, he'd pressure them to buy!  One guy gave him a dollar, just because.  Another gave him a quarter just so he could leave WITHOUT a toy car.  


Jaron has been attending basketball practice over the past two weeks.  He had his first game on Saturday and shot the ball twice (yay!)  He genuinely seems to like it and he loves his coach.  He is a bit clueless as to how basketball works, but I blame that on myself....


As much as every parent wants their son to be a jock, I don't think Jaron has too much interest in that.  He spends most days "working," as he says, on projects.  His other passion is Pokemon (we rent them from the library).  He and Stephen use Easter eggs as Poke-balls when they play.

 On this particular day I was able to convince Jaron to pass a basketball back and forth with me.
 rest time.  always rest time.

And we can't forget that Jaron is the "chicken..." or... "pigeon" whisperer.  He's our Doctor Doolittle.  Stephen and he captured, cared for, and observed this poor wounded creature.  Jaron wanted to put tape over its beak to "heal" it.  I didn't let him get that far.  (:  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Life...ah, life.

Forgive me...I don't know how to turn this photo, but it is very cute. Just turn your head to the side a bit...there you go.....
As you can see, this a very random post due to how long it has been. Here we have a picture of dad with son #1 and dad with son #2. Yes, Jaron broke his arm when Mommy (yours truly) was playing chase with him in the house and he fell off the back side of the couch. His cast has since been removed but his arm still looks a bit like a piece of macaroni. The doctor assured me that it would grow straight, but I massage it every night.
As for life, we are currently in a condo, Jaron just finished his semester at ASU West with A's and B's, which is impressive seeing that he works full time now. We live a mile away from campus currently, but we have been trying for several months to buy a house without success (have you ever had two boys and no backyard? Ahhh!), so please pray for us in that regard. You wouldn't believe how much red tape there is now. It is nearly impossible to get a reasonably-priced house at all in AZ these days, unless you are an investor and you pay cash. So complicated, but I don't feel like explaining why (just trust me).

As of my last post we have paid off Jaron's drywall business in its entirety, Jaron got a job (and he likes it! Yay!) working full-time for a fire sprinkler engineer, and Jaron graduated with his Associates degree from Eastern AZ College just last month. It took us six years to get that degree. That diploma meant a lot more to us than a piece of paper, or even what he learned during the years he went to school there. It meant triumph; it represented something that, at one time, we thought we could never have the opportunity to have. When we were living in that trailer and deep in business debt, we wondered if we would ever be able to dig our way out. School at that time was out of the question. There was no time (he had to work) and no money (he wasn't making any). We thought that the opportunity to finish school would be forever lost to us. But we hoped, and we prayed, and we made some tough choices, and then we worked and hoped and prayed some more. And miracle of miracles, we paid the price, lived like paupers, family helped us and gave us cheap places to live while we got on our feet, and here we are now: I am at home with my kids, Jaron has a job with benefits and he is working towards a Bachelors degree, and although life isn't everything we had ever hoped at this point, we try to remain grateful for what we have right now and are for what our trials have taught us.

Here are some tid bits about the kiddos that may make you smile:

Jaron sings the main theme from Beethoven’s 5th Symphony regularly. (Bah bah bah bah, bah bah bah bah, bah bah bah bah!) Pretty impressive. Today Stephen was picking up the tune and “bopping” in the pool alongside him.

Stephen gets really frustrated with me sometimes when I don’t respond to his needs right away. He will start out with, “Mooooommmeeee…. Mooooommmeeee……. MooooommmeeeeMooooommmeeee……….MOM!” He said “popcorn” this week.

Jaron likes to grab things away from Stephen lately, so they end up loosing toys when they get me involved in their fights. Jaron also gets pretty frustrated with Stephen when he is trying to get him to play with him and Stephen grunts his typical response, “Uh, uh.” (He is rather disagreeable lately)

“Stephen do it!”

“Uh, uh.”

“Stephen, play with me!”

“Uh, uh.”




(siren cry)

Me: Jaron, you can’t control Stephen. You just do what you want to do and maybe he will want to play with you too.

Jaron: But I want to control Stephen.

Hmmm…sounds like someone I know.

Yesterday I asked Jaron after he watched Cinderella, “Jaron, are you a pince?” He replied, “No-oh! I’m a kid!”

Jaron is very protective of his brother and pulls him away from the edges of pools, the parking lot, etc., much to Stephen’s dismay. I have to reassure Jaron that Stephen is alright, and that I am watching him, but it is sweet that he is so concerned and willing to help me. One of the lines I hear most around the house is “Mom, look at Stephen!” Several times, on my not-so-good days, I have retorted with, “I don’t want to look at Stephen! Can you just stop him!?”…dreading what I will find. Sometimes Jaron does stop him. I will hear squealing and walk in to find Jaron pulling Stephen by the arm away from whatever damage he was trying to commit. Stephen broke several of my glass animals…some of them my favorites…last week. Unfortunately, I also got upset with Jaron for being a stander-by. Maybe that is why he often makes an effort to be the “ Stephen police” now. Stephen likes to run away from the table after meals without washing his hands. He likes to get into trouble, generally speaking. Last week my Mom was watching Stephen and she said that he kept trying to turn off her computer when she was working. She finally snapped at him and he got that trembling pouty-face look, like he does when he is really sorry, and buried his head in the couch. I know that I should be sad for him when he does this but it is so dang cute I have to fight myself not to smile.

Brooke Made Me Do It.

Okay, so I know it has been forever. I have to post this because my sister made me do it:
Pay it Forward 2011:
I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here... They must in turn post this on their blog and send something they make to the first 5 people who comment. The rules are that it must be handmade by you, and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Yay!

As you can see, Stephen has figured out what a camera does and loves being the center of attention.

Pumpkin carving is a VERY important, mandatory Halloween activity in my family, so we attempted it with both kids this year, which they enjoyed despite not being allowed to play with the knives. Jaron liked drawing on/telling me how to carve the pumpkin and Stephen enjoyed playing in the goo.
My husband joined in the chili cook-off contest this year and made an amazing dish! It didn't win, but I thought it would have been an appropriate second place winner (the one I liked best didn't win either). I was grateful for the chili because it opened up my sinuses (I hab a code).

As you can see, Jaron was buzz lightyear (there were only four other buzz lightyears at our ward party....) and Stephen was an economy-style Woody (we just used stuff we already had). We couldn't really keep his hat on so I wore it most of the night. Jaron loved trick or treating and has been looking forward to that all month! He was so darn cute because I wouldn't let him pig out on the candy at the ward party until we had gone trick or treating, but I allowed him to hold the candy as long as he didn't eat it. He was true to the end and held it excitedly but obediently. So cute! I don't let him have candy much...or at all really...but I allowed him five candies of his choice at the end of the night. I was anticipating some form of whining or a tantrum but he was utterly pleased, chose five (three smarties, a small bag of whoppers, and a lollipop), and savored every one. He didn't devour it like I thought he would, but took his time. He was so happy! He was excited about the candy but he is quite a simple boy. He gets pretty excited about the festivities of holidays (*like his Grammy Cronin--I think it is in his genes) without the presents or candy.
His favorite part of Halloween were the pumpkins in every store. I bought him a pumpkin at the farmer's market for a dollar at the beginning of the month and I swear it was the best dollar I ever spent. He took that thing everywhere! It didn't last particularly long because he poked holes in it with a pen, threw it like a ball (we discouraged that), rolled it down the stairs, and drew all over it, but we bought another one the next week because he loved it so much.
How do you like my stellar pumpkin carving skills? Yeah, I know I'm good. Look, the cat has ears!