Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throw Back Thursday Post from my, "Word From the Zoo" blog, which is private.

Monday, September 8, 2008
Oh My!

Max is such a wonderful little boy! He is 2 1/2 years old. He is so cute! I say it all day long! I just think he is adorable! His eyes and face are just so pretty! And you should hear him sing I Am A Child Of God, I Love To See The Temple, It's The Best Day Ever (Spongebob), etc.! So Cute!!! He says the cutest things and makes me and Matthew laugh all day long. He is a joy to be around and we are all so happy to have him in our family! Just whatever you do don't take your eyes off of him! Not for a minute! He is full of "curiosity" and is very "rambuncious". Let me tell you about just a few of his crimes. :) One time when I cleaned the upstairs bathroom he got ahold of the butter that I had accidentally left on the counter (I know better!) and dropped it on the floor and stepped in it and tracked it all over my clean kitchen floor and across the carpet in the living room and up the stairs I had just shampooed. The next time I cleaned that bathroom I had left the big liquid soap jug upside down on the kitchen counter so I could drain every last drop out of it and Max saw a fun opportunity. He pulled a chair up to the sink and filled up the jug with water and poored it all over my clean kitchen floor and then filled it up again. No one really knows how many times he did it but from the amount of water on the floor...I'd say it happened a lot of times. Now, I have to clean the bathroom while he is playing in the tub where I can see his every move! Some of you may remember the story of how he got ahold of my keys and put them in the ignition of our van and turned the key enough to put it in neutral and almost ran over our sweet little neighbor, Jessi, and gave me and her mother a heart attack! One day he went into the bathroom upstairs and poored conditioner all over his hair. One day Zack was going outside to ride his bike and Max ran out there after him, buck naked (he had just had a bath was wrapped in a towel and dropped it when he saw his chance to escape). I had to put one of those hotel locks on our door because he can open our deadbolt and he can get the child door knob cover protectors off. He tore up his poor Uncle J.J.'s plants in his garden. He tore the shelf off the wall that I had just hung last week in his bedroom. He writes in books and used to tear the pages out. I had to avoid the library for a while but luckily he seems to be past that stage! He writes all over every wall he comes in contact with. I have to hide all the pens and markers and crayons. He found out my hiding place today and was climbing on the chair to get to them and knocked Zack's baptism certificate on the floor and then got the ahold of the Sunchips bag and spilled them all over the certificate and tore it a little. Yesterday our kids made pictures for their grandparents for Grandparent's Day and Max decided to make himself a glue stick beard. He also put a big glob of glue stick on a heart shaped foam apparently and then stuck it on the carpet up stairs. One day he got ahold of my red fingernail polish and spilled it all over one of the back cushions on my tan couch. I have yet to figure out how to get that out. I'm open to suggestions! We went to my Mom's house in April to celebrate Stephanie's birthday and Max was down stairs with all the kids and tore the towel bar thing off wall of my Mom's bathroom that she just had finished last year so Brian spent the rest of the evening fixing that. You may remember the story about him jumping into the water at the lake. Just now while I was typing this blog he dropped his ceramic football shaped piggy bank down the stairs and it broke. See what I mean! I won't even start to tell you about the havoc he wreaked on my Mom's house when we lived there last summer but I will throw in a picture of him sitting in her sink since he loved driving us nuts with that little trick. I learned a long time ago that if I take pictures of the crazy things they do and look at it from a scrapbooking or now a blogging perspective it helps me to not blow my top so easily. I love my little Maxer Waxer so much and I truly do adore him! I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father that He sent this beautiful, happy, healthy, strong, curious, smart, amazing little boy to me! He keeps me on my toes that's for sure! He makes life fun and keeps it exciting and honestly, I love every minute!

Tara at 8:36 AM

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Craziest Thing Happened...

I can't believe it's been almost a year since I blogged last. I'm not using my one medication that makes me so lethargic anymore and I finally have internet and a minute to blog.  So excited to start it up again!! 


So, every year we like to buy a real evergreen wreath for Christmas. Usually we get it from Costco. This year a nice little boy scout came to our door in October and asked if we wanted to order a Christmas wreath from him. We figured why not?! We have a boy scout, 1 cub scout, and 1 will be a cub on January 26th, we might as well help out a scout. He delivered the pathetic little thing the weekend after Thanksgiving. It definitely had nothing on the Costco wreaths we're used to. We've been watching our account ever since wondering why the check never has gone through. You can imagine my surprise when I answered the door last Thursday night and the nice little boy scout handed me a wreath. A Christmas Wreath. On January 16th. My mind was having a hard time processing what I was seeing. 

Umm...did I just have a stroke?
Did I just dream the last month and a half? 
Am I being "Punked"? 

Brian came over because I was just standing there with my mouth hanging open. He told the scout that we already had our wreath. I told him that I had just thrown it away a few days before. He stood there looking at his clipboard saying but I hadn't brought this one to you yet. We told him that yes he had and we were just waiting for the check to clear. He said that he still has it because he hadn't delivered the wreath to us yet. We were finally able to convince him that he didn't need to give us the wreath and he went to his car where he and his parents continued to wrap their minds around it for like 5 more minutes.

I hope whomever the wreath belonged to is a much nicer person than I am...IF he figured out who that even was. I would not be a happy camper if I wasn't receiving my Christmas wreath until January 16th. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

52 things and who knew

So, for Valentine's Day Brian and I decided we'd get Brian Regan tickets at Tuacahn in St. George in May for each other. We are SOOOOO excited! We LOVE Brian Regan! He is so funny and clean. We have wanted to see him live for years now and we are finally doing it. We haven't gone on a nice trip, just the two of us for something like 4 or 5 years when we went to St. George for our 15th wedding anniversary and we saw Les Miserables and The Sound of Music at Tuacahn. FANTASTIC!!!

We weren't going to get anything else for each other but I decided to do something nice for him anyway. It's an idea I got from Pinterest.

This is my version -well the ones that aren't too private to share (o; ...

Ok, worst pictures ever but I'm too lazy busy to redo them.

I bought a scrapbooking pack at Walmart for $5 to do this project. I have everything in the world I could possibly storage...

K, so, when Brian came home from work he asked me what he gave me on our first Valentine's Day together, 20 years ago. I answered, "Escape perfume". Then he brought out a box with Escape in it from under his coat. I can't believe how romantically he thought. It meant a lot to me that he thought to do such a sweet thing.

BTW: Valentine's Day was on a Sunday that year and he asked me to marry him 5 days later on Friday.

Also, if you want to fall even more in love with your husband just think of 52 things you love about him. It's not as easy as it sounds but really thinking about it is an amazing experience! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


My 9 year old Matthew is PAINFULLY shy! He is SO shy that it worries me sometimes. He definitely takes after his dad in that respect. For a couple of weeks now he's been talking about trying out for the school play, which is Cinderella. He wants to play the part of Gus-Gus, which totally cracks me up because he is an incredibly slim size 8. Seriously, we have to cinch up the adjustable waist on those slims. Believe it or not, he takes after me AND Brian in that respect. Who could guess with the way we look now, but it's really true.

Anyhoo, He actually took the initiative to sign up on the list and he chose a certain day and time for the audition. Tuesday, January 22 @ 4:30. He was SOOOO thrilled about this!!! He had to pick a song to sing that was as long as the Happy Birthday song, and recite a couple of lines. Well, I suggested and suggested and suggested songs to sing. For example Spongebob's It's the Best Day Ever or F-U-N. The Best Day Ever shows lots of range if you think about it, so I thought that would be perfect.  He never liked any of my suggestions and he never could decide on a song to sing until 10 MINUTES BEFORE THE AUDITION! He chose Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. Whatev! I know he should have practiced it a lot more and he should have been more prepared and I told him that but he didn't care. He wanted to audition!

The way I pictured it going down: We would get to the school and he would have a severe case of stage fright. He would cry. We would come home.

The way it actually went down: He led us right to where the auditions were. He showed us the paper that he had signed up on that was hanging on the door leading to the auditions. He studied his 2 little lines as he patiently waited for his turn. The chick came out to get him. He bravely walked up the slanted ramped hallway leading to a stark white room with 4 lady judges. He sang his song. He said his parts. Gracie, Max, & I waited in the rampy hallway where we could see his back and hear his voice. He did a great job! We came home.


And more than just a little bit proud of my boy!!!!! I am so impressed with him and it makes me feel better. Like he's going to be ok. I can't begin to tell you all of the times he's been too shy to do something. He won't even stand up for himself or ask or tell his teacher something important. I've worried about how he's ever going to make it in this crazy world. Well, apparently he has it in him he just has to want it bad enough. It seems that he's improving little by little, day by day, year by year. I just have to remember that everyone grows at their own pace and that Matthew is Matthew and Zack is Zack and Max is Max and I just can't compare them to each other because it just doesn't work that way. They are rightfully different and fabulous in their own ways and I am just so glad that I get to be their mom. The one who cheers them on when they need encouragement and the one who gets to pat them on the back and praise them when they take those baby steps and show that growth.

I've always said that he would be a wonderful actor. He is SOOO dramatic! When people think we have it easy because girls are so dramatic I always haven't met Matthew or at least he hasn't warmed up to you enough to let you see his dramatic side. He'll be good if he gets the part. I hope that they at least give him some kind of part. He was so brave that I would hate for him to not at least get to participate in some way. Fingers crossed...& toes! :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Sometimes I feel like I live in the dark ages compared to other people. We don't have iPods, iPads, or iPhones. We drive a 1999 Volkswagen Jetta and a 2003 Ford Windstar Minivan. Brian prays every day that the Jetta makes it another day without the transmission going out.

I've used a day planner for the past few years. I just love the organization of them. I have always saved my calendars and day planners because they are kind of like a journal. They tell a story that's for sure! Well, last year I decided to try to be cool and use my pathetic little phone as my planner. All appointments and meetings and school activities were put in it. It was ok but I really just felt so out of control most of the time. I decided that I'd go ahead and use a planner again this year. I found the cutest one at Target Saturday! I just love it! It's black, white, and a pretty shade of pink. I already feel so much more organized. I might look funny with my big ol' planner when I'm next to the iPad people but it works for me. What can I say...sometimes old-school just works the best...

Cuteness and goodbye...

~This morning I was sitting on the floor in the closet trying to organize shoes and clothes when Matthew and Max started getting ready for school. They were singing songs from the radio. They didn't get a lot of the words right and it cracked me up. I didn't correct them, I just smiled as they sang their little hearts out. I just love them so much!

~Last night we had the last family shindig before Nathan and Heidi headed back to Florida. We ate, visited, the guys watched the big game upstairs. The kids played together. Isabelle (Nate's oldest daughter who's 5 and in kindergarten) said to Steph and J.J. that they could come to Florida to visit them on Valentine's Day or Easter. Then she told Brian and I and our kids that we could come visit them for her birthday in June. She described the birthday cake she'll have and other fun details about the party she'll have. She is adorable and had a wonderful, dramatic, excitement, and imagination about her. It was so hard to look at her beautiful little face and her pretty little eyes and try to explain that we can't afford to go to Florida to see her. I'm so afraid she's totally expecting us to show up for her birthday and will just be so disappointed when we don't show up.

When Izzy was born they lived in Provo. They came to Mom's for Sunday every week. They shared holidays, birthdays, dance recitals, births, baby blessings. They moved about a year and a half ago. My mom has been broken hearted ever since about it and poor little Josh (Steph's 5 year-old son) has missed her so much. They were best pals since he was born when Izzy was 4 months old!

I'm not big on goodbyes! There are 6 of us kids in our family and now Rob, Dana, and Nathan all live in other states with their sweet families. We all miss them so much! When I think about it I just don't know how my mom handles it!

They left for the airport at 3:00am so we had to say goodbye last night. We said our goodbyes and headed downstairs before they said goodbye to my parents. I guess Izzy just sobbed and said that she didn't want to leave. :'(  Little Mikey is about a month older than my Gracie is. Tommy is about 14 months old. We'll miss them all so much! Gracie still didn't really know what was going on so she cried this morning when we told her they were gone.

It was fun to see what a cute little family they are. I love listening to my brothers talk to their kids. Heidi is such a good little mom!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Still here...

Life is hard isn't it! I have seen so much loss over the past few months and so much suffering happen to others and it has just been hard to watch people go through such hard times and not be able to do much to help them. In addition to loss of loved ones I've seen loss of jobs and other temporal losses.

Also, my sister, Dana's husband, who is in the Special Forces in the Army, is deployed right now. He missed Thanksgiving, Christmas, the birth of their second grandchild. My sister only has her little family to celebrate with as she doesn't live near any of us or her in-laws. I have felt so bad for her and her family. I feel bad for the families who's soldiers have lost their lives.

Words cannot express the feelings of sadness I have had for the people in Connecticut who lost loved ones or who have loved ones who survived it and will struggle with it the rest of their lives. It breaks my heart to think that there is such evil in our world. Truly horrific!

We had a wonderful Christmas. We are truly blessed in so many ways. My brother, Nathan, and his family are here and have been since the 18th. They live in Florida and it's been a year and a half since we've seen them. It's been wonderful having them here!

My sister Steph and her husband J.J. are part-owners of a cabin. This year they were able to stay in the cabin from December 26th to January 1st. They were nice enough to invite our family, my parents, KayTee and Chris, and Nathan and his family, to spend that time with them. It was so much fun! The kids and Brian rode snowmobiles and went sledding and played in the snow. I stayed inside the entire time as one of the main triggers for my Trigeminal Neuralgia is cold. Cold air. Cold food. Cold drinks. Cold. I read a book, relaxed, held Steph's darling 2 month-old son, Jacob. It was so nice! Matthew came down with a fever on Christmas Day and had some breathing issues so he had to stay inside the whole time. He did get to play outside for a little while one day when he was feeling a lot better but then he was back to square one again afterwards so we kept him inside the rest of the time. It's beautiful there!

Sometimes it's hard for my extremely sympathetic/empathetic heart to enjoy things to the fullest when I know of other people's trials and suffering. I know that "men are that they might have joy" but still! I just sincerely hope and pray that those who have cause to mourn are comforted and blessed in the ways that they are in need of. Sometimes it's hard to snap out of depression when it rears it's ugly head. I'm trying to overcome it and be joyful but it's hard. I have so very many blessings and I am trying to focus on that and to be what my family needs. And to be grateful for all that I have. I desperately want to help those around me who are in need of a lift. Can anyone suggest ways that I might be able to do that without making their suffering worse? I'm not very good at this! I so want to be though!

So, I know it's been a while since I've posted on here but I'm still here. Just haven't known what to say...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lots of Gratitude

Well, it's been a while since I posted about what I'm thankful for.  The #1 thing I'm thankful for is that Brian doesn't have cancer!!!
That was so scary having to wait for 2 weeks to hear the results since they had to send the biopsy to California.

I'm also very grateful to be able to spend time with my Mom.  We haven't always lived where we were able to spend so much time together so it's nice to be able to now.

Another thing I'm thankful for is music.  I like how hearing a song can affect you so much.  It's my favorite part of church (besides partaking of the sacrament) (and when they choose to sing songs that I've actually ever heard of :)!).  It's one of my favorite parts of celebrating Christmas.  Songs make me laugh. They make me cry. They make me feel and learn and grow.  I always tell Brian that at my funeral I want everyone to sing A Poor Wayfaring Man Of Grief...ALL 7 verses! It's one of my favorites. I like to read it during the passing of the Sacrament.  I like to sing I Love To See The Temple when we see the temple.  I like to sing My Heavenly Father Loves Me as we drive around town looking at all of he beautiful Lilac trees, Apricot trees, and every other tree that has pretty little blossoms on it.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE music!!!

I am SOOO incredibly thankful to be the mother of 4 beautiful children.  They are so AWESOME!!  They are smart, funny, fun to be around.  They remind me every day of what really matters in this world! Blessed doesn't even begin to express my feelings about them but I'll use it.  I am incredibly BLESSED!!! They are also a constant reminder to me that what I WANT isn't always what I really NEED and that Heavenly Father is the Captain of this ship so I need to just trust in Him and His plan for me!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Money, Money, Money, MOONNNEEEYYY, MONEY!

Today, I am thankful for money.  Now, I know that that sounds like I am the most "worldly" person on earth, but please read on and hear me out.  :)  I sure don't have much of it, but I am so incredibly thankful that we have enough for our needs.  It's so wonderful to not have to worry about how we're going to pay our bills and feed and clothe our children.  And we will be able to provide Christmas for our children.  We are able to buy the things that they need. 

I certainly don't think that money is the MOST important thing in the world and I don't think that it totally sucks that I'm not a millionaire.  (well, that would be really nice!)  But, one of the biggest lessons that I have taken from our financial struggles is that it doesn't matter whether you live in a dive or a mansion, whether you have a gazillion dollars or you live paycheck to paycheck, your happiness doesn't come from money.  Although, I do realize that having enough money to take care of every need and whimsy your heart desires can make you feel happy and blessed and it can stress the crap out of you if you don't have enough.  But, ultimately happiness, I mean pure JOY, comes from the peace and comfort that comes from our Father In Heaven, our Savior Jesus Christ, and the gift of The Holy Ghost.  As long as we know that they are on our side and that we are on their side, we can handle any challenge that is placed before us.  It might take us a minute to get our bearings, we might have a come apart, total breakdown, freak out fit, and lay on the bed in the fetal position and bawl our eyes out.  But when the tears dry up and the dust clears, we realize that as long as THEY are going to help us through it, we can handle it.  It will all be OK. 

My heart breaks when I hear of people losing their jobs and for those who have had to look for a job for a while without success.  It's a difficult challenge, that's for sure!  I know it can always be worse, but that still doesn't keep it from being difficult for us as we learn to accept His will in all things.  And, I just feel terrible for people in New York and New Jersey, and anywhere else that has people who have been displaced for whatever reason.  I can only imagine what they are going through.

I am grateful for what we have and will be for how ever long we are able to have it, and we'll try to find ways we can help others with it as much as we possibly can.  :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stop & Smell the Roses Once In A While, Already :)

Today, I am thankful for the beauties of the earth.  Hasn't Heavenly Father blessed us with the most amazing planet to enjoy.  I've always LOVED late fall/winter time until I had kids and then it was really hard to not be able to let 3 little, wild, and crazy boys outside to play.  Now they are ALL old enough to play outside in the snow and be just fine.  We just bundle them up like the little boy on A Christmas Story and they're good to go.  The best part, I get to still love late fall/winter!  I think I like it so much because this time of year just seems so magical, what with Thanksgiving and celebrating Christmas from the day after Thanksgiving all through til January 1st.  I love Christmas trees and decorations.  Going for rides to look at Christmas lights.  Hot cocoa.  Warm, snugly sweaters, and blankets.  Cute boots.  Nativity sets.  Christmas programs.  The Nutcracker.  Christmas dresses for my daughter and nice sweaters or sweater vests for my sons.  The music.  Who doesn't love Christmas music?!  The feeling of looking out the window and seeing a blanket of snow on everything.  There is something so peaceful about that. (As long as you don't have to drive in it.)  Icicles.  Making snowmen and snow angels.  Snow covered trees.  Seeing the lights on Temple Square.  Christmas movies.  And just think about a lot of the best movies ever, that are set at Christmas time because...hello, it's magical and so romantic.  For example...Serendipity, While You Were Sleeping, The Holiday... I could go on and on. 

Springtime is so incredibly beautiful!  I absolutely love seeing all of the pretty tulips, daffodils, and lilac trees in bloom.  The grass begins to turn green.  The trees begin to grow leaves again.  The world begins to have color and life again.  Isn't it fun to see all of the cute little lambs, colts, and calfs.  The air starts to warm up again a little bit so that we can pull out our light jackets, capri's and flip flops.

Summertime is so much fun!  I never was very thrilled about it before I had those 3 little boys I talked about earlier.  It is wonderful to be able to just let them be free and play outside without coats, boots, gloves.  I loved seeing my babies chubby little legs and arms when they started wearing shorts and short sleeves.  It's such a beautiful time of year, too.  We love to see waterfalls, rivers running, The Garden's at Thanksgiving Point.  Everything is colorful and lovely. 

And living in Utah is really fun when Fall comes along.  I had never seen such spectacularly colored leaves of trees as when we moved to Utah from Kansas.  I still remember how awe inspiring it was the first time we drove through Price/Spanish Fork Canyon in the Fall.  The mountains in Utah are just beautiful no matter what time of year it is, but I especially love it when they are full of beautiful fall leaves.  I just can't get enough of it!  And, seeing Temple Square this time of year is my new favorite!

There are so many gorgeous places in our state, our country, and all over the world that I would just LOVE to see some day.  This earth was not made by accident.  There was so much thought and science to it.  Heavenly Father and Jesus are so amazing!  The beauty of it is such an amazing gift to all of us!  Sometimes I think we just get so wrapped up and caught up in the stress and duties of daily life that we forget to look around us and savour the beautiful world we live in.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My body

Well, today I am grateful for my body.  I remember, after I had Zackary, thinking one day about just how amazing my body is.  And how divine our bodies are.  Anyone who has ever had a baby just marvels at the beauty of the creation of life.  It's still kind of mind boggling to me that we, together with our husbands :) and Heavenly Father, bring forth life.   I remember counting every toe and finger and hair on my kids and just marveling at their perfectness.  It truly is divine in nature!  This is the definition of Divine-Of, from, or like God or a god.  Synonyms: heavenly - godlike - celestial - supernal   No, I'm not saying I'm a god or anything I'm just saying that life is "of God".  We become partners with him in this beautiful journey.  I am so grateful that my body was finally able to carry, grow, and deliver babies.  My body was not working right in that area for lots of years and I wasn't able to breast feed my babies.  It made me so frustrated with my body.  Things may not always come easily with my body and it may not always do what I want it to, but still I am grateful for the beautiful gift of life that I have been given and that I have been blessed enough to give, as well.

I have not been very careful or nurturing to my body for quite a few years now.  I have had the desire to change my bad habits and improve my body but I just haven't had the drive to do it. 

About 4 or 5 years ago Brian bought Tony Horton's 10-Minute Trainer.  He's the P90X dude.  Well, basically he developed some workouts that only take 10 minutes to do.  It comes with a couple of DVDs with different workouts on them.  There are 5 workouts to choose from.  Each workout is designed to work multiple parts of your body all at once so that you don't have to work your arms for 10 minutes, then your abs for 10 minutes, then your legs for 10 minutes.  You work out for 10 minutes and you've worked all parts of your body.  The 5 workouts are:  Total Body.  Lower Body, Abs, Cardio, and Yoga Flex.  Now, if you do the Lower Body workout, it still engages your entire body with some really intense work on your lower body.  Still counts for all over. 

Anyway, we did the Total Body one once and the Cardio one once and I was out. It may only be 10 minutes but it kicks your butt! I'm telling you, you can't believe how much it works you out in just 10 minutes. Craziness!  Well, I decided to give it another try. I did Cardio and Yoga Flex last week.  I tell ya, I LOVE Yoga Flex!  It's tough but it's really great for my body because I feel so much more relaxed, less muscle and body aches and pains.

Today I decided to try the Total Body, Lower Body, and Abs. WOWZERS!!! Tough stuff! I was just pouring sweat!  It's amazing what he's come up with in just 10 minutes.  Gracie crawls under me, around me, and on me half the time but I figure I must be burning even more calories with her around.
My blood pressure is through the roof and I am 100 lbs over the weight I want to be.  I am so ashamed that I have let myself go like this.  I want to be healthy.  I really do!  I don't want to have to take blood pressure medication. I don't want to have to have knee surgery but I tell ya what, this last 30 lbs I've put on since my Trigeminal Nerve crap started up has really been wreaking havoc on my poor knees.  I know that it is a lot harder for my body to handle things I need it to when it has all of this extra weight to lug around.  I'm pretty pathetic! 

Anyway, I'm trying to make some changes. They aren't big ones.  I know I need to commit to making some major changes with my eating habits but I'm just not "there" yet.  I'm trying to make some little changes.  Nothing major.  I've cut back a bit on my sugar intake.  I'm really and truly addicted to sugar and carbs in all forms!  This morning I was so proud of myself for not eating the yogurt that Gracie took one bite out of and then refused to eat the rest of.  Also, the cereal that she just HAD to have but left half of.  I didn't eat that either!  I had already eaten a yogurt and some cereal.  I hate throwing away food.  It's just so wasteful!  But, under the circumstances, I think it's better that I throw it away rather than actually eating food that I'm not hungry for and will just add to my weight problem.  I ate salad for lunch today instead of the piece of lasagna that I really wanted.  I didn't eat any of the delicious french bread that my mom made either.  I'm choosing to eat a piece with my dinner but it's better than eating it 2 or 3 times throughout the day.

Also, I have been making more trips up and down the stairs than I already was.  I swear I go up and down them like ten billion times a day already.  But, sometimes I ask the kids to get me something from another floor so I've starting to make more of those trips up and down so that I'm still moving and not being so lazy!
 I just want to be healthier, and to make some changes, hoping that it really will make a difference.  We'll see how it goes...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Shaking Our Envelopes

Today I am really grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This morning I was able to attend a stake Relief Society activity where Brad Wilcox spoke.  He is hilarious and awesome.  My favorite, parts were when he referred to himself as his wife's 1st Counselor.  Cracked me up! 
And when he talked about his mother.  I'm paraphrasing a lot but basically, a while after her husband died a woman asked her when she first noticed Jesus helping her through it.  She thought about it for a minute and then replied that there wasn't a time when He wasn't with her.  She said that in her life there has only ever been one set of footprints.  She could never have made it through life without Him.  I just thought that was really a neat way to look at it. 
Also, he talked about how we aren't just going through life trying to make it back to Heavenly Father's presence.  If that were true we would have never left in the first place.  We are supposed to be better when we return than we were when we left.  He talked about how, in our efforts to make it to Heaven, we are supposed to make ourselves more Heavenly.  Meaning...that our obedience helps us feel more comfortable, and at home, when we "get" to Heaven.  If we aren't being obedient we might not feel quite as comfortable.  I hope that makes sense.  He makes it sound a lot better than I do I'm sure.  :)   
Oh, it was just  a really great talk!  He was at the session of "Time Out For Women" that I attended last year and he was so fun to listen to and so inspiring, that I really wanted to go to this activity and listen to him again.  I love that when ever we try to understand the gospel more or just to bring ourselves closer to our Heavenly Father, and our Savior, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Ghost, we are blessed.  It can be so easy at times and so difficult at other times, but whatever effort we make is appreciated by Them and we are blessed for in some way or another. 
Brad Wilcox talked about that also.  He said that the bishop doesn't act hateful to a little kid who pays his tithing in coins and say you really need to work harder and stuff like that, he just is so happy that the child is being obedient and gaining a testimony of tithing.  He said that it's that way with Heavenly Father.  He's not up there "shaking our envelope", he's just happy to see us show our obedience and making our best effort to grow and learn. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

I'm feeling happy...

Today, I am thankful for the opportunity I have to be a stay-at-home mom.  We have been so blessed and continue to be blessed by our decision for me to be home with our children.  We aren't always blessed financially but we are blessed in other, very important ways.  And we HAVE been blessed financially at times.  Usually the blessings are subtle and if we aren't looking for them, if we aren't being in tune, if we aren't having grateful hearts, we miss the opportunity to acknowledge the blessings.  They are always there though.  Over the past couple of days we've been amazingly blessed.  Over the past couple of months really.  You know, looking back over the past 3 difficult years, blessings were always there in one form or another and we are truly grateful!  I love it when there are little reminders here and there that make me just think-whew, Heavenly Father knows us and loves us and wants us to be happy and helps us every single day of our lives.  Sometimes life is so difficult that it's hard to really feel joyful.  Thank goodness for our children, who bring us joy every single day.  But, lately I find myself feeling happy more and more, and it feels so very good!  It was really hard to feel a lot of joy during the months Brian was out of work.  And it has taken some time to get ove those months and to become comfortable feeling happy instead of dreading what trial will come next.  I love this feeling of happiness and I sure hope it lasts for a while!  I know that there will continue to be trials.  They are inescapeable.  So, for now, we'll just take in as much joy as we possibly can to help sustain us through whatever comes our way.  I love this quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley... “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”  I just have to try to remember that...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I am so thankful for my friends.  I have been so blessed over the years to have made some really great friendships.  That's one of the best parts of moving and one of the hardest parts, too.  I've certainly learned about loneliness and that if you want to make friends you have to actually put yourself out there. When we lived in Cedar City, our bishopric came to visit us when we moved in and Bishop Callaway gave us some great advice that has stayed with me ever since.  He said not to be offended or hurt if the person sitting next to us in Relief Society or Sunday School, didn't introduce themselves to us because, chances are, they would be newer than we were.  So, I bravely took his advice and introduced myself to people who were by me and pretty much every time, the person really WAS newer than I was. 
Since then I just always introduce myself to people I'm sitting by at church and I've made some really great, lifelong, friends that way.  Sometimes, Heavenly Father just knows our needs so well and matches us up with "kindred spirits" to visit teach us or for us to visit.  When we lived in Pleasant Grove I was SOOOO lonely.  Just painfully lonely.  So, I decided to pray that I would be able to make a friend.  And that's when I met my awesome friend, Melissa.  I just love Melissa so much!  We actually both needed a friend so it was really great that Heavenly Father just happened to put us right next door to each other.  I also made contact with my friend Shani, who I met in high school, and she introduced me to blogging. I WAS SOOO EXCITED!  I LOVE BLOGGING!!!  I started Facebook then,too.  It has been such a great way to renew contact with friends.  I LOVE my friend, Tara B's blog, it's my favorite! And she is amazing and such a great example and hilarious!  It's been so much fun to get to know her better through blogging.
I haven't made any effort to make friends here.  I just haven't really wanted to until  the last few days. Yesterday, I felt so lonely.  My friend, Anna, from Price, called me and we talked for a long time and it was great!  We used to have girls night out once in a while when I still lived there. I've missed her and it was really fun to catch up with her.  I felt so much happier after we talked.  It just made my day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I wouldn't have been very good "back in the olden days"

I am thankful that I'm alive in this day and age.  I just don't think I'd have been very good at living "back in the olden days". 

My reasons:
  • Make-up. Yeah, I scare small children without my make-up. Not that it makes THAT much of a difference but I feel less scary with it on anyway.
  • I hate laundry now.  I can only imagine how much "fun" it was to hand wash everything. I know that they had very few clothes to actually wash but still.  They typically had HUGE families, and there was no running water.  No hot water heaters.  No dryers.  No matter what the time of year, the weather, or the temperature, you still had to do it.  
  • I would have driven people crazy by my incessant boredom. I swear I have ADHD & OCD.  I'm sure it would be a major problem for me.  Being alive now is just perfect for me.  There are so very many enjoyable ways to spend your time these days. T.V., movies, my phone, the computer, Pinterest! I can't always have time for these things but it's so comforting to know that they're there for me if I need them. :)   Oh, and cameras!  Isn't it great to be able to capture precious moments in our lives like new babies, and weddings, first smiles and first steps.  I could go on and on about that!
  • Running water and toilets.
  • As much as I love riding horses and I wish I could ride horses more often, I don't think I would want to have to rely on horses as my only form of transportation, whether it be riding one or having my wagon or buggy pulled by one.  I think I'd much rather have the comfort, warmth, convenience, and shelter of my mini van.
  • Sleeping on hay mattresses doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun either. 
  • There was no Target.  No Costco.  No Walmart.  No Ikea.  No Maurice's.  No outlet stores. 
  • Modern medicine.  Especially the actual medicine.  I hate that my Trigeminal Neuralgia's nickname is "The Suicide Drug". It's nice that I can be helped by taking medication for it. Just a few years ago my medications hadn't been developed yet and no one knew they worked for this anyway since they actually were developed to be used for other ailments.                                          And I would NOT have been into having a  baby without the convenience of an epidural.  And those little monitors they put on you that help track the baby's heartbeat. We would have lost Matthew if not for that!  And thank goodness for c-sections! I shutter to think about what might have happened to a lot of my nieces and nephews and their mommies if that hadn't been an option or if it hadn't been done fast enough thanks to detecting the problem in time.  (Not to mention having to be the person who had to clean that mess up in your house after having a baby in your home, without mattress protectors or a washing machine to throw the mess into.  If it happened in my home now I'd just throw it all away and get new ones but I'd imagine you couldn't very well do that back then.)  And Penicillin!  That alone has been such a blessing in people's lives. We are blessed to know that we and our children can be well taken care of if the need arises.  And vaccinations.  I once read in a parenting machine, that we are merely a plane ride away from acquiring any number of hideous disease from people from other countries where they don't vaccinate but who are carries of the disease.  Kind of a scary thought if you ask me. .
  • And!  I love food!  There we no fast food restaurants. No Olive Garden or Cafe Rio.  No happy hour at Sonic.  No Pinterest to find fabulous recipes on.  No Food Network.  No Sweet Tooth Fairy.  It's definitely much more fun to eat these days than it was back then!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Health Insurance

Today, I am thankful for health insurance.  There have been so many times over the years that we haven't had health insurance.  Brian's job doesn't pay quite what we need it to so I just HAVE to figure out a way to bring some money in for us, but I have to say that the benefits he has at his job are really wonderful so we can't complain. Especially since he and I have health issues all of the time.
Now, Brian has some nodules on his thyroid that he had biopsied last Thursday. He has had problems with his thyroid for years and has been on medication for it for quite some time now. He also has had low testosterone. The combination makes for one very exhausted man all of the time. He has no energy and just feels worn out always. So, he was on thyroid and testosterone medication a few years back but the testosterone medication is SOOO expensive. It costs $700.00 a month for the dose he is on now. In the past our insurance covered about half of the cost and his dose was a lot lower so it cost us $150.00.  Once he didn't have that insurance anymore it was costing $300.00 out of pocket. We couldn't afford it. There was just no way. So, now his levels are really low and it costs $700.00 a month but our insurance covers all but $75.00 of it and then his Dr. gave him a card that is from the manufacturer of the Androgel and it covered $50.00 so he only had to pay $25.00. His thyroid medication is only like $4.00, thankfully!  So, it's wonderful that he can have his medication and that he can have the appointments with the specialists who actually know what to watch out for and how to treat his particular problems. He had always gone to family practitioners in the past.
 Now we are waiting, not so patiently, for the results of his biopsy. We won't know until November 15th. It's just brutal waiting for results isn't it?!
My medication costs $200.00 a month so it was really stressful when we didn't have insurance for those months while Brian was out of work. Without my medication I am in such excruciating pain that it is so hard to function. We only paid $200 for it once. The rest of the time my wonderful Dr. and friend gave me samples from her office to get me by until he started working again. Also, Pfizer, who manufactures it has a program that I applied for which is based on your income from the previous year, which he worked most of and got severance pay for so even with getting an entire year's salary, we qualified to have my medication paid for in full. What a blessing that has been!!!  After Brian got his job I called and asked if I needed to reapply based on his current pay and they said no, not until it's been a whole year since my last application. It is such a blessing to be able to take my medication without worrying about eating less food or something so we could still live.
Insurance is such a blessing and something that I am grateful for every single day of my life!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Today I am thankful for books! I LOVE to read! My mom loves to read, too, so she buys books, reads them, and then passes them over to me so I can read them. It's a great system! Several years ago my mom read "In An Instant" by Lee and Bob Woodruff.  If you haven't heard of it, it's the story of news reporter Bob Woodruff, who was one of the reporters who was in Iraq, imbed with military, inorder to report the happenings of the war with Iraq. He experienced head injuries as well as other phyisical injuries when the tank he was on drove over a bomb.
I have moved this book around with me for all these years, never reading it. It just sounded so sad and depressing to me. Well, I finally had the urge to read it. It takes me a really long time to read books these days. I steal time to read a bit here and there. But, this book has been so good. I am just over halfway through it. It shows the perspective of Lee and then the perspective of Bob, through his recovery process as well as flashing back to significant parts of the history of their relationship experiences, leading up to the incident. It's hard to describe but it's really great. It's a tale of history, as well as a love story. It's a REAL picture of love and marriage. Life isn't always a bowl of cherries and you see their difficulties as well as their triumphs.
I think the reason I felt it was time to read this book is that I needed to see that we aren't the only ones who go through ups and downs in our marriage and in our lives. No one's marriage is perfect but the subject is typically not going to be addressed. No one wants to admit to failure or difficulties in their marriage or in their lives. I have really struggled for a while now. Reading this book has helped me to not feel alone. I've struggled with some of the same trials they have faced and it's comforting to see others go through what you have and to see that they made it through it and so can you. But, even if you aren't struggling in your marriage, or in your life, their story is fabulous! It's a great read! I highly recommend it!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Gratitude and a yummy treat

Lately, I have seen so many sad things that people have to deal with. It breaks my heart to see so many people experiencing such spiritually, physically, monitarily, and emotionally draining, difficult things. I wish I was rich and could help people who are in need of money. I wish I was able to take people's suffering from them. It really makes you count your blessings when you see what others are going through.
I am going to say things I am grateful for each day this month again. So, since today is the 2nd of November, I'll tell two things I'm thankful for.
#1-I am so grateful for my sweet little family. I can't imagine life without them. They are just such blessings in my life.
#2-I am grateful for fall and all of the beautiful things that go along with it. I especially love the changing colors of the leaves. They are just spectacular this year and I have enjoyed each and every minute of it! And the food! Fall food is fabulous!!! :)

P.S. If you like pumpkin flavored things you have GOT to try these: (I bought them at Walmart)

And your taste buds will joyfully sing...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

my two cents...

As I was driving down I-15 the other day, I noticed that they were painting the long line of gray concrete barriers, tan. Yes, they were painting them. Seriously?! There was a person walking along holding the painting sprayer hose, that was attached to a truck, that was being driven by a person. So, ever since then I can't help but wonder how much this process costs. How many hours does it take to paint concrete barriers that run all the way down the highway? How much does it cost to pay for the paint itself? How much money does it cost to pay the sprayer, hose, carrier, dude? How much money does the truck driver make? How much fuel does it take to run that truck while it's being used to spray paint the concrete barriers? Is this REAlly necessary? I don't know about the rest of y'all but my purse strings are pulled very tight these days. We have to budget every single penny and evaluate all purchases to decide whether they are necessary or not. We are trying to be responsible with our money and we have cut so many "extras" from our lives. Shouldn't the government have to cut extras too? Now, don't get me wrong. I am in full support of spending whatever it takes to make sure that our highways, streets, bridges, etc. are safe and sustainable. But, I'm pretty sure that painting the concrete barriers has absolutely nothing to do with the safety or sustainability of I-15.  And, that my friends, is my two cents...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Yeah, Itching really bites!

I've been itching non-stop for like a week or so. It started on my back. Now, my arms and legs itch, AND my back itches. My back has scabs all over it from me scratching the crap out of it. Now, my arms and legs have little scabs all over them, too. I have my trusty bamboo back scratcher that helps me out. I don't like to be very far from it. And Gracie LOVES to put lotion on my back and to scratch it for me, so I take full advantage of her lotion fetish. My skin doesn't look or feel dry. I was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency about 6 weeks ago. I took 50,000 UI's once a week for 6 weeks. Now, I'm taking 5,000 UI's daily for another few weeks and then I'll go have my blood drawn again to check my levels. I have to say that I was having a lot of symptoms that the the vitamin D has really helped to feel better.  I've looked up all of my medications to see if any of them have itching listed as a side effect or anything. None of them do. One vitamin D website says that if you are overdosing on vitamin D or if you are allergic to it, you might experience itching. I feel that taking vitamin D has really helped a lot of the symptoms I was having so I really don't want to stop taking it. I'll just itch for the next few weeks if that's the reason for the itching. Benedryl doesn't make the itching stop. I never in a million years would have thought that the symptoms I was having could be caused by a vitamin D deficiency. I thought I had an auto-immune disease or something because they were pretty miserable symptoms. But this itching is CRAZY!!!  I just can't stand it! UGH!

Fall Break

My family lived in Kansas until I was 16 years old. Before that we would come to Utah to visit family for a couple of weeks during our summer vacations, most years. It was THE most fun! We all had cousins around our ages. My best pal was John. We had so much fun hanging out together. When we went to Lagoon, John and I rode all the rides together. Our families all went to the zoo together and Liberty Park and Rose Park. And we would play football at the school playground that was close to our Grandma Irvine's house. We'd walk to 7-eleven. We'd pick cherries from the huge cherry tree. We'd swim at Deseret Gym. We would go to movies. I'll never forget how embarrassed I was when we went to see Ghostbusters and Grandma went too. Every time there was anything said or done that was inapproriate I about died!
We packed a whole lot of fun into just 2 weeks!
One of my favorite memories has to be going to Temple Square. We loved to see the Christus statue. Who remembers the cute little Family Home Evening show that had the little boy sitting in the tree in front of a his house? I LOVED that! I miss it! We'd tour the Beehive Home. The coolest was riding the elevator to the top of the Church Office Building and being able to look down and see the whole Salt Lake Valley.
Living in Utah now and having things like Temple Square close by has made it so that we don't go there very often. Like, we haven't been there in years. We've been to look at the lights a few times. Once we just drove by and said, "Hey kids, look at all the pretty lights on Temple Square", because we were just too wimpy to brave the cold.
Well, the kids had their "Fall Break" a couple of weeks ago and I really wanted them to feel like they had a fun break so I started trying to think of things we could do that would be fun and *free* or REALLY cheap. We were able to have our nephew, Josh, spend part of the first day with us, which is the coolest for the kids! They LOVE Josh, his sister Emily, and their new baby Jacob! So, first, we went to Macey's (the grocery store not the department store haha) and everyone got an ice cream cone. The ice cream cones there are HUGE and yummy, but best of all...they are cheap!  They LOVE that! We went to the cheap theater in town and saw Brave. We all loved it! They have drinks for a buck, bags of popcorn the size of brown paper lunch sacks for a buck, and candy for a buck, so everyone got their own of each. We ate Papa Murphy's Jack-O'-Lantern pepperoni pizza and Chicken Garlic pizza and drank root beer, for dinner . After all of that we had to take a walk/run around the block to help work off some of that sugar. LOL!  Didn't think that one through too well! :) On Friday, we made a trip to the $1 store and everyone got to get something. Then, we visited Josh's new brother and his mommy at the hospital, where everyone got to "hold" the baby. (I hold him on their lap but they still feel like they got to hold him so it works. Zack got to hold him by himself since he's 12 now and everything :) ) Then we made a trip to Krispy Kreme donuts. Once again, it had been years since we'd gone there, so the kids had a great time for like $10 bucks. Then we met Brian for lunch in South Jordan. Then, we went to Temple Square. I was so excited!
Now, let me just tell you some very helpful information. If you are like me, and have lived under a rock for quite some time now, you need to be aware that if you want to park on the street or in parking lots in Salt Lake City, you still have to pay for parking, but, now you have to pay with your debit card, credit card, or some how with one of those new fandangled "smart phones". The parking spots on the street have the debit card reader on the back of them, you can't see that from your car, but they are indeed there. In the parking lots you just look at your parking spot number and type that in to the machine when you are paying for your spot.
Anyhoo, first, we walked up to see the Christus Statue, where we took a few pictures. Then, we walked all through the North Visitor's Center, which was really cool! Next, we looked in the old Tabernacle building and the Assembly Hall, before walking through the South Visitor's Center. After that, we went to the top of The Church Office Building. The kids loved looking across the valley. When we left the building and stood outside of it, I showed them where we had just been. They were so surprised at how high they had been! We finished our little visit by going on a tour of the Beehive House. As we walked back through the Square, we stopped for a few pictures along our way. We saw several brides and grooms having their pictures taken in some of the traditional places. I couldn't get over how BEAUTIFUL the grounds were. It's been so many years since I've been there when it wasn't wintertime or early spring. I have to say, October at Temple Square it my most favorite time, as far as the beauty of the grounds goes. I took lots of pictures. Of course, it's hard to capture the beauty with a camera but oh it was just beautiful! I plan to go this time of year, every year from now on!
It was not a super fancy break but it was fun to spend time together and to see some things that the kids hadn't seen before. And, I enjoyed sharing one of my favorite places, with my cute kids! :)

 By the way.....taking pictures of 4 kids at the same is just crazy...

Just some things I jotted down

~Well, I always think of things to blog about but by the time I actually have a chance to sit down and type up my ideas I have forgotten what I was going to say. I hate that! That is why my posts are really random though. I like to use my blog as a journal also, to kind of keep a bit of a record of our family. So, anyway, here are some of the things I actually remember.

~Gracie has always been so incredibly sweet! I have enjoyed being her mom so much~ she slept through the night from day 2. She was such a mama's girl. She was the cutest little baby girl I'VE ever seen! She's still cute and sweet and lovely until her brothers come home. The other day she kept sneaking out of the house to go to the park with her brothers and I would put her in time out. Well, I brought her back inside again for the 2nd or 3rd time that night. It was the day it was colder this week and she was barefoot and didn't have a jacket on. She had started a cold that day too. I wasn't a happy mommy. I brought her in the house and sat her on a bar stool so I could keep an eye on her while I made dinner. She said, "YAY! Time out is fun! I was like...WHAT?! Time out is NoT fun! I took her off of the stool and put her in a corner. She turned to me and spit toward me. I touched her mouth and said, "No! We don't spit!" She started laughing...What the....!!! I thought who the heck are you and what have you done with my sweet little girl?! Today, though, she ran to her room and pouted on her bed (this isn't a new thing) when I told her she can't kick Grandma's pretty T.V. stand. Her brothers had woken her up this morning at 7:00. She normally sleeps until 9:00 or 10:00 so she was a bear all morning. While she was pouting on her bed she fell asleep and slept for 2-3 hours. So, if she's going to fall asleep when she is acting like a stinker then I'm all for that! :0)

~It is still lots of fun to be with her during the day usually. She says and does the cutest things! She collected "feafs" (leaves) with Zacky and they did that thing where you put paper over them and lay a crayon down on its side and ran it over it to copy them. Well, a few days later Zacky found a really big leaf on the way home from the bus stop and brought it for her to copy again. I thought that was so thoughtful and sweet of Zacky. She loves him so much!

~I had so much fun at Target the other day! I got to buy Gracie some clothes and it was so much fun! She lives mostly on nice hand-me-downs and gifts from my mom. She always has. We have been so blessed that way. So it was especially fun to be able to buy some cute clothes for her myself. :)

~We survived speaking in church again. I actually didn't even mind it as much this time as I usually do. I got to speak about service so the hard part was deciding which of the many examples of service I thought of and found to actually use in my talk. It went pretty well so it's nice to get it over with.

~I worried so much about Zack adjusting to a new school. Yesterday we were driving down the street when, out of the blue, he said that he likes living up here sooo much more than he did living in Price. Whew! What a relief that is! HUGE!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

I don't WANT to look freakish!

I used to pay to have my eyebrows waxed whenever I could afford it. I absolutely HATE tweezing them myself! Not just because of the pain but mainly because I get so confused about how much eyebrow you should keep and what shape they should be. It's a personal preference kind of thing. Every woman has a different idea of what they "should" look like. Also, eyebrows, as with everything else in the world, are influenced by the time period you are in. Think...Brook Shields for intense.
Well, when Brian was out of work this last time I decided I couldn't justify spending $8-$12 bucks to have my eyebrows shaped when I could just reluctantly force myself to do it myself.
I finally got my hair done a few weeks ago for the first time in a long time. When my hair dresser was washing my hair she asked, "So have you been doing your own eyebrows?" I told her that I had been. She never said anything else about it. Of course, ever since that day I've been so self conscious about them. Apparently I did such a bad job that she could tell that I had been doing them myself. LOL! But what part did I get wrong? So, I feel like they need to be done again but I'm scared I'll screw them up again. I don't  WANT to look freakish! LOL!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Never Say Never...

When Gracie was around 1 year old we came to visit my parents and went to church with them. We weren't sitting by my parents. We are always late for church. For some reason Brian wasn't with us. I think he may have been delivering a rental boat for J.J. because he did ride home with us. I can't remember why but anyway, there we were at church, just sitting there, minding our own business, attending church like we are supposed to, when all of a sudden Gracie starts puking. Everywhere. It got on some of the stuff that belonged to the people in front of us. It was a hard wood floor so it just kind of hit the floor and splattered everywhere. I...was...stunned! I literally froze. I don't know why but I just didn't know what the heck to do. I finally processed what I was seeing and  decided to just grab her and take her to the bathroom just in case she wasn't finished barfing. Some wonderful women from the ward rushed to get some paper towels and cleaned everything up.

Some of the words that were going through my mind as I was cleaning her up in the bathroom were: Embarrassed. Humiliated. Disgusted. Helpless. Grateful. Worried.

Embarrassed, humiliated and disgusted are self explanatory.

Helpless: Because there I was with 4 kids, one was stinky and covered in vomit. And she was wearing her Easter dress and her brand new lacy topped socks with her brand new white dress shoes. :(  And I couldn't just go back in there and help them clean it up because she was a time bomb, so they had to clean it up on their own.

Grateful: Complete strangers cleaned up that horrible mess on the floor during Sacrament Meeting. Now THAT is service let me tell you!

Worried: If this was a nasty virus then everyone in that area of the room were going to probably have puking families. Not cool! AND...we had to drive an hour to get back home with a puking child so that Brian could work the next day .

I made a FIRM decision that from that day forward I could NEVER step foot in my parent's ward building again. NEVER!!! Sooo...flash forward 2 years and we LIVE in the ward boundaries now and attend that ward every single week. No one has said anything about it. I have absolutely NO idea who the people were who cleaned up the puke. They did split the ward since then. Wouldn't it be so awesome if all of the nice people who shared that disgusting experience with us that day all go to the other ward now?! That would be soooo awesome! Awe, who am I kidding? With my luck they are all in our ward and have our faces permanently etched in their minds and will never forget the experience of being vomited on or cleaning someone else's kids' puke up. I am just going to try to put it in the back of my mind and hopefully no one ever brings it up because I would absolutely DIE of humiliation all over again!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Love don't judge!!!

Lately I just can't get judgement off of my mind. One day on Facebook one of "friends" on there wrote this long post about how horrible he thinks it is that there are so many people out of work and they live off of the government, using medicaid and food stamps and on and on he went. I am really sensitive about this subject because...hello! Brian has been out of work off and on and going back to school and stuff. There were times in the past that we used medicaid and yes, even food stamps, to help us through a rough spot. I hated doing it! It was humiliating! It was degrading! It was family didn't starve and my children were well taken care of. Matthew had pneumonia and x-rays and asthma and chronic croup and nebulizing treatments and scary allergic reactions and Zack had broken bones and stitches, etc. I am incredibly grateful for the help we received during difficult times that provided my children with the medical attention they needed and with food to eat.

People kept suggesting we go on food stamps and medicaid this past time Brian was unemployed. We didn't want to. We did the best we could. We made it work. We did have to go the Bishop's storehouse a few times to help us get by but we didn't get food stamps or medicaid. We lived on our own until we just had absolutely no other choice but to move in with my parents. I am proud of us for making it work for all of that time. I am so grateful for food from the storehouse even though that was humiliating and degrading and hard, too!

With the economy it took a long time to find a job. "They" (whoever THEY are) say that the typical wait for finding a job in accounting right now is about 15 months. We know people who have been looking for work for well over a year. We feel very blessed that Brian was able to find a good job after just 10 months. Just 10 months...those were 10 of the longest...hardest...scariest 10 months of my life! When we talked about how just last September we went to Disneyland. Before the rug was pulled out from under us in October. I tell ya, looking back it feels like it was at least 3 years ago!

People we know would tell us about jobs that paid $8-$10 an hour and then wondered why Brian didn't apply. Unemployment paid more than that. We HAVE to have more than $8-$10 an hour. Hello...we have 4 kids, almost $1,000 we have to pay in student loans payments a month, and life! I don't know who in the world could support a family on $8-$10 an hour. Judge all you want but the fact is: The economy SUCKS! Sometimes LIFE sucks! Don't judge me or anyone else when you don't know my heart! You don't know the hell I've been through! You NEVER know what is going on in anyone else's life and that is exactly why YOU SHOULDN'T JUDGE ANYONE...EVER!!!

My health problems have given me such empathy for people. Sometimes the grumpy person at the grocery store just found out they have breast cancer. Maybe someone they love just died or is missing. Maybe they are in so much pain that getting to the store and making it through the whole shopping experience with all 4 of their children in tow, is incredibly difficult and excruciating for them. Maybe they are struggling with infertility and just had to hear someone be cruel to their child in the store and it's all they can do to not break down in tears and beg to the Heavens...WHY?! Maybe they have been married for 19 years, never owned a home, moved 17 times, is in horrible pain, their husband just lost his job, they are worried how they are going to put food on the table for their 4 children or clothes on their butts, and they are just trying to make it through the store without going postal! You just NEVER know! There should not just be a category that you lump EVERYONE into and think of them as lazy, horrible, ungrateful, losers. You DON'T know their heart or their exact situation!

The crazy part about my Facebook "friend" is that just a few days after he wrote that post, he wrote another post. He said how you should never judge another because you just don't know what is going on with them and you just should never, ever judge anyone. I seriously wanted to smack him! WHAT THE HELL?!?! Does he realize what a hypocritical jerk he sounds like? I felt berated and so very judged by what he said just a few days before that and NOW he's going to say how horrible it is to judge others and you should never do it! Oy Vey!! I've forced myself not to respond to him. Others said how amazing he was for being such a non-judgemental person and how they really needed to hear that. I wanted so bad to just say, hmmm, that is really interesting that you would say that after the hateful message you wrote a few days ago that was full of judgement and hatred! So, I just decided to say my peace on my blog instead. It's much safer that way I suppose. Hopefully, I haven't caused you all to hate me and judge me for the things I've shared about us on here just now.  :)  Love don't judge!!!  The end.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Our Crazy Night

So, last night Zack went to The Big Red Barn for a hayride with the youth from our church. Our other children begged us to take them to the playground until we finally gave in and took them over. We sat on a bench and read our books that we are currently reading. We noticed there was a teenage boy sitting on another bench reading a Calvin and Hobbs book. He was watching some of the kids, mostly girls. They went inside for pizza and came out eating it and just were kind of running in and out of the house and squealing and having fun. We went home when it started sprinkling on us a bit hard.

After we'd been home for a while I heard a little girl crying outside. I checked to make sure Gracie was still in the basement and hadn't escaped. :) She was in the house and her brothers were too so I just didn't give it another thought. We live next to a house with several little kids and it's very common to hear crying, screaming kids outside our windows.

Well, when Zack got home from the activity, between 8:00 & 8:30, he told us that the people across the street from my parent's house couldn't find their daughter. I guess the mom called her husband, who was at the activity, too, and told him she couldn't find their daughter and she had been looking for over 30 minutes and was really worried, so he rushed home to look. Brian, Zack, my mom, and I dropped everything and immediately went outside to help look for her. I thought back to the little crying girl I had heard and I was terrified of what that could mean for this little girl. I don't know her, but I can imagine how I would feel if one of my kids was missing on a dark, cool night.

In this subdivision the houses are very close together. They are very large twin homes with about like 8-10 feet between the buildings. There is a communal playground and basketball court. I could hear people throughout the neighborhood yelling Ava!...Ava! I knocked on the door of the house next to us to see if she was there and she wasn't. Another mother came from a different house and asked what was going on so I told her and then I headed to the playground to see if Ava was there. It was VERY dark so it was hard to see anything but black. As I passed the house that those kids were running in and out of earlier in the night I could hear lots of children's voices and decided if she wasn't at the playground or on the basketball court I would go knock on that door, too.

She wasn't at the playground so I knocked on the door and rang the doorbell over and over. I could hear lots of voices and I thought I heard someone say Ava. A little boy, maybe 3 years old, came to the door and then went to get a grown up. Still no one else came to the door so I started shouting we're looking for Ava. A grown up woman came to the door and said she had just noticed a girl at the house and asked her who she was and it was Ava. Ava came to the door and I rushed her to the street, telling her that her parents were looking for her and worried sick and that we needed to get her home right away. I started yelling I found her! I found her! And she's ok! Her dad came riding his bike our way and I said that I found her. He looked at her and firmly told her to go home right now! He thanked me a couple of times and said that he couldn't have made it another 5 minutes! You know how when your child is missing, you are out of your mind with worry and all of your emotions are on the same level so that when you finally find them you can't tell whether you should hug them or smack them. LOL! You're mad, scared, relieved, happy. I was just so grateful to have found her safe and sound! And I was so happy that my kids had convinced us to go to the playground earlier so that I thought to look at that particular house. Obviously, she would have made it home at some point but I was just so happy to have found her so her parents didn't have to worry anymore! Having my children go missing is my worst nightmare!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Matthew's birthday and a recipe

Yesterday was Matthew's 9th birthday. He was sooo excited for his birthday! He said it was the best birthday he ever had because he got a scooter, a soccer ball, and he got to eat at KFC for lunch. Zack got a motor scooter for his birthday and Matthew has been counting the days til his birthday came so that he could get one of his own to ride since Zack didn't like to share his. He was so cute about every celebration and kindness all day long. It's a tradition for us to take the birthday boy to lunch to anywhere they want to eat. He didn't want to go back to school after lunch. He conned me into letting him to stay home. I told him that if he was staying home though, there was a lot of cleaning and stuff to do in preparation of dinner and his little party. We invited my 2 sisters and their families who live in our town to come over to my mom's for dinner and the party. He asked for the Oreo ice cream cake my mom makes and homemade pizza pockets. The ice cream cake is even as good as, if not better than, the Dairy Queen ice cream cakes are. He's been talking about it for weeks. We ate our pizza pockets (yum!) and he was so anxious for the party that we hurriedly readied the dining room and called all of the kids back inside. Matthew was so cute when we sang Happy Birthday. He is very shy and you could tell he was kind of embarrassed and bashful about all of the attention being on him while we were singing to him. He was thrilled with his gifts! But...apparently he didn't like the ice cream cake this time for some reason. He's such a picky poo! At least all of the rest of us loved it even if he didn't. :) All in all it was a great day! He is so cute! His favorite color is green but he really likes all of the colors. He loves putting things together, riding his scooter or bicycle. He is very smart and does very well in school. He LOVES to play games on the computer or the Wii. He makes friends easily and kids love him! He enjoys playing basketball and baseball. He is a very fast runner. He is very picky about eating but is a bottomless pit when he finds something he really likes to eat. He has a testimony of the gospel and loves Jesus and Heavenly Father very much! I am just so blessed to be his mother! Having my precious children in my life teaches me so much about love and life.

Oreo Ice Cream Cake
1 package of Oreos crushed reserving some to sprinkle on top
1/2 cup melted butter
Mix these and press into bottom of 9x13 inch pan. Place in freezer until the crust is set up.

1 carton of vanilla ice cream
Cut and place evenly over crust.

1 jar of caramel ice cream topping
1 jar of hot fudge ice cream topping
Pour over ice cream evenly. You'll have to heat the hot fudge a bit so that it will come out of the jar.

1 lg. carton Cool Whip
Spread evenly over the top and sprinkle Oreo crumbs on top and place in freezer for several hours. You can even make this a day or so in advance. Delicious!!!

He is in that phase right now where he smiles kinda crazy for pictures. LOL!!! But he's still cute! :)

He LOVES to climb trees, door frames, really...basically anything that he can climb on.

 He has THE best imagination! He's LOVES pretending and role play. I love this about him!!!