Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Levi Wisdom

This is going to be my favorite post...maybe ever. I was at the computer looking up a free code to Redbox when Levi came up to me and asked, "What if Jesus dropped something?" Levi mixes up words in his sentences and doesn't speak very clearly sometimes so I thought that maybe I misunderstood him. "What do you mean...what if Jesus dropped something? Do you mean, when He was on Earth, if He dropped something then?" He told me no that he meant from the clouds or sky (can't remember which one he said). You know, from Heaven. Kids take things so literal; I forget that sometimes. I'm assuming he is talking about the above picture and tell him that when he sees those pictures of Jesus in the clouds that it is portraying Jesus in the Second Coming...when He comes again. That is when I realize that I'm not sure that he knows that Jesus will come to Earth again so I ask him, "Did you know that Jesus will come to the Earth again?" I wish I could capture the look on his face at that moment and put it on this blog entry. He had the most excited, surprised look on his face and said, "No! He's coming here?!" I think he thought that Jesus was coming to our house sometime soon so I began to tell him that Jesus is not really in the clouds, that the picture is to remind us that He will come to Earth again but that we have to be ready. That we have to be worthy of His coming. Once I said "worthy" I was for sure that I had lost him but he began to tell me how he wanted to get everyone in his bed and something else. I didn't understand what he was saying. I asked him who everyone was and he said, "Shaylee and Elton and Brigham and Hyrum...well, Hyrum is too little to get up in my bed." I asked him why and he said that they could all play and that it would be a nice thing to do.
Maybe that doesn't seem like much wisdom to most but it taught me how simply "being nice" to someone really can be. How simple being kind can be. Is it really as simple as inviting people you love over? Just as simple as enjoying someone; letting them know that you love them? I love my little Levi so much and once again, he has taught me something...reminded me of who I should be.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, David!

Yesterday, we were at Wal-Mart when Levi and Brigham whispered in my ears that they wanted to get something for Daddy. They wanted to surprise him. We walked past a display of New Years Eve decorations and noise makers when they decided they wanted to get the noise makers and have a surprise party for him. It was so cute that I couldn't say no! So we sent Daddy off to another part of the store while me and the older boys looked for cake stuff. We decided to make him a Snickers cake....doesn't our cake look yummy!?! I don't think you want to know all the germs that could possibly be on this cake with little Briggy stealing licks off his spoon every time he thought I wasn't looking! Since we had poppers we wanted all the older cousins to come to "surprise" him. They were all real cute trying to be all secretive while waiting for him to come in the house (of course, he knew all along).
Once again, I have to express how grateful I am for my family who willingly came at a last minutes notice. My grandparents and parents who gave us "date money" and movie gift certificates so that we could go on a date today (today is David's birthday and our anniversary). My Dad who is always serving, who told us pretty much right after singing happy birthday to David that we could leave as soon as we needed to go on our date and then started cleaning up the mess from the poppers without even being asked to. My Grandparents who volunteered to watch the boys and spoiled them with Dairy Queen. My family amazes me sometimes with what they are willing to do for each other. This is what I want my boys to learn from them.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Year #8

After a year like 2009, I wonder if "Year #8" is how David feels. Well, how I would think he should feel. This is the year in our marriage that I will forever want to remember but yet I'm always trying to forget. I don't ever want to be taught the things that I was taught this year, again. But I never want to forget how hard my husband tried to do what was best for me. It was the year that I learned just how much our little family really meant to him. That he would truly do anything for us and most importantly, to me at least, go through anything for us...for me.
Ronald's Christmas present to us was watching the kids while David and I went on a date. After our date, Ronald and I were talking and I was telling him how my testimony of the Saviour has grown. How truly grateful I am for him being my mediator. That He would be able to speak for me to Heavenly Father. I've known that for a long time but until this past year, I never knew how crucial it was that someone know exactly what I was going through and why I did the things I did..why I thought what I thought. I confessed to my brother though, that I still felt bitter towards Heavenly Father though. Even as I write this I am crying just remembering how terrible this year has been....this year that Heavenly Father let happen. As I was telling Ronald how I felt he reminded me of how He had to send his Son to this Earth and how He had to let him die for us. How he had to let certain things happen in our lives or he would cease to be God. He could not interfere with our free agency. He said, "You really shouldn't give Him such a hard time." He spoke of how it probably broke His heart too. I knew then that I wouldn't wait for a new years resolution. I know what this new year will be like for me and it will start now. I will have a relationship with my Father again. I have so much love for my husband. So much more love for him than I do my Father in heaven. I need for that to change. I see Christlike things in my husband every single day. Every day. He really is that good to me. I want to feel that towards my Father in heaven. I want to know of His love for me and most importantly I want to be grateful for it. This was such a peaceful day for David and I. Earlier that day we just sat outside watching the birds. Sounds so boring to the old me. I never had time for things like that. There was always a house that needed to be cleaned, kids to be watched, or whatever I could think of to keep me going, going, going. I remember David trying to get me to sit on the couch with him when we watched a movie. I couldn't stand "wasting time" on a movie so I had to sit on the floor while watching the movie....with another project at hand of course. Sprawled out before me would be papers or whatever needed to be done. I have a very patient husband though. He had to wait almost 8 years for this woman to emerge. This woman who actually likes to sit and talk with him now. This woman got a kick out of watching Hyrum splash his little heart out in the tub this morning...the same woman who would have thrown a fit because of the water she would have had to clean up afterwards. I am starting to love myself...this new self.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2 days full of gifts....

Yes, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are full of gifts in our family but I received a gift this year that I didn't expect...SNOW! It rarely snows in our part of Oklahoma...usually if something cold is coming from the sky, during winter, it is ice. For the last 13 years I have spent the majority of it in Idaho, Utah, and Colorado....snowy beautiful places. I've gotten quite used to the cold dry air. This past year has been an adjustment for me trying to get used to the weather that I grew up in. It was such a wonderful surprise to be able to spend Christmas in Oklahoma almost like we were in one of my snowy states that I love so much.
Here is Hyrum at MeMaw and Poppy's house on Christmas day. Hryum doesn't show a lot of emotion on his face most of the time but I knew he was truly loving the snow when all the other kids went inside because it was too cold and he stayed outside just pushing the snow around with his hands.
Here is Shaylee and Brigham with Hyrum before they went inside. It wasn't "packing snow" but they tried their hardest to throw it anyway.

Here is Brigham soon after he woke up that morning at our house. He wanted to go outside to play in the snow (I think he ate more of it than played in it). I went out with him to take some pictures when I noticed animal tracks. The night before he and Levi put out reindeer food for Santa's reindeer (we decided that they needed energy to be able to get to the Moore house to bring gifts to Shaylee, Elton, and Allie). I used this opportunity to work Brigham's imagination. I asked him is he thought those were reindeer footprints. We ended up finding even more prints and he decided that they were definitely from Santa's friends.
The night before we all gathered at Nanny and Poppy's house to open up gifts. Here is Chuck opening his gifts....from Chuck! Chuck always gets Chuck the best gifts! I love the kid's expression trying to figure out what is going on!

Levi patiently waiting to open his gifts.

I got these two pictures mixed up in their order but here is Grandpa teasing Brigham. He had been telling him all night that I said that Grandpa (a.k.a Poppy) could have all the presents. As the presents were slowly being brought to Brigham, of course Poppy had to keep at it. I love Brigham's face! Before Brigham opened up this Bakugan tin Poppy was trying to convince Brigham that is was really cookies in there. Brigham was so happy to prove Poppy wrong!
We didn't get any good pictures of us in the act but here is a picture of Nanny and Poppy together after Dad figured out that we had a new team mate to pester him. Every year Dad and Chuck pass out the presents and every year April and I put back the presents while Dad isn't looking and wait to see how long it takes him to figure it out. Of course he knows to expect it each year so its not so secret anymore. This time Ronald was helping me and when Mom started in on it...he kept watching me and Ronald knowing what we were doing when I said, "You know, sometimes it is the one person you least expect." I really wish I would have gotten a picture of his face when he realized his wife was in on it!
It has been a wonderful few days trying to get all of the boy's gifts in their places in our very tiny home. They were completely spoiled by all of their grandparents but instead of getting stressed about it, I have used it as an opportunity to clean out their room of old toys that they don't really play much with anymore. There are still way to many toys and it has nothing to do with what Christmas is really about but it is so fun to watch the boys get overly excited about all this new stuff. We keep reminding them of Jesus's birth. We pointed out the similarities of Santa and Jesus before opening gifts. We sang happy birthday to Jesus on Christmas day. We really tried to make sure that they knew the real reason for all of this activity. I used to worry that we didn't do enough to make them understand. It feels so good not to worry so much. It feels so good to just enjoy life more.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas from Hyrum!

Is this kid cute or what?!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Game night with Bubba

I grew up in a house that played games a lot....loud games! It didn't matter if it was Charades, we would find a way to make it loud! My mother stopped playing games with Dad and the kids long ago once she realized we could not play a game without making her head hurt. I guess my love for games stuck with me when I married David. In Rexburg we had many a "game nights" where we would invite other couples over to our apartment. Something happened though once we moved from there and pretty much the only time we played games were when my family visited or when we went to Oklahoma for a visit. Kinda sad but it's true. But Uncle Bubba was in from Utah and so a game night was in order tonight!April and I decided to have it at her house since it's bigger and they have more games and that we would each provide for the dinner that night. She requested my hoagies but said she had one request; more meat. I'm not much of a meat eater so any recipe that I use I almost always cut back on what is called for in the meat department. Every Sunday our family gathers at one of our houses to have lunch together after church. So once a month everyone comes to our house and yes, usually not a lot of meat is served in what ever dish I have when it is my turn to cook! So I thought I'd give April a good dose of her daily meat! I brought this sandwich just for her.....a whole package worth of deli meat....10 oz. of it!

The kids played with each other and watch movies while we played games. The first game was fun because.....ok, I'm notorious for cheating! Whats funny is that I only do it with my family or people I am very close to. I always justify it by doing it right in front of everyone. I mean, how is it really cheating if everyone knows your doing it, right? Well, that is what I tell myself! The second game we played took FOREVER! The poor kids came out from watching a show and crashed on the couch with Bubba and Auntie.

I wish I would have gotten a good picture of the winning. Elton is a genius when it comes to games and always wins. We were playing Trivia Pursuit Pop Culture and he (David and I were on his team but I say "he" because it wasn't like we were any help!) had all pie pieces within a quarter of the time of the whole game except for one....the "fad" section. It was so funny to watch April and Ronald slowly catch up and pass us and Elton went crazy! But he pulled through and we were on the last question when I of all people actually had the winning answer....even though it still was a guess! April tacked Elton afterwards and yelled, "How do the stars always align for you!"
Thank you family for bringing out the gamers in all of us!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Levi!

Today was Levi's 7th birthday. It's hard to believe that Levi will have the choice of being baptized next year. If there ever was a child worthy of baptism it is my baby boy. Yes, any mother would say that. I'm telling you though, it's true.Uncle Bubba lives in Utah now but he flew in yesterday for Christmas so it was a wonderful addition to our usual birthday squad!
Nanny made Levi's birthday cake and if you know her, you know she makes beautiful cakes (she has done a many wedding cakes, including mine and David's cake) but this is not one of them! But Levi wanted a Hulk cake and Nanny knew that what he really wanted was a cake that had The Hulk action figures on it. She got off easy this time with not having to make it pretty....though I have a feeling it cost her much more money this time!

Hyrum got tired of waiting for us to get him a piece of cake so he stole his own pieces!

Levi wanted Bakugan s for his birthday...I never imagined he would get so many! I think we ended up counting 23...and it's not even Christmas yet! I know Brigham is getting some also so I can't imagine just how many of these Bakugan balls are going to rolling around our house come Christmas! Don't you just love this picture...true joy!

The game we decided to play involved cotton balls and Vaseline. On one end of the rug I laid out the cotton balls. Then I put a dab of Vaseline on their noses. On the other end of the rug were separate bowls. The object was for the kids to get the cotton balls to stick on their noses without them using their hands and then race over to their bowl and put the cotton balls in them...but they can't use their hands to get the cotton balls off their noses! We ended up letting them use their hands on the bowls, though, to help them get going a little better.

I love this boy of mine. Before the game started I told them that their would be a prize at the end. When they were through with the game I told them that I didn't want there to be just one winner. Levi spoke up and said, "They can have one of my Bakugans." This is typical Levi. He amazes me all the time. He didn't have to give up the goods though...I had enough prizes for all the kids.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

This week has been a busy one for us. It's the last week of school before Christmas break which of course mean tons of activities. I made myself say no to a few of them because of the sicknesses in our house but I'm happy to say that the things that I did attend were fun and I was able to remember that it was indeed Christmas! Here are a few pictures of our adventures at school.
Here is Levi getting his birthday spankings from Mrs. Eberle!
Brigham's Christmas party. I truly enjoyed the girls in his class. In both Levi and Brigham's classes I have volunteered enough that when the class see me they immediately yell my child's name and then tell them that I'm there. This day was super fun for me because for some reason the girls just flocked to me. I don't get much girl time so it was super sweet to have these little girls around me and to have them actually miss me when I left! One of my favorite comments made at the party was from a boy named Nathaniel (the boy at the bottom left of picture). He asked me if Hyrum (Daddy and Hyrum were there for part of it before they had to head off for Levi's Christmas party) was allergic to anything. I told him no and he said, "I'm allergic to something but the teacher says that I'm not allergic to anythng." I said, "Oh yeah...what are you allergic to?" He told me he was allergic to poison ivy. I tried not to giggle as I told him that most of us were allergic to poison ivy.
One of my favorite things I did this week was volunteer during Levi's movie day. The 1st grade classes went to see The Princess and the Frog at our local movie theater. I sat next to Levi and was impressed that my row of kids did very well. Not because of me; they were just well behaved kids. They each got a bag of popcorn and pop. One of my favorite comments that I overheard was, "Kashina, if you drink the ice there is more pop in there!"
I was constantly reminded that all children really want is positive attention. Those girls in Mrs. Goff's class made that real clear to me. In Mrs. Eberle's class, while she was away at the teachers Christmas party, me and 2 other women helped while the kids did lots of crafts. I only did this for 2 hours and I was quickly reminded how grateful I am for Mrs. Eberle being Levi's teacher and not me! They are a bunch of good kids but it definitely is not my calling in life to teach! One of our projects included the use of glitter (never again!). As I was trying to sweep it up the boys just wanted to help. So I made a big deal about how strong they were when they moved the chairs. That lead to moving the chairs with one hand high in the air and others trying to get as many chairs as they possibly could as they pushed them aside for me to sweep. All they wanted was positive attention. So simple....taught once again by a child.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I have been sick for about a month and a half now. Just before Halloween, Hyrum and Brigham tested positive for Influenza A. Because they didn't test people for the Swine Flu out here (the cost was outrageous and time consuming) no one ever really knew if what was going around was the regular flu or the swine flu. I found out last night that the regular flu happens during a certain part of the season; when my boys got the flu it was before that season so they are saying to just assume that was what was going around was in fact, the swine flu. I suspected that is what we all got because of how it lingered and specially mine. I have been coughing, and I mean nasty mucus - sounds like a smokers cough, for a month and a half now. I would have good days where I would cough now and then but then I would have days where I would get into such coughing fits that I would throw up and my head would be pounding. I have to say that this last month or so has been really hard on me emotionally. Its hard to see the bright side of things when you feel like crap all the time. But I still worked on what I learned during conference. That everyone works on their own level. That they better themselves on their own level. I feel that under the circumstances that I did fairly well..until last night. I disappointed myself. I didn't realize it until just now.
The children have insurance but David and I don't. Luckily, we live in an area where there are a lot of Christians who like to give. Every Thursday at the First Baptist Church some doctors, nurses, volunteers, and sometimes dentists and chiropractors volunteer their time to help people like me out. I have been holding out for a month and a half but I just couldn't take it any longer. About 4 or so days ago my cough turned into a sinus infection. The only drawback about going to this clinic is that because it is free you have to wait for quite sometime to see a doctor. I waited 5 hours until I was seen by a doctor.....5 hours! You can imagine the frustration I was feeling. I didn't want to be ungrateful but I was in so much pain. While I was waiting I sat next to this older man who was quite talkative. I learned later that this was unusual for him but I am so glad that he opened up to me. He was complaining about how long he was waiting and how he was about to go "schizo" (as in schizophrenia) on someone. It lead to other things and I made the comment about how we worry about the silly things in life that really don't matter. He then told me his story. Boy was I right. This man was there to get refill medication for severe depression and anxiety. I suffer from the same thing and there has been times in my life when it has been very severe but I always feel guilty for having these feelings knowing that I have been truly blessed in my life. Why would someone so fortunate suffer from something like this? At times it makes me feel so badly because....well, because of men like the one I was sitting next to. He truly had a actual event that happened in his life that forever changed who he was. His son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter were brutally murdered in Tulsa. A few men high on drugs and thinking they were breaking into a different house, opened fire on this poor family. And not just once but over and over. This man sitting next to me was not there when it happened but as I talked to him I realized all the lasting effects this incident has had on his life. Having to go through he trial and see those pictures of what those men did to his family would be enough to cause major issues. This same man ended up going to jail just so that he could be put in the same jail that the men were being held he could kill them. There was so much anger in his life. After all was said I thanked him for opening up to me. I thanked him because he helped me realize once again how very blessed I am. Through out the night we got moved around but I still watched that man. At times he would talk to people but mostly he just sat there in his thoughts. As time went on the pain in my face and head just got worse and worse and I was trying with all my might not to complain. I ended up keeping it all to myself and was still able to get myself to thank the doctor and nurses for volunteering their time to do this. But I went home feeling so miserable....forgetting all about that man. Just feeling miserable. I was halfway through the next morning when I finally remembered him. I can't believe how quickly our human nature comes over our's just a constant battle. I really want to remember that man though. I really do.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's all coming together...

On Friday the Branch (church) had their Christmas Party. They fed us and the Primary (kids) acted out the nativity scene. Santa made an appearance and all was well.Saturday came along and I had forgotten all about the Grove Christmas Parade. The parade is unique because they do it at night and with all the Christmas lights, it's a neat experience. Pounce (long-time high school friend) called me about an hour before the parade to see if I was going. David was the one who answered and told her we probably would go but that I would call her back. I hadn't been in a Christmas-ee mood since the prior night. I don't know why. Maybe I lost touch. I'm not much of a last minute person anymore, though. I have to prepare myself for things now so that is probably what put me in the bad mood...but I didn't want to go. I love my friend and I knew that the boys would LOVE the parade but I had to force myself to get going! I'm so glad that I did. It was so fun to listen to the two older boys yell, "MERRY CHRISTMAS" to every float that passed watch Hryum turn around every once in a while and hold up a sucker for me to unwrap for him or some other candy that had been given to listen to Pounce gush over my "cute boys" listen to my husband's redneck ideas of what he could enter into the parade for next year.
This week is going to be insane with how many functions we have plans for. I am really trying to remember my "Gingerbread Wisdom" though. A quote was used in Relief Society a few Sundays ago that I thought I would share that goes perfectly with what I have been trying to work on.
"The Christmases we remember best usually have little to do with worldly goods but a lot to do with the spirit of caring, the spirit of love, and the spirit of compassion." -President Thomas S. Monson, First Presidency Christmas 'Devotional, Dec. 3, 2006

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Concerts

Tuesday night was Brigham's Christmas Concert and Thursday night was Levi's.
As you can imagine, Brigham was VERY entertaining! As they were walking in, we spotted Brigham and as we suspected he was already goofing off! Trying to catch the attention of the boy in front of him he was right behind his head making faces at the boy. And it didn't stop once they actually got on stage and performed...well, he stopped making faces....just didn't stop entertaining us! Grandma, Grandpa, and my Dad came and I got such a kick out of listening to Grandma laugh at Brigham. Instead of being embarrassed, she just thought it was funny! Of course there were other kids up there that were moving around and such (it is a bunch of kindergartners after all!) but you just have to know Brigham and know that if there is going to be a performance, he is going to be the animated one! One of my favorite parts of the night was right after the first song was sang. The audience and Brigham were clapping for them/himself. Levi's performance started out funny but not because of the kids. They got up on stage and slowly one by one parents went up there to take pictures. But like a mob usually starts it turned into this massive amount of parents up on stage! I made a comment that they were going to have to announce, "Parents, please get off the stage and sit in your seats!" Sure enough they did! My sister, Amanda, was one of those "parents" up there one stage. I LOVE IT! Levi was on the back row and every once in a while I would see his little head pop up and down. I'm not sure what he was doing but it was cute!
Both performances were short and loud...just the way I like it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gingerbread Wisdom

As I've said before, Brigham LOVES holidays! He never lets us forget any of them. We made a gingerbread house last year and of course he is going to make sure that we do it this year also. So I bought a kit at Wal-Mart for Family Home Evening last night. From the time that I told him about it when picking him up from school until we actually put it together (which was after dinner and after everything was cleaned up) he probably asked a dozen or more times about when it would be time. Last year, a dear friend of mine (Lachelle Jensen) from Rexburg sent us a homemade Christmas card entitled, "Gingerbread Wisdom." It was a cute poem about how we tend to get lost in the craziness of commercial Christmas that we forget the whole reason behind the real meaning of Christmas. Like the Gingerbread Man who ran and ran as fast as he could, we tend to do that at Christmas with everything that we feel "has to be done" at Christmas time, forgetting what is really important. What the card pointed out, that I thought was interesting, was that those things that seem so important to us to "get done" are usually the things that we forget about in the end...the things that don't hold a lot of memories. I kept that card and just happened to run across it on the day that I bought this gingerbread house kit. I have no doubt that the Lord wanted me to tie it in with our FHE lesson. The boys always love FHE (in fact, the other day Brigham asked, "Is Family Home Evening today?" I told him no, that it was on Monday. He said, "Oooooo, I wish it was everyday!") but tonight I was the one who was really loving FHE. Lesson learned.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just because...

Nanny with Hyrum, Logan, and Allie I use this as a family journal so I don't usually just post pictures without a story behind it (so that our family remembers later in life)....but this picture is just to cute not to post...ok, so I can't pass up showing off that adorable dimple on my boy!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Excited Hyrum

Time to decorate

Brigham has been asking us about decorating for Christmas since before Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong, he and Levi were very excited about the big dinner and going to Me-Maw and Poppy's house but you can imagine just how excited they were about getting the lights up outside and decorating the inside of the house this weekend. We always have Egg Nog after decorating the tree (a tradition that I grew up with) and it has been calling Brigham's name from the fridge ever since I bought it a few days ago! He gets so excited about all holidays! I heard him singing, "Deck the halls with vowels and consonants..." Kindergarten is paying off!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I haven't been to a Thanksgiving dinner with my family since being married. With the exception of 2 Thanksgivings, we have always spent it with David's side of the family. I really missed them this year. As far back as I can remember, we always had Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa's house or Little Papa's house. The big hit with us kids were always the olives...putting them on each fingertip and going back for more. With the Grandkds being parents now we bring part of the dinner. I made the bread and mashed potatoes. I turned my back for a second and little Hyrum had gotten a hold of part of the mixer and went to town! He loved it so much and it was so cute that I kept putting more mashed potatoes on top of the places he had already licked clean.
By the time we got to Grandma and Grandpa's house, the game had already started! April and Shaylee have never been afraid of a man's game!

It's weird to me that we are so big now that we have to have 2 high chairs and another table....and still have adults sitting on the floor in the living room while eating dinner!

I woke up this morning having had bad dreams. That always puts me in a somber mood. It took me a little bit but I was able to pull through it quicker than normal. That seems to be happening a lot more lately. I'm very grateful for that. I'm grateful for a husband who senses it every time; who knows just what to say to help me remember what is important, what is real, and that I'm not broken...just healing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lovey Dove

Before I left for the Bank and Walgreens this afternoon, I told Levi where I was going (Hyrum, Daddy, and Brigham were asleep). He repeated back to me where I was going and said, "And then you will be back." I feel guilty that I didn't take him with me now that I saw this sign/picture in our front door window. It says, "I miss you Mom. Love Levi" with all kinds of hearts together in the shape of another heart. This boy melts my heart!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Family Home Evening in November

We try to have Family Home Evening every Monday night...sometimes it ends up happening on Tue. or Wed. or so on but we are usually pretty good at doing it weekly. I wonder sometimes if the reason we are so diligent on doing it weekly is really because of the kids though. I'm not sure they would ever let us forget! I try to remember to enjoy these FHE now while they are young and still like to do them! Our FHE are very simple. They last maybe 5-10 minutes long. Sometimes we will do an activity of some sort that will make it longer but usually it is just short enough to keep their attention and long enough for Mommy and Daddy to be able to handle it before someone starts crying. I feel so blessed to have boys that love each other so much. Especially to see Levi and Hryum together. I think Levi babies Hyrum more than his parents do sometimes! But even though they love each other, it never fails that when we are trying to have "family" moments all of us are tried with our patience eventually. I think we have figured out that short FHE work the best for us! This picture was actually taken last week. We are blessed to own the Living Scriptures series. They are DVD/videos that are 30 minutes long. They are animated and tell a scripture story. They come with coloring and activity booklets. We only let them watch "Jesus" movies on Sundays so lately for FHE we have just been going over an account, since they have already seen the movie, in the scriptures and then coloring/activity pages for our lessons and activities. We feel very blessed that we have these "tools" to teach our children with. When we lived in Colorado we started getting these DVD's in the mail monthly but when David lost his job we had to stop doing this. No one knew this but we were blessed that Christmas to get as a present, from Steve and Barbara, a few Living Scriptures DVD's. Then we moved out here and some friends from church, the Rickners, had also gotten into the Living Scriptures on video by mail but their children had grown up and left the home so guess who got blessed once again?! We eventually ended up owning all! But I have to say that my favorite is the coloring and activity makes for great FHE lessons. Thank you for blessing me and my family! I'm using the word "blessed" a lot but I really feel that we are because I'm not sure that we should own even half of what we do. And I have no doubt that the kids have a better understanding of the scriptures because of them.
Since Thanksgiving is this week we decided to go over some of the things that the kids have been learning in school about this holiday. I asked Brigham why we celebrated Thanksgiving and his reply was, "To celebrate God's birthday!" Very cute! After he and Levi told us things that they knew about the holiday I asked them to tell me 3 things that they are thankful for. Levi said, "You, Dad, Brigham....but I need another one for baby." Then Brigham said that he only needed 1 thing. He was thankful for his family. Brigham and Levi tried to tell me this at the same time so I knew that they were not trying to outdo the other. They truly meant it. I LOVE MY FAMILY! Moments like these make it all so very worth it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Just Like Old Times

About 2 months ago Ryan Wilhelmsen contacted me about surprising his wife, Charlene, for her birthday. Charlene was my roommate at Ricks College. Ryan wanted me and Brittany Doll, another roommate, to come up with a place for him to fly Charlene out to so that we could all get I guess happy birthday to us all! Of course, Charlene figured it out before our weekend actually came but it was still fun trying to keep it from her! They flew in to the Tulsa airport on Wednesday and on the next day off we went to Branson, MO. That first night we went to the Dixie Stampede. We took this picture because I was giving Charlene a hard time when she said that these poinsettias were in the shape of a butterfly. They were obviously boots....I mean, we were at the Dixie Stampede! We thought it was neat how they got all those poinsettias to look like boots.....but when we went back to go look at them....ok, so it was a butterfly after all!
The next day we did a LOT of shopping and went the the Hollywood Wax Museum. We had a little bit to much fun there! There were many pictures taken there and now each of us girls have enough blackmail evidence on each other to last a this is all you get to see!

We continued to shop the next day and take as many pictures as we could. We laughed so much that I often heard the phrase, "My face hurts" or "My stomach hurts" coming out of each of our mouths. We may be a bunch of old moms now but we still know how to laugh!

On our way back from Branson we stopped at a Russel Stover Store. We had to take this picture because of the obnoxious amounts of junk food we had that we were taking home.

I love my Husband and my children dearly, but I am so grateful that I was able to make this trip with my dear friends. There are so many things that you forget when you are going about your daily routines. I forgot to laugh at myself. I forgot that so many moms go through the same things as I do. Thank you girls for reminding me of who I once was and who I am now. Both are good.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Date Nights

I am going to Branson, MO for a few days with some of my friends in a few days and so my Dad came to watch the kids last night so David and I could go on a date. It was so wonderful! I came to realize something last night. I guess it is more of remembering something. David and I both know that we should put date nights as a priority in our lives but we don't. For years it was because I couldn't leave the kids. It seriously was no fun for me to go on dates with David because I worried about the kids the whole time we were gone. There were plenty of times that we cut a date short because of this. About 2 years ago is when I finally was able to feel comfortable with leaving the kids with someone; probably because we were living by family for the first time! We would put the kids to bed and then Helen would come over (or should I say, up the stairs. She lived below us in the basement.) and listen for the kids....and sometimes watch them because they would sneak out of their rooms! There is only so much you can do that late at night though. So then we started realizing how important it is to have a real date no matter what! We actually started spending money on ourselves! That was always a factor in not going on dates also. We have went through ups and downs since then on remembering what we realized not so long ago. We let money get in the way. I've let my fear of being in crowded places get in the way. There are always excuses. But we are remembering again.....and I am very much in love with my husband.....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All those in love with Fall

Everyone seems to love the Fall. They usually love it because it brings in the holidays and because of all the awesome beauty of the outdoor colors changing before our eyes....I just like it because it means that in Oklahoma, it isn't summer anymore! June bugs are gone, the ants are slowing down (has anyone else noticed that the ants are seriously acting lethargic?!), but most importantly it isn't humid anymore!!! Levi discovered that "brooming" the leaves was much easier than raking them. It took me a while to finally get him to understand what "sweeping" was and what "brooming" was not!
Yes, that would be Hyrum with his eye completely closed shut now! He woke up like this on Sunday morning and because of him testing positive for influenza, we were afraid this was due to that. It scared us enough to make another ER visit. Did you know that you can have a viral infection as well as a bacterial? I didn't know that. I thought it was just one or the other. He has "peri-orbital cellulitis" which is like an ear infection except this infection is in the soft tissue around the eye. We lovingly call him "winky" now. These pictures were taken on Sunday and as of today, he has almost got the eye completely open now. It is still very red though and the eye itself stands out farther than the other eye now. It is the oddest looking thing.