Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blue and Gold Banquet

Since the church is now starting scouts at age 8, Levi has moved from the community troop to the Church's group. Levi's old den leader really stepped up last year after his first den leader couldn't do it anymore but for what ever reasons this year, it has been kind of sad. The meetings were canceled the majority of the time. I always told the boys, though, when entering Cub Scouts that it would be up to them if they transferred over into the church's den. The Cub Scout program is such a wonderful program that I don't care if it is through the church or not and honestly, I'm not sure if Brigham will transfer next year or not. He is growing up with these boys and his leader is AMAZING!

This is one of the many wonderful creations (with the help of the boys, of course) that she has come up with for the boys to do......and it won first place tonight at the Blue and Gold Banquet! It is hard to see but the astronaut there is a tiger cub! Each boy got to make their own planet and Levi got to help. This is another reason I love Melissa (den leader) and Brandy (assistant) so much. Before the church announced that they were starting the cub scout program at age 8 (before they didn't start until Webelos), I felt really bad for Levi. Brigham would go to his meetings and they were so organized and always had multiple things to do. But week after week, Levi's would be canceled. I was so impressed that Brandy and Melissa never minded that Levi tagged along. Actually, I am feeling really blessed right now as I am writing this. Amanda Bishop is the Cub Scout leader at the church (or as the boys call her, ADM -awesome den mother-) and she too always lets Brigham tag along and even Hyrum sometimes!

Have I mentioned how grateful I am for the Cub Scout program?!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Weekend in Branson, MO

I have been trying to talk David into a little family getaway since he returned from such a crazy work trip. It finally worked and we headed off (last minute) to Branson, Missouri. I LOVE BRANSON! It is so family friendly and it is actually not that expensive if you find packages online. I really felt like we got an amazing deal and we went on a perfect weekend since thunder, lightning, and rain was the only weather of choice. First, I love all those elements of the weather and second, it scared off some tourists!

This was one of our many entertainment parts of our package. Everything that we went to was walking distance from our hotel but since it was POORING rain the whole time we had to drive. This is an inside water park. Every 10 minutes or so this bucket fills to the top and dumps out on everyone.

Teamwork gets this thing to shoot up water!
The "lazy river" was my favorite part. It wasn't so "lazy" though as I tried to pass my boys and they tried to pass me. The best was finally getting past one another and then making it all the way around and sneak up on them!

We got to watch the Amazing Pets and I think the boys liked it until it got too long. They just really wanted to get on to our next fun thing....miniature golfing (or "gulfing" as they say).

Brigy got to hold one of the birds!

The "Fun Spot" was probably the best part of the deal. From 10:00-11:30 p.m. they open this part of one of the buildings just to the people staying at our hotel. They play music, you get free food, money put on a card that allows you a certain amount of games to be played, and a ball drop that has certain prizes stuck on it (their favorite part was probably popping the balloons!).

I had to take a picture of this. Brigham randomly asks, "When will we get to stay in a hotel again?" He loves it for some reason! Probably this reason!

We really did have such a great weekend. I think it got David's mind off of some things. There were a few times that the boys got a little spoiled with all this "free" stuff and so we had to cut certain entertainment options short because they were getting ungrateful. But it was so rewarding to hear the thank yous later as they finally remembered how blessed they really are to get to do all this stuff.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

A lady at church, Anna Gibson, is moving out of our ward and moving closer to her family. I love Anna so much. For as far back as I can remember, when I think back of memories of Anna I just feel love. She has always showed me in many ways that she loves me. She sees something in me that I often don't see. I truly love her and am going to miss her dearly. Tricia, Rose, and I have been packing her things up and getting her ready for her move this week, though I haven't done even half as much as Rose and Tricia has done for Anna. I am so grateful to have friends like these girls who are willing to serve such a wonderful lady when I couldn't do as much as I wanted this week. They are all such good examples to me.

Today was Hyrum's Easter egg hunt with Head Start. I wanted to help Tricia out with Sofie while she was packing Anna up, so I brought her with me when I headed to the Grandwood Assisted Living to meet Hyrum and his Head Start friends. Hyrum was excited to see his "Sosie." I look at pictures like these and can't help but wonder who my children will marry. Will I have pictures of my boys at young ages with their future spouses?.....I can only hope!
Sofie and I got to the nursing home before the Head Start kids showed up. While we were waiting a nurse came up to Sofie and told her how pretty she was and how he hoped that she was the one who found the golden egg.....little did he know that she would!

I was so impressed with her! I felt bad that she had won 1 of the 2 grand prizes because she was not actually one of the Head Start kids. But she was so good and did not complain even once about sharing with the other kids.

It kind of helped that she won the "boy" grand prize!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bye Bye Adenoids!

This morning, Tricia came over bright and early to watch Levi and Brigham as David and I headed to the hospital to have Hyrum's adenoids removed. I talked to Hyrum about his surgery last night (though I don't think he had a clue as to what I was talking about) but didn't even think to tell the older boys. So I warned Tricia this morning that they didn't know, though I wasn't afraid because my boys LOVE the Wilson family! While we were waiting for the surgery to happen and while we were waiting for him to wake up I sent text pictures to my family (including the ward family:) so Tricia showed them to Brigham and he said, "Oh, now I know why you are here!" Even though she had already explained to them what was going on. I love my cute boys! So here is Hyrum checking his nurses' (Nichole Spencer) temperature. Nurses are always my favorite part of a hospital stay or surgery. Seriously, I don't know if I have ever had a bad one. They seem to have been born to serve! Actually, they tie with my love for........LOOPY MEDICINE! There is nothing funnier than seeing a 3 year old high! He was SOOOOOOOOO funny when he had his rectal biopsy with his reaction to the loopy medicine. So we were looking forward to it today....the stinker spit most of it out though! But some of it must have got in his system because by the time the other nurse came in he was waving by to us :)
Before we knew it, Dr. Allen was in telling us that everything went great and Hyrum should be in with us shortly. But as more and more time passed a nurse came in to tell us that everything was fine, he just didn't want to wake up. I just laughed because that was exactly how Levi was when he had his cyst removed. He was one of the first to have his surgery and the very last out of all the kids in the recovery room to leave because he just slept and slept! I think it is a blessing, though I think they worry a little about them not getting up so soon. I can understand but it sure is nice having a child wake up happy while every other kid is screaming around you!

When we got home, Tricia had done our dishes and had a gray stuffed bunny waiting for Hyrum. Not to long later, Grandma and Grandpa came by with a balloon and Hershey Kisses. After I picked up the other boys from school, Hyrum had so MORE stuff waiting for him at the front door from the Bishop family. By this evening, Mom and Dad had came by with a stuffed animal and I found out that Anna Gibson had went by the hospital to see if Hyrum was still there. What a cute, spoiled boy!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tornado Season

I started this post well over an hour ago. But when the weather scanner keeps going off and then you hear the town sirens go off, kids freaking out, running to the cellar, finding a dead squirrel in the cellar.....ok, lets back up.

David has been gone on a business trip for 3 weeks. He has come home on the weekends only to stay for 2 days and once for just over 24 hours. I haven't wanted to put this on the blog just to be on the safe side but since he will be home in a matter of hours and won't be going back, I feel ok about it now.

We have done amazingly well without Daddy. The Lord has really blessed me with patience and peace. Even tonight in the Tornado warning, I felt safe as Daddy had sent our neighbor and good friend over to watch over us. One great blessing that has come from these long days without Daddy has been how very sweet it is for Daddy to come home. You really cherish your time with someone that you love so deeply when they have been gone for longer than you are used to.

Last weekend Brigham's cub scout troop had a camp out on Monkey Island. It was on a non-for profit ranch with bathrooms, fishing, petting zoo, horse rides, wagon rides, camp name it! It was great! Well, the boys had a great time....Mommy wasn't too happy to be there. Daddy was supposed to take the boys (Levi went too) but they ended up needing him longer on this job that was in Yukon, OK. I love to hike but I am not one for camping. But Brigham was so very excited about this that I couldn't say no. Grandma and Grandpa kept Hyrum for us and I was so grateful after that terrible night......

...but first, the fun pictures. Levi was most excited about fishing. As he put it, "Because I'm good at it." Meaning he was one of the only boys at cub scout camp last summer to catch a fish. He is so cute. Most people who make comments like that are cocky but not Levi. He was just stating a fact. What a cutie! Well, as you can see......not so good at it!

Brigham was super excited to fish for the first time and he kept at it for a while until he got bored and moved on to better things! But as you can see from the back of the picture, Levi is still at it......and unfortunately still not good at it! But hey, that boy was determined! The boys stayed up late just running around with the other boys with only a rope and florescent light up sticks. All they needed was a few things and their imaginations because I kept hearing things about them being werewolves, and kings, and servants, and war, and all the boy things you can think of. But I finally talked Brigham and Levi into going to bed. We were not asleep very long when we were woke up by a VERY loud and LONG thunder. This picture was taken before the real part of the storm hit.....and the boys started freaking out! The weather out here can be so amazing. There was not a cloud in sight when we went to bed and by 2 in the morning we were in a Tornado watch as well as a Thunderstorm warning (watch means the storm has the makings of a possible tornado, a warning means it has been spotted). As you can imagine, when rain hits on the tent it is so much louder than being in a home. Now imagine being in a thunderstorm and the wind going crazy around you!?! LOUD! I was so proud of my boys though. This is where I had a wonderful teaching moment with Levi. I asked the boys what they thought we could do and they both said at the same time that we could pray. So Levi gave the prayer. We all got as tight as we could next to each other while Levi stayed under the sleeping bags. He's my little worrier. I thought I could hear him under those sleeping bags but again it was so loud that I wasn't sure. Finally, I asked him if he was ok. He poked his head out and said, "Mom, something is really wrong! I keep praying and it won't go away!" My heart broke just a little right then but it was really a bittersweet moment. I hated that the faith of this child was not making the storm go away. He truly believed that if he prayed it would go away. But I also was so thankful that I could have this moment with him and teach him of the importance of knowing the difference between what we want and what the Lord has in store for us. Before we knew it, Daddy was texting us about the warnings and we were outta there! Did you know that you can get a Happy Meal at 3:33 in the morning? I felt bad because Brigham was real disappointed about leaving so I tried to make it up to them. We ended up going back a few hours later and got all of our stuff and all was ok. Fast forward to tonight. David calls me and tells me that we are in another watch and that Wayne (our neighbor and good friend) had been over earlier, checked out the cellar and we were good to go if we needed it. I sure do have wonderful men in my life! I actually already knew about the upcoming storm though because our weather scanner had been going off. Not very long afterwards, I thought I heard sirens. I turned off the tv and sure enough the town sirens were going off. It was the only time during this whole ordeal (and even last weeks) that I kinda freaked out. A little frantically I told the boys to hurry and get their shoes on, that the tornado sirens were going off. I felt horrible later because Levi immediately started crying. We hurried, got a flash light and off to the cellar we went. There waiting for us in the cellar was the remains of a squirrel but thank goodness it had been gone long enough that all that was left was its skin. Poor little Hyrum though, wouldn't take his hands off his nose for a quite some time! Of course there were spiders and it was nasty but hey, as I kept telling the boys, spiders won't kill us! We are much safer with those than a tornado. Levi clung to me but kept it together. Hyrum was amazing. He didn't start whining until about 10 minute before we got out of the cellar. Before we knew it, though Wayne, his family and his neighbors were in there with us (and the squirrel left!). It really felt like a long time but before we knew it, the sirens finally went off. I called Grandma and Grandpa first though before we left (they have a scanner also) and they let us know it was safe. We got inside, took showers, and I praised and praised those boys for being so brave. I really was proud of them. One funny thing. I overheard Brigham saying to Levi at one point, "What if the lower elementary got sucked up....COOL!"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A cultural experience

This week in Hyrum's Head Start class has been full of fun activities and will continue for the rest of the week. They have had many visitors come to teach them certain things and when I found out that today an Indian woman was coming to talk to the classes, I made sure I was there! Though I grew up around a part of the American Indian culture, it still fascinates me.
This is Foxy. I wish I would have written down her Indian name but it means "fox" thus her American nick name of Foxy. She is from the Seneca-Cayuga tribe and is not wearing the typical dress of her tribe but decided to wear for us what she would wear when she dances at Pow-Wows. She told the children about the legend of the skunk. That before skunks were black with a white stripe that they once were all white. One day a skunk was walking around all high and mighty while showing off his beautiful white fur. He came across some baby owls. If you have ever seen a baby owl, they are not very cute. Well, this skunk told them just how ugly they were and then spoke of his beauty. When the mother owl came along and the baby owls told their mother what the skunk had said to them, she swooped up the skunk in all his beautiful white fur and dropped him in the middle of a forest fire. The skunk screamed as his beautiful white fur was turning black as it burned. The mother owl thought that the skunk had learned his lesson so she pick him up and took him out of the forest fire just in time before his white fur was singed on his back. Now when we see a skunk and see that white line down his back we know how it got there and just why the skunk smells so of melting fur.
Here are some of the items that Foxy brought. I was just fascinated with all of this. The feathers in the back are Eagle feathers. Having Eagle feathers is illegal in the United States unless you are an American Indian. The jewelry on the bottom left was unique to me because they both had squash blossoms on them. I asked her later why the squash blossom was significant and she said that on her tribal flag it has what they call the "3 sisters." It is their staple: squash, corn, and beans.

Right next to those 2 necklaces is a very small object that is used to keep the belly button cord that falls off of a baby. They say that if you don't keep it, you will be searching for it for the rest of your life.

I took a close up picture of the papoose board because it taught me the most. The papoose board was designed for safety and entertainment....and I though that the car seat was invented by white men! In this picture you see a hoop like circle going around the front of it. This was for protective reasons, which I'll share later, but also to entertain the baby. Just like you would see dangling down from the car seat carrier, these little Indian babies would be entertained by objects that they would try to grab.

On the back of the papoose board was another strong piece of wood coming up from the back. This was used in conjunction with the hoop for safety. If the papoose board was put next to the sattle on the horse and was somehow knocked off, the baby's head would be safe from hitting the ground.

All I have to say, is who ever decided that American Indians were "heathens" or unlearned, never really studied their culture!