Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tastes Like Possum!

So, the other day, a new friend of mine gave me a gift.  She warned me, before I opened it, that nothing I had gotten for Christmas could ever top this gift from her.  Her husband then chimed in that even if David had gotten me a 2 karat diamond that it could never compare...
Oh, how I love my new friend, Peggy Stevenson!
She knows my humor well and knows I will wear this shirt...yes, even in public!
I met Peggy our first Sunday at our new ward and then later found out she is the PTA president and only lives a few houses down.  She has the personality of my sister, April, and so naturally I want to be around her all the time.  She is witty and just cracks me up.
So about 2 or so weeks ago, she texts me to tell me how yucky she is feeling.  She says something like, "I knew I shouldn't have drank from the opossum waterhole!"  I texted back that I had a story to tell her about an opossum someday.
A few days later I was over at her house when I told her about how David, the boys, and the missionaries in Oklahoma had BBQ-ed an opossum because one of the Elders just had to "try everything Oklahoma" before he left to go home.  At the time, opossums were often getting into our trash.  David was often setting out traps to catch them and then, well, take care of them.  So, we had easy access to an opossum to make this wish come true for this missionary.  I, of course, was against this.  That is just nasty!  And I certainly didn't want my boys eating that but they begged and begged so I just gave in.   It wasn't too long after that, that I made a roast for dinner.  Hyrum has his meat on his plate, tastes it and declares, "Mmmmmm, tastes like possum!"  David and I hadn't laughed that hard in a looooong time!  We pictured us in a nice restaurant one day with our son and him declaring for all the world to hear that his meat tasted like possum and wondered how we would explain that to all around us.  Peggy, of course, thought that story was HILARIOUS....thus this shirt for Christmas!  Probably my favorite part of this shirt is that opossum is spelled wrong, but of course that is how we pronounce it, so it is perfect!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

We spent Christmas Eve with just our family today.  The older boys kept asking who we were spending it with (like we were going to change our mind:) and were disappointed when I said we were just going to be with each other but I really enjoyed it.  It was peaceful.  At about the time that I knew Dad would be making his famous Christmas Eve burgers (the only burgers I will eat, mind you), I did get homesick though.  I knew Mom and Dad's house would be bustling right about then. 

I tried, throughout the day, to make sure that the boys felt the spirit of Christmas.  We read a few books and scriptures about our Savior and all in all, I think we did well.  There have been Christmas pasts where I have felt disappointed in myself as I felt that I didn't focus enough on our Savior's birth, life, death, and resurrection.

 But on to the festivities!  The boys started building, with their presents, walls around themselves....and thanks to MeMaw, Poppy, Nanny, Poppy, and Uncle Chuck, the boys had PLENTY this year!
 My favorite reactions were from Brigham.  He is so animated as it is....add beloved Sonic the Hedgehog to the mix and you will get quite the show!
 By the time he opened up his Sonic slippers from MeMaw and Poppy, he was yelling, "Oh My Gosh!  You TOTALLY  have to take a picture of this!"
Hyrum is still so young that every present that was opened was the best present in the world.  I will really miss that when he grows up.
 My parents always got us new night gowns every year that we would wear Christmas Eve night.  They have continued to do this for not only their children but for the Grandchildren as well.  Hyrum would not leave me alone about putting on mine and insisted on us taking a picture together with our new nighties. 
Just a funny thing that I want to remember, so I'm recording it.  Growing up, we always called our night outfits, "night gowns."  It didn't matter if it was a pair of boxer shorts (I went through a phase where that it what I wore to bed every night) and a t-shirt or an actual night gown; we still called it a night gown.
Fast forward to the early years of mine and David's marriage.  One night, as we were getting ready for bed, I told him that he should get his night gown on.  He stopped dead in is tracks and just looked at me.  I honestly didn't know why he was giving me this expressionless face.  "What?"  I said.  "I don't wear night gowns." he said.  It took me a while to get it but then I just started cracking up!  I don't know if he thought I was playing a trick on him or what but to this day, I love telling people that story.  So, now I have changed my wording to nighties in this household of boys....though, I don't know if that is any better considering some people use that as in the naughty sleep wear :).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My 10 Year Old

Levi turned 10 today.  
Just like any parent whose first child reaches a significant number, I couldn't believe this day was already here.
 I was really struggling with my emotions most of the day, so to have all these very active boys in my home was a nice distraction.  We started opening presents right away so Daddy could have full reign of the kitchen while he cooked the pizza's (one with Levi's name written on it with pepperoni). 
I know that some kids get jealous of all the toys that the birthday kid gets, while they get nothing but it seems that is never the case in our house.  They all share everything so this next picture is PRICELESS!
Brigham kept saying, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!" while Levi opened up his Mario 3D Land for their 3DS (from Nanny and Poppy).  I wish I would have had the camera on video because it was sooooo entertaining!
 Then I had the boys dump out all our Legos and told them that I wanted them to build me something.  I wouldn't tell them what I was looking for.  I wanted them to be creative.  I gave them 15 minutes.  The boys came up with the typical boy stuff like ships to dinosaurs eating their prey and even a innocent pyramid....that changed into a pyramid with laser guns once he (Hyrum) saw what all the other boys were building.  After I gave them prizes for all their creative works, I had them try to get them to stack all their works on top of each other.  It all kept tumbling down, so I took over the pizzas and Daddy got his construction skills on!

Then the boys each got a turn at throwing a ball at the tower.  They first had to have the ball bounce over the Lego container to get to the tower, to make it a little harder.  And just like typical boys, they found it much funner to destroy the tower than to actually build it!
Sure do love this boy of mine.  He always seems to have a ton of friends, even with all our moving around.  We have only been here a month and he had a great turnout.  It would break my heart if no one showed up because of all our moving.

Levi is still so innocent at 10 years old.  He still believes in Santa Clause, is the most obedient 10 year old I know, and as I am writing this he is playing a board game with Hyrum just because Hyrum was sad that he couldn't get the Wii to work.  That is who he is...the greatest kid I could have ever asked for to introduce me to motherhood.



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Comfort

I continue to struggle since last Friday.  We are having issues with this house, which I will write about later, that have been our main concern for a while now.  But since Friday, it all seems so trivial.  When I think of all the junk that has happened with this house, it doesn't even upset me anymore.  I keep thinking of those poor kids who had to witness what they did in Connecticut.  I don't fear for those little ones that died.  In fact, as bad as this may sound, I am grateful they are gone.  I would never want my child to live through something like that; to forever remember and feel guilt about still being on this Earth while their teachers and classmates died.  But I can't stop thinking of those poor little ones that will forever remember that day.
On Sunday, David and I gave talks (the boys bore their testimonies).  The talks had been planned weeks in advance and yet they all fit perfectly into helping us all heal from last Friday.  Our RS and Sunday School lessons was on forgiveness and hope.  That cannot be a coincidence that this lesson was set to be taught, over a year ago, this exact Sunday.
So, I keep going back and forth.  Sad...then I feel blessed...heartbroken...then I feel peace.  Back and forth.  David finally just told me to get off the computer.  I had to stop reading about it all.  Why do some things hit someone so hard while others just give you a fleeting moment of sadness?  I am not sure but this one has really hit hard.
Today I was at the mall with Hyrum and we came across the mall Santa.  I asked him if Hyrum could just say hi.  I didn't want to pay for pictures so I wasn't sure if he or the workers around him would let Hyrum in. He gladly led Hyrum to his couch and put him on his lap.  The lady taking the pictures told me that the children could come anytime to see Santa; even if not purchasing pictures.  I just started to cry.  Oh how silly!  I can't believe I started to cry but I was so overcome with gratitude that there was still so much good left in the world.  Not everything is about money or power.
So, I decided I needed to include my talk so I can remember the good in the world the next time I am reminded of those teachers and children lost on Friday.  Just another "coincidence" that the talk happened to be based on the goodness of others?  I think not.

------

I have been asked to give a talk on the aspects of Christmas love and charity, and the effects it has on people. 
We hear and see the polar opposites of the outcomes of the Christmas season.  You hear of beautiful stories of people giving and then turn around and see grumpy faces at Wal-Mart as we are shopping for our loved ones.  I would like to focus of those beautiful stories.  I would like to share with you a story I read online:

“You only turn eight once and Chase Branscum of Owasso (Oklahoma) celebrated his birthday in big way.

The birthday boy received more than 500 gifts, but he won’t be taking any of them home with him.

“I already have toys and other kids don’t,” said Chase.

Chase decided to forgo a traditional party and birthday gifts to help other local boys and girls through a Toys for Tots toy drive.

“They don’t have toys and when they (don’t) have anything for Christmas they can’t play and they can’t have fun,” Chase told FOX23.

More than 100 guests showed up for his party which was held on Sunday, December 9th at the Rejoice Church North Campus Gymnasium in Owasso.

“He has a wonderful heart,” Chase’s mom, Tiffany Rowe, said.

Chase's mother says she was so proud of her son and humbled by his decision to make his birthday party about the community instead of himself.

“You want to raise your child to be generous and to think of someone other than themselves,” said Rowe, “Him doing this was a gift to me.”

The toys will go to the Owasso chapter of Toys for Tots, and the coordinator of that effort says the need is high this holiday season.

“(We’ll) probably give gifts to around 2,000 children,” Michelle Hayes said.

Local business owner, Danny Stockton, of Red Dot Laser Tag, decided to get involved and help with the benefit party after hearing about Chase’s generous plan. Children in attendance got to play laser tag, eat snacks and play games.

Chase’s friends told FOX23 the party was different in a good kind of way.

“I’m happy that other kids get things because some of them have never had Christmas,” said Chases’ friend, Kennedy.”

I was so amazed at this story for several reasons.  The realization that this boy was eight when he made this decision gives me great hope for the world that we live in.  We know (as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) that at this age, he becomes accountable for his actions.  This shows me that there is so much good still left in this world.  It also amazed me that this boy’s actions led to a business owner giving of his services for free to help a good cause.  Imagine all of the blessings that this business owner will receive because of his good deed.  I’m sure his sales will go up because people will want to support him.  I could be cynical and believe it was all for the publicity but I don’t believe that.  I believe that the Christmas spirit can and is felt by those around us, when led by wonderful examples.  Sometimes we need a push by a little boy or we are guided by a still, small voice of the Holy Ghost. 

Is it not amazing that another little boy, one that was born of such humble circumstances that he was born in a stable, could influence such an act as this eight year old boy from Oklahoma….thousands of years later? 

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”  St. Luke 2:7

Such a simple, humble birth and yet He was the most important birth that ever was and ever will be on this Earth.  His birth, life, death, and resurrection will be of more importance than of any historical figure to ever walk this Earth.  All will and has been centered around His life, whether those who walk this Earth believe it or not.  It can be denied over and over through the years, but it can not be changed.  He IS our Lord and Savior.

Last night at our ward Christmas party, a short movie was played about people giving of their hearts during the Christmas season.  It made me think of something that James E. Faust said, “We all enjoy giving and receiving presents. But there is a difference between presents and gifts. The true gifts may be part of ourselves—giving of the riches of the heart and mind—and therefore more enduring and of far greater worth than presents bought at the store.”

As our economy still suffers, lets not forget those who are less fortunate than we are.  I have witnessed experiences where a family needed Earthly necessities.  They were able to be a part of what seemed like “miracles” as a person or family randomly showed up to help.  I have talked with those who have felt completely hopeless in what life has offered them, just to find that they were wrong all along.  They knew this because a random act of kindness was shown to them by a neighbor or friend. 

I am a firm believer of angels.  I am grateful for them and I know I am surrounded by them.  But I believe those angels have flesh and bones and are around us everyday, physically.  Let us remember our brothers and sisters this Christmas season as we are rushing around forgetting what Christmas is all about.  Let us remember our humble Savior’s birth and what it has taught us.
   

Monday, December 17, 2012

Just some thoughts...

I had breakfast with Christine this morning and was reminded of a post I wrote, a week or so ago, about me realizing something about myself and why I parent the way I do.  Christine and I were talking about the young gunman who walked into an elementary school in Connecticut, last Friday, and killed 26 people.  We both spoke of our emotions throughout the weekend.  How senseless it all seemed to kill those little children the way that he did.  She told me of how she looked at her Christmas tree at one point and was so sad to think of those parents not being able to spend Christmas with their little ones.  I walked my children to school this morning and couldn't help but cautiously look at every parent that walked with their children.  Were they safe?  Were those parents wondering the same thing?
Christine and I talked of all that the children of today are exposed to in entertainment, whether it be movies or a PlayStation.  My "realizing" post made me wonder why I was so picky about why I am so protective of what my children watch.  I realized that I parent that way because of the way that movies leave an effect on my spirit.  Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than violence.  I wondered if it was God telling me to protect my kids by not letting them watch and play certain violent/dark entertainment or if it was just my uncomfortableness of the way it effects me...my fear that it would do the same for my children.  I know now that both are true.  He expects me to protect my children from Satan's influence and He let me have certain experiences in my life that made me extra sensitive to violence because of this.
I am not a believer that God has His hands in all things.  If that were true there would never be a rape, murder, or any other horrible crime against other human beings.  I do, however, believe that if we let Him, he will be in everything to heal us after the crime was committed.  I also believe that He prepares us for those horrible crimes.  He cannot and will not take away our free agency.  He has to let those around us do what they will but He can place us in paths in our lives to help us better cope once the outcome has taken place.  I am truly grateful for this.
I have to admit that I am one of the rare members of my church that actually would rather have free agency taken away from me.  I can't stand to make mistakes.  I can't stand to have people upset with me.  I was such a chicken growing up that if my friends wanted me to do something I was uncomfortable with, I would tell my parents and have them tell me no; so I could blame it on them if my friends got mad.  I would much rather have someone tell me what to do.  But I also know that the only way we can prove our way back to our Father in heaven is by our actions in this life.  
And so, that is what makes me so grateful for those places that the Lord has placed me in so that I could be the parent I am today.  I am grateful He knows me and because of that I stand up for so much more than I ever did as a child/teenager.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Company

I love living in Utah because we have family that lives here.

(Grandma was living with us until 2 Saturday's ago.  Hyrum is covered in his "going away/Christmas" present from Grandma, here.)

 And with all of the places I have lived during my life, most of the friends I have made through the church seem to have ties here in Utah.  Because of this, I get to benefit from their "passing throughs" and get to visit my friends often.  And with it being around that time of year of all the family filled holidays, those visits are in abundance!

Charlene and her family came to visit.  I love this girl so much so it was wonderful to find this in one of the corners hiding behind a chair!

 We tried to get all the kids off their electronic devices.  Then we would get back to talking, only to find the kids back on them once again!

 Before we knew it, it was time for the Wilhelmson family to leave, which is of course when they found something to do outside!  Stinkers!  They were throwing this green rock Levi had painted at Scout camp this summer.  I know they shouldn't have been throwing it but they were finally playing!

 Then Amanda Bishop came to visit with her little Ryder and Ashylnn from Idaho.  I was pulling this face for what seemed like forever as Brigham was trying to take the picture without laughing.  By the time he finally took it, I had such a headache!

I have been so blessed to have such great friendships that have lasted through the years.  I miss my friends but I love that we live in a time that our next visit is only a holiday away!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sunset Santa

I got up and made everyone pancakes....and then had David clean up while I went back to sleep! Oh, how I LOVE WEEKENDS!
 But as I lay down I heard all these sirens.  Of course, that didn't stop me from falling asleep though :)
About an hour later David came in the room and told me that Santa was riding a firetruck in front of our house!
 Oh my goodness, do I have the cutest boys (David included)?!
So, I went online to check the Sunset city website and found out that after Santa made his rounds through the streets of Sunset that he was going to the city offices to see the children.
As you can see, Brigham wouldn't take a picture with Santa....someone doesn't believe anymore :(

Today was one of those real peaceful Saturdays where you don't have anything that you have to do but still end up doing some things that make it fun and special.  LOVE those Saturdays!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Realizing

I love realizing things about myself.  I couldn't always say that.  Maybe it was because I was a perfectionist and always saw the negative in myself rather than just realizing I saw things in a different way than others.  Maybe it was because other people were pointing them out to me and lets face it; no one likes to be told their faults.  I guess I still don't care to much to be told my faults but I definitely look at the things I now realize about myself as just that: things about myself. 
I realized that one of my parenting styles is due to my uncomfortableness with movies tonight, as I let my boys watch Star Wars for the first time tonight.  Yep, you read that right.  And it was only about 2 months ago that I let them watch all the PG Harry Potter movies.  Mind you, I wouldn't let Hyrum watch it but my 8 and almost 10 year old had to wait all this time for me to be comfortable with them watching these dark shows. 
I am extremely picky about what I and the boys watch.  I can't handle violence.  I really can't.  I would rather watch a sex scene in a movie rather than violence.  It makes total sense to me since violence is the worst sin you can commit (after denying God) but to most that always surprises people - when I feel comfortable enough around them to tell them that about myself.  Most people say that they don't feel that way because sexual sin is much more likely for them to commit than for them to harm/kill someone, thus them being more comfortable with violence than I am.  Makes sense to me also, but it doesn't change the way I feel about movies.
For some people, music is extremely powerful to them and in some cases it is for me also but nothing compares to the effect something can have on me like a movie.  I don't know why.  Violence, sex, cursing, revenge, inappropriate jokes, you name it, it stays with me long after the movie has ended....and that is why I am so picky about what I let the boys watch.
But I didn't realize that until tonight.
I really thought I was doing this PG thing (and as I mentioned, even some PG movies I haven't allowed until recently) because that is what the Lord wanted me to do for my children.  Maybe He does.....but maybe it also had very much to do with the way I view entertainment.
You know how people show love toward others by giving those close to them what they view as their love language (words of affirmation, service, gifts, quality time, or physical touch)?  I think I do that with parenting; at least in this tiny area of the way I parent.  Maybe we all do.
So that is what I learned about myself today.  It's not bad, it's not good.  It just is.
I am afraid of the way movies leave an impression on my spirit and so it shows in the way I parent when it comes to what I let my boys watch.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Positively Elfish

There are some things this time of year that just naturally come to mind...like decorating with the family and thinking of past traditions you grew up with while adding your own.
But those past traditions make you think of home.  I soon was missing my Dad as I was thinking of his love for Christmas.  I get my love for "stupid" movies from my Dad, so naturally with the movie "ELF" being a Christmas movie while having that silly side to it, it is one of my Dad's all time favorites.  It is one of mine as well.  I wish Dad could have been with us tonight as I centered our FHE around this movie.
I'm not creative but I can copy really well.  So like I normally do, I get an idea and then go to the internet to actually put it all together.  I found this web sight that had 10 life lessons that Buddy the Elf teaches us throughout the movie.  Buddy is the most positive person and rarely lets things get him down so that is what I centered this FHE around.  Here are the 10 points:
1.  Take Risks
"Papa says my real father lives in a magical place far away...but the thing is, I've never left the North Pole."
2.  Show Affection
"Does somebody need a hug?"
3.  Make Smiling A Must
"I just like to smile!  Smiling's my favorite!"
4.  Spread Cheer
"The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."
5.  Speak Your Mind
"If you can sing alone, you can sing in front of other people.  There's no difference."
6.   Be Yourself
"Actually, I'm human, but I was raised by elves."
7.  Don't Give Up
"I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel."
8.  Do What You Love
"First we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle."
9.  Let Life Excite You
"Good News!  I saw a dog today!"
10.  Give Compliments
"Deb, you have such a pretty face.  You should be on a Christmas card!"

So each time we came to one of these lines, we paused the movie to talk about it and how it can make our life positive instead of all the negative that surrounds us.  FHE was such a blast tonight.  One of those ones that I'm pretty sure the boys will remember.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Fun

 Who needs the typical football game before your Thanksgiving meal when you can go dirt-biking?!

Stephen and Chloe - I love her face in this picture!
Hyrum (on the left of the picture) loved to feel the exhaust "puffing" out.  
Everyone who went got a chance to ride the bike but while they were waiting they passed the time by finding "treasures" on the foothills of Spanish Fork.
I wasn't there (I stayed home with Holly, Helen, and Rachel) but with all the "awesome"s that I heard when they got home and all the dirt that was covering them, it was obvious just how much they all loved their outing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that I look forward to.  I love it because it isn't centered around receiving or giving gifts.  I read online the other day that a survey was taken and over 50% of Americans would be just fine with skipping Christmas.  Now, maybe some of those people don't believe that Christ was our Savior but I imagine that the majority of them just didn't want to mess with all the festivities.  How sad that we get so stressed out surrounding a holiday that celebrates the most important birth on this Earth!  I truly believe that if we were to take out the "gifting" of Christmas, that it would be so much more meaningful and yes, much less stressful.
So, moving into our new home just a week before Thanksgiving couldn't be more fitting for our family.  It has brought many trials, but those trials could never cover up the big picture of a beautiful and safe home for our whole family.  I truly am so thankful for our home.
Today, Hyrum and Levi's classes had Thanksgiving parties at school.  If anyone in our family is going to complain about something it is almost always going to be Brigham so I was so proud of him when not one phrase was said of, "That's not fair!"
I didn't get to stay long at Hyrum's party because I was counting money for the PTA but from what I did get to see, Hyrum was loving it all.
Levi's was memorable.
First, let me tell you a little about our school and area.  There is only one house between us and the school (love it!) and we are surrounded by rentals (most of them being duplexes).  It is a very poor area and unfortunately with all those factors, the combination usually equals crime and people who just don't take care of where they live.   That may be stereotyping but I don't see how sugarcoating it really proves.  
The evening that David and I moved our stuff into our house young teenagers were driving by, stereos up as loud as can be and screaming out the windows.  We joked, "What in the world did we move ourselves into?" 
 A few years ago, I would have been so disappointed in myself for letting us move into such a neighborhood for fear of my children.  But I truly feel that we will be just fine and there is no denying my experience in the temple.  I was worried about the surroundings of our would be home and prayed to Heavenly Father just where we should live.  I didn't get anything at first.  But as I opened up some scriptures in front of me, the answer soon appeared.  It was clear that the Lord wanted me to use this as a missionary experience and to just love them.  Then the thought came to my mind that I would be the "neighborhood mom" as these young children living around me would know that I was always there even if their parents weren't. 
I have not worried a day since that experience.
So, back to Levi's party.  The school was built in the 1950's and it definitely looks and smells the part!  I have such a sensitive nose that it would be a hard adjustment for me to work there everyday, lets just say that.  But I LOVE the people in the front office and from what I see, the boy's have wonderful teachers.  
I walked into Levi's classroom and was put in charge of getting the snack/food table ready.  Mrs. B had sent out a letter asking the kids to bring healthy snacks....um, I'm pretty sure that Levi and the teacher are the only one's that brought healthy stuff because that table was loaded with crap!  I still can't believe that I saw THREE 2 liter pops of MOUNTAIN DEW VOLTAGE on the table.  Seriously?!  For Mrs. B's sake, I am so glad this party was at the end of the day.
Then we started the games.  There were 4 games and only 1 of them did not include junk food, but the kids were in heaven.  One of the games was a turkey version of "Chubby Bunny."  You put a large marshmallow in your mouth while saying, "Turkey Tom" three times.  You keep adding more and more marshmallows until you can't take it anymore.  When Mrs. B said we were going to play this game I immediately thought, "Oh no, I can just see one of these kids choking."  Little did I know that it would be my Levi!  He was in a group of 6 so instead of putting the marshmallows in their mouths one after another, each child put one in his mouth, said "Turkey Tom" and had to wait for all the kids to get their turn of their first marshmallow.  With all the goofing around and laughing it took quite some time for it to reach the first child again to get another marshmallow in their mouths.  As you can imagine, a lot of white saliva was running down the side of these kid's mouths.  The kids started holding their mouths like they were sore for holding them open for so long and Levi was determined to get the most in his mouth.  
-A little side-note....Levi is HORRIBLE about taking huge bites while eating.  We often have to get onto him about taking small bites and chewing slowly-
So he gets up to 4 marshmallows in his mouth, says "Turkey Tom" and starts jerking forward.  We hurry and get him to a trash can, he spits it out and says he is going to puke.

Luckily that didn't happen and we were able to make it to the drinking fountain in time for everything to settle.
Jeez.....

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Home Sweet Home


Our home!


But to get here has taken a LOT of patience and faith.

So much has happened and is continuing to happen as we are adjusting to our new location and possibilities.  Before even getting here, odds were stacked against us.  Just as most people would attest to, when buying a home, it was just one thing after another trying to get in the way of this really happening.
First, our grant for our down payment didn't go through.  We knew we wouldn't have a down payment ready until after tax returns so we weren't even going to buy until then.  But we were told about this down payment grant, by the mortgage company we were going to use when we were going to buy a house in Oklahoma.  (This company just happened to be out of Salt Lake so when we moved here, we just thought we would stay with them)  We made it very clear that we could not buy a house without this grant and so after we found a great realtor, off to house hunting we went!  We made an offer on a house in Layton that was so stinkin' cute!  But as cute as it was, they wanted too much for it.  
When David and I walked into our house in Sunset, we knew almost immediately that this would be our home.  He fell in love with all the space and trees in the back yard while I loved the newness of the inside (even though it was build in 1944).  Our offer was accepted and after our "good faith" money was paid, our mortgage guy informs us that we don't meet the guidelines for the grant by $500.00.....A YEAR!  I know that these things have to have guidelines but seriously?  That close?  But honestly, the fact that the mortage guy didn't let us know that until it was set in stone really ticked me off.
I'm sure David would have found a way of it working out but I was ticked and stubborn.  We had made it very clear that we would not be buying a home without that grant because we didn't have the down payment.  So I guess we weren't getting the home.  That got the mortgage guy moving and he found a way for the money to be put on our home loan but that we would have to still pay $700.00 for the realtor or whatever it was.  Seriously, so much has happened that I'm not even sure what it was for but I do know that I was not paying it!  He got it waived and off we went running.  
By the time we would close on our house, we would still have 2 1/2 months left on our lease at Monarch Meadows Apartments. Honestly, I couldn't see anyone wanting to take over a lease for just that amount of time but it happened!  Our wonderful apartment complex staff led a guy to us and it all went fairly smoothly.
We start packing and find out 2 weeks before signing the papers for our house that David has to consolidate his student loans first.  Just one of those things that would have been nice to know before we set our move in date because we found out it would take 45 days at the very least for that to go through!  The mortgage company refused to budge on this and we had already sold our lease.
I have no doubt that so many of our friends would have let us move in with them until the paper work went through but we had already moved our kids out of so many schools, I just couldn't do that again and put them in another school for just a few weeks or month.
So our wonderful realtor got the owners to the new house to agree to rent to us until the paperwork went through.  We were so relieved....but it also meant that the money we had for a washer, dryer, and fridge would now be used for rent. But that is ok because David and I had already talked about the possiblitly of us taking out Home Depot or Lowes credit cards and just get them that way.  They have a "no interest" for 6 months program and that would work out perfectly for when our tax returns come in.  We got approved and even ordered our washer and dryer when our mortage guy scares us half to death by telling us that our loan might not go through now because getting those cards puts "dings" on our credit scores.  David returns our washer and dryer and all is well...except we are now living without a washer, dryer, and fridge.  Do you know how hard it is to feed your children healthy meals without a fridge?
 B U T......
Somewhere along all of this (before moving, actually) I realized that I can be really depressed about all of this or I can try to see the big picture.  Within a few days of taking this approach to our situation, I was soon led to the realization that the "big picture" wasn't just it.  There was so much more.  There were little blessings here and there that I was looking right past.  Let me share just a few.
-When we set up our move date we knew we had to do it all in one day.  We knew it was crazy but it was our only option because of when our guy that took over our lease needed to be in and when our house was available.  So we started our move at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday.  With it being on a work day, we didn't know if anyone other than Stephen would show up.  Stephen is just a blessing in its own.  We know we can always count on David's brother.  But amazingly, 3 people from our ward came to help.
-Another lady from our ward showed up and wanted to help.  She couldn't have been more of a God sent for me because just before she came, our dryer stopped working!  I was close to tears because I knew this was our last chance at using a washer and dryer since we wouldn't have one for quite some time in our new house.  She gladly took our laundry and got to work at her house.
-Tricia took our boys for 2 days and 1 night while we tried to get things settled in our new place.  She even washed the boy's clothes because she knew of our situation.
-When we arrived in Sunset, no one from our ward showed up to help us move in.  That would have been so hard but between us and Stephen, it went amazingly fast.  Christine and Mike came over after Mike got home from work, which finally relieved Stephen so he could go home.  Mike and David went to work on getting all the beds up while Christine and I went to work on the kitchen.  They bought us dinner and amazingly, I didn't cry that day!  Christine was so good for me.  I needed her to get me through that evening.  She even tried to get us a fridge.  I truly am blessed with the best of friends in the world!
So, after all of that....here are a few pictures.
 The attic was turned into 2 rooms as well as a few closets and an area for toys.
 This is part of mine and David's bedroom.  I love how these shelves were build into the wall.
 Our living room.
We are still working on the rest but it feels so good to be in this house.  It is so roomy and I love hearing the boys giggle as they throw soft balls down the stairs.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A House Divided

 (Hyrum and Levi)
These last few days have had me thinking a lot of our country.  On Monday, Silvercrest Elementary had 40 flags out on its front lawn as it represented the 40 men from Utah who have lost their lives since the war on terror began after September 11, 2001.  In front of each flag was a picture of that man describing how he served and died. 
Yesterday was our turn to choose the next President of the United States of America.  The majority of the population choose to keep President Barack Obama in office. 
During these last few days I have been thinking of David and his desire to join military forces.  I knew this was a desire of his when we first married, yet I was terrified of losing him to war.  And even though I grew up with the most patriotic man as a father, 2 grandfathers who retired from the Navy, and a boyfriend in the National Guard, I didn't receive my burning love for our country until after my children were born and David and I were married for a few years.  I remember softly crying, without the ability to stop, while watching a parade in St. Anthony, Idaho one July morning as the Vetrans walked past me.  From then on I have had this undeniable love for not only this great nation but those who serve under it.
I have come to understand that it is easy to admire and love those serving our country in military ranks but hard to feel that type of respect for those serving us politically.  Politicians are often demonized and certainly not trusted.  And though some of them have given us due reason, I am coming to understand that it is more important for me to have faith in them.  
I was reminded of that last night as we learned that President Barack Obama would continue being our President instead of electing Mitt Romney.
I thought Mitt Romney was going to win.  I really did.  I had such hope for what I knew he could do for our country.  But my thoughts on this man did not reflect the majority of the United States of America.  And you know what?  That is ok.  
I may be the one who is always reminding David and the boys to pray at the table or before bed but he is always the one to remind me to do the same when it is needed the most; in times of distress, need, and thankfulness.  And while I was not thankful that President Barack Obama was re-elected, I knew that we needed to pray for this man.  So as David became more and more stressed as the night went on last night, for once it was me who guided us to our knees.  
So, our home prays for President Barack Obama.  We pray that he will listen to the Lord, whom I know is whispering to him through the Holy Ghost.  We pray that he will not only listen to that prompting but also guide this great nation to the will of the Lord and not of man.
I may not support a lot of President Obama's beliefs but I certainly support him as President of the United States of America.  I will continue to pray for him and have faith that our nation can return to the Father's will.

Oh, and Brigham has been the sole Barack Obama supporter in our house throughout this election.  He couldn't tell you why he wanted him to win rather than Mitt Romney but I refused to squash his right to vocalize who he wanted to win last night.  It was kinda cute watching him get excited as he saw President Obama's electoral votes go up as the night went on :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Random Happenings

Just some random happenings...don't leave drawers open.  Something just might make a bed out of it.
 I love that Hyrum is still in that stage where he loves to help clean.  Here he is helping Grandma clean our windows, while Neve is checking it out (speaking of, check out her broken tail).
 I LOVE THESE NEXT PICTURES!  
Levi and Brigham couldn't be any more different but I think that Hyrum is a good mixture of both.  One thing that probably makes me think this is because he loves doing what his brothers do.
 Levi had a book report due and was copying the cover of the book (below).  Hyrum just had to do the same.  Look at all those words that he copied (above)!  I was very impressed!
 So, of course, our Halloween candy is in abundance.  I usually make it last forever by only letting them have very little each day.  I pretty much don't care this time.  I took this picture because I wanted to remember Brigham's love of sour things.  It looks painful but he LOVES things sour.  Just like his momma, he even sucks on lemons :)
 I took this picture for 2 reasons.  I wanted to remember Levi's crazy hair style.  He honestly thinks it is cool.  Oh my.....that's all I have to say about that!
But I also wanted to get a picture of my Amalee before we move and I never see her again.  Levi LOVES babies and he is so cute with Amalee.  He can't stand her crying and will do anything to entertain her.  I can't wait to see him as a father. 
The kids didn't have school today so I wanted to take them to the park.  I thought that while I was there that I might as well get my walking in for the day.  So I asked Levi to watch over Hyrum while I walked around the park with Amalee.  I could see them the whole time but I also wanted to call my Grandma (Thatcher) while I was walking.  Sometimes cell phones are wonderful!  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am NOT a multitasker.  Trust me, pushing a stroller while talking on the phone is enough to distract me from full attention of my children who are playing right around me.  I know, its sad.  So, this was the first time I have put Levi in charge in this kind of way.  He always likes to entertain or be around Hyrum as it is, but he was so cute this morning as he knew he was in charge of him.  One time I looked over and Hyrum had fallen down in the grass.  Levi comes running over to him while yelling, "Are you ok??"  Of course he was fine; he was in the grass but Levi took his job seriously!
When I walk, I usually listen to music but lately I have been listening to books on tape.  I'm not a huge fan of Dr. Laura (I usually agree with her; I just don't agree with how she goes about telling people how she sees things.) but I saw this book titled In Praise Of Stay At Home Moms and knew I needed to listen.  So far, I have loved it as I am reminded of the decision David and I have made to have us raise our children and not day care workers.  When the kids were younger, mainly when I was pregnant, there were times that I didn't appreciate being home with them like I did when my hormones were in check.  But when they were in check, things were so good.  They still are as I get these little moments with my children that can't be replaced.  As hard as day care workers try, they can never replace Mommy and Daddy.  I love Amalee but I will never give her the type of full love and attention as Mommy and Daddy can.
Dr. Laura spoke of a mother who lost her middle child in his 20's.  She spoke of her heartache but also of her deep gratitude that she had stayed home with him while he was growing up.  Those many memories with him is what got her through those years after she lost him.  
Levi and Hyrum are very affectionate towards me, but Brigham isn't.  As I was listening to Dr. Laura, his smile came to mind.  Brigham will give me this certain smile every once in a while, as if to say, "I love you, Mom."  All those frustrating moments with him fade away when I see that smile directed toward me.  If I was working and trying to get everything else done in the time that I wasn't working, there is a good chance I would miss out on those smiles.  I would be too busy to notice, if they even happened at all. 
I want to be a perfect mother so badly sometimes but for the most part, I have accepted the kind of mother I am.  I am the type of mother who takes naps with her children instead of cleaning during that time.  I am the type of mother who makes home cooked meals but won't make them costumes.  I am the type of mother who stays home with them all summer long, without the break of school, but refuses to give up her alone nightly walks to a child asking her if they can tag along.  No, I am not that perfect mother but I do the best I can and I pray that they see that in me as they grow older and look for that special someone in their lives who will be the best mother that she knows how to be to their children.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

After much running around with all the school activities today, we (along with Daddy and Helen) headed to Spanish Fork to meet with the Adams' side of the family.  Rob and Erin were in Utah (from California) so we finally got to see the twins!  I'm not sure how Erin ever had time to make these costumes...
 ...but apparently it runs in the family as her sister, Carly, came up with this clever idea for herself and her new husband :)
As you can imagine, the kids were super excited to go trick or treating but with little ones in the mix we were constantly having to get on to the boys about slowing down.  This was the group that was mostly together, waiting for the younger cousins to catch up.
But the best part of the night was running into some random teenagers along the way!
Oh, to be young and carefree again!

Witch Out

video

For Brigham's classroom Halloween party today, one of the mom's had a witch from Gardner's Village come out to entertain them.  This is kind of a big deal since people come out it big numbers to Gardner's Village just for the witches. 

I couldn't believe Brigham was bored!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Surprise Elder Bass!

Tonight we met up with the Wilson clan for dinner...
(picture thanks to Morgan stealing my camera and taking random shots!)
 ...and entertainment!
Ok, so really we wanted to do something fun for Elder Bass.  I still can't believe that Rose's youngest son is old enough to be on a mission.  I mean, it is still weird to me that he is even old enough to drive let alone a mission.  I remember holding him as a baby....
So since he is serving his mission in Salt Lake City, we decided to decorate his door while he was out sharing the gospel.
Here are the kids peeking in his window, making sure he isn't home :)
Once we knew we were in the clear we headed to the front door but to our great surprise...
...the door was unlocked!  Bad idea, Elder Bass because now you have a baptism date for an "Eileen Dover."  Yes, I went there Bart Simpson.
Our family just loves the Wilson family so much for its obvious reasons of crazy fun but I love that they always want to serve.  It is so fun thinking of Elder Bass coming home to this.  I can just see his huge smile with those eyes of his crinkling up now :)