Saturday, April 27, 2013

Asparagross Festival

I love asparagus.  I think it has a slight nutty taste and well, I just really like it.  Everyone else in the family hates it though.  I always make them eat at least one stalk of it when we have it but they still complain.  In fact, they don't even call it asparagus anymore.  One day Daddy called it aspara"gross" and of course it has stuck every since.  So when I heard that Stockton was having their Asparagus Festival I was excited to go!
Brigham was really whining about going until I told him there would be rides.  They were all surprised when I told them there would be asparagus ice cream also!
It was surprisingly good, actually.  There were little pieces of asparagus in it, but with the sugar it really wasn't that noticeable   They were real creative.  There were asparagus shortcakes, burritos, sandwiches, and pasta.  Really expensive though, so we just stuck with the ice cream and I tried the fried asparagus.  I'll stick with my homemade, slightly cooked, asparagus in butter and seasoning though.
It was really hot so we were often stopping to drink water.  Some of the boys still backwash though, so I always poor it in their mouths when we are sharing water bottles.  David took this picture with his phone and later said I was "Momma Birding" them water.  Cute :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sunshine Packages

We have received many packages from my parents and grandparents over the years, as well as letters from Grandma Helen to the boys with pieces of gum for them.  The boys get so excited when these things come in the mail.
Grandma (MeMaw) recently has been dealing with a lot of health issues that have included surgery and hospital stays so I thought it would be really nice if the they were the ones receiving packages this time :)  But then I started thinking about how fun it would be for the boys to sent packages to their grandparents as well.  
So that is what we did for FHE tonight.  I wrote down some of the things they said about their grandparents.
Levi:  Nanny is "so sweet and kindful."  
Brigham:  Poppy "always falls asleep when we are watching shows (late at night during Nanny/Poppy nights) and he looks funny!"  This was followed by laughter as all the boys acted like Poppy with his eyes closed, mouth opened and snoring :)
Levi:  Liked how Grandpa Adams "let us eat at his house and let us have pop and pizza."
Brigham:  Liked how Grandma Adams "gave us sour candy."
Hyrum:  Loves how Grandma (Helen) takes him to the park and sleeps with him when she visits.

So we put together "Sunshine Packages" to send to them.  It is full of things that are yellow like the we could send our California sunshine their way.
But my favorite was sending the ones to MeMaw and Poppy because if anyone needs some sunshine, it is them.  I hate being sick and I can only imagine how uncomfortable it is to be sick as well as going to and from doctors so much.
Hyrum:  For MeMaw - "I LOVE her!"
Brigham:  Poppy is "always bald!"  After the laughter died down he said that he liked how he always gave him popsicles.
Are we seeing a pattern for Brigham?  Yes, always silly and revolves around food!
We always have some kind of a treat after FHE and so this time I let them make their own pop.
They really liked this!  NuNaturals sent me chocolate, vanilla, lemon, peppermint, and orange liquid NuStevia.  I had bought sparkling mineral water to try to curb my pop addiction.  I tried the chocolate and vanilla in it but sadly I didn't like it.  I just love my Dr. Pepper too much!  But the boys had a great time tonight mixing up their concoctions.  No surprise that Brigham loved it at first but then got sick as he put WAY too much in his mineral water.  Geez...
So far, there was a smoothie that they didn't care for with the NuNaturals but they loved the coconut french toast (it was seriously yummy!).  I am a fan of a chia seed pudding that I made.  I have found that if I don't put too much of the NuNatural Stevia in it that I like it a lot better.  It has an after taste if I put too much and I am picky about that.  Again, it is really nice to have these alternatives to sugar.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Del Valle

 David works most Saturdays so when he gets off early, we try to get as much out of it as possible.  Though, that thinking got me in trouble today as I was determined to get us on a hike.  Waiting till the middle of the day to go on a hike isn't very smart, heat wise :(
But look how beautiful this hike was!  Well, that is what I keep telling myself, even now as I suffer from the pain of dehydration and a sinus infection.
Del Valle Regional Park is about 40 minutes from Tracy.  I always love these trips that we take, as we see more and more new stuff.  We are surrounded by so many different crops (mainly nuts and fruit) which makes for pretty scenery, especially when in bloom.
We parked a little ways back from the lake so we didn't have to pay for parking.  Wonderful idea at the time (David, Levi, and Brigham still think so because the hike was great for them) but Bitty and I really struggled. Going down to the lake wasn't that hard but there were still lots of going up hill just to go back down.  But it was nothing compared to coming back after leaving the lake.
We had plenty of water and food with us, but I just sweat all that water out.  I put on sunblock twice and still got burned on my face because of me sweating it off so quickly.  
Have I mentioned how much I HATE BEING HOT?!?!  All together it was just a 5 mile hike, but trust me, for Bitty and I, it felt sooooo much longer with the heat and all that climbing.
But at least the other boys really enjoyed it.  I kept my dislike of this hike to myself (and yes, this hike was my idea) because I didn't want the boys to dread hot hikes in the future but David knew how much of a struggle it was for me.  He was so sweet the whole time reminding me over and over to drink more and pace myself better.  I just wanted to keep up with the older boys.  
Oh well.  It was still memorable and I always LOVE getting the boys out of the house and away from all those darn electronic devices! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Ok, so lets start this post with a sentence that I think just might be true.

I just might be the yeastiest person you have ever met.

I will leave out a few details, well, because they are embarrassing so just keep in mind that there is, unfortunately, more to my yeasty experiences.  
I grew up with Eczema.  I remember the back of my legs bleeding because I had scratched them so much.  Around puberty, it lessened quite a bit but you can being a girl...what came next.  And trust me when I say it was often.  That seemed to go away once I got married when I started noticing me sweating in certain places in my body that was just odd.  Not gross, just odd.  But even more odd was the smell.  My sister, April, and I have been blessed with no body odor.  We sweat but we don't have to wear deodorant during the winter because we don't have too.  I'm not in denial.  We just don't stink.  I bring this up because all of a sudden I started smelling.  Not B.O.....I swear it was like a yeasty rising bread smell.  I know, gross.  After a few years of wearing deodorant in weird areas I started having issues with Eczema again.  So I went to a doctor because I knew there were topical creams that I could use.  Unfortunately they didn't work at all so after a few years, I went back.  I wanted a steroid or something just really strong.

Intro to my first discovery that I had a yeast overgrowth in my body.

The doctor told me that she didn't think my Eczema was exactly what I thought it was.  Yeah, it was probably Eczema but it didn't need to be treated like I had in the past.  She asked me about yeast issues.  After I told her my past, she told me that yeast will exit our body in anyway that it can.  For me, she thought, it was exiting through my skin.  So she prescribed me Nystatin, commonly used for things like Thrush.  
Ok, rewind.
I forgot to mention that with 2 of my babies, they came out with Thrush....a coincidence....I think not.  
So the Nystatin worked wonders.  It made me start researching things and before long I was pretty sure I had a Candida overgrowth problem.
We all have yeast in our bodies but some of us have an overgrowth problem.  I started a parasite cleanse just to be safe and then was going to change things in my life to help curb this overgrowth.  Unfortunately life happened and it didn't last long.
So we moved to Utah in 2012 and I get Shingles.  Yeah, you know, what the ELDERLY get.  I mention this, mainly to point out how weird my body is, but some things that I have read have linked it with Candida but the jury is still out.  Anyways, I was extremely blessed that it didn't get very big and I have very little scarring (I was very faithful with my scaring gel :)
About a month or so ago, the "last straw" happened.  I had these horrid canker sores.  7 HUGE ones on my gums and I lost count of how many tiny white bumps were on my tongue.  It is really hard to describe how uncomfortable it was.  No, not uncomfortable, sooooooo very painful!  I have been prone to canker sores all my life but this was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.  Usually my sores stick to my tongue but this time it went crazy.  I was gargling with Peroxide, making homemade Baking Soda paste to put on it, changing toothpastes, you name it.  If there was a suggestion online, I tried it.  It was horrible and by the time that I finally gave in and went to the Dentist about it, I could hardly taste anything because of all the stuff I was using tyring to cure my problem.  It was bad.
He prescribed me some medicine but the next day I was in tears.  I knew the canker sores were due to stress but how can you "calm down" when you are in so much pain?  I went to a doctor who told me that he would have prescribed me the same thing and then he tried to leave the room.
I was desperate and I was not leaving without a prescription. Sad to say but I wanted PAINKILLERS!!!!!  There was no way I was going to "calm down" to ease this stress problem I had until the pain went away.  Finally, giving in, he looked in my mouth again and told me that he didn't think this was it but that he would treat me for Thrush.

Seriously?!  Less than a year earlier I had been treated for Shingles (as much as you can actually be treated for Shingles) and now this.  Only babies and the elderly get Thrush!  Ridiculous!  However, it turned out he was right.  For a week after that I still couldn't taste anything but it was good because I it gave me time to detox my body of all this yeasty crap.
through all my studying it all basically comes down to the fact that I like sweets way too much.  So much so that  it is more than my body can handle.  Sugar feeds yeast.  If I was to follow a Candida diet completely, I would only live off of meat and vegetables and if you know me that just isn't going to happen!  I can do the vegetable thing but that much meat...YUCK!
So I am one day away from finishing my parasite cleanse which I will then follow with a Liver cleanse.  A lot of things that I have read have linked liver problems and Eczema together so it just makes sense to me.  Plus, what could it hurt?  We should all do cleanses often.
But I have to admit this hasn't been easy.  Definatly easier than it would have been 2 years ago when I relied on my daily pop and chocolate but still hard at times even now.  I rarely have chocolate now and honestly, if it isn't chocolate, why would I waste the sugar?!  I'm not a "candy" eater.  I just ADORE chocolate!  But I have been real good.  My problem seems to be pop.  I do wonderful and won't have it for days and then have one and then of course crave it for a week!  It is so annoying!  Luckily, I never have a problem with having more than one a day.
So I will be updating on my journey to a healthier me.  NuNaturals have been kind enough to send me samples of their stevia to help me in my journey.
Yesterday, I made fresh raspberry lemonade with their liquid Alcohol Free Stevia.  I am getting over some allergy issues, so my taste buds aren't the greatest, but I will say that Levi and Brigham LOVED the lemonade.  Tonight I made smoothies, with the liquid Stevia, for the boys.  I got 2 thumbs up :)  That is saying a lot coming from Brigham because he usually snarls his nose up at my smoothies.  I don't do just fruit smoothies.  I always add spinach, celery, or anything green that I can get away with.  Today I put in a whole container of sprouts in it.  I thought for sure he was going to hate it.  I still can't believe he actually liked it.  I'm telling you, it was the NuNaturals Stevia.  And it feels real good knowing I am not putting extra sugar in our bodies.
Lets see how tomorrow goes :)


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Still Learning

This is our family journal/blog.  I print this out for my future generations to see how we live our lives right hopes that I can be of some kind of reassurance that nothing in life really stays the same and that it is ok.  Yes, it is ok to doubt things.  To know something one minute just to turn around a year or so later and completely be blind sighted with something that makes you doubt all that you thought you knew before.

My life experiences have shown me that these wavering moments are Heavenly Father's way of letting me know that He trusts me.  He loves me.  And He is going to wait till I learn yet another new lesson in life.  I was reminded of that in General Conference when Elder Holland said,

"When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.” That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not! So let us all remember the clear message of this scriptural account: Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them on one subject or another. But if you and your family want to be healed, don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle."

I truly love that man.  I met him about 13 or so years ago at a restaurant.  He and his wife were so tender in their honest desire to know that the youth of the church is doing ok.  I will always love him for that acknowledgement.   It may be why I perk up at every General Conference that he gets up to speak at.
on to my newest learning experiences.  My body!  When its not 12:40 in the morning, I will go into more detail :) I started this post the way I did because I really hesitated whether I was going to put these future posts on here or not.  I was contacted by another blogger about trying some products and then reviewing them on my blog.  I hesitated because this blog is about me and my family, not products.  But then I was inspired by my past experiences with life changes.  So, I am happily going to be keeping tract of a few things to hopefully help anyone in my family who may have similar health struggles in the future.  

So here I go.  Time for some more learning and having faith that it will all make sense in due time!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


(Rob with Heston, Erin with Bridger, Hyrum, Levi, Brigham, Alisa with Mason, and David)
We just had an amazing 2 days with Rob, Erin, and their kids.  They are moving to Texas soon and so we wanted to spend some time with them before they left.  We got to Chino late Tuesday night and got up early Wednesday to head to DISNEYLAND!

A few of the rides had pictures that were taken as you were on the scary part of the rides.  This one was the best one!  I was holding onto Hyrum for dear life (he's just so little...I kept picturing him falling out) and yes I was scared!  But Brigham's face is just priceless!  You would think, from this picture, that he was terrified of the ride but this was actually his favorite ride.

It was too hot for my liking but I still had a great time.  I have always associated Disneyland with children so I was surprised just how much I kept thinking about how fun it would be to just go with David someday.....someday.....

We paid a ridiculous amount of money for one day at Disneyland and after seeing how much they charge for things in the park, I was disappointed.  Disappointed that they could get away with that.  But then I started to notice all the quality that is in this place.  It really is amazing the detail that goes into so much of the park.  But what really made me appreciate all that Disneyland had to offer was when we lost our children.

My Dad texted me before we left for Disneyland, reminding me to keep my kids close.  It made me think that I should probably get them matching shirts so that I could locate them easily.  I found these cute shirts of 3 boys playing video games at Target :)

So we are at the park for a few hours when Rob and David leave to go get fast passes.  They were going to take Levi and Brigham with them.  So I am with Erin, the twins, Bridger, and Jake (he is a friend of theirs).  I have one of the twins in my arms when a few minutes pass and Brigham comes up to me and says that he lost David and Rob.  So I quickly call David (soooooo thankful for cell phones) because I knew he would be freaking out.  Sure enough, he had already gotten a little party together to look for Brigham.  So everything is fine….so we think.  After they get the fast passes, David and Rob get back and we talk things over about keeping us all together when all of a sudden I get this sick feeling.  It just hits me that I don’t know where Hyrum is.  Keep in mind, this is Spring Break week.  Disneyland is a busy place as it is, but this week it is crazy busy.  I remember telling David to take the 2 older boys and yet while they were gone, I just kept doing the head count of “I have Mason, Erin has Heston  look for Jake and Bridger…check.”  Just over and over.  Completely spacing that I had Hyrum as well.  I can’t describe that sick feeling when you not only figure out that your child is missing but that he has been missing for probably 10 minutes and you haven’t even realized it.  For some reason, I just had it in my mind that he was with David and the boys. 
I get to an employee and she is just as calm as can be as she gets security.  She calmly tells me that there are no lost children in Disneyland…only lost parents.  A kind parent next to me helps me as David and Erin take off looking for Hyrum.  After that, only a few minutes had past before security came walking up with Hyrum.

He isn't scared at all, but I am just slowly coming unglued.  I just had to get us out of there. 
I haven’t had an anxiety attack in quite some time but that all too familiar feeling came back and there was nothing I could do to control myself.  I hate that feeling.  No matter what I did, I couldn't stop myself from crying or that feeling like everyone was closing in around me.

So yeah, I freaked out but I had amazing family around me as they waited for me to calm down.  So, some things I learned is that you should tuck a little piece of paper in your little one’s pockets who don’t have your cell phone # memorized so that security can call you right away.  It is also a good idea to take a cell phone picture of your children before entering crowded places.  We did good with having them all wearing matching things but it is good to have an actual picture so that people who are searching are not just going off of your memory.

But once that was over, we really did have a great time.  I was already so grateful for the staff there but also everything was so clean for having so many people around.  Just a unique, fun, and actually beautiful place.

The next day Rob had to work so the rest of us headed for the beach in San Clemente.  Talk about a cute beach town. 
 (Alisa and Heston)
It wasn’t crowded so it was just perfect.  It was a little too cold but it didn't stop the boys from loving it...well, except for Bridger being afraid of the water :)
We flew kites,
we played in the sand,
and the boys went boogie boardin' with Aunt Erin.
 (Levi and Erin)

It was cold and I think the adults were exhausted from the whole day we had spent at Disneyland but the kids just couldn't get enough of this beautiful, fun beach!
But before we left, Erin told us that we could eat on this pier.  I thought this would be a perfect way to end our beach trip.  So we got on the pier and headed our way to the very end when we came across an Air Force vet who was fishing.  But instead of catching fish he got a...
...Shovelnose Guitarfish!
We were getting all kinds of new experiences including, unfortunately, eating with the birds!
Just as I was taking this picture, a pigeon flew right up to our bench.  All I heard Bridger and Hyrum say from there on out was, "Shew, nasty bird!"

We left the next morning.  As always, it is always so nice to get in our own beds but we just really had such a great time.  Rob and Erin let Bridger be an adventurous boy which led to me being VERY comfortable in their house as I wasn't so afraid of my boys being too loud or breaking anything :)
(April, Alisa, Ronald, Dad, and Amanda)
I forgot to add that the whole reason I had the boys bury David was because of a picture that Dad just happened to text to me the other day (he had no idea we were going to the beach).  I thought it was such a fun coincidence since this picture captured my first time at a beach while this trip was the boys' first time also. 

Boogie Boardin'