Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

The last couple of nights I have worked the midnight to 6:00 a.m. shift so Daddy has been on full duty at home, pretty much.  He hasn't complained and I sure love him for that.  Especially since I know he is waking up in the middle of the night with little guy.  

With the odd sleeping schedule and finding out that my Aunt Brenda died this morning has made for an odd feeling this Christmas Eve.  Not for me, but thinking of my side of the family that doesn't understand the afterlife, makes me sad.  I know my Dad is sad about losing his sister.  But I also know my Father's faith.  My Dad is one of the most unselfish people I know.  Things seem to never be about him.  When I called him today he mentioned having to bury two of his sisters.  That is how I knew this was hard on him but I am so grateful for his faith that I know will pull him through.  I worry a lot about my Grandpa Beck, though.  He does not believe in a loving Father in Heaven and in that I can't imagine how this loss must feel.  It has to be completely devastating.  Without knowing what I do, well, I can't blame him.

As I am writing this, my family is watching the movie ELF and I'm thinking about my Dad.  Lover of anything funny.  ELF is classic Ron Beck.  Speaking of classic Ron Beck...
This was the first gift Hyrum opened up tonight.  It was from Nanny and Poppy.  I am so glad I have such fun parents!  This fart sound maker has been a hit tonight in this home full of boys!
My camera is on its way out so out of ALL the pictures I took, only these were halfway decent.  I wasn't able to catch their pure joy in all their gifts but trust me they were so very happy tonight.

Our home has been very blessed with amazing gifts this year.  Plenty from all our family, as usual, but also from our neighborhood.  I think I counted 10 different families that brought yummy goodies by for our family this Christmas.  We sure have moved into a wonderful neighborhood!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pre Christmas Get Together

Stephen, Holly, and their kids came up on Sunday, along with Helen, to have dinner with us.  It was very relaxing and reminded me how nice it would be if we lived closer.
 We decorated Christmas cookies and played card games.
 Hyrum had lots of alone time with Grandma.
And everyone had plenty of baby boy time!  
(I got permission to put pictures of him up if it is just the back of his head)

I really do love our family both near and far.  I have felt my heart grow with pride for our family while Baby R has been in our lives.  My side of the family have been amazing with wanting lots of updates and sending him things.  Stephen and Holly were genuinely happy for us last night and loved  on the newest precious spirit in our home.  The next day Holly texted me and told me that Keiran was crying on the way home because she wanted Baby R to be a permanent family member.  It truly melted my heart to not only have such amazing family but to also witness how sweet the souls of little girls are.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Birthday Chaos

Birthday Boy

Levi's birthday was on Saturday.  I always worry a little that his birthdays won't be special enough, being so close to Christmas.  Add this year, that we were at the hospital with Baby R leading up to his birthday.  Levi is in love with Baby R though, so I didn't have to worry to much.  And to watch and hear some of his reactions to presents and activities made it very clear that he was one happy 12 year old!
We started off at our house with opening up presents.  It was neat to watch him open his presents from his friends because it seemed that they knew him real well.  Each present from them screamed Levi!
We went to Sky Trampoline Arena for the activity.  It was a pretty penny but so worth seeing how happy Levi was.  Every single child that went just loved this place.  There were trampolines everywhere but it was unique in that you could play games while jumping.
(Brigham, Tyson, Levi, Hyrum, and Maddie.  Back-Daniel and Domingo)

Look at those red faces!  At the party they were all soooooooooooooo loud (with the exception of Maddie) and it didn't change on the way up to Sky Trampoline Arena.  But boy was there a difference on the way home.  They were all pooped and so quiet!
The next day, Levi had his meeting with the Bishop for the priesthood.  He will be set apart next Sunday but I can't believe he is old enough to be holding the priesthood.  I have no doubt of his worthiness though.  He is such a good example of unconditional love to me.  He is truly so good to all he meets.  I love this boy so very much!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Primary Children's Hospital

The last 2 weeks with Baby R have been heavenly.  I told Hannah not to long ago that if I ever had any doubts about me doing Foster Care, they were gone now!  She was concerned about me not getting sleep, since that is what happens when you have a newborn.  But like I have mentioned before, not being hormonal after just giving birth makes all the difference in the world.  But to top it off, I have an amazing amount of energy.  So much so that there has been a few times that I have forgotten to take one of my depression/anxiety medications that give me energy.  I used to drink a B12 drink to help with my energy level as well, and I have only done that once since Baby R has been in our lives.  The Lord has blessed me with so much strength and I'm truly grateful.

But on Thursday of last week, everything changed.  That day and night were truly horrible.  Not just because I was deliriously tired but because I felt so helpless as to help Baby R.  That was the night he was admitted to Primary Children's Hospital.

A little over a week ago, I started to notice a change in Baby R's diapers.  He had a doctor's appointment that day.  The doctor thought it may just be a bug but she was a little concerned that he was having diarrhea.  Not to much though since he was still gaining wait.  But by Monday he was vomiting.  Baby R spit up like most babies but never vomiting.  So I took him back.  She thought maybe it was his formula and asked me to come back on Thursday, after trying a new formula, to make sure he wasn't loosing weight.  Within days he was projectile vomiting so much that I was sure he wasn't getting much fluids, if not at all, in his little 3 week old body.  So I called his pediatrician that night (who had given me her cell phone number....what doctor does that???  I just love his doctor!) who told me to get him to the emergency room.  It was a relief to get that confirmation from her because I felt a little like I was being over protective.  That night was a long night in the ER as they did an ex-ray as well as an ultrasound.  They were pretty sure he had Pyloric Stenosis but couldn't tell for sure so I needed to follow up with his doctor the following day, which happened to be Thursday when we were going anyway.  He had lost weight and she was positive that he had PS without even seeing the ultrasound so she got us into Primary Children's Hospital.  I rushed home, got clothes and off to Salt Lake Baby R and I went!

I didn't realize that being sent to Primarys meant that you didn't spend a penny in health care.  We wouldn't have to anyways since Baby R is a foster child and has immediate Medicaid but it was amazing to learn that no matter what your insurance situation, all children admitted was cared for.  And if you stayed over night the Ronald McDonald Family Room was open to the family of the admitted child.  Which meant I never had to pay for a meal either.

Baby R was put in his room right away.  They ran his blood work as well as a new ultrasound and before we knew it we had a surgery time...the next day!  That was so very hard.  This poor baby hadn't had a bottle since 9:30 that morning (and by the time he had his surgery and could finally have a bottle it had been over 24 hours!) and on top of that he wasn't holding his formula down anyways so who knows when he actually ate last!  But they put an IV in and he was getting fluids almost immediately.  

Things were turning around for this sweet little guy of ours but he didn't know that!  The poor guy just cried and cried and cried.  He was just so hungry.  That night was torture for both him and I.  For him it was physical.  For me it was mental.  If he wasn't crying, I was.  It was so horrible.  When they told me in the morning after that horribly long night, that he wouldn't have surgery until 4 p.m. that day, I almost lost it!  But luckily things changed and they were able to get him in that morning.

That sweet baby boy came out of surgery and after eating was back to his sweet, perfect self. 

That night, David came up to relieve me and I went home.  As you can imagine, I slept like a baby.

These last few days have been crazy for us but I sure felt blessings in many directions.  Before I took him to the ER, David and friend gave Baby R a blessing.  In the blessing he spoke of it taking time for Baby R to get better.  The following morning April texted me and told me that she kept praying and praying the night before and kept feeling as if he wouldn't be healed but that everything would be ok.  If she had told me that the night before I probably would have lost it but after knowing he was going to have surgery, it made since to me.  He would need medical help as well as someone watching over him....
So during one of the times that I just had to get away from Baby R's crying, I was walking the halls of the hospital and found Superman and Jesus right next to each other.  Who wouldn't want to see that in the hospital your baby is in??!!  There were superpowers at work here!  It made me think of Hyrum not to long ago.  He said to me once, "It's like Jesus has Superpowers."  I sure do love my Hyrum.

Before the boys came up, I took a picture of this and sent it to my Mom.  She said that it reminded her of Big Shane (he LOVED superman) and how he was watching over Baby R during the surgery.  Everyone in our family misses Shane.  We loved him and to to read that was such a comforting thing.  

David's stay with Baby R at the hospital was what he needed.  Levi and I have fallen completely in love with Baby R but David has distanced himself in some ways.  He thought he was adorable but was not nearly as attached.  In some ways, I was grateful though.  I needed his wisdom of keeping myself grounded during those moments when I feel anxious that Baby R might not stay with us forever.  That his birth mother might get it together and get her rights back.  David has been good about helping me to remember why we are doing this.  Foster Care is about reuniting families first.

But his stay with Baby R has definitely stirred something in David.  It has been precious to watch.

Baby R is back at home with us now and just as cute and cuddly as ever.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A new chapter in our lives

On Tuesday of last week we received a phone call from our Family Resource Worker that they had a possible placement for our family through Foster Care.  I can't share a lot of information and no pictures at this point (which kills me!) but I can say that he in an infant and the cutest thing in the world to me right now!  We said yes, and took him from the hospital the next day.  I am completely in love and so is my little family.  

Daddy is as attentive as he was with our own children and I appreciate that so much.  Not only for the help but because this baby should feel as if he is a member of our family.  I know he is just an infant but even if we have other placements in the future I never want them to feel like they are invading our home or not welcome.  The best way to make sure that doesn't happen is to make them as if they are a part of our family.

Levi is just amazing with little guy....we'll call him Baby R.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised though, he has always been good with kids younger than him and I'll never forget bringing Hyrum home from the hospital and my 4 year old Levi bringing Matchbox cars over to him and running them up and down his tiny legs.  He is no different with Baby R, other than now he can do more things with an infant.  He loves to hold him and quite a bit!  The second day after Baby R came home with us, Levi came home from school, held Baby R in his arms and told me that he had a hard time concentrating at school because he kept thinking of Baby R.  Levi sure melts my heart.

Brigham thinks Baby R is cool because he makes "durp" face.  So the boys have an "epic" face and a "durp" face that they make that they think is hilarious.  "Durp" face is when you have one eye straight ahead while the other is looking another way.  Well, Baby R is just like every other baby at this age and gets his eyes like "durp" sometimes.  

I was a little concerned at first of how Hyrum was going to handle Baby R.  Hyrum has been the most excited out of all the boys about Foster Care.  He really wanted a boy his age to stay in his room with him.  I think he was picturing slumber parties every night!  So when I first told the boys about Baby R, he was silent.  That night I went to the store to get Baby R an outfit to come home from the hospital in and found this really soft blue sleeper with Lions on it.  I thought of Hyrum and knew I needed to pick that one.  Hyrum loves super soft things as well as cats so when I showed it to him and told him it was going to be like Baby R's first present from Hyrum he changed.  From then on, he has not worried me one bit about Jealously or disappointment. 

The cats don't know what to think.  When I brought Baby R home, they just sniffed around him but not much else for a while.  Within a few hours I found this...
...which I expected :)

Neve on the other hand has walked around the house meow crying, carrying her string around.  She has this shoe string that I play with her with.  As you can imagine, there is not as much time for her with a newborn.  I know its silly but I do feel a little guilty about that.  I have to find balance to make sure I am still listing to Levi and Brigham, having alone time with Hyrum, and conversations and physical contact with my husband as well as playing with Neve.  This experience has reminded me many times what it was like when I was having my babies.  There is guilt at times (the house is a mess most of the times now and I'm really struggling with getting homemade meals done) but it doesn't last for long.  It's because I haven't just given birth, hurting, and hormonal!  So I give myself so much more credit than I ever did with my 3 pregnancies and during the time while they were little.  

I also am enjoying Baby R so much more than I did my children.  I know that sounds HORRIBLE but let me explain.  I get very depressed when pregnant.  With my first 2 pregnancies, once I gave birth the depression lessoned quite a bit.  However, at this point you are soooooo very tired because of the constant getting up to feed the baby and still try to be wife and homemaker.  I felt so much guilt like I wasn't doing it right during this time in my life.  In no way did David make me feel this way.  I was just hard on myself.  By the time that I had Hyrum the depression escalated big time after I gave birth to him.  And it didn't go away for years.  So here I am now, raising an infant without being is HEAVENLY!  I get to truly enjoy him.  So it is not that I love Baby R more than Levi, Brigham, and Hyrum; I am just not crazy anymore and get to indulge in an experience that is untainted...with a precious, perfect little boy.

So I'll end it on another cat picture.  I found Neve in our Christmas tree the other day.
I posted this picture on Facebook and my favorite response was from a friend that I go to church with.  She said something to the effect that she thinks that all cats believe that we put up Christmas trees for their enjoyment only. 

I think she is right!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Let It Go, Girl!

My best friend from high school texted me tonight.

Laura: "Ok so we are watching frozen, and please don't take this wrong but you totally remind me of Elsa."
Alisa: "THE ICE QUEEN?!!!!  HAHAHA!  With only having boys I have only seen it once.  Gonna have to watch it again."
Laura: "Beautiful and reserved.  And always right."

Even with only having boys, I have seen the huge success the movie Frozen has had.  Thousands of little girls everywhere dreaming of becoming Elsa and Anna.  Frozen this and Frozen that in every store you walk into.  

So us texting goes on and on about us being "Frozen Sisters."  Her being a lot like Anna.  Anna reminds me of April also which is funny because growing up, when April would hang out with Laura and I, people who were just meeting us would always guess that Laura and April were the sisters.  Not April and I!  

Anyways, Laura pointing out this movie brought emotions to the surface and I realized I really needed to journal this.  I see some perfectionism in Levi and I want him to know that I will always love him for being HIMSELF!  And I want him to be himself.

People in high school knew me as reserved.  There were some close friends that I could act silly around but for the most part, they didn't see that side of me.  I was always so concerned about being the only "Mormon" most people I came in contact with in Oklahoma, would ever know.  I had to be the perfect example.   But unless you were in my head at that time in my life, you could never understand how very hard that was.  I was, after all, still a teenager wanting to do all the things that every teenager did around me.  But in no way was I going to give in to those things because, once again, I might be the only "Mormon" my friends will ever meet.  I represent the church.  Be good.  Always.

If they only knew, though.  Things like how I always thought drinking was stupid.  Come Monday morning at school, after some party over the weekend, I would hear about how cool it all was but all I heard was how so and so got into a fight or how someone cheated on someone else.  No appealing to me at all...until one night after work.  Pounce and some other friends had met me at Charlie’s Chicken.  They had met up with some other people.  One of the boys said something about drinking to me.  For the first time, I actually wanted to do it.  Why was it such a big deal in my church not to drink alcohol?  But before I could even answer the question in my head, Pounce said, "She doesn't drink."  I will forever be thankful for her presence that night and for her knowing how I normally felt about alcohol.  The guilt I would have felt if other people would have found out, had I done it, would have been horrible.  And found out, they would have...

Some friends and I were in Grove one night and ended up doing something stupid.  To this day, I'm ashamed of it so I won’t be divulging.  Just know it wasn't illegal - just stupid and mean.  We all promised each other that night that we would tell no one.  I still felt really bad about it (and later found out that others did too) that night as I tried to sleep.  The next day we were in the cafeteria line at school when Brandi, who was not with us the night before, told us that someone had told her.  She looked at me and said, "I'm really surprised you did that, Alisa."  I thought I was going to be sick right then and there.  She was not rude about it at all.  She was just genuinely surprised I would have been involved.

Little did I know, that I probably would have been a better "example" if I would have opened up about what I was feeling and struggled with.  A friend of mine, a few years ago, pointed out that maybe seeming "perfect" in some of my friends eyes made it seem unattainable to be a member of my church.  Maybe even any church.  Or that I would never be able to relate to them.  That really hit hard!  I remember how much it hurt when I would find out, through other people, that my closest friends were doing things that I didn't agree with.  I remember thinking that they knew I didn't agree with it but it doesn't mean that I loved them any less.  I wanted them to always feel they could come to me.

But it made since after my friend pointed that out.  If only I would have "Let It Go."

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I'm the queen.

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn't keep it in, heaven knows I tried!

Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know
Well, now they know!

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door!

I don't care
What they're going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!

It's funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can't get to me at all!

It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I'm free!

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You'll never see me cry!

Here I stand
And here I'll stay
Let the storm rage on!

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I'm never going back,
The past is in the past!

Let it go, let it go
And I'll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone!

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!

After these texts with Laura, I'm thinking, "How could I have never really listened to the lyrics to this song before tonight?"  I guess I could blame it on the fact that I have never like cartoons, so I dismissed it as that when it would come on the radio.  Or that I am a mother of only boys.

But these lyrics!  They could not have described me more.  From the silly thing of me loving snow and ice to the whole point of the song:  Letting things go.  It wasn't until college that I did just that.  It actually makes me laugh thinking of an imaginary get together.  One of just my high school and college friends being there.  What a fake I probably would have seemed right out of college.  

I never did anything bad in college, but for the first time in my life I didn't care so much what people thought.  I barely passed some semesters because I was so busy playing!  I felt so alive at Ricks College.  I grew spiritually (I say this because growing up sometimes children rely on their parent's testimony of the Godhead and the gospel of Christ.  In college I had to find out what I believed for myself and that I did!).  But more so, I just let go.  The only reason that makes sense to me, as to why I finally was able to, was because I was at a church college where  we all believed the same.  I think that for the first time in my adolescent life and going into adulthood, I didn't feel the pressure of being the perfect "Mormon."  

I want to make it clear, though, that the church nor my parents never put that pressure on me.  It was all me who did that.  Maybe it's because I'm the first born.  But maybe it just who I was at the time.

All in all, I wish I would have opened up more.  I really do.  But then again, I guess I wouldn't know the importance of being oneself without this experience and me learning it the way I did.  I hope Levi catches on much sooner than I did.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Power of an Ocelot

Today I was able to spend some much needed time with Christine.  One of the many things we talked about was Hyrum and how different he is than most boys his age.  One of things that I told her about was how at the beginning of this school year I worried a lot about him not having friends.  

I've always known that David and I have babied Hyrum.  But to be honest, I don't feel all that bad about it.  If I did, then I would stop.  But he is my baby and by the time that you get to your "baby" after having other children, you finally realize as a parent to calm down!  That all those things I worried about so much with Levi and Brigham, didn't matter.  That I should have relaxed more with them and just enjoyed the ride.  So yeah, we've babied him...and it shows.

I told Christine about how when Hyrum's friends come over and they imagine play, the other boys always want to be some hero or bad guy character (almost always Minecraft characters).  Hyrum....yeah, he crawls around like an ocelot (cat) meowing while the other boys are using their pickaxe to "mine" or attack a creeper.  Christine and I just giggled imaging the sight of his innocence.  I told her that when I first noticed the difference in him compared to other boys his age, I worried.  But I also did not want to take that innocence away from him by making him grow up.  Both David and I have kept to the latter.  He has plenty of time to do all that grown up stuff later.

Rewind to last night.  He woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me he had a nightmare and wanted to sleep with David and I.  I could count on one hand how many times he has done that. My boys just don't have lots of nightmares and I'm super grateful.  I of course let him sleep with us.  

Tonight he tells me that he knows why he had the nightmare.  It was because he didn't sleep with his ocelot.  I knew he was right about him not having the ocelot with him last night because we put up the Christmas tree earlier that day and Hyrum put his ocelot in the tree as an ornament. 

So before bed we are looking for this ocelot and it is no where to be found.  Hyrum is about in tears.  So I come up with this idea that Hyrum can sleep with all his other cats and that should be like the power of the one ocelot.  The only thing I placed in this picture is the tiger "watching over" him.  When David and I went to check on him tonight before bed (which is what I should be in but I HAD to blog how cute Hyrum is!!!) we found him alseep with all his cats perfectly placed around his head.
Daddy couldn't handle it and was determined to find it now!  We finally found it in Brigham's room and so Daddy placed it in Hyrum's arms while he slept.  
I can't wait to hear about it in the morning.  I wonder what Hyrum will think about it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Optimistic Brothers

I was reminded yesterday of the good boys David and I have.  

Over the summer David and I took classes to become foster parents.  We also had to get our house ready to be licensed.  Sounds simple but believe me it was a process and it took a lot of time and money.  We have been completely ready for about 3 weeks now and are just waiting for a call saying we are in need.

So yesterday, I got a text from my family resource worker to ask about a possible placement.  But this placement would mean that Hyrum would have to stay in the room of one of his brothers.  So, I got them together and asked how they felt about 2 little girls staying with us.  Hyrum was excited because he would get to stay in a room with one of his brothers.  On that note, when we first moved here he was sad the first few nights that he wasn't down stairs in a room with his brothers.  I think it was because he was scared by himself (though, he is right next to us) as well as I think he was afraid they were having all kinds of fun without him!

Levi and Brigham didn't want to share their room but I was surprised at their responses.  It wasn't a flat out no.  They just kind of groaned and when I said that he should stay with Brigham because he has the bigger room, again, he didn't say no.  Just didn't want to do it.  And he wasn't even mad about it.  But then, my always wanting to make people happy Levi, said it would be ok for Hyrum to stay with him.

So that was sweet.  And it got even better.  When I asked them about having girls in our house they were ok with it but they wanted her to be older than them.  When I asked them why Levi said because he doesn't like being the oldest.  I get that.  I remember growing up not liking being the oldest at times.  But Brigham said that he wanted an older sister (yes, they want a sister...not someone just living with us :) because of how nice Shaylee (their cousin) is.  I am in love with my niece Shaylee so it melted my heart to hear him say that.  But I wanted him to understand that not all girls are like Shaylee.  He replied that that was ok because they could get her to be like Shaylee eventually.  

I love the hope and optimistic outlooks that children have.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween 2014

Since Halloween seems to always have so many events to go to (school parties, church parties, community parties and trick or treating) I have been trying to just pick one to take pictures.  The rest I just enjoy.  So know that we have many more celebrations to come!

Levi is Slenderman, Brigham is Pikachu, and Hyrum is Yoshi.
Not much to explain for our get ups :)
Levi and Jett wanted to pose for a picture.

Levi did say that his suit was uncomfortable so I told him he didn't have to wear it again, which of course stinks.  That suit was expensive!  But I can't blame him.  That suit would drive me nuts to wear!

I do want to share a learning experience I had with Brigham, though.

I took him, Hyrum, and Jett to a Halloween store the other day.  It had some pretty creepy stuff in there, which is why I am not a fan of Halloween.  I loved it when the boys were little because I never took them in these stores and when we dressed them up, it was just all cutesy stuff.  I knew that as they got older that they would choose much different things than I wanted and I accept that.  Except for bloody stuff.

So we are in this store and Jett finds all these creepy mechanical displays fun.  I was so busy trying to find stuff that I really didn't pay that much attention.  I knew what he was doing because he kept telling me to look but I could use the excuse of being busy not to look.  Finally we are ready to check out and I have to look.  By this point Hyrum was sticking to my side.  He is so like me in a lot of ways.  Scared of things is one area that I'm afraid he has taken on.  At one point he said, "Do we ever have to go back here again?"  Poor kid.  I told him that he never ever had to go back.  That it would be completely up to him and he seemed happy about that.

So I start walking up to this display and Brigham says, "Mom, you don't want to see that."  He wasn't joking.  He was serious.  I go closer and he tells Jett, "Seriously, she won't like that."  And then, "Mom, don't look."  So I followed his advice and told Jett that I was sorry but I was going to trust Brigham because he knows how much I don't like scary, creepy stuff.

As we were driving away, I told Brigham how proud I was of him for protecting his mother.  That it may not have seemed like that to him at the time but he was definitely protecting me.  I told him, "You know, that is what a man does.  Not a boy.  A man protects his mother."  I wish I could have gotten on camera the look on his face when I said that.  He just beamed.  I was so very proud of him in that moment.

I have been blessed with an amazing young man in Brigham.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Running Out of Time

Sunday night I had a dream.  I can't remember most of it but something very clear was still in my mind when I woke up.

I'm running out of time.

I have no idea what it means.  Well, I guess I have ideas but that is all it is.  It may not mean anything at all.  But almost instantly I knew what I wanted to do with it.  I want to believe it meant that I'm running out of time with my children because they are growing up so fast.  So...

 Each day this week, I secretly checked each one out of school for lunch.
 There were 2 rules.
1.  You can't tell your brothers about it, so they can be surprised when it is their turn.  2.  You get to pick the place and get whatever you want.

Yesterday was the last day that I did it.  And wouldn't you know that today as I was volunteering at the school, I watched as a little girl was being pulled out of her class to be told that her mother had just died.  As heartbreaking as that was, I was so grateful to wittness it.  Life is short for all of us.  

Use it with love.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I just wanted to journal something to make sure that I never forget how much my husband loves me.
We have someone in our lives that is struggling right now so David wrote him a letter trying to get this person to know and understand that he is not alone.  That it happens to so many of us.  As David wrote of his own struggles a certain paragraph touched me more than the rest.
"I look back on Alisa's and my time in Oklahoma as a bench mark that we can use to remind us what we have come from.  It seems like a lot of time has passed since that dark time.  We still have our doubts about what to do (with decisions in this life) and how to get things done but I have never loved her or anyone more than I do her now.  I am completely infatuated with her and she knows it."
And I do know it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Beus Pond Park Hike

For Family Home Evening tonight I wanted us to go on a hike.  We were pretty bad about going on hikes this summer.  With the leaves changing colors, I just couldn't pass this up.

It's hard to get these boys to take a serious picture.
I wanted to get a picture of just Levi and David because of the above picture of the rest of us.  But do you think Brigham could handle that?
That kid is in LOVE with his Dad!
Along the hike David found all these dead trees with a huge hole inside.
It was, of course, an ideal spot for them to climb.
 When I first told the boys we were hiking tonight, Hyrum was not happy about it.  He was just about in tears as he told me he was scared.  I told him that we wouldn't go anywhere on the trails that he didn't feel comfortable with.  He then told me that it was ok to go in the middle of the mountain.  Just not the top.  Oh trust me, Hyrum.  Mommy would never go to the top of any mountain.  She is way to afraid of heights for that!
So watching David guide Hyrum along the very steep parts melted my heart.  He was so patient with Hyrum...and then Levi slid down the trail!  I know David wants me to let them "be boys" but my heart stopped for a second as I watched this scene!  But as you can see, Levi thought it was fun.  Which lead to a perfect picture...
All that very dry dirt made for such a beautiful picture.  And I'm proud to say that it was the boys who noticed this and wanted me to take a picture.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It Was Probably All They Had

Mom posted this picture on Facebook and I can't stop thinking about it.  I may not have been alive to witness this time in my Grandparents, Mom, and Uncle's lives but I know it is true.  I know this not only in my grandparent's personalities of today but because of words of wisdom my Grandmother has given me over the years.

As I have been away all these years from home (besides the 3 years that we lived in Oklahoma a few years back) I have had many phone conversations with Grandma.  When things were financially hard I would hear stories of how when my mom was a baby, she slept in a dresser drawer because that was all they could provide at the time.  Or as I felted sorry for myself  because it had been so long since I had seen my family and was missing home,  Grandma would tell me how she longed to be with her Mom and Dad also while Grandpa was in the Navy.  These are just a few examples but they have lasted in my mind.

Probably because she and Grandpa didn't want the same for me, I don't know how many times they sent packages of baby clothes and stuff while David was in college.  Or how many times they flew me home while I was in college and even in the beginning of our marriage while David was still in school.  This is in no way to diss my great grandparents; they just couldn't afford to do that for my grandparents.  However, I'm sure that if they could have things would have been different.

Most people who know my family know how they are constantly doing things for each other.  I think it is a southern/Oklahoma thing but I also think that it is my family.  We were raised to give to each other and help when someone needs it.  I have seen my parents do this time and time again for their children.  

I pray I pass this wonderful example to my boys.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What does your flu shot smell like?

Last month we all got our flu shots.  The last 2 years we have gotten them at Maceys (grocery store) because they have cheap, huge ice cream cones to bribe the boys with.

Though they were not excited, they all said it didn't hurt as bad as they thought it would.  Hyrum really had nothing to complain about, though.  He got the nasal one so no shots for him.
A few days ago I was checking the temperature of a boy that was staying with us.  After using the thermometer, I wiped it down with an alcohol swab.  I accidentally left it next to the couch on the book shelf.  Later, Levi sits on the couch and asks me. "Why does it smell like flu shots in here?"

Um, what?  I told him that I didn't know flu shots had a smell.  Then it hit me that he was associating the alcohol smell with the shots.  It is funny what our mind holds on to.  Levi was probably the most scared to get the shot and so he remembers almost every detail of it, even when the pharmacist rubbed alcohol on his arm before the shot.

Who would have ever thought that flu shots had a smell to them? 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hi Nanny and Poppy!

So, Brigham found a science kit that he got from Nanny and Poppy a few Christmas' back.  I can't believe we never finished using all of it.  I'll blame it on the moves.  

Enjoy Nanny and Poppy!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Some men in my life

 (Ronald a.k.a Uncle Bubba and Levi in Ronald's truck)
On Saturday morning, Ronald called me up and asked if I wanted to see him.  He was in Salt Lake!  He and his family lives in Oregon and so I haven't seen him in a while.  He drives a truck for the Swift company now and I know he stops at a lot of places and has to get moving but I hope I get more and more of these surprise calls!
I just started a job.  I work for the Adams Avenue Parkway.  It is a toll road and I sub for the regular employees when they need a day off.  I really like this job a lot.  And it is perfect for this time in my life while the kids are in school.  

On Monday I came home to David playing tag with the boys and some of their friends outside our house.  I fall in love with my husband again and again when I see things like this.  I felt so blessed and had to take a picture of us together...and then he kissed me.  I am so blessed!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Things that keep the boys busy

 Brigham riding his bike at the park next to our house.
 Hyrum and his interesting way to play the 3DS.
 Levi feeding our neighbor's Guinea Pigs a carrot from our garden.
Brigham playing in the rain.
There is always something to do to keep these boys busy :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Uchtdorf's Message

Saturday was the General Women's Meeting for the women/girls of the church.  I went to the broadcast and had a hard time concentrating, to be honest.  Well, until President Uchtdorf spoke.  I think most people will say what stood out the most is his analogy of the rain pooring down on us and how it can be like Heavenly Father and how He sends us blessings.  Yet, sometimes we get out our umbrella's and block those many blessings that He wants us to receive.  It was a great visualization of just how much our Father in Heaven really wants to make our lives easier here on Earth.  That His commandments are not to push us away from happiness, or what we think will bring us happiness in this world.  He knows best and He knows what will bring true joy.

Yes, that was a great lesson tool but something tugged at my heart so much more.  He said, "Do you suppose it matters to our Heavenly Father whether your makeup, clothes, hair, and nails are perfect? Do you think your value to Him changes based on how many followers you have on Instagram or Pinterest? Do you think He wants you to worry or get depressed if some un-friend or un-follow you on Facebook or Twitter? Do you think outward attractiveness, your dress size, or popularity make the slightest difference in your worth to the One who created the universe?
“He loves you not only for who you are this very day, but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become.
“More than you could ever imagine, He wants you to achieve your destiny — to return to your heavenly home in honor.”

I am so passed looking pretty all the time.  I have been for quite some time now.  It took some life changing events to make me realize that makeup, my weight, my clothes... only make me feel better when it is exactly the way that I picture it should be.  What I picture it should be is not even close to what Heavenly Father actually cares about.   I'm so grateful President Uchtdorf addressed this issue that so many women deal with.  We are our own worst enemies most of the time and that is so sad.  I know I have been guilty of it.  But progress has been made and I pray that it continues.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rooster Whisperer

David left for Texas last Thursday and is coming home tonight.  He and Stephen flew there to help their brother, Rob, on his house.  As I have mentioned before with them always having to do something when getting together, this was no different.  Those Adams boys sure are hard workers.  But I miss my hard worker and really want him home tonight.  His presence has certainly been missed.

One of the first nights while he was gone, he called and I told him to make sure he got a picture with him and his brothers.  Then I thought about it for a while and told him to get one with the chickens that Rob and Erin have.  At first it was because I want chickens but then I remembered how I call him the Rooster Whisperer.  Long story.  You'll have to look back at a past post to get those details.  

So yesterday I got a picture from Erin on my phone...

My husband is so awesome!  And his brothers are pretty cool too :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

So Blessed

I just got back from walking around the park that is right by the elementary school that the boys go to.  Usually I go to the gym but Brigham is home with strep throat and I didn't want to wander to far away if he needed me.

While I was out walking, some of the kids from the school were outside playing (it was around lunch time).  As I would circle around, I would search for Levi or Hyrum.  During my last lap I saw Hyrum and he was waving at me.  I waived back and felt like something might be wrong.  So I started walking toward him.  Sure enough, by the time I got to him I could tell he was close to tears.  He  told me that no one would play with him.  That, of course, will rip at any parent's heart.  

During the summer we got to know a few of the boys around our home and church that are his age and go to this school.  So I asked him about them.  Only one of those boys were there today and I guess he wouldn't play with him.  So I sat down with him and we just talked about his day, trying to distract him from thinking about not having anyone to play with.

When the whistle was blown and he went inside, I was reminded how very blessed I am.  I am blessed that my husband works hard and allows me to stay home so that I can be there for my children when they get sick and can't go to school.  Or when no one will play with them at school and I can just sit with them and talk with no time restrictions.  Or that the school is mindful enough that soon after I sat down with Hyrum outside, a teacher's aid was right next to us to make sure I was a parent.  Or that yesterday was September 11th and was reminded of the great country in which we live in.  So great that terrorists attacked us 13 years ago all because of their jealousy of our freedoms.  Or how I have a responsible son in Levi that I know that as he and Hyrum walk home from school today, that he will protect his brother.  I could just go on and on.  I am so blessed.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Friends of Brigham

 I worry sometimes that Brigham puts more effort into his friend relationships than he does with his brothers.  But I also know that I was the same way as a child.  My friends have always been very important to me.  So much so that some of them have truly felt like family to me and I have treated them as such.  So, I can see where he gets it from but I still worry.  I guess I just want him to have just as good as a relationship with his 2 brothers as I see David with his.  

But I do love Brigham's love for his friends.  He defends them.  He wants them around all the time (which means a houseful of boys most of the time).  And he's just a good friend. 

The other day I was volunteering in Brigham's class and this boy came up to me and said, "Brigham is a good friend."  Not, "Hello, my name is David and I'm Brigham's friend."  I was so proud of Brigham in that moment for two reasons.  First, because he obviously had enough impact on this boy's life that he would come up to me and say that before I was even put to work in the class.  Second, because this boy is Black.  If there is a kid of color in any of his classes, it never fails that that child becomes close friends with Brigham.  There have been times that I have had more Indian, Hispanic, and Black children in my house than White and that is not an exaggeration! 

Moving around has definitely exposed my children to different races and culture.  For that, I am very grateful for all our crazy moves.  I love that my children don't show signs of prejudice.  When they were little, if I saw a person or family in a store that was obviously from a different country or culture, I would walk up to them with my children and ask them questions.  I know that sounds odd and honestly at times it was uncomfortable but I wanted my boys exposed.  And I think I know why I did that.

I will never forget the first time I walked past a group of young black boys, them trying to get my attention, and me quickly walking away because I was uncomfortable.  I didn't voice this situation for years because I felt I was being prejudice.  I was ashamed.  

Years later, I told my friend Bin and his response was, "Prejudice is only the fear of the unknown."  It is a moment in my life that I will never forget.  We all get uncomfortable at times around certain people, whether it be because they are of a different culture, race, personality type, religion...even clothes that they have on can make someone uncomfortable.  But Bin taught me that it is really that we aren't used to it yet and that is ok.  It is only wrong when you treat them poorly because of it.

So, I'm proud of my Brigham.  He is my social butterfly and I'm grateful he was placed in my life.

Monday, September 8, 2014


This morning I woke up feeling pretty yucky.  I got the boys headed off to school and decided I was going to take it easy today.  So I laid in bed, turned on Netflix and found the documentary Unstoppable by Kirk Cameron.  I'm so glad that I did.

While I didn't agree with his interpretation of everything that he got from the Old Testament, I gained much from this film.   A film created by a good man who wants the world to know that even though God lets bad things happen to good people, He loves us very much.  

Kirk Cameron talks about the tragedies of the Bible, mainly the Old Testament.  There are so many tragedies that God let happen like Cain killing Abel and the great flood that wiped out almost all living, land creatures.  But He uses tragedies for our experience.  The only thing that I wish this movie would have touched more upon is that He uses these experiences BECAUSE He gave us free agency. 

I have talked about this before on our family blog.  I personally, for most of my life, have never really got the concept of free agency.  Mainly because I have the personality type that would rather be told what to do.  I don't like to make mistakes.  I would rather learn from some one elses experience than mine own.  I hate that guilt felt after a bad choice is made and I hate that suffering that seems to last so much longer for me because I have such a hard time forgiving myself.  It was only a few years ago that I finally was able to say that I am grateful for ALL my experiences in life.  I am grateful for my sins and other's sins against my spirit that lead to my life's lesson of love.  Because I know my Father in Heaven loves me through these mistakes, I know I can and should love others.  All of these experiences have built my character today.

This is my favorite quote of the movie:

"...I have peace about that.  Because I've already seen my God use the most horrible, horrific, tragic events of history for the greatest things in the world.  He was there at the fall, He was there at the flood.  He didn't take his hands off the wheel.  He was there in the crucifixion and the worst most tragic thing that has ever happened to the most perfect and pure and innocent person (speaking of Christ) turns out to be the greatest thing the world has ever seen.  It brought the salvation of God to the world.  And so I have hope that every tragedy in my life and in yours, every future tragedy and every future pain and struggle and suffering and death, God can and will use those sufferings for His greater Glory and for our good because that's what He has been doing all along. Through all of the pain and suffering and the grief, God is working out the same unstoppable purpose for you!  He's forming in you the character needed for the assignment He has for you."

I pray that God will continue to have faith in my spirit to make better choices in the future as I continue to learn that He has a purpose in all of this.  He gave us free agency for a reason and because of that reason, He will not interfere with the choices that I make or of that of others around me.  And I am ok with that.  These life experiences are exactly what gives me true hope now.  True love.  And true purpose. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Our Last RAMP Saturday

Yesterday was our last RAMP Saturday.  We sure have appreciated the county providing these free activities on Saturdays throughout the summer.  This time it was just Hyrum and I that went.  I love doing things as a whole family but it sure was nice to have alone time with him.  It just seemed like he talked my ear off, I guess because he had my full attention. I really enjoyed it.
 We went to the Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park.
 We made a craft, played on the playground area, did lots of walking to see the different dinosaurs on display and just had fun.  I think Hyrum's favorite part was going inside one of the buildings.  They had all kinds of rocks and minerals on display and he was determined to find diamonds.  When he finally did, I had to pry him away!
 When we got home, a necklace that I had ordered had come through the mail.  It only cost me shipping and as you can see from the picture, I LOVE IT!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sooner Fans in Utah

Today was the first day back to school for the boys.  

Levi - 6th grade
Brigham - 5th grade
Hyrum - 2nd grade

This was a new school for them.  I want to say, "Poor kids..." but it just doesn't seem to phase them anymore.  I don't know, maybe it does and they hide it.  But something did feel very home-ish as we were walking to their classrooms.  The school has a program that encourages the kids to go to college by doing certain academic things.  There are contests between classes and grades and each one has their own college that they represent.  None are the same.  It was SO cool to come across this classroom that had picked the OU Sooners!  I haven't talked to this teacher yet, but I am going to see if she has any ties from back home.  Oh, and Brigham just happened to be wearing his OU shirt.  

So, I think all went well for the boys.  They seemed to be in good moods after school.  I can't believe Levi is in 6th grade.  If we were back home he would be in Middle School and that is just too weird for me to think about. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our Summer Activities/Achievements

Tonight was Washington Terrace Elementary's open house.  As David and I were meeting all the new teachers, my mind kept thinking about things we have done over the summer as well as a huge accomplishment for myself.  So here come some pictures!

 There was so much friend time!  I am used to neighborhood kids coming into our home.  It has been like that for years now but holy cow did it jump up a notch or two this summer!  But I loved it.  I really did.
 The school had free lunches for anyone under 18.
 Daddy helped the boys build a lemonade stand.
David had a lot of projects he did outside and I would often see Levi helping him...without Daddy asking him!
And for the big reveal for me...I have officially lost 50 pounds since leaving Oklahoma!  It has been a long 2 1/2 years in the making but honestly I wouldn't have it any other way.  The only reason I can say that is because I know that it only happened because I was getting stronger and stronger mentally.  I truly believe that is why I have been so successful.  Yes, it has taken me 2 1/2 years but not once during that time frame did I gain anything.  No yo-yoing.  That's because I wasn't just getting my physical body healthy.  And this is how I know I will continue to keep it off.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What I want you to know

With the passing, through suicide, of the comedian Robin Williams, much attention has been brought to the media surface of depression.  If Robin left anything more than happiness through his comedy, I hope it is the awareness of mental illness.  

Maybe it's the phrase "mental illness" that makes people not want to face reality.  Maybe we need to only call it depression.  Maybe it wouldn't change a thing either way because ultimately most of us are ashamed that we or our loved ones can't control our/their moods or feelings.  Maybe we are tired of people telling us that it is "all in our heads."  That we could be happy if we just thought positive thoughts.

But we are screaming, "Really?  Just think positive thoughts?  Wow!  Why didn't I ever think of that?!"  And in our minds we hear exactly that - only sarcastically.  The irony is that we are screaming in our heads, that it isn't all in our heads!  But in reality, it is.  Depression is a real medical condition.  Our brains are not wired like the average "normal" person.

So let me tell you what a depressed person is...actually is!  Not what a "normal" brained person may think.

We are sad.  We hurt.  We cry one minute and can't feel a thing the next.  Some of us are angry.  Some of us cower in whatever we are labeled in the moment.  Does it sound familiar?  No, I am not going to diagnose you with depression and tell you to take a certain pill that works for me.  However, chances are, a normal brained human is reading this and thinking that they have those same issues at times.  And when they feel those same exact things, they can make themselves think positively and before they know it, they are back to reality.

Well, good for you.  No seriously, good for you!  If you could somehow put that awesomeness in a pill, you would be a billionaire and we would praise you.  But again, the reality is that we just don't have your "normal" brain.  

But you know what?  Even though we may not be able to turn off negative thoughts like you can, we are still loving human beings.  And that is what I want you to know about us.  Not just that we are sad.  Or that we hurt and cry a lot.  Or that we can be walking contradictions and not feel anything at all.  I want you to know that after the medication, therapy or just through the grace of God, when we seem normal again...we are not.  We are not because we will always feel things differently than you.  We have been through hell and came back.  And we know that more than likely, a short distance away, we are going to find ourselves in that same situation - fear, sadness, anger or feeling nothing at all.

But the huge, wonderful, amazing thing that comes out of depression are those in between stages.

Because we know debilitating pain, we love deeply.  We have empathy.  There is no sympathizing with us.  We hear the cries of suicide and take it seriously.  And that is where our deep love comes in.  We have had those horrible thoughts and though we may know they are irrational, we feel a need to help in any way we can.  Even to a stranger because these depressive thoughts are real!

I used to say that I would never wish depression on anybody.  I don't know, maybe a part of me still says that.  But I can now say that a bigger part of me says that depression has blessed my life.  I am more compassionate than I was before and that I would wish for anybody.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Free Pool Stuff

The last couple of weekends the RAMP program has offered free swimming to the residents of Weber County.  We have loved this!
 Here Daddy is catching Hyrum coming out of one of the tunnel slides at Lorin Farr Pool.
Here Levi is coming out of the slide at the North Shore Aquatic Center.
And here is Daddy pooped after these active weekends :)