My Family

"Life will knock you down. You can choose to stand up again."




Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup

Several years ago, when we were in our ward in West Jordan, a sweet, sweet lady brought us dinner every single Monday night... because she wanted to. My kids loved her. I loved her more. She was my solace, my safety, my calm in the storm. Every time I had surgery, she brought her homemade chicken noodle soup. It was like nothing I have ever had. It was perfect. It was amazing! I love to make homemade chicken noodle soup. My kids love to eat it. I do too. Last week, I was really sick. I asked my sweet friend, Martha (Heidi W.), to make me some of her homemade chicken noodle soup. She did and I haven't stopped eating it since. It is so yummy! There is something about chicken noodle soup that warms the body and the soul, at least mine. It seriously makes me feel loved. And, I love it right back!
This quote, which happens to be my very favorite, also makes me feel loved. And, I love it right back! I can always hear Elder Holland's voice saying it. It reminds me that this is such a small part of our immortality. We need not give up. We need not quit. We need not stop trying. There is always help and happiness ahead. Always.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Kiddos

Sunday was our ward's primary program. My kiddos (the ones in my class) were really nervous. They all wanted to sit right next to me, like half way on my lap. There are 9 of them! They are 8! They all did great! No one threw up or fell or wet their pants. I consider that success! I was extremely sick all week last week. Therefore, no lesson was planned. Therefore, they got to teach! I gave them chalk, erasers, crayons, paper, and my lesson manual. I told them the topic, which was, "Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy." They broke into two groups: boys and girls (duh!). They ROCKED it! I love the way 8 year olds think! Some of the "don'ts" included "Don't do drugs on Sundays," "Don't drink alcohol on Sundays," "Don't lie on Sundays," "Don't watch movies that have swearing in them on Sundays," "Don't play with friends on Sundays unless Mom says it's okay." They also came up with games to play and talked about what we SHOULD do on Sundays: "Go to church," "Listen," "Be nice," "Say a prayer," "Read." I love these kids. They seriously have it together! I often think how valiant and prepared these kids are for what is upon us now, and what is to come. They have a lot to teach us!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Carving

Saturday night, after Black Island Farms, I made dinner and Josh took the kids outside to the deck to carve pumpkins. The kids had a blast. I made hot chocolate for everyone and that's how we ended the night!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Black Island Farms

On Saturday, we took the kids to Black Island Farms. It was our first time there. It is a lot of fun! They take you on a fun hay ride out to their pumpkin patch. Then we all got to pick a pumpkin. It was seriously SO much fun! I loved picking out my own pumpkins. Most of the parents were helping their kids pick the best pumpkin, but not this mom!! I was out for myself. No, seriously. I went running and found my pumpkin. The kids were left to fend for themselves. Mother of the year, I know.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Boo'ed!

On Friday night, I pulled out the Christensen Recipe Book and baked some yummies. Josh found some cute little papers to put with the yummies, then piled up the kiddos to teach them the SUPER important life skill of doorbell ditching. We started a new tradition of boo-ing the neighbors for Halloween and the kids LOVED it!!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

On the Go

Last night after dinner, the kids played and played outside. The weather is starting to change. My kids play outside year-round, but the scooters, roller skates, and bikes usually have to take a little break. Pretty soon these kiddos aren't even going to want to play on bikes and scooters anymore. I'm just soaking this all in.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

First Times

Last night, Kaydon, Braxton, and Jackson went to do baptisms at the Ogden Temple. It was Kaydon's first time. I took Kaydon to get his recommend on Tuesday night. He was SO nervous, but he came out and said, "I PASSED!" So cute. Braxton and Jackson didn't want to go. They were tired and worn out and grumpy. I forced them. I don't force my children to do very many things. But, I actually used the word "force" with them. Then, Josh stepped in, told them to get their dress clothes on pronto and drove them to the church. I told them I loved them, even though they were mad and not looking at me. I also told them that they wouldn't regret it. I knew they wouldn't regret it. I knew that their excuse that "I'll just go next time," wasn't good enough. I knew that they needed to go last night. They were all SO glad they went. Kaydon said to me, "Mom, it was amazing. It was so amazing." I knew it would be. I knew it! Jackson and Braxton were all smiles when they got home. They needed to be there. I know that we always need to respect agency, but last night I put my foot down... and it worked out okay.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Happily Ever After

**The following post is personal and talks of my mistakes. This is my journal, though, and so I am documenting it, along with the feelings I have today.**Good morning World. I have been carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders for the past few years. In so doing, I decided that I should stop wearing my sacred garments. I have not worn my garments for three years. I have also not been to the temple for 8 years, or so. I didn't take the Sacrament for a long time. Well, last night I went to talk to our amazing bishop. We call this "taking advantage of the Atonement of our Savior." I took advantage of the Atonement of my Savior last night. I began a process of repentance, of education, of humility, of doing better every single day. Before I left, he told me to go home and put my garments on. I sobbed. You know, when I took my endowments out, at 18 years old, I thought that garments were THE most uncomfortable things ever. It isn't until you can't/don't wear them that you understand the protection that the garment provides. I am literally clothed today, for the first time in a long time. I feel like I am on a spiritual high of epic proportions. Literally. There is no mortal, temporal thing/experience that could make me feel like I do today. I will be meeting with my bishop often, as I continue my process of repentance. I assured him that I am willing to do whatever is necessary. I want to return to the temple. I want to re-commit to the covenants I have made. I want to feel the spiritual high that only the temple can provide to us. I love the following talk by President Uchtdorf. I feel like a princess today!
President Uchtdorf gave a talk which I love titled, Your Happily Ever After. “Once upon a time” promises something: a story of adventure and romance, a story of princesses and princes. It may include tales of courage, hope, and everlasting love. In many of these stories, nice overcomes mean and good overcomes evil. But perhaps most of all, I love it when we turn to the last page and our eyes reach the final lines and we see the enchanting words “And they lived happily ever after.” "Isn’t that what we all desire: to be the heroes and heroines of our own stories; to triumph over adversity; to experience life in all its beauty; and, in the end, to live happily ever after? “You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father, prepared to come to the earth at this particular time for a sacred and glorious purpose.” Sisters, those words are true! They are not made up in a fairy tale! Isn’t it remarkable to know that our eternal Heavenly Father knows you, hears you, watches over you, and loves you with an infinite love? In fact, His love for you is so great that He has granted you this earthly life as a precious gift of “once upon a time,” complete with your own true story of adventure, trial, and opportunities for greatness, nobility, courage, and love. And, most glorious of all, He offers you a gift beyond price and comprehension. Heavenly Father offers to you the greatest gift of all—eternal life—and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own “happily ever after.” Sisters, we love you. We pray for you. Be strong and of good courage. You are truly royal spirit daughters of Almighty God. You are princesses, destined to become queens. Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your “once upon a time” is now.
In other news, this is my real-life princess, Miss Elsa. Sis has her Halloween party today since she goes off track tomorrow. Oh, how I love this beauty. I want her to ALWAYS know of her worth, of her potential, of her divine nature, and to never, ever make the mistakes that I have made. She is too valuable, too important, too perfect.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hard Times

Sweet Colton is having an epic hard time right now. Epic. Two weeks ago, he apparently wore a medical boot to school. He told everyone he had a sprained ankle. When it came time for recess, he was healed! When kids questioned why he was lying, he said, "My mom gives me shots and now I'm better!" #1: I don't give my kids shots. #2: There was never a sprained ankle. A couple of days after that, he was bit by a dog. Stitches come out on Thursday. Last week, he asked his teacher if he could use the bathroom. She allowed him to do that. Thirty minutes later, everyone was looking for him. He was just roaming around the halls, peaking his head in every classroom, asking what everyone was doing! Oh, and he went to the principal's office, telling him he doesn't eat breakfast or lunch and he was hungry. The principal got him a roll, then walked him back to class. #1: The kid eats breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 15 snacks in between. #2: The principal is awesome sauce, seriously. Yesterday, I received a phone call... okay several phone calls for the principal, assistant principal, school psychologist, and counselor. Colton was caught on surveillance video stealing a scooter after school. Apparently, he rode it to the ditch, then realized Mom and Dad would be mad, so he dumped it in the ditch and walked the rest of the way home. The parents filed a police report. I sent a $75 check to school today to re-pay the family for the scooter that was not in the ditch the next morning when Colton went looking for it. When I asked Colton why he would do that, he said, "Well, I didn't want to walk home. I put it in the ditch so I could give it back the next day! Am I in trouble?" Ugh. #1: Yup, you're in serious trouble, Kid. #2: Scooters are expensive. #3: It took him a while to grasp what had happened, what the consequences were, and how everyone was being affected by this. The ruling: Colton has ADHD, and it's severe, but we all believe that we are missing another diagnosis. Colton will be seeing a new pediatrician, one closer to our house, on Monday. We will also be getting a referral to a psychologist outside of school for treatment. At school, Colton will be attending groups that will teach him social skills, including how to make and keep friends, telling the truth, not stealing, being respectful, etc. The school psychologist will also be evaluating him and piggy-backing on the independent psychologist's treatment plans. Colton will be working within the special ed area for some resources. This is per his IEP. Colton will be taking his morning meds at school. There are days that he forgets to take them at home. It was explained to me that he is physically unable to remember on some days. It is not even an option to not have that medicine in the mornings. We will be working to train his brain to remember, but until then, they will be giving him his meds. #1: I am SO grateful that we finally have a TEAM to work with. The principal, and everyone else, are amazing!! They are dedicated, kind, supportive, and communicative. Willow Canyon did nothing. #2: Colton is loved. There are a lot of people on this team who have his best interest in mind. #3: We believe that Colton can function at a high level. We believe that he can, and will, succeed in whatever he does. #4: We got this. He will be working very hard to earn the money that we have paid to the young boy whose scooter was stolen. Josh has set him up on a routine after school each day. Oh, how grateful I am for Josh. Within minutes of the first phone call, Josh had emailed the principal, giving him all of his contact information and letting him know that he was his dad and would do whatever we need to do. Josh is SO involved. So, so involved. Especially with school. The kids know that they go to him for school stuff. He is at their parent/teacher conferences, the teachers know who he is, and the kids are well aware that every single night when he gets home, he asks about their school work. Speaking of school work, a couple of weekends ago, they had a math morning on a Saturday. I HATE math, like with a passion. Josh found a game on the computer that is helping Kaydon with his math... and Kaydon loves the thing!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pure Talent

Last night at the football game, it was time for us to leave because it was a school night. It was halftime, and I was pretty sure that Layton was going to lose (because we've been really good at losing this year!). Jackson stopped me and, in no uncertain terms, informed me that he was watching the halftime show until it was over. Halftime show = dancers. I laughed and kept walking. He again, in no uncertain terms, informed me that he was watching pure talent. Uh huh. Whatever!
In other news, when I went to Mom's and Muffins on Tuesday, Kaydon showed me a certificate that recognizes him on the wall by the office. I had to get a picture! We are so proud of that KK!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lunch Date

I got to have lunch with B. Beck and the girlies today! Oh, these girls are getting so big and so beautiful! Janie is in kindergarten and loves it! Lilly is three now, going on about 28! She is a crack up! She wanted me to read her books and I was SO happy to do that! Of course, B. Beck made an amazing lunch. She is pretty much amazing at everything she does! Lilly reminded me that Heavenly Father loves me. She was just what I needed!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Time For a Picnic

Monday was a lovely day and chili dogs were on the menu. So, what better way to enjoy it than to have a picnic?! The kids seriously think it's super cool when I lay out a blanket for them to have a picnic! Last night they asked if we could do it again. I had gone grocery shopping on my way home from work and I was all tuckered out. No picnic last night, but hopefully we can fit a few more in before Fall really hits!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mom's and Muffins

This morning, I attended Mom's and Muffins at West Point Elementary with Kaydon and Colton. It's my first time ever attending one of these. Jackson is in ninth grade. Braxton is in seventh grade. Kaydon is in sixth grade. Colton is in fifth grade. And, I've never attended one. I've always had to work. This morning, I told my boss I was going to be late and I went. Tears came to my eyes as I realized that for all of these years, my boys have been there alone, without a mom. By themselves. Did anyone invite them to sit with them? Did another mom give them a hug, or a pat on the head? Did they just go sit in the bathroom or their classroom so that they didn't have to be "alone?" I am fully aware that being a full-time mom is hard work. It's exhausting and trying. But, oh how I envy those moms who are able to participate in daily events with their children. Many, many of these moms left the mom's and muffins that they attend every single year and went back home to be a homemaker, to run errands, to organize and cook and clean. I came to work. How grateful I am that for 45 minutes this morning, my boys were not alone. They had their mom there. We sat together, toured their school, said "hi" to their new friends, and laughed together. Today, they had their mom there with them.

Monday, October 6, 2014

BIte Me!

Sweet Colton, while trying to be a good friend, was attacked by a neighborhood dog on Thursday. These pictures really don't do it justice. This was after he was cleaned up, just preparing for stitches. A dog across the street, who is not fenced in, or tied up, had knocked over the seven year old girl, who lives there. Colton saw it happen and saw the dog on top of her and took off running across the street to protect her. The dog turned on Colton. Thankfully, Colton was able to stay on his feet. The dog punctured him twice, and a third superficial wound didn't need to be stitched up.
This is what I learned: PLEASE report any dog attacks, even if medical care is not necessary. PLEASE tie your dog up, or have it in a fenced yard. Please. The dog is currently under a 10-day quarantine, at it's residence. After the 10 days is up, decisions will be made by the Animal Control Office. It was brought to our attention by other neighbors that this dog has attacked at least 10 people just this year. However, it is not clear whether any of those were reported. We don't want anything bad to happen to this dog. I'm sure it's a good dog, but we certainly don't want this to happen to anyone else.
Colton will get his stitches removed in two weeks. In the meantime, no tackle football, or riding his bike, or doing those fun things that he loves to do. This makes things a bit rough for a kiddo with severe ADHD. He needs to have ways to get that energy out. So, we are being creative! So grateful is he fine! And SO grateful for amazing neighbors who are willing to drive him to school until he is better.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Be Brave

Last night, I went to Enrichment Night in our ward. That, in and of itself, is a miracle. I don't do Relief Society. I definitely do NOT do Enrichment Night!! But, my sweet friend, Heidi, in the ward told me I was required to go because she was making chicken noodle soup. Even at 6:25 last night, I was still trying to figure out how to get out of it. I hate big crowds, especially when I don't know very many people. I'm just very uncomfortable in those situations. I didn't get home from work until 6:15 and Josh wasn't going to be home for another hour with Jackson. I hurried and made tacos, got the garbage out to the street, and gained the courage to go. I walked in and didn't recognize anyone. I sat down at a table by myself. Heidi saw me and came and sat with me for a quick minute, since she was cooking. But, pretty soon the table filled up with really great sisters. The program was EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED. The topic was "Be Brave." The speaker was amazing. She spoke at my level. She spoke about women being warriors, and putting the armor of God on. So often, we hear that young men need to do that. But last night, we heard that women need to do that. She quoted parts of the General Women's Meeting that took place last Saturday. She read scriptures, and said that Satan knows that women are Heavenly Father's secret weapon. She said that is the reason why Satan hates us, and why he does everything he can to tear us down. She reminded us that fear is the opposite of faith, and that it restrict blessings from getting to us. In President Uchdorf's talk on Saturday, he spoke about how (symbolically) blessings rain down from the sky constantly. It is a continual downpour. We, however, have umbrellas out. These umbrellas are sin, fear, and doubt. Those three things prevent the blessings from reaching us. The speaker told us to take our stinking umbrellas down!! Let the blessings pour over us! It was emotional and funny and perfect. It was everything I needed. Dinner was great, too. I left there feeling so uplifted, and eager to be more brave.
In other news, at 5:50 this morning, I walked into the kitchen to grab my meds and head to work. Mr. Jackson was in there getting some breakfast. SO handsome he is! He even let me take a picture of him, which means he was feeling pretty good about himself too! It's homecoming week at Layton. Sophomores play tonight and varsity plays tomorrow night. With any amount of luck, we might actually win a game tomorrow night! I can't wait to see my cute girls' in their homecoming dresses! I love my wrestling boys' sisters who pretty much think I'm their second mom! Jackson will be going to the dance next year! I can't believe it's such a big boy!