My Family

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Autism In Our Home - Diagnosis Disagreement

Wednesday morning was our big IEP meeting at the school. There were a lot of people there, including Mr. P (the principal), the assistant principal, his teacher, the resource teacher, the school psychologist, the speech therapist, the district Autism specialist, Josh and I, Ryan, and notes from Colton's outside psychologist.

The first thing that they did was go over all of the results of ALL of the testing. There has been testing that has taken place over the entire school year. All of those results were read aloud on Wednesday. That's some tough stuff to hear. Here is the confusion: the outside psychologist believes that Colton's main disability is Autism, with ADHD and Anxiety. The school/district staff believe that his main disability is a mixture of Autism, ADHD, Anxiety and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The reality is that the medication will not change, and really the resources that he is given in the school will also not change. The frustration is that these tests are done in such a structured environment that I feel that they are not always going to be accurate. Either way, Colton has a disability and it is defined in legal paperwork. His IEP will address those things that adversely effect his education. The medication that he is on helps him to function to the best of his ability.

May I just once again say that church is SO HARD?!?! Please tell me that someone understands! Sacrament Meeting is a battle of keeping his legs and arms out of the air, keeping his noises to a minimum, keeping him occupied, keeping him from screeching when a baby or a small child screams out, keeping him from shouting out random words, keeping him from throwing things, etc. It's exhausting. Yesterday, it took us until there was ten minutes left to get him comfortable. As hard as it is on Josh and I, and on his siblings, I cannot imagine what it is like for Colton and that is heartbreaking.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

More Soccer

Sis is still in the midst of the soccer season. She scored two goals and played some great defense!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Risk - Take Two

Josh and the kids, in their bathrobes and beanies, played round two of Risk. I made cookies and popcorn and colored.
In other news, these two are so cute. I hope that they never, ever change. He is her safety and he loves it!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Under the Lights

Josh is now officiating baseball games at night. So, he works like 15-16 hour days. I LOVE this job of his. With wrestling season over and football season not yet here, baseball is PERFECT. As you know, it's dream for me to just sit at the ballpark and just watch. It's fun to have him as umpire because rather than cheering for a team or a player, I am just cheering for good plays.

I am so thankful for a great husband, who works so darn hard. I LOVE watching him involved in sports in whatever way. It's super hot! ;)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Sunday, after church Josh and I laid down for a little sleep. Three and a half hours later, Josh came down to join us for dinner.

After dinner, the boys wanted to have game night. They LOVE game night with Dad. They played Risk. It was the first time Jackson and Braxton had ever played. The game went on for almost four hours! It was intense and at times hilarious! I consider Risk to be a family-destroyer! In the end, everyone came out okay. Good memories and fun family times!

Monday, April 20, 2015

I Went To See The Temple

There is a song in our church that goes, "I want to see the temple; I'm going there someday; to feel the Holy Spirit, to listen and to pray." I have changed the words to fit me. They go like this, "I went to see the temple; I've been waiting for this day; to feel the Holy Spirit, to listen and to pray."

On Saturday, my parents went with me to the Ogden Temple. I haven't been to the Temple in like nine years. It was amazing. It was spiritual beyond words. I didn't take one minute for granted. The Temple, itself, is beautiful. The artwork is amazing. The Spirit was strong and I felt peace and comfort and gratitude for the Atonement of our Savior.

I can't wait to go back. I can't wait to go with my boys to do baptisms. I can't wait for the day when my husband decides he is ready to do the same!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

CDJH Wrestling Banquet

Tuesday night, we had the Central Davis Wrestling Banquet. Almost all 67 of Josh's wrestlers were there, along with the team managers, parents and some siblings. It was a great event. The food was amazing - catered by the Dutch Shoppe. Delicious! Josh recognized every single wrestlers. All of the boys were given two team pictures. The ninth graders were given a hoodie, with Central Davis on the front and the team motto on the back. Then, Josh gave out two awards that will be annual tradition. The Coach's Award is for the most improved wrestler. Matt Stone took this one home. I love that boy! Then, Josh had a plaque made for the former wrestling coach who coached for about 20 years. The MVP award is now named after him - The Johnson MVP Award. Coach Johnson was there and it was a bit emotional! Sam Tholen took home that award this year. I also love that boy!! I can't wait for next year's season!!

FHE - Attitude - By Jackson

I have been listening to General Conference talks on my way to work each morning. It's a blessed way to start the day, for sure! I had an impression last week that we NEED to do family home evening. We Brooklyn every Monday. We are outside of the formal wrestling and football seasons. Therefore, I thought that was the perfect time to re-establish a family home evening each week. Jackson was in charge on Monday. He chose to speak about attitude. He had Brooklyn/Colton and Kaydon/Braxton do scenerios where they have a good attitude and where they have a bad attitude. He then read a story from the Friend. At the end, he bore his testimony of the Savior. It was short. It was chaotic. It was loud. But, it was family home evening. If we try, we will be blessed. I know that our family will be blessed if we are TRYING to do all of the things Heavenly Father has asked us to do. I am so eternally grateful for my family. I am blessed beyond measure. I have a husband and children who believe that they are children of God, who believe in our Savior, and who are TRYING.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Autism In Our Home - Church

Church has become THE hardest part of our week. For some reason, Colton struggles enormously at church. I was not feeling well yesterday morning and almost didn't go to church. When we got to church, Josh looked at Colton and told him to get up because they were heading to the bathroom. Colton had simply put his church clothes on OVER his pajamas (which were showing from under his church pants). Awesome. He had no idea why that was a problem. So, they went and got the pajamas off and put church clothes back on. Josh took the pajamas out to the car, came back to the chapel and asked where Colton was. Colton had never come back to the chapel. Off Josh went again to find the missing child. Awesome. Once back in the chapel, Colton began to struggle very loudly. I gave Josh "the look." Josh moved Colton to the other side of him and gave him some sensory tools. All was under control for the remainder of Sacrament meeting. I was, once again, so grateful for a husband who rescues me when I am sinking. Colton got up and bore his testimony. We never quite know how that is going to go. :) He did great. Just because church is hard doesn't mean we don't go. It doesn't mean we don't try with everything we have. It doesn't mean that we give up. It means that we keep on trying, we trade off, we pray, we practice patience, we cry, we laugh, we smile, we take a deep breath. Giving up is not an option. We just keep trying.
On another note, the above picture is what Jackson drew during Sacrament meeting. It's Uncle. The end.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Crafty Hubby

Saturday, Josh took Braxton to the store to buy some beads. They were gone for quite some time. When they came home, I found myself locked out of the basement. Josh actually used his kids as reinforcements. They each had a role to play in keeping me out of the basement. Mommy no-likey!!! In the end it was worth it. Josh made me this awesome chandelier! He came up with it in his mind and made it for me. I LOVE it. The pictures just don't do it justice!
Josh is raising another crafty kid. Braxton has found a great new hobby. He loves making these bracelets. This is the one he made for me. He has also figured out how to make some pretty awesome-sauce belts. More to come on those!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Little Light Reading

Saturday morning was a bit chaotic. We had to get the boys to Centerville by 10 and Brooklyn to Layton by 10:30. I took the boys and Josh took the girl. This is Brooklyn just prior to leaving for her soccer game. She loves wearing her fake glasses and pretending to read really grown-up books. Here, she is reading, "One Nation." She decided within about 2.8 seconds that she would much rather Jackson read, "I ate a bug." And, he did.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Another Open Letter to Another Girl

This is becoming a theme that I would rather not continue. Mama Bear writes again. Dear Different Girl - Regarding Different Son: First, I need to take some responsibility here. I actually encouraged this son to just "ask you out." NEVER AGAIN. What was I thinking? Ninth graders and eighth graders DO NOT need to "go out." Please see an older post that was directed toward another girl, regarding another son. This is like an epidemic! Or, maybe I just have a lot of kids so it just seems like an epidemic. Anywho, you're kids. I know that in this world you might not feel like "kids." Maybe you feel grown-up. You're not. An eighth grader isn't much different than a seventh grader (see other post), and therefore I would like to suggest doing eighth grader things like watching "Lizzy McGuire," or making crafts like elastic bracelets, or painting your nails. Heck, get your mom to sign a waiver so you can go tanning! But, boys just shouldn't be like a big priority for you right now. Similarly, my son has been told that girls should not be a priority for him, or his younger brothers. I might have also added in that conversation that girls are a bit crazy. I don't mean you are crazy... just girls in general are a little crazy. I am a girl and I am fully aware that I am crazy.
I would also like to discuss the issue of how people act after a break-up. For instance, your friends are giving him dirty looks and are ignoring him. Not cool. Let's all try to get along. Your friends were his friends. His friends are your friends. Boys don't tend to do the dirty looks/ignoring game. Way to go male chromosomes! It's not okay for kids to be mean to other kids. Just because y'all aren't going to be "going out" doesn't mean y'all can't just be friends. It also doesn't mean that the friends of each of you can't still be friends with each of you. I hope that makes sense. Finally, life is hard enough. Throwing in extra hard stuff is simply not necessary. Be happy. Be happy with yourself. Spend your time doing what makes you happy and having friends that are also working on being happy with themselves. When we fully realize that we are God's children and that He loves us perfectly, we tend to radiate that. It's a pretty simple concept. Be kind. Be smart. And, I really love my kid. This picture is of me and him, because those are the kinds of pictures I post when I am writing these open letters. He's a great kid. You're a great kid. Just be kids for crying out loud.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Flying High

On Monday, Colton asked me if he could fly his new kite that he got for Easter. I got it ready for him and we went out to the front yard. I LOVE these pictures. Can you see the joy in that kid's face?!?! I love how he is looking at the underneath of the kite. Why don't we ALL do that?! The picture is always on the underneath! He flew that thing around for a good 2 1/2 minutes, and then he became frustrated with the way the wind was blowing it around and how he didn't have control over it. When Kaydon heard his shrieks of frustration (the whole neighborhood can hear when he shrieks!) he came out front and flew it around for Colton so that Colton could just enjoy it! Colton was in pure bliss. He watched that thing soar through the sky and expressed his happiness in his most awesome way! Moments like this seem rare. Autism is challenging for the one who has it, but also for the siblings who try so hard to understand and support. I was so thankful that Kaydon came out and flew BumbleBee around for Colton for a good 20 minutes so that he could just enjoy it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter 2015

Easter Sunday was great. The kids opened their Easter bags, then they had balloon wars for quite.some.time. Then, they gathered up their Conference packets and we headed downstairs to watch General Conference. I love General Conference. I love being able to see and listen to President Monson. I love the talks that are given, the songs that are sung, and the Spirit that I feel. I love the reminders that we are all given. I love that we go to church in our jammies, too. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Antelope Island

On Saturday, we took the kids around the block to Antelope Island. It is beautiful. It is quiet. It is so easy to access. We hiked a very small trail, found a couple of other trails that we would like to hike in the future, took pictures of the bison, and let the kids play in the dirt. It was perfect!