My Family

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

Monday, August 31, 2015

One of The Best Days Yet

Yesterday was one of the best days so far. My husband stood in a circle with the most important men in my life (except Logan and Skip). He ordained Jackson to the office of a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was beautiful. Jackson then stood in that same circle as my dad ordained Braxton to the office of a Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Finally, Colton sat in the same chair as Josh laid his hands on his head to bestow upon him the Aaronic Priesthood and ordain him to the office of a Deacon.

My dad, my mom's husband, my sweet Grandpa Nef, my brother (Brandon), Bishop Cottle, Brother Nebeker (YM President), and Brother Laws all stood in that circle. They are all honorable Priesthood holders. They have, and will continue to, have a great influence on my boys' lives. The Spirit was strong. The words were beautiful. The feeling was of immense gratitude and humility.

The journey on this Earth so far has been full of trials and struggles. My boys have strength like nothing I've ever seen. My boys have courage like nothing I've ever seen. My boys have hope like nothing I've ever seen. My boys are valiant and stalwart. My boys are compassionate and empathetic. My boys are kind and forgiving. None of these attributes are because of me. Rather, they are because of our Heavenly Father who knows us and loves us. They are due to the people who have been along our path all the way. They are because of the struggles that we have been through, and the ability that our Savior has given us to overcome and keep pushing forward.

Last night, I had a long talk with Jackson. He asked me to pray with him. There is no better mommy moment than when our children ask me to pray with them. I know that they have faith that those prayers are heard and answered. I know that they have faith that they are known. I know that they have faith that their mom has faith. I prayed, as I always do, that our Father would hold him in the hollow of His hands.

I am grateful for the Gospel and for the knowledge that we are not just here, in this crazy world to struggle, to face sadness, to face fear, to face anger, and to fail for no reason at all. I am grateful for my knowledge that there is a plan. There is a reason for all of this. There is a next step after this life. I am grateful for prayers. I am grateful for the Priesthood. I have five Priesthood holders in my home now. What a gift! What a blessing!

I am so grateful.

Friday, August 28, 2015

And That Makes 14

This handsome boy turns 14 today! He is a really great kid! He LOVES to help Josh and I with whatever we are doing. He is happiest when with Josh. He is a great handyman, a great friend, a good brother, and a loving son. He is feisty, and can get upset when he doesn't find his center, but he loves his family fiercely and defends what he believes in with courage. Happy birthday to my little Peanut!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Apple Picking

Last night, we went to Uncle Brandon and Aunt Carrie's house. They have an apple tree that is VERY productive. ;) We picked and picked and picked. Colton's job was to pick up all of the apples that fell on the ground and he did a great job! I will be canning applesauce and apple pie filling for the next week and I can't think of anything better!

I am so grateful for the fruits and veges that have been sent our way. They are feeding my family and it's a huge blessing. Our own peach tree is trying really hard to get those peaches ripe. I will be slicing and freezing them as they come. I love to stick them in my lunches everyday to eat. They are delicious and healthy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The BIG 16

This feller of mine turns 16 tomorrow! 16!!! This boy has been through more in 16 years than most people will go through in a lifetime. Yet, he is kind, funny, smart, quick-witted, friendly, helpful, and adventurous. He is tall and handsome.
This boy is going to go places, I tell you. He is a sophomore at Layton High this year. He will be driving by himself before we know it. I love him so much!!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Boys' First Day of 2015-16

Jackson started tenth grade at Layton High.
Kaydon started seventh grade at West Point Junior.
Braxton started eighth grade at West Point Junior.
Colton started sixth grade at West Point Elementary.

Mommy started crying as soon as I dropped the last one off.

The end.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mommy Martha Haircuts

Mommy Martha cut hair on Monday night. We were there for quite some time because we have a lot of kids! Even daddy got in on the action and got the middle of his goatee bleached. The kids thought that was hilarious!

I am so grateful for Martha. She is a good second mommy to my kiddos. They love her and they know that she loves them!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Back to School Dinner & Theme

We had our back to school dinner last night. Brooklyn started school last Monday and the boys all start next Monday. Josh grilled steaks and I made rice pilaf, green salad, and corn bread. Dessert was our favorite - Christensen Diabetes. It's an ice cream sandwich dessert that is amazing!

Our theme comes from Elder Boyd K. Packer. It is: "If you stumble, rise up, go on." I read from the talk that Elder Packer gave. It talks about keeping your body and your mind clean. It also talks about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and how because of that we can always rise up and go on.

I explained to our kids that we are not on Earth to be perfect. We are here to make mistakes. Stumbling is okay - as long as we get back up and go on in the right direction. I told them that they are going to have times during this school year when they stumble. I told them that there will be bad days. I told them that they will struggle, but that because of the Atonement, they can get back up and move forward.

This year, we will have a tenth grader, eighth grader, seventh grader, sixth grader, and first grader. I am beyond grateful to be their mother. I am so proud of them and the choices they have made thus far. I am also eternally grateful for Josh, who by all accounts is the greatest patriarch our family could have. His focus is always on those kids.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Kaydon Turns 13!!

Kaydon turns 13 today! This boys, as I've said before, is a miracle. So many operations, so many hospital stays, so much home-health and therapy. He is strong and feisty. He loves science and history. He loves, loves, loves movies. He loves Legos. He loves animals. He is still a mama's boy. Not a day goes by that he does not say, "Mom, you're so beautiful!"

This morning, I emailed his gastroenterologist, Dr. Mizell. I sent him a picture of Kaydon, who is strong and healthy. I thanked him for his tireless efforts on Kaydon's behalf. I thanked him for the mornings he would come in to our hospital room and tell me to go take a break, to go eat. I would come back to the room and find Dr. Mizell rocking Kaydon and talking to him softly. This man saved Kaydon's life, and comforted me in the process.

Kaydon starts 7th grade in a week and I can't wait to see what he can accomplish!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

This Boy

This boy has our hearts. Gus is calm, obedient, smart, and loving. He is a mama's boy through and through and I kind of love it! When he sees daddy, it is a barking war, a tickle war, a tug-of-war or just rough-housing and he knows it! He loves the kids! And, they love him so much. This was a good decision for our family. We needed Gus and he needed us.

Brooklyn met him on Monday and he had her laughing so hard that it was a rolling, loud laugh from her. She is in bliss. In between trying to catch her breath from laughing, she would say, "Gus, I love you so much Gus Gus." It melted my heart.

Around 7:30 every night, he knows it's calm-down time. He comes into our room and waits for someone to get him up onto our bed. Then he lays there, chews on his bone and falls asleep. Daddy puts him to bed and the night is over. It's heaven.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Gus Christensen

Meet Gus Christensen. Gus Gus. Gusolopolaus. GUS!!
Gus is a Maltese / Russell Terrier mix. He was born January 21. He is a daddy's boy so far (not even 24 hours old). Welcome Gus Gus.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Colton is 12

I am so sad that this is the only picture I got of the amazing birthday cake that Martha made for Colton! By the time I realized it was a blurry mess, it was half gone! Martha is so great! She made Colton the yummiest, cutest birthday cake EVER! I am so thankful that she loves my boy!
Colton is 12 years old today! Apparently this morning, he called everyone he knew to remind them that it is his birthday! Awesome. That's one of the many things I love about Autism! He felt like everyone should be wide awake, celebrating with him!

We are so thankful to have this little guy in our family. His life is full of adventure, love, and light. He lives in a happy world where everyone is full of goodness and love. Happy birthday, Boogie!