My Family

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




Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Blanket and Some Legoes

As promised:

Last night when I got home from work, I saw Colton and some neighbor kids outside our front door on the grass. As always, he began to squeal with delight and yell, "Mama!" That is one of the gifts of autism... my 13 year old may never stop being excited to see his mama, with no shame in expressing it!

As I got closer, I noticed that he had pulled one of our blankets out to the grass along with the Legoes Uncle Ernie got him. He had then invited kids (his own age!!!!) to come sit on the blanket and play with him. AND THEY DID.


Do any of them look unhappy to you? Me either.

Last night, it was Autism, humanity, humility, and gratitude for the win.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Time

On days when I am not working at my part-time job, I head home from my full-time job around 5. When I arrive, I immediately go to the kitchen - pick up what dishes are in the sink, make dinner, set the table, feed my children, vacuum, sweep, or start laundry, talk to my children about what homework they have and what projects are upcoming so that I can make sure they have what they need for them... Then I clean up dinner, finish the dishes, run whatever errands are needed that night, get the boys to take garbage out, get the boys to clean up, set their clothes out for the next day, have Colton take his nighttime pills and get in the shower. Then I get myself ready for bed and close my eyes.

Last night, as I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready and dishes loaded and the floor swept I looked up to realize that all of my boys were at the table with their electronic devices. Usually I would get really upset with them for that, but I took a second last night and realized how blessed I am. I hadn't called them to the table for dinner yet. But they were all sitting there, in our tiny kitchen, close to me. All of my boys. No one was talking to each other and I didn't care. They were there.


On days when I work both jobs, I go right from the FT job to the PT job and don't get home until 11. I am so thankful for the nights when I do have time with them. My boys are awesome sauce.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Seminary Peer Tutor

I got this text from Jackson this morning. He told me that he is a peer tutor in Seminary now... and that he only cried a couple of times. He said that they are just so sweet, and it's in Seminary. Good golly, I love my boys. Seriously.


Saturday was just one of those days for me. I cried - out loud, ugly sobbing - for a few hours. It was emotionally and mentally and physically exhausting. Then, I put on my big girl pants and told Heavenly Father that I was all done crying. Before I went to work on Sunday night, I took a four hour nap. Then, I was all better again. Until the next time I need to cry for hours.



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Braxton is 15!

Oh this Peanut!
Braxton was THE easiest baby. He was happy all the time. He loved, loved, loved his upside down binkie and his blankie that he carried around like Liunus. I used to squeeze his cheeks until they were red because I just wanted to eat him up. He has grown into quite the young man. He is so easy to love - and the girls do! He is creative, inventive, and sensitive.

He is SO excited to get his permit. I'm concerned about what the heck I'm going to do for car insurance!!!!

I love you, Peanut. Happy, happy birthday!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Winner Winner!!

Wednesday was our annual City picnic for all employees. My guys were in charge of the games. We had blindfolded golf cart racing, lawn mower racing, volleyball, horseshoes, and a pitching wedge hole-in-one contest. My guys are so awesome, so creative, and are always up for a challenge! I was in charge of the pitching wedge contest, along with one of my guys. The closest pitch was 22 inches from the hole. The picnic was winding down, so as I was cleaning up, my guy (Colten) started pitching all of the balls up to the hole. As he was shagging his balls, I decided to take a shot. TWO INCHES from the hole! The look on Colten's face was priceless. I started screaming my boss's name from across the entire park. Of course, he looked over at me like, "What is Ray doing now??" When he got there and Colten had the tape measure up, he was like, "Give me your camera Ray!"

I was jumping up and down, screaming, clapping, and standing there in complete shock. I was a winner!!!!!

The best part is how happy my guys are for me. Everyone had to come up and look. They are oh, so good to me!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Jackson is 17!

My first born, my first love, my first little buddy... My Jackson is 17 today. 17. Are you kidding me?!

This boy is wise beyond his years, probably because he has had to adult way more than any kid should ever have to. He is sensitive, hard-working, driven, and makes friends so easily. He is up for trying anything. He is kind and always cares about the people around him.

I cannot believe he is a junior in high school. I am so blessed to be his mama. Happy, happy birthday Bubba!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

First Day of School 2016-17

The boys started school yesterday! Uncle Brandon came over Tuesday night to give the boys Priesthood blessings before they began the school year. I was so thankful for that moment. I am so thankful that Uncle Brandon and Aunt Carrie have good relationships with my boys.

Jackson started 11th grade at Layton High School.

Braxton started 9th grade at Fairfield Junior High School.

Kaydon started 8th grade at Fairfield Junior High School.

Colton started 7th grade at Fairfield Junior High School.
This year, I am able to drop the three youngest off in the morning. We load up in the Matchbox and head to school. Braxton and Kaydon get Colton to his classroom, then head to their locker and to their classes. Jackson picks them up in the afternoon, unless he's working. I haven't figured out a plan yet for when he is working.

I was so happy to hear that Braxton and Kaydon ate lunch together yesterday. Colton has a different lunch. But he told me that he was by himself and sweet Lia Katoa (who is in our ward) came up to him and asked if he was lonely. Then, she sat and ate with him. Pretty soon, the other girls in the ward joined them.

Blessed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Back to School Feast 2016-17

Monday night was our annual back to school feast. I pulled out our best china (the only dishes we own) and even laid down a table cloth that I got from Kohls for $1.25! I had both crockpots going all day with a delicious chicken recipe (thanks to Miss T), red potatoes, carrots, garlic-cheese biscuits, and of course sparkling cider. We prayed and then I introduced our family theme for the school year:
"Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven who loves you more than you can comprehend." This is quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (my absolute favorite!)
I knew, after praying for guidance, that our family's theme needed to be on faith. I found this quote and knew it was the one! I told my boys that no matter what they are faced with, if they will just remember that they are children of God and that He loves them, they can get through anything.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mr. Tool Man Jorgensen

We don't have a very big apartment, and I have a lot of children. For this reason, I'm all about finding organizing tricks to help us. I finally found just what I was looking for the hallway upstairs. It's a six-place cubby-type thinger. There are six places for cubby-type thingers. My thought is that each night, the boys will be their clothes for the next day in their cubby so that they are organized and not looking for stuff in the morning, yelling at each other. The other two cubbies are for extra school supplies that they can grab and take to school.

Braxton is my Mr. Tool Man. He puts things together, takes things apart, creates and recreates. He is super good at it, too. So, naturally I had him put it together. I'm so grateful for my boys' talents and qualities to get us through our every day!

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Surprise Visit

Miss T, who lives in Saratoga Springs!, surprised me on Thursday. She messaged me in the morning and asked if my family liked bottled fruit. I responded that we loved it. Then nothing until around noon, when she messaged me asking when my lunch was. She then told me not to leave because she would be at my office soon! Squeeeeeee! I was so excited to see her and her beauties.

When she got there, she had to run to the restroom. And my run, I mean sprint! I stood outside with her four beauties who were in the van. Miss T's youngest is Miss Victoria:
Seriously, People. Can you even stand the cuteness of her?! She loves to say, "cheeeeeeeeeeese." I wanted to keep her. Miss Jessica is all kinds of sass. I told her she was my best friend! Miss Anastasia is so grown up and calm. Mr. Seth is very serious, very courteous. and very handsome.

I was SO in love with having her come to see me. AND, she brought gifts. Bottled fruit, more 3D mascara and eye liner, ingredients for our special back-to-school-feast, taking place tonight, medicine for my sore back, and hugs.

Love. Love. Love.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Favorites

Miss Sarah bought me this cute little book a few months ago. It is a "blessings" book, or a gratitude book. It really IS amazing how many blessings you notice when you begin to count them. I write in this little book every single day. Some days, I am just grateful for life, for a roof over my head, for food in my kids' tummies, for shoes on their feet. Other days, I really cannot stop writing down the blessings that I have seen in my life. It makes hard days turn into good days and good days so much better!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Snow Cone Love

On Monday, Braxton, Kaydon, and I went to Uncle Brandon's after work. We got ourselves adjusted and then I decided that I had been a very big girl so I needed a snow cone! It was a super nice night and so we sat and ate some goodness for an hour or so. It's only the second snow cone I've had all summer which is absolutely NOT normal! Love me some snow cones!

Monday, August 15, 2016

An Unexpectedly Beautiful Weekend

Thursday, Josh texted me and told me that Brooklyn was really wanting to see the boys and I. I told him that we would love to have her. He told me that he was working on Saturday 5:30 am - 2:20 pm. I suggested that she sleep at our house and stay with us Saturday until he got off of work. He then asked me if I would also like to have the baby. I was a little caught off guard. I obviously haven't even seen the baby yet. I told him I would talk to my boys and get back with him. I spoke to each of my boys, individually. Everyone was okay with it. So, late Friday evening Josh brought Brooklyn (who was absolutely ecstatic to see us) and the baby. The baby sat in his baby carrier for a little bit while I allowed all of my emotions to process. I just looked at him. He is a beautiful baby. I took him out, changed his diaper, put him in his pajamas, then I held him. I allowed myself to cry. I allowed myself to feel. I allowed myself to forgive. I allowed myself to love.

Brooklyn crawled into bed with me and the baby (his name is Treyvan, but I call him Goober) slept next to me in a bassinet. I was up most of the night. He is a loud sleeper. When Kaydon heard him fussing at 5:30, he came in to see if he could help. I made a bottle to feed him and Brooklyn asked Kaydon to crawl into bed with her, so he did. The baby and I went downstairs to feed him and then we fell asleep on the couch. As the children woke up, they each took their own personal time with him as well. Both Braxton and Kaydon fed him. Jackson spent time tickling his arms and talking to him. The three of them tried to figure out how to change a diaper (it was the funniest thing I have ever seen!). We played outside, put Legos together, ate popsicles, and watched Baby Einstein. It was an unexpectedly beautiful day.

When Josh came to pick them up, Brooklyn cried and cried. I pulled her aside and told her that I would always be her mama and the boys would always be her brothers. She nodded and cried somemore. She told her dad that this was his fault and that she was very mad at him. He acknowledged it and told her he was so sorry and that he knew he messed up very, very badly. Then, off they went.

Our family of five then celebrated Kaydon's 14th birthday. Oh, my boys crack me up! They are so dang funny.

Oh, how I love my children. Oh, how I am so thankful for forgiveness and joy. Oh, how I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father who is very patient, who has a plan for us, who knows best, who loves us so very, very much.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

I'm Different

In a moment this morning where I was furiously texting, I had a thought. "I am different." I am not the same Heidi I was 30 years ago, 30 months ago, 30 days ago. I am different. I am not concerned with being in a relationship. At all. Ever again. I am different. I am independently raising my four boys, in a place of our own, with food and clothes and our basic needs. I am different. I am confident. I am confident in my budget. I am confident in my parenting. I am confident in my work ethic. I am confident in preparing food, doing housework, canning, and repairing minor things. I am different. I have a strong, abiding, solid testimony. I don't question if we are children of God. I don't question whether I should, or should not kneel and pray twice a day. I don't question whether I should read my scriptures every single night. I don't question whether I should pay my tithing and fast offerings. I don't question the blessings of the Sacrament and the Temple. I don't question that we have a living prophet. I don't question the power of the Priesthood, when the keys of it are held by honorable men. I am different.


Throughout my life, I have been outspoken at times. I have always lacked tact. But, something is different now. I have no qualms about speaking my mind, particularly when it is in defense of my children. They are my absolute priority. They are my everything. They are the reason I do everything I do. I am different.

I am so grateful that I am different. I am so grateful that I have finally allowed myself to be moldable. I am so grateful for the patience that Heavenly Father has with me. I am so grateful for those who love me, despite all of my imperfections. I am beyond blessed.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Kaydon is 14!

This boy of mine. Every year on his birthday, I send his gastroenterologist an email, thanking him for saving my boy's life all those years ago and telling him that Kaydon is thriving and growing and is just like other healthy 14 year old boys. I am so thankful to have my KK here with me and his brothers.
Kaydon is my sensitive introvert. He is not a fan of crowds, or most people in general. He loves one-on-one time, and often comes in bed to lay with me while he watches a movie. Kaydon has become such a great student, who works so hard at school. Kaydon has an amazing faith in our Father in Heaven, and knows that He is near as long as we are doing our part. Kaydon is the one who spends the most time with Colton, and because of that Kaydon is very empathetic and compassionate toward others. He gets frustrated with his brother, but it has really molded him into such an amazing human.

Kaydon wants to make movies when he gets older - not acting, but directing and producing and creating. His imagine is full of amazing ideas that really floor me every time I hear them.

Kaydon's nicknames are Kader, KK, Kader Raider, #3, Buddha, and Kaaaaayyy Kaaaaayyy.

Happy birthday KK!!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Favorite

My grandparents brought me two crockpot timers in July. I didn't even know these things existed. Did you?! They are heaven on earth. I use my crockpot(s) A LOT. Like, a lot a lot. My boys are masters at putting the food in there and starting it. However, with this I can put the food in there before I leave for work and start the timer to turn on and off whenever I need it to. Seriously, they are a must have!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Planning

I have started to plan for our annual back-to-school dinner and family motto reveal. I have been prayerfully asking our Father in Heaven what our family of five will need during this upcoming school year. I have decided that our motto will have to do with "Faith." I have started to put a couple of things together, and I am excited to celebrate this upcoming school year with my boys and continue to try to "clothe" them with the strength they will need to get through their year. We will have our dinner and reveal next weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

School Registration

Braxton, Kaydon, Colton, and I went to Fairfield Jr. this morning to get them registered. Braxton and Kaydon filled out their schedule wishes. Colton will wait until we can meet with the Special Ed group to get his schedule in place. The boys asked for maps, and will almost assuredly go each morning to walk around and figure out where all of their classes are. They are super organized that way. It helps to decrease the anxiety as well. I was really happy with the counselor and the office staff. Here's to another year of school! No more kiddos in elementary school. Three in junior high school and one in high school. I really can't believe it!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tomayto Tomahto

This past weekend, my amazing bishop and his wife brought me A LOT of tomatoes. Braxton and I worked and worked to get them canned. 3 1/2 dozen pints of tomato sauce and tomoto soup base.

Now for corn, cherries and grape juice.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Legos

Thursday after work, I went home to find this:
Sweet Colton had such a rough time at the doctor's office. Sweet Kaydon was on the floor with him for HOURS putting together his new Legos. I am reminded every day how blessed my boys are to have each other. They don't quite see it that way a lot of the time, but someday I hope they'll look back and see that no matter what was going on around them, they had each other!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Colton's Day

Colton's day didn't start out too well. Jackson met me at the doctor with him. He had to have blood drawn and a physical for some high blood pressure issues that have had him off of his meds for a few days. (It's been a treat) Everyone involved in that doctor visit was traumatized. Poor Colton walked out of the doctor's office shaking and sniffling from crying and talking to himself while he tried to get to the car. Then, he stood by the truck door and waited patiently for me to get him the gifts Uncle Ernie got for him. Then I sent my boys on their way while I drove back to work.

When I got home from work, Colton and Kaydon were on the living room floor playing with the Legos that Ernie got him. I ordered pizza (thanks coupons!) and we ate and then devoured the dessert that Braxton made over two days. (Unbelievably good!) We sang to him and he just smiled. He had mostly forgotten about his morning. Then he went back to playing with his Legos.

A little later, our bishop brought him a bag of M&Ms. He really is the best bishop a single mom of four boys could ask for.

We love you oh, so much Colton!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Lucky Me!

I went to the doctor this past Tuesday for a meds check-up and while I was there, I had the doctor look at my back. You see, over the last couple of months I noticed a "condition" appearing on my lower back. (I am saving you from pictures. You're welcome) I had my boys look at it and it scared them. They continued to ask me to go to a doctor. I just didn't have time for that!

Turns out, I have radiation burns. They are from using a heating pad. This is a true story. Because I have had three back surgeries, I use a heating pad every day while I sit at my desk. I can't use heating pads or heating blankets anymore. Ever. The doctor won't know for about two months whether or not my back is permanently scarred, or if it will light up, or go away completely. For now, I'm just grateful to have a diagnosis, and I'm super grateful it's on my back where no one can see it!

I thought you needed a picture, but wanted to spare you from the one of my back. So, here's a stupid heating pad.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Friday Favorite

When I first got my smartphone, Braxton downloaded the Church's app. I read my scriptures every single night before I go to bed. What a blessing!!! Sometimes I may not read word for word certain scriptures, but answers to my prayers come as I read them diligently. Thoughts and impressions come to my mind. I feel that by no other means would these answers to my prayers come. I am so grateful that it is right on my phone. I can read them no matter where I am or what I am doing. I also pull the Ensign magazine up and read that when I have time.

Seriously! What a blessing!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Colton is 13!

This sweet boy turns 13 today!

Colton was born, via C-section, after this mama had been in labor for two weeks! He was 32 weeks gestation. He needed a little help with temperature and feeding, and was in the NICU for three weeks. I was so grateful to have him home!

Papa and Nana used to get up with him every night because I had Kaydon duty all of the time. I think that is partly why he is so close to Nana and Papa. Colton has always loved horses, Legos, stuffed animals, and movies. About six years ago, we began to notice that Colton had some real struggles. Initially he was diagnosed with ADD, then ADHD, then Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, and several learning disorders.

In our most recent appointment (this week), we were told that Colton is at about a five or six year old level, and will remain that way. His doctor said, "Isn't that wonderful?!" I love her attitude! Imagine how great it would be to be an innocent child throughout our lives. Colton still loves horses, stuffed animals, Legos, and movies. He also likes to play games on his Kindle, color, do puzzles, and be with Mama. He loves to swim and be in the water. It is super calming to him.

Colton is such a blessing. We love that we get to have him in our family. His doctor always says, "Structure for Success." That is what we are going to work harder to do!

Happy, happy birthday Sweet Boy! We love you so much!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Little Sugar with Uncle Brandon & Aunt Carrie

One of the greatest blessings about living in our new digs is that our house is only one mile away from Uncle Brandon's office. Last night, he came to pick up Braxton and Kaydon to help him move a 560 pound table. Afterwards, he texted me to bring Colton so we could go get ice cream. Colton and I were in bed, but you can bet your bootie that we got out of bed to go get ice cream!!

Aunt Carrie came too. We missed Jackson, who was on a date, but I'll eat ice cream anytime!!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Boys Camping Trip

I asked the boys' dad if he would like to spend time with them this past weekend while my mom and I were gone. He was really excited to do that. They planned a camping trip to Bear Lake. They headed out Saturday morning. Unfortunately, he dropped them off on Sunday morning. They had fun, though. They were so excited to see their mama and the same for me!

Monday, August 1, 2016

My Trip

Mom picked me up from work on Friday and we drove up to Idaho Falls. It was a lovely drive. We stopped at Burger King to get a burger and fries and just kept on driving. We could not wait to get to Aunt Lois' house to love on her.

We sat and visited and visited and just relaxed until it was dark outside and the cool Idaho Falls breeze was blowing through the open windows. Mom and I went downstairs and got into our beds and went to sleep. I woke up around 10 on Saturday morning. Whoops! I went upstairs and Aunt Lois made French toast with homemade bread (that she made that morning), sausage, fruit, milk (in a glass pitcher), and all of her best dishes. The French toast could either be eaten with homemade rhubarb jam, homemade raspberry syrup, or homemade maple syrup. After breakfast, my mom's cousin came to visit. We were still in our jammies!!! Mom and I needed a nap after that!!! When we woke up, we went out to the "chair room." It's a gorgeous covered patio with all sorts of collected seating. There are hanging chairs, rockers, a church pew, a homemade wooden bench, a homemade picnic table, and more. The wind blows through there and the wind chimes sing and sing. I colored and chatted with my mama and my sweet aunt.

My Aunt Lois is 90 years old. She does EVERYTHING on her own. Her impeccable yard, her impeccable home, driving, walking, shopping - everything. She amazes me. She is beautiful, sharp, active, hilarious, so kind, the best cook, a master quilter, a reader, an organ player, a friend, neighbor, hostess. She is everything I want to be when I grow up! She climbs up onto her back cinderblock wall and crawls along the top to trim vines. True story.

Saturday night, she made a chicken thigh meal that was to die for. Seriously. After dinner, she took me downstairs to her storage room where she has pounds and pounds of all kinds of chocolate. (She makes chocolates and dips chocolates and on and on) We cut up a bunch of pieces and took them upstairs to taste test. Oh. My. Gosh.


On Sunday, we got up and went to church. It was "her turn to drive," so we picked up her little widow friends. They are too cute for words! She helps them into church. So cute. After church, I went back out to my chair room and listened to the chimes. She made another seven-course meal that was so yummy that I couldn't stop eating.

I did not want to leave her and she didn't want us to leave! My boys needed me and I needed to be back with them. Jackson said that going to Aunt Lois' without them was the meanest thing I could do as a mother. I will take them up there soon so that they can love on her too.

I am SO blessed to have my Aunt Lois. Mom and I need to do more girl weekends, too. This is the first one in about 21 years. We have to do that more often! I loved every minute of my time with her and my time with my sweet aunt.