Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I told James he needed to be nice to Wesley for the rest of the day to earn back his pocket change.  "I've been nice to him for, like, an hour!  It feels like 100 days!"
Today James and Wesley came into my room walking in sync.  Then James says, "Mom, we walk like prefessionals."

I got a kick out of that and then Brian showed me a video they watched of synchronized walkers.  The boys got so excited, "Oh! Its the prefessional walkers!"

I'm not sure what was more entertaining, watching the video or listening to the boys comments.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How can I get your attention?

I saw an article that claimed with one phrase, this woman quit yelling at her kids.  I clicked on it.  I'll save you the click and bate and tell you the jist of it.  She would talk to her kids and they never seemed to listen until she finally yelled.  So, one day after repeatedly saying something to her child with no acknowledgment she said, "Child, I'm trying to talk to you.  What can I do to get your attention?"
The child said, "Ask, 'May I have your attention?'"
That cured it!  Now when she wanted to talk to her children she would first say, "May I have your attention?" and she never yelled again!
Today I was telling James something and he would not answer me.  I thought, "What the heck." and said to him, "James, I'm trying to talk to you.  What can I do to get your attention?"
"You could give me some chocolate chips."

Monday, January 11, 2016

He Did Not Hesitate part 3

We are taught to follow promptings from the Spirit.  We are taught to listen.  We are taught to act immediately.  We are taught to not second guess.  We are taught not to look back, only move forward with faith.  We are taught these things.  We know these things.  But, do we DO these things?

December 31, 2003 Brian called me from his office and told me to pack.  He had booked tickets to leave for Hawaii the very next day.  I am a planner.  I had not planned for this!  Isaac had too many prescriptions.  Isaac couldn't be around people in the airport.  He would get sick from somebody!  How could he travel that far?  Should I bring the nebulizer?  I must bring the suction machine, the wheelchair, the medicines, the extra rags for when he throws up, and his food.  He needed special food.  How was I going to get all this put together and ready to leave in the morning?  I wasn't planning to leave for a long time.  I never did.  We stayed home all the time, even from the Christmas festivities and took turns attending church, to keep him from getting sick.  I even tied hand sanitizer on the front door for visitors.  He didn't like being in his car seat.  How did Brian think this was going to work?

It worked.  Miraculously everything got done and we flew to Hawaii as a family the next morning.  Brian, Me, Brad (3yrs), and Isaac (18 m).   We went from being isolated in our home during the cold winter months to warm, humid air.  We walked everywhere.  Brad rode on the back of Isaac's wheelchair and we went all over, TOGETHER.  We went to the beach, to eat, and to church.  It felt like freedom.  Isaac seemed so much more comfortable with the warmth and humid air.  He slept better than he had in a long time.  He thrived there.  We were together.  No work, or school, or callings, or distractions of any kind.  It was better than I could have imagined.  I had not even wanted to go!  I was so worried.  By the time we were facing the reality of returning home, we knew we needed to find a way to make it back.  What kind of jobs could Brian do?  Where could we live?  The last 9 days had been so wonderful!

We flew the red eye home while I held Isaac on my lap.  We landed back into winter.  The unpacking and jetlag set it.  We looked online for homes and jobs in Hawaii.  That night I let Isaac sleep by me.  It was so cold.  He usually didn't do that.  The next night Brian was preparing him to go to sleep, but he was restless, so I took over.

I rocked him to sleep and held onto him.  I stroked his blond hair and ran it through my fingers.  I studied his features.  After the unusual lengthy rock-a-bye, I laid him in his bed.  I made sure he was warm.  I put an extra blanket on him and put mittens on his hands, something I have second guessed more than anything I've ever done. 

The next morning we all slept late.  We were so tiered.  I never heard a peep the entire night.  Without my knowledge, Brian woke up early in the morning.  He had felt a prompting to go check on Isaac.  He peeked into his room and saw him asleep in bed.  He shut the door to a crack and sat in a chair right outside the door to his room.  Brian sat there for awhile reading his scriptures and studying for a church lesson.  He stayed there for some time, in the quiet, before coming back to bed by me.  We woke up later.  We poured cereal.  We sat around.  I think it was around 10 that Brian checked on Isaac.  Even for jetlag, it was getting late.  This time he went into his room.

All of my senses remember the nightmare that unfolded.  It was cold, both in color and temperature.  The sun was shining on the white snow.  I heard the sound of my husband call for me as he discovered our boy.  That sound could be called wailing or screaming.  I'm not sure if there is a name for it. I ran.  I saw Brian standing there holding him.  Isaac was pale with blue lips.  I Reached for my cold son and curled him up in my arms as I let out sounds of agony.  I tried to breathe life into his limp, lifeless body.  His chest would rise when I blew my air into it and go down when I stopped.  I heard the sound of fluid inside him move with each of my breathes.  I heard myself yelling to the 911 dispatcher that what she was instructing me to do, "Isn't working!!!!"  I felt the desperation.  I knew he was gone.  I could feel he was not there.  I saw my husband's agony.  I heard the sirens get closer and louder, then stop.   I saw my house become flooded with strangers.  Some were walking around and looking at everything.  Some were frantically trying to bring my son back to life, ripping his clothes off and stabbing things into him.  Some asked for his medications.  Some sat by me with their arm around me telling me it was the disease that did this. 

There were also familiar faces.  A neighbor, Dale, who quietly came in and assisted Brian in giving Isaac a blessing as they busily worked on him.  Our neighbor, Rod, who came in and wrapped Brad in a blanket, scooped him up,  and quickly took him home with him, not pausing to look at the chaos.  I imagine it was the Spirit telling these men to come and of all the wonderful things for Rod to bring with him, a blanket.  A blanket to wrap Brad in to help him feel safe and warm.  Brad still remembers that act of kindness.

It has been 12 years.  This is the first time I could write all those details and it made my heart pound. I love that Brian followed the promptings of the Spirit.  No matter what.  No matter how impractical, impossible, or crazy it seemed.    We spent the last week and a bit of  Isaac's life TOGETHER in paradise.  What a wonderful blessing that time was to us as a family!  I love that he followed the prompting to be BY Isaac that morning.  Brian was sitting by his door about the time they guessed that he died.  I truly feel that Isaac wanted someone close.  Brian woke up from a deep sleep, got out of bed, peeked on him, then sat by his door for about a half hour in the early morning hours.  He was near, but did not enter his room and interrupt Isaac's time to leave .   It was hard for Brian, looking back, wondering if he should have done more or why he hadn't entered the room.  I know that if he was supposed to go in, Brian would have known.  I believe that Isaac wanted him near.  Brian was in tune with the Spirit and what he should do.  To go, but not go too far. 

God loves us.  God loves Isaac.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Eden loves her babies!  She often struggles to hold them all.  She will hand them to others for help, but that doesn't last long and she wants it back.  She wants to take care of them all, all the time.  "Baby...Baby...Baby."  she says as she goes from baby to baby.  It reminds me of how I feel a lot of the time.  Too many kids, too little me.

I've been reflecting today.  Isaac died 12 years ago tomorrow, but it was a Sunday just like today.  It was sunny and cold.  The unique thing about this death anniversary is that for the first time I have a baby that IS 19 months old on the day he died.  That is how old Isaac was when he died.  Every time my babies are nineteen months old, I get nervous.  I know it isn't logical.  I also get nervous when his death date comes around.  When the air is crisp and cold.  This time I get both together.

I am thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know God lives.  I know he loves us.  I love my babies!  I never would have imagined that I would go on to have six more after his death.  It is challenging, but they are blessings.  Life is hard.  Really.  I know Heavenly Father is mindful of us and that he LOVES us!!!  There is peace that only He brings.

Friday, January 8, 2016

He Did Not Hesitate part 2

Our baby boy was born with a birth defect called hypospadius.  This meant that the urethra was in the wrong spot.  It wasn't a horrible case, but enough to require surgery for our baby boy. 

We had the surgery done and he was recovering at home.  We were getting ready to bathe him and took the bandage off to check the site.  It did not look great.  Then he peed.  The urine shot straight out through the stitches, not out the new opening where it was supposed to come out.   I was so upset and ran to the phone.  I called the hospital and wanted to run him back.  I told them what was going on and that pee was coming out of the stitches. The whole area was so red and swollen.   They told me there was nothing anyone could do.  We would have to let it heal and do the surgery again.  I was trying to persuade them to let me bring him in.  I didn't want to just let it heal wrong.  They told me that sometimes the cells can overcompensate as they heal and that maybe they had done that, growing over the opening and closing it off. 

As I was on the phone with the hospital, Brian was still in the bathroom with our baby boy.  Brian did not like to see, let alone touch, the wound. I was the one who dressed it and took care of it.  He was great moral support, but I did the bloody stuff.   In fact, with any "owie" at our house, I usually took care of things. 

Brian walked into the living room where I was sitting on the floor, crying on the phone.  He was holding something between his fingers and the baby was crying.  I hung up.  "What happened!?  What did you do?"

"I said a prayer and thought I should pull this off, so I did."

"You pulled what off?  He's bleeding!  Is that skin?"

I couldn't believe that he had touched it at all, let alone pulled some of his tender skin off.  What had he done?!  I was so worried he had done something that was not good.  He couldn't even explain what he had done.

Time went by and we left the baby's diaper off.  He peed again and not one drip of urine came out through the stitches.  It all came out the new opening where it should.  Brian must have pulled off the skin that was growing over the new opening.  He had not been on the phone.  He was alone with the baby.

The baby continued to heal correctly.  We took him in at six weeks post operation for the doctor to examine.  At first, we did not tell her anything so we could see what she would notice.  She said that he had healed perfectly and she was ready to walk out of the room.  We tried to tell her what had happened and she acted like we were crazy.  There is nothing wrong with him.  Everything healed just as it should.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

He Did Not Hesitate part 1

Sunday mornings are busy when you are trying to get several kids ready for church.  When Rylan was a crawling baby, it was one of those Sunday mornings.  We were upstairs bathing kids.  At this point in Rylan's life he could crawl, so when we were upstairs we would keep him in our bedroom with the door shut tight.  Close to the entrance to our bedroom is a staircase with sixteen steps and at the bottom is hardwood flooring.

I had just gotten Rylan out of the tub, put a diaper on him, and set him on the floor.  Brian was shaving in the bathroom.  I ran out of the room to go get Rylan some clothes to wear.  As I leaned over the dresser I thought, "Go check on Rylan." 

"I shut the door."  I thought to myself.  "I always do."

Again, "Go check on Rylan."

"I will, I'll just hurry and grab these clothes first..." I reasoned.

Then I heard RUNNING.  Running.  I knew I had waited too long and I began to run back to the room.  I arrived to see Brian barely grab Rylan at the top of the staircase.

"I knew it! I knew I should have come!"  I was so disappointed in myself!  I was also so relieved that Brian went.  I asked him what happened.

"I was shaving and thought, 'I should check on Rylan.' So, I ran."

What a powerful statement that was to me.  He heard and not only acted immediately, but he RAN.  I am so thankful that he did.

Monday, January 4, 2016

We went to Idaho this last weekend and spent time with my family.  My sister had a new baby that I got to hold and love on!  Baby Silas is a cutie!!  Sadly, I didn't get a photo of him.

Eden liked to look for Grandpa and call for him, but never got too close to him.  She did eventually give him knuckles.

Brad went to a new years eve dance that Shad did and helped a little.  Then he spent hours going through my parents photo albums and scanning them.  He was reading histories and asking questions about pictures.  He found this jem:

Here is a photo of my mom with Bruce Jenner!  Brad showed it to my mom and she said, "Oh, I liked that coat.  It was so warm.  I wonder what I ever did with it.  I didn't have time to fix my hair that morning."  ha ha ha!!  That is soo my mom.
 Mom with Clint Eastwood.
Kids playing at Shad's

One evening I was upstairs visiting with my parents and Eden was with us.  The rest were downstairs playing.  James came upstairs, walked over to us, and said, "How's your time up here?  We are having a good time downstairs watching good shows that we love."

On the last day there Reagan was not feeling well.  We got the car packed and everybody in and I went to get Reagan out of bed to come home.  When I came upstairs with him, I asked him what hurt.  He told me his throat and he was hot.  My dad then asked him, "Does your face hurt?"  This is my dad's all time favorite joke because when you say no, he answers and says, "It's killing me!"  But when he asked Reagan if his face hurt, Reagan responded, "A little."  I don't think Dad has ever heard that reply before and he let out a good laugh.  What do you say to that? ha ha

And it was cold.  Really cold!  Like, freeze your nose hairs, cold.  I think the highs were in the single digits.  burrrr

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Christmas 2015

It's a basketball!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Nativity 2015

Merry Christmas a little late!

Kids Sing in Primary Program

A month and a half ago Aubryn, Rylan, Reagan, and James sang the second verse of "The Holy Ghost" in our children's Primary Program at church.  We practiced A LOT.  Brad learned the song on the piano and would play for them.  Before that, I had them sing along with the computer.  Reagan liked rapping the song.

Unfortunately,  it didn't go awesome. James stood up on a stool and was right in front of the microphone.  You couldn't see or hear Reagan and Rylan.  And Aubryn re-sung the first verse at first then Reagan whispered to her and she began singing the second verse.  You could see the disappointment in her face.  Luckily, no one even knew she sang the wrong words.  She was so smooth about fixing it and it is not a well known song.  She sang beautifully!  So many people commented to me about her beautiful voice.  People were smiling and a little giggling was happening because of James.  She thought it was because she sang the wrong words.  She was devastated.  She began to cry right after the closing prayer.  She went in the van and did not want to come out.  It took lots of convincing to help her see that no one laughed at her and she sang beautifully.  She vowed to never sing in the primary program again.  I am still not sure she believes me.  Here is a video of them singing at home:
I love my kids!  They worked hard on this.  I am not musical in anyway, so they figured a lot of this out on their own.

Eden at 18 months

This was taken about a month ago.  She is so fun and bright!

Aubryn's 2015 Basketball Season

Follow this LINK to see lots of photos.


I often write the silly things the little kiddos do, but wanted to take a moment to recognize the good that Brad has been up to.
- 4.0 grade point average
- grew a garden this summer and won 2nd and 3rd place in the Utah State Fair for his potatoes and tomatoes.
-Joined the FFA
-Is on the Student Response Team.
- Passed off every single hymn in the LDS hymn book.  That means he can play every hymn well enough to be sung to.  He plays regularly in Seminary.  He recently has taken up the organ and plays the prelude in Sacrament Meeting.  I don't think it will be too long and he will play during the meeting as well.  He found a free organ in the classifieds.  It was in our town!  He moved his desk out of his room and made room for it.  He LOVES it!
-He loves family history and has prepared 15 couples to be sealed for Brian and I's 17th wedding anniversary.  He also has a stack of names for me to take to the temple.
-He  has received two palms after his eagle scout award.
-And, he made dinner tonight!

Monday, December 14, 2015

While shopping with Brad last week we walked by a painting of Kramer.  Brad asked me, "Who's that?"
"Kramer" I said.
"Who is Kramer?"
"Kramer!  From Seinfeld." I responded.
"What's Seinfeld?"

Last week I ran into Home Depot to grab something.  (hanger to hang 100lbs. into brick) I knew exactly what it was, but couldn't find it.  I wandered around looking.  Then I wandered around looking for someone to help me find it.  He took me all they way to the other side of the store to the command hooks.  I said , "This is not it."
He said, "Well, this is what we have."
I wandered around looking for someone else to help me.  He took me all the way back to the other side of the store to the screws.  I said, "This is not it."
He said, "Well, this is what we have."
So, I called home and asked for Brad.  He looked it up online.  Told me the isle number and the bin number.  I walked right to it!
We were reading books before bed one night and Eden was enjoying, "Ten Apples Up On Top."
She kept saying, "Apple.  Apple.  Apple." I would have to repeat it back to her each time.

Later that night I went in to check on her before I went to sleep.  She was sound asleep and she said, "Apple.  Apple."
James was holding the baby Jesus from the Nativity.  He was reaching as high as he could, holding baby Jesus up towards the ceiling.  He told me, "I'm holding baby Jesus up high for him to see what he looked like as a baby."

Every time we pray, EVERY TIME, Wesley insists that you, "Bless Wesley to feel better."  As soon as anyone begins to pray is says it over and over until they say it loud enough for him to hear it over his talking.  Then he is happy and content.  There have been tears shed if he thinks you did not say it or you forgot.
We have been working hard on Reagan's reading.  We almost switched schools, like, he was dressed and ready to go to the new school and two minutes before he would have left I couldn't do it.  One of the things we have been doing is called Super Speed.  It is a game/ exercise that he and Rylan do together.  They usually fight more than they don't, but it still seems to be working.  Maybe they will learn to work together too.  A couple weeks ago they were both able to read the 100 most common words read in the English language in under a minute!  Such a great accomplishment.  I know they still need to improve, but this was a huge accomplishment!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I Want Some Bologna!!

I woke up looking forward to today!   A few days ago Brian surprised me by buying a silhouette cameo!  I hadn't had a chance to get it out of the box.  Today was the day that I was finally going to have some uninterrupted time to plug it in and try it out.  My two youngest boys were headed to a friend's house for the afternoon and Eden was ready for a nap. We read books, did the abc puzzle, I tried to feed them, got socks and shoes on, and it was time!  Time for me to work on something UNINTERRUPTED.  (Ironically as I finished typing that word I had to get up, change a poopy diaper, put a 3 year old back to bed, and lay down the baby.)

Disappointingly, it didn't go well.  I was trying to cut some fabric and just couldn't get the dang thing to work.  Eden woke up at 1:00.  Three sad, precious hours ruined and gone.  I felt like crying.  I peeled the fabric off of the mat and cut it out with my scissors!  Brad was like, "Did you plug it in?  Did you turn it on?"  Um, yes.  And watched about ten youtube videos trying to trouble shoot it.  I cut it out and finished my project.  I sewed Aubryn a cute (or so I thought) Christmas outfit.  She is singing in a concert tomorrow and I was trying to finish it so she could wear it.  After it was all finished, I had her try it on.  She looked less than thrilled.  I asked what was wrong.  She said quietly, "I look like a Christmas geek."  I told her she didn't have to wear it.  Eden has a matching skirt too.  I thought she would be so excited.  Maybe when you are eleven, that novelty begins to wear off.

Kids were home and it was homework time.  Thursdays are extra special because I get to loose my mind going over spelling words with three kids who spell as well as I do, which isn't great.  gnat, knot, wrap, wrote, gnaw, know, are a sampling of Reagan's words today.  How does this language make any sense?  We finished homework and spelling.  Didn't do reading exercises.  Didn't get Reagan's reading done.  Didn't get Reagan's paper written.  It was dinner time and there was no dinner.  I had scouts.  I also was looking forward to meeting up with some friends after scouts.

I ran out the door with a slice of pizza in my hand.  As I hustled past the Bishop's office he was standing in the hallway!  He's never there on Thursdays.  Must have been doing tithing settlement.  The one time I walk into the church eating pizza like a frazzled Akela running down the hall to scouts.  "Hi!"  I said with my mouth full of cheese and bread.  "Running late." I added with a half smile trying to save face.  I finished scouts early and was so excited to get to my friends when a mom called with two other boys who were coming "late".  So we did it all again.   all.  again.

When I got home I was pulled into a few more things and by the time I typed the address into google maps to navigate, it was too late.  It would take me 24 minutes to get there and they were leaving in 30 minutes.  I sadly took off my coat, hung it up in the coat room, and set down the keys.

Wesley got out of bed.  I started to walk him back to his bed, but stopped and decided to rock him like the old days.  He cuddled right into me.  I sang him our song.  It was a sweet moment.  Then James yelled at the top of his lungs from his bed, "I want some bologna!!!"

Sunday, October 11, 2015


I was the Wolf Scout leader for about a year until September.  Reagan was one of my wolves.  The week he moved up to Bears, they put me in as Bear leader.  So, I get to help the same group of boys get their Bear.  We have been having some fun!

I teach my boys to catch fish with their BEAR hands!!

 On our hike.
 Dear prints.

 Watching a family of dear.  There was a mother, father, and two babies.
 Observing from a distance.