Thursday, August 27, 2015

I needed to attend a Scout meeting after church one Sunday.  Brian was also at a meeting, so I was trying to think of who I could take with me to lessen the tending job for Brad.  I thought James would be able to come and he could sit and color by me.  I asked James if he wanted to come with me to my meeting.  He thought about it and did.  As he was eating, he was talking with Rylan and they were getting ready to play, so he told me so politely that he wanted me to video the meeting.  I wasn't sure why he wanted me to video the meeting.  He was trying so hard not to hurt my feelings when he told me he decided he would rather stay home and play.  He wanted me to video the meeting so he could still see what he would miss by not coming to my thing.  He thought was important to me, like a school play or something.  So sweet.  When I got home he asked me for the video to watch.
On Wesley's third birthday in May he was so excited to "blow out my candles!"  He would tell everyone.  I took him with me to the local grocery store, Lee's.  He told the cashier that he was going to blow out his candles.  They sang happy birthday to him over the PA.  He was looking all around at the ceiling while smiling.  He finally saw the guy who was singing at the customer service desk.  He was so happy about it.
My kids wrote letters to some U.S. servicemen to be mailed.  Rylan wrote his letter to the "ormemans".  (army mans)  Reagan told them that he liked their muscles.
On the forth of July we were in Idaho with family.  It was so fun!  I think Wesley ate too much junk and was spun one too many times on the giant swing because after dinner he did what he described as, "I hiccuped and it 'sploaded.'"
At dinner one Sunday after church Reagan asked Brad, "Do you remember going to nursery?"
Brad said, "no."
Wesley, who had just come from nursery, stood up and said loudly, "I DO! I DO! I DO!"
Back to school blessings had to be done in two phases!  Four on Sunday and four on Monday.

Wesley ALWAYS wants to be blessed during ANY prayer that is said in our family.  If you bless the food and forget to bless him then after the "amen" he whines, "BLESS WESLEY!"  So, then a second short prayer is said to bless Wesley.  Well, after Rylan received his back to school blessing and we all said amen, Wesley whined, "bless Wesley!"

James received his blessing on Sunday, but then when he saw us doing it again on Monday he wanted and received a second blessing.  That really bugged Wesley.  The injustice!

It was getting late and Eden still had not gotten her blessing yet.  The kids were tiered and Wesley was still crying over James' second blessing so we had them all go to bed.  Eden was fussy.  I decided to nurse her while she got her blessing.  She was contently eating while Brian spoke her blessing with his hands on her head.  Then he said something about her being able to ween. (I think I am having a hard time with the weening as much as Eden.  Feeling very sad to say goodbye to nursing forever.)  Anyway as these words left his lips she immediately unlatched looked up at him annoyed and tried to get his hands off of her head.  She wouldn't stop.  She did not want him to continue. It struck us both so funny, that we started laughing...hard.  Brian couldn't talk.  He finally finished up her blessing and then she went back to nursing.
My parents came for a visit a few weeks ago.  My dad brought Brad his tie flying "stuff".  Brad has really enjoyed figuring it out. We hope to take him to Idaho soon for some good fishing with Grandpa.  My Mom and Dad stayed in a hotel close by because Kristel and her family were coming the same weekend.  Anyway, my mom was telling us how she saw the maid in the hallway and told her she didn't need to clean their room.  I teased her saying that she probably cleaned the room and left it cleaner that the maid would have cleaned it.  My dad was nodding his head when she added, "Well, there's nothing else to do!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Eden is 15 Months

 mimicking Mom

She is done.  ha ha

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


"Miracles were and are a response to faith." the Bible Dictionary tells us.  They encourage more faith.

Jesus raised people from the dead.
He healed the sick.
He fed 5000.

Today we still see many miracles.  We need to PRAY, have FAITH in JESUS CHRIST, and it must be GOD'S WILL.  Fasting and Priesthood blessings help us exercise faith for blessings and miracles we want or need.

My family has seen miracles!  I am thankful Jesus Christ is a God of miracles and that miracles have blessed my life.

Reagan was assigned to give a talk in Primary at church last Sunday on the topic, "Jesus is the Son of God and is a God of miracles."  That was the talk he gave.  It was a very timely talk.

We are coming up on seven years since Brian started having seizures.  We were told he had a brain tumor.  Prayers and fasting flowed.  He received two priesthood blessings.

Our neurosurgeon took Brian's case to a tumor board.  They all agreed that surgery was the best option.  As we sat there in the office and the doctor held a model brain, he described to us how "I will just lift up this part of the brain here and..."   I felt as though I floated to the top of the room and was looking down on the situation.  It seemed utterly UNREAL that this conversation was happening to US.  This had to be a dream, a nightmare!  This is something you only watch in the movies.  I was holding my baby and wondering what in the world was in store for our family.  The neurosurgeon finished his lengthy play-by-play of how this was all going to go down and asked us about scheduling.

Brian then asked, "What if we monitor it?"

The doctor stammered, not sure how to reply to that.  They went back and forth a bit and I was looking at Brian in disbelief!  He must be in denial!  "Are you sure you want to wait?!" I asked.  He was calm and sure.  There would be no surgery scheduled.  We left and scheduled to have an MRI in three months.

I immediately began to question Brian.  He did not second guess.  He was confident in his decision.  I was a mess.

Late one night after talking more about it, he fell asleep.  He never doubted his decision.  He told me that he had a blessing and felt strongly that he did not need surgery, at least not now.  He tried to help me feel more at peace with his decision.  He told me, "Everything is going to be okay, Anj.  We'll grow old together.  I promise."

I knelt down on my floor and really poured out my heart to God.  I cried.  I was so worried.  SO SO worried.  I cried to  Heavenly Father all of my concerns.  I was imagining the worst.  I remembered crying to the Lord for Isaac to be healed, but he was taken.  I knew that could happen again.  I prayed and prayed that Brian would be healed, if it was God's will.  In the depth of my "break down" (can't think of any other way to put it) as I was curled up on my floor by my bed sobbing, I felt a peaceful feeling engulf me, and I heard in my mind, "Everything will be okay."  I knew I needed to trust and fully support Brian.  I did not know how everything would be okay, but I knew it would.  If he died, everything would be okay.  If he chose a difficult treatment, everything would be okay.  If he chose surgery, everything would be okay.  If he chose nothing, everything would be okay.

As months went on and MRI's went from three month intervals, to six month intervals, and eventually to yearly events, I have marveled at the results EACH TIME.  No change.  Every time.  Last week Brian got yet another MRI and the report came back with the final results saying once again two simple yet amazing words, no change.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fathers Day 2015

Thursday, June 4, 2015

When Wesley(2) wants a piece of gum that is not broken in half he asks for a "fixed" piece of gum.
A few weeks ago we were having a FHE on pornography.  I told my kids what it was and then told them why someone would want to look at it.  One thing I mentioned was that they might be curious.  James (4) added, "Like Curious George!"
Eden is a climber!  The other day I found her STANDING in the WINDOW SILL!  Last night she climbed out of her crib and landed with a thud on her head.  Scared us to death. She went right back to sleep when I picked her up. I held her for over an hour and Brian gave her a blessing.  She seemed fine today.  Just a faint mark on her forehead.
I'm way behind on this blog.  I will try to catch up in the next few days.  Kids are out of school, Wesley and Eden had birthdays.  A couple days ago was Isaac's 13th birthday!  That is hard to believe.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Eden is ONE!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Photos from Trio to NY and OH

Click here to see the photos.  Don't forget to read the captions to the right.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Family Trip to Sacred Grove and Other Church Sites

Last year I felt impressed to get Brad to the Sacred Grove.  He is 14 and I thought it would have a big impact on him to be there at the age that Joseph Smith was at the time of the first vision.  I told Brian that even if he just took Brad and the two of them went, that would be great.  We tried to arrange it for fall break, but Brad was not able to miss school on either end of the break and flying out on the weekends was extremely pricey, as opposed to just pricey.  So we put it off.  The feeling never left me.  We considered Christmas break, but thought it would be rough in the middle of winter.  We considered Spring.  We decided that we all would go.  The older kids could benefit.  It would be a trick for the younger ones, but it would be good to be together as a family.  Brian began looking for tickets and nothing was working out.  We looked into other trips.  Nothing was falling into place.  We looked at New York again and found a decent priced flight that hadn't been there before.  We booked it!  For all nine of us!  It seemed crazy, but I felt good about it.  I knew it would be okay.  I also knew it wouldn't be easy.  I was right about both.

So, as the time grew closer we realized that we would be there over Easter.  How cool is that!?  We would also be there during the anniversary of the organization of the Church.  We were excited about that.

I began packing earlier than I usually do for trips.  I was preparing for days and trying to think of everything.  We buddied up the kids.  Brad and Wesley, Aubryn  and Rylan, Reagan and Brian, and James and Eden (which meant he was my helper.  James always behaves better when he is helping.)  The bags were packed.  I packed for nine people, including diapers and snacks, in FIVE carry ons.  Brian, Brad and I all carried a duffel bag.  Aubryn and Reagan pulled a small pull suitcase.  Each of the kids also wore there own back pack.  It had small activities and snacks.  I had to keep them light.  They all had to wear their coats and put gloves and hats in their pockets or back packs.  We knew it was going to be cold there.  We had to pack warm clothing too.

Early Wednesday morning, April 1, 2015, we were up around 4:00am and loaded everyone up in the van.  The luggage was already to go.  Everyone just grabbed their coat and a banana.  We made it to the airport and it was a bit of a challenge to get the carseats up to the counter and checked in, but once we did that, it was much more manageable.  Security check was annoying.  Even boarding plane and stuffing bags in the overhead compartment and everyone finding there seat was tricky, but we managed to do it without any trouble.  I was worried how the kids would do on the flight, but they all did really well.  They were fascinated with flying.  I had to shush Reagan and James a few times for saying, "We're going to crash!" and other things they thought were funny.  "We're falling!"  "Shhh!"  After we landed, it was a challenge again to carry the car seats (3 of them) to the car rental business.  We rented two small cars.  We loaded up and were on our way to Niagra Falls!

I will load a link to the photos.  Next to the photos we tried to type as much as we could remember.  The photos aren't fabulous.  Most were taken by kids.  It was a small, simple camera.

What I can tell you here is some of my feelings about the trip.  When we set out on the journey I had low expectations for myself.  I was focused on letting Brad absorb as much as he could. I knew I would be juggling small children and trying to keep them quiet during tours.  I found, though, that it is nearly impossible to not be profoundly impacted by the places we visited.  I was overwhelmed, more in times of reflection, as I considered the things that had happened in the rooms, groves, hills, homes, stores, temples, steps, and sheds,  Really overwhelmed.  I was sitting in the car with two sleeping children while Brian took the other kids into the Visitor's Center at the Hill Cumorah.  I sat there thinking about where I was.  Joseph had been there.  I found the plates here.  Even more, Moroni had been here.  I also thought about all that people had done to help bring the Book of Mormon to be, though all of time.  I felt very bad for taking it for granted and being lazy about my scripture study.  I have had a renewed spirit to read it every day.  I want to.  I make the time to.  It is a priority now.  This trip changed me.

We only had a few mishaps on our vacation.  One speeding ticket.  One smashed finger in a car door.  Also, we forgot out camera, FORGOT our camera!?  How is that possible?  I thought Brad was bringing his, he thought I was bringing mine.  So we stopped in at a store on our way to Niagra Falls after we left the airport.

I have to tell you about being such a large family traveling.  We did get quite a few double takes.  I heard, "These can't all be yours can they?"  I was constantly counting heads.  Constantly.  In one hotel Brad went to the front desk to get a remote.  The guy was insistent that we lost it.  He was East Indian and had an accent.  "You have too many kids.  Too many kids.  You have too many kids..."  For the most part, I thought it was fun.  Traveling with two cars was actually kind of nice at times.  When two kids were having trouble together, we could just separate them.  Brian and I took turns following each other.  We did pretty good!  We did get to see a scary part of town in Buffalo, but honestly, I think that is all there is in Buffalo.  Super un-impressed with that town.  I think if I were to visit Russia, it would look like Buffalo.  Tons of old, run down, vacant buildings.  Especially warehouses and factories.  Lake Erie was frozen.  Everything was gray.  I felt that the drive from Buffalo to Kirtland was filled with old industrial towns like that.  Erie, Pennsylvania was similar. The Kirtland area was a little nicer.

This all got me thinking after talking with a couple who lived in Palmyra and told me it is a very poor area.  This chosen place had many sacred things happen there.  They could have embraced it.  Instead they ridiculed and persecuted Joseph and pushed them away.  I think the land there is pretty.  I think there was a time when the place flourished.  I think it has struggled.  I think they lost a great opportunity to support and accept a prophet of God.  I feel that the community has suffered.

Traveling home, we nearly missed a connecting flight in Atlanta after sitting on the tarmac waiting to park for 30 min.  When we got off the plane, we RAN.  All of us. (except Eden)  We ran to catch a tram to the next terminal.  We all hurried onto the tram and it took off,   We all fell over.  Then we hurried off and RAN to the gate.  We were the last to board the plane.  phew!!!

We rolled into the driveway at 2am.  We did have a little detour dropping off an old couple at their hotel.

Oh!  I forgot to tell you about the two souvenirs I bought.  The first was a replica of the first Book of Mormon that was published in the Grandin Print Shop.  It reads like a chapter book or novel.  There are no verses.  The second, was a 1830s coverlet.  We made a very random stop for a potty break.  There was an antique shop next door.  I found one that looks almost just like the ones that were on the beds of the Smith home.  I was in upstate New York and it was from the same time period.  I couldn't pass it up!  I love it and carried it the whole way home.  Now I'm not sure what to do with it.  I do not want it ruined.  Aubryn asked, "Why would you spend all that money on an old blanket that you cannot wash?"  She was so confused.

It was a very amazing trip.  I learned a lot and my testimony grew by leaps and bounds.  I know we can have a testimony of these things without going to these places, but it really affected me to be where they were and stand where they stood.  The stories were testimony building as well. I know that Joseph Smith said a prayer in the Sacred Grove and that God and Jesus Christ appeared to him.  I know the Book of Mormon is TRUE!!!  I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet on the earth.  I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the TRUE church on the earth.  I know that God loves me.  I know these things with all my heart.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

After church today Brad was saying that every tie has a name on the inside and that is your name.  He told,"My name is {whatever the brand was.  I forgot.}"  We were telling him that it is the name of the brand or designer.  Reagan says, "My name is  Paul E. Esther."  That is exactly how he sounded out the word polyester.  Then he added, "100%!"

"Can Jesus swim?"  Reagan asked.
"Sure!  He can do anything."  I replied.
Confused Reagan went on with what he was doing.  Then he asked another question.  "Are cheetahs active at night?"  He was playing 20 questions.

Monday, March 2, 2015

This morning when James woke up he came to me and gave me a hug then said, "You can kiss me if you want."
A week or so ago James told me how much he doesn't like when his "mouth opens all by itself every week."  I figured out he was talking about yawning.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Eden is walking with her baby walker

 The kids LOVED watching her cruise around.  She was doing this while she was still 8 months old.  I can't believe how fast she has picked up on things.  She calls for me too.  "ma ma"  and this morning when she woke up I had her laying by me and I knew she wanted to get out of the bed so she hollered, "Da! Da!"  Sure enough he ran in and grabbed her out of bed.  She was so happy.  She is so bright and happy!  I love her!

Giant Aviation Maps

 I bought a big stack of old aviation maps several years ago at a garage sale for  $.50!  I have heald onto them thinking I would do something cool with them.  When I pulled them out with some other maps to use for Reagan's Valentine Box, Brad started looking at them closer.  His wheels started turning and he took them outside.  He pieced them together and they made a HUGE north america!

Valentine's Day

 The Valentines that the kids gave out.
 Reagan's Valentine Box
 Aubryn made her box all by herself!
 Rylan's box

 Waiting for the big kids to come home from school!  They helped me to make a Valentine surprise!
 Brian's valentine cookie.
 Each kid had a cookie.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, his favorite!

 James made a book.  He could not find tape, so he improvised.
 Best. Dad. EVER.
 Eden likes sitting in the chair connected to the counter.  She is up where we are and can see what is going on.  She likes feeding herself.  She does not like me to feed her.  I have also noticed that crackers seem to bother her.  I bought some that do not have wheat in them and she tolerated them fine.  So, either she can't take gluten or wheat.

 Brad gets up before anyone for school.  He leaves for the bus at 7:10am.  In his weekly interview a couple weeks ago Brian asked him to work on remembering to bless his breakfast.  This is what I found the next day.

 Static hair.  It has been unusually warm.

 Fancy hair for church.
 James wrote his name by himself for the first time!  I just realized while typing this that I wrote his "J" backwards!  ha.  I was writing upside down.  He copied mine perfectly!  He really likes getting paper and filling it with letters.  I think he is ready to understand that when they are organized in the right way, then they make words.
 Wesley did not want to feel left out.
 Eden is walking along furniture and with her baby walker.

Someone is jealous.  Someone who never took a binkie as a baby.