Grant me patience
to deal with my

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Snowflakes, booby traps, and a virus or two...

A few weeks ago Anna and her friend Halle decided to make snowflakes for the neighbors and included special notes to each person they hand delivered them to.

What I LOVE about what they did is #1. It was so sweet and kind. #2. Quite creative. #3. Shows me how awesome little children are because of their innocence and honesty....and these pictures will show you why.

Russ was so excited to get his special note from Halle, especially when he read the first part about how nice and funny she thought he was....

Just stroking the ego....and then...BAM! Reality.

It's not love. He's stuck in the friend zone. 

We just love all the laughs we got and still get over these girls and their blunt honesty. We also love the kinds of lessons they constantly teach us too, about being selfless, thinking of others before themselves, and they are always trying to find ways to help, please, or bring happiness to others. 

We are so lucky to be in the midst of children.

Speaking of being in the midst of awesome kids, let's talk about Kya. She is always doing funny things, but lately, oh boy, the funny is just getting better and better. One thing she has been doing is making booby traps to catch monsters, crocodiles, galloping ghosts, and yes, even an occasional aardvark. Yes, she really does pretend like there are aardvarks in her room....and she talks to them, bosses them around, and tries to catch them.

Last week I heard strange sounds coming from her room. As I entered, I found her sitting proudly on the floor and she exclaimed excitedly, "Look mom! I made a booby trap!" She found the tape, which I swear I've put somewhere she can't get to it and yet she always manages to find a way to get into all the things she's supposed to stay out of, and then she wrapped the tape from her bed to her little table, wrapped it many times around the table legs and then to her play kitchen, and then from there to her baby high chair, and back to her table.

The best part about the whole thing was a few minutes after she made trap, she tripped over it all, proving how excellent she really is at this new talent!

Hope she caught that pesky aardvark....they can be SO bothersome!

Over the past few months we've had lots of viruses around here too. If one gets it, they all get it, so from the first child thru the fourth, we end up taking care of sick kiddos for weeks on end! It's kinda a winter tradition in our family....we start to get super suspicious if kids are healthy for too long.

Carter had been on medicine for strep throat for a week when he came down with another virus we suspect was Fifths Disease, aka "slapped cheek" virus because of the bright red cheeks.

It's pretty harmless and we had no idea he was even sick again until his cheeks looked like they did. They are apparently not contagious after the rash occurs, but he went to school all week and then the rash appeared over the weekend. A good majority of his classmates can probably thank him for sharing his sick germs.

Not too long before this, poor Brennen was sick with a nasty cold virus. He had goopy, red eyes, major runny nose with green mucus, and cough. That all led to a double ear infection. After a week of being on amoxicillin and his ears were still not improving, he got a shot of a different kind of antibiotic. 24 hrs. later be started breaking out in little red bumps, which looked like chicken pox at first. By then end of the day, the little red bumps had spread all over his arms, legs, back, tummy, groin, and even a few on his face. They were no longer little, but turned into big splotches, and his joints started swelling in his wrists, fingers, ankles and feet. When I noticed he wasn't walking because of the swelling, I decided to take him to the ER. What the doctors figured out was he had a reaction to the antibiotic, not an allergic reaction, I guess there a different types, but anyways, we were glad it wasn't anything more serious!

Kya has also had her fun when it comes to viruses too. She has issues with shortness of breath and wheezing and we have a special little contraption that we put an inhaler device in that contains albuterol, as we release the albuterol, it goes into a chamber and then we put the end over her mouth and nose and she can take a few breaths to get the albuterol into her system. It's a lot faster than a nebulizer and it works great for her! We are to the point with her pediatrician of considering asthma, but we won't know for awhile and just have to keep track of her episodes, symptoms etc. 

We've also found that dogs cannot lick her. If they do, she has an allergic reaction. Twice now, she was licked by dogs on her face, and within minutes she broke out in hives on the side she was licked, her eye got red and puffy as well as her cheek! I haven't noticed any problems when she pets dogs. 

Fun times!

We joke constantly that our goal this winter is to have one sick child every weekend! For weeks now, Russ and I have not been able to attend church with our whole family, together! This week, we are finally breaking our good luck streak because I think all of us will actually make it in the morning! I have been dealing with some clogged milk ducts for the past few months and am pretty sure today I was fighting some side effects from mastitis, but by the time we got the kids in bed I was feeling much better, so a high five for better health over here!

That's my update for this week. We are happy despite it all, and so grateful we have each other. As each year goes by, I realize more and more that there is nothing more important than my husband and children. As long as we have each other, our faith, and work harder to perfect our own imperfections, I think we will just keep being happy!

Good deal? Ummm.....yeah!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Is it too late to be Thankful?

So, this year I didn't participate in the fun trend of posting what I am thankful for each day on Facebook but reading so many other friends and family members posts about what they are thankful for has been refreshing and helpful for me to keep an "Attitude of Gratitdude". I know I am 18 days late, but I'm gonna give a go anyhow and do a few posts of what I have been so thankful for this year, in hopes that my children will someday be able to look back, re-read, and remember the life stories of our family.

This year I overcame a huge obstacle. It started quite a few months ago as I was re-reading some old letters of mine I had saved from friends and family. I found old emails and cards from Russ before we got married, in which he was too embarrassed to let me read them to him outloud! Some were hilarious and all were awesome! I have emails and letters from dear friends, Missy Stubbs and her mom Jan Stubbs, and it brought me back to the teenage years when I struggled so much with my parents drug addiction and the cost we had to pay because of it. Those letters from them reminded me that there are still amazing devoted people out there who stuck with me as I weathered the storms of my life at that time. Then I found a letter from my mom. She sent it months after Russ and I were married, October 23rd, 2004, just over 9 years ago. She expressed regret for missing our wedding day and told me about her efforts of being more responsible and wanting to be a part of our life and our soon to be baby girl's life. It was 6 pages of words....words that should've healed at that time, but all they did was hurt. Words like that filled me with fear, and with the fear came the anger. It's hard to explain such a complicated thing, but I struggled for my next 8 years of marriage trying to work through the turmoil I felt when it came to my mom. 

This time around, as I read the letter again, I didn't feel anger anymore, but I felt compassion. Maybe it was all the life experiences I had been thorough since I had been married, the four amazing births I experienced as we brought each child into our family, it was probably years and years of conference talks and Relief Society lessons, testimony meetings, and Sunday school lessons that slowly helped my heart to heal and overcome the fear of forgiving. It was probably all those moments since marriage when Russ and I struggled, prayed, and were guided and directed by the Spirit to make the decisions we were faced with, the moments when we had to humble ourselves, moments when we were tried by fire, so much of what we experienced together as a couple and family I think helped us come closer to God and our Savior and taught us how to become better. All of the life experiences combined, I guess, came to my aid that day a few months ago, and with the help of a very loving and patient Savior, He helped me in that moment finally, truly, and completely forgive my mom. And as I realized what was happening, all I could feel was this overwhelming feeling of love for her, and it wasn't a kind of love that I personally felt for her, but a love I knew my Savior felt for her. 

The happiest day of my life, she spent alone and facing one of her darkest moments. I was surrounded by light and love and family and friends, and she had no where to go, no one to help her, and I felt complete and total compassion for her and everything she had been through. And finally, in that moment, I felt the peace I had been searching for, the peace that takes away the remainder of fear, anger, and hurt that I couldn't fully dispel on my own. 

I am thankful for peace in my heart. I am thankful I have been able to finally forgive, 19 years after I came to the realization that my parents were drug addicts and that my life was falling apart, 19 years of dealing with the demons of horrible experiences, trying to overcome and forget and repress and runaway from it all....and I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father and devout Savior, who stood by me through the ups and downs and gently helped me along the way. We are nothing without them and there is not one thing man can do except through God and Christ's power, love, and grace.

Right now my mom is doing better than she ever has. She is trying to stay clean and sober, going to weekly rehab meetings, holding a steady job, paying back child support owed, paying off her fines, being a more responsible parent to my two youngest brothers, finally being honest with all of us about the past, and trying to be there for her kids and grandkids. It's scary business dealing with an addict. There is always that fear that the drugs will win, but for now, we are giving hope and faith and prayer our best shot and that it won't be the case in our family.

To end I want to quote President Dieter F. Uchtdorf in his address to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in April 2012 General Conference titled "The Merciful Obtain Mercy"

" In a world of accusations and unfriendliness, it is easy to gather and cast stones. But before we do so, let us remember the words of the One who is our Master and model. 'He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone.' 

...Let us put down our stones.
Let us be kind.
Let us forgive.
Let us talk peacefully with each other.
Let the love of God fill our hearts.
Let us do good unto all men.

The Savior promised, 'Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over...For with the same measure that (you use) it shall be measured to you again.' 

Shouldn't this promise be enough to always focus our efforts on acts of kindness, forgiveness, and charity instead of any negative behavior? Let us, as disciples of Jesus Christ, return good for evil. Let us not seek revenge or allow our wrath to overcome us." 

If we take heed to this counsel, I know each of us will find a greater peace, and I am so thankful for the peace I have been given.

John 14:27 " Peace I leave you, my peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Confessions of a now 30 year old momma!

Yup. I am 30. It's cool though. I feel great and even though I'm no super model, continue to fight blemishes, consider my nose to be too round for it to be attractive at all, I think I look pretty good for 30 too.....especially being 30 with four kids! Take that Cover Girl!

So, being 30 and all, and oh so wise now, I figured I'd let all you 20-somethings in on a few secrets:

1. Chocolate is still vital to your happiness. Don't wait until your 30's to experience the loveliness of dark-covered chocolate blueberries and pomegranates. Seriously, don't wait. Oh, and chocolate is BEST when consumed less often. Heresy? No. Don't let it become part of the everyday, monotonous, humdrum routine. Chocolate deserves better than that. 

2. Marriage. It still requires a lot of work. A lot of patience. A lot of communication. A lot of forgiveness. A lot of holding your tongue and "sorry's" for when you didn't. For many of us, our 30's bring about that 10 year wedding anniversary. 10 years goes by so fast and yet so slow! 10 years brings a kid or three....or four, surprise! Everyone has a surprise kid, right? And with kids, lots of kids, comes the sleep deprivation, stress, mess, and lack of romance. So yes, after age 30, women are still like a slow cooker and men are still like a's just that at 30, the slow cooker seems to get slooooower, and that darn microwave is too fast! Date nights are still a must at 30. Go dancing. You will realize how much fun it is to act young again! Line dancing is a must too! You will probably look like a fool, but at least by 30 you will know you look like a fool compared to those 20 somethings who just look ridiculous but think they look really cool! At 30 your spouse will still be leaving the toilet seat up, squeezing the toothpaste the wrong way....or right way, still telling stories with incorrect facts or exaggerated facts that get more and more exaggerated every 5 years, still snoring, acting obnoxious, and will still be your best friend.

3. You still don't know jack! Ok, so maybe you mature a bit by 30, and know a little something, but it's best to just tuck the pride and ego away now and live life as not such a "know-it-all"! By 30 you realize that most people don't want your advice unless they ask you. Most people still care more about themselves, still think their kids are cuter, smarter, talented and the most awesome. Sorry, but it's kinda the truth. By 30 you still don't know how to rotate your food storage before it expires or how to cook dried beans. You still don't know what the heck you are doing when it comes to parenting, but having multiple kids just gives you the appearance that you do. Bonus! 

All joking aside, being 30 is awesome. I'm 30 and still married to the man I fell in love with raising 4 beautiful, amazing, talented, smart, creative, spunky, sassy, sweet, mischievous kiddos. ( Yes, I still view my kids in a brighter light than #3) My kids might drive me crazy, and my husband's snoring and mouth noises still drive me NUTS when I stay up late trying to blog and I fantasize about what would happen if I smacked him in the face with a pillow....

Hahahaha.... wouldn't be good.....

And being the smart 30 year old that I am now, I have the better judgement to not try it out and instead end this blogging session with my final confession:

Life isn't rainbows and unicorns. People still have bad breath no matter how white their teeth are. Your grass has green spots and dead spots and weird poky longish spots that look like a different species of grass all together....just find the soft, spongy, lush green spots and plant your blanket there for the picnic, because the sun will still feel warm on your face, the clouds will remain white and fluffy, the breeze will still carry with it the fragrance of blossoms, and life will still be good. *gasp! 

Meh.....*shrug*......I think I got it mostly right......if not, hopefully some more pictures will make you forget about what I got wrong!

Did it work? Yup.....that's what I thought! Until next time, folks......

*sorry for the cut off pictures....trying to fix that.....I posted from my iPad so obviously I've still got to figure some things out.