Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010: A Few Thoughts and Several Photos

CHRISTMAS!

You know, the season of Christmas time really is amazing. Sometimes it has its poignant moments as we reflect on the past with loved ones who are no longer with us. Or perhaps we have moments when we remember that there could be a few more presents to place under the tree, if only the child/children were still here... Those times would be so much more painful if there was no CHRISTmas. He is who makes all Joy and brings all Peace to our bruised hearts. I know this with my whole soul.

How grateful I am to have a time set aside when we are allowed to truly focus on HIM. Life gets in the way. It is hard to celebrate our Saviors life and love on a day in and day out basis. We can honor Him daily by obeying Him and loving each other. But Christmas is a time of Celebration! Oh how grateful I am for it! One of the best ways for me to feel the Christmas spirit is to read stories written about Christmas. Some of my favorites are written by Richard Paul Evens (too many to name.) Then there is the classic Christmas Jars series by Jason Wright. And this year I finally picked up THE classic... A Christmas Carol. It has been so fun to read it as we have watched several versions of the movie inspired by the book. This year we read a different Christmas story every night to the kids. We all loved reading a new story together and feeling the sweet Christmas spirit. I especially enjoyed learning about how the story of Rudolph came about (a father's story to his little girl who's mother was different because she was sick.)

It is easy to become weary by all of the "traditions" of Christmas. The feeling or the expectation that we must not only put lights on our Christmas tree, but on the roof of our house - the trees - the fence -and the dog house as well. Everyone on our street is expecting a plate of goodies from us for sure! Don't forget the Toys for Tots, Sub for Santa, and the 12 Days of Christmas. Then you have the cheesy potatoes for the ward party, the yams for the work party, caroling with the Relief Society, and sugar cookies and singing at the rest home with the primary. And DON'T FORGET you still haven't made aunt marge her promised photo album of this years Family Reunion. Does any of this sound familiar?

We must find a balance! And in the end, we have to do whatever we have to do to keep the CHRISTmas spirit in our home. If that means only going to one party and staying home together instead of going to all of them, then you do that. This year Leif and I decided that we had to stay home instead of traveling north to visit my family. It was a very hard decision. But it has been a good one. It would have added way too much stress and taken away from the reason we were going out in the first place. Instead we have stayed home ad rested and tried to celebrate Christmas the best way we can. It's been great!

Here are a few highlights and several photos:

The town Christmas light parade
The Ward party
Dallen Jensen's birthday party
Grandma Baron's photo album (seeing grandpa Baron quietly cry loving tears at her excitement and appreciation.)
Grandma Baron's Dyson vacuum from her kids
Mark Baron family Christmas party (lighting each other's candle and telling what we will give Christ this year. Singing Christmas Carols together.)
Country Women's Christmas Candy Party
12 days of Christmas family nights
Chocolate
Egg nog
Cheese
Shrimp
Sausage
Laughter
Music
and Giving!


Oh The Things Kids Do!

The day before Christmas Eve Jakob spent a lot of the day drawing random pictures in a notebook. He said that he was drawing out the imaginative games that he plays. No big deal right? Well, That night we were tucking the boys in to bed and this is what was starring me in the face as I walked up to Jakob's bed:
From Jakob
YES, my jaw dropped! I think my first words were "Are You SERIOUS!?" Then Leif saw what I saw and we both looked around a bit more and were flabbergasted by what else we saw. Not just ONE picture, but several were drawn ALL over the room. On the bed and on the walls. Including a game of Tic Tac Toe!
From Jakob
From Jakob
We're not talking about our two year old either. This is our SIX year old Jakob. WHOA! We were upset to say the least. Let's just say that I don't think he will ever do it again and he was REALLY afraid that Santa would skip right over our house. Trust me, I was wondering the same thing!;) But after we calmed down a bit we used it as a prime example of repentance. He felt REALLY bad. Not just for the stupidity and the fact that he was caught. I do believe that he felt bad for being destructive. So we talked about that, and then we told him that he would be spending the next day doing what ever he had to do to get all of the pictures cleaned off of the furniture. Then we assured him that after he did all that he could do to make everything right again, we were sure Santa (as well as Heavenly Father when in the situation of repenting of sin) would forgive him.

I was dreading the clean up part. The bed is very nice wood and I Did NOT want to have to sand and stain it! Luckily Leif works for the school and he uses quality graffiti cleaner often. So he went and borrowed some from his office. THANK HEAVENS! It all came off no problem!
From Jakob
From Jakob

Oh The Joys!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oh So Much to Update!

I will save Christmas photos for tomorrow. Right now I'll just ramble a bit and hope I get everything in I want to...

So Leif SPOILED me this year! Among several other things, he gave me a Net Book. It's the perfect size for me. I've been able to lounge on my bed and work on my computer at the same time. I LOVE It! I call it my Midnight-Thoughts Processor. I put it on my night stand in case I need to jot something down. So much for the good ol' paper and pen. Anyway, I am thrilled! Thank you my Love!

Well, we are a house full of sickies, and I am SICK of it!! I woke up with the same junk as my kids this morning. Leif and I sanitized the house first thing this morning. We washed all the walls, doors, cabinets, computers, etc. Leif blew out all of the air filters and fans to help clean the air. I put a bowl of warm soapy water with lavender oil on the counter. This made it a lot easier to wash hands and faces throughout the day. And we kept the sugar intake way down today compared to the Out Of Control it has been lately. So here's hoping we'll be in better health soon. We are trying to get well enough to have my parents out for a visit for the holidays. Hopefully sooner then later.

So Caleb has been a little escape artist lately. Not escaping out of Places, but rather out of Clothes. Today has been just cold enough even in the house that he has kept his clothes on. But when he goes to bed he ends up undressed and the last two mornings we've been woken up in the morning to the announcement that he has taken his diaper off and peed (or worse) on the floor. LOVELY! So I went to the fabric store (our tiny little one) here in town. I wanted a huge safety pin. No luck! Instead the lady there and I decided that sewing ribbons on the zipper edges and double knotting them might be my best option. We shall see. Ahhh, the joys.

Well, the decision is final. I won't go into too much detail, but Leif and I are going to do the Crazy HCG diet again. It is CRAZY and it is HARDDDDD! But it works, and Fast! I have got to get some of the extra weight I've collected OFF! It has been a hard decision because I am breastfeeding JJ still. But he will be 6 months soon and he already LOVES eating cereal twice a day. He struggles with taking the time to nurse long enough to get full each time he nurses throughout the day. However, he does still nurse a lot through the night when he's more tired and relaxed. I've researched a lot and made a plan of how I'll follow the diet and breastfeed. I'll blog on my HCG Blog again so anyone who cares can follow. We'll begin sometime next month.

Well, I think that covers it! Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cheer, Cheer, Cheer For Us!

Readersdigest.com is having a contest for towns across America. The town with the most "cheers" will get up to $40,000 for a town improvement. Our town wants to upgrade our small park. Right now we are ranked #26 in the nation! So how can you help us get a better park for our small town?

1. Go HERE to ReadersDigest.com
2. Enter our Zip Code "86022"
3. Register (a VERY short form)
4. Click the "Cheer" button 10 tens! (ten votes!!!)
5. Make a book mark and return daily and "Cheer" ten times!

Thank you all for your help!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Goodness Gravy! Mama's Sick AGAIN!

Yep! It's true. It took a few days of misery before the good ol' tonsils showed me that there was an actual infection. Once they turned yucky Leif took me to the ER (our Instacare equivalent.) The strep test came out negative this time. But they said that it was still very likely strep. Since I was down with this less than a month ago they tested for Mono too. So Glad that came out negative too!!

So, I have a different antibiotic that will hopefully get rid of everything. And I'm praying I'll be feeling better soon for the Christmas festivities! Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12 Days of Christmas At Home By Lantern Light

This year we started a new tradition that has turned out great! I wanted to do the traditional 12 Days of Christmas for someone else. But it just didn't work out this year. However, I did go onto sugardoodle.net and found a file of 12 stories that are used for the 12 Days of Christmas. They are all short enough stories to keep the kids attention. And they all end with a great lesson, of course.

Each night we have brought the lantern to the table (candles were way too dangerous with our little monkey, aka Caleb) and we read the story as we eat a yummy Christmas treat. Does the meaning of the story sink in? Probably not every time. But the Spirit of Christmas is definitely in our little home for that short time (hopefully it lingers longer.)

We try very hard each year to help the true meaning of CHRISTmas sink into our boys' hearts. I pray that our efforts work in the end.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

2nd Annual Country Women's Christmas Candy Making Party

The title is long, but the party itself goes by too quickly. Last year I held the party in my home. This year my sweet friend Karin offered to have us come to her home. Thank you so much Karin! Her kitchen and dining area was perfect for the great turn out that we had!

The Country Women's Christmas Candy Making Party is a Christmas tradition that I started for the women in our community to enjoy. I came across a Taste of Homes Country Women's Christmas Cookbook and wanted to try several of their recipes. But I knew I would Never make them all on my own, nor would it be any fun if I tried them alone. So, I invited the ladies in town to join me in the fun.;) Last year I had around 5 or so ladies come. This year we had around 20! Yippee!

The sweet smells of chocolate, peanut butter, and peppermint filled the air. Mingled with the sounds of Christmas carols, visiting friends, and laughing children. Can't get much better then that! This year I invited anyone who wanted to to bring soup and cookies to share with everyone as we made the candy. That was a really nice addition. Especially for those of us who hadn't had dinner.

In the end we made 7 recipes from Taste of Home online. We doubled the recipes and everyone walked away with plenty of goodies as well as leftovers to take to neighbors. Truly a MERRY CHRISTMAS Celebration!

Here are the links to the recipes:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy
Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Microwave Marshmallow Fudge
Holiday Truffles
Toffee Peanut Clusters
White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles (AKA: Bloodshot Eyeballs for Halloween)
Oreo Cream Cheese Truffles (AKA: Hosts of Ghosts for Halloween)

From Christmas Candy Making Party 2010



From Christmas Candy Making Party 2010



From Christmas Candy Making Party 2010



From Christmas Candy Making Party 2010



From Christmas Candy Making Party 2010



From Christmas Candy Making Party 2010



From Christmas Candy Making Party 2010



From Christmas Candy Making Party 2010



From Christmas Candy Making Party 2010



From Christmas Candy Making Party 2010




From Christmas Candy Making Party 2010


REMINDER FOR NEXT YEAR:
* Cover at least 10 cookie sheet sized pieces of cardboard with heavy duty tin foil to use as makeshift cookie sheets.

Full Day Kindergarten In The Future

Up to this point Jakob's kindergarten has been a half day program. He enjoys it. Surprisingly, the school made the decision to make it a full day program at the beginning of the new year. There are mixed opinions by the parents about whether it's a good thing or not. Personally, it works well for us. I think Jakob will enjoy it. And it will be very nice not to have to haul the little boys down the stairs and out to the school to pick Jakob up. This way Leif can take Jakob to and from school. Very Nice!

Nursing Strike Update

The good news is that JJ has calmed down a bit and eventually begins to nurse. He has a strange new habit where he cries as I sit down to nurse him unless I am distracting him by making him laugh or cooing and talking with him. It's very interesting... But the good thing is that he's nursing and not fighting it once he starts eating.

Very Good!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Nursing Strike! And I don't mean medical nursing.

You know the sayings "Never say Never" or "Don't speak too soon."? Well, those apply to me at the moment. I was at a get-together with some friends a week ago and I mentioned the fact that for the most part I could be considered a Jersey Cow when it comes to my milk production. They all talked about their struggles with breastfeeding and I was grateful that I hadn't faced the same. Well, within that week I started to realize that only one side was easy for (4 month old) JJ to nurse on. The other was frustrating him. Like their wasn't enough milk. Well, he handled it for a few days. But two days ago he must have had enough of the struggle. Because he has started what is called a "Nursing Strike."

He screams any time I try to nurse him. He pushes away and refuses to nurse. LOVELY! Sometimes I can get him to nurse a little after a long struggle. But I finally broke down and pumped some milk. My right side takes at least 1 minute to even let down any milk. My left is readily available. I'm sure this is part of the problem.

So Last night, after a long struggle I finally got him to nurse enough holding him in the football hold to ease his hunger. He slept until 3:00AM. But this time he refused to nurse! So there I was pumping in the middle of the night as Leif was trying to calm a starving JJ. Leif fed him the milk and he slept until 7:00A. Refused, drank the last 2 ounces of milk in the bottle, was still hungry so he accepted nursing. 10:00A, strongly avoided nursing. But finally nursed enough to ease the hunger.

So... It's really no fun being so out of our routine. Don't ask me what the issue is completely. I have no answer. Only possibilities.

1. Difficult some of the time so he's frustrated.
2. Too congested to breath well enough.
3. Overactive gag reflex (he gags sometimes when he tries to latch on, it's a new thing.)

I'm an adamant breast milk mama. So just going to the bottle and formula isn't an option. So, I keep trying to nurse and pump along the way so he doesn't get too hungry.

Never say Never!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Catching Up: Thanksgiving and Christmas Trees

*Pictures Coming Soon!*

So I am WAY behind in updating. Well, maybe not WAY but definitely not up to date. Let's see if I can fix things. I have a bit of a sugar high right now, WAY too many Oreos and yes, I mean WAY too many. So Anyway...

Let's start a little bit before Thanksgiving. My parents came into town for an evening. Luckily I was feeling well enough to go out to a nice dinner with them. They then came over and spent the evening with us. A couple sweet moments I captured in my heart was to see and hear my mom rock JJ to sleep and sing him the same lullaby that she sang to me as a baby, and then to watch Jakob and my dad laugh and work together to put together a picture collage on the computer for school. After the kids were asleep, we watched a good movie and ate more yummy food. Good Times! The weather was bad so they couldn't stay longer into the weekend. But we had a nice time together anyway.

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Leif's family came together. We had everyone except Seth and Valen (missed you guys!) I was finally feeling better and Leif and I enjoyed cooking together. Leif;s signature recipe is Blue Cheese Green Bean Casserole, MMM! I made a yummy and pretty Trifle Dessert and a Fruit Salad, oh and good ol' Rhodes Rolls. We had a very yummy dinner. After dinner all of the kids wandered off to play and all of us siblings sat together and ate dessert and LAUGHED our Heads Off! Some of us laughed and told stories more then we have in years!! And to top it off James brought out the Martinelles to sip as we visited. Ahhh, it was one of those priceless moments. Thanks All! As things broke up with all of us silly adults the kids managed to pull uncle Leif and Erik outside to play night games. I know they sure love the times they get to play like the good ol' days.

So, Black Friday. Uhh... yeah... well... let's just say we had a good time. Shopping online is a lot easier then trudging through the stores and fighting the crowds. But, I'm afraid it's A LOT easier to spend money too. I spent the huge majority of the day shopping the deals. And I did find some good deals. And Leif, well... I'm afraid he's spoiled me again this year. I know this because there are a whole lot of presents that I can't wrap. We're finished shopping. Well... Leif is. I made him promise not to buy anything more;) But that doesn't mean I have to stop, Right!? No, I just have a little bit more for him and extended family. So that was our Black Friday fun. Leif and Jakob took a couple of hours and went hiking with the family (minus JJ and I). They hiked Wood Hill. It seems they can hike that a hundred times and still have a great time and manage to bring home a load of neat rocks and fossils. That night we played a few rounds of Dominos with Ian and Molly. So nice to be together!

Saturday morning we all bundled up and then loaded up to head out to the Kiabab National Forest to cut down our Christmas Trees. We went the extra mile this year and started a fire and roasted hot dogs. It was a good thing the fire wood worked because it would have been cold for those of us who stayed in camp while the others found the "perfect" trees. And we all did find nice trees.

I knew that these next couple of months would be busy for Leif. So I insisted on decorating the tree Sunday. My good husband wrapped the tree in several strands of lights. We decided to make our tree a twinkling tree this year. We can't use a lot of decorations because Caleb enjoys reaching, climbing, and pulling them. So It's a pretty tree with ribbon, and some bulbs, and lots of lights.

Jakob and Leif had a special day at school this week. It was called The Daddy Deer Hunt. They played games and "hunted" for the hidden deer that the kids had made. Cute!

I think that gets us up to date. Leif has finals this upcoming week and then he's done for this semester. YEAH! Next weekend we will have our 2nd annual Country Women's Christmas candy making party. I'm really looking forward to it!!

*Pictures Coming Soon!*

Saturday, November 27, 2010

So Much To Be Grateful For

I am feeling much better! Yippee! And we had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I figured I would take a moment while we wait for the kids to REALLY fall asleep to share some of the things on my "Gratitude List." Here it goes:

1. My Heavenly Father. Without Him, I would have nothing on this list. All truly good things come from Him.
2. My Savior Jesus Christ. Without Him, I would feel no peace.
3. Leif. Without him, I would be lost.
4. My children. Without them, I would be sad.
5. All of my other family members. Without them, I would be lonely.
6. Medicine. Without that, I would be sick.
7. Leif's parents. Without them, we would be homeless.
8. Our car. Without that, we would be stuck.
9. Talented authors. Without them, I would be bored and less enlightened.
10. The Internet. Without it, I would be less connected and left with far less opportunity to gain knowledge.
11. My friends. Without them, I would laugh less.
12. My friends and family who are still firm in their testimonies. They give me strength and hope for the future and spare me some sadness.

I have much to be grateful for. Much more then what I have written here. But this is a good start.

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Truck" A.K.A. Strep Throat

Last night I wrote about what I thought was a Fibromyalgia flare up. However, I woke up at 2 in the morning with a fever of 103 degrees. I had a sore throat but it wasn't any worse then the aches. So I didn't think too much about it. In the morning I checked my throat and realized what I had. Thank Heavens for medicine!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hit By A Truck!

Have you ever lay in bed and felt like you've been hit by a truck while you were asleep? I swear it must have run right over me and I didn't see a thing!!;)

Yep, today was one of those days. I could feel it coming on last night. And in the middle of the night it hit full force and lasted throughout the day. Our sleeping habits have been disturbed by Caleb's struggles from the surgery. And then JJ decided to join in the fun and fuss and cry and refuse to eat. Lovely! Luckily Leif and I make a good team and when my body won't let me move another muscle unless I HAVE to, Leif steps up and meets the need. So Lucky!

It's bed time again. The kids are in bed and I wanted to make sure they're REALLY in bed before snuggling down in my own heavenly mattress. And it looks like they are, so Gnight! Better days ahead!

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Insight About Life, Death, Heaven, and Peace

My eyes were opened to new insight last night. I am going to try to put it into words.

Yesterday Leif and I read the headlines on the news and read the story about the horrible accident in Arizona that killed several motorcyclists and a passenger in one vehicle. It was a complete accident. Directly after reading the article, I turned to Leif and said "it's too bad the driver didn't die too." The unsaid words to this statement of mine were, "the pain and guilt of such an accident would be so unbearable, I would rather death then have to face such a trial." Leif on the other hand made no comment to mine.

Later that evening we were talking in bed about our relationship and love for each other. I half jokingly said "I hope you don't mind, but I've prayed that we'll both enter heaven at the same time." Again, the unsaid words were "I hope we both die together, because the pain of being without you on earth would be too much to take." Leif chuckled and assured me that he didn't mind such a prayer. However, he followed up with a teaching moment. He mentioned my comment about the car accident. He proceeded to tell me that he can't understand such the reasoning behind wanting death over life. He explained that he never blames anyone who wishes for it, he just simply doesn't understand it.

It has taken several years for me to come to understand Leif's reasoning behind this. For example, when we lost our girls he handled the loss far different then I did. He lives very much in the moment and lets the past and future worry over itself. This is because Leif has been blessed with a special gift. His faith in, and understanding of heaven and the eternities is sure and clear. His spirit still reminds him of the millenia of time that we spent in the premortal existence preparing for this short time on earth. There was Nothing we longed for more then coming to earth, come what may, it made no difference. Leif clearly envisions this life as an accelerated learning course. One that we are to gather as much learning and experience from as possible. So the desire to end the course early is confusing to him.

In my mind, I envision heaven as pure bliss (as long as Leif is there with me.) I think of it as pain free, negative emotion free, etc. On the other hand, Leif is right when he reminded me that my vision isn't completely accurate. We will still feel the same feelings on the other side of the vail as we feel here. We will all continue to have agency, freedom to choose the light of Christ or not. So in his mind he saw the driver in the accident still struggling with the guilt of taking several people's life. In fact, he sees the possibility of an unforgiving victim coming to the driver in the spirit world and venting their emotions about their life being taken early. Yes, heaven has a stronger influence of Christ. But we do not forget this earthly life and it's happenings and emotions once we enter. Yes, there will be a time of pure bliss after this life, but that time only comes after the second coming of Christ when those who are worthy enter into the Celestial Kingdom with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Therefore, wishing death upon a struggling person is not the answer. Praying that the person will overcome the heartache they suffer is.

So the "new" insight? Life is priceless. Come what may, and Love it! Death is not necessarily the answer to pure peace. The Atonement of Jesus Christ and His healing power is the only Pure Peace.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My JJ is 3 Months Old

JJ's three months old already! Time is flying by. I am grateful for one unique fact when it comes to JJ's first few months. I have had many more quiet-calm-sleepy moments with him. With both Jakob and Caleb we had huge trips planned by the time they were just over a month old. There haven't been any such trips with JJ. It's been really nice.

JJ's my BIG/Little one. He weighs 14+ pounds. Let's put it in perspective, Caleb weighs 23 pounds and he's 2 years old.

Ahh, we love our JJ! These pictures show the Love!
From JJ 3 Months

From JJ 3 Months

From JJ 3 Months

From JJ 3 Months

From JJ 3 Months

From JJ 3 Months

We're Home and Recovering

Wasn't that a sweet surprise by my hubby!? If he posts on the blog it's usually because I'm tired or busy and I ask him to write a quick update. This last post from him was all from him. He knew that it would brighten my day!;) Gotta love the man! Thank you Love for updating so I don't have to give the full run-down on Caleb's surgery. Especially because I am SOOO tired tonight.

So with that said, I'll now take a minute and thank all of YOU who sent well wishes and love our way! We have felt your prayers. Caleb is doing much better then I had expected and braced myself for. Really, this just feels like Caleb's fever week. He's not very cheerful or obedient and he's self-centered. I expected him to be in severe pain and to have a lot of stress. As long as we can keep up with the IB Profin and Tylenol the pain is under control. The only occasional thing that's not like his fevers is that he chokes easier. I hope things continue to go smoothly.

The most stressful moments were the trip back home from Flagstaff. Caleb had refused his meds all day and was spitting everything out (I got a lovely face full of bright red Tylenol, NICE!) I was afraid we would have to take him back to the hospital in Kanab if we didn't get him to take it. So, I PRAYED!

Gradually the answers came. First, the thought came to buy tablet forms of the meds we needed. But he was refusing even them. Then when we got home and settled in, the most important answer came. Caleb is stubborn. He likes to think that things are his idea, and his way. So, the thought came to me to take the medicine bottle and shake it loud enough for Caleb to hear (when he's well he comes running to the sounds of vitamins or medicine because he thinks of them as a treat.) So I rattled the bottle and set it on the table and walked away. Sure enough, within a minute Caleb had come into the kitchen and brought me the bottle of IB Profin. THANK YOU Father!! I pray that he continues to take them.

So, that's the update. We're just taking it easy and hoping that things continue to go smoothly. Thanks again everyone for your well-wishes! God Bless!
From Caleb's Tonsillectomy

From Caleb's Tonsillectomy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In the hospital with Caleb...

(Papa update)

I thought I'd surprise my sweet wife and do an surprise post for her. I hope she likes it.

Let me tell you about our trip so far.

I took Wed. off so I could help pack and get ready. I'm glad I did because as always its more of a chore than planned. My sweet parents offered to let us take their car which is nicer and also more reliable. Thank you parents! We got off a bit late but that was fine. We choose several books on tape and a few regular books to read/listen to on the trip. I wasn't thinking and never pulled out the books I choose so they didn't get packed. But we ended up listening to the first part of "InkHeart" So far it was good. But regressing a little, while we were getting ready all the kids were excited.

Jakob was thrilled because he got to spend a few days with Grandpa and Grandma. (Thanks again!)

Caleb was thrilled, because we were going on a trip and we brought movies for the ride!

J.J. was thrilled...ok maybe not thrilled but he was his happy self.

Overall the trip went fine. We did joke that it looked like we went from forest to beautiful desert to the moon and back into the mountains. We had a couple stops to feed JJ but it was fine. We got into Flagstaff after dark and still had to find a walmart to get a new stroller. (yes we have a forest of them by our house but every single one has its straps destroyed or don't go with a car seat.) That we were running late, walmart also became dinner. yummm....

We were lucky, thanks to Lena's diligence and got to stay at the Taylor house next to the hospital. We got in and settled around 8:30. We put the kids to bed and had a long relaxing sleep. :) Ya right....

The short version is Caleb fell out of bed twice. The second time really waking him up so he wanted his water bottle, that he could have. We spend the next 2 hours or so looking for it. 2-4:30am. This was after we had heater problems were we couldn't sleep until midnight. Then at 5:10 sharp we started our day. Don't you love 2-3 sleep nights.

We got to the hospital to find out his appointment had been moved back an hour. grrrrrrr.

We are grateful; the surgery went well. The only bummer is he woke up before we were there. He was not happy at all. After some morphine and love he fell back asleep and never struggle that bad again today.

During the day today we has taken naps and watched a lot of movies. He has been a great trooper. He has now eaten well and drank well. His biggest complaint is the IV in his foot and that he can't run around.

This afternoon Lena took JJ back to the Taylor house and Caleb and I have had some one on one time. (We watched movies and some NBA basketball) Actually we also played on the floor together, played with his stuff animals and just had fun spending time together.

It's now 8:30 and Caleb has been asleep for around 20 minutes. I hope it is a good night for all of us. Lena and JJ need their sleep and I know Caleb and I sure could use some good sleep tonight also. If all goes well the doctor will come and sign us out early in the morning then we can go home!

Anyway, Love you Lena and you are the best Mother and Wife!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Just Checking In

I've been out of Blog World for a little while. I've just been busy and most of the evenings it's all I can do to get the kids in bed and then climb in my own. I love that we put our kids to bed EARLY on school nights. Most nights they are in bed by 7:30, sometimes by 7:00. So here it is 8:12, and I've had an hour to update with all of my friends and family in blog world. It's good to feel well enough to catch up.

So, I'll update a bit. We're doing good. G'night!;) Who did that sound like?? If you know Leif, you'd know I was just mimicking him. Okay, let's just go by name:

LEIF: He's watching the big Jazz game tonight and it sounds like they might just pull it off. And when I say watching, I actually mean he's watching NBA.com as it gives a play by play. What a good sport and faithful fan. He loves basket ball. It's his outlet. Luckily I grew up with Jazz games and BYU games, so I don't mind the nights when he wants to stay up for the game. He's talking about my dad right now and wondering if he's going crazy as he watches the game. He said he'll call him after the game. I love that Leif loves my dad!:)
Otherwise, Leif works really hard and is doing well in school. Yep, I Love Him!

ME: Well, I have good days and bad days when it comes to how I feel. I've found that the days where I have to carry JJ around in his car seat, and carry Caleb up and down the stairs (he's afraid of the stairs) more then one time are my worst days. JJ weighs over 14 pounds now. So I try to find ways to not have to lug him around. Every day I set two goals for the day (get the dishes done, scrub the toilet, mop the floor, etc.) If I get those done, then I've had a successful day. When it comes to hobbies, well, I've really enjoyed sewing on my sewing machine lately. This weekend I traced a pattern off of one of my nightgowns and made me a house dress. It turned out okay for a very first project. I look forward to trying new things in the future.

JAKOB: My Jakob, ahh how I love this boy. As demanding as he is, he's just as fun! He's doing well in school. The kindergarten here is thinking about going to a full day kindergarten starting the new year. It will be good for Jakob because I was considering homeschooling him because I can't drag the little ones out and down the snowy stairs every day to pick him up from school (No there is not another classmate who's parent can drive him.) Anyway, I think a full day will be good for Jakob. I miss him at times, but the only thing he's missing here is our nap time. So I think it's a fine thing.

CALEB: Ahhh, I Love this boy too!!;) Our "Mr. Ed" (that's what I call him!) has his tonsillectomy surgery on Thursday. We head out for the three hour drive to Flagstaff tomorrow. The little outing will be nice for Leif and I. But we are not looking forward to Caleb's pain!!

JJ: Ahhh, my little nap time buddy. How I love him too! He brings a peace to anyone who holds him or looks into his eyes. My friend was commenting about this fact this afternoon. This is one of the reasons that JJ naps with me in the afternoons. He calms my spirit. I also like to give him special time because I'm not able to carry him around with me throughout the day. So he sees me from afar from his swing as I go about my duties. But oh what a trooper he is! A true blessing!!

So, that's our update. We're doing well! And the Jazz won! Yippee!;)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Karate Kid (2010)

Pappa updating!

We are sitting watching Karate Kid with the boys. This will be short because I want to watch too! :) But Lena and I watched it already and found we really liked it. We are hoping Jakob learns a couple good lessons from it.

1. Listen to your parents!
2. Listen to your superiors
3. Self Control
4. Focus!!
5. Watching movies with dad and mom is fun!

Talk to you later!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Teething at 3 Months!?

I have nieces and nephews that had teeth by the time they were 3 or 4 months. But I NEVER imagined that one of my kids would follow the trend! JJ is teething and we can see the little teeth trying to pop out (two bottom front.) Caleb didn't have a single tooth until after his first birthday. Jakob was around ten months. Seriously, THREE MONTHS!? Goodness, JJ!! Let's hope the teeth are healthy!!! And let's hope they come soon so he can feel better!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Can't Find My Phone! Exercising At The Church?

Well, we have a case of "The Missing Cell Phone." Bummer deal! I've looked everywhere and cleaned my house. Natta! So, if you need to get in touch with me, email or drop by.

Ladies, I bombed and didn't get to the church for exercise. I used the excuse that I couldn't call any of you to confirm that I'd have exercise buddies. SORRY!!! Email me if you're planning on exercising with me and which days you'll be there. 10:00 AM! Let me know and Spread the word!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wonderful Weekends and Halloween

From Halloween 2010

We have had a couple of nice, relaxing weekends. Last weekend (Oct. 22-24th) was the best! We did NOTHING but relax. Leif and I went to Jakob's Parent/Teacher Conference. That turned out well. He's tested above average nationally so far. That's nice, of course. I was able to spend time with a good friend after the meeting. Leif went home to do homework (so I thought.) It was so nice to visit with my friend for a while. And then when we came home, I found that Leif had straightened the house and done the dishes. Ahhh, Heavenly! That made it possible for me to relax the whole weekend. We watched movies and ate yummy food all weekend. We watched Ice Castles (good Show), Minority Report (not going to watch again), and we introduced Jakob to Star Wars (of course that was a hit!!) We started watching the documentary called BABIES on Netflix (didn't finish because the Internet router went out.) I was also able to read a great book by Shannon Hale called Book of a Thousand Days. I read her book titled Princess Academy earlier and really enjoyed it. Here are a few pictures of our baking projects and Caleb wandering through the overgrown wild flower garden now heading into Autumn sleep. Wonderful Family Time!
From Halloween 2010

From Halloween 2010

This weekend we were supposed to go to my parents house and to one of their Murder Mystery shows. We were also going to visit with Leif's sister and her family,and my good friend from high school and her family. We were all looking forward to it. Then Caleb came down with his monthly fever. This fever hit 103 degrees. So, we had to cancel all of those plans. Instead we stayed home. We were going to vegg like last week. The boys watched Star Wars pretty much all day Friday. That night we we enjoyed the company of Leif's parents and his brother Erik and his wife Stacy. The boys had a melt down around 7:00 so they had an early bedtime. After we put them to bed Leif and I were able to have an adults night out, YIPPEE! Leif's mom made us homemade spice cake donuts MMMM! We stayed up late and played a game of Domino's. It was so fun but I was EXHAUSTED! The next morning Leif and his mom made crapes, bacon, and pumpkin muffins for breakfast. WOW! I then went upstairs and finished the boys Halloween costumes. I made them each a Knights costume. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun too!!! Leif gave me a sewing machine for an early Christmas present and I have loved tinkering with it!

I didn't mention, but Thursday was Jakob's Kindergarten Halloween parade. I took the little boys and we met Leif for the parade and then had lunch with Leif. Good Times!
From Halloween 2010

From Halloween 2010

From Halloween 2010
From Halloween 2010

From Halloween 2010

Saturday evening we all got dressed up and went to the church parking lot for a Trunk r' Treat. What a great time! We had a chili dinner and harvest desserts with hot chocolate. Then we took the kids around to the cars for goodies. It was really fun to all be together and have a lot of festive fun. Caleb won all of us that night by eating too much candy. It became impossible to monitor how much he was eating. His fever had calmed down by then but he was still crabby and not willing to take no for an answer. Well, we paid the price. Leif had to clean up a mess in the middle of the night (while I fed JJ) Caleb threw up. Such a good man!

So Sunday morning came upon us and there was no way I was going to be able to go to church. I HAD to sleep and rest more. So Leif stayed home with me and Caleb was able to rest with us as well. Jakob went to church with grandma and grandpa. Leif's mom called us over for left over chili dinner and I just sent Jakob down to deliver dessert to them Magic Cookie Bars MMMM!

So, though it would have been a lot of fun to head north. It was actually a good thing we stayed. I didn't mention details about Caleb's antics while down in the dumps. But let's just say too much driving, and fewer naps would have been really hard.

Oh, before I forget, in the middle of this past week Leif took the TEAS test in preparation for his Nursing Program application. He scored 96%. AWESOME! Especially for it being the first time taking the test. They allow someone to take the test up to 3 times per year.

So, there it is. I think I covered everything. We made some great memories and have enjoyed the last couple of weeks.

From Halloween 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Girls

Well, it's been 4 years! I can't believe it. Although, it almost feels like a lifetime ago that we went through the journey with our twins. But then again, it feels like yesterday. I can still remember so many moments and the emotions that filled them...

Jakob is old enough now to understand that he has sisters in heaven. JJ talks, coos, and even laughs a lot to the ceiling. Jakob often tells me that JJ is just talking to his friends. I asked him what he meant and he said that JJ was talking to the two girls that he played with not long ago in heaven. I reminded him that those girls are his sisters as well as JJ's sisters. A precious moment.

With that, I say, You are never far from our hearts dear little ones!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Diagnosis: For The Record

I met with the Doctor a while back. In fact, it was quite a while ago, possibly before Caleb was born. However, I remember the appointment like it was last week. The diagnosis he gave me was one that I refused to accept. I just didn't want the condition, and that was that. Gradually the symptoms subsided for me and I gradually moved on from the experience. Until I had another C-Section. Everything is back.

I have Fibromyalgia. It's such a big word. With an equally big definition. And no, it is not life threatening. Only life changing.

"ScienceDaily (June 3, 2008)Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that causes widespread pain and tenderness throughout the body. A University of Michigan study, published in The Journal of Pain, shows that fibromyalgia is associated with central nervous system abnormalities evidenced by patients’ elevated sensitivity to auditory and pressure sensations."

For some people they become consumed by pain it is so overwhelming. Gratefully, for me it is only a struggle. And I am also grateful for the hope that I have that this current flare-up will go into remission like my last (when I had a C-Section for my twins.)

I know that I haven't gone into too much detail. It's not that It's personal information. It's just boring for the most part. But it is something that I should have "on the record." So there it is. I have good days, bad days, and some VERY bad days.

All will be well one day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jumping In Puddles

I got a phone call yesterday around 10A. It was Leif informing me that Jakob was in the school office SOAKED and dripping from his waist down. Apparently he found a rain puddle during recess and according to him, "sometimes I forget what's in my brain." and he cannon balled into the puddle.

Well, his teacher wasn't too impressed. But you know... I was.;) It's not easy to have that much fun. But being the mom I had to act responsible. So I picked him up (checked him out of school to go to the library for Story Hour) and said, "Don't you know your not supposed to jump in puddles without rubber boots!?" He smiled. Then of course I had to follow up with, "and besides, you don't jump in puddles at school." Which got me thinking...

I'm really a homeschool mom at heart!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Festival and Fondue Feast

We have had a very full and fun couple of weeks around here. Last weekend we attended our towns annual Fall Harvest Festival. It was so nice to all come together and visit with each other. Leif had an especially good time playing with all of the kids. He would let the younger kids choose a "target" then he would chase the target and swing them around. Needless to say he was Very Popular.

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

We were filled with lots of yummy foods. And came away feeling extremely grateful for the good people that surround us every day. The final hour of the night was wonderful. Once the tables were put away we ended up dancing under the pavilion. On the way home the boys and Leif played a silly game. They pretended that the moths and bugs flying into our path were missiles and the other cars were meteors. The meteors would suck the power from our lights as we passed (Leif turned off the brights.) we all joined in the fun. It was one of those priceless family moments.

This weekend Leif and I hosted our annual Fall Fondue Feast. We invited Leif's parents, brother Erik and Stacy his wife, and his Grandpa Dixon. We had fun deciding which recipes we would make and then shopped all day the day before. Leif and I ended up making A LOT of food. Faylynn helped us. The cooking before hand is part of the fun. With such great company, delicious food and fun ambiance to top it off, we had a fabulous night. We even had a rerun dinner tonight and it was still awesome!!

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

In between our fall festivities we've been able to spread gravel throughout our yard (Thanks to Leif's dad!) This will help tremendously with mud this winter and hopefully weeds in the spring. We've also just enjoyed each others company. JJ is growing up. We call him Smiley. This picture proves that it is an appropriate nic-name. Ahhh, the Joys of Family!

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

From Fall Festival and Fall Fondue 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mountains Conquered

This morning I woke up to two huge mountains that I HAD to conquer by the end of the day.

1. Dishes
From mountains overcome

2. Organizing the Clothes Storage Bins
From mountains overcome


I am thrilled to say, I CONQUERED my mountains! All of the dishes are washed, AND put away! And all of the bins are organized, labeled, and ready to store. I should show pictures of that instead of the messy ones. But... this way you get a better idea of why this turned out to be a Great Day!

Friday, October 08, 2010

No More Tonsils For Caleb! No More PFAPA?

UPDATE July 2011: Removing Caleb's tonsils cured his PFAPA! Amazing!

We drove 1.5 hours away today to visit with an Ear Nose and Throat specialist for 2 year old Caleb. Our boys have what is called (short version) Periodic Fever Syndrome. Some of you may have picked up on the trend. To most (including us, it feels like Caleb is always sick. This is because on a regular basis (almost like clock work) he will get either a fever, severe body aches, stomach ache, or horrible throat and mouth sores. Or he will have a combination of the four. Every month. Sometimes more then once a month. The episodes last around four days to a week. Jakob had the same episodes. Gratefully he grew out of it by the time he was 4 years old. Caleb will most likely grow out of it too. However, we just recently found out that having the child's tonsils removed sometimes helps take away the condition. If we can cure Caleb two years earlier then Jakob, we'll do it.

So anyway, we went to the specialist. The bitter/sweet thing was that Caleb is in the middle of an episode. So his throat is raw and he is sick! In the Very Beginning of the consult he told us that it would take convincing discussion to get him to remove a 2 year olds tonsils. Well, we convinced him. It really didn't take too much convincing. We had credible evidence and knowledge of what was going on and then he just looked in Caleb's throat and agreed that this is a miserable thing to let him have if there is a possible way to cure it. So, it looks like we're in for a journey in about two weeks from now. I'm not looking forward to the surgery and especially not the recovery. But I do hope it makes a big difference.

Now for the fun part. We get to drive 3 hours away to get to the hospital where the Dr. does his surgery. Living on the border of Utah and Arizona has some serious draw-backs sometimes. Our insurance will only accept Arizona doctors for special procedures. So, it's off to Flagstaff we go. Ahh, the joys! I've wanted to see Flagstaff. But this isn't quite what I expected.

So, that's the update for today!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Don't You Love It When...

Don't you Love it when...

You put the kids to bed and the little one starts crying because he has a terrible sore throat. There is nothing You can do. But you hear his big brother in there cooing and shushing him to try to comfort him and he stops crying. Yes, I love these precious brothers!

From October 2010 JJ and boys

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Goodbye Wii and Netflix! Hello TIME!

In General Conference this weekend one of the speakers said "Love is spelled TIME." I know this is true. My kids are glowing after an hour of quality time. They are much nicer to each other and to me. So, today I decided to make a big change in hopes that it will bless our family. We have put away the Wii and Netflix. We use Netflix's Instant Movies daily. We don't watch anything that brings a bad feeling into the home. However, one movie can lead to another and another and another. By the end of the day I began tallying how many hours of movies compared to hours of quality time we had and the results were very poor.

Today after Jakob was home from school the boys played with their toys. We read several books together. We had nap time without a fight. After nap time Jakob and I sat together and made a 27 page Sight Words book. We copied pictures of Jets of the Internet and Jakob helped me create a sentence using his sight words for each picture. Talk about productive and TIME! After dinner Leif sat with the boys and played online games going over patterning and math. We then read a book together about Christ for Family Home Evening and then the boys took a shower. Now they're in bed and it has been a great day!

Leif came home from work today and he commented on how quiet the house was. We listened to some great piano music to liven things up a bit;)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Random Photos

I wish I could make the time to write all that comes to mind (well, not EVERYTHING;) But I have a lot of topics floating around to write about. But my only quiet time is after the kids are in bed. And that is MY bed time too. So the writing has slowed down a lot. But I do have random pictures I can post. That doesn't take too much thought. The big boys are playing with a paper airplane at the moment and JJ's asleep/awake in his crib. So let's give this a try...

Turns out that some of these are photos that I wanted to make into their own post. But I haven't got a chance. So this will be a long one.

Okay, I'm taking the easy way out. I'll post them as a slide show. But I'll give you an idea of what the pictures are about.

The first few are of JJ's first bath. I can't believe how little he was. He's 13 pounds now.

The one of us holding flags on the side of the road was taken by Deseret News. We went to the funeral procession for Deputy Brian Harris of Kane County who was shot in our town. It was a very sobering experience. Sad!

One is of Caleb in his cow boy boots. He is SO CUTE!

The red pepper is from our little Earth Box garden. I was so thrilled to get a thick skinned COLORED pepper! Really, it's just because we are horrible at harvesting our veggies and they turn colors the longer they're on the vine;)

A couple of photos taken inside our Conference Tent during this October Conference.

And finally, pictures of JJ having Tummy Time. The only problem is that he fell right to sleep within a minute of sitting him there. We had to get a picture!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Don't You Love It When..

Don't You Love It When...

  • General Conference weekend comes around and your 6 year old insists that it's among the BEST days of the year! LOVE IT! And I pray he continues to feel that way. Guess I better keep the sweets and coloring pages stocked even when he's 16;)
  • You put the kids to bed, finish the house work, and then sit down with a nice big hunk of ICE CREAM... Ahhh Yeeah!
  • The house is cleaned (including vacuumed!)
  • You find a killer deal on a new vacuum at the thrift store. My kitchen floor will be so much more sanitary!
  • You run smack into another AWESOME STEAL at the thrift store, like a new side-by-side fridge for only $125.00. I can now open our fridge and I don't feel like I'm staring into an overflowing cave. SOOO LOVE IT!
  • The lights are dim, the baby's asleep, and it's YOU'RE bedtime Too! And then you get to climb in bed with the man of your dreams and brand new sateen sheets... Heaven Indeed!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Update

Can you believe that my brain wouldn't shut off tonight? Even when JJ is sleeping, which means I could be sleeping. Ridiculous!

Well, we've all been quite sick at our little home. Jakob is currently the sickest. He has some type of flu. Poor Guy! Otherwise, the rest of us just have a really bad cold... So that's that update.

Life has continued though. I did have to take one day off and I read a whole book in one day. That was nice. The next day I took on a HUGE project. I had Leif bring up all of the clothes that we have in storage boxes for different sizes and seasons. I went through everything and got rid of a giant pile of clothes. I also organized everything and took an inventory of what we have and what we need. Turns out we are missing all of the size 2T tops.

Baby Calling. Hope you enjoyed the short update.;)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Few Deep Thoughts

It's one of those nights. Part of me actually enjoys these moments, and the rest of me just wants to sleep. JJ feels the need to be held as he falls into a deeper sleep tonight. So instead of vegging in front of the computer and surfing the Internet. I tied JJ onto me with one of the wraps that my dear friend Harmony made me, and I am FINALLY blogging... Now, what to blog about?

I have so many thoughts and stories that come throughout the day and I tell myself to remember to blog about them. But I rarely do. I'm So ready for bed these days. Part of me has avoided writing my thoughts down lately. Some of them are deep and personal. I know, you're thinking "well that hasn't stopped you before..." And you're right.

When JJ was a month old or so, I started having my familiar reoccurring dreams again. I dream that I have a baby that I need to feed and care for and I can't get to it. This round of dreams the baby was a little girl and I had always left her with someone or some place and then I couldn't get back to her for some reason. The thing that was different with these dreams from others that I've had is that the baby never died in these recent dreams.

Now, I know you're probably thinking, "uhh, yeah Lena, your brain is just processing the baby that you have now." The thing is, that's not who the dreams are about. And I don't think they're about my girls this time either. I think my heart is sad and processing the fact that JJ will most likely, almost positively, be our last baby that I give birth to. Can you tell that this is a hard thing for me to finalize? Watching JJ grow so quickly and watching Leif and the boys interact with him, not to mention how much I love having a baby, it makes it VERY hard to say that I'm done.

I went to my 6 week post partum appointment and the Dr. agreed that it is probably best if I don't have any more. That coming from a man who's wife has given birth to at least 9 children. But my body has never done pregnancy well. It's a very sad truth.

Which leads me to a different thought... Adoption. Up until recently I didn't think that I would ever really be open to adoption in the future. But I've come to the conclusion that I probably will if the opportunity is given. I would hope for a little girl, straight from the hospital so that I could bond with her from the very beginning of her life. I wonder if that is part of my dreams too. My mind and heart processing the possibility that my future babies will come from someone else... It's been on my mind enough to make it into my dreams... interesting thought.

And finally, the other personal dilemma that I'm struggling with is lack of exercise and ridiculous weight fluctuations. It's driving me crazy! One week one set of clothes will fit, the next I can't button them up. I'm getting tired of it.

So those are some of my deeper ponderings throughout my days. However, for the most part I'm just enjoying and taking care of the moment. Changing lots of diapers, loving the smiles and coos from JJ, the new words from Caleb, school adventures with Jakob, and a few quiet moments with Leif. So, truthfully, at the end of the day Life is Still Good!
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