Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Nate and Happy Christmas Eve!

Today was a jam packed day! We woke up to a beautiful snowfall coming down (I should say Nate woke me up to show me the beautiful snowfall). From there we had a busy day of cleaning, cooking, shopping and just having fun in general. It was a great day.



Tonight, we were able to spend the evening with our family. We had a DELISH meal of prime rib, lobster, potatoes, salad, jello, creamed corn and rolls. We finished off with birthday cake for Nates birthday. Then commenced the birthday celebration for Nate. All day he's been antsy to play with his toys that he was able to choose today with Uncle Scott, Grandparents and myself. He had such a great time.



After birthday celebration we had a live nativity with the kids, read a cute Christmas book, had a impromptu concert by my niece Melissa on her violin (which was fabulous), had a visit from the Christmas Brownie for jammies and sung Christmas carols. I love my family, they are such a joy to be with.

When we got home we of course had to have some milk and cookies, watched Mr Krugers Christmas and tracked Santa. The boys were sooooooo excited about Santa coming. Funny enough, Nate is by far the most excited. The other two are out cold but Nate is in his room boobytrapping the place so he will wake up when Santa comes. He's also playing with his new toys. No matter how much I tell him he needs to go to sleep, he just can't calm down. He was even doubting Santa this year....but I think I've gotten him convinced this time. Next year might be a different story.



Today marks an amazing day in my history, the day that Nate was born. He was my little Christmas baby. He was born at 11:48 PM....almost an actual Christmas Day baby. We were soo happy to have him come to our family. He is such a smart, helpful and kind little (BIG) guy. He is happy to help his brothers and has a giant heart. I love my baby...he is such a beautiful member of our family.

So ya'll....it's time to get a kid zonked out so Santa can come. I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas season so far and have a fantastic day tomorrow! Merry Christmas!!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Instagram Thursday!

In no particular order (seriously....they uploaded randomly....) this has been my week or so!


My friend sent this to me the other day. I feel it's only fitting. And it made me laugh real hard haha!

We went to our friends' house for their daughter's very fun birthday. I'm using this for blackmail later in life.

Ry and his cousin watching their ice cream be frozen with nitrogen. Very cool indeed!

I moved out of my LO's office this week....this is my new workspace. It's much roomier. And in the "pit" with the other processors. It's an adjustment....but I LOVE it!

We had our first big snow of the season! It was very pretty. Scary to drive in because people think they know how to drive in the snow but really they are just trying to kill everyone around them....but still pretty!

Went to a great place called Sakura today with my  friend Travis. It was awesome. And this hibachi chef as absolutely hilarious. Couldn't understand half of what he was saying, but he loved posing for pictures!

We had our work party tonight and I must say....I absolutely LOVE my job and the people I work with. Truly, they are some of the very best people I know. AND we got spoiled! The LO's all pitched in to get us support staff some goodies! This bucket was chuck full of lots of awesome presents. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Opportunity

I have been researching a line of products that a friend of mine sells and I've decided to join her team to help sell them. She is overloaded with work and needed some help....so.....I am helping. And I'm pretty excited about the opportunity. The product is called It Works. There are lots of fun products in this line, but I'm most excited about the skinny wraps. No they don't make miracles happen, but when used with healthy eating habits and exercise, they do help tighten up loose skin and help stretch marks and cellulite fade out. I'm very excited for the opportunity. Mostly for selfish reasons. Because we all know I have a fear of the dreaded and loathsome 'tummy tongue'. See below (via YouTube):


Again this is not a miracle cure or anything...but it does help tighten up loose skin. But this doesn't only include tummies, you can do it anywhere on your body. So if you have a double chin your hating, slap the bad boy on and it will reduce down the gobble look. Or if you have old lady wing arms (also referred to as Relief Society arms around here) it will help that out a little too.
So go Google, YouTube, Pinterest, whatever it and check it out. I'll post a link to my site once it's up and running.
Once again...a way has been provided to help me with these upcoming costs....just one more reason that I can say that miracles happen. They do folks....they do. :)

On a random note....I didn't realize how long my hair was until I got it cut tonight. 6 inches the girl cut off. And I miss my long hair already, but I am LOVING the fact that every time I put my purse on my shoulder or my coat on, my hair doesn't get squished or ripped out. I'll post a pic when I actually do my hair tomorrow. Yay!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mormon Messages Monday (kinda)

Friday brought forth some seriously tragic news that absolutely no one ever could have ever imagined happening. A shooting in a Connecticut elementary school. 27 (I think? I've heard multiple numbers but I'm going with that one) people dead. 20 of those kids between the ages of 6 and 7 years old. It was a true tragedy in every sense of the word. I can't even imagine the pain that those families are going through. The families of the teachers and adults who were killed.....but more so the families of those sweet little children who are no longer with them. Those little ones had so much life ahead of them, so much left to do on this Earth and their time was cut short in a horrific killing spree. All I have been able to think about is how much their hearts are hurting right now.
And the kids who had to listen to and watch it all happen? Thank goodness their lives were spared but they will have a rough journey learning to cope with what they had to endure. My heart just hurts for them and the pain they must be going through trying to deal with the events of that day.
It was an eye opener for me too. We have rough mornings. There are mornings that the ride to school is filled with me being frustrated because kids were too pokey and now we are late for school....or cussing them to stop fighting or to share their cereal. How would I feel if one of those kids would've been my own and the last thing they heard their Momma say was "stop fighting with your brothers!" or "you better not leave your brother at school alone again!"?
Needless to say, even though we were running late this morning we had a nice ride to school. We were happy and there was no cussing involved. There were lots of kisses and I said I love you to them about a million times as they walked into the building, and that won't be changing any time soon that's for sure. I never want the last words I speak to my kids to be in anger or frustration, only in love.

So there are a whole lot of memorial videos, pictures, etc out there but I'm sharing the video that I have loved the most. Mostly because I love this song but also because I love that these people got together to show their love to those hurting families in their time of need. So...without further ado...Hallelujah.




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Amazing Miracles

I have had an outpouring of blessings today that I need to share. As a back story....I was talking about my schedule at work last night and how I would need to work from home a day or two due to Tyler's surgery....and that I would need some time off/work from hospital time in the future as well so of course was asked what for. So I told my LO (loan officer) what was going on.

Well.

I am sitting at my desk this morning reconciling a HUD and plugged in to my music...when one of the brothers who owns the company came in with a check. He told me the money was to help with surgery costs and how much he sure hoped everything would go okay. He expressed how much they really appreciated me and my hard work. I was in shock. I tried hard not to tear up....I mean I'm working and all. I think I was able to spit out a thank you a few times out of my shock and attempt to hold back tears. I need to say a real thank you tomorrow now that I'm not blubbering. But what a blessing to work with just truly amazing, kind and caring people. Every single person I work with has so much love and caring in their hearts for every other person there, and this is just a testament to that. I am truly blessed.

And then....as I'm being bored and such I go on to check my status with my CHIP application. There are no new notices, however on the alerts it says I can review my payment info. So I click....and I officially have payment info for CHIP! My boys have health/dental insurance! Woot woot! I haven't gotten the official notice yet or my cards, but I think we are golden! The plan I qualify for has the higher premiums/deductibles and etc but at least it covers something. If nothing else, it will help buffer the cost of the orthodontics and the doc visits. And maybe....hopefully.....I can get some surgery help. It says the max I will have to pay per year for anything medical/dental will be 5% of my income but I'm not sure if that includes surgery as there were millions are asterisks by that phrase as well. And I won't know what they are calculating my yearly income to be until they send me my official notice. BUT. YAY! The boys have health insurance again!!!

I'd say both are small miracles in my mind. Definite blessings. Faith boosters. A way has been provided to help us through. Things will still be a struggle as I try to pay the deductibles and that whole 5% business, but not nearly as unreachable as $15,000 or so.

A way has been provided....we will be okay.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mormon Messages Monday



Since it's the Christmas Season, I'm focusing my Mormon Messages on Christmas this month. I LOVE this message. Sometimes we are soooo focused on the commercial side of Christmas and the presents and how much we can spend...keeping up with the Jones'.....etc. But really...I celebrate because I want to remember the day that our Christ was born. I't's not about how many presents we get or how much they cost. I hope that I impart on my kids the importance of the holiday....Christ. These kids say it best. Enjoy! Kids and Christmas.

Peace

I've been contemplating the recent events of my life today and have started to feel a surreal amount of peace. I am not sure why, but my guess would be it is from the thoughts and prayers that I have been saying and that my loved ones have been saying for me (thank you!). But I have realized a few things as well that I had lost sight of and I want to put in writing so that when I'm feeling down and weak I can come back and read what I'm about to write.

I know, without a doubt, that I will be okay.

I know financially, that even though I'm feeling an insane amount of stress over how I'm going to make everything work, I will find a way. A way will be provided for me. As I look back through my life, even when I've had financial hardships in the past and there have been a lot of them, there has always been a way provided to me. We have never truly been without. We have struggled, yes. But never truly been without. And this will be no different. We may struggle, yes. But we will not be without.

I know that the stress and chaos with Ty will work out fine. I know that he will be okay. I know that I will be given the knowledge I need to get him, myself and the rest of our little family through this. I know he will be taken care of by some of the best docs in the country and he will come out ahead of the game. And, I know this will all come with patience and an open heart on my part.

I know that there is someone out there who will be perfect for me. I know the loneliness I'm feeling right now will not be a forever deal. And I know I need to wait patiently and prepare myself to accept the person in my life who is meant to be there. I know that love is not something that just happens, it is something that is grown and nurtured together until something beautiful comes to be...and then is grown and nurtured some more to stay beautiful. I know that the person for me will want to be here and will not run from his feelings. He will want to nurture them with me. He will want to work with me to create a safe place for the both of us, somewhere that we know we can be ourselves, we can be vulnerable and we will know that even though it's inevitable that we will hurt each other, we will find a way to move on together and will love each other even more for facing our trials together, hand in hand...side by side.

I know that I have a greater calling while I'm here in this life than I can see. I know that I am meant to do amazing and wonderful things, but that I cannot do them in my current state. I know that I need to rise above my hurdles and seek out the knowledge I will need to accomplish what I am meant to accomplish here on earth, the steps have been given to me I just need to follow them. And I know that I can succeed. I know I am meant to succeed so that I can find the peace that I desperately long for and so that I can be a light to those around me, showing them that no matter the trial, they too can find peace in their hearts.

Our pain will help us know true joy. Our trials will help us grow strong. And I know....beyond a doubt.....that I am loved. I am blessed. I am protected and watched over. I know without a doubt that my boys are loved, blessed and protected as well. There is no denying that we have someone watching over us. He has held us in our darkest hours. He has offered a hand to help us rise above. He has given us the strength and courage to face the world head on. And he will continue to do so until the end.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Reason For The World



There are no words in times like these when tears don't hide the tragedies. And all you want is a reason for the world. No comfort in a greeting card because God is good, but life's still hard. And your heart just wants a reason for the world.
But maybe the reason for the pain is so that we would pray for strength.
And maybe the reason for strength is so that we would not lose hope.
And maybe the reason for our hope is so that we could face to world.
And the reason for the world is to make us long for home.
For God so loved your broken heart. He sent his Son to where you are and he died to give a reason for the world. So lift your sorrows to the One whose plan for you has just begun. And rest here in the hands that hold the the world.
Well I know you're past the point of broken, surrounded by your fear. I know your feet are tired and weary from the road that you walk down here. But just keep your eyes on heaven and know that you are not alone.
Remember the reason for the world.
No ear has heard, no eye has seen, not even your wildest dreams...the beauty that awaits beyond the world.
When you look into the eyes of grace and hear the voice of mercy say "Child, welcome to the reason for the world."

The Heart of Christmas

We watched a movie tonight as a family that was absolutely amazing. It was called The Heart of Christmas. It's about a family who finds out their young son has a pretty serious case of Leukemia and about their experiences in going through his treatments. It was a tear jerker indeed, don't watch it without tissues. But the part that struck a chord with me was when the mom was having a really hard time after her son got an infection that made her son really sick and as she watched him laying there, she told her friend (who's daughter had the same illness) "I don't think I can handle this. What do you do?" Her friend's response is what got me. She said:

"Well you don't have a choice, do you? Dax needs you to be strong....and I know you can do it."

I have been focused these last few weeks on the stress and chaos I'm going through. Wondering how I was going to get all of this taken care of, how I was going to make it when everything seems to be piling on me. When will I get through this. Will it get any better?

But her friend made point I needed to hear. Regardless of what I am going through financially, emotionally, physically, whatever....I don't have a choice. This is what is happening and if I'm not strong then this family will fall apart. I am all they have and they are all I have.

So whether I like it or not, it's time to buck up and be strong. Not only for my kids, but for myself as well.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I need a game plan.

Yesterday was rough. But....I had a lot of love and support from various people and you know, it helps me realize that as hard as this is, it will end and things will get better. Somehow I will find a way to conquer every single hurdle that has come my way recently and I will do so with a smile on my face (even if it's fake). But....I know to get through this I will need a game plan. So I'm making a game plan. And will probably need ya'll to help me stick to it....so don't be afraid to comment if I'm slacking or being whiny. So I'm taking my trials and breaking them down into steps.

Financial Stress:

1. Call and set up payments with attorney
2. Set up payments with Daycare (DONE!)
3. When I get big checks, SAVE any extra money instead of blowing it. Sounds like a duh thing...but I have a hard time with this.
4. Figure out doc/travel expenses for Ty *going over that later*
5. No more wasting of food. We waste leftovers a lot, and don't eat our produce quick enough sometimes but now that I'm going to be on a strict budget....no more waste. Waste not Want not right?

Tyler Surgery Stress:

1. Make appt with Craniofacial Specialist up north (DONE! Seeing him Jan 24th)
2. Make appt with Orthodontist (DONE! Next Thursday for our consultation)
3. Save money up (see above) for expenses.
4. Prep Ty (and myself) for whats going to be going on....as soon as I know....
5. Find out more accurate costs so I can start making a financial plan to pay that off
6. Keep checking into insurance. Or anything I can find to help us with the costs

Weight Stress:
1. Get off my butt and quit being lazy
2. Get of my butt and quit being lazy
3. Get off my butt and quit being lazy
4. Are we seeing a common thread? I need to stop being lazy and do what I need to do to be happy with myself.

Undisclosed Stress:

1. Say a lot of prayers of comfort and understanding.
2. Have faith that what is meant to be will be....in due time.
3. Have faith in the bigger plan that my life has in store for me.

*Big deep breath*

I know things will get better.....because life is meant to be happy. "Men are that they might have joy" is what a scripture somewhere says right? So it will happen. Just in it's own time, not mine.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bring It On!

Today was the pinnacle of crappy times for undisclosed reasons that I really don't want to discuss on my blog, but after today I really wonder if there is anything else that can knock me down. Is there? I think the only thing from here is having a death somewhere. No one die, okay? Please? I couldn't handle it right now. I'm feeling overwhelmed. Every aspect of my life has now become unstable and volatile. And I know this will end, I know I'm not given challenges I can't handle but sometimes I wonder why things really need to be so difficult. Why? Why must we go through challenges? And why must they all come at once?
I am thankful to have a supportive family, but for some reason that isn't filling in the gap of loneliness that has hit today. I am soooo tired of going through these struggles alone. I'm soooo tired of not having the kind of support that family can't bring, even with all of their efforts. It's just not the same. I'm just tired. Truly just tired. I know this will get better and I need to have faith, but for now.......just tired.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Absolute Frustration (vent post)

We are moving into a new chapter of Tyler's life and because this process can be absolutely draining and frustrating, I'm going to blog about it. Mostly in hopes that if someone searches Cleft Lip and Palate looking for some insight/common experiences/support/whatever (like I did for nearly 2 hours last night with not much luck) maybe this bad boy blog will pop up and can help.
So...as I said before we knew this surgery was going to happen eventually. It's next on the list and it's meant to happen as he is growing. And as I mentioned before as well, I wasn't expecting it to happen right now but it is what it is.

In my jaded little brain, I figured it would go as the other surgeries had....a day or two in the hospital followed up by a few days off school to recover and taking it easy for a little while after that. Ty has been a quick healer and has handled pain very well, especially for a kid his age. Jaded! I decided to do some research since Tyler has been under the assumption that he was going into surgery very soon and that they would be taking out his whole hip so he has to be in a wheelchair. Poor kid...but talk about brave if he was willing to go through it anyway! This prompted the mass research so that I could better explain what's going to happen.

Well. Based on the few other experiences that I was able to find and read about....our next little (LONG) while will go about like this.

First the mouth has got to be prepped to receive the bone graft, which will include braces and an expander to expand his palate (and maybe other stuff, we aren't sure yet). The timeframes for this have varied a bit between experiences I've read but will probably happen for the next 6 weeks to a year. Although the people we've talked to say that he's just about ready based on where his permanent teeth are sitting so I'm thinking it probably won't be a full year. 
After this part is done, the actual surgery will happen. It should last between 2-5 hours and they will take a piece of his bone from his hip and graft it to the space in his gums. Timing for this stuff is pretty vital so that the bone takes and we don't have to do repeat surgeries or have it not work at all. So I figure the surgery will all be dependent on the pace of his growth. *More on this part in a bit* The recovery processes for different people followed the same general outline, but the timelines varied per experience so I really am not sure what to expect. All I know is it's going to be tough.
Most kids were in the hospital for between 2-4 days for IV antibiotics to be given after the surgery. From there, it gets complicated. In regards to diet, the first 3 weeks - 3 months (yeah it varied that much) is a strict liquid diet. From there the next 3 weeks - 3 months is "no chew" soft foods like mashed potatoes and oatmeal. After that, they transition into soft foods like mac & cheese, bread, and things like which are easy to chew for the next 3 weeks - 3 months. Then they can start adding in harder foods after that carefully.
In regards to movement, the first 2 weeks was very limited mobility (I'm assuming for the hip) which means nothing strenuous. Not even room cleaning. For the next 3 months it's nothing hugely physical (running, jumping, rough housing, sports, etc, etc, etc) both for the benefit of the hip healing and to prevent anything from happening that would bump the jaw/gums and prevent the bone growth from happening correctly. After that, activity can be eased in as he feels up to it.

So today we saw the oral surgeon and I was hoping that I would get a better idea of what to expect during OUR experience instead of trying to judge off of other experiences. And.....I was wrong. I'm a bit frustrated by the whole deal because I was really hoping we could build our own oral team down here so we wouldn't have to travel to Salt Lake every time we needed anything. But the oral surgeon so kindly took a $350 3D facial image just to look for a minute and then go on and on AND ON about how it's really hard to read sometimes because kids can't hold still for 45 seconds so it gets fuzzy, and how it takes him a while to see all the different fields of the 3D image. Blah. And then proceeded to tell us that he won't touch our case. Back about 10 years ago he tried to start a cleft team down here but the team up there (our SLC cleft team that I'm trying to get away from) blocked them from starting anything down here because they were the cleft team for Utah and on and on....and he hasn't done many cleft bone grafts so he didn't want to do ours. So....the 3D image and 45 minutes we spent there (and $350 for the 3D image) were for nothing. In my mind anyway. My Mom tried to tell me it was worth while, but I'm still too irritated to think so. And I get and appreciate that the surgeon was honest and let us know he didn't feel comfy completing the surgery. But why couldn't he just call and tell us that? 

Needless to say I'm extremely disappointed and no more closer to being able to prepare myself (and Ty) for what is to come than when we started. I do know that I really wish I didn't have to go to the team up north. But it looks like that will be what's happening and so we go from here. Getting any sort of appointment with that team is usually months out, so I'm hoping they are coming down to St George soon so that we can just see them there. I also really hope they don't block out our Dentist/Orthodontist here locally from helping us because they aren't part of the "team". I wouldn't be surprised if they did though. 

Oh another gem I learned at the surgeons office....CHIP doesn't cover jack when it comes to oral surgery any longer. They wouldn't except it anymore anyway because it never covered anything. And neither does pretty much any other health/dental insurance according to them. So even if I fight to get health insurance, it probably won't do any good for Tyler. Still going to try for our basic needs of course, but I'm soo irritated by the fact that something that is considered medically necessary isn't covered.

This brings us to the financial burden. The parents have offered to help facilitate anything that needs to be done because it is for the greater good of Tyler. Which I appreciate. But I hate that my financial burden and stress is going to be pushed onto them too. I'm sure a big chunk of it is a pride issue as I really don't want to have to have help. I hate the fact that I can't do this on my own. But....sometimes a parent has to suck up the pride to do what's best for their child. So I'm trying. I really am.

So...I guess my next step will be to figure out a doc appointment. I have a strong urge to talk to the Orthodontist in Cedar before I call up North, so I'm going to work on that tomorrow. Then call up to the team to schedule an appointment with them for whenever we can get in. And then I don't know. I guess just play it by ear from there.

So anyway. The perk is that we don't have to shuffle out quite so much money as soon as I thought....that's good. That helps. And that gives me time to figure out what to do for insurance. Granted we'll have all the expenses for travel/dr appts/work done in the meantime but at least its not a big hunk of money all at once for surgery.

So...I'll post more when I know more. Hopefully. Thanks for the prayers and happy thoughts, they brought peace to my heart and helped me have a little reassurance that this will all work out somehow. I truly appreciate it. So...time to go start researching AGAIN. Have a good night ya'll and thanks for listening to my rant.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Mormon Messages Monday

It's been awhile since I've done my Mormon Messages Monday. I don't know why I stopped doing it, probably a mix between busy, stress and laziness. But it's time to start it up again I think.
We talked about Christmas tonight and read the first part of The Gift of Love by Henry B Eyring (we are going to read a few sections every week this month until we finish). I feel it's important to remember why we as a family celebrate Christmas. It's not because of Santa and the presents, it's to celebrate the birth of our Jesus Christ. That's not to say that we can't enjoy the other stuff too, because the gifts we get do represent one piece of the events that occurred during Christ's birth (the wise men bringing gifts to honor the Lord). It's hard not to get caught up in the more commercial aspects of the season. I know I get blindsided by them often. But I'm really going to try to change that for myself and my boys as that shouldn't be our main focus.
To help emphasize this point, we watched Christmas Spirit. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

I should've knocked on wood.

I sometimes think that the universe thinks it has a sense of humor. I kind of feel like when I finally get one step in the right direction, something happens to knock me three million steps back. I've also decided that it's completely true that issues/problems/hurdles/whatever you choose to call them always come in three. My trifecta has occurred.

1. My legal bill jumped from a remaining balance of $138 to $825. In a matter of 15 days. How does this happen? I have no clue, but I can't exactly complain because they've given me such a huge break over the years on fees. Ugh.

2. The whole getting off Welfare deal which has been a positive....has officially turned into a negative real quick. Daycare bill that I need to pay ASAP is just about $500 and next month will be even more as all three of the boys will be there during the days off from school. And to go along with that.....

3. The big stress. That I should've knocked on wood about with my previous post. As many of you know Tyler was born with a Cleft Lip and Palate. Which means he was born with a giant hole that went from his front gums (he didn't have a roof of his mouth when he was born) clear back down his throat. He's had 5 corrective surgeries so far and the next one was due to happen in a year or so. No biggie. 
Well....BIG. A while back we noticed he had a tooth growing funky in the gap in his gum that was pushing on his fake teeth prosthesis. So he went to the dentist and had the prosthesis taken out but our dentist suggested we see a Specialist. Grandma so wonderfully took Ty to the Specialist yesterday and it turns out that his development is ahead of what was estimated.


His current smile....from the front.

Front the side-ish.....

It's now time for the next surgery and if we wait much longer even more work is going to have to be done to get everything fixed. From what I understand (I got relayed info from Grandma who took him) the gap in his gums is like a sponge and can't hold the teeth in which is why they keep growing in funky. And there is quite a substantial amount of this spongy stuff so it's likely the "fake" bone they can sometimes use for the graft may not work, they may have to take a piece of bone from his hip.


Kind of a cool X-Ray...but you can see on top how he has "popcorn" or "scrambled egg" teeth as the dentist put it. They are just all over the place up in that area.

So on Tuesday we see the Oral Surgeon (I think that's who he is anyway...or another Specialist) to see what will need to be done to get him fixed up and....how much it will cost. That's the kicker. Having no insurance means it's going to get costly.
After talking to my Mom about it, he will need $4000 in orthodontics plus the surgery costs. If they have to take the bone graft from his hip which is looking likely, then that will be more money of course. Based on his other surgeries and Mom's guesstimation....we are probably looking at around $15,000.

The Specialist (Dr Webster, I HIGHLY recommend him!) they went to yesterday was an absolute miracle though. Tyler was there about 1 1/2 hours, had two X-Rays done and I think Mom said that 3 different people took a look at him, so it could've been a very costly appointment but he didn't charge a dime. Even when my mom tried to pay him he still wouldn't take the money. I tell you what, I wish there were more kind souls in this world like him.

But needless to say I was a little stressed out yesterday. There were even a few tears involved. It almost feels like a catch 22. I don't have $15,000 just chilling out in my bank account and my parents have graciously offered to help with the orthodontics, but there is still the surgery cost. I can't not give my son something he desperately needs though. That is not an option. And my Mom keeps kindly pointing out that I can't let this slide or wait much longer (I do appreciate it Mom, I need a push sometimes when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Thank you and keep pushing).

I've looked into some financial help via health/dental insurance options and the regular ones are expensive and who are we kidding the likelihood of them covering a surgery so soon is minimal, but either way I can't afford them at this time. The ones in place for low income folks are closed to new applicants or I make too much money ironically. I am still trying to figure a way to look into the CHIP plan but you have to apply through the state and the app process takes 4-6 weeks according to the website. Which I will still get done for future needs, as this is not just a one time thing, it's a process they will have to monitor as he grows and develops. But it won't help right this second.

So.......If you pray, say a little prayer for us that we can figure this out. If you don't pray, send some positive thoughts and mojo our way. We could use all the help we can get.

Now off to do some more research and find a way to fix my trifecta of problems. There is always a way, just have to have faith that I will be led in the right direction.....right? Right?! Trying to have faith.



*P.S. I have learned a valuable lesson through this....I was soo frustrated about not moving a while back but had I not listened to that little voice in my head telling me it wasn't quite time yet, this would've sunk our little financial boat in the worst way. I am sooo very grateful I went against what I had REALLY wanted to do, otherwise we'd be toast. So remember to listen to that still, small voice ya'll....it's usually right.


And just because it will be neat to see how his facial structure changes with this surgery....here are the before shots.  Funny note...Mom said the one in the top middle looked like it could be one of the inmate booking page shots...I laughed a little :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Day Has Come...

It's no secret that I use state welfare programs. Ry is on Medicaid, I get a little allotment of food stamps and I get child care assistance. And I hate it and am embarrassed by it, but I appreciate it all the same because life....well....it can tough. And the boost was helpful. Especially on months when my commissions are not huge. Well, starting December 1, that will all be gone except for child care which has been reduced down to a little under half of what my daycare bill is. Merry Christmas me! 

It's a bittersweet moment, I'll tell you what. Half of me is happy because I've loathed having to use welfare, it really kind of bothered me. Okay it bothered me a lot. But...it was really helpful there for awhile during my tight months. And...I look at my budget and pray that I will be able to make it. I'm having my doubts at the moment but this is just added incentive to push my loans through so I get paid I suppose. Commission pay is a scary thing I'll tell you what. But we aren't given obstacles that we can't get past, right? Plus, this is something that I've been trying to do for quite some time so I can officially check it off my goal list.

I think we will be fine, it's just going to be a matter of REALLY tightening up the budget and getting a whole lot of savings stocked up whenever I can. We really don't spend much on food per month and my freezer is stocked with the expensive stuff (meat) so we will be good there. The childcare is a slight bit scarier as the amount I'm paying for that will more than double. And...well...lets just pray no one gets sick or seriously injured until I can afford to pay for health insurance.

But this is what life is all about right? Running into challenges and powering through. I'm starting to see that more and more. So bring it on. Just call me the Little Engine That Could.....I think I can I think I can. 

Or maybe I'll make a trip to the great AZ and buy a Power Ball ticket or ten. $425 million (or whatever it's up to now) would be nice.



Friday, November 23, 2012

And so it begins

Thanksgiving was good this year. The older boys went with their dad and I missed them like crazy of course. But it was offset by going to Venice to eat family dinner there. It was fantastic to see everyone and we had such a great time. We ate in this old schoolhouse over there that they have been cleaning up and it was a perfect setting. And of course, the food was all fabulous. I ate my far share. It was my only meal that day....I was absolutely stuffed. And I'm sure gained 20 lbs. But it was totally worth it.

But now Thanksgiving is over....Black Friday is over....and so it begins. Christmas Season. Well for me anyway...I know stores started like 3 months ago but I refuse until after Thanksgiving is over. Ryder and I moved furniture around and put up the tree today. We are going to be decorating it for family night on Monday after the boys come home. We also Redboxed us a Christmas movie and are currently watching it with hot chocolate.
Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. Not because of Santa and toys and such...or even the awesome moment of seeing my boys' faces on Christmas morning (although that is pretty awesome). It's because it feels like everyone's spirits change, even if it's just a little bit and for a short amount of time. People are more willing to serve it seems during the holidays. They are more caring and loving towards their neighbors. The whole season just seems a little more magical. Or something. I don't know what it is, but I love the feeling.
What else am I looking forward to? The Christmas music. We all know I LOVE music and Christmas music is my tops. There is some truly beautiful Christmas music out there and I fully intend on soaking it all in while I can. In fact I've already gotten my Spotify playlist for work updated with one of my favorite albums, Celtic Women Christmas.

Hope ya'll had a great Thanksgiving and have a great weekend!





Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving - Give Thanks

via google images

It's that time of year again when we are all reminded to give thanks for the many blessings we have. Granted we should be thankful every single day for the blessings we have been given, but sometimes it's easy to forget. And quite frankly, I need to give a little thanks right now because it's coming to the point where I'm feeling a bit weighed down by things happening here in our little world. And in the spirit of the social media challenges for 30 days of Thanksgiving...I'm going to take that 30 days and smash it all into this little (okay more like novel) post. Here we go, in no particular order.

1. I am thankful for my boys. They cause me stress and grey hairs, but they make every day an adventure and I love being able to share in their lives.
2. I am thankful for my parents. They happily step in when I can't. The saying is true, raising children take a village and I've got the best village in the world.
3. I am thankful for my brothers. They have been great examples to my boys and have shown them unconditional love and play time like I can't give, just because I'm not a guy.
4. I am thankful for my sister. She is truly an old soul in every sense of the word (not agewise...I promise Steph!). So loving and compassionate, not to mention skilled and just all around amazing.
5. I am thankful for my brother-in-law. He has always been kind and caring. He is a great father and a good example to his children.
6. I am thankful for my sister-in-laws. They have both brought amazing qualities into the family and changed us all for the better. I love the days we get to spend time together and look forward to many more.
7. I am thankful for my job. I work at one of the best companies out there (and yes I'm probably biased but it's true). We look out for each other and help each other succeed.
8. I am thankful for my little team at work. My LO is always supportive of me and always wanting to ensure that my family is taken care of. We work well together and push each other to succeed.
9. I am thankful for money. This job has provided well for my family and is only going to get better as time goes on. I couldn't be more thankful, especially in times like these.
10. I am thankful for my knowledge of the gospel. Even though I feel like I'm still wading in unknown territory. I am truly thankful to know that there is a higher being who loves me and looks out for me, even in my moments of weakness.
11. I am thankful for music. Music has been a staple for me in my life. Music carries much emotion for me and brings out things I need to feel when it matters most.
12. I am thankful for the women at church. I have been so very blessed to come to know and love those women. They have such beautiful souls and truly care about the well-being of others.
13. I am thankful for my friend-guy. I haven't talked about him on here but he has been a big part of my life the past few months and deserves a little thanks. He buoys me up, gives me confidence, makes me feel cared about and safe. I enjoy our time together and hope he does too.
14. I am thankful for my house. We are one of the lucky even though it doesn't feel that way most days. But there are more and more people out there who are homeless and have life a whole lot worse than I do.
15. I am thankful for the ability to provide for my family. I've never been without a job which is a miracle in and of itself given the economy these days. And now I have the opportunity for financial freedom.
16. I am thankful for the beauty that surrounds me on a daily basis. I've always taken advantage of how amazing my surroundings are but I truly do live in an beautiful place.
17. I am thankful for modern technology. I have the freedom to work at home if needed, teach my boys new things that otherwise wouldn't be available to them, shop if I want to, and so much more.
18. I am thankful for my friends. I don't have a huge circle of friends, but the ones I do have are near and dear to my heart. I love that we can not talk for ages and just pick up like it was yesterday when we see each other again.
19. I am thankful for my little wreck of a car. As unhappy as I am with it, it gets me safely to and from work every day and carts my family around. I'd be lost without it.
20. I am thankful to the fine military forces. They keep me safe and keep bad guys at bay the best they can. I think we all have them to thank for our safety and freedom. They give all so we can live free.
21. I am thankful for my extended family. We aren't as close as I wish we were, but I always enjoy the time we spend together on holidays, at reunions, or at random when we have a chance to get together.
22. I am thankful for Netflix. As silly as it sounds, its a heck of a lot cheaper than cable and provides just as much entertainment on days that I need the boys to entertain themselves (epic parenting fail 101 I know).
23. I am thankful for my boys' teachers. Nate and Tyler attend a fantastic school where the teachers truly care about each student individually and want them to succeed in school.
24. I am thankful for daycare. Ryder has hands down the very best daycare out there. The teachers there are so kind and loving. They have practically raised Ry and it's no secret that they just absolutely adore him.
25. I am thankful for a working, functioning body. I hate it and wish it would there was a magic fat shrinker but I am more grateful to just simply have a body. Mine has treated me fairly well, even though I haven't returned the favor all that well.
26. I am thankful to live in America. Even though I do feel like we are swiftly on the downfall and will collapse in the near future, I still appreciate the many freedoms that come from living here.
27. I am thankful for my freedom of choice. It kind of goes along with the above, but also just the ability to make my own choices in general. Free will is a powerful tool. I have both used and abused it, but am thankful that I was even able to make that choice for myself.
28. I am thankful for my Grayson. Even though he's not here on earth, I know he's out there looking down on us and guiding us forward. I am thankful I went through everything I went through as it made me stronger as a person but softened my heart.
29. I am thankful for my Patriartical (sp?) Blessing. I came upon it again the other day and have been reading through it. I found great comfort in it's word and motivation to do better with my life so the promises mentioned have a chance to be given to me.
30. Finally.....I am thankful for my readers! You guys! I appreciate the advice given and the friends I've made in my little bloggy world. And I look forward to making more friends as time goes on!

Ok ya'll! What are you thankful for???

Monday, November 12, 2012

Random Bits

I decided I need to quit wallowing in my head and start blogging again. It helps me sort through my thoughts. But nothing deep today, just fun random bits.

*We woke up on Thursday with the flu and by we I mean literally all four of us. Yeah that was a big funfest. Nate came in and laid down with me around 2:30 am because he wasn't feeling well. Around 4:30 am I woke up with the full blown run to the bathroom nastiness.

-Side note - Mine was worse than everyone elses which ended up being both a blessing and a curse....curse because I couldn't so much as sit up without pretty much puking my guts out but blessing because the boys weren't in as rough of shape and could fend for themselves a little bit.

By about 5:30 am Ryder was puking and by 7:00 am Tyler was up and puking. It was one of those moments when it would be nice to have a significant other around here to help care for the kids. They had an epic fail of a parent that day. Obviously I didn't go into work but tried my best to work from home. And as morbid as it was...it was kind of interesting to see the different stages play out between us all. I started feeling better in the afternoon as did Tyler. However Nate and Ryder only got worse before they got better. Thankfully, come Friday we were all feeling well enough to go about our normal routine.

*I had the most beautiful and awe inspiring experience on Friday driving home. It was really gloomy weather and as I was heading home there was one range of mountains that was soooo brightly lit up it looked like someone had stuck a ginormous spotlight in the valley and pointed it at only that one range. They stuck out like a sore thumb in the mix of the rest of the gloomy dark scenery. As I got closer to that spot, the sun poked out from under the clouds but it lit up the area as if that spot light was pointed at the back of my car pushing me home. The colors in the sunbeams were sooooo vivid and the mountains were amazingly beautiful. It was a true natural phenomenon...I've only seen the likes of it in photographs that have been filtered and photoshopped. Made me thankful for living in such a beautiful place.

*Saturday we got invited to go bowling with a friend and it turned out being real fun! The boys had a blast, stayed up too late and not to toot my own horn or anything but I kicked trash.

*Sunday the boys had their primary program. We had a ROUGH morning and ended up being about 20 minutes late for church. Grandpa and Grandma thankfully saved me a seat and the boys got there in time to participate in the program (thank you church organization for structuring the meeting to have announcements and sacrament services before programs). And they did soooo amazing! All three boys said their parts perfectly and sing the songs.I was one proud momma!

*Today I had the day off from work for Veterans Day which pretty much meant that I worked from home, but I didn't have to make the drive to St George! I got a whole lot of catching up done on some work related activities and got my laundry pretty much caught up. I also got to go with my sister in laws to lunch and had such a great time! I don't get to spend much time with them outside of family dinner and I really just enjoyed being able to do so. I have the best family ever.

And thats about it. I have pictures of most of these events listed, but they aren't transferred to my laptop. So....you should follow me on Instagram if you want to see the goods! I have no idea how to tag my name so you can follow but if you have Instagram look up kimmys012185. Thats me. :)


Speaking of Veterans Day....thank you to those who have served, still serve and will serve in our fine military. May we all pay respect today to those who give their lives to keep ours safe.
 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

And....Obama Wins

So we've been watching the election tonight. I thought it was kind of important for the boys to see how its all happens. As of right now, Obama has been called to win. Sounds like Romney is hoping that because of the close (oh my gosh close) voting in Ohio and Florida he may pull through...but it's not looking great for him.
Can I just say that I am soo happy this election is over. Maybe I just never paid too much attention before, but it seems like this election was much worse than ones in the past.... just absolutely full of negative EVERYTHING back and forth between the two candidates. Even being in a strong Republican state, it's been bad. I can only imagine what the poor swing states have been going through. I've also been shocked at the different affiliations that have come out between my friends from both parties. Republicans I would've guessed to be Democrats and vice versa. It's been interesting to see people's opinions and what they feel is best for this country.
So what was my vote? Romney. And not because I'm a Republican (personally, I consider myself unaffiliated and choose the people I feel would do best for the country, regardless of their affiliation), not because I live in a Republican strong state, or because he is Mormon. There were a few reasons for this.
Romney has proven to be successful in his career which was turning failing businesses around and making them successful. He's become very wealthy doing this. I know there has been some negative light on his income and such but since when was it a bad thing to be successful? I think that is a good thing personally, it proves he knows his stuff. And I think it's safe to say this country is not doing well at the moment, so why not give the guy a chance to fix it? Of course I didn't let this one fact sway my entire decision, but it was the biggest playing card in my decision.
Soooo...that's just my opinion. Yeah, I'm a little bit sad that Romney lost. I do worry about what is going to happen to this country over the next 4 years. I hope that things will get better, but I have a feeling they will just keep on the decline. But I challenge Obama to prove me wrong.

And more than anything just a rant here for a second.....it kills me that the electoral vote wins the race and not the popular vote. Kinda makes me wonder what the point of voting is sometimes if the citizen vote isn't important in deciding who will run this country. I know that the number of votes per state determines the electoral vote for that state but did anyone else see the fact that Romney dominated by over a million votes so far in the popular, yet still fell behind in the electoral? Just sayin'.


On a more curious, religious note in regards to the elections....I really want to know the opinion of ya'll who are LDS. A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook:

"The way I have always understood it was that the world would have to become really bad and then a priesthood holder will become president to bring us out of the mess.... I have felt all along that its not bad enough for this to happen right now... Give it another 4 years! Heaven help us for sure! This truly is the last days." MSB

I remember vaguely hearing something like this before during an election while I was in high school, but that was a REAL long time ago. I really am interested in hearing your thoughts though as this has always been a fascinating (and slightly unsettling) subject that I'm trying to understand more fully. So please share? Do you think that's a fairly accurate statement? Or maybe not?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Go with the heart? Or go with the gut?

I have a few issues that I've been really trying to figure out the answer to. Three in particular have taken a whole lot of my brain power and emotional strength to try and figure out, but alas I still cannot come to a decision on any of them. (And I'm not so sure they are good to post for the world to see just yet, but I'll post them later when I figure out what I'm going to do).
When I make my ultimate decision for each issue, they will be fairly life changing to me and to my boys. They are also all intertwined with each other....meaning that the decision I make for one issue will have an effect on the other two issues and so on. Being a person who doesn't generally get emotionally tied to things (on purpose, makes life easier that way) it has been very different and unsettling to realize that I my emotions are pretty strong in regards to all three issues and I am having a really hard time separating what my heart wants and what my brain wants....and to see the bigger picture. 
I've tried praying for guidance, research, asking opinions of people, everything I can think of to help me make the most objective decisions possible but still....I'm stuck. And it really is tiring.

So forgive me for being absent, I'm sure my used to be daily posts have been missed by my millions of readers (cricket cricket...) and I hate to say it but they will probably be sporadic or awhile here on out as I try to get this all figured out. So I hope ya'll are doing well and life is going fantastic. I'm tuning in to you, just haven't had the energy to write my own. Peace out for now, I'll be seeing you soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oh the joys of apartment living

via google images/istock photo

Some new neighbors moved in below me awhile back. It's not been a good experience.

Now let me preface this by saying that in the neighbor department, especially being on the 2nd floor, our downstairs neighbors have it pretty easy in my mind. We are out the door in the morning between 8:00 and 8:30 most days and we don't get home until around 6:00 or 7:00 pm most nights. Sometimes even later. We eat dinner and the kids play outside with friends for the majority of the evening most days then it's off to bed for them between 8:00 and 9:00 pm. The only real days we are home more than a few waking hours are Saturday and Sunday, but even then we do cleaning and shopping, church and dinner with the fam. So we aren't consistently home anyway. I don't do any loud cleaning (vacuuming, laundry, dishwasher, etc) after like, 10 pm out of respect because I know that stuff can be kind of loud and believe that is tough, seeing as how most days thats the only time I have to do my cleanup stuff. Not to mention exercising.

Now I'm not completed jaded as to think we are perfectly quiet neighbors. There are three boys up here and they get riled up. There will be a little running around and some wrestling, but I really REALLY try to keep it to a minimum. So sure, we are probably kind of noisy but all in all we really aren't home often enough to be a bother. (*Also note, our quiet hours are from like, 10 pm to 7 am or something like that...you will want to remember this for later on)

BUT.

These new neighbors of ours.....my gosh. They have mastered the art of pounding on the ceiling. I'm pretty positive that they have a broom or something in every single room of their house, because they don't miss a beat. If we so much as walk wrong on the floor they pound at their ceiling not 1 second later. Here are some recent examples.

On Saturday we got Ryder his costume and he was SOO excited that he was doing a little skip in the kitchen while I was opening it up (at like 6 pm*) and we got a pounding. A week or so ago the boys were playing with some friends after dinner and came in to hide from a monster or something. They shut the door kind of loudly and surprise, surprise...we got a pounding.
The boys have a bad habit of running down the hall when they are exciting or grabbing something to play with and every single time, a pounding.
If we walk on one section of the floor by the kitchen that has a little squeak to it, we get a pounding.

The best yet...my bed is kind of squeaky so if I have toss and turn nights, my bed squeaks a little (obviously). Now this isn't like a hugely loud thunder rolling squeak, just a squeak. Well I was having a toss and turn night last night and the bed squeaked. At like 2 am. And literally right in the middle of the squeaking I hear a pounding. I was kind of out of it and wondered if maybe something had fallen because it hadn't registered yet what pounded so I sat up, took inventory and then laid down which resulted in me hitting my head on the headboard a second later. And not even one second after that...a pounding.

Could someone please tell me how a squeak from the apartment above could wake you up at 2 am? Its not like it was squeaking for hours on end...at most there was a minute of squeaking while I turned and adjusted my blankets.

REALLY FOLKS?!

Do you have nothing better to do with your time than sit in your apartment with a broom and bang on your ceiling every time we make a noise?

I really need to hurry up and figure out what I'm doing with my life and moving, because if I'm going to stay in Cedar it's time to find a new place. I can't take this much longer, it's getting ridiculous.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Checkin In

Its been a minute, I'm sorry. Life has been a little crazy. Same ol' crazy stuff but crazy all the same. Work is fabulous...frustrating at times but fabulous. I've still not decided what I'm going to do about moving to St George yet. I need to figure it out soon, but there are sooo many pros and cons that pretty much equal each other out. We do need to figure it out soon however, because Christmas break is rapidly approaching for school. And holy cow can you believe that??? Halloween is next week then Thanksgiving then BOOM Christmas will be here before we know it. This year has been jam packed with amazing experiences and has sped fast at lightening speed I'll tell you what.

I also have about 3 posts in the drafts section I'm working on, one of which is about my absolutely AMAZING experience with the girls of my family at Time Out For Women. It truly was such an inspiring and beautiful weekend. And you will hear all about it soon.

Anywho, thats all for now. Its late and I need my beauty sleep! Have a good night ya'll and more to come later on.

Monday, October 15, 2012

National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day

My Candle


Today, October 15 is National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day (or something to that effect). There was a call for a wave of light at 7 pm in all time zones tonight...I unfortunately wasn't home at my time but its 7 pm somewhere so my candle is lit.
So I remember my sweet Grayson today and the other angel friends he has made in heaven. My heart goes out to those who have suffered the loss of a child tonight. Much love.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One Of My Favorite Things

This post is 100% random. But I had to share a love of mine. 

I was needing a change of pace on my laptop background so I started looking for images and was reminded of one of my very favorite things in all the world......




All images via Google Images

See a trend? There is nothing more loving and endearing to me than a forehead kiss. I have no idea why I feel this way, but it's true. In a perfect world, my future husband will give me forehead kisses often for no other reason than to show his love. Is it only me that thinks forehead kisses are somethin' special? Somehow more sweet than a normal kiss...

Anyway.

On to gush over more sweet forehead kiss pictures until I find a perfect one more my background...have a good night ya'll!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend In Review

We had quite the weekend. Nate decided to go see his dad while Tyler stayed home with Ryder and myself. So on Saturday, we decided after doing a little bit of conference watching and house cleaning to go to Home Depot for the....whatever it was....that was going on there. I have no idea what the event was but it was fun. We were able to see some cute puppies, talk to the Search and Rescue folks and pet their dogs, see the fire fighters and climb in the fire truck, and the boys' favorite part which was building/painting their own trucks.


Tyler building his truck. Hammer and nails and everything!!

Ryder painting his truck. Aren't the aprons adorable?


We also caught the last half of conference with Grandma/Grandpa and then decided to go to a movie. Thank goodness for our Historic Downtown Theatre here in Cedar, we were able to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green for $2 a ticket. I can't even tell you how much better that is then paying $40 just to see a movie with me and the kids (thats including treats, but tickets are at least half that). We were able to treat Grandma to a movie and Betsy/LJ came with us too! It was a very cute movie that wasn't so much geared towards little kids as I thought it would be but a really good movie all the same.

Sunday was a great day, we listened to conference and played with toys. I have to admit I dozed off a few times but all in all the messages were good and just what I needed to hear. And of course off to sunday dinner where Nate came home and let me know he had rolled the 4 wheeler. I think I was in shock at the moment but after it really digested I'm sure happy he was okay...I've known people to get really hurt by doing such and wow.....just happy he was okay...
We decided to go for a walk after dinner and ended up at the boys' school. The kids were going down a super fast slide and Betsy was able to get the funniest vid of Ry! See below...

video


And that brings us to today.....at the Home Depot event I was given some ID packets for the boys and so for family night tonight I decided we better go over Stranger Danger and put together our kits. We watched a Stranger Danger vid, made a plan of what we would do if someone were to rob us/we had a fire/something else happened and had a fun time getting fingerprints and DNA swabs (these kits were all out!). I hate talking about that kind of stuff because I don't want to even think it could ever happen to our family, but it's better to be prepared than to have my boys get hurt because they don't know what to do.


The fingerprint kits

DNA swabs

All in all we had a wonderful weekend. We missed having Nate join in on the fun but I'm happy he had fun despite the crash. Hope ya'll had a good weekend too!

Monday, October 1, 2012

One Foot in Front of the Other

The boys and I had an experience today. Remember how I'm trying to better myself and all that jazz? Well today I had the chance to do so. We went to Smiths after our SEP meetings to get some dinner and such. Outside was a guy and what looked like his girlfriend playing a guitar for food. I didn't pay much attention to them really and forgot they were even there shortly after going into the store. Then it got interesting.
Muffins were on sale and since muffins make a good go-to breakfast in the morning I stock up. Generally two packages will last me all week (the boys help eat them too) but for some reason I got three instead. As we were walking out the door I saw the couple again. They weren't asking for anything in particular, just said that they were hungry. So when we got to the car, I looked over the items we had bought and really, the only thing they would've been able to eat without some heat source would've been some muffins. I asked the boys if they wanted to share our muffins as we had gotten an extra pack. And of course, they said yes and offered to take them over. I don't know what the intentions of the couple was, and I kept wondering if they really needed the help or not. Did we do the right thing? But when we drove out of the parking lot the girl was snarfing down the muffins like they were going out of style and it helped me to remember that it is not my place to judge whether or not someone really needs help or not but it is my job to do what I can to serve them. I think it was good lesson had for all.

As mentioned before, we had SEPs today for the kids. Tyler is of course excelling and the teacher loves him to death. Nate, who in the past has always been above average since the day he began school, is now a grade lower in reading than he needs to be and his reading comprehension is too low. And although he loves math, he is having a hard time understanding. He is also having issues turning in homework. Does this happen with age? I've realized I need to be more proactive and we will be working on reading and homework every single night together. Something I've unfortunately not been great at.

And lastly to report, we had a wonderful Family Night tonight. Our friends invited us to go play kickball with them and some other families in that neighborhood and we had such a great time! I haven't played kickball in years but it was so much fun to be able to get out with all the kids and the families, and to gain new friends in the process. I feel blessed to know such wonderful people. I really am blessed, just truly blessed.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Double Posting! Fireproof Your Marriage


The above video is Love Is Not A Fight by Warren Barfield. It kind of sets the mood for the post.... so if your a music lover like me who likes to listen to music while reading I highly suggest you listen to this while you read.

I'm double posting because I learned a pretty powerful lesson tonight. Scrolling through Netflix like I do every night I couldn't decide on anything to watch. I've passed up this particular movie a million times, but tonight I just figured what the heck. Might as well. The movie....Fireproof.  It is a story about a firefighter and his wife who have a marriage that is crumbling at their feet. Just absolutely falling apart. Neither one is good enough for the other. Then the husbands father gives him The Love Dare. By following this dare, the father and mother had saved their marriage and brought them closer to each other than ever before. At first the husband is thinking its useless. There is nothing wrong with him. Why does he need to change? And will his efforts actually do any good? Anyway, you need to watch the movie to get the rest, I don't want to spoil it for you. And yes, it has religious conentations, but I truly believe that there is something to be learned by everyone regardless of what higher being you do or do not believe in. So I ask you to read on, even if we don't share the same religious beliefs or don't think it would pertain to you personally.

Enough of the movie. I really felt like I more needed to share my insights from this movie than anything else. My definition of love has always been jaded. And although this movie is talking about the relationship between a husband and wife I look at it as a relationship with my family, my friends, my co-workers, my kids, everyone I interact with. This world is such a horrifying place these days. Every day on the news I read/hear about another person brutally attacking/killing/raping/etc someone else. I see families breaking apart as children are neglected or spouses are beaten down. There has never, ever been a more important time to keep your loved ones close. A deep, very dark evil lurks all around just looking for a way to shimmy itself in and completely tear us apart from those we love. I know I've been sucked in a time or two. And it's been my loved ones who have had to watch me struggle, who have stuck by me even though I haven't given them the same in return.

I have always figured my kids will still love me if I don't take the time to sit down and play cars with them. Or skipping the bedtime story so I can hurry and get back to other things. Of course I love my boys like crazy, but do I really give them the time they deserve?  Am I giving them all that I can possibly give? Am I doing everything I can to make sure that this home is the safe spot they can fall into when they are hurting or needing help? Am I the first person they want to run to with good news? Am I the person they can confide in?
I have always known that my parents and my family love me. But am I giving them every bit of love I can possibly give in return? Am I caring for my friends in a way that they know I will always be there for them if they need me?
What about my community? If I see someone stranded on the side of the road do I stop? Or do I assume that the run down looking man asking for some change is going to spend what I give him on alcohol? Is it my place to judge? If I see an older person struggling do I offer a hand?

My heart is hurting for all of the precious time I have wasted thinking that okay was good enough. Being an average person was all I needed to be. There is something to be said about the person who goes out of their way to make another's life better. I want to be that person.

So it's high time I start working on me...all of me. I think I'm finally in a place to see where I have gone wrong, and be open to fixing things I've broken. I'm ordering The Love Dare. What is there to lose?  I paid a whole $5 for something that has such a wealth of information, day by day, to grow your relationships with others. To show you care. To truly love another person as much as you can possibly love.

So I'm putting the challenge on you now. Fight for your love my friends, build it up to be strong and unwaivering.

Love Is Not A Fight - Warren Barfield
Love is not a place to come and go as we please.
It's a house we enter in then commit to never leave.
So lock the door behind you and throw away the key.
We'll work it out together, let it bring us to our knees.
To some, love is a word they can fall into
But when they are falling out keeping that word is hard to do.
Love will come to save us if we'll only call
He will ask nothing from us, but demand we give our all.
Love is a shelter in a raging storm.
Love is peace in the middle of a war.
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door.
No love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for.

I will fight for you...would you fight for me?
It's worth fighting for.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy

via Google Images

Last night I watched a documentary on Netflix called Happy (see above picture). The basis of the documentary was to try to figure out what makes people happy. They went all around the world from places that were financially amazing to places that had horrible living circumstances and shocking enough (or maybe not so shocking) the people who were happiest, were the people who had the least amount of material things. In fact the richer society (Japan in this case) is currently going through an epidemic where the men literally work themselves to death. Seriously. They work such long, hard hours that their body just eventually gives in and dies. But on the flip side, another side of Japan prefers to focus on a more holistic lifestyle and they live to be in their hundreds. The difference? Their views. One of the studies done was to see how a person's view of the world and what their goals in life were would effect their happiness. Those who had goals of making lots of money and being rich and famous were generally displeased with life and pretty unhappy. The ones who were less concerned about material things were happier. Not to say that money can't buy happiness initially, but once material needs are met the happiness level doesn't go up when you make millions versus thousands. There is an instant gratification of course, but nothing long lasting. Scientific studies shows that a person is generally more happy when they are doing things to better their communities or relationships with people. Intentionally doing something just because, without any sort of physical reward for doing so.
It got me thinking a lot about the things that I think are important right now and what is really important. And also how I want my kids to be raised and how I want their outlook on life to be. I want them to be happy, healthy, productive members of society. I want them to know they are loved and be able to share unconditional love with anyone in need of it. That is rare now days I think. Not to say I'm not going to chase my financial goals by any means....but it means I'm going to stop and take a look around more as well and see what I can do to intentionally help someone else or better my community. I have found that I sway between selfishness and selflessness quite a bit and I'd prefer to stay predominately on the selflessness side of things personally.
Anyway....if you want a to watch a fascinating study on happiness? Check it out. It's called Happy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Latest Ryder-isms

My Ryder cracks me up. He is such a funny kid who says the most hilarious things sometimes. And... I can't help but to share a little because they are funny enough they make me laugh right out loud.

On the way to daycare this morning Ryder and I were talking about what fun adventures will be happening today and out of the blue, in our normal stream of conversation he all of a sudden said "Mom, my mouth is leaking." I almost died laughing.

When telling Grandpa about this, he told me that on the way to St George a while back him and Ryder were discussing ears popping from the change of elevation and Ryder said something to the effect of "Turn on my hearing Grandpa!" Makes sense with the ears popping...

And tonight as we were playing around I started to squeeze on the top of his head (gently of course) in a game we like to play sucking out the brains and he very ademently told me "You cannot suck out my brains Mom, only caterpillers can. And ladybugs."

Where does he come up with these things? He cracks me up...I love this age because it all makes complete and total sense to him. He doesn't realize why I'm laughing most the time but gets a kick out of it anyway. I love my boys. They are so much fun. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Ryder!

5 years ago today my life changed when my little goofball Ryder came to town. I love that kid. Today was his birthday. It started a little rough. He was ornery as all get out this morning and very clingy. And from what Grandma said he had a whole lot of come aparts after she picked him up too. Once I got there, however, he seemed to calm down and actually be able to enjoy his birthday which I thought was great. We had our traditional family birthday party with the cake choosing and the whole sha-bang. I'll let the pictures show. I'm big on pictures lately I've noticed. Anyway...here goes.


Playing with his presents a little early. Ms Beverly at pre-school got him a cool flashlight that made a star winking with it's beam. And of course the new cowboy hat.

The traditional decorating of the cake...with M&Ms of course. I love his face!

I love the perfectly content look on his face right before he blew out the candles. Nothing better for a little guy than being surrounded by loved ones on his birthday. :)

Getting ready to blow! I had a picture of him blowing the candles out but Nate's head was in the way. So...this is as good as it gets.

Wearing the birthday crown he also got at daycare. They treat him so well there, I just love them to pieces. And I love that face!

Ry wearing his new Mater jammies from Aunt Betsy, Uncle Scott and Jackers! He LOVES them!

So Ryder, my little lovey, you are the bright spot in my day. You are hyper and crazy but loveable all at the same time. Its pretty darn hard to stay mad at that cute face too long thats for sure. You give me a run for my money, but I hear that you were just like me when I was a kid. Scary....but also good I think. I love every bit of you and I hope you had a wonderful birthday!