Friday, April 30, 2010

What's up Chuck?

Ya, I did it. I threw up over the side of a boat. I mean really, who all gets a chance to do that? Tee hee! Well, let me tell you why I threw up over the side of a boat...

We were planning to go snorkeling in Key Largo on Friday but heard that a storm was going to be coming in, so last second we decided to go on the sunset cruise on Thursday. We packed everything up and hoped for good weather so that we could still snorkel.

The drive to Key Largo was about 2 1/2 hours. It was a cool drive, though. Banana trees, tomato farms, raspberries, beans, all kinds of fruits. Then we get into Key Largo and it is overcast and a bit breezy. They say the swells are about a foot high but it is still OK to go out. We get everyone paid for and ready to go. It was a bit nerving at first, making sure we were all together and that my children hadn't gone overboard. The ride out to the John Pennekamp State Park was great.

They gave us our instruction and we were off snorkeling.

Marc went first while I was with the kids. Daniel and Tynelle took Popo and Berry out. It was so cute! My kids were scared of the waves in the ocean. Truthfully, I was a bit scared myself... but, when Marc got back, I took my turn out there. Tynelle came with me so that I wasn't as scared... then she yelled, "Baracuda!" Ya, now I am not scared....

Anyway, it was awesome and I loved every moment of it. Fish everywhere! Blue ones, yellow ones, gray ones, and white ones. I saw a clown fish.

Pause in this blog: I just heard Popo and Sister fighting. Tynelle was telling Popo and Sister to make up and apologize. Tynelle said, "Popo, you broke Sister's heart." Sister then turned to Popo and said, "You broke me." (smile)

The reef and the corral were incredible. I was out there for at least a 1/2 hour. It was so awesome.

It was time to come in and I climbed up the ladder to get back on the boat. My legs felt like jelly and I felt a bit woozy. I walked over to Daniel and Tynelle and said that I felt like throwing up. Tynelle informed me to do it over the side of the boat... OK. So I did.

I was feeling so sick all I could do was hang my head over the side. But, when all these beautiful yellow and silver fish came to the top to eat all that I had up-chucked, I was laughing really hard on the inside. Ew! How funny. I guess it was a good way to see some more fish. Apparently they like bananas and peanut butter sandwiches... ya, I am trying to make you sick too. Is it working. Just kidding. I just really thought it was funny!

It was Daniel's first time to snorkel too. So for, Marc, me and Daniel it was our first time to snorkel. Tynelle was an old pro. Her kids even did well. Even with the overcast and the waves it was still a beautiful experience.

After I was feeling better Tynelle was telling me some things that Sister was saying while on the way out to the reef on boat. Sister was scared at first and then Tynelle kept reminding her that it was fun and to just go with the flow of the boat. Sister started rocking back and forth and said, "Ride it like a horse!"

Here is a picture Tynelle took for us at the pool.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Teal and Hot pink

So my brother, Daniel, informed me that those are Florida's colors... I thought he was referring to their state flag or something. Shows you how much I know. He was joking about all the teal and hot pink all the old ladies wear around here. Tee hee!

Today was just as fun as the other days I must say. Sorry for those of you who are having snow while I enjoy resort-like pools, beaches and sunshine! Wa hoo I am having a great vacation.

We went to the Pier today. Wow!!! That was incredible? Have you ever been to a pier? I can't believe how far out into the water they go... amazing. I was hoping we would see some wildlife, I was hoping for dolphins or stingrays... I got a pelican. Oh well, it was animal life.

Oh, ya, and yesterday we went to Barefoot beach. They have signs all over the place warning for you to not walk or drive over them. Tee hee. Can't wait to post those pictures.

Oh, here's 2 pics for you all to see. I downloaded some but will only post 2 for now.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sincerely..., Tornado Warning, Marco Island and Woohoo!

We attended church with Daniel and Tynelle at the LDS chapel in the town next to theirs. It was the same as it is back home. Guess that lets you know the church is true no matter where you are... tee hee! I was just so proud of Brother and Sister, though. After sacrament meeting (the first meeting with everyone then we split into seperate age group classes) Brother voluntarily and happily went with Daniel and Tynelle to their primary class. They teach his age group. Sister wasn't too excited to go to her class. She went with Popo to his class even though she is a little bit younger. Anyway, it was so sweet because Popo was trying so hard to comfort Sister while she was having a hard time adjusting to being there, nervous about all the new people, worried that I was leaving her... you know that kind of thing. Popo was rubbing Sister's back, and stroking her hair so that she would feel better---you could tell he was so sincere. He kept leaning over and whispering in her ear, "It's gonna be OK. You'll be OK." I felt like crying happy tears because of all the special effort that Popo was making to help her get through her anxiety. It is amazing to me what children understand--I mean, they really seem to "know" what each other is going through. In Daniel and Tynelle's class they said that although Brother was coloring on a table in the corner he was the one piping up with all the answers, "Who was Isaac's wife? --Rebecca. Who was Jacob's wife?  ---Rachel. Who were Isaac's sons? --Jacob and Esau." They were so happy with his answers and so was I. I am amazed at what he does know. He knows more than me. I don't even know who their wives were...

It was a neat experience to see so many investigators into the church. I mean people who just see the church sign that says "visitors welcome" and they come! So awesome!

Later that day we had a great dinner and just hung out playing games, talking and eating. Ya, I thought I would lose weight on this vacation. Hmm. We will see. I exercised on Friday morning but not Saturday because of my sunburn. So I got some exercise in yesterday and today.

On Sunday night I got a cool surprise. Remember the post about the book I was reading "When Life Doesn't Seem Fair." Well, I got a comment from the writer of that book, Joyce Erickson! She is the mother of Heather that is the subject of the article I posted. If you want to read her post go to this link here. What a small world it is on the internet! So fun to hear from Joyce and to think that she would take time out of her busy day to write to me... that was one of the small highlights of my day.

Monday morning the thunder and lightning woke me. I have to admit I was a little scared. The rain was pouring and the lightning seemed to be knocking out the front door. But, Marc still wanted to go exercise. We would have to walk. It only takes two minutes to walk there from the house, but it was crazy outside. Daniel and Tynelle informed me that when it rains really hard they call it "frog stranglers." Oh, that is comforting... will I be the frog today??

Daniel dropped us off at the gym on his way to the library and even handed us an umbrella. Are you supposed to use and umbrella when there is lightning? Anyway. We get in there and get started. It is hard to ignore the crazy weather out side windows as the palms are bending like they have stiff elbows and the sky is dark until the lightning strikes and thunder cracks just big enough to light up the sky for a split second. The whole time I am thinking, "Dang it! I better lose weight after this workout between the fear and the exercise..." Then I see on the big TV in the corner that some old man has tuned into the news at the bottom in a red bar, "TORNADO WARNING SOUTH-WEST FLORIDA." Hmm. Maybe I should go into the other room where there is no TV so that I won't panic. So, I go to the other room to do my stomach workout to the radio broadcasting over the speakers. As I am laying down putting my stomach through a good work out I am realizing that the DJ's back home aren't near as crass as the ones here in Florida, sheesh! But, then the sounds that I was trying to ignore between the music were gone. Dead silence. They must have lost their radio signal. OK, I think I am ready to go now. Marc! I come out and we are the only two left in the whole gym except one old lady who is heading out the door.

Marc and I head out the door and the storm is getting harsher, the rain heavier and the thunder louder. We hold the umbrella together and head out the door walking along the buildings as we make our way. Then we just decide to make a run for it. I let go of the umbrella and ran--more like sloshed. There was at least an inch of rain on the ground. My shoes were sopped when I got in the door. Crazy.

Tynelle and I decide that today would be a good craft day. So we go to the Dollar Store to get some flowers so we can make some flower clips. We also got some groceries and shopped for some swimsuits for Tynelle. I even found a cute little swimsuit for Sister for only $8. Not bad.

When we came out of the store it was sunny and hot. No sign of a storm other that the heavier humidity.

We decided to go swimming. It was so fun. We had Tynelle take some family pictures of us at th pool. I think they turned out really cool.

After swimming we had dinner when Daniel got home and then we quickly cleaned up and headed out to Marco Island.

Wow!!!! The drive there was amazing!! Kind of what you picture Florida to be like. Huge hotels along the shore line. Palms everywhere. Boat docks at all the beachside homes. Docks for your boats even in the store parking lots!

Marco Island, so far has been my favorite. We got there at sunset and it was absolutely amazing! We even saw a surfer. And Daniel found a dead jelly fish along the shore line. Glad no one stepped on it. We went combing the beaches for any shells. We didn't find anything really big, but there were shells all over after the morning storm. I hope to go back there again. We got some awesome sunset pictures--can't wait to post them next week.

This morning I went and exercised for 20 minutes and then rushed back for a quick shower to get the kids to story time at the library. It was a VERY awesome library. The story teller was very animated and the kids even got to make a craft. Then we came home with our library books and DVD's and we are just having a relaxing afternoon until Daniel gets home for dinner. Then we will go see the sunset at yet another beach. Aaaa. Florida! What a great vacation and we still have 4 days left here! In Brother's words, "Woohoo!!"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thick Air

So the humidity here makes the air feel thicker. There is a slight breeze most of the time, but if you ever get outside when there is no breeze you feel like the air is hanging on you--you know--like your kids when you are trying to talk on the phone... tee hee!
Anyway, let me fill you in over the last few days before I forget. I want to try to be brief because Marc is downstairs talking with Daniel and Tynelle and I don't want to miss out on too much. (For the posts in Florida, my niece will be named Berry and my nephew will be Popo.)

Let's see, so we went to the beach on Friday. Wait, did I already tell you about that? Just sec....

OK, we're good, I still haven't told you yet. Anyway, we went to a beach called Clam Pass State Park. It was awesome for many reasons! 1) It was a beach! 2) It was a warm beach 3) For the first time in my life out of the handful of times I have been at a beach, the water was warm enough to actually enjoy getting into 4)The sand was so fine and soft, it was like walking in sugar, but not as sticky 5) It was Sister and Baby's first time to see the Ocean--last time we went to a beach I was pregnant with Sister 6) I got to boogy board with my nephew Popo 7) I got some awesome pictures of the ocean, my family, my sexy husband 8) We hunted for shells 9) I kissed my husband in the ocean

Things that weren't so awesome about Clam Pass: 1) "sand"wiches shouldn't actually contain sand 2) Sand and crevaces are not a good mix 3) umbrellas and wind are not a good combo 4) women who need to lose 50 pounds or more should NOT wear bikinis 5)Florida is not good place to get your first sunburn of the year... yeah I found that out the hard way.

That night we went straight from the beach to the pool to enjoy more of the water and wash off all the sand out of our crevaces. (smile) Brother LOVES the pool!! That is an understatement--to say the least. He loves it so much that Tynelle has actually been teaching him some more techniques so that he can start swimming. Tynelle is so sweet to spend so much time with Brother. He has been her shadow the whole time here. He just loves her, has to be where she is, do what she is doing, and snuggle up to her while they watch a movie. So cute. So I think that Brother and Sister really want to learn how to swim so they can keep up with Popo and Berry who, at only 5 and 2, can swim like fish!

Then we had dinner--Tilapia with mango salsa! Mm so good. Daniel and Tynelle are great cooks.

On Saturday because of my sunburn we didn't do much. It was quite hot that day and we had planned several short walks in the everglades but, we only took two. It wore us out because of the heat. But, we got to see alligators right up close at a place called Oasis. One was swimming, which was cool. I was actually surprised at how big they actually were... let's just say the canoe trip Tynelle mentioned might not be up there on my list of "To Do's" while we are here. We then went to Kirby and walked the board walk. We saw some great scenery, extremely large bees, two turtles, and some fish. You could here some really load frogs. It was so cool. Then at the end of the walk we went to a little grass covered hut and enjoyed the sun and shade while we had our lunch. Then we went back home and had icecream and watched movies.

I will write about Sunday later. I need to get to bed. Just remind me to tell you about Brother and Sister at church, what a great cousin Popo is and how much Brother knows about his scripture stories... too cute. Oh, and this was also the day that Daniel painted my toenails--can't wait to show you some pictures!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Flight

So, quick journaling moment.

I just have to blog about the kids' first flight ever!! It was so cute!

Well, it didn't start off cute... we were stressed getting everything through screening and making sure my kids survived taking off their shoes. Ya, that was traumatic, ppfth! Aaaah we have to take off our shoes?!!! Are you kidding me, you are freaking out about shoes and we are about to get on a plane... we are in trouble.

We were struggling carrying 4 carry-ons, the stroller and the kids blankies ontot the aircraft. This nice lady turned to us and offered to help us carry a bag or two. We quickly obliged and talked to her the rest of the way through the terminal. She learned the kids' names and we explained to her about Fragile X, and yada yada. Anyway, she was so sweet and reassured us that even with our children's challenges she was sure they would be just as good as any other kid.

Anyway, turns out, once we got on there they were so excited they could hardly sit in their seats!

When the plane took off Brother was shouting, "Woohoooooo!! Woohoooo!!" Everyone chuckled and the lady we had met hollered, "Way to go Brother!" Oh, it was such a kick. The lady said later that she would love to go with Brother on a roller coaster ride.

Our first flight was 3 hours and 15 minutes. Not bad. The kids, all three, we so good! Even Baby did well. I had many people comment on how well behaved my children were. That made me feel good. I was worried that people would be cheering as we left the plane. Turns out that people were actually glad to have been a part of their first flight. Brother had about 3 cans of soda on the flight and never did use the bathroom! I think he was so excited that he didn't even think about he bathroom. They were so fun to watch. Brother and Sister kept looking out the window and getting so excited to see the clouds. When they could see land they would get scared and worry that we were "going down." Which I think meant they thought we were going to crash. As soon as I reminded them where we were going, though, they got really excited again and kept looking to see where Florida was. I think that Brother thought it would look like a map and actually say "Florida" on the ground...

We had a 2 1/2 hour layover in Atlanta. Boy, that was a huge and confusing airport without any good elevators! You know, traveling with a stroller is the way to go as far as getting great service, just make sure you know where all the elevators are.

During our layover the kids had fun looking out the windows at the planes. We got Burger King and Chick-fil-A for dinner/lunch. The kids thought it was like Disney Land eating at the airport. So funny. I had to chuckle to myself though, because my kids were so loud and excited, screaming with intense excitement when a plane would fly up. So I generally apologized to the people around me. They ignore me, there were 3 of them, and then 2 of them left and one of them went to "sleep." Pppffth.

By the time we had our second flight, Brother felt quite confident in his flying etiquette and as soon as the stewardess came by with the cart he politely asked for a full can of Sprite. At the end of that 1 hour 15 minute flight he turned to the stewardess again and told her "thank you." So cute. I love my kids. On the decent Sister said, "Ow, something is squeezing my head!" I felt bad I couldn't help her ears pop. I tried gum but she just kept swallowing it. My sister-in-law suggested a sucker. Any other good ideas out there?

Anyway, we got to Fort Meyers and waited for my brother and his family to pick us up. When I saw my brother, Daniel, I ran and hugged him like I hadn't seen him for years!!! I was so happy to him and his wife and kids!! Tynelle and I ran together to meet in an embrace.

It's like a dream being here. I can't believe we actually took a REAL vacation! So exciting!

We went swimming at their pool today. It is like a resort here. Brother is having the absolute time of his life. We are already talking about coming again next year.

I wanted to journal today because I didn't want to forget anything about the first flight and I know I am forgetting something already. Thank goodness we are encouraged to keep a journal.

We swam most of the day today. We had fillet mignon (however the heck you spell that) for dinner! They are really spoiling us here. I love my brother and I am so happy to be here with him and his family! We are having a blast and it is only the first full day here! The kids were definately over stimulated because last night they had a really hard time sleeping. Sister was throwing up from exhaustion this morning. But, now, they are doing really great, really, really great! Having the time of their lives!

I probably won't be posting any pictures while I am here, just journaling... so just to warn all you who just like the pictures--those will come later.

P.S. I hope that Kirsten and Jeremy are having fun eating all our food! (smile)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday 21, 2010 at 12:50am

Why did I think this meant I would leave Wednesday night????? Where is my brain????

We have missed our flight to Florida!!! We will now be leaving later in the morning for an extra $50 per person.


I am telling you, there is never a dull moment around here!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Baby 6 months pictures and stats

My sister-in-law and my brother of Gallery Image Photography came to take Baby's 6-month pictures! I LOVE these pictures to death! (Can I say that, love to death? Hmm. Let me think about that one. Maybe I should say "love them to pieces," but I already put the other one down and I don't want to take the time to erase it after I have taken the time to type up all my thoughts about the process in these parentheses, so, it stays.)

I love the faces. They capture "her." Nothing fake. Just her funny looks and quirky smiles.

Before pics, here are her stats.

She may have FXS but she is totally up to speed on all her development right now. So for any of you who may have been worried about your kids because you thought my kid was behind. You are in luck. She is right where she should be. Reaching, holding, trying to sit when prompted, rolling a little bit—mostly to her side from her back, but does well from tummy to back.

A few weeks ago she weighed in at the doctor's office at 12.5 punds. I am guessing that she is easily 13 pounds if not 13.5.

This has all been such a new experience for me with Baby. She is much more on track developmentally than Brother or Sister. She is my chubbiest baby. She started sleeping through the night about 4 days ago. We will see how long it lasts...

Of course Brother had to sneak in there. I am always happy when he will actually look at the camera when his picture is taken.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Scooter in the snow

Just gotta love spring snow... uh, never mind. I don't want to. But, I thought that Sister was pretty cute that she didn't let it stop her from having fun when she got home from school.

More funny words from Sister:
hamder = hamburger
swimmin = surburban
stylin' = stallion
Germy = Jeremy

and last but, not least
momster = monster

Hmmm. Is there some kind of correlation there?

Cousins, Butts, Birthdays and Best Friends

This it the picture I took of my cousin. She came down to visit with her family and we have not seen her for a long time so she aranged a get together so we could see her. It was so much fun to catch up. I took a sneek picture of her (above) she wasn't real happy about that so she came to attack me and we had a picture war. Her camera is cool and fast and mine is so not cool and extremely slow. So the next picture is all I got, but I LOVE it so I had to post it. It shows how great a smile she has! (And a close up of the proof that she has a better camera than I do...)

Then I had to laugh at the two family members wearing the same pants so we joked about taking a "butt shot." Well, here it is. I warned them it would be on my blog. It has taken so long for me to catch up that they probably thought I wasn't putting it up! Bwa ha haa haaaaa! Don't worry I won't tell you who they are, I don't want to really embarrass them. But, hey, if I had a jean butt like that I would gladly put a picture of it on my blog...
My mom is so kind to make sure the shirt is up so you can see the pockets... thanks mom (said sarcastically).

Oh, look how cute! It is my cousin and my aunt. They look so pretty!

This is my cousin and her daughter. I was trying to get pictures of everyone there but, I realize that I didn't get any of the men that were there.

.... (pondering and thoughtful face)

Oh well.

The next day was my dad's birthday! Holy cow! My dad is 55! I am getting old!

Here he is singing Happy Birthday to himself along with everyone. He is such a happy guy, when he is happy. I just love him. I have always been close to my dad. Just a special spot for him I guess. He is so thoughtful and always so proud of us and what we do.

Here he is calling for Brother to come blow out his candles. Brother is famous for blowing out everyone's candles. He never came to blow them out, though, I think because we wanted him to do it. They key is to tell him "no" and then the challenge is on. I have seen him blow out someone else's candles while being held back and away from the cake. He is strong willed, let's just say that.

So dad had to blow them out on his own.

I love that Brother and Sister are such great best friends. I took this picture after they had been playing with eachother for a couple of hours straight with no arguments. I wanted to capture the moment. They really do have a LOT of fun together. They really rely on eachother, it is so sweet.
Since Easter fell on Conference weekend the girls didn't have a chance to wear their Easter dresses that my mom bought for them. So this is the week after Easter. I had to take a picture because Sister's gloves were so cute. I wish that I could have gotten a better picture but, this will be full of memories. The sun was bright and they were anxious to get back inside. So these are what I got. A Popeye look, a baby who looks like she is being choked but the last one is priceless. Man, I sure love my kids!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Easter—yes, I know it is long past... read anyway!

I hate that I am so behind in my journalling, because now I can't remember all the funny/cute details. Oh, well, At least I have pictures...

Below, Sister shows us the face that we know so well. The excited and proud "look what I got" face. Too funny!

Brother is pretty darned excited about his stash. He got a little book about dolphins, whales and sharks. Boy, was he excited about that one!
Brother was also VERY excited to help Baby "find" her basket. You can see from the picture just how excited Baby is for her two princess bath books.
Marc didn't take too long to find his basket. I should have hidden it better, but, it was funny to watch him walk past it a few times while it was under the table...

And then there was me. Oh, my word. For the life of me I couldn't find it. I think it took me about 10 or 15 minutes to locate it. I should have known it would be in the same place as it was last year... pppfffth!Like my new socks? I got some striped ones too. I don't really know when I will wear them, but, I love them anyway. Ah, the joy of being a girl!!

We had dinner at my mom's house. It was different because it was just us. We normally don't get spoiled like that. We typically have to share her attention... I have to admit, I felt like Daniel... Tee hee! (inside family joke--sorry if you don't get it, but I am leaving it there anyway)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

When Life Doesn't Seem Fair

I have been reading this book. My mom and dad found it at the D.I. (thrift store) for me and thought it would be perfect for me to read. I guess I have complained enough so they thought that a book titled by my daily phone conversation would be perfect. (smile)

Anyway, I started reading it back in January and because of life and such I haven't been able to read much of it. Well, today I took some time to read a little more, and by "took" I literally mean that I took time away from cleaning my disastrous house to read it.

The husband and wife who wrote this book are LDS and have been featured many times in the Ensign articles and in the Conference talks. This was the excerpt I read today in the book that was written by one of their three severely handicapped children's speech therapists. It was featured in the 1988 Ensign magazine so I went to the website and copied it so it could inspire you too. It really touched my heart and confirmed to me that this is how my children feel.

Jesus, Listening, Can Hear

Jean Ernstrom, “Jesus, Listening, Can Hear,” Ensign, June 1988, 46–47
I have never forgotten how, in one fleeting moment, the Spirit was powerfully manifest to me through two bright blue eyes.
The eyes belong to Heather, a nine-year-old girl with a keen mind, infectious giggle, and a determined spirit housed in a frame with great physical restrictions. Because of her handicaps, the simplest of life’s activities are major tasks for her.
Unable to verbalize, Heather sends messages with her eyes. She is quite efficient. A direct gaze means yes, and a blink means no. Through a series of questions, gazes, blinks, giggles, and facial expressions, Heather shares her vibrant spirit and brings joy to the lives of those who interact with her.
As her therapist and teacher for several years, I have many times sensed that for Heather, as for many other handicapped children, the veil seems very thin. If she could speak, what could she teach me about the things of the Spirit?
One Monday morning, Heather and I visited about the previous weekend. Heather indicated to me that she had attended Primary, so I began singing some Primary songs. A smile broke across her face whenever she recognized a song. I sang her my favorite, “I Wonder When He Comes Again.” Then I asked her if she had a favorite song. Immediately her eyes focused on mine and I was suddenly faced with the challenge of determining which song she loved above all others.
Through a series of questions I discovered that her favorite song was one she had heard in Primary. She wasn’t sure which songbook it was in, but knew it was about Jesus. I went through every possible song I could think of. To my dismay and Heather’s disappointment, none of them was the right one.
Heather refused to let the issue die. For some reason she needed the two of us to share her favorite song. Finally, I agreed to bring my Primary songbooks to school the following day and go through them with her.
On Tuesday morning, Heather let me know in no uncertain terms that she wanted to find the song—now! We went through the books, but to no avail. She liked all of the songs, but none of them was the song. In desperation, I told Heather that if her mother could figure out the song, we would sing it. If not, we would have to live with the fact that we couldn’t find it.
Heather came to school the next day more determined than ever to find her song. Tucked in her wheelchair was the new Church hymnbook. I positioned myself next to her and, page by page, we made our way through. I sang the first phrase of each song, and each time Heather’s eyes closed in a definite no. Halfway through the book, I began to sing: “There is sunshine in my soul today …”
As if someone had stuck her with a pin, Heather jumped and smiled. Her bright eyes looked directly at me. Together we laughed and reveled in the completion of our three-day search. “OK, now we can finally sing your favorite song,” I said. She smiled as I sang the first verse, and as I began the chorus she mustered all the effort she could and joined in with occasional sigh-like sounds. As I finished the chorus she looked at me steadily as if to say, “I liked that part.” I was so grateful I had found the song! I asked if she wanted to hear the rest of the verses and she responded with a firm yes. Again I began:
There is music in my soul today,
A carol to my King,
And Jesus listening can hear
The songs I cannot sing …
Heather’s reaction to that line was so strong that I stopped. I looked at her as the reality and significance of the moment pressed on my mind. “Heather, is that what you like about the song?” I asked. “Is that what you want me to know? That Jesus is listening, and he can hear the songs you cannot sing?” She lifted her head and looked me straight in the eyes. The testimony had been borne.
Feeling guided by the Spirit, I ventured to ask, “Heather, does Jesus talk to you in your mind and in your heart?” Her look was penetrating.
Knowing her close relationship with the Spirit, there was one more thing I wanted to know. With reverent anticipation I whispered, “Heather, what does he say?” My heart pounded as I viewed the clear look in her eyes as she awaited my questions so she could share her insight. I felt that the Lord gave me the right questions to ask as I took a deep breath and proceeded. “Does he say ‘Heather, I love you’?” Her eyes were radiant as she confirmed that statement. I paused, swallowed, and continued. “Does he say ‘Heather, you’re special’?” Again, yes. I paused again, with a lump in my throat, and then asked, “Does he say, ‘Heather, be patient; I have great things in store for you’?”
Heather’s head became erect; every fiber of her being seemed to be electrified as her eyes penetrated my soul. She knew she was loved. She knew she was special. She knew she only needed to be patient because great things were in store for her.
The moment seemed too sacred for further words. I leaned forward and pressed her cheek against my own. Without words, but through the bright blue windows to her soul, the truth had been made known.
Yes, Heather, Jesus, listening, can hear.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

For the Love of Life

Oh the story I will weave for you today...

This morning I went to my sister's house to hang out with her and my aunt Aleesa. We had fantasticly huge waffles—light, fluffy, angelic waffles.

I had four of them!

They were not small.

Oh well.

After we were done solving the trundle and bunk bed saga with Aleesa we went our separate ways.

I went quickly because I realized that I had been there so long I would probably miss Sister getting home off the bus. Vroom vroooooom!

I made it.

I nurse Baby and load both her and Sister back into the car to head over to my mom's.


I don't know. Just wanted to visit I guess. Well, actually I had an agenda. I was going to buy some seeds at the greenhouse that is close to her house (hmm, close? not really. small town, nothing is close, but 5 miles away is close...).

I had so much fun hanging out eating pomegranate popsicles (oh, and all you pomegranate lovers out there—they are fantastic. mmmm.) that I lost track of time and realized that because it was early out day and needed to get home to get Brother of his bus. So in my rush I forgot the seed errand and just headed home.

I got home and nursed Baby again.

I talk to Marc to see if he wants to go to Walmart when he gets home. He says that he would like to go. Then I nix the idea because I remember I want to start planting the garden while Brother is at scouts and Marc can help so I need to go get seeds. I decide to just run all the rest of my errands at the same time. I mean Smith's is having their 5 for $5 sale on LIFE cereal!! Must go!!

Got Brother off the bus and loaded him, and the girls back into the car.


Because I am dumb.

Why am I dumb?

You will soon see.

We go to Walmart first. Heaven shines down upon me and in the cart return next to me is the coveted 2 seater cart. Yes, the cart of dreams. The one that keeps older children in one place... in front of you within arms reach at all times. And yes, this time they actually stayed in the cart. Baby was asleep. All was well. I even found a gallon of bubbles for $3. Who doesn't need a gallon of bubbles? Then to go with the gallon of bubbles I should get something completely useless that costs only $1 to go along with it.

Bubble wands.

This is where it all goes down hill.

No they didn't spill them.

That would have been easy.

The bubble wands have this little plasticy thing with the cardboard tag coming out the top. Apparently Sister didn't want it on and proceeded to take it off without me knowing because I am browsing the clearanced layering shirt for $3. (Ah. $3. It must me my magic number.)

Brother yells out, "Mom, mom, mom, mom," the lady next to me is wondering when I will respond. Don't bother me, it is nothing important. I am browsing the yellow, green and some kind of salmon pink left-over layering shirts. This is a real deal here.

On about the 20th "mom" I calmly walk over to see that she has indeed taken of the plastic thingy along with the tag from the thing. I take the card board tag with the bar code on it and place it in the cart along with the plastic covering.

No biggy.

As I browse to another part of the store, trying to remember why I actually came to this store, I hear a plasticy thing fall to the floor.

Sister screams hysterically.

I calmly bend over to pick it up and hand it to her.

Whatever blows your hair back kiddo.

If you want to hold on to some stupid plasticy thing, be my guest.

I continue into the fruit isle, and I hear the plasticy thing drop again but this time I ignore it.


I don't know.

Maybe I thought it wouldn't be as big a deal as it became.

Sister screamed at the top of her lungs. Crocodile tears streaming. Face reddening. People staring.

I am smiling.

It's funny.

Kind of.

But as I am going through the line Baby begins to cry, I am sure, because Sister is screaming... still! She didn't hardly take a breath.

I giggled as the cashier put my stuff through and bagged it. I don't think she knew what to think.

Sister screams louder on the way out to the door and through the parking lot.

She screams while she is in the cart and I am trying to put in crying Baby, and I feel my blood starting to sizzle!

I get her out of the cart, frazzled as can be. Me, not her, frazzled.

And then I head to Smith's.

Ya, you would think I would just bag it and go home.

But, this is her. This is what she does. So, I will plug through.

I gave her some gum to help her center herself (chewing helps, trust me).

And then we head to Smith's to get our LIFE cereal.

Now, on the ad it says, "Sale price 5 for $10. With Fresh Values card you receive $5 off purchase. One $5 discount per transaction."

I decide to get 10 and just run 2 transactions.

Smart huh?

That's what I thought.

After a hectic wander through Smith's, I approach the cashier. Now, remember my kids like to drive carts around, so I have two of them trailing behind me running over my heels in line and I am holding Baby in my arms because she didn't want to be in her carseat.

My arm is going numb.

I chose the pregnant cashier because she looked nice and I thought would be good about my coupons for my L'Oreal make-up I was purchasing. I put 5 boxes of LIFE on the belt and then placed a divider and then placed the rest of my groceries. I was figuring around a $35 purchase in my head with my coupons and their great sales. It was 40% L'Oreal cosmetics and then the LIFE sale.

Anyway, the cashier politely removed my divider and said that I didn't need to do it in two transactions and that it would work just fine, she didn't know why the ad said only one $5 discount per transaction. "Oh, OK," I said. I then handed her my 2 coupons for $1 off each for the make-up. I got some $7 mascara that was marked down to $4.19 and with my coupons that was $2.19. Sweet!

You know how they tell you the total at the end. Well, she told me and I just nodded because I really couldn't hear her over Sister whining and my arm numbing (yes, arm numbing can cause lack of hearing—you can't focus on hearing because you are busy numbing).

I drag all the kids out to the car. Unload everything. Check my receipt.

Did I buy 2 masacaras?

Check bags, check again.

Nope, just one.

And it was $4.19 not $6.99.


I was charged $6.99 twice for one masacara that was on sale for $4.19.

I sit and ponder if it is worth trying to talk Sister back out of the car and dragging them all back into the store again to get my refund.

I decide that $10 is worth it.

Back in, crying, numb arm and all.

Wait 10 minutes in agony.

Get my refund.

Go back to the car.

Get everyone in.

Check my receipt again because I realize that even with my $10 back I still spent $40 instead of the $35 I had guesstimated.

Hm. Only one $5 discount. Not two like I had planned.


Note to self: Don't use the pregnant cashiers. They have enough on their minds.

No, I didn't go back for the other $5 discount.

I only have so much patience. I figured, $1.50 for LIFE cereal was still good... enough.


After Brother got home from Scouts at I nursed Baby.

Then we all loaded up in the car with Marc to head back over to Walmart...

for fun...

enough said.

Ya, I know.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Finally the Saturday before Easter activities

Oh my word, so much to catch up on...

First of all I love these pictures because it shows Brother and Sister actually do get along. They were watching a movie in Sister's room and Brother fell asleep. Sister is trying to tell me not to wake him up.

Growing up in a small town was the bomb. Seriously, it was awesome! Bike rides to the corner store that, one way, took 30 minutes. The town celebrations and especially the Easter Egg Hunt! When I was a kid they would hide real colored eggs with numbers on them. Then we would run to the pavillion with our eggs and wait for our numbers to be called out to see what kind of prize we would get! Aah! Those were the days.

Anyway, now we go to the same one with our kids. The eggs are plastic and you get a prize as long as you have and egg to show for it. And this year my kids had a lot of fun because we were actually there before the Easter Egg Hunt started... ya, usually we have been late. :)

It was cold and my kids were happy as pie to get back into the car!
notice the cards in her basket...

lined up to get our prizes

Then we went to my mom's house to watch the first session of LDS General Conference. My mom made us breakfast. She loves to cook for us. She always acts stressed out but, I think it would stress her out more if we didn't ask her to make something for us!

The saying above her stove says, "Around here "normal" is just a setting on the washing machine." I may change that to my new blog theme...

I made Baby and Sister's flowers. Aren't the cute?

I talked LittleB into letting me do her hair. I think she was pretty happy about it.

The fun never ends when Marc and Jessie get together. Here's proof:

Then we went to my uncle's to have dinner and an Easter Egg hunt. It was alot of fun!

You can see that Marc and Baby had a good time while the rest of us hunted eggs... pppfth!

and these were the "smiles" on our faces when we saw what kind of candy we got! MMmm. Nothing like a good pair of fake rabbit teeth you can eat...
Thank goodness my nose clean... sheeeesh!
It's amazing what rabbit teeth can do to ya!

After my uncle's house Marc went to General Priesthood Session at the Conference Center. Me and the kids went to Marc's parents' house to hang out with Amy, Grandma Lynne, and Kelsey and ate, colored eggs and chatted while all the guys were gone. Brother was the only boy there with all us girls!