Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Best in Show

Our little Road Show won!! Wahoo! All our hard work paid off! We got Best Scenery and Best Overall!!! Yee haw! I feel so happy! The kids all did such an awesome job! I really wish everyone could have come too see it. I will get a video of it on here as soon I can get one. In fact, it is just too darn late, I will post pics later, but for now I just had to brag!

Our Road Show won!!! Yay! It was such a hit! People laughed in all the right places!

Here is the skit I wrote. I am posting it so that it will be in my journal and for anyone else who may want to use it.

Food,+ Eggs+ Candy+ Chicks+ Colors= Easter Party

OK, so there are a lot of pictures but, that is how I am going to tell you about it:

It all starts with the food... I made a dutch oven turkey that turned out great but, I didn't get a picture of it.

Just talkin'

Then Jessie brought out the crafts.We made cute chicks with the kids.

When they were done I said, "OK, now everyone hold up their chick."
My dad wanted to hold up his "chick" but she wouldn't cooperate...

Then it was time for the easter egg hunt... and yes, I know that Brother has cheesey stuff on his face.

Kirsten was really getting into it!! She means business. In the next clip you'll see her and Jeremy are both gonna get some serious eggage! Look way in the back, behind my momand dad—who also love hunting eggs!

Sister could not give up any time for pictures, this was serious egg hunting time..


Brother's stash

Sister is still looking

Marc gets caught with a caramel egg... and still looks handsomely rugged! Or is that ruggedly handsome... (smile)

Jeremy telling us something interesting.

Dad


Mom


I put the boxed candy in the eggs quite nicely. Thanks, Joel, for modeling with your "pretty" hands!

Aaron and Chelsea didn't join us until they got back from the Festival of Colors at the Hari Chrishna Temple--they were colorful alright!


Aaron was excited he found an egg


So was Chelsea.  I caught this on camera before her egg fell to the ground--look closely at the egg




Thanks, Jessie and Joel for hosting the annual family Easter Party every year!!

OK, now this is getting personal!

Ya, I am sorry. I must talk this through to cyberspace. Why? I don't know. I have been thinking about that very thing.

This is a blog about my life. Right? If I don't talk about what is going on in it good or bad, then it seems too good to be true.

I hate watching movies that don't have happy endings. So why do I tell the truth good or bad on my blog. Well, because I hope in the "end" it will be a very happy ending. But, as with any good movie with a happy ending there are trials to be overcome. Right? Of course I am right. (smile)

Anyway, I am writing to get it all down. I am struggling, today, with the Fragile X thing. Sister has really been struggling with impulse control. She will just hit anyone or anything. She will completely shut down when asked a question. She cries at the drop of a hat. When she is wakened from a nap her hysterics are unconsolable. Please, I ask you right now, don't post the "girls are like that" post. It's not the same. Sorry if I just offended you, but it isn't. Fragile X is different. Yes it has similarities but, the tantrum that girls throw aren't always caused by insignificant circumstances. I mean, waking up from a nap should not bring out an all encompassing brawl of emotion and anger for 20 minutes to an hour. And I am talking crazed eyes, flailing body, scratching, biting, complete freak-outs. Please save me your sympathy. I am scared that I cannot help her. I am scared it will only get worse. I am scared that there is not a medication out there that will help ease her transitions.

Recently she started flapping her arms whenever she is excited. She's 4 1/2. She is now doing the typical FXS hand flapping.

Am I a bad mom that I am not able to change this behavior? I don't know anymore. I can't tell what I can help and what is just her.

I am trying to do my best. I guess that the reason I put stuff on here that is not happy is so that you can see that life is not just peaches all the time. Yes, there are awesome times, incredibly happy times. In fact, I still have pictures to post from the Easter party at my sister's. Don't worry there are happy times, I promise.

The Ensign was open on the counter this morning to an article about letting Christ take on our burdens. I hear that all the time. I don't truly understand it. Even reading the article I still struggled to understand. In the article he talked about how he was so distraught and then read a scripture helping him understand what the Atonement was all about and how he just placed his burdens on Jesus Christ and his heart was lifted. (Article can be read here.)

Why can't I seem to do that? Do I not have the testimony I thought I did? Will I be able to do that? Am I holding onto these feelings because I don't want to let them go? I don't know. It is funny that I can write this personal stuff down and send it out to cyberspace and feel a bit of a burden lifted. As if when I do so you as a reader take on some of the burden. Maybe that is why someone close to me told me "no more depressing posts." Maybe you as a reader don't want to take on the burden. I should rely on Christ. I should let Him take my burdens. I know I should. I know I can but, how. That leads me to thinking that maybe my testimony isn't what I thought it was. That I am not praying to Him as a personal friend but, only as a prayer going to no where. How sad. I need to pray to Him with real intent and feeling. I need to really believe He is listening; ready and willing to take away my pain and worry.

See, I know what needs to be done. Why can't I do it? I will get there. Don't worry.

And yes, my life is happy. And it will be happy. Once in a while, though, I put it out there.

You don't need to comment on this one. I just wanted to say it because I am sure that someone out there feels the same way sometimes. To that person, I say, "You're not alone."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Strawberries from Mars!" and Laughing

That's what this lady exclaimed to me at Costco when she saw the huge strawberries they were selling!

And seriously, they are so huge! I had to buy some just because I knew it would brighten Brother's whole day! And it did! I had to take pictures.

That is an orange in with the strawberries to show you how big they are.


What led to these Strawberries?

Oh, it was a Sister's Day. It was actually just my sister sisters. Tynelle is in Florida and Chelsea is working so it was just the three of us with my two daughters and Jessie's daughter, LittleB.

Six Girls get in a suburban and drive 45 minutes to go to the best thrift store in our county. (smile) We are funny. We don't like the closest one because it is overpriced and overpicked. Anyway!

Sidenote to the story: On the way there Sister spilled her water all over, quite a bit and I didn't have anything that would soak up all the water that was spilled. I was trying to think of something that would soak up well, and I remembered there was feminine napkin (tee hee) in my diaper bag. Voila!!! It soaked the water right up!! Because my sister was so embarrased that I asked her to use it to wipe the water up, I won't tell you which sister it was! Ha!!!!!


We were so excited to get together and go shopping. We pull up to the store and it is windy and cold. We bundle up the kids and ourselves and go running to the doors only to find out they are still not opened! We giggle at ourselves and how silly we must have looked and then ran back to the car to wait 15 more minutes for the doors to open.

Apparently some people were extremely anxious to get in. They actually formed a line outside the doors. We got quite the kick out of it so we had to take a picture.

Kirsten first tried taking one through the window. As you can see that was ineffective as my children basically all but lick the windows....


So I got brave and opened the door a crack, raised my arm out and clicked a picture hoping no one would notice. I mean, I didn't want them to feel bad that I was laughing at them. I kep thinking of that old commercial for Mervyn's. "Open. Open."


We had a blast once we got inside! The kids were even pretty good!

Then we were off to Costco. Us small towners get excited to head to the big city for a shopping deals! Tee hee!

Oh, on way home I had to stop in a parking lot to feed Baby. I was putting her back in the car seat and Kirsten was laughing at my hair blowing up above the car door. Apparently it wasn't going as well when she took the picture, but, Kirsten, I will post this for your enjoyment!

Anyway. We had a great time together.

Tynelle and Chelsea: wish you could have been with us. (This is Baby saying "hello")

That night after I had finished folding clothes. I was playing with Baby and she started to laugh. This was only the 4th time I have heard her laugh, so I was calling to Marc to get the camera. He got it! Here it is for you to share. What's more therapeutic than a baby's laugh! She is five months old now and I can't believe how big she is! It is weird to think how small she started out to be. Anyway, enjoy the little clip.


video

Saturday, March 27, 2010

She's going to her Senior Prom

And I didn't even know until today.

Which is the day she is going.

I don't know what her dress looks like.

She didn't ask me to do her hair.

I used to help her pick out the dress. Get excited with her and help her decide what accessories to wear.

I did her hair for every dance. Even the informal ones.

Sometimes we argued about how beautiful she looked. She said she didn't. I said she did.

I used to wait up till she got home so that I could hear all about her date.

Now I don't even know when she goes on one.

Was it all a dream?

Did they really live with me for so many years?

Maybe, but it seems we are forgotten.

I miss her.

I miss him.

My kids...

once.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cornbread and Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was a "C" day today for cooking.

When Brother got home he asked if we could make cornbread and since Baby was content, I obliged. When we were halfway done with the batter his cousin, Jman showed up so we had him join in. At that point that is when I started taking pictures.

Now before I start posting pictures, I just have to express one thing from the cockles of my heart. (Ha, cockles, gotta love that term, eh.) Here goes:

I know that many a ten year old can cook with little help, read the recipe independently, and even whip up a batch of cookies or make ramen soup on their own. But, let me put in perspective the reason I am proud of my 10 year old son.

He didn't talk more than a handful of words until he was almost 5—even then only I could understand him most of the time. He couldn't run very efficiently until he was 7 (although I know he made it around pretty quickly before that!!) He didn't know how to play with friends. He didn't start reading until he was in first grade and at that he was not at a first grade level. He didn't do math until first or second grade.

As a mother it is hard to witness these things as you continue to hope for improvement.

This is what I have learned with time, trial, and patience.

I am grateful for what he can do, and how much he has improved.

He LOVES to run and looks forward to the Hershey Track Meet each year so that he can run on the track. I have conversations with him now, two-way conversations! He is doing double digit multiplication! He is learning how to count money. How to tell time. He has friends! He is learning fractions! He is reading beyond what I thought he would!

To me, these simple cooking lessons are miraculous. My heart bursts with joy as I watch him do this. So I hope that you too, as a reader, can get the grasp of what he has accomplished here in cooking with little help from me. So as you see each picture know that it was taken by me, in complete and utter humility that my Heavenly Father has allowed me to be a part of Brother accomplishing the things that he does!

OK, now for the rest of my post:
Jman getting his hands washed and ready for cooking!

Sister having a fall-apart because she didn't get to crack the eggs... at least I think that is why she is crying... with her it is always unpredictable.

Jman mixing

This snap is just funny, Brother looks like he is singing into the spoon and Jman is looking confused as to why he would be doing that...

Brother mixing

Brother got a hold of the camera and this is what he ended up with.... hmm

We baked it in a cast iron skillet so he needed help because it was heavy—we work well as a team

This is why we were able to make cornbread together. (smile)

All done!

We had home made chicken noodle soup and cornbread for dinner.

After dinner Brother came up to me and said, "I guess we can't cook again because we already did. So we can't make something else."

That is his way of asking if he can make something else.

I asked him if he would like to make the family home evening treat and he got really excited! So he decided to make chocolate chip cookies. I didn't get and end picture, but, trust me, they looked good!
shortening

more ingredients and.... mix

He kept trying to plug his ears while he was using the mixer, the sound was a bit too loud for him. He did it though, and was very excited to put in the chocolate chips.

He made these cookies for his daddy and was adamant that he have one when they were done. Daddy was very happy to oblige!

Brother's Morals

So Brother was just playing horses and ran upstairs to inform me of the latest development.

He said "Starlight and Sugar are having foals right now."

I said a little intrigued, "Oh really."

He matter-of-factly said, "Yep, they married a good stallion and now they can have a foal."

His dad has taught him well!

Sister's Observations

Funny thing she said today:

She went out to play in the backyard on her scooter. The sun has been coming in and out of the clouds and when she went out it was sunny. I went out to be with her after a few minutes when it was overcast because the sun was back behing the clouds. She was crying saying, "Turn the lights back on!"

Later she had a little friend over to play. After about a half hour I heard them yelling at each other.

Concerned, I asked them, "Are you guys playing or are you fighting?"

Sister's friend replied, "No, we're just playing Mom and Dad."

Ha!

I even heard Sister say, "You have to get surgery!"

Her friend yelled back, "No, I don't want surgery!"

Sister, "You have to have surgery! Yes!"

I honestly don't have a clue where that came from, but it sure made me laugh!

I told them to play "nice" mom and dad.

It worked.

Rock N Park

When I was a kid, my dad loved to take us to rock shows. Ya, you read it right, rock shows.

Not like, rock band rock shows. Rocks. Like ignacious, sedementary, medamorphic. (I learned all those big words from Brother. He LOVES his science class. I know, he is so smart!) There are also gemstones, semi-prescious stones, rock beads, geodes, fossils, arrowheads—you name it—if it's a rock, it's there!

Well, last year they had it in a nearby town and I took the kids by myself. I didn't get any pictures last time, so this time I made sure to bring my camera.

Marc came with us this time and we met my dad and sister's family there. Marc's parents even ended up being there.

It was really crowded and hard to maneuver my limosine of a stroller, but the kids LOVED it. Brother even talked his Uncle Joel and Aunt Jessie into buying him a little rose quartz rock. So cute, it was 50¢ so it wasn't expensive but, to him it was priceless. Brother even got to play for a prize on the wheel of prizes and had the choice between a "dinosaur rock" and a beautiful shell necklace. He chose the dinosaur rock. (It was a piece of dinosaur bone with a plastic dinosaur glued to the top.) Tee hee! Oh, Brother!

My dad was really having a great time with his grandkids. He gets so excited when they have an interest in these kinds of things.
Here's Grandpa James with Baby and Brother
Below he has Baby in the Dinosaur's mouth... too funny
And a happy Sister—ya she had one of those days...


 Sister loves to go through the flat rocks in the water. Here are the blue ones she found.
Above that is our caravan.


 We went to a park down the street at the city library and had a picnic afterward and let the kids play. It was a little breezy, so a bit chilly at times, but so beautiful and sunny.
Sister and Brother were having a blast.
So were Marc and their cousins. It really was a great park to play in!

Grandpa is telling Brother how this was done in his day... (smile)

Jman show us his pearlies!

Classic Brother faces

LittleB with some grape juice on her face!

Marc got caught up in the fun

Oh, the faces on the girls are just to funny! "We are buddies!"

This is Brother's "Umm, excuse me" face

We had so much fun that day.

The fun didn't even stop there. We got together with friends and we up till 2am just laughing our heads off talking about everyday stuff that is just funny! Oh, what a fun day!