I apologize to anyone I have upset or offended with any of my posts. It never has been and never will be my intention. I love my family far too much for that. I am not perfect and hope I will be forgiven of those imperfections by you readers, just as I pray I will be forgiven of them by my family every night.

April 15, 2014

Jackson Graduates to a New Helmet


It was such a simple thing.

But I suppose after not having the ability to do it for the last few months, I now realize it is perhaps something I have taken for granted in the past.

As my five-month old Jackson slept in my arms, his cheek against my chest, I couldn't help but think that this was the first time he has slept on me like that since before his surgery at seven weeks old. 

I loved it. I relished in the knowledge that he could hear my heartbeat, that I could feel his hair and kiss his forehead as he slept peacefully.

I've missed it.


He was on helmet break and after feeding him he had fallen asleep. So I gently lifted him up so I could snuggle with him.

It's not the same with the helmet on.

Speaking from experience, it's really, really hard to snuggle with a piece of plastic.

I was loathe to wake him up to put his helmet back on.

But, I also feel gratitude down to my toes that he is doing so remarkably well.



Three weeks ago we had a helmet check-up appointment. At this appointment they took new scans of his head.


Before Surgery                                                            After 2 1/2 months in the helmet


 Before Surgery                                                            After 2 1/2 months in the helmet

Remarkable, isn't it?

Here is another view.

Red line is before surgery, blue is after 2 1/2 months on the helmet.


This next one is comparing his head from after his first month.

So, red line is after one month in the helmet, blue is after 2 1/2 months.


Two weeks later, (last week) we went back down to pick up his new helmet and have a check-up with the surgeon.

At these appointments we received the news I was so hoping and praying for.

He is doing SO well that he will only have three more months in the helmet. Then we will go back for more head scans. After which he will get to be out of the helmet for one month. After that we go back for more scans. If at the end of that month his head shape is holding and everything is growing normally, he will get to stay out of the helmet permanently!

YEA! And YEA again!


We are having to re-adjust to this new helmet since it is a whole lot bigger than his last one and it shifts around a lot.

Which means his ears and cheeks get pocked and mushed a lot.

He doesn't care too much for that. 

Especially since this little guy is now rolling!



Quite a feat with that bulky thing if you ask me.


What a little blessing this guy is in our lives.

Thank you all again for the prayers offered in his behalf. And thank you to the wonderful surgeons who have taken such good care of both my cranio-babies.

April 13, 2014

Joseph's Baptism


With the arrival of his eighth birthday, another important event happened in Joseph's life.


He was baptized!

It was all he talked about every day from his birthday until, a couple weeks later, he entered into the waters of baptism.

He really was very excited.

We had many, many family discussions on baptism.

It is so important to us that out children understand this step of faith they are taking. So we discussed what this covenant means that they are making with our Heavenly Father, and that they are promising the follow His Son (for more on Baptism, click HERE)


We are really proud of him for choosing to take this step.

He had lots of family and friends show up to support him.




Grandma gave the opening prayer.

Granny gave a short talk on baptism. (during which Joseph ran up and gave her a huge hug, then just decided to stay up there in the front of the room with her)

Savannah, Jacob, and Alayna sang a special song, "When I am Baptized".

They did awesome! Here are ALL my kids singing the song. Haha, they are so cute.



I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.
I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away,
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again.

Then Hubby baptized Joseph while Grandpa and Papa acted as witnesses.

Afterwards they went back to change out of their wet clothes and guess what? We forgot to bring towels! Oops. They must have used a lot of paper ones to dry off with.

While we waited for them to change, Jacob got up and sang the first verse to "Nephi's Courage."

Okay, so I may have coerced him... a little... a lot.

He did awesome though!

When the boys finally came back out, Joseph was confirmed a member of the church and was given the gift of the Holy Ghost.

After that the bishop asked Hubby and I to bare our testimonies.

It was a great baptism.

And of course, since most of our extended family had to drive in, we all had lunch afterwards.



 This funny kid had a blast playing with his cousins.


But one of favorite moments of it all actually happened the next day at church.

Joseph was suppose to give a talk in Primary and we may have sort of *coforgotugh*. Eh hem.

So I told him he should just go up and talk about his baptism.

I wish I had a way to show you accurately how he said this, but I can't so I'll do my best.

He stood at the microphone and said in a very serious manner, "At my baptism,(pause) the Holy Ghost came to me (long pause) and it was life changing. And all my family gathered together (extra long pause) as one."

LOL! It was so sweet and funny all at the same time.


Love that kid.

April 9, 2014

Joseph Had a Birthday... a month ago.


Writing about a birthday a month late is beginning to be a good record time for me.

That's bad.


But it's true, this handsome guy turned eight years old last month! 


I don't know why he did it.

It's not like he asked my permission to grow up.

Rude.

But with or without my go ahead, his birthday arrived and this kid was exciiiiiiiiiiiiited!

He even managed to make his siblings mad at him after he informed them all that it was his birthday and he could do anything he wanted and they all had to be nice to him.

Oh dear.


That morning I ran to the store to buy some birthday treats for his school class.

Hey now, in my defense, homemade treats are no longer allowed. 

So there.

Then I swung by his school to drop them off.

I'm pretty sure his smile was close to spliting his face in half as he took center stage in his classroom. His teacher teased him for how anytime any other kid had a birthday, Joseph would always mope and complain that his birthday is never going to come.

They sang happy birthday and he passed out the chocolate, multicolored sprinkle coated donut holes.

By his pure happiness, you'd think he'd never had experienced a birthday before.


At home, I was frantically trying to clean the house, (some family was coming over for cake and ice cream) cook a nice dinner (my husband invited a guy from work who was visiting from Germany to come eat with us), and get Joseph's cake made and decorated.

Meh, no pressure.

Dinner was a success, the house was... kind of clean...ish, and the cake surprisingly got completed!



Simple (thank the stars) yet completely him.

He was thrilled with it!


Silly kid.


And the magic moment arrived!

Light the candles daddy!






Ta-da!

Cake and ice cream was passed all around!

As I was distracted in the kitchen, the boys just couldn't take it anymore. They simply HAD to open the gigantic gift that Joseph's cousin brought!

So I missed it all.

But while the boys were busy assembling the new pin ball machine...


the girls were hanging out in the box left behind.


It was a win win gift, and a very fun evening.



But the birthday doesn't end there.

The next evening, Hubby and I took Joseph out for his special birthday date with us.

We asked him where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do.

His response?

Jamba Juice.

I tried to cox him into choosing a nice restaurant. Or even fast food and Jamba Juice.

Nope.

Just Jamba Juice.

Okay then.



Sooooo many choices.



And I'm still laughing about this, but he chose a drink that if I recall correctly, was called "Apples and Greens".

He very literally ordered a "green drink". I watched them puree the veggies myself and just hoped that he would still like it.

At that point he probably would have liked anything though, he was just so happy to be there.


And so was this little guy apparently!


Joseph insisted on taking a picture of us.

Soooooooooooooo not my best look.

Don't judge.

But he was the birthday boy!


Second birthday of the year... aced!

Happy birthday to my hard, sweet, frustrating, thoughtful, infuriating, kind, worry me to tears little man.


I love him so much.


April 7, 2014

Perhaps They Learn More Than You Realize


Sometimes it seems as though the things we try to teach our children go unheeded.

For example, my children can never seem to remember where the flush handle is on the toilet, no matter how many times I show them how to use such a complicated device. *insert eye roll*

Or that coming up to me while I am up to my elbows in raw chicken and trying to stir something on the stove with my toes (okay not really) while talking on the phone and getting a huge kink in my neck because it's cradled under my chin and..... *continuing this sentence through grinding teeth* poking me in the side over and over and over and over again while methodically saying, "mom... mom... mom... mom... mom... mom..." does not help in an way, shape, or form and will usually result in a small explosion of my sanity. *huge intake of breath*

Eh hem.

Not that it drives me crazy or anything.

Or that despite the convenience of it, their shirt is really NOT meant to be a napkin. Or a towel. Or a paint canvas.

Neither is their face.


So every once in a while, when a child calmly comes up to me with a quiet, "um, excuse me mom?", or I don't have to flush the toilet before I let a guest use it, you start to feel some hope in your parenting skills.


Well, this weekend was General Conference. 

It is a time for those of us who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to listen to the words of our modern day prophets.

I love conference weekend and always feel so uplifted and edified.

But imagine what eight hours of talks over the course of two days is like for a small child.

Needless to say, our basement turned into battle of the forts.



And I wonder if our children learn anything at all.

Then last night, Savannah handed me this note.



"Dear mom and dad, Like a flower you are sweet. Like a flower you grow as you get nourished. You get nourished by the gospel and the Holy Ghost. Your faith, testimony, and hope grow. Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father love you and know they're proud of you. You're the best parents anyone could have. I'm glad they put us together into this family. May the Holy Ghost be with you and help guide your every move.
Love you with all my heart and soul,
Savannah"


Well maybe, just maybe... my kids will survive having me for a mom after all.



March 24, 2014

Letters to Leprechauns


St. Patrick's Day is one of those holidays that everyone celebrates, but few really know why.

I'm one of them.

*clearing throat* Eh hem...

But if there is anyone out there who use to read my blog and for some reason still does, you may recall how last year, we didn't get around to making Leprechaun traps.

So the kids received a nice note from St. Patrick thanking them for "not trying to trap him".

It was one of those rare moments of genius that was forced upon me because my lack of preparation.

Little did I know how that would effect this year's events.


Realizing that I had once again fallen short on my holiday planning, I asked the kids, somewhat hesitantly, if they wanted to make traps this year.

This sparked a deep and heart-felt conversation among them as to whether or not they should try and trap a leprechaun.

In the end, it was decided that would NOT. Rather, they would all... write him notes.

I responded with a relieved, "Well, pish... twist my arm! I mean, if you really insist, I suppose I could work that into my schedule."

I was rewarded for this response with blank stares and eye rolls.

I found some Easter candy someone had given us that had shiny wrappers which the kids taped to the front of their notes.

SAVANNAH:


JOSEPH:


JACOB:

ALAYNA: (I wrote her note as she dictated to me what she wanted to say)


CLAIRA:

Well, obviously no notes from Claira.

She just ate as much candy as she could before she got caught.



And that's when this Leprechaun realized it still had a problem.

No gold coins... no candy... no cereal... not even eggs to turn green.

Blast.


Oh wait!

Perhaps there was still something left of the twelve pounds of chocolate sent to me from my sister?

Just maybe....

SAVED!

Thank you Beka for the M&Ms!


Simple?

True.

But hey, I was running off pure desperation here.




There was even a note!

I ought to get double points for that.


The kids reluctantly and groggly woke the next morning and stumbled into the kitchen. 


The older kids gravitated to the note first, while the younger ones naturally dove into the treats.


Claira didn't want to share.



  Since it was only 7am, I made the kids divvy up the treats and put them into little baggies for later.

Holiday crisis diverted!

Well... mostly.

The boys thought that since the Leprechaun had responded to their first notes, that he would keep writing them!


They're hard to read so interpretations are below the pictures.

JACOB:


Answer to question: Sometimes.
Answer to joke: Are you wearing me.
Love, Jacob.
Double P.S. whats your name
P.S. your the best!

Jacob's jokes NEVER make sense.

So don't worry, I didn't get it either.

JOSEPH:


Dear Leprechaun,
Since I'm not catching you do I get three wishes for free?
Love, Joseph.


Hahaha! Well, I guess it doesn't hurt to ask!

I had the tell the boys that the Leprechauns only come out for one day.

Otherwise I'd be pen paling all of them for the next ten years.

Trust me.

That's not much of an exaggeration.
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