Wednesday, December 9, 2009

UGH! [or maybe not SO ugh :D]

So this is my blog and it is where I write down what things are happening in my life. I love how when you read blogs it sounds like everyone has perfect lives with perfect homes and perfect kids and time to decorate and craft and bake and cook and learn new skills and have super duper wonderful friends who they always think are great etc. etc. etc. Now don't get me wrong, I love my life and my family and my home and my friends but, it is soo far from perfect.

  • Right now my kids' rooms are trashed, I'm talking can't close the playroom door because of the dirty clothes and trash (eww I know) all over the floor.
  • My carpet in my family room has spots all over it that need to be cleaned and I have a carpet shampooer but I also have 4 kids that I have to have out of the way for the SEVERAL hours it takes to dry afterwards so I keep waiting for a good time to do that.
  • I haven't done my hair in 3 days.
  • Or worn makeup.
  • Hey I'm just happy to have showered! LOL
  • Dishes need done.
  • The Christmas decorations I have out have been completely rearranged and/or broken by my kiddos.
  • Oh and I haven't even put the tree up yet.
  • Not done Christmas shopping.
  • Don't have the stuff to wrap the presents I HAVE gotten.
  • My bedroom has about 52,000 loads of clean laundry on the floor next to the bed that need put away.
  • I have no idea what to make for dinner.
  • My car looks (and smells) like homeless people have been living in it.
  • I get grumpy with my kids even when I know I shouldn't.
  • I yell at my husband.
  • I let stress get me angry.
  • Sometimes my friends hurt my feelings and I don't know how to tell them.
  • So I just pretend they didn't.
  • I let Ethan's Asperger's make me cry, alot.
  • My twins hardly ever wear shoes. They hate them and I don't make them.
So there it is, my life isn't perfect it is worse than some people's and a lot better than a lot of people's and I am so grateful for it and for the "problems" I get to deal with. Because I have a house to be messy, kids (who ALWAYS love me even when I am grumpy) to make those messes, a husband to yell at (and who still loves me even though I do), a car to let homeless people (or maybe just me and my kids LOL ) "live" in (I swear we are in that car more than my house!), friends that love me even though I hurt their feelings sometimes too. I have a Savior whose birth is the reason I have all of those misplaced/ broken Christmas decorations. I have a Savior who understands all of my problems and not only loves me anyway, but is the help I need to make it through them so that I can so thoroughly enjoy and love my "not perfect" life. So never mind the "UGH", I think I've changed my mind about that. :D

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pictures anyone?

I am dying to go out and take some pictures. I have a few projects in mind that I want to get started on and I just need some inspiration. I'm starting to feel stagnant in my photography and want to try some new techniques out. Anyone have some ideas for what I should go shoot? If you are into photography what is your favorite subject(s) to take pics of?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Girls

My girls have been more than willing to be mommy's little models lately. I am loving it and got some pics I want to hang on the wall, especially since the last portraits of the twins were from when they were 2 weeks old! : S

Grandma Nita

July 9, 2009 was one year from the day that my Grandma Nita passed away. She was incredibly important in making me who I am and I miss her very much. This summer we got her headstone and my Dad, Mom, Aunt Jan and brother Brian all set it into concrete at her gravesite. Watching my mom as she first viewed the headstone when it was delivered and then again as it was finished at the gravesite was kind of beautiful to me so here is a peek into those days.

First day of school X 2!

So this year was Emma's first year of school and she was so excited to be a kindergartener! She had to have a new pink backpack and she simply had to wear her Twilight shirt for the first day, because everyone knows it is all about the first day fashions! :)

Yeah she was a little nervous walking into Mrs. Schuetta's (FANTASTIC Kindergarten teacher FYI) class, but mostly excited. I asked what she was the most excited about and she said, "I can't wait to learn to read like Buddy." I love that girl!

She looks up to her brother so much and wants to be just like him! I love him for taking that responsibility so seriously and always trying to be a good example to her. He takes time every afternoon to show her what he is learning in school and to help her with her homework. They are truly best friends, most of the time! ; )

Ethan Started 3rd grade this year. This year Winslow School District went to Grade level schools so he is at a new school and also a different one from Emma. He likes it because the third grade is the highest at his school so he is one of the BIG kids there! LOL His teacher is Ms. Gonzales and she has been absolutely amazing! We have loved her as Ethan's teacher and Ethan has had a fantastic time learning from her so far this year. He even has made a great little friend named Andrew, they play together almost everyday and they get along fantastically! It is awesome to watch my son make friends. He is truly loving 3rd grade!

As you can see he does NOT, however, love mom taking pictures ALL the time! LOL!!

Ethan's Baptism

Wow it has been a long time since I have posted so I am working on catching back up. (Thanks LeAnn) One of the major and best things that has happened since the last post was Ethan's baptism. He was baptized on July 10, 2009. He had so many friends and family able to be here and we really appreciate everyone who made the trip. His Grandma and Grandpa Green gave the prayers and his Grammie gave a talk on Baptism and Papa gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. They were all amazing. Greg was blessed to be able to baptize and confirm his son. I love this picture because it shows how truly thrilled Ethan was to make this covenant. I love Ethan and I am so proud of his example. With all that he has to overcome everyday he still finds time to be kind and loving. He has amazing patience with those he teaches and he loves to teach. He has a fantastic sense of humor and is one of the most intelligent people I have ever known. I am so proud of him for his desire to always do what his right and for his joy in the gospel. I am blessed to be his mother.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ha Ha Ha!

I just washed the carseats today and put them back into the car. Now my car smells like laundry detergent! (my new favorite smell Gain!) This event triggered the following:

Mom: (jumping back into the car where the family is waiting) OOOOH it smells all Gain-y in here!

Emma: I don't smell nothing. All I smell is toots!

I laughed so hard it took awhile to catch my breath!

Monday, May 25, 2009

America The Beautiful

(lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates;
music composed by Samuel A. Ward)

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

A Little Bit of History....

The lyrics to this beautiful song were written by Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929) an instructor at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, after an inspiring trip to the top of Pikes Peak, Colorado, in 1893. Her poem, America the Beautiful first appeared in print in The Congregationalist, a weekly journal, on July 4, 1895. Ms. Bates revised the lyrics in 1904 and again in 1913. In addition to those changes in the words, it is notable that the poem was not always sung to the tune presented on this website ("Materna," composed by Samuel A. Ward in 1882, nearly a decade before the poem was written). In fact, for two years after it was written it was sung to just about any popular or folk tune that would fit with the lyrics, with "Auld Lang Syne" being the most notable of those. The words were not published together with "Materna" until 1910, and even after that time, the tune to be used was challenged to some degree.

We sang this song in church yesterday and I am never able to make it all of the way through. I do ok until I hit the third verse and then I fall completely apart. I think of the "heroes proved" that I know. Not the least of which is my older brother Brian. After High School Brian left home for the Air Force Academy. Only the very best are accepted there and then they are put through the toughest training experience while also being held to Ivy League academic standards. He took 2 years off to serve a mission and then returned to the Academy after going through the rigorous admissions process all over again, where he finished his degree and graduated as an officer. He has served in Afghanistan and Korea, he has spent years both being trained and training. He is an amazing officer and a fantastic soldier. Even more than that he is an amazing dad and husband. I think my brother is a hero.

But I also think his wife is a hero as are his children. They bravely watch their dad and husband leave for weeks, months at a time to parts most dangerous not knowing for sure that he will come back. My Sister-in-law loaded kids up to and from school everyday, she cleaned house and made meals, fulfilled a calling, comforted her children, prayed for her husband, and worried night and day. But she was proud of her husband and supported his commitment to help others. My nephews and niece had dad miss things, worried about dad AND mom, went about their day to day responsibilities and helped mom as best as they could.

It is heroic to me to share the ones we love with the world as a whole to promote freedom and opportunity to those who can't fight for themselves. So this memorial day I am thankful for all the men and women of the United States Military. Including those who don't wear uniforms, the wives, children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and friends who sacrifice their time with their loved ones so that others can be guaranteed long, happy, safe, fearless lives with theirs.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wanna take some pictures?

Ok , for everyone who has been asking about pictures: For the month of June I will be doing 1 to 1.5 hour shoots, editing approximately 20 shots, and then putting ALL shots (edited or not) onto a disk and providing a release so that you can order prints wherever you'd like for $45. This helps you get pics and me build a portfolio. Let me know if you're interested.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Having fun!

So I have gotten to do some pics lately and I am loving it. I have created a photography blog where I have been posting my favorite shots. The link on the right side for Live Shots will take you to it. So go, check out the pictures and tell me what you think!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Vote Early and Vote Often!

Frosted Flakes has a program called Plant a Seed where athletic fields are nominated that are run down and in need of some help for a complete rebuild courtesy of Kellogg's and Frosted Flakes.  Winslow's Multi Purpose fields are in a sad state, there are holes everywhere, the infields are hard packed clay, and the grass is mostly a sad patch of cleverly mowed weeds.  These are the fields we use for the city soccer leagues, Little Leagues, Men's League Softball, Co-Ed Softball, and the city Lacrosse team.  Someone nominated our field and by some amazing chance we made it to the top 100 semifinalists!!  So here is what you can do click on the link below and vote for our field!  You can vote 1 time per day per email address.  Voting started today and will be open until May 31st.  So vote early and vote often, Winslow deserves this!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Like Having A Friend In The Business

That is the slogan of Spencer's TV and Appliances.  Sounds great right?  But they don't tell you that it is more like that friend from High School who secretly was always jealous of you and kinda hated you and has just been waiting to exact their revenge! LOL

A little less than 3 years ago we broke ground on our new house ( I still LOVE it!!).  It was a custom build so we got to pick every last thing, except the faucets but that is  another story.  We had always heard what great prices Spencer's had and when Greg was down for a CLE he decided to go in and check it out.  It seemed fantastic so we went in together to order a whole house appliance package.

We looked at EVERY appliance in the store and our salesman was very helpful, or so we thought.  We ended up going $3000 over our budget and paying that out of pocket.  But we had gotten the "top of the line, best buy for our money!"  The salesman even told us about our $1200 Washer that he "had just purchased this exact model for his mother because it is THE best!"

We purchased 6 appliances in all.  Now 2 years after moving in 3 of those are broken.  The main burner on our stove won't heat, the drawer handle on our refrigerator/ freezer is falling off, and the kicker: my washer is locked with the door open so I can't close the door which is quite the problem on a front loader!  Also the main computer panel is fried and the drain pump needs replaced. :S We called GE to see if they could set up a service call and after sitting on hold for 30 minutes I got a recording which told me that "there are no GE service providers near you, please try your local yellow pages."

So Greg called Spencer's to complain that half of the "top of the line" appliances they had sold us were broken in less than 3 years.  Their response was to call a service agent in Pinetop who is going to charge me $150 just to come look at my machine and see what it needs to fix it.  After that and parts and labor and the second $150 service call I could just buy a whole new washer!!


But on the bright side I DO have an amazing friend who was replacing her washer and dryer because her dryer was broken and she so kindly just gave me her top loader washer.  And you know what?  I LOVE IT!!  I have decided that in my laundry room set up I will NEVER get another front loader because the top loader fits so well and so conveniently!!  So I guess that is a good thing that came out of this story.

Rant over, thanks for listening! :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thanks so much guys!

I love all of the mommy funk cures you all sent and you all have amazing ideas (that is probably why you are all rocking good moms!)  I decided to use them all and compile them together into this blog.  If anyone has an idea to add come back and comment on this post and I will continue to edit this one.  This is my own personal  mommy survival wiki! :)

1.) Try to plan ONE fun activity a day and then DON'T expect it to go perfectly. That way, when your kids watch TV for the rest of the day and make huge messes, you can still feel like you accomplished something with them.

2.)  If we go out to a park or just for a nice walk the sunshine and fresh air are good for everyone. BUT, in cases where you can't go outside- I let my kids pile up all the pillows and jump off the couch. They love it and think I'm fun and they are darn tired after 30 minutes of it.

3.)  I find myself getting the most frustrated with life and my kids when I can't get anything done. SO, I change my list- all I have to do today is play hi-ho cherry o and read to my kids....and if I do that-I did a good job. 

4.)  Know that you are not alone.

5.)  When we are feeling bored and grouchy we go to walmart and buy some new small toys, like crayons and coloring books, a board game, new t-shirts, or Pillsbury cookie dough to make cookies. 

6.)  One thing we do is go to Dairy Queen for ice cream, then drive around town till we are calmed down. Just getting out of the house for a few minutes seems to help...

7.)  STICK WITH IT--- ONE day, one hour at a time. Looking at the whole picture is just too overwhelming.

8.)  Be proud of the little accomplishments you can make in one day whether that be getting your teeth brushed, controlling your urge to beat your children, or whipping up some boxed mac and cheese.

9.)  Sometimes I get so caught up in what needs to be done around the house or yard or whatever, and forget that my little ones need me! We have had story time, me and my daughter every day, she dresses up like a princess and we read a princess story. It is something so simple and yet something she loves so much.

10.)  Laugh.  Even when you don't really want to. :)

11.)  I always need a break to get away from my mommy funk. Plan something fun for yourself or with your husband. You will have something to look forward to and you will be refreshed from a break away from kids.

12.) One word: TOBLERONE! :)

13.)  I don't know how I got out of my funks, it seemed sometimes like just one big 20 year funk!! But I'll tell you this -- seeing/hearing my grown kids talk and laugh and tell stories together is the most wonderful reward for all those fights and fits.

14.)  It helps to go out or have someone over (every day if at all possible). This solves the not wanting to get dressed thing I have going on sometimes.

15.)  Sometimes when we get in a funk and need to get away we go to La Posada and sit in the swing in the back and watch the trains go by.

16.)  Another place that we spend alot of time at is McDonalds when it is cold, the kids can play, eat a 99 cent cheeseburger and a 35 cent ice cream cone and they are happy!

17.)  Girls Night Out (because, well, see number 4!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Keep giving me those "Mommy Funk" cures!

Thanks to everyone who has posted a cure to the "mommy funk" I have found myself in. If you haven't left a comment please do, I am going to use them later! And they don't have to be "mommy funk" only cures, any kind of "funk busters" are welcome! So all of my single friends and my DINK (dual income no kids) friends that means you too!! I had to post this because one of the best "Funk Busters" I know is a good laugh, so go ahead, check it out and then scroll down and leave me a comment! Thanks!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Funk is right Leann!

I don't know what it is, maybe the wind, let's blame it on the nasty wind, but I am in a funk.  This was not in the brochure. At the Motherhood store and Babies 'R' Us and they sell you the idea of the beautiful mother (no body fat, perfect make-up, hair always done, super cute clothes, etc.) and her lovely well dressed, well behaved, impeccably groomed offspring on wonderful day trips to the museum/ library/ craft class/ dance class/ science clubs/ advanced private schools you get the picture.  Then they head home for the tiny tot gourmet meal they so happily and lovingly prepare together in the sparkling gorgeous kitchen (that mom just remodeled herself by the way).  They never show you when the kids dump a box of whales on the carpet and then proceed to crush them down into said carpet and pour the contents of their sippy cups onto said ground crackers to make "indoor mud" :) (ok so that's kind of funny) or how hard it is to get out of your pajamas some days let alone dress the kids in their super cute clean never stained with grape juice outfits. :) And forget leaving the house! Museum/ schmooseum I am just grateful Ethan can ride the bus so I can even get him to and from school from the safety and comfort of my pajamas at home! :D We have had some crazy bad wind here lately and our swingset was one of the casualties.  now it looks like this:

Which makes it really hard to send the kids outside to play even when it isn't 60 mph winds.  So they have been cooped up inside and bored.  And the only things you get when you have two bored 3 year olds and one bored 5 year old are fights and messes!  And that makes for a mom who doesn't get anything accomplished.  Which starts the vicious cycle of too much to do so you don't want to do ANYTHING.  So I am looking to all of you, how do YOU break this cycle and keep from feeling overwhelmed by this "adventure" (wink wink) we call motherhood?  Or if I am the only one living in this CHAOS how do you all avoid it and keep it all so together?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thinking Funny

So I know I am late but it has been a busy week.  I have been trying to think about things that have been funny in my life this week, nothing on quite as grand a scale as last week but the little funnies help too, right?  There were the 3 times we couldn't find the twins this week and then we looked in the bathroom.  There they were, butt naked, one in each sink, taking a bath!  Then there was Friday when we walked into Best Buy and Emma saw the "Twilight" poster.  Emma gasped excitedly and exclaimed, "Mom look it is Bella and her Vampire!"  Also there was the really great one this week when Greg asked me to look on my calendar and let him know what day of the week "Thursday, July 9th" will be.   He is a busy guy, I really should cut him some slack. :)  Well that is it for this week, I will try and do better about being on time next Friday! Think Funny!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


So I need some help.  In Young Women's we are making time capsules and this month we want to work on "planning" the girls' weddings.  You know, cakes, dresses, rings, colors, flowers, etc., etc., and I need pictures for this, so here is the favor I am asking:
Does anyone have any Bride/ Wedding magazines of any kind that they would be willing to donate to our project?
If you do please leave me a comment with a way to get in touch with you so we can set up the pick up.  Thanks in advance everyone!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thinking Funny

So we have this dog, Cole.  He is an adorable, sweet black Cocker Spaniel that none of us wanted. :)  He was my Grandma's  and we more or less inheirited him.  Don't get me wrong we love him but we didn't want a dog (with four little kids we had enough animals to take care of).  Well poor Cole hasn't been groomed in forever so his fur had gotten so many mats in it and last night I researched online the best way to get them out.  I went out armed with scissors and dogbrush to cut them out.  Greg stayed inside with the kids while I worked away.  When it came time to trim Cole's face I needed help holding him still so I asked Greg to come help.  A few minutes later Rory walks to the back door and she is drenched.  Greg and I thought "oh no they were playing in the shower," so he hop up and run in.  They HAD been playing shower, except it was in the kitchen and living room with the sprayer from the kitchen sink!!  My kitchen was flooded (I'm talking an inch deep), there was water in the cupboards, all over the counters, all over BOTH computers, everywhere.  I started drying the counter and noticed it kept getting drops on it so I looked up and the entire ceiling was dripping with water too!  Imagine me standing in my kitchen sink reaching up with towel in hand to dry the ceiling off, I was laughing so hard I kept slipping, I don't know how I didn't fall and break my neck standing barefoot on those slippery wet counters.  :) To make it all better they had taken the Sam's Club sized can of Country Time Lemonade mix and filled up my brand new Miche bag purse with the powder, my Scentsy warmer was full of lemonade powder and the rest was dissolved into the water all over the room, so it wasn't just wet but sticky too.  It took so many towels to clean up the mess that I had to run to my mom's and borrow some of her towels to finish the job.  But it is true, crisis + time = humor because now all I can imagine is how they must have looked standing there spraying the water into the air and playing in it.  Come on who hasn't thought that would be fun at some point, right?  Nothing was permanently damaged and I needed to mop anyway so all's well that ends well right?  :)

Think funny!

Choose Happiness

Last Saturday our stake and the Holbrook stake had a combined women's conference with Sister Barbara Barrington Jones.  I learned so much and it has entirely changed my attitudes and outlook on life.  She was outstanding, smart, and really funny.  I thought I might share a little bit about what I learned. First there are three rules for living a better life;

#1 Choose Happiness
She said that our number one mistake is trying to live in the future.  That we are always "getting ready to get ready" instead of living the life we are in.  She told us that the only thing we are really lacking today is gratitude.  To fix this mistake she told us to choose happiness, start by thanking, everyone for everything.  Be thankful you have a dishwasher to load, be thankful your kids love you enough to want you to read to them, and don't just feel thankful, thank.  We need to stop thinking about the future so much and quit the ideas that "when I (fill in blank here) I will be happy."  And finally, smile when you talk.  It is that simple, but you will get back what you put out.  If you are smiling and friendly those around you will be drawn to do the same.

#2 Get Back To Basics
This is very simple, learn the difference between wants and needs.  Take care of your needs and stop focusing on our wants.  Learn what things we can do without and learn to love that which we have been blessed with.  Learn to be satisfied.

#3 Take Time For Yourself
She pointed out how on an airplane the flight attendants tell you to put your oxygen mask on first and THEN help your child with his.  This is because if you don't have oxygen you won't be able to help others even your own children.  This applies so nicely to life if you are struggling emotionally and physically what good are you to those you are trying to help.  Some ideas she gave for how to do this are: Plan your meals ahead of time, create and implement an exercise program, simplify your life, and inspire yourself.  She told the story about how a woman was being sent to earth and Heavenly Father gave her piles and piles of gifts to take with her.  She lives her life and it is good and then when she returns and sits down with Heavenly Father he pulls out two scrapbooks, opens the first one and says "this is your life and it was lovely."  She looks at her children and husband and grandchildren and basks in their glory until Heavenly Father opens the second scrapbook and tells her, "this is a book of all of the things I had planned for you to accomplish and experience with all of those gifts I gave you, why didn't you develop and use the gifts I sent you with?"  So start looking for those gifts God gave you and try to use them to your fullest potential.

Finally she talked about thinking funny.  That men are that we might have joy, not just endure.  She gave a formula for humor; Crisis + Time = Humor.  She challenged us to start thinking funny, instead of taking everything so seriously, try to find the joy and humor in every situation especially the bad ones.  So I am going to start a weekly post every Friday titled "Thinking Funny" where I am going to look at the funny side of the things that have happened to us throughout the week.  I hope that you can take anything from this post and use it to better your experience here on Earth, I know it has helped me.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Crisis + Time = Humor

I am trying to remember that at this very moment.  A much more explanatory post is on it's way later.  Oh and be glad you don't have my kitchen right about now! :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


So we have had bonk, after bruise, after owie lately!  Sunday Emma was playing outside and she kept falling down until finally she ended up in tears and looking like this:
Emma was so upset and crying so I was holding her and she sobbed to me, "it - is - all - over - for - me."  I held back my smile and I asked her what she means it is all over for her.  She replied, "Running around and playing was the best thing in the world for me and now it is all over for me because I keep falling down, don't you understand? That means it is the end for all of my running and playing!"  Oh the drama!!

What I love best about this picture is that it is exactly like a picture my dad still carries of me in his wallet, skinned nose and all! :)

Then today we were at playday and all of the kids were running wild, which is normal and kind of the point, but then Rory walks into the gym crying, sort of, and saying, "I have an owie."  So I said "oh no come here."  She kind of stumbled around and kept saying "I have an owie."

Then I saw the blood dripping down her hair.

I ran over to pick her up and rushed her into the kitchen where Allison and Lani and I tried to check out her head and then we saw the awesome gash in her tiny noggin.  Allison just looked at me and said, "go, take her to tom's (Dr. Greenwood, aka world's most awesome doctor) office right now we will take care of your other girls."  Which I did.  And yep she needed stitches, well glue to be more exact.  The girl never cried!  She even sang to Dr. Greenwood while he glued her head shut.  She is amazing.  And so are all of my friends who were at playday and so willingly took my girls home with them so that I could focus on helping Rory.  Here are some pics of her owie, they are gruesome so remember I warned you! 

The gash is close to 2 inches long and so deep it was probably as deep as my pinky nail is wide!  Such a trooper!  I am thinking we might want to bubble wrap Ethan and Bailey before this trend continues! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Hooray!  Robin is out of the ICU!!  She was moved yesterday and after a little scare and then some more improvements they have decided that they are no longer fighting a disease and so she can be moved to the rehab unit.  She will be having 6 hours of therapy every day and the doctors are confident that all is going well.  Yesterday she raised her left arm as a reaction to her yawning, when they asked her to do it again she wasn't able to, it was an automatic response not a controlled motion.  Her left foot has also started to wiggle a little under her sheet, once again it is something she isn't controlling but the doctors say that these spontaneous movements show them that the nerves are still there and waking up and working and that now they just need to teach her brain to use those connections again.  She also has had feeling return to some of her toes in her left foot.  So basically all is going well, we are excited about her progress, there is still a long way to go but we are so grateful for how far she has come and for all of the ways the Lord has and continues to bless us all.  Thanks everyone for checking on her, it really helps to hear how much people care. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis

Yep, try and say that 10 times fast.  That is what my beautiful amazing sister in law Robin has right now.  Last Thursday she was flown to Barrow Neurological Center because she had lost the ability to move.  This is where they found out that she has swelling in her brain that is causing her to lose motor function and other painful symptoms.  (For a better description click here.) She has been in the ICU for the past 12 days. She has been undergoing a procedure called plasma pheresis which basically functions in a way similar to dialysis.  Basically they stick an in tube and an out tube in Robin and they take her blood out and into this machine that cleans the blood of the extra proteins and other things that the doctors believe are causing this swelling.  The doctors have said that they feel they are seeing vast improvements!  Yesterday we finally got some more good news.  She has been able on one occasion to move her left eye on purpose and to move her finger on her left hand as well.  There is an excellent chance that she will be leaving the ICU the first part of this week.  They will move her probably to the telemetry unit where she will be monitored 24 hours a day but there aren't tubes and craziness everywhere.  The doctors expect her to be in the Hospital for the next 6 weeks though.  The doctors are very optimistic about her prognosis she has some serious physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy ahead of her but with the prayers of the MANY wonderful friends and family who love and care about Robin we have faith that all will be well.  

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oh man, these kids crack me up!

So the kids have given us some more funnies that we wanted to share.

The other day Ethan was really frustrated because I told him no about something so he declares, "I am getting so mad I am about to start cussing!"  After I stifled a giggle I asked, "Oh yeah what cuss words do you know?" Then with all the anger he could muster he tells me, "I know Stupid, Shut-Up, Duh, and Dumb."

Whew! That was a close one! :)

Then this is an oldie but a goodie:

When the twins were little we had to have a talk with the older kids explaining that under no circumstances were they EVER supposed to wake up the sleeping twinners.

Greg: OK guys, rule #1 is NEVER wake up the babies. Now tell me what is Rule #1?

Ethan and Emma: Never wake up the babies.

Greg: Right! Good job guys.

Emma: And Rule #6 is never wipe boogers on your shirt, (short pause) ONLY on your pants. Right mom?

I can't wait until she has kids and they are disgusting and I can read this back to her!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Digital Photography 101

So I have been taking a digital photography class in Holbrook and I have been learning a lot! I thought I would post some of my favorite photos so far.

The Waterfall in the parking lot of the Snowflake, Arizona Temple

Ethan when we asked him what he thought of the pigs at the Navajo County Fair.

Playday with Tatum

The coolest pig at the Navajo County Fair

My very first shot with my new camera

Addy rockin big sunglasses like a rock star

This is getting really fun and I am learning a lot.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes.

Today we were driving in the car and the kids were just yelling and screaming.  Greg and I were continually telling the kids to sit down and be quiet so we could talk.  Finally Emma gets right in Greg's face and screams "Dad have you ever read the scriptures?" and Greg replies, "Yes Emma, now sit down and be quiet!!"  to which Emma answered "then why are you so mean sometimes?"  Greg and I cracked up at that point and I politely pointed out to Greg "ooh burn!!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sometimes I need these reminders

*Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.

*Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.

*Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.

*Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck and I will buy you one if he comes by.

*Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned

*Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.

*Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.

*Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.

*Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.

*Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.

*Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows.

*Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.

*And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer. It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask Him for nothing, except one more day.......... ...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Grade Level Schools

So here in Winslow there is a large upheaval about the idea of grade level schools. Let me start by saying when all is said and done I am in favor of grade level schools. But I am not in favor of all of the proposed budget cuts for Arizona's schools.  I have mentioned before that I have a son with Asperger's Syndrome. It is incredibly difficult and painful for him to make and keep friends because of that.  My hope is that with 5-6 classes of 3rd graders all at one school the odds for him finding other children who will be kind and friendly to him will be in his favor finally.  He has really struggled the last three years and I will try anything that can make it easier for him.

That being said I hate the idea of losing teachers either because we cut their jobs entirely or because we cut their pay until they can't afford to work here. I don't love the idea of having my children spread out across town either.  Ethan loves to be driven to and from school everyday.  It is a special time that we get to visit and spend together.  I won't be able to do that anymore because unless they figure something out with this whole space time continuum thing there is no way for me to be at 3 elementary schools at 3:10 everyday.  I suppose they could have staggered release times.  But then you still have the problem of every school having a kindergarten.

I think the biggest problem is our resistance to change.  Hopefully we can all work together and find a way to make this successful for the kids.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Kids say the darndest things

This one is just for fun (scroll down, I have kinda been on a blogfest!  The Christmas Break post has some great pics!)

The other day we were going for a ride and we passed the 9/11 memorial here in town and Ethan and Emma had the following conversation:

Ethan:  Emma when I was 2 months and 2 days old some bad men crashed airplanes into the twin towers and made them completely crash.  A lot of people died in the crash.  And they did it on purpose.

Emma (completely appalled): They should be ashamed of theirselves!

Ethan (a little sad and incredulous): I don't think they are.

I am amazed at how well they grasp what happened that day even though they are so young.  I know adults who are still struggling to understand it.

Shauna should love this:

At church on Sunday, Emma was called to win the FHE lesson to take home and when she heard her name she jumped up and did "spirit fingers"!  LOL  I thought of Shauna at softball cheering "go tigers!"  I am just glad she didn't try and do a kick, she doesn't wear bloomers over her undies at church! :)

New Year's Resolutions

In the time honored tradition of picking out all of the things you don't do well and then publicly promising yourself that from this day forward you will now do them perfectly in order to become the perfect person, I've decided that I too will list my failures and frailties in an attempt to shame myself into being better.

#1 I am going to be organized.  I would say more organized but that would be assuming that I have any organizational skills at all already being employed.  This will be a tough one.  You might think that with my ridiculous obsessive compulsive behaviors this would be easy but you'd be wrong. :)

#2 I am going to be a funner mom.  {Yes I have an English Degree and yes I know that "funner" is not a word but I don't edit your blogs so let it go this time! :)}  I read your blogs and I look at all of the classes, outings, art projects, park days, etc. that you all do with your beautiful children and I feel a little sad for my kids who do none of those things (well maybe not "none" that may be hyperbole.)  But I am going to start.  I know paints are messy, I know play-doh doesn't vacuum out of carpet, I know I am terrified of going out to nice quiet places like libraries with all 4 kiddos but I am going to make an actual effort to do this.

#3 I am going to cook dinner at least 5 nights a week.  My family eats out so much it is absurd!  My children can't drive past McDonalds, Taco Bell or Sonic without asking if "ooo is it time for dinner?"  This hasn't been good for our bank account or our waistlines, so, no more!  I will teach my children to eat at home at the dining room table.  I may be biting off more than I can chew here (pun intended!)

#4 I am going to invite a family over to dinner once a month.  And I will call them on the phone to invite them!  Many of you know that I am TERRIFIED of the phone!  My parents cannot understand this after watching me sit on the phone for hours with boyfriends as a teenager but oh yes, I would rather walk across town in the rain to your house to ask you a question than have to dial the phone and talk to you.  Weird? Yes.  Sorry.

So there they are, my New Year's Resolutions.  Forgive me as I frequently break mine and I swear to never mention any of yours!  Happy New Year!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas break!

So, long time no post. We really have been up to a lot. Christmas was really great. My brothers were both here for several days which meant several nights up late bowling on the Wii! :) We had our DeWitt family Christmas on the 23rd.  It was great fun and everyone really enjoyed playing together with their marshmallow guns!Any good excuse to shoot each other right? We ended up leaving for Coolidge a day early because the weather said there was a 100% chance of 8 to 12 inches of snow all along the rim. So Christmas eve we had breakfast at Grammies and then rushed back home where Santa had conveniently stopped by because he had heard we were having to leave early. The kids opened presents and then Mom and Dad busily crammed clothes clean or dirty (hey Grandma Green has a washer) into suitcases and loaded kids and car and jumped on the road. We had almost an entire week down in Coolidge which was an amazing break, I could have stayed for a month!! We had our annual Green Family Christmas Karaoke. It was so much fun, like always! Greg's dad was the clear winner, he got a song he didn't know so instead of just fumbling through he decided to just full on rock it out! He was awesome! This year we are preparing in advance, I'm thinking costumes! Ok maybe not. :) We came home relaxed a few days and then I got to go to the YM/YW New Year's Eve party and it was a lot of fun. Now we are back to work and school and real life. But with such a fun break I think we are ready to handle it again! :)