Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here's to a Happy New Year and a mini Year in Review

This year has been filled with many ups and downs. We've had some truly great blessings and we've had heart-wrenching tragedy. I told Cary last night that I always get really sad after Christmas, when it is all over. I don't know why, but I have been that way since I was a young girl. I love the feeling of Christmas and I love the whole month of December. As we approach the new year, I do so with some sadness, some anticipation, some joy, and with much love for my whanau.
We started off January with the purchase of a new *cough* mini-van. I never thought I would love driving one of those little family mobiles, however I DO! Call me crazy, call me a dork. I'm sure I have been called much worse. I'm grateful for our van and I'm grateful we have been blessed with it.
I don't remember much happening in February. That has to be a good thing, right?
March held Gabby's 6th birthday and my 9 year anniversary.
In April Bug turned the big 4 and their biological sister left our home to live with her former foster parents. There were so many mixed emotions about the whole situation, but we knew that it was the best thing for her, for the girls, and for us.
Gabby ended her kindergarten career in May and was so proud of herself. She went from being 2-3 levels behind the other kids, to right out in the forefront. We are so proud of our little Gabbalella. We also found out in May that our "former kids", whom we had for six months the previous year, were back into foster care and they, the state, wanted to place them with us again.
5 kids, are you crazy?!
Yes, Please.
After much prayer and much worry and some hard work on the end of our RFC and caseworker, the kids were placed with us in June.
July sped by with many trips to the pool and tons of late days at the parks. It was a busy summer, but it turned out to be a lot of fun.
August ended with all five kids starting school. Bug started a new preschool and she has been excelling! She, too, has come such a long way since they were placed with us 1 year and 3 months ago.
September was a fantastic month! I turned 31 *sob cry sob* and I share my birthday *day* with one of my boys. He turned 11 and was quite proud to do so. September was the month that we were able to adopt Gabriella Moana and Keeleigh Beonna. They became, officially, our daughters. My dad shared this incredibly special day with us and helped lighten the mood for me on the way up to Salt Lake City. Cary drove with his Mum in the front beside him and I rode in the middle, next to my Dad. I look back at that drive, and that whole day, with so much more joy than I thought I was experiencing that day. I remember after the legalities were out of the way and we were walking back to the van. We had just stepped out of the elevator and were in the underground parking. I clung to my dad in a big bear hug and said, "Well it's official now Grandpa! I am so glad that you came with us today! I love you Dad!" With tears welling up in his eyes, he hugged me tight and told me how much he loved me, the girls, and Cary. He spoke of how proud he was of us.
And, if you will allow, I would like to leave the rest of that memory sacred in my heart. It was a very special day indeed.
October was the best, worst, happiest, saddest month of my life. Our whanau became forever as we were sealed for time and all eternity in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple in American Fork. Days later, my dad left this mortal world to rest for a while with whanau who were waiting to welcome him. As the tears run down my face now, I think of how much I miss him and how much I wish he could have stayed longer. Not for him, mind you, but for me. I have said before that I would do many things differently. That is still the case. I love him and I know he knows that. I miss him dearly. Every.Day.
November came and we buried my Dad. Thanksgiving came and we had a relatively quiet day. My younger boy asked me if we could have a Thanksgiving like in the movies, and we did. It warmed my heart to see their jaws drop, literally, as we came together to thank Heavenly Father for all that we have and to :)
December has been a pretty good month. We have been able to do so many things as a family and have so much fun. We were blessed beyond measure at Christmas. It was a beautiful day filled with fun pressies, much love, and a wonderful whanau. All of the kids were blessed with toys and treasures that they have been itching to have. Cary and I were blessed with much, much more.
Today is the end of 2009 and I can't say that I am sad to see the year go. I'm looking forward to a fresh new year. We have many more changes that are upcoming. I'll keep you posted.
I'm not going to do a resolution list. I have many changes, however, that I am going to make and I will keep you informed on how they go and what they are. :) I am going to do one each month and will share them here.
I hope that this year brings each of you much love, much peace, and much happiness.
I'll close with my testimony. It seems only fitting.
I love my family. I love my husband with all of my heart. He has been my rock for me this year, through joy and sadness. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for the sacrifice that He made for me. I know He loves me too. I'm grateful for the Gospel. I know that it is true. I am grateful for my ward family, for my bishopric, and for the Anderton Family, especially. I am grateful that I belong to the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know this is the true church and I know that Joseph Smith restored the Gospel. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God. I have a testimony of prayer. I know our prayers are answered. I have a testimony of tithing. I know we will be blessed if we keep the law of tithing.
I KNOW Families can be together Forever and I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who allows it to be so.
Things things I know and say in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Gardner Village Experience

This will be a short post compared to the novel I just wrote. I had to write a few lines and throw a few photos up, mainly so that I don't get any phone calls or emails from worried friends and families thinking that I have either A.lost my mind or B.suffer from a horrible case of Depression and/or psychotic episodes.

I have some good friends. I have a couple of gals whom I am pretty close to that have dubbed themselves (and me too, i guess) the Wonder Women. I think each of them are amazing, wonderful, women and I love them dearly.

We decided to take a girl's trip to Gardner Village in some city in Utah. I don't know exactly where it is, really does it matter? We made a day out of it and went to Archibald's for dinner. We were almost asked to leave by some very posh older ladies who quite frankly didn't appreciate our humor or Heidi pretending to grab my boobies.
Seriously, who wouldn't like to watch a little girl on girl action in the middle of a bunch of elderly hoighty-toighty (that is *SO* a word that I use!) folks.

I needed a break from the day to day grind and I truly needed some giggles.
Mission. Accomplished.

We made a day of it and hit all the old lady craft stores and I was able to find some good deals. :)
Here are just a few of the photos from that day!

A post! Huzzah!

I haven't written in A. While.! The days seem to be zooming by faster and faster and I am barely getting into bed before I have to get out of it again. I wish time would go slower. My "baby" will be five in April and that is all she can talk about. Cary and I are trying to convince her to stay four forever, but she is having NONE of it. Stinkin' kid.
It's Sunday today and although Sundays are still quite hard for me, it is turning out to be a pretty good day. Next Sunday will be 2 months since my Dad has passed away and it has definitely been a very difficult two months. I still miss him Bug often talks about him and still asks "why poppie went to Heaven". I still don't have the answers for her.
A couple of weeks ago, right about the time we were pummeled with a huge snow fall, I decided it was time to go out and visit with my Dad at the grave site. I wanted to go alone, stay out there by myself for a while, but my darling husband wouldn't hear of it. He wanted to be there for me, physically and emotionally. In all honestly, I did need him there and was grateful he decided to go for me. :) He has known what I need, even when I don't (or won't) tell him.
We took all of our little childrens out to the cemetery, all bundled up, in the snow, to visit with my Dad. His birthday was December 14th and I had made him a couple of things with which to decorate. It was therapeutic for me to make something for him and know that he would be pleased with it. We went out and searched for him. Keep in mind it was covered with about a foot or two of snow at the time. We found him, somehow, and I gave him his gifts. I sat and talked with him for a good long while and told him some things that I felt like I needed to tell him. Things I wished with all of my heart that I would have told him while he was still here with me. I cried. Cary cried. My kids cried. It was a very emotional day. It also helped me quite a bit. I'm going to share some things that you might find completely insane, but they happened and think of it what you will. This is my *journal* and I need to write it down to remember it. Perhaps one day my kids will read it and think I'm a nut too. :) who knows!
To preface this I will say that since my Dad passed away, I haven't had an "experience" with him. I hadn't really felt his presence, which was somewhat of a relief while cleaning out his apartment, and some somewhat of a disappointment because I desperately wanted to feel a connection to him still. While at the cemetery, I pleaded with him to know and understand how much I love him and how sorry I am for not being the best daughter I could have been to him always. I still very much regret that. I also asked him to come and visit me to let me know that he is watching out for us and he is still very much aware of what is going on with us. I want him to know how much I love him and how much his grand-babies love him.
So, that was that. I left feeling a bit better. A good cry usually does that to a person, no?
A couple of days later I was getting ready for bed. I was sitting in the living room with nothing on except for the Christmas tree lights. I really like sitting in the dark silence watching the lights twinkle and a couple of special ornaments sparkle and dance in the light. I have a fatso cat named Marty. She's about 9 years old and acts as though she rules the roost around here. I threatened to give her to my Dad several times, but he didn't want to clean up after kitty cats. (understandably so)
She started acting really weird. She was pacing around the top of the stairs, staring down them, watching the door, meowing. I talked to her for a minute, but it didn't seem to help her feel better. I then thought to myself, I wonder! I wonder if my Dad is here! I kind of got the big eyes and brushed it off and went to bed, leaving Marty out here to visit with my Dad, if it was him. :)
A couple of days after that I was in the pantry fumbling around, trying to get things ready for the kids to go to school. It was early and I was tired. All of the sudden, I heard my Dad talking, saying something. To me? I'm not sure. I couldn't really understand his words and honestly I was a bit freaked out. I was trying to figure out who was talking and what exactly they were saying. I thought immediately to myself that it was my Dad and he was there. I don't know if it was my mind playing tricks on me, or if I was wanting to hear something so much that I did. Not sure. But, I did hear it.
When I told Cary about it later I got really emotional. He says that our loved ones don't visit with us to freak us out and they don't come around for no good reason. They will come and comfort us. I am comforted. Sundays are easier. I am healing. I *almost* don't cry when someone asks me how I am doing now. :) HUGE. Improvement. !

We will make it. We will never forget him. We will never stop loving him. That's the way it should be, No?

Happy Birthday Dad. Merry Christmas Daddy-o. Love you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Some Family Time, Some Service, Some Giggles....

Last week at our FHE we talked about service and King Benjamin. We talked about how many people have helped us over these past couple of weeks, from everything to food to taking our garbage out, and everything in between.
We want our kids to know how good it feels to give service as well. Even the smallest act of service can be gratefully received.
So, we drew names out of a hat and did a secret service mission. No one was *supposed* to tell who they got and they had to do at least one act of service for that person during the week. We would all tell who we got and what we did for that person on the next FHE, tonight.
The kids really got into it and enjoyed it. They know how blessed we have been by good friends and whanau and so they said it felt good to do something nice for someone else.
This is definitely something we are going to keep doing. It's fun and easy and makes them think of someone besides themselves.

Cary and I had respite this weekend, which means that one of our dear friends watched all five of our kids for us from Friday night until Sunday afternoon. What a blessing! We really needed some quiet time to finish up some business for my dad and I had to go through funeral photos to send back to the family back East. The kids have seen me cry enough for a year or so at least.
It was good to have hubz and wifey time, but we did miss our kidlets.
The first thing my 8 yr old girl did was come in and say, "OH I MISSED YOU SO VERY MUCH!!" :) happiness in my heart!

Bug keeps telling us that she missed us so much while she was gone and asks if we cried a little because we didn't get to see her. Such a stinking cute little mongrel.
We watched UP last night as a family and it was a really cute movie. Started out pretty sucky for me, but it got better. :)

Back to the other story:
So, tonight after we had talked about our secret service missions we decided that everyone earned an extra special treat. We took all the kiddos out to Smart Cookie and had cookies and milk. Yummo! I had 5 free coupons good for 2 cookies and a milk. I think I had to pay $1 for two extra milks. What a deal! The kids loved it and it was good to get out and have some fun.
We got home and got the little girls off to bed and finished up homework with the older kids. My 9 yr old comes to me and says, "Oh I'm so constipated!"
I had some medicine that I got for Bug when she couldn't poop, so I gave him some of it tonight. He was very leery and didn't know if he should take it. He kept asking what it would do to him and if he would be ok. Cary got pretty tired of this pretty quickly and said, "Boy! You're not going to crap your brains out!"
could. not. stop. laughing.
He was so worried and got so serious suddenly, which made me laugh even harder. We then had several fart/poop jokes, which I don't usually laugh at but tonight I couldn't help myself. It was good to laugh again with my boys.
So, that was our night. One of my boys went to bed afraid he was going to poo himself in his sleep and the other one went to bed hoping the other would so he could make fun of him.
I'm off to bed now too, morning comes so quickly.
stinking spinning earth.

THE NAULU TRIBE: Gift of Giving Contest begins

THE NAULU TRIBE: Gift of Giving Contest begins

Devri is doing an amazing thing on her blog.
Check it out!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lean On Me...

So I was sitting in the car tonight waiting on Cary to finish up some business and I turned on the radio. I haven't turned the radio on much since everything has happened. My dad often said that he didn't like country music because it was too sad and hit too close to home. Yes, I am a country music fan. I used to love me some good sad heart break ballad by a country crooner. Now, not so much. I hear him saying those words every time I look at the stereo in the car.
Just. can't. do. it.
I have music loving kids, so this is weird for them. I'll get back there, but not just yet.
Tonight, however, I pushed the button and I heard one of my old time favorites, "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers. I love Bill Withers. His voice is peaceful and beautiful.
The first line says:
"Some....times in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow. But, If we are wise, we know that there is always tomorrow."
Those words rang very true for me this day.
I have been so blessed to have so many wonderful people to lean on these past few weeks. I could not have made it through without them.
My Cary has been my most amazing supporter and protector. I love him dearly and can't imagine my life without him in it. I pray that I never do.

We are healing. I am healing. It is slow. It is painful.
Our lives are somewhat getting back to normal, sometimes I feel very guilty for that.
Thank you for your prayers, your love, your encouraging words.
I am grateful.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Heart of A Little Bug

We are muddling through this week. It has been harder than I thought it would be. Almost everyone in the house has been sick this week. I think 6 out of 7 of us. Gab went in last Saturday and was diagnosed with H1N1 and it was downhill for the rest of us from there. I have tried to be strong and I think I am gett*ing* stronger, but it's a tough road.

Bug told me tonight that she is going to start praying that Poppie can come down from Heaven and visit us. "I miss Poppie so much, Mommy". That, is perhaps, one of the hardest things to hear and it usually pushes me right over the tear filled edge.
I love that she loves him so much and I hope he knows how much his little "love bug" loves and misses him.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

At Rest...

Yesterday was the funeral. It was a day full of sadness and I was anxious. Anxious as to what would happen, seeing the casket, mourning my father so publicly. It was a difficult day.
My dad was laid to rest at Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Camp Williams. It is nearby so I can visit when I need to and decorate and honor his grave. He was laid to rest on a hillside with the mountains behind him and the mountains in front of him.
The VFW was there and paid an awesome tribute to my dad. He received the full 21-gun salute and they played "Taps". It was beautiful. I wept and wept. I was in awe as I watched these older gentlemen in their best uniforms and honoring my dad's memory so brilliantly. I couldn't help but wish that my dad could have lived longer. He was taken to early, for me, although I know it was his time and part of Heavenly Father's plan. The retrieved the flag from his casket, folded it, and presented it to me. The man speaking to me was gentle and kind, and I wish I wouldn't have been crying so hard so I could have heard what he was saying better.

The pallbearers were Cary, Joe (Cary's Dad), Mark (Cary's brother), Justin (our brother-in-law), Steve Anderton, and Jared Carlson. All men whom my dad admired and respected. They carried him quietly and proudly and I wept. Again.
The service was lovely. The songs were perfect. Cary spoke of my dad and his love for him. Our Bishop spoke and said that the first time he met my dad he was impressed with him. The thing that suck out the most was his love for his daughter and that he would do anything for his daughter.
I wept.
It is hard for me to be so open and raw with my emotions. Especially when it is in front of others. I don't like being vulnerable and I don't like to show that weakness. Yesterday, however, I had no control over it.
Things went much more smoothly than *I* thought they would. It was a beautiful service and I know that it made my dad proud. I hope he can feel my love for him beyond the veil and know that I can't wait to hug him again.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Here Piggie Piggie

Gabby has swine flu.


What's that about Him not giving us more than we can handle?

I'm good now.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pre Halloweenie

Tonight we decided it was time for our kidlets to have some fun. It has been a sucktastic week for all of us and we needed an outlet. With everything that has happened we hadn't even thought of carving our pumpkins. We were actually supposed to do it on Monday night for FHE with my daddy-o, but ...well...

So, tonight we decided it was time. We were blessed again with good friends and neighbors bringing us a scrumptious dinner. We ate happily and spoke of good times with our Poppie.
After dinner we had some friends over to do a little pumpkin' carvin' and paintin'.
We had a fun time. My oldest boy and I carved a pumpkin for my Dad and it is probably my favorite one.
I still can't believe he won't be coming over tomorrow. It still breaks my heart when the reality of it sinks in.

Halloween is quickly becoming my least favorite day of the year. I am not in the mood to celebrate it, or be festive, or be spooky. I want to sit in my room and miss my Dad. I have 5 smiling eager little bodies who make that impossible. I'm blessed to have them. The distraction is needed sometimes.

Anyway, here is our little pumpkin family in two photos! They take up the whole front porch, but I Love it!!

The pumpkin on the far right is Poppie's pumpkin. We grew it in our garden this year and he had already laid claim on it. I think it turned out beautifully.

Bug and Her Daddy. She's a "Beautiful Spider Witch Princess".
She called it. :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


There is no question that this past week has been the most painful time in my life. I have lost loved ones before, but nothing compares to the loss of my daddy. I have struggled much this week, but I have been blessed and buoyed up by countless friends and family.
We go through our lives and worry so much about our own little homes, that we sometimes forget about what goes on in others' little homes. We have so much to do, so many places to be, so much so much so much. I, at least, am guilty of this.
This week, however, our friends and family have not concerned themselves with only what has been going on in their worlds, but also in ours.
We have received some swift kicks in our humility hineys. Cary and I don't like to ask for help. We pretty much do things on our own, always.
This week, however, there was no way that we could manage alone. We haven't really asked for help, but we have certainly received it. Let me rephrase that, we have not *had* to ask for help. We have been very grateful recipients. There is no way that we can possibly thank everyone who has helped us this week. I have no words that adequately describe our gratitude.
We have an amazing ward family. They have shown their love for us over and over this week. Each time humbling Cary and I a bit more.
We have amazing friends. They have taken our kids to parties, taken care of them, picked them up from school, took them to classes, the list goes on; and all of this so that Cary and I can deal with what is going on.
We have an amazing family. I do not consider Cary's side as my *in-laws*. There is no boundary, there is no divide. They are my family. Mum, Dad, brothers, and sisters. I love them deeply and am grateful for them.
I have a testimony of tithing. I KNOW that when we faithfully pay our tithing, ungrudgingly, we ARE blessed. Cary and I have had tithing blessings more than I can count. I know our Heavenly Father keeps his promises to us. I know that does *not* give us more than we can bear, even though we feel like we can't bear any more. He is there for us. He loves us. Families are eternal. I know that is true. I love my husband. He IS a pillar of strength. I am grateful he is a worthy Melchizadech Priesthood holder. Our family is blessed because of his faithfulness. I love my Heavenly Father. I love my family. I know the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is True.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Dad.

Marshall Edward Mumford was born December 14, 1955 to Mildred Ozella Singleton and Charlie Mumford in Malvern, Arkansas. He grew up in Malvern and was lovingly raised by his grandparents, Mace Singleton and Lessie Jane Singleton. He loved them dearly and missed them every day.

Marshall joined the United States Marine Corps in early 1976 and served honorably until October 1977. He was a proud veteran and admired other veterans for their service.

After leaving the Corps, he married Rhonda Stephens and together they had one daughter, Amanda. Marshall moved his family to Hot Springs where he began his career as an automotive technician. He went to many schools and trained very hard. He soon became an ASE certified Master Technician and was given many honors for his hard work and vast knowledge of vehicles.
Marshall was charismatic and charming, and had a way about him that put people at ease. He dealt with people honestly and honorably, and people would seek him out.

Marshall moved to Utah to be closer to his daughter and her family. Utah became his home, but he loved and missed the Ozark Mountains, and hunting in those woods.

He became a very proud grandpa of two beautiful girls in September, 2009. He was very loved by them and will be sorely missed.

Marshall gave of himself. He worked hard to provide a good life for his family and succeeded beautifully. He was a humble man with a larger-than-life presence. He was not perfect, no mortal man is, but he was a good man with an amazing heart.

He was preceeded in death by his brothers Franklin, T.T., and James Russell, and by one sister, Ganeesa. He loved his siblings and enjoyed reminiscing with them and about them.

He is survived by his wife Melanie, his brother, Rex Mays, of Kathleen, Georgia. He is also survived by his daughter Amanda and her husband Cary, whom he loved as a son, and five grandchildren, as well as many, many nieces and nephews.

I love my Dad. I miss him so very much. I wish that he was still here with me. I know that he is in a better place, but how I long to hear him laugh again.

We love you Poppie. We miss you. We will never forget you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I have been trying to summon the courage to write this post for a few days now. I feel like writing is my outlet and most of the time it helps me to feel better. I am hoping this is one of those times.
We have been really blessed the past couple of weeks. We have been able to adopt, bless our girls with their new names, and seal them to us for time and eternity.

This past weekend, however, my life came to a screeching halt as it turned upside down and inside out.
We had court on Thursday for our foster children. I'm not able to discuss what happened there, but I can say that we have to wait a while to find anything more out about the case.

My dad was watching the kids for me. He took them all to jiu jitsu class, for the boys, and I picked them up from him there. I was upset with him for some stupid reasons and that was the last time I saw my Dad. I growled him and that will haunt me for the rest of this life I'm afraid. I did, however, call him later and apologize for losing my temper and told him a couple of times how much I loved him. That, I hope, will bring me some comfort one day. He was only trying to help me out, which I did realize. He always did that, always tried to help me. Always finding a way to aggravate me, always loving me.
Sunday I had a nagging feeling that something was wrong. I called him several times and nothing. I finally summoned the courage to go over to his place to make sure he was OK. I knocked. nothing. I called. nothing. I could hear his phone ringing, it was eerie. I banged on the door again. I called out his name. Nothing.
I knew something was wrong. The door was dead bolted and I couldn't get in. I called Cary and started crying. I knew.
Cary is my rock. Cary is one of the most amazing people I have ever known in my life. He told me to come home and stay with the kids and he would check on things there. He took a wad of keys and some screwdrivers, just in case. He got there and went to the door. I think he said a little prayer and reached into his pocket and pulled out a key. The Key. He put it in the lock and *click*, it opened. He walked up the stairs and found my dad lying peacefully on his bed. He tried to wake him, but couldn't. He called 911 and the officers and ambulance came right away. Cary also called Mum and Dad and they came straight over. I knew as soon as they got here that the worst thing I had feared had come true. I knew Cary would call them to help me through this. He was stuck there with the officers and couldn't come home.
I hid in my room. Crying, praying, pleading, it was too much to bear.
Cary was finally able to come home and we just held each other, sobbing. The rest has kind of been a blur. I wish I could say I have been stoic! a pillar of strength! That would be Cary. He has handled everything beautifully. He has held me, loved me, allowed me to just sit and cry. He has been there for our kids.

The medical examiner did an autopsy and determined that my dad passed away of a heart attack in his sleep. He went peacefully with no pain. A gentle mercy of our Heavenly Father.

My boys have strengthened me. The girls have made me laugh. Bug prays that her Poppie will come back from Heaven. I will make sure that she never forgets him or how much he loves her. I will make sure of that with all of my kids.
I have lost so much, and so have they.
My Dad was not a member of my church. However, I think after he catches up with all of his loved ones, he will find *his* missionaries. We will do his temple work and one day I will be sealed to him. Families can be together Forever through Heavenly Father's plan. I know this is true. I know my Heavenly Father loves me. He loves my dad.
He took him home, so that he won't suffer anymore in this mortal existence. My dad is surrounded by loved ones now and I hope he can feel my love too. I believe he can.

We are trying to sort everything out now. I should say that Cary is doing mostly all of it. My dad left no will, no insurance policy, we weren't prepared for this.

We will get through this. I don't know how right now, but I know Heavenly Father will help us.
I have a testimony. I know I will see my Dad again. I believe in the Plan of Salvation. I love my Dad. I love my Cary. I love my children. I love my family. I am grateful for an amazing ward and an equally amazing Bishopric. Especially Steve Anderton, a faithful servant of Heavenly Father.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A total Daddy-ism

I am working on a post currently, but I have yet to finish it. There is a lot that I want to say in it, and I have been putting it off. Life is busy, I had something in my eye, you know how it goes....I have a ton of excuses. :)

I had to share this because I laughed my guts out at dinner.
Today was a particularly stressful day. Thursdays usually are in our little house as we are all still recovering from Wednesdays. All the kids were crabtastic as was their mummy. Actually, I might have been a wee bit beyond crabby. But, just a wee bit.
We sat down for dinner and we had all mellowed somewhat. The boys sucked theirs down pretty quickly and spaghetti nights usually go fast anyway. The boys asked for seconds and we told them it was fine, but they had to share. Our 9 year old, who is my comic relief most of the time, went to the stove and suddnely we heard...."UUUGGGGHHHHH!!"
Cary; "what is it?"
Boy: "There is barely any left in there!"
Cary: "Well then you both get Half of barely!!"

Me: "Sputter sputter laugh laugh ' cant. breathe.

MY Husband. Totally keeps me sane and happy. I love him more than he realizes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

In Daddy's words

Cary started the following email the day we got home with our daughters, but he has yet to finish it. I just love his way with words, so I wanted to share them with you. If you see them twice, just pretend you didn't. :)
Friends and family,

Today at 9:30 AM, Amanda and I were blessed to become the parents of Keeleigh Beonna Nicholas (4) and Gabriella Moana Nicholas (6).

Beonna, Gabby and their sister came to stay with us in October of 2008. They came from another foster family that had them and two other sisters, but could no longer handle all 5. Sister decided she did not want to be a part of our family so she went back to the former foster family.

Beonna has come so far since she came to stay with us. She is our little tornado in a teacup, a whirlwind of feistiness and opinion. We decided to give her the name Keeleigh, an Irish name which means "Conflict", and keep Beonna as her middle name. She looks so much like Amanda when she was younger. She loves Dora the Explorer and Diego. As you may also know, she loves the band Queen too :) (Her current favorite song is "We Will Rock You!") She is attending pre-school and loves to go.

Gabby is a sweet, loving little girl. We decided to give her the middle name Moana, which is a Maori word meaning "Sea" or "Ocean", which fits Gabby's soothing temperament (which can suddenly become hard to handle, like the sea).
Gabby loves all things pretty and princessy. She does really well in school, especially Spelling. Her mamaw reckons Gabby gets that from her. :)

We love our girls so much. We hope they can always remember how special they are and how much they are so many.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Two Became Four...Part Deux!

So, as I said before Wednesday was *the* day! Cary and I were a ball of nerves. The day that we had been waiting for for so long was finally here. So much of the day's proceedings were unknown to us and that was part of what made us so nervous.
We were taking all five of our kids up with us, which meant that I had to get up in the wee hours of the morning. Ok, it was really only 6:15am, but it sure felt like the wee hours. All of our kids were beautiful, handsome, and adorable. We were taking Mum with us and my dad. Our friends were going up with us and were able to take some of our kidlets. We were blessed to be able to share the day with some of our good friends. We are grateful that Mum was able and willing to take the day off work to spend it with us.
Cary drove us up to Salt Lake to the court house. We were running late. I was grumpy and nervous. Not the best combination for me. :) I don't much care for the way Cary drives, but I welcome it because that means that *I* don't have to drive! :) Bug was in the very back behind me and she says, "Mommy, Daddy is not a good driver, huh?" HA! Thanks to her, a lot of our stress was relieved for a few moments. She's good for comic relief.
We arrived at the court house, finally. Cary decide to take the scenic route and made some, what I like to call WRONG, turns. ahem.
We met up with our lawyer and the caseworker. We went into a little room to discuss what we would be asked in court. About 5 minutes later the bailiff called us in and it was our turn to go in before the judge. Judge Valdez. The man is intimidating. He is powerful. But, he is fair and truly has the children's best interest in mind in all that he does and says in the courtroom.
Our lawyer started asking us questions. Not even difficult questions, questions like "what's your name? what is your birth date? What is your address?"
I made it to "what is your address" before I lost it. I couldn't form a sentence. I was crying like a baby! I was so overcome with emotion that I couldn't speak. Brooks, our lawyer, teased me later that usually people wait until the "will you love this child as a natural child" question before they become crying fools. :)

We muddled through the questions, all the while Gabby and Bug were sitting like little ladies with tu-tu fingers. Bug wanted to know what everything was and more importantly WHY it was there. Oh the "Why!?". When I heard Judge Valdez say the words, "the adoption petition is hereby granted. Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas are as the natural parents and will be listed as such on the minor children's birth certificate and social security cards.", I cried even harder. Cary and I clutched each other's hands as we held our daughter's hands. We didn't need words. We looked at each other and knew. We are a family. We have our daughters. We are blessed beyond measure.
Judge Valdez said something and the crowd applauded. He said, "oh, come on folks that was lame" So, our friends and family did it again. This time, loudly. It was wonderful. Judge Valdez gave Gabby and Bug each a stuffed animal and we were able to take some photos with him. He allowed the girls to sit in his chair. Hi! Highlight!

We took our photos and they ushered us out where we went and signed some more papers and got more copies of stuffs. Our lawyer presented us with a pen that was THE pen with which we signed the adoption papers. It's in a box with a poem that is titled "The pen that changed it all." It was a nice gift.

We celebrated afterward with lunch at Golden Corral. Today is my birthday and my now 11 yr old's birthday and that is what he chose. The kids love it. Nothing like being able to choose what you want to eat and going back 2,3, 8 times for food. :)

That was our day. The first day of the rest of our lives, as it were.
What a blessing!
I have to upload my photos of the day, but first I must find the cord. I'm going to post a photo that we took at Antelope Island. I love this picture. :)

How Two Became Four... Part One

Wednesday was the day! It was a day that Cary and I have been looking forward to with much anticipation for so many years. We were blessed with two little lovely little girls who will very soon become part of our forever family. It brings me to tears again just thinking about it. As you can imagine, I was a ball of cry yesterday. Yeah, pretty much all day.
I will share with you our story from the beginning. Prepare for a long post!
Last year our RFC (resource family consultant) emailed us about a list of possible children. Among the list was a sibling group of five girls. At the time, Cary and I said there was NO POSSIBLE WAY we could handle five kids (HA, Right?). But, we would be interested in the middle three, 3, 5, and 7 year old little girls. We were anxious and very curious. It took about a month before we received a call from the caseworker to tell us more about the case. She outlined the case and told us a little bit about each girl. We were intrigued and wanted to learn more about the girls. The caseworker set up a meeting with us and two more possible families. The girls were in a home that had five biological children and had a sibling group of five girls. Three of which were the girls we were "interviewing for". The caseworker came to our home and told us more about the girls and asked us a million more questions.
It took another month and she told us that we were chosen and we would be placed with the girls! We were excited! We were nervous! We were also very curious. We knew that the parental rights would be terminated soon and that these children could quite possibly be *our* children.
The girls were placed with us in October '08 and it was a nerve-wracking day. They were beautiful girls and we were anxious to start building a bond with them. I can honestly say *now*, building that bond was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Sometimes the caseworker fails to tell you absolutely everything about a child, and she had kind of left out a couple things. One of which was that Beonna had severe problems. She raged. If you have never seen a child truly rage, it is one the most frightening and frustrating things you've ever seen. The only way we can describe it is that while in a rage, Beonna would leave her body. Her eyes would be vacant, she would scream at the TIPPY TOP of her lungs, she would scratch, hit, kick, pound her head against the wall, (and more) and all of this could last as long as an HOUR. Waking up from a nap could set her off, not getting her way could set her off, and the sun shining could set her off. I did not know how to handle it.I didn't want to handle it. This child was not what I had envisioned for *MY* forever family! It pains me, but I can write that now. It was a very hard time for me. I wanted to give up. Cary, however, had a much different feeling about her. Somehow he could see through it all and knew that this little firecracker was meant to be ours, and we were not going to give up on her. He would not let me give up. How grateful I am for him and his faithfulness! He knew we could get through it. I prayed as I had never prayed before. I prayed for her, for me, for the other girls, and for Cary. I took as many parenting classes as I could. I read blogs, I listened to other parents' stories, and Beonna had therapy. (As a side not I am listening to Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkle right now on Itunes. fitting, no?)
Time passed and before I knew it I was falling in love with little "bugga bugga". At first her fits were not improving, but Heavenly Father was blessing me with the patience to deal with it and to see what Cary had seen all along. She has made improvements, HUGE MASSIVE STINKING improvements. She doesn't leave her body anymore, she stays with us. When she is starting to go into a "fit" as we call it now, I sing to her "Child of God" or "I love to see the Temple". Those are her songs and help her to come out of it. It's amazing what Heavenly Father can do!
Gabby had been my little bucket of sunshine. From the beginning she has been loving and caring and such an amazing little girl. When she came to us she was about a year and a half behind all of the other kids in her class. I am proud to report that she now gets all 100% (s) on her spelling tests and works very hard at reading and math. She is, for the most part, really mellow and happy. She gets that from Cary. :)
Now some of you might be wondering what happened to the third little girl. Well, sadly, she decided that she did not want to be part of our little family and she returned to live with her previous family. It has been the best situation for everyone, actually.
I will leave it at that. :)
A lot of things have happened over these last 11 months and it has been a long and bumpy ride. But, it has been completely worth it and looking back I wouldn't have it any other way. I have been able to learn more about myself, my husband, and my daughters. I love my Bug. I love my Gabbalella. They *are* and forever will be, My Daughters.
This brings me to my next post...Part Deux!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday Cary Dear!

Happy Birthday to my darling husband. I love you so very much!
We've had one great birthday weekend! I am going to try to upload some photos tomorrow. I will add more to this post then. :)
Love you honey

For Everything There Is A Season...

Those words were spoken to me today by my 1st Counselor in the Bishopric. He is a man that I have grown to love and admire deeply. He is gentle and kind and can also be the most hilaroiusly naughty fella (besides Cary) that I know.
The theme today in Sacrament was journals, family history, following the words of the Prophet. I consider this somewhat of my electronic journal that I hope to print off one day to keep all of my notes and stories in for my children. I decided to share something somewhat personal and I'm not quite sure why I feel the need to do so. I have learned, however, that when you get a prompting it is better to go with that prompting!
To lend a little background to the story...
Cary and I have been in our calling for almost five years now. We were called to be primary teachers and scout leaders way back when the wards split and we were moved into this "new" ward. When we were first called I was petrified. 11 year old boys? a lot of them? Are you kidding me?! Not only would I be teaching them the Gospel on Sunday, but I had to teach them how to be a Boy Scout on Tuesdays? How was *I* going to teach them how to be a scout? and a good one? pfft!
We worked hard and learned as much as we possibly could and we prayed for guidance... A LOT! I grew to love those boys dearly. They were, in all respects, *my* boys. They worked hard and did their best and I loved watching them grow and mature. Some of the boys that I had when they were 11 are now driving and in high school! It's been such an amazing journey to see them grow and become fine young men. I cried when they moved on to the older scout group, but would still see them on Sundays and at various scouting events. I have learned something from each boy that we have had. They are amazing boys.
In January we were moved into the cub scouts and are teaching the 10 turning 11 year olds. It has been a great experience as well, albeit a different one.
It has been difficult lately for me to be excited for scouts and get ready for our den meetings and pack meetings. I truly hate using the kids as an excuse, but having them has made a huge difference in our lives. It seems everyday someone has a class, a therapy appointment, a visit, boy scouts, activity days, band, you name it...we're probably doing it.
So, the point is that we have sucketh mucheth in our scout calling as of late. It's not necessarily been intentional, but it's defintitely not been on the fore front. There is no excuse.
The Primary President told me today that they had called two men to replace Cary and I as scout leaders, but that we were still going to be Primary teachers. I had so many emotions run through me in such a short time span. I was relieved, worried, guilty, and most of all sad. While I realize it is a good thing, it weighs heavily on me that I did not, have not, done all that I should be doing to fulfill my calling to the best of my abilities. Today was also the day that we needed to renew our temple recommends. (nothing like waiting until the last day to get things done, no?)
As I sat in Sacrament and listened to the speakers I watched all of our boys and thought of how much they have impacted me. I know that I am a better mom to my boys because of the experiences I was able to have with the scouts. I definitely learned how to deal with boys better and let *some* things roll off and let them go. I thought also of how I was going to have to meet with a member of the Bishopric and have my interview.
Almost immediately as I sat down with him I began crying. It was as if someone had turned on my crying faucet and rigged it up so that it was unable to be turned off. We had the interview and at the end I was able to receive some very wise counsel from him. Some things I hold very sacred and will keep them to myself.
But, some of his words I would briefly like to share.
He said that everything has its season. We have to know when we can give and do, but we must also know when we need to pull back and tend to other things. There is no shame in that. Everything has its time and Sometimes we are able to give and give and give,but we must also know when we need to give to ourselves.
I suppose our season for scouts is finished, for now. I have five other bodies to worry about and help right now, for which I am truly grateful. I love my kids and I want to be the best mom that I can be for them.
I love my Bishopric. I know that they are men called of God to guide our ward. I'm grateful for the service they give to me.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Little Princess....

This past weekend we had a birthday celebration. One of my little girls turned the big 8!Holy Schmoly! I met her when she was six and she is certainly blossoming into quite the lovely young lady. We had a good time celebrating and since I can't post a photo of her on here quite yet, I *CAN* post a picture of Daddy!! I love that Cary can laugh at himself and goof off with us the way he does. He makes us all giggle as well as roll our eyes! :D
This Sunday is *his* birthday and I don't yet have it all planned out. I do have some surprises up my sleeves for him. I hope it's a great day for him.

I shall post more photos fo' sho'!

AND guess what?! I won a bloggy giveaway from Kelsey at Vanilla Joy !!! I scored 4 tickets to Thanksgiving Point Children's Discovery Gardens! We are taking the kidlets on a surprise adventure and I can hardly wait!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The love of a little one

I still have not uploaded those photos of my darling beloved wearing his beautiful tiara, but I plan to do so tomorrow. Today was full of laundry, laundry, and Oh yes! more laundry! Bah. We certainly have loads and loads to do these days.

This morning I took the kidlets to school. They were unbuckling, strapping on their backpacks, running out of the door before it was even fully opened. I had to chuckle as they were spilling out of the car and Bug was ever so nicely asking them to hurry even faster. She was on a mission to watch Dora, of course! I waved and grinned and called out our usual goodbyes. This day, however, was made special by my 9 yr old. He had almost walked all the way to the school doors when he turned back and ran to the van. He looked at me with those big brown smiling eyes and said, "I Love You!!" and ran back to catch up with the rest of the kids. That moment made my entire day. I have thought about it several times throughout the day. It warms my heart that he says what he feels and his feelings are so tender and real. It totally made up for all the whining tonight when there was homework and reading to be done! :)

The day when these moments aren't as common will be a sad day indeed. For now I will continue to thoroughly enjoy every minute of it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A post is a post is a post.

How busy the days go by! We've had five little children in our home since 12 June. It has been one amazingly busy and fun summer here in the Nicholas household. I honestly never thought that we would have five children, let alone get them all at once essentially. I realize what a blessing these little stink bums are in our lives. I probably wouldnt have things any other way. Well, I would change a few things perhaps but mainly about their previous experiences. Unfortunately their short little lives have not been easy nor pleasant for the most part. They are strong and resilient and I pray daily that they will be able to overcome their pasts. They have perhaps the best male role model I could imagine or hope for. Cary is the best daddy to all the kids and I'm ever so grateful for his love and devotion to this family. I know it's not what he had envisioned for our lives either, but Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us, doesn't he? I often wonder what exactly His plan is and wish that He would divulge just a little bit to me. I reckon I will know and understand everything perfectly one day.
This past week school started and oh my that was one happy day! I was a little bit sad for a couple minutes as the kids got out of the car and walked through those double doors to the school. I quickly got over it and headed home for a little girl time with my bug. She has enjoyed it immensely with her siblings gone for most of the day! Mainly because she thinks she's the queen while she's the only one here. I so don't know where she gets THAT!
She will actually start school this Thursday. Preschool that is. Oh dear me I will have two whole days that I have 3, count 'em 3, glorious hours to myself!!! H.E.A.V.E.N.
I love all of my kids dearly, but I am dearly loving a little quiet mommy time too! That's normal, no?
This weekend we celebrated a birthday. My little darling turned 8 today! We had a birthday pool party for her yesterday and had some of her siblings over. She had a great day. And, I am the "best ever", thanks to iCarly!! I have some photos that I will upload tomorrow. Cary donned a beautiful princess tiara that I must share with the world. I love watching the kids as we sing "happy birthday" to them. They love that attention and excitement. Today was more subdued as we went over to visit our Aunty before she went back home to New Zealand. How I wish she could stay longer! How I wish that I could stow away in her luggage! Cary and I are starting to plan a trip for the reunion in 2011. It seems so far away, but we will definitely need the time to save up for all of our little expenses!!
I was going to make this a Spiritual Sunday post as I got a little inspired after reading a dear friend's blog this evening. However, it did not turn out as such.
I do have a testimony of the Gospel. I love my Saviour. I love my family. I know that President Monson is a true prophet of God. I am grateful for the Restored Gospel and for the power of prayer. I'm grateful for my eternal companion and pray that one day very soon we will be an eternal family with our kids.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A little back tracking...

Well, we went to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house. There are many words to describe the beauty of the temple. I wish I were more eloquent and could give an accurate and beautiful description of our experience.
Our kiddos were actually quite excited to go to the temple, the girls more so than the boys I think. They love getting dressed up and wearing their fancy dresses and their clicky shoes. I have to admit that I love watching them. My oldest boy wore his new suit. Yes, the boy wore his suit in 100 degree weather. I tried to convince him to leave the jacket, but he was not having it. He wanted to look just as snazzy as his good ol' dad. Yes! Cary wore his suit as well....jacket and all! I could not believe how hot it was. I was very impressed by the air conditioned tents outside however. What a nice surprise!
We were able to score a nice seat in the first tent and the movie started about five minutes after we got there. It was quite lovely and the voice sounded quite familiar! :)
The kids were so excited to go inside the temple that they could barely sit still.
The moment we walked into the temple I felt the sweet peace of the Spirit. I was almost immediately overwhelmed as I walked hand in hand with my little girls. It's been a long road with these little lovelies and it is quite surreal that we will finally be able to call them OURS on September 15th! Cary and I are so excited to be able to seal them to us. We walked our way through the temple and explained a few different things to the older kids as we came upon them. They were in awe of everything. I think their favorite part was the baptismal font. They thought it was pretty cool. My favorite part was most definitely the sealing room. We were able to sit quietly and listen to the couple bear their testimonies of forever families. I stared at the altar and the mirrors and envisioned our day with our little girls all dressed in white. I'm glad that we were able to sit a while in the sealing room and explain to all of our kidlets the significance of that special room.

I'm so grateful for Temples. I'm grateful that we can be a forever family. I'm grateful for a husband worthy to hold the priesthood and that he always takes care of our family both spiritually and temporally. I love my Savior. I know that He Lives. I'm grateful for Joseph Smith and the Restored Gospel.
I know that it is true.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Not the least bit reverent, spiritual, or uplifting BUT....

Okay. Perhaps I should not be blogging about this for the world (yes, I think I am *that* fantastic!) to read. However, I sure needed a giggle today and my little guy gave it to me. I hope you all find it as amusing as I.

My three kids had a fun visit today at which they received some balloons from which people can bend and twist to make animals or what have you. With my five kidlets this was almost as good as going to an amusement park. Deprived you may fear? Perhaps.
They were having a grand time whacking each other in the face or wherever it landed with their beloved balloon....thingies. I was doing quite well at ignoring them and just letting them get it all out. I figure a little latex and some air can't hurt too much, right?
As I said, I *was* doing quite well at focusing elsewhere, that was until my 9 year old decided it would be HILARIOUS to stick his sword-ish balloon out the front passenger window of the van with him being in the middle row. I asked once, Please keep the balloon back there with you, it's not for sticking out the window. Somehow it snuck its way back to the window. I repeated my previous request. He withdrew it.
Now, You may think that my children wouuld never dream of disobeying me not once, not twice, not even three times. This however, would make you crazy. The sword-ish thing found its way to the window a third time. This time I rolled the window up on it! HA! Now this *I* found hilarious! My 9 year old, not so much.
I left the sword in the window until we got home. Every time I looked over I chuckled. Every time I chuckled I could hear a groan from behind me. HA! So, we pull in to our driveway and I release my prisoner and all the kids run out of the van. My 9 year old comes to my door, opens it, and shoves his "sword" at me. "LOOK what you did!" By this time the knife part of the sword had deflated and it was just a long limp skinny piece of balloon. There were two circular blown up "ball" type things at the top of it though. I looked at it and BURST out laughing. I thought I might wee right there. My 10 year old looked at it for a minute and said OH MA! THATS SO GROSS! To which I laughed harder. My 9 year old looked at me, him, his sword, and said OH MY! That looks like some NUTS! At this point I found it difficult to even breathe. However, I composed myself to growl him and tell him that the proper term is testicles! He then said, "FIne! That Looks like some Testicles!!!"

Oh my. How I love having my boys back.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Hiatus

I took a rather long and unexpected Hiatus from the blogging world. I tried to keep up with everyone's blog and got some fantastic ideas for this and that! However, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself for a while and couldn't find the words to write.
Our little lives have been turned upside down this year. We have had a lot of unexpected happenings, but we are grateful for all that Heavenly Father has blessed us with.
We had one of our girls leave our home to return to her previous foster home. It's a long story, one of which I don't wish to share at this time. She was happier there and it was best for her to be there. Our two girls actually thrived in her absence, and we realized that it was the best decision we could make for our family...albeit one of the most difficult.
We have had our two girls since October of last year and they are such a blessing. We love them dearly and can't imagine our lives without their stinky little bodies! Our youngest has come such a long way and we are delighted in her progress. It has been a very long road and we have some to go, but progress is the Key!! :)
During the way the adoption had to be post-poned, and THEN the state lost our fingerprints, background checks, etc etc etc. Lovely! Not only was it inconvenient, but we had to pay for them again! How does it get lost in computer database? Hard copies I can understand, but digital?
We did it again at any rate and we are awaiting their return! Our adoption attorney has set the adoption date for September 15th however!!!! We are thrilled! We are hoping that the date doesnt get pushed back any farther and we can finally become a family...and soon thereafter a forever family!
At the end of May we had a phone call from the caseworker of the kids we had last year for so long. He asked us if we'd be willing to take the three of them back into our home again.
We were shocked and overwhelmed. We couldn't say No,but we had two other little people to think about this time around. Long story short, we now have five total kidlets!!
Zero to Five kids in two years! Holy Cow!! We love each of our kids so much and are blessed by the spirit they bring into our home. I am, however, one tired momma at the end of the day! They keep me hopping and we do have a jam packed schedule, but that keeps us out of trouble! Right?

Well, this is a start to my return to the blog world. It's short and sweet, but it is only the beginning!
This weekend we have a trip to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House and I hope to have a ton of fabulous photos to post!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Some really Cute bows!

I have been on the hunt for some bows. I've looked at a lot of different spots, but honestly they are way too pricey. I'm cheap. I admit it. I have been searching for some white bows for my girls. I finally found some really FAB bows at really REALLY FAB prices! Kell's Bows 'n Creations has some of the cutest bows around and she is pretty reasonably priced. I received mine the other day and I love them. The girls wore them to church yesterday because they just couldn't wait for our sealing. They love them muchly too! Kelli has some really cute ones for St.Patrick's Day. I think I must buy some of her korker bows very soon. I just have to decide which ones to buy!!! Shhh...dont tell the hubz. :)

Thanks Kelli! We love them

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Gnome.....has come back!

Remember the hideous lawn ornament feud that we are having with our family? Well, we've been out done. Utterly and completely out done. We came home yesterday afternoon and found this lovely creature waiting to come inside. My seven year old wanted to go give it back immediately to the giver, but no we must wait for the right time. My three year old is convinced that it is a miniature Santa and wants to hold him all the time. My five year old just wants to stay away from him at all costs. I think he might give her nightmares!

The hubs and I just stared in awe at the detail that our dear perpetrator gave to Gary. Gary, the Gnome. I don't think I like that name much for him, but I can't think of a clever G name for him. Anyone have any suggestions?

Who doesn't Love a Tutu??

I found this blog today because I've been searching for my girls a tutu. My 3yr old thinks she needs to wear one every day, all day. So, I need to find a cute one, right? They are having a giveaway at Miss Priss Tutus and I am kind of in love with her new ogranza tutu. All of her work looks fantastic and I am crossing my fingers to win one! Head over to her blog to check it out and enter to win the giveaway too!
Having three girls makes you look at frilly pretty stuff all the time....I guess that's ok. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another Giveaway!! Cool Stuffs!

I just happened over to "The Giveaway" and saw this awesome giveaway that she's doing today. She has three choices from the store Bisou Boutiques! Seriously cool stuff. I love the metal wire spheres. I think I must have them for my living room. The hubs wont mind if it's something for the house right? He appreciates cute stuff for the house as much as I do, right?? HA!
So, go check it out and enter to win. :)
Or....just go peruse their site. My birthday is in September. :)

Thankful Thursday

I have a blogging pal, Devri, who does this each and every week. I have decided that I will start doing it as well. It's almost like sharing your testimony with the world, and I for sure need to do that more often. I honestly can't remember how I happened onto Devri's blog. I love reading her posts and sharing in her experiences. For some dumb reason I felt a connection to her and her family. It is probably because her husband is from Tonga and we all know how I feel about polys. :)
So, on with the show!

1. The Priesthood. I can honestly say I could not have survived this past year, especially, without Priesthood blessings. I'm grateful I have a worthy husband who blesses our family with his Priesthood.

2. Primary Songs. I can feel the Spirit so strongly through music. I love listening to my girls sing "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeep, a Suuuunnbeep!"

3.A very patient husband. Dunno what I'd do without him. He's a keeper for sure.

4. Miniature Mr.Goodbar candy bars. I can eat three of them and not feel like a schlub. Is that a lot? Don't tell me if it is.

5. Fabulous Friends who lift my spirits daily. I love checking my email to find a note or checking my blog to see who has left a comment. I love comments. They make my day. Have I mentioned that I love comments?

6.Bedtimes. 'nuff said. :)

7. My electric toothbrush. Weird, perhaps. I love it. I hate regular toothbrushes now. I may very well be earning my seat in the crazy house.

Ok. I'm only going to do 7 for now. I may post more later, but homework calls and I must try to figure out some 2nd grade math problems. :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Momma

Okay, so I lost the mommy of the year award some time ago. Today I threw rocks at it. I love playing with girls and we love making each other laugh. We try to make our home a fun place, and most of the time we succeed. I have to roll my eyes a little bit at that because as I sit here in my 3 yr old's room she is screaming her guts out and crying like a mad little monkey. She had early bedtime tonight and she is not happy about missing Dora! Rude Mommy!
Anyway, we sat down to dinner tonight and the girls started singing...."God gave us Families, lalalalalamuttermutter to be what He wants us to be mutter mutter" It was darling. It doesn't matter what kind of mood I am in or the kind of day that I have had, as soon as I hear them singing Primary songs my heart melts and my spirit soars. It's a beautiful sound.
So- on with my rock throwing story. Tonight for our veggie we had steamed veggies. (Has anyone had them green giant steamers?? Fabulous invention! The veggies are so yum and you just throw it in the microwave for 5 minutes, IN THE BAG!, and Voila!) In the veggie mix was yellow and white corn, carrots, and ASPARAGUS! The hubs hates asparagus pretty much with all of his being, but I threatened his WOW time so he shushed it. Everything was going along fine and no one had said anything about the new green veggie on their plate. My 7 year old ate it quickly and said that it was good, but it was a bit mushy. My 3 yr old didn't touch any of her veggies. But, then, there's my 5 year old. She's my cuddly little clown. She says, "Mommy my green beans look really WEIRD today!" With as much of a straight face as I could muster I asked her what was wrong with them. She picked one up and poked it in my face. "LOOK! What's wrong with it!? What in the world are those things sticking out!?!" I got the giggles so bad. I covered my face with my hand and with the napkin and started sniffing. Hubs was laughing at me and shaking his head. My 7 yr old picked up on it and told the 5 yr old to just eat it because she was hurting my feelings! That made me laugh harder and I was crying by this point. I blurted out, "I just want you to eat your dinner so we can have Family Home Evening!" She poked her finger in my eye to see if I really was crying. Then she put her head on me because she did, in fact, feel bad for making me sad! I felt like poop on a toad. I looked at her and she was tearing up and said that she would eat them, even if they did taste really bad. I had to give her a cuddle and say that I was sorry too. She did eat them all and never complained after that.
She told me I was a stinky Mommy. I probably deserve that.
Maybe tomorrow we will try beets!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Some Sunday Musings

Ch ch ch changes...turn the page....chaaaanges.
What if I started every post with a song! I wish I could be that clever!
Last week our bishop was realeased and a new bishopric was called. This is the first time I have had to deal with a change like this since I was baptized in 2002. Our old bishop is an absolute saint. He has been there for us and guided us with his wise counsel. I am grateful for him and his service. The new bishop will do a good job, too, I'm sure.
Today the Relief Society President caught me after Primary and had a tiny little white slip of paper. I knew what that meant and there was no escape!! I usually love my Relief Society Prez., we've known her for eons and she called us to Primary when I was so new to the church. It was such a good calling for me and I'm so glad to be able to say that I'm still in the Primary! So, there we were standing in the hallway, staring at one another...very reminiscent of a John Wayne movie. I tried to dodge her but she was too spry for me. She stopped me cold and handed me the small white piece of paper. New VT companion. New sisters. NOooooooooooooo. I love my companion and I love my sisters that I teach. I'm finally completely comfortable with everyone!
Perhaps I should have prefaced this post by saying how much I dislike changes. I don't do well with changes. I'm not a fan.
This afternoon made me forget about all of it though. We sat down for lunch and Cary decided to turn on the Primary CD so that we could have some background music. I have decided that there are fewer sweeter sounds than the sound of your child(ren) singing a Primary song. It's beautiful and you can feel the Spirit so strongly. Cary and I just looked at each other and smiled widely. We were so proud of our girls. I'm so thankful that they are finally getting the exposure to the Gospel that they deserve. We have seen such a change in the countenance since they first arrived.
Maybe *all* changes aren't bad. Maybe I can like a few changes here and there.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Giveaways Galore!!

I need to make a post, yes I do. I need to do some journaling, yes I do. I will. I will.
I need a minute or ten to get my thoughts out.
In the meantime please head over here to this Great! site and enter some fab giveaways!

The blog is Be Different....Act Normal and I kind of love it. She's fun and has some great things on her page. Go over and have a look. She has a lot of awesome Etsy shops on her site and I must admit I am going to buy some decals for my girls' rooms!! love em!!!
But, be sure and come back because I will have some venting to do and I need your sweet words. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Vanilla Joy Giveaway

I have been following this blog, Vanilla Joy, for a while now, mainly because of Dawna Mae. She got me hooked. The site is full of great ideas for family and home. She even does some recipes! The cinnamon roll recipe is fabulouso! This week she is having a giveaway of Wilton products. I see them in Robert's all the time and always drool over the chocs and the cakes in the photos. The giveaway is a fabulous set of Wilton products as well as 9 valentine's cookie cutters! Love love love it! You can head over and check out Kelsey's blog, Vanilla Joy, and enter the contest too! Or not, and make it easier for me to win.

Fingers Crossed!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Visiting Teaching? Yes We Should!

I was reading a blog friend's, I hope I can call her that, post today and the title of it was "Spiritual Sunday". She does some super cool "themed" posts and I am thinking I might honor her by copying her some days. :) Today was about visiting teaching and her brother had sent her this video on Visiting Teaching. It really hit home with me because the other day when I was feeling especially gloomy, my VT'rs came and lifted my spirits. I don't know that I've ever had that impact on one of my sisters, but I pray that I can one day.
I watched the video and laughed. Admittedly, on a couple I thought, holy crap I have totally done that. I know I need to be a better visiting teacher. I do have a testimony of visiting teaching and what it can bring to our lives. I am adding it to my list of "do betters" that I have for myself.

2 posts? 1 day? Yep, I am that cool.

Sunday, Sunday

At first I thought I was being all clever and then I realized that the song says Monday, Monday. Ah well...
We have had a quiet and sicky weekend. It started on Friday for me and our three year old and then Saturday Super Daddy got the bug. The other girls have been sneezing a bit here and there, but other than that seem OK. I'm hoping they dodged this bullet!
Friday is a bit hazy. I took a whole lot of Nyquil and stayed in bed. Poppie and Super Daddy held down the fort and I held down my pillow. I think 3 and me got some kind of food poisoning or something because it was not a happy time for our tummies either. It was frightening! Saturday isn't quite as hazy, but went by in a blur. Super Daddy caught the bug and he was feeling pretty ickers by the afternoon. Our poor girls had grumpy sickies for parents, although they did get to watch a couple of movies because of it. Hip Hip Hurrah for DVDs! They kind of Love Mr.Bean and I love that they love it! Love Fest! ahhhh. I think I'm a sucker for all things British and Polynesian. Well, maybe most things. Okay-Okay..all things poly, most things Brit.
Today we still weren't feeling better and I can't seem to stay out of el Bano. So, the girls and I stayed home from church today. Cary went because we have a class of fabulous 10 year olds that we teach. Want to hear a good guilt story? I tell my 5 year old that she is staying home with me from church today and only Daddy is going and he is only going to Sunday school. The crying begins. (one might think that she misunderstood and thought she HAD to go!) I ask her what is wrong, why is she crying so much! Her reply, "I don't even get to go to church today and learn about Jesus!" Yeah, I totally lost that Mommy of the Year award today. I felt horrible. After some cuddles and promises of going to church next week, she finally felt better.
I figured I needed to spend some one on one time with the girls today since I'd been MIA for the past 2 days. The 100th day of school is coming up and my 5 year old needed to make a poster of 100 things. She chose stickers. So, we pulled out the poster board and I let her choose a ton of stickers from my scrapbook collection to complete her work of art. I must say, it did turn out beautifully.
So that turned into everyone doing some arts and crafts projects. Everyone got some papers and cool scissors and decorated a couple of scrapbook pages for their room. I have been meaning to buy some window clings for Valentine's Day at our local walfart, but I decided today that we would make our own! The stuff was out, so why not! The girls got super excited and we had so much fun. I tried to keep that creative control at first, but after a few side long looks from Cary---I realized I had to relinquish all control. We cut paper, glued paper, cut more paper, and cut more paper until my eyes had gone all wonky. The girls wanted to display our works of art, so I let them place their hearts on our front window to be enjoyed by one and all. Each of us have our own heart and they made one for Poppie too. :) I'm glad that they never leave him out of things.

See our beautimous window? Ignore the dirt and hard water stains please. ;)
I'm grateful for the small little moments and the quiet times I get to spend with my girls. I'm lucky they are part of my life and part of my family.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Suffer In Silence? Not me, no sir!

I seriously try to be a person who keeps things inside rather than complaining about them. Well, sometimes I try to be that person. Today, however, is not one of those days. Let me preface this post by saying yesterday I thought I had HAD IT! It has been one of those weeks and I have been a grumpy mom and wife and friend. As a family we have had many challenges and many ups and downs on our roller coaster of a life. Last night Cary gave me a blessing. I shall keep those special words sacred, but it made me feel so much better and ready to face the new day with bright eyes and bushy tails.
Typically I am not a bushy tailed person, but I was willing to try!
We got up this morning and I made a very nutritious breakfast of instant oatmeal (hey, it was apple cinnamon), bananas, and milk. Yummers. Yes, the little kiddies were chomping at the bit to eat it up "all gone"! We were having a decent morning. I was headed to a girl's lunch in the afternoon and was even ahead of schedule!
Time for school? Ok! Let's go! Everyone in the van! Everyone buckled? Ok! Key in, lights....nothing is happening. The battery is dead. Nice. "Husband, come rescue me please!"
This was the beginning. Husband is stuck at work and can't come immediately. I can't get in touch with anyone else. I can't walk my 7 yr old to school because I have the other two. 9:15, 9:30, 9:40... Yes! Finally! Dad has come and can take her to school! Meanwhile. My cat, Harold, has managed to get himself into a scrape with another cat and has a huge wound on his little fat furry face. Great. Vet, here we come! Fabulous! Have I mentioned that we are on a budget? Fixing furry fat cat faces is not in that budget. Actually, neither are door lock issues.
Luckily my dad has managed to come over by this time and is taking Daisy, our van, to get a new battery at WalFart. We think this has fixed the problem! I get in to take Harold to get his fat face fixed.
Click CLick Click Click Click Click.
By this point I am pretty much convinced that the van is haunted and there is a ghost messing with my mind and my door locks.
We take Harold to the vet. First thing that little fella gets is a little thermometer shoved right up his little cat booty. My 5 year old says, "MOMMY! Why are they putting that thing in THERE!?" After a wee little giggle and a red face, I told her that's how they check to see if he has a high temperature. Her eyes grew wide. Then I asked her if she was glad that she didn't have to get hers checked that way! A vigorous head nod made me giggle again.
My kindy girl was then taken to school by a good friend. Harold got all fixed up and it was finally time for our girl's lunch! I was supposed to pick up one of the chickies by 12:40. I think we finally picked her up at like 12:50. (not too bad, right?)
When she hopped in she had one of the most fabulous gifts for me.... A wonder woman t-shirt! WITH MY NAME EVEN!! I kinda loved it. I laughed my guts out. Our little wonder woman gang all have matching shirts and I think it's magnificent! Yes, Magnificent! We had a great lunch and I was able to forget about my woes for an hour or so. Thanks Chickies!
My van is still clicking. My girls are still fighting. Harold still has a huge stinky wound on his furry fat face. AND, I am STILL here! I survived! Miracle of miracles.
My visiting teachers came that night and in their message they quoted D&C 84:88, which says,
"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."
Thank Goodness for those angels.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Trying to be a Missionary Now.....

I am the only member of the Church of Jesus Christ in my family. I am a proud convert of almost 6 years. My dear eternal companion and I were sealed almost 5 years ago. My how time flies! Everyone in my southern root bound family were very leery of my marrying a Mormon! *gasp* A few even doomed me straight to Hell. That's just the way things were back then. I am still the only member in my family, but most of them no longer believe that I am going straight to Hell (well, at least not for just marrying a Mormon! :P)
I am always praying for ways that I can be a missionary to them and help them come to know of the Truthfulness of the Gospel. Tonight my mom and step-dad made a surprise visit through Utah and came to visit us. It was so great seeing them and even greater that my girls got to know their "Nana" even better. Of course, Nana always brings pressies, so she's super cool in their books!
My mom and I have had a rough relationship in the past, but as I have grown older and hopefully a wee bit wiser our relationship has grown and strengthened. We are able to carry on conversations now, not only as mother and daughter, but as friends. I treasure that so much. She is very curious about my faith and often questions me about it. I would love to be able to say that I always have the best answers and never get frustrated with her, but I can't.
Tonight she was telling me of a man in a bookstore who wanted to buy a Book of Mormon when she was back home in Arkansas. He wanted to know more about these mormons! The clerk was quick to tell him that they had multiple wives and were a strange brood. My mom stood up and said her peace! She let that clerk know quickly that her "kids" were Mormon and that wasn't part of it! It's funny to think that she defended us Mormons to a bunch of strangers. I was so proud of her! So, she asked me tonight to tell her more about it because if she was going to stick up for something she needed to know more about it. I was so excited! I didn't know where to start! I was fumbling and crying and nervous and and and and and. I wanted Cary to come in and give her the discussions right then! He was, afterall, a fabulous missionary in his hayday! Cary was busy with the girls and bedtimes! What was I to do! I didn't know!
I sat my mom down at my desk and grabbed my scriptures. When I opened them up it was to basically the first page where it said "another testament of Jesus Christ" I said Look! It doesn't take the place of the Bible, it just adds to it. I was trying to think of what to tell her about. I started thinking of Joseph Smith and the lesson I taught my 10 year olds 2 weeks ago in Sunday School. I told her of a young boy who didn't know what church to join. I cried. I told her about the First Vision. I cried. I bore testimony of Joseph Smith and she cried. We cried together and felt the Spirit together. It was wonderful! She knew that I truly believed what I was saying and I knew that she truly felt the Spirit.
Then I hear Mommmmyyyyyyyy I gotta go Potty!

I wish I had been more eloquent. I wish I had more answers and a better delivery. I wish I could be a better Missionary! I want to be a better Missionary and Teacher and Mom and Wife.

I just read that statement again and I've decided that I am GOING TO be a better missionary, teacher, mom, and wife.
Keep me in your prayers.
I can ask for that, right?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A bloggie worth reading....

I know, I know, you think it is mine! It is! I kid! It's totally not mine. I found this little gem what feels like eons ago. It's "Purple Diva's Diary". I honestly can't remember how or why I stumbled across her blog, but I've been lurking around for a while now. Sometimes I will comment on her posts and sometimes I enjoy being the silent observer.(shocking, I know!) She writes well and can be quite clever. I've noticed that she is an amazingly generous woman, always offering giveaways of some sort. That is kind of the reason for this post. She's having a blogaversary and is having a contest. I figured I would let you all know about her and enter the contest at the same time. Two birds, one big rock. :)
Through her blog I have also found some other amazing blogs. Some of my favorites are Word2YourMother and The Naulu Tribe. I know for sure I am not spelling that correctly, but I do love it. It's so funny to me that we can sit and peek in on each other's lives and sometimes even become part of them.
I blog for my friends and for my family, new and old. I need to do better and I need to write more. This will be my journal and is a great way for me to share my life, as the Purple Diva does. :)
Thanks Diva....for some great laughs and some great quiet mommy moments for me! Happy BloggyVersary! :D

Everyone else, go check it out! it's awesome and stuff. :)

Good Intentions.....

I was determined to start this blog off the right way in the new year, and I even almost, kind of, made a resolution to blog once a week. Good thing I didn't! :)
Cary and I never make resolutions, mainly because we don't want to feel like the schlubs that we are when we break them two days later. With that said, I am going to do some things better this year. I Must! Blogging just might be one of those things that I work on a little more. Quiet time around 8.30 at night is the perfect time for me to sit down with the lappie and type my happy little guts out.
Sometimes I get a little sad and frustrated because I can't blog about my girls like I would love to do. Right now they are foster childrenm, and even though they are legally free there are still tons and tons o' rules that we must follow. One of which is that we can't post names or photos really on the web. Total bummer for me.
They make my heart happy. It's a challenge every single day and I try desperately not to use my "angry" or "grumpy" voice with them. However, they are such special little spirits and I am realizing more and more everyday that they are meant to be part of our family. It is a bizarre thought, I know.
I was out on a girls night recently and we were all cackling away and complaining only a teensy bit(yeah, right) about how unfair life can feel sometimes. All of us have been unable, thus far, to have children naturally and all of us are foster mummies. One of my dear lovelies said something that seems a bit profound to me. She said that Heavenly Father knows what he is doing and "our" children do come to us, one way or another. How true this has been.
Cary and I have been foster parents for a little over a year now and we have had some real doozie experiences. Our first couple of placements were more difficult than I could ever adequately describe. Our next placement was a sibling group of three little darlings who were with us for a little bit over six months. They were, and still are, our kids. They have since been able to return home with their mother, but we are lucky enough to be able to stay in contact with them. They are part of our family and always will be.
We are looking to adopting the three princesses we have now sometimes this spring/early summer. We have to wait out our time and we will see what happens come April.
Last year was a really good year. We know that this year will be too, as well as an exciting year full of changes. We can't wait! I will even try to write about them! :)
Oh! And, I'm officially a minivan driving mommy now. Cary brought home a purdy little Chrysler Town and Country minivan on Saturday. I love love love it. She's the same colour as our Dodge Truck, George. Can I just tell you how wonderful it is to get three girls into the vehicle to go somewhere, anywhere, and not shove and push and pull the seatbelts and listen to "MOM! SHE WONT HELP ME... SHE WONT MOVE... SHE LOOKED AT ME AND BLINKED TWICE!" Yes, that is all over! Huzzah! This morning as we were on our way to church, Cary decided to clock them and see how long it took them to get into the van and buckled....Are you ready..... THIRTY SECONDS!!! (writing it out was so much more dramatic than just typin the numbers!) It's fabulous, at any rate.
I have a wonderful husband. I have beautiful girls. I have a good life. I am very Blessed. I love my dear family. I love my cuckoobird friends.
And I say these things......