Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Foto Friday September

September brought cooler temperatures which made for comfortable outside time. So we took the opportunity to take on a few projects. We built a shelter over our stairs in preparation for the winter snow. We painted our bedroom more calming colors and I used weathered wood and finished the window edges and made a floating headboard (that was fun!!) I let the kids paint a few boards and I hung them in my room. And we spent a lot of time with our dear Erik and Stacey in Alton. Leif also took the chance to build stilts with the boys. So much fun!

August Foto Friday

This has been a long time coming. But here it is. We had a wonderful Summer filled with family, vacations, Jakob's Birthday, JAKOB'S BAPTISM, and Caleb's first day of Head Start Pre-School. We made So many great memories!

August Nature: I think people wondered why I nurtured these "weeds". But there's no question why anymore. They are beautiful! August also welcomes the Monsoon Season here in our neck of the woods. And that means beautiful storm clouds and Rainbows!

Canyon Home Trip: The Baron family gathered to the family Canyon Home in Brigham City over a couple week's time. We had a wonderful time playing and visiting. We managed to fix up the Canyon Home a bit too and a few of the family members were able to stay long enough to attend the Brigham City LDS Temple open house. Leif's parents both grew up in Brigham City. So this new temple has special meaning for our family.

St. George Condo Trip - Jakob's 8th Birthday Party: Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Hunt thinking about us ahead of time, we were able to spend a few days in a beautiful condominium for Jakob's birthday.

Jakob's Baptism: I will post Leif's memoir of Jakob's baptim in a seperate post. But the photos fit in this post as well. It was a wonderful experience over all. But I learned a lot of things that will help me with the other kids' baptism. The biggest lesson was to separate the birthday celebration and the baptism at least one week apart and don't party away from home the night before the baptism.

First Day of School!: Jakob started 2nd grade this year and Caleb started his first year in Head Start.

What You May Not Know and What You May Not See: SPD

I mentioned in an earlier post that my boys' have been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD.) I need to make a post that explains exactly what that is. But until then, this pretty much sums it up.

What You May Not Know and What You May Not See
Author Unknown

What you may not know and what you may not see
Is that I am a child with SPD.
Loud noises and chaos can really freak me out,
Because of this, I too, may scream and shout.

Sometimes I may hit, push, and run into things too
Please know I am never really trying to hurt you.
I may need to be alone, or have a quiet space
It helps me to feel calm and my mind not to race.

Although we may learn differently, most of us are really quite smart
Learning to understand my needs will help us to have a great start.
What you may not know and what you may not see
Is that I am a child with SPD.

Weighted blankets and compression vests help give me the input I need
A few among the tools used to help me to succeed.
I may have trouble sleeping and wake a lot with fear
It helps to know you love me and that you’re always near.

Quite often I am misunderstood when I don’t behave like the others
They think that I am naughty and, “not like my sisters and brothers”.
What they do not know and what they do not see
Is that I am a child with SPD.

Our senses give our brains directions on how to think and feel
My brain can’t read directions…my SPD is REAL.
You all have a highway where all of your senses travel
I have a traffic jam.. which leads me to unravel.

I don’t need to be judged… or felt sorry for
I am just like you ..although I struggle more.
Please take the time today, to learn more about ME
Because I am more then my SPD.

Friday, November 30, 2012

So Much!!

So much is happening and has happened. I'm sure I'll forget something as I try to write about it. But here it goes.

We've decided to go to Missouri for Christmas. My family is coming together for a visit and we are really looking forward to our trip. We just got several packages from Amazon filled with organizing aids and entertainment tools. I'm sure they will all come in very handy for the trip.

We were planning Thanksgiving with our little family in Flagstaff this year. Instead, we were shocked to learn of the death of a family member, Lucy, and we gathered with family instead. Leif drove home the evening of Lucy's accident and we drove up to Alton in the morning to be with Leif's brother and wife and her family. The ext day was Thanksgiving. As we were trying to prepare a "normal" Thanksgiving dinner we all got word that Leif's cousin, Jan, was not going to survive the night. She came down with Pneumonia as a result of AML Leukemia. She passed away Thanksgiving night. We tried to cherish the joy of family over those few days. But the reality of life and death was heavy. We woke up the day after Thanksgiving with a short term flu. The next day was Lucy's funeral. We were so sick (along with several of the funeral party) that we didn't make it to her funeral. We were disappointed. We called Colt Hendersen over as our Home Teacher and asked him for a blessing for Leif and I and Jakob. The spirit was strong and Jakob especially really felt strengthened by the Priesthood power.  That night Colt brought back a beautiful short Christmas Tree for us. They had gone out to cut down their trees and brought us back the Perfect tree. I was Thrilled!! That night we felt well enough to decorate the tree. The tree was small enough that Leif and the boys were able to put the lights on together. Life just felt better after we got the tree up and the Christmas music going. We were grateful for the gift and light of the Christmas season starter.

Some how in between all of this Leif finished up a 20 page paper and I was able to help proof read it. I am so grateful for Leif's intelligence and dedication even when things get crazy busy. Now Leif's on his way back to Flagstaff in order to take several final exams for the term. WOW!

Tuesday Leif and I met with a Special Education specialist for Caleb (technically.) But she was able to observe all of the boys while we met with her at the Head Start for several hours. This was a life changing meeting amidst the chaos of our every day life. She officially ""diagnosed" all three boys with a condition called Sensory Processing Disorder. This visit was great. But I will try to give the details its own post. While I finished the visit at Head Start, Leif took Jakob to the doctor. He has had a series of what we first thought were panic attacks. Then we realized that cat and dog allergens were triggers. He was officially diagnosed with Reactionary Pulmonary Disease. The symptoms are similar to asthma, but it's not asthma. He basically is severely allergic to cats and possibly dogs and possibly dust. Another life changing appointment in one day. That afternoon we loaded up and Leif anf I took Caleb and JJ up north with us to go to Jan's funeral. We left Jakob with the Hendersen's.

Our quick trip up north was as good as it could be with a very sad funeral in between. Jan was an amazing person, so even the funeral was uplifting. But our hearts are still sad for all of the family and children left behind. The same goes for Lucy and her family. While in Salt Lake we were able to visit with my brother Jared and his little family. I was so thrilled to finally see my new little niece. She is beautiful! We were able to visit more with Leif's family and also go for a little outing out to the new City Creek (mall?) in SLC. It was amazing!! And as we left town we were able to meet up with Jared and Heidi and girls again for a yummy Cafe Rio lunch.

Now that we're home. I am EXHAUSTED! I haven't gotten dressed and it's dinner time. Hmmm? Guess I'll just go back to bed soon. MMy sweet husband set up our new Black Friday purchase. We got a TV for my room and a Blu Ray machine that hooks to the internet and a set of cordless headphones. This makes it possible for me to watch movies silently in my bed. HOW AWESOME is This!!?? I am really looking forward to my time alone tonight. Although, having Leif with me would make it closer to perfect!

So that's the quick update on our little family. And I'll just have to write later whatever I've forgotten. Pictures ARE coming SOON!!

Forgotten Add Ins:
We need to consider finding a small motor home to rent or purchase for our trip(s) to Missouri and other places. JJ had a VERY difficult night while we shared living space with others this last trip. It reminded us of how VERY hard it can be to have him flipping out and worrying about the other people in the house....
We are working on trying to get me more medical help. Hoping to get official allergy diagnosis soon. We are pondering the possibility of getting an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. It is hard not to feel well no matter what... But maybe we'll find something...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Past the HALF WAY Mark!!

I haven't blogged for a Long time! Life is just moving along quickly and truthfully, my strength is often gone before I can sit down to blog. But I will take a minute to update a little.

My last post was about the presidential election. I went to Flagstaff to be with Leif during the election night and for a couple of appointments after that. The results of the election were a hard blow. I woke up in the morning hoping that maybe some how they had changed. Nope. Instead the "changes" had already started. But I won't keep going on that subject. Lets just say I feel that the American people have made their choice and the consequences. I just wish I felt better about the choice that was made.

But on to happier things!! Leif's is just over half way through with his nursing program!! the end is in sight and I can tell that it will be over before we know it. It's still not easy to live like we do. But we're learning and growing. Thankfully.

We've traveled back and forth to and from Flagstaff A Lot since Leif moved in to his new place. We get to spend Thanksgiving there. I think it will be really nice. Then Leif will be home for over a month for Christmas break. WOW! That will be AWESOME! We're actually going to spend Christmas in Missouri. We're looking forward to the trip and the visit with my family.

We have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season. So Much! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Election Day 2012: Virtue or Vice?

Tuesday November 6, 2012. Election Day. The results of this presidential election won't just be a distant decision happening within a place hundreds of miles away. We will feel the results of this election. All of us will feel them! Whether we believe it or even understand this fact or not, it doesn't matter. This country will never be the same.

Literally half of our country's people hope for a future led by the man who has led for the last four years like no man before him. The other half prays for the man whom they believe will lead America back to it's founding roots and Father's wisdom. Both believe in an America: The Old and The New.

The argument has been made that America is meant to change and evolve as the times and people change. As we gain perspective and diversity. Understanding. Wisdom. However, it has also been said that any virtue taken to the extreme, can become a vice.

I am not a scholar. I am a high school graduate with some college education. I have traveled the country as a professional nanny. I have served as a Christian missionary among my country's people and their military members. I am a wife. I am a student. I am a student's wife. I am a mother. And I am an American.

I know what it feels like to be trapped by unemployment. I also know what it feels like to fight to be free of this trap. I know what it feels like to feed my children thoughtlessly because of government assistance only to have it suddenly taken away because my income level exceeded the maximum. I also know how it feels to feed my children a home cooked meal that I planned and paid for out of my own personal earnings. I know what it feels like to get an astoundingly large medical bill in the mail and to know that the government has paid it in full. I also know what it feels like to be diagnosed with a serious illness days before the reapplication date for said government insurance only to be denied because I earn too much money.

I know what it feels like to be disqualified for progressing. I choose to progress anyway!  I choose to plan ahead for hard times and fight to be free of the rose colored glasses of government assistance.
I will forever be grateful for their offered assistance. But I will forever fight against being forced to accept their offer.

Government as a framework for a country can be considered a virtue. Government as the foundation of a country will become its vice. May God bless us all as we choose the future of this great nation.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Flu Season! Ugg!

I made an impulse decision and took my kids out to visit Leif this weekend. Overall, we had a wonderful time! Some how being together just makes everything else not as hard. With that said, I'll tell you the "hard" things. For the Record and to remind me that I can do hard things!

Ten minutes out of Flagstaff on our way to visit Leif JJ was digging at his throat. I knew he had a cold but he had taken a turn for the worst as we drove. I found the nearest Urgent Care and after dropping the other two munchkins off with Leif I took JJ in to make sure he didn't need antibiotics. Nope, just a virus. Lovely! We were able to go a full day with just signs of pain in his mouth, until he threw up last night. Mercifully, Leif had a leftover anti-nausea pill from his EMT days. We were able to get it down JJ and in to his system. He didn't throw up again until tonight.

We got packed up this afternoon and in the van to head toward Fredonia when Caleb complained of a "car sick headache." We humored him by giving him an IB Profin in case it was a real headache. I got two blocks down the road when I saw from my rear view mirror that Caleb was white as a ghost and indeed very sick. I pulled over and gave him the other half of the Zofran. Unfortunately he was too sick. I was less then five minutes out of town when he threw up. Poor guy threw up three times in the three hours we were on the road.

I am blessed to have in-laws who take very good care of us. They were at my house when I drove up taking out my garbage and washing my dishes. Two things that were sending me over the top with anxiety when I thought about having a house full of sick kids alone this week. I am truly blessed! Because of their help I will be able to make it through the next few days. I was also able to clear the floor and vacuum tonight. something else that was weighing on me.

Anyway, flu season has hit our little world. I'm not sure what this week will hold because of it. I was supposed to go to a meeting in Flagstaff and leave the kids with Grandma for the week and then drive with my boys up north for the weekend to see my newborn niece and visit with family. But I guess I'll just be taking one day at a time for a little while. One Day at a Time!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Birthday to Our Girls

Our girls would have turned 6 years old yesterday. We've missed them this year. Jakob's felt the loss for the first time in his life.. He came to me the other night with tears in his eyes after I had tucked him in to bed and he told me that he missed the twins. He talked about how different and fun it would have been to have them alive. He's right. I think they would have been good friends. That makes them feel more real. Less of a nightmarish dream...

My Sweet Love sent me two presents in the mail today. To let me know he didn't forget. Very Precious gifts, All of them!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NICU Dream - Searching

I had a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) dream this afternoon during nap time. It felt so real and so Intense! It's been six years this week since my first daughter passed away. My second passed away a couple weeks later. It usually ends up that I have at least one Baby Loss dream each year. This dream was different then any of the others I have had before.

It started with Leif and I on a vacation somewhere. We were waking up and I turned to him and said, "don't you think we should go see the baby?" I was surprised and worried at the fact that we had a baby in the NICU and we weren't right by HIS side. I was suddenly filled with anxiety and an urgency to get to the hospital to see our son. I was filled with a frustration because I didn't feel like Leif was in a hurry to get there.  Suddenly, we were standing in front of Leif's grandparents home in Brigham City. My family was there with us and we were all getting ready to go to the hospital. I realized at that moment that we were going to need a temporary place to live. I turned to Leif and asked him if the house was vacant. He said it was. I broke down sobbing with gratitude for the blessing and Leif just held me. My family headed to the hospital and Leif and I started driving to the hospital as well. However, I was in the back seat of the car and suddenly I realized that the car was driving crazy and Leif was not in the drivers seat. I climbed up front and started to drive and out of my window I could see that there was an accident across the street. Leif had jumped out of the car as an EMT. I was FURIOUS!!!!

We finally made it to the hospital and I was overwhelmed because I couldn't believe we were going through another NICU experience. Everything looked so familiar.  I pulled Leif aside and started listing all that we HAD to do this time to show our faith in God, so he would let our baby live. I was crying as I told him we had to read our scriptures morning and night, pray, and fast. I told him these are things I regret not doing last time. I felt like I needed to convince him that this was important. (I felt such a urgency to get to the baby at this point.) We kept trying to get the nurses to show us where to go. In the mean time we were discussing names Tyson, Joshua, Benjamin, or all of them. Then we found out that my dad had gone in to the baby with Leif's brother Eric and gave the baby a blessing. Again, I was furious. Why hadn't they waited for us!?

FINALLY, we got a nurse to show us where we were supposed to go. But as we were walking someone stepped in between Leif and I and I couldn't see Leif any more. When my view was clear, Leif was nowhere to be seen. He had gone in without me. I was in a panic. I couldn't find my way around no matter how I tried or who I asked. All the while I just felt so confused and a longing to simply get to my baby...

I never found Leif or my baby. When I was wound up enough in my dream my mind kept telling me that I was dreaming and I just needed to wake up. I kept trying and trying to wake up, knowing that in real life I needed to wake up and pick up Jakob and Caleb from school. Finally, the phone rang in my real world and I was pulled awake.. . Leif was calling to give me Jakob's MRI results.

It was a very tale-telling dream. One that dug deep into my mind and heart...

Thank You's Are In Order!

Jakob and I drove home from Flagstaff Saturday afternoon. I had such a wonderful time in Flagstaff with Leif.  It was so nice to catch some quality R&R! I was also able to go to a NACDAB (Northeren Arizona Child Development Administrating Board) meeting. This was the first in my year-long term. I really enjoyed being among fellow Head Start parents with similar goals and concerns. It was nice to get my brain working on other things for a minute. Leif and I were also able to stay in the new house that he's renting in. It is going to be a wonderful change! Jakob drove to Flag on Friday with the Fredonia Swim Team (Thank You Team!) to meet up with us for his MRI. It was fun to have a little quality time with him. His MRI was at 8PM. I gave him a melatonin before we left for the appointment. He fell asleep in the lobby while waiting for the tech to bring him back. Apparently he slept like a rock through the entire one hour MRI. THANK HEAVENS!!

A cold front blew in to Fredonia on Sunday. Unfortunately, it's kickin' my tail! My bone and joint pain sky rocketed. It's no fun. I could go on, but I've decided to just get to the point. Over these last two days I have been struggling. But I have been blessed! Sunday night we had a visit from a dear family in our ward. They came to bring us a treat and a hello. I felt so grateful for their visit and gift. And THEN, yesterday night another dear friend stopped by just to say hello and to bring me an AMAZING piece of her home made Mint Chocolate Silk Pie! SERIOUSLY!! It was so tasty and exactly what I needed at just the right time!! Thank you Dear Father for sending me dear friends to lift me up when I am low!!

These good friends as well as others helped watch my little Munchkins while I was in Flagstaff. I just want to send out a THANK YOU for that as well!!

There is a scripture in Malachi 3:8 that tells explains the reason for our many blessings over these past couple of weeks. Paying our tithing this month was a complete step of faith. Father did not let us down! He truly proved to us that he will follow through with his promises as we obey his commandments in faith! Thank You Father!

10 Bring ye all the atithes into the storehouse, that there may bebmeat in mine house, and cprove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not dopen you the ewindows of heaven, and pour you out a fblessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
 11 And I will arebuke the bdevourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Time With My Favorite Person + Such Great News!

I have been looking forward to this week for a while. Tuesday I drove ALONE to Flagstaff for a Head Start conference. Conveniently, my hotel and all expenses are paid for. So Leif and I have been able to make it a little much needed get-away with each other. And believe me, it has been wonderful!

As you may have noted we were in Flagstaff last week with the kids taking Jakob to doctors appointments. Within the hour that I left Flag with the kids I posted a short ad on Craigslist. I simply said that we needed a place for Leif to live Full Time that allowed myself and the kids to stay when we needed to come in to Flagstaff. I said our small budget and very briefly mentioned that we would be coming often for medical appointments for our son.  My faith was being tested at the moment, and I am sad to say that I didn't think anyone would respond, let alone the RIGHT person. Well, guess what!? He did! We have been blessed!

Leif and I went to meet with a man that has a very nice four bedroom furnished house. He rents out three of the bedrooms and the fourth is a guest bedroom! Seriously! And the rent is very very reasonable! He (and the house mates) have agreed to let myself and the kids use the guest bedroom when we come in to town. We could not feel more blessed!!

I know that prayers are heard. It is very hard to wait for the answers to come sometimes. But I know that they do come!
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