Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Much Needed Getaway!

I can't believe I haven't written about this!! I guess we just hit the ground running when we got home and I am just now catching up.

Leif and I took a little trip to Salt Lake over President's Day weekend. I had given him Jazz basketball tickets for Christmas and the game was scheduled for the weekend after Valentines Day. I didn't even know that was a holiday too. Leif's Spa ended up really busy. Luckily the other therapists were able to keep everything going well. But that's behind the scenes...

Leif's dear parents watched the kids, and I am amazed at the energy level and tender care they endlessly give to our children. It is very humbling. I panicked the first night of our trip when I took in the reality that we had left Grandma and Grandpa with our energetic boys for THREE nights! It took effort not to think about it. But other then that concern we had a WONDERFUL time!

We stayed at Leif's sisters house the first night and went out to dinner with them that evening. That was a rare treat to have the chance to share a meal out with both Larissa and James. It was nice to catch up. We also enjoyed a good visit with our niece and nephews.

The second day we met up with my bother, Nate. We haven't seen him for a few months so we had a lot to catch up on. We had a nice visit that left me wishing we lived closer to each other.

From there we checked in to a hotel for the next two nights. Sooo Nice to be together... Alone!
When we did leave the hotel we went to the Cheesecake Factory and remembered good times going there in Hawaii. Great food and AmAzInG Cheesecake!  From there we went to the game.

We had a Great time at the Jazz game. We took Trax and got there really early. We walked around the Clark Science Museum a little and then headed in from the cold to the Energy Solutions building. When we got to our seating area I realized right away that there was a mistake between the seats that I had purchased and the seats that ended up on the tickets they mailed to me. The final seats were All The Way to the top! I was really ticked!! We were standing around (the only people in the section) and a nice Usher came up to chat with us. He was from New Zealand and had visited Hawaii so we had something in common. We didn't tell him about our seat confusion because we figured he couldn't do anything about it. But he surprised us when he told us that we could head down to the bottom section and watch the players practice and then "see what happens with the seats you're in". AWESOME! We had a unique opportunity to sit 12 rows from the basketball court! It was Great! Turned out to be a good game too.  So Fun!

Throughout the trip Leif and I took turns reading a book to each other called Passage on the Titanic by Anita Stansfield. She wrote this book with the Titanic as the setting and a non-fictional character as part of the story. She also wrote it with less of her typical romance then her other books in hopes that she could reach a larger audience. It was very well done and we both really enjoyed it.

Coming home was such a treat! Our boys had barely recognized that we were gone. But they gave us enough of a welcoming that I felt pure joy during the reunion. Leif and I took the time to watch them play together outside and then joined in their fun, just happy to be together again. It was a Fabulous weekend and Home Coming!

Gotta Love Phone Pics, but here they are:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Home School Month in Review January

We put Jakob into Public School this month. So it drastically limited our Home Schooling. But we were still able to talk about Martin Luther King Jr. and African American History during WWII.

HERE is my Martin Luther King Jr. Lesson Plan

We took Jakob to the theater to see Red Tails.
It is a movie about the first African American's to be allowed to fly and really fight for their country. It wasn't up to par with Pearl Harbor (the movie). But That's not the point. It was a good movie with a good story. Jakob enjoyed it, even if it was the war movie to finally get the cuss words out of his mouth that he's been hearing for so many years through military movies. He got in the car and said hesitantly (testing the waters) "let's get in the damn car." I turned and asked him (calmly) what he had said. He repeated it and I told him that it was a swear word and we don't swear. He assured me that he was wondering if that were the case. I tried REALLY hard to keep a straight face for the next five minutes as it rolled around in my head. :) I'm just glad that I was around when he tested out the new word.  So, if you're not sure if your child will be able to ward off the typical military language (cussing). Then it might not be a good fit for you. But we survived.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why Are We Not Going?

I let everyone know last night that Leif will be leaving to Flagstaff this Summer and that we (myself and the kids) will be staying here at home for the year that he will be in the program. I figured it would be easier to answer the big question of WHY here on the blog instead of the comments section.

The answer is simple: Money. We simply don't have enough money to pay rent for the whole family to live there. No, we don't have any more loan or grant money for another Bachelors degree. Yes, that's a huge bummer! No, we're not sure how we are going to pay for all of Leif's schooling and our current living expenses. Yes, we're living on a prayer and hoping for scholarships. Leif will also be selling the Day Spa. That should help a lot.

Leif says that if we could find a miracle and move all of us out there we would. But I'm not sure that's what is meant to happen. Or rather, maybe I have a choice to make. I could search out a way, I'm a firm believer in the "where there's a will there's a way" theory. But I think I would be eliminating a journey that I need to take. It is by far the hardest thing that I have faced so far (yes, the hardest) but I think that I need to face it. Ever since 2006 when we lost our girls I have allowed Leif to be my enabler. He has carried a huge portion of our load in life. I have leaned on him and ultimately lost my confidence in a lot of things. I think Father in Heaven is giving me an opportunity to find myself again and regain my inner strength. I pray that I will succeed. My natural instinct is to shrink back and beg to find a way for us to come with him.  But I think it would be a big mistake.

Someone, please remind me of this post over and over again throughout this upcoming journey. I am truly terrified. If I think too deeply and start making lists of the reasons for my fear I am too overwhelmed to move forward. So I won't do that. This will be an amazing journey. A defining moment in our life together as a family. I know I don't have to ask, but I will anyway, please pray for us and All will be well!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ready or Not... It's Official

Leif has been accepted to Northern Arizona University's Accelerated Nursing Program. He will start on May 14th and he will live in Flagstaff for the year of his schooling. We will live here.  Leif deserves a round of sincere Congratulations. And I need a few sincere prayers. So: CONGRATULATIONS My Love!  I knew there was little chance that you wouldn't be accepted. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the reality though...

We knew the letter would be in the mail any day. So when Leif called to tell me it had come I wasn't surprised. But my first reaction was an overwhelming nervous spell, tears, and the words "I don't think I'm ready yet..."

He brought it home and we read it out loud over Leif's favorite meal: Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. How appropriate. Jakob was curious about what the letter was and Leif told him he would be starting school again (we haven't told him yet that Leif is Leaving to school). Jakob moaned and frowned and I mummbled "you have No idea." The thought of Leif leaving is mind boggling. In fact, I don't even want to talk about it any more tonight. I'm sure it will be a frequent topic here on the blog as I try to prepare. So I'll say good night for now and try to let my amazing Hubby know how Very Proud I am of him!!  This acceptance is no small thing!

Foto Friday November


JAKOB'S TRIP TO NEW MEXICO WITH G&G BARON (Uncle Ian and Family, White Sands Missile Range Museum)



Friday, February 17, 2012

Quite the Valentines Day - Not What I Expected!

We had quite the Valentines Day this year. It wasn't at all what we had expected. But we survived!
We woke up to a deep beautiful blanket of snow. I felt bad that Leif had to take Jakob out in it to get to school. But I was sure grateful I had not plans to go out.... So I thought.

I got a phone call around 10:30 in the morning. Luckily I had finished showering and getting myself and the kids somewhat ready for the day. Because the phone call was Jakob's school nurse. She said that Jakob had gotten dizzy during class and collapsed to the floor. Of course I was shocked and somewhat panicked. My first question to the nurse was whether Jakob had gotten hurt somehow. He has a low pain tolerance and it's not uncommon for him to get lightheaded and sick if he gets hurt. She said that wasn't the case this time. There was no explanation. At that point I remembered the bump/swollen lymph node on Jakob's neck that had come up on Sunday. With that thought I worried that we might be dealing with something bad. Either way I was trying desperately to get to Jakob and take him to the ER. But "quickly" wasn't on the agenda I guess.

First, my phone wouldn't work. It's had a mind of it's own lately and has a drastic delay sometimes when I push buttons. I was trying to get hold of a friend to watch JJ and Caleb for me. Instead, after what seemed like an eternity of trying, my phone decided to call my Dad. Unfortunately he got my frustration when he answered and I was cussing my phone and told him I had an emergency and would call him later. Finally, after I hung up with my dad my phone decided to listen to MY commands. I tried a friend and she was on her way out to go sledding. No worries, luckily I have more then one friend.:) I was able to got a hold another friend and she graciously agreed to take my boys even though she had a full house.

I was finally able to get the boys out the door only to realize that I had a long flight of stairs to carry my little boys down with several inches of snow piled high. And I didn't really wear the right shoes. Duh! But I wasn't about to go back and change. So I headed down with a prayer. The roads were slick and deep with snow. Of All Days! 

Gratefully we made it to the school and I ran in to get Jakob. I was going to call in the car and ask the nurse to carry him out for me so I didn't have to leave the boys in the car. Of course I forgot the paper with her phone number. So I ran in with another prayer that my Little ones would be safe. Poor Jakob looked weak and pale when I walked in to the nurses office. This was all so strange... Jakob was especially upset when I told him that we would be going to the hospital. It took me a minute to figure out why he was so upset. But I put two and two together that he was afraid he would miss his Valentines Party. Of Course! That's definitely our biggest concern, NOT! That's what I thought anyway. But I lovingly assured him that we would most likely make it back in time.

In between all of this Leif was working on rescheduling appointments so he could meet me at the hospital. I put Jakob in the car and headed toward my friend's house to drop the boys off. I was afraid I would get stuck while driving around her little neighborhood that's made with dirt roads. But luckily they had taken care of them. Again, an answered prayer.

FINALLY, we were on the road to the hospital to find out why in the world Jakob had a really swollen lymph node and had nearly fainted.  We live in a small town. So our ER is just an extension of our regular Doctor's clinic. So when we got there our Dr. came in to see what was wrong. After talking with Jakob and getting the full story: he was walking to his teacher's desk at her request and he started to feel dizzy. He told his teacher and she told him to go the garbage can. While on his way he started to feel weak and went to lay down but his legs gave out before he got to the floor. The doctor asked for a few blood tests. We knew this would be the hard part for Jakob. Leif helped Jakob play a game on his phone and the nurses did a great job getting what they needed and quick. Jakob handled it well. Even if we almost had to use the barf bag.

The test results came back quickly and were not what any of us expected. From his symptoms we suspected that he would have low blood sugar and high white blood cell (hypoglycemia and an infection.) He actually had high glucose (130) and low white blood cells overall. Strange!

So with no real clear answers and an appointment to recheck his blood in a week, we left the hospital. I was frustrated and felt like more needed to be done. But it was out of my hands at the moment. And besides, Jakob had a Valentines Party to get to;) So, I went to pick up the boys, went home and made corn dogs for everyone and took them back to the car for them to eat (I had left them in the car), and took Jakob back to school. This time I took the little boys into the school with me. As I walked in I remembered that we had a Speech Therapy appointment for Caleb scheduled for 1:00. It was 12:00. Seriously!? I was not coming back! Luckily the teacher just met with us then, bless her heart! At 1:00 we were finally on our way home for good. My dear friend agreed to pick up Jakob from school so I wouldn't have to go out again that day.

As we climbed the stairs to the front door we were all exhausted, my pants were soaked up to my knees, my shoes were sopping wet, and I was starving! I opened the front door and set JJ down to walk. He took a step and promptly tripped! I picked him up to find blood running out of his mouth. LOVELY! I couldn't believe it!  I couldn't see the cut but eventually the bleeding stopped. JJ's lip was starting to swell. But like I said, we were exhausted. So we all laid down for a nap. I was so glad JJ slept. However, he woke up really mad! He insisted on being held. Well, I set him on the couch so I could turn on a movie. He threw himself off of the couch, I reached to catch him, and smacked his mouth instead. Unbelievable! The blood came harder this time and JJ was not happy. I was at my whits end! Yes folks, Leif and I met once again for a Valentines date at the ER. They had the proper lighting and the bleeding had stopped. So it didn't take long to see that they couldn't do anything for him. But WOW! What a day!!

We got home in time to eat and get ready for bed. Sweet Grandma Baron dropped in just before bed to deliver her traditional Valentines cards. We were so worn out and somewhat traumatized by the surprise and stress of the days events her visit was a nice distraction.

Jakob went to bed with a low grade fever. He woke up feeling fine and his lymph node gradually decreased in size and is no longer noticeable. JJ healed quickly and is fine.

So this ends the very long version of an even longer Valentines Day. Thank you to everyone who helped us get through it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Leif and I get to run away together this weekend. I gave him Jazz tickets for this weekend's game for Christmas (yes I thought of Valentines day when I planned it.;) I can't wait! To make it even better, he bought me Anita Stansfield's new book Passage on the Titanic and has agreed to read it with/to me over the weekend. I so Love this man! The book is going to be a great read for sure!! It's about the titanic and includes the LDS woman who was on the titanic the day it sunk. Action - Love - and History! Can't get much better then that! Here's the YouTube trailor for the book:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hubby Post- Amazing Jakob Quote

We've been meaning to write some fun quotes of our children.  We just forget to, then we forget what they are.  I'll write some as I remember them.

We asked Jakob how a surprise school bus ride was..."It was violent and they didn't have seat belts."  ... Parents standing with mouth wide open!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Moving Forward Behind the Scenes

I haven't written much lately about life behind the scenes. You've probably gathered that Leif and I kinda like each other from the last two posts;)  But other then that, I'll take a minute and ramble about life and it's vicissitudes.

We're anxiously awaiting a letter from NAU letting us know our future (Nursing program this year or not.) We should know by mid March at the latest and next week at the earliest. Until then we're sitting on our tax return until we know whether it will go to a mini van or tuition.  Ahhh, the joys!

The Day Spa has been slow during the winter which is a major bummer! It makes us even more grateful that Leif is an EMT and is able to earn some money by helping those in need.

I've struggled for the last while with more fatigue then I've had in a long time. That's another reason I haven't written. I've basically kept things afloat and read. I finally went in to the doctor and overwhelmed him once again with all of my health frustrations. Along with taking a bunch of blood tests (as usual)  he gave me a medicine to help my energy level and food cravings. If you know me at all you know that I've tried the lifestyle of "All Natural" with no medications and I've tried medications when needed. Well, I'm convinced once again that some medications were invented just for me, and I am eternally grateful for them!  Last week I switched from Paxil to Lexapro and I think I like the difference. I take Ambien to help me sleep during the week that "aunt flow" visits (dang insomnia!) and now I take Phentermine once or twice a day depending on the need. Phentermine has brought me back to life and I only had a tiny square of a surprise Amberlyn chocolate bar tonight from Leif and I was content to leave the rest for another time (a MIRACLE!)  I pray that it continues to help me as time goes on!!

I know that most of you don't care at all what meds I take. But I never know who's reading my blog and if what's going on in my life just might be the answer to someone's prayers. So bear with me.

Jakob is doing really well at school! I'm so glad. He's progressed leaps and bounds with his reading and I am sooo pleased! There have been so many good reasons for putting him into school. I'm really glad we did. He has a few issues going on during recess with a few kids. But hopefully we can all work it out, or even better, he will work it out. I'm trying really hard to stand back and let him grow and take care of himself without interfering or ignoring too much. It's a delicate balance.

Jakob asked to bear his testimony during Fast and Testimony meeting this past week. He didn't want to say anything. He just wanted to read his favorite scripture. It was a Priceless moment. His favorite scripture fits him so well it's one of those "meant to be" things. The scripture is 1 Nephi 17:15 "Wherefore, I, Nephi did strive to keep the commandments of the Lord, and I did exhort my brethren to faithfulness and diligence."  Simple, but so like my Jakob.

Oh my sweet precious Caleb! If you know Caleb at all right now you know that he loves to give hugs and he wears his emotions on his sleeve (just like his Mama.) It is a common thing to hear Caleb tell you that he loves you. It is also common to hear him say that he doesn't like JJ or his kitty. He will tell you if he's afraid. And you will know if he is Mad! We are working on helping him with his temper. He can clear a table with his arm before you know what's happening. Then he will run somewhere to be alone. We're trying to help him skip the destruction/aggression part and move right to the moment alone part. So fun... Not!

Caleb's doing really well with potty training. I am so so grateful that it has never been a fight, so grateful! Caleb has also progressed drastically with his speech! We are thrilled. It was determined that he does need speech therapy but he was only on the lower end of the average range. So that was comforting. We went through hours of testing with him. Luckily it was more like hours of games with him. So he handled it well. It was most beneficial for Leif and I because it helped us see all of his many strengths and how they outweigh his weaknesses. We're really grateful for the help that we were given with him.

When Jakob was three+ years old he insisted on being rocked before bed (by Mama.) Caleb suddenly started doing the same thing. I admit that it's a sweet moment together right before bed. Even if I am Exhausted! Tonight he wanted to sing the ABC's as I held him. So Sweet!

Ahh My JJ. He's growing up SO FAST! Faster then any of my other kids. Having two older brothers to keep up with will do that. Luckily for me this past month JJ's hit a snuggling stage. He'll often come to me when I'm reading, or at the computer, or anywhere really, and lay his head up against my knee and snuggle me. Of course then I will pick him up and give him loves. Who could resist!?

JJ Loves to sing!! He loves to sing with Leif. He has since he was very young. This Sunday we had people looking back at us during Sacrament meeting because JJ was babbling right along to the Hymns in full voice. It's amazing!

So far JJ says with understanding: Papa, bye-bye, please (peas), thank you (tank you), ba ba (drink), and MMM (food). He shakes his head no and yes and he is a GIANT tease, to a fault! If I say no, he will race to finish doing what he's not supposed to. If I say come, he will run away. He loves to tease his brothers as well. Lovely!  But oh his laugh is like music to my ears! And he loves to laugh!!

My precious family! All I need to do is write an update like this every once in a while to reflect and remember all that I have been blessed with. So very blessed!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Hubby Post - Role Reversals - To All You Mothers Out There

Hello Everyone!

Today Lena took Jakob to school while I stayed home with the 2 younger ones.  As she was leaving I joked saying "have a good day at the Spa (my work) I'll blog for you!"

First off, I KNOW Lena's day is much more than blogging.  I was just teasing.  But it did get me thinking...

This is for Lena and all the mothers like her.

This is for those...
  • whose morning may begin several times between 10pm and 7am.
  • who may be expected to clean up throw-up and worse several times a night.
  • who when morning comes is expected to dress, cleanup, feed multiple others before even taking a chance to use the restroom or brush her own teeth.
  • who after a long night, gather her multiple children around her and say goodbye to a husband for 8 or more hours.
  • who days consist of "clean up, change diaper, feed, clean up, entertain, clean up, feed, clean up, comfort, pray for patience, clean up, entertain, change diaper, clean up, feed, clean up, pray for patience..."
  • whose rare nap is broken up by "the child struggling to fall asleep, the child calling for snack, the phone ringing, the child who wakes up early, and the child that gets woke up early."
  • who yearns for there husbands to get home from work, only to remember he has "scouts, elders quorum, fire meeting, or EMT meeting" that he has to go to almost immediately after getting home.
  • who works hard to prepare healthy meals only to have children or even husbands want something else for dinner.
  • who seems to do laundry all day and then your children can't find any cloths in the morning for school.
  • whose most beautiful home decorations are stored indefinitely  for safety and whose most beautiful cloths are either from years bygone, or simply don't fit after that 3rd child.
  • whose most relaxing time during the day is when they are listening to "diego, bob the builder,..." in the background.
  • whose priority list is sometimes decided by their nose. (what stinks the worse...the diaper, the dirty dishes, dirty cloths, or garbage.)
  • who have to think hard about the last time they have done some of their favorite hobbies.
  • who look at a finished day and say..."well, I survived another one...too bad about the house though."
  • who have to put on a nice compassionate smile as her hubby tells her about the hard day at work and he wants to lay down for a few minutes.
  • who has a husband that occasionally surprises her with a date night, but includes a movie HE wants to see and food HE really enjoys.
  • who has a husband that complains there is no money, but then goes and buys _____ ...
  • who has a husband that is working hard to build a good income for the family so they will eventually have more time together, but is gone seemingly ALL the time now.
  • who wait with great anticipation for quiet time with your husband after the kids go to bed only to find out their favorite team has a game that night.
  • that have created the most beautiful children.
  • who put up with husbands like us...

To Lena and all those wonderful Mothers and Wives.

Love you Honey!
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