Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Feeling So Blessed!

I have still been incredibly tired and not feeling well this week. But I can't help but see many blessings every day and on the horizon. I have been able to take my Little's (Caleb and JJ) to the library and to run a few errands. I have also had two days in a row where Caleb has agreed to nap, which means I have been able to nap. These little things feel very big right now.

Leif also found out that there will be enough Federal Student Aid offered to him this Fall and Spring to cover his tuition! We weren't sure if there would be any offered to him. So this is a huge blessing.

Perhaps the biggest blessing to surface for me personally is actually something that I can't discuss right now on my blog because it has to do with someone else. But let's just say my year without Leif has just become a lot less lonely and overwhelming. Thank you Dear Father!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Family is Love

Tonight I sat down to rest in my favorite rocking chair and watched a precious scene unfold before me. It probably wouldn't be anything grand or special in another person's eyes. But it was priceless to me.

Try to picture this because I chose not to take a picture in fear that I would break the spell. Jakob was sitting in the baby highchair, tray and all, giggling away. Leif was standing behind Jakob with hair clippers in hand, cutting Jakob's hair. Jakob was making a pile of his hair insisting on putting it in a baggy labeled "Jakob's Hair 2012 - 7 Years Old." All the while Caleb was sitting in his Bob the Builder undies on a chair facing the white board drawing a huge "who knows what" on the board, enjoying every moment of his freedom. JJ was sitting on my lap drawing on the MagnetiDoodle Pad.

To add to an already great night I found myself laying on my bed once again trying to sneak in a little rest only to quickly be surrounded by my precious boys. Jakob is a boy after my own heart and he asked for ice cream as our Family Home Evening dessert. So without much fuss we dished up ice cream and ate it together while listening to samples of Veggies Tales songs off of Amazon. Such a sweet simple moment. That led us directly into bedtime scripture study and I chose the scripture to read. I chose the verse from Luke in the bible "For with God nothing is impossible." Jakob climbed up into my lap after prayers and asked for "Snuggle Time." I held him and sang my song to him, Blue Skies. I got interrupted just before the end phrase. He finished it for me.:) All together the evening clearly illustrated the truth that, to me, my Family is Love.    

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Time to Gather a Few Thoughts: Preparing - Chronic Epstein Barr Virus - Bully - Growing Up

WRITTEN Tuesday March 20, 2012
So much is happening in our life. Every day a list of things come and go, and some things stay the same. Today Leif walked in from work and he had "the look" in his eyes. Kind of an eyes glazed over- brain overfloweth - kind of look.  There is just so much to do in the moment and for the future... Maybe that's what has kept me away from the blog ever since we found out for sure Leif will be leaving for Flagstaff. There is so much that even I can't find the words to make it make sense. And blogging usually helps me with that sort of thing. So let's see how I can get as much information in this post in as little time as possible. I guess I'll just have to go by name. Not creative, but hey it works.

Leif is wrapping up the sale of his business (Desert Spring's Day Spa) to one of the therapists who work with him. We're very grateful for the ease of this transition and the huge blessing that it will be for us. There's a lot to do to make things official as well as keeping the every day business going. He will officially turn over ownership on April 1st and work as an independent contractor through April. Leif is still working with the EMT's and trying to support the Fire Department in between it all. Not to mention all that he does to help me. I have a huge list of "Honey-Do's" for him to check off before his departure in May. Along with all of this Leif's trying to find housing for the year in Flagstaff and working on all of the paperwork and medical checkups and immunizations required before he starts the nursing program. And don't forget taxes... Seriously, I don't know how he does it!?

Me? Well... Let's see... I have been down with a terrible flare up for just over a week. I was finally able to run a couple of errands and get half of my house cleaned up today. So that shows me that I'm getting better. It was very hard for me not only physically to be down this time, but harder emotionally, because I have Leif's departure staring me in the face. I admit that I did break down this week. In fact, I have cried more in the last few weeks then in the last several years combined. But let's not get too deep into those details. I will just say that I came face to face with my fears as well as my faith and I will choose faith. I have absolutely no idea exactly how I am going to face the day to day grind when Leif is gone. But I know I WILL get through it. I know... I just don't know how. And for someone who is a planner and an analyzer, that much unknown is extremely difficult. I am grateful for the sure knowledge that I have that after all that I can do, He will make up the rest. Thank you Dear Father!

On the health front this flare up was a tough one. But luckily it hasn't lasted very long. The symptoms are very similar to a bad case of Strep Throat. I get this certain flare up a few times a year, more or less. But every time I get a Strep test it's negative. So I don't go every time anymore. A while back they started testing me for Mono. That was negative as well. But the Epstein Barr Virus is always flagged high. Some doctors don't look at that as a factor because everyone has that virus' antibodies as an adult. But this flare up I went to a different doctor and he told me he thinks I have a chronic case of Epstein Barr Virus. That just means that I get the symptoms of Mono as random flare ups. But without the contagious factor or the length of time that Mono lasts. It was nice to get a diagnosis even if it's not very good or anything that I can fix. I went to my regular doctor and he had a 3rd year med student working with him that day and she told me that the University of Utah has a special study or department for the Epstein Barr Virus. So my doctor is working on getting me a referral to see them. It will be an answer to many prayers if everything works out and I can get in to see a few specialist that can give me some answers.  Even if they say I'm a Hypochondriac I will just be happy that I finally had a few experts review my health history and give me their thoughts.

Jakob's doing well. He really enjoys school. Of course his favorite subject is recess:) As far as I can tell he is up to the average reading level for his grade and he is doing well in math. Jakob did have a boy who was bullying him during recess for a couple of months. We tried to help him from a distance in hopes that the boy would get the hint and leave Jakob alone. But when the boy started making threats and using more mean behavior  instead of annoying chasing we stepped in. We talked to the school administration and they handled it quickly and completely. The week that it all went down was a really hard week for me as a previous home school mom. It is hard to send my children out into the unknown. Bullying and death threats were on the top of the list of reasons we home schooled. But Jakob was almost oblivious to the malice...

(Leif taking over a couple days later)

Lena's tired.  That darn flare up is really getting her down at times.

Hmmmmm,   more children....O'yes....Caleb and JJ

Caleb is going through a not very fun stage.  It's only has lasted a several months so far.  I think it is the belated terrible twos that we all hear about.  With Jakob it wasn't until he was three, now I think is has caught Caleb.  Nothing to extreme, just a mixture of pure mischievousness and being absolutely cute.  Disobedience, fits and tantrums followed by the sweetest " Wuv you papa..."

This one has the same mixture but is more heavily weighted to the cute side.  He is almost always the cutest most adorable child you can think of, with only an occasional teasing streak.

Well that's about it....I guess I let Lena proof read it and post it.  Talk to you all later!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Thinking About the Future

I found the above quote on google and I could relate...

Someone told me today not to stress about Leif's one year absence from the family until it is here. In fact, I've heard it a few times. And every time it is said, the person advising me is right. I shouldn't stress about things that I fear will happen, but might not... But I still do. Every day is different. Some days it's just a passing thought here and there. Some days are terrible and I can't think of anything else. Some nights I crawl in bed and it's not on my mind. Other nights I soak Leif's shoulder with tears.

My biggest fears stem from my concerns about being alone during the Summer break with all of the kids at home.

We have also just finished up with a really hard week at the public school (more on that subject later) so I couldn't but but battle an internal struggle about home schooling next year. 

There is a lot to write about and, think through. But this is good enough for now. G'Night All!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Home School Month in Review February

February: Valentines Day, Moon Landings, Moon Phases, Similes, American Presidents, Ancient Egypt, Kindness, Determination, Love, Classic: Aesop’s Fables

Above are the subjects that I had planned before we put Jakob back into the Public School system. The following are the Home School activities that we carried out:

Valentines/Birthdays: We have a Scarecrow in our garden that we haven't been able to pull out of the ground. So we decided to decorate him in a Valentine costume with decorated paper plates. We also made Valentine and birthday cards for both grandmas and Jakob made a digital birthday card for grandpa Hunt. 

Math: BJU Press First Grade Math DVD
We have tried to stay caught up with this program on Jakob's Friday's and Saturday's. However, he is getting ahead of the program because of his schooling and his natural understanding of math concepts. So I will be skipping ahead past the Money and Addition/Subtraction to the Telling Time and other subjects. 

Gospel: We are still trying to get through our chapter book titled A Child's Story of the Book of Mormon. Everyone enjoys it when we are able to read. It's just hard to fit everything in. We do however read from our Devotional book every morning before Jakob goes to school. I love that it brings in the opportunity to read from the Bible every morning and then we read from the Book of Mormon each night before going to bed. Jakob also enjoys trying to read from the LDS Children's Hymn Book.
We also watched this documentary: The Fanny Crosby Story.
For Family Home Evening we all  love to watch Mormon Messages.

Reading: We read the little reader books from Jakob's school class. I am really happy with how much his reading has improved!

Turtle: The Incredible Journey

National Geographic: Super Chopper

The Planets: Different Worlds & Terra Firma

Landing on the Moon July 20, 1969

A Bear Named Winnie

Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Riddles of the Sphinx: NOVA

Titanica: IMAX

Secrets of the Dead: Lost Ships of Rome

The following are the subjects planned for the month of March. 

March: World War I and II, Idioms, Plants-Seeds-Trees, Individuality, Honesty, Ambition, St. Patrick's Day, Classic: The Arabian Nights: Their Best Known Tales

We don't do as much as I would like for Caleb's schooling. But I try to do something as often as possible. Even if it's just through Netflix.

Colors: Color Crew Along with trying to point out all of the colors around I have been impressed with the simplicity of this series. It is one of the first things that has helped colors click for Caleb.

Speech: Caleb's teacher sent home some flash cards that we could play games with at home. They are focased on the "K/C" sound. They must have helped because he did well yesterday at speech. In fact he did Really Well!

Foto Friday January

January was an eventful month. Jakob started First Grade in the public school and 
Caleb potty trained himself. YiipPeE!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sweet Tender Mercies of the Lord

What a special day it has been! Leif and I were able to meet a dear friend of mine (Heidi Potts Hamilton) and her husband in the St. George temple this morning to do temple work. Temple work is a precious experience in itself. But to be with a friend whom I have grown up with in the temple, and to see her happily married, and to know that we are still on the path to our Father in Heaven together was truly a tender mercy of the Lord for me today.

What is extra special about today is that it was filled with tender mercies. Father was letting me know that He is with me on my journey...  Some of you may have heard me lament the fact that 5 years ago I lost my precious set of scriptures that I used while serving my mission. They were filled with all of the names of the people whom I helped teach the gospel to and watched enter the waters of baptism. They were marked in brightly colored pencil illustrating my testimony of the Word of God. They were mine, and I have dearly missed them over the years.

I knew that they had been misplaced somewhere between our time living in St. George and our move back to Fredonia. In fact, I always figured that I had either left them at church one of the last Sundays in St. George or they were packed away in a box or cedar chest that hasn't been looked in since our move. But for some strange reason we have never gone back to look for them at the church. Well, today we got to St. George somewhat earlier then we thought we would and I knew that we would be driving past the church. So I randomly suggested that we go and take a look to see if they were still miraculously there in the library. I doubted that they would still be there after five years. But we hoped!

As I got out of the car Leif wished me luck and Caleb echoed him with a "good luck Mama!" I walked in to the church and luckily there was an activity going on so there were a lot of people there (more chance of finding someone with the right key to the right door.) In fact, the first person I talked to was that person. He took me to the library and pulled a big plastic bin out from under the shelf and set it on the counter. I lifted one set of scripture off of the top and was stunned to see my scriptures sitting right there like it had been yesterday that they were left there. I was almost brought to tears at the thought that Father in Heaven took the time to make sure they were taken care of until I took the time to come for them. I truly believe it was a tender mercy meant just for me at this time in my life. I needed the hug that I felt. As I flipped through the pages and looked through the names and the markings I felt a remembrance come back to me. These scriptures were like a close friend come home... So grateful to have them back! My sweet family let out a cheer when I walked out with them in my hand. It was so fun to share my joy with them.

Tonight Leif had an after-hours massage. So I was home with the boys. I decided to take the chance to watch a documentary on Netflix that I had put in the queue called Emergency Mine Rescue. It's about the 33 miners that were trapped in a collapsed mine for over two months. Most of you probably watched the story live on T.V. But we don't have television at our house. Internet and Netflix is our media source. So of course we knew about the story and were thrilled about the rescue. But this documentary was Outstanding!! Or rather, the story was outstanding! It was an incredible example of God's ability to produce miracles and the faith that sustained these men, their families, and the rescuers. What a great example for my boys! We loved it, even Caleb (3)! I considered it just one more tender mercy to close an already wonderful day! So grateful for all of the reminders that we are not alone today...
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