Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy.

~ Mother Teresa

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sad to say goodbye...

Emma woke up on tuesday to her hamster Shadow acting very strange. Within a couple of hours Shadow was gone. Shadow was Emmalee's first pet all her own. She took VERY good care of her! There was only once or twice she went any longer than a week without cleaning Shadow's cage. Shadow was a beloved part of our family. We will miss you Shadow!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Grandma Kettle's and Grandpa Pa's Farm

Last weekend we went out to see my cousin's baby get blessed and we took our trailer and camped on the farm. The kids loved the little bit of exploring we did after church. I have TONS of REALLY CUTE PICTURES but after a week of trying to get blogger to let me add them I am left with just these ones... and a sad heart. All the photos make me smile! grr!

I loved my grandpa's farm. There is such a serenity there... and even though my uncle owns it now and my cousin lives in my grandma's house and has changed it so much, it doesn't change my memories or my love of the familiar sights and smells and walks down memory lane.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Coming out of the dark?

I have been thinking a lot lately about my life... and about the last phases of my life. I have felt very lost and numb and alone. I didn't know that was how I was feeling... I was just feeling it.

As things have come to a close the last few weeks... I have had many "cleaning out of the closets" of skeletons that have haunted me. Poor Jess has dealt with a lot. And he has chased his own demons per se as well. We both have really felt distant and far away from reality. We have avoided friends and family as we tried to make sense of it all. And we have been down, grumpy and tried to always put on a happy face when we were strong enough to do it.

And looking back I realize it is depression.

Now... what in the world would we have to be depressed about? What would I have to be depressed about? Huh. Well most of the online info on heart patients I have read states that depression follows surgery and such. Maybe? And that the family and caregivers struggle too. Or maybe it has been the decline of income to the point of almost loosing our home? Maybe? Or maybe it has been the mess that has occurred with our taxes to make us in debt to the IRS - which that alone is frightening! And let's not even go into the chaos of the American Democracy and government! I wonder... could those have something to do with it?

But mostly I wonder if it isn't Satan standing beside us whispering in our ears that it is too hard, we are too weak, we can't do it anymore... etc etc etc.

I tend to believe it is all of the above. And yet... I found some hope. I found a path back. I found "ME" again! Or at least I hope I have...

I have been reading my journals from the last few years in our old house. WOW! I was so strong then! I had such faith. I had such hope. I poured out my heart and soul and found solace in my journal back then.

I am so humbled to have found my journal; to have searched for the info for my post about our 3rd anniversary in the house - it has blessed my heart, my soul and given me some serious direction... I need my journal!

I think we are commanded to write in our journals for our own welfare! I feel such strength from looking at where we have been to wonder why I am allowing myself to wallow in this now?

I have not written in my journal for over 4 months... and the time before that it was 5+ months. I have thought that my blog was enough.

I know now it is not.

It is fun! I love to blog and share and see my "scrapbook", if you will, come to view, but I don't share it all with the blogging world. I have not published some the darker posts I have written, for fear of what someone might think of me and my attitude at times. How could I be so "ungrateful" for my life? I almost lost it! how could I even consider to not feel immense gratitude everyday for the chance to still be here? How wicked am I for allowing myself to even question such a gift?

*I* need the private thoughts, insights, feelings and strength from being honest with myself and "talking out" my emotions/feelings/trials/joys/etc! I need to sort it out on my own with myself. If that makes any sense... :P

I would like to write in my journal every Sunday (at least) from now on. I need the written proof that we are progressing and growing and becoming better for these paths we tread now.

I am so thankful for my knowledge to write and read and journal.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We ran away last Friday...

We really have been missing all the best friends in our family... so we pulled Cam out of school (hokey at 7! :0 I am such a naughty mom! *grin*) and the boys and I hit the road! We met one of our favorite families in Delta... about half way between our houses!

We converged on the McDonald's playland and stayed for a few hours...

We ate... we talked... we laughed....

We ate.... *grin*

Oh! And we drank....

But most of all we played! We played with our bestest friends!

These two especially needed this time together... it's hard to loose the chance to have your best friend 2 doors down at age 7 man!

Where has the time gone?? This little princess is SO big!! :(

Ahh... and of course these two really needed this time together as well!

Laughter, Smiles and Fun...

I don't think any one of them would be upset if we did it again!

I think even for the little ones the drive was worth the trip!

Hey Momma! I want some ice cream too!

OOOO.... what in the world is that??? That is cold!!! LOL
We are plotting another rendezvous... Good friends are always worth the effort! ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

3 years ago today...

We moved into our brand new home!

I can't believe it has been 3 years! This move forever changed our family's lives...

I don't know if many of you know, but our last home, which was our 1st home, made our family sick. Very sick. It was a lovely older home in American Fork. We LOVED it! It had a great covered front porch with a swing! It had original wood floors and was completely re-done inside. It was LOVELY! And cozy! And well... it was home!

The problem was... the kids started getting sick... a lot! Emma was the 1st. She started with a cold the weekend of my only sister's wedding and within hours of the ceremony we had to have her admitted to the hospital because she was turning blue and couldn't breathe! So the flower girl was not there and the Matron Of Honor was torn between two places she really needed to be! LOL It was a mess!
In the months and years that followed we had kids admitted to the hospital over and over and over again. Asthma turned into pneumonia. Collapsed lungs. Every cold, flu, cat or hairy dog would trigger a endless array of breathing treatments, steriods, Dr. visits and hospitalizations. All in all between the 3 older kids they have been admitted to the hospital and stayed more than 3 days over 15 times.
Shortly after Cam was born we had one 14 day period where we had BOTH Emma and Cody in the hospital at once! They were so little that they shared the top of the bed while baby Cameron and I snuggled at the bottom of the bed at night, while Jess worked hard trying to keep things going at home and at work. Those were some really dark times for our family. We felt as though we walked on egg shells, never knowing what would set them off this time. Cam was only 9 months old when he started his bi-monthly hospitilaztions... and there were many visits when his lungs would collapse and we would wonder if this was his time to go home to our Heavenly Father or if he would pull through. Many times his only saving grace were priesthood blessings. It was one of my hardest trials. As the mom, you just want to be able to fix it for your kids... and there was nothing I could do but pray and pray and pray!
During this same time frame, Jestin was laid off multiple times - we are talking 11 months out of 20 with 4 different jobs in between. It was post 9/11 and the economy was bad for electricians. He worked handyman jobs, odd jobs and we even sold almost all we owned in multiple yard sales to make ends meet and to pay for the crushing medical bills. But we always paid our tithing, and our fast offerings, and somehow we made all the payments. Somehow they were never late. Somehow we made it through.... but only with our faith and God's help.
After about a year of the kids in and out of the hospital, we noticed some strange substance on the kids bedroom wall. It was black mold. When we tore out the sheetrock we found there had been a hole in the foundation which the people who re-modeled it (flipped it) filled with bathtub chalk. It was bad. Add that to the fact we learned that our home used to be a meth house and we were 2 for 2! We had to stay because of our financial situation and felt so trapped and uncertain!
For months we prayed and fasted and prayed and fasted. We HAD to move! Our kids lives were on the line! After another year and half it finally worked out and after looking at over 100 exisiting homes we realized our only safe option was to build.
Thank heavens for our new home!! Our children's health has improved by leaps and bounds! Cam has only been hospitalized ONCE since we moved here! Emma still gets pneumonia often, but we can manage it at home and Cody's asthma is almost non-existant! Our greatest blessing is that Caleb has no signs of lung damage. He survived his 12 months in that home with no adverse effects!
It was SUCH an exciting time for us to be building! We moved into an apartment while it was being built and EVERYDAY we came to check on the progress!! It was so fun!!
Our first night owning the new house - the night before we moved in - we ate dinner on the kitchen floor. We ordered Pizza and laughed and talked and could barely sleep that night! We had a new, clean, safe place to bring our babies!
We love our new home! We love our neighborhood and neighbors. We are so thankful for miracles such as these in our life! We know this home was an answer to earnest prayers... and we thank our Heavenly Father everyday for this gift!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Finding Joy in the Journey...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Spewage Removal

My apologies for anyone who read my "spewage" post tonight. I really needed to get some uglies out and thought I would feel better blogging about them. I was wrong. It didn't feel good to leave it here.

So I need to post some GOOD. I need the good tonight... :)

* My heart has only been "naughty" to me twice this in the last month. That is HUGE.
* My calling is coming together! I love my new assistant! We have some great plans to bless some families when they are ready to receive what we have to give. Emergency Preparedness is all about giving peace to others. I am really excited about it.
* Cody was messaging with my sister telling her we have done very little "big stuff" for home school. I am thankful to know that my teaching methods are natural to receive. He has learned a TON the last few weeks with canning, finance and business management. Science, math, chemistry, home ec... what more could a boy want? LOL. Apparently tomorrow we need some worksheet work. *giggle*
* Caleb has been so naughty lately I felt at my wits end with him - until tonight. He did something good... and I got on his level... eye to eye... and thanked him and gave him a hug... he was SO GOOD the rest of the day! He was LOOKING for ways to please me. I need to be better at showing affection, acknowledgement and appreciation.
* Cameron and I did his homework tonight together. He is the spotlight tomorrow and we made a book all about him. It was a lot of fun.
* Emmalee had her first crash on the skateboard she saved her money for. I am so thankful it was only a skinned up knee. So thankful!
* Sadie (our adopted yorkie) was actually well behaved today.
* I bought the kids some of their favorite cereal today. They were all really excited.
* I got to spend a few minutes alone being just a friend with a dear friend today that never has time to herself, let alone time for friends.
* My sweetheart and I snuggled up on our bed and watched our favorite TV show together tonight. It was nice to be near his warmth and presence.

Life is good. I am blessed. I need not fear or worry or stress. FAITH NOT FEAR! Gratitude brings forth the blessing from heaven!