Thursday, December 31, 2009

Call to Action

Many have heard of the Health Care Reform Bill. Do you know what's in it? The bill is supposed to make health care affordable to all US citizens. From the research I have done, this is not the case. What this bill really does is chip away at our precious constitutional freedoms. It also chips away at our pocketbook. Mark Shurtleff, Utah Attorney General, and 9 other State Attorney Generals are working together to check in to the legality and constitutionality of this bill. We often say to ourselves, "what can I do?" What we can do is make our voices heard. History shows us that citizens must stand up and fight. We can no longer just stand back and hope that our elected leaders will do the right thing. Those elected leaders that are voting "for the people" need to be supported. Bob Bennett has a petition to help stop the Health Care Reform bill. Find out for yourself what is in this bill and others. Decide for yourself if what is being passed is good for our country. Does it support our constitution? If you feel inclined, sign the petition and think about becoming a delegate for your state.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Planning for a new year

This coming year, I am hoping to fulfill three main goals, maybe four, I'm still thinking about exactly what I want these goals to be. There is one goal, a family one, that Brent and I are already working on. It is to strengthen our home by doing things that allow the Spirit to be in our home as often as possible. We have already seen a huge change happening. I recently learned of the Peck family. They live in Tooele Utah and hosted two teens from the UK for a show called, "The World's Strictest Parents." (warning, BBC does not edit swearing and such in this video). I was quite impressed by the Peck family and wanted to learn more about them and their parenting style. I found out that Nicholeen Peck has a website, Teaching Self Government, and recently came out with a book called, "A House United, Teaching Self Government." I am still learning how to implement self government in our home, but already it is making a huge impact on our family. We had an appointment set to take one of our sons to see a sought out child phsychiatrist (or is it psychologist?). We set this appointment months ago but don't feel the need for it any longer. Our home has a great deal less stress going on and my children are learning to work together and get along with each other. I have tried many systems of discipline, some have put me on the right path, this one seems to combine the best of many programs.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


It was a lovely Christmas. Mckenna was the most fun. Her shocked little face and the stuff that came out of her mouth like, "so pretty," "oh my gosh," "it's my princess." Mailaya telling me quietly that her favorite gift was the treasure chest that Kellie got for her. Kellie enjoying every moment of the other kids opening the gifts that she spent so much time thinking up for them. All of the kids really tried to find gifts that the others would find so special. Connor anticipating all month for me to open my gift from him so I could add it to my Christmas village. Jacob trading in his sugar candy for sugar free. It really was wonderful. I walked past Karlyn's bed last night and watched her little face while she was sleeping. So perfect and peaceful. I am so blessed.
I can remember so clearly the Christmases without children. We tried very hard to find the perfect gifts for my brother and our neices and nephews. It was fun, but there was a hole in our hearts that has now been filled with having children. Parenting can be very difficult at times. There are so many ups and downs. Sometimes I wonder about my kids. Are they going to be happy? Are they going to be active in the church as they get older? Are they going to want to be around? I hope it is yes to all three questions.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

One more calendar page!

I have to post one more page. It's one of my favorites.

I FINISHED the calendar!!!

I had until midnight yesterday to finish the calendar. I finished just under that, PHEW!!! Brent and I are keeping it simple for each other this year. I wanted to make sure that I did something special for him. He is always so thoughtful of me. Last week, I forgot about our anniversary. He came home with roses and a wonderful gift and I still didn't realize it was our anniversary (embarrased laugh).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My family

I LOVE digital scrapbooking. It is so rewarding to see such instant results when you put a page together. I am making a calendar for dh for Christmas. Here's the March page.


Last night, while eating dinner, I asked my two year old, Mckenna, "who made you so cute?" She said, "daddy." It's true, she looks like her gramma Pat and her daddy.

I am so thankful...

...for so many things. I have a beautiful family. A husband who loves me unconditionally. Six beautiful, healthy children. A mind that is tired but functioning well. A body that does all that I ask of it. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Through the power of the atonement I can be forgiven of all I do wrong. I know my prayers are heard and answered. I am able to do things that I enjoy and get through things that I don't enjoy. I have a wonderful life!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Spelling help

There was a discussion on one of the homeschool groups about a good spelling curriculum. I have a good curriculum, but found this website to be fabulous for learning the words. You plug in the spelling words and your child can play games or test.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Wink

The pictures say it all!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Was Speechless...

...which doesn't happen often. I think I mentioned before that I am homeschooling this year. For the most part, it is turning out to be a good thing. My kids are quite social so I have tried to make sure that we attend as many homeschool fieldtrips and activities as possible. I signed my kids up for a group called, Destination Imagination. It's a great program that the kids seem to really enjoy. Friday was our first time with the DI group. I was with Mailaya's group - 3-6 yr olds. Each child was sharing something about themselves. One child brought a cute doll, another told about her dog, one had a piece of silky cloth... Then it was Mailaya's turn. If you haven't met Mailaya, she has a very deep, low voice. She loves people but can seem stand offish when she is uncomfortable. She was pretty uncomfortable at this point of the day. She hadn't made a friend yet and I could just tell it wasn't going well for her. She couldn't think of anythign to say about herself and I prompted her asking what her favorite movie was. She said, "Lord of the Rings." Silence filled the room. Even the adult leader was quiet. Then the leader asked if anyone else had seen the move, no one had (these are young kids). She then asked Mailaya who her favorite character in the movie was, "Legolas." "He's easy on the eyes,"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

They DO listen!

So I was talking to my dh the other day. I mentioned that the next time someone asks if ALL of these children were mine, I was going to say, "Yes, and there are 5 different fathers." My kids had a field trip today and we had to buy some lunch before that. The checker was really giving me the once over and then asked if they were all mine. I said, "yes," and Connor said, "are you going to tell her about the different fathers?" LOL!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcome, Karlyn Judy!

Karlyn was born September 17, 2009 at 8:30 p.m. She weighed 7lbs 10oz. The first thing out of moms mouth was, "she looks like Kenna!" Dad volunteered to cut the cord (can you believe it?) She cried with all of the nurses and would stop as soon as mom or dad held her. She's healthy and beautiful.

Birth Story

I'm gonna do this in two parts. This one will be about the birth story itself, the second will just be the birth stats and pics for those that don't want to read all the gory details.

My due date was approaching and my Dr. informed me that he would be on vacation on my due date. He told me that if I might want to schedule an induction in case I didn't have the baby before he left. I REALLY didn't want to be induced and so decided against it. My doc said he didn't want me to go more than a week over the due date so I should set up an appointment with the Dr. filling in for him while he was gone. I scheduled the appointment but didn't go in (sick kids and I myself wasn't feeling well). The due date came and went and nothing was happening as far as contractions. I let it go a couple of days and decided I better call the fill-in Dr. and schedule that induction. My new appt. was for Thursday, September 17th. I went in to the office thinking I would set up the induction for today, Monday, the 21st. That way I would have a little more time (hopefully go in to labor on my own) AND my regular doc would be back from vacation. All was going well, ultrasound looked good, plenty of amniotic fluid, and then the doc said we better do a non-stress test. That's just a fancy term for monitoring the baby's heart for a period of time. The doc came in and looked at the test and was worried about two places where the heart rate went down and didn't recover quickly. The rest of the test looked great, but he didn't want to take any risks. I didn't either. He scheduled me to go in the same day at 3:00 p.m. It was already 1:30 and I had no time to go home and get everything I needed. This is one of those moments where I couldn't believe I didn't listen to myself and gather up those needed items. Oh, well, Brent ran home and gathered them for me.

So, I went to the hospital, and, because of pre-registration, walked right in expecting to be taken right to a room. There were all types of miscommunications going on at this time. The room I was supposed to be in wasn't clean. As a matter of fact, the cleaning lady kept telling the desk that a patient was still in that room and she couldn't clean it. That's was okay for a while because I was hoping Brent would make it to the hospital before all of the action began. So I sat and waited, dh showed up and I started having contractions. We waited for at least and hour and I was escorted to my room. Of course I had to give a urine sample and get in to a large, gown. The nurse had to ask me all kinds of questions and it came up that I had 5 kids at home but that this was my second pregnancy. We started to really talk and she shared that her daughter was an adoptive parent. She then began telling us about her son-in-law and how she had set her dd and son-in-law up. Okay, so the cool part, I knew them. Her son-in-law was our family Dr. for a brief time. My dh talked to him about our adoptions because they didn't have any children and it came up. I knew of his wife from a China adoption list and was excited when they adopted two girls from China. It was so neat. Plus, I just really liked this nurse because she was so dang funny.

Well, it was shift change time and I was handed off to a new nurse (with the knowledge that this NEW nurse was good with handicapped adults). Yes, I was mentally challenged at this point when I could not get the IV tubing unwrapped from my body, LOL! During all of this, contractions were really moving along. I went from a 2 or so in the docs office to a 4 dilation. I was pretty much fully effaced. I asked my new nurse if I could just go on my own without the induction. She said it was the Dr.'s orders but she would just give me a whiff of it. Contractions were getting more intense and the Dr. decided to come in and break my water. I REALLY didn't want that. I was hoping to go without an epidural and that pretty much ruined it for me. The contractions were so hard and close that I could barely breathe through them. I got the epidural (why do they say not to jerk, it only makes it harder not to, LOL). I forgot to tell them not to give me a full dose of the epidural. All meds work on me fast and hard. The nurse said I would only have to go through a few more contractions. Well, how about I was completely numb almost as soon as the meds hit me. I also became quite slap happy. The nurse checked me and I was complete. We just had to wait for the Dr. to come in and deliver her. I told her that I hoped I wouldn't have to do much because I couldn't feel a thing from the waist down. She said, "why don't we do a practice push?" It worked out just fine. The room was set up and another great nurse came in. She told us to watch the doc because he had a pretty funny routine of putting on his gown and flicking it as he sits down, like a dress. As he was getting dressed, they decided to do another practice push. I did and they asked me to stop, the head could be seen and the nurse and Dr. were not quite ready. I only went through about 3 sets of pushing and she came right out. Apparently, the cord was really long and wrapped about her body. The doc said that might be why her heart rate went down for a bit. She was so beautiful, so worth the wait. Very pink and perfect. We love you Karlyn!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Okay, so I am STILL pregnant. What is up with that? Yes, this is the shortest blog post ever, but what is there left to say?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

French Bread and Meatball recipe

These are such good recipes. I have been asked to share them, so I will here. I'm including healthier options with the bread.

French Bread

1/2 C warm water
1 TBS sugar (or honey)
1 TBS yeast
1 C boiling water
2 TBS sugar (or honey)
2 TBS butter
2 tsp salt
1 C cold water
6-7 cups flour (white, wheat, spelt, kamut, combo of flours, try something new)

Combine the 1/2 c water, 1 TBS sugar and yeast in bowl (I use my Bosch mixer). Let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, boil 1 C water and turn off stove, add rest of sugar, butter and salt. Stir until butter melts and add cold water. Gradually add flour to make soft dough. Let stand for 10 minutes. Stir gently every 10 min. for 20 min. Turn onto lightly floured surface and divide into 3 portions. Roll in to bagette shapes and let rest for 40 min. Make slits in dough. Bake at 400 degress for 25 minutes.


1 egg
1/4 C milk
1/3 C dry bread crumbs (or crackers or oatmeal)
1 lb ground beef
2 TBS finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp Worcesthire sauce

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Shape in to 1 1/2" balls (I use a cookie dough shaper). Place in ungreased baking dish. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 20 min.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Healthier Living

A few years ago, I decided that my family needed to eat healthier. We did pretty good, but I wanted to do better. My mom had been on a diet (lifestyle change) that not only left her losing quite a bit of weight, but also feeling a great deal better. She was told that she had high cholesterol and needed to cut fats. Well, even before she changed her diet, she was always eating low fat foods. It turned out that taking away all of the fats in her diet was causing a huge problem for her. Good fats are necessary to absorb vitamins and maintain a healthy cholesterol. Lots of diets cut out needed protien and fats that also help keep your mood good and feed the brain.

I decided that we would just work on taking out of our diet the white flour and sugar. My husband had the hardest time with this. He does not like millet or oatmeal in the morning and the food tasted weird to him. I just decided to persist anyway. The kids were great about trying new things and really began to like the new way of eating. I figured I would start very simply with Brent. Saturday mornings were normally "pancake" days. I began substituting part wheat with white flour and trading out the sugar with ripe banana. That went over pretty well. I then changed that to several different whole grain flours and the banana. It took some time, but he was won over and even when he cooked pancakes, he made them my way.

Now to the present. We are doing pretty well with our lifestyle change. Some occasions are hard, but we have learned to make jut about everything whole grain and sugar free. Brent makes most of the desserts in the family and he has become really good at sugar free and whole grain recipes. The real test came recently. Mailaya had a birthday and really wanted to eat at IHOP. Brent had ordered a breakfast that had mostly meat and eggs and a couple of pancakes. I looked over and he had taken a couple of bites and that was it. I asked him if he was going to eat more and he said they tasted nasty to him, no flavor. SUCCESS!!! The kids ate his pancakes and all was well.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Happy Birthday!

Friday, Connor turned 11. Can you believe it? I sure can't. He's such a good boy. Connor has a tender heart, loves to tease, is quite literal and just a joy, most of the time. I have to tell a story about Connor. Saturday, Brent, Connor and I went to town. Brent had a bunch of change in a jar that we decided to cash in. The change machine stopped (needed to change the quarter bag) and so the bank president and a lady who worked there came to fix it. It was pretty fascinating seeing the inside of this machine and how the coins were separated. Well, the lady said that she hated changing the quarter bag because it weighed 30 ton. Connor said, "it does not!" She said something about how she meant that it was heavy. Connor proceeded to ask if she had ever lifted an elephant. She said no. He said, "an elephant weighs about 2 ton." It went on from there. That is Connor for you, so literal. The bank president got a kick out of him. He asked if Connor was a scout yet and that when he started working on the coin merit badge to come in and he would show Connor his huge foreign coin collection.

She's TOO smart for her own good

We have been trying to potty train Mckenna lately. Honestly, she could have potty trained 6 months or more ago, she just didn't want to. I had this brilliant idea, she loves princesses, if I get her princess underwear... So Saturday I bought her princess underwear (unwear to her). She was quite impressed and wanted to put them on immediately. I told her that princesses don't like to get all wet so she needs to potty in the big girl toilet. She did great, no accidents all day. Then we get to night time. I told her that she had to wear a diaper to bed and that if she could keep her diaper dry, she could wear underwear to bed. Kellie put the diaper on her but unfortunately left the underwear on her bed. She woke up yelling, "I clean, I clean." I realized that she had underwear on and it was dry. I then saw that her diaper was dry. "Great!" I thought. Then I noticed that her bed was soaking wet. I know exactly what she did. She removed her diaper so that it would remain dry, pottied in the bed and whala, woke up clean. The good news is that her diaper was dry this morning but I'm still not ready for unwear at night. LOL!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Can I afford to adopt?

I am a huge advocate of adoption. 4 of my kids are adopted and those adoptions have been the most miraculous blessings of my life. Often I hear the comment, "I can't afford to adopt." Sometimes it seems that adoption costs are insurmountable. The truth is, dh and I couldn't afford it either but somehow, there was always a way. I'm gonna' tell about one way that anyone can afford, adoption through DCFS. The first thing that usually comes to people's minds when they think of adopting through the state is the fear of bringing a child in to your home and having to give them back to the birth parent. I know that fear was high on my list. Even after attending the required foster parent classes I had that fear. Well, I've watched several friends decide to take the risk and try anyway. In every case, a child is eventually placed, permanently, with the family if that is what they want to do. Just this past week, an online adoption friend was placed with just such an infant. They will be able to finalize his adoption in about six months. This adoption will not cost them anything. They will also get help from the state for a while, this includes medicaid until he is 18 years old. Just something to think about if you are wanting to adopt but feel that you can't afford to.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This is my favorite way to teach fractions, play dough. It's simple and effective. I have the kids roll out shapes (circles are the easiest way to start) and have them make cuts. At first, I tell them how many sections to cut. So if I made one cut down the middle of the circle that would still be a 2 out of 2 pieces. Take one piece out and that is 1 out of 2 or 1/2. We do this with many sections until they get the hang of what a fraction really means. Once they get it, I tell them to make a fraction like 7/10 and see if they really understand. This is great for those hands on learners but for other learning styles as well.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today Mailaya turns 6 years old. I love my sweet Mailaya. She has a personality all her own. Dh and I met her when she was 9 months old. It was love at first sight. Imagine looking into the deepest, darkest, most sorrowful eyes. The sorrow soon turned to joy and she has been a joy ever since. She had a friend birthday party yesterday and all her best friends were there. She was very particular about what we would do at the party. She was upset because there were pencils and glue and such in the pinata. Her comment was, "pinatas are not for art supplies." Mailaya has a very deep, raspy voice so it really emphasizes what whe says. We love you Mailaya!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

If you have a little girl...'ve got to check out this site. I do a lot of sewing and cannot make little dresses and tutus for this price. Well, maybe with left overs. Cute fairy wings, wands, hairbows, crocheted hats. LOVE IT!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Special needs infant adoption

If you have a moment, check out the blog link, special needs infant adoption. Some children are difficult to find homes for because they are born with special needs. Sometimes those needs are due to drug or alcohol abuse of the birthmother. Sometimes it's a genetic disease and other times it might be a physical impairment. Sometimes the child has a birthparent with a mental illness. Brent and I were looking at adopting a special needs child from China or the United States. We (I) researched the effects of drugs and alcohol on a baby, different physical needs and the requirements for the needs and also the statistics of a child developing a mental illness when a parent already suffers from that mental illness. We found that there were many special needs that we would be able to physically, emotionally, and financially be able to work with.

One thing that really helped us was to look at our own health history. I have several family members that suffer from depression. One of my cousin's (just 22 yrs. old) died last week from the effects of his mental illness. I myself have struggled, in the past, with anxiety. Another cousin was born with fingers and toes missing or developed wrong. His father took drugs that might have been a factor in this. Brent's family has all sorts of ailments, some more serious than others.

There is a great deal of research out there for every special need under the sun. You can often find yahoogroups where parents will honestly tell you what it is like to raise a child with such and such special need. Alcohol is something that will likely affect a child for life, but many drugs will leave the system and the child is okay after they are gone. Some physical needs will last a child's life time, while others can be repaired and a child goes on without any or little lasting effects. It's a matter of soul searching, research and prayer. If you are looking for a baby or child to adopt, take a minute and consider special needs adoption. I have seen so many success stories, might one of those stories be yours?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A math idea

This school year, I've decided that it's in the best interest of three of my kids to be home schooled. Home schooling for me is to meet the needs of my kids that the school doesn't tend to meet. For Jacob it's because he needs to be away from sugar. Connor (a very bright child) is failing in nearly every subject. Just to let you know that Connor is not just bright in MY eyes, he had very high (compared to other kids in the state) test scores in nearly every area tested. So why is he failing school? Sometimes kids aren't taught the way they need to be in order to succeed. The year before last he was really discouraged from thinking for himself in his best subject, math. Connor was working out multiplication problems in his own way but not being acknowledged for how very creative and bright that kind of thinking is. Don't get me wrong, I think teachers are overwhelmed in the school system. I wish that teachers could teach out of the textbooks of their choosing and that they could use their own style of teaching. Sadly, they must teach to a test with the districts choice of curriculum.
So now for the idea. I used this with my kids and another family when we did home school a few years ago. I put a math problem on one card and the answer on another. I did this with several problems, laminated the cards and made a math game. The game was memory - matching the problem with the solution. It was a fun way to learn, in this case, multiplication. I ended up teaching a small group of kids some advanced math the next year and found lots of good ideas which I will post here and there. I was going to put it in my other web site, but I think I will be tearing that one down. I can barely contribute to one!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 4th, Fireworks

Okay, so I'm posting out of order. Oh well. I never was very organized. I LOVE the 4th of July. I love celebrating the freedoms that so many have sacrificed for and that I can enjoy. This year I was a little bummed because we had to break tradition. Kellie had to be involved with a parade in our valley but not in our town. Brent and I split up so the other kids could ride their bikes in the parade at our park. We all had a good day and ended up at grandmas for a barbecue and later to catch the fireworks. Kenna wasn't thrilled with the noise.

I decided to try my hand at taking photos of fireworks. I think I got a few good ones.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grand Camp

Grand Camp is a tradition that was started a few years ago. It's a lot of fun for grandkids and adults alike. We went to my parents house this past Wednesday to Saturday. We were originally going to Brownie Lake in the Uintah's but heard that this was the year of the mosquito. My parents made an obstacle course that was a riot. They had large boxes to climb through, a balance beam, ladder to rope swing, bricks to walk on, trampoline, frisbee through hula hoop and they had to make a basket. This turned out to be the favorite for my kids of all the activities. Friday night, the kids were timed on this course and then three of the kids were blindfolded and led (by voice) through the course. As usual, Kellie won the course when timed (she is VERY competitive). She also did really well being led blindfolded. We also went canoeing and fishing on Causey dam (Jacob caught the only fish), hiking up the North Fork waterfall (I shouldn't have done that), the older kids went boating with grandpa while the younger ones had a riot in the water at grandma's house.

Why am I doing this?

Okay, so uploading this photo is not like me. Not only do I usually not post photos of myself, but this one... Anyway, this is most likely the last time I will be pregnant and I had to have some kind of proof.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Heart broken

Yes, my heart is breaking some for my 5 year old tonight. She was crying last night and would not tell me why but I had my suspicions. She confirmed them today. Mailaya let me know that she wished she didn't have brown skin and that she was born in America so she could have been a tiny baby when we adopted her.

Just to back track a bit. My intention was to go back to Samoa and adopt another child. I even had thoughts of a sibling group. Mailaya's siblings were available soon after we returned home from Samoa. It was quite expensive to adopt from there, mostly travel costs and we didn't feel right about adopting them. Anyhow, Samoan adoption closed and so of course, that door was closed. Since then, we have tried for several transracial adoption situations and none have worked out. We had gotten pretty involved with two of them but I became pregnant both times. The last one in particular didn't seem right to go ahead with. She was 7 years old and she was being disrupted from her adoptive family. I didn't feel that I could be fair to both a baby and this little girl. I NEVER wanted her to be the only child with beautiful brown skin. It is hard enough to fit in sometimes. She has always seemed so resilient though.

Anyway, now we are at the point of having 6 kids, a small home, and really no way to do an adoption right now. 6 kids feels pretty overwhelming already. Mailaya told me that she just wants to look like her sisters. Honestly, I wish I looked like her. She is so very beautiful. I fell in love with her deep, dark eyes the moment we met her. I know she will be okay, but my heart does hurt a little tonight!

Monday, June 29, 2009


This post comes after reading a blog entry of a friend of mine. I linked the title to her blog in case you want to read her excellent words.

My dh and I were married in Dec. of 1990. We both loved and hoped for children right away. I didn't want to wait because of my family history (both sides) of endometriosis and problems I was already having. Brent and I went quickly from hoping to feeling devastated as each month took us further and further from our dream. I experienced hopelessness, depression, anxiety, and feelings of "what have I done to deserve this fate?" Often, I would get down on my knees and ask my Heavenly Father for His help. He always answered my prayers with feelings of peace. At one point, I felt most despair when an unmarried cousin of mine got pregnant. Then, my sister was pregnant, a honeymoon baby. It hurt so much. My mom reassured me over and over that we would have a child, it would be okay. She introduced to me to a woman in the ward (we had recently moved back to my home ward) that had adopted two children. Anyway, this lady spoke with me about her experience with adoption. I already loved her little boy, he was in my Sunbeam class. Adoption was not a new concept for me. I had been having experiences since I was young that made me feel very open to the idea. Heavenly Father had prepared me well.

It didn't take much convincing to get my dh on board with this adoption idea. Adoption was not a piece of cake. New anxious feelings came about. Paperwork needed ot be done, classes to take, a social worker to interview and evaluate us. One of the most difficult things for me was an autobiographical questionairre. It seemed so unfair, how many couples or even singles had kids without one single question asked about their qualifications to raise a child? 9 months and 11 days passed from the time we handed in our initial paperwork to LDSFS and the time we were placed with our first beautiful child, a daughter. We adopted 3 more children after that.

Something very unexpected happened after all of that. I became pregnant. I had NO idea I was pregnant. It took several tests and a confirmation from the Dr. before I believed it. A beautiful girl came from that pregnancy and I'm now pregnant with another.

I write all of this because I get a lot of folks saying that dh and I had it the "easy way" through adoption. I have heard others say how the Lord blessed us with pregnancy because we were willing to adopt. Like my adopted children are some sort of charity cases and my bio kids are more special in some way. I can assure you that adoption is not an easy path. To watch a birthparents heart break so that mine can rejoice, to feel the pain of infertility, the anxiety of "will I be good enough for someone to choose me?" There are so many emotions. I also want to share that my adopted children are no less special or loved just because they didn't come from my body. I often feel an extra obligation to them because of the gift they are to me and the pain and sacrifice their birthparents felt to give them a life they didn't feel they could give. All children are a gift, it doesn't matter how they came about.

I wish to thank my Heavenly Father for the trial and blessing of adoption. I have learned more from infertility and adoption than anything else in my life. A new kind of compassion for others. The knowledge that my Father in Heaven knows ME, personally. Another knowledge that dh and I can get though anything together, we almost didn't.

So Sick!

There is nothing like having a stomach something (I'm not sure if it's the flu or food poisoning) and being pregnant. Oh I hope the kids don't get this one. We all have been so healthy for so long.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Forever Strong

I don't recommend movies unless I REALLY like them. This movie is fantastic. Forever Young is based around the game of rugby but is really about the changing (for good) of a young man. I love movies that show the potential we have to do good in others lives and change our own for the better. It's rated PG-13.

Tuna Casserole

Sometimes you do something as a mom that you SWORE you would never do. Well, I made tuna casserole. I'm seriously not a casserole type of mom. Never make them. Okay, so now I'll be making them more often. No complaints from the kids!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Love Story

Mailaya loves the song "Love Story" by Taylor Swift. She memorized songs very quickly and this one she sings over and over with her friends. I love this version.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Odds and Ends

It's finally summer! I love summer. It's been raining for most of it, but it was nice yesterday and today looks really good. Connor, Jacob, and Mailaya started swimming lessons yesterday. The boys are in karate two days a week. Kellie is cheerleading three days a week and this week she is attending cheer camp. The rest of us are just enjoying summer. We planted some square foot garden boxes and we've got stuff sprouting everywhere. Many of my flowers are in bloom!!! I think the plants are my favorite thing about summer. I love going outside and seeing the hard work I've put in through the years. Brent does a lot, but not much gardening.

Any suggestions on girl names? We are having a hard time finding a name that goes with the rest of the kids but isn't too similar. The baby is looking really good. It looks like she's going to be small, like Mckenna was. She moves a lot. I'm pretty sore from her position and how much she moves.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I haven't laughed this hard in a VERY long time. It can't get much more realistic.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Kellie again!

Kellie tried out for cheerleader and she MADE IT!!! We are so proud of her. School is a struggle for Kellie and she was able to keep her grades up to try out. Now we have to keep them up from now on. She wanted this so bad and has really worked hard. Her tumbling was the best of all those that tried out. After mock try-outs, I didn't think she'd make it. Everything looked good, but she wasn't projecting or standing out in any way. I got a call from her hip hop teacher who was at the mock. She was a competitive cheerleader and gymnast. She asked me to give her one hour with Kellie. By the end of the hour, Kell was ready. Names of groups were pulled randomly and I was pretty worried. She was put with the one girl who would be returning this next year and another really tough competitor. Next round she was put with the tough competitor again and another girl. That night we had to wait and see if she got a phone call. If the call came, she didn't make it. The call didn't come, the cheerleaders came instead to pick her up.

Monday, March 30, 2009


I just love my Kellie girl. She is the sweetest child - and I'm saying that when she is 13 1/2. Last week she had and awesome opportunity. Her choir performed at a district choir concert. They were able to perform some numbers with T-Five and hear them sing several songs. The choirs worked with the group all day and one member, Carsten Longhurst, conducted some numbers at the end of the program. He was an amazing conductor. I can't believe how well he had them singing in such a short amount of time. The closing number was a rockin' gospel number with drums, an awesome jazz pianist, and bass guitar. All of the people helped and performed for free.

One other note, Kellie is trying out for cheerleader. She really is good and that's not just momma talkin'. Clinics started today and next week will be the official tryouts.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One Hopeful Moment

One of the things we struggle with constantly with Jacob is a lack of remorse and the fact that he does everything without thinking first. I had him home for several days (partly weekend) and off of sugar for nearly 72 hours. We had dinner after the funeral and there was very little that Jacob could eat. It was hard on him. All around were treats. He resisted them. Later I asked why he had resisted. He said that he didn't want to come home and break down and that he knew I would be upset if he had sugar. This is HUGE for him. He actually thought of the consequences and made a decision based on that. Unfortunately, he went back to school and ate a ton of sweets. We have to start all over again. We found out that he is pre-diabetic and also that the sugar is causing some problems in his brain (hence the impulsiveness). I may have to take him out of school until he is strong enough to say no to all of the sweets.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Someone I love...

...passed away this past Wednesday. My father-in-law, Bud Nicholls, was a wonderful man. He was my husbands step dad but Brent considered him just dad. I want to write another post to do him justice, but I'm just beat.

Monday, March 9, 2009

This is the last post today, I promise

We adopted Mailaya from Samoa in 2004. She was 9 months old. The agency that we adopted Mailaya with came under a federal investigation some time after that. I believe we were contacted first in the summer of 2006. It began with just over 80 federal endictments. Well, this is FINALLY over. We are so glad. Our case was being used in the prosecution and the defense. There were rumors of us losing our children. It was horrible. In the end, the agency was disbanded and 5 misdemeanors were handed down. This resulted in the five main agency workers having a 5 year probation and some other stipulations that aren't completely worked out yet. Personally, I am glad that these folks, who I consider friends, did not have anything more than the misdemeanor. I am so grateful to have Mailaya as my daughter. She brings such love and joy in to our lives!

Kenna's 2

I am so upset with myself. I didn't post Kenna's birthday. Kenna turned 2 on February 10th. It was so much fun watching her and her excitement! She is such a wonderful little daughter. Her favorite gifts were clothes. As soon as she saw them, she had to try them on and parade around. Her vocabulary has really come alive. She sings, dances, and just brings enjoyment to all of us!

An update on the sugar addiction

Well, we're not do so well in helping Jacob with his sugar addiction. I really think the only way he can do it is if we take him out of school for a couple of weeks. I'm thinking I can wait until Spring Break and then he won't miss as much. We were sitting in church yesterday and I noticed how fidgety he was. I couldn't get him to calm down and sit still. I realized later that he was doing it because his body wanted sugar. It's hard to understand, but it's not just a craving for sugar. His body chemistry actually changes when the sugar comes in to his body. He gets a high from it and then his body starts crashing. After a time, you can see his face change, his fists clench, and then fatigue, headaches, etc. His teachers do not take this seriously because he doesn't act up in school. We have had to put alarms on one storage room, the pantry, and our fridge/freezer. I was really worried about how he would react to this. Surprisingly, he is sleeping better. Instead of waiting for everyone to get to sleep so he can get sugary food, he is now just going to sleep. Some of his behaviors are now making sense. He'll get in to my purse and take many pieces of gum and chew them, spit them out and on to the next. I realize now that he thought he was getting sugar out of the gum. Well, the gum is sugar free, LOL. I let him know that a couple of days ago and he hasn't been searching for the gum anymore.

I'm back!

I know I need to change the header, but it will get there. Well, I haven't been feeling too well lately. I did catch everything under the sun this winter. The truth is, I am PREGNANT! It was quite a shock. I'm 13 weeks along right now and feeling pretty good. I have a great chiropractor that our family has used for quite some time. He helped me through the worst of the morning sickness. To my good friend (you know who you are) I have hesitated announcing this for a while. I love you and know you are going through so much right now. Hang in there!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sick again

My family is generally very healthy. We rarely get sick. I especially seem to have a very good immune system. Not THIS winter. Could it be because the weather is going from warm to cold and back again? I don't know, but I am SICK of being SICK!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mailaya's home...

sick... Yikes. I feel bad for her, hope it passes very quickly. My dh asked me why I write about being sick, diarrhea, etc. I told him that not that many people read my blog and it's real life. Some weeks are like this.

Back from the land of the dead!

UUUGGGHHH! I just had a nasty case of a 24 hour stomach bug. It literally was 24 hours. Maybe it was the peanut butter? All I can say is thank goodness it's over. Let's hope that no one else in the family has to get it. I think some have had a lighter version, and that's okay by me because it's just nasty.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Odds and Ends

Life with kids is always, well, interesting. Today Mckenna had diarrhea (that doesn't look right). That, of itself, is no big deal but she decided to take off her own diaper. Twice, she did this, dripping the diaper all over the carpet. Why can't these things happen on the tile or linoleum? I guess we have no choice but to potty train her.
Mailaya is becoming quite an artist. I love her use of color and such. I'll try to scan one of her pieces of art so that you can see how good she is.
Kellie is pretty excited/nervous to start a new term in school. She'll get some new teachers and her schedule is turned around. Yesterday she told me that she was trying to get exercise for her chart (p.e) and hurt her wrist sleigh riding. I reminded her that she no longer had p.e. Her comment was, "oh, blonde moment." Ummm, she isn't blonde.
Connor had his braces tightened yesterday. He hasn't had them for all that long, but already his teeth are looking really good. I had a good chucke recently when I got a progress report from Connor's teacher. He is VERY brillliant in math. When he was in 1st grade, I homeschooled Connor and Kellie. He was pretty much self-taught in math. I decided to try Krypto with him and he would get the answer nearly every hand. Anyway, I got this report and he had an extremely low math grade and high English grade. He's not the best reader and this just cracked me up. I know his mind is on the wrong thing when he does math, but it actually shows how smart his mind is. For instance, if there is a pattern to the math paper is laid out, he'll find it. He finds tricks to all sorts of math problems. The tricks take longer than the problem, but he enjoys it.
Jacob, well, I'm having quite a week with him. Monday he took Connor's DS to school and left it there. He told me that he brought it home.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sugar Addiction

Who knew it would be so hard to come down from a sugar addiction. Not me, my son. We found out yesterday that his body doesn't tolerate sugar and that he is sensitive to wheat. This is the kid that can sniff out sweet stuff a mile away. We have thought for a long time that he suffers from anxiety, not knowing that the anxiety was being caused by sugar. Anyhow, it's not the most pleasant thing in the world, but hopefully, in the long run, it will help.

Kennaboo 2

Okay, so I did spend a day taking some photos of Kenna's wardrobe changes. Some changes were so quick that I missed a few. I have to add a funny about the clothes. I bought her doll some diapers for Christmas. She giggles every time we change her baby's diaper. Well, she decided SHE wanted those diapers on herself. The diapers are tiny. I couldn't persuade her otherwise and she made quite a mess trying to do it herself. I finally put one on her. She was SO tickled!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mailaya's first lost tooth!

My good friend just had a post reminding me that I didn't write about Mailaya's first lost tooth. She was so excited when it started to get wiggly. She even let me pull it. She looks so cute with that little hole in her smile!

Friday, January 2, 2009


My Kenna is such a funny little thing. She cracks me up!!! Yesterday she was sitting in front of the mirror practicing mean looks to give. She is really gonna have to practice a whole lot because she hardly ever does anything but smile.

Lately Mckenna has been changing her clothes several times a day. It is challenging for me to keep clothes clean because I never know what is or isn't any more. I told Brent that I needed to take a picture of every outfit for one day. If I do, I'll post them here. Just to give you an idea of the variety. She'll start with pajamas, then underwear over something, later it will be a tumbling outfit, back in to pajamas (usually different ones that the first), then regular clothes etc. Oh, and I forgot the most important thing of all, SHOES!!! She goes through them like crazy. They don't have to match and they don't have to be hers!!!