Monday, December 29, 2008

To the big GagPA and Gaggie

Here are a few pictures of the kids opening presents-enjoy! They loved them all and hope it shows even with my BAD photography skills. Love ya lots!

Here's looking at you, kid....
















Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night-or at least someday it will be a good night...

Merry Christmas to all! It was fun to have some time with just Kenna even if she was sick the entire time. It was just as sweet to get all of my children back on Christmas Eve. I know that the grandparents loved having the kids-but sometimes it is hard to share-I love the break but miss them when they are gone-and I LOVED spending time with my grandparents without my parents so I try to give them the same time. But it was fun as they all stayed up late-I fell alseep with Kenna-thank goodness Santa got everything under the tree and in the stockings-I was a walking zombie from not sleeping the night before and then driving for 5 hours. Kenna threw up all over herself and the carseat on the way to get Keira and so I had to unload her and take her in a gas station and wipe her down and then buy a t-shirt there so she would have something to wear home. She also had to ride in Keira's carseat b/c hers was soaking wet with throw up. It was not a pretty sight! But Dash is at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Keira misses him terribly, but we are managing to get by with out him. I miss him too-it was fun having a dog-but hopefully the fish will grow on her...(We don't have them yet-just plan to)
The funny thing about Christmas was Jeremy told the kids he laid down tacks in the hallway and they would get hurt if they tried to come down and see the presents. Well the kids lined the hallway with pillows and sneaked downstairs while we were alseep and then watched TV and then realized Dad was "tricking" them and finally went to sleep about 3am. Poor Keira was so tired she took a 4 hour nap from 10am-2pm Christmas day. The kids got what they were hoping for-Kyle and Kelsey are in heaven with Guitar Hero-little did we know that Dad was a secret rock star! We may have to get rock band one of these days so we can all get in on the game. Keira loved her kitchen and Kenna loved her airplanes and babies!

Poor Kenna-her antibiotic made her so sick that she didn't stop throwing up and then it started coming out the back end too-thank goodness for my carpet cleaner-it has saved me with all the times Kenna has thrown up! Although I couldn't help but think last night how much easy it would have been to clean up if we had bamboo floors! But that is another dream far far in a distant time..So I am hoping when I take her back in monday that we can find a gentler antibiotic (#3) that will get rid of the ear infection and not cause so much trouble!

I have been reading other blogs and it seems many people are thinking a lot about life this time of year. I have to add my own-
1.Friendship is the greatest gift I have been given over the years of my life. I always find the best friends in the oddest of situations. Soccer club coaches, doctor's offices, and baseball. I find them at church too-but my dearest friend who is always there for me I met the day before I had Keira. I was scared to death b/c it was my first c-section and I had wanted to do it all naturally. She told me I'd be fine and has been telling me that ever since. It doesn't matter that I am now 100 miles away-I still get little notes or calls reminding me that it will be ok. I think about the wonderful massage I had today given to me by good friends-it was so nice to take an hour for myself (doesn't happen vey often)-Thanks for the joy you bring to life. Thanks to the one person in the neighborhood that has always been there to pick me up at urgent care when I couldn't drive home b/c of a migraine or took the time to get to know Kenna so she would stay with her if I needed to go somewhere. These are my greatest blessings in life-I understand more and more the words of the Savior when he said "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." I doubt I will ever be asked to do that-but I understand more what greater love means.

2. I love being a mom. I may complain and gripe about the every day with the kids and especially Kenna, but I love the joy. I know that these days will go by too fast and I will miss them when they are gone-just some days with a child that seems to be constantly sick (even if it is not life threatening) is taxing. But I made it through with Kyle and he is great now so I know I will with Kenna. I am sad to think as she turns two that she is the last one. I never thought I would ever say that I would want more than four kids, but I wish that I could have one more. I realize that they will grow up and be gone and although there are many things out there in life to do-none has brought me more joy than to see my kids turn into responsible good youth. Kyle handled an emergency just brillantly last night and I am so thankful to the friends down the street who are always there for us and the kids and rescue us with glad hearts. Thanks guys!

3. I love music. I am so much happier when I have beautiful music to surround me during the day and I love to sing-maybe one day I'll get back on stage.

4. I still love to run. I know that my overweight body does not show it-but I am going to do my best to make sure I can run like I want to this time next year. I may have to take it slow and I may not be super ladies like most at church that spend 2 hours at the gym every day, but I will get there and I will run the race that I have planned before I turn 37.

5. I love the Savior. I know it is easy to talk about Him this time of year. I know he comes up in many conversations. But I am grateful for the gift of repentence that he gave to me to find a better path to walk in this life and to find joy. I am grateful that He has given me a pattern and example by which to follow and although I fall short a lot of times I know that I am doing my best to hopefully one day some will tell me-I have His Image in my countanence and I am a window to His Love. I know that is cliche, but I hope that no matter what life brings I will always keep Him close.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thanks to Everyone!!!

Well, first I have to add that Kenna has an ear infection and we didn't get any sleep Saturday night-it started Friday night, but I jusdt kind of thought she was overtired. But then Saturday night as she screamed all night and Jeremy gave up and slept in Kyle's room-I bleary eyed made it to church early to practice our song (and then we didn't get to) and made it through Sascrament Mtg and then took her to urgent care b/c I am getting too old to have back to back to back sleepless nights. Well-she has an ear infection! So we are working around it and although I am not getting as much done as I wanted to while everybosy was gone-I will be almost ready when they get back.
I am going to add a picture of the house with the lights! Jeremy did a great job putting them up-THANKS honey~I LOVE THEM!!!!!

Also-I just wanted to take this time to thank all of my wonderful friends! This week has been so crazy with all the baking and candy making and stuff and I feel like I am so behind-it has been such a sweet surprise to come home and find little treats left on my doorstep! I am sorry that I am missing all of my friends-but I can't tell you the JOY that these little treats have given me. I wish that I could say I will get my planned treats back to you before Christmas-but they may be Happy New Year treats with Kenna being sick and picking up Keira. I love walking by my fridge and seeing all of your smiling faces and counting each one of you as my friend. Even if you didn't put a picture with your goodies I still think of you as I walk by and it makes me stop and thank Heavenly Father for these good people in my life!!!

I also must add that you never know WHERE you will find good friends. They might be in the last place you expect! I want to add-as you know I have been doing the twelve days of Christmas for Dr. Shaw's office. It was mainly because we are there so much anyway-but also because they are soo sweet to the kids everytime we go in. Tomorrow will be day number twelve and I will miss the silly poems I found or made up and the goodies I was inspired to make. But they surprised me back with a poem and a gift card for a massage! I was so shocked and it just made me realize that good friends a what make life full of joy and I am grateful that I get to enjoy these lovely ladies and Dr. Shaw. When I got my shot today-I had some "trouble" and so back to THAT room that I hate so much. While I was there Trudy, Donna, and Andy took care of Kenna and she was treated like a princess (tiara and all)! Not that this would surprise anyone that knows how good they are to me-but it was such a relief to know that first of all I made it without an EPI shot and secondly if I had been in serious distress that Kenna would be taken care of.
May you have a Merry Christmas as you celebrate the birth of the Light of the World!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Zoo Pictures!

Kenna riding the lion at the bookstore. She had to sit on the giraffe and the tiger but she wouldn't look at Daddy so we could get a picture. Plus she had to grab the snakes and fling them at us!!!

Mommy and Kenna smiling for Daddy! Kenna calling the flamingos!!!


Life with only one child!

Wow! The house is quiet with all the kids gone. Kenna does make a lot of noise-but it has been fun and wierd with the other kids gone. We went out to breakfast and then I went to America's baby shower. Wish I could have joined in on the skinny jeans conversation. Maybe soon-I am determined that since I almost don't have a baby anymore (2 months and she is 2)-It is time to reclaim the body I once had! Plus-It is getting depressing when people look at our athletic children and wonder where they got it from :(
So we took Kenna to the zoo today-It has been 10 years since we took only one child to the zoo. It was so easy and laid back and fun! I really enjoyed it-not that I don't LOVE taking everyone-but there weren't four kids telling me they were hungry or thirsty or hot or where they wanted to go all at once. So I am still taking everyone by myself to the zoo next week-but it sure was fun today.
Here are some pictures..........

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

gymnastic's medals!


Here is Keira's gymnastic's class with their medals! I love Juergen's! They are soo good to the kids and so laid back that I love that her coach, Miss Teri dressed up like Santa for class! How fun is that! We went to lunch with Tyler afterwards and had fun at Mickey D's. This has been a fun semester and we will miss having Tyler in our class, but we know he will have so much fun in the boy's class too.
I doubt she'll ever be a competitive gymnast, but she sure is cute to watch!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More snow....








I know if you look closely Kenna didn't have shoes on by this point, but she didn't like the snoww all that much and I dragged her out for the snow man picture! Thanks so Danny for giving the snow off of his car towards the building of the snowman. I love the pine tree with snow-because you could forget we were in Houston! If you can't see it-the big kids are totally wet from hitting each other with snow balls and snow angels and rolling up the snow balls for the snowman.
I was disappointed it was gone by 7am, but the weather is a beautiful sunny and 45 degrees! Wish I had a convertible to drive around town and enjoy this beautiful weather!


Let It Snow!! Let IT Snow! Let It Snow!









I left at 5:45pm and it was sleeting-by the time we walked out of extra innings it was down right snowing BIG snowflakes! On the way to the church-it kept snowing and the kids couldn't wait to go out and play in it. Jeremy's plane was late so we played out in the snow until we had to go get him at 9:45pm. I know, I know it was a school night, but how many times in their lives will it snow in Houston? I may not have a "bucket list" but I am going to make sure I grasp every memory and sound of children's laughter that I can! Here are a few shots between 7pm and 10pm.





Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Almost Twenty years ago...

I got home this afternoon and sat down to checck my email to find a bunch of emails from facebook-a friend posted a group picture of a bunch of us in which I was tagged. I have to laugh that if you venture to my facebook page and look at the picture you will notice that I was in the middle. Back then I always wanted to be the center of attention-these days I am happy to be on the sidelines. I've changed so much in the past twenty years it is hard to remember that I was that hyper and thin! But I also realized aside from needing to lose all of my babies weight-I am more peaceful and calm now. I still make stupid mistakes and I still am probably a little wild and crazy-only now when the kids aren't looking.
I also got a call that someone from church lost their beautiful two year old daughter to a brain tumor this morning. It made me hug all my kids a little longer and just enjoy the crazy laughter and arguing tonight-I put a blanket down and we had a "picnic" and watched "The Chronicles of Narnia" and ate pizza and popcorn in the living room downstairs. I figured we just needed some family time and they all had fun-went to bed too late for a school night, but we had fun.
Kyle had a scary allergic reaction to his weekly shots yesterday. He reacted in the office with a large local reaction, but it wasn't until 9pm that he went to show off his "guns" to the elders when he noticed how bad it had gotten. It was swollen to the size of a grapefruit and it covered his entire bicep and it had a red defined ring around it. He wasn't coughing or anything, but it took a WHOLE lot of benedryl, hydrocortisone cream, ice packs, and mom finally falling asleep about midnight. He felt pretty bad today, but Dr. Shaw gave his some orapred and his arm is finally starting to look almost normal again-but he is still had a TON of benedryl-and just like the energizer bunny-he just keeps going!
I also enjoyed babysitting two really cute little girls today. Kenna had her moments of sharing, but I guess that is the first and last child syndrome. But for th emost part she really loved having extra friends over to play. We are doing it again tomorrow-so hopefully things will run as smoothly. I'm glad my friends trust me with their cute babies! I have loved it-since I don't get anymore-I am looking forward to tomorrow when I can love on all those babies!
Well, I better get to bed. I don't think anyone that reads this ever knew Mr.S, but in memory of that choir senior picture I have to end this with this song as we did ever concert for my four years in high school; somehow after today it seems fitting-
"Go Ye Now in Peace and know that the love of God will guide you-feel his presence here beside you showing you the way;in your time of trouble when when hurt and despair are there meet you know that the Lord will never leave you; He will give you courage. Know that the God who sent his son to die that you might live-will never leave you lost and alone-in his beloved world;Go Ye Now in Peace; Go Ye Now in Peace;Go Ye Now in Peace....."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How great shall be your joy...

I have had an amazing two weeks. I miss Mandy being here-it was like having the sister that I always wanted and didn't know it! ( I actually wanted a brother, but Mandy is soo cool I think I would change it now) Not only did she help with the kids (made me feel spoiled), she loves them too. They all said tonight-it is just not the same with Mandy gone. I know she's having fun at home-but know that the Brann Clan will always have a spot if you ever need a place to stay.
It was also so much fun to have the cousins here. I can't believe how much they have all grown and how much I always enjoy their company. You would think that having 7 kids running around would be crazy, but it was just pure happiness and joy. There was no fighting or hurt feelings-they all got along and were sad when it was time to leave. It was also so special for me to sing in Church with Jeremy's sister, Sarah on Sunday. It has been years since we have done that and we even sounded really good. Thanks Amy for playing for us-even with sick kids and a sick hubby-what a great friend!
I also wanted to add that I am thankful for so many things-for my life and my family and my home, and clothes, and food, and after Ike-my home, my electricity, my water, and my gas. Those basic things in life are pleasantries that I don't ever want to take for granted again. But it was nice that with it all gone-we all reached out more to one another.
I have been thinking a lot about the footprints that Joette left on my life and I have to say that I feel she has helped this past week as I have had to deal with a challenge that could have left me very bitter and resentful. But I think I handled it well and spoke my peace and stood up for people that I care about. I realized that this past year and a half has been a mountain for me. There were times that I didn't think I would make it up to the top, but when I would fall or just roll down the hillside-there was always someone there to pick me up-sometimes it was at the top of the hill or sometimes I had to fall all the way down-but the Lord never left me with out help. He sent those earthly angels to help me on my way. I bring this up because there are those of you who read my blog that may wonder why the sudden interest in me. I realize that each one of us struggle with different things. I know it can be hard to navigate the waters of life-I recognize certain looks and I want you to know that I know what that feels like. But I also want you to know that you are not alone. I may out of the blue-drop off dinner or call or who knows what-but it is merely because I care. All of you have welcomed me into your life-and for me the only child and only grandchild-friends are worth more than any earthly possession. I found a note from my grandfather that said "You are a responsible little girl-I believe in you" when I was at his home this summer. Sometimes we need to hear from someone-I believe in you-You are wonderful!
So, to my dear friends-thank you for filling my life with joy. Thank you for being there for me when I need help or support or just a listening ear.
I went out on a limb and am doing the 12 days of Christmas for my allergist's staff. I have had so much fun making up poems and treats for these amazing women who love my kids so sweetly. But I honestly think I am having more fun than I should. Service rocks! It doesn't matter if it is a fun treat like that or a need that must be met-it brings joy to your soul and permeates through your family. My kids have argued less in the past few days than in the past month.
I challenge anyone out there to think of someone you can brighten their day with a smile or a kind word because they might not always hear it. Or if there is a real desperate need-recognize it and help anyway.
My neighbor stopped by a couple of weeks ago and I thought she needed some help with her kids homework. She got out of the car and said she only needed a hug. I gave the hug and we talked briefly and she said thanks and went about her day. It taught me-there is always a need-please let me see it.
Merry Christmas-may the example of the Christ's life inspire you as it has inspired me to try to make the world a better place-one small step at a time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pooterisms for the day...




Here are a few cute pictures I had to add-

Keira loves her ice cream and culver's with sprinkles is her favorite!




She has decided that she is the newest member of Allergy and Asthma Associates front desk staff. She tells Andy that where ever Andy goes she goes. She has to pull up a chair next to Trudy and tell everyone that comes to the desk while we are there for shots-Thank you and come again. She told the staff on Friday-"I'm skinnier than all of ya'll. You are all moms and moms are never skinnier than me." She got mad at me that we passed by the office and didn't stop earlier today.


She told Mandy earlier today-"Keira, you are sooo pretty." Keira's response...."I know"; She also told her "You smell good, but I smell better than you."


I will get more pictures added soon, but I have to add a picture of her dog that she loves so much, but knows that must go due to all of our allergies. But she calls him her baby and loves him lots.



Monday, November 24, 2008

For Joette Michele McClellan

I know that everyone is probably sick of hearing about it last month, but a friend who I loved dearly passed away at the age of 52 last week after a 5 year battle with breast cancer. I also had a sweet mission friend who passed away from breast cancer at the young age of 24. So this post if for you Joette....
I went to the graveside service this morning on the other side of town and was greeted by friends from College Station. I listened to the sweet and kind words that were said about this woman who touched my life in such a short time. I doubt she ever knew how much I admired her and her family. She leaves behind two beautiful daughters that I know she is smiling down on. I will always treasure the dance we chaperoned together and talked all night long. She inspired me to be a better friend and woman. It made my day that her daughter, who I was her YW leader, remembered me by name this morning. I was so impressed that she had decided to serve a mission. I know her mom is smiling about that one. I was so inspired by a husband who had just lost the love of his life and he stood before us and testified how much he loved the Savior and that they all knew they would be together forever. He quoted her favorite scripture, " And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord,
choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 He gave the context and how important it is for us to choose to serve the Lord. He knew it, Joette knew it, and I could see her daughters knew it.
She gave a class on breast cancer awareness and inspired a woman to get a mammogram-it saved this mother's life because she caught it early. She spoke this morning about Joette being her angel. I always respected this woman when I was young-she may never know it-but I still have a dress she handed down to me for Kelsey when Kelsey was only two-I am glad to know that Joette touched her life in a profound way and that we have those memories to share.
I hope that at the end of my life, whenever it may be, that my children will remember me the way these daughters did. I know I need to do more to be a better mom to them and teach them in all ways of the Lord. I need to serve others and love more fully. I need to see the needs of those around me and lift another soul up.
Life is short-let us not be focused on the things that don't matter-he said/she said or body image or keeping up with the Jones or being self righteous. Joette lived her life to share the love she had for the Savior with everyone and made sure that in all that she did His image was reflected in her countanence. I may not have seen her in 4 years, but she will always be on my list of heros and mentors as I walk this gospel path and hope that all that she taught me will be seen in my actions.
PS. I loved seeing Suzanne, and Diana, and Beverly and being reminded that we will always have a home in College Station. Hopefully we will make it back there one day.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am still here

This past weekend has gone by in a blur. I have been really tired and every time I start to cough or get short of breath-I get a little nervous. My chest is sore from coughing so much and I am still ready for bed by about 6pm, but I am so grateful to Dr. Shaw and his staff for what great care they took to make sure I was ok. I can't thank them enough for recognizing what was happening and their kindness through it all. I know they would have rather had a boring Friday, but it was a huge comfort to me to be surrounded by people that I trust instead of strangers at the hospital. I think that kept me the most calm. Plus-they were so good with the shots that I really can't complain-even if I had so many!
I also want to say that Kelsey played an amazing soccer game on Saturday. I couldn't yell for her or anything but watch-she scored an amazing goal and blocked a ton of shots-so I was really proud of her for this season of soccer. I know it has been frustrating to her at times, but I am really proud of her.
Kyle's fall ball season ended last weekend and he played great at shortstop and his hitting has really improved. It may have been a busy season, but they are better athletes because of it.
Most of all, I am so grateful to the Lord for giving the inspiration to change the shot location and give me the time to still be here. I was really scared at one point and I sit here and as I listened to my children at the PRimary program at church this morning I couldn't help but feel so much gratitude that I was here to watch my children and love them each day. It also made me realize I need to step back and focus on the important things with my kids and my family. We won't be here forever-so I better do the right things today in case something happened out of the blue and I was gone the next.
Thanks to all the people in my life who love me-I love you back and am so grateful for the many things big and small that you do for me each day. And thanks Mom for talking to me Friday and the sweet loving words-it calmed me like you did so many years ago when I was little. It was a sweet experience.
Good night and God be with you until we meet again.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Systemic allergic reaction to Grass Extract

Well, I got up early this morning to take the kids to get allergy shots before school this morning and then went back for my allergy testing. I thought it was going to be an easy day and maybe Jeremy and I could catch the matinee of Twilight. Well, that is not what happened. It is confirmed that the children's grass allergy was inherited from me. I am also allergic to a lot of other pollens, but grass is definately the worse. Both my kids can induce an allergy attack when grass pollen is high.
So anyway, I had all the testing done and was talking to Dr. Shaw and everything was fine. We were talking about shots for me and when to time it right so that there wouldn't be 3 people in the family on shots at one time. Then he examined me. I had to breathe deeply and that is when it started.....
A simple cough, "how about you stay for 15 minutes"
to a big cough when I called Jeremy I would be done in a little while.
to a cough I couldn't stop, shortness of breath, and light headedness,
to can't breathe at all.....
So I have had to stop this anaphylaxis today
1 tablet of xyzal (antihistime)
1 dose zyrtec
1 dose of singulair
2 doses of steriods
1 breathing treatment of xopenex and pulimocort
then the fun began.....
1 shot of .3 epi
1 more breathing treatment
10 minutes later...
another epi shot
10 minutes later
another epi shot and 4 ts of benadryll
20 minutes later
another shot of epi
10 minutes later
another shot of epi and benadryl
another breathing treatment
another shot of epi and another breathing treatment and more steriods
By this time it has been a scary ride feeling like I couldn't breathe and was told I was about to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance so in case I "crashed".
I am still not out of the woods yet, but I am taking it easy tonight and hoping to feel better tomorrow.

Sometimes when you are faced with this life and death situation I realized I am blessed and come what may I must love it. I was really scared at one point that I might not see my kids and husband tonight, but I am soooo thankful for the inspiration of the Lord to Dr. Shaw that he changed the shot location and it made a huge difference. I am grateful for the nurses that were so sweet and helpful and for all the shots I got in their "ER" room that they had soft hands that they didn't hurt too bad. I will be glad when the shakiness wears off and I can breathe comfortably again, but I am grateful that Mandy was here to help Jeremy and that I can write this instead of being in a hospital bed tonight.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Exhausted!!!

I am about to fall over, but I wanted to say that I am so grateful for my friends. Jeremy is in LAs Vegas for work so my plans got changed a bit this week. I ended up taking the big kids with me to College Station yesterday as we left at 7am. I made it to my doctor's appointment and although I was totally stressed by the time I got there-when your doctor greets you with a huge hug and a "Hi! I'm soo excited to see you and glad that you made it through the hurricane!" How could the drive not be worth it. Dr. Jen Blasingame is not only beautiful-she is an amazing doctor! She got me through a miscarriage I thought I could bear, a pregnancy I barely got through, and she has listened to me and helped me through my renewed struggle with endometriosis. I am so grateful that my insurance will keep Jen my doctor so that she can do my laparoscopy in January and hopefully I'll feel better soon!
Then we went to see Dr. Massoud and it was the same thing. He hugged all the kids and talked to each one individually. The kids all passed their well child checks and are doing good. I am grateful for these wonderful people that take such good care of us.
I am also grateful for the friends that took such good care of us too. Thanks so much Cindy for watching the kids so I could see Jen in the morning. Thanks for the lunch and the conversation. It was such a sweet morning to see you.
Thanks to Steph and the kids for letting us drop in on you guys and hang out for a little bit. We weish we could see you more!
I also loved spending time with the Brooks. Thanks for the yummy burgers and fun! We loved being there yesterday!
Thanks to my friends here that watched the house and kept in touch. I appreciate all those that let me complain and still remind me to count my blessings. I love you guys soo much and I am thankful to all that think I am young and hip and cool-it keeps me going and encourages me to get back in shape. Thanks guys!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sprinkles


Why is it that sprinkles makes everything better? It is official-Kenna has discovered the joy of sprinkles. Colored jimmies (why are they called that anyway?), little confetti ones, flowers, you name it ALL of my kids could find the bottles of them and eat the entire bottle! Well, Kenna just asked for some so I let her try them and she looks up at me with smeared sprinkle mouth and says "Tank ewe, mom". How can you not give them the whole bottle when they are cute like that?

I have to add a milestone motherhood moment today. Kyle and Kelsey had orthodontic screening appts today (and we are saved for another 6 months from going completely broke)-but it was during lunch so I offered lunch. We were in Kingwood and on the way out was Jason's deli. I didn't want to drive through somewhere so we at at Jason's Deli. It was soo nice there was no fighting or squirming and they all ate all of their food with nothing left over or wasted! It was soo nice and I thought this is a great memory for me of getting to go out to lunch with my kids. How grateful I am I get to stay home and spend this rare time together. It may be hard on some days, but today I am grateful I have these days to spend with them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tagged!

Here you go Angela, I got it done and in a timely manner too! :)



I am: an only child and an only grandchild but not by their choice; I am a wife, a mother, and an aunt. I am a friend.
I want: to be skinny and able to run a triathlon by the time I am 40!
I have: the neccessities of life, plus many luxuries as well
I dislike: having to use plastic bags at the store if I have forgotten my reusables
I miss: my grandfather
I fear: I am not doing enough to make sure my kids will always want to CTR
I feel: happy and sad at the same time
I hear: Keira singing to herself and Kenna playing with the Barbie letter e-book
I crave: a diet cherry and vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper from Sonic
I cry: all too often these past 2 1/2 years
I usually: am too busy
I search: for more time
I wonder: what the next 10 years will bring
I regret: not being a L & D nurse or a PA midwife.
I love: Jeremy, Kyle, Kelsey, Keira, and Kenna
I care: about making sure I do what I can to make the world a beautiful safe place for my kids
I worry: about the future world for my kids
I am not: thin
I remember: my awesome mission
I believe: I am doing the best with what I have
I dance: every chance I get-especially if no one is around
I sing: in the car, at home, in the shower, with Kelsey's kareoke machine-everywhere
I don't always: live up to my own standards
I argue: a lot more now than I ever did in my 20's and childhood
I write: a lot more now, but not as much as I used to before I had 2 kids
I win: rarely
I lose: most of the time
I wish: I could get the baby back I lost
I listen: or try to listen to the Spirit so I can help others the way they have helped me
I don't understand: why we don't get the desires of our hearts most of the time
I can usually be found: in my car or at home
I need: nothing, well maybe a Diet Coke!!!!!!!
I forget: to show my gratitude to my friends and my Heavenly Father that mean the most to me
I am happy: when the ones I love are happy
I am grateful: for the kind comments of friends that make my day!

Well, I got that done-Hope I don't bore anyone too much. I had to add one thing though, because a lot of you that read this have made my day great by a kind phrase!
Have a good one!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Kelsey's spotlight plus a little more..



Here is Kelsey as Raggedy Ann for Halloween! I thought she looked soo cute! But I am her mom! I found striped tights too so the outfit is just perfect!!









Kelsey grabbing the ball and saving a goal. The chair she and her dad made one evening because she was bored.



And finally the little witch. She looked soo cute in this costume! She had so much fun she even fell asleep in it as we watched Scooby Doo on the driveway!!!

I finally figured it out!!


Keira and Tyler have become good friends since they are in gymnastics together and at church on Sundays. But she had an especially good time at Old MacDonald's farm with him riding horses and feeding animals and playing in the huge sand hill! But she loved riding the train with him. I just hope I survive her teenage years and all the boys she's gonna love!!! :)


Here is the "NaNee"-She also has discovered the kitchen aid makes yummy cookie dough and follows her sisters to sneak some when I am not looking! Ha!Ha!











Here is the tree that fell in our yard. The one right by the fence is the one that is it fell would have landed on the roof and hit Jeremy and Kenna sleeping in our bed, so I'll take the one that was 40 feet in the forest!










These are random goofy shots of the kids and craziness!

Kelsey is the star Goal Keeper! She blocked about 20 shots on goal this Saturday and about the same the week before! She is amazing and I love to watch her play! Plus she sure looks good in orange!



Here they are...










Well I am trying to get some more posted, but I will work on the rest of the kids. I am still a rookie at this-but I did go get some pictures printed-I know-Kelsey don't have a heart attack! I still need to print last years! But I am slowly figuring all of this out. Maybe when I actually get it under control I'll be brave enough to create a blog just for the grandmas!
But actually Halloween was fun even when I had to go help at the carnival. The kids had sooo much fun at the block party and I want to send an extra big Thank you to danny and Angie for hosting it! I also want to thank the Gabriels for the hamburgers last night! And Kelsey for her party on Monday night! The block fed us for half the week! I didn't have to cook so you guys are my heros of the month!!!! Thanks!
Keira finally was brave enough to try riding her bike without training wheels on! Jeremy is about to let go and she did it all by herself! She was so proud! Coach Dom told her she could do it after the hurricane. So she was so proud when she saw him and yelled look at me-oh but I can't stop can you help me! It was sooo cute! So I am slowly growing up-I guess if Keira is riding a bike without training wheeels and in less than a year Kenna will be out of diapers.
When I heard about Sasha our neighbor girl who is exactly Kenna's age has a tumor-i cried. I have watched her grow up and loved how sweet is always is. We have prayed for her every night and morning since we found out last Wednesday and I keep praying that a miracle will happen tomorrow during the testing and it won't be as bad as they fear. I thought Sasha and Kenna would grow up together and be great friends like Keira and Blake-so I pray every night for a miracle for this family.
But I also heard some good news tonight and I cried tears of joy when I heard this good news. I was so overwhelmed that I knelt in prayer to offer a prayer of gratitude and faith for this situation. I don't think I can describe the joy and happiness this person has given me this fall and although this person knows who they are-I just want to say thanks to the Lord for helping me find this friend.
Holidays always make me reflect on what happened a year ago-I was having such a hard time with Kenna and I felt so alone and so isolated that I never would have believed that this year would be so different. She is still her own little person and I still have struggles with her, but I have her. As I tucked her in bed tonight it hit me-I need to kiss her (and the other ones) as much as I can-they are each such a miracle. My grandmother lost 3 full term babies before my mom was born. My mom barely had me at 28 weeks. I was blessed with these 4 amazing kids. I pray that I do my very best to help them so I will never lose them in the eternities.
On another note-Thanks so much to my sweet hubby-When I got home on Saturday he and the kids had the house soo clean I just felt sooo happy! He is the best!
I'd better go-but if you need a good book for the kids or you if you haven't made it above kid lit.-The Percy Jackson series is a 5th grade reading level about a boy who is the son of a greek god and his adventures. It is a lot of fun and I am enjoying having so much to talk about with Kyle as we read it together. I try to read all that the kdis read so they can talk to me about the books. They are soo good that the kids don't want to put them down and haven't really watched TV in a week since Mrs. Drew suggested them to Kyle and Kelsey caught on too. So now even Jeremy is hooked and if I don't finish the 3rd book-he'll soon steal it from me! I'll get more pictures soon!
Just so you know-I survived my big day of cooking! Anybody want some garden minestrone soup! I had leftovers!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I LOVE FALL!

Well I am loving these fall mornings-I am not a hot chocolate gal, but I love enjoying the cold house as I get the kids ready for school. The air smells so good-pine trees and crunchy leaves. I don't know if it is because I grew up here-but I do love the way fall smells here. (ok-NOT by the dump, but when you are near the woods) It has been neat also because we have an owl in the woods behind us and he (I assume) has been talking earlier and earlier. It used to be I would hear him at 3am when Kenna woke up but last night as I lay in bed at 10:30pm I could hear him. It was soo cool-wish I could see him somehow. I love owls-they are neat creatures. As I have mentioned before I am the hidden tree hugger-I love nature and being outdoors and wish I could say I had a "dig" under my belt. I put in my application so I can sub on Jeremy's days off-to see if I want to teach little kids when I grow up in 4 years. I always wanted to teach college, but I don't think I'll get there-and the ACT doesn't cost too much -so this is the easy way to try-and get paid.
Keira told Jeremy last night-Hey Dad-"I want to play football when I get bigger because during the day I don't get to stand like that. (the crouched down position on the line). And she told him -"dad, I don't like wild snakes they are mean, but if you catch a wild snake and teach it, it can be nice." Just a few Keiraism...I'll miss those....She's going to be Tinker Bell, of course.
Chuchi-Kenna-has been getting sweeter-she can still be a terror-but we are enjoying her and how cute she sounds talking. She loves to tell Dash to sit and When she sees baseball fields she starts to scream "BAYBall!" She calls the horses that are next to soccer practice in KW big doggies. But it was sooo cute yesterday she ran out after the kids and was trying to say "HI- Miss Shewee" Chuchi Bear still has no hair, but she is really starting to find happiness in life-but we will still take her to see the tummy doctor since her allergy testing came back negative to rule out anything that maybe going on. She's going to be a witch.
Kelsey has been sick with allergies all week-she has that annoying postnasal drip cough and it is driving her and the rest of us nuts-I know she will be glad when she stops coughing-but she is going to be a REALLY cute Raggedy Ann for Halloween.
Kyle is Kyle! He's had a good week-going on his first camp out tonight at Bovay. He's going to be a baseball playing vampire. (Think Twlight)-I think he'll look really cool.
I'm going to dress up too-I can't wait. I am really excited this year to be a kid again.
Jeremy will wear his "Drop Dead" shirt as usual.
We look forward to the weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Nolan Ryan



here is the picture i was trying to load yesterday! Where is my little boy? He is soo big and soo cute! I had to laugh yesterday when we saw a young lady who was trying to get Kyle's attention at Walmart and he just kept talking to me and not her while the other girls said hi to her. I'm getting old!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We Won!

I just wanted to add that Kyle's team won two games again this weekend. Here are some of his pitching pictures and I will add some of Kelsey at soccer and Keira at gymnastics! Thanks so much to J. Crain for the pictures! With all the girls I have aq hard time getting anything on film! They didn't make it to the final game, but hopefully after a weekend off we will keep getting better! Also, Kelsey's team is still struggling, but she is getting better and we look forward to next year.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Puppy

To clarifiy for those I confused....it was my friend Kelsey's puppy that died of Parvo on Sunday, but she was able to find another puppy for her sweet Blakey as Keira calls him but the puppy has to live with grandma for a few weeks until her house is clear of the parvo. My dog is fine-unless someone out there would like a 7 month old beautiful Husky puppy. I love him, but he is driving Jeremy and the older kids crazy and the little girls love him-so I need a smaller dog for the little girls and a home for the husky-she's gorgeous-let me know......

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Three Weeks and counting

I just have to post that I have made it three weeks staying at 1500 calories each day and this week alone (by the time I go to bed tonight)
I will have completed running 10.5 miles! I am so excited about this I could jump for joy! I have only lost 5 pounds (which seems like nothing when you have a long way to go) but I am excited that in spite of all the ice packs when I get home at 11pm from running that I am getting it done even if I am still exhausted in the morning. It has been beautiful at night and with all the street lights and our good neighborhood I feel blessed that I can do it then. Last night I didn't want to go but was so glad when I got out there. If anyone on the street sees some strange blob moving at fast speed it is just me finishing up with a few sprints. (at least for old lady speed that I am at right now) I am hoping by May that I will be back to the size I was before I embarked on this journey called motherhood 12 years ago. I was falling off horses and running every day and working and going to school-ahhh those were the days! But my goal is to run a 5K in May and do it in 21 minutes so if anyone wants to join me-let me know. :)
I have to post a public service announcement in honor of a good friend-if you are planning on getting a puppy-go the vet right away and get a parvo test before it is too late. i love dogs and it breaks my heart to hear when someone loses a puppy to this meance of a disease. I may not have found the right dog for our family this time, but I will find my favorite dog later after Dash has grown up and gone on to doggie heaven.....
it looks like i will miss fast and testimony meeting tomorrow so i just want to express my gratitude to the Lord for my answered prayers and for blessing me with the strength to get through the mountains in this life. For all the times I have been knocked on my butt there have been a few that I just want to stay there but He helps me get up and keep going. He has done that for me since I was 4 and lead me in ways that will help me return to Him-they may not have been easy roads and I am not perfect on the road, but he knows my broken parts and loves me anyway. I am grateful we have the scriptures. I have been trying to turn to them more often than I had been. When I was a missionary I couldn't imagine a day without reading and now I am grateful for the days I get it in. (Major admittance to NOT being perfect!!!)
Kelsey played a great game this morning. She is so tough even when these girls that were 6 inches taller than her knocked her down and got a yellow card (the coach too)=she still got up and kicked an amazing corner kick! she also scored the teams first goal of the season but it got called back due to a hand ball by her teammate. I learned today that the Aggie girls are mainly from the Spring Challenge club so we may have to play over there in the future if she wants to keep playing.
Kyle won his first select baseball game today and we get to play 1 game in the morning and if we win we will be in the championship game. That is really exciting for the team since they have been playing together since May and are just now finally starting to get the hang of select ball.
So despite being tired-it has been a good day.
I'm off to run....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

That's What Friends Are For...

I know it is a cheesy song, but after last night I have to say Thank you. I realized with great emotion that I can't remember a time i had so much fun with a group of women. I did as a T2 lady, but I laughed so hard and just had fun so thank you to Angela, Kelsey, Michele and Tay for coming out to dinner with me at the little hole in the wall Mexican food place. I appreciate that Kelsey made sure I didn't let it be forgotten last year, but last night I really had fun. I have loved getting to know you Angela and gymnastics and hope that we can continue talking each Tuesday and stuff. I have really enjoyed getting to know you Michele and look forward to your friendly face each time I go...Tay-thanks for always making me feel welcome. I know that life gets busy and hectic but you alway smile and say hi to me no matter where we are-and I appreciate it a lot! And Kelsey-thanks. I remember the first time I met you in the hall and you asked me what I loved to do and I couldn't answer but you told me photography. I felt so stupid that day, but you have never given up on me-you have seen me at my worst (my migraines and rides home from Urgent Care all drugged up) and my pit of despair and you still love me and my kids. I think you and Angela and Michele and Tay have helped me see all the good things in life I had forgotten about. Thanks guys... Keep smilin', keep shinin'Knowin' you can always count on me, for sureThat's what friends are forFor good times and bad timesI'll be on your side forever moreThat's what friends are for

And Thanks to all the other good friends I have. Each day I check in on my blog and each one of you that leaves me encouraging words brighten each day and I just ove you-how blessed this journey of life has been with rich blessings of friendship I never imagined I would deserve or have. Thanks!

I answered the TAG!


BTW----TAG!
I guess with blogging, it's inevitable someone will eventually tag you and here it is!Answer the questions with one word (or a little more) and then tag three people.1. Where is your cellphone? table2. Your significant other? downtown houston 3. Your hair? in a pony tail 4. Your mother? in court in McAllen, Texas 5. Your Father? the next life 6. Your favorite thing? running on the beach first thing in the mornign or last thing at night 7. Your dream last night? did i dream last night? 8. Your favorite drink? diet cherry vanilla dr pepper from sonic 9. Your dream goal? to be a nurse or phamacists 10. The room you’re in? bedroom 11. Your hobby? blogging, running, singing 12. Your fear? failing as a mother and a wife 13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy with where i am 14. What you’re not? in shape! 15. Muffins? bran muffins from heb 16. One of your wishlist item? a boat or pop up camper 17. Where you grew up? Texas 18. Last thing you did? answered emails 19. What are you wearing? Texas A&M soccer shirt and running pants 20. Favorite gadget? Steam mop! Love it!21. Your pets? unfortunately a dog22. Your computer? dell laptop .Your mood? at this moment ... tired24. Missing someone? my grandfather Your Car? Chevy blue suburban26. Something you’re not wearing? socks Favorite store? Kohl's 28. Like someone? Jeremy Favorite color? Blue 30. When was the last time you laughed? last night when Angela said no butcheek massages for me 31.When was the last time you cried? Monday

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Big Girls Don't Cry

Well, it seems that life has a way of changing courses when you finally start to feel settled. This has been a hard weekend and I have been surprised by the information I have learned. I am most grateful for General Conference this weekend. I needed to hear all the words of comfort and support. It has been a long time since it feels like my prayers were answered and I felt as if they were speaking directly to me. I know it is a phrase that is heard often-but those were the words from the scriptures that I needed most right now. I needed to remember to laugh and go forward. I needed to stand ready at the door instead of standing at the door complaining so loudly I couldn't hear Him try to open the door and put His arms around me.
On my birthday Jeremy called me and told me that his Project was cancelled and we could be moving any where in the world or he may stay in another department here in Houston. We don't know right now. I was frustrated with it all b/c I get that news and then I find out that Kelsey's soccer coach resigned and it seemed like it was just another day. But I was uplifted by all the phone calls and messages both on my blog and my facebook page. It made the world seem smaller and that I was needed in someone's life.
I don't know if we will be moving-part of me is really sad to think about it since I have reconnected with an old friend and made some new friends that I really care about. My kids are finally starting to feel settled and Keira was the only one who was ready to pick up and move again. It is also sad if we do move that we only got to enjoy our first new house for less than two years. I guess it doesn't really matter-but even with the things I have struggled with I was beginning to feel like this was home. Even through the Ike experience......
"To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people, and the affection of children... to leave the world a better place... to know that even one life had breathed easier because you had lived. This is to have succeeded."- Ralph Waldo Emerson
This was my favorite quote in high school. I love Ralph and all of his wisdom. I think that part of English lit I got a 100. I try to live by this quote. I don't always succeed. I get lost in my own problems, but I hope when I look back on my life I have found joy in the journey and not stopped on the side of the road and missed some spectacular things while I sat there. I hope that I will laugh more and with greater happiness when my children are around or I am alone. I love Fergie's song because it reminds me that I do have some straightening out to do but it is time to get a move on with my life. I will run the race I have wanted to run for all these years. It may take time to lose all the weight I have put on to protect myself from the pain I didn't want to feel. But I will find my joy in my journey and help others along the way.
I apologize if I have not listened to a prompting these past few years that would have allowed me to alleviate someone's else's pain. I was lost in mine-but I see so clearly now that I need to pick myself up and get moving. I have many blessings and it is time to see the rainbows instead of crying over the thunderstorms. Thank you Lord for hearing my cries after much tribulation after much pleading-healing my heart with only the love that you could give me. Not as the world giveth, but only you. You love me in spite of all of my imperfections. Thank you.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

We found our Jacob! Ha Ha!

Well, we have had an awesome friend who was a missionary when we moved here but has been home almost a year come to visit us this week and guess what? Kenna pulled a Nessie on me! She has taken to Ben like Nessie imprinted on Jacob (for those of you who read Twilight you will appreciate this tons!) So I keep telling Ben that she has imprinted on him and if he is not married in 20 years he can have her-he of course cringes but he has been a lifesaver and I am finally getting to have my arms free for a change! It has been so sweet and he has been so good to the other kids to-if I had had a brother-he would have been Ben's age-so I keep telling him I am adopting him as my brother! Hope he'll come back soon! He's joining the air force so hopefully we will still get to see him every now and then!
My birthday was a good one even with the bad news that was received that day. Thanks to Outback and our server Ashley for treating me like a queen that night! Friday we went back to CS for a dr appt and it was so nice to be there. I still miss it, but we are settling in here and trying to fit in-that may be impossible-but....:)
Kyle had a pitching lesson with Trey Moore. He was a hot shot Aggie pitcher and Kyle just adorns him-so that means he will listen to him. I got to tell Trey Happy birthday since he is the first person I have ever met to have the exact same bday (year too) So Kyle and Jeremy had fun at Extra Innings! :)
Kelsey played a great soccer game today! I was very proud of her and she seems to finally realize that she can relax and just play and have fun. I want her to have fun! I loved gymnastics and couldn't get enough-so I am glad to see that she enjoys it a lot!
Keira told a boy who was about 13 how to do a cartwheel since he didn't know how. She had her hand on her hip and said you do it like this you know-because I take gymnastics so I know how to do it. It was sooooo pooterific!
Thanks soooo much for all the birthday wishes-it makes me smile and be happy to see all the many happy birthday wishes that I received! I love you all and count my life very full to have soo many wonderful friends out there!
TTFN!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm almost 36!

Well, aside from running around like mad to get this baby shower pulled off and everything else I am having a birthday tomorrow! I can't believe that I am that old I still feel 22 and although I think I need to be a grown up I am not going to. Maybe it is a mid life crisis-but I am sticking to my diet and am not gonna be a frumpy 40 year old! I hope to be racing again by then! So hope everyone is enjoying this awesome weather and my favorite time of year. I rediscovered the truth that getting out and forgetting about yourself does make a huge difference! For those around here-HAAM helps those that need it not just those who live for welfare and I love serving there-if you have time you should too. Also-remember to check on that person who crossed your mind today-they probably needed something and you could be the one to save them! Have a great day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yeah!

Well I have to say that this has been a great week-of course it has not been a perfect week, but a great one. I was sad to see the kids go back to school yesterday-I miss them when they go back-I was blessed with really sweet kids and I miss them when they were gone. I got to watch Kelsey at soccer last night and talk to one of the other parents. It was fun discussing what we want to be when we grow up (or the kids really...) I go back and forth between getting a nursing degree or getting a master's in antropology or history so I can teach at a JC. (That was the original plan) I am back to leaning towards the master's degree b/c it would take less time-and I enjoy teaching. I haven't in sooo long that I have forgotten if I m any good at it...So ask me in a year-once it is just Kenna at home I'll probably try to take a few classes.
I had a great time last night. Thank you Kelsey for having a birthday! Thank you Laura for sending me stay strong vibes while I was at Chili's with all of those wonderful options! It was so nice to get out and to come home to a quiet house! That was awesome. Kyle came down and said good night-that's the sweet boy that he is always making sure we are ok before he goes to bed.
But best of all I have kept a goal ALL WEEK! I have stayed on track and not consumed more than 1500 calories each day and have spent at least 45 minutes doing Wii Fit. I am getting better at the strength moves, and the aeoribic stuff and the yoga-but the best part is getting stronger on my ankle that I couldn't balance on for more than 5 sec! (my reconstructed ankle) so that has been really amazing for me to see that I will get my athleticism back-it may take forever-but I am so excited to keep moving forward! Maybe when I reach my goal I'll get lucky again and have another random stranger tell me I don't look older than 27. That would rock!
I guess I have been reflecting a lot since I am hitting 36 in 6 days. I'm only 4 years away from the over the hill b-day and it has made me stop and think.
For the past year I have been struggling with the side effects of my endometriosis. Some days are really bad-others not so much. I remember that it was so hard as a sister missionary going to see all these doctors and not one (back in the old days they told you it was all in your head-I'd never had pain that I couldn't deal with until that time) giving me an answer other than well given your family history you probably won't be able to have kids. I was crushed and I felt so alone. I thought this isn't my issue. I really struggled and couldn't believe it. I tried this and I tried that. People have asked me since what it was that they gave me and I couldn't tell you-I was trying so hard to be a good missionary that I just did what they said and kept trying. It started before I left for the field and was still a problem when I got back. I think I saw 5 doctors in CA and then another 5 in SLC. Finally, the one in SLC told me to have the surgery. My mom told me to come home so her doctor could do it. I did and that time still being set apart as a missionary is a whole different blog. But when I returned to the mission, I just believed if I still did what they said and I was faithful it would all work out. When I got married so quickly after getting home (once again another blog) after a year of marriage I was afraid if we didn't try (even if I wasn't ready) we might end up back down that road again. I was shocked when I found out I was pregnant with Kyle. It was the same thing for Kelsey, but I started bleeding really bad and they told me I was having a miscarriage and to deal with it. But Jeremy gave me several blessings and as you know-Kelsey is here.
Well, the next five years I couldn't get pregnant. People would ask questions and at times it was really hard. When you have a child, they assume things, and treat you differently than when you have none. I was grateful for the ones that I had, but no one could give me an answer as to why I couldn't seem to get pregnant and the doctors kept telling me you have two so you're fine.
I don't profess to understand many things, but I remember how much it hurt to hold other babies. It felt so foreign to me-like a world I was never going to get to visit again. One day I had had it with all OB's I sat down my regular doctor and said-look I want another baby-what can I do. He gave me several different things and 9 months later I was pregnant-but he looked at me and said-ok-let's get you another baby, and he was right there when Keira was born to make sure she was ok.
The journey to the next baby was harder-the endo always made things challenging-I bled a lot with Keira and was on bed rest a lot, but I believed I'd have one more baby. When I was pregnant with her I had a dream that I had a boy and he died and the scene flashed to another baby and it was a girl. It was so real I remember waking up in a daze, but I forgot about it until I decided to try to have another baby. It took a little while to get pregnant, but we did and I was so excited. For the first time I waited to tell anyone (even though I was feeling crummy). It was right before Easter when we did tell everyone-I was so excited to have a Thanksgiving baby. On Easter I started bleeding again. I thought-oh it is just going to be a long 28 weeks, but I'll get through it. But that wasn't to be-I lost him 4 days later. It was hard because I was still greiving when I got pregnant. Someone told me just watch-so many people who have trouble getting pregnant have a D&C and BAM! Well-welcome Kenna.
As I approach my surgery for the endo on the 24th of October-I think of the interesting road life took-the Lord blessed me with my four children. Not quite the road I expected, but I got here. I look forward to feeling better and if it doesn't work I get to move into that "H" group of old women~
But as I was "doing it wrong" last night with a sweet newborn-it hit me-each of us have these trials-having a family (however they may come) is hard enough-we need to stand strong with one another and lift each other up and bring joy. Someone once told me when the meds to try and have Keira were making me soooo sick-maybe you should just give up. I thought about it-but prayers were answered-I know that He answers them in a way for each of us that will bring us the most joy in the long run-it may not seem so right now-but we will see it and feel it.

Although it is cheesy I think we should all sing along with Demi "This is real, this is me, i'm exactly where I'm supposed to be now-gonna let the light shine on me-now I've found who I am there's no way to hold it in-no more hiding who i want to be-This is me!"
At least that's how I feel when I see Kelsey and her best friend sing along to this song-
As women we should be singing a long not worrying if we are on key or not-just happy being ourselves!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pants=Love

If anyone has read these books you recognize this. With the way life has been in our "sad" town I have been reading a lot-mainly to let go of all the tension and stress that came along with Ike. We are blessed and safe and I count my blessings often-but it was a hard week for the Brann Clan. Kenna had a hard time with it all-she cried and cried at Grandma's especially when we tried to leave her-even Kelsey couldn't settle her down. She is slowly getting comfortable again and I am soooo grateful to Sarah for all the advice and support she has given me this past week on how to get through the challenges of being a mom. It is a sweet boon to have someone feel the same way I do about being a mom and raising a child that has so many fears. (and sickness) On a whim I decided to read the first book of the traveling pants. The movie trailer looked cute so I thought what the heck. I got hooked and read all 4 books in 2 days. I read fast, but it was very liberating to be able to let go and reflect.
I have decided that my former self was Bee and as I tried to be an adult I was invisible Carmen. It hitme that for so many years now I was trying to be invisible. Not believing that I fit in or belonged. I wasn't sure who I was anymore and as I struggled with that I reached for food to help hide me. (for those of you who just come by from time to time-sorry about my deep thoughts) I thought about all the things that made me who I was. I didn't want them to make up who I am-at least not the bad stuff. As I read these books-it hit me. Do I have friends like the ones in the traveling pants. Not like the book but I have friends who are true and who accept me for who I am.
So for me today is a new day. I am not going to be invisible Amanda anymore. I doubt that I will get back to being Mandy, but hopefully I will find somewhere in between. I will get back to running and dancing and singing and well being spontaneous! I was pretty hyper back in the day. Nobody ever said that turning 36 in a few days meant that I had to be boring.
But life is too short to go through life without good friends and your favorite pair of pants. That may sound cheesy but it is true.
As I see all these people who have lost everything as I think about my grandfather who was a FEMA/disaster head guy back in the day-I realize that he prepared me to be a responsible woman and I have let him down by giving up on myself. I may still cry when I think about him, but I am going to live my life with knowing that I can do what I set my mind to do-I forgot that when I was 18. I believed all those who told me I couldn't, I shouldn't, I wouldn't. I believed that person who told someone-oh don't marry her she's not worth it to a former boyfriend (at age 20)...He always believed in me and he knew that he was a first responder to all of south texas.
I will keep all these people in my prayers and realize that stuff does come and go-thinking about the tree that fell and if it had been the other tree a few yards closer-i wouldn't have my husband or kenna with me right now. They mean a lot to me. Jeremy has loved me even when I couldn't love myself or felt like I deserved his love. So I am soo grateful to the Lord for keeping him safe.
yes, my family and my friends are safe-but I came out of the storm realizing that I too am safe. The storms that have come and gone in my life left wreckage I hadn't picked up yet and I can pick it up and throw it away. I can move forward and see that sunshine that is out there and realize that the storm was hard, afterwards was hard, but the cool front that followed was a blessing and a reminder that the Lord does know us and He does watch out for us-we just need to be aware and pay attention to it instead of push it aside.
Pants=Love....May I always have love in my life and good friends to walk this journey with....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

WE SURVIVED

As the paper in the valley said after hurricaine Dolly "We survived" I can honestly say I never want to ri'de out a storm again. i was soo scared even knowing that i was prepared for it all. i can honestly say that i am soo grateful that i listened to the counsel to have it all. i only wish that a generator was on that list. i never really thought about it much until we didn't have power for days and had to cook all of our food on the grill and throw away the rest. it was very sad to throw out all the food in my fridge. we were gonna stay the whole time but the baby needed a nedulizer treatment and by sunday at 8pm we still didn't have power so we went to the closest grandma's house in san antonio. the kids are in heaven buti want to get back and help my friends. they are having all these drives but i wish they would show the pictures from humble and the woodlands so that others could see that the wind damage is that bad! most people just want bread and milk and eggs and they have their canned goods. they could also use gas, but we are hopefully going back in a few days and can bring some stuff home. Esther in porter, tx got told it could be 4-6 weeks before they will get power back b/c of all the damage. i can't get ahold of her and it is killing me. i know she's ok, but wish i could help more. i am grateful to the people that have been there to help thoaw around us. thanks so brenton scott for checking on us repeatedly to make sure we were ok and to help with the tree that fell in our back yard. it was a blessing from the Lord that the tree that fell was a 40 ft tree and fell from so far back b/c if it had been the one closest to the fence it would have hit the power lines and then the house where jeremy was sleeping and he would not be with us tody. we were all in the room with no windows in the middle of the storm when the wind and rain was so bad. i saw trees bend and the wind howl and it was all at night- i totally appreciate the phrase grateful for the light of day. it was still scary in the morning, but the night from 1am-5am when the eye passed over us and then strated all over again at 6am until 10 am. it was harrowing. but i am grateful and know that as my mom said-my grandfather was watching over us-he trained me well to be prepared for hurricaine and i am so grateful for that preperation. thanks to grandma kip for giving me updates to help me keep my sanity and not panic. thank you to grandma and grandpa for letting us stay here for a few days and enjoy the a/c and a little peace. there is still a lot to do and life will take time to get back to normal-or at least the new normal. my blessings are many and my prayers are for my friends that will have more to rebuild than us. we survived.....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

it looks like ike won't take a hike

well i am soo glad that I am prepared for Ike-just a few things to do here at the house and I am going to pick up TP and cat litter for a friend. I am not looking forward to the next few days with a major "hurricaine a comin'"....But if you are prepared ye shall not fear-is sooo true. So hopefully by Sunday I can post that we are all ok and that there was no damage-just rain like Gustauv....Kenna seems to be doing a ton better and so I am grateful for that-now if I could only have a better school year with Kyle.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The bugs on my windshield

Well, I seem to have a sick household, but aside from the frustation of it all, I realize things could be worse. These day to day trials are like the love bug guts on my windshield. they are really annoying when they hit, they are hard to clean off the window, but they are only around for a short time every year. I have been embarrassed by the messiness of my house when people have stopped by the last few days, but I know that it won't be forever-but I miss my rescuers, Kitch and Olsen. This time last year when I was drowning in the same thing-they were here to help me with the kids and the house and my sanity. So I am grateful that the Lord put them in my life-because they have blessed my life with their example. Others have done the same things for me, but these two women really cared when it was hard to just get out of bed, let alone take care of a screaming baby and a 3 1/2 year old after I got the older kids to school. Some days I wonder what this only child was thinking about having a large family with 4 kids. I worry I fall short-but just as my challenges in raising them are like the love bugs-I will miss it when they are gone and I try to enjoy it-because really in the end it is not how clean my house was every day, but that my kids know that I love them and have taught them to believe in themselves. I'll just be happy when I feel good again and I get the endo issues resolved again. That is another love bug I won't mind getting rid of forever-but to do that it is a hysterectomy and I have to schedule that recovery time!:)
I have also realized that as I have found old friends this week that maybe I wasn't such a bad friend when I was a teenager. I was always worried that b/c of my old family that I was a bad friend and never did a good job of keeping in touch. It has really made my day when they write back on my facebook page and say they have thought about me, etc. I catch myself smiling at a Stotlar memory or a Pop Show memory or a musical memory or a choir trip memory. Last week before all of this happened I was singing Kenna to sleep with "Go Ye Now In Peace" and "For the Beauty of the Earth". It is hard to believe it has been almost 20 years since I left Kingwood the first time. I have changed a lot since then-but I am determined to sing more. I wish I hadn't stopped singing. I want my kids to believe in themselves more than I believed in me all those years ago and that dreams can come true with hard work and support. I guess now I am rambling so I better get something done today. I got the suburban clean-so I just hace to catch up to the laundry! Have a good one to anyone who reads my blog.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008



ok so I am not happy to post pictures of myself, but I did it. Kelsey made jeremy and I look good in this picture in spite of myself and the bad hair day, etc. It is my motivation to get in shape again. so for those of you that get on me for never putting a picture of myself up-here it is. I plan for this year's to be Aggie Maroon and looking forward to more great pictures from kelsey! she rocks!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dodging the snowballs...oh wait I'm in Tx-dodging the love bugs of life...

Well it was a good weekend. I was amazed by Kelsey in her soccer game. Her team still lost, but her and Kibri and GG and Brianna and Hannah played a great game. These girls really seem to enjoy soccer and are getting some chemistry-the others seem to struggle with it all or maybe it was just the major sand pit the girls played in!
But I'd like to thank Di and Joe for opening their house to my circus and feeding us lunch since we were in Katy and helping us not suffer through another fast food meal. They are soo sweet and I love them tons! Joe works with Jeremy and I'm glad that Jeremy found such a good friend at work. At least I know he doesn't have to eat alone!
We also played baseball in Pasedena this weekend. It was such a blessing that it wasn't ever too hot! There was always a breeze and the evening was really nice! I heard the morning game on Sunday was even better. I was so proud of Kyle. I know that I say it every time he plays, but he was finally feeling comfortable at the plate and hitting great. He even pitched really well on Saturday and on Sunday Jeremy said he did a good job as well. I was just glad that he is having fun and asking Jeremy to throw with him every night. It is neat to see him grow into this sport and love it so much.
Kenna hasn't been feeling well for about a month now and has had loose stools for about a month now. I took out all the milk products that I had been letting her have (yogurt and cheese) every now and then and she still is miserable. Well Saturday night at 11:30pm she threw up until 1am and then cried off and on all night. She had poopies all day Sunday-I thought she was doing better today, but it is all back. I am taking her in tomorrow because I am getting worried. I don't want her feeling bad anymore. She was really starting to like a few people other than me and now she just likes me or Jeremy so hopefully she'll get some answers.
Keira loves doing preschool with her mom and wishes Kenna would sleep for a really really long time so I can read her tons of books after we do our preschool pages. It has been good time for me and Keira to spend together since I only get one year left with her before she is gone for most of the day next year.
I had a bad migraine yesterday-I haven't had one of those in about 2 months and it was a doozy! I forgot how much I hate throwing up and my head hurting at the same time. I still have residual pain, but it is manageable. I can't complain other than the fact that my house was ransacked and I hope I recover it by the weekend. I go insane when it is a mess and turn into mean mommy. So I hope that I can get it undercontrol before I lose my mind. Well I may have already lost my mind-but I am trying to keep sane. I have decided that I have to find time for me. I have to lose this weight I have gained. I can admit that it came from depression all those years ago. ok so it was 7 years ago...But I want to remember what that happiness feels like and I finally feel like I can....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I hope that heaven is as small as the world can be at times so I can find treasures like this one

I have sooo much laundry to fold, but I was really touched by a conversation that I had tonight with a mom at soccer. She has 4 kids too and they are close to the same age as mine. Only her boy is the baby. We were talking about kids and babies and if we wanted anymore in spite of the fact we both had our tubes tied. We both agreed that we did and I mentioned I'd thought about it a lot lately since Christine Giles and Jenna Ricker are superheroes in my book for going through their trials and being pregnant. This mom knew Maren W and she had told her the story before I had even mentioned her name. She said that Maren described Christine the same way I had and this mom felt the same about Maren. It was neat to see that even in such a big world it is small enough that a family that doesn't even know the Giles family is praying every day for them. I love the bond that is shared among mothers. It doesn't matter what faith, race, or background we come from-if we are a mother we love our children and we want to help other mothers as they walk this journey of motherhood together. I had never really talked to Julie before but I left wanting to be a better person and mother and hope that if I came up in a conversation that my example shone as strong as Christine's. Jenna and Josie are just as amazing. They are so strong and exude while raising kids when their companion is not with them on a daily basis. Being a military wife is a noble call whatever the time of the world. Thanks Pinky and Josie and all the other women who raise kids while their true loves serve our country. Thanks to Kelsey and Sheri for being my friends when no one else seemed to care. I thank you for your goodness and kindness and help when the going gets tough. Most of all I'm grateful to call you friend. There are other women I am thankful for-if I don't mention you by name I am sure I will. I seem to be addicted to this and I seem to be long winded. Must be all the years of talking to kids.....

The truth of all things

You know it's funny the times that you have conversations with your spouse that you aren't expecting..Late last night when he got home from everything I got to talk to Jeremy and was impressed by the conversation he had earlier in the evening. You know sometimes I think that it is hard to be honest because it might tear down that "perfect family" facade even in the midst of trial. I know that I am not good at asking for help except from my true friends that have seen me in my desperate moments. I am slow to trust and loyal to those that I can trust to the bitter end. Past experiences have created this harder exterior that somes to come across as unfriendly in my later years. If anyone knew me back in the day they would never had labeled me as reserved-I was loud and outgoing and probably hyperactive. So my shock when Jermy said he was totally honest in this conversation-was shocking. I mean I am glad that he said it-sorta wishing I still had the guts to say some of it. But most of all it made me think a lot about who I have become. Most of the loves of my life-dancing, running and singing have fallen by the wayside. I plan to find them again and my other loves-right now I am just trying to get in the habit of journalling again with this blog. But I have been thinking a lot of the woman and her accusers who was found in adultery and taken to the Savior before she was stoned to death. (No I didn't commit adultery or anything!!!) I keep wondering what she must have been thinking as she sat there on the ground with everyone holding their stones and the words of the Savior. "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. "
Was she thinking-i will never sin again? did the people in the group leave realizing that we each struggle with things that are so different-how can we cast stones when we are all imperfect. I hope that even as I struggle with the wall around my heart that I still have the compassion and love for others whether I agree with them or not. My own road has it's challenges and mountains-let me be the one that helps and not hinders.
Thanks Esther for being the only person in my life that has stuck with me all of these years. I know we have changed a lot in 22 years and not always gotten along, but our friendship has survived and our girls' friendship is a sweet fruit of it all. I am grateful for Bobbi who was an instant friend back in March 2004. I feel as if I have known her forever and when I was so scared of that emergency c-section that she gave me (the stranger) the hugest pep talk that made it an easy one. Hopefully we'll get to watch some Aggie soccer and football with you this fall.
Most of all thanks to those people that have given me the example to be a good mom even thought I was an only child. I thought being a mom would be sooo easy and it is not. But it is fun and I still have days that I wish I could have one more....But that was not in the cards so I am doing my best to love each new day and appreciate all the blessings I have. Because time goes by fast and I hope that in the next life I get to be with those I love forever.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Well...

Ok-so I am probaly writing too much now-but I loved yesterday. Not because I am totally behind in everything-but I went shopping with a friend, got Keira signed up for gymnastics and laughed most of the day with Keiraisms. She loves gymnastics and it is soo much fun to have a friend in her class-tyler. Now I think I talk to Angela and keep her from watching Tyler in gymnastics-but I so enjoy it. The two of them in class together is soo cute. The running and jumping is so cute. I'll miss that when she stops doing it. I went to Taret yesterday and found these cool lunch kits for the kids so I don't have to use plastic bags and juice boxes. unfortunately I was shocked that a thermos is $16.00! remember when thermoses came with your lunchbox. Not anymore. the little ones that come with a lunch box leak all over the place and ruin the kids lunches-what's a mom to do-how do I keep the drinks cold and not leak with out spending $30 on thermoses for them? It will be $45 next year when three of them are in school? I just really want to lessen my trash output and I thought I could pick up a thermos for a reasonable price-guess not-anybody have any ideas? Ok well-if I added you to my following page-just want to keep in touch-hopefully you will enjoy my page some...