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.