Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I finally have a picture of Jaithan!

I hope that Jon (BIL) and Emily(SIL) don't mind that I copied and posted Jaithan here. Bur here is my little nephew. I can't wait until I get to see this little guy in person. He is still in our prayers as is Jen, his mommy. That is Jon's wedding band on his wrist! I don't have internet on my phone so I am excited that it was posted so I could see him. Grandma says he is alrady making faces like Jon! How amazing it is to hear about their little personalites showing through even at 11 weeks early!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thank You Audrey Hepburn for These Words

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Random Deep Thoughts.....It has been a long week

Some days I wonder if being so far behind-will I ever catch up?
For fun I took a quiz on FB about my color aura-it described me perfectly. I do get lost in my feelings and emotions. I think I do like to feel that fire and I do want to take care of others. I sometimes get overwhelmed by it all. I definately have a lot of questions I want to ask when I get to the next life. It was three years ago this past week that I had the miscarriage. I know that is one question that I will ask. I still don't understand why-it is a mother's heart that can tell you that he was the son I saw on my mission. He was the little boy and Kyle's brother in my dreams. But for some reason he is not in our earthly family. I don't know why. I can only say that three years later I can finally be at peace to wait until the next life to see him and ask.
I hide most of my feelings in public. I was thinking about him when I learned of little Ryan's passing. When I saw her Tuesday night all I wanted to do was hug her and somehow help her get through it. I know she has others who have been through this expereince. I can't relate the way these two women can. I am grateful for an old friend who is willing to give me some advice from her personal tradegy. It was hard to walk in and see him lying there. But Kelsey told me-the Spirit is really strong-you'll be ok. As I walked in, she was right. I realized that his spirit was with Heavenly Father and he was safe. He was ok. He is not my child so my grief is nothing compared to hers-but it touched me in a testimony building way. I can't explain it. I still just wanted to hold her and take her pain away, but I hope that I can at least become a good friend and support for her when she returns home.
I am also thankful that I got a hold of Jason. He gave me some good advice for Kelsey. She was able to go play soccer last night and that smile of how much she loves to play returned. I could tell she was having fun again and she was glad to be there. She was totally relaxed and having fun! She didn't even realize it had been 2 1/2 hours! So I am very appreciative of the time that he took amidst the trials he is facing.
I am also thankful for Keira's gymnstics coach willing to share her thoughts since she has teenage daughters. I need all the help I can get and it is good to hear others parental thoughts.
I know that this stage will not last very long. There are days when I get caught up in the daily tasks that I forget the big picture. I am trying to appreciate each day.
On a final note....I can admit that in the past few years I have struggled with depression off and on. I know there is still a stigma attached to it and I still feel like a loser writing it. But if there ever comes a time when my daughters or son struggle with depression, I want them to have this reminder that you can get through it. I just have been thinking about this since the "House" episode of Dr. Kutner's suicide. I have been to more suicide funerals than anything else. I have seen an ex-SIL battle with bipolar disease. I have watched a mom struggle with two autistic sons, one more severe than the other. Mental health is an important issue that I wish we could be more open about. I think that is why we have that scripture in Mosiah. We need to help one another to make it on the straight and narrow path. We have our Savior and he gave us each other. What an amazing gift the Father has given us. I was so touched to hear that all 5 of Jen's brothers came the moment they found out about the baby. That is what I believe the Lord wants us to do for each other. So I write-I still struggle with depression off and on, but I am grateful to the Lord and my friends who help me see the amazing things in the life that I sometimes forget. I am grateful for pray and the commandment to pray always. It has lifted me out of my darkness and let me see the sunshine. It has helped me to believe that He will help me to raise good happy peaceful kids. How blessed am I that my almost 12 year old son will still sit on my lap and give me a hug? Or my 10 year old daughter will out of the blue walk up to me and give me a bear hug and tell me she loves me? My 5 year old daughter tells me that she loves me and I am the best. and Kenna is still our velcro child.
I have so many blessings in this life and I believe that I was blessed to live in a time of the fullness of the gospel. I am blessed each day to have the Spirit to guide me and help me to progress along the path to becoming a window to his love and a doorway to the truth. It may be cliche and cheesy-but I hope that I will always strive to be a handmaiden unto the Lord.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Comfort those that stand in need of comfort......"

It has been a strange weekend. I found out Friday that a friend lost her baby to SIDS Friday morning. It struck me harder than usual. I was just getting to know her-so I don't know her well, but with all that I have seen and gone through this time is has been different. I have always felt sympathy and compassion for trials such as these, but I have really been touched with this overwhleming feeling of a newer deeper meaning of the scripture that describes our baptismal covenants.

Mosiah 18: 9

9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

I have prayed so much for her in the past few days. I still don't know the best way to help-but I keep praying for the inspiration to guide me in the ways I can be there. I know it can be a lonely road. I know grief can tear us apart. I am grateful that she has a connection to someone here that has gone through this trial and can help her through these next few months. I know she is willing to help and I admire her desire to be there for this mom. She is a great example to me of a Christlike love and this scripture. As a song says-it is amazing what one heart in the right place can do. I believe this fits her to a T.

I also found out yesterday that my brother in law and his wife had their little boy 11 weeks early. It is so hard to be so far away. She had to have an emergency C-section because her blood pressure was too high and it was harming her and the baby. He is only 2 pounds 7 ounces and 16 inches long. His name is Jaithin Kobeck Brann. Jon says the nurses say he is a fighter. I hope so. I just want to tell him-if I can make it at 2 pounds and 12 weeks early 37 years ago in a little south texas town-you can make it. My grandmother told the nurses to tell me that my great grandfather was the same 2 pounds and was kept in an oven and he made it to adulthood with no complications. I hope this little guy will be the same. I pray for Jen and Jon to have strength to make it through this trial and feel just as strongly to give them comfort and support as I do to the family here in Humble.

Today I woke up to one child saying his throat hurts, one with a fever of 101 and another with a fever of 103. Poor Kenna has been crying all morning. Keira look so glazed over and Kyle doesn't want to eat. So it has been a rough morning. I just wanted to get my thoughts down. I figure this is my journal and you guys are my proofreaders for future generations. :)
So I better go see if I can get anyone to eat lunch and hope that this day will go smoothly. I am praying for my Humble family. And I am so grateful that the Lord has watched over Jon and Jen and their little Jaithin. May He still....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Being a Mom

I've decided that there is no harder job than that of a parent. It never ends and it never gets an easier. I know that even when your kids are grown you will still be a parent. I look at the little girls and think right now it is so easy to solve their problems or fix what they don't like. Cheer them up is a tickle session or a trip to the park or ice cream from Culver's. Calming their fears you can hug them or say a prayer or just hold them.
Then time goes on- they are scared of not having friends or not getting good grades, etc. You try to teach them the principles they need to be grounded. You try to be a good parent and yet still be a friend so they will talk to you. You want to fight their battles and make sure that they are treated fairly and find success. It is hard to realize when to back off and let them fly. It is hard to realize they are growing up so fast. It is hard to not let your experiences as a kid cloud your judgement of how to help your kids or send them in a direction that you think is better.
I have been reading the Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites books to the kids before bed every night and it has made me think a lot about my parenting. In the book I am reading to them right now-they go back in time when the Savior appears in the Americas. It has made me stop and think about what I want most for my family if I like Renae in the book was taken from her family and it was just Dad and the kids.
Then as I was talking to Kelsey about soccer -she wants to try another sport because soccer is not fun anymore-I wondered-was it something I did wrong? Is it my fault that she does not want to play? She has an amazing talent as a soccer player. But she seems excited to swim on the swim team this summer-so maybe she will find the fun she once had in soccer there. I have struggled to make the right decision-should we switch clubs? so we play up? should we take a break from soccer? I have prayed and asked for guidance. I missed all the clues that she was trying to give. So I guess I am having a bad mom moment. I missed the inspiration I was getting in my hopes and dreams for her.
Someone once told me when Kyle was in kindergarten-you want that teacher to love your child as much as you do. After all they spend more waking time with them then you do. I think I felt the same way about Kelsey and soccer. I just wanted someone to love Kelsey as much as her old coach in CS did. He was a grandpa and he did such a great job with her. She loved soccer and loved playing for him. He always encouraged her and when we played in College Station in the fall of 2007-he even came to watch her play. I think all this time and all the issues I had-I just wanted someone to take an interest in her like Ray did. He was amazing. So I thank those good people from church callings to school teachers to coaches who have been a good influence in my kids lives. The ones that build them up and really care. It is not about winning or losing in the end-it is about being a team and realizing that each child matters. Each child is a child of God and we are here to help them find joy in this life. I hope that I will take the time to be an instrument for good in the lives of not only my own children but the children that I come across each day.
Being a mom is a blessing and although it is a hard job-it does bring me great joy. I may not be perfect at it-thank goodness for the Atonement-but I do the best I can to guide my children to find lasting peace and happiness in this life and our lives in the next.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Not quite how I planned

well Easter didn't turn out quite like I planned. I was up all Saturday night until about 4am with Jeremy and a stomach bug. I got a few hours of sleep before the kids woke up at 7am and he was back up from 7-9 sick again. I gave him some medicine and he finally slept for the rest of the day. I was afraid to leave him so we stayed home from church. A few times the kids lost their patience for the house so we ended up outside. I tried to keep them reverent and focus on Easter, but they were ready to be active. So I still made Easter dinner and we ate w.o the missionaries since I was afraid it might be contagious. He is doing better today. At an MRI right now for something else, but it has not been the weekend that I had planned.

The neat thing is we finally watched "The Other Side Of Heaven" last night as a family. It is about Elder Groberg's mission in Tonga. I was so impressed and touched by this story. I loved the part where he says-it makes me want to shout "Hurrah for Israel!" and I will be the Lord's wind for you today. It made me realize I need to pray more and be more willing to take action.

I especially want to tell the person that called me last night-thank you. I was having a bit of a pity party in my mind about missing church on Easter, and no sleep and Kenna being Kenna, etc. I didn't really pray but more just murmured up to Him and said I just want some sympathy for it being such a lame Sunday. She offered to come get the kids and I can't explain how much that meant for me. When the older kids are home-it is really not bad because they all entertain each other-but they were getting on my nerves and I wasn't overwhelmed just annoyed. It was so sweet and thoughtful and it was a huge boost. So thank you for answering my prayer and letting me know someone cares!!!

I also want to thank the family that showed up Saturdy afternoon and invited us over for dinner on Easter dinner. It was such a sweet surprise. We don't get invited over much-I am sure because of our family size-so it was so nice to be invited over. Thanks so much! You made our day!
I have really been trying to apply the things I learned at TOFW this past month. It has had a huge impact in my family. I have prayed and pulled the kids aside to pray when it feels like the contention is taking over. EAch time the Spirit of the Lord has entered back into our home for a more peaceful day. I know it is hard and as a mom humbling to go to your children and say I am sorry or to offer a prayer in the middle of a fight, but I have seen the change and I am grateful for it.
I also read the 3rd and 4th book of the Tennis shoes among the Nephites book to the kids this weekend. I finished them, but am still reading to the kids. It was perfect since it is where the Savior appeared to them here. What a great reminder of all the many ways that the Lord loves us and won't forget about us.
But I am grateful Jeremy seems to be ok today and all of my kids are well-I am grateful that I have the gospel and although I am not perfect by any means, I am grateful I can move forward and that the Savior is there to help me. He understands each pain and tear. When I was a missionary I realized that-as an adult I struggled with it. Now I more fully comprehend just a small amount of what He did for me. But it makes me whole and I am grateful for that wholeness.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Photo Update

Ok-so Kelsey took these pictures. Notice the first is of Dad, then Kyle and then Drew? Yep-I think Kelsey has a crush on one of Kyle's friends. But at least it is just one-Keira has a crush on the whole team. She tells me Saturday-Hey mom, the boys look cute even without their hats on! OH NO!

Kenna's first ponytail! Keira at her party. The bottom picture is at her party that had this little boy that appeared out of nowhere and sang to Keira and Chuckie and was so excited! He even asked for cake! IT was the funniest thing ever!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Funder go away

Well, I have to say that I thought we were moving forward in Kenna's little world of fear, but last night when it wasn't raining she cried and cried while I was at church telling Jeremy "Funder go away!" (Thunder go away) She sees the gray sky and worries that the funder will hurt her. She has always been afraid of loud sounds since the day she was born, but I thought it was getting better. This past week or so we have had a lot of spring thunder storms and so it has been challenging that she worries so much. At church when it was time for nursery we just had to walk in the general direction of the room and she would cry. Sunday when sacrament meeting ended she started to cry and tell me not to leave her. I know that for some reason there seems to be a lot of children right now struggling with these fears. I believe they came to this world with them. She really has struggled with it more than any of my other children. My right arm and shoulder is afflicted with tendonitits and a small tear because I have held her nonstop in the past two years. I wonder if she is more sensitive to the evil that surrounds us. At times she can be really tough-so she has been a perplexing child. Aside from the asthma and allergy issues she is faced with.
I have realized that I need to focus more on Keira and although it is a slow process I can see it is helping. I am reading more with her and I am striving to make sure just her and I read scriptures every night. I know it is important-but she wasn't sitting still and I would get frustrated-but she wants to do it now so we are reading 1-2 scriptures every night and I am amazed at the confidence it is giving her. She is still a hoot and it is hard to believe she will be in kindergarten soon, but I am trying to just enjoy this time I have left with her before she starts school.
I also have to add that I do love summer vacation. I know that a few of you think I am nuts, but as your kids get older you will see that there is a lot of fun to be had during these breaks. I have had some great talks with Kyle and Kelsey during these times off and so I enjoy the break from school and sports-it gives us a time to really just be 24/7. The younger girls love to have the older kids home during this time and I know as they get older it will be harder to keep them close with such a huge age gap between Kyle and Kenna. I love to watch Kenna run to Kyle and Kelsey as they walk in the door after school. It is a joy that I can't describe.
Last night I got to go to Career Day for the YW. I invited my friend, Jennifer, who is a Target pharmacist. It was fun to see all the different things that interest people. I saw nothing but music when I was their age and now I am doing the last thing I thought-being a mom. I still plan to go back and get a nursing degree when Kenna starts school-but it made me appreciate all the blessing I have received by being able to stay home with the kids all these years. Time flies and I am grateful that even if we don't have the biggest house that is peferctly decorated with furniture and lights and paintings and cool stuff or the boat or the camper or the awesome vacations or that we do have student loans and a mortage-I am grateful for all of Jeremy's hard work over the years that has allowed us to work together to make good choices for our kids. Kyle needs his dad around-what a great blessing that they get to spend so much time together. Money doesn't bring happiness-it is the time we spend with one another. I am glad that I have that time more than all of the things listed above. Time is priceless and as I get older I realize that is the greatest gift we can give to anyone or anything that we love, especially my kids. So Kenna will get through this and so will I-just have to love her and help her find the confidence she needs to realize she is ok.