Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spring Break

Well Sam wanted to go somewhere "warmer" for Spring Break. It doesn't take much to be warmer than Rexburg, Idaho! I told him while we couldn't afford a trip to the Bahamas or anything, we definitely could go to Burley for the weekend.

On Friday night we hired a sitter for Conner, Logan and Natalie. We took Sam and went with my parents out to Oakley to see "Oliver." It was very well done.

Saturday morning the kids dyed Easter Eggs. Later that day we went to Storybook Park. It is one of the kids favorite places to visit while we were in Burley.

My parents have been called to serve in a Single's Branch in Burley. So Bryon and I took Conner, Logan & Natalie to church in the good old Burley 3rd Ward (the ward I grew up in). Sam stayed behind to go to church with Grandpa & Grandma. It worked out well. Their church starts one hour later than Third Wards. So once we were gone, Sam got to play the Easter Bunny and hid the Easter eggs and put out the Easter baskets. He had a great time. When we all got home from church, we did the Easter Egg Hunt, had dinner and then went for a drive over to Shoshone Falls. The falls are beautiful this time of year. I personally hadn't been there for quite some time. It brought back a lot of memories for me. Growing up, we would go over every Saturday before Easter. We would have a picnic and roll eggs down this gigantic hill. They have walking paths around there too. I was still having problems with my leg but Bryon took the older boys on some short hikes. Because it was Sam's birthday the following day, once we got back to Burley, we had cake and ice cream and Sam got to open his presents from his Grandpa & Grandma Roskelley.

With it being Spring Break and Bryon and the kids didn't have school on Monday, we spent Sunday night in Burley. Then Monday morning, we got up and left for Burley shortly after my parents left for work. What a great time we had in Burley on Spring Break!

Monday, May 4, 2009

General Young Women's Broadcast

I was determined not to let my bum leg slow me down! Two days after my fall, I went with the Young Women and other Young Women leaders from our ward to Salt Lake City to see the Young Women's Broadcast. What an awesome day!

A man in our ward owns a bus company and donated a bus and driver for us to take to Salt Lake so we could all ride together. On the ride down, we about froze to death until we reached Pocatello. I guess on a bus there are valves that need to be open in order to generate the heat. Well, it took us to Idaho Falls to realize that the valve wasn't open. So we stopped once for him to open the valve. By Shelly, it was still not getting any warmer inside the bus so another stop and another phone call was made to figure out there was more than one valve that needed to be opened. It took to about Pocatello for the bus to heat up.

Our bus driver dropped us off at Temple Square. We then proceeded to walk to The Beehive House. That walk was up a gradual incline. I had a hard time trying to keep up! I was beginning to wonder just what I was getting myself into and maybe staying home would have been a good idea!! Too late for second thoughts. We had too many young women to take in one group and so we broke up into two groups. It had been several years since I have taken the time to tour The Beehive House. I think the house is beautiful.

After The Beehive House, we walked to The Joseph Smith Memorial Building. There we ate our sack lunches in a large cafeteria in the basement. After lunch, we went upstairs and watched the Joseph Smith Movie. It was awesome. I have seen the movie before but could watch it again and again. It really brings a great appreciation for Joseph Smith. It also makes me love Emma for the sacrifices that she made.

After the movie, we walked back to Temple Square. We didn't have time for a tour but we went up and saw the big statue of Christ that is in one of the Visitor Centers.

We then caught the bus and went to Hire's for dinner. It was a fun place. They are famous for their root beer but also serve homemade french fries. It was delicious!

After dinner, we went to The Conference Center for the broadcast. The doors opened quite a while before the broadcast. We got there shortly after the doors opened. We spent the time before the broadcast taking pictures and just visiting.

It was so amazing that when President Monson walked into the room, you could have heard a pin drop. What an amazing experience! All the talks were fabulous!

On the bus ride home, we spent the first part, talking about what parts for the fireside touched us. It was awesome to hear the young women talk about what touched them. Fast Sunday the following day was one of the most powerful testimony meetings I have attended in a while. Testimony was full of young women talking about how this trip had changed them. What a sweet Spirit filled our Sacrament Meeting that day.

Later Sunday night while attending a Bishop's Youth Discussion, the bishop thanked me for the sacrifice I made to go. It was not a sacrifice for me at all to go with these Young Women and Leaders that I love. To me it was a wonderful experience and one that helped strengthen my testimony.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Fall

I hope you will excuse me. I haven't blogged in FOREVER! I misplaced the cord to my camera that I download pictures with it. I found the cord this morning. Since blogging is kind of like my journaling of major events in our household, I hope you won't mind as I backtrack and write about a few of those major events in our household over the past month.

I don't know if you have ever had a moment where you are trying to process something in your brain and you start reacting before your brain totally finishes processing. I had one of those moments today.

I had been in Idaho Falls at an appointment. I had Logan with me. I didn't get away like I had expected and so my good friend, Linda Gibbs, picked Conner and Natalie up from school and was watching them at her house. I went and picked them up as I was coming into town. I knew Linda had to be to work and so we were in a bit of a hurry. When I got there, I unbuckled Logan and he came in with me. Conner was all ready to go but Natalie didn't have shoes on. So upon leaving Linda's house, I start trying to figure out if I should carry Natalie down the steps and to the van or if I should just let her walk down the steps and then I would carry her to the van. My brain had decided that the steps were clean and dry and she could walk down the steps and then I would carry her to the van. However, I immediately leaned forward and went to carry her. That split second of indecisiveness was enough to through me completely off balanace. I fell forward. We must have also fallen sideways because we ended to the side of the stairs in a bed of lava rock. Me right on top of Natalie. Linda had been behind us and rushed to pull Natalie out from under me. Anyone who knows me, knows I don't like people to know I am hurt and I usually jump up screaming that I am okay. Not this time. I laid in the bed of lava rock screaming out in pain. Once Linda had gotten Natalie out of the rock, I notice that she is bleeding profusely. So Linda takes Natalie in the house to get her cleaned up. Thanks so much Linda. Those of you who know me know I don't deal well with blood or puke! Conner and Logan are standing there looking at me, scared. Natalie had left a lot of blood behind. Her pink coat and princess backpack were now more red than they were pink and there was quite a bit of blood on the sidewalk. I was still laying there in the bed of lava rocks trying to figure how I was ever going to get out of there. I tell Logan and Conner to carry Natalie's things to the van and I will be there in a minute. It took everything I had in me to get up and hobble to the van. Linda finished cleaning up Natalie and brought her to the van. I start heading home. I tried to reach Bryon at the school. He wasn't available so I left a message on his voicemail. You see I had had trouble sleeping lately and would be wide awake at 3 or 4 in the morning. This particular morning I had been up since 4. My appointment in Idaho Falls had also been very emotional for me. Anyone who knows me also knows that I love a little power nap in the afternoon. So I told Bryon that I had had a little mishap and was going to go home and have a power nap. I had a month's worth of groceries in the backseat. I told him I would carry in the refrigerated and freezer stuff but would need his help unloading everything else upon him getting home. But do not call me, I would just see him when he got home in a couple of hours. Well my mind quickly changed upon getting home. It took me a good 20 minutes to hobble from the van into the house and Natalie's nose had began to bleed again. Bryon came home and loaded Natalie up in the van to take her to Community Care. He asked me if I was going to go with them to have the doctor look at my foot. I do not like to go to doctors and try to avoid them at all costs. I told Bryon, "I am badly hurt NOT dead!"

Natalie ended up with two little stitches on the side of her nose. I am still paying for my little mishap. The very next day, my foot was still not doing any better. I have had a broken foot before and felt like I hadn't broken anything. However, this happened on a Thursday and on Saturday of that same week we were going to be taking our Young Women to Salt Lake to attend the General Young Women's Broadcast. I was going even if I had to go on a stretcher. I knew we were going to be walking all over Temple Sqaure in Salt Lake City. When all the kids were at school on Friday morning, I took myself to Community Care. They x-rayed my foot. Sure enough it wasn't broken but just very badly sprained. The doctor told me he was going to give me an air cast. I told him I was glad because on Saturday we were going to Temple Square and I would be doing a lot of walking and was hoping to get some support for my ankle. Upon hearing how much walking I would be doing, he opted to give me a walking boot. I wore the walking boot that day, Saturday to Salt Lake, and Sunday. By Monday I figured my ankle was feeling pretty good and I wouldn't wear the boot for all the little puttering around the house stuff I do. (The doctor at Community Care never told me how long I had to wear it). However, if I do any sort of exercising or walk any sort of long distance, that sucker swells up the size of a watermelon! On Monday I went to the doctor for a list of about 10 things I was hoping to talk to him about. While I was visiting him, I mentioned in passing about my fall. He looks at my ankle (which was NOT one of the 10 things I went to talk to him about). He found out I had a walking boot and had worn it only for a short amount of time. He told me I am to go back to the walking boot for a good week if not two!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Favorite Things

Last week I took Logan down to Primary Children's Hospital for some Genetic testing. We really didn't have any concerns when we made the appointment we just wanted to rule some things out. Also Logan's eye doctor at the Moran/Primary Children's Hospital wanted us to have it done. Other than just being long, the appointment was fine. The doctor sees no reason to see us for another three years. At that time, Logan will be entering the school scene and will want to see how he is doing academically.

I invited a friend to go with me. I hate going by myself and I really worried about navigating around Salt Lake City. We did some shopping on Wednesday and I found some new Favorite Things that I wanted to tell you about.

First of all we went to Tai Pan Trading. I LOVE THAT STORE. I could have spent a ton of money in there. I refrained and only bought a few things. Don't worry I plan on going again this weekend when we go down for Disney on Ice. Last time we were in there, Bryon talked me into buying these red containers. While I loved them, they didn't match the color of my living room at all. I finally talked Bryon into donating them to the D.I. Since then I have been on a quest for a metal magazine rack. I found one and I love it!

While I was there, I found the cutest fruit basket. While I hadn't been looking for one, we really needed one. We have this wicker basket that sits on the counter. It desperately needed to be replaced. So here is my new fruit basket. I love it and it fits perfectly under my cupboards.

I have a wreath hanger that I put out occasionally. I have always wanted a wreath made of Easter Eggs. I found one that I couldn't pass up. I think it is adorable and Bryon even commented that he likes my new wreath. That is always a bonus!
All of this shopping was wearing us out. Brenda told me about the delicious caramel apples that they sell there. I actually broke down and brought one home for us to split. While we were looking for caramel apples, we went to the food court in Tai Pan. They sell Gelato there. While I have heard a lot about it, I had actually never tried it. It was delicious! I had Pink Grapefruit. I thought I was in Heaven! It is actually supposed to be better for you than ice cream. Plus it is served at a warmer temperature than ice cream, so no brain freeze. For me that is a HUGE PLUS! On our return trip to Tai Pan this weekend, I promised Bryon and the kids that we would stop for Gelato. I can hardly wait!

Don't worry I am almost done on my list of new favorite things! I have been in a Ross Dress For Less a couple of times and have never found anything real great. However, Brenda, swears by Ross's. So a stop at Ross's was definitely on my list of stores to hit while we were shopping. We found one. While I didn't find any clothes to buy, I did find a cute Liz Claiborne purse. But my favorite find there was a set of candlesticks. I have been looking everywhere for a set of three candlesticks to sit on my fireplace. I can't find any that I like. (Well I have. My mom has a set that I love but she isn't parting with them anytime soon!) So Brenda found these adorable candlesticks. I know there are only two but I am going to find something a little smaller to put with them to make my cluster of three. I also found a really cute container for my kitchen table. That will have to wait for a later post. I am going back to Tai Pan this weekend to get fake fruit to put in it. I think it is going to look awesome.

My last favorite thing is food. Brenda and I got talking about where we always eat when we go to Salt Lake. I actually took her to one of my favorites on the way down. We stopped in Brigham City and ate at the Maddox Drive In. She has never been to The Mayan. It seems like we go there almost everytime we are in Salt Lake with the kids. She bought Disney On Ice tickets for next weekend. Our families are going to meet up and go to The Mayan before going to Disney on Ice. I know they won't be disappointment. One of their family's favorite places to eat while in Salt Lake is P.F. Changs. P.F. Changs has a little less formal restaurant called Pei Wei. We went there for a late lunch/early dinner before heading home. It was delicious! My family loves Chinese food and we plan to eat there this weekend while we are in Salt Lake. But my favorite thing by far was the delicious lettuce wraps. They were to die for. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. I am on the quest to find a recipe for them to see if I can make them in my own kitchen. Stay tuned to my food blog to see what I was able to find.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grandpa Dean's 85th Birthday Party

Bryon's Grandpa Dean turns 85 this month. My mother-in-law and her siblings threw Grandpa Dean an 85th birthday celebration. It was held at a church in Idaho Falls (It had to be at a church to accomodate us all!). If I counted right we were only missing one or two grandchildren. It was amazing that we could all be together. Even Bryon's brother, Todd, flew in from Tennessee. We had a wonderful luncheon with roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, rolls, and salads. After lunch my mother-in-law handed out cute little coloring books she had made for all the great grandchildren about their Great Grandpa Dean. Then we watched a 30 minute video she made from pictures of Grandpa Dean. My mother-in-law really went to a lot of work for this birthday celebration. We sang Happy Birthday to grandpa and had chocolate birthday cake and ice cream.

I am so glad for the opportunity I have had to get to know Grandpa Dean over the past several years. He is a wonderful person. He is such a hard worker. He is always willing to help his children and grandchildren with various work projects. He is a true American hero. He served our country during World War II. During that time, he was taken as a prisoner of war. He has a scar on his back where he was struck with a bayonet. The great grandsons think that is very cool! I am so grateful for Grandpa & Grandma Perry's support through the years. No matter what the occasion, they always made an effort to attend special functions. I love going with my family to spend time with Grandpa at the farm. I have enjoyed the many times we have gone up in the willows for an old fashioned hot dog roast. I am so thankful that my children have had the chance to get to know their Great Grandpa Perry.

Grandpa, we love you!

Pictures From Grandpa Dean's 85th Birthday

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Draper Temple Open House

After Katie's baptism, we left my sister's house on Sunday afternoon and drove to Spanish Fork where we spent Sunday evening with Bryon's sister, Alicia, and her family. We had a great time visiting. The kids loved playing with their cousins.

Monday morning we got up and went to the Draper Temple Open House. The temple was beautiful. After the open house we went back to the Stake Center for a cookie and bottled water. A lady there offered to take our picture in front of a huge picture of Christ. Here are the pictures from that. I always catch a lot of flack because I am not in the picture very often. My mom often comments about how can I know if I was actually there if I am not in any pictures. So here is proof that I was actually at the open house!

Attending this temple open house has made me do a great deal of thinking. My children are adopted and so have had opportunities to go to the temple to be sealed to us and the older ones have had the privilege of going to the temple again to watch as their new siblings were sealed to us. But more than this I have thought what a wonderful time this is for my children. I remember growing up and attending the open house of the Logan temple (when it was open after having had some remodeling done). We also went with my cousins to the Boise temple open house. However, that is about all of my temple experiences until I was old enough to do Baptisms for the Dead. Besides being sealed, my children have had the opportunity to go to the open houses of the Rexburg, Twin Falls and now Draper. We have plans to attend the Oquirrh Mountain open house later this summer. What a great opportunity for them to learn about the sacredness of the temple. When we were in the Draper Temple as we entered the Celestial Room, Natalie said, "Wow." She was in awe. She kept looking around. The Spirit bore witness to me that she felt the Spirit in that sacred room. I hope all of my children will be able to remember the special feelings that they have felt when we have been in the temple together as a family. I hope this will increase their desire to live their lives worthily so that they too may one day receive the blessings of the temple in their own lives.
I am so thankful for the blessings of the temple and for the blessing of Eternal Families.

Katie's Baptism

Our family left here on Friday, January 30 to attend the baptism of our niece and cousin, Katie. Sam had ski school on Friday. We hated to have Sam miss ski school and so we let him go up with the school and then we drove up and got him out of ski school an hour early so we could be on the road a little earlier than if we would have had to wait for him. Conner was so freaked out all week about driving at midnight. I hate driving at night and so I knew most of the driving would be up to Bryon. I did promise Conner that I would stay awake to keep Bryon awake. I am proud to say that I did not sleep a wink in the seven hour drive to Richfield, Utah. However, I am not so sure Bryon was thrilled to have his "co-pilot" awake the whole time!

Saturday was such a special day to be able to see our niece and cousin, Katie, baptized. She looked so pretty in her new dress. She is such a beautiful girl and there was such a sweet spirit there. It was so much fun to be all together with my family. Like my sister mentioned, she can't remember the last time we were all together, usually we are missing at least one husband.

After the baptism, we went back to Lori's for a delicious luncheon and then we went swimming at the community indoor swimming pool. We had a blast!

Sunday we got up and went to church with Lori and her family. My sister, Lori, leads music in the primary. I went with her and filled in as the pianist. It has been a long time since I have been in primary.

Congratulations Katie on your baptism. We love you so much and are so proud of your decision to be baptized.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


On Friday I was frantically finishing last minute details for Conner's birthday party. I noticed that his hair was sticking up. I asked him to go in the bathroom and comb it. He said, "Mom! It's not like I am going on a date or anything. I am just having some friends over for my party!" I about died laughing! That's a typical boy for you!

Conner's Birthday Party

Conner's Birthday

Conner had a great birthday. We decided the Sunday before his birthday that we would let him have a friend party this year. Conner was so excited. We decided on seven friends for him to invite. I was a little nervous about how it was going to work out. He had decided on two friends from the neighborhood, one friend that has been his best friend for forever, and then four friends from school. I worried that where all of his friends didn't know each other if it would be a problem. They all got along wonderfully! I had been working out at the school that week and so I was unable to put as much time as I would like to have put into planning the party. On Thursday, I still didn't have any real great ideas for a party. Thanks so much to my friend Gina, she suggested a winter themed party. It was a great idea!

Conner's friends really were a cute group of boys. His good friends from school are: PortER, SpencER, CartER, and him (ConnER). It can be confusing at times!

Once the kids got here, we played Pin-The-Nose on the Snowman. It was a huge hit! Then we played a game where I put a package of cotton balls on a cookie sheet. I also had another cookie sheet. I blindfolded them one at a time and then they tried to move the "snowballs" from one cookie sheet to the other. The one with the most was the winner. We then opened presents, had cake, and broke the pinata.

That night once Grandpa Roskelley & Sam got home from skiing, we opened more presents and had more cake and ice cream. We gave him a Pocket V-Smile and two game cartridges for it. Grandpa & Grandma Roskelley gave him a gift certificate for McDonald's. They also gave him some money. I have him the choice if he wanted to buy more Magnetix or a new pair of snow boots. There was no hesitation. He wanted new snow boots. He has been wearing this pair of Pooh Bear snow boots. They are pretty juvenile. Conner hates them and has been begging for big boy boots all winter.

Saturday they went to Wal-Mart and picked out a pair of new snow boots. Saturday afternoon we drove down to Leo's in Idaho Falls. Leo's is a place that serves pizza, hamburgers, and salads. They also have a huge indoor climbing thing and an arcade. My kids love it there. Afterwards, we went to Grandpa & Grandma Kennedy's. They gave him a set of Tinker Toys. Conner was so excited. He loves to create things with his hands.

I will post pictures of his friend party.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ski School

Sam brought home a paper right before Christmas about ski school. It is held for six consecutive Fridays. They leave the school at 2:00 in the afternoon, ride the busses up to the ski resort, have a one hour lesson and then are free to ski until 7:00. At that point, they load the busses again and we pick them up at the junior high about 8:00. Sam wasn't really sure he wanted to do ski school. We thought it would be a great idea. Sam really wanted to learn to snowboard but we told him he needed to learn to ski first and then after a couple of years if he liked it, we would let him learn to snowboard. He went up the first week. He had a good time (but did come home pretty sore). He and a friend spent most of the time on the bunny hill. They did ride the lift up the hill once. Sam said they had a hard time getting back down the mountain and so they went back to the bunny hill.

My dad has talked about taking a day off of work and coming up to go skiing with Sam. You see we used to go skiing all the time in the winter as a family. My dad is really good at teaching other people to ski. We decided the second week would be a great week for him to come and go with Sam. That way he could give Sam some pointers and help him a little more than what he is getting in his one hour class.

Friday my dad took the whole day off of work and drove up here, bad roads and all.

Everytime we would talk about this ski trip, my dad sounded so excited to come and go with Sam. We had figured out it had been at least 10-12 years since my dad had last been skiing. Never once did my dad make it sound like his age plus not going for so long would at all be a problem. Everytime I hung up the phone, I kept saying "I am not sure he knows what he is getting into. I know he isn't thinking about what he is going to be feeling like on Saturday morning." Yet I was still ever so thankful that he was willing to come and give it a try. I have to say, my dad would do almost anything if Sam asked him. They have that sort of relationship!

The ski trip was a huge success. My dad said Sam couldn't even make it up the rope tow without falling over. So after the ski lesson, they worked really hard at getting up the rope tow without falling. My dad said that by the end of the night Sam could get around the bunny hill really good. They even went up on the lift once.

When they got home, my dad said he is NEVER doing that again. He could hardly move.

Dad, we just really want to say thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to come and go with Sam. It meant alot that you would do that. We love you!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cool Adoption Music Video

Being an adoptive mother, I always love anything positive I can find on adoption. This morning I came across a cool music video and thought I would share. Click on the link below to view. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Conner

Dear Conner,

As I sit here at the computer tonight I find it so hard that tomorrow you will be turning six. Conner, you have brought more joy into our lives than you will ever know. I thank my Heavenly Father every day for blessing my life with you.

I cannot believe that just over six years ago your dad and I felt the urgency to put in our paperwork again to begin the adoption process a second time. We knew the wait would be short but we had no idea how short it would be. We found out in the middle of January that your birthmom was looking at files and was considering us. We found out that next week that she had selected us to be your parents. You weren't due be born for another ten days. You, however, had different plans. Once she selected us and we wrote back to her, she went into labor. Your birthmom and I both know that all you were waiting for was for her to decide on a family. Once she had done that, you didn't see the need to wait any longer and decided to make your grand appearance into the world.

The day you were placed in our arms was a day I will never forget. Your dad and I got up and got dressed in our Sunday best. We were so excited to finally see you. Aunt Michele watched Sam while we went and met you. Your birthmom, Brenda, brought you over from the hospital. One of your birthfather's sisters came along with her for moral support. Brenda walked into the room and immediately placed you in my arms. Michael McLean wrote a song that I think beautifully describes what everyone in that room felt that day.

There's an ache that's missing today
There's an emptiness that's been filled
There's a cloud that's lifting and drifting away
There's a raging storm that's been stilled
There's a joy that's real
There's a wound that's finally healed
There's a future replacing the past
This breath of new life in the cast
Something perfect is happening here
And this moment will bury the mountains of fears
And the countless tomorrows in a world disappears
Something that's perfect is happening here.
No one knows so no one can say
That tomorrow all will be well
Will the brightest promise that shines in today
shine tomorrow no one can tell
But one thing is sure and will be forever more
Such unselfish love has been giv'n
The world just made more room for Heaven
Something perfect is happening here
And this moment will bury the mountains of fears
And the countless tomorrows in a world disappears
Something that's perfect is happening here.

The Spirit was so strong in that room that day. There is not a doubt in my mind or Brenda's mind that this was all part of our Heavenly Father's great plan for you.

Little did we know when we left the agency that day, that Brenda would come back into our lives. As you know, Brenda eventually married your birthfather, Steve. Through the years, Brenda has become a very good friend of mine. I love her for not only being your angel birthmom but I also love her for becoming my eternal friend. I have felt many times in talking with her that she was my sister long before we came to this earth life.

As I have watched you through the years Conner, I can't help but think of what a beautiful combination of nature and nurture you are. You are so laid back and easy going. We all know you didn't get that from definitely didn't come from me or your dad! I know your laid back easy going spirit is a trait of Brenda. I love that about you. When I look at you I see so much of your physical traits are directly linked to Steve. You look so much like him. But I also see a lot of Steve's wittiness in you. I haven't quite figured out what you have of mine. Other than you are my little cuddle bug! I love you for that. I also see you do alot of your dad's expressions. People always comment how much you look like him too. Teachers at the school often remind me that you are so your father's son!

I hope you always remember just how loved you truly are. You have a huge birthfamily that loves you so much. Your dad and I love you more than you know. You have great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all who love you. The relationship I have loved watching through the years is that of you and Sam. Sam had prayed for a brother for years. You see Sam knew you were coming long before your dad and I knew you were coming. When we found out about you, we had just had a great Christmas. We had spent some of our adoption savings to have a huge Christmas. We figured we would have plenty of time to put it back in. So imagine my surprise when the agency called and said Brenda was considering us and one other family. I went to my room to pray that she would choose the other family. I wanted a baby so bad but didn't know how we would pay the adoption cost. I came downstairs from closing my prayer and Sam said, out of the blue, that he was getting a new baby brother. I hadn't said a word to him about there even being that possibility. I knew in that moment that you were coming. I went upstairs and offered a "please forgive me prayer" and vowed we would do whatever it took to get you here. I have to admit that it wasn't all roses. While Sam had prayed for a little brother, once he figured you were here to stay, he wasn't quite sure what he had prayed for! However, it didn't take you two long to become the best of friends. As I have watched you two play through the years, once again I have come to know that you two knew each other long ago. I love the way that you admire Sam. I thought it was so cute last week when you found out that Sam had ski school on Friday and wouldn't be home until after 8:00. You cried so hard that Sam wouldn't be home all day on Friday. It was cute how you waited all day long for him to get home. I hope you two always remain best friends.

Conner I love so much about you. I love your beautiful blue eyes. When you were born, Brenda was hoping that they would stay blue. They have and they are so pretty. I love looking into those pretty blue eyes. I love it that you are six and are still my little cuddle bug! Sam was such an active baby that I wanted the next baby to be more cuddly and that you were. There were days that I would curse that I couldn't put you down without you fussing. But I have come to love your hugs and kisses. I love it how you come and jump in my arms and cuddle with me. I know I already commented about how easy going you are. I love your easy going way. I often wish I could be more like that. I could talk to you all day. I love to hear your cute little voice. I love how witty you are. I always manage a good laugh when I talk to you. I know we joke about it but I think it is cute how your ears get red and glow whenever you are sick or tired. It is always a good indicator of when it's your bed time. You are so creative. I know I cuss the torn paper around the house and how my paper products are always disappearing but I love how you are always trying to create things. I love the sweet Spirit that you bring into our family. Our family would not be complete without you. I admire your desire to do what is right. I hope that will continue throughout your whole life. I as a mom, often think I learn more from my children than I will ever teach them. Most of all Conner, I consider myself most blessed for being chosen to be your mom.

My birthday letter to you wouldn't be complete without giving thanks to the one who gave you life. I think as an adoptive mom that is the hardest thing about birthdays for me. While they are always such an exciting day for us, it hurts me to know that somewhere out there someone is missing you a little more on your special day. I will forever be indebted to your birthmom, your birthfather, and our Heavenly Father for bringing you into our family. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank my Heavenly Father for the sacrifice that they made. I am often overwhelmed at the trust that they have placed in me to be your mother.

In a few short hours you will be six. We will awake to a day filled with festivities for your special day. We will celebrate with friends, family, cake, presents and balloons. I hope your day will be a great one!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Looking Back to 2008

I should be going to bed. I know tomorrow morning will come all to early. However, sleeping all the way home tonight from spending New Year's with my parents and sister in Burley over the weekend (the kids were content in the back watching a video) and a little catnap on the couch tonight has provided me with a second wind. I have been trying to figure out how to recap the past year and found the perfect quetionnaire. So here goes our year in review. . .

1. What did you do in 2008 that you have never done before? I drove a spud truck during spud harvest. For the past couple of years I have always worked spud harvest. Bryon is out of school and so it made sense for me to work spud harvest and make some Christmas money. It is always freezing cold and it makes for long days after being on your feet for 12+ hours. This year I decided to try something different and asked the farmer I have worked for the past couple of years if I could drive instead of work in the pit. He decided to let me try it. I HATED IT! I spent a couple of hours training for harvest but nothing prepared me for the real thing. First of all the heater in the truck I drove was out and so I still froze. Like my sister Lori later told me. I hate to drive and don't do it if I can get out of it. So she was surprised that as much as I hate driving that I would volunteer to drive a huge truck full of potatoes. She was absolutely right. I don't like driving (I am okay driving around town but I don't usually drive when we have to spend more than 30 minutes in the car.) so why I ever volunteered to sit behind the wheel of a large truck for 12+ hours is far beyond me. Every day was a new adventure to say the least. The first day I couldn't figure out how to shift the truck at all so you could hear me grinding my gears all the way down the road. The second day I managed to run over a whole row of undug potatoes. The third day I managed to run over some sprinkler pipe. The fourth day I managed to get lost on my way back to the cellar after starting in a new potato field. Next year I will gladly go back to working in the pit.

This year I also signed up to sell Scentsy. I have been to more home parties than I care to count. I have never had the desire to sign up to be a consultant for any of them. I am not a huge sales person and I don't like being pushy. However, I got in it to simply pay for what I use. I actually signed up without ever having been to a Scentsy party or having tried any of their products. I am sold on the product and have enjoyed all the people I am meeting in the process.

2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions and will you make more for next year? I am not big on New Year's Resolutions. I always feel like a huge failure when by January 10th I have already ate way more than I should if I am going to loose weight like I wanted to, when I have lost my cool one too many times with my children after resolving to be a more patient mother, and then cussing up a storm because I have fallen short on my other resolutions now breaking my last resolution to quit cussing! I do prefer to have some goals. Some goals I would like to accomplish this year are: 1. To be more consistent about holding Family Home Evening 2. To finish reading The Book of Mormon as a family (we have only been working on this one for about three years) 3. To be more healthy in 2009

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? A couple. My sister Lori gave birth to a beautiful baby boy Carson in July. He is truly a miracle after much heartache over a couple of years of them trying to add to their family. Also my sister-in-law Michele gave birth to a little boy, Kyle in March.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Bryon and I have been very blessed to not loose someone close to us recently. However, it was definitely an interesting year in dealing with death with those around us. This fall a co-worker of Bryon's had a son involved in a tragic car accident that took the life of another co-worker's spouse. Our hearts went out to both of these families going through a very difficult time in their lives. Then right around the holidays a former ward member of ours died suddenly. Just as we were leaving town last Wednesday morning, we got a phone call that another co-worker of Bryon's passed away unexpectedly. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these that hav lost loved ones. It made me think a lot about life and to be thankful for every moment that we have on this earth.

5. What places have you visited? We didn't travel anywhere huge during 2008. Logan goes down to Primary Children's once a year and we always make it a fun family event and leave the day before, stay in a hotel and do something fun after his appointment. This year we took the kids to The Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point. In August we traveled to Randolph, Utah for the three-day Kennedy Reunion. We were able to go to Burley several times this past year. We also traveled Twin Falls to attend the Open House of the Twin Falls Temple. We also traveled to Idaho Falls more times than we can count.

6.What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? I really can't think of a single thing. Okay I'll be honest, money. Who wouldn't want more of that?!? However, I really feel like I have a blessed life and there isn't anything that I wish for more of in 2009, just more of the same.
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched in your memory and why?
January 27, 2008 -- President Hinckley passing away.
Saturday, February 9, 2008 -- The Youth Celebration for the Rexburg Temple. We were actually just going to go watch it from the stake center. My friend called that afternoon and told us they were saving us a place in line hoping to get in on standby tickets. We hurried down and ended up getting in. It was an awesome experience.
Sunday, February 10, 2008 -- The dedication of the Rexburg Temple
Friday, June 6, 2008 -- This was the day that Conner's birthparents Brenda and Steve went to the temple to be sealed. It has been five long years of waiting for this day and we wish them and their cute little family all the happiness in the world.
Saturday, June 21, 2008 -- Sam's baseball won the championship game.
July 26 - August 3 -- Our family hosted two dancers from Mexico (okay it ended up being the bus drivers) for the Rexburg International Dance Festival. It was an awesome experience.

8.What was your biggest achievement this past year? I can't come up with any great achievement of this past year.

9. Did you suffer illness or injury? Our family has been very blessed with good health. I would have to say the biggest injury was Bryon's chipping out his front teeth on his new bike. You can read all about his accident by clicking on the Bryon link on the right hand side of this blog. It seems like every fall and winter Natalie and Logan miss a bunch of church and school for green snotty noses and rattely chests. This year was no exception. I have also been able to brag until recently that for the nine years I have been a mom, my kids haven't puked. My kids just don't do it. Thank heavens because I don't do puke! My mom keeps telling me I am living on borrowed time. Well this fall I have had my fair share of cleaning up puke! Also the year ended with both Sam and Natalie having strep throat.

10. What was the best thing you bought? Does buying your house a second time count?!? Bryon and I figured with the economy the way it is it was a great time to have it work in our favor. We refinanced our house at the end of 2008. We got a great interest rate and a mortgage that is $250 less each month! We are just hoping we didn't jump too soon.

11. Where did most of your money go? Life, kids, and GAS! A Ballroom dance camp for Sam, baseball for Sam, T-Ball for Conner, soccer for both of them, gymnastics for Conner, some remodeling (new doors, chair rail, etc.), and money to fix Bryon's front teeth from his biking accident.

12. What song will always remind you of 2008? Although I constantly have the radio going or am listening to my I-Pod, I wouldn't say that one song has stuck out in my mind to represent 2008.

13. What do you wish you would have done more of? I wish I would have just taken more time to live. I want to enjoy my children more. Often times if it doesn't fit in the schedule, we don't do it. I need to let go of the schedule or routine and just live. I have a friend that every January chooses a single word to live by for the coming new year. A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow. This past year her word was live and I watched her as she really did try to "Live" each day to the fullest. So this year I am going to focus on the word Live and truly live each day to the fullest. The reason being that with my busy chaotic life I forget to stop and really enjoy life. I have waited all this time to be a mom and I often worry that it is passing me up. So this year I am going to Live. I am going to play doll house with Natalie, I am going to go out in the yard to kick a ball around with Sam & Conner, and play cars with Logan. I am going to enjoy every moment that I get to spend with Bryon. I am going to stop being so busy and focus on what matters most to me: my family and just live in the moment.

14. What do you wish you would have done less of? Probably of getting mad and frustrated at the little things that don't really matter and focus more on the overall picture. And if the truth be told less computer and television time and focusing more on building relationships.

15. What was your favorite TV program? I have a few of them. I am a sucker for reality shows. I love Survivor and the Amazing Race. I also have to admit I enjoy watching The Bachelor/The Bachelorette. I know pathetic!

16. What was the best book you read this year? I would have to say the best book I read this past year was "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. I loved this book. I think he had some great lessons in his book that we can all learn from.
17. What was your favorite film of the year? My very favorite film of 2008 would have to have been Momma Mia. I went with two friends to watch it and can't remember the last time I laughed that hard!

18. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? This year I turned 34. I am finding out the older you get the more your birthday is just another day. This year was no exception. I watched a friends kids that day because she was in Oregon with her mom who was in the hospital. I took her kids and mine to a circus here in town that afternoon. Sam had baseball practice so he left the circus early so Bryon could take him to baseball. It was late by the time my friends husband came and got the kids and Bryon and Sam made it home from baseball. We went out to Applebee's (one of my favorite restaurants) for a late dinner. Bryon did make me a cake but we were so full after dinner that we had to wait until the next night to have cake and ice cream.

19. What political issue stirred you the most? Definitely Proposition 8. I don't get involved in politics usually and I definitely didn't do as much as some of my friends but I watched Proposition 8 closely. I also followed the presidential election closely.

20. Who was the best new person you met? This past year I have had the opportunity to serve in the Rexburg Temple a couple of times a month on Saturdays answering the phones. I have loved serving the Lord. This has allowed me to meet a couple of new people. The one that stands out in my mind is the temple recorder. He is always so positive and always takes the time to greet me and thanks me for serving in the temple. He always makes the time to answer my questions. He is so knowledgeable about the Gospel and about temple work. He is one of the kindest, most gentle, most humble man I have met. I know he would be so embarrassed about me saying this about him so I have chosen not to use his name. I learn something new from him almost every time I serve there and have been so thankful for having this opportunity to serve.