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.