Thursday, May 27, 2010


I find that I am asking a lot of questions of myself, lately. I am discouraged by the realization that I can't do "it all". Thank heaven for my realization that it's okay to chart our own coarse for inspiring education and teaching self-government, in our family. Heaven knows that I am constantly trying to balance all of the special needs and medical challenges in our home, with inspiring meaningful work and play, while also seeking my own education and also using it as a means to inspire the education of my children. I am sure I am not the only mother who feels like I am constantly having to juggle and re-arrange priorities, but boy does it feel like I am walking this road alone. I pray for a day when I will feel like I finally have a good "system" that's working. Some days, I just clean up messes all day long. Any chance that I have, to sit down and read, is usually interrupted by some, more pressing need. I have been staying up late, to finish cleaning the kitchen or to make inspirational placemats, which are awesome, I might add, or doing some other important thing that needs doing. I am exhausted...constantly. There is always a list of things going through my mind, which need to be attended to. Sometimes I wish I could turn my brain off and take a break from it all. But alas, a mother's work is never done.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pondering about Ladybug

I learned the official karyotype for the deletion that Ladybug has, today. (After deciding that it's not okay for the geneticist's office to ignore me about this.) It is 9(q)33.1 and specifically, she is missing 1 gene...the DBC1 gene. The genetic counselor told me that they aren't even sure what that gene does or is responsible for. I have looked this deletion up online and found only two bits of information about it. One piece of information that I found, was written by a mother of a little boy with this disorder (his actually involves a bigger deletion). She shared a detailed description of his life and his issues, and it felt good to know that someone else in this world understands what it's like to have a child who has these kinds of issues. It appears that this is quite a rare genetic syndrome. It is so rare in fact, that there is no official "name" for this syndrome yet. This technology is just "too new", and there is still so much they don't know. The genetic counselor has told us that the lab that did Ladybug's testing, doesn't yet understand how this will affect Ladybug or what this means for her. That makes me just a bit nervous. I wish that someone could tell us more about how this will affect Ladybug's life. But just as soon as I say that, I realize that we already know quite a bit about how this affects Ladybug's life. She is sweet and precious and innocent and precocious and moody and helpful and she has lots going on. She has severe sleep disturbance, she is G-tube fed, she has sensory issues and is self-abusive and she loves ice cream! She has autistic tendencies (and likely will be diagnosed with autism). She likes books and balls and would rather box herself in between the plastic bins, than play with the toys inside them. She is everlastingly sweet and precious! We adore her and love her like crazy! We don't know what this will do (if anything) to Lynzie's life expectancy (and maybe that's what really scares me), but we do know what her life is doing for our lives. She is a blessing, plain and simple. Someday, in the life to come, she will look over at me and start talking and never stop. She will understand what a birthday is and she will know how to sing a song. She will answer questions and she will ask if she can help me make cookies. Someday she'll ask me about her adoption and how she came to be a blessing in our lives. Someday her body will be perfect and she will learn how to count and tie her shoes and use the bathroom. I keep looking forward to all the things that Lynzie will be able to do someday...but I am always careful to remind myself not to miss what she is doing today. She is teaching me. She is teaching my husband. She is teaching her brothers and her sister. And we are gladly soaking it all in.

Friday, May 21, 2010

In the Blink of an Eye...

It is amazing to me how quickly life can change on you! Yesterday Pete and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary... today we found out that our little Ladybug has a small deletion of her 9th chromosome. (See, here's that roller coaster ride I mentioned yesterday.) We have known ever since Ladybug came to us, that her sweet, little life was uniquely special and different. Today we are one step closer to understanding more details about the "why, what and how". I am kind of speechless. I don't have much to say. But I will ask for your prayers for Ladybug and for our family, as we continue on our journey to find answers for our sweet, precious, little girl, who we lovingly call "Angel". Thanks so much!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

10 Years!

Ten years ago today, Pete and I were married in the Mesa Arizona Temple. That was a great day! We've ridden quite the roller coaster through this last 10 years, and 4 houses and 22 children later, we have our beautiful family! We are SO blessed! I did good when I married Pete. He loves me very much, this I know. He would go to the ends of the earth to do something that I wanted or needed him to do. I know that he wants me to be happy. He is the hardest working person I know. He really knows how to work, too. He's not afraid to get dirty, waist deep, if he needs to so he can get a job done. Pete is really smart! He LOVES the arts! (This is something that we share in common, among many things). He is goal oriented, and thinks of great ideas to spur our family on in the cause of greatness. Pete has amazing perspective! He keeps an eternal perspective about life in general, and is able to keep me steady and stable, when I want to worry about things that he always seems to remember, aren't as important in the long run, as I think they are. He is my rock, and has been my support and strength these last 10 years. Oh, how I love him! He makes me happy and I could never imagine myself with anyone else. Pete is an amazing and caring father. The kids love and adore their Daddy, and Pete cherishes his time with them! I love to listen to him read a story to the animated! All of their little eyes are just riveted on his every word. It's the sweetest moment ever, each time he reads to them! Pete and I have a lot of great discussions about the gospel, politics, great books, future plans. It's a wonderful thing! I am so blessed to be able to share a vision for the future of our family, with my wonderful husband. He stands at the head of our home, and works so hard every day, so that I can be home to teach our 5 sweethearts. He is always so involved in all of our kid's medical care, and that is really a strength to me. He has learned how to do everything to help care for Ladybug and Wiggle Bug (our 2 tube fed kiddo's), and he always tries really hard, to be home to help with Snug-a-Bug, Luv Bug and Cuddle Bug so that I can take Wiggle Bug and Ladybug to an appointment they need to go to. He really tries hard to be helpful and thoughtful and kind! So, today we celebrate 10 years of marriage together, and I can't wait to live eternity with Pete and our 5 precious kiddo's!
(Side note: Cuddle Bug asked for a second reading lesson yesterday! Isn't that awesome? He just turned 4 years old recently! ) :0)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This video is adorable!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tastes Like Chicken!

One of our four year old son, Cuddle Bug's favorite things to say (for some odd reason), is "Tastes like chicken!" He cracks us up with this! For example, tonight we were eating Sour Cream Noodle Bake for dinner. It's basically and Italian casserole, kind of like spaghetti or lasagna. He says "Mom, it tastes like chicken, mmmm!" Then he says "Chicken soup is kind of like chicken nuggets!" I said "Yes, it is. They both involve chicken, but we're eating spaghetti tonight." He says "Yeah." I guess you had to be there, but it was really funny! Kids are so random in their thoughts and what they say! I just know that Cuddle Bug is going to have a great Love of Learning phase, because it will allow him to keep that random happiness and zest for life, that is such a precious part of his personality! On a side note, our daughter Ladybug has been taking a medicine to help increase her appetite, since she has feeding issues and is tube fed. It was great to watch her have a little more excitement about eating! She kept saying "Mmm...noodie bake!" Good thing we were at home and that we know what she meant!" LOL

Growing Up Unto the Lord and Learning to Love Learning

I was reading in the February 2010 volume of The Ensign magazine (a church publication put out by my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). I read 2 articles that I learned a lot from. One was called Grow Up Unto The Lord by Kathleen H. Hughes. Among other great things in the article, she speaks of 3 Nephi, where the Nephites and Lamanites are becoming corrupt and are falling away from the church. In 3 Nephi 1: 29-30, it says that these people had many children who grew up and began to wax strong in years, that they became for themselves. I thought this was such an interesting thought. I asked myself "How often do I look to myself or the ways of man to solve a problem I am having? Do I look to Heavenly Father in every thought, word and deed?" It is easy these days, in a world that is becoming increasingly more corrupt, to become for ourselves, and to become concerned only, with looking out for #1. It's easy to chase the spirit from our lives and to give ourselves the glory and honor for the blessing our Heavenly Father gives us. It is becoming increasingly hard to choose what is right, in a world that is so wrong about many things. Another thing she says, that I love and that I really think applies to core phase, is "As we mature and grow physically, we need to ensure that the divine within us is being nurtured. Our actions should invite the Spirit to be the predominant force in our lives." When I have received callings at church, to teach little children, I always try to let them know when the spirit of the Holy Ghost is there and can be felt and heard. So, I try to teach my children in this same way, to understand that feeling and to seek for it in their lives, as a way to judge their actions, words and deeds.

The other wonderful article I read last Sunday, is called "Learning to Love Learning, by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The title of this article jumped out at me, as one of the phases of learning in the TJed model, called Love of Learning. This article was very good! The subtitle of the article sums it up perfectly: "Understanding who we are, where we come from. and why we are on the earth places upon each of us a great responsibility both to learn how to learn and to learn to love learning." In this article, Elder Bednar talks about three important aspects of our lives, in which it is important that we learn to love learning: "1. Learning to love learning is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 2. Learning to love learning is vital to our ongoing spiritual and personal development. 3. Learning to love learning is an absolute necessity in the world in which we do now and will yet live, serve and work." He says,
" A hierarchy of learning exists among the things you and I can learn. Indeed, all learning is not equally important. Some facts are helpful or useful to know. Some knowledge is useful to learn and apply. But gospel truths are essential for us to understand and live if we are to become what our Heavenly Father yearns for us to become. " He goes on to say "The type of learning I am attempting to describe is not merely the accumulation of data and facts and frameworks; rather, it is acquiring and applying knowledge for righteousness." I thought this last statement was particularly important. When I think about my high school education (or really, all of my education experiences), I really do feel like much of it was spent cramming information into my head, (sometimes for an assignment, sometimes for a test) most of which, I have never used again. Elder Bednar talks about intelligence. "...intelligence is the application of the knowledge we obtain for righteous purposes." This goes right along with being virtuous...doing that for which you were created. Elder Bednar quotes David O. McKay, who taught the learning, "for which the church stands-is the application of the knowledge to the development of a noble and Godlike character." Elder Bednar also speaks about President Brigham Young. He says "Perhaps President Young was such a consumate learner precisely because he was not constrained unduly by the arbitrary boundaries so often imposed through the structures and process of formal education. He clearly learned to love learning. He clearly learned how to learn. He ultimately became a powerful disciple and teacher precisely because he first was an effective learner." I was amazed to read in this article. that President Young received only 11 days of formal schooling. President Young was inspired to learn, and he valued his learning. It wasn't handed to him and it wasn't something he was forced to do. He was inspired to learn, because he wanted to know. It is amazing to me. what can be accomplished, when we don't take things for granted. I have a little quote in my seminary set of scriptures from high school. I think it was one of my seminary teachers who said it..."When you want wisdom and learning like you want air, you won't have to ask anyone to give it to you." I think President Young is a perfect example of this.

How grateful I am, for a loving Heavenly Father. I am grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ, and His life and His example. I am grateful for inspiration and personal revelation. I am excited to be teaching my children a love for learning, which I hope, will extend throughout their lives. I am excited at all the awesome things I am learning, as I try to be an example for my children.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Planning for the Ideal

I have been thinking a lot, about being a wife and a mother! Each night before I go to bed, the day re-plays in my mind. Was it a good day? Was it a bad day? How was my attitude? Did I let Mr. Man know how special he is to me? Did I thank him for all he does for me and our children? Did I do something thoughtful for him today? Did I spend important time with each member of my family today? Did I teach my children at chore time today? Did I inspire their learning today? Did I smile today? Did I hold each of them and love on them? Did I get carried away in the tiny details that really don't matter? I have really been trying to focus on my attitude and my example! I am trying to remember my role as the nurturer and spiritual tone setter, for our home. (Don't know if "tone setter" is the right term for that, but it's all good!) I want to be an exceptional wife and mother! I have a lot of work to do! :)
When Mr. Man and I had our Master Plan meeting, last weekend, we talked about lots of things. One of them was priorities. We have a strong desire not to let meaningless tasks and little distractions get in the way of our priorities... our love for each other and for our children. We have a strong desire to keep our family vision, at the forefront of everything we do! (Our family vision is a beautiful picture of us celebrating Christmas together, 20 years from now! We have a vision of being happy and healthy, full of knowledge and having great discussions together! We have a vision of sharing pure joy together as a family!) We are actively pursuing the path that will lead to a glorious Christmas day for our family in 2030! It feels really good! Life should be lived intentionally! We have decided to plan for the ideal, and see how close we get to it! We have decided to make a plan for our lives, instead of just letting life happen to us! There is something really freeing about knowing that you are truly the keeper of your destiny! This is the way to find true joy and purpose for our lives as individuals and together as a family! I am so grateful that I am learning these things now, as a wife and a mother, so that my children will know about these wonderful tools that can help them have a purposeful life! I am excited that each new day is just that...a new day and a new start! Each new day, is part of the plan!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Creating a Master Plan!

I attended a life-changing event last night! It was a meeting about creating a master plan for your family! (Andee and Scott did a great job of teaching us all!) I won't say much about it, since I am pretty busy putting it all into practice. I'll just say this: Pete and I had a great discussion about it last night, we had a very detailed meeting and planning session today, and we are excited about some new changes that will be happening for our family! :D)

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Thought from Les Miserables

"...each of our passions, even love, has a stomach that must not be overloaded. We must in everything write the word finis in time; we must restrain ourselves when it becomes urgent; we must draw the bolt on the appetite, play a fantasia on the violin, then break the strings with our own hand. The wise man is he who knows when and how to stop."

I found this quote to be rather intersting. We have all heard that we should bridle our appetites and passions. This quote caused me to think about those things in a different way. There really can be too much of a good thing, in some instances. The wise man is he who masters self control, and in so doing, finds that his joy for things is increased a hundred fold, when he learns to restrain himself enough from something, to truly appreciate it when he does partake. I have thought a lot about desensitization lately. Weird, I know, but the thoughts I have had, have been that there is so much more beauty and joy in life, when we don't drown it out. We can become desensitized to the evil around us, and we can become desensitized to the beauty around us as well. The famous quote "Stop and smell the roses", comes to mind. I have really come to understand more about the sneaky tactics of Satan. One of his goals is to get us really sidetracked from the truly worthy demands on our time, so that we waste it on "stuff". The world is ever increasingly becoming more about "stuff and fluff" and nonsense. Even to the point of trying to make those of us who choose better, feel like we are the "weird" ones for not filling our lives to the brim, with what everyone else is doing. I am grateful to understand that I have a mission in life. I don't completely know how it will look or everything I must do, but I know that there is something great that I am meant to do. I am grateful to be learning little lessons here and there, that help me to remember the path I am on and some of the steps I need to take to keep me on that path. I am grateful for little thoughts that pop out from a book I am reading, that speak truth to my mind and heart! Just thought I'd share what I am learning today! :D)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Virtue, Mission and Personal Revelation

I found a great quote today, that sums up a little of what I have felt lately, about life in general. I think this explains quite well, why we are purging our "stuff", teaching our children to work, reading great classics, not letting our kids play soccer (Whatever shall we do?? LOL) or participate in other activities out of the home, etc. In short, this quote helps to explain the beauty and power of personal revelation and the true meaning of the familiar saying "Less is more!"

"Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord’s kingdom for the next 50 years. That is influence; that is power.” ~Julie B. Beck, “Mothers Who Know,” Oct.2007

As parents, we are each given specific knowledge and understanding that is applicable to our family, alone. No one else need do what we do, say what we say, teach what or how we teach, schedule how, when and what we schedule, add what we add, omit what we omit, or live life the way we do. It is vital, that we don't allow the world and all of its distractions to get in the way. It is vital, that we give meaning only, to the important things people say and then let the unimportant things go in one ear and out the other. It is vital that we each come to a personal understanding of our individual missions in this life and then inspire our children to see glimpses of their own important missions as well. We need to teach them recognize the spirit of the Lord when it is present. We must teach our children about leadership, mission, integrity, virtue etc.
How I LOVE the word virtue! I am a little embarrassed that I just recently came to have a true understanding of the meaning of virtue. When something is virtuous, it performs well, the duties for which it was created. A pencil is virtuous when it writes well, a spoon is virtuous when it stirs or serves well. A person is virtuous when he/she takes the time to study out their mission in this life, and then fulfills that mission to the best of their abilities. How important it is then, for us to know what our mission is and also for us to inspire others to know that they have a mission and to find out what it is. How I long to be in the company of friends and family, in the next life, who have all fulfilled their life's missions and aren't sad because they didn't understand the purpose of their lives. I want my Savior to tell me that He is pleased with my work upon this earth and that I am a "good and faithful servant". How wonderful it will be to know that we have lived virtuous lives and that our lives have been a masterpiece dedicated to our Father in Heaven! How wonderful it is to know, that knowledge and our families, are the only 2 things we can take with us into the next life! It is fitting then, to cast the distractions, words and opinions of the world away, and get busy studying great classic literature, strengthening our family relationships and cultivating a love of learning together!

There are times and seasons in life and they vary in length and application for each family. Not every family will choose to do what we have chosen to do. They don't need to. They don't need to agree with what we have chosen for our family, either. Heavenly Father has chosen Pete and I to be the parents of 5 precious, sweethearts. He knows that the knowledge and strength to nurture, love, teach and protect these sweet kiddo's, is innate in us. It is our privilege and responsibility to dig down deep, uncover those spiritual and physical gifts that He has given us, and use them to do His will for ourselves and our family.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Moira, Larry and Inspiration!

Our son Wiggle Bug (4 yrs. old) said the funniest thing today! I told the kids that I would sit with them and read On The Shores of Silver Lake to them! Jace jumps up and down and says "Yay! I love Moira and Larry!" What he meant of course, was that he loves Laura and Mary! It was very cute and totally hilarious! We have been enjoying our readings of this wonderful series! I am so excited about all the life lessons my children are learning from these stories! Today, Snug-a-Bug (almost 7) was helping me unpack some books and sort them. We had a great little chat about some of the classic books that we have in our collection! I can see him getting excited to hear more stories, after we finish Little House. We talked about reading Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, and we talked about reading Little Britches, which I KNOW he'll love! We also talked about journal writing, and talked about my 4th great grandfather! I told Snug-a-Bug that all of the great things we know about my grandfather, came from his and others' journals. He is excited to learn to write in his own journal, someday! I also came across a story that I had started writing when I was in high school, a fictitious story set in pioneer times. It was in my high school set of scriptures that I used when I went to seminary. Anyway, Snug-a-Bug wanted me to read it and so I did. When I was finished, he said "Yeah, and I'm going to write my own story someday!" Inspiring greatness is fun and rewarding! :D)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Job Training!

So it's WAY too late for me to be up right now! I am exhausted (probably still from the move), but something has been on my mind and I thought I'd blog about it, so I can keep myself accountable about it. The Chore Card system we have set up is AWESOME! There's just one teensy-weensy problem...we aren't using it. This overflows into the fact that I haven't been teaching my children how to govern themselves very well, because the chore system is an integral part of that. A broken chore system = kids who don't have any real accountability for themselves, and one exhausted mom who is doing EVERYTHING! It's not completely bad...the kids LOVE helping me do the dishes (on an inconsistent basis), and they fold the laundry (pretty well) and Gannon will make his bed (AND his brother's bed AND his sister's bed). You see part of the problem? Ugh! So...I have been pondering the root of these issues today and I have decided that my kids need some "JOB TRAINING"! Starting tomorrow, I am going to pick a room and teach the kids, step by step, how to clean it properly. It may very well take me all day to teach them how to properly care for one room! I think I will start with each of their rooms! I guess this week at our house will officially be known as a "Family Work Workshop"! I want my kids to understand each step involved in cleaning each room in the house, so that when they start using their chore cards, they should have at least a basic understanding as to what they should do. I have also decided that some pictures are in order, for the front of each card, to help with the fact that the children don't read yet. This should help them to understand a little better, about what is on each card. Wish me luck! How come every time I have one of these hair-brained ideas it exhausts me? Oh well...I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Someday I will be super glad that I took the time to do some Job Training with my family! :D)