Sunday, October 18, 2009

Race for the Cure

I found out about a month ago that my Aunt Pam was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I was SO sad for her and I felt helpless with the information I was given. I live so far away and sending her my love and prayers did not feel like I was doing enough for her. This month is Breast Cancer awareness and I knew there was something else that I could do. I searched the internet and found out that here in Jacksonville they were doing the Race for the Cure and I thought......YES! That's perfect! I will run in her honor! Now, I don't claim to be a very good runner or fast by any means, but I like to run short distances and it was a 5K.....Perfect, sign me up!

On Saturday, it was the best weather for a run. Fall has officially come to Florida! AWESOME! We've been waiting all year for a relief from the heat. What a perfect day for this! I got my hot pink shirt on, my pink tenni-pumps, and my Breast Cancer bandana. I was ready to go. The kids and Mr. B were excited for me too. They dropped me off at the front with literally thousands of other people all dressed in pink! It was SO amazing! You could feel the energy and excitement from all the people coming together for a cause. We all lined up at the starting line and they played the Melissa Etheridge song, "I Run for Life." If you've never heard it, you need to. INSPIRING!!!

I was SO pumped! The gun went off and we ran. As I was running/jogging I saw some incredible things. I had my shuffle, but I was so entertained by what was going on around me that I think I only listened to 2 or 3 songs the whole time. I saw cheerleaders lining the route all dressed up in pink tutus and hot pink wigs with their posters and pom-poms. The runners all had something pink on and the best part were the pink tags. You could pin a tag on you with the person's name that you were running for on it. It either said, "In Memory of" or "In Celebration of." A lot of the runners had the tags pinned on the backs of their shirts and some even had shirts especially made with the names already on it. Mine said, "In Celebration of Aunt Pam."

I remember I was just running along reading everyone's shirts as they all passed me (because I'm so slow) and I was feeling the spirit of everyone coming together running for someone that they loved. I saw one guy that had a picture of his mother on the back of his shirt, some said, "Save the tatas," one lady had a tag that said, "In Celebration of my Mom, my Grandmother, my Aunt, and my sister." Then I saw him. The one guy that stuck out to me. I only saw him from behind as he passed me. I could tell he was running by himself and I looked on the pink tag he had pinned to the back of his shirt. It said, "In Memory of my wife." That was it. I started tearing up. This was such a monumental experience. I felt closer to my aunt. I felt strong for her. I felt like I was supporting her from afar. Amazing. I loved it. It filled my spirit. I feel for all those who have lost a loved one to this disease. I feel for all those who have suffered or ARE suffering with this disease. I don't know what it's like, but it's gotta be a horrifying experience. But there is A LOT of love and support out there. I was amazed with how many were affected by it just here in Jacksonville. I will DEFINITELY run the Race for the Cure everytime they hold this event.

This was the coolest bra I've ever seen!

I will never forget it. I love you, Aunt Pam.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fun at Fort Clinch

Mr. B was home on Saturday and took us to Fort Clinch State Park. It was such a nice getaway after him being gone all week. We had SO much fun together!

A part of the park system since 1935, Fort Clinch is one of the most well-preserved 19th century forts in the country. Although no battles were fought here, it was garrisoned during both the Civil and Spanish-American wars. During the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps began preserving and rebuilding many of the structures of the abandoned fort. Daily tours with period reenactors depicting garrison life bring the fort to life for visitors.

My little social butterfly! She HAS to say "Hi" and "Bye" to everyone. You can't help but smile.
Enjoing rootbeer and peppermint sticks from the little store. I think the sun was a little bright.

We even got to see them shoot a canon!
playing at the beach

after all the fun was over the little ones fell asleep, but the big one......

played in the back with his DS

General Conference

We had a great General Conference weekend. I love hearing the words of the prophets and feeling the Spirit. I love hearing the testimonies and gaining strength to go and do what the Lord wants me to do. Everyday since General Conference, I've asked myself "Have I done any good in the world today?"

We listened the best we could with the little ones. We tried to keep them busy doing quiet things, but you know how long that lasts! They made a tent out of sheets (don't have a picture) and a train out of chairs on Saturday in the family room until it got too loud and then they were sent to their rooms to play. I tried to put Lauryn down for a nap, but she did NOT want to! I knew she just wanted to play with the boys, so I put her in her bed and let her cry for a while. Usually she settles herself right down and falls asleep. She stopped a couple of times, but kept on crying. Then Dan said, "Did you hear that?" I hadn't heard anything, so we just ignored it and about 5 seconds later, we hear Lauryn crying and it sounded closer to her bedroom door and then we heard banging on the door!!! I RAN to her room, opened the door, and she was standing there crying!!! I snatched her up as fast as I could. She had a red nose and forehead, so I assumed she climbed out of her crib and fell on her face! I felt SO bad! I had the "Worst Mother of the Year Award" that day! Needless to say, Mr. D lowered the crib TO THE FLOOR before I put her back in! If you click on the picture below to enlarge, you can see it....

On Sunday, the boys made chairs out of boxes. They thought it was the coolest thing ever! Lauryn's nose looked worse!

Once it scabbed over, she picked at it until it finally came off. I thought there was going to be a scar, but it looks good now. PHEW!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Jacob's Birthday

My sweet Jacob turned 4! WOW! Why do my kids have to keep getting older? I wish I could freeze time so that I can hug them and kiss their delicious little cheeks forever! My memories from when they were babies keep fading, and it makes me so sad. Good thing we have photos and video. Too bad I still can't get my videos to upload..... :(

Jakie asked for muffins for breakfast, so I made pumpkin muffins and he got to open one present from Nana and Popi. Thanks, Nana and Popi! He loves it!
He got to invite 3 friends over for a superhero birthday party! We ate pizza and then they started right in on the fighting fun!
Lauryn even got into it! She wants to be a part of everything that the boys do.
We went outside for our superhero training. First was to save the babies from the burning building.
Next was to brave the snake pit!
And finally......kill the villain with silly string! I think that was their favorite part!
After their training, they won their power rings, which gave them their super powers! "I HAVE THE POWER!"
Opening presents
Blowing out the candles......the cake didn't turn out exactly like I wanted it to. The colors weren't right, but everything can't be perfect, right? Just as long as the birthday boy was happy, that's all that mattered!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Spencer's birthday

I can't believe my baby turned 7!! That means he will be baptized next year! I'm getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.
Spencer wanted a pirate birthday party, so I told him he could only invite 3 friends because anymore than that would cause me to have a heart attack. It was SO much fun. I made bandanas and belts for the kids out of old sheets. I sewed little sacks to put their "loot" in. I also got little pirate sets for each of them at the dollar store that had an eye patch, knife, spyglass, and an earring in it. When everybody got here, they ate pizza and then put on all their pirate "garb." We went outside and played "pin the treasure on the x." Spencer drew a very cute map on poster board. They had a great time sword fighting too. Then we went on a treasure hunt.......

I spray painted a shoebox black and filled it with all kinds of fun stuff (chocolate treasures, snakes, lizards, eyeballs, and jewelry) and hid it in the bathtub. I made a map of where the treasure would be on a piece of brown paper bag. I ripped it all up, wrinkled it, burned the edges, rolled it up, and wrapped a ribbon around it. I have to say, it looked pretty cool. Anyway, I gave them clues and each clue led them to another one. I thought 7 year old boys would catch on to some pretty obvious clues, but the adults had to help them along quite a bit. It was very amusing. Then the clues led them to the map and the map led them to the treasure. It was SO much fun. Then we opened presents, had cake and ice cream, and I read them "Pirate Pet's Talk Like a Pirate" book while we waited for parents to come pick up their kids. Whew! I was pooped, but it was all worth it!

Waffles for breakfast on the "You are Special" plate.
Opening present from Nana and Popi before school. Thanks, Nana and Popi! He LOVES it!

Eating our yummy pizza at the party.
Everybody in their cute pirate attire.......even Lauryn :)
Looking for a clue.
Dividing the loot up.

Opening presents.
I really liked how the cake turned out!

The Pleated Poppy GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

The Pleated Poppy GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Lisa Leonard Designs Jewelry GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Lisa Leonard Designs Jewelry GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Primary Program

Warning: This post is not your average "Everything is beautiful" post.......

Well, today finally came for the kids to show the parents how hard they worked ALL year on preparing for this special day. I'm not in the Primary anymore, but I was asked to sing a song with the children, so I was at the practices a lot. My children did great in the practices, so I expected the performance to go just as well for them. Spencer had prepared the same talk he gave in primary back in April and Jacob's line was, "Jesus was born into a family." We even went over it several times at home.

Now, I have to give you a little background in Spencer's performing experience. He has a PHOBIA! The biggest phobia I've ever seen in a child. Performance anxiety, I guess. You'd think that I could've passed on some sort of trait of performing to him, but alas, no! I tried teaching him piano, and it was the biggest fight of my life and it sucked ALL the energy that I had inside me. Needless to say, I went to bed completely frustrated for MONTHS! I finally decided to give up on it for a while and try back again when I've been recharged. Whenever he was assigned to give a prayer, scripture, or talk in primary it was SUCH A BIG THING! He would be fine at home when we would practice it and then when it came time for him to go up to the microphone and do it, he couldn't. One time he pitched THE biggest fit in front of everyone and it was totally, mortifyingly embarrassing for me. I've NEVER seen ANY other child act like that in primary. But I thought I saw some hope the last time he did his talk in April. I thought that he might enjoy doing an object lesson along with his talk for primary. We practiced and practiced and he was so excited to do it. Then when it came time to do it, he read it and did the object lesson perfectly without any problems. I was so proud of him and thought he was coming out of the darkness. Well, today was a different story. (p.s. a side note......Jacob has never had this problem!)

Getting ready for church was totally normal for us this morning. Except when I asked Spencer if he would practice saying his talk for me so I could help him with separating his sentences and talking clearly instead of like a robot. He totally freaked out and DID NOT want to do it, so we put it in his scriptures, and off we went to church. When we got there, everything was fine. But, the SECOND we sat down in the pew, Spencer decided to pick on Jacob, so Dan had to put them on either side of me. Lauryn was in my lap and WOULD NOT sit still and kept taking EVERYTHING out of the diaper bag, so I was getting a bit frustrated. During the passing of the sacrament, I thought it was the perfect time for Spencer to go over his talk.....he still DID NOT want to do it, so I whispered it to him in his ear, while he continued his whispering fit, all with rigid body slowly slipping out of the pew with disgust written all over his face. So, I finally said, I'm taking you out after the passing of the sacrament. Then he freaked out AGAIN and kept whispering, "I'll read through it, I'll read through it." I tried to ignore him. Finally, the sacrament was over. I took him out and talked to him about how I was trying to help him, but he was too angry to get over it. I hugged and kissed him and told him it would be great and we went in. The primary kids all went up to the stand and my kids weren't I stood up and tried to take Spencer lovingly by the hand, but he was just dead weight in the pew. I pulled a little harder, lovingly, and he finally, begrudgingly, went up to the stand with me. Then I came back to get Jacob. He was upset because of the scene Spencer just made and had the look of disgust and horror as I took him lovingly by the hand up to the stand. WHEW! They were in their seats, but Spencer had his arms folded and the look of ANGER ALL over his face! Jacob had his head turned and was hiding his face in the back of the seat. I lost it. NONE of the other children had ANY problems getting up to the stand. NADA, ZIP!! It had to be MY children to make a scene and embarass me. I sad there totally distraught and COULD NOT enjoy the program, but I had to pull myself together so I could get up to sing my song. When it was time for Spencer to get up and read his talk, he got up and did it. But, we couldn't understand him because he was talking though his angry teeth. Then when it was over, he was totally FINE!! I went up, sang my song, came back to my seat, took one look at my children and lost it again. THEN, to top it all off, Jacob started SOBBING! The leaders let him just walk off the stage CRYING and come find me. AHHH! I took him out, hugged and kissed him and told him that I would go up with him and he could sit on my lap and it worked. He was FINE! Then when it was his turn to get up and say his line, he stood there at the microphone, put his chin down, tarted to cry, and ran back to me. He couldn't do it. When we started singing the closing hymn and he knew it was over, he started crying AGAIN because he wanted to say his line. The only thing that would get him to stop was telling him that maybe the leaders would let him do it in primary. They did, and he did it PERFECTLY!! WHAT THE???!!!

The events that proceeded this one in YW, were just as bad, but I'm gonna spare you the torturing details. It was a BAD DAY!! I seem to have a lot of those!

I still love my children no matter what. I know they are still learning the gospel. I know that they are just doing this because I'm their mother, but why did all the other children smile and sing and participate, and for my children it was torture????!!!!!

I don't think I'll ever know the answer to this question......

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The fun nature brings......

Dan came home yesterday after being gone all week, and we wanted to go do something fun as a family. So, we went to a park nearby with a nature trail and decided to go for a walk. At this time of year in Florida, there are grasshoppers EVERYWHERE. I'm not talkin' cute little ones in the grass, I'm talkin' the BIG DADDY of all grasshoppers! They are very slow, so we had to watch out so we wouldn't step on them. Dan picked up a couple and let the boys look really closely at them. Lauryn did NOT want ANYTHING to do with them! It's pretty cute to see the differences between boys and girls. Some of the grasshoppers were mating and the boys thought it was very cute! This was our conversation:

Spencer: Look, they are giving each other a piggy-back ride!

Mom: YES! They are! (LOL! ) Why do you think they are doing that?

Spencer: Well, maybe one has a broken leg and the other one is carrying it.

Dad: So, you think grasshoppers are compassionate?

Spencer: Yeah!

Mom: Jacob, why do you think they are doing that?

Jacob: Because they love each other, and they hug each other, and they give piggy-back rides to bed.

(I knew he was talking about when Dan or I sometimes give the boys piggy-backs to their beds at night, but it was just TOO funny!!)

Mom: That's exactly right!! (LOL!!)

(then he preceeds to tell me ALL about where their house is and what their bed looks like)

Jacob: Did you like my story?

Mom: Yes, I did! VERY much!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Time for an update

I think it's about time for a new post, what do you think?............

In July, Dan got a promotion to District Manager, and since then our lives have been turned upside down. He is gone A LOT, so we have to keep ourselves busy and be creative. Dan bought me and the kids plane tickets to go visit my family in Ohio for two weeks and we had a great time!
my cute nephew, Andrew
Popi taught Spencer origami

Having fun at the waterpark
My sister, Joanna and Mom

Coming home from the waterpark
Having fun at the YMCA pool

Look at those adorable pouty lips! My nephew, Austin
"This little piggie went to market........."

Playing at the mall

Best Buddies!

Sitting in the heat at a Remote Contol Airplane show

Jacob just being himself :)

The Cincinnati zoo!

Feeding the birds

They loved running through the water mist tunnel!

Having fun pouring water on each other at Nana's house

We had lots and lots of fun and ate yummy food! Thanks, family! It was so good to be near you again, even though it was just for a little while. Love you forever!