Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lunch Date

So to keep off my News Year Resolution while Hailey and Lily were at a birthday party Mason, Cati, and I went on a Lunch Date to Wingers. The only place around here...with good food....that has a gluten free menu and take all the precautions to keep the food safe.

So with Mason getting a free Kids Meal coupon from his K-12 teacher lunch was SUPER CHEAP!!

Anyways it was so nice to have the time to talk with Mason and Cati. Well she mostly stuffed her face with all the GF foods. I really enjoyed this since I didn't have to worry and keep telling her "NO"....Back to Mason- I learned that he really enjoys comics so we talked about Superman, Batman, and X-men. He didn't believe me when I told him that I use to watch the X-Men cartoon was a kid.

We talked about starting school. His fears, his excitement and his hope of finding some friends. I learned that he likes soccer and was just a great lunch date. Great way to kick off the year with having some kid quality time.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I can't hear you

Well this was a very humbling moment for me. Hailey brought home a letter from school a couple of months back saying that she failed her school hearing test. So I put it in my pile of things to call later in the week to set an appointment with the district to have her hearing retested. When I called it was too close to Thanksgiving so it got pushed back to December. But then I had to cancel due to....something.....and finally made it to the test that was on the 19th.

I thought it was going to be an unsuccessful appointment since I thought she was fine. After the testing is when my thoughts were changed.
The specialist said that she's almost deaf in her left ear. WHAT!!! That the test shows that she has some hearing lost that will get worse if not treated. That her right ear has been compensating but it is still hard for her to hear. He explained that since her left ear can hear only a very little bit that the right hear will hear for all things and will try to process the information to her brain. But when there's too much noise like babies crying or sitting by the door which leads into the hallway her right ear can only focus on one thing at a time. So if I'm talking to her while I'm holding a crying toddler she won't be able to hear me talk to her. Or if her ear is listening to the sounds of the kids in the hallway her ear wouldn't be able to focus on her teacher.

So last week she seen a specialist that thinks she was born this way. But then poses the question: Why wasn't it noticed before? She's gone to all her well child check ups and nothing was discovered. So tomorrow she goes for a MRI at our local children's hospital. This will tell how she lost her hearing and how the specialist can treat it. It might be a surgery or a hearing aid.

But this really made me shut up and realize that I need to start listening to my kids. With Ducati and her picky eating. She knew that something wasn't right before doctors and I could figure it out. And she has Celiac Disease. Mason- something was up with him at the age of 2 and I didn't notice anything. I thought it was normal for 2 year olds to not be talking. And he has autism. Lily- she has some hair condition that makes her hair fall out if not washed or brushed daily. So to hear that Hailey really can't hear....this is a big teaching moment for me to start trusting in my kids and what they tell me.

How is Hailey with learning the news? First she told me, "I told you so!", then she was enjoying telling everyone that her ear is broken. So with talking to her about hearing aids she wants to grow her hair out long so her hair will cover her hearing aid....if that's the road we need to go down. She's excited to be pigging out tonight since she will have to fast tomorrow for her MRI. So dinner of chicken, potatoes, pudding with marshmallows is on our patients menu for tonight. So how is she.....she's fine :-)

Monday, December 26, 2011

We are Blessed!

This holiday season we had an amazing December. We were blessed to have received so much love that my heart was ready to burst during these past 25 days.

There could be so many reasons why our family received so much love and kindness. It could be that our bishop challenged everyone to pray and ask for a prompting on who needs your help right now. It could be that Heavenly Father knew that we were having a hard time this month. It could be that we have amazing people in our lives who love us. It could be that since we are being obedient to God's work he is blessing us..... I could go on and on....but I don't want too. I am just so thankful for everyone who showed our family love.

Our 1st blessing we had a bag dropped off at our doorstep one night filled with new church clothes for our kids.
Our girls just loved it so much. Being on a tight budget our kids hardly ever get anything brand new(mostly hand me downs) so to have new twirling dresses- this made their day. I was on the phone with my mom when we found this bag and we couldn't help but cry alittle.

 Mason had been given a  3 piece dress outfit but he wasn't digging the color so the Secret Santa left a note along with the receipt that said we could return/exchanged the clothes if we wanted too. After seeing my girls giggle in joy nothing was taken back EXCEPT Mason's things. We exchanged it for some boy items and we saved the rest so we could buy this stuff later.

Because this kid is going back to school. Starting after Christmas Break he'll be going to school with Hailey so he was in need of some back-to-school items.

Our second blessing was.... GIFTS!
One night our bishop came over and gave me 2 bags full of gifts along with some gift cards that I later used on groceries. He said that someone wanted to give them to us so I took the bags, thanked him, thanked God, and then cried. We've been recipients of gifts before but we've passed them on to other's that were in more need of them than we were. But this year Mike said that we should allow the blessing to our Secret Santa by keeping them. So we put them under the tree. As you can see everyone was so happy to have extra gifts.
(A Barbie, FurReal puppy, 2 baby dolls, 2 strollers, Lego set, a basketball door hoop, a pack of small Nerf guns, and a box of chocolate)

Third, we received a wonderful dinner from Mike's dad, Brent, and step mom, Patty, complete with side dishes and a delicious HoneyBaked ham. Since Christmas was too crazy with our late night  filled with last minute preparations I didn't cook it......YET! It's our New Years Eve dinner and honestly I can't wait. I love ham!

Fourth, my mom brought us some groceries. Since Mike had an error on his check we were short some cash. So our groceries were going to have to be cut short this week. But my mom offered to buy us some groceries. This was so great. I was given a budget and I could get whatever I wanted within this mild budget. I knew that I could get some things but not much. But through the prayer I said while driving to help me find what our family needs; my prayer was answered. The store that my mom works at has so much food marked down for no reason. Meats, gluten free flours, milk, cereal, etc. All was still within the selling dates and most still had 1-3 weeks on the dates. So I was able to get an entire cart full of items without coupons on her budget. I was so happy when I loaded these items into our van. God provided for our needs. How wonderful is that!

Last, we were given the privilege to have Christmas pixies do the "12 days til Christmas" on our family. Every night our Christmas pixies left a small gift like Chex Mix, fruit, art supplies, kitchen tools, etc along with a piece of a Nativity scene.
I remember telling a friend of mine at church that what kind of Mormon am I? I don't even own a Nativity scene. This was on my list to buy after Christmas but my answer came sooner.

On the first note our pixies asked for us to not peek or we might be frightened on who it is. It took everything in my power to not stare out my window. And there was a couple of times that our pixies must of been watching us. One night Mike had the garage door open while he was working on a woodworking project. When I called him in to say Good Night to our kids. The house door barely closed when he came inside when we heard our pixie's knock on the door to tell us that our gift has come. Mike thought he seen someone around the lamp post but then again never thought about it. So he went about this project. I can recall a time when Hailey and I were right by the door looking in our closet when we heard the knock. I went to open it since we've been getting treats from neighbors and I didn't want to be rude. But Hailey grabbed my hand and said, "Give them a chance to run." It was really sweet!

 On the 12th day of Christmas I knew it was all going to end. Our pixies gave us 12 days of love and kindness that we'll never forget. However I wanted to tell our pixies Thank you somehow without ruining the magic. So I left a Christmas card and a jar of homemade apple butter by our door for them to take on the last evening.

This holiday season we've never been shown so much love at one time. It was a true miracle for us to have been given so many wonderful gifts. The spirit of Christmas is really the spirit of Christ. And we felt it. We felt the spirit of love, kindness, mercy, gratitude this Christmas season. I will never forget this Christmas holiday

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Spirit of Chaos....I mean Christ

Christmas was such a wonderful day. Mason and Hailey were with their other dad in the morning. So it was just Lily and Cati this Christmas morning. But wait let me back it up alittle.....

Mike and I have been talking about the true meaning of Christmas.We've been explaining how Santa, candy canes, and the gifts are all symbols of Christ and his birth. It was much easier last year to teach our kids the true meaning of Christmas minus Santa and reindeer. But this year was much more difficult. With most of Hailey's friends still believing in Santa this made her so confused. Mason was getting really caught up in the material things from all the catalogs that keep coming in the mail everyday. So we read the scriptures that talked about Jesus Christ and all his wonderful works. From healing the sick, obeying his father, etc and we listened to Christmas Devotional several times. So it was starting to sink in but just not enough. So Mike and I decided on this motto this year.....
1 gift that they need
1 gift that they want
1 gift made with love (homemade)....(sort of like a labor of love)
1 stocking

So I had the kids pull names on who they were going to make a gift for. Once everyone had a name I took each aside separately and searched the best website ever.....Pinterest!

Everyone had 3 weeks to made their gift and wrap it. This was really fun! Mike and I also did this. With being on a small budget I had some money left over from some coupon overage and from a bill that was less than I thought so we each had $28 to get each others Christmas gifts. But we stayed true to our new motto. So this was really hard for me since I spent $22 of it on a pair of Mike's favorite lined jeans. But I can work magic with $6.

Anyways back to Christmas day.

Mike and I went to bed around 1:30am since our living room looked like this due to our last minute preparations. A complete mess!
So when Lily and Cati woke up at 6am Mike recorded it all. I'm really thankful for this since I didn't have to push a camera button.

After all their gifts were opened and stockings were emptied it was time to get read for church. We only had sacrament meeting which was nice since Lily and Cati were so tired that they wined and cried most of that hour. But when I looked around a bunch of kids were in the same state of grumpiness so I didn't feel so bad.

The church Christmas program was amazing. A Brethen read the scriptures about Jesus birth and at certain points the choir would sing a song related to that scripture. I felt the spirit so strongly that I just cried the entire time. It's absolutely amazing when Christmas lands on Sunday. It's like a double Holy Day.

After church we changed into our comforty clothes, our girls took a nap, Mike and I watched a movie and put together his puzzle. But soon it was time to leave to go pick up Mason and Hailey. And that's where things got crazy....

We went to my parent's house first. Our kids really enjoyed spending time with their grandparents. We said Hello, ate lunch, then it was present time. Everyone was just so happy.....
 Lily is hugging her gift.

Don't mess with Cati's new babies. One of my parent's dogs took her doll and after that she was so protective of her babies. It was so adorable!

 Lily got a Strawberry Shortcake race car. She taught herself how to do donuts.

Not the best photo but the only one that shows Mike gift that I made him. See the "Chuck Norris was here" shirt.... Mike really likes all those Chuck jokes so it only made sense to make him a shirt with one of the sayings.
 But everyone was playing Connect 4 launcher game.
Mason had a pretty bad migraine so he stood inside my mom's room until the Excedrin kicked in. The kids got spoiled but I think Mike and I were more spoiled. My parents got us a Wii. I know Wii's were so 2009 but we're finally catching up with the times.

After many hours of play and talking we left and headed to our friend, Sarah and Eric's, house.

Where everyone played with farting play-doh and had some treats. Thanks Sarah!

After playing some more Mike and I were beat. There's only so much caffeine can do so we started back home where Mason and Hailey were excited to open their gifts. Who knew gift opening could be so tiring? Well we were.

When we arrived home it was almost 8pm so we did a very quick version of gift exchange.

Hailey picked Lily for her gift. So she made her an owl mobile. She hand sewn it and on Dec.22 we stood up really late and put the finishing touches.

Cati picked Mason. I helped her make him this snake tie.
Mason had Hailey. He made her a butterfly purse out of an old shirt of hers.
 He cut, sewed it on the sewing machine, and wrapped it all within 2 hours. He was so excited that he was done so soon. But it was hard for him to hide it for long. But he was really excited when he seen her reaction to her gift...

And Lily picked Cati. Lily wanted to make fairy wings for Cati but as we started the process she wanted them for herself. So my logic was Lily picked the gift out so it's not cheating if I made it.
Our kids were so proud of themselves for making their gifts. I doubt they would of had this much confidence in themselves if they would of brought a gift instead. It really is a labor of love ♥

Anyways our kids were spoiled. With the gifts we purchased, gifts that both Mike and I each made and the gifts from each other- they made out like bandits!

( I made Mason this shirt and a Batman shirt.....which he loved!)

Anyways with everyone grumpy all the kids went to bed and were promised 1 hour of playtime before it was time to clean up.

Afterwards Mike and I tried to watch, "It's a Wonderful Life", but we fell asleep on our sofa bed around 9pm. ☺

Even though it was a tiring day it was such a special day for everyone. Christmas is meant to be around those that you love and that love you back. And as a family we were. We felt the spirit of Christmas despite our crazy driving. Maybe next year we'll do Christmas Eve driving ☺

Oh yeah for Mike and remaining $6 for him I picked up a puzzle of Chicago, a belt that I wrote 28  numbers from Pi sort of like the one that I seen on Helping Little Hands,
a key chain tape measure that he said all wood workers need and painted him that Chuck Norris shirt

Mike- he is really creative! He picked up so many things for me candy bars, paperclips, a new tea mug, an eraser car puzzle, some craft looking tape, a book about dreams (which I love) but the coolest thing was his labor of love gift. 
I asked Mike in a cutesy way what he made me. Him and his comic way looked around our living room and said "I made you a pencil holder". We both laughed at the idea.....and when we opened gifts- look what he made me....A PENCIL HOLDER!  I laughed so hard. He lied to me by telling me the truth. But I love it! I commented to Mike that I feel so nerdy. Books, office supply items, and a pencil holder. But I must be a nerd since I loved all my gifts. He said we're a nerdy match since he loves his Pi belt. 

Well this Christmas we really amazing. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas wish

I think only a handful of people will know what this post means....

♫ "All I want for Christmas is my 1 front tooth "♫

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Let me help

Girls with power tools are cute!
 Especially if they're helping their Daddy
(it's a toy Black and Decker no worries)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hailey's 6!

Our sweetheart turned 6! A much awaited day for her. She now can use 2 hands to show her age. But with her birthday being on a weekday her party planning was somewhat tricky. Even more tricky was her behavior. Mike and I were set that she wasn't going to have a party since her behavior on both Mike's and Lily's birthday was less than pleasant. But through some hard work on her part and some soft talking on my part towards Mike- we planned a very small and simple party for her. But the next dilemma was all her friends had dance that evening or were in the afternoon kindergarten PLUS Mike had to work so we all agreed in a birthday lunch.

So with a few last minute phone calls to parents, a few handmade invites, a helium tank from Wal-Mart the party was set.

Miss Hailey is an early riser. So when she woke up at 5am she was alone in the living room just starring at her doll. Probably soaking in the delight of getting what she wanted. And let me just say I'm so proud of her that she waited until I woke up. Sad to say but this Mom woke up like 5 minutes too late so I didn't see her reaction when she walked into the living room and seen her doll. Next year I'll set my alarm for 4:30am instead of 5:30am to make sure I don't miss her reaction
 Anyways she was so happy to get this doll. During the summer she got one of those American Girl catalogs in the mail and fell in love with the dolls. I mean LOVE!!! But we didn't love the price of one of those dolls. ($160 starting) So I checked around and seen some other dolls and she peeked in on me searching on-line and really liked this doll. It's  Target's Our Generation doll. And with sale and coupon we paid around $28. Still expensive for a doll but oh well.....SHE LOVED IT!  She named her doll, Hailey, and it came with an extra outfit, a few accessories, and a book. So not bad for that price.

I tried to catch her reading the book but she pulled this face on me instead. What a ham!
 So this doll was at Hailey's side all morning and night. She also got this pink sparkle shirt for her birthday. But she loved this doll even more.
Anyways soon it was time for school. She wanted to take a treat to her class for her birthday. So we sent packaged grapes for everyone. Something healthy and not very messy. But while she was gone Mason and I set up a checklist of cleaning the house, putting up a few more decorations, wrapping some small gifts, etc. Everything that makes a birthday special we did it in 3 hours.
But she was so happy when she walked up to the door and seen balloons and a sign all there to greet her on her day. Since her guest were coming in a few minutes Mason, Lily, and Ducati gave Hailey their gifts. And YES- Ducati is topless on this photo. She hates clothes....what can I say?

But now it was PARTY TIME! Ever wonder what 35 balloons look like when 8 kids get a hold of them.....a BLUR!

Mike and I settled on a very simple and go-gurts with juice. Everyone loved it ♥

Gifts..... all I'll say is Hailey was spoiled!
Cake.... I made it for her while she was in school.
and now a movie. Hailey wanted a pizza and movie party. Something completely manageable. So after serving everyone a slice of cake we put on Judy Moody. Great kids movie!

Hailey and her friends.... 
Brynne, Charly, Lily, Emy, Hailey, Mykelle  with Ducati in the backgroud stealing a bite of Mike's GF cake

After the movie they played....they colored for a while. Then I opened the gifts and they all played with them.
 Here they are doing a cheer.... BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!!! (so cute)
 finally since parents were arriving within minutes Hailey starting catapulting sweet tarts towards the girls while they tried to catch them. She is really creative since I would of never thought of using this homemade catapult for catching food. But was fun!
Well it was time for her friends to go and it was time for Mike to leave as well. However we still had a fun evening. Mike got Hailey an extra Redbox movie, Monte Carlo, and we still have a very special dinner.
So our little Miss is now 6....where did the time go?