Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jesus Loves YOU

It has been an amazing ride to be a part of the Easter Pageant this year.  It has definitely been a sacrifice and a different experience than I ever imagined with the kids.  I am so grateful we did this as a family,  I am so grateful for the way we all grew as individuals in the gospel and how we came closer as a family.

All my life I have dreamed of what it would be like to be a mom with the opportunity to take my children to the knee of the Savior.  I look forward to the day he will come again, and with all my heart I HOPE that I will be able to take my kids to see Him, to learn of Him, so that HE will bless them.  I don't know when the Lord will come again, so in the mean time, moments like this in the Easter Pageant are as close as we're going to get.  This scene is one of the most pivitol moments in the Easter Pageant for me.  I have pondered it for the last few weeks.  Even though there are MANY in the crowd, you NEVER feel as if you're insignificant, and when He looks in your eyes, you KNOW he loves you.  I wish everyone could see the Savior looking back at them and that image could stay in their minds.  Sometimes it's easy to feel like we're not important because there are so many people in this world.  We need to remember that God knows us and He loves us.  He created us and is aware of everything that happens in our lives.  We need to turn to Him and try to live like Him.

Here are some of the highlights from the rest our family:

MITCH - One night he was holding Emmett and had a special moment by the Savior in the Triumphal Entry, and then in the mob scene, the actor who plays Christ looked at Mitchell as if, "You, too?"  It really seemed to hit home for Mitch.  There were people who had been close to Jesus who still turned from him.  How often have we felt the Savior's love and seen miracles in our lives and yet our actions betray Him?  We MUST do everything we can to come closer to him.

TYSON - One night I asked him what his favorite part of the Pageant was, he became thoughtful, but then I said, "Didn't you say it was the Triumphal Entry?"  He responded, "No.  I said the Triumphal Entry was my favorite SCENE.  My favorite PART is helping people to feel the Spirit in their heart or soul."

EMMETT - Emmett was cranky some nights and I didn't think he was getting much out of it, but one night he almost missed the Triumphal Entry, and he told Mitch - "It's Hosanna time!"  Another night, he started singing the Finale song out of the blue and he knew almost every word, "Today I saw Jesus, the Savior of the Earth, I heard the angels singing as they herald at his birth.  Today I saw Jesus, the Christ, my King.  My Savior, my Redeemer, forever I'll sing.  I know He lives!"

MILES - In the Healing and Teaching Scene one night, Miles acted as if he understaood everything that was happening.  He doesn't talk much, but this night he smiled when the blind man could see again.  When the adulteress came on stage I said, "Here comes the bad lady," and Miles said, "Uh-oh".  I stayed in character and said, "Here's the true test.  Will Jesus choose love, or will he turn her away."  And Miles said, "Uuhv" for love.  I was absolutely amazed.  Another special thing happened with Miles yesterday.  He said, "Jesus" for the first time as he pointed to his picture at a baptism we went to.  I had hoped that Miles would take his first steps at the Easter Pageant.  That will come in time.  I can't think of anything better to come as a "first" from this experience for him, than for him to learn to say the name of the Lord.

Happy Easter, Everyone.  I know that Jesus atoned for our sins and for our pains.  He died and on the 3rd day rose again.  We can live again and will live again someday, because of the promise of the resurrection.  What a beautiful day.  I know He lives.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The DREADED Stitches

We've had a pretty insane life lately.  I've been working little side jobs (tutoring/office work for my mom/teaching piano) to get out of debt faster while I stay home with the kids.  Not to mention, we've been busy with other extracurricular activities and have helped out with the Easter Pageant.  All of last week's evenings we were busy as a family.  So Sunday came and I was happy to have a "day off".  The joke was on me.  After church, my husband just wanted to leave the house & go to our family dinner early.  I said, "Well, we can still go early, but let me clean the kitchen first."  That was my first mistake. :)  I sat the boys down to color pictures for my brother, Taylor, on a mission in Guatemala, and 20 minutes later when my dishes were done and my kitchen looked great, Emmett got up from the table to get something and RAN INTO the corner of our island counter.  Our kids have hit the counter many times before, but this time, the counter THREW him back, and he kind of flipped back to the floor.  Mitch and I ran to him and picked him up and when Emmett moved his little hands from his face, blood was EVERYWHERE.
This is after he was all cleaned up and it was still gaping.  Poor Tyson had the hardest time with the blood.  He looked up and his voice started shaking, "Oh my!  This is scary!"  Once I confirmed that the eyeball wasn't injured and that it was just the eyebrow, I told Tyson "Don't worry, it's just a head wound--they bleed a lot, but he's going to be okay."  As the wound kept bleeding and I could tell a butterfly bandaid probably wouldn't work with the hair, I told Mitch I thought Emmett needed stitches and as we were gathering things to go Tyson re-entered the room and I said, "Buddy, you might want to say a little prayer for your brother." Without hesitation, voice still shaking, he said, "But I JUST did!  That's where I was!  I ran to my room and said a prayer!"
Bless his heart.  It made me so happy that his first reaction for peace and comfort and help was to pray.  I believe it helped, too.  Some might call it a coincidence, but Emmett's wound quit gushing blood about the time Tyson was praying.  Never underestimate the power of a child's prayer.

Tyson was coaching Emmett all the way to the doctor--"It's going to be okay.  It might hurt a little, but it will help you.  You're probably going to have to have stitches, but you'll be okay."

My poor children--we we ALL there for the papoose, the crying, the screaming when the stitches really did hurt even though he was supposed to be numb.  I had to tell myself that I was doing the right thing and that I was being a good parent.  My anxiety level was rising with each stitch. Finally at the end of the 3rd stitch when I couldn't take it anymore the doctor said, "We're done!" And I said, "Thank goodness!"  What a miserable experience.  :)  It's a good thing Mitch was there, because Emmett just wanted his daddy.
Mitch made me laugh, because he bought mustaches from the little vending machine to cheer up Emmett.  Emmett would begin to crack a smile but after half a second he would remember that he was still upset.  We tried to tell him he looked like a pirate or a ninja, but he didn't like that idea until the Tylenol kicked in.  When he felt better then we were trying to get him to calm down with his ninja moves.  :)

The picture is a little washed out, but there's a scrape under his eye, too.  I am so grateful he didn't lose an eye.  God created eye brows for a reason, and I'm so grateful it saved my little boy's eye.


Out with the with the Swagger Wagon

When we had Miles, we were cramming 3 little boys and 3 little car seats into the back of a Dodge Neon.  I literally had to shove the back door closed, because the car seats were a 1/2 inch too bulky for the back of the car.  However, my car was paid off, and we're on a really strict debt snowball, and there was no way I was going to get a new vehicle with a payment.  I was ready to run our car into the ground, puttering on it's last breath, before I bought another.
Mitch on the other hand was anxious for a new vehicle whether or not we were in the middle of our debt snowball, and he felt like it was not unreasonable to put aside $500-$800/month if we could work extra and eventually purchase a vehicle that would last a long time.  Those numbers were way too astronomically high for me, because I could just see our debt snowball being on hold forever and I could our student loans hanging over us into our 90's.
The kids hugging "Roberta" good-bye.
The solution:  We called Dave Ramsey for advice.  :)  He said that Mitch and I were both on opposite extremes and that we needed to meet in the middle.  He also said it's hard to fit 3 chihuahuas in the back of a neon, haha!  He also brought up that our vehicle probably still had value--which it did.  He also gave us a lot of hope by encouraging us--he was happy because Mitch & I we're on the same page with our goals to get out of debt and stay out of debt and said that we were just working out some of the little nuances on our way to our end goal.  He was proud of us for not wanting to finance a vehicle and said he's really excited for the next decade of our lives.

By the end of the summer, we got $2200 for our neon.  And the 2nd van we looked at from online postings happened to be listed by Mitch's cousin (but we didn't know it was his until we met up to look at the van).  It was so funny.  We did a test drive & were sold on it!  We knew he wasn't lying to us about the car's history, and it was in our price range.  They had just had their 6th baby and needed a bigger vehicle, too. Haha!  We were happy to take their awesome van off their hands and pay for it in cash.  I bought lego head decals to celebrate this milestone in our lives, because I felt REALLY OLD owning a minivan. 

The kids loved it--there was so much space & I could fit a stroller in the back AND buy groceries AND have all 3 car seats in AND there was STILL room!  

Mitch calls our van the "Swagger Wagon" sometimes, to help us feel cooler as parents of 3 driving a minivan.  And we've named the vehicle "Van Solo" since our kids were obsessed with Star Wars at the time. 
Life is so good!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Beautiful Brielle

This post is 4 months over due.  Gee whiz.  Time flies by so fast.  I totally feel like this just happened.  Lindsay had her baby!!!  Yay!  When she got engaged to Mike she told Tyson he could marry her daughter.  How did she know she'd have a girl first?  Crazy!  Tyson was a little tyke and on another occasion he said something like, "When I marry Lindsay's sister..."  It took me a while to figure out, but in his little mind, it made sense to him that if you have a baby girl it was called a sister.  :)  So funny.
At anyrate, everyone knows that Tyson & Brielle are allowed to marry ANYONE they fall in love with.  We were just having fun dreaming about future scenarios...just like we used to dream as kids.  There was a day we would dream about what life would be like when we were moms...and what do you know?  Now it's here!
Lindsay had her beautiful Brielle in November. 
Not only is her name gorgeous, so is her smile and darling face!

Jenny got to be Lins' post partum nurse.  So fun!  Who would have ever thought this is where we would be when we grew up?

Here's Jenny smiling by her adopted niece. :)
What's funny is that after I held Brielle for the first time, there was this little part of me that was satisfied--it's like I got a "baby girl fix".  I didn't expect that to happen. 

This is proof that my little family was there to meet Brielle--but Miles & Emmett's plans did NOT include pausing for a picture.  :) Story of my life.

Brielle's baby blessing was in January--it was a beautiful day, and she had a beautiful blessing.  And what do you know?  It's no surprise that Lindsay is a stunningly beautiful mom!  We're so happy this day is here!


Play Cookie Dough

At the beginning of the school year, when I felt like I had to write a check for every fundraiser that walked thru my door (before I realized there would be a fundraiser EVERY WEEK or so), I decided that if I was already going to pay $15 for cookie dough, that I might as well pay $17 and get the upgraded version:  PLAY COOKIE DOUGH.  It came in yellow tubs--just like play dough.  It came in bright colors--just like play doughFortunately it tasted delicious--unlike playdough
Even if it did take 5 months before I realized it was still hanging out in my freezer, it was so much fun!  Haha! Sometimes you think you'll save something for a special day, and then that special day never comes.  One night in January I decided it had been long enough and the special day just needed to be there, so we used our play cookie dough after dinner on a whim.  The $2 upgrade was worth it, especially because now that our elementary has exhausted my "extra money" fund, I don't know when the next time we donate might be.  :)  J/K

The Club House

Remember the Plague of 2012?  I'm still trying to forget it.  The pink eye, strep throat, vomiting, ear infections, 104 fevers, chronic fatigue, tummy rumbling, teething, 10+ day experience certainly left its mark.  But you know--something good actually came from that moment in time.  Grandma & Grandpa Borden SURPRISED us with a CLUBHOUSE to help us cope with our cabin fever & confinement!  On one of our miserable mornings there was an unexpected ring at the doorbell.  Grandpa Borden smiled, came in, and started putting together this cardboard house for my boys.  They immediately began decorating it, called it their clubhouse, and the fun lasted for a full month.  The boys even decorated it with Christmas lights.  We were so happy, because  Grandma & Grandpa's thoughtfulness turned some difficult mornings from something we wanted to forget into something we will always remember.   
(If you're reading this Grandma & Grandpa B:  Thanks! And we love you!!!)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Night of Wonder

As I look through these pictures it feels to me, like it JUST happened...but the reality is that these pictures are from FOUR MONTHS ago.  Haha! 

Lucky for us, we were driving around on a weekend in December, and the local mall was having a Hot Air Balloon Festival.  We promptly bought Chick-fil-a, parked our car, and took the kids to experience the fun of being right next to the hot air balloons.  I'm so glad we did that and now we have fun memories with our kids!  The man in the Smilie Face balloon gave my boys normal balloons with the same smilie face on it.  They kept calling their balloons hot air balloons.  Spider pig was the most amazing and a top favorite, too.  I also thought the butterfly balloon was gorgeous.  Poor Emmett ended up being sick that night--which explained why he was so difficult to win over, even though the festival was amazing.  He did have some fun moments, though, before he fell asleep with a fever.

I have always loved hot air balloons. Part of me wants to avoid the idea of having a bucket list, because I'd rather just be immortal than mortal.  But, the honest truth is that riding in a hot air balloon is something I've got to do before I die. As a Freshman in High School I remember sitting in the bleachers at a Marching Band Invitational, and there was a hot air balloon floating by and I decided that would be a fun way to be proposed to. All the boys around me thought I was just silly and crazy. Lucky for me, my husband proposed to me in the sky, in an even more romantic fashion than I had ever dreamed of, and in a way that made our OWN story (instead of in a way that included my flirtations with every boy I ever had a crush on from my Freshman year of high school thru college.) Haha! Having my name spelt out on the desert floor in Christmas lights as we flew over it in a 4 passenger airplane was a proposal that blew my mind--and I'm so glad that I had the perfect proposal and that it WASN'T in a hot air balloon, haha!

But with that being said, I would still like to go on a hot air balloon ride someday. It's still on my list of things to do. :)

P.S. Quit shaking your head at this post, Mitch. I love you for loving me even though I tell stories with tangents.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

When a Camera isn't Good Enough.

You know that moment in time, when everything is perfect and you wish you could freeze it forever?  Sometimes it's when everyone is together.   Sometimes it's when you're just one on one.  Sometimes it only lasts a couple of seconds and then the harmony of the moment is long gone.  Sometimes you wish you had a camera, but even if it was out and ready it couldn't have done the moment justice.

Like yesterday when Emmett was sitting outside of Cracker Barrel on a rocking chair playing checkers with his Grandpa T.  It was cute & classic, and everyone was happy.  It was a perfect morning.  And just 3 seconds after I saw the moment it was over.

It's like when you buy a package of candies you had when you were a kid and try to share them with everyone, but you realize you bought the sour pack instead and everyone is gagging.  "These are horrilbe, Deej!"  Thanks, Mom.  Fortunately the package of Divinity I bought turned out better.  The kids loved it.  My father in law talks about it all the time (I think Grandma Borden used to make it), and then I found out my Great Granny Gladys used to make it, too.   But as I tasted it and thought about these people who love Divinity--I thought about the memories they have that are associated with it--the people who made it.  Can a camera really capture how they feel when they remember those things?  No.  Now I have my own memory of the delectible treat--it's of Emmett with his mouth stuffed and a big grin saying, "I love this marshmallow stuff." 

It's when you're standing in line at a crowded sandwich shop trying to keep your boys from bugging everyone in line and the lady behind you says, "I had 3 boys, too.  They were just like yours--full of energy.  I remember how hard it was, but don't worry, there's a lot of hope.  All my boys grew up to be wonderful human beings (one is a Navy Seal, another is a successful businessman, and the other a Navy airforce officer).  I don't even know how it happened, but it did."  And then later she seeks you out & gives you a chocolate covered strawberry for each boy.  A camera couldn't have captured her kindness & understanding, or how she made me feel like everything in the world was perfect & exactly as it should be.

One of these moments happened today when Tyson was at his first ever practice for the Easter Pageant and we were all told to kneel down when Jesus would walk by.  We were all in normal clothes--no costumes--and the man who is the actor for Jesus didn't even have a beard yet, or anything.  As he came near us we all knelt and looked up at him.  And then I looked to the side and saw my son kneeling down, but respectfully bowing his head as Jesus walking by.  He was so humble and reverent and full of love. 

Sometimes I think I almost ruin the moments I'm trying to capture, because I'm staring at them thru a camera.  Sometimes it's okay to just experience life.  Try to remember it, and try not to regret that you couldn't catch the moment on film, because sometimes you couldn't have captured what it truly meant to you anyway.

Life is beautiful.  Just live it.