Thursday, December 18, 2014

To my kids when they are teenagers:

I'm not sure if this is more for you or me but here are some things that I thought were worth remembering.

Dear Melia
   Recently you and I have had many discussions about school drama and friends and you have been honest and personal about what happened and what it made you feel and about what you felt were good choices and bad. I have been given the opportunity to counsel with you and share my thoughts in a way you appreciated and maybe even benefitted from. I hope we continue this! I would love to be able to help you in situations I have already been through so you don't feel overwhelmed as you deal with so many new experiences at one time! If you choose to accept my counsel and counsel from others who have been where you are you will be able to skip a great deal of pain and frustration as you decide who you will become. You have also recently had quite a few experiences when after a great battle with me where you were sure you were right - it turned out you were wrong and you came to an understanding that because i had more experience and information on the subject that yes I was right - even when before you were confident that you were. Lets keep this in mind in future conversations that yes - sometimes mommy is right!!

Dear Kyan
   Recently I greatly disappointed you. You had an activity you wanted to attend - floor hockey with the Brooks Bandits - and because I didn't really want to go I didn't write it down and therefore forgot about it. You do not ask for much and I should have made it a priority. When you brought me the paper again and asked how much longer it was until this exciting activity the date had long past. I will never forget the disappointment on your face. I had failed you and not kept my commitment to you when I had said we could attend. I said soon we would have an opportunity to play hockey on ice! Then came the part I admired even more and broke my heart all over again. You simply said you had really wanted to go see the Bandits and when I apologized again you said it was okay and went to your room. When I heard your acceptance - no whining or recriminations - and then moments later your crying in your room I ran to comfort you and see how I could make amends. I asked if you wanted to go see a game and you said they didn't play very often. I ran to get my computer to find the next game! That friday was a home game! Then you asked how people could get tickets? I said you could just buy them at the door and you were worried again. You asked me if we had enough money to buy tickets. The $20 would not have broken the bank at any time but at that moment I would have re-mortgaged my house to get you a ticket to this game! You went with daddy and had a wonderful time and forgave your heartbroken mom out of hand. Please continue to forgive me when I drop the ball! It will happen again I'm sure but I will try very hard to keep my commitments to you now and forever!

Dear Talia
    Today we had an epic battle. Just over a year ago you told me your ear hurt but it was our Easter egg hunt so you quickly sucked it up and enjoyed every second of your day with your cousins and grandparents. That night you screamed and cried in your sleep and could not be consoled but would not take any medicine to help with the pain - to tired and stubborn! The next day you had dried blood in your ear because your ear drum had burst overnight. (Melia did something similar to me at your age - no notice, horrendous ear infection!) The doctor in the ER looked at me like I tortured you and had let you suffer like this for weeks instead of one day. Sigh. So when you told me yesterday and again today that your ear hurt I sped my way in to see our doctor and a sweet nurse fit me in when there was no extra time to begin with. The doctor checked your ear, gave me a prescription and I filled it congratulating myself on doing a better job this time! Then followed our 1 hour and 45 min showdown on taking your medicine. You didn't like the taste and therefore didn't want to drink it. Nothing I said, cajoled, bribed, or threatened had any effect on your willingness to let me put it in your mouth without you gagging it back up. I didn't threaten your Christmas presents but it came close. Even your blankie being taken away would not sway you! You cried most of the time and were so exhausted and hungry by the time it was over I thought you would fall asleep on your feet. This is rare for us! We don't battle like this! Yes you are strong willed like the other two rascals but in general we deal very well together! I understand you and we have each other well trained. There is very little I have to force on you since you can generally be counselled to make good choices for your health and safety. I did not relent because I was trying to prevent you going through serious pain unnecessarily!! Please keep this in mind for future battles because I expect we will have more in time: I really am trying to help you and keep you safe!!

Hopefully as we grow together we will all learn how love each other better and continue to be a strong family that loves each other and lifts each other up. Thats my plan!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Vancouver Island 2014

So a favourite family vacation destination of ours has always been Vancouver Island. Growing up it was our big vacation to drive out there about every four years. It takes that long to forget how long the drive is =). The last time we went though - due to other adventures - I was just pregnant with Kyan so it was clearly time to go out again. In other words - Mom and Dad planned a vacation and we tagged along - thats what we do! The drive went really quite well (no puking) and this was one of those, wow that looks really cool out the window, Vance take a picture! So he did and it turned out cool! Not all of them do you know.

We got to stop at the Vancouver Temple on the way out and it was fabulous! 

My parents are cute =)

On the way!!

The ferry is always an awesome adventure for land locked prairie folks such as ourselves.

The sunset from the boat! Very cool and FAST!

Random people on the boat!

On our way out we stopped at some of the hugest trees ever! Its tradition and awesome.

We got there late that night so we set up camp and ate and planned to play the next day!

The camp ground is my favourite ever because it has super cool trees and fantastic huge campsites which are fun to explore all on their own. My kids were in heaven!!

The next day we hit the beach! I was curious if my kids would be traumatized since in our travels we went to Mexico and San Diego - both very warm beaches. They were happy anyway and even played in the water despite it being fantastically cold!

My parents are awesome. Clearly.

The next day we needed a small break from the sun so we went on our Slug Walk. My mom is sure that is what the trail used to be named but now they call it the Rainforest walk. It is the best hike ever!! It is predominately on a boardwalk and soo cool! We look for Banana Slugs! Apparently the people is BC don't enjoy them as much as we do - or so I hear... They were labelled in three categories according to colour even though they are all technically banana slugs: banana slugs, booger slugs and poop slugs. Very accurate colour descriptions is case you are curious. 

We are ever obedient and tried to obey all posted signs!!

Melia has started tree lifting as a new hobby.

Some cool trees!

The next day we were back on the beach! The other thing we love to do is go look at the star fish and anemone when the tide is out. SO COOL! You can actually touch a star fish! (Sea Star is the appropriate name apparently)

Pants rolling is an essential skill for the early morning walks!

My mom knows the way to Kyan's heart. He LOVED IT! Sea weed on rock. 

He dragged it around for a LONG time!

In case you haven't tried it sea weed works really well as a skipping rope...

Driftwood is awesome.

My mom has biceps of steel!

Kyan says to me: "Look mom the wise man's house!!" I was so proud!

Vance can build a fort out of anything. Kyan mentioned it made him the foolish man...

Kyan can also make a house out of anything! Notice the rock =)

We may have had fun taking sunset pictures cause it was awesome!

And then one night we let our kids stay up too late and played with glow in the dark bands. Way too much fun!

This is the three of them running towards me from the bathrooms! How cool eh?

You will be happy to know that I only shared the 3 out of maybe 100... In my defines Kyan kept showing me new cool things to take pictures of! He can be very creative!

We had an awesome time and had many great adventures and found many slugs! We also had different tin foil dinners for most of the suppers and it was a perfect dinner technique! No dishes and super delicious! Thanks for letting us tag along Mom and Dad!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Melia's Miracle.

So just over a month ago a super exciting event happened! My fabulous friend Heather had her first baby!! Of course she has him while I am off in Vancouver but as we are driving home we check our messages to see if she had called. I am driving so Vance listens and says "she had a boy" and tells me his name! (This is a public blog so I will not use his name) Then he pauses and says I need to hear the message myself because she is crying. I listen to the message on speaker phone and cry and cry. Her sweet boy was born with some serious health challenges and is in the hospital and has already had surgery which will likely only be the first of many. I cry because I was not there to cry with her as they took her baby to another hospital but she couldn't follow because she had just given birth. I cry because this wasn't my plan for her! My plan was that she just had to deal with the usual challenges of a newborn - not the roller coaster of tears and joy and fear as one day he can breathe by himself but the next day he can't. My plan was that she could bring her baby home and nurse him and not that she would spend every day at the hospital to see him and wish that she could have the usual challenges of nursing - not the one where her baby can't eat what she is working so hard to provide for him. Her sweet boy is a fighter though and has been working hard to eat and breathe as he is loved by his wonderful parents and supported by an army of nurses and doctors and specialists. I told my kids Heather had a boy and they immediately asked when we would go see him! I told them he was in the hospital so he could get strong and healthy and that he needed us to pray for him. He did not need little disease carriers (i.e. my kids) coming to visit right now =). I told them that the best way to love him right now was to ask Heavenly Father to help him heal. So we have been praying for him to heal. It seemed the simplest way to explain that he needed to heal from his surgeries to prepare for his next. This sweet boy and wonderful family have had so many prayers and love from so many of their friends and family that I am not surprised that the Lord answered in such a way. No one really knows the mind of God. Why does one person get a miracle and the next does not? Why does it take so long for some and so quick for others? I do not know but I do know that it has been a privilege to join the army praying for this precious little boy. A week ago Heather posts on her special hospital blog that her little man had the best possible outcome for his procedure. Instead of the big repair job they expected to do to close a seam they had to use just a dab of super glue to close the gap and the other surgery which was to follow has become unnecessary since the other major issue appears to have healed itself! The doctor says that this is a one in a million chance that this issue would have healed itself! Definitely proof that this little boy is one in a million I say! He will still have a ways to go to beat this but his progress has been speeded right along! Why did he get a miracle? I don't know! Perhaps for many reasons! Perhaps so his parents could have a stronger personal testimony of the love of God and that he hears and answers prayers? Perhaps the surgeon needed a reminder of the miracles of the body - Gods creation? Perhaps a family touched by this sweet boy needed hope in a time of pain and despair? This list of why he may have needed a miracle could go forever but I can tell you one of them. Melia needed a miracle. When I told my kids about what happened Melia was so excited that he was getting better and then she said, "Mom now I know for sure that Heavenly Father is real! I was pretty sure before but now since he healed Heather's baby like we asked - I know. I know he is real and that he loves us mommy. And that he loves Heather's little boy". Thanks for letting us be part of your miracle Heather because my little girl needed one too!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sister Fun!!

So I was very spoiled to get to spend a week in California with my sisters! This of course required a great deal of work for Vance and his parents and sisters as they helped cover for my absence. Thanks everyone! Talena and I flew out of Great Falls and left the smallest airport ever for Las Angeles which felt like the biggest airport ever ( I have not researched or asked Jen about so I can't say for sure). After we staggered off the plane at 11:30 we got our luggage and went out to door in hopes of finding a way to get to our hotel. After standing in a daze for a couple minutes I saw a bus six lanes across that said our hotel on it and watched in tears as it drove on uncaring of how tired we were! So we know there is a bus but not where to get on or how often it comes so we just went and stood by a inch of people in hopes of a magical shuttle appearing. After a while we noticed the only shuttle stopping were car rental shuttles so we wandered to another group of people to see if it said magical shuttle would appear here. After a while Talena nudges me and says "look up". Apparently there are bright lit up signs saying "car rental shuttles' and hotel shuttles'  if one happens to look up. Not visible from the airport doors of course but once you make it to the median across five lanes of insanity. Good to know! So we patiently waited - Talena was very well behaved and didn't cry for snacks or being tired or anything! - its kind of a novelty travelling without our kids =). The shuttle came and after 45min of picking up people we finally got to our hotel and crashed in our beds! The next morning while we were waiting for Savana and Will to come get us we budgeted 45 min for breakfast and were very surprised to find that we only take like 15 min to eat. Once again Talena served herself and didn't whine about anything. I always eat at least fourth so more strange concepts for us! Very strange! Savana and will braved the evil LA traffic and came and took us to Fresno to see Dallin, Missy and Lola in Fresno! Our new niece is super sweet and we had so much fun getting to adore her! 

The next morning we were able to watch Dallin bless Lola and he did a fabulous job and is a very proud daddy! My little brother all grown up and being a dad!! They just so happen to have a lovely temple right beside their church so we took some fabulous pics naturally! Side note - it was ridiculously hot there - think 45 C!

Then we remembered that Dallin and Missy had to live there so we decided to behave ourselves...sorta. Here is Lola in her blessing dress! 

Her Aunties and mommy!

Family pic!

So fun to get to be there with them for such a special occasion! Us in our awesome new dresses!

Our first day in San Diego we decided to WALK - no more driving or flying for a bit! SO we walked down to the beach and took pictures of cool flowers and whatever else caught our fancy!

The we walked down the beach forever and no one drowned or cried. Awesome! I have a lot of fun stepping on these little sea weed things - it grossed Savana out a bit but she still walked with me =) I refrained from skipping rope with the long sea weed this time though cause Savana said she wouldn't walk with me anymore. But it is really fun - just so you know!

Tuesday we decided to hit balboa park so we walked like maniacs and took a million flower pictures! The sun was also very cool! My mom calls it a sun dog?

These cool trees were very awesome but its a good thing they live in Sandiego and not any place they have real weather because their roots are all on the surface - not very deep!

This was a cool statue thing - but very hot!!

The next day we hit the beach and boogie boarded like crazy and burnt ourselves silly despite lots of sunscreen and staying under the umbrella! I have never bubbled after a burn - it was nasty!

That night we went to the San Diego temple and it was then we noticed how bad our burns were as the white really brings our the red for you =)

Before we went in! It was so fun to be together in the temple especially as it was the very first time we have been able to!

The snails on our way out were cool!

Then we may have spent a half hour or so taking impressive flying pics outside the temple. No one asked us to leave until they were closing the gates though =) They said we could stay if we wanted but the gates were being locked!

Then we had shopping and pedicures and the farmers market in carslbad - VERY COOL! 

Sister bracelets! Because we can!!

So many fun adventures despite Savana's inability to eat, sugar, cold or open her mouth farther than an inch due to an INTENSE wisdom teeth removal! Thanks for letting us crash Savana and Will and entertaining us all week and for sharing your baby Dallin and Missy!