Friday, August 31, 2007

What is family?

Last night as I layed in bed trying to go to sleep but couldn't due to thoughts of wanting to sell our home and move I started comparing our situation here versus other places we lived. What made them so much better? Why do I hate it here so much? Like most of you church takes up a huge chunk of your time and in essence is a large part of who you are. That is when it hit me what is family? Family to me are those people you love and without condition or strings attached (most of the time). They are the first people you want to call when something good happens and even more so when the news is bad. When you are sick it is your family you want most. Family is good food and lots of laughter. They are the people you want to be with more than your neighbors, more than your other friends. They are the people you love to serve because you simply love who they are. And yes, there are times when they drive you crazy! And yes, sometimes you argue with them but in the end you always come back together because you are family and you love one another. Because Dallan's jobs have pulled us far away from our parents, siblings, etc., etc., we have learned to rely on a new kind of family.... our ward family. In both Charleston and Port Orchard from the moment we walked in we were greeted, we were taken care, we were welcomed. We felt loved, needed and when we served we felt appreciated. I will never forget when we went to church the first time in Charleston after picking up Madelyn. It was almost embarassing the reception we received. We were late getting there. Most people had already heard the news but no one really knew we were going to be at church that Sunday. One sister spotted us in the lobby and instantly got up and walked out to see our new baby, and then another, and then another. Soon the lobby was full. Dallan was mortified. But they were ecstactic for us. They wanted to see this baby girl we had waited so long for. The love I felt from those people was unreal. Many cried with us when we got the news we would never have children and those same people cried happy tears when our dreams of becoming parents came true. They were our family. Then we moved to Port Orchard sure that we would never find a ward of that caliber again. And again, we were beyond suprised when we became a part of the Sinclair View Ward. Like Charleston, the people in that ward became our lives. The sisters in that ward became my greatest friends, my greates allies. There was nothing they wouldn't do for me or my family. And in truth there isn't anything I wouldn't do for them. You should have seen the clothes people brought over when we got Jackson. Meals were brought in even though I was quite capable of cooking. And my baby shower! I can't even tell you how much work went into that! Why? In one And that brings me to Rexburg, Idaho. This ward isn't a family. It is a Sunday obligation. You go to church and you are nice but when your three hours are up that is it. You go visiting and home teaching because it is required not because you love it. You do your calling and you serve because that is what was asked and what is expected but not because you love it. You don't see people congregating talking about what is going on in each other's lives. And when that last bell rings you better believe most are running toward their car. So what happens when you are away from your "real" family and your "other" family turns out not to be family at all but merely aquaintances at best? I wish I knew!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

7 more months....

I remember fondly wrapping this cute boy up in his blanket and watching him sleep as Madelyn and I sat rather peacefully during sacrament meeting. I can now tell you that is a thing of the past. We are now talking about climbing, crawling, pulling everything out of the diaper bag, grabbing for the song books and fighting his way through the mass of legs hoping for an escape. After we are done each Sunday with church Dallan and I just look at each other and comment on how we have 7 more months of this little monster before he is old enough to go and terrorize the nursery. Good thing he is both cute and loveable! Seven more months.....heaven help me please!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Okay, I need a book club (even though many would say this series isn't book club material) but it would be fun to discuss certain aspects of the book. I don't get many hits on my blog so maybe we should do it on Emily's, she gets about a million a day. But anyway I will start and will make it an easy question with no hint as to how the book ends. So......

"And I'll never sit on a porch somewhere, with him gray-haired by my side, surrounded by our grandchildren".

1. What human experience would you never give up?

PS - Last night I posted pictures of the house with all the landscaping. Check it out and prepare to be amazed!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Can you believe it?

For all those that knew us in Washington these pictures should shock and amaze you. I wish I had taken a picture of the yard before the landscaping was completed. Just imagine the backyard at the "blue house" but with more weeds! I didn't take a picture of the backyard but it too has grass, trees and shrubs!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

To Madelyn

Happy, Happy Birthday Madelyn Dear.......

Can you believe she is four already? So to all those that love her this is a little glimpe of the past and some of my favorite moments with my favorite girl.....
Here she is on the very first day we meet. Dallan spent days and days making sure he picked out the very best car seat for her. It amazed me the amount of love he had for her from the very moment he held her.

Madelyn was definately a colicky baby. We tried everything and then by accident we discovered that the warm vibrating dryer calmed her down and put her to sleep. Adorable!

Her first Halloween. Have you ever come across a cuter pumpkin?

This was the day we had Madelyn sealed to us. She was so exceptionally good natured that day. It was almost as if she knew what an important day it was. This is one of my favorite pictures of that day. The dress and blanket were made by her great grandmother, Nana, or Hannah which is what Madelyn calls her.

Watching the Jungle Book with "Beba", her great grandfather. I am not sure how many times he was forced to watch that and Barney. I am sure the nightmares were abundant.
Madelyn and grandma. They have always shared a special bond. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer just weeks before we got the news about Madelyn. So for my mom Madelyn was a sign of hope during a very difficult time. Every time we visit they both cry when it is time to leave.

Her first experience with snow.

Her first trip to Disneyland. We had so much fun with the Tenney's we went again the following year.

Madelyn loves horses! And so for her birthday last year we bought her a red rider horse, which she promptly names "Buddy".

Meeting her brother for the first time. She has many names for him..Jaskin, buddy, little buddy, brother boy and finally big boy. When you call him Jackson it doesn't even register.

This was taken on the day we took Jackson to the temple to have him sealed to our family.

She loves music and loves to dance. Her favorite lunch consists of a sandwich with peanut butter and grape jelly, and she could probably eat pizza every day if you let her. The girl can put down milk like you wouldn't believe! She loves chocolate and blue juice. Her favorite people (besides her dad, me and brother) are grandma, hannah and Uncle "D". She loves both pretend and real horses, especially if they are white. She loves to act silly and can easily make me laugh. She is bossy and quite sassy. I love that she loves doing "girly" things, but also loves to go out and play in the mud. She hates getting her hands dirty and hates washing her hair. If you ask her what color her hair is she will tell you brown. If you insist it is red she will argue with you until you give up. She is stubborn and sweet all at the same time. When I asked her what her favorite food is she told me chicken but not zebras. Her favorite song is Jesus wants me for a sunbeam. She loves to tease Dallan and in fact told him the other day when it was time to say family prayer that she no longer likes Jesus. You could see Dallan trying to restrain himself all the while telling her how much he loved Jesus. When his "talk" was over she looked at him and said well I don't. After he went to bed and I was reading her a book she looked at me and said mom, I love Jesus. That is when I knew she only said it to him to get under his skin. He has taught her well and now it is coming back to bite him in the well you get the picture. She is my best girl and I am so thankful every day that I was chosen to be her mother. She has changed me in so many wonderful ways. I look forward to many more birthdays and years of watching her grow into someone and something more lovely than I ever could have imagined. I love you little one.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It's the little things that count.....

"Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it;"
This was the quote that was used in a talk given at our youth conference. As I sat and pondered those words I started to feel somewhat guilty about my present state of being.....depressed. I have had the worst attitude about our current state of residence. Suddenly Dallan has been thrown in a house with unruly children and a depressed wife (I think the unruly children are a result of their mother's state of mind). So if happiness is the object and design of my existence why am I so unhappy here? The answer was all too obvious and made me feel even more guilty when the realization hit me that I was selfish. From the moment we moved here everything has been about me. How this has effected me. So today is a new day and with that comes the decision to "count my many blessings"......

The first is my husband. Last week a man from our ward was arrested on 9 counts of child pornography. He is 26 years old, has a wife and two small children. What a devastating situation for all involved. I think of that poor, poor woman and what she must be going through. What do I have to complain about? Dallan is a great father, he loves our Father in Heaven and all his decisions are based on that singular relationship, he is not only a good provider but as soon as he comes home he is non-stop help until it is time for bed. The best thing about him though is how much he loves me. How many women can honestly say if my husband could choose anyone in the world to be with I know he would still choose me. I know Dallan would choose me again even now that he sees all my many flaws.

Then there is Madelyn. Today she had to read the scripture in primary and so I went in to help her. As soon as she saw me she ran over hugged me and introduced me as her "most special mom" to anyone who would listen. She tells me almost everyday that I am the best mom, even after I have lost my patience with her. I am so thankful to be her mother and thankful she is so willing to love me so unconditionally.

Jackson! My sweet, sweet boy. I always wanted a baby boy and thought I would never see that happen. We call him the gentle giant. He is so masculine and big for his age but has the most tender of hearts. I love that every time I hold and cuddle him he pats my back with his chubby little hand. I love his sloppy kisses and toothy grin. I love when you say his name in a certain tone his response is "no, no"(I guess I say that too much!). And like Madelyn, I am so thankful he loves me enough to smile every time I walk into the room.

My family. I have such a good family on both sides. I am so thankful Madelyn and Jackson have people who love them so much. I love that my mom cries whenever she talks to Madelyn. I love that Madelyn calls my Nana, Hannah and asks to go to her house all the time. I love that my brother thinks my children are the greatest thing next to his children. I love that my grandparents want so much to hold Jackson each time we go home but can't because he is such a good boy (only if they are sitting down!). This time when we were home Jackson followed my grandpa everywhere wanting so much to be held by him. Every once in a while my ninety something grandpa would give in much to Jackson's delight. I just knew he was going to through his back out. I love Dallan's family and the fun times we have every time we get to see them. Madelyn still talks about the trips to Disneyland with Aunt Susan and Uncle Jeff.

Good friends. I can't say enough about the good friends I have made along the way. There are too many to name but each one I am so thankful for. Over the years they have changed my life, have made me a better person. They have laughed with me (and at me) and cried with me. I think back to each special memory and know there were many times I would have never made it through without their love and support. How lucky am I?

Indeed there are too many good things to list but I will just end with one more and that is life's miracles. They are certainly all around us and appear in both the biggest and smallest of ways. I have seen them in my own life and I have definitely seen them occur in the lives of those I love. Take the Carter Family. After years of trying and much heartbreak they were told they would not have any more babies. it was devastating news and both Dallan and I knew exactly what they were feeling. Soon after they started working on getting ready to adopt a baby and they were excited about it and we were excited for them. And wouldn't you know it Jen became pregnant. Truly a miracle. Yesterday the newest Carter (no name as of yet) was welcomed into this world by his mom, dad and big brother. Welcome Baby Carter!! We are so glad you made it safely here and we can't wait to meet you.
The more I ponder it the more certain I am that happiness is indeed the object and design of our existence and it is up to us to find the path that leads us in that direction. I am so thankful for the blessings in my life and for all the many, many things that make me so incredibly happy. I know all of them come from a source of immeasurable love and concern for my well-being and ultimate happiness. Thank goodness our Heavenly Father is able to look past our shortcomings and see the potential in all of us.

PS - For all those that occasionally peak, FYI you don't need have an account to post a comment (I think). I tried to set it up that way because I knew many of you would never get your own account. So Please feel free to comment away! It is fun for me to hear from you.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A name is just a name or is it?

" It's simple. Some parents are just plain crazy. But few are as crazy as many soon-to- be parents, who, wrapped up in the fear and anticipation, the social status and expectations, go just plain mad."
As I logged on to the internet a headline caught my eye, it read something like this "Parents denied a bid to name their newborn son 4real". I just had to point and click. I thought to myself are they serious? What kind of parents would do that to their child? The name came about during their first ultrasound when they realized the baby was "4real". When they went to register the baby's name the New Zealand government rejected it because the name had to be a series of characters. I just think they were hoping to give this kid a chance at a normal life but the parents would have none of it. With the news came their decision to go ahead and use Superman as the boys legal name and 4 real as his nickname. I am not kidding here! Poor, poor boy, he is in for a rough life! In the spirit of this post I decided to do some research and find some of the most despicable names that have been given to people over the years here are just a few......(sorry if I offend anyone)
1. Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf Lee
2. Harold Bahls
3. Luke Skye Warner
4. Mercedes Binns
5. Vashara Rashea
6. Sharmonica
7. Nancy Ann Seancey
8. Twins Daryl and LaDaryl
9. Captain Bonar
10. Sloe Harlotte
Just a sidenote.....All the above mentioned names have been confirmed! Yes, there are really parents who are this crazy!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Things I hate about moving....

Up until this last move I have always loved the adventure of moving someplace new. It is great because you can always reinvent yourself when you go someplace new. But there are things I HATE, HATE, HATE about moving to a new place. Here are just a few (feel free to add to the list).

1. Finding someone GOOD to cut and color your hair. I do believe this is the absolute worst. Think about the trust you place in the person cutting your hair. Oh, I think back to the time when I would walk in, sit down and she would say what do you want and I would reply whatever you think is cute. You see I could say this because I TRUSTED her and she never let me down. Now I have to find someone new and from recent experience it isn't a girl names Natalie! As I was leaving she was explaining how she would take $5 off for every referal I gave to her and I was thinking to myself....DOES SHE SEE MY HAIR, DOES SHE REALLY BELIEVE I AM GOING TO BE SENDING PEOPLE HER WAY??? So the hunt continues.
2. Finding new places to eat. I love going out to dinner. In fact it is one of my favorite things to do. When you have been somewhere for a long time you learn the lay of the land. You learn where to eat and where you should stay far away from. Finding new restaurants is hard on the wallet and sometimes the stomach.
3. Finding new friends for your children to play with. There we were, just me and Madelyn in the living room playing "match" when through the window she noticed a group of kids playing outside. She said mom where are my friends mom? And if that wasn't bad enough she went on to add "I miss my friends so much mom". Talk about guilt!
4. Finding new friends for myself. I love having friends and in fact in each place we have ever lived my girlfriends have been my life line but I sure don't like having to find new ones. I really feel like the new kid in school.
5. Finding new doctors and dentists. Enough said.

This is making me depressed so I better stop, but feel free to add to it!

What do you do when......

So there we were, just me, my mom and the two children in the airport waiting to board the plane. Madelyn was sitting with my mom in the pre-boarding section when this severely obese man walked up behind her. In an instant Madelyn stopped wriggling long enough to notice that this man looked quite different from other people she has had contact with. So she looks at him and then she looks at Jackson and then back at the man. She becomes quite for a moment, this should have been a red flag! Before I knew it she had turned to this man and said "You a biiiiig boy" (notice she really exaggerated the word big). She then went on to tell him that "buddy", which is what she calls her brother is a big boy too. And then again said yeah buddy is a big boy and you a big boy too, you are like buddy. I thought she would never let it go. This poor man was so nice. He just laughed at her and explained that people come in all shapes and sizes, unfortunately by this time she had lost interest and the advice fell on deaf ears.