Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Am Thankful...

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving week. It was incredibly busy and hectic, but we have so much to be grateful for it's hard to comprehend sometimes. I am so grateful for a incredible son , Kyson, and for my amazing, loving husband, Kent. Both of these guys in my life are so good to me (yes, even at 3 months, Kyson is good to me! He never ceases to amaze us!) and I am so grateful for them and all they do for me. And I am so grateful for our families...we have truly been blessed with loving family members who care so much for us, and we for them. We love you all.

So a couple weeks ago we had some scary news: my grandpa, Opa, had a mini stroke, or TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack). Kent and I went to the hospital twice to visit him while he was there, and I helped my grandma, Oma, at their health club a bit so she could also be with him. We are very blessed that he is okay. His balance and energy levels are not so good at this point, but things could have been so much worse. I have been over at their house every day since the stroke helping Oma and Opa with as much as I can. We have been able to help finish up their yard work, put up their Christmas lights, and help get ready for tons of our family to come into town for Thanksgiving. I am grateful we have been in a position where we can help so much; we are fortunate to live only 4 miles from them right now.

Since the stroke, Opa can no longer drive himself, so on Tuesday I was able to drive him to Midway for his brother's son-in-law's funeral. It was unfortunate circumstances that brought us there, and my heart goes out to my extended family that is mourning the loss of their father, husband, son, and brother. I didn't know Dean Foreman, but his funeral was very nice, and I can tell he was a wonderful, very loved man. Opa got to see his brother Paul, and it was fun getting to see the two of them together. I am grateful for Opa--since I can remember, he has always been one of my greatest role models. I have always looked up to him for his strength of character, his testimony, hard work ethic, positive attitude, generosity of his time and talents, and his love for Oma and his family. I wanted to find a husband who would love me and treat me the way Opa has always loved and treated Oma, and I have. I don't know if Opa will ever really know how much I look up to him, but I do and always have. He is one of my heroes. He knows so much and is always striving to learn more, especially about the Gospel and the scriptures, and he is always working hard to be better. He is a wonderful example to me and to everyone who knows him.

When Kyson and I took Opa to the funeral, I somehow managed to loose my camera. We bought our camera last month as an early Christmas present so we could capture all the sweet moments we have with Kyson. I have been literally sick about loosing it. We literally tore our house apart looking for it, and we just looked everywhere we could think of. We prayed several times that we'd be able to find it. Last week out home teacher came and told a story of his sister and her husband who live in Europe. They were both working in opposite directions and desperately needed a second vehicle. So they prayed that Heavenly Father would bless them with a vehicle that ran and could get each of them where they needed to go. Not long after that, an acquaintance approached them and offered to give them his old truck. It still ran, but it was old and had holes in the floor boards and he was going to just junk it, but decided to see if they wanted it first.  They were so grateful for this blessing. But as the season turned to Winter and it got colder, the truck became extremely cold to drive. The wife decided to pray, thanking Heavenly Father for answering her prayers, but then asking, "I know you've sent us this truck, but do you think you could find a way to send us a vehicle that doesn't have holes in the floor boards and that has heat so I can be warm as I drive?" As she prayed, she had a feeling that Heavenly Father was chuckling at her request, and she felt the answer, "I could have given you so much more at the beginning, but all you asked for was a vehicle that ran. You should have been more specific." I thought this lesson by our home teacher was very thought-provoking--are we being specific enough in our prayers, being careful not to just ask for the bare minimum?

On Friday night, after looking and praying for several days to find my camera, I remembered this thought and decided I would be specific in my next prayer to find it. Saturday, I threw my sister Katelyn a baby shower and I really wanted to have my camera for that event, and to take pictures of Kyson during the beginning of this holiday season. So Friday night I prayed, asking if I could please find my camera, if possible, before Katelyn's baby shower. I felt good about the prayer and had faith it would happen. Well, it didn't turn up before the shower.

We had a wonderful time at Katelyn's shower. Thank you to all of our family who came to support her on this special day! She and Steve are going to make amazing parents and they so deserved the support. I will post pictures later, once I get copies from Katelyn since I didn't have my camera.

The rest of the day we spent together with Katelyn, Steve, Ki, and his wonderful girlfriend, Jaynie. We had dinner and played games at our Uncle Kenneth and Aunt Kathy's house--we so love them! Then we returned to Oma and Opa's to watch a late night movie since Katelyn and Steve had to leave for Rexburg today. They had picked up their crib earlier, and when we got there, I went with Katelyn to the garage to see it. I had driven Opa to the funeral in their Lexus. Kent and I had each already looked for the camera in their car, but I felt prompted to look one last time. So I asked Katelyn to help me look again. We looked for a couple minutes, everywhere in that car! Finally, I glanced down in side door pocket of the back seat. At first I just saw black and didn't think anything was there. Then I saw something black, but I just thought it was maybe a pair of gloves. I decided to reach in anyway, and low and behold I pulled out our camera! I still have no clue how we didn't see it there earlier, or how it even ended up in that pocket, but what a tender mercy and a blessing! Heavenly Father answered my prayers to find our camera and the memories on it, and it was less than 12 hours later than the time I had requested to find it (hehe). His time table may differ from ours from time to time, but He does answer our prayers.

For Thanksgiving, I had contacted everyone on my Mom's side of the family and asked them to send me something they were grateful for. I compiled everyone's messages and we rolled them up and baked them into Oma's dinner rolls at dinner (thank you, Pinterest). It was so fun seeing everyone pull out messages from family members about what they are grateful for. I also compiled the messages and put them in a small album for Oma and Opa to have. Thank you to everyone who helped me do that for them; it turned out so great. I loved being able to see what my family, near and far, are grateful for. The common theme in all of them was "family." What a wonderful gift our families are to us in this life and the next.

While Katelyn, Steve, Ki, and Jaynie and us got to be together with family here in Utah for Thanksgiving, we sure missed our parents, Lyska, and Tyson. We love you so much. We did get to Skype them for Katelyn's shower though, and that was amazing!

Kyson is starting to giggle. It is my favorite thing to see and hear. He also learned to suck his thumb yesterday! It's not a habit we want him to keep, but it sure it cute to see him sucking his thumb instead of his index finger or his entire fist! He is sure growing up so fast. We just can't get over what an amazing boy he really is! He has been so good while we have been running around like crazy lately. He rarely cries, and his is so good-natured and patient and content. We can see his countenance and know he is a special child of God, and we are grateful He has entrusted us with such a precious, sweet spirit. He turned 3 months old on the 18th of November...3 more months and we will be able to finalize our adoption and be sealed to him in the Temple, and have him blessed! We are so looking forward to that week! He got a little sick this week from all of the running around and being around so many people, so I stayed home from Church with him today so he could rest. Even though he doesn't feel very well, he is still so calm and sweet. It is just amazing to me.

A friend of Oma's gave me two tickets to the Friday night "Time Out for Women" last week. One of my best friends, Carley and I got to go and hear Sheri Dew, Brad Wilcox, and Hilary Weeks. It was an amazing night and I am grateful for the messages that were shared there. They were truly inspired, and I needed to hear them all.

Life is still full of trials and challenges. I am so grateful for this wonderful time in our lives and all of the happiness and blessings we have. But we are in no way immune to the trials and challenges that still find their ways into all of our lives. Overall, I am grateful for those challenges, because I know they make me stronger. But sometimes they are just a bit much to take all at once. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who lovingly gave His Son, who loving sacrificed His life that we would be able to overcome the sins, the trials, and the pains of this life. Sometimes I am slow to remember that I am not alone. But They are always there for me, and I am so grateful for that. It is funny the cycle of learning I seem to go through--spiritual highs to lows, and everything in between. This life truly is a big lesson and a test of faith and enduring to the end. I am thankful for the Atonement that allows me to overcome all things, and I am grateful to know that I never am alone, even when I sometimes feel otherwise.

 Our Handsome Little Man
 Looking ALL Around...he loves to see new things now!
 Three months old and growling BIG!

 I've been meaning to do this forever, and I finally got to it!
 A lazy Sunday morning...
 Handsome, ready for Church
 He fell asleep holding his binky in his mouth. Daddy sure loves his little man.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our Visit With H

In my chaotic Halloween excitement, I failed to note our visit with Kyson's birthmother, H we had earlier in October. We had a very nice visit with her and her sister. We met at Gardener Village and had a great time catching up. She is doing great in life and looks wonderful. We are so grateful for our dear birthmother and all she has given us. 

This is one of my FAVORITE pictures of Kyson! Look at that adorable little tongue!

Kyson, Our Little Fish!

Kyson loves to swim. I know he's only 2 1/2 months old, but he truly loves water--just like his Mommy. We have taken him swimming a couple of times now at my Oma and Opa's health club. He just loves it. No tears. He has also never cried during bath time. He has always loved splashing around and having fun. Recently we also discovered that He likes to take baths with Mommy so he can swim in a bit warmer water than what's in the pool. He's just so cute we had to share:

Hopefully our video of our swimmer uploaded successfully. But if it didn't, we are going to put it on Facebook too, so you should look it up! :-)

We love our little swimmer!

October Fun

Well, many of you who know us know that Halloween is a favorite of holidays for us. A little over a year ago (yes, we think of costumes that far in advance sometimes), I came up with this “brilliant” costume idea for when we had a baby. At the time we did not know if we would have a baby by the next Halloween, but the stars aligned and we did! So, I dressed up like a spider, Kent was a spider web, and Kyson was a little bug, swaddled and wrapped to look like he was all wrapped up in my web, complete with little fang marks on his cute little head! Morbid? Yeah, maybe a little….but SO fun! I have to admit, I was nervous Kyson would see my scary, black-painted, eight-eyed face and flip out. But he didn’t seem to mind at all, as long as he was fed and got to sleep when he wanted to.  We went to a cousin party with Kent's family and loved showing off our little "bug" to all of them. Fun times.

Isn't he a cute little bug?!?!?

My fun group of Cub Scouts and their siblings

We also took the Halloween opportunity to make a new favorite meal, "Witch's Brew," compliments of our friend Krista! We made a few different batches of this yummy dinner in a pumpkin!

We actually went a little nuts this year and had a couple different costumes. This is mostly due to the fact that Kent is in the Young Men's organization. For the 3 Ward Halloween Party we had at the Church, each auxiliary organization in our ward was in charge of decorating a room. Kent was over the Deacons, who chose to go with a Nerd theme, because Nerds are "the scariest things they could think of" (haha). Well I didn't want to dress as a spider without my web, so we all three dressed as nerds and showed up for the party, in character, complete with our nerdy boy genius, who was on track to be in college by age 3. Some people in the ward didn't even know who we were. We stayed in character the entire two hours we were there, which was exhausting but over the top hilarious! The boys loved it, too. Overall, it was a great party and we had a lot of fun. Kyson was amazing for the whole thing.

Our sweet little boy Genius! Love our Nerd!!!

The best part is those are my real glasses from when I was in high school! Ha! Thank you Lasik!

Sunday night before Halloween we also went to my uncle Kenneth and aunt Kathy's house for dinner. This was in no way a Halloween-themed dinner, but we decided to show up as nerds, in character anyway. It was funny. We only stayed in character a few minutes, but it was long enough to scare my cousin's 5-year-old enough that he wouldn't come near us. My grandpa, Opa loved it. In fact he asked to try on Kent's wig! It was great!

On actual Halloween (by the time Halloween actually arrived, we'd already dressed up three times as a family and Kent one extra time for school!), I had a Den Meeting/Halloween Party for my Cub Scouts. We decided since the boys had seen us on Saturday as Nerds that we would do the spider costumes. The party turned out great. We had lots of fun games and the boys and their siblings had a great time. As soon as it was over and we had cleaned up, we dashed home, scrubbed off our make-up, and dressed as nerds once again to attend a party with a few of Kent's cousins. We love to party Halloween style with the 5 Browns and their spouses...they are all just so much fun. We had a great time playing some hilarious games that I plan to incorporate into the next party I throw! Thank you Melody and Casey for hosting yet another amazing party!
 The creepy cheese fingers I made for one of our parties!

So this is our "zombie," a combination of leftover cupcakes we brought to our party with the Browns after the Den Meeting party. The original cupcakes looked like this:


And Skeleton

Kent also went to school on Thursday and Monday as "Professor Polynomial." He was an outrageous math/Hogwarts-esque character the entire school day, dressed in a cap and gown. The kids loved him, and the faculty did, too. He is one amazing teacher. I wish I could have had him as my math teacher! Lucky kids!

So, as you can see, Halloween is a favorite for us. Lucky for us Kyson seemed to enjoy it for the most part too. Well, until I decided to dress him up in all our hand-me-down costumes that won't fit him next year (poor, cute kid!):

Kyson's first Halloween!!!

Look at my little sweetheart! 

Our little Tiger...

...And Lion...

...And Lobster...

Did I mention he HATED this one!?!?! Poor little one. Oh, but we love him! And two minutes after this pic was taken he was happy as can be.