Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The big 8

I have been so slothful with my blogging lately. I have been so busy that I know I have plenty to blog- but for now I will just work on a blog tag my sister-in-law Annie sent me. Here go my 8's:

8 t.v. shows I enjoy watching:
1) Survivor (yes, I will be on it someday! Why else am I working so hard to get my knee back)
2) Dancing with the Stars (someday I will have a dancers body- yeah right!)
3) America Idol (do you see a trend yet)
4) The Office
5) 30 Rock
6) The New Adventures of Old Christine
7) CSI
8) Numbers

8 things that happened yesterday
1) It never got above 35 degrees and I had to scrape ice off my windshield (all after being in the 70's the day before)
2) Cambria stayed home sick
3) I worked my butt off at Physical Therapy
4) Got some Visiting Teaching done
5) Did some shopping for our secret Christmas family
6) Watched Decota's Ballet and Jazz Christmas performances
7) Helped Declan get his last project of the semester finished
8) Fell asleep on the couch during Monday Night Football (right after I convinced Cambria that the Philadelphia Eagles are the Philadelphia Chickens, can't wait to here that one day in public!)

8 things on my wish list:
1) That the gifts we give our secret family to touch them for the better as much as their story has touched us.
2) That I can slow down and enjoy the season
3) That my family will all be safe over the holidays
4) That Rodney can find happiness and success in his job
5) That my kids will always feel loved and secure
6) That we can work together as a family to correct the faults of 2008 and make 2009 better
7) That I had another pair of great fitting jeans
8) That I could get these last 5 lbs off!

8 people I tag:
Unfortunately I think everyone that reads this has been tagged. If not- do it (Alicia, I don't think you have)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Our 1st boy

Saturday was Perry Max's birthday. Thinking of his birthday always reminds me of how excited we were to have our 1st boy. I was 5 when he was born, and I remember it was soooo exciting. I remember praying that we could have a boy, and waiting for Heavenly Father to send it down with a string tied to its waist. That never happened, but we did get our boy. I remember he always had a smile on his cute little face, and his sisters thought he was the cutest thing around. We were also very curious about his boy parts, and would often squeeze in to get a closer look as mom changed his diaper. This curiosity provided one of my favorite funny memories, Brittani getting a face full of pee as mom changed his diaper. I can remember being so grossed out, yet laughing so hard. Perry has made us laugh from then on. He has always been a ham, whether he was waking up from a nap and telling us about his "Joseph Smith Nap School" he had just attended in his dreams, or whether he was (and still is) bending over to pick up a quarter with his pants lowered so that we get a full moon surprise. His off the wall personality always keeps you on your toes and your sides in stitches.
I have always had a soft spot for Perry. He has always had to struggle so much more than the rest of us when it has come to book smarts. I think that he always felt a little "dumber" than the rest, and did not allow himself to feel good about his accomplishments a lot of the time. He was not very athletic also, which I know he wanted to be (probably to please my dad) but just didn't love it. This all made him just a tad different than the rest of us, and did not help with his self-worth. This always killed me because I felt like you could never find a more sincere, caring, soft hearted person than Perry, and that was what he should have been seeing in himself. I think there was a period in his life he just felt lost and alone. He was at a young and pivotal age, and really could have chosen to go one way or the other. One summer he came to stay for a little bit with me and Rodney after Declan had been born. I really think he loved that visit, I know I did. He LOVED Declan to death. We enjoyed lazy days by the hot tub, walking to the grocery store where we would buy and then consume tons of ice cream, and just being together. I remember him saying that he knew that he did not want to do anything in his life that would ever keep him from having a family and being able to be a dad. I watched him as, on that visit, he put enough faith and value in himself to make commitments to himself that he would honor- because he was worth it. I watched as the years went by, and the scholastic struggles continued, yet he continued to have faith that everything would work out- and it has. I have learned so much from his example. I hope he can always feel as great about himself as we think he is.

Perry Max makes everyone laugh. It is a joy to be around him. He puts people at ease. He can make uncomfortable situations comfortable. My kids absolutely adore him (how could you not love the man that teaches you to pick your nose). There are no off limits, he will tease anyone, anywhere. When Rodney and I went to the temple to be sealed, we started out the day by doing baptisms for the dead so that we could include my siblings, and we could seal Rodney's extended family together. As we were waiting in the Las Vegas Temple waiting room we sat in this one area with a rounded ceiling. Perry knew that this ceiling was specially designed to make it so that you could whisper while sitting on one couch, and the acoustics would make the words travel to the couch sitting across from you, so that reverence could be kept. I was sitting next to Perry, and my mother-in-law, Myra, was sitting on the couch across from us. She was feeling really excited about the day because we were taking her dad's name trough the temple. Perry leaned over to me and said "watch this", and then went on to whisper "Myra, this is your father speaking." We watched as Myra's eyes got the size of saucers, and she turned to see if the person beside her had heard. We started laughing, and she turned to us and instantly knew it was Perry. Only he could have pulled that off and not been in trouble with Myra. We all, including Myra, got a good chuckle out of it.

Perry has become such an amazing man. He has still kept his little boy sense of humor (you know, farts are hilarious), yet he has become an incredible husband and father. Every time I look at him with his family I can't help but think of the little 15 year old boy that decided he would do whatever it took to ensure that he would be able to have his own family one day, and then did it. I am so proud of him and the person he is. He is a smart, compassionate, loving, funny, strong man- and I am so grateful he is my brother. I love you Perry Max. Happy Birthday!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was a little bit sad about this years Thanksgiving because I was going to be the only mom since Kurt and Sam are both now divorced. I was envisioning me at home all alone while the boys all went to the game. Then I had a great surprise- Katie Allee called to tell me Jason had been soooo sweet and gotten us girls tickets, too. We ended up making plans with some friends from Dallas and meeting together to tailgate before the game. It was a lot of fun, and the Thanksgiving dinner served out of the back of the truck was wonderful. We had a really great time at the game, and I loved just being with my friends and cousins from home. It was so nice to be able to sit and visit with Katie and her sister (I sure love Katie). The rest of the guys visit was a lot of fun. My kids loved hanging out with the Todd boys, and us adults loved hanging out with each other (it is a good thing I have always felt like one of the guys). Even though there was not much estrogen in the house, it ended up being a really great weekend. I sure love my friends from home!

Poor Declan

Poor Declan witnessed an accident while working out at school today. It is funny how you just know when something has happened as a parent. I drove up to school today to pick up the kids and saw an ambulance by the locker room at the middle school. My first instinct was to go over there and see what was going on because Declan was in conditioning during the last period. Instead I parked in my usual parking space and took a minute to think- was I panicked, no not really- did I feel like something had happened to my child, kind-of but not in a panicked way- did I need to go get in the way of the what was going on to make myself feel better, no. So instead of heading over there I checked my home phone voicemail to make sure there were no messages, and then relaxed. A few minutes later I saw Declan walking out to my car and I knew something was wrong- #1 he was supposed to go to cross country right after school, #2 he had that look like he could not get to me quick enough. As he entered the car I asked what was wrong as I reached over to hug him. He wrapped up in my hug and cried as he told me his friend that had been in front of him while conditioning had been running this little step course and had missed a step and the piece of equipment (which is old and all of the padding has long since gone away) had an unprotected spike protruding from it which caught his leg and stabbed him, ripping his leg open near his shin exposing his tendons and muscles. Declan was right behind him getting ready to run it next and saw everything 1st hand. Luckily, a coach was nearby and quickly came to help. Some kids ran for other coaches, some ran for the nurse, but Declan stayed in the vicinity until the ambulance left with him. The boy went into shock immediately, and I think that was the worst part for Declan. He got upset again later as he told me about how his friend couldn't even cry because he was so out of it. He is concerned because someone mentioned that he could loose his leg, but I have reassured him that that risk is very minimal and not worth stressing over until more facts are found out. I told him not to make himself sick thinking about the pain because his friend was pretty drugged up by now. He told me that he had been close enough to hear them talking about giving him tetanus shots and getting him morphine. He also told me that he never knew muscle was purple before now. That is when I realized the poor kid had really seen too much. We talked about how gruesome and shocking it is at first, but how they can get the body put back together so well and so fast, just like in surgery, and make a person fell better very soon. I think when he realized how quickly the trauma turns into fixing, turns into healing process works, he felt better. It is just so hard to see something like that, and for it to be a friend. The girls were very sweet to him, and did a great job of talking to him and comforting him. Cambria told Declan how strong she thought he was to have had so many things happen to his friends (from injuries to deaths) and to still be fine. It was really sweet to listen to them all talk together. My concern is the safety of the kids on all of this old equipment. I know I can not get panicked and freaked out about it, accidents rarely happen, but if it had been properly padded would this have happened? I know Declan is a bit freaked out that it could have been him, but the chances of him falling on it the exact same way are slim. Last year a kid lost his finger when another kid was playing around and slammed the locker shut on it. The lockers were so dirty and rusty that they could not save the finger. At that point I had to not freak myself out about the lockers, but reminded Declan to always remember to be careful and smart in everything he does. The sad thing is that accidents will always happen. They happen because someone is generally not paying attention, but 100% attention all of the time is impossible, so they will continue to happen. I just hope my kids are learning how to be smart in avoiding them.