Friday, July 25, 2014

Life Lesson From Leslie, My Beautiful & Amazing sister part 1

Ten years ago we lived in American Fork, Utah. Tyler and my sister Leslie worked at the same place, Nature's Sunshine, in Provo. Leslie was dating a guy named Mike that she had met in her single adult ward. He seemed like a nice enough guy and he seemed to really like Leslie. I was quite anxious for her to get married. She is the sister that is just younger than me and such a kind and fun aunt to my children, I could hardly wait for the day that she gets married and has children of her own. Each day she would come to our house and carpool with Tyler to work. Several days a week she would stay and eat dinner with us and play with the kids. Spencer was 5, Austin was 3, and Hailey was 1. She was always such a kind and loving aunt. Here is a picture of her on Spencer's John Deere tricycle with the three kids.  photo 20041011001_zps52ecbecf.jpg Besides my sister she is one of my best friends. I loved when she would visit us, and the kids did too. One day in May she said that she needed to talk to me. She seemed really stressed out and I felt quite a bit of concern for her. I know that she wanted to talk to me in person, but she ended up telling me over the phone one day. "Jen, I'm pregnant." I remember feeling shocked and in complete disbelief. I cried and It sounded like she was crying on the other end of the phone. The very first thing I thought was, you can keep it. From that point on I felt an un-imaginable amount of grief for her. I felt sad because all of the times that I have been pregnant, although they haven't always been planned, I was happy and excited. I greived in so many ways for her and how I thought she must be feeling. I told her if she kept the baby I would watch it while she worked. She said that she would probably put it up for adoption and that Mike, the father, didn't want to have anything to do with the baby. As a family we all decided to fast for her. I remember genuinely fasting for her and it was so hard......I felt so hungry. I remember putting a roast in the crock pot and all day long I could smell it cooking. I wanted to eat so badly but then I would focus on my sweet sister and keep going. I remember feeling peace, that everything would be okay. As time went on Leslie and Mike met with LDS social services. Leslie started looking at family profiles to find a family for her baby. At one point she mentioned that I could adopt her baby, and as much as I wanted to, it just didn't seem like the right decision. I remembered how I struggled to have my first baby and how much I wanted him. Leslie looked at family profiles to find the right one. Her counselor tried to persuade her for one family, but she only found one family that she liked, Ryan and Sherry. None of us really wanted her to give her baby up. We all knew that she had the financial means and ability to take care of her baby. However, she knew that he would need something that she couldn't provide that sweet boy, a home with a mom and dad. Around this time Tyler and I had decided that we wanted to move to Idaho and raise our children on the farm. It was hard for me to think of moving away from the city, but I really wanted to do what was best for our kids. I also ordered a lot more online by that point in our lives so I knew that if there was something I really needed I could get it on the internet. When we listed our house for Sale, the first people that came through and looked at it bought it. It really was a beautiful home, and I home that I put everything I had into making it mine! We only had about a month to move and Tyler had planned to work for Natures Sunshine for another 4 months. At first I thought we could just rent another home in our area, but the more that I thought and prayed about things, I felt like we needed to move in with Leslie. We packed up our home and put the majority of it in storage and in her garage, since the storage unit I rented was too small. It wasn't easy living with Leslie, I was constantly worried that my kids were going to mess her house up in some way and I know that she likes everything super clean and I worried that I wouldn't be able to keep it to her standard. I tried to plan some kind of activity on the weekends so that we weren't constantly under her feet and in her way. I really knew that moving in with Leslie was the right thing to do and several years later she confirmed as I read what she had written in her blog. LESLIE: " About the time I felt so utterly hopeless, my sister and her husband sold their house. They needed somewhere to live, so they moved in with me. Jenny, Tyler, and their three kids were my light in the dark world. If she hadn’t moved in with me, I am not sure I would’ve gotten through it. I still cried myself to sleep many nights, but at least I had someone who loved me and went to church with me. She even made me lunches. Jenny and her family were so great to have around. Her kids may have been loud, but they were so happy that they brought me joy. Hailey a tiny little girl and wasn’t even two yet. I turned into her favorite person. When she was sad or in trouble, it didn’t matter where I was, she’d come looking for me because she knew I would pick her up and love her. When my sister and her husband got their family picture taken, Spencer was upset because I wasn’t in in and I was "part of their family too". Little kids are wonderful in that they don’t judge. I think that is part of the reason we are supposed to be like a little child. They love unconditionaly and they forgive so quickly." Leslie was due at the beginning of February with Jared. We ended up moving about a week before Jared was born. However I told Leslie that I would come down when she was in Labor. I wanted to meet the nefew that I feard I would never see again. Leslie went about a week overdue and then she was induced. Once the induction began I headed to Utah with my three little ones. I know one of my sister Bridget (thanks Bridget) watched my kids so that I could go to the hospital to be with Leslie. It seemed to be taking forever for her to push the baby out. I remember trying to give her advice on how to push better (now in hindsight I think how annoying this must have been....sorry Les). Eventually the doctor was able to pull the baby out with a lot of cutting and forceps. He was the biggest new born I had ever seen, Jared weighed 11 pounds 2 ounces! Before Leslie had him I had considered myself kind of a martyr for having a nine pound baby. I told her she could keep the biggest baby award for herself though.  photo b130bb5b-13c1-47cb-bdd8-8bb492c9615c_zpsd90699bc.jpg  photo ea7f9631-5942-4ceb-ab81-4223e9279eab_zpsf534e95e.jpg After Leslie went through all of this I worried that she might be so broken that she would never want to have another relationship. Many nights I prayed for her to find someone. I might have even looked on some online websites to help her find someone. She refused to look online for hindsight I can also see why. Leslie was such a good Aunt to my children and a good sister to me. She even went on quite a few of our family vacations with us. I loved it! It was like having one of my best friends that I could hang out with. She was also so helpful with the kids! Some of the kids best memories are with Leslie on our vacation.  photo july2011022-1.jpg With every part of my soul I hoped for her to find someone to love and for her to be a mother! Many nights I prayed and cried for my sweet sister.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Potty Stories

When potty training little boys I find it easiest to teach them to pee sitting down. It works pretty well at home, but I think every single one of my boys has at one point forgotten to aim down. I can recall twice having my nylons being peed on in the church Oh....the joys of motherhood! Last year we discovered that Ethan had an inguinal hernia. Because of his age and other health issues, I had to take him to see a pediatric general surgeon. We set up and appointment for Primary Childrens Hospital in Salt Lake since the Neurologist that he sees is there as well. On the way down for the appointment I discovered that Ethan didn't have any shoes....he had left them home. I had all of the kids with me because Tyler was busy with farming. I decided that once we got to Ogden we would stop at Smith and Edwards and see what they had for shoes. We stopped and I bought him a pair of sandals that I thought would stay on his feet(They didn't of course). Shortly after that we were on the freeway and I was feelingf pushed to make it to our appointment on time. Brigham stands up from where he was sitting and taps me on the shoulder as I am driving(BTW, The Speed limit was 75 here and I usually set my cruise control for 80). He says "Mom, I need to go pee." I tell him "well you are just going to have to hold it." He tells me that there is no way that he will be able to hold it for that long. I dump out a water bottle and tell him, "here just pee in this." In my logical mind, you just aim down into the water bottle and problem is solved. I turn my head just in time to see that he doesn't have the water bottle positioned right and that it is going to spill all of the pee. I grab the bottle and tilt it down to where it is supposed to be, and of course, at that very same moment is when he was beginning to pee. Therefore, In the process pee begins to squirt like a fire hose all over the dash board, steering wheel, me, and my clothing (mostly my jeans). I told him to pinch it off and quickly pulled over so that he could finish outside of the car. While he finished, I wiped the dash board and steering wheel down with diaper wipes and blotted my jeans the best I could as I would not be able to change my clothes until we arrived at my parents home that evening. I called Primary's to let them know we would be late for our appointment and they were very kind to us and the doctor still saw us. I didn't get to change until that evening, and lucky for me I was also able to shower. I remember on of my sister's children being mortified at the fact that one of my boys was peeing outside near the sandbox at Grandma's house. I didn't really care, because I was glad that they didn't pee their pants. However, I did give them the talk about if you are near a bathroom you don't pee outside. When Spencer was a toddler he loved the fact that when we came to visit the farm he could pee outside. He started to take his freedom a little too liberally. On one Occasion when we went to the Hogle Zoo, near the entrance is a giant rotating water ball. I watch Spencer and the other children from the "village" (student housing at the U of U)play in the water and have fun trying to push it in different directions. All of the sudden Spencer whips his pants down and pees on the gaint ball. I was so mortified. I didn't stop him because I didn't know where the restrooms were, and I was grateful that he didn't pee his pants. I don't even know how many times he whizzed out on the playground at the village. I kind of got to the point that it wasn't that big of a deal to me. I'm sure plenty of the other playground moms didn't like me, but I didn't have the energy to worry about them. When Brigham was 3 we had a pool pass and would enjoy swimming at our local Oakley Swimming pool. When we pulled up the kids all jumped out ahead of me. I had made Brigham put his life jacket on before we left so I wasn't too worried about them running ahead of me. Since we had a pool pass for the summer I went to write or number down at the desk and just as I walked up the stairs to the pool I see Brigham standing at the edge of the pool, and an arch of pee landing right in the middle section of the pool. I wasn't really embarassed at what he was doing, I felt quite annoyed. I guess that is why they have chlorine for swimming pools. I gave him the pee lecture but In'm sure my sweet stubborn little boy didn't listen. Brigham still loves to pee outside and recently was in trouble for peeing outside while at recess. He is in Kindergarten. I hope by the time he is in junior high he'll get it. So far this is only a portion of our pee I hope you found a little amusment in my crazy life. I haven't even been able to cover the funny things that seem to happen to me. Another time I'll cover the poop stories and I'll be sure to include this gem from when Ethan was little:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Maui, and Brig's birthday

In January some fun things happened at our house. First on the Eight Brigham turned 6! He is such a sweet & stubborn little boy. He really tries hard to do what is right.  photo IMG_0569_zps930e59cd.jpg During November we went to the bowling alley for some family fun. Austin, my stubborn and kind of naughty son, decided to head over to the area where they serve food and swipe a bunch of sweet-n-low and sugar packets. We didn't know about this but Brigham saw him. He came over and told me that he saw Austin steal something and he also told the guy at the bowling alley. I made Austin put them back and we had a stealing chat. I felt so proud that Brigham would stand up for what is right. On the 14th of January Tyler and I went to Maui, Hawaii without our children for a short vacation! It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the peace and break from the chaos of home. His dad and Jodi came to our house and watched our kids. I felt so thankful that they would be willing to help us. I knew the kids would be in good hands while we were gone, and they were. We were scheduled to fly out of Twin Falls about 6:45. We live about an hour from the airport. Just when we were getting ready to leave Max woke up. He knew something was up and he kept following me around bawling and saying "Bring me too, and Me come too." I felt so bad and it was hard for me to leave him. Needless to say we left a bit late for the Airport. We didn't end up getting there until around 6:20. They had already checked all of the bags onto the flight and I couldn't check mine. It was too large to be a carry on and we had about 5 minutes to contemplate what we were going to do. I whipped open my suitcase and began to stuff all of my clothing and belongings that I could into the small backpack I had, Tyler's carry on, and Tyler's backpack. I did end up having to leave a few things behind, all of my hair styling products and running stuff. They told me they would stash my suitcase in a back room until we got back. Woooohooo we finally made it on the plane, but I didn't dare to open my backpack that had my book and ipad in for fear of underware falling out. We had a short layover in Portland so I had a little time to adjust my bag and to make sure my underware was shoved to the bottom of my bag. The flight from Portland to Maui seemed so long and boring to me. I felt so stir crazy and uncomfortable in my seat. Tyler had the isle seat and there was a girl next to me with the window. I knew the moment that I saw her she was a nurse. I can't tell you why other than she just gave off that vibe. She was ultra paranoid about germs. I wasn't sick and told her so, but funny I sneezed twice on the plane. I was so happy when our plane finally landed. The trip was with a company called winfield solutins. It is a company that we buy our fertilizer from. They provided shuttle buses to the hotel. There were so many curves in the road that I thought I might throw up before we got to our hotel. I didn't realize that our hotel was going to be so far from the airport. Near the Airport I saw a costco, Savers, Walmart and All of the other stores I love to shop at back home. I hoped that sometime during our stay I would have a chance to do some shopping there. During our stay I saw several people that I knew. The first, on the Airplane was Jeanie, the secretary at the kids Elementary school. After we checked into our hotel we ran into Tyler's cousin Tiffany and her husband Zach. It was good to see some familliar faces, and Tiffany and Zach are fun to hang out with. It was so nice to be able to get myself food, and not worry about anyone else. I asked everyone at the table if they needed anything to drink when I would get up just because it was so strange to not be helping anyone. On the last day before our plane flew out (it was an 11pm flight) we rented a car and went on the road to Hana. It is quite a drive and there are some amazing views. One of our final stops before heading closer to the airport was at the Haleakala national park. There was a hike that we both wanted to take through the rain forest up to Waimoku Falls. It was so beautiful and I was so amazed as we walked through the Bamboo forest. A song kept coming to my mind as we walked "How great Thou Art." I love that song and even Tyler began to hum as we made our way. When we were almost to the top where the falls are located I stepped wrong and rolled my ankle. I fell completely and felt some popping in my ankle. My very first thought was that I broke my ankle, and how was I going to get back down. I told Tyler to finish his way up to the falls and take some pictures, and we would see about my ankle when he came back. He came back after a few minutes and we found a bamboo stick to help me hobble back down. I cried and walked, not because of the pain, but because of the frustration. Whenever my body doesn't cooperate with me I think about my little Ethan and how determined he is. He tries to do everything he can to keep up with his friends, and most of the time has such a positive attitude about all that he does. I also thought about my sister Leslie and the fact that she was getting married in 6 days. Even if I had been on my death bed I would have done anything to make it to her wedding. On the Flights back every single flight we were on was 100% full. I had to use crutches to make it to the airport and when we got there, I had to be "one of those people." I had to ride in a wheelchair to get to the airplane. I tried to ice my foot as much as I could on the airplane but there was pretty much no way to prop it up. We went straight to the emergency room in Twin falls when we got back. They too X-rays and it wasn't broken. I was advised to see a foot specialist because it was obviously injured and they couldn't say if any ligaments or tendons were torn. It turns out that it was a grade 3 ankle sprain (which is the worst one). My ankle is still swelling some and I have barely been able to start back running with an ankle brace. Every day I am thankful for the ability to walk and run. When it was lost for a short time I had a lot more sympathy for people with disabilities. I want to write more about my sister's wedding but I am going to save that for another day. This is a picture of Me & Tyler at the Luau. My hair was pretty flat because of the humidity and having to leave my hair supplies at the airport in my suitcase.  photo 
IMG_0572_zps3114b17a.jpg Here is a picture of the view from our hotel.  photo IMG_0605_zps95b0e1e1.jpg Here is a picture of some Poi Fish. They would eat right out of your hand. I took a video while someone else fed them because I'm not a fan of dirty hands.  photo IMG_0602_zpsfb1eb60c.jpg Here is a picture of the Bamboo Forest. My picture can't even do justice to how amazing it is. While we were hiking I kept wishing that my mom was with us because I know she would have loved it!  photo Bamboo_zpsbd30bf93.jpg Here is a picture of my ankle in the car after the hike.  photo IMG_0607_zps17e1c586.jpg Here is a picture from the emergency room. From my toes to my knee was purple and yellow. I didn't know it was possible for a leg to be so bruised.  photo IMG_0609_zpsc8fd53e1.jpg