Wednesday, December 14, 2016

First Saturday of December - Packed with Fun

We woke up and headed to the hospital I work for and met Santa.  
We made ornaments, ate donuts and drank hot chocolate with all sorts of add ins. 

 There were also tiny juice boxes which look extra small in this man-child's hands. 
 Later that afternoon, we headed to a Community Nativity that is hosted by a neighboring stake. 
 Jon's friend Ryan came along. 
 So many nativities of all varieties-like frogs, rubber ducks, tons of international ones, glass, nails, bullet casings, spice bottles, and of course they have a live Mary and Joseph on the stage. 

 The one above I had never seen before and I loved it! 
 We got a kick out of the nativity in a bus! 
 Check out that crew!  
Samantha loved being on Dad's shoulders and she considered doing a lobotomy with a pencil through Dad's nose but in the end decided against it. 
I love the nativity and it such a wonderful way to start the holiday season. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Light the Word- Humility

The church this year is doing a wonderful advent through social media called Light the World. It has been such a blessing to participate in. Today we are supposed to think of how the Savior showed humility and think of a time when we learned humility or had to have humility.  
I have had many humbling experiences in my life but this is one that I have not shared often probably because I am ashamed of my quick judgments and lack of compassion. 

Many years ago, when I was working in Utah I was charge nurse on a particularly busy night. As I was working through the charts and trying to move some patients to rooms, I was reading chief complaints and came to one that said post partum constipation.  You may be thinking Shellie, how could you be judgmental about constipation after delivery (it is real, it happens, even to me).  Well, the judgment came when I looked at her age...16.  I thought to myself and may have even muttered out loud something along the lines of "Well, if she had not been having sex so young she would not have found herself in this situation." Shameful already, yes but it gets worse.  
She was brought back to her room by a volunteer and the assigned nurse was busy so I did the initial evaluation. I asked her what was going on and how long she had been having symptoms and when she had delivered.  I asked if the deliver had any complications.  She answered all of my questions and I ended my evaluation, which I likely did not do in my most loving and patient nurse voice- I was all business, it was busy and remember my previous judgment. I told her I was sorry she was not feeling well and that a doctor would be in shortly and on a happy note I said is baby doing well at least?  She had not brought baby with her.  Then her eyes filled with tears and she said " I don't know I gave her up for adoption."  
My heart sank. I could not believe that I had just minutes before looked at some basic facts, made quick judgments in my mind and assumed she was a young teen who just wanted to play mom.  My eyes filled with tears and I did what I could to console her by telling her that she had made such a brave and wonderful decision.  I then reassured her we would get her feeling better so that she could really start to heal.  
That awful moment has never left me.  I was not the bigger, older or more mature person in that room that day.  That young teenage girl was miles and miles ahead of me.  I have tried really hard since that experience, especially at work, to be open minded about chief complaints that seem like something that could be handled at home or at a doctor's or just simply not my emergency.  It is an emergency to them and it may not always have to do with their physical state. 

I realize there are only about 5 people who ever look at this and so maybe I am still hiding my shame by not sharing this in a more open forum but I am sharing it.  I think of when Christ went to the pool at Bethesda and healed the man who had been lying there for years.  He did not enter and make quick judgments about who was most deserving or even who deserved their "consequences".  Nope, he just went there and healed and loved. I have tried to do better and will keep on trying. 

Decebmer 1st

I worked all night on the 30th and had not even changed from my scrubs when I took Lily to school. I was so tired, I was close to falling asleep at stoplights. Anyway, we pulled into the parking lot at preschool and I opened my door and heard a hissing noise. I had a one inch gash in my tire.
I hurried the girls into preschool and came back out and called Peter asking where I should go. He told me to stay put and he would come and change it.  It was good he did because it went flat so fast that I never would have made it to the tire store. 

 I slept for about 5 minutes while waiting for him to come. He then changed the tire all the while showing me, teaching me, and having me help with different steps.  He was patient and loving.  He was not flustered about the disruption to  his day.  I am not sure how I was blessed to have this man fall in love with me and ask me to marry him, but I am grateful EVERY day for him! 
 Later that night we had Peter's work party and as always it did not disappoint. 
We ate at Chuy's this year and it was delicious and the atmosphere was really fun. 
Corrine Nelson (the boss' wife and my running friend) always gets the kids a Christmas gift.  It is so kind and generous of her.  The kids were thrilled with what they were given. 
 The next day, my afternoon was happy and calm with these scenes thanks to her thoughfulness. 
Jon building his Star Wars Lego set. 
 Shopkins for these 3. 
Samantha actually got new playdoh and we have played with it and taken some of the tiny containers with us to meetings and some school volunteering things. It has kept her so happy- simple pleasures. 
Joseph is looking forward to getting some new books with his gift card to Barnes and Noble.  He is such a bookworm - it is wonderful! 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Last Bits of November

It is a bit hard to seen Jon but he is on the top row just peeking out 5th from the left. He is in his elementary school choir for the second year and is doing really well and enjoying it. This was taken at the Veteran's day assembly. It is such a great assembly. 

There was a super moon and it was soooo cool! We pulled out the telescope and took and even closer look at this moon that was bigger and brighter than it will be for another 30 years of something like that. It was so bright in the telescope that when you were done looking you were seeing spots. It was so beautiful and I am thankful for it. 
We spent some time at the park during Thanksgiving break. 
Jon filled his shirt with the gravel and buried himself in it and was covered from dust from head to toe and his jeans will never be the same. 
He looked like he was having so much fun that Samantha had to join in and fill her pockets! 
These people are what my life is all about. 
I just had a conversation with the doctor I am working with tonight and he can not believe how many kids we have - can not really imagine it. I can not imagine my life with out them.  They love me, teach me, help me, serve me, allow me to love them and serve them and teach them.  Most days I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants doing this parenting thing.  But, I am so blessed to have a loving, supportive, and helpful husband walking through the unknown with me.  We support each other and council with one another and somehow make this work.  I know my kids are not perfect and I am trying to help them understand, recognize and embrace their shortcomings because we all have them.  Daily I strive to be more patient and more loving with them.  I know my kids will remember the times when I was less than a perfect mom but I hope there are more memories of us being a happy family and doing happy and good things.This picture makes me so very happy! 

Thanksgiving 2016

We were so blessed to be invited to someone's home for Thanksgiving.
I had to work that night and we had considered celebrating a different day but someone was kind and we were able to enjoy a feast with friends. 
I am the worst about taking pictures but I did get a few- mostly of the food. 
 2 turkeys, a ham, potatoes, 2 types of gravy, 2 jellos, 2 stuffings, sweet potatoes, cheesy rice, rolls (3 kinds), green bean casserole, corn, cranberry sauce.... seriously a feast!!
 The missionaries were there. We love these 2 Elder Barber (left) and Elder Broberg (right).  Elder Broberg is getting transferred this week and he will be greatly missed. He has such a bright future ahead of him and is so very talented.  Elder Barber will be wonderful leading the zone and we look forward to meeting his new companion.  
 There were so many desserts and they were all so good! I tried something new and made a cinnamon roll apple pie- the crust is made from refrigerator cinnamon rolls rolled flat.  It was really yummy! 
 We were at the Phillips and they have tons of books and so Joseph was in heaven! He LOVED reading the Calvin and Hobbs! 
Stealing some of my dessert! 
It was a wonderful day and I truly have so many things to be thankful for.
Food, family, friends, faith, Jesus, Book of Mormon, Temple, running water, electricity, handy husband, books, mom, dad, health, running, school, teachers, braces, dentist, doctors, jobs, flowers, .... these are a few of the things that made our thankful tree. 

Samantha in November

Samantha and I spend a good deal of time together due to the other kids being school.
She is my helper and my entertainment and my sidekick. 
 Our dryer broke twice in November and though Peter was able to fix it we still made two trips to the laundromat. Samantha came the first time and she was fascinated. It is fun and refreshing to experience things as if they are new from the eyes of a child. 
 She will even work out with me. 

She has been lucky enough to tag along with me on a few of Lily's field trips, like this one to the fire station. Those firefighters do such a great job with kids. 
 I have quite a few selfies with Samantha. 
Later that same day, she helped me in the kitchen make rolls and she loves to eat the flour on the counter- crazy girl! 

Bike Ride to the Park- November

We have discovered a lovely pedestrian trail by our house. 
We load the bikes and trailer in the back of the truck and load everyone up. 
The trail is not too hilly and not too long. 
We have gone on this twice and the second time we stopped at one of the kids favorite parks to play.

 I sure love this family of mine and that we enjoy doing things together and being active. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Arabella turns 8!

On Monday, November 21st this sweet, kind, tenderhearted, amazing, loving, creative girl turned 8! 
It is hard to believe she is really that old! 
Arabella is a huge part of what holds our family together. 
With the whole week of school off for Thanksgiving, she got to sleep in a bit and then started her day with her breakfast of choice- Monkey bread. 
 She was excited for her chocolate making kit and several new clothing items. 

 She has really wanted a bathrobe and slippers and thanks to her cousins her wish came true! She has worn them both so much this past week. 
 And finally, after much waiting and anticipation she was able to get her ears pierced. It hurt a bit more than she thought it would and her ears were really sensitive for the first day but she has toughened up since and remembers to clean them all by herself. 

We finished her big day by attending the city library's really big Harry Potter Party! 
There was an animal show, wand making, quill making, scavenger hunts, lightning bolt tattoos, photo booths, trivia, owl origami, and more. 
Arabella  has read the first two Harry Potter books this year and has started on the third. She is loving them! I love that she loves to read so much!
And for her final request, we had ravioli for dinner with spaghetti squash.  Her birthday dessert was tiger striped fudge with Blue Bell Hot Chocolate flavored ice cream! 
She had a great day! We love you so much Arabella! 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Concert Time

Joseph has been practicing and working hard on his viola. 
He sounds really good at home when he rehearses but it was really fun to hear all of the instruments for the songs he has been practicing. I hope he sticks with this for a few more years. 
 Jon had his 5th grade program about the same time as Joseph. 
For the first song of the evening, Jon was the one to set the rhythm and keep it going- he did a great job. This year he is doing choir and Jagspiel  which is a percussion type music group at school. 

Jon striking a pose for one of the songs- love the intense look! 
We are so proud of our boys and the hard work they have put into learning about music and preparing to perform.