Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hardest Day EVER for Kenz

So to keep this LITTLE kid friendly, I will not go into too many details, but Kenzie came into my room asking a very important question about Christmas and specifics about it..... She is now almost 9 and I didn't feel right side-stepping her question, so I answered her tenderly and expressed my love for her. We talked about the importance and the real reason for Christmas. She completely lost it, sobbing wildly and saying that her life was "RUINED FOREVER!" She wanted to have amnesia so that she would "never remember the worst day of her life." After sobbing for a while, it hit her that there were a few other things that she inadvertently learned were not as she had thought (involving loose teeth and colorful eggs). This sent her spiraling into the depths of despair. I knew when she "learned" it would be extremely hard on her since she is the queen of magical lands and pretending mermaids and fairies exist. It took several hours before she was able to get herself under control. I tried every strategy I could think of to help her get excited about Christmas and being a part of the "magic" now. Anyways, Jeremy and I still remember how we found out and how heartbroken we were, so I wanted to document a little of Kenzie's experience for her to share with her children one day. Here she is in her time of sadness, this was one of my saddest times as a parent so far, she was crushed beyond belief. On a happier note, she had a VERY special experience in the bathroom after the sad morning. To some it may sound silly, but to us it was incredible. I was in the bathroom getting ready for the day, she was sitting on the floor crying and just saying over and over, "I need there to be more" the second she said that the lights in our bathroom turned off and came back on. She immediately went silent and said, "did you see what I just saw?" I definitely did, she said she thought it was a sign from Heavenly Father letting her know that magic/miracles are still around us. That was all it took and she was happy and felt privileged to have had that experience the rest of the day. I had to pray and give thanks for that as well because I was out of ideas to help her feel better. She has been fine ever since.

Happy 33rd to Me!

So this year I didn't dread my birthday thinking of the finals I had coming up, or the papers I had to write. Instead this year I happily welcomed in the day (yay for being done with college)! I awoke to Jeremy and the kids making breakfast for me. The kids informed me I could not leave my room for a bit, so I locked myself in the bathroom and took a bath and read a book until I heard them say it was safe to come out. I came out to find posters hung near the ceiling they had made wishing me a happy birthday! They also had their presents wrapped and on the table. We ate together and they anxiously watched as I opened their precious gifts. Skyler bought me a pottery egg at school from his art teacher, he saved up his 50 cents to do so, then he painted it himself and wrote a message for me on it (So Sweet, I have always wanted to have a golden egg, now I do). Kenzie bought me a soap dish from the dollar store with her own money too, I love it! Jeremy got me a wallet since my last one kicked the bucket a while ago. Gotta have a place to put my mountains of cash, right ;) After I got ready for the day, we picked up one of Kenzie's friends and went to the park for a bit, the kids had a blast playing princesses, Skyler was such a sport and agreed to be the villian who hunted the princesses. It was all fun until a certain princess took it a little too far and kicked her brother, the villian, in the chest leaving a huge painful, shoeprint. He couldn't breath for a moment and couldn't help but cry. That was our cue to take Kenzie's friend home and come home ourselves. After the apology, Kenz and Skyler were back to being buddies again (he is soooooo patient with her). We came home and dropped the kids off and went and saw the movie Breaking Dawn, it was the first movie we have seen in a year. It was a lot of fun, we ate our weight in popcorn, and enjoyed every piece! After the movie we came home and played UNO with the kids and they ate dinner, we were too full from the popcorn. Then we had cake and watched Captain America, it was a great birthday! I feel so blessed to be where I am and with the people I am with. Life definitely has it's challenges, but those challenges bring us closer together and closer to our Savior. I can truthfully say "Life is Good!"
Fuzzy picture of me blowing out my candles
My pretty cake!

Thanksgiving!

This has been the funnest Thanksgiving vacation of all time! Yes, we definitely missed our family members, but we had such a bonding weekend. Tuesday we had our Thanksgiving Feast at Sound Beginnings with our students, then of course we got to bring a ton of leftovers home, so my family feasted that night as well. Since the temple was going to be closed on our usual Wednesday night, Jeremy and I did our session Tuesday night instead. It was wonderful. Jeremy had some big doctors appointments on Wednesday that were a bit stressful and draining, but they ended up being good in the long run. Wednesday night we stayed up late with the kids and had a fun movie night and played games. Thursday we woke up and ate a family breakfast then watched the Thanksgiving parade, had wrestling matches, played Farkel, UNO, and Phase 10. We also did something we have never done before, we went out to eat for Thanksgiving dinner, it was quite busy at Golden Corral, but it was soooo good and the kids had a blast eating their hearts out at the desert bar! Jeremy and I were tough and didn't even cheat on our diets, but we got to eat some good food though, so it didn't bother us. After a great dinner, we came home and played more games, watched a movie, and got our kids to bed. Then I was privileged to take Jeremy on his first Black Friday experience ever. We went to Walmart and Shopko. We got pretty much everything we were hoping to get there. For those of you who know Jeremy, he is not a crowd person AT ALL. He about had a nervous breakdown (literally) but he had fun regardless and can't wait to do it again next year! We had such a fun family day! It was definitely a day to reflect on the many blessings we have to be Thankful for!
Skyler's snowman, notice the no shoes, no shirt, I had to reprimand him for running out like this, what a silly, tough boy. Trust me, he was clothed when he made the snowman, only during the picture did he run out like this.


Skyler took this picture of us on Thanksgiving, I love my Jeremy so much!
In line at Golden Corral

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shopping, Play, and Girls Day!

So Makenzie had $20.00 from the sale of something on ebay. She was so excited to go Christmas shopping with her money. I thought for sure she would end up just spending it on herself, but she was so excited to buy her family gifts. She picked out presents for Dad and Skyler and then had me wait at the check-out stand while she grabbed something she had in mind for me. She gave the lady her money, paid for it, and then hid the bag behind her back. In the car she busted out with a beef stick for both of us and said, "Hey, mom, these are for us to eat and enjoy right now." The only thing she bought for herself other than the beef stick was a bag of M&Ms and a small cucumber face mask pouch. She She kept saying how she wished she had a ton of money and could buy me anything I wanted. She said that I always spoil her and Skyler and that it was her turn to spoil me. It was very sweet. I guess she knows how I feel now. I would love to buy presents for everyone I know, and shower my friends and family with gifts to help them know how much I care about them. Unfortunately, our pocketbook does not lend well to that. Oh well...after our shopping around town, we went to Sams Club and looked around and picked up trash bags and ate lunch. Later in the evening, Kenzie and I gathered up some can food to donate to the food pantry here in Logan and then went and watched a really fun play that a member of our ward wrote and produced. Kenzie absolutely LOVED it, it was a lot of fun! When the play ended we hurried to our car, it had gotten very cold over those two hours, it was only 7 degrees outside, brrrrrr. I had a great day with my little lady, I am so sad that she is growing up sooo fast, the things she thinks about and says are so mature now. Well most of it, she is also a little inappropriate at times. For instance, when I took a pie to our neighbors who came and cleared our driveway during the night she had one of those moments. I gave the man a pie and said thanks and talked to him outside in the driveway for about 1 minute or so. When I got in the car she says, "Mom are you and that man in love? I think you guys might love each other or something, you were both smiling and talking." I assured her I was not in love with anyone other than her sweet dad and that I would never be alone with another man, to which she replied well you were alone in the driveway.... She also thinks her young SLP at school and the older audiologist who collaborates with the SLP on her behalf are in love, I tell her they are both happily married and that the man could be the SLPs dad. She is such a funny girl, I think she has seen a little too many Nick and Disney channel shows. Oh and then today Jeremy and I were goofing around in the kitchen just being dorks and she was staring at us and says, watching the two of you makes me imagine being married to a man and in my own kitchen someday. She is in this "dreamy" phase right now and it makes us laugh all the time. I told her to enjoy being a kid and not worry about getting married for a VERY long time. They seriously grow up WAY too fast. Anyways, Kenz and I had a great mom/daughter day, I can't wait to take Skyler on our mom/son date next week! There is nothing better in this whole world than having a family to love and one who loves you "to the moon and back!" I have sooooo many things to be thankful for in my life!
A shot of the play we went to, "The Trouble With Pancakes"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Upcoming Adventures

I got an email on Thursday that my abstract I submitting to EDHI (Early Detection Hearing Intervention) was accepted. I am so excited and quite nervous. The conference is this March in Missouri. The email said:
Dear Alison Devey,

Thank you for submitting an abstract for the 2012 Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Meeting. We received many excellent abstracts this year and are excited to have a great line-up of posters and breakout presentations. We are very pleased to inform you that your abstract, 'Parents becoming professional providers for children with hearing loss: a dual perspective', has been accepted as a 30 minute presentation for this year's meeting. We will not be sending a notice to your co-presenters, so please forward this message to them.Your presentation is scheduled as follows:

Date: Tuesday March 06, 2012

Time: 9:40 AM - 10:10 AM

Room: Missouri Pacific


*Another cool thing is that Kenzie has been asked to sit on a panel of children with hearing loss and answer questions about her hearing loss, cochlear implant, life, etc. That is for Utah Hands and Voices held in SLC. She is also very excited about this!

Girls Day!

A co-worker of mine wanted to take my boss Stacy and me and go on a day trip to Salt Lake city. I was hesitant at first to go because I didn't want to leave Jeremy and the kids on my day off. I had decided not to go, but when I told Jeremy he told me that I really needed to go and get to know the people I work with better and just have some fun. So, since he was encouraging me to go, Saturday morning at 8:30 our trip began. It was rainy and awful weather when we left Logan, but SLC was clear and cool. First we went to Gardner Village which was this "mall" of sorts. There were many outdoor old looking homes, but each one was a special store. We walked around looking at all the fun stuff, eating hot bread with cheese on it, mmmm (I made yesterday my cheat day). As we left the outdoor Gardner Village, snow began to fall. Next, we went to Tai Pan and shopped around. I have to say the cold weather, the snow falling outside, the Christmas music playing, and everything all decked out in Christmas decor sure made me excited and happy! I love the Christmas season so much! After Tai Pan we ate an awesome lunch at Pei Wei! Janet bought Stacy and I a small bundt cake from Every Thing Bundt Cake, oh my goodness, it was amazing! Then when we were done there we headed over to Overstock .com, there was not much there, it is one of those "hit and miss" stores. Then we headed over to the mall so Stacy could get a new iPhone from the Apple store. While she was phone shopping, Janet and I had fun shopping around the Anne Taylor loft, it was their grand opening so everything was 40% off, they had servers walking around in suits with trays of glasses of water and lemonade on them. They also had a professional DJ there livening the place up, it was funny to see that in the mall. Our last mall stop was at Sees Candy, mmm that was the first candy I have tasted in like a month, it was delicious. After the mall we took Stacy on a tour of downtown SLC, my favorite part was definitely the SLC temple, it is just absolutely breathtaking. Then we made a final stop at Johnny Cappuchis (I think that was the name???) Janet needed some authentic Italian food to take home. She bought rolls, special cheese, olives, and salami. It was a pretty cool place, it felt like the kind of store you would find in NYC or Chicago. It was fun chatting all day with adults and I only spent 10 bucks, BONUS! I love ALL my co-workers, they are such great people and they make my job so much fun! I feel so blessed to be able to live and work here in Logan.
View from the car of the Salt Lake City temple
Janet in one of the cute chairs in Gardner Village

*A special thanks to Janet for touring us around SLC and spoiling us as well, it was so much fun. On another note, it dumped snow in Logan, our basketball hoop fell over and literally was within 2 inches of my bosses car that she left parked in my driveway, that was definitely a close call...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

First Snow and Visitors

So we experienced a few firsts this week. We had our first Logan snow, our first experience shoveling a driveway and deck, our children's first snowball fight, our first Logan snowman, the first time my brother came to visit us in Logan, and our dog Annie's first time ever in the snow. Friday night we spent an awesome evening with Uncle Sam and Grandma Sharon. Mom took us all to Golden Corral for dinner, it was quite delicious! The reason mom and Sam were here is they flew down earlier this week to attend the funeral of our dear family friend Kelly Panter who passed away unexpectedly. That was a heart wrenching funeral to attend, such a special man who left behind 8 brothers and sisters, his parents, his gorgeous wife and 4 children. Our prayers have definitely been in behalf of his sweet family. Friday night as we were getting the kiddos to bed, we were so excited to look out the window and see the beautiful white snowflakes. The kids about jumped out of their skin with excitement. Kenzie set her stool by the back door and just watched it for about an hour, I overheard her telling her dad that it was the "most magical moment of her entire life." Having our Christmas decorations up just made it even more "magical." I honestly don't know how people can see all of God's amazing creations and deny that he exists. Saturday morning we woke up to several inches of gorgeous snow, then the fun really began. Skyler and Kenzie were literally outside from sun-up till sun-down. The nice thing was it wasn't that cold outside once the sun came up. We loved it, but I found myself wondering how soon it would be until the newness wore off. I was definitely not a fan of the several pairs of wet pants and socks I kept finding as the kids would come home for something, change their clothes, and then be gone again. Even with the frustration from the extra laundry, it was the perfect day. The memories they are making will last them a lifetime. Uncle Sam bought a couple of Papa Murphy's pizzas for dinner and instantly gained hero status in the eyes our kids. We adults played several games of Phase 10 and Farkle and sipped our hot chocolate and herbal teas, it was a GREAT day! I am so glad my family got to come visit for a few days, the time just went way too fast.
Annie was not a fan of the snow!
Our kids were HUGE fans!
I LOVE SNOW!!!!!!!!
Our little snowman Martin!
Deck almost cleared off, what strong guys!
Jacket shopping at the crack of dawn...hence the sleepy eyes!
My Love!
Me, Mom, and Sam
Our little family!

Halloween

Last week we had our first Halloween here in Utah, it was so much fun! The kids each told me that they thought it was the best Halloween they had ever had. Nothing crazy or out of the ordinary, but they had great fun at school. They ate mummy hot dogs for dinner. Kenzie dressed up as a Utah State Aggie cheerleader. Skyler dressed up as a vampire. Jeremy was Gumby and I was a bumblebee. It was kind of funny because Jeremy and I wore the same costumes we wore 12 years ago on our first Halloween as husband and wife. The kids and I went with several other kids from around the neighborhood and trick-or-treated till their buckets were full. Kenzie and I were invited to a back yard where they were frying up fresh homemade scones and had hot chocolate. It was a lot of fun! Also earlier in the day at my school we also had a ton of fun with our Halloween trick-or-treating, goodies, stories, crafts, pinata, and the cutest little Deaf and Hard of Hearing kiddos around!


Pumpkin carving with the family!

Our pumpkins with the cochlear implants. I just realized my shirt has something wet all over it, nice..
Our pumpkins lit up!
Here is the picture of us from 12 years ago, before he cut the face out of Gumby!
Where has the time gone, it feels like just yesterday that last picture took place!
That is the picture of my stinger taking Mr. Gumby down!
My handsome vampire, "Edward" has nothing on this kid!
My little Utah State Aggie fan!
Beautiful MaKenzie!
Trick-or-treating with neighbors!
Me and my super cute pumpkin (don't worry, her mom sent me this pict on FB, I have permission to share it).
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Skyler's Last Primary Program

Today was bitter sweet as I watched Skyler say his part into the microphone and sing the primary songs. It seems like just yesterday he was old enough to enter the nursery, then he was a Sunbeam who would put his mouth right on the microphone and cause everyone to cringe and giggle as he spoke his part way to loudly. Then a few years later came his baptism, and now he is less than a year away from receiving the priesthood and entering the Young Men's program. Where has the time gone, when did my little man grow up. It makes me so scared as I look back on the past 11 1/2 years of his life, they have come and gone so fast, he will be turning 19 and going on a mission before I know it. I am not ready for my kids to grow up. I am so proud of him. He is such a great boy. All the younger boys in this neighborhood look up to Skyler so much. They love that he will catch bugs, frog, and snakes for them. I love sitting out front with Jeremy and watching him and his friends riding their scooters and bikes all over the place. I love it here in Logan, but as I have said before, even if I hated it, the move would still be worth it to see him so happy! I was also so proud of Kenzie up there saying her part in the microphone. This year the kids were given a topic and had to write down what they wanted to say, Skyler spoke about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the church. Kenzie wrote, "Jesus Christ was resurrected and we will be too. It makes me so interested and grateful to know that I will be resurrected one day just like Jesus." I loved hearing the children's sweet testimonies, I am a big baby and can't keep the tears from coming when I feel the Spirit. There is nothing that brings those tender feelings to my heart like hearing the sweet testimonies of little children. Kenzie was trying so hard to sing the primary songs, she was staring at me the whole time since I would over enunciate the words and she would be able to follow along with what was being sung. She really struggles to hear the words of the songs, her microphones on her CI and HA just make everything louder, so she hears everything sort of run together, but she tries her best to keep up and follow along. I love my kids so much, I am so blessed to have such sweet, silly, noble children in my home! Good job guys, mom and dad were so proud of you both!

Life this Week

So, my new goal is to designate a little time on Sunday afternoons to update my blog. I let the busy hustle and bustle of life get in the way at times. There are so many great memories that I would have forgotten if I didn't have my blog books to look back on. I know that there are great times that have occurred that I will never remember since I neglected to document them. It is sad, my kids remember so many things that I don't, I hate how the memory is not as sharp anymore. I feel like I am getting old... So I will recap a few of the highlights from this past week:
Last Sunday: Baking Halloween cupcakes with the kids. We took some to our neighbor who is about my age with two young boys. She is battling two forms of cancer. I look at her and wonder how she can do it everyday. She is a strong example to me of enduring through the trials of life and trying to keep a positive outlook. So often we get lost in our own trials and neglect to see how many others are suffering so much. We also took cupcakes to one of the widows in our ward who we have grown to love. I love that my kids kept wanting to give more and more of their cupcakes away. I pray that they continue to develop Christlike attributes and know that life is not all about ourselves; that it feels so much better to give than to receive. We also spent Sunday evening playing charades, we each wrote down 10 things to act out. It was so funny, I don't know the last time when we all laughed so hard as a family. The highlight was Skyler acting out getting a "swirly," we couldn't figure it out, but we sure came up with a lot of creative guesses.

Monday: I woke up and swam laps at the college. Then we did the whole, work/school thing. After I got home at 5pm, we had dinner and Kenzie gave a lesson for FHE on prayer and we painted prayer rocks. Then we went for a run. The kids rode scooters to the elementary school and began tether ball competition. Jeremy and I ran two miles and then met up with the kids and showed them how tether ball is done, well kinda, they did hold their own pretty well and Jeremy and I were wiped out from the run.

Tuesday: Swimming, work, school, dinner, family scriptures and prayer, and we watched the Biggest Loser. Our new thing is to be doing push-ups, sit-ups, and any manner of exercise while we watch the show. It's pretty fun!

Wednesday: Swimming, work, school, dinner, family scripts and prayer, then Jeremy and I went to the Logan temple for our session. The kids did great playing together and were in bed when we got home. It is such a special break/date for Jeremy and I to get to escape the world and feel the sweet peace the gospel brings.

Thursday: Here in Logan we get 2 days off for fall break, so we were busy Thursday doing things that needed done. Jeremy and I had medical records to track down, notrizations to get done so he could receive those medical records, cars cleaned, laundry started, kids played with friends, and Skyler learned a valuable lesson which I will not write about, but he definitely learned a lesson.

Friday: The kids helped with the lawn. Then they spent a good majority of the day playing here and there with their friends in the neighborhood. Kenzie gave me a spa day complete with a pedicure, manicure, and singing. She is such a funny girl. Then we met at the church to practice for the primary program on Sunday. After running through the program, I helped serve brownie/cookie sundaes. The kids were in HEAVEN! Then Skyler had his buddy Brighton come over to hang out. Jeremy and I hung out with Kenzie in our room watching Nick shows on TV. It was a fun day!

Saturday: We got our chores done and spent the morning at the coolest park ever! We played countless rounds of hide n seek and just enjoyed the day. A few unattended kids were being a bit obnoxious, they were swinging as high as they could and then kicking their shoes off clear across the playground. They seriously almost hit 3 different babies. Since we were pushing our kids on the swings, we felt obligated to get them to stop. They didn't listen to me, so Jeremy says, "Hey I am a park administrator and I would hate to ask you boys to leave, but you are going to hurt someone." They looked at him and took him seriously till Kenz says, "Daddy you are not a park administrator, are you lying?" We about lost it, I chimed in that he was like a park administrator because he was a parent volunteer obligated to uphold the safety at the park. Needless to say they stopped, it was pretty funny! We wrapped up our day with watching my bosses daughter while they went on a date. The boys watched transformers while the girls played, giggled, and made a bakery out of playdough. They really wanted me to find a camera so I could record them like they were on the TV show Cake Boss, it was cute! It was a great week, nothing grand or significant, just the day to day things filling our lives.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Summer Fun!

Beware of five million picts... Family pict on the hiking trail

Skyler Killed his toe...OUCH!
Kenz and I got hair cuts
Kenz and I presented at an audiology conference at USU, she was the star of the show on Cochlear Implants!
Tiffany and Suzette Panter at Shane Panter's wedding
Last hike before school starts
Kids on their first day of school, notice Kenzie's crying eyes
Waiting on the parade to begin in downtown Logan
Skyler and a few of his new friends he caught
Kenzie rolled 6 5's in Farkle, we were pretty excited!
Ward tug-o war
Visiting Papa Kent's grave in Coalville

Me and my boy
Kenz and Grandma Sharon
Playing in the park after the Farmer's Market
Dad and Kenz horseback riding
Copying statues :)
Skyler's 11th birthday
Logan, Utah temple
Hyrum Resevoir
My LOVES
My tree climbing boy

Kenzie Rapelling
Getting ready for dinner at the Biddulph family camp out
So again since I let my blog go for several months, it would take me about that long to blog about all the fun things we got to do this summer, so I am going to take a minute and just make a list. I wish I had time to include all the details, but at least my kids can read this list and hopefully remember the fun times. Aside from the move, little money was spent, just a ton of togetherness and community events! So here is goes:
  • Swimming in the gorgeous Hyrum Reservoir
  • Watermelon eating contests
  • Tons of face painting
  • Long hikes up the Logan Canyon River Trail
  • A number of different parades (Nibley Heritage days, Pioneer Day, 4th of July, Paradise Parade, Labor Day Parade, USU Homecoming Parade) Bags of candy have been caught and consumed...
  • Fireworks galore for about a month straight
  • Goodies delivered to us from thoughtful neighbors
  • Biddulph family reunion(great food, games, boating/tubing, rappelling, and warm sunshine)
  • Jeremy and Skyler rode with Wayne to Phoenix for Timmy and Katie Devey's wedding
  • Bradley's missionary farewell to Brazil (good luck to one of the coolest young men around)
  • Several overnight visits from my mommy! (which meant late night foot rubs, conversation, tons of Farkle, and fun)
  • My best childhood friend Shelly Nuttall Harris and her family stopped by for a visit
  • Aunt Jeanie and her boys Spencer and Danny spent a few days
  • Weekly trips to the Logan temple (Oh how that has blessed our lives)
  • Nights around the fire pit roasting marshmallows
  • Running into competitors from the Biggest Loser Rulon and Justin on several occasions
  • Getting to have a couple meals with Wayne & Michelle Devey and their kiddos
  • Skyler's 11th birthday (He is growing up way too fast, I love my buddy)
  • Eating Aggie Ice cream (well a couple times, it is a bit pricey, but oh so good)
  • Planting a garden (we had many spaghetti squash, strawberries, tomatoes, one VERY tiny watermelon, and one stalk of corn that somehow got into our garden??? )
  • Family Fun Fridays (with board games, movies, and popcorn)
  • Swimming at the USU gym for free (Yay for university perks)
  • Backyard camp outs
  • Horseback riding at Karl White's house (Head of NCHAM at USU)
  • Farmer's market at the park
  • Catching frogs at Skylor's pond (No fish, but plenty of huge frogs, don't worry they were not eaten)
  • Skyler and his snake catching frenzy in the ditch (he brought home 4 unhappy snakes in one afternoon)
  • Starting a special diet with Jeremy and exercising with him each night, well that started in September, current pictures will come once we notice a difference...
  • Oh and one of the most special thing has been watching my kids make TONS of neighborhood friends, they would be gone from sun-up till sun-down if we would let them. They rotate between our house and about 4 other houses having SO much fun!
Well that about covers our summer, it has definitely been our favorite summer since we got married 12 years ago.