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 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.

Where to Begin

Oops a sideways view of our backyard
Kenz working getting the garden ready
Kenz ready for her first Sunday in our new ward (Maple Valley Ward)
Jeremy washing the car at our new home~
Sound Beginnings my new second home and workplace

So a TON has happened since my last post. Many life changing events have occurred. I applied for a job up in Utah at a Deaf Oral Ed school called Sound Beginnings. It is located in a gorgeous building on the Utah State University campus. It was a very great opportunity, I would work with the DHH kiddos as well as the graduate students at USU. I was hesitant to apply, but Jeremy had a feeling I should look for jobs in Utah, Sound Beginnings immediately came to mind since I had heard such wonderful things from them from colleagues I had worked with in Phoenix at Kenzie's school. I had also been asked to send a resume up to SB long before I ever applied. I did not do it because I really did love my students in Yuma and all of my co-workers, and with Jeremy having been so sick over the past couple of years, I didn't even think moving was a possibility. However, after a little prayer, everything immediately fell into place. I officially submitted my application and was contacted right away. I had a phone interview with several people from SB and was told I would be contacted in a few days about the possibility of flying up to UT for a face-to-face interview. After the stressful thirty to forty-five minute phone interview with the room full of people, I hung up the phone and was shaking like a leaf. I told myself at that moment that everything would go however the Lord wanted it to. I said a prayer of thanks for not totally going blank during the process and right as I said "amen" the phone rang telling me they were VERY interested in me and would like to fly me up to Logan to meet them in person. So that was when the whole whirlwind began. This was back in May and I was still teaching and hadn't said a word about anything to my sweet boss Kim Kosmata, we really had a strong relationship and I was scared to death to tell her about the possible job. I figured out that if I took one day off from school I could manage flying to UT and back without being suspicious. That day I couldn't shake the thought that I needed to tell her that I was applying for another job. I wanted her to start thinking about it so that it wouldn't just be me giving my two weeks notice if I did in fact get the job. So I sat down and let her know, tears were shed by both of us, but I assured her nothing was certain, she told me that once they met me I would get the job (such a confidence booster). So after flying to UT, I went to breakfast with the head of the NCHAM department and the director of Sound Beginnings. I ate one egg and tried hard not to throw up right then and there. I knew it was going to be a long day. So I ended up meeting the staff at SB, the speech therapists, audiologists, the professors, more people from NCHAM, each person had several minutes alone with me to ask me questions and basically get an opinion of me. Then I was able to meet the students and lead an activity with them. During my time with the students, the staff watched me from the observation room (talk about intimidating) Oh and you are also on video 24/7 there for research purposes with the grad students and NCHAM center, I was a nervous wreck. My day went well though and before hurrying to catch my flight back to AZ they told me they really liked me and would offer me the job on the spot, but out of fairness, they had to honor their last few interview appointments. So after my mom drove me to the airport, it was back to AZ to finish out my last IEPs for the year and start wrapping things up. I knew we would be switching classrooms at Desert Mesa, so it wasn't odd that I was packing up the stuff I wouldn't be using the rest of the year. On the second to last day of school, I got the call from Sound Beginnings asking me to join their team and consider their offer. It was so exciting and scary at the same time. I told my boss and again tears were shed, but she was absolutely wonderful, she took me out for lunch, gave me a nice graduation card and going away gift of 3 Willow Tree angels. My time working with her and the rest of the staff from Arizona State Schools For the Deaf and Blind will stay with me forever. To make a long story short, we packed up, mom came and helped me deep clean our house, and we moved to Utah 2 weeks later. Jeremy's dad Wayne drove the U-haul up for us since Jeremy is not supposed to drive with his seizure disorder. It was great having Wayne there as we traveled. We stayed the night in St. George at Jeremy's sister Dru's house, the kids had a blast playing with their cousins. Dru even gave us an awesome bunk bed for Makenzie's room! Oh and I almost killed Kenzie's fish twice during our move, transferring him into a cup of water for the long drive, he fell into the disposal and I was reaching all around for him, thankfully he happened to jump into my hand. The next day as we stopped for lunch on our trip, we went into McDonalds and ate, I completely forgot about him there in my cup holder. If you are familiar with AZ, you know that your car gets was over 120 degrees when it is shut up there in the sun, I got to the car and he was floating at the top of the glass in the hot water. So I quickly threw ice cubes in the glass and after a few minutes he began to swim again....(Poor "Jimmy" that is Kenzie's Beta's name). All in all we made it to Utah the next day and we have been in Heaven ever since! Here is the building where I work!