Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Here you go jewels!


My sister Julie asks me whenever we are on the phone what the latest Spencer Funny is! I'm telling you he is the funniest kid ever. The things that come out of his mouth sometimes are just priceless! I'm sure you all have one of those in your families.
Over this Christmas break our little family has been playing ALOT of Monopoly together. We are having a blast...when Dad doesn't kick our little hiney's. Anyways, if you haven't played this game with a 5 year old I highly recomend it. They are old enough to get enough of the rules to play, and they are so funny!!! So tonight we were playing and Spencer Just landed on one of Robert's properties...that of course had a Hotel on it, and Spencer shouts out "OOh yeah..I'm a LOOSA......that means GOOOOD in Chinese"! The kid just comes up with these things so randomly it's halirious. Anyways, if you don't have a Monopoly game go and get one and play it with your youngest kids, I promise you will not regret it!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

We got our white christmas... for sure


Boy did we get snow! My kids were wishing and wishing for a white christmas this year, and Christmas eve they sure got it! And even more on Christmas. So much so that Church was even cancelled today! We all know that doesn't happen very often. Today though Robert got Christopher all bundeled up to play with him in the snow. He was so cute in all his Snow clothes. Gosh, I'm telling you...he is the cutest stinkin kid ever. How did I get so lucky to be this boy's mother. I will be forever grateful that's for sure!

Then, spenc was outside sledding with his buddy Alex from next door, So he put Christopher on a sled too(which made me kind of nervous), But he loved it so much. By the way how cute is my little Spencer? That Boy would live outside 24/7 if he had the oppurtunity.

I've said before how amazing Spencer is with his Baby Brother. He hopped right on the back of the sled without anyone asking and just held on to his Brother so he would be safe...Love him!


I think what I loved the most out of this was Robert! He looks for any oppurtunity to have Christopher feel like a big boy, and to have him join in whatever fun everyone else is having! Christopher will never be left out or left behind in anything because of his daddy!
Have I told you before I have the BEST husband in the world?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

try, try again!


I love this picture of my Emily. What a beautiful girl she is becoming. Emily has been in the choir for the last two years at her middle school, and she really has a beautiful voice. I'm not just saying that either....the girl can sing. She has tried out for several thing in the last 2 years and either hasn't gotten the part or has just been part of an "ensamble" group. Needless to say she started feeling rather defeated. She started thinking maybe she couldn't sing that well and that's why she is never chosen for solo's or speacial parts in the musicals. I kept telling her it takes time. I remember trying out for so many solos in choir and not being chosen... it is kind of a blow to the ego. But I kept trying for some crazy reason and finally I was chosen for parts and solo's. I told Em that her time would come.... and it finally did. She got a part in her Christmas Concert. She called me from school when she found out, I just loved the excitment in her voice, it was priceless.
But I think the lesson learned here was Keep trying even though you feel like giving up. Because if you don't give up It will pay off in the end. I'm so glad for this experience Emily had, but even more I'm glad that she didn't get everything she tried out for...because I think it makes her appreciate it so much more.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

determined




Ok so I have been talking about how great Chris is doing with our slide. He can climb up the three steps and slide down. I have taken videos of this and I cannot get them to post!!!!! But yesterday I found an amazing find on Craigslist. I have never purchased anything on there before....but I found the most fabulous Little tikes Jungle climber for $50....regularly $250! So Rob went and picked it up he assembled it in the basement today for the boys and Christopher is in hog Heaven. It is quite a struggle for the little guy to get from level to level to reach the slide, but he never gives up and he get's there all by himself. We are so excited for this new climber. I swear anything to build up that little boys muscles I am all about, because the bigger he gets the harder it is for him to get around, so we just have to keep getting him stronger and stronger...and he is! The last picture is of him on his new little walker (actually this is a loaner) Ours is on order so it wont be ready for another 6 weeks or so. Pretty exciting stuff for us Etchells I tell you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

compassion


I got a call from the assistant principal at the kids school last week, Instantly I thought ooh no what did one of them do? But it was for Emily and has actually been doing fabulous things. Each month at their assembly they award a few kids with an award for a virtue that they feel exemplifies that virtue. This month was the virtue of Compassion. They wanted to recognize Emily for her compassion towards others!!! I started crying if you can imagine. Going back to 2 years ago when we found out about Christopher having Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalous the first thing that came out of Emily and James' mouth was how worried they were of people making fun of him. I told the kids that it would be our job to make sure they don't, and if they did we would be their for him to cheer him up. We are his Cheer leaders. I had always hoped that from this experience we have been given that my children would become more compassionate people. That if they saw other people having a rough time, or if they were being made fun of they would have the strength to stick up for them and befriend them. For this very reason is why Emily was awarded today, I could not be more proud as a mother. This truly will be forever a highlight in my life! I am so very grateful for my Emily Anne!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

christopher is 2!


Our Christopher is 2! Can you believe this? This last week has been filled with so much reflection and it is very hard for me to keep the tears in. This little boy is such a blessing to our family. He had quite a tough entrance into this world 2 years ago, but with the help from his Heavenly Father he is such a bright adorable little two year old now.We are so proud of him. He is actually stepping up 3 steps on his little slide and then sliding down on his tummy. Which all of you mommy's with cuties like mine know how truly hard that is for him....but he does it. And it is so amazing to watch. He will do it 15 times in a row, and yes it's tiring, and yes it's difficult but he loves the fact that he can now do something his big brother does.... and that's the fuel that keeps him going.
I guess one of the biggest lessons We as a family have learned since the moment we found out about Christopher's Condition is that time passes by. You can get through anything with the help of our Heavenly Father, no matter how difficult. It seems like when you are knee deep in your trial you feel like you are never going to get out of it, but you will...just have faith and you will I promise. And you will not believe how much stronger a much stronger you will be!
Thankyou to everyone for all your thoughts and prayers for our Christopher, we will forever be grateful

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sorry...I'm gonna make you leave a comment!

Since I have professed over and over again how much I love to cook and find and try new recipes I need your help! Which means you may actually need to leave a comment if you don't mind. I want new thanksgiving recipes! Especially new ways to bake my Thanksgiving turkey! I know we all have our "Must Have's" every year, so I want to know what those are for you. My sister julie (You can find her blog link on the right) has already posted on her blog 2 of our family must have recipes, Banana salad and Mom's yummy yummy rolls! I will post a few more recipes tomorrow as well to share with you!
Thanks guys, I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving Holiday.This year we are by ourselves no family with us, but they are surely with us in Spirit, and I know that Our Thanksgiving tables will all look pretty much the same...Holidays are all about tradition!

Love, Becky

Sunday, November 22, 2009

you gotta check this out!

If anyone wondered anything about Christopher's Disability please check out this fabulous website. Thanks for finding this Adrienne. I actually remember reading about this family in People magazine last year. I love what they are doing for our cause. This Will bring on some tears though I'm just warning you.


http://sophiesvoicefoundation.org/home.htm

or you can just type sophies voice and it will pop up too!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fun family visitors


Robert's sister Susanna and her super cute family came and visited us last week. We had such a fun time with them here. They stayed a week... but that week went by way to fast. Our kids were so excited for them to come they were having a countdown to their arrival. Spencer the night before they came started crying because they were going to leave in a week! I said buddy they haven't even gotten here yet....as you can see we don't get our family out here near as much as we would like. I'm glad susie Jeff and Natalie finally got here because now they can officially go home and report that we do not live in the land of OZ after all. I think people imagine us living in a large field of corn rows. Really it's just as cool or even cooler than southern cal. (where we are from).
I think we were able to acomplish everything on their list. Their list consisted mainly of church history sights and bbq joints. We got all of that done and then some. The greatest part of the trip I think was just watching the kids play together and just chilling out and having great conversation!
Natalie is about 6 months older than Christopher, and as I have mentioned before it is always hard for me to watch all the kids Chris' age and even some younger running circles around him while he just sits there and watches. I don't think that will ever be easy for me to see. But my sweet niece Natalie one night really wanted to play with her cousin Christopher so she started crawling everywhere with him. Christopher had soo much fun. Everytime he stopped...she stopped. Then Christopher would motion to her "let's go", and they were off again. So precious. As small a moment that was I think that was the highlight for me, seeing the pure joy on my son's face was priceless!
Here are a few pictures from their trip here(thanks susie for posting them)! And thanks Dottl family for the visit. We are excited already for your next visit!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spina bifida clinic


Well, We have been a little crazy around here so I have been a little neglectful on my blogging. I will try to catch up though. Christopher had his Spina bifida clinic last week that we go to every 6 months. On a whole it was a pretty good day. We were there though from 7:45 to 1:30. Chris was not a big fan of that. The nice thing is that we stay in one room and all the doctors and specialists come to us. He is almost 2 so the challeng there is christopher having the whole "stranger anxiety" thing going on. But, we worked it out and we got everything done. Robert was able to work from home that day (thank goodness) so Spencer got to stay home with Daddy!
We saw so many cute kids there that we haven't seen before. Lots of little boys. We saw one adorable 7 yr. old boy who was in a wheel chair ( he had no mobility in his legs at all) he was the funniest thing. When ever Christopher started crying he would play peek-a-boo with him to make him happy. Christopher love it. He was just a happy easy going kid. It's cool seeing boys that are older than Christopher with SB it kinda helps me imagine what he will be doing a few years down the line. Another little boy we saw there was 4 1/2 and he was cruising around with crutches. He had a little more mobility than the other little boy. I can see Chris kind of being like that. Although they say Christopher may be able to at some point walk with just his AFO'S (braces), which would be awesome. Anyways, I talked to this mom quite a bit, it's always nice to talk to mom's that are going through the same things you are. But, this mom's story started out a lot different thatn mine. She went into labor with her little guy without knowing he had Spina Bifida Or Hydrocepholous! Could you imagine that? Not being prepared at all!?! She gave birth and it wasn't until a few hours later that SHE not the doctor's noticed the lesion on his back.... WHAT? How does that happen? So of course he ended up with Spinal menengitis because they didn't protect his spine from infection at birth. What a great mom though, she is just making sure her little guy has the greatest future possible.... and he is such a happy little boy too.
The last mom I met was a new mom of a 4 mo. old little boy. This was her first child. You could tell everything was al little new for her. But, with all these mom's we have one thing in common..... We will fight to the bitter end to make sure our son's have everything they need to have the brightest future. This mom was getting ready to have her 4 mo. old have his 3rd shunt revision surgery. Bless her heart, that would be so hard to handle. I hope and pray this shunt takes and works perfectly for him. We talked a while, and I just felt like giving her my email so that we could get to know eachother.I feel like I have a little more experience with all of this so if I could help in any way I would love too. I knew no one that went through this before me. It is a very lonely place to be I will tell you that!
Anyways, So Christopher's bladder is looking a little worse than last time. He still has reflex on one side and a little swelling. We will just monitor a little closer and in 3 months if it is worse we will have to go back on antibiotics or maybe start cathing. We shall see!
Also they casted his feet for new AFO's which he hated!!!! Last year the AFO's cost us $1,700 after our insurence paid their portion. This time we were a little nervous to get the total.... but our new insurence ROCKS!!!!!!! Our portion is only $300 and some change! We could not believe it. So exciting. Then we also got a prescription for a reverse walker and therapy to learn how to use it. it's going to look like this

It is so tiny and so cute! The greatest thing about it is he can be on the same level as all the other kids. He never plays with the other kids because he is crawling and they are walking. That really breaks my heart, so I am really excited for him to be able to start walking. And we know he can do it because of the walker his daddy made him for home. Which by the way all the doctor's thought that was awesome. My husband is amazing!!!!
Well, I'll stop for now but that's our update. I have alot more to talk about so I will post again soon. To all you mom's that have kids with Spina Bifida that may read my blog... let me know who you are! I would love to get to know you and share stories with you all. I think you are all amazing women! Every mom is an amazing woman though :0)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

another thinker

We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are."
— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

yah... chew on that one for a while. :)

I think we as women need to take it easy on ourselves. We have way too much on our plate to worry about what the rest of the world is doing and how we can keep up with it all.
We need to be happy with the talents and strengths we do have, and enjoy sharing that with others. We also need to be accepting of others talents and strengths and learn from them. Gosh, if we could do both of those things wouldn't we be happier and just more relaxed. I think so!

I just love Sister Hinkley.

Monday, October 26, 2009

love this!

"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."
— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Saturday, October 17, 2009

spencer...spencer...spencer!



i think I have mentioned before that my son spencer thinks i have a magic power. He thinks i can see through walls! He thinks that of course..because that's what I told him. Is that bad? About 6 months ago or so we were having issues with him not telling us the truth on a few things that we already knew about. We needed him to tell us the truth so that we could give him the lesson " you get in more trouble for lying than if you just tell the truth"!
Well, we couldn't get it out of him. Finally I told him I already knew what he did because I can see through walls. He totally believed me. He asked " can you see through ceilings too?" (I'm thinking, he must do some sneaky things upstairs so yes, I can see through ceilings too!!!). So we resolved the issues and we really have had no problems with him lying since. He always comes right up to us and tells us what happened immediately. And in return he has learned that we can resolve anything when he is truthful to mommy and daddy.
So, we have not talked about the "seeing through walls" thing for some time. And by the way, I can only have that magic power with my kids. But you know I remember as a kid if my parents thought we were fibbing about something they would have us stick out our tongue. If our tongue was green that meant we were fibbing. If it was pink we were all good. They told us that they were the only ones that could see the green on our tongues. That really worked for them, and this is really working for me so I'm sticking with it as long as I can.
Tonight Spencer was in the family room with Christopher and I was in the office. He kept kicking a ball around really hard, I kept asking him to stop but ofcourse he did not. Then as you all can imagine I hear a big bang and then a huge crash. I kept my cool, Spenc walked in the office and said "Mom" I said I already know. and he said...I know. I said why? And Spencer said because you can see through walls. YES!!!!!! We went in looked at the damage, picked it up, he said he was sorry and I gave him a hug. He knew he was not in that much trouble because he told the truth. Now some of you might think I'm a little crazy making him think this, but I think i am just pure genius and you are more than welcome to use it on your own kids if you want too:0)

Friday, October 9, 2009

a daddy invention

video

Is this amazing or what? Christopher is almost 2 and he of course is not walking on his own yet... but there are no walkers/ push toys out there that are stable enough for our little guy to strengthen his legs with and to practice walking.
Of course we could get a walker for him, and we will.... but that takes time and lots and lots of money. So, in the mean time daddy created this little walker out of pvc pipes. It is so amazing! He took Christopher to Lowe's with him to measure his hand to all the pvc pipes ( we wanted his hand to fit perfectly around it). Then he brought home a tall piece of the pvc and cut it down to the perfect height for Christopher. he made the legs wide enough and long enough so he could not tip over....Once he had it together Chris was off and walking with it in no time. Every day he gets better and better, and walks longer and longer. The great thing about this walker is it was fast to make and it cost us under ten dollars. Can you believe that? It's great because lots of families cannot afford expensive equipment, yet they have to in order for there kids to grow and progress. This is a great way to have their kids get around in there home. Anyways, we love it, and I am so proud of my husband. He would do anything for his kids. He is always thinking and thinking of ways to help make things as easy as possible for our little Chris. We think he is Superman!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Christopher's "Exercise Lady"





Here is our little spunk in action. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful PT working with Christopher every week. She is AMAZING! Her name is Laura,but Spenc likes to call her " the exercise lady"! We just love her, and so does Christopher. The coolest thing is seeing how much she truly loves him back.
Laura comes to our house once a week for an hour, and it's amazing the progress he is making every week. We might have to slow it down to every other week soon though. It's a little bittersweet because we wouldn't get see Laura as much... we would really miss the interaction Christopher get's with her. But, the sweet of it is that he is improving so much he may not qualify for weekly visits. I cannot complain about that.
See,he is doing pretty much everything other than walking, and that is going to take some time of course. Laura seems pretty confidant that he'll be walking by the time he's 3... how cool is that! We just need to work on strengthning his leg muscles as much as possible, and that job is up to us. He is so much stronger than he was even last month. He walks with Daddy holding his Hands. He knows the process of walking we just need a little more strength in those cute little legs. Anyways, there's a little update on our little guy. Oh, and he is talking up a storm too. The cutest is when we call his name from another room and he replies with "what?" Sooo cute.
Sorry if some of the pictures are a little blurry, took them on my phone.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Sister........... ROCKS

Ok, anyone who takes the time to kindly read my blog needs to take another second and hop on over to my sister's blog. You will love it.
Now my mother has always been the most amazing doll maker, well everything maker, for that matter. My Sister Julie has always been great at crocheting, needle pointing, knitting, but it has just been the last few years that i have seen this new excitment and energy about her with her new found talent. She is a stinkin fabulous Artist. She calls it card making, but I'm telling you it is ART. Every card she makes is INSANE! I frame them. I can never dream of just using them as a card,it does not do them justice at all.
I of course did not inherit any of this talent... I can barely sew on a button. But, that's ok with me because I am lucky to be the reciever of such beautiul creations.
so, take a look and leave her a comment, she is new at this blogging thing and I know she loves it when people take the time to leave a comment.

thanks guys..... but really you'll be thankng me because you will love her stuff!

http://avintagechic.blogspot.com

by the way, a link to her blog is on the right of my page just down a bit

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Crochet Not Croquet !


James...What would I ever do without this sweet boy? He is the most tender kind hearted boy in the world. But, somtimes he has a hard time listening to all of the directions on a project or maybe not reading some of the fine print on important things, or sometimes maybe he assumes he knows something when possibly he does not.
So, James comes home on Monday not a very happy camper. I asked him what was wrong. He told me that at school they found out the club they were going to be in. Going back a bit, every kid has to join a club that the teachers lead. They are able to look at every club and write down their top 5 choices. From that they will pick the club they will join. So James was not thrilled that he got his #5 choice. He said " I get to be part of the Croquet club"! (with a fake smile on his face). I said that's not bad... it could be fun! He said "ya but, I read it wrong because it's actually the Crochet club)! (now with tears in his eyes)! What do you do at this point as a mother? I'll tell you what I did.. I grabbed him and hugged him and giggled and giggled on the inside the whole time. IS THis not going to be such a fun story to tell his kids one day? That's at leaste what I Kept telling him.
Not to worry though, he did get out of the CROCHET club. The only club left was the PUZZLE club. Although he was not to thrilled about this he gladly took it!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

helping daddy in the yard

videoChristopher is growing up so much these days.... he's talking like crazy and he is as sweet as can be. He's probably the only kiddo we have ever let get so gross and dirty.... but as Robert said " We never thought he would be able to get around like this, so he can get as dirty as he wants"!
video

Sunday, August 30, 2009

There really is "no place like home".


It's been such a crazy last few weeks, but it is finally slowing down here at the Etchells!
Thank goodness too. I think one more week would have possibly cracked me completly.
Although I think I have been saying that for a few months now. So, I guess I did ok.
We are oficially staying here in Olathe Kansas. Rob was layed off from his job (like thousands and thousands of others) in May. Right when the kids were getting out of school for the summer. We had no clue where we would end up for the next school year. I thought for sure we would be moving. We looked on the bright side and thought, well if we have to move maybe it well take us west closer to our family. That would really be great. We have been away from family for 7 years now, and it's pretty sad when you only get to see them about once a year. The other thing was Our very close friends the Speyer's up and left us and moved to Utah!!!! How dare they :)!! But seriously the thought of being here without them was sad to think.
We had some really good connections as far as jobs go so we thought it probably would'nt take to long to get another job..... ya right. It doesn't matter how good a connection you have in this economy.... if there's no job's, there's no jobs. Robert is so amazing though, he was so positive through all of this. The kids were great too. Ya, they went through sll the ups and down's of moving and not moving. They would miss their friends here, but they were excited for the potential of meeting new friends. I think they just needed to know for sure one way or the other.
This whole process took 4 months! I know people have to wait alot longer than that, and that just makes me so sad to think.
rob got a few phone calls from YRC, a great transportation company based here in Kansas. They were really excited to try to get him on board with them. Rob was really excited too, because it's a company he has really been looking at. The whole process took quite a while before he actually signed on the dotted line, but it finally happened. Robert's first day of work was the Kids first day of school too. I would be such a fool if I did not recognize that as a beautiful Tender Mercy from our Heavenly Father. I knew that he was watching over us the whole time.
So, we are here in Kansas for our 8th year... and we are going to make it the best.
Thankyou to everyone for loving us, and helping us through it all. It sure would have been tough to do without you. And Speyer's We miss you And wish that you were only on vacation.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Charity



We had a wonderful lesson in relief society today on Charity. I am sure alot of you had the very same lesson. We talked about Joseph Smith and how happy and optomistic he always was. He was so enthusastic about life and the growth of the church. People always surrounded themelves around him because he was so loving and joyful. We obviously know that one of the reasons he was like that was because he was filled with the spirit of the Holy Ghost, he just beamed with light even in his darkest hour.
This is how the people of the church of Jesus Christ generally are ( If they are filled with the light o Christ). The people that I surround my life around certaintly are. They are so willing to serve, and to help people in their time of need. If someone they love ae huring... they are too. if someone is happy...so are they.
I try to surround myself around those that are not envious of others or that get jealous of the things others have that they don't.
And if their are those that are like that I think you just have to try to love them more.
When Christpher was born we were surrounded by and loved by these kind of people.
I had friends preparing me for the dreaded c-section I would have. We had family fly in to be with us ( our parents, and my beautiful sister Julie). people came and surrounded me with so much love when my son and husband went to Children's Mercy for Christopher's surgeries. I was never alone, friends came and just took care of me and my family.
The reason I share this is because when I finally went in for my 6 week check-up my Doctor said so many Nurse's and Hospital staff and Doctor's have been asking about us. They said they felt such peace and love when ever they came into our room. It makes me cry every time I think of this. It's because Heavenly Father took care of me and my family. The spirit of the Holy Ghost was in my room. Because Heavenly Father Just sent me such an amazing gift, and I knew it. I was happy even when things were so tough. It's hard not too when you are surrounded by so much love. I love that the Church of Jesus Christ Of latter Day Saints teaches us to love and have charity in our hearts and to serve all that we can. I only hope that I can do for others as they have done for me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How lucky am I to be apart of this family.




My amazingly wonderful family minus some very important people : Greg, Malinda, Sam, Madi, Grant, Jenny, Eddie and Baby Connor or max ? And Sam(Steve and Karen's Sam)!!! We love and missed you very much. I am so lucky to call you all mine!!!! Thanks mom and Dad for raising up such an amazing group of people. Love you all!!!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

from the mouth of my little babe.

We are back home from a wonderful almost month long trip with family.... I will blog all about it later, but while this is still fresh in my mind I need to write about it so I will always remember it.

Grandma was talking to Spencer yesterday before we left and she said " Spencer,who is going to take care of me when you leave and Grandpa goes back to work, I will be all by myself"?
And Spencer's response was so innocent and priceless, he said " The Holy Ghost Grandma"!
Just like, of course didn't you know that.
love it when our kids remind us in very gentle ways that our heavenly father loves us, and he is always there.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A new way of thinking




I love it when I can fully enjoy Sacrament Meeting with the kids obeying themselves, and I can just sit back and listen to the speakers. Today we had some really good talks too. There was one quote that really stood out to me that I wanted to share. I could even put it on vinyl ( as I always say to my sister).
The qoute was this: " Come what may and Love it"!
Now, I might change it up a bit for me with experiences I have had in my life thus far and say: " Come what may and embrace It". I think after you embrace what comes your way then you can find the good from it and love it. Does that make sense?
Sometimes i think it makes sense to me, but then I write it down and I wonder if people understand what I am saying. Ooh well though.

After we were able to embrace the news of our sweet little Christopher's future we were able to see the good things that would come from it, it became part of who we are, it was then our "new normal". And we loved everything good that came from it. We had so many Tender Mercies come our way, and we continue to see tender mercies daily.
Christopher is growing stronger and stronger every day. He is becoming smarter and smarter as well, he just has a way of making us SMILE every time he looks at us.
Sure More crazy things will come our way but I know as a family we will embrace them, and we will grow.
Christopher is starting to cruise around the furniture. He is so proud of himself, we are so proud of him. He does struggle with his little feet, since he cannot move them or feel them, as I'm sure you could only imagine the difficulty he would have trying to stand. But, he does it. He works a million times harder then we do and he never gives up.
So maybe that could be Christopher's Motto in life " Come what may, embrace it....then love it." At leaste that will be how I will help him approach the obstacles that no doubt will enter into his life often. And with that way of thinking I am confident he will be able to do amazing things in this life, and I'm excited to see those things happen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

our little trip to Branson





I think I have been going a little stir crazy since summer got here. we have had a lot going on for the older two with girl's camp for Em ( post about that later), and scout camp for James. Rob has been Gone as well helping out with both of their camps, and that totally left me without a car last week. We sold one of our cars, so we are a 1 car family for the time being (not for long though). Anyways, the little boys and I were home ALOT together, without much to do. We were really missing Daddy, Emily and James..........and the Car.
So when everyone got home, I suggested we get the heck out of Olathe for a few days and go on a little road trip. e went to Branson Mo. and stayed at this fun hotel that has an indoor waterpark. We had a blast.It was a very lazy trip filled with Swimming, swimming and more swimming. Christopher even had fun. On our way there we stopped at Lambert's. Lambert's is this super Casual, Country "Family style" (very important)restraunt. We have gone a few times now and love it. They are famous for tossing their yummy hot rolls at you upon request. The kids love it. Spencer's goal was to catch 4 before we left..... And he did of course. Em and James caught a ton too. They are soooooo hot, so sometimes you get smacked in the face or back if your not paying attention, and it can hurt just a little :),
Just ask James and Rob.It was so fun to get away for a while with the family. It was very simple and very basic. We did nothing outragious or major, and yet we made some fabulous memories. Isnt that what it's all about afterall.
We don't need to spend a lot of money to make lasting memories. And if their is anything positive that can come out of this recession i think it would be that. Don't you agree?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My favorite Spencer-ism to date.

Spencer: Mom?

Mom: What Spenc

Spencer: Toots kinda remind me of tornados.

Mom: ................ ok!

I guess it kinda makes sense. It is so hard not to crack up during those moments.
sorry, had to share.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Only Temporary, I promise Mom!



Rob cut the boys hair today and left only this on Spencer's head today!
He said if their is anyone's personality that would suit a mowhawk it would be Spencer's.
We thought he would want it shaved off right away, but no, of course not. He does know that it is only temporary, and it will be shaved off before church on Sunday morning.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gratitude!


My beautiful daughter had her first opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting last week.
Yes, it's very hard for me to believe she is 12 and is a young woman old enough to be a speaker in Sacrament Meeting!
Well it was Mother's Day, so Emily Wanted no help from me, Only Dad! So, I gladly went to bed and left them to figure out the talk (Crossing my fingers just a little).
Her topic was on gratitude for Mother's. I just loved that she was given that topic...maybe it would just give her a tiny reminder to have a little more gratitude for her very own Mother...Me! I must say though she s a pretty darn good kid. Robert and I are so proud of her and how she is growing up.
Anyways, She was so nervous to be the first speaker, but let me tell you she was amazing! So confidant and beautiful. She gave such a lovley talk. Rob wanted me to know that the last part of her talk when she said Something about me she did not write any of that down, she wanted me to know that it was coming directly from her, and she meant it. Ok, that was the best Mother's Day EVER!!!!
In her talk she had some Quotes that I though were so neat on Gratitude :
David O. McKay said: " Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts".
Joseph B. Worthlin said : " Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character. We like to be around those who are grateful. Thy tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable". I think for sure that is one to live by.
I started thinking after her talk that you know, things do kinda stink right now, we don't know what lies around the corner for our family. We could be anywhere by the end of the summer. At leaste I have hope that we will have some answers by then =). But, if we are somewhere new and different I will always have the 5 most most important people in my life with me where ever I go. I am so grateful for that!!! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father gave us families, so that we don't have to endure our trials and tribulations in this life alone. And we can share every happiness in this life with them as well. Things never seem so tough when you have a support system like your family. My brother's and sister's, cousins, Aunts and Uncle's, Parents, grandparents...even friends become so much a part of your family. I cannot imagine where we Would be without them all. How lucky and grateful our little Etchells family of 6 are.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Christopher Mastering the stairs at 18 mo.

video
this is Christopher's newest achievement! You can see the struggle he has trying to climb the stairs, but it is so amazing to us to see how determied he is to do it. With this kind of determination he can acomplish anything I know it! ( sorry for th annoying laugh,that must have been Robert's,could'nt hve been mine =) )

Thursday, May 7, 2009

"Sweet baby James"

Happy Birthday to Our James Douglas! 11 years old, I can hardly believe it!
Now James is probably the biggest fan of all things Nintendo there is. He has all there Systems, and he knows all the latest news about new games coming out. He even wants to go on his mission to Japan, because that's where Nintendo is made. He is a funny kid.
So he was super excited to find out that the newest Nintendo system the "DSI" would be out just in time for his birthday. We told him that was so cool, and we would get it for him if that's really what he wanted.
Then he knew that both sets of grandarent's always send him birthday money, and he thought he would get a few games to go along with it. He had it all planned out. But he is learning as he get's a little older that sometimes plans have to change.through this recession I think everyone is slowing down on spending. And Our views on what is important and necessary change as well. We thought for sure we would still get him the Dsi but maybe he could add his Grandparents birthday money to it as well. I was not quite sure how he would take it. But he was thrilled and happy to hand over his money.
This little boy is such an amazing kid. He is ready for anything.The possibility for moving is Huge right now, and the kids love it here. So when we told them that we may be moving he said " Mom, I've been thinking, I think moving would be Bittersweet. Bitter because we would have to leave Kansas,our house and friends, but sweet because of all the new neat things that could happen". (did that just come out of my son's mouth)?
When he said that Emily and I just looked at eachother in shock. He's a pretty cool kid.

I love my James, I am so proud of his choices he makes in life, and his sweet personality. He is going to turn to be such an amazing man one day.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I need your recipes!!!!!!

I need your help! If you somehow stumbled across my silly blog can you do me a favor?
Leave me in the comments your favorite recipe. I would really love it.
I am in a total rutt(?) right now, and I need some fresh recipes. I need to update my cooking blog too and I will totally put them on there. Come on girls I need ya.
I love sharing favorite recipes, tried and true ones. It'one of my favorite things to do. And if you all put your recipes on here we could probably get the beginings of a pretty yummy cookbook! How fun would that be? So help a desperate mom out would ya? Thankyou tons :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A quote to live by!

by: David S. Baxter

"At . . . moments of crisis and challenge, some choose to abandon faith just at the time when it most needs to be embraced. Prayer is ignored at the very hour when it needs to be intensified. Virtue is carelessly tossed aside when it needs to be cherished. God is forsaken in the all-too-human yet mistaken fear that He has forsaken us.

"The truth is that our only safety, our only security, our only hope is to hold fast to that which is good. As the mists of darkness gather around us, we are only lost if we choose to let go of the iron rod, which is the word of God."

Friday, April 24, 2009

we need a little extra happiness in the house right now, and these pictures sure make us happy



Christopher being a big boy in nursery! He loved it!!! He did a geat job on the chair for snack time too. The other picture just makes us smile, he looks so cute with this hat on, he know's it too!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Christopher Update

So I have been told I need to update the bog about Christopher's progress, So here we go!
Actually there is really alot to talk about. Chris is constantly showing us that he is a fighter. He just amazes us with the things he does. He is crawling on all Fours all around the house now! He actally snuck into the bathroom yesterday and threw a plastic Easter egg in the toilet! Rob and I just thought "you go boy"! Throw as many eggs in there as you want, just nobody flush the toilet please.....:) I have never been more happy to fetch something out of the toilet, Who would have thought?
Our Pt has been wonderful with Chris, she just loves him too, and I think that makes such a difference. Chris is Standing by himself for long periods of time, and he is learning to bare(sp?) weight on each leg seperatly ( which is FANTASIC).
So the goal right now is trying to get him to go from his knees to a standing position, and He will, he will get there. From there it will be walking, how amazing that will be.
So, he is 16 almost 17 mo. old now which is so shocking. Time has gone by so fast. But, a few weeks ago I realized next month he will be in nursery!!!! That kind of got me a little nervous. All those little kids in there bonking him on the head...yikes! Then I thought about snack time and sitting at a table! I haven't even tried him sitting on a little chair like that. So we have been workng on that. He sits there really well, he has great balance. The only thing is getting on and off.
I have talked to friends about my worries and some have said " have him wear a helmet in there". ( to protect his shunt). And that scares me the most I think. But, I'm not going to make my little guy a target! So other options/thoughts were having a leader in there just working with him. I would love that, but I don't know if that would happen. He is the only one with Special needs in Nursery, so these are things people haven't thought of. But, I do really love the Nursery leader in there, and I know she will keep him safe. I just love the people in our ward. Plus, I don't think Dad will be leaving him alone in there for a while :)
So there you have it, if you are still reading this? Our Little guy is doing awesome. We never thought little things like throwing things in toilets would be so great, but they sure ae for us. Now, if Spenc, James or Em do this that would be a totally different thing of course! Christopher is really teaching us to enjoy the little things in life. Those little things sure bring us so much happiness.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

This is going to be my boy!

The Deacon with the Big Smile,” New Era, Jul 2005, 14

Zayne Callahan’s big smile reflects his brave, strong, intelligent spirit. He doesn’t let spina bifida stop him from passing the sacrament, playing the violin, and participating in school productions.

The first thing Zayne Callahan can remember is living in the basement of an orphanage in China. He had been there since he was a baby. Zayne later learned that he was kept in the basement so people who came to the orphanage to adopt children wouldn’t see him.

“I was considered an embarrassment because I was born with spina bifida,” Zayne says. Spina bifida is a birth defect that made his legs weak and prevented him from walking normally. “I wasn’t able to go to school or hardly even learn the Chinese language because the people at the orphanage didn’t think it was important to teach a child with a disability.”

Zayne was seven years old when John and Wendy Callahan—his future parents—first saw him on a videotape of Chinese children waiting to be adopted. When the photographer passed the camera over Zayne briefly, he smiled and waved. That action won the hearts of his future parents who recognized his brave, strong, intelligent spirit.

That was five years ago. Now, Zayne is a deacon in the Lolo Ward of the Stevensville Montana Stake. When he turned 12, he wanted to fulfill his priesthood responsibilities by passing the sacrament. That was a big challenge for a boy who must use crutches to walk.

Originally, Zayne tried to pass the sacrament while balancing on his crutches. When that didn’t work, he decided to use his wheelchair instead. Now Zayne passes the sacrament by placing the trays on his lap and wheeling down the aisles.

Zayne works hard to fulfill his other priesthood duties too. An older member in his ward says she was impressed when the young men went to her home to pick up rocks as a service project. She found Zayne sitting on the ground putting rocks into a wheelbarrow. He had laid his crutches down because they were in the way, but his disability didn’t stop him from serving just like the other boys.

According to his father, Zayne doesn’t waste time feeling sorry for himself. If he wants to do something, he figures out a way to do it. He played a lead part in the school production of Red Riding Hood. He was the head wolf and led a pack of wolves onstage, his crutches keeping time to the music. He is also an accomplished violinist and pianist. While playing his violin, he has to sit on a high stool rather than stand like most violinists, but that doesn’t distract from the beauty of his music.

No matter where Zayne goes or what he does, people notice his good example. One classmate summed it up by saying, “He’s that boy with the big smile.”

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spencer Clayn Big Boy Etchells!




So My super cute, crazy 4 year old said today " mom, when will dad get home, I need him to take my little wheels off my bike"! So Dad finally get's home and take's the "little" wheels off his big boy bike, and I am not kidding you within 20 min. that kid was up and down the street all by himself. He was totally freakin us out though. He was stopping and starting back up again, ad turning around while still on his bike. I'm sorry but My kid Rocks!!!! By the way, this is the same kid that thinks he has the name "Big Boy" in his name. He think's he is Spencer Clayn Big Boy Etchells (Seriously)!!!
I think this little boy was never destined to be the baby of the family ( as I have always said). He loves to be big, and to do crazy exciting things. But most of all he loves to be the protector of his baby brother.
We are so lucky to have this little guy ( I mean Big Boy) in our family.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

spring, where the heck are ya?


Now, I am one that loves winter.I have loved the cold weather and all that comes with it. But, even I say it's time for it to go!
We thought it was gone a few weeks ago but, we got a very unexpected snow storm last Saturday. We had already put our winter stuff away. Although we had fun with it, we were happy to see it go the next day. Rob even made new shelves in the garage yesterday and stored everything away (again) and not to be retrieved for at least a year. Spring was here, the kids were playing outside and wearing shorts even. I was getting excited for warmer weather if you can believe it!
Guess what? It started snowng again today!!!!!!! And we should get more of it tonight and tomorrow. Can you say CRAZY TIMES!!!!!!!
The kids are going to have to put socks on their hands to play cuz those gloves are gone baby! We refuse to give in to this craziness any longer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Zoo with friends/crazy chris





Sunday, March 22, 2009

My funny bunny

videochris thought he was so tricky hiding in the tube. He just learned how to shush too. I think Em and I did this for a good hour with him. we just love this kid. Can't get enough of his cuteness.
I think that of all my kids though (of course)!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

tricks and talents!



These are just a few amazing things my little boys can do! I know don't be jealous if you cannot personally do these things, it's ok! My boy's really got it going on. They really wanted to share with you their tricks and talents, because they know they got skillz baby!