Sunday, December 12, 2010

All about Chris

OK So I am changing it up on our blog. 3 years ago My friends helped me start a blog so I could keep my friends and family updated on the progress of Our little Christopher. And for some reason I have gotten distracted from that. I think now more than ever I need to blog about Christopher's life because I hope that some mother out there who has just found out their son or daughter will be born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalous will find strength and hope through our experiences since Christopher's Birth.
It's amazing that Christopher has been in our family for 3 years already. It's been a whirlwind, but it has been an amazing journey. I am so excited to watch this little boy grow up and eventually turn into a man. And what a man I know he will be. The sky's the limit for him.
In the last year Christopher has made many changes. He has learned to use his walker perfectly as if it is just part of him. He goes anywher and everywhere with it. He is now talking in full sentences, it is so fun to be able to carry on a conversation with him. He started preschool in October, and there has been so much growth there. Biggest thing now is his learning how to use his 4 arm crutches. He does not like them much right now, but he is improving every day.
So, this is going to be the way I am going to Chronicle Christopher's growth and adventures in life. Please follow along because I'm telling you this little boy is inspiring and our family is so blessed to have him be ours.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

best friends and brothers

spencer started Kindergarten today! Christopher is not quite sure how to take it either. His best friend will be gone now every day. Thank goodness we are starting with baby steps, he is only half day this year. I tell you though when we left Spencer at school all Christopher would say was "Get Spencer"..."where's Spencer". Made me pretty sad. If Chris is ever in a bad mood, or he's not feeling like doing his PT or he doesn't want to go to bed... he just needs his big brother to turn his mood right around. Spencer can convince that child to do anything. Thank goodness he convinces him to do good things and not bad! :).
So This is going to be a new adventure for Christopher, daring to try things with out his big brother by his side all the time. It will be good for him, and for us I think. This will be the first time that It will be just he and I...We will get some serious bonding time, and I am really looking forward to that. The only thing that makes me sad is that my kids are GROWING UP!!!! Emily is now an 8th grader, and James is in 7th. There is no picture of the two of them because they only let me take one quick one of them on my phone...PUNKS! I'll get a good one of them and post it soon though. I love my 4 beautiful children so much. I know I say this alot but Rob and I are so lucky to have these very specific special sweeties. We are so grateful!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

newest family picture

I have been trying forever to upload these pictures to my blog!!!! Hoping this finally works. This is the newest picture of my family. We were on vacation for a month this summer visiting family. We were actually together with ALL of my brother's and sister's (there are 6 of us), our spouses and all of our children. We were all together to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. My Dad's wish for the last few years was to have the whole family together for a family portrait.We were able to acomplish that, and we are so excited about having all these new pictures of everyone. OOh I'm telling you we had the most amazing time with everyone. Now that we are home and settled I am going to be able to blog all about it. Lots of amazing memories to perserve. But, Here is the first of many pictures to share.....My kids sure are growing fast.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Christopher update!

What a CRAZY month we have had here at the ETCHELLS! I just wanted to catch all who is interested up on everything that is going on with our little Christopher.
We had a SB clinic and he is improving fabulously with his MAD Walking skills :)!
Doctors are so stinkin impressed with his mobility. They have been waiting for him to start using his legs more so they could sort of determine his level of mobility. The best news I could ever hear was when the Doc said next step after the walker will be the for-arm crutches, and after that he just might be able to walk with just braces! Now I am not holding my breath on the last part, we will just patiently wait and see.
Now with every bit of good news comes some bad news right? Christopher's bladder is not doing so swell. It is now time to start the cathing. I knew it was only a matter of time though. Robert and I just took the news like...well we had a great 2 1/2 years without it! Christopher had to have all the extensive testing done on his bladder, and all the results came back worse than the time before. I tell ya, they wasted no time at all! I did not leave the hospital that day without learning how to cath my son all by myself. I will admit I was pretty darn scared. But, you have to think to yourself... what are my options?" Their are no options, so put your big girl pants on Becky and deal with it. So that's what i'm doing, dealing with it. I have to admit some days I deal with it better than others. Today, has been a pitty party day. But, i think I have to allow myself those days in order to endure. I have to get the tears out and move on. I don't want people to think I am this solid as a rock person and I never break down, because I do break down(just ask my husband)! It's ok though.
So, after a day of cathing my son every four hours Rob and I woke up at three in the morning with Christopher having a 104 temp. and being completly lathargic. We tried waking him up, but he would just look uncomfortable and try to fall back asleep. We called the Dr. and we were on our way down to Children's before you knew it. They always send us there if he has these symptoms because you never know if it is a UTI or a shunt infection. Kind of nerve racking to say the leaste. So gratefully we have our Emily to come lay in our bed and be there if Spencer wakes up. We were in the ER for about 3 hours, and he had a pretty major UTI. But they just told us go home give him his antibiotics and continue cathing him every 4 hrs. Seriously I was so nervous to cath him after that, because you never know if you are the one doing harm to him. Again though, what are my options? Just suck it up and do it. He is doing much better now, and I think I am less nervous now too, which is a very good thing. We just keep praying that we are doing the best we can for our precious little gift.
I just never thought in a million years that I could add to my Catheter putter inner :). But if anyone needs help with cathing Let me know!I guess that's looking on the bright side right?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Christopher's shunt

This is just for anyone interested in what a shunt actually looks like from the inside! So amazing that this device keeps our Christopher healthy and alive. I tried to scan the part that coils around his intestines but it wouldn't scan...will keep trying. There is actually enough tubing in his stomach to last until he is grown. Isn't that awesome? We just got back from clinic today, lots od new information! I will save it all for another day because we are BEAT!!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Special Child

Special Child
by Sharon Harris
You weren't like other children,
And God was well aware,
You'd need a caring family,
With love enough to share.

And so He sent you to us,
And much to our surprise,
You haven't been a challenge,
But a blessing in disguise.

Your wining smiles and laughter,
The pleasures you impart,
Far outweigh your special needs,
And melt the coldest heart.

We're proud that we've been chosen,
To help you learn and grow,
The joy that you have brought us,
Is more than you can know.

A precious gift from Heaven,
A treasure from above,
A child who's taught us many things,
But most of all - "Real Love"

This completly sums up our love for our Christopher! It brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. We are so grateful that heavenly father chose us to be his family.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

april fools day and a little therapy

Emily thought it would be a fantastic idea on April Fools day to try to FOOL mom and Dad by putting Casts made of toilet paper on all the boys. She had it all planned! She put the casts on and coached the boys on what to do, then came up to give mom and dad the bad news that all three boys had broken arms!The little boys were so cute they were totally hamming it up (Christopher was so stinkin funny)! Spencer seriously thought he had us fooled! It was so dang cute I'm glad we got some pictures of it!

Christopher is really taking to his walker, and we couldn't be more proud of how hard he works at it. He is still having a hard time turning it to where he wants to go, he pretty much just goes in a straight line until either he gets stuck or we move him. I thought a really good place to go on a rainy day would be Toy r us! It was awesome, he was totally distracted and walked everywhere to look at all the fun toys. I swear he walked for over an hour! This picture is Christopher taking a break playing with the Train table. He is really getting around! A very proud Mommy and Daddy moment!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Where can I turn for peace"

Ok, so please bear with me on this as I am still thinking this all through in my head! My sister Julie is such an amazing wonderful person. She is my Oldest Sibling and is one that I gain alot of support and strength from. She inspires me. The other day we were talking on the phone and she was telling me about a stake Relief society conference she was asked to speak at. The topic is on Scripture study. She asked me from my perspective what I would like to get out of a talk like that. I told her that I want to know how with everything I have going on during the day I can just find some quiet time to read my scriptures. Not just read but STUDY! I mean I don't want to read a certain amount of pages for a goal, I want to really find time to study them. What could I do? So she called me back the next day and said that she had been thinking about my question and really felt impressed to call me about some things she thought of. She said " Ok, so you are a mom of 4 children! A teenage daughter that is facing a lot of peer pressure issues right now, a 12yr. old son your worried about be bullied, a 5 yr. old son and a 2 yr. old son with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalous. Your husband always has unexpected health problems and has been laid off from yet another failing company and you are the primary president.And your trying to find time to study the scriptures? ". At first when she said that I thought Ya... exactly I am totally justified in my frustration. She didn't even have to say anything else to then make me think " the thing I should be finding time to do the most is Scripture study! Where I can find answersto so many of my daily struggles, and where I could find peace"! Who do you think is trying to keep me away from reading those scriptures? Yep...I think you all know. He's the one trying to tell me my life is too crazy for any REAL scripture study. Interesting huh?
My sister then said, you don't need to sit down and read for a certain amount of time. Find a scripture and disect it! Keep your scriptures open to that verse for as long as you want and ponder it, read it and re-read it until you truly know the meaning of that scripture.Now who couldn't do that? What's neat about that idea is that so often we read and we never get much out of it. But, with this we read it until we do. I Love it! And Boy do I love my Sister!!!
As I was thinking of this today a song came into my mind, so I will share it with you too.

Where Can I Turn for Peace? 129 - Emma Lou Thayne (© 1973 LDS)

Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice, I draw myself apart, Searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows, Where, when I languish, Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish? Who, who can understand? He, only One.
He answers privately, Reaches my reaching In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching. Constant he is and kind, Love without end

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Continuation from last post.

So, I really wanted to post this talk because of the message. I am now the mother of a beautiful,outgoing, fiesty, sassy, loving and compassionate 13 year old daughter. To tell you the truth...I'm struggling a little bit with how to best parent her at this age. She has become quite the well liked girl at school. The only problem with that is alot of those girls are not ones i would choose for her to hang out with. I know that I cannot choose my daughter's friends, but i can certaintly teach her how to be a leader and not a follower.
Emily has recently been invited to a few different things that has left me slightly stressed out. I know that I cannot always say no to her for fear that one day she will just flat out rebel on me. She was invited to a birthday party(A Sleepover). The party was at the sheratan Hotel in town. At first I was like HECK NO!!! But as I talked with the mother and thought about the situation more I decided to let her go. Later she told me the girls were planning ( behind the parents back) To watch a very inapropriate movie. I saw on Emily's phone a text to one of her friends that that was not a movie she was aloud to see...what should she do? Her friend told her to lie and not tell her parents about the movie. Her response: I don't lie to my parents! Her friend then said: Well I'll watch another movie with you then. I was so proud of Em for that. I knew she would be ok. Plus we texed eachother the whole night anyway. By the way... they ended up not watching the movie anyway.
So her next adventure was an invite to watch a movie with a bunch of the same girls and then walk over to eat at Red Robin after.Only problem with that is I'm not ready to just dump my daughter off somewhere and hope for the best. Not to mention walking to Red Robin would be after 9 at night.So Robert and I said Yes she could go, but we would be making a date night out of it as well. We watched a different movie at the same time, and ate at the complete other side of Red Robin at the same time. She then texted me and said "Mom...All the girls want to go to an ice cream place now, Can I go? I said " do their parents know? She said no, they just are not telling them. Which then Rob and I said...say bye, it's time to go! The troubling thing about that whole night was Rob and I were the only parents there out of those 10 13 yr. old girls. What are parents thinking? Seriously! I know that we may be a little annoying with my daughter right now, but she gets to do these things and we know she's safe! So I think that a pretty good compromise right? I am just grateful Heavenly father sent me only 1 daughter and the rest sons! How do you mothers do it with so many daughters? You have my complete respect!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Your Happily Ever After"

My Beautiful daughter Emily

I have been wanting to post this wonderful talk ever since I first heard it. Emily (my daughter) and I heard this talk from President Uchtdorf at the General Young Women's meeting a few weeks ago.Please take the time to read this, i promise you it will give such perspective to your life and to your loved ones lives. I think of myself, My daughter even my sons when I read this. It truly is an amazing message.

Your Happily Ever After
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Heavenly Father offers to you the greatest gift of all—eternal life—and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own “happily ever after.”

My dear young sisters all around the world, I am grateful and honored to be with you today. President Thomas S. Monson and all the leaders of the Church love you; we pray for you, and we rejoice in your faithfulness.

Over the years I have been exposed to many beautiful languages—each of them is fascinating and remarkable; each has its particular charm. But as different as these languages can be, they often have things in common. For example, in most languages there exists a phrase as magical and full of promise as perhaps any in the world. That phrase is “Once upon a time.”

Aren’t those wonderful words to begin a story? “Once upon a time” promises something: a story of adventure and romance, a story of princesses and princes. It may include tales of courage, hope, and everlasting love. In many of these stories, nice overcomes mean and good overcomes evil. But perhaps most of all, I love it when we turn to the last page and our eyes reach the final lines and we see the enchanting words “And they lived happily ever after.”

Isn’t that what we all desire: to be the heroes and heroines of our own stories; to triumph over adversity; to experience life in all its beauty; and, in the end, to live happily ever after?

Today I want to draw your attention to something very significant, very extraordinary. On the first page of your Young Women Personal Progress book, you will find these words: “You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father, prepared to come to the earth at this particular time for a sacred and glorious purpose.”1

Sisters, those words are true! They are not made up in a fairy tale! Isn’t it remarkable to know that our eternal Heavenly Father knows you, hears you, watches over you, and loves you with an infinite love? In fact, His love for you is so great that He has granted you this earthly life as a precious gift of “once upon a time,” complete with your own true story of adventure, trial, and opportunities for greatness, nobility, courage, and love. And, most glorious of all, He offers you a gift beyond price and comprehension. Heavenly Father offers to you the greatest gift of all—eternal life—and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own “happily ever after.”

But such a blessing does not come without a price. It is not given simply because you desire it. It comes only through understanding who you are and what you must become in order to be worthy of such a gift.

Trial Is Part of the Journey

For a moment, think back about your favorite fairy tale. In that story the main character may be a princess or a peasant; she might be a mermaid or a milkmaid, a ruler or a servant. You will find one thing all have in common: they must overcome adversity.

Cinderella has to endure her wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters. She is compelled to suffer long hours of servitude and ridicule.

In “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle becomes a captive to a frightful-looking beast in order to save her father. She sacrifices her home and family, all she holds dear, to spend several months in the beast’s castle.

In the tale “Rumpelstiltskin,” a poor miller promises the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king immediately sends for her and locks her in a room with a mound of straw and a spinning wheel. Later in the story she faces the danger of losing her firstborn child unless she can guess the name of the magical creature who helped her in this impossible task.

In each of these stories, Cinderella, Belle, and the miller’s daughter have to experience sadness and trial before they can reach their “happily ever after.” Think about it. Has there ever been a person who did not have to go through his or her own dark valley of temptation, trial, and sorrow?

Sandwiched between their “once upon a time” and “happily ever after,” they all had to experience great adversity. Why must all experience sadness and tragedy? Why could we not simply live in bliss and peace, each day filled with wonder, joy, and love?

The scriptures tell us there must be opposition in all things, for without it we could not discern the sweet from the bitter.2 Would the marathon runner feel the triumph of finishing the race had she not felt the pain of the hours of pushing against her limits? Would the pianist feel the joy of mastering an intricate sonata without the painstaking hours of practice?

In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise. Adversity helps to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way. Our loving Heavenly Father has set us in a world filled with challenges and trials so that we, through opposition, can learn wisdom, become stronger, and experience joy.

Let me share with you a personal experience I had as a teenager while our family was attending church in Frankfurt, Germany.

One Sunday the missionaries brought a new family to our meetings whom I hadn’t seen before. It was a mother with two beautiful daughters. I thought that these missionaries were doing a very, very good job.

I particularly took notice of the one daughter with gorgeous dark hair and large brown eyes. Her name was Harriet, and I think I fell in love with her from the first moment I saw her. Unfortunately, this beautiful young woman didn’t seem to feel the same about me. She had many young men who wanted to make her acquaintance, and I began to wonder if she would ever see me as anything but a friend. But I didn’t let that deter me. I figured out ways to be where she was. When I passed the sacrament, I made sure I was in the right position so that I would be the one to pass the sacrament to her.

When we had special activities at church, I rode my bike to Harriet’s house and rang the doorbell. Harriet’s mother usually answered. In fact, she opened the kitchen window of their apartment on the fourth floor and asked what I wanted. I would ask if Harriet would like a ride to church on my bicycle. Harriet’s mother would say, “No, she will be coming later, but I will be happy to ride with you to church.” This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but how could I decline?

And so we rode to church. I must admit I had a very impressive road bike. Harriet’s mother sat on the top tube bar just in front of me, and I tried to be the most elegant bicycle driver over roads of rough cobblestone.

Time passed. While beautiful Harriet was seeing many other young men, it seemed that I could not make any headway with her.

Was I disappointed? Yes.

Was I defeated? Absolutely not!

Actually, looking back I recognize that it doesn’t hurt at all to be on good terms with the mother of the girl of your dreams.

Years later, after I had finished my training as a fighter pilot in the air force, I experienced a modern miracle in Harriet’s response to my continued courting. One day she said, “Dieter, you have matured much over these past years.”

I moved quickly after that, and within a few months I was married to the woman I had loved ever since I first saw her. The process hadn’t been easy—there were moments of suffering and despair—but finally my happiness was full, and it still is, even more so.

My dear young sisters, you need to know that you will experience your own adversity. None is exempt. You will suffer, be tempted, and make mistakes. You will learn for yourself what every heroine has learned: through overcoming challenges come growth and strength.

It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop.

There are those among you who, although young, have already suffered a full measure of grief and sorrow. My heart is filled with compassion and love for you. How dear you are to the Church. How beloved you are of your Heavenly Father. Though it may seem that you are alone, angels attend you. Though you may feel that no one can understand the depth of your despair, our Savior, Jesus Christ, understands. He suffered more than we can possibly imagine, and He did it for us; He did it for you. You are not alone.

If you ever feel your burden is too great to bear, lift your heart to your Heavenly Father, and He will uphold and bless you. He says to you, as He said to Joseph Smith, “[Your] adversity and [your] afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if [you] endure it well, God shall exalt [you] on high.”3

Enduring adversity is not the only thing you must do to experience a happy life. Let me repeat: how you react to adversity and temptation is a critical factor in whether or not you arrive at your own “happily ever after.”

Stay True to What You Know Is Right

Sisters, young sisters, beloved young sisters, stay true to what you know is right. Everywhere you look today, you will find promises of happiness. Ads in magazines promise total bliss if you will only buy a certain outfit, shampoo, or makeup. Certain media productions glamorize those who embrace evil or who give in to base instincts. Often these same people are portrayed as models of success and accomplishment.

In a world where evil is portrayed as good and good as evil, sometimes it is difficult to know the truth. In some ways it is almost like Little Red Riding Hood’s dilemma: when you are not quite sure what you are seeing, is it a beloved grandmother or is it a dangerous wolf?

I spent many years in the cockpit of an airplane. My task was to get a big jet safely from any part of the world to our desired destination. I knew with certainty that if I wanted to travel from New York to Rome, I needed to fly east. If some were to tell me that I should fly south, I knew there was no truth in their words. I would not trust them because I knew for myself. No amount of persuasion, no amount of flattery, bribery, or threats could convince me that flying south would get me to my destination because I knew.

We all search for happiness, and we all try to find our own “happily ever after.” The truth is, God knows how to get there! And He has created a map for you; He knows the way. He is your beloved Heavenly Father, who seeks your good, your happiness. He desires with all the love of a perfect and pure Father that you reach your supernal destination. The map is available to all. It gives explicit directions of what to do and where to go to everyone who is striving to come unto Christ and “stand as [a witness] of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.”4 All you have to do is trust your Heavenly Father. Trust Him enough to follow His plan.

Nevertheless, not all will follow the map. They may look at it. They may think it is reasonable, perhaps even true. But they do not follow the divine directions. Many believe that any road will take them to a “happily ever after.” Some may even become angry when others who know the way try to help and tell them. They suppose that such advice is outdated, irrelevant, out of touch with modern life.

Sisters, they suppose wrong.

The Gospel Is the Way to Happily Ever After

I understand that, at times, some may wonder why they attend Church meetings or why it is so important to read the scriptures regularly or pray to our Heavenly Father daily. Here is my answer: You do these things because they are part of God’s path for you. And that path will take you to your “happily ever after” destination.

“Happily ever after” is not something found only in fairy tales. You can have it! It is available for you! But you must follow your Heavenly Father’s map.

Sisters, please embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ! Learn to love your Heavenly Father with all your heart, might, and mind. Fill your souls with virtue, and love goodness. Always strive to bring out the best in yourself and others.

Learn to accept and act upon the Young Women values. Live the standards in For the Strength of Youth. These standards guide and direct you to your “happily ever after.” Living these standards will prepare you to make sacred covenants in the temple and establish your own legacy of goodness in your individual circumstances. “Stand . . . in holy places, and be not moved,”5 regardless of temptations or difficulties. I promise you that future generations will be grateful for you and praise your name for your courage and faithfulness during this crucial time of your life.

My dear young sisters—you who stand for truth and righteousness, you who seek goodness, you who have entered the waters of baptism and walk in the ways of the Lord—our Father in Heaven has promised that you will “mount up with wings as eagles; [you] shall run, and not be weary; and [you] shall walk, and not faint.”6 You “shall not be deceived.”7 God will bless and prosper you.8 “The gates of hell shall not prevail against you; . . . and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.”9

Sisters, we love you. We pray for you. Be strong and of good courage. You are truly royal spirit daughters of Almighty God. You are princesses, destined to become queens. Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your “once upon a time” is now.

As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I leave you my blessing and give you a promise that as you accept and live the values and principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, “[you] will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.”10 And the day will come when you turn the final pages of your own glorious story; there you will read and experience the fulfillment of those blessed and wonderful words: “And they lived happily ever after.” Of this I testify in the holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beautiful Back

So, I often get asked questions about what my little guy's back looks like. People are filled with so many misconceptions about Spina Bifida. I really get asked if his Spine is actually sticking out of his back...I really do! I think people think what is underneath his onsie is something frightning. I would much rather share with people everything there is to know about my son's special needs than keep it a secret and have them assume the know? I hope this is making sense!
Christopher always has a onsie on because I hate having anything elastic directly on his skin. I'm sure it's not a problem seeing as though the latex is underneath fabric..but it really bothers me. So my point with that is no one ever see's his back. I just want people to know that his back is just like everyone else's only he has a scar...I just love his little back. I am so grateful that Christopher was born in a time when We could find out while in Utero his condition, and that we had plenty of time to perfectly plan his arrival and have him placed in the best hospital under the best care where he could get the surgeries he needed to be as heathy and happy as he truly is today. So to me that scar on his back is the most beautiful thing in the world. Yes he has a large scar on his back and yes he has a pipe in his head( As one Adorable 4 yr. old innocently pointed out...sorry Mel). But because of them my son is able to lead a very normal life! So here is a picture of Christopher's back straight out of the bathtub.I can get away with these pictures now but not for much longer. He is too young to oppose of them right now! :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

My three sons

James had a huge band concert tonight. I have never seen this boy look more Handsome. Gosh he sure is growing up fast. He will be 12 in May! Mutuel, passing the Sacrament.......crazy to think he is already this old. What a blessing James is to me. He is the dream son I tell you. Never Disrespectful and always wanting to make sure I am happy. Seriously one of a kind. Now when it come to 2 of his siblings that's a whole other story, which only makes him Human right? He is so fabulous though with his "Baby", he would bend over backwards to do anything for him. Anyways, here are a few pictures from tonight.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

foodie favorites

Ok, These are INCREDIBLE! And they are Spencer's absolute favorite thing. When you make these you must double the recipe, because I promise you if you dont you will regret it!
I adapted this recipe from a great blog called kaitlin in the kitchen. She has fabulous recipes...go check it out. But, make these rolls first!
OOh, and i am going to start posting my favorite recipes on this blog from now on, so maybe i will be better at it. My sister is inspiring me.

Six Cheese Stuffed Garlic Bread Bites

1 Package Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Water
1/4 Cup sugar
1/2 Teaspoons Salt
3 Teaspoons Olive Oil
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
8 Ounce Package Six Cheese Blend (mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, asiago, fontina and romano), shredded (Cloby Jack is wonderful too)
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Teaspoon Dry Italian Seasoning
3 Tablespoons Butter (I put about 5 tbs. in...I love butter)

Optional - Marinara or Ranch, for serving

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Add salt, olive oil and 2 1/2 cups flour. Attach dough hook to mixer, and kneed about 1 minute on medium low speed. Continuing on medium speed, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. If dough is too dry add another 1/2 cup of water and continue to kneed. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top and bottom. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled. Punch dough down, and take a ping pong sized piece of dough and make an indention for the cheese and fill each with 2 tablespoons of cheese, then take all sides and pinch them together to completely close the cheese in the dough ball. Place pinched side down in a greased pan. Repeat until you have used all the dough. Melt the butter and then add the garlic and Italian seasonings and mix well. Brush butter mixture over top the bites and bake for 15 minutes in a pre-heated 450 degree oven, or until they start to turn golden brown

Monday, March 8, 2010

Our little Dryer Dweller.....and " I DRAW?"

Here are some cute new Pictures of our little Christopher. Gosh he is so stinkin cute...if you don't mind me saying so! Christopher is so into drawing lately. The first thing he says when he wakes up in the morning is "I Draw Mommy, I Draw Daddy?" So we get out the pencils and pens and paper ans he starts drawing away. He concentrate's so hard when he is doing it too. I love this because this is one thing he can do in his life with no difficulty at all. I am invisioning my son to be an amazing artist one day!

And..If we are wondering where our Christopher has dissapeared too one of the first places we look now is the dryer! He loves climbing in their. It takes him a while to climb in, but the satisfaction on his face after he conquers the climb is priceless!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I am so addicted to this salad. This is my friend Colleen's salad, and my friend Lorilee recently made it for a Relief Society party and it reminded my of it's yuminess! So of course I must share! Make this and I promise it will tickle your little taste buds!

Superb Spinach Salad (Alice Drake)

1-2 bunches of spinach (I only used 3/4 a bag)
1 head of lettuce
3/4 pound mushrooms. sliced
3/4 pound grated swiss cheese (I used 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1 red onion chopped (I forgot this)
1/2 bacon browned and crumbled
1/2 cup slivered almonds cooked in 3Tbsp sugar until crispy and brown (I browned mine in butter since I am staying away from sugar)

1/3 cup vinegar
14 cup oil
1/8 cup yellow mustard
3/4 Tbsp poppyseed
3/4 Tbsp minced onion
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt

mix dressing in a blender or with a whiskilee recently made for a relief society get together and reminded me of it's yuminess! So I of course must share! By the way...I have made it twice since then :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

My Sweet girlfriend Lorilee gave me a link to a blog she thought i would like. I think it's called "enjoying the small and Simple things". I'll have to get the link on my blog because I so relate to this cute mom on every level. The first post I read of hers was how she just hated the poem she got about Holland. Now all of us Mom's who have children with special needs knows about this poem. Some of you take it and embrace it, and others of you relate it to the very day that you got the news of your new little one. I am one of the moms who did not love it. Although i know it means all good things,the day i read it was probably one of the worste days of my life. Now what came of that day turned out to be one of the BEST things in my life. But I will forever relate this poem to My worst day!
Here's the poem.... "Welcome To Holland"

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland!

AS I continued reading this blog I read a post that had this poem in it. She got it from someone who left a comment on her blog.( I think that everyone should always leave comments because they never know how they may help someone with their words...I am trying to make sure I do that now). Now, I love this. I am going to put it all over my house. It is so important to enjoy the days that are quiet and relaxing. Because you never know when the next one will come. Right now My "normal" days are very far and few inbetween, but I do appreciate them when they come. I swear this poem was written just for me. Today my husband let me sleep until I woke up on my own....Can you believe I slept until noon? When I came down stairs he said "Feel Better"? He knew that I needed that. I LOVE MY HUSBAND!!!!
We both have been pretty stressed latley with this whole JOB thing. Yes we are again facing the terribleness(Not sure if that's a word) of the economy again. His new Company Is doing awful...But that's a whole other story. Needless to say, YES we are again looking for another job. But, alot of you out there know exactly how this feels right. Things will get better again I know they will. We Just have to enjoy those "Normal" days when they come right?


"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day, I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return."


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another great Quote that gives me perspective!

"The challenges you face, the growth experiences you encounter, are intended to be temporary scenes played out on the stage of a life of continuing peace and happiness. Sadness, heartache, and disappointment are events in life. It is not intended that they be the substance of life. I do not minimize how hard some of these events can be. When the lesson you are to learn is very important, trials can extend over a long period of time, but they should not be allowed to become the confining focus of everything you do. Your life can and should be wondrously rewarding. It is your understanding and application of the laws of God that will give your life glorious purpose as you ascend and conquer the difficulties of life. That perspective keeps challenges confined to their proper place--stepping-stones to further growth and attainment."

By: Richard G. Scott

I post these quotes because they truly help me put things into perspective. I Joke and say that I can't handle anymore that comes my way...that my family has had enough crud throwm at as. But, I would be a fool If I didn't notice all the tender mercies that come from our trials. I know that I will always have trials, that's what makes us grow. I just hope that I will always be strong enough to "Get back up when I fall"!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Quotes that give me strength

"Life's journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, 'No,' the courage to say, 'Yes,' Decisions do determine destiny. The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be."
- Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, February 13, 2010

That's Enough

I think i need to change my blog description of our family from "Bring it on" to "That's Enough Thankyou very much", because I think i am being taken way to literally!!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

bladder/kidney update....chicken pox and 14 years!

What a crazy few weeks we have had at our house! We have been fairly healthy around here as of late, but just as you start thinking that....the bombs start dropping! We were first greeted with the lovely stomach flu (my personal favorite)! The only ones victim to that was Spencer, Emily and I. I was glad the rest of the gang got away from it.Then, we had the much anticipated ultra sounds and scans on Christopher's Bladder and Kidney's. I always get so nervous at the appointments, but as my brother(a pediatrician) recently told one of my sister's "It's time to put your big girl pants on and deal with it"!That was so funny to me...Love him. But, I think my big girl pants have been permanantly fastened on for quite some time now.It's just the way it has to be.
Everything went really well with his Dr.s appt..Although it shows his right kidney is still swollen and he is still showing to have reflex on that has improved!!!! The tech doing the scans was taking forever, because to her everything looked abnormal. But, When looking at the comparisons with the Dr. From 3 months ago, they look so much better. So we walked out of there with big smile's on our faces. That was a good day.
Then, another bomb drops!!!! I was noticing some bumps on Christopher, One on his Head and one on his tummy. I just watched them to see how they changed, and the next morning I took off his jammies and they were everywhere! I took him to the Dr.s and he has Chicken Pox!!! OOH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!But, Remember my big girl pants are on so I am taking a deep breath and I am dealing with it rather calmly i should say.They have him on antibiotics, so that should help lessen the severity of it. What a stud he is I tell you, He is just as happy as can be even though i know he must be miserable.

On top of all of this today Robert and I celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. I don't know how much celebrating we will be doing with all the stuff going on at home! But, as I look back on these last 14 years, I think MAN We have really been through alot together.But, We are such a great team, that when trials come our way we have been able to meet them head on together. I am so grateful for my sweet husband. He is truly the best there is, and he just keeps getting better and better!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

King Arthur's Birthday!

So, my lovely sister Julie posted this wonderful memory on her blog yesterday.

"I can't forget to wish you a Happy King Arthur's Birthday today before it's over!

(Okay, I know there's no King Arthur's Birthday...but we "celebrate" it in our family! Here's the sister Becky had a little planner book when she was about 8 years old. She left it open on her bed, and like a nosy, much-older sister would do, I looked at what she had written there...important things needing to be accomplished by an 8-year old...and there I gleefully discovered "King Arthur's Birthday--no school!"

Of course, she had mistaken Martin Luther King Day for King Arthur...get it?!) Our "celebration" of the day usually entails calling or emailing my sister and never letting her forget it!"

I guess through the years I have given my family more than a few times to giggle at my expense. Julie always told me that when I get married my wedding gift will be a book of "Beckyism's" to give to my Husband. Although she didn't give Robert a book she sure told him all my stories! Thanks Jewels for Never letting me forget those fabulous memories and for passing them down the line to share with my children and nieces and nephew's! I sure appreciate you:) !!! Really I do though!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I love my big brother

Christopher is always doing whatever his big Brother's are doing! So adorable. I am so glad Chris has brothers(and a sister) that just adore him! Makes me a very happy Mommy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm pathetic

Ok, I totally have to admit that I am going to a book group tonight and I never even read the book! I'm seriously going to just hang with the girlies and Eat yummy food! Ok now I'm a big enough girl to admit that's pretty pathetic!
All my friends have on their blog a "Book List" of their favorite Reads and their Most recent Reads. I just have lists of my favorite foods and the most recent foods I have enjoyed! Again...pretty Pathetic. So this year as it is one of my New Year's resolution's I want to start reading Books! I think the only Claim to Fame I have is "the Work And The GLory" Series, And I think My friends are all sick of me saying I read those Books! I loved them though, I just haven't gotten back to reading anything since then. The only thing Other than Church Stuff I read are...Can you Guess?.....Cook Books! PATHETIC!!!
So I'm asking all of you out there to help me out and give me some Book ideas that will Capture My attention from the very beginning. And then maybe I can put a "Book List" on my Blog! I would be so proud of myself.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

bring it on indeed!

Well, I am now the new primary president for our ward! Shocker...I know! But, truly I am so excited for this new challenge. I was reading some things and I came across this fabulous quote that I just had to share...
“All we ask of you is that in the hearts of these children who come under your watch, care and direction, you will so inspire them that nothing in this world will be dearer to them than the Gospel.” - President Ezra Taft Benson
That is alot of responsability put onto our shoulders isn't it? But I am grateful for the oppurtunity and trust My Heavenly Father has given me to teach his children.
And Boy do I have an awesome bunch of ladies that I get to work with.I don't know how I can fail in this calling with them by my side.
Christopher is in Nursery now, Spencer is in CTR 5 and James is now the Big man on Campus, so I am happy that i Can be in there with them every week. Also I think that whenever you are in a calling you can add your own special touch to things and I think I will be able to help teach these kids to have compassion for others with special needs. There aren't many kids in our ward with Special needs, but the ones that do have such a beautiful Spirit about them it's amazing. And I hope that all these kids will be able to see that in them (And really...they already are so good with them, it's neat to watch).
The one song that I have always loved Long before Christopher was born is "I'll walk with you". Here are the lyrics to the song, makes me cry every time i hear them

"If you don’t walk as most people do,
Some people walk away from you,
But I won’t! I won’t!
If you don’t talk as most people do,
Some people talk and laugh at you,
But I won’t! I won’t!
I’ll walk with you.
I’ll talk with you.
That’s how I’ll show my love for you.
Jesus walked away from none.
He gave his love to ev’ryone.
So I will! I will!
Jesus blessed all he could see,
Then turned and said,
“Come, follow me.”
And I will! I will!
I will! I will!
I’ll walk with you.
I’ll talk with you.
That’s how I’ll show my love for you".
Words: Carol Lynn Pearson

This song means alot more to me now with Christopher! I love it!!!
So here we go...on with new and exciting challenges. I am crazily really looking forward to them. And by the way any of you former Primary Presidents, If you have any advice I would love it!