Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful to be thankful-Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Ben-Hot water, Cyndi-Jesus Christ, Skylar-friends, Nick-clothes, Kade-babiesI know Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know it without a shadow of a doubt. He came to Earth to show us the way, to atone for our sins, and to help us back to our Heavenly Father. He is amazing and He is perfect. I Stand All Amazed has always been one of my favorite hymns because it just seems to be the perfect words that express how I feel about the Savior. I am so grateful for his love for me.

Ben-imagination, Cyndi-friends, Skylar-aunts, Nick-Skylar, Kade-the Thankful tree

Friends have always been very important-probably more important than they should have been at times. I've wished that I had that one best friend since childhood. My mom and her best friend have been such since 3rd grade and I've always thought that was amazing. My "best friends" growing up and I have pretty much chosen completely different paths and we are such different people now. Because of this I think I really have a hard time letting my friends know how much I care about them but I really do love my friends deeply. I read somewhere that a woman needs five different types of friends and I am so lucky that I have friends that fill all those needs. I also have so many other friends that really make my life awesome. Thank you! I am so lucky to have such great friends.

Ben-books, Cyndi-Trials, Skylar-uncles, Nick-the first Thanksgiving, Kade-Max & Tommy( his Joy School buddies)

Okay, so I've said it before and I hate to really dwell on it, but this year has been awful! It has definitely been the hardest year of my life personally and my heart has ached for so many others that have had it even worse. When I think of my trials they seem so insignificant as compared to those of my friends and family who have had major financial issues, many health issues, complicated adoptions, troubled marriages, and those dealing with the disappointment and grief of losing loved ones. I was talking to my mom the other day about how I just wanted this year to be behind us, and she pointed out that we are given trials for a reason and maybe the only reason was to just show us that we can get through them, not over them, but through them. That made me really think about how blessed we are to have trials, even though no one wants them. Inevitably, we learn something and we become stronger. I know that I have throughout this year. So as much as I hate trials-really, really hate them, I am thankful that I have them so I can grow.

Ben-friends, Cyndi-my Grandma Henricksen, Nick-Pilgrims, Kade-MomMy Grandma Henricksen has always been one of my favorite people. I have been so blessed to have her in my life. I was lucky enough to get to live close enough that she has always been a significant part of my life. When I was a punk teenager, I would always think of my grandma before making a choice to do something wrong. I just have never wanted to disappoint her because I just love and respect her so much. Next week she turns 95 years old and she still looks amazing! I'm so thankful every year to have another year with someone that I love so much. I love you Grandma & Happy Birthday next week!! You're the best!!

Ben-holidays, Cyndi-My Heavenly Father, Skylar-Heavenly Father's creations, Nick-Kade, Kade-Bear blankey

I am so thankful for my loving Heavenly Father who has given me so much to be thankful for. I am truly blessed to have so much. I am thankful for this time of year that I am reminded to take some time to reflect on all of the many blessings that I have.Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful to be thankful-Week 3

Ben-my body, Cyndi-healthy bodies, Skylar-art, Nick-Thanksgiving, Kade-Cousin Dylan
I think the times you appreciate your body the most are the times when your body isn't feeling too great. Today was one of those days and this year has been a year of me not feeling too great with my slow c-section healing, migraines, bursitis, neuroma, eczema, and even a busted finger. I think it has really made me appreciate those days when I felt good. I know that all of my ailments are minor and I feel blessed for that. We recently talked about our bodies in Joy School and I showed the kids how I have to wear contacts to see and they all took a turn wearing my glasses. We talked about how amazing our bodies are when they work the right way. I feel very blessed that for the most part, my family and I all have pretty healthy amazing bodies!

Ben-Skylar, Cyndi-the restored gospel, Skylar-cousins, Nick-L
exi, Kade-JuiceI feel so blessed to have the restored gospel. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he helped in bringing forth the true gospel of Christ for us in these latter days. I know that President Monson is the prophet of the Lord today and I'm glad to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am thankful to know who I am and to know what God has planned for me. I sometimes wonder how people cope day to day without a knowledge of the plan of happiness and what this journey is all about. The gospel truly gives me hope and peace.

Ben-Nick, Cyndi-my home, Skylar-food, Nick-Bodies, Kade-my body

I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful home in such a great neighborhood and ward. We really do have an amazing ward with so many people that truly care about one another. I also am thankful that my home is filled with all of the modern conveniences of life that really make it so easy. I am thankful for indoor plumbing, lights and electricity,
appliances that do so much work for me, and the amazing technology we've been blessed to have. I'm also extra thankful that this will be arriving at my home in a few weeks to replace the current one that doesn't cook on 375 and has burners that spark (scary!):

Ben-McKade, Cyndi-Temples, Skylar-clothes, Nick-Skylar, Kade-Darth Catter
So on this day I just wasn't feeling too grateful for too much. It wasn't really a bad day but just a blah day and I was just feeling kind of down and such. I was trying to rack my brain all day for my thankful for the day and just not coming up with anything I really wanted to put down. Anyway, I had to go grocery shopping at 10:30 to pick up a few things and I wasn't excited about that either. The Lord works in funny ways and I know he made that trip necessary because as I headed north to the store, I topped the hill in Lindon where the first thing you see is the beautiful Mt. Timpanogos temple all lit up and sparkling in the night. It is awesome! I love seeing it and thinking of the day that I was sealed to my sweet hubby there for time and eternity. It is so great to live so close and be reminded of this often. I feel so blessed to have temples and the covenants I've made in them. I feel so blessed I live so close to them. I don't get the chance to go as often as I'd like, but even just looking at them feels my heart with such joy and peace. I love temples!

Ben-Birthdays, Cyndi-Birthdays, Skylar-Birthdays, Nick-Birthdays, Kade-Birthdays
Happy Birthday Ben!!!! Today was my amazing, wonderful, stupendous Ben's birthday. Around our house, birthdays are a big deal. We love them! It is the day that you celebrate being you and that is just awesome!! Every birthday we have a tradition of reading Dr. Seuss's Happy Birthday to You. This section from the book pretty much sums up how cool birthdays really are:

Today you are you!
That is truer than true!

There is no one aliv
e who is you-er than you!
Shout loud, "I am lucky to be what I am!"
Thank goodness I'm not just a clam or a ham
Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam!

I am what I am!
That's a great thing to be!

If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!"

Ben-Home, Cyndi-my parents, Skylar-Grandma Jensen, Nick-Grandmas & Grandpas, Kade-Grandpas & Grandpas (ha ha-I think he meant to put grandmas in there.)

I am very thankful for kind loving parents who raised me to be the person I am. Shocking as it sounds, I have not always been the most pleasant daughter to be around and my parents were still great to me. They put up with a lot of talking back and me acting like a total punk. I'm glad to say I don't do that anymore. I have learned that my parents are truly great people and awesome parents that have also shown so much love and concern for my well-being. They are wonderful grandparents who go out of their way to show my kids they love them. They do their best to be there for every little event-birthdays, performances, recitals, graduations, etc. My kids know they are so loved by them and I love that.

P.S. My parents babysat for us this day while we went on a date for Ben's birthday. Alexis didn't cry or anything! Yay!! We're making progress!!!

Ben-food, Cyndi-music, Skylar- Grandpa & Grandmas Jordan, Nick-turkey, Kade-cheese

I love music-seriously love it! Confucius said "Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature can not do without." and I couldn't agree more. I don't think I could live without it. Back in the day when I had money to spend more frivolously, I spent a majority of my time going to concerts, buying CDs, etc. The way I even met Ben was through a local rap group that I was a "groupie" for. I don't have the time and resources to keep that up anymore but I still thoroughly enjoy when I get the chance to indulge in one of my favorite things. Sometimes I am just so thankful that we have Rock Band so that I can have the chance to rock out on occasion. On a more spiritual note, music also testifies gospel truths to me. I can't sing worth anything but when I hear others sing hymns, it touches my heart greatly. I feel so blessed to have music in my life.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thankful to be thankful-Week 2

Ben-Church, Cyndi-Kadybug, S-Darth Catter, Nick-Calicat, Kade-his friend, EmilyMcKade has never ceased to keep us surprised on a daily basis. He is such a fun kid, full of excitement, energy, and tons of love! Sometimes it is hard to remember that he is just 3 years old because he's really smart and really determined to be just like the big kids. His favorite line right now is "When I grow up...." followed by so many adventures and things that he is going to do. I don't doubt that he will do all of them. He is my snuggly boy and will cuddle with me anytime I need a hug and some love. I love you my little big boy Kadybug!!

Ben-Quiet time, Cyndi-Nicky, Skylar-Soffee, Nick-Darth Catter, Kade-His "girls"

Quick conversation about Kade's girls:
Kade: "Mom, today I'm thankful for my girls."
Me, laughing: "Your girls? Who are your girls?"
Kade: " My girls are Eli, Emily, Lavender (all our Joy School girls), and Amy (Tong). They're my girls and I LOVE them!"
What a little lady's man!!!

Today was the day that Calicat found her new home. Nick, lover of all animals, was very upset by this. He was just so sad that it broke my heart. He was just crying like crazy and I felt so guilty. I asked him if he was mad at me and he said, " No, Momma. I love you. You're awesome!" Seriously, could the kid be any more of a sweetheart? He pretty much melts my heart on a daily basis with his sweetness. Nick has always been like this. He just has a heart full of unconditional love for everyone. He is so kind, loving, and helpful. He is always looking out for his brother and sisters. Often, for no reason at all, Nick will just come give me the most giant squeeze ever. I feel so loved by him and I know others do as well. I love you my sweetest Nicky!!

Ben-Toilets, Cyndi-Joy School, Skylar-Soffee, Nick-the Mailes, Kade-Daddy
Our cute Joy School kiddos!

Today it was my turn to teach Joy School! I just love when it's my turn! We have such a cute group this year-the biggest ever-but so much fun. We were learning about bodies this week and I had the kids show me every day what they could do with their bodies. You've never seen such creative moves! We also did an "ostacle" course outside and painted with pudding. I love learning alongside these cute kids about the joys that our Heavenly Father has given us.

Ben-Hugs, Cyndi-Our country, S-the Coxs, Nick-Food, Kade-Getting to go to school with CamWe live in such a beautiful, wonderful country. I am so thankful for that. I am so thankful for all the men and women that protect our country and our freedoms. I am thankful for the sacrifice that they and their families make on my behalf. I feel so blessed to call the USA my home.

Ben-Baby Alexis, Cyndi-Abby, S-Grandpa Bruce, Nick-Mom, Kade-Nick
Some of us Joy School moms a few years back. Abby & I are the pregnant ones on the ends.

I am thankful for my wonderful friend, Abby. She has always been an amazing example of the kind of wife, mother, and woman I want to be. She is beautiful, kind, thoughtful, funny, and full of grace. I have loved getting to do Joy School with her and to teach her sweet little girls. Over the last month since her husband, Naki, passed away, she has really shown such great faith and strength and has once again amazed and inspired me to be a better person. She has an amazing testimony of the gospel and has chosen to not to be defeated by the grief of her loss. She is awesome and I love her!! Grab a bunch of tissue and check her out for yourself:

Ben-Sleep, Cyndi-Girls' Night Out, Skylar-the Temple, Nick-Dadda, Kade-My homeSome of the Girls' Night Out girls!

I love Girls' Night Out. It seems like it always comes at exactly the right time when I really need a break from my kiddos and they need a break from me. There just isn't anything you can compare to actually talking to another adult female about life and such. I am thankful for good friends that I get to spend time with. I am thankful to my husband who totally supports me when I need a night out. He knows it makes me a better wife and mother.

Ben-Dancing, Cyndi-Being a mom, Skylar-Baptism, Nick-his best friend, Dylan, Kade-food
I am so thankful to be a mother. It is the one thing in life that I ever wanted to be and I feel so blessed. I am thankful that I get to see the wonder and amazement at the little things in life through the eyes of my children. I get to see how really fascinating snow, band-aids, popsicles, animals, and dirt are, just to name a few of the amazing things there are to see. My kids teach me to really appreciate this wonderful world we live in!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Force Is Strong With Us Now

We have some new additions that have joined our family.

Luke the Lizard:Little Nick is fascinated with animals. He loves them! He has wanted a lizard FOREVER and has been working super extra hard for a long time saving his money and doing extra jobs so that he could get one and all the supplies to go with it. They went on sale and he had enough money for the aquarium, a few supplies, and the lizard itself. Ben & I gave him a little advance to pay for the heat lamps and he was able to go get his lizard. He couldn't have been more proud! He got a leopard gecko and has named him Luke. Nick has been awesome about working hard to pay back his loan from us, keep the lizard fed and his cage clean (with help from Mom, of course), and using his money to help pay for the crickets. Besides the new errand of a weekly trip to the pet store for crickets and the new smell that we've discovered in the boy's room, life has been pretty exciting with a lizard.

Darth Catter the cat:

So our cat, Cali, had kittens and we decided to keep one. No, we do not have three cats now. Poor Cali had to find a new home. I felt bad about this but I have really never liked that cat. She drove me crazy on a constant basis, just didn't understand the whole kitty litter process entirely, and was basically incredibly stupid. Even her mother, our other cat Soffee, was constantly annoyed by her. I tried my best to like her but I came to the conclusion that I could either spend the next 9-12 years completely irritated or bring in a replacement. After many tears and broken little hearts, my kids were convinced they'd rather have a happy mommy and agreed to pick one of the kittens in her stead. It wasn't a hard choice. Darth Catter easily found his way into everyone's laps and hearts. He is just so sweet. The kids love that he will actually cuddle with them, which is something Cali would never do. Soffee even loves him! I'm so glad we found the right kitty to join our family for good!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thankful to be thankful-Week 1

So back to the I love holidays thing. I love Thanksgiving! It is definitely not because of the food because that is really just one day. It is because of the gratitude that I feel the entire month as I try to concentrate on all of my blessings. Our family has a tradition where every night at dinner we write down one thing we are thankful for on a leaf and put it on our Thankful Tree. I love this tradition! It has become one of my favorites because I get to see the little things be thought of and my home has a special spirit the entire month because we are really focusing on our blessings. So, I've decided that this should definitely be included in this here bloggy. I fully intended to blog about our blessings everyday but obviously that's not going to happen, so I'm going to do it weekly. So here's the first week of all of our blessings, with my thoughts on each a little expanded.

Ben-Family, Cyndi-My Grandpa Jensen, Skylar-school, Nick-Family, Kade-treats
One of the last pictures I took of my Grandpa, at the ripe old age of 102, with little baby Nicky
I don't think I'd have such a strong desire to celebrate Thanksgiving all month long without the example of my wonderful, amazing Grandpa Jensen. The last five years since he passed away have kind of been bittersweet. Each November I especially miss him and miss the annual Thanksgiving letter that he sent out to all of his family and friends. Yup, Thanksgiving letter. He did not send a Christmas one. He sent out a letter each year to let everyone know of his gratitude to our Heavenly Father for all of his blessings. I am so thankful that I was included as one of his blessings and that he is one of mine. He was such a loving, amazing example of someone who was really trying to be like our Savior. I love him and miss him.

Ben-My wife, Cyndi-my Ben, Skylar-the Mailes, Nick-Jesus, Kade-family
My Ben. I just love this man. He is such a wonderful husband, father, person. He really hates when I gush all over him, especially on my blog, so I will make it short and simple. I love him more than I have ever found the words to say and am so thankful that I get to be with him for the rest of forever.

Ben-A job, Cyndi-Cammi, Skylar-Mom, Nick-Heavenly Father, Kade-Jesus
Cammi, Ben & Jessi-out to celebrate their November birthdays
Cammi is my wonderful mother-in-law. Today was her birthday. When I first married Ben I was pretty sure that the only thing I had in common with her was that we both loved Ben. Over the years I have grown to really love this woman that has overcome so much and is still such a good person. She is so thoughtful of us and is such a fun, caring grandma to my children and really makes an effort to let them know they are loved. Happy Birthday Cammi!!

Ben-Friends, Cyndi-Stephanie, Skylar-Nick, Nick-Pets, Kade-Gordon (his most-loved buddy)
My mom & sister, Stephanie
Stephanie is my most awesome sister. Today was her birthday. Stephanie is the greatest! She has always been such a great big sister (minus all the mega fights when we were growing up!) She has always been my greatest example to follow and one of my best friends. I pretty much listen to every piece of advice she gives me, which sometimes drives Ben crazy. She is a wonderful mother and friend with an amazing testimony of the gospel. Happy Birthday Steph!!

Ben-Trees, Cyndi-Skylar, Skylar-Kade, Nick-Food, Kade-Eyes
My sweet Skylar is amazing! She has always been a great example to me in her teeny body. Ever since her baptism last week, I have noticed how much she is really striving to do everything that is right. She has an amazing spirit of faith, love, and excitement for being alive. She loves to learn about everything. She is such a great big sister and helps me so much. I love you Sky!!

Ben-Sun, Cyndi-Alexis, Skylar-Dad, Nick-the world, Kade-Baby LexiI am so thankful that Alexis is a part of our family. She is such a beautiful little girl with such a sweet personality. She brings so much love into our home with her quick smiles and happy heart. Most people don't really get to see her personality shine through since she is afraid of everyone but she really is such a sweetheart, always ready to give a hug and a sloppy smooch. I love you Lex!!
Ben-the Holy Ghost, Cyndi-Beautiful fall weather, Skylar-Alexis, Nick-trees, Kade-Big sister, Sky
The beautiful view of Mt. Timp from my front door. I love where I live!!
Today the weather was just beautiful! We were able to spend most of the day outdoors preparing our home for the upcoming winter and just soaking in the warm autumn sun and beauty of this season. I feel truly blessed to have the change of seasons to enjoy. Sometimes I just wish fall wouldn't have to change into winter since I'm not too huge of a fan of winter but I do love fall! I love the crunch of leaves on the ground, all of the beautiful colors, and the little crisp feeling in the air.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I love Halloween!! Heck, I love all holidays, but Halloween is just about fun and I love fun. I think I also love it because it kind of is the kick-off to the holidays and the next few months are my favorite. We had an extra special Halloween this year with Skylar's baptism. The whole week was special and there was a lot of excitement in our home as we prepared for it.
Ever since Skylar was one (and a few scattered years before), we have had a family theme. It is one of our favorite traditions. The kids really get excited about it and plan it out a whole year in advance. Yes, we already know what we're going to be next year but I'm not going to ruin the surprise just yet. Actually, the whole theme thing makes it great because I can start looking for costumes around January, when they are ultra cheap. I'm usually completely done with the whole costume thing by August, which makes it so easy. Anyway, everyone gets a turn to pick the theme and this year was Nick's turn. He chose Toy Story 2. I have to admit that this is one of my favorites so far. It was right up there with the Incredibles a few years back. Our family just fit the theme perfect and I love when that happens.Ben & I were Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head, Skylar was Jessi, Nick was Buzz, Kade was Woody, and Alexis was Little Bo Peep.

The kids costumes were awesome and thanks to some sweet friends, the accessories really completed them! They loved acting out their roles and posing for us!
The celebrations began with the annual Joy School Halloween party. Kade was so, so, so looking forward to this. He asked me every day for a week when it was. We always have a little parade of the kids and it's just so cute to see what they come dressed as. This year we had a beautiful bride, a Mrs. Potato Head, Woody, a unicorn, an alligator, and a Clone Trooper (who wasn't too into the picture thing). They all looked adorable! Kade came home from the party and was pleased to tell us all they did and the only disappointment was that he didn't have cake. I guess that was something he totally anticipated. He did say that he had some yummy cookies so it was all good.

The next day we went to the library, as we always do, but this week is always the best. They had a costume parade, but Kade was not about to participate and when Kade doesn't want to do something, that's that. It was still fun to see all of the other kids.

Of course we had to squeeze in some pumpkin carving. Somehow we got on this thing of finding some really cool, intricate pattern for carving pumpkins. The kids all get to pick out their own which is fun, but it takes forever! This year Nick picked Scooby Doo, Kade picked Mario, and Skylar picked a puppy. They looked cool but we are hoping to "forget" about the patterns next year!

On Friday was the school parade. I love going to that and getting the chance to sit with friends and watch all of the kids in our neighborhood strut their stuff. They come up with some really cool things.

Then it came to the big day! After Skylar's baptism and some major vegging to recover, we headed over to our ward's Halloween trick-or-trunk. I am not such a huge fan of this. It kind of takes all the hard work out of earning your candy, right? Plus I love going to people's houses to see how they are decorated and all and getting the chance to chat with them a minute. But, on the other hand, I love to go see the people in our ward together because we definitely have an awesome ward. The kids had a fun time gathering the loot quickly and we got to see some awesome costumes. Even our bishop was dressed up as Don King. My favorite costume of the night was little Malia's. Even though she was feeling sick, she dressed up as her daddy, in his football uniform. I love that sweet girl and was so glad she could remember him.

After the trick-or-trunk we hit the neighborhood next to us for the real trick-or-treating. Nick loves this because all the buddies he went to preschool with live there and we were able to see them all. The kids had fun and Alexis was a good sport watching from the stroller. After awhile Kade gave up and just sat in the stroller. We discovered why a little later when we found a pile of candy wrappers from all the candy he had been sneaking. The crazy kid probably went through a third of his candy that night alone! Oh well, at least it won't last forever, huh? We eventually made it home, got the kids in bed, and prepared for one of my favorite parts of Halloween, snuggling with my Benny, and watching some sort of scary movie. Ben went upstairs to get a snack and by the time he came back, I was out cold on the couch and there was no waking me so he ended up watching the movie himself. I was just so exhausted! Oh well, it was a good exhausted because we had a super fun, wonderful, amazing day!!