Wednesday, November 30, 2011

With Gratitude in Our Hearts.....Days 21-30


Ben-books, Cyndi- joy school, Skylar-monkeys, Nick-monkeys, Kade-monkeys, Alexis-monkeys....silly little monkeysI'm so thankful for Joy school and for all of these sweet little pilgrims!! We have such a fun group! I'm so excited that, after 7 years, I finally got to teach the fun Thanksgiving lesson! I love having the chance to teach my own kids about the joys of this world. I'm thankful for all of the awesome moms that help teach my kiddos such great stuff!!


Ben-scuba diving, Cyndi-friends, Skylar-turkeys, Nick-garbage cans, Kade-tacos, Alexis-bananas
Today I'm so grateful for all of my awesome friends, both old and new, near and far! I'm thankful for all of the wonderful memories I have of good times and bad, laughter and tears with my friends by my side. I'm thankful for the incredible examples I have to follow. I'm so lucky and blessed to have such terrific friends!!!


Ben-priesthood, Cyndi-5 Senses, Skylar-waffles, Nick-doctors, Kade-birthdays, Alexis-princesses
Today I'm thankful that my ear drum is not ruptured. I hurt it scuba diving up at the crater in Midway and the Dr. said it's filled with blood and fluid. Ugh! It's hurt & feels awful & every sound is still muffled...meaning that scuba diving is out for a couple of weeks...but it should heal. I'm bummed that I was so close to scuba certifying though. Dang it! I'm grateful for my usually working 5 senses that I tend to take for granted. Human bodies are amazing, even when they're in pain!!


Ben-family, Cyndi-Heavenly Father, Skylar-Thanksgiving dinner, Nick-house, Kade-St. Nick, Alexis-pie
I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and loves me. Every single blessing I have been given has come from Him and for that I am truly grateful. I am thankful for the love He shows me despite my many struggles and shortcomings. I have to admit that there are many days that I don't feel very loved by Him. I've had such a hard few years and I often wonder where He is in my life. Then I'll see an amazing sunset, something awesome in nature, have a friend call right when I needed someone to care, or one of my children give me the sweetest smooches and hugs, and I know that He remembers me. When you're really searching to know of His love, He will always find a way to show it. I am so grateful to be a child of God and to know who I am and know God's plan.

"God sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season—He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him."
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Ben-ice cream, Cyndi-Christmas time, Skylar- 5 senses, Nick-teddy bears, Kade-numbers, Alexis-babies

Today I am thankful for Christmas time. I love decorating, the music, the lights, the excitement in my children's eyes, and the peaceful feeling the season brings. It's always been my favorite and even now that it holds some pain as I expected to have my little Gabriel born right after Christmas last year, I am thankful that the season brings hope. Without the birth of our Savior, I wouldn't have the hope to someday have my little baby boy in my arms again. I'm so thankful for the birth of our Savior and the wonderful Christmas season to remember the greatest gift our Heavenly Father could give us, His son.


Ben-trees, Cyndi-Adrianne, Skylar- hot chocolate, Nick-Santa Claus, Kade-leaf piles, Alexis-penguins
Ugh! I hate this picture, but I love my awesome bestie, Adrianne. As high school as it sounds, she's always there for me. She's the best!! I'm so thankful that she's not moving to Florida yet so that we can still squeeze in another few months of doing our fun traditions and that we have totally proved my dad wrong. :) We have had so many good times together and we share so many inside jokes. I love that we can laugh together, cry together, and especially that we can laugh until we cry together. Love ya, Andrean!!


Ben-water, Cyndi- Jesus Christ & His Atonement, Skylar-books, Nick-oxygen, Kade-oxygen, Alexis-gingerbread cookiesToday I am thankful for my brother, my friend, and my Savior, Jesus Christ, and for His atonement. I've learned that in order to feel the joy promised by the Savior, we must go into the depths of sorrow. We have to know pain and suffering so that He can teach us joy. I'm thankful that I've had to learn to depend on Him so that I can learn more about Him and what His atonement means in my life.


Ben-, Cyndi-Being a stay at home mom, Skylar-the sun, Nick-Kade, Kade-quiche, Alexis-blankieToday I'm thankful to be a stay at home mom. It's the best job in the world! I'm thankful that my husband has a good job that allows me be here with my kids. It's a luxury that I know not everyone can afford. I am always in awe of the families that actually do have moms working out of the home because it would be so hard to do both! I feel like my list of to-dos is never done. I'm grateful that staying at home helps me be able to help others outside of my family as well.


Ben-Everyone was okay in our car accident, Cyndi- modern day conveniences, Skylar-cereal, Nick-a big sister, Kade-Christmas, Alexis-Gabriel BearYep, you heard it. The kids and I got in a car accident. Thankfully, we were all fine. It was just a little fender bender with a jeep. We were waiting at a stop light, the light turned green and the car in front of me started driving, so I followed, glanced down for a nanosecond just as she stopped because the intersection was backed up....crash! I was only going like 5 miles an hour and the police didn't cite me because he said it was clearly just an accident, not due to fault, but I still felt horrible for the other driver. Her car wasn't damaged and she was okay but it's still just so inconvenient to be in an accident. She was really nice though and gave me like 5 hugs as I apologized profusely. Ugh. I hate car accidents. Seriously, hate them. So, the car above is not ours, thank heavens. We should have taken a picture but the damage was way less extensive and will be fixed soon....another thing to be thankful for. It will still be pricey though after the deductible and the rental car fees. Merry Christmas, eh?

Ironically, my thankful for today was all of the modern conveniences that I know I could live without but would never want to....cell phones, computers, internet, cars (go figure, eh?), electricity, indoor plumbing, appliances, etc. etc.

Ben-Cyndi (again....awww, he's the best!), Cyndi-trials, Skylar-gratitude, Nick-a little sister that is so cute, Kade-Nick, Alexis-GabeToday I'm thankful for trials. I'm thankful for six little girls and many others that remind me that when I've had a bad day/month/year that there's always others that are going through major trials too and that we're here to help one another. I'm thankful that others' examples of strength humble me to be thankful for what I've been given, even if I don't necessarily like it. I'm thankful for trials because I know that I am growing and learning through them, even when it hurts. I only hope that I can continue to see the many, many blessings I've also been given and recognize that they far outweigh the trials in my blessed life.

" Part of enduring well consists of being meek enough, amid our suffering, to learn from our relevant experiences. Rather than simply passing through these things, they must pass through us and do so in ways which sanctify these experiences for our good. Thereby, our empathy, too, is enriched and everlasting." –Neal A. Maxwell

Another month of November thankfuls are done! Our tree has been filled with the many reminders of just a few of the blessings we have been given. I know that if we continued, we could fill a forest of trees because we have been given so much. I love this tradition of ours and I can hardly wait for next November. I hope that we can remember throughout the year the many blessings we have been given and that we'll always have gratitude in our hearts.

"Despite the changes which come into our lives and with gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days-as much as we can-with those things which matter most. May we cherish those we hold dear and express our love to them in word and in deed."
--Thomas S. Monson

Men's Hearts Shall Fail Them

I needed this today:

Thanks for showing me, Ben...and thank you always for loving me....especially when I am weak in my heart.
I've had a crappy day/week/month/year. Listing all the reasons wouldn't do any good and I'm trying to accept that sometimes life just isn't fair. I'm trying to remember that my Heavenly Father knows me and loves me still, but I'm really, really struggling. I'm just making an extra request for prayers from anyone who may still be out there to help me and my family through all of this. Thanks in advance.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Yes, Lord, I Will"

Tonight, as we put our tree up, I cried. I miss Gabriel. I miss him so much. I miss that he wasn't here for his first Thanksgiving and that he won't be here to celebrate his first Christmas, followed by his first birthday. Christmas time will always be bittersweet. I'm sure I'll always wonder "what if..." Ben, of course, had just the right words for me on this day of gratitude. We can ache for what we don't have or we can be grateful for what we do. I'm so grateful that our precious angel boy Gabriel belongs to our forever family. If I had to do it all over again, knowing the heartache I'd feel, I would because he was worth it. He will always be worth it.

The White Rose

All the earth’s mothers were gathered together at God’s Garden of flowers; those beautiful budding spirits, who would someday come to earth. Were nurtured and tended in the Garden.
A loving Father spoke to the mother’s, “See the works of my hands, someday you will be the mothers of these radiant spirits.” The garden glowed with the mixture of all kinds of colors. “Choose ye,” He said.
Now in the east corner of the garden pure white roses stood as sentinels. They were not as colorful as the rest, but glowed with a kind of purity which set them apart. One by one Mothers stepped forward. “I want the blue eyed, curly haired one, who will grow to maturity and be a Mother in Zion.” Yet another chose a brown eyed, brown haired boy, full of life and love who would someday be a prince in a grand country. The garden buzzed with excitement as the others chose their own special spirits; those whom they would soon welcome into the warmth and love of an earthly home.
Once again the loving Father spoke, “But who will take the white roses, the ones in the east corner of the garden? These will return to me in purity and goodness. They will not stay long in your home for I must bring them back to my garden for they belong to me; but they will gain bodies as planned. You will miss them and long from them, but I will personally care for them.” “No”, not I many said in unison. “I couldn’t bear to give one back so soon.” “Nor I”, said others. “We will take those who will remain and grow to maturity and live long lives.” The loving Father looked out across the multitude of Mothers with longing in his eyes for someone to step forward. Silence! Then He said “See the most pure and perfect of all the white one’s? I chose him. He will go down and be a sacrifice for all mankind He will be scorned, mocked and crucified. He is mine own. Will not anyone choose like unto Him? A few mothers stepped forward. “Yes, Lord, I will.” Then another, “I as well”, and “Yes we will Lord,” soon all the pure white roses were taken and they rejoiced in the choir of the mothers.
The Father Spoke again, “Oh blessed are you who choose the White Roses. Your pain will be a heavy cross to bear, but your joy will be exceeding, beyond anything you can understand at this time.”
The white ones embraced their mothers, and so full was their purity and love that is filled their souls with such endearment. Each mother knew they could endure the task. Then the greatest of all the White Roses gathered them as a hen gathers chicks; and the outpouring of love surrounded each mother and child, consuming all the white ones as he prepared them for their task. Each mother who bore the weight of the White Rose felt the overwhelming love of God as the all shouted, “Thy will be done.”
I love you little Gabe and miss you like crazy but feel so blessed to be your momma!

Monday, November 21, 2011

With Gratitude in our Hearts....Days 11-20

Ben-air, Cyndi-Alexis, Skylar-Nick, Nick-toys, Kade-Alexis, Alexis-MomToday I am thankful for my beautiful happy girl, Alexis. Minus the occasional major tantrums that she is completely capable of she is such a sweet spirit that brings such joy to our family. Not many people get to see just how silly and sassy she is, but that goofy girl keeps us smiling and laughing all of the time. She has a mischievous side to her and loves to tell jokes and surprise us but for the most part she is just such a good girl and is so easy going. I honestly can take her wherever I need to and not worry about her causing trouble. She is always looking out for everyone and making sure that we're doing just what we're supposed to do and that we're happy. She's such a sweetheart. I love you sweet Lexie Lou!!

Ben-Nick, Cyndi-organization, Skylar-Mommy, Nick-Thanksgiving, Kade-cheese, Alexis-ThanksgivingToday I'm thankful that our office is finally cleaned after months of being the room of shame! I'm a neat freak & I need order. It's not often that I let my house get out of control, but the office is the exception. It's like the catch-all for everything and then when we get too busy, it just gets crazy and then I don't even like going in there because I can't stand it being like that. I have to say that most the cleanliness of our house comes from me...that's my job as a stay at home mom...but sometimes I need to enlist Ben and this was a definite enlist Ben kind of job. I'm glad that he likes things organized too! It was so nice to finally have a day so that we could get back to normal! Yeah for organization!!

Ben-Skylar, Cyndi-medicine, Skylar-Daddy, Nick-turkey s, Kade- family tree s, Alexis-milk
I am thankful for both modern medicine and alternitive medicine to help with our physical pains & ailments. I'm especially thankful for peppermint & wintergreen essential oils, Advil, dark rooms, ice packs, heating pads, & Dr. Pepper...all which helped me make it through the night & through church on this day with a major migraine. Ugh. I hate migraines...I'm not at all thankful for them!

Ben-sleep, Cyndi- a warm cozy bed in a warm cozy hous e, Skylar-dance, Nick-sun, Kade-school, Alexis-sleep
Well, the migraine was just the start of a miserable couple of days. The next day I was sick as a dog with a fever, body aches, and chills, and an even worse migraine. I stayed in bed the entire day and although I felt miserable, I was so thankful for a warm cozy bed in a warm cozy house with warm cozy kids to cuddle. Can you even imagine having a fever and being homeless? That would be the worst! What a blessing it is to just have a bed when you're sick! I was also thankful for the magic of Disney movies to keep my kiddles occupied.

Ben-Kade, Cyndi-grandparents, Skylar-school, Nick-tacos, Kade-Dad, Alexis- quesedillas
I'm thankful for my awesome grandparents! Today would have been my grandpa's 101st birthday (and my nephew, Kye's, 22nd) and for the first time in years, my grandma will be able to celebrate with him in heaven. With the holidays and my Grandma's birthday coming I've been missing her more than ever. It's kind of strange not having any living grandparents anymore and I miss them so much! I'm thankful for all of the time that I did have with them, the gift of being close to them, and their wonderful examples that always made me want to do what was right so that they would be proud of me. I'm very blessed to have had such wonderful grandparents in my life!!

Ben-sunset, Cyndi-compassion, Skylar-sleep, Nick-air, Kade-trees, Alexis-ice cream

Today I'm thankful for the compassion of others. I have come to realize that not everyone has the ability to "mourn with those that mourn, yea and comfort those that stand in need of comfort." I've learned that those that truly try to sympathize are few, but that they have an amazing gift. I'm thankful for those that realize and remember that my heartache of losing Gabriel will never go away and that I will miss him every single day. I am so thankful for those that have helped me in my heartaches by a giving a simple hug even if they didn't have the words to say...and for those who didn't have the words, but still have said something anyway. I know that my compassion for others has grown from simply seeing the amazing examples of others that have that gift.

"Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God never will." -William Cowper


Ben-grandparents, Cyndi-temples, Skylar-pets, Nick-my teacher, Kade-turkeys, Alexis- Joy school

Today I am thankful for temples. I'm thankful that after 3 (yes 3!) failed attempts to get to the temple this last month, that I finally was able to go that morning. I'm thankful that even though the temple I normally go to, Mt. Timpanogos, was closed, that I live close enough that I could got to Provo instead. I love the peace and comfort I receive when going to the temple. I'm also thankful to be sealed to my honey and our little ones in the temple so that ours is a forever family!

Ben-my mom, Cyndi-babyloss friends, Skylar-my bed, Nick-Koda, Kade-crazy stuff (silly), Alexis-Sossee (Soffee, our cat...we can't stand to correct her)

Today I'm thankful for the amazing moms and dads that I've gotten to know better or have met through losing our children. I know that our little ones have brought us together so that we can be there to support, understand, and strengthen each other. I don't know how I'd do this without them. I have come to know some of the most wonderful people with great testimonies and hope in the gospel and plan of salvation. I'm thankful for their examples of love and strength and feel blessed to call them my friends.

Ben-my birthday, Cyndi-the birth of Ben, Skylar-drinks, Nick-apple cider, Kade- Dad's birthday, Alexis-Daddy's birthday

Today I'm thankful for Ben...again...because when you're as super cool as he is you totally get two days. I'm sooooo thankful that he was born and that I get to spend my life with him. I'm thankful for everything he is and does. He's the best of the best!!

Ben-missionaries, Cyndi-Sundays, Skylar-church, Nick-to be thankful, Kade-gratitude, Alexis-Nicky

Today I'm thankful for Sundays. They are still my hardest days, but they're getting better. I'm thankful that I get to go to church and partake of the sacrament and learn more about the gospel. I'm thankful for our wonderful ward and the amazing people and my awesome friends that are in it. I'm also very thankful for Sunday naps!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy 37th Birthday Ben!!!

Today is my wonderful Ben's 37th birthday. Yikes! We're getting old!! A few years ago I came up with my list of reasons that I'm so glad that he was born and it just keeps growing. Time to add #37 to it now. Here's just some of the many reasons I love my Ben:

He is my best friend in the world.
2. He's willing to be with me forever.
He is my perfect spoon.
4. He gave me my sweet Skylar.
5. He gave me my funny little Nicky.
6. He gave me my cuddly McKade.
7. My kids adore his every movement. He is the best dad in the world!
8. He has these beautiful dark eyes that smile when he's happy. I call them his "smiling eyes".
9. He has always treated me with greatest respect.
10. He makes me laugh, everyday.
11. He is extremely nice to everyone.

12. He's is completely selfless.
13. He stands up for what he believes. This is the first thing I fell in love with.
14. He loves Heavenly Father and tries to make him happy.
15. He honors and respects his priesthood.
16. He takes his calling in the YM Presidency seriously and his boys totally respect him.
**Um, this one is obviously old....all of those YM he had are now in his Elder's Quorum, where he's the Elder's Quorum President. Although his calling has changed, he still takes it seriously, like every calling he has. He loves serving the Lord.
He is the greatest example of Christlike love that I know.
18. He always tries to do the right thing.
19. I have never seen him say or do a mean thing to anybody. Honestly.
20. He supports me in all that I do.
21. He is the person that everyone can count on.
22. When I married him, a high school friend of his told me " We all think that you got the good one." I've always agreed.
23. He's willing to go on the many millions of adventures that I drag him on.
24. He lets me steal the covers and take over the bed and is still willing to sleep with me.
25. He gives me great massages, especially when I have a migraine,
even though I'm horrible at giving them in return.
26. He does the dishes every night since it hurts my hands.
27. Even though he's not particularly a fan of all our pets, he is very kind to them.
28. He tolerates my obsession for a clean house and helps me to maintain it.
29. Without him, I'd be totally computer illiterate.
30. He works very hard so that I can stay home with my kids.
31. He always saves the last few pieces of popcorn for me.
32. He has always loved me unconditionally, despite my many, many faults. 33. He still gives me butterflies.
34. He gave my my sunshine Alexis.
35. He gives me support, hope, and reminders everyday of his love and Heavenly Father's love for me.
36. He gave me my forever baby, Gabriel, who we will raise together in the future.

Now for 37.....drumroll, please....

37. He is so much fun to be with...even when our ideas of "fun" can be different.

Right now, we're taking scuba diving classes!! Woot!! Woot!! I've wanted to do this FOREVER, but Ben, on the other hand, has been wanting to do this NEVER! However, since he's so stinking awesome, he has joined me on this crazy adventure! We're having such a blast together!! Thank you, Ben, for being my scuba buddy!! Imagine me signalling for us to hold hands. :)

Ben, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you....I would write it 37 times but we all know that you're the typist and I'm not great at counting. You're the best!! Smooches and loves and gushy stuff! Happy Birthday!!!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

With Gratitude in our Hearts....Days 1-10

"Despite the changes which come into our lives and with gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days-as much as we can-with those things which matter most. May we cherish those we hold dear and express our love to them in word and in deed."
--Thomas S. Monson

It's November and time to express the gratitude in our hearts for all the blessings that we cherish.

Our many thankfuls:

Ben-Cyndi (awwww), Cyndi-the whole Thanksgiving season, Skylar-friends, Nick-school (on a day he was home sick), Kade-family, & Alexis-family
I am so thankful for the Thanksgiving season. I love this time of year. I do my best to be grateful every day for every blessing that I have, but I feel as if my heart just bursts with gratitude during the month of November as we are even more reminded to be grateful and show thanksgiving. I think that it is the most appropriate way to prepare for the Christmas season by showing our Savior the thankfulness in our hearts.

Ben-scriptures, Cyndi-Ben, Skylar-family, Nick-food, Kade-food, Alexis-food
I am thankful every single day for my absolute favoritest person in the best friend, my husband, the most amazing dad ever to my kids, and the love of my life, my Ben. I don't know how I ever got so lucky to deserve such a wonderful man to be mine. He teaches me so much, he serves me, he comforts me, and above all, he loves me more than I'll ever be worthy of. I am honestly the luckiest. Thank you Ben for choosing me. I love you, I love you, I love long as forever.


Ben-kids, Cyndi-the priesthood, Skylar-food, Nick-medicine (still sick), Kade-cousins, Alexis-cousins
I am so thankful for the power of the priesthood and priesthood blessings that comfort me and help heal my family. I'm thankful for my husband (again) for honoring what a sacred gift it is and for always being worthy to use it when needed to bless the lives of others. Poor Nick had been sick all week and I was thankful that Ben could offer him a blessing and help him in regaining his strength. I was also thankful that Ben could offer me a blessing of comfort when my heart was heavy with hurt this week. What a blessing it is to have the restored gospel and with it the blessing of the priesthood!


Ben-apples, Cyndi-being a mom, Skylar-clothes, Nick-family, Kade-grandmas & grandpas, Alexis- grandmas & grandpasI am so grateful for the wonderful privilege of being a mom. It's the toughest job in the world....runny noses, disturbed sleep, crazy messes, tantrums, and meltdowns....but it's also the most rewarding....sweet notes and drawings, slobbery smooches, "Me loves you"s, proud moments, and lots of hugs and cuddles. It's everything I've ever wanted to do and be and I never take the gift that it is for granted. I'm so blessed to be the mother of my 5 amazing children!

Ben-weekends, Cyndi-my parents, Skylar-nature, Nick-his BFF, Dylan Tong, Kade- Dylan Tong, Alexis-Amy TongWhat a blessing it is to, like Nephi, say that I have been born of goodly parents (above with goofball Alexis). I'm so thankful for my wonderful parents who have always sacrificed and been great examples of Christ-like love and service to others and the Lord. They have a deep love for others and for their family and strive to show that through their kindness and generosity. They have faced numerous trials but through it they have shown great faith and determination. I am thankful that they are also awesome grandparents, always willing to watch our kids and going out of their way to support their many grandkids in the activities that they do. I love you Mom & Dad!


Ben-fasting, Cyndi-my calling in YW, Skylar-the gospel, Nick-pets, Kade-the Mario gang, Alexis-powdered sugar

I don't know if I've mentioned on this old bloggy that I have a new calling...I am now the 2nd Counselor in the Young I guess that's called the Beehive Counselor, right? When our bishopric member asked me to accept this new calling I was so relieved that I wasn't getting released from working with my Beehive girls because I have grown to love all of them so much! We have so much fun together and it's awesome to see the testimonies of these awesome girls grow. We have such wonderful girls in our entire young women and they have taught me so much already. I love them all, but I especially love my Beehives!!

Ben-massages, Cyndi-Skylar, Skylar- missionaries, Nick-sleep, Kade-missionaries, Alexis-missionaries I'm so grateful for the girl who made me a mom, my sweet Skylar. I think we've gotten to the point where I'm learning so much more from her than she is from me. She is a great example of loving life and striving to do her best in all she does. She is a wonderful friend and is very thoughtful of others and I am thankful that I can call her my friend. She always tries to choose the right and is turning into an amazing young woman (gasp!) with a strong testimony of the gospel and its goodness. She's just an awesome girl! I love you Sky!!

Ben-friends, Cyndi-Nick, Skylar-Gabe, Nick-Mom, Kade-magic, Alexis-hairI'm so grateful for that amazing boy of mine, Nickolas. Whenever I feel as if no one in the world cares, Nick is there with a hug out of the blue just to remind me that someone loves me. He has the kindest, most sensitive heart and always strives to make others happy. I love that Nick has a passion for animals and treats them with such awe and kindness. Nick is such a creative kid and I love his desire to experiment and figure out how things work. He is just awesome! I love you Nicky Duncy!!

Ben-Gabe, Cyndi-Gabe, Skylar- Lexi Lou, Nick-Dad, Kade-Gabe, Alexis-SkyI am so very thankful for my precious baby boy, Gabriel. 15 months ago on this day we learned that the hopes and dreams we had for Gabe being in our family were going to be drastically changed and that we'd spend a lifetime missing him. I'm thankful for every moment that I got to spend with him before that, for the time I got to know his busy personality through his little kicks, for the precious moments I got to hold his perfect little body in my arms, and for the moments that I still feel him in our lives. I'm thankful for his example and for the greater desire he has put in my heart to always strive to be better in all I do so that I can be with him again. I love you baby boy, forever.

"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
--Joseph B. Wirthlin

Ben-Alexis, Cyndi-Kade, Skylar-Kade, Nick-rain, Kade-Mom, Alexis-Kade
I am so grateful for my full of energy and "cookiness" (his words), McKade. Kade is by far my craziest kid but that also means that he's a lot of fun! That kid will do anything for a laugh and has such an awesome personality. I love that he's willing to try things and has a desire to do so many things. We have some great adventures planned! He is very friendly, makes friends easily, and he's totally loyal to his friends, especially his ladies. :) He is especially good at helping others and always wants to be of service. He's also pretty darn good at cuddling. I love you my Kadybug!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I get the question all of the many kids do you have? I always answer 5 because how could I deny that Gabriel is my child? I carried him in my body for 19 weeks, I felt him move, I talked to him, I held him in my arms, I love him. Heavenly Father gave me that incredible little boy to be his mother....and he will always be my of course I will include him.

There's the times when people just count who they see and assume we have 4. I very rarely correct them if they are a stranger who I'll never see again and it would mean an entire story to go into while they are just making small talk. I always feel a little guilty but I hope that Gabriel understands that I'm not forgetting him, because in those moments I can't help but ache remembering that he's still mine, just not for now.

We get a lot of people saying, "Oh how did you get so lucky with two girls and two boys?" or "Wow! The perfect little family." and today I even got "You've got it so perfect...don't go messing with it by having a 5th one." Yes, from a stranger. Ugh.

I wonder if they see the pain behind my eyes. I wonder if they see my little ones flinch and look at me with pain in their own eyes because they know that what may seem like the "perfect family" really isn't because they've got a little brother that no one remembers. Gabriel's a part of our family but it's so hard for people not to see that...and especially harder when the people that know don't even want to see it either. We're really, now and for the rest of our lives, incomplete.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween Festivities

I know not everyone is a fan of Halloween, but we dig it! While the candy and super spooky stuff is not our thing, the fun of the season is and so we really love getting into it. This year seemed like somehow the whole season flew by in a flash and we didn't have many chances to enjoy it. We never even got in a spooky movie or watched Young Frankenstein, a family favorite. But we did have some Halloween fun.

The Joy school Halloween parade is always awesome. It's so fun to see the cute kids all dressed up.
The family theme continues! I love how much fun we have doing this. The kids always love planning out the costumes, almost two years in advance, and it's so fun to see it all come together. This year....the crew of Peter Pan! We had our first trick-or-treating gig on Friday at Ben's work. Ben was excited when we got there because then everyone finally understood who he was dressed up as. All day long he had been asked if he was Waldo, Papa Smurf, or Santa Clause. Really?! I think he was spot-on for Mr. Smee....especially with his nice gut, which we decided was a good investment because almost every costume that Ben wears needs a little more gut than he ever has. The rest of us? I was Wendy, Skylar was Tigerlily (she got Pocahontas & Sacagawea most of the time), Nick was Captain Hook, Kade was Peter Pan (but he got Robin Hood repeatedly), & Alexis was our little Tinkerbell. We were definitely missing our little Michael, what we had planned Gabriel to be for his first Halloween.
As for taking the character personality on to a tee, Alexis wins this year. She pouted every time Tinkerbell had to get her hair done, insisting every time that I was doing it wrong. What would Tinkerbell be with out a little stubbornness?Since we hadn't gone to Cornbelly's for Fall Break, Skylar had decided she really wanted to check out Gardner Village's Witch Fest so we planned to go on Saturday. Poor Skylar wasn't feeling well so I don't think she was as excited as she thought she would be.But Kade absolutely loved it! He insisted on a picture with every single witch!

We had never been to the Witch Fest before. I was pretty impressed with all of the cool displays they had. It was super crowded though & since Skylar was sickly we didn't stay long.

We had a fun time....minus poor Skylar!
Then we headed over to Living Planet for a few minutes to check out the Haunted Rainforest we had heard they were having!
There were all sorts of spooky displays
The boys loved that that they got to watch a snake dining on a mouse. Pretty creepy!
But of course, the spookiest thing there was the pirhanas, which my kids always insist I see!
Freakiest.Animal.Ever.Have I mentioned I love having aquarium passes? We were able to go for less than an hour and have fun without having to pay a penny....the best kind of fun!

That night we went to our ward's trunk-or-treat. The kids loved being able to see their friends and going through the spook alley that the YM put on. It was a fun night!

On Halloween, the boys had their Halloween parade at school. These were the best shots I got of them....awesome.

I got to help out with Skylar's class party. Skylar insisted that we do the donut on a string thing for her class. They had a blast! They also did mummy wrapping with toilet paper....Sky's team won!
The weather was absolutely perfect for trick-or-treating. I even went the entire time wearing my very thin nightgown and not freezing! It was the perfect night!
My favorite part of trick-or-treating is seeing all the cool Halloween displays. I love the houses that go all out!
There's a family in our ward that absolutely loves Halloween and our kids absolutely love going to their house. They take the cake when it comes to Halloween fun! They always have a few games for the kids to play along with tons of loot....little toys, cupcakes, candy, and a soda. It's always the favorite stop!

Arrrr....Captain Jack & Captain Hook!
We had such a blast this year! Poor Nick was starting to feel sick...and you know a kid doesn't feel well if he wants to go home early from we didn't stay out too late. He ended up being sick for three days after. Sad.
We had plenty of candy though! After we got home we loaded up all the candy that we got from our three candy gathering sessions. There was so much candy!! Skylar was stoked that her loot amounted to the jackpot line on her bag....that's been a goal of hers for years. Luckily, all that candy, with the exception of a handful, has been cashed in to the dentist we give it to every year who donates it to local charities. I guess all that trick-or-treat fun pays off when we can give back!

We love Halloween!! Happy Halloween!!