Monday, December 7, 2009

December Traditions and Snow

The boys looking at the temple.
Luder and I took our family to the temple to see the lights at the temple where we were married in Washington DC. It was gorgeous!

The visitors center where all the nativities are from all different countries.

Too much celebrating.

They played the cutest pass the gingerbread game at the preschool, Abram and Sarah were the last ones and Abram won and was so excited. It was really cute.

The girls and I making pretzel sticks and various other treats for Christmas one night, late.

The boys watching the snow start. It was so exciting and beautiful.

Straight off of "The Christmas Story" with the kid that "can't put his arms down."

Chapped face and hot chocolate.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Couple of Thanksgiving Pictures

Right before Thanksgiving dinner, Aunt Anita, Aunt Leslie, Declan and I (his first Thanksgiving ever) and Caroline, my cousin Blake's girlfriend.
For Thanksgiving we went to my parents, then went to Luder's parents on Saturday. It was one of the best Thanksgiving's ever. We missed my lil bro Scott though.

My little cousin Justin and Declan.

Dad and Grandma.

Declan passed out at Gramomma's.

The boys wanted to play in the leaves at Gramomma and Gramps' house.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

For the boys' birthday, we rode the train to Gramomma and Gramps' house and they each had individual celebrations on their special day. These are out of order bc the blog site is not user friendly and I don't have time to figure it all out right now.

On the way up to Frederickburg Friday night, on the train.

I love this picture of Luder.

After the train, they passed out.

A little "FUNLAND" experience.

Cason reading his cards on his bday.

Gramomma made cakes for the boys to have at her house.

The train ride home. They are so cute.

Abram's preschool birthday.

Turkey time!

Abram's celebration at our house.

Luder got to go to the preschool party for Abram.

Cason's celebration. He had Turner and Caleb over.

Cason got a special ROAR award for citizenship in front of the school during an assembly. I was very proud of him! I love you Cason!! Good little man!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Skyline In November

We went to Skyline Drive in early November to see the leaves and eat at the Big Meadow's Lodge. It was so much fun. The view was breathtaking. I loved every minute of it. This was at a pull off on the side of the road.

This deer was huge and eating peacefully on the side of the road as you can see the white line.

My Dad took them on a short hike. It was freezing!

Cason looking at the deer.

The buddies on their hike.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


These guys are scary.

This year we had 2 Batmen and one miniature giraffe.

The "Bat Mobil"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What is this world coming to?

Knowledge Is Power
So, this summer as I got everything ready for school, you know, sent the health forms in and filled out the gobs of paperwork for kindergarten (it's kindergarten people) I was thorough. Cason needed a booster in September of MMR and one in October of Hep B. I made the appointments and went on with life.
Before school began, I get a call from the school nurse that I need two boosters or he can't start school. I call the school and inform them that "per the pediatrician, Cason cannot have the boosters until Sept and Oct and I will get you the updated shot records when the boosters are administered." I get the "oh, Okay." We hang up and go on with our lives.
After school begins, I get a phone call from the school nurse again, that Cason needs 2 boosters. I call back again and tell them that he will get the shots when he goes to his apt in September and in October and that according to VA State law, I have 30 days to have the shots done and that I am following the pediatrician's guidelines anyway.
We go to the apt, Cason get the booster he can have in Sept, he is up to date and in compliance with everything. I send in the updated form. The school nurse calls and says that I need his Hep B shot still. I remind her that this is my third time telling her that he cannot have the shot until October, "per the pediatrician and standard shot schedule." Before calling her back, I had taken a deep breath, with all the stress I was under, I wanted to use her as a scapegoat, it would feel so good. I didn't. I was kind.
I went in today to take Cason in late. Again, I feel like I was being a good mother, I kept him home yesterday and called the school to tell them where he was when he had a low grade fever and symptoms of pink eye. When I called they gave me the 5th degree, asking me all kinds of questions, I kindly replied-because I knew where it was all going, "No, he doesn't have the flu, thanks, good bye." So, I arrived late with Cason today because I wanted to make sure that he was ok to go to school. As I walked in, I could tell Cason was worried about being late, I told him it was ok etc.
Then this happens:
Nurse: Has he had his Hep shot yet? ( She had pulled his file when I called and was waiting to practically hit me upside my sleep deprived head with it.)
Me: No, I told you that he would have it sometime in October, there is a 3 week wait to get in right now and I have 30 days to get it done. He will have it later this month.
Nurse: He can't come
Me: Excuse me?
Nurse: He can't come
I look at her, she has already screwed up so many times, should I talk it out here and now with her? What good would it do? You learn to listen to people when they tell you that they are crazy. I decided at that moment that I better leave. I didn't want Cason to hear all the things that would have to be said or be afraid. I didn't want to go to jail for choking someone who in my opinion was on a power trip and very ignorant. I would back down from this strong position if I had felt the least concern for my child.
I said, leaning into her face, reading her name tag with a conniving smile, Jane Doe huh?
And I turned and said, C'mon Cason. Let's Go!
As I walked out I thought, giving birth pays off, I will have Luder handle this, after all, this is a little thing compared to giving birth etc. He can't tell me no. I called him, he got the principal on the phone. In the meantime (this is where it pays to know your rights and be organized) I took 20 mins to go home, find the blank exemption form, get it notarized and happily walk back into the school with the form and send my son to his class.
I will get the immunizations when they are supposed to be administered but until then, Jane Doe, have your fun with someone else.

*I decided to save you from a tangent about how it's my God given right as his mother to know what is best for my child, not a public school system and certainly not a nurse (is she even a nurse anyway?) that can't remember talking to someone 3 times all while administering meds to children. Sorry if you think I am hating on school nurses, I just find this rediculous.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Luder took me to Morton's with my parents and some friends. That was wonderful, then after he surprised me with a private chartered canal cruise. It was a beatiful. As we cruised through the city on the night of my birthday, my loved ones took turns sharing memories and making toasts to me and my life. There were lots of laughs and some tears. I am so grateful for my friends and family.

I turned 30 this weekend. There is something weird that happens as you turn 30. You think more about where you are in life, where you have been and where you are going. Some take it harder than others. I was somewhat distracted with my new baby but I want to share my greatest accomplishments of these, my 30 years.
Not necessarily in order of importance, so please no emails about that.

Great Accomplishments

A Happy Marriage in the temple to someone that I can't live without
Three beautiful children, all who Luder and I have put first in life since the day they were born
Having my family all be my best friends
A college degree
A healthy physical body, emotional state and a testimony of Jesus Christ
Buying our first home and decorating it frugally
Learning to cook (so what if it's not gourmet)
Wonderful friends who I truly enjoy and love
The ability and desire to express my feelings to those I love without reservation
Learning how to maintain a home-interior and exterior-including the landscape
Becoming organized
Snow skiing, water skiing and pilates
Appreciation for nature-I need to be outside like a drug
Traveling Internationally
Great negotiating skills (especially with car salesmen and Luder :)
Realizing and maintaining perspective
Giving most people at most times the benefit of the doubt

There are more but what matters most to me are the relationships I have with the people that I love, my husband, children, mom, dad, brother, family and friends. Sometimes I think of life from the end looking toward today. My greatest wish would be that everyone who I loved would know it and they would know how much I wanted them to be happy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Trials and Triumphs

Scott about to go into the MTC in Provo, Utah to prepare for his two year full-time mission.

After Scott's farewell sacrament meeting at Mom's house.

My boys, always with their "triumphant" little spirits.

Declan at one month old.

I never knew that one could have so many extreme emotions until recently. Sure, I knew that postpartum women were crazy and that life is full of ups and downs, trials and triumphs. I feel like this past month has been the craziest month of my life. I don't even know where to start. We had the wonderful birth of our third son. Triumph. Delivery was easy, everyone was happy and taken care of, all was well. We get home from the hospital and throughout the first 16 days of Declan's life, I feel like I am in the fight of my life. Declan had a hard time learning to eat, so he wouldn't latch to breastfeed. I worked with him day and night, had lactation specialists helping. I took him into the doctor, all the while he was losing weight. About a week after he was born, I knew something was wrong. Luder had returned to work and I was alone with the baby. The boys were at Patti's. I took Declan in to see the nurses and get help. I left the lactation office (a part of the hospital) in tears but with a plan. I was in tears because they said that I had to start pumping and supplementing with breastmilk and formula. I was in tears because they said that my baby was "the kind of baby that would go home and silently starve to death" if I wasn't careful. All this was out of love and concern but it was hard to hear. I cried because I didn't know how I would do the hour and a half ordeal that they wanted me to do every 3 hours. How was I going to take care of our other children when I couldn't even find the time to sleep, eat or pee? I knew that the only way that this would work out was if there was a miracle. I got a blessing, Declan got a blessing, we got a few actually. I cried and prayed and cried and prayed more. I learned that there is more than believing when it comes to faith.
I was blessed to have so many loved ones, helping with the boys. I had great sisters from church bringing me meals, calling and showing love. My husband helped so much. I don't know what I would have done without Luder, Mom and Patti.
So, while all of this is going on, my little brother is scheduled to go on a mission. We have a big party planned, a special sacrament meeting at church and a farewell at the airport at 6 am on Tuesday August 18th. Triumph. My brother is the first person to serve a mission on either side of my family. I am so proud of him. I wasn't expecting some of the emotions that came with seeing him walk away for two years. Trial.
This same week our air conditioning goes out and our van goes in the shop. Trial. Somehow, we made it through. Triumph.
This all was a couple of weeks ago. Now the baby is eating, Scott is sending us the most remarkable letters ever and I am staring kindergarten in the face. I will send my first baby to kindergarten tomorrow. I don't know if I have even had the time to realize what that means. Maybe that is a blessing. All these things are triumphs.
I feel like life is moving at a much more rapid pace than the usual exhaustingly rapid one. Things are piling up and it's ok. Triumph. I know what is important and what isn't important "will still be there when I am dead and gone" as Nan used to always say. I now know that she meant that all these unimportant things will be here for us but those important moments won't always.