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Sunday, December 14, 2008

To Birthmothers and Birthfathers...

Today, ADOPTION is really on my mind.

I would like to dedicate this post to those young women (and men) who are trying to decide how to proceed with an unexpected pregnancy.

Let me start with a confession.

I love Birthmothers and Birthfathers.
My husband loves you.
My boys love you.
(in fact there are thousands upon thousands of people who love you more than you'll ever know.)

And just in case you ever wonder: You are prayed for.

Every.
Day
.

Now, I cannot even begin to pretend what it would be like at 14, 15, 16 (or any age really) to find out that you are unexpectedly expecting. For some of you, you still have visions of high school football games, music concerts, good grades to achieve, getting into college, PROM, and graduation. For others, you are starting college or working full time. No matter the situation, you are now facing a major decision.

What do you do? How do you cope with this? How do you get the support you need?

Some of you are terrified to tell your parents because they might overreact (they might tell you how disappointed they are by yelling or other such things...they are human too, and this is a whole new experience for them.) Some young women hope and pray that this new life will go away.

but after the yelling
the hoping.
and
the praying,


there is still a new life to be thought about.

What are your options?

This is where I want to express our family's love for adoption and especially our love for our Joanie Girl; our Henry's beautiful Birthmother who was able to make an eternal decision for Henry; and for our family. I remember Joanie telling me that someday she wanted to have a family (a husband and kids), but she knew right now she couldn't provide for a baby. She completely ruled out abortion as an option, as she knew that her pregnancy was the result of her decision to have unprotected sex.

Don't be fooled. Adoption was not an easy decision for Joanie. I know that she cried hundreds of tears during this time. I talked to her many times as she went through the grieving process. Throughout the entire experience, there was one thing she knew for sure; she needed to provide Henry with the best life. Choosing adoption vs. raising a baby was an internal battle that she finally conquered. She set all else aside, and put the needs of someone else first.

From watching her go through this amazing experience two things are undebatable:

First:
Joanie loves Henry. She won't ever stop. And he will always be taught to love the mother who loved him more than she loved herself.

Second:
Adoption allowed her to offer Henry the best life; --a life she knew he deserved; a life she knew she couldn't offer at this time in her life.

As I think about our Joanie Girl, my heart is filled with incredible love that a 17 year old young woman, who got pregnant by a 22 year old truck driver, was able to stand immovable in her decision to choose adoption for baby Henry. She didn't have a lot of support around her,
but she, LIKE YOU, had thousands of people praying for her and other girls in her same situation.

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to love these precious spirits that you carried next to your hearts. We honor you. We cherish you. We love you.

Adoption; it's about love.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Because Tuesdays were made for laughing

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Back to the Future

I know.

I know.

I didn't post pictures of my family at Halloween, so here they are now. The greatest part about Halloween was Lincoln's idea of trick or treating. He would knock, say trick or treat, take the offered candy, and then he would run into people's houses yelling, "I need to see your dog." He also needed to pet one woman's cat, and see one man's tank of fish. I was driving around laughing while BatDaddy was patiently trying to man BatLincoln. Sometimes BatMommy's need a good laugh...BatHenry just smiled with me.
.
(Yes, my mom has already grounded David for holding Henry like this on the palm of his hand)

(Consequently, this is one of my favorite pictures. This shows how much Lincoln look up to his Daddy. )


I know.

I know.

I didn't post anything about our wonderful trip to see my Aunt and Uncle and perfect little cousin during Thanksgiving (this is mostly because our memory is too full to download one more thing onto the computer....so until we figure that out...no new pictures. Bummer!)

But, thanks to little M, I did learn how to make pipe-cleaner flowers, draw countless pictures of Cinderella, learn about (and implement) No-Thank-You Bites, see my extended family whom I haven't seen in 13 years, play games until my brain gave out on me, and enjoy every minute of my 5 day vacation. I was actually rested when I got back.

I know.

I know.

Oh Sweet, I haven't passed Christmas yet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twilight..Disgusting

No, this post is not about any Stephenie Meyer books, or movies. Sorry to disappoint!

It's about TWILIGHT.....the time of day when we put our kids to bed.

The other night, (about half an hour past normal bedtime) Lincoln said to me,

"Mama, I don't want to brush my teeth. I just want to go up the stairs to bed."

Now, I am a fanatic of teeth brushing, but I am even more a fanatic of kid's bedtimes, so I said,

"Okay Sweet Boy. Let's go!"

"Will you carry me mama?"

"Sure, Sweet Boy. I will carry you."

"(Now in his bed) Will you sing me a song Mama?"

Understand that this melted my heart, because for the past four weeks, every night at bedtime, Lincoln has become adamant about not having any songs, but would rather have stories about Austin, the Giant. (Yes, I make up really great stories about Giants who play baseball.)

"Sure, Good Boy. What song do you want?"

"I Am A Child of God."

"Okay." (I sing, and then start giving him kisses before I leave."

"THAT'S DISGUSTING!"

"What's disgusting?"

"Your kisses!"

(I keep kissing him.) "My kisses are not disgusting." (more kisses)

"THAT'S DISGUSTING, Mama!!!"

David thought it was really funny...

until he tried to kiss me

AND

I told him

kisses .
were .
disgusting.

In other news...I hope Henry likes kisses because he has started eating Sweet potatoes and carrots, and I don't want to know what his ideas of kisses are disgusting looks like all over my clothes...

OOOOOO,

because we all know that

XXXXXX.
are.
disgusting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tagged

A girlfriend from college, Leah, tagged me!

First, let me say that I love Leah! We completely disagree politically, but we are bound through music, our religion, and tagging people on blogs. Thanks Leah!

Here are the rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about six quirks you have.
4. Tag six fellow bloggers to do the same.
5. Leave a comment to let them know.

1) I plan completely in advance. I lay everyone's clothes out the night before (WELL! if there was a fire we would all have readily available clothes.) My grocery list is compiled according to the set up in the store.

2) I really think my husband is perfect. The only people that seem to disagree with me are his parents. And not that they don't know him, but he really is perfect. I refuse to argue with anyone that would tell me differently. He is my favorite person; my best friend; lover; and eternal date.

3) I love to mix ketchup, mustard, and relish together when I eat my hot dog for breakfast. My two year old loves hot dogs, and I'm afraid he got it from me.

4) I want to have 12 kids. Watching Cheaper By the Dozen only amplifies this desire. I love my baby boys. They are good boys, and I am living my life long dream of being their mom. Honestly, I would have loved having 6 kids in 6 years, but that obviously didn't happen. Sometimes I wonder why--but infertility is not a quirk so I'll stop there.

5) I usually fall in love with the beat and melodies of music before I really understand the lyrics. When I was about 14 Garth Brooks was singing, "The Thunder rolls, " and I said to my dad, "I love this song," After it was over he said, "do you know what that songs about?" hmmm....He explained it to me.....still like the beat and meoldy
Fortunately and Unfortunately, at 28, I still have this problem. The following songs I LOVE. thankfully most of these are actually songs with great messages.... You can click on them if you want to hear them.
a. PICTURE ( this might be the only song on the list that doesn't uplift you)
b. Life in a northern Town
c. Come What May
d. Sing your Praise to the Lord
e. Bye Bye Bye
f. Anyway


6) Sometimes I say "H," or "D" Those are actually what I say. Sorry to offend any readers, but sometimes there are no other letters to describe a situation. Seriously, sometimes there are no other words.

I tag....Mookie, Tiny, Amy, Rebecca, Becky, Sherrie,
and MomJ--I am tagging you in hopes you will update the blog!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hope

Today, I have been inspired.
I read Elder Deiter Uchtdorf's talk
(October 2008 Conference, Sat. morning)
In my life, I have hoped for uncountable blessings.
Some of these include:
To get a Teddy Ruxpin doll
To get baptized
For my brothers to play with me
To go on a date to a very expensive restaurant with my dad;
JackInTHeBox
To make cookies with my mom.
To get contacts.
To wear make-up
To have a phOne in my room
To sing in Sahuaro Singers
To Travel To Europe
To go to EFY
To work for EFY
To get asked out on a date
To get a kiss
To write music
To get a scholarshiP to college
To have a car
To transfer to BYU
To go on a mission
To get asked out on a marriage material date
To get marriEd in the temple.
To have babies.
The Lord has blessed me abundantly. He has blessed me with so many things
that my heart has earnestly desired.
In HIS time, of course.
It's amazing that I ever have moments where I start to question whether the Lord is actually going to bless me this time, or if He has forgotten us in lonely Nebraska.
Elder Uchtdorf says:
Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness.Its absence—when this desire of our heart is delayed—can make “the heart sick.”
Hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior. This kind of hope is both a principle of promise as well as a commandment, and, as with all commandments, we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope. Hope in our Heavenly Father’s merciful plan of happiness leads to peace, mercy, rejoicing, and gladness. The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; it is the foundation of our faith and an anchor to our souls.
Moroni in his solitude—even after having witnessed the complete destruction of his people—believed in hope. In the twilight of the Nephite nation, Moroni wrote that without hope we
cannot receive an inheritance in the kingdom of God...
Hope is not knowledge, but rather the abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promise to us. It is confidence that if we live according to God’s laws and the words of His prophets now, we will receive desired blessings in the future. It is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance.
Here's to not losing hope in the blessings I pray for daily.
I have Hope
that David will get a great job.
I have hope
that we will have more babies.
I have hope
we can raise our children to LOve the Book of Mormon and
to have Faith in Christ.
I have hoPe
that our eternal marriage will be filled with continued happiness.
I have hope
that the Lord will be gentlEwith my weaknesses.
I have hope.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

God Bless America

Dear Brett and Jay,

Today is a special day in America. Today we celebrate Veteran's Day. Today, In other parts of the world, they are celebrating Remembrance Day . How appropriate. We, at the David J house want you to know that we remember your sacrifices, and we love you. We know you are being led by God to protect, honor, and defend our country. And today, we remember you.

God Bless You.
God Bless America.

Every time we are able to witness a flag being raised, lowered, or blowing at half mass, tears of gratitude and awe fill our eyes. We realize it is because of you, and millions like you that we are able to enjoy the freedoms that America offers.


God Bless You.
God Bless America.
Every time we listen to patriotic music, the conversation stills, and we hold hands. We are reminded that you are making eternal sacrifices so that we can enjoy walking, talking and breathing in a Free America.


God Bless You.
God Bless America.

We want your wives to know how grateful we are for their sacrifices that allow you to continually support our country. We want your children to know how grateful we are that they are willing to miss out on more Daddy time because of your willingness to fight for your wives, your children, your brothers, your sisters, your nieces, your nephews, your moms, your dads, and your country. We salute you, and honor you today.


God Bless You.
God Bless America.
We hope that everyone will take a moment today and stand with their families or by themselves and say the pledge of allegiance.

We will be doing that at the David J Home.

We love you.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all."

God Bless You.

God bless America,

land that I love

Stand beside her and guide her

Through the night

with the light from above

From the mountains

To the prairies,

To the ocean white with foam

God bless America,

My home sweet home.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Out of the Mouth of My Babes...

LINCOLN
Dear Lincoln,
Thanks for the sweet reminder of how much our Heavenly Father loves us.
LINCOLN: Mama, I am really scared.

ME: You are. Come here. Mommy will keep you safe.

LINCOLN:Mama, can you say a prayer for me?

ME: Of course Good Boy. Come Here. (insert big crocodile mommy tears here)
Me: (I say a prayer that Lincoln won't be scared, and he will feel safe.)
Me: Come here Good Boy, Mommy will snuggle you.

LINCOLN: I'm all better now Mama.

You are a good boy. I love you.

HENRY
Dear Six month Old Sweet Boy,
Thanks for helping me remember that I need to stress less, and enjoy more, this time that is passing way too quickly. You are growing so fast.
And, P.S.
Please stop crawling. Please stop pulling yourself up on furniture.
You are a good boy. I love you
DAVID
Dear Lover,
Remember when we married for love, and it didn't matter how much money you made at the job you didn't have? Remember when we married for eternity and it didn't matter that I was the Sugar Mama with all the money? Do you think we could renogotiate just a tiny bit? We could keep the love and the eternity, but do you think you could make a lot of money, so I can buy luxurious items like a house with no mice, a mini-van, some more children, kitchen aid attachments, and clothes that don't come from Wal-Mart-Fall Apart?
Could you at least think about it? I'm willing to negotiate the kitchen aid attachments.
I love you with all my heart, and no doubt I will love you forever even if you never make any money, but who knows, I might love you like you've never been loved before if you were really rich. Anyways, just something to think about.
You are a good boy. I love you.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I might have the flu, but at least my heart isn't weak...

YESTERDAY WAS A GOOD DAY
When my two year old woke up this morning, he said, "Let's go vote," I revel in the fact that I got to go with my family and vote yesterday. What an incredible experience for me and my husband to have, to be able to teach our boys the importance of voting.
We are truly blessed to be able to love in a country where we disagree, make decisions based off of our personal beliefs, and then make the changes we feel necessary.
Yes, I can vote. And, you can too.
God bless America.
YESTERDAY WAS A GOOD DAY
With all due respect to President Obama, a leader with whom I do not share many common beliefs, it is wonderful that we have a smart, educated, strong African American Leader to be a role model.
This is a monumental experience in American History.
This is something that thousands have been waiting for since the time of the Civil rights.
Yes, I can stand in awe of the miracle of a free country.
My Country, tis of thee, Sweet Land of Liberty.

YESTERDAY WAS A GOOD DAY
When I listened to President Bush speak this morning, I felt the Spirit testify to me that if President Bush , a man who probably has less in common with President Obama than I do, can be supportive of our Nation's new President Elect
then yes, I can too.
He said, "Last night, I had a warm conversation with President-elect Barack Obama. I congratulated him and Senator Biden on their impressive victory.No matter how they cast their ballots, all Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday. Across the country, citizens voted in large numbers. They showed a watching world the vitality of America's democracy, and the strides we have made toward a more perfect union. They chose a President whose journey represents a triumph of the American story -- a testament to hard work, optimism, and faith in the enduring promise of our nation. It will be a stirring sight to watch President Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their beautiful girls step through the doors of the White House. I know millions of Americans will be overcome with pride at this inspiring moment that so many have awaited so long. I know Senator Obama's beloved mother and grandparents would have been thrilled to watch the child they raised ascend the steps of the Capitol -- and take his oath to uphold the Constitution of the greatest nation on the face of the earth.
Yes, I can be supportive.
I can do my best.
I can respect a man
who will uphold the Constitution
of the greatest nation on the face of the earth,
even though he does it differently than I do.
YESTERDAY WAS A GOOD DAY
It is looking like Proposition 8 will pass. With 92% of the vote in at 52% for Proposition 8 and 48% against, we may have hope that many Americans, democrat, republican, or any other party, still want marriage to be defined as union between man and woman..
Yes! Yes! Yes!

YESTERDAY WAS A GOOD DAY
today will be a good day too.
and if anyone read yesterday's post....
Thank goodness for Pepto Bismol...
P.S. Apparently, I need to add the disclaimer that yesterday's post was written many hours before the votes were in.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama; vomit in my mouth.

Have you ever been so sick with the flu that you wretched every thing in your body until only bile was left.

I have. And, it isn't fun.

One year at Christmas Break, I had the flu for two weeks.
Two
straight
weeks.
I was really ill. While my brothers were up playing with their new toys, my parents desparately tried to get me feeling better. When it was over there was an inescapable relief that this horrific vomit-inducing sickness was over.

When I think of Barack Obama as the future president, it's like the flu all over again.

Vomit in my mouth.
really people? four years of throw-up!
Come on!

I don't understand what draws people to him.

If I were ranking Obama on moral and ethical decisions that are important to me, I'm not sure I'd even be comfortable giving him an "F."(but if it got him out of my classroom and out of my country, I may consider it...)

To express one last time, my vote against Obama, I will share my feelings on the factor that was most poignant in making this decision.

Pro-life vs. Pro-Choice:

Pro life:

What happens when you find yourself pregnant at a young age; too young to be able to provde proper care for this new life.

Well, Obama says "“Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old,” he said. “I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby..."

Vomit.
In.
My.
Mouth.

thank goodness for pro-life.

Yes, you Pro-life have actually been taught morals and values. You believe that you have to accept responsiblity for your actions.

Senator McCain stands with you and says, "We must begin a dialogue and a discussion on the issue of abortion. Both pro-life & pro-choice people believe very strongly that we need to eliminate abortion. I and my wife, Cindy, are proud adoptive parents.
We need to encourage adoption in America.
We need to improve foster care dramatically.
We can work together...."

Ahhh...
two weeks of sickness followed by sweet relief.

Pro Choice:

"I should be free to have sex whenever and with whomever I wish, but if I get pregnant (a natural consequence of sex), I should be free to erase that consequence."

ummm.....

It seems kind of silly. We don't get that choice in other domains. "I should be free to go skydiving, and if it turns out that my parachute doesn't open, I should be free to not collide with the earth with fatal velocity."
and even if you have a parachute that opens 99.99% of the time, you still have to face the consequences if you fall into the .01% that doesn't open.
So the, "Yeah, but I used a condom, so I was being responsible" argument also fails.

Thanks, but no thanks, Obama!

Number 1: Vote

Number 2: Against

Number 3: Obama

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pillars of Strength

This past weekend I was invited to go to Time Out For Women. I laughed when I finally realized that it was indeed a time out for women.

I wish my two year old enjoyed his time outs as much as I enjoyed mine.

One speaker really stuck out to me. She talked about making a difference. As I have pondered on this the last few days, I wanted to share a little bit about the women that have made significant differences in my life.

These are they: (They are all related to me....I am one LUCKY girl)

Sherrie J is FAITH. “Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21).

If you asked me to sacrifice my eternal companion for three, four, or five months out of the year (or more) I can’t say I would be a cheerful giver. Sherrie, mother of four, has dedicated her life to being a wife and mother. From her own journal of sorts she has said, “How grateful I am for these sacrifices that are still being made to keep my family and this great nation safe. Sacrifices that are not unfamiliar to me. Sacrifices that affected my family directly. My husband has gone to fight in this war, on multiple occasions. I know what it is like to try and struggle as a single mom, trying to make things work while he was gone. Trying to comfort children while you feel like your own heart is breaking.”
And yet, without a perfect knowledge of the future, she continues to hold on to the faith that as long as she does her best, the Lord will bless her and her family. From her I have learned the importance of enduring with faith. I LOVE YOU Sherrie!

Becky Jo H is DIVINE NATURE. “Be partakers of the divine nature.... Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Peter 1:4–7).

Becky Jo has so much passion. But the thing I love about her is that she has dedicated her life to being a wife and a mother. I have watched and learned so much from Becky. She and I are similar in so many ways, (which consequently has gotten us into trouble a few times…heehee) but today I feel strongly, the need to express my love for her. Through the brain surgeries and C-sections (at the same time), diagnosis of autism in one of her daughters, and the uncertainty of where her family would go next, Becky has shown an incredible amount of patience; a quality I wish I could have more of. She has researched every book, magazine, and web page that she can to learn about how to take the best care of her family. With everything she has been asked to endure, the things she talks about the most are face cuddles, snuggles, and what a spectacular family she has. She has written, “I love being a Mom! We are so proud of Brett. We are so blessed.” From her I have learned the importance of counting my many blessings. I LOVE YOU Becky Jo!

Tina B is INDIVIDUAL WORTH. “Remember the worth of souls is great in the
sight of God”(D&C 18:10).


Tiny is the perfect woman. She is faithful, righteous, pure, humble and beautiful. She is without guile and withholds judgment. She loves perfectly. I am certain that if the Savior came today, she would be invited to stand by his side because of her goodness. She carries with her a feeling of peace that stays with you when she leaves. Her profession as a nurse suits her because she is able to continually look outside of herself and see the needs of others. She knows who she is as a child of a loving Heavenly Father and she wants to share that with everyone. She and Dan love to laugh because they are happy. I love that they spend a whole car ride going back and forth about the things they are grateful for, or spending the whole car ride smiling until someone just breaks down and laughs. She can do that, because she knows who she is. From her I have learned the importance of enjoying to the end. I LOVE YOU Tiny!

Darci B is KNOWLEDGE.Seek learning, even by study and also by faith”(D&C 88:118).

I am a firm believer that my mom is better than she thinks she is. She, like many women, is too hard on herself, and often forgets the impact she has had on so many. About my mom, I believe firmly the words of a sealer in the Manti Temple who said, “the purest form of revelation is a righteous woman’s intuition.” Today, I hope to add my love and adoration for a woman who has listened for the whisperings of the Spirit and heeded the promptings. This has allowed her to be a savior in the midst of thousands of children for the past 30 years. More specifically it allowed her to raise four children who all served honorable missions and married in the temple. I have felt the love of my mom in my loneliest hours and my happiest moments. It is from her that I gained a love of teaching. It is from her that I gained my orneriness, my passion, and my very good looks. It is from her that I have learned the importance of always being anxiously engaged in a good cause. I LOVE YOU Mookie!

Rebecca B is Choice and Accountability. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve….but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”(Joshua 24:15).

When she joined the church, some of her family was not pleased with her decision. She wrote me a letter when I was serving a mission and said, “I had a choice to make between my earthly father and my Heavenly Father. Duh! Which one do you think I chose?” Rebecca has gone on to serve a mission, marry a very handsome boy (my baby brother) in the temple, graduate from BYU-Hawaii, and start a PhD in Texas right along side her sweetheart. It is from her that I have gained an understanding of how the choices we make now DO affect us for the rest of our lives. Thank you for making such eternally good choices. I LOVE YOU Beck the Heck!

Tammy J is GOOD WORKS.
"Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (3 Nephi 12:16).

She has done an incredible job raising her children. I am so grateful that my husband has been raised by a faithful daughter of God, who understands her purpose here. It is from his mom that my husband learned to serve with his whole heart. I have seen her goodness every time I am with her. There has never been a time I have been to her home that she is not letting someone move in with her, cooking for someone, driving somebody to an appointment, babysitting, teaching seminary, talking for hours to the lonely, doing visiting teaching, or serving in ways that not all are willing to do. (She LOVES serving as Stake Camp Director and Nursery Leader. Seriously) I have often been the recipient of her goodness. I especially am grateful for the prayers she has offered for our family. If I could grow up and be half as good as she is, I think I might make it. It is from her that I hope to learn the joy of serving to the end. I LOVE YOU Mom J!

Amy B is INTEGRITY. "Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me” (Job 27:5).

I recently read the following, “integrity is a matter of persons integrating various parts of their personality into a harmonious, intact whole.” Amy is my perfect example of integrity. When we visited her home, I remember the feeling of being in a house like the Doctrine and Covenants described when saying, “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; “
While most of our generation would live off of credit cards and debt, while trying to find happiness, Amy has established a house of God. I believe that Amy’s integrity is more than just being honest, true, and chaste. While she embraces all of these qualities, her integrity is such that she could stand before the Lord and answer honestly that she prepared her home as a place He could be a welcome visitor.
From her I have learned the importance of preparing a harmonious home so that I too can be ready. I LOVE YOU Amy!

Today, I feel extremely blessed.

To you faithful women: Thank you for being my pillars of strength; faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works, and integrity.


It is from you that I continue to gain a deeper understanding of who I am
and who I am becoming.

I love you.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

For three years now, we have gone to Vala's Pumpkin Patch with David's family.

When October comes around,
I get REALLY excited about this event.

I plan as far in advance as I can .

This means:
I clear my schedule as soon as I find out the date we are going.
I get Lincoln really excited by telling him about the pumpkin eating dragon.
I get out our warm clothes. mmm...
I dream about the pig races
and
the caramel apples that David's dad shares with the grandbabies.
(subsequently, Henry was asleep, so the older grandkids helped grandpa share.)

It has become a fun tradition.

I don't remember any pumpkin patches anywhere else I have lived, and I will always remember the midwest for such wonderful adventures in the land of pumpkins, corn mazes, and beauitful leaves.

(actually now that I mention it, I will probably never be able to get away from the pumpkin patches here. I have come to grips that we might live in Nebraska forever...heehee)

Anyways: These are a few pictures of our trip.

This is just to show you how our family has grown since last year



Here is me with the love of my life.


Lincoln and Liberty


Hernandez Family (and you can't see in utero baby Jack)


Our Family!


What happens when you try and get the grandkids to stay still for one more picture!


Thanks Mom and Dad J for helping us build such fun memories.


We love you!


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Tribute of sorts....

I love Fall.
I love it.
It restores my Spirit.
It fills me with delicious food
and happy memories.
It reminds me of so many happy things.
Like:
carving pumpkins.
Putting our Chrismas tree up on Veterans Day.
Playing outside(c'mon it was still 80 degrees)
Visiting the snow.
Singing songs.
The cinnamon smell from the kitchen
Being together because the whole family was home.
.
Now some have tried to intrude on my love affair with the fall.
But to no avail:
When we moved to Nebraska
Ms. Pierce,(the associate dean),
sat the students down
and informed them that
if they were in a relationship,
Law School would ruin it.
In addition, that they would
be emotionally dead to their spouses.
They would still need the support they would be
incapable of offering.
Ahhhh, Ms. Pierce,
The FALL comes every year.
You will not succeed at ruining my
ETERNAL MARRIAGE
a bond so strong that
not even Law School
has a chance of ruining it.
David
has been my
eternal companion for
almost 5 years.
It all started in The Fall
falling in love.
An amazing first date
The perfect first kiss
receiving
"Yes,"
as an answer .
Fall
reminds me that my
lifelong prayers and faith
about getting married
in the temple
were answered
by a loving Father in Heaven.
I love THIS new song.
It offers me
the Fall
everyday.
I am certain that it was the
prayers and faith
of my parents
that helped me
make it through life to find
David
I am certain it was the
prayers and faith
of David's parents
that helped him
make it through life to find
Me
I am certain it was the
prayers and faith
of a little five year old girl
who worried that no one would
marry a diabetic
or
love someone if they couldn't have kids
(interesting I had that fear 23 years ago)
that helped her
make it through
and find
Eternity.
and be blessed with her lifelong dream
of being
a
Wife and a Mommy.
I am certain it is the
prayers and faith
of my Sweetheart that help me
through :
infertility
depression
adopting Henry
potty-training Lincoln (still working on that)
and Law School.
and those same prayers and faith
the make me:
laugh daily
pray often
AND
love forever.
Thanks Fall
for reminding me to
say a prayer
and have some faith.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Something Borrowed:

I wish I could say I came up with the following blogging format, but I didn't. It came off of a blog that I frequently read. Thanks PMB for the format. I really enjoyed doing this.

I Verb:

I search: daily, for happiness
I wonder: how my two year old son can always hear the "choo choo."
I regret: not holding my bouquet longer on the day I got married.
I love: instantly, and it often makes me vulnerable.
I care: about adoption.
I always: make a list so that I don't forget anything.
I worry: that I won't ever be able to accept the fact that I'm human
I am not: a procrastinator.
I remember: praying that my future spouse and children would be protected.
I believe: that my husband's faith will be what gets me into Heaven someday.
I sing: because I love the Lord.
I dance: before dinner with my husband and sons.
I don't always: eat healthy food because the gas station keeps nachos as an option.
I argue: with pharmacies and insurance companies about the cost of diabetic supplies.
I write: music about the Savior, journals for my children, and love notes for my Sweetheart.
I win: Texas Holdem and SkipBo.
I lose: my debit card in my wallet.
I wish: depression would take a few weeks off.
I listen: to Carrie Underwood sing, "So Small," to remind me of miracles in my life.
I don't understand: the national deficit.
I can usually be found: changingdiaperswashingbottlesmakingdinnerfoldinglaundry.
I am scared: of the "perfect woman" who lives in my head and reminds me of my imperfections.
I need: life, liberty, and happiness.
I forget: to always show gratitude for the Lord's hand in my life.
I am happy: to have an eternal marriage to the man I love more than life.
I tag: anyone else who desires to have an amazing way to express themselves. (Mookie this means you fill this out and put it on your page),

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

Let it be known:

Halloween is my least favorite holiday.

My sweet mother,
who loves me,
knows that I don't like it,

but she also LOVES her grandchildren. (that is the understatement of the year, but for lack of a better word...she LOVES them. REALLY LOVES them.)

So, it was a wonderful surprise to get a package in the mail, FULL OF HALLOWEEN GOODIES!

This forced me to decorate the door and put cute pumpkins--or "punkins" as Lincoln calls them all over the house.

We are all set for Halloween.

Yes, I even bought an orange table cloth so I could be festive.

We especially have had fun with the little Frankenstein who says "ha ha ha ha ha,"

all through the day and night.

It was exciting during Family Home Evening to hear all the ha-ha-ing.

But perhaps our favorite is when:
Lincoln walks around,
squints his eyes,
puts his head back,
and says "ha ha ha ha."

OR

When, Henry loved his Halloween bag so much
he started drooling.
(Oh, if he only knew that mom and dad would help him collect his candy, and then eat all the good stuff....)










Anyways, Thanks Mookie for the treats. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

We LOVE you TONS BIT!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

---scouraged

Thanks to the nursery at our church, Lincoln has learned how to make happy, sad, mad, and scared faces. In addition, we have taught him --mystified, excited, and grumpy--and this kid makes some pretty great faces.

You should see him during "IF YOU CHANCE TO MEET A FROWN."

Yesterday in the car we had the following conversation:

LINCOLN: "Mama, tell Henry that Lincoln is mad."
Me: "Henry, Lincoln is mad."
LINCOLN: "Mama tell Henry, Lincoln is sad"
Me: "Are you sad, Lincoln?"
LINCOLN: "Yeah.:
Me: "Are you discouraged? That is another word for sad."
LINCOLN: "Yeah. I'm discouraged. nahhh. I'm sad-scouraged. No, I'm scared-scouraged. No! I'm MAD-scouraged. MAMA, I'm MAD-scouraged!!!"

And just in case you were wondering how cute Mad-scouraged is:
IN other news:
How can you not love this face:



Friday, September 12, 2008

Typical

I was starting to feel overwhelmed tonight, so I thought I would write it all down to remind myself that it can all get done--one thing at a time:

DAILY:
Read Scriptures and Read to my kids.
Read ongoing list of blogs
Dishes
One of the following: Park, museum, zoo, library
Compose basic so thousands in Brazil can learn English.
Brush teeth,
Eat--but cook first so we can eat
Dancing at dinner--yes we do this and we love it!
Mother's guilt
Choose to be happy

Weekly:
Clorox the bathrooms
Laundry
Grocery shop
FHE
Date my husband
Play group
Church-lead the music in Sacrament
Pick up Laurie's kids from school.
(If I put dusting/sweeping the floors here I would be lying, but thinking about it definitely goes here!)
Blog: this is sometimes daily, but...

Monthly:
YES. that's all I'm going to write about that
Visiting teaching
Bills: garbage, water, cable/internet, electricity, gas,
Book Club
Record those basic songs so thousands in Brazil can learn English
paint a room in the house

Yearly/Twice a year/Every other year:
A1C tested
Visit ObGyn
Renew Temple Recommend
Pay Geico
Phone Bill
HHS application- I have to write it here bcause it is 17 pages long
Family pictures: it's about that time!

LIFELY:
inventor of new words like lifely
Wife
Mommy
Daugher
Sister

Tomorrow when I wake up, I will probably have twenty things to add to this list...so if you can think of anything--let me know!





Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Friends and Enemies....

Talking about politics in a multi-party group of people is not my idea of fun.

You make friends.

and consequently, you make enemies.

That being said, it is wonderful that we live in a country where we can agree, disagree, and agree to disagree.

That's the beauty of being an American.

Since politics is a touchy subject in most circles to which I belong namely family, church, and community, I will state how I feel on my blog. Then I can laugh at my sarcasm, and delight in my ability to express my opinion to myself with no badgering from anyone else around.

I welcome any comments--even those who are in complete opposition to everything I believe.

THAT BEING SAID:

I am registered as a Republican. I do however, reserve the right, to vote on issues any way I choose. I believe it would be ignorant to say I am a republican therefore, I must vote every thing republican.

HERE WE GO:

I am not a fan of McCain, but I really feel like his saving grace is his running mate, Sarah Palin.

I will preface all of my thoughts on her with this: when I listened to her give her opening speech, I was impressed by more than just a good vibe. The Bible would explain my experience as filled with love, joy, and peace. If this still doesn't help you understand my experience, email me your name and I'll send two representatives from my church over to your house. I knew that this woman was a good leader, an honest leader, and that she would be an outstanding choice for this country.

As a member of the LDS church, I have heard this statement too many times--
"I can't support her because she should be home with her kids."
I agree that a mother's priority is to her family, but I also think the Lord foreordained a lot of good women to be strong leaders.

I love that she is Pro-Life. (she is even more-so than I am)

Palin On war:
Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God."

Did you hear that? The mention of God! Finally, a strong leader who is not afraid to acknowledge the Author of our country.

Palin on Universal Health Care:
"I support flexibility in government regulations that allow competition in health care that is needed, and is proven to be good for the consumer, which will drive down health care costs and reduce the need for government subsidies. I also support patients in their rightful demands to have access to full medical billing information.

So, allow competition in a free-market economy? Lower health care costs? give rights to the American people...can't complain with that.


Continuing on:

I am not a fan of Obama, and was a little dumbfounded that he picked Joe Biden to be his running mate. (Do they really even like each other???) It's hard for me to get past his refusal to cover his heart while the national anthem is being played. I don't care if he wears a pin on his lapel, but let's show respect for this land that has been good to us...

I am opposed to abortion as a cop-out to an irresponsible decision. I do, however, believe that if the mother's life is in danger, or she was raped, that she still has a right to do what's best for her.
I get sickened when I hear Obama talk about abortion:
“I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby."
Sorry Sir, all I hear you saying is that you don't feel that people should have to be accountable for their decisions. So go ahead and punish that future grandchild by um....killing them.

Obama on universal health care:
Every American should have health care coverage within six years, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama said Thursday as he set an ambitious goal soon after jumping into the 2008 presidential race."I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country,"

Senator, I would like to give a shout out here for the feel good message of everyone being taken care of. Seriously. Consequently, In England,this hasn't worked so well. My brother-in-law lived there at the Air Force Base. A woman in the same area had a lump in her breast. Thankfully she had "socialized medicine." The doctor could get her in, in ....11 months. Yikes, when it turned out to be cancerous, she was certainly glad she flew home to the USA to get help.

I am a diabetic. Supplies for my disease cost $1000.00/ month. I have no insurance.

But, I don't want to wait a year to go to a doctor who is thinking about quitting his job because he isn't making the money he went to school to make in a free-market economy.

I would rather have good health care that is accessible to all rather than crappy health care that is free for all...you get what you pay for.

Obama on the war:
“Here is the truth: fighting a war without end will not force the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. And fighting in a war without end will not make the American people safer.
So when I am Commander-in-Chief, I will set a new goal on day one: I will end this war. . ."

(hmm....interesting that responsiblity enters the pictures here seeming as how he wouldn't want his daughters to be responsible for their actions...)

I believe that this war is bringing about great results.

Captain Moroni (in the Book of Mormon) shares my feelings on war. He says:

"And it came to pass that he sent a petition, with the voice of the people, unto the governor of the land, desiring that he should read it, and give him (Moroni) power to compel those dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death.
And it came to pass that Moroni commanded that his army should go against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty.
And it came to pass that the armies did march forth against them; and they did pull down their pride and their nobility, insomuch that as they did lift their weapons of war to fight against the men of Moroni they were hewn down and leveled to the earth."

war is not:
Teaching our children to kill other people's children...
Subsequently, this is not a war without a purpose.

war is:
taking responsiblity for our land, our American family, and our freedom.

I guess we could stop the war, and let the terrorists come in, and try and welcome them. And not try and stop them from harming this promised land. We could do that if we end the war.

Come Friends. Come Enemies.

Let's hear it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

No you Don't!

I always thought I would be devastated
when my child said something along the lines of,
"I hate you."
Or even worse, "
You don't love me."
So it was rather hilarious today
when I had the following conversation
with this handsome two year old.

(while driving)
Lincoln: Mom, I would like some juice.
Me: You have to wait until we get home
Lincoln: Please
Me: son, you have to wait until we get...
Lincoln: I WANT JUICE
Me: I love you Son.
Lincoln: "No You Don't!"
Me: Yes I do.
Lincoln: "No You Don't!"
a few minutes later:
Lincoln: "Mom, I love you the most.
I love you Tons Bit."
Me: I love you Tons Bit too Lincoln.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Atlantic Ocean....

Today, I am feeling so humbled by the Lord's hand in my life.

In 2007, we found out that we were infertile.
There were no explanations....
Our insurance wouldn't allow us to have any further tests....

We were shocked. I was broken. I hurt every day.

The depression hit hard

My mom called often to check on me.
I smiled
But, she knew better.

I bawled.
every day.

It was hard to be so angry and so devastated all the time.

how did I even begin to explain that it was possible to feel two deeply rooted feelings at the same time: elated for people who were having babies. and completely empty because I couldn't.

If you think the Atlantic ocean is big.

it didn't really compare to the tears I cried.

So:

time passed.

a lot of it.

August 2006
September
October
November
December
January 2007 ( we finally went to the doctor...)
February
March
April
May.
June.
July. (we started the adoption paperwork)
August
September
October
November
December
January 2008 (finally we can be chosen through LDS family services)
February
March

20 LONG months
I felt like I had done everything I could do.
There were no more tears. (okay, there were still some...)

And then
APRIL 2008
Sweet Joanie allowed us to take Henry home.
Each day we thank Heavenly Father for her sacrifice.
We talked to Joanie a few weeks ago and she feels that she needs to move on with her life, and let this part of her life stay in her past.

But, we want everyone who reads this to know how much we love her.

The tears that filled the months and months of infertility have taken a back seat to the joy we have felt through the miracle of adoption.

Joanie, we love you. We want you to know that we will continue to give Henry two hugs and two kisses. We will love him. WE will teach him about Jesus Christ. We will nurture him. We will play with him. And, we will love you forever.

Thank you for this sacrifice.



Sunday, August 31, 2008

I believe in magic....



I have put pine-sol in my bath tub.

I have mixed it with
CLR
The Works
and
Clorox.
I let all of those chemicals sit together for hours in my tub to try and get rid of the ring in the tub that was here when we moved in.
TWO YEARS AGO.

then my girl friend here in Nebraska
(whose name I won't mention because she doesn't believe in blogs..heehee...)

bore her solemn testimony of Magic Erasers.

I would like to be a second witness that Magic Erasers are truly magic.

No more ring in my tub. NO MORE RING IN MY TUB!

MY last year in this college city in Nebraska (hopefully) will be full of relaxing baths, thanks to Magic Eraser.

Here's to clean tubs!

with no rings.

Can I get an Amen?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dear Joe

DEAR JOE,

I have seen many examples in my life
where one person has made
a significant difference in the world.

When I emailed all of the
health teachers in our city
(there were a lot of you)
THANK YOU
for being the
ONE
who welcomed this adoption presentation.
YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW IT YET
BUT THIS WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE....
even if only one student is affected....

it will be worth it.
thanks Joe!


My name is Brandi, and I am an adoption advocate in the state of Nebraska. Recently, I have learned of the high school health curriculum, and I am especially interested in the section regarding “Abstinence parameters, and the importance of family, etc…”

As an adoption advocate, I find it essential to share the option of adoption with students who are in the position of having to choose between being a single parent, or aborting. In addition, this presentation offers a healthy solution through a 25-30 minute power point presentation to all students. It discusses the importance of abstinence, and it lays out the cost of having a baby. This is not a presentation aimed at asking students if we can adopt their babies, but rather offering the resources for them to be educated on the subject of adoption.

Recently my husband and I adopted a beautiful baby boy. We are eternally grateful for our young birthmother who decided to make the decision to place her sweet baby boy for adoption. She has graduated high school, and since the placement, she has started college. As she was making her decision to place her baby, she said, “My mom was a single mom, and she had to work so hard just to try and make ends meet. I don’t want to place my baby in day care and work fast food for the rest of my life to try and do the same. Someday I want to get married and have kids, but I can’t do that right now.”

Adoption is a selfless decision that gives babies the hope of the best life in a family with two parents.

Please allow me and my team to share this presentation in your health class. If needed, I can come before and share the power point with anyone who is interested in the presentation.

Thank you for your time,

P.S.
Joe, if you know
any other teachers
that are willing to listen--
let them know!
Thanks!

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Boys.....

Boys are God's way of letting moms know their houses are too clean...

But, in addition to
the fun in the dirt
and the excitement of
roly poly bugs,
these boys are
my.
greatest.
blessings.

This is my only life...my best friend...my Sweetheart.

(I love you more than all the kisses in the world...

and you look seriously amazing here after the 14 hours in the car)

This is our sweet Lincoln.
He actually picked these flowers for GrandMookie,
but as soon as he saw Tiny, his first love,
this was the sheepish face we got
when we asked him to smile instead of staring at Tiny.
(TRUE STORY: he fell in love with Tiny when he was 6 months old...
he saw her yawn and it made him laugh.
After repeated yawns he has been completely in love. )
This is our Sweet Baby Henry.
We won't be offended if you tell us he's beautiful....
Lincoln-- what a fun day with you in your fishing gear.
I love your dirty face.
that smile still melts my heart ...


(...and all the peach colored sunsets...)

Henry...you are our angel baby.

(You were worth the wait, Sweet Boy)


These are my boys.


They are good boys.


Really.
Good.
Boys.

David, Lincoln, and Henry, I love you.


Tons Bit.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Brewer Family Fun...

In mid-July, the Brewer family had a wonderful reunion! Growing up, we went to Yellowstone, many times, and this summer we were able to share a lifetime of memories with our spouses. We had such a wonderful time, and we look forward to many more years of family gatherings.

Our adventures included white water rafting, "See How They Run," at the Playmill Theatre, Old Faithful, Fishing, steak dinner, the rodeo, moose in our backyard, waiting in our cars for the buffalo to move, and.....


SO. Much. More.

It is important to note here that when we were growing up, and we were on vacation in Yellowstone, all four of us kids got pink eye. We had to find a doctor and get some medicine. So, it was ironic that Lincoln had to go have emergency surgery at the nearest hospital (80 miles away) which resulted in MRSA, and 20 days of antibiotics....

Here are a few of the photos from the trip. We ended up with about 1600 photos, so these next few are just a few of the good times we had!



I think this is how little boys are supposed to look after a long,hard day!




Mom and Sis at the Rodeo!





Lincoln and Cannon played for the first time together.


They became good buddies, and we are sad that they are so far away!




The night of the musical. Now, that is a good looking group!





Henry Louis "Little Louie" meets his Grandpa Louis "Big Louie."


Henry would not stop crying, so Papa explained the blessings that our family will receive as we have Henry sealed to us.

He calmed down.



A very helpful woman, who said she didn't mean to bother us, informed us that the wolf zone at the museum was a quiet zone.


Ummm......4 kids --2 and under?.....nothing is ever a quiet zone!




Papa Taught Lincoln how to fish. Lincoln still walks around the house saying "Click, Click, now Turn, turn, turn."







As you can see, Lincoln and Henry REALLY enjoyed having their pictures taken.


I will love the memories of how life really was during picture time.



We had fun.
We laughed.
We ate.
We shared our testimonies.
WE missed our baby brother and wife.

Can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Let's give 'em something to smile about

I'd like to thank Joe J. Christensen for this reminder:
How many times in the scriptures does the Lord command us to “be of good cheer” or “lift up your heart and rejoice” and “be exceedingly glad”?

We should remember
that happiness is a commandment
and not merely a suggestion.
This has to be the most marvelous time
in the history of the world to be alive.
It is true—there are many problems.
But there are so many blessings for which we should be grateful.
Of course there are times in our lives when things are so
overwhelming that it is challenging to feel gratitude.
We all face difficulties at some time or another,
and occasionally they are tough.
But in every case,
you probably find out later
that there was something the Lord was teaching you,
something that is or will be of
immense importance in your life.
If right now, or at any time in your life,
you are feeling down, discouraged, depressed,
for whatever reasons,
here is a very practical suggestion.
Take a sheet of blank paper and write on it at random
those things for which you are most grateful.
Write whatever your most important blessings are
in whatever order they come to your mind.
Then after writing the list,
on another sheet of paper
put those blessings in order or priority.
What is your most important blessing?
The second most and so on.
On my list, I had to go down a long way
before I came to any blessing
that could be bought for money.
Our most important blessings are without price.
Also, blessings such as faith, testimony, family, and freedom
were the kind of blessings in defense of which,
if necessary, we would be willing to give our mortal life.



Father gave.

Jesus gave.

And we must give.

There is no other blessing for which we should be more grateful than that of being recipients of the blessings that come through the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Add all of these blessings to your list. Then, on those days when you may not feel like smiling, take out your list and read it and recognize how blessed you are. You will find it easy to smile and to be of good cheer. You will also find it easier to be grateful.







Thursday, June 26, 2008

LIFE...

So, for some time I have been wanting to post some more about our adoption journey.

A couple months ago, David and I took Lincoln to Nauvoo. We had the opportunity to walk the Trail of Hope, which was originally called the Trail of Tears. It was an incredibly emotional experience, and I the Spirit pierced my heart and testified to me that their was indeed a multitude of sacrifices made by those who had chosen to follow the Lord.

I obviously didn't cross the Mississippi with the saints, BUT I can imagine what it would have been like to be following the Lord and yet to still have to struggle:


The people did all they could do, and yet, still their boat sank! Some saints were tossed and sported on the water.

Infertility feels like that.

Yet, they continued on. They did what they could. And, even through the fourthwatch, they were diligent and obedient.

They were blessed for their sacrifice.

She traveled a long way before she had her son.
BUT,
She didn't mind the hardship of her situation because, her life had been preserved;

Motherhood feels like that.

And her son(s)


were so worth the wait:



And so beautiful.





LIFE: The Trail of Tears; The Trail of Hope.

That's All...

Dear Good Morning America,

When you invite one of the 17 girls who has become pregnant, either because of or not because of a pregnancy pact, don't tell her Congratulations, ask her and her high school boyfriend the name they have chosen for their baby girl, and then tell them that it's too bad the media got involved because this should be a time in their life full of happy memories.

INSTEAD:
TELL them about how much their life is about to change!
TELL them about the early mornings, the late nights, the doctor's visits, the money, the stress, the lack of their childhood, and then...

TELL THEM ABOUT ADOPTION.
and then...

THEN tell them CONGRATULATIONS for making a selfless decision; a decision in the best interest of the child.

That's all!

Brandi