Friday, April 30, 2010

Love Story, Part 7

After that "date" Steve and I became better friends. He talked to me quite often, and that Sunday, he came to church to find me. I was pleasantly surprised to see him, and blushed that I had just been caught talking about him to my friends.
After our final performance, we had our choir party. Funny enough, though all the boys were asked to bring drinks, they all brought the SAME kind of drink: root beer. One of my more rowdy friends challenged me and another friend to a belching contest. I was up for the challenge.
The contest was very much a blur....I do remember downing 10 small Dixie cups of root beer within 2 minutes time. I don't remember whether I won the contest or not, but by the time the whole thing was over, Steve was helping me climb up the hill to my dorm. The dorm was up a VERY steep hill from the Institute building, and in the best of health it was a challenge, but rolling around full of root beer was NOT easy. I felt like I was being rolled up the hill.
Once I was safely in my room, Steve said good bye, and left.
Little did I know that my participating in that contest would win Steve's heart. I've often asked him when it was he fell in love with me and he attributes it to that night. He'd never before, in his life, heard a GIRL belch the way I did. He was beyond impressed, he was twitter-pated.

Love Story, Part 6

That night, I was talking with my friend. I told her how I thought this new guy was cute. She shrugged her shoulders and started talking about something else. I did notice that after choir practice was over, the new guy went over to my friend Tricia and talked with her. My friend Tricia, was JUST getting ready to sent off her missionary, and I knew that she wasn't interested in this new guy, but I couldn't help but feel possessive of the new guy, even though I knew I had no claim to him at all.
For the next few weeks we would practice our songs and I would silently drool over the new guy, who I learned was named Steve or "Stephen" as he had it put in the program. I talked with Steve and learned that he really liked my friend and he would often come to me for advice.
Tricia came to me and told me flat out that she was NOT interested in Steve and that she knew how interested I was. We plotted and planned and schemed. We were GOING to change this guy's view of me.
As we got closer to the performance, I became better friends with Steve. He would confide in me about his plans for Trish, and I would slowly, slightly lead him another way. He asked me, in all seriousness, "Do you think I'm moving too quickly with Tricia?" UM, YES!! I honestly told him that he was. I don't know exactly if that was the turning point, but it was a major event in our beginning.
I continued to flirt with him while struggling to be his friend. The time came for our performance in "Greater Than Us All," it went wonderfully. We decided that once the performances were over, we'd have a party, the guys would bring drinks and the girls would bring the treats.
After our first performance, Steve asked Tricia to go out with him on a date. She agreed, but BEGGED me to come with her. Not being one to argue, and finding that I really wanted to spend time with Steve, I agreed and invited 8 more friends. We were going to go to the campus theater to watch "You've Got Mail," then going to the institute dance afterward.
When 10 girls showed up on Steve's "date" with Trish, he was a little shocked, but took it well. In the theater, it was arranged that Tricia would sit with the large group of girls on one side of Steve, and I (by myself) would sit on his other side. He even shared his large box of popcorn with all 10 girls.
At the dance, we all clumped together, like most girls at a church dance do, and Steve danced 2 dances with Tricia. Suddenly, my favorite song came over the speakers, "Don't Take the Girl" by Tim McGraw. I KNOW that I over-reacted, but I instantly began jumping up and down calling out, "This is my FAVORITE song!!" Tricia pushed Steve my direction and told him to dance with me, and he did.
While dancing he talked with me and serenaded me, singing the song better than I could, and with such a beautiful singing voice. We talked a little bit about his mission, which he'd only been home from for a month and a half, and soon the song was over. More giggling girls and talk ensued, and then the last song came on, and again, Tricia pushed Steve my way. It was "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing," by Aerosmith. Again, he serenaded me and we were happy. I believe THIS was his final turning point. He realized that he was being manipulated and he quite liked the reason WHY.

*Time Out* Steve's Version

I had just come home from my mission. And in the back of my mind the words of Sister "T" from my mission were going through my head, "You will be married within 10 months of getting home."
I came home and I was cornered by the Institute Choir director to come back into the choir that I was in before my mission, so I said, "Okay, I'll do it."
Then someone told me that I should come and sing with the other choir for the "Greater Than Us All" performance. I told them that I didn't have time, but Brother Homer, the choir director, told all the men that they NEEDED to be in the performance, so I went along with it.
I only had 2 weeks to learn the songs for the performance, so I started going to the night rehearsals. When we finally started putting the performance together that's when I noticed this girl. I thought to myself, "Wow! Cute girl."
With Sister "T's" words in mind, I began pursuing that girl. Then I remember a couple of nights before we performed, we were talking about horoscopes and it said something about how you should go out on a date with a girl, so I asked the girl to go out on a date. She half-heartedly agreed. (She was just being polite.) She had mentioned earlier that her boyfriend was going on a mission, so that was my cue to put on the heat. We would watch a movie and then go to the institute dance.
We set the time to meet at the theater. I arrived before she did, and I sat waiting. And to my surprise walking through the glass doors, MANY girls arrived. I don't know the number, but it wasn't JUST her. I thought, "I only asked ONE. Who are these OTHER people?" One guy with a whole passel of girls, what the heck..."
I wondered, "Do I need to dance with all of them?"
We watched the movie, with my date on one side, and the rest of the gang on the other side. They ate my popcorn....the one I bought just for me and my date. My date kept her arms folded the entire movie.
After the movie, which was a good movie, we went to the dance. I only danced with my date twice. And then one of her friends started jumping up and down saying, "I love this song! I love this song!" And before I knew it, we were dancing to it, because she liked it....a LOT. I never saw my date for the rest of the night.
After our final performance we had our "cast party." The men were required to bring the soda and the girls brought the snacks. At our party, off in the corner there were 3 girls chugging root beer. And I heard something that I'd never heard come out of a girl's mouth ever, the biggest, LOUDEST belch. I turned and said to myself, "WOW! I NEED to date that girl."
The girl who had been drinking the root beer, I mean, it was 2 liters between the three of them, needed help walking to her apartment, which was at the top of the hill. This was also the girl who over-reacted to the song at the dance.
Because of that belch, I fell for that girl. And thus began a new and fulfilling relationship. One that would last, FOREVER.
Moral of the story:
What you want isn't always the way you should go.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Love Story, Part 5

Over Christmas break I was a mess. I kept whining that I missed my friends, and specifically that one guy... My mom, being the great lady she is, listened to my whining and allowed me to talk it out. Eventually I cheered up and was ready for the holidays.
When the break was over, I was BEYOND ready to go back to school. But now I had a problem, I had no money for my housing. I had used loans to pay for my first semester, and I had no more money....I was completely broke. I talked with my mom, who actually encouraged me to stay home for the semester and ride the bus. I did NOT want to commute, EVER again. I also knew that if I stayed home, I would miss out on a lot of the fun activities that come with being a typical college student. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I felt compelled to stay in the dorms especially FOR that semester, I cried when I thought about NOT being there. I knew, beyond any doubt, that I HAD to be at school at THAT time. I thought it might have to do with me meeting my future husband, but I had gotten past some of those crazy notions of destiny and "meant to be." All I knew was that I HAD to live at ISU.
My mom took me back to school, hopeful that she could help pay for my housing, but soon found out that it wasn't the case, they didn't take credit cards, only cash. She left me at school, thinking that she'd have to come back before the end of the semester and take me home.
When I met up with my friends after Christmas, it was like we hadn't even been separated. We all picked right back up where we'd left off. Life was fun again.
The guy I was currently crushing on continued to be my good friend, but he also was a little more free around me this time. I thought for SURE that something had changed in his attitude and that he'd finally come around to liking me the way that I liked him.
I continued to hope for HIS change of heart, when another friend got to the heart of his problem...he just didn't see me as more than a friend. I was devastated. She tried to help comfort me, but I was beyond comfort.
Around this same time, we were having Spring Break. My friends and I had planned to go from one person's house to another during break, we were going to have fun, and just be free. I was still trying to sort out my feelings for this other guy, and two of my best friends on the trip were also emotional about the guys THEY liked. We soon decided that we were going to have a "geek-free week." In other words, no one was going to talk about or THINK about these geeks. Period. It felt fabulous to just focus on my friends and our fun times. While talking with my friends during this Spring Break, I decided that instead of ALWAYS focusing on my crushes and FINDING that man that I was to marry, I would focus on ME. I decided that after break was over, I was going to talk to the bishop and see what I needed to do to prepare to go on a mission the next year.
Once I made the decision to prepare to be a missionary, life felt easier. I didn't worry that I wasn't loved by a guy. I didn't think too much about my guy friend's wishy-washiness. I was going to focus on my life, and preparing to be THE best missionary.
When we came back from break, I became involved in our Institute choir's production of "Greater Than Us All." Our choir would be part of the heavenly choir backing up the soloists, and we would participate in this musical. I was excited. I have always loved Kenneth Cope's music, and when I HEARD he might come, I was even MORE excited.
I continued to work on being the best me I could be, and even started making good habits.
One night, at choir practice, I was joking with my friend (the guy who I'd previously been crushing on...) and I happened to turn around to talk with him. He was sitting next to this guy. It was weird, but I felt like I knew this guy from somewhere else, but we'd never met before. He was tall with light brown hair, and piercing blue eyes. He made a joke, and I just laughed. I turned back around to practice our music and for some reason I thought, "This is the man you have been waiting for....HE is your soul-mate."

Love Story, Part 4

Fall 1998:
I signed up to live in the dorms. I didn't know anyone who would be living there too, but I wanted to live the full experience. I got my assignment and was relieved that I was given my second choice of housing options.
I moved in as soon as I could. After my mom left, I was somber. It suddenly hit me that I was on my own. I was in a place that I didn't know many people, and I was BY MYSELF. My roommate hadn't arrived yet, and so I spent a lot of time in my room crying. I was SO homesick, it was ridiculous.
I took a walk around my floor and was shocked to find that a high school friend was there too. She and I reconnected, and I instantly had a friend.
That first semester, I talked a LOT about Cody, and how I missed him. Looking back, I realize that I just missed the companionship that he had provided. My friends were getting sick of hearing about him.
And yes, I eventually got over my homesickness and made many friends. I was out-going, and happy. I did the things I wanted to do, and learned that I am a very happy person.
A few weeks into the school year, I got a large bouquet of flowers. When I saw them, I was thrilled. I wondered who would send me something so pretty. I hoped that it was a guy in my ward, but soon found it was from Cody. He asked me in the note if I would like to be his girlfriend. That note gave me a lump in my throat. I knew it was time to cut ties with Cody, because I was on the edge of something new and exciting. Several options were opened to me, and I knew that being tied to Cody would hinder those. I didn't know how to do it either. For the whole summer, our "relationship" had been kind and almost TOO polite (if that's possible.) Later that week, Cody came to visit me, he couldn't have come on a worse day. I was writhing in pain, having a gall bladder attack. I literally spent the day on my bed rolling from side to side, trying to find relief. He sat on my desk chair and just watched me the whole day. One of my friends sat with me, worried about my pain, and she helped me out. Eventually, she left for her own classes, and I was alone with Cody, he awkwardly asked me about the flowers. I told him that they were gorgeous, but that I didn't feel comfortable being his girlfriend at that time.
I don't think I was blunt enough. I should have said, "Not now, maybe not ever." (I know, mean huh?)
Eventually, he heard about how I'd come to town, for a VERY quick trip, and I hadn't gotten ahold of him, so he stopped pursuing me.
I had another guy on my mind that older guy in the ward, who was funny, and nice. I thought the sun rose and set in his eyes. He was very handsome, and I was smitten. I tried to be his friend, which actually worked, only that's ALL I ever was with him. JUST friends. I watched him pine for another girl, and I tried to support him and be *that* friend, but it was SO hard.
He soon became all I talked about, and again, my lovely friends put up with my talk.
Soon enough, it was Christmas break, and I was dreading going home, away from the life I had started. But I went home anyway, hoping that when I came back things would change.

Love Story, Part 3

Summer 1998:
I worked, a lot, and tried not to be depressed about my situation. I found that I was enjoying hanging out with the young single adults in my stake. We took a day trip to a local reservoir and I bonded with a few people.
At one of the activities, a friend of mine told me that she REALLY wanted to set me up on a date with her boyfriend's friend. She told me that he was tall, blond, that he was going to be going to ISU and he wanted to be a PE teacher. I was nervous to meet him, but very excited at the same time.
One evening, Sandy (my friend) called me to say that the guy, Cody, wanted to do something that night, and would I be interested.
ARE YOU KIDDING!? A bored college co-ed with nothing to do? COME ON!
That evening I met Cody, and he was NOTHING like I had expected. He was an over-weight short guy with a high-pitched voice. He seemed nice, but he wasn't what I had imagined at all.
We went for a walk that night, and despite keeping my hands available, Cody wouldn't hold my hand. I was giving off lots of hints that I was willing to hold his hand, but he just did NOT get any of the clues.
I found that Cody was a nice guy, not one I was completely comfortable with, but a nice guy. I wondered if I would be happy with him. I figured that it wouldn't hurt to at least date him.
I could go on about my dating experience with Cody, but I will summarize it this way: he was someone who kept me busy when I had nothing better to do. I thought it was love, I really did, but I knew that I would never be happy with him. I wanted him to be happy, and I knew that would not be with me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Love Story, Part 2

After high school I signed up for college where I had HIGH hopes of snagging a husband. Unfortunately, that's not what happened.
I also worked at Kmart and had crushes on a few of the employees. One was TOTALLY wrong for me, in every single way. (He didn't fit ANY of my previously thought out requirements for a husband.) He was cute, older and flirted with a lonely girl, working the food counter. I would fantasise about him sweeping me off of my feet, and being my prince charming. I knew that it was a long shot, but I still dreamed.
Then there was another guy. Sweet guy, but not QUITE fitting the attributes on my list. I knew that he was a member of the church, and that he was a good guy. I would stalk his check-out lane several times a day. I knew my behavior was creepy, but this was a decent man...I KNEW that we were destined (again, with that word...)
I eventually dragged a friend of mine to the store to meet my current crush, and even though I was enamored with him, I couldn't ask him out. Finally, sick of waiting for me to open my mouth, she asked him out FOR me. I thought nothing of it. The three of us would hang out, and it was fun.
Life continued on. I took classes at Ricks, and instead of living in town, I commuted. THIS was the WORST experience of my life. I literally lived out of the back-seat of my '71 Pontiac Bonneville. I tried to do all the college-type things that my friends were doing, but I just wasn't feeling involved in school.
I remembered hearing from some members of my ward that they'd met their future spouses in "Dating and Marriage Prep" and I felt that was the path for me too. I signed up for the class and hoped for the best. On the first day of class I was shocked. There were 30 women, and only 4 men. I still held out hope that my soul-mate was there.
I do NOT regret taking that class. It was the hardest class I have EVER had. (I know, you don't think that "dating and marriage prep" would be difficult, but you would be wrong.) The first day of class our teacher told us, "Most of you in this class will NEVER get married. You need to accept this fact."
It was like a slap upside the head. I had NEVER thought that marriage would pass me by. I always knew, deep down in my heart, that I would marry, have kids and live the dream. This statement was something that just threw me for a loop.
After accepting that I may never be married, I started to re-evaluate my life. I learned a LOT about myself that single semester. I learned that I can be a strong woman and rely on my own merits. I learned that you don't NEED another person to validate your existence. I am the only person in charge of my life, and I needed to like me, because I was going to spend a LOT of time with myself.
Around this time, my friend, who had asked my crush out, started DATING my crush. Needless to say, I was devastated. She KNEW my feelings and yet, she was ignoring them. I was hurt beyond belief. This only helped me throw myself further into discovering who Dawnyel really was.
By the end of that semester at Ricks I'd learned several life lessons that have since stayed with me. First lesson, I needed to like me. Second lesson, I was NOT enjoying life at Ricks College, and I needed a change. Third lesson, You can't always trust your friends.
I was ready for a bigger change. I took a semester off of school, and then I applied for school at Idaho State University. This time I would LIVE in town and I would take full advantage of the college life.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Once Upon A Time....

(The following story is my love story, be aware that this is very personal, but something I wish for my children to know about their parents when they get older, and I'm senile.)
Part 1
All through high school I dreamed of having a boyfriend who would love and adore me. I went on a few dates, but nothing terribly serious. I mostly went out with my buddies, because I knew I would have fun with them instead of being all nervous with a guy I really wanted to impress. Thanks to those experiences I learned what kind of a man I wanted to marry: a worthy priesthood holder, a man who could sing, someone I felt comfortable with, and someone who was my friend.
I continued to dream about my Romeo, and even thought maybe I already knew the man I was destined to be with. (Yes, I truly believed in destiny....don't know if I completely agree with that notion now...)
In my mind, falling in love would be the end all of my existence. After that, life would be simple. I wouldn't have any worries. (Go ahead and laugh.....I'll wait.)
As a senior in high school, I was coming to the end of the perfect high school experience. (Or what I thought was perfect.) I was in a fabulous group of friends and we were all very supportive of one another, and it was great. We were mostly girls, with a few guys coming and going...mostly going.
This particular year we had one guy that stuck around. His name was Aaron. He was a very VERY spiritual and OH, so cute. Every girl in my circle of friends at one time or another had a crush on him. Toward the end of the year, he and another of my friends became close and eventually became engaged.
I was in shock. I remember asking them if they were happy that they had found their soul mate, and how it felt to know that life would be easier.
They both laughed at me.
It was then that I began re-evaluating my ideas about love and romance.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Couldn't Ask For Anything More

Today was my birthday. I had SUCH a great day. I went to church, where we had ward conference. The Spirit was SO strong, I truly enjoyed every minute.
I also had many friends come up and wish me a happy birthday, and comment on my funky blouse and new haircut. Oh, yeah, I never mentioned that hair cut here, did I? Don't worry, I'll post a picture soon enough...
Then at home, I had Cameron help me make a cake, then I sat on my spot on the couch and napped. (SO heavenly!) Steve gave me a book that I KNOW I will enjoy and helped remind me of what an amazing woman I am.
Then we went to my parents' house where I didn't have to make dinner or a cake. It was all done for me. The candles on my cake this year were my favorite yet....quivering fingers. (*giggle*)
Then I watched Avatar again, and didn't get sick. (When Steve and I saw it in the theaters, we saw it in 3D, and it made me nauseous.) Then we came home and Jake gave me several kisses, always ending in that noisy "MWAH" noise!
The day was beautiful, and I even enjoyed the small rainstorm that blew through.
When Steve told Jake to wish me a happy birthday, Jake said, "No, Jacob's birthday!" The kid's already got the idea!
Now for the haircut, my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I mentioned that I enjoyed going with her to get our haircut, so she paid for me to get an all new hair do. I haven't had my hair THIS short in YEARS and YEARS, but I SO love it! So cute and SO fun!
Then my mom took me out shopping yesterday to replenish my wardrobe, I got some SUPER cute things, and I can't wait to wear them all!
Spending yesterday with mom was SO fun. She and my dad also took me out to dinner (mmmmm....espenaca chimichunga....SO good!) Then for fun, we went on a drive to see a campsite that we might want to go camping at this summer, but the road was snowed out. So we turned around. On the way out, we stopped near a herd of cattle so Jake could see them. (On the way there, when asked what sound a cow made, he said, "Meow." My dad decided he needed to be educated...) He couldn't STOP talking about how "g'ampa" took him and Cameron to see the "t'ows" and "ho'sies." Oh, and "t'ows" now say, "Moo...." but it's still pretty high-pitched!
It has been SUCH a great birthday, and I wasn't even anxious about the number this year. I guess those zero-years really throw ya' sometimes. :) Here's to getting closer to 40 (as my younger, 28-year-old brother keeps telling me.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Smart Boy

Sometimes I think that Jake is too smart for his own good.
Like the other day, we were eating breakfast for dinner. Jake was just picking at his dinner (like he normally does) and I tried to encourage him to eat more. I said, "Jake, eat your breakfast!"
The little kid looked at his plate, then he looked around and asked, "Where's breakfast!?"
Out of sight, out of mind? Nope, just a smartie who knows deniablity is his best option.
By the way....if anyone has any helpful hints on getting a rebellious 2 year old to eat dinner WHEN it's dinner time and not snacking later on, I am up for hints. The kid thinks that he can just pick at his food, throw the plate, food, fork, and cup when he's "finished" and then eat whatever he wants after the fact. I'm SO done with that, and had to enforce "if-you-don't-eat-your-dinner-at-dinner-time-then-treats-are-NOT-an-option-for-you."
He also knows when I tell him something.
He was bouncing a basketball off of the neighbor's wall. It was bothering ME, so I figured it might bother the neighbor. I told him to stop. He laughed at me and continued doing it. I then said, "Jacob! IF you don't stop bouncing the ball it will go bye-bye." He tried again and he lost the ball.
I'm fairly certain that first thing in the morning he'll walk to where I put the ball and ask for it.
He knows that Cameron has scouts, and asks when "Jacob have scouts?"
Tonight during the flag ceremony at pack meeting at the request for "hand salute," my sweet Jake put his hand up above his eye. (It was more of him pointing to his eyebrow than a salute, but it was still SUPER cute!)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Personal?? We'll See...

I know I haven't been keeping a very personal blog lately, but I have loved the things I've been sharing. :)
Let's see, how about a quick update on everyone....yeah, that sounds good.
Steve: He has a choir concert this weekend. He's been singing with this choir because it was my way of giving-in to his performance needs. He's now talking about trying out for a play this fall, and I'm not so happy about it. I quite enjoy having him around and the boys love it too. When he does plays he has practice 5 nights a week and it feels like we NEVER see him. We'll see how I feel later on.
Me: I've been feeling extremely run-down and tired lately. I find that if I sit in ONE spot for more than 10 minutes, I fall asleep. The funny thing is, it's just one spot in the whole house, I sit somewhere else and I'm fine. I think I have a narcoleptic seat.
I've also chopped my hair off. I was feeling extremely emotional last week, and I was READY for a haircut. That should have been my clue. It's QUITE short, I haven't had it this short in a long time, but I'm slowly getting used to it. On a day when I get all cutsied up, I will try to take a picture.
I've been having all sorts of wonderful mini-Spiritual moments lately. I've found that when I'm upset or frustrated that listening to a CD that Steve got me for my birthday lifts my spirits. I have a new favorite song right now, it's SO wonderful, it's called Live Like You Believe. I feel like it speaks directly to me and ALWAYS lifts up my soul! Here's a link to the song, don't blame me if you cry...
Cameron: We had his annual IEP meeting and I did NOT cry. His teacher kept telling me how he enjoys Cameron and the boy he is. It was a proud mommy moment.
He's also doing very well playing basketball. We haven't got him signed up with any teams or anything (although I KNOW he would love that). He plays outside at my mom's house quite a bit and can make a basket in a 10 foot high hoop! He is getting better and better! He's also starting to out-grow his poor little first bike. Today he pulled out all ads that had bikes in them, I think he's hinting!
He has also started to behave VERY well. He's doing it because he wants me to shave his head again. The boy wants another mohawk. I told him that the only requirement would be good behavior. Maybe tomorrow I'll give him the mohawk.
Jake: This little boy is certainly going to keep me busy. He is talking a LOT. Tonight, we had breakfast for dinner, and we were *trying* to encourage him to eat. I said, "Jake, eat your breakfast!" He then asked, "Where's breakfast!?" Silly boy!
He also LOVES to be outside, he just lives for it. He will ride in his little truck and play basketball with his big brother. He dribbles the ball QUITE well for someone SO little.
Yesterday when we were at my mom's house, he got ahold of the water hose. He LOVED playing in the water. He watered EVERYTHING within an inch of it's life. If you were outside and within water distance, it was likely he'd gotten you wet. After an hour or so, he came inside, sopping wet. He had ONE dry spot in the middle of his back, but the rest of him was wet. I changed his clothes, and tried to warm him up, but he did NOT want to sit still. So I set him free. At my mom's house there is a water dispenser on the fridge. The kid found that and soaked his newly dried body!! I was livid, but laughing at the same time. Everyone else who was there had to leave the room so they could laugh.
This kid is our entertainment, and we're SO glad we have him.
Life continues to move at a rapid pace, and we're trying to keep up. I have had spring fever SO badly lately, and with the weather the way it's been I've even wanted to go camping. I'm so glad that season is coming soon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

When Your Hut's On Fire

A little note from me, I don't know why I've not been up to writing personal blog posts lately, but I got this email from my aunt, and I KNEW I had to share it. Maybe sometime this week I'll post something personal....maybe.....
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do
this to me?'
Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.
The Moral of This Story: It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering.
Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground.
It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Videos, for a Happy Birthday Boy

Today's one of my brother's birthdays. I don't have money to get him something cool, so I'm sharing some funny videos that I KNOW will make him laugh. Happy birthday! :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Things

I finally watched that show that I mentioned about NF and I couldn't help but feel SO blessed. Those kids have the disease pretty severely, and Cameron, when compared to them, is SO mild. He does have visible cafe au lait spots and a FEW (literally 4 or 5) neurofibromas that you can see from the outside. Our only concern with him is the 3 plexiform neurofibromas (multiple neurofibromas that grow in a cluster) that are on his spine. But in all honesty, he is doing FABULOUS! We only have to see the specialized doctors once a year and his tumors are NOT growing. I felt like I could be glimpsing something that *could* happen to us, but I felt SO blessed to know that we haven't had to take it that far.
I've had several happy things happen in my life lately, I think it's time for a gratitude post...I need the reminder.
Jake is talking more and more and can even say his name correctly now. He's been trying to say it for a few weeks, starting out as "Day-dub," then "Ja-dub," and now it's "Jacob."
He's also super cute and sweet. He's just learned to make obnoxious noises when he kisses, and thinks it's great fun to make those same noises when he blows kisses. The other night he was blowing kisses while we were eating dinner. He was laughing so hard that he could barely breathe.
The warm weather has been so wonderful. I let the boys play outside yesterday for the first time in I don't KNOW how long without their jackets or coats. It felt so freeing.
I got to have a very fun GNO (Girls' Night Out) last week with my computer and real life friends. I love it when I can just get together with a bunch of ladies, who I know and love, and just giggle until my face hurts.
We had our annual IEP meeting for Cameron this week. Normally I go to the meeting and end up bawling when they talk about Cameron. This week, NOTHING! I was able to stay calm and make my needs known, but I think the thing that made me SO happy was the fact that they were all willing to add the ONE goal I've been advocating for him for YEARS! He now has the goal to read a small book written INTO his plan! On top of that happy news, the district occupational therapist said that Cameron is about ready to graduate from occupational therapy. This kind of threw me for a loop, I was NOT expecting this. His handwriting is getting SO much better, and they're finding it hard to make more age-appropriate goals for the boy. She mentioned a new therapy using a metronome that should help his fine-motor skills, and I am VERY excited.
Life truly is great and I don't have much to complain about! What have you been blessed with lately?

Monday, April 12, 2010

NF1 on TV, MTV

Tonight, MTV's show "True Life" is spotlighting 3 teens who are living with NF1. I'm very interested in how they portray this disease, and since my own child has NF1, I will be watching with great interest.
I've tried recording it off of TV, TWICE! Both times it was NOT the show. :( So now I'm watching the full episode online. Very facinating. (THIS IS YOUR WARNING: They show actual surgical proceedures on this show, it could be quite graphic at times. PLEASE watch it with care.)

Friday, April 09, 2010

I'm a Porcupine, You're a Porcupine....

This last weekend I bought a book that I have to admit is probably one of my MOST favorite books EVER!! I find myself underlining favorite or appropriate things and making notes in the margins. I LOVE this book.
"How to Hug a Porcupine" by Dr. John L. Lund is my NEW love.
I have to admit, I bought this book HOPING to fix those Porcupines in my life. I have several people in my life that I feel are toxic or behave in toxic ways. (A porcupine is anyone who has toxic personality traits.) Instead of ONLY finding them in these pages, I'm finding my OWN toxic traits...and it's scary! I don't want to be a porcupine! I want to be a fluffy muskrat.
The number one thing that I've learned from reading this book is: "The ONLY person I can change is me. I cannot change ANY toxic person, I may persuade or love them, but I cannot make them change."
It's SO fascinating. I've had my eyes opened and I am LOVING it.
For example, did you know toxic people cannot or will not give you the validation that you want? They'll also with hold love to assert their power over any given situation. They will chose a "favored one," so that the rest of the people that they deal with have hope to one day BE that favored one. And something I've always said, "You do it because I said so," is a forerunner to rebellion.
I'm learning that I really DO have a good relationship with my husband (despite what other people think) and that the way I've BEEN treating the porcupines in my life has been appropriate.
There are things that I've learned that I'm SURE will take time to sink in and for me to understand. Some of those are that love and trust are NOT the same thing. That the "art of parenting is not the art of hanging on, but the art of letting go."And that I really need to transfer responsibility to my children for their own behaviors and emotions.
Now, mind you, I'm only half-way through this book. I've read chapters about how to identify emotional porcupines and what some other people have done to deal with these emotional porcupines. NOW I'm at the point where he's giving me the "armor" I need to protect myself from these emotional porcupines.
It's SO fascinating, and SO helpful! I'm SO glad that this book was recommended to me (by several sources) and that I listened to them.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Even During a Melt-Down, He STAYS In the Box

"Mommy, picture!!"

Books Review: Fablehaven

I may have mentioned this series of books before, but I just finished the final book and want to let everyone know that these books are GREAT! The fifth and final book of Fablehaven came out last month, and it took me 10 days to read the whole thing. (And only because I valued my sleep....I had to FORCE myself to go to bed at 2:00 in the morning instead of reading more, like I would have liked.)
The books are VERY imaginative and a fairly easy read. They might be scary for younger kids, but for tweens, teens and adults, they're fine! They DO get intense, but that's part of the reading experience, isn't it?
The series follows Kendra and Seth Sorenson and their exposure to the mythical world that lies beyond the typical human eyes. There are fairies, centaurs, dragons, demons and more. It's fun to see the different ways each group is presented.
I have to say, it was sad to know that I was reading the final book in this series. But it didn't leave me ACHING for more, but wishing there was more.
If you like Harry Potter, you will adore Fablehaven. I highly recommend everyone!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter and Conference Memories

The boys were pretty pleased with our Easter. They woke up to find a note from the Easter Bunny telling them that the baskets were in my bedroom for safe keeping. They weren't particularly impressed with the "edible" grass. (I wasn't's ALL over my living room floor.) BUT they both LOVED their clucking Cadburry Bunnies.
We planned to have a fun Easter egg hunt after the first session of Conference, but the message didn't get around fast enough, so we rescheduled for after the second session. It has been QUITE chilly here lately (all of Cameron's spring break was over-cast and just COLD!) and there was still some snow outside. (Not a lot, but just enough to cause problems.) Steve and I went out to "hide" the eggs (literally just throwing them on the ground and possibly HIDING a few) and I took one step on the pile of snow and slid side-ways crashing on the ground. I was hurt, and cold, but I was fine. Steve asked me if I was okay, and I slowly sat up, leaving the egg that HAD been in my hand on the snow with finger holes around it. He said to leave it and I did. When Cam went out to get the eggs, he asked why that one was RIGHT there. (*giggle*)
The boys had fun gathering up the eggs, there were 50 or 60 and just my two boys. After that, we sat and talked with family.
Earlier, Jake had spilled chips on the floor, and I told him to grab his broom and clean it up, he went to work scattering the mess all over the WHOLE kitchen instead of the previously contained area. He does make a mess well. I guess he's talented that way.
For Conference I'd made treats and set up a tent for the boys to watch the TV in. They enjoyed it for about 5 minutes, then they were done. Plus, the tent's pole was bent and just made things worse. The treats didn't survive until the first session either. Cameron had gotten up early and ate the middle of the brownies. It was sad for him, he didn't get ANY more brownies.
Conference was fantastic though. (What I saw of it. WHY do I always fall asleep in that second, afternoon, session??) I felt edified and very happy.
I also got some great deals at Lady's Night at Deseret Book. I'm very excited to read "How to Hug a Porcupine," and "Raising Your Strong Willed Child." Both look like they'll contain things that I really need to help improve my skills.
Overall, it's been a busy, but fun weekend. I love it when Conference and Easter fall on the same weekend, it just seems like that's how it should ALWAYS be.