Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31, 2012 - 5th/6th Grade basketball begins

(Aaron is #24)

Aaron's basketball season began tonight.  It was so much fun to see how much Aaron has improved since last season.  He is so much more aggressive!  He is a great defender and is learning how to play more like a post.  He did a great job rebounding tonight and scored a few baskets.  I love watching him know exactly how the plays should be run and seeing his passion for wanting to compete.  His ball handling is not bad for a "big man."   I love seeing how he is learning to read and feel where the defender is so he knows which way to turn for his shot.  He looks for open teammates and is a good passer.  I love seeing him have fun and smiling.  Tonight brought back lots of memories from my beginning days of basketball and how much fun I had.  I am sure my parents got a lot of good laughs at the silly things I did when I was learning, but I am thankful they were supportive of what I wanted to do.  I love supporting Aaron in his varied interests.  I love taking him to practice and picking him up.  I love going to his games and being back in the same gym I started my basketball days in.  I look forward to a fun basketball season watching Aaron continue to improve and have fun!

There is HOPE - January 31, 2012

3 years ago (I think I had been home for a month.)
Three years ago today I was released from the Billings Clinic after having a 2nd surgery to do clean up and take care of complications from my 1st surgery. I came home so weak I could barely walk up and down the stairs. If I took a shower, I was pretty much wiped out for the rest of the day. I could barely hold my 7 week old baby, let alone take care of her. My loving family nursed me back to health, and I slowly improved day by day. I was told it would take 2-3 years to feel "normal" again. Over the last 3 years, I have wondered what "normal" was. I have gone through periods of being able to workout consistently only to have some sort of set back whether it be me getting sick or one of the kids getting sick or breaking a bone and I would be wiped out for months. One bad night of not getting at least 8 hours of sleep and I was done for the next several weeks at least. I had to choose whether I wanted the energy to workout or the energy to take care of my family, so eventually I had to choose to stop attempting to workout and just sleep in as late as possible, get kids off to school, then slowly get ready for the day and do whatever absolutely had to be done. I was just getting by. At my 2 year check up with my oncologist (I had to change oncologists due to my last one resigning to spend more time with his family - which is totally understandable but VERY sad for me), I told him how I was still tired all the time. Actually tired didn't really describe it, it was exhausted - exhausted from the time I got out of bed in the morning until I could crash again at night- and I was usually taking a nap every afternoon so I could make it through the evening. He just looked at me and asked me how many kid I had. I told him 5. His response, "Well, you are now in your 30's and you have 5 kids. That would make anyone tired." And then he moved on. He didn't ask any more questions or really care that I was concerned. So I decided I had better just get used to this new "normal" me and move on with life. I had to accept that I would never be the "on top of things" person I had been and just keep doing my best. Keep putting on a good face and act my way through the rest of the time my kiddos are at home - which is so not how I wanted to remember raising my children or have them remember mom while they were growing up - but it was the best solution I could think of. I continued to pray for the energy I needed to be ME again. I would have a few good days of being able to only get 6 or 7 hours of sleep and feel ok, but then I would crash again. Weekends were my recovery time and I often slept until 10:00 am. (I am soooooo thankful for a supportive and understanding husband that allowed me to do this and never questioned me as to why things weren't done each day. He knew I was doing my best.) I prayed to know how I could help myself have more energy and tried to follow all the guidelines of getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising to fix things. But I didn't have the energy to exercise. In the back of my mind I kept getting promptings that I needed to go have my yearly checkup with my OBGYN, but I kept putting off cause I wanted to lose some weight before I went. I have been embarrassed by how much I have gained in the last year. So I kept pushing the thought aside for VERY selfish reasons. Until one day I decided I couldn't keep doing it and finally called and scheduled an appointment. My wonderful OBGYN that delivered 4 of my 5 children retired a year or so after Ashlee was born (which was a very sad day) but thankfully his WHNP is still here in Powell. She is an amazing woman and I figured if anyone would be able to help me it would be her. I figured that I would hear the same thing though - nothing is wrong and you just need to accept who you are now. BUT - she didn't say that! She told me that how I was feeling was NOT normal and she was going to help me find a solution. After a few different blood tests, it came back that I was anemic and my vitamin d was extremely low. So she put me on daily iron and vitamin d supplements but suggested I see Dr. Brecheen (the new OBGYN) to discuss my bleeding issues which she suspected were the source of the other problems. I had only heard wonderful things about Dr. Brecheen, so I went ahead and scheduled the appointment. She had given him a heads up as to my history, and he was in agreement with her that something needed to be done. I went to my appointment with Dr. Brecheen thinking it would just be a short, talk to me appointment only and he would give me some suggestions of things to try. But it ended up being a very in-depth appointment and me leaving with surgery scheduled to be done in the next 2 weeks for a hysterectomy. Life was kind of a whirlwind because I would have surgery about 5 or 6 days before Christmas. So I kicked it into overdrive and kept telling myself that I could make it until surgery and then HOPEfully things would get better.
My surgery went pretty smooth. It did take a little longer than expected due to a lot of scar tissue on my intestines that the general surgeon had to remove first before Dr. Brecheen could do the hysterectomy but I only ended up with a slightly bigger incision right around my belly button. They were still able to do it laparascopically. I was still very skeptical at 4 weeks post-op if it was really going to make a difference, but within week 5 I began to feel life come back into my body. I wasn't totally dragging after getting 8 hours of sleep and I wasn't needing a nap everyday. I felt like I actually had the drive to get up and get moving and get things accomplished around the house and do things with the kids. Then, the next week Andy and I decided to start getting up at 5:00 am and go to the gym. He doesn't really have any other time to go since he drives and hour to and from work each day. And I could do it after the kids went to school, but it always seemed like something would come up and I wouldn't have time to workout. I wondered how my body would do not getting 8 hours of sleep every night plus working out, but I told myself I could take a nap if I needed too. But guess what???? I have only had to lay down once maybe twice. I feel SOOOOO GOOD!!!! In fact, I feel FABULOUS!!! I feel like the "normal" me is starting to come back! I honestly never thought I would ever feel this way again, but I am HOPEFUL it will continue to only get better. Yes, I still use Saturdays to do a little catching up on some sleep but it is usually only sleeping until 8:30 or 9:00 am now. My house will never be perfectly clean like it was before 5 kids, but it is because of 5 kids not because I don't have the energy or drive to take care of my house anymore. Even if it is cloudy outside, I feel like the sun is shining again in my world! I am so very thankful to a Heavenly Father that answers my prayers! I am thankful He didn't give up prompting me with the answer I needed even though I kind of ignored Him for a year or more. I am thankful for a wonderful family that has continued to support me through the last 3 years and pick up the pieces when I haven't been able to. Our Heavenly Father knows us personally! He knows what we need to make us strong, and He hears and answers our prayers. I have learned so much in the last 3 years about who my Father in Heaven is trying to mold me to be. I am still stubborn and independent, but I am slowly learning to trust Him and rely on Him. I know He loves me and cares for me and that if I will continue to listen and repent and then keep on going, I can become the daughter He wants me to be!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28, 2011

Today was moving day AGAIN for the boys. They moved back to their old room. They were in this room when they had bunkbeds, but because the ceilings are lower in our basement and Aaron was only getting taller, we had to get rid of the bunkbeds and go to just individual twin beds. And then there started to be complaints about one of them wanting to stay up later than the other wanted which meant the light was on (usually so one could still read his book), so we decided to let them have their own rooms. I gave up my craft room, so Aidan could move in. But every morning, we found Aidan asleep on Aaron's floor beside Aaron's bed cause the boys just didn't like being apart, so we moved Aaron's bed into Aidan's room cause I had it all decorated. So they now had a sleeping room and also a dressing and Lego room. Which was all fine and dandy, but the dressing and lego room began to DRIVE ME CRAZY!!!! It was so disorganized and they didn't do a good job of keeping it clean. So we took the plunge and moved them back to the bigger room, did some major decluttering and dejunking, and they now are back together again sleeping, dressing, and playing legos in one room. To solve some space issues, Andy built the boys this wonderful bookshelf for their wall. It takes advantage of wall space and frees up floor space. We all love it! I still need to undecorate one room and decorate the new room and organize the old room (which I will get to put back some of my crafting stuff in), but for now it is so much better!!! I love organization!

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27, 2012

And here's the morning after crazy hair do! She sure looks cute for attempting to have crazy hair. But she was happy with it so that is all that matters. The funny thing about her attempt at her crazy hair is that this kind of style is coming back. I used to crimp my hair when I was younger. With how think her hair is, braiding it would probably have been the faster "crimping" for her hair anyway. What a lucky little girl to have such beautiful, thick hair!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26, 2012

Tomorrow is pajama day/crazy or messy hair day. Meg has been excited for it all week. She planned out what jammies she would wear and was so excited to not have to have her hair fixed. Except she decided she wanted to have her hair crazy poofy and kinked like it is after it has been braided. So she wanted me to braid her hair in tiny braids after she had her shower. I could have done smaller braids but Meg has so much hair it would have taken too long. We opted for smallish braids which still took long enough. Here are the before bed pics. She can't wait to take them out in the morning and have crazy hair. I love that school can be combined with fun!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25, 2012

Aidan received his Bear today for Cub Scouts. He has worked hard and was very excited to receive it. He turns 10 next month and will move on to Webelows. It is hard to believe that he only has 1 more year of Cub Scouts left. With the boys being the oldest, we are quickly approaching the end of Cub Scouts which is good and bad. I have to admit I am not the best "Scout Mom" but I do like to help the boys. I am EVER SO GRATEFUL for the amazing leaders the boys have had. They are amazing with what they accomplish with these boys during what can be hard ages. They are very active boys and they do an awesome job at teaching them love and respect and how to have while doing both. Aidan's Bear leaders have been Jeanna Merritt and Lisa Petersen. How blessed he has been to have these amazing leaders!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24, 2012

Nothing makes my little girls happier than a good friend to play with and a tea party! Ash and Kennie love to have Melissa come play. I barely know they are around cause they just play and play and play. I love how creative they are whether it is playing with barbies, the play kitchen, felt or paper dolls, dress up clothes, stuffed animals, or any other various games they come up with. Today, they played tea party for a long time. Apples, crackers, cheezits, and water...what more can you ask for when you are 3 and 4! We all need to stop and enjoy the little things in life!

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23, 2012

This was my simple project for the day! I love how it turned out. I wanted a "Valentine" decoration that would also be something I could leave up year round. This sits on the ledge above our kitchen table and has become a place for me to leave love notes to the love of my life and best friend! It was an inexpensive project - 97 cents for the frame and then I used scrapbook paper I already had and scrap fabric for the flowers. Crafting makes me happy and I love to make things that add to the beauty of our home.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 21, 2012

I love my nice neat closet!!! My wonderful husband took some time out of his Saturday and built this simple but absolutely wonderful shoe rack for our closet. It is amazing what a simple thing can do to bring so much organization. I used to dread opening my closet and seeing all the shoes spread out on the floor. I desperately tried to keep them organized but it seemed like my little girls just couldn't handle it and would have to "borrow" a pair of my shoes to play in and then of course mess up those around them in the process. Now, they have no excuse to mess up my closet. Everything has a place! There is even place at the ends of the shoe rack to have my church bag and my boots tucked nicely away too. I am so thankful to my wonderful husband for helping bring a little bit of organization to our home.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19, 2012

My poor little Kennie spent most of the day crashed like this. She started throwing up about 3:00 am. She threw up several times but finally quit after about 8:00 am. But she didn't sleep at all during that time, so she was exhausted (and so was Mom). She's a little trooper though. She's retty easy to take care of when she is sick. As long as there is Sprite in the house and she has her Netflix, she is good to go. I always hate to see my kiddos not feeling well. It makes me wish it could be me instead. Hopefully this passes quickly and no one else get it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18, 2012

Tonight was our New Beginnings for Young Women's. We did a marathon theme and had a fabulous speaker talk about what it takes to train for a marathon and how Personal Progress is like training for a marathon. I felt like we could have said Amen at the end of her talk and ended the night. It was soooo good! We then went on to our "training" stations - 1st: goal setting, 2nd: training plans, 3rd: putting our plan into training plan into action by doing a fun activity to complete part of one requirement, 4th: registering for our marathon and signing our committment, and lastly: running through the starting line and then on to yummy desserts. It was a good night (at least in my opinion). I spent the day working on our registration packet for the girls which included a running shoe that had a magnet on it and all the goals the girls need to work on included so they can pick out their goal and attach it to their shoe so they have it on their mirror to see everyday as a reminder of what they are supposed to be doing. Thankfully, after we were working I had time to finish these cute and delicious personal fruit pizzas. Kennie also had to take treats to preschool today, so we used 12 of the cookies for her snacks and she turned them into snowmen. (I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of them. She did such a good job decorating them herself. M&Ms for the eyes, candy corn for the nose, and chocolate chips for the mouth) I just kind of worked on cutting out the cookies and baking them in between putting the packets together with our fabulous president, Deana O'Brien. It was a lot of work but so worth it. I hope the girls will use them. Personal Progress is an inspired program that helps prepare the girls to enter the temple, become mothers, wives, and to serve faithfully in the church.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15 2012

This is my new duvet cover I finished today! My old one shrunk the first time I washed it, but I paid so much for it that I just kept using it. (I couldn't return it.) It was still nice, but kind of a pain. Then it seemed like it was getting spilled on all the time, and it was such a pain to wash. I was also getting tired of my bedroom colors and wanted a change. So I started looking around on Pinterest and found several different ones I liked. They were cute and fun, but I wasn't sure if Andy would really go for some of them, plus some looked like they might cost about as much as a store bought one especially if you added in my time. And then I came across one that looked similar to this one. It is made out of 2 flat sheets and still has some style but is very washable. It took me a while to get it done cause of interruptions and a few technical difficulties, but I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. I just need to finish off the top when I get some cute buttons or something to close off the top, but since my pillows cover the top it doesn't really matter right now. Now I am excited to get my new sheets on the bed and make some new throw pillows. But one thing at a time.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14, 2012

Legos, legos, legos, and more legos! Aaron and Aidan love to build with legos. I frequently open up the pictures on my computer and find tons of pictures like this that the boys have uploaded. They love to build scenes and new guys and post them to a lego website. They put them in different scenes and everything. I am amazed by the creations they make. All I see when I go in there room and very disorganized bins of legos and legos scattered everywhere. I am sure I have vacuumed up more legos than the boys would want to know cause they hide really well in our carpet. But they love to dig through everything to find the right piece and they end up with an amazing creation. I have set out on a mission to find the perfect table and organizing system for them though that looks organized but can still be disorganized in their eyes. I am so thankful they are such good friends and have some common interests that take them away from the technology devices and let them use their minds.

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13, 2012

I love this little girl!!! I sure do! But she has hit the terrible 3's and loves to push my buttons. She is sassy and huge messmaker and has attitude deluxe. But she can turn right around and make me just smile and laugh. Today was a good day! She was sweet and fun and my little pal while Kenna was at school in the afternoon. Her little smile can just brighten anyone's day. Ashlee loves to play dress-up, drink chocolate milk, and dance and sing. She loves to be girly but can be rough and tumble with her brothers all while wearing her cute little dresses and usually dress up shoes. She was so excited because today was FINALLY Justin's basketball game day. She sure loves her Uncle Justin, and like her mom, she loves to spend time in the gym. She wanted to wear her cute dress and have her hair with a pretty flower in it. And to end the day on a fabulous note, Powell beat Cody by 22 points!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8, 2012

The 2nd Sunday evening of every month finds this familiar scene...yummy snacks and good conversation at Papa and Grandma's house!!! The kiddos get spoiled by getting to pick a pop from the fridge in the garage, loading their plates up with crackers and cheese, veggies and ranch, and of course MONKEY BREAD!!! Everyone looks forward to this Sunday. The adults eat and visit while the kiddos eat and visit and then go to the toy closet to begin whatever fun game they have decide to come up with that day. We are so lucky to only live 1/2 block from Papa and Grandma. We are so spoiled!!! They are always doing something nice for us and we love to be able to visit them whenever we want. Family is what this life is all about!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

January 7, 2012

Yo-yo's are taking over my house!!! Ever since the kids saw Uncle Dan get a yo-yo for his birthday last week, they have been obsessed. They have been dying to go use some of their Christmas money to go get their own yo-yos to practice and play with. So today was the day that they finally convinced their Dad to take them to the dollar store to buy their own yo-yos. Aidan, Megan, and Kenna each came home with one. Ashlee was taking a nap when they went, so when she woke up she was sad that she didn't have one. The kids have been nice to share with her until she can go buy her own. Man have they had fun with them. They have practiced and practiced and practiced. We fed the missionaries tonight and had both sets that are serving in Powell come eat with us. The kids had fun showing them what they could do and the missionaries had fun showing them what they knew how to do. It is so fun that such an inexpensive thing can bring hours of fun!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6, 2012

I love to watch my kids and hubby have fun wrestling and playing around. Meg was kind of in a bad mood when Andy got home from work. He has a wonderful way of pulling her out of them by teasing and tickling and wrestling around. Ashlee and Aaron wanted to help and joined in. By the time dinner was on the table, she was smiling and laughing, and we were able to have an enjoyable dinner. I am so thankful for a wonderful husband to raise children with. He balances me out. I am not a very good rough and tumble mom and I can't always bring out the lighter side of the kids, especially Meg, when they are in bad moods. He has a fun way of doing it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 5, 2012

This is the note I found on my tile I use for messages or grocery lists. Not much needs to be said. You can only guess that today was a day that Aidan and Megan had been teasing and pestering each other.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4, 2012

The kids started back to school yesterday, and this is the wonderful sight I get to see out my front window and front door!!!! The new school is done and the kids are now walking across the street again to school. I love see the cars again, and I LOVE doing the dishes and seeing the kids outside playing. It is so nice that the kids can just walk across the street again. I don't have to load the little girls up in the morning anymore when I take Aaron to school. They can stay at home sleeping or snuggling in my bed because Aidan and Megan can't be out on the playground until 8:00 am and I am home before that. If Megan still needs her hair done, there is time when I get home from taking Aaron. It is also nice that they are home before it is time to go get Aaron, so once again I don't have to wake Ashlee from her nap or load them up. It makes it nice to go volunteer in Meg's class or run a forgotten lunch to one of them. There are so many nice things about living right across the street from the kids' school, and it is so nice to have their nice new building all finished.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3, 2012

Daddy and Ashlee playing War
(Excuse the unmade bed - I had my bedding in the wash.) This is one of my favorite things to walk in and find!!! The kids love to play games-especially with their dad. Andy started playing War with the little girls a while back because it was a game they could easily understand and play, and they beg him to play it with them all the time. He is so good about taking the time to play games with the kids. After finishing the dishes tonight, I went in to our room to see what Andy was up to, and he and Ashlee were on our bed watching a Jazz basketball game and playing war. She was giggling and smiling the whole time. I am so thankful he takes the time to make these fun memories with the kids. Yesterday, he was downstairs playing a new Wii game with boys and at another point he was playing some new dice games we got for Christmas with the girls. I am so lucky to be married to my best friend!!! He works so hard to provide for us and I am thankful it allows me to stay home with the kids. He serves faithfully in his church callings and takes the time to fulfill his role as dad and husband. It just doesn't get any better than this!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012

After having my first two kids be boys, I thought I was going to be a mom of only boys. I was so skeptical when my doctor told me SEVERAL times that Meg was a girl. I was so excited to have a sweet little girl. Then when we found out we were having another girl, I was delighted. The boys would have each other and the girls would have each other. I thought our family was complete and how wonderful to have it end up being 2 and 2. But I had an overwhelming feeling from the day we brought Kenna home that I was supposed to have another baby, despite the fact that my doctor advised against it. My pregnancy with Kenna was not a good one, and we were so happy that she didn't have very many problems being born 6 weeks early. But I finally quit fighting the feeling that we were supposed to have another child and asked my doctor if he thought it would be possible. He told me that I would live and that the baby would live but that it wouldn't be an easy pregnancy but that he would be there to get me through it. So with that, we decided that we were supposed to have 1 more child. I had mixed feelings when it was time to have the ultrasound to see what gender we would have. Another boy would be fun, but I hadn't had a little boy around the house for a while. The boys were out of the little boy stage. Another girl would most definitely be much easier when it came to clothes, toys, and already being in the girl stage. I had given away all my boy stuff cause I thought we were done. It was almost surreal when we found out we were having a 3rd girl!!! How lucky could I be to be the mom to 2 boys and 3 girls!

Yes, there are days Andy and I get very scared thinking about the day when the boys are gone and we are left with 3 teenage princesses, but it is also fun. The girls are such good friends!!! Today, Meg was practicing her clogging and Kennie and Ash were right there trying to mimic her. They were giggling and having so much fun together. As soon as I pulled the camera out, they dropped into this pose for a picture together. They can be so wild and crazy together and so calm and sweet when they read books together and snuggle in my bed. Yes, they bring drama...what girl doesn't, but they bring so much laughter and happiness into our home. I love all my children!!! I love the relationship I have with my boys. But there is something so special between and mom and her daughters! I hope I can have the kind of relationship with my girls that I have with my own mom. I hope they can call me their best friend when they have their own families!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2011

Ashlee and Soren - kissin' cousins

Happy New Year!!! We started the year off by switching to 9:00 am church today. Thankfully, all the kiddos were up and ready in time. Ashlee got to start Primary today as a new Sunbeam. I was worried how it would go since she just turned 3 only a few weeks ago and she absolutely LOVES nursery and Sister Kienlen. But we had been preparing her by telling her she would get to go to big Primary with Kenna, which she absolutely loves getting to do anything her big sister does. She seemed to do well. One perk about 9:00 church is that we get home in time to feel like we can take a Sunday afternoon nap and still go to bed at a decent time. I believe Ashlee and I were the only ones that took a nap, and boy did it feel great. Andy and the kiddos had fun playing games together and watching Cars 2. We then got to go to Grandma and Grandpa Jacobsen's house for dinner and a birthday party for Soren and Uncle Dan. It was such a fun evening being with family. All the kids loved playing with Soren and baby Lily. Ashlee and Soren are only 3 weeks apart in age. It is so fun to see them getting older and discovering how much fun they can have together. When we went to leave, they wrapped their arms around each other for a hug and then finished it off with a kiss - on the lips. We decided we need to start teaching the kids the appropriate time for that and when to just kiss on the cheek! Oh the innocence of kids! Aidan and Megan and Kenna had lots of fun toting baby Lily around. She was a good sport about it. It is fun watching my kiddos get older and really enjoy playing with their younger cousins. We are sad to see all our family head home after New Year, but we must all get back to reality and the daily grind of life. We are excited to see what 2012 brings to our home!!!!