Saturday, March 29, 2014


This little boy makes me question everything I thought I knew about being a mom.
Its true that every kid is different and that what worked with one kid won't necessary work with the next kid. 
My first toddler was Landon, he was quiet, patient, kind, loving, cautiously curious and listened to pretty much everything I said the first time. Then came Braddoc who was a much different toddler, not only because he has autism but because he is much more dangerously curious then Landon was. It would take him awhile to pick up on a rule but as soon as he did he would not deviate from it. He has the biggest heart of any little kid Ive ever seen and wants to please people always. He scared me a lot by running off but after I would gently explain to him that it hurt mommies heart when he did not listen he would change his behavior quickly.

Tayton on the other hand has brought a whole new meaning to the word patience.
I have learned that Patience is not something one merely possesses and simply is. I have learned that patience is a LEARNED virtue and just like anything else you have to learn it takes PRACTICE, lots and lots of daily, hourly, or in Tayton's case every minute of practice. 

It does not matter how many times I tell him no, or that somethings is dangerous, he is still going to do it. It doesnt matter if I tell him that it hurts my heart and makes me sad when he disobeys, he still does it. He asks for spankings rather then having to follow the rules. He NEVER EVER learns his lessons and will go right back to something after he has gotten hurt for the 500th time. It seems like the softer I talk the less he wants to listen and if I flip the script and yell he just smiles, like he has won some victory over me, he has stripped me of all things related to nice Mom and has awoken the beast, and it seems to bring him great joy.

I think he needs more attention and so I sit with him playing games, cuddling, reading books, and talking and he still deliberately disobeys me. I have high hopes for this kid, whose nickname is Baby Hulk. This kid can rage out like nobodies business. He can't seem to get through very few sentences without breaking out in some kind of hysterical rage and start yelling, growling and jumping up and down in his anger and frustration. Noah and I often joke that his rage, passion, drive and caution to the wind type personality he would do great in the world of athletics. However anytime we suggest anything like this to him he tells us he Hates it. He hates everything!!! 
He hates people.
He hates church.
He hates nicknames.
He hates movies.
He hates toys.
He hates cars.
He hates food.
He hates vacation.
He basically hates anything we ever suggest even though,
He loves to be around people.
He is always talking about Jesus.
He tells people his name is Taytay or Tators.
He loves to watch movies and Tv shows, especially Sheriff Cali, Mickey Mouse and Doc McStuffins.
He loves to play with castles and imaginext toys.
He loves to ride in the Car and is definitely our best car traveler.
He loves to eat snacks, all day every day.
He loves to go on any kind of trip and helps pack his bags.

This kid is a mystery to me so much of the time, but he is also so predictable the other half of the time.
He likes to get into food and make royal messes.
He likes to play in the water and get soaking wet.
He loves to be sung too and cuddled with.
He loves to build forts out of the cabinets in the kitchen.

He loves to play with Legos, but HATES to clean anything up, EVER!
He always tells me his legs are hurting or he is too tired.... is he really only 3?

He gets up most days and changes from his PJs into new Pjs.
He hates to get dressed and loves comfy clothes.
He hates to put on shoes, but hates to be bare foot.
He loves to be outside, but hates to be cold.
He loves to give and get kisses.
He can open the screen door from the inside but can not open it to come back inside.
He can frequently be found standing on the counter tops. I lock the stool up but he still manages to find something to help him get on the counter.

He has terribly dry skin and a constant runny nose.
He lives with tissue in his pocket and an upper lip that is raw but he refuses to let us put anything on it. Im pretty sure he has allergies, but getting him into the doctor is proving to be difficult.
He tells me all the time that I am beautiful and that he loves my clothes, he also tells me that Jesus made my jewelry almost every day.
He loves to offer prayers and is getting pretty good at saying them on his own.
When we kneel as a family for prayers he likes to crawl into my arms and calls it his tunnel.
His favorite bedtime song is Twinkle Twinkle little star, and sometimes we have to change it to Twinkle Twinkle a whole lotta stars.

If I tell him I have a headache or I dont feel good he will come over and run his hands all over me and say, "Fix, Fix, Fix! I fixed you mom."
He hates to walk up the stairs at bedtime and always asks us to carry him like a baby.
He has a milk intolerance but LOVES milk and tries to sneak it all the time.
Whenever he kisses me on the lips he whispers too me, "We almost got married, Don't tell Daddy."

One day on the way home from church he says to us, "I really love Primary!" Thank goodness for Sunbeams, he finally said he likes something.
He is my only kid so far to pick his nose and eat his boogers and every time I see it I almost vomit and have a long talk with him about how gross that is and how we do not eat our boogers but use a tissue for them. But no matter how many times we have this talk, he still turns around and does it again.
He is an insomniac but we have discovered a liquid type ambien made out of Essential Oils and he finally sleeps like an angel. He is usually asleep before I even get a chance to come sing to him. This is huge because only a month ago he was up till 11-11:30 and sometimes later, getting out of his bed and coming downstairs every 5 minutes.
Santa brought him a giant stuffed Alligator, that he wanted, and now he has nightmares about Alligators eating him... we had to hide the alligator.
He LOVES stuffed animals and sleeps with about a billion and one of them.
He puts just about anything and everything in his mouth.
He likes to be naked and still has pee accidents a lot.
He is very sweet and polite when he wants to be and has pretty good manners as long as he is in the mood, which is not that often.

Maybe one day I will figure out this kid, maybe I wont, but for now Ill just enjoy the crazy, uncertainty that he brings into my life.
He is the runt of the litter and the smallest of our boys by far.
He is the cuddliest sweetest little thing when I need him to be and fits right into the crook of my arm at cuddle time.
I think he likes to read just as much as me, which is WONDERFUL because I really love to read to him.
He tests my patience all the time and brings me pure love and joy just as often.
Ill take his crazy with his sweetness anyday. I can't imagine life with out him. He brings me so much happiness. Im glad I get to go on this crazy journey as his mom.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Steps into the Darkness

Noah and I have made some pretty big life changing decisions based on prayers in the last few months. These decisions require us to take some leaps of faith and steps into the darkness.
 I wanted to share some of the insights I have received and some of the messages I have found to help along this new journey.

After Noahs brother Keyn got in his accident (more on that here) we talked a lot about the future. The Sunday after Noah got home from Alaska we went to church and I cried almost the whole time, and felt so strongly that we need to be able to help Noahs family. Everything that anyone said seemed to just be more of a nudge in the direction that my feeligns were headed. When we got back to the car after church Noah and I both looked at each other and said, "We need to do whatever we can to help our family." The feeling was mutual for us that we need to be in a position to be able to help his family out and that being in Utah was not going to help us do that. We talked a lot about our options and looked into trying to do a humanitarian move through the military to Alaska to be there for his family. We looked into that  but it was not an option because Noah was not needed as the sole care provider. We then talked about a few more options and decided that we needed to go to the temple to pray about some of these major decisions.

While we were in the temple I asked the Lord what he wanted from us. I also pleaded with him that his answer would be clear and that I would be able to know exactly what he wanted from us. I was very scared because the questions were so life changing that I really felt like I needed to know what he wanted from me, so that when times got hard or the pathway did not seem so clear or brightly lit that I would be able to have the Faith to continue on.

After my prayer was over I waited for an answer and I received the most beautiful and peacefully clear answer I have ever received. I was told that we were supposed to get out of the military so that we could help Noah's family and that we needed to apply for jobs in North Carolina and Georgia, there were several other things that I heard that explained the reason for this answer. I was very confused about the last part because Noahs family lives in Alaska and we both were praying about getting out and moving to Alaska. I knew though that the Lord was very clear on where we should apply. When we finished praying Noah and I talked to each other, we did our typical 1-2-3 answer at the same time thing and I was brought to an even more greater sense of peace and clarity when I realized that Noah and I both received word for word the same answer.

The first tool I utilized during this time was Prayer.
I talked to Noah, I talked to my friends, I started doing research and nothing seemed to add up on paper to let me know that the decisions we had made were the right ones.
We had already got our confirmation from the Lord but it seemed like the more I talked about it, the more it just didn't seem to make sense. It was during this time that I remembered this quote that I heard years ago, "Have you prayed about it as much as you've talked about it?'
It was then that I realized that it was okay to talk it out with people, but that the only peace that would come to me in regards to this decision was going to come by talking to my Father in Heaven. It didn't matter that I had already recieved my answer, it mattered more that I continued to turn to him for peace as I followed his instructions. We knew it was what the Lord wanted, so who better to talk out the logistics with then him?

We left the temple that day and the very next day the military announced that they were doing a force management which basically means that they would let people who qualified and applied out of the remainder of their contract. Noah applied to palace chase which means that he would move from active duty Air Force into the Guard working 1 weekend a month. Things quickly fell into place for the Palace Chase move. An Air Traffic Control guard unit position opened up in Charlotte, North Carolina (which is almost unheard of). He applied for that and they were super excited to find out all of his ATC experience, and immediately said they wanted him. We then had to wait on the Air Force side to approve it. After waiting for 8 weeks on a process that should have taken 2 (he was one of the first to get his paperwork in) and watching several people he works with get approved after turning in their paperwork after him we finally were able to get a hold of someone who informed us that Noahs paperwork was misplaced. So we resubmitted and waited again. Just last Friday we were finally approved and as of May 31st, 2014 we will be out of active duty military and moving in Civilian life. 

Talking to the Lord and finding the peace that I needed was essential to moving forward on this new path, but the next part was a little bit harder. The next part required us to actually take the step, to move forward in Faith. 
Elder Richard G Scott said "When you are living worthy and your choice is consistent with the Savior's teachings and you need to act, proceed with trust."
Trusting the Lords answer and then trusting ourselves was essential. I'm the kind of person that just wants to see whats up ahead, not everything ahead, but enough to where I am confident in the decision I made. But where is the Faith and trust in that? It certainly takes much more Faith to take a step into the darkness with no light to lead your way then it does to see your pathway well lit. I was thinking about this exact thing when I came across a story that Boyd K. Packer told-

“Shortly after I was called as a General Authority, I went to Elder Harold B. Lee for counsel. He listened very carefully to my problem and suggested that I see President David O. McKay. President McKay counseled me as to the direction I should go. I was very willing to be obedient but saw no way possible for me to do as he counseled me to do.
“I returned to Elder Lee and told him that I saw no way to move in the direction I was counseled to go. He said, ‘The trouble with you is you want to see the end from the beginning.’ I replied that I would like to see at least a step or two ahead. Then came the lesson of a lifetime: ‘You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you.’ Then he quoted these 18 words from the Book of Mormon:
“‘Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith’” (Ether 12:6).

The trial of our Faith doesn't come from us staying put in the light. The trial of Faith comes when we follow the promptings of the Lord and take a step or two into the darkness.

Noah applied for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for an Air Traffic Control job. The FAA decided this time around that they didn't want anyone with Air Traffic Control background, they wanted to revamp the program and thought that bringing in inexperienced people of various backgrounds would help them with that, so Noah was turned down for the job offers. He has been applying for various other Air Traffic Control jobs around the nation but because all of the other 9000+ guys like Noah who didn't make the FAA cut either are also applying to these jobs the odds are not great. At times when I think of the logistics of being jobless with 4 kids in just a few months I am really scared. On paper it just looks bad. But in reality and in the Lords plan (which is still unclear to us) there is so much peace. With Noah going into the Guard we will still have Health insurance which is a HUGE relief for us. We have done as the Prophets and Apostles of our church have instructed and have 6+ months of savings as well as a TON of food storage. We have been formulating plans of what we will do if May 31st comes around and we don't have any job offers and we have put our Faith in the Lord. 

I love the Joseph Smith quote above. "Faith is the moving cause of all action." 
Every single step we have taken on this road since January have been steps into complete worldly darkness lead by the peaceful light of Christ. 
I have no idea what the next few months, or year or years hold for us. I don't have very many answers and I have lots of logistical questions, but I also have an incredible amount of peace and a renewed sense of strength guiding my steps. The Lords plan and my plan may not be the same thing, but we both want the end result for my life and I want to take his path to get me there, after all he truly knows the way better then I do. 

We have become very keenly aware through all of this, that just because you know you are doing what the Lord wants you to do, DOES NOT at all mean that your journey will be easy or that your pathway will be clear. It does not mean that because you are following the Lords pathway that everything will fall into place and work out perfectly, after all these types of journeys and trials are about building upon our Faith, and we can not easily do that if everything works out perfectly. Ive thought about the story of Abraham and Issac a lot these past few months and I am constantly reminded that the Lord knows all things. When he told Abraham to kill Issac he knew that Abraham would do anything he asked him to do, the lesson was more for Abraham to learn more about himself. Abraham learned how far he was willing to go for the Lord, he realized how strong his Faith was because it was put to the test. Sometimes I have wondered if when the time came if my faith would be strong enough, if it would be good enough and here I am having my Abrahamic moment and learning a little bit (okay maybe a lot) about me and about my Faith. On Mt. Moriah Abraham had his greatest sacrifice, when he with held nothing from the Lord, the Lord with held nothing from him. I hope that I am strong enough to with hold nothing from the Lord so that he has room to pour out and with hold not his blessings for me.

So while the road ahead is dark and its kind of scary to put one foot in front of the other when I can not see the pathway clearly and when I have no idea what the end of this looks like, its also really thrilling because my Faith in the Lord has increased and therefore so has my relationship with my Father in Heaven.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Its always crazy in this house

While I was working on my lesson for church Aowyn decided she wanted to help and drew all over one of my pages, so I got her, her own paper and she did some work too.
For whatever reason she thinks she has to sit on the table ALL the time.

Whenever I am brushing my teeth, doing my hair, or putting on Make-up Aowyn has to join me in doing the same thing.
This time she had to floss her teeth.

Tayton asked for Ice Cream and I told him not till after dinner and then I asked him to put it away.
He put it away and about an hour later I went to get something out of the fridge and found where he put it back.
I also found a car in there later.

This is a pretty common sight in our house.
A full roll of toilet paper in the sink, full of water.

Braddoc and Landon have bother decided that they like to help cook and they have both been very big helpers lately

Aowyn falls asleep about half in the time in the car on our way to get Braddoc from school

Braddoc had something weird happen to his tongue.
I was told by friends that it is geographic tongue.

Day 2

I was talking to Noah on the phone and Aowyn wanted my attention, so of course she had to shove her head between my legs. Almost every time we are in the car Landon and Aowyn hold hands.

Aowyn got into the diaper rash cream and went on a little adventure with it while I was doing our taxes.

 Tayton and Aowyn gave me a nice Valentines day gift while I was in the shower.
I came back later to find the bed completely stripped, sheets and all.

 My handsome guys making breakfast for dinner after church one day.

The boys got into some stickers and made themselves silly faces out of them.
Aowyn thought they were pretty silly but did not want to wear any.

Tayton was mad at me because we ran out of gum.
I only bought 10 packs a week before when I went to the store.
Apparently it was not enough.

After living with the pile of clean laundry that I kept adding too for over a week, I FINALLY got around to tackling it.

The snow melted and its been warm enough for the kids to go out and play on the trampoline.

Noah cleaned off the windows on the van (along with the rest of the van. He is a pretty awesome guy,) so I could put our Alabama sticker on that we got for Christmas.
As soon as I started to put it on I realized how cheap the vinyl was. It kept peeling parts off and was just making a huge mess. I finally got most of the sticker off but was left with the top part of the "A", eventually Ill get around to getting that part off.

Tayton and Aowyn have been sneaking the peanut butter off into crazy locations.
This particular time I found them making art on the back of one of my chairs.
I have more pictures of this, but it requires its own blog post which you can find here.

 With Braddoc going to Spectrum (his new school for kid with Autism that is 30-45 minutes away) we went from using 1.5 tanks of gas in 2 weeks, to 2 tanks of gas A WEEK. There goes our savings. But he is loving it and its such a blessing, so we'll take the trade off.

I FINALLY got around to cleaning out the fridge and realized that I REALLY REALLY REALLY needed to go grocery shopping. I took the 3 littles with me after we got Braddoc from school, because it needed to be done and we did not last even 15 minutes before Braddoc was so overwhelmed and overstimulated that he was screaming and hitting and just really struggling. I stopped my shopping and went to check out where I was bombarded with strangers criticing my parenting and telling me that my son needed a good beating. I was already on the verge of tears and I was trying to keep Braddoc from running away while trying to get Aowyn to sit down the in cart and telling Tayton to just stay put that I didn't have it any me to say a word to them.
Its on days like that where I think being a hermit and never leaving the house sounds great.

Noahs "man brain" cracks me up. I asked him to put the Valentines bin away in the garage on the shelf to the left of the door, above the water barrels in the big open spot on that shelf.
He put the bin on top of the water barrels.
I seriously died laughing when I saw it and asked him why he put it there.
He said, "You told me to put it above the water barrels so I did."
Ahhhh and thats what happens when you only hear half of what your wife said.

Tayton went on a chalk rampage while I was cleaning up the above peanut butter paintings.
Seriously how does that kid get into so much trouble so quickly?
On this particular day I literally went from cleaning up one mess to the next.

He also during this time managed to get part of the hallway super wet.

If Aowyn sees anyone with gum in their mouth, she will go up to them and say, "I unt dum!" (I want gum.) and she will say it to you over and over until you give her your gum. And its not just family members, she will do this with just about anyone.
She was showing me the gum she took from me.

Then we just decided to be silly..
(see my baby hairs? Anyone else have this problem?)

Silly kisses!

Aowyn loves to play in the skin and gets soaked all the time.
This particular day she changed her clothes about 8 different times.
I chuckled when I saw her in this new outfit with her skirt stuck in her undies.

She loves to watch princess movies and cuddle with her daddy.
Her and Tayton also love to destroy the blinds.

Tayton has started this new thing that I like to call a little "90's SUPERSTAR" where he will end his dancing or a story by jumping in the air to separate his feet and throws his hands in the air while pointing his pointer fingers in the air.
Its super cute!!!

I have been super bummed lately that I can't eat girl scout cookies.
I had been craving the Tagalongs and so I finally decided to make some.
They were super fast and easy..... 

Two of our friends, Kalab and Rio came over for dinner and then played Hide and Go Seek tag with the kids. Aowyn stuck by Rio and when it was Rio's turn to count Aowyn had to copy her.
It was so precious! I glad my kids have people who love them so much.

Its been wild and crazy and super busy around here the last two weeks.
I've been sick with a sinus infection and just want to lay down and sleep for days, but there is way to much happening around here for me to do that.
One day I know I'll be able to take all the naps I want and need and I will miss the 4 sets of little hands that used to keep me too busy for naps.