July 29, 2014

Evan

Amidst the craziness of moving we are saddened and humbled. Dear friend of the family (and Joseph's close friend), 16 year old Evan, was diagnosed w stage 3 osteosarcoma (bone cancer). We love him and are praying for him and them constantly.  Every time I pray I am comforted and reminded that all that matters is that they have each other and that they are a family forever. They are amazingly faithful and positive. I am in awe and inspired by their faith and hope. Heavenly Father loves them. So much. I don't understand why this is happening. I really am having a hard time processing it at all---but that's where my faith comes in. It has to. Without it, id go crazy. There have been many many tears. We don't ever know what is coming. But this life I'd not the end. This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. God is real and is our loving Heavenly Father. 

July 24, 2014

Holy Batman story time, Batman!!!!

Today we went to Barnes and Nobel batman day! I'm sort of horrible at planning but usually want to go all out or at least semi-out with these things...also into homemade costumes...so my poor child had a bat mask made by me in three minutes. He wore a red cape...half robin, half batman??...and he took off my lovely mask before we got into the store and refused to wear it. Oh well!!! The store was decked out, the employees too...whom we have gotten to know well since going to almost all of their events this summer. They are some quirky quirks, I'll tell ya. Everyone was asking Fred who he was (red cape) and he would just shout out random super heroes. Ha! We made bat signal mustaches, colored/cut up into a billion pieces some batman pictures, Fred got his face painted with a bat on one cheek and a superman (that he calls Spider-Man) on the other. (Split super hero personality disorder????)

Anyway....then was story time. It was a book about batman and all the villains getting together to thwart him after the joker busted them all out of jail. It was a full house (tiny table) of kids today. Lots of dads really into batman. ALL the kids were constantly stopping the reader to ask all sorts of hilarious random questions and telling random stories about batman or their dads etc. 
Then I was wondering...are there any batman cartoons/movies out there that these kids can even watch that aren't super dark/violent? The Cartoon Network cartoon a decade or so back was awesome but def not for kids. Apparently there was something back in the 70s that was pretty kid friendly. We will have to check it out. 
Hattie spent the whole time crawling around in every direction, trying to pull all the books off shelves and just being generally adorable. Freddie was super into the story and particularly concerned about this Scarecrow fellow (oh boy..) and made friends with every human in the store practically. 

It was great fun. Plus we got goody bags with REAL batman masks. It took us forever to get out of the store because Fred loves books and was asking me about almost every one on the way out, I swear trying to stall me. And it was 115 today. Agggg! 
Everyone took good long naps at home afterward and I watched the season 3 finale of call the midwife. So emotional! Love that show. Then we woke up, ate, watched peg+cat (so cute...girl and her cat drawn on graph paper and it's all about solving math word problems!!!), and went outside for an adventure...(blanket down on grass and somersaults, scooter, crawling and eating dirt, dot sprawling out on warm sidewalk, talking w neighbors, me loving my kids and thinking I can do this and waiting patiently for daddy to get home.) 

Night!! This Sunday I get my pp award with two of my laurel young women. We three are so excited to stand up together and I love them so much. 

July 22, 2014

The Johnsons

Trisha Johnson is a woman I have known and adored for almost 20 years. She's a mother and wife to a great family in my parents ward in mountain park ranch. My dad has been their home teacher for most of the time we have lived in phx. She has tried to set me up w guys, has supported me and given me advice and made me laugh and loved me. She's just younger than my parents but she's ageless because she's friend to everyone. She is the type that makes you feel amazing and loved and special and hilarious. You just want to be her best friend and you feel like you could open up to her about anything. 

About 10 years ago I was driving down the road when my dad called me and told me to pull over. I did and then he proceded to tell me that Trisha had a malignant brain tumor and was not expected to live through it. It was such a shock and so humbling. I loved and admired her so much. It was really hard to hear. Then came the prayers and fasting--ward, stake, families, friends, faith. So much faith. And miracles. She made it through and though the cancer keeps coming back, she continues to battle and survive! 
Then last week we got a phone call from her husband. Their son, Evan, 16 years old, had been experiencing some leg pain and after being examined, they found out he has an agressive tumor on his leg that is eating away at the bone and muscle. He got a biopsy done to see how dangerous it is but regardless, he will have chemotherapy starting next week. He is months older than Joseph. They are very close friends. I remember them running around together as little kids. Little blondies. And they would spike up his hair so big and it was adorable.  It just kills me. How does this sweet baby have cancer? And even worse---what Trisha and her husband must be going through, knowing what he's about to go through. They have tremendous faith. Tomorrow, Tuesday, we will be fasting as a family for him. We have been praying hard that everything will be ok. 

When I heard about this I cried and cried. It's so so sad. I prayed and asked why. And then immediately came.... they have the gospel. They are strong in their faith. That is all that matters because it overcomes everything. 
Then my mind quickly turned to dear dear friends who have decided to leave the church. Then I bawled. Really bawled. Why? Why why why???? It hurts so much. I ache in my heart and head and all over. I love them so much. But agency and faith and HOPE that they WILL return. 

Such an emotional afternoon. I know, though, that my Heavenly Father loves me very much and all his children. I know it will be ok and this life is not the end and that the Johnsons are sealed as a family forever. 

July 15, 2014

Overwhelming

I have been SO OVERWHELMED and stressed and guilt-ridden and regretful (at times), even depressed at times in the last 6 months. Having two kids has been beyond hard for me. It has pushed me to my limits and then the thought that this could be it has sadened me too. I won't get into every detail because I don't have the time but it has been very hard. But I've always said I wouldn't want it any other way and  I love my children and am so grateful to be a mother. 

It's been difficult to see past challenges for me. Plus with stuff happening w family members' health and stuff friends are going through...I've never felt the temptations of satan so real. But miraculously, I also have never felt so real the love of God and the Holy Ghost telling me to hold on, with whatever I've got. 
This past Sunday I spoke in church about how temples and ordinances give strength to overcome trials. I feel renewed. I know that life is hard and is always going to be that way. But I can find peace, refuge and strength to overcome. I know this is right and I know I can do it. 

July 4, 2014

Top 10 new stories for the Smith family and GO!!

1. We are sick! Hattie and I were dying yesterday and still today. Fred went to grandmas and we went to the dr. Hattie has a cold and horrible cough and I have an ear infection!!!! Sucks. Got lots of Meds. Fred and Collin not feeling well today. 

2. 4th of July plans!!! We hope to get well soon because we are planning a day trip to a small AZ town for the 4th with a parade, carnival and fireworks!

3. We are MOVING! To Ahwatukee w my parents! We are boxing everything up and getting ready to be out of here in 3 weeks!! We will miss this little place. And I mean LITTLE. Too small for our growing fam. This transition will allow us to save a ton of money for many important future goals. 

4. Nikki almost done w Personal Progress! I was so close but then haven't worked on it since hat was born. I'm a week or two away and I'm going to do it!!!

5. Collin and I were asked to speak in church before we go and CS is singing at a missionary fireside coming up. Plus I putting on a Yw activity where we are finishing our goal of reading the b of m this year by reading the last book-Moroni-together and having some ancient prophets tell their story. Collin is my actor playing Enos. 

6. Hattie has 2 teeth!!!! She's started trying to pull herself up on anything she can reach! She does NOT like puréed foods. 

7. Fred is improving at swimming lessons, he's doing very well at cutting back to just a couple times of nursing a day (and so our nursing relationship is wonderful again!!) we will continue to gradually cut back but I'm thankful to continue w these limits. He is SO excited to get his darn boot off in one week! 

8. We are playing inside mostly these days and have gotten really creative e imaginative play and puzzles, crafts, stuffed animals, cars, and even a candy land session or 2. 
We also love going to story time at Barnes and noble and fun activities at the library, of course. 

9. Collin and I tried to see the Signal last night and it was soooo interesting so far but we had to leave because Hattie was sick and crying too much. We got read it passes. 

10. I love Collin, Freddie & Hattie Smith! And monte and dot are good too! They are lazy sleepies in the summer time. 

10b. I have been thrown up on a total of 5 times in the last 24 hrs. Make that 6. 

June 23, 2014

Rest and peace.

27 And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen. (Enos:27)

This verse in Enos gives me a comfort. I don't understand eternity and I don't understand the afterlife I'm glad that I will be with my family and my husband my children forever but the fact that I can't comprehend it all really freaks me out sometimes. 
But this verse says to me that maybe that's because I'm not ready; I'm not prepared. So maybe if I were to be more prepared or more ready I would be more fine with the whole thing. I like that he says that he'll have rest. I think of life and the never-ending dishes, sweeping the floor in the laundry and picking up, kids in and out and in and out and in and out of car seats...showering day after day, shaving my legs to no end!!!!!!.....all of those maintenance things on top of just living and taking care my children and being with my husband and developing other relationships with friends. 

Rest sounds kind of good actually. 

June 22, 2014

My two


I love my kids!!!!











June 18, 2014

My little broken legged babe.

Friday June 6th we were at a splash pad w friends in glendale and Fred slipped on the concrete. When this kid gets hurt he might cry a bit but he's super easily distracted and eager to "get back on the horse." But this time I knew it could be something more because he was screaming uncontrollably for over a half hour. I finally got him to calm down and watch a show on my phone but he was still crying and finally fell asleep. It was pretty awful. Last dec, he hurt his foot and we took him to the ER because he was acting similarity to this. But it was just a really bad bruise. He would still walk on it and it took a few days to get better. We learned from that experience that we will wait at least 24 hrs to get him into the dr (unless blood spewing/bone sticking out..you get the picture..) and if there's something really wrong it won't be any worse for waiting. Well after the weekend he still hadn't walked or even gotten out of bed at all; diaper and clothes changes were a horrible screaming nightmare. (Collin had to cut off a pair of shorts because he was screaming so badly and would let him change a diaper that REALLY needed changing.) ....So the following Monday we took him to our dr. Fred had been complaining about his foot the whole time. He would point to a spot on his foot and favor his foot---well it was the whole leg really, but he kept saying his foot. I think we had said it first and he just knew he was in pain. He loved telling everyone that he slipped at the splashpad and rolled his foot. 
The dr didn't think his foot was broken but ordered X-rays. We had them taken and after a day got a call that it could be Kohlers disease and that they are very concerned. I basically started freaking out and researching and reading everything I could find on Kohlers. It's a very rare bone disease in little boys that happens when there isn't am enough blood flow to the foot and the tissue dies and the navicular bone collapses. It can last up to 2 years! Fred got a blessing and we talked to friends and prayed. Meanwhile we had to wait for a call from a Pediactric foot specialist so that he could examine him and help us figure this out and Fred was just in constant pain, missing church and swimming and fun things and staying in bed. I finally got a hold of someone and pled w them to get me in. They took pity. We got in the following Monday with a dr karlen at the Phoenix children's hospital in Mesa. This place was so great!!! Everyone was so so sweet, nurses comforting, quick to see the dr etc. They took their own X-rays of the foot, leg, hip. Anddddd.....it was just a fracture in his tibia bone!!!!! Nothing wrong w his foot...his navicular bone hadn't even developed yet. No Kohlers disease!! Phew. 
The dr said it would heal in about 3 weeks, that kids heal so quickly and they gave him a boot so that his leg would be stabilized and he could Ty to walk on it.  He wa excited about the boot. They told him it was just like Buzz Lightyear's. He doesn't know who that is but thought it was awesome anyway.
It has been a week and he is doing great. He doesn't really love wearing the boot but he gets to take it off for baths, sleep and swimming. He was okayed to continue swim lessons, and they said it would actually be really beneficial. His instructor, Shauna, at swim kids usa has been really great at working with him. I feel very blessed and grateful that he will be fine, that the power of the priesthood has blessed our lives and that Freddie is returning to his happy, active self.
It's kind of crazy because I have to take the stroller with us everywhere, have to carry him a lot and I have two crawling babes haha. But it won't be much longer. 
Love my sweet Frederick. Ps. We have started weaning!!!! I made the decision, found a blog entry of a woman who weaned while tandem nursing (complicates it!!!) and got some great ideas, and have stayed consistent. I'll write more about it as time goes on. It has been 4 days and he nurses specific times each day and though he gets emotional about it at least once a day, I feel right about this. It's the right time for us and we will both thrive. I love him so much! It's hard to think of life without nursing but exciting to think of my darling best friend growing up so fast. And he is. He is tall and big and smart and sweet and interesting and handsome and the most wonderful little guy. O










June 17, 2014

Freddie said......

(We were talking about Hattie being 6 months old)

Fred: How many months an I??

(After doing some math) me: you're 33 months old!

Fred: I'm going to go to the temple and be married!!!!!

Me: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Not till you're much older I hope! 


Fred (In the bath, talking to his finding memo fish): "adelweiss, adelweiss, every morning you greet me...."(puts fish under) "no! Don't mess my zoo!" (Pulls him/her(?) out) "I cleaned my mother!!!!!" Then sets him on the side of the tub, "he has to go pee pee." 

(I'm usually putting Hattie to sleep so I don't usually get to do bath time with Fred but tonight things were different so I'm sitting there watching this whole thing and just cracking up!! Apparently this kind of stuff happens every night!!!)

Then he washed up his duck and told me all about how the wash cloth is pizza dough and how to cook it in the oven for 12 minutes and then the timer goes off, BEEP BEEP BEEP, and he takes it out and eats his pizza!!!!


Fred: I'm a little daddyo; you're a little Freddie 


(While I was taking a shower Fred watched spongebob square pants)...UPON my return....
Fred: MAMA!!!!!!! That big big big BIG hamburger is gonna get that square pants!!!

Ye
Fred: mommy mommy! I have to tell you something!!
Mom: what?! (I know where this is going)
Fred: I hurt my right leg at the splashpad!
Mom: oh no!!!! Did you go to the dr?? What did he say??
Fred:.........cheese


Mom: so what did you do at the store tonight? 
Fred:........(always love these thinking pauses---something good is coming)
.........we got a spiiiiiiccyyyyy drink for daaaaaaaaaaadddy!! 
Mom: oh boy....and did you have some?
Fred: just a liiiiiiiiiiittle bit. 






June 15, 2014

Daddys

Today is Father's Day!!!!!! We celebrated this weekend by camping up in flagstaff and having a great time together. Only a couple arguments!!!! Hehe. I love you Collin, so much!!!!! You're the best partner for me and the reason i married you is because I LOVE you. You make me happy!!! You're an amazing support to me in raising our little bannanagrams. Happy Father's Day!! 

My mom spoke in church today and we went to listen. It was a beautiful talk on how righteous priesthood holders have influenced her. She told a story of when two young righteous priesthood holders in the navy shared their testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ to another young man. That man had had a very hard upbringing..not known about by is father, unwanted by his mother, unloved by his adopted family. But his meeting the two righteous preistholders brought him to this church where he found peace, love, friendship. He found his wife. They were married in the temple and had 7 children; one of them was my mother. 
She said because of the priesthood (literally Gods power on earth), her father taught her the gospel, she taught her kids, and now her Nikki is teaching her children. It's so amazing how our choices effect eternity. It's also scary and sobering. I love you, mom. 

Another speaker talked about our Father in Heaven. He loves us. We are asked to fear him and it's doesn't mean to be afraid but to reverence and respect. That touched my heart. 

I love my own father very much. I'm so proud of him and his service and love for others. He thinks about and puts everyone above his own needs. 
I love my father in law too. I love how he taught my husband to be interested in things, to explore and create and ask questions. 

Fathers!!!!!

Pre-Father's Day waffles
Headed up north! Camping trip 2.0!


Hattie has a TOOTH!!!! She was showing signs a month or so ago with running nose and congestion but showed nothing in the last few days--besides the usual since birth putting everything in her mouth--



Not only did we not wear seatbelts once we got to the camp ground, but we let our 2 year old drive!!!! Hahahahha probably the FUNNIEST thing I've ever experienced. He was beyond excited and almost ran us into a bunch of trees and cars. 
Hattie eating dirt. That girl!!




It was so windy and we had the BEST TIME just playing in the tent. Hehe the kids would crack up any time the wind would blow the flap on the tent.bso cute and funny. 


I had a little walk in my own. There is something about flagstaff that moves me and speaks to my soul. It brings me so much peace to be there. 

Sunset crator!!!!! So amazing! These are lava flows!!!!! We were a few of the only people there. It was so gorgeous and enlightening and bonding for us. The kids loved it. Freddie hurt his foot so was in the stroller or carried in the ergo. I love that he can still ride in that thing. These volcanoes erupted in the year 1064!!



We talked geology and I was in love with the below plants. 
Best buds 
Nursing in nature. 

Awesome tree Collin took a pic of. 
This was wutpaki. We found out that we had entrance to it as well. It was after closing but there was no problem just going in and wandering around. We were the only ones there. So so beautiful and intimate. Amazing to realize that people lived here, and so long ago. So much of it is still there. And I love that there aren't any fences, ropes or boundaries. You walk right next to the ruins and touch them. 

Oh, daddyo!





This was insane!!! This GIANT crow landed right by our car and a bunch if little birds kept swooping down, attacking it! He wouldn't fly but just kept WALKING AWAY until he finally flew out of sight. After some research we found out that these crows like to eat meat and will steal eggs and hatchlings from nests. Once they claim a territory they are there to stay so the little birds do their best to run them out of town right away. Crazy! 
The moon! And Friday the 13th!!


Next morning! It was so cold but were for because we came prepared!!! All bundled up and almost every blanket we own. Still uncomfortable on the ground and we want to get a big thick pad for camping (not an air mattress) but as long as I'm warm, I'm good. 

We had breakfast at the place--very yummy and cutie Freddie commanded the crowd with his cute limp and "I slipped at the splash pad," story. He he. 

Then off to see Joe!!! He got asked to play with the varsity football team (as an incoming sophomore). We weren't sure if he'd get any playing time but he did and scored a touchdown!!! He's such a sweet uncle and loves holding Hattie and Freddie (not usually at once and was like HELP ME!) but I love how he loves them. 

He's he only blonde one and the tallest. 
Lumberjacks. 
Horseshoe trying at Riordan mansion. Fred got his jr ranger badge from there and found out about jar openers, the old house, got to eat some cookies and hear the flagstaff band play the Star-Spangled Banner. It was the 200th anniversary of the song and at that moment (1pm--4pm EST) bands all over the country played it at the same time! So cool. 




The house was used by family members well into the 70s! They still used the old original appliances. They let Collin and Fredrick play the piano this was a wedding gift in the early 1900s. 


Kaelir's 2nd bday party back in Phx. It was Frozen themed. 
Collin and I ran over to see maleficent for a late night showing while Fred slept at my moms. It was a great time seeig it but we didn't like the movie. It was a great first 1/3rd for me but the rest was no good to us. The pacing was strange, no climax, horrible acting by Elle...it was hurt missing something. We thought Jolie was excellent in it though. We just love being in the theatre regardless. We don't get to go as often these days and it's so much fun. Hattie slept through it!!


Father's Day morning!!!!! "Let's grill!!!" -Fred 
She loves her Gpa---just doesn't want anyone but mama!

(Group texts!) Joe and Dave were in Provo right before Joe went to football camp at byu. 
Father's Day mouse pad.