Friday, January 22, 2010


Speak when you are angry, and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret. - Dr. Laurence J. Peter

Reene Garcia posted this on facebook. It got me thinkin'....

Scott told me awhile ago he missed the spunky go-get'em person he met and who would do anything to correct an injustice or fight for the underdog. I miss her too... not even sure when I lost her. I think it all began when I started caring what others thought about me and I got burned too many times- things have backfired on me and I've ended up looking like the one at fault.

Mostly, I'm pretty sure that "spunky go-get'em" girl went totally MIA five and a half years ago when a genetically enhanced little girl taught me:

1) if you're gonna fight.... you fight for life or the quality of it.

2) if you pick your battles... when it's really important people will stop and listen.

3) and it is in my best interest to save my energy and fight for things that really matter to my family.

I still stick up for the underdog; but I really don't care to school customer service people who are rude and let them know they are in the wrong profession. I just roll my eyes if someone cuts in line. I pity, but don't confront, others who cheat our government. And I don't loose sleep over people who constantly choose to have drama in their lives. Just sayin'

I think I'll post this quote on my front door- both sides. Just to remind myself that all that drama should be left outside my home; because we already have enough drama to keep ourselves occupied!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Meet the "Doofi"- What they have taught me about ladybugs, teenagers, and birth order.

Emily, Madison (yes, mine), and Mikaela are lovingly to referred to as the "Doofi" by my oldest Kiersten (age 15) and myself. Madison and Mikaela are the real Doofi; Emily is only honorary for reasons I will not say so M & M's feelings are not hurt ;). As you can see they make pretty cute ladybugs.

With the exception of Madison, I really don't think any of them like ladybugs. However, they are teenage girls who are insecure, self absorbed, timid, vain, and want to see the boys turn their heads as they float across the gym floor at the Halloween dance. The formula to make three awkward 13 year old girls turn into confident, happy and cute girls.... tight leggings, red legwarmers, antennae, wings and a tutu. Results= some pretty happy girls who had a great time.

I think they are a pretty well-balanced group of friends. Here's why.. see, I believe in birth order being a big part of your personality. I didn't... until I had kids- then, they proved it to be true. Of course there are always exceptions to the rules; but the "Doofi" are pretty case book birth order kind of girls.

Emily is a sweet rough and tough girl who is a big sister to one little sister and a little sister to two big brothers. Being a bigger sister makes her sensitive to others but she doesn't loose sleep over it. She has a great sense of humor that includes hooting and howling for beautiful boys on the big screen. Her big brothers help her find enjoyment in physical activities and helps her feel confident around boys. Even when she likes a boys she may treat them like a friend or a big brother. Since she is the oldest girl she is serious about school and responsible.

Madison is the middle of three older girls. Typical middle child who makes sure everyone knows she is present and knows what she wants. She is independent, reliable, and resourceful. Her major downfall is that she lives for attention... that is a recipe for problems in itself. She is the ring-leader, a supportive and sensitive friend, and knows how to fly under the radar if she is in pursuit of something important. She dances and sings and loves lots of attention.

Mikeala is the oldest. She is the baby... until recently she didn't even cut her own food. She is innocent, kind, motherly, happy, a bit clueless, and a lot dependent. She's still figuring out problem solving skills but is a true and faithful friend. She is a music guru and is keen to the "spirit".

I love the "Doofi". Not only have they provided K and I with hours of entertainment they have also showed me what good friends look like. They come from different families, different places in birth order, and have different goals and likes; but they are one in friendship.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday-- "Ain't it so"

My daughter's friend, Kimmi (age 16), tagged me in this photo on facebook. She took this picture of Sadie and wisely captioned it. I'm not sure if Kimmi knew how prophetic she was being.....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Memories.... Three Visitors, a Hospital Room, and Some News!

I tried hard to think of something to post today but my mind wasn't willing to venture much farther than this post I came across yesterday. It was written in October of 2008; but the memory happened a couple of months after Sadie was born.

Here it goes:

I've been thinking a lot of an experience I had just after the birth of Sadie. Three of my friends came to visit me in the hospital. They all sat at the end of my bed admiring Sadie and looking forward to the births of two of their children in the following few weeks. I felt there was no better time than the present so I blurted out, "She has Down Syndrome". What happened next has been one of the best lessons I have ever experienced.

My friend Kay, who had 3 children and was expecting her forth in the next two weeks and who grew up with two deaf parents, exclaimed, "Oh, she's so cute... doesn't she have the cutiest toes? It looks like she is giving us a peace sign, " (because of the big gap). She just kept talking and talking about everything... I wondered if she had even heard the news I had just given her.

My friend Alison, who was expecting her first child the next month, sat there with a with a deer caught in headlights look. I don't think she said another word and I was sure she was lost in thoughts of, "if Kari didn't know she was going to have a kid with ds... what about ME?"

And then there was my sweet little friend Ayumi she sat there with tears in her eyes, got up and hugged me and started asking questions about what was next and about her health.

Everyone had a different reaction. I believe those reactions were all born from different experiences they had in life. Each had different upringings and and different personalities. All three were there in the room with me at the same time hearing the same things; but, each of them heard it differently. Kay lived around disabled people all her life. She knew that things would be just fine. She was there to celebrate a new life. Alison was newly married, expecting her first child. They were perfect and nothing seriously life altering had ever happened to her. Ayumi, she grew up in Japan. She grew up in a society where people with disabilities are hidden, killed or shipped away.

I learned that day that I could never control how others reacted. I needed to look beyond their reaction and wonder... why do they think that way? Now today, when we are out and about, I often see how people react to Sadie. Sometimes they turn their heads. Sometimes they look at me with pity. But most of the time, they smile. They see how happy we are. They see the joy and love Sadie brings to our family.

I can't control how others feel. The only thing I can control is my own thoughts and emotions. I can however, hope that maybe as we fully accept and rejoice in our litte ones others will see their beauty and worth. And if not- it won't change how I feel one bit!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Resolve to Live with the Spirit of Love and Forgiveness"

Today during the satellite broadcast of Stake Conference Elder Jeffery R. Holland talked about Forgiveness. I was touched by the thought that the first three talks seem to speak to me. As I sat there, warm with the Spirit, I had an overwhelming feeling that Elder Holland's talk was written for me. Elder Holland, who I love listening to, brought up several good points about the principle of forgiveness. He wanted us to look beyond the major sins that require visiting with the bishop and concentrate on the "little things".

He challenged us to "unload the excess baggage and start forgiving ourselves". His talk was about letting go of the hurt or grudges, no matter how valid they are, and moving on. Elder Holland cautioned us that when we have a negative view of ourselves we are more apt to have a negative view of others. Also, in order to find good in ourselves we must be willing to be "pleasant, patient, and forgiving" of ourselves and others everyday.

I guess I always thought of forgiveness as something to ask of other people or to give to others. Forgiving myself has never really been something I have put any thought or effort in. When getting rid of all the anger, hurt, or baggage we may be holding we open our lives to peace and happiness. I hope that Elder Holland's New Year's challenge of "Resolving to live with the Spirit of love and Forgiveness" will become part of my daily life. My hope is that as I start to live this principal my life, thoughts, and health will be healed and I will feel the peace I've been searching for.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hannieo... Where did the time go???

Just yesterday my little Hannieo looked like this! Look how sweet and little and innocent and bright-eyed she was. This is about the same time she learned how to spell her first word - Zoo. Which she so smartly turned into Boo... which quickly turned into Boob. Yes, from the beginning Hannah has had a flair for words and a great sense of humor.
Case in point- letter to her Kindergarten teacher:

Dear Mrs. H,
I love You!
Love, Hannieo

Where did the time go? Six years later
Hannah has moved on from writing
about Boobs and now is sporting
a pair of her own. She is still
sweet, kind, funny, and bright-eyed...
but now she is curvy, tall, has
her own phone and yes---
she has a crush! Later this month she
will be getting spacers and on Feb. 1st
she will getting her braces. I am proud
of the Young Women she is becoming...
I just wish it wasn't going so fast~~~~~~~

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ms. Kinsey... a true friend!

I should be cleaning... getting ready for my FIL and his girlfriend who are coming over for dinner... but I'm taking a quick break to share someone special and dear to my heart.

This is Kinsey....

I met Kinsey and her Mom Stacy at the dance studio where my older girls (and now Sadie) dance. Kinsey is three months younger than Sadie and much wiser than most adults I know. This statement may sound strange about a five year old; but if you ever met her I know you would agree.

See, I have a bit of an issue when people treat Sadie like a mascot or a pet. Stacy and Kinsey have always treated Sadie as a friend. It could have something to do with Stacy, Kinsey's mom, teaching Kindergarten- but I tend to think we just happen to find us some real angels. They have always seen Sadie for her accomplishments and a abilities. Kinsey is truly happy to see Sadie and Stacy is always supportive and encouraging without that awkward "cheer on the underdog" vibe.

Lately I've been thinking about what great friends they are and something has been bugging me about the whole thing. See, I know that in Kinsey and Stacy's eyes Sadie is just a little girl who happens to have down syndrome. For that I am eternally grateful. But, something maybe some of you have never thought about is what friends of our kids have to sacrifice in order to stand beside them.

I'm not even sure how to put this in to words- so bear with me if this seems a little scattered. Besides being kind, supportive, and sensitive- Kinsey is a super bright, happy, outgoing, funny, gentle, and bug-loving little girl. She is cute and sweet and her mommies best friend... all qualities worthy of sainthood! Unfortunately, I've noticed that sometimes when she is with Sadie she is overlooked as the girls all run and hug the studio "mascot" Sadie! Yes, I am grateful the girls all love and love on Sadie; but sometimes my heart goes out to this sweet little girl who is looked over solely because she isn't sporting an extra chromosome. Stacy has voiced her excitement about Sadie and Kinsey performing in the same Christmas groups and after a few times I finally told her how I didn't want Kinsey to have to stay behind and "help" Sadie. That didn't seem to phase her one bit. Infact, Stacy told me that the friendship and lessons Kinsey will get from Sadie will be more important than moving forward with any group!

Regardless of what group they end up in or whether they continue in the same dance class or not-- it is apparent to me that both Sadie and I have found some true friends. Friends who love us for who we are. Friends who will stand beside us even if that means they may be looked over or passed up. Friends who understand that we are all children of God. Friends who understand the true meaning of FRIENDSHIP!

I hope that Sadie and I can be worthy of this friendship. I pray that we will be good friends in return. We love you little Ms. Kinsey! Stacy, thank you for raising a terrific daughter.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Not "Why"... But "How"

You know when you think you have an answer to a prayer only to question that answer after something happens? You know... like when you know you are suppose to move somewhere (let's just say Utah) and your husband gets a new calling (lets say in the bishopric)? This isn't the first time this has happened to our family. It always seems to have something to do with moving and callings. My question my friends is.... why??? Why is a calling more important than quality of life for my girls? Why must we live in a small house in the middle of polluted, ugly, loud, crowded Californi? Why must we have to stay in a ward where my girls are either a year too old or too young to be part of "the group"? Why do we have to live in a community where status, clothing, and objects are soooo important?

Unfortunately, I don't have the answers! I just know for now we are remaining citizens of the good old state of California and I will try to stop asking "why" and start asking "how". How can I teach my girls the importance of humility and wise spending? How can I help my girls feel included in a ward that is happy with the friends they have had since birth? How do I dejunk so we can live comfortably in the house we have? How do I trust that "my answer" is "His answer"?

Enough questions.... for now I will enjoy my warm sunny days that don't require shoveling snow before exiting my driveway :) Because, instead of wishing for something I don't have- I will spend my energy enjoying the blessings we have been given!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Halloween- better late than never!

I love this picture because it shows a little of her personality. K is super shy and often hides how truly funny she is. She definitely has a great sense of humor; although it is smart humor that is often over my head and beyond my academic reference. She and her "boy" were matching 50's people.... and somehow she worked me to think I gave her the costume idea :)

She and her friends we ladybugs! They got the best group award at the dance. Gotta leave it to Madison to make a super cute bug and always find a way of showing that cute little body!

Hannah with Friends
(I didn't realize I hadn't uploaded a picture of her by herself)
Originally she wanted to be the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz; but she changed her mind after seeing this Swiss Miss costume I bought for Madison (madison vetoed it!) It was perfect for our little blonde young woman who never stops bellowing a tune :)

Sadie (Purpel Fairwee)
After convincing her that she could not be Tinkerbell again this year Sadie decided she wanted to be a "purpel fairwee". Sadie loved Halloween this year! She loved yelling Trick or Treat and enjoyed knocking on all our neighbors doors!

Wordless Wednesday... Hannieo!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Well, it's been awhile since I've posted anything so I thought I would start with our Christmas Card. As usual it wasn't easy to get a good picture of all four girls; but with the help from our friend Mike he was able to blend a few pictures into one pretty good one. I can't believe how old my girls are getting!

Kiersten will be turning 16 this year... which means she will be learning to drive and legal to date. Both come with freedoms that both scare and excite me! She is finishing her Sophomore year and will be dual enrolled in High School and College next year. Her school does not offer Spanish 3 or Chemistry so she will be going to the local Jr. College for those classes.

Madison is counting down the days until she is 14 and can start attending the Youth Dances. She is super social, a great student, a captain on the dance team, and working on performing a lyrical solo this year for competitions. She loves fashion and making boys turn their heads :)

Hannah just turned 11 and is finishing her last year in elementary school. She is full of spunk and laughter and often in the middle of trouble! She is almost as tall as her sisters and has bigger feet. Hannah is competing with Dance Divas again this year and is excited to tryout for the jr. high team. Hannah, Madison, and Kiersten just finished another season of treeligting and the Parade at Knotts Berry Farm. Someday I will post pictures!!

Sadie is smart, funny, stubborn, naughty, cute, and has us all wrapped around her fingers. She is a playground celebrity and has really thrived this year in school. She is enrolled in a Kindergarten SDC class (where she is the only girl) and mainstreams into general ed for part of the day. Next year she will be fully included into a general ed kindergarten.

Scott is busy with work and traveling. He spends most of his free time on facebook, surfing, or playing with the girls. He was just called into the Bishopric after over two years as Elder's Quorum President. In January he was booted out of his office and sent home to work... which is both fun and annoying for all of us. We love having him here to talk... but sometimes he has to take refuge into the garage because we are too loud. Also, it seems to me he is always working.... he starts up his computer at five am, after taking Kiersten to seminary, and it doesn't shut off until bedtime.

I'm trying to enjoy the few hours I have free from little ones... mostly to clean, take Kiersten to classes, or watch a little Monk or Charmed. I am coming to the end of my first year as Primary President in our new ward (guess fourth times a charm) and have enjoyed spending time with all our little ones. This year I hope to create order in our home, become healthy, and find time to develop a few talents (maybe photography or playing volleyball again). Another goal- keep a better blog :)