2018 Family Moto

35 They were desirous to be baptized as a witness and a testimony that they were willing to serve God with all their hearts; Mosiah 21:35

"Make sure they remember joy yesterday, experience joy today, and anticipate joy tomorrow."

Motherhood Mission Statement

To provide a loving environment that is centered around God and His commandments while effectively teaching my children to love, honor, and respect all Men no matter the race, creed, or background.

Click on Nolen's name to hear our amazing journey through autism.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

i9 Soccer!

We decided to switch it up this year and just try a soccer camp.  I looked at a few different programs and landed on i9.  It was a four week program and on Monday's.  That really worked out well for Nolen and me.  
Nolen was overly excited to start soccer.  The first two weeks were amazing!  Nolen learned a lot of great new skills and was having fun.  The coach was high energy and high fived the kids all practice long.  He was so great.  Then the third week, his energy level was low.  The coach wasn't paying attention and the real soccer ball hogs showed up.  HA!
Nolen left the third practice in tears.  I was pretty upset.  I could tell the coach was exhausted.  He didn't have a plan for the third week of practice.  The last week of practice, we switched coaches.  That was SO much better.  The other coach didn't even show up for the fourth week of the soccer camp.  
Nolen had so much fun, overall.  We played a parents verse players game and we laughed and laughed.  It was a blast.  I couldn't let the kids just win, so I scored three goals.  HA!  I think that was Nolen's favorite part of the whole camp. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Eleven Years Together and a Gala

Today, we have been married for 11 years! This year has been such a great year for us.  We have really seemed to get back in sync with one another. 
 Things I adore about Stephen:
He is kind. 
He is supportive.
He is honest.
He is loving.
He is a good man.
He is an amazing husband.
He is a hard worker.
His long hair.
His healthy life style.
His amazing physic.
He has my interest in mind.
He is a caring father.
He loves his children.
He will do anything for his family.
He adores his mother.
He cares deeply for his sisters.
He has a passion for living life to the fullest.
He truly commits.
He is one of the good guys.
I could go on and on and on and on, but I am really the lucky one.  Stephen chose me 11 years ago.  I feel so blessed to have met him in July of 2004.  Fate was on my side that day, and I am so glad.  

Tonight, we celebrated our anniversary by watching our boys sing and play in The Montessori Elementary School Gala.  They both did so great!  Nolen was one of the better behaved kids on stage.  I had a great view of him then once he started singing he went right behind another boy.  Rats.  He is in the center of the second row.  

Edward played every single one of the cello songs at the Gala!  We were so proud.  He had to work hard to get them all memorized, but he did it!  He has taken private lessons since August and they really paid off!  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The most peculiar day

When the time changes, my life gets a little messy.  I dislike the time change.  I can't sleep.  I should be exhausted right now, but my body clock thinks it is only 8:20 PM when, in fact it is 9:20.  I feel as if Day light savings is a barbaric practice.  We no longer need the extra day light hours.  
Well, anyhow, it really messes with my life.  I don't like it.  Not one bit.
Today, was an interesting day.  My day began at 7:40.  I usually wake up at 7; however, my body clock is all off.  I rushed to get ready, then I literally had to DRAG my boys out of bed.  We ran out the door with our breakfast in hand.
My cousin died last week.  It was extremely unexpected.  He had been sick with a rare infection that went to his heart. He had gone up and down, but really seemed to be doing better.  He died last Sunday.  I guess this really changed my perspective on life.  He was just a year younger than me.  He was full of life.  He did some of the most dangerous things.  He took chances.  He was a great surfer and did many other extreme things in his short life.  His death made me think about my own life.  I have always said that I really feel like I have have lead a very full life.  I, usually, will do any sort of activity with out hesitation.  Children sort of change that attitude.
Lately, I have been just coasting by in my life.  I have goals.  I have dreams, but for the most part I am satisfied.  I decided now is the time to push myself to do the things that I have been putting off for a while.  I have so many little projects that I don't make time to accomplish.  This drives me bonkers!  I quit looking at facebook during the week, and this helped open up more time.  I, also, decided to stop looking at my iPad or computer when my kids are home. 
Last year, I started my "No more stupid stuff" crusade.  This helped a lot; however, I still find myself filling my time with things that are not essential.  That MUST CHANGE!  I want to do the things that are most important to me.  That might even mean waking up early!  Yikes!
Well, I have been running around trying to get my little errands done.  Today, that included getting a helmet for my road bike and fixing my cycling shoes.  I have been waiting for the weather to get better so I could go for a ride, but my bike wasn't ready and the weather was gorgeous today.  FAIL!  So I took my bike to the shop, fixed my shoes, and bought a helmet.  I feel so much more accomplished.  I would love to do a triathlon someday, but I am not proficient enough with my bike.  If I really want to accomplish this goal, I must get to work! If I have learned anything in this life it is that time goes to fast and life is too short. 
I picked my boys up from school today.  They were especially wild.  We came home from school and they were bouncing off the walls.  I taught a piano lesson, then sat my boys down to teach them their piano lesson.  They, OUT OF NO WHERE, became interested in learning the piano! WHAT?! They wanted to look at all the songs they have learned to play in the last year and a half.  They wanted to play more than just one song a day.  They wanted to do their theory books! We sat playing the piano for over an hour!  That has never happened.  Never!  
I looked at my watch and we had to dart off to cub scouts.  As we were driving over, I asked Edward about his assignment.  He had to name how someone with a disability might be able to swim.  We talked about people who have disabilities that we can see and disabilities that we can't see.  I told him that most pools have a wheel chair lift to help people get in and out of the pool who can not walk.  

Then I said, "How does swimming help people with disabilities that you can't see?" 
He said, "Like autism?"  
I said, "Yes"
Then he said, "It helps Nolen move his body.  That's important for kids with autism."  
I answered, "Yes."
Then Nolen chimed in, "Does Edward have autism?"
My heart stopped.  "No, he doesn't."  
Then he said, "Why do I have autism and Edward doesn't?"
I did not know what to say.  I nearly started to cry.  I told him, "I have asked God that question many times. You are very special.  I do not know why some people have autism and some people don't."

I really felt stumped.  He was very upset.  I have told him before that he has autism, but I have never put "disability" and "autism" in the same sentence.  I didn't like it. Not one bit.  No one likes to be singled out, especially when the difference could be seen as a disability.  My heart broke a little.  We talked a little bit more then he dropped the subject as soon as we got to the church.  

Nolen and I drove home and he reminded me about this story I was telling him at soccer practice.  He had to use the port-a-potty to poop at the park and he was scared.  So I tried to take his mind off what he needed to do by telling him a story about a boy who climbed Mt. Everest.  I talked about what the boy had to do to prepare for the hike, including climbing several different mountains.  Nolen is fascinated with the height of mountains.  He knows the exact height of several different mountains on earth and of the highest mountain in our solar system, Olympus Mons on Mars.  
When we arrived home, he was supposed to pick up toys in the play room.  He didn't.  He got distracted and built three Mt. Everest's and put them together to make one Olympus Mons.  Olympus Mons, as you may have guessed, is three times the size of Mt. Everest.  It was so cute.  Then he asked me, "What is 29,029 plus 29,029?"  I had no idea where he was going with this but I answered.  "58,058"  Then he asked, "What is 58,058 plus 29,029"  I said, "87,087"  He said, "That's how tall Olympus Mons is!" (It is actually 82,021 feet)

I just thought, "Wow, you're smart!"  How did he figure that out?  At 6, I was only thinking about my pony, Spirit, my barbies, and my sister.  That's it.  I was not thinking about anything that had to do with science, planets, math, or mountains.  

How did I get this kid in my life?  I feel so lucky!  He challenges me every day.  I do not have to use math in my normal life, but in my mom life, my kids are constantly asking me math questions.  When I don't know the answer to a question they say, "Just ask siri!"  Ha!  

We drove back to the church to pick up Edward.  I was thinking of all the things we didn't get done today.  Edward has a huge concert coming up on Friday, so we have been practicing extra hard to ensure he has all of the songs memorized.  I pulled out both cellos and we started to play.  I admit, I'm awful.  I don't know anything about technique, but I can read notes and I can play the right pitch on the cello.  Edward's music interest must have just burst because he started asking me how to play all the songs in his Suzuki book.  I really have no idea, but I do know how to read music.  He didn't want to go to bed!  I told him I played a lot of the Suzuki songs when I was 5.  I showed him my 30 year old Suzuki piano book.  He was enraptured! I played a few songs for him.  He asked me to play the hardest song in the book.  It was a real miracle.  Then he wanted me to show him my broken violin, my guitar, and the Lute.  I told him that I just loved music.  It really makes my heart feel good.  He said, "My favorite instrument is the cello.  I want to make it all the way to book 6!  Then I will be a professional like you, mom!"  
Seriously, this kid spoke right to my heart.  Up to this point, my children have shown zero interest in music.  They play because I told them they had to do a sport and play an instrument.  Plus, I said that every single person on this planet should know how to play the piano, because, well, it's the piano! 

I am so thankful for day's like today.  It reminds me why I chose to be a mother.  I would love to avoid all the hard days. HA! I know that isn't possible; however, I need the hard days to remind me to appreciate the good days.  Today, was a good day. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Stitch fix Take TWO

I decided to give stitch fix another try. This time, the box was dead on.  Except for one small problem, I already owned EVERY single piece of clothing they sent!  HA!  There were some really great pieces, but some not so great prices.  The prices are WAY TOO HIGH for the flimsy product. 
The left is the stitch fix box clothing (you can tell by the tag) and the right are the clothes I already owned.
This was a really cute feather necklace.  It costs $28!!  That was just too much for a necklace.
These jeans were just like the last jeans I received from Stitch Fix.  Except they were a little smaller around the ankle, which I appreciated.  However; they were $88 bucks!  I buy some great quality jeans from Kohls that I adore for $69 with a 30% discount. 
Ok, I do not own a lace black pencil skirt; however, when I sat down, this skirt when up past my mid thighs.  That just won't work.  Plus, this little skirt was $78!  I would have kept it if it had been below $50. 
This jean jacket was really cute.  Like really cute.  It was $100.  I have a jean jacket.  I never wear it.  So how can I spend $100 on a jean jacket that I will probably not wear.  I can't.  I won't. 
I really liked this shirt.  It was $58.  The price just killed the deal.  Also, the material was SUPER thin!  I could see myself ripping the armpits accidentally and being super upset because I spent WAY too much on the shirt.
The outfit was really cute.  But just too much money.  The entire outfit was $274 dollars!  
The clothes I already own were $138 dollars.  I really try to shop for deals.  Stitch Fix is just not for me.  I don't feel like I am getting a "deal".  Plus, the clothes are way over priced.  I recently bought nearly the exact same half button plaid shirt for $20 at The Limited.  
My jean jacket, I purchased from Abercrombie and Fitch years ago for less than $50.  My leaf necklace I found online at a friends boutique for less than $20.  
I sent everything back.  I lost my $20 styling fee.  Oh well.  I learned that I really like to shop for myself.  
Oh, and the worst part, I couldn't figure out how to deactivate my account or at the very least delete my credit card information.  After searching online, I found that you have to contact customer service via EMAIL and wait for them to contact you back in order to deactivate your account.  That is a huge hassle.  I also found, after searching, that MANY Stitch Fix customers where upset about not being able to delete their credit card information.  Maybe they should fix that issue.  AND CHARGE LESS for their not so top quality clothing.  

Friday, March 10, 2017

His first tooth!

You know what it's like having an older sibling?  Everything happens to that older sibling first.  You are always second (or last in Nolen's case).  Ever since Edward lost his first tooth a few years ago, Nolen has wanted to lose a tooth.  He asked, and asked, and asked when he would lose a tooth.  I told him he would have to be six before he would lose a tooth.  That was really just a guess on my part, but because Edward lost his first tooth when he was six, I just figured Nolen would, too.  Both my boys have hit milestones at about the same time in their lives, except for, you know, the whole AUTISM miles stones.  But for the most part, their growth is similar, their weight it similar, and their maturity is similar.  
Tonight, Nolen asked what the tooth fairy was going to bring him.  I reminded him that the tooth fairy isn't real, but that I would gladly pay him for his tooth!  He happily stuck his tooth under his pillow and went right to bed!  
I just love this kid!  LOVE HIM!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Cub Scouts

This week Edward went to his very first pack meeting. He had so much fun dressing up and being a part of a special group of young men. He was asked to say the opening prayer and participate in a joke. He is so excited to earn his wolf badge!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

As I Climb

Monday, I hiked the La Luz trail in the Sandia mountains with my friend, Andrea.  We tried hiking the La Luz trail a few weeks ago; however, we ran out of time.  We didn't anticipate the difficulty of the climb, nor did we anticipate the snow.  After reaching the snow, last time, we turned around and hiked back down.  We rescheduled our hiking date for February 27th.  
I woke up really early, got dressed, packed, and hit the road.  I arrived at Andrea's house right around 8 AM.  We started our hike at 8:10 AM.  I was very optimistic about the hike.  We started off making great time.  We hit the snow just after 10 AM. 
Andrea had purchased strap on snow spikes at Costco for each of us, so we strapped them on and kept hiking.  After a few snowy switch backs, we ran into a fellow hiker.  He told us that during the winter, most hikers take the ravine during the winter.  We decided to stick close behind him as he hiked up the ravine.  It was much more difficult to hike in the snow up the ravine.  The hiker was extremely fast!  We could not keep up with his pace.  He also had on deeper snow spikes and poles.  We stopped for just a minute and the hiker was gone.  
We decided it would be safer for us to stay on the switch backs because the ravine was not a well marked trail.  We only had the hiker's tracks to follow and that didn't seem safe.  I was leading the way as we hiked up the last two miles in the snow.  There were many times that I had to use my hands to balance as we walked across snow patches near the edge of cliffs.  I, unwisely, brought cotton gloves that didn't cover my finder tips.  I was not expecting to ever be putting my hands in the snow! 
We reached a funny spot in the trail that appeared to go straight up.  After a lengthy discussion, we decided to go up the trail.  I started climbing on my hands and knees.  Immediately, I slid down the hill.  Andrea braced my feet as we tried to find a different way to get up the steep, snowy cliff.  We climbed basically on our hands an knees for the last part of the hike.  When we reached the top I saw a sign that said, "No horses on the stairs" and I felt like crying.  We had just climbed up where stairs were buried under a few feet of snow.  It was so exhilarating to climb 3,500 feet and 6 miles up the Sandia's.  

Once we reached the top it suddenly sunk in that we had to climb back down.  I said a silent prayer as my mind started wondering back to the snowy cliff sides of the trail that was impassable.  Andrea and I soaked in the top of the mountain before starting our decent.  We slid down on our butts to reach the steepest part of the trail.  We both stood up and laughed a bit about how we should have brought a sled to get down the mountain.  Andrea took one step and instantly slipped.  She fell right on her back.  It looked so painful.  We decided to sit down for a bit.  My hands were freezing from climbing in the snow.  I stuck them in my arm pits, but honestly, I could not feel my thumbs.  Actually, Andrea had to zip me into my jacket and help me open my protein bar.  Ha!  

After a quick rest, Andrea led the way through the snow.  As we hiked, I started looking around more than I did on the way up.  As I led the way up, I was so focused on reaching the top, that I didn't look around to see just how scary the trail had become.  Andrea started making her way across and extremely steep, slick part of the trail and my mind freaked out! I looked down the side of the cliff and realized the danger of the trail.  By this time it was just passed noon and the sun had come out.  The snow was ice.  Each step was slick.  Our snow spikes were not long enough to grip the slick ice.  Andrea and I made it across one cliff and just around the bend was another cliff.  I had told myself that I had to make it across the last one because there was no other way down.  We couldn't go back up because of the difficulty of the last part of the climb.  My hands were completely numb. I yelled out to Andrea, "Was this the way we came?"  She said, "Yes." I couldn't remember seeing this cliffs when we were hiking up. 
I screamed out to Andrea, "I'm not going to make it!"  She stopped and looked back.  My heart was racing and my legs were shaking.  I looked down and could see myself slipping.  There was nothing to grip.  Just snow and ice.  Andrea said, "Should we go back?" I laughed a bit and said, "I am not going back across that last cliff!"  She laughed.  
I just took it one slippery foot at a time.  I slammed my arms deep into the snow to find anything I could use to bolt myself to the side of the mountain.  I told Andrea to keep going.  I was worried that if she stopped she would slip.  We slowly made our way through the snow on hands and tip toes.  I can not remember a time in my life having that much fear inside.  I have done some incredible things including sky diving and this was much more thrilling.  
During my mental freak out, I remembered my prayer and that I felt that we would make it down the mountain safely.  This was the one assurance I clung too (and of course the slipper snow).

After two hours in the snow, my hands were chilled to the bone.  We made it through the snow and back to the dirt and rocks.  The last 5 miles of the hike were slow and steady.  We talked and talked as we hiked.  When we finally reached the bottom of the trail we cheered!  There was a couple sitting on their tailgate and they cheered with us.  We reached the bottom of the trail just after 3:00.  It was exhilarating to reach our goal of hiking La Luz trail.

We learned why most hikers take the ravine during the winter months.  It is just too dangerous to take the switch backs when snow is present.  
We also decided that the next time we will hike La Luz trail will be during the summer or autumn months. HA! If I ever, (which I won't) hike La Luz during the winter, I will bring water proof gloves and bigger snow spikes.  I will wear snow gear and be way more prepared. 
I am so grateful to have an adventurous friend who was willing to spend 6 hours and 44 minutes hiking 12 miles up and down the mountains by our house.  She is so intelligent, kind, giving, and fun to talk with while hiking.  There was never a dull moment.  Also, she really did save my life!  I know she wouldn't have left me on the side of the mountain.  She was much more prepared than me. 
I took only a few pictures because I couldn't move my thumbs to get my phone out of my back pack. Actually, as we reached the bottom of the trail I realized my hands were completely swollen!  I took Nolen to soccer practice right after my hike and had my hands in my arm pits the whole time!  No need to worry, they are working just fine now.  
The beauty of the mountain was a spectacular site to see as we hiked up and down the mountain.  New Mexico has a lot to offer with beautiful dessert sites, rocky cliffs, and pine trees less than 30 minutes from my home.