Friday, August 28, 2009

Our Miracle... 5 Years Later

Today is Ashton's 5th birthday! It is amazing to think that he is already 5 years old, but at the same time it is hard to remember a time that he wasn't part of our family. He is SO hilarious and enthusiastic and smart. Ashton is brilliant at puzzles, creating and construction and his sense of humor makes every day life a joy.

At this time 5 years ago, Jer and I were experiencing one of the scariest times in our life. When Ashton was born there was no thrilling first cry and because the nurses quickly took him out of the room as they tried to get him to breath, my first good look at him was when we was about 20 minutes old and on a ventilator.

His first month, Ashton had quite a few ups and downs and he really scared us more than once. For some reason even after we got home, he liked to stop breathing on Sundays. It was also a time of spiritual growth for me. It was very humbling to realize that I had this precious little baby, but I couldn't make him healthy... his life was in others' hands... the doctors and the Lords. It was very difficult for me because I'm a bit of a control freak. I knew that His will would be done and I could only hope that His will was the same as mine, but I had to learn to truly trust the Lord and that no matter what happened it would be okay. I had experiences where I was reminded that the Savior knows me personally, loves me, knows how to comfort me and will take of me.

So... it's been five years and we are so, so, so grateful that we got to keep our little Ashy. When we look at pictures of his first days we can't believe that sick little baby and the active, little fireball are the same kid.

Here are some pictures from this summer of Ashton being Ashton...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Thoughts on the First Day of School

Today is the first day of school with new teachers (Mrs. Jordan and Mrs. Worthington) and today will be Katie's first day in the cafeteria. The kids didn't seem the slightest bit nervous... just excited. I, on the other hand, felt quite emotional about the whole thing. (Don't worry, only Jeremy saw my tears this morning.) It is so bittersweet to send them to school and the first day of a new year is a reminder of how quickly they are growing up.

As I was driving home after helping them find their new classrooms and blinking back tears I pondered why I was so emotional about the whole thing. I decided it was because I was letting my precious little ones (okay, maybe they aren't SO little anymore) spend time away from me, in the care of someone who will never know them as well as I do, but who will also be responsible for teaching them what they need to learn this year. They will have all sorts of new experiences, they will have to figure out social relationships and dynamics and I won't be there to guide them. I thought, "Wow, what a responsibility to be a teacher. What trust parents put it in them."

Then, as I was turning the corner by our house the Spirit taught me... that is how Heavenly Father must feel about this new little one he is sending to us in a few months (and all our children for that matter). He has to be temporarily seperated from His precious child and put him in the care of people who love him, but will never know him as well as He does. He has to watch as his child tries to figure out relationships and has new experiences and tests and trials. All He can hope is that we teach him the things that he is supposed to learn in this life. And I was reminded... what a responsibility to be a parent. What trust God puts in us!

So... those are some thoughts I had on the first day of school.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Jeremy's grades just posted... two As and one A-!!!! Amazing when you consider that he had to take care of me while I was on bedrest, had surgery, and was super sick; AND he reads to the kids everynight; AND he is working TWO jobs; AND he is Elder's Quorum President; AND Microbiology was a block class so it was accelerated. WOW!!

Although Jeremy is super wonderful, brilliant, and amazing... we must give credit where credit is due... Matthew always prays for Jeremy when he goes to take a test and I think there is some divine intervention going on there. BUT if ANYONE deserves help from above it is Jeremy.

The hospital pays him back for his tuition and books based on the grades he gets so we are HAPPY tonight! Yeah!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

One Down... Eight to Go

Friday night Jer finished his first semester of his new program. He took three classes and got two As and one A- or B+ (we won't know until next week). YEAH!!! It was definitely not easy on him, me, or the kids, but we survived and learned a lot and hopefully are adjusting to this adventure.

To celebrate the kids and I planned a "Good Job Dad" party after his test of Friday.
The kids all made "Good Job Dad" signs that we hung on the garage door so he would see them right as he pulled up."
Then, I asked Katie to make a list of the things that Dad would like to do to celebrate. This is what she came up with:

If you can't read the picture it says: Play with us, Read with Us, Eat Cake

Then the kids made a cake. Here is Will crying after I screamed "Stop!" when he dumped half a bottle of canola oil into the cake batter. Apparently, I hurt his feelings. He was even more upset when I dumped the batter down the sink and we started over.

Matthew and Katie working on the cake. They really pretty much did the whole thing themselves.

We let Jeremy choose what to have for dinner and he wanted to eat at the steakhouse in Manti. I was thrilled, the kids were not as much. BUT to make it funner for them, Jer read from Fablehaven while we waited for our food. It made the whole experience much more enjoyable. (And took care of another item on Katie's list.)

When we got home Jeremy and the kids played Monopoly Jr. (not Will... he fell asleep on the drive home), we ate cake and the party was over.
Saturday morning we had a garage sale. We didn't get rich, but we did get rid of stuff! Jeremy and I sold everything we wanted to except to end tables, but he really wanted to keep those anyway so it worked out. My mom still had quite a bit of stuff unsold, but it was mostly clothes which are going to the DI on Wednesday. Mission accomplished!
Saturday evening, as soon as Jer got home from the farm, we went down to the city building for Ephraim City Days where we enjoyed free hamburgers (served by the volunteer fire and rescue guys) and free ice cream (served by the mayor and city council, including Grandpa Cragun).
They had a police car, ambulences, and fire trucks open for the kids to explore. This was very fun. Actually, Will was a little nervous at first because he is scared of vehicles with sirens, but he wamed up.

Ashton especially was delighted to sit in the fire engines, look through the binoculars, and try on a fire-fighter hat because when he grows up he "wants to be a farmer and a fire fighter."

It was a super busy weekend, but very fun! We are really looking forward to have Jer all to ourselves this week.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Omnivore's Dilemma = My Dilemma

Today Matthew, Katie, and I ate Malt Shop for lunch. Sadly, instead of enjoying it, I felt sick and GUILTY... seriously GUILTY.

If you follow my sidebar you may be aware that I've been reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan for some time now. (I am one of those people that has at least 3 books in progress at all times so sometimes it take awhile to finish one... especially the non-fiction ones.) Charity shipped it to me in June because she had enjoyed it so much. (If "enjoyed" is the correct word... I don't know. Let's just say it is thought provoking. When I read passages to Jer he just gets mad and Richard Nixon and his agricultural policy, big businesses, and the world in general. )

FYI... The Omnivore's Dilemma is: What's for dinner?
Anyway... this book is really eye opening and makes me very grateful that I KNOW where my beef comes from, what it eats before I eat it, how the crops it eats are grown, etc. Sadly, I don't know the same thing about the poultry, fruits and veggies I buy. And this book made me totally disenchanted with the "organic" market. (As if being married to a farmer hadn't already soiled my view enough.)

Also, it has just made me more aware of our (meaning society as a whole, but also, especially me personally) tendancy to eat lots of processed food and not enough whole foods. As I prepare meals I am often taking stock of the ingredients and even the finished product themselves wondering if my great-grandparents would have recognized those foods. I read labels to determine whether the "ingredients in the ingredients" are created by God or chemists. Seriously... what I discover is disturbing.

So, today as I ate my lunch... and felt sick and guilty... I realized I MUST change. I can not in good conscience put junk in my body anymore. Especially for the next 14 or so weeks when everything that I eat is supposed to nourish my little guy too. (Note: This doesn't apply to Hershey's Bliss chocolates, my newest craving/addiction.) I can't feed my family that junk that our bodies were NOT made to live on.

Anyway... so now my dilemma is how do I make this change? What is for dinner?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Matthew gave me an important reminder last night.... The kids and I were reading and Jer asked us to pray for him and he then left to take a test. Matthew prayed, "Bless Daddy on his test. [Long pause]. Thank you for this wonderful day and all that we did."

After we all said "Amen," he turned to me and said "You should always say you are thankful for at least as much as you ask for." Yep! And I've been asking for a lot lately.

Oh and... Jer got 94%. He is pretty much acing Microbiology. :)

Monday, August 3, 2009


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Have a great day!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


So, I just read one of my dear friend's blog entries from yesterday and got some perspective. Can I just say, " I take it ALL back." (Well, all the complaining I posted yesterday.) I am SO blessed.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sick and Tired

Okay... I will keep this brief and try not to whine too much, but I just have to vent... I am SICK of being SICK.

I am currently lying in bed with my laptop where, sadly, I have spent much of the last several months trying to recover from one thing or another... nausea and PAIN from a bad gallbladder, morning (all day) sickness, placenta problems, gallbladder surgery, pain from too-loose joints, and couple of regular old colds and flus.

But I finally thought I was getting back to normal life and catching up on things. Then last night (after fighting a terrible cold and cough all week and stomach bug all day Friday) I spent a couple of hours in the ER getting re-hydrated and drugged up with anti-nausea meds.

By the way, IV fluids and anti-nausea drugs are a WONDERFUL thing. Yesterday, I could not keep down 1 Tbsp of water or soda or even one saltine cracker before my ER visit. Today I have mostly kept down a dish of rice, two small servings of applesauce, a banana, a piece of toast, and 6 crackers, plus some water and ginger ale.

Which reminds me... I do have lots to be grateful for.
  1. Modern medicine!! I love not having a gallbladder.
  2. Jer stayed home with me yesterday to take care of the kids.
  3. My mom took the kids today.
  4. My kids have been so good to help me and each other. Seriously, they are great! Since Jer was home to feed them, they weren't put out at all by my most recent illness. In fact, the little boys found it quite entertaining to watch me throw up. The especially liked it when after 12 hours of barfing I started throwing up bile. (Sorry, that is gross, but they loved it.)
  5. Charity and Samantha helped me get through my massive pile of clean, but unfolded laundry.
  6. Pregnancy only lasts nine months (I'm hoping for 8 1/2 months), but a child is ours FOREVER. I'm SO thankful for eternal families and the joys that each member adds to our family.

So even though I had to give away a home show I was really looking forward to last night, and cancel my planned yard sale today, and find a substitute to teach "I Can Pray" in nursery tomorrow, life could be worse. It really, really could. I just need to keep reminding myself of that when I feel like complaining.