My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Monday, August 29, 2011

Doughnut Falls

After Sam's soccer game on Saturday (and after the gym which was after getting the car fixed, which was a little before Ben got his ski pass), we decided to do a hike as a family.

It was our first one where Mary and Sam would do all of the hiking. William would be the only one in the pack.

It was just under three miles round trip. Perfect.

It was AWESOME! We all loved it. Both Mary and Sam kept on saying, "this is the best hike ever." And I think it was.

We were together as a family. We were in the mountains. We were having fun. And it was gorgeous.

After an absolutely crazy and really stressful week, it was so refreshing and wonderful for everyone.

The falls were very pretty and we spent a while there just soaking in the beauty and the peace of one of the Lords marvelous creations.

I have a feeling there are many hikes to come, and I can't wait.

Hey..who took that picture?

(no, that is not Ben, it was some random guy who needs a belt)

eek, and this one too?


I Am Proud..

of my boy.

Sam is growing and learning a lot these days. He is all boy, through and through.
He is also gentle, humble, and meek.

He loves to play outside, he loves sports, and he loves balls. However, he doesn't like any of these things, when they are done in front of people.

My little Sammy can be shy.

And that is why, I am so proud of him for
#1 wearing his soccer shirt and his shin guards/socks to his game
#2 actually going out onto the soccer field with his team.
#3 and sticking it out to the end.

He may not have worn the shorts that go with the shirt.
He may not have been aggressive and run after the ball with everyone else.
He may have asked a few times if it was over yet.

But he did it. He played the game. He wore most of the jersey. And he pushed aside his fears.

I am excited for what this soccer season has to offer.

Go Sam!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don't Judge Me

Let's start from the beginning with this one. It will be necessary before I reveal what I have done. Something I NEVER would EVER think to do.

Mary has seperation anxiety. If any of you have been following the blog, or have spoken with me in the past year, you know all about this fun issue we get to deal with.

Mary began showing small signs of it when we lived in Colorado, but nothing to alarm me too much.

Then we moved, I had a baby, and she started school. HELLO seperation anxiety, goodbye my dreams of waving my daughter off to school where she will happily go down the path with her friends, love recess, and come running back out to me when school is over, all excited about what she did that day.

School isn' the only area of concern. Babysitters, dropping her off and picking her up from gymnastics, even me just asking her to stay in the car while I run something in to a neighbors house. All of these things cause panic attacks, hyperventilating, calls from the school, lots of tears, and a heartache so deep in me, as I watch my daughter suffer, that I can hardly stand it.

Why does my little girl have to suffer so much. She realizes that it isn't normal to get so upset and scared, but she can't help how she feels. There is a fear, deep within her, that is raging and very real. It is very frusterating to her and it embarrasses her, but she is just as confused with it as the rest of us. I feel so badly for her.

We got a really good hold on the whole thing last year, after she had been in Kindergarten for a while, and we had a good routine. No more panic attacks. She still showed signs of her anxiety here and there, but all in all, we had a good hold on it.

Then 1st Grade started.

Day 1 She loved school, but got sick.
Day 2 She mentions that school is REALLY long and that she misses me. She loves her teacher, and has a bunch of friends in the class. Her teacher said she did great.
Day 3 Mary is crying when I pick her up. She is sick, and she says she was scared that I would get lost and not be there to pick her up.
Day 4 Mary stays at her desk (clinging to it, as the teacher told me) after the bell rings for school to be over. She is hyperventilating. She won't leave the school with the other kids. I am waiting outside wondering where Mary is. She finally arrives hand in hand with her teacher. Mary is sobbing, shaking, and can't breathe well. I have a talk with the teacher.
Day 5 Mary won't let go of me in order to go into the school at the beginning of the day. Her teacher lets me walk her in to her desk. Mary is crying after school when I pick her up. Teacher says she does great until the bell rings for them to go home. Then she panicks.

And so the saga continues.

The only way Mary is ok, is if I get her and everyone else ready early in the morning. We ALL walk Mary to school. We wait right next to Mary, in her line, until the bell rings. Mary holds my hand. Then I walk her right up to the door. Me and the other two kids then walk back home.

When school is over, I have to drive to the school. Park. Get out of the car and walk right up to Mary's door. I am there to greet her right away, and we come home.

In between all of this, I have to reassure her constantly that I will always be there. Nothing will happen to me while she is at school. And so on.

The same happens with gymnastics, babysitters, and any other time I leave her sight. And it is not just me. At recess, for some reason, one of the aids had to go inside the school. There was not an adult outside. Mary had a panick attack.

Another time, her teacher left the classroom to get something, when she came back, Mary was crying.

If there is a substitute teacher in primary, Mary won't go. And so on.

I know this is getting long, stay with me. I need to get this out, and people need to understand.

Mary's "issue" is horrible for her, and in turn, it is a nightmare for me, as her mother. My heart breaks for Mary, and the weight it puts on my shoulders, to always be by her side, is really hard to be patient with. Morning have been hectic trying to have everyone fed, dressed and ready to go walk Mary to school. Sam gets tired and I usually end up carrying his bike, and pushing he and William in the stroller UP the hill 1/2 mile to our house. It doesn't sound bad, but doing this every morning, gets

The constant worry every time I drop her off somewhere, or I have to go somewhere, is also a big burden. I end up worrying a lot, and most of the time, my worries are correct.

SO, naturally, I have been on my knees with this for quite some time. We have tried everything we can think of. We have researched her condition. We have talked to a school psyschologist. We have talked to other parents, teachers, coaches, etc. We have spent the last year working through the mental part of it with Mary.

Then a thought popped into my head. The thought became several discussions with Ben. The discussions turned into a plan, and the plan was just innitiated today.

Mary has a phone. Yup, my 6 year old, first grader has a cell phone.

Before you judge me, please finish reading. I know it sounds crazy.

Mary only has three contacts in her phone. Me, Ben and her grandma. She has no texting, not games, no internet, NOTHING...period.

She doesn't know her own phone number, so she can't give it to anyone. And she can only have it at school, and MAYBE gymnastics. And any other time Ben and I decide she needs it.

She knows the rules and is willing to accept them.

I am happy to report, that today, IT WORKED!!!

Mary rode her scooter to school with her tears. I stayed home and Sam actually got to sleep in!

Mary called me right when she got to school, and I talked to her until the bell rang. She was happy and fine. She then turned her phone off, put it in her special place in her backpack, and it will stay off, until the bell rings for the day to end. Then she will call me again and talk to me until I get her.

Her teacher knows about the phone, and was more than willing to let us try this with Mary.

I am praying that the progress continues with Mary in other ways, and that mentally, she can work through this.

Until then though, she has a way that she can ALWAYS get ahold of me, no matter what. And that is a great source of peace and comfort to her.

I have always been one to scoff at children with phones. I often wonder what on earth the parents must be thinking. I have learned my lesson. I will no longer judge. You NEVER know the situation or the reasons. It is just best to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Looked Out the Window...

And what did I see?

My little boy Sam, riding a two wheeler bike around the street!

I was so shocked by the sight, that I went outside to watch, and all I could do was laugh. Sam completely taught himeslef to ride a bike without training wheels. I didn't even seem him doing it. He was jumping the curb and riding fast, as if he has been doing it for a year. He hasn't stopped grinning all day.
Go Sammy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

How Do You Create...

A week of heaven on earth.

First, you go through the refiners fire, to get to your heaven on earth.

We left for Boise on Friday. Lucky for me, I woke up sick. I got worse as the day wore on. Packing became a nightmare. By the time Mary and Ben got home, I was literally in bed with a fever and a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad sore throat. I NEVER slow down when I am packing for a trip. I get so excited and I go 100mph. So this was a first.

We crammed everything into our CAR. Yup, our car...not the Pathfinder. Ben somehow fit everything we needed for a 10 day trip, including a waterski, into our car. I wasn't too thrilled about having a waterski blocking my door and having luggage under the kids feet and a bag on my lap, but hey, we saved money, so why not.

The trip to Boise was an absolute nightmare. I got worse by the hour, and I just wanted to lie down, not be squished in our car with a fever, chills, body aches, a sore throat and screaming children. Our kids are normally amazing travelers, but for whatever reason, William would not settle down. He cried about 80% of our trip. We had to stop 6 times in 7 1/2 hours. It was horrible.

By the time we got to the Maynards home, I literally walked in the house and went straight to bed, where I remained for the next day and 1/2. I was SICK! I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with tonsillitis. It was pretty obvious seeing that my throat was COVERED in white pus pockets and I felt like the living dead. Unfortunately, no antibiotics.

Saturday, Jolene (Ben's mom) took the kids for quite the outing! They went to the park, went to a farmers market, they played in the river at a water park, went to the pet store, went to McDonalds and got a movie. They had an absolute blast! It was so nice for me to be able to rest and try to get over the nasty bug I had.

On Sunday, I was perking up a bit and we headed to McCall, Idaho for my family reunion. By Monday, I was pretty much over it, and good to go. We were headed to our version of heaven. And here is how our heaven on earth was created.

1st, you find a nice cabin in McCall, Idaho. A cabin right on the lake.

2nd, you spend LOTS of time playing, reading, digging, lounging, and talking on the beach.

They actually got all the way up to her neck. Silly uncles!

3rd, you have a boat. A really, really, really nice ski boat. The trampoline is also a nice extra touch.

4th, you have your family with you. Your entire family..together.

5th, you ride in the boat to "Treasure" Island and have an amazing treasure hunt for the kids. The hunt is complete with a mean pirate, and lots of treasure to be found.

You find a rock in the water off of treasure island, and you find a way to get to it.
In our case, an assembly line was made for the kids.

Sixth, you find some cliffs, and you jump off of them. Or dive, or scream, or kind of dive, or in Ben's case, you do a DOUBLE FRONT FLIP!

Seventh, you find some smaller "cliffs" for the kids to jump off of. The kids swam out to these rocks, and jumped off of them. Mary jumped in over her head, and actually liked it. The boat could not get close enough to the rocks to pick them up, so they had to swim out to them and they rode the surf board back to the boat. It was quite the adventure. I was proud of how brave they were!

8th, you have lots of time with those you love. (some of which we don't see very often)

9th, you go to the Pancake House and celebrate Tyler's Birthday.
You order the most gigantic and yummy cinnamon roll ever!
The omelets were amazing as well. Happy Birthday Tyler!

We love Bop's Boat!

10th, you have a blast with a piniata. This was an absolute "hit!" (har har har)

Eleventh, you have an obsticle course. Where you dig for buried treasure

You destroy sand castles with buckets of water

You put on some cool pirate clothes

You (or Ben and Tyler) swim to the end of the dock and back.

You build 4 sand castles that will later be destroyed by another team member (as seen above)

12th, you go to Ice Cream Alley, and have the best huckleberry ice cream in the world. And if you are me, you drop both ice cream cones seconds after getting them. No harm done, they were just fine. It was very funny.
Oh, and yes, that is William in the bright pink life jacket. We rode there in the boat, so the kids still had their life jackets on. Doesn't William look awesome!

13th, you bring a LOT of scrap book materials, and make a reunion memory book for everyone. I have some seriously crafty family members. I am not one of them, but I like my book they made for me.

14th, you go shooting. Well, most of you go shooting. The guys had a great time, and the two girls that went, represented the female population very well. Ben blasted a clay pigeon into powder, I guess it was pretty cool. My brother Devin also had an exploding target. We watched it on video and it was amazing!Everyone had a "blast!" har har har

15th, you pick a lot of huckleberries and put them in everything you can think of. Huckleberry pancakes are awesome!

16th, you exercise.
My mom and I both had our first runs, post injury! My first run was out in the mountains, surrounded by pine trees, next to a lake, in the peacefullness of the morning. I saw deer, listened to the sounds of the mountains and the water, breathed in the fresh air, and once again, let my feet guide me as they pounded the pavement and my mind just let go. It was one of those runs that can never be described, but that had me grinning the rest of the day.

17th, you play LOTS of board games and card games together.

18th, you jump off of the midnight.
Ben and my siblings jumped off the dock at midnight one night. Ben also did it by himself the night before. We were all sitting around the fire and we heard someone running down the dock and then a huge spash followed by Ben's famous yell of pure joy. It was hilarious at the time. I still chuckle now when I think about it. Crazy Ben.

19th, you visit with friends.
Our cabin was just a few cabin's over from Ben's best friend Doug's house/cabin. So Ben was able to visit with Doug and his family a lot. There was a time that Ben and Mary got in the canoe and had a ride over to see Doug. It was so cute to see the two of them together out there in the canoe. I wish I had a picture.

20th, you waterski..when the water is good.
Yup, that means early morning and in the evening. It is SOOOO worth it. The best was to go for a run, and then jump in the lake for a good ski to cool down. It was a little chilly some mornings though. dip into Bop's Coke supply. ski a lot. When you can't ski, you tube. spend a day with the whole Belnap clan at the K&K reunion. This was a major highlight of the trip. I LOVE these people with all of my heart.

We played a bunch of games. This red rover game was pretty intense. make your own sling shots. These were really cool! Sam loved these things.

25th..nightly devotionals.
There is nothing like ending a great day of playing on a spiritual note. We all were assigned a night where we did a short 5 minute devotional. These moments were awesome and reminded us what this life is all about. I had a lot of great insight during these devotionals and came away with some plans and new ideas on things we can do to improve as a family.
Nightly campfires were awesome! I truly believe that if you really want to get to know someone, you sit around a fire with them. The stars were amazing!

McCall has a certain smell that immediately calms me. It is pine mixed with lake mixed with fresh air. There is also the sweet smell of something mixed in there. The second we pulled up to the cabin and stepped out of the car, I took in a huge breath of McCall and knew I was in for a wonderful week.
It is the only place I have ever been with such an amazing smell. The beauty is absolutely breathtaking as well. The water, the trees, the serenity, the huge stary sky, ect. With the smell, the beauty, the memories (I have been there almost every year of my life) and the company, McCall has become on of my favorite places on earth.

When it was finally time to bid farewell to a week of bliss, it was not easy. I could have stayed there for a LONG time. It was amazing. It was the most refreshing, relaxing, rejuvinating, happy, satisfying and fun trip that I have had in a long time. None of us wanted the week to end. It was wonderful. I literally choked back the tears as we pulled away.

We pulled ourselves away from McCall and headed back to the Maynards home. We had a yummy dinner and some much needed R&R, and the next morning it was off to the zoo!

The next day we headed home, and here we are.
We are jumping right into this week, full steem ahead.
I am not sure I am liking it, but such is life.
I am glad that I have the memories and the feelings so fresh in my mind.
My heart is in McCall.