Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It's been so long since I posted that I actually forgot I had a blog.  How sad!  I'm here in Utah at my parents place and saw my blog on my dad's favorites list.  So much has happened since my last post I wouldn't know where to begin.  I guess I will do a quick synopsis starting from the top:

Jason: has started a new job.  He was given the job of managing two local hotels where his boss is in our ward.  It is not a franchise but locally owned.  He loves it because he is involved in the community and is now considered a leader of the community by his involvement in the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and a friend and businessman who is always invited to events on Ft. Huachuca base.  He feels involved and has a better connection to our town.  He even went with the Rotary Club earlier this year to Mexico and gave Polio vaccines to more than 300 children.  Our Rotary has a goal to wipe out Polio completely...a wonderful goal.  Jason has participated in a number of 5K races and won one outright.  He has ran the Bisbee 1000 3 times and beaten his time over and over.  So proud of his accomplishments.  Next on his list is a bike race and has been training for that.

Me:  I failed to mention that we moved into a larger home last year.  Some friends in our ward got transferred to London, England for the Army and we decided to rent their home while they are gone for 3 years.  It has been a great move!  The best part?  Swimming pool!  It's a more teenage friendly house with room for them all.  Brayden even had a high school graduation party this year with over 70 friends in our backyard and there was room for more.  I am currently teaching piano and voice lessons, I started learning to quilt but had to take CJ and Logan out of school and home school them for the last semester and that put all my "alone time projects" on hold.  That was a very hard thing to do for all three of us. We are done now and all are back in regular schools and it was the right thing for the kids at the time and glad we did it but also relieved it's done.  I now work for an eye doctor in our ward on Mondays while he is out of the office.  I just take phone calls, make appointments etc.  I am alone most of the day until 5 pm. and see it as a time to read scriptures, write in my journal, read etc.  I actually look forward to Mondays.  It helps my spirit.  I had a group voice class this summer where I taught 6 girls 2 songs as a group with choreography and then they each had one solo and we performed it at the end of the summer for their families.  It was a hit and I loved it!  I want to do it each summer.  It helped buffer the lack of money coming in as students took the summer off and most of all it was just super fun!  I am still involved in a book club.  We just finished "Dracula" by Bram Stoker.  Halloween and all...very appropriate.  Loved it!  Sometimes that evening once a month is my saving grace.  I couldn't live without my book club. 

Brayden:  Just graduated from High School this Spring as earlier mentioned.  He started working in California for Jason's cousin helping people get solar panels for their homes.  That only worked out for a month and then he was home again.  He just got a job working for Diamond Wireless in the Mall selling cell phones and plans and doing quite well already.  He is a born salesman.  With Brayden's charisma and charm he can tell you the sky is green and you will comment on the lovely shade of green that it is.  I can't wait for that one to get out on a mission.  He is Heavenly Father's secret weapon! 

Tyler: From the last post Tyler wasn't yet with us.  We were able to bring Tyler home a little over a year ago and it was so amazing to finally be a family again!  We have loved having him home again.  Family prayer has new meaning to us.  He was nominated Homecoming King this year.  He wasn't elected but he got to ride on a corvette in the Homecoming parade with his girlfriend who was a nominee as well.  He is doing well in High School and because of his hard work on his education at the group home he has very little credits to finish before he can graduate.  He is taking it easy this last year of high school...a senior in High School...WOW!  He has such a different outlook about his family (most of the time) because he was away from them so long.  He appreciates them and loves them so much.  We are so proud of the man he is becoming. 

Logan:  Had a hard time with home schooling but was glad he could do it at his pace.  His hardest trial was being away from friends.  He is a social bug like his mom and really missed that part of school.  He just started High School this year and is now in 9th grade.  He was going to start football but decided to focus on his academics first and do football next year.  He is now a life scout and looking for a project for his eagle.  He is loving Stake dances and Youth Conferences and just participated in a Pioneer Trek last week with the Youth here.  It was a 12 mile walk with handcarts.  New appreciation for the Pioneers after an experience like that. 

C.J.:  Just started a new school on Ft. Huachuca Army Base.  It is usually for military children only but after all children are enrolled they let civilians in if there are any spaces left.  I got in line on the one day in May at 6:00am to get CJ on the waiting list.  He was 4th on the list.  I had to enroll him in the public school just in case he didn't get in because they don't tell you if you are in until a couple days before school starts.  It was a happy phone call!  The students wear uniforms, get ipads and have free sports.  It is a great school and CJ is loving it.  As the 4th child he finally gets to do something that none of his older brothers have ever done.  He is his own little pioneer.  He is in choir and band.  He just started the trumpet and it's a 2nd year band class but his musical talents have come out and he has kept up as a 1st year student.  He is a true McKnight!  We have to drive him to and from school every day on post but it is worth every mile.  His last school he had problems with bullying from students and his teacher.  That's why we had to take him out, and that's is why this school is so great for him.  He is finally happy at school!  He is also happily active in scouting and is working on his Tenderfoot.

Riker:  Turned 9 yesterday!  I had to sing to him over the phone.  He is one of the happiest kids I know.  He is doing so well in school that his teacher nominated him for a program for excelling kids and just got his report card which was all A's.  He was baptized last year and cried afterwards because he was so happy!  He is such a help around the house asking what he can do to help.  I am teaching him piano and he loves to play for anyone who will listen.  His best friend is CJ and are practically inseparable.  I love seeing them enjoy each other so much.  They will be a strength to each other as they get older.  Riker has taught himself how to swim in our pool during the summer and is a very strong swimmer too!  He also just earned his Wolf and is starting on his Bear.  He loves to finally be a part of scouting like all his older brothers.

Chad: Turned 6 in June.  He is a firecracker of energy!  He is in first grade and loving it. He also taught himself how to swim.  He is now taking piano lessons which is thrilling to him since he likes to do what all his other brothers can do.  He loves riding his bike, playing basketball and throwing a football to his brothers in the street.  He is always wanting to do what they are all doing and refuses to let his size or age get in the way of that.  While his older brothers were on the roof putting up fake spider webs for Halloween Chad, refusing to obey mom and dad by staying on firm ground down below, decided to climb the tree next to the house to participate.  Just as he reached the edge of the roof he fell and scraped his back on the tree on the way down.  It was an impressive injury.  Needless to say he didn't want to go back up on the roof...until the next day when his brothers were up there again.   I wish we had better medical insurance *sigh*.

My family is currently on the road traveling to Utah as I write this because my mother passed away Sunday and the funeral is this week.  My family will be singing.  I came up a little over a week ago and spent time with mom and helped dad take care of her.  Brad came up last Monday so that we all were together, since Brett lives here in Provo.  It gave us almost a whole week as a family.  Can't say I remember us being together like this for this long since we all lived together in Chico.  It brought us closer and reunited us in a way that was never possible before.  As my mom slipped away Brad kept reminding her that "You did it mom!  You brought us all together through your death.  You did it!"  We were all with her when she went and it was a difficult yet spiritual experience.  I witnessed her mother taking her in her arms and escorting her home among the numerous other family members who were in the room...unseen.  I am grateful that mom was never alone during any moment whether on earth or leaving this earth.  Not one moment of being alone.  A true testimony to us all that we are never alone.  I felt the true love of my mother that was so different from the love I felt from her here.  It was unconditional, non judging, just pure love.  My brothers surprised me in the second she died, (after dad put the flag a half staff) and while I stood there dumbfounded, situated her body in the middle of the bed, straightened her clothes, combed her hair, made the bed around her, cleaned up old towels, sheets etc around the floor, put a picture of Christ hugging someone returning home on her right and a family picture on her left with a white rose in her hands.  Never have I seen my brothers act so loving to her and see their training as nurse and medical assistants kick in.  It was like instinct.  I will always remember that act of love and have a deep respect for my brothers because of that act of service.  I send love to all of you, my friends and family, and letting you know that I am a better person because of this and know that my family will be better too.  I think my brothers, dad and myself will now have something to keep us connected during the years to come.  No more living separate lives. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

This place is just perfect for us.  Everything about it.  I especially love hearing Brayden express how he KNOWS that we are supposed to be here.  He feels very close to his friends and is doing so well.  He is already quite protective of his friends.  He is quite in awe of them and their situations.  None of his friends have parents who are married, and most have had physical abuse.  I think he respects them because they are very active in the church in spite of their home life.  His best friend was abused by his father and has had many tough experiences.  He is quick to reprimand the kids when they complain about rules or situations in the home.  Jacob will say things like  "At least you have a dad"  or  "Don't say bad things about your brothers, I wish I had little brothers to play with, I wish I had a family like this".  He keeps the kids humble and their perspectives in check.  He's adopted into our family and already calls me mom.  He keeps me humble as well.

We were able to attend Logan's first home football game.  Just as it was getting good, it started sprinkling, then raining, then whipping rain and wind, then the monsoon hit and literally everyone within 2 minutes were completely soaked and running for cover.  Jason and I were having flashbacks of Guatemala.  Riker and Chad were quite scared and begging to go home.  We finally had to comply because it wasn't letting up.  Apparently it finally did and Logan finished his game without anyone watching.  They did win and Logan did great.  Jason even left work early to come and within 5 minutes the storm hit.  Good memories!

I got a church calling...I'm assistant Webelos leader.  CJ is a webelo and super excited that I will get to be with him.  It's exactly what he needs.  I needed a way to spend some quality time with just him and this is it.  I'm grateful for that.  Granted, it's not my favorite calling, but it is what CJ needs right now and that is more important.

The only real stress in my life right now is our Heber house.  My dad is killing himself to clean and fix it up and try to sell it.  We keep getting told by our realtor to sell it for so cheap that it wouldn't even pay off our loan.  Very frustrating when I was hoping to get out of debt from the sell of the house.  But the market, as we all know, stinks and all we can do is hope and pray.  It may need to be rented out first and then try to sell it later.  I just hate putting my parents into that predicament.

Jason and I went to the Gila Valley Temple last weekend with another couple.  We stayed at the Marriott down the street for  $35 and played games with our friends and went to the temple in the morning and went out to lunch before we went home.  I loved it.  It was so nice having a little getaway weekend.  I just love the perks of being in the Marriott family again.  I don't mind letting temple attendance being an excuse for a quick weekend getaway.  The temple is a small one but beautiful inside.  A local widow was dripping with money and decided to donate millions to make sure the inside was as beautiful as it should be...from murals to crystal chandeliers to beautiful vases in the celestial room.  Wonderful.

I just found out that kindergarten here is full day!!!  I feel like someone just took a year off my sentence!  Chad starts next year and I will finally have the day to myself.  I'm so excited, I hope that doesn't sound bad, but I am really looking forward to having the house to myself and being able to do my errands without car seats and naps to worry about.  Chad is ready for preschool but lack of funds make that impossible.

Tyler is doing good and will hopefully be getting visits from my parents soon.  He needs that and I hope will feel loved and supported by the visits.  I miss him so much it breaks my heart, I want him here but I know he needs to be where he is, getting the help he needs to be healthy and ready to be a part of society again.  It doesn't change the fact that my son isn't here with me and I'm missing some of the best parts of his youth and growing up.  I hate that he is missing school here, sports, dances, youth conferences and family home evenings, family dinner, chore charts, sacrament meetings, baptisms for the dead and all the other wonderful experiences he should be having at his age. We pray so hard for him and I am so heartbroken every family prayer when I hear the kids pray for him and pray that he feels our love for him, begging Heavenly Father to help him so that he can come home soon.  One day we will be together again and it will be such a day of joy and happiness that we won't know what to do with ourselves except laugh and cry.  I look forward to that day!  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We are Here!

Well, we have been here for almost 2 weeks now and we are loving it. I love living in a small house, I feel that I can reach out my hand and smack anyone getting out of line! It's a good feeling having more control like that, ha ha. We have unpacked a lot but not all...there isn't enough room for everything. I have met a great lady who is my walking partner and a nertz player. They invited us for dinner and found out a lot of similar interests. They have only been here a month.

The boys are doing well, on the day of unpacking CJ spotted some boys riding bikes down the street and they quickly went down there to join in the playing. Now those boys come here to play and jump on the trampoline. Brayden took a little while longer to find friends. High School is just that way, but he found a group of men who get together at 5:30am to play basketball MWF. He has been attending the youth activities and went to a dance last night and was already texting people he met when he got home. He's loving that all the cool kids he met are in our ward. Looks promising.

Jason is loving his job, loves being back where he should be and using the talents and abilities he has for a greater cause. He is in his element. He's already getting compliments from bosses on a job well done. A happy husband is a great thing. And the fact that his work is literally a 1 min drive helps tremendously. He even comes home for lunch periodically. A far cry from the night shifts and never seeing my husband in Heber.

This is a great move for us and I know these people here will be wonderful blessings. I will miss being able to get together for family parties and celebrations, it was great while it lasted.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We are Moving!!!

Well, it's official as of last week. From applying to hiring it was 5 days. Jason applied for a job in Arizona and within 5 days he'd had phone interviews and face to face interviews and they immediately offered him the job. The shock finally wore off and moving mode kicked in. He has to be there on June 22, while to rest of us stay here to try and sell a house in a buyer's market. We need serious prayers for this to go through. The kids' school starts on August 8th. That doesn't give us much time to get all this done. The kids will be a little late to school because of a movie they've been cast in. It will be a feature film, meaning it will, yes, be in movie theaters. Tyler will have a main part and Logan, C.J., Riker and myself will have small extra type roles. It will be called, "Electrick Children" about a girl in a polygamist family. Tyler will be her older brother. Brayden has decided to go straight to school instead of being in the movie. He's quite more level-headed than most teenagers. I would have easily skipped school to be in a movie, but starting a new high school is difficult anyway, it would only be harder starting 2 weeks in. It's the best decision for him. We will be filming in the Vegas area.
We had our last performance of "Oliver!" last night and had a great time. It was so sad to know that we won't be working with our theater family anymore. We have come to love them all so much. I just hope there will be a great theater company in Sierra Vista as well.
That is the town we are moving to...Sierra Vista. It is about an hour south of Tucson. It is in the southeast part of the state. It is a military town. It is surrounded by mountains and is known for temps in the 90's and down to the 50's. I'm very happy to be in a place where there is prominently sunshine. I am a California girl after all. All the kids are excited except for Brayden, which is expected. He was really hoping to graduate here. But at least he will have 2 years at this high school instead of just one. Good news about Brayden is that he has finished his eagle project!!! He built an outhouse at the Provo Pioneer village. It is a replica of the kind they used back in the day. He did a great job with the help of my dad!
I can't find the cord that connects my camera to my computer to load on some pictures, so I will keep looking.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It sure has been a while...

Man, it is amazing how some things go on hold when your world falls apart. When things go bad or difficult I find I pull myself into my own world and close the rest of the world out. This had been the hardest two years of my life! And it isn't the sort of things you can just blurt out in casual conversations. Family, marriage, jobs, money...etc. The Lord must really want me back by asking me to endure and go through these things so that I may prove that I really want to live with Him again. I pray everyday that I can manage it. I've been working so much during the past 10 months that it has left little or no time to myself. But, fortunately I was fired from Ruby Tuesday. I say fortunately because my kids really needed me back home and I feel very blessed to not have to work there anymore. My mom told me that the Lord made the decision for me because I would never quit when I knew my family had a financial need. True. My work here is needed more and I love being home and getting things back in order. I forgot how to be a housewife and am re-learning, thanks to
I am now working for Michael McLean. Yes, THE Michael McLean. Dream come true, I only wish it had to do with music. Beggars can't be choosers right? I am putting all their negative, photos, documents on the computer. This includes Lynne's Father's slides as well. They are such wonderful people. I have had the wonderful benefit of becoming friends with their daughter, Meggan. I just love her to pieces! We have fun talking, beading and letting our kids play together. I also get to see a small percentage of the thank you notes they have received due to Michael's impact his music has had on people. What a blessing.
Jason is also about to get a job working for the Hyatt, next to the Canyons, in Park City...(I hope I haven't jinxed it by saying that) It will bring us out of the poverty level and hopefully on a normal schedule again. Having Jason work the night shift has been hard on us. It will be nice to sleep at the same time once again.
Brayden has also finished his eagle project!!!!! What a wonderful accomplishment. He built a replica of an outhouse for the Provo Pioneer Village. I hope to get some pictures on soon. We are so proud of him.
Logan is back in baseball and loving it as well. CJ and Riker both just ran their first race, a 1.2 mile race. Riker came in 5th in his race and CJ came in 7th in his. Jason stayed up to race with them and cheer them on. It was like 4 in the morning to him. A walking zombie but a great dad!
That is a quick mini update on our family, sorry it has taken so long, but I hope to be more regular with this again and have some pictures to share. Love to you all!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Good News!

My good news for the day is that Brayden found my phone in the car. So I guess Chad really did flush the toy phone down the toilet. I feel much better about that!

My count of books read for the year is now 46. I'm currently reading "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. My goal for the year was 50, but I'm glad to see I will surpass that and I can raise my goal to 75. I read "Sarah, women of Genesis" by Orson Scott Card. I really love these books. It gives us a great interest and insight to the women of the Bible and what their lives may have been like. It is in novel form, but whatever it is, it does give an insight to these amazing women. I highly recommend them. Another great book is "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin. Very small but very enlightening. It is about a man who colors his skin from white to black and goes to the southern states during the 1960's to really see what it is like to be black in that day. It was a true eye opener! Even though I am obviously not racist, it does help you realize that regardless of skin color outward appearance we all decide what we think this person is like or at least make an educated guess. I always try not to judge people, and this book helps me want to try even harder. I was amazed at how he was treated from one day of being white and the next black, by the same people. First, respect and friendly and the next with contempt and disgust. He changed nothing about the way he talked or dressed or even his name...just his skin color. Read it. And tell me what you think.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The beginning of a ? day

Well, I'm still trying to figure out what kind of a day this will be. Jason got home a 7:30am and I had to get up cuz Chad was up. I fed my boys and settled down on my favorite chair in the living room to read for a while. In the meantime Chad went on a rampage. I heard the toilet flush and had a bad feeling...Chad came in and said,"Mom, I flushed my phone down the toilet." What? I seriously hoped that he meant the Incredibles toy phone. I ran to the toilet only to find that whatever he flushed was long gone. I looked all over for my cell phone and have yet to find any clues as to where it might be except for the ending water rushing noises we hear as the toilet refills. I even called it to see if I could find it. No noises whatsoever. A little later I hear CJ yelling and Riker yelling and I got up and out on the back deck to find that Chad is chasing the chickens with a stick and CJ crying as he tried to save a chicken. I think this chicken is losing his battle and will be the second chicken to succumb to a two year old with serious misunderstanding of live chicken targets and cartoon chicken targets. I hope this day doesn't end with more bloodshed or loss of electronic devices. At least Jason gets to sleep through it.