Monday, May 31, 2010

Kindergarten Pictures and Stuff

Kaia (at the very top) and her Kindergarten class and teacher, Mrs. Schmidt
Zoe and her teacher, Ms. Riewold
Kaia and Beck on her "Graduation/Program" Day
Kaia, Miss Kindergarten Graduate! :)

Zeke is home from work today.... (WOW!) We're going on a picnic..... hope all of you have a fabulous Memorial Day :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Save me Nana!

This is what my Mom and Grandma used to say when things got crazy.... well, let me just tell you that my mushy little post about loving my role as a Mother just jinxed me! I am being tested to my absolute limits! Today has been nuts! and it's only 8:30 in the morning! I'm gonna go read my post from yesterday a few times and try to take a bath... please say a prayer for me. SAVE ME NANA!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Precious Gems

(I had a hard time finding pictures of just me with each of my children... I'm always the one behind the camera! I need to do better. The first picture is Gabe and me on Halloween, then Kaia and me on her 5th birthday, Zoe and me at the Wildcat Run 2009, and Beck and me on his 1st birthday.)

First of all, to those of you who are reading my blog, I want you to know that I'm very selfish. This is MY blog. I am doing it for me. If you don't like it, don't read it. I know everyone has very unique circumstances, and I'm not saying everyone can do and be the same thing. I'm just saying how I feel about MY circumstances :)

It's interesting to me how a combination of events can make me feel a certain way. How one thing builds on another and when I look back, I can see that even trials and opposition are necessary. (YIKES! Did I just say that?)

I keep typing a sentence and deleting it.... it's hard for me to put into words... but I am so thankful to be a Mother, especially one who is able to stay home with my children. Don't get me wrong, some days I crumble into a ball on the floor of my closet and cry and pray and cry some more (yesterday, actually). But today is a new day, and I just feel a great sense of peace and an overwhelming love for my children. It is a really nice way to feel.

Sorry I am being so vague, I'm trying to do a quick post and say how I really feel and yet, not specifically mention anyone or anything in particular so as not to offend (I guess I am being very confident that a lot of people are actually reading my blog! ha ha ha)

Anyway, let me share my latest example of a combination of events (big and small) that help me understand just how important my role as a Mother is. Okay, so last week, Kaia was really sick. Gabe cut his knee open and needed stitches. I went shoe shopping with Gabe and Zoe. I bought the kids a new box of crayons (yeah, who knew?) I jumped on the trampoline with Beck. Zoe had a field trip this week, Kaia had one a couple weeks ago. Kaia's Kindergarten Graduation is today. So many things that they need me for. (It's nice to feel needed :)

Beck has been quite fussy since Kaia has been sick (of course), I don't think he's getting enough attention. I sat on the stairs with him yesterday and rocked him and sang our special song. He's getting big enough that I have a hard time holding him, but smart enough to sing with me. Just in those few moments, he had the sweetest smile on his face and so much love in his eyes. Wow.

Later on in the day, I spoke with someone who doesn't understand what it's like to be a Mother. They speak of my children as an annoyance and a burden. This person is always telling me, it's time for me, leave the kids, start a career, get away, do something for yourself, you deserve it, how can you stay home and do nothing all day, it isn't fair. Those temptations of the world can be, well, very tempting once in awhile. But The Spirit just floods my heart with love for my children and I know that what I'm doing is right. I feel great pity for this person, because they will never have the privilege of feeling what I feel. Or doing what I do.

My friend, Sharla, told me, she might not be rich, but her children are her "precious gems" and she will have them for eternity. (I love her!) It's very hard some days, maybe too hard, and lonely, and it feels like no one notices the sacrifices you make, but I know that it will be more than worth it. I have this great poem about Motherhood.... as soon as I find it, I'll put it up...

I see so many women that have chosen another way. Women that don't have children or are single (by choice) or do have children and leave them all the time, and travel the world and "eat, drink, and be merry". It's all about them. They invest all that they have into obtaining "things" and doing "things". Now, I would LOVE to travel and see the world someday, but not now. I see people seeking out the things of the world, running as fast as they can to drink it all in, but I don't ever see the world and all of these "things" ever needing them. I feel sorry for them. They are going to wake up one day and be very lonely.

By the way, Beck loves trains. I mean LOVES trains. He has one that has been lost for quite some time. This week he's been telling us it's in the air vent in his room... Zeke went and looked this morning and found it! Beck was SO thrilled. It made my day to see him so happy, "WHOA! hank oo, da-ee!" (Thank you, Daddy!)

This post has turned out to be more serious (and much longer) than I intended. Just take a moment and hug each of your children and look into their eyes and tell them how special they are to you. I hope you can see what I did. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

All-nighters, Demolitions, Undercover String Cheese, Superheroes, Stitches, and Primary

Well, it's Monday, for some strange reason,
I really enjoy Mondays....
This weekend was CA-RAZY! (and that is an understatement)

I'll start with Friday. Kaia has been sick all week. I took her to the Dr. on Wednesday and again on Thursday and they finally decided (or realized) she has pneumonia. This is her 3rd time since she was 2. NOT FUN! But to look on the bright side, we have most of the medicine and equipment here at home to take care of her, so she didn't have to stay in the hospital this time. We're all very thankful for that. I won't bore you with the details of her treatment.... only people like my Mom and Dad, or my friends, Lori, Julie, and Shannon, could truly relate to what we're going through (I love you guys!)

Zeke and Gabe went to the Father-Son Camp-out Friday night. I decided to tear down my kitchen -- again! (only half of it this time!) In a nutshell, we're putting in an island/workspace area (basically somewhere that the kids and I can make sugar cookies and stuff without me freaking out and getting claustrophobic and accidentally elbowing them in the forehead all the time).


IN THE MIDDLE (we're not done yet... but it will be great!)

Kaia had a really bad night Friday (meaning she and I didn't get any sleep), but
we made it and I think she's slowly improving.

While going through some cupboards, Beck and Kaia found some old lunchboxes and a piece of old "jerky". Luckily it was wrapped up still! It looked like a "slim jim", it was dark brown and hard as a rock. However, when I turned the package over, I discovered that at one time this "jerky" was actually string cheese!! ha ha ha, Sorry if I grossed you out, but I thought it was SO funny. Needless to say, I did NOT open it!

Saturday, the guys came home about 11am. It rained all night and even a snowed a little. They had fun, but Zeke didn't get much sleep either. We had a wonderful day. Kaia seemed to be doing great, we went to a baptism, and I took Gabe and Zoe
shoe shopping. Just as we were sitting down to dinner, Gabe came in the door and said he wrecked on his bike and tore his pants. He looked a little pale. Zeke sat him on the couch and took one look at his knee and said, "Well, grab a snack and get in the car, because you need to get this stitched up." It was pretty bad, I won't go into details (I don't know how all of you feel about that), but just for the record, I think it's very interesting.

I took Gabe to the ER, Zeke said he would, but I guess I just think Gabe is still my little boy. We each took a book and some crackers. The doctors and nurses were great and so was Gabe. He really had a sense of humor through all of it. He gave everyone super-hero names to keep his mind off of his knee. The Dr. was "Dr. Dude" (not sure what he thought about that), the male nurse was "Todster", the x-ray technician was "X-ray"(of course), and another male nurse was "Syringe Boy" (I'm sure he didn't appreciate that one). Gabe was "Robo-Arm" and I was "Three-Armed Bystander".... Anyway, considering the situation, we had a pretty good time. Gabe is a lot like Zeke in that way, they try to find the humor in ANY situation and make people laugh. It really is one of the most wonderful blessings in my life. I got a picture of Gabe on Zeke's phone, but Zeke is at work with his phone....

Sunday........ my new calling is official! I am Kaia's new Primary Teacher! I am so excited! I'll write more later, I need to get Kaia's medicine. Life is GOOD :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ok, who called the Waaambulance?!

Me in my Mom's brown dryer during a crazy sleepover with my friends. (1992?)
This picture has absolutely nothing to do with my post, it just makes me laugh!

Today is one of those days... I have them every so often... too often lately... I wake up and feel off :( It's one of those days when I feel like the scripture about the Lord not tempting or trying us above that which we're able to bear is really making me wonder out loud, "Okay, do You really think I can bear all of this? because I'm not so sure..."

I feel so weak... maybe it's because Kaia has been sick all week and it's been very stressful, maybe it's because Zeke being in school for the last 4 years and pay cuts at work have made things very hard in the financial sense, maybe it's because I stayed up too late last night and wasted time watching most of a movie I didn't really enjoy, maybe it's because I'm having serious withdrawls from hanging out with the youth, maybe I just need some chocolate...

maybe I just don't have enough faith...... and yet, I just found a scripture (or two) that shines some light into this dreary day.....D&C 64:33-34 "Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days."

D&C 63:20 "Nevertheless he that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome."

I'm trying to be a good mother. I'm trying to stay home with my children. We're trying to "obtain as much education as possible" and live within our means and get out of debt (this is all a LOT harder than you might think, at least it is for me).

I keep thinking about Dory from Finding Nemo.... "just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

And a quote from Helen Keller, "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition and success achieved."

I also think of a great person, Dr. Ted Davis. He was our family doctor for over 6 years. He delivered Gabe. He now has Lou Gehrig's disease and had to quit practice right after Kaia was born because of it. I cannot begin to imagine what he has gone through. Dr. Noorda, (who is my OBGYN now), told me Dr. Davis ends all of his emails with the letters "I C B W". It stands for "It could be worse." WOW! for him to say that... I need to remember his example of faith and a positive attitude.

Whenever my friend, Barbara, would be in the midst of great stress and trials, she would just smile and simply say very confidently, "The Church is true!"

Well, The Church is true! And by the way, getting IN the dryer was the easy part.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Motrin, Steroids, Albuterol.... Oh my!!

My poor little Kaia Bear is sick... again. She has what my doctor calls "illness-induced asthma". Meaning, when most kids get a little cold or slight fever, Kaia usually gets pneumonia, really high fevers (usually over 103 degrees), and has to be on strong medication that helps her symptoms, but makes her feel yucky. It makes me so sad. She was so upset yesterday, because she missed school and they were going to make sock caterpillars. Kaia is just too cute to be so sick. :( She's doing a little better at the moment, but it's been a rough couple of days....

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Calling!

I have a new calling and I am SOOOOOOOO excited... I won't be sustained until Sunday so you'll have to wait all week to find out what it is.... ha ha ha :)

TaVaci Performance

Well, here's a few photos after Zoe and Kaia's TaVaci performance on Saturday.... it was a wonderful night. My good friend, Jamie, and her new hubby, Christian, came too! The girls were SO excited to see them. I recorded their performances and I'll get a video clip up soon. Zeke and I had so much fun watching our sweet girls. Zoe put on an extra layer (or two) of RED lipstick just before the curtain went up. Kaia took her shoes off right before they were supposed to go on stage, so as she walked on for the first song, she was carrying her shoes in her hands! She also kept yawning through the performance (she had a big day with a 2 hour dress rehearsal that morning as well). It was extra special not only because this is their first time performing, but our awesome son, Gabe, stayed home and watched Beck for us so we could enjoy the performance (sorry Beck, I love ya, but you're two and full of it!) Gabe was actually quite relieved that he didn't have to go (he's at that age!) Afterward, we came home and picked up the boys and took everyone to Sonic for some ice cream..... Life is good! (P.S. the cowboy hat is part of Zoe's costume, NOT Zeke's regular attire.) Thanks, Jamie and Christian!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Wha da hick?!"

This is Beck language for, "What the heck?" His new favorite thing to say. Imagine him rolling his eyes and sticking out his lips.... I wonder where he learned this from. It makes me laugh EVERY time. It's the little things... my life is so full of little blessings everyday... I'm so thankful that I'm able to see them.

So our neighbors are probably thinking, "Wha da hick?" Well, if you've been past our house... the FOR SALE sign is gone. We've changed our minds -- again. We're staying. It's not logical, but it feels right, we know it. We can only eat one elephant at a time... and right now, that elephant is Zeke's school (munch, munch, CRUNCH!).

My awesome visiting teacher, Irene, shared with me a talk from April conference, "Mother Told Me", by Elder Bradley D. Foster of the seventy. Elder Foster says, "A distraction doesn't have to be evil to be effective." WOW! Somewhere in the scriptures it talks about how Satan tries to keep us from arriving at truth. I feel like Satan is trying to distract us in every way possible to keep Zeke from graduating from college.

Mosiah 4:27 "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My name is La5cy (the 5 is silent)

Ok, imagine for a moment, that you're the kind of person that loves music. I mean really LOVES music of all kinds. You especially enjoy ska, punk (as long as it's clean), alternative, 70's rock, 80's hair bands (YEP!) and even David Bowie. Imagine that you're the kind of person that enjoys watching movies where the underdog comes out on top, where there's a cheesy love story, a good dash of comedy, and an "old-fashioned" happy ending. AND!! Reach down deep inside the imagination center of your brain.... imagine that you are a person that likes Vanessa Hudgens. Ok, are you imagining all of these things? Are you wondering what sort of weirdo could possibly like all that stuff?! Well, believe it or not, this weirdo is ME!

Zeke and I watched the movie, "Bandslam" over the weekend. We liked it SO much, we watched it the next day with all the kids! (I rarely watch a movie twice in a row.... rarely) Now, I'm not too critical when it comes to movies (picky, yes! critical, no). I don't follow the Oscars, I don't watch movies just because people say, "You have to see this! The cinematography is spectacular! The special effects are amazing! The acting is phenomenal!" I watch movies that make me laugh and cry all at the same time AND make me feel good when it's over. (And just for the record, "I am Legend" is NOT one of those movies...)

WARNING! This paragraph contains thoughts from the "parent" part of my brain... This movie even has great life lessons like: standing up for yourself and others, never giving up, loyalty, forgiveness, honesty, hard work, stepping out of your comfort zone, and pursuing your dreams.....

This movie also features a great ska-inspired cover of "Everything I own" from the band, Bread. (enough said)

Anyway, there's a scene where the main character gets "lips-on" training in how to kiss a girl. He then, takes this "training" and attempts to employ it on the girl he really likes. Yes, I'm a sentimental, mushy, romantic, cheesy person, but it was SO sweet! And the second time we watched it was even better! Gabe and Zoe were watching it with us, as well as two of their friends... I enjoyed watching their reactions to this attempted kiss more than the movie itself. Do you remember your first kiss? I do! And my stomach still gets butterflies when I think about it.....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

First of all, thanks to my great niece, Jayden, for the awesome quote I found on her blog. It fits today so perfectly.... "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." I was released from my calling as the Young Women President today...

I will miss the girls and leaders so much... but the last 4 years have been a whirlwind to say the least. What a ride! I was called to be the Laurel Advisor in 2006, this was when Zeke was the YM president! About 8 months later, I was called to be the YW President and for about 2 months, Zeke and I were together. Ward Council was always challenging for us to get a babysitter and very entertaining as well.... Bishop Pulotu would say, "President Susman" and we'd both say, "Yes?" ha, good times....

I was called to be the President in July 2007 (I felt this calling was coming). However, a week later, I found out I was expecting our 4th child (this was a BIG surprise for us). I figured, Heavenly Father already knew, so He must think that I can do it... and that's pretty much how I've handled the last few years. I've lived on faith and awesome counselors and leaders. And then there's the girls.... let me just say, if you have never had the privilege (nay, the pleasure! ha ha ha) of serving in the Young Women program, you my friend, are missing out on the best time ever!

Everyone kept congratulating me today and saying things like, "Oh, I bet you're so glad for a break" and "It's about time you get to relax" and stuff like that. While I appreciate their sentiment.... the Spirit is telling me this break won't last for long, so I need to enjoy every minute of it! I have never been bored since I have become an active member of this Church, that's for sure! I love serving people and I'm actually feeling a little bummed that I don't have a new calling. I'm always such a contradiction.... ask my husband.... the poor guy never knows if I'm coming or going....

gotta run.... dinner's on the table (thanks, honey!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

I will survive!

This photo is from Zeke's Senior Design Presentation. My girls LOVE their daddy!

Today should be a fabulous happy celebrating kind of day, maybe it will be later tonight. Today is the last day of the semester for Zeke. He finished another semester! I don't know how he does it, working full-time and everything else that goes with it. Yes, it can be done! Somehow we are doing it...I struggle with transitions... I like routine... it sounds crazy, but it takes all of us awhile to get used to Zeke being home again and not doing homework and actually sleeping when we are. Imagine that! Now that the semester is over, Zeke will have a "break" during the summer, meaning he won't officially be registered for classes. Instead he's planning to prepare for and take the GRE.... yeah... let's not even think about all of that yet.

I'm so very proud of him......... I am just totally worn out. Gabe isn't feeling well today and there's a million things to do tomorrow. I don't even know what I want I guess. I want a shower, yep, that will perk me right up!

Tonight we'll probably rent a movie from the Redbox (this is a major splurge for us, both in time and money) and I might bake some cookies.... any good ideas for movies to rent or cookies to bake?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Write it down and Tell someone!

I've always been taught that when you make a goal for yourself, you should: "write it down and tell someone" so you'll have a better chance of accomplishing that goal. Today, I'm writing it down and telling all of you one of our goals for the summer. Zeke and I need to save $1,800.00 by August 20th for his Fall tuition. We had over $2,000.00 in savings from our tax returns in February, but that was quickly gobbled up by replacing the rear brakes on the van, a new dishwasher, and medical expenses for all of us in one way or another. So the game is on! Here we go! I'll keep track of our progress....

Kaia's first TaVaci performance!

Here's Kaia (yes, she does have arms, they are hiding). She did so well last night. When she got done singing, she ran up to me and hugged me and said, "Mom, didn't I do great? That was so fun!" Wow, to be that confident! I hope she can always feel that way.
Her group performed at Sunshine Terrace Senior Center last night. The old folks seemed excited to see the little children. I was quite heartbroken to see some of them.... wow. Some of them looked so sad and lonely. I think being lonely would be the worst. Some of them needed help eating their dinner, just like a little baby. It made me want to cry. It was such a stark contrast to see these beautiful vibrant little children singing and dancing and smiling... and these old worn out souls just waiting to go home. I wonder what they were like when they were younger? I wonder if their minds are fully alert, but their bodies are simply wearing out? I wonder if they have someone that comes to visit them? Okay, I'm gonna stop wondering, because it's making me cry. Count your blessings! Life is too short, go hug someone! :)


Well, today is going to be very interesting to say the least....... I can't say more right now.......

But so far, I got the kids up and off to school except for Kaia...... she has afternoon kindergarten.......and she had a rough night. It's 9am and she's still sleeping....

Beck is playing with his "new" train... thanks Brody!

Zeke is off to work/school. He has his last senior design presentation tonight! After tomorrow, one more semester down, one more to go....... hopefully.

I just have to share this quote "Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child" My life is a mere drizzle compared to other people's "storms", but to me my life feels like a never-ending monsoon season, and yet, I feel so calm. And THAT is making me anxious! For those of you who don't know me, I question everything, maybe too much. I'm calm and I feel peaceful, that should be enough, right? no, I am thinking, "What is wrong with me? How could I possibly feel calm right now?" Well, I have been blessed. The Holy Ghost has brought this amazing peace into my heart....

Anyway, gotta make some treats for young women's tonight...... and oh yeah, I should probably shower. I shower everyday. This is my gift to me :)
I have no idea what I am doing.......... but I have been so inspired by so many things and so many people lately...... I feel impressed to write it all down......... not just in a journal. My hope is that by sharing my experiences I can help someone else.
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