Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring Break

Spring Break!

Sadly, we didn't do much during the boys' Spring Break due to TJ's school and--- long story short--- a math test that I had to pass and kept needing to retake. But the boys were so content to play outside for hours, go to Liam and Aiden's house/backyard, stay up past their bedtime, read tons of books and simply, just be at home. It actually ended up being a really busy- normally busy- week, which I didn't like because I was ready for a some downtime too. But it ended up being super productive and all worked out well. 

By Friday I rewarded the boys with- hold your breath- MCDONALDS! And not just McDonalds but we actually went inside, sat down, everyone got a Happy Meal and went to one that had a play place- this is a big deal, people, since, according to Levi, "Mom just doesn't ever buy us Happy Meals or take us to play places- it's because it's a holiday and spring time!" You would've thought it was Christmas. Kids really are so easy to please. It actually was pretty nice since I sat back with Benson sleeping in his carseat, used the WiFi to watch Fixer Upper (my current favorite show- it's making me really want to move to Waco, TX) and sipped on my drink while the boys were so content to play for as long as I'd let them. It was pretty funny watching them though- they made a little group of friends and they all were telling each other how old they were with Shaddie holding up two fingers and saying, "two! two!" over and over ;)

And this is the reason for the dumb math test I studied for for HOURS! I'm finally starting a life goal that I've had for the last 15 years of my life- I'm getting my Masters in Nursing!! And from the U of A! I really am so excited about it and it's crazy how it seriously just fell into my lap. It seems crazy to be starting it just as TJ is finishing but it feels so right and he's so supportive of it all. It's a 15 month online leadership program and really, comes down to fulfilling a personal goal. I'm not sure how useful it'll be but during these years that I'm not working, I'd like to be working on something that is going toward furthering my career while still being at home. It's something I can show future employers of how I was applying myself while not actually working. The only prereq to this program was a statistics course but it's been over 5 years since I last took one so I signed up through Salt Lake Community College since it'd be cheaper. I went in to take the placement test I was required to take in order to register for classes. Well, I did just fine on reading, arithmetic and elementary algebra but only got a 36 on the college algebra part. I really did study but it was like cramming 10 years worth of math into a few days and it was SO HARD to remember things! Especially since my last math class was in 2002!!! I studied again and retook it 3 days later (the soonest that they'll let you) and only got a 45!!! Bahhhh!!! I was so frustrated and literally was spending hours studying! The next day I went to a study prep course (which was a waste of time and not helpful), trying to do everything in my power to pass. Then finally, I took it again for my final attempt and got a 56- I PASSED! Finally!!! It was such a relief since the class I needed was filling up and I was getting fed up and done with it all. I could've just taken it through the U of A if I didn't pass but I really wanted to save $2,000 and didn't want to let this dumb test beat me! So it definitely felt good to pass and I was really grateful to TJ who kept doing whatever he could to help me study, watched the kids during the test (each time it was a 2 hour test and the South Jordan campus was the closest) and just kept encouraging me not to give up and keep going. If it wasn't for him I would've just taken it through U of A and been done with it. :) But yay for no more math!!

So if I could pick one picture that would sum up my mission and show that it was all worth it- this would be the one. When I saw this on my friend's facebook page, it was all I could do but not tear up. When I served in West Bend the first time, we taught Emmi (these kids' mom) once a week but she just wasn't progressing. I found out after I left that they dropped her and I thought that was it. Emmi was married to a less active member and was our age- so cute and fun and just wonderful to be around. I got to serve in West Bend later on in my mission but she wasn't really interested and I didn't see her again. Fast forward a few years and I was married with a few kids when I got a random message from Emmi thanking me for being her missionary and explained she had gotten SEALED that day- I was in total shock! I didn't even know she had gotten baptized. Well, she told me the whole story and ever since then we've stayed good friends. She recently had her 4th baby about a month after I had my 4th. Anyways, so when I look at this picture, I see a celestial, forever family that is active and strong in the gospel with two parents that are devoted to these kids and Christ and it just warms my heart. :) It was all worth it, just for these little kiddos who are almost the exact same age as my kids. I can just imagine all of them cheering us on while looking down on us :)

General Conference was so wonderful this year!! I was quite impressed by how much Ty paid attention. He took his conference packet quite seriously and even teared up once when another speaking was emotional. :)

Love this little baby niece of mine!!

I'll never understand why my kids look so different!! They all are the same age here and still, no resemblance!! 

My little Shaddie Cowboy

TJ started reading an actual novel to these boys every night for bed- instead of just their usual stack of books. Keisha Knight had mentioned they had just finished Charlotte's Web and I thought that was a great book to start with since I remember reading that as a kid. The boys love it and look forward to it every night.

Benson is modeling his expensive, hypoallergenic fancy diapers! But the good news is that his awful diaper rash that he's had since 6 weeks old is going away and I think we are avoiding cloth diapers!! YAY!!!! I've been using Lotrimin, Bactroban and A&D ointment and it's finally working. I'm so glad because if this didn't work the pediatrician had no idea and was going to send us to Dermatology for a lot of testing. Whew! Hopefully it stays away and that he can tolerate regular disposable diapers and wet wipes soon! 
Today was a first Bumbo day- my favorite!! He sat there for quite a while and liked watching me around the kitchen. He's also starting to like to hold onto a blanket in his carseat so he can suck on it- it's kinda cute. :)

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