Saturday, February 28, 2009

Celebrating 12 Months

Happy Birthday Rooster Girl. You are a ray of light, sunshine in our soul and the light of our life. Thank you for bringing us so much happiness. Happy First Birthday.


February 28, 2008 ~ hours old


March 28, 2008 ~ 1 month old


April 28, 2008 ~ 2 months old


May 28, 2008 ~ 3 months old


June 28, 2008 ~ 4 months old


July 28, 2008 ~ 5 months


August 28, 2008 ~ 6 months old


September 28, 2008 ~ 7 months old


October 28, 2008 ~ 8 months


November 28, 2008 ~ 9 months


December 28, 2008 ~ 10 months


January 28, 2009 ~ 11 months


February 28, 2009 ~ 12 months


One Year Old

Happy, Happy Birthday! We LOVE You!

Friday, February 27, 2009

PreParty Up-Date

So tomorrow is the big day. I hope the rooster girl is well enough to par-TAY. I took her to the Doctor today and to quote the Dr. "she is a mess!"

The week of Valentine's she had a double ear infection and was on antibiotics.

The following week she had thrush caused by the antibiotics she started the previous week.

The diagnosis this week: the original infection is still there because they didn't treat it with strong enough antibiotics. Which means the antibiotics for thrust weren't strong enough so she has a yeast infection throughout her body (her poor diaper area is so, so raw.) And Bronchitis to top it off.

She is now on 5 antibiotics.

While she isn't crying she just looks so miserable. She managed a smile at the Dr. who couldn't believe how good she was for being so sick. I'm so grateful I followed my instincts and took her straight to the Dr. Maybe we'll be able to salvage the par-TAY!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Personality Sharing

So Rooster's birthday is Saturday and I'll warn you now I'm feeling extra sentimental about the whole thing. So don't be surprised by lots of comments, pics and posts about my little rooster girl.

It seems as though her personality is shining through more and more each day. It is so fun to get to know her, explore life with her for the first time and share her wonder and joy. She was SO cute in Young Women's at church yesterday. So cute to the point of major distraction and it was ward conference so the whole Stake was there in YW so we were trying to act reverent! She was making it so hard! She just makes me perma-grin. I love this baby girl!


She found my sunglasses tonight during FHE. I was terrible and whipped out the camera during the lesson (I couldn't help it - look out CUTE she is!!!)




When she really wants to be with me and I have to get ready she sits on the counter while I do hair and make-up. Here you can see she totally took advantage of the situation!


Rooster loves music! She had a blast tonight (during our FHE activity) with some of the music makers from preschool. I don't know why I didn't think to let her play with them before. We had so much fun makin' sweet music together and movin' to the beat. I know our journey through this life will be exactly that and more! I'm a lucky mama.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kelli's Baby Shower

Today we had my SIL Kelli's baby shower at my house. She had a nice turn out, great food and excellent company. Baby showers are always so much fun because baby are so precious! She is due March 28th and we're so excited to welcome baby girl Ruf to our family.




Kelli's awesome and funny friend from HS custom made this baby tool belt for her. Now she can have all the tools she needs right at hand. It's pretty awesome! The highlight of the party.


The hosts with matching shirt colors (we DIDN'T plan it, I promise!) and their baby girls.


So I just couldn't resist putting these pics of Ruth on. In exactly one week she will turn one. It'll be her party. It's made me kind of crazy sentimental today.


The only thing that would have made this baby shower perfect is having Traci and Julie there. We missed you! Now Kelli is set and the true waiting game begins!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

LOL Moments

Just wanted to share a few truly Laugh Out Loud moments from this week. My kids are so hilarious!

Ruth and Spencer both have diaper baskets in their closets that contain diapers, wipes, cream, etc... I went into Spencer's room this morning to get a diaper and this is what I found:



Spencer went into the hall closet and found my "diapers" and put them with his. Love it!

As I was buckling him into his seat belt yesterday he told me, in a very straight face, "I'm so difficult." I tried to pry more info from him but he just kept repeating it until he broke out into his trademark teasin' grin. Ya, you are so difficult to resist!

For those of you who are not familiar with Facebook it has a "status" up-date so you can let all your friend know how you are feeling or what you are doing currently. It says, "Rachel is ___________________" and then you fill in the blank. I had my Facebook page open this afternoon and then my piano students arrived. Later this evening when I got back on I noticed that my status had changed and not by me. My status was "Rachel is techene peano." My first thought was who hacked onto my computer! Then at closer inspection I realized what my status trying to say. RACHEL IS TEACHING PIANO. My very brilliant kindergartner got onto the computer figured out how to navigate Facebook and correctly up-dated my status for me. I LOVE IT! Austin you are so AWESOME!

Thanks for providing me with LOL moments boys, you are hilarious!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pay It Forward

Something Perfect for the LUV month:

The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a handmade gift from me during this year. When and what will be a surprise.

There's a small catch...You knew there would be didn't you? Post this on your blog then come back and leave a comment, telling me you're in. Remember, only the first 3 comments receive a gift.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Favorite Special Olympics Pics

Okay we all know I could never have just one fav!



This picture really shows the full circle in our relationship with the boys. The only thing that would make it perfect is my Austin. No one can fault him for wanting to stay in school for his Valentine's party.



I love this picture for so many reasons.

1. Can I say it again? The boys (of EVERY country) LOVED Ruth!
(And I loved that they loved her!)
2. I love back shots especially how this is showing his jacket and the lighting from the hockey rink
3. I love their souls. Both beautiful and pure and completely at peace with each other.

This is a special boy. Before he joined Special Olympics he couldn't walk, feed, go to the bathroom or dress himself. Special Olympics has literally changed his life. You can never underestimate the power of self esteem, hard work and friendship.

Our Special Olympians Part 2

Our experience is officially over. What a good one it was. I cannot say again how grateful I am that we were able to participate. It really brought me back to my childhood and my desires to serve handicap & underprivileged people. It all seems like a different life, a forgotten memory tucked in the back of my mind. Raising my kids is all consuming and a completely different life than that of the save the world, peace corps dreams. I wouldn't change what I'm doing for minute! Teaching your children correct principles can make a difference in the world. I always dreamed that I would teach my children the love of this special kind of service. Having this experience was exactly that. What a joy to bring back that forgotten memory of a previous life and blend it with my current journey.

They had their first game on Sunday. We opted out of that one. But between Kurt and I we were there for all the other games. I spent Monday, Wednesday and Thursday over there and Kurt covered Tuesday. It was very all-consuming as we rushed over to Boise every day and still kept up the responsibilities we have in Vale. But the spirit of Special Olympics is real. I love watching the games & really feeling a sense of true sportsmanship. Everyone felt and acted like a winner. Now if the rest of the world could just learn and apply that concept!

Thursday afternoon was their final game. At that point who ever won that game would receive the gold medal. They were playing against Japan (whom they had never beat.) It was a very intense game. Japan played strong and won. But still our boys were so PROUD! And rightly so. They odds they overcame just to arrive in the US, just to get on that court are inspiring. While they deserved the gold it was miraculous for their small, young team to receive the silver. THEY ARE WINNERS! As they stood on the award podium it was impossible not to swell with pride as they each were awarded a silver medal.

And then to say good-bye. It is amazing how full circle we came with the boys. The first few nights of being scared half to death, homesick like crazy to constant mile wide grins, high fives, joking, teasing & lots of hugs. It has been a treasure to share this once-in-a-life-time opportunity with Nadin and Sawvey. Love needs no words to communicate.


Pregame Faces


Cheering Section


The faces of their FIRST victory and FIRST goal.






Silver Medal Winners

V-DAY Weekend

We had wonderful guests this weekend. My wonderful Elaine, husband Ben (who I'm learning is also wonderful), beautiful fun entertaining daughter Lorna, and my brother SUPER SAM. It was the first time the Farnsworth had come to our new-to-us home in Vale. They arrived late Friday night which gave me time to get all the laundry folded and put away (Kurt is gonna be hoping for more guests to come visit...maybe weekly!)


The cousins (minus Ruth who was napping) on V-DAY. Please note the boys in red and girls in pink (which not verbally coordinated.)

Saturday we had a nice breakfast provided by Kurt (thank you honey!) followed by the annual hunt for Valentines. The only difference was that Austin could flawlessly read my clues this year. After some naps and crafting we went out to Sizzler for a nice, romantic family filled evening. It was super crowded but at least the kids were good. The food was....okay at the restaurant but not so much at home....Kurt was sick throwing up that night followed by Lorna, Elaine and Ben on Sunday night. Ya. That's really romantic. I'm just waiting to see if Ben will ever come back to Vale...


Searching for Valentines on our traditional "Love Hunt."

They are some of my most favorite people. I'm so glad they came to spend V-DAY with us! WE LOVE YOU!!! Promise we won't go to Sizzler next time (there will be a next time, right?!!!)


Emma was so excited she had a big enough bed for Lorna to sleep with her.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Did I mention...

~ Did I mention that I didn't practice the violin once last week. AAAHHH!!! The first thing one of the kindergartners said to me on Wednesday (volunteer day), "Are you practicing Mrs. Romans?" Man, I am being held accountable! Tomorrow the bow and I have a serious date.

~ Did I mention that last week we had major coughing all around (minus Emma & Kurt.) I'm talking some serious hacking, body shaking, mind rattling coughs. Of course there were other symptoms that were present. It looked like a long haul on the road of sickness. I was worried about getting our Olympians sick. We were blessed with a miracle. The cloud of sickness left our house when they entered (except Ruth was still a terrible teething mess!) Sunday as we settled back into life without our Afghanies the sickness returned. So much so that Kurt left right after sacrament meeting to take Ruth and Austin to the Doctor. Both have a double ear infection. As I felt the sickness leave and return in my own body I KNOW that we were blessed with health during their stay.

~ Did I mention that I have a wonderful husband. Truly. He is the best. I was sad that I didn't get as much interaction with the boys (but it keeps getting better each time we see them - up date to follow.) But is was so fun to watch Kurt. He is a natural leader and works well with people. He was exhausted but stayed up until the wee hours of the morning so the boys wouldn't feel so home sick. We went to one of their games today and he hugged one of the sad athletes for minutes until he was consoled. He broke up a fight between 2 team mates and spent the next 10 minutes walking hand in hand with the boy to calm him down. He is even better with his own kids. Truly my life has been blessed. I love this picture. Ruth has been so sick with her teething. She had just thrown up all over the place Sunday night. After cleaning her up and took her to Kurt so I could clean up the floor (it was the first time it wasn't on ME!) When I came back this is what I found. Precious.



~ Emma Says: Austin and Emma were discussing ear wax at great length this afternoon (due to Austin's ear infections.) Austin told Emma that everyone has ear wax. Her reply, "Even Spanish people?"

Last month she said, "Jesus is real, you just can't see him. When you are a baby you can see him. Then you grow up and you have to pray to him."

~ Austin says: "Mom is the mom. She does what she does and that's the way it is."

I love his wisdom. So true my boy!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Our Special Olympians

We had a wonderful adventure the past couple of days. We hosted 2 Special Olympians from Afghanistan from Wednesday through Saturday. What a neat experience for our family! A few months ago in ward council they announced that our ward needed 2 families to volunteer to house some athletes coming to Boise for Special Olympic World Games. Immediately I volunteered, we have 2 bedrooms in our basement that we not even using and Special Olympics has a special place in my heart. Why wouldn't we volunteer for this experience?!!!



Kurt picked them up Wednesday and spent all day Thursday with them. They related better to the male figure. Kurt was fabulous with them! It was a little bit of a let down for me because I didn't get to interact with them as much and I love that kind of stuff. But I'm glad Kurt did get that opportunity.



The minute the kids got to our house we showed them where they would be sleeping (the toy room), bathroom, etc.. and then all the kids (ours and the afghanies) went straight to the toy room and starting playing. The communication barrier was a very real issue all weekend but it didn't affect the kids. You don't need to talk to play with each other. Playing is the universal language of kids.





The opening ceremonies were today and we had tickets so the whole family went. The program was very, very long (4 HOURS!! I kept wondering who they planned it for because most of the athletes couldn't even understand English! They loved all the musical numbers though.) It was so moving to be in a huge stadium that was completely full and the entire floor was filled with Special Olympics from all around the world. These Olympians are so special, they bring so much pure joy to life and it was easy to feel in that huge stadium. And naturally I can't experience events like this without crying. Like when the USA team entered the stadium at 430 athletes strong. The crowd went crazy and the athletes beamed. It is so touching, these are the good, the important moments in life. This is what matters.




The torch is lit. Let the games begin!

A year ago they asked for blue and white scarves to be made for all the athletes and volunteers at the Special Olympic World games. My mom crocheted 2 along with other sisters from her Relief Society in Vienna, Virginia. At the Opening Ceremonies they did a video clip about these scarves. They received more than 55,000 scarves all crocheted or knitted by hand. The office would receive 2 shipments a day from FedEx bringing around 700 scarves each day. Many people included pictures and letters with their scarves. They shared a few. A lady with terminal cancer wanted to crochet a scarf as her dieing wish. She was able to crochet 2 scarves before she pasted away. One lady knitted 233 scarves all by herself. A brownie troop learned how to crochet, and so did a Special Olympic group in Tennessee that wasn't able to come to the games. All the while the video was playing the Olympians had taken off their scarves and were waving them back and forth in the air. They knew that each of the scarves had a story behind it and each was made in love for them. It was beautiful.


Waving the blue & white scarves!

I really want Kurt to share his experiences from the last few days with you...

These were some really neat kids that we got to keep. They were the youngest team at the games ranging fro 10 - 15. You could tell that some of them had had pretty tough lives, not only are they Special but they have also grown up in Afghanistan. A bus delivered them from the airport to an outlet mall where we were waiting for them. They got off the bus all huddled together like little sheep, scared and in a new world. After we got them in the vehicles they started to warm up. We just split them up and went our separate ways to our own homes. There was only one of the boys that spoke very, very limited English. His brother was an English teacher. I was lucky enough to have him in the pickup with us on our drive back to Vale. I was able to get out of him the occupations of their fathers. We had the sons of a butcher, a computer tech, a police officer, and a pizza restaurant owner. We dropped off two of the boys and brought the other two boys home with us.

As Rachel commented, communication was definitely an issue this weekend. Rachel went to mutual as soon as I got home. The kids played together a little while I got dinner ready. They wouldn't come eat with us so I fed the kids and got them ready for bed. I went back downstairs and they had packed their bags and put their coats and shoes on, they were ready to leave. I could tell they were scared and didn't know what was going on. I don't think they really knew they were going to be staying in different places. I finally called a coach, who we had to wake up, and he told them to go to sleep. I could tell he was not reassuring at all so I stayed with them. At 1:00 AM the first one finally fell asleep and the second one at 3:00 AM. They were up and at em at 7:00 with their bags packed and ready to go. They wouldn't eat breakfast (oatmeal, or bread) so I took them to the other family in town where the coach was. They eat eggs for breakfast! I guess we missed that memo. The coach then explained that they would be staying with us for a few days and then things started to lighten up.


Exhausted!

We took the team to an onion packing shed on Thursday and then they had practice. I really like floor hockey (played much different than you would think). I enjoyed interacting with them and getting to know the whole team. That night we took them to a Chili Feed at a local elementary school. Our little guy ate 5 bowls of chili. It was really the first thing they ate well since they arrived. They both fell asleep on the way home, 6:00 PM. I should have went to bed to but I went in and played church ball till late. They were up at 4:00 the next morning. I showed them that it was still dark outside and they just looked at me like I was dumb, so I stayed up.


At the chili feed - they loved Ruth!

Friday they went to Boise for an assessment of the team. Because of communication issues they weren't going to let them play. Something about wrong helmets and no numbers on their jerseys. So one of the other host argued with the refs and they let them play. They were actually not going to let them participate in the games after coming all this way! The host then went out and bought them helmets and jerseys so they are ready to go when they get to their first game. We met up with them that evening at a basketball game. They were suppose to be the half time entertainment but they were so exhausted that they just came onto the court before the game, took pictures and left 5 minutes later. Asleep at 9:00 and up at 4:00 again. I am really excited to sleep past 4:00 tonight!


The Afghanistan Floor Hockey Special Olympic team at the Nyssa/Vale Basketball game!

This has been a fun experience. The communication barrier has been really frustrating but the experience with the kids has been rewarding. They are such special spirits. You look at some of them and think of how hard this mortal existence would be to have the problems that they do. Contrast that with the reward that we know is promised to them in the life to come. They truly are chosen spirits and I am grateful for the opportunity that I have had to rub shoulders with Our Heavenly Father's chosen.


The team in uniform - what a handsome bunch!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Examples

My life has been constantly full of amazing people who have set a high standard for me. I know that my life would be so different without their examples. Now that I'm a mother I seem to value these examples even more as I realize I cannot raise my children alone. I want to surround them with wonderful, strong, valiant, courageous, up-lifting people.

On Saturday a boy from our ward got baptized. I took Austin and Emma Lynn with me so they could support this boy in their Primary and teach them (again & again & again) about baptism. Austin told me on the way home that he felt the spirit. Then he told me that he wanted to be the prophet when he grew up. This was a new one for me, of course I had to smile. I was curious what prompted this and so I asked him why he wanted to be the prophet. The answer was pure and simple, "So I can be on TV during General Conference." Awesome! I was laughing - SO QUIETLY so he couldn't hear me but how cute! That is indeed a lofty goal, go for it Austin!

Emma Lynn was quick to respond herself that she wanted to be a missionary when she grew up. I was happy to hear that we have moved past wanting to be a princess when she grows up. She must have known I was going to ask why because she continued on, "If Karen can be a missionary then so can I. Boys and girls can both be missionaries." So true! Another lofty goal worthy of achieving. Thank you aunt Karen for showing Emma Lynn such a beautiful and important example of serving the Lord and choosing the right.

We are so blessed to have so many examples just like Karen in our lives. Thank you for enriching, up-lifting and setting a lovely example for my family. You are amazing and we love you!

Family Time VS. Scout/Girls Camp

July 23 - 30, 2017 It was bizarre to only have 4 kids home this week with Austin at Scout Camp and Emma at her first Girl's Camp. It w...