Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011


No one can replace your mom, especially if you really like her. My mom and I have clashed on many occasions, but I love and respect my mom. I love talking to her on the phone and look forward to when I get to see her. There's no question how I feel about my mom.

But I also have my mother-in-law. I know I've said it before, but I think I pretty much have the best mother-in-law. We live with her, and so she has the right to be nosey, intrusive, and all that stuff. Is she? Nooooope. She's respectful. She's kind. She's giving of her time and resources. Time -- just this week alone she's watched the girls a few times. Every week she arranges it so I can leave Callie home while I take Sammy to physical therapy. I told Marcus I wasn't sure how I was going to do therapy once we move out of his parents' house. It's been such a luxury having that help for doctor appointments and therapy...only needing to bring Samantha. Resources -- I'm not going to lie. I still get giddy when she buys me a new shirt or cleans out her closet. Seriously. This lady has good taste and who doesn't like being the beneficiary of it! Awesome.

I'm not as good as I ought to be at showing my apprection to others, and my outward expression of gratitude towards her and my father-in-law, is no exception. So, for that, I feel bad. (I commit myself to improve.) No, she's not my mom, but she is my husband's mom which makes her pretty special to me. Plus, I truly and sincerely like her. I look forward to talking to her, sharing thoughts, ideas, and opinions. I enjoy hearing her perspective. Before I left for Girls' Camp (which, by the way, she helped with the girls all week while I was gone), I was eager to show her a video that was being shared at camp the next week...I was excited to share that with her. And what did she do? She sat down and watched all 20 minutes of it...and I'm pretty sure she did that for me. Sure, she was probably interested, but partly because it was important to me. Whether that's why or not, that's how she makes me feel. She's one great lady that Peggy Green, and I feel blessed to be a part of her family.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Writing a Book

I'm not so much writing a book as much as writing an introduction to a book that I'm putting together.  But it's something, nonetheless, that I feel very passionately about.  I've been s l o w l y  working on this book for some time now -- a year perhaps -- but I just can never seem to quite finish it.  Right when I start picking up momentum, stuff happens and I have to put it aside.  Or, I decide that I need to put it aside so life can happen.  (Wow, check out how philosophical I am.)  I tend to let projects take over my life, and with that, I miss...moments.  I've tried to take hold of my life, and so, I sometimes don't get to work on things like the ambitious side of me would like.  But, I'm totally going off on a tangent, let me regroup. 

Where was I?

Book.  Lately I've been tackling the book again.  I'm really excited about it and feel good about the direction.  But holy cow!  A book is no joke people.  And I'm not even writing the book.  Sheesh.  I thought I was doing well until I started reading a book that one of my BYU professors suggested I read -- about writing book proposals.  Hello!  I'm so glad I read this book because, truly, my proposal would have looked nothing like this if I had gone on my own here.  So, it was good to have read.  A bit of an education for me it was.  However, this new-found knowledge has also been a tad frustrating because I've had to use my time differently -- instead of working on "the book," I'm doing more research and other things that, sure, they are important for the book...but I don't feel like it's "the book."  (sigh) 

For all of you who are participating in the book and are wondering what the heck is going on (because my original goal was to submit to publishers this past May...HA!  That didn't happen.  What was I  smokin'?  'Cause my visions of quickly whipping up a book and being published were delirous's for sure going to take some time after realizing what more I really need to do), rest assured that your contributions are still beautiful and will be submitted.  I'll keep working.  My new goal is by the end of the year, but hopefully sooner.

As for me, wow.  What a learning experience this has been.  I really hope something more than just my own learning experience comes from this though.  Like a book.  Published.  With beautiful cover art.  That sells millions of copies.  And libraries can't keep it on their shelves.  Yeah, that'd be cool.  But more important than all of that if it really gets published, that lives are uplifted and, perhaps even changed.  That people hear or read the book, and buy it for a friend who needs it.  That in moments of frustration or sadness, someone goes to this book and feels like they aren't alone, and encouraged to go on.  And that's what I'll go to bed thinking about tonight.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This Girl

One of my favorite pictures of Callie. This was a year ago, but I still love it. She had on the super smile, not-so-natural...but even still. I think she's gorgeous. Callie is one little lady who is full of life, smart, creative, energetic, funny, kind, sensitive to others, motherly, loving, tender, active, and just pretty close to perfect. And, what do I mean by that? I mean that with all her imperfections (because she's got to have some, right?)....she's my kind of perfect. And I love her completely...this little girl.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

So Long

(Again, just as a way to keep my writing in one place...)

Don't you love Zooey Deschanel? I do. And I wrote about it on Kidz

At the time I wrote this, I thought of this song as a duet between me and Sammy. Cheesy...ultra. But then, today as I was singing it and thinking of little Sammers, I thought of Callie. It's much much better as a duet between the two of them! Sibling love...frustration and annoying moments between the two of them...but ultimately, they are best friends and love being together. Love it!

My Baby Rides the Short Bus

I read a book and posted it on Sammy's blog. It's a special needs book, so I felt it was appropriate to review it there...but since I keep my list of what I've read during the year on this blog...I'll put the link here too. With the title My Baby Rides the Short Bus, I admit I wasn't sure what to expect. I was torn between ... is this a funny title? or is it disrespectful? I was torn during the entire book...not sure what to feel. Ultimately, not my favorite. But, there's so much literature out there that speaks to different people, their personalities, and their circumstances. It just didn't fit any of my own, I suppose. each his own, right Dad?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Makes Me Laugh

Ooooh, I think my kids are beautiful, but some of these just make me laugh.  Perhaps it doesn't show them in the best light, but I'm crying over here -- big 'ole laughing tears.  And, I realize these are much funnier to me than to other people, nonetheless, post I must.

Little (nephew) Nate's "are you really going to make me eat?" face.

Callie, is that a gang sign you're flashing me?

Seems innocent enough...

but she will retaliate.

Um, are you mad?

This one will always make me lose's the demonic yawn picture.  ahhh 
I. Can't. Control. Myself.
Sleepy eyes -- on the airplane.

Thinking About It

Same, constant, solid (blond) Jenny, or bold, daring, live-on-the-wild-side (brunette) Jenny. Yes, because this would be me living on the wild side. I know. It may shock you, but I'm one wild and crazy gal.

I'm just saying that it's been on my mind and I'm really thinking about it. That's all. Just thinking. When I mention my...thoughts...people have told me to stick to blond. People have told me to go brunette. That I'd look exotic and great. hmmm We'll just have to see...but I'm thinking about it. One thing that's almost for sure is I'm going back to bangs this Fall. But the question of color remains...duh duh duhhhnn.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

MI, Part 3

I found this in my "draft" file, so I guess I never got these posted...and there are some fun pictures in here.  So, rewind to June....

Again, Callie loved the lake.  It's a nice attraction.

I love this suit on Callie.  What a cutie.

And Sammy's quite a show stopper too.  Sooo cute.

Brayden and Peggy, playing in the sand.

Off for a boat ride and tubing in Grandpa's boat.

Ted, and I think Hunter, getting ready for their ride.

Sammy's happy with Grandma while we wait on shore for our turn.

Callie loved the boat.  She wasn't as certain about the tube, but she loved the boat, that's for sure.

One of my favorite pictures of the entire trip.  Samantha is so deliriously happy, and Ian's leaning over looking at her.  It's just sheer joy.  I love it.

A bit windy.

She's smiling here, but she was only smiling when the boat wasn't on.  As soon as we got going, she kept asking to go slower and slower until the boat was off and we were coasting.  "That's better.  Yeaaaahhhh!"  That's Callie, a real dare devil.

Sammy, on the other hand, was giggling the entire ride.  I wonder if she was born with physical limitations in order to save her life!  Truly, if she was able to do all she wanted, I think she'd probably kill herself.  She's such a thrill seeker this little one -- always has been!!!

Ian was our boat boy.  He's such a great cousin to all the little cousins.  He's the oldest in the clan and the best guy ever.  I have special feelings about Ian.  He was the first grandchild in our family.  I was so excited when I found out Lisa was pregnant and I grew really attached to this guy.  I love him so much.  He's a really really good guy and I miss him just thinking about it.  I love you Ian.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tired Mommy

These words did actually come out of my mouth last night...

Callie: Can you read this Mommy?
Mommy reads 10 pages, and eyes are getting heavy
Mommy: Callie, this book is too long.  Do you want to watch a movie?
Callie:  Yeah yeah yeah yeah!

Ohhhh, that's a fine parenting moment.  Luckily, her love is books is still strong and we're reading ourselves into an oblivion.  Phew. 

In the Kitchen

Callie loves -- so so loves -- mixing, measuring, stirring, cooking, baking...I tell her I'm the chef and she's my sous-chef (my 2nd in command in the kitchen).  She loves my title.  "Where's my Sous-Chef?"  "Here Chef Mommy!"  So on Saturday night, when Sammy went to bed and I started to make some cookies for my class on Sunday, Callie was eager to join in.  She insisted I put on an apron so we could match -- and mix, measure, and bake we did.

Even Daddy joined in this time, which is a treat.  Often he's at work while we bake -- not that we bake all that often, but ya know.  Look at that smile.  She's so happy.  Cookies = Bliss.  (I like to think we added to that smile though too.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Hollow

Callie was so excited to go to Happy Hollow!

Callie's lucky to have so many fun "big" friends.  We went to Happy Hollow with the Kneipps and Williams.  It was a fun time.  And thanks to the older kids there, Callie got a lot of attention.  Thanks Zack and Sadie especially -- and Mason for riding the carousel with Callie too.

Callie driving the cars with Ilse.

And then the ladybugs.

Best buds.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Daddy Time

There are few things more fun than wrestling with Daddy.

I promise, Marcus's head is under there somewhere.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

thoughts on a sunday night

I had another one of those moments tonight.  I have these occasionally.  It's the moment when everything is so still and peaceful, and then you think "wow."  That WOW can lead to a lot of different thoughts.  For instance, when I was little I'd think about the stars and then the universe and it'd get too big for my mind that I'd get frustrated and confused.  Pleasant memories.

Tonight, Samantha had a hard time going to sleep.  I let her cry awhile, simply so she'd wear herself out, and then I went in.  I wiped her face.  I picked her up.  And I held her.  She allowed her body to give a little bit and as I stroked her long silky hair, she slowly melted deeper into my right arm and chest.  Things became so still.  So calm became her breathing, so quickly, that I stopped to make sure she was, in fact, still doing so.  She was.  Relief.  So I continued running my fingers through her hair. hit me.  Life is incredible.  And I'm not just talking of ... ohhh the blessings of life, and the joy of motherhood and raising a family and "life" in general is incredible.  That's all true -- according to me.  But what I felt was the WOW about LIFE. 

I mean, what is it that makes our hearts continue to beat? 
Why is it that this little girl who was born under such "different" circumstances, with the odds against her, is still alive? 
What is it that causes us to take those calm breaths? 
Why do we breath from moment to moment? 

The science behind it all is what fascinates me.  But it's so much more than science.  Even one of Samantha's pediatrician's once told me that the more he studies and learns, the more he delves into medicine, the more it's confirmed to him that there is a God.  I thought of King Benjamin from the Book of Mormon.  And I specifically thought of these words:

I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning,
and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath,
that ye may live and move and do according to your own will and
even supporting you from one moment to another—
I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls
yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments;
and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should
prosper in the land;
and he never doth vary from that which he hath said;
therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives,
for which ye are indebted unto him.
And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you;
for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you;
and therefore he hath paid you.
And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever;
therefore, of what have ye to boast?
Mosiah 2:21-24

We've kind of had a lot going on in the family lately.  Nathaniel (nephew) has been struggling with his own breath.  He's been in and out of the hospital...oh..I can't count how many times.  Right when we think he's doing alright, he crashes...another call to 911...another stay in the PICU.  The nurses are becoming too familiar with him.  And for a kid just over 1 year old, it just doesn't seem "fair" that some of his best friends are nurses and doctors in the hospital.  It's sad.  And it's been very difficult, most especially for his parents and grandparents.  Where is God in all of this?  Everywhere.  In every breath.

Tonight, I watched Samantha fall into a deep sleep in my arms.  I watched her breathe.  I remembered the times when seizures sucked all the breath out of her and color left her body...and then the relief that filled my heart as breath brought life again to her body.  Tonight I silently thanked my Father for the breath He grants Samantha each day, fully aware that those breaths are gifts, every. single. one of them. 

Tonight, I also thought of little Nathaniel, who is struggling for breath -- who is dependent, not only on machines, but so obviously on his Father as well.  There are times when it's easy to question where God is while we suffer, or ... why we even have to endure certain things, especially when we feel like we're doing what He wants us to do.  But, tonight, in this moment of clarity...a moment that is so much harder to explain in words as opposed to how I actually felt...I felt the Spirit confirm to me of the power of God, His kindness, and mercy as He grants us breath.

Even if Samantha's life had been taken during one of those seizures, as horrible as that would be, as much as it causes my own breath to weaken just thinking of it...I.  Trust.  Him.  (Even when I don't like it.)  I have faith in a greater purpose for those pains that we endure.  (Again, even when I don't like it.)  It's not up to me to determine what I can survive.  He grants us the breath, and we do His work...even if that just means hanging on for a period...or a life time.  I can get all the answers to my "why" questions at a later time.  Until then...I gratefully watch Samantha breathe. 

Swimming Pool fun


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