Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas




Okay. Here goes my Grinch moment.......... I hate Santa. *sigh* I really feel much better now that I've gotten that off of my chest.
     This deep rooted hatred very well could stretch WAY back to my childhood, where my parents never allowed me to believe. It was always made known to me, even as a small child, that he wasn't real. That Jesus was the reason for Christmas and Santa nothing more than a filler.
    
     I can understand the excitement that kids feel in anticipation of Santa. But it doesn't make me like him any more. Some of my distaste towards him is more than likely for selfish reasons.  I don't like giving him the credit for all the presents, the good presents or really much of anything..... I have a desire to make him look bad on Christmas morning....(Trust me when I say that I know how terrible this sounds )  If I didn't have to send my children to school, where other kids believe, I would have already told them the truth.  From personal experience, I can say that it is no fun being the only kid who knows the truth and trying not to crush your friends by spilling the beans.

   This Christmas has been a little different for me.  It seems like the true meaning is lost more with each passing year. There is so much stress in shopping and wrapping and so on.......Our family tries to celebrate the Birth of Jesus all year long...so I don't feel completely horrible in saying that I am so glad this season is winding down.

 We spend every Christmas Eve at my Grandmothers house, it is a tiny place with a lot of people.  My family is loud, not a little, but really loud.  It is a few hours of complete chaos.  Usually, at least one of us sisters is missing.....at our dads, in the hospital....somewhere...Not this year.
 My sisters are a little crazy themselves....Each one in a little different way.  We all have our personalities, our own ambitions, we are certainly more different than alike...but I do love these little boogers.
 True Parklen style here

 After 7 Christmas Eve Celebrations together This one is a bit more relaxed in the midst of the noise....Im almost certain he was afraid that first year.....

Parky got his Beiber movie this morning.....He was so excited.
And Paysen, his very own Ice Fishing Pole.....in spite of the tired face, he was excited.



   I love the time with family and friends this time of year, I really love the baking and the carols.  I love the look of glee on the faces of our children as they open their treasures.  But I also loved the moment I closed the box of our packed up Christmas Tree this afternoon, and the feeling of peace as I looked around to a normal living room.  I have never taken down the decorations on Christmas day, but it had to be done......

   We are not living large in a worldly sense....Our primary provider is a full time student, We are the complete opposite of "us" 3 or 4 years ago. We certainly have our struggles.....
From a different perspective, we are rich beyond measure.  We have each other, we have our faith.

   There was a moment this morning when I said to Devan, "It seems like we didn't get the boys anything this year."  Not even a minute later, Paysen squealed with joy, "Look at all our stuff, there is A LOT!"


Life is such a matter of perspective, glass half full or half empty sort of thing.....My kids believe that their glass in flowing over.....and ya know what, Santa didn't have a thing to do with that.

At the closing of this holiday I reflect upon my blessings.....They are countless.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

28

I turned 28 today,
It was a good day.
The transition was made slightly better by the fact that an oral surgery on Monday  left my face slightly swollen, seriously making me look 5 years younger(cant you see the humor in my insanity)....I woke up and said, "oh my gosh Devan, look how young I look."  he thinks I'm nuts, this I am sure.

My boys helped with breakfast,
I got the boots I have had my eye on,
I was treated to lunch,
and received a million Happy Birthday messages.
I will be given a night away from motherhood this weekend, and  rest will come.
Tomorrow my home will be filled with twenty people,
I will be partaking in some wonderful Black Friday Shopping,
What a week.

The last 28 years have gone so fast.
They have molded me into this woman I have become,
this crazy,
cooking,
baking,
dancing,
singing,
sewing,
praying,
crying,
smiling,
laughing,
nut of a woman.

I turned 28 today,
it was a good day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Birthdays....

Maybe its because I feel like the past three years were so tough, or that I didn't get the chance to "just" be 25, 26, or 27 but turning 28 next week is freaking me out. (I'm sure the majority is because its almost 30)

Life is just so funny.  I can remember looking down the road and deciding what I wanted for my life and taking certain steps to make it happen....guess what Amanda, you are NOT in control.  Don't let the whole "you control your own destiny" bit fool you....its rubbish.

I chose my husband as he chose me, and seriously I believed that life would go as I had planned....far from the truth, we decided how many children we would have (it was 4 by the way...in case you forgot Devan) Where we would live, what we would do.

It took an earth rattling shake for me to realize that life is nothing that you can plan....this is a super great thing to accept while you are still floating above water, instead of waiting until a wave comes crashing in for a drowning attempt like I did.  In my case it was wave upon wave upon wave...and I would be a HUGE liar if I said the waves have stopped.  They are relentless.

I had my faith, I had my beliefs but they had never been tested.  So now, looking back, I don't think they were really real. It wasn't until I had nothing left but God himself to cling to that I realized he is driving this life boat at ALL times.  I have lost so much in the past three years, SO much.  Believe me when I say, I should be Divorced, and crazy as according to this world's view.  But I'm not.  (The "crazy" part is really debatable, it would probably depend on who you ask.)

The losses I have faced in the past three years don't even compare to what I have gained.....maturity, faith, experience, friends, and a Three year old little boy......who is HERE. 



Yeah, If I look at photos from age 24 and compare them with ones today...I can see the stress written clearly on my face. It appears as though there has been ten years between the photos, not three...but, what can I change about this? nothing. 

So, as I am writing all this down....I realize that I can stop whining about the upcoming birthday. And smile as I turn a year older....after all, its just another day. And how blessed am I to be alive, so bring it on.....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Poopy day......

I would be flat out lying if I said, "today was AWESOME..."  It didnt start good......I have come to live on just a couple hours of sleep, Parklen gives me no choice in this matter.  I have even learned to cope with being soaked in poop.....(now there is something I never thought I would say.) 

We didnt sleep, Parky and I...he was up sick.  Once the sun took its place in the sky we just stopped trying...It seems that he has another infection in his bowels.  No biggie, we are used to dealing with this....

The doctor has to make sure of which infection he has, so until then....he is in quarentine.....not to sicken any other children...we are blessed to have an immunity built up against most of Parky's illnesses.

I will tell you something, (and if you have a weak stomach, you may wanna stop reading now)  It is not an easy task to get a poop sample from your three year old....and surely not fun.  The nurse at the doctors office reccommended I try catching some in a ziplock....so I did, and marched it right into the lab....
of course, they didnt take it....I had to use THEIR container.....SOOO, now I am the lady who carried a ziplock full of poop into the waiting area of the lab.....yup thats me....

I was pooped on so many times today that I cant count, BUT.....thats my life....And I am thankful that Parklen is here to make those messes....thankful that I am cleaning up from this, most poopy of days.

MAN, I really talked about poop a lot...sorry about that......

Wednesday, November 9, 2011



My love, My partner, My number one fan......
We have seen more than some couples twice our age....
We have made it through some very deep valleys,
Climbed some Steep mountains....
We have grown in our faith,
We have grown in our understanding of love,
We know that it is an action and not a feeling....
And we choose to love each other.


We get fed up with each other,
We get caught up in each other.
You make me laugh,
You make me crazy,
and I know I do the same.


God could not have chosen a better partner for me,
We fit together....
Today I am celebrating you,
its not your birthday,
Its not our anniversary,
Its just the day that I love you and am thankful for you as my husband.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

my friend.....


I watched my friend today.....
I watched her as she gave out hugs and handshakes....
I watched her smile,
I watched her glowing pregnant face...........
I watched as she held her head high,
I watched her overflow with with God's love,
I listened as people talked about her strength...
I watched my friend today,
It was a day to celebrate the life of her mother that has left us far too soon.
For me, It was a day of affirmation,
If you know where you going,
Death is nothing to fear.......
If you know the ones that you love are heading there also,
Their death is nothing to fear...
Sadness was in the room for the loss of a wonderful woman,
But there was joy there also,
Joy because we know where she is walking,
We know the hand that holds on to hers.
I was inspired by my friend today,
Inspired by her faith
and so thankful for people like her in my life.
I will forever miss her mom, a woman that touched my life in many ways.
A woman who, in life showed me many things,
A woman who, in death, helped to renew my faith.....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Prayer

Sometimes we don't understand the plans of God, Sometimes life hurts....sometimes it hurts so bad that it seems unbearable.....I am thankful that we don't have to carry our own burdens....I am thankful that we can lay our pain at the foot of the cross. Thankful that God will catch us when we just cant go on.  Thankful that we don't have to stand alone in the face of our trials. 

I am thankful for people that I love in my life, I am thankful that, even though my friend is so very sick...she has a love for Christ.  Thankful that she knows God.....Knows that he is the great healer. 

I am saddened by the struggles that a family is facing....but encouraged by their faith.  I have seen miracles first hand and I am praying for more than that tonight........

Please pray for my friend....God will know who you are talking about. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

new!

What a heck of a week.....I seriously went to sleep last Wednesday and woke up and a week has passed....I feel like the past week was a blurr.  This is typical of a busy schedule. Running every day and at rapid speeds keeps me in a haze.  ENOUGH already.

I am starting a new....I am throwing out clothes....throwing out junk, toys and clutter....I am cleaning my car and vowing that there be no more snacks eaten en route...(I know that this is gonna be broken already....Parky cant stop eating for anything)   I need some organization, a more balanced schedule...possibly a planner....I forget a lot of things.... 

I am pretty sure this process may take a couple weeks....squeezing the new start into my old life is tricky....but it will be done.

There is a lot stacked on my plate...medicine dispensing, therapy sessions, pre-school, play dates, Dr appointments...oh and I am a wife.....the list goes on. and HONESTLY my other responsibilities are slacking...my house is messy, dishes are left UN-done, laundry is piling up and really....its hard to get it under control.

I haven't had a conversation with my husband that lasted longer than 30 minutes in weeks....Its time for a slow down. 

and what better way to motivate than to advertise my short comings.  I am certain that I will get a grip on my life.  CERTAIN. 

.....I can feel God lift the weight off of my shoulders, even if its just long enough for me to catch my breath.....

After all, what weight do dirty dishes and stacks of laundry carry when I am blessed beyond measure....

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lately


Lately things have been CRAZY.....not to say that things aren't always this way but I am really noticing it lately.   Devan has been working too much and between that and school we haven't seen him nearly enough the last couple months. We have been flying through each day at rapid speed....barely stopping to eat or rest.



Parklen has been feeling up and down, had a case of pneumonia, other small sicknesses and recently Denver discovered an infection in his intestines......treating him with meds and he is on the mend...  More importantly, Parklen has been going to pre-school, and along with me to Bible Study and the tears have slowed down incredibly.  He is growing and he is loving it.  His teacher took time to call me yesterday evening and shared that he is a complete joy, he gets along with all the kids, has fun and you would never know he is sick.  He recently qualified for services again and now has two new women in his life, and one old friend.....Bre is back!!! 

Parklen had his first session of Physical Therapy this past week, it began with tears but he ended up loving it and has asked to go back every day since!!!  He will have Occupational Therapy Sessions  as well as time with Bre as his special teacher.  That's three separate sessions he will be attending!!  We are so excited!!! 

Denver has decided that if he is doing well in a week, we wont have to travel south until JANUARY!!! I may be just a little bit excited about this nugget of information.   And My prayers are focused on Parklen's healing. 

Paysen has turned five, and all of the sudden, he is grown up.   He amazes me every day.  He is ready for kindergarten.....spelling, writing, and learning a ton.   Everything that he does he says, "I can do this now because I am five."  We have added more chores to his days and more responsibilities as well.

We lost our old dog a few weeks ago, I had to put the old girl down....something that I will NEVER ever do again for as long as I live.  After only a few days we were suckered into a new puppy....luckily we found our perfect pup at the pound.  And now, here we are, with a puppy.....In large part we have made her Paysen's responsibility....one in which he has gladly accepted and is doing very well at (because he is five)

I have never had but one dog, and defiantly never a puppy.....interesting at best.   Our little Lily has had it rough....Parklen has already tried flushing her down the toilet, throwing her in the trash, and making sure she is aware that he is the baby in these parts.  I'm hoping this jealously will change before things get too out of hand....although, possibly the toilet could have already been a jump over the line.
We had these beautiful photos taken by a wonderful  and godly woman, blessed with incredible talent and a loving heart.  If you don't know her, you should and I would be happy to give you some information if you want her to take your pictures. 

In the hustle and bustle of life in recent days I have had to force myself to slow down, relax and be thankful for what God has done in my life.  My schedule is full, I have very little free time, I am tired and worn down....but I have a family that loves me, and friends that care.

Next month will mark exactly 3 years since Parklen became ill.  Its hard to believe that.  Reflecting on what God has done in Parklen's life and our lives through Parklen gives me a sense of peace.  God has never left my side and although I am feeling weary I know that on him I may rest. 

When I look at my boys I cannot help but be thankful.  I am thankful for their messes, thankful for the screams, thankful for the poopy diapers and the vomit...I am just thankful that they are here.  That I am their mom and that God has entrusted me with such a responsibility.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Today you are five.......I cannot believe it.    It was five years ago that you came into our lives, five years since my world was forever changed.  

Paysen you are the funniest person I know, big or small.  You are my best little buddy and you melt my heart every single day. 

You told me just yesterday that, and I quote....."all I wanna do when I get big is build a house right next door to you so that I can come over every day"  When I told you that your wife probably wouldn't approve, you simply stated..."well, I will just tell her that's the way it is."

You tell me that I am the best mommy in the world, you tell me that I am so cute.  You say I'm the best at cooking, and that I am your best friend.  You know just what to say and just when to say it.....When I am feeling sick and laying down you take your precious little fingers and stroke them across my forehead and say "sleep my little princess."  

You made me a mommy....you showed me a love I would never have known.   

 I know one day we wont be this close....one day you will see just how big of a dork your mommy really is.  One day you wont want to hang out.....you will change your mind about who is the best.....One day....
But. not today...

Five years have gone so fast....sometimes I am sure that you feel like you fade into the background with all that happens with Parklen.,.....you are always at the front of my mind.  No one else can take the spot of "my first"  You mean the world to me........

Happy Birthday To My little man......

Monday, September 19, 2011

My boys are in school, even my little baby…… Sending him to school was one of the hardest things I can remember doing. Walking out of the building, listening to him scream my name and knowing that he was in someone else’s care- took my breath away. I mean literally, made it hard to breathe. I am his mom, he is my baby…and harder than leaving Paysen, is leaving Parklen. I love them just the same. Not one more than the other….its just so different with Parklen. I know that Paysen is going to be ok when I leave him at school. I know that he will be. But Parklen, it scares me. You never know what will happen with him, and I guess that’s how it will always be. I will always breathe harder when I walk away from him, I will always wonder who isn’t washing their hands before they touch him, think about him getting sick and him wondering why I am not there to comfort him.



It is quite a triumph to have him there, at preschool. Quite. His doctors still don’t know what will happen with his schooling, they don’t know how his body will hold up to the exposure. BUT some didn’t think he would be going to preschool at all.

I am trying to ignore the fact that after only 4 days at school Parklen came down with Pneumonia. Trying to think positive, concentrate on getting him better not on how I pushed him into a social situation full of germs………….yup, ignoring that part.

I was also told that He wouldn’t be close to potty training until well after age 5.…well he is working hard at it NOW… Yes, he is a potty training maniac, waking up at night to go, asking to pull over in the car, and dropping pants and squatting right at the park in the middle of his brother’s Birthday Party.


Paysen is in his third year of preschool, his last before Kindergarten. He is an old pro, and loves school so much. The most exciting part for him is “bring your own lunch Monday’s” He gets so excited about packing his lunch, and carrying it into school. I think he feels so grown up. Which, he is.
He is turning 5 this week, crazy…… We celebrated his big day a couple weeks early, so that we could be outside and not worry about the weather. It was a great party, tons of fun and a sunshine sky. I am again, choosing to ignore the downside, (hundreds of uninvited wasps that swarmed throughout the party.) BUT, lots of people were there and no one from the party got stung…

I cant think about Paysen being 5 without almost choking on the lump in my throat.. it’s a big lump. The tears fill my eyes and I just cannot believe the speed at which they grow. One moment you are holding your newborn, the next they are five, FIVE. I will give him his own post on his real birthday….

The routine of daily life is starting to fall into place. We are getting the swing of things. In spite of the Pneumonia, the tears of goodbyes, the wasps, the growing up….things are going ok.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mean kids

I heard the little boy at the top of the tube slide this morning...."get outta my way you stupid little fatty". Those are the words he said to My Parky. The crazy mother inside me wanted to climb up the slide to see which boy had said it and who knows what I would have done then. But there were too many kids and no one was fessing up to the mean words.

I have such a fear of how kids will treat my baby. He will Always be a little chubby from the steroids. Heart breaking.....the power of words on a mothers heart. Parklen didn't miss a beat at the statement but my eyes filled with tears instantly. Kids can be mean, really mean and I just don't understand. I hope to teach my boys that words can really hurt someone. Hope that they are kind and loving.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wrapping up............

 We are wrapping up here in Denver today, and we are all ready to head home......Three days can feel like three weeks down here!!  This dose of treatment has been extra hard on all parties involved!  Parky is feeling the sting of the steroids extra strong this go 'round and the extra side effects have spilled over on his family.  He is more violent than I have seen him. Such a difficult thing to deal with, you cant punish him like you would a regular kid, he cant control his actions....they teach you certain things on how to "deal" with "roid rage" but its hard none the less..........I feel bad for him, I am sad that he is kicking me in the face, and at the same time sad because I know he doesn't feel good. 
 But the thing that really gets me is when he goes crazy on his brother.....have you seen the video clips of chimps attacking people? This is exactly what it looks like, and it happens so fast that you cant prevent it.  Paysen looks at me like "mom, why are you letting him do this to me?" and it breaks my heart.  I think about what it would be like to be the brother of Parklen, and I have decided it would be tough.  Paysen acts out in his own way, starving for attention.......I just wanna scoop him up and take him somewhere where everyone goes crazy over him! We walk into the hospital and its all about his brother, he needs somewhere where its all about him!!
 I have accepted this life of travel and hospitals as our norm, its just the way it is......but we are preparing to start a new norm......Parky is going to start pre-school for a couple hours a week this year. His doctor wants him to interact with some kids and see how he will do in a school setting....  This will be something to write about I am sure!! Should be an interesting tale!!  Going to be so hard for me to leave him, but so good....
 We met some family at Bass Pro Shop last night for dinner and exploring....My boys belong in a place like this!  They love to fish, so looking at the giant specimens in the tank is incredible to them!! 
Paysen would like to bring his swim suit next time so that he can swim along with the giant Cat fish....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

To learn. . . . . .

Sometimes it takes a bucket to catch your fish!!!
You know, Life isn't easy....Its really anything BUT.  Stress is natural, it is inevitable.....you cannot escape it.  I used to live my life in fear, allowing stress to suck me in, worrying about each step....rarely stopping to learn from my circumstances. 

Now, I HAVE learned.  I worry still, (although I try to avoid it.)  But never as much as before.  I am comfortable in my own skin, I feel good about the person I am, I feel strong, feel content.  God gives me these gifts.  I know that with HIM, I have nothing to worry about, I am in good hands.....I can get through anything, not by my strength but by HIS. 

Learning to deal with what your given in life is the only way to live.  I am learning that my idea of perfect doesn't always fit into the way that things are going to go.  That my picturesque dream as a child of my future family was far from reality... That having dirty little children- with big smiles is acceptable.  That going to the hospital is our norm, that being excited that Parky wants to sit still for his IV is an ok thing to get excited about......That bribery is sometimes your only option, That "Terrible Three's" trumps "Terrible Two's" in difficulty by leaps and bounds, That brothers fight.....that each day goes by more quickly than the last, and that loving people feels better than anything else.  I have learned that even when I feel like being lazy it always feels better to lace up my shoes and go out adventuring, that even when my boys say they don't wanna go for a bike ride, they will have fun, even if I have to stuff them in the trailer!!


Heading in for more treatments for Mr. Parkster tomorrow morning, looking forward to seeing more success!  He has had some really great days since his last set of treatments.  He says, "I will hold real still when they gib me the IB(IV)"  He says he feels better, I believe him. 


Were playing it low key in Denver this week, probably just hanging out.....more than likely hitting some walking paths and possibly a museum..........that'll do since we will be coming down again in three short weeks.....We are minus a daddy this go 'round, and on this first night away, he is already missed. 

There are people in my life that lift my spirits, when I let the stress get to me, they show up in big ways to show their love.  I am grateful for wonderful friends......Grateful for my life!
Some days, friends are all you need!!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011


The toad discovered at Natural Bridge


I have been slacking so much on my blog this summer....I cant decide what to write about...There has been so much good that I cant pick and choose the best!  We have been busy, playing, laughing, running, soaking up sun.  I feel like a kid again....I have removed all schedules, bed times, structure.  We are going with the flow, riding the waves....and it feels good.  I know for certain I may regret the removal of all organization when my kids throw down a massive fight as I try to prepare them for the upcoming school year.....but in the scheme of things it will be worth it.  

We have spent much time together as a family, I don't miss the shift work of days passed.  Devan is home for dinner each night and we enjoy family breakfast each morning.  We are enjoying each other so much each day. Squeezing every drop from this life sponge sitting before us!

This summer has even brought me to a place where  I have stepped out of my comfort zone a few times and gone on a couple day trips with OUT my kiddos.....This is rare....but good, and I enjoyed the adult conversation and company. 

We are suntanned, sun bleached haired, and glowing.  Devan told me the other day, "Summer looks good on you!" and I feel it.  I feel so good.  I feel confident in life, happy in life, and blessed in life.  I carry some Joy that cannot be shaken.....The trials we have seen have only strengthened its foundation!

 Fishing is in our family, its what we do....Devan proposed to me on our boat (this would make a good story to share later) Devan has fished his whole life, I have fished my whole life with him. The boys are starting to fish.  Paysen caught his first fish this last weekend (he has "caught" a lot with his dad's "help") But this was all alone....in fact the kid got it on the hook, reeled in, and into the boat before he even made a peep, The words, "Hey guys, look what I got!" Were soooo sweet!! You can tell by the photos that he wasn't very excited.....seriously he was freaking OUT!

Parky isn't so into it yet, he likes to dangle his cheap pole in the water and reel it back in....he did manage to catch his brother with a hook in the arm though.....


Parklen has done well this summer, he has felt better, kept up with his brother, grown a ton and cracks us up every day.....its hard to believe that a year ago he had just learned how to walk and was unable to speak, he talks perfectly now and runs like crazy.  


My friend said to me the other day, " I don't clean in the summer"  and I thought, how awesome is summer, we don't even feel the need to clean our houses, we don't put our kids to bed on time, we skip baths, we allow water and mud to be played with.  I love it.....It makes me wonder how I would do living in Florida, or some coastal place where it is always summer......I think I could manage...


I took on selling "Scentsy" this summer, I thought that since I cant technically work with Parklen I could throw a few parties and share a product that I really love...its working out, I like it!!  AND, my house smells delicious!!!  If your ever interested you can order online at http://www.salamandahenderson.scentsy.us/ 


I cannot believe that summer has just a few short weeks remaining....we go to Denver next week for more infusion, and then home to continue our summer adventures!!!


The boys have asked me for a pet snake since the day they saw this one at Natural Bridge.....


I will continue to say NO!!