April 27, 2020

scripture study

“The truths of the Book of Mormon have the power to heal, comfort, restore, succor, strengthen, console, and cheer our souls.”
-President Russel M. Nelson

One beautiful blessing from the stay home orders due to Covid-19 is that we now have the time to be consistent with family scripture study. It has always been such a challenge for us to study all together because the older kids leave for school so early (6:10am!) and then there always seemed to be some activity or event at night making it impossible to be consistent. We have tried many different things but nothing has really been lasting. 

However, now that no one is rushing off to work or school, we can actually take time to study come follow me and read the scriptures each day. We gather around 8:30 am, or whenever Eric has a break from any morning meetings. 

Our study is brief and the discussion is often one-sided, but we are consistent and I feel a difference in our home. 

I definitely feel a difference in my own life as I am consistent in my personal study of the Book of Mormon. There is great power in that book and it draws me closer to my savior and helps me to keep my sights on a more eternal perspective. And that brings me great peace, comfort, and wisdom as I make decisions throughout my day.

(Photo credit to Perry. What a happy surprise that he got us in the pictures he took as he walked around with my phone!)

April 24, 2020

Lookin’ good and autism awareness

“Mom, I look really good right now in this shirt.”

Buddy, you are always looking good in my eyes.
I see you for who you are and all that you teach me.

You teach me it is the small things that matter most.

You turn everything into a game.

You remind me to appreciate the smallest of victories.

You feel big and love big. 

Your kisses and hugs are pure love.

You feel so much pride in being a big brother to Brinna. You care for her so gently.

You look forward with such hope and excitement.

You teach us flexibility and patience.

You allow us to serve you and our hearts grow bigger because of that privilege. 

We are better people and a much stronger family because of you, Perry.

We see you and we love you.
Yes, you are lookin’ good.

April 23, 2020

Tres Rios Wetlands

It’s thrilling to find beautiful places we never even knew existed so close to our home here in Arizona. Who would’ve thought that a place that I grew up in would have so many hidden gems?

We wanted to take a walk as a family, but also get out of our neighborhood. Perry would need his wheelchair this particular day. Eric did a quick search on his All Trails app and two wheelchair accessible trails popped up nearby. That’s how we found Tres Rios Wetlands.

Wide trail, water, birds, pretty rocks, flowers, and a mountain view. We’ll take it!

Perry stayed buried under a blanket most of the time so he could see the show he was watching on his phone. 

See, how pretty is this!

I’m certain it was Kyler’s suggestion to hold hands, hahaha.

I’m sure you know by now that what often keeps Layla going on these hikes is taking pictures. I end up with so many that I have to delete the majority of them. But I was so delighted that she caught these spontaneous moments of play during these next few pictures.

On our walk, we had a family meeting. Eric and I revealed, through a lot of hype and explanation, a plan that we have to work as a family for a special Christmas present. It was here that we laid out all of the conditions that have to be met. We will see what happens!

Brinna gave her daddy her necklace. Pretty boy.

Make a wish.

I love her glee when she’s playing with daddy.

Kyler has this grand idea when he ended up pushing an empty stroller. 

Then they added to it.

Add one more.

They were quite the train to end our walk.

But this was the greatest moment. (Kacin is so incredibly strong! He carried Eric like this for quite always in my opinion.)

We made some good memories in the desert wetlands. 

April 21, 2020

opportunity to see beauty

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we creep towards May, the weather is warming up and we know that temperatures in the triple digits are fast approaching. That’s an extra motivation to get outside to soak it all up while we can. Bike rides, hikes, and walks are glorious right now. There’s so much to see and do.

Layla is really into taking pictures right now. So she has become the main photographer on our hikes and walks. The desert is SO delicious right now.

The baby on my back made me also carry that baby in my hands.

I can’t get enough of them and their twin outfits. 

April 17, 2020

Bella the dog

Brinna has been going through a stage. Which is now encouraged and enforced by most of her siblings. 

One minute she is my sweet 2.5 year old little girl walking around talking and answering to her given name Brinna. The next, she is on all fours crawling around, barking, and only responding to the name Bella. She transforms into a dog.

I think she learned to pretend to be a dog from her playgroup friends. But then the game was heightened when she started playing doggy with Layla. Layla gave her the name Bella and trained her so that whenever you call her Bella she immediately drops to the ground and only barks.

Now Bella the dog will come over and jump her two front “paws” onto your legs. And she won’t get down until you say “down Bella.” If you are not sure what to say when she approaches you, Bella the dog will tell you “say down Bella.” She has now trained us to give her commands.

Kyler, Kacin, and Layla all think this new game of hers is hilarious. So throughout the day they will see Brinna—she might be eating at the table, playing with toys, joining our scripture study—and they will greet her as Bella. She immediately drops to the ground like a dog and starts barking. They way she responds to the name Bella cracks them up.

And then one day they taught her to play fetch. They toss pencils, toys, and one time it was one of Layla’s boots (and that is where I drew the line and said no shoes!), and tell her to fetch. She’s a very obedient dog and will crawl over and retrieve the item. With her mouth.

During meal times Bella the dog will come around to get “dog treats” (that resemble her lunch) from everyone. 

This Bella the dog stage is actually a great way to have a pet without actually having a pet. Now when the kids  beg for a dog, I can tell them they have Bella.

(These pictures have nothing to do with Bella. Just some sibling fun one morning)