Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fun Times

I love living in a small town! I love that there is almost always something going on and that the community is so good about supporting one another's events. I love the 24th of July celebration, the high school sports and the County Fair!

This year we went on the night of the wristbands (flat fee for as many rides as you want)night. Tiffany and Justin came that day too so we could take all the kids together. They all had a great time!

Nathan couldn't go that night, so we went again on Saturday. He and Preston enjoyed a few rides together that day. We love to go and visit with everyone there. We ran into a few people we had not seen in a while. We look forward to the fair every year.

Fair 2008

Click to play Apache County Fair 2008
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Click to play Trying it out
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I cannot believe this happened or that I am sharing this-but it is just too real life not to. I hear Preston talking and I know that everyone is in bed or gone. I think this is a little strange because he is talking like he is really having a conversation, not just like he is pretending. I go in my living room to see what he is doing. He is on the phone. I am hoping that since I did not hear the phone ring, that he just hit the redial button and is talking to Auntie Tiffy. Deep down I know that this is too good to be true.

He hands me the phone and I recognize the voice on the other end, but can't place it. I ask who this is and the man says, "Jeremy from the Sheriff's Office." My heart sank. He had called 911! I apologized and hung up.

Preston knew immediately he had done something wrong. He had the most humble look on his face that it was all I could do not to laugh. The above photo was the closest I could find to his face at this moment. I tried to be as mad/serious as I could so he would never do this again unless there was a real emergency. I may have taken it to far though. I told him that the police are coming over because he called them, this part is true. He then asked me if they were going to take him to jail-I thought for a second and said they may, we will just have to see. I told him I did not know what punishment they gave little boys who call 911 without an emergency.

He started to cry and I felt like the worst mother ever. I hugged him and said I would talk to them and tell them he promised never to call again without a real emergency. This seemed to comfort him, but I could still see the remorse and fear in his eyes. I cannot believe he did this!

This just goes to show that as parents, we have very little control over our children. I always thought I would have more influence, control or whatever you want to call it, but I am starting to realize that most of it is in my head. Nathan always says that even the best parent lost a third of His children.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Comment in response to Terra's post, by nate.

You should read Terra's previous two post's first. This is in response to hers. By nate t.

First off, I want to take a moment and clarify to everyone that when Terra says that she may be spending too much time cleaning rather than playing with the kids etc., though she may be right, that doesn't mean that she doesn't play with the kids. Terra gives her children so much attention and her kids are such a priority to her. I have seen Terra do more with her kids and clean the house like a whirlwind than most parents do with just their kids. She is a wonderful mother. She is by far a better mother than a "house cleaner". I don't mean that she doesn't do both greatly. I do love her with all my heart and appreciate the sweet spirit and good heart she has.

As for my new part-time job. I prefer "lunch lady". I am the only guy that works there and I made them laugh when I told them that I had always wanted to be a lunch lady. They said that it's not all that it is cracked up to be. Basically I do a lot of dishes and take out trash, do floors etc. It is a very prestigious job. I actually am grateful for the opportunity to work.

I just wanted to take a moment to let everyone know what a great wife I have and how I don't think she gives herself enough credit. I love her dearly.

Lesson Learned

I was sitting in church on Sunday in one of the best classes I have ever attended when I really was struck by something. The teacher made a comment about how sometimes she gets so busy doing what she "ought" to be doing that she forgets to do what she "needs" to do. I really was hit by this because I feel like this applies to me in my life, right now especially.

In fact, that very day I had made a choice to leave my house a total disaster to attend church, even though I knew I was going to have visitors and would be embarrassed. I was struggling with this when the teacher made this comment. Suddenly, I realized that I put my housecleaning above many things in my life. I do believe that cleanliness is like godliness, but not if the devil is doing the cleaning.

Sometimes I am so focused on getting or keeping my home clean that I forget to enjoy my home and family. I will spend time cleaning instead of holding or playing with my children. Many times I will find myself yelling at my children for making messes after I just cleaned. Like I expect them to just sit around and not touch anything or something. Sometimes my home will be spotless when I go to bed, but I did not play with my children, read my scriptures, say my prayers, tell my husband I love him or do anything of real worth that day.

I realized that the times that I feel truly happy have more to do with what I did that day rather than what I cleaned. Did I serve someone else? Did I have a good chat with someone I love? Did I make a mess of my kitchen with my boys making cupcakes? Did I hold my infant when I was not feeding her? Did I touch my husband and not just talk to him? These are things that truly make me happy.

I know that with the gospel I have peaks and valleys like this too. Sometimes, my testimony is really strong and other times I can feel that it is weaker than it should be. I know that it is like a muscle and it needs to be exercised, but I do not always do what I should. I am too busy doing what I "ought" to do instead of doing what I "need" to do. I have to experience a conversion to the gospel all over again. I have to recommit myself to do what is truly important in life.

I think the thing that I liked the most about the comment that the teacher made is that she did not say that she was too busy to do what she needs to do-like she is sitting at a spa getting a manicure. She recognized that we get caught up doing things that are of importance, just not to the degree of the things we sometimes neglect to do.

I am not perfect in anyway and am only hoping that I can try a little harder to do better. Understanding this time however, that when I am not doing as good as I should it is not because I am not doing anything important. I need to be more gentle on myself and just keep trying to do better.

How Things Change

Well, it has been a week since I posted anything. Things have changed so much in the last week that I was a little depressed to get back on here after my last post. So here is the deal.

Nate thought he had a job-everything was looking good with that. Then midday on Thursday, the same day I posted last, he finds out that they reworked the schedule and decided to hold off on new hires for a while. He was so bummed he called me in class and was devastated.

All day on Friday we drove around Springerville and Show Low putting in applications and dropping off resumes to anyone who was hiring. Nate has put in so many applications in the last couple of months, but nothing seems to be coming through. Sometimes I feel like we are supposed to be doing something different, not focusing on school, but I feel like that would be the easy way out. Nate only has about a year left and we have come to far to stop now.

To top it off though, Nate's student loan made it back to the school and was sent in the mail from Prescott on the 16th, but still has not shown up in our box yet. I really feel like we are up against a wall with some of these things going on. The money was supposed to have been here five weeks ago. What a mess!

Finally relief came. Yesterday we got a phone call seeing if Nate would be interested in working immediately at the middle school as a food service worker part time. He said absolutely! He went to work this morning and will work everyday until something full time comes along. We were so desperate we don't even know what his wage is yet.

We also got a call from his school telling us that the mail keeps getting sent back. That is where the money is apparently. At least now we know. The icing on the good news cake was a letter from my school telling me that a five hundred dollar scholarship had been sent out to me and I would be receiving it shortly. That could not have come at a better time.

It seems like once you are at rock bottom things seem to come together again. It reminds me of something I heard not too long ago. Something like, when there is no one else to turn to Heavenly Father is waiting for us. I know that I will be taken care of if I do what I need to do, but I learn this lesson over and over still.

Anyway, I am still thankful for my blessings and am so glad that things are looking up for a while.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How Blessed I Am!

Well, I just have to say that I am so blessed! It was looking like we were going to have to rent out our home and move to Show Low or surrounding areas to make ends meet. Nathan had applied at several places and even had some interviews, but nothing was happening. His student loan was sent back and I was beginning to feel like getting an education was not worth it. We showed our home and put posters up advertising it (just on Monday actually) and then things started happening.

Nathan got a phone call for a job out at TEP as security that will allow us to keep our home and stay in Saint Johns. His student loan will be here this week also. My dad had given Nathan a couple of jobs to help and I went back to school too because I make money when I go. I found out that I got one scholarship and will probably be getting more. Not to mention that I will graduate in May with my associates. I am really excited! I feel really lucky to have so many blessing in a short amount of time.

Tiffany and Justin have been a huge help and support during all this. They watch the kids so I can go to the classes that will allow me to graduate. We were excited when we thought that we may have to move up that way because we would be closer to them. Brekyn and Preston could even go to school together. We were a little bummed when we realized we did not need to move, but are very thankful for the blessing of being able to stay in our home.

Speaking of blessings, I just want to say that spending time with the Fellows and Wordens lately has been wonderful. My children love all their family as do I. It is truly a blessing to cultivate good memories with everyone. I love to see the excitement in their eyes when I tell them we will be seeing family today. I love to watch them play with their cousins and I love to spend time with my nieces and nephews too.

My heart is so full and I just wanted to share my feelings. My testimony has been tried and strengthened by my life the last few months. Looking back now, I feel so blessed and realize that I need to have more faith in things unseen. I know this is not the end of my trials, but feel it is only appropriate to be thankful for the resolutions that have come recently.

One last note I would like to add is that my testimony of families has been strengthened through all of this as well. I am so blessed to have a husband who loves me and understands me (controlling and all) and to have three beautiful children with him. They truly are all I NEED in this life. I could live without my house or cars or TV, but if I had to live without anyone of them, I would really feel a void.

Rain Boots

Tracen looked like this most of the time this last year. He loved his rain boots. Slept with them on, played with them on inside, wore them to church, and had them on when he had little to nothing else on. He would take off his pants because without a bum they don't stay on very well. He will always lose his shirt at some point during the day because he likes his food a lot. In the end, he would look like this most of the time. This is how I will always remember my 2 year old Tracen.

Through Preston's View

Preston snuck my camera one day and took a lot of pictures. Some were too pornographic to keep-me changing to be exact. Here are a few of his first shots. He doesn't realize that a picture is worth a thousand words and mom can find out a lot through a picture. For example, they are not allowed to play with knifes, but Tracen has one (only a butter knife) in quite a few of these shots.

My Little Princesses

Brekyn has come and stayed overnight a couple of times and both times we have had so much fun. She loves to have her nails painted and she lets me play with her hair and take her shopping. She is so fun! I am so excited for the day when I can do all these things with Kelci.

The last time she came we did all of the above, but we had a photo shoot too. She wanted to wear my "beauty pageant crown" and be a princess. We got Kelci all dressed up too and took their picture together. Preston kept asking if he could take a picture-he saw Tent doing it and figured he was big enough to do it too.

We got the princesses all posed and told them to smile. Brekyn kept doing her unnatural smile and Kelci just cried. After I gave up on the whole perfect picture idea I let Preston have a "shot" at it. Turns out he is a pretty good photographer.

This is my shot.

This is Preston's Shot.


Yesterday I took Preston and Kelci to the doctor for their check-ups. They both needed shots; lots of shots:( Preston needed four and Kelci needed three. I do not do good with needles anyway, and especially not when they are going into my precious little ones.

I am a firm believer in telling my children what to expect, so I had prepared Preston for the pain, but told him I would hold his hand. I told him that Kelci needed shots too and that he needed to be brave so she would do okay. He was so tough and proud to be a good example to Kelci. The last shot really hurt and I could tell he wanted to cry, but he just gritted his teeth and blinked his eyes quickly.

I could not help but feel so privileged to be a witness to this little moment. I was so pleased and inspired by my sons desire to be a good example for his little sister-even when it hurt really badly. I remembered that movie I have seen in church and seminary of the brother who was asked to give blood to his sister and he said he would. After giving the blood he asked when he would die-that is when I cry every time. Children are so pure and innocent and love unconditionally. I am so blessed to have three such creatures in my home.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hold My Hand

Hold My Hand

“Mom, hold my hand”, he said

While he quietly drifted away

Lying softly on my feather bed

After a long hard day of play

“I would love to”, I replied

As I reached with an ever soft touch

He closed his eyes and sighed

As I whispered “I love you so much.”

“Mom, hold my hand”, he said

As we walked to his first day of school

Trembling, uneasy, scared and afraid

I said “Just remember the Golden Rule.”

There as soon as the school bell rang

He came out with the sweetest of smiles

“Mom, hold my hand” he sang

As we walked for what I wish were miles.

The days then came when I longed to hear

Those four words that made my heart swell

He lived in my home, yet was never here

So independent, we raised him so well.

At only nineteen, he was going away

Where, we did not know just yet

Holding his hand, I thought “he did not stray”

What a wonderful blessing to get.

He opened his call and the room grew so still

We were all just dying to find out

What people, would be holding his hand

As he helped bring the Gospel about?

It was then that I realized, there was only one hand

That my son could not live without

It was not mine, but belonged to a man

Of whom we had taught him about.

A man whose hand was much stronger than mine

One that moved mountains and the sick did heal

This was the hand he would need for all time

Soft and affectionate, but also made of steel.

I then began to think of how

In someone’s time of despair

My son’s own hands through the priesthood of Him

Would give blessings leaving hope in the air.

He continued to grow and became a man

It was only a matter of time

She stole his heart, he took her hand

Now, he would rarely need mine.

The years flew by, but the memories stayed

Of the times he said, “Mom, hold my hand.”

Still to this day he has never strayed

He has blossomed into the perfect man.

He is sitting here now, with me in my bed.

I am weak and fighting with age

“Mom, hold my hand”, he said

Your life is turning the page.

“I would love to”, I replied

As I reached with an ever soft touch

I closed my eyes and sighed

As he whispered “I love you so much.”

T. R. Tanner

Nathan's Request

Nathan started this blog about a month ago. He loved to read his friends blogs and thought it would be fun for our family to have one. I was not so in love with the idea, but am really liking it now. I love to write, but usually keep things private when I do write. I really love to write poetry. Nathan asked me to please put my poetry up on the site. So here is some of it. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kelci's Blessing

This was such a special day for our family! Kelci recieved her blessing in the same little dress that i was blessed in 26 years ago. Auntie Tiffany made her a perfectly matching girly headband to match and made her several little bracelets-one of which she wore for her blessing. Thank you so much Auntie! Nathan gave her a beautiful blessing telling her her Heavenly Father loves her and try not to be distracted by the world. He blessed her to cultivate her talents that she had been given and to always know she is a Child of God. This was an extra special testimony meeting too. Preston and Hayden both bore their testimonies. We were so proud of them. After church we had a birthday lunch for Nathan . Janet Hannah came and Kelci was really comfortable with her. Janet is loved by our whole family and is best nursery leader ever!

Our visit to Auntie Lesli's

While awaiting the completion of my hormonal balancing-if there is such a thing, Lesli was so sweet to take care of me and the kids for a while. This was after Tiffany took the boys for a couple of days with her four kids and three extra that she babysits (how does she do it?). Preston asked me while we were at Lesli's if we had two homes; I guess that was his way of asking what the heck we were doing away from home so long. Lesli was so thoughtful in trying to make her house as normal for the kids as possible and even made them a reward system for good behavior since she knew we did something like that at home. While we were there she took the boys to Build-A-Bear for Preston's birthday. They had so much fun that I wished I had taken my video camera to capture their excitement.

Preston Turns 4!

Preston was so excited for his birthday this year. He could not wait to be "as big as Brekyn." He woke up in the middle of the night asking if it was his birthday yet. He wanted to have a Spiderman birthday this year. We celebrated with my mom on his birthday and then a week later we had a party at home for him. Spiderman was in attendance both times, thanks to Wal Mart and my dad for their artistic abilities. The sweetest thing about his birthday this year was that he did not care about presents. He just wanted a Spiderman cake and people to sing to him. The sweet innocence of our little ones.

Fun with Auntie Tiff

Auntie Tiffany has been sooooo good to the kids. She is so much fun that the kids love to go visit. Tracen will yell "yeah!" when we turn on the road with the bridge. He knows that we are close to her house. The boys assume anytime I am on the phone it is with Auntie-it is really sweet. They love to play with their cousins and they are great cousins! My children are so blessed to have such a fun and loving Auntie live so close to them.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Nathan's 30!

Today is Nathan's birthday-30 years old! I know that the last few birthdays have been a little harder for him. Still being in school makes him feel like he is really behind. I just wanted to take a moment and tell him that he has so much to be proud of in his 30 years. He has two wonderful sons who adore their dad and always want to go with him. A beautiful baby girl who will have him wrapped around her finger before he knows it. And last but not least, a wife who loves him and doesn't tell him often enough how proud she is of him for going back to school to pursue a career that will make him happy. I know I do not tell him often enough how great he is to me or how good of a father he is. So today, I want to publicly tell him he is the most important man in my life and I look forward to the next 30 years.