Sunday, March 23, 2014

~More December - Noah, Christmas, Haircuts

Adam and I celebrated our birthdays.  He turned 37 and I turned 36.  He got me a Kitchen Aid and I got him trapping and snaring supplies with snowshoes.
Dec. 22 was our wards Sunday, Christmas Sacrament Meeting.  I was asked to speak and the young women were asked to sing a special number.  It was a normal Sunday morning mixed with a little chaos trying to get to church early.  Anyway, we made it.  Church started and just as the sacrament ended I look over at Noah and watch him slowly bend over.  I didn't think anything of it.  I continued to watch him fall off the bench and roll out into the aisle.  At first it was funny and I thought, "whoa! he's going to be embarrased for falling off the bench."  Then in the next second I realized he wasn't moving and instant panic set in.  I tried lifting him, but sometime in the last 9 years HE GREW and was REALLY heavy and unconscience!  Adam was right behind me and scooped him up and left the chapel.  I turned to the people sitting behind us and quickly asked them to keep an eye on the other boys.  By this time Adam had Noah in the foyer and was laying him down.  I was confused as to what was happening.  Things weren't registering very fast.  I knew Noah had passed out but after that, I wasn't sure.  I remember kneeling on the floor with Noah and realized someone else was sitting beside me.  It was Sister Evans and next to her was her mother.  They both have medical training.  I then realized more people were standing by.  I saw Brother McGee, Brother Hardman and Sister Wright was walking out of sacrament meeting.  It was an Emergency Response Team! Instant comfort fell over me.  I knew right then, Heavenly Father sent the most qualified people to help Noah.  All of these people (except Brother Hardman have medical training).  Noah started to come to.  He was upset and was confused, not knowing what had happened.  Seeing Jeanette was there (she's a very high-up ER nurse), Brother McGee, Sister Evans and her mom went back into sacrament meeting.  As Jeanette was looking him over,  I saw, to my surprise, there stood Bishop and Brother Wright.  The second wave of the Emergency Response Team!  Again Heavenly Father had sent the most qualified to assit with Noah.  This time to administer to his spiritual and emotional needs.  As tears streamed down my face, I could feel Heavenly Father's love for Noah and our family.  I immediately knew that Heavenly Father was aware of what was happening and was providing everything we needed at that moment.  Bishop, Brother Wright, Brother Hardman and Adam gave Noah a priesthood blessing.  After the blessing big, tall, Bishop got on one knee,leaned over and gave Noah a hug.  It was so sweet.  In that moment, I thought of the Savior.  He would have done that.  I thought of how he left the 90 and 9 to seek out the one.  I thought of how the Savior didn't discriminate.  He loved the saint and the sinner, the old and the young.  He administered and then loved.  And to see that Bishop and Brother Wright would leave the stand, in a packed Christmas sacrament meeting, to be there for the one...for Noah, my little Noah who the world would see as an average 9 year old was overwhelming to me.  That's what the Savior would have done.  All of these people who had come to help Noah were following in the Saviors footsteps.  In a matter of minutes, my spiritual eyes had been opened once again to Heavenly Father's individual love for each of his children.  I know without a doubt, He was aware of Noah and what was happening.
Continuing on...
A few minutes later, Jeanette had to go back into sacrament meeting to give her talk.  Then she walked right back out to be with Noah.  I went back in briefly to play the piano and then give my talk. It was really crazy!  I'm not sure how I played the piano and then walked right to the pulpit to speak, but I did.  I'm sure there was Divine help there also. On my way back out to be with Noah, one of the young men was waiting by the room where we had moved Noah into. He handed me a sandwich (which he had brought for himself) and offered it to me, to give to Noah, hoping it would help.  The acts of service and love just kept coming!  Adam took Noah and the other boys home.  I had to stay and teach yw's.  I'm afriad I was a little distracted during that lesson, but somehow made it through.  When I got home, Noah was fine.  He had eaten a hamburger and was watching a movie.  All throughout the afternoon and evening, phone calls and texts came to check on Noah.  This boy is loved! 
Christmas was great!  It was a cold one though. -40 and our pellet stove hasn't been working.  Thankfully Adam installed a little wood burning stove when I was in Arizona.  It's been keeping the house at a comfortable temperature.  On Christmas Eve we paid $400 for a cord of wood.  Ugh...  There are a lot of times I wonder why we are still living here.  When we have to load the stove every 2 hours, day and night, the thought crosses my mind often.  I miss home.
Christmas Day
Simon loved his karaoke machine.  He loves to sing and ham it up!
Levi just went around eating chocolate out of everyone's stockings.  He got blocks, a new sled and some other small things.  He's easy to please.

Jett got a 2DS and Skylander Swapforce and Noah got a tablet with some other random things.

Noah was a little disappointed because he didn't know what his tablet was capable of and Jett got what he wanted.  After we loaded some games and showed him how to use it, he was a lot happier.  The picture shows how he was feeling.  Made my heart sad.

He's climbing again!  This time on a pogo stick that's turned upside down.

Simon has a real talent for writing and illustrating stories.  One of his most popular tales (with our family) is called, "One-eyeball guy."  While in AZ I saw this eye-ball hat and had to get it.  Now he can wear his hat while he does his bookreadings :) 
Haircut time!  Before and afters...
Levi-I like his hair a little longer, but Adam likes it short and since they are boys...short it is! 


 Noah's hair grows so fast.  He needs a trim every two weeks.

I wish I would have learned a few things from the in-laws while we lived in AZ.  I took for granted that grandma and grandpa own a barbershop.  Hindsight.  Thank heavens for clippers cause I just wing it!

~December 2013

Our traditional trip to see Santa was fun, as always.  Simon really wanted to go first :)

Levi was excited too!

After 9 years Noah is starting to warm up to Santa.  He stood by the big guy this year without tearing up. ;)  Go Noah

I printed up some cute little papers that said "Merry Christmas" to the Blacks and Jeremy's kids.  When I was in Arizona they sent letters back with me to hand-deliver to Santa. In both pictures he is holding their letters.  Really cool!  I printed the pictures out, framed and wrapped them.  Then mailed them as an early Christmas gift to each family.

This years ornaments
After Santa Claus house we made candy cane reindeer for an afternoon activity.

Always climbing on something, little stinker.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

~Young Women in Excellence, Nov 2013

I really loved the decorations for this YWIE (thank you Pinterest).  November is not the season for these colors, but with a little creativity, it worked.  Thanks to Tamera for sharing her pictures with me.  I never think of taking pictures of the finished product.  The night was very nice and the girls did a great job performing and showing off their Personal Progress Projects.  I still can't get over how cute the tables looked!  We probably should have moved the chalk board and extra tables out of the background though...oh well. 

The pinwheels were fun and easy to make.  I hot-glued them to wooden dowels and then attached them to painted 2x4s.  The wood was a little tacky, but I was on a budget.  I tried to hide most the bases with white cloth.

Most of the food was non-healthy, cute and yummy, but we did provide a few alternatives for those with allergies, i.e. fruit and veggies (everyone needs a treat right?)
The centerpieces were mason jars.  It took several coats of paint and then with a little sanding, they were done!  I really wanted hydrangeas but didn't want to pay the price (they are expensive!), so I purchased some fall flowers that were on clearance at Joann's.  I took apart the plastic pieces underneath so the petals would fall open a bit more and make the flower look fuller.  It worked.

Also, on the tables with the centerpieces were chocolate (of course), the program outline, and these cute little boxes.  There was one box for each girl.  Inside each leader had written a way in which that yw displayed a value or gave an example of something she was doing well to live the gospel.  I really wanted to the girls to know that they are doing good things and we notice when they make good choices.  Anyway, they turned out pretty cute too!

The banners turned out FANTASTIC!  I cut the shapes out on my cricut and Kim put them together.  Love, love, love!  I also made the stands for the banners to hang off of.  They turned out ok too, for a one time use thing.

My favorite part of the night was when the YW spotlighted a woman in their life that displayed a Value.  It was fun to hear each of them talk about their moms and grandmas.  I love these girls and can see what great women they are going to be someday.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

~Arizona Trip November 2013

I have tons of pictures but only included my favorites, but there are still lot here!  Prepare for picture overload.  I got to Arizona a few days before I was supposed to go to Wyoming, because I had a few friends that I wanted to see.  In the few days I was there, (not pictured because I forgot, but sad I didn't get photos) I spent the day with Jeremy's family and got to see the girls play in a soccer game.  The next day, I went to breakfast and the temple with Trisha, had lunch with my cousins Jamie, Jennifer, Jana and Echelle, then went shopping with the Crick girls.  (which was totally fun because I grew up with these girls...and since I moved, to stay in touch we do online book club once a month.  It's like no time has passed, except that we all look older and can see the effects of having lots of babies!! lol).  That night I went to dinner with my inlaws and my ex-sister inlaw Becky (I love Becky and sad she's not in the family anymore).  Then dessert with Ashley, another friend.  I ATE ALL DAY.  heehee  It was great, but spending time with awesome people was even better. 
After dessert, I got the call that mom, Whit and her kids had made it safely to the Valley.  YAY!!  The best part of my day was giving mom and Whitney a hug.  So happy to see them!
Baby Brooklynn still wasn't out of the hospital but was getting out the next day.  It had been such an emotional roller coaster for Holly and Kenny that mom and I thought we should give them a day at home by themselves before we showed up.  Mom had the time off, we had gas in the car so we went to Vegas instead.  :)  We figured we would, sort of, make our way up towards WY and Vegas seemed like a fun place to stay the night.  We watched the amazing fountains and the Bellagio.  Spectacular!

The Bellagio also had a beautiful flower garden which featured several large pumpkins.  This pumpkin weighed 500 something lbs.  It was huge!
 Vegas is always entertaining, sometimes in not so good ways, but I did take a picture of this sign.  It says, "GET HITCHED IN A HURRY."  I thought it might be useful in a yw lesson to add the worlds view about instant gratification, (among other things.)
 After our night in Vegas, we drove to Salt Lake and there I got to see my good friends, the Earls.
This is my buddy, Andrew.  He's so cute!

I miss Katherine.  Her and Jon were newly weds, the same time Adam and I were.  We knew each other in Single's Ward and then after we were married, lived in the same apartment complex.  Someday, when we are all retired, we will live next door to each other and grow old together.

 Andrew grabbed my camera and was having fun taking pictures of everyone.  Carson didn't want his picture taken so I don't have any of him.
In between Salt Lake and Evanston I got pulled over by a police officer for going 5 mph over.  I had a devil of a time explaining that yes, my license is Alaska, I am driving a car with plates from Arizona, I just came from Salt Lake City Utah and I am headed to Evanston Wyoming.  The officer was giving me a hard time so he got to hear the whole story of my trip to see family.  I'm sure he wished he hadn't pulled me over after that!

Finally we made it to Evanston and these cute little faces were so excited to see us.  They know how to make people feel loved.  Lots of hugs!



Mom decided to make scarves for all the granddaughters for Christmas.  She's always doing something to keep herself busy.

Brooklynn's first bath at home.  Sweet baby!
 Holly's such a good mom.

One day while in Evanston we took the older kids on a picnic to the park. We had so much fun playing with Annalee and Bentley.  Grandma is such a good sport.  After playing on the equipment, Annalee and Bentley wanted mom and I to be their robots.  We were to do whatever they said.  It was hilarious. Only mom and I will understand, "Luuucy!"


I looked out Holly's back window and this deer was camouflaged against the hillside.  Kinda cool.

Mom and I also took a morning to go to the Salt Lake Temple.  Live sessions are my favorite!  We went shopping at Deseret Book too.  I miss the conveniences of living in the lower 48. 

Conference Center.   

Temple Square is one of my favorite places in the whole world. My first memory of Salt Lake was when my Grandparents took me to conference in the Tabernacle and I saw President Benson. When he walked in, the congregation started singing, "We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet."  I will never forget how I felt.  I was young, but the Spirit testified to me that the man I was looking at was a Prophet of God and that he would always help me to choose the right.  I have recalled those feelings so many times over the years and it still strengthens my testimony. 

I had so much fun with Annalee and Bentley.  We made cookies and watched movies, ate popcorn  and did mohawks in bubble baths.  It was great!

Every time Mom has gone to Holly's house she's wondered what's behind the hill.  This trip she decided to hike it.  It was a cold morning too.  In the 30's and she doesn't even have a jacket on.  The ground was pretty uneven and she had crappy shoes on.  It was quite entertaining but concerning as well.  Holly and I were sure mom was going to have another heart attack.  We kept our eyes glued on her the entire time just waiting for her to hit the ground.  
She survived!!  I think we laughed the hardest when she was trying to get back over the fence.  Barbed wire can be tricky! 
Oh and what's behind the hill? Sagebrush for miles and miles.
The last few days at Holly's we painted Annalee's room yellow with white polka dots, accented with lady bugs.  So cute!

 I didn't get a picture of Holly and I together, but the picture below is how we all felt after painting for two days.  I'm not sure how she was surviving after just having a c-section and Brooklynn being in ICU.  She's a strong woman. 

We had to leave Wyoming on a Friday so mom could make it back to play the organ and piano for stake conference.  The day we left, I cried almost all day until we hit the Utah/Arizona border.  I hate goodbyes.  I loved my time with Holly's family.  I wish my boys would have been with me.  They don't know any of their cousins. :(
I had to include this picture of mom teaching piano.  Everyday after she gets off work from the school and post office, she teaches piano until 6:30-7:00 pm depending on the day, then all day on Fridays.  Just trying to make ends meet.
 This is Jaycee, Shane's stepdaughter.  We had fun making and decorating ice cream.
Atlas is such a cutie.  This is Whitney's oldest. 
The most heartbreaking part of my trip was when I went to visit my only living Grandparents.  My Granny wouldn't open the screen door because she didn't recognize me, even after I had announced myself and asked for Papa.  Finally Papa came to the door and let me in.  It took Granny almost 45 minutes and then she finally said, "I remember when I taught you to drive Old Orange (a beat-up old Ford, stick shift, they used for getting wood)."  I shed another few tears over that one.  My Granny has lived such a great life, but she's old and worn out.  I grew up just a few blocks from these two people.  I spent every summer helping Granny clean and work in the garden.  I know it's not long before they aren't with us anymore.  I have such fond memories of these two.  Stalwart in the gospel.  Tough as old leather.  Worked their fingers to the bone to provide for their children.  Have great posterity to carry on the Slade name.

I loved the time I spent with Whit.  She is so cute!  Since we talk every day anyway, it was nice to actually spend time together in person!  We had fun playing with the kids, laughing, crying, cooking...all sorts of fun stuff.  I wish Whit and I lived closer so I could help her with the boys.  Whit's a good mom and loves her boys so much.

Lex is the most adorable baby.  Whit's second cutie.

Whit and Atlas

I got to spend some time with dad.  Since he and mom separated (approx 8 years now) I haven't been to my childhood home very much.  He lives there by himself and mom lives in the house she grew up in.  Dad has done a lot of renovations and the house looks good.  He showed me his room.  I took this picture for Jett, but this license plate is really showing my dad's love for his jet boat.

Dad also has a map on his wall and showed me all his favorite places to visit in Mexico.  He wants to live there on the beach someday. 

In dad's house he has little corners for each one of his kids where he displays pictures and things we've sent him.  We call them his shrines.  I took this picture of a picture of  Jeremy and I when we were little.  Its awesome!  I believe my mom made those clothes for us, for Easter.

My youngest brother Derek and his new wife, Kori.  

I loved spending time with all my nieces and nephews.  The night before I flew back to Alaska, we all gathered at Jeremy's for one last get together.
The kids wrote letters to Santa so I could hand-deliver them.  They were so excited!
Brielle age 8

Brynn age 7, Jaycee age 8
Kamryn age 3 or 4, Sariah age 4 

J.J. age 2
Kaylee age 10 

Levi is named after him (Levi Shane).
Shane's wife, Jennifer 

Jeremy and Echelle...why is he bald???  haha, brother right under me
The morning before I left, Echelle and I went to see Catching Fire, the 9:30 am showing.  It was so fun spending time with her.  Another hard goodbye and I cried all the way through the airport until I got on the plane.
I was so fortunate to spend time with all of my siblings in their homes and with their families.  I saw that every family has their struggles but all of them are doing the best they can.  I miss them all so much.  Sometimes I forget how wonderful they are and then I go for a visit and I wonder why I ever moved away from such amazing people.  Adam and the boys did great while I was gone.  I knew they would.  Adam is very self-sufficient and really doesn't rely on me for anything.  He's actually a better parent than I am.  Levi did burn his arm pretty bad on the stove and I sent Jeanette to look at it.

  Other than that, I wasn't missed at all.  Maybe next time, I'll stay a little longer ;)