Quotable boys

~Can't remember if I shared this one yet or not: A stole something from the store yesterday... so I get to go with him to return it later today. When I told him he was in trouble, he asked, "You're not going to call the police are you??" And before I could say anything, E looks forlornly at him and says, "Yeah, she is."

~October 29th, 2013
Our littlest boy hasn't been on here yet. And he's pretty cute. So he get's a spot. A.M is still drinking out of a bottle. He's 13-months-old and still attached to the things. I went into the kitchen to give him some milk since he was all sorts of annoyed at me. When I gave him his bottle, he grabbed it, and walked out the the kitchen, laughing triumphantly like some evil little elf that had just pulled one over on someone. :)

~October 2013
E rubbed toothpaste all over my just cleaned bathroom counter tonight. We'll forget right now that this means most of his teeth did not get cleaned, because all of the toothpaste was on my counter. I was pretty ticked and feeling fairly justified in my anger since he does this ALL the time. I snapped at him to clean it up and to not rub toothpaste all over my house! (yes I have found it rubbed on my walls before.) He yells back at me: This is not your house! Everything belongs to Jesus!

~August 2013
Papa K and my cute oldest boy, A and cute middle son E went shopping while he was watching them for us. Each got to push their own little shopping cart. A was the only one with something in his cart, milk. Both boys, being my kids of course, were running all over the grocery story. So Papa asked them to slow down. A says to Papa, "I know, if I go too fast, I'll turn the milk to butter."

Help Us Out!

We Love the Help!

As most of you are aware, we are trying to maintain at least some of our privacy on this blog, so if you know our actual names, please don't put them in your comments! ~Thanks!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Our first and hopefully last accident

I wanted to share what happened to my oldest son A and I yesterday. Not so much so everyone can read it, although, I'm happy if you do, but more so for my own personal memory.

We were driving home from General Conference in Salt Lake City. It was such a sweet experience to be present for one of the sessions with A who was old enough to go. In order to get home we have to come off the freeway and then drive another hour through a canyon. It was raining in the canyon and at some points visibility got pretty bad. Being the cocky Oregonian that I am, I pressed on passed the other cars. When the torrential rain hit us, I slowed. It's hard to remember, but I think I was initially going 70, I think I slowed to 60 as the visibility out my window all but disappeared. I could still see it though.

I could see the massive puddle of standing water about a hundred yards in front of us. I tried to slow even further, but as you're traveling at those speeds, a hundred yards is a blink. The rain had blessedly stopped dumping on us by this point and I shouted, "Hold on, A!"

We hit the water and floated straight for a second. Then the back fishtailed to the left. We hung there, sliding sideways down the freeway for what felt like ages. I turned the wheel to try and keep us in some sort of control. The cars' back spun around the opposite side and completed the circle. The median flashed before my eyes and I steered as best I could while we careened 60 mph down the highway in circles. I don't know how many turns we achieved. Maybe two, before we hit the gravel on the side of the road. Spun another time, I think halfway on the freeway and on the gravel. It was here that I thought our car was going to flip. I could feel it tilted dangerous on my side. I was still gripping the steering wheel, determined to control the situation as best I could. I just wanted to keep A safe. I didn't care what happened to me, so long as A was not on the side that got hit. He was the only thing I could think of. Just keep him safe. Drive this car and keep him safe.

I wanted so bad to let go of the wheel and run to him. Cocoon him in my arms so when we crashed, I took the damage he was going to take.

As we hit the dirt. I was able to get us out of our last spin-- I think that was me that did it-- but we were still going painfully fast. The next thing I saw was a 10ft fence. We smashed into it, along with a small post and maybe a few bushes. I later found out, there was a boulder involved as well. Our ride came to a halt as the fence caught us and absorbed most of our energy.

We were face down in a ravine. But we weren't at the bottom of it. The wire fence was holding us up. The front window was smashed. Maybe more was smashed. I couldn't tell.

I immediately turned around and looked at A, "Are you ok bud. Don't move. Don't move. It's going to be ok." My voice was shaking. My hands were shaking. I was terrified that if we moved we would go down the rest of the way into the ravine. It wasn't far I don't think, but it was hard to tell maybe 10 to 15 more feet down. Our car was tilted so that if A were to unbuckle his seat belt, he'd come flying down at me.I was so scared that if he came to me, the car would flip over on itself down into this ravine.

My phone was still under my leg, I never put it there when I drive. The battery had only 4% and I called 911. A was crying. He was so terrified when I looked at him. My voice was barely doing me any good. I could see a man running up to us. Our real life guardian angel. I don't remember what he said to me, but I told him he had to get my son. He ripped open the back of our car and pulled him out, carrying him and running to his car where his children sat.

It was raining.

His wife ran up to me. I couldn't open the driver's side door. Maybe the giant fence post and gnarled metal tangled around it had something to do with it. I tried to climb out the window, but wasn't having a good go by myself. This amazing woman helped me pull myself out the window and then she lifted me off the fence post to the ground. I was still on the phone with 911. With no shoes, I ran... or did I walk?


I found myself sitting in this family's car as I spoke to the dispatcher. They asked me if they should send an ambulance. This felt like a really stupid question to me, even in my shocked state. I kind of thought that was what you sent when the person on the line tells you they were in a car accident. I told her there was no visible damage to our bodies, but I wanted to make sure my son was ok. Two minutes after I called them an ambulance arrived. Then another. Followed by 3 state troopers. Then for good measure, two fire trucks, another ambulance I think? And three more cop cars.

My wonderful hubby was called sometime during this point. I couldn't stay on the phone with him for long, I think this may have scared him more by hanging up so quick.

I will never forget the kindness this family and another offered me at this time. They ran back to the car to get our shoes. A didn't have his on either. They stayed with us and offered their phones since mine was now at 3%. I asked for some baby wipes to wash my hands and face with and one of the gentlemen there ran to his car and gave me an entire pack to keep. :)

They were our guardian angels that night. I felt such relief I felt when I saw A being carried away from the accident and that he was not hurt.

After the ambulance came, they whisked us to the back of their vehicle pretty quick. We checked out by their standards. Which worked for me. I was still trying to get my voice under control and talk like a normal person again at this point.

Then came the questions. First from the medics. Then from the state trooper who responded first. Then again from the medics and the state trooper.

A tow truck was called.

We sat in the State Troopers car. A opted for the front seat, while I sat in the back in the cage. ;) He thought this was pretty funny. Apparently his shock of what happened had worn off rather quickly. Mine was still clinging to me like a bad cologne.

We sat in the state troopers car for a long time. He explained a lot of things to me and even spilled some of his Pepsi on A's white sunday shirt. A found this to be hilarious. :)  I bet you, 10 years from now, that will be what he remembers most. Or at least I hope.

I had no way to get home.... naturally, but my hubby had no way of getting to me either. In the end, one of the other state troopers took us home. He was so kind and amazing with us.

Heavenly Father was looking out for my son and I that night. As we were spinning on the road I felt that our car was in a very controlled and guided path as we moved. I don't know how to explain it other than these angels knew we were going to crash, so they directed it. As I was steering, I felt completely calm. I knew without a doubt what I had to do with my hands. I knew which direction to steer. It felt like I was driving with another persons' hands on the wheel with me. I guess tonight I was fortunate enough to be reminded that I am still needed on this earth.

A few days later: A and I were checked out by some doctors. A is experiencing some PTSD. He had a nightmare that night that he was in the crash again, but this time his seat belt was not on and he flew through the windshield and broke his head. He told my mother as we skyped my family that night, that he was scared that he would never see me again. And then his behavior has changed. The doctor said that A's way of coping might be to act extremely silly and spastic. I really hate that he has to go through all this. His knee has been pretty sore as well. And then my injuries are mostly bodily soreness. Back, shoulders, hips, neck. Oh... and I have a concussion. So hopefully all this makes sense!  

A loving Heavenly Father helped my family this night. These pictures could have and should have been so much worse. I am so grateful that this moment was so much less serious than it could have been.

I will never have enough thank you's to say to those first people that pulled us out of our car, to the officers and paramedics that cared for us. For my hubby's sister and her family's sacrifice to come up and help us as we work to get back on track. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Yeah, that happened

Two year olds are the best. They're crazy, silly, irrational, loving, retarded, hyper, always hungry (or at least mine is), sassy, creative and on and on. They have so much life in them and have no control over it. With that being said. My cute little two-year-old has been extra cute lately.

Tonight I decided to pull my blankets up to nearly over my head. I was in the mood to feel the extra love of my blankets. Hubby was sitting in a chair at his desk by our bed and decided to go downstairs. I could hear him moving around in the kitchen getting a late night snack.

By all appearances, our room was empty.

It was at this moment that I heard some little footsteps slowly sneak in to my room. They tiptoed around, the best way a two-year-old can, and then they stopped.

I heard some clacking and snapping noises and then the little footprints scuttled out of my room as fast as they could and back in to his bed. I could hear his little diaper swishing as he ran.

I knew right away what he had grabbed.

We are making a Lego table and I cut some strips off the Lego bases so it would fit on our table better. He has been obsessed with those little strips all day and couldn't handle not having them.

So he waited. Until he thought our room was good and empty and snatched them.

A few minutes later. After I'm sure his little man adrenaline slowed down, I could hear him snapping the strips together happily in his bed.

It's the simple pleasures.
Proof of thievery! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Diapers and a Cape

I wish I had a picture of this, but a short little story will have to do, especially since it was just a little moment I want to share. A perfect little moment.

We live at the end of a row of townhouses and our mailbox just happens to be at the opposite end of this row. It's a good 2-300 yard walk to then end. I'm not good with estimating distance. I just know it's a long walk.

I took baby girl with me today to get the mail. It was a bit windy and fairly brisk, so by the time I'd gotten the mail and was heading back, I walked with the serious purpose of getting back into the house.

I made it about halfway home when at the end of the walk I see and hear a little person asking, "Wah, you dooeeeng Ma?" This little person just happened to be cutie number 3 in our family. He was standing there at our porch with only a diaper and a black breast cover converted cape, blowing in the wind from his shoulders.

"Go back inside D*****. It's cold!" I called at him since we were still a good 15 houses away. He smiled big at me and stepped further out of the house.

I increased my pace with the intent of getting his little booty back inside before he got too cold. Although, he seemed unphased by the cold wind that was giving me serious goosebumps (And I was fully clothed!). He stepped off our front porch and stood fully on the sidewalk, facing me, "I ge' you Ma!!"

Then with those two-year-old little feet, he began to run at me, his breast cover cape blowing perfectly in the wind. His toddler belly sticking out nice and round, the scar from his surgery apparent to me; my constant reminder that I am blessed to have him here with me today. His smile spread from ear to ear, and he yelled with joy as he got closer to baby girl and I.

And then I knelt down, opened my free arm and braced for collision, because this boy does not have a slow down button. He collided with my body, squealing with joy and hugged me tight.

I wrapped the cape around his back and held him, baby girl, and the mail close to my body. He kept his arms wrapped around my neck and rested his head against my shoulder. It was perfect. This little moment. Perfect.

And cold.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

It's a funk.

I get in these funks sometimes. Don't get me wrong. I'm really happy with where we are in life right now. I love that I feel like we are moving forward. But I would really like it if we could move a little faster. I have to say, I don't entirely agree with that country song that says something like, "You're gonna miss this" referring to parts of your life. I think it's ok to have some moments that you really don't miss. I won't miss renting. I won't miss living in a house that I can't paint, because, remember-- I don't own it. I won't miss not having a backyard and getting told I have to move things on my "property". I won't miss not being able to go to the store to buy a pair of shoes that I would like because we can't afford it. I would like to say, "Hey, I want to paint my kids' bed." And then proceed to do that without knowing that I can't afford it.

Can you tell what kind of funk I'm in? I'd like the wonderful, amazing hubs to be done with school and working! I would like to be IN school and finishing my own education. I would like to own my own house and decorate the crap out of it!

In 3 years we are planning on moving to San Antonio, Texas. I'm currently looking at houses there and getting crazy giddy about the whole thing. You should check out the houses there. They're CUTE!!! And decorate-able. That's a word now. I want one SO bad!!!

Do you know what all this hyper-ness means? I'm going to have to go tomorrow and get some stuff so I can make something and get all this energy out of my body and into something creative. This is dangerous-- because I already have plans for what I want to make.

I'll have to show you the project once I finish.

On another note, since no one likes a post without pictures. Here's some cute little rugrats. Baby girl was helping me put Christmas lights away and of course made the process take much longer. Worth it.

 And then of course we have the famous box that kids love to play in. These two sat in there for a good while before baby girl decided that she was no longer interested in the box.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Good Things Come in Small Packages

I need to be better about writing on here. I'm thinking that maybe I'll try to do a post every Sunday. We'll see how this works. I make no promises. Since it HAS been a while since I've shared anything about us on here, we'll start there.

Biggest boy of ours is loving 2nd grade! He is a pretty talented little bugger, but with that comes this oober desire of his to best all of his peers. Honestly, this is fine by me. Competition is what drives our world. He just doesn't quite know how to be competitive and kind just yet, but some adults have yet to figure that one out yet, so we're working on it. He's made a new friend here where we live now and it feels like a walk down my own childhood memories when I watch the two of them play together. I'm really glad he's found some friends here that are good kids. We had some incidences with the not so good kids too, but it was exciting to see A realize that the behavior of these kids was not ok and that he didn't want to surround himself with that kind of behavior. Proud Mamma over here!

My little E man started Kindergarten this year and he has done really well! He's such a great listener with his teacher. He's engaged in learning and he's is always so happy about school and learning. He's learning how to read right now and it's exciting to see his eyes light up when he gets words right. He still has a bit of a lisp, words like CORN come out sounding like Keeww-rrn. Hoping he'll grow out of it really soon. I just really don't want kids to bug him about it. E has also made a new friend up here. I mean, each of my older kids have made tons of friends up here. But they have at least one that they call their 'best friend'. These two little rugrats together like to play dress up. I have their old Halloween costumes out to play with, so there's lots of days when Spiderman/Ironman comes out. Or Hulk/batman makes and appearance. Pretty cute. He lost first two teeth about a month ago and let me tell you, it must be really hard for the tooth fairy to sneakily get a minuscule tooth out from underneath a pillow and put money under in it's place without waking the sleeper on the pillow. BUT, the tooth fairy is awesome and her job and has yet to wake a child in this house.

Littlest Brother boy loves his brothers so much. He wishes so much that he was bigger so he could be like them. If they are sitting at the table doing their homework, littlest man is doing his "homework" too. If one of his big bros is laying on his tummy watching a show. Little man is laying next to them, doing the same thing. He is learning right now that he can't just eat candy and have a fulfilling life. He disagrees with this statement vehemently though. I gave him 3 baby carrots with his dinner a few days ago and he refused to eat them for dinner. Then he refused to eat them for breakfast and I swear it was the worst day in the world for both of us. He was a nasty terror because he was hungry and I was just sick of listening to him whine. He is really starting to catch up on saying new words and stringing them together to make sentences. So I am hoping this means that he is understanding me a lot better if he is able to get full sentences out. Regardless, however, of this new-found ability to talk to me, he is still determined to do things his way and his way only. You'd think I would remember what an awful little two-year-old is like, BUT I didn't and now everything little awful thing he does surprises me. ....Well, no so much anymore, because he's been acting like this for several months now. But my mind still likes to say to me, "Did he just really do that. I can't believe this is happening. He's crying over what??? " and so on.... His birthday was fun though! Look at how great his scar looks! If you're not looking for it, you don't see it. I love this little guy so much and I'm so glad he's in our family.

Baby girl is almost 8 months old. This makes me SO sad!!! I love my little baby. I just wish they'd stay in a state of baby-ness forever. She is just SOOO dang CUTE and I want to freeze every moment I have with her. She has been a masterful crawler since she was about 5 months old and now we're waiting to see if she'll figure out walking early as well. Baby girl is so petite that if she started walking any time soon, it would look sooo weird. I also have to say, it is pretty fun to have a baby girl in this house. All of her brothers love her to death. They sing and dance with her, give her treats she shouldn't have (Mostly her 2-year-old brother), talk to her when she is sad, and do almost anything I ask them to do, if it's for her benefit. Baby girl gets layed on by her 2-year-old brother a lot. She will be crawling across the floor, stop for a toy and he will see this as a moment to lie down with his head on her back, his arms stretched out above his head and just chill there. She's actually pretty cool with it. Silly girl. She is also the biggest lover of water in this family. I stick her in the bath and her feet and arms start kicking like crazy, then she'll look up at me and squeal in delight. I can't get enough of it. I'll bathe her just so I can get this reaction out of her.

Here's a few more pictures of my littlest cuties. I apologize for the unorganized post, hopefully more will be coming each week!
These two are pals. She sat there for a good 2 minutes until she got bored.

Look at that face! How can you not smile seeing those baby blues! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Let Me Tell You About My Day

My days are always nuts. Lets just get that out of the way straight away. But today. Today was like my day on crack. Ecstasy. LSD? That's a drug right? Haha.

We started out normal enough. Baby girl was up at 6:30 to eat. Then my E man gets up at 7:15 and sings for about 10 minutes straight while hanging out in the bathroom. It mostly sounds a little something like this in a high-pitched screech, "dah!! Woooop!! Oouuup!!"

His music wakes everyone else up. Baby A cries. Big brother A yells at E to, "Be quiet!!" And I'm mostly interested in just staying in bed, so I hide for about 5 more minutes.

Breakfast is only interesting because of baby A. I pour his cereal. He screams at me because.... I had the nerve to pour his cereal for him. Put some milk in. More screaming. So, I take his food away, which quickly turns his protests into screams of, "No! No! No!" as he's decided to eat his cereal now that he can't have it. And then we settled in happily for breakfast.

And then of course after we all managed to get dressed and out the door, the real fun began.

We went to a few stores to get some stuff for our new house. By the end I had my two oldest boys lying on the floor of the last store, stretched out like starfish right where people were walking their carts. A store employee came over and told them to get out of the way. Annoying; but I was a little busy dealing with my other two kids.

Baby girl was crying and baby boy was trying to climb out of the cart whenever I turned my back from him. I swiped my card and tried to leave. The cashier let me get about three feet, before she told me I had to approve the amount and sign. If you've ever been in my place, its at about this moment that you just want to leave the store as fast as you can.

Next, we went to a doctors appointment for Mr. E. I had snacks. So I was hoping we were good. Nope. No. Nada. Baby girl was fine, but I had to hold her the whole time. So of course baby A boy took advantage. He was climbing all over the place. Up on the back of their chairs. All over the sofas. Opening drawers. Rummaging through my purse. Throwing whatever he finds in my purse all over the floor. Then E sees what he throws, this time goldfish crackers, and runs over to stomp on them, and then join his brother in climbing all over everything,

... so how the heck am I supposed to control- heck- corral them!? Let me answer this quickly for you. I don't. I can't. That's wishful thinking. So I leave, spouting off a million, "I'm sorry's" as I shuffle everyone out the door.

It was time to take my kids somewhere to run off their energy. We went to meet daddy and eat lunch at this cute little pond\man-made waterfall at BYU. Seemed like a good idea. We settled down in the grass. I got ready to feed baby girl who was starving and watched my 3 other kids run off in 3 different directions. Baby A decided to take his drink and wade into the pond. Just as daddy sat down to eat his lunch and I've pulled half a breastie out to feed little girl, baby A takes a dive in the water. Full on dunked himself into this pond. Stands up screeching in shock and takes another dive. Daddy was trying to coax him out of the water since he had shoes on and couldn't get to him. The water was really shallow, so baby A wasn't sinking, but he was dripping wet and freaking out. My first instinct was to stand up. Make sure booby was covered by the hooter-hider I had on, hold said hooters-hider over exposed booby, so as not to scare any EFY or young college students and run into the pond to get my sopping wet little boy out of the water.

And the crazy didn't end there. We decided to go to a relatives house to rest and recover from the trauma of the day. I sent my boys downstairs to the basement and daddy and I rested upstairs with sleeping little girl. About 20 minutes later baby A comes upstairs. His hair had white fuzzier all over it. I knew something stupid was happening, but being sleepy makes you stupid. So I ignored the white fuzzies that looked a lot like goose feathers and closed my eyes to rest again. About 10 minutes later, after he'd gone back downstairs and up again to say hi to me. I see now that baby A has a lot of white fuzzies un his hair.

Uuuuuuuugh! Why did I have to be the first person to see this mess! Why?????

I went downstairs to inspect. My oldest was huddled up on the couch underneath a blanket, with his head tucked down. He was a frosty vision of white from head to toe. The red couch he was on was now mostly white. The green rug on the floor was now under a sea of goose feathers AND the culprit was lying on the other couch, looking utterly exhausted from his escapade, feathers floating all around him, settling between his legs and around his body like a fluffy little clouds. Mr. E was quickly AND carefully escorted outside so I could shake him off like a dirty rug. A followed, with little boy A behind him. All covered in various levels of feathers. Outside on the patio seemed the safest place to stick these 3.

I asked E, "When you saw the feathers flying out of the goose feather comforter, why didn't you stop making a mess?" He thought for a minute, looked at me and said, "Cause it looked like Christmas!"

Can't really argue with him there. Plus, tell me you're not jealous that he got to make it snow feathers like they do in the movies.

Soooo, I went downstairs to vacuum a vast ocean of goose down feathers from the entire basement. Which is really hard to do. Just FYI.

 I had my kids outside. They were good. Daddy was awake now and helping me. Everything was good. Until he realized we had to leave for a family dinner. We rushed upstairs to get everyone out the door and find dirt spread all over the back porch,



So, to end my night of crazy, we stripped the baby boy naked outside since he was the dirt spreader, and showered him off. Shook the other two kids off again to get the feathers off them and left for family dinner, praying that the crazy ended right there....

Saturday, April 26, 2014

If We Can Do It, So Can You

Daddy M graduated today. It didn't really feel like a big deal though, probably because we have another 4 years of schooling to go through while he gets his doctorate of Audiology. We didn't make graduation announcements. We barely told anyone. Heck, we told his grandpa the day before that if he wanted to come he could, but no big deal if he couldn't. We didn't plan a huge party. It was just another step in our lives.

But then, as I was sitting in the stands with my 4 beautiful children, ggpa, grammie and papa, and I see my awesome husband walk out with his gown and hat on, it hit me.

I realized how much we had gone through; triumphed, and suffered to get here. To this moment. This very much NOT small moment. A little overwhelmed by this realization. I cried.

I cried for joy. For relief. For the pride I felt for my husband and what he's gone through. And a little out of sadness that we will be leaving what has become our home over the past 7 years.

M and I have created a story worth hearing. A story worth sharing. Maybe some day I'll write it in depth. But for now. I'll tell you shortly why I think it's worth hearing. And why this moment of watching him receive his degree meant so much to me.

In 2006 a few very important things happened. The first of which would be that M and I graduated from high school. Then we both went to college that fall. I got pregnant. And we got married. I'm not sure how many of you know that, but it's a piece of our history, so please, keep any rude thoughts to yourself. Anyway- if you missed it in the second sentence, we were both VERY young.

This beginning to our lives made things very difficult if you can imagine. We were both barely 19. M was now no longer going to school and instead, was working 3 jobs. So that was about 16+ hours a day. I stayed home and looked for jobs.

Over the next 7 years, to today, we faced challenge after challenge. M felt like he couldn't leave work, because he had to take care of us, so school wasn't an option. Soon after we had our 2nd baby, M got sick with liver disease. And this led to depression. Probably on both our parts, but mostly on his. This put a huge strain on our marriage. And left me for a long while to be the parent by myself. He recovered. And we became stronger as a couple.

It was around this time that we decided to take the plunge, live a few pennies cheaper or several thousand pennies cheaper, and send M to school. I worked full-time, but didn't have a job that paid a whole lot. As in, some months we only spent $50 on groceries for our family of 4. That was at our leanest.

We pressed on and dealt with normal marriage issues. As in, it's not actually as easy as you think to take 1 person from one life and another person from another life and put them in the same existence together to create another entire life together. There are bound to be cultural differences from simply being raised in different families. But we learned from each other and became stronger still as a couple.

Our 3rd child was born and 6 weeks later we were in the hospital with him. That was a pretty awful, scary, emotionally traumatizing week. And then for several months after, as we waited to see if the pathologists could decide if our baby had cancer or not, we stressed, cried more, and worried for our future. But M pressed on with school. Hoping he wouldn't fail his classes with such a huge and important distraction.

We were so blessed and found out our baby boy was going to be ok, a few more scars on his body than before, but he was no worse for wear. And M finished his semester with a 4.0.

It was at this time that we needed a little more help to just live. I wasn't working still from being on maternity leave and I postponed going back longer, so I could take care of my baby at home. He had his Broviac line in still and his chance for infection was very high because of this. So I stayed where I was needed and where I wanted to be. This was during the time that we didn't know if he was going to be ok and I didn't want to be at work; I wanted to spend time with him. If he died, the last place I wanted to remember me spending my time, was at work. This led us to some unfortunate extreme levels of poverty.

We got help. It was extremely humbling. For our entire marriage, up to this point, we were self sufficient. We did it on our own, we lived on $50 worth of groceries sometimes, but we were doing it by ourselves. So this shift in our needs, as our family changed, was hard for us.

M continued school and we could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! But now with his last few semesters in sight, he decided to go back to work, so I could be at home with our family and we could begin to find our independence again. Working and going to school is hard for M, I know a ton of people do it. But for him, he wants to put 100% of himself into both things and he just can't. So he kills himself trying to. And then on top of working full-time and going to school full-time, he was applying for grad school, schmoozing for grad school, and was also raising our family with me. And we're pretty needy at home, especially me, since I was pregnant with our 4th little baby. :) But he kept on, made a few sacrifices in some places so he didn't go mental just barely before he graduated.

And we had our 4th little baby halfway through Ms last semester of school! Things were finally beginning to feel a little more normal.

We were becoming once again, more independent. We knew where M was going for grad school! (He got in where he wanted!) We were having some very special doors open for us.

It seemed like the path we decided to take; that began something akin to traversing the side of a very steep and actively spewing volcano- think Lord of the Rings; had transformed into a lovely stroll through flower-filled fields with rolling green hills and frolicking cute wildlife.

Which brings us to this place. Graduation. Here, with me standing with our 4 kids watching a pretty amazing man graduate! You'd never know he'd experienced an insurmountable amount of resistance in his young life and still managed to get where he is today. He has shown me what real strength looks like. He's shown me what a good man in a storm does. What a good man is. What strength is. It's quiet. It's ever present. It's enduring. It's finishing the race, no matter what slowed it down. It's not boastful. It's not loud. It doesn't brag. It doesn't put others down to get ahead. True strength is my husband. Through all his ups and downs, our ups and downs. He finished his race and he finished well.

So, I'm really serious when I say, if we can do it. Seriously. So can you.

Bring on the next 4 years of grad school!!