Friday, February 28, 2014

February Birthdays

February is the month that Cody and Lucy celebrate their birthdays.  We had a party for the two of them while we were all together in Oceanside.  There is nothing better than celebrating with cousins!!  Cody had already had his 7th birthday when we were there and Lucy's 5th birthday was going to happen as soon as she got home.
Since we were by the ocean, we decided to have a shark party, complete with shark crafts, shark games and of course lots of shark treats!!

 Before we headed to Oceanside Ty and Carly flew in early to surprise Lucy with a trip to Disneyland for her birthday, so of course we needed to be there to play also.  Ben and Carrie's kids joined us because they are lucky enough to have passes this year.  Cody and Lucy both wore Birthday Badges at Disneyland.  "Happy Birthday" comments were shared with them all day.  It made for a very special day.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Great to be the Grandma

As I spend time visiting with friends my same age who are pursuing advanced degrees, educating children at schools, or going into the business world each day, I wonder what I'm doing with my life.  I often feel bad that I haven't taken the time to pursue a career, but then at times like yesterday I'm so thankful that I get to be home so I can help my children and grandchildren when they are in need.

Yesterday Amy was scheduled to have a nerve block in her neck to help relieve the constant pain that she has been experiencing.  It was all worked out with a babysitter for her little ones and I would go with her to the hospital.  When she woke up in the morning her two year old Callie had spiked a fever and was definitely inflicted with influenza A, which her dad had been diagnosed with a few days earlier.  Knowing she couldn't take her to the babysitter and expose her family to the flu, we regrouped and I brought Callie with us.  Amy had to go in by herself, assuring the hospital that there would be someone to drive her home after the procedure.  Of course, as everything goes with Amy it was more "Invasive" than originally planned and she was in horrible pain when I picked her up a few hours later.  We gathered the other kids from the babysitter and I brought them all to my home.  Within an hour of returning home her 4 month old baby spiked a fever and we now had two with the flu.  I spent the day cuddling sick children, entertaining Blake who was still healthy, and worrying about Amy and the pain she was experiencing.  As I returned them all to their home last night after Luke came home from work, I had to offer a silent prayer that I was so so thankful I could be there for them on this day.  I also had to add that I was grateful that I was just the Grandma instead of the Mom.  I realize I raised 5 wonderful children and we had awful and trying days too,  BUT I admire these young moms more than ever and realize that the plan to have children when you are young is a Heavenly Plan because I couldn't do it anymore.  I love my role as grandma and I enjoy each of these grandkids so much, but how nice to know I can drop them off at the end of the day to the constant care of their parents.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A New Beginning

After a year and a half hiatus I'm ready to blog again.  (My old blog can be found here.)  Since life has changed so drastically in the past year I decided to start fresh with a new name and a new look.  Jessi was married to Stefan Brown in August 2013, so Jeff and I are now EMPTY NESTERS!!  We've waited for this day for a long time and it is different but wonderful.  Amy and Luke had a new baby, finally another boy to add to the pack.  Logan Larsen was born on Oct 11, 2013.  Unfortunately I've missed documenting so much in our lives, but after recently attending a 3 day RootsTech Conference I came to the conclusion that life is not going to get easier or less stressful so I need to leave a record of our lives, my thoughts and rantings, and pics of us even though we are getting older and plumper. 

We just spent a few days as a family in Oceanside, California, which is about 30 miles north of San Diego.  We had a crazy, but good crazy, few days together.  Imagine having 1- seven year old, 3- five year olds, 3-two year olds and a 4 month old baby together for 4 days and it is easy to imagine the craziness.  The amazing thing was how well all the grandkids got along.  I hope they will remember some of the memories made during these few days.  My greatest desire is for my family to be close, to be able to depend on one another, and to enjoy each other.  

The most amazing gift of this trip was that all five of our children were together for the first time in five years.  As I was thinking about this trip I was trying to recall when we were last together and could not even think when it was.  When we got home Carly looked up on her blog (benefit of blogging or recording family history) and discovered that the last time we were all together was in June of 2009 at Lake Powell.  How sad is that.  I'm hoping this never happens again.  I can't even explain the peace I felt to know that all five of them were asleep under one roof with Jeff and I close by once again.  I remember thinking that same thing when they were all living at home. I loved that contented feeling of knowing that my family was all together as I slept at night.  I was incredibly emotional as we all began to go our separate ways at the end of our vacation, really not knowing when we will all be together again.  I guess no matter how old my children are, they will always be my babies.