Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wisdom from a 12 year old

McKinley taught our last FHE lesson from our series we were doing on Doctrine and Covenants 109:8.
"Organize yourselves, prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God."


In her lesson she told us about a "parable" that she thought of to help illustrate a point.  She said that Heavenly Father wants us to do our best but he doesn't expect us to be perfect.  
"It's like when you are in elementary school and it is party day.  The room moms come prepared with a craft for you to do.  They pass out all the materials to each child and then show a model of what the craft should look like.  All the kids are trying their best.  They are looking at the model and trying to follow the directions as they have been explained to them but in the end, the craft they make doesn't REALLY look as good as the model that the room mom provides.  But the kids take it home and give it to mom and dad anyway.  And Mom and Dad are so excited.  To them, it is the most beautiful thing ever!  Because they know how hard the child tried and that it was made with love and he/she did the very best they could do."

Heavenly Father is like that.  He knows that at some point we will be able to follow his example perfectly.  Until then he is so thrilled when he sees us try our very best and do everything with love.

I think that is a terrific reminder that we should be gentle with ourselves and not try to EARN Heaven by being perfect at everything we do.  We should recognize that HE only wants us to try our best and do it with love.  Perfection will come later.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bunny Bait

 I don't love the time slot we have been assigned for church this year of 9am.  I really love being able to sleep in and go to church at 11 or 1.  BUT one of the "bright sides" of early church is having the chance to spend the day together as a family.  We have set a goal to have a baking project most Sundays and then delivering our goods to people we love afterward.  Yesterday we made "Bunny bait" with the following ingredients.

 
Chex mix, Rold Gold pretzel sticks, white popcorn, 
white chocolate candy melts, sprinkles, and pastel m and ms.
Lay it all out on a cookie sheet (except the candy melts). Microwave the candy melts til creamy. You might need to add a small amount if milk to make it the right consistency to drizzle over the other ingredients. Drizzle it on and then mix it all together well.
The boys got a bowl to enjoy while they watched MARCH MADNESS.
We delivered the rest to very deserving people.  Old friends, new friends, friends going through tough times.
That is what Sundays are all about.  Right?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eleven

Man I love this gal.
Just seeing her makes my heart sing.
She is the quintessential girl.
All toenail polish and good smelling things.
I so admire her wit.  
Her easy way with others.
She's never met a soul she didn't like 
(or that didn't like her, for that matter.)
She has the confidence to take her far in life.  
Confidence, I only wish I had when I was a preteen.
She's a "smartypants"
(- the acedemic kind, not the beligerent, disrespectful kind.)
She's fun.  
fiercely independent.  
Self reliant.  
Has a thick skin.  
I think I could count on one hand the number of times I have seen her upset because of something someone has said or done that was unkind.  She just lets it go and moves on - a rare find in an eleven year old girl.
She looks out for the under dog 
- and the gals at school who need a friend. 
 Because of that she is always surrounded.
I love how
  she is genuinely happy for people when they accomplish something big 
-even if it means she didn't- and she tells them she is so happy for them, never withholding praise, 
 and she usually accompanies it with a great big hug.
She doesn't compare herself with others. 
She doesn't need to because she is so self assured and comfortable in her own skin.

Happy Birthday Reagan Becca Butt.
Mom is crazy about you.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

party girl

We celebrated Reagan's birthday a few days early with a party at JUMPSTREET and lunch at Wendys with friends.






Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hormones

Today's blog post is about Hormones.

We have a few too many of them in this house at this time.

I feel for the men in my family.

That is all.

Shahna

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

bittersweet



She made it. 
But her three closest friends didn't.
She is pretty bummed.
Things are kinda' bittersweet over here.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Blooming where your planted

These cutie pies are 7 of the girls that were on the cheer squad I coached this past fall.  They are all 6th graders and this was taken last night at 7th grade cheerleader tryouts.  Aren't they adorable?  I LOVE them. These are the sweetest, kindest, funnest group of girls.  I'm EXTRA fond of the one on the far right.  :O)

 (Catherine, Caty, Emi, Hailey, Lexie, Kennedy, and McKinley)


The night before tryouts we had a pizza party and "mock tryout" to get em' ready.


That night I couldn't sleep.   Just seeing how hard these girls have worked to memorize the challenging choreography and tweak areas that they needed to work on made me realize how much they each wanted to make it.  I understand why.  We have had so much fun together the last few years and I'm right there with them not wanting it to end!

But when I started thinking about the sheer numbers and all the other girls that have been working hard too!  There were 40 girls vying for 12-20 positions and they are all super talented.  Many of them have been doing competitive cheer for several years.  Many of them are talented power tumblers.  I realized that some of these sweet girls pictured above just might get there little hearts broken when they post the results on Friday at 3:45.  And my heart ached for them.

So I went and got them each some flowers to put a smile on their face before the big day and passed them  a sealed envelope with a personalized message from me.  I told them that when they got home (after they had tried out) they could read it but not before then.

Here is the one I wrote to McKinley:


Kiki:
 As I was watching you at practice last night I could barely believe my eyes.  You are a terrific little cheerleader.   I am so proud of you.
I wanted to take this chance to share something with you that Hilary and I  talked about this morning and think is so important:
Here it is.   Are you ready?
THERE IS SOOOO MUCH MORE TO
 LIFE THAN CHEERLEADING!

  Both Hilary and I had times when we thought it was the most important thing in the world.  Then we both had disappointments; years we didn't make the squad at all or atleast didn't make the squad we hoped to.  And you know what?  Both of us figured out that it was THE BEST thing that happened because we realized what was REALLY important.  And we were able to focus on something that we REALLY loved or had lasting life long  effects. Cheerleading doesn't .
You might make 7th grade cheerleader tomorrow. 
 If you do, I will not be a bit surprised and I will be so happy and proud for you.   But, You might not make 7th grade cheerleader tomorrow.  
If you don't I will still be so proud of the girl that you are.  
So....
BLOOM
 WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED! 
 and let that be your life long creed.  IF you ARE planted on the 7th grade cheer squad, , use it as an opportunity to learn new things, stretch yourself, be kind to others, and influence others to make good choices.  If your not planted there, however, get to work and find where you SHOULD be planted and find somewhere to bloom.  It might be on the  stage, or behind a microphone, or in the National Honor Scoiety, the art room, the volleyball court.  The possibilities are endless.  Just find your passion and strive to be a force for good.  Your going to go far in life and be a success because you are a great girl.  I know it.


I love you!  

Best of luck today.
Mom

The competition is fierce and I am not really sure what the outcome will be for my sweet McKinley.  I know she did her best and I know it will be a really tough weekend if she gets bad news but I'm grateful for the chance to teach her and these other little girls an important life lesson...along with a few cheers and dances along the way.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

pushing through, together

Yep.  Still studying this topic on "lemonade making" for this presentation I have to do later this month and came across another gem.


An old cowboy said he had learned life's most important lessons from Hereford cows. All his life he had worked cattle ranches where winter storms took a heavy toll among the herds. Freezing rains whipped across the prairies. Howling, bitter winds piled snow into enormous drifts. Temperatures might drop quickly to below zero degrees. Flying ice cut into the flesh. In this maelstrom of nature's violence most cattle would turn their backs to the ice blasts and slowly drift downwind, mile upon mile. Finally, intercepted by a boundary fence, they would pile up against the barrier and die by the scores.
But the Herefords acted differently. 
Cattle of this breed would 
instinctively head into the windward end of the range. 

There they would stand shoulder-to-shoulder facing the storm's blast, heads down against its onslaught.

"You always found the Herefords alive and well," said the cowboy. 
"I guess it's the greatest lesson I ever learned on the prairies—just face life's storms." 
[Elaine Cannon, Adversity (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1987), pp. 133–34]

Monday, March 4, 2013

February according to my iphone

 Reagan's new favorite pasttime is to post "selfies" on instagram.
 I hosted a fun valentine party for the nursery at Institute.
 We had heart shaped sandwiches, chocolate heart shaped pretzels, bananas, and valentine cookies.

 Had lunch with these great ladies just cuz.  We try to get together every few months.
 My kids have decided they like yogurt bar for breakfast.  It's a new favorite with three types of granola, three types of yogurt, and a variety of fruits.  Every once in awhile, Brent makes smoothies too!  Brady LOVES them.
 McKinley and her best friend, Caty,  had fun in the photo booth  at their February book club mtg.
 McKinley and Reagan starred in the "Schoolhouse Rock" production at school.   Several of their friends from church showed up to support them.  Very sweet.  We are so lucky to have the best network of  good friends for them here.
 Brady and Brent did a great FHE lesson on a what it means to be a "House of Learning".  
 We pretty much have decided that this lil guy has a touch of asthma,  Here he is getting a breathing treatment at the Drs. office.  He has an inhaler at school now too.  :O(

 Went to dinner one night at Chilis when kids ate for free.  We love a good deal.
 McKinley apparantly felt like she was having a good hair day on her way to school one morning and decided to document it for posterity.  
 Reagan showed her contrite spirit and performed an act of service for her Dad.  
That girl cracks me up.  I really like her.
Tanner changed the oil in my car for a some extra cash.  He has been doing a little more dating so he likes to earn money any chance he gets.

Our friends,  the Goodrums,  introduced us to the Walking Dead series and we are hooked!
Brent and I watched all three seasons in about two weeks.

In addition to all of this:
Brent was recognized for being one of the top sellers for his company.
He also saved us alot of money by doing several car repairs on my car this month.
I love being married to Mr. Fix-it.
Jensen got accepted to BYUi and has started researching & praying about where she is going to live.
McKinley attended a meeting to tryout for 7th grade cheerleader.
Brady got 8 GOLD stars at school - the most in his class.
Reagan went to 5th grade science camp and loved every minute of it.
Reagan and McKinley both got their round off back hand springs at tumbling class.
and Lindsey, my sister, joined Cooper so she and I have been working out together.  
I have been pretty good about going 4 days a week.
I've also been busy getting ready for girl's camp.  I am in charge of the service project and crafts with one of my dear friends, Sheri.  That, with my stake primary calling are keeping me busy.  On a good note, I sleep like a baby at night.







Friday, March 1, 2013

An experience I hope never to forget

This gal just got home from 5th grade camp today.  We missed her.  Last night at dinner, Jensen reminded me that 7 years ago when SHE was the one coming home from 5th grade science camp, our family was in the midst of a crisis.  I had forgotten that!  How fast time has flown.  So I decided to document that most incredible experience with hope that I will never forget it.  It truly was one of the best "Holy Ghost" experiences I will probably ever have.

Reagan was 4 and had been home sick for a few days with a bug.  She started feeling better on Thursday and asked if she could go outside to play in the back yard.  I was happy to oblige!  Poor kid was excited to get out of bed.  Things seemed fine.  

Then early Friday morning, she awoke with what appeared to be a relapse.  I didn't think too much of it.  I sent Tanner and McKinley off to school and Brent off to work ( remember, Jensen was away at 5th grade science camp) and resolved to spend another day with my poor little girl.  I was throwing a shower at my house the next day and had a lot to do.

I gave Reagan a bath and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.  She seemed really tired and drained but no fever.  

But within a couple of hours I had a strong impression that I should call and make an appointment and get her into the Dr. that very day.  I called and made the appointment and the only thing that they had was late afternoon when I was supposed to meet the bus and Jensen from her week long trip.  I half thought of just not scheduling the appointment so I could get Jen when I was reminded that I felt prompted to take Reagan to the DR ASAP.  My friend Victoria, who also had a 5th grade daughter was more than happy to pick Jensen up for me.

As a couple more hours passed, Reagan grew more and more weak.  She could hardly sit up straight.  The only way that I can describe it is to say that I felt like I was watching her fade right before my eyes.  I became really worried about her as the day progressed.  I called Brent and told him I was taking her in to the Dr. and that she seemed really sick.  

I picked McKinley up from morning  kindergarten and went to the Dr. appt.  As I sat in the waiting room, I looked at my little girl and a horrible feeling came over me that this was much more than just a relapse, she appeared to be dying.  I remember crying as I held her in my arms and waited to be called back to the exam room.  A voice said in my mind,
"HAVE HIM CHECK HER HEAD TO TOE" 
and then it echoed three times
 "HEAD TO TOE,  HEAD TO TOE, HEAD TO TOE." 
 I thought, "that was weird."

We were called back and as soon as we were in the room, I said to McKinley, "We need to pray for Reagan, she is very sick and we need to pray for help so that the Dr. can help her and she can get better".  We did.  

As soon as Dr. Hidalgo walked in to the room, I repeated to him exactly what the voice had said in my mind, "Dr. Hidalgo, you have been our pediatrician for 11 years now and you know I am not a mom who overreacts about every little thing but I feel impressed to tell you that Reagan is very sick and it might seem like just the flu to you but I think it is something much more serious and you should check her HEAD TO TOE.".
 He paused for a moment, looked at her, looked at me and then agreed.  

As I pulled off her pants we both saw a
  bright red stripe
going from an open sore on her ankle up to right above her knee on the back of her leg.  It looked like someone had colored a stripe with a red permanent marker on the back of her leg.  But they hadn't.
 It was a very serious infection.
 It had not been there a few hours before when I had given her a bath.  In that short time it had traveled several inches up her leg. 

Dr. Hidalgo looked me in the eye and said, "Reagan is very seriously sick.  She has a staph infection that is moving very quickly.  I want you to go straight to the hospital.  Do not go home and pack her a bag or get anything.  Go straight to the hospital.  I will call them as soon I walk out of this room and they will have a room waiting for you by the time you get there" -which was a 5 minute drive.  Tears of fear welled up in my eyes.  Then he said,
" I will never question a mother's intuition ever again, Ms. Argyle".  "I have seen so much flu this week that presents just like this.  I would never have asked to examine her without clothes on if you had not asked me to and we would never have caught this infection."
He hugged me and told me to get to the hospital asap.

As soon as we were there I remember (even before they had her admitted and we got the IV antibiotics for her)
I had an overwhelming feeling of reassurance that she was going to be fine.   I had done what I needed to do to save her life and she would be spared.  
Brent and the kids met us there and they all cried as soon as they saw her because of her bleak appearance.  They could tell she was so sick.  And what was weird is that I was just beaming!  I was so grateful for that affirmation that she would be fine.  (Little did I know that Dr. Hidalgo was VERY concerned that it would be a MRSA infection that would not respond to antibiotics and she would die.) I found that out later when she was discharged.





His theory is that because she had been sick, her immune system was already very compromised.  On the day before when she had asked to go outside, she had played in the sandbox.  She had an open sore on her ankle and he thinks that a staph infection got in there and traveled very quickly and aggressively.

I will forever be grateful for that experience because of the miracle that occurred for our family but also because I learned alot about how the Spirit speaks to me and how important it is to listen and heed.  I am so grateful for the comfort that I felt that day too.  I was able to calm every one else down and be a source of peace on a truly terrible day.