Saturday, November 28, 2009


Ann moved out this past week. It is awfully quiet here. She is 19 years old and needed to move on with her life. I was on my own, in college at her age.

Luckily, she is only living about 2 miles from us. We have been over there and her here. I feel so strange. I find myself calling to check on her and wondering how she is. Okay, I have talked to her and seen her almost as much in the past couple of days she has been gone as I did when she was here, but it is different walking by her room and not seeing her stuff.

I miss her! But, know that this is what is best for her. I told her she had to live on her own BEFORE she got married. That she needed to understand the difference between reality and marriage. Marriage is great, hard work, but worth it. Sometimes reality and trying to pay for things and make it on your own, stinks. I didn't want her to get married and have to adjust to that and the changes of being on your own all at the same time.

No, she isn't engaged, but her and Trevor are in love and think that is where they are headed. I really like Trevor's mom and it has been fun getting to know her. We both have the same goals for Ann and Trevor and are encouraging them to go to school and focus on their future.

I guess I will get used to it just being me, Thomas and Hayden again. It is just an adjustment.

Black Friday!

Jodi and I decided to stay up all night in return for searching for a good deal!

CRAZY! So, we headed out at 11pm with no sleep. We pulled up to Toys R US and holy cow the line wrapped the entire way around the store and back again. There was even a mobile police command center set up. We laughed and there was NO way we were standing in line. Now the dilemna. What to do. It is 11:30pm. The mall is open but we don't need anything. We decide to go to Walmart and just do our shopping. Then remembered that Walmart price matches. We took all of our ads, and picked up almost everything that was on sale elsewhere and Walmart price matched it. We got everything we were looking for at Target, Kohls, and Toys R Us for the same price with no crowds. So great!

Then chaos started at 3:30am when Walmart started unwrapping their sales, thanks to Jodi. Anything that wasn't a door buster, Jodi convinced them to open. What a rush! What a fun time. We spent from 12:15 to 6:00 in Walmart, making three different trips out to the car.

We then headed for breakfast, Target and Michaels. We officially filled the car with who knows what and laughed that there was NO way that we needed this much stuff.

The best part, spending 12 hours with my sister, just laughing and talking. There isn't a better sister out there. I am so thankful for Jodi. I love when we get to spend time together. Thanks, Jodi! I had a great time!!!! Now let's plan that wrapping party so I can see what I actually have.

The Blind Side & My Answer

I loved the this movie! I loved the message behind it! I loved everything about it! And, oh how I needed to see this movie. And, this movie changed me.

I don't blog about the girls much. Two main reasons. They read my blog and their parents read my blog. This post isn't about them... it is about me.

Here goes honesty...
In the past couple of years we have taken three amazing girls into our home. Ann, Taylor and Ariyona are all mine as far as my heart has concerned. No, I am not their mother. But, by serving them and doing for them, I have come to love them with a love that only mothers have. They have touched my heart and changed me in so many ways. And, I honestly do love them.

The past couple of months has been really hard on me. I have been accused of a lot of things. I have had family torn from me. I have been told things that are so hurtful and attacked to my core for doing what I have done. The course of the past couple of months has brought me to my knees and made me question myself, who I am, and I have re-evaluated everything about me. It has not been a good place to be. It has hurt so deeply and I even started questioning why I did this and if my intentions were pure.

I am not perfect. I make mistakes. But, I can honestly say that all I have tried to do is help these girls. I have tried to help them to reach their potential. I have tried to help them become who they really are. They are amazing. They are daughters of our Heavenly Father and I know that he loves each of them.

There was a scene in the movie, where the mom is sitting on the bed crying. She asks her husband some questions. Thomas reached over, grabbed my hand, and smiled so big and softly says, sound familiar honey? It is true, she was questioning her motives behind helping people, she was questioning herself, she was questioning if she had ulterior motives, she was questioning who she is... been there done that. As silly as it sounds now, I received my answer, sitting in a movie theater on Thanksgiving day. It was if the Lord was saying to me, "Jerlyn, do you realize how crazy these other people are making her out to be? Do you realize that they are taking the good she has done and trying to twist it? Do you realize that she has changed lives? You didn't do this to hurt anyone... you only tried to make the world better for a couple of my daughters."

It was like the pain in my heart was extinguished. The questioning was gone. And, I realized that although, I make a lot of mistakes and no I haven't handled each situation correctly, that all I tried to do was help. Peace flooded back into my heart. I felt whole again. Peace, understanding and love instantaneous replaced all the deep hurt and anguish I have been coping with.

An extra bonus, Ann put her arm around me after the movie and said, "Jer she is you. I understand you so much more now." The Lord took my broken heart and put it back together on Thanksgiving. What a blessing, what a gift. And for that, I am truly thankful!


We had a low key Thanksgiving this year and LOVED LOVED LOVED it!

We were supposed to have all the Murphy's over and plans changed and unfortunately it didn't work out. So, we improvised at the last minute.

Instead of the big turkey dinner that the fixings were in the freezer for, we decided since it was just going to be the four of us, we would go easy. Yep, I did it, I ordered a Bashas meal. Thomas picked it up at 7am on Thanksgiving and all we had to do was heat it up.

Jodi and Talmage came over early and Jodi and I started our annual going thru the ads and figuring out what we needed and where we wanted to head. We had a game plan all figured out.

We then heated up our Thanksgiving meal, enjoyed being together and it was Yummy Yummy!

Most importantly, I was with my family that I love. After dinner, Thomas, Hayden, Ann and I headed out to see The Blind Side. (This movie will get its own post). Fantastic.

Later that evening we headed to my dad's for pie with all the Simonton's. It was fun to be with them. Here we are all talking to JD. Josh, Dad, Jodi and Jake.

Hayden sure loves his cousins and being with them.

He loves his Grandpa, too!

I had a fantastic Thanksgiving and it was one of those days that I NEEDED very much! I loved it and was very grateful for a relaxing day with my family!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am Thankful for:

I feel very blessed this year. I am truly grateful for all the Lord has given me.

Of course, I am thankful for my husband and my dear son. I could write for days about both of them and what they mean to me.

I am thankful that I was blessed to spend a year with three special girls in my home. I love Ann, Taylor and Ariyona very much. They have brought new experiences, new challenges and stretched my abilities so much. I am better person because of each of them.

I am thankful for all the wonderful people I have met on my journey with Hayden. I have been blessed to meet some amazing people that have taught me so much.

I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am especially grateful for the Savior's influence in my daily life. He lives. He loves me. I am so humbled by that statement but I know how true it is. He knows me, he loves me and he guides me.

I am thankful for the Holy Ghost and his guidance and influence in my life. I am able to face challenges far beyond my ability with his peace and reassurance.

I am grateful for great friends. Ones that truly help to bear my burdens and lift me up when I feel I can't go on. There are many but especially Jodi and Suzi. Thank you for being my constant support and biggest fans. I couldn't go through life without you.

I am grateful that Thomas and I are both employed. In this economy it definitely makes me realize what a true blessing this is. And, I am especially thankful for the hours I work. What a blessing and dream to be able to drop Hayden off at school and pick him up.

It has been a good year. True, we have had our share of trials and heartbreaks. I wouldn't know what to do without them. But, it is through these trials that I have learned the love of my Savior. The trials have humbled me to be more willing to accept the Saviors will for me and the the path he wants me to walk. I am striving to have my will be more in line with his will.

I am grateful for so many blessings.

Hayden's Thanksgiving List

Hayden's list of things he is thankful for:

Mommy & Daddy
All people on earth
Mrs. Crawford

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Tree

My Christmas tree is up and decorated! I came home the other night and my sweet husband, Suzi, Ann and Trevor had gotten all of the Christmas decorations out of the attic and had put up the tree. I was very touched. Not being able to lift anything is killing me and making things so difficult.

So, for family night we decorated the tree! I loved watching Hayden, he was so excited about each ornament that was placed on the tree. I laugh that all the Buzz Lightyear ornaments are on one branch, all the Disney princesses are on the same branch, and all of Winnie-the-Pooh characters are together. It stressed him out when we put them in different parts of the tree. And, I absolutely love my tree! It is incredibly beautiful and I smile each time I see his groupings. I have always redispersed them in the past after he was asleep. Not this year, I am loving them exactly where he put them and enjoy the ornaments he put up way more than any that me, Thomas or Suzi snuck on the tree.

Thanksgiving Thank You's

I want Hayden to be thankful! I want him to develop a heart that is filled with gratitude. He is getting that we need to be thankful when people do things for us.

His teacher, Mrs. Crawford, is AMAZING!!! I love her! She is so good with Hayden. She pushes him, works hard with him and absolutely adores him.

Hayden wanted to get her a Thanksgiving present. I suggested chocolate covered apples, goodies, or a gift certificate. Nope. We went to Target and Hayden picked out the coolest baby toys. Mrs. Crawford is pregnant! Then, on to the perfect card. Then he says to me, "Mom, I thought it meant more if I made something, so we picked out a picture for him to color". He did not disappoint and Mrs. Crawford LOVED it! Have I mentioned that he is the perfect present picker. He ALWAYS picks the perfect gift. And, they are usually off the wall presents. I love it!

Here is Hayden coloring his Thanksgiving thank you's! He spent so much time on them and did such a great job! Just a note, I am praying she goes past her due date. There is going to be major stress at our house when she goes out on maternity leave in the late spring.


Briggy being sick did allow me to have an entire day and night with this little gem! I love my little Talmage. I know, he is Jodi's but a part of my heart belongs to him. Oh he has already brought so much happiness and joy to my life. His spirit is so sweet and when I hold him I can feel how close heaven is.

He has always been partial to his Aunt Jer. He smiles at me more than anyone else. I love it! He has captured my heart. I secretly know that it is I must remind him of his Grandma Sue. All the little Simonton babies are that way with me. I must remind them of Grandma Sue and all the time she spent with them. I don't care why, I just love that they love me! And, this little guy, yep, I am already wrapped!

Hayden loves him, too. And, I am proud to say that we have broken him from referring to him as baby Carnage. He finally refers to him as baby Talmage!


This little guy scared me to DEATH this weekend. He wasn't breathing well and had had a ton of breathing treatments. I gave him another because his poor little tummy and neck were going way in.

A little bit later, luckily right after Jodi came back, he got a bloody nose and started throwing up a TON of blood. I told Jodi that there is now a disclaimer. He does that again while I am babysitting and 911 will be called. I was sooooo scared! I don't do blood well and poor Briggy looked so sick. He did end up spending the next 8 or so hours in the hospital. Poor guy! I love him so much and feel so bad for him when he is so sick!

New Moon

Yes, it is true. Me, Jodi, Suzi, Rosie, Stephanie and Ann all went to the midnight showing of New Moon. We went to dinner and then to get our seats.

Since Jodi had her wheelchair, they let the two of us in the theater at 7:30pm. So nice not to be sitting in the cold. Well, the first people in were FURIOUS that we were already in there. We were trying to say seats for the other 4. They threw our coats and got the manager. Of course, the manager already new we were there, they had seated us. We were in disabled seating and all. The lady next to us stayed all uptight and mad and yelling for a couple of hours. Unreal. Seriously, you got the seats you wanted, I don't understand. She totally ruined it for herself. I was relieved when Suzi and Rosie got inside and I didn't have to stay right by her.

We had a GREAT time. I love girls night out and should make time to do it more often. I certainly have the best sister and sister in laws in the world! So much fun to be together. New Moon was better than Twilight and so fun to be together.

When did he grow up?

Jodi took Hayden to get his picture taken this past week for his baptismal announcements. Wow! He grew up. He looked at me and said, "Mom, what's wrong? Do you not like the suit?" I told him no, that he looked very handsome. He then said, "I know, you are just sad I am growing up, aren't you?". Then the tears came as I hugged my boy. Yep, the time is going by way too fast. I can't stand it. I want him to be my little boy a little longer.

All too soon he will walk away, as he walked down the hall I could see him as a missionary. I want to hold him, protect him and keep him mine just a little while longer.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My reality

For some reason, that is completely unclear or unbelievable to me, I have been receiving all kinds of calls and questions on dealing with autism and how to help. I don't know how my name got out there, I am not an expert by any means. I am a mom. Plain and simple. I am a mom of a boy that has many challenges medically, developmentally and nuerologically. I try hard to seek out answers for him and I try to figure out what paths help him. I try hard to find an all natural alternative to medication, but when he is sick, I definitely seek out medical help.

We deal with all kinds of therapists including speech, occupational and physical and numerous school specialists. We deal with essential oil specialists, all natural and homeopathic doctors, developmental pediatricians and psychologists and of course Hayden's regualar pediatrician, cardiologist and nuerologist. Through all these different people and specialists, I am trying to find what works for Hayden and how to help him best.

I feel completely unexperienced to give or pass on advice to others, each day is a trial and error at our house. We try a lot of things that don't work. I try to take it in stride, cross it off and move on to the next thing. We have been a lot of places and tried a lot of things. I am very thankful that so many treatments have worked and taught me so many valueable lessons.

I feel very blessed and guided in the alternatives we have tried that have worked. I have felt the Lord's hand guide me to where I need to go and what treatments I need to try. And, although they haven't all worked out, I have met some amazing people along the way that have led me to new alternatives.

I have had a few requests lately that my blog document the journey we are undertaking. These are people that are going through similar journeys of their own. They are trying some of the things that we are. They are dealing with and trying to find hope and joy in their adventures. They are asking that I share the realities more.

I don't want anyone to misinterpet what I am trying to do. Hayden is my world. I am so grateful for him and a loving Heavenly Father that has entrusted him to my care. Hayden has brought more joy and happiness to my life than I could have ever dreamed of or hoped for.

That being said, some everyday activities are monumental in our house. The simplest tasks take more effort, more coordinating and more thought as to how to accomplish them with the least effect on Hayden. Just planning the littlest details make the biggest difference.

From here on out, I am going to try and document my reality to help others who are walking a similar path understand that they are not alone. There are a lot of other moms out there trying to do the same, which is create the best life for their children as possible. My reality is this, I know I couldn't walk this path alone. But, thankfully the Lord has provided a way, not only for me, but each of us. He walks my path with me daily. I know he does. I am aware of his presence in my life. And, it is because of him that I am able to have the strength, hope and faith to walk this road.

I know that Hayden will conquer is challenges. He is an amazing boy with an absolutely amazing spirit. He is loved greatly by his Heavenly Father. I see heaven in his eyes. I am absolutely humbled that the Lord would entrust me with one of his very most special spirits. I am grateful for Hayden and an amazing husband to take this journey with. This is our story. Our life.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Polar Express

Magical! Amazing! Memorable!

The Polar Express is such an amazing, magical adventure. We board the train and read the Polar Express book, hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies are served. The excitement in Hayden's eyes as he intently watches out the train car looking for the North Pole is mesmerizing. As the train blasts ahead and we are approaching the North Pole, Hayden's heart starts pumping more quickly. He knows it is near. As we reach the North Pole, a smile bursts across Hayden's face. "Mom, there it is" he replies, "There is the North Pole and I see Santa."

These are the magical moments that I love. The ones that I realize that this is what life is about. This is what true joy is... watching the joy that only comes in a child's eyes. I love it! This is what I live for, why I love Christmas and why I love everything about this special time of year!

As Santa approaches Hayden, he is just fixated on Santa and everything about him. Santa spends quite a bit of time with Hayden. He asks Hayden what he has done good this year, not just if he has been good. Santa intently listens as Hayden explains he has treated his cousins good, helped his mom and helped the sick kids at the hospital. Santa agrees that Hayden has been especially good and this will be a good Christmas.

Hayden loves his bell and carries it everywhere! It is the first gift of Christmas this year! What a magical, unforgettable adventure!

Mrs. Claus

One of the best parts of the Polar Express weekend, is spending time with Mrs. Claus. There are pictures to color, letters to Santa to write and a mailbox that goes straight to the North Pole.

Hayden was so looking forward to spending time coloring and writing his letter to Santa.

He was so funny as he was trying to figure out what to ask for. On the top of his list is the Clone Wars AT-TE. He asked for it last year and didn't get it, so he figured if that is all that he asks for this year, then he is sure to get it. Second on his list the Clone Wars blaster gun. Woo hoo!

As he is trying to figure out what to ask for, he looks at me and says, "Mom, I sure wish the wisemen would have brought Jesus more than three presents, then I wouldn't have to try so hard to figure out what my top three presents are. That is so hard to choose." I cracked up laughing. He knows that Santa brings three presents to represent the presents that the wise men brought to baby Jesus.

Reindeer Farm

Just outside of Williams is a great deer farm. You can walk around, feed the deer and in the back there are reindeer. It is a fabulous place to visit. Even though I am terrified of deer, in this environment they seem so sweet.

Hayden absolutely loves this place.

It was amazing to me. Hayden has such a way with animals. They are drawn to him. There were quite a few groups of people, yet, Hayden had the biggest following of deer. He even kept hugging them around the neck and the deer were fine with it. (Me, I was terrified and kept trying to get him to stop, that is why there are no pictures of him hugging the deer)


It snowed in Flagstaff on Saturday. Hayden was sooooo excited to see snow. He squealed and laughed and was estatic that it was snowing on us. Amazingly, it was his first time in snow and he thought it was great!

Friday, November 13, 2009

No Homework

I love Hayden's teacher. The students earn "positives" for good behavior, excellent work or going above and beyond what is required. They are difficult to earn and really stretch the kids to be better.

Then the treasure box is full of creative rewards for the kids. They aren't just cheap junk. Some of the contents are: dress down day where they don't have to wear the school uniform; lunch with you, a buddy and the teacher; trading chairs with the teacher for the day; and a free homework pass.

Hayden has earned lunch with teacher and now a free homework pass. We have a strict no video game policy on school nights. Since, he didn't have homework, I told him he could also play his DS during the time it would have taken him to do homework. He LOVED it!

I absolutely loved having a night without homework. It was as big of a treat for me as it was Hayden! Hooray! I can't say enough wonderful things about Mrs. Crawford! She is amazing!!!! And, yes, I have told the principal and even put it in writing. She is the perfect example and best teacher around!!!


If there is one question that I hate answering it is, "How many kids do you have?" Fine. It is the follow up question that I always struggle with. "Oh, so you don't really like kids or do you want to have more?". And, how I answer depends on my mood or who asks. But, there are some days I don't want to answer. I don't feel the need to explain myself. I think I have been rather annoyed this week, so it is frustrating me more. And, once it started bothering me, I started counting how many times I am asked that question. In the last week, I have been asked that question 17 times. Yes, count them 17. I was shocked that I had even talked to that many people that wouldn't already know the answer as to why.

I have responded in all these ways... We tried having more and weren't successful. Told another that I had had over a dozen miscarraiges and many failed adoptions. When an old boyfriend replied, "Wow, I thought you would have a house full. I said, I do have a house full, but technically only one belongs to me." And, even replied, Oh, Hayden brought me so much joy that we couldn't bare to have any attention go to another. I hate the pity. I just don't know how to say, I am perfectly content with how the Lord saw my life and have completely accepted his path for me. Sure I struggled and longed for more, but I am at peace now. It is always awkard though, because people always say sorry.

I wish I could think of a clever response that would not make people pity me and not think I am selfish for having only one child. Such is life, I just can't believe that people you hardly know would ask such prying questions. My pet peeve of the day.

Physical Therapy and fun

Our house has not been that fun in the past month. First Hayden had Roseolla, Scarlet Fever, Step throat twice and the swine flu. Then, I got sick. Hayden and I have been living on breathing treatments. Thomas luckily just sprained his hand. And, heaven only knows what I did, but I threw out my lower back. I am in physical therapy 6 hours a week. No fun at all. I am thinking our turn is over, please bring on wellness for the rest of the year. And, us all being healthy is my main Christmas wish. I would love to not have to see another doctor the rest of this year.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mad Science

Hayden has been attending a Mad Science camp each week for the past couple of months. It just ended. He LOVES science and is so good at it. I can't remember all the potions/gadgets and things they learned about. Some of his favorites were lasers, goo, slime, paper airplanes, food shooters and more. I absolutely love Mad Science, they make it all so interesting and fun!

Hayden is really going to miss having his science club to look forward to each week. So, today, I signed him up for a puzzle club. The kid is amazing and can put 500 pieces together in about a tenth of the time it would take me and oh yeah, I would quit before I ever finished. He is excited for his new club, but already asking to sign him back up for mad science in January.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lunch Time

Suzi was a good sport and headed to the school for bring an Aunt to school day. She brought bean burritos and snickerdoodle cookies! What a hit!

Justin, Joey, Michael Hayden, Shameek and John

Justin, Gunter and Hayden

Hayden is such a spaz! I love that boy!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Aunt Suzi

I love, love, love this picture! Suzi is such an important part of Hayden's life. She spoils him rotten, loves him like he was her own, and understands Hayden completely. I love the relationship these two have. She can read his every mood and emotion and knows exactly what he needs. She would do anything for him! I am thankful for all the wonderful people in Hayden's life! He is a lucky little boy with a ton of people that love him!

Trick or Treat

After the Halloween Party, we all went back to Jodi's house for green chili burritos before the dad's took the kiddos treak or treating. I love that the dad's take the kids door to door, while all of us girls get to pass out candy and chat. This years bonus, I got to hold Talmage most of the night.

The trick or treaters, before heading out to score lots of candy!

Morgin, Hayden, Katelyn & Kaylee

Morgin and Hayden have so much fun playing together. They are noisy, fun and love Star Wars!

Jodi and Talmage

Thomas walked out in a gorilla suit. Brigham completely freaked out. Thomas took the mask off and all the little girls attacked him. Poor Thomas, he loves dressing up but feels so bad for torturing Brigham.

Halloween Party

Every year we go to Jodi's ward Halloween party. It is tons of fun with donuts on a string, fishing pond, decorating cupcakes and cookies, hot dogs, chili, tire throw and more. It is a kick off to the Halloween festivities. We went with Jake, Jodi and Laura's gang. The kids had a ton of fun.

Brigham, Brooklyn & Hayden

Donut time! Hayden may not like candy but he LOVES glazed donuts!

Fancy Nancy Brooklyn

Hayden met another little boy and they spent more time having light saber duels than playing any games, too fun!

Jer, Jodi, Rosie and Suzi