Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve

New Years Eve we went to Jake & Rosie's for our annual New Years Eve party. There was tons of food, lots of laughter and fun games! Thanks guys, you certainly know how to ring in the new year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Yesterday was NOT a fun day. Hayden had a well child visit. It lasted almost an hour and we left with referrals to the hospital for an Upper GI test, a follow up with a gastroenterologist, starting to see a podiatrist, see the ENT and possibly an orthopedic surgeon. Yippee for Hayden!

Then, I had a lovely OBGYN appt. I thought we would get to go for the easy surgery but they re-scheduled for a biopsy, ultrasound and will discuss surgery options on Monday. Can't wait..

Can we say that we will be hitting our deductible again this January???


We did it! We finally took Hayden to see the snow! He loved throwing snowballs and putting snow on mom and dad.

The kids, with Suzi's help, even built a snowman.

Tyler's farewell

Saturday morning, Jodi's gang, Suzi and us all headed up to Prescott! We stayed in a hotel with an indoor pool so the kids could swim. Lisa's boys all came over and they swam and played. They had a great time.

Sunday morning we went to Tyler's farewell. Man, I stayed with Lisa when I got back from Korea and Tyler was just a toddler. I remember him being the funniest little kid. He would say, "I'll go to bed, but I hate that clock! Fine, I'll go to my room, but I'm never coming out again." I even convinced him that rocks in Korea were actually candy and gave him the candy rocks. I loved Tyler. Now he is all grown up and going on a mission to Denver. He will be an incredible missionary. I am so proud of him.

I love spending time with Lisa and her family! I sure wish they lived closer!

Christmas with the Murphy's

Christmas afternoon and evening was spent at Grandma Joyce's house. Hayden loves playing with Logan and Victoria. Kassandra was there with her new baby, Lily.

We had a yummy dinner! And the kids played! Grandma always makes Hayden a new ornament for his tree. He loves that it is just his. I cherish this tradition. What a neat thing for Hayden to have someday in his own home. Hand-decorated Christmas ornaments for him from his Grandma. Love this thoughtful gift.

Grandma loved her digital picture frame and is ready to load it up with even more pictures of all her grandkids.

What a perfect ending to a perfect day!

Christmas with Dad & Bonnie

Christmas afternoon, my Dad and Bonnie came over to exchange gifts. It was fun having them at our place. They came loaded with gifts! I LOVED my scripture bag. So cute and so fun! I also got a cute new purse and lamp.

Hayden loved his magic trick kit. He said, "Whoa! It is a science kit that is magical! Wow" He also loved his Star Wars lego set! Hayden also got a trampoline enclosure. Funny story. My dad and I were talking about tramps for Christmas. I said we had one but not an enclosure. He said, "Jake, Josh and Jodi have a few kids so if one of them fall off and get hurt, they have others. You only have Hayden. You need to protect him." Funny grandpa!

Imagine my surprise when I opened up a trip for Nauvoo for the three of us. I have always wanted to go there. And, to take Hayden, amazing! Hayden is so excited to see Carthage Jail, visit the brickmakers and stay in a log cabin! All FHE will be based on Nauvoo for the next couple of months before we go! How exciting! How amazing!

My dad said the best part is sitting and feeling the spirit of Nauvoo! I can't wait! So excited for this trip of a lifetime! Thanks!!!!

Christmas Morning

Christmas this year was magical. From the visit with Santa at the North Pole to receiving a letter from Santa to seeing him on Christmas Eve.

When Hayden received his letter from Santa, he exclaimed, "Wow! Santa did get my letter and since I am on the good list, this is going to be one good Christmas!"
Boy was he right! Hayden received his AT-TE Clone Wars tank, Clone Wars blaster gun and voice changer from Santa.

He was spoiled and received lots of other fun gifts and toys. As each present was unwrapped, I thought of the love and joy behind each gift chosen and given. Each present received.

Thomas loved his I-touch! He was shocked! But he has taken it everywhere with him since, so it was a good one!

Suzi and Ann both loved their gifts.

Me, I was touched by the moment. The lights glowing. The smiles. The laughter. The peace. The love shown by everyone. I loved every moment of it!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Costa Rica

Everyone surprised my dad with a trip to Costa Rica for Christmas. He loves going on trips together but just couldn't justify spending the money to take all 24 of us on a trip. So we all gave one to him.

BIG thanks to Josh and Jake who gave the trip to me and Thomas so we could go too! What a wonderful gift! I am so excited to go spend a week with Thomas and my family in Costa Rica.

Christmas Eve

As I got to my dad's house, I was put in charge of the spiritual aspect of Christmas. I knew we were watching the Nativity. Afterwards, I talked about how the Spirit of Giving had touched each of our hearts this Christmas season. I was lucky enough to witness what each person in the family did to help others in need. It is in giving that we experience the Christmas spirit and feel Christ's gift to us. Then, one from each family shared a favorite Christmas story or experience. Some that touched me were Jodi talking about the gift of her children's birthmoms. Jake spoke of family, Josh of service.

My dad's touched me the most and I sobbed. He shared of Hayden's first Christmas and the chance of Hayden still being here today. He said that when the doctors said that Hayden's heart had to be switched around, he never thought he would be here. He cried as he shared the story. He cried as he talked about holding Brooklyn at her adoption right before Christmas, as the judge pronounced them a family. It was all touching and I could feel the Savior and my mom there sharing this most sacred family moment together.

My favorite Christmas Story... Hayden was only 12 days old. Christmas Eve was his worst day... he wasn't breathing, eating or responding. The doctors made me leave for a couple of hours so they could work on Hayden and said for me to get out of the hospital. I left for 2 hours and went to get a hug from my family. Dallin was 5 years old and on the way home from Christmas Eve, Steph asked him what he wanted Santa to bring. He said, "Only for Jesus to help Hayden breathe." That next morning, Dallin wanted to make sure that Santa found Hayden at the hospital. Santa did. Not only that, Dallin's prayers were answered and Hayden started breathing on his own early Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve was amazing!
There will NEVER be a Christmas go by that I don't remember my own Christmas miracle. The Savior answered my prayers. He answered a little 5 year olds prayer and he brought about a Miracle! I am so thankful for Hayden in my life and the Savior that still answers our prayers and gives us miracles! What a blessed Christmas Eve to be able to reflect on our Savior and his gifts to each of us!

The festivities then went on. Santa came and brought each child a gift. As Santa walked in, I was touched by remembrance of that first Christmas. Santa came early in the morning to a hospital room to brighten our hearts. He embranced the Savior's love as he kissed my little baby. This year, he brought excitement and happiness to Hayden's face as he said, "You did get my letter, didn't you, Santa!" Hayden hugged Santa tight, thanked him for his gift and told him he would be extra good this next year. Knowing Hayden, he will keep his promise.

I will ALWAYS cherish this Christmas Eve and the sweet feelings that were brought about on this sacred night.

Night in Bethlehem

Our ward party was a Night in Bethlehem. We all came in clothes from Jesus' time on earth, paid our taxes (food items) and went to the market. They had clay for the kids, appetizers from Christ's time and a nice sit down dinner. The nativity was acted out and was done beautifully. It was a great remembrance of the season of remembering our Savior and his gift to us.

Hayden's Toy Drive 2009

Thanks everyone for another successful toy drive. We collected 2,040 toys, stuffed animals and pajamas for the hospital. Phoenix Children's Hospital was thrilled.

I walked in and they gave me a wagon to put our donations in... I laughed and told them that we had a truck, trailer and suv filled with over two thousand toys. They were in awe.

I love delivering the toys. In Hayden's face you can see the excitement!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Phoenix Children's Hospital

The count is complete. The toy drive is wrapped up for another year. My heart is filled with emotion. The work involved is sometimes overwhelming. But, to feel the peace, joy and love in my heart as the toys are delivered to the hospital, is a feeling I wouldn't trade and outweighs all the work involved.

As we drove to the hospital this morning, Hayden wasn't feeling well and was a little on the grumpy side. As we pulled into the hospital and started unloading toys, his entire countenance changed. He became the most joyful, happy child.

He excitedly helped carry in toys, wide-eyed he explored the toy drop off room for the toys and smiled as he handed the workers the I-pods. As we climbed back in the car, I asked him how he felt, his response simple, "I feel really happy!"

I am reflecting this evening on the events of this toy drive. The happiness it has brought and the sweet Spirit of giving and serving that has been brought into our home. I am amazed by the generosity of people. I am still in awe of some of the people that brought over toys. They gave of themselves and what they had.

I am most touched by the stories people had to offer. The new people I have met. My most touching was a call I received asking if I could help her find Hayden's mom. As I talked to her on the phone, we shared stories of heart surgeries, doctors, therapists and strategies. I was lucky to talk with people about their stories and their children's stories of hope and love.

Our lives have been enriched, uplifted and blessed through another successful toy drive. My heart feels such peace, such love and the true meaning of Christmas. I feel very thankful! And as Hayden put it, "My heart feels so much happier when I give presents than when I get them!" We are thankful to all of those who donated and helped make this another successful year!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Toys R Us

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk into a store with $2200 to spend? Having no requirements of anything to purchase and just being able to shop? IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!

Jake, Brian, Vaughn, and Josh all sent Hayden, Kaylee and I shopping with cash for the toy drive. They were wonderfully generous!

We spent three hours in the store and filled up 6 carts, heaping full with toys for the hospital. It was so cute to watch Hayden and Kaylee. They both would walk up and down the aisles deciding which toys would be most appropriate for the kids in bed. Hayden's top toys for the hospital were Sorry Sliders, backugan and transformers. Kaylee's favorite was a new moon blanket, books and art supplies.

It was so much fun! So memorable! And both kids were incredible and REALLY tried hard to find the perfect gift for the sick kids! I will never forget this moment!

Liberty Arts

Liberty Arts Academy, Hayden's school, collected 230 toys and stuffed animals for the toy drive.

Gilbert Arts Academy and Hayden's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Poore, collected 63 toys for the toy drive!

We are so touched by the outreach of love to the children at PCH. Thanks so much!

Great friends

It is a great thing to feel the love of true friends... I have a great support system! I do! Suzi and Jodi are ALWAYS there for me when I need them. Always! But, I have a lot of other people that support me, too! Especially when I really need them!

After a long day of work and taking Hayden to the doctor yesterday, I came home to this...

Aimee, Troy and Ariyona had come over and spent over 4 hours, sorting, separating and getting all the toy drive toys together to be ready for pictures and boxing. I didn't ask them to, they just showed up, organized everything and then left.

Then, they said they would be back today to box the toys up! Grateful does not even begin to describe how thankful I am to them or express how much I REALLY needed their help!

Best Present

Hayden came home from school yesterday with a snowman creation of our family! I love, love, love it!

Gingerbread House

I have been so busy this year and some of our Christmas traditions have not been done. I had a lot to do for the toy drive, so I had a brilliant idea to have Ariyona do the gingerbread house with Hayden. I would snap a few pictures and call it done. I don't love getting messy, being sticky and thought this was a fantastic idea.

However, Ariyona couldn't get the walls to stay up, so I decided to super glue the gingerbread house. Yep, I glued my fingers to the gingerbread. So brilliant. When Ariyona and Hayden both gave up on the idea, I was completely messy and sticky. That backfired. As I am trying to get it cleaned up, I look over and these two are having a GREAT time playing.

So, when Daddy got home, it became his project.

Hayden woke up the next morning and said, "Wow, Dad! You did a great job on my gingerbread house!"

12 Days of Christmas

The second grade sang the 12 Days of Christmas in their school Christmas program. They were so cute.

After the 2nd grade sang, Hayden came running over to me and spent the rest of the program sitting on my lap. He LOVED that I was there and at the school. My little boy sure likes his mom and wants nothing to do with anyone else if I am at the school.