We are all still alive here and doing well. I just don't blog any more. . . sad sad. No promises of change this time. But, I will give a quick update on how we're doing. Our big life vision will become much more clear in about 3-4 weeks when we hear about a position for Preston in seminary and institute! I CAN'T WAIT!!! We will be thrilled with anything and it feels so right. But even if there's no offer, I will still be happy to start planning our next adventure (but I'm not planning on needing to). It's a great hiring year and everything we've heard suggests that things look good for Preston. Yay!
As far as I am concerned, I can't express my feelings of gratitude to my loving Heavenly Father enough. I have truly come to feel his guiding power in my life as I tune in to his spirit. I personally think that coming to Florida was as much for me as for Preston. I have had to face things outside of my comfort zone and been all but forced to rely on my Heavenly Father when there was no one else around. Not saying Preston hasn't been a wonderful companion, because of course he has served me as much as possible. But, there have been times that he just didn't have the capacity to give me what I needed. You know the saying "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." That sums up what I have experienced. However, now that those "worst of times" have been behind me for a while, it's a lot easier to see how it was my refining fire. Hindsight is 20/20, right? Anyway, I have just grown into a closer version of the person I want to be. And now I am more prone to see the ways I am being blessed each day. It's amazing. Life is truly beautiful.
Brayden is becoming quite a genuine young man as well. Of course he's only 3 and still has his 3 year old attitude at times. But, it's so wonderful to see my efforts in manners, sharing and patience beginning to show. Listening is another matter. . . we're working on that. He's not always quick to obey. Which, is my fault I guess because I used to tell him what we were going to do and then get distracted. So, he's used to me saying we're leaving and then not leaving for 30 minutes. Now that I realize that, I'm trying to follow through with things better. Parenting is hard in that sense. Kids are learning more than we realize. The other day, Brayden remembered some little cow cups we have that stir drinks at the push of a button. We haven't used them in at least a year. So, I pulled them off the top shelf and gave him some strawberry milk. The more he stirred it, the more froth there was at the top. He finally stopped stirring and said, "what is that Mom? Is it coffee stuff?" You can imagine my surprise that he would relate froth to coffee since we neither drink coffee or are ever around it. I tried to make it clear that we DON'T drink coffee because it's bad for our bodies. I explained that it is froth and that sometimes coffee has froth, but we do not drink coffee, so it's definitely not coffee stuff. He seemed to understand, but then would innocently call it "coffee stuff." Each time I would remind him it's called froth and he would say "yeah, froth." Haha. I don't know how kids pick up on everything, but they really see what's going on around them. In shows and life. Brayden is also my technology boy. It just comes naturally to him to use phones, iPods, etc. His current favorite game on the iPod is temple run and he's getting pretty good. He will thankfully use educational games too. But, I'm quickly discovering the need for limited media and the blessing it can be in encouraging good behavior so he can earn media time. I tell ya, this parenting thing is a full time job with regular overtime! There is so much to think about and do.
Zander babe is becoming a big kid too. He is our loud child and always has been. It's very evident in sacrament meeting that he just doesn't understand what quiet means. He has never once whispered. I've tried. He just doesn't do it. Yet. But, his speech is incredible!! He can say tons of things and carry on conversation. He just started praying this week as well. With help of course, but he'd say the words. Maybe it's just because Brayden was a little late bloomer when it comes to speech, but Zander seems way advanced to me. He can tell me when his diaper is messy, what kind of cereal he wants, etc. He recognizes emotions and always says "sad" when he hears crying. This morning during breakfast, Brayden mentioned that there are butterflies in our yard and Zander got all sorts of excited talking about "butterflies over there!" while he pointed and jabbered on. So, I said "oh, is there a butterfly over there?" "YEAH! with flowers." Suddenly I realized what he was talking about because he had pointed out some flowers on an Easter decoration when I set it up. I didn't remember a butterfly there, but we all went and looked and he was right! Incredible. He also loves to make people laugh or for people to make him laugh. He will do anything to try to get laughs (unless he's shy in front of new people). Unfortunately, sometimes his efforts are more on the mean side of teasing. Like, holding something out for Brayden and then pulling it away. I see that a lot. I do have to brag for his sleeping habits though. He was awful at napping and sleeping at night for a whole year and a little more. But, now I lay him down for a nap and he'll fall asleep on his own (even when Brayden's there too) and sleep for about 2 hours. At night I'll lay him down after songs and he'll stay whether he's asleep or not and then sleep until 7:30-8:30. It's wonderful.
I am just so blessed and believe that we all are, if we only look for it and stop focusing on things that aren't the way we think they should be. Life can be wonderful if we live wonderfully!