Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas from Alex!

Photos were taken by Heather Stewart of HJ Photography
Director of Programs for Guthrie's Childrens Learning Center

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Red Rawlins

Molly & Scarlett Rawlins

The Little Mermaid Close-up
One Tuesday & Wednesday
(Dec.16th &17th)
Two of my favorite girls were celebrating birthdays.
Miss Molly & her lovley daughter Scarlett.
Birthdays are a HUGE DEAL. A birthday can be like your own personal holiday... or at least it should be.
Why not truly enjoy the one day calender day with their name .
Why Not celebrate Birthday Eve's. Too? Christmas & New Years have Eves.
oops... I'm getting off the point! Again!
Happy Birthday Girls! 5 Reasons Molly deserved a Happy Birthday...
1. She is way smart! She can do anything she sets her mind too.
She's like blog Tech Support for me ALL the time. 24/7
2. She is way giving!
She gave me this beautiful chocolate brown office chair that I'm sitting on (and LOVE by the way) and many other things.
3. She understands me. Now that is something I can't explain.
4. She is creative. She her blog if you want validation
5. She ALWAYS there for me!
Happy Birthday Girls!
Reasons I love Scarlett: The pictures tell all!
Yum Yum Ty loves lots of frosting!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Still Breathing

As a record of the stats of last week, the truth is we survived.
Me and my merry men, battled a week that we hope is never topped nor repeated.
Sunday: 5:00pm Matthew Departs for the Airport while
Alex and Ty brawled in the tub.
Upon removing and dressing Ty, Alex thought it would be fun to go flood the House by overflowing our tub.
My response / stress reduction attempt: I chose to take shots of Alex. *I originally thought the water was just in the boys bathroom. Tuesday, I discovered that the carpet in my room was also soaked.
Initially, I wondered if maybe the water was trapped under the floor floors. I later realized, the damage was discovered Tuesday because that was my 1st shower since Matthew left. OOPS!
Monday: Getting Alex dressed and readdy w/ out Daddy was a
Alex arrives home from school without his "Blue Dog"
As you may have noticed, the sweet little dogs in the bath photo.
These puppies go EVERYWHERE with Alex and are his security and focus objects. With his Dad gone ALEX REALLY NEEDED THEM!
So we drove to the school, only to be reassured that they were placed in the back pack.
(Obviously they were not there or we wouldn't have driven to the school in the first place.)
Next Stop:Gilbert Bus Depot.
They swept the bus clean still no puppies.
So with on other ideas left, we headed to "Piper" to earn more. The Boys had a great time.

Upon returning from his after schools program, Alex Ran away from me instead of coming inside the house.
When Alex Runs...
I have no choice but to grab Ty, strap him in the minivan, and start praying.
He looks much like a cheetah on the hunt. The only thing is, I'm never quite sure what he's looking for. Actually I don't think he know's either until he finds it.
Flowers, water in the rain gutter or the park.
The hardest part about watching him run is that he maintains the
biggest and most intense smile on him face the entire time.
Often it's like he's mocking me, and assaulting me with every curl of his lips.
For we both know that when he gets a good head start...
all I can do is wait and pray.

To make our week more fun, I decided to take away Ty's bottle. So, he cried and wined much of Monday-Wednesday. Why wait and ruin a perfectly good week.
Okay- so I'm not blogging any more details of the rest of the week. This is WAY TOO LONG ALREADY!

The Bright Side/Blessings!
1) We Love & appreciate Daddy Matty Now More Then EVER!!!
2) G'ma & Papa Foote came and helping clean up after the flood and loved-up the boys.

3) G'ma Shum visited and treated the boys to a box of their favorite meal, Pizza Pockets.
4) Molly visited on Monday Night & watched a movie w/ me.
5) Wendy went out with me on Tuesday Night.
6) The Received a Lovely Haircut from Lana
7) The Fan that dried my carpet. ( Thanks Papa Shum.)
8) Josh & Cody for working w/ Alex
9) Tyson is completely off the bottle!!! Yeah!

With Tyson's Free Time (w/o the bottle), He is making TONS of calls to Goog-411
(free directory assistance) He is adores about having the phone talk to him.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thank you Frank!

Last week, while replacing a door knob at Home Depot, I met an amazing man . Frank is a healthy and strong looking Senor Citizen who rides his bike to work at the Christmas Tree Lot & Garden Center. While busily arranging the poinsettias, he was kind enough to answer all of my questions. And while basil plants currently out of season,
He was actually willing to transport a 5 gallon potted plant from his home garden, so that this neurotic mom could cook with fresh herbs. WOW!
My next question was, why would Frank, want to work here. The following night, when I retrieved my basil plant, the answer hit me like a ton of bricks.
There she was, a beautiful little girl with golden blond hair and bright blue eyes. Here cheeks were bright pink from the cold December air. I didn't catch what she was wearing, because I so mesmerized by the joy and happiness that beamed from small 5 year old sole.
Her face was lit up brighter then any Christmas tree as
she was so happy to has chosen the perfect tree. It was all hers. Honestly, just seeing her face would have been worth any back ache created by a hoisting a huge heavy trees.
Who would want to sit at home and watch TV or read a book when you could see the Magic of Christmas Every night. I came back to that stand the following day with hopes of capturing a photo of another girl like her, or to find Frank to thank him for the plant. She was gone as I knew she would be, and I think Frank was hiding from me and my camera. As most good people are humble and don't want there photo on a blog.
I am so grateful for that gift, thanks to Frank I not only received a basil plant plant, but more importantly, I was able to see The Magic of Christmas in the Eyes of a Beautiful Angel Child.
Of course, I had to trade Frank for something, and since I sell candle I mentioned I'd like to give him one.
However, since his favorite scent, Lavender-vanilla, is a Spring Scent, it's a bit tough to locate in December.

So, if anyone knows who sells lavender vanilla candles, please let me know, as I still have a dept to pay.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Joy

So, last Saturday, in the scurry of getting Matty packed for his trip to Seattle, we discovered the photos on this adorable invitation are actually REAL PHOTOS. They are so cute that I just assumed they were stock.
But, believe it of not, the cute little boy, in the center wearing a top hat, doing jazz fingers is my Alex.
So maybe this is a touch wrong, but I am SO proud! (with a dose of genuine joy of course.)
We have known for some time that our Alex has an affinity for dancing and singing however, who knew that he could look that cute doing it? Come to find out, the trick to getting him to wear the outfit is a little Cody Magic.
Cody is one of Alex's Respite & Habilitation Providers. By some miracle, at least for Alex, Cody has just the magic.
You see, when Cody puts on his sweatshirt, Alex temporarily forgets that he hates wearing clothing and willingly puts on his own sweatshirt.
And since Cody, is willing to model the costume. Alex knows that the costume must be cool.

Guthrie Mainstream offers amazing programs for children and adults who qualify for DDD funded Respite and Habilitation. Thanks to Heather and Patricia, the creators of of Guthrie Groovers, Guthrie now provide an amazing dance class.
The best part, is there is no additional out of pocket cost to the parents and those sweet children have the opportunity to dance and be themselves without being laughed at or misunderstanding by people who don't understand that kids like Alex dance to the beat of a different drummer. Heather Stewart, the photographer, and program director at Guthrie's Learning Center told me that those very concepts were what inspired them to create Guthrie Groovers this year.
he care providers at Guthrie, have become a part of our extended family.
This week, with Matthew working from Seattle, Josh has arrived each day at 6:15am to help me get Alex off to school. What a blessing this has been!
*An interesting bit of trivia about the Guthrie's Children's Leaning Center is the majority of their care providers are between the ages of 18 and 23.
Most of them are also full time students who maintain hectic schedules and challenging course work. And yet, with as finals and semester projects upon them, with the sleep deprivation that is a package deal, they still manage manage to be so punctual that you could set your clock by them.
Since Christmas Magic has become my theme this month,
I would love to add Guthrie to my list.

Their have an amazing staff of people who are Making Magic Happen in the lives of children and families that live and love in a slightly different way.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Christmas Magic

Do you believe in magic?
For children it comes naturally. Christmas trees with twinkling lights, Santa Claus and Snow.
Flying Reindeer,Talking Elves Gifts wrapped tight with bows. Sadly, as childhood departs and the tricks of the season are revealed, it is easy to lose sight of the true magic .

Not long ago, our family lived in the icy cold and rainy Pacific Northwest. In fact, sunshine is so rare there that people generally drop everything and flock to the parks to enjoy the beautiful and rare bright sunny day. For a good chunk of the population, emotion survival is also dependent on beverage referred to by some as liquid sunshine, otherwise known as coffee.

On an exceptionally miserable, snowy and emotionally draining morning, I drove myself to the local Star Bucks for the tallest and strongest cup of dark & rich Hot Coco that could be purchased.

Upon reaching the window to pay, the young lady informed me that my beverage was paid for by the previous customer.
Suddenly, sunshine filled my heart. Small tears ran down my cheeks while I had held my chin as high as could, a complete stranger had taken the time to see my pain and chose to make an offering.

That small act of kindness helped me to feel love at a time when I felt completely alone and forgotten. While I may never have the opportunity to meet, or know that person, I will never forget the magic of the gift that was given.
It is my prayer, that we will each open our eyes and hearts and take the time to make Magic happen in the lives of those around us.
s we look to our Savor, he lifts our burdens and provide us with with peace that is not of this world.
In these troubling times, I especially love the promises that are recorded in Matthew.
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
For I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
It leave my testimony that the Savor keeps his promises.
When we make room in our lives for the Christ Child, the
gifts and blessings we receive far outweigh the sacrifices we are required to make.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Welcome Christmas

I am so happy that it's now officially the Christmas Season.
Thanksgiving was lovely, with delicious food and an abundance of gratitude or was that family. Either way, we has a great time.

Somehow, I have still managed to find something to complain about... so here it is.
Is it just me, or did Fall last WAY TOO long this year! I was getting so tired of looking at my fall decor that I was tempted to start chucking pumpkins around my house.
Yes, I know that's Alex & Ty's job, so I used some self control & settled for listening to Christmas music... So, I'm glad we can all finally focus on,
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, because don't we all, Need a Little Christmas
Welcome Christmas!!!! Here's a You Tube video link of old school Grinch video/song:

My next holiday confession, is while most people prefer ducking the crowds & avoid shopping at the busy hours, I LOVE crowds especially Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving)

This year I didn't find time to get out with the early shoppers however, I did manage to shop for a couple of hours after my boys went to sleep.
Yes, I
Love good deals, but more then that, I love to see Moms & Dads, brothers & sisters, and all sorts of funny looking people who live all types of lifestyles run around like shopping is a sport...which it totally is!
Shopping with crowds really can be it's own kind of chaotic fun...if you follow a few rules.

1)There's no need to hurry".

This takes more practice for some of us.
Believe me, one of my favorite songs is, "I'm in a hurry" . We all know that being anxious & in a hurry doesn't make the water boil faster or the check-out line move at a more rapid pace. So, here are a few ideas for passing the time at check-out.
2) Learn to Enjoy Check-out time
Try taking your ques from Santa, He was, "Making a list, checking it twice." Use your wait in line as productive time. Plan what you need to do next, or check off the things you just did.
notes on your recites while you recall which items were for which person just-in-case you have to return something later.
Sometimes it's fun to make random conversation
while your with other shoppers.
try to reminding yourself that, the cooties don't really exist... that helps when some over-anxious shopper decides to stand really really close.
If all else fails, read a tabloid, it will help you realize that your life isn't quite as messed-up as you think.
3) If the stores don't carry exactly what you are looking for, chances are good, that Christmas will still be Merry without it.
(This one is really hard for me. I have been known to go to multiple stores for a single item)
And while the gift may be retrieved, by running around like a chicken with your head cut off, I can never regain the time that was lost and rarely can I justify the sacrifices I made to obtain the desired item.)
Regardless of how you manage your shopping this season, I'm wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tis a Gift to be Simple

One culture that I respect more then many is that of the Amish. At 8 years old, I had the opportunity to visit a settlement near the NY & Pennsylvania border.
As we entered village, I was in utter shock, as the people there patterned a life that I thought ceased in the early 1900's. While these people avoided the use of many of our modern technologies, they also maintained focus on love, hard work, industry and above all, gratitude for all the blessings that God has given us.
Here are the words to one of my favorite hymns. It a the very similar theme (one that I hope to someday master).
'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down
where we ought to be,
and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained
to bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
to turn, turn, will be our delight
till by turning, turning we come round right.
Words: Shaker song, eighteenth century

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Freedom has a Price

Yesterday I, like many Americans stood in a polling booth to connect simple lines. To me, those little arrows meant more then any others ever connected.
They symbolize a freedom that is so easily taken for granted.
And yet, until the final hour before I voted, I was still waffling back and forth about who the best candidate was.
For me, the hardest part of Presidential elections are, hearing "honest men" lie.
The emotional manipulation that occurs during the Presidential debates alone is absolutely appalling.
Do we really know why these men were selected as the best MEN IN AMERICA to Lead Our Country?
This is the 1st election where I felt like both leading candidates were severely flawed characters. Now more then ever, I find consolation in the fact that our country runs on a system of checks & balances including a bicameral legislature & the Supreme Court.
If you listen to any news or radio, you've probably heard that, many political analysts believe that historically speaking, our economy stands the best chance now that Oboma has been elected.
It is my hope & prayer that President Obama will serves our county with integrity.
I believe that the most important thing to remember is, who we are & where we came from! Our freedom has come at such a great cost. We must NEVER forget that, regardless of the price, it is ALWAYS work fighting for!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Happy Halloween

Our theme, as Matthew noted, was Alex's Garden. Alex was more then happy to hold his "flowerpot" for his candy.
Doesn't Sage look like such a little beauty!
Alex had a great time trick-or-treating & running around with his cousins.
This is Ty w/ his light saber. Once the kid received this glowing stick, it was like everyone & everything else was irrelevant.
Me attempting to give Ty his honey bucket.

Note this very symbolic rendition of Halloween being a bit of a pain-in-the rear for the moms.
Thank you G'ma Shumway for helping get my busy boys ready.
Also, Papa Foote & G'ma, thanks for coming to see us & taking these photos.
The Boys had a lot of fun, & we had our hands full!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Sweater Dilemma

Okay so perhaps I should retract my previous statement. I absolutely agree, that for many people, sweaters are successful at creating the appearance of shaving off a few lbs.
However, at the same time, I must say, all sweaters are not created equal.
Personally, I absolutely hate the itchy kind & the ones that choke you around the neck. Perhaps even more annoying are the ones that are so bulky & thick. They say,
"hi I am your hips, butt and tummy...I bet you never thought I could look so large!"
There are however those perfect sweaters, they must feel like a great big hug wrapped all the way around you, like a warm embrace. Perhaps they even whisper in your ears," Your day isn't quite as bad as you think... hang in there."
To be honest, I've never actually owned one of those types of sweaters. I have seen many people wearing them. And whenever I see one of "those people" I am in a state of ah. I think, wow, that person actually looks both attractive & comfortable (in a sweater).
Inside, I have been totally jealous thinking... I hope someday I will own a sweater like that.
And yet, every time I try one on, I am reminded why I hate sweaters.
For those of you who love sweaters, and wear them well...please share your secrets because some day I want to be one of "those people."

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Falling" in love again

Every year, I forget how much I love Autumn in the Zone. So, we don't have the vibrate colored leaves everywhere & we lack the crisp cool temperatures. However, aren't sweaters really over rated anyway? We don't need them... not here anyway.
There is nothing like an October Day at the park!
Today I took Ty & a couple of his cousins to the park! They had a ball! The funny thing was, when we 1st arrived, one of the kids yelled across the playground, "Sister Smith, can He, (reffering to my nephew Westin ), play with your toys too?"
I could noticed another couple that did not look like your typical Mormons.
Instantly, we all chuckled at the loosely used LDS jargon.
It seemed the perfect ice breaker, so I approached them & humorously introduced myself as "Sister Foote". Luckily, they were used to the "sister & bother" lingo & we could moved on to other great, conversation.
Ironically, while we where just three random groups of people, and yet, in the short visit, we discover that we all had 4 things in common.
1 We were all just soaking up the beautiful day.
2 We all blogged
3. The Kiddos' names:
Their grandson's name was Sage Christian. I had brought my niece Sage with me &
Sister Smith's son's name was Christian.
4-We were all closely related to a child affected by Autism.
Another thing that amazed me about the park experience was, how seamlessly all of the children played. No adult intervention was even needed. They all just played with the other kids without even exchanging names.
Wes played in the sand with the other boys while & Ty chased Sage each other all over the playground. Even Ty's speach delays & sensory issues were absolutely irrelevant at the park.
What a blessing! A Cool Fall Day & a Trip to the Park.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Is anyone suprised ?

I'm a Bella! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

Thanks Taryn for finding this fun & quick quiz

My Medical Mysery

On Sunday night, after spending most of the day at the hospital w/ Dave & Jake, my throat felt a little scratchy.
Overnight, it escalated to a really bad sore throat/fever. I was so wiped out that my sweetheart Matty let me sleep all day and all night.
You'd think after practically 24 hour of rest I'd be all better... but no...I was feeling even worse. When I woke on Tuesday morning, the throat was still tormenting me & now the glans in my neck were ridiculously swollen. I looked like I'd gained at least pound in my neck overnight. It was time for the Dr. The diagnosis: Step Throat.
Okay, so I know this isn't really a medical mystery.
However, I thought the was some kind of age limit for this. The last time I was affected by strep was in my teens. Not even my OCD hand washing skills protected me this time.

Here's a info from Mayo Clinic Online regarding strep. If you can, AVOID getting strep!!! It is NO FUN!!!


Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection that can make your throat feel sore and scratchy. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and usually go away on their own. Only a small portion of sore throats are the result of strep throat.

It's important to identify strep throat for a number of reasons. If untreated, strep throat can sometimes cause complications such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can lead to painful and inflamed joints, a rash and even damage to heart valves.

Strep throat is most common between the ages of 5 and 15, but it affects people of all ages. If you or your child has signs or symptoms of strep throat, see your doctor for prompt treatment.


The cause of strep throat is bacteria known as Streptococcus pyogenes, or group A streptococcus.

Streptococcal bacteria are highly contagious. They can spread through airborne droplets when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes. You can also pick up the bacteria from a doorknob or other surface and transfer them to your nose or mouth. Kitchen utensils and bathroom objects are other common modes of infection transmission.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Alex's Resturant

As you may know, Alex prefers taking care of his own needs when at all possible. Part of this is due to his difficulty communicating however, I'd also like to believe that some of this comes from his deep seeded desire to be self reliant.
Alex is 4 years old, and in many ways, he is absolutely brilliant. When we went camping last month, we saw a deer. After we got home, he was suddenly was requesting to watch the movie "Bambi" all of the time. We were quite surprised by this, because in the past, he hated that movie.
One of Alex's Hab providers, figured he just wanted to learn more about what deers are all about.
Last Sunday, Alex saw that we were busy & decided to prepare his own waffles. I was SO PROUD! He didn't spill much syrup and he even created a reasonable sized puddle on the center of each waffle. They were still semi-frozen however, he didn't seem to be bothered by that such a small detail. I was so impressed by his skills that I didn't even think to check the freezer...OOPS!

Nikki & Seth

We are are all so excited to meet Seth! These photos were taken last month at Ty's B-day party. Doesn't she look beautiful? I am so jealous because when I'm that prego, all I'm doing is looking for the nearest toilet!
Seth's due date is quickly approaching,(October 31st Halloween). For those of you who may not have heard (or need a reminder), Nikki's shower is:
This Saturday, October 18th from 2:00pm-4pm. If you would like more details, feel free to contact me, or Stephanie(Nikki's sister).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sexy Smart/True Loves

Here is a tribute to Matty... He really is the best. Why? Because he puts up with me and is usually very patient & long suffering. He is also very organized. He actually has a place for EVERYTHING!!! He is also superior at creating an effective plan of action. Gotta love that green personality with a pinch engineering!
Another of his great qualities is, he is so not vein. And finally...with Matthew, there is, "No charge for awesomeness or attractiveness" (Kung Fu Panda)
I recently took this photo to display my 2 True Loves. In case you couldn't guess, My second love is Dt. Coke.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

How original is your name?
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?
I thought this was kind of fun. I found this on a few of my favorite people's blogs!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

"Depression Hurts"

For those of you who know me well, this will come as no surprise. For others, it may be surprising. To both sets of people, if this is more reality then you want to read, stop reading.

I guess I'm finally talking about this because it is a HUGE struggle in my life. And frankly, I'm tired of pretending that everything is great & wonderful ALL OF THE TIME.

In the past I have pretended because it was the only thing that made me feel better. Making people smile and doing service helped me make it through the day.

A perfect example of this is, last week. My son Alex accidentally defrosted my freezer. So what did I do? I made a bunch of food & shared it with anyone willing to take the food off my hands. Why did I do this? To cope with the fact that I had no choice but to use or throw away most of the food that I had stored for my 3 month supply. I didn't even allow myself to feel sad because I have so much practice at "making lemonade" out of life's challenges.

For me, in the long run, being fake and pretending everything is great and wonderful all of the time only makes me feel worse not better. All people feel sad sometimes and pretending that we don't, is a waste of energy. We can't go around whining all of the time but we do need to vent every now and then.

Unfortunately, as a result of me tendency, to pretend, I often overstep my role. I often hurt peoples feelings in the process of just trying to be nice.
Some of you may think we all do that. Of course we do, it's only natural. However, some of you know that I do this more then most people. And,
if I have done this to you, I am so sorry!

With my depression, sometimes I appear to be on top of the world. I behave like everyone is wonderful and nothing is ever bad or wrong. This tendency makes me look fake, and honestly until recently I didn't even realized that I was pretending.

It's still hard for me to admit that everything isn't perfect. I know that by learning this new the skill I will be more honest with myself and be an overall healthier person.

I wrote this post mostly for me. It feels good to accept the reality and put it in writing.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Happy Birthday Ty

Saturday, September 27th, we celebrated Tyson's second birthday. Our theme was, "The Bee Movie". Chosen because, for the previous 2 weeks, Tyson carried around "Barry Bee" (a toy from a McDonald's Happy Meal) & his face lit up every time that movie was selected.
Honestly, as Momma Foote said, I'm not sure Ty actually knew it was his birthday. However, we sure did, and we celebrated it in the best way we knew how... you guesses it... PETER PIPER!
The original plan was to do the party at our house and cover the walls of our family room with butcher paper and let the kiddos color on the walls (since that's Ty's favorite activity). Unfortunately, after 3 weeks of sick boys (including Matty) I decided that I didn't have the energy to antibacterial my house or risk sharing our sicky bugs.
When it was time to blow out the candle, Ty was fascinated by the flame and practically burned his own fingers as he attempted to extinguish the fire in the only way he knew how. Fortunately, Alex was more then willing to assist in blowing out the candle. Matty was kind enough to take these pictures. The guests that attended included, Momma & Papa Shumway, Mark & Tara, Uncle Jake, Momma & Papa Foote, Wendy & Brian, lil Brian, Griffin, & Lincoln. Uncle Ben, Westin & Sage, Adam & Nikki w/ Seth & Karsyn, Aunt Molly, Scarlett, our adopted Aunt Kathy and her daughters, Jessica & Allison ( Who are Ty & Alex's Favorite sitters and close friends) Thank you all for coming and helping make this day a special memory for our family!