Sunday, November 9, 2014


General Conference Oct 2014
 The best part about October is ringing it in with inspiring messages from church leaders in our semi-annual General Conference. We started this tradition last conference, and the kids have spent the last 6 months looking forward to another conference so they could do it again. I set out bowls of candy labeled with key words they listen for. If they heard a key word, they got a piece of the candy out of that bowl. I was super impressed with their response to this simple activity. They sat for nearly the whole two-hour session listening quietly (we only do it on one Sunday session). Kennan even got after his sisters if they started making noise or talking cause he didn't want to miss a single word. We don't have cable so here in Texas we have to watch conference on the laptop, which we hook up to our speakers so the words can penetrate the walls and be heard even above the occasional child screaming. With every message I felt so uplifted and felt my heart rejoicing for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How blessed we are to be led by a living prophet and leaders who can be a mouthpiece for the Lord in these latter-days. I love the gospel and I love that my children are building their own testimonies, too.

 Scobee Bike Rodeo
The annual Bike Rodeo is one of the kids very favorite events of the school year. The PTA sets up an obstacle course and each child is watched and graded on their performance. I watched Brynlee with awe and amazement in what a difference a year can make. Last year she was a bit unsteady and kinda all over the place (she was fairly new to riding with no training wheels). This year she rode like a pro. She completed each obstacle perfectly! I was so proud of her, I had to hold back the tears. She was also one of the few kindergartners without training wheels. And SHE WON FIRST PLACE out of all the girls in Kindergarten. For which she received a coveted trophy. She had been jealous of Kennan's ever since he won last year.
As I followed Brynlee around the course cheering for her and video taping her, I was so happy Alyssa stayed by the wall in her stroller the whole time. Some PTA ladies sat by her and kept her company.
Kennan also rode the course with smooth perfection! And just like his little sister, he WON FIRST PLACE for all 2nd graders.
 Family Dance Night at Scobee
 Brynlee was on the front row dancing her little heart out and the Kindergartners performed several choreographed numbers they had learned in PE.
 The first graders had a pumpkin decorating competition. Kennan and I (ok, mostly I) made "Mike Wazowski" from Monsters Inc. He turned out so cute. And Kennan won 1st place for him.

 The best part of the night was watching Derrick dance with the kids.
 Kennan did a dance with hula hoops in which I was so surprised and impressed. There was a part in which they were to hula free-style and Kennan didn't drop it once, like most of the other second graders. Derrick and I kept looking at each other with eyes wide saying "Seriously? did you know he could do that." He does have great coordination and dancing skills.
We say NO to drugs at Scobee by...
Wearing CrAzY hats and....
Dressing like Super Heros or Story Book Characters
This is Kennan and his best friend/neighbor Carlos Rodriguez
Happy Birthday Opa
We miss Opa. To celebrate his birthday we started the day out with his recipe for Wheat Hearts. I remember him telling me that the secret to good Wheat Hearts (cream of wheat) is Half and Half (as well as Uncle Willfords Honey, of course)
At Breakfast I told the kids how Opa used to have sleep overs with all the cousins. We would wear Woody's t-shirts and lay in bed watching "The Little Rascals" and eating candy bars. And for breakfast he would always feed us his famous Wheat Hearts. Then I told them that to celebrate his birthday, all the family was getting together at his grave to tell stories of him. (Oma even offered $5 per person for attendance and $10 per person that shared a story of Opa, virtual attendance permitted). So the kids spent the rest of the morning making him birthday cards.
Brynlee made this card that says "I love you Opa". And asked if they were going to dig him up at his party. I said "no" then she said, "oh, then when will he be resurrected?" 
Kennan made this birthday card for Opa. It says, "I am active you are not. I am alive, you are dead. The world is a sad place without you. Happy Birthday Opa.
"Dear Opa , I'm sad that I never got to meet you but I know that one day I will" 
With these messages and our virtual attendance we made $75.
Dance with Ms. Nancy
Cami is loving her weekly dance lessons with Ms. Nancy. She teaches out of her home studio and only charges $40 for a couple months of lessons and a recital.
Her friend, Faye Otto, also takes lessons with Cami. We carpool with her and Elizabeth Rushforth. 
The Witte Museum and Grossology
Our neighbor Charlie (Carlos' dad) is always getting us awesome FREE tickets from his work to places like the circus, Spurs games, etc.  I've always wanted to go to the Witte museum but refused to pay $10 a ticket (these tickets were actually worth $15 each cause they included the "Grossology" exhibit.) I surprised the kids by getting them out of school early this day to go to the museum". It was awesome. Kennan called it, "The best field trip of my life". The kids were in such awe at the awesome exhibits and kept expressing their gratitude to me for taking them there. That is one quality I love about my children. They know how to show appreciation and they don't take for granted when I do extra special things with them or for them. I hate it when people or kids feel entitled, and mine definitely don't. I had taken them out of school at 2:00 and we stayed there until they kicked us out to close. On the way home, we stopped for a Subway sandwich.  I ordered two $5 footlongs thinking that would be plenty and I could take the leftovers home to Derrick. I was shocked when the kids and I polished off both sandwiches. I can't believe how much these growing little bodies can consume.

17 weeks pregnant
I am so blessed to be surrounded by the most wonderful, thoughtful, and amazing friends. During the first part of this pregnancy while I have been SO SICK, I have have numerous friends randomly stop by with meals, cookies, flowers, tacos or even this awesome tie-dye shirt (thanks Emily). They always seem to know when I need nurturing the most. This is always a witness to me that Heavenly Father is keenly aware of my needs as he sends these angels to administer to me. 
Pregnancy is ruining my body! I am gaining weight everywhere, my face is breaking out, I have heartburn and aches and pains all over. I throw up all the time. And I am so sick of eating I could scream. I literally can't make it through the night without waking to eat (and puke). It's so ironic that it's the one time in my life I can eat anything and everything I want however, nothing sounds good. You don't know what a blessing it is to have a healthy appetite until you've lost yours. I literally have to eat every 2 hours or I start heaving. And let's talk about these ugly things on my legs.  Sorry folks, but this is my journal and I need to document such atrocities. These are a direct result of being the offspring of Sharon Cahill. Yes, I curse my mother every day. Luckily my friend Jodi introduced me to compression socks with my last pregnancy and they have been a life saver. They go from my toes to my thighs and are a pain in the butt to get on every day. However, without them these bad boys throb, and I feel like I have lead in my legs with all the blood pooling in my feet preventing it from getting back to my brain.  
So why do I keep doing this to myself? Because bearing and raising children is the most important thing I will ever do in this life and is my divine calling. Pregnancy is such a wonderful blessing and a miracle. The 9 months of hell I go through to get my  children here is worth it a million times over. I am so blessed that I haven't had a problem with fertility and that we have been able to conceive every time exactly when we want. And that all my children are healthy, not to mention beautiful (see below for proof). Being a mother is such a blessing and brings me so much joy every day.  And yes, as much as I hate it, I'll probably go through this again (we've got to fill that Yukon to get our money's worth).
I can think of a hundred reason why I love Fall. Here are a few...
Kennan insisted on searching the entire pumpkin patch for the smallest pumpkin since I wouldn't let him buy the biggest.

This pumpkin patch even gave us a free ride through a haunted forest.

Daddy Daughter Dance
Our neighbor Lamar, who is one of Brynlee's best friends was kind enough to loan Bryn this Cowgirl outfit.

This year's daddy daugheter dance was a Western cowgirl theme. Too bad we don't own any cowboy hats or boots.

 Bryn likes her glasses and was pretty possessive of them. When the photogrpaher (Kim) had her take them off because of the glare from the flash, it was hard to get a smile our of her. She wasn't happy about taking them off. Below are Cami and Brynlee with Kim's girls.
Primary Program Day

I hauled the family out to the back yard this beautiful Sabbath morning before church to snap a few shots of the family since we were all matching. Cause I'm all about matchy-matchy and super cheesy like that. And you will probably see more similarly looking pictures soon cause Kim is going to take Kennan's baptism pictures and some new family pictures within the next few weeks. Derrick insists we just had family pictures and don't need them again (he always tries to get out of it) but I think he was surprised when I showed him the last one taken was a full year ago and how much the kids, especially Alyssa, had changed since then.
This was the morning of leading my 3rd primary program as chorister. I have absolutely loved my calling. More than I ever expected. And I was so happy that the children sang beautifully and knew every word by heart; I did't use any charts, actions, or signs. 
One of the songs I've been teaching the children this year is "Jesus Came to John the Baptist". as we have practiced that song at home Cami has also learned every word and even Alyssa sings along. Her first word was "Dad" her second word was "Mom" and her third word was "Judea". I'm not kidding. She still only says a couple dozen words but its so cute to hear her sing this song cause she says "Jesus" and "Judea" with good clairity. She breaks out into singing all the time: in the car, in the high chair, in the bathtub...etc.
Kennan is doing awesome with soccer this year.One game he scored three goals, and most of them were for our team. :) He went to block the ball and it bounced off him and into the other team's goal. He was pretty devastated. He is very athletically inclined and has been loving this season.

Random Moments of October bliss
Modern Day Scripture Study on the Ipad
It's so fun when the weather starts to change and we finally need Jackets.
We ate dinner at IHOP and it was so cute to watch this little one-year-old put down 3 big pancakes. She out ate all of us.
Derrick has an obsession with Jerry Garcia ties. My sweet mother sent him two awesome ties that he was so thrilled about. 
Brynlee drew this picture. As Derrick and I studied it we stood there with our mouths gaping at Brynlee's keen memory. It's a picture of a lighthouse we visited for just a few minutes while in South Padre last April. I couldn't believe the details she still recalls. Like the fact that Kennan, Brynlee and I hiked to the top of the grassy hill while Dad and the little girls waited at the bottom. And the sign in front explaining the history of the lighthouse. And that it had a red door and was a very sunny day. My kids talk about our trip to South Padre all the time, and beg to go back. We need to take these kids on more vacations.
Derrick was gone a lot this month, which left me on night duty with the children, which I suck at. I am such a deep sleeper. Early one morning Cami climbed in to bed with me and laid on the edge. Before long she rolled right off and sliced her forehead of the corner of the nightstand. She started bleeding profusely. I was relieved when the bleeding stopped that it wasn't as big as I had imagined, but it was pretty deep. I was worried about it leaving a scar in the middle of her beautiful forehead. So I texted Jan's husband who is a surgeon and asked his advice. Luckily he responded right away, even though it was early. He said to superglue it. So at 6 am I found myself driving to Page's house in my PJs to borrow some superglue. Luckily is worked perfectly and is healing beautifully I don't think she'll even have much of  a scar.
Kennan is totally related to his grandpa Willie. I asked him to unload the dishwasher, and he ended up re-organizing my entire cupboard. Luckily he didn't throw away any of my Tupperware like my Dad used to do when he would organize.
Alyssa is a picky eater, but she loves most breakfast foods and usually out-eats me with her oatmeal or pancakes.
Note to Self: if your son is complaining of his ear being clogged and not being able to hear, don't let him to this. Not that I told him to. I just walked in and found him trying to rinse out his clogged ear. A few hours later he was screaming with ear pain. Not a good idea.
Cami got this dress in the mail from her cousin Roxy. She was so excited that she had to put it on right there at the mailboxes. When we opened the package, I was very perplexed as to why Roxanne would send Cami a hand-me-down cause in my mind Roxy is smaller than Cami. It took me a few minutes to realize that Roxanne is actually quite a bit older than Cami. Apparently the cousins don't stop growing while we're gone. Darn them.
Kennan and Brynlee are usually pretty good about playing with each other. Here they are playing "Go Fish" and they didn't want the little girls to interrupt their game so they had to seek higher ground.
Halloween is one of my favorite Hollidays. I Look forward to it every year. I love teaching my children to knock on peoples doors and beg for candy.:) Just kidding. The thing I love the most is Jan Francisco's annual Halloween Event.

As we were getting ready to go to the Halloween party, my great friend Amber stopped by. I love it when she comes over because she is so helpful and fun to chat with. As I was getting ready, Amber asked Brynlee what I was going to dress up as and Brynlee responded, "Oh, my Mom is always a witch!"

I could't find Alyssa's black undershirt. I don't like babies looking half naked and cold. Luckily as soon as we go to Jan's house she let me borrow one so she could stay warm as the night progressed and it started getting a little chilly.

Jan is such an amazing artist. Her skills were put to good use painting all the kids faces.

This was the most appropriate Halloween costume EVER. Kim really is superwoman. She made this amazing cake as well as brought the best soups to the party.
Derrick spent much of the month of October traveling the country in search of a fellowship position in the field of Traumatic Brain injury. He ended up with THREE offers: one in Dallas, one in Virginia, and one in Houston. We accepted the offer in Houston with Baylor University. He will be working at TIRR (The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research) Memorial Hospital. We feel so blessed for this opportunity as it is ranked as the 3rd best Rehabilitation hospital in the nation. It is also one of the few accredited programs right now in his field. We (ok, mostly me...and maybe the kids...) are devastated about having to leave our wonderful friends are comfortable lives here, but we know this is where Heavenly Father wants us to go and we are excited about this one-year adventure we get to have in Houston.
In other exciting family news....
We found out we are having a baby GIRL!!!! That will make FOUR in a row. I am shocked. I was so convinced this one would be a boy. When they were doing the ultra sound I made the technician check three times. I kept saying, "Are you sure?" This baby wasn't shy and there was no denying that it's a girl. Kennan has been a good sport about this news and didn't even act disappointed. In fact when we told him he did a cartwheel and shouted, "HOORAY, I don't have to share my room." I told him that he is doing such a good job with his little sisters that God must really trust him to send him another little sister. We couldn't be more thrilled!!!