Tuesday, April 28

Scary Night

I am feeling very lucky and blessed this morning to have my sweet Jordyn with me. We all went to see the horses last night and while we were petting one of them, he got spooked and kicked Jordyn (it could have been avoided if I was being more careful). I was so scared because it knocked her a couple of feet to the ground and I thought for sure she was laying there dead. I thought she was kicked in the chest and worried about internal bleeding, so I just scooped her up, jumped in the truck and drove to the ER. She seemed to be okay but I still wanted her checked out because she is so tiny. I realized when we got there that the horse had actually kicked her in the thigh, which was a big relief. Everything checked out fine, and she left with a deep muscle bruise and a cute, green frog. She was so brave and looked adorable in the little hospital gown. Of course I didn't have my camera!

As I think about what could have happened last night, I realize how lucky Jordyn is to be just fine. Jim says because of the height of the the horse and the position of his legs, she should have been hit high in her chest or even her head. He believes there was an angel that pushed the horse's leg lower. I can't help but cry as I'm writing this knowing how many angels we have in heaven that could have been with her. A horse kick can be really serious, especially on such a little body. I'm just so thankful it wasn't this time.

This experience has me really confused as to what to do with the horses. I know he wasn't trying to hurt her or be malicious or anything; he just got spooked, which can happen any time to any horse. The unpredictability is what scares me so bad. Horses are such huge, powerful animals, and I have always been afraid of them. A friend of mine got drug to death by a horse in 6th grade; the people who we bought the horses from lost their adult son from a kick to the head; my mom has been bucked flat on her back by one; and I've heard of so many stories of horse accidents turned tragic. I don't know if it's worth having horses to me knowing my kids could be in danger. Unfortunately, as much as I'm NOT passionate about horses, my husband IS passionate about them. It has always been his dream to own horses and ride them with his family. I only agreed to get the horses last year knowing how happy it would make Jim.

So what should I do? Jim and I have been talking the last couple of days (before this happened) about how horses might not fit into our lives right now. They are a financial strain, Jim's schedule is so busy at work that he can't give them the amount of time they need right now to be trained, and although the girls do like them, they'd rather have a swingset. So would I... I know myself well enough to admit that I'll never be comfortable around horses enough to let go of my fear about them. Because I'm not comfortable/relaxed around them, I don't know the best way to handle them. If I did, I would have realized the girls and I weren't in a safe position last night and could have seen the horse's agitation enough to get the girls away from him. Jordyn being kicked could have been avoided, but I'm not experienced enough with horses to have realized that. The minute she was kicked, my decision was made to get rid of the horses. Jim doesn't feel the same. He thinks it is better for the girls to be raised around horses so they'll learn how to handle them and not be scared. He will also be heartbroken if he has to get rid of them.

Can you see my dilemma? Take away my husband's dream and happiness or risk my children's safety? It seems like an easy answer, but it could end up affecting our marriage if Jim gives up his horses for me and regrets it later. He would always blame me, and that's a lot of guilt to carry around. Advice anyone?

Wednesday, April 22

Happy Birthday Jordyn!!!

Happy Birthday, sweet Jordyn!
She's going to break some hearts, huh? This is one of my absolute favorite pictures of Jordyn. She is absolutely gorgeous to me! I can't believe she is 4 today. I know all moms say that, but poor little Jordyn has been stuck in the middle and is growing up too fast. Just the other day she was telling me that 2+1=3, and 4+1=5, and so on until she got to 10. So cute! Watch out boys--she's smart and beautiful!
Jordyn has always been the sweet, lover of the family. She loves to kiss and hug her sisters and would snuggle me all day if I'd let her. Sometimes I call her the leach because she is always right by me, hugging my leg or trying to kiss my face. She wants lots of hugs at night and when I ask why, she says "I just love you so much, Mom!" I guess that's what matters most, huh? Jordyn has always been especially kind and caring. She is one of the best sharers I know and is always giving things up for Avery-the younger, persistent sister! She always brings a book home from pre-school for Avery and shares her treats before she even eats one. She always lets Avery have the spoon, cup, plate, color, etc. she wants and gives it to her without even being asked (I'm afraid this is spoiling Avery!). She does have an attitude at times but for the most part is a very sweet, little girl. She has the most infectious, sincere laugh that can't help make us all smile and laugh. She has definitely brought sunshine into our lives and I'm so thankful and lucky to be her mother.

Monday, April 20

"I like to move it, move it"

Ashtyn had her first "research" project at school (in 1st grade). Their class was studying animals of the rain forest and jungle, and Ashtyn picked Lemur from the list. I totally thought it was some kind of leopard or cat of some sorts at first and before I saw a picture of one (I'm so stupid), but then Ashtyn told me it was like the monkeys on Madagascar. Their assignment was to look up a few facts about their animal (habitat, diet, looks, unique info., etc.) and make a habitat box. Do you know how hard it is to find a Lemur in this town. We went to every toy store trying to find some type of figurine or stuffed animal. I finally resorted to the internet and ended up ordering some from Duke University. Ashtyn could have just colored a picture of one or something, but of course she wanted one that looked real. Spoiled child!
The funny thing about her choosing a lemur is we used to watch Madagascar several times a day a few years ago when Jordyn was a baby. She loved that movie so much and wanted the song "move it, move it" over and over. She couldn't even walk yet but would sit and dance and scream to that song. We even had a "Madagascar Theme" for her 1st b-day party. It was fun that the girls got so excited over a school project. They play with the lemurs all the time and even named them "Blackie" and "Stripey". I'm sure this is the beginning of several school projects that will only get harder and harder. Good thing that's what a Dad is for!

Wednesday, April 8

Happy Birthday Ashlee!!!

Yesterday was my sister's birthday. It was a beautiful, sunny day---just like her. Ashlee would have turned 28, and I can't believe how many years have gone by. My mom mentioned that in 4 years, Ashlee will have been dead for as many years as she lived. That just sounds crazy--and extremely sad! I know Ashlee was meant to be with her Father in Heaven; that is one truth we were assured of in her sudden death. But every Spring on her b-day, I can't help but feel that she would be adding her own beautiful sunshine to this gloomy world. Ashlee was so much like the Spring-giving happiness and hope to so many after a long, dark, cold winter. Spring makes us feel alive again. It gives us purpose and motivation for warm, sunny days. It greets us with a smile when we feel we have nothing left to smile about. That is how I think of Ashlee-warming all those around her with her infectious smile; touching others with her caring and loving personality.
It was so fitting that just the other day (a few days before her b-day), I ran into a guy from high school that I hadn't seen in years. After Ashlee died, we received a letter from him explaining that he was inspired to go on a mission because of Ashlee. They had seminary together, and he wasn't having a very good year: not many friends, felt alone, didn't want to be in seminary, outcast, etc. But on the first day of class, Ashlee smiled and befriended him in a way that no one ever had. She continued to be kind to him each day, and they developed a special friendship because of her christ-like love for him (and everyone else). He told us he decided to go on a mission because he wanted the chance to make others feel as good as Ashlee had made him feel. I think that is the ultimate compliment and description of Ashlee---she just made you feel good! She didn't care who you were, what you looked like, what you wore, who you hung out with, or what others would think if she were your friend. She smiled and loved people anyway. I wish she was still here to show others just how important that is.

Even though it's been 12 years since she died, Jen and I still feel that we are missing a piece of our "sisterhood". When we pose for a picture together, she should be right there with us. It shouldn't be us standing over her grave. I've missed her so much, especially since I've had my own daughters. I imagine what my girls' relationship would be with her and how much she would love them. It makes me sad that they will never know her in this life; never witness how her smile touches other's instantly. Both Jen and I can see traits of Ashlee in our own children, and we are so thankful that little pieces of her are living on. I tried to explain to Jordyn while we were at the cemetery that her middle name is from Ashlee. Even though she was more interested in the pine cones, I think she understood that it is a special name and that Ashlee lives in Heaven with Heavenly Father. A lot to comprehend for a three-year-old!

(They put their hands up to block the sun right when I took the picture-Avery was sleeping)

I'm thankful for Spring and it's new beginnings. I'm thankful for the special time it brings each year for me to reflect on Ashlee and how beautiful she was in every way. I'm thankful for the sunshine to remind me of Ashlee's example of how to treat and love others. I'm thankful to be able to share her with my girls even though they haven't met her on this earth. I'm thankful to live within 2 miles of the cemetery-I can see it from my house and can see my house while standing at Ashlee's grave. (Maybe that's the reason I felt so connected to the lot before we built.) Mostly, I'm thankful for a beautiful sister who continues to touch my life in so many ways, and who I can't wait to see again.

Monday, April 6

Did EASTER sneak up on anyone else this year?


I'm not even going to make excuses for not blogging because really, I just haven't made it a priority. But as I continue to look at all of your's, I miss not updating mine. I forget sometimes that this is my journal. This is where I keep track of my girlies! We are so not normal in that we have never had a video camera. Sometimes it makes me sad seeing others captured memories of when their babies are little and knowing I don't have those to look back on. I never thought we needed a video camera because I would "remember" everything. Yeah right! Now I regret not recording their sweet little voices and milestones as they are growing up. Thus-I need to make an effort at updating my blog. I
have never been a "picture taker" and hardly ever have my camera with me. But as I've read and heard about so many little ones who have passed away lately and seen the pictures of their short lives, I'm inspired to take more pictures of my sweet girls. How awful it would be to lose a child and not have pictures to carry you through the grief!

The girls all needed haircuts a few weeks ago, and Ashtyn took the plunge and wanted it short. She no longer does ballett (sniff, cry, tears, etc. from me-not her!! Another story, another time) so since she doesn't need long hair for buns anymore, I let her pick how she wanted it cut. Turned out so cute and makes her look older! She had about 7 inches cut off and it was kind of sad seeing her hair all over the ground. Avery has always loved haircuts and keeping her hair short. I love her little A-line! Jordyn loves her hair long and only got a trim. It's so funny to see how each of my girls are so different. I love taking them all to the salon and seeing them smile to themselves in the mirrors. What can I say? They like to be pampered like their mommy.

All so cute! I have always wanted all girls and have enjoyed them so much. I'm getting so baby hungry and think I have finally talked Jim into "thinking about it" sometime in the next couple of years. I want two more but will only get one so I'm hoping there is another sweet girl waiting for us!