Thursday, February 28, 2013

"They Shall Bear Thee Up In Their Hands" Psalms 91:12

Last Sunday we had our Stake Conference in the form of  a satellite broadcast from Salt Lake City. It was wonderful.  My notes mostly consisted of promptings and impressions I received as I listened.

One talk, the very first talk I might add,  initiated specific and direct counsel for me.  Elder Switzer spoke on  being a victor instead of a victim.  As I pondered his words and principles  he taught, I  was quickly reminded  of the frustration I was experiencing with my online classes.  I had even entertained the idea of just quitting school altogether.   I reasoned that I was too busy, too old, too tired, too consumed with other trials, too dumb, too poor, too computer illiterate,   too whatever!  I was the perfect victim!!! And I found comfort in victimhood.

As Elder Switzer continued speaking,  I was nudged by the spirit and wrote this on my paper: "Ask Jared For A Priesthood Blessing TODAY".  I knew exactly why I needed a blessing.  I was stuck!  I had convinced myself that I could not sit at a computer and read for hours.  I convinced myself that I could not learn.  I knew a blessing could help to put me on a "victor" path instead of the "victim" path I so enjoyed.

Later Sunday evening  I acted in faith and asked Jared for a priesthood blessing.  I am thankful for his willingness and worthiness to use that power   in my behalf.  It was a different but very tender experience for me.  Hands are amazing tools, especially when the power of the priesthood is being manifest.  Although Jared's touch was gentle, I was very aware of the deliberate placement of  his hands.   They were heavy  and warm, and  though they were only on my head, they seemed to envelop all of me. Even before he uttered a word, I felt a sweet feeling of peace and love.  I have never been so aware of the power and comfort of hands as I was at this moment.

Today, Thurs., Judy and I started our daily morning adventure by driving out to the white sand dunes.  We parked and  headed off to the distant mesas.   We had hiked up and over the dunes to a particularly majestic mesa.  As we got closer we found  an ascending mountain goat trail that would take us on top.   I have a huge phobia about heights in open areas, and although there were steep drop-offs on both sides of the  narrow trail, I assured Judy that I would be  fine with the climb.   (Judy is fine with any climb.  I often kid her about being part mountain goat herself.)

I am not the leader in hikes such as this one.  I always follow behind Judy, watching her every step and trusting that she will not lead me astray. I assumed my position and carefully walked where she walked as we began our ascent up the mesa.  It was much steeper and more narrow than what I had previously judged it to be.  As we climbed higher and higher, fear overtook my mind and my body.  I was sure I would fall over the  edge.  I found myself paralyzed, my body hugging the earth, scared to even look up.  I  did not know what I was going to do.  I couldn't turn around and I could not make my feet move forward. I prayed out loud, simply saying: " Heavenly Father  help me".

I summoned a little courage to  lift my head and as I did, I saw a hand extended down to me. I knew it was Judy's hand and I knew that there was no way that her tiny body could pull me up.  But I silently reasoned it was  my only option.  Immediately upon grabbing her hand, my fear began to diminish.   I dug my knees  into the mountain and inched my way up towards her, eventually reaching the top.  I didn't need Judy to pull me, but I did need the assurance and safety that her hand offered me.

These two experiences have made me so  grateful for hands;  hands placed upon my head to bless me, hands outstretched to help me, hands that hug and hold me, hands that call or text me.

I write that my children may know.... I am grateful for hands.

*After Judy read this post she reminded me of some very important details that serve as great life lessons.  Judy had actually offered me her hand previously to her extending it, but I was to distressed and nervous to take it.  In fact, I was snippy and told her not to talk.  (I know that is rude..........I tend to get rude and snippy when I am sure death is moments away.)  It wasn't until I was sufficiently humbled and could pray for help, which led me to ASK Judy to give me her hand.   Huge lesson right there!!

**Judy forgives my snippyness and I forgive that she tries to kill me on a weekly basis.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Life with Two Little Boys

July 28th, 1985 Journal Entry

My boys are beautiful.  Derrick, now  2 years and 3 months old, is such a cutie pie.  Brandon, only  4 months, is an absolute joy.  I just came out of Derrick's room; it is 10:35  pm and he's trying hard to settle down and go to sleep.  He's such a good boy and he always reminds us that he needs to say his prayers.  Jared got him into that routine.  He will always go to bed without much of a fuss even when he is not at all tonight!

Derrick is such a smart boy.  Of course I would say that.  He has known his entire alphabet for 8 months now.  He can also count up to 30.  We are so proud of him.  he adores his daddy and loves to play  "rough" with him.  Lots of times he is so rambunctious with us, but he is a very sensitive child also.  Derrick can handle being told no by us and will obey, but when someone else tells him no, he gets his feelings hurt and becomes introverted

Brandon is the sweetest little baby.  Life has been a complete joy with him.   Derrick loves him so much!  The first thing Derrick does is to look around to see where Brandon is at.  If he can't fined him , he runs around looking for me and asks: "Where did Nanee go?"  He has been so gentle with him.  He kisses him all the time and offers him a "peanut bibber and jelly mamich".

Derrick is talking so much these days!  He comes up with some things that just crack us up. He always says he wants to eat Chex or pancakes for breakfast.  He really says those words clearly.  He loves "Memeen Up (7-Up) and "Toke"  (Coke).

He is such an independent little boy.  He wants to do everything by himself.  I let him do everything  he can.  He helps me clean the house every morning.  His favorite jobs are vacuuming  washing the kitchen table, and misting the plants with the squirt bottle. He also helps with Brandon.  He will get the diapers, throw away the "icky"ones and even wipe up Brandon and stick the diaper tabs together.

He entertains Brandon in the mornings by climbing in his crib and playing with him.  Oh....Derrick is a climber! He often scales the refrigerator to get the raisins on top.  ( I hid them, but nothing is hid from Derrick.)

Brandon is my roller.  He will roll to get from one place to another.  But tonight, Jared and I noticed that he is starting to pull himself across the carpet with his arms.  He clutches on to some carpet and holds on with all hims might and then he pulls his body with  his arms.  he is a strong, little cus!

I love having my two boys.  Some day I hope I will have a little girl, but I wouldn't mind at all if I had a few more boys.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Practice & Prayer Makes Perfect

November 1993

Our family was given a wonderful blessing a couple of weeks ago.  The music chairman, Beverly Judd, asked Jared if our family would sing in church.  Well needless to say, Jared was not thrilled about it.  He accepted the assignment, making it clear that the only reason our family would do this was because when Gene R. Cook came to our stake conference over a year ago, he emphasized the need to have families provide the musical numbers in our meetings.

It didn't take much preparation.  We had all learned the words to a sweet, little Primary song called "Every Star Is Different" and had sung it  in our FHE all year long.  And to even make it better, Derrick had selected that song for his piano lessons.  He had perfected it and passed it off the month before.

After much talking and encouragement, Derrick finally consented to play it for us in sacrament meeting.  I knew he was just so nervous and scared.  I am sure he was probably worried about being teased by  his friends, especially if he goofed up.  We prayed and prayed that he'd do ok and not be nervous.  I wanted this to be a good experience for him.  He played it at home so many times perfectly and I knew the Lord would recognize his efforts and bless him for that.

On Sunday, Nov. 12th, our family stood up before the Meadows Ward, with Derrick at the piano and sang our hearts out.  Derrick played beautifully, not a single flaw.  I made the mistake of glancing over at him while he played the introduction and I just about lost it.  I was so proud of him.  As I started to sing, I felt my throat tighten up and the tears start to well up in my eyes.  I really had to concentrate hard so I could sing.  All the kids did so well.

After sacrament meeting ended Derrick got mauled by adults coming up to him to shake his hand or pat him on the back. People kept telling him how good he had done.  Even when he went to Primary, some of the teachers came up and told him how good his piano playing was.  It was just what he needed to hear!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Daniel's Little Boy Antics

Jan 5, 1993 journal Entry

Let me write some more about Daniel; some things that stand out in my mind.

When Daniel was about three years old, he and Jared were playing on the bed. They like wrestling and tickling each other.  Jared was laying on his back and Daniel lifted up Jared's shirt and saw his hairy belly.  With a puzzled look on his face he said :  "Dad, you got lots of fur!"

One thing that was something to watch was Daniel throwing a temper tantrum.  Because of his lack of verbal skills, his tantrums consisted mainly of body language.  He would jump up and down and his feet would be pulled way up to his bum. It was like he was spring loaded or on a trampoline because he would get a lot of height. It was more than we could do to try to not laugh when he'd do this.

Now at 5, Daniel still can throw a fit, but it's much more verbal.  He has a personality that parallels Derrick's in many ways.  He gets upset if things aren't kept on schedule or if something happens out of the ordinary.

 The kid could drink a gallon of water twenty minutes before bed, but if  he doesn't have a drink right before he goes to bed, he will not go to sleep.  He has even tried to sneak in the kitchen after we've gone to bed to get  one, only  because it is part of his nightly schedule.  I now have learned it is much easier on me to always let him have his drink right before bed no matter what.  It saves having to listen to him yelling for his drink all night.

Interviewing Derrick, Brandon and Daniel

Jan 3, 1993 Journal Entry

Brandon - age 7

Best Friend - Sean Atkinson; because he's the closest
Favorite Food - Pepperoni Pizza; mom's homemade
Girlfriend - Noelle
Favorite Christmas Present - Major League Baseball Nintendo
Why You Love Dad -  He takes me to baseball and basketball and football games.
Favorite Activity - Playing Monopoly with Derrick
Why You Love Mom - She's always home when I get home from school.
Favorite Story in Book of Mormon - Captain Moroni
Favorite Primary Song - Every Star is Different

Daniel - age 5

Best Friend -  Tyler Drew
Favorite Food - meat
Favorite Game / Activity - Bingo
Favorite Christmas Present -  The Big Mickey Mouse Yahtzee Game
Girlfriend - Tara in Mrs. Allenhouse's kindergarten class
Why You Love Dad - Because he brings me home some baseball cards.
Why You Love Mom - She always gives me kisses.
Favorite Person in the Book of Mormon - Jesus Christ, because he's the Son of God.
Favorite Movie - Home Alone 2
Favorite song - I Love To See the Temple
What You  Like to Do at School - Going to Kindergarten

Derrick - age 9

Favorite Food - potatoes with cheese casserole, any kind of spaghetti and any kind of pizza
Favorite Book of Mormon Person - Captain Moroni, because he's brave and courageous.
Why I Love Dad - because he take me places.
Why I Love Mom - because you keep the house clean.
Best Friend - Andy Hanks, Derrick Hall, and Billy Zero
Favorite Subject at School - recess, GATE and lunch., sometimes math and sometimes science and any kinds of tests.
Favorite Activity - playing games outside with friends.
What Do You Like to Do For FHE - play Twenty Questions and games like family games.
If You Could Do Anything - use my whole brain and then I could do anything.
Best Thing About Being Oldest Child. - I get to do stuff before anyone else like I get to go to 4th grade and becoming a Deacon - so I can give Brandon pointers.
Favorite Treat or Dessert - anything with plain chocolate chips
Favorite Christmas Present - I don't have a favorite - I like all of them.  Yahtzee.
Why You Love Noelle - because she always comes and kisses me on the cheek and because she sings "I'm Trying To Be Like Jesus."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Proposal and the Ring

Feb 23, 1981 Journal Entry

I remember the night Jared asked me to marry him.  I felt so close to him!  It was Jan 1st, 1981 at 1:00 in the morning.  I wanted to explode with excitement.  I wanted to tell everyone I saw.  It was in the parking lot of Godfathers Pizza on Decatur and Spring Mountain and we were waiting for Danielle and Eric to open up for a New Years  Party.

We  decided not to say anything until we sat down and talked to our parents and until I had a ring to make it more official.

Jan. 13th, I got my ring!  That was an exciting event.  We hadn't really looked that much, just when we were at the mall, I'd drag Jared over to the jewelers and make him look at the ones I liked, just so he had an idea.   Well, we went into Bullock and Losee just to look and the salesman came over and sat us down.  He slipped a setting on my finger and I went nuts.  I loved it!  It had no diamonds in it, just the setting but I knew I wouldn't settle for any other ring.

The he brought out the diamonds.  That was an interesting moment.  We started with 1/5 of a karat, but it was just to small.  Finally we worked up to 1/3 of a karat and I was thoroughly happy.  It is a gorgeous ring and I love it almost as much as I love Jared!

We discussed the price and they needed a $230.00 down payment which neither one of us had.  Jared told him we'd go home and think about it.  Well I didn't need to think about it - my mind was made up.  I remember looking into his eyes and saying : " Jared I love that ring".  Then he came up with the brilliant idea that got me my ring.  He said: " If you will sell all your gold we could put a down payment on it."  I said let's do it.  Of course he was just kidding, but I was dead serious.  So between us, we got broken gold chains, silver and Jared's silver dollars and we pawned them off.  We came up with $175.00 and Jared paid the rest of the balance.  We took it in to Bullock and Losee that night and he said we could pick up the ring the next night.  And we did!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Falling in Love

*  I don't have a date on this journal entry, but it was written some time after Jan. 1980.

Many months have passed ...since I've last written my feelings and thoughts.  My life certainly has changed. Boy I do have to get caught up.

A very special person has come into my life.  Jared Kimball Rust got home off his mission Oct. 6th.  He toured with his parents for two weeks and then got home around the 19th or 21st.  I went to pick him up at the airport with Danielle and I was scared stiff.  I remember seeing him and not knowing what to do!  I decided to break the ice by hugging him.  I was slightly disappointed when he showed no response at all.

As we began to see each other and develop the friendship we shared before his mission, I found myself falling in love!  Man, I fought it all the way.  I couldn't believe I was beginning to melt by his charm and personality.  It scared me so bad.  I knew right from the beginning that he was falling for me and likewise, he wasn't to pleased with the fact either.

I remember my dad telling me that I was going to marry that guy if I kept seeing him every night.  I just would laugh at him.  I never thought I would ever get close enough to Jared to even think about marriage.

*Another dateless post :(  - 1980 

Life with Jared has been exciting.  He's so sensitive to me, but his personality has many facets.  He can be a teasing kind of mean guy, but he know his limits.  He know when it's time to stop and wrap his arms around me and tell me he loves me.  He's outdoorsie!  I love it.  He enjoys hunting and sports.  But even in that, he takes moderation.  He can sense when I'm bored with football games or basketball games and he can walk away from them and do something more appealing to my tastes.

His dad once told me that in their family of him and his four sons,  that Jared was the best hunter.  He was the one who thought out the whole process, he was the one who would use skill in his hunting, and the one to keep going until he got his deer. I was so proud when he told me that.  I just wish that he would have told Jared what he told me.

Jared is just a neat, well-rounded guy with a young  girl who loves him very much.  I still can't believe that Jared Rust actually loves me and really wants to marry me! It startles me every time I think about it honestly.  I still can't believe that a good-looking, spiritual, sensitive and totally crazy man wants to marry me!

I remember a time, just a few weeks after his mission, we had been going out and were hanging around each other all the time.  We had just began to develop a deep friendship   We were driving to Tommy and Marilyn Hill's house because they had invited Jared to eat dinner with them so he was taking me along.  I asked him in the car if he thought he could ever marry me.  I couldn't believe those words came out of  my mouth.  It startled him and me!  He said something to the effect that it would never last.  I always wondered why he said that.

I love him!  What am I going to do!

*Nov 9th, 1980 Journal Entry (Jared and I are both up at BYU)

I was just over at Jared's apt for dinner.  He made lasagna.  He's such a good cook.  I really feel inferior to him when it comes to cooking skills.  He's all moved in now and he wanted me to see how he and Jim decorated their bedroom.  All these memories came to mind when I saw all the things I had given him.  I sent him a big, fat, stuffed heart in the mail.  It's call fat mail.  I loved seeing it there.  There's a newspaper hanging up that I had printed at Circus Circus for him that says:  "Believe It or Not - Lorri Really Does Love Jared".  There is plaques and mirrors that I gave him, and there is the blue plaid quilt that I made him for Christmas.

Nov 16, 1980

Jared is working up here. He is building this building called The Cotton Tree Inn.  Jared is very knowledgeable when it comes to construction.  It really make me proud of him to see him do work like that.  It's hard, but it teaches him so much. Jared is very intelligent and has a sharp mind.  But he is super coordinated too and can fix anything .  He has fixed a lot of things for me and my family and it makes me so proud.  He is constantly working on his car.  You'd think by him putting that much time into it , it would be great, but it is always breaking down. It cracsk me up.  I think Jared enjoys it however, just so he can fix it.

Jared has so many wonderful qualities   I compare him so much to my dad.  And to me, there is no one who is a better person than my dad.  I have the highest respect for him.  Jared is starting to form that image in my eyes.  I find myself holding him on a pedestal.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Just have to share one more tonight.....

Feb. 22, 1993

I want to record a  rather humorous experience regarding Brandon (who else?).  What a character he is.  Every Friday, his 2nd grad teacher, Mrs. Vieregge, sends home a progress report.  His academics are always perfect - but his behavior is a different story!

Always circled on his report is  "does not interrupt" .  Mrs. Vieregge puts stars by this, writing that he interrupts all the time and is very talkative.  Well last week, his teacher circled "does not interrupt"  and wrote that Brandon continues to  interrupts all the time  and is getting quite bossy!  I told Brandon that this week, he had better get over his talking and bossiness and bring home a perfect progress report in behavior.

Well Friday came and he got in the van.   I asked him to let me see his report.  He said:  "Well, I've got good news and bad news.  First the bad news...I didn't get a perfect report.  Now the good news...Mom, you remember that poem you wrote me for Valentine's Day where you said that I always talk a lot, but you love me and don't want me to change?  Well...guess what?  I DIDN'T!"

I tried not  my hardest not to laugh and tried to be stern about his progress report.  But he did it....he won me over and I couldn't help it.  I started to laugh and he knew once again that he had charmed his way out of trouble.

"Love Notes"

Feb. 15th, 1993 Journal Entry

Yesterday was our Meadows Ward Conference.  Bishop Judd gave an exceptional talk of turning to the Savior to help us. ....

 President O'Roarke,  (stake pres.) sensing the power and magnitude of what Bishop Judd had just taught, stood up to speak.  He said that he could add nothing to what Bishop Judd had just said.  So Pres. O'Roarke just bore his testimony and then asked all the youth and children in the ward to go home tonight and tell your parents that you love them.  He then pleaded with parents to go home and take each child in their arms and express their love to them.  It was quite touching and something I really wanted to do. I was hoping that what Pres. O'Roarke had asked us to do had affected Jared in the same way as it affected me.  It's so much easier to follow our leader's counsel and  advice if both parents are on the same wave length.

We came home from church and didn't really have a chance to discuss sacrament meeting with each other.  Jared had to hurry back to a meeting and when he got home, I had a meeting to go to.  Then we had dinner and the Jared hurried off to another meeting. He finally returned home about 8:00 pm.

I had already started to gather the kids together for scriptures and prayers.  Since they didn't have school on Monday (pres. day), I told them they could stay up late and watch Dick Tracy.  It started at 9:00.

The boys were getting restless so I asked Brandon to think of two reasons why he loved Daniel.  Derrick was to think of two reasons why he loved Brandon.  Travis was to do the same for Derrick and Daniel was to the same forTravis.  We then went around to each child and Jared and I expressed our love for them and why they were special to us.  Then each boy told the brother he was assigned to, why he loved them.  We then all told Noelle why we loved her.

After, Jared and I expressed our love for each other.  Jared really shared some sweet, emotional feelings with us about his love for me .  There was such a warm spirit in our home.  Jared looked at his watch and it was 8:55 and he knew the boys had wanted to watch Dick Tracy, so he said he'd just read his favorite scripture instead of having our regular scripture study out of Helaman.  Well Derrick and  Brandon asked if they could share their favorite scriptures also.  Jared told them that their movie started in five minutes and Derrick's response to that was: "What's more important, a movie or what we are doing"? Jared and I just looked at each other and smiled.  They each got up and shared their scriptures and then bore their testimonies to us. They were so sincere and guided by the Spirit.

Jared ended by sharing his personal testimony with our family.  What a wonderful evening!  We then knelt together for our family prayers and individual prayers.  Heavenly Father has really blessed our family as we have sought to be diligent in our scripture study and family prayers.

Oh...and thank goodness Jared and I were  both touched and inspired by what Pres. O'Roarke had asked us to do.  If not, I don't think our family would have every had that wonderful, spiritual experience that we had last night.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Remembering Travis

Journal Entry - Jan 3, 1993.  Travis is a unique child!  He has changed over the past few months.  He is four and a half years old and has finally hit the terrible twos!

He still has the deep voice that he was born with.  Everyone is shocked when he speaks because of his bass tone.  Jared and I thought that Daniel was such a sweet baby and that there could never be a sweeter baby....and then came Travis.  He was even more sweet and loving than Daniel - something  we thought impossible.  Travis would sing in his bass voice in the morning, but we had no idea what he was singing.  He never spoke much or even jabbered and when he finally did speak, we could not understand it.  It is still something we have to work on with him.  He and Daniel go to a special preschool for speech therapy.  They ride a bus to and from and think they are so grown up.  Travis is his teacher's joy.  She can't believe what a sweet, happy and loving little boy he is.  But really he has changed lately.  He can scowl with the best of them.  He knits his eyebrows together and throws darts with his eyes.  And boy can he pout.  Jared describes it as being moody.  He says he enjoys being tickled and played with as long as it is his idea, but he can turn stubborn and ornery the very next minute.

Travis used his expressions and eyes to communicate when he was little.  I guess that is why he didn't talk.  People would fall in love with Travis because when they would say hi to him or even smile, he would flutter his long eyelashes and coyly grin and look away.  I would swear he was almost flirting with them.  It's something I just loved about Travis and even today - between his mood swings, I catch him fluttering those eyelashes and grinning a sweet little grin!

Mike O'Brien (Travis' nursery leader) is one of his favorite all time people.  He loves her probably as much as she loves him, which I know is an awful lot.  While Jared was in the bishopric, Mike would sit with me and help with the kids.  As a result, she's become a second mom to Travis - being there every Sunday since he was born.  Today he graduated from nursery and went to Sunbeams.  And he  threw a fit!!!  He did not want to leave Sister Mike.  I had to sit by him for a while in Jr. Primary, but left after a few minutes and he was fine.  I can't believe my four boys are all in Primary.  I am old!

Recollections of Travis' birth - Journal Entry Jan. 4, 1993
Around the time when I was four months pregnant with Travis, I was helping Brenda Burr with her dance and tumbling classes because she was nine months pregnant and due anytime.  Well, I'm not sure what happened but one night after getting home from doing gymnastics with little kids all afternoon,  a gush of water poured out and soaked me.  I just knew my water had broke and something terrible had happened.  Jared rushed me to the hospital and Dr. Groom gave me a quick exam and ordered an ultrasound.  It showed that my placenta had started to rip and the amniotic fluid had leaked out.  The ultrasound also showed that I was having my fourth son.  I was ordered to bed for six weeks!  It was horrible.  I had an eight month old who wasn't even crawling yet.  I couldn't lift him up at all.  My mom, Jared, Tonya, Pat and others would come over and get Daniel up out of bed, and then get Derrick off to school and take care of Brandon.  Then they would vacuum and do laundry and clean and put Daniel down for a nap.  Then someone else would come back and  get Daniel up from his crib and feed the boys lunch.  They would make dinner and go home and then Jared would take over.  It was terrible!  I felt so useless and bad.  No one ever said anything to make me feel bad or guilty, but it was hard to see others doing all of that work while I laid in bed.  Relief Society helped with meals and babysitting, but Tonya and my mom really sacrificed and worked hard for me, not to mention Jared who took on a lot for a while also.  I hope I can repay them back someday by taking care of them in a time of need.

During my imposed bed rest time, the placenta reattached itself and the amniotic fluid was replenished.  I could finally get back to my normal life after about two months.

Travis' due date was March 23rd, but after the ultrasound tests, they moved it up to the end of Feb.  He actually was born Feb. 8th, six weeks before my first due date; three week s before my second due date.

Dr. Steele was on a trip to Hawaii so Dr. Groom delivered Travis.  When I started contractions, Jared and I dropped the kids off at moms and picked up Kellee.  I invited her to come into the delivery room with me.  It was an unusual day.  It was snowing.  Jared didn't realize how intense my labor pains were and he was just taking his time to get to the hospital.  First he stopped off at Thrifty's to find an 8 mm tape for our video camera.  He didn't fine one there ans was heading over to Home Express.  I threw a fit and informed him how bad the contractions were.

Actually, let me back up to two days before I went into labor.  Daniel was only 14 months old and was really sick.  He couldn't eat and had a high fever.  I had opened up a brand new bottle of Children's Tylenol and given him two of them to reduce his fever.  I don't know how long of time went between, but I found an empty bottle of Tylenol  and one tablet left on the kitchen floor.  I called poison control and they told me to give the boys Ipecac   My mom ran some over  and I gave it to all three boys because no one owned up to eating the Tylenol.  Well Brandon threw up over and over and so did Derrick, but poor Daniel just couldn't  So my doctor said to rush them all down to the emergency ward at the hospital.

Derrick said he didn't take any, and he was six at the time and I believed him.  And Brandon who was four, said he hadn't taken any either  but Jared and I weren't convinced about it.  The doctors were most concerned about Daniel because he was so little and so sick and he was the only one who couldn't throw up.  So they gave him a sulfur and charcoal mixture and monitored his liver while he threw-up over and over.  They said that if he had ingested a complete bottle of Children's Tylenol, that it could be fatal  or really cause great liver damage.  The test they gave Daniel to determine how high of Tylenol content was in his system took four hours to get the reading back.

Meantime, while poor little Daniel was poked and prodded and vomiting again and again, Brandon finally confessed to getting the Tylenol down and eating them all.  Both children were admitted for overnight observation and tests on their livers.  Jared and I  (8 and 1/2 months pregnant) slept on a cot in their room.  Derrick stayed at mom and dad's.  The tests came back showing Daniel had two Tylenol in his system (the two I had given him) and Brandon't test showed he  had around 25 Tylenol in him; even though he had thrown up earlier at home.  They released the boys the next day after they had been treated.

The night they were release, I felt my water trickle out and sure enough I went into labor that next morning.  So I went right back in to the hospital ( a different one however) to have my baby.

By the time we got to the hospital, I knew I wanted my epidural and quick.  That was the first thing I did was to ask for an anesthesiologist to give me my epidural.  The nurse at the desk said that was fine, but she wanted to know my name and admitt me first!

Travis came a few hours later.  He was so so small at 6 lbs.1 oz./  It was wonderful!!  I was thrilled to have another boy.  Travis was born on a Wednesday afternoon and we left the  hospital Friday morning.

Jared was in the bishopric at that time and Bishop Judd had heard about the boys and the Tylenol incident, but not about Travis being born.  Bishop Judd called Jared to see how everyone was doing.  Well Jared thought Bruce was talking about me and the new baby, so he told him that both were fine and coming home Friday morning from the hospital  Bruce was shocked when Jared explained that I had had the baby too!!

That Friday night, with Travis bundled up in a basket, all three of us went to  the  Ward Valentine's dinner dance at the church.  No one even knew Travis had been born.  They didn't know that the cute basket I was carrying actually had a sweet new baby in it.

That was quite the experience!!

"...In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength" Isaiah 30:15

Travis is quiet. I am not talking about being shy or silent; he is friendly and speaks freely.  There is just a "quietness" about who is he and how he conducts himself.  I  often wondered if this quiet demeanor was manifest because of birth order; he is the youngest of four boys and also  a middle child.  I reasoned that it was just easier for Travis to do his own  quiet thing in his own way rather than try to compete with all the commotion that surrounded him as a result of a large family.  I started to rethink that theory about  five years ago prior to him leaving on his mission.  I am sure that the above mentioned situations did have affect on who Travis is, but I have come to believe that his stillness, quietness, even the ability to be silent, are gifts that  Heavenly Father gave to him specifically, as His spirit child.

Travis engages in a conversation  not so that others can hear what he has to say, but rather so  he can listen to what they have to say.  He really does listen, takes it in and is still often silent.  I have noticed this many, many times and have come to the conclusion that there are not to many people who can actually listen and be silent.  Many listen and bide their time so that they can interject their wisdom and be heard.  But Travis is different.  The value for him, is not to impress or sway others with his knowledge and understanding, but to truly understand what has been spoken and gain knowledge from it.   I am in awe of such a gift, because it is rare indeed.

This gift of quietness is not just manifest in his conversations.  Last week while we were all gathered at Daniel and Emily's apartment to make sushi, I watched Trav.  I was curious how he would react to Cali seeing the crazy and obnoxious, even inappropriate,  aspects of our family.  While we were all engaged in singing the Pappenfuss song, with Cali right there witnessing this oddity, Travis was silent.  That did not mean he wasn't a participant in this little exchange.   His eyes were twinkly and he was grinning and those things spoke volumes.  I could be wrong, but I sensed he wasn't ashamed or even embarrassed.  It was just his "quiet" way of being part of it.

I felt this phrase of scripture from Isaiah suited Travis not just because of his gift of quietness, but the second part has meaning for him as well. . "...Confidence shall be your strength".   Travis is an imposing person, not just because of his size and  good looks, but because of who he is on the inside.  His amazing athletic talent, a darling girlfriend on his arm, and even his ability to engage in an intellectual discussion are all great showy, things,  but they are not the things that will build the strength and characteristic of confidence.   Confidence comes from being comfortable with who you are deep down inside.  It comes from liking who you are and valuing your talents and worth.  Travis has  every reason to like and value who he is. He is a sensitive, caring person who has a good, kind heart. His testimony and love of the gospel are deeply rooted in who he is and how he conducts himself.  His smile and playful nature make him approachable and gentle.  All are such endearing traits that give him confidence.  Yes, and even his "quietness" is a source of confidence.

I am grateful to be the mother of  a quiet boy who grew up to be a quiet man.  I will be honest....sometimes I am intimidated by his quietness.  Sometimes I want him to be boisterous and loud, so I hear him and know where he stands.  But I have learned there is power in his "quietness". I have learned a thing or two as I have witnessed this power in his life.  Travis,  I hope you  will continue to develop and nurture the confidence that accompanies such a  unique gift. Happy Birthday son.  I love you.  Mommy