my halloween baby....2 years old!

 Born at 3:15pm on Oct. 31, 2009
 my easiest delivery to date
 and a very mellow kid (going home from the hospital)
 first birthday
 "my name is Blake, i fall asleep in random places because i am a third child"
 Power Ranger Blake
 when we went and found snow last year
 he loves his sister's shoes...
 and large gift bags...
hard to believe that you were this small once...you have been such a light and joy in our lives little man.  we love you so much. you make us smile everyday, many times.  we are so happy you are in our family, we love you so much.  we all wish you a happy halloween birthday!!!!


Kidney Stone

watch the video, it's funny and i like Friends... yep that's right, i had a kidney stone! ouch mama! i tell you that was the worse pain i've ever had without an epidural! NO FUN! i woke up at 5 on friday morning, with pain, not too bad, thought i had to use the potty, so i did, then i drank a whole bunch of water because i know i haven't been drinking enough lately, and i was hoping that would help...by about 5:30 or so i was in a lot of pain and by 6 or so we were on the way to the hospital, because i was writhing around on the floor...and it always take a long time at the ER....we got back quickly but then it took a while for them to see us, and get a doctor in there and get some medicine and go have a CAT scan...so diagnosis was 3mm kidney stone...and they gave me prescriptions for percoset, phinegrin, and flomax, with strict instructions to DRINK a lot and flush that stone out. not a good day, i have to tell you, i felt so SICK! and when the medicine wore off and i needed more, forget it! very much pain...but Friday night a friend took E and A to our ward Trunk or Treat and Blake stayed with Kendall and me, and i finally passed the stone (TMI?) and i couldn't believe how much better i felt! still felt slightly sick and dizzy but 800% better really. this morning i felt good, once i got moving around, i found that i am having some headaches and i am a little sore so i'll rest and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.

 MORAL of this story: make sure you take care of yourself and DRINK a lot!


how are you doing?

this is a question we hear a lot these days...how are you doing?

how do i answer that?

i have felt so much love and concern and friendship from so many people. my siblings all came in for the funeral, my mom and dad stayed far longer than they thought they would, a friend volunteered her house for my siblings and their children to stay in, my children have never received so many gifts of clothing and shoes... our ward family has rallied around us and made meals, they are taking turns spending time with us during the day, family and friends have sent us money to help us pay for expenses from the funeral and hospital bills, i have received beautiful gifts to help me remember Christian...my children have received gifts from friends to help them feel loved and special.....and countless people have been and are praying for our family.

i have never felt so much love in my life.  it is amazing. i wish the circumstances were different.  i wish that my baby was here with me so i could hold him and love him and take care of him.  but i know where he is, i know he is safe, and well and he does not hurt.  i know he is with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. and that our family can be together again some day.  i cannot imagine going through this most difficult time in my life without knowing that those things are true.  if you want to learn more about these truths you can go here or here or ask me:)

so in answer to the question, "are you okay?"...

we are okay. we are doing the best we can.  do i cry a lot still? everyday.  do i laugh and play with my children? everyday.  do i think about christian? every hour of everyday.  this is going to take time.  i know that. i am embracing that.  my family has all gone home (i am so grateful for you guys), kendall stayed home today with us to spend time with just us.  he goes to work tomorrow and the kids and i will spend some time with wonderful people in our ward who want to care for us right now.  we are so blessed.  we are so blessed to have kendall's family close by as well.  we are as okay as anyone would be considering our circumstances.

in the sacrament meeting that was the Sunday after Christian's funeral, a man in our ward spoke and referenced his sister's blog and how she wrote something very poignant about the Provo Tabernacle and how it will be turned into a temple...both Kendall and I were touched by what she said...(to read the entire blog post, go here)

"without devastation or change or difficulty, we could just sail along the same way we always have. That Tabernacle could have gone on for decades yet to come as simply the beautiful Tabernacle it was. And so, in these times of re-evaluation, of creativity, of listening more intently, of being open to things that were never before even considered, we often find the greatest miracles.  It is when we look at how to rebuild, that often the plans for rebuilding create something much more incredible than we started with. There are so many times when He who knows us perfectly sees what we have the power to become when we ourselves cannot see it and are happy to continue the way we are.

When life burns down a Tabernacle, God rebuilds a temple."

our hope is that we can come out of this devastation as stronger individuals and a stronger family.

(***this doesn't mean i want people to stop asking how i am, i don't, i love that you care and i will answer that question as many times as you want to ask it! )


candy corn cookies..

they just look like candy corn...they taste like sugar cookies:) except for i just realized that i think i switched the yellow and orange layers in the candy corn cookies...ahhhh..well...you get the general idea. i saw this idea on our best bites yesterday and we just had to do it! wilton food coloring (or any gel food coloring i would assume) is what makes the colors so vibrant and pretty. it was a fun baking experience for my kids and their cousins..we did it together. then we made some orange dough for pumpkins:)

they are actually quite small and bite-sized and the cousins and my kids like them better then the big ones. it's a fun one, you should try it! here's my sugar cookie recipe if you don't have one you love, I LOVE this one i have been making them for years...is it weird when you can say that, that you've been doing something for YEARS and have it be true? i'm having a moment...anyway i think they are very tasty without frosting even! we make them anytime of year.

 Best Sugar Cookies EVER!
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. shortening
2 eggs
1/3 C. milk
1 t. vanilla
 1/2 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
3 C. flour

 cream shortening, sugar and eggs. beat well until light yellow and creamy. blend in milk and vanilla. combine dry ingredients in another bowl, add to batter. stir gently. add additional flour so it's not sticky, to form a soft dough. roll out on floured surface 1/4 inch thick, cut into any shape! bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. they should NOT be brown or anything like it on top, the bottoms should be golden, very light.


Accident Prone...

Apparently Blake is having a rough few days. On Sunday my brother was trying to keep Blake away from reclaimed water sprinklers at the park and Blake did a "boneless" number while Nathan was holding onto his wrist and then his wrist was hurting him that day. (the next day he was perfectly fine Nathan, so stop feeling bad!) Then on Monday he managed, somehow, to bang his head at his grandma's pool, then today he was playing in the empty bathtub after the water had gone out, and i was getting a towel and he slipped and broke his tooth. (click on it to see it bigger)
we took him to the dentist (his first visit) and they didn't want to file it down or anything unless it's bothering him in the next 2 weeks because they don't want to weaken it further and it's a baby tooth (obviously) so he needs to keep it for another few years...stop now little man. on a different note, our family wants to send out a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been thinking of us and praying for us. we need it so much right now and we greatly appreciate the wonderful friends and family who are supporting us at this very difficult time. we love you all. we are doing ok.


Funeral Services...

We will have funeral services for Christian this Saturday at the LDS church building at 1100 N. Cooper Rd. (on the corner of Cooper and Houston) in Gilbert, Arizona. We will have a viewing at 12:00, followed by a funeral service at 1:00. After the funeral we will have a brief gravesite service at the Mariposa Gardens cemetary in Mesa. Anyone who wants to attend the services to remember Christian is welcome to do so. Thank you all again for your love and prayers.


no words...

Christian went in for his surgery today and he passed away during that operation.
We are deeply saddened by the loss of our baby.
We have no words right now but we know that his spirit is with his Heavenly Father.

Christian we love you so much.


crafts and other stuff...

i have been putting together some craftiness for a group of ladies in my ward for about a year now...we just did our Halloween crafts and that marks 1 year that i have been doing it and it's so fun! these are some of the crafts we did this time...

these blocks turned out so cute, and the letters are a printable from Poppies at Play! so nice of her to make that available!

the block pumpkins i've just been seeing around and they turned out cute and are super quick...the spiders were a last year craft we did (find the tutorial for them here)

the inspiration for these guys came from here, but i made up all my pattern pieces for them etc.
those halloween goodies are helping us celebrate in style this year:) so fun. we all love halloween and it helps that Blake's birthday is Halloween too:) in other news...

we have another "sling baby" he likes the sling a lot. and i like to use it because it leaves my hands free. it's especially helpful at the grocery store! when he puts his hands like this he looks like a squirrel or something:) so cute!

(Translation: From Ethan To Sister Butler)
 ethan is a writing and reading machine! and i love that he is sounding words out and writing what he hears, it's so fun to figure out what he's trying to say! i like this note a lot. he writes notes to everyone. we had some ladies over to do crafts a couple days this week and one of the days one of the kids (Crew, who is so sweet) konked Blake on the head with a car (there might have been some provocation there) and ethan wrote this note in response to that incident.
 (Translation: Do not let Crew do that again. no no no! p.s. no)

the P.S. part is probably my favorite!
Blake is such a ham, he wants his picture taken anytime and this is generally what i get! so cute though. avery in her dollar store tiara...very pretty!

ethan had a "hilarious hat" day at school one day, so we made a hat with jokes on it...hey it was the best i could come up with!  ahhhh...kindergarten. gotta love it!