Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Great to Be the King to Be....

Once upon a time the Labit family was obsessed with the 
Liken The Scriptures video series.
We knew all of the songs by heart. 
So well, in fact, that Hannah decided to make a few changes to the words...or just their beginning sounds.  

Oh, I long for the days when they were so easily entertained.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mad Scientists.

This week was the Spring Creek Elementary Science Fair. Will and his friend Mace had elaborate plans to make several types of water purification systems, and then test which one was the most efficient. However, somehow that pesky science fair always sneaks up on us, and before you know it, it's too late to do anything that involved. So, they settled for just testing different types of water sources to see which one rates the cleanest. Much simpler indeed, but not necessarily a winning experiment. However, they had lots of fun doing it, and in the end, that's what counts. At least that's what Will says. Next year we will start earlier. Maybe.

Friday, February 15, 2013

On Valentine's Day...

...the husband, the mother-in-law, and I were wiped out by some funky virus. Not a whole lot of  celebrating.  
However, Beth did talk us into our first Slab pizza. And despite the fact that I am not a pizza lover, and that my taste buds were a little compromised, it was delicious. It deserves another try when we are 100%.   
And so, February marches onward...hope your Valentine's Day was a little better than ours :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waste Not, Want Not.

Somewhere in the Brown DNA there is a gene for thrift.
Some of us have it and some of us don't--
I believe I have passed that gene on to my eldest son.
He is obsessed with buying his clothes at Savers.
Today, he and a couple of his friends took a field trip there.
After spending a large portion of his birthday money, he decided to lay out all of his super Savers finds from the last couple of months.
It looked something like this:

 Are you digging those yellow pants? They used to be green until he decided a little bleach would make them a much better color.

His sisters have become very interested in his T'shirt collection.
Tonight he informed me that he would be 
charging them a .25 fee to wear one.  
That's almost how much one of them cost.
He's thrifty and shrewd.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Lesson in Utah Culture.

Here in Utah (and some parts of Idaho) a very strange phenomenon exists. 
Boys and girls don't just call each other up and ask for a date to the school dance. 
It's a very big production. 
One must be creative. 
And so, with the upcoming MORP dance, where girls ask boys, Beth asked a boy somehow involving a stuffed monkey. 
I can't remember the details, but it was a freaky looking monkey. 

Last night he answered.

Monday, February 11, 2013

In Celebration of Elijah's Fifteenth Year.

Fifteen years ago today, in Honolulu, Hawaii,
our first son was born. 
We had no idea how much excitement 
he would add to our lives...
...especially in his 2nd and 3rd year.
(If we could survive those years, we can survive anything!)

Happy Birthday Elijah-
We LOVE you!    

Until next year.
At which time he will be 16. 
Oh dear.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

One Year Later.

I think it started with a speaking part for a choir concert. Will was excited to volunteer but as the day of the performance came closer, the excitement turned to fear, fear to stress, and stress to anxiety. So much so, that the night before the performance, he couldn't fall asleep. He worried about his speaking part, then he worried about sleeping, and as the clock ticked on, his anxiety increased. We prayed and prayed, together and  separately but still he could not go to sleep. His dad gave him a blessing, but still he could not sleep. I sat on his bed for awhile, then he came to mine. Nothing helped. As his frustration turned to panic, I became a little angry. Not at him, but at Heavenly Father. I had promised Will that Heavenly Father would help him if he would ask.We had begged and pleaded and still we felt alone. Not only alone, but abandoned. I couldn't understand it. Finally about 3:30 in the morning, we gave him a sleeping pill. He fell asleep.
Things went down hill from there. He began to be anxious any time he felt an uncomfortable emotion. It culminated when Michaela left for a Disneyland trip with her choir. He felt sad at her departure and began to worry that he would cry at school and everyone would laugh at him. It debilitated him. He couldn't make himself walk out the door. And because there was only one day of school  before she returned, I let him stay home.
But then our fish died. 
It was more than he could handle.
It almost immobilized him.
I begged, threatened, bribed, talked til I was blue in the face, but nothing could make him walk out the door to school. Sometimes I could get him in the car but when we pulled up to school, I could not get him to get out. I was exhausted and at my wit's end. So was he.
And then Janis told me that her hometeacher was a psychologist for the school district. I decided to meet with him and see what he could do to help us. It was a sweet, wonderful tender mercy.
He told me that solving anxiety issues at this age was easy, but if you wait till they are adults, it's almost impossible.
He told me that the worst thing I could do was to let Will stay home from school. In doing this I was validating that Will's fears were real, when in reality they were irrational. The more I catered to his anxiety, the more I validated it.
And so, I drove him to school and left him kicking and screaming in his teacher's arms. I cried as I drove home. It was awful to see his friends looking at him like someone they didn't recognize.
The next day was a little easier, and by day three, there was no resistance.
We then practiced walking to school, and each day he walked a little further by himself. The greatest day was when I started to head out the door with him and he looked at me and said, "Mom, you don't need to come anymore."
The last hurdle to conquer was at night. He was still so worried about not being able to fall asleep, that he would watch the clock and needed me to wait with him.. I was so happy that he was going to school that I was willing to sit outside his door each night until he was asleep. However,the weeks stretched into summer vacation and  it got really old. I was losing valuable sleep myself. When school was about to start up again, I knew we needed to fix this last part of his anxiety. I am amazed it took me so long, but I called Janis' hometeacher again and asked him what I should do. Again he told me that by sitting outside his door, I was validating his irrational fear. I needed to reassure him that Dad and I were there to protect him and that he could fall asleep by himself. He told me it would take maybe three days tops, but Will would be sleeping on his own. He also advised me to give Will something comforting, like conference talks, to listen to as he fell asleep  It wasn't pretty, but he was right. By the third night he was fine.
The best part was how much it empowered him. He felt normal again. It made me feel sad that I had not done it sooner. He was completely happy.
But back to Heavenly Father.
He could have made it okay that one night when we desperately wanted it.
But what if it had just stifled this anxiety issue?
What if when he was ready to go on his mission, he couldn't have stayed?
What if he was an adult before he had to try and deal with this and like the psychologist said, it was almost impossible to fix?
And what would I trade for the fact that Will still listens to conference talks every night as he goes to sleep?
He and his brother have now listened to a decade worth of sacred wisdom.
Heavenly Father never abandons us.
But he does assure us that "my ways are not your ways."
One year later Will is unstoppable.
He plays the cello in the school orchestra.
He sings in the school choir.
He has had several solo parts without thinking twice about it.
He participates in Freedom Leaders at his school.
He is in the chess club.
He even sings in the ward choir.
He is not that defeated little boy of a year ago.
And he knows that his Heavenly Father was with him every step of the way.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

For the First Time in Three Years...

...the only thing I had to do for Blue and Gold 
was help Will make a cake.

These days are gone...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Post in Which Michaela Remembers How Much She Misses Family Home Evening.

What do you call it when you plan an FHE designed to bring happiness to others, but you end up mad at each other? 

We call it a typical Monday night.

 Nonetheless, we ran plates of these puppies around the neighborhood trying to choose people who may need a little bit of joy right about now. 

We probably should have dropped one off at our own front door.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Day in Which We Celebrate Cameron.

Earlier this week, Cameron turned 25. He opted for the traditional Sunday celebration. It seems to make birthdays a little more special.

Dad enjoys a rare moment of Bethany love...

I swear it doesn't get much cuter than this girl and her little sisters...

And though you are never too old to open presents...

...the presents do get a little different.

The Labit boys working on their totem pole pose.

This little girl was pretty smitten with Elijah. She told her mom as she looked at him adoringly, "You know what they say, love one another!"
And though this cake looks demolished, I don't think one person finished an entire piece. Too much for sure. And that means something coming from moi.

Happy Birthday big guy! 
We love you.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Chocolate Wasted.

Today I made my nephew Cameron's birthday cake.
I started feeling a little guilty about 
half way through the creation process.
A little over the top don't you think?
Well, you only turn 25 once.
You can find the recipe here.